Tag Archives: Houston

Houston Adventures: A “Wicked” Time at the Theatre


Hello, Brouhaha fans! It has been a while since my last adventure, and my penchant for procrastinating never helps. It has been a busy year for me but there is always time for a little pleasure. After all, we have to remember that all work and no play make @Budom a dull girl.

Houston is a versatile and diverse city filled with many opportunities not just for work but for entertainment. Although it is a long drive from the lights of Broadway in New York, it doesn’t mean that Broadway can’t come to us. This year for my birthday a lovely friend treated me to a night at the theater. Along with my daughter and her friend, the four of us enjoyed a special night watching the play, Wicked. I was so excited and the bonus was that we were seated in balcony box seating!  The stage was so close I felt like I could reach out and touch Elphaba. wicked-playbill

The play was well written and followed pretty close to the books written by author Gregory Maguire.  While reading the books would give more insight to the characters we all know that it won’t happen in a play.

When I saw original Wizard of Oz on television as a youngster, I always wondered if there was some back story for the witches. I have always been fascinated by witches and their magical lives. So, when Maguire’s stories hit bookshelves I devoured them like manna from heaven. The perceptions that Maguire’s books gave me were not what I expected to see. Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West was the good guy (or girl) standing on her soapbox while nursing insecurities about herself, Glenda the so-called good witch, was actually an entitled self-absorbed brat, who later became more likable but not brave enough to follow her own path. In all reality, Dorothy was just an unexpected accident to the land of Oz. Dorothy was a literally a lost little girl who was used by the Wizard of Oz, as was everyone else in the story. The Wizard’s character was depicted most like L. Frank Baum’s version.  He is still the ever glorified con man he was in the real world. I never expected to like Elphaba and agree with her fight, and I didn’t expect to want to smack some sense into Glenda.

orchestra-playbill

The Hobby Center stage brought all the characters to life. The actors and actresses portrayed the characters to a tee. Elphaba’s sister Nessa Rose’s (aka the Wicked Witch of the East) character was well played balancing her sweetness and obsession to be normal as well as loved. While she is mentioned in the book I feel the play really told her story better. Her story gave fans a look at how still waters can run deep. Now I must also give credit to the orchestra. The music emanating from the pit wove an even more magical feel into the story. It was a lovely time and a wonderful theater experience. I will definitely do it again. Until then Brouhaha Fans “Defy Gravity”.

 

Houston Adventures: It all started when…


 

IMG_0598
Houston football team: The Texans.

 

It has been too long since my fingers have told the stories of my recent #adventures. Life can have many distractions, and time being a fickle creature can slip away before we even realize it. In my last travel series The Journey Home, I had found myself in the middle of Texas. The part of Texas I ended up in was the Texas one might imagine it Texas to be. One could find small rolling hills and lovely Bluebells that encompassed ranches and empty fields stretching farther than the eye could see. Of course, we did not live too far from the big city of Austin where a person could enjoy Texas city life at its finest.

Fast forward into the future and I no longer dwell in the country, but I now find myself navigating through the streets of Texas’ largest city, Houston. While I enjoy the country life, I am also enjoying my time in a large city. It has been a long time since my family, and I have lived in a city so large that a short trip could turn into an unexpectedly long trip.

I must admit it has taken some getting used to, and there have been some up and downs. I took a long break from writing but my fingers can no longer stay still, and I am back, and I am ready to share a new series with you. I hope you will enjoy and share some of your thoughts on my adventures. I look forward to being back with my brouhaha fans. Remember, you can always keep up with my on my Twitter (@budom) and other social media platforms such as Instagram, Stumbleupon, Facebook, Google+, and coming soon, Snapchat! Check out my contact page for my social media links for an easy connect. See ya’ll around.

#Texas #Houston #adventures

 

A Night Of Music With David Justin


David Justin performing in Houston at Stereo Live  Oct. 23, 2014
David Justin performing in Houston at Stereo Live Oct. 23, 2014

On October 23rd, 2014 Houston’s Stereo Live was pulsating with artists of all types from slam poets, visual artists, fashion designers, and musicians. That night I was there to see and interview singer/songwriter David Justin who just released his new single, “Supernova”. Since the single’s release earlier this year Supernova has been played on Pandora, Sirius, and BBC Radio and is steadily gaining popularity.

