By Jef With One F
By Rocks Off
By Chris Lane
By Angelica Leicht
By Corey Deiterman
By Angelica Leicht
By Corey Deiterman
The Second Ward's Satin Hooks have already put out a few releases of their "dance-rock party drum and bass crickly-crackly-harmonizing fun" music. A crickly-crackly-harmonizing-fun music that they hope to hear in video games and Japanese beer commercials. "We are aiming for an international audience. We are not just a local band," they say. If along the way, they could open for Prince, David Bowie or Tom Waits, that would be fine with them. While they're still in town, they don't mind stirring the Houston music muck pot a little: "Hey, all you bands out there that suck! Give us your gear if you're not gonna use it right!"
Name: Spain Colored Orange
Nominated in: Best Indie Rock; Album of the Year (Hopelessly Incapable of Standing the Way); Best Drummer (Steve Torres); Best Keyboardist (Gilbert Alfaro); Local Musician of the Year
Web site: www.myspace.com/spaincolouredorange
Personnel: Gilbert Alfaro (vocals, piano), Eric Jackson (trumpet, keys), Randy Platt (guitars, Orange feedback), Steve Torres (the beat), Steven Burnett (bass, mouth harp)
Ask Gilbert Alfaro for a list of his influences, and he'll give you a straight answer: "Beatles, ELO, Tom Waits, Pink Floyd, Chicago (era '69 to '77), and the Band." Ask him what his band sounds like, and he won't. "We sound like the Muppets raping Brian McManus in the key of C." (To us, they sound like ELO with a trumpet-led Madrid-bullfight vibe.) In any case, they are one of the most nationally prominent local bands, with their disc Hopelessly Incapable of Standing in the Way drawing raves from coast to coast.
HOOTERS' MARKET SQUARE STAGE
Nominated in: Best Drummer (Louis Messina)
Web site: www.myspace.com/bojones
Personnel: Louis Messina (drums), Christopher Messina (guitars), Nick Greer (lead vocals)
"Beautiful mystery" is Bojones's catchphrase, and here are a few clues to help solve it. Their claim of playing "progressive blues rock" seems designed to throw you off the trail; their new song "Fire in the Sun" sounds like Radiohead with Chopin on keyboards. Fun fact: This is yet another of the coterie of sibling bands playing the showcase. Christopher and Louis Messina are twins (and sons of concert promoting legend Louis Messina Sr.).
Name: Los Skarnales
Nominated in: Best Rock en Español; Best Bassist (Nick Gaitan); Best Male
Vocalist (Felipe Galvan)
Web site: www.losskarnales.com
Personnel: Felipe Galvan (vocals), Nick Gaitan (bass fiddle), Roberto Rodriguez (accordion), Ryan Scroggins (organ), Patrick Wheeler (drums, percussion), Kenny Dickman (guitar)
Los Skarnales describe their music as sounding "like Tin Tan, Lalo Guerrero, Tom Cat, Jerry Mouse and Had a Meeting With Pachucos and Rude Boys that ended in a recording session. Oh, yeah, with a case or two of beer." But while they're eloquent about how they sound, they go suddenly mealy-mouth when asked what they want to do with their music: "to keep traveling, making our music and letting that music expand into more opportunities for the band as a whole and the members individually." Huh? Then, when they're asked what other Houston band they're most excited about these days, they nut up again, saying, "Not one [in] particular local but more the collective that is coexisting making the Houston scene grow." What the hell? Since when did the baddest 'chucos in town sound like the bullshit people put on job applications? Luckily, the group's music still has some balls. These guys are righteous. Tough, smart, with enough attitude and talent to land a good label deal. But they've got to get another speech writer.
Name: Tody Castillo
Nominated in: Best Pop
Personnel: Tody Castillo (guitar), Paul "Falcon" Valdez (drums), Steven Brown (bass, vocals)
While he's written plenty that are just as good, Tody Castillo wishes he'd written "every song" by Ron Sexsmith, Elliott Smith, Elvis Costello and especially Tom Petty, whose Damn the Torpedoes would be in heavy rotation on that proverbial desert island. The Corpus native and current Montrose denizen calls this stuff and his own music "pretty rock-n-roll," and enough local fans agreed with both halves of that description last year to take his debut full-length to the No. 1 slot at Cactus Music & Video for its last year of existence. Castillo digs the Continental Club and Rudyard's, like-minded musical locals Arthur Yoria and Mando Saenz and dreams of opening up for "Tom Petty at the Woodlands or anywhere." Dislikes include "almost every song being played on today's popular radio" and the feeble showing by this year's "U.S. men's World Cup soccer team."
Name: Million Year Dance
Nominated in: Best New Act; Best Male Vocalist (Jonathan Welch)
Web site: www.millionyeardance.com
Personnel: Jonathan Welch (vocals, acoustic guitar, djembe), Doyle Odom (electric guitar, percussion), Steven Wetherell (piano, guitar, organ, mandolin), Nic Houston (bass guitar, trumpet), Joel Lewis (drums, percussion, backing vocals)
Million Year Dance is a philosophy, at least that's what they say. And it takes a really long time for them to explain it to you: "In the greatest state of liberation one may witness all the wave energies in the universe connected. This energy is called the Million Year Dance of Waves." Ah, okay. They say they don't take themselves too seriously, and then say they want "to create a slow-moving and positive change in the world. We hope to work within the community to make this world transcend into its natural state and, in the meantime, allow people to feel like they are a part of our music and what we stand for." Guys, that sounds kinda serious. It might be easier to just listen to their debut CD, Liberation. That's not quite as intangible or mystic.