Greetings! November was a great month and like many of you, we enjoyed the company of family, friends, great food & spirits, and live music out on The SCENE. It's simply amazing the cool stuff we have going on here-Let's run down what we did with you out there...
TIMELESS - Is a term applicable to live music and this month, SCENE readers took the magic trip back into time at the Texas Renaissance Festival and also the ever special Dickens On The Strand. Both events have special ways of recalibrating the present through sensory stimulations of sight, sounds, aromas and flavors on how it went down in days before - Not exactly Disney quality magic but just as effective which keeps we merry monger SCENE readers heading back each year for more. Dickens was particularly cool this year celebrating what would be the 200th birthday of the man himself. Special Guests of Honor helping mark the event were two descendants of Charles Dickens-Lucinda Dickens Hawksley and Jane Monk. Two festivals, two trips back into time, two big scores...
FIT FOR LIFE - My son stopped in for a weekend school break and suspecting he'd be keen on checking out local ladies, I arm him with a camera and take him to the cover the Gritty Goddess Mud Run. Boy was he impressed and so were we! <lol> Thousands showed up for this worthy all women fund raising event-Remember Cyndi Lauper's, "Girls Just Want To Have Fun?" Boy did they ever! It was massively great mojo seeing all these spirited participant giving it their total all *and* having fun along the way-Through the slimiest mud, mountains of mulch and other dubious ventures. Somehow, the event organizers need to add "Gusto" to Gritty and Goddess - These Gals got it! Cheers!
A bit closer to home, was the 22nd Annual Reindeer Run in Nassau Bay. This neighborhood trot is pretty nifty being family friendly and its special run for all the kids, big and small. Witnessing the grit and determination of the little giants is inspiring and genuine as it comes - Viva!
IN THE LIGHTHOUSE DISTRICT - We took in live music at Zone 504 & T-Bone Tom's scoring both as evenings well spent. We first saw Infinity's Twin at Union Tavern and were intrigued with Bino's sonic nuances on electric violin-Enough to place them on our follow up list. Fool on us! This evening at The Zone, they brought additional percussionists not typical to the night scene giving their surreal sound a syncopated depth grabbing the body from the inside out (now *that* Folks is good stuff) bringing to mind the word "Zest", which is what we got a dose of at the Zone.
Among the first bands we covered upon joining The SCENE team was a group calling themselves The Navigators. We noted "...a strong deeply talented lineup..." Years later we follow up and guess what-It's still true! With one of the the largest playlist going, Galen Medlenka & Curtis Spencer holds down a solid groove foundation with Donald Bonner on horns providing airy accents leaving the sonic center for the dual lead guitarists, Randy Hughes and Curtis Beinhorn both capable of playing whatever comes to mind with authority. Oh yeah-They *all* have superb voices to boot! Navigators + T-Bones = Solid Rock
BACK ON THE BEAT - And that would be Pod Zu's at the Clifton's By The Sea location in Bacliff. The nearby State of Texas land marker notes the neighborhood as a musical gathering spot from the turn of the (20th) century and we witnessed the return of live music to the location with the perfect band, Wood & Wind (Bobbie & Steve Revak along with John and Steve on bass and kit.) The staff at Pod Zu's were local, friendly, and getting it down with plenty of good drinks and eats for the good size crowd. We give this place a "Good to go!"
A NEW BEAT ON THE BEAT - And that's Cisco hosting the Cockeyed Seagull's Thursday Open Mic. The acoustic Bass Meister has been around the area supporting & hosting open mic events and brings to the Seagull an additional network of jammers is all good. This month at the Seagull, we enjoyed the Michael Shanks and Rick Recckio acoustic duet and caught the return of former Punk rocker Billy Gilbert returning to the stage after a 25 year haul raising family. Billy has good pipes, a deep play list, jams well with others, and should be an act you'll be seeing more of in 2013. The best treat for Seagull holiday regulars was the return of the Reverend Bob Head from his busy North American traveling schedule and his ever popular rendition of Heavens Door. Holidays in Houston are some of the best and the Seagull had it. Speaking of holidays...
TOUR STOP CLEAR LAKE & ANNUAL HUNGER SHOW - The Thanksgiving week at Scout Bar went waaaaay over the top this year with totally solid musical shows including the international opera metal group Epica, Alestorm (one of our favorite pirate metal bands), Insomnium, plus the Hunger's PreThanksgiving Show. The warm up bands for the Hunger's annual ritual were all worthy headliners themselves including Erase The Virus, Melovine (with Matthew Neice sporting a great new look), and Saturate (one of the hardest rocking bands on the planet). We've been catching a few of the ETV as they handled personnel swaps over the years and happy to say this group has melded into one tight cohesive unit you would expect at Scout Bar. Band faithfuls will always support their favorites but earning new fans takes a sound presentation properly gelled. Nice... Speaking of gelling well...
MADIGAN & THE BRICKHOUSE - 2012 winds up with both of these entertainment power houses solidly set. Madigan's new personnel, Michael McCollum and Jeremy Walton (keys and bass) have clearly meshed with the trio of Dave, Melissa & Todd (and Dale on the desk) resulting in a groove and SIZZLE the likes few bands can pull off. In the continual reinvention camp, Jackie's Brickhouse gives 'status quo' a new meaning which in itself should only be attempted if those strong enough. We expect 2013 to be a great year for both Madigan and Jackie's Brickhouse.
A BRIEF WORD - Many of you have complimented our efforts and ask what makes us tick. Two answers and the first is easy-Its all of you doing what you do best and that's getting out there enjoying life and live music out in arguably the finest happening regions on this planet. The second is a local resident named Lisa Hamilton who opens eyes and minds with an edgy energetic theater vibe. Her latest acclaimed project is of one's battle with cancer, "Bald in the Land of Big Hair" and heading to New York City. Pretty cool, eh? What's cooler is that the show will be running up Red Bluff Road on January 11th & 12th. Check it out at the Red Door Theatre. Better yet, if you know somebody beginning their battle with the stuff, suggest this show to them. Peace....
CONGRATULATIONS - To Katie's down in Bacliff for their 5th year anniversary of the area's finest Rock & Blues happening. With "never" a cover, To celebrate the event, Harp Master Tommy Dardar took the stage with Bob and the boys along with a great neighborhood crowd for an enjoyable holiday evening of inspiring blues. Cheers also goes to the folks at Dempsey's for their new hangout along the I-45 entertainment corridor. It's not easy outgrowing your neighborhood but John and his folks did just that. Congrats to all!
CLOSING - There were lots of super holiday musical events that went down last month month and more to come in December. It's a time for friends from over the years to regather, hang out, get reacquainted, and re-energized at the place we call The SCENE. Be a hero when your group gathers by grabbing on to your copy keeping it handy as we've been noticing they're going fast these days. You can also keep up with all that's happening on Facebook or SCENELIVE.NET, okay? With the hustle and bustle season upon us, I'd like to pass along a tip from my buddy Tony-Shift your gears into neutral if you can, go with the flow, enjoy the month with others and if you can, keep live music in your life. Happy Holidays and we'll see you in 2013!