Monday, September 28, 2009

Cheap Time headlines tomorrow's best bet

P.S. Expect a mega-review of both Kid Congo and the Pink Monkeybirds shows in the near and soon.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Come and get some man squeezins!

I was going to post about the lack of choices this week outside of that Cheap Time show at 529, and then I saw this. Rock on.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Video of the Week: Vivian Girls' "When I'm Gone"


You should definitely go to the nightcap unless you have a Butthole Surfers ticket.

Coathangers, Predator, and The Customers tonight at 529

This is why you should be nice to girls. Weirdo. He probably even cut a hole in the back of the Cheez-It box.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Carbonas in the bed

You can probably all figure out that The Carbonas are my favorite Atlanta band ever. Part of me is weirded out by this (pictures of guys I know on a pillow). Part of me is almost amused enough to shell out $16.

Free G.G. King download

Adult rock mainstay Greg King's new band, G.G. King, played a show back in May with James Joyce of Beyond Failure blog/Car vs. Driver/Noot 'd Noot/Judi Chicago/etc. fame behind the drum kit. You can download the entire set from James' blog. Check this out, and then hear these same songs in person Saturday for free at Criminal Records. G.G. King plays at 4 p.m. and will be followed by former Cramps and Gun Club member Kid Congo Powers and his new band, The Pink Monkey Birds.

Powers will play again later that night with DLP and the incomparable Subsonics.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The West Georgian: Review of Jay Reatard's new album

Edit: Notice how I failed to mention the name of the album in the actual article. Epic fail, as the kids say.
Artist: Jay Reatard
Title: Watch Me Fall
Label: Matador Records
Release date: August 2009

Memphis songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jay Reatard explores new grounds with this, his second full-length album and his first since signing with indie giant Matador Records.

Reatard, whose real name is Jay Lindsey, has churned out a lot of great music since he was a teenager with bands like The Angry Angles, Terror Visions and The Final Solutions, and since 2005 he has focused on solo efforts which have gotten him some international acclaim and a spot alongside The Black Lips and King Khan on top of the punk and garage rock world.

On his newest album, Reatard combines nihilistic lyrics with some new musical influences, ranging from the heavy use of an acoustic guitar to his obvious infatuation with the Kiwi pop sounds of Flying Nun Records. The beauty of Reatard bringing in influences like kiwi pop is his fans are now likely to track down music by bands like The Tall Dwarfs. It’s the kind of shared discovery fans of The Clash likely participated in back in 1979.

For those who are unfamiliar with kiwi pop, it is New Zealand rock music that, unlike The Flight of the Concords, is original and entertaining.

The opener, “It Ain’t Going to Save Me,” should leave no doubt that Jay can still crank out songs as good as earlier singles and his fantastic “Blood Visions” LP.

This one is, minus a few swear words, radio ready, and the official music video features an edited version with no swearing and the keyboard parts cut out toward the end of the song. Too bad the sheep running the record industry do not see this golden platter in front of them, as they, like some of the record buying public, need to be told what is cool.

After that, the album never goes down the drain completely, but no other song is quite as good as “It Ain’t Going to Save Me.”

That’s not to say there are no gems among the other tracks. Two songs later, “Man of Steel” brings some bizarre hyperactive folk-pop experiment to the table, and it is followed by “Can’t Do It Anymore,” which is highlighted by a screaming guitar. It’s like Jay took what made Peter Frampton famous and made it punk.

There are other strange brews worth a listen like “Faking It,” which completely reverses the pop tradition of mellow verses and chant-along choruses.

Another keeper is “I’m Watching You,” which sounds like a cross between classic Stiff Records powerpop (Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Dave Edmunds, etc.) and the tropical sounds of artists like Atlanta singer-songwriter Adron.

The b-side of this album is much darker, with lyrics like “There’s nothing to look forward to/but the people who quit” from “Nothing Now” and gloomy song titles like “Hang Them All” and “There is No Sun.”

