Sunday, November 29, 2009

Seeeee-sore!

Garage punk superheavyweight Jay Reatard and his new backing band are coming through town later this week. I, for one, plan to be front and center, even if his new album is subpar compared to his earlier stuff.

The Slits repackage themselves once again, release first LP since '81

Artist: The Slits
Title: Trapped Animal
Label: Narnack Records
Release date: October 2009

The Slits, a personal favorite and a band that can be considered both punk and post-punk pioneers, have yet again reinvented themselves with this, their third studio album overall and first since 1981.

While Cut was a mix of the sloppy punk Slits (see the Y compilation or their Peel Sessions) and the more mature band they became by the time they finally landed a recording contract to their liking and Return of the Giant Slits was a mix of "world music" and pantheistic thought, this newest strange brew is one-half electronic punk and hip-hop and one-half well-executed white reggae reminiscent of some of the better On-U Sounds projects.

The album’s brightest point is “Ask Ma”, which incorporates traces of hip-hop and dancehall without adopting those genres' sometimes corny lyrics. It’s a song about how some men are impossible for women to deal with because of hangups caused by overprotective mothers. Ari still sings about what she knows. Thirty years ago, she knew about having to steal to eat. Now, she knows about being a wife and mother.

After a couple of average songs, things pick up again with the piano-driven “Rejects” and the refined savage anthem “Trapped Animal”. This tribal take on dance punk comes across great on record and will make Slits fans wonder how these songs sound live.

“Peer Pressure” is another tribal number about how society tells young girls how to think, but lyrics like “I don’t like what I’ve got to do, just to have a bunch of friends at school” ring true with adults, too.

About halfway through the album, reggae vibes take over. Several of the reggae-infused tunes are keepers and are surprisingly on par with some of the On-U Sounds recordings that featured Ari Up. Examples of this include the mellow “Crybaby” and “Be It”.

The Slits have quite a legacy to live up to, and this fan honestly was not so sure if this new album would be in the same league as the band's earlier releases. Trapped Animal is a pleasant surprise and is the newest progression for a band that is still kicking down doors and inspiring 7 Inch Atlanta favorites like Finally Punk and The Coathangers.

A Leeds post-punk classic turns 30

Artist: Delta 5
Title: Mind Your Own Business
Label: Kill Rock Stars
Release date: Fall 2009

Kill Rock Stars has commemorated the 30th anniversary of this classic single with this re-release of the original Rough Trade a-side plus a special mix by postpunk giant/signature forger Peter Hook, credited here as Man Ray

"Mind Your Own Business" is a great song, from its iconic opening lyrics ("Can I have a taste of your ice cream?") to its establishing of Delta 5's rudimentary guitar riffs on top of dance beats sound.

The remix isn't half bad, though this was already a dance tune to begin with. Techno lovers may like this, though ironically Delta 5 could be called a dance band for people who hate that dreaded, drug addled beast that snuck into the music world a decade later.

Video of the Week: more all-girl punk for me to rave about

My friend Bev over at Bad Idea Potluck just turned me on to this:

DLP: a pre-Thanksgiving tradition

Seeing Derek Lyn Plastic at The Star Bar is a pre-holiday tradition here at 7 Inch Atlanta. Last year, DLP was still a four-piece and wrapped up a month-long residency with an unusual pairing in Vera Fang and Das Manics. This time, DLP was a three-piece and the supporting bands were Pleasure Cruise and Facehugger.

Pleasure Cruise features Vera Fang alum Sunni and her friend Ross. Their brand of goth-influenced dance punk is more about the playlist than the setlist, as they sing and strum the bass and/or guitar along with pre-recorded electronic music and a drum machine. Dark yet sexy lyrics highlight their better songs, like "Pussy Disaster", and the highlight of their live set is Sunni's rendition of the Misfits' "Astro Zombies". It was the second best cover of the song I've heard.*

Facehugger has made some changes lately, as they have added a fourth member and now mainly stick with instrumental numbers. Don't worry if you're a fan of John Hannah mimicking a stroke on stage, as he still does that a time or two per set, but now Facehugger's appeal is their mix of psychedelic surf rock and kraut and punk influences. They even use a shoddy drum kit on stage and even use the whole thing on a couple of songs. It's too early to say if Facehugger 2.0 is better than the original, but I for one would like to see them live enough times to make an assessment.

