"I didn't even know he'd heard of us," said Dufilho, who'd already played a set that night at Room 710 attended by Apples in Stereo vocalist Robert Schneider. DRD will be playing some upcoming West Coast gigs with buzz band Louis XIV. They start in Los Angeles on March 23.
Deathray wasn't quite so lucky on Saturday afternoon. Their outdoor show at the Summer Break Records party was rained out and almost ruined--that is, until Pleasant Grove vocalist Marcus Striplin, aka "The Striplinator," saved the day with a gonzo storytelling and instrument-banging session that included a reminiscence about Striplin setting his back yard on fire and improv songs with such sample lines as "I'm a rapper/I'm a soul-sucking slapper." Striplin was joined by DRD members Dufilho, Jason Garner and Kevin Ingle, who kept the beat while a few dozen people enjoyed the kind of brilliant nonsense that only works when it isn't planned. Later, when asked why he jumped onstage, Striplin explained he was "stoned out of his fucking mind."
It should be noted that, prior to the turbo-pot, Striplin and his band gave a stellar performance. Ditto for Peter Schmidt, Dallas' Elvis Costello, who apologized for the dourness of his music with typical aplomb and humility: "It's not exactly afternoon material," he said, "but it's all I've got."
The Burden Brothers scored a plum spot as the second openers for Billy Idol at Stubb's. (The Donnas played in between, all pout and no delivery.) The packed audience threw up their devil horns for a polished set that included a cover of The Faces' "Stay With Me." But I was nothing short of creeped out by the pummeling closer, "Dirty Sanchez," which sounded like the frat-boy anthem for date rape. That was somewhat eased by front man Vaden Todd Lewis "geeking out" over Idol's upcoming set. I do like it when tough rockers get dorky.
Denton stalwarts Centro-matic landed a last-minute opening spot on the Robert Plant bill, going on at 8:45 p.m. (Sweden's Soundtrack of Our Lives played just prior to Plant.) Rushmore sweetheart Jason Schwartzman was spotted in the audience. (See "Spotted" on page 64 for more celebrity sightings.)
Chomsky played its first set in months following an "indefinite hiatus" that most of us interpreted to mean The End. The show, an afternoon set at Hot Shots, included one new song, and band members say they're back at work on new material.