On Wednesday, I got a message from Tom Urquhart of FM 88.7, asking if I would like to go hang out in the studio. Most of the time this means the radio station, and Im always up for a night listening to myself through headphones. But this time Tom was asking directions to Deep Ellum, and had his trombone in the back seat. We headed east.
It took a couple of turns of circling the block, as Rockit Lab Studios didnt have any obvious signage. We could hear the drums from the street though, so it didnt take long. Crammed into a small brick walled room we had Matt Cocuzza, Chad Cocuzza, Jerome 57, Troy Williams, Jay Wilson, Donnie McKean, and Valenti Thomas on drums. On saxophone we had Jeff Dazey, Shadow, Julian Ray Ayacannoo, and Marquis Jones. To round things out we had Justin Barbee on trumpet, and with our arrival we now had Tom Urquhart on trombone.
The band is called End of the World Parade, and they havent been active since 2007. The band is essentially an unholy mix of members of Spoonfed tribe, and The Effinays plus a few other local music heroes.
Just being in the room with these guys is sonically overwhelming. I wedged myself between a tribesman and an Effinay (both beating on bass drums), and tried to take it all in. The drums were thunderous and precise, yet there was a primal element to the thing. Then the brass kicked in. Think about the best marching band you ever saw, and then imagine if George Clinton was their band director. That might begin to describe it. Maybe.
After an intense session where the engineer just started the recording, opened up the mics and let them do their thing, someone mentioned there was a club down on Elm that they could commandeer. So we all packed up and moved down the street.
It was a cold Wednesday night in Deep Ellum, and the Elm Street Bar was almost empty. One couple was just getting ready to leave when the drums fired up on the patio. The End of the World Parade marched in, through the lounge in front, and into the back room where the horns took over the stage and the drummers beat the hell out of everything (including the stair railing which was surprisingly musical). Troy Williams alternated between playing drums and the siren on a bullhorn. The room was almost completely dark except for effects lighting and it was a kind of fantastic madness; chaotic and rhythmic all at once.
By the time the customers at the bar figured out what was happening to them it was over. Just a short set, then everyone packed up and faded out into the street.
The latest incarnation of End of the World Parade is still a work in progress, and they are still working on a recording. They did play a gig at The Wherehouse for Halloween, and you can expect to see a lot more of them in the near future. This one of those acts that you do not want to pass up; miss a show and it could be another five years until the End of the World comes again.