Over the Weekend: My Jerusalem, Aaron Barker, Bad Design Bryan Street Tavern November 18
Better than: driving to Iowa, covered head-to-toe in OSU gear, expecting a blowout victory.
In the middle of My Jerusalem's 12-song set on Friday night, frontman Jeff Klein quipped that the band would come back to Dallas if everybody in the audience brought 30 friends to the next show. Considering that the audience for the Austin-based band's Friday show could be counted on both hands, his offer was understandable.
Crowd size withstanding, My Jerusalem was pretty spot-on.
The band's six members -- some playing multiple instruments -- completely filled Bryan Street's tiny stage. They showcased a number of songs from their Gone for Good album, such as "Sleepwalking" and "Shake the Devil Out of Me," keeping a pace of pace of slower material mixed with uptempo stuff. Simple folk, light psychedelic and tangy pop all held together well.
Klein, with a bushy beard and a red flannel shirt, looked like a young Bob Seger, yet he wasn't humming any tunes from 1962. Given his time working with Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan, the fact that Klein's voice sometimes sounded like his collaborators was no surprise. There was some of Lanegan's huskiness and some of Dulli's unshackled emotion. Yet, Klein didn't sound like he was aping those two.
Denton-based Bad Design opened things a few minutes after 10 o'clock. Recalling a sound like many of the bands that inhabited Rubber Gloves in the late '90s, there were chords and turns in their songs like the ones found in songs by Jawbox and Ten Grand.
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Dallas' Aaron Barker played after My Jerusalem, but it was no headlining slot. He played to a grand total of four people (including the soundman and this reviewer) while plenty of others remained in the main room and the porch. It was the epitome of DFL (Dead Fuckin' Last).
Barker played by himself with a bass drum in front of his right foot, a guitar strapped around his waist, a harmonica in front of his neck, and a distorted microphone in front of his lips. Frustratingly, his blues stomp was far too repetitive, whether it was chord choice or lyrics.
Critic's Notebook Personal bias: I once played the Ridglea Theater to three people, including the soundman. No, not the upstairs lounge -- the main room.
Random quote: "I'm Jewish, we don't do Thanksgiving," joked Klein towards the end of My Jerusalem's set.