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Contrary to state and local
pressures to de-emphasize and de-fund music and arts education, a new NAMM Foundation-funded, nationwide study of 1,000 teachers and 800 parents finds strong support for music education at all grade levels. “Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K-12 Music Education in the United States 2015,” was unveiled May 19 at the National Press Club during NAMM’s annual D.C. Fly-In for Music Education. The study finds that strong majorities of teachers and parents say music education is very important and should continue to be funded, even at the expense of other programs and classes.
“The data couldn’t be more clear,” said Peter Grunwald, President of Grunwald Associates LLC, the research firm that conducted the survey. “Teachers and parents told us repeatedly that music is an essential part of learning, not merely an ‘extracurricular activity’ that can be cut when times get tough.” Credit: According to the survey con- Photo SUMMER NAMM 14 ducted in January-February 2015: Education, 40 percent of high
Seventy-seven percent of teachers and 64 percent of parents agree that music and arts education are “extremely important” or “very important.” Eighty-seven percent of teachers and 81 percent of parents believe children should have a chance to learn to play musical instruments as early as elementary school. Sixty-three percent of teachers and 57 percent of parents believe music education should be a required subject in middle school. “Teachers speak from firsthand experience on what matters to keeping kids engaged in school and learning,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director of the NAMM Foundation. “And nobody is more personally invested in kids’ long-term success than parents. What we see here is that parents and teachers overwhelmingly agree on the importance of providing every child with access to music education in school.” The “No Child Left Behind Act,” passed in 2001, specifically included arts education as a core academic subject. But the legislation also elevated math, reading and other subjects tied to high-stakes tests above other elements of a well-rounded, academic experience, and many school districts responded by cutting back on arts and music programs. The unintended consequences resonated nationwide by 2010, when, according to the U.S. Department of
schools didn’t require coursework in the arts for graduation.
Additional findings from the online survey:
Music education is not seen as a luxury and cuts to music programs are viewed as detrimental to student success: Eighty three percent of teachers and 73 percent of parents say cutting music education is detrimental for students. Parents and teachers would rather cut other programs before cutting music: When asked to perform a drag and drop exercise to identify possible cuts in school funding in 15 different areas, teachers and parents found 12 areas they would rather cut than music. School and district administration, standardized testing, athletics programs and even advanced placement classes were all identified as better areas for budget cuts than music education. Minority parents are strongly committed to music education: AfricanAmerican (76 percent) and Hispanic parents (75 percent) are more likely than Caucasian parents (67 percent) to enroll their children in school music classes where opportunities exist.
The NAMM Foundation has outlined 10 steps for parents, educators and policymakers to consider:
Adequately fund music and arts education for all children. Require student participation in music education in middle and high school. Increase awareness that federal law already designates the arts as a core academic subject. Ensure that every student who wants to play music has access to an instrument of choice and can take it home to practice. Close the opportunity gap by reducing disparities in music education so that all schools, geographic regions and demographic groups have equal access to quality music education. Provide professional development opportunities to all music educators—and consider integrating music into professional development for all educators. Increase the scope of all elementary school music programs to include instrument instruction, music theory and composition. Increase awareness among administrators, teachers and parents that
Title I monies can be used for music education—increasing the number of programs that use these funds for music education. Join the SupportMusic Coalition and align with other teacher and parent groups to ensure all children have access to quality music education. Conduct additional research to understand perceptions of music education. “We have countless examples including the recently released Turnaround Arts’ research, where we see overall school improvement following an infusion of the arts,” said Luehrsen. “It is our duty to prepare students for the future by equipping them to make contributions to our society and adapt to future economic realities. This study shows that parents and teachers get it – a complete education includes music and the arts. It’s up to us, all of us, to assure every child has access to quality music education in schools.”
# # # About NAMM Foundation: The NAMM Foundation is a non-profit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 9,900 members around the world. The NAMM Foundation works to advance active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting About Grunwald Associates LLC: Grunwald Associates is a full-service research and consulting firm whose work has informed the debate on a range of national policy issues. Grunwald offers an in-depth understanding of education and innovation, combined with mastery of state-of-the-art research methodologies. The firm specializes in challenging public and proprietary assignments for nonprofit, corporate and government clients, including studies on education for PBS and with the National School Boards Assn. (NSBA), among others.
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CUCKOO’S NEST J. Michael Dolan (:27) “I mean—hell, I’m surprised how sane you guys all are. As near as I can tell you’re not any crazier than the average asshole on the street!” —Jack Nicholson’s character rants on the other patients in the ward. There’s a reason you like hanging out with the other crazies in the ward, it’s because you’re nuts too! You’re crazy because of that freeflowing, non-stop stream of ideas, brainstorms, videos, melodies, rhymes, beats, money-making schemes and bright ideas that flow in directly from the divine ethos and invade the sacred space between your ears. It’s a constant download of creative inspiration that has never stopped and never will! Others don’t have it. In fact, others often see you as scattered, unfocused and pensive. That’s because they don’t get it! They’re the ones who ask: “Where did you get that great idea?” How did you come up with those lyrics?” What possessed you to start that project?” “What makes you think you can change the world?” You’re nuts because while others struggle for the right answers, you’re content living in a world of endless possibilities, and people just don’t get that. Not even your therapist gets it— unless she’s crazy too! Truth is, only other crazy artists & entrepreneurs really understand what it’s like to be an independent, creative, risk-taker. That’s why we love talking, sharing, arguing and hanging with other A&E’s. There’s a common camaraderie there. It feels like “home” when we’re in the company of other crazy artists & treps. So admit it—you’re nuts! Stop questioning and doubting your sanity, and finally give yourself permission to be the crazy creative genius that you are—no matter what others think! * Ripped off, rewritten and plagiarized from a blog I wrote a few years back.
