Category: Tuscaloosa

Tuscaloosa’s DIY scene in full effect this summer

This past Saturday, August 2nd, DIY Tuscaloosa and Stand-Up Tuscaloosa, hosted by RJ Marchand, joined forces to host a show at a new DIY house.

One of the house residents, James Hale, had expressed interest in having shows at his house a few months ago. He advertised having a big back yard and a thirst for more house shows in Tuscaloosa.

Upon first meeting with him to check out the space, I was taken aback at how potentially ideal the location could be. The backyard was huge and fenced in, with a big grill on an elevated porch, which was partially screened in. There was also parking in the yard and on the street. So long as we cleared it with the neighbors and adhered to the area’s 9pm noise ordinance, I didn’t foresee any reason for it to get shut down.

The evening of entertainment kicked off with the first band, a new local called Pentapuss, which was Maia Wade on guitar and vocals, Ronnie Lee Gipson on drums, and Frank Nette playing bass guitar. Separately they are all good musicians, so together it was legit, especially for a first show. Maia commented that the show gave her hope that “we might be able to foster a more diverse music community in Tuscaloosa”, adding that it was the most diverse crowd she’d seen at a house show in a long time. “We are definitely aiming to have eclectic bills, and not just one genre.”

After Pentapuss’ set, Randy Ford delivered the first stand-up comedy act. The audience seemed to enjoy the mix of music and comedy, plus I thought it was great to see people dance, then laugh, then rinse-lather-repeat.

Next up was Knympho Knife, a three-piece describing themselves as “fuzzed out jazz-punk.” If you want a sample of what they really sound like, check out their feature on local TV show, Tuscaloosa Monorail.

When the cops walked up to the yard during Knympho Knife’s set, they were just asking how long the music would be going so that if they got any noise complaints they could tell people when it was ending. We told them that we thought the noise ordinance was 9pm and were planning to have the music done by then, to which one of the cops replied “9pm on a Saturday?!” So I asked him “Can we push it to 10pm?” and he confirmed “We can’t tell you when to end your party, but if we get too many noise complaints then the bands will have to stop playing.” Fair enough, so we just turned down the bands’ volumes and the cops never showed for the rest of the night.

The next stand-up performer was Beth Howell. I remember there being a lot of people there by that time, and it was great to see that good of a turnout, especially with the majority staying on the screened in part of the porch to watch her set. There was definitely a supportive vibe in the air that night.

The third band to play was Freaky Deakys. They played earlier this Summer at the Southside Nitty Gritty Glen Iris house fest, as well as Vallofest in Montevallo. This six piece showcases Trevor Dane aka “Sweet Tea; Dane Deaky” on rhythm guitar and vocals, Rolfe Briney aka “Knight Driver” on lead guitar, John Engle aka “Smiles Davis Deaky” on bass guitar, Jack Vogt aka “Boom Boom Fingerling Deaky” on drums, Abraham Glubrecht aka “Squeaky Deaky” on fiddle, and Forrest Moody aka “Captain Peach Fish” on keyboard. Their live show was high energy and included fire dancers, who were Hannah Barrett and Andrea Dillingham. Trevor Dane said that the goal of their aesthetic was to “make everyone happy and forget about their worldly troubles, while presented in an artistic fashion.” He also added that for them, letting loose is like a form of meditation. I am a strong believer in art and exercise therapy, so I think dancing and engaging in a show will always make you feel better. Additionally, fire dancer Hannah Barrett reflected that “House shows are really something special, bringing like-minded people together to enjoy and spread the word of talented musicians, all the while making crazy unique memories such as friendly mosh pits on porches and fire dancers in the backyard.” There is definitely something about a house show that a bar can never capture. Both atmospheres have their places, but with DIY Tuscaloosa’s focus to provide more all ages shows, it seems that house shows are the way to go for now since most bars will only compromise to 18+.

You can catch Freaky Deakys‘ upcoming shows Thursday, August 14th at Parkside, and then the next night, Friday August 15th, at a house show in Montevallo (they ask folks to shoot them a message on their Facebook for more info). They are also getting filmed this week for a future episode of Tuscaloosa Monorail.

Caleb Garrett closed out the stand-up acts for the night, which lead into Dead Balloons‘ set. They were also featured on a previous episode of Tuscaloosa Monorail and are playing at Black Market Bar & Grill- 5 Points South later this month.

The next all ages DIY Tuscaloosa show will be Friday, August 22nd, a back-to-school show. Though our all ages shows are free admission for now, donations are encouraged because they are what keeps it going.

Stand-Up Tuscaloosa also has an open mic every Wednesday 9pm at Glory Bound Gyro Company.

To stay updated on more events like these, follow DIY Tuscaloosa’s group page.

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Summer Shindig Mystery: Hayden Crawford?

summer_shindig_II_poster_webIn mere hours, Tuscaloosa’s Bama Theatre will be the place for one of the most wonderful events of the summer. (Note: I am saying this with all of the bias.) You will fall in love for the first or second or eighth time and be mesmerized by the stage. (Note: All of the bias.)

There is so much talent on the stage, but it’s also a bit hard to write about all of this talent. I mean, I’ve done it before.

When Blaine Duncan & The Lookers, The Bear, Looksy, and Belle Adair take the stage tonight, it is an event worthy of an actual shindig. But let’s dig into a mystery for a second. The question is: Hayden Crawford?

“Hayden is a weird little guy, but his music makes me wanna reach for a fresh Dookie sandwich.”

That quote is from Adam Morrow of Callooh! Callay!, Belle Adair, and the Lookers and in our joke speak, this is a compliment. Hayden Crawford is from Tuscaloosa and currently resides in New Orleans. I first came to know him through being told by Blaine Duncan himself that Hayden was a big fan of mine. We had never met in person. Also, I only wrote stuff like this. And in this case, Hayden was kind of a weird little guy. His only picture on his Twitter profile is a screencap of when I added him on Goodreads. I’m still trying to figure out if that was genuine or to keep the bit alive. By that time, Hayden was a full member of the Lookers, performing live alongside members of the band that I talked to for this piece. If anybody knows the enigma of Hayden Crawford, multi-instrumentalist and serial warbler, it’s the people he hung out with on the After She Dies tour of 2013.

“Hayden is awesome. He’s a great guy: sarcastically sweet and sweetly sarcastic,” said Blaine Duncan on his former member. I’ll let Blaine explain his own experiences with Hayden. “He is loyal, dependable, and professional. He can any instrument with strings, which benefits us because he is pretty willing to fill any role. He’s a great songwriter, too. That helps because he has great ideas for song arrangements. He’s one of my favorite folks, and though I’ve known him only five or six years, he’s a close friend.

Duncan adds, “I guess my favorite thing about Hayden is something that I can relate to (and something he’ll openly admit, so I’m not telling tales out of school) – he doesn’t know much about a guitar as far as technical aspects, like strings, amps, repair, but he can play one as good as anyone. He can tell you the key and chord structure of a song within seconds of hearing it. That’s somewhat common with guitarists, but probably not as common with guitarists who don’t change their own strings. That story serves as a good metaphor for him: really great but not too concerned that he is.”

We’re getting closer to the mystery, but I also wonder if Hayden himself can shed some light on his own self-identity: “In addition to being a Taco shirt enthusiast, Hayden Crawford enjoys many humorous cotton fabrications. Let us not forget the likes of Santa Claus drinking champagne in a hot tub shirt, black guitar shirt, and the classic crawfish salting a bed of fries shirt.”

So Hayden likes a lot of T-shirts and is great at music. Yup. Mystery solved. However, since Crawford is a former Lookers member, just what in the hell does this piece have to do with anything? I mean, other than the bias.

After the Shindig, there is an afterparty show at the Alcove with Hayden Crawford, Daniel Elias Crisler, and the two-piece Della Ray. It will be an atomic bomb of weirdness. I recommend it on that alone. Anything to funnel through some sort of weirdness helps, though. But honestly, I don’t know if I can fully say I get Hayden Crawford still. Maybe there isn’t a mystery and people just are as they are.

