Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wisteria in bloom

As sure a sign as any that spring is here. Smells heavenly too.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Texas BBQ on You Tube

Once you get past the very strange voice of the History Channel announcer who sounds like a 1948 Movietone newsreel, this nine minute spliced segment of History Channel and Travel Channel footage is pretty good, with plenty of Robb Walsh, who actually looks pretty cool in a cowboy hat and shades, a soundbite from yours truly, some wacky-ass vintage footage, and a nice visit to Lockhart, including what appears to be some pit footage from the time I took the CBS Early Morning Show to old Kreuz' (now Smitty's) back in the early 90s, and a feature on Kreuz'.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Nick Barraclough's Border Blasters

Brother Bill Crawford and I get a few soundbites on this wonderful BBC Radio 4 documentary.
Barraclough came by the house on his way to Del Rio and paused long enough to capture a sound bite of our dog Isaacl barking and describe me as a "liberal Texan" who "bathes in his own creek" before he goes on and does radio in the thorough, meticulous manner common to the BBC that really flatters the medium. Click on the header and Listen up. It's a way cool telling of a way cool border phenom.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Best Dang Map of Texas Ever

Check it

My ol' bud, D.J. Stout, designer to the stars, just did a Texas Designer's Map of World featuring Texas that was inspired by the Texas Brags of yesterday, back when Texans were the Saudi Arabians of the world. The Pentagram blog site has more detailed images and offers a download of the map.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tejano Conjunto Festival, May 6-10

Juan Tejeda, promoter of the best Tex-Mex squeezeboxathon anywhere just announced the May lineup which includes los Hermanos Jimenez, Joel Guzman, Mingo, the Texmaniacs, and all the other stars of the accordion, with a special tribute to El Maestro Tony de la Rosa and the great songbird Lydia Mendoza:

Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center’s 27th Annual

Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio, 2008

Tentative Schedule

Tuesday, May 6/Guadalupe Theatre/Free with Seniors Pass

9:00-11:00am Senior Citizens Conjunto Dance with

Bene Medina y el Conjunto Águila.

Wednesday, May 7/Guadalupe Theatre/$10 per person, or $5 with All Events Pass*

12:00pm Plática and presentation by Dr. Manuel Peña on the History and Social, Cultural and Symbolic Significance of Conjunto Music.

1:30pm Conjunto in Film and Video Retrospective (complete schedule

of films and videos to be screened will be forthcoming).

6:30pm Dr. Manuel Peña reading from his new book, Where The Ox

Does Not Plow/A Mexican American Ballad.

7:15pm Special screening of two conjunto classic documentary films:

“Songs of the Homeland” and “Chulas Fronteras.”

. 10:00pm Special reception with award-winning documentarian and the Producer/Director of “Songs of the Homeland,” Hector Galán.

Conjunto Performance by Santiago Jiménez Jr. y su Conjunto.

Thursday, May 8/Guadalupe Theatre

Workshops on Accordion and Bajo Sexto with Joel Guzmán and Max Baca

(see attached workshop schedule for times and fees).

Thursday, May 8/Rosedale Park/$12 per person*

5:00pm Opening Ceremonies & TCF Poster Contests Awards Presentation

Women in Conjunto Music

5:15pm La Estrellita de San Antonio y su Conjunto

6:00pm El Conjunto Baraja de Oro

6:55pm Dueto Carta Blanca de George y Mague

7:50pm Linda Escobar y su Conjunto

8:35pm “Homenaje a Lydia Mendoza”

featuring performances by Joel Guzmán & Sarah Fox, Eva Ybarra, Santiago Jimenez Jr., Linda Escobar, Rebecca Valadez & Max Baca, Dueto Carta Blanca de George y Mague, El Conjunto Baraja de Oro, Luna Nueva with Tara Linda & Gilbert Reyes, and other special guests.

9:10pm Eva Ybarra y su Conjunto

10:10pm Elida y Avante

Friday, May 9/Guadalupe Theatre

Workshop on Accordion Maintenance, Tuning & Repair with Raúl Moreno.

Workshops on Accordion and Bajo Sexto with Joel Guzmán and Max Baca

(see attached workshop schedule for times and fees).