Derek and his band finished out the night. Facehugger had the crowd dancing, so it looked like DLP was going to keep the party going, but things got halted when the before-mentioned shoddy drum kit went kaput early in the second song. After a five minute intermission, DLP picked up where they left off and played a solid set of Derek's newest songs. There's no telling how many songs the guy has written in the past year and a half, and one thing to be thankful for in this post-Thanksgiving world is the chance we'll have early next year to hear two of those songs and a Pink Floyd cover (!!!) thanks to Certified PR Records. Though DLP put on a good show, a lot of folks headed for the exit during the unexpected intermission. Their loss.

* This, unlike My Chemical Romance, is better than Pleasure Cruise.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Some thing(s) to do Wednesday

There are several Thanksgiving pre-gaming options Wednesday, including some old school punk at 529 with Chet Knight DJing, The Biters and Customers at The Drunken Unicorn, this can't miss show at The Star Bar:

Biters go acoustic, and so does a country songwriter

The Biters played their second show to date last Thursday at The Star Bar, but it was not what anyone expected.

With Joey in a Marietta jail cell, the guys had no drummer, but they filled their commitment by playing an acoustic set. It was way cooler than most probably expected, as Tuk, Josh, and Matt Gabbs can all play and sing. They broke out several of the new Biters songs and even performed "Metal Guru".

Playing acoustic must be nerve racking, whether you are in the Biters, Gentleman Jesse, or DLP, but the guys came through with a strong performance that led into another acoustic set.

They were followed by Southern songbird Cary Ann Hearst. I can't say I expected to enjoy her set, but I also can't say it was not fantastic. Hearst is a talented singer and songwriter from nearby South Carolina, and she even treated us to a Patsy Cline cover. It strangely was the perfect follow-up to The Biters unplugged.

The Judies seemed to be the band everyone at this "Big Trouble in Little 5" show came to see, as they had everyone dancing. Warren, the band's frontman and part-time guitarist and organ player, is a hell of a showman and he's mega-talented to boot. Actually, everyone in the band has talent in spades, even if I overheard someone in the crowd say they were dressed like librarians. The mock Bowie vocals may not appeal to everyone, but even the biggest cynic has to tap his feet to some of The Judies' tunes.

A clip from The Biters' debut

Killed By Radio live

Knife's online radio show, Killed By Radio, will be broadcast live today at Reactionary Records from 3-5 p.m. I suggest 1) checking this out, even if you just watch it online, and 2) if you do swing by Reactionary, bring cash as it's hard to leave that store without spending at least $40.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Video of the Week: The Carbonas

Sorry for the delay on the video of the week. The 7 Inch Atlanta nerve center's DC adapter is fucked and nearly started a small fire a few nights ago. No worries, as it is only crunch time for graduate students.

Anyhow, here's a clip from the most recent final Carbonas gig held in sunny and half-burnt Los Angeles. I, for one, want to dance with those two girls in the middle of the pit.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Biters are back tonight

7 Inch Atlanta has temporarily been out of the loop, but expect more live reviews and shitty pictures beginning with tonight's free Star Bar show. The Judies are releasing their new CD, and The Biters (formerly Poison Arrows)will play their second gig.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Revised festival lineup


Big-time local and regional acts, including bands none of us have seen in a while (Coffin Bound and Frantic). Lots of 30 minute sets. I'll be like Warped Tour for grown-ups, and everyone's favorite local record store will benefit from your kind ticket purchase.

Friday, November 13, 2009

This will conquer you

Artist: The Goodnight Loving
Title: Nothing Conquers Us 7"
Label: Dirtnap Records
Release date: October 2009
Vinyl color: Some copies are gold

Milwaukee's The Goodnight Loving have put out two more well-crafted, punk and country influenced indie rock songs on this, their Dirtnap Records debut.

The title track is called "Nothing Conquers Us", though early verses say, "You conquered me." The amesome irony of perception versus reality makes for good songwriting fodder, doesn't it? The late decade trend of bringing country and western influence to the table (see Those Darlins, The Weight, etc.) is present in spades here, and The Goodnight Loving have proven again to be among the kings of incorporating that style into punk-inspired indie rock.

Isn't it somehow rewarding to pick up a single, give it a couple of spins, and then decide the b-side is better than the title track? Well, that's the case here, as "Scary Bad" is a nice 60's rock and modern garage fusion that is way different from the usual The Goodnight Loving song. It's easy to imagine the guys listening to both the Nuggets compilation and a King Khan and BBQ Show LP in their rehearsal space and then feeling instantly inspired to knock out this gem.

The 7" comes with a download coupon (another late-decade fad some local labels should follow) so you can hear these tunes in the car or on your MP3 player. If downloading what you expect to just be two songs seems to take forever, that would be because the download comes with a surprise. It's a video showing footage of the guys on tour with cheap beer, desserts, flaming shots, and other road life delicacies as both songs play in the background. If you like these guys enough to pay $5+ for these two songs, then you are guaranteed to dig the surprise video.

