beerland, TX

what youll find inside
Scott Biram Feature
Room 710
Elysium/Red Eyed Fly
Lance Comix
Jared Connor Featured Artist
David Dickinson Rock 101
Chopping Block
Wendy's WWAD
Grub - Guide
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
Usual Crew
Chump Change
Off the Street

Mood Killers/ The Dickins
Beerland 1/7/03

I don’t know where the spirit of drunk punk crashes out. I think he was bumbling around Beerland last night. He even helped the Mood Killers rock into a set of New Bomb Turks inspired, dare I say, “beer rock”.

Which is like saying champagne jazz if you think about it. But hey, I wasn’t the lad addressing the audience by telling us that he liked alcohol. Most do. Especially at shows. The mood was at least mauled by the “routine” of banter, which bores me. It happens. Let’s hear songs. There were bands who taught us how to do that and they did it well.
The Mood Killers have named themselves safely, with an out. Yes, they could kill the mood. But the music didn’t. It was delivered forcefully and played tight for punk rock smoking lots of Garage. Complete with re-started songs, calls for shots and jaded lover lyrics, the Mood Killers stayed interesting and made me think I would really like them at a kegger.

The Dickins I enjoyed. This was my first time to see the gang and I am happy to report that they are the best fusion of metal pop punk I’ve run into. Mike, from Arazamo Lehi, sings and plays bass and when I saw him I immediately thought of Tom Araya. He was even head-banging. His voice is distinct and I will do it no justice here. It’s just coarse and high enough to meet the band’s hardcore side in a successful union.

There was the ever-present goofy feel, which is what you get when Justin from Hit By A Car and Mike Bellyache both play in the same band. Justin had some major tapping and git-shredding, which even in jest is really great, Hammett-style chopping. The drummer played a giant double-bass kit and kept the speed up during the fast runs.
The Dickins reminded me of Judas Priest and the Vindictives all in one song! That’s hip. There were some real tough riffs that truly made the songs come across as burly hardcore blasters. With nostalgia for metal-core and a mind for pop for punk’s sake, the Dickins made me happy. Great Expectations.

--Kevin Stack

Desolation Row/Vlasev Havel
Beerland, Wed. Dec 31st

New Year’s Eve downtown. A nightmare proposition at best. Or so I had decided 8 years ago. But so has everyone else, apparently, for the crowd was lively but - while not sparse - was not overwhelming either. This was true both inside and outside the club. But we’re not here to talk about the street; instead, let’s talk about the Factory.

A haven for rockers, junkies, artists, actors and freaks during the height of Andy Warhol’s god-like power in the NY art scene, the Factory was the place to be should you wish to be somebody. And it was here where the Velvet Underground first cut their teeth and lanced a vein performing live for audiences more concerned with being seen than listening to what Lou Reed and co. had to say.

OK, history lesson over. New Year’s Eve at Beerland attempted to re-enact those drug-addled days of yesteryear, but while not falling flat, fell slightly short of the mark. The dearth of tin foil was the first indication that the music this evening was tantamount (as it should be) and, upon closer inspection, the “bars” to the go-go cage revealed themselves to actually be rope spray painted silver. Brilliant Billy. However, “Sugar Daddy” Hedwig definitely qualified as someone to look at.

Oh yeah, there was music. Desolation Row, while possibly named after a Dylan song came off more like the MC5 with their Gibson crunch and near-glam presence. Definitely worth checking out. And Vlasev Havel. What can I say? Despite being nervous as a whore in church, Billy and his ragtag band of VU vampsters pulled off an amazing set of VU tunes, making the evening the first New Years sing-along I’ve ever been to.

Let’s do it again! –Trevor Wallace


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