Friday, October 30, 2009


there is talk on the HANDS UP HOUSTON message board FUTURE BLONDES is playing superhappyfunland tonight along with the amazing COP WARMTH among others. astute readers will recall we reported here last week future blondes was supposedly finished.

but who knows... certainly not us...

you wouldn't believe the things i'd do for 10 bucks.

-sharpe james

Sunday, October 25, 2009


word on the street says THE WIGGINS will have a new 7" out by end of the year or perhaps early 2010. TWISTED WIRES has been added to the nov. 18th show at mango's with said wiggins and BLUES CONTROL.

we at the 423 gallery have heard that BALACLAVAS has decided against changing their name, instead they will still rock their new synth heavy sound under the name we've all gotten used to... yeah, used to is probably my favorite track on the 'chairs missing' lp by wire. oh, but i digress... the balaclavas 'roman holiday' lp promises to be some epic shit. this is maybe as close as its ever been to coming out.

the FISKADORO camp is quiet but they'll be playing a private party for a friend visiting from iowa next month, they may be playing at westfest but their name isn't on the preliminary list at the free press website so we shall see. they will be playing a festival in lake jackson in january, venue yet to be determined.

-sharpe james

Saturday, October 24, 2009


we went to the EXTERMINATING ANGELS/FUTURE BLONDES/PSYCHIC ILLS/INDIAN JEWELRY show at notsuoh last night in houston. unfortunately jen got sick shortly before psychic ills started their set so we missed them and indian jewelry. its been a sort of curse for us in our attempts to see indian jewelry. the gods do not seem to want it to happen. the gods must hate us. our karma is not good, friends.

so instead of the usual style piece (as new romantics we're all about the style) - i'll write today about the final show of future blondes. a performance for the ages.

we've seen future blondes perform in several places in various incarnations over the past few months, the one fixed thing about them is domokos on vocals & effects. tonight was something completely different yet still related to what they've done before. in what was more of a band set with charley & tyler of balaclavas on synths, and a gentlemen i haven't met named jerry on moog keytar. a woman in a body stocking draped in and out of a canvas tarp doing a sort of interpretive dance and crawl and horrified slither across the stage and into the packed in audience like the end of the world was nigh.

the set opened up slowly with an ambient wall of sound with dom's echoed and looped threats, accusations and one liners (the don rickles of noise?). the music seeming to breathe and became piercing and almost dangerous. a loop saying "fuck you too" repeated for maybe 20 minutes and beats kicked and ralf armin of dead roses & after party joined on saxaphone and suddenly this metal machine music meets metal box turned into interstellar space. if only rashied ali was alive to sit in.

this awesome sound would not quit - shards of abstract and clicked and cut synth noise rose from the stage, armins sax sounding like industrial explosions through dom's effects. armin taking out his cell phone and attempting to call dom in the midst of this hail of noise. dom did not answer. he was too busy playing god and curating the whole thing kneeling from his perch on the stage, shooting looks at the crowd and reveling in the end of future blondes. amazing.

future blondes is dead! long live future blondes! and fuck you too!

-sharpe james


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


shortly before we started this little mcbloggily of ours we had some technical issues, thus, we were not able to listen to records and cassettes for awhile. cd's were ok - but the older media was a problem. this was discouraging as there were a couple things we wanted to talk about here. one of which was the twisted wires 12" which will be discussed below. the other the balaclavas cassette on the skrot up tapes label (out of denmark), which we'll get to on another post.

the debut 12" from houston's twisted wires is one night at the raw deal b/w one night at the raw deal (instrumental) & one night at the raw deal (guitar & vocal mix). i'd look at the b-side as a gift for people to remix. or for dj's to spin their own extended mixes at dance parties. very late last night jen, sharpe james and i sat down in the 423 gallery to listen to the record with law & order: criminal intent airing on the television set in the background on mute.

jen: so far it kind of sounds like early simple minds. its good background music to this criminal intent episode. it reminds me of someone else from the same era, i'm trying to remember who.
sharpe: it really says alot about houston when this record is easier to find in new york. london. paris. tokyo. milan. all those towns we party at.
rich: yes. we really don't party much in houston do we?
jen: no we don't. we just get booked to play fiskadoro shows in houston and then get them cancelled at the 23rd hour.
rich: rowan really loved this single. he described it as techno goth. one of my other friends said it wasn't complicated enough.
jen: it is kind of minimal. but isn't that a good thing?
sharpe: people need to remember what we learned from the postpunk era. minimal is a good thing.
rich: no one seems to remember history anymore.
jen: i'd be interested to listen to one of my older simple minds records after this. i didn't really remember what twisted wires sounded like, i still have that //tense// show stuck in my head and i thought they sounded more like that. but... how wrong i was.
rich: oh look at bubbles [one of our cats laying on the floor on his back in variation of savasana pose].
jen: is this one of those times you think he's meditating?
rich: i think he's just enjoying the music.
sharpe: while lenny [another of our cats, looking out the window with much intensity] thinks this is soundtrack to some sort of nefarious doings going on outside in the quad parking lot.
jen: kind of like the nefarious goings on on criminal intent right now? i mean just look at them - i think they're in a chinese bar or something.
rich: this scene would be awesome if twisted wires were performing on a small stage at the other end of the bar. it would be like that great scene in fire walk with me. or wait -that scene in the aki kaurismaki movie i hired a contract killer when joe strummer & the astrophysicians played in that bar.
(jen and sharpe have no idea what rich is talking about)
sharpe: this sure is an awesome record.
jen: i think so too.

jen: its weird cause its got all these dance effects to it but its a little bit too slow to dance to unless you want to look like a total tool. its more of a sway back and forth song.
rich: maybe it depends on the kind of drugs you're taking?
jen: i think the drugs that would enhance this song are not the kind of drugs that make you want to dance. its almost more of an anthem.
rich: i'm dj'ing that chill-out room we hung out at in barcelona and this is number one on my playlist.
sharpe: with a fucking bullet.
jen: and someone is slipping a mickey into sharpe's drink as he looks down at his boots. one night at the raw deal. yeah.
sharpe: what is in this kiwi strawberry juice?
rich: kiwi strawberry juice.
jen: i can see playing it at a faster speed and having a bunch of strobe lights.
rich: they performed this when they played at mango's and that show was a veritable dance party.
jen: did you dance?
rich: i think we all did baby.... wait - you were there!
jen: i don't remember dancing at any shows. i'm not much of a dancer. the only person i really remember dancing at that show was tina.
sharpe: she's the best dancer in town you know.
rich: we sure do sharpe james... we sure do.
jen: if you played this a third faster it would sound like the things i was hearing in the gay clubs in the late 80s.
rich: like what?
jen: mostly stuff i didn't know. but like secession...
rich: what about new order?
jen: i would say its almost too clubby sounding for new order.
sharpe: this would be interesting music to play in a club scene in some larry clark movie.
jen: where everybody's fucked up.
sharpe: yeah.
jen: the guitar does kind of sound like new order.
[bubbles attacks lenny] lenny was asking for it... it almost sounds like a bernard sumner solo thing but i don't recall him putting a ton of reverb on his voice like often if ever. but it sounds cool.
rich: we'll remember this single as the big hit of the summer of 2009 in the 423 gallery.



Monday, October 12, 2009



i was in a big school building, trying to figure out where and when my next class (for which i had not done the work) was. on a landing between stair flights was a small breakroom with a refrigerator. on the floor was a miller lite fridge pack and out of the tear-off opening peered my cat bubbles. peering into the refrigerator was none other than texas legend gibby haynes!

i called to bubbles to coax him out of the box as mr. haynes looked on. once i had bubbles safely in my arms mr. haynes commented on him.

GH: that's a good looking cat. i bet you can find a real good home for him.
me: he has a good home. he's my cat.
GH: yeah, i bet a lot of people would like to have a cat like that.
me: i told you, he's MY CAT!
GH: well you better get his ass home then!

-jen kimball

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


we were going to interview HOW I QUIT CRACK but now we don't have to...

instead we'll wash out the cat litter boxes.

-sharpe james

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


due to a mix up at mango's the FISKADORO//SOMOSUNO//COSMIC SOUND show tomorrow night has been cancelled! why does houston hate us? please adjust your social lives accordingly.

-rich kimball

Sunday, October 4, 2009


so today jen attempts to eat 6 saltines in 60 seconds.

she only managed 3 1/2.

this is the type of stuff that goes down in the 423 gallery on a daily basis.

