If there’s one thing that’s good about El Paso, Texas, it’s that there’s about eight months of summer here. Wearing a jacket is usually a fashion statement ‘round these parts, and that statement typically spells out, “My other skinny-jean shorts didn’t match this knitted beanie”. Hey- at least it leaves a pretty fucking magnificent window for touring acts to pop in throughout the year. However, that opportunity has been exploited by local promoters, which has lead to a problem. It’s a problem we’re quite blessed to have, being a border city that goes, for the most part, unnoticed, by the rest of the world… it’s a problem, nonetheless. There’s a bottom line here: there are way too many shows happening at once for the border region to handle.
Let’s go back, to the turn of the last century. If you were into Hip Hop, you had to hold out forever for that one good show to turn up. The local radio station’s yearly concert event had nothing but domesticated rappers with played out tracks, remember? If you were into Rock, you’d typically have to scour the bulletin boards at local head shoppes to hopefully find a flyer for a show with a decent band that didn’t already pass through. It was all local bands playing at barns or junkyards and the occasional oasis of sound at clubs with impossible reputations in those days. This was all standard until the EDM explosion.
Once EDM became relevant to mainstream pop culture, not only did artists begin appearing with consistency; but with variety. Progressive Rock rip-off bands disappeared as quickly as the smelly dive bars they tried to barricade themselves inside of. Still, that doesn’t mean that all the local promoters became ambassadors. Instead of being berated about not liking At The Drive-In and Tool. We’d traded those magically unmagical days for a wealth of experience in being accosted with tirades about cancelation gossip or the pros and cons of underage entrances.
Now, it isn’t a problem to have so many shows going on at the same time. This last weekend alone, I attended five separate events. I should say, that’s not a problem, if they are of different genres, reaching out to various sensibilities. Instead, the terrible trend that’s been arising are the multiple events popping up on the same weekend or; like this last Friday, on the same day. Sure, I’m all about competition driving people to improve; but this setting will soon grow into that of a Cormac McCarthy novel. There’s nothing but nuclear grey skies over the crags of bloody desert arroyos, ahead. People already started to cannibalize each other’s shows, with ‘free before a certain time’ entrances to cancel out the lesser competition. That appeases the blood thirsty opportunist in me, but what upsets my inner tiny-footed dancer are the bombardment of tags to events I’d never go to. I’ll leave the ones I’ll attend, or at least of people I support, up. But when I start getting messages from promoters, who can’t even throw successful shows in this small city, about why I don’t share their illegible graffiti-stained, stolen internet 3-D graphic of a Babylon 5 spaceship event invite; then I realize how far this is going. Worse yet, the metamorphosis these promoters are taking to survive on the already perma-fried ground they continue to deface.
Back in the day, you might have had an absurdly patronizing conversation about how outdated the music you listen to is. Even then, it was a little endearing, because that meant the promoter had a passion for the music that they supported, played, and would bring to you. Now, either every promoter is a DJ (and just a DJ, at that; not a composer… not an engineer, nor a producer) or a drug dealer. Shows don’t have to be packed, as long as their friends come out. Over the course of this last year, I’ve seen plenty of hallmark acts play to half emptied venues with flavorless sound systems. It really sucks… It sucks, but it’s ok. It’s ALL OKAY as long as the bottle buying crowd populates these shows with such interesting personas, as “Unattractively Skinny Woman Who Always Talks About How Much More Weight She Wants To Lose,” or the sparkling life of the party known as, “Yelling Guy In Restroom Who Straggles His Buddies Collar Which Spills Beer On Your Crouch Region Thus Starting A Fight”. You know, the real society folk…
This week in music…
There was so much I wanted to share with you; but none of it was free to download. Well there was, but I’d feel awful if I linked you to some Zippy-phisher site that gets you a virus (you can thank me later). Luckily, these were the first songs I had tagged, and the rest were just niche maybes. Strangely, as usual, it worked out quite nicely.
Krampfhaft & Guerilla Speakers- Razor (Original Mix)
Err’body knows I love Trap music… I love it as much as the next semi-literate high school drop out. Err’body also knows that I hate illogical slang people try to plug instead of needing to express themselves concisely, so I’ll try to keep it short and sweet for you. This track is fucking beast of a banger. I don’t even want you to turn up your speakers for this. Keep them nice and level, and let that phantasm of bass kicker sneak up on you. Do yourself a big favor and check out the rest of this crew, before I come through next week and expose all their good tracks for the world to see.
Krampfhaft & Guerilla Speakers- Razor
Visti & Meyland – Yes Maam (Original Mix)
I was lead here by a Trentemoller remix of this song. The flamenco guitar and that fizzy vocal made me choose the original instead. It’s playful, yet stylish. There’s an exotic quality to the overlaying bass that doesn’t play up to modern tastes, someone without a trained ear might have to take a second listen to catch it, but this tune is a surefire favorite for those with a fetish for all-in quality musicianship. This was my weekend soundtrack. I hope it paints as vivid a picture for you as it did for me.
Visit & Meyland- Yes Maam (Original Mix)
Anyway, I hear Ukrainian Folk music is making leaps and bounds #nextlevelshit. Who knows, maybe I’ll just stick to the plan and keep looking for some of your unmined gems… However, you know my project posts are usually my best works, so I’ll spill the beans and share some of my favorite mashups next week. That ok with you, baby?
Please direct any questions or inquiries to
with “Sometimes I Get Hungry” in the subject heading.
Raul Chacon is a self aware douchebag, who only listens to artists you’ve probably never heard of. His years of writing for literary reviews and magazines, lead him to a couple of scholarships for his work, which he quickly squandered by moving to Austin and going to shows six days a week, instead of class. Eventually, he became as a touring security and witnessed hundreds of shows and dozens of festivals firsthand. He would tell you how many shows he’s been too; but there’s too many holes in his brain at this point.