Rocks Off

SXSW 04 encore: Saturday showcases and more

Rocks Off
Photo By John Anderson

Mission of Burma

La Zona Rosa, Thursday, March 18 There was a dividing line, about 40 feet from the stage, between the folks that had waited years to see these Boston art-rockers and those who looked like they were at a freak show. Guitarist Roger Miller was the mad professor, with his brown blazer, strawlike hair, and the rifle-range earmuffs he dons to insulate his ears from the tinnitus that caused the band's initial breakup in 1983. For the same reason, there was a Plexiglas wall in front of drummer Peter Prescott, causing the bass drum to hit with a resounding thud. Given the circumstances, and that the band had only played a handful of shows since their 2001 reformation, it took a bit for MoB to get their sea legs. Sometime after the "Dada!" of "Max Ernst" blew into new material off the band's triumphant return ONoffON, things began to fall into place. Mixing board/tape operator Bob Weston, filling in for original scientist Martin Swope, lathered twitterings and swooshes over the razor-sharp chord clusters laid down by Miller and bassist Clint Conley. The latter's "That's When I Reach for My Revolver" faded into "This Is Not a Photograph," but just as impressive was the new material, and the unexpected cover of Pink Floyd's "Astronomy Domine." Music this challenging will never pack arenas, but it was wonderful to hear the "Fame and Fortune" that Miller ironically sang about two decades earlier finally bear real fruit for these New England dynamos.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 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
Saturday Showcases
Saturday Showcases

March 20, 2015

Friday Showcases
Friday Showcases
Korea, Japan, Spain, Africa – see the world from single showcases

March 20, 2015

More by Michael Chamy
Texas Platters
Palaxy Tracks
Twelve Rooms (Record Review)

Sept. 16, 2005

Texas Platters
Comet
Feathers From the Wing EP (Record Review)

Aug. 12, 2005

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

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

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