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Tag Archives: el paso

Fin De Semana! 7-10-15

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I’m a finalist to represent El Paso on the Texas Taco Council. Super excited.

Speaking of El Paso, we had a UFO sighting.

On the heels (pun intended) of his talk about Mexico, Donald Trump gets an invitation to learn more about the border.

What I’m Listening To

The new Turnpike Troubadours song, which is a sneak preview of the self-titled album they’ve got coming in September. Find it here. I like the Troubadours because they’ve got an accessible, catchy, and essentially good-natured take on country. This song is no different and I’m really hoping this next album blows up and makes them huge(r). Listen here.

What I’m Drinking

A guest brought a bottle of this to our 4th of July cookout. I don’t normally like IPAs but damned if this one wasn’t smooth and not so hoppy it burned all your taste buds off. I guess they’re only for the 4th, so they might be hard to come by. Since the crisp, clear freshness of the beer is what made it so drinkable, it might be worth waiting until next 4th to pick up a new one. I know I’ll be keeping an eye out.

Fin De Semana! 6-5-15

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Back when El Paso was a rough town full of pistoleros and Juarez was calm.

Eh, it’s monsoon season anyway.

Whataburger soldiers through the egg shortage.

What I’m Listening To:

Man, is it good to have Dwight back.

What I’m Drinking

Shiner Light Blonde- It’s the light American lager from Texas’ favorite brewery! It tastes pretty much like “cheap beer!” Sometimes, when it’s really hot, that’s all you want! Listen! Whataburger cut back breakfast, Blue Bell is off the market, I was worried about Shiner! It’s going to be ok! It really is!

Fin De Semana! 5-22-15

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Tex-Mex in the Big Apple? Apparently not going so well. I love a snarky restaurant review.

Active duty soldier survives two tours in Iraq, only to die mysteriously in the El Paso Jail.

Slow West is getting mostly positive reviews. When (if) it plays here I’ll definitely be seeing it. Fun fact: it was written and directed by a member of the Beta Band (from that scene in the movie High Fidelity)

What I’m Listening To

Has anyone heard The Rose of Roscrae yet? I’m curious. It’s a folk opera set in the old west. I collect those. (Yeah, there’s enough of them to collect.) It has a sprawling cast and the story seems interesting.

What I’m Drinking

As far as “cheap beers” go, I’ll always be partial to Coors Banquet Beer. Now it’s in stubby bottles which has absolutely no bearing on the taste whatsoever. There’s nothing like pulling a Coors out of an iced down cooler and drinking it next to a mesquite fire. Or, on your back porch. But seriously, next to the fire is best.

Show Review- Kacey Musgraves at Tricky Falls

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It’s a hard thing trying to be all things to all people. Especially in Country Music. Especially now. Especially if you’re a woman. Kacey Musgraves finds herself in the same weird position that k.d. lang and Dwight Yoakam did before her. She’s a smart, retro-minded act in a genre that exceedingly prides itself on willful ignorance and distance from it’s past.

Armed with funny, insightful songs and a girlish voice, her show is better suited to an attentive crowd that knows how to listen, and how to follow along with a perfomers whims. This was not that crowd. Country music doesn’t produce that kind of crowd. Folks came to sing along to the songs they knew, and hoot and holler over the talking. Instead of viewing the night as an interaction between performers and audience, they acted like it was a TV show with no screen between them and the performance.

None of which is El Paso, or Kacey’s fault. I blame the mainsteam audience Kacey has to placate. We don’t really need to go into how much the country audience has changed or look at pictures of the trashed stadiums anymore. A George Strait cover and a few bars of “Como La Flor” by Selena were big hits and seemed natural. The Bob Marley cover and the request to put lit cellphones in the air like lighters felt forced. But, again, this is a pretty quirky, singular artist by Nashville standards and telling the crowd how to react emotionally to canned moments seems like a concession to the CMT crowd. Reggae singalong at a country show? Yes, because that’s what country music is now. If it’s the price that Kacey has to pay to stage eccentric shows with neon saguaros and light up Nudie suits, I’m all for it, I guess. She has a fun, self-deprecating way about her that’s likable and stands in contrast to a history of brassy, brash country ladies.

Which isn’t to say that the show wasn’t fun. It was. I had fun and I hope Kacey had fun. I hope she continues to have fun and do the fun, kitschy stuff she likes to do. Country music is better for having her around, and hopefully, she’ll find the niche she needs to to stick around. Lord knows we need her.

Fin De Semana! 4-3-15

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UFO Sighting in El Paso? Probably not, but hey, it’s something to look at.

Instead of doubling down on sports where they’re really successful, NMSU usually throws money at football instead, something they’re famously the worst at. Which is a shame, considering they’re doing it at the expense of students and parents who pay tuition.

Willie Nelson, Ertha Kitt and Dinesh D’Souza all have arrest records too, but I can’t help thinking if a Texas State Trooper took a picture with them he wouldn’t have to go to counseling. 

What I’m Listening To

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Justin Townes Earle-Call Ya Momma

Featuring a bit of a tougher country-rock sound than I’m used to hearing from JTE, this is the first single of his upcoming album “Absentee Fathers.” His earlier albums were steeped in pre-war blues, folk, country and classy R&B. If this is a grittier more country inflected record, I’m all for it.

What I’m Drinking

I don’t think you’re supposed to drink beer on Good Friday? I drank some water.

Fin De Semana! 3-20-15

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A treasure trove of portraits from old El Paso.

The decline of Tex-Mex cuisine. I know three different Texas dads who have the Tex Mex centerfold displayed in this article framed in their home.

