Pop Moment

Just in case you're a musician, and you're curious about how to get your name printed in bold type in a column like this in one of our local papers, the Houston Music Council is holding another if its regular meetings, this one dedicated to the topic "Media -- How to Get in Print," at the Urban Art Bar, Monday, February 6, from 7:30 p.m. till 10 p.m. I'm going to be there, even though it means postponing my Monday night poker game for the first time in more than a year, because last time I didn't show up (even though I wasn't invited), some local scribbler took me to task for not caring enough to answer a few simple questions from aspiring media hogs. See? I really do care. In fact, I care so much that I'll go ahead and tell you a few things that might help you get your name inked on that much sought-after scrap of paper. (1) Do something newsworthy. (2) Do make a professional 8-by-10 or 5-by-7 black-and-white photo available for use. Your color Xeroxes and out-of-focus snapshots will never, ever be published, because the art department says so, and they don't negotiate. (3) Don't suck. (4) Suck so much that I feel compelled to write something about how much you suck. (5) Do send me a press release about your organization's meeting in the middle of a really slow news week. (6) Don't write your own copy and expect me to run it as is; it don't work that way around here. Extra special helpful bonus hint: If you've got something to mail me -- photo, press release, tape, etc. -- don't call me and ask for the address. It's printed on the inside cover of every single copy of more than 80,000 papers that you can pick up for free anywhere in the city. If you can't find it without bugging me, I'll think you're an idiot, and besides, I'm probably really busy trying to reschedule my poker game. So there're a few hints to pique your interest. But go ahead and show up at UAB Monday night anyway. Other critics will be there, and they'll probably have a load of helpful comments all their own. Besides, you can express your dissatisfaction with the jobs we do much more forcefully in person than through the mail.

Because you can't have too much of a good thing, Lazy Squid Rekkids has just released Risk Is Just a Part of the Game, a 13-song -- you guessed it -- compilation of underexposed Houston rock bands in the punk rock/hard-core/psychedelic vein. Lazy Squid Rekkids, despite a spelling change, is the same Lazy Squid Records that released Sad Pygmy's Tomato Halo a year or so ago. Appropriately enough, the present compilation is more or less the brainchild of Sad Pygmy's C-Dog (Shaun Kelly), who started work almost a year ago in an effort to compile his favorite songs by his favorite bands on one disc. Each of 13 bands represented contributed cold, hard cash to help offset manufacturing costs, and most of the disc's 25 tunes were engineered and produced by Redo Makeshift at Deep Dot Studios. If you're looking for selling points, take a listen to rare offerings from local circuit veterans Squat Thrust, Dry Nod, Poor Dumb Bastards and Rusted Shut (nice chord, kids) and newcomers Papa Gritt, Feared Alien Voodoo, Dull Ache, Kable and Thomas Ayresol. You'll also find tunes from Sad Pygmy, Happy Fingers Institute, 30footFALL and Retardo Al Dante, along with some fine sleeve art by Public News comic artist Scott Gilbert.

If compilations are your thing, you may already be aware of forthcoming contenders such as Justice's Hellhole compilation and Kurdt Brennan's vinyl-only Crude (both of which also feature cuts from Sad Pygmy), but get a head start with this one. Available at Sound Exchange, Vinyl Edge and other fine independent record stores.

Locally Notable: Local thrash punkers Monster Soup have a new seven-inch three-tune piece of wax that your parents won't like (but I do, so it's okay). The platter's out on Fuzzgun Records, and the three songs are "Fudgeblast!!!," "Yesterday" and "Trans Am Superman." You can pick it up in your local record store, or show up at Fitzgerald's on Thursday, February 2, when Monster Soup opens the show for San Francisco's queer and proud pseudo-punks Pansy Division.

And in an entirely different sort of show, Saturday, February 4, marks the first annual Flute Summit at Cezanne. "As you may know," reads the press release, "the flute is underrepresented in the Houston jazz scene. We hope to alter the public's perception with this concert." To that end, local flautists Evan Bauman, Aralee Dorough, Bob Chadwick and Dina Hollingsworth will front a band comprising Ken Ward on piano, David Craig on bass, and Joe Ferreira on drums.

-- Brad Tyer

 
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