SEXTON BROS & ARC ANGELS | AUSTIN, THE BRAMHALL LEGACY & VAUGHAN…

I love Texas. There are more Rock, Country, Folk and Blues music greats from the Lone Star State than you can shake a stick at– not to mention the colorful and storied scene they created that lives-on today. The loyal fans who were around back then dutifully keep it alive through a rich oral history.

My buddy Bruce is one of those guys. Ask him if he recalls when the Sex Pistols toured through Texas in ’78 and his eyes light up like a Christmas tree. Before you can catch your breath, out come tales of the filth, fury & raucousness of that time like it was yesterday– “You mean that Sid Vicious kid?  Yeah man, of course I remember it. It was a mess! He was runnin’ his mouth, spittin’, and swingin’ that bass around like a baseball bat on stage– mowin’ people down.  They wanted to kill him!” Ask him about Charlie Sexton, and out come tales of the early days of him and his lil’ brother Will playing in clubs before they were teens…then with the Vaughan brothers (Jimmie & Stevie Ray)…and Charlie’s much-loved band, Arc Angels, with Doyle Bramhall II, son of the legendary Doyle Bramhall…and how Doyle (Senior) and the Vaughan brothers own history together (among many others, Jimmie and Doyle both came out of the legendary band, The Chessman) was foundational in laying the groundwork for the Dallas / Austin music scene in the 1960s & 1970s that is so prolific, relevant, and vital to this day. Whew.

These three families– The Vaughans, the Bramhalls, & the Sextons, are forever entwined with one another in the history of Texas music. Everyone knows about Jimmie & Stevie Ray Vaughan, ’nuff said. Doyle Bramhall (Senior) is a legend who left his mark on this world that sadly lost him back in November. Doyle Bramhall II is known for his early days with Charlie Sexton in Arc Angels. Young Doyle went on to be a singer in his own right, and a much in-demand guitarist who has backed-up some of the greats like Roger Waters and Eric Clapton. Then we have the Sexton brothers…

Charlie Sexton was often railed as a Post-Wave pretty boy, which he definitely was during his mainstream popularity. (I remember a few of the hip girls in High School with Charlie Sexton posters on their walls, and tee-shirts emblazoned with his pouty lips & piled-high coif on their budding chests.) His rising star somehow failed to reach its promised heights back then, but over the years Charlie has silenced his critics by becoming a very well-respected musician (his guitar playing is simply incredible) and producer who has toured and recorded with some of the biggest names in the business– Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, to name just a few. And for you hipsters out there– he even played with Spoon on Austin City Limits back in 2010. Will Sexton is less known, but no less talented– and perhaps even the more sensitive, thoughtful musicians of the two. Definitely more folksy, in a good way. (In all fairness, the video clips I chose of the Sexton brothers are of when they were very young, back in the ’80s, in fact. I think it’s safe to say we all have some fashion / hair moments from those days that we’d all like to forget. Go on YouTube to see their current work, which is very solid.) Charlie and his little brother Will went off on different musical paths, but those paths will bring them together again, as both make their mark in the annals of Texas music history for us to savor, and the next generation to discover.

July 4th, 1982 — A very young Charlie Sexton,13-yrs-old, playing with the Joe Ely Band (which toured as the opener for The Clash back in the day– you heard me right, this kid opened for The Clash.) at Gilley’s, Pasadena, TX. That Rockabilly look would carry through to Charlie’s next band, the Eager Beaver Boys– in fact, the hair would get higher and higher. –image Tracy Hart

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THE WEDNESDAY SHAMELESS PLUG | TSY x BLIPMAGAZINE’S WINTER ISSUE

Online magazine. Yuck. Please don’t ever refer to TSY as an “online magazine.”

Call it a… hell, I don’t know what you’d call it. And please don’t ever refer to me as a blogger. It makes me cringe, dunno why, but it does.  The only words that make me cringe more– ointment, moist, slacks. Use them all in a sentence in my presence–  prepare yourself for projectile vomit.

Now back to “online magazine.” It’s clearly one of the shittiest terms ever used to describe blipmagazine, in my humble opinion.  It’s the creation of Frederick Barthelme (former Editor of Mississippi Review, and Director of The Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi), who invited several of his staff members to come along to create what would become– blipmagazine.

Well, what is it exactly, you’re still asking?

“It’s a renegade outfit. And we like it that way. Literary rogue nation unto ourselves.
In fact, we’re gunning for one corner of the axis of evil, according to certain American politicos.”
–Courtney Eldridge of blipmagazine

“And what is The Selvedge Yard, you ask? Well, porn, mainly. That’s right, it’s good old-fashioned porn, the way God intended, offering up a little something-something for every body. What, you got cars, bikes, motorcycles, movie stars, centerfolds, style icons, textile design, punk rock—it’s BMX one day; Jean Cocteau the next… At the crossroads of auto-erotica and Americana, The Selvedge Yard is a celebration of that greatest of American tales: the open road.”

–Courtney Eldridge, blipmagazine

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BLUESMAN STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN | TRIBUTE TO AUSTIN’S FAVORITE SON

From the desk of Contributing Editor, Eli M. Getson–

Life has now taken me to the great city of Austin, Texas. You can usually find me walking next to Lady Bird Lake early Saturday morning,completely stuck in my own head, and with my son in tow. He’s a bit of a freak for guitars, and on one of our walks he asked me, “Who is that statue of the man with the guitar?” As we walked closer a smile crossed my face…

It has been over twenty years since we lost Stevie Ray Vaughan in a helicopter crash– arguably one of the greatest blues guitarists ever, and one of the greatest musicians to come out of the Austin music scene. He was only 35 when he passed away, and was on a high from being clean and sober for four years. Stevie was making some of the best music of his life and then– gone in an instant.

