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"Don't be fooled by his name:  Paul Minor is a major player in the Live Music Capital of the World and a pop tunesmith of the highest order.  They don't let just anyone into the Austin Music Hall of Fame." 
- TEXAS MUSIC MAGAZINE Spring 2009


hole 35

Austin American Statesman  6-2-09
Hole in the Wall music catches up with its past and its math with anniversary


"It's great to find out your memory is not shot after all.  I distinctly recall that the 15th anniversary celebration at the Hole in the Wall was in June 1988.  Timbuk 3 played, fresh from "The Tonight Show" and the line went down the block.  Meanwhile I was two blocks away waiting for a ride to San Francisco.  That's why I'm sure of the month and year.  So when the Hole's Paul Minor sent out a press release for the line-up of the June 12-14th "25th Anniversary" of the Hole, I quickly corrected that it's the 36th Anniversary.  The I did some research and discovered that Doug Cugini opened the joint in June 1974, which would indeed make it 35 years.

Turns out we're both right.  Cugini was so unsure that the club would make it a year that he billed the grand opening as "the first anniversary."  It was a year off until the club closed for a year in 2001.  "When it opened back up we celebrated the next anniversary on the proper year," said Minor, who's put together an incredible old-school linup for the Big 3-5. June 12 features a reunion of the Bizarros, with local legends Bill Bentley and Speedy Sparks.  Mike Hall of the Wild Seeds with present his latest offshoot, Savage Trip at 10:30 pm, followed by the Wannabes at midnight.   The next night will feature the Hickoids (singer Jeff Smith once owned the joint) preceded by Two Hoots and  Holler and Jane Bond.  Then on June 14, the Superego All Stars reprise the Free For All night, which gave so many bands their first gig in town."
- Michael Corcoran


May 30, 2009 - I am currently mixing the Texas Tycoons CD at Crow's Industrial Oaks Studios in South Austin,
and there are a bunch of shows on the upcoming calendar including:

Texas Tycoons at Continental Monday, June 1
Paul Minor at Central Market Sunday, June 7
Texas Tycoons at Poodie's Friday, June 12
Superego at Hole in the Wall Sunday, June 14


May 20, 2009 -

I just updated the homepage and added myspace pages for Texas Tycoons and Alterego plus a ton of new videos
and free downloads from the out of print back catalog on the music page.  Thanks to Cindy at On That Note for all the great new footage.  I am heading to Marfa again this weekend for the Grande Opening.  Click the poster for more details. 


padres


April 29, 2009
The latest issue of Texas Music Magazine is on shelves now with Ray Benson on the cover, with a CD sampler that includes a radio edit of "Afterthought" from The Marfa Project.  I will be back in Marfa this weekend opening for James McMurtry at Padre's for the Marfa Film Festival.  The new club is open and doing great business.  I was there  a couple of weeks ago for the first weekend  with  live music, kitchen and bar all up and running.


March 29, 2009

I survived another SXSW but just barely.  I had two production jobs a day, moving my largest PA systems all over downtown all week.   Thanks to guest engineers I blew a total of 8 speakers.   The parties where I mixed went great, including the Texas Music Magazine Party at Scholz Garten and the Pentagram publication party with Darden Smith and Joe Ely.    The Woodstock Tribute on Sunday was incredible, and we will be presenting it again at Threadgill's WHQ August 16.

I am thrilled about the opening of Padre's Marfa, which is serving food, beer, liquor and live music as of this week.  I will be there for a much needed vacation April 5 through 15, then the Marfa Film Festival April 29 - May 3, and the Padre's Grand Opening May 22-24.

woodstock



11-27-08

This just in:  The Marfa Project  is now available for download on several online sites including i-Tunes and Amazon.com
and it got a great review in the Austin Chronicle today.

I just returned  from 4 nights in Marfa installing an awesome sound system at Padre's, being on the sound crew for a great show by Conor Oberst and Felice Brothers at Goode Crowley Theatre,  taking an awe-inspiring private tour of Building 98, and helping film a Food Shark commercial.  It was another great trip to my favorite place.

Conor Oberst signed the show poster for me which features my friend John Sufficool's truck.

conor poster




11-12-08

Our gig at Momo's Nov. 8 was full of nice surprises.  We were a late add to the bill, and although we did not make the calendar deadline, Kate and crew treated us like special guests.  Mario, Cory and Perry proved to be an exceptional side unit. Several nice groups of friends made it out to the early show.  The sound and lights were excellent, and Cindy at
onthatnote.com shot some more awesome video.  The pay was even good, and more than we were promised.  What town are we in?

MOMO'S
Saturday, Nov. 8


TEXAS TYCOONS
Discovery Green Houston
Thursday, Oct 23




HOLE IN THE WALL
Friday, Oct 17



10-14-08


My new CD The Marfa Project hits the street this week.  hole poster
I really need your support at these shows. 
I've got a great band with Jeff Johnston, Steve McCarthy
and Austin Jenkins,

and the new record was a lot of fun to make.  
Please help us celebrate.                  for real, Paul


Tuesday, Oct. 14, 9am - KGSR

Wednesday, Oct 15, 5pm - WATERLOO RECORDS

Friday, Oct. 17, 12m - HOLE IN THE WALL

Wednesday, Oct. 22, 12m - SAXON PUB


PRESS RELEASE:

PAUL MINOR COMPLETES THE MARFA PROJECT

Paul Minor's latest solo outing The Marfa Project is a West Texas roadtrip soundtrack, with rustic acoustic textures and haunting visions of windmills, campfires, trains and lonely highways.  Recorded and mixed in Marfa, TX with fellow frontiersmen from L'il Cap'n Travis, Grand Champeen, Weary Boys and the El Orbits, this follow-up to his critically-acclaimed Shadow Figure ventures even farther out into that spacious middle-of-nowhere sound.

The Marfa Project is Austin Music Awards Hall of Famer Paul Minor's 6th independent release, counting four with  Hole in the Wall house band Superego.  Minor was the first paying customer at Marfa Recording Co, operated by Gregory Smelley, the house soundman at Ballroom Marfa.  Drummer David Beebe and partners including Minor are building a new live venue in Marfa called Padre's, and tracks were recorded during a trip last summer to survey the renovation of the historic building and open up some West Texas shows for Jon Langford.   Avant garde artist and Marfa Food Shark owner Adam Bork also contributes keyboards to the CD.  

The Marfa Project is a result of the creative camaraderie between these musicians and the wide open setting that inspired the songs.  

Minor and his local band, incuding members of Diamond Smugglers, Li'l Cap'n Travis and Pink Nasty, will celebrate the release of  THE MARFA PROJECT with an in-store at Waterloo Records, Wednesday Oct 15 and Hole in the Wall, Friday Oct 17 with Sheboygan and Brothers Lazaroff.

PREVIEW MARFA PROJECT ON CDBABY.COM



10-8-08
A real quick update:   I played a solo gig for the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians Tuesday Oct 7 at Potbelly Sandwiches on the Drag with Brennen Leigh, see video below.  Next week I perform Tuesday morning at 9am on KGSR and Wednesday at Waterloo Records at 5, then Hole in the Wall Friday Oct 17 at 12m with Elizabeth McQueen.  October has been hectic with production jobs and Texas Tycoons rehearsals and gigs.  See my calendar for the full schedule.

waterloo ad
 



threestage


MINOR MUSIC MATTERS 7-22-08

Well I recently discovered that uploading to myspace is quicker and comes out clearer than youtube. 
So enjoy the latest online video from Texas Tycoons:

 





7-7-08





5-28-08

I played a fun solo show at Quack's on 38th the other night and birthday gurl Cindy Royale shot this video for my new tune Out of My System.




5-19-08

I just got back in town from a two week trip to marvelous Marfa, Texas for relaxing, writing, recording, hiking, and surveying my investment in the new dancehall project Padre's. I came home a day early to give myself a decompression period. I'm laying low and just easing back into the week. I finished the book I was reading in Marfa called The Gay Place. It is a novel based on the true misadventures of LBJ's aide de camp, partially set in the hill country and west texas. I started watching the fascinating I'm Not There DVD and bonus features which arrived while I was gone.

Here is a day by day overview of the trip with videos.

Sunday May 4 - Drove through Sisterdale to Kerrville, met Dad, stayed at my Uncle TK's. Ate at Mamacita's, went to Hasting's and Wal-mart.
 

Monday May 4 - Breakfast in Kerrville. TK and Dad video interview, drove west, put up posters in Alpine and met Railroad Blues owner Richard. Arrived Marfa in time for final Marfa Film Festival screening of Kenneth Anger films, the gothic demon drag queen who influenced David Lynch and Guillermo Del Toro. Outdoor screening of Dennis Hopper film at Marfa golf course eclipsed by spectacular lightning storm.

 
Tuesday May 5
- Settled into cozy shack, went on campaign trail with David Beebe, ate at Jett's in the Hotel Paisano with David and Karen,  recorded demos of ten new songs for my Marfa Recording Co. project.
 

Wednesday May 6 - I slept in and missed the 9am labor party David invited me to at Padre's, where some shuffleboard tables and other fixtures were moved. Ate delicious pork tacos at Food Shark, interviewed David for a documentary film crew. I  went to the studio to meet with Gory the studio owner and discuss the project.
 

We listened to a few of the demos, and briefly discussed an informal partnership in his sound company that provides PA support for Marfa art events. I realized that I had been delirious from the overnight session and the demo CDs were not burned properly, so I went back to the shack and finished a song called Here I Am that I had started on the trip out.
 

Later I finished the music for another new song called Sweet and Sour Girl, and made discs of all the demos and delivered them to the guys.
 Giant Steps in Marfa


Thursday, May 6 - I decided to go looking for the site of the movie set of Giant, the epic Texas classic fifties film starring James Dean, Liz Taylor, Rock Hudson and Dennis Hopper. Locals said there was nothing to find. I went looking anyways.

"There's only one thing on this earth more important than money, and that's land..."
 

In Valentine, some friendly locals pointed me in the direction of the Prada Marfa store installation and various other relics, and I made a quick video for Out of my System.
 

Later that afternoon I did an interview and performance with gracious host Drew Stuart  on Marfa Public Radio.




After the interview, I stopped by Padre's just in time to catch the long-awaited arrival of the new roof trusses.
 

Later I joined David Beebe's videographer Karen for some birthday dessert at Maiya's and then enjoyed a slideshow at the dome with Adam and some friends.

Friday May 9 -  I filmed Jon Langford's radio interview, practiced one song briefly with Beebe at Padre's, met Yard Dog gallery manager Rachel for enchiladas at Borunda's and went to Alpine to open up for Langford at the Railroad Blues. Friday night's after-party was at Hollye's cabin in Marfa.

Saturday May 10
-  Rachel and I picked up haybales for the art opening, I helped set up the PA system, ate at Pizza Foundation, visited the eerie and disturbing Hello Meth Lab in the Sun installation, and then introduced David Beebe as the winner of the Marfa City Council election before my show at Yard Dog Gallery. The after- party was at Langford's room near the Ballroom.



This is a highlight video of Jon Langford's shows in Marfa and Alpine.



Sunday May 11 -  We started the recording project at Gory's followed by a victory party and shuffleboard tournament at Padre's. I met Jonny Sotol and some other great locals and ran out with the gambling pot during the dramatic climax of the final game.

Monday May 12 -  We recorded several more songs at Gory's with genius filmmaker and musician Adam Bork on glitchy 60s keyboards.   Check out hisamazing  video channel.

