saturday spotlight: prophets and outlaws

August 29, 2015

there's this place that's like five minutes from my house called dosey doe music cafe. (that's not it in that there photograph... the doe's a heck of a lot cozier.) they have some some pretty good food, yall. but more, they provide a pretty nifty atmosphere for listening to live music.

earlier this week, i wrote an article about the labor day festivities the woodlands had planned; one band scheduled to perform that weekend is prophets and outlaws out of dallas. i had a look at their website and thought they might be worth checking out, but i hate big crowds and most likely will be steering clear of the waterway that weekend. and then i noticed that they had a gig at dosey doe, and tickets were only twelve bucks. i figured, what the hell? why not?

the lead singer, matt boggs, looks like he's in his mid-twenties. he's thirty. for as young and preppy (because i can't find the word i want) as he looks, his voice has got a surprising amount of soul.

i love how the band blends rock, blues and country for its sound. they call it texas soul, and the term fits. the only criticism i can offer is that their lyrics sometimes could be stronger. but then, that's probably just the writer in me.

they've recorded four ep's: wolf howl, wanted, prophets and outlaws and texas home. i bought the latter two and am happy with my purchase. i feel like the self-titled recording is the stronger one, but that's not to say the most recent release isn't noteworthy. i like the folksy feel of texas home. i like the beat of goodbye kiss. and i love the groove of me and my guitar. i drove around for an hour or so after the show was over, just so i could listen some more. and when the last song stopped playing, i was bummed. just like when the band stopped playing their ninety-minute set, i'd wished they'd kept going.

the guys were kind enough to answer some questions for me. i get to post them here! YEE!

matt boggs: vocals, guitar
steven guckenheimer: lead guitar, vocals
james guckenheimer: drums, vocals
jamie "jelly" ringholm: keys, organ, vocals
cj thompson: bass, vocals

how'd yall meet?
mb: i met brothers steven and james at jesuit college prep in dallas. steven first played guitar with me at my senior concert on the jesuit baseball field.

what bands/artists provide the greatest influence?
mb: we love a lot of the music in our scene: william clark green, adam hood, walt wilkins, midnight river choir, etc. but we also love r&b and jazz. dallas band snarky puppy is one of our favorites!
sg: the allman brothers, the eagles and the band had a big influence on the way we play and write. 

where was your first gig? how'd it go?
mb: our first gig as pao as it is presently constructed was at the blue light in lubbock. it was cj's first show with us. we had been a band long before that.
sg: one of our first gigs as prophets and outlaws, and THE first gig for jamie was big d nye. there were over thirty thousand people. let's just say jamie was in after that!

where was your best gig, and what made it so?
mb: our best gig was headlining larry joe taylor's music fest in april. we played the big stage, and the energy was amazing. can't wait to do it again.
sg: playing on the main stage at larry joe taylor this year was great. we got to share the bill with william clark green, stoney larue and josh abbott!

what's been the craziest gig?
mb: craziest gig?? right before our set at larry joe taylor's, extreme weather set in and we had to wait out tornado conditions with everyone in the vip tent. it was scary/memorable.

i've seen a lot of websites push their idea of the ultimate roadtrip playlist, with the typical on the road again, fast car, mustang sally, hit the road jack... i'm not impressed, to be honest. make me a playlist. 
mb: if we are on a long road trip, we might listen to some future-sounding jazz: qwuasimoto, madvillian, tribe called quest or maybe some smoother stuff like bonobo, teddy pendergrass, lauryn hill.
sg: we range from old soul songs to nineties country and everything in between. we spend a lot of hours on the road, so you will hear southern rock, blues, r&b, rap, jazz, etc.

what's been the biggest challenge about being in this band?
mb: the biggest challenge is dealing with our car and trailer. it's a full time job on its own, and none of us are "car" guys. we have gotten a ton of help from jamie "jelly" ringholm's father. he's a mechanic at sewell in dallas. life saver!

what's been the greatest reward?
mb: this might sound like a typical answer, but we love hearing fans sing our songs back to us. even the deep cuts.

how do yall handle conflict amongst each other? 
mb: we fight like brothers. we'll blow up at each other in the moment and smooth things over later. it helps because issues don't build up too bad that way.

what's a typical day like?
mb: day of a show, we meet at our rehearsal space and load our trailer with gear. we then try to stop for food--and not fast food. we love allowing more time and eating a little better. we'll try cafes, barbecue and anything we might find through diners, drive-ins and dives. after load-in, we typically do a harmony practice and warm up our vocals. by the time the show is over, there's only time to tear down and get home.

one of things i like about your music is that it meshes rock, blues and country so well. if you could NOT combine those three genres to make your texas soul... if you could only choose one, which one would you choose? 
mb: country.
sg: soul. 

where's your favorite place to play?
mb: we love panther island pavilion, the kessler, dosey doe.

