Saturday, August 26, 2006

Lame...Lame and Tame...Tame (by Defensive Listening)

The show at Double Wide on Wednesday featured the most lopsided set of performances that I've seen all summer. I've been to quite a few shows in Denton this busy season, and most of those have displayed some semblance of a shared style, or at the very least, a common musical philosophy amongst the bands sharing the stage. This show featured a couple of California bands that have inexplicably captured some recent blog headlines, along with a local band that hasn't, but actually deserves to. Birdmonster and Division Day did seem to have plenty in common, but it wasn't necessarily anything I would want two bands to share. Local act Tame...Tame and Quiet was nothing like either of these bands, which turned out to be a relief. If they had been in any way similar to the others, the night would have been a complete waste of two precious commodities: gas and time.

I hate it when the best band plays first, or in this case, the only good band.Tame...Tame and Quiet came out and played such a strong set that they probably would have made even a really good band look silly in comparison. They play a very intricate brand of guitar based rock with 70's progressive undertones, and just about any serious music fan would have respected them for all that they accomplish in their brief set. The technically obsessed among us would have marveled at their chops and proficiency. Those who expect intensity at live shows would not have been disappointed by their forcefulness. Even songwriting fans would have been forced to wonder how they went about constructing the tunefulness of their mini-epics.

The band is fronted by two guitarists: Metrognome Collective mastermind Aaron Bartz and Darren Miller, formerly of the late Fort Worth rock group Benway. The band is also more than ably backed by the jazz inspired rhythm hurricane of Boyd Dixon on drums. Boyd plays in Idi*Amin as well, but his drumming is much different and more direct in this setting, exposing his stunning versatility. At their best,Tame...Tame and Quiet reminded me of so manyparts of my favorite King Crimson songs, Polvo albums, and my absolute favorite: Polvo albums that ripped off King Crimson songs. I don't know if they actually count either of the aforementioned bands as influences, but they remind me of the better moments of the so called "math rock" era, when bands aspired to write impossibly complex songs that mixed melody, schizophrenic time signatures and guitar heroics, taking all of them to their logical
extremes. When I heard Tame...Tame and Quiet, I realized how much I miss that time in music, or more specifically, the music itself. The band rocks in such a convincing manner that they blow the intellectual bullshit off of the chin- scratching facade that was so common in that genre. I hope more of you get a chance to see them, and I now know that i should have gone home the moment they exited the stage.

When Division Day came on, I might as well have been at a different show on a different night. Holy shit,where do I begin? Was it the predictable road weary
attitude and stage banter that was played out like theJheri curl? Was it the rocking out on keyboards (an ill advised move for any band)? For the record, I don't care if a band utilizes keyboards, and I actually love it a lot of the time. But please don't jump up and down and try to rock on them like a backup lackey for Nine Inch Nails. With the exception of the keyboard guitar, nothing looks less rock.

Of course, when Division Day showed up, so did the typically late Dallas audience. Dallas crowds are notorious for showing up late, but on this night they really blew it, arriving just in time for two of the worst bands I've seen in recent memory. Division Day did an okay job of silencing a heckler at one point, but for once I was on the heckler's side. Nobody should get away with telling an audience, "It's good to be in Dallas?!" or asking the crowd "How are YOU Dallas?!". Why don't you tell us how Dallas is? Actually, he did say he was glad to be in Dallas because he didn't have a good time in Houston. If that's the case, Division Day was probably treated appropriately in Houston, a town that doesn't take shit from anybody. The band confused me when I saw them play, but I became even more confused when I did a little research on them. They list some semi-adventurous influences on their web page, yet their music is completely Clear Channel friendly, due largely in part to the Mall-Emo melodrama of their vocals. The band was dressed up like Urban Outfitters mannequins come to life, but there was a key difference: the last time I
actually made the mistake of setting foot in that store, I heard some crazy screaming noise rock, indicating that Urban Outfitters mannequins have better taste than these guys, not to mention more stage presence. As confusing as Division Day's hype to substance ratio became after seeing their performance, nothing could prepare me for Birdmonster.

I never thought I'd see the day when I'd get offended because someone decided to compare a band to Modest Mouse. That's right, MTV heroes and KidZ Bop Legends, Modest Mouse. But the rampant comparisons of Birdmonster to Modest Mouse on blog after blog have moved me to believe that Modest Mouse is some sort of sacred entity, and I've begun to wonder how anyone could dare compare this joke of a band to a true pillar of integrity and greatness. Compared to Birdmonster, Modest Mouse is the fucking Beatles. Or Can. Or insert your favorite band here. These guys blew my mind with how far they took the concept of being bland. They were the real life equivalent of Uncle Jessie's band on Full House, only not as cool. I absolutely could not believe my ears. When the lead singer did the Chuck Berry duckwalk, I absolutely could not believe my eyes. If this assault on the senses is what passes for Next Big Thing status these days, we are in serious trouble. I invite you to go to the band's Myspace page, listen to the song "Skeleton Suit", and then tell me how this song is not uncannily like Jimmy Eat World's hit, "The Middle". You can actually count down to the moment when the singer will stomp on his distortion pedal and go into the anthemic chorus. I am truly disturbed by the level of buzz a band can build when the only remarkable thing about them is that they aren't on your local Top 40 station. If that's what they're shooting for, then they're on the right track. The moment when Birdmonster played the opening chords of "Summer of 69" by Bryan Adams was very telling, because it was apparent that it fit right in with all of their own songs. Some bands just give away all their secrets right there on stage. Have some mystique, guys! Don't let the audience know what kind of garbage you worship, because figuring that out is the only thing that makes seeing these kinds of shows the least bit enjoyable.

