Thursday, January 29, 2009

Die Slaughterhaus is still going strong

This ran as a story in The West Georgian. They, for some unknown reason, labeled it as a story strictly about The Black Lips.

Nearly eight years after the release of The Black Lips' debut single, Atlanta-based Die Slaughterhaus Records and its family of bands continue to thrive.

The label began in the summer of 2001 when The Black Lips needed a label to release their first seven-inch record, "Ain't Coming Back."

Both Cole Alexander and Jared Swilley of Black Lips fame shared a former Georgia Tech frat house in Atlanta called Die Slaughterhaus with several friends.

The original Die Slaughterhaus house was the home of future Atlanta musicians like longtime Deerhunter guitarist Colin Mee and the site of raucous house shows featuring touring and local bands.

Mark Naumann, a friend of Alexander and Swilley since their high school days in Dunwoody, Ga., kept the label going after the success of "Ain't Coming Back."

From the second single, a release by The Lids, to the Bobby and the Soft Spots single co-released by Rob's House Records, a bulk of Die Slaugtherhaus' 35 releases have been singles or albums by Atlanta bands.

"I do not have the budget to put out everything I like, so I focus on my friends' music," Naumann said.

Die Slaughterhaus' back catalog of singles includes releases by notable Atlanta acts like Deerhunter, The Carbonas, Frantic, The Gaye Blades, Coffin Bound, Chopper and The Coathangers.

One of the more unusual Die Slaughterhaus releases is a "seasonal seven-inch" featuring original Christmas songs by Atlanta's Gentleman Jesse and Memphis' Fever B.

"I actually wanted to do a whole series of seasonal seven inches for the more obscure bank holidays, but it is hard to convince a band that they should write a song about Groundhog Day," Naumann said.

Naumann has also released nine full-length CDs or LPs, including a CD by fellow Dunwoody natives Rump Posse and split releases of the last two Black Lips LPs with New York's Vice Records and The Coathangers' self-titled debut with Rob's House.

According to Naumann, when Die Slaughterhaus splits a release with another label he handles half the cost and distributes half of the records.

The latest Die Slaugherhaus LP, The Spooks' Death From Beyond the Grave, features Naumann, members of the Black Lips and local drummer Adam Bruneau as they play Halloween-inspired electro-punk.

Naumann said the recent release of The Spooks' debut LP was almost six years in the making. The main reason the album took so long to finish is The Black Lips' busy tour schedule, he added.

While past Die Slaughterhaus releases capture the early recordings of established acts like Deerhunter, many of the upcoming releases feature an up-and-coming local act.

Naumann's "waiting in the wings" list includes less-established local bands like Double Dynamite, Mourdella, Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction, The Soft Spots and The Vietkings.

According to Naumann, less-established bands do not have to be hounded about the need for songs, cover art and everything else that goes along with making a single as often as many established acts.

Die Slaughterhaus will also co-release the LP version of the Black Lips' forthcoming album, 200 Million Thousand.

The only upcoming release not by a local band is a single by King Khan's punk band, The Black Jaspers.

With numerous sold-out singles to its credit and a promising list of upcoming releases, Die Slaughterhaus has built a strong following both in Atlanta and across the punk and garage rock globe.

To show their love for Die Slaughterhaus, at least a dozen people have gotten a tattoo of the label's star-and-bars logo.

Among those tattooed with the logo are Naumann, Swilley, King Khan, Jessica Juggz from Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction and Mourdella and Rob's House co-owner Travis Flagel.

"It's always flattering when people get the tattoo because it shows they support the label," Naumann said.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Carbonas, Fucked Up make Chunklet party worthwhile

The latest Chunket-booked event was last night at The Earl, as Toronto's Fucked Up joined Athens' American Cheeseburger and local favorites The Carbonas and Bukkake Boys for a night of hardcore-inspired punk rock.

