Tomorrow Night: Murdocks (MP3!) + Sleeping In The Aviary + Alkari

Sure, I know this isn’t the Big Show of the Night, but much as I like The Prince of Darkness himself, I’m just not that psyched about seeing him live, I’m afraid. Instead, I’d rather be over at ECHO (ex-Jet Lounge) tomorrow night (Tues., January 18th) to catch a trio of quirky, cool, hard-to-pin-down indie-rock bands.

I’ve mentioned headliners The Murdocks (apparently they use the “The,” these days) recently, but let me reiterate just how freaking great the band is. Granted, the bulk of my exposure to the Austin trio is a little dated, from 2005’s excellent Surrenderender, but they’ve got a new album, Distortionist, out as of this past September, and what I’ve heard so far has been as cool as the previous one, despite the 5-year gap in between.

As for what they sound like, the Murdocks play cracked little pop songs and crank up the volume to 11, somewhat like The Deathray Davies or maybe early Superdrag, but with half-howled vocals from frontman Franklin Morris that call to mind Harvey Danger more than anything else. Then there’s my favorite track off Surrenderender, “Saddest Star,” which comes off like the latter band playing the Robert Pollard songbook; check it out for yourself:

The Murdocks – “Saddest Star”

Minneapolites(?) Sleeping In The Aviary I know less about, but they’re similarly frantic and panic-tinged, playing often-speeding pop-rock that points backwards to The Jam and the Talking Heads and sideways to The Talk and Machine Go Boom, all at the same time. It may not be everybody’s cup of tea, true, but I find myself getting sucked in even still.

And then there’s openers Alkari, who hail from right here and are a pretty great trio that seem to keep getting better & better each time I catch ’em. Their Kublai Khan EP is/was a cool mix of thoughtful songwriting, moody keys, and driving (but not hyperactive) rhythms, and the more recent stuff I’ve heard has been just as promising. They play rock that pretty much defies any kind of modifiers, and I pretty much have to love that, y’know?

This’ll be their last show ’til March, by the by, because the band’s currently in the midst of recording, so check ’em out while you can.

Details: the show starts at 9PM, and it’s a measly $3, which is ridiculously cheap. Brave the cold & (possible) rain and get on out…

Murdocks photo by Adam Schlender.

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