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Digital Domain

Prolific Houston songwriter Joe Mathlete empties his vaults (almost) onto the Web.

Joe Mathlete puts most other local musicians to shame. The local musician, artist, producer, 29-95 blogger, videographer and comic-strip commentator

isn't releasing any old recording at Mango's Saturday — he's releasing all of them. Mathlete has compiled about 130 of his unreleased and out-of-print songs, dating back to 2000, that he plans to post online at www.myspace.com/themathletes and burn onto a CD-R available at Sound Exchange. "I've written a lot of songs, but not necessarily a lot of great songs," he admits. "Hopefully a lot of pretty okay ones and a few great ones."

Chatter: What do you think it is that makes you so damn prolific?

Joe Mathlete: Initially, it was lack of anything better to do, I think. I got a four-track when I was 16, and that instantly became the only thing I was interested in doing. I don't know — you write a song, and then you finish it, and then you write another song.

I'm getting a little bit better at recording them, and spending a little more time on them, but I've always had that initial impulse: Crank out as many as you can and see what sticks.

C: Several songs on the sampler kind of reminded me of [locally revered Pearland New Wave weirdos] the Judy's. Are you a big fan?

JM: I don't have everything they've ever done, but a friend of mine in high school told me about them. It was right when Napster was the thing, my last couple of years in high school. It was the best time to be alive — for two years, you could have any song you wanted, with no guilt.

I picked up some Judy's stuff and I thought it was great — really weird and really straightforward, and the fact that they were from Houston blew my mind. Back then, I didn't get out a lot, and didn't know that anything worthwhile could come from Houston. Once I got out of high school, I came around pretty quick.

C: About how long would it take someone to listen to all these MP3s that you're about to post?

JM: Right now I'm still fiddling with bit rates, but I've got a little bit under six hours. I might have to do some cuts. I want the quality to be as good as [it can], and I want it to be consistent.

C: If they do listen all the way through, what are a few things you think people might learn about you?

JM: (laughs) Gosh. I don't know, but if they could let me know, that might help. I've had a lot of neat opportunities in my life, and gotten to do some really cool things. This is all I've ever really cared about, is recording songs. It's what I love to do.

C: After all these go up, will there be anything left in the vaults?

JM: Oh Christ, yes. There's some stuff that nobody should have to hear. This isn't going to be a clearinghouse or anything. I've just never really had a way to get a lot of stuff that I thought was worth hearing out there, and I don't know how far this is gonna go. I'm not really expecting Interscope to want to put out an MP3 CD-R or anything like that.

NEWS FEED

Fort Bend County resident Mary Anderson filed suit against Method Man last week, claiming the Wu-Tang Clan rapper and stoner icon shot her several times with a pellet gun while she was waiting for an autograph outside his tour bus after his November 2008 House of Blues show. Anderson claims to have suffered permanent scarring from the incident, and is seeking punitive damages for assault and infliction of emotional distress.

Several Houston artists have entered the annual "Sound and the Jury" contest, a sort of write-in campaign for a slot at October's Austin City Limits Music Festival: Runaway Sun, Low Man's Joe, Shina Rae, Peekaboo Theory, Cavernous, the Small Sounds and Espantapajaros. Voting in the first round is open now and continues through August 28, when a panel of industry types will evaluate the top 100 finishers and narrow the field down to 20. See more information and vote at www.delllounge.com/soundandthejury.

LOCAL MOTION

Top Sellers
Sound Exchange
1846 Richmond, 713-666-5555
www.soundexchangehouston.com

1. Destroyer 666, Defiance (CD)

2. The Vaselines, Enter the Vaselines (LP/CD)

3. Eternal Tapestry, Palace of the Night Skies (LP)

4. Necrophobic, Satanic Blasphemies (CD)

5. Ty Segall, Lemons (LP/CD)

6. Acid Mothers Temple, Dark Side of the Black Moon (LP)

7. Bishop Perry Tillis, In Times Like These (LP)

8. Blank Dogs, Under and Under (LP/CD)

9. Animal Collective, "Summertime Clothes" (12")

10. Current 93, Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain (CD)

AIRWAVES

The Local Show
KTRU (91.7 FM), Tuesdays 8-10 p.m.
Selections from Ian Wells's August 4 playlist

1. Roky Erickson, "The Interpreter"

2. Welfare Mothers, "Long Brown Hair"

3. The Wiggins, "Feed the Ghost"

4. Something Fierce, "Modern Girl"

5. Pain Teens, "She Shook Me"

6. Roky Moon & BOLT, live on the air

7. Homopolice, "Bottom of the Chain"

8. Muhammidali, "Don't Miss Me"

9. Somosuno, "Takes the Cumbia to All That Jazz"

10. Earth Army, "Crack Cocaine"

(lists compiled by Chris Gray)

 
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