Houston Music

Houston Music Fight Club: Chris Wise vs. Cody Swann, Chris Ryan vs. Frank Beard, Washington Avenue vs. Westheimer

So this past week, Houston Music Fight Club began getting solicitations from various local musicians to be matched against other strummers and pickers around town in their cage matches. Rocks Off looks around. We see a lot of new faces. This means a lot of you have (happily for us) been breaking the first two rules of Houston Music Fight Club. Forwarding the blogs to your friends and actually reading them!

This week and the next are the last two weeks before the HMFC goes into its next round of bouts, with previous winners being pitted against the others. A quick look back at the weeks past shows that there will be some wicked brawls coming soon albeit inside this blogger's sick head. It's kind of weird to think that we sit around all day thinking of ways our friends would fight each other. Almost perverse.

Chris Wise (Buxton) vs. Cody Swann (Wild Moccasins)

These two boys are the business fronts of two of Houston's biggest indie bands. Swann holds down guitar for the Moccs, who have been getting rave notices all over the country. We even found their "Fruit Tea" on The Pirate Bay the other day as part of a strange radio compilation. In our minds you have officially made it when you hit a torrent site, but we are also closet nerds. The band is recording a proper full-length at the moment at Sugar Hill Records.

Wise hails from La Porte with the rest of the Wilco-jamming Buxton, who are also currently birthing a new album, said to be aiming for a darker Nick Cave direction. Wise seems to be the Mr. Chuckles of the group, routinely updating his Twitter with various far-flung scatterbrained lines, like "I felt alot more comfortable with manscaping when it wasn't called manscaping." Few people know about his Matchbox 20 fetish, who he counts as one of his musical idols.

Both gentlemen are wiry and tidy, making a fight hard to handicap. On one hand, Wise hails from La Porte, where B L A C K I E is from. We know for a fact how salty that town can be; we dated a girl from out there who drank Coors Light like it was water. But Swann has been on a long tour of the East Coast, and just like bandmate Zahira Gutierrez, he more than likely had to throw down somewhere between here and Queens.

Winner: We imagine Wise would grab Swann by the moustache and not let go until he had a handful of hair and blood. Something tells us that I man who has spent the past decade or so taking up for Rob Thomas has gotten into some scraps along the way. Maybe he could "Push" the Mocc around until he was "Bent" or something.

Chris Ryan Vs. Frank Beard

This is the battle of Houston's most prolific drummers, and who better to duke it out than Houston's drummer laureate and Houston's favorite non-bearded ZZ Top member?

Everyone knows Chris Ryan for his keen ability to drum and or record every single song ever written in Houston from his own Dead City Sound studios. Hell, he was the one who manned the boards for the first Lightnin' Hopkins sessions here in town, and word has it he produced the first Jandek albums. He did all this while drumming for an early incarnation of Josephus and touring later with D.R.I. Oh, and he was in God's Temple of Family Deliverance, a band who still doesn't get the props they deserved. Fuck, Ryan should win just based on "Shadow of the Colossus II" alone.

Frank Beard, on the other hand, has only been like one band for pretty much forfuckingever, and couldn't even grow a beard to save his life to at least fit in with the rest of his band. You wanna talk about a prima donna; he hasn't even built his own studio nor done shit outside of ZZ Top. For the past 40 years, Beard has done nothing but play in his band, eat Bonbons on a leather sofa in front of Maury, and probably get in some golf from time to time.

Winner: Beard's puny arms will be crushed under the Viking brute strength of Ryan, who will decimate the tiny one-band drummer. Shit will be hilarious and the fight will actually be featured in an upcoming Capital One commercial with those sassy Viking dudes cheering Ryan on.

Washington Ave. vs. Westheimer

You all knew damn well this was coming. It's the battle between the good-time-brahs from Pearl Bar and the Dubliner, versus the coke-dealer-in-the-second-stall-named-Javier antics of Boondocks and Numbers.

A lot has been said by us and the collective Houston bar scene lately about the non-existent struggle between these two disparate factions. One bound by fraternity and sorority lines, the other linked together by who worked at Urban Outfitters longest and who banged whom in the alley behind Catbird's. Truthfully, there are little differences when it comes to both these crews.

Both love innocuous music, fashion and follow strict inter-culture codes. The only thing that is really different the amount and style of tattoos and whether or not the well bourbon is Maker's Mark or Sunnybrook. At the end of the night most everyone wants to get laid, but ends up in the Whataburger drive-thru drunk-texting the ex.

Winner: While posh Washington dudes are infinitely more built than the sensi-boys at Poison Girl, the New Brotown doesn't win the fight so easily. One thing that Westheimer has going for it is the nearby gay-bar district. If there is one thing that most folks down Washington don't want coming at them in a scrap is a screaming South Beach twink or a burly leather daddy stud from Ripcord flanked by the built-Ford-tough gals from Chances. In the end, there would be fists flying or blood on the ground. Just confusion, teary-eyed refusals and maybe some love connections.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty