Houston Calling

Where were you? Not at Dreamfest 2…

May 29th, 2005 · No Comments

It constantly amazes me when I hear people moan about the lack of a good music scene in Houston or how there are no good bands in Houston. Of course, these people are dead wrong. There are several great scenes in Houston (sure, it could be better, but you can say that about anything), and there are great bands in Houston. Probably more right now than there has ever been. From indie, punk, and pop to hip-hop, folk, and jazz, Houston’s a hotbed of talent. The problem is none of you people are coming out to see it and support it.

When a line-up as impressive as yesterday’s Dreamfest 2, which was a benefit for breast cancer, is as poorly attended as it was — well, no one has the right to bitch about the lack of a music scene or the quality of talented musicians in this city. If you’re not coming out to support it and to see what you’re missing out on then you lose the right to have an opinion.

It’s that simple.

Jason from the band Strangelight (yeah, yet another band you haven’t heard of but should) organized the event and recruited an impressive array of bands from around the city (and a few from Dallas and Austin as well). I think attendence was better than last year, but there is simply no reason for a city this large to have such a lame showing of fans. For $8, there’s truly no excuse. Don’t just come out and support the bands Super Unison brings to town — give the hometown bands the same respect. They have bills too, you know, and it probably means more to them than to David Bazan or Dan Snaith.

And while I’m spewing, how about someone get local bands added to bills? This happens a lot in other cities. For example, when The Kaiser Chiefs or Louis XIV play in Chicago, the Windy City popsters Caviar are opening — how about the same thing here? Would that be that hard? Houston’s reputation of having no collective scene will never go away until people get out and support local talent.

This means you…

Okay, enough of the rant. You get my point. On to the music at Dreamfest 2:

Tody Castillo was impressive as always. With maybe 25 or 30 people at Fat Cat’s, the sound can be overwhelming but they put on a great set of songs from his 2005 self-titled release (which you should go out and buy this second). His solo on “God Only Knows” brought a tear to the eye of my friend (who had never seen him live). Seriously that good.

Danielle Cook, a folky singer-songwriter, was good to see. She played a short set that showcased her talent well. She was followed by The Dimes, a new-ish band that proudly waves The Pixies flag. Let’s face it, there are much worse bands to emulate and The Dimes’ set was an impressive, in-your-face homage. This is one to watch for in 2005. Hopefully yesterday’s set will cement their place in Houston’s gig schedule. I’ll keep an eye out and let you know when they play next. You can check them out at MySpace.com

Flowers to Hide played a good set. They have the “rock star” thing down, meaning they look good doing it. I dig their stuff, but not sure the crowd was buying it. Arthur Yoria had the biggest crowd I saw all evening, and with good reason. His songs are incredible, his band is always tight, and he puts on a strong performance each time he plays. I could listen to him all night. if you don’t own his last album, I’ll Be Here Awake, you are missing out. I highly recommend it.

After Yoria, we headed to Walter’s to catch Sitka Sound, a band I have been wanting to see for a while. The band played an impressive set — it’s hard to pin their sound down, but they count Grandaddy, The Flaming Lips, Wilco, and Spoon among their influences. I hear a bit of that Elephant 6 collective sound in there as well. I got their two EPs, both of which are rock tunes in the finest indie rock tradition. Expect good things from them this year. Check out their stuff on their MySpace site.

A constant stream of Lone Star gets to you after a while, but I made it long enough to see The Methods. I believe the first Dreamfest was the first time I caught them live — not sure — and they just keep getting better. Their OK Computer-era Radiohead space pop is dreamy, and they made instant fans of the people I was with. Their debut album, Realized Amidst Sorrow, can be purchased here. The band’s song “Unveiled” will be featured on an upcoming compilation of unsigned artists to be released on Velvet Blue Music (bassist for Starflyer59’s label). Definitely check these guys out.

Basically, it was another great day of local music — I wish every Saturday was like that…

Enjoy the long weekend. And be sure to check out the latest issue of Space City Rock, which is online now — very impressive interviews with Arthur Yoria and Michael Haaga, plus a ton of album reviews.

By the way, Arthur Yoria plays tonight (Sunday, May 29th) at Bronx Bar in the village (5555 Morningside).

Other shows tonight include:

A Thorn for Every Heart @ Rhythm Room
Terror/Comeback Kid/Modern Life Is War/Sinai Beach/Die Young @ Fat Cat’s
Midwest Dilemma/Brad Hoshaw/Chris Neri/Shaun @ Super Happy Fun Land
Kingfish & Friends/Tim Zinn @ Last Concert Cafe
Blendt @ Space Place (623 W. 12th St.)
Texas Buzz, featuring Pitbull Day Care, Faceplant, & Downfall 2012 @ Scout Bar (Webster, TX)

Now Playing in My iPod: Sitka SoundSitka Sound 1

Tags: Music