At Night (Sundown at Granada): In many ways, Sundown at Granada’s free shows are the perfect way to hear a local band to which you have not yet been exposed. The shows are free, the space is small, and the setting is nicer than the usual scene where you’re standing around some drafty, concrete-floored club.
Having said that, the At Night show this evening might be kind of awkward. The group comes off like an eighties tribute act playing deep cuts only — a perfect recreation of songs you’ve never heard before, but they feel like someone’s dad must have written them for a nearly-charting new wave act thirty years ago. It may not sound like it, but that’s a compliment for a group like this. The potential awkwardness is due to the fact that the vocals are so over-the-top emotional, that it will be akin to having a Spandau Ballet roadie tearfully break up with you over a quiet dinner in a nice restaurant. That’s okay. I kind of like Spandau Ballet. And quiet dinners. And tearful breakups … Where were we? Oh yeah, I’m sure glad that this isn’t a country or roots rock act. Next.
“Discipline” (Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios): If the United States ever becomes as progressive with its arts funding as say, The Netherlands, then perhaps we can not only use tax dollars to fund improvisational orchestras but also the record collecting habits of DJs. Think that would fly in America? It beats the heck out of spending our money on those secret little wars nobody wants, right?
“Big Bang” (Beauty Bar): Rob Viktum and Tyrone Smiley will be filling in for Sober tonight, due to illness.
Recide/Breakout/Wiccans/Modern Pain/Sin Motivo/Letch (1919 Hemphill): It’s 2013 and 1919 is still kicking and sticking for another year. I don’t know if I should even be surprised at this point. I was glad to come across Austin hardcore act, Recide. This is vital and dark punk rock, the kind where I’m afraid I’ll get hit by something just by being in proximity. It really works and I hardly ever hear a band playing in this genre that feels that convincing of late. Oh, and here’s a little something I wrote on former 1919 Hemphill-head Rick Vandeveerdonk being “Local Music Personality” of 2012, in case you missed it.
Gregg Allman/John Hiatt/Leon Russell (Verizon Theatre): Can you think of a more painfully manly lineup than this? I can already feel a biker chewing a cigar and trying to arm wrestle me while waiting in line for the restroom at the Racetrac down the street from the Verizon Theatre, and it’s still hours until doors.
Ghost Daddies (Texas Theatre): As an after-party for the showing of Flash Gordon, this get-together implores movie patrons to dress in the style of characters from the film. Lest anyone forget, here are the details on that:
Costumes are optional but encouraged. dress up as Emperor Ming or just wear your favorite alien costume. Rocket ships, laser guns, sexy harem cat fights, soundtrack by Freddie Mercury & Queen.
Since this is one of the most visually ridiculous films ever made, I don’t know how well that collective look will translate for the general public, but by all means…
“Away from the Numbers” (Texas Theatre): The guest DJ this evening is Wild in the Streets.
Shiny Around the Edges/Night Game Cult (New Media Recordings House): In a very rare instance of “complete booking,” this interesting little event somehow features music, film, and even poetry that are all worth your time and attention. First of all, is it a screening for the film, Who is Bozo Texcino?, which is regarded as a classic outsider documentary in discriminating circles, and no less an expert than the wonderfully gifted documentarian Jem Cohen had this to say about it:
Bill Daniel’s homegrown epic is as kinetic and raggedly beautiful as the trains he hopped to make it. Using the search for the origin of a near mythical example of railroad graffiti as a point of departure, Bill made a film about freedom as literal passage across the land. Corporations brand things to say they own them, but there are ways in which humans have marked things to say they can’t be owned.
Lovely. It will also see the welcome return of Night Game Cult, who I thought was leaving us after a triumphant and supposedly final performance in Oak Cliff last summer. Finally, there will be poetry by artist and Webb Gallery proprietor, Bruce Lee Webb, the content of which I am completely ignorant, but I’m going to guess that it’s “not boring.” There’s nothing in Webb’s philosophy, aesthetic, or decision-making up to this point to suggest otherwise.
“Stereo on Strike” with III76/Blixaboy/R9 (Bryan Street Tavern): Tonight’s headliner, III76, has been DJ-ing for about 25 years, and even has some production ties to Maetrik, AKA Maceo Plex, AKA Eric Estornel, which may or may not have happened when the famous artist was living here in the mid-90s. It’s an impressive professional association, no matter the details.
Leftover Crack/Crack Box/Juicy Karkas/Hoodrat/Atomic Tanlines (Trees): Judging by the reaction over the announcement of this show, I’m sure the appearance of the still unfortunately-named Leftover Crack will be a welcome nostalgic trip for some of this show’s attendees. If you have not done so already, I invite you to read Dick Sullivan’s local band year-in-review piece in which the writer makes deservingly glowing observations about Atomic Tanlines. On a side note, I had no idea Hoodrat was still a band, but I’m glad to see that they are.
Photo: Still from Shiny Around the Edges’ video for “Quicklime.”