Davey Crockett, Muhammadali, the Mahas "Awesome Street Gallery" July 30, 2010
It had been a while since Aftermath had been to an old-fashioned house show, but not for our lack of admiration of these most DIY ventures. So on Friday evening, we headed over to the former Blossom Street Gallery behind Kicks in the Heights.
We arrived to the so-called "Awesome Street Gallery" to find a crew of 30 or so mostly familiar faces, which was not terribly surprising. Shortly after popping the cap on our oversized Shiner, Aftermath was disheartened to hear that Weird Party had dropped off the bill because of some confusion about the date. Their replacements happened to be three-piece Muhammidali, who are about to head out on tour. We chatted outside until the music started, and everyone piled inside to catch the set.
House shows are an intriguing beast: the atmosphere is almost always great, but the sound is often far from optimal. More often than not you have a band performing in one room (the living room, in this case), whilst everyone else has crowded around the band, suffocating the entrance from the next room, and craning their necks to see the band in any way.
But despite the cloud of humidity generated by between 30 and 40 people in a small space, the camaraderie makes up for a lot of the detractions.
Muhammidali launched into their set with a long instrumental, enticing head-bobbing from much of the crowd (Aftermath included). There's a running joke in the Houston scene about how often the band plays; not only were they a late edition to this show, but also they picked up Yppah's slot at the Hater showcase at Walter's later in the night. The nice thing about their frequent appearances, however, is that the band has their sound down on lock, and they've gotten pretty darn tight as a group.
Their third song had a riff that we swore came straight from Andrew WK's vault, and the band plowed through a couple more while Aftermath pondered the following: just why was anime, featuring humanoid cats, playing on the television? Around the moment we started looking around in delirium because the room was as hot as Wesley Willis' crotch, we noticed that Johnny Patrick was taping the set.
Everyone spilled outside for the break, puffing smokes and trying not to think about the heat while The Mahas set up their gear. This was the first time that we'd seen the Scott Snot-led group since we caught their debut at The Mink last December. After pulling a mulligan on the first song due to tuning, Snot announced they were using the show as practice.
The band would go on to play a warehouse party later that night - at 5 a.m., according to our Rocks Off bretheren.
The Mahas battled through technical difficulties throughout the set, having to switch out a guitar, and Scott wound up singing into a sock because the mic kept shocking him. Bands like this might catch flack for not creating the most original material [see Lance Higdon's opinion on garage/punk bands], but they damn sure are enjoyable. We bopped along to the punk tunes and wished they would put some music online.
After another break from the sweatbox, we dove right back in to catch Davey Crockett, the new two-piece punk machine featuring Jaime of Giant Princess on drums and Johnny Patrick handling songwriting duties. The material straddled the line between Patrick's previous bands, drawing on the stumble-rock of GTRS and the more overt punk lines of The Monocles and forming a rhythmic, fast-forward shamble.
Aftermath was loving it - Davey Crockett fits right up there on the list of formidable new punk acts in this town. The songs sounded full, despite there being only two musicians, and we were pretty bummed out when problems with Patrick's guitar amp cut the set short after six songs.
We spoke with him afterward and he admitted that while they had sold out of tapes on their tour two months ago, Sinkhole Records from College Station will be repressing the songs in a limited-edition CD run of 100 copies.
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Personal Bias: Patrick passed us the Davey Crockett album a few weeks ago, and we've been digging it.
The Crowd: 30-40 members of Houston's punk/hipster scene
Overheard in the Crowd: "What is it, like wet T-shirt night?" "It turns into a silk shirt. Like hypercolor, but not."
Random Notebook Dump: Singing into a sock will never look proper.