Dog's Eye View goes nowhere; local acts convene in Austin

by Chris Stelmak

Daily Cougar Staff

Nowhere. That's where Dog's Eye View is going with its latest release, Happy Nowhere. The debut album is horribly unoriginal and rather boring, molding Dog's Eye View into a sort of mellow Hootie and the Blowfish wannabe.

The guitar on the album is rather basic, with a simplistic drum and bass arrangement. The style seems to be centered more around the lead singer than the actual music.

A couple of songs are relatively easy to swallow. "The Prince's Favorite Son" is decent since it deviates from the album's monotonous style. The song has uplifting beats, making it spicier than the others.

There are a couple of amusing, mellower songs. "I Wish I Was Here" has soothing guitar and bass with light drums. "Would You Be Willing" is much of the same, except with a quicker beat.

Michael Kroll will be opening for Dog's Eye View with his recent release, Ether County. Kroll and his band are a superb pick as an opening act. Kroll is a much better artist than Dog's Eye View.

Kroll, who takes on acoustical, baritone and electric guitar, adds his soothing voice to the mix. The band takes on its own soft style, which is refreshingly different from many current acts.

Ether County is a perfect album name. Kroll has a mellow band to just sit back and relax to after a long day. It almost makes the listener want to fall asleep.

Dog's Eye View is not a horribly irritating band, it's just plain horrible. Kroll, however, is a fresh, relaxing sound. Be sure to get there early to catch Kroll, and leave early to avoid Hootie.

Dog's Eye View and Kroll will perform March 17 at Urban Art Bar, 112 Milam. Tickets are $5 to $7. call 225-0500 for more information.

by Brian Dear

Daily Cougar Staff

The Fabulous Satellite Lounge hosts a unique brand of alternative music Monday. Tennessee band Self, promoting its latest release, Subliminal Plastic Motives, will spurt out a bizarre, sampler-laced sound. The heavy dosage of infectious grooves should take show-goers on a trip with unexpected twists and musical turns.

Frontman Matt Mahaffey is a one-man rhythm nation. In "Subliminal," he serves up a strange brew, with his brother Mike, dishing out a cool bass vibe.

The radio hit "Canon," along with "Stewardess," blends power drill guitar with stratospherically diverse vocals. Those songs alone present an alluring complexity that will hypnotize concert attendees.

In less-known songs "So Low" and "Superstar," Self generates an odd blend of hip-hop and surfer music. They are sure to play something for everyone while adhering to a thread of continuity.

Self's songs are an extension of Mahaffey's personality and experiences. Like decoding a Thomas Hardy novel, determining meaning in a Self song is easy, but determining the true meaning is a difficult undertaking.

Self plays Monday at the Satellite Lounge, 3616 Washington Ave. Tickets are $6. Call 869-COOL for more information.

by Chris Stelmak

Daily Cougar Staff

Still haven't made plans for Spring Break? South by Southwest is holding its 10th annual conference next week.

The conference takes place in Austin with more than 500 bands playing at many of the different local clubs. It will start Thursday with keynote speaker Randy Newman.

The acts for SXSW are mostly off indie labels trying to get noticed, and include: Girls Against Boys, Ben Folds Five, Phunk Junkeez, The Posies, For Squirrels and Imperial Teen. Iggy Pop and George Clinton & the P Funk Allstars will also be playing.

Many Texas bands are making the trek, including a few from Houston. Houston's Eric Taylor will show up, along with The Jinkies and Clouded. Tons of Austin bands such as Sincola, El Flaco and Pushmonkey will be tuning up for the occasion.

the three-day conference and four-night music festival will end Sunday with a barbecue and softball tournament.

A full ticket to the conference and all the shows costs about $400. However, a wristband that admits the wearer to all the shows costs $40, if bought before March 10. On Sunday, the price will increase to $45. To buy a wristband call (512) 469-SHOW.

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