Here's a new tune called Lucy featuring Adam's tasty wurlitzer licks and David's beatnik bongos.



Tuesday May 13
  - We recorded David on harmonica and wrapped up the recording.  I packed up and left Marfa to start the side trip portion of my vacation.  In the evening I drove to McDonald Observatory for the star party. It was too cloudy to see anything, but an hour or so later the clouds cleared enough for an amazing telescopic view of Saturn and its rings. I camped in Davis Mountains State Park.


Wednesday May 14 -  I ate the breakfast buffet at the Indian Lodge and took a 2 mile hike. It was an emotional revisit to a trail where my romantic nature took a major plunge last year. After seeing a herd of bighorns descend majestically down the mountain, I felt like I had reclaimed the territory for my true self, and continued my journey, heart intact. I visited the Ft. Davis National Park where the brave Buffalo Soldiers defended the frontier in the late 1800s turf wars with the Apaches.  I drove the 40 mile scenic loop around Ft. Davis and drove to the Balmorhea pool to find it closed for its 2 day annual cleaning. It is amazing to see the full depth when empty.   Wednesday night I spent chilling in Alpine at Jonny Sotol's metal shop.

Thursday May 15 - We took a ride in La Cucaracha.



Thursday afternoon I had a great massage at Janna & Co. Spa,  hung out in the Library and Museum at Sul Ross University and edited video.  I ate at La Trattoria and met some pleasant locals who invited me to join them at Reata.  I drove down to Terlingua, ate at Starlight Theatre and heard a sad old cowboy playing Dylan and the Dead.  I hung out with some park employees at the  La Kiva bar  and slept in my favorite Terlingua creek campsite.

Friday May 16 - I hiked in Big Bend National Park in a cold, steady sprinkle. It was gray and overcast but Boquillas Canyon was still spectacular.  I bought some contraband peasant art from Victor the Singing Mexican.   I drove on a muddy dirt road and hiked down to the hot springs pool on the banks of the Rio Grande. I soaked for 3 hours in the misting rain with Jonny and Beverly who showed up unexpectedly.  Friday night I drove to Lajitas and ate fajitas at the Thirsty Goat in the resort and listened to a set by Chris Baker the flute-playing cosmic cowgirl in the sand.

Saturday I had breakfast at the Motor Inn diner, and headed back into the park. It was raining, and I debated turning around and heading home. Something convinced me to keep going, and by the time I turned onto the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive to Castolon and hiked into Santa Elena Canyon, it was a gorgeous, cool sunny afternoon. The final episode of the frontier video is made from highlights of the recording sessions and my Big Bend excursion to the tune of a rough edit of the new track Lettin Off Steam.



I made it back to Marfa Saturday evening and met Ann and her friends for juicy steaks at the house they are fixing up across the street from Austin St. Cafe, briefly showed them the dome, and met Gory for drinks at Thunderbird Lounge.  The  thankfully one and only Jackie Pepper gave me an a-capella performance in the courtyard, we went to a party in a mobile home where a naked guy came out of nowhere, and my Marfa trip was complete.


Sunday May 18 -  Gory and I ate slices and lovely salads at Pizza Foundation, did a quick edit of the outtake track Slow Burn, then I packed up my stuff from the cozy shack and started on the long drive home. I took the long way through Marathon on Hwy 90, made a pit stop at the Gage Hotel, saw Judge Roy Bean's saloon in Langtry, a ghost town except for a lone cyclist on his way from FL to CA.  I crossed the majestic bluffs of the Pecos River and the gorgeous Amistad resorvoir, and then took lonely country roads through Rockspring, Kerrville and Fredericksburg before arriving in Austin near midnight.


2-25-08


The Austin American Statesman and the Continental Club blog pages both reported that Dylan was rehearsing with his band and working out in Austin earlier this week, but neither of the bloggers was sighted at the phenomenal 5 star shows at House of Blues in Dallas this weekend.   Minor Productions was a key eyewitness to Dylan and band's point-blank assassination of an adoring easy-target audience.  His voice was the magic bullet,  Denny's sharpshooting guitar was the second gunman, and the setlists were the highest caliber ammo.   We also know the name of the Austin gym, the local trainer and which deadly bloodsport she engaged him in.

