The Wayback Machine: 15, Ten and Five Years Ago in Houston Music

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On the second week of June, 1993…At Fitz’s, Nothing in Return released their CD Another Day, which was heralded as “a palatable alternative to the metal histrionics and industrial assaults” then all-too-prevalent. Deep Blue Something of eventual “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” infamy were one of the openers…Venus in Furs, a band of funk-loving Rice kids, released Deliquescent at the Satellite. At the time, they were rumored to soon be starring on some Dick Clark-produced show on TV…Quoth Brad Tyer of the Missiles CD Low Scale Mattress Sale: “an energetic, aggressively mainstream record that’s probably one good gimmick (and four or five cuts less filler) shy of convincing”, while he praised the Road Kings as in the same league as Horton Heat and Chris Isaak, even if they weren’t as tough as the former or as pretty as the latter…Crazykilledmingus, Seed, and Dive played the Tower Theater on Westheimer to a crowd of 550. Tyer’s verdict: It might not have been the future of Houston rock, but it was a hopeful sign…Wayne Toups spent the weekend in the Bon Ton…Carolyn Wonderland, Allison Fisher, Oilfield Trash and 3 Balls o’ Fire played Iggy’s Icehouse (2801 Brazos), which is now a car wash where Midtown douches go to get their leased Bimmers detailed…Pete Mayes and the Flamin’ Hellcats held it down at Local Charm…Southern Culture on the Skids was at Emo’s…Beat Temple and Trish and Darin played the Pig on Richmond (which is now a dentist’s office)…The Hightailers performed at the Last Concert Café.

On the second week of June, 1998…It was the Press Music Awards Showcase, held that year in the following venues: Blue Iguana, Bighorn Saloon, Centanni, Instant Karma, McElroy’s, Q After 2, Rhino Room, Velvet Elvis, Voodoo Lounge, and at a purpose-built outdoor stage in Shepherd Plaza. Today, only two of those venues (McElroy’s and Velvet Elvis, which is now Velvet Melvin) remain. Of note: Blue October had the opening slot on the outdoor stage, with riverfenix, 30footFALL, Los Skarnales and Middlefinger following. Meanwhile, Live Bait hosted the anti-Music Awards Houston OpPressed showcase, starring the Wash, Two Second Stare. Breth, Linoleum Experiment, Ethan Klein, Dune*Tx, Neural Nectar and the Jeepneys…Mya, LL Cool J, Mase, the Lox, Jagged Edge and 8Ball came to Compaq Center, which is now a church... Semisonic played at Astroworld, which is now a field…Jerry Lightfoot was at the Ale House, which is now a parking lot…Tody and the Royals and Candlebox were at Instant Karma, which is now storage for a Mexican restaurant…Something called Ooogleboogle, Lord of Oblivion played some Shepherd Plaza joint called Alpha, which is now vanished from the map…Phil Pritchett was at the Velvet Elvis…Fatal Flying Guilloteens and Panther opened for Junior Varsity at Mary Jane’s, which is now Pearl Bar…Hobart Rowland heralded the efforts of Jamie Sralla as a “producer, baby sitter, and budding indie rock entrepreneur”… Rocket from the Crypt were at Fitz’s and Darden Smith was at the Duck, as were Terry Allen and Guy Clark, in what must have been a helluva song swap with plenty of worthy stage banter…Something billed as “the Band” was at the Sidecar Pub, but I’m pretty sure that messrs Danko and Manuel were not on that fine Huffmeister Road stage…Horseshoe was watching the rain at the Last Concert Café, and GW was drunk yet again…Lowbrow played Brasil, and our listings guy called it “jazz”…Dance club the Cellar hosted nights of “industrial coldwave” and “darkwave”… The Hightailers performed at the Last Concert Café.

On the second week of June, 2003…Jagi Katial hosted a big-ass festival with 40 of his favorite bands and DJs at Pamland Central…Dixie Witch and Sound Team came to Rudz, which also hosted live-band punk karaoke…The Eagles roosted at Compaq Center…I raved about the Infernal Bridegrooms Production CD Songs from the Meat / Bar (“Jason Nodler has eaten from the Tree of Life and no more can the taproom be his Eden.” Jeez, who was I?)…More intoxication: Greg Wood played at St. Pete’s…Geno Delafose was at the Continental Club…Third Eye Blind was at the Verizon…Johnny Wolfe and Hilary Sloan were at Walter’s…Ziggy Marley was at the Engine Room…James Bolden played Cosmos, as did the Dreambreakers…Better than Ezra was at Numbers…Peter Gabriel was in the Woodlands…The Hightailers performed at the Last Concert Café

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