Sunday, August 14, 2005

August Ain't So Slow Anymore

With students still out of town, lots of people on vacation and everyone else just trying to stay cool, August has traditionally been a slow month for live music in Austin. Not last night, though.

Room 710 had Pong, the Horsies and Brown Whornet. Across the street at Beerland, Corpus Christi garage punk legends the Zachary Thaks played with the Ugly Beats and Eve and the Exiles. Both shows had a steep $10 cover, yet both were satisfyingly well-attended.

Pong always puts on a good show that makes the chicks butts rock, to borrow a phrase from Honky's Jeff Pinkus. Brown Whornet was performing sans Stin-G-B, so their set consisted of long, jam-oriented pieces successfully brought off by virtue of their collective musicianship and years of playing together. I missed the Horsies because I'd seen them a few months ago at Hole in the Wall.

Over at Beerland, the Ugly Beats were on fire. There's a risk to plumbing the past to the degree the Beats do, but if you're as tight and spirited as they are, it's still going to make for a good rock show. The Zachary Thaks were understandably rusty after years of not playing together. Interestingly, they opened with their regional hit, "Bad Girl," then started playing covers like the Kinks' "I Need You" and the Zombies' "Tell Her No." It probably wasn't all that unlike a teen dance at Port Aransas circa 1966. I watched seven or eight songs before heading back to 710 to see Pong.

We're about two weeks out from the implementation of the smoking ban. Perhaps the clubgoing population was enhanced by smokers enjoying the last few ban-free days much like the kids at Dallas' infamous Starck Club taking "E" one last time in May of 1985 before the DEA went all Schedule I on their asses. However, a more likely explanation is just having two painfully good bills right across the street from each other.


Anonymous said...

I dig the Ugly Beats. I saw them for the first time opening at show at the Room 710 for Amplified Heat and some other heavy rock bands, and they were awesome. They closed the show with "Lost and Found," my favorite Saints song, proving that they're not totally 60s retro.

I know that frontman Joe is the son of some notable Texas psych/garage rock musician, but can't for the life of me remember who it is. Can anybody help?


jennifer said...

As Joe's ex-girlfriend I think I can safely attest that he is not the son of a musician, unless you count public relations/advertising as a musical genre (some might!).

Maybe you are thinking of someone else in "the scene?"

Anonymous said...

Hmm, coulda sworn I'd read that in the band's publicity sheet (which I threw away long ago). Perhaps it's another member of the band and not Joe. Ah well, regardless, it doesn't change how I feel about the band's music. Thanks for the info.