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Sexy Finger Champs

beerland, TX

Daylight Titans/VoxTrot/La La Land
Beerland : August 13, 2003

Despite the Lord’s best efforts to piss on our fine city via torrential two-hour downpours and excessive flooding, the musicians and the maggots still managed to squirm their way to the street Wednesday night.

It was a somewhat tranquil evening at Beerland as La La Land took a stage decorated with antique lamps to reveal its brand of feel good folk-pop blended with bits of hallucinogenic fervor. The shoe-gazing two-piece combined a soft-spoken fellow on vocals and guitar exchanging words of heart-warmth and adoration (a la Mates of State) with the oh-so-angelic Ruthie, an attractive young princess who smoothly kept the low-end together on bass. The dainty duo sang and smiled their way through several tunes behind digitally programmed drum beats and abstract noise. Halfway through the set a drummer joined the band, which definitely helped the overall sound of Yawn Yawn, I mean La La Land. The last little ditty the La La’s played was their best, a sun-setting melody that slowly faded with piercing twists of trippy guitar licks. The only problem was I nearly nodded-off myself during this not-so-rockin’ set.

Next up was VoxTrot. The six piece bounced through a vibrant set of emotional synth-rock and cheerful pop-hooks reminiscent of a 60’s peace gathering. The lead singer danced in merriment around a stage that hosted tambourines, organ keyboards, layered guitars and a jubilant drummer. For me, the band drew comparisons to indie-kings Belle and Sebastian, while the vocals sounded much like Don Maclean himself singing the sorrows of Mrs. American Pie. VoxTrot was glad to continue the blissful, exuberant theme of happy sounds that overtook Beerland that night. The group shined brightest when mid-song, the orchestrating of dance hooks ceased and the drummer and bassist continued the melodic tempos on their own.

The Daylight Titans closed the evening to a rather sparse crowd. The three piece, however, were still content to jam their brand of pop rock laced with power chords, garage progressions and lyrics like “...seas of green…in my dreams….’’ The Titans were a bit older than the previous bands and therefore wiser, funnier and better with the crowd. The lead singer joked with the remaining boozers about the term “hi,’’ but not as in hello. I was impressed, as my own band mate thought their coolest sounding stuff was comparable to the soundtrack of the 80’s classic Donnie Darko. In addition, the Titans were the loudest and most rockin’ band of night which is never a bad thing.

All in all, Beerland had a peaceful and good-natured sound on that soggy Wednesday evening. I was amused and know more than a few scenesters that would have appreciated the noise coming from the stage at 711 ½ Red River. Bravo kids.

-Smitty

Bahrain/Primordial Undermind/ST37
Homecoming Dance : Beerland : Sat Aug 16, 2003

Eastside Suicides/The Ends/The Observers/The Insaniacs
Beerland : August 15, 2003

I know this sounds stupid, but I can’t sit down to write
any kind of music review without something written
by Lester Bangs sitting on my desktop. Not that he does
anything except sit there and drink all my liquor.That’s the
trouble with having an alcoholic as a muse.

Anyway, I headed out to Beerland last Friday night, certain that there would be plenty of alcohol (for me) and plenty of trouble (for everyone else). The first band, The Insaniacs, had just finished playing. But they’re from Quebec and it’s been awhile since I’ve spoken Canadian, so I didn’t feel too bad. A short break and then The Observers, from Portland, were ready to rock. I had checked them out online and kinda liked what I heard, but their live show was a helluva lot better. They have a vibe of almost-frantic fun, kinda like that feeling you get just before it all breaks loose and you wake up two days later wondering who the hell is Timmy and why’d he leave you a thank you note and whose backyard is this anyway? Their bass was really solid and the drumbeats were fast and rich. (You’d never guess their drummer was replaced just a day before leaving on tour).

The Ends played next, standing in for The Materialistics. At least Alan didn’t have to change any plans for the evening. The Ends were in prime form as they ripped through their set. The vocals sounded really tight and I liked that there was a sharper, snottier edge to Ian’s voice than the last couple of times I saw them.

And finally, The Eastside Suicides took the stage for their long-awaited CD release. There’s no denying Frankie’s smooth and natural style of singing or the strength of the band’s sound. You’ve got the steady undercurrent of Fast Tammy’s guitar, Khan’s talented and gliding fingers (I’m still talkin’ guitar here), and the energized bass playing of BJ.And even the shades Aaron likes to wear can’t hide his skill on the drums. With a powerful command of vocals, Frankie shifts from sweet to sardonic in mere seconds, the lyrics and sounds blending to reveal a depth that most bands strive to attain. The Eastside Suicides are there and ready to explore.

The bottle beside Lester is near empty. Luckily I stashed
an extra one in the closet upstairs.

May you rock and fuck long and hard…Dani Helle

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