Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. The hard drive in my computer just kicked the bucket, so now I am doing all my computin' on a mac that is held together with duct tape, bubblegum, and hope.

Hope your havin' a hillbilly holiday. Just like Hank 3 and Jr.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More on Indonesian Rockabilly

After my post on RESCUE, the Indonesian Rockabilly band, I did a bit more searching and found an entire rockin' Indonesian "Billie" subculture.

Do you mind if I go ahead and coin the term "Rockabali?" Maybe "Psych

Anyways, the "Bali Billie" scene has its own retro club called th
e Java Tattoo Club, a close-knit group of Billies and bands, and a label and recording studio called Electrohell. What else does a scene need to thrive? Not much. Shit...New Orleans Billies can't even organize that much.

Keep up the good work guys!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Flinging the Poop Back Uphill

I know this is supposed to be an "only music" blog and I want to avoid having it be a stump for my convoluted personal views, but this is something that strikes me so hard that I have got to share.

I recently received a rather nasty letter from a creditor stating, in very unpleasant terms, that certain actions were going to be taken against me should I not do such and such. I have explained to them, on several occasions, the hit that I have received due to the recent economic crisis, and that the majority of money that I receive through the music business and my work in restaurants is solely dependent on others (much more fortunate than me) having expendable income. When they hurt, I hurt, and my creditors do not get paid. Simple enough?

The truth is that I have decided to not be angry at the customer service rep who sent me that less than cordial letter. Instead I (and I wish to suggest that the customer service reps and middle managers of the world do the same) will admit that shit rolls downhill and look uphill to the ones who dealt it.

The person putting the pressure on me to make payment is not acting on their own. They are getting wrenched by their superiors to collect who is then, in turn, getting the dictate by someone higher than middle management to put the screws into customer customer service. On and on it goes... and where shit starts... you soon will know.

The realization to be had in all of this is that if you (the downtrodden little Dung Beetle that you are) keep rolling that ball of filth uphill, you will eventually get to the guy or gal who is the cause of all this economic mess to begin with. Even more startling is that the creator of the turd at the top of the hill, most likely, just received their share of a $700 billion bailout, so that he or she won't be hindered in sending those curly little poops our way.

Now answer me this. When you are busted flat in Baton Rouge (New Orleans actually, but thanks Kris K.), with no groceries, with no gas, with a customer service rep breathing down your neck, and the guy who caused your downfall shows up in a brand new pair of 700 billion dollar shoes and asks you for your last dime; what do you do? My answer isn't appropriate (even for the Internet).

Thanks to the internet, we have the opportunity to become some of the most savvy consumers in our history. Information is continually coming our way so that even the sting of "Capitalism run wild" can be dealt with. We even have the opportunity as the meek of the Earth to do something that so few meek as we have been able to do. ORGANIZE!!! For once, we as a group of downhill turd collectors can start flinging the poo back uphill at the dirt-hole from whence it came. And please, don't simply try to fling it at the monkey on the next rung up from you. Fling if far. Fling it hard. Wall Street, here's mud in your eye.

If you are reading this, Please drop a comment and let me know what you think. There's no need to remain silent on this topic. Drop a line!!!

And lighten the mood...ladies and gentlemen...Johnny Cash

Sunday, November 16, 2008

RESCUE Indonesian Rockabilly

You gotta love this!!! Three kids from Yogyakarta, Indonesia are spreading the message of the Billies in the most unlikely of places with their band RESCUE. We all know about the great rockabilly movement in Japan, but who knew that sideburns and doghouse basses had made a dent that far into the south pacific.

Only thing is, these kids aren't even old enough to grow sideburns. The drummer looks about 10 at most, and the guitarist (maybe 15 yrs old) can play Chuck Berry better than me.

Their only website is their myspace, and there is not a lot of info on the band, but they've already gotten almost 7,000 plays. Stay tuned for more info on these kids as I try to get an interview.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Homework, Regular Work, and Life Gets in the Way of Blogging.

I don't have time for a proper post, so I'd like to post some videos that will warm your soul and make you proud to be a Billy.

You gotta love Hank.

When asked if I'm a Elvis or a Beatles man I answer, "Johnny Cash."

Bob Willis and the Texas Playboys. Western Swing at its best.