Dallas, Texasdylan house of blues
House Of Blues
February 22, 2008


1.    Cat's In The Well
2.    It Ain't Me, Babe
3.    I'll Be Your Baby Tonight
4.    Blind Willie McTell
5.    Rollin' And Tumblin'
6.    Workingman's Blues #2
7.    Things Have Changed
8.    Spirit On The Water
9.    Visions Of Johanna
10.    Honest With Me
11.    When The Deal Goes Down
12.    Highway 61 Revisited
13.    Mississippi
14.    Summer Days
15.    Masters Of War
16.    Thunder On The Mountain
17.    Blowin' In The Wind

Dallas, Texas
House Of Blues
February 23, 2008


1.    Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
denny house of blues
2.    Lay, Lady, Lay
3.    Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
4.    Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power)
5.    The Levee's Gonna Break
6.    Spirit On The Water
7.    Stuck Inside Of Mobile w/ the Memphis Blues Again
8.    'Til I Fell In Love With You
9.    The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
10.    Honest With Me
11.    When The Deal Goes Down
12.    Highway 61 Revisited
13.    Workingman's Blues #2
14.    Summer Days
15.    Ballad Of A Thin Man
16.    Thunder On The Mountain
17.    All Along The Watchtower





 

     

 












3-1-08

Minor Productions no longer provides exclusive booking services for the Hole in the Wall, now under new ownership.  You'll need to send the new booker Singer Mayberry a message to book  dates at:  www.myspace.com/holeinthewallaustin.   Long Live the Hole!

1-28-08

Alright people.  The 2008 Minor Productions Blog officially begins with this hilarious item in the Austin American Statesman.  Corcoran is the master of the backhanded compliment, but I'm taking this one at face value.

By Michael Corcoran
Monday, January 28, 2008


"At the end of the year, I decided to not rank the nationally acclaimed "Shepherd's Dog" by Iron and Wine as an Austin album. I&W's Sam Beam might live in the area, but he's not truly an Austin musician. Neither is Kina Grannis, the "Crash the Super Bowl" finalist, who moved here after graduating from USC in May. Bill Callahan, who used to call himself Smog, is no more an Austin musician than Bob Mould was in the '90s. It takes more than a ZIP code that starts with 787 to truly be considered a hometown musician. Use this guideline to tell the difference between a musician who lives in Austin and an Austin musician:

Sorry, but you're not an Austin musician until ...paul wedding

... you've played at either Emo's, the Hole in the Wall or the Continental Club.

... you've been rejected by SXSW.

... you've opened for Guy Forsyth.

... you've been ticketed for double-parking on Sixth Street while unloading your gear.

... you know your order without looking at the menu of the Tamale House No. 3.

... you know who Paul Minor is. (Bonus points if you know exactly what it is that he does.)

... David Cotton won't return your calls.

... you've looked forward to playing out at the airport because at least that gig pays.

... you are a 94-year-old blues legend. (Pinetop Perkins exemption.)

... you've snuck a case of beer out the back door after a gig.

... you've had your name misspelled on the Red Eyed Fly marquee.

... you've worked double shifts at Thundercloud to save money for studio time, put your heart and soul into every track, proudly mailed your first CD, your baby, to critics, then watched Jim Caligiuri give it half a star in the Chronicle."


LATEST FROM THE OUTBOX:

Dear S,

A dear friend and former employer suggested I contact you about possible career opportunities at the club.  I am not sure what you might be looking for currently, but my chosen profession is live music production manager.  

