First thing: Trail of Dead could be one of my favorite bands: they seem to be tongue in cheek, they rock, and they're funny. But every time they play, they fuck around way too much. This show had the usual: falling down, walking thru the crowd, breaking stuff. Best quote: "What do you think they'll say in the year 6000?"
A guy I work with told me that this is his favorite Austin band. They hadn't played in a long while, so we went. It was a benefit for one of the members, whose house had burnt down. He didn't show up. The band still played, and they were very much the kind of old-school Austin band I expected. Drunk & strange. They played the gamut: country punk to punk to sing-a-longs. I read the next week in the Chronicle that the guest of honor didn't show since he was pulled over about 2 blocks away for drunk driving. It said the proceeds from the show wound up going to bail the guy out.
#1 Liz Phair didn't have stage fright. It was actually kind of frightening how 'polished' she was. #2 Liz Phair has a fabulous smile. Even with makeup. #3 I found it disconcerting to hear a crowd sing-a-long to 'Flower'. Yeah, _that_ song. #4 There were lots of pretty women there. Problem is, they probably all only know about the Iran hostage situation thru history books. Forget my old barometer of 'too young', the Bicentennial. College towns are a double edged sword, I swear. All the women I saw had X's on their hands. Here's the 'review'. When I used to live in Bucktown in Chicago, one day I was driving down Webster, mere blocks from where I lived. I was almost run off the street. I looked to give the driver a dirty look, and I swear it was Liz Phair who almost hit me driving. I've haven't seen her since then. I'll bet I had a surprised look instead of an angry one.
Dub Narcotic are good. Calvin is as... unique as they get. I didn't get the same "He's staring at me" feeling as I did at the Beat Happening show. I think it's because there were more people for him to stare at. Dub Narcotic is waging a revolution. The crowd was rather pathetic, just standing there being cool, and Dub Narcotic were trying to get them into it with quotes along the lines of "Don't act like you're watching TV, because even if you are, Dub Narcotic is on every channel. Put down that cigarette. Put down that drink." Calvin was dancing the whole time, and you know, I think I have some of the same goofy moves as him.
Good show. It's strange to cheer with the crowd to many of his sad songs, but everyone most likely felt that way one time or another. Mr. Smith played a few songs with the opening band, whom also served as his backing band. One of the encores was him solo with his guitar. It was cool to hear the songs from XO stripped down to a 3-piece. He did a great George Harrison cover for the closer. I don't remember the name of the song, but I've heard it many times before. He seems to be unaccustomed to the adulation as well. Having come to the Elliott Smith bandwagon only in the last month or so, I found it strange to hear a song I didn't know cheered by the crowd. Usually it seems either no one, including myself, has heard the band, or I know the bands' stuff. It was odd to be the newcomer. Oh, I couldn't make the in-store earlier in the day due to my car breaking down. I heard that was crowded as hell. I also think I refrained from singing along too much.
Fuck: They're like Pavement's newer slow songs. They're alright, if you're into that. Storm & Stress: I'd bet that these guys were in high school band and really dug Rush. Once again, they're alright if you're into that. I guess some (or all) of them are in Don Caballero.
We were going to see Mudhoney at Liberty Lunch, but after hearing that a band with members of Mule and The Jesus Lizard were going to play for $2, we decided to go there instead. The Jesus Lizard drummer wasn't there, but P.W. Long & Co. were alright. It's pretty much what you'd expect from the singer of Mule. Rawk. They did a cool cover of "Come Together" as well. I liked Knife in the Water until my musically inclined friend pointed out the bass player sucked. After that, that's all I could hear. I hate those musician types ruining it for us non-enlightened folks. After that they were just OK.
I don't know much about the Blake Babies, but many people I respect like them. That said, the show was alright. Nothing great, except that now I know that Liz Phair wasn't first. Bongo Hate was catchy, energetic, and ever so slightly annoying. But I bet I see them again and like them.
Silver Scooter are great. Great songs; great shows. I'll go see them again and again. The Kiss Offs were OK. I'm sure I'll see them open for someone again. I got tired and only saw a few Hi-Fives songs. They were retro. Get it?
I've heard of American Analog Set before, but I'd never seen them. I liked it. They have a mellow, sitting-around-the-house sound. This means I'd like it when I'm sitting around the house, but standing in Emo's hearing them play just doesn't seem quite right. Paul Newman rocked the house. Very fine drinking beer at Emo's type music. Thank you.
Hades Kick was a surprise. With a name like that, and the fact that I've seen them listed at The Bates Motel all the time, I thought they were 1-2-3-4 punk rock. But I had a good time. There's some debate about whether they are math rock or pop, so I'll call it math pop. During Pop Unknown, I noticed that most the people I came with were reading zines, as was I. I think they'll remain unknown.
Another interesting outing at the Hole In the Wall. Crazy people and drunk sorority girls. And some fine r-n-r. Dumptruck have a Neil Young feel. Mittens are the first band I've heard where I said to myself, "That sounds like Guided By Voices." Even the lyrics were odd. A fine night at the most Austintacious place around.
S.S.: Enough said. They had played Chicago a few weeks before at Fireside Bowl. Sorry I couldn't let you Chicagoans know in advance. Tiara sounded similar to My Bloody Valentine / Ride kinda stuff. They're on Peek-a-Boo too. I'll have to pick that up soon.