Joel Birthday with Amplified Heat and Honky
Room 710, November 29
went out last night half expecting to have a good time, the
other half expecting to end up in tears, what with the occasion
and all. Neither one happened, though.
it was a festive situation. Everyone was in high spirits and
the club was packed. With all the proceeds going to the Safe
Ride Home program that we've been trying to throw together
for almost a year now, this was a good thing. Once again Joel
has helped us all out. On the other hand, I found the situation
a tad bit hypocritical, all of us getting fucked up for Joel's
birthday and the money we spent to do it will be used to save
us all from each other when we get behind the wheel...
the bands that I saw sounded great. Amplified Heat is always
a pleasure. I can't think of too many local bands that I get
excited to see, but these guys always step up to the plate.
I regret not having caught them sooner than 3 months ago,
but am seriously glad that I'm in the know. This is the kind
of stuff that I can imagine getting stoned to back in the
70's. Sort of along the lines of Budgie and that genre.
Honky played next, and of course, what's not to like about
these guys? Not only are they all entertaining as hell to
watch, but they don't ever try to bust out with some sad,
sappy love songs. It's all about tits and ass, having fun
and rock and roll. The last song they played was of course
dedicated to Joel, with my favorite blonde, Curt Christenson
of Dixie Witch playing bass. To be honest, as soon as I found
out that Dixie Witch and Brewtality Inc. weren't playing,
I hit the road. I've never been a fan of either Ignorance
Park or Brown Whornet, and I didn't feel like giving them
part of my evening last night especially when Casino El Camino
was calling to me like a siren’s call. The rest of the
night was spent wandering into bars that I would normally
never have gone into with various members of the staff and
rowdy roller girl Electrablue.
Joel had been here, this night would have been way more fun.
As it turns out, it was just barely passable. I miss you,
Handsome. You always made my nights worthwhile.
/ Egypt / Thrall
I missed CROW. I have heard great things about them and was
totally interested. I’m sorry.)
is tight. I could smell the practice coming off them. The
three-piece drilled stop and jerk songs into the tiny crowd
that had come to support the “heavies” of Austin
on a school night. Transfixr was a band that made many other
bands come to mind; all of which are really solid bands: Unsane,
Keelhaul, Victim’s Family, Dazzling Killmen. I really
enjoyed the songs featuring two singers. The sound really
thickened up when they did this. Generally, there’s
a cranking bass sound with dissonant guitar picked out on
top of it. I had the thought that they were a Voivod on 45rpm.
I have a seen a lot. And I enjoy it every time. Mike, Nathan,
Matt, and John have crafted an original metal sound with a
tongue-in-cheek feel. Egypt is to metal as the Dayglo Abortions
are to punk. This time around I finally pegged what I like
so much about them: they are so Rudimentary Peni. Simple riffs,
two part songs. An enjoyable minimal metal. From the school
of Celtic Frost, I wrote in my show notes—jokingly—High
on Fire in Special Ed classes. Matt has a genuine metal voice
killed, confused and paranoid me. But that’s what you
get for listening to Mike Hard’s lyrics. Maddening indictments
of the Petrochemical Military Industrial Complex, the Light
Skinned Alien (us), and the endless cycle of getting up-to-go-to-work-to-earn-a-check-to-still-not-have-enough-to-feed-the-family
all made me shudder to think of the what ifs? of our twisted
band is first rate. The sound is like a Big Black, Scratch
Acid>>Jesus Lizard bass. On top is a screeching, whiny
guitar that adds suspense by escalating riffs. The git also
backs the bass perfectly in synch to create a power trio punch.
Total Midwest strength.
Hard gets right into the crowd and grabs people’s heads
as if to heal them. He sings straight to you, eye to eye,
and brings the show together. It was the biggest 30 person
show I had been to. Thrall completely satisfied, one of the
better shows all year.
Room 710, Fri, Dec. 5th
left our bass player in Albuquerque,” says San Francisco’s
Andrew Poisoner, explaining why the band this evening consists
only of himself and the drummer. Fortunately, the band’s
songs work whether stripped down to a simple voc/gtr/drm format
or given the full orchestra treatment as on their most recent
album, Days of the Soft Break.
Coming off a bit like Jonathon Richman’s current incarnation,
this power duo tore through a short set of quirky Americana-inspired
ditties, pausing only to change the lovingly painted placards
bearing the title of each song and, at one point, to have
the drummer’s “child molester” moustache
shorn off by Zom Zoms’ border-line insane front man,
Patrick (who, along with a few cohorts, provided interpretive
dance for the entire evening). This was one of the band’s
only club gigs, having played a cafeteria at a New Mexico
college, a burger joint in San Antonio and some sort of museum
in Denton, to name a few, and the band seemed relieved to
be playing to a crowd getting good and sauced. The stage-to-audience
banter was easy and natural, as though these guys are a staple
at 710 rather than a touring act.
