Monday, June 05, 2006

SHQ Grand Opening (by Defensive Listening)


After many "threadjacks" and a bit of word of mouth hyperbole emanating from inside the Golden Triangle, the Secret Headquarters finally had its big opening night on Saturday. As you might already know, this place was started by the three-hydra-headed monster of Scott Porter from Record Hop, Cody Robinson from Medicine Window, and Rob Black, formerly (sigh) of Birth to Burial. I'd like to commend these gentlemen for not having any of their pet projects play on opening night, even though they were probably so overworked in preparation that performing was out of the question. SHQ is housed in the former Art Prostitute space, and it's nice to know that something worth talking about will still be going on within those walls. Let's hope that they will have something to discuss besides some dudes sitting around playing video games, because that would be downright tragic. The event featured three Denton bands who, despite sharing some of the same influences, coudn't have been more different.

Fra Pandolf was the first band to play, and they came out with a fairly convincing wash of guitar volume and intensity. Unfortunately, for all the noise they made, they played the least attended set of the night. I thought this was a shame, because I definitely enjoyed them the most out of the three bands. Fra Pandolf's sound was mostly distortion overlapping with washer and dryer tumbling rhythms. I felt this defied and even improved upon some of the anemic "shoegazer" bands they claim as influences. Rollerskate Skinny? It's almost shocking to see someone list that. The only comparable thing I can think of is Hot Rod,the spinoff of another 90's shoegaze casualty: The Drop Nineteens. It seems weird even bringing up some of these old Clinton Era groups... I feel like I should be jotting this down on a Newton Message Pad. Kidding about their influences aside, I thoroughly enjoyed their set. My only minor complaint would probably be that there were times when I wanted the vocals to push as hard as their devastating guitar attack.

Shiny around the Edges were a huge contrast to the openers. This duo held back piece by piece until there was nothing left but a lonely sorrowful voice. They referred to one song as "Song for Chris Flemmons to Sing" and I was really glad he wasn't there to sing it. They also had help from a guy who played Lap Steel as a guest. This was the best part of the set. One song just peeled back its layers until it was nothing but the female vocalist and the lap steel harmonizing together, and I would have really enjoyed a whole performance based around that. Shortly after their set started, the place was packed. It seemed very much like a couple of the times I witnessed Art Prostitute spilling out into the street during an event.

The grand and bombastic finale to this particular event was the melodramatic score provided by The Angelus, and the band really went all out to start their set. They had almost everything I've seen at Catholic funerals just short of smoke. Frontman Emil Rapstine was prowling back and forth ringing this big rusty bell to signal the first song, and I was scared shitless. What kind of creepy shit is that? The band obviously takes their music as serious as religion, and while we're on the topic, I want to mention that Emil's brother Xanderonce played Santa Claus (Xander Claus) on my favorite Christmas record of all time. I'm saving that review for a special Holiday piece, though. Anyways, The Angelus launched into their ominous set of songs shortly after the bell ringing, and they seemed to spend so much time building up that there were many moments in which the drummer appeared to be just itching to finally start playing. The Angelus brought a thick and morose atmosphere to the Secret Headquarters, and since theTah-Dahs are playing there soon, Lord knows it won't be the last time.

I really liked the feeling of being at a show here. I like the emphasis on the bands, not smelling like smoke, and pretty much everything that sets this place apart from spending time at a typical club. It's kind of a drag that they can't have bands play every night, but I know that the space is used for various other things, which likely makes my wish unrealistic. Besides, Denton is spoiled with too many good venues anyways. And a closing message to Scott: when you make a Mark Cuban sized promise to have the Mavs game on t.v., you should probably keep it. Seeing a bunch of embarrassed indie rockers hanging around a car radio and looking all worried was one of the saddest things I've ever seen in my life.

51 Comments:

Anonymous radial spangle said...

Six Degrees of Rollerskate Skinny:

Jimi Shields/Lotus Crown/First Melodica/Wanz/Black Arm Band/Fra Pandolf

6:37 AM  
Anonymous skulkie said...

shq reminded me of what i like about local music and booking: its about the music. not the money. not the bar. not the badass P.A. you can do alot more with creativity and charm and good intentions than you can ever do with money.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous skulkie said...

