Madness on Main Street Rundown, Pt. 3: Electric Attitude + Cosmic Bug Loaf + Glass the Sky + Antiques + The Docs + Sphynx + Satellite D’Homme + The Wandering Bufaleros

electricattitude1Alright, folks — back again with installment #3 of the previews (see installments #1 and #2 over here and here) for the rapidly-approaching Madness on Main Street Music Fest, coming up this Saturday, May 9th over on the Mid-Main strip. Get your advance tickets now, BTW; I’m told they’re running out fast…

Anyway, here we go:

Electric Attitude
First up, we’ve got a band who sounds like what might happen if you used a time machine to kidnap Bootsy Collins and Eddie Hazel, the horns from the Dap-Kings, and Clyde Stubblefield from The JB’s and stuck them in back of a pre-fame Adam Levine — that is to say, sleek-yet-gritty soul-funk with awesome horns, rubbery basslines, sublimely understated (but still funky) beats, fiery guitars, and a hell of a stage presence. I’ve seen these guys a few times now, and they never, ever disappoint; they explode out from the stage like real-live funk icons, and I’m usually left with my mouth hanging open wide.

They’ve been a little shakier in recorded form, it’s true, but redeemed themselves admirably with last year’s Skintight & Solid Gold, which yours truly enjoyed the hell out of and which is like everything good about funk-rock all compressed into one shiny, sweaty ball of goodness.
[Electric Attitude plays at 11PM at The Continental Club.]


 

cosmicbugloaf1Cosmic Bug Loaf
And now for something completely different…namely, hazy, trippy-as-hell, shaggy-haired psych-blues that sways serenely along under a roiling purple sky shattered by lightning that never quite touches the ground. The kind of music Cosmic Bug Loaf makes isn’t generally my cup of tea, honestly, but I’ve got to hand it to the band for doing what they do really damn well, at the very least.

Guitarist/frontman John Alton, in particular, plays some freaking phenomenal bluesy, psychedelic riffs, and the guys in the rhythm section (drummer Chad Liebold and bassist/keyboardist Chris Bauman) are no slouches, either, playing like they’re dwelling in some realm midway between prog-jazz technicality and head-nodding, blissed-out ’60s psych. If you’re into retro-psych stuff, this should be so right up your alley you’re already there.
[Cosmic Bug Loaf plays at 9:30PM at The Alley Kat.]


 

glassthesky2Glass the Sky
I think the best damn thing about Glass the Sky, at least to me, is how absolutely smart they are. Songwriting- and lyrics-wise, the music they make is complex and thoughtful while remaining friendly and emotional and warm, and that’s no mean feat; they create songs that work on multiple levels, both catchy on the top and ridiculously intelligent when you dig deeper in. And through it all, the music’s utterly gorgeous, dancing nonchalantly down the line between indie-pop and prog-rock like the band doesn’t even care it’s there (and no, they shouldn’t, not at all).

The members of Glass the Sky only have one self-titled EP under their collective belt so far, unfortunately, but they’ve assured me that a followup is forthcoming, which makes me really damn happy. And to celebrate, here’s the too-cute-for-words video for “Koi Pawned” (which I love in part because it’s actually a music video I can show the kids without feeling creepy…)
[Glass the Sky plays at 6:30PM at The Alley Kat.]


 

antiques1Antiques
I’m totally and completely new to Austin band Antiques, but even after just a brief introduction, I’m well and truly hooked. These guys play mid-tempo indie-rock that’s low-key but still hits hard, reminding at points of The Antlers, at others of The Pixies (see “Cranes and Buildings,” in particular), and the underappreciated subtle warmth of The Elected at several places. Along the way, they dabble in everything from fragile folk to electro-rock to arena-sized anthems to Neil Young-esque guitar squalling, and they make it all work and (better yet) sound like it’s the same band every time.

Most of what I’ve heard so far has been off of 2013’s If You Have to Ask, and it’s got me wanting a whole lot more. I’m definitely going to have to try to catch these guys’ set this Saturday…
[Antiques plays at 7:30PM at The Alley Kat.]


 

thedocs1The Docs
Now we get to shift gears for another Austin band (well, Austin and College Station, apparently, but eh), The Docs, who while also a very cool band, are a whole lot of things Antiques are not. Where the Antiques guys are moving slow and deliberate, The Docs are charging ahead, barreling on down the road with a classic-rock sneer and a bluesy hitch in their step. More than anybody else, they remind me of a pair of other Austin bands I happen to like a ton, Moonlight Towers and The Bright Light Social Hour. They share the same “classic” vibe, as well as a warm, rough-edged, analog sound and a tendency towards the blues.

On last year’s Audacious, the band blazes through track after track of frenzied, Southern-tinged, guitar-heavy rawk, with awesomely-named frontman/rhythm guitarist Jerod Justice leading the way with his desperate, nicely scratched-up vocals (which, yes, are a little reminiscent of Caleb Followill’s, but I’m good with that). Think Black Pistol Fire, think, Ted Nugent, think Lynyrd Skynyrd if they evolved for the modern era, and you’ll end up somewhere in the dirty, booze-fueled neighborhood. As proof, here’s the video for “Monkey,” one of my favorite tracks off the album.
[The Docs play at 6PM at The Continental Club.]


 

sphynx1Sphynx
I’d heard about Sphynx for quite a while, but last year’s Yes! Indeed Festival was the first time I’d ever actually experienced ’em, and…well, it was a spectacle, for sure. Three dudes wearing thrift stores cast-offs from the ’80s (and maybe The Road Warrior, to boot), rocking out to synth-heavy pop tunes that owe a massive debt that same bygone era, only they’re doing it with a who-gives-a-fuck? sense of wild abandon, completely unapologetic and using a damn good falsetto, to boot. Oh, and a talk box. Live they were loud and wild and sweaty, and while I remember liking their own songs — which were like a mashup of M83’s more retro moments with old-school Prince — the ones everybody went nuts for were the covers; they played so many I actually lost track of what all was going on, and the set turned into a nonstop dance party. Wow. Did I mention the talk box?

Oh, and I can’t help but like a band who describes themselves as being “like Queen, but with two Freddy Mercurys and also Phil Collins.” And lastly, because it’s flipping AWESOME, here’s the video for the band’s cover of Haddaway‘s “What is Love”. You’re welcome.
[Sphynx plays at 10:30PM at The Alley Kat.]


 

satellitedhomme1Satellite D’Homme
So, you might remember a little while back when we first mentioned Satellite D’Homme, the new collaboration between the guys from alt-prog rockers Tax the Wolf and the rap duo Juzcoz… Well, they’ve since played their very first show, with tomorrow’s being Show #2 so far; I missed that inaugural gig, I’m afraid, and I’m psyched to see what they actually sound like in person, seeing as the only recorded music they’ve released to this point has been in a couple of videos.

From what little I have heard, I keep coming back to early TV On the Radio, which is no bad thing, although I tend to think Satellite D’Homme gravitates more to the soul side of things that TOtR ever has (also no bad thing). There’s a bit of Tax the Wolf’s proggy-ness poking out from behind the curtain, too, which is nice to see, especially since it’s never over the top. Fingers crossed for an actually release from these guys, and hopefully soon.
[Satellite D’Homme plays at 12AM at The Continental Club.]


 

thewanderingbufaleros1The Wandering Bufaleros
Yep, it’s Houston’s answer to The Traveling Wilburys, a mostly-rotating supergroup of stellar local musician types that shifts so dang fast I’m actually not sure who the heck is in the band at this point. I know one of the prime movers is Dwight Taylor Lee of Finnegan and The Literary Greats, along with Brandon Elam from the latter band and Sara Van Buskirk from the former, but there’s also contributions by Benjamin Wesley, Tyagaraja, and David Lascoe of Poor Pilate, among others. Seriously, if there’s a roots-/Americana-ish band in town, at least one of its members has popped up as a Bufalero at some point.

And me, I think that’s awesome, because not only is the music genuinely great in a clean-but-rough roots-rock kind of way, merging old-school country with Tom Petty and Son Volt, but it’s terrific to hear all these folks who might never have worked together singing on the same track. Heck, here’s an example, with the aforementioned Benjamin Wesley and Whitney Mower trading vocals on “Engineered”.

[The Wandering Bufaleros play at 8PM at The Continental Club.]


 

phew. Alright, that’s all I can do for now; I’ll try to get one more installment up tonight if at all possible, and if not, well, I’ll see everybody tomorrow over in the Mid-Main ‘hood, right?

(Photos [top to bottom]: Electric Attitude; Cosmic Bug Loaf; Glass the Sky; Antiques; The Docs; Sphynx; Satellite D’Homme; The Wandering Bufaleros. The Docs photo by Ashley White; The Wandering Bufaleros photo by Josephine Heidepriem.)


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One Response to “Madness on Main Street Rundown, Pt. 3: Electric Attitude + Cosmic Bug Loaf + Glass the Sky + Antiques + The Docs + Sphynx + Satellite D’Homme + The Wandering Bufaleros”

  1. Marc Badillo on May 9th, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    The sphynx rock!! I’m so there!

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