WHERE’S THE BOTTLENECK? J. Michael Dolan (:19) 1. You’re not ruthlessly committed. 2. You’re in over your head and afraid to admit it. 3. You overestimated the time and underestimated the cost. 4. There’s a deeper, uncommunicated issue going on. 5. You’re stuck that it has to turn out a certain way. 6. You’re too proud to hire a coach to help move things forward. 7. Blaming the technology no longer holds water. 8. You're still trying to prove something. 9. You buy the story: “this is happening for a reason.” 10. You really believe there aren’t enough hours in the day. 11. Your fear of change is slowing the progress to a crawl. 12. You insist that others are slowing the project to a crawl. 13. You don’t know what to do, so you do nothing. 14. You continue to allow procrastination to rule the day. 15. You actually believe that the answer to your bottleneck problem is not on this list.
TOUGH CHOICE J. Michael Dolan (:09) It’s all about making choices and decisions, every single day. Not the simple petty ones, the hard ones. The ones you resist the most. The ones that could really make a significant difference. Continue to make well-researched, intelligent choices and you could find yourself living a good life. Cower, and you may find yourself stuck in the rut of mediocrity and wishful thinking.
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MUMFORD & SONS
WILDER MIND GOTR/ISLAND/GLASSNOTE BY JOE MACK, CURRENTLAND JUNE 2015 D+ Marcus Mumford and company have continued on their musical journey, but unfortunately have struck out with their latest effort, Wilder Mind. They once put out good records and will likely put out good records in the future. This attempt to electrify their sound and capitalize on their popularity feels desperate and disconnected.
BREEZY RODIO SO CLOSE TO IT (WINDCHILL RECORDS ) By RICK BOWEN
THE MILK CARTON KIDS MONTEREY (ANTI RECORDS) By ROB DICKENS The Milk Carton Kids are Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan. Kenneth plays a 1954 Martin 0-15 and Joey a 1951 Gibson J45. On record and on stage, they sing and play in a delightful unison that’s incredibly beautiful to behold, with magical, gentle harmonies and delicate, interwoven guitar work. On the two occasions I’ve seen them perform live, they have been incredibly amusing, with freeflowing anecdotes and wry observations that seem completely spontaneous, as if thinking out loud. An extraordinary combination of brilliant musicianship and knee-slapping humour – such endearing entertainment. The duo’s 2013 tour of Australia featured in my best shows of the year. Their debut record was very well received indeed and the two years since the release of The Ash & Clay have been heady ones for The Milk Carton Kids. They have been featured in the outstanding documentary “Another Day, Another Time”, won Duo/Group of the Year at the 2014 Americana Music Awards, captured a Grammy nomination and performed at the prestigious Newport Folk Festival. Monterey, released in May 2015, was recorded, mixed and mastered by Pattengale. The songs were recorded between McDougall United Church in Edmonton, Alberta, James Hall in Vancouver, British Columbia, The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, and the breathtaking Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Almost all songs are by The Milk Carton Kids – except “Secrets Of The Stars” a duo co-write with Sarah Jarosz, and “Monterey” (Pattengale alone). “Asheville Skies” is a beautiful beginning, with aching regrets: I’d love nothing more than to cover my face Forget who I am and get out of this place Pretend to be somebody other than me And go on living that way “Getaway” is another sad and splendid canvas, about childhood scars (running away doesn’t mean a getaway), with a
father’s parting words offering perhaps some clarity and maybe even hope. The title track “Monterey” is an ode to life on the road “someone’s sure to hear how loud we sing” and what is left behind. “Secret Of The Stars” is more spritely than what has preceded while “Freedom” is strongly focused on war, violence and weapons – “Hear the sound of screaming, that’s what freedom sounds like now”. “High Hopes” injects some pace and a little optimism into the collection, or is there sly irony at play here? “Shooting Shadows” is another disquieting narrative to what’s gone and “City Of Our Lady” contains more beautiful, entwined vocals and guitars. “Sing Sparrow Sing” is a solo lullaby while “Poison Tree” reverts to the underlying musical feel throughout the album, this time opining about life and impending death in a small town. Monterey, the duo’s third full-length release is not radically different in musical vibe to what has been presented before. In this case, the songs were written on the road and recorded there. They now sing and play together like there’s an inexorable bond between them, akin to identical twins finishing off each others’ sentences. You will be enthralled by the close, lovely harmonies and interlaced acoustic guitar which are front and centre. In fact, I doubt there is another voice or instrument on the album, with the duo’s selfsufficiency even extending to its recording and mixing. The technique which continues to be used here is flawless and, even if some of the songs don’t particularly stand out, there’s always enough to absorb – a guitar embellishment or harmony recalibration – and draw you under the gentle and intricate spell of The Milk Carton Kids. THEMILKCARTONKIDS.COM ROB DICKENS is a freelance music writer and blogger based in Melbourne, Australia. WWW.ROBDICKENS101.COM
Once you get past his accent and get over wanting him to shout out “I’m a wild and crazy guy,” like one of the Festrunk Brothers from SNL, you realize Breezy Rodio has put together a serious, real deal blues album. Rodio immigrated to the states at an early age, fell in love with the guitar and Blues music as a teen, then worked his way to Chicago where he apprenticed with veteran bluesman Lindsey Alexander, who showed him the ropes and helped him establish his own band and become a staple of the windy city scene. His ambitious third release ‘So Close To It, out February of 2015 on his own Windchill records has seven new songs and eight carefully selected covers presented with an authenticity bordering on a tribute album. The sound is pure Chess Records with great playing from Light Palone on upright bass, Lorenzo Francocci on drums and Sumito “Ariyo” Ariyoshi on piano making up the core and sax man Bill Overton and Chris Foreman on organ adding color in support of Rodio on tight Telecaster.
B.B King staple ‘When My Heart Beats Like A Hammer,’ opens the records setting the tone. The title track mixes tempos and styles to make a statement about critics of The Blues and Electric Guitar playing disguised as a relationship song. Billy Branch is the first special guest to make an appearance, blowing harp on the Chi-Town inspired shuffle ‘Walking With My Baby.” Rodio’s “Time To Come Back,”grooves like a Ray Charles classic. Joe Bar and Carl Weathersby trade vocal lines with Rodio on the twelve bar “The Day I Met You,” then Lurrie Bell takes it over for “I Win Some More.” Real blues fans should get close to this record. WWW.BREEZYRODIO.COM RICK BOWEN is a freelance music writer based in Washington. WWW.NODEPRESSION.COM
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LAUGH ATTACK! CHUCKLES COMEDY CLUB PRESENTS... CHRIS KATTAN!! July 15 & 16, 4 Shows! Tripp’s Ultimate Comedy Club & Humor Bar, Canyon Lake July 17-19, 5 Shows! Chuckles Comedy Club, Corpus Christi July 22 & 23, 4 Shows! Cine El Rey, McAllen
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"Starting in Amsterdam, the tour will then head to the UK and Ireland to play arenas in Birmingham, Manchester, London, Glasgow, and will culminate in Dublin." The Amsterdam date, at Heineken Music With Dale Ma tin Hall, takes place April 20, 2016 and Waylon Jennings is one the tour concludes in the Republic of the most iconic artists to of Ireland's capital city on May 4th. ever come out of Texas. The Grammy-winning group's Starting out in Lubbock with London date, on May 1st, will take Buddy Holly as a mentor, place at the O2 Arena, very close to he was well on his way to a the O2 Empire in Shepherd's Bush career as a professional musiwhere Natalie Maines made her cian. As bass player in Waynow famous remark about thenlon’s band, he was there on President Bush and the impending that fateful night of the plane Iraq War. In 2006, they released crash that took the life of “Shut Up and Sing,” a documenHolly, Richie Valens and tary about the widespread boycott The Big Bopper. Jennings of their music at country radio. almost quit music after that They also released their final album but finally put together a that year, the excellent ‘Taking the band and moved to Phoenix, Long Way Home.’ It earned them Arizona. After several years five Grammy awards, including playing to packed houses in Album of the Year. In 2010 they the southwest, he took his toured with the Eagles, and sisters band to Nashville and audiMaguire and Strayer formed the tioned for Chet Atkins at Court Yard Hounds duo. Each RCA Records. Atkins quickly year since then, they have played a signed Waylon but tried to few select dates as a group, with change his style like he did Maines releasing her solo rock LP, with Willie Nelson. After Mother, in May 2013. Court Yard Hounds reyears of one night stands in dumpy beer joints leased their second album, Amelita, two months across America, Jennings finally convinced Chet later. Hopefully the band will continue the tour to let him record an album with his band and his and bring it home to America. They are a great songs. The rest is country music history. Jennings band and I think it’s time we all realize that music is credited with having the first million selling is one of the greatest healers there is. album in country music when he released ‘Wanted: The Outlaws’ in 1976. To celebrate his Last but certainly not least, let’s talk incredible legacy, an all-star concert is planned about the most exciting new band at last month’s for July 6 in Austin at the ACL Moody Theatre. CMT Music Awards. In the middle of all the rap, Many musicians will join forces for a special pop, bro-country, reflector shades and ball caps, show titled “Outlaw: Celebrating the Music of one band displayed an original sound and look. Waylon Jennings.” Tickets are on-sale now at Though they aren’t from Texas, they should be. (877) 987 – 6487. The all-star show will feature I’m talking about the band A Thousand Horses Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Toby Keith, from South Carolina. They have the current Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Ryan BingNumber One single, ‘Smoke,’ on the Billboard ham, Sturgill Simpson, Jamey Johnson, Lee Country Airplay chart. They just released their Ann Womack, Chris Stapleton, Robert Earle debut album, ‘Southernality,’ on Republic NashKeen, Allison Krauss, Billy Joe Shaver, plus ville. Produced by Dave Cobb, the record is a Waylon’s widow Jessi Colter and son Shooter muscular mix of radio country and Southern Jennings. The concert will be taped and filmed rock, which has earned them the title of the ‘new’ for future release. Proceeds from this show will Lynyrd Skynyrd. Since forming in 2010, A go to the United Way and will be earmarked for Thousand Horses have grown from four guys to the Texas residents affected by the recent Memoa group of ten, including drummer Ryan Scarrial Day floods. borough, keyboardist/fiddle player Brian Purwin and three backup singers: Morgan Hebert, It’s been awhile since we’ve heard Kristen Rogers and Whitney Coleman. The from the Dixie Chicks, the best-selling female result is a dynamic stage show similar to band of all-time. In a recent press release, they Skynyrd’s 1976 tour line-up. "Having the fiddle have announced that they will return to the conand keys player, and the girls, was something we cert stage in 2016. Fans that want to catch one of always wanted to do," explains lead singer Mitheir shows will need to have a passport though, chael Hobby. "They are such incredible singers since the tour will take place overseas. Singer and musicians, and everybody feeds off everyNatalie Maines, guitarist Emily Robison one's energy. When I hear them in my ears, it Strayer and fiddle player Martie Maguire anfires me up." The band will be playing a lot this nounced on their website that they'll embark on a summer, opening for Darius Rucker through European tour in 2016. The website post states September and already have their fall mapped "Superstars, renegades, innovators, heroes, vilout, including a headlining show at Billy Bob’s in lains, and moms, for over a decade, the Dixie August. Trust me; you will be seeing a lot from Chicks have grown from a band into a phenomethis band in the future. non, with over 30 million albums sold." It then lists all the destinations on the upcoming trek. www.martinsmusic.com
If the thought of smoking meat and fish conjures up images of heaps of hardwood, a large smokehouse, and a big investment of time and cash, think again. You can start small with this simple homemade claypot smoker that assembles quickly. Begin this weekend project with a shopping trip for readily available materials, or by rooting around at home for spare parts. So, find your materials, lay out your tools, and let’s get cooking — outdoors. How to Build a Smoker 1. Purchase materials. Follow the materials list below. Because you’ll acquire parts to build this homemade smoker from a variety of sources, measure as you go and purchase the parts in the following order: • Electric hot plate. The smaller,
From MOTHER EARTH NEWS, by Spike Carlsen
the better, but make sure it runs on at least 1,000 watts to maintain the temperature required for smoking meats. • Clay pot. The bottom must be large enough to accommodate the hot plate and control knob, with a little room to spare. • Grate. You can find a grate at hardware stores or online. The one you choose must be of the right diameter to nestle inside your clay pot about 1/4 of the way down the sides. • Cover. Find a pot tray or a clay pot that will fit over, inside of, or directly on top of the lip of the larger pot. The cover should create a decent seal and not be prone to sliding off the larger clay pot. • Handle. Make sure the handle assembly hardware will work with
the cover you chose. 2. Drill a hole. Use a masonry or glass-and-tile bit to drill a hole — or enlarge an existing hole — in the bottom of the large clay pot for the hot plate’s electrical plug to pass through. To minimize the chance of damage as you drill the hole, cradle the pot on a bag of sand for support. 3. Assemble a handle for the lid. Use the eye bolt, bolt, washers, nuts, and a 6-inch length of wood or wood dowel. Drill a hole in the bottom of the clay cover for the handle assembly. 4. Test-fit the parts. Position a few 2-inch-thick brick or patio block scraps inside the pot to prop up the hot plate for air circulation. Place the pie pan for wood chips on top of the hot plate, insert the cooking grate, and then add the cover. When everything fits, you’ll be ready to start smoking. Prop the pot on three bricks or patio blocks. If your cooking grate wobbles or tilts, create three support lips for the grate to rest on using dabs of silicone caulk on the inside of the larger pot.
Meat Smoker Materials List Electric hot plate, 1,000 watts or greater Clay pot, 12-inch to 16-inch diameter Smaller clay pot or tray for lid Circular cooking grate, sized to pot interior 5 to 7 pieces of 2-inch-thick brick or patio block scraps Metal pie pan Oven thermometer with range up to 220 degrees Fahrenheit
For handle assembly 1 eye bolt, 3/8-inch or 1/2-inch x 6-inch, with 2 washers and 2 nuts 1 bolt, 1/4-inch x 2-inch, with washer and nut 1 wood dowel for handle, 6 inches long
5. Get smokin’. Position the smoker outdoors on a noncombustible surface in a sheltered area. On the trial run of my homemade smoker, a 5-pound brisket took 4-1/2 hours to get to the recommended internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Some trial and error will be required to find the hot plate setting that will keep your DIY smoker within the desired temperature range — between 210 and 220 degrees. Use gloves to handle the hot components of your smoker, and keep curious kids and pets away from the designated smoking area.
Excerpted from MOTHER EARTH NEWS, the Original Guide to Living Wisely. To read more articles from MOTHER EARTH NEWS, please visit www.MotherEarthNews.com or call (800) 234-3368 to subscribe. Copyright 2015 by Ogden Publications Inc.
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By Tamma Hicks STEAM Magazine Photo Credit: Unknown
doing some of the voice today for Hotel Transylvania 2; which will be coming out in October too. I play “Cakie” and have a split personality.
STEAM Well, I knew you do a lot of stand
up shows and are on ABC’s The Middle, but I didn’t realize you were so busy.
CK Yeah, for a while The Middle wasn’t letting me have time off to do other work, but I found a way to make that happen and now I’m devel-
Hi Chris! This is Tamma with STEAM Magazine.
CK Hi! Oh, can I call you back in like 5 minutes?
STEAM Um, sure. …Tick tock, tick tock…
CK Hi, how are you?! STEAM Doing well. So I figured out why you hung up and called back.
CK You did? STEAM Yes, you were giving me a few minutes to get over my star-struck-ness.
CK (laughing) I don’t think so. But you needed exactly 22 minutes, huh?
