Recap: Blaggards at Brian O’Neill’s (09-W46-3)

Despite being at least the third show by Blaggards to have made the weekly LOVIEE feature, this was my first time actually making it out to see them. Tonight’s show was missing Chris Buckley, the violin/fiddle player, but I still think overall it was worth the trip, as the remaining three members (Patrick Devlin, Chad Smalley, and Michael McAloon) showed us they are very capable of rocking any venue.

The show was scheduled for 9:30pm and started at 9:33pm (the first song had been going for about a minute when I checked my time which was actually 9:34pm). This is a great way to make a good first impression; some acts don’t really care about starting on time and it’s refreshing to see one that does. I’ve been to a show where the time was mis-announced as 3pm when they meant 4pm, and even then the first notes didn’t come out of the speakers until 4:30pm if I remember right.

I made an attempt to keep track of the set list, which was a real challenge; I was only familiar with the songs available on the band’s Myspace page. I quit trying to keep up after what I counted as the fifteenth song at 10:22pm; the band took a break after what I think was three more songs. Here’s what I had (most of these are guesses based on the prominent chorus lyric, I’ve withheld some that I’m not sure if the lyric was actually from the chorus):

  1. (not sure)
  2. (not sure)
  3. Bonnie Rae
  4. Dirty Old Town
  5. (announced as a cover song, didn’t recognize tune)
  6. Stand and Deliver
  7. Brown Eyed Girl
  8. (not sure)
  9. Boys of the Old Brigade
  10. (announced as “for Turi”)
  11. (announced as “for Emily and Brandon”) Lost My Heart to a … Girl
  12. We’re on the Road Again
  13. (not sure)
  14. Prison Love Songs
  15. (not sure)

In addition I remember Suspicious Minds as the first song after the break, which would be probably about the 19th or 20th song of the set. (I may lack knowledge in some areas, but I know my Elvis songs. I am of the opinion if one has not studied The King at least a bit, one really has not learned about rock and roll.)

During the break I was able to talk to the members of the band and learn a bit about some of their upcoming shows and happenings. It turns out this is a regularly scheduled show for at least the next few weeks, after which it will likely be scaled back to once monthly.

The bigger news is the information about the band’s organization of a guided tour of Ireland coming up, 2010 March 26 through April 2, for fans and friends. I won’t go into details here, but instead I will refer the curious to a page about the tour on the Blaggards Web site. If circumstances allow, I hope to make it to this (hey, I’m a Quinn, it would be only fitting my first trip out of the country is to Ireland).

I also left with a copy of the band’s album recorded in 2005, which I have been listening to quite a bit after returning. This album is well worth the $10 it sells for.

I will note I was not able to stay for the entire show but that was not by choice. I left maybe a half hour after the break. Hopefully this won’t be a problem at the next show I attend.

Somewhere in the middle of this I was asked by a young woman in a group of three to take a picture of her group. I was hoping to catch them but they left but that didn’t happen. If you’re out there reading this, wherever you are, yeah, this was written by the nerdy-looking guy in the black T-shirt and dark green pants that was nice enough to take the picture for you.

Speaking of pictures, I hoped to have some but my camera’s battery was too low to use flash reliably. Yeah, I’m kicking myself too. Maybe next time.

So in summary, a great show, from great musicians, who are also great people. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Update 2009-11-23: Errors in the band’s lineup fixed. That’ll teach me to trust the liner notes from an album released in 2005…


2009-11-09/15 Weekly LOVIEE

Welcome to all the new readers, and thanks for sticking around if you’re a regular. Please do not forget the ongoing LOVIEE if nothing here really tickles your fancy.

Unfortunately I’m missing Facebook event links for all but one of these. As I find Facebook links I may add them if I have time, however time is at a premium right now.

