No Age/Protect Me (Texas Theatre): As perhaps the act most-associated with the cultural renovation bestowed upon LA’s underground scene of the late aughts, No Age represents an idea of nastily distorted music that is never as unapproachable as its descriptors often suggest.
They are loud, however, as they proved almost exactly a year ago, when they performed at Denton’s Hot West Mess mini-fest. If No Age will be anywhere near as punishing as they were that weekend, they will surely have little trouble impressing the crowd at Texas Theatre, where the acoustics are entirely hospitable, just behind the main screen.
But ultimately all that loudness never really overpowers the fact that No Age remains a fairly straight-ahead rock band, with more attention paid to songwriting than pure chaos or disjointedness. Closer to that truth is opening act Protect Me, who actually do have some strange-sounding music on their site, and occasionally the band sounds surprisingly similar to another West Coast boundary-pushing act, San Francisco’s Chrome, who were positively weird all the way back in the mid-70s.
Protect Me is also performing in Austin tomorrow, but will instead be on a bill with Hatchet Wound, who happen to be one of my favorite bands from that part of the world. The show is at a venue called Farewell, which is located at 913 E Cesar Chavez. Recommended if you’re one of the many taking the trip down south this weekend.
Devin the Dude/A.Dd+/Internet Trap God (Granada Theater): I feel like I’ve recommended more Devin the Dude shows than I can count in the past seven years, so since that’s established, I’ve been told that there is a special guest rapper who I should take very seriously this evening. Nobody will confirm who it is exactly, but some of the hints suggest that you should roll the dice on this and just go. Devin’s from Houston, so let your mind run wild. My guesses ran the gamut of every name that had ever appeared on completely illegal chopped-and-screwed comps from the past fifteen years, and I wonder if I was ever even close.
Lord Byron/Son of Sam (Panoptikon): I’m often afraid to recommend going to Panoptikon since my music taste can sometimes fall a little too neatly under their dark umbrella, and therefore doing so would be a weird admission. But tonight the goth/industrial spot is giving away tickets to see Austra’s show at Trees that takes place next month, and the Canadian act was so perfect at their opening spot for the xx earlier this year, and South by Southwest right after that, that now I have no choice but to tell you to stop by this evening.
Other Friday Shows—
My Son My Executioner/Runes of the Evening/Tyrannosorceress (Double Wide)
Street Arabs/Midnight Movie/Sir Name and the Janes (The Crown and Harp)
Cerulean Giallo/Halaska/I’m the One Who’s Fighting (Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios)
Mad Decent Block Party (Club Zouk): There are some serious names on this bill, enough to warrant outright fest-status. But this is simply a one-day, self-described block party, though they could have stretched it to two if they felt like it. Zouk is a controversial choice, given that the some of the names here have or would be comfortable playing an entirely different type of venue, and probably not one downtown. I’m hard-pressed to knock any quality show happening downtown, so my advice to those outside of Zouk’s regular audience—say, Action Bronson fans who caught him at Club Dada last time, for instance—is to give this a shot. Here’s the lineup:
DJ El Dusty
Slik Stockings (featuring George Quartz)/Tommyboy (Texas Theatre): Texas Theatre will be hosting a thorough variety of all things chess, including a live competition, a televised competition, and the recent film, Computer Chess, which Peter Simek reviewed favorably, earlier this week. Following the film will be well-curated local entertainment by performance art duo Slik Stockings, who will be aided by George Quartz. Tommyboy will capably handle the DJing, and I say that because early personal computers, chess, and all manner of implied geekiness therein work well with the artist’s aesthetic. Visuals will be provided by Jonah Lange, who helped with a FrontRow event a couple of years ago and did a bangup job.
Baptist Generals/Panther Robe (The Foundry): Though the setting and the show both are less high-stakes than what I described happened in Seattle last month, Denton’s Baptist Generals are known for treating every performance with a certain amount of seriousness. It may simply be gallows humor, but there’s a weight that lingers regardless. When I saw a tiny little performance by the band at Good Records earlier in the summer, it seemed no less emotional for the group. I’ve always been fascinated by the story and personalities more than the music, but with their most recent record, they have a document just as complex as their individual personalities.
Other Saturday Shows—
Black Joe Lewis (Good Records): 2 pm
Spook Easy/The Breakfast Machine (Double Wide)
“Glamorama” (Beauty Bar):
Old Warhorse/Ralph White/RTB2/Kirkland James (Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios)
Wringer/Not Half Bad/Genius Party/I’m Clark Kent (1919 Hemphill)
Names Divine/The Silver Saint (The Crown and Harp): Again, Silver Saint is Wanz Dover’s new project combining no wave sensibilities, if there is such a thing, with the dance beats for which the artist is also known. Dover says to expect a lot more from the project soon, and like most music-related things, I tend to believe him, no matter how hyperbolic.
Fishboy/Radioactivity/Anger House (Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios): This marks the beginning of yearly Rubber Gloves tradition known as “Free Week,” though some of us were wondering aloud last night how much cheaper you can really get than RGRS tends to be already. This particular evening is presented by Mad World Records.
Other Monday Shows —
Vinyl Tap (Double Wide)
Image: No Age, performing at the Loft, June 2008. Credit: Sally Glass.