FSKD is playing Wednesday night at Mango's w/ SOMOSUNO & COSMIC SOUND. Don't forget to support the scene.

-rich kimball

Friday, October 2, 2009


@ rudyards houston tx 10-1-09

an early show to benefit girls rock camp houston. show started about 6:30 pm and was opened by GTRS. i had never seen gtrs play before, i recall they played last winter when the maryland group wilderness came to town but i missed that show. after a sloppy opening song they pretty much killed with a great set of psychedelic pop that owed as much to the velvet underground as it did the zombies. the thing that made this band for me was their use of backing vocals. it reminded me that not many bands are using them these days. it seems like forever (and in punk time its like 6 - 8 generations later) since bands like adam & the ants, the clash, the newtown neurotics and others were making a living based on awesome backing vocals. dead roses has this working for them as well. dead roses get this. as do gtrs. more bands need to understand this. drop the ego and let someone else sing. the surprising highlight of their set was a great cover of the dream syndicate song tell me when its over. it reminded me of how much i miss that early dream syndicate sound. where are you karl precoda? i was told this was gtrs next to last show in houston as they are moving to north carolina. a real shame for this town. but as i've seen in the relatively short time i've lived here - houston does not support their own.

PERSEPH ONE followed. she is a rapper who looks like she just stepped off the set of degrassi high and took the stage to a chattering audience that pretty much ignored her introducing herself and i was a bit worried for her - but only for a moment - because when the music hit she exploded out of the gates with these spiraling lyrics shooting mysticism and truths in all directions. there is a big problem in american music these days - it exists in rap, it exists in rock and punk.. wherever you look... people going on stage and performing yet they've got nothing to say. at least nothing worth hearing. what has happened? is this why the experience of the north american babylon has trapped us in our house of dread? perseph one has alot to say and i really look forward to hearing more. musically, it reminded me of stuff we used to hear from the on-u sound label. does anyone even remember that moment in time when the punks met the rastas at adrian sherwood's house and recorded those paranoid claustrophobic reggae sound system clashes during the downtime of public image ltd's metal box sessions? i found it most interesting when she finished her set rapping a cappella about venus and mars and the void and everything under and over and beyond the sun. oh, and regarding the degrassi high comment - she blows drake away.

we concluded the evening with MYDOLLS. this was a legendary houston post-punk band that existed from 1978-1986. the space upstairs at rudyards where the bands play used to be mydolls apartment. i wasn't really aware of mydolls in their time. i probably heard their name now and then in nj but i just didn't know. kirsten O has been playing their records on his post-punk show on KTRU (every tuesday at 7 pm CT - you should check it out) and that's where i first heard them. on tuesday this week he interviewed them and that is what led me out to this show. although the band ended in 1986 they get together every now and then to play benefit shows. their set consisted of an almost tribal post-punk that reminded me of the slits and gang of four and late period proletariat, although i doubt those bands were hearing each other at the time. lyrically they were very political (again - they actually had something to say!) but it was their next to last song that flashed me back 25 years and over 1600 miles away back to my high school basement bedroom in cranford nj. it was christmastime 1985 and i was listening to pat duncan's hardcore show on a thursday night on WFMU. he was playing nothing but hardcore and punk christmas music. there is a long tradition in punk of christmas songs and adopting christmas songs, this goes back to the politics inherent in punk. if you think of christmas carols as the original protest music i.e. the shepherds were sick and tired of being oppressed and paying taxes to the king and fighting the king's pointless wars. all they could do was hope and pray for a saviour to overthrow the system and lead them out of this babylon. that my friends, is what christmas carols are all about - ah, but i digress... so back to my story - i'm listening to this radio show and taping songs. i made a great 90 minute cassette of punk rock christmas songs. i still listen to this tape every year. for the most part i don't know who the artists on the tape are. but there was one song on this tape that still comes into my head on a semi-random basis. it was a song called christmas day and i've loved it for almost 24 years never knowing who sang it - UNTIL MYDOLLS PERFORMED IT! and it was an incredible punk rock moment. it was a feeling i've only experienced one other time in my life, that had something to do with the mekons and their 'new york' cassette. i'll save that story for another time. mydolls followed christmas day with a great cover of the fall classic totally wired. the good sized crowd singing the backing vocals.

-rich kimball