Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Best Moments 2010

So its been a long, trying, difficult, and somehow glorious year. I am very lucky and fortunate and I have no complaints. A lot has happened and changed for me this year, so I will share the best and forget the worst. Once again in no order

1. A lot of fun this year. The first and best was a week in New York. I blogged about it earlier. A couple shows, I got to hang and play with Patrick Hallahan from the Jacket, and my homie Vishal, and it was on that trip that I regained some lost pride. I was strung out for a while and got to hang with some important friends that made my year. Thanks to all those friends for being there. It means the world for sure.

2. Laredo is on the musical map some how. My bro Fernando wanted to bring bands down there, and he hit me up about sending some friends of mine his way. Wouldnt you know it, its been a shot in the arm for music starved fans in my hometown. I love Laredo, and always will. Its in my bones.Heres a shot from a show for Those Darlins. The best chicks ever. Thats little Jesse on my shoulders, rocking my balls off.

3. My main man Vishal and I went on a trip to the Carribean where we went looking for trouble and found some. I can't say what went on down there, but heres a flip off a rope swing on a boat. Thats about the only thing we did that was legal.

4. Other than that, its all about hang time. All of you should let the people you love know that the best moments of your year are with them. It sounds mushy, but as much traveling as I do, its time with people I care about that matters most. These are my parents and my brother and his wife and kids. No, I am not adopted. Happy new year and I'll see you on the other side of it.

Best Albums of 2010

So Vladimir commented a few weeks ago about posting some best of stuff for the year. I thought it was a great idea, and here it goes. Specifically, he asked about albums, books and movies. I'll start with records, cause thats what I spend most of my time doing. You know, listening to records.

Every year theres a ton of these lists. I read them and I'm usually bummed about the results. Mainly because they are all too eclectic for me. I play rock n roll, I breathe rock n roll, so what I really like to listen to is.... you guessed it rock n roll. These lists usually have jazz, rap, rock n roll, soundtrack shit, I dont know. I think if one person truly listened and enjoyed every genre, how do they keep their head from exploding when their ipod begins to shuffle. I throw my ipod in an r&b thing, a country thing, or a rockabily thing, and guess what, you put that together and you get rock n roll, easy as pie.

So heres what got me buzzing this year. In no particular order.

Pete Molinari- "Train Bound for Glory"
I've mentioned this guy a bunch here, but he is amazing. His voice is classic and still interesting to listen to. Its got a freshness, that goes beyond being a throwback. Throwbacks are novelty, and Pete is deffinatley the real deal. His voice is soulful without being exaggerated. Its legit, pure and simple. The guitar on this album is excellent. Adam Landry, the producer, kills it all over this record.

Strange Boys - "Be Brave"

These are Austin dudes that are hitting their stride. They got a bunch of attention for their first record, and I might be in the minority, but I think this album is more mature and has better songs. I love the title track as well as "laugh at sex, not her".

Niel Young - "Everybody knows This is Nowhere"
Its a reissue, but its well done. If your getting into Niel Young. "Harvest" is what people will tell you, but I recommend this one. Four words..."Down by the River"

Black Keys-"Brothers"
These guys are massive now, and no one deserves that more than the Black Keys, let me tell you. I'm not sure if this is my favorite album of theirs ever, however, without a doubt, it is the absolute greatest sounding record of theirs. It jumps out of the speakers and never lets you go. The drums and bass sounds will be copied for the next twenty years. The drums at the begining of "Howlin for you", are you kidding me? Its ridiculous how good that sounds. "Tighten up" is a hit because, well, its a great tune. Thats why!

The Greenhornes - "****" I might be biased because this is my favorite band, but tough shit. Its a great record by a great band. "Song 13" is my favorite, and Jack Lawrence sings "Go tell Henry" and its amazing!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thanks West Coast

