man, did i take one for the team last night (what team? well, alright, you got me there). operating on five hours sleep and with a lingering hangover from the night before (curse you, my enabling friends (i kid - please dont stop)), i headed out to denton, Home of The Beard and Sister Pants and Preternaturally Short PeopleTM. kept thinkin the whole way, this is a mistake, this is a mistake, i need some rest. but i soulja'd on, as always, in search of my next live music fix.
first up at RGRS was Sparlin, Jessels, whose myspace headline reveals way too much information. folk singer/songwriter. 'twas amazing to see 10-15 people in the crowd who seemed to have come to see him and sang along with every song. reminded me somewhat of leonard cohen, but only the more upbeat, major-chord songs of his, and with interesting, clever lyrics. he seemed to get flustered by a broken string on his acoustic, had to switch to an electric, then proceeded to forget words, forget chords, stop repeatedly during songs and say 'what the fuck?'. declared himself the worst opening act ever. hmmm. nah, just kidding, i've seen worse. i did enjoy the songs, between all the 'what the fuck's.
Teenage Cool Kids from denton also seemed to have a decent-sized crowd come out for them (relative to the usual denton crowd, you understand). played down on the floor for some reason, and despite the prevalence of the aforementioned short people, i couldn't really see them (aint that the point of havin a stage?). 4-man band, as far as i could tell. heard some punk, pop punk, garage. pavement, weezer (the music, not the vox), and fig dish. lead and back-up vocalist did the annoying sing-shout-intentionally-clashing vocal thing a lot, which just rubs me the wrong way (is that a punk thing?). lead vocalist's voice was completely shredded (after a two-week "tour"), so it may not have been a good time to evaluate them. these guys were definitely good at what they were doin (with the exception of the vocals), but it just didnt do it for me.
Poison Control Center from iowa was up next. 4-man band totally unconcerned with their vocal performance. 'twas all about the energy and havin a good time. not sayin there's anything wrong with that, but i just wasn't into it. everyone in the band sang, but singin wasn't the forte of any one of them. one singer sorta sounded like malkmus, one just plain caterwauled, the other two were unremarkable. bassist separated at birth from rich hall of sniglet fame. super-high energy performance. they seemed to be obsessed with doin backward somersaults on the floor whilst playing. lead guitarist spent a lot of time playing in strange yoga positions. other dude liked to jump off the stage and run thru the crowd. lots of (attempted) audience participation - singalongs, dancin, clappin and such (always a challenge in denton, but the crowd seemed to enjoy it). very eclectic group of songs, some bluesy, some punk, some ballads. i definitely appreciate their energy and passion - they left it all on stage for sure. went on waaay too long for me (i guess they figgered that since they came all the way from iowa...)
fishboy was last. second time to see them, same impression. good collection of well-written jangly pop songs with oh-so-clever lyrics. the problem? his voice (seems to be a pattern with me, eh?). when he takes it slow and relaxes, his voice is fine, but when he gets keyed up and starts beltin it out (relatively speakin), he reminds me of gilbert gottfried (aka the aflac duck). the band was definitely tight, and i dug some of the songs, but overall, it just wasnt my bag, baby.