This reunion thing is getting really, really old. For example, I honestly, I just can't get excited over the "ha-ha, just kidding!" Pavement maybe-reunion that's being bandied about; the band was interesting while they were around the first time, but that doesn't mean I still give a crap about seeing 'em play live. Most of the "iconic" bands I'd really like to see reunite can't because, well, one of the key band members (Kurt Cobain, Joe Strummer) is dead. So I'm out of luck, there.
Besides, I'm stunned on a weekly basis by the wealth of amazing music growing & seething right here under our H-town feet, often totally unnoticed. To paraphrase a very wise person over on the Hands Up board, I'd much rather see one of the many, many excellent bands here in town than shell out an insane amount of cash to see somebody rehash their greatest hits from a decade-plus ago. Time to move on and do something new, people.
So here's to badass local music; long may it blare. And while I'm raving about it, I wanted to point to a few folks who've got some excellent (relatively) new stuff up online for all to hear & gape at in awe:
georgia's horse: I was seriously starting to think this band didn't really exist. They promised to release an album last year, Mammoth, that I was never able to find/buy, and then I heard nada about 'em for a long, long time. Turns out that they've been working on a new-new album, Weather Codes, and they've got some great new songs up on their Myspace page. "Strep Throat," in particular, sucks me in (partly because I spent a large chunk of my life getting monthly shots to avoid getting that particular ailment and, uh, dying from it), but I'm also liking "The Bullet Sinks," "Thistlebomb," and the posted-to-their-blog-only "6" (not sure if that's the real title).
The more I hear from these folks, the more they remind me of Beth Gibbons' Out of Season project; the music's dense and spooky, full of floating strings, warbling, eerie voices, and percussive, menacing acoustic guitars. If there is any justice in the world, I'll stumble across a treasure trove of these people's recordings within the next two days or so. (If it doesn't happen, I'm just going to assume the gods hate me and go from there.)
Teenage Kicks: After hearing their installment in the Grey Ghost CD-R series, I was a teeny bit skeptical about these guys, I'll admit; I liked some of what I heard, but man, was it raw and rough. Having recently visited their Myspace and listened to new(?) tracks "Electric Girl," "Bound for Glory," "Art School," and "Another Night," though, I'm now drooling like a freakin' fanboy for their hopefully-forthcoming next release. These three guys play old-school power-pop, the kind you find on those Rhino D.I.Y. releases, all reminiscent of folks like The Undertones (which, given the band's name: duh), The Boys (damn, I need to hear "Brickfield Nights" again), Joe Jackson, & The Buzzcocks. It's poignant and sharp-edged at the same time, earnestly sincere and un-ironic while being smart-assed, and that strikes me as being damned difficult to do.
Something Fierce: I really just can't say enough about how great this band is. Like Teenage Kicks, Something Fierce harks back to an era before irony and self-reference overwhelmed every goddamn thing, and tracks like "Have Your Kids And Eat Them Too" grab hold of that old, tired punk-rock cliché and drag it forcibly out into the harsh light '00s so it can pump its fist in the air once again. There's a snarling energy behind the songs, and a whip-smart sense of timing, to boot. And looking at their Myspace site reminds me, actually, that I really need to somehow get a hold of their new-ish "Modern Girl"/"Why Can't I" 7" -- I heard the demo version of "Modern Girl" a while back and liked it, but the polished, New Wave-tinged release version blows it out of the water.
Piano Vines: Yeah, yeah. I know I've babbled a few times recently about this fine, fine band of gentle indie-popsters; fuck it, I can't help it. They're just that good, I swear. And now here's further evidence, again courtesy of the band's Myspace -- the swelling, dreampop-ish "The Life of Walter Price," which makes me think of The Sundays and The Jesus and Mary Chain, both at the same time. Holy fuck, these folks are good. While I do indeed love the loud stuff (see above), it does my soul good to see/hear somebody that doesn't need to blaze, full-volume, to make good music.
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