Mik Miano – R.I.P.

I have just learned that Houston artist and good friend Mik Miano passed away.

A prolific artist, his metal sculptures are major part of the interior architecture or Rudyard’s British Pub and he’s the designer of the Houston Press Music Awards trophies in 2008 and 2009.

There’s a Facebook group called I can now post pictures of Mik for posting pics and memories of Mik for those so inclined.

Santa Jaws

My good friend Jim Henkel recorded a Christmas album 20 years ago called “The Jazz Carolers” which featured about 4 Christmas standards where he played all the instruments and performed all the vocals. We put it into the seasonal rotation here at the house come Christmas time as it’s a real joy to listen to.

Now, 20 years later Jim has released “Jazz Carolers – 2009” which is pretty much the same, 8 Christmas songs with Jim doing all the vocals and performing all the music. The production values are fantastic on this one and it’s includes one not so traditional Christmas song. The new CD contains what may be my new most favorite Christmas carol of all time – Santa Jaws

Give a listen using the embedded player or download the song from here.

The song is free to distribute so pass it along!

The Flu Pandemic

rockfish1

Many, many years ago my good friend (and fellow Flying Fish Sailor) Greg Henkel wrote a song about the 1918 Flu Pandemic that killed over 20 million people worldwide.

The Flu Pandemic song became one of our most popular performance pieces. Despite the grim subject matter, the song is often referred to as “a happy little ditty about death” and brings smiles and laughter to those who hear it.

The current swine flu outbreak has generated a lot of interest in the song and is driving a lot of traffic to the band web site.

The song is available on our Loch Ness Monster CD which is available @ amazon.com or from us directly.

Interestingly enough, there is a live version of the song that was recorded at Rockefeller’s during Son Of Blarneyfest in 1996 that I almost forgot existed. It predates the Loch Ness Monster studio recording by several years.

You can listen to it here:

The Flu Pandemic

Copyright 1999 Topmast Production and the Flying Fish Sailors

Chorus: It was the Flu pandemic
And it swept the whole world wide
It caught soldiers and civilians
And they died, died, died!
Whether they’re lying in the trenches
Or lying in their beds
Twenty million of them got it
And they’re dead, dead, dead!

There was a soldier on the battleground in 1917
He turned there to his buddy with his face a ghastly green
He said “We made it both through Passchendaele, the Somme, and Flanders too
But now my number’s up my lad for I’ve gone and caught the flu”

chorus

Well a nurse was in the hospital when Tommy was brought in
When he sneezed she caught a face full that was flying in the wind
She wrote a letter home to England to tell them of her plight
But the letter never got there ’cause the postman too had died

chorus

From the meadow-lands of Somerset and o’er the bounding main
To the shores of old Americay they sung the same refrain
Mothers, fathers, uncles and aunts as well as the odd nephew
Brothers and sisters and bosses and lovers were all got by the flu

chorus

Well a farmer out in China watched his family dropping down
And a businessman in Cairo hit the street without a sound
And an eager little Bolshevik in old Sevastopol couldn’t keep up his grinnin’ at Lenin as Comrade Virus took its toll

Galveston Oh Galveston

The weather for the last few days has been spectacular. Lows in the 50’s and highs in the 60’s and 70’s. I had Friday off and wanted to take advantage of it so I invited my friend Jim Henkel to head off on a road trip to post-Ike Galveston to have a look around.

The Flagship Hotel

Close
The Flagship Hotel

Galveston is still very tattered. Lots of debris and devastation but signs of life and reconstruction were plainly visible. I wasn’t all that interested in documenting the destruction, but the sight of the Flagship Hotel was pretty compelling.

The Flagship Hotel

Close
The Flagship Hotel

The Flagship Hotel

Close
The Flagship Hotel

We checked out Seawall Blvd and then headed to The Strand (Galveston’s historic district) where they were making preparations for the Galveston Mardi Gras. And by preparations I mean people were busy stocking the storefronts with booze.

We found some lunch and then headed off to catch the ferry over to Bolivar Peninsula to have a look around. That was way more depressing. We took a quick look around and then made our way back to Houston.

The road to recovery is a long one for poor Galveston.

Any Excuse To Wear A Costume…

Our good friends Barrett and Amanda got married on Friday and the reception was at The Majestic Metro, a renovated old theater from a bygone era.

On the wedding announcement they indicated that the reception was going to be done in a Hollywood glamor theme from the 50’s and costumes were encouraged. We love to play dress up so Cynthia put together a 50’s style dress and went as Joan Crawford

and I went as a sleazy member of the paparazzi

Houston Press Music Awards 2008 – The Results

HPMA 2008

Close
HPMA 2008

After receiving 2 e-mails and one phone call from the folks at The Houston Press that indicated they would REALLY like to see us at the award ceremony on Wednesday I had a strong suspicion that my band may have actually won this year.

At the risk of fatal disappointment, I asked my co-hosts on Technology Bytes to cover for me while I attended the award ceremony just to be on the safe side

There was a lot of buzz about The Tontons who were nominated for Best New Act. They even performed during one of the intermissions.

HPMA 2008

Close
HPMA 2008

The Tontons did, in fact, win Best New Act

some of the other winners that evening:

Best Neo-Folk: Sideshow Tramps
Best Miscellaneous Instrument: Geoffrey Muller (Sideshow Tramps, Umbrella Man, Pistoleros de Tejas)

Medicine Show

Close
Medicine Show

Best Bassist: Nick Gaitan (Umbrella Man, Billy Joe Shaver)

Nick Gaitan and Roberto Rodriguez

Close
Nick Gaitan and Roberto Rodriguez

Best Punk: Los Skarnales
Best Rock en Espanol: Los Skarnales
Best Male Vocalist: Felipe Galvan (Los Skarnales)

Felipe and Los Skarnales

Close
Felipe and Los Skarnales

And did I make the right choice abandoning my cohorts to attend the ceremony?

Jay Lee, Felipe Galvan and Mykel Foster

Close
Jay Lee, Felipe Galvan and Mykel Foster

I can has Houston Press Music Award!

Unfortunately my bandmates could not attend the event so I celebrated for the five of us.

The complete winner’s list can be found here.

The rest of the pics are in the 2008 Houston Press Music Awards Gallery.