Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Yet another powerpop extravaganza



Beat Beat Beat is supposed to play, too. It should be a great night featuring two great local acts and Paul Collins from The Nerves.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hot Pants Romance headline an (almost) all-girl party

Manchester's own Hot Pants Romance have a new release on Athens' Happy Happy Birthday to Me (HHBTM) records, and they'll headline the Star Bar tonight.


Boys there will include the bass player from Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction, Nathan from Cars Can Be Blue, and me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Finally, The Cute Lepers are coming to town


Expect more on The Cute Lepers in the coming days, including reviews of a couple of Greatest Hits split 7"s produced by Steve E. Nix and Johnny Sangster.

In case you haven't heard, The Cute Lepers is Steve from The Brief's side project featuring powerpop lyrics, 60's girl group harmonies, and punk aesthetics.

Those other bands are worth seeing, too, and The Booze are advertised as appearing at the Atlanta show this Saturday at the Masquerade.

For more information, check out:
http://www.myspace.com/thecutelepers
http://www.myspace.com/thepowerchords
http://www.myspace.com/avenuerose
http://www.myspace.com/throwingafitacrosstheusa

Monday, August 18, 2008

Local band throws beach party, saves an otherwise bland show


Free Thursday shows at the Star Bar have delivered everything this summer from locals like Predator and Coffin Bound to the highly regarded Boss Martians. Last Thursday did not have quite as good a lineup as past shows, but the one band I wanted to see, Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction, made the $2 parking fee and the trip to East Atlanta well worth it.

Lesbian Afternoon opened, played for about two minutes, inexplicably went away, and then came back for what seemed like 15-minute-long songs. Maybe they needed a long intermission just for a couple of guys to switch instruments? Hell, The Coathangers can switch who is playing what without anyone noticing. I am sure the guys from Lesbian Afternoon are good at what they do, but they certainly were not my thing.

Skipping ahead to the final act, Ominous Castle was a bit different from what I expected. With a synthesizer and vocal affects at the heart of their music, this bunch at their best moments sounded like Suicide and at their most boring reminded me of your run of the mill indie-mad-scientist synthesizer band who are too complex to be punk and not complex enough to be progressive.

In between, though, was the highlight of the night as the sometimes raunchy and always amusing Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction may have played their best gig to date.

Megan, the band’s former keyboardist, is the two-dozenth person from the Atlanta scene to move to New York in recent memory, and she has been replaced by a boy (Mark from Die Slaughterhaus) on bass.

The band did miss a beat or two, but considering they were rolling out a new lineup they did exceptionally well. They played their limited set (they seem to have about five or six songs) and appeared to have a good time on stage.

Some bands claim to be so comfortable on stage that they feel like they are in their own living room. Baby Dinosaurs were so confident while fighting and defeating extinction that they threw a beach party.

Jessica wore her swimsuit, Morgan was a beach bum with a homemade Die Slaughterhaus hat, Hayley dressed like she always does, and the new bassist was so chill he had on sunglasses and played while lounging in a hot pink beach chair.

Hopefully, Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction will impress again Wednesday when they return to the Star Bar to play with two outstanding bands-- Athens’ Cars Can Be Blue and Hot Pants Romance from Manchester, England.

(photos courtesy of Nathan Todd Photography)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Come see extinction fought and defeated tonight for free!


Well, parking will cost you $2 but otherwise this is free minus booze.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

This year's model citizens, and its best album

Artist: Gentleman Jesse and his Men
Title: Gentleman Jesse
Label: Douchemaster Records
Release date: July 2008
Vinyl color: Some are red and blue. Some are black. If neither of those is to your liking, you can get this one on CD.

It was worth the wait. It exceeds the hype. There are plenty of other superlatives the long-awaited Gentleman Jesse LP deserves since it builds on the pop perfection standard set by the group's debut 7".

Across 13 tracks of powerpop that will remind listeners of classics ranging from Nick Lowe to Elvis Costello to Paul Collins' Beat, singer Jesse Smith, drummer/producer Dave Rahn and a pair of former bandmates melded their talents and influences together better than any group since The Exploding Hearts.

For the most part, the songs stick to Gentleman Jesse's tried and true formula of powerpop sped up punk style (other than the comparably slow "Sidewalks").

Side 1 highlights include "All I Need Tonight (Is You)," a sweet love song, and "Attention" and "The Rest of My Days," which draw on Costello's cynicism and wit. Fortunately, copping one of Costello's album covers was not enough.

The flipside is even better, with tunes like "You Don't Have To (If You Don't Want To)," another Costello-esque track, and the singalong standout, "You Got Me Where You Want Me."

Two very different tracks on Side 2 are "I Get So Excited," an Eddy Grant-pinned tune recorded by The Equals back when Eddy had dyed blond hair, and the insanely catchy "Put Your Hands Together."

If an average band had came up with these same lyrics, they'd likely come across as 7-11 songs (seven words, and the singer says them 11 times). Thankfully, Jesse and his men are not average and are capable of cranking out tunes that are masterpieces of pop understatement.

Gentleman Jesse, now a three-piece with Smith, Rahn, and Warren Hate from Beat Beat Beat and A.P.A., will open for Paul Collins' Beat August 27 at The Earl and will play with the one and only Wreckless Eric September 17 at The Star Bar.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Heading to Memphis

I'll be in the home of Goner Records and Jerry "The King" Lawler for the next week. When I come back, expect a review of the latest Hot New Mexicans release.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fringe Binge pictures


There's pictures from Friday's show at http://nathan-todd.blogspot.com/2008/08/2008-fringe-binge-kickoff.html .
Nice to mention my blog and its numerous mentions of Fringe Binge alongside the AJC and Creative Loafing. Wait, nevermind.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Another quick glance at Fringe Binge

Expect photos taken last night at The Star Bar by pro photographer Nathan Todd to be posted soon. He has scads of pics he'll hopefully send my way, including a few of the new three-piece Gentleman Jesse and His Men lineup which includes Warren Hate from Beat Beat Beat on bass.

I don't expect to get any pics taken at tonight's show, but I am still going to be heading toward Little 5 later this evening to catch The Carbonas, Rubber City Rebels, and all the other bands on the bill.