Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The best pick on partying's amateur night

This disgusting manbeast, created with parts of Bill Goldberg and Bobby Ubangi, wants you to check out the best NYE bill, top to botton, in town.

With The Black Lips gig sold out and The Coathangers' show likely to be pretty packed, there will probably be a chance to get into this one and see all the ex-Carbonas perform along with some of the best young up-and-comers (The Carnivores and Balkans), reckless hard-art-rockers (Hawks), and the sonic dreamworld wove by The N.E.C.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Free Old King Cole Younger set tonight

Cole Alexander of The Black Lips will do a 20-minute set of his solo stuff tonight (Wednesday) at 529. The show is free and will also feature Creative Loafing's Chad Radford on the 1s and 2s.

Huge Rob's House Records sale!

Trey sent this email earlier today:
Happy Holidays!

Seems like a lot of labels are doing year end sales... so here's one from Rob's House.

We've got a small handful of SIDS Winter 7"s left and while it's an amazing record I'm worried that its xmas ties are gonna cause it to collect dust now that Christmas has passed. So...

BUY any Rob's House 7" and get the SIDS Winter 7" for free (while supplies last)...


BUY any Rob's House LP and get the SIDS Winter 7" (while supplies last) and any other 7" (please specify during PayPal checkout) for free ...

not, sure how long we'll run this deal, depends on the response. so hurry over to:

Rob's House LPs include the Coathangers debut, the Bobby Ubangi solo album, and The Weakends' first full-length. Seven-inches in stock include SIDS and Fe Fi Fo Fums represses and singles by current Atlanta punks G.G. King, The Customers, and Predator.

You'd be silly to pass this deal up, unless you already own all these records.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Show of the Year: Carbonas reform for July 4 benefit

Once again, an amazing show sticks out above all others as the 7 Inch Atlanta show of the year.

This blog started in May 2008, and by the time show reviews became the norm, the first night of the inaugural Atlanta Mess-Around set the bar. Out-of-towners like Wax Museums and Baby Shakes and local vets in The All-Night Drug Prowling Wolves shared the bill with scene mainstays The Gaye Blades (featuring Bobby Ubangi) and Carbonas. As if the bill was not stacked enough already, our faithful local record labels delivered The Spits.

On that night, The Carbonas were everything we knew they could be, whipping the crowd into a ruckus and inspiring Chris Van Etten to throw down his bass and leap into the crowd at set's end.

Less than a year later, on Independence Day 2009, The "on-hiatus" Carbonas reformed to play what was meant to be a benefit for the living expenses of Bobby Ubangi three days after one of the band's founders lost a lengthy battle with cancer. Was this Carbonas set, which featured a guest appearance by pre-Jesse bass player Jeremy Thompson, as good as the Mess-Around? No. But it was fitting they closed out a concert that brought a lot of grieving friends and some of Atlanta's newest and best punk bands together. Also on the bill that night were The Barreracudas, Predator, and The Customers. This show, which raised funds for Ubangi's burial, was the last in a long line of "Bobby Ubangi Preservation Society" shows, as the scene really pulled together time and time again for one of its favorite sons.

A distant second in the Show of the Year argument was 7 Inch Atlanta's first, and likely last, chance to cover a Mika Miko show.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Not quite SIDS, but better than some of the UK's finest

Artist: Diet Cola
Title: S/T 7"
Label: Army of Bad Luck
Release date: 2008?
Release number: ABL008
Vinyl color: White

This, the least hyped Deerhunter side project, has Josh Fauver's fingerprints all over it, so I went into this nugget from the Army of Bad Luck back catalog hoping it'd be almost as good as SIDS (a band that also features Fauver) and better than half of the electro-Euro-shit we're all supposed to adore.

The opener, "Easy Learning", has a DIY feel to it, if only because a cough can be heard above the electronic whizzing at the beginning of the song. Beneath the screams is electronic punk reminiscent of an older Jay Reatard band or two.