Video of the Week: The Girls At Dawn live

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Girls At Dawn have already matched solid Hozac debut

Artist: The Girls At Dawn
Title: Self-titled EP
Label: Captured Tracks
Release date: November 2009

The Girls At Dawn are wasting no time when it comes to cranking out quality records, as their second release has already hit the streets courtesy of Brooklyn's Captured Tracks records.

"The Only Time" picks up where the band's debut Hozac single left off, as it features more catchy girl group harmonies and fuzzy punk riffs. It is followed by a heavier 60's inspired tune, "Tomorrow Will Be Yesterday", which in a positive way sounds a lot like The Vivian Girls (who of course have ascended past the "7 Inch Atlanta favorites" label and are now a sacred cow around these parts).

The second half of the EP keeps the dancing tamborine shaking going with "Surprise!", which is the band's take on the traditional verse-chorus-verse pop song, and the call-and-response vocals toward the end of the song are instant magic.

The girls saved their best to date for last, as "I Am Not Sad" is two and a half minutes of everything that's great about this band, from the beautiful harmonies to the stripped-down 50's rock and roll instrumentation.

Needless to say, this one is well worth the tenner charged by Captured Tracks records.

Shhhh! She's sleeping.

Artist: Frankie Rose
Title: Thee Only One
Label: Slumberland Records
Release date: October 20, 2009
Vinyl color: Green

With a resume that includes Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, and newcomers Frankie and The Outs, Frankie Rose is one of the more accomplished musicians in Brooklyn's budding scene and her solo debut is getting a lot of play here at 7 Inch Atlanta headquarters.

"Thee Only One", which has a name that may or may not be a nod to Thee Headcoats, is a poptacular trip to a shoegazing dream world. Infectious surf guitar fuzz played by J.B. Townsend from Crystal Stilts makes this one sound like a mellower, female-fronted version of The N.E.C.

The organ-driven b-side, "Hollow Life", has hauntingly beautiful vocals that sound like they were recorded in a massive, vacant cathedral.

To hear both songs plus a demo of the Rose-penned Vivian Girls classic "Where Do You Run To?", check out Frankie and The Outs's Myspace.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This month's can't-miss event

Wow. Notice that Frantic closes the last night.

More like Tropical Storm Town

Last night the weather was disgusting, next to no one came out to 529, my camera died before Derek Lyn Plastic's set, and Tornado Town apparently has broken up. That being said, it was still a lot of fun. The Preakness put on a pretty good show. Their guitarist, seen above, is a showman, though he seemed unhappy about some apparent technical issues. I don't really care much for mellow 90's indie rock, but boy do I love covers of "Teenage Kicks" like the one they broke out toward the end of their set.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another newbie from DMR, and this one features members of The Wax Museums

Bad Sports - S/T LP (DMR 035).
Denton , TX is the equivalent for Douchemaster Records of a bar you can always go into and always expect to get laid afterwards. In this case she's particularly young and hopped up on speed. If you missed the two Bad Sports singles from 2008, then you don't know about their major league hooks and their seemingly unchallenged quickness. Bad Sports are a three piece that features TV's Daniel from Wax Museums and Greg Rutherford from High Tension Wires. Orville just sits around and writes most of the songs. Bad Sports are a bit more playful, but don't be surprised if this record reminds you slightly of The Reds or the first Marked Men LP. Their debut LP features fourteen songs, and the official release date is Nov. 17, 2009. 100 copies are available on split red and black vinyl. We'll begin shipping immediately as to avoid the holiday stress. Digital downloads will be available through your favorite digital host/store as of the 17th. Go to www.douchemasterrecords.com to hear an MP3 and to order.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dance/birthday party Saturday in Athens

Here's the skinny on this event from Cars Can Be Blue's Nate Mitchell:
All vinyl lovingly and expertly selected by top notch record hounds DJ Mahogany and Kurt Wood, playing the best, the baddest, the rarest, the juiciest and funkiest soul jams from the '60s and early early '70s for your dancing pleasure.

Enhancing the mood will be visual stimulation provided by the Eye Gate Lightshow ('60s-style psychedelic lightshow with oil blobs and 16mm projections) and Whistling School for Boys (LCD video projections edited by Sabrina Cuadra).

Also, I will be serving a hearty Southern-style home-cooked meal when doors open at 9pm (last time I made fried chicken, mashed potatoes, mac-n-cheese, rice-n-beans, collard greens, baked sweet potatoes, corn on the cob and a couple other items).