The Rockabilly meets Geek Rock with Buddy Holly

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hellbilly Wreckhouse Radio

Here's a great place for the Billies to get their new music fix. Hellbilly Wreckhouse Radio is an Internet Radio Broadcast and a Podcast that has been spreading the sound of Hellbilly, Psychobilly, Rockabilly, and Cow Punk like none other.

Here's the show's Myspace

The show is run by a Barry. Barry has his own blog at The Subculture Collective with the help of Sly who does reviews and interviews (you can also download or listen to the podcasts on the site).

All The Billies would like to personally thank Barry, Sly and Hellbilly Wreckhouse for spreading the good word. Keep it up!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Leveraging Music Tech in a Retro Brand

How many Rockabilly musicians does it take to change a light bulb? Four. One to change it, and three to write a song about how good the old one was.

It is sometimes hard in the world of "Billies" to accept the new ways of the music industry. What we do is a retro art form. We admire the olden' days. Our music was birthed from days gone by during what we view as "a better time" in history. Yet I cannot see how the Rockabilly and Hillbilly world will survive without keeping our minds in the present with our eyes scanning the horizon of the future. Our hearts and the words that they inspire us to write can remain anchored in the past, but we cannot be afraid of technology.

That being said, ANSWER YOUR DAMN EMAILS!!! Opportunity is passing you by. If you don't have accounts on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Posterous, Flicker and a blog- you are missing out. I would immediately refer you to George Howard's concept called "The Straddle" whereby you are leveraging your online presence with your offline. If you have the above mentioned accounts set up, learn to utilize them to their utmost functionality. Find out what other bands are doing and STEAL THEIR IDEAS!!!

No one is accusing you of being lazy by not having a thorough online presence. Your work ethic is probably stronger than most. Most of the "Billie" bands out their tour like the Allman Brothers, and spend more time in the studio than Sam Phillips. However, the online community is here to offer you a chance to work smarter, not harder. You can reach twice as many potential customers with half the effort.

Sounds like a pretty good deal doesn't it?

Remember that technology is what created your sound to begin with. The electric guitar, reverb, and distortion are all technologies that you have come to accept as static pieces of the great "Billy" sound, but someone had to be the frontiersman, adopter, and maven. Don't wait around for the Internet to become another static feature in what you do (it's going to do that, no matter what you do). For once let's be the early adopters.

Lastly, if you need help in this, ask your fans!!! Ask me. Ask anyone in the know. Your fans would love the opportunity to help you. All they ask for in return is access to you.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

All The Billies' Back Catalogue: Link Wray

I hope to cover some historical members of the All The Billies clan on occasion just in case there is someone that you may have missed. You can't build a house without a foundation, and you can't know where you music world is heading without knowing which giant's shoulders you are standing on.

In that light let's talk Link....Wray that is.

The man invented the
power chord and distortion. This goes way beyond simple influence in rockabilly. Without Link there would be no punk, hardcore, metal....well shit, there would be NO LOUDNESS!!!

You can get some Link through this link...and this link.

Whether you've heard of him or not, you've heard Rumble. No Robert Rodriquez or Quentin Tarantino film would be complete without it. The song represents a level of badass that is missing from so much of today's music, and it's such an easy song to play. The entirety of its coolness depends solely upon loud, painful power chords and enough reverb
saturation to flood a stadium.

Here's an expire
ment (and I know all of the true Rockabilly fanatics have done this already, so I'm preachin' to the choir). The next time you are on a road trip, as soon as you hit the interstate put in Jack the Ripper or Rumble and CRANK IT. If you can make it to your destination without getting a speeding ticket or suffering extreme road rage, your life will changed. You will actually know what is cool.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Truckstop Honeymoon Revisited

Truckstop Honeymoon (Mike West and Katie Euliss) has been our choice for our wedding band since Lucie and I got engaged. Despite the fact that we had our first date at one of their shows, they represent to me a loving couple who share a passion for music and each other, and they find a way to make it work through the trials of constant touring and home life. They began their love and career in New Orleans, but were forced to Kansas in the post-Katrina exodus that robbed Nola of so many of its cherished musicians (their journey has been chronicled in the film "I Won't Let the Angels Take You Away," the first seven minutes of which you can find here).

I had tried to contact them on numerous occasions, about being our wedding band, through their MySpace and their website but all to no avail. Knowing that they were playing a show in Pensacola on Halloween, my good friend Jespen took the opportunity to approach them at the show, dressed as a giant banana, and ask them if they were available. Mike graciously gave Jespen all of his contact info as though he was quite accustomed to being approached by booking agents dressed as monkey food.

