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September 8, 2024 – 12:00 pm | One Comment

Last week, Houston was saddened by the news that Mydolls guitarist and percussionist, Kathy Johnston, had passed away. Our hearts go out to her family, friends, and especially Diana Ray to whom she was married.  …

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Submitted by admin on February 16, 2024 – 1:08 pmNo Comment

There was a lot going on both in live music and my personal life this weekend and I tried to cram it all in. In between birthdays, going-away get togethers, and band practices I managed to make it out for a while to the Charity Water event on Thursday and the McKenzies CD release on Saturday.

Thursday night’s Twestival took place at Caroline Collective and I made it just in time to catch Wayside Drive. Now, I’ve seen this band’s name floating around for the past couple of years and in context it conjured ideas of a nu-emo/pop-punk, sound the types of which you would hear at joints like JavaJazz. Wow. Was I ever wrong. Wayside Drive make no bones about their affections for bands like Radiohead and The Cure (covering both in this night’s set!) and have no problems of making the most of their line-up’s abilities. Between the computer driven affects, the instrument switching (bass to cello!) and vocal swapping there is a whole heap of goodness to be found in this proudly alternative band. Fans of the aforementioned bands and any other darkly humored British acts would be quite pleased checking out Wayside Drive.

Friday night I managed to check in on the McKenzies show at Walter’s. Though I figured I would arrive mid-first act, the show hadn’t started yet so I just made the rounds talking to different folks finding out how the previous night’s shows had gone. After a bit Joe Mathlete took the stage for a solo set. I’ve gotta say, as awesome as The Mathletes are, there is just something about seeing Joe on his own. While always evident are his love for TMBG and Magnetic Fields (he covered “Yeah! Oh Yeah!, performing both vocals himself), Joe’s solo performances strip away the spectacle and leave you with his heart beating in your hands, at your mercy, and fortunate for us all, Joe is not a hard guy to love. Our hopes and heartaches rise and fall with his tongue-in-cheek confessions.

Before I had to rush off to meet my soon-to-be ex-Houstonian friends, I caught part of Built By Snow’s set. WOW. They kicked it off with a DEAD-ON cover of “Girl U Want”, which immediately made me regret having friends that would dare move away from this city and oblige me to leave and spend time with them. I stayed a bit longer to really take it in and longed to be caried away in their synth-heavy indie-pop done right. It’s so very rare that a band where everyone but the drummer is playing both guitar and keyboards will sound like anything more than regurgitated Rentals cast-offs. But Built By Snow have a solid foundation of highly competant songwriting that allows for them to fill in the instrumentation any way the like. They could have been playing spoons and jugs and the songs would have been just as formidable. I cannot wait to see them again at the Merge Music Fest.

I’m still kicking myself for having collapsed after a busy Sunday and missing the show over at Diverseworks, but I do have my McKenzies EP, and I’ll tell you about that tomorrow!


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