(for some reason I thought of these guys today and remembered I wrote this thing about them back when I lived in California and yet never posted it. So here it is, music lovers.)
One night during the summer of 2007, I met some friends at the British pub the Cock and Bull (those british and their humour!) in Venice for couple of beers. As we were hanging out, we noticed a couple of guys were setting up on the little stage what looked to be some items they’d found in the trash. Turns out they were a band. When they hung a white sheet up on the wall behind them with the word “Restavrant” scrawled on it in magic marker, I thought to myself “well this should be interesting.”
Then they started to play.
That’s when we stopped talking and just started staring. Slack-jawed staring. ‘Cause they proceeded to rock the place down to the ground.
The guitarist/lead singer played brilliant punk-slide guitar (sometimes picking, sometimes open-handed and just flailing on it) on the most beat-up guitar you’ve ever seen and occasionally howled through a child’s electronic megaphone that hung from a chain off his mic stand. The drummer used nothing more than a couple of sawed-off dowel rods to beat a crate, an empty gas can that acted as a floor tom, a car wheel, and a stack of Texas license plates that stood in as a hi-hat. He also works a beat-up Korg synthesizer. It sounded alternately like the apocalypse and a hope for a new tomorrow. A great racket is what they made. I’ve seen them several times since and they get no less interesting the more times I’ve seen them.
The best part? Turns out they’re from the little town in Texas where I was born called Victoria (pop. 60, 603). And now they live out here. How’s that for small world?
This first link is a proper video for their song “Joe D.”
This second one approximates what their live shows are like. Something like whirling dervishes set to backwater Texas rhythms. Or a dust devil made of trash. Either way, it kills. Watch how fast everyone goes from watching to dancing.
If they’re playing in your town, you should totally go check ‘em out.