STEAM Yeah, you’re good. So we have something in common. We both went to high school in Western Washington.
CK Oh, really? What school did you go to? STEAM Mountlake Terrace; we’re north of Seattle.
CK That’s cool, I went to Bainbridge Island. Not too far apart if you take the ferry.
STEAM So do you go to Washington to
there but I was pretty bold and fearless when it came to comedy in school. I wouldn’t make fun of anyone except the teachers. I was never was mean or callous. I performed at the school pep rallies. One time I was Bono, once I was Robin Leach from the Rich and Famous TV show.
STEAM So you’ve always known you’d be in comedy?
CK I always hoped I’d be in comedy. I had
a few other gifts that my family thought I should have followed, because comedy and show business has much more of a risk and emotional toll – you have to be able to deal with a lot of rejection. But anyway, I was very good at drawing and when I was 7 or 8 I had a couple comics published in a psychology magazine, so they thought that might have been a direction I should go. I really liked animation, drawing comics – like the old stuff, like from the 40’s and 50’s. I had really thought about being an animator.
STEAM Animation, huh? Weren’t you just in an episode of Jake and the Never Land Pirates?
CK I was. I was King Zon-
go, king of the monkeys. I never thought “ I don’t know what hap- about CK That’s funny. I just got back from a Father’s Day pened; if my mouth got doing cartoon visit. I spent five days up smaller or my fist got voices, there and you know it was but here bigger. “ in the 80’s with beautiful I am blue skies the whole time. and now I’ve got the So how’s the weather in Corpus Christi? lead role in a new STEAM Hot, muggy, and beautiful. Warner Brothers cartoon series, Bunnicula; CK Yeah, one of the things I remember is half bunny, half Dracuthat when you’re inside, like at the hotels, la. It’s based on a the windows would get steamed up. And popular children’s you wouldn’t be doing anything, except book and should start maybe heating up a pop-tart. airing on Warner STEAM So were you the class clown in high Brothers in October. school? STEAM That’s CK Yeah, I think. It sounds kind of corny great! My daughter but I wanted to be the class clown because I will be excited; always wanted to be on Saturday Night Live she needs a new when I was a kid. I felt that if I wasn’t the show to watch. class clown then I wouldn’t make it being CK Yeah, and funny ever. actually I was I don’t know if I was really the funniest guy visit? Or are you a grey sky, rain hater?
Chuckles Comedy Club Presents Chris Kattan! July 15 & 16, 4 Shows! Tripp’s Ultimate Comedy Club & Humor Bar, Canyon Lake
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oping my own show. I get nervous talking about what’s in the can so I’m not going to talk about it anymore. You know show business is very unreliable and the best thing is to be on a show with a contract. But like on SNL you could be booted off any week, so every time you do a show and aren’t that good there’s no reason for NBC to hold back from just firing you.
STEAM That’s kind of scary. CK It is scary, but it also makes you better. Keeps you on your feet. …munch, chew, munch…
STEAM Are you eating lunch? (laughing) CK I am. I’m eating chicken. A big fried breast. There’s a place here called Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles. And oh my God, so good!
I haven’t really gotten into the whole chicken and waffle thing down here. I still crave some of the regional foods from the Northwest, mostly the seafood.
CK Yeah, I guess chicken and waffles is a Southern thing, huh? So what’s the best fish down there?
STEAM Personally I like Black Drum. It’s a
really good eating fish. You know Mesquite Street Pizza and Pasta is serving seafood and steaks now.
CK Really? That’s great! STEAM Ok,
back to work. What other projects do you have going?
I just did Ad-
am Sandler’s The Ridiculous Six; which is a cowboy, western movie with a great cast. I think it’s coming out around Christmas. It’s a really fun movie, you know with cowboys, Sandler, and all. … This must have been muffled… STEAM Do you like horses? CK Yes, we had horses. That’s a weird question. No, we made them out of Legos. STEAM No… do you like horses? (laughing) CK Oh. Yeah, I’m sure I would like them more if I knew how to ride them without saddles, or just talk to them, or run with them in the wild all bareback and all. I did get to do a thing with the horse where I had to tell him what to do without actually talking to him. And I will say that when I was a little kid in grade school I had an idiot friend that told me to walk behind a horse and when I did I should slap it on the butt. I was one of the gullible kids and obviously that horse kicked me very hard and I flew a ways, so that was my big experience with horses. STEAM Wow (laughing) Like I said I didn’t realize you were so busy and yet you still find time for stand-up. Do you enjoy it? CK I like doing stand-up when the crowd is good and wants to have fun, which is usually the case for me. But yeah, I love doing it. I love when the crowd laughs and I’m having a good time and they’re having a good time. I have a set, but I tend to veer off and
discover things depending on the audience. I like to keep everything fresh; I don’t want to be predictable.
STEAM When you’re done with your Texas Comedy Tour are you headed for more stand-up shows? CK No, I’m going right back to LA for work. Oh, I’m also working on an autobiography of my time on SNL. It’s an honest and truthful look at my time and the funny parts are there, but I chose not to write about being funny to be funny. I really think Steve Martin’s autobiography was great and I went along those lines to tell the real story and interesting stuff. STEAM So when you meet people, do they expect you to be funny? CK I don’t know. That’s a question for you. I guess that yeah they expect me to be the comedy guy always and people can get very angry when things are just real. It’s very strange how that can happen too. Like I’m talking about a normal, everyday situation and I make a real comment and someone yells out, “You suck” or something, so I go back to my gay hairdresser imitation. STEAM Speaking of imitations, how do you decide who you can imitate? CK A lot of the characters I did on SNL really started when I was with the improv group The Groundlings. Usually it starts out that you either look like someone or you sound like them, so you’re half way there. Then you do your funny version of that person. We really end up doing impressions of their caricatures. Not really accurate,
because we pull from all the funny things they do or say to build our character.
