Trending
MOST READ
Best Happy Hour

Best Happy Hour

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
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

Best Exotic Dancers (Female)

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Alamo Colleges Barely Passed Its Own Accountability Test

Alamo Colleges Barely Passed Its Own Accountability Test

News: After months of passionate protest, petitions and public forums, faculty, students and administration of the five Alamo Community Colleges let out... By Mary Tuma 4/16/2014
‘Jodorowsky’s Dune’ Documents a Cult Director’s Ambitious Failure

‘Jodorowsky’s Dune’ Documents a Cult Director’s Ambitious Failure

Screens: We’ve all seen David Lynch’s 1984 film, Dune. For kids of the ’80s and ’90s, it was a staple in Dad’s VHS library. As an adult looking back on it, or as a... By James Woodard 4/16/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Music

Phonolux returns with a hot sophomore album

Photo: Josh Huskin, License: N/A

Josh Huskin

Let any sonofabitch follow that — Calvo, Romero, Guillermo, and Novak getting ready to burn 502.


If Phonolux means "sound plus light," having the band's second album release party at 502 Bar makes complete sense. It is the matching of a band that's all about achieving perfect sound with a venue known for both the quality of its sound and light systems.

My advice to those used to going to more central music venues: drive a little bit; it'll be worth it.

Besides the quality of its songs (a blend of Beatlesque epic pop, indie adventurousness, and Supertramp keyboards), Phonolux has a rare ability — both live and on record — to switch instruments on any given song, with the songwriters singing their own songs. The changes are so frequent that, even for them, it's hard to keep up with who plays what.

"For example, on [first single] 'Bored,' Buddy [Calvo] is always on piano, I play guitar, Art [Guillermo] is on drums and Dave [Novak] is on bass," says Miguel Romero Jr. "But in 'Easy,' I'll be on bass, Dave will be on drums…"

"No, I'm on drums," interjects Calvo.

Yet both Phonolux albums are a cohesive collection of solid, elegant songs, catchy enough to hum and sophisticated enough to demand full attention. For Nashville Fires, Romero offered up-tempo rockers ("The Hipstocrite," "American Dream") and Dave a power ballad ("Talking in my Sleep"), but the bulk of the album, as on the first one, belonged to Calvo.

"With Buddy, he basically throws a rock against the piano, and whatever chord he hits, that's the first chord of the song," jokes Romero. "Seriously, he gets a drum beat in his head, then a tune, then he hits on the piano and tries to find the chords he has in his head. Then we all jump on board."

And they all jumped on board considerably more than on the self-titled first album, where all the songs where pretty much arranged by each composer. Nashville Fires is Phonolux's ultimate "band" album, despite the fact that all but three songs belong to Calvo.

"Buddy makes up in quantity what he lacks in quality," says Romero. "I'm completely kidding, of course."

Calvo counterattacks: "[Novak and Romero] take forever to write. I just record more at home and bully the other guys into picking my stuff."

The album's name is also a joke that started while making the first album. Proud for coming up with the name Phonolux, Romero decided to Google the name. Horrified, he found a Nashville record store with the same name.

"We kind of got pissed off because we thought our idea was original, so we developed this horrible feeling of burning the place to the ground to get it out of the way," Romero says. A couple of days later, they needed a name for a new song and Romero jokingly offered "Nashville Fires." It stuck, and it was included on the new album. But don't look for hidden meanings — the song has nothing to do with Tennessee.

Recently in Music
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