Negro/Young Heart Attack
have to say, first of all, that I’m a bit older than
most (in any other scene but Austin’s, that is), so
I can’t help but like the old school-style, three-chord,
catchy-as-fuck punk rock, and that’s exactly what Turbo
Negro came to deliver at Emo’s on September 29th. There
was no pussyfooting around on this day, no quick in-and-then-out-the-back-door
performance (or out-and-then-in-the-back-door, as they might
prefer it), as they stuck around for two long, heavy-duty
Young Heart Attack opened the early show, and this was honestly
the first time I had seen Frenchy and Steven together since
the 16 Deluxe days, but they had a good, AC/DC-tinged straight-up
rock ‘n’ roll set. I especially liked “El
it was time for Turbo Negro. The early show wasn’t nearly
as full as I expected it to be, considering I had heard they
had to have it ‘cause the late show was way sold out.
The set included a lot of new stuff, but of course some of
the “classics” to keep everyone singing along.
They didn’t stump anyone in this crowd, though, as a
lot of people were up front, fists pumping in the air, shouting
out every lyric that was simultaneously being uttered onstage.
They started off with “Wipe till it Bleeds,” then
made their way through bad-ass rockers like “Self-Destruct,”
“Sell Your Body,” and “Drenched in Blood,”
during which Hank did a GWAR impression and threw a little
fake blood on the audience from a small, black plastic Halloween
if the main set wasn’t enough, they came back for a
four-song encore, really getting the crowd into it by getting
the guys and gals in the crowd to sing separate intro lines
to “Erection” which closed the set. Everyone I
know left pretty spent but looking for ways to get back in
to the late show.
didn’t much pay attention to Danko Jones, the opener
at the late show, but they sounded ok. The crowd was a little
more ambiguously gay at the late show than the early one.
There was more denim, and quite a few people had purchased
the totally gay sailor caps that Turbo Negro was selling at
the merch booth, making several people look eerily like the
lead singer of Roman Holliday, if you happen to remember that
disgrace of an ‘80s band.
late show was definitely more crowded than the early one,
but I heard that people were still getting in at the door.
No one who had witnessed the power of the early show seemed
to mind that the set list was exactly the same, complete with
in-between-songs stage banter, except for the fact that Hank
intimated that the real fags that sell their body to the night
were in Dallas, not Austin as he had said during the first
show. (And having lived in Oak Lawn in Dallas, I can only
say that that was a pretty astute observation.)
Rockers (featuring Karl Morris ex-Exploited)/The Ritchie Whites/Knocked
Out Stiffs/ Graverobbin' Bastards/The Livends
Emo’s, October 2, 2003
another dose of medication to further the cure of confusion
towards the Psychobilly genre. Psycho has always been a strong
force in the European Punk scene and the genres have joined
forces many many times in the past and present. A good example
of this is the numerous meetings between Demented Are Go and
UK Subs (Charlie Harper has also made guest appearances on
Demented Are Go albums). So why not bring the two genres together
in the States as well, it's a natural progression that most
punk enthusiast don't "get". TX PSY is out to change
that. Most folks think of Reverend Horton Heat or bands like
the Cramps as "psychobilly", but I am here to argue
that. Psycho has a wide range of influences from old school
hardcore and metal to straight up street punk and rock 'n'
roll to deathrock and goth metal, it just happens to incorporate,
most of the time, an upright bass. And one of the pioneers
of the "new school" psycho evolution having an "in
your face" live show, hard driving punk stompers and
leaving you with many anthem oriented choruses stuck in your
head for days after a show...TX PSY proudly presents PHANTOM
here's a run down of the night........
Livends: Recently relocated to Austin from the Valley and
playing straight foward horror punk with all the "WHOA
A OH"'s and eyeliner you need during a set. I think they
need to be more aggressive on stage. Attack formation with
this style of punk is recommended
Bastards: Well what do you know, this band has come along
way from past appearances. Still getting it together, but
much promise, this psychobilly band is keeping it alive down
in San Antonio. The monster makeup is a bit typical for psycho
bands these days, but Texas hasn't seen that much psycho action.
Anyways, so a nice introduction for them...nice guitar work
giving a Texas feel to their brand of psycho.
Out Stiffs: To me, this band has successfully mixed street
punk and skate rock together for a refreshing sound. I haven't
heard skate rock played in over 15 years, great stuff.
Ritchie Whites: Great punk n roll, vocals took me a bit to
adjust to. Good tight songs with alot of energy on stage.
Fun stuff as always.
