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Thanks, But No Thanks: See What Dallas Has to Deal With All the Time?

Rocks Off would like to thank Force Field PR and, we suppose, Neon Indian for sending the above picture to our email this morning. It nearly made us spray coffee all over our monitor. We don't quite know where to start, except to venture a guess that if you wore a sweater like that even to Poison Girl or Boondocks, you needn't bother pinning a "Please Kick My Ass" sign on the back. And God help your underfed, overmedicated ass on Washington Avenue.

But, you know, they do things differently up in Big D and its little-d satellite scene of Denton.

Metroplex artists get noticed by the blogosphere much more often than Houston's, and thus reap the rewards (if you can call them that). Mr. Indian, a young man whose parents named him Alan Palomo and who sounds like his childhood was full of as many pills as Hall & Oates records, should be well familiar to any of you who also read Rocks Off's sister blog in Dallas, DC-9 at Night.

SPIN named Neon Indian one of its artists to watch in 2010, Palomo and his troupe of musical merry-makers will appear on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Thursday night, and will play this year's Bonnaroo Festival outside Nashville in June alongside several other Texans (Norah Jones, Miranda Lambert, Kris Kristofferson) and, naturally, nobody from Houston.

Neon Indian, whose 2009 album Psychic Chasms has been the source of much of his "heat," has also recorded something called a "Laundromatinee Session" for My Old Kentucky Blog and remixed Grizzly Bear. Twice.


Along with some tour dates - Neon Indian will be playing SXSW but not Houston; we'd like to thank him for that too - Force Field also sent an MP3 of Chasms' "Terminally Chill," and Rocks Off gave it a couple of spins. It's a pleasant enough listen, if you're into early-'80s synth-pop/soul ("synth" as in "synthetic" as much as "synthesizer") and lots of sighing, and as long as you don't mind that it's not really saying anything. Except, maybe, "let's take a bunch of drugs and break out the keyboards."

Even Indian's own PR firm admits as much, although not in so many words. From the press release:

"Orbiting around the themes of drug induced heartbreak, weary afternoons, and lost chances, this music provides a lush soundtrack to the deadbeat exploits of teenage ennui."

Ennui is right. Yawn.

Yeah, yeah, Rocks Off is getting older, and maybe we just don't "get" this kind of music anymore. Assuming there's something there to "get" in the first place. And it's true, all we really want to do is curl up with our Merle Haggard box set from now until the Hag plays Verizon Tuesday night.

But trust us, youngsters: We've been there, done that and paid the court costs. (Most of them, anyway.) Besides, if we need to satisfy our appetite for synthy drug-pop, MGMT's new album, Congratulations, will be out April 13.

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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