Austin City Limits

ACL Sunday: Octopus Project, The Kills and Questioning My Existence

Running on fumes, I'm pretty sure I've started hallucinating. I keep looking for tomorrow's schedule and can't seem to find it anywhere. Surely it has nothing to do with the Butthole Surfers scorched-earth reunion show at Stubb's - they closed with "The Shah Sleeps In Lee Harvey's Grave"; next month's Meridian show is going to be a corker - Austin's smokin' Lost Soul Revue at Club de Ville, or this afterparty at a house across from Stubb's where members of Heartless Bastards, the Black Keys, the Kills, Spoon and a bunch of people who work for C3 Presents engaged each other in a spirited game of Last Man Standing. It was a draw.


My eggs are so scrambled at this point there was only one real choice this afternoon: former Houstonians the Octopus Project. Far from wilting in the afternoon heat, the Project jumped up and down like kids on Christmas morning as their herky-jerky instrumentals veered from aluminum Can homage to "Moonlight Sonata" piano lines. It sounded a lot like what would happen if you lay around in the heat all day and start having visions of toys coming to life. Pixar really needs to hire OP to score a film about a group of robots who escape their factory and start a band.

Speaking of the Kills, I think singing drummer Allison "VV" Mosshart may have been hallucinating as well. "The bottoms of my feet are starting to catch fire," she said as the British duo took a quick breather between clattering drone blues numbers. Mosshart reminds me a lot of Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O, both vocally and aesthetically, and she probably breaks at least three hearts before breakfast. Downshifting into some narcotized ballads haunted by the ghost of Nico, the Kills captured what ACL feels like on this third day better than any photograph.

Am I really here? Everybody must get zoned. - Chris Gray

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray