It’s a slow week for techno, there’s not much funk on the street, my e-reader has cast its lot for oblivion and I’ve got some gardening to do, so let’s hasten toward the end.
Dirty & Nasty, Gio Chamba, YE Torres
Art Car Ball, Friday, April 8, One and Two Allen Center
Blame my simple good taste, but I don’t go to parties with high-dollar tickets, unless I get my tickets for free; even then my conscience never clears, not all the way. I happen to like, but not love, the Art Car Parade. Art cars used to be a little fuglier; they used to come equipped with aftermarket blowtorches and more of a conflagrant ethos derived from Survival Research Labs, but now they just vape. I’ve seen the rich and their attendants let off steam. It’s not pretty.?
Just the same, I have a soft spot for a few of the acts on the bill, so I’m simply going to scrub my cyberspace highlighter over a few names and encourage you to follow your own rainbow path.
DIRTY & NASTY
This may just be apocrypha, but Dirty & Nasty are reported to be making a cameo appearance at some point in the Suspects' set. Dirty & Nasty truck with classic rap, the kind with hard beats and memorable hooks. They favor broad strokes, with a vocabulary rich in rap history references and self-aware camp. Their track “Down By Law” has a perfectly deployed, as in late, snare drum accompanying a perfectly melted kick tone. It’s remarkable, with the effect of the late-arriving bass lines in the really successful AC/DC songs. And the video for this song is almost a localized remake of Michael Douglas’s 1993 white-collar revenge fantasy Falling Down, without the untimely racism.
From his days in Cop Warmth to his present incarnation as Gio Chamba, Fernando Valdez is one of my favorite faces onstage, and one of the only feel-gooders I trust. My Spanish-language skills are shamefully underpowered, so I can only guess that his smooth crooning en español exhorts his listeners to introduce some sort of reckoning to the luxury vehicles and George Romero’s Land of the Dead high-rises of luxury Houston. To be fair, I may have heard him wrong. All I’m saying is that there’s as much real anarchy as liberation hallucinogenics behind his good-vibin’ style, and unlike a lot of hippies, with their finger-pointing morality and slack aesthetics, he remembers to dress well and leave people feeling better than he found them.
YE Torres may technically be more of a freestyle belly dancer than a musico, but she rolls deep with avant-garde accompanists and the smart crew. And we’ve all about had it with music anyway.
Acid Mothers Temple, Mounds
Tuesday April 12, Rudyard’s
An envelope filter can only do so much; it’s you there, unbuttoning your top-collar button and considering which black concert shirt you wanna wear to the show tonight, that really makes the difference in an Acid Mothers Temple experience. They can be everything they promise, a psych-rock cult of guitar-shakers from the handyman’s shed near the holy site with a propensity for freaking out when the weather is right. But we know the landscape, chairs, tables, heavy food, draft beers and a deathly amiability. Resist the urge to be seated, punishing your digestive organs, gagging on relish and otherwise making your case for being alive in an unconvincing manner. A Houston on a Tuesday can be many things; among them, sadly, is Houston on a Tuesday. If you phone it in, they’ll phone it in. Acid Mothers Temple in the eye of a storm is nearly as frothy and overwhelming as one could hope. Acid Mothers Temple in a hot room surrounded by screaming, sweating people can produce orgiastic results among the long-haired set, whose population seems to be in a slow decline. Opener Mounds, from Ann Arbor (home of the Stooges), have a stake in deep psych themselves, pinned to organ runs and proggy verses, somewhere between USA Is A Monster and all the older stuff that flautists like to remember aloud while arguing about the ever-rising price of weed. Take your dose and do your part.
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