Bright Light Bright Light aka Rod Thomas recently asked permission to use the popolio pic-olio of his SXSW Showcase that I shot and featured back in March. Permission is required and the due credit is appreciated. Check out our original Rod Thomas (it was before the name change) pic-oliohere and the BLBL flickr streamhere. Our pics start here. Shout out to BLBL and his peeps for reaching out.
The Ugly Beats are an Austin band that I first featured in a 5 Questions for interview at the beginning of the month. We had some technical difficulties with the song featured in that post, so I’m re-presenting it below this post. That means that you get a double doze of ”ugly” with two songs and a music video to boot. With their 1960s flavor I just have to say, “Right On.”
June 19, 2009
Name: The Ugly Beats
Genre: Rock and Roll Music
Latest Release: Take a Stand with The Ugly Beats (GET HIP Records)
Release Date: 2006
This, That, or the Other
1. Underground OR Mainstream? Underground 2. Maintain Artistic Integrity and Vision OR Make a lot of Money? (or both)?? Maintain Artistic Integrity
3. Studio or Stage? STAGE – Have fun and make the people have fun. 4. Spirituality or Hedonism? Spirituality, Love 5. Make Love, Have Sex, OR %$*!? Make Love
Fill in the Blank 6. Music is myfamily. The Beats are.
7. I’m musically inspired byliving and playing with great musicians.
8. My favorite old school joint is“Bernadette”by The Four Tops.
9. If I was a super hero I’d be Super Buff.
10. Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll should change toSex (is good), Wine, and Tasty Tortillas.
Short Answer 11. I make music because: It keeps us sane and it’s a lot of fun to go places and eat their food and drink their wine. 12. I want my fans to:Have a sweaty good time and yell at us. 13. If I could share one thing about myself it would be: The Ugly Beats are nicer. 14. Wild Card! Editor’s Note: No Answer 15. I want my musical legacy to be: Some kids covering our songs in the year 2525 and getting royalty checks for $300 every other day.
Listen to “Light Comes On” from Take a Stand with The Ugly Beats. Check out their MySpace Page for more.
June 19, 2009 UPDATE: Due to some issues with the audio file I’m re-posting this today in addition to the new The Ugly Beats pop quiz above.
Originally posted Monday, June 1, 2009.
The Ugly Beats are a local band that played SXSW this year. They have a ’60s vibe going on, don’t take themselves too seriously, and have built a reputation around their live shows. They’re currently working on their upcoming third release.
They have a couple of Austin shows coming up, too, at Beerland. –June 27, 2009 10PM
–July 12, 2009 8PM
Listen to “Take a Stand” from Take a Stand with The Ugly Beats. Go to their MySpace Page for more.
* * * 1. What is ”The Ugly Beats sound?” And why “ugly?” A little folk, a little garage, a little rock and roll, a little 60′s punk…put some lovely harmonies, fuzz guitar, acetone organ, hollow bass, and monster drums into a blender and there you go.
Ugly ‘cuz we’re not spit-shined into American Idol perfection. It lowers people’s expectations and then they say, “Y’all ain’t that ugly”; it’s perfect.
2. You participated in SXSW in March. How do you think the experience is different for a local band vs. a national or international band? It’s a hell of a lot cheaper. We get to use our own backline (for the most part), which makes a big difference having your true sound and not borrowed equipment. We know where to get the best tacos. It’s kind of like having a vacation in your hometown!
3. One woman, four men. Not a new model for bands. Describe how that dynamic plays out for The Ugly Beats. Jeanine is pretty much one of the guys. The coversations in the van or airplane would peel paint. It’s one big happy family, though. Everyone gets along really well and stuff.
4. You get the chance to work with any producer (that you haven’t worked with before) of your choice to “interpret” The Ugly Beats sound. Who would it be and why? Not sure since we’ve been happy with how things turn out thus far in recordings. We are going into the studio this month [in April] and some in the summer so we can make a new record for GET HIP. This time we want to capture the LIVE energy that make people have fun at the show….
5. Not sure how long you’ve been in Austin, but, is there something about the Austin music scene you find enriching? Why here instead of anywhere else? The music “scene” here tends to be pretty open and not cut-throat. Everyone we hang out with is generous and friendly to others. Not a lot of back-stabbing or drama. When you do see a band who obviouslly doesn’t get this and it’s clear that they’re into it for silly reasons, we say fuck ‘em.
It’s mostly postive here though — with different genres [that] aren’t afraid to put on shows together, though we have yet to be asked onto an Austin Symphony concert…Plus, there’s millions of bands, so we’ve made many friends across the board. Feels like one giant family!
Introducing yet another NEW FEATURE this month in addition to LTR (Long Term Review) introduced last week. This one’s called Questions for. Could be 5, 10, 20…
It’s a nice alternative interview to our pop quiz. Don’t ge me wrong, I love our pop quizzes and those will continue as well, but you gotta’ change up from time to time. This one’s more individualized. Gotta’ change the game, not let the game change you.