You may be familiar with my experience as a local performer and promoter, but you might not know that I have operated a production company for several years now, specializing in coordinating the sound and talent for public and private events.  My website has an extensive list of satisfied customers, and I have worked for ACL, SIMS Foundation, SXSW, Hard Rock Cafe, and many more illustrious clients.   My references include Margaret Moser, Charles Attal, Wayne Nagel, Andy Langer, David Cotton, Darin Murphy, and many other local music professionals.

I have also been the production manager and talent buyer for the Hole in the Wall since it reopened in 2001.  I recently invested in a new venue in Marfa, so I am also proud to finally be a clubowner for the first time.

I am not actively pursuing a change of employment currently, but since I have always held your venue in very high esteem and your founder is one of my heroes, the possibility of working with you in any capacity is worth discussing.  Like him, I am "all about the music."

I am available any afternoon that you would like to meet and chat about music and the club.  I look forward to seeing you.

thanks,  

Paul Minor

Austin Academy of Music Lecture

UT Music School
10-23-07

Hey everybody, thanks for coming to class today. I've always maintained that attendance is the number one most effective technique to learning, more so than note taking, homework, group study or anything else.  In the music business, just showing up is often the most important part.

My name is Paul Minor.  I'm a local musician.  I'm 41, and I'm told I am a typical Virgo.  I have a small production company that provides the sound systems for local events, and I currently book a couple of small but esteemed local clubs - the Hole in the Wall and Flipnotics.  This weekend my PA systems were working for Willie Nelson,  the Gourds, Skyrocket and the legendary soul singer Barbara Lynn.  I was in San Antonio Saturday night DJing for the Class of 1966 Laredo High School reunion. This is what I do.

I want to talk to you today about being OPEN.  Those of you brave or foolish enough to stick with a career in music very long, are going to learn sooner or later that you need to make yourself, your heart and your mind,  wide open to all of the unpredictable twists and turns that a career in music will bring you.   Every bump in the road is a learning experience, and every setback is an opportunity.  And drastic changes come with the territory. 

I also want to talk about COMMUNITY.  The relationships you build and the friends you make in this business are more valuable than any stock options or insurance benefits you will ever earn.  Friends are life's greatest reward. 

I'm just curious, how many of you, by a show of hands are interested in a career as a performing and recording artist?  

Well so was I.  If I have learned anything at all, I have learned you have to roll with the changes and be flexible in this business.  How many of you are wanting to be in some area of the music business as a career?   Now is the time to take whatever job or internship you can to get in the door.  I am a poster boy for the part time job, and I can tell you about dozens of ways to make money on the side as you pursue your dreams.  Austin has as many types of job opportunities as it has types of music.

If you will indulge me, let me just tell you how I ended up here today.  It has been quite an adventure, and I might drop a few names so look out below.

If you have a question at any point, I would love to answer it during the speech while you're thinking of it and maybe let this be more of an interactive dialogue, otherwise I might just ramble for awhile.  

Also, at the end there will be a quiz.  Not really, but I have an unusual exercise for you.   I'm going to ask people randomly to ask me a question, whether your hand is up or not.  So everyone needs to have a question ready for me later.   I'm also going to ask you to not use the following words in your question:  Who, what, when, where, why, or how.   What other words are there?  Compare, Contrast, Consider, Recommend, Predict, Suggest.

My e-mail address is superego@prismnet.com if we don't get to your question or you think of something later you would like to ask me.

I grew up in Houston, in the 4th ward inner city, off of Telephone Rd.  We got H-town in the house?  My family was part of a big born again religious community there doing an inner city ministry.  We had artists, musicians, poets and all kinds of wandering souls living under one roof.   The first live music I ever saw was the church coffee house folk music group called The Way In.

We took a three year detour to the Louisiana Delta,  where I first picked up  guitar and played my first gig for a junior high pep rally.  My family moved to Austin in 1980.  I started out playing my first gigs in Austin clubs in 1982 at the age of 16.  My band was called The Urge, and one of our first shows was in a big lecture hall here at UT for the History of Rock and Roll class.  We also played 6th street, the Continental Club, Hole in the Wall and tons of west campus fraternity parties.  They really liked our selections from the 60s like Louie, Louie and Shout because it was like Animal House. 