American Cheeseburger opened, and they played an energetic set highlighted by their zany lead singer's antics. He tossed around some type of tarp during a couple of songs and was not hesitant about interacting with the audience. This band, like totally different Athens rockers Cars Can Be Blue, serves notice every time they hit the stage that being from their city does not always equate being pretentious and overrated.

Bukkake Boys played their second set in as many days next, and they, as always, shredded through their long list of short songs in about 15 minutes. Hardcore punk and warehouse shows seem to be making a comeback in Atlanta. If that's the case, Bukkake Boys could, and should, be one of that thriving scene's top bands.

The Carbonas then played their last show before an "indefinite hiatus." That is to say, the band is not finished altogether, but they do not have any shows booked at the moment. Expect them to play the occasional show, though, if big-name acts like Jay Reatard or legends like the Buzzcocks or Zero Boys come through town.

If The Carbonas are done for the time being, they went out on a good note. If you compare Sunday's show to The Carbonas' last appearance at The Earl, which was Nov. 14 at the Atlanta Mess-Around's opening night, the band was off. If you take one of their best performances ever out of the equation, then it was a very good performance.

The band broke out the songs you expect to hear live, like "Blackout (Waiting to Happen)" and cuts from their Goner Records LP and Euro Tour EP. They also dusted off songs like "Inside Out" and "Day Turns Into Night." All that was really missing was "Lost Cause."

There's no need to fret if you're already missing The Carbonas. Dave and Jesse are on the road now with Paul Collins, Greg debuted his solo act G.G. King last Thursday, and Chris plays bass with newcomers The Customers, so it's not like The Carbonas will not continue to have a huge impact locally if they rarely play shows.

Fucked Up closed out the night with their surprisingly melodic sound backing the hardcore vocals of a grizzly of a man who sort of resembled a 1980's Soviet wrestling villain (he ironically mentioned that WCW was founded in Atlanta in between songs). It was a fun set, but neither the crowd nor the band was insane enough to make the night live up to the band's reported penchant for rowdy live shows. There was a mini-circle pit and some pushing and shoving, but honestly it was very tame compared to what went down in the same venue at the before-mentioned Mess-Around opening night.

By the end of the night, The Carbonas had put on a good set, and three hardcore acts had set the mood for an energetic night of live music.

House show, Paul Collins make for half a day of good music

The final show at Dangerhouse paired Saturday with the return of Paul Collins' Beat to The Earl to make for half a day of great punk and powepop.

At Dangerhouse, a keg was outside near the dirt pit formerly known as Danger Beach, and four bands played the last show late in the afternoon in the cramped space made famous by Rob's House shows.

Doomed Youth, a young band playing U.K. '82 style punk rock, opened and put on a good show despite their lack of a bass player. They brought a lot of their young friends to the show, so the basement was packed with both familiar faces and some young punk kids who probably are not old enough to get into the next Predator show.

Up next was the debut of The Customers. The group features familiar faces, as Brad from The Heart Attacks is on drums, Chris from The Carbonas plays bass, Travis (Tuk's younger brother) plays guitar, and Stephen from Beat Beat Beat and Dangerhouse plays guitar and sings. It was, for a first gig, well-played and hopefully had the crowd eager to see more from this new four-piece.

The crowd began to thin out by the time The Bukkake Boys ripped through a brief set they dedicated to Buffalo China. If you've seen these guys before, you know they can fit a lot of rage, anger, and rock and roll into a 15-minute set.

Finally, Predator, another new band which has risen from the ashes of Beat Beat Beat, had fun with a set of songs we'll hopefully be hearing someday on a locally-released LP.

The day's festivities were no where near done, as many of the people who partied at Dangerhouse one last time went to The Earl later that night to see an American powerpop legend.

The Poison Arrows opened the show at The Earl, and they had their best show to date. The venue's acoustics and sound system were perfect for the band's sound, and Tuk's vocals came across loud and clear.

Songs ranging from the usual ("Sticky Situations" and "Shakin' All Over") to the unexpected (a slower Clash-inspired tune and a cover of Cock Sparrer's "I've Got Your Number") made for a set that set the stage for two outstanding powerpop bands.

