SXSW 2011 Post-Mortem: Migas’ Top Sets

12:44 pm by

I can remember SXSW this year because, for the first time, I didn’t take full advantage of the free day party booze. I also woke up on a couch every night (instead of an alley, as in years past) so I actually have something to report beyond missing possessions. Personal perspective: This was the best of the five SXSWs I’ve attended. It was EXTREMELY Houston oriented, with tons of friends either performing or partying throughout. I get to see Houston bands all the time but it was a special thing to witness several of them playing major showcases to a completely different audience, but with an equally positive response. Houston drives a Dodge Stratus. Houston is big-time stuff. Read on for my top sets of SXSW 2011:

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Ben Harper’s Rock ‘N Roll Is Free

7:30 am by

Ben HarperBen Harper‘s new album, Give Till It’s Gone, is set to release on May 17. Awesome timing, since it’s just a couple of weeks before his appearance at this year’s Wakarusa Camping and Music Festival.

Harper’s 10th studio album was recorded at the Los Angeles studio of Jackson Browne, who plays a part on “Pray That Our Love Sees The Dawn.” Also featured on the album, are two tracks co-written and performed with Ringo Starr. Harper collaborated in Starr’s album Y Not.

But you don’t have to wait for the full album release to get a taste of Haper’s new material. You can get his new single “Rock ‘N Roll Is Free” for, well, free. The track is available for a limited time, so head over to his site for the free download.

Harper only has a few tour stops in the States this Summer. According to his website, he will play at Coachella with Fistful of Mercy and at Wakarusa with The Relentless7. Outside of those festivals appearances, he’s set to play with The Relentless7 at Crossroads in Kansas City, MO and at Ogden Theatre in Denver, CO on the days following Wakarusa. Then at The Vic Theatre in Chicago, IL in late June.

Go get his new single now for free. And get your Wakarusa tickets, if you haven’t yet!

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Todd Snider @ Warehouse Live (Studio)

8:45 pm by


Todd Snider is one of those guys whose lucky break always seems to be right around the corner – his undeniable talent and engrossing personality leave the universe no other option but to catapult him towards all his wildest dreams, right?  Well, brothers and sisters, I think they have.  It’s rare to see a performer as happy onstage as Mr. Snider was last Thursday – breaking into a grin every time a bandmate nailed a solo or the crowd nailed a singalong.  Who needs success on Nashville’s terms?  As he says in “Just Like Old Times” – “We’re living out a different kind of American dream.”  Most of us packed into the Warehouse Live Studio last Thursday feel the same way.  Some of us were already converts, and those that weren’t assuredly left as washed-in-the-blood Snider evangelists.  I arrived towards the end of Great American Taxi’s set, which closed with Robert Earl Keen’s “I’m Coming Home” and their own “Good Night to Boogie.”  Read on for my take on Todd and the Taxi’s performance, the setlist, and Eggs’ photos.

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7 Walkers and Great American Taxi to Celebrate George’s 84th Anniversary

4:28 pm by

7 Walkers
Photo by Jay Blakesberg. Courtesy of Madison House Publicity.

One of the most beloved and oldest live music venues in Arkansas is turning 84 this year. Yes, people! George’s Majestic Lounge is celebrating its 84th anniversary this year and the official bash is this weekend.

The party starts on Friday with Big Smith at 6 p.m. during Happy Hour and another set at 9 p.m. That same night Vince Herman’s Great American Taxi.

On Saturday, 7 Walkers will continue the celebration. The supergroup features Bill Kreutzmann (The Grateful Dead), George Porter, Jr (The Funky Meters), Papa Mali, and Matt Hubbard (Willie Nelson); plus Great American Taxi (featuring Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon).

Continue after the break for a 7 Walkers video and more info. You don’t want to miss this show!

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Fleet Foxes – “Grown Ocean”

2:11 pm by

It’s been a bit since I’ve really heard much about 2008 breakout folksters Fleet Foxes, but apparently they’ve been busy in the studio preparing their long-awaited second album. Set for a May 3rd release date, Helplessness Blues will feature 12 new tracks including the title track (which you can stream here) as well as the first single and album closer “Grown Ocean” which the Foxes just released a wonderful video for today. Shot only in 8mm, the clip show features images of Robin Pecknold and crew both on tour and during the recording process. With the Fleet Foxes already having that classic folk sound thing going for them, this video works perfectly and makes it seem like it came right out of 1960′s Greenwich Villiage. I look forward to hearing the rest of the album, and if the first two released tracks are any judge of what’s expected, than I’m pretty sure I’ll be quite happy with the outcome.

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The Belle Brigade @ Cain’s Ballroom

8:11 pm by

Belle Brigade @ Cain's Ballroom

I escaped Northwest Arkansas last Thursday and headed to Tulsa with a couple of friends to visit Cain’s Ballroom for G. Love & Special Sauce‘s headlining show. We got there on time to catch the opening act, The Belle Brigade. I wasn’t familiar with their music, but it was another reminder of why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover – or in this case, not judge musicians by their outfits. I tell you this because after seeing them I didn’t expect them to start playing alternative country. There were skinny jeans, converse shoes, plaid, stripes, thick-frame glasses, etc. If you’d ask me, I’d describe their style as Hipster Country – In the best way possible (I’m no hipster hater).

