The Midgetmen
Gig Seeker Pro

The Midgetmen

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Rock Rock

Calendar

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"Midgetmen 7th Anniversary Show Tonight at The Mohawk"

With The Midgetmen, you’re guaranteed an adventure. It’s never a dull moment - unless you’re a dull person and you just don’t get it. Then boo for you.

But seriously, the punk-pop magic began seven years ago…the band’s original line-up (and now the current line-up) consisted of guitarists Jon Loyens and Alex Victoria, bassist Marc Perlman, and drummer Justin Petro. They asked their pal Keith Shepherd to do lead vocals and recorded their debut, Pool Party Emergency (2002). But Keith had other things goin’ down, and he left Texas shortly thereafter. The band figured, “Well, we can, like, share vocals. And stuff.” Which is exactly what they did with their followup album, High Life (2004).

The Midgetmen had evolved into a tighter unit, and weren’t afraid of moving to the beat of a different drum - well, mainly Justin’s drums, but you get the idea. Especially for their live performances, they refused to follow a more typical, mellower indie formula and opted instead to unleash thunderous, melodic rock and occasionally don crazy costumes to freak out the crowds at shows. Nothing’s more rewarding than making someone shoot beer through his or her nose from laughter…or shock.

Cut to 2008. The Midgetmen release Showpony - catchy, raw, undeniably funny and distinctive punk-fueled pop/rock reverberating throughout, chaos and melody stumbling together hand in hand. Irresistible.

Seven years have gone by, and The Midgetmen are as rockin’ and irreverent as ever. They’ve invited music lovers to their 7th “Anniver-sorry” show tonight at The Mohawk, 912 Red River. It’s an Austin band extravaganza, featuring performances by Mice & Rifles, The Calm Blue Sea, The Frontier Brothers, Bankrupt and the Borrowers, The Pons, and Deaf Ears. Holy moly, that’s a lot of great music. Things should get going by 9 p.m.-ish.

Happy Anniversary, guys. Oh, and leave some beer for the rest of us, okay? Geez. - KUT 90.5: Texas Music Matters


"Seven lessons from seven years of The Midgetmen"

The members of The Midgetmen are quick to point out that in their seven years of playing together, they've outlasted several Austin clubs (The Back Room, The Vibe, Emo's Lounge), and sunk at least one magazine (the women's monthly Jane, which profiled singer-bassist Marc Perlman, drummer Justin Petro, and singer-guitarist Alex Victoria for a "Where the hell are all the hot guys?" piece in its March 2007 issue). In anticipation of the band's seventh anniversary show at the Mohawk, Decider asked Perlman, Petro, Victoria, and singer-guitarist Jon Loyens to share seven lessons they've learned in their time as Austin's hardest working, hardest drinking slop-punks.

1. People love free shit.
Marc Perlman: If you can't win friends and fans, just buy 'em.
Alex Victoria: As a joke once, we had free fried chicken at a show. There were people at that show who we had never met before scarfing down this disgusting, grocery store fried chicken. We met a guy at that show that put us on a compilation, and we played many shows with him.
MP: We do free everything—usually free beer. At worst we just tell our friends, "If you show up, we'll buy you the first round of drinks."


2. Making money is easy. Keeping it is hard.
MP: Our first show at Beerland, Alex just went up to Randall [Stockton, owner] and was like, "Dude, we've got to get fucking out of here. Do you have our money?" They had the cash register drawer at the door, and it was overflowing with singles. They were trying to figure out what to do with these handfuls of money, so they counted out, Alex left, and I got the money. We immediately took our $300—this was the most money we've ever made at a show—walked over to Club DeVille, put it on the bar and were like, "Give it to us all in Lone Star!"


