• Dave Bry at the witty pop-culture blog The Awl writes about rap music's eternal embrace of consumerism, using Bun B's most recent release, a rap written in honor of Japanese clothing company Lafayette, as an example. It's a great, well thought-out read:
It is essentially an advertisement and it is also excellent - proof that rap, pretty much from its beginnings, set itself beyond the art vs. commerce argument that plagues artists in so many other forms. Remember Kurt Cobain wearing the "Corporate Magazines Still Suck" T-shirt on the cover of Rolling Stone? Hard to imagine a rapper struggling like that.
• The New York Times Artsbeat blog reports that the recently resurrected Lilith Fair tour may not be so fresh-looking after all. The tour is dripping dates left and right due to poor tickets sales. Meanwhile, local blog Culturemap reports that Norah Jones' date Aug. 15 in The Woodlands has been dropped from her touring schedule, but that the Lilith Fair Web site continues to promote the date in an attempt to sell tickets. Jones was meant to be one of the main headliners for the entire tour. [Ed. Note: According to Pollstar, Jones is not playing Lilith's Texas dates, but the Woodlands date has not been canceled.]
This is just MCM's opinion, but it seems like a lot of the tour's headliners are the kind of music our Mom would listen to in the mid-1990s. Norah Jones? More like Snore-ah Jones, amirite? Maybe if more of the rockin' second-stagers were promoted - Tegan and Sara, Heart (!), The Bangles, Metric - the ticket sales would be better. But as it is? Even Sheryl Crow lost her kick-ass image years ago.
MCM is keeping abreast of the situation and will keep you updated.
• Westheimer Block Party organizer Omar Afra has yet to comment on the thread, but rumor on the Hands Up Houston board is that the Block Party is donesville. Perhaps the organizers want to focus more on the growing Free Press Summerfest? [Ed Note: Afra, who just got back in the country, says the Block Party as we know it is done, but he and his partners have been making very slow progress toward bringing back the Westheimer Street Festival, complete with street closures.]
• Have a look at the newly-created Andrus Studio Archive, "founded for the sole purpose of preserving and giving recognition to an important cultural legacy and artistic period of Houston and the surrounding region." Read more about legendary Texas studio engineer Walt Andrus in this Rocks Off obituary from late last year.
• The Live Lights have put out a new video for their song Highs of Low and it's very... red.
• Dryvetyme Onlyne takes some time off from his "do some very important grown-up things" hiatus to blog about the Wild Moccasins' upcoming tour, which starts this Friday at Walters at 8 p.m.
• Going to see Hole nest week at the House of Blues? You might be in store for what the Washington Post calls "The Courtney Love Experience". Hint: it's not exactly good.
• Roky Erickson tours psychedelic Austin in this four-part series posted to Texas Psychedelic Rock.
• Newly-minted Houston duo Channel K recently appeared on Ahead Shot, where they debuted their song "Check Your Head."
• Speaking of girls who rock, here is an excellent blog essay about how girls are groomed to be groupies and not critics, starting at a very young age, while boys are taught that even the most elementary of their opinions are valuable and worth hearing. It's a subject MCM has long been interested in, and good read with some great points, but then the author undoes all of her own arguments by apologizing both in the headline and in the closing line for the very fact that she has an opinion. Uhg.
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• Rocks Off's own concert photographer Groovehouse points us to this amazing collection of vintage concert photographs from the 1970s shot by then-teenaged Texan Jaime Zamora. Zamora shot everything from Dick Clark's American Bandstand Tour to Van Halen. There's an excellent slideshow too.
• Lastly, MCM absolutely adores this fairly NSFW video posted by sister blog DC9 At Night featuring two Dallas-area streetwalkers-turned rap artists, Smokahontas Jones and Memphis Blac. It's genuinely good, but the real gem is the interview on other sister blog, Miami's Crossfade, with quotes like "I'm an old bitch now. I got a masters in these motherfuckin' streets."
Attention local musicians, music bloggers and music organizations: have something that should be included in Magnolia City Mixtape? Leave a comment below or email brittanieshey (at) gmail (dot) com.