First-Ever Grasshopperpalooza Swarms the Ten Eleven
Published: July 17, 2013
I press him more about San Antonio’s music scene.
“Look, I’m not a big ‘save the scene’ or ‘we are the scene’ guy or anything,” he says. “The way I see it, good bands make a scene. And this is a lot of fucking good bands in two days.”
He’s right. Some of the most interesting musical risk-takers in San Antonio are on this bill. Many of the bands can’t be defined with a simple comparison: “They sound like Radiohead.” There are all sorts of genres represented: hardcore punk, electronic, garage rock, post rock, etc. There are bands like Búho, which defy genres. Are they post rock or shoegaze, some strange hybrid of the two, or none of the above? Even Grasshopper’s newest album has added elements of psychedelic and ’80s film scores (Woodard mentions John Carpenter, Alan Howarth, Goblin, Tangerine Dream and Vangelis as inspirations). If their older work was the sound of the apocalypse, this new stuff is the existential aftermath, a soundtrack for the post-apocalypse.
I ask Woodard how he determined what bands to put on the bill.
“I asked a ton of really awesome bands to play, and the ones that said yes got on. Simple as that,” he says. “Then a lot of up-and-comers with enthusiasm and willingness to help promote asked to be openers. I could have easily filled a third day, if I wanted to kill myself.”
Looking at the way he planned the lineup, it’s obvious he’s put a lot of thought into the cohesive whole. I’m envious. I wish he had put together my burrito.
A few days later I speak with Mauricio Gudiño Jr., drummer for Búho. They’ve recently added bassist, Andrew Elizalde, after their second guitarist left the band. Their sound is fuller, poppier. “I think the fluctuating dynamics and the constant defining and redefining of specific sounds is something that we really love playing with,” Gudiño says.
I ask how he feels playing on this bill.
“It’s going to be great seeing the majority of my favorite faces in the San Antonio music scene in one place,” he replies. “I feel Grasshopperpalooza is a valuable inlet for people who are not aware of a true alternative scene here.” He clarifies, “By ‘true’ alternative, I mean that there is a small concentration of musicians who focus their efforts on creating music that bears little semblance to a Top 40 Alternative band.”
On July 20 and 21, at the Ten Eleven, that beloved, almost hidden venue on Avenue B with an increasingly good beer selection and a back patio overlooking the Riverwalk, bands of varying genres and cross-genres, and bands undefinable, will be representing what San Antonio’s alternative music scene is capable of (with help from a few Austin bands). The Grasshopper Lies Heavy will be shaking the foundations of the earth with their post-apocalyptic soundtrack. This two-day festival is a noble effort. If it works, people will be talking about it for years. If it fails, well, it would be a good death.
Grasshopperpalooza feat. The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, Lonely Horse, Boyfrndz, The Rich Hands, Búho, and more
Doors at 5:30pm Sat-Sun, July 20-21
1011 Avenue B