Sunday, November 9, 2008

De Los Muertos at Red 7

October 4, 2008-I went to the Red 7 with the intent of seeing De Los Muertos play that night. Someone recommended I go see them because they thought I would like them. So I go to Red 7 and find that the doors don’t open till 9:00 PM. I always show up about an hour early to find convenient parking, check out the club layout to find the best vantage point for watching and listening plus talk to the musicians. I had an hour to kill so I decided I get something to eat. I cross the street to the corner, 7th and Red River, to get a hotdog and coke. The hotdog was OK but if you’ve ever eaten a hotdog from a New York street vendor, it just didn’t compare. Well anyway, I still have time to kill so I try to find a place to buy a cup of coffee. I walk up and down 6th Street to find a coffee shop but with no luck. 6th Street needs a “coffee shop” for us coffee drinkers, a Starbucks or independent shop. It’s 9:00 PM, I walk back to the Red 7 and pay my $15 bucks to get in. I thought $15 was pricy because club prices average from $5-$10. The line up for tonight was Mice and Rifles, Tito and Tarantula and De Los Muertos.

The first band was Mice and Rifles, a five member band from Austin. I first saw Mice and Rifles at Club De Ville, an METV sponsored event, back in February on a cold and rainy day. Now I will admit that I’m partial to Mice and Rifles because I’m acquainted with their drummer, Patrick Estrada. Patrick and I have bumped into each other at various places plus I know him as the drummer for Maneja Beto as well. Mice and Rifles has an Indie, Country sound with a hint of rock. I like Kevin Brinkkoeter’s strong voice and the steel guitar in their music. Mice and Rifles plays around town on a regular basis so catch them if you can. I do want to thank the band for a “free” copy of their latest EP “All Kites Up” and band button. Kevin gave away the CD because he felt that if you have to pay to come see them, he should give you something in return. My favorite songs are "Telegram,""American Victory" and "Storm."

The second band in the line up was Tito and Tarantula. I really hadn’t heard of Tito and Tarantula until a few days before the event. I discovered Tito worked on the soundtracks for "Dusk to Dawn" and others movies directed by Robert Rodriguez. So you’ve probably heard their music but like me just weren’t aware of it. The band’s songs are heavy and dark and combine Rock, Rock-a-Billy and Surf influences. That night Tito Larriva, lead vocal, was under the weather but still put on a fantastic show. The guy who really enhances Taratula’s sound is Steven Medina Hufster. Steven plays a mean guitar and knows how to work the audience. The drummer, Alfred Ortiz, I know I had seen somewhere before but just couldn’t place him. It turns out Alfred is the animated drummer in Julieta Venegas MTV Unplugged video. The band played a long set plus an encore. The crowd was really into the music, was elbow to elbow and friendly. At the encore, Tito invites the audience onto the stage. It got to the point where you couldn’t see the band for the people. It was a fun show and the music was fantastic. I had a warm fuzzy feeling and it wasn’t alcohol induced because I’m not really a drinker. I think the fact that I was standing next to Patricia Vonne had something to do with it, “you had me at hello.” I purchased Tito’s current CD “Back Into The Darkness” that night. My favorite songs are “Come Out Clean,” “Monsters” and “Machete.”

Qoute inside CD cover: "If Only We Could Use Our Evil Powers For The Good Of Mankind"

Note: Tito and Tarantula is touring Europe right now but you can hear Tito and Tarantula’s music and an interview with Tito Larriva on hosted by Paul Saucido.

The third band, De Los Muertos, from San Antonio, consist of six members. De Los Metros plays a combination of “Honky Talk, Surf, Blues… and Texas Punk” music. I liked the band and music but it was almost a continuation of Tito and Tarantula, except with a gruff voice. I want to make it clear that this is a compliment on my part. Their music was also dark and heavy at times and would have appreciated them more had Tito not played that night. Plus by the time the band took the stage it was already 1:00 AM and finished at about 2:00 AM. I’ll have to see De Los Muertos again because I liked them and they deserve their own stage. My favorite songs were “Wanderer,” “Coming Down Now” and “This Changes Everything.”

This was my first time to Red 7. The venue is small, fits 150 people comfortably, and was dark. They also have an ample outdoor patio with stage. They did have a DJ playing outside and I have to apologize to him because I didn’t get his name. I was really disappointed with the club’s sound system. The sound/music was neither clear nor sharp. As for parking, I parked under the IH-35 overpass between 6th and 7th Street. This location is two blocks from Red 7 but I won’t park there any more. I left the club at about 2:00 AM, which is about the same time all the clubs are closing. I had to work my way through a lot of people, some drunk. Then trying to get out of the parking lot was difficult because of all the traffic and people. Park around 7th and Red River for ease of exiting downtown