David is a Houston native, and upon meeting David I found him to be the down to earth guy he was described to be. His love of music grew after he was presented with his first violin lesson at the age of eight. David proceeded to teach himself the drums at age 12 and eventually picked up songwriting. He never intended to make music a career but after writing several songs while in college David decide it was time to make his mark in the world, and he did. In 2009 David was nominated as a finalist for “best original song” with the 6th annual International Acoustic Awards.

However, “Supernova” is not David’s first well received work. In 2012 David’s first album, “Speak to the World”, which included fan favorites such as “Maria”, “Covergirl”, and “Paper Heart”. David’s acoustic style music, voice, and lyrics invite the listener to relate with clearly sung lyrics. I especially like his song, “Unspoken”. His music is reminisce of singers Gavin Degraw, John Mayer, or Michael Bublé.

The night of his performance David sat down with me for a short interview before heading on stage.

© 2014 Budom@brouhaha-access.com
The interview with David Justin at Stereo Live

Budom: How are feeling tonight? Excited? Pumped?

David: Yeah, I’m excited. There is always excitement, that’s what makes playing live so much fun.

 Budom: So tonight you’re going to be playing acoustic?

David: Yeah, yeah that’s pretty much how it all started by playing acoustic and playing by myself. Of course when I am out in LA I play with a band. But then tonight I’ll be playing acoustic style, and I have a drummer who will be playing the Kahuna it’s like a beat box thing, and then my other friend will be playing the bass. It’s going to be a good change up because there is going to be another band playing a full set, and I think the people will enjoy that a lot more. The music will be a lot more raw.

Budom: I read in your bio that you started at a very young age. Was your father your biggest influence as far as getting into music or were there other influences?

David:  I mean from a young age I was around music, and of course my dad was my biggest influence because he was the one around the house who played music. So without him I probably wouldn’t have chosen the path I did, and done things or learned the instruments that I learned without him. But yeah, I would definitely say that  he was the main person that I looked up to.

Then throughout my teenage years I got into songwriting. When I was about 17 or 18  I got really serious about it. I wrote about 10 or 12 songs that I felt really comfortable with and proud of and I didn’t know what to do with it. I never really thought about being a recording artist. I just loved music, I loved writing, and I would play for my all my friends  and family and they said, ‘you should really records these things’.

So, I started off with a little tape track like a cassette and started to record myself playing, and the more I would do that the hungrier I got to make something bigger. I ended up meeting a producer in Dallas who actually produced my first record and recorded my album.

Then about two and a half years ago I got hit up by my manager, Joe Fontaine out in Los Angeles. We started a dialogue and started talking, and his mentioned to me what he was doing and trying to accomplish. Joe said he actually knew some producers and songwriters in Los Angeles. So he asked me to fly out and I flew out. I did a session or two and things went really well. We recorded some songs and I ended up signing a deal with him.

I have been flying back and forth maybe every two to three months going out there just writing and recording. It’s really been a fun experience. I’ve really enjoyed it, and I’m starting to meet a lot of people in the industry. It’s good being out there and then being able  to come back home and play shows where I can play to almost two different audiences.

Budom: Yes, two different types of demographics and types of people? 

David: Yes, yes, it really is. Because different people respond to the songs differently, and that what’s really exciting, seeing how people respond and connect with the songs.

Budom: You were nominated as a finalist for “best original song” with the 6th annual International Acoustic Music Awards. How did that feel? Did you expect that or was it like “wow” after getting the nomination?

David: (laughs) No, I didn’t. I, uh..just finished recordings some songs from my first record and I was just really trying to get a break, and get my name out there. It was actually the first contest I had ever submitted to.  I was kind of leery about submitting to a song writing contest because they get thousands of entries, and you never know if they’re going to hear your song or what.

Yeah, I got a letter in the mail saying that I was a finalist and I think it was out of four or five thousand entries. It was really neat, it was kind of the first time I felt justified as a songwriter. I was up against pro songwriters and I really felt justified and excited. It really made me want to pursue more and do more.