STEAM Well I don’t remember seeing a caricature of gay Hitler! (laughing) CK That’s not even close to accurate! That came from a book where the author believed that Hitler was a homosexual. And I came up with “Sprechen sie dick!” (laughing) STEAM I love that character! Ok, so I have just one more question… How old were you when you figured out you could stick your fist in your mouth? CK (laughing) I think I was 7 years old.
STEAM Do you still do it? CK I haven’t done that in a long time and no I can’t do that anymore. (laughing) I don’t know what happened; if my mouth got smaller or my fist got bigger. Which is really a bummer ‘cause it was just so attractive. STEAM Oh yes, I’m sure that’s what won all the girls hearts! CK Oh yeah, and it’s also one of the things I would do when I was with my pet horses. They love it, it’s how we communicate – I put my fist in my mouth to say “hello!”
STEAM Magazine’s Spotlight
joyed those guys. They’re sweet, they’re humble and they take the time to talk to you.” My biggest thing is to gather new fans everywhere we go.
What are your goals for this band?
By Audry Ocañas
Matt: Short-term goals are to put a new single out. The single out right now is called “Dance All Night” and it’s on the radios. It’s being played in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Washington, Rhode Island, Chicago, and all over Texas; 33 stations in Texas, I believe. After that runs dry, we’ll move on to the next single which is “All Gone.” After that, we have one more. After that, the goal is to get a big record out, new venues and new cities. To be on the road, establish our name and be proud of the Rio Grande Valley.
If you could spend a day with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Matt and the Herdsmen are
a country/rock band from small town, Edinburg, Texas with big goals. Formed in late 2013, that band has already booked nearly 100 shows and performed in Colorado, Oklahoma and all over Texas. Locally, they perform from one end of the Rio Grande Valley to the other with stops at McAllen, Harlingen, Brownsville and South Padre Island to name a few.
have already opened for musicians like Toby Keith, Jack Ingram and Peyote Hill. Their debut album, Small Town Stories, was released last year and the band shows no signs of slowing down. How long have you all known each other? Matt(Castillo, Lead Vocals): I think everybody here has a different level of knowing each other. For instance, I’ve known these guys for 19 months, only because I didn’t know them before. [We were] strangers when we got started. The ones that have the most history are Bets and Ruben. They’re the ones that have
learned on the electric bass onto the most history of playing togeththis type of country music. er, a church band and stuff. I’ve known my roadie, Ryan (Perez), Matt: My musical influences have for 12 years or so… varied from new school to old school. I remember growing up, BAND: 12 years?? I thought it was my mom had cassettes of old 20 years! 23 years! school counMatt: (laughs) Yeah, I guess “...Now with social media, try and some Garth Brooks it’s in the you’re able to explore new stuff and I twenties. We think that’s went to elebands that you’ve never what got me mentary school and heard of, I mean thank God started a little bit of enjoyhigh school for YouTube.” - Matt ing country together then because his he went off old stuff like the Rope In The and did his own thing and then he Wind Album. I used to put that on came back and joined the band. a lot and I’m pretty sure my mom And he’s happy to be doing what got tired of it but it opened the he’s doing. The rest of the guys, door to country for me. As I got though, [we’re] going on 20 older, my taste in music kind of months… changed. I got introduced to the Beto(Cavazos, Guitar/Background Randy Rogers Band: Live at Billy vocals): I’ve known Ruben for a Bob’s Texas CD and that’s when I few years now. What would you kind of thought, “What is this new say? country kind of rebel, play-what-IRuben (Cantu, Drums) and Beto: want, say-what-I-want kind of (in unison) Four years. feel?” That kind of opened the door even more. And now with Beto: Awww he remembers! We social media, you’re able to explore used to play in a Christian band new bands that you’ve never heard before for a while and then [Matt] of, I mean thank God for contacted me to play country. YouTube. So influences vary from Daniel (Salina, Bass): I’ve known Garth Brooks to George Strait to these guys for 19 months. I’m the 90s country. I think I’ve had a wellyoungest. rounded life of music. Going from 90s R&B to 90s alternative so you get a feel for both. I think some of What are your musical inspius have been influenced by differrations and backgrounds? ent genres and it ends up working Daniel: Well my background is and tying into each other. norteño music and I really like Ruben: I started really listening to applying some of the concepts I’ve
music and appreciating it when I started playing the drums. In high school is when I really got into rock-and-roll bands. I was also playing in a church band while in high school and got into another church band in college and that’s when Beto and I met up. Also, in college is when I was introduced to Texas Country and I always told myself I would love to play in a band like that. I never thought it would happen but then I graduated, came back home, met Matt through a friend of mine [and Beto’s] and that’s when we started doing Texas Country. Beto: My musical background doesn’t exactly involve a lot of country. I started playing guitar in junior high and in high school I was doing jazz and mariachi. Then I was in a wedding band for a long time doing salsa music. Everything other than country is what I did and then I started country with them.
So why “Matt Herdsmen”?
