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EMO'S

sons of hercules

Sons of Hercules/Emo’s
Grady/Continental Club, September 5th

Killing time at Emo’s, waiting for the Sons Of Hercules, I was tortured by a completely unnecessary band called Front Row for the Meltdown. The only thing that melted down was my attention. Their name is a long walk to four short guys playing unoriginal riffs, with a whiney, off-key singer spamming cheesy lyrics. How to describe their sound? Standard “indie-garage” (as in, stay in de garage). GONG! Why are they doing this? Aren’t there already enough bands doing this? Apparently not. The next band did almost
the same thing, but a little less “poser” and a little more weird, at least. I am not being mean. THEY are the ones who tortured ME.

I’d heard all about the Sons Of Hercules and their legendary singer Frank; he’s been a Rank & Revue cover model. But, you have to see him for yourself. Goddamn is this guy cool. He has “life-of-rock-n-roll” written all over his face. The whole band is insanely cool. I need to stand next to them just to absorb some of that old-school coolness. This is the real thing, genuine balls-out groovy punk rock, standing tall with the likes of the Stooges. Real rockers. real men, goddammit. If all these new bands are so hell-bent on playing live without bothering to invent their own style, then take a lesson from the Sons Of Hercules on how to do it right. But no, wait, they’ve probably been around so long that they did invent that style... yeah, that thing with the arms draped over his head... Iggy must have copied Frank. Just quit being a geek and go see them.

Had to miss the last band at Emo’s and fly south to the Continental Club to check out blues-rockers Grady. A couple pairs of swing dancers were tearing up the floor before the band came on (I have got to learn how to do that shit, it looks so fun, everyone doing it looks so happy). Well, I hate the blues, it bores me to death. So what can I say about a blues band? I dunno, what would Wendy say? “These guys are the shit!” Rumor had it that Grady was gearing up for a “world tour” starting in Canada (after Austin). Their version of the blues was more rock, says the Wench, and I would point out their nice grungy guitar sound and slow-chunkin’ grooves. None of that high-falutin’ fancy-schmancy guitar-school crap. Their tall, lanky bodies sure looked swank in those dark & pinstriped suits and cowboy hats. High-class cats, to be sure. If my attention span was more than five seconds, I’d go see them again.

-Beky Hayes

fleshtonesFleshtones/Sons of Hercules/Hard Feelings
Emo’s, September 5th

Walking into Emo’s on Friday made me feel as if I had stumbled into a time warp. This was one of the most diverse musical audiences I have seen in a long time, ranging from baby boomers to hippies, punks, and everything in between. And for once I didn’t feel like the oldest one in the place. The wide range in people was due in part I am sure to the fact that headlining band, Fleshtones, although they have been around for over twenty years still create animating music geared towards lots of different musical styles.

Opening band Hard Feelings really takes one back. Their music is a carefully crafted blend of 50’s rock and roll, punk, and nineties garage band sound. If Buddy Holly had grandchildren, this is what their band would sound like.

San Antonio based Sons of Hercules, the next in the time travel line up, really know how to make music that stands the test of time. They have the capabilities to draw everyone into their music, both young and old alike. If you haven’t seen them perform live yet, I would recommend checking them out and bring your parents, too.

hard feelingsNew York City’s Fleshtones then took to the stage with their hyper maniacal stage performance that proves that one is never too old to rock. These guys love to perform and it shows. The guitar playing is not only invigorating, but extremely well choreographed. They can rival any pop band out there with their energizing dance moves. At one point the guitarists leapt up onto the bar and played for a good five to ten minutes. Performers at heart they really fed off the audience. These guys sure have a lot of energy and will probably be rocking with the best of them until they die.

-Misty Sweet

American Psycho Band
Mike Flannery Farewell Show
Emo’s, August 28th

If you never had a chance to meet or know Mike Flannery you might as well hang it up at this point. Mike has flown the coop and headed back to DC to pursue his dream of working as porn store janitor and joining the Jizzmoppers Local 101. Yeah, he's pretty handy with a mop that Flannery. Prior to being a jizzmopper, he used to play bass in a couple of bands and also booked at Emo’s for a year. He has got to be one of my top ten favorite screamers too. He's got a set of lungs on him that's for sure.

Well, not to walk down memory lane, but fuck, The American Psycho Band haven't been an actual band in years. I last saw them in ‘86 at Emo’s and they broke up shortly thereafter. They landed a single with Bruce Pavitt's Sub Pop label too. They opened up the show and it was good to see that not much has changed. At 10:30 there was a pretty nice crowd as well. It's everything you would have expected from an APB set, lots of sharp metal edged hooks and riffs, real quirky and even a little tuning down from time to time. Flannery did acknowledge a heckler with a few quick comebacks and was even shooting down the mighty Iron Maiden, "I'm not a fan. A limey running around with a Betty Page haircut and spandex pants is not my idea of a good time." Fuck You Mike. I don't agree. All in all a pretty solid set, and pretty tight for guys who haven't played together in almost 7 years.

I had one too many beers already that night and ended up splitting before Sabians or Antibellum played (Mike’s other band and much better than APB). I'm kicking myself now because, A) I love Antibellum and B) Sabians had an ex member of SLEEP in the band and I really fucking loved that band as well. Note to self: Don't hit dollar Lone star night at Room 710 before having to review a show.

-Slander Bob

Soviet/I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness/Low Technicians
Emo's, August 30th


All three bands got a bit of a treat for this show. I don't know how often Emo's sells out on a Saturday night, but the house was packed. I wandered out the front door at one point to escape the crowds to find that the show sold out and that people were being turned away - at around 11:30pm. That seems to be early for a smaller, perhaps not so well known band to sell out a show, but these guys did it.

The house was pretty packed early on. Navigating the stage area to get good pictures of Low Technicians was an endeavor. I've seen this band play many times, but I've never seen them as animated and excited to be on stage as they were this time. Brian was his usual thankful self; he always thanks the crowd after a song. It's sometimes cute. Brad was actually bopping around while playing keys and triggering loops and percussion - something he doesn't do very often. I even caught him singing along to songs in which he has no vocal part. Their new blend of synthpop and guitars should really be taking them somewhere soon. Hopefully there were some label scouts in the audience who caught their show!

The house had already reached capacity by time I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness took the stage. This rather large band took up all the available space on stage. A keyboard setup, four guitarists, and a drummer in the back would fill many smaller stages, and the front stage at Emo's was no exception. This band is interesting, an odd mix of occasional keys and heavily layered guitars. Too bad most of the songs sound so similar to the uninitiated fan; the only real distinguishing factor for me was the silence between songs. Their performance was incredibly tight; these guys are talented. I can't say that I'm the biggest fan of what they do, but those who like a wall of semi-spacey guitars will completely love this band.

Soviet put on an extremely energetic set. The vocalist and the sometimes-guitar sometimes-keyboard-player were both hopping around like madmen whenever possible. Their setup, like I Love You... filled the stage. Two rather large keyboards, a smaller keyboard, the drummer in the back and the vocalist couldn't have taken up any more room. The crowd loved this band! People in the front were hopping around, dancing right up front and really getting into the music. Soviet's sound can best be described as some retro-futurist flavor. The sterility of electro-clash is missing, but the focus on what seem to be older, more 80s-flavor keys and style are all there. I can't say that I see any musical genius or innovation here. Soviet is a good, solid retro-synthpop band for the masses ... even if they do have more of an 'underground' following. I wouldn't be surprised if they have already received radio play.

-Brian Clarkson

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