We're lucky to have bands like LA's Crash Kings for a lot of reasons. Their kick-ass, self-titled debut album is filled with rocking power-pop -- in the absolute best sense of the term -- tunes that are undeniably great.
Photo by Bradford Schmidt Crash Kings' bassist Mike Beliveau
Plus, they're a drums, bass, and keyboard trio with a huge sound, and lead singer and keyboard-player Tony Beliveau plays a Clavinet (look it up, then impress your friends with your coolness) with a whammy bar, making it the single coolest axe on any stage in Austin. Finally, they were hella-nice guys to hang out with and talk meat.
Drummer Jason Morris is a native Texan, so it's no surprise when he lists sliced beef brisket as a favorite. Texas is about cow barbecue, and Morris is no traitor to the Lone Star State.
Beliveau looks at proteins a little differently, though: "I like meat,
but can I say salmon? Do you count that as meat?" Of course - but then
an argument breaks out about which is more steak-like, swordfish, tuna
or salmon. (The answer is salmon. Period.) "All right then, wild-caught
Alaskan King Salmon is my pick."
Beliveau's brother Mike, bassist for the band, gets quite specific: "No
question about it. A nice thick Porterhouse, but from Mastros, in L.A."
It may be tough to grab one lately, though. They've been on the road
since last August, but everything's a trade-off. If the amount of
touring they've done has anything to do with how they played at their
Rusty Nail gig Thursday night, skipping steaks in L.A. was worth it.
After their set, the crowd went as crazy as any crowd at SXSW that isn't
fighting over the free Southern Comfort at the Levi's/Fader Fort. The
response was so loud and prolonged, in fact, that the band looked a bit
overwhelmed. "That was crazy," said Jason after the show, "just crazy."
-- Bradford Schmidt