Editor's Pick: WTF doesn't have to mean "bad," you know. About a week ago - a week exactly, as a matter of fact - En Vogue's "Free Your Mind" came on the PA at Fitzgerald's. I have been in a musical fog for a few months, where nothing was really connecting, but this song snapped me right out of it and I could feel the endorphins flowing right along with that grinding guitar riff and every thwack of the drums.
Special thanks to multiple 2011 Houston Press Music Award winners Delicious Milk for loosening the floodgates.
Neph Basedow: 2010 brought about a peculiar launching of music-inspired eateries.
First it was Toronto-based sandwich company Sky Blue Sky, which named each and every sandwich on their menu after a Wilco song. Hungry customers can choose from sandwiches like the pulled pork Kingpin and or the vegetarian-friendly Via Chicago. And to wash down that Wilco-inspired sandwich, fans can enjoy Lagunitas Brewing Company's Wilco Tango Foxtrot beer. Perhaps you're not hungry or thirsty, but tired. Don't fret--Wilco's got coffee now, too.
Next was the opening of Greensboro, NC based Sticks & Stones Clay Oven Pizza restaurant, whose pizzas are all named after (North Carolina native) Ryan Adams songs. As a self-admitted foodie and music fanatic, I'm not necessarily complaining about this culinary/alt-rock union, but it did spur a "WTF?" scratching of the head.
Marc Brubaker: How about a year-long what-the-fuck moment: The Meridian Saga. Sure, things were never the same at 1503 Chartres ever since House of Blues came along and established itself as a force. But who foresaw the full-scale implosion of what ought to be a perfectly viable music venue? Who knew that we'd see not one, but five changes in management and even more in staff rollover?
It's a shame that not even one of the separate rooms has managed to find footing as a standing entity. Hey Gary Katz: Sell the building. Hey future buyer: Start small. Scale it back down to one of the smaller bars, put in a sound system, and work on creating a space for local shows. Then, once that's established, try making upstairs a lasting venue.
Craig Hlavaty: All the constant idiocy at live concerts all over town. It wasn't so much at small club shows, like at Walter's, The Mink, Mango's or Fitzgerald's. It was the bigger shows that had all the copious amounts of humanity pissing, cursing, crying, fighting, farting, after spending out the ass to see their favorite bands and artists and drinking expensive light beer.
Who can forget Farting & Whistling Man at The Dead Weather's House of Blues show, or all the fights and tears during The Cult at the same venue? Even my beloved Juggalos kept things civilized at their show a few weeks back.
Jef With One F: Earlier this year, I reported on the very public resignation of Black Congress from the line-up of Ghoulsfest over a contractual argument involving a local show the band was playing the night before the festival. The whole thing degenerated into a miasma of name-calling as we tried to sort out what everyone considered appropriate behavior from such a talented and up-and-coming band.
The thing about the whole affair I personally found laughable was that the band and several of their defenders claimed that the festival needed Black Congress way more than Black Congress needed the festival. I called bullshit on this since Ghoulfest, featuring Macy Gray and Bad Brains, was looking like it was going to be the big fall Houston music event, and maybe the new big money player on the Houston festival scene.
WTF, Black Congress was right and I was wrong. The festival was surprisingly sparsely attended, though still an excellent time to judge by those in attendance. Meanwhile, the EyeHateGod show that Black Congress has quit the festival to play was packed, loud and by all accounts a resounding success.
I doubt that Black Congress's absence was the reason that the festival fell short of its potential, but it certainly didn't help. I can bitch about professionalism all I want, but ticket sales are hard to argue with.
John Seaborn Gray: Robert Pattinson, who plays the character Sparklefang the Chaste in Stephanie Meyer's Abstinence Porn epic The Twilight Saga, was in town and randomly stopped by Notsuoh, picked up a guitar, played some tunes, and then mingled with the bar-goers for a while before peacing out.
I don't know anything about the guy, but he's got to be pretty cool to have the entire city of Houston to choose from and pick cluttered, schizoid little Main Street gem Notsuoh. From what I hear, he was really nice. Usually when you're at Notsuoh, you expect the odd derelict drunk, homeless street kid, or dependable regular to wander in, not Robert Freaking Pattinson. Weird.
Matthew Keever: Clubs that close because they don't pay their electric bill. That, and being denied Justin Bieber tickets. Have you no mercy!?
Shea Serrano: This doesn't have anything to do with anything really, but on Monday afternoon I was picking up some lunch from Long John Silver's on Kirby (keep it elegant, I always say) and there was a homeless man walking around with his penis hanging out. It was so bizarre.
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He literally had his pants around his knees, his dong hanging in the wind like a little, dirty, disgusting flag. When I saw him, I literally said, "Whhhhaaaat the fuuuckkkkk...?!" I immediately called, like, at least seven different people to tell them. That's more people than I called after I met T-Pain, by the way.
Brittanie Shey: The [proposed] selling of KTRU. It was a true slap in the face to the students who run the station and the music-loving community at large in Houston. Even classical music lovers are getting fucked by this deal, since the [proposed] new station's reach will be far less that KUHF's current coverage.
It also felt pretty slimy to see how the powers that be gave us the slip, thanks to the open-records release of these emails.
William Michael Smith: Jennifer Grassman jumping onstage unasked and singing a cappella during the Houston Press music awards show. Excruciating and presumptuous. Cute it was not.