Friday, November 12, 2010

11/6/10 - Margot & the Nuclear So & So's, Jookabox, ???

...at The Loft, where i seem to be spending an alarmingly increasing amount of my income...

Um, I have no idea who opened. The Burnt Ones were supposed to, but they didn't show. Some dude wif an acoustic played instead. Loved his voice, which was somewhat unique. Some friendly advice, tho - say your effing name every once in a while - people might actually remember you. Jookabox was next, and I have no idea what they're supposed to be, but I dug it. A lot. Super-high energy, fun stuff. Would love to see them again.
Margot and the Nuclear So & So's headlined. Meh. Coulda had the crowd (which seemed to be filled with ardent fans) in absolute ecstasy if they had only bothered to actually acknowledge their presence. Too bad.

Friday, November 5, 2010

10/19/10 - Frightened Rabbit, Plants and Animals, Bad Veins

...at the Loft.

Started out thinking the Studio Bar & Grill (below the Loft) had the weakest pour in Dallas. Ended up knowing it didn't.

Bad Veins (Cincinnati) - these boys seem to have an affinity for opening for Scottish bands, being as how I saw them open for We Were Promised Jetpacks in Denton back in February. Anyhows, loved them then, and I loved them again. Great stuff. Plants and Animals (Montreal) - pure awesomeness Frightened Rabbit (Selkirk) - having endured the Lucy-van-pelt football treatment back in April (mother-effing vol-CANO!), i was completely stoked to witness FR's return to Dallas, and i was in no way disappointed. The boys presented a perfect mix of the old and the new (Midnight Organ Fight and The Winter of Mixed Drinks), while engaging the audience with anecdotes, witty banter, and their version of Scotch humor between songs. 'Twas everything I'd hoped for.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

10/6/10 - Local Natives, Love Language, Union Line

...at the mother-EFFing house of blues.

Have I mentioned how much I HATE the mother-effing house of blues? Who else can turn a $12 ticket into a $27 ream job? Convenience fees, pre-order fees, will-call fees, bend-over-and-stick-it-in-your-ass-just-cuz-we-can fees? Hate those TM bastards.

Plus which - $7 wells??? Eff. You.

Plus which, that ridiculously annoying dude in the bathroom, attempting to spritz us concert-goers with cologne and fill our post-micturation hands with soap, who is, i'm pretty sure, responsible for overall decreased levels of hygiene, as all the dudes duck out of the bathroom without washing at all, just to avoid him. Hope i'm not breaking the man-code here, i just thot u females deserve to know.

So - the show. Which is how the MFing HOB redeems itself.

Union Line - truthfully, i don't remember a thing about them. Didn't offend me, that much i know.

Love Language - ok, i don't remember much about them either, but i know that i absolutely loved them. So says my facebook, and my facebook don't lie. Local Natives - Effing. Orgasmic. Runtelldat, homeboy.

10/2/10 - Skunk Ape, Oh Lewis, Extraordinaires

At RGRS.

Skunk Ape (Denton). OK, let me say up front - i am NOT a fan of punk. At all. And Skunk Ape is a punk band. Why, they're the epitome of a punk band, in my opinion. Thus, the comment i recorded on my iphone - "Total shit punk".

Oh Lewis (Denton). Enjoyed this set more than the last one i saw from them. Some very nice, crunchy, 90's guitar pop/rock. Can't tell you how many times I thought to myself, this sounds exactly like Fig Dish (an awesome late-90's Chicago band that you should check out here ). Same gravely voice, same style melodies, guitar playing, everything. Kinda spooky, but since I loves me some Fig Dish, I enjoyed Oh Lewis as well.

Extraordinaires (Philly) - hmm, not easy to describe this band. Part Jimmy Buffet party band, part Bare Naked Ladies. Strange, yet pleasing melange of cheese, sarcasm, silliness, political rambling, history lessons, etc. All in all, a lot of fun, with some very catchy and well-written songs. Only complaint? The insipid use of inflatables (dice, swords, toucans, etc.) that they insisted on throwing into the crowd. Before too long, all of them ended up on the floor, with all the spilled beer, and if you've ever been to Rubber Gloves, you know that inflatables that have wallowed in the puddles of beer on the floor of Rubber Gloves are NOT what you want flung at your head. Anywho. Another observation - the Extraordinaires' audience EASILY had the largest contingent of horrible white-boy dancers i have EVER seen. Too damn funny. I will attempt to upload a video of one such individual, and I promise, you will agree.
And here he is:

video

8/23/10 - Delta Mirror, Grassfight, Phantom Caste

At Haileys.