Also, two kegs of beer and maybe a special liquor punch or something (last time, I made a vodka-infused watermelon) will be on hand.

The party will double as a sort of early birthday celebration for me (my real birthday is Nov. 19th), so my birthday wish is for people to dress up as sharp as possible and come out and dance all night long to the best music on earth!

Again, the party is at Ben's Bikes in Athens, doors and dinner are @ 9pm, there's no cover to get in, but donations are definitely encouraged and appreciated.


Kurt Wood has an insanely huge and awesome record collection. It'd almost be worth the drive just to hear select cuts from it.

Here's a shot from a comparable September event taken by Athens-based photographer Mike Lunder.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ready for Teddy?

Ashleigh Fedo of Joleigh Studio sent me this image, which is designed to get Atlanta excited about Teddy & The Bears and advertise the band's Nov. 27 show at The Star Bar with Fishhawk, Psyche Origami, and Social Ghost.

Not a lot is known about this band, though they do have a fan page on Facebook.

Will they be any good? Time will tell, but it's hard to not applaud their efforts to get their name out there before their upcoming gig.

DLP returns to an Atlanta stage this Tuesday

Derek Lyn Plastic will be back as a three-piece Tuesday when they open for Tornado Town (featuring Will Greene from G.G. King and Quadiliacha) and The Preakness. It should be a good one. Again, DLP opens so get there early if you want to see them.

King Khan and BBQ, Those Darlins, and GG King play an obnoxiously crowded Star Bar

Local favorites G.G. King and tourmates King Khan and BBQ Show and Those Darlins played to a packed crowd Wednesday at The Star Bar.

I sadly missed all of G.G. King's set save half of a new song and all of "Drug Zoo." What I did hear sounded great (the soundman was an MVP the night the Yankees clinched the Series).
I didn't really get to take any good action shots of Greg, who has been in all of my photo essays that weren't about midget wrestlers, but I did catch him getting a little flustered about the wait at the crowded bar.
Those Darlins (featuring the pretty lady shown above) are labeled as a country group, but there are traces of powerpop and, if you listen to their LP, white gospel music in their sound. They brought it live Wednesday, as the girls shared vocal duties on songs about drinking, mama, front porches, trains, city boys, and stuff like that. Basically, they bring traditional sounds to the table but manage to not sound like something from your grandparents' record collection.
Here they are in action. Three ladies...
and a guy who kinda looks like Chase Utley, who hit five home runs in the before-mentioned World Series.
It was a granny panty-dropping...
hair-flopping good time.
This brilliant man, King Khan, really got the crowd hopping to some well-crafted garage rock tunes that are a little crass without being too ridiculously vulgar.
While snapping pictures of Mark Sultan, a.k.a. BBQ, it dawned on me that I have inadvertenly not given him enough credit. I've referenced this as a King Khan show in the past, but his sidekick deserves a lot of credit, too. He's as talented and creative as anyone, including his BBQ Show bandmate, and who doesn't like to hear him croon a Sultanic Verse or two?
A really moving moment came when the band covered Johnny Thunders' "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory", and Clay Kilbourne from G.G. King turned an already great moment into a tribute to Khan's longtime friend, the late B. Jay Womack.
Clay took off his Bobby Ubangi shirt and held it up to Khan so he could kiss it in between verses. If you weren't dancing or dodging stray feet and elbows, you likely were touched. I certainly was, and I applaud Clay for paying such a sweet tribute to a longtime friend and former roommate.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Video of the Week: Shakin' All Over

This cover was the highlight of Wednesday's set. If you know that this is a Johnny Kidd and the Pirates song, then you know more than the macho rockabilly guy who tried to chat with the band after the show.

Biters set to debut

The Biters are set to debut with a string of November shows here in Atlanta. The band is pretty much the rebith of The Poison Arrows, as Tuk and Joey are back in their familiar roles, Josh now plays bass, and Matt Gabbs from The Fishnet Stalkers has joined the fold as lead guitarist. They've got a couple of songs on their Myspace that are worth checking out, as they've developed a bigger, louder arena rock that doesn't suck sound reminiscent of Cheap Trick or Thin Lizzy.

Here's a peek at their immediate future:
Nov 14 2009 9:00P
529 w/ Geri X and more tba.. Atlanta, Georgia
Nov 19 2009 9:00P
STAR BAR **THE JUDIES CD RELEASE SHOW** Atlanta, Georgia
Nov 22 2009 9:00P
EARL- w/ Barreracudas and Free Energy. Atlanta, