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Drums and Tuba

Sunday, May 22, at Rudyard's, 2010 Waugh Drive, 713-521-0521.

Live, Austin's Drums and Tuba leaves jaws hanging on the ground and renders categorization useless. Unfortunately, to date, the band's records haven't come close to capturing its onstage glory. Among the wealth of ingredients dumped on its Chicago-style jagged rock are a groove that makes jam-band fans spin like tops, a touch of Philip Glass minimalism, and shades of progressive electronica, prog rock and modern jazz. Each of the three musicians (guitar, drums and tuba) loops his parts in real time, and the tuba player acts as a live mixer, weaving everyone's sampled lines in and out of the mix. At times, there are six parts going at once, which seems gimmicky on paper but flows seamlessly in person. Brian Wolff's tuba sometimes sounds like a bass, and Neal McKeeby's guitar skills are monstrous. Playing two guitars at once, he gives experimental maestros such as Adrian Belew and Chris Haskett a run for their money without looking like he's showing off.

 
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