Monday 11-09

Lucero at Meridian, 1503 Chartres St., 6:30pm, $15. This act from Memphis, Tennessee, has a unique brand of Southern rock (a la Lynyrd Skynyrd or The Stray Cats) with an unmistakable modern alt-rock twist. Show also features Cedric Burnside & Lightning Malcolm, The City Champs, and The Dirty Streets. 09-W46-1

Tuesday 11-10

Mojofromopolis at Shakespeare Pub, 14129 Memorial Dr., 9pm. An up-and-coming blues band with an album coming out soon. Check them out, you won’t be disappointed! 09-W46-2

Wednesday 11-11

Blaggards at Brian O’Neill’s, 5555 Morningside Dr., no cover, 9:30pm. An Irish-infused rock act that’s truly one-of-a-kind. 09-W46-3

Wednesday 11-11 through Sunday 11-15

Cinema Arts Festival — A contemporary film and multimedia arts event taking place over five days. Screenings take place at multiple locations throughout Houston including: Alabama Theatre; Angelika Film Center; Discovery Green; Miller Outdoor Theatre; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Rice Media Center; University of Houston; Warehouse Live; and others. See the event Web site for complete details. 09-M11-2

Thursday 11-12

Cultured Cocktails, Boheme Cafe and Wine Bar, 307 Fairview, 5-10pm. The featured non-profit of the week is Spacetaker’s Winter Holiday Art Market (WHAM), an arts and crafts sale and festival taking place on November 20th and 21st (a week from Friday and Saturday). 09-W46-4

Friday 11-13

Marcy Playground at Meridian, 1503 Chartres St., 6:30pm, $15. Too many music fans wrote off this band as a one-hit wonder, that one hit being the (in)famous “Sex and Candy” back in 1997. I own two of their albums, the eponymous album and Shapeshifter, and can say from listening to both of them seveal times there is so much more to this band that has gone largely unheard. This show also features special guests Margo and While You Were Gone. 09-W46-5

Society for the Performing Arts presents the Trey McIntyre Project, Wortham Theater Center, 8pm. $22+. The new company of Houston Ballet’s former choreographic associate makes its Houston debut. 09-M11-3

Houston Lebowski Bash, Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney, 7:30pm-midnight. Live music from Picture Book (British invasion tribute band), costume contest, trivia contest, and of course at 10pm, screening of the film The Big Lebowski. There is also a pre-party happy hour at Lucky Strike Lanes in the Houston Pavilions from 5-7pm. 09-W46-6

The Mighty Orq at Shakespeare Pub, 14129 Memorial Dr., 9pm. The local legends of Southern-infused rock are at it again. 09-W46-7

Saturday 11-14

Art Show/Auction at Blossom Street Gallery, 4809 Blossom St., 3-8pm. The auction is a fundraiser to preserve the legacy of Tom Kennedy and his art car “Ripper,” currently in storage in France after an appearance at an auto show in Germany. 09-W46-8 Facebook event page

Low Man’s Joe and Black Queen Speaks, Fitzgerald’s, 2706 White Oak, doors at 8pm, $10. I’m a huge fan of Low Man’s Joe, whose sound takes the best elements of 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s hard rock and updates them for the younger generation who weren’t born yet when songs like Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” were topping the charts. Black Queen Speaks deserves equally kind words; the band draws obvious inspiration from Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath without being Yet Another Cover/Tribute Band. 09-W46-9

Sunday 11-15

Shawn Pander at Block 7 Wine Company, 7:30pm. No cover. Acoustic folk rock with jazz and blues influences; recently released an EP entitled “Claire” available for sale online. 09-W46-10


Recap: Blossom Street exhibit opening reception (09-W45-8)

I will admit these types of events don’t lend themselves particularly well to recaps. I will however list and briefly describe the highlights of the event from my point of view.

I was kind of concerned I’d have trouble finding the gallery at first. This was my first visit here and, yes, it’s a few blocks from the bus route. Hint: Blossom Street (the street itself) is the next street south of Floyd Street, the cross street south of Block 7 Wine Company. So if you have been to Block 7 before, you pretty much know where the Blossom Street Gallery is already.

