The Rocks Off 100: Jason Puffer, Your Psychedelic Sex Panther
Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See the entire Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Jason Puffer (center) playing with Psychic Palms
Photos courtesy of Jason Puffer
Who? Jason Puffer prowls some of Houston's groovier bars as retro-psych DJ Psychedelic Sex Panther and a member of local band Psychic Palms. The Ajo, Arizona native, spent 15 years bouncing between the Phoenix, L.A. and Houston areas before coming to rest in God's country about six years ago. Today Puffer lives in Montrose and is a member of the Reverberation crate-digging crew.
"I dont plan on leaving for a long while," he says.
Home Base: Before listing a clutch of local bars where he spins on the regular or he can be found "just plain drinking" -- Big Star Bar, Royal Oak, Grand Prize, Poison Girl -- Puffer gives Shoeshine Charley's Big Top Lounge (3714 Main) its due. The Big Top has been Reverberation's Tuesday-night home for the past couple of years.
"I'm not there as much as I used to be, but i try to make it there as much as possible," he says.
When Puffer is out, his Reverberation mates Prince Cobra and Dapper Dan, as well as female DJ team Here Come the Girls, take over the tables. You can also find many or most of them at Reverberation's monthly night at Boondocks (1417 Westheimer), the first Friday of each month.
"Some of the guys started spinning at Clutch City [Squire, 410 Main], I'm sure I will join in on that night sooner than later."
Good War Story: "I got in a fistfight at MFAH just after a Reverberation DJ set for Mixed Media," he says. "Almost got arrested with Stagger Lee. It totally was not my fault." [Ed. Note: Totally.]
Why Do You Stay In Houston? The Pearland High School (class of 2001) grad says he was living in Tempe, Arizona, and planned to come visit his dasd and some friends. He sold a guitar and bought a bus ticket, and "here we are six years later."
"Houston to me is its own place," Puffer says. "You can do stuff and be original, you can live in the city comfortably and you dont have to be rich. Not everybody I understand can achieve this, but I sure have. I love being able to head to the bay and go fishing, or walk down my steps and have a plethora of bars, restaurants, coffee spots, and little indie shops all just steps away.
Music Scene Pet Peeve: Only one, he says: haters.
"Love it or leave it!" Puffer announces. "If someone is trying to put together a party, a show [or] an event, no matter how big or small, support it. You don't have to go to it, but spread the word to people that might be into it." I think its cool when anyone is trying to make something happen when music is involved. You have to start somewhere, and if you think moving to another city that has already established itself in every way, will fullfill your needs, then good riddance."
Five Desert Island Discs: "This changes every couple months," Puffer admits, as any good DJ worth his or her vinyl would. "But for right now... Im going to have to have a lot of good music for barbecuing since im going to be grilling a lot of fish."
- Love, Da Capo
- Rockin Sidney, My Zydeco Shoes Got the Zydeco Blues
- Jay Reatard, Blood Visions
- The Roots of Chicha, Psychedelic Cumbias of Peru
- Texas Tornados, Texas Tornados
Best Concert You Ever Saw: Puffer chooses a memorable evening at Emo's in Austin, the much-missed original Sixth Street location, sometime in the late '90s or early 2000s. Scared of Chaka and Houston's Fatal Flying Guilloteens were on the bill.
"I remember being drunk before we left Houston for one," Puffer admits. "FFG were awesome and then Scared of Chaka kicked ass. Yanul the singer and guitarist of SOC was on my shoulders shredding - I never use that term but it fits - and some girls were pouring straight whiskey down my throat.
"Definitely a good show," he adds. "I think I painted on someones wall, sorry."
First Song You Fell In Love With: The Music Machine, "Double Yellow Line" - "I know it's not the first but it surely changed everything for me."
Reverberation shimmies back into the Big Top about 9:30 p.m. tonight.
See who else has joined The Rocks Off 100 this year on the next page.
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