Phantom Caste (Ft Worth) - Pretty standard but solid echo-y rock. Nice falsetto on lead. Overly phallic stand for keyboard. Haircut 100 dude on guitar. Note to guitar player - sipping a drink on stage (complete with lime wedge still on the side of the glass), THROUGH A STRAW? Not likely to inspire the females in the audience. Just sayin, from one highball-drinkin' guy to another. Ur welcome. Grassfight (Dallas) - seen them a few times now, and I always enjoy it, but for some reason, the over-use of the bullhorn got on my nerves this night. Delta Mirror (LA) - lots of recorded electro backing tracks, and very earnest vocals. Was mesmerized by the bass player, who i swear is the Hobbit dude from that episode of The Office (you know, Ryan's friend in NYC), who was wearing a stocking cap in the middle of august. Pretty sure he has special powers. Wasn't overly captivated by the muzak, however. Well, Haircut 100 dug it, anyways.

9/16/10 - Western Giants, MATAS

At Lochranns in Frisco.

Western Giants (Denton) were up first. Just for fun, i thought I'd share the "conversation" my intrepid companion and I "had" on an iphone Notes page during their set:

---------------
Me: Not a great voice, eh?

Me: Lead singer from sundress? {googling followed}

Me: Yes. Shud stick to guitar playing. He's phenomenal in sundress, tho

Me: Warning - I will be singing along w Matthew. At the top of my lungs, most likely

She: Bassist looks good. Maybe they shud put him in front. Doesn't look gay at all in v neck.

Me: At least one of them has a girlfriend - chick w camera.

She: Ok, bassist just checked me out.

She: Waitress cute w shirt too. Didn't really see any of the rest of her.

She: Does the bassist keep making eye contact w u?
Me: I'm not lookin at him. U?
She: Good point.
Me: Ok, maybe I've noticed that, yes, but there's no one here, so..,
He's fascinated by the old farts in the audience.
-------------

And there you have it. fascinating stuff, right? anyhows, we enjoyed the set, tho i'm glad kennon has a day job in Sundress. MATAS (Denton) was up next. I did, indeed, sing along at the top of my lungs. Take THAT, Frisco.

9/10/10 - Fox and the Bird, Listen Listen

At City Tavern.

The Fox & the Bird (Denton) - once again - awesome harmonies, great stuff. Two things, tho - lose the effing videographer, very distracting. And the effing cowboy hat. Listen Listen (Houston) - talented bunch of multi-instrumentalists. Loved the multi-part harmonies. Trombone/trumpet player passed out mid-tune, but soldiered on. Set came to an unceremonious end when the bass amp blew half-way thru song.

8/20/10 - Analog Rebellion, Archeology, Land Mammals, Young and Brave

At Hailey's.

Young & Brave (Denton) - Pretty standard country-tinged pop. Chick on keys. Hair-band-era holey jeans on lead. Chick-led songs better. Nice harmonies. Set went on forever.

Land Mammals (Denton) - Truly awesome. Reminded me a lot of Ella Minnow (one of my favs). Lead singer a cross between brad pitt & rivers cuomo. Hot chick on guitar. Keyboard dude on twice his normal dose of Ritalin, pretty sure. Vocals unusual but they work. Unusually structured songs. Dug it. A lot.

Archeology (Portland) - Hmmm. Great harmonies, but i couldn't shake the 'we're-really-a-praise-band-but-we-like-to-pretend-we're-not' feeling. Axl Rose bandana on acoustic guitar player, long-haired jeezus lookalike lead. Very earnest. Felt artificial, tho it was catchy. Analog Rebellion (Aledo) - Truly awesome. Two guys plus laptop. Amazing guitar work.
Vocals a lot like Death Cab at times. Sometimes soaring & anthemic, sometimes just plain kick-ass rock. Loved it. Wanted to buy the CD from Daniel afterwards, but he couldn't drag himself away from the potential groupie long enough. Next time, then.

Monday, August 9, 2010

8/8/10 - Spooky Folk, Dark Dark Dark, The Fox and the Bird, Jeremy Buller

At Hailey's.