"Wicked Witch of the Northeast" sounds cool enough to be the song title of a SIDS song, though it's not as clever or downright awesome as "Space Ranger in a Manger". Who cares about song titles, though, when faux bells are ringing? The church bell effects during this tune's mellow, haunting chorus will remind you of being in a mellow drug trance, but, for better or worse, the song kicks into high gear before you can reach for the mushrooms.

The guitar work in "Sick Modern" and the song's pop-fuzz sensibilities make the b-side opener the critic's favorite, but it lacks the weirdness and sense of adventure found in the other songs on this release.

The closer, "Anything Poisonous", brings back the chorus with mellow lyrics accelerating into musical chaos and screaming found in "Wicked Witch of the Northeast". This time, it's piano-based beauty reminscent of some of The Dresden Dolls' slower numbers slamming into a (brick) wall of electronic and guitar sound.

Is this as good as SIDS? No. Is it better than a lot of comparable bands out there, especially the ones in London we're supposed to fawn all over? By far.

Free and legal X-mas badassery for Cramps fans

Check it out.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dog Food!

The Barreracudas' funniest, silliest, most danceworthy song, "Dog Food", is now available thanks to the folks at Bachelor Records. It looks like they've also got a Pipsqueak 7" waiting in the wings.

Don't forget the Star Bar show tonight, as there will be free pizza, puppets, gifts, Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction, Shining Path, and more.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday puppet show

This Wednesday night gig doubles as Alex's birthday party. I'm a little fuzzy on who is playing (Shining Path might be there), but Alex, AKA Knoel Alone, gets his "free pizza" and puppet show messages across clear with this flyer.

Expanded list of the year's top albums

End of the year lists are kind of stupid, but I'm stuck at my parent's house already for the holidays and the stack of records I still need to review are at my apartment. I've already written about all of these releases, but here's hoping by reminding myself of why I liked these albums you, too, will want to give them all another spin.

The Spits, IV: Why this band does not receive as much fanfare as the Jay Reatards of the world is beyond me. Catchy as hell; shitty and weird, if not mindless; macho in a cartoony way, like The Dictators. All of that describes this band, a group that has for a third time matched the bizarre charm of their debut album. I can't really name a favorite track, but I can't name a least favorite track off top of my head, either. How's that for a ringing endorsement of a band I just called shitty?

The Coathangers, Scramble: Casio sound effects have never sounded better. While The Vivian Girls failed to match the quality of their debut, The Coathangers made their first album and both 7"s yesterday's papers overnight. I've seen this band grow over the past three years, and while I've had friends release better music, I don't think I've ever been more proud of a group than I was at the LP release show for Scramble. The highlight has to be "Cheap Cheap", as it's a tambourine-shaking garage rock stomper that strays away from the typical Coathangers formula.

Vivian Girls, Everything Goes Wrong: Following up one of the best albums of the young centry was tough work, but these girls nearly did it. While this LP fails to match the band's near-perfect debut, Ally's drumming and the fusion of that upbeat county-and-western vibe into a few of tracks are welcome changes.

Plexi 3, Tides of Change: Friends further from home mix powerpop and garage rock vibes on their first proper LP. Bassist Adam Widener's new role as part-time lead singer has lead to several pleasant surprises. While there's not a gelding in the bunch, the best song has to be "P.O. Box 9847", as the mod dance party speeds up while the girl group vocals remain.

The Spooks, Death From Beyond The Grave: After several years of delay and three attempts at recording this mish-mash of electro-punk, Halloween music, and krautrock, the best Black Lips side project did not disappoint.

Check back next year to be reminded about how much we all enjoyed albums by Predator and The Cute Lepers in 2010.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Video of the Week: Who I think had the album of the year...

What were you expecting, The Vivian Girls? I expected them to have the best album, too, but their amazing sophomore release barely fails to reach the mark set by their near-perfect debut album. The Spits, on the other hand, just matched the quality (in the shittiest sense of the term) and weirdness of their debut for a third time and cemented their place at the top of the garage-punk world.

