Eighth place in your face

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"Most of the kids are there [at a show] to really see the band," he says. "They're not there to be seen."

Incidentally, Thomas works as a therapist, where he often consoles teens. Some of his young patients have even shown up at his shows, but the fact that he sings for a band in the local music scene isn't something he mentions at work. It's not only unprofessional, but maybe even disconcerting, he imagines, for one of his young patients to see him bawling into a microphone as though he were going through scream therapy. And don't expect an obvious connection between what Thomas does as a therapist and what he sings for Slow Roosevelt: Career and band are separate, he maintains, and in fact there really is no point in delving into deeper meaning behind the lyrics or song titles. Most of what Thomas sings makes about as much sense as the end of "Once Upon a Drunk:" "Sometimes I sit back and think about how different my life would be if I were Snoop Doggy Dog."

Huh? Sometimes, as he tells the listener, it's best to "just hear my empty point."

Taking a break from their Tuesday night rehearsal, Thomas and Minyard grab dinner at a Whataburger. Lyons and Sodders pass on food but listen as Thomas tells them that One Ton president Aden Holt has chosen their contribution to Sandy Does Dallas as the one to push aggressively for wider airplay across the country.

There's also the possibility that Sandy, along with Slow Roosevelt, could be mentioned in Entertainment Weekly. There's an article in the works--maybe for an issue as early as December--that would focus on interest in Grease as the latest in pop culture nostalgia.

Though it was Slow Roosevelt's first choice, "Greased Lightning" almost wasn't theirs: It had been given to another band. Instead, the four spent three weeks struggling to turn "Sandy"--their original song--into something that they felt could work with their sound.

"It was really hard for us because 'Sandy' is this ballad-type song," Lyons admits. Then the band that was supposed to do "Greased Lightning" dropped out, and Slow Roosevelt immediately snapped it up, recording it in less than a day.

"Greased Lightning" is the best cut on Sandy, cranked up with a rapid-fire intensity that's as deliriously dizzy as a spin in a mosh pit. The song has become so associated with the band that audiences have begun to request it, but they've forgotten how to play it; they may dust it off for future gigs.

Somehow the subject turns to the band Garbage. Thomas groans, remembering a magazine article in which its lead singer, Shirley Manson, said she was only interested in men who would let her urinate on them. Thomas calls her a good example of the rock star pretension that he so loathes.

Perhaps she was only kidding when she made that comment; maybe she was daring the public to take her seriously. Thomas considers the possibility that he and Ms. Manson could be kindred spirits.

"Maybe," he says, then snorts cynically. "But she probably meant it--after all, she's...what, English, right?"

Actually, she's Scottish.
Thomas doesn't respond, but the dismissive way he shakes his head fairly shouts "same difference."

Slow Roosevelt plays Saturday, December 21 at The Impala in Fort Worth and New Year's Eve at the Orbit Room.

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Howard Wen