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The Catch
The Catch (Photo By John Anderson)


Trophy's Case

You read it here first: Red River is over. Calm down, nobody's going anywhere – at least not yet. In fact, the Side Bar is expanding to both inside and outside bars, yet for the first time since the Electric Lounge closed, a live music venue off the strip is arguably the hottest rock club in town. And guess where? It's Trophy's, the South Congress dive long known as a place where even hard-bitten regulars were sometimes lucky to escape with all their teeth. About two years ago, tiring of his bar's reputation as the last stop on the road to nowhere, the owner enlisted Good Looks singer/guitarist Matt Drenik to start booking bands his customers had little interest in. "It worked," reports Drenik, who's since formed Lions in the wake of the Looks' abrupt breakup last month. "I haven't seen a fight there in months." Chasing off the old crowd with the instrumental miasma of My Education and like-minded local bands (plus a newly instituted cover charge), Drenik gradually began bringing in friends like Young Heart Attack and the Rockland Eagles to give Trophy's a more straight-ahead rock identity; once Spoon played their so-called "secret" show there in February, the club was firmly on the map. Since then, it's hosted road shows from stoner badasses Bad Wizard and Seattle New Wave cuties the Catch, even as a scene of catchy, quirky Austin acts who postdate the rise of Red River – Things That Go Pop, Handsome Charlies, La La Land, the Unbearables – has coalesced. "The cool thing is, there was no [pre-existing] scene at Trophy's," Drenik says. "These bands can be part of crafting a scene instead of just joining one." Though Emo's and the Continental Club have helped by throwing overflow bookings Trophy's way, as have Rockland Eagle Mark Nathan's improvements to the sound system, Drenik, whose latest get is the Riverboat Gamblers, returns to his experiences in the Looks when asked to explain the club's newfound popularity. "It's really just about playing," he says. "We loved to play there because it's the most fun."
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Christopher Gray, June 29, 2007

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Christopher Gray, June 22, 2007

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