It's a real slow week for shows. I hope you'll write in and tell me if I'm wrong, but other than the XTC hoot night Saturday at the Carousel Lounge, I don't see too much to recommend this week. As for that gig, featuring Baby Robots and Bee vs. Moth among others, I really hope somebody does "Earn Enough for Us." And "Snowman." And "Senses Working Overtime." And the whole Black Sea record. But I digress.
Since there's not a lot of shows this week to write about, I guess I'll spend a second talking about one from last week. That Girls Rock benefit ended up being a heck of a good show, cold weather notwithstanding. I enjoyed all five bands! Bottle Service impress me each time I see them... they have winning chemistry. Planets have morphed from a rickety indie rock band into a hard rock powerhouse in front of our very eyes. Cruddy are a new name to me but I admire the way their discordant songs stop and start on dimes. They have a weird inbred logic working that might not be pretty but is definitely rock and roll. Yellow Fever are a band I've seen before and not liked, but I'm coming around on them. Their singer has an amazing voice, and although I don't like all of their songs I do like their drummer's cleverness and the tricks they pull out to keep being a duo from becoming monotonous. I made my mind up about them before too quickly. That hardly makes them alone among Austin bands. It's a good thing we're making second chances a major theme in 2011.
How about the Flesh Lights, though? What a good example of how writing show previews based on recorded material is doomed to fail. The Flesh Lights' recorded output is really good -- two excellent singles, with the A-side of the green one, "Jaye," standing as the song best lodged in my head by repeated plays -- but it doesn't give you any idea what they're like live. They're a force, with a hurricane starting on the stage sweeping the front of the audience up into it and pretty much everybody front to back shaking like their lives depended on it by mid-set. Their records are good, but they're not wild and primal the way they sound as a live band. The guitar races ahead of the bass and drums and it doesn't really matter when it laps them, because everyone's giving as much as they can. Even late at night on a frosty night, the crowd is ready to move when the Flesh Lights will it. I'm not leaving early when they're late on a bill ever again.
UPDATE Missed some stuff on Saturday: My homeboys in World Racketeering Squad are at the Parlor, the tread-laying post-hardcore kids in Markov hit up Trailer Space, and STEREO IS A LIE bring their high-intensity melodies to Ghost Room. Plus Follow That Bird! and Dikes of Holland at Mohawk. No excuse if you end up staying in on Saturday night!