The date was November 16, 2008.
It was a perfectly sunny, but cool autumn day in Houston. I’d had the opportunity to watch D Rose perform the night before, and was making a rare “consecutive day” outing to watch Neon Collars perform for the first time as a live band.
I had pretty high expectations going into this. I had no choice. Just a year or so before this performance, I got a call from Kay saying. “D, I got this young cat that I want you to meet. He does beats.”
Young cats making beats are a dime a dozen these days, so my noncommittal response was, “Really? Hmm… just shoot me some of his stuff and i’ll check it out.”
Kay: “D, you don’t understand – this dude got HEAT! Him and his boy chop, play keys, and play live guitar.”
I’m still only semi-sold at this point: “Cool – when I get a chance, i’ll take a listen.”
Still sensing my lack of immediate interest, Kay cues up “Simone”.
J “8 Months” Lewis “Simone” featuring Kay of The Foundation
I’m not usually the one to get blown away but things, but “Simone” was off the chain. I couldn’t front.
“Shit’s nice! Real nice!” (now that i’m typing this, I can see how ‘hip hop’ I sound sometimes)
Kay: “Yeah… but guess what?”
Kay: “I know sounds crazy (classic Kevin Jackson), but he’s only been doing tracks for eight months.”
“8 months? Bullshit!”
Kay: “Straight up – 8 months. Banging out shit like this. Imagine what it’s gonna be like a year from now.”
“What’s his name?”
Kay: “8 Months.”
“Why that name?”
Kay: “Because he’s been making tracks for 8 months.”
So that was my introduction to Neon Collars. Since that time, Justin, Denis, and co. have gone on to work with Kay on this…
“I Think (She Likes Me)” featuring Che Grand & The Luv Bugz produced by J “8 Months” Lewis
So here I am a little over a year later, dragging my carcass out to 3rd Ward to watch them perform at an annual festival in the heart of the city’s historically black district (the part that’s still standing). Armed with nothing more than a cheap $300 camcorder, I witnessed a 45 minute performance of some of the most endearing music that i’ve laid eyes on. I’m just going to share 9 1/2 minutes of this greatness, and keep the rest to myself so that you can discover them on your own. You owe it to yourself .
Neon Collars is:
Lead singer: Franchelle Lucas
Bass: Carlos Conway
Drums: Abel Cisneros
Guitar: Denis Cisneros
Producer: Justin “8 Months” Lewis