So when its snowing all over the country what do you do. Head west, and stay there if you can. I'll be damned if I didn't have the best tour ever playing with the Hacienda dudes and then standing in the audience every night to watch the Greenhornes. They're beasts and its right up my alley. And now that I just got my copmputer back, I'm gonna keep updating a bunch of stuff coming up. Theres some big news that'll come up in January, but now I'll give you all the news thats fit to print.
Traveling throught the L.A. we passed by Alive Records. They are Hacienda's label, and they're some of the coolest people ever. Started by Patrick Boisell and Suzy Shaw who also run the Bomp catalog, Alive has been one of Hacienda's biggest supporters. Suzy made us some cookies and her and Patrick are always quick with a cool story about Iggy and the stooges or Brian Jonestown Massacre, as well as playig us some new music. Its an experience man. Jack, our tour manager and Zach Ernst from Black Joe Lewis were on the tour with us and perused the isles. Great hang. Got to hang with some Laredo dudes in L.A. as well as my cousin Danny. Wheww! This tour was just getting started.
Stopped in san Francisco and had a shit ton of fun. Before we started touring I was a standard American Asshole and thought things like soccer, smoothies, axe body spray, muffins and San Francisco were lame. WHile I can't vouch for that other stuff yet, I can deffinatley take San Francisco off that list. I friggin love that place. I've been maybe six or seven times and its mega! I try to walk around as much as I can cause its not like other American cities. Took a bunch of photos like this center for the arts that you may recognize from the movie the Rock, where Sean Connery meets his daughter for the first time. Dig that! A foggy golden gate bridge peir where they were shooting a movie with this dude that looked like Terrance Howard, and a ridiculously hot chick. Thats a lot to encounter on your own during a walk around the block. I even ate some fruit called parcinimans. I'm pretty sure thats nowhere near the correct spelling. they're like the indy hipster of the mango family. So all of a sudden I'm drinking coffee and eating plates of food garnished with exotic fruit. What's happening to me! Similar thing happened with me and France last year. Either I'm going soft, or I'm getting cultured. Not sure yet. Lets hope its temporary.
Heres the Greenhornes at KEXP in Seattle and us hanging outside the media club in Vancouver o the last night. Tried to find a pick where Craig looks like he gives a shit. No luck. Craigs the man. Here to hoping he's into selling me that les paul someday.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

California Greening

So these Greenhornes are blowing my mind every night.

Patrick Keeler is a monster on the drums. Its like seeing one of the greats at the Marquee club in England. The difference is he's not stealin from anyone. He's just an American drummer that was born to kick your ass.

Jack Lawrence is quiet, unassuming, observant, when you least expect it, he funks you up. Tight as shit, and locked in with Kellers's kick. He's why you can't help but slap your lap and grin ear to ear.

Craig Fox is cooler than you are. Thats why he's the singer. He's cooler than me, you and everyone you've ever heard of. His voice is what Jagger was going for.

THey travel with this dude Mark who plays guitar and keys. Great dude witht the best Dwight Yoakam story ever. I'll tell it to you some time.

See the greenhornes as fast as you can. If you don't like it. I'll give you your money back, kick your ass, and then take it back from you. You really should've liked the show. Thats my garuntee.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On the Road Again

So finally I'm catching up on this site. Its been a busy time of year. Its probably busy for all of you as well. Packed some bags and headed out west with the Hacienda dudes for this tour with the Greenhornes. I mentioned before in a post from Nashville that I love love love the friggin greenhornes. Now that were in the thick of it, I can confirm that they are the most rock n' roll band I know, PERIOD!

Before meeting those dudes, I road in a van for about 12 hours due west. A lot of people don't realize how great a drive it is out west. IN December its probably the only place in the country thats wortha shit to travel to. Great weather and scenery.

SO heres how it goes. If you wanna know what is like to start a tour, here are the steps.

1. First you pack your bags. Its not like going on a holiday. Your are going to live out of this bag for the next month, and you don't have enough space to pack more than one bag. What do you do? ANSWER: You pack about a weeks worth of clothes and on week 4 your gonna smell fierce and people are gonna have to accept it.

HINT: run to Target or walmart and get a bag of clean socks at least once in a tour. New socks are a life changing event, ALWAYS!

2. SO your packed up, now its time to ride. Earplugs are a must. Headphones will save your life. A portable dvd player is my only friend. I've been watching some concert movies and hittin the redbox where we stop.

3. When you get cabin fever, my recommendations are to: SUCK IT UP, this is the life you have chosen. Accept that your ipod is king, accept that truckstops are your refuge, and accept that you are confined to a bench seat in the back of a van.

You know why? Cause when you get to where your going, you get to play the guitar for people that want to listen and thats just about the coolest shit ever.

