A lovable but particularly snobbish friend recently referred to a kind of rock ’n’ roll practiced in Fort Worth as “chud rock.” I snickered, thinking, “ ‘Chud’ definitely isn’t a word, but somehow I know what he means.”
My theory is that he’s talking about loud, melodic rock with bluesy elements, specifically The Hanna Barbarians, Foxtrot Uniform, The Frisky Disco, Rotten Roots, We’rewolves, and a few other similar-sounding bands that don’t seem to get much press beyond these pages. Of course, he’s also talking about bands that he grew up on and loves (or has loved) –– The Rolling Stones, Faces, The Stooges, The MC5, The Black Keys –– but we won’t tell him that.
The music can’t be the problem. Thick riffs, thunderous drums, high-pitched screams –– what’s not to like? No, for him, it must be a question of perceived authenticity. I guess today’s chud rockers, like their predecessors, are guilty of being young and (mostly) white while appropriating an African-American artform. I know, I know. I should have said, “Dude. The 1960s called. They want their complaint back.”
Good music is good music. See, in my dotage, I’ve come to look down on gangsta rap –– if “bitch” is the most creative word you can come up with, you’re not trying very hard. I also don’t like much mainstream country –– that twang in your voice and those schmaltzy lyrics? C’mon. You’re singing that way only to ingratiate yourself with a microscopic segment of the population whose members actually speak with an exaggerated drawl, a group of people brandished by right-wing politicians as Heartlanders or “patriots.” You’re not being yourself, pilgrim, which means you’re just trying to sell us listeners a bill of goods. I don’t think the Barbs and their chud-rocking brethren are trying to do anything but get people feeling good and shaking their asses (and maybe drinking). Maybe I’m a 40-year-old geezer, but I’ll take 90 percent of the chud rockers in this town over whatever qualifies as “cool” music these days: screamo noise or DJ disco, I guess. Since when did knowing how to play an instrument well and lock into a soulful groove become anathema?
It hasn’t, which is why if you’re a chud rocker like me you’ll want to spend pretty much this entire weekend in the West 7th Street corridor. On Thursday, Foxtrot and the Disco will take over The Grotto (517 S. University Dr., 817-882-9331). Cover is only $5. Right down the street on that same night, Lola’s Saloon (2736 6th St., 817-877-0666) will host a new chud-rocking Arlington trio called The Sex Rynos, Arlington’s Afro-pop-influenced Kites & Boomerangs, and probably the heaviest, grooviest chud-rocking band of young’uns in town, Sonic Buffalo. Cover is $5 to $9.
The chuds will keep rockin’ The Grotto on Friday, when Sally Majestic, Year of the Bear, Addnerim, Prophets of Rage, Stoogeaphilia, Merkin, Tripp Mathis, and Levi Ray will perform as part of a benefit concert for Addison Gem Greer, a baby girl suffering from CLOVES Syndrome, a rare illness. Proceeds from the $10 cover will go toward her treatment and travel expenses. The event also includes raffles.
Just know that Lola’s other shows this weekend will be audible from your house. On Friday, national metallists Saint Vitus (featuring Fort Worth drummer Henry Vasquez) headline, preceded by Tricounty Terror, Hint of Death (featuring ex-members of Dallas hardcore legends Rigor Mortis and Speedealer), and Solomon. A reunited old-school sludge-metal band peopled by members of two revered North Texas outfits –– the dubby Sub Oslo and original Fort Worth hardcore practitioners Garuda –– Solomon, according to one Dallas Observer scribe, is the heaviest band on Earth. On Saturday, Denton’s RTB2 and Haltom City’s The Me-Thinks will open for touring metalheads Jucifer, who perform through 100 tons of amplifiers. Seriously. Bring earplugs.
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