Category Archives: Concerts

Tame Impala Requirs Ear-bibs


So I recovered from both The Hives and the bachelor party enough to make it out to Stubb’s to see some sweet psychedelic music from Tame Impala.  It was a tasty evening at Stubb’s even though I didn’t have any BBQ (a first for me there).  The opening act, The Growl, was even an unexpected surprise.  Although I’m still digesting them.

Yeah no food at Stubb’s. Nothing much to talk about for the venue.  If you haven’t been, you should treat yourself at least once to the venue.  It’s odd shaped and produces some decent on the fly BBQ.  The best spot is right in front of the soundboard, maybe off to the left where the tree grows.

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The Growl came up first.  I did not know what to expect.  I half thought it was some kind of grungy version of the psychedelic music Tame Impala jams.  Boy oh boy, I was wrong.  It was a much of some slow, rusty, drone type rock with a couple of blues songs (even a cover) tossed in.  I’m not sure how I feel.  It was different, but I can’t really recall any songs from their set.  I just remember the cool blues cover they did.

Tame Impala was next.  When you think of psychedelic music, you think of crazy, lava lamp like visuals with a pulsing guitar rhythm and some softly voiced dude murmuring over it.  That’s what I got.  And I loved every second of it.  It was an almost religious experience out there.  There were a couple of breaks in the action, though.

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A good indicator of how well a psychedelic band performs is in their long, solo jams.  Tame Impala had them, but it just didn’t quite hit with me.  It seems like they are still finding their solo voice.  Just take a listen to Elephant.  They slow it down and kind of fiddle around but it doesn’t exactly hit.  I have great confidence that with time, they will make it flow better.  It’s still and acceptable platform of rock.

So The Growl is like a fiber in my belly that leaves a taste that I’m still trying to figure out.  Tame Impala has some spicy burnt ends but the middle still seems rough.  All in all, it was a great meal to feast on at Stubb’s.  I just wish they had some ear-bibs at the front gate to catch the noise dribble’s.  That’s a thing, right?  Ear-bibs?

The Hives Helped Me Break Out


Woooo!  Man what a great way to get fired up for a bachelor party!  I hit up Emo’s on February 21st to see The Hives for the second time.  The opening acts helped support the banging, but it was The Hives that totally came through and jazzed me up for what ended up being a non stop abuse of all things excess.  I can’t believe I actually remember some of this so just bear with me and help me relive this outbreak.

I keep getting confused.  Is it Emo’s East, the New Emo’s, or just Emo’s  I have no clue so from henceforth, it will be called Just Emo’s.  And it really is.  I seem to remember a better beer selection there but apparently it waned out.  Oh well, I wasn’t really looking for something crafty, but I coulda used something more than what they have.

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I was there to see some music.  First up was The Act Rights.  I had to go back and listen to this song to get a good idea.  Very sweeping rock music.  It’s a little different but it doesn’t evoke any special emotion in me.  If anything, warm up perfectly fits.  Sweeping between a couple of hard rocks solos and then sweeping back to some rhythms.  Works for me.

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Flesh Lights were up next and we went from sweeping to seizures.  I think I get the lineup now.  The rock n’ roll good times of The Act Rights mixed with the obvious punk of the Flesh Lights culminates into our final Main Offender.  Yes, these guys moved the punk needle.  And while I’m not totally punk, I do appreciate more of the raw sound and not the lame-o mainstream sound.

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Finally, we got The Hives.  I barely remember them from a looong time ago but it was right around their first big phase here in the US.  Much has happened since and they seem to have dropped off the radar for me and the rest of the states.  It didn’t matter much to them though as they came out and totally owned the crowd.

That all goes to the grandiose bombasity of lead singer Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist.  The cocky was charm and he had everyone hovering about the basket.  The songs, of course, were that garage punky rock and roll that has always been their sound.  One can’t help but bob their head at near bangin’ speed during songs like Main Offender or Walk Idiot Walk.  The neck even hurt a bit afterward.

If ever there was a way to concentrate the energy from these acts and condense it into a tasty drink, the barker of that product would rake in millions.  I felt like I had ingested ample amounts and it carried through the bachelor party in Las Vegas.  The best part:  this was the only drink that didn’t give me a hangover.

White Denim Rolls On Through On A Bonaroo Trip

Whew, what a rough start to the month of November.  A festival and couple of concerts under my belt and I still had energy for one more show for the start of the week.  I closed out my marathon checking out White Denim at Antone’s along with some other Bonaroo alumni.  Now there were some ups and downs but man, I can watch White Denim play for hours on end.

So this Bonaroo thing had an emcee that was also a comedian on the stand up portion of their festival.  I forgot who her name but was, but that was in part to the fact that nobody was really laughing at her jokes.  I’ll give her credit, though, she plowed on through with a cute smile and kept the pace of the show moving.  Kudos to whomever that was.

