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EMO'S

Turbo Negro

Turbo Negro/Young Heart Attack (early show)
Turbo Negro/Danko Jones (late show)
Emo’s

Turbo Negro

I 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 sets.

The 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 Camino.”

Then 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 cauldron.

As 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.

I 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.

The 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.)

-The Sniels

Phantom Rockers (featuring Karl Morris ex-Exploited)/The Ritchie Whites/Knocked Out Stiffs/ Graverobbin' Bastards/The Livends 
Emo’s, October 2, 2003

Yet 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 ROCKERS!
here's a run down of the night........

The 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

Graverobbin' 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.

Knocked 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.

The 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.

Phantom 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.

Not 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

You may now continue all disgusting behaviour-

-Destin Pledger

Rainer Maria/Denali
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. Bravo kids.

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.

-Smitty

The 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 album.

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 Japan!

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.

-Dave Roybal

Trans 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. Pricks.

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.

-Trevor Wallace

Earlimart /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 Disintegration-esque music.

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.

-James E

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