Oh, Houston, you know you like your rock and roll with a side of stripper brio and a double shot of burlesque. Admit it.
Well, Bianca Montalvo, a.k.a. "La Catrin," should be just the ticket for those who like their music showered with a big whiff of sex perfume. Miss Catrin imbues all her work with lessons learned the hard way: working as a strip club cocktail waitress.
If anything in this world ever made sense, all cloning research would be done in Nashville. The current Nashville cloning projects involve repeating one of two formulas, at least for females: You need to be either another Taylor Swift/Carrie Underwood (really, what's the difference?) or another Miranda Lambert, a swaggering, drinkin', cussin', whip-your-sorry-ass looker with just a little more wildass than brains.
Enter Sarah Gayle Meech, who plays a special, short-notice show at Under the Volcano tonight. With her tattooed arms and long, coarse, jet-black hair, Meech is on the Miranda Lambert trail, the one where the ladies aren't necessarily so lady-like, where they're as liable to have a fifth of whiskey, and a gun in the car as an umbrella and an air freshener.
Sleepy LaBeef should be better known in Houston than he is because he is, in fact, a Houston legend. At 18, he walked off from his parents' Arkansas melon farm and made his way after a short stint in Beaumont to Houston where he landed smack in the middle of the rough-and-tumble Houston music scene just as rock and roll and another young hillbilly named Elvis Aaron Presley were reshaping the world of popular music.
A man for all seasons and an adaptable performer, LaBeef sang in gospel groups to make a living while putting his own band together. By the time he was 22 in 1957, he was part of the stable of artists on Pappy Daily's now-legendary Houston label Starday Records, where he released signature rockabilly sides like "I'm Through" and "All Alone" while promoting his own dances at Houston's major clubs. Houston had its own Elvis in the 6' 7" wildman LaBeef, who found himself, along with other local heroes like George Jones and Sonny Burns, playing on bills with Presley at the Houston Jamboree and Magnolia Gardens. LaBeef's rave up anthem was a storming butt-shakin' rocker called "Tore Up," nothing but rhythm, muscle, and sex.
Nashville has a had a saccharine hillbilly image for so long, you just knew someone was going to come up with a band that was the anti-image. Maybe the first was Jason and the Scorchers (originally called the Nashville Scorchers), inventors of the noisy raucous so-not-Nashville genre known as cowpunk. But in 1996 Atlanta guitarist Blaine Cartwright and wife Ruyter Suys trumped ever other band playing off Nashville's staid image when they named their band Nashville Pussy.
H-Town has a long, loving relationship with garage rock going all the way back to the '60s, when bands like Sir Douglas Quintet recorded hits like "She's About A Mover" in Houston and rode the tide to the top of the rock and roll charts and international stardom.
Muck and Mires come of out of that skronking, swaggering Boston garage scene that traces its roots all the way back to bands like The Standells, who had one of the first '60s garage hits that brought parents out with pitchforks and bibles with its overt sex talk. They specialize in music for shakin' your butt. You'll never find these guys waxing poetic about their journey to inner peace or "finding themselves" or any of that artsy-fartsy stuff that seems to be pouring out of everyone who owns a guitar on both sides of the Atlantic these days.