LATE NIGHT POST: I AM LITERALLY (well not literally, more like figuratively [but it feels literal])

in between two walls of final projects that are due this week. Yes, my dear readers, the dreaded

FINALS WEEK

is upon us and I’m up to my neck in my third-to-last semester of college’s coup de grâce. However, I have just acquired some information that is bigger than finals week, bigger than the biggest mother ever referenced in a ‘yo momma’ joke–hell–even bigger than the planet Earth itself.

Come March 14th of next year, 2012 (the supposed ‘final’ year of humanity), the Rio Grande Valley music scene is going to be hit by something the likes of which it has never seen. Something of galactic proportions, if you will.

Local ghost promoter Galax Z Bear has announced that he will be having a day-long music event that will feature an eclectic array of ‘nationally-established artists’, which, as cryptic as it is, is pretty exciting. Now, while all of this is really great on it’s own, my favorite part of this little gem of news is this: he’s calling it

GALAX Z FAIR

!
I don’t know about you, but I want to know absolutely everything there is to know about this event. So, here’s what I’ve gathered from this flyer and some related Facebook posts:

-the event will take place at Sofie’s Saloon in McAllen, Texas. This is one of the oldest–if not the oldest–bar in McAllen. The outside area in the back is huge and has motorcycle parts hanging from trees. I remember calling it the ‘Narnia of bars’ from time to time.
-there will be an ‘early bird’-type pre-sale on Tuesday. Tickets will only be $20. I’ve a strong feeling that this will go up a bit once some names from the bill are dropped, so it would be wise to scoop these up while you can. No word of full ticket prices at this time.

This is pretty exciting. So far, Galax Z Bear has proven to bring down some pretty great bands to this neck of the woods. (The Strangeboys, Air Waves, Miniature Tigers, and most recently, NOBUNNY to name a few) I can’t wait to see who he’s bringing down for this event. Space bands? Do those even exist?

I’ll post more information as soon as I get it. Keep your eyes peeled and make The Photon God your browser’s homepage in the meantime. Also add the Facebook Group if you haven’t already. Also, if you hear of anything regarding “>Galax Z Fair, send your tips to thephotongod@gmail.com.

Now, back to my leaning towers of final projects. This goes out to all of my night owls either working on final projects or studying for final exams out there. Courage, friends.
Tijuana Panthers – “Creature”

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SHOW: Miniature Tigers, Sick/Sea, Darm Darm Dudes @ Cine El Rey


Brooklyn’s Miniature Tigers are playing the Historic Cine El Rey Theater in McAllen, Texas tonight. More specifically, 6 hours or so.

Opening for the Mini Ts will be local flavors Sick/Sea and Darm Darm Dudes.

Doors open at 7:30. Music starts at 8. $10.

Miniature Tigers – “Gold Skull”


My Dan Deacon Experience. + Video

I shoot a lot of video, folks. Ever since I purchased my Canon T3i, I’ve been taking it everywhere and shooting everything. Fast forward two weeks and SXSW has taken charge of Austin, Texas and transformed it into a fantastical music experience. I’ve been going every year since 2009 and as luck would have it, this year I had a camera on me. I shot video of every band I saw, even if the lighting in the venue was terrible (Las Robertas, I’m looking at you). So, when I heard that Dan Deacon was going to be playing one show at the festival and that it was in four hours (at the time), I jumped at the chance of getting video of the guy. His performances have been heralded as being on par with religious experiences, so I was eager to be able to capture some of that with my camera.
Unfortunately, I underestimated the amount of people that would be there ‘early’ and ended up standing close to 15 feet from the guy behind a thick crowd of people and only got to actually see him for maybe 2 minutes while he set up his equipment. However, I was well within earshot of his set so I was able to hear everything pretty well. I’ve posted it below, but I recommend that you read the text below it first.


