Run its Course

A decade later, Course of Empire utters its last words

Apparently, they needed label and radio support they never received. Apparently, they needed a fan base that existed outside of Deep Ellum. Apparently, they needed more than just a great live show and two good albums. They needed everything they never had.

"I'm proud of the records we've made," Stevenson says. "We've made mistakes like everyone else, and it took us longer to get stuff out than I would have liked. I'm proud of the music. But I'm frustrated we didn't have a little more success so we could continue to do it without the day-to-day of the financial problems of it. I am sure everybody wants to have done better, but I'm not disappointed. Not at all."

Pulling Pranks
Ah, the mystique. So much for would-be rock stars panting after the press: Wiring Prank--a group of youngsters from Dallas-Denton-Fort Worth and places in between--won't talk to the Observer or any other publication just yet, but that doesn't mean that we won't talk about them. In their two-plus years of existence, the quartet has played only a few shows, has put out one 7-inch and has never had its picture taken, and the members are hard as hell to get hold of (think Bedhead's non-image image gone awry). Nonetheless, the group's recent show at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios in Denton (the only place they seem to play), proved what word-of-mouth had rumored: Wiring Prank is pretty damned good. A solid case of guitar layering--dissonance over melody over sustain--paired with a determined lack of vocals and refusal to make eye contact with the audience makes for an interesting live-show experience, the trump card being purely sonic: melancholy progressions and gut-wrenching resolves. Pretension aside, the band is a bright spot (can a bright spot be brooding?) in a region teeming with crappy music. They play only a few times a year, so keep an eye out for their name in the listings; they may play again in August, and hope to hit the studio around that time as well (OK, so one member spilled those few beans).

--Christina Rees

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