There’s a cat that lives in the Mid Main area of Houston and can often be spotted hanging around in the parking lot next to The Houston Continental Club.
The story of this cat is an interesting one.
Many years ago, a local lounge act called The El Orbits played the club every Monday night and during their performance hosted a BINGO game. The prizes were odd, to say the least. Old tacky Astroworld souvenirs and other odds and ends that front man David Beebe might find sifting through rummage sales and thrift stores found while travelling about Texas.
At some point a well meaning fan or friend of the band came to the club on BINGO night with two stray cats he thought might make good BINGO prizes. I guess the real hope was to find homes for the animals any way possible.
When the well meaning friend/fan went to his car to collect the cats and present them to the band they proceeded to leap from the car and scurry off. One of the cats was never seen again, but one of them continued to lurk about the area.
The parking lot attendant befriended the cat and though skittish and somewhat ornery in the beginning, the cat eventually settled down and became more friendly.
Cynthia took a shine to the cat and now buys cans of cat food to send with me when I visit the club. I give the food to the new parking lot guy and he uses it to feed the cat.
Cynthia has also named the cat. She calls him “Brando”
I don’t know if anyone else has adopted the name, but the cat responds when I show up with food and will come to me when I call out his name.
From the looks of things, the cat is not hurting for food. He’s been there for many years and is quite handsome and has become mostly tame.
My good friend Nick Gaitan of Nick Gaitain and The Umbrella Man called me Friday afternoon to ask me if I was planning to go see Garland Jeffreys at The Houston Continental Club that evening. I told him I had not planned on it and he proceeded to tell me a little bit about Garland Jeffreys and how he thought I might be interested in this show based on what he knows about my taste in music as well as my desire to photograph truly unique musical events when they happen in town.
Without going in to too many details, I will just direct you to the Wiki article on Garland. Suffice to say, I became VERY interested in seeing this show and told Nick I would see him there.
It is worth noting that Nick’s band was opening for Garland Jeffreys, but in all the years I have known Nick he has never been one to call me out to a show just because he’s playing it.
Of course The Umbrella Man put on a great show, but that night was all about Garland Jeffreys. The show was not well attended. But it was one of the best concerts I have ever attended. I am a music photographer, not a music reviewer, so I will just point you to the Houston Press review of the show for details. I should also note, the review does NOT feature my photographs as The Houston Press had Jason Wotler on call for this one. But I am glad I went and took my camera because ultimately, I shoot for my own archives and this is one I am glad to have captured.
All shot with the Sony A77 using the Carl Zeiss 85 f/1.4 and the Sigma 10mm Fisheye.
I was invited by Thomas @ Sig’s Lagoon to have my own photo show at his shop. We decided to feature only pictures I have taken over the years at The Houston Continental Club which gave me a lot to choose from…
He even commissioned local Houston poster artist Carlos Hernandez to do the promo posters
The show is still hanging at Sig’s and should be there through the end of September.
When I first got into shooting with a digital camera, I picked up the Sony A100 and the 50mm f/1.4 lens. Due to the crop sensor on the A100, the 50mm translated to a 75mm focal length making it just a little too tight for the kind of photography I was doing so it really didn’t get all that much use. A shame, really. This lens is fast and sharp and the images were outstanding. Even so, I found myself leaning on my Sigma 30mm f/1.4 for that added wide focal range (equivalent 45mm on the cropped sensor) that allowed me to capture more of the scene I was shooting.
Now that I have upgraded to the full frame Sony A850 the Sony 50mm f/1.4 is finding its way back into rotation and I am reminded of how great this lens is.
The current line up of The El Orbits is Thomas Escalante on vocals, Jim Henkel on guitar, Allen Hill on the bass and Eric C. Hughes on the drums. On Saturday night they opened for Roy Head, Barbara Lynn and Archie Bell. They also served quadruple duty as the backing band for each of the acts throughout the entire evening.
For this show I used three different Sigma lenses on the Sony Alpha 700, each of which is represented below.
I’d heard good things about Chango Man, mostly from the members of Chango Man but still, I wanted to check them out. Described as America Cumbia music it is a fantastic blend of Latin sounds that really sounds great. As front man El Fausto (Tino) Jackson likes to say: [paraphrasing] “There’s no reason Latin music can’t rock” and rock it does. It was a great show and definitely worth the time to go see.
Tino is great front man. I’ve seen him play with Beetle and Disco Expressions but when he is out front and taking charge is when he seems to be at his finest.