Category Archives: Texas

Johnny Mauldin – I’ve Lost You b/w Vivera’s Soul (Richochet Records, c.1970s)

It’s weird. It’s from Texas. What more can you ask for? Well, in the case of Johnny Mauldin it gets even better because this was recorded in Mineola, Texas, the tiny town where my parents live. This track is similar to the GnR classic “Used to Love Her” except in this case the murdered woman also comes back to haunt him. Charming, huh?

Johnny Mauldin -Vivera’s Soul


Larry Bright – Bye, Bye, Texas b/w I Saw Her Standing There (Original Sound, 1971)

Two seconds after I finished taking a photo of this record I dropped my phone on it and cracked it. Which is a real bummer because this was a great track. And it’s not likely I will ever see this again. Are you playing your tiny violin for me?

This is (was?) #103 on the Original Sound label. Larry Bright and OS both had minor hits in the 60’s, but by the 70’s both had seen better days. “Bye, Bye, Texas,” is a nice original number, uptempo and about Texas, of course. The flip side is one of the worst cover versions ever of one of my favorite Beatles songs, “I Saw Her Standing There.” It’s sooo bad y’all. But let’s focus on the positive. Which is that Side A is pretty good and you should check it out. And that at least I ripped a copy of the good side before I destroyed this record.  And that I will most def be on the lookout for some of the earlier Original Sound stuff.

Larry Bright – Bye, Bye, Texas

The Buck Pets – Snatch Rap (Island Records, 1987)

Named the wealthiest city in the US in 2008 and a consistent top 10 contender for “Best Quality of Life,” Plano, Texas didn’t always have such a sterling reputation. Luxury cars and nose jobs have always been fodder for high school lunch room talk in this Dallas suburb, but so have suicide, steroids and heroin overdoses.

Way before anyone uttered the phrase “McMansion,” executives flocked to Plano and it’s sprawling corporate campuses to build tasteless castles in so-called golf course communities. Does this sound a little like hell? It must have felt that way to the nine high school students who offed themselves in the early eighties, a tragedy that produced articles in the national media that were as much rubber-necking as they were hand-wringing. (Seemingly blind to their problems, the 90’s found Plano with an epidemic of heroin overdose deaths and less then ten years later, a string of hospitalizations related to steroid abuse.)

Guitarist Andy Thompson and singer Chris Savage met as Plano high school students in 1984. Together they formed the Buck Pets, a band that traded coked out for fuzzed out preppy for punk rock. In just a few years they were a staple of the Deep Ellum scene, appearing on this 1987 Island Records compilation “The Sound of Seep Ellum.”  They have the distinction of being the only band on the comp to get picked up by the label, later releasing two full-length albums.

If these guys has been born in Westchester County they might have been the first Vampire Weekend. Thankfully they opted for good old fashioned Texas rock instead. Frequent openers for the Ramones, Flaming Lips and Janes Addiction, the band broke up in 1993.

The Buck Pets – Snatch Rap (download&stream)

The Texas Instruments – s/t, 1987 (Rabid Cat Records)

I don’t know a lot about this band, but from what I can tell, they definitely have earned their place in the Austin music scene. The Texas Instruments (namesake of the Texas-born titan of circuits, calculators and embedded processing)  are frequently named as examples of Austin’s “New Sincerity” music style alongside other Austin groups such as the Wild Seeds, the Reivers and the True Believers. Recording with Daniel Johnston (Continued Story cassette, 1985) and appearing in the 1991 movie Slacker are certainly two large feathers in their “indie-cred” cap.

More than anything this record reminds me of the Screaming Trees, especially their 1987 release Even If and Especially When, a record I really, really like. Its a real bummer that this group seems to have fallen through the cracks (especially in the “Live Music Capital of the World” … *roll eyes*) Compare this track with Life’s Rich Pagaent-era R.E.M. and the comparisons the Athens’ scene are obvious. (Or compare to Athen’s heros Pylon for that matter.)  This is one of those “missing link” type bands that, in this case, didn’t ride the wave of punk that came before them or full-fledged grunge that rose to popularity several years later. RIYL Meat Puppets, R.E.M., Minute Men

Prussian Blue-The Texas Instruments (download&stream)