Texas City seems like an unlikely place for an eight-piece neo-folk, indie-rock, gypsy-influenced musical conglomerate to form. Even more unlikely is the name: Come See My Dead Person.
First brought to our attention by George Banks, the Humble architect who did many of the original 13th Floor Elevators posters and saw CSMDP at Wrecks Bell's Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe in Galveston, CSMDP have been playing area venues ranging from Rudyard's and Under the Volcano to Clear Lake's Scout Bar. Saturday marks the band's first time to headline at the Continental. We talked with singer/guitarist Mike Mejia and guitarist Roy Martinez.
Chatter: You're probably tired of answering this one, but why this band name?
Come See My Dead Person
With Two Star Symphony and Invincible Czars, 9 p.m. Friday, May 21, at the Continental Club, 3700 Main, 713-529-9899 or www.continentalclub.com/Houston.html.
Roy Martinez: We've got five different answers and we'll let you choose one if you want. But none of them are true. Let's just say the name is shrouded in mystery.
C: Worst reaction to the name?
Mike Mejia: The length of the name is sometimes an issue, but we've never really had a negative reaction. We try to stick to bars that would be open to original, eclectic music, so the band name just hasn't been an issue.
C: Where does this amalgam of styles come from?
MM: It started with my brother and I, we were writing songs. Then as we met the rest of the guys, each of us listened to and played different types of music. It came together like a puzzle, but fairly easy. And we liked the way it meshed without rules attached to it.
C: So what are your musical influences?
MM: Gentle Giant, Phish, big jam bands like that.
RM: I come from a prog-rock background, Frank Zappa and stuff like that. And I used to be way into death metal.
C: Obviously, splitting $300 eight ways is not a get-rich-quick scheme. How does such a large band work financially?
MM: We play as different acts, and we cut down our thing for acoustic gigs, etc. But we love our full rock sound with the whole band, so we really just want to keep this band together right now. We've got modest immediate goals.
RM: I've got an eight-to-five job, so just to hear music I've written performed more than makes up for any band money issues. I still get a thrill when we play our music and it comes together well.
C: Worst day job in the band?
RM: Sean is washing and cleaning cars all day, that's gotta suck. But I sit in an air-conditioned office staring at a computer all day, so in some ways mine's just as bad.
C: Best day job in the band?
MM: I work in a smoke shop here in Galveston, so all I do all day is talk about smoking, drinking, music and songwriting. Pretty sweet.
C: Worst gig ever?
MM: It sounds kinda geeky, but we really haven't had any bad gigs. It's hard for us not to have a good time, even if we get to some gig thinking, "Aw, this is a sucky place." Actually, we ought to make that our motto: "If you've got a sucky place, book us there and we'll fuckin' rock it."
There's about a week left to nominate your favorite bands and musicians across more than 40 categories for this year's Houston Press Music Awards ballot. Go to tiny.cc/musicawards2010 to vote — and you can only vote once, so choose carefully. Nominations close next Friday, May 28, and the ballot will be announced on our Rocks Off blog Thursday, June 3.
99 E. Crosstimbers, 713-794-6800
1. Young Jeezy, Trap or Die, Part 2
2. Trina, Amazin'
3. Devin the Dude, Suite 420
4. 8ball & MJG, Ten Toes Down
5. Mel Waiters, I Ain't Gone Do It
6. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Uni5: The World's Enemy
7. Toni Braxton, Pulse
8. Usher, Raymond V. Raymond
9. Brian Jack, You Don't Know Jack
10. Big Pokey, Warning Shots
1. Broken Bells, "The High Road"
2. John Mayer, "Heartbreak Warfare"
3. David Gray, "Stella the Artist"
4. Phoenix, "1901"
5. One Eskimo, "Kandi"
6. Pearl Jam, "Just Breathe"
7. Jack Johnson, "You and Your Heart"
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8. The Avett Brothers, "I and Love and You"
9. Lifehouse, "Halfway Gone"
10. Dave Matthews Band, "You & Me"
(lists compiled by Chris Gray)