Monday, December 11, 2023

Dys-fun-ctional Christmas

Not always is Christmas happy and merry.



Conflicts with the law, broken relationships, loneliness or simply dysfunctional families can put a burden on these holy Holidays.

Good part about it is, that they also inspire songwriters to tell about it. It's basically a reality show wrapped in the soothing sounds of Christmas music. So in this third part of a "Honky Tonk Christmas" let's put the fun back into dysfunctional (my Saloon ornament is hanging) and listen to some tunes, that aren't your standards accompanying "Silent Night," "Oh Tannenbaum" or more secular ditties like "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer," "Frosty The Snowman," "White Christmas," "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow." "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" or even "Feliz Navidad."



First in my list of a half dozen not so PC-friendly, dysfunctional songs is an over 25-year old classic done by Irish punkers The Pogues together with Kirsty MacColl (who passed away in 2000) called "Fairytale Of New York." Even though the song only reached #2 in the British Charts during it's initial release in 1987, it's this season (2013) most downloaded Christmas song in the UK.  Though the protagonist of the song is in the drunk tank on Christmas Eve to sober up, he sees quite a rosy future with his loved one.









And what you may have realized is that my definition of Honky Tonk music is quite wide and yes it includes Tom Waits. According to Wikipedia - even though the quote can't be traced anymore - he was quoted about "Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minnepolis" as follows:

"I was in Minneapolis - it was 200 degrees below zero - I know - you think I'm bullshitting, no, I swear to God, I was wearing just a bra and a slip and a kind of dead squirrel around my neck - he was colder than I was. The police cars would go by and they'd wave... Merry Xmas, Merry Xmas, Merry Xmas - anyway - I got caught in the middle of a pimp war between 2 kids in Chinchilla coats, they couldn't have been more than 13 years old - they're throwing knives and forks and spoons out into the street - it was deep - so I grabbed a ladle - and Dinah Washington was singing "Our Day Will Come" and I knew that was it."

I can't say it much better, besides mentioning, that we are all looking for Valentine's day coming up.












I knew that John Prine had a song called "Christmas In Prison" of his 1994 Holiday album "A John Prine Christmas" but after re-listening to the whole album, I decided to use a the only (at least that I know of) song that cynically compares a broken up relationship with a decaying Christmas tree and how bittersweet it is to wish the former lover
"All The Best." Definitely a Christmas song, no department store would use as elevator music.



Alcohol also can be (is) a specific Christmas problem and leads to a crossroad of possibilities:

- a) drinking out of joy and celebrating (for some reason the most kids in the US are born roughly nine months after the Holidays - http://www.labnol.org/internet/most-popular-birthday-months/21283/ - longer, darker nights may be playing a role too)

- b) others may indulge due to dysfunctional relationships, insane family ties and trying to cope with that in a buzzed or even drunk state of mind

- c) and finally all the people who are alone and don't have anybody to celebrate the festivities with



In 1973, John Denver released "Please Daddy Don't Get Drunk This Christmas," a song written by husband and then-wife team, Bill Danoff and Mary "Taffy" Nivert. The couple was quite successful and had other hits with "Take Me Home, Country Roads" (Denver), "Boulder To Birmingham" (Emmylou Harris) and their self-recorded, as the Starland Vocal Band, #1 hit "Afternoon Delight."

Twenty years later, Alan Jackson spiffed that little ditty about wishful soberness a bit up, put a shuffle beat to it, uped the giddy and the steel guitar replacing the dobro made it more jukebox friendly.



Alan Jackson - Please Daddy Don't Get Drunk On Christmas




John Rich, Jimmy Fallon - Drunk On Christmas





Boxcar Willie - Hee Haw Honey




How can I pass up lyrics like "I need some Christmas spirit, and by spirit I mean booze; I'm getting drunk, drunk, drunk on Christmas." This song was written by Late Night TV host Jimmy Fallon and a writer of the show, Gerard Bradford and premiered three years ago, with special guest John Rich (Big & Rich) sitting in with Fallon and back-up band, The Roots.



"Hee Haw" Host Roy Clark With Some Of The Honeys
Lecil Travis Martin aka Boxcar Willie, even though only remotely popular in the United States was a superstar overseas and is believed to have sold more than 100 million albums. His carnal wish was infused by the beautiful Southern ladies in the TV show "Hee Haw" and Hugh Hefner's playboy bunnies - and yes that simply is all he wanted under his Christmas tree.



