Welcome to the first ever edition of The Veracity View. This is a very special issue because I literally traveled from coast to coast in search of great music.

Rock music-wise, Dallas is superseded by Texas's ultracool, slacker town Austin. Dallas seems to have a cool downtown scene and all, but it feels like it's about a zillion degrees there now and plus it's humid. My time there was marked by sweat, frizzy hair and ... Billy Corgan. That's right, the former Mr. Pumpkin himself played an outrageously cool show at the Gypsy Tea Room, as part of his Future Embrace solo tour. When Corgan walked onstage, all 1,000 people crammed togther in the small club went into a Dionysian frenzy. I was lucky enough to be right in front of the stage, so be sure to check out the pics taken by yours truly. Corgan and friends put on a great audiovisual experience -- light show, elctronic drums, keyboards and all. He didn't even keep his amp onstage because (I'm guessing) it would have ruined the whole look. Check out his solo stuff, but just don't go expecting your typical rock concert. After the show, Corgan even gave a few autographs with the one rule that no one pushed (remember the Infinite Sadness tour).

Photography By Dani Veracity  © 2005 Photography By Dani Veracity  © 2005

Yes, Billy Corgan still knows how to rock Dallas.

Guitar solo, anyone? Billy Corgan in Dallas, TX, USA.

Nashville was uneventful. My mom and I stopped there and planned to visit her cousin Felix Cavaliere from the 60's rock group The Young Rascals ("Groovin'", "Beautiful Morning," etc.) Unfortunately, he was on tour at the time, so hopefully we'll see him this month in AZ.

The Siren Music Festival was everything a music event should be -- packed with good bands and lots or merch for sale and ... FREE. Nine bands, nine hours -- all totally free! What more could you want? Indie favorites Spoon were among the indie all-star lineup that brought good rock to Coney Island (Brooklyn). The crowd was so massive that I couldn't get close enough to the stage to get good pics, but I did get a cool T-shirt, though, which I've been proudly wearing back in the Southwest.

Speaking of the Southwest, believe it or not, it's not a total desert devoid of good music. A few days after getting back to Tucson, I went down to Waterworks West Recording, where I've been an intern for two years. My first Saturday back, one of the coolest bands I've ever seen in my life, Fish Karma, was recording. Fish Karma was just finishing up a CD for Alternative Tentacles out of San Francisco. It seems that punk legend Jello Biafra is sort of overseeing the whole thing and, boy, does he have good taste in music. Fish Karma is truly amazing in a Beat poet sort of way. They remind me of Lou Reed and all the music greats. I was in total awe the whole time they were recording and was totally floored when I got to sing backup on a song called "Moving to New Jersey." When you listen to the CD (to be released early 2006), listen for my "ooh-ooh"s during the chorus. No joke.

Last night, I saw The Jons play at a local club and, let me tell you, they're getting too big to be a bar band. Complete with a snazzy intro and a Corganesque light show going on in, they looked like, well, rock stars. Of course, it helps that their "boy-next-door" good looks make them worthy of being one of those "boy bands" that we Americans love to inflict upon the world. The fact is that Tucson loves the Jons and I love them too. They play good music and, most importantly, they're really nice people. The Jons are also recording with Waterworks' Jim Waters of Sonic Youth and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion fame. Jim is an absolute recording genius, a quick listen to the Goo demos, a Jon Spencer record, etc. will tell you that. Plus, he's one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. Any Frenchmen and women reading this might recognize his work with The Little Rabbits and Married Monk.
Photography By Dani Veracity  © 2005
A scene from St. Elmo's Fire?
No, Jason from The Jons.

So, that's the news from this side of the Atlantic. Thanks for reading. See ya next month. In the meantime, I'll be looking out for more music news to tell you about and trying to form a new band. Any drummers out there?

Top 10 Songs to Add to Your iPod Before the Next Veracity View:

1. "An Honest Mistake" by the Bravery (NYC, USA) -- So what if they're the most hated band in NYC?
2. "Lua" by Bright Eyes (somewhere in Nebraska, USA) -- What emotion am I supposed to be feeling?
3. "Poor Floor" by The Bed (London, UK) -- A former SkidMark band. Listen to this song and think.
4. "Autopilot" by La Cerca (Tucson, USA) -- Yes, when you leave you are replaced.
5. "Evil" by Interpol -- Did Joy Division's Ian Curtis come back to life?
6. "Hand that Feeds" by Nine Inch Nails -- Because just about everyone has an opinion of current world politics.
7. "Loki Cat" by Jimmy Chamberlin Complex (Chicago, USA) with guest vocals by Billy Corgan -- While we're still waiting for the rumored Smashing Pumpkin regrouping
8. "Walking Shade" by Billy (Chicago, USA) -- See above.
9. "One" by U2 (Dublin, Ireland) -- Wasn't Live 8 great?
10. Anything by the Killers (Las Vegas, USA) -- The best Britpop band to come from Las Vegas?!!!!