Thursday, April 30, 2009

A solid freebie tonight at The Star Bar

Free Black Lips, GZA song

The Black Lips and Wu-Tang's GZA have released a version of The Drop I hold, which you can download for free thanks to our friends at Vice.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Creative Loafing to release Music Issue, exclusive "mix tape" LP

The release of this year's Creative Loafing Music Issue will coincide with the debut of Mixt A , a limited-edition vinyl compliation featuring several notable Atlanta acts.

The compilation, which is also sponsored by Criminal Records, will feature acts like The NEC, Balkans, Predator, Zoroaster, Grip Plyaz, Stanza, Carnivores, Mums FP, and more.

To get a copy of this compilation, which is limited to 500 pressed, come to The Eyedrum Thursday, May 7, to see performances by A. Leon Craft, the Balkans, Grip Plyaz and the N.E.C. Admission plus a copy of the LP is only $10.

For those who miss The Eyedrum gig, Criminal Records will sell the LP for $10 while supplies last. Criminal will also host a second, free Music Issue party Sunday, May 10, at 3:30 p.m. That show will feature Carnivores, Stanza, Predator, and Mums FP.

According to a press release from Creative Loafing, an expanded MP3 edition of the compilation will be available for free download on Wed., April 29, at clatl.com/music.

This year's music issue will be called "Mixtape Love," and it will include the preferred playlists of some of Atlanta's tastemakers, first-person narratives from artists features on the Mixt A compilation, and features on local bands like Zoroaster and Balkans.

"Besides the music itself, the mixtape attraction has always been about the sense of attachment that comes with something you get from someone you love. We certainly put some love and some good vibes into the issue and the compilation,” said Music Editor Rodney Carmichael.

Creative Loafing's Music Issue debuts tomorrow in print and online.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Video clip of 7inchatlanta's Canadian friends



The Stolen Minks (Stephanie, Tiina, and Erica) deliver the goods live, as always.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cars Can Be Blue team with the best named band ever to release a fun pop record

Artist: All Girl Summer Fun Band/ Cars Can Be Blue
Title: split 7"
Label: Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records
Release date: March 2009
Vinyl color: Blue

Local favorites Cars Can Be Blue (CCBB) teamed up recently with Portland, Oregon's All Girl Summer Fun Band for a split single that surely will delight fans of female-fronted pop with a comedic edge.

All Girl Summer Fun Band, a mix of some of the best words in the English language and the name of a fantastic West Coast pop group, contribute two tunes that sound a lot like some of Cars Can Be Blue's less absurd pop tunes.

The first of these, "Communication Problems," mixes beautiful harmonies with 1960's pop guitars for a nice taste at what this band has to offer. If this song was put on this single to lure me into wanting to find the band's CDs, then I have taken the bait.

Their second tune, "Little Bird," is as sophomoric as many of your CCBB favorites (minus CCBB's penchant for penis jokes), as the girls beg a bird in the trees to not poop on them. It ends in the most punk way possible: with laughter and one of the girls admitting, "This is really hard to do in front of people."

On the flipside, Athens' favorite comedic duo offers "Touch It," with its sad but true line "I've got some friendly advice, girls don't care if you're nice." It is similar to many of the songs on Doubly Unbeatable, which means Becky spouts unapologetic truths like the before-mentioned line.

The other CCBB offering, "Mosh Pit," was one of Becky's first compositions, so it is not the band's strongest song lyrically, but it is as catchy as old favorites like "Sun Blows Up."

Stalkers' debut unleashed the Animal

Artist: The Stalkers
Title: Sun's Coming Up
Label: Dollar Record Records
Release date: 2004

On this, an earlier release by New York's Stalkers, the band showed their promise with two solid garage-influenced rock songs.

On "Sun's Coming Up," Andy Animal's unique voice and well-mixed backup vocals highlight a feelgood summer song that would make Oakland's The Pets proud. We've all heard catchy songs like this one that mix 60's pop sensibilities with 70's punk attitude, and Stalkers utilize that can't-miss mold as well as anyone.

The b-side, "I Couldn't Wait to Get Home," sounds more like The Libertines than a traditional garage band, though The Libs never broke out Gene Vincent guitar riffs.

Maybe instead of being labeled as just another pair of garage-influenced tunes they should be called three-chord pop songs with balls. Either way, this is a solid release by one of our sister city's finest bands.

Fans of this release must check out the band's full length. And their newest single. And the split 7" they did with The Alarm Clock. In other words, they will make a completist out of you.

If you were in town when this band played The Earl with Ex-Humans, I am not telling you anything you do not already know.

