Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Free Week 2009: Pick of the Night, Wed 1/7

So, my plan to see a show on Red River every night of Free Week was thwarted by a high fever and mounds of snot-soaked tissues. I've been eating and drinking lots of chicken noodle soup and Nyquil these past three days. On the plus side, I've caught up on a lot of the sleep I went without in December.

Last show: I was at Emo's on Sunday night for an amazing psychedelic performance by The Astronaut Suit. They were the opener, not even listed on Emo's official calendar. I hadn't heard of them, but after their set I couldn't forget them. You have to see this band live if you haven't. In the right mood, the Astronaut Suit takes you to another planet. Yeah, bad pun/cliche. I know. But I can't help it. Rarely has a band's name so perfectly described the effect of the music on its listener. The only way they could improve upon it is if they changed their name to If You're Not On Acid Right Now, Our Set Will Make You Feel Like You Are... And If You Are, Then Sit Back And Enjoy This Ride To The Center Of Creation. But that'd probably be difficult to fit on a handbill.

That was the outdoor stage. On the inside, a couple of my favorite Austin bands played. Prayer For Animals were ridiculously good. That's a well-oiled machine of a band. They play some intricate, complex yet totally cathartic and visceral stuff on stage. Meanwhile, Haunting Oboe Music showed they've still got gas in the tank after their epic 12-EPs-in-12-months journey. I'll have more to say about that in a couple of days. For now, I'll just say I'm super proud of and inspired by these guys for writing, recording, and releasing about 50 songs in one year, while working day jobs. They brought more energy to this show than they had in recent history, with lead singer George diving guitar first into the audience during their last song. The Oboes played with a sense of purpose and urgency that I admit hadn't been there these past few months. Expect '09 to be a big year for these guys.

Tonight's Picks
As for tonight, this is probably one of the strongest nights for Free Week. If you're into stoner rock (think early Queens of the Stone Age, but without vocals... or songs for that matter) you have two solid options: Tia Carrera at Mohawk and Eagle Claw at Emo's. They're both three-piece instrumental bands influenced by the stoner rock movement, and both pummel you with 20-minute jams that are heavy on bass and light on filler. Also at Emo's, the cleverly-named When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth and the unfortunately-named Black Cock. When Dinosaurs is a seven-piece noise monster (with a sense of humor, judging from their Nirvana Unplugged parody music video on Youtube). Black Cock plays aggressive synth-heavy rock that I can't help but wanna move and shout to. And speaking of dancing uncontrollably, Neiliyo plays Beauty Bar. If you're in the mood for raw unadulterated fun (and you don't mind techno from the mid-90s) you must check out the one-man-party that is Neiliyo. And next door at Red 7, frequent stage-sharers SuperLiteBike (formerly A Pocketful of Deng) and Fatback Circus headline what should be a solid show. I honestly haven't decided where I'll be, assuming I make it out. This damn cold or flu or whatever.


Jennifer said...

Astronaut Suit were jawdroppingly good indeed. I saw them when they were on a bill with SIAL in mid-December. I was instantly hooked. Looking forward to seeing them on a regular basis :-)