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Monday, February 25, 2013

This Couch is Long & Full of Friendship

When I covered an Appleseed Cast show in a living room a few weeks ago, little did I know what I stumbled upon.

Denton has been a town that's hosted many house shows over the years. Back in the mid-90s, the famed Bonnie Brae house had bands like Braid and At the Drive-In long before they gained prominence in people's minds. With the house dubbed Macaroni Island hosting some great shows lately, I've been able to experience a modern take on this house show tradition.

I've seen house shows before, but not like the ones I've seen at this place. Two weeks ago, I saw a free show with a whopping five-band bill. Two of the bands were from out of town and the other three were from Denton. All of the bands were great, especially the out-of-towners Secret Plot to Destroy the Entire Universe and Tiny Moving Parts. This was music that came straight from the heart; not from a desire to become famous, wear eyeliner, and date supermodels.

But this kind of spazzy, cathartic post-hardcore circa the mid-90s is not on a lot of publicists' radars or easily found on iTunes or even eMusic. It's even hard to find in local record stores. You have to seek this stuff out, and if you're fed up with the crap that hipsters and pop music critics praise and eventually disown, you really have to dig. But it's a worthwhile dig.

So far with my digging, in addition to friends making personal recommendations, the site Bandcamp is a very valuable resource. The sound quality of their streaming material is top-notch and they offer high quality MP3s for a decent rate. Sure as hell beats the muffled audio quality that MySpace and RealAudio had for years. And I've found the blog Rotten Young Earth as a very reliable site for post-hardcore, emo, and pop-punk.

Now I'm at a point where I look forward to these young bands coming through town. I don't feel like the old man in the room when I'm around these folks who are reaching their second decade of life. Rather, I feel like the guy who got to see Led Zeppelin and the Who play live back in the day, but thinks these modern bands are worth seeing and following. Hence why I like to share stories of seeing Braid and At the Drive-In, but I try to avoid having a condescending tone. This about living life in the moment, but understanding where things came from, but also where they're going.

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