Sleater-Kinney: "I Definitely Think a Torch Has Been Passed"

Categories: Inquiring Minds

Photo by Brigitte Sire/Courtesy of Shore Fire Media
Sleater-Kinney's music is so intense that the trio has always belonged to something greater than themselves whether they really wanted to or not. Lyrically, they've never shied away from politics -- quite the contrary -- but their anthems have always been of a more personal nature, even as together the three women have made some of the most epic, fiercest rock and roll of the past quarter-century.

Calling it "punk" or "riot-grrrl" is thinking much too small considering what Sleater-Kinney has come to represent today, but that is where their roots lie; specifically, in the early-'90s Olympia, Washington, groups Excuse 17 and Heavens to Betsy. Sleater-Kinney formed in 1994 and recorded two albums on Portland-based Chainsaw Records (including breakthrough Call the Doctor) before jumping to riot-grrrl's flagship label, Kill Rock Stars, from 1997's Dig Me Out through 2002's One Beat. Each album received a warmer greeting from fans and critics than the previous one (as well as a steadily swelling audience); so did 2005 Sub Pop debut The Woods, after which Sleater-Kinney abruptly announced a hiatus.

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Birdmagic & Perseph One Bring Beats and Love to Rudyard's

Photos by Susan Wyatt
Birdmagic, Perseph One, Pitter Patter
April 16, 2015

At night's end, Birdmagic looked like someone who had dominated an opponent after a 12-round fight. Predator, not prey, he stalked Rudyard's stage, eagerly pacing between soiled and pulsing snares. His shirt soaked with the labor of his effort, Birdmagic insisted that every person be in the moment filled with ecstatic joy. Thursday night, those who braved the deluge and participated in the 21st-century Dionysian festival left gratified.

Jonathan Perez, a.k.a. Pitter Patter, initiated the evening's events with his dynamic one-man show. Before Pitter Patter finished introducing himself to the crowd, he grabbed his drumsticks, clicked on his laptop, and performed angular rhythms over a collection of acoustic and electronic sounds. More psychedelic than experimental, the accompanying synths buttressed his primal pounding.

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How to Live Like Janet's "Go Deep" Video

I can recall the first time I ever wanted a music video to be my life.

No, it wasn't 2Pac's "I Get Around," because I felt like getting chased by women twice my size and dealing with the aftereffects of a pool party where I only knew two people (Shock G, Money B) would be too much.

No, it wasn't Oran "Juice" Jones's video for "The Rain" because quite frankly, the only real fun in that video happens after The Juice busts his chick for cheating on him and tells her she's like Corn Flakes without the milk. The agony of doing all that detective work, following her and living with the shame of getting cheated on sucks. By the way, that's still the most disrespectful thing I've ever heard a guy tell a woman without using a curse word.

No, the first time I literally wanted my life to be like a music video? Janet Jackson's "Go Deep."

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Steve Forbert Still Looking for Inspiration -- and Finding It

Categories: Playbill

Photo by Alan Messer
Steve Forbert still looking for inspiration from Jimmie Rodgers
After almost 40 years in the music business, Steve Forbert could be forgiven for taking it easy or resting on his laurels, but the singer-songwriter who comes to McGonigel's Mucky Duck Saturday night for two shows still has the fire in his belly. A brief two-stop Texas weekend tour is an interruption of what he describes as the grueling process of mixing a new record he hopes to release this fall.

"Playing the shows is where the real joy lies in all this," he explains from a studio in New Jersey. "Just take my guitar and get up there, no obsessive worrying about little things like is there enough bottom end in that. That's what gets my juices going -- the live playing is still the big fun.

"The other part of it this far along in my career is that people who come out to hear me want to be there," laughs Forbert. "So I'm playing to a pretty select group, not a bunch of people who've never heard me. They come for a specific reason, and that's great by me. Realizing that, I still find myself surprised that I'm not more relaxed than I am when I'm onstage."