3. Home recording is killing music(ians' desire to pay for studio time).
Jon Loyens: Get a subscription to Tape Op Magazine. It's free. Anyone that's interested in recording should have a subscription. Learn how to do it yourself. You can make great recordings at home on whatever computer you have. Don't get all caught up in "my recording's going to be awesome, and I have to do it on tape in a studio." Because you know what? That guy recording you on tape, which costs an exorbitant amount of money per foot, really doesn't know your shit and doesn't give a shit about you.
MP: A lot of bands have self-importance or self-worth, so they're like, "It needs to sound professional." But you're not a professional band. Most bands aren't. We're not a professional band. If you can afford a $10,000 studio, then hopefully you're also really good, or you're like The Black Crowes when they first formed, and they couldn't play their instruments, so they hired a bunch of guys to play for them in a $10,000 studio.


4. Coworkers = fanbase.
MP: Too many people are embarrassed about playing in a band to tell their coworkers about it. I know people in other bands who also work for tech companies, and I'd run into them in the elevator at my old job, and I'd be talking to them and their coworkers wouldn't know that they're in a band.
Justin Petro: And they're usually way better bands.
MP: Your coworkers are going to come pay $5 to see you at least once for the novelty, but a lot of times those people might actually like you.


5. Leave the local food for the locals.
MP: People romanticize it: "When you go on tour, you eat at local places." It's really not like that. Most cities don't really have any cool places. Use your fucking phone and try and find a place in Wichita that's cool. When you ask the bartender, the bartender says, "I eat at fucking Applebee's every night."


6. Learn to camouflage.
AV: We just saw [Bruce] Springsteen, and he didn't leave the stage for two-and-a-half hours. Most 60-year-old men have to pee every five minutes. And there was a point where he just poured water over his legs. I think it's because he's pissing himself.
Jon Loyens: If you have to piss yourself onstage, just pour water or beer or something all over yourself first.
MP: [To Victoria] This is why you're always spilling beer on yourself.


7. Trenton, N.J. ain't nothin' to fuck wit'.
MP: They told us to park the van under a streetlight, because if you park between the streetlights, all of your windows will be smashed, and people will loot all of your shit. The bar itself was really nice. We played in the basement part of this bar, which was a dive, but the upstairs was an upscale lounge. But the bar owners were like, "If you go outside, don't wander more than two blocks in any direction."
JP: Fuckin' Jersey. I don't want to die in Jersey. - The Onion AV Club: Austin Decider


"Midgetmen 7th Anniversary Show Tonight at The Mohawk"

With The Midgetmen, you’re guaranteed an adventure. It’s never a dull moment - unless you’re a dull person and you just don’t get it. Then boo for you.

But seriously, the punk-pop magic began seven years ago…the band’s original line-up (and now the current line-up) consisted of guitarists Jon Loyens and Alex Victoria, bassist Marc Perlman, and drummer Justin Petro. They asked their pal Keith Shepherd to do lead vocals and recorded their debut, Pool Party Emergency (2002). But Keith had other things goin’ down, and he left Texas shortly thereafter. The band figured, “Well, we can, like, share vocals. And stuff.” Which is exactly what they did with their followup album, High Life (2004).

The Midgetmen had evolved into a tighter unit, and weren’t afraid of moving to the beat of a different drum - well, mainly Justin’s drums, but you get the idea. Especially for their live performances, they refused to follow a more typical, mellower indie formula and opted instead to unleash thunderous, melodic rock and occasionally don crazy costumes to freak out the crowds at shows. Nothing’s more rewarding than making someone shoot beer through his or her nose from laughter…or shock.

Cut to 2008. The Midgetmen release Showpony - catchy, raw, undeniably funny and distinctive punk-fueled pop/rock reverberating throughout, chaos and melody stumbling together hand in hand. Irresistible.

Seven years have gone by, and The Midgetmen are as rockin’ and irreverent as ever. They’ve invited music lovers to their 7th “Anniver-sorry” show tonight at The Mohawk, 912 Red River. It’s an Austin band extravaganza, featuring performances by Mice & Rifles, The Calm Blue Sea, The Frontier Brothers, Bankrupt and the Borrowers, The Pons, and Deaf Ears. Holy moly, that’s a lot of great music. Things should get going by 9 p.m.-ish.

