Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Why would anyone think this is funny?


Saturday, February 18, 2006

9SD Friday.

Friday night it was Drew Tichnell w/ 9 Station Drive at the Vortex (the coolest dive in Beaumont).

As everyone knows, 9 Station Drive is my favorite band of local boys, and they were in exceptionally good form on Friday night. Most times I've seen them lately they've had less than the full band, but they were all there last night. They managed to work a lot more of their originals in the mix than I usually hear, and that was a good thing. I don't know why they're always opening for someone else.

Closing for 9SD was Drew Tichnell an fugitive from Hemphill now living in Austin. She's got a good strong voice and a lot of potential. You can read a bit about the show here.

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Dedringers at Courville's

Yes, last Thursday was once again buffet time at Big Rich's Courville's. The buffet, as you've no doubt guessed, was the traditional gumbo with pork loin and potatoes, but the gumbo was especially good this time. As has become usual for these Courville's events, the place was packed. I still haven't figured out how they do that; I've never seen them advertise anywhere, you'll have a hard time finding their website if you type "Courville's Beaumont" into Google, and until very recently even if you found their website, you wouldn't find any relevant information. You would find an ad for hot sauce, though.

All that's changed now. Almost all that, anyway. It's still hard to find the place with Google, but the hot sauce ad is gone and now there's a "calendar/events" page where they'll tell you who's up next. (I've added Courville's calendar to the sidebar, so when Google fails you, you know where to come.) In this case, the "calendar/events" page will tell you that next up is Fred Eaglesmith and Band on March 22. I've never heard Eaglesmith's music, but whoever picks the bands for Courville's seems to know what he's doing. I expect it'll be a good show.

But the title of this post isn't "Courville's Calendar," it's "Dedringers at Courville's." They're a couple young guys from Austin or something who play the sort of Texas music that doesn't suck. Eclectic, sort of folkie sound of their own, with good song writing and a good stage presence. The put on a really good show. I even bought their EP.

Not that it matters, but they look like this:

They'll be at The Old Quarter in Galveston on March 3 and again on April 28. It'd definitely be worth the drive.

When the Dedringers were finished playing, some old guy came on to close the show. He had a hit song 30 years ago or something, but he didn't even sing it himself. It was just something he wrote that someone else made famous. The song is "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother," and the someone else was Jerry Jeff Walker. The old coot who closed for the Dedringers was this guy:

Yes, it's good ol' Ray. His show was much the same as last time. A good number of the songs and a lot of the between song banter was familiar, but that's not a bad thing. He has stories that go with the songs, and the stories are as much a part of the show as the songs. And sometimes, the stories are better than the songs. It's all in the timing and delivery, and he's got both down pat. The man is just plain laugh-out-loud funny.

He has a new album coming out in a few months called "Snake Farm." He started the show with the title track, which has this refrain:

Snake Farm, it sounds pretty nasty,
Snake Farm, it pretty much is,
Snake Farm, it's a reptile house,
Snake Farm, uhh-uhh-uhh.

I really don't know how to write "uhh-uhh-uhh" to capture the sense of mock ickiness and disgust in his voice. I'm pretty sure no one ever even thought to use that "word" in a song before. At least not like that. He had the whole crowd singing along by the time the song was ended, and that was on his very first song. I don't know if something like "Snake Farm" would really work outside a live performance, but I'll definitely be buying the CD when it comes out to find out.

The rest of the show was at least as good as the start, even though he didn't play any of my favorite Ray Wylie Hubbard songs. But the one's he did play, he played very well. Even stuff like "Screw You, We're From Texas," which I tend to skip when I'm listening to the CD, was great when performed live and with the benefit of the story about the rich drunks from Nashville who (supposedly) inspired the song. And it makes a damn fine T-shirt or bumper sticker to boot.

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Last night at Cactus Canyon

Last night at Cactus Canyon it was Leon Russell with his band. I have to admit that when I heard Leon Russell was playing, the first thing that went through my head was "should I know who Leon Russell is?" After looking at his website, I concluded that I should. And he came pretty highly recommended by our friends over at Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans. Good music, but muddy, overdriven sound. We'll give him another chance, but for now, Leon's on probation.

Curiously, the sound system worked fine for the opening act. The opening act was Adam Hood, who's not at all on probation. Adam Hood's one of those guys who plays an acoustic guitar and sings songs he wrote himself, or with his drummer/producer Justin Johnson (who backed up Hood with a snare drum and cymbal). The songs and the performance were both very good. Worth seeing even without the benefit of alcohol.


Coming to Cactus Canyon March 30, 2006: Little River Band. I've seen them a couple times on Crockett Street, and they've always put on a good show.

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Endorsements from the House of Pancakes

The management and staff at the House of Pancakes are pleased to announce the first of our endorsements for the upcoming elections.

Vote Kinky

For governor, we believe that the clear choice for all thinking people (as well as for non-thinking people of good will) is Kinky Friedman (I). His positions on the issues tend to be silly and naive, but his slogans are top-notch. We at the House of Pancakes firmly believe that any candidate can learn to do the job after a short time in office, but if they don't bring a sense of humor with them, they'll never get it.

As an independent, Kinky is going to need signatures of registered voters who didn't vote in either party's primary to get his name on the ballot, so if you want your voice to be heard, don't vote. We here at the House of pancakes urge you to skip the primaries, sign the petition, and vote Kinky in November. Why the hell not?

Vote "Not Griffith"

In Jefferson County, there is no point in voting in the Republican primary. If you simply must vote come March 7, we urge you to vote for Ron Walker for Jefferson County Judge in the Democratic primary. Justice Walker did a good job while on the Beaumont Court of Appeals, and we're confident that he'd do well as county judge. But more importantly, he is running against Carl Griffith, the man most responsible for bringing us the Ford Park money pit. He also seems to be the person most responsible for denying the people who have to pay for it any voice in deciding whether it should be built. Throw the sonofabitch out!

Vote Randy

For the 279th Judicial District Court of Jefferson County, Texas, we believe that the best candidate by far is Randy Shelton. He's running unopposed in the Democratic primary, but will have Republican opposition in November. Randy's a good guy and he'll make a fine judge.

Congratulations, Frank

Finally, we here at the HOP would like to congratulate Frank Coffin on his appointment as Beaumont Police Chief. Like Randy, he's a good guy.


Friday, February 03, 2006

What I love about Valentine's Day.

My Hotmail sidebar has link today to "Top 20 Valentine's gifts for her." And when I saw that, it reminded me of what I really love about Valentine's Day: I don't have to buy anything for anyone.

It may not be much, but at least it's something.