Thursday, March 18, 2010

Full Throttle

Creekside Lounge, 3/17

It would be hard not to notice that our usual haunts in downtown in Austin are less accessible and (slightly) more covered in garbage than usual this week. I have no interest in immersing myself in the feeding frenzy. Even if there weren't other demands on my time this week, I have philosophical issues with music festivals in general. To me giving a band your full attention is an active exercise, and there's only so much time in a day you can spend really concentrating on new music before your active-listening muscles become worn out. I'm also averse to crowds, profoundly broke, and sharing a vehicle with someone who works a difficult and irregular schedule. And I'm playing four shows in three days myself this weekend.

The moral of the story? With no money and little time Anna C. and I are still finding ways to put ourselves in front of amazing bands, almost every night -- just like we do every week of the year in Austin. In a perfect world I'd be getting to see more of my favorite local bands this week, but a whole bunch of them are playing at the Pepper Lane shows on Thursday and Friday, and starting next week it should be possible to park closer than 20 blocks away from the rock district once again.

Just once, for the sake of having done so, Anna and I went out with no plan to wander around downtown last night. We set manageable goals: she wanted to drink a beer in front of a band, and I wanted to find something cool to write about the next day. Avoiding lines at all costs, we followed my mostly infallible music ear into the Creekside Lounge, where Lozen were taking no prisoners. A sort of post-riot grrl duo with near-metallic power, the pair from Spokane use fuzz bass, slamming drums, and an intriguing variety of vocal approaches from both members. Sometimes they sing sweetly, and sometimes they howl in an unholy, unsettling but singularly feminine fashion that (for obvious reasons) you don't hear a lot of in the genre my friend Sebastian lovingly calls "dude-rock." Totally unexpected but very awesome.

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