what's the furthest you've ever gone for a gig?
mb: we've played gigs in denver; mobile, alabama; kansas and new mexico.

you've recorded four cds; which one is your favorite and why?
mb: it's hard to choose your favorite child, but i think we would all agree that texas home is our favorite. not only is it the newest, but it will have three radio singles come off it when it's all said and done.

which song is your favorite?
mb: texas home.
sg: soul shop. it was our first single, and it truly represents the type of music we are trying to create.

random, but not the quarter kind

August 24, 2015

this is one of those posts that i'm doing because i feel like i should post something, but i really don't have anything to say...

the random quarter posts began for this very reason. but i already did one this month. i can't do another one.

so i guess i'll just tell you about what's been going on with me.

my great aunt passed away two weeks ago.

i missed her granddaughter's--my godsister's--wedding that following weekend because the booking company my mother used screwed up our tickets. i could've spent saturday in san diego (bummer).

she got a voucher for their error for less than half the value of the two tickets. she let me use it. it's not easy, using one of their vouchers. it's not like you can go to their website and book the flight yourself and enter some code. you have to call. you have to spend three hours of your time confirming the flight details with a dude who can barely speak english, only to find out that he screwed your flight up, too. so for a second there, i was going to go to north carolina for a week in november (YAY!). but the idiot booked the flight for november first rather than november fourth (fucker). and i can't take ten days off work. at least i'm pretty sure i can't. i've asked my boss. she didn't seem too eager, but she'd said she'd ask.

me, my munkle and the red truck

my family went to utah this past weekend to see my munkle (for those of you new here, my great uncle--one of several older brothers to the great aunt who recently passed and the only brother left alive--is a monk). i did not get to go. part of me is bummed about that. in forty-two summers of going to utah, i've only missed two. part of me is just like my great aunt--not too keen on watching a loved one leaving. and he will be leaving, and soon. i know it. i know it. he walks with two canes now, relying very heavily on them both. from what my parents and brother have said, he's not all there--he's not quick-witted; he'll have conversations with my mother where he'll talk to her about her, like she's someone else. his hands don't work. he's a carpenter, my munkle. he makes the most beautiful things. the fact that he can't make his hands do the making is a source of great contention for him. understandably so. but mostly... what i remember most is the way his face beamed with pleasure and how fiercely he would hold on to me, his arms so much like the carpenter's vise. i don't want to see his face if i can't see it the way it's always been. i don't want to hug him if he can't hug me the way he's always done.

i've been working on five stories. one of them is about a woman and the efforts she's made to raise awareness for the fatal, degenerative, genetic disease that's plagued her son for seven years.

and i have friends who are very sorely troubled by life at the moment.

i need a light. has anybody got one?

. . .

and of course, moments after i post this... browsing my facebook feed, one of my friends had posted this hours before, and i only just now saw it:

you will be nowhere tomorrow where god hasn't been (max lucado).

that's a pretty good light.

random quarter: the q&a edition-august

August 10, 2015

one. do you need a cold shower? no.

two. describe the room you're in right now. office. gray walls and carpet.

three. what do you lie about? lots of things. hello? writer.

four. when was the last time you were on an airplane? july sixth of this year.

five. today you destroyed a box of club minis.

six. who are you? a modern-day miss brill.

seven. what was your last great meal? babin's halibut with lump crab.

eight. write down your last sent text message. you're pretty wonderful, as well.

nine. what are you running from at this moment? wellness.

ten. how many stamps are on your passport? no clue.

eleven. what is your resolution for tomorrow? get through the day.

twelve. what is your favorite thing to do on a saturday morning? sleep.

thirteen. what do you like best about your body today? the freckle on my heel.

fourteen. my body and my brain really bothered me today.

fifteen. in a hundred forty characters or fewer summarize your day. work, errands, shower, play, sleep.

sixteen. what can't you forget? all the ways i've failed.

seventeen. what would you like to tell your father? shouldn't be proud of me.

eighteen. what's the best part of your life right now? job. nights and weekends off.

nineteen. what did have for dinner? six chic-fil-a nuggets and water.

twenty. do you make enough money? yep.

twenty-one. did you complete your to-do list for the day? didn't have one... so, yes?

twenty-two. what question (or questions) do you love to answer? the ones in this book.

twenty-three. what's your favorite piece of clothing? this shirt.

twenty-four. write your recipe for creativity. pour madness into bowl. stir.

twenty-five. when was the last time you worked out? no clue.

the tunes i grew up on

August 9, 2015

the majority of my mother's family lives in colorado. we spent christmases there. and spring break. and summer vacations. i remember trips from my grandmother's house in grand junction to the cabin she owned in basalt. she'd drive her white buick riviera, with mom in the passenger seat and my brothers in the back. we'd listen to her eight-tracks: george strait, john denver, barry manilow, helen reddy and the carpenters.

lately i've been thinking about the songs i learned in my childhood. the ones i favored....

george strait's all my exes live in texas. john denver's annie's song, somedays are diamonds, the cowboy and the lady, perhaps love, san francisco mabel joy. barry manilow's mandy. helen reddy's delta dawn, ain't no way to treat a lady...

i googled the most popular songs of 'seventy-three (the year of my birth) and every year after for a decade. i surveyed google's list of the songs most frequently mentioned on the web for each year, and the ones i liked the best? 

delta dawn (there's a helen reddy version and a tanya tucker version, and i'm pretty sure we listened to them both). annie's song (john denver). send in the clowns (judy collins/barbra streisand). all out of love (air supply). king of pain (the police). owner of a lonely heart (yes). faithfully (journey).

delta dawn, what's that flower you have on?
could it be a faded rose from days gone by?
and did i hear you say he was meeting you here to day
to take you to his mansion in the sky?

she's forty-one, and her daddy still calls her baby.

isn't it rich? aren't we a pair?
me here at last on the ground, you in mid-air
where are the clowns?

isn't it bliss? don't you approve?
one who keeps tearing around, one who can't move
where are the clowns? there ought to be clowns.

just when i'd stopped opening doors
finally knowing the one that i wanted was yours
making my entrance again with my usual flair
sure of my lines, no one is there.

don't you love farce? my fault, i fear
i thought that you'd want what i want. sorry, my dear

but where are the clowns? there ought to be clowns.

there's a little black spot on the sun today.
it's the same old thing as yesterday.
there's a black hat caught in a high treetop.
there's a flagpole rag, and the wind won't stop.

i have stood here before, inside the pouring rain
with my world turning circles, running 'round my brain.
i guess i'm always hoping that you'll end this reign,
but it's my destiny to be the king of pain.

i know there was happier music. i know there was. i'm sure i liked it. but i don't remember it affecting me the way these songs did, even as a child. i knew how desperate some of them were, even then. 

the ones i remember liking the most were denver's san francisco mabel joy--my god, that's a sad story--and manilow's mandy. 

i can't listen to delta dawn now. i feel as foolish as the people in the town make her sound.

thank the lord for older brothers and their appreciation of things like acdc, zz top, van halen and def leppard. and mtv.

the fall film challenge: picky recommends

August 7, 2015

for those of you interested in attempting this great feat, i have for you a list of the one-to-three best examples, in my expert, film-connoisseur opinion, using the links provided in the original ffc post, for each category.

one. any set in new york city. 
hitch. donnie brasco. one fine day.

two. any incorporating hot air balloons in the story.
the count of monte cristo.

three. any featuring a child as the main character.
kramer vs. kramer. home alone. my girl.

four. any disney film.
cinderella. pirates of the caribbean: the curse of the black pearl. inside out.

five. any set in egypt/has an egyptian character/stars an egyptian actor/actress.
night at the museum. night at the museum: secret of the tomb.

six. a close friend or family member's favorite film.
(from the responses i'd received when i'd polled friends and family)
love actually. the princess bride.

seven. any with the word great in the title.
the great raid. 

eight. any starring harrison ford.
star wars: episode v-the empire strikes back. morning glory. sabrina.

nine. any featuring an idiot as the main character.
ace ventura: pet detective. billy madison. tommy boy.

ten. any mentioned in levis strauss' list: denim in the oscars: a look at jeans in cinema.
brokeback mountain. ghost. field of dreams.

eleven. a film about a knight.
robin hood: prince of thieves. a knight's tale. king arthur.

twelve. a love story.
about time. dedication. five hundred days of summer.

thirteen. a movie about something miraculous.
saving private ryan. mr. magorium's wonder emporium. apollo thirteen.

fourteen. any starring an actor/actress with the same first name as yours.
(but of course, this only works if your name's jenn... which is actually pretty common, so...)
a beautiful mind. love happens. marley and me.

fifteen. a film about the olympics.
miracle. the cutting edge.

sixteen. a film on time magazine's list: the top ten newspaper movies.
(actually, i don't like any of'm on that list, so you'll get no help from me.)

seventeen. any with a question in the title.
(and i can't think of a single title for this one, either, that i can recommend. the closest would be who's afraid of virginia woolf? but damn, that's a depressing flick.)

eighteen. any with a score of ninety percent or greater on rotten tomatoes.
star trek (2009). the lord of the rings: the two towers. the bourne ultimatum.

nineteen. a film about a superhero.
marvel's the avengers. 

twenty. any with subtitles.

twenty-one. any incorporating unicorns in the story.
harry potter and the sorcerer's stone. legend.

twenty-two. a film about a personal victory.
memoirs of a geisha. life as a house. the way way back.

