Wednesday, August 19, 2009

8/16/09 - Heartstring Stranglers, New Science Projects, Ryan Thomas Becker, Febrifuge, Roy Robertson

was feeling kinda restless on sunday night, in need of a live music fix, an adventure, and maybe somewhat of a bender. found out about a show in denton being put on by the gutterth boys - 5 bands, in a house, starting at 7, free, and BYOB. i thought, perfect. showed up at 7:30, hung out in the backyard with a bunch of drunk-ass, funny-as-hell guys half my age, who made me feel right at home. gawd, i love the Denton music scene.

back inside the house and up the rickety staircase in the attic, Roy Robertson started things off. Was very impressed by Roy - loved his voice, his songwriting, his guitar-playing - everything. Liked the non-standard structure of some of his songs. Really enjoyed it. Told me his influences were Dylan and The Beatles. i should mention - this whole show was completely acoustic (demonstrating how committed the music scene is to lowering its carbon footprint. or maybe they were just trying to keep the cops from busting down the doors & shooting whatever dogs they could find, in response to a noise complaint). sorry - bit of a tangent there.

Back downstairs, Febrifuge (which is just one dude, Chris Day) was up next. Really liked what i heard on myspace from this guy. Of course, what i heard sunday was a very much stripped- down version of his recordings, so it wasn't quite as compelling, but i still enjoyed his set. Really dug his voice - quite a range - very Thom Yorke-like in places. He played acoustic guitar and autoharp, and tapped a tambourine with his foot to add a percussive element. Very nice set. Will definitely be looking out for Febrifuge shows in the future (I assume he plays with a full band at times). Ryan Thomas Becker then played in a different room on the bottom floor. Seen him perform many, many times, and i'm always amazed by his voice. very unique, incredibly soulful. great stuff, as always.back upstairs in the now-sweltering attic (did i mention that the house had no AC?), New Science Projects did his thing. It was funny to see him smearing what looked like fake blood on himself down in the laundry room before his set (ok, i dono why that was funny, but it was). Anyhow, it absolutely amazed me that almost the entire crowd (and that attic was packed) seemed to know every word of every one of his songs. you don't see that very often. i thought the addition of a cello player to some songs was a nice touch. i'm not a huge fan of NSP - it's a little over the top for my taste, and i don't care for his voice at all - so after 4 or 5 songs (during which i sweated off half my body weight), i headed back downstairs and outside to the relatively cool summer night. last to perform was Heartstring Stranglers - this was actually their cd release show and going away shindig. couldn't really see the whole band - the whole bottom floor of the house was jam-packed (guess that's why they invented stages, eh?), but i think there were five of them. nice collection of (hard to describe - old-timey? ethnic? gothic?) folk tunes. very nice. bought both cd's. violin player drove my pants crazy (sorry!). all in all, i had a blast - good booze, good people, good music. can't ask for more than that.

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