The Houston Music Blog section of the Free Press Houston.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Music with Jameson & Lone Star: pre-SXSW with Deer Tick & Stardeath And White Dwarfs at Rudyards 17 March 2009

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 4:24 PM

Good morning folks, I've gotta get packing for just got into Austin but I figured I'd let y'all know how the Deer Tick show went last night over at Rudyard's. Yes, I know I missed Jana Hunter and Beach House over at The Orange show but hey, I'll be seeing Jana with Tara Jane O'Neil at Domy Books on Friday so we'll catch up on our beloved miss Hunter then.

Anyhow, let me jump to the penultimate band of the evening - Oklahoma City's Stardeath And White Dwarfs. I want you to take a good look at these photographs...





...and I know what you are thinking. This looks pretty bad-ass. And you are right in that they had a spectacular light show. The set up was amazing with multi-colored lights flashing to the music under a haze of fog. There was only one problem - that's all they brought with them. Let's break it down. The light show was spectacular but their performance and songs were neither here nor there. And this problem was evident from the start. Their choice of opener - a note for note cover of the Butthole Surfers Sweat Loaf. That's right this band starts off with a cover of the Butthole Surfers covering Black Sabbath complete with the piped in intro. Hey, I can hear that album at home guys! NEXT! The second song was actually OK but from there it was downhill: an entire set of cool lights and no content. I mean look, I caught Hearts of Animals play the Mink on Monday night - just one woman with a guitar and a voice - and she blew these clowns away. OH wait, she bothered to write songs! Oh wait, she actually has talent! Oh wait, she doesn't need to hide behind a wall of lights to hold people's attention! It's like the juxtaposition of Celine Dione and Elliot Smith at the Oscars: one, a hollow artifice hiding behind flash and glitz and , the other, a lone individual doing nothing more than simply saying what they need to say without ornament or frills - where the work speaks for itself. Take your pick but I'll take Hearts over Stardeath anytime, thank you.


The evening closed with Deer Tick which was really my reason for going because Deer Tick's John McCauley is also one to lay his soul bare through his music. If you saw him a long while back at Sound Exchange perform sitting on the floor with only his voice and his guitar you saw a phenomenal performance - one that left everyone in the room in awe. That night McCauley demanded your attention both because of his beautifully crafted songs as well as the pure unrestrained emotion. So having seen him perform that show, last year's SXSW, and my endless admiration for his debut on Feow records a few years ago, I had some pretty high expectations. Unfortunately, to my disappointment this performance, while fair, lacked any of the spark an immediacy of his prior performances. It was almost as if the band was going through the motions performing few new songs and losing any momentum with a flat rendition of a Lightning Hopkins song that seemed endless. That may sound harsh and likely makes it sound worse than it was. I mean, I had a fine time and I can't say it was a terrible performance but it just was a long way from that young kid belting his soul out on the Sound Exchange floor.

OK! Time to hit the streets of our capital. See y'all soon.

More Pics on my Flickr (Link)

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5 Comments:

At March 20, 2009 4:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I guess you are a music expert???? funny, I've seen Stardeath pack a house. They don't pipe in music. You are ridiculous. Maybe you should have stayed home and listened to the albumn. or better stayed home and candled your ears to remove the crusted wax. Normally Independent newspapers have alot better caliber of entertainment editors. Of course, our Independent Weekly actually has ads in it which pays the editors who then make enough that they no what the heck they are talking about. Where are your website ads? lol Oh! I'm sure you won't publish this. Of course most independent weeklies would. You should check them out again and perhaps get it tune with what the readers really want to hear.

 
At March 21, 2009 8:04 AM , Blogger Ramon Medina - LP4 said...

funny, I've seen Stardeath pack a house.

Wow, so you are saying they can pack a house. AAnd what the fuck kind of aesthetic basis is that? Who gives two fucks how many tickets you sell. Am I supposed to now give the Jonas Brothers a good review because they can pack a house too. By that token, since the Jonas Brothers sell out bigger houses then I guess what you are saying is Stardeath sucks compared to the Jonas Brothers. Congrats I'll agree! At least the Jonas Brothers are sold as vacuous entertainment.

Listen you anonymous pussy (yes you comment anonymously, you are a pussy) listen to me and get this through your head. I am explaining what I thought about the music and the performance - both rang hollow. Take away the lights and Stardeath would have no cards to play on stage.

Sorry the songs was dime a dozen indie rock. What the fuck, he ended with an Ironic cover of Madonna's Borderline? What the fuck kind of played out shit is that? Jeeez! What the fuck is his material so fucking lame that he has to close with Madonna?

Glad you like them but if you are gong to come to Houston you'd better deliver the goods. Indian Jewelry, Young Mammals, Buxton, and god knows how many other bands simply make a band like Stardeath irrelevant.

Glad to hear that wherever you come from this traveling snake oil salesman plays as the real deal. Great you can keep them.

 
At March 21, 2009 8:35 PM , Anonymous omar said...

That's tooooo funny! We don't sell enough online ads to be legit? You should huddle your head together with the folks who think BECAUSE we sell ads, we are not legit. Sorry Ramon did not like your band guy but if you want to write music and make it public, then be prepared for people not to like your shit cause there will always be more of those than will ever like you. And yes, anonymous posters be pussies.

 
At March 22, 2009 3:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad you missed Wintersleep, probably the bext performance that night. All of their SXSW showcase shows were packed if that tels you anything about their talent.

 
At March 22, 2009 6:40 PM , Blogger Ramon Medina - LP4 said...

Yeah, I had rehearsals that evening so I knew I was gonna miss out on them. Nice to know their shows were well attended but it tells me very little about their talent.

 

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