Finally I arrive at the first stop. Turns out its a hard rock cafe in Phoenix. You know its like chuk e. chesse for adults. Well, fuck it, I'm playing it anyway. Theres always tomorrow, right?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

So Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I know this is late, but it turns out my computer has taken a turn for the worse and theres no saving it. Its unfortunate, that laptop has been all around the world and its over. Thankfully I was able to back up all my stuff and save some irriplaceable photos and videos from the last few years. My advice to all of you is to get an external harddrive just in case. Allright, enough of the nerdy shit.

I'm not a huge holiday person, but I spent Thanksgiving in my hometown and it got me thinking of things to be thankfule for, so here goes.

1. Thanks to everyone who has participated in this blog, i've enjoyed doing it for sure and plan on continuing.

2. Thanks to the spurs for getting off to a good start for once. Maybe they rest players down the stretch and be healthy for the playoffs for a change.

3. Thanks to the Greenhornes for getting together to tour again. This band is a huge favorite of mine, and I pysched to be on this tour with them.

4. Thankfull, that I'm finally getting my health back. I've been out of sorts for the better part of the year, and hav'nt been the easiest dude to be around.

5. Thanks to friends and family and all that stuff for hanging around with me for yet another year.

Holy shit! This might be the sincerest thing I've ever written.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Viral Blues

So I wasn't able to post anything these few weeks cause wouldn't you know it, my computer has contracted a bad virus. Without this computer I have realized that I can barely function in life. Its kind of embarassing. All my stuff is on there. Fingers crossed I don't lose any files. So in the meantime if you get weird emails from me selling viagra, or vouching for the son of an African Prime Minister who wants you to hold on to his money for him, or how I can get you discounts on your meds, IT AINT ME! Anyway, enough of the nerdy shit.

I switched to my phone to utilize its resources. No go on that either. So anyway sorry its taken a bit to update.

Since I don't have much to show off, I visited the wonderful world that is Youtube to let you know about an awesome band that opened for Hacienda at the begining of the month. I've talked about them a bunch in interviews and stuff. They are called the Jungle Rockers and they have the worlds best guitarist. I'm a complete guitar junkie and this guy can smoke everyone. Its pretty amazing.

Check out this clip of them here. The sounds at the 1:55 marker are amazing. What am I saying, its all bad ass.

When Hacienda started playing in Austin, we had a gig with the Ugly Beats and these guys. Joe from the Beats told me "You know, you and this guy from jungle rockers are kind of the dudes fighting for guitar spotlight right now in Austin". I thought, cool I'll check it out. Within about thirty seconds, I knew I was outmatched, outclassed, and no where near this guys league. His names Mike Molnar and hes a tele wizard. watch this clip at 1:26.

I moved over to this black les paul months later and when I saw Mike again he said, very cool guitar, just like Mickey Baker. I though "Shit, this is the only guy who caught that. Mickey Baker was the reason I bought it." Everybody thought I wanted to be slash or jimmy page or something. But it was Mickey Baker all along, and Mike caught it. This guys sharp, so do yourself a favor and catch them. Heres a clip of Mickey Baker's guitar sound. The most beautiful sound in the world. The solo is at 1:40 couldnt be better.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Finally Home

so when your home, you cant wait to leave town, and when your on the road, you usually cant wait to get home. Not the case when your touring with Grace Potter and her crew. Its like summer camp with these guys. I didn't want to go home at all. They are some of the most positive people I know. This is Benny Yurco, Guitarist extraordinaire. Whenever I would ask him, "hey Benny, How's it going? How you felling today", he would always answer with a big smile on his face and say, "Living the dream, man. We're doing it" Its impossible to be down around these guys.

After New York, we met GP and the Nocturnals in Pontiac Michigan. I preceded to go about five days without sleep. It was great. Grace cooks every night. She made Her psychedelic breakfast for me and Frank, we saw the giants woop the cowboys on Monday night football. And played the National Zoo in Washington D.C. Their drummer Matt Burr is one of the funniest poeple I know. The dude had me in stitches the whole time. All star players and all star people. thanks Grace, Matt, Benny, Scott, Catherine, Josh, Ben, Sam, and Justin.

So here's a super top secret exclusive clip. I'm probably not supposed to leak this, but I don't think that many people read this. Don't tell anyone you saw this hear. Its a clip of Grace Potter at the National Zoo in their animal costumes. check out your boy at 1:22 in this clip.

from frank weysos on Vimeo.