Fortunately, not even the disastrous turns by these two overhyped bands
could ruin Tame...Tame and Quiet's great opening set. The usual who's who's of the local scene were all in full effect at the Doublewide, and I wonder if they were as let down as I was. Judging by the quality of Dallas rock, its pretty hard to tell.


Blogger Eric Grubbs said...

For an alternate view of the show, check out my review here:

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Carlin said...

Tame...Tame and Quiet is one of my favorite area bands right now. I was hoping more folks would come in from the patio to see them, but no, they were awaiting Division Day.

7:59 PM  
Blogger Rj said...

I try to listen to the myspace pages before spending the gas and time, and being disappointed.

I went to the websites of both division day and birdmonster, and said to myself "I don't get it".
As much as I like to pay attention to blogs to keep up on groups, usually about half I don't care for.

also, feel free to go outside if you think the band sucks. don't suffer through the bryan adams cover. No one should have to do that.

12:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

defensive listening: you're not funny brah

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is using the word "brah" funny?

1:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's at least a smidge funnier than that waste of time, tasteless, derivative review. I never like what DL writes anyways. sorry man, you're just so whiny. and I might have enjoyed a link or two?

2:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why people in Darris, Texasing always hide behind fake name and personals? Making no sense to Wang. Just be truth!

I got one's advice for you: Darris independent rocknroll punk labels are nothing but scam. This your warning.

- wang chung

5:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

defensive listening should be writing anti fur/yaris propaganda and stop bothering everyone with his lame lame, one dimensional ideas on music. even though i agree with him on division day and birdmonster, he sucks the cock of every band making any kind of half-baked attempt at throwing melody out the window in favor of some ill-executed "important" sound. give us all a break and get outside more offten, you vegan diaper wearing fraud.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't know Tame...Tame threw melody out the window.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't believe your hype.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Defensive Listening said...

In the past week alone, I've had rack of lamb and buffalo meat. Is that carnivorous enough for you? It's cool if you don't like what I write but don't make assumptions about my diet. That's really insulting.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well said DL - I am WAY underwhelmed / confused by Division Day and Birdmonster. But Chris loves em both.. so... I am pretty sure both bands will be huge. :(

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wang chung, let the game come to you, don't be a barnacle, pal...

and fuck what the hell cantalini likes, he's jumped the shark, slept w/the enemy, and who knows what else. tear down the wall!!!

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

garry shandling and janeane garafalo will be on TOM goes to the MAYOR tonight on adult swim.

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think we can now say pretty definitively that defensive listening is a girl. or a pussy. or whines like one all the time, at least.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed. DL's reviews kinda suck. And to echo someone's previous sentiment, it's the fucking interwebs, throw in some links.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

defensive listening wouldn't know good music if it touched her in the

please buy a dong and some al green records.

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and douche! yeah, don't forget that!

4:31 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

anonymous #fuckingmoron:

"jumped the shark", huh? it's a blog dude. get over it.

4:38 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

sheesh... lots of crybaby birdmonster fans on here today. Or maybe just two.

4:38 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

and no, that was not a reference to Chris. And I want to know who this enemy is that he's slept with... is she hot?

4:39 PM  
Blogger jamo said...

its really not even about integrity with bands like birdmonster, check out this band

these guys don't even work under the pretense of art, they are open aesthetes

what it comes down to, since the proliferation of mtv and the internet is graphic design and high production, if you can do that, you can win blog hype and enough support for a national tour, it has nothing to do with originality even quality, if you can make people think that there is already hype surrounding your band, then they will follow in tow behind the blogosphere and the rest of the naive music consuming myspace universe.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

SR, if you find out who this hot enemy is, tell her to holler at me. and i can assure you i wouldn't come on here and whine about a bad birdmonster review. i'm not naive enough to expect people on here to like them.

and DL has to be a girl, there were only like 3 dudes at the show anyway and they were all way (too) into it.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Defensive Listening said...

Today I've been listening to Whitehouse, Necronomitron, Don King, and Rudimentary Peni. You're right. I listen to "girl rock"! LOL!

Were you guys at this show? Have you heard these bands? If you raised your standards, you'd complain a lot too.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JR never has links on reviews. Just sayin'.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

repost bitches

"Grave Ambitions", our new CD will be released in Denton at Dan's Silverleaf. We just came back from a three and a half week tour and are ready to see all of our friends again. The lineup is...

