From Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground to Kaws and Kanye West, the connection between music and fine art is inextricable. Personally, I find few things more inspiring than listening to great music in galleries or museums. So I’m rather excited that the kind people over at DiverseWorks asked me to come play some records tomorrow. A bastion of arts and culture in Houston, DiverseWorks has fostered creative types across mediums for years. Come check out the exhibition, have a few drinks and shoot the shit with some talented artists, curators and all around good folks.
Here’s some more info from the press release.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
After an action packed weekend of art openings and performances, kick back at DiverseWorks for Industry Night. If you are an artist, work, volunteer, board member or intern in the art community or just want to meet other people in the industry, join us for happy hour. Bring your business card, or DiverseWorks Membership card to receive exclusive drink specials for those in the biz.
Industry night is our way of giving back to our friends in the biz. It’s a time to slow down, catch up, and kick back a few drinks with artists, presenters, curators, board members, volunteers—all the incredible people that comprise the city’s cultural workforce and make Houston, Texas such an interesting place to live. We heart them. – Diane Barber, Co-Executive Director & Visual Arts Curator at DiverseWorks
I don’t know what you’re plans are for this evening but I do know they should include going to Dirty Honey at Boondocks. Hey, great soul music and it’s free. Like you need another excuse, oh wait, I have one. Marcos Prado from the Dallas Smoke will be my very special guest deejay. That should seal the deal right there.
Hope to see you tonight.
I have always wondered what’s the story behind the Supreme Lounge.
How long was it the Supreme Lounge? Was there always a bar here? What was there before? The beautiful mid-century relic has stood there at the corner of Holman and Dowling for longer than I’ve been alive at the very least. Last week, I drove by and seeing the plywood covering the door is no longer there, I decided it was time to do a little friendly trespassing. unfortunately, the interior is nothing more than a burned out shell littered with broken shards of half-pint liquor bottles.
Anyways, as Houstonians know all too well, this city relishes bull dozing more than preservation and older buildings fall by the wrecking ball far too often. I’m just glad to see it.
photo by Nick de la Torre
Genius, madman or both, I had always hoped to someday get to interview Huey Meaux and clarify many remaining mysteries surrounding local musical lore. Sadly, Huey Meaux passed away this morning after several months of declining health. The man knew how to make a hit record and nothing short of legions owe some part of their careers in music to him. From Barbara Lynn and Sunny Ozuna (of Sunny & the Sunliners) to Freddy Fender and the Sir Douglas Quintet, Meaux could hear the potential long before their songs were ever laid to tape. It was Meaux who upon first hearing Archie Bell & the Drell’s “Tighten Up” recognized the gravitas it held and took it to Atlantic on Skipper Lee Frazier’s behalf.
He had his demons too and those demons sent him to prison for fifteen years. The enigmatic Cajun has left a legacy in his wake. A body of work that is nothing short of staggering. I hope we Houstonians and citizens of the world will try to remember what was so bright about this man’s life and attempt to look past the sullen shadows that crept around it.
Andrew Dansby wrote a nice piece about Meaux’s passing this morning for 29-95 you can read here.
One of the ugliest parts of the Vietnam War was the havoc it waged right here on the home front. A discriminatory draft system promised legions of African American men would be forced to leave their girlfriends, wives and children and head off to a questionable war they wouldn’t return from for a minimum of twelve months. And that was the upside of the situation.
Uncle Sam was hell-bent on stopping the spread of Communism, much to the detriment of the American Solider. Sadly, many wouldn’t come home alive and some of those who did, brought home new demons like drug addiction or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
For the loved ones back home, it could all just be too much for a relationship to bear. It’s easy to become lonely when there’s an ocean between you and the world you know. The Dear John letter became all too commonplace in this incomprehensible era of callous Cold War.
Vietnam was an all too-real part of life if you lived in the sixties or seventies. Your best friend was there, your brother was there, your son was there, and your husband was there. You could be going there. It’s no wonder that the Southeast Asian war inspired countless artists to write some of their best material.
While I remain much more comfortable on the interviewer’s side of the tape recorder than the interviewee, I’m honored to have played a roll in today’s story in the Houston Press. Craig D. Lindsey was kind enough to pepper me with question for his article about today’s deejays playing soul music alongside my friend and Fistful of Soul founder Stewart A. Anderson.
“The way I see it is, if I do something, I want to do it right,” says Koshkin. “And I just wanted to know that it’s going to be appreciated. And I know Houstonians, you know, who appreciate that sort of thing. But, at the time, when I started doing it, there was nothing like that going on in town.
“And I was really curious,” he adds. “I mean, it just seems so out of left field, you know. There’s this random white guy playing a bunch of weird, ’60s soul music for people. How are people gonna respond to that?”
You can read the entire story here.
Last year, I raided an old Jukebox Distributor here in Houston that operated from the sixties until the demise of the vinyl jukebox in the late eighties. When CDs promised to offer ten times the amount of music in the same physical space as a vinyl 45rpm jukebox, well the format war was waged and vinyl lost faster than you can change sides of a record.
What’s a jukebox Distributor you ask? Generally, when bars have jukeboxes, pinball machines or video games like Ms Pac-man, they are owned, operated and repaired by a third party. A company that supplies your local watering hole with the entertaining gizmos so to speak and repairs broken flippers.
One of the most important facets of the jukebox distributor was to provide their groove-boxes with all the new tunes that were currently burning up the radio waves that they could get. Remember, in 1976, there were no ipods or satellite radio for bartenders to inundate you with their poor tastes in music. In this era, the jukebox was the heartbeat of your bar and keeping it well-stocked with the latest and greatest singles was imperative to its survival.