Austin’s most stalwart purveyors of psychedelicized sturm und drone celebrate 30 spins around the sun Friday with a greatest hits compilation called Fuck You, You Rule.
This titular neologism coined by ex-vocalist/keyboardist Carlton Crutcher perfectly encapsulates ST 37’s tenacity. Never a flavor of the month, the band’s catalog stands the test of time and space. So what keeps the wheels turning?
“What the fuck else are we gonna do?” answers Joel Crutcher, guitarist and brother of Carlton. “We all have an artistic drive to make music. I think of it as psychedelic intergalactic reporting and storytelling. Our longevity is due to us getting old, or maybe the other way around.”
Borrowing their moniker from Helios Creed’s band Chrome, “ST 37” originating on 1977’s Alien Soundtracks, the local veterans of obscure acts Tulum, Thanatopsis Throne, and Elegant Doormats formed in 1987. Early standards like “Sucking on the Family Tit” from 1988’s Feature Silica Vicarious combined avant-punk aggression with burbling four-track adventure.
“Early on, we had a bunch of linear songs,” says Crutcher. “Fun, but too easy to wreck.”
Then came 1992’s The Invisible College and 1995’s self-produced Glare, both far-reaching armadas of Hawkwind-inspired explorations. Bassist Scott Telles cites a 2002 appearance at Boston’s Terrastock alongside Sonic Youth and Acid Mothers Temple as a high point. ST 37 have a Twin Peaks-themed split single with the latter band due out in April.
The low-end maven says they’ve specially selected a trio of Houston noise-mongers as support on Red River.
“Our first show with Rusted Shut was way back in 1998 at Mary Jane’s in Houston,” says Telles. “We have played together many, many times and been involved in many shenanigans together over the years.”– Greg Beets
Best known as the voice of Ultravox during the Vienna era and for mid-Eighties solo hits like “If I Was,” Midge Ure also scored a British bubblegum No. 1 with Silk’s “Forever and Ever,” joined ex-Pistol Glen Matlock in punk-pop flashpot Rich Kids, served with Thin Lizzy in place of guitarist Gary Moore, and co-wrote 1984 African famine relief single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” with Bob Geldof. Ure’s career-spanning set promises plenty of lush New Wave anthems.– Greg Beets
Now nearing 30, Minneapolis rap duo Atmosphere tweaked the heady, aggressive introspections of early triumvirate Lucy Ford, God Loves Ugly, and Seven’s Travels into word-bending narratives on 2011’s The Family Sign and last summer’s Fishing Blues. Maturing perspective of a father, Slug fosters new rappers through powerhouse label Rhymesayers Entertainment. Under said imprint, Brother Ali raps politically charged prophecy on Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color.– Alejandra Ramirez
The Darts fit into the niche of sunshine garage-grunge pouring out of the West Coast, a messy sound ideal for Burger Records, basement shows, and small stages at psych fests. Sonically, the L.A./Phoenix-based fourpiece sounds like peers Bleached and Death Valley Girls, particularly on “I Wanna Get You Off” and “Running Through Your Lies.” Jumbled lo-fi with a dose of Seventies punk, their gritty, bratty swagger and chugging guitar lines recall the Runaways.– Libby Webster
No longer local, Dentonite Wayne Hancock will finally be Slingin’ Rhythm following his serious 2014 motorcycle accident. Injuries haven’t slowed the King of Juke Joint Swing, his songs still drumless, yet busy with infectious rhythm and twang. Like Hank Williams and Bob Wills, he sings of broken-down romance with poetic wit, while keeping the dancers two-stepping until quitting time.– Jim Caligiuri