One of my all-time favorite

dysfunctional Christmas songs is "Merry Christmas From The  Family" penned by Texan Robert Earl Keen. With a sharp wit, he describes the Christmas needs and family relationships as it would be part of a reality show. The parents are getting drunk, the sister shows up with a new Mexican boyfriend, who woos everybody with "Feliz Navidad," brother Ken who arrives with wife #3 brings his five kids out of two earlier relationships. And it's Turkey, football and more booze - trips to the convenient store to restock with cigarettes, diapers, tampons and whatever you need in the 24/7 world that America is.



And with this - I can only wish everybody of you - Merry Christmas Y'All



.

This blog was orginally published here.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Spring Fling Music Festival @ Giddy Ups - 3/15-3/19 Schedule












Welcome to the Spring Fling Music Festival at Giddy Ups. We are happy to back as a multi-day festival. We are so glad to see y'all and for interest to check out real Independent music. 


As a service to the participating musicians and bands and to make it easier for the audience to connect with their favorite musicians, we asked all the artists to provide us with links to their websites, social as well as streaming media.

Please make sure to tip the bands generously, buy their merchandise, and spread the word. In these days where corporate media hardly ever feature independent artists, it is important that we share the talent of all these artists that make the world of music better day by day.

Big thank yous go out to:
Nancy M. Morgan - Owner Giddy Ups
Anna Bosworth - Sound / Barmanger Giddy Ups
Robert Cline, Jr. - Heart Strings & Highways
Penny Jo Pullus - TeXchromosome
Dewey Lyon - Poster Artist
Jerry Renshaw - Curator Honky Tonk Night

to every musician for his talent and time, all the agents and management companies involved as well as the whole crew at Giddy Ups. Like in the years before we offer you a plethora of different sounds from old-time inspired music to loud contemporary rock - don't like what you hear, take a break outside and on the hour maybe something you've urged for all your life, without knowing it.

Keep in touch with us - below are our Social Media pages - now relax and enjoy some of the finest music in the next five days. !

Website (Giddy Ups): www.giddyups.com

Social Media:
Facebook: 
Giddy Ups https://www.facebook.com/giddyups2000/
Spring Fling Music Festival https://www.facebook.com/SpringFlingMusicFestival/

Streaming Media:
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK7tPVzz-E96ds3AgjXy0rA
Spotify Playlist 2023 - offers you a mix of the artists playing this year: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1j2Cf3T6OHAGy6Qgi85XOU


 
Disclaimer - schedule may change

(This blog will continually be updated as I'm still getting material from artists - so refresh it on your device once in a while.)

Wednesday 3/15

2 pm - 7 pm Heart Strings & Highways 

Robert Cline, Jr. presents 
Monty Russell, Beaux Atkins, Dallas Burrows, George DeVore, Darcie Carlson, and Sheyna Gee 


8 pm - Mark Allan Atwood
South Padre Texas Troubadour Pirate

Website:

Social Media:
Facebook: 



9 pm - Mark Weber & Los Cuernos
Accordion Maestro - Tiempo de conjunto
Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mark.weber.7127

Streaming Media:
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTGlQsFPTSo5rPXXkBSsZlw
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1oS420zfjXIvlhoJzhR9d4

Buy The Music:
Rancho Alegre:  https://shop.ranchoalegre.org/collections/mark-weber-y-los-cuernos


10 pm - Jamie Krueger Group
Austin Blues-Rock

Website: 
www.jamiekruegergroup.com

Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamieKruegerGroup/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamiekruegergroup/

Streaming Media:
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdu2H1ZI_7nDhPBTlUO4cvg
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3hH9oCyIUZNGJHAnsaGaB1

Buy The Music: 11 pm - 421
Blues Rock

Thursday 3/16
2 pm - Mike Miz
Roots Singer/Songwriter w/ new album 4/14

Website: www.mikemizmusic.com

Social Media:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/mizmusic
Instagram: www.instagram.com/mikemizmusic 3 pm - David Quinn
Black Dirt Country w/vibrant vignettes


Social Media: 


Buy The Music:


4 pm - Rachel Lynn
Intimate Austin Singer-Songwriter

Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachellynnmusicpage/
5 pm - Pi Jacobs
Songs so visual, they could be mini-movies

Website:
 www.PiJacobs.com

Social Media:
Instagram: Instagram.com/PiJacobs       

Streaming Media:
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/PiJacobsMusic 

Buy The Music:


6 pm - The Waymores
Country with a Western breeze

Website:
Streaming Media:
7 pm - The Merles
Country with a dash of Western Swing

Website: www.themerles.com

Social Media: 


Streaming Media:
YouTube: 
www.youtube.com/themerles


8 pm - Cody Bolden & The Road Hands
Americana Country-Rock

9 pm - Cast Iron Shoes
High-Energy Folk-Rock


Social Media:
Facebook: https://facebook.com/nikki.salt.965
Instagram: https://instagram.com/castironshoes

Streaming Media:
Spotify: https://spotify.link/fLr96y8i5xb


10 pm - Rochelle  & The Sidewinders
Slithering poisonous Blues 

Website: 
https://www.rochelleandthesidewinders.com/
Social Media:
Facebook: 
Instagram:
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4u6L69zhPoC45YVY1FxqwJ


11 pm - Rock Eupora
Infectious Jingle-jangle Power-Pop

Photo by Whitten Sabbatini

Social Media:

Streaming Media:
YouTube: 
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/55gIFk1GnlkERIGfjJQOjO

Buy The Music: 



12 am - The Minks
Psyche Bloos from new album "Creatures Of Culture"

Streaming Media:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3w28qQqtdb9Jf0wGCtNdKE


Friday 3/17
2 pm - Roanoke
Galloping Indie-Folk Americana

Website: 

Social Media:

Streaming Media: 
Spotify: 
YouTube: 


3 pm - Kyle Newlin Jr.
Singer-Songwriter


4 pm - Kay Miracle  
Healing with Americana Roots

Facebook: 
5 pm - Tommy Moore
Rock Singer-Songwriter

Website: https://www.tommymooremusic.com/

Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tommymooremusic/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tommymooremusic/
 
6 pm - Rosy Nolan
Vulnerable Poet with influences from Hazel Dickens to Lucinda Williams 

Website: https://www.rosynolan.com/

Social Media:
Facebook: 
7 pm - David Touchton 
“The devil sold his soul to me…”

Website:
 
https://davidtouchtonmusic.com/

Social Media:
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/davidtouchtonmusic
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/davidtouchtonmusic

Streaming Media
YouTube: https://youtube.com/@davidtouchton
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2rwiMP7NfE1wcoPLvOJpqf

8 pm - 12 am - Honky Tonk Night
Curated with Jerry Renshaw


Big Joe
Social Media: 

Streaming Media:
2 pm - Rigby Summer
Part Americana, part Okie Red Dirt with a hint of Johnny Cash


Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RigbySummerMusic/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rigbysummer/


Streaming Media:


2 pm - Bovine
(Neil) young and inspired Indie-Folk-Americana trio

Social Media:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bovine_sounds/
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@bovine_sounds

Streaming Music:
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6uOxRCj9qd4E1qAdmLbjOg?si=Hmbv-7J-T_ShZa-dkdMTBA 


4 pm - Billy "Billy Bass" Alford
Pickin' Blues-Troubadour

Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BBB.Alford/

Streaming Media: 



5 pm - Chris Berardo
Americana before Americana was cool
a new album drops this summer

Website: 

Social Media: 
Facebook:

Streaming Media:  
"Old Man's Eyes" Music Fog SXSW https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejceVSkbrNY 
Spotify: 


6 pm - Nathan Hamilton
Awarded Folk-Americana Poet

7 pm - Bentley/Casner Band
Local Favorites, now playing together

"Lost" John Casner
Website: www.lostjohn.com

Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lost-John-Casner-114883838564170/

Sam Bentley

8 pm - Taylor Hunnicutt


Social Media:


9 pm - Medicine Hat
Lonesome Desert Rock

Website:
 
https://medicinehatmusic.net

Social Media:
Facebook: 
https://instagram/medicinehat_theband/

Streaming Media:
YouTube:
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5hP9YSf3ggNW0cOLMiQ3gR



11 pm - Will Travis & The County

Website:

Social Media:
Streaming Media:


12 am - The Prescriptions
H3 = for the Heart, Head & The Hips
2 pm - Cody Welch
Upcoming country singer/songwriter


Social Media:

Streaming Media:

3 pm - Barton Hollow
Americana-Grass 

4 pm - Michael Notarthomas
Country - Singer/Songwriter


Social Media:

Streaming Media:
                          


5 pm - Dewey Lyon & The Divahos
Folk - Americana - Singer/Songwriter




6 pm - Bear Ryan

7 pm - Discount Pills
Versatile - for early morning bicycle rides or orange desert sunsets

