It was great to get away for the weekend, but I was so severly tonguelashed last night at Dave's Stagecoach for missing the Embarrassment show Sunday that the trip almost seemed not worth it after all (just kidding, mom and dad!).
I had no noteworthy musical experiences in my hometown of Abilene, Texas — probably because there's no music scene there to speak of. However, some killer musicians have come out of there in recent years, such as Micah P. Hinson, whose older brother and I were playmates in grade school (we tormented Micah whenever possible) and friends on the level of "howya doin'?" all through college. My senior year of college (yes, I went to college in Abilene, too. Fuck you.), Micah reappeared from a drug darkness and played a few gigs in town. By then, he had alienated most of his friends, some of whom were in this now-defunct-but-preserved-on-MySpace band called the Danes with me.
If you clicked on that Myspace link, then right now you're hearing the singing voice of Brandon Carr (born in Dallas), who, with native Abilenian John Mark Lapham formed the Earlies with a group of musicians based in Manchester, England. The Observer did a story on them a while back. I've heard cuts from the new album, which is to be released on Secretly Canadian, in October and it is fucking phenomenal and I'm not just saying that.
One Danes anecdote, then I'll shut up about Texas music. The band's high point, in my opinion, was not any particular show (though there were many), but when they were invited to be interviewed on a Fort Worth college radio show. I wasn't there because I lived in Abilene the whole time and only drove over for gigs. Brandon, who is an ace bullshitter such as can only be matched by Zach and Brandon Phillips (see below*), had the coeds hosting the program convinced that the Danes opened for Radiohead in Dallas. He said that Thom Yorke was standing offstage watching the show when the Danes broke into a cover of Paranoid Android (I think that was the song, anway), and then Brandon said Thom was so mad — and I'll never forget this — "that his gimpy eye went straight."
Then, later at the station, Andy, one of the guitarists, had cornered one of the host chicks (who, by all accounts, were hot) in a closet and was attempting to flirt. Unfortunately, his colon was not with him, and he broke wind. It was quiet, but not so inaudible that Brandon didn't hear it and immediately and loudly say, "Dude, did you just blow ass?"
The moral: Feel free to invite Texas rock stars onto your radio show, but don't expect them to be good wingmen.
*Road Hard Outtakes, Chapter 1: "Jason Gets Punk'd."
Note: All dialogue reconstructed from memory alone and thus approximated
Setting: Architects' van, late at night, travelling through the Texas panhandle. BRANDON PHILLIPS is driving. His brother, ZACH PHILLIPS sits in the seat behind. Journalist JASON HARPER rides shotgun.
ZACH: I wrote the score to a musical when I was in 8th grade.
ZACH: Yeah, it was called "Pants."
JASON: No shit?
ZACH: Yeah, it was a love story.
JASON: I gotta write this down. (Digs out Moleskine. Can't find pen, so settles for red Sharpie, even though the ink will bleed.)
BRANDON: The publicist got a deal in Asia and it was made into a movie.
BRANDON and ZACH continue with the yarn.
BRANDON: No copies exist in the United States, but a planeload of them was air dropped over Arabia.
JASON: (catching on) Wait a minute...are you guys lying to me?
ZACH: I can't believe you went for that!
BRANDON: Hook, line and sinker.
JASON: Aww, you guuuuyyyys!!!
Theme music plays. Everyone laughs. JASON writes the word "LIE" over his notes with the red marker and later cries himself to sleep.