Of Pearls and Stars

The pearly treasures of the sea,
The lights that spatter heaven above,
More precious than these wonders are
My heart-of-hearts filled with your love.

The ocean's power, the heavenly sights
Cannot outweigh a love filled heart.
And sparkling stars or glowing pearls
Pale as love flashes, beams and darts.

So, little, youthful maiden come
Into my ample, feverish heart
For heaven and earth and sea and sky
Do melt as love has melt my heart.

- Heinrich Heine


a plausible finish

There ought to be a place to go
when you can't sleep
or you're tired of getting drunk
and the grass doesn't work anymore,
and I don't mean to go
to hash or cocaine,
I mean a place to go to besides
the death that's waiting
or to a love that doesn't work

There ought to be a place to go
when you can't sleep
besides to a TV set or to a movie
or to buy a newspaper
or to read a novel.

It's not having a place to go
that creates the people now in madhouses
and the suicides.

I supposed what most people do
when there isn't any place to go
is to go to some place or to something
that hardly satisfies them,
and this ritual tends to sandpaper them
down to where they can somehow continue even
without hope.

Those faces you see every day on the streets
were not created
entirely without
hope: be kind to them:
like you
they have not

- Charles Bukowski

Ashleigh Stone and Our Favorite Colors

Local musician Ashleigh Stone graced the town with her late-night, jazzy performance Tuesday at Triple Crown.

Stone and her band, Our Favorite Colors, successfully filled the venue with deep soul and rich energy.

The band consists of Stone on keys and vocals, Jason Wilkinson on drums, Kevin Colis on guitar and Ricardo Martinez on a variety on

instruments including additional keys, clarinet and saxophone.

I would describe the sound as this decade’s Fiona Apple, without the edgy teen angst factor. Stone’s vocals were low and subdued like those of Dawn Landes.

She had a vibrant disposition as she bee-bopped around and tapped her feet while playing the keyboard.

The band began the set with a poppy, energetic tune and made a smooth transition to a slow, melancholic song called “Amen.”

The crowd swayed and danced the entire set, regardless of the tempos played.

The song, “Lovely” seemed to be one of the more upbeat and popular songs.

Stone’s Web site biography describes her music as “a virtual playground. (It combines) traditional pop form with non-traditional expressions and new perspectives that create something uniquely modern, but always familiar.”

Stone is looking for new musicians to accompany her in a possible spring tour, according to her Facebook. As for now, she plans to stay in the area. Her next show is scheduled for New Year’s Eve at First Night Austin.

Ashleigh Stone and Our Favorite Colors were introduced by the southern rock band, King Fisher.

One of their original songs, titled “Pest,” especially held my attention. They closed their set with The Band’s “Take A Load Off Annie.”


Blues band keeps it real with audience

The Bastard Boys Blues Band are a rowdy group of five 20-something-year-old men on a mission to cure their troubles by belting out the blues with a bottle of Jim Beam at their side.

The Bastard Boys are guitarist and lead vocalist Joe Wozny, guitarist Adam Brisbin, bassist Justin Filor, keyboardist Jamie Ringleholm and drummer Brian Dunn.

According to their Web site, the band’s main influences respectively include whiskey, women, trains and Parliament Lights.

The band proved its ability to blow minds and actively entertain the audience last Tuesday night at Triple Crown.

The lyrics display one-of-a-kind humor that kept me laughing throughout the much-too short, one hour-long set. The first song they played was “Swamp House Stomp” about traveling through a swamp and another was about the “brand new haircut blues.”

I could tell I was in for a good show within the first few minutes of the song.

The Bastard Boys even sang a town tribute called “San Marcos Blues,” which mentioned various parts and characteristics of the city, such as Triple Crown and fellow local band Zlam Dunk.

The band was diverse in its musical styles. It was apparent to me each member brought something different to the table.

They each had a broad range of talent and vocals alternated between Wozny, Brisbin, Ringleholm and Dunn throughout the set.

Wozny’s vocals would blow the minds of Tom Waits fans. Wozny had a raspy, bluesy tone that correlated well with the traditional heavy blues bass line and soulful, ardent keyboard solos.

Wozny was jittery and animated during and in-between songs, energizing the crowd, chanting back and forth with them. I was having a blast watching his outrageous performance.

The boys closed with “Over-privileged Hipster Blues,” which comically chronicled the trials and tribulations of the modern day college student.

I have always been a fan of blues and jazz music, and I can honestly say I was impressed with the members’ energy and ability to convey the traditional blues style of artists like the great B.B. King.

The Bastard Boys Blues Band is scheduled to play its next show Nov. 11 at Triple Crown.

Bowen Taps Boots at Cheatham Street Warehouse

Kent Finlay’s Cheatham Street Warehouse, built in 1974, is still booming after 35 years of honky-tonk bliss. The warehouse proved its ability to continue drawing in large crowds of western clad, country music lovers for Wade Bowen’s Tuesday night performance.

The show kicked off with The Wes Nickson Band from Austin. The band was mostly Texas country with a hint of traditional southern rock.

They play shows almost every other night, mostly around Driftwood and New Braunfels at Tavern on the Gruene.

The Wes Nickson Band’s first independently released album came out in 2005 titled Tired of Waitin’. The band played its latest hit single called “Barely Holdin’ On,” and despite the keen ability to make listeners tap their boots and sing along, the band members currently remains unsigned.

Wade Bowen and his band took the stage at 10:40 p.m. By that time, the crowd of people gathered closely and the bar nearly tripled.

Bowen announced this was the band’s first time to play at Cheatham Street and they got a warm welcome.

The band’s front man, Bowen, was born and raised in Waco. Bowen said he had a love for country and bluegrass music from an early age, and finally decided to break off and start making his way in the music business in 2001. Other members of the band include Bowen’s longtime friend and fellow musician, Matt Miller, along with Gary Wooten, Brooks Robinson and Caleb Jones.

The band played its current radio hit “You Had Me At My Best.” I could tell it was a fan favorite looking around the warehouse at all the people singing and toasting their drinks in the air.

Ashley Westbrook, psychology senior, has seen Wade Bowen play a few times and said she is never disappointed.

“They were amazing as usual,” Westbrook said. “He always puts on a great show, and he really knows how to entertain the crowd. I had a great time as always.”

Currently signed with Sustain Records, Bowen wants to remain true to his Texas country roots. He turned down a music video opportunity for their latest single.

“This ain’t no No.1 or No.2 on some CMT countdown,” Bowen said.

Like other artists in the industry, Bowen claims to be in it for the music and not the fame. However, the music video for their song “Trouble” does happen to be posted on CMT’s Web site. I found that rather interesting.

The debut album Try Not To Listen was released in 2002, followed by Live at the Blue Light and Lost Hotel in 2006. The group’s latest album is titled If We Ever Make It Home and came out in Sept. 2008.

The band has collaborated with artists such as Pat Green and Ray Wylie Hubbard and recently toured with the Randy Rogers Band, another Texas country favorite.

Wade Bowen is heading east for the next couple of weeks to play shows in Huntsville and Victoria, but will be back Nov. 25. in New Braunfels at Gruene Hall.