Minimalist Houston punk-rock trio O Pioneers!!! creates a pulsating, unrelenting, yet thoroughly engaging wall of sound. The trio tours throughout the southern U.S. pretty regularly, so Chatter was stoked when guitarist/vocalist Eric Solomon agreed to answer a few of our questions recently, when the band was chosen as our music blog Rocks Off's "Artist of the Week." The Pioneers are home, briefly, for a show at Walter's Friday before hitting the road for two separate tours this summer.
Chatter: First and foremost, please explain the name.
Eric Solomon: Our name came from a couple of different things. I heard the word "pioneer" in a song by the Pixies and thought it was a cool word to use for a band name. Originally it was supposed to be "o pioneers.," so it was almost a drag to say. Jeff, the original drummer, didn't like it. So we dropped the "." and added "!!!" and it stuck. It's not from the [Willa Cather] book or the [Walt Whitman] poem, even though both of those are pretty cool. Also, there is a sweet band from NYC with the same name.
O Pioneers!!!With Ninja Gun, Mike Hale, This Year's Tiger and HoboMouth, 8 p.m. Friday, May 15, at Walter's on Washington, 4215 Washington, 713-862-2513 or www.4215washington.com.
C: Is it just us, or is there a definite "Let's look at things in more of a positive light"vibe in your songs?
ES: In the past, there totally has been. On our newer record [Neon Creeps], it's more "What the hell are you doing with your life? You need to grow up and take care of stuff." So if my songs telling myself to grow up is considered positive, then I agree.
C: Ha. Where's the absolute worst place to play in Houston?
E: I don't really feel comfortable answering this, because I don't really want to talk badly about any places we've played. I will say, however, the Mink, White Swan and Walter's on Washington are my favorite places to play.
C: We really dig that you released a vinyl pressing. What brought that on? It was John Cusack [in High Fidelity], wasn't it?
E: In punk rock music, we like stupid stuff, so we tried to do the most expensive thing we could with this record. But we've also released six to seven 7" records while being a band, so we are pretty vinyl- and losing-money-friendly. Also, John Cusack is pretty cute in this movie.
There's yet another place to drink at 3700 Main, the block already home to the Continental Club, Big Top and the Mink. It's the Pachinko Room, an icehouse in the Continental's backyard catering to those who'd prefer not to stay out until the wee hours. Named after the Japanese game that's half pinball, half slot machine, the Pachinko sometimes opens as early as 4 p.m. weekdays, but check www.continentalclub.com/Houston.html to make sure. It opens even earlier Saturday, when the Allen Oldies Band, Sean Reefer & the Resin Valley Boys and Los Pistoleros de Texas set up on the patio for a daytime crawfish boil starting at noon.
Last chance to nominate your favorite local bands, musicians and recordings for the Houston Press Music Awards, page 55 in this issue and online at www.houstonpress.com. Nominations are due Monday, May 18, at 9 a.m., and the awards ceremony will be July 30 at Warehouse Live.
88 E. Crosstimbers, 713-694-6800
1. UGK, UGK 4 Life2. Rick Ross, Deeper Than Rap 3. Ciara, Fantasy Ride
4. Mike Jones, The Voice
5. Various Artists, Swisha House: Why Ask Why 2K9
6. J. Paul Jr., Stronger
7. Urban Mystic, GR III: Old School 2 Nu Skool
8. Brain Jack, Best of Brian Jack
9. Chrisette Michele, Epiphany
10. Vick Allen, Truth Be Told...
KKBQ (92.9 FM)
Top songs, May 7
Data from www.yes.com
1. Carrie Underwood, "I Told You So"
2. Zac Brown Band, "Whatever It Is"
3. Taylor Swift, "You Belong With Me"
4. Dierks Bentley, "Feel That Fire"
5. Dierks Bentley, "Sideways"
6. Rodney Atkins, "It's America"
7. Brad Paisley, "Then"
8. Kenny Chesney, "Out Last Night"
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9. Keith Urban, "Kiss a Girl"
10. Sugarland, "It Happens"
(lists compiled by Chris Gray)