Austin and Fort Worth seem to be getting closer these days.
I was hanging out at the Grotto Sunday afternoon with Jon Teague and Daron Beck of Pinkish Black, and Blake Parish of Hannah Barbarians while they were discussing their various and upcoming SXSW shows. It got me to thinking about how far we had come along from the singer-songwriter rut we seemed to be in a few years back to the eclectic indie music scene that is Funkytown today.
With that spirit of musical solidarity I decided to catch Austin’s very own The Blind Pets down at Lola’s Saloon later that night.
The Blind Pets is a punkish (at times), hard rock act consisting of Josh Logan (vocals, guitar), Dustin Hannah (bass), and Michael Anthony Gibson (drums). They warped right out of soundcheck into a aggressive, percussive song that brought the tens of people in off of the patios. Vaden Todd Lewis (of the Toadies) was hanging out, as was the Frisky Disco's Tyler Vela. Sadly, only a dozen or so other people showed to see this.
But if the band noticed, they didn’t seem to care. Every song was brought to bear like they were playing to a packed house, and what little crowd was there responded enthusiastically.
In between songs, Logan kept up an amusing stage banter with a kind of a demented hillbilly vibe. But when the music kicked in, it was all rock and roll. At one point, Logan jumped off the stage into the audience, climbed up on the main bar beside me, then ran down the bar nearly entangling me with the absurdly long guitar cord running from his SG to the blaring Vox amp on stage. Wireless is for the weak of faith, apparently.
He did a good number of his guitar solos this way, out in the audience amongst the people. There’s a bit of punk there (and grunge) but tighter.
For the finale, Gibson climbed up on his drum kit and ripped the guitar away from Logan. Gibson then played a first-rate guitar solo while Logan drug the floor tom and a microphone out onto the dance floor and beat the hell out of it.
Bored with the whole guitar thing, Gibson then leaned the guitar up against the amplifier for some apocalyptic feedback while Logan crouched over the effects board on the floor and abused the feedback electronically into something that was strangely musical while Gibson started breaking down his kit and clearing the stage -- a rapid and efficient ending to a rapid and chaotic set.
As of late, Lola’s is becoming the place to be on Sundays. With smaller crowds, and music that’s a little more off the beaten path, it’s a nice change of pace from the usual Friday and Saturday shows. And if you skip the headliner you can get home early enough that you can keep your day job on Monday.