Friday, May 9/Rosedale Park/$12 per person*

Tribute to Tony De la Rosa: His Style and Legacy

6:00pm Los Tremendos Alacranes

7:00pm Edgar Vásquez y Los Muchachos

8:00pm Boni Mauricio y los Máximos

9:00pm Los D Boyz/Special presentation by Alfredo De la Rosa

10:00pm Cuatro Rosas

11:00pm Bernardo y sus Compadres

Saturday, May 10/Rosedale Park/$15 per person*

Puro Conjunto Pesado: Así se baile en San Anto

11:30pm Presentation by Conjunto Palo Alto, student ensemble

from the Palo Alto College Conjunto Music Program, and

students from the Conjunto Heritage Taller and the

Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.

12:40pm Ariel Johnson y la Klika

1:35pm Los Conjunto Kings de Flavio Longoria

2:30pm Lobo IV

3:25pm Conjunto San Antonio (desde España)

4:10pm Rubén De la Cruz y su Conjunto

5:10pm Los TexManiacs de Max Baca

6:10pm Los Aguilares

7:10pm Joel Guzmán y su Conjunto featuring Sarah Fox

8:10pm Mingo Saldívar y sus Tremendos Cuatro Espadas

9:10pm Los Dos Gilbertos

10:10pm Los García Bros.

11:10pm Flaco Jiménez y su Conjunto

* A discounted three-day All Events Pass for Rosedale Park is $25 for Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center members and $30 for non-members. They can be purchased at the Guadalupe by calling 210/271-3151.

Wanna play? Attend a workshop, learn from a pro, and gain some puro pedo knowledge:

Accordion & Bajo Sexto Workshops

Registration Form

Reyes Accordions, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, and Karlitos Way Accordions are proud to present a series of workshops to help you begin or better your accordion & bajo sexto skills.

Introduction: What will be taught for the two day accordion and bajo workshop.

Accordion: Taught by Grammy Award winner, Joel Guzman. These two-day sessions will teach chords & scales, and easy polkas. Play on stage with students/professional musicians on Day 2.

Bajo Sexto: Taught by award-winning bajista, Max Baca. Learn the basics of playing the bajo sexto – tuning, chord structures, progressions and accompanying basic rhythms.

Accordion Maintenance, Tuning & Repair: Taught by acclaimed accordionist, Raul Moreno.

Accordion: $35.00 per session or $50.00 for the day. Guadalupe Theater.

Bajo Sexto: $35.00 per session. Cesar Chavez Building (across from Guadalupe Theater).

Accordion Maintenance, Tuning & Repair: $35.00 for session. Guadalupe Theater.


Thursday, May 8, 2008




10:00 a.m.

Introduction to Conjunto.

10:30 a.m.

Class outline / Teacher Introductions.

Accordion Session 1

11:00 a.m – 12:30 pm

Beginning Accordion.

Mechanics,scales,chords and learn to play an easy polka.

Accordion Session 2

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Intermediate Accordion.

Learn your favorite tune.

Bajo Sexto


12:30 p.m. -2:30 p.m.

Mechanics: tuning, chords, progresssions & accompaniment.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Tuning & Repair

9:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Basics of accordion maintenance, tuning & repair.


10:30 a.m.

Introduction to Conjunto.

Accordion Session 1

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 pm.

Intermediate Accordion.

Mechanics,scales,chords and learn to play your favorite tune.

Accordion Session 2

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Beginning Accordion.

Scales, chords & learn an easy polka.

Bajo Sexto Session

12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Mechanics: tuning, chords, progressions & accompaniment.

Bajo & Accordion Jam

2:30 p.m. -4:00 p.m.

Test your skills on stage.

Accordionists will be accompanied by bajo students & professional bajista.







Favorite post-SXSW moment

This email:

This may be a strange kind of email to get since we didn’t get to meet in Austin at SXSW but I made it my goal to meet all the important and interesting people attending the festival and you sir, I did not get to meet. So please accept this email as a strange sort of pretend like we met in Texas email and I am now following up our pretend meeting with a “hey” here goes!

Hey Joe!

It was great to [pretend] meet you at sxsw. I am still tired from all the activities but wanted to drop you a note to say Hi and find out how your trip was!