The L.A. band was fun to watch and had the crowd dancing around. Check out some photos and a video of their single “Losers” after the break. And come back later to check out the review and photos of the G. Love show.

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EOTO @ Fitzgerald’s

5:54 pm by

EOTO @ Fitzgerald's

The other night, after a fine showing by Todd Snider and the boys in Great American Taxi at Warehouse Live (that Bacon will be telling you all about soon!), we scooted our way through downtown and into the Heights to catch a set from electro-looping/live drum duo EOTO at our second home, Fitzgerald’s. Composed of Michael Travis and Jason Hann, the percussion section of jam titans The String Cheese Incident, the duo completely improvise every single set right down to the very last note. When I first started seeing EOTO back in 2007 I was intrigued by what was coming out of the duo, but soon enough I found myself really into what they were doing, and now they they have completely blown me away with every performance. Now, with about twenty shows under my belt (they are one of the bands I’ve seen most just by pure coincidence), it amazes me how much the group has grown in their 5 years on the road. I’ve never really been a fan of their studio work, mainly because the awe factor comes from seeing them make their magic on stage and getting your groove along too it. Their music is nothing like the bluegrass, rock and jam that String Cheese is known for, they actually lean towards more popular electronic genres such as House and Dubstep. Their fanbase remains the same, though, with Houston’s entire wookie population in full force smoking out the place. I love when jambands come to Houston (which seems to be becoming much more rare these days) mainly because it’s a return to my roots. I miss the people that surround the scene, and the scene itself. It’s so much different walking into a mess of indie scenesters than it is into a hoopla of hippies. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like, how you dress, what you smell like, who you’re with, what you do or why you are there; the hippies will always welcome you with open arms. This show once again proved that. Come back EOTO, you know you’re welcome at any time.

If you like a whole bunch of color in you photographs, check out more shots of the show after the jump.

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Das Racist, Fat Tony, Simple Success and Space Capone @ Fitzgerald’s

7:36 pm by


In the wake of SXSW, I told myself that I wasn’t going to go out or do anything for at least a week following my return home. Well, two days later, i found myself at Fitzgerald’s for a four band show featuring the likes of SXSW standouts Das Racist, Houston hip-hop mainstay Fat Tony, up-and-coming DJ/drum duo Simple Success and a one off show from Nashville funkateers Space Capone, all being hosted by Houston’s one-and-only BBC. I arrived just in time for the beginning of Space Capone, and immediately fell in love. Their funk-laden set was full of comedic gold both in appearance and subject matter, and I found myself chuckling along while also getting my groove on. Can’t wait to see them again! Next was Simple Success, who brought a giant video screen synchronized to their beats, which was a new aspect to their performance from the last time I saw them. They were pretty damn good, and seem to be getting better with each performance. They have a really cool thing going with a live drummer on top of chopped bits of hip-hop and rock, and they seemed to gaining several fans by the looks of the early turnout that night. Fat Tony was up next, and brought everything that he’d been rocking through SXSW and his opening gigs for Snoop Dogg, and showed why Houston was there to see him over anyone else performing that night. Kids got skills, and mad stage presence, and with the help of Smash Bro, Lisa E, a guest spot from another local hip-hop hero B L A C K I E and the effortless beat making of iPod Ammo, Fat Tony’s show was on point. Finally, Das Racist came to the stage with more comedic antidotes to close out the night, but it was their songs that were the true highlight. Never really listening to the group before, I was enthralled from the get-go with their fun-as-hell set. Fat Tony found his way to the stage on more than one occasion, eventually with a bottle of Jack Daniels in hand for a version of “Luv It Mayne,” the track off of Das Racist’s 2010 album Sit Down, Man that Tony was featured on. Overall, it was a great showing on everyone’s part, and a good way to get over my SXSW hangover. Hopefully I can catch sets from all of the night’s performers again soon.

I shot this show for the Houston Press, but they only put a few of my shots in the review, so I thought I’d do a quick post with a gallery of my pictures that didn’t make the cut. Check them all out after the jump.

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Win Tickets To See The Scissor Sisters 4/4 @ Warehouse Live

5:05 pm by

We are giving away a pair of tickets to see The Scissor Sisters at Warehouse Live in Houston, TX on Monday, April 4th. All you have to do to win is leave a comment after the jump, linking this contest page to Facebook. We will be choosing the winner on the day before the show, Sunday, April 3rd, and will announce it both on BOT, and through the winners Facebook. Good luck!

As always, thanks to the fine folks at Warehouse Live for giving us so many great tickets to give away! You guys and gals are a bunch of bad-asses!

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Widespread Panic Summer Tour Includes Houston, Dallas and Austin Dates

4:09 pm by

If any of you readers have been following BOT for some time, which I know there are plenty of you out there, you’ll know my love for jambands is the underlying basis for my musical existence. One of my favorites, past and present, are Athens, GA southern rockers Widespread Panic. I’ve seen them more times than I can count, and they consistently bring the heat every single time. I didn’t get to attend their one and only SXSW performance at the new ACL Live At Moody Theater venue due to it being badges and wristbands only, but thankfully only a few weeks after that show, they released a huge list of summer dates which include stops at The Woodlands’ (Houston) Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Dallas’ Gexa Energy Pavilion and two dates in Austin at the same venue they played during SXSW. Read more for WSP’s complete spring/summer itinerary.

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