We Could All Use a Bit of Borgore in Our Lives, Even You Grown Folks

Photos by Jack Gorman
Stereo Live
June 5, 2014

It was right about the time that Borgore dropped the modern brostep classic that is Skrillex's remix of Nero's "Promises" that I found myself on the second level of Stereo Live thinking about young-adult novels. I realize this is a weird thing to be thinking about while those perfect noises play, but hear me out.

There's a really dumb article over at Slate that argues that grown folks shouldn't read young-adult novels because there are plenty of grown-folks books that you could be reading instead. I found myself wondering if this extends to music as well.

Here I am, up at 12:40 a.m. on a work night in a packed crowd listening to Borgore spin all manner of bass tracks, and I've never once listened to a Bob Dylan album, don't know a single Smiths song other than "How Soon Is Now?" and the only thing I know about Neutral Milk Hotel is that that guy really loves Anne Frank.

But you know what? YOLO. Borgore puts on a damn fun show, and -- revoke my music critic card if you must -- sometimes that's way better than sitting at home listening to the classics.

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Free Press Summer Fest Temporarily Being Evacuated

Categories: Bayou Beat

"@fpsf: Due to impending weather conditions we are putting in a temp evacuation order. Seek shelter outside fest grounds. Stay tuned for all clear"

That was the message that just went out here at the festival. From where I'm standing, plenty of people seem content to hang out under an underpass and see what happens. We'll update once we hear more.

Be safe everyone.

James "Boogaloo" Bolden Band at Dan Electro's, 2/7/2014

Photos by William Michael Smith
The James Bolden Blues Band blowing at gale force
James Bolden Blues Band
Dan Electro's Guitar Bar
February 7, 2014

James "Boogaloo" Bolden has been at B.B. King's side for decades as band director. But with King, 87, slowing down a bit, Bolden is finding new avenues for his talent. For starters, he's just released a new album, No News, Jus' The Blues, and (along with producer/saxophonist Eric Demmer) has assembled a powerhouse big band that can blow the roof off any joint on any given night.

Friday night was no exception, as Bolden and Demmer, who spent more than a decade with the legendary Gatemouth Brown, put their nine-piece swingin' machine through some blistering paces at the venerable Heights blues/rock outpost. Consisting of some of Houston's top players -- piano genius Daryl Lavigne; red-hot sax maven and vocalist Evelyn Rubio; Charlie "Tuna" Dennis, B.B. King's longtime rhythm guitarist; local guitar god Teri Greene; sizzling trumpeter Roy Chapa; and father-son rhythm section Barry and Brandon Jackson -- the Bolden band is a beautiful thing to behold. In fact, it ranks right there with Grady Gaines' similar setup.

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Meet the McFadden Brothers, Houston's EDM Accountants

Ryan (L) and Kyle McFadden, a.k.a. Kyle Dux
I once wrote here how my kids work at being musicians. Their hand-to-mouth life demands and modest success mean they don't have to bus tables for a living.

But many Houston musicians do work for the man. Admirably, they create and perform music by night, then do the day job. For many, it's changing tires at the auto shop or stocking shelves at Guitar Center.

Or, in the case of the McFadden brothers, Kyle and Ryan, it's the staid corporate work of accounting. Over the past year, these honest-to-Pete siblings have joined forces to create original, Houston-based electronic dance music. Under the banner of Kyle Dux -- yes, that's a nod to Bloodsport's larger-than-life hero, Frank Dux -- they focus on house music and hope to help advance a local EDM scene that seems too small for a city this large.

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Disclosure at Warehouse Live, 1/29/14

Photos by J Tovar
Warehouse Live

Wednesday night's Disclosure show was a confusing and somewhat disorganized experience, but nonetheless an amazing performance that certainly pleased the overstuffed Warehouse Live crowd.

Unless I had been huffing glue in my sleep and dreamt this, the first time I went to the Warehouse Live page to see when Wednesday's show began it said that doors were at 7 p.m. and there were two openers (Vic Mensa and Samo Sound Boy). Thankfully I am a compulsive planner and checked the site multiple times before going to the show and I learned that "due to unforeseen circumstances," doors had been moved to 10 p.m..