Gentleman Jesse were next, and despite a shaky start the band hit their stride as they played their usual mix of songs from their fantastic LP and their debut 7".

Jesse, Dave, and Warren were not done, as they returned to the stage moments later and served as Paul Collins' backup band. Once everyone got used to seeing Jesse on bass for the first time in a while, seeing the three locals on stage with Collins did not seem too odd. The new look Beat may not have a lot of experience with these songs like the Spanish guys who were at Collins' last Atlanta show, but they still played well and had the crowd dancing to Collins' familiar tunes and even a Nerves cover.

Overall, it was a fun day spilling over into a fun night. If Paul Collins' tour is coming to your town, check him, and his Atlanta-based Beat, out.

Black Lips flee India

From The Black Lips' Myspace blog:

Dear fans,

Unfortunately, we have had to flee the country of India due to having our whole tour canceled and having to escape being held by police for indecent exposure during our most rawkus set in Chennai at the Campus Rock Idol showcase.

After the fiasco, which the kids seemed to like, the financial backers of the event were furious and threw us off the tour. They tried to get security to restrain us until the Tamil police arrived. We locked the door while they were kicking and banging on it. Meanwhile, we slipped out the other emergency exit.

When we got to the hotel our tour guide informed us that the that the Campus Rock Idols sponsors were pressing charges and that the police would make their arrest. At that point our tour driver informed us we would have to drive six hours to get to the next town and cross state lines where we would be out of the Tamil authorities jurisdiction, because apparently the jail in Chennai is no joke. Word on the street said that it was teeming with tuberculosis, violence and live maggots so instead of risking going there we fled the scene. The drive ended up taking 10 hours because of a horrific accident on the road. We were also informed that all of the shows on our tour had been canceled effectively fucking all funds for the trip. This was a cultural clashing shit storm.

When we got to the next hotel a mysterious man and someone who worked for our Indian booking agency tried to run off with our passports they got to the car when we caught them. That's when our documentarian Rob went postal on them. We surrounded them until they gave back our passports. After that we booked the first flight to Berlin to instead work with another Indian, King Khan, on an upcoming EP. We are flying out as soon as sunrise hits this far away land and we have to have the US embassy's phone number on hand in case any more troubleshit starts popping at the airport or something. We would like to thank the four Hindi speaking tour guides, and Rana Ghose for helping us get through these enormous trials and tribulations, and for future reference we really enjoyed the people of India and we hope western rock bands will be able to tour there in the future.

- The Black Lips

Friday, January 23, 2009

More Bukkake Boys and more Dave and Jesse. Fucked Up will be there, too.

The Carbonas will try to follow up their outstanding performance at the Atlanta Mess-Around (though they have played one show since then) Sunday when they play a Chunklet-sponsored show with Fucked Up.

Will this be the last Carbonas show like so many people stubbornly believe? Probably not, but you should still come out to see the band, plus Athens' American Cheeseburger and Atlanta hardcore act The Bukkake Boys.

The headliners, Fucked Up, hail from Toronto and are one of the better-known hardcore bands of this decade. Their blog should give you some idea of the kind of destruction they leave in their wake.

Doors are at 8 p.m., and tickets are $12 at the door.

Paul Collins returns to The Earl

Paul Collins, everyone's favorite teacher from Rock and Roll High School, will be back in town Saturday night at The Earl. His backup band for this and ten other gigs will be none other than Gentleman Jesse and His Men.

Also on the bill are Gentleman Jesse doing their own thing and another band preparing for their first tour, The Poison Arrows.

Tickets are only $10. Doors open at 9 p.m.

A busy weekend, show 1 of 3

Check out this show at the residence formerly known as Rob's House. As if Predator and Bukkake Boys are not enough incentive to come out early before the Gentleman Jesse show, you will also get to see the young fellows from Doomed Youth and the debut of The Customers (featuring members of The Heart Attacks, Beat Beat Beat, and The Carbonas). Come out for some free pre-gaming before you skip off to The Earl.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

7 Inch Atlanta Radio!

A radio show featuring songs by The Black Lips, The Spooks, Carbonas, Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction, Cars Can Be Blue, and many more will air at 2 p.m. today on Going Forward Radio. The playlist will repeat Friday at 2 p.m.