Jeremy Buller (Denton) - solo acoustic. Don't really remember, sorry. The Fox & the Bird (Denton). Appropriate number of banjos, mandolins, violins, acoustic guitars. Chilling multi-part harmonies. Nice bells. Dug it. Dark Dark Dark (Minneapolis) - Oh my. What an amazing performance. Can be best described as sad accordion music, tho "haunting, beautiful, moving, soaring, & spine-tingling" also apply. Definitely heard a Leonard Cohen influence. Fell deeply in love with this band. Bought both CDs and a t-shirt, & gave them all the cash I had on me. Absolutely magical. Spooky Folk (Denton) - seen them a few times now - great stuff, always a good time. Favorite couplet: "I was born on the bible belt. Give me something sharp so i can kill myself". Preach on, brudda.

Friday, July 30, 2010

7/17/10 - DOMA showcase

Better late then never, eh?

Twas glad this year's shindig was in the deepest of ellums - so much better than past showcases, held in douchebag central (otw known as lower Greenville).

First - Secret Machines. LOVE the SM, and not just cuz they popped my live music cherry (ouch!) back in 2006 at the lizard lounge. Howevers, this wasn't quite the same SM, being as how both Curtis brothers weren't in attendance. Twas either that, or the fact that my balls were in danger of melting, but I just didn't enjoy their set like I thot I would, despite the super-drunk/hot chicks dirty dancing wif each other just outside the (penitentiary-like) fence. Oh well, on to the next......which was The O's. Meh. Still don't get. But I admit - I hear the effing banjo, I have a hard time taking a band seriously. Just my bias, don't judge me!! Went to Trees to catch FUR, being as how I wanted to try out some new bands, & not just hear the same-o same-o. Curtain opened to reveal two dudes huddled behind two laptops. Me & my intrepid companion laughed heartily, then split. No fanks.

Went to the roof of The Bone & caught Nervous Curtains. Nuff said, u know I love the NC. Awesome, as always. Then off to the Door to catch Air Review. Another meh. Decent, but over-rated. Dime-a-dozen, in my opinion. Back to Trees to see Ishi, who I've been waiting to see a second time for a while now. Heard 2 songs and was done. Just not in the mood, especially since I knew MATAS was playing just down the street. So - back to the door, to once again get blown away by MATAS' genius. Just can't get enough of them, it seems. Then back to Trees for Mount Righteous. Fun! Last was Spooky Folk, back on top of the Bone (snicker). Great fun, lotsa exuberant dancing & such. Awesome cap to the evening.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

6/29/10 - Julian Lynch, Sundress, Soft Healer

Wedentondoit shindig at JnJ's. Actually started at 8, praise jeebus, but that means i missed Goldilocks and the Rock, who seem to be in bed wif WDDI, that's for sure.

Soft Healer (Austin). Dug it, but had a hard time figuring it out. Guitar confused me, at one point i wrote "surf punk?". Enjoyed multi-instrumentalist -part-time sax, mouth organ (oh yeah, i said it), keys. Sundress (Denton). Sweet baby jeezus, what an awesome experience this was. Sitting 10 feet from this band, totally enveloped by their sound -what can I say - 'twas orgasmic. Definitely some phenomenal songwriting going on here, with some awesome vocals, but the ethereal guitar playing (second pic) sets them apart. A cross between early radiohead, Travis, and a less-strident Muse - enough to make any serious music fan cream his/her pants. Absolutely phenomenal. Probably my favorite local band at the moment.
Julian Lynch (New Jersey, Wisconsin). Very interesting. Have to admit - you see a guy tuning up his clarinet before his set, you think "not a good sign". then he starts tuning his BASS clarinet, and you think "well, at least i'll get to bed early". But no - this was some some hauntingly beautiful stuff. Just one guy with wind instruments (some unidentifiable), a table full of pedals and such, a droning backing track, and amazing talent. Truly mesmerizing. No way was I leaving early.

6/25/10 - Sundress, The Clouds are Ghosts, Land Mammals, Retro Run

Retro Run (Denton). Walked in half-way thru their set, to hear Vampire Weekend cover. Next two i didn't like. to top it off, they somehow felt themselves worthy of not one, but TWO encores. for the effing opener? uh, no. not how it works. get off the stage.

The Clouds are Ghosts (Austin). Shoulda dug this band, but didn't. Violin, keys, etc. Felt it was over-produced, trying too hard. facebook post said somethin about individuation or some rot. check it.
Land Mammals (Denton). Loved it. Supremely individuated, says facebook.
Sundress (Denton). Truly awesome. Funny - just that morning, i had heard an amazing song on KXT and jotted down the time, so i could look it up later to see who it was. Never got around to it, but i heard it again that night - twas Sundress' Dream Curl. How cool to hear it live.

