Crazy Like a Vox
NOLA’s Vox and the Hound return to Baton Rouge, Spanish Moon
By Mark RedmondPosted Aug 22, 2012
When I briefly lived in uptown New Orleans, the first band poster I saw (everywhere) was for a group called Vox and the Hound. Due to a fondness for defunct Austin indie-poppers Voxtrot, the coincidence of two Southern bands using the fox/vox interchange instantly caught my attention.
I first saw Vox and the Hound perform with Modern Skirts at the Hi-Ho Lounge, accompanied by another KLSU expatriate so enamored with the arena grit-folk sound that she bought two of the band’s Hermosa EPs, encased in a flannel pocket.
Since then, the band’s been hard at work, getting ready for the next stage of their growth. This past June, they released a track they recorded at the respected Living Room Studio down in Algiers called “The Man You Thought Was King.”
“We actually recorded a full-length [album] in February that we’re [tweaking right now],” said guitarist Rory Callais. The album has an intended release date of November 30 and will feature almost entirely new material.
“There’s a couple of songs that we did for a compilation,” Callais said. “We re-recorded those, but everything else is all new.”
Vox and the Hound is set to perform this Saturday, Aug. 25 at the Spanish Moon with Baton Rouge groups Prom Date and Liam Catchings & the Jolly Racket, as well as Tennessee-born, Paste-beloved darlings Star and Micey. Callais, a recent alumnus of the University of New Orleans’ graduate school, did his undergrad work at LSU and is excited to play Baton Rouge (and the Sp’oon) again. “[We played] the Moon in January 2011,” he said. “We haven’t played anywhere else in Baton Rouge. It’s a great venue [and it] sounds really good,” Callais continued. “I went to LSU for a couple years and used to go to ‘80s Night and had a really good time.”
Good times are a critical part of Vox and the Hound. Their shows are decidedly high energy and fun. If you think about it, we live in a bad time for music: The overproduction and the overuse of studio technology mean that sometimes artifice surpasses talent. This, combined with the fact that conglomerate music studio producers make their money from album sales (not touring artists), means that mainstream music production is sales-driven and, at the risk of sounding like a ‘70s burnout, it’s not about the music anymore.
Not so with Vox and the Hound, who emphasize live performance, play New Orleans frequently, and enjoy playing with other local bands.
“The Moon kind of hooked us up for the most part,” Callais says. “We wanted to get there. We hadn’t played Baton Rouge in a while. We contacted Prom Date and it all sort of came together that way.”
For string-focused, pop-bluegrass trio Star and Micey, Baton Rouge is the last stop on their tour promoting their upcoming October EP release I Can’t Wait, produced by Elvis Costello and Modest Mouse collaborator Dennis Herring. Their third and second-to-last performances will be in Starkville, Miss., on August 23 at Rick’s Café, and on Aug. 24 the trio will play the Blue Moon Saloon in Lafayette.
Combining the intensity of Irish arena-folkers Frightened Rabbit with John Darnielle’s earnestness, strained through Frontier Ruckus’ sensibility, Vox and the Hound is sure to be a favorite for both the cultured and the undiscerning.
If you’re looking for a band name, no musicians have claimed “Starvox,” “Firevox,” or “Voxy Brown” yet. Dibs on “Portions for Voxes,” though. And if you’re looking for a great live show to take in this weekend, the Spanish Moon is where it’s at.
Leo DeJesus – vocals, guitar, percussion
D Ray – keys, trombone, melodica, percussion, vocals
Rory Callais – guitar, vocals
Andrew Jarman – bass, percussion, vocals
Eric Rogers – drums, percussion
Vox and the Hound Upcoming Shows
Aug. 25 – Spanish Moon with Prom Date, Liam Catchings & the Jolly Racket, and Star & Micey
Aug. 27 – Circle Bar, New Orleans
Sept. 1 – The Howlin’ Wolf, New Orleans