Shadow-a-GoGo tonight, and it's free

Monday, January 19, 2009

Baby Dinos survive extinction, drunken debauchery

Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction headlined a bill Saturday at The Drunken Unicorn that also included Can Can and Pegasi51 from Knoxville, Tn.

The out-of-towners opened, and played a lengthy set that at times sounded like punk rock and at other times was reminiscent of more straightforward rock.Their tall, thin lead singer certainly had "the look," and their tunes were good enough to get most of the surprisingly large early crowd away from the bar.

Can Can, a local three piece, performed second though they booked the show and have a new album to promote. The band features no bassist (which is not that unique nowadays) and a very talented drummer (which is very unique). A proudly Jewish lead singer spouting off Biblically-inspired lyrics is unique, as well. Can Can likely converted some new fans Saturday with a raucous set of post-punk inspired tunes, including several cuts from their Stickfigure Distribution/ISP album, All Hell.

Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction closed the show, and they barely missed a beat though the whole band seemed to be drunk by this point in the night. While they did not mess up any of their songs, this was not their best performance. Though belligerent drunks and rock-and-roll are supposed to go hand in hand, it'd be safe to assume the band would have been glad to go on earlier in the night before their drinking began to take its toll. It was still fun, though, to hear familiar tunes like "$.49 Hot Dog Day" and the always delightful "Coke Dick." In all fairness, today's below-par Baby Dinosaurs shows are better than their earlier gigs, so this review is not intended to scare off anyone who wants to see the band headline local venues.

Soul legend got the Eyedrum hopping

A living legend made a rare appearance Friday when 69-year-old James Shaw, better known as The Mighty Hannibal, played The Eyedrum.

In January 2007, Hannibal, a soul legend with roots in Atlanta, was backed by The Black Lips, but on Friday he was joined on stage by several peers in Freddie Terrell & The Soul Expedition.

Hannibal played a short set (presumably because of his advanced age), but he certainly delivered with tunes like “What the Blind Man Sees” and his in-song commentaries about Obama and a color-blind generation. Those who were not dancing could at least say their arm hair was standing up due to the message in Hannibal's music.

Through his association with The Black Lips and Norton Records, Hannibal has a totally different audience than me might have had back in the day. In fact, it would not be a stretch to say most of Friday’s audience would have came out if someone like The Black Lips or Jay Reatard had been gracing the Eyedrum stage.

Beforehand, Terrell and his band played some soul and smooth jazz, including a song or two with Delia Gartrell on lead vocals. While Terrell and his band were clearly talented, they seemed to play for an hour without really breaking out any sounds no one had heard before. Instead of building suspense for Hannibal’s set, they may have killed the crowd’s excitement.

Opening the night was Atlanta’s Noot D’ Noot. They were much more ecclectic than Terrell’s band, as they switched effortlessly between funk, soul, and jazz sounds. The jazzier numbers were the best, as they were reminiscent of Bristol post-punk bands like Pigbag and Rip, Rig + Panic.

For more information about The Mighty Hannibal, check out this well-written article by Creative Loafing’s Chad Radford.

The Carbonas have toured extensively

I said in that West Georgian column that the Carbonas had barely toured outside of the South. I've since learned from the band that they have toured the East coast and beyond.

I also got this message from someone who read the online paper:
The Carbonas have toured PLENTY outside of the south prior to Europe, starting around 2002...they've played up and down the east coast about a dozen times, did a month long tour across the whole country in 2006, and played sxsw numerous times. FACT CHECK.


Another misconception is that Sunday's show at The Earl with Fucked Up will be the final Carbonas show. The band still seems to take the stance that they will play less shows, but they will be willing to play really good shows (like, say, if Jay Reatard comes to town) on occasion.

