Is Houston Goth Turning Towards Deathrock?
Ending the Vicious Cycle
Photo by Jef With One F
Traditionally, Houston's contribution to the world of goth music has been primarily electronic-based. During the '90s and early 21st century, bands like Bamboo Crisis, M87 and Asmodeus X helped the city gain a reputation as a hot spot of dark EBM and techno-industrial all across the country.
Even today the biggest goth act in the city is //TENSE//, but there may be signs that deathrock is poised to ascend to a higher role.
Kris Prudhomme of the Unholy Burial booking company is looking to bring deathrock acts to Houston regularly. He's already getting plenty of practice setting up the Age of Decay festival with Gothic Council member Alethea Carr in Jacksonville, Fla., next month. Our own Ex-Voto, one of the few local deathrock acts, is slated to headline the event.
Here at home, Prudhomme is in final negotiations with longtime goth haven Numbers and promoter Carmina Bell to feature live acts at the iconic club. Concerts are scheduled to begin in June of this year, with DJ Frankie Fang is co-producing the deal.
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"Me and Franki have been bugging Carmina about this for a while now, and we're hoping with enough nudges she'll understand that yes she can make money off of this," says Prudhomme via email shortly before heading on L.A. to work on deals with positive West Coast acts.
Making money on the deal is certainly a possibility. Ex-Voto and side project the Stage Frights have been drawing nice crowds and receiving a good deal of attention. Another Texas act, Ending the Vicious Cycle, has also made a deep impression in Houston with a November 2011 concert that had the Numbers crowd absolutely spellbound.
Among the acts that Prudhomme is interested in showcasing are Fangs on Fur, a girl-fronted acts that uses Dick Dale guitar lines to dazzle the listener, and Strap On Halo, A more traditional Nebraska act that harkens back to the style of our own sadly defunct Sinister Sirens.
Christ vs. Warhol, whose frantic and electrifying dark rock debut album Dissent, was recorded and mixed by the one and only William Faith of Faith and the Muse in 2010. Any and all of them would make for some amazing shows.
Until the summer rolls around we'll have to be content with the deathrock DJ nights that Prudhomme is hosting at AvantGarden with longtime goth scenester Augustine Strange. The first of these is this week, and will offer a good look at the kind of music that Prudhomme hopes to promote in Houston over our traditional electronic fare.
It's unlikely to topple the EBM bands from their place, but there is more than enough room in this town to expand the selection and type of goth that can draw a crowd here.
"One of the loudest voices that Kris and I keep hearing from goths is that people are tired of having a few old school, overplayed songs and very little recognition of the new goth music that is constantly being recorded," said Alethea Carr in an interview last year on Age of Decay.
"Also, giving up time and space in a goth night for other genres like techno, EBM, and metal has been a source of frustration for so many people."
We'll see how if the rockers can hang with the beepity-boops in H-town.
9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 17 at AvantGarden, 411 Westheimer.
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