Thursday, May 1, 2008

Fuck Buttons and Caribou @ Emo's in Austin, TX

Emo's is MUCH bigger inside than it actually looks outside. It's on a corner and looks pretty boarded up and rundown, but when you get inside, there's a pretty roomy bar area. Then you step outside and it's the biggest outdoor area I've ever seen at a bar. There's a picnic area (I say that because there actually are picnic tables out there), where people hang out and smoke, then stairs lead you to the outdoor stage. There was lots of seating on bleachers and benches. We sat in this sort of porch area because I didn't really know the band that well, so I didn't really care to go stand that close. Also, the bands were kind of electronica (or so I thought before I saw them perform), so I figured they wouldn't really be doing much anyways.

Fuck Buttons
Which I must admit is a pretty awesome name for a band. They came on stage and brought with them all this distortion and noise that seemed to go on forever, but eventually progressed into these really catchy beats that blended taiko drumming styles with other unique sounds that I never thought could ever be appealing, layered with heavily distorted vocals that took me on a nonstop hour-long journey of rough, mesmerizing instrumental sensations. Ha, I think that about sums up how I felt when I was listening to them. I really liked how they were really into their music and bobbing their heads. Made it seem kind of shoegaze because they never looked at the audience, but they were also really experimental. Turns out their music is also considered 'shoegaze/indie drone'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_music#Shoegaze_and_Indie-Drone
One description of them from last.fm "Tribal beats and subtle beautiful melodies weave amongst contorting Technicolor drone-scapes while preaching distorted-vocals scream for dear hope herself..."

Caribou
I had heard some of their stuff on myspace and I thought they were electronica with mellow beats. Live, however, they had more distortion. I don't know if it was because they were playing with Fuck Buttons and trying to go along with that music or what because their CD sounded MUCH cleaner than they did live. They were more interesting in stage though. The drums were in the front, which I've never seen before. The guitarists were in the back. The lead singer played guitar AND the occasional recorder, which again, I've NEVER seen on stage before. I mean, really, who would think of using the recorder in their music. That alone convinced Z to buy their album. Caribou seemed to have actual breaks in between songs, but their music seemed dragged out. I kind of lost interest after awhile. They just didn't seem as creative as Fuck Buttons. I couldn't really hear what he was singing about because the mics were kind of noisy. And after awhile, the music seemed to all sound the same. The drummer was amazing. I can see why he was in the front and the recorder stood out in the songs, but the rest of it, not so much.

Low Note: because it was an outdoor stage, everyone was smoking. :X
High Note: cheap beers ($3!!!), areas to sit down (you don't have to stand up the entire time like at The Roxy), the scene was really different from the LA scene (which usually seems more pretentious. LA kids tend to take Indie fads to the max. Everyone tries to look different, but end up looking the same with their white afros, blazers, beards, striped everything, thrift shop anything. In Austin, people looked more relaxed. It was cool to just see people in jeans and T-shirts, not worrying about whether their emo haircuts are flipped out enough).