Hey there, Hulu (also, Netflix, Amazon, HBO, Showtime and other creators of original TV content),
We love you and you love music and we love music, so let’s be pen pals.
We’ve previously set the framework for what could maybe grow into an ongoing and mutually beneficial correspondence. Now and in future dispatches of this sort, we’ll offer cordiality typical of these sorts of exchanges. Excited for season two of Shrill, Hulu! Thanks for hosting Catastrophe, Amazon Prime! That sure was a terrific ending to the series! That sort of thing; but every note from us will also be a blatant, but well-reasoned attempt to have the brilliant and attractive aesthetes who place original music in your programs consider all songs Houston.
Yes, potential pen pals, we’re aware there are conventional means for bands from our locale (and elsewhere) to have their compositions licensed to your shows; but, doesn’t that all sound so bureaucratic and exhausting? There’s nothing better that receiving a letter from a friend! If that letter is mostly about good music coming mostly from the Houston area, well, so be it. And, if any of that music should get placed in one of your approaching series or films because you read this letter, we’re all winners, right?
So thanks, pen pals. Here’s hoping all your projects are on budget and already getting good, advanced buzz. Here are some songs now. Enjoy!
Your Friends in Houston
P.s. – Just wanted to let you know, HBO, we were totally fine with that GOT ending. Much love.
Myrna Garibay, "Thoughts"
Just read that our friends at Netflix re-upped the brilliant series Russian Doll, which evoked some mixed emotions because it might be a bit like asking da Vinci to get those paints back out for a second take on Mona Lisa. Anyway, if this must move forward, it should definitely do so with “Thoughts,” the newly released track by Houston songstress Myrna Garibay. The indie pop tune resides in the same haunting head space as the fabulously odd Netflix series. Garibay might be known to locals as part of the band Let Me Remember, but she’s gone solo for “Thoughts.” She’s been honing her skills as singer, songwriter and guitarist since she was a teen. And, TV music supervisors out there, if you need a song written and/or performed tune in Spanish, Garibay can handle that, too.
Kemo for Emo, "Muse For the Moment"
If there’s a Houston band that understands the toils and triumphs of film making, it’s the veteran punk act Kemo for Emo. The band’s lead vocalist Larry Fenix is a filmmaker, so the group’s music lends itself well to visuals. Their last album, A Picture Perfect Romance, was celebrated with an ambitious, four-part short film project. If you need a more recent example, check out “Muse for the Moment,” the lead video and single from the band’s all-new album, The Children of Oblivion. If your film project needs a slow burner, give “It’s All Different Now” or “The Sky is Falling” from that album a listen. Both sizzle in a way that might be nicely surprising coming from a pop punk act.
Turnaways, "Heading Out West"/"Zombie Queen"
Let's say the final scene of a particular episode of your original series shows the sad-sack but lovable doofus being dumped by the obviously-out-of-their-league significant other. When the closing scene fades to black, what could be more perfect than the opening lines of “Heading Out West,” by Houston garage rockers Turnaways?
The line goes, "My girlfriend just left me, I gotta change these last two lines - give me a second." It's then followed by an energetic tune that recalls bands like PUP or FIDLAR and is easy to imagine backing scrolling credits.
The song is a few years old, circa 2016, from the band’s Summer Love album, but Turnaways continues to churn away as a music-making machine. Indications are 2019 will be a year the band plans to actively build on its catalog. It just released a new video for the track “Zombie Queen,” also from Summer Love, which you can see here. Catch Turnaways live this Saturday at House of Blues with The Cure tribute act Boys Don’t Cry.
Critical Condition, "Will's Free"/"You Don't Know Me"
The scene you’re trying to soundtrack is one of chaos or mayhem? It features a bunch of jump cuts of frenetic action? Houston's Critical Condition sounds like the stuff you’ve story boarded, screen auteur. This new-ish fastcore punk band is made up of Houston veterans like DDA’s Dave Tama and Josh Raught, of The Real McCoys, Pajama Party, The Dead Rabbits, etc. The opening tracks of Demo ’19, released a month ago, are “Will’s Free” and “You Don’t Know Me,” and combined the two blistering songs clock in at two minutes, five seconds, about the length of the average commercial break. Vocalist Kev the Rev expresses the urgency in a way that no scripted dialogue could. The band’s next gig is Friday night at White Swan.
Londale, "Quit Breaking My Heart"
The new album from Houston rockers Londale is called Achilles. The album’s cover art proves the band knows where man's truly vulnerable spot resides. Heartbreak and heartache are addressed on the album and those are always favorite subjects for TV and film. The Achilles track that most overtly speaks to these emotions is “Quit Breaking My Heart,” a plea for accountability in a romantic partnership. It's melodic and catchy and its closing refrain isn't a lover's subtle suggestion, it's an insistent call for change.
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Jesse’s been writing for the Houston Press since 2013. His work has appeared elsewhere, notably on the desk of the English teacher of his high school girlfriend, Tish. The teacher recognized Jesse’s writing and gave Tish a failing grade for the essay. Tish and Jesse celebrated their 33rd anniversary as a couple in October.