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Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Members of local rockers American Fangs battle a self-proclaimed vampire on tour.

DM: Wow, that's deep. I've got to remember that one.

RO: For lack of a better word, they're very sexy, like songs you'd put on for a make-out session.

DM [laughs]: Yeah, well, that never hurt any record sales, I don't think.

Live, Dillinger Escape Plan's music is both complex and devastating.
The Windish Agency
Live, Dillinger Escape Plan's music is both complex and devastating.
Willie D.
Peter Beste
Willie D.

RO: Before we go, we want to ask if you've got any special memories of Houston.

DM [clears throat, laughs]: I'll just say this: Houston is loaded with some of the most brazen women in the world.

RO: Oh? You want to explain?

DM: Man, I better not start telling tales. I'll just say I've been to a lot of places in Houston where I started out being the life of the party and ended up feeling like the world's biggest fool. Houston's one reason I'm kind of over women. I don't need no more of that kind of trouble.

RO: Houston is getting a lot of national press right now as being a great place to live or visit.

DM: Maybe so, but honestly, I've never figured Houston out. A man can sure get in some trouble there, though.

Blind, Crippled and Crazy will be released June 18 on New West Records.
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Live Shots

Danger Ahead
The five most insane acts to see live right now.

Corey Deiterman

I don't know about most people, but my favorite thing about seeing a band live is the energy. I just can't get enough of the frenetic intensity that pervades shows and runs back and forth between the manic audience and the performer, even if the actual playing is off because of it.

When a performer is bored or listless, even if he or she gets all the notes right, it kills me. I guess that's why I like seeing punk rock bands more than folk artists.

Sometimes it can be hard to find that ultimate bit of pure magic, though. Plenty of bands bring the right vibe to the table, but it's a lot harder to find the kind that I like the most: one that plays heavy, fast music like cracked-out acrobats.

5. Touche Amore: One of the best post-hardcore bands to come out in years, and one of the most energetic bands out there today, Touche Amore perfectly employs the classic sounds of "emo" (before it turned into pop-punk) and hardcore to make incredible two-minute bursts of lightning in musical form.

Their live shows are absolutely awesome and feature groups of hundreds of kids chanting every single word, the band going nuts, and lots of crowd surfing and stage diving. In other words, Touche Amore in 2013 is everything that was great about live punk shows in the '80s.

4. Trash Talk: When it comes to Trash Talk, the band loses it, the audience loses it, everyone loses it. No one is left standing still, and those who are often get knocked out. Literally. I've seen it ­happen.

If you can handle the inherent danger in being in the audience for a Trash Talk show, though, it's one of the most fun live experiences out there. And much credit to front man Lee Spielman, who gives every single show his all, even when he has a broken leg, as he did at their SXSW show this year.

3. Converge: Converge aren't quite the acrobats onstage, but their intensity and passion are almost unrivaled. Front man Jacob Bannon's connection with fans is unparalleled, and the emotion that pours through in each and every performance he gives is overwhelming. With music as crushing and affecting as Converge's, it would seem hard to sustain such unbridled enthusiasm. One might think the misery would eventually give way to boredom, but Converge hasn't lost a step over the years.

2. B L A C K I E (All Caps With Spaces): B L A C K I E's shows are the kind parents will tell their kids about in 20 years. They're the kind of thing that might not last forever, but will live in infamy long after he decides to stop doing all this crazy shit. And luckily for us, we don't have to go far or wait very long to see him, since B L A C K I E is Houston born and bred.

The intensity he brings defies naming, genre or explanation. Most artists are lucky to have one show on a tour that matches this kind of insanity, but B L A C K I E brings it every single time he performs. Of course, in Houston it's a lot more fun because we get it.

1. Dillinger Escape Plan: The scene: Revolver's Golden God Awards 2013. The band: The Dillinger Escape Plan. Just as they launched into "When I Lost My Bet," their latest single from their new album One of Us Is the Killer, front man Greg Puciato, bloody-faced and stalking the stage, shouted at the audience, "This is real shit, motherfuckers!"

This band is made up of some of the most talented, accomplished instrumentalists in rock music today, but what makes their live shows so insane is that they mix their particular form of already intense music with some of the craziest, most intense showmanship in the business. On top of it all, they never miss a beat despite the intricate complexities of their music.
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