Right now I’m thinking of alternating them with the pop quizzes on Fridays, but we’ll see how that goes. In celebration of the kick-off month, you’ll get 3. A BONUS next Friday and another the following week. The next pop quiz will still post as regularly scheduled.
Our debut artist for this feature is Miz Metro, a fairly new artist on the scene, who seems to have quite an impressive resume already. She’s a New York hip-pop artist who participated in SXSW 2009, here in Austin, in March. She ‘s releasing her debut album, Unlimited, next month. She had a lot to say, so grab a snack, sit back, and enjoy.
* * *
1. For those who don’t know, who is Miz Metro? Laura Marie O’Reilly born July 20th 1986, conceived in a college dorm room on the east coast. I’m a New York City girl raised in Manhattan and grew up playing street ball and watching my parents act. I started acting when I was 8 years old and I started singing in Gospel choir when I was 12.
I’ve always loved singing and grew up listening to really good songwriters. My Dad would always play me a wide range of music, he loved good lyrics — a big Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison fan. He’s also an actor and taught me at a young age to have a respect for art and to work at developing a craft.
Miz Metro is my melting pot of media, music, and art; I’m a storyteller, an entertainer. I wear many hats but the stage is my home and I’velived the life of a gypsy, I want to plant my roots all over the world.
2. Now, your look is definitely part of the package. Are you going for an ‘80s vibe? I’m not really going for any one thing specifically — I dress based on my mood. I like to be comfortable, honestly, I’m a bit of a tomboy — up to me, I’d wear uptowns every day (usually I do), but I like getting all dolled up as well. I’ve always loved to play dress up, to get into costume.
I was born in the ’80s, but I wouldn’t say I’m going for a straight up ’80s look, I’m very influenced by the ’60s, ’40s, and 1920s and the future, of course. “I’m from the past and the future”(“Who’s that Girl?” from the Urban Gypsy Circus project I’m releasing in the fall). I’m going to be going for a classic Hollywood music star vibe on some of the artwork for my upcoming debut album UNLIMITED which is being packaged and designed by COCO Black, which I’m super excited about — she’s amazing.
3. You played SXSW in March — both performing at and hosting events. How do the two compare? And what did you think of SXSW overall? SXSW was an amazing experience! Producing and hosting events is something I’ve been doing since I was 17 years old. I started out throwing shows in Gardens on the lower eastside, and eventually went on to pack 5,000 sq foot lofts in Soho with my Urban Gypsy Circus parties. I was a professional event producer and promoter at one time, before I decided to get my degree in New Media and Music Composition.
Now, I only have time to be a full time performer and student, but I still get an itch to produce an event every few months. The HIP HOP HOWL Showcase we threw in Austin during SXSW was amazing because of the team of people I got to work with to help make it happen and the community of artists that came together to make it an amazing success. Crosby my co-presenter and I along with Cathleen (FelicaCruz) our stage manager managed to get 28 acts up and off the stage at LUCKY LOUNGE in 3 hours! The show ran like a live mixtape and we handed out mixtapes mixed by MELO-X along with free pizza all night and give-away bags sponsored by VICE Magazine and IMEEM.
I really enjoyed co-hosting the event, I know when I’m performing there is nothing like having a great introduction before you go on — it helps amp the performance. So, I like to try and give other performers a high energy introduction! Hosting and performing aren’t that different, you have to command the stage doing both – I’d say a host has to work the hardest sometimes because they have to keep the audience engaged for the next act. Overall, SXSW was an incredible experience, shout out’s to Eyeris, Yarah Bravo, Davey D, Mr. Lif, Blu, Lady Sov, The Beatards, and everyone else I met and ran around with!
4. Is your heart only with hip hop? Or do you see yourself as a Queen Latifah in 5, maybe 10 years earning Oscar nominations and releasing jazz standard CDs? Funny you say that, I love Queen Latifah – my aunt Bernedatte O’Reilly who’s a music business veteran always compares me to Queen Latifah. If I’m anything at heart, it’s a jazz singer — that is what made me want to start singing and is what in my own renegade way I’ve studied for the past 6 years — not really reading music, but memorizing Dextor Gordon solos off GO (“Cheese Cake” is one of my all-time favorite songs).
I would like to have a career like Queen Latifah, I definitely am going to get back into acting in the near future, really I never stopped. I went to Laguardia H.S. of the Performing Arts and was in the drama department there. I’m sure to do a few student films every year to keep my feet wet, and continue to build my reel. I want to graduate college and establish myself as a musical artist and personality right now before I take even more on to an already intensely full plate. I have a deep respect for acting and it deserves my full attention. Sometimes you have to live, gain life experience — acting is all I’ve known my whole life, music for me – in my family is rebellious.
5. Where will Miz Metro be in 5 years? Running an my Miz Metro Media company — which [will] includes the multi-media network Urban Gypsy Circus, selling millions of digital albums, with a hit TV show and a thriving non-4 profit “Project Playground” that helps revolutionize the public school system.
…in 10 years? I will be one of the highest grossing women in the history of the entertainment business. My main focus will be to help heal the planet and create platforms for global communication through media and art.
We are what we think.
We are all UNLIMITED the debut album JUNE 2009
be on the look out!
Now, listen to Miz Metro perform, “Everyone Wants 2B on TV,” from the Hip Hop HOWL: SXSW 2009 Edition Mixtape.
Now, I don’t know that I’d normally report on something like this on popolio, but I’ve been covering Wayna as part of our special SXSW coverage here at popolio for the last few weeks and this did happen in Texas. The 2009 Grammy Nominee graced us with a pop quiz a few weeks ago and I just posted a Wayna sxsw show pic-olio yesterday.
She was arrested on Wednesday, March 25, 2009, at a Houston airport for being in possession of a police billy club. Apparently, there was a mix-up with her bags. Ironically, she uses this as a prop during her performance of her anti-police brutality number, “Billy Club.” The irony being that she was arrested, not that the police were violent. Hopefully, they treated her with respect.
I can attest to the use of the billy club as a prop as I saw her SXSW show last Wednesday (hence, the pic-olio). None of the pics I shared were of that number, so they don’t include the billy club. Most importantly, the charges were dropped. A Houston judge dismissed the charges. We wish her the best coming out of this situation.
So, this is the last installment of our special sxsw show pic-olios this week. This one features 2009 Grammy Nominee, Wayna. She was 1 of our 5 SXSW pop quiz Artists featured earlier this month. I wasn’t able to get out to The Wong Boys’ or Clarence Bucaro’s shows to take pics, but do check out their pop quizzeshere and here.
Now, I had never seen Wayna perform prior to her Grammy Nomination, but she definitely brought her A game to SXSW afterwards. I just wonder if she stepped it up after the nomination or if she was always performing that way. She involved the crowd in sing-backs, brought up a previous performer (lead performer Ter’ell Shahid of local Austin band, NeckBone) for a number, and had some nice convo with the audience.
Remember, Wayna and Kendra Ross were both part of the same soul showcase at SXSW. The indie soul revolution is alive and well and will not be televised (but it might be streamed on your computer internet) and these are two of the ladies leading the charge. You need to check them both out.
Editor’s Note: Pic 3 wasn’t intentional, but it looks kind of experimental and cool, so I decided to include it. Pic 4 has a big ‘ole head in it. There was a flurry of photogs and I’m fairly new to this gig. So, excuse da’ head. Lastly, I hope you enjoyed the sxsw show pic-olios this week.
Continuing our sxsw show pic-olioseries (this is 2 of 3) this week (featuring this month’s SXSW pop quiz Artists) next up is UK artist, Rod Thomas, whose folk/pop stylings are a refreshing new sound to these stuck-in-their-listening-ways-ears. I did get to talk to him a bit and he seemed like an unassuming nice fellow who was nervous about his gigs and just wanted to give good shows to good crowds. For this gig he had a special guest in the way of his friend, Sophie Galpin, accompanying him on bass guitar. She normally plays with two other UK acts — My First Tooth and Sam Isaac.
I actually saw him twice because I missed a little bit of this first gig. Something I learned is that he’s one of those techno-daddy-one-man-show-types. I guess there’s more of that going on. My first exposure to that was seeing Arthur Yoria live a couple 0f months ago. Different sounds, though, don’t get me wrong. They just both do the recording, replaying, sound effects, and singing with oneself thing. It’s econimical. More importantly, it’s very creative and seems somewhat experimental.
At one point, for one song, Rod busts out a ukulele. And that’s oh so much fun. I kept thinking it was like something out of a Muppet movie. And, that’s not a diss. There’s a fun, innocent, and carefree whimsy that I think Rod Thomas’ brand of electro-acoustic pop and stage performance captures.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go to the shows of all our SXSW pop quiz artists (that we featured 2 weeks ago) as I had originally intended, but I got to 3 out of 5. So, if you ask me, that’s not too shabby. I’ll be presenting these special sxsw show pic-olios daily and in the order that their pop quizzes were featured starting tonight. First up is KendraRoss, who was part of a soul showcase that included Wayna, another of our SXSW pop quiz artists.
Let me say, I did enjoy her show. She has some good stuff. I haven’t picked up her CD yet, but it is definitely on my to-pick-up list. I recently read on her site that she does “grown folks’ music” or something to that effect. Her stuff is definitely grown folks’ R&B. If you’re ready to graduate from teeny-bopper pop/R&B to some classy indie soul this is one artist that you need to check out.