Tuesday, August 16, 2005

THIS is what Austin THINKS it is.

Austin has gotten blase. It is too easy to proclaim oneself Live Music Capital when one has so many bands that there must be music every night of the week for anyone to get a chance to be heard. Good luck catching a crowd that isn't so bored out of its mind by all the possibilities that it fails to recognize the truly original in the vast sea of the mundane.
Soon, very soon, they will be potential witness to a truly original band, one that knows no boundaries placed upon it by local critics, one that stretches where it needs to and lets things be simple where is best suited. This is Buttercup.

Someone's pet lamb became the unwitting name of this most original pop band out of San Antonio. Rarely, since the early 1980's, have any tread upon the ground of social and personal observation with such clarity and humour. Never let it be said that Buttercup takes itself too seriously. When things get too uptight, the joke is ever there to lighten up the mood. It is a bad thing when one forgets how to look at one's self and laugh. In the middle of some of the most intense and profound pop music since Rank and File, Buttercup finds time to let old wounds heal through humour. It is to be commended.

I am currently investigating the career of one Joe Reyes. This guy has got to be the busiest musician I know of.He has so many things going on that the owner of Hogwild Records recently joked with me as I was buying a couple of CDs about "Joe Reyes' 89 bands." I haven't actually counted but I don't think Dave is far off! And what a talent. I do not doubt for a second the talent of the other members of Buttercup one ounce, but I know from many years of experience that a person like Joe can make others reach out for what they might not have otherwise tried for.
I had bought the band's first CD a few days prior to this Monday night performance and by the time they got on stage, I was pretty sure I had it memorized. I was singing where I knew the lyrics and reveling in whatever I didn't know. They did things to Neil Young songs that man could only dream of. They played new stuff I heard during sound check and old stuff off the album and still left me wanting them not to stop. It wasn't the most bombastic. It wasn't the deepest of lyrics. It probably didn't come close to Grammy material, but that's because most folks don't wanna feel that deep. It might mean they have to wake up.

They call it Grackle Mundy. A grackle is one of the noisiest birds one could ever hope to come across. They inhabit South Texas for many months of the year, making one of the most god-awful rackets one ever heard out of a bird, and living in every tree left on what was once their migratory path. It is only in the silence of winter that one finds relief from the crackling screech of their call.
I am hoping for a warm winter, if only to keep Buttercup from migrating away. I have, in a single evening, become a dedicated follower of this odd ritual of a Monday evening celebration. It is born in the music created by Buttercup. You won't find them in many stores. You probably won't hear them on the radio quite yet. They are, however, worth whatever effort you choose to put into discovering the new and different. \they are one of those groups that rarely come around, but leave an indeliable trail wherever they go. It isn't something they have control of. Sometimes the total is greater than the sum of its parts. I dare you to take that leap.
If you are openminded enough to read this blog, you owe to yourself to find out about this band.
The name is BUTTERCUP.


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