Chevelle with Middle Class Rut and Janus
7 p.m. Friday
8001 S. Eastern
$24 advance, $29 door
Not sure what it’s called but, the Norman/Tulsa punkers opened up with
something that had “gotta get — gotta get it” in the chorus, and it was catchy
as hell, but in a bouncy, rhythmic way. Very different from “Try Me Out
Sometime”’s melodic catchiness.
Nonetheless, Broncho remain catchy, grungy, unserious in demeanor (there’s something kind of unsettling about watching three late-twenties/thirty-something dudes all droning in unison into their respective microphones, their eyes fixed upon something seemingly hours away), and hella loud. The crowd for their set was bigger than any in the Buffalo Lounge yet, and we’ll see if anybody on tonight’s bill (which includes Fiawna Forte, Green Corn Revival, Jacob Abello, Junebug Spade, JD McPherson, and OK Sweetheart) can step up and draw more.
So Cameron Neal (my latest local-rock man-crush) and his band of teenaged
ACM@UCO students (drummer Preston Greer was the only Horse Thief-er whose hands
lacked big, smeary X’s inside Friends Bar last night) sounded even larger, more
looming and fierce than their Sooner Soundwave show in Norman last weekend,
which was my first experience hearing them in person. With all the pressure and
anticipation of the festival, I feel like they really raised the bar on local
performances at SXSW.
First off, Mr. Neal has this awesome old man authoritative rock voice that he
adopts for narrative purposes on songs like “The Magician.” Most of Horse Thief’s
topicality is mystical nonsense wrapped around nuggets of wisdom, so it’s a
useful persona, and it gets really entertaining when he starts dumping sweat
and shaking it all out in his impressive beard.
But yeah, it was really nice to see — after The Boom Bang’s raucous mess and The Non’s cerebral movements — a throwback-style band that earnestly wants to rock, while also trying to innovate a bit (they’ve got a keyboard that generates an organ sound which distinguishes them from most any other local band I know of). Cody Fowler looks up into the sky when the song calls for his bass notes to wobble all over the place and Greer makes an O-face when he gets to punish the snares. And Danny Rose looks about as happy shredding his guitar apart as Kevin Durant looks when he hits a 24-foot-stepack three.
Also, it should be noted that two members of The Boom Bang got kicked out of Friends for being rowdy at some point during Horse Thief's set which is impressive, because there was only The Non's in between them.
Photo by Doug Schwarz
Grateful Dead, American Beauty (1970)
From the nine months before I was born until now, this album and every other album by The Grateful Dead has been playing in my life. The free-spirit sound and attitude of this band is a huge part of who I am today. This would be a band that has changed the way I’ve thought about more life situations than religion. The smooth feeling of folk with a blend of psychedelic sound waves on this album speaks to me in ways little music does.