Monday, March 15, 2010

It List: Monday

Mondo Drag/The Daze/Lazy Native/Billy Ratcliff & The Economy/Strangers Family Band (Dwelling of Doom): The kick off show for this year's mostly excellent Fest X Fest Fest is, um, a mixed bag, but I should say that I had a weird experience listening to Denton's Lazy Native today-- the first track I heard on their Myspace page, "Naive," is actually quite good, reminiscent of some kind of mix between Pavement and early R.E.M. (I know, Pavement was obviously influenced by R.E.M.), with touches of Gram Nash, groups like Tindersticks and other bits and pieces of jangly alt-country that made it quite a nice track. However, there are a bunch of other songs on the page in which they "rock out," and those sounded like late 90's Pearl Jam or something-- pretty bad. These guys should rock out way LESS. Billy Ratcliff should probably just stop all together, unless you think a folk rock version of Cherry Poppin Daddies sounds cool. I'm looking forward to the stronger line ups over the next couple days.

L'Orchidee d'hawai/The Pharamacy/Marriage Material/Collick (1919 Hemphill): I hate when I leave off good shows at great venues just because I forgot about it. Rick from 1919 just reminded me about this, which is certainly the most solid show you'll see this evening.

Jaguar Love/The Silent League/Orange Peel Sunshine/I Am The Dot (Rubber Gloves): Blood Brothers make dance music? No thanks.

Surfer Blood/Turbo Fruits (Granada): Wait, so Weezer's Blue Album is kinda retro cool now? That's the first impression I had upon hearing Surfer Blood's debut record for the first time, and I found it a little confusing. Well, I guess you can count groups like Built to Spill and the Pixies and the Shins and maybe even Cheap Trick in there too, as well as some of the surf rock and faint afrobeat influences that have been popularized by groups like Vampire Weekend, Wavves and Abe Vigoda in recent years. Based on this description, you might be inclined to assume that Surfer Blood's music is a calculated attempt at hip accessibility, a RAWK record with all the right influences but poppy enough to appeal to teenagers-- and you'd be pretty much on the money. This is Indie Rock, capital I, and there's something about such a concept that seems really annoying, mostly because this music is, for most intents and purposes, regressive, unimaginative and boring. "Hey bro, ever thought about what Built to Spill would sound like if they jammed on Vamp Week tunes?" No, and I don't really give a shit because if I wanted to hear any of those bands, I'd go listen to them. For free. Right now. And I've heard all of them 8 million times anyway. I thought we'd moved on from Built to Spill. Still, Surfer Blood's debut has a handful of really enjoyable songs, and the record is a good deal better than I've made it sound here, even though my descriptions are certainly accurate. Surfer Blood is a better band than they should be, but it doesn't feel particularly good to say so. In fact, it makes me wonder how boring my tastes can be sometimes, and how much longer we have to wait until this sector of popular culture actually produces something new and exciting. Cheap Trick still rules though.

Cool Out (The Cavern)


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