None of that resembles hyperbole to me.

Monday, December 14, 2009

News and notes

* The Vivian Girls have a new song up on their Myspace. It's a Cover of "He's Gone" by The Chantels. Ready-made b-side, ladies!
* Derek Duncan (AKA Derek Lyn Plastic) and Paul Harper and David Spence from Facehugger have a new sloppy punk band called Step Dads. I was there when two of these four songs were born.
* I'm beginning my thesis research tomorrow with an interview of Die Slaugherhaus Records boss Mark Naumann.
* Don't forget to check out Knife's radio show tomorrow from 3-5 p.m.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sights and sounds from last Wednesday's show at The Highland Inn

Predator has some new songs and has expanded their sound since I last saw them. They are still one of the best punk bands in town, as all of their songs will be lodged in your head for the rest of the night and John Necro is a hell of a drummer.
Mike is one of the most versatile musicians in town, as he is proficient at playing guitar, bass, and drums.
Brannon is another versatile talent, as he sings, writes songs, and plays guitar for Predator.
During the 40 Hells set, G.G. King (minus Will) did a brief photo shoot for a future 7".
Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction (minus Hayley and Megan) caught wind of this photo shoot and did their own action pose.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Queers are back in town tomorrow night

I'm sure I'm not the only Atlantan who can say this, but The Queers are by far the out-of-town band I've seen live the most times. See you front and center tomorrow night! Also on the bill is my pal Jesse Nobody.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Predator's debut EP: a blast of three-chord punk rock

Artist: Predator
Title: Predator EP
Label: Rob's House Records
Release date: November 2009
Release number: rhr055

Predator's debut EP is a blast of three-chord punk rock that draws from the same American hardcore and punk influences that guided The Carbonas and Frantic when they first burst on the scene.

The band features Mike (bass) and Brannon (guitar) from Frantic and Beat Beat Beat sharing vocal duties. They are backed by drummer John Necro, who is good enough to play with a bunch of shredding metal dudes but doesn't mind playing back-to-basics punk.

The salvo opens with "Honest Man" and its angst-filled vocals. The flipside features two brief blasts of hardcore in "DLDD" and "No". When I say hardcore, I mean American classics like The Zero Boys, who seemingly influenced half of Atlanta, and Minor Threat. Like those bands, Predator writes solid, straight to the point tunes and lyrics.

I've always tried to decide if Predator is better than Frantic. So far so good based on this EP, but Predator's upcoming LP is going to need to be a scorcher if it is going to top the one released by Brannon and Mike's old band.

A couple of other guys who spent some time in Frantic had a hand in this release, as Greg King designed the artwork and Dave Rahn mastered the recordings.

Video of the week: official video by the newest Douchemaster band

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A plethora of shows

You should check out Predator and The Customers tonight at The Highland Inn. If my car's fixed by then I'll be front and center.
Gentleman Jesse at a factory show? Count me in for this, too.
Finally, Facehugger 2.1 (not to be confused with Facehugger 2.0) will debut at this supershow. The new Facehugger does not feature John Hannah. His acting like a loon on stage was my favorite part of the band, for what it's worth. Don't think I'll catch this one, but I'd love to hear from someone who does.

P.S. Derek is out of town on family business, so he's not playing at the Star Bar as advertised.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

He films bands

There's plenty more awesomeness where this came from, including some rad Atlas Sound videos.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Video(s) of the week: What the careless and carless missed on Thursday

History lesson: the first Carbonas 7"

Artist: The Carbonas
Title: I'm Astray
Label: Die Slaughterhaus Records
Release date: 2003
Release number: DSH-005

Though the band had not fully developed their trademark sound like they would after Jesse Smith and Josh Martin joined the fold, this rare find from 2003 was the first sign that the Carbonas were going to have a successful run as one of Atlanta's best modern punk bands.

