Over the weekend, a friend shared with me her theory on the future of music: that since the costs of producing electronic music are dropping deep into the Mariana Trench and the costs of producing rock music remain somewhat fixed, pop will become increasingly electronic while rock will become more like jazz, a complex and esoteric obsession for introverted squares.
Looking around pop music right now, it's hard to feel she's totally off-base.
That's why it was such a relief to see The Saint James Society, which played Feb. 20 at The Crux. The Austin-based psych-band is all tattoos and greasy hair wrapped up in stove-pipe jeans and black leather garnished with silver. And when the band played, it was all mean-sounding reverb and sinister echoes, with thundering toms beneath. Everything from the moody atmospheric sound, to the half-interested girl playing tambourine semi-rhythmically, made the band look and sound like like it's up to absolutely no good.
The band was traveling with novelist Jason Myers, the Hunter S. Thompson of YA lit, who was on the trip to research his next book.
Just as I was thinking that this is the sort of band that used to terrify parents because its members might abscond with their children, the song ended and the singer spoke: "We're on our way home to Austin. If anyone wants to come, there's plenty of room in the van."
Rock is not dead.