SASound: Melina in LA, Crown in the studio, Exponential online

MELINA’S BIG SURPRISE: Yeah, keep on dreamin’, Melina Narezo. You release one good album and you think you can make it in the big leagues? Do you think someone like Paul Brown, a jazz guitarist and producer with two Grammys under his belt and dozens of No. 1 smooth jazz hits, someone who has worked with people like Al Jarreau and Luther Vandross, will even listen to the new songs you wrote for your second album? Go ahead, send him your little package. What? You did?

“He LIKED IT!!” Narezo told SA Sound in early September. OK, congrats, but relax, it might not mean anything. “I’m flying to Los Angeles on September 13 to meet with him. If everything works well, he will be producing my next CD.”

To make a short story even shorter: Narezo went to L.A. for the first time, sang, and conquered. “It went exactly how I wanted it to,” she told me upon her return.

“He took me all over and introduced me to people ... He said my CD release will be in L.A. ... and he got to hear me live and told my husband, ‘She can sing, she can really sing.’”

Yeah, yeah, yeah. According to Narezo, she’ll be heading back in November to record the album, but it’s just too good to be true. So I called Brown.

“She’s got a big, soulful voice,” Brown told SA Sound. “I think people are going to love what we’re doing.”

BRAD ANGOTTI’S KINDA BUSY: He seems to be in all places at once, but chances are he does have a home somewhere. Some say he sleeps, but I wasn’t able to confirm that. His name is Brad Angotti, and he may be the local scene’s best kept secret, even though he formed and/or performed in countless bands (Búho, the Ground, MASSIVER, Perpetual Heat and Cassel are the ones he’s in now).

“By far, [he is] one of the hardest-working, most highly involved individuals in the San Antonio music scene,” is the completely objective, unbiased opinion of B.J. Dierkes, owner of Crowquill Records, which is the brand new home of Búho. The label plans a limited cassette (yes, cassette) edition of Perpetual Heat’s Soft Slope EP later on this month and a Búho cassette re-release of the Beggars Teeth EP, as well as a follow-up 7-inch release. Early heads-up: Búho, MASSIVER and others will be live at the Ten Eleven (November 1, 7 and 29) and at 502 Bar on (November 22), but you can check the label’s music at By the way, Búho (Boo-oh) is Spanish for ‘owl.’

CROWNED KING: Congratulations to Josh Borchardt (Crown), voted Best Bassist in last week’s San Antonio Music Awards. This is a case of both popular acclaim and divine justice: if you ever saw him play, you know he deserves all the accolades. But little did I know the guy also plays an incredible surf guitar, as he demonstrated at Hi-Tones two weeks ago (when he does, guitarist Carlos Zubillaga switches to a very decent bass). In early 2014, the band will make its recording debut in double fashion: the official eight- or nine-song release they’ve been working on lately, and an EP they recorded a year ago.

EXPONENTIAL EXPOSED: Not happy with just releasing Atonement, his collaboration with Diego Bernal, Ernest Gonzales is reviving his Exponential Records label in full force. “The label is up and going again,” Gonzales told SA Sound. “It has always been a good home for Texas electronic music and I have decided that it will remain that way.” The new site is, and the whole catalog (about 20 albums) can be downloaded for free at

HAVE YOU DONE YOUR HOMEWORK? R.E.L. (Chisme) and Mexican Stepgrandfather (Marco Cervantes) have been seen a lot together lately. First, at the Aztec’s SA Music Awards show on September 28 and days later at Friday’s Hi-Tones CD release party of Homework, the joint project in which they share beats, Cervantes plays bass and they both rap. You can download two free tracks of the six-song EP at

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