B.J., Personal and The Pizzas will inspire you to write your own brief pop tunes

Artist: Bobby Ubangi/ Personal and The Pizzas
Title: I Don't Feel So Happy Now /That's Alright?
Label: Rob's House Records
Release date: February 2009

For this Rob's House release, both local songwriter Bobby Ubangi and New Jersey rockers Personal and The Pizzas recorded the type of short, catchy tunes that will inspire you to break out your instrument of choice and write your own less-than-two-minute pop song.

On "I Don't Feel So Happy Now," Personal and The Pizza's frontman sounds like a classic powerpop singer, like Nick Lowe or even Elvis Costello himself. Well, moreso early Costello when he was pissed at the world (and women in particular) and not so much Mr. Lowe. The band also contributes "I Ain't Taking You Out," a simple tune that sounds like a slowed-down Ramones demo.

Bobby's contributions include, "That's Alright?," which is a little more folksy and nasal (in a good way) than a Lids or Soft Spots song, but it's definitely a Ubangi composition, and the slower "Maybe," which has an opening riff that is reminiscent of The Ramones' "I Want To Be Your Boyfriend." Both songs show Bobby's brilliance, as he writes some of the most effective minute-and-a-half pop songs you will ever hear.

Overall, this release captures two singers with a guitar and a couple of original songs willing break out the four track and invite over some close friends to record.

Punk. Pop. Whatever you want to call it. These songs are simple and catchy, and it would be hard to enjoy this record without wanting to brush up on your guitar skills and pour your own heart out in song in less than two minutes.

The Lids' debut is worth a little Ebay persistence

Artist: The Lids
Title: Too Late
Label: Die Slaughterhaus

Here's an older Atlanta release coming at you thanks to a little Ebay persistence.

The Lids' debut and the second Die Slaughterhaus release is what you would expect from Bobby Ubangi: simple, short masterpieces of understatement with repetitive yet effective and catchy lyrics.

The a-side features Bobby singing and playing guitar with a trio of girl backup singers and the incomparable Dave Rahn on drums. Both songs, "Fool For You" and "Too Late," are comparable to the catchy tunes on The Lids' well-received LP.

The lengthier b-side, "Something To Do," is like The Ramones meets your favorite girl group (like, say, Dolly Mixture).

If you can find this one for cheap (I paid $7 and some change plus shipping), check out The Lids' debut and the first of many quality releases recorded by Rahn.

(P.S. does anyone who has been around for a while know who is the third girl on the cover? I recognize Alix and Valery.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Check out Goodnight Loving this Wednesday

If you need a midweek retreat from your routine, head to 529 this Wednesday to see Goodnight Loving. You may remember these guys from their 2007 show with Gentleman Jesse, The Babyshakes, and Vancougar or their 2008 outing with The Black Lips, Renegades, Jack of Hearts, and The Stolen Minks. This time around, Goodnight Loving will share the stage with Atlanta's The Preakness.

Gentleman Jesse, Nobunny celebrate National Record Store Day

Gentleman Jesse and His Men continued to crank out new songs, and a surprise cover, Saturday at The Earl when they celebrated National Record Store Day with Nobunny and the Rock and Roll Adventure Kids.

The Customers performed first, but I sadly missed their entire set. If recent solid performances by one of Atlanta's newest punk bands are any indication of how their set might have went, then the crowd who came out to see Nobunny got a nice surprise.

Rock and Roll Adventure Kids, a Berkley, California three-piece, were next, and they brought a lot of sloppy energy to the stage. Their sound was a bizarre mix of lo-fi garage rock and rockabilly. It was unclear if they were giving a polite nod to the South or if they were calling us all hillbillies. Either way, it is hard to knock a band whose drummer plays with a stick in one hand and a maraca in the other. His inventiveness, sense of fun, and energy were reminiscent of Ryan from The Barberries.

The Rock and Roll Adventure Kids did not rest for long after their set, as they returned to back up Nobunny. If you have never seen Nobunny live, you are missing out. Who else can sing with a high-pitched voice and prance around in tighty-whiteys yet still be badass enough to be one of the best genuine punk acts in the states? Nobunny only performed about eight songs, including both songs from his new Hozac Records single and several tunes from his LP.

Gentleman Jesse closed out the night with a strong set. Last week, when they played with Jay Reatard, the band broke out a new tune which warns listeners to be careful what they wish for. This week, another new tune was unveiled. This time it was a fast-paced song called "You Give Me Shivers."

