The Causey Way
with Pain and PopCannon
The Covered Dish, Gainesville • September 10, 1999
Nathan T. Birk
Billed as a night of “maniacal rock,” tonight’s show actually proved to be just that, despite this dubious coining of a new musical genre. Well, at least one band held up its end of the promised mania…
Locals PopCannon played first, and a bit early if you ask me. I arrived at 10:45 PM, and they had just finished. Quirk-rock auteurs with a skewed sense of humor that can only come from grizzled grad students, PopCannon probably freaked out not just one audience member; thus, we can refer to them as “maniacal rock.” Still, with only one band thus far being potentially maniacal (again, I never witnessed PopCannon’s set), this new genre has yet to be birthed.
Pain, an out-of-town band, was up next, and did as little as possible to make sure that Maniacal Rock would not be forced from the womb. Breech births, C-sections: Every sort of operation was attempted, yet no beautiful offspring came forth. Why? Because of ska-punk, the ire of any self-respecting music critic, namely for its bastardizing gene-splicing. Yes, Pain could rock decently, but the same could be said about No Doubt, plus the latter’s played in malls (teen-points right there, natch). Little rock, no mania, and sore eardrums, to boot — the essence of true pain, I suppose.
Finally, Maniacal Rock gloriously burst forth the womb, and its physician was the Causey Way. Fittingly outfitted in stylish, all-white uniforms (their posteriors are too good for scrub suits), these rock doctors also performed CPR on our precious dinosaur, Rock n’ Roll, by previewing select hymns from their forthcoming collection, With Loving and Open Arms . Naturally, the mood was of reverence for all things Causey, but that didn’t prevent the congregation from engaging in religious dancing or singing praise for the Way’s newest revelations. These hymns maintained a more dynamic presence than the previous WWCD collection, with more emphasis on pop hooks and rocking out when it was absolutely necessary — sanctimonious stuff, indeed. Testimonials were heard, Maniacal Rock was birthed, and Causey even pontificated that he “just says no” (in response to one delinquent’s futile attempt to sneak a cigarette in the Dish’s smoke-free environs): prayers answered.