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Midnight cowboy

Posted by James Reed  December 11, 2006 04:04 PM

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phosphorescent2.jpg

At first it seemed like a gimmick. This past Friday, just after midnight, the house lights at P.A.'s Lounge went out, and there stood scruffy Matthew Houck (above), leader of the indie-country band Phosphorescent, with bandmates quietly in their places. Like a tree-lighting ceremony, Houck flipped a switch and was suddenly illuminated by a jacket covered in white lights. It was spectacular, casting the whole band in a twilight glow that perfectly complemented the next hour's worth of music, where Houck's dusky tales of heartache bordered on masochism.

Back in town with a drummer, pianist, and bassist, Houck debuted some new songs, including the heartbreaking "Cocaine Lights," the best bit of Kris Kristofferson-styled country I've heard in a while. Houck later said he hopes to finish his new album in the next few months.

Afterward, his girlfriend was hawking CDs and posters. "Tell me the truth: Is that you?" I asked her, referring to the curvy, naked female torso gracing Phosphorescent's promotional posters. She smiled and quipped, "No, but it should be."

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