Yes, Indeed! 2016 Rundown, Pt. 2: Jody Seabody & The Whirls + Only Beast + DASHR + Bernie Pink + La Sien + PuraPharm + Mockingbird Brother + Jealous Creatures

jodyseabodyandthewhirls1[UPDATED 9/16/16: The Yes, Indeed! organizers have released the actual set times, so I’ve added them to the listings below. Be warned, of course, that things do change…]

Alright, and here we are again, with Round Two of our little writeups for this Saturday‘s (September 17th, for the calendar-less) Yes, Indeed! Music Festival, slated to explode into the area east of Downtown, right around Warehouse Live, wedged in between the George R. Brown Convention Center and the BBVA Compass Stadium.

The venues for this weekend will be Warehouse Live‘s Studio and Green Room stages, geek hangout Neil’s Bahr (which I hear is very cool), and coffeehouse Ahh, Coffee! (which is apparently the in-house coffeeshop for roasters Argus Coffee Co.).

Now, I must admit to having some sadness about the shift from Mid-Main to the new ‘hood, because in the past I’ve really enjoyed strolling around the bars, shops, and restaurants as I bounce from one stage to the next. I know the area around Warehouse Live has gotten livelier over the past few years, but it’s not a part of town I’m super-familiar with, at least not these days, y’know? I guess we’ll have to see how it goes…

Anyway, 25 awesomely excellent bands and musicians will be playing, and all for $20, which means you’re actually paying less than $1 per band ($0.80/band, to be precise). That’s a price that’s hard to beat.

Alright, let’s get to it — here’re the randomly-selected music-making types we’re talking about this time out (and if you missed the previous installment, head on over here):

Jody Seabody & The Whirls
Oh, man. I’ve been desperately needing to catch up with Jody Seabody & The Whirls (that’s just the name of the band, by the by; there is no “Jody Seabody” in reality), but never seemed to get the time. In fact, I shamefacedly have to admit that I only recently got to check out last year’s Holographic Slammer. sigh.

That sucks, because it’s seriously, seriously addictive, and I’m now kicking myself for not getting off my ass and hearing it sooner. The band’s trademark retro-/classic rock-leaning sound is still intact, but I think with a much bigger psych-rock influence than I’ve heard on their previous stuff; it’s a great shift, definitely, adding a nicely fuzzy-edged, brightly-colored haze to the whole proceedings. Whereas 2012’s Summer Us was straight-up bluesy rock, Slammer feels more like the hazier side of the ’60s and ’70s, bringing to mind vintage Floyd and Doors in equal measure (the organ sound, especially, on the Doors side).

And yeah, it’s fucking great. I know I’m late to the party — sorry about that, Jody Seabody dudes — but I’m pretty sure Holographic Slammer is the best thing this band’s ever done. As proof, here’s the band’s new trippy-as-hell video for “Summery Zen”
[Jody Seabody & The Whirls plays at 9:30PM at the Frank’s Pizza Stage (Neil’s Bahr).]


onlybeast1Only Beast
Another band I’ve been meaning to see live for a long damn time now, although even moreso than Jody Seabody, above, because I don’t think I’ve ever gotten to see Only Beast live and in person, despite various plans & whatnot to do so over the past few years. They’re a damn talented trio that straddles the line between metallic rock and indie-rock, with elements of blues and prog-rock floating around in there, and frontwoman Danielle Renee‘s intense, dynamic vocals.

It’s tempting to say Renee’s the real draw, honestly — her voice brings to mind Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker at times, and Siouxsie Sioux at others, with a power and range that’s freaking incredible. That’d do a disservice to bandmates Peter Bernick (guitar/bass) and John Salinas (drums), however, and that’d be a damn shame, because they’re supremely talented in their own right. Bernick’s guitar lines (I think they play bass-less live, but I’ve hardly noticed it in the videos) are spiraling and winding, with just a hint of backwoodsiness, making me think of the Grifters, while Salinas has his hands full anchoring the chaos all on his lonesome and does an admirable job of it.
[Only Beast plays at 8:30PM at the Frank’s Pizza Stage (Neil’s Bahr).]


This is a nice change to see from the Y,I!/MOM crew, at least to me; festivals past have been pretty eclectic, generally, but there’s always been very limited EDM/DJ representation at these shows, with the focus being mostly on “live” bands and musicians. Which, hey, I get — believe me, there’s a lot of EDM that doesn’t make me do much more than shrug. That said, EDM is a burgeoning, healthy, rabid part of the music scene here in Houston, so it’s cool to see at least one representative on the bill.

Of course, none of that would matter a bit if the music sucked, but happily, it doesn’t. It’s playful and relatively cheery, not the least bit dark or aggro; if anything, it makes me think of Moby circa Play, with tracks that are heavily “cinematic”-sounding in nature, lots of tinky piano, and slowly-shifting rhythms under ethereal synth washes. Interestingly, DASHR — real name Dash Speer — is also a songwriter, so I guess this is just the EDM side of his work. Makes me curious to hear what else he does, too…
[DASHR plays at 6:15PM at the Lynchpin Audio Stage (Warehouse Live Green Room).]


berniepink1Bernie Pink
And then, switching gears completely, we come to Bernie Pink, who play the rawest, grimiest, no-frills-est garage-post-punk I’ve heard in a while. No pretty, delicate sounds here, no way; this is all scraping, distorted guitars, rumbling bass, stuttering drums, spoken/howled vocals, and subversive melodies buried deep beneath the noise.

