By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Reject the marketing:In my opinion, anyone who takes seriously a statement like "If you don't want people to hear your music, then why bother making it at all?" has no business using the term "indie rock" [Racket, by John Nova Lomax, February 20]. Where has Mr. Lomax been for the past 20 years? Independent music in America was built on a near-total rejection of the kind of marketing that Mr. Grulke represents.
Not that I bear any ill will toward SXSW or any particular love for Houston, but I could do without bullshit like this: "Once you [get people to hear your music], Grulke says, then you can start talking about integrity." As if integrity were something we owed to commercial success and not to our own character. Honestly, who does Racket think he is to tell people how to run their own bands -- and lives -- with integrity?
If there is any band that represents the true "soul" of Houston, that would be Rusted Shut. As Houston vies for America's fattest, most polluted, most death row, greediest, most enigmatic titles, Houston is a cacophony of chaos that masquerades as a city.
This cacophony has been Houston's contribution to 20th-century American music: noise, abstraction, toughness, psychedelia, grunge. Houston is often 20 years ahead of other cities. Seattle would be nothing if not for Houston's innovations. What Mr. Lomax may be dismissing as passé or trite is merely that the world has slowly been catching up with Rusted Shut.
I have met people who have moved to Houston because Rusted Shut lives and plays here. This is not Don and Sybil's first trip to SXSW. Rusted Shut was chosen by committee members, some of who have been influenced by their product.
The coordinators of SXSW seem to know something that Mr. Lomax does not. Though it is almost certain that Rusted Shut will not be doing duets with Tony Bennett anytime soon, Rusted Shut's draw is unmistakable.