Rockers: Open your books to chapter seven in this course of
Psycho 101. Not as good as the Wrecker's Ball appearance last
year in Los Angeles, but what do you expect after not playing
for three months and having jet lag and this being the first
show of their US tour. But, experience pays off and they still
showed us a total onslaught of Psycho power Punk. Having the
original drummer back on the lineup is a plus, as he is a
pounder. The newest member (not so new) is Karl Morris ex
member of Exploited, English Dogs, UK Subs and so on and so
on. Karl definitely brings back the Phantom Rockers sound
which they lost for awhile, good strong "cross-over"
style punk riffs with leads. And Mark is still a psycho sick
motherfucker on the upright rounding out this trio with his
"cockney" attitude and vocal style.
the turnout that was expected but definitely a good drunk
was had by all, can't wait for The M3T3ORS shows coming up
during Halloween weekend which is also brought to you by TX
PSY! (Texas Psycho). Tickets and information on all of our
events are found at: http://www.texaspsychobilly.com
may now continue all disgusting behaviour-
Emo’s, September 24, 2003
Wisconsin indie rock champions Rainer Maria
returned to Emo’s Wednesday evening along with Denali,
whom arguably outshined the gender-friendly trio named after
symbolist poet Rainer Maria Rilke.
Denali’s lulling, no-wave appeal was anchored by lead
singer/guitarist/keyboard player Maura Davis, whose attractive,
girlish squeals often meddled between whispers and whines
amongst the languid, reverb-drenched guitar work of Cam Dinuzio.
Davis’ range was incredible, sounding like Jewel when
the group dabbled in their own brand of melodic, raindrop-rock,
but more reminiscent of Bjork when the four piece smeared
industrial fills behind a haze of sonic ambience. Hailing
from Virginia, Denali definitely impressed me. By making good
use of samplers and synthesizers, along with the pipes of
Davis and the frenetic-at-times/calm-at-others drum work of
Jonathan Fuller, Denali played like Portishead, only they
rocked a little harder and a lot sexier on Wednesday night.
Rainer Maria’s quirky, captivating lead singer/bassist
Caithlin De Marrais took the stage with a new look Wednesday
night (cropped and dyed crimson hair), while disappointingly,
her band had somewhat of a different sound. As a fan, I’ll
tell you straight up that the indie-emo three piece resonate
with innovative candor when De Marrais and lead guitarist
Kyle Fischer exchange vocal grievances over hesitant, uneasy
tempos that flirt with hypnosis-driven progressions, lyrically
constructing a painful, yet sincere emotional struggle.
However, the show Wednesday at Emo’s
was instead an unambiguous, head-bobbing slew of catchy hooks
and pop jangles, a sound that is almost polar opposites to
their 2001 must-have release, A Better Version of Me. Don’t
get me wrong, the spunk of De Marrais’s Deborah Harry-esq
vox was still there, as were the tension-filled dramatic build-ups
and break-downs of William Kuehn’s drumming efforts.
Unfortunately though, the band seems to have
abandoned the bleak, looser song structures and dejected harmonies
in favor of a more up-tempo and aggressive schtick, making
the music less eclectic and far less abrasive. Basically,
Rainer Maria used to draw outside the lines a bit within their
artistic offerings. Now, these Wisconsin kiddos sound sharp
and almost anthemic, po-going around straight forward, pop-sensible
sentiments. This saddens me.
Electric Eel Shock/The Crackpipes
Emo's, September 28, 2003
Fresh off the road for the second time this
year, The Crackpipes returned to Emo's with a chip on their
shoulder and an appreciatively bound live set. They borrowed
Jared from psychobilly swamp rockers, Blood Burnin', for the
fifteen date mid-western tour, and his butcher-chop drumming
reminded me of the fierceness they projected a couple years
ago following the Sympathy (FTRI) release of their second
Mike couldn't get out of work and so tonight
he was minding the moog with his glasses resting peacefully
in place. He used the organ effectively for the duration,
providing soulful warmth to the hard-edged blues-rock riffs
provided by guitar wrangler, Billy-Steve. Ray and Nick were
in control of center stage, pounding out punchy new favorites
like "Cinnamon Roll", "Dollar Signs" and
the Gloria-esque "Save Me". They finished up with
their favorite closer, a cover of the Animals' inspirational,
"I'm Going To Change The World".
