Are you as tired of reading boring music previews as I am? I’m going to try to change it up a bit today. Events writing is considered an entry level skill, but the truth is, very few people are any good at it. If it’s too biased and geeky, the music-related happening comes off as unappealing to everyone, and makes you seem like an unloveable nerd. If it’s too fluffy and light, it has all the danger of a dated travel brochure and then you sound completely insincere. It’s hard to know how to find a balance. So for each of the weekend’s events, I’m going to give you my knee-jerk response and try to make these “pop”:
Crypt Tripp | Fogg | Mountain of Smoke (The Crown and Harp): It’s a pretty dead giveaway with the band names here. Sometimes it helps to jumble all the band names together and try to set a scene: “A trip to a Crypt, while a foggy mountain of smoke looms in the distance.” What do you think that sounds like? Heavy? Doom-laden? Yes, that’s correct. Crypt Trip has a song called “Wraiths.” It achieves what the band sets out to accomplish.
Institute | Breakout | The Sentenced | Lacerations (1919 Hemphill): The event description says that the group Institute contains “members of every band from Austin that matters.” That’s pretty obnoxious, but I’ll take their word for it. I heard a rumor that former Fort Worth-resident and guitarist/bassist/drummer/vocalist Adam Cahoon is in the band. He has had his finger in so many pies all over the state, that it does make the “bands that matter” statement ring a little more true. Cahoon was very active when he was in North Texas, and played in such irregular-sounding acts as Koji Kondo and Orange Coax. The invitation also claims that Institute is a “post-punk” band, which is almost true but they’re more like the gnarled early punk records of Warsaw than Joy Division. Those are obvious references, I know.
Since I don’t particularly care for obvious references, I reached out to Cahoon to see if he was actually in the band and what kind of music they played. I checked my phone and realized I still had this gentleman’s number saved from interviewing him circa 2008 or something equally ridiculous:
Christopher Mosley: Are you in Institute?
Adam Cahoon: Yeah, hey, who’s this?
CM: Cool. Who are you ripping off? Warsaw?
AC: The Foggytown Breadboys—from Manchester. You’ve probably never heard of ‘em.
CM: I knew you would give me an answer like that. Thank you.
AC: I sense a bitter jaded vibe that could only belong to Mosley.
AC: Hahahahaha. Yes. To be specific, the singer has ripped off Crisis, The Ex, and Flux of Pink Indians blatantly. I usually try to hide my aural plagiarism a little better but everything’s a rip off anyway.
Dutch anarchist band The Ex happens to be one of my favorite groups, and now I’m intrigued. Now that you know all of that—that they’re ripping off bands you’ve never heard of and Cahoon is generally the real deal in any group lucky enough to have him—I would suggest attending if the genre appeals to you. Lacerations is a new Dallas band and they play hardcore. No kidding.
“Viral Fantasy” with How I Quit Crack | Vulgar Fashion (Two Bronze Doors): This show is said to be “co-curated” by Tachyons, a video art collective out of Florida that not only works in the medium, but also creates the actual machines used to make analog-generated visual art. The machines are sold all over the world, and they’ve tapped into an extremely specific market. That’s great for them, and their specialized customers. Would that more of us could take our bad art school habits and collect some checks while putting actually useful things out in the world. Of course, that’s the rarest art of all.
The two bands playing this evening I have seen on multiple occasions and there is a certain amount of making the audience feel uncomfortable involved in their performance. How they handle that task is far different from one another, however. Vulgar Fashion dances just a bit too closely with the audience while overdriving all of their equipment. Meanwhile, How I Quit Crack sort of slowly pulls you down to the floor and into their atomic-looking sludge, so it’s an opposite approach. A HIQC show features one person sitting cross-legged in the dark while covered in DayGlo colors (see photo above). It’s … abnormal, but beautifully so.
“The Last Resort” with George Quartz | Orgullo Primitivo | Little Beards | Ben White (500 Singleton Boulevard): Yet another weekend where the city’s willful misfits get to occupy a warehouse in West Dallas leaves me asking: Do we have many more of these crazy evenings left? I recently heard that the last space where George Quartz and friends went completely bonkers with fake blood and sand is already being scouted by some business-types—who really are the people in charge in the first place—and it’s very kind of them to offer space. Make no mistake: space is almost always the most important element in any significant creative movement. Perhaps if we get to share a bright blue drink together in the theoretical new restaurant that ends up there, we can toast to the time we saw a performance art piece right where the waiter is doing his side-work. Romance.
Finally, “Vinyl Fantasy” is at the Crown and Harp, and they always play an attractive set of throwback music, covering the bases of “psych, funk, soul, and garage.” I used to enjoy this event in the perfectly haunted atmosphere of the Inwood Theatre bar, but really these records sound great anywhere. Have a wonderful weekend.