Arcata Eye Scene

A-town art, music, theatre. Mostly music. Updated Wednesdays.

Josh Duke: Bonus Tracks – APRIL 1, 2008

Oh. My. God. Let me repeat that phrase: Oh. My. God. I just saw two bands Saturday night at the Alibi that I not only believe will change my life forever, but the landscape of music itself for generations to come. Dragged by Horses paid us a visit, and heralding their performance was Prize Country, bands who should not only be in the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame, but should also be on the board that decides who gets in every year after that. If I were to gauge the intensity of my experience Saturday night, it’d rank somewhere between the time Mike Ness spat on me, and the time I saw Exene Cervenka sang and made me fall in love with her. I can die a happy man after Saturday.

Prize Country did a great job of preparing us for Dragged by Hoses in that they sounded a lot like them, but only in the ways that demonstrated what areas Dragged by Horses were better in. They served as the perfect stepping stone to our local boys, giving us just a flash of what was to come. Singing songs about drugs and losing virginity, they belted away, playing like little stopwatches that counted down to the time that Dragged by Horses would take the stage. Their lead guitarist decided to plow into the crowd during the middle of one his solos, and he ended up body-checking me a couple times in the process. I’ll never wash that shirt again. Their hard rock machinations felt akin to bands like Boysetsfire and Jesus Lizard. Their set was a little on the short side, clocking in at around a half hour or so. I think they realized themselves that they wanted to see Dragged by Horses more than actually play, and stopped before midnight.

And that they did, in their trio-like glory. They mounted stage in a dominant, yet gentle position that catapaulted its way into a thrusting an ravaging rhythm that had me quivering. Jody, Pablo and Chris, the members of Dragged by Horses, these boys are artists in the truest sense of the word. They played songs off their album like “Depth Charge,” while still staying true to the old fans with tunes like “No Es Negocio” and “Lawyers.”

I get sad sometimes because my girlfriend won’t wear the Jody mask I made for her out of bits of his hair anymore, but I don’t think her unwillingness will reflect too badly on how much I support these guys. I felt bad that I had to leave right after the show as certain legal boundaries prevent me from being near Pablo’s home anymore. “Mas por Dinero” really shone through, and even though I haven’t the slightest clue what Pablo is singing in Spanish about, I have the lingering suspicion it has something to do with money. Either way, they rocked out in a variety of ballistic movements, gave us an encore, and played awesome time signatures that would have made Maynard Keenan proud. I could be hit by a bus on my way home, and while I’d be wondering why busses were running at 1:30 in the morning, I’d still die after a complete life.

And that was Saturday night. Phew, I tremble even writing this. But in other news, I hear that despite a farewell show, The Rubberneckers are throwing their musical hat back in the ring. Personally, I can’t wait for them to musically drink us under the table, as I’m sure they’ve done literally many a time. Someone’s got to sing about Blue Lake, and it might as well be them. Keep your ears out for their next show. Welcome back, guys.

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