Rant over. Happy New Year!
Cartographers (San Antonio) started things off. 6-man band: 3 guitars, 2 keyboards, plus drums. Meh, didn't really care for it. Pretty standard piano-pop. Might need to think about dropping a keyboard player, since it seemed like most songs were too heavy in that department, in my book.
Next up was Writer, the mercifully-renamed 'Matthew Gray, Delves into the Humanity Pools with the Six Foot Saucer Pot People'. So that would make them TAFKAMGDITHPWTSFSPP, which is a Prince reference, in case you're slow. Anyways, I've said it before - I love everything Matthew is involved in, and this band is no exception. Beautiful stuff. This was my second time to see them, and the only real change was that the bass player went from an upright bass to an electric. Oh, and the keyboard player and guitar player switched sides of the stage, which is neither relevant nor interesting, but since I get paid by the word, and I have a daughter going to art school in San Francisco, well you see how things can get out of hand? Anyways, really loved the set.
One Hundred Flowers (Austin) was up next. Very interesting band. Two guitars, two keys, drums. Have to say - for the first couple of songs, I was lost. At times, it almost sounded like the lead singer and the two backup singers were singing different songs (which is never a good thing). But then I started to listen carefully, and I realized there were some very interesting things going on in their songs. This is no verse-verse-chorus stuff, it is complex, and weird, and beautiful. Music that requires you to pay attention, but rewards you for doing so. Absolutely loved the two female voices layered over the lead's - haunting and goosebump-inducing. Really wonderful. Bought the EP, which is outstanding. Can't wait to catch them again.
P.S. If you actually believe I get paid, well, you can email me and I'll explain the Prince reference