DL said: "Frontman Emil Rapstine was prowling back and forth ringing this big rusty bell to signal the first song, and I was scared shitless. What kind of creepy shit is that?"

you think thats scary? did you know he is a werewolf? seriously--check this out:
http://static.flickr.com/36/111708282_c522cb3a79_b.jpg

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pedal steel!

that shit was not in his lap!!!

10:06 AM  
Anonymous scott said...

Ha, yeah the Mavs games. Doh!
Glad you had a good time. Thanks for coming out to our first night.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Defensive Listening said...

Pedal Steel. I apologize. I'm not a guitar enthusiast, but I should have gotten that right.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Defensive Listening said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Emil joins the Mavs it'll be like TEEN WOLF all over again!

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you guys serious? can't you make it through a night of music without worrying about a stupid game? if i were in a band i'd be furious if a t.v. was on in the same venue. i'm glad they didn't have it on. sports suck.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was once said that is was impossible for the mavs to make it to the finals much less win it all. It has also been said that DFW has a shitty music scene that will never be cool. If the mavs can win a championship proving anything is possible then maybe it is also possible that we can have a cutting edge music scene that is actually cool. Going by some of the local shows that have been on the it list lately this is really worth thinking about.

"sports suck"?????
so do uptight people.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sat. was a rad night.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UHH... you don't have to PLAY while the game is on. and i would guess that as a venue owner you want as many people to come to your spot as possible.... SOMETIMES showing a deciding game of the conferance finals is a GOOD idea.

...i'm sure any bar that didn't feature the mavs game suffered a few losses (in terms of attendance) because of it. sorry you don't like sports, but as a business decision, it's probably best NOT to cater to those who hate sports.... you can always just not watch.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Cody said...

Thanks for coming out, DL.
It was a great night.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sports rule and so do i

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

STRIPPERS bring PEOPLE in to venues as well, but i don't see poles in music clubs.

I hate playing clubs when a ten foot tv is behind me playing anything.

If you want to watch guys put a round ball in a hoop go to the many other bars that cater to that.

Its rather disrespectful to have a game on when someone is playing music.

just my opinion.

1:21 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

go sports!

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah go sports. I love watching guys that can't read get all sweaty together.

Maybe if the mavs win, mark cuban can make more money and we will get another banner. (wooo hooo)

If they win two times in a row cuban can build another ugly stadium that coldplay can sell out.

I guess i'm just biased cause i meet a lot of pro athletes in my field and they are majority a holes and could care less about you and the city they represent. Its all about the roederer cristal and the good blow.

wooo hooo go Team.

1:37 PM  
Blogger streisand said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:48 PM  
Blogger streisand said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:02 PM  
Blogger streisand said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:03 PM  
Blogger streisand said...

The grand and bombastic finale to this particular event was the melodramatic score provided by The Angelus,*DIRK NOWITZKI DRIVES THE LANE AND PULLS UP FOR A FIFTEEN FOOTER FROM THE BASELINE" and the band really went all out to start their set. They had almost everything I've seen at Catholic funerals just short of smoke. Frontman Emil Rapstine *MARK CUBAN JUST GOT A TECHNICAL FOR HAVING ANAL SEX WHILE AVERY JOHNSON* was prowling back and forth ringing this big rusty bell to signal the first song,*THE MAV GIRLS RUN OUT ONTO THE COURT** and I was scared shitless. ***THE CAMERA PANS IN CLOSE ON KEITH VAN HORNE***What kind of creepy shit is that? The band obviously takes their music as serious as religion,**TWENTY SECOND TIME OUT MAVS, GARY GLITTER IS PUMPED OVER THE TV**** and while we're on the topic, I want to mention that Emil's brother Xanderonce played Santa Claus (Xander Claus) on my favorite Christmas record of all time. I'm saving that review for a special Holiday piece, though. Anyways, The Angelus launched into their ominous set of songs shortly after the bell ringing,**WHISTLE BLOWS, OFENSIVE FOUL**** and they seemed to spend so much time building up that there were many moments in which the drummer appeared to be just itching to***MAVS ARE ON A 10-0 RUN IN THE FOURTH THEY HAVE***** finally start playing. ***I BRING MY SECRET REMOTE AND TURN OFF THE FUCKING TV****The Angelus brought a thick and morose atmosphere to the Secret Headquarters, and since theTah-Dahs are playing there soon, Lord knows it won't be the last time.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Angelus brought a thick and morose atmosphere to the Secret Headquarters, and since theTah-Dahs are playing there soon, Lord knows it won't be the last time."

