Young Mammals Pilot Their "Dragon Wagon" On Summer Tour

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Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to sheaserrano@gmail.com. It's a good time to be a Houstonian interested in music. The city is bubbling over with bands that absolutely deserve more than the $4 they're asking you to pay to see them perform. It's lots of fun. But there's still a divide. See, on the one side, you've got the good bands - those that will be around for a bit, release an album or two that local critics will applaud for its unending lo-fi ethos and effervescent guitar noodling or whatever, and maybe carve out a nice cozy spot for itself on a few people's iPods. But on the other side, you've got the very, very good bands - the ones that have a legit shot at making some noise on a national level. This isn't measured, necessarily, by their chances of landing a big-time record contract - on the contrary, some of the best bands in history never won anything. It's only to say that for some bands, more than others, it's a distinct possibility. Ironically, on account of their unending lo-fi ethos and effervescent guitar noodling, Young Mammals rate in that second group. So we reached out to the band before the this weekend's Summerfest appearance and next Saturday's tour kickoff show at Mango's to talk a bit about these things. Actually, we talked with them about Mortal Kombat, somebody named Lester the Molester and heroin. It was way more interesting. Rocks Off: Seriously, is there a better indie-rock band that's 75 percent Mexican in Houston? We sure can't think of one. Young Mammals: We don't fit into that genre, we're only 62.5 percent Hispanic. RO: Can you clarify the "If Jesus knew how to talk..." line from "848"? It feels like that might be a really introspective, really important line. YM: Lester the Molester wouldn't like what Jesus had to say about him. RO: You have a song called "Dragon Wagon" that is probably the best work you all have ever done. We don't think the fact that the title rhymes with itself is a coincidence. Stuff that rhymes is always the best; song titles, limericks, advice, whatever. Think about "He who smelt it, dealt it." That's about as solid a piece of advice as you're ever going to come across. Might you all consider an entire album of rhyming titles? It could be monumental. You could call the album Dung Camels. Oh, man. We're getting geeked just thinking about it. YM: [silence] RO: All right. Talk a little about the upcoming tour. We trust there will be plenty of heroin involved. YM: For three weeks we'll be waking up every day in the city we played in the night before. It'll take Jose about an hour to get used to being awake, Cley an hour to take a shower and another hour to get dressed. Then we'll sit in a van for another three to eight hours, listen to some satellite radio, stressing about running late because we decided to find some burger place a few miles off the Interstate. Then we'll load into the club and wait around a few more hours to play a 30 minute set. Then we'll spend a few more hours waiting to get paid and do it all over again the next day. RO: This is a bit personal in nature, but we think you guys are the perfect dudes to answer this. Two days ago we bought a Sega Genesis along with Mortal Kombat 1 and 2. We thought this was the smartest purchase we'd made all year, right behind a T-shirt that changes colors when we sweat and a Havoc Heli. Our wife, on the other hand, thinks it proves that we're only barely smarter than a functioning retard. Verdict? YM: You think your wife is mean? Try sharing a bed with Sub-Zero. RO: Have you guys given any consideration to releasing a few more songs under The Dimes moniker again just for fun? That might be nifty. YM: No, but we might consider it just for another cease and desist order. RO: Oh, didn't you all used to have a different drummer or something, but one of you all picked on him too much or made him cry or something until he quit? Or am I thinking of someone else? YM: No, the story goes that we picked on Ryan and made him cry until he joined. Young Mammals play Summerfest 7:15 p.m. Sunday, June 6, on the KTRU Stage, and with Buxton 8 p.m. Saturday, June 12, for their tour kickoff show at Mango's 403 Westheimer, 713-522-8903 or www.mangoscafehouston.com. Tickets to that show are $6, but you're welcome to give more if you like. Gas ain't cheap, yo.

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