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Asherel got on first.  So another show and another hard rocking opener.  I’ve lucked out to some real curtain jerkers here recently.  Asherel had that flavor but more on a blues side.  I also really dug the rhythm guitarist mesh hat.  I have to admit, my head banged just a wee bit.

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Next up was Maps & Atlases.  Who are they?  Well think if instead of selling out, Kings of Leon went granola and heavy indie.  That’s Maps & Atlases.  I definitely got a prog rock feel out of these guys. The sentiment is sweet and calm and everyone should check these guys out.

So this is my third time seeing White Denim.  The first time blew my mind and the second one kinda left me wondering what happening.  Well, the third time saw them return to form for me at least.  Although I have this one nagging feeling.

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They are a jam band and they rock out really well.  But the progressions between the songs are the same.  I think the same chain of songs first time around was alot like this time.  The switch over from Don’t Look That Way At It to It’s Him to At The Farm is way too familiar.  Now, it’s not a big deal, but I’d like to see them grow just a bit more and be able to flow between all of their songs.  That’s all.

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And that’s my only gripe.  I still walked away happy and entertained, even though comedian lady tempered it just a bit.  This will be the last time I say this: go see White Denim.  It’s fun and you will be happy after as well.  Heck, you might as well do it a Bonaroo.

The Black And White Years Smell Good

So on November 9th, I was already recovering from both a full Fun Fun Fun Fest and a private whack out with Primus in 3D.  It was not enough to keep me home, however, as it was a day for an intimate performance with The Black and White Years at Lambert’s BBQ.  The last show for the year for those guys saw the debut of some new songs and a good stream of their known jams.  I was there in full tow and got the whole experience.

Okay let me talk about Lambert’s BBQ first.  It’s a downtown Austin food joint that somehow had enough room for an upstairs event space.  One look at the menu revealed a downtown city expensive meat selection.  Nope.  I think the drinks might have been expensive but I don’t really remember.  The event space had a loud ass PA system so I was happy to hang in the back and not have to pay attention too much.

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On to the tunes.  Hundred Visions opened up and they blasted my ears right off.  In a good way.  Sometimes you just need some straightforward rock and roll and Hundred Visions gave that to me.  I really have nothing else to say.  The Light That Starts The Day says all that there needs to be said.

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So with some heavy duty riffs out of the way, it was time to get quirky.  The Black And White Years got up on stage and kind of awkwardly jerked their way to some funky grooves.  I like to think of them as some kind of stuttering 80s break dancer.  Sure they may look a little off, but man can they move.  It’s most evident on songs like Up! and Steady As It Goes.

They closed out their set with a couple of upcoming songs and we were on our way.  I tend forget just how unassuming an small intimate show could be.  The smells of the BBQ didn’t distract me too well.  Hundred Visions kicked me in the pants and The Black and White Years stood me back up and slapped me silly.

Primus Jumped Out Right At Me

Primus hits real close to my 90s kid routes.  It was about the time in high school when I discovered this band and I’ve always identified with the quirky and technically proficience of the group.  Let by Les Claypool, this band found a way to drive home some hard rock while doing it in a fashion that is not of this planet.  These alien rockers were in Austin on November 7th and I finally got to see them, in 3D nonetheless.

Bass Concert Hall is on the campus of Texas University.  Actually it’s right behind the football stadium.  It’s reserved for stand up comedians and classical music so having a band like Primus be there does not fit in.  That’s perfect.  It set the tone right off the bat.  I think the best part of the venue for me is that I could sit down in actual seats.  It didn’t last long, but it was nice during the intermission.

I needed the rest too.  The 3D experience part of it was lively and dynamic and did not strain my eyes at all.  There was a sensory overload but the intermission, and the Popeye cartoons that were played during it, helped keep things in check.  The graphics matched was played during the song and evenly distributed the 3D portion with 2D background.  Yeah, it was neat.

But what was neater was Primus.  Neater to the extreme.  Les Claypool’s bass lines border on schitzophrenic and rest of the band kept up like the old pros that they are.  Green Nogahide was their latest release and they inserted tunes from that without being too overbearing.  Lee Van Cleef is my pick from the new set, mainly because of the name.

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My favorites included the rousing closer Tommy the Cat and selections from the Brown Album.  Tommy the Cat showcases Les’s playing the best out of all the songs and is long enough to provided the rest of the members to breath.  Songs like Over the Falls come from the Brown Album and remind just how often I jammed that in my beat up Oldsmobile back in the day.

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The 3D experience was great but what was even better was finally punching Primus off the concert bucket list.  The off center style that they exhibit make much more a study of how alternative music can really be alternative.  After enough listens, it starts to become normal.  That’s when you need to take off the 3D glasses.