Sabra Laval


Silk Stocking


the Merrie Murdre of Gloomadeers

CD's will be $10 only for this special show, so get them while we got 'em. We'll also try and start and end the show early, so that all of you folks with jobs on Monday can be well rested. Hungover, but well rested.

Hope to see you out,

Warren Jackson Hearne

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck all of you crybabies. I've seen your cd collections. You've got shit. You think Neil Young, Brian Wilson, and The Clash are the be-all end-all of music and you don't know shit about actual rock history. AL GREEN? What the fuck is wrong with you? Are you forty fucking years old? Fuck you lower Greenville hangin' out at, Peacoat wearin', dipshits. You're just pissed because Bobby Ewing Dreams doesn't post anymore. Fuck melody. You're gonna call someone a pussy but talk about fucking "MELODY". You songbird fucking pussies. Nobody wants to hear your fake country and soft rock fucking shit. I've got your numbers boys. You'll always be nothing but hometown heroes. You've never slugged it out in the fucking trenches in every shitty club from L.A. to Brooklyn. Fuck you lightweights of DFW. A bunch of fucking talk while you hang out at the bar but you're shit when you leave that bar and out into the fucking street.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous delmore said...

Al Green is my mother and my mother is a saint, jerk.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stupid darris crackers. you knowing no things about rock and roll. wang eat you for breakfast! HAHAHAHAHA. you knowing? when you see wang's band Vietnam Slashers tearing you new asshole, you know rock and roll. meanwhile wang learning chords to "Real Cool Time" make heads exploding!!! HAHAHAHA!!

-wang chung

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sexism and racism on today's comments is very encouraging. Way to go, Dallas.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wang Chung, you need your own blog. I think we'd all read it daily. Hop to it.

10:04 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

yeah, the "me put pee pee in your coke" routine would NEVER get old!

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 629 = DL. it's gotta be. no one else is that aimlessly long winded.

and when the fuck where you snooping around everyone's shit? time to set up some cameras.

12:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

did i just read someone whining, and then say "and we could use a link or two?"

...THAT'S whining

(i know that comes very late, but whatever)

12:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You've never slugged it out in the fucking trenches in every shitty club from L.A. to Brooklyn."

if you think touring shitty clubs is so hard, you are totally gay and have never done it yourself. so come out from behind your lester bangs novel, you delusional liar. you sound like a wwII vet, but smell like some gross calvin klein perfume ad rubbed on from a magazine sample, you shit spewing hack. fuck you and your mommie and her house that you live in.

7:55 AM  
Blogger Defensive Listening said...

Please don't confuse me with the anonymous crowd. They kicked me out a long time ago.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're talking about Al Green on Denton Rock City today. Coincidence?

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DL sounded like she was breast feeding while she typed that review. I guess it takes a really good show to make it worth leaving her two kids at home.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Defensive Listening must be a girl because there's a drawing of a girl on the Defensive Listening icon. Are you guys about four years old on the average? Are you visual learners? It's nice to know that if Defensive Listening is a girl you guys are all for equality and shit with your comments about breastfeeding and douche. GROW THE FUCK UP.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fuck you

3:20 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

wow, this is getting really cool!

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fuck you, your mom and DL and her cat too.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You're a fuckchop. Why are your feelings so hurt over a wittle review? Did your own mommy not wuv you enough? It's funny how tough you guys act when your pussies are hurting because you think a girl wrote a review that kicked you in your precious song writing cunts. Noise rulez. FUCK YOU

5:44 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

"precious songwriting cunts." Post of the day!

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Birdmonster Pitchfork review.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

birdmonster? never heard them. I only get offended at poorly written menstral blood fueled blog entries. Just because DL isn't cute enough (since the kids) to front her own group shes gotta bring down everyone else. for shame.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you learn to spell before you insult someone else's writing?

Did you mean: menstrual?

"Birdmonster? Never heard them."-

So why are you reading an overly long review about them? Get a fucking life and a fucking clue. Was your girlfriend on her period and she couldn't do her womanly duty and fuck you? So you get on this blog all worked up with your preoccupation with menstrual cycles? Please tell everyone what shitty band you're in if you're so fucking masculine, dude. Ahh, silence. Of course you're mute when it comes to you! Well, I haven't heard your band either, but I bet fifty bucks that it fucking sucks.

8:41 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

um, what he/she said.

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no, really there's just nothing else to rip on.

post something new and i'll stop beating this dead mule.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You still didn't tell us about your band.

10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, yeah, everybody's got a band..

here's something interesting:

there's a job opening at the observer!
all your deams have come true!!!!

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you tell us about your band first. then i will tell you about our band.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its funny how many people can get hurt feelings over some ones opinion.....and by funny I mean really pathetic ...Keep crying you leetle Dallas assholes ....keep crying

8:33 PM  

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