Matt: Our fans are the herd. They’re the people we’re trying to gather together to join our crew and to join our herdsmenites, as we call them. I thought about the name and later on I figured out what it really meant. It’s just having a group of fans that really care about the music and spreading the love and spreading local talent. I want people to remember the name and say, “Hey I really en-
Ruben: Hands down, it would be Neil Peart right now. Because that guy makes a drum set sound like he’s got eight hands and eight feet! As a drummer, there are always different things I want to throw into the music because I don’t want to be known as a boring drummer. Most of the time, though, our music doesn’t call for that and it really tests your patience. You want to have fun with the drums but it doesn’t do it any justice if it doesn’t sound good with the song. It’s something so simple but when you hear them play it, it sounds like the best thing in the world. Beto: One day? There are so many options! If it was revolving around learning and approaching guitar, it would probably have to be Guthrie Govan. He’s this fusion guitarist that’s just ridiculous, he can play anything that he hears and he’s so philosophical the way he approaches guitar. And he’s British, too, so he sounds interesting. Daniel: I think it would probably be Johnny Cash. He revolutionized music a lot and he did his own thing for like a big while. I want to learn how he had the balls to do his own thing. Matt: I’m pretty predictable… BAND: Michael Bolton! Phil Collins? Boy George! Matt: (laughs) No! If I could hang out with anybody for a day, maybe a songwriter or just learn about the business, it would probably have to be Randy Rogers. I would like to write with him, figure out how he got so far, what were his hardships, have a beer and golf, maybe? Just hang out with him.
Any closing Comments? Ruben: A big thank you to Seven Drumworks for endorsing me! Ed Reyes, Rick Reyes, and Mike Tooker. Matt: Spread the music, spread the love! We’ll be in your town soon and remember it’s all about the music. Most importantly, we always come second because the almighty God comes first and we’re very proud of that. If it wasn’t for Him, we would not have come this far. We’re blessed and I’m really glad to have these guys. Oh, and I would like to thank Dylan Steen from Steen Promotions for helping us get our single out there. Beto: One last thank you to Robbie McFarlin from Frio Hydration. And we’re out!
Upcoming Shows: 7/17 – The Dog House, Brownsville 7/18 – The Quarter New Orleans Style Kitchen & Tap Room, McAllen 8/14 – Drink Texas Biergarten, Boerne 8/15 – The Nutty Brown Café, Austin
Facebook, Instagram, & YouTube: Matt & The Herdsmen Twitter: mattandtheherds
3rd Coa s Foodie t
By Tamma Hicks
In The Beer Garden @ HARD LUCK LOUNGE 3526 E 7TH ST AUSTIN TX
verywhere you turn you see one and most of us stop at least once a week for one. Sometimes you will find a herd of them in a lot and you’re lucky enough to hit two or three! Yes, I am talking about Food Trucks! Did you know that there have been Food Trucks in the US since the 17th century? Or that there are 1,000 new Food Trucks across the US every week? Personally, the best Food Truck city that I visit on a regular basis is Austin. You can get just about anything you want, there are lots of parks full of amazing food including my favorite at the Baton Creole (the hot-pink food truck, you can’t miss it) which serves… are you ready for this my Cajun lovin’ friends… Jambalaya on-a-stick! But in our search for great Food Truck food, we have found that some of the best trucks aren’t in with the herds; they’re in their own special place. Take the Lady Luck. Parked in the beer garden of the Hard Luck Lounge on E 7th Street and Springdale Rd, you can enjoy sitting outside under the old trees that provide ample shade and listening to the jukebox or live music while savoring fantastic food. Mm doesn’t get much better than this!
ady Luck is the mind meld of Lynzy Moran and Virginia Pharr, both successful business owners in their own right, who when offered to start something new jumped at the chance. Dennis O’Donnell, the proprietor of Hard Luck Lounge approached Lynzy with the idea of opening a food truck in his beer garden based on his grandfather’s sandwich recipe; hence the O’Donnell! Virginia has a great background in baking and smoking meats, whereas Lynzy is more of the saucier and deep fryer. Together they are creative, process driven,
Open TUE—SAT 5pm-2am SUN 11am-8pm Sunday Brunch Starts @ 11am
WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/ LadyLuckTrailer email@example.com
Lady Luck Creative Minds and everything is handmade. ladies can do in an What you need to know is that itty bitty kitchen. Virginia Pharr Lynzy and Virginia have come From making and And up with a truly unique and baking fresh bread Lynzy Moran original menu blending proper and rolls to pickling European and International everything from classics with a Southern perradishes to carrots spective. Or as they put it, “the Lady to beans and making some of the most outLuck is proper as hell!” standing jams I have ever tasted! Like whiskey onion jam (Lynzy) and spiced tomato hen most people think of Irish jam (Virginia) – both are featured on the food they immediately come to Baller Grilled Cheese Sandwich along with corned beef. Well, yes the Lady Lucky two cheeses and arugula toasted on organic has corned beef, but Virginia and Lynzy sprouted bread! Don’t forget they are cookbrine it themselves. A task that took ing and preparing meals for the crowd. Anquite a few experiments to get the propother awesome collaboration meal is the er texture and spices. In my mind’s eye Smoked and Beer Battered chicken wings! it amazes me about what these two That deep fried crunch, the savory smoked
Crawfish & Grits Creamy Grits * Crawfish * Holy Trinity Peppercorn Gravy * Savory Beignets * Cracklin’ Dust
chicken that falls off the bones?! Such a great idea I don’t know why someone hadn’t already done this! As both ladies are from Louisiana, their Crawfish and Grits are served with beignets and are seriously out of this world! And while I have your attention you’ve got to try the Truffle Tots! Tater tots are for kids, right? Nope! These bad boys are sprinkled with Truffle oil which drives them to a whole new level of yummy!
