One show at a time
Shreveport indie rockers Ghost Foot and Louisiana brother band Gashcat land at Pehrspace Saturday
By Bliss Bowen 05/16/2013
Louisiana is renowned for many things — blackened catfish, hurricanes, political corruption, “Treme” — but especially for its musical exports. American music would not be what it is without the contributions of Louis Armstrong, Clifton Chenier, Wynton Marsalis, the Neville Brothers and Allen Toussaint. But two youthful bands coming to Southern California this week make clear that not all of Louisiana’s music is rooted in blues, jazz or Cajun two-steps.
Emanating from Shreveport, Ghost Foot and Gashcat are both well versed in 1960s garage rock, ’90s punk and the time-honored tradition of bashing out chords on guitar while wailing about girlfriends who take their love elsewhere. Brother bands in spirit and real time, they’ve appeared on each other’s recordings and are currently road-dogging their way up the West Coast. Five-piece “fuzz folk” ensemble Gashcat is currently touring as a duo behind its “Devil Kid Demos” EP. Earlier this month bandleader Kyle Craft posted a “farewell” to fans announcing that this would be their last tour as Gashcat. It remains to be seen whether that spells the end of Craft’s slightly trippy folk rock, or merely a creative transition.
The band to watch is Ghost Foot. Jacob Disedare and Dacoda Montana’s simple guitar-draums setup suggest they take their cues from the Black Keys, though fuzz-toned rockers like “Shakes” and “Skeleton Eyes” don’t slam with the Keys’ blues-drenched power. Ghost Foot sounds hungry and compelling, though. Their lean, hard-rocking style seems born more from circumstance than design, and tracks like “Last Call” and “Tarantula,” from their recently released full-length debut “Bad Blood” scream to be experienced live. Both bands will be part of lo-fi punk label Big Joy Records’ lineup at not-for-profit arts space Pehrspace this Saturday.
Ghost Foot and Gashcat are in the midst of a month-long tour that’s taking them from their native Louisiana through the Southwest, the West Coast and Midwest. That’s a lot of miles logged for indie bands barely known beyond their state’s borders. The venues they’re playing are mostly unassuming: pizza parlors, art galleries, dive bars, some rock clubs. But it’s heartening to see the old-school road dog mentality soldiering on, despite the high cost of gasoline and the relatively low number of available venues for live music. Posting blogs and free song downloads is a great way to make music accessible, but playing live remains the truest way to earn fan loyalty, one show at a time. n
Gashcat and Ghost Foot at Pehrspace, 325 Glendale Blvd., LA, 8 p.m. Saturday, May 18; $5. Also on the bill: The Dining Dead, Arjuna Genome, Synthetic Colours, Kyle Johnson. Info: (213) 483-7347. ghostfoot.bandcamp.com/, gashcat.bandcamp.com, pehrspace.org