 

Mutual friend Jeff Hanson put it best: “[Hayden’s] darkest secrets are that he has no

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secrets at all.”

Druid City Brewing hosts 18 and up shows in Taproom this Summer

Things have been pretty quiet for DIY Tuscaloosa since Baby Haus stopped hosting shows in March, but the past two weekends the Druid City Brewing Company‘s Tap Room, built in Summer 2013, has had 18+ shows (and of course 21+ to drink) from 8pm-10pm.

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New Tuscaloosa band Steels debuted on Saturday, April 19th, and drew out a pretty good crowd, especially considering it was their first show. Their live sound was much more raw than their recordings, which was very fitting for the acoustics of the Tap Room. Bassist Justin West confirmed that though they don’t currently have any set dates for future shows or recording sessions, they’re “ready to take this town by storm.”

A week ago Saturday, Birmingham’s Dead Balloons played in the Tap Room and were tight as usual. Tap Room manager Bob Baker complimented them as having “this energetic synergy that is very rare in bands these days.” They actually posted some recordings from their new self-titled LP just last week. Vocalist and guitarist Chris Seifert credited it to being recorded at the Druid City Time and Spaceship in Tuscaloosa with Jacob Thomson and David Allen. He also added that they plan to be done with CDs by the end of May and are working on a 45 to come soon. You can listen to their latest released recordings for free and download it for a small donation here.

Both bands complimented the intimate setting as having a unique vibe of not feeling like a bar even though alcohol was served there, and they really enjoyed playing there. I haven’t even played there yet and it’s already my new favorite venue in Tuscaloosa.

To keep updated on the Druid City Brewery’s future shows, follow their Facebook page.

Alabama Live Music Calendar 3/27-3/29

Looking for trouble? Justin’s back and BHAMFM has the one true and final list on what’s popping off this weekend.

Friday (3/28)

Birmingham/Tuscaloosa –

  • ·         The Nick: Andy Lees / Mockingbird Sun
  • ·         Sound & Page: Jillian Edwards
  • ·         Zydeco: Unknown Hinson / Fifth on the Floor
  • ·         Workplay: Icon for Hire / A New Kind of Hero
  • ·         Iron City: Marc Harris / Aretta Woodruff
  • ·         Black Market (5pts): Geeked Out Tour
  • ·         Avondale: Chad Fisher Group / Preservation Hall Jazz Band
  • ·         Moonlight Mtn: Jenny & Tyler / Levi Weaver / Vanita Joines
  • ·         Stillwater Pub: Stephen McCullough Band
  • ·         Iron Horse Café: Cowboy Mouth
  • ·         Alys Stephens: Ailey II
  • ·         Pale Eddie’s: Chris Posey Trio
  • ·         Green Bar: Green Bar

Huntsville/Muscle Shoals –

  • ·         Moe’s (Providence): Tim Cannon                                                      
  • ·         Voodoo Lounge: .45 Surprise                                
  • ·         Sports Page: Artifas/SLG                                                         
  • ·         Humphrey’s: Billy Dawn Burnes                          
  • ·         The Foyer: Grayson Owen                                       
  • ·         Bandito (southside): Bourbon & Shamrocks                                                               
  • ·         Amemdment XXI: Drew Richter / Chelsea Cerha                         
  • ·         Furniture Factory: Scott Morgan & Juice                        
  • ·         Lone Goose Saloon: Blue Handel Band                                            
  • ·         Jefferson Street Pub: Chad Bradford                                
  • ·         Lee Ann’s: Crush                                           
  • ·         Stem & Stein: Jason Cunningham                         
  • ·         VBC: Lee Gibson                            
  • ·         Blue Pants Brewery: Gentle Ben                         
  • ·         The Brick (Decatur): Plato Jones                       
  • ·         Macs Sports Bar(athens): Jacob Reynolds / Daniel Jones
  • ·         116 E Mobile: Pine Hill Haints / Daniel Elias + Exotic Dangers
  • ·         The End Theatre: Battle of the Bands (Them Damn Dogs)

