South By Due East

Well, here’s the deal with Houston’s connection to SXSE: The “overflow” shows were stopping-off points for bands on their way to or from Austin. What they actually offered up here in Houston was something called South By Due East. “Due East was founded as a ‘fuck you’ to South By Southwest in 2003 by a coalition of aging punks and hippies,” according to the Houston Press. The lineup consists mainly of Houston-area bands who were either turned away from SXSW or never bothered to apply (or, in a few cases, played both SXSW and SXDE). Music runs the gamut from rap to rock to zydeco to country.

The festival itself has an involved history, with a lot of internal bickering. Rather than me trying to summarize, if you’re interested, check out the Press’s story.

What it comes down to is a showcase for local music in a city whose homegrown talent often gets overlooked. I didn’t realize this festival existed until this most recent trip to Houston. I was checking around the web to see what bands were playing, and where I needed to go to hear some live music, and found a couple of acts closing out the festival at a place called Dan Electro’s.

I got there late, following a long dinner, but I was able to catch local hip-hop act From Tha Bottom. More importantly, I was able to talk with some of the regulars about local music, and they recommended a couple of CDs (which they conveniently had for sale at the bar).

One of the disks was a sampler platter from last year’s SXDE, which I’ll be sampling today and in a future post. Some of the acts returned this year, and if someone would have told me about all this going on in Houston, I might have been able to see them play.

Opie Hendrix is a local legend. His name came after someone joked, “look, there's Opie Hendrix.” The “Opie” came from his appearance: a mop of red hair and freckles; and the “Hendrix” from his fancying himself a guitar slinger. The name stuck, though at first he was none too happy about it. He calls his music “maximum country and western.”

The Fondue Monks, on the other hand, prefer “electric Texas gumbo” to describe their sound. The name comes from their fusion of such musical genres as rock, funk, jazz, and blues. The band is a mainstay in the area, and has survived intact since 1991.

The other two bands I posted, The Frauds and Living Dolls, are both the names of bands outside the Houston area. When I tried to get info, all I could find is the other bands. I don’t think they’re one and the same. In the unlikely event anyone knows about these bands, let me know? All I can tell you is I liked the music.

Why Does A Girl.mp3 The Frauds
Daddy’s Demons.mp3 Opie Hendrix
Where is Jesus Now?.mp3 Living Dolls
Breathe It In.mp3 Fondue Monks

For more information about South By Due East, visit their Web site.


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