Happy Anniversary, guys. Oh, and leave some beer for the rest of us, okay? Geez. - KUT 90.5: Texas Music Matters


"Show Pony Review"

"***** - With 16 tracks taking just over a half-hour, Austin DIYers, The Midgetmen, run the gamut from three-chord hipster punk to '60s psychedelic rock. 'And the Rodeo Came to Town' sounds as if the Kings of Leon were jamming on a Dead Kennedys' song and 'Jimmy & Skippy' would make the 13th Floor Elevators proud. Jon Loyens and Alex Victoria's two-guitar attack is impeccable with tasteful solos and just the right amount of slop. The band, as a whole, wallows in lo-fi sonic bliss in every short instrumental break, especially on the guitar solo in 'Club Sandwich.' Vocal melodies reveal themselves with repeated listening, making the album better with each new spin. Show Pony does not allow for any polish, only a little spit-shine right down to the environmentally friendly packaging." - D.J. Ivie - Harder Beat Magazine


"Show Pony Review"

The first time you hear Show Pony you may dismiss it as sloppy, bar-band, rock music. But give it a second, or even a third and fourth spin, and you’ll realize there is more to this Austin, Texas four-piece’s 3rd album than meets the ears, and the sloppy, bar-band, rock style is actually part of its charm.

While it’s true The Midgetmen play its songs with a reckless abandon and a certain disregard for elegance, it’s also true that the fiery drumming, churning rhythm guitars and sludgy bass lines are short, sharp, and often very catchy. The quick-tempo indie-punk is energetic, rowdy and fun and hits like a quick thunderstorm as electrifying and thrashy, sing-a-long, beer drinking songs.

Not breaking any new ground but somehow managing to sound fresh and rewarding is not an easy task, but The Midgetmen seems to have pulled it off, thanks to the deceptively clever hooks and jagged guitar riffs, played with rock n’ roll heart and soul and splashed with just the right amount of humorously undaunted attitude.

Show Pony is an accomplished mix of concise, energetic power-punk-rock with jerky melodies, whose songs are short, disorderly, raucous and playful, and have that intangible ingredient which can’t be quantified or qualified but somehow turns every song into a party.

Recommended Tracks: “Trickle Down”, “Moo Cows and Horsies” and “Words”

-Matt Raven - Delusions of Adequacy


"Show Pony Review"

"***** - With 16 tracks taking just over a half-hour, Austin DIYers, The Midgetmen, run the gamut from three-chord hipster punk to '60s psychedelic rock. 'And the Rodeo Came to Town' sounds as if the Kings of Leon were jamming on a Dead Kennedys' song and 'Jimmy & Skippy' would make the 13th Floor Elevators proud. Jon Loyens and Alex Victoria's two-guitar attack is impeccable with tasteful solos and just the right amount of slop. The band, as a whole, wallows in lo-fi sonic bliss in every short instrumental break, especially on the guitar solo in 'Club Sandwich.' Vocal melodies reveal themselves with repeated listening, making the album better with each new spin. Show Pony does not allow for any polish, only a little spit-shine right down to the environmentally friendly packaging." - D.J. Ivie - Harder Beat Magazine


"Show Pony Review"

"If you feel nostalgia for the bad old days- the days before SUVs, non-ironic neon fabrics and skinny jeans, flannel shirts and Doc Martens, or are tired of the more-esoteric-than-thou-more-ironic-for-now personas of the kids these days, there just may be a remedy in the form of the quirky Austin quartet The Midgetmen. The militantly DIY foursome gallantly appropriate the sounds of 80s and 90s indie rock (think dirty guitars, strained vocals and short, very short, songs) and mix it with the kind of humor you're allowed when you've taken three chords, Epicurean humor, sworn never to tell the truth, and rocked crowds across the country. Their latest 'slop rock' release, Show Pony, was engineered to catch a piece of their legendary live mojo in all its rawness and delicious noise and, indeed, it delivers. In all of its catchy hooks and decadent humor, it's nothing but a damn good time, and that's just the point." - Justin Patch - Soundcheck Magazine


"Show Pony Review"

