OK! One bias you will have to accept is that to me, live music is that by which all is measured. I’ve always thought that the Brits were always good at making Studio(!) albums (Rubber Soul, Dark Side of the Moon, et al.) but on this side of the Atlantic were too impatient and caveman-like to fuck around in the studio. Music is experienced not by smoking pot in your room but in the stench and bile of a club. Fuck your IPOD and Cds* – you get your ass out and you go to the music!
It was with this bias that I went to see the Fatal Flying Guilloteens, The Red and White, Blades, and Jenny Westbury at the Proletariat last Saturday. Shawna and Jonathan; the Sharks and Sailors posse; John Sears; the bands themselves; and a bunch of other people were all there so a few India Pale Ales and it was going to be a great night of music. Having been armed with a camera, a crappy pen, and some napkins, I can report to you what you missed:
Jana Hunter and Theresa Maldonado are two women here in Houston who have been putting a lot of the boys to shame with their incredible ability to craft a song and their exceptional vocal delivery. I think I can safely add Jenny Westbury to this category. Her opening performance last week was unexpectedly charming in a way I can only explain as that same juxtaposition of vulnerability and confidence that makes Neal Young’s acoustic material so engaging. Take a listen to “Self Assured City” on her My space for example; it’s a lovely, simple, and catchy melody but, when she lets the melody stroll off the path hit some unexpected higher notes, it fills you with the same giddy spirit that fills all Houstonians when they feel that first cool breeze of autumn across their face. Another song she performed that you can also hear on her Myspace is “A song about my mom” – the song has this wonderful conversational rambling quality that I simply adore. If these songs don’t grab you then well I guess I’m just a sucker for this kind of stuff but I think Westbury is definitely someone to watch out for here in Houston. [Now, I know what you are going to do and that is listen to the other two tracks on her Myspace – trust me, there are some ill-advised keyboards on there so just stick to the acoustic stuff].
The Red and White’s line up of Lucas Gohram, Will Adams, Chris Ryan, and Lance Scott Walker makes them kind of a local super-group and theirs was a bittersweet performance as we were listening to the Red and White’s final set before Lance relocated to New York. Now, I’m all about hearing a band live but the nice thing about a studio album or any recording is that there is a document of that band and this is one band that should have recorded their songs for posterity. This show was just my savoring every note of this band because these motherfuckers aren’t going to ever release these songs. Just listen to their only track (Turn off the Dark) on their Myspace – the cascade of the guitar notes is fucking manna from heaven then when the band comes in – fuck – that’s like a nice warm shot of whisky on a cold autumn day. Then the low string riff juxtaposes – fuck yeah! Now that is how you fucking a drive a riff cross-country! You missed them? Well tough-shit because this was the night they swept up their Madala.
The night closed out with the Fatal Flying Guilloteens. I mean what the fuck can I say that I haven’t said before? This is a band that nobody should follow. Within seconds beer is flying, sweat is pouring from everyone on stage, and the entire crowd looks like they are having an epileptic seizure. It’s sloppy riding-the-edge rock and roll at it’s best. I mean I blew an entire roll on these guys and I’ll be damned if I could get anything to focus – they just can’t stay still. You know what the Guilloteens are? They are that same insanity a child has when he discovers something he’s never seen before and demands everyone look at it and be as excited as they are:
“Look at this! It’s rock and roll!”
“Yeah uh huh.”
“No! No motherfucker! Rock and Roll are you getting this through your head!”
“Uh, can you let go of my jacket?”
”ROCK AND FUCKING ROLL!”
Then they explode!
* LPs though are still cool!
Jenny Westbury http://www.myspace.com/jennywestbury
The Red and White http://www.myspace.com/theredandwhite
The Fatal Flying Guilloteens
Guest Writer Rosa Guerrero will expound on the Dimes!