Descartes a Kant

SXSW showcase reviews

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Descartes a Kant

The Tap Room at Six, Thursday, March 19

As the clock struck 9 Thursday night, Descartes a Kant stood on the Tap Room's erstwhile stage in faux-satanic garb, unable to play because of a sound problem. Such a scene often makes for jittery performers, inpatient audiences, and altogether bad shows. Happily, this wasn't the case once the Guadalajara, Mexico, quintet cranked up its roller-coaster collage of sound. Descartes a Kant describes itself as the Breeders crossed with Frank Zappa, but that's only the beginning. From a visual perspective, the band's performance shared elements with favored Japanese export Ex-Girl. Descartes is fronted by guitarist/vocalists Sandrushka and Daphne, who alternated between fetching and mad in their sexy outfits. Then there was Charlkovski, the bassist dressed as devil Hitler wearing a diaper. The bass was the most constant element in a set that changed genres from post-punk to cocktail jazz to doo-wop to country to disco, sometimes within the course of a verse and chorus. Lyrics like "take my face into a dirty place" complimented the grab bag of aural transgression. As sound issues continued to plague the band, Descartes soldiered on unfazed. At one point, the ladies went from a punk rock-style midstage collision right into supper-club scat singing. What does it all mean? That's a question for more sober minds.

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