Robust Night Of Roots-Rock Shows Scene's True Grit
The room was full, the band had been playing for a while, and the wheels were good and greased. So was the crowd, which was sprawled out around the various tables, enthusiastically nodding along from the alcove by the bar or in the middle of a bizarre Old West maypole ceremony around front man Greg Wood on the venue's modest "dance floor." Wood stood straight-faced and nearly stock-still as a good two dozen or so dancers entwined themselves around each other and occasionally him - ironically, he reminded us of someone the iceage kids should probably investigate, David Thomas of Cleveland proto-punks Rocket From the Tombs.
In a word, just a word, the band cranked. In three four-letter words, it was loud, mean and sexy, both "fuck you" and "fuck me." This afternoon Rocks Off momentarily confused one of the songs we saw in the 30 minutes or so we were upstairs, "No Shit" - if that's not the title, Wood made generous use of those six letters - with Ministry's "So What." After about 15 minutes, we turned to our buddy sitting next to us on the pool table and said, "this is as good as Drive-By Truckers."
That's not the kind of praise Rocks Off throws around lightly. But after hearing what Horseshoe did with one of our favorite Bob Dylan songs, "If You Gotta Go," it sure sounded that way. Rocks Off was just glad we saw the few songs we did, but it looks like the reunion wasn't a one-and-done affair after all - according to what we heard upstairs, Horseshoe rides again at KPFT's annual Watermelon Dance next Saturday at Last Concert Cafe and, just over the telegraph, Under the Volcano October 19.
You've been warned. As for us, Rocks Off was reminded that even in the middle of the biggest musical drought we've endured since moving to Houston, even a deaf horse finds a full trough once in a while. Friday night, we found three.
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