Benny and Scott have some amazing gear. Scott's a total tele wizard and plays great slide on a 70's sg. Benny's got a les paul with PAFs that is out of this world, and his sg custom looks cool as shit. These dudes look hard when they play, its great. This entire band and crew has a bud for life down here in San Antonio, Texas. Believe that.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween

So it finally happened. Its about 15 years too late, but I've now outgrown Halloween. I guess I outgrew it a few years ago. I love candy, especially m&ms, but I didn't have the desire to wear a costume this year. I don't know if I'll do it again. Heres a spooky full moon during a Hacienda show. That was about as Halloweenish as I got this year. I'd been Hulk Hogan, the Hamburglar, civil war soldiers in years past. I just didn't have it this year. Just got home after a tremendous run with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. They killed it, by the way. They had great costumes. I just couldnt get psyched for it this year. Maybe if I had kids, I just don't know. only 364 days will tell for sure if I can get back on the Halloween horse. Coming up next, I'll post some stuff from the Nocturnals tour. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Best people we've ever toured with, band and crew.

So I would just like to wish you all a Happy and safe Halloween, and a great Dia de los Muertos to you all as well.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Chicks Man! (Gear Post in Disguise)

so anyone whose spent about an hour around me knows I'm gonna talk your ear off about nothing and everything at the same time. What can I say, I got the gift of gab. There are two main things that people ask me after a gig. The first is "Dude, what pedals do use?" and the second is, "SO whats the chick situation on the road like?". I'll start with the fist question. When it comes to gear, I'm changing all the time. The guitar player's lament, is that it can always be better. My setup has been pretty similar for the entire year. Thats been rare. When I started playing I bought every pedal and traveled with a 4 foot pedal board that had delays, flangers, tremolos, you name it. I also mainly did a les paul standard. Eventually I got into the tele scene got a smaller amp and turned into a country picker. Now, I dont know what the hell I'm doing. I think I'm just rolling with it. Gone are the superfluous stomp boxes and rack of four teles that make the exact same sound, and in are just a couple of old faithfuls. This big red Gibson 355 is blowing my mind every night and is a joy to play, and the Black Les paul custom just always looks cool. I can really just travel with those two guitars and be happy. I've got about 5 pedals or so, and really the only ones that matter are a reel echo and the gospel bomb by this dude Hudson electronics. Thats the rangemaster clone I was telling y'all about. A couple of fuzzes are mixed in to get really nasty at the end of a set, but I dont use fuzz as much as people think. When I'm asked about the fuzz tone I was getting on stage, I dont have the heart to tell people that my amp is just really really really really loud and I use that treble booster. So there you have it, get a great guitar, play your amp loud, get a treble booster and an echo and thats what I sound like.

And with regards to that second question, I'd like to say "None of your fucking business!" nah, that sounds mean. Look, chicks are great, I love em. But come on, why does anybody care? If you must know, I went on an actual date the other day that was quite lovely. I've never been on an actual date with a chick I met in a town randomly like that. Nice meal, walk in the park, and a hope to see you soon. So there you have it, it aint really like rock of love, and I'm certainly no God damn Bret Michaels. Hope that doesnt let you down anonymous sleazy dude.

These pics are from Sarah Maspero at the Canal Room in NYC. thanks Sarah

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Morning Jacket are Robots!

So we did a gig with my morning jacket at Terminal 5. What can I say about MMJ that hasn't been said already? Lets see, here goes, "My Morning Jacket are actually Robots!". Alright alright, thats not really true. I just figured nobodys said that already. When we rolled into the venue, the jacket was rehearsing the album "At Dawn". they would play it in its entirety that night. This was my first time seeing the jacket live. It was ridiculously good. My sister in law lost her mind at the show. She looked over at me and said "Im not intoxicated one bit, and I am getting this on a level that no one else is right now". I took her car keys just in case. Jim James' voice has been known to mesmerize audiences. I guess it works. Their guitarist carl has some great gear. He's a total les paul dude.

Then theres Papa Dynamite on the drums. Mister Patrick freakin Hallahan. My favorite drummer, check that, my favorite person ever! Sorry mom, he's that nice. The crew was very positive and we played our set to what seemed like a million people. I guess it was really several thousand, but whats the difference. Thier set killed. Check out this review from Brooklyn Vegan. thanks Jacket dudes.