Katy and I saw Doug Burr play at Crosstown Station three months ago. (It was a great set, cut much too short by Burr’s illness that night.) His fellow Texans, Monahans, opened with a set, then served as his backing band. I hadn’t heard of Monahans before, so I did some research that week before the show, finding a few songs online.
What I found, however, in no way prepared me for the band’s amazing set. Although the singer, Greg Vanderpool, had a cold, his grumbly, low voice was beautiful. His effects-laden, resonator guitar playing also surprised and refreshed.
While the band could probably be lumped in with other soaring indie rock bands, Monahans had something else going on. The rhythm section drove the sound, but the drummer didn’t seem content playing the same dumbed-down Larry Mullen phrases. There was also something murky, Springsteen-like and oh-so American with the songs’ presentation that made sense when I discovered the band was from Austin.
At any rate, I’ve been sick this week, so commentary in this show may be a little scant. But the music is awesome. Enjoy.
- “God Send Us a Signal” – Hammock (Raising Your Voice… Trying to Stop an Echo / Darla / 2006)
- “Roam An Empty Space” – Monahans (2010 Recordings / independent / 2010)
- “Summertime” – George Benson Quartet (It’s Uptown / Columbia / 1966)
- “Vodiak” – Stereolab (Fab Four Suture / Too Pure / 2005)
- “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses (The Temple Bar Remix)” – U2 (Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses CD single / Island / 1991)