Suuuuuuuurrrrre buddy…

What I’m Listening To This Week

Doug Sahm and Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove A new documentary about Doug Sahm put me in the mood to listen to him. And really, it’s never a bad time for his blend of rock, country, blues and psychedelia. Joe Nick Patowski, who is the greatest chronicler of Texas Music chose this for his directorial debut. Really, I don’t have words for how excited I am.

What I’m Drinking This Week

Is it Tecate weather yet? Can it be? Please?

Fin De Semana! 3-13-15

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How Mexico Learned To Polka

Bill Richardson, who as governor of New Mexico saddled some of its poorest counties with a tax to build a spaceport, is now lobbying for a group building a competing spaceport in California. Meanwhile, the New Mexico spaceport is still vacant with an uncertain future.

The Tigua tribe had a pretty nice casino, and used the money they made from it to do a lot of good for their community. The Texas Legislature shut them down and now the Feds are accusing them of violating that injunction. 

What I’m Listening To

Ryan Culwell-Flatlands Steeped in West Texas heart, shot through with echoes of Springsteen and as atmospheric as an abandoned house out on the plains. Flatlands covers a lot of ground, stylistically, but maintains the high-plains heart of The Flatlanders. I can’t wait to play this through my truck speakers while heading north out of town, out where the mountains finally give way to the plains. Out there, there’s nowhere for anything to hide, just the bare earth, light and shadow, and the ever present wind. That’s kinda how this album works, you get the same feeling of space and honesty.

What I’m Drinking

Protein shake. Off to the gym. Have a good weekend.

Fin De Semana! 2-13-15

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Digging up the past at one of Texas’ oldest missions.

Texans and their tie to the land.

Most of us saw this coming. That, is those of us who don’t hold office.

Remembering Waylon Jennings, who passed away on this day.

What I’m Listening To This Week:

J.D. McPherson-Let The Good Times Roll-McPherson makes straight-up, unabashed old-fashioned rock-n-roll like no one else. Taking a more R&B based tack than rockabilly, he breathes new life into one of America’s most vital art forms. Part of this is in the way he approaches what has traditionally been considered a hide-bound genre. Using modern production techniques that owe more to RZA than Sam Phillips, his songs are sneaky. They’re full of little modern ticks that ear doesn’t quite pick up, making everything sound fresh. It isn’t until you listen closely that you realize these aren’t straight up recreations of 50’s rock, but crafty homages. This is a long, fancy way of saying I love this record and I can’t stop listening to it.

What I’m Drinking This Week

Tecate, because it’s in the high 60’s and sunny out right now. We’ve got another cold front moving in, so better drink up and enjoy the sunlight while I can, right?

Fin De Semana! 2-6-15

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We’ve probably reached Peak Marfa.

Can’t wait until the Coen Bros make this into a movie.

A somewhat more sensationalistic look at el Valle de Juarez.

New Mexico’s favorite industry is back in business.

What I’m Listening To:

Dwight Yoakam-Secondhand Heart

Man, I am really glad to see Dwight Yoakam back on a major label and making new music. He’s going out on tour again, and Sam Outlaw is opening for at least one date if you want a great night of California country, that’d be the one to see. Dwight’s always played with form and sound, trying to meld a lot of different things. His newer stuff seems more ragged and rockin’ drawing more on Liverpool than Bakersfield. I’ll take it.

What I’m Drinking

Shiner Birthday Beer. I try to pick up a sixer of these every year. This is certainly one of the most memorable of their birthday beers, a chocolate stout that tastes pretty much exactly like a chocolate cake. This one’s good in small doses, since it’s heavy and rich. Definitely best enjoyed on it’s own or after dinner.

Fin De Semana! 9-12-14

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A brewery in Indiana gets around a stupid and very specific law by following it to the letter.

Much further West, the hunt for Sasquatch continues, even as hunters question why they’re chasing something everyone says is a myth.

An old article that got passed back around recently. Ralph Lauren’s ranch in Colorado. Say what you want about the man and his clothes, this is pretty similar to what Buffalo Bill Cody’s ranch would look like if he were alive today.

There’s been a lot of unsubstantiated, untrustworthy rumors that ISIS is in Juarez planning an attack on the U.S. Hysteria runs rampant in certain parts of the internet. Ft. Bliss, however, is on high alert. A gruesome murder  in El Paso was rumored to be related to terrorism but looks to be just senseless crime instead. My two cents: if ISIS is in Juarez (and remember, Juarez was supposedly full of Al Qaeda once, and Communists before that) they’re there for business and not to cause trouble in the U.S. An attack on the border would tighten drug smuggling corridors into the U.S. and put a huge dent in profits for the cartels. Put simply, it would be too bad for business.

What I’m Listening To

The Imperial Rooster

Imagine a marching band and an old time band broke down in the high desert of New Mexico and somehow, Tom Waits got involved. There’s polkas about butts and wage slave rebellions and pig forks. It’s all catchy and fun and settles into that sorta rootsy, greasy groove Ray Wylie Hubbard is always laying down. That’s the Imperial Rooster. Straight outta Espanola, New Mexico and fresh from Muddy Roots, The Imperial Rooster plays fun, surreal roots music like no one else. I have to say, they’re also some of the nicest and most fun folks I’ve ever interviewed. All the songs are pay what you want on their bandcamp page. But leave a little somethin’ for them will ya? I bet they’d appreciate the beer money.

What I’m Drinking

Sleepytime Tea because for some reason, I can’t sleep lately. Man, I’m the worst.