Friday, February 15, 2008

2/14/08 - Bear Colony, Icarus Crane, Pet Hospital, Jon Cook

started out the evening by celebrating the piledriver's birfday at twin peaks (at his insistance), where all the waitresses wore teddies (thankyou, st. valentine, patron saint of gaudy whores). And what music greeted my ears when i walked up to the place? None other than everyone's favorite octogenarian pseudo-rocker, tom petty! wheeee! Anyhow, we got ignored as usual, but damn, that bud ice went down smoooove (hey, it was cheap).

left the boys leering creepily at the waitstaff and drooling in their beers to head down to the prophet bar, in search of some musical salvation (am i clever, or what?). (Ed. note: if my oh-so-witty remarks are confusing you, it might be because you don't know that the prophet bar is part of The Door, which is owned by a church. so now you know). Engaged in some idle chitchat with the gal at the door, who was very nice, at least until i violently used the lord jeebus's name in vain, at which point she slammed the window closed on my hands (kidding) and clammed up (i'm sure she was praying for me at that point. praying hard).

anyhows, caught the last half or so of Jon Cook's set. solo acoustic singer/songwriter. Dono what it was, but i fell for it. totally loved it (not my usual reaction to solo acoustic singer/songwriters (which is a yawn)). Sometimes i'm just in the mood for it, and last night i was. i think Jon had a lot to do with that - loved his voice (reminded me of leonard cohen sometimes), loved his songs - mostly melancholy, wistful (is that redundant? sue me), beautiful geetar playin, not over-earnest or over-emoting (a common fault, i think). very genuine. very talented.

ran down to club dada to catch Pet Hospital, cuz i digs me some pet hospital. chatted with brian and amanda (who is much more chipper these days (yay)), and met the Dallas Observer's new music editor, Pete Freedman (straight outta Colorado Sprangs, Home of Half a Million Rabid EvangelicalsTM (or so i'm told)). There's been much weeping and moaning and gnashing of teeth by the music-scene insider types around here about who the new editor would be, what kind of job they would do, etc. Well, at least in my opinion, this dude seems to have the right stuff. Even before we met, i liked what i read - liked his writing style, his attitude, the way he threw himself into the scene. Turns out he's a super nice dude, too. And hey, we even like the same bands and internet radio station (can you say 'validation'?). Plus which, amanda gave him three pages of homework to do, so she'll have him educated in no time. Check out Pete here and here.

oh yeah - Pet Hospital. saw these guys a few weeks back (read review here), and thought they were awesome, and they re-affirmed that opinion last night. seemed like it was maybe a different set - not as many hard-rockin numbers as i remember, but still fantastic - i love the down-tempo stuff, too. some dude (prolly someone's dad?) gave out free EPs to the crowd, which at that point was just me, amanda, brian, and pete. didn't seem to bother them, tho - they put on a great show.

stumbled out of dada and went back to Salvation Central. Had missed Victory March, apparently. but that's OK, pete says they suck (i'm kidding! i'm kidding!). Icarus Crane was setting up. Lo and behold, who joins me at the bar but the aforementioned Music Editor (must've been jonesin' for an evangelical experience (i think i saw him praying with the chick at the door)). At that point, the incoherent babbling (you know it) began with a vengeance (on my part, i should say). Turns out we both have ties to central new york (repreSENT!) - he went to syracuse U and i grew up in that area. he's also friends with the dudes in Ra Ra Riot, one of my favorite bands from last year (hey, mebbe he can set me up with the sweet sweet violin player when they come thru town). Anyways, i always have a blast when i can converse with someone who's as passionate aboot music as i am.

Icarus Crane. two-man instrumental band - geetar/synth and drummer, plus seizure-inducing disco lights. dudes had some nice tunes, some cool grooves, but after 3 or 4 songs, i had gotten a bit tired of it (if you see me with one finger in my ear, and my other ear turned away, you know i'm not diggin it). seriously, tho - they were good at what they were doin, it just wore on me after a while. i think that's why the good lord invented vocalists (hey, mebbe all that prayin is workin on me).

last up was Bear Colony, from arkansas. holy shit, these guys were fantastic. awesome. right in my wheelhouse - moody, minor-chord-driven, beautiful wall of sound arty guitar pop (not much like the myspace, btw). great pipes on lead. 5-man band (full-time keys/synth). heard some coldplay, some early radiohead influence. Pete says he heard 'Shiny Toy Guns' (look at him, showin me up on the whole band reference thing). if you have a chance to see these guys, don't pass it up. didn't have the cash for the cd; pete got a free one (nice to be a music editor, eh?).

was done at midnight, but i (once again) did not take advantage of the 'early' finish, and went to the fillmore pub, where the piledriver was chasin married women (as he is wont to do), knuckles pretended to like scotch to impress the waitress, and dave-the-big-guy-who-had-too-much-to-drink pestered all the bar patrons on his quest to find shrimp (i have no idea).

