Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too.
Who? Bassist and singer Bradley Munoz was an instrumental part of Female Demand before going the solo electronic route, and is now the man behind P.L.X.T.X. (pronounced Pluto). However, both were/are highly experimental noise bands that scream staticky truth at the top of their voices. Earlier this year I had a chance to dive headfirst into the insanity that is Female Demand's Outside the Universe and the experience damn near deafened me, to say nothing of the madness you court listening to it.
Then there's Munoz's solo work. I'd put off listening to Time for the same reason I've never bought any more Mark Z. Danielewski novels... I haven't recovered from the first one yet. Time does show a different side of Munoz's abilities. Eighty percent of it is the fast, Atari Teenage Riot-style anarchy that we've come to expect, but "Explosions Will Configure This World" is a haunting, ambient masterpiece that belongs on the iPod of any Houstonians who fancy themselves edgy.
Home Base: Munoz does all his crafting in a shed out behind his parents' house, and then uses a makeshift studio in order to record everything. As far as playing around town, no particular stage has built a birdhouse in his soul. They've all been pretty amiable to him as far as he's concerned.
Good War Story: "In my old project we used to gun to L.A. for weekend shows," begins Munoz. "Shitty, shitty weekend shows."
We did this twice. Wake up early in the morning. DRIVE THROUGH TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, ARIZONA for a FUCKING SHOW. IN A DAY! IN A FUCKING DAY. Then when Sunday arrives we DRIVE BACK! On the same route back home, IN A FUCKING DAY so I can get back to work for a shit part-time job.
Everything paid by me. We drove through snow in west Texas coming back on our first trip, 2 a.m. in the morning. We got home around noon-ish. Road warriors. Can you say, dedication?
Why Do You Stay in Houston? "Why the fuck not?", he says. "It's HOUSTON. There's no place like it. I was planning to move away for a little bit, but I said no and decided on staying here. HOUSTON TEXAS! ALWAYS!"
Music Scene Pet Peeves: "Fuck... I don't know. I'll say the clique-y circles of people you have to deal with and they think they are all better than you 'cause you don't live inside the loop or hang out at Montrose/Washington/Midtown/whatever bars," Munoz says. "It's a lot of 'who you know' and if you're 'cool' and if your music is 'trendy' or you 'dress' like the carbon copies that Hollywood or New York shits out. That's my pet peeve. The shit elites that say what's up and what's down.
"But that's everywhere," he continues. "There's a lot of 'scenes' in Houston. A lot! You got the noise scene, the punk scene, electronic scene, the industrial scene, classical, metal, buzz-rock, hip hop, pop, etc... I don't know where to dive in. I CAN'T FIT IN!"
Five Desert Island Discs: Munoz answered this question with a graphic using keyboard characters to portray a large, erect penis ejaculating semen onto a pair of breasts, then mentioned something about BBC Radio.
Best Show Ever: "[After-hours venue] Ponderosa during Counter Crawl V," he says. "That was when Steve picked me up and chunked me into the small crowd of people. My first legit show."
First Song You Fell in Love With: "Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, '1st of tha Month' off of E. 1999 Eternal," he says. "I never understood what they we're saying, but I was hypnotized by the rhythm they put out. I was seven."
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P.L.X.T.X. plays Dirty's Benefit Show Saturday, December 29 at Mango's with B L A C K I E, The CEO's, El Desmadre, The Freakouts, Rusted Shut, Los Gritos, Garbage Dump, The Bad Drugs, FG and The Gunz, Alimanas, Talk Sick Brats, Briandead, Bastard Cult, Muhammadali, Love Horse, and Always Guilty.