Tuesday, February 26, 2008

New issue of Beer Advocate magazine now available

A new issue of Beer Advocate magazine is now available. You can enjoy the content free at Beer Advocate's website.

Beer Advocate is a great site for beer lovers and we highly recommend it.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Melodica turns out to be a great party!

I've just ducked away from the action to share a couple of quick pictures.

In front, we're packed with a great Saturday night crowd.

Out back, the Melodica music festival rolls on. Tonight was night one: there's still one more night of action here at the Amsterdam Bar tomorrow night. There's a chill in the air, so the crowd hovered around our giant chimeneas to keep warm and discuss the slate of live bands.

Well, gotta run: I have to get back to the action.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Barack the Vote!

On March 4, 2008, Texas Democrats and independents are going to have the opportunity to do something they haven't done in decades: impact the outcome of a presidential campaign. A quick glance at the title of this post reveals that this writer already has his favorite. The photo above is from an Obama rally held yesterday in Fair Park, not far from The Amsterdam Bar. The time has come for a change, and on March 4th, Texas can deliver that change.

Learn how to get involved at Dallas for Obama!

Melodica Band Profile: Medio Mutante

Houston band Medio Mutante will perform at The Amsterdam Bar during the Melodica 2008 music festival. There isn't much in the way of online reviews for this trio; hopefully after this weekend we'll be able to change that. Check out their Myspace page for more information and tracks.

Melodica Band Profile: Cry Blood Apache

Yet another interesting band from Austin: Cry Blood Apache will be playing at The Amsterdam Bar on February 23, 2008.

From The Austin Chronicle:
Cry Blood Apache began as a guerrilla band, setting up in local parking lots, alleys, or wherever their stripped-down electronic setup could accommodate. They play in clubs now, though the aliases remain. Formed in 2005, CBA’s lineup has been as hard to pin down as their sound, though several influences are apparent – Cabaret Voltaire, Suicide, Metal Urbaine, the Sisters of Mercy. Singer/guitarist Kaspar Glass monotones lyrics like an anti-Gary Numan; guitarist Hans Hinrich sprays feedback from axe; drum machinist Seth Nemec keeps the industrial beat. Original bassist Endal Passou was replaced in 2006 by percussionist Pahn Zhram, who beat on a trash can in addition to playing bass. 2005’s Performing Diversion Acrobatics was a scattershot introduction to the group's sound. More indicative would be 2007's Industry Mix Tape Vol. 1 (Ghetto Pagoda). They’ve recently added Maxx Hole on keys and continue to experiment with their sound, adding to the lineage of electro-minded bands in Austin.[1]
You can check out their Myspace page for band info and tracks.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Melodica Band Profile: Finally Punk

The Austin band Finally Punk will play The Amsterdam Bar on February 23, 2008 as part of the Melodica 2008 music festival.

Check out their Myspace page to listen to a few of their songs.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Melodica Band Profile: Jack with One Eye

From Ultimate Band List:
Mila Lux (Slow and Boring, Neverland Ranch Davidians), and Ian Hamilton (Shatner, The Falkon, Black Arm Band, Neverland Ranch Davidians) met as teenagers in 1995 in a small one horse town in North Texas. Both began recording 4-track demos of their songs at early ages from their bedrooms, using just about anything they could get their hands on as instruments. The joining of these two songwriters and their noisy style of guitar playing, along with a not-so-traditional take on pop songs spawned the birth of Jack With One Eye in 2001.

After many a 4-track masterpiece, Mila and Ian met drummer Ben Burt (Brutal Juice, The Falkon, Tomorrow People, Pinkston) in late 2003, and along with a floating bass player began working out arrangements of their songs as a band. "From noisy murder ballads to dynamic shoegaze, Jack With One Eye are a band you just can’t pin. As soon as you think you’ve found a comparison they pull you in the opposite direction and you’re not even trying to figure out who or what they sound like anymore you’re just in the moment.” –Fan at Gypsy Tea Room 2004

Their influences are broad, which is very noticeable when you hear their music.

Jack With One Eye are currently in the studio recording a four song EP with a full length album to follow. There is no speculation as to when this record will be released to the public. In the mean time, they are still playing live and, as usual, have a full arsenal of new material.
Jack with One Eye plays the Melodica 2008 music festival on February 22, 2008 at The Amsterdam Bar.

Melodica Band Profile: History at Our Disposal

From The Dallas Observer's top 10 records of 2007:
Tangled in spacey macrobiotic ambience, History at Our Disposal's Symbols in the Architecture blends organic acoustic instrumentation, bubbling electronic flourishes, warm quiet passages, jagged dissonant asides, seemingly unsystematic surges and carefully calculated movements with an expertly reserved hand. If The Books and Neutral Milk Hotel assimilated into a colossal Japanese fighting robot that performed funeral dirges for circus clowns, the sonic product might be almost as eerily wonderful as Symbols in the Architecture. Artful without being obnoxiously avant-garde, audibly accessible without compromising creative uniqueness, History at Our Disposal has created an atypical breed of album that is not content to simply add atmosphere; it constructs its own orbit.
History at Our Disposal plays the Melodica 2008 music festival at The Amsterdam Bar on February 22, 2008.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Melodica 2008 Band Profile: Jetscreamer

