Monthly Archives: August 2012

Steve’s Car VS Texas

Many of you will already know this story, whether from having been a part of the magic first-hand, or having been on the receiving end of one of the bitch-sessions that occurred after. For those unfamiliar, here is where my issues with this godforsaken state began.

A couple weeks after moving to Texas from Ohio…

I hadn’t quite settled into my new life in the Longhorn state. I missed my then-girlfriend, now Fiancee, Shannon, my friends, my band, and generally the social life that I had spent years building in Columbus, Ohio. There was a bright spot in the future though; some friends of mine were touring and were going to be making a stop in Dallas, Texas for a show. I was thrilled. Familiar faces, good tunes, good laughs, good times. I had already joined up with a group of musicians and had planned on meeting them at this show, in part to prove that I did in fact have a life prior to moving to Texas, and in part to get to know the area that would become my main musical hangout spot in Dallas. The area is called Deep Ellum. A few things to know about Deep Ellum that I didn’t know prior to parking my car there. Deep Ellum is evidently rampant with crime. Violent crime, burglary, parking violations, the whole deal.

Enough set-up…

So, I arrived at a parking lot that I had to pay to park in. Silly me, I’m thinking that this might mean someone actually gives a fuck about what goes on in this parking lot. I am wrong to think this. I trot down to the venue to meet up with my friends in Moving Mountains (the band playing that night) to find that they’ve guest-listed me and have added a “plus one” for the friend of mine attending the show with me. Sounds all-good so far. I meet up with my friends in Moving Mountains, hugs are exchanged, a little light petting, all is good. Time for a beer – but wait, my phone is ringing.

“Hey, Steve, it’s Matt”

“Hey dude, what’s up? You parked yet? They’re going on pretty soon”

“Dude… Did you park in the ACE parking lot, by chance?”

“Why yes, I did, why do you ask?”

“Well, you’re going to need to come down here. It would appear that someone has broken into your car”

End phone call, begin mad-dash to my car, where, on my way, I encounter a cop productively eating a burger in his car.

“Excuse me officer, it would appear that someone has broken into my car in the ACE parking lot, might you be able to drive me over there, since it’s another few blocks up the road?”

Nope. Cop drives away. I shit you not.

By the time I reach my car, there are about 15 people meandering around, looking up at the building that I’ve parked near. And there is my car, fucked to hell. After asking the gentle folk of downtown Dallas what might have occurred that would leave my car in such distress, I’m told that someone shot out the window, 11 stories up, in the building I’m parked in front of. Oh, joy. Where are the police? They’ve been called, 15 minutes ago. Here comes the news van – how, how is it possible that the news crew has gotten here before the cops? Oh, that’s just Dallas, I’m told. The cops are probably off herding cattle somewhere.

A cop eventually shows up…

“Sir, is there any way this is going to get resolved?”

“Nah, shit like this happens A LOT, these cases never get solved.”

The police officer then continues the conversation by explaining (bragging perhaps) that Dallas has been highly ranked as a violent city. I explain that all of this is freaking me out, as this is only my second week living in Texas. He laughs and says “Welcome to Dallas”.

I made the news that night. It was evidently one few nights in the last couple weeks that Dallas had seen any substantial rain. Lucky me. I drove home, in a city I wasn’t familiar with, while rain poured into my back seat through a shattered back window. Pretty. Fucking. Bad. Time. Oh, and the guys in Moving Mountains evidently dedicated a song to me as well, a fact I would find out from their guitar player, Frank, the next day when I explained why I missed the set. Thanks, Dallas.

Do we see why I have such disdain for this place? If not, I should also mention that some “critter” made a nest out of my wiring harness only two weeks after getting my car back from the repair shop for the initial cluster-fuck repairs. There went another few hundred dollars.

This state is made of hate and evil. My case is still open, and by that I mean never going to close. I just want to know who’s accountable, maybe he (or she) will read my blog and fess up.

Video proof that I’m not full of shit:

Steve’s Car VS Texas

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I found something in Texas that doesn’t suck…

In the world of music there are two categories of bands: those who do, and those who do well. If you’re fortunate enough to belong in the camp of Lindby musicians, you fall into the latter category. On “Erikson”, the Arlington, Texas group’s first proper release, the eclectic amalgamation of forgotten genres seems tongue-in-cheek conceptually, but is executed in earnest. You can tell that these folks have been perusing the vinyl collections at resale record shops, and they have chosen their influences wisely.

The music of “Erikson” is jammed out in funky psychedelics and Lounge-pop with hints of Ska and the ever-present influences of The Flaming Lips and The Polyphonic Spree (one can even hear a little ELO in there at times!). For those of you unfamiliar with any of the genres or groups I’ve just mentioned, you should go look all of these things up immediately. If you do understand what I’m saying here, then you may have found an album worth the trouble of listening to. It’s pretty obvious that the Lindby folk have undergone some musical training, what with the Fugue near the end of the album and the multi-layered harmonies throughout the disc. That’s not to say that this album feels like homework, or the listening material of a grad student working on neo-classical pop rock; it’s more like those days in high school where your substitute teacher told you to stop reading Great Expectations and instead expounded on the genius of Ginsberg.

Lindby’s rhyme-scheme-rants are somehow familiar, like Shel Silverstein’s poetry, without the impending doom feeling. Like taunts in the schoolyard where children rhymed “dork” with “pork” and somehow made you feel like the worst kind of nerdy bacon, in the best possible way. When one hears simple rhyme-schemes found on “Erikson”, they may initially right the lyrics off and focus on the musical integrity – but as you go, you find that the rhymes are so brilliant because of their simplicity. It’s a return to the days when people didn’t craft lyrics with the intent of cerebral ambiguity, with the intent of being deemed a brilliantly damaged poet in a time of posers. Lindby says to hell with that and instead gives the listener the opportunity to sing along with the chorus after only hearing it once. It’s simplification at its best, and a tactic more bands probably ought to be looking into these days.

While a concept album, “Erikson” doesn’t follow the trajectory of storyline concept albums. Even though songs are loosely tied together, there is no story arc, there is no fundamentally flawed protagonist with a challenge to meet; instead there are loads of fun melodies and group vocals brought together by one name: Erikson. One can also tell that this concept album was created as much for the band as for the fans. There are inside jokes, and one can visualize the smiles of the members as they sing songs about friends and sneak looks at each other on stage as lyrics are improvised. “Erikson” is conceptual without being lofty; a panoramic shot feel-good landscape. If you feel that the album leaves something to be desired, that’s really more on you than Lindby, as they’ve provided you with an overview of what music has, and will sound like as genres continue to blend. These people know how they want to world to sound: cheery and sparkly, where everyone gets to have a good time, and everyone shares the name “Erikson”.

A few favorite tracks: “Jing Ling Tam Blues”, “King of Condiments”, “Gee! Sharp Diminished Over Bee”

Key elements: crunchy guitars, moog, group vocals, jazz piano

Check out Lindby at: http://www.lindbymusic.com

Or grab a record at any of their upcoming shows!