Aggressive self-promotion and a relentless
international tour schedule have Japan's Electric Eel Shock
building up a heady reputation as one of today's best live
bands. Mainstream media often mistake them for a garage band
but the three-piece play southern rock/metal without a trace
of sarcasm. And while they don't speak much English, song
titles like "Do The Metal" "Turbo Slayer"
and (my personal fave) "I Wanna Be Black Sabbath Guy,
But I Should Be A Black Bass" get the message across
that they really are Number One Rock and Roll Monster From
Tomoharu is apparently completely out of his
mind, wearing nothing but a sock and a grimace while using
two sticks in each hand to throttle his drums. Kazuto kept
the beat under control with solid bass lines and riled the
crowd with windmills and plenty of fist pumping. Sporting
the biggest Japfro since Enter the Dragon, was frontman Akihito
hammering out sumo-sized power chords and breakneck solos
on his flying V when he wasn't turning it around to "rev"
across the stage like a motorcycle.
Their between song banter consisted of "I
love you all, we have e-mail, EMAIL!" which led to the
hysterical crowd call-and-response chant of "EMAIL!"
"EMAIL!" "EMAIL!" It's the generosity
of their absolute dedication to being the most unpretentious
and ridiculously rock, rock band that sweeps audiences up
into their heavy metal love-in. They left tonight for the
east coast and then it's off to Europe to steal some shows
from the dour knuckledragging meatheads in Sepultura.
Am/A.R.E. Weapons/This Microwave World
Emo’s, October 1, 2003
It was a cool, comfortable evening when the
robots showed up to play. Due to this writer’s “day
job” schedule, I was unable to see the Movies. But after
a brief wait, This Microwave World pontificated - in herky-jerky
Pere Ubu fashion - about the evil intent behind the government’s
use of technology to steal the freedoms we as Americans have
come to take for granted. Where the hell was Alex Jones? He
would have loved the message, if not the delivery.
The perfect segue would have been Trans Am hitting the stage
next, but nnoooo! Instead, the crowd was forced to stand through
one the most nauseating sets performed on the indoor stage
courtesy of A.R.E. Weapons. A white-boy metal band turned
to gangsta rap, the Weapons proved, once again, that there
are far too many bands subscribing to the philosophy of style
over substance. Of course, the majority of the highly drunken
crowd found amusement in this debacle. When the “singer”
began jerking off a water bottle, I only noticed three women
turn and walk to the courtyard. Now, I realize Emo’s
doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being a rigid
bastion of the feminist gestalt, but come on people, even
I was offended. Well, not offended - my morals don’t
run to the politically correct end of the spectrum. Disgusted,
that’s the word. Plus, they wasted a bunch of time throwing
a tantrum about the sound, cutting into Trans Am’s time.
Finally, the band everyone was there to see got up to play.
A bizarre amalgamation of math rock and prog, the boys have
found a lyrical voice after being instrumental for a span.
The roboticized vocals were a bit incomprehensible, and they
relied quite a bit on newer material, but just seeing them
on the indoor stage was enough to inspire a haunting sense
of nostalgia among those of us that had seen them on the same
stage, lo those many ages ago. Even the fucked-up dude that
bum rushed the stage at the end could not detract from a highly
satisfying set. Best use of a flange since Daniel Ash last
graced an Austin stage.
/Dead Whale Tide
Emo’s, September 27, 2003
The 27th of September saw a late night of hip-swaying, effect-filled
filled music complete with swoons and crescendos provided
by local shoe-gazer band Dead Whale Tide. Zack, bassist for
DWT pulsed out melodic rhythms that intertwined with drummer
Steve’s Cure-like playing style, keeping the feet of
the lighter-than-air guitar riffs and reverb flourishes by
Don and singer Justin on the ground. Justin’s wispy
vocals, which I assumed were about wimpy feelings like love
and pain, but I could be wrong, interlaced seamlessly with
the trance-inducing music. My personal enjoyment of DWT’s
crisp set was marred only by memories of vodka & Mountain
Dew hangovers, induced to resurface by the ‘Tide’s
The next band Earlimart, from California, started out their
set in the same kinda vein as DWT but played more straight-ahead
rock. The drums dug in a bit more, and the guitars were sassier.
My foot got to tapping and a bit of a smile might have appeared
on my perpetual sneer. The lead vocalist had two microphones
set up side by side; one “clean,” the other fuzzed
out or used in conjunction with a vocoder. Earlimart rocked
out in their own special way, bringing to mind comparisons
to Sonic Youth with their swelling dynamic rock.
A couple of songs had sequenced drum and synth tracks, mixing
up Earlimart’s folk-influenced sound. Ariana Murray
did double duty on bass and keys as did Solon Bixler, trading
his guitar for the bass or keys. Much moog-inflected music
was being made on the red Christmas light decorated stage,
keeping the modest Alt-UT crowd moving. Go to theship.com
to find out more about Earlimart and it’s 1000 young.