Budom: So you mentioned that you want to build a bigger fan base in Houston. I have a teenage daughter, and I asked my youngest what type of questions she would ask if she had the chance. The first one question is: If there was someone you could collaborate with as a songwriter or singer who would you choose?

David: Hmm, that’s really tough because there’s so much talent out there. I mean it seems when I find a favorite artist then I find another favorite artist. I think that’s just the power of the Internet, and there’s so many tools to discover artist. I would definitely say I think it would be fun to collaborate with John Mayer. He’s a very versatile songwriter and musician.

Budom: Would you ever consider a collaboration out of your genre like Kesha and Pit Bull did as well as other artist? 

David: Uh…No, the way I write songs I don’t usually listen to other people and think. ‘I’m going to write a song like that’. It really comes from within me I’m pretty true to myself and I don’t try to be anybody that I’m not. I try to keep it pretty pure.

Budom: Okay, last question. If you had a fandom what would they be called? Here are some examples for you Justin Bieber’s fans are “Biebers”, Lady Gaga’s are “Little Monsters”, and Taylor Swift’s fans are known as the Swifties.

David: (laughs) You know this has been an on going conversation with my manger. We’re still trying to pin point that now. I thought maybe the “Little DJs” but that’s kind of corny, you know? Or maybe the “Little Supernovas”, I don’t know that something we’re still working on. I think it’s going to be like one of those things when somebody else says something and then that’s it.

Budom: (laughs) Well, we need to get that out there. We need to see what your fandom is going to be like. That’s what we need to get a rally started on getting an idea on what to call your fandom.

David: I think so, yeah. We need to work on that. That’s actually a good question because I always think about that.

Budom:  Well, David thanks so much for setting aside this time to sit here and chat with you. I look forward to seeing you on stage.

© 2014 budom@brouhaha-access.com
Houston performance.

I had a wonderful time corresponding with David through social media and at the interview. He’s a musician with heart and soul and  you can hear it in his music.

“It takes courage to chase your dreams and dreams to create courage, but either way I’m committed to both.”
– David Justin

David’s album “Speak to the World” and new single “Supernova” is available on iTunes. Look for the official “Supernova” video release coming soon, featuring Caitlin O’Connor (Sports Illustrated, The Gambler) and Christine Lakin (Step by Step, Melissa & Joey). Meanwhile, you can catch his “Supernova” lyric video on youtube.

Fun Sushi Find: Sushi Choo Choo


@ 2014 budom@brouhaha-access.com
Sea Dragon Roll: A basic California Roll topped with BBQ eel & avocado, eel sauce, and masago.

I love sushi.  Being Asian helps but it’s more than just being Asian, this love for sushi. Sushi is an “edible” that looks weird but infuses flavors, which explode in your mouth . Sushi is famous for being raw (which btw is called sashimi) fish but it is so much more.

That’s why when my daughter came home exclaiming she found a running/moving sushi bar, I was all in. Sushi Choo Choo is a sushi with locations in Houston & Humble, Texas.They specialize in creating small portion size sushi rolls with names like Sea Dragon, Shaggy Dog, and Crazy Lover. The creations look creative and is delivered to you via moving belt.

Sushi Choo Choo’s ambiance is a very clean sleek but makes you feel like you stepped through a portal to Japan. I went to the Houston location twice, once for lunch and dinner another time. Both times our servers were very welcoming and efficient.

“The experience is unique and simple. Here is how it works.”-Sushi Choo Choo

The sushi that comes around is fresh and priced right. The sushi plates are color coded such as yellow is $1.50 and orange plate is the highest serving of sushi priced at $4.00. If your on even more of a budget for the Sushi Choo Choo’s  has a “happy hour”. Happy hour means that you get 20% off sushi from the running bar and 50% off sake. Sushi Choo Choo is definite must if you get a chance to head to Houston. “Happy Hour” times are Sunday through Thursday 9pm to close and Monday through Friday 2:30pm to 5pm.

© 2014 budom@brouhaha-access.com
Ika Sansai is a popular dish in Japan that consists of squid and Japanese mountain vegetables.