Website:
http://www.thediscountpills.com
Social Media: 
Facebook: 
https://www.instagram.com/thediscountpills

Streaming Media:
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/thediscountpills


8 pm - Trashy Annie
Country-Rock'n'Roll with a Garage-Punk attitude

Website: www.trashyannie.com

Social Media:
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/trashyanniemusic
Instagram: www.Instagram.com/trashyannie 

Streaming Media:
YouTube: https://youtu.be/rLotb_QDnrg


9 pm - Rob Bray
Country

Social Media:
Old school country


Social Media:


Friday, September 3, 2021

Dark Matters That Are Detectable - The Stranglers Show Us How-To

I was coming of age when "Peaches" by The Stranglers hit and was hooked. Part garage- and punk-rock and later meandering into synth-pop, but always with a punch and irresistible hooks, the ratters delivered. And now 44 years later, an almost decade-long wait for a new album, The Stranglers are back and I'm still hooked. Next Friday (9/10) "DARK MATTERS" drops and judging from the three so far released teaser singles, we are in for a fabulous 18th album.

And no, it's not really a comeback, and more of putting the icing on top of an almost 50-year long career as one of the leading UK bands.  It is also a celebration of their much-missed keyboarder Dave Greenfield, who succumbed to Covid19 a year ago.

“We had already recorded most of the album with him and during the lockdowns, our only wish was to complete it as a fitting tribute to his life and work. I consider this to be one of our finest recordings,” says the only remaining original member, JJ Burnel. 

 Eight of the eleven tracks carry Dave's signature keys sound and the band added an honest tribute to him with the first single of the album, ‘And If You Should See Dave…’

Even though melancholic in its lyrics

It would be nice to say hello
This is where your solo would go

If you should see Dave

the song has a warm, twangy feel to it and embraces the old friend who helped define the sounds of the band for 45 years. The video, a cruise by all the legendary rock venues of sun-drenched Los Angeles, has also some worthwhile details to discover, be it the disappearing rats or a hint to their fifth album "GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE MENINBLACK," with its instrumental "Waltzinblack" that prominently features Greenfield and served as the opener to The Stranglers' live shows. 

Burnel and Baz Warne, the surviving members finished "DARK MATTERS" remotely during the lockdown with the help of their longtime producer Louie Nicastro. For an insight into the production of the new disc watch the behind-the-scene videos at the bottom of the blog. 
 
"DARK MATTERS" are not only part of our universe, but quite often, especially with the intellect of The Stranglers transcend into other spheres. Without darkness, we could not see the light and vice versa. Not everything can be explained, some mysteries stay in the dark, like the origins of the Easter Island moai for instance that now adorn the cover of the new disc.  

The second teaser single changes pace and some of the electronics with a fabulous Dave Greenfield, embedded into "If Something's Gonna Kill Me (It Might As Well Be Love)" hint at Kraftwerk or even to the Doors' Ray Manzarek. As to the lyrics, we all know that the variables are interchangeable, the Martians can be a metaphor for a rapidly changing environment, for a virus crippling the world, or simply for a fill-in of your own angst. 

You wake me up one morning and the world has changed
It’s war and the Martians have arrived
The world goes in meltdown and I miss you
The world goes in meltdown and I miss you
Earthquakes may happen
And the heavens open
If something’s gonna kill me
It might as well be love

 Even though a two-year-old live version with Greenfield is available on YouTube, a studio version of "This Song" from the new album is the third teaser single. Nottingham Forest football legend Stuart Pearce, a long-time fan of the band, guest-stars as a Bond-like character, trying to escape some free-runners and ultimately realizing that he has to confront them head-on. 
 

 JJ calls "DARK MATTERS" in an interview with John Robb, 

"the most grown-up album The Stranglers ever did with no need to subscribe to anyone's ideas what the band should be."

 Next Friday we can verify that and I'm excited to do so. If "DARK MATTER" is ordered from the band's website, buyers will also receive a special bonus disc a Tribute to Dave Greenfield, containing 8 previously unreleased songs featuring him. 
 
 The Stranglers are also going forward with what they call their 47-stop "Final Full Tour" - originally scheduled for last year - starting in October in Belgium and finishing it up before Christmas in France,  and then in early 2022 with a run-through the UK. Dave will be replaced by one of his disciples that "learned of the Keyboard man's fingertips."

For a full tour schedule and to pre-order the album with the bonus disc, visit The Stranglers' website.  
  
Behind the scenes - the grandiose "White Stallion" and below "Payday"