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The 50 Most Beautiful People of Coachella's First Weekend

Christopher Victorio
By Sarah Purkrabek/LA Weekly

The temperature isn't the only thing that's sizzling at Coachella. With their tanned bodies, gym-rat physiques, and seriously on-point bohemian/ethereal/fairy-style choices, Coachella-goers know to look their best while they're in the desert.

Both the festival itself and the parties that go with it have some of the most desirable attendees of any multi-day event. How they managed to stay this fabulous, we don't know, but here they are: the most beautiful people of Coachella (Weekend 1).

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Houston's 10 Best Stress-Reliever Bars

Categories: Night Life

Photo by David Rozycki
Early-stage mosh pit, Walters Downtown
April is National Stress Awareness Month, and we all need to take some time out of our busy schedules filled with work, school and other responsibilities to relax and unwind. Many of us like to have a few drinks after a stressful day at work, but these places have other features that can help to relieve stress besides just the alcohol.

Going out for some drinks with friends can be a lot of fun; just don't get too carried away. We are not trying to be your nanny or anything, but getting arrested for a DWI or PI will actually add more stress to your life -- just sayin'. It's best to find some other coping mechanisms to deal with the stress in your life besides excessive booze, and these places have got you covered.

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Nosaj Thing Would Like Their Stolen Gear Back

Photo courtesy of Life or Death PR
No questions asked.
Nosaj Thing, the electronic musician/producer who has worked with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Kid Cudi, was robbed of his group's equipment early Thursday morning on Kirby and Richmond.

According to the band's Facebook page, their tour van was broken into and all of their equipment, including Macbooks and other devices, was taken.

The band is offering a cash reward for any information leading to the retrieval of their gear. Please contact the band on their Facebook pageĀ if you know anything about Thursday morning's robbery.

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The 10 Best Concerts in Houston This Weekend: OK Go, Brad Absher, Record Store Day, etc.

Categories: Concerts

Photo by Makoto Kubota/Courtesy of BB Gun Press
Warehouse Live, April 17

Since the days when MTV actually played them round-the-clock, no band has been more closely identified with its music videos than OK Go. Even before there was such a thing as YouTube (or much, anyway), the L.A.-via-Chicago power-pop quartet established their Cars-plus-Pixies formula on 2002 modern-rock hit before breaking ground in the viral-video arena three years later with "Here It Goes Again." (You know, the one with the treadmills.)

Nearly a decade later, the band's scampish sense of humor remains intact -- their contribution to the soundtrack of this year's Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is called "You're a Fucking Nerd and No One Likes You" -- as does their adherence to vintage New Wave; "The Writing's On the Wall," the first single from this year's Hungry Ghosts LP, is a virtual New Order rewrite.

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Get to Know Thunder Soul

The Kashmere Stage Band was a phenomenon. Most high-school stage bands -- ensembles that played something besides symphonic music, often jazz -- of the late '60s and early '70s were stuck 20 or 30 years in the past, playing the orchestrated swing of Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey or Count Basie. But the kids at Kashmere High School were lucky enough to have Conrad "Prof" Johnson, a band director who was hip enough to understand that that kind of music wouldn't fly on Houston's northeast side, dedicated enough to mold them into a powerhouse that blew away their rivals at any competition the KSB entered, and kind enough that his students thought of him as a second father even more than 30 years after they were under his baton.

The tale of Conrad Johnson and the Kashmere Stage Band, who performed tours of Europe and Japan while winning dozens of competitions in their heyday -- and much later became a highly sought-after act by sample-hungry DJs -- is easily one of the most remarkable stories in Houston music history. It's also the subject of Thunder Soul, the 2011 documentary directed by Mark Landsman. Jaime Foxx was one of the executive producers.

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Desert Island Discs: Buxton's Sergio Trevino

Photo by Sergio Trevino
From time to time, we ask local musicians for their Top 5 absolute desert-island discs, the records that made them the musicians they are today. This week: Sergio Trevino, the fabulous front man of Americana veterans Buxton.

GILLIAN WELCH, Time the Revelator

This is probably the easiest decision (possibly making it the "best of the best"). This album has an undefinable beauty, something beyond chords and tempos that makes it so special. Just a calm and sad, mysterious record.

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