After the three-and-a-half hour drive from Dallas I decided to start the evening off right at Hut's Hamburgers before finally checking out some music. Here's what I saw. Now it's time for breakfast tacos at Nueva Onda and more bands in the beautiful Austin sunshine, but more on that later...
Band: Port O' Brien
Where: Buffalo Billiards
What It Was Like: I first caught Port O'Brien a year and half ago when they played Good Records in front of approximately 8 people--this crowd was considerably bigger. Despite some serious soundcheck issues, the band sounded great from the get-go, alternating between raging Crazy Horse-meets-Meat Puppets rockers and windswept acoustic songs that played on lead singer Van Pierszalowski's sea-going roots. As the sometimes salmon fisherman put it one song--"You are a fisherman's son/that is what you will become." The band's energy was infectious, with plenty of crowd members volunteering to bang on pots and pans for the band's most popular song, the rambunctious scream-a-long "I Woke Up Today".
Verdict: There's a reason why M. Ward once gave these guys a shout-out in a Pitchfork interview--they're a great live band.
Random Note: Lead singer Van Pierszalowski looks a little like that guy that played the professor in Good Will Hunting.
Band: Those Darlins
Where: Clud DeVille
What It Was Like: Three saucy ladies from Murfreesboro, Tennessee meet at a roller derby match, bond over their love of classic country, girl groups and the Cramps and decide to form a band. Seriously, though--I only caught the last four or so songs. What I saw was a little drunken, endearingly sloppy and definitely fun, though I'm not sure how well songs like "I Got A DUI" and "The Whole Damn Thing" (a catchy ditty about eating chicken) would translate on record.
Verdict: This band would kill at the Double-wide. Definitely worth checking out at Lola's if you're over in Fort Worth Saturday.
Random Note: Jim Croce may or may not have risen from the dead to play drums in this band.
Where: Club DeVille
What It Was Like: Since I was only able to catch a few songs through a foggy window outside of the sweltering Mountain House show in East Dallas Tuesday night (Big thanks to the guy that wiped the fog off the window between songs), it was nice to be front and center to see the band perform it's new record, the Willie Nelson tribute To Willie, in its entirety. Well, nearly anyway--they had to cut two songs but still managed to whip the crowd into a frenzy, with singer-songwriter Matthew Houck wringing every drop of emotion from Nelson's poetry and the band nailing the funky groove that eludes most alt-country bands when they try to mimic the sounds of classic 70s country-rock.
Verdict:To Willie is easily my favorite album of the year so far, so I'm a little biased, but this set was greatness.
Random Note: Phosphorescent's drummer is a dead ringer for the Angelus' Emil Rapstine. And speaking of drummers, Fleet Foxes skinsman J. Tillman took in Phosphorescent's set with a supermodel-gorgeous lady on his arm.
Band: Deer Tick
Where: Club DeVille
What It Was Like: Kinda boring, honestly. The first song, which veered from some kind of Southern math-rock intro into a trucker surf tune, didn't really capture my interest considering the sets I'd seen earlier. So I split.
Verdict: Probably the best band in Providence, Rhode Island by default.
Random Note: I still have to give them props for an awesome album cover.
Where: The Parish
What It Was LIke: From the looks of things the Parish emptied out after Black Key Dan Auerbach's solo set, but anyone that didn't stick around to see his backing band--San Antonio's Hacienda--missed out on some fine Nuggets-inspired rock and roll.
Verdict: Fans of Dr. Dog or the Sir Douglas Quintet should definitely check these guys out.
Random Note: The guitarist had easily the coolest belt buckle I've ever seen, but unfortunately photographic evidence evaded us.