The brightest spot of the b-side is “Rotten Mind,” which is fun if only because when Jay says the name of the album during the song it reminds me of the Family Guy sketch where Peter Griffin is amused whenever he hears the name of a movie during the film’s dialogue. Yeah, I’m a television sheep and got that “this is cool” memo.

The gloominess of this album surely reflects something deep inside Jay that drove him to write this batch of less than upbeat songs. Possibly it is the pressures of being one of the most visible artists in the world who does more than churn out manufactured anger?

Regardless of why Jay put out this album, it’s worth a listen. It’s not quite as good as “Blood Visions,” but if you skip this one you may miss out on discovering along with Jay music we ignorantly overlooked as punk kids.

Black Lips play surprise factory party

I say surprise, though I knew about it in advance and scads of people showed up. It was last Friday at a space off DeKalb Avenue near where you turn to go to Estoria. The sound of the band bounced off the concrete wall separating the road from the railroad, so it sounded great outside. So great that paying $3 to get in (thanks, Derek) was a waste. That's not to say being inside would not have been fun. Jessica Juggz and The Mayor of Ponce had lots of fun inside, as both stage dove off the make-shift bar. Jessica and some other folks also entertained the crowd outside with fire tricks. I hope learning you are good at slinging around fire does not involve a lot of trial and error.

The Black Lips played a sloppy show, but it was still a blast. They played a lot of old stuff, with some of their better Vice-era material mixed in ("Drugs", "Oh Katrina", etc.). The Barreracudas played super-early, so I did not get to see them. I did see some chode tag their van in front of a couple hundred people and later pull a box cutter on some of my friends. He fortunately got knocked the fuck out before he could cause any damage and was last seen running away with his face bleeding.

Abby Go Go to play art show

I stole this from my online friend at Bad Idea Potluck:
This art opening promises to be the event of the season and I'm not just saying that because it is the first solo show of an awesome friend. She's been talking about these works for a long time and I'm so excited to see them I might faint before I get within range.

Friday night from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Vacation Gallery and Boutique, 674 A N. Highland Ave.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Woven Bones rarity would totally make you want to see them live tonight

Artist: Woven Bones
Title: With You Alone
Label: Hozac Records/ Hozac Hookup Klub
Release date: 2009
Release number: HZR-029/ Hookup Klub 3

If you're not water-logged like I am, you should consider checking out Austin, Texas' Woven Bones tonight when they play The Earl with The Intelligence and The Carnivores, as they are every bit as good live as they are on records like this Hozac Hookup Klub rarity.

The title track is a good sampling of the primitive beats, grimy guitars, booming bass, and bluesy and very Southern vocals that make up Woven Bones' sound.

The flipside, "Sitting Sick," is just as potent, as the band go full-steam for almost four minutes.

What do they sound like? Well, most reviewers draw comparisons to The Jesus and Mary Chain. If they sound like them, then they sound like the band The Jesus and Mary Chain emulated: The Velvet Underground. The vocals remind me slightly of Suicide if they had been from the swampy South and not decadent New York. Speaking of swampy, you may also notice some slight similarities to Jacuzzi Boys.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Brooklyn brawlers, the Stolen Hearts, and Adrian's panda pin

Josh Martin had a nice homecoming last week, as Brooklyn's Ex-Humans headlined a stacked bill Wednesday at 529.

The Stolen Hearts opened, and they showed why they are one of the best new local bands to debut in 2009. The girls seem more comfortable on stage now (it's their first band), and Greg King and Adrian Barrera delivered, as usual. I initially thought the two guys pretty much played the same thing on stage, but I noticed at this show that Adrian and his panda pin did more fancy stuff than Greg. Highlights included "Heart Collector," which was the set's opener, and the other two songs from the band's Douchemaster debut.

Adrian and the panda (I hadn't seen that thing since the winter) returned to the stage with The Barreracudas. The artists formerly known as The Hiss continue to impress, and this time they added a nice little surprise to their arsenal. It was "Come On, Come On" from Cheap Trick's second album. The style of the song and its use of backup vocals fit The Barreracuda's style, so they did not have to do the cliched "make the song their own." It was a good take on a great song, and I look forward to hearing it everytime I go see one of Atlanta's best new bands.

Ex-Humans closed, and they are one of the best bands I've heard from Brooklyn, our sister city. Josh proved he was a good frontman with Beat Beat Beat and an excellent guitarist with The Carbonas, and he brings all the skills to the table with this new band. Their bassist is as good as anyone you will find. He does not do a lot of fancy stuff, but he is solid. The drummer is also a beast, and he was absolutely exausted once the set was over. Highlights included songs from the band's Full Breach Kicks 7" and some tunes most of us heard back in the Spring when the band played The Earl and Footclan Headquarters.

Another big show at 529

The home-grown Carinvores and headliners The Intelligence are awesome, but Woven Bones should steal the show. They make for a heavy, bluesy, shoegazy experience.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Trashcans get trashed tonight at The Drunken Unicorn

The Trashcans are sharing the stage tonight at The Drunken Unicorn with Lil' Daggers, Thee Crucials, and The F'N Heartbreaks. Check it out if you can resist the Box Elders/Sonic Chicken 4 show at 529.

Expect posts in the future about The Ex-humans and last night's factory show headlined by The Black Lips. It was insane.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Video of the week: Hunx and His Punx

I saw this on Jay Reatard's Web site while I was doing some research for my next post.

The West Georgian: Review of the new Vivian Girls LP

Artist: The Vivian Girls
Title: Everything Goes Wrong
Label: In The Red Records
Release date: Sept. 8, 2009

The Vivian Girls faced a tough task when they entered the studio in March with the likely intent to record a batch of songs as solid as the ones on their 2008 debut album. The likely mission was accomplished with “Everything Goes Wrong,” which was released Sept. 8 by In The Red Records.

For those who are not familiar with the band, it’s three girls mixing the shoegazing and twee-pop sounds of the U.K., harmonies from East Coast legends The Beach Boys and the indie rock sounds emanating from Brooklyn, their hometown.

The album begins with “Walking Home At Night,” a nice display of the band’s trademark harmonies and Ali Koehler’s solid drumming, which often is the glue that keeps Vivian Girls songs together.

“I Have No Fun,” which has been in the band’s live arsenal for at least a year now, has nice harmonies, too, though one voice takes off during the chorus and leaves the other two in the dust.

The simplistic “Can’t Get Over You” follows a catchy hook with an equally catchy riff and then slips into the closest thing to a guitar solo you are going to get from this type of band. It also breaks the three-minute barrier, which was almost as daring a move as the before-mentioned guitar solo.

Jaws will drop over the guitar work that begins “The Desert.” This hopefully will cause reviewers who have the sexist notion that these girls “struggle with their instruments” to open their minds to how good this band can be.

Can these girls make a song called “Tension” beautiful? Of course they can. They already had pretty songs called “Damaged” and “I Believe in Nothing,” so this lovely slice of cynicism should come as no surprise.

The band continues to alter their sound without changing it with the upbeat “Survival,” which is mellow until torrential drumming signals its end.

“The End” resembles “Tell The World” from the first album, as it is slow and deliberate and is highlighted by those Beach Boys harmonies that set The Vivian Girls apart from other shoegazers. Lots of punk bands are guilty of repackaging old songs without adding anything new to their repertoire, but The Vivian Girls have proven they can use the blueprint of an old song and crank out something that sounds fresh and new.

The next couple of songs, “When I’m Gone” and “Out For The Sun”, sound like road trip music for some reason, and while listening to them you can imagine looking out the window and seeing the sites as your tour van rolls down an Arizona highway. The latter is the best song on the whole album, and it features another out of left field guitar solo.