"I'm Astray" (mislabeled on the cover art as "I'm A Stray") is neck and neck with "3 Days Away" in the argument over what was the first great Carbonas song. Greg King sings instead of shouts for the first time on this hardcore song that would not have sounded out of place on one of Quadiliacha's releases.

The other a-side, "Don't Let On", sounds more like the songs on the Carbonas' Raw Deluxe LP and the "Frothing At The Mouth" 7", which was the first Douchemaster Records release.

The flipside, "Push Me", owes as much to Clay and Greg's days as metal-loving kids as it does to their love for The Zero Boys and is the only weak link on this release.

On a side note, isn't it kind of cool that the first single by The Carbonas, Black Lips, and Deerhunter were all Die Slaughterhaus releases?

This is the first of several reviews of older releases. I am writing them for the purpose of research for my thesis about the Atlanta punk scene and thought you guys might like a peek at my notes.

Speaking of modern takes on 60's girl groups

Artist: The Sultanas
Title: "You're The One" b/w "Move On Now"
Label: Boom Boom of Renton
Release date: 2005
Release number: BB45007

While praising Gemini Cricket, I decided to spin something even better: The Sultanas' take on 60's girl groups and underground psyche-rock.

This 2005 release with its black and white cover art and a blank label on the record itself looks thrown together, but it sounds like well-constructed pop music.

Seattle's Renton crew, best known for the Fe Fi Fo Fums, and the prolific Ladd/Blackwell songwriting team wrangled up three girls who can harmonize with the best of them and taught them "You're The One", the American garage-punk answer to Thee Headcoates, and "Move On Now", which is reminiscent of Paul Revere and the Raiders and some of the other more polished and mainstream 60's garage groups.

I'm not sure how easy or hard to find this is, but either way it is worth tracking down.

A lo-fi beach party though it's way too cold to go to the beach

Artist: Gemini Cricket
Title: Hey, We Made a Record!
Label: Self-released
Release date: Fall 2009
Vinyl color: Purple

Athens-based three piece Gemini Cricket recently re-released their first 7", and it's the perfect soundtrack for daydreaming about the beach during these cold summer months.

The a-side opens with a catchy surf rock-inspired instrumental called "Cosmic Creepers" and continues the out-of-season summertime fun with "Fake Endings", which is a Beach Boys song played at punk speed.

The lo-fi beach party continues on the flipside, as the brief tune "Little Fish" has a mellow indie rock vibe and the instrumental "Night-time Boys, Nite-time" is yet another well-executed take on classic girl groups and the sounds of the 60's.

To learn more about this trio's backstory (they've gone from a guy and girl writing love songs at summer camp to a planned UK tour) and to order a copy of this 7", check out the band's Myspace page.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Two chances to see Jay Reatard today, including an all-ages show

Jay Reatard and a couple of Cola Freaks are performing twice in Atlanta today. First up is a Criminal Records in-store for all you young-uns and for the people who can't make it out tonight. The main event will be at The Earl with G.G. King. Expect pictures and a review sometime this weekend.

EDIT: Forget the pics and review, unless you want to read about how much I hate cars.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Experimental giants split ABL 7"

Artist: These Are Powers/ The Creeping Nobodies
Title: Split 7"
Label: Army of Bad Luck
Release date: 2008
Release number: ABL011
Vinyl color: Clear

This split between two experimental post-punk mainstays is yet another gem from the Army of Bad Luck back catalog.

These Are Powers are from Brooklyn, the final destination of most Atlanta musicians and the home of The Vivian Girls (saw that reference coming, didn't you?). Their track, "Cockles", is very tribal and is what The Pop Group may have sounded like if they had grown up hearing indie rock and post-punk instead of dub and reggae.

Toronto's The Creeping Nobodies have a tune called "Exult" on the flipside that would not sound out of place on a film soundtrack. The next filmmaker who needs a song to go along with a slow-motion battle scene should seriously contact The Creeping Nobodies about using this experimental and lo-fi yet soothing and theatric song.

The free CD has a mashup between the two songs that is kind of forgettable, unlike the two songs on the vinyl.