It’s not straight-ahead streetpunk or anything quite that simplistic, mind you, but has actually a lot of complexity entombed in that sound, with some heavily psych-influenced parts, plus a weirdly funky tinge that makes it all come off like Gang of Four covering the Dead Boys. That may not sound like much fun to you, I’ll admit, but from where I’m sitting, it’s got a ton of promise. They don’t have a lot out just yet, it seems like, but I’m definitely curious to hear more of it, soon.
[Bernie Pink plays at 6:30PM at the Frank’s Pizza Stage (Neil’s Bahr).]


lasien1La Sien
Here’s another band that’s been around for quite a while now but which I’ve never really gotten to take a serious listen to, unfortunately. It’s partly because La Sien sing (almost always?) in Spanish, of which I don’t speak much at all, despite living in Texas for the bulk of my life. It’s not a deal-breaker, mind you, but it definitely makes it harder for me to get into something if I can’t understand it, y’know? (This may, incidentally, be why I’ve never been able to get excited about opera.)

That said, these dudes are one extremely tight, well-put-together rock band, in any language. The music itself is seriously well-crafted, rivaling any alt-rock band out there. As you might guess, there’s a distinct Latin-American influence to the music, but it never overshadows the band’s other aspects, and that’s a very good thing. La Sien manage to pull together a whole ton of disparate musical strands and make ’em work. Whether I can comprehend the lyrics or not, it’s still impressive.
[La Sien plays at 10:15PM at the Lynchpin Audio Stage (Warehouse Live Green Room).]


We’ve got a real-live Yes, Indeed!/Madness on Main Street veteran, right here — this’ll be either the third or fourth Y,I!/MOM festival for PuraPharm, a run which started waaaay back at the first-ever Yes, Indeed!, where they played outside right at sunset in the yard of a random house down the street from the Last Concert Cafe (The Doctor’s Office, maybe? I can’t recall for sure). While I knew who they were, I’d never heard or seen ’em, so I was intrigued and stopped for a bit to watch.

I wasn’t disappointed. Like Only Beast’s Danielle Renee, singer/guitarist/keyboardist Tessa Kole has a hell of a powerful voice, one that can go from a quiet, fragile croon to a full-throated roar in a split-second, and live she and the band were mesmerizing. Musically, they’re hard to pin down, coming off like Concrete Blonde or Siouxsie and the Banshees on one song and then abruptly shifting gears into some sleek, atmospheric, old-school dreampop the next, and then transitioning just as swiftly into heavy, Jefferson Airplane-esque retro-psych-rock for the following song. And throughout, there’s kind of a weird hippie/mystic vibe going on, floating just beneath the surface. It’s neat, murky, gorgeously lush stuff, and I’d sincerely recommend catching ’em yourself.
[PuraPharm plays at 9:15PM at the Lynchpin Audio Stage (Warehouse Live Green Room).]


mockingbirdbrother1Mockingbird Brother
Remember Giant Battle Monster? If you’re at all a fan of strange/noisy music in this city, you should (and if not, shame on you, ’cause they were fantastic). Well, GBM’s Chris Dunaway has scarcely stopped moving since that band called it a day, and he’s been bouncing from one outfit to another seemingly on a monthly basis, starting or joining Devil Killing Moth, MOTHS, and Fox & Cats (R.I.P.), among others.

So, what’s he up to right now, you ask? Well, it’s a little thing called Mockingbird Brother, with DKM cohort Hector Oviedo and now ex-{Love Knife}/Black Lodge dude Phillip Zimmerle, and I’m liking the hell out of the teeny-tiny bit I’ve been able to hear so far. It’s got the proggy, weird-time stuff I’d expect going on, of course, but at the same time it’s way more accessible and indie-rock-like than anything I’ve heard from Dunaway up to this point. Come to think of it, it really makes me think of Muhammad Ali, with its all-out homage to ’90s indie-rock heroes, albeit with more of a prog-rock bent to it.

Like I said, they don’t have much available yet, but I’m told it’s on the way, and I’m psyched.
[Mockingbird Brother plays at 4:30PM at the Frank’s Pizza Stage (Neil’s Bahr).]


jealouscreatures1Jealous Creatures
Last up for the evening, before I very literally fall down and pass out (it’s been a rough several weeks), is a band near and dear to my heart, the awesome Jealous Creatures. I feel like I talk about these folks all the dang time, but honestly, I can’t help it; I just love what they do. They’ve got such a neat, unique sound, melding an out-West, dusty, windswept feel with bluesy, moody vocals and rough-edged indie-rawk, that just hearing one of their songs come up on the MP3 player in the car makes me grin. It helps, too, that the folks in their band are all the nicest freaking people you’ll ever meet. It’s a little weird, actually, given how gloomy and bitter the music can sometimes get…

See, the songs are dark and grim, spinning out half-revealed truths that make you wonder if it wouldn’t be better to not know what’s going on, in the end; singer/guitarist Sarah Hirsch takes the best of Margo Timmins, Debbie Harry, and Liz Phair and makes it all into something completely her own, and it’s magnetic to witness, as she and guitarist Ian Hlavacek roar and bash away up there on the stage, while bassist Meghan Anderson serenely rocks out and drummer Josh Barry does his level best to destroy the drum kit. It’s not hyperbole when I say that Jealous Creatures are one of my favorite bands out there (and I’m not talking just Houston), hands down.
[Jealous Creatures plays at 7:45PM at the Heights Guitar Tech Stage (Ahh, Coffee!).]


And with that, I’m crashing for the night; more to come tomorrow, so keep checking back, alright?

(Photos: Only Beast photo by Jenn Medina/Medina Photography; Jealous Creatures photo by Erika Garcia.)

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