“I’m Not Asleep” ironically sounds like it’s from a dream world, and the constant repeating of “I’m still awake” seems to be the girls’ way of reminding themselves that whatever event or emotion inspired this song was real.

The traceable amount of country and western influence in “Double Vision” is a welcome surprise and a nice addition to the band’s sound.

“You’re My Guy” is the type of song that’s pretty when you first hear it, and then you listen to it a second time and actually pick up on the lyrics, which are not fit to print in this publication.

The closer, “Before I Start To Cry,” is a slow tune with decipherable lyrics. I kept waiting for the band to kick it into high gear or at least say something weird or vulgar, but this is a genuinely sweet song and a nice ending to one of the best albums of 2009.

This is an amazing album. Don’t be surprised if most of your record collection will suddenly sound second rate once you’ve digested this one.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ex-Humans land in Atlanta tomorrow night

This is going to be a good one. I don't think Predator is going to play, but this is still a stacked bill.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

K-Holes the real treat of a solid bill

Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction had their best show in recent memory and Predator delivered the goods, as usual, but the real treat last Thursday at 529 was Brooklyn garage rockers The K-Holes.

Baby Dinos were up first, and they had founding member Megan on keyboards. The five-piece version of the band is awesome on older songs, though it honestly is kind of odd to hear a keyboard part on "Coke Dick." The group really gelled, though, as they played pretty much everything in their arsenal, including the new G.G. Allin cover, without a hitch.

The K-Holes were next, and though they brought a lot of familiar faces to the stage, I don't think many people knew what to expect. Those familiar faces belonged to former Black Lips guitarist Jack Hines, his wife and former Atlanta musician Julie, and a couple of members of Golden Triangle. Primitive beats (the drummer reminded me of the drummer from fellow Brooklyn band The Beets), lo-fi saxophone playing, and a garage revival take on mixing male and female vocals make for a strange brew, and they also make for something refreshingly different. Someone get this band in a studio. ASAP.

Closing out the night was Predator. They played a short yet potent set consisting of the songs we've all heard before like "You" and "Little Prince" and a few newer tunes. The punk trio has already recorded with Ryan from The Bukkake Boys, and they should have a single coming out soon on Rob's House Records and a full-lenth LP sometime next year.

Friday, September 11, 2009

West Georgian column: The West Coast Vivian Girls?

Artist: Dum Dum Girls
Title: Yours Alone 12" E.P.
Label: Captured Tracks
Release date: 2009

Lo-fi indie rock is not in, but it should be thanks to the efforts of Dum Dum Girls on their “Yours Alone” E.P., released by Brooklyn’s Captured Tracks record label.

Little can be found online about Los Angeles’ Dum Dum Girls, except that the group is the brainchild of a lady known simply as Dee Dee. Artists not revealing their last name are pretty common and likely are an extension of punk rock’s opposition to building heroes and legends through popular music.

This four song E.P., the follow-up to the group’s debut single on Chicago’s Hozac Records, combines great lyrics with post-rock sounds that should make the listener anxious for Dum Dum Girls’ future releases with indie giant Sub Pop Records.

The first song, “Catholicked,” is the real gem, as it is a well-constructed diatribe against religion. Moments into the song, Dee Dee will make you realize the beautifully blasphemous line “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine” has the same punch it had when legendary punk poet Patti Smith introduced the line to our vernacular over 30 years ago or when some Crass fan decided to commercialized the line and put it on a t-shirt.

If you grew up around religion and later grew to resent it, you’ll be saying “amen” with Dee Dee. If you are pro-religion, then this condemnation of Catholicism might help you understand folks on the other side of the fence. Either way, this song serves more social purpose than the typical dance tune about how much money some guy has or what all he plans on doing with a girl.

“Hey Sis” is more about guitar work and Dee Dee’s memorable voice than socially relevant lyrics, but it, too, is a keeper. It’s the type of song that is beautiful under the surface, though the beauty is buried under a couple of layers of guitars and echoes.