The Midgetmen excel at pop-punk mayhem, beer-soaked bursts ripe with unapologetic arrested development: as they declare in “Three Chords and a Cloud of Dust”: “Growing up is overrated!” The group’s third album follows through on the sentiment, raucous and uninhibited. But Showpony also proves their most melodically controlled and, dare we say, mature offering yet. There is still plenty of rambunctious absurdity – a song like the 55 second shot “Bunk Sock” couldn’t be more adolescent, or irresistible behind the garage swagger and “Blitzkrieg Bop” riffs, as the quartet paws, “I wanna take you out to the movies, bring ya home and play with those boobies tonight!” If the Midgetmen have built their reputation on those kind of declarations, however, it only makes sincere moments like “Trickle Down” stand out that much more.

You’d be forgiven for assuming that a Midgetmen song called “Trickle Down” had more venereal connotations, but the tune is actually a socially charged anthem that upends John Cougar Mellencamp’s nostalgic Eighties heartland vision, opening with the seething reality check, “Jack and Diane are selling trucks, they’re sucking down the tasty sleaze, American values in American heartland, little pink houses splattered with their blood.” The “wahhing” background vocals on the chorus only accentuate the tension. Songs like “Lethargy” somewhat follow suit, though less directly, and set a context for the Midgetmen’s playfulness with an underlying seriousness reminiscent of the Ramones or early Green Day couching their ennui-ed outrage in puerile irreverence.

Equally impressive on the album are “Six Month Vacation,” a moody balance between big guitars and subtle melody, the bass thump of “Euphoric Doom,” and the exceptional closer “Words.” Marc Perlman’s sing-shouting throughout the album nods most effectively toward classic Offspring or Goldfinger on songs such as “CCC Deville” and “Jimmy & Skippy,” though at times cuts intentionally dry, and his moments of subdued singing offer some of the finest contrast in the band’s material. It’s the guitars that drive the charge, though, “Strap It On” rides a wave of distortion and wah wah over Justin Petro’s explosive drums, before dipping hazily soft and roaring back. The guitars and drums even lift the more ridiculous moments like “Moo Cow & Horsies” to solid songs that hold their own.

The Midgetmen cover a lot of territory across the 16 songs and 40 minutes on Showpony, but for a band that’s been rocking solidly for almost 7 years now, it feels like they’ve finally worked up to a new level without compromising their roots. That artistic breakthrough is an impressive moment for any band, and one that marks Showpony as some of the Midgetmen’s best work.

-Doug Freeman - AustinSound


"Show Pony Review"

"If you feel nostalgia for the bad old days- the days before SUVs, non-ironic neon fabrics and skinny jeans, flannel shirts and Doc Martens, or are tired of the more-esoteric-than-thou-more-ironic-for-now personas of the kids these days, there just may be a remedy in the form of the quirky Austin quartet The Midgetmen. The militantly DIY foursome gallantly appropriate the sounds of 80s and 90s indie rock (think dirty guitars, strained vocals and short, very short, songs) and mix it with the kind of humor you're allowed when you've taken three chords, Epicurean humor, sworn never to tell the truth, and rocked crowds across the country. Their latest 'slop rock' release, Show Pony, was engineered to catch a piece of their legendary live mojo in all its rawness and delicious noise and, indeed, it delivers. In all of its catchy hooks and decadent humor, it's nothing but a damn good time, and that's just the point." - Justin Patch - Soundcheck Magazine


"Assorted Awards and Recognition"

The Deli Austin
August 2009 Band of the Month

Austin-American Statesman A-List Awards (2009)
#3 Best Punk Band

Austin-American Statesman A-List Awards (2008)
#7 Best Punk Band

City of Austin
Band of the Week: 05.25.2008-05.31.2008

Austin Chronicle 2008 Austin Music Awards:
#9 Best Punk Band

Austin Chronicle 2007 Austin Music Awards:
#2 Best Punk Band
#6 Best Concert Poster [August 3rd 2007 @ Emo's]

Austin Chronicle 2006 Austin Music Awards:
#6 Best Punk Band
#10 Best Indie Band
#8 Best Novelty Band
#3 Best Concert Poster [March 31st 2006 @ Flamingo Cantina]