After a short set including the before-mentioned new songs and tracks from the band's LP and 7", the fans wanted more. They got their wish, as the band gave a two-song encore. First, they covered "Connection" by King Tuff, which appears on the second Whirlyball 7". Then, they stunned an delighted the audience with a cover of The Nerves' "Walking Out On Love." For that special surprise, Adrian exited the stage, Warren snagged a guitar, and Jesse played bass and sang. Not too long ago, Jesse, Warren, and Dave spent about a month touring with Paul Collins as his Beat, so they were accustomed to playing this powerpop standard live. If you think about it, Dave Rahn has performed this song with three bands, as it was covered by The Carbonas on their "Frothing At The Mouth" single back before Jesse was with that band.

With this classic Nerves cover, Jesse and his men have a new trick to pull out of their hat. If they keep writing songs like "You Give Me Shivers," though, they will be able to please any crowd with their own back catalog.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The posting of shows in reverse order continues

Here's tonight's top show. It's at Wonderroot and is a who's-who from the new batch of local acts. Those Wonderroot folks love booking the Bukkake Boys. Plus, this will the Poison Arrows' first local show since the end of their first tour.

Celebrate National Record Store Day with Nobunny!

Here's yet another can't-miss show. Well, it's can't miss if you are not more inclined to hear Crocodiles play a Vacation in-store tomorrow night.

G.G. King, Predator, Bukkake Boys to perform Monday

If your ass is not being kicked by graduate school, you should go check this out. Wonderroot shows generally cost $5.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Reatard, Carbonas spread across two bands put on great show

The Stolen Hearts, G.G. King and Gentleman Jesse and His Men showed what Atlanta has to offer April 11 at Lenny's, but, as expected, Memphis' Jay Reatard ultimately stole the show.

Opening was The Stolen Hearts, a female-fronted powerpop group combining three attractive ladies who are in their first band and two established guitarists in Greg King of Carbonas fame and Adrian Barrera from The Hiss and Gentleman Jesse. They have only played a handful of shows since their Feb. 18 debut, but things are already coming together well for the group. Ashley is a solid vocalist, and the group will have its first single released May 1 by Atlanta's Douchemaster Records.

G.G. King, an act using Greg's real initials as its name, was up next. The new band debuted back in February and features every Carbona who is not in Gentleman Jesse (Greg, guitarist Clay Kilbourne and bassist Chris Van Etten) plus Mike Beavers from Predator on drums. Their repretoire includes a Carbonas song that never was called "Adult Rock," the catchy "In The Terminal" and a punked-up version of "Letter" by The Box Tops.

Gentleman Jesse and His Men, a powerpop band bearing the nickname of Jesse Smith from The Carbonas, was on third. The group also features drummer Dave "I just play one set per night now" Rahn from The Carbonas, Warren Hate on bass and the before-mentioned Barrera on guitar. A couple of catchy new tunes written and sung by Smith and several songs from the band's outstanding LP and debut 7" made for yet another solid outing for the band.

Closing out the night was Jay Reatard, and the Memphis Messiah did not disappoint. As usual, his trademark high-pitched vocals and guitar work shredded through familiar tunes like "See/Saw," "Blood Visions" and "Always Wanting More."

Reatard is joined on stage by bassist Stephen and my long-lost twin, Billy, on drums. Both are chubby, long-haired guys, so seeing them perform at such a high level and draw such a large and animated crowd is empowering for me. At risk of being crass, I figure I can now claim to know how chubby girls feel when they see The Gossip live.

Aesthetics aside, the highly-touted garage punk trio lives up to their hype, as they legitimately are on the same level live as Atlanta's Black Lips and international star King Khan and both of his touring acts.

Afterwards, parties at both 529 in East Atlanta and Warren's house rounded out a great night of music. If you get a chance to see any of these acts live, take advantage of it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

It's worth repeating

celebrate Easter a night early at Lenny's with the Memphis Messiah Jay Reatard, the Judas known as Gentleman Jesse, G.G. King (of the Jews), and The Stolen Hearts (Mary, Mary, and Martha).

Tomorrow night


Those of us who can't make it to Emory tonight can still check out Jay Reatard Saturday at Lenny's. This show will start early, so be there around 9 if you want to catch The Stolen Hearts.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Something soon, something later.

Check this out tonight, as Mad Tea Party is coming down from the Carolinas to play with Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction:


While you are at it, mark this date on your calendar because Mika Miko is brilliant.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Two Scramble parties, including one in outer space

The Coathangers celebrated their finest hour, the release of Scramble, Saturday with an outer space themed party.

The Earl was decked out like a distant galaxy covered in white balloons and small planets, and the small version of Atlanta you'll see in the forthcoming "Stop Stomp Stompin'" was on the side stage. Fans were decked out in alien antennas and were even given glow sticks.