Auburn/Montgomery/Mobile –

  • ·         Bourbon Street: CBDB
  • ·         The Foxhole(Columbus): Ancient River
  • ·         Alabama Music Box: Sex Party / Boyfriend  / Roman Gabriel Todd’s the beast
  • ·         Soul Kitchen: Jon Pardi

Saturday (3/29)

 

Birmingham/Tuscaloosa –

  • ·         The Nick: Spirits & Melchizedek Children / Abby GoGo / Nick Lutsko
  • ·         Zydeco: Bob Margolin / Secret Midnight Band
  • ·         Workplay: Dirty Guv’nahs / Cerus & Cereus Bright
  • ·         Iron City: Stephen McCullough Band
  • ·         Moonlight Mtn: David Olney
  • ·         Stillwater Pub: Beaver Brothers Band
  • ·         Iron Horse Café: Reckless
  • ·         Café’ Firenze: Hunting Delilah
  • ·         Urban Standard: The Oarsmen
  • ·         Pale Eddie’s: Josh Gilbert
  • ·         Egans: Economy Cartel
  • ·         Rhythm & Brews: Farmer’s Daughter

Huntsville/Muscle Shoals –

  • ·         Moe’s (Providence): Travis Posey                                                     
  • ·         Voodoo Lounge: Local Orbit / Drip Centric / Jonny & the Black Frames                         
  • ·         Sports Page: Fuzzy Gouda
  • ·         Hideaways: Open Mic                                                                
  • ·         Humphrey’s: Stone Senate                      
  • ·         Station (Madison): Sean Rivers                                           
  • ·         Bandito (southside): Andrew & Ant (Beatles Tribute)                                            
  • ·         Amemdment XXI: Bro. Ric Patton       
  • ·         Furniture Factory: Black Eyed Susan                               
  • ·         Lone Goose Saloon: 3/4 Boogie                                          
  • ·         Jefferson Street Pub: Tom Perkins   
  • ·         Lee Ann’s: Groove                                       
  • ·         Stem & Stein: Brian Holder                     
  • ·         Backwaters: Kings Haze                           
  • ·         Straight to Ale: .45 Surprise                  
  • ·         The Brick (Decatur): Black Label      
  • ·         Macs Sports Bar(athens): Daniel Jones
  • ·         FloBama(shoals): Whiskey River Kings

Auburn/Montgomery/Mobile –

  • ·         Bourbon Street: Something Delicious
  • ·         Standard Deluxe(waverly): BlueGrass Festival
  • ·         Balcony Bar(au): Mang
  • ·         Alabama Music Box: Mandown / Mustachios
  • ·         Soul Kitchen: Jermaine Quiz/ PhoneauXX / Tony Scratchere

 

Sunday (3/30)

Birmingham / Tuscaloosa –

  • ·         The Forge: Broadside
  • ·         Avondale Brewing: Lefty Williams Band
  • ·         Stillwater Pub: Heath Green

Huntsville/Muscle Shoals –

  • ·         Kaffeeklatsch: Freddy Earl (Blues Jam)
  • ·         Lone Goose Saloon: Jonathan Byham
  • ·         Flying Monkey Arts Center: Bach in Tahiti / HSO Casual Classics

Mobile –

  • ·         Soul Kitchen: Getta LoDa Records Show

 

If you see any venues/bands I missed or has incorrect info, let me know! – JT

(Twitter- @jtiddy82 / @bamabandbooking)

Tuscaloosa says Goodbye to DIY venue Baby Haus

babyhausLast Saturday was the final show at Baby Haus, a house in Tuscaloosa that had been hosting shows in a few different locations for the past four years. As if Tuscaloosa wasn’t already renowned for being a “party town,” Baby Haus would often take it to the next level with antics such as nude moshpits, fireworks being set off in the house and the now infamous story of two girls getting busy during one band’s set.