Austin Chronicle 2005 Austin Music Awards:
#4 Best Punk Band
#3 Best Concert Poster [September 20th 2005 @ Emo's]

Austin Chronicle 2004 Austin Music Awards:
#2 Best Punk Band
#3 Best Concert Poster
Austin Chronicle 2003 Austin Music Awards:
#3 Best New Band
#5 Best Alt-Punk Band
#2 Best Album Artwork
#10 Best Concert Poster [April 3rd 2003 @ Flamingo Cantina]

Austin Chronicle 2002 Austin Music Awards:
#10 Best Concert Poster [July 3rd 2002 @ The Vibe]

2007 SoManyBands Awards:
Most Entertaining Live Show - Various


"Assorted Awards and Recognition"

The Deli Austin
August 2009 Band of the Month

Austin-American Statesman A-List Awards (2009)
#3 Best Punk Band

Austin-American Statesman A-List Awards (2008)
#7 Best Punk Band

City of Austin
Band of the Week: 05.25.2008-05.31.2008

Austin Chronicle 2008 Austin Music Awards:
#9 Best Punk Band

Austin Chronicle 2007 Austin Music Awards:
#2 Best Punk Band
#6 Best Concert Poster [August 3rd 2007 @ Emo's]

Austin Chronicle 2006 Austin Music Awards:
#6 Best Punk Band
#10 Best Indie Band
#8 Best Novelty Band
#3 Best Concert Poster [March 31st 2006 @ Flamingo Cantina]

Austin Chronicle 2005 Austin Music Awards:
#4 Best Punk Band
#3 Best Concert Poster [September 20th 2005 @ Emo's]

Austin Chronicle 2004 Austin Music Awards:
#2 Best Punk Band
#3 Best Concert Poster
Austin Chronicle 2003 Austin Music Awards:
#3 Best New Band
#5 Best Alt-Punk Band
#2 Best Album Artwork
#10 Best Concert Poster [April 3rd 2003 @ Flamingo Cantina]

Austin Chronicle 2002 Austin Music Awards:
#10 Best Concert Poster [July 3rd 2002 @ The Vibe]

2007 SoManyBands Awards:
Most Entertaining Live Show - Various


Discography

Full Lengths:
Weird Al's Dare To Be Stupid (2012)
Pool Party Emergency (2002)
High Life (2004)
Show Pony (2008)
Loud Enough. (2011)

Compilations:
Garage Justice Vol. 1 Compilation (2003)

Radio Play:
101X Austin, TX - Can't Sleep (from Pool Party Emergency) - 11 months on Andy Langer's Next Big Thing
Mike Watt's Internet Radio Show - Ballad of Midgetmen (from Pool Party Emergency)
Neil Young's Living With War Songs - Trickle Down (from Show Pony)

Film use:
Z's (short film - 2012) - Advice (from Loud Enough.)
Austin High (full length - 2011) - Words (from Show Pony)

Photos

Bio

"@themidgetmen are one of the best bands I've ever seen. This is incredible right now. AUSTINNNNNN"
- Diarrhea Planet August 1st, 2013
(https://twitter.com/DiarrheaPlanet/status/363124788132196352)

We were busier than bands half our age and we are great.

The Midgetmen have been playing white collar slop-fun-rock in exchange for free beer since 2002. The Midgetmen's 4 albums continue to provide comfort for fans of late 80s/early 90s indie guitar rock.

The Midgetmen celebrated their 10th anniversary in 2012 by achieving their life goals: Being an official SXSW showcasing artist, being feted by the Mayor of Austin with the proclamation of "The Midgetmen Day", playing the Northeast again, performing the entirety of Weird Al's Dare To Be Stupid album at Fun Fun Fun Fest, performing at the Inaugural Formula 1 Austin Fan Fest, and recording the aforementioned Dare To Be Stupid.

The Midgetmen were asked to judge the Austin Technology Council & Austin Music Peoples' 2013 Corporate Band of the Bands.

The Midgetmen are hard at work on album #5.

What aren't the Midgetmen doing?

We'll see you at the bar.