FUNNY!

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lets see...watching a basketball game during an agelus or shiney around the edges set...think about that for a second and then go back to the locker room and play slap ass.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous skulkie said...

STREISAND--YOU MAKE ME LAUGH! THAT WAS CLASSIC! oh shit, caps lock.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya know it was SHQ's idea. I would be really mad if I were a ten foot TV and a band was trying to play music behind me.

5:03 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

yeah, how old are all these jocks vs. Rockers people anyway? Didn't that divide only exist in 80's movies?

5:06 PM  
Anonymous M-. said...

Go Astros!

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so someone's who's smart enough to know that sports are just a mass distraction is "uptight"? seriously, if a game is really important to you, why don't you watch it at home or go to some sports bar that's showing it. that's where you belong. musicians deserve more respect than that.
you can love music and sports, there doesn't have to be division. and i obviously didn't mean that the bands would PLAY while the game was on. i hate restaurants that have televisions in your line of vision no matter where you look. yeah, you can just not watch but it's kind of hard when it's in your face. t.v. has no place in a music venue.

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah!! Because everyone knows you can't possibly like sports AND music. God forbid.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You think y'all looked embarrassed huddled around a car stereo? You should have seen me running out of Hailey's every couple minutes to peep through Hannah's window at the TV, too broke and busy to go in and sit down with a drink. SSSSSSPORTS!

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is always embarrasing for me to see the damn tv on some sports while a band is playing. i think those lame asses at the gypsy had some game on during the fall. does anyone who works there actually like music?
imo, very little overlap on the old rockers vs. sporters biz.

8:16 PM  
Blogger streisand said...

what about pro athletes that play music? Good seeing you guys skulkie.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous emesspee said...

Superbowl Shuffle, bitches!

12:56 AM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

and that band that Jack McDowell was in. And that T.O. song. And Cedrick Ceballos' album, as well as Ron Artest and AI.

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and who says a TV has to be "IN THE WAY" during a show? nobody is suggesting that the televisions be on stage. i'm just saying... what's SOO terrible about a venue saying "hey, i'm sure people want to watch the game" and allowing for that to happen w/ no distraction to the band or their sound or the view of them by concertgoers.

you could A) set up a tv off to the side and only have it on when the band isn't playing or B) if the venue is big enough put it in a completely different part of the venue, away from the stage and away from those who are watching what's going on on stage.

sorry, but that ISN'T a terrible idea b/c, frankly, the reason i didn't go to any of the GREAT shows that were going on that night WAS because of the Mavs game... had i been able to find a place where i could be close to a tv to watch the game and close to a few of those gigs.... i woulda done it in a heartbeat.

no one's asking for a projection of the mavs game to be showing on a huge backdrop behind a band that is playing... that's just as dumb as whoever said sports and music don't mix (just about EVERY huge music fan i know likes some sport(s) in some capacity)

... is it so bad to want to check the score occationaly? it'd been better for those who DID go out who were constantly running out to their cars if they could just wander off in some corner and see what's going on... stuff like that should only bother bitter motherfuckers who just hate sports and can't stand to see someone enjoying them in front of them.

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"musicians deserve more respect than that."