Doors at 10 p.m. isn't an oddity for any show, particularly for any kind of EDM show. Doors at 10 also normally means that an opener might make it on by 10:30, then another by 11:30, and the headliner would go on around 12:30 and play until bar closed.

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Five Trap Christmas Songs to Get Your Party Turnt Up

Christmas is here, food is cooking, family is visiting and presents are waiting to be opened. Now is the time to think about setting the right atmosphere for the occasion. Christmas day is supposed to be a happy day, an exciting day, one full of laughs and merriment. For the love of God, don't bore your family with the same, laid-back Christmas jams you play every year. Take things up a notch and make it a real celebration.

Your family likes trap music, right?

Good. Grab these five songs and throw them into your holiday playlist. Nothing shakes off the cobwebs of "Silver Bells" like some high-hat rolls and bass drops.

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Zedd at House of Blues, 10/30/2013

Photos by Julian Bajsel
House of Blues
October 30, 2013

I may not know what Zedd looks like, but I think he represents the future.

Let's break down that sentence a bit before you grab your pitchforks and light your torches.

On a platform at the back of the House of Blues stage, surrounded by giant video walls, lights, and lasers, Zedd barreled his way through a 90-minute set full of crowd-pleasing hits while being little more than a silhouette onstage. He addressed the crowd a few times -- typical DJ things like asking the crowd to jump and make some noise -- but for the most part he was content to let the massive sounds and impressive lighting display do the talking for him.

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10 Swang-and-Bang Anthems for Sunday's SLAB Parade

Photos courtesy of Slab Ridaz Magazine
Swangers on a Silverado? Welcome to H-Town.
Just so you know, that low, persistent rumbling you feel in your gut this Sunday afternoon will have nothing to do with the Whataburger you pounded down at 3 a.m. the night before. It'll be the ultrasonic bass emanating from the popped trunks of 50 customized vehicles swangin' through Third Ward as part of the city's very first SLAB Parade and Family Festival at MacGregor Park.

What's a SLAB, you ask? Well, first off, thanks for visiting Houston, and we recommend that you check out Frenchy's Chicken before you have to leave. According to the Houston Arts Alliance Folklife + Traditional Arts Program, the Houston Museum of African-American Culture and Workshop Houston -- the triple partnership putting on the festival -- a SLAB is commonly an older-model American sedan enhanced by glossy paint, plush interiors and flashy rims. That '84 Cadillac with wire-spoke wheels and purple candy paint you passed on U.S. 59 South? SLAB, homie.

Don't get it twisted: We're not talking about West Coast low-riders or simple hoopties here. The SLAB is an H-Town thing, identified by markers such as a superfluous fifth wheel on back, neon lights in the open trunk and TV screens jumping up out the dash. And if it ain't got those swangers poking out -- "elbows," they're called -- it ain't a SLAB, baby.

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Added Music Takes Bayou City Art Fest to Another Level

Every great band requires a great timekeeper. The man behind the drum set for Houston Press Music Award winners The Suffers is named Nick Zamora. He's one of those dudes who just gets it, man.

The guy is a musician's musician, who can keep time, sing back-up vocals, act as a sound man, and book your next show. So when the Bayou City Art Festival was looking for assistance in increasing the appeal of the annual event's musical fare, it was only natural that they called upon Zamora.

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Krewella at Stereo Live, 9/6/2013

Photos by Julian Bajsel
Stereo Live
September 6, 2013

Oh how things can change in just under a year. The last time Krewella came to town they were in the opening slot with a single EP under their belt, but it was clear at the time that there were big things ahead for the trio.

They managed to reach those big things pretty quick. Since we spoke to them way back in October 2012, they've officially become a thing. Not only are they EDM headliners selling out clubs coast to coast, but Krewella had a legit crossover hit with "Alive" that introduced them to listeners outside the genre.

Friday night saw them bring the "Get Wet Tour" to Houston, bringing with them a custom stage, live vocals, and an album's worth of new material to wow the crowd. And if this is where they are after a year, it's scary to think about where they'll be a year from now because right now they're on fire.

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