2.20.2010, ftw and denton
denton has a weird thing to it. everyone i saw looked kind of depressed and unhealthy -- or maybe it's just the recent weather. recycled books and records is always a treasure trove and i'm amazed/depressed at the number of good jazz cd's they have in stock (multiple copies of what appears to be the entahr black saint catalog -- guh). put back a don pullen solo piano album and a beefheart bootleg in favor of freedy johnston's this perfect world (ultra-depressing jangle-pop fave from my last go as a rekkid store geek) and john cale's paris 1919 (my favorite album of his after the solo live fragments of a rainy season, which i now have on dvd, although it has fewer songs than the cd).
j&j's is located right on the town square, next door to an overpriced (terry sez) musical instrument store. they throw a decent pie that they're pretty proud of; too bad we didn't know that bandmembers get free pie and schlitz until after terry paid for one (the last two slices of which we wound up leaving in the back hallway; sloppy loadout). hembree and his friend were already there when we arrived, while hickey and marcus showed up awhile later. also saw a friend of my middle daughter's who's been to dinner at the house and ty stamp from violent squid, who was there with some buds making up song names for a band called whiskey lizards.
vexed uk went first. terry had spent the last couple of days building two light boxes michael briggs had requested, which michael fitted with red halogen lamps that were fairly blinding when he turned them on -- one way to handle the situation of not liking to be seen onstage. their blend of sarah's voice and small instruments with michael's voice, guitar, and electronics (all of it liberally slathered with F/X) was as intriguing as always.
aunt's analog from austin were LOUDER THAN FUCK. i was upstairs when we started and it was almost painfully loud up there. they soon emptied the basement except for michael and his gutterth pal brent frishman -- and hembree and his friend. the upstairs dining room cleared out pretty thoroughly too, after which one of the j&j's folks informed michael that "if the rest of the bands are going to be this loud, you might as well pack up and leave now."
yells at eels were vibrantly exploratory as usual, and the night's performance had a little extra something -- a sense of playfulness, perhaps -- owing to the size of the attentive crowd, i'd guess. aaron gonzalez thought it'd be funny to bait the house for bitching about the noise -- not really on in my opinion; as the bathroom graffiti at the wreck room used to say, "don't shit where you eat." his father dennis spun spells from his trumpet like a sorcerer, both with and without the octave effect from his whammy pedal, and when aaron and his brother stefan kicked off the pounding intro to "document for toshinori kondo," stefan channeling gene krupa with his relentless kick drum, you could feel the room starting to levitate.
aaron sat in on bass and voxxx with HIO, which on this occasion also included sarah alexander, michael briggs, marcus brunt, matt hembree, matt hickey, terry horn, and your humble chronicler o' events. hembree played small instruments and sarah read from romance novels and erotica in a variety of accents. i couldn't hear either of them well enough, but terry, who was better positioned to hear the whole ensemble, said it sounded fine out front. hembree recorded it and we're anxious to hear.
the drive home was uneventful, thankfully without the thunderstorms that were predicted, and it was good to get home to my sweetie and the cats. always is. looking forward to lola's 6th with the better death and underground railroad next saturday, when hembree will be playing the small instruments exclusively (no bass) and we'll have the luxury of an andre edmonson mix.