The flipside starts with “Sock In It,” a slow-driving tune where the only decipherable line among the mire is “You Talk Too Much.” It’s slow-driving in an entrancing way and is certainly not boring.

This release ends with the title track, “Yours Alone.” This one is surprisingly upbeat and borrows from pop music without compromising the band’s sound. It might be the best Dum Dum Girls song to play for your friends if they’ve never heard this group before.

The band will hit the road in late October with King Khan and BBQ Show, arguably the best garage-punk band in the world. Based on YouTube, Dum Dum Girls have performed live as a band featuring members of Blank Dogs, Crystal Stilts, and The Crocodiles. Regardless of who will be in the band, they are not scheduled to come to Atlanta, which is a shame.

Dum Dum Girls could easily be the West Coast equivalent of Brooklyn’s Vivian Girls someday. They have the talent, and now that they have signed to Sub Pop, a label made famous by Nirvana, they will have more than enough exposure.

News from future Judge Judy star Nate Mitchell

It's Nate, writing you from New haven, CT almost all the way through the CCBB/Eggs tour.

I wanted to drop a press release on you for a dance party I am organizing/promoting in Athens that will feature two of my favorite Athens-area DJ's: Kurt Wood (who often lends his extensive '60s knowledge & vinyl collection to the Fringe Factory) and DJ Mahogany spinning an an entire evening of Northern Soul 45's (aka rare, obscure, expensive collector-scum singles not often heard in their original format and completely fetishized by disc jockeys in the North of England).

The party will be sort of a "Welcome Home" kind of thing for Cars Can Be Blue (although no bands will be playing) and a nice send-off for the Lovely Eggs as they get ready to depart America and return to the North of England.

The Northern Soul Spectacular dance party will start with a first-come/first-served soul food dinner (chicken, pork, collard greens, mashed potatoes, mac-n-cheese) at 9pm followed by dancing until the wee hours. Two kegs! Dress to impress!

The party is at Ben's Bikes (670 W. Broad St., Athens, GA), so hope you and your readership can come over and have some fun with us.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mutating Meltdown highlights show at The Drunken Uni

Austin's Mutating Meltdown, a band featuring two members of Finally Punk and their friend Chad on organ, brought their lead guitarless sound to The Drunken Unicorn last week in support of hard-art rockers Hawks and Sunglasses.

I, Octopus opened, but they played so early I missed the entire set. They apparently are an experimental indie outfit from New Orleans and perform a song called "Rag Tag Bunch of Apostrophes."

Sunglasses were next, and I was way more impressed this time than I was when they played in February with The Coathangers. Their lead singer is an awesome performer, and they have condensing thrashy metal sounds down to two minutes.

Mutating Meltdown were third, and they lived up to the hype. Songs like "Fantasy," the title track of their debut 7", made up a set of female-fronted (most of the time) tunes with simple organ parts. The real highlight was when a guy named Wes was the lone volunteer from the crowd when the band asked if someone wanted to sing a song they hadn't penned vocals for. He ad-libbed like a motherfucker and had better stage presence than some lead singers I could name. Veronica from Finally Punk played drums and she sang one song in Spanish.

Hawks closed, and my first experience seeing them live left me wanting to see them again as soon as possible. To sum it up poorly, their music is an artsy take on hard rock and metal. Their drummer, who also played in Vera Fang, is a beast, and their lead singer pulled shapes as if he was fronting The Rolling Stones or The Booze. Their lead singer is also someone I've now seen nude more times than I would like to remember, but that's rock and roll for you.

If the K-Holes aren't your thing...

you can check out this free show, featuring Alabama's Shining Path (who are great) and 7 Inch Atlanta favorites The North Trolls, who recently had their first 7" released.

Video of the week: The Impuse International

Here's another good Brooklyn band (2/3 of them are from there and the singer lives in Florida) to get you pumped up for tonight's K-Holes show. If The Impulse International's new album on Dirtnap Records is as good as their "Hollywood Underground" single, then it's worth buying.

