Houston Dancer Hopes Theft Won't Dash His Documentary Dreams

Photos by Francisco Montes
Jose Figueroa (center, striped shirt) dances at Beetle's Continental Club set last week
All Jose Figueroa ever wanted to do was dance. This year, he also decided to make a documentary about it.

The 49-year-old native Houstonian, who during the day teaches life skills to special-needs students at Channelview High School, has become a fixture in the smaller corners of the local music scene. He likes places like Sambuca, the Big Easy, Shakespeare Pub and Birraporretti's, rooms that favor jazz, blues and swing, but Beetle at the Continental is a favorite too. Figueroa calls himself a "social dancer," and says he's been doing it for 15 years.

Figueroa's friends would tell him live music was better in Austin or other parts of the state, but he has been regularly dancing to live music in Houston long enough to not give their words much weight; about 15 years, by his reckoning.

"I knew better," says Figueroa, who was there when Herbie Hancock came to play the opening of Sambuca. "I wanted to prove [them] wrong."

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The 10 Best '70s Throwback Jamz

Hey, does anyone feel like gettin' on up like a sex machine? Well, we do, and we think you should join us.

The music that emerged during the '70s is some of the very best, even now. Artists like Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson were taking over the scene, oiled-up Jheri curls were all the rage, and that good ol' break-your-neck-on-the-dancefloor funk reigned supreme.

And while the '70s left us cleaning up a mess of glitter and disco lights, it also left us with a laundry list full of fantastic jamz that are just ripe for Throwback Thursday. Whether the songs are soulful and deep, or funkadelic and fancy-free; it matters not. What matters is that the songs from this era were some of the very best ever, and deserve a nod or two.

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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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The Rest of That Daft Punk Dance-Off Job Interview

Job interviews are so boring. You spend the entire time answering questions about what animal you would be (and why), while sweating your ass off in a wool suit and trying to make sure your poorly chosen tattoos don't peek out of your sleeves. It's thisclose to water torture, and the only upside is that at the end of it, you may be offered a job processing TPS reports while answering to The Man. Nothing good can come of them.

Unless your job interview also consists of a Daft Punk dance-off. Then your humiliation goes viral, and the whole world gets to read about how you did some robotic dance moves in front of some stuffy Human Resources reps, and your street cred skyrockets.

That's exactly what happened to Alan Bacon recently when he went into a job interview for Currys Cardiff, an appliance store in Wales. Among the other awkward questions, the interviewers asked Bacon and his fellow applicants to show them a few of their best moves. As cool as that might seem from the outside, the little social experiment didn't go over quite as well. We'll let Bacon explain:

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Texas B-Boys Step Up to North American Finals

Within the four elements of hip-hop, breaking (aka "breakdancing" or "B-boying") is perhaps the most dynamic, and by far the most physical. The act of transforming a DJ's beats and MC's rhymes into a work of performance art takes courage, training, creativity, and a bit of luck.

And like hip-hop as a whole, the popularity of B-boying has ebbed and flowed through the years, but has never died or been forgotten.

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Bee Gees: A Band of Brothers More Than Just White Suits and Disco Balls

The Band of Brothers: Robin, Barry, and Maurice Gibb
Bee Gees: The Biography
By David Meyer
Da Capo Press, 416 pp., $27.50

"The Bee Gees are everywhere and in everyone's heads, and still - outside their legion of diehard fans -- don't get the respect they deserve."

This is the theory that author Meyer, who penned the well-regarded Gram Parsons bio Twenty Thousand Roads, posits in this, surprisingly the first full-length book on a group that has sold some 250 million records over a 40-year career together (their late '70s autobiography notwithstanding).

From their earliest days as child cabaret performers in Australia (where the Gibb family had emigrated to from Manchester, England), to early success with pop ballads and soft psychedelia, to their massive, massive success as disco's posters boys, Meyer covers it all.

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Five Songs That Are Surprisingly Awesome When Dubstepped

Creative Commons
So I'm not sure how this blog came to fruition, but it did, and I can honestly tell you that I never expected to be writing about dubstep. I don't mind the whole electronic-music craze, but you would be hard-pressed to find me making the trek to Ultra Fest or something. (Not to mention I had to Google what the hell Molly was. Yeah, I'm that uncool.)

I also didn't think it was possible to take an artist like Neil Young, throw in some loud-ass beats while chopping it all to hell, and still somehow wind up with a product that isn't utter shite. But as I sit here willingly listening to a remix of Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman," waiting for the fuckin' bass to drop, I can tell you, I might be a changed woman. Either that or I've finally lost my shit.

Below are five of the most random -- yet totally decent -- remixes I've found while sifting through the endless mountains of dubstep on YouTube. I've enjoyed this little journey, but I'll never again be able to listen to Marvin Gaye's albums without waiting for the bottom to drop out. So thanks, dubs. Thanks.

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It's a No-Pants Party With the White Ghost Shivers

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Photos courtesy of White Ghost Shivers
Listen up, fellow ruckus lovers...we're goin' on a road trip.

Follow me back in time, to a place where acoustic instruments reigned supreme, and the kazoo was safe to harmonize alongside the jug, and skirt-lifting had little to do with video hos.

It is there, dear ruckus lovers, that you will find the rare creatures known as the White Ghost Shivers.

Approach cautiously, though...they've been known to throw whistles while barn-dancing.

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Happy Birthday to Archie Bell, Houston's Multi-Hit Wonder

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Photo by Marc Brubaker

Sixty-eight must be a pretty significant number to Archie Bell these days. Not only was 1968 the year that "Tighten Up" -- his million-selling single with Archie Bell and the Drells -- was released, but the man himself turns 68 years old tomorrow.

A seminal piece of endlessly danceable proto-funk, "Tighten Up" hit No. 1 on both the pop and R&B charts in '68 after it was picked up for release by Atlantic Records. Archie's unforgettable intro to the dance number includes one of the most prominent and memorable shout-outs to the city in music history.

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Father Sean Horrigan Set to Rock Leon's Lounge Tonight

Sean in Seattle 1.jpg
photo courtesy of Sean Horrigan
The Celebrity DJ" Fridays at Leon's Lounge take a turn from the secular to the sacred tonight when Father Sean Horrigan, pastor at Christ the Redeemer Church, commands the turntables.

Horrigan, whom we ran into last Saturday night at the Wagoneers show at McGonigel's Mucky Duck, was the music editor at the Daily Cougar at University of Houston during his Eighties college years and says his set will be primarily an '80s revue.

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