Light & Shadow

After its hometown hosted armies of bands and all-night party zombies for the South by Southwest festival last week, Austin’s I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness embarked on an extensive tour. The members weren’t trying to escape the claustrophobic atmosphere or endless live music, but, after living and breathing Austin’s music scene in several local bands before this one, who could blame them?

They eschew the reputation, as many would, of the super-group that finally gels several creative minds. In their case, the roster of Austin originals from which they pull is especially prestigious in left-of-center rock circles, including Windsor for the Derby, Paul Newman and the oft-overlooked Glorium. Friend Britt Daniel of Spoon produced their first EP. As partial members of the Trance Syndicate stable, some of them worked with varying degrees of post-punk templates, while folding in droned moments of noise and dissonant melody.

“We didn’t really think much about the transition from our other bands at all. We get together and play as a band and go with what is sounding interesting and try to let things happen without any preconceived notion of what we should be,” says frontman Christian Goyer. “Hopefully, we will continue to change and not do the same sounding record twice.”

Their newest, Fear Is On Our Side, wraps sticky melodies inside a turbid haze of minor chords and major bummers. The record was produced by Paul Barker, known best for his work with industrial groups like Ministry and Revolting Cocks, though Goyer argues this was no attempt to get closer to that sound: “I don’t think we really have that much influence from industrial music at all. Paul as a producer and engineer did have a good amount of impact on the record, but he is capable of more.”

In fact, ILYBICD reflect no one influence except, perhaps, their own idiosyncratic absorption of music. Goyer acknowledges Robert Wyatt, Arvo Part, Al Jolson and Lester Young.

Darkness is the absence of light. But, in this band, it’s their tone of slight melancholy that stains the sound fabric, a splash of blue ink on white cheesecloth. –Chris Toenes

I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness play Local 506 on Sunday, April 2 with Bellafea. Show starts at 9:30 p.m. and costs $10.


Patty Hurst Shifter owes Chatham County Line a pack of ping-pong balls. The two bands raced home from Austin. CCL clocked in at 22 hours, though it took Patty Hurst around 25 to return to Raleigh. Must be awfully crowded at the losing end, huh?