The Rocks Off 200 Jo Bird, Bow-Caster of Fiddle Witch & the Demons of Doom
Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, 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 previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.
OK, we're scared.
Photos courtesy of Jo Bird/Two Star Symphony
Who? Jo Bird is a violist from Pasa-Get-Down-Dena who has been rockin' up a ruckus with various musical projects in Houston for about 12 years now, including Two Star Symphony, Sean Reefer and the Resin Valley Boys, Hank Schyma and the Southern Backtones and I Am Mesmer, plus various others throughout the years. Her newest project, Fiddle Witch and the Demons of Doom, has finally come to life and will be casting some heavy music at Rudyard's Wednesday night.
Home Base: "H-Town inspires me," Bird says via email. "No matter if I'm living in a slanted efficiency that over looks Poison Girl's ever-entertaining parking lot, a warehouse with no windows but great acoustics, at peace in a beautiful haunted old hospital built over thousands of graves, there is something in the air here that extracts musical compositions from me with ease."
Why Do You Stay In Houston? "It's affordable and I love the talented, cool community I'm involved with," she offers. "This town has treated me very well and I make decent money composing/performing music all over. Until I am able to live through out the years in Norway, New York and Naples I am happy to call Houston my home base. Plus there is Lone Star Beer everywhere."
Good War Story: "Baby snakes invaded my fiddle outside of Huntsville in the country once," says Bird. "I had to entice them out with a dead cockroach."
Story continues on the next page.
Bird, left, with Two Star Symphony (clockwise from top): Jerry Ochoa, Debra Brown and Margaret Hullum
Music Scene Pet Peeve: "If I have to pick one, it's this: male musicians that do not view or treat female musicians as an equal," she says. "Especially in some of the music stores around town. I've seen it and experienced it time and time again. Once at Guitar Center I was checking out a resonator guitar and some ass that worked there was convinced I liked it because it was shiny.
"Luckily all the men I regularly work with in the scene treat me and my women cronies in music equal and with much respect," adds Bird. "I'll stick to Beau Beasley at Rockin' Robin, thank you very much!"
Five Desert Island Discs: "I think this would be a good collection for wearing a coconut bra and eating lizards on a stick," figures Bird:
- Grails, Burning Off Impurities
- Taraf de Haidouks, self-titled
- Sideshow Tramps, "any album"
- Hank Williams, 40 Greatest Hits
- Biber, The Mystery Sonatas
Best Show Ever: Bird lists several: "Two Star Symphony's live original score to the silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari at the Museum of Fine Arts to a sold-out, overpacked performance in the (badass) Brown Theatre; I Am Mesmer playing to a sea of dancing rowdy fans downstairs Fitz Thanksgiving day; Fiddle Witch and the Demons of Doom's upcoming show at Rudz. (Many secret spells will be cast into your brain.)"
Besides the world première of Fiddle Witch and the Demons of Doom -- Bird on electric viola; Spike the Percussionist on drums; and Geoffrey Muller on bass -- tomorrow at Rudz with openers Morgue City, Bird says Two Star Symphony Orchestra will premiere their new symphony based on the seven deadly sins at 14 Pews in November: "Don't stay at home and watch T.V.!!!" she urges.
See the rest of the Rocks Off 200, and the Rocks Off 100's 2013 alumni, on the next page.
DJ Nando1, Who Fights to Keep the Party Poppin' Randall Hopkins, Featherface Drummer and Brilliant Video Director Roby Deaton, Open-Mike Pocket of Cool Nosaprise, Hurrah! for the Blushing Bridegroom Tony Vega, the Big Easy's Barnburner Leslie Krafka, Onward Through the Fog Michael Anthony Shanks, Houston's Merry Shankster DJ Baby Roo, Vegetarian Hip-Hop Veteran Rachel Bays, Filming Them Softly Punk-Rock "Newcomers" Screech of Death Erin Rodgers, the Keys to Glass the Sky Alex LaRotta, Crate-Digging Fistful of Soul Brother Alycia Miles, Triumphant Soul Singer DJ Piam, Poison Girl's Bacon-Fat Funk Specialist Mister Insane, Host of The Insane Show Jake Rawls -- Kemo For Emo Is Back Santos Pastrana, Sound Engineer and DJ Ninja Heading Upstream with RIVERS' Chris Tamez DJ Dayta, Keeper of That Good Good Matthew Davis Buehrer, Runaway Sun's Globally Thinking Bassist Fat Tony, Third Ward to "BKNY" Noon, Rapper With a Lot on His Mind Matt Cash, Clear Lake's Cassette Tape Wailer Jason Smith, Alkari's Space City Rocker DJ Penetrate, All Lit Up in "Neon Lights" Catch Fever Is Catching On Renée Jonard, Princess of Noise Pollution Junior Gordon, Big Man With a Big Sound Chad Smalley, Blaggards' Barse Player Damien Randle, K-OTIX Man of Action Kevin Anthony, 45 Southbound Man DJ Good Grief Knows How to Have Fun Robert Kuhn, the Well-Traveled Islander Gunnar Cushway, Insko's Feel-Good Utilityman Mario Rodriguez, Tax the Wolf/Bang Bangz's Wonky Power Monger John Smith, Goodtime Continental Club Manager Dwayne Cathey, A Good Man to Scare People With Walter Carlos, Guitar-Punisher of Funeral Horse Ryan James, Putting Up a Good Fight John Cramer, Guitar Apostle of Project Grimm Big Gerb, Houston's Hongree-est MC Steven Higginbotham, Hard-Working Wheel Worker Alisha Pattillo & Her Swaggering, Soulful Sax Brandon Ray, Punk Rocker Turned Filmmaker/Animator The Excitable Boys of Another Run Flash Gordon Parks, DJ as Funky Professor DJ Main Event, Kratez Crew JumpOff Man Odd Hours and Back to Back's Hank Doyle Legendary K-OTIX Producer Russel "The ARE" Gonzalez Dylan Bryson Sings the Blues (Rock) DJ Damon Allen, R.O.C.O. Fellow Tom Lynch, New Kid On the Block Ashley Worhol, Goth-Metal Queen of Katy Joe Ortiz, Clockpole's Master of Nonsense Marzi Montazeri, the Man Dimebag Darrell Called a Bad Motherfucker John Salinas, the Beat Beast of Only Beast Homegrown Cowboy Crooner Charles Peters Adam Bricks, NYC Expat Metal Journeyman and Blasé Bassist Alan Hilton Kyra Noons, Houston's Reggae Sunsplash DJ AudiTory, the Maestro of LuvItMane The Nephilim Terror's Death-Metal Growler Danny Carroll Tommy Grindle, Guitarist of Square and Compass The Bailout Bureau's Mysterious "Bob Bovary" DJ Twinkle-Toes, Won a "Dick-Measuring Vinyl Orgy" With Two iPods Beanz N Kornbread, Gmail-Loving Production Duo You(genious), Party Crasher Turned Musical Auteur Daniel Alexander, Klein's Backyard MC
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