Now, it has come to my attention that I seem to have a running trend with SXSW. Every time I’ve attended the festival, I’ve had feelings for a girl. Each one has been different, and they’ve all meant something dear to me in their own unique ways. I’d go as far as to say that if these girls had not been in my life at the time of my attendance, my experiences would have been significantly different. This has become more and more true with each passing year. So, back to the show. I’m standing maybe 15 feet from Deacon, a sea of people between us, but I can hear everything loud and clear. He played songs I wasn’t familiar with and songs I was familiar with, and at one point, brought the show down to a smooth and slow pace while music continued to play. He started instructing the crowd to place their hands on the heads of the person in front of them. I felt someone place their hands on my head but did not turn around. I was still shooting with my camera so I kept my eyes on the screen. “…and now I want you to think about…I want you to think about the face of the person you love most in this world”, said Deacon. My mind immediately went to the girl back home. “I want you to think about them looking at you, smiling.” I did. I hadn’t seen her since the night before I left for Austin. “Think about the joy that they’ve brought to your life, and how wonderful they are.” I did. I was so happy that she was in my life. She meant the world to me. “And now slowly raise those hands up off those heads, feel that weight off of your body, and let us enjoy this beautiful night!” Hands shot up in the air. Everyone in the audience cheered loudly. I was so happy with the way everything was at that precise moment. Dead tired from the day’s worth of walking from place to place, surrounded by all of these people who shared this experience with me. Everything felt right. I was happy. And with the cheers returned the beat, and the beat grew from sporadic blasts to a constant barrage of sound that enveloped me and anyone within the perimeter. It was, in a word, great. Deacon’s set came to a close with one of his biggest ‘hits’, “Wham City”, and brought to an end one of the best nights of that week for me.

This has been my Dan Deacon experience. I encourage all of you to take the opportunity to see him live if presented with it.


SHOW 2NITE

There’s a fantastic show going down tonight in McAllen, Texas at Cine El Rey.

Twin Sister

Dignan

Moi Je Joue

I’m personally very excited for this show. I hope to see you all there!


SHOWS SHOWS SHOWS

It’s time I mention some upcoming shows going down in my neck of the woods. There are some really great acts coming down for the first time that I’m personally very excited about. And these are all thanks to this new ghost promoter that no one knows absolutely anything about named Galax Z Bear. He popped up out of nowhere and started bringing down some pretty sweet bands to the McAllen, Texas area. Who is behind all of this doesn’t really matter. Let’s hope this trend continues. I welcome this bear with open arms. The shows are as follows:

April 7 – SICK/SEA EP RELEASE SHOW w/QUIET KIDS, COUNTERPARTS @ Cine El Rey

April 28 – WHITE RABBITS w/Special guests @ Cine El Rey

May 6 – JULIANNA BARWICK @ Fallback Records

June 7 – TWIN SISTER w/DIGNAN @ Cine El Rey


Tickets to these shows are available at both Fallback Records and Ambrosia Coffee in McAllen.


Show: MGMT/Tame Impala at Stubb's BBQ

This is the debut post from our guest contributor Roldan Bocanegra! May it be the first of many to come.

(Photo: Mary Rehak)
I arrived at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q at about 3:45 P.M. expecting a pretty big crowd, however, no one was there, and I was one of the first in line. Doors were going to open at 7:00 P.M. Waiting in line for a long time was worth it, though, because I was able to hear both Tame Impala and MGMT do sound check. Both bands sounded pretty good. I could already tell the show would be great.
When doors opened, I quickly walked to the front of the stage and waited patiently for Tame Impala to set up. I’m not too familiar with their music, but I was very pleased with their live performance. Their songs all had really good bass lines, and I liked that they were very instrumental.
Then, it was time for MGMT to play. They walked onstage and the audience went wild. They started off their set list with Pieces Of What from their first album Oracular Spectacular. Other songs they played included Destrokk, Siberian Breaks, and Weekend Wars. After they played The Handshake, they went into a jam, and it was really great. When they played It’s Working, projectors lit up the ceiling part of the stage with psychedelic images. All the songs they played were performed very well, and the only thing I think I would want to change would be the volume of the bass. It was bit overpowering.
Before playing Brian Eno, their last song on the set list, they walked off stage and came back with water bottles and towels. They threw them into the audience and the crowd was really excited. I was even able to catch a bottle of water that Matt Asti, the bass player of the band, bounced off the stage.
The whole audience was impressed when they were done playing, but they all wanted more, so the band came back to perform an encore. They played Congratulations and Kids.
When they performed Kids, only the singing was live, and the music was pre-recorded. Basically, while Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser sang the song and danced around the stage, people were helping get equipment out of the way. While performing this song, Andrew and Ben gave high-fives and shook hands of people in the audience. After performing the song, the other members of MGMT gave high-fives and shook hands as well, and while I was shaking hands with Matt Asti, he fell off the stage. His fall was turned into a crowd surf, though, and he was brought back to the stage by the audience.
Overall, the show was really great, and I’d love to have an opportunity to see them live again.

