On its debut album, When Horses Would Run, Being Dead indulges in the trickster side of life. Songs are collaged together from bits of garage rock, surf guitar, heavy metal, and jazz piano. There are scraps of songs littering the track list: a 75 second Being Dead theme song, an even shorter acappella scenario wondering what would happen if God owned a Bible. The band members go by Falcon Bitch, Gumball, and Ricky Moto, and on stage they try out jokes between songs and trade instruments with ease.
When Horses Would Run is my favorite Austin album I’ve heard in years precisely because of this trickster energy. Some bands try a goofy pose, but it feels cynical. Others are so self-serious they’re crushed under the weight. Being Dead is in that sweet spot that’s inviting, chaotic, silly, and strange. They write excellent songs: “Last Living Buffalo” sounds funny until they’re screaming over Sabbath-esque riffs about the slaughter of animals. Falcon Bitch and Gumball sing in a perpetual, old-style harmony–which is so rare these days–and it splits the difference between the Pastels and the Everly Brothers. The times are heavy, but Being Dead is actively removing weight from the world through their music.
Last month, Falcon Bitch and Gumball helped us kick off our series of My KUTXes recorded live at Lou’s on Barton Springs (the next one is Tuesday, July 25). I had such a blast with them: with banter about adult diapers, getting stuck in cat doors, and dancing to Ricky Martin, this felt more like an improv comedy hour than a guest DJ set. Fair warning: there was a weird technical difficulty throughout where our mics had a bit of delay on them. You’ll hear us talk a little slower than normal, which made for a psychedelic experience. In retrospect, of course that would happen during their set. That’s just the price of living in Being Dead’s weird world. Hear Being Dead’s My KUTX on Saturday, July 22 or listen anytime right here.
- Suicide – “Ghost Rider”
- Peter Grudzien – “The Unicorn”
- Chronophage – “Nytears”
- Deerhoof – “Basket Ball Get Your Groove Back”
- Elliott Smith – “Speed Trials”
- Cindy Lee – “Dry Dive”
- Ought – “Beautiful Blue Sky”
- Ricky Martin – “Livin’ La Vida Loca”
- Grass Widow – “Uncertain Memory”
- The Raincoats – “Off Duty Trip”
- Women – “Eyesore”
- The Equals – “Michael & His Slipper Tree ’93”