Live Shots

The Hightailers
Spin and Marty's Annual Mobile Party
Sunday, September 4

The vanload of missing musicians finally checked in at around 10:30 the next morning, from somewhere in Louisiana. Things like this happen during Spin and Marty's Annual Mobile Party featuring the Hightailers. The tradition began several years ago when the HPD supplemented its usual response to parties at the Reverend Brian Taylor's house with a helicopter. Taylor realized for a certainty that if the Hightailers played outdoors, the cops were gonna show. So to keep the party alive, it was decided to put the band on a trailer and turn it into a moving target.

This year's Mobile Party, after leaving the Blue Moon on Shepherd, first made a quick stop in the Heights to play for a homebound friend of many of the artists in the procession. The next stop was Mr. Porter's house, a Fourth Ward folk-art environment. The neighbors at first looked on with amusement at the crowd dancing in their street, and then joined in themselves. The convoy then proceeded to the newly opened Urban Art Bar for yet another session of tie-dyed R&B. After sundown, another drive -- this time to a Buddhist temple east of downtown -- resulted in a dynamic guest appearance by Eric Dane of the Imperial Monkeys, who replaced Alan "Dogman" Miller on guitar after the latter succumbed to the tequila-induced rainbow yawns en route.

The evening's final destination was underneath I-45, where as diverse a group as can be imagined continued the celebration in the finest manner possible -- bereft of noise permits and other adult

-- Jim Sherman

Dry Nod
Tuesday, September 6

There is a land where art, independent principles and noise meet in a glorious union of all that is true. Unfortunately, art, independent principles and noise are also the first three defenses grasped by almost any old band, and such is the case with Dry Nod.

Art? Well, there were those "Frequent Urination," "Vomiting" and "Diarrhea" cartoons as backdrop. There was also an out-of-place French horn. Not that I've got anything in particular against the instrument; it's just that since I couldn't hear the thing, it was much too easy to think of it as a joke.

Indie principles? They were too numerous even to roll call fully: a vacuous stage presence, a suitably droning sound, etc.

The noise was, however, occasionally on the mark. There were points in the set, in fact, when one could be excused for showing interest, despite the above affectations. Times when the guitars, drums and bass (but never the horn) melded into one throbbing sound and prompted a listener to nod along. But the moments passed as fleetingly as they arose, and it became painfully obvious that the band has yet to construct a full song despite all of its credible atmospherics.

Under the wire in a bad way (they didn't break it; they crawled below it) and somewhat lacking in the effort department, Dry Nod, in the end, won't force you from a room, but neither will they draw you to it.

-- Chris Smith


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