Predator opened the party, and they played a tight set from their growing repertoire of songs. Mike Beavers not only rocked the place so hard with his band that the audience should have wore hard hats. He also donned the one-eyed monster costume which also will be in the next Coathangers video and posed for pictures with audience members. And, if that was not enough, he later made a costumed appearance on stage during The Coathangers' set.

In between Predator and the ladies of the hour was Chopper. While their style may not mesh with the types of bands usually covered on this blog, there is no denying that LaMarr George is an awesome drummer, and the band always brings it live.

Once The Coathangers hit the stage with their tribal spacewoman face paint (Meredith inadvertently looked like she was copying pirate-era Adam Ant), a growing and diverse crowd was ready to hear some of the band's new tunes. They got what they wanted, as outside of "Shake Shake," "Haterade," and a mandatory version of "Nestle In My Boobies" enhanced by a Thrill Cosby appearance, the whole set and the encore was songs from the new album. Had they not forgotten to play "Bury Me," the unofficial 7inchatlanta song of the month, their set would have lived up to my expectations.

On Tuesday, the actual album release date, the band played a brief set of new tunes at Criminal Records. Though many familiar faces did not make it to the 7 p.m. free concert, there was once again a diverse crowd who were treated to Candice's livelier-than-usual stage presence and a sloppy yet very effective and inspiring rendition of "Cheap, Cheap." If Stephanie starts a side project where she only sings and slaps her right thigh with a tambourine, it will make for some fun live performances. Since that may never happen, be sure to enjoy her at her best during the band's new set-closer.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Scramble lives up to the hype

Artist: The Coathangers
Title: Scramble
Label: Suicide Squeeze Records
Release date: April 2009
Vinyl color: Yellow

When the new Coathangers album, Scramble, hits the streets Tuesday, it will prove to be worth the wait, as these ladies continue to show immense musical growth.

The opening track, "Toomerhead," shows the girls have progessed musically without losing their sense of humor, as this cold-hearted metaphor sung primarily by drummer Stephanie Luke about a less-than-with-it guy warrants a "this is not about real tumors" disclaimer on the lyrics sheet.

"Stop Stomp Stompin'" needs no introduction, as it was an online freebie for about a month before the album was released. Like most Coathangers songs, it features guitarist Julia Kugel and bassist Meredith Franco as primary vocalists and is driven by the keyboard playing of Candice Jones.

On "Time Passing," the band breaks from their own mold with less than orthodox song driven by both Jones' keyboard playing and Kugel's haunting vocals.

"Bury Me" will shoot to the top of your list of favorite Coathangers songs as the three of the part-time vocalists already mentioned (Julia, Stephanie and Candice) weave a well-written, beautifully sung and infectiously catchy tale about dealing with the preachy and condescending which boldly ends with "Nothing you can do will silence our voices!"

"Dreamboat," the B-side of last year's "Shake Shake" single appears seemingly unchanged from the original version, and it is followed by another pretty tune called "Pussywillow." While both tunes are less interesting than the other tracks on Scramble, they are still a far cry from early, simplistic Coathangers tunes like "Spider Hands."

B-side openers "Getting Mad and Pumping Iron" and "Killdozer" have both seemingly been in the band's live set for a long time, and both are awesome songs filled with justifiable rage.

The beautiful "143" is a love song of sorts, as it both celebrates and laments a dreamboy type only seen in passing on the streets. Even if "dreamboy" is as realistic a concept as the virtuous woman in Proverbs, this is still a sweet song in which the background vocals and the accompanying bird sounds are mixed in perfectly.

"Arthritis Sux" is a punk tune fronted by a fourth vocalist, bassist Meredit Franco. This is a far cry from her previous signature tune, "Nestle In My Boobies," which is amusing, but it definitely lacks the bite of this song.

"Sonic You" is an experimental, slow tune, and "Bobby Knows Best" is also an unorthodox post-punk experiment (with a very true title).

The closer of both this album and most Coathangers sets is "Cheap Cheap," a Stephanie-fronted, keyboardless garage rock stomper.

Overall, this album shows these girls have progessed far since their Die Slaughterhaus and Rob's House debut in 2007. While that album was fun, it grew old over time. This, the band's sophomore release, will likely still sound vital when it comes time to review their third album.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

"143" live at SXSW

Expect to see more of this Saturday night at The Earl.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Scramble's track listing


Here's the playlist for Scramble.

1. Intro
2. Toomerhead
3. Stop Stomp Stompin'
4. Time Passing
5. Bury Me
6. Dreamboat
7. Pussywillow
8. Gettin' Mad And Pumpin' Iron
9. Killdozer
10. 143
11. Arthritis Sux
12. Sonic You
13. Bobby Knows Best
14. Cheap Cheap

I'm especially pumped about the studio version of "Cheap Cheap," which follows a song with an awesome title.