Friday, November 28, 2008

Strange brew of bands made for great pre-Thanksgiving entertainment

Derek Lyn Plastic closed out a month of Wednesday night appearances at the Star Bar this week by appearing second on a bill featuring three very different bands.

Female-fronted indie rockers Vera Fang played first to an already sizable crowd and may have played the best set of the night. Vocalist Zopi Kristjanson and guitarist Jeff Cook’s styles combine to make Vera Fang sound like a really good Kill Rock Stars band. Kristjanson also has the performance element down, as well, to the point that she should be first in line if Mika Miko ever wants to audition for a third vocalist. Bassist Sunni Johnson was way less animated on stage than Zopi, but a little shoegazing is okay if you are steadily providing the backbone of your band’s sound.

On second was Derek Lyn Plastic, as they cranked out their fourth solid show in as many weeks. DLP continues to improve on their new material while sticking with older tunes like “Negative Feelings.” As always, fantastic drumming and Derek’s frantic vocals stole the post-apocalyptic electro-punk show.

What type of band would follow a really good Kill Rock Stars band and electro-punk pioneers? Heavy metal is not the logical answer here, but that’s what the audience got with the guitar-heavy sounds of Das Manics.

The group, fronted by Matt from hardcore heroes The Despised, did all the things you would expect (made eardrums bleed, summoned up demons from Hell, said “fuck” and “goddamn” a bunch of times in between songs, etc.) and had a good, sloppy-drunk time in the process. They even treated the audience to a not-as-good-as-The-Dictators-but-still-exciting cover of “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath. Overall, it was a fun and energetic set, even for us powerpop softies who do not get into metal.

While that lineup probably sounds like three pieces that do not fit together, it worked on this particular (or should I say peculiar) night, as the grace of Vera Fang, energy of DLP, and power of Das Manics made for a complete night of pre-Thanksgiving entertainment.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Beat Beat Beat in Germany, Nov. 20

DLP, Coffin Bound play upcoming festive shows

Tonight, Derek Lyn Plastic will wrap up a month-long Star Bar residency along with an odd pairing of Vera Fang and Das Manics. If you like any of those acts, come out and be confused by the other bands on the bill. I kid, of course. It should be a fun and eclectic night.

Then on Thanksgiving, the Star Bar will host a free show featuring leftover pie, Coffin Bound, Pinche Gringo (you might remember him from a show with The Carbonas and The Pets back in the summer), and The Long Shadows. Check it out. It'll be a good chance to dance off the extra pounds you pick up at your folks' house.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Southern music for swamp people

Artist: Jacuzzi Boys
Title: I Fought a Crocodile
Label: Rob’s House Records
Release date: November 2008
Color: If you find it, it’ll be black. The colored vinyl sold out in about 20 hours.

Last week, Miami’s Jacuzzi Boys became the latest Rob’s House band to sell out a single in a blink of an eye when copies of the new “I Fought a Crocodile” 7” sold like hotcakes.

Those who were fortunate enough to get this 7” on colored vinyl will not be disappointed with the three-piece’s two newest swamp-inspired garage-pop tunes.

“I Fought a Crocodile” begins with nature sounds but quickly launches into a funky rock song with very catchy pop lyrics. From the subject matter to the “woo hoo” backup vocals, this song really would make a good soundtrack for a crocodile fighting exhibition.

The b-side, “Blowin’ Kisses,” has a raw, bluesy Southern rock feel reminiscent of Austell’s Coffin Bound, though this track is not as rough-around-the-edges as the typical Coffin Bound tune.

On the cover, there is a painting by Farley Aguilar of Gabriel, Danny and Diego in a Florida swamp wrangling a crocodile. This clever, eye-catching image of the Jacuzzi Boys in their tighty-whiteys shows why Rob’s House may be Atlanta’s most consistent label when it comes to cover art.

Chase this record down if you get the chance. Once you hear it, you will be itching to hear this band live.

House show rumble ends with a cake-slinging good time

Five bands, including two coming fresh off Friday’s fantastic King Khan and BBQ Show gig, played a sloppy yet fun house show Saturday at the Barberrie House in Decatur.

The first band, Odist, played about four mostly-instrumental songs led by a six-string bass and numerous foot pedals.

Turf War came all the way from Augusta to play with The Barberries, and they played a decent set of straightforward rock music.

On third was the host band, The Barberries, but tensions and alcohol reduced their set to one poorly played song. At least their drama happened in their own living room, right? Here’s hoping that The Barberries play another show together and it does not involve fake blood or real violence. Otherwise, their last two shows might not be fondly remembered though the band has had a good run and released a solid 7”.

Up fourth was Cars Can Be Blue, as the Athens band played their last U.S. gig for a while since they flew out Sunday to the U.K. to play a brief tour with Hotpants Romance. Nate and Becky always argue in jest, but hard liquor that was drank and intentionally spilled may have added some real tension to their set. Regardless, they put on a decent set which mostly consisted of songs from their first album. Poppy hits like “Cat is Out” and the always popular “Retarded Retard” made for a good performance, all things considered.

Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction wrapped up a rather bizarre night with their fifth gig in eight days. It was also the band’s first chance in a while to headline and the first time they were guaranteed to have the best set out of any Atlanta band on the bill.

Thankfully, Baby Dinosaurs delivered. They played all of their songs, including the song about King Khan they unveiled Friday, and even treated the audience to an encore of “Coke Dick.”

Saturday’s house show doubled as Morgan’s birthday bash. Instead of slipping and sliding on fake blood like the band did the night before, there was cake all over the place. In fact, Morgan and Mark had cake on their faces early in the set. They totally could have recreated the cover of Damned, Damned, Damned and used it as a promotion shot.

After all of the official bands were finished, members of The Barberries, Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction, The Mammals, Ominous Castle, and Cars Can Be Blue threw together random collectives and jammed. Some of these pairings sounded better than a couple of the bands that played earlier in the night.

The Supreme Genius asks, "Who the Hell ordered pizza?"

Artist: King Khan and BBQ Show
Title: Animal Party
Label: Fat Possum Records
Release date: Fall 2008

King Khan, an internationally known German recording star and a friend of the Atlanta scene, recently hooked up with his pal BBQ for a fun, party-starting single called “Animal Party.”

On the title track, Khan’s soulful vocals and farm animal noises combine with garage rock guitars and percussion. To put this track in Atlanta terms, it’s like combining the fun and enthusiasm of The Coathangers with the minimalist though precise sounds of The Black Lips.

“God of Raisins” is the b-side and it mixes 1960’s rock and roll with background vocals that are reminiscent of old gospel songs and Negro spirituals. Seriously. This tune is less amusing lyrically than the title track, but it does display the musical talents that make Khan and BBQ one of the world’s best live acts.

The packaging even comes with a coloring book which tells the story of the title track and even chronicles the lyrics. Who else but King Khan would give his fans a chance to color a tit-slinging pig, elephants and cows with human noses, a fishnet-wearing zebra and a cartoon of himself in drag?

Definitely check this zaniness out. Few acts can both make you dance and laugh like Khan and BBQ can.

King Khan packs out Lenny's in spite of a total bloodbath

One of the world’s best live acts, King Khan and BBQ Show, packed Lenny’s Friday and put on one of the best shows of the year.

Beforehand, four local acts played to what might have been each group’s largest audience to date.

Johnny Buffalo and The Mutinous Noise played first to an already packed crowd and ensured those of us who came out early would hear a little bit of everything throughout the night when they broke out a lengthy drum solo.

Up next was The N.E.C., as they roared through their guitar-driven set to the delight of the growing crowd. Like the two bands that followed, The N.E.C. is getting their name known in Atlanta through playing constant shows at venues like Lenny’s and The Star Bar.

The now three-piece Barberries made the stage sloppy as they brought a bucket of fake blood that ended up on most of the people who were fortunate enough to have a standing spot at the front of the stage. Was it supposed to be berry juice because of the band’s name? Regardless, the guys played a good set in spite of the mess they regretfully made, though the absence of Matt on lead guitar takes away the wacky solo in “Americana Junkie” and the psychedelic goodness of the band’s best song, “69/70.”

Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction then paved the way for King Khan with a set that was similar in quality to their solid Wednesday night performance at the Star Bar. What used to be a four or five song set has turned into an eight or nine song set for Baby D. vs. X., as they have seamlessly worked tunes like “Skeleton” and “Jeremy” into their rotation. Outside of Jessica Juggz slipping on Barberrie blood and falling on her butt after “Playa Hermosa,” things went well for the always improving group.

Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction even unveiled a new song, “King Khan is a Baby Dino,” written by Juggz especially for Friday’s show. It was to the Baby Dinos what that silly Halloween song was to Predator a few weeks ago. It was a decent though simplistic song that could be re-worded and used on other occasions, or maybe left as-is and be a catchy B-side for an upcoming 7”.

Finally, King Khan and BBQ Show whipped the crowd into a frenzy with their two-piece garage rock act that can only be matched in quality by Atlanta’s own Black Lips. Throughout Khan’s butt-wiggling set, he proved to be a diverse and talented musician and songwriter. While the most rocking songs sounded like 1950’s rock and roll, Khan and BBQ also broke out slower tunes and even showed some signs of rockabilly influence.

Like last Friday’s Atlanta Mess-Around (The Carbonas’ set in particular), it was as much the crowd’s energy that made the night as it was the bands’ performances. During King Khan, things were the craziest and I wound up dancing with all kinds of strangers in what was a workout as much as it was a good time.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Expect a blitz of posts tomorrow

Tomorrow, expect to read:
• A review of Friday's King Khan and BBQ Show . That gig featured plenty of fake blood and booty wiggling.
• A review of Saturday's bizarre yet fun and memorable attempt at a house show hosted by The Barberries.
• Reviews of the new King Khan and BBQ Show and Jacuzzi Boys 7"s.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A full weekend

Tonight is the main event, as King Khan and BBQ Show will perform along with local favorites like The Barberries and Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction.

On Saturday, The Barberries return to action along with other bands, including Baby D. vs. X. and everyone's favorite UK-bound pop duo, Cars Can Be Blue.

Finally, Sunday will bring Miami's Jacuzzi Boys to Atlanta and 97 Estoria. They will be selling copies of their 7", which came out on Rob's House Records and sold out very quickly. They will share the stage with The Poison Arrows. Catch Atlanta's fastest rising band while you still can.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hotpants no chance

Here's a fun video of a fun song by Cars Can Be Blue's tour mates.

DLP, Baby Dinos play outstanding residency show

Derek Lyn Plastic continued his successful run as the Star Bar's resident artist of the month last night at a show which also included two very different acts.

Up first were the improving and always delightful Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction. The girls and Mark played a solid set and changed their set list as "Playa Hermosa," the usual set-ender, was the second or third song and a new song was unveiled. They also saved their best, ".$49 Hot Dog Day," for last.

Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction have a busy weekend ahead of them, as they will open for King Khan and BBQ Show (a great live act that's second only to the Black Lips in our little musical world) Friday and will appear at the Barberrie House Saturday with 7" Atlanta favorites The Barberries and Cars Can Be Blue.

The second band of the night, The Sunglasses, totally changed tempo with what could be described as sped-up thrash metal. While they are not what DLP's audience is used to hearing, The Sunglasses were not terrible by no means thanks to some fantastic drumming.

The headliner, Derek Lyn Plastic, copied Baby D. vs. X. by changing up his set list a bit and adding some new tunes. While DLP's performance did not match their brilliant set from two weeks ago, they still put on a good show and served as a good ending to a great night of music.

Next week, DLP will wrap up a month-long residency by playing on a rather unusual bill with Vera Fang and Das Manics. It will be three good but very different acts for $3.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

DLP continues his residency, plays with Baby D. vs. X.

Plus Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction! Come out tonight for two of my favorite local acts and the chance to check out a couple of new bands for only $3.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Carbonas, Spits made Mess-around's first night worthwhile

Six solid bands, including the incomparable Spits, played Friday at the first night of The Earl's Atlanta Mess-Around.

Up first well before 9 p.m. was Blade II, the sequel to The Gaye Blades. Jared Swilley of The Black Lips and Bobby Ubangi of The Lids teamed up once again, and were joined by Carbonas members Jesse Smith and Dave Rahn.

Blade II may have had the most solid set, start to finish, of Friday's six bands. The band's early rock-and-roll sound is further enhanced by the addition of Smith, as he joined Ubangi on each song in a battle of dueling Rickenbackers.

They were followed by The Wax Museums, who recently released a Douchemaster Records LP. The Texas quartet played an energetic set and was led by a rather animated lead singer who kept the crowd interested in his band's sped-up punk tunes. The Wax Museums were good enough that they could have easily played fifth and got the crowd prepped for hearing the similar sounds of The Spits.

Atlanta's All Night Drug Prowling Wolves batted third and played what came across as a mix of straightforward indie rock that had traces of Motown and soul influence. While the band was talented and had a few catchy tunes, it almost seemed unfair that they were expected to follow The Wax Museums.

Another band with a new Douchemaster LP, The Babyshakes, hit cleanup and did not disappoint. With Dave Rahn behind the kit, The Babyshakes have gone from having a drummer from a great band in Murat to a drummer who makes bands great. Their set list was saturated with songs from the new LP, and they saved their best, "What Can You Do?," for last.

Rahn did not leave the stage for long, as The Carbonas were up next. After seven years of Carbonas gigs, it would be hard to say where Friday rates among their all-time best and most lively performances, but it was easily their best Atlanta show in recent memory.

The band nearly played flawlessly though songs you would expect to hear like "Blackout (Waiting to Happen)", "Lose Cause", and "Phonebooth" and surprises like "Frothing At the Mouth."

What made their set special, though, was the audience, as Atlantans and visitors alike did not settle for putting their hands in their pockets as usual and bobbing their heads. Stage-diving commenced about halfway through the set, led by the guys from Bukkake Boys. Before the end of the last song, Chris from The Carbonas threw down his bass and dove into the crowd.

Any band would have been hard-pressed to match, much less top, The Carbonas and the reaction they got from the audience. Fortunately, The Spits from Seattle are not just any band, and they both matched and surpassed Atlanta’s finest.

For their second Atlanta concert ever and first since 2004, The Spits donned aviator sunglasses and druid robes as wowed the audience with their bizarre, electro-injected punk sound. If you can imagine a band with the minimalist approach of The Black Lips, the lightning fast punk songs of The Ramones, and the weirdness of Devo, then you can imagine the sounds of The Spits.

An energized audience enjoyed a lengthy set that included at least four proclamations that The Spits were gearing up for their last song. As the set continued to get extended, I doubt anyone groaned about it. In fact, most everyone who had been hanging out at The Earl for nearly five hours would have been content if The Spits had played another half-hour.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Also this weekend:

The Coathangers return to action and will be joined by Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dance this mess around

Here's a full schedule of this weekend's Atlanta Mess-Around copy-and-pasted from my friend at the Decatur Psalms blog.

Thursday Nov. 13th
Mess-Around pre party at the Graveyard in East Atlanta
Doors @ 9

Friday November 14th @ The Earl
The Spits
Baby Shakes
All Night Drug Prowling Wolves
Wax Museums
Blade II
plus special guest!
Doors @ 8
Expect this one to be reviewed by 7 Inch Atlanta! I've heard nothing but good things about The Spits so seeing them should be a real treat.

Saturday November 15th @ Criminal Records
Baby Shakes in-store
Free beer!!
Starts @ 4
Dave Rahn is the hardest-working man in Atlanta as he is playing four sets in as many days.

Later That night @ The Earl
Gentleman Jesse & His Men
Hex Dispensers
Cheap Time
Black & Whites
Try to do the right thing and plan a weekend with the parents and NoBunny Comes to town. I am assuming Jesse will play bass since Warren is in Europe.

Sunday November 16th @ Danger House a.k.a Rob’s House
Baby Dinosaurs vs. X.
Coffin Bound
Double Dynamite
Poison Arrows
Kegs and BBQ Starts @ 3
Free beer!!
Three of my local favorites in the same dingy basement.

Two local acts split a Die Indy 7"

Artist: Balkans and Trial By Fire
Title: Split 7”
Label: Die Indy Records
Release date: Fall 2007
Color: Some copies are on red vinyl, as you can see.

Balkans and Trial By Fire recently split a 7” released by Die Indy Records which serves as a small sampling of what both local bands have two offer.

Balkans appear on the a-side and contributed “C++,” an upbeat instrumental piece, and “F3,” a mellow indie-rock tune. Mellow, in this instance, is not a bad thing, as Balkans achieved a Television kind of mellow. It’s experimental-rock-mellow and not elevator-music-mellow.

Though they are totally different style-wise from Atlanta’s best punk, powerpop, and garage-style bands, Balkans put on a good show, as evidenced by their recent chance to open for Jay Reatard.

The flipside is totally different, as Trial By Fire is a mid-tempo hard rock band that is prone to show off its punk and surf music influences.

“Happily Violent,” opens Trial By Fire’s side of vinyl, and is a rehearsal space style instrumental. While it is a good tune, the lack of John’s unique singing voice is a disappointment.

On “Winter Lust,” John’s voice is at the forefront of a slower-paced, drum-driven tune that actually reminds me of Public Image Limited. It is easily the best song on this single.

A third track, “Black Art,” is a bunch of garbled-up nonsense that you can apparently play backwards and hear Demonic messages. First they draw PiL comparisons, and now I have no choice but to say Trial By Fire pulled a little Black Oak Arkansas hero worship. That or they emulated one of the really bad songs from Sandinista. Actually, this is just a snippet from a Trial By Fire song played backwards.

This 7” is a mere sampling of what both bands have to offer both live and in the studio. Let’s hope there are more Balkans and Trial By Fire recordings, backwards or not, in the near-and-soon.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

DLP's residency reaches a second week

Tonight is night two of Derek Lyn Plastic's four-week Wednesday night Star Bar residency. They will be joined tonight by N.E.C., who are no strangers to the Star Bar, and Abby Go-Go, which apparently is the guys from Ominous Castle playing straightforward bass-guitar-and-drum rock. Come out and hear DLP's newest songs mixed with songs from their five fantastic 7"s.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Late nights in Hate City

Here's some images of last Wednesday's Derek Lyn Plastic show and its aftermath courtesy of my new friend Sweet Loretta Morgan.

DLP begins residency with new tunes and a fantastic set

The first night of a month-long Wednesday night Star Bar residency went exceptionally well for Derek Lyn Plastic and offered two other acts a chance to get some exposure.

Trial By Fire opened and brought their mid-tempo hard rock sound to the party. Throughout their set, influences ranging from punk to metal to surf music were apparent in the band's tunes. Lead singer John Breedlove has a unique voice, and he is not hesitant about performing in the truest sense of the term. From dancing with a girl from the audience to randomly burying his face into a monitor, Breedlove did not mind having a little fun during his band's set.

Up next was Ominous Castle with their unique, electronically-fueled ambient sounds. Unfortunately, electronic issues with their drum machine halted Ominous Castle's set and they called it a night right as they were about to hit their stride.

DLP was up next with their first show since Sept. 24. During that lay-off, the band apparently wrote a number of new songs that were scattered throughout last Wednesday's set list. They also played familiar cuts from the groups five 7"s.

As usual, DLP's set mixed frantic vocals and fantastic drumming as Derek's electro-punk outfit played one of their best shows in a long time.

Check out DLP this Wednesday when he performs with The N.E.C. and Abby Go-Go, a new band featuring members of Ominous Castle.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

DLP's residency begins tonight

Tonight's show should be a good one, as Atlanta punk songsmith Derek Lyn Plastic will share the Star Bar stage with Ominous Castle and Trial By Fire.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

From a 7 Inch favorite concert, complete with beach bum bassist!

Here is a video from this show.

Beat Beat Beat is back and in Europe

Beat Beat Beat, fresh off a Sunday evening house show at Danger House/Rob's House, flew out today for their European Tour.

Sunday's show was good, though the band went bass-less. All things considered, it was a solid Beat Beat Beat performance with Josh and Warren switching lead vocals and performing classics like "Eyeballs Jones" and "Don't Tell Me Now."

Beforehand, The Bukkake Boys played an energetic set that might have been outstanding if the lead singer had been audible.

Beat Beat Beat's European itinerary is as follows:

6/11 - Florens - TBC (D)
7/11 - La Spezia - TBC (ITA)
8/11 - Fidenza - Taun (ITA)
9/11 - Bergantino - TBC (ITA)
10/11 - TBA - TBA (FRA)
11/11 - Montpellier - TBC (FRA)
12/11 - Madrid - Gruta 77 (ES)
13/11 - Valencia - Barberbirborbur (ES)
14/11 - Granada - Who Rock Bar (ES)
15/11 - Barcelona/Zaragoza - TBC (ES)
16/11 - Bordeaux - TBC (FRA)
17/11 - Limoges - Petit Jourdan (FRA)
18/11 - Tours - Donalds Pub (FRA)
19/11 - Paris - Le Mecanique (FRA)
20/11 - Tübingen - Epplehaus (D)
21/11 - Dresden - Groove Station (D)
22/11 - Köln - Sonic Ballroom - (D)
23/11 - Solingen - Cobra Bar (NL)
24/11 - Kortrijk - The Pits (BE)
25/11 - Bremen - Tower Bar (D)
26/11 - Groningen - Vera (NL)
27/11 - Hamburg - Beatclub (D)
28/11 - Berlin - Costina Bob (D)
29/11 - Helsingör - Elvaerket (DK)
30/11 - Hamburg - Hafenklang (D)
2/12 - Örebro - TBC (SWE)
3/12 - Moss - Mortens House (NOR)
4/12 - Oslo - Funhouse (NOR)
5/12 - Stockholm - Vielle Montagne (SWE)
6/12 - Gothenburg - Showdown (SWE)

Minks' debut meets standard of debut EP

Artist: The Stolen Minks
Title: Family Boycott
Label: New Romance For Kids Records
Release Date: 2006
Format: CD

The Stolen Minks, an all-girl group from Halifax, Nova Scotia, followed up an outstanding EP in 2006 with Family Boycott, their first full-length album.

On “Rip It Up,” the girls seem to aim for kick-starting a garage-rock dance party instead of paying homage to their rockabilly heroes. The song ends with the band’s three distinct singers intertwining their voices.

“Stop Talking” is more like the songs on the EP, as it reeks of Wanda Jackson influence. “Charles Bronson” for all intents and purposes is an instrumental with a brief proclamation that is, as the title implies, about “Charles mother-fucking Bronson!”

The pace changes in a zany Cars Can Be Blue kind of way on “Batman (You’re The Sex).” On this, arguably the band’s best-known songs, the girls show a sense of humor and the ability to write a solid, drum-driven song with catchy backup vocals. Going back to the Cars Can Be Blue comparison, it is not hard to imagine a comedic genius like Becky sing, “Take out your bat-rope, tie me up tight. Send Robin home for the night.”

“Fight!” might be the best song on the album thanks to its catchy lyrics and memorable lines like “We don’t need a classroom to have a class war. We don’t need a theory, because we’ve got a dancefloor.”

The final original cut on the album, “Role Model,” is another solid track featuring an upbeat keyboard part that could be compared to Georgia’s Coathangers or even The B-52’s.

The final two tracks are rather interesting covers. First, the girls do a fine job tackling Link Wray’s “Branded.” The Stolen Minks are branded with Wray’s influence, so it should be no surprise they chose to pay homage to a legend. An unlisted cover of a Ginuwine song is interesting, as well, as the girls have fun with what some might consider a sexist hip-hop tune. Nothing should surprise anyone when it comes to The Stolen Minks’ choice in cover songs, though, since they boldly marched into Atlanta and covered The Carbonas’ “Lost Cause.”

Track this one down if you love female vocals, rock music in its purest form, and Ginuwine covers.

Plastic's least awesome is pretty damn good

Artist: Derek Lyn Plastic
Title: Negative Feelings
Record Label: NMG Records
Release Date: ???

When your least interesting 7” is as exciting as Derek Lyn Plastic’s Negative Feelings, you are doing something right as a musician and songwriter.

On this NMG release, DLP starts off with “Steakdinner,” a keyboard driven tune that has the post-apocalyptic punk feel of several of Derek’s better known songs. However, this song for whatever reason lacks the same punch as DLP standouts like “Invisible Skin” and “She’s Got a UTI.”

The title track does stand out, as its manic chorus degrades into frantic shouting. The intertwining of bass, guitar, drums, and keyboards also help make this song’s chorus stand out when compared to the other songs on this release.

The flipside begins with the fast-paced scorcher “Getaway.” It has that amphetamine-driven baseball park organ sound I love to hear in Derek’s recordings, and it has the catchiest hook of the four songs on this release.

“Weird Looks” begins with a piano part that sounds like it was lifted from a New York Dolls or Hollywood Brats song (seriously) and features female vocals. According to the single’s liner notes, the female voice belongs to Naomi Lavender, and “Weird Looks” is a cover of a Whores IV song. This song is an unexpected taste of something different from DLP.

Overall, this might not be one of the best of DLP’s five 7”’s, but it might be the most eclectic next to his newest release, She’s Got a UTI.

Don’t just buy it. Buy it directly from the man himself Wednesday night at the Star Bar when DLP begins a residency which will include everything from this week’s show with Trial By Fire and Ominous Castle to an odd lineup the night before Thanksgiving consisting of DLP, Vera Fang, and Das Manics.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Cola Freaks return, set stage for Reatard

An indie punk luminary shared the Lenny’s stage Saturday with one of Atlanta’s newest bands and one of Europe’s best hardcore bands when Jay Reatard played with The Poison Arrows and Cola Freaks.

Following performances by Balkans and Twin Tigers, The Poison Arrows played their second show of the night and their third gig overall.

Tuk, Mikey, and the boys played a solid set of seven or eight songs that only included one cover of an MC5 song. Though they seemed a bit loud for a powerpop band and Mikey’s vocals could barely be heard, it was still a good set from a brand-new band.

“Sticky Situations” and the rest of the first batch of Poison Arrows songs are, as Mikey puts it, “more power than pop” and are already drawing comparisons to The Exploding Hearts.

As new songs work their way into The Poison Arrows’ live set and Tuk adjusts to being a front man, this may become one of the best bands in Atlanta. It should be fun and rewarding for their fans to watch them rise to the top.

Saturday’s show with Reatard was the third overall and the second of the night for The Poison Arrows, as they appeared a few hours earlier at The Star Bar with some uninteresting bands at a Day of The Dead Festival.

The Cola Freaks, the band that stole the show and damn near started a riot Halloween night at Lenny’s, played the final show of their American tour as part of Saturday’s star-studded line-up.

While the crowd was way less drunk and insane than they were at The Star Bar, the lead singer was crazier than he was the previous evening. As I said before, he is very much like a young and alive Ian Curtis when he goes into his on-stage hoodoo trance and breaks out into nervous dancing. With more space for crowd interaction in a venue as large as Lenny’s, he shoved the microphone against a girl’s eye-hole and played with Greg Carbona’s nose during the second raucous Cola Freaks set in as many nights.

Finally, Reatard’s three-piece hit the stage and put on an energetic set. This was my first time seeing Reatard, surprisingly, and he was livelier than I expected onstage.

Like The Black Lips, Reatard does less craziness onstage in his older age, but along the way he has developed into a much better songwriter and musician.

Another Black Lips/Jay Reatard similarity is both acts’ ability to live up to their growing hype. Both are more than just Pitchfork and college radio hype bands and they prove this every time they hit the stage.

Like The Cola Freaks, Reatard was playing his second Atlanta show in as many nights, as he joined Deerhunter and Pylon on Halloween at The Variety Playhouse.

Overall, it would be fair to say everyone who came out Saturday got more than $10 worth of live powerpop, hardcore, and minimalist rock and roll.

Spooks help haunt Halloween

Halloween was haunted by The Spooks, as the Black Lips side project celebrated the release of its long-awaited LP with four other bands Friday at The Star Bar.

The party began with Predator, as they played a good and lengthier than usual set which included a song written especially for Halloween. Though they are not as good as Beat Beat Beat or Frantic just yet, this three-piece is poised to release what should be a solid single or two in the coming months.

Coffin Bound played next, and why this band is not headlining every time they play is beyond me. They sounded great and loud Friday. Coffin Bound is so different from other local bands, as their sound is sort of bluesy and will transport you to a swamp instead of a 1960’s dance party.

Mourdella, a harder-rocking punk outfit fronted by Jessica Juggz, ended the parade of local Die Slaughterhaus bands. The band was ready for Halloween, as Jessica was an Indian and she was joined on stage by two demons and a zombie. This was my first time seeing Mourdella, and their rocking sound was much, much different than the tambourine shaking and hoola-hooping I am used to seeing whenever Jessica tackles lead vocals with Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction.

Denmark’s Cola Freaks then took the show to another level, as they played a set that somehow surpassed their recent appearance at 97 Estoria. With their manic lead singer leading the charge, the Cola Freaks damn near started a riot. I was in the middle of the entire ruckus, and somehow or another ended up bleeding above my nose in the process.

Two things stick out about the Cola Freaks. One is their singer, who still reminds me of Ian Curtis with his nervous dancing, frantic pointing and audience members, and maniacal stares. The other is how a group of young guys from faraway Denmark seem to have the same musical influences as bands in Atlanta.

With the grand finale, The Spooks resurfaced as members of The Black Lips were joined by Mark from Die Slaugherhaus and local drummer Adam Bruneau as they played their interesting mix of minimalist rock and spooky electronic music.

Though the 3-D projections did not work (or at least not for my drunken eyes) and the band technically took the stage Nov. 1 and not on Halloween, everything else was ideal. The place was packed, as costumed locals had already poured in from the Deerhunter and Pylon show down the street at The Variety Playhouse. And, most importantly, the band was spot-on as they played Spooks originals and a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Burning Love.”

By the end of the night, fans had ended their Halloween and began November seeing some of Die Slaugherhaus’ finest bands and what has to be one of the most exciting live acts in Europe.