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Otis @
Red Eyed Fly, November 17th

I got to the ‘Fly around 10:30 last Monday, got a PBR and was instantly engaged in a one sided conversation with local celebrity Jack, a man who knows “too many people” to not get served another beer even though he was flat out wasted. I should not complain, I mean W.T. Special had cancelled and I had to pass the time somehow. Anyhow, two PBRs later I went across the street to Room 710 and hung out with Stern, Kev Stack, and Woody, waiting for signs of Otis playing on the inner velvet draped stage at the Fly.

Much musical musings later, I saw that the bass player was on stage at the Fly. I walked across and got another PBR and sat down to listen to the laid back country music supplied by Otis. Consisting of vocal writer Brett Humphrey on acoustic guitar, Jonathan “Humphrey” on electric guitar, Ben Howard on upright bass, Blake Oswald on drums and the lovely Jen Obert on fiddle, Otis played a solid set of country flavored tunes. Using a lot of established old-fashioned subjects such as suicide, whiskey drinkin’ and shotgun weddings, Brett Humphrey’s songs paint real pictures of the sometimes-surreal world we live in. Brett and Jonathan’s vocal harmonies blended well as they sang choruses together, and Jonathan’s finger picked guitar leads danced the two step with Oswald and Howard’s traditional country rhythms. Oberts fiddle playing occasionally broke through the mix adding another down home spice to the country flavor. Catch Otis Saturday Dec 27th at The Saxon Pub.

-James Marquardt

The Applicators/Eastside Suicides/Pink Swords
Red Eyed Fly
November 22nd

Punk rock at the Red Eyed Fly was a norm during the club’s early days of existence, but of late the “Lucy’s brigade” of pop/rock radio-friendly bands has had tendency to take over the Red River venue. As a result, an all-out punk attack on Saturday, November 22nd was a welcome return and relief.

The Pink Swords burst through their two minute musical blasts with a much needed emphasis on the rock anthem. Up next, the Eastside Suicides showcased their catalogue of sleazy glam-punk-rock-pop-metal tunes. The singer seemed to borrow from Mick Jagger’s stage antics, but the combination of glam and metal infused with punk definitely appeased the attendees. The all-girl barrage that is the Applicators kicked off around midnight with a flurry of bangs and blasts that actually invited the crowd closer. An hour or so of pop-punk followed with persistent drum beats, speedy tempos, and the vocalist’s pure charm sparkling in the highlights.

The night as a whole marked a welcome return of trashy punk rock that almost seems too raw for this venue recently, and although Beerland and Room 710 might remain the new kings of that genre, the Red Eyed Fly’s appeal as a solid venue with reasonable acts from time to time will remain with shows like these.

–Adi Anand


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