Austin's Reverse X Rays / Photos by Brigitte B. Zabak
Five bucks doesn’t seem to get you a whole hell of a lot these days, but there is one place where spending that kind of cash will yield a mighty fine return on your investment. Recession Thursday, the brainchild of the folks over at Free Press Houston, is a great way to catch up on what’s happening in local music. Every week boasts a new, diverse lineup of local acts and it gives the audience a nice taste test of the different types of music Houston bands are cooking up.
Generation Landslide kicked off this week’s stellar lineup. The unfettered foursome wasted no time diving headfirst into their set. Their music is an orchestrated blend of inspiration that includes everything from R.E.M. to Patti Smith. The band’s collective influences has helped them develop a sound that is a calculated hodgepodge of rock and roll rhythm with an infusion of catchy pop melodies.
Austin band Reverse X Rays were a last minute addition to the evening’s festivities – an addition that was clearly received with enthusiasm. The audience made their way to the center of the dance floor to gather around the eclectic quartet as they set up shop. The “experimental” label is pretty much the most apt way to describe the band’s sound. Their over-exuberant onstage presence is as erratic and discordant as the music. Every note was a surprise and there were moments that left you wondering what the hell just happened. Reverse X Rays definitely create a different breed of sound and the audience seemed to lap up every last drop.
If ever there were a band that was capable of giving you a warm, fuzzy feeling with the clanking of an organ and the overpowering resonance of vocals, Giant Princess would be that band. Front man Collin Hedrick’s voice, when you really get the chance to hear him sing, is like musical heroin. Although the music is a bit dirty and unpolished, it is the imperfections that make it so likeable. Searching for that missing piece makes the music just that much more enjoyable to hear.
The Goods are no strangers to shameless self-promotion. Woven in between their songs were not-so-subtle plugs about everything from upcoming shows to cds for sale. Lucky for them their music, more or less, stands up to their hype. The heavy guitar riffs and pounding bass lines scream rock and roll – nothing more, nothing less.
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The invention of the Hootenanny has helped a certain music appreciator appreciate the art of a cover song. The Mathletes apparently figured that whole thing out a long time ago. Joe Mathlete has collaborated with pretty much every indie musician in Houston and has created a history log of epic live performances that are filled with as much hilarity as they are filled with Hello Kitty guitar straps. They’re entertainment, folks... and The Mathletes' brand of music is a delightful mix of actual musical prowess spiced up with lots of nerdy wit and repartee.
With his hoodie on and a mike in hand, BLACKIE finished off the night with an incredibly intriguing performance. The random background noise he used to complement his words drowned those words out, but, in those moments where he let you hear him rant, his prose made you shudder. Locked inside his thoughts, BLACKIE meandered throughout the almost empty venue, speaking softly to himself at some points and screaming into walls at others. His journey led him back to the small group who stood still - engrossed by his presence. The night ended with a circle of toy kazoo playing fans blowing in discord to the soul of BLACKIE’s verse.
-- Brigitte B. Zabak