Thursday, May 11, 2017
Twenty-something years ago I fittingly got dragged down to the Drag in Austin to go see some band my roommate had heard good things about. Evidently the band leader was some underground musical savant who was simply revolutionary when it came to jazz. We sat in some tiny empty upstairs club, my curiosity somewhat piqued but not quite... jazz wasn't (and still isn't) really my thing. Well, two hours later, I was rendered speechless and have recalled the story about seeing the Golden Arm Trio ever since. Theirs was the first band sticker I slapped on my Fender which I still play to this day. Gaudy with two decades of scum and slime (and layered with umpteen other band decals), you can still kinda make out the "Trio" in the band logo. Regardless, composer and band leader Graham Reynolds was on the drums that night (and occasionally the piano) and it was amazing to watch whom you would usually consider a background musician absolutely control the group (it was an actual "trio" at that point; later on, while the band's name stayed the same there could be as many as eight folks playing together but we can discuss semantics later). The drums were what really had me - controlling, heavy, almost blast beat death metal grooves at times as opposed to the casual background jazz-ish rat-a-tat-tat I expected. It was something else and only recently did I take advantage of this new thing we have called the "Internet" and see what the fuck ever happened to the band. Turns out a LOT. A couple albums, a movie soundtrack (A Scanner Darkly, 'natch) and some highly praised stage shows... it has been an absolute joy revisiting some of the music I completely considered a one-off show so long ago. Check out the band website here - it's amazing how the dude looks almost exactly the same as he did back in '96. Enjoy their first album... a real treat.