Still in high school, I released my first 45 single on vinyl, and I also became the very first intern that the Austin Chronicle ever took on.  My band started opening for bigger acts like the Skunks and Joe King Carrasco, and doing some regional touring.  When I entered St. Edward's University I had already played CBGB's in New York City.  

Playing music was hurting my grades at college, so I took some time off from serious academia.  I switched to UT for one semester.  
I told my advising professor at St. Edward's if I was not going to excel as a student I wanted to be more anonymous about it.

In my late teens and 20s I toured the country as a player and road manager with several more bands including Roman Candles, The Neptunes, the Wagoneers, and Big Car.  I also worked as a doorman, soundman, manager, and bartender at several local clubs including Steamboat, Continental Club, Electric Lounge, and Hole in the Wall.  I held down many diverse day jobs including real estate research associate, state school security guard, legislative proofreader, print shop clerk, guitar salesman, and delivery driver.
I worked briefly for Texas Monthly, interested in pursuing journalism, but I overslept once to get the mail for the publisher and got to ride the corporate elevator down and out the door. 

paul & willie After graduating  from St. Edward’s University In 1994, I co-wrote and recorded an album with Beaver Nelson at Ardent Studios in Memphis and Sony Studios in Santa Monica.  Recording where  so many of my heroes had made their names was a big career highlight, but the record was eventually shelved by Lightstorm Records. The owner was a famous film director who had started the company as a tax write-off for his soundtrack albums.  He directed the Terminator movies and was working on a new one called Titanic.   Our project sank like a ship.  After the band broke up,  two members of this band formed a new band called Fastball.  I was not one of them.

Every SETBACK = OPPORTUNITY.

In late 1994 I was playing solo gigs and spending a lot of time at the Greenbelt and Barton Springs.  A UT friend of mine knew the Beastie Boys and we went to Lollapalooza in Dallas.  We spent the whole show in their dressing room jamming, and I was swapping songs with a green haired kid named Billie Joe, months before Green Day went platinum.   The next night I asked some friends to join me at the Hole in the Wall for a Sunday night jam session.  The owners dug it and asked me to play every week.

I had a brainstorm for a free weekly variety show and new band showcase.  The Rock and Roll Free For All at the Hole in the Wall became a focal point of the local music community.   Bands that played some of their very first shows there are Fastball, Spoon, the Scabs, Trail of Dead, and Rilo Kiley.   During this time, the local media, especially the Chronicle and Statesman, made the Hole in the Wall into a local phenomenon, and I became a spokesman for the scene. 

The management of ZZ Top recruited me to assemble bands for an indie rock compilation.  Free For All Vol. 1 was co-produced by Mike McCarthy, who moved here from Nashville, met me working the door at the Electric Lounge and asked me what bands to check out.  Today he is still working with Trail of Dead and Spoon after first recording them at those sessions.

In the late 90s, Austin became the live music capital of the world, and new clubs started popping up all over the map.  Many new places were interested in my expertise as a local music promoter.  I production managed, ran sound, promoted shows and booked bands for Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill, the Texas Music Saloon and the Hard Rock Cafe. 

I produced several independently released albums, including 5 albums by my own band Superego, 2 Rock and Roll Free For All compilations and a live album by Fastball.  I also bought a video camera and directed music videos for Spoon, Deep Sombreros, Fastball and others to be played on the new Austin Music Network. I've got them on my youtube channel now if you're curious.

In 1996, I was working full time as a security guard at the TX School for the Blind.  One day, the head of the technology department asked me if I had ever used the internet.  He invited me into his office and showed me how it worked.  I had a lot of down time at my job, so I bought a laptop and started learning how to make a website with basic HTML code.  I started e-mailing, blogging and promoting my events and shows.  A year later I was fired for personal use of state computers.  I still have the website.  How many of you have myspace pages?  How many music myspaces are here today?  Please let me be your friend.  www.myspace.com/paulminorproductions.