twenty-three. a film with black or white in the title.
men in black three. snow white and the seven dwarfs. little black book.

twenty-four. any set in a country you would most like to visit.
(for me, this would be austria)
the peacemaker.

twenty-five. a film set in a zoo.
we bought a zoo. 

the good in my day: july

August 4, 2015

grand junction, colorado. the picnic with the deonier clan in the cemetery (sounds morbid, but it was actually really nice). dinner at the rockslide. lunch, then cards with the cousins. the drive to palisade, alongside the bookcliffs and mount garfield, driving by the house in which my mother's family grew up, and driving toward the monument. pappadeaux's. ashley. aidan. willis. alex. john. brendas. beth. randi rae. jose. jim carey's commencement speech (i watch this often; it's a good one). trainwreck. harry potter and the sorcerer's stone. wendi. brian. luby's fried fish, macaroni and cheese and dinner rolls with land of lakes salted butter. the wonder twins. babin's broiled halibut with crab meat and capers in lemon butter. john williams. shipley's donuts. fresh boxes of crayolas. giant coloring pages. zulee's. heb. massage envy. club crackers.

motion picture monday

August 2, 2015

one. the blind side.
released: 2009.
starring: quinton aaron, sandra bullock, tim mcgraw.
what makes it awesome: sandra bullock got that oscar for it. but really? michael oher's story's a pretty remarkable thing.

two. cinderella man.
released: 2005.
starring: russell crowe, renee zellweger, paul giamatti
what makes it awesome: paul giamatti got that oscar nomination for it. but really? james j. braddock's story's a damned remarkable thing. also, i really liked russell crowe in this movie. the trailer still gives me chills, and i've watched this movie dozens and dozens of times.

three. draft day.
released: 2014.
starring: kevin costner, jennifer garner, chadwick boseman.
what makes it awesome: not kevin costner. not by a longshot. but the cinematography's pretty nifty, and the story's good.

four. fever pitch.
released: 2005.
starring: jimmy fallon, drew barrymore, kadee strickland.
what makes it awesome: jimmy fallon. love that man.

five. for love of the game.
released: 1999.
starring: kevin costner, kelly preston, john c. reilly.
what makes it awesome: now here, costner does good. this is my favorite of his films, hands down. i also love kelly preston in it. this of my favorite of her films, hands down. and the story, yall, is SO, SO good. i love how well-constructed it is. i love how it mixes past and present, and how the past has such a huge influence in the outcome of one game. i love the opening credits. if you haven't figured it out yet, i am a HUGE film geek. i love watching a story start to unfold, and when it's done well, like it is here--with the perfect music and the characters slowly coming into focus... it's just neat. this is a really good movie. almost makes me like baseball.

six. miracle.
released: 2004.
starring: kurt russell, patricia clarkson, noah emmerich.
what makes it awesome: the history. the music. the cast. the opening credits--they're the best ones i've ever seen. but dear god, yall... the story. the triumph.

seven. seabiscuit.
released: 2003.
starring: jeff bridges, tobey maguire, chris cooper.
what makes it awesome: can't stand tobey maguire. can't STAND him. never really been a fan of jeff bridges, either. or chris cooper for that matter. but they're so, so good here. it's a long movie, plodding along at times--but i think that's the point, considering the world was barely plodding along when this story took place. considering that the characters, when their paths cross, are so broken and lost. the music's pretty. the trailer still gives me chills, and i've watched this movie dozens and dozens of times, too.

the fall film challenge: my list

August 1, 2015

one. any set in new york city. the intern.
two. any incorporating hot air balloons in the story. up.
three. any that features a child as the main character. stand by me.
four. any disney film. brave.
five. any set in egypt. raiders of the lost ark.
six. a close friend or family member's favorite film. 
seven. any with the word great in the title. oz the great and powerful.
eight. any starring harrison ford. american graffiti.
nine. any that features an idiot as the main character. a fish called wanda.
eleven. a film about a knight. gladiator.
twelve. a love story. the duff.
thirteen. a movie about something miraculous. cinderella.
fourteen. a film starring an actor/actress with the same first name as yours.
alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
fifteen. a film about the olympics. without limits.
sixteen. a film on time magazine's list: the top ten newspaper movies
seventeen. a movie with a question in the title. dude, where's my car?
eighteen. any film with a score of ninety percent or greater on rotten tomatoes.
how to train your dragon two.
nineteen. a film about a superhero. avengers: age of ultron.
twenty. any film with subtitles. amour.
twenty-one. any incorporating unicorns in the story.
harold and kumar escape from guantanamo bay.
twenty-two. a film about a personal victory. big eyes.
twenty-three. a film with black or white in the title. black mass.
twenty-four. any set in a country you would most like to visit. woman in gold.
twenty-five. a film set in a zoo. fierce creatures.

take the challenge! click here for details.