With Attic Ted closing out the night, this evening was more
entertaining than a day at the freak show.
of Patriots, Bulemics, Dixie Waste, Dresden 45
Room 710, November 22
Holy hardcore revival Ratman! What a night
for us Red River Rats. When you get four bands on the menu,
usually at least one of them sucks. Not tonight. Every one
of these bands kicked ass. It was another show I stumbled
onto aimlessly and would have been really pissed if I’d-a
Blood of Patriots is a one-year-old thrashy metal band that
I’m gonna keep my eye on. AJ on vox/guitar (ex Bavarian
Alcoholics), Orion on bass (ex Econoline, Adrenaline Nation),
and drummer Doug (ex Avail). Singer/guitarist AJ is like a
colonial Lemmy Killmeister dishing out strong thrash/death-metal
vocals with a Sepultura-like growl, and compact, twisted leads
that show off a sense of humor. With maybe a little too much
pause between songs, they ripped through each slice of aggressive,
raw, hardcore metal, and even did a song in Spanish. I had
to stick my nose all up in their business...
With “Gods Guns & Guts” blasting from the
710 jukebox, the boys filled me in on their past and future
hell-raising perpetrations. AJ is natural-born-metal, being
a metalsmith by trade, as well as a metalhead by night.
AJ: I was always the biggest Agony Column fan as a kid. I
cut my teeth on that shit at Liberty Lunch. Other influences
are Motorhead, Johnny Cash, The Accused, DRI, and the Offenders
-- who are kind of like Dresden 45. Our music does have political
content; the overall message is keep your eyes open and pay
attention to what’s going on. For future shows? We want
to play with the Malcontent Party; they have a similar philosophy
We wanna play as hard and fast as we can until everyone falls
down, then get the fuck off stage.
Fans, have your blood-curdling screams and heckling go down
in history on the Blood of Patriots live CD, to be recorded
December 18 at the Backroom.
Next up was the Bulemics -- some cool punk rock boys, yeehaw!
Mostly straight-up 4/4 punk rock with dirty-white-boy lead
singer flailing around like a shit-throwing monkey. These
guys got “cat style” without trying too hard.
And girls, did I mention they’re cute? In a sweaty,
alley-cat sort of way. That’s the way we like it, yeah?
Loud and sweaty!
Dixie Waste warmed up with a generic punk riff as their two
lead singers jumped on stage and paced back-n-forth with nowhere
to go. One hellion-blonde chiseled demon and one mousy rogue
who was the ultimate anti-fashion statement (but man can this
kid scream), they were both great, raspy punk singers, taking
turns and yelling in unison, kind of Beastie Boys-like. In
the punk rock spirit, they took a minute to thank the previous
bands and get the crowd hopped up for Dresden 45. Next song
was “Drunk Ambition” which I’d guess represents
their general attitude. These guys charmed the shit out of
me and I can’t wait to see Dixie Waste again.
Dresden 45 was obviously the anticipated event of the evening,
with rowdy fanatics crowding up stage-front and some bigmouth
bloke ranting into the mike like frikkin Don King. D45 is
a Houston hardcore band from the 80’s that took a break
back in 1990. They threw together this reunion show, with
Brumby, their kicked-off-the-hockey-team-looking singer flown
in from L.A. for one rehearsal – and he whooped some
butt! So did their new drummer Jeff Chavez – who I gotta
say went totally ballistic on his cavernous, Bonham-sounding
drums. This wiry scrapper of a guy was just pounding the shit
out of those drums like Bam-Bam fresh out of Ritalin. Yep,
shirtless punk rockers are cool. Oh yeah, the guys with shirts
on were cool too – Patrick Godbey ripped on guitar with
some leads that were surprisingly metal for their punk sound,
and bass player Charlie Hardwick ("Uncle Charlie")
was loud and gnarly with his hair way up in a poofy pigtail.
slaughtered mass ass, with the energy rising throughout the
show. Their fans formed the happiest mosh pit ever, like some
kind of punk rock love-in. It was a blast. Wendy and I were
freaking out, devil horns in the air, and must have scared
the band – later they said they thought we were making
fun of them. No dudes, we really mean it! You rock!
R&R: So are we gonna see more of Dresden 45, or is this
a one-time reunion?
Patrick: Well, we'll be around – we're hoping to play
SXSW, but we're really spread out these days. We’re
all from Houston, but Jeff and I live in Austin now. Charlie
lives in Houston, and Brumby lives out in L.A. We'll play
whenever we can, though.
R&R: Would you replace the out-of-town guys and continue
Patrick: No way. You know, Brumby, Charlie, and I have been
through a lot over the last 18 years. It’s almost impossible
to replace original members.
R&R: But you found a great drummer, that’s the hard
part. Where’d you guys hook up?
Jeff: They found me in the Chronicle, but it turned out we
had a number of mutual friends from Houston. It's a small
Patrick: Yeah, Jeff was a godsend: He's a fantastic drummer
and he'd seen Dresden 45 several times back in the 80's. But
the dude hits hard! All of Jeff’s cymbals are cracked
and twisted up right now because he hits so hard. Even in
practice, I have to crank the shit out of my amp to keep up.
R&R: Any other news for the kids out in RR land?
Patrick: We have a CD coming out next month; it's a re-mastered
and expanded version of "Paradise Lost," our LP
from 1989, with a bunch of extra tracks. The record's out
of print, so it’ll be cool to have it out there again
and sounding better than ever. It's the next release from
Arclight Records, which is run by Mauro from Speedloader and
another dude. It should be released on December 16. Keep an
eye out for a puke green cover.