Fat Tony, A Dream Asleep and Robert Ellis Sound Off on HPMA Showcase and Fitzgerald's

"It was ok," said Fat Tony, who plays at 8:30. "The sound wasn't good, and people don't like when the sounds not good. But I got paid, so..."

Tony's looking forward to a fun-filled evening, even though he only gets to play two songs, "Like Hell Yeah", which has been nominated for Best Music Video, and "Home," one of the few tracks he has released off of his highly anticipated album, Rabdargab

Mike Seals, A Dream Asleep lead singer, hopes next year's HPMAs include more ADA coverage, but he was otherwise pleased with the showcase.

"It was fun," Seals said. "We played at Walters, and we play there all the time so it was good.

"This time, I'm hoping we don't tie and we win."

Robert Ellis isn't playing solo, but with Grandfather Child instead.

"I don't know (which song) yet," he said. "But we know all the songs."

Overall, Ellis was also pleased with the showcase.

"It was a really good performance but some douche at the gate -- I had a bottle of tequila -- and I got in trouble and the cops came up to me and took my tequila and tried to kick me out, so that was kind of a bummer."

Rocks Off had a similar experience, but with water. Ellis was also a bit confused about the location of the showcase.

"The Washington corridor is kind of a weird pocket in town," Ellis said. "It kind of drew a different crowd that wouldn't have been there otherwise, which is kind of good and bad."

Ellis expected to see the showcase at House of Blues and hopes that next year it might be there.

"It would be cool if all the fans of the different bands got to see all the bands," Ellis said. "It seemed like people saw who they came to see and that was it."

"If it was more centralized everyone would get to see every band."

In September, Ellis will move Whiskey Wednesdays from Mangos to Fitz's, and he's excited about it.

"It's going to be really really cool," Ellis said. "They're revamping everything that needs revamping, which I'm sure includes the sound system."

"They're really into the heritage," he said. "They're not trying to make it into a new, hip place.

"Certain bands never played at Mangos because they didn't have the right person's email address, and I saw a lot of bitterness about that," he said. "It was kind of the spot to be for a while.

"But anyone who talks shit about a venue is kind of silly," he said. "If you don't like the scene and you play different music, then play a different venue and make your own scene."

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Matt is a regular contributor to the Houston Press’ music section. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in print journalism and global business. Matt first began writing for the Press as an intern, having accidentally sent his resume to the publication's music editor instead of the news chief. After half a decade of attending concerts and interviewing musicians, he has credited this fortuitous mistake to divine intervention.
Contact: Matthew Keever