Rock and Roll in Texas.

Essay by dist0rtedUniversity, Bachelor'sA, November 2003

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For the assignment I attended a Blue October concert at The Back Room here in Austin. My personal favorite musical genre is rock, and Blue October is a Houston rock band. They have a cult-like following and have recently gotten a lot of radio airtime so I was excited to attend. While not technically "Texas music", the band falls into the category of "Texans in music" because its members are Houston natives. The band started out independently and sold more than 5,000 copies of their first CD in the Houston area. They are so committed to this area that after being signed by Universal, during recording in Los Angeles, the band still made the effort to travel back and forth to Texas to play live shows.

The music is being performed by five Anglos who all appear to be in their 20s. It includes depressing themes such as relationships-gone-bad and contemporary social pressures, although the ultimate message seems to be perseverance.

The listening audience is large and consists of mainly college-age students, mostly Anglo, and is about evenly divided between males and females. The crowd seems to be of upper-middle class standing, but this might be skewed by the event's proximity to the UT college campus.

Knowing almost nothing about Blue October prior to attending the live performance, the female bass player and presence of a violin were the unique aspects of the band that immediately struck me. While female band members are uncommon in modern rock, it is the violin I found most surprising and also relevant to music in Texas. We know the violin is an instrument that was brought to Texas from Europe and has been used in many different forms of Texan music from orchestra to its popularity in country music today. Blue...