Friday, June 26, 2009


There has been so much controversy this week about whether or not we should care about the deaths of famous artists. So, today we're going down the list, to see who would care if any and all of the artists playing this weekend died. SR descriptions are in italics, since he wasn't in on this. Ready?-


Big Fiction
/Legsweeper/Gun Gun/MuhammadALi (Bike House) The grieving in this case would be people into straight-ahead, big-riffing, "rock music." They would be mostly people from Texas, since these bands are all from around the state. Fans of slightly humorous all-female duos would be mourning as well. If the Bike House died, people who are into the rare but increasing occurrence of Dallas DIY that is more than just an after-hours twee or electro-acoustic show would definitely be bummed.

Cryptacize/Fishboy/Shiny Around the Edges (Rubber Gloves): The affected in this case would include people into deconstructed Steely Dan covers and bands that are surprisingly more interesting than some of the current Grizzly Collective sound-alike glut that is sweeping the Late Night Show circuit, in the case of Cryptacize. They sound extremely conventional one second, and then will sloppily throw in some overly loud and out-of-place guitar part to throw everything off. I might even care if Cryptacize died. Considering all of the people complaining about their opening set for Danielson along with Mount Righteous last year, it only made me like them more. As far as Shiny Around The Edges goes, local fans of Jarboe and people that don't like backbeats would be grief-stricken. As far as Fishboy goes, well, fans of the quirky, "Grapevine Mills" pop sound would be heart broken. So would the sweatshops that are ripping off American Apparel and currently making athletic headbands for Target.

Ben Kweller/Jones Street Station (Granada): The grieving: Anybody that graduated from Texas A&M Commerce, and people that still hold out hope for MTV 2.(DL)

God. I recently read the chapter on Ben Kweller in John Seabrook's book Nobrow, and all I could think about as I read was how embarrassing all that shit must be for him now. The chapter profiles Kweller at the beginning of his career as a teenager in the mid 90s, playing with his former band Radish in and around Dallas as they prepared to sign a huge major label record contract and attempt to "make it big," with the added fun of having A&R douches label Kweller as the "second coming of Kurt Cobain" in case he didn't feel enough pressure. In addition to the fact that Radish was an absolutely terrible band (what else would you expect from a 15 yr old? No offense, Fungi Girls, you guys r kewl), Kweller came off as a dopey kid being used by dopey adults to sell pathetic music to other dopey kids, and the whole thing was so inconsequential that I could barely bring myself to laugh, even though it was pretty funny. Sort of a Michael Jackson story minus the fame, money, talent, and pretty much anything else that was remotely compelling about Michael Jackson. Kweller has, of course, transformed his public persona to a degree over the past decade with a series of mildly successful "indie rock" solo records, and it's clear that the guy must be doing something right if we're still discussing him more than 15 years after his brush with major label stardom. The music media around here loves to pat Kweller on the back whenever possible in order to bolster his status as some kind of local micro-celebrity, but in reality, this guy is about as famous as he probably ever deserves to be, and although he clearly has a talent for writing pop songs, he seems more useful as an example of how to handle child stardom than he does as a musician, even if the large number of slightly adventurous rock fans at the Granada tonight would loudly disagree with me. (SR)

Drink To Victory/Kaboom/Tweenhattan Lobstars (Hailey's): Shady online dealers of spare, outdated pieces of analog equipment, as well as most of the breweries in Milwaukee.

Dance Your Face Off: Trash Yourself/Genova/Justin Bell/Richard Blake (the Cavern): First of all, the extremely active Twitter community of Dallas Dance music would overload the site, and I say that with certainty, since I spend an embarrassing amount of time reading their Tweets. Also potentially affected: employees of Native Instruments.

The Boom Boom Box/The Polycorns (the Barley House)

The Percolator w/Broken Teeth featuring Select/DJ a.One/Keith P/Prince William/Schwa/Baby Ruthless (Zubar)


Waxeater/Daniel Francis Doyle/A Smile Full of Ale/The Sneeze (1919 Hemphill): Well, it's almost like the Sneeze did kind of die, since everyone always talks about them as this legendary missing link in the local punk underground. People have been bringing up the split they did with Japanther for years, and it will be cool to finally see them. Waxeater's death would greatly impact makers of aluminum guitars, and I have to say, I'm always a little suspicious of the quality of groups brandishing special aluminum equipment. The loss of DFD would send shockwaves of grief through the Wrangler Jeans community, and pretty much any other clothing maker whose products can be found within the same vicinity as leaf blowers and outdoor gas grills.

Our Brother the Native/Religious Girls/Zanzibar Snails (Majestic Dwelling of Doom): People that download all 400 Les Rallizes Denudes live albums and post them on geeky message boards who have really silly "psychedelic" user-names and misspell everything (or worse, use archaic spellings) to prove how "out there" they are. Anyone else tired of this shit? All kidding aside, this show is probably worth checking out.

Sleep Whale/Power Animal (Hailey's): Sleep Whale is one of those groups that I refuse to discuss any further until they have a new album out or something (I mean, don't you know enough about these guys already?), but Power Animal is a one man project that plays live as a group, utilizing a lot of found sounds, random telephone voice recordings (some sent in by fans) and a variety of traditional and non traditional instruments that results in a junkyard style of collage structured, off-beat pop that seems to exist somewhere in between early Beck, Microphones and Boards of Canada with nods to early K Records twee and contemporary K Records earnestness. It's pretty decent stuff for the most part, fairly catchy and just adventurous and impacting enough to remain interesting and occasionally moving, such as on "Track 8," where a recording of a telemarketer is used in a surprisingly tense and pleasing way. It would be interesting to see how it all plays out on stage, as stuff like this is usually completely hit or miss live. (SR)

Annex House BBQ with Diagonals/Pillow Queens/Sir Wes Coleman/Pataphysics/ Follow That Bird/Eyes Wings and Many Other Things/The Polycorns/Orange Peel Sunshine (Annex House, 3PM): A good handful of these bands are from Austin and they represent the dark underbelly of the Austin music scene, the one that actually has taste. That's probably the best summary I have for this show. I would hate it if anyone from said underbelly died. They're saving Austin from being as overrated as everyone tries to tell me it is.


Finally, if SR and died, maybe our moms (big maybe), and Red Sean would care. That's probably it I think.


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