Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Brendan Gleeson Carries Pitch-black ‘Calvary,’ Weighed Down by the Rest

Brendan Gleeson Carries Pitch-black ‘Calvary,’ Weighed Down by the Rest

Screens: Father James (Brendan Gleeson) sits in a confessional, waiting. An unseen man enters the box and says, “The first time I tasted semen, I was seven... By David Riedel 8/20/2014
Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

Astrology: ARIES (March 21-April 19): An American named Kevin Shelley accomplished a feat worthy of inclusion in the... By Rob Brezsny 8/20/2014
The Unhealthy Debate in U.S. Congress That Threatens Public School Nutrition Standards

The Unhealthy Debate in U.S. Congress That Threatens Public School Nutrition Standards

News: Congressional Republicans are hoping to relax requirements aimed at keeping American public school kids healthy. Yes, you read that correctly... By Mary Tuma 6/11/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Live & Local

Live & Local: Morris Orchids at LoneStar Studios

Photo: Chuck Kerr, License: N/A

Chuck Kerr

Morris Orchids’ Leonard Rader battling the sound at LoneStar Studios.

Leonard Rader — guitarist, vocalist, and one half of the creative nucleus of Morris Orchids — describes his band as more “album-” than “stage-” oriented. But that was only the beginning of the difficulties they faced last Friday at LoneStar Studios SMART Music Festival. Rader took the stage with an updated lineup including collaborator Chris Guerra (keys, vocals), Jaimé Rader (Leonard’s brother on samples, beats), and Matt Thomas (bassist for half the indie bands in town). It was their first gig in about a year and the material was all new.

Morris Orchids exists somewhere between Thom Yorke’s solo material and the early work of Caribou (when Caribou was still Manitoba), with interspersed elements that recall Brian Eno and the Talking Heads. “Dapper” set the tone by embodying all of these characteristics fully. The track’s opening tom beat could have been lifted from Stop Making Sense. It surrendered to a bouncy break heard on at least a dozen Radiohead tunes and a sunny key shift breaking the tension. Over it all, Leonard sang in long, falsetto notes. Derivative? Sure. But moody, engaging stuff all the same (and, seriously, there aren’t enough bands effectively hawking the legends I mention here).

The problem began right after the band finished their second tune, “Introphonic” (a sweet soundtrack perfect for pieces of furniture making love). One of the sound channels in their mixer blew. The band noticed as they were slogging through the yearning “iSong.” A climatic drum sample should have climaxed the cut, but it didn’t play, leading the band to end a measure or two early.

Guerra took the opportunity to play an untitled instrumental, incorporating variations on a ghostly piano theme and then just improvised while the Rader brothers swapped out one mixer for another. They got both channels back, but lost their monitors in the process and sadly spent the rest of the set trying to regain momentum.

Morris Orchids’ spacy, robot rock begs to be heard seamlessly in front of a seated audience, particularly because the music doesn’t change so much as shift and would make a great set piece for a capable light tech. That said, the band held on through the breezily dark “Reprise” and the synthesizer fire-flower that is “Moony.” The night did not belong to them, but it was clear that it would again in the future.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus