Half Japanese, Brown Whörnet, Adult Rodeo, Emo's, January 29

Live Shots

Half Japanese, Brown Whörnet, Adult Rodeo

Emo's, January 29

By 10:30pm, Danny & the Nightmares had been done 10 minutes. Damn that squirrelly Daniel Johnston! According to Sadies guitarslinger Dallas Good -- hired out by Johnston's ol' Half Japanese buddy, Jad Fair -- "Danny wasn't supposed to open." All the better for Adult Rodeo, an Austin band that plays out seldom (more and more lately), but would surprise a lot of scensters if they did. Putting on their best Kissyface, last year's schizophrenic oddity for NY avant-indie label Shimmy-Disc, Adult Rodeo coalesced the album's fragments into a galvanizing 45-minute set that started somewhere around New Wave and ended with punk fucking rock -- the bulging-veins kind. Coming on like the Talking Heads, bassist Stephanie Mankins playing off her microphone g-friend, keyboardist Kristen Erickson (and her hot pink Toys 'R' Us instrument/phallus), wild Byrneman Rob Erickson set the tone late, but he set it on fire. Halfway through the band's set, after a perfunctory minute-and-a-half guest shot from Fair, Erickson's flaming red hair nearly caught fire when he announced Kissyface's last song, "Water," and then proceeded to hit full stomp mode 3-4 minutes later. That made both freaks and yuppies in Emo's quickly crowded front room stop eyeing each other a minute or two. "We've got a couple more," gulped Erickson, catching a breath, the group ending their set by metastasizing a ragga groove into a galloping saddle ride for Erickson's gnawing vocals. A lesser Austin band than Brown Whörnet might not have wanted to follow such an act, but not head bumble bee Drew, who opened the eightpiece avant-prog band's 35-minute hot flash with, "Let's try and keep a positive attitude and maybe everything will work out." Incantation having gone up at exactly midnight (set times, changes, and breakdowns were swift), two saxophones and a trumpet, a Gibson SG, a couple of sailor suits, and the bassist in a red wig launched into a musical chaos reminiscent of an opera (with maracas!) having gone awry -- hard, funky, Zappaesque freakouts with a soft spot for Bob Seger. Fair, meanwhile, sat on the couch by the door holding hands with a blonde. He was up soon enough -- at precisely 1am -- and by the time he'd finished at exactly blinking-light bar-time, Fair had demonstrated how totally awesome Daniel Johnston would be if he were more like Jonathan Richman fronting the Buzzcocks. He flat-out rocked the house, hardcores in heaven by the end, mouthing every single word of every weird and wacky two-minute pop-punk ditty. "This'll be the last song," hiccuped Fair at the last, "'cause I want to get back and watch some TV." Jad, baby, you earned it. --

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Top 10 Box Sets of 2018
Brian Eno
Music for Installations (Record Review)

Dan Gentile, Dec. 7, 2018

Texas Platters
Jeffrey Zeigler/Golden Hornet
The Sound of Science (Record Review)

Jeremy Steinberger, Nov. 30, 2018

More by Raoul Hernandez
Stream the Synth-Pocalypse on Pinkish Black’s <i>Concept Unification</i>
Stream the Synth-Pocalypse on Pinkish Black’s Concept Unification
Texan twosome shares new LP and email Q&A

June 20, 2019

Church of Misery's Doom-Boogie Bounces Back From a Mutiny
Church of Misery's Doom-Boogie Bounces Back From a Mutiny
The serial killer-obsessed fourpiece comes to Austin Terror Fest

June 7, 2019

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle