ALEX MCMURRAY

News

01.01.2008

Guano and Nitrates Review - No Quarter Magazine

No Quarter Magazine by Jamaica Rose

Guano + Nitrates" from the Valparaiso Men's Chorus, featuring the Tin Men. It's an album of traditional shanties. But it is very different from other albums of traditional shanties. It is sung as if by a pub full of drunken rowdies... sung the way sailors would have sung, with no holds barred, cursing and swearing like... well... drunken sailors.

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Guano and Nitrates
12.15.2007

Royal Fingerbowl - Now available!

- Alex has finally swung a deal with the fine folks at (record company to go unnamed) and he can now offer more of his back catalog - Royal Fingerbowl's legendary 'Happy Birthday Sabo!' and 'Greyhound Afternoons'. Go check out the music page for free samples and a link to get one of these fine disks in your hands. There is no sayin' how long the supply will last, so get them while  you can!

- Another run of Banjaxed was pressed and it is now available in disk and digital download.

- A blogger named 'authur' attended the last Valparaiso Men's Chorus event at the Saturn Bar. Check out his take on the event here.
"The band plays these old songs as if they were born to them, skipping reverence and piousness and going straight to their dirty hearts"

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11.27.2007

Whoa, this is sad. Almost five months since the last diary posting. While I am Extraordinarily Busy, there is really no excuse for this. And you would think that I'd be fixing to burst with news and information, but that isn't the case. Sure there are the usual updates, such as the news that there was another performance of sea shanties on November 2, which was triumphant and epochal. The Valparaiso Men's Chorus got its collective shit together and learned another set of music not on the CD. I harbor the faintest of hopes that we can make another CD. I can't see why not. Maybe the chorus could go out and sell magazine subscriptions to help raise the money. I think it would be cute to see Fayard and Starnes knocking on doors and putting on an earnest face. We could offer people Ranger Rick and Boy's Life. If those magazines still exist. Perhaps a sailing magazine or one devoted to...

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11.25.2007

Media Updates

- The Thursday evening DBA shows have been going well. There will be a great line up of guests for the December shows including: Bill Malchow, The Jackals (Cabral/Freilich/Garrison), John Vidocovich, Walt and Auroa, Simon Lott and Brian Coogan. Always something familiar. Always something new. Always something that you should not have missed. What else could you be doing on Thursday night?

- Check out Zack Smiths Chaz Fest 2007 Photos. Nice Gallery of Chaz Fest gayety. Thanks Zack.

- We have sold out of legendary 007 CD 'Studied Rudeness'. Never fear rock steady fans, the new 007 disk is in final production and will be available in Jan or Feb ohh eight. Don't miss out on this one. Buy early and buy often.

- The folks at NolaFunGuide.com have put a page up on yours truly.
- And a short mention at Nola.com (gravely voiced vanguard?)

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10.15.2007

THE VALPARAISO MEN'S CHORUS
is proud to present
An Evening of
SEA SHANTIES
at the
SATURN BAR
3067 St. Claude Ave.
9th ward, USA
11pm on the night of
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 2, 2007
View Show Poster
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10.01.2007

The ACT

So people have been asking me more and more when I'm going to crank upthe act again. Looks like I'll be taking over for Paul Sanchez over at the DBA Thursday evenings from 7-10. No cover, hassle free entertainment on a school night. more than likely i'll have lots of special guests to keep things interesting.

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07.06.2007

The usual apologies for not posting one of these for so long, etc. What can I say? Its been a big spring and now that its officially summer i can see the days stretching out ahead of me like a wild highway out in Utah. They're tearing up the street in front of the house and there's dust everywhere and that beeping sound whenever the heavy trucks go in reverse. They repaved St. Claude Avenue less than five years ago and we're all wondering why they're doing it again so soon, especially as it was one of the better preserved thoroughfares. Maybe it's part of a maintenance schedule but graft is the more logical explanation, especially when you know Burgundy Street just two blocks away has been a nightmare for years. You don't even want to ride your bike down Burgundy. But even Burgundy pales in comparison to the condition of just about every street north of St. Claude (the virtual...

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06.11.2007

007 New Orleans Jazz Festival Live recording is available!

The fine people at Munck Music have made this years 007 performance available both on disk and as a digital download. Get it at Munck Music

Set List:
1. Woman Don't Want Bang Around (2:42)
2. Honour Your Mother And Father (4:02)
3. Tears On My Pillow (3:26)
4. It's You (3:02)
5. Fortune Teller (3:37)
6. Stage Banter (0:36)
7. Long Time (3:45)
8. Baba Boom (4:59)
9. Unity (2:34)
10. No, No, No (6:00)
11. Stage Banter (1:12)
12. True Love (3:51)

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06.11.2007

Chaz Festival review and video in New Yorker Blog

Chaz Festival review and video in New Yorker Blog - The New Orleans Journal

Great Blog entry and video of the Chaz Festival.
Look for the May 11 entry.  Here

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04.10.2007

SECOND ANNUAL CHAZFEST COMES TO THE NINTH WARD


It's the party so nice we had to do it twice. That's right, you heard it here first and make no mistake the SECOND ANNUAL CHAZFEST will take place RAIN OR SHINE on THURSDAY, MAY 3 at THE TRUCK FARM located at 3020 St. Claude Ave in the fashionable Upper 9/LowBy area. The doors will be open at 11 and the bands will go from noon until 10pm. It's a must-see event you will find nowhere else! Chazfest is the only place you'll be able to see any of these great artists in a festival setting in the greater New Orleans area this spring.