Hope you are well


Saul Colt

Head of Magic

416-481-6946 x228

SXSW Report

OK, maybe I should have done an advance tip sheet before the event, but I learned my lesson a long time ago to quit trying to do everything and catch all the acts I want to see. This post mortem of highlights will have to do.

*The business of music may be in the toilet, but South By Southwest is bigger than ever. The Outsiders have taken over, mainly because there's precious few Insiders left.

*The Tampa Bay hippie party aka Florida Bandango, behind the Yard Dog folk art gallery was rocking, and I don't mean the free Tampa cigars or the alligator chili. I mean neo-primitivist Malcolm Holcombe, ukelele sensation Sylvie Simmons, with the sweetest voice this side of the cane fields, and Ronny Elliot, self-described "aging hippie and do-gooder" who is the story song Bard of T-Bay (and writer of "Valentino's Dream" based on an article I'd written on the producer Huey P. Meaux) who dueted with Rebekah Pulley. Ronny didn't get to sing many of his brilliant compositions but he and Pulley did a haunting cover of Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" in all minor keys that made it all the more haunting.

*Redwalls at the Bloodshot party were a fresh-faced four piece whose shag locks and stage presence suggested like refugees from the Sweet or some such 70s vintage Brit power pop band and whose sonic punch more closely resembled the Beatles (which is a compliment since I usually dislike three part harmonies in that context) or the Hollies. They're pretty great at the club level. Whether it translates into something bigger remains to be see.

*Robert Hardy, author of the new Townes Van Zandt book.

*Willie Nelson/Paula Nelson. Father-daughter duet assisted by Mickey Raphael on harmonica at ME Television was a moment of forever. The two Willie concerts at the Backyard were moments of clarity. Paula has really matured her own over the past three years and is becoming a star in her own right. Kevin Connor rocks for staging this unhyped event.

*Chuck Prophet. I was curious about Chuck and his wife Stephanie Finch and band for several reasons, not the least of which is his songwriting collaborations with Alejandro Escovedo on Al's new record, Real Animal. Prophet's engaging, sorta charismatic and definitely a goofball judging from his white shoes, rolled up jean cuffs, and seventies vintage disco belt. His songs reflect that.
High point: at the end, posing the rhetorical "Who put the bomp.....?" and answering it with the rejoinder, "You did!" And you know, he's right.

*XM Radio's coverage allowed me to hear Salvatore Santana (chip off the old block with an added dollop of Hip Hop), Martha Wainwright (beyond charismatic) and the Ting Tings (engaging boy-girl Irish duo who mix acoustic charm with electronica modernism) on my way to a show.

*Second-hand buzz I trust on acts I missed: Billy Gibbons joining Roky Erickson on stage at the Ice Cream Social; San Antonio's Krayolas, the Tex-Mex Beatles fronted by Hector Saldana and joined by Augie Meyer, King the Vox organ; Freddy Powers' picking session; Motorhead; REM; the Fwends, the Sparrow Quarter w/Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn at St. David's Church ("I cried twice," my spy reported), Was (Not Was), the Resentments at the Saxon, Al Escovedo closing it all out at the Continental.

*Roland Swenson, my friend who is the director of SXSW, made the front page of Friday's Wall Street Journal along with his dot-drawn likeness. The article tried to make the point that now there are no major labels left to paint as the Man, Roland and the directors have become the new heavies, mainly for directing the Fire Marshall to unauthorized, outlaw, and bootleg parties that were allowing crowds in excess of legal capacity. The directors have complained that outside events are negatively impacted official events and putting SXSW at risk. Whatever. I just think it's cool that Roland has achieved dot-drawn status, making him the envy of CEOs and captains of industry.

*The thrilling, come-from-behind 17-16 victory by Clubs/Talent Buyers over the Mixed Media Mongrels for the SXSW Softball Tournament championship Sunday afternoon. Kevin Connor and I called the game for the fans at Monroe "Lefty" Krieg Field. There was some disappointment the Musicians fell short in the semi-finals because the team was loaded with Cowsills. Instead, there were precious few celebrities remaining to witness the championship. I had no idea Kim Fowley was a baseball fan.