Congratulations is out now on Columbia Records.

Follow Roldan on Tumblr here.

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Review: The Young Maths' Thank You Goodnight We Are


Rio Grande Valley rock powerhouse The Young Maths have finally brought us their first official EP which follows 2005’s Bodybags demo.

This new four-track EP is titled Thank You Goodnight We Are and was just released today. It was recorded with local producer/recording engineer extraordinaire, Charlie Vela. Also, dig that crazy artwork.

Let us begin. One track at a time.

1. Sheets: It would seem that this track has been revisited and revamped, as it were. The guitars on this song flow really well; epecially after the chorus. You can almost smell the sweat-drenched riffs. The production on this track does kind of drain the song of some of the juice it contained in it’s demo format. This might be me, but this song also sounds a bit ‘rushed’. However, what it takes is immediately replaced and kept in check by bassist Manny Montejano’s swift fretwork and the intense vibe given off by singer/guitarist Robert Godinez’s vocal delivery.

2. Gay Bars: A tale of one particularly indulgent evening in the life introduced by a bass line that can only be described as ‘scarily sexy’. This song introduces us to elements that the band has recently been incorporating more and more in their music. From soothing harmonies to an incredibly strong vocal solo from Montejano, this song showcases the band’s ability to sing. This guitar solo is entering funk territory. One thing I really enjoyed about this song was the subtle and almost ‘lullaby-like’ synth parts near the end.

3. The Science: This song is a perfect example of what to expect at a Young Maths show. Rob’s singing going from intense to crazy, synths, kicking beats from drummer JP Chapa, and chords to kill from guitarist Patrick Garcia. The opening riff alone is catchy enough to set this song on the right track towards shaking hips and bobbing heads.

4: Fingered On The Dance Floor: It’s hard to define one of this band’s songs as a ‘hit’. Almost every single track has the same hypnotic effect on the audience; it makes them dance. However, and I’m putting this lightly: this song shakes floors. Right from the beginning, the loud countdown to madness, this track just emits energy that compels you to ‘cut a rug’, if you will. Backed by the funky bass line, the guitars shine and the beat keeps the ‘party’ in this song going. This track pretty much embodies the concept of ‘fun’.

Now, let’s catch our breath. This EP isn’t without it’s flaws. Luckily, a majority of my gripes lie with the production and not the songwriting. To put it simply, these songs lack a sense of cohesion. Each instrument sounds great on it’s own but together the way the complete recordings sound on this EP don’t do justice to the emotion and intensity that these songs convey in a live setting; these songs have feeling to them that we can’t really hear on this EP. Flat out, this band kick quite a lot of ass. This EP, however, only kicks a fraction of that ass.

6/10

The band will be throwing their EP release show tonight at the Douglas Clark Gallery in McAllen, Texas at 9pm. The band will be selling copies of the EP at the show. I would definitely recommend going to the show if you want to experience this band at their absolute best. Plus, to be honest, you haven’t really listened to this band if you haven’t experienced them live. You can find the flyer on the sidebar to your right.

Plain and simple.

Oh, and one more thing. There have been a few 8bit versions of Young Maths tunes floating around the internet. They were recorded by local electronic artist, You & Me vs. the World a.k.a. Raul Altamirano of White Zebra. I’ve included his version of ‘Sheets’ below as well.
The Young Maths – “The Science”

You & Me vs. the World – “Sheets (8bit remix)”

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