Our Bands Are Bands

Our Bands Are Bands

Big Boys, 1978-1984

The socially conscious progenitors of skate-funk churned out hardcore with a sense of humor and an outlandish frontman, Randy "Biscuit" Turner. The Big Boys are as critical to Texas music history as the 13th Floor Elevators. Essential listening: The Fat Elvis (Touch and Go)

Poison 13, 1984-1987

The chain gang of Austin post-punk, pitting Big Boys bruiser Chris Gates with roadie/vocalist Mike Carroll, future Meat Purveyor Bill Anderson, and drummer Jim Kanan. Moonshine terror and snotty punk blues, nominated this year for the Texas Music Hall of Fame. Essential listening: Wine Is Red, Poison Is Blue (Sub Pop)

Bad Mutha Goose & the Brothers Grimm, 1986-1990

Considered the Sly & the Family Stone of Austin's late 1980s, this hugely popular neo-soul ensemble shook loose a fusion of hard funk, down-home blues, and early hip-hop, sparking a major-label bidding war. Essential listening: Tower of Babel (Alpha International)

The Monkeywrech, 1990-present

This ultimate side project – Kerr, Mark Arm and Steve Turner (Mudhoney, Green River), Tom Price (U-Men, Gas Huffer), and Australian drummer Martin Bland (Lubricated Goat, Bloodloss) – strikes in eight-year increments. Expected next: 2014. Essential listening: Electric Children (Estrus)

Jack O'Fire, 1991-1995

Manic street preachers on a mission outlined by the Young Lions Conspiracy, Kerr's tribute act with local harpist Walter Daniels featured a repertoire that included everything from Blind Willie McTell to Frank Zappa. Essential listening: The Destruction of Squaresville (Estrus)

Lord High Fixers, 1995-2000

No-holds-barred garage-punk at the peak of Kerr's free jazz ascension. A maddening and prolific Mod Squad that marked the vengeful return of Poison 13's Mike Carroll. Essential listening: The Beginning of the End ... The End of the Beginning! (In the Red)

King Sound Quartet, 1997

This one-off collaboration with Mick Collins of Motor City minimalists the Gories, future Hex Dispenser Alex Cuervo, and Sugar Shack's Stephanie Paige Friedman is best remembered for its sidelong interpretation of Sun Ra's "Space Is the Place." Essential listening: The Getdown Imperative (In the Red)

The Now Time Delegation, 2001

An unintentional Southern counter to the Dirtbombs' Ultraglide in Black spurred by Kerr's fallout with Collins. Gospel Swingers' Steve Adkins and organist Kari Luna add Muscle Shoals grit to the honeysuckle soul of the BellRays' Lisa Kekaula. Essential listening: Watch for Today (In the Red)

Total Sound Group Direct Action Committee, 2001-2004

An extension of Lord High Fixers, the Committee's organ-fueled garage-rock roulette joined Carroll and Kerr with Pat Barker-Benfield of McLemore's Avenue and Attack Formation's Nick Moulos and Ben Webster. Essential listening: The Party Platform ... Our Schedule Is Change! (Estrus)

  • More of the Story

  • Your Name Here

    Big Boys guitarist Tim Kerr put Austin punk on the map, then spent the next quarter century painting on it
  • Wreck Collection

    Tim Kerr's cassette for Monofonus' Your Name Here

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