omething I have learned about food trucks is that not all can or do offer vegan/ vegetarian meals. In fact it’s usually all or nothing. The Lady Luck has a few things on the menu and they are planning to add more. Currently they make their own seitan and add it to The Salad as a bacon bits replacement and Seitan Wings (like boneless chicken wings) and they are about to add a Chicken Fried Seitan and you’ll
never miss the beef. The other thing I learned while talking with Lynzy and Virginia is that vegan/vegetarian doesn’t necessarily mean gluten free! Anyway you roll the dice Lady Luck is an outstanding find!
*10-Day Brined Corned Beef *Creamy Horseradish & Braised Onions *All Piled In a House-Made Kummelweck Roll *Served With Warm Au Jus
Arugula 3 Year Cheddar Dill Ranch Seitan Bits House Pickles
The Baller Grilled Cheese Organic Sprouted Bread * Muenster & White Cheddar * Whiskey Onion Jam * Spiced Tomato Jam * Arugula
Kummelweck Rolls Fresh From The Oven
Stoner Delight Tater Tots * House Corned Beef * White Cheddar Smothered Cabbage * Pickled Beets *Creamy Mustard *Shallot Sauce
Smoked & Beer Battered Wings Choice of Either Chicken or Seitan (6) Served With A Pesto Aioli
By: Julie Wenger Watson, Courtesy Red Dirt Nation | Photo Credit: Alysse Gafkjen
articulate, funny, and with a charming drawl, BJ Barham is no drunken fool, although he might have passed for one at least the “drunken” part ten months ago. Barham, frontman and founder of the North Carolina Americana outfit American Aquarium, knows a thing or two about hard living. Until recently, he and his band were poster boys for the rock and roll lifestyle, drinking and playing their way through more than 250 rowdy shows a year, making some great music and gaining a loyal following along the way. Inevitably, those substance-fueled years on the road took their toll, and Barham found himself facing 30 feeling like an old man. On August 31, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas, Barham had one last drink, then called it quits.
“I was just sick and tired of feeling sick
and tired,” Barham said of his decision to sober up. “I was waking up every day at one o’clock in the afternoon with a hangover. I wasn’t productive. I was feeling sluggish. It just wasn’t where I wanted to be when I turned 30, so I did something about it.”
American Aquarium’s reputation as a party
band wasn’t undeserved. “I’d probably drink a 12 pack of beer a night and then half a bottle of liquor, and that was just a normal night,” Barham recalled. “The party nights were a full bottle of liquor and probably 15 or 17 beers.”
According to Barham, his fans have been
supportive of his healthier lifestyle. “We realized very quickly that, for almost ten years, we were the band that would go out to the bar with you. We were your neighborhood drunks. We just got tired of that. We felt like we had more to offer than just being able to drink a lot. Our songs and our music should be what our reputation is built on. Our reputation shouldn’t be ‘Man, those guys play so good for being so drunk,’” Barham laughed. “It should be, ‘Wow! Those guys are a really great band.’”
As a songwriter who had spent a great deal
still got it.’”
music openly reflects his own struggles. “My songs mirror my real life. I’m an autobiographical songwriter. When I’m writing these songs, you’re very much getting to see a glimpse inside the world of me. It’s been really cool to be able to write these songs about such a huge life change and have the fan base follow us,” he remarked.
Writing from his
of his time under the influence, Barham was understandably apprehensive about writing unaided by alcohol. “I think that the reason a lot of us started using drugs and drinking was because of the creative aspect of it. I know I wrote a lot of songs when I was drinking and when I was doing drugs…but as an artist, you just have to tell yourself that you are the one creating this, not the drugs, and that you can do it yourself without the drugs, without the booze. Once you get it in your head that it wasn’t because of the booze and the drugs that you were writing songs, but because you’re just a talented person, once you can convince yourself of that, it becomes a lot easier.”
Aquarium’s latest album Wolves (Feb. 2015) is the product of that sober songwriting. “It took a little time. For a while there, I was trigger shy. I was just nervous about it,” Barham said of returning to his writing after giving up drinking. “But then I sat down, and it just kind of happened. And then I wrote the Wolves record, which is arguably the best thing we’ve ever done. Once I got that song out, I was like, ‘Okay. I haven’t lost anything. I’ve
heart has had some unexpected rewards for Barham. “There have been people that have come up to us at shows and said, ‘Man, I got sober because of you guys.’ I would rather somebody tell me that than ‘Hey, man! I really like your songs,’ or ‘I remember one night you drank like two bottles of liquor. That was amazing,’” Barham laughed. “The real joy of this whole situation is somebody coming out and saying, ‘Hey, man. I stopped doing something terrible because of you.’”
STEAM Magazine - South Texas Entertainment Art Music - July 2015 features Chris Kattan - Texas Tour, BJ Barham - American Aquaium, Matt and...
Published on Jun 29, 2015
STEAM Magazine - South Texas Entertainment Art Music - July 2015 features Chris Kattan - Texas Tour, BJ Barham - American Aquaium, Matt and...