Stingers w/Sound Patrol

Please read my review of the April 18, 2003 Sound Patrol performance here!

Thu Oct 10, 2002 @ The Fabulous Satellite Lounge, Houston

It was suggested that I do reviews, so here we go… There are a lot of things that everybody should be aware and wary of when it comes to reading anything I write in a review:

  • I’m one picky bastard
  • I write with the assumption that people know it’s just one guys’ opinion and it doesn’t really matter what I think. Please don’t email me with threats or tell me that I have no talent and I couldn’t do any better… I’m just one guy, ok?
  • I hate everything

On top of that, you have to consider that this is the first time I’ve been out of the house since The Suspects last show back in August, and the first time I’ve been outside of a 20 mile radius from home since my wife went on bed rest with our 2nd child. Lets just say I needed to get out, and I’ve got my guns a blazing.

I’ve always heard excellent things about Sound Patrol and I feel stupid for not ever having seen them play before last night. Based on all accounts, these guys are totally up my alley! A three-piece reggae/dub group with heavy harmonies and serious attention to the old school not only sounds like a band I could listen to, but a band that I would join. Unfortunately, that is an old account of Sound Patrol… they’ve added a fourth member, a vocalist, and now I’m not just feeling stupid for not having seen them as a three-piece, I’m actually regretting it. If you know anything about me, you know that I don’t like fake posing and pretension when it comes to music… So you can guess that when it comes to reggae you should never put on a Jamaican accent and invoke Jah Rastafari unless you’re from the fucking island and you’re an actual Rastafarian (it’s a religion, people… not a “lifestyle”).

Shortcomings aside, I must say that the band (that’s the guys playing guitar, bass, and drums) really know their stuff. Everything was mostly tasteful, and I really liked what I heard. Special mention must be given to their bass player… he’s done his homework.

I only heard The Stingers perform five songs, but those five songs confirmed in my mind what I’ve always felt about them after first listening to their debut cd a few years ago: they’re imitators, not innovators. Frankly put, they just sound like they listen to The Slackers too much. And (frankly put) I don’t like The Slackers, either. I’ll be criticized for dismissing The Stingers in such a short manner, but what can I say except that I know there are tons of people who like The Slackers and most of them will prolly enjoy The Stingers as well… I’m just not one of them.

Doppelganger!

I was reading something about Google not wanting to index pages generated by the news/content system we’re using on this site, so I searched for “billgrady” and learned something new… everyone has an evil twin.

Visit my non-rockin’, acoustic guitar playing doppelganger at billgrady.net.

Makin’ The News

If you read the Houston Press you’ll have already seen this… I’ve officially been referred to as an ex-Suspect by the local music press! Oh, joy.

When it comes to South By South West, I have a few, not-so-nice things to say. As the HP article states, the huge, unbalanced ratio of Austin bands admitted to the festival does nothing to help it’s credibility as a serious music industry event. You might think that I’m just bitter because The Suspects were never invited, but that’s not the case… The Suspects played official SXSW showcases in ’95, ’96, and ’97 (and “unofficial” showcases the three years after that), so my opinion of the festival is not from lack of experience. Definitely, it’s the opposite. Six years of showcase showdowns taught me that the music is a total afterthought! The only reason why the industry pays attention to Austin is to get a free vacation that they can charge to their expense accounts. The purpose of SXSW is to get unsigned bands some major-label attention, but the alleged “highlight” of the festival is always a band that has already been signed! Hundreds of bands will play at SXSW 2003, but I’ll bet my bottom dollar that 90% of the A&R stooges that fly down to Austin next March will only be there so they can tell their buddies about how awesome The Vines or The White Stripes or The Hives were.

Ugh. Rant over.