You should all go to the Fucked Up show in case I am wrong yet again about the Carbonas.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The cover of the new Black Lips album, and the first single!

Click here to get on some random mailing list and to get a copy of The Black Lips' "Starting Over." Check out The Lips Feb. 27 when they play The Variety Playhouse.

Expect Die Slaughterhaus to co-release the vinyl version of 200 Million Thousand, just like it did with Good Bad Not Evil and the live album.

The Mighty Hannibal tomorrow at The Eyedrum

with backing band
and special guest openers: NOOT D' NOOT
$10 in advance / $12 at the door / 9pm / Music begins at 9:30

This show, which The Black Lips have been promoting through their MySpace, should be a good one. A couple of legends plus Noot D' Noot should make for a good night.

Radio, Radio

England's Going Forward Radio is going to be invaded by Atlanta starting next Wednesday when its rotation will begin to include this, the first-ever 7 Inch Atlanta playlist:

(All bands are from Atlanta unless otherwise noted)
Bad Kids by The Black Lips
I'm a Spook by The Spooks (featuring members of The Black Lips)
Assvogel by The Carbonas
Ooh La Love by The Baby Shakes (New York)
If I Can See You (You're Too Close to Me) by Gentleman Jesse and His Men
Leave Me Out by Beat Beat Beat
$.49 Hot Dog Day by Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction
Don't Need You Now by Knife and the 4th Ward Daggers
Shake Shake by The Coathangers
Is John Really Dead? by Coffin Bound
Gots Go! by Jesse Nobody
Merc Song by Cars Can Be Blue
Heatwave by Hotpants Romance (Manchester, England)
Rip It Up by The Stolen Minks (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
End of Time by Mika Miko (California)
Calculated Romance by Plexi 3 (Milwaukee, Wi.)
Social Critique by The Hussy (Wisconsin)
Over You by The Goodnight Loving (Milwaukee, Wi.)
Seasalt Skin by The Splinters (Oakland, Ca.)
Temporary Teamwork by Vancougar (Vancouver, BC)
Let's Go by The Pets (Oakland, Ca.)
Secret Affair by The Electric Shadows (New York)
Lost Weekend by The Weekenders (New York)
New Pheromones by The Powerchords (Washington)
Stuck on a Dream by The Greatest Hits (Olympia, Wa.)
The Day After The End of The World by The Cute Lepers (Seattle, Wa.)

7 Inch Atlanta's print debut

This lengthy article was meant to serve as a primer for people who are not familiar with Atlanta bands, venues and record labels. So if it points out the obvious, it serves its purpose.

Business will pick up next Wednesday since the second column will feature an interview with Mark from Die Slaughterhaus Records.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Slits sign with Narnack Records

Narnack is also very excited to announce the signing of The Slits... this pioneering all girl act is noted for it's influence on many of music's most acclaimed female musician's and was espousing on the riot girl ethic before most of the movements artists had even picked up an instrument. Look for all the original members to be back in the studio for the new album which will start recording in February. The Slits will also be touring the US and abroad in 2009.
I will believe this album when I see it, but I do trust The Slits to tour the states again. Who's up for another Atlanta-Birmingham double-header?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Baby Dinosaurs set to make proper venue debut for 2009

Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction will perform another gig Saturday at The Drunken Unicorn with Atlanta post-punk trio Can Can and Pegasi51 from Knoxville, Tn. This will be the Baby Dinos' first show at a proper venue or bar in 2009 and will follow a pair of house show appearances.

This is also the second straight show where "Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction" is misspelled on the flier. Maybe they could keep going by different names like MDC used to do (Millions of Dead Cops, Multi-Death Corporation, Millions of Dead Children, Millions of Damn Christians, etc.). Or maybe I should keep my silly thoughts to myself.

Gringo Star single and its b-side were a sign of things to come

Artist: Gringo Star
Title: Arms Stretched Out 7"
Label: Solutionist/ My Anxious Mouth Records
Release Date: 2008
Vinyl Color: Green

This 7", released in early 2008, was a sign of things to come for Atlanta's fast-rising Gringo Star, as it features an exceptionally good title track and an even better b-side.

The title track, "Arms Stretched Out," will remind you of The Byrds the minute the needle drops. Lyrically and musically, this tune is a glimpse at the band's ability to write ear-catching lyrics and compose a tune that is as beautiful as it is chilling.

That being said, "Arms Stretched Out" does not fully capture what Gringo Star is capable of bringing to the party. Fans of the group should love this song, but a first-time listener who has not been wowed by a Gringo Star live set may need something a bit more exciting and instantly memorable to become a believer.

Its flipside, "Black Night," definitely has that extra something the a-side lacks. From the first note to the last, fast-paced guitar playing collides with a soothing piano, while beautifully-sung storytelling lyrics are paired up with haunting backup harmonies.

"Black Night" sounds less like an obvious nod to The Byrds. That's nothing to sweat, since after giving this song a spin you will be too busy wanting to hear more offerings from Gringo Star's catalog to care about sorting out their musical influences.

Thanks to its b-side, this single lives up to "haunting" and "beautiful," words evoked by its cover art, a painting by Rachel Borchers.

Fun-loving and promising band has six solid demo tracks

Artist: The Splinters
Title: Demo EP
Label: Self-released
Format: CDR

The Splinters, an all-girl band hailing from Oakland, Ca., prove on their debut EP to be as fun-loving and promising as East Coast counterparts like The Coathangers and Vivian Girls.

"Ch Ch Ch Cha" opens the disk with more than just onomatopoeia, as this song has the same storytelling quality as most Vivian Girls tunes. "Oranges," the third tune on the EP, is also solid rock and roll storytelling.

"Electricity" starts off sounding downright haunting, but kicks into a much faster gear when it reaches its catchy chorus.

The last three songs on the EP are equally fantastic and are very different from each other.

The Splinters show an ability to go from the strikingly beautiful, slower-paced "Sea Salt Skin" to the upbeat, fast-paced "Splintered Bridges." They also show their sense of humor on the acoustic "Worry," which would be pretty if it were not for some rather silly background vocals.

If these six tracks are just demos, imagine how awesome a Splinters 7" or full-length would sound. Hopefully, the day will come when we do not have to just imagine. Check out these songs on Myspace, and while you are at it let these girls know that they should come play in Atlanta.

Hardcore songs you can relate to

Artist: The Bukkake Boys
Title: Splendid Thoughts
Label: Danger Records/ Vile Minds Records
Release date: Fall 2008

On The Bukkake Boys' debut single, which was co-released by Atlanta's Danger Records, the band unleashes some justified anger about everyday topics that effect the band and many of their friends.

"Mind Police," a biting social commentary about "society's slaves," is the strongest a-side track. Lyrically it is better written than the typical political hardcore punk rant, thanks to lyrics like: "Machine by day, vegetable by night. Do what they want, this is the wasteland-life." The song addresses living as just another poor worker at the expense of a society built on corruption and lies.

"Mind Police" is sandwiched between "Mind Vulture," which seems to delve into the brain of a murderer, and the defeatist lyrics of "Mind Karate" ("Shattered fucking life, everything is broken"). Both are solid hardcore songs, but they both lack the lyrical punch of "Mind Police" and the three b-side tracks.

The b-side opens with a lightning fast anti-religion diatribe in "Mind Thoughts." Regardless of your personal beliefs, if you grew up in the South and are open-minded enough to listen to this type of record, chances are you or someone you know grew up around oppressive religious beliefs. If that's the case, you can likely say amen to lyrics like "Open the book, get on your knees. A brainwashing cult, you do as they please."

Surely a lot of Bukkake Boys fans can regrettably relate to the lyrics of "Mind Copulation," which declares, "I don't want the cat and mouse, can't stand being on the prowl. Dating life is shit. All I want is some physical action. Sex seems much better than relationship status."