I got to meet Levi Rosen, Michael Craft (very briefly), and Melissa Watson (who runs the Blossom Street Gallery). I have nothing but good things to say about all three or for that matter anyone else I met tonight (and I don’t remember that many names, but I did talk to a few other people despite my relatively shy mood).

I, of course, got to see a lot of great art, particularly the paintings of Levi Rosen and the photography of Sam Li and Michael Craft. Really though, I can’t think of a single piece there I wouldn’t be proud to have on my wall. Without being too specific, there are pieces there for any budget (and I have seen some truly stratospheric prices for artwork at other events I have been to). Some even take up a relatively small amount of wall space if that is at a premium for you.

I have pictures as do others; I got to meet two other photographers who were mere guests at the reception. Combined with the Second Seating event, I have enough for a quite massive upload to Flickr now. It’s just a question of free time…


Recap: Second Seating (09-W45-9)

I’ve been to so many art installation receptions that I now find myself having a hard time getting excited about them, especially enough to write a blog post recapping the event. But this is a huge exception to the rule.

It wasn’t quite as obvious that one of the centerpieces of this reception/party was something called “light graffiti.” Gonzo247 of Aerosol Warfare and Carolyn KC of CKC StART brought the equipment for this portion of the event. That equipment was four bunches of things: a bunch of red, green, and blue LEDs; a bunch of #2032 3-volt lithium button batteries; a bunch of magnets; and a bunch of tape. These were used to make something called an “LED throwie.” (Actually, a whole bunch of LED thowies; see a pattern here?)

The steps for making an LED throwie are:

  1. Grab an LED and a battery.
  2. Put the battery between the leads of the LED, pushing them together so the LED will light. The shorter lead of the LED goes on the shorter side of the battery (positive). It surprised me how well this works out for us; it’s almost like the LED and battery manufacturers got together and decided to make life easier for art nerds like us to make LED throwies. Anyway…
  3. Grab a magnet and put it on either side of the battery.
  4. Hold the whole contraption together while grabbing a piece of tape.
  5. Wrap the tape around everything, such that you have a lit LED, battery, and magnet taped together. Try not to use too much tape. (At various points we were using both standard office tape and packing tape.)
  6. Congratulate yourself on making an LED throwie! (Optional; in fact the more you’re making, the more optional this is.)

(Slightly technical sidenote: some of the electronics nerds that know LEDs usually only drop 1.5 to 1.7 volts last any significant length of time being powered off a 3 volt battery. The answer to that is that the current coming out of a 2032 battery is just enough to light the LED, and that is really the operative factor here more than the voltage.)

At about 7:30pm or so, after a countdown led by Gonzo247, we all threw our LED throwies onto the side of the (steel) building. This was the result:

(Yes, a couple of people with lousy aim managed to get theirs onto the roof.)

The other highlights, in summary: “Pristine and Enchanted” a chandelier made from filigreed bleach bottles, with a disco ball inside; several other fantastic pieces I have pictures of and will need to review; and of course, excellent chips and dip and some kind of dessert bread I was told the name of but forgot from Irma’s, the Mexican restaurant next door.

Another highlight of the event was an art bike I was shown by one of the other guests, who told me about an upcoming event called Gloworama, a parade for illuminated art vehicles (cars and bikes). I’m going to be looking into this, definitely to promote, possibly even to attend.

I have other pictures; I’ll be uploading the whole lot to my Flickr account in the next few days, if time permits. (And that’s a big if; I’ve been made aware of several other events that have completely blown out of the water any notion that there might be light weekly LOVIEEs during holiday weeks, so I may well have my hands full with just weekly LOVIEEs and lining up the December LOVIEE alongside my other blogs and projects.)

Thanks to everyone who made this event what it was, in particular Gonzo247, Carolyn KC, and Mary Margaret Hansen.