Zac Crain’s Tardy Recap of Local Music He Enjoyed in 2009

Someone in the comments of my latest broadside on Mario Tarradell asked for something a little more formal from me. So, if interested, it’s after the jump. If you aren’t, here is a short clip of a 1990 pilot that featured Peter Boyle as a cop reincarnated as a talking bulldog.

Local Songs, Shows, and Records Enjoyed in 2009 By Someone Who Used to Do This For a Living But Now Does It As a Hobby So Get Off My Back For 1) It Being Late and 2) Not To Your Taste

(in no particular order)

White Denim/Harlem/PVC Street Gang/Fight Bite at Pastime Tavern: Two bands from Austin and two from here, so I suppose it’s more regional than local. If you want to get technical. But it happened here (and, if memory serves, it was strung together by Chris from Gorilla Vs. Bear), at a working-class bar in the Cedars that didn’t seem to mind being overrun by hipsters of various stripes for the night. Each band killed in their own distinct way, beginning with Fight Bite’s thrift-shop alternate Twin Peaks soundtrack to White Denim’s riotous jumble of genres propelled by sheer relentlessness.

Fergus & Geronimo, “Tell It In My Ear”: If you told someone you’d found it on a dusty compilation of 1960s one-hit wonders, they’d believe it. Even the name fits.

The O’s, “You’ve Got Your Heart”: Does it sort of rip off what the Avett Brothers have been doing, with its banjo-guitar-kick drum sound? Yes. But everyone steals a little bit from somewhere. And it’s undeniable enough — to me, at least — that I forget all matters of provenance.

Telegraph Canyon, The Tide and the Current: I came to this really late for reasons that are unknown to me, but probably can be explained by a deep-seated obstinate nature. Anyway. My friend Branton does a better job of talking about them here, so read that.

Josh T. Pearson opening for My Bloody Valentine at the Palladium Ballroom: Pearson hasn’t been heard from much since Lift to Experience disbanded years ago. He returned with a group that more or less approximated what Lift did (not surprising, since two-thirds of the band — Pearson and drummer Andy Young — remain intact), but with a different sort of presentation. Still had the rumbling drum sound, still had the cloud of guitars. But Pearson now delivers his songs more like a manic street preacher, like Nick Cave when he’s riled up. It wasn’t a one-off, either: he’s finishing up a record with John Congleton.

Pleasant Grove’s last show in Dallas (probably, or at least for the foreseeable future) at Bryan Street Tavern: Almost three hours of one great song after another, from laptop-infused experiments to simple two-guys-two-guitars simplicity. They were, for a decade, anything and everything you wanted them to be. Not enough people knew that.

Various others: Neon Indian/VEGA, Teenage Cool Kids, Fungi Girls, The Boom Boom Box

(I’m sure I forgot a ton. I’ll add them in the comments if I remember.)

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