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Thursday night shenanigans

Plannin on goin to the Prophet Bar thursday night to hear Bear Colony, Icarus Crane, Victory March, and Jon Cook ('tho i might run down to club dada when pet hospital plays):

damn, that's twice in one week i've been to the prophet bar. praise jeebus, eh?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

2/9/08 - Kevin Devine, Jealous Girlfriends, Quiet Company

had a hard time findin a shew, but finally found that quiet company was playing at the prophet bar, a venue i usually ignore cuz of the affiliation and the inflated cover charge. but i love quiet company, so. tk, another QC fan, came along for the ride.

stopped off at dada first to chat with mis compadres there, but alas, no one home. oh well, beard entertained us with von ehric stories, tk inhaled a couple more lonestars (i could swear at one point he was gonna start shotgunning), and we discussed the glorious complexities of modern adult life and such, as we always do.

left dada, jumped in the chick-magnet-mobile, and drove around the block lost a couple times before settling on a parking space about oh, 100 feet down the street from where we originally parked. well sheeut, it sure looked further than that on google maps.

so how is it that the first band is supposed to go on at 8:30, we get there at 9:10, and we've missed the first two bands??? stupid fuckers.

BUT, not to worry, we did not miss Quiet Company. Seen these dudes at least twice before at dada and once at hailey's, and i love 'em every time. they've added a fourth member to their band, so you've got full-time geetar now (tyler used to switch between geetar and keys), which makes their live show rock oot even more. check out the cd - it's got some fantastic, finely-crafted, mostly mellow acoustic/piano-pop tunes on it - but the goddam live show is incredible. even the mellow songs on the cd turn into full-blown rock anthems when played live. i mean these guys kicked ass. my gawd i loved it.

tk chatted up lead singer tyler (i think) after the set, and they compared notes aboot the deep meaning of the lyrics to 'love is a shotgun' and the glorious complexities of modern life and omigod he'll talk about that shit to anyone, apparently. just kiddin, tk, you know i love you, man.

just when i thot the high point of the evening had passed, tk brought me a jager shot. ha! just kidding (i mean, he did, but that wasn't the high point, i'm sayin). seriously, the highlight of the evenin had to be the set by jealous girlfriends. four-piece band, straight outta brooklyn. smokin hot chick lead guitarist/vocalist (omigawd, i think i'm in love), peter frampton lookalike on geetar/vocals (tk can have him), plus keys and drummer. totally unique blend of shoegaze, grunge, and new wave. loved the mix of his-and-hers lead vocals - great effect (check it: their stuff was totally in my wheelhouse, and i loved every minute of their set. might even have to trek over to lola's in march to catch them on their way to sxsw. no sign of holly after the set - she must've sensed a drunken middle-ager was on the prowl.

between sets, i wandered thru the smoky passageway to the other side of the building, where i witnessed the sad sad sight of the former gypsy tea room ballroom (where i saw the genius of eels) being defamed by goddam screamo bullshit, complete with shirtless screamo-heads pseudo-moshing in front of the stage. kill me.

last up was kevin devine, also from brooklyn, and touring partner of jealous girlfriends (did i mention how incredible they were?). this guy seems to have a big following up north. his myspace is all solo acoustic-y stuff, but i thot sure he'd have a full band and at least attempt to rock out a bit. but what we saw was just him on acoustic and another dude on electric, basically just playin his acoustic songs. we heard four or five songs like that and had had enough. he might have said something aboot 'the full band' comin up later on, so maybe we missed the whole rockin out part, but we could take no mo. kept thinking of 'waking ned devine'. dono why.

went back to dada to see if anyone was about, but no luck. went to zini's so tk could meet my alternate-universe girlfriend. the pizza was amazing, as usual.

dropped by the fillmore pub in plano, second home of knuckles and the piledriver. they had somehow managed to convince one of the beer wenches to sit with them and buy them shots. what gentlemen, eh? some truly disturbing revelations unfolded, involving very intimate personal encounters and bodily functions (you dont wanna know, bleebe me).