The Good Music Club

First meeting/taping of the Good Music Club

Quiet Company, before the flood
Quiet Company, before the flood (by Raoul Hernandez)

Laurie Gallardo’s “Austin Music Minute” offers one of KUT's myriad endearments. Partnered with filmmaker Richard Whymark, she’s begun headhunting local bands to videotape for online segments. Monday at the ND, the pair's first four-act taping as the Good Music Club came off like a DIY meeting of South by Southwest and Austin City Limits.

ND’s elevated corner stage proved the perfect layout for Whymark’s small camera crew, while talent scout and host Gallardo introduced the groups every hour on the hour. All local buzz bands, their 20-minute sets ran like clockwork, with the lighting and atmosphere on the floor feeling very ACL-ish albeit markedly more relaxed. Almost four hours is almost four hours, but not until Quiet Company let its last church-rocker ring had the the Good Music Club yielded all its rewards.

De facto extension of Free Week, the bill eased to life just past 8pm with the rustle of Crooks, more Bloodshot Records than Broken Spoke, but all the better for it. Five tracks of twang with just enough bang peaked atop mariachi accents from not one but two tart silver trumpets within the band (mostly a quartet with an augmenting fifth cowpoke), which pinned a Marshall’s badge on “My First Gun,” instant proof of Crooks’ songwriting in its Southwestern buckshot.

The Couch, a promising fourpiece with a boy-boy-girl frontline, recalled Superchunk with less guitars and more Rosebuds, flexible and flexing indie rock with an emerging boy/girl subtext. Not in the Face, continuing its promotional rounds on Tuesday at the Chronicle’s free “Paper Cuts” series (RSVP here), had been the headliners at one point and indeed not many acts would want to follow the feral twosome. Jonathan Terrell’s guitar, harmonica, and red tumbleweed mutton chops can turn murderously hillbilly at the drop of a straw hat, while skinsman Wes Cargal wore an Elvis tee in taking care of the business end of stomp and holler. Longhairs from the audience crowded the stage for the finale, miles and miles of headbanging on banshee blues.

Undaunted in its black suit and tie attire, Quiet Company closed down the Club house with a flashpoint performance. Frontman/songwriter Taylor Muse grew up Christian according to this top-notch piece in Liner Notes Magazine and that timeless Cain and Abel tension rips through his songs with revival fervor and Holy Spirit possession. The quintet’s eruptions collide a trombone, four-part harmonies, and bar anthem choruses as Muse hunches over keyboards or manhandles his guitar. Consider Quiet Company a smaller and slightly rabid Broken Social Science, faith testers “Fear & Fallacy, Sitting in a Tree” and “Preaching to the Choir Invisible, Part II” from the band’s knock-out new disc We Are All Where We Belong embodying an old Tripping Daisy LP title: Jesus Hits Like the Atomic Bomb. Instant conversion.

Coming soon to this space: The Good Music Club – visuals.

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The Good Music Club Part 2: Quiet Company
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The Good Music Club, Laurie Gallardo, Richard Whymark, Crooks, the Couch, Not in the Face, Quiet Company, Taylor Muse, ND at 501 Studios, Tripping Daisy, KUT

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