At their Nola show last Thursday, Lucie and I found Mike standing outside the Circle Bar greeting all of his old friends at the door. I shook his hand and said, "Mike, I believe you were approached in Pensacola by a giant banana who was trying to book you for a wedding on our behalf." He laughed and said that they would be happy to play our wedding, but there may be one problem. They are expecting their third child at around the time of our wedding. He said that as long as the wedding isn't too soon before or after their due date then it shouldn't be an issue.

This level of work ethic is one that I find amazing. The "poor prairie farmer style" ethic that the birthin' needs to be done before the harvest, then plop the kid in a makeshift papoose and get to the gig. This is a far cry from the Madonnas and Angelina Jolies of the entertainment world who can snatch as many children as they can from as many third-world nations as they want with the understanding of "let the nanny handle it." Truckstop Honeymoon may be the last true frontiersmen we have left in this business. If they do play our wedding it would be the third time I have seen Truckstop play with a very pregnant Katie.

The show, by the way, was fantastic as always (apart from the fact that watching a show at the Circle Bar is like trying to watch your favorite band play in the living room of your friends two-bedroom apartment with 150 of his closest friends).

The real moment for me was watching Mike sing about their current plight in Kansas in the song "Wichita".

"Wichita ain't a bad place to be
but it's Wichita that's killing me"

Well, that's just enough to break your heart. You just want to bring them back to New Orleans, give them a place to live and a take care of them for the rest of their lives. As a music lover in the music business (sadly enough, this is a rarity), I personally would go to the ends of the Earth for this band to see that their future in the industry is as fruitful and prosperous as possible. I only hope that someday they will ask me to do so. It would be a true honor. (This is not a pitch)

Thursday, November 6, 2008


"All The Billies" received its first mention on another blog yesterday, and only after an hour of being online!!! 9 Giant Steps gave me some props (here).

I am truly honored by George Howard's mention. He has been the greatest teacher that I have had at Loyola, and the main impetus behind my starting this blog.

Truckstop Honeymoon Tonight!!!!

One of my favorite bands will be at the Circle Bar in Nola tonight. If you can be there, YOU MUST!!! It will be a fantastic night of Vaudvillian Hillbilly.

If you can't be there I will be sure to recap the events tommorrow.


O'Death describes themselves as Gothic Punk Country. I say they are more like Emmit Otter's Jug Band Christmas with The Germs operating the puppets.

The band comes to us from New York City, and their
Broken Hymns, Limbs, and Skin full-length was just released Oct '08. Despite the release of the new album, my favorite recording has been the Daytrotter Session (Here). You must listen to "untitled 1" it's like a bluegrass/klezmer car wreck.

No current tour dates in NOLA yet (tragic), but I'm going to work on that. They did spend some time at SXSW last year.

O'Death MySpace, Official Site

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Honky Tonk Happy Hour

I ran across this group a few months back and thought they needed mentioning. Here's a quote:
"The Honkytonk's a place where civilian clothes, boots, and prarie dresses mingle in sweet harmony. At the Honkytonk, we're singin' sin and redemption, heaven and hell, angels and devils-- that's right ladies and gentlemen: JESUS AND SATAN battle it out for world supremacy right before your very eyes!"

I love that something like this is happening in NYC!! Long Live the Honky Tonk!!
Here's their MySpace

By the way, congrats America for growing enough nads to do what's right. I have never been as proud of our political system as I am today. I am temporarily putting away my black flag and unfurling the American one.

What the hell?

This is the first post for the "All The Billies" blog. First, an explanation of the name. All The Billies refers to Rockabilly, Psychobilly, Hillbilly, and Hellbilly (i.e. All of 'em). I am doing this because I cannot find a blog that features info on these styles of music and they need some representin'. I'm here to move the genre out of the backwoods and into the forefront of the Internet collective. I hope to include reviews, interviews, video, and backlogue info in upcoming posts. I hope to stick to these genres exclusively, however this isn't the only type of music that I listen to so I might be tempted to stray. (but hell it's my blog)

Please be patient as this is my first blog. Give me suggestions, advice, links, and hints whenever you can. I hope this can become something that the "Billy" community can get on and ride!!