Megan's back, and so is Jack

There's a huge show tonight at 529 featuring Predator, who always deliver; Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction, with Megan back on keyboards for one night only; and Brooklyn's K-Holes, featuring Jack Hines, his wife Julie, and a couple of folks from Golden Triangle.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Coathangers, Baby Dinos, CCBB, and Lovely Eggs play sloppy but fun show

Two local acts, an Athens duo and a couple of visitors from England put on a good show Aug. 28 at The Star Bar, as not even a little drunken sloppiness could ruin a guaranteed night of fun.

Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction, a band this blog has championed since day one, opened and had a solid set. They played all the old favorites, including two performances of "Coke Dick" after Becky from Cars Can Be Blue requested an encore, and a G.G. Allin cover. Their split with Bobby and The Soft Spots should be coming out very soon on Die Slaughterhaus Records.

The Lovely Eggs from the U.K. were next, and they had a fun set with songs about birds and fruit and their favorite American photographer. They, like Cars Can Be Blue, are a two-piece with a boy drummer (sitting behind a tiny kit) and a girl guitarist and singer. Eighty percent of the time, they sound like a folksy pop group. The other 20 percent of the time consists of Holly, the guitarist, shredding like she's in a grunge band.

Cars Can Be Blue, who seem to be one of those bands you always associate with The Star Bar, were next. They argued with each other, shocked people in the crowd who had never heard their lyrics, and overall put on a good set. My favorite moment was when Nate sang "Cycle of Violence" and, as always, whipped the stage with his belt during the song. The random guy behind me looked at his friend and said, "I so didn't see that one coming." I saw it coming and still enjoyed it. Probably as much as the random shocked guy.

The Coathangers closed the night. They were slowed down a little by a night full of alcohol consumption, but even that could not stop them from entertaining the people who had stuck around for one of our city's best bands.

This picture Kevin sent me gives me an excuse to point out that Julia has developed into a good drummer, though that primarily is Stephanie's role with the band.

I shouldn't say "role with the band", though, as all four girls chip in however they are needed.

One highlight may have been Stephanie's rant about how people who heckled them should get up on stage and do better if they can. The Coathangers seem to get better and better, and there's no telling what will be in store for their fans once the girls hit the studio again.

Pictures contributed by Kevin

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Video of the Week: Mika Miko's Totion

Dino DNA. Sorry this is a day late.It says "Never Forget" at the end. If I was a douche I would have saved this for next week.

Exhumans are coming, plus an excuse

I owe you folks two live reviews. One is of The Coathangers, Cars Can Be Blue, Lovely Eggs, and Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction and will feature pictures from my friend Kevin. The other is Hawks, Sunglasses, and Mutating Meltdown (featuring 1/2 of Finally Punk!).

The pause is because I drunkenly knocked my laptop off my bed a couple of weeks ago, and ITS at the University of West Georgia apparently takes its sweet time.

Until I get those reviews up, get excited about this, which features one of the best punk bands in Brooklyn. I'm excited:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

There's a lot going on tonight and this weekend

Tonight, there's two good choices. At 529, Balkans, Carnivores, and The North Trolls are playing a fundraiser for the family of the late Greg Savelio. At The Drunken Unicorn, local favorites Hawks and Sunglasses will play with Mutating Meltdown, a band featuring a member of Finally Punk.

Facehugger and Pleasure Cruise will play a release party for their Army of Bad Luck 7" Saturday at 529. That show should be worthwhile. I can already tell you the single is worth picking up. Expect a full review of it soon.

Finally, the kings of all 7 Inch Atlanta favorites, The Carbonas, will play Fuck Yeah Fest this weekend in Los Angeles. Some of the best bands on the scene (The Strange Boys, Mika Miko, The Black Lips, Fucked Up, and Nobunny) will perform, and so will Tim and Eric. I wish I could go fight fires with them.