I remember my first Baby Haus show in Fall 2010 and how I felt immediately welcomed & had so much fun.

Don’t get me wrong, Birmingham is rad, but Tuscaloosa got wild back in those days.

When it relocated to down the street in Fall 2011, the crunkness continued and the house’s walls eventually turned into a mural of random paintings & sketches. There were potlucks, bonfires, and eclectic bills ranging from hip hop to sludge metal (and of course, always the punk & garage rock).

Once Baby Haus moved to across the street, the house’s owner David Allen proclaimed that he didn’t want to have any shows at his new home. However, low-key backyard shows in Fall 2012 quickly escalated into house shows once again, but without the tagging and breaking things. Some proclaimed “Baby Haus was over” since it wasn’t as buck, but I personally appreciated how it had toned down into a setting for more artistic appreciation instead of constant inebriation. Shit was still getting ‘weird’ as recently as December though, when contact was made with Kurt Cobain through a Ouija board at the “Friday the 13th show,” and several people went down that rabbit hole.

I think we definitely took Baby Haus for granted while it was still here. It’s honestly a little hard to imagine our DIY scene without it, but Saturday was the perfect way to close it out.

The music started around 3:30pm and ended around 2am. All of the sets were solid, and shit got wild, reminiscent of Baby Hauses past, when Capsized’s pedal board got trampled and Billy Luttrell’s guitar got destroyed– missing 3 tuners, bridge and tail. I was in the middle of the crowd for nearly every set except for theirs because the moshing was too intense, even for me. Luttrell told me that it was the funnest show he’s ever played.

Carson Mitchell of The Dirty Lungs (who have an album soon to be released on Birmingham’s Communicating Vessels label) told this story of Baby Haus, having played the final show and at the former house: “Very funny story about the first time we played; we actually had a gig booked at the Mellow Mushroom, but there was some kind of mix up with the booking and they weren’t even going to open that night. We found this out as we were unloading all of our gear to the upstairs stage, and were very bummed out about it. To make matters worse, as we were reloading our gear into the van, our bass player at the time Jordan Sellers crushed his hand in the service elevator everyone uses to load their gear upstairs. It literally was broken for 4 months after the incident. Anyhow, after all of this nonsense had occured, we were still determined to make something happen even if it was just a party. Luckily, I texted our friend Madison (Langston) who was still living in T-Town at the time and already at a show at Baby Haus. She asked David right then if we could jump on the bill and he obliged. We ended up having one of the best and oddest shows of our life. Down a member, we had to play whatever we could think of that another one of our members could play on bass. It was also the first night I ever saw Gull, who is practically a celebrity in Birmingham now. I couldn’t think of a better way to experience the awesomeness of Baby Haus for the first time.”

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We are all really sad that the epic nature of Baby Haus is now over, but the memories will live on forever. I know someone will pick up the torch soon; Ttown is too rad not to have a DIY venue.

Saturday actually almost felt like just any other Baby Haus show filled with good music and good times until David Allen started handing out the goodie bags that included compilations, reminiscent of the Piss Shivers and Sorry Y’all era, and that’s when the nostalgia kicked in.  Birmingham is lucky to be getting David Allen, and Tuscaloosa will surely miss him.

However, though Baby Haus is over now, Tuscaloosa’s music scene is not. We had a huge benefit show for United Students Against Sweatshops in the basement of a dorm in January, a “Valentine’s Day weekend ‘Cupid is a Sonofabitch’ ” house show last month and have a “Spring Broke” house show planned for March 29th. We are aiming to have an all ages show once a month now. You can keep up with the current happenings in Tuscaloosa through the facebook group DIY Tuscaloosa.

In the words of OG-Baby Jake Hinson, “This is rock ‘n roll, baby. Get used to it.”

Anna Thomas is a writer studying Education and Spanish at the University of Alabama. Currently in the band Rumblepak, she also books shows for DIY Tuscaloosa. She’s the newest addition to BHAMFM.