Around that time I was asked to join a band that played mostly weddings, and I needed the paycheck.  I also took a job at a corporate music store.  I became a wedding singer and a salesman.  I worked full time at the store, played receptions on Saturdays and I continued to play every Sunday at Hole in the Wall. 

When Mars the music store went bankrupt a few years later, I was thinking about what to do next, and I decided to try working as a soundman, which I had been learning to do for years at the club and with my bands.  I bought all the PA equipment I could afford while it was marked down for clearance, and immediately began picking up jobs around town.   I started doing sound every Friday across the parking lot from Mars at Jupiter Records.  I went from Mars to Jupiter, get it?  I'll let you guess what planet we named the liquor store in between after.

In 2002 I received a master’s degree in Human Services Management from St. Edward’s University and a state certification in conflict resolution.   It was also the year the Hole in the Wall shut down.  I was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 2002 Austin Music Awards, and in 2003 I had the honor of organizing and performing in an all-star tribute to the Hole in the Wall at the music awards ceremony.  When the Hole in the Wall reopened under new ownership, I consulted with management about booking and promotion and eventually was hired to book it full time.

In graduate school I did several case studies on a local non-profit organization called the SIMS Foundation, which provides low cost mental health services and counseling to Austin musicians and their families.  The organization was named for a musician I knew who had committed suicide, and his friends and family started a foundation in his honor.  After grad school I worked for SIMS as Public Relations & Event Coordinator, and I saw first hand how difficult it is to keep an organization like this running.   They burned out 5 executive directors in as many years, and although they are a high profile local media presence, they still barely get by with as much fundraising as they can afford to do.  Non-profits are a very tough business.

While at SIMS, I learned some very valuable lessons about self-promotion.  I had earned a reputation as a tireless self-promoter, winning over the public one fan at a time with my grass roots efforts.  Working with SIMS I discovered that my communication skills were increased when I was working for a cause greater than myself, and seeing the big picture instead of just feeding my ego.  My fundraising campaign slogan "I'm with the Band" and the newsletter I started are still being used to gain support at SIMS.

I worked for SIMS as a private contractor.  I have not been officially employed by anyone but my own company since the music store.  Self-employment has many great rewards.  No boss, no regular hours, and every day is a new challenge, every gig is different from the last.  It helps keep me interested.  I'll never work in an office again, but I sure spend a lot of time at my computer.  I get around 100 e-mails a day about upcoming gig details and bands that want to play for my clubs and events.  

When I started doing sound, I needed a name for my company and a new website domain name.  My name and the names of my bands were taken.  When I finally tried to register Minor Productions, it was available, and I really liked the ring to it.  Finally the name that had been made fun of all my life had a good connotation.  FOR A MAJOR SUCCESS, MAKE IT A MINOR PRODUCTION.  All of the hats I wear- musician, wedding singer, promoter, producer, soundman - are now under one logo. 

Another client of mine is the Austin Chronicle.  I deliver their papers once a week to the Lake Travis - Bee Caves area, and I provide production for their office events.   I lead my own wedding band these days, and I just started a new project called Texas Tycoons, an all-Texas music cover band.   As a  working musician, in my many years of experience in organizing, leading and motivating musicians and dealing with the special needs and sensitivities of artists, I have become intimately familiar with the challenging emotional complexity of pursuing a music career, and I'm fully committed to the mission of keeping Austin music alive and well.

Looking back, I think I’ve always been trying to re-create that sense of community in my music career that we had in Houston at the born again church.  I'm still friends with the journalists I worked with at the Chronicle and Texas Monthly.  When I was at UT for one semester, the group of guys I partied with on west campus are still some of my dearest friends and collaborators today.  I guess we had our own fraternity in a way. 

As the man said, "The life I love is making music with my friends."  



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