Stevie Ray Vaughan played in my hometown of Chicago quite a bit while I was growing up. Any serious blues player will tell you that all roads lead to the Windy City– and Stevie was no different. He had a reverence for the blues and its history. Stevie was heavily influenced by Chicago legend Buddy Guy (who along with Albert King, Otis Rush, Lonnie Mack, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, and Jimi Hendrix really sculpted his style) and would show up at Buddy’s club Legends to jam after hours when he was in town. I was lucky enough to see him play there several times. You could tell that Dallas-born Stevie had cut his teeth playing the small clubs around Austin– he really liked that environment and usually played some great stuff. You had to be willing to stay well into the morning hours to catch Stevie jam with Buddy and any number of Chicago’s finest players, but it was well worth it. Well before the days of cell phone cameras and YouTube, most of these sessions will only live in the memory of those of us that were there to witness two of the greatest guitar legends take turns on classics– like Born Under a Bad Sign, Red House, Not Fade Away, and Mannish Boy.

I often pass Stevie’s statue on my Saturday walks, and wonder if others still stop and reflect on his greatness. Do they know how truly special this guy was? Sadly, time has a way of dulling our memory, and we can forget. Man, I hope not. I feel blessed to have seen Stevie play guitar back then.  His incredible sound was pure Blues and pure Texas.

Eli M. Getson

The legendary Texas Bluesman and guitar great, Stevie Ray Vaughan, going behind the back.

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A LOST ART OF DAYS GONE BY | VINTAGE CURT TEICH LINEN POSTCARDS

I’m crazy for vintage Curt Teich linen postcards. The warm, fuzzy, softness of color, printed (sometimes slightly off register) on the linen-weave stock, of scenes when America had a youthful glow. It makes me yearn for a life and times that I was born too late for, by golly.  I find myself gazing at neighborhoods and cities, trying to chronologically piece them together.  I ask myself– what was it like here 100 yrs ago… which houses came first… which were layered in later, and when?  A lot of the scenes in these incredible windows to the past are places where I’ve lived, or passed through that are in one way or another core to who I am.

Imagine living again in a time with no cell phones, internet, and the other so-called modern conveniences that “save us time.” I could go back in a New York second.  Technology and consumption is moving at a scary pace, folks.  I wonder what we’ll be looking back at with nostalgia-glazed eyes 25 yrs from now… Planet Earth?

Ford Model T – 1908-1909, the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan

Statue of Liberty on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor, New York City

Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, New York City

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VICIOUS WHITE KIDS | THE SEX PISTOLS TAKE ON ROCK ‘N ROLL & THE SOUTH

10 Mar 1977, London, England, UK — The punk rock group, The Sex Pistols, are about to be moved by a policeman as they sign a copy of their new recording contract with A & M Records outside Buckingham Palace. The next record to be released is called “God Save the Queen”. The band members (from far left to right) are John Lydon, Steve Jones, Paul Cook and Sid Vicious. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

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I’m not gonna lie– life has been kicking my ass a little lately. It’s got me wantin’ to spit, sneer, and swear like Sid Vicious.  But instead, I’ll humbly take my licks and lumps, and keep on pluggin’ along the best I know how.  I actually have a feelin’ this could end up being one helluva year– for TSY and beyond.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here before, but I spend a ton of time in Dallas for business.  I’ve been going down for years, and know it pretty well.  Calling it my 2nd home is not a stretch by any means– it’s a cool town, and I’m very comfortable there.  Lots of great people and good eats.

So, Friday I was having lunch at El Fenix with my buddy Bruce, who’s a few years older than me, and outta nowhere I ask him, “Hey, man– were you in Texas back in ’78 when the Sex Pistols rolled through on tour?  You remember them?”

Well, his face lit-up like a Christmas tree as he said, “You mean that Sid Vicious kid?  Yeah man, of course I remember it.  It was a mess!  He was runnin’ his mouth, spittin’, and swingin’ that bass around like a baseball bat on stage– mowin’ people down.  They wanted to kill him!”

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The Sex Pistols’ infamous Dallas, Texas show marquee at the Longhorn Ballroom (once owned by Jack Ruby) back in January of 1978– “Sid was really f*cked up. Really drunk. He played for a while without his guitar plugged in. He played for a while with a fish. I think somebody threw it up there, a bass or something. People seemed pissed at him. He’d spit on the audience; they’d spit on him. That’s what you did. There was this element of, ‘You paid to see us play?'”— The Austin Chronicle

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Stanley Korshak | From Ultimate Upscale Luxury Merchant– to Down & Dirty eBay Power Seller

 

This one really knocked my totally socks off.  

Hey Shak– somethings you might need to do, but don’t talk about it.  

I couldn’t believe their transparency on something so brand-negative.  Anyone else smell blood?  Up until now, no trip to Dallas ever felt complete without a walk through Stanley Korshak– one of the finest specialty retailers in the country.  But why waste my time anymore– I’ll just go on eBay.  Actually, the goods online appear to be a lot of fringe-sizes and odds & ends that they want to unload, but still.  

I have to say, I am disappointed.  In some ways this might seem like someone leveraging Ebay’s reach and ability to sell product– but more than anything it reeks of reactive versus proactive management and not weighing the long term costs to the brand vs. marginal short term gains.   

 

Stanly Korshak

Go online or go extinct?  Admittedly this is not a business plan, this is being practical in tough times– but again, at what cost ultimately?  I’m sure your luxury vendors are tickled to hear how you’re keeping the lights on these days.  

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