Friday, June 18, 2010

6/14/10 - Good Old War, Yukon Blonde, Audra Mae

Audra Mae (LA). Whoa - beautiful stuff. Great voice. coulda done without the Joplin cover, but that's just me.
Yukon Blonde (Vancouver). Really dug these guys, too. Kindof an amped-up Fleet Foxes.
Good Old War (Philly). OMFG, words cannot describe how much I love this band. First time I saw them, I described it as a religious experience, and this time, I was fully converted, full-immersion baptism and all. Amazing, amazing folky tunes with spine-tingling harmonies. and the whole band puts out this "everything's all right, yes, everything's fine" vibe that just fills your heart with joy. did the usual come-down-into-the-audience maneuver, and ended up right in front of me, which completely capped off the evening for me. truly a wonderful experience (despite the super-drunk chick who kept trying to get me to dance with her. Um, no).

6/11/10 - Bravo Max, The Wild Complete, Gray the New Black

Gray, the New Black (Dallas). 3-man band. oh, no - definitely not my thang. no, no, no. Iphone says "crappy bluesy hendrix guitar shit", and you can't argue with the iphone, can you? no, you cannot. grateful that they reminded me that i'd forgotten my earplugs in the car, tho. So there's that (thanks, boys!). The Wild Complete (Flagstaff). Awesome folky rock. Loved the accordion. Go check out My Bird on their myspace page - superific. plus which, it's good to see Ringo bangin' on the ol' skins again. Very political band. Over-payed for the CD and t-shirt, hoping to help them afford a REAL bass drum, which they really need. Poor Ringo.Bravo, Max (Dallas). Enjoyed it, but damn - 5 guitars? really? felt sorry for the guitar player in the back, frantically strumming, with no evidence of his existence coming out of the speakers. Loved the clarinet (say WHAT?) & accordion. Good stuff.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

5/29/10 - Curvette, Quiet Company, Holy Fiction, Goldilocks and the Rock

Goldilocks and the Rock (Denton). Just two dudes, one on geetar, one on drums. Guitar/vocalist couldn't bear to face the audience, it seemed, something that always seems to annoy me. Plus which, he was auto-tuning the SHIT out of his vocals (despite Jay-Z declaring it dead and all), and I couldn't figure out if that was some sort of hyper-ironic statement that i was missing, or what. Bizarro, is what it was.

Holy Fiction (Houston). Been too long, folks. Iphone says "decent". Sorry.
Quiet Company (Austin). Always had a soft spot for QC, despite their endless and annoying myspace pestering. Good stuff.
Curvette (Denton). Truth be told, i slept thru most of their set, so i'll refrain from offering an opinion.

6/5/10 - Friendo, Nervous Curtains, George Quartz

...at the Lounge.

George Quartz (Dallas?). This dude was formerly the frontman of Faux Fox, and if you can't figure that out from watching him, you just haven't been paying attention. Very similar in style to FF, and you know that's not my thing, but i'll be damned if i wasn't intrigued & entertained by his digitized nonsense and in-your-face stage presence. Entertaining for sure, i'll say that. Plus, it's nice to see that Tom Cruise has finally come out, and has a solid side gig between movie projects.
Nervous Curtains (Dallas). You know i love it. Bought me the CD and the t-shirt.
Friendo (Calgary). Yea, wasn't knocked out by these guys, but it's good to see the Donger still workin' after all these years. Also in their favor - the 'Most Awesomest Jorts Ever' award. Congrats!

5/31/10 - Plants and Animals, Lost in the Trees, Lazy Native

...at Hailey's. The Les Savy Fan made it out, too, being as how he's a big Plants and Animals fan.


Lazy Native (Denton). Hmm, yea, they were OK. Everyone trying WAY to hard to sell it, tho, especially the Tambourine Man. Too funny.
Lost in the Trees (Chapel Hill). Oh my effin gawd, these guys were INCREDIBLE. One of the best sets I've seen in a long time. After their first song, the LSF texts me, "how great is this?", and i reply "fucking. AWESOME. worth the trip alone". three - count 'em, three strings on stage - two cellos and a violin, plus a part-time accordion/french horn (nice!)/xylophone, and tuba. Unfuckingbelievable. Amazingly moving chamber folk rock, with spine-tingling vocals from the accordion player. came down into the audience for their last few songs - always an awesome move, in my opinion, and i'm not just saying that cuz i happened to hold the xylophone for one of the songs :). Bought both the CD and a t-shirt afterwards. Amazing, amazing stuff. Not to be missed. Plants and Animals (Montreal) headlined. Totally fucking awesome.