...musicians don't DESERVE a goddamn thing... if they want my respect they can earn it.

like i said, no one is projecting 10 foot dirks behind the band as they play. we're talking about having a tv AVAILABLE for those who want to to watch... maybe it's outside, maybe it's in a corner w/ no volume and away from the band, maybe it's upstairs (if there is one)... we're not pumping jock-jams during set-breaks, and no one is asking those who want to hear the band to be quiet so that "we can hear the game"... yalls ignant

9:25 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

a-men.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous The Coolest Retard said...

Huey Lewis bridged the gap between music fan and sports fan with his epic 1980-something release... cleverly entitled Sports... there now, pizza in the valley

10:47 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:27 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

good call, although I'm more of a Fore! person.

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SCOTT RADINSKY (near 10-year career as a reliever for the White Sox & Dodgers & more) is the freakin' lead singer of tepid pop/punk band Pulley. I think they put out stuff on Epitaph.

So there.

Also, DJ Mbenga sings voodoo spirituals in the Mavs' locker room.

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the question if lame sports figures try to play music then of course the answer is yes. They also try out acting, politics, gambling, and/or criminal behavior.
But the question is if a tv is needed in a music venue for a couple of lonely guys to check out the score of the game? the answer is a popular no.
The pro sports crowd is kind of like the republican party. They might have a louder voice but no one is listening.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think you are wholy incorrect. and my point remains the same... if it DOES NOT change ANYTHING about your ability to view the show, hear the show, play the show, run lights @ the show, be the soundguy @ the show, or ANYTHING else @ the show... then what's the problem?

This STILL has yet to be given a comprehensible answer. I'm sure PLENTY of bands had quite a few people not go to their shows because of playoff games. WHY then would it be a bad choice for a venue owner to have that option available if there is no hinderance to the main purpose of the nights activities (music)??

Should they stop having bars and bartenders @ shows because occationaly the bar can get in the way of the view of the band? or the constant chatter of bartenders and bar patrons saying "hey, i'd like a budwiser" stops you from hearing the critical neuances (sp?) of a particular bands music?

again, i'm not saying that television should take presidence, i'm only wondering why people are soooo vehemently against something that has little to no potential for harm if done correctly. i'm also speaking from the point of view of someone who would have actually made it to 3 or 4 shows that i missed in the past few weeks had i known i could have found a television nearby (it doesn't have to be ANYWHERE NEAR the music, it doesn't have to cause a distraction from people who don't care about it... i mean, if you like to play dominoes i'm not going to say "thats a terrible idea to do that at a bar, how DISRESPECTFUL etc etc"... i'm going to realize that, as long as they have a little thing called common courtesy and don't set up the game right in front of the stage, it DOESN'T EFFECT ME AT ALL).

6:48 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

I have missed a ton of shows because of the Mavs playoff games, and I don't regret it a bit. But I agree: it would be nice to be able to go to shows AND have a decent view of the game.

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

shit, i'd just like to be able to run off for 3 seconds and check the score... or watch the game between sets or something.

i can see how it would be annoying to have people turned the other way to watch a game, but the fact that there were kids huddled around their cars checking the score speaks for itself.

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had we had cable, and if a normal Denton TV could pick up a channel besides 21, the small TV would have been out on a milk crate on the sidewalk in the smoking section. It would not have hurt the show one bit. I know that a lot of the folks in all of the bands that night would have liked to know how the game was going...

What we did to improve our "venue" was take Art Prostitute's "DING!" thingy off of the front door, because when shiny was playing, that shit cut through like a knife! So... Whatever.

12:16 AM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

I don't think anyone is bitching about you guys not having a t.v. on your opening night... but it seems dumb that more music venues that make an assload of money, or want to, don't have good t.v.s for mavs watching. Dats all.

12:45 AM  
Blogger Defensive Listening said...

Ladies and gentlemen,
It was a joke. I compared Scott Porter to Mark Cuban. I wasn't deeply offended that they didn't have a television.

7:51 AM  
Anonymous scott said...

I though it was funny, DL.

He and I have the same hairdresser so we've been laighing about it under the dryers all week...

8:00 AM  
Anonymous scott said...

thoughT,

not though

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11:53 AM  

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