And this year there's even MORE Chazfest, as we've added a second stage.

We've also got more great food this time around. Returning from last year are Pete and Jenny from The Joint with New Orleans' premier BBQ. Mz Gianna will feature a veggie "green" gumbo, and Karen Brady and Georgia Rhody will be serving burritos and margaritas.

We will have plenty of...

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04.10.2007

SEA SHANTY CD RELEASE SCHEDULED FOR SAT. APRIL 21

An evening of mayhem, rum and song has been scheduled for Saturday, April 21 at the Saturn Bar, located at 3067 St. Claude Ave in glamorous Bywater USA. Come and see, for their first public appearance, The Valparaiso Men's Chorus as they perform your seafaring favorites! Thrill to the robust and ribald maritime sounds of yore! The action begins at 10:30.
(click for larger image)
 
And for the first time ever available ANYWHERE!

THE CD! 
THE VALPARAISO MEN'S CHORUS--GUANO AND NITRATES!

Join the chorus saturday night!
Download and print the lyrics from Guano and Nitrates
1: Drunken Sailor
2: Blow The Man Down
3: All For Me Grog
4: Serafina
5: So Early in the Morning
6: The New York Girls
7: Spanish Ladies
8: Sally Brown
9: Rio Grande
10: Cape Cod Girls
11: Rosyanna
...
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02.06.2007

I suppose I must admit I've fallen down the rabbit hole. Things have been Strange and Paradoxical of late, due to a little mission I agreed to take care of for a friend. I'm not sure I have the time, space or even the inclination to go into it right now, but I offer it as a lame excuse for why there hasn't been a diary entry since last summer. This thing has been chewing up my days and gorging on my psyche. I noticed only yesterday that I had not a single gig booked for Mardi Gras; that the entire spring was a blank. Usually these things happen as a result of six weeks of acting like a nineteen-year-old. Not so this time. At any rate, after two days on the phone and several hours in front of the computer I think the ship is listing a little less. If you know me you know what the thing is that has become my albatross, my Vietnam. Perhaps I'll get into it later, but the thought of...

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11.26.2006

Back to New Orleans, Gently

The New York Times by Matt Gross

IT was a Friday afternoon in late October, and the narrow lanes of the French Quarter were quiet. Fresh paint — pale green, robin’s egg blue, canary yellow — adorned the low, tidy Creole cottages, and the wrought-iron railings of town-house balconies shone blackly in the sunlight. The streets were free of litter, the air unpolluted by the musky odor of all-night parties. But as I wandered the beautiful Quarter, one question stuck in my mind: Where was everybody?

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The New York Times
10.29.2006

This Just In...

SEA SHANTY RECORD FINALLY MIXED AND GETTING CLOSER TO YOUR EARS STOP
WILL KICK YOUR ASS EVERY WAY BUT SIDEWAYS STOP
DEPP IN THE CROSSHAIRS STOP
WE WILL TAKE HIM DOWN STOP

HAPPY TALK RECORD IN PRODUCTION STOP
WILL BUM YOU OUT AND MAKE YOU ROCK STOP

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08.29.2006

Today’s a fine bright day and my thermometer reads ninety-six degrees. The grass is running riot and needs cutting, but I’m going to blow it off for another day. The lawn guy* is off somewhere in the Northern Midwest and has left the task to me and our landlord. Yet the sun shines on him still, as well as my overheated car and the president downtown making speeches, allegedly admitting that mistakes were made. Good for him. Later he’ll come by the truck farm for a beer and he’s going to offer me some coke. But I’m going to just say “no”. “No, George,” I’ll say. “I’m just enjoying the luxury of this fine day and my overheated car. Now take that stuff inside and do it in the bathroom like normal folks do. I’m a public figure—a minor entertainment personality—and I’ve gotta watch what I do and say, because it always comes back to haunt me sooner or later. I don’t enjoy the same...

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06.16.2006

I was thinking about the president a lot about a month ago. You see, I was clearing a lot of brush from out the back of our house in preparation for Chazfest, and since that’s what W. does for kicks out at his ranch in Crawford TX, I felt that I was perhaps getting on a parallel vibe with The Decider. And what’s more, I had Spinal Tap’s “Heavy Duty Rock and Roll” going through my head almost all day every day. Probably because the tool I was using is a Milwaukee brand Heavy Duty Orbital Super Sawzall (there is no substitute), with the words HEAVY DUTY emblazoned across the chassis and the carrying case. So I was in a good frame of mind most of the time as I ripped through dead trees like a laser with this vicious piece of hardware, while imagining my old pal The Decider pedaling by on his mountain bike. “Heavy! HEAVY! Duty! DUTY!!! Heavy Duty a-ROCK AND ROLL!!!” I...

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