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Arts and Entertainment

Roky Erickson with Okkervil River @ Music Box Theater 5/18/10 and Eagle Rock Center For The Arts 5/19/10

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(See also Melissa Moore’s post and photo gallery on the Eagle Rock show).

Roky Erickson and Okkervil River’s appearance at an after-school ice cream party for kids reached its peak of surrealism at the moment when the band stopped to ask the youngsters packing the Eagle Rock Arts Center if they had any questions. “Does the drummer get splinters from playing so fast?” “Naw, I don’t think he does,” answered Erickson, “but hopefully it don’t have a taboo on it, like in Louisiana they call it a gris-gris.” Another wanted to know, what did he think about the ukelele? “I like it, and I like that music… I should get me a statue of one.” As to “why is the vampire song so loud?”, Roky reasoned “When it’s cold, and people are wearing all their scarves and neckerchiefs and everything, you have to make it loud enough to sink in.”

After that last exchange, the band picked their instruments back up and slammed into the 13th Floor Elevators classic “You’re Gonna Miss Me”, and the entire room began to bounce. Some of the kids plugged their ears, others jammed out on air guitar and danced in the aisles. It was the parents, though, that looked downright ecstatic. Finally, thanks to the kind folks of FYF Fest, a real rock show that you can experience with your children, without having to stay up late or pay for a sitter. Watching the whole thing unfold, taking in the looks of wide-eyed wonder on faces young and old, was one of the most pleasantly bizarre experiences of my gig-going life.