It's a well-known fact that most band names are essentially gobbledygook, but here at Rocks Off we're trying hard to unravel the meanings behind some of the odder monikers.
Sooooooo... Megafauna is this way trippy experimental rock act out of Austin who will be here annihilating Walter's tonight with their incredibly varied approach to music. Vacillating between angelic vocals and being punched in the breadbasket by a fist wrapped in tri-tones counts as variety, right?
Well, you can go to Walter's tonight and find out whether your innards will become your outtards from the mad phatness of Megafauna's music, but that's not what we're here to talk about. What sent Rocks Off into our typical blind and badly-spelled rage was their name. What the hell does Megafauna mean? The simple definition by Professor Wikipedia is that megafauna is any animal over 100 lbs.
At first we called bullshit that this designation deserved as awesome a term as megafauna. Hell, our three cats standing on each other's shoulders would count as megafauna, or at least a hit YouTube video. Then we started clicking around the links and found out, holy shit, yeti count as megafauna! So does an (allegedly) extinct 15-foot carnivorous duck from Australia!
Standing corrected, we fired off an all-capslocked series of queries to Megafauna.
"Any animal roughly larger than a human is megafauna," said lead singer Dani Neff. "I think that music and taking time to go out and perform for people is a somewhat higher calling, and necessary to remind people that despite a lot of pressure to go out and find a comfortable job, it's important to have people going out and pushing self-directed endeavors.
"Thus what we are doing is larger than the average human, in my opinion."
That's throwing down a pretty hefty gauntlet made of giant ground-sloth hide there, little missy! Did you see that you're putting yourself in the same category as yeti? We admit, the music you make is pretty heavy.
It's definitely got brontosaurus balls, what with the wacky, all-over-the-place beats and combination of jam-band laid-backness with indie-pop appeal. What megafauna can you claim as your avatar?
"I like the Condor," said Neff. "They perform vital functions for the ecosystem. They get a lot of help from high-minded people that keep them going. Their ancestor was 23 feet wide and flew. That's pretty nuts. I feel that way about Zeppelin and Sabbath and Lightning Bolt and Deerhoof and other great bands that predate us."
So, if you're not following along, not only is Neff comparing her group to legendary creatures of great size, but also legendary musicians of sizable greatness! The nerve of some people...
They'll still be singing Sabbath tunes after the apocalypse, and the remains of extinct megafauna spawned such mythological greatest hits as Odysseus and the Cyclops! Tell us, Neff, if the people of Earth a thousand years from the present day find your remains, what legends will spring up?
"I think it would be great if we were found with our instruments," said Neff, "and if their fossilized remains are confused as part of our bone structure, so these models of early humans with guitars and drum hardware incorporated into our bone structure start appearing in museums of the future.
"I would like them to also be confused by our love of the tri-tone if a copy of our CD survives."
"You know," we replied, "Most of those species were hunted to extinction by smaller, more adept hunters. Who's coming for you?"
"Small indie-pop hipster kids with their jangly guitars," said Neff, sadly.
Megafauna (n): 1. Something of most excellent hugeness, e.g. Yeti. 2) The state of being bigger than you, shorty. 3) An Austin band capable of turning your innards into outtards.
Megafauna plays Walter's tonight with Velvet Heir and Inner Lights.
Jef With One F is the author of The Bible Spelled Backwards Does Not Change the Fact That You Cannot Kill David Arquette and Other Things I Learned In the Black Math Experiment, available now.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.