"Mind Melter" is another angry rant. This time, gossipers are put in their place. Once again, fans should all relate to this justifiable rant. Who out there does not know their fair share of backbiters? The song and 7" end with this weird looped springing noise (which likely is there to fill in the last minute or so of the record).

Overall, this 7" is a very strong release for an outstanding live act and an up-and-coming record label.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Two huge developments for 7 Inch Atlanta

The official "7 Inch Atlanta" newspaper column will debut Wednesday, January 14, in The West Georgian, the student newspaper at the University of West Georgia. The first column will be an Atlanta music primer, and the other columns hopefully will be either features on bands and record labels or more detailed concert and record reviews. Feel free to send me any suggestions for the column.

Also, the unofficial "7 Inch Atlanta" online radio show is coming soon thanks to some nice folks in the UK. I am supposed to send in digital files of the songs from each playlist. Since most of my good music (and Atlanta music) is on vinyl and I don't know how to rip songs, it might not hurt to see if I need a digital copy of your band's best songs. I would be cool with song requests, as well.

The Spooks' LP hits the streets

The Sisyphean task of getting this record out is complete for The Spooks, as Death From Beyond the Grave has been in the works for seven years. The LP is only $10 (minus shipping) and has the best cover of "Takin' Care of Business" on a debut album since Kurtis Blow. Speaking of covers, the dust jacket is not blindingly green. Blogspot is pulling our collective legs.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Poison Arrows tonight at Radio Clash party

Baby Dinos take their music to a new audience without leaving town

Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction played their second house show of the new year Wednesday at The Interstate Estate on Memorial Terrace, and they overcame a few minor glitches during a short and entertaining set.

This should not have been a decent show for the band. Jessica Juggz was not feeling 100 percent, and the band had to borrow everything from a guitar strap to drum sticks. On top of all that, The Interstate Estate pretty much draws the crowd that used to go to 141 Moreland for house shows, so this was not the band's typical audience.

The band adjusted, though, and played a short set which won over at least one new fan. Not even the lack of a tambourine stopped them, as Mark hit the bass symbol during "Playa Hermosa" to add a little percussion to Jessica's signature song.

"$.49 Hot Dog Day," the band's best song, was not even played, and "Coke Dick," their second best, never really took off the ground. That's actually good news, as it shows the band has enough songs now to mix things up and not play the same set list over and over again.

As for the audience, they seemed to get into the Baby Dinos after the first couple of songs, though they sound much different than the other bands on the bill. Playing a house show not planned by former Barberries likely gave the band the best exposure to new ears they could get without playing outside of East Atlanta.

As for the rest of the bands, Genuine Imitations from White Plains, N.Y. and Landlord from Bloomington, In. were both punk bands making tour stop. Landlord had some good songs, and seemed to be popular with the audience. Wrister, a self-proclaimed melodic punk band from Atlanta, wrapped up the night.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Fighting the extinction at another house show

Did you read this bit earlier:

The closed quarters that is Jack and Alex's living room seem to add to the energy of many of Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction's songs.

You can see this energy again (or for the first time) Wednesday at a No Breaks-sponsored house show. Interstate Estate is a house off Memorial Drive on Memorial Terrace SE.

Chopper had plenty to say, but hardly anyone listened

If Chopper plays and no one shows up, do they still make a loud sound? Yes.

Chopper played their first gig of the year Saturday at Lenny's in front of an anemic crowd, but they still put on a rocking though brief performance.

"Short-haired metal trio" does not sound right, but songs like "Rolling Thunder" from their Die Slaughterhaus 7" sound just fine live and on the record. Each song played was loud and energetic enough to please metal and hard rock fans and well-crafted enough for indie music lovers.

You'd think a band with well-written rock songs and fantastic drumming would draw a bigger crowd on a weekend night. When you throw in Chopper's obvious connection to Deerhunter, the lack of a crowd was downright baffling.

Before Chopper hit the stage, a bassless three-piece called Glen Iris played about eight harder-rocking indie songs and Club of Rome set up in the audience and unleashed their brand of chaotic yet artistic noise.

Though the last three bands each had a good set, it was the opening act, Facehugger, that made the night worthwhile.

David from Derek Lyn Plastic's band played keyboards and kept the drum machine going while his bandmate Paul squatted down on top of a speaker and played guitar.

Those two and their messthetic-style punk rock provided the perfect backdrop for a lead singer who shakes and seizures so much while performing that he unplugged his microphone several times. He's almost like a less hardcore version of the lead singer from The Cola Freaks.

Lyrically, the band is not afraid to draw from their favorite literature and poems. After introducing one song, the singer responded to the thin and apathetic crowd by saying, "We must not have many readers here. A lot of cool musicians read. Nick Cave read, so it's not nerdy."

By the end of the night, Chopper and Facehugger had put on good sets, though hardly anyone was there to enjoy their tunes.

Barberrie House show goes considerably better than their last one

Less violence, more alcohol, and a better grouping of bands than before made for a fun and memorable show Friday at the Barberrie House.

Cars Can Be Blue, a catalyst of the last Barberrie House show's insanity, opened and played about five songs. The first four were sloppy but fun, as Becky constantly offered to show a tit later in the night if the band sold $100 worth of merchandise. "Eyeballs," one of the band's best, closed out the set and sounded as good as usual.

Athens' Timmy Tumble was next, and he was somewhat of a one-man-band (I say "somewhat" because he does not do quite as much at once as Matt Kurtz One does). Tim plays guitar, sings, and interacts with the audience along with a backing track.

Tim's audience interaction made the set. How many musicians can make that much eye contact without laughing and totally goofing up? Plus, it was hilarious for him to work his way into the kitchen to sing to the people hoping to grab one of the last beers. It was doubly hilarious when he opened the front door and forced the disinterested people outside smoking and chatting to hear two of his songs.

Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction was next, and they did well, though by this point a lot of people (including Morgan) were more than just slightly buzzed. All things considered, the band was a few remembered lyrics away from having a good set.

The closed quarters that is Jack and Alex's living room seem to add to the energy of many of Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction's songs. For some reason, "$.49 Hot Dog Day" seems louder and faster in a house show environment. It's good the song sounded fresh and different, as "Coke Dick" is getting dangerously close to usurping it as the band's trademark anthem.

Coffin Bound, a band that's loud and fast in any environment, took the show to another level with their bluesy Southern garage-punk sound. The beer was gone by this point, and more people paid attention to the music in time to hear one of the metro area's best, and its most underrated, band.

The new-look Mammals were next, and they continued the trashy garage rock party. Justin and Paul are now joined by Jack and Alex from The Barberries. Though the band has a new lineup, they still bring the same sound and songs to the party. Plus, does it not seem natural to see The Mammals play right after Coffin Bound?

Knoel and the SS, a new group featuring Alex, Jack, Nate from Cars Can Be Blue, and Josh from Pinche Gringo, kept the party going with their debut. Like Matt from The Barberries' new band, The Electric Cycles, this group plays straightforward rock while showing off their garage and psychedelic influences.

Balkans closed the night, and their infectious, youthful energy had the crowd dancing and the sticky floors shaking. Many people had wound down for the evening and were ready to go home after seeing six bands already, so Balkans may not have had the attentive audience they deserved.

By the end of the night, seven bands, including a new group and a one-man act, had made the first sloppy-drunk show of 2009 a memorable one.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Showdown on Camelia Drive

The Barberrie House, 1907 Camelia Drive, will host a free house show tonight around 10 p.m. While this will likely be less absurd than the last major house show they threw, there's a good lineup. Knoel and the S.S., featuring members of The Barberries and Pinche Gringo and Nate from Cars Can Be Blue on drums, will debut. Balkans, Coffin Bound, The Mammals and Athens' Timmy Tumble are also scheduled to play.

EDIT: Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction will be there too. This will be the first 2009 gig covered by 7 Inch Atlanta!