I come originally from Texas and many of my oldest, dearest friends still live there. I took an extended stay there this summer and a friend of mine, Ralph, showed me a local Austin band that had just put out a new album and was blowing up. As we listened to their cd, I felt like a Dead-head that drank a 4-pak of Red Bulls. The guitars wailed over a spot-on rhythm section as their hypnotizing vocals whispered an unmistakable subliminal message in my ear: "Hey.. We're White Denim, and we're rad."
I saw White Denim over the summer in Austin, Tx at La Zona Rosa. Standing front row right in front of lead singer James Petralli, I probably came off as more of a drunken jack-ass then the intellectual writer/musician/artist that (I swear) I am. As they took the stage, I shouted "WHITE DEEEE!" at Petralli while he set up (he thought it was funny). Not the best way to network, but hey, tequila, right? Anyway, the set was phenomenal. In the past year or so, I'd started to become very jaded and cynical when it came to guitar solos. Yes, they can be impressive at times, but they can easily come off as trite fluff to take the place of a verse. These shredders reminded me just what the difference is between wanking around to fill time and really playing solos that do something for the song. They take all the best qualities from psychedelic, progressive, and classic rock to create a fresh sound that renewed my faith in the guitar solo. This year they released an EP Takes Place in Your Work Space at the end of October after releasing their album D back in May. They're currently on tour with Wilco and will be headed up the West coast by January/February. This is a great video for their single off of D , "Drug".