South by Southwest is again upon us, bigger and maybe even better than ever, and Houston has what looks like a record number of bands, rappers and DJs making the short trip west. These include rockers the Wiggins and Peekaboo Theory, rappers Rob G and Chamillionaire, and everything in between. Read on and find out about a few of the big names, aspiring talents and buzz bands the Bayou City is unleashing on the state capital this year.
Indian Jewelry's four members (Tex Kerschen, Erika Thrasher, Rodney Rodriguez and Brandon Davidson) are known for two things -- one, for making good music, and two, for giving bad press interviews. Of course, if you're going to make one group of people happy and another unhappy, go for happy fans; screw the press. After going through a half-dozen incarnations, including Swarm of Angels, Corpses of Waco, Turquoise Diamonds and NTX+Electric, Kerschen and friends settled on the Indian Jewelry lineup. The band has spent the last year touring -- and touring, and touring. Members of their former lineups drop in frequently, making their live shows always something of a free-for-all.
Their latest CD, Invasive Exotics, shows off the group's musical talents, while Kerschen's evasive, dubious answers during press interviews showcase the group's studied talent for avoiding direct answers at all costs. Kerschen says Houston has been a good launching pad for the indie band. "I've always loved Houston. It's an exciting place, and there are always a lot of exciting people. Musicians, our friends...they are very uncompromising and they always have been. There's a long history of that. Houston's adventurous, fun and subversive and dangerous and unapologetic." That's true.
He also says that some of Indian Jewelry's music can hypnotize chickens. That's probably not true. -- Olivia Flores Alvarez
Fatal Flying Guilloteens
The masters of controlled chaos, Houston's Fatal Flying Guilloteens say they sound like "broken amps," but Vertical Slum says the FFGs "bring a classic SST/early-Touch and Go sound to the inexplicably uncrowded modern punk table." Whatever they sound like, they've managed to produce three albums (2001's The Now Hustle for New Diabolicks, 2003's Get Knifed and 2004's self-titled shared release with This Moment in Black History) and are hard at work on their fourth, which is due out in May on the national label Frenchkiss Records. The Guilloteens, who feature Roy on rumble and boom, Shawn Guilloteen on yelps and buzz, John on scrapes and explosions, Brian on twang and roar, and Mike on howls and crashes (we don't think those are their real instruments), will be sharing the stage with the Black Lips, Savy Fav, David Cross, Fucked Up, Zach Galifianakis, Big Business, Patton Oswalt and Apples In Stereo. -- Olivia Flores Alvarez
Chingo Bling, H-Town's nmero uno freestylero, the Tamale Kingpin, continues his run at total world domination. The President and CEO of his own label, Big Chile Enterprises (distributed by Asylum), will release another album on another Chingo de Mayo this year. 2007's will be called They Can't Deport Us All, which is kicked off by the Salih Williams-produced club banger "Like This n' Like That." Along with Pitbull, he is spearheading a national talent search for Jose Cuervo tequila. His Web site does a brisk business in bobbleheads, coloring books, hot sauce and tamale ornaments.
But you knew all that already. Here's a few things you might not have known, from an exclusive interview on Chingo's MySpace:
1. He has been legally blind since childhood. That's because he started wearing beeg dymes way before ju, puto.
2. He watches porn DVDs on fast-forward.
3. He literally spits acid on the mike. He attributes this to his perhaps too-liberal use of his own "Culo Caliente" hot sauce. -- John Nova Lomax
She gets her name from Greek mythology (the daughter of a goddess, Persephone was kidnapped and taken to Hades), but her skills she got on her own. She's opened for Talib Kweli, C-Rayz Walz and Jean Grae, guest-starred on releases by The Tape and Jake Childes, and played plenty warehouse parties and B-boy Craig Long's monthly music bashes. In between spitting out rhymes and making a name for herself as the Houston beat/wordstress, Perseph One does the usual waiting-to-get-famous gigs, like waiting tables and working at a day care. Of course, the success of her new album, Eartha Spitts, with guest spots by Stitch, Vertigone & Babelfishh, U.B. and Godemis and production by Marc Digital and Eggnog, might make waiting tables a thing of the past. -- Olivia Flores Alvarez
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