Monday, March 16, 2009

It List: Monday

Tonight marks the beginning of the onslaught of the House by House Festival in Denton, which is taking place at several different DIY venues around town tonight and tomorrow night. They have gathered a fantastic line up of out of town touring acts for this thing, so do yourself a favor and venture over to the dark side of cheap shows, nice people and BYOB (By SR and DL):

King Khan and the Shrines (the Loft): You guys are aware that King Khan is way better than Jay Reatard, right?

Magic Lantern/Vibes/Robedoor/Totally Dad/Zanzibar Snails (J&Js): Considering the press these acts get, I would recommend this show if you want to really catch something you're not likely to see again; what basically amounts to a Not Not Fun showcase in Denton, and at J & J's of all places.

Magic Lantern are one of those groups so shamelessly into wearing psychedelia on their (paisley?) sleeve, that they will call some of their tracks "ragas." The thing is, as with most of these bands, there is something always slightly off about it, whether it be the recording process, or the especially noisy or haphazard approach to each piece of music, separating it from much safer takes on various strains of classic rock styles.

Vibes has members of Pochahaunted, as well as other Not Not Fun projects, and pushes forward with more garage and gospel oriented grooves than most of the other dronier and more detached acts on the label.

Robedoor is the standout group here; really haunting and menacing sounds that resemble Skullflower's drawn-out wash, with Jandek-like vocals on top. I wish I had more time to pick apart the hilarious concept behind Totally Dad, and try to figure out if it's a joke or not, but I want to add that I saw Zanzibar Snails with Mike Forbes (sax), Adam Calhoun (drums), and Sarah Alexander (treated vocals) the other night, and it was really something.

Psychedelic Horseshit/Drug Mountain/Fungi Girls (Chat Room): One of two really big shows Fungi Girls will be playing this week (the other is tomorrow night with Wavves and Abe Vigoda), and they couldn't have asked for better headliners. Psychedelic Horseshit seem like they're on tour like 300 days out of the year, and my favorite thing about their live shows is probably their obvious on-stage attitude problems-- they obviously aren't up on stage to please you or anyone other than themselves, and I kind of like that. Why does everyone have to be so nice and humble all the time? Anyway, you might miss a tad of that scratchy, no-fi shitgaze sound when the band plays live, but for many people, especially those who arent' accustomed to listening to such recordings, this actually works in the band's favor, as it allows their solid songwriting and ferocious yet sloppy playing to shine through and present itself as the wonderful mess it really is. This will be your first of two chances to catch Psychedelic Horseshit this week, but your only chance to see them with Drug Mountain, who are worth driving to Ft. Worth for all on their own.

Viking Moses/Pictish Trail/Golden Ghost/Rozi Plain (Muscle Beach): Perfect small setting to see Viking Moses. Moses is most well known for his association with Devendra Banhart's Golden Apples of the Sun "Freak folk" compilation, but the guy actually works in a number of different musical templates. His lyrics are often playful and the presentation is sort of that self aware silliness that you might expect from some of his Pac NW counterparts, but it still manages to be appealing enough to recommend. Be sure to check out Pictish Trail's excellent Hot Chip remix on Myspace before you check out Golden Ghost-- an understated, female fronted folk/doo-wop duo that might actually steal the show at Muscle Beach tonight with sugary sweet vocals and haunting melodies that'll make you wonder why you've never heard them before. Take a listen and get there early.

Box Elders/Lil Daggers/Deserter/Uptown Bums (Bunker Hill):Lots of Double Shot Records styled organ and punk rock at Bunker Hill tonight. Can't really go wrong with that.

Tricky/Damaged Good$/Prince William (Granada): So if you gotta stay in Dallas tonight but still want to hit the town (and why not? It's Monday night and the economy rules!), then this could be a solid bet for you. Of course, most people know that Tricky was supposed to be the marquee name behind the short lived but much hyped mid 90's "trip hop" craze, although its pretty safe to say, looking back, that there weren't too many artists in that era who were able to do very much that hadn't already been done by Massive Attack, including former Wild Bunch members like Tricky. That being said, his work on Massive Attack's essential 1991 release Blue Lines, as well as his 1995 solo debut Maxinquaye, are both considered masterpieces within the genre, and the influence of those records stretched far past the shelf life of "trip hop" itself, affecting everything from American hip hop to downtempo to IDM before eventually playing a role in laying the framework for the emergence of grime culture, even though there were much more audibly obvious influences at work in the creation of that movement. Damged Goods will be a solid opener to pump up the crowd, and Prince William is one of the few DJs in Dallas who will really be an effective opener and mood-setter for this show: Prince Will is the kind of DJ that knows how to avoid making extensive knowledge and dance floor accessibility mutually exclusive.

Paleo/Doyen/Eyes and Ears (Fra House): Holy crap... is M Ward in Paleo? I don't mean that as a dis or something either, because I actually like Paleo, but this guy really sounds like M Ward. Actually, Paleo is David Strackany, and we've written about him before-- he's the guy who released one song a day ever day for an entire year, and guess what? Most of them are NOT complete crap, or even really gimmicky or anything. Give it a listen... if this guy wrote 365 as good as the ones on his Myspace page, I would be pretty damn impressed to say the least.

The Upsidedown/Weakends/Airwaves (the Lounge)

Cool Out (the Cavern)


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