The fourthish installment in the annual-so-far Winter Wonderglam series, held this year at the River Oaks Theatre, splits a dingily decadent evening between garage rock and hard noise. Dead Roses headlines with retro glam-punk that's deceptively tasteful; they've been known to cover Roxy Music and the Gap Band. The trio, currently backed by a drum machine, is fronted by bassist and old-school Houston weirdo Ralf Armin, who played with such luminaries as Culturcide, Really Red and the Pain Teens back in the day. Austin psych-rockers ST-37 have an equally impressive résumé, along with a discography that is nothing short of staggering: they've been together since 1987, and played a part in the wave of trippy punk that produced the Butthole Surfers, Scratch Acid and Ed Hall. The rock portion of the evening is rounded out by local New York Dolls devotees the Backalley Sluts.
Winter Wonderglam also offers a top-shelf Houston-style noise platter. A pleasing duality between aggressive sonic confrontation and contemplative, almost Zenlike drone is provided by Future Blondes — the latest project from veteran Domokos Benczedi (A Pink Cloud, Swarm of Angels, Rusted Shut) — and relative newcomer A Thousand Cranes. Both artists are closely associated with celebrated experimental group Indian Jewelry. San Francisco's Skullcaster warms up with pedal-created noise; he's preceded by creepy dance music from Tense. DJ Blackslacks, a.k.a. Rockabilly Ron, provides vinyl interludes.
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