Jetscreamer will be one of the many bands performing at The Amsterdam Bar during Melodica 2008. This Dentonite trio has a really interesting sound--I'd have to describe it as kind of blues-punk fusion, but hey, what do I know? Let's ask the professionals:
"It works brilliantly, the whole thing sounding like you're caught in the middle of a knife fight between Sonic Youth and some whiskey-addled bluesman. Seven-minute opener 'Front Porch' is the perfect battle cry, speed-thrill drums struggling to keep up once the guitars are unleashed. Elsewhere we get sprawling instrumental passages and blistering howls of pity. It's here we learn that jetscreamer really have got the blues. And they don't come much dirtier than this." NME - 7 out of 10
You can read a lot more and hear several sample tracks at Jetscreamer's Myspace page.

The Amsterdam Bar looks forward to hosting Jetscreamer during Melodica 2008.

Melodica 2008 Band Profile: The Happy Bullets

Only twelve more days until Melodica 2008! One of the bands slated to play at The Amsterdam Bar is The Happy Bullets:
Recording songs that combined a 1960's psychedelic nostalgia with ironic and literate lyrics, The Happy Bullets began when indie songwriters Jason Roberts and Tim Ruble met while working together at an art gallery in a suburb of Dallas. After a home recording demo was released and played on local radio, Roberts quickly recruited his wife, Andrea to learn bass guitar while lending vocal support to several of the bands more pop-oriented songs. Additional members were later added including Josh McKibben of The Sons of Sound, Rhett Jones, and Kris Youmans of The Paper Chase.

2004 saw the release of The Happy Bullets first record, Blue Skies and Umbrellas and was quickly followed up in 2005 with The Vice and Virtue Ministry, engineered by Stuart Sikes (Modest Mouse, Cat Power, the Promise Ring) and released on the upstart Dallas indie label Undeniable Records. The latter gained the band critical acclaim on the national college radio circuit and led to shared bills with Mates of State, Architecture in Helsinki, and Of Montreal.

In 2006, The Happy Bullets toured throughout the United States performing in Austin, Texas at the SXSW Music Festival, Athens, Georgia at the 2006 Athens Popfest, and at CMJ Music Festival in New York City.[1]
We look forward to having The Happy Bullets on our stage for Melodica 2008.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Melodica Band Profile: Record Hop

Melodica 2008 is coming to The Amsterdam Bar! We want to give our friends a preview of some of the bands that will be playing at The Amsterdam Bar during the Melodica 2008 music festival. We start today with a Denton, Texas band: Record Hop.

Record Hop consists of Ashley Cromeens on Vocals and Guitar; Scott Porter on Guitar; Tony Wann on Drums; and Cory Ward on Bass Guitar. According to their website, Record Hop has been gigging in the DFW area since mid-2002. They describe their music as "Chinese traditional / Crunk / Shoegaze" in what I can only assume is a tongue-in-cheek entry on their Myspace page. Having taken the time to listen to a few tracks off their album "Pareidolia" (2004), I can testify that they are neither Chinese Traditional or Crunk. I will wait until I see them perform before I decide whether they qualify as Shoegaze.

As noted above, their first album, "Pareidolia," was released in 2004. Tracks available for sampling online suggest a frenetic, guitar driven band. The track "Last Second" shows real promise, with a mysterious "grunge/alt rock meets The Cure" sort of hook. Word is, Record Hop's second album is nearly ready for release and they have begun to perform the new songs live. I'm looking forward to checking them out to see how their sound has developed since their first offering.

Record Hop is scheduled to play at The Amsterdam Bar on February 22, 2008 during the Melodica 2008 music festival.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Melodica News! The Amsterdam Bar will be a venue for 2008!

We received exciting news this week: The Amsterdam Bar will serve as one of the venues for this year's Melodica music festival. Some key information from the guys at We Shot JR:
Just wanted to let everyone know that passes to the Melodica Festival will be going on sale this weekend at Good Records and all Melodica venues (Sloppyworld, Fallout, etc.) $25 gets you access to every show (including the Sunday all ages show), and if you want one, I'd suggest buying it soon because as of right now, only 300 passes are available. Each venue will also allow you to pay a seperate cover for individual shows (ranging from $5-10), but the passes honestly seem like a much better deal if you're planning on seeing more than one show.
That sounds like good advice to us.

We are still in the process of getting information about the shows at The Amsterdam Bar, but we do have a tentative lineup of the bands involved:

On Friday, February 22, 2008:
Record Hop
Happy Bullets
History at our Disposal
Jack with one Eye
On Saturday, February 23, 2008:
We Shot JR Night:
Finally Punk
Cry Blood Apache
Medio Mutante
Yellow Fever
Zanzibar Snails
We are especially excited to be serving as the venue for We Shot JR Night. These guys know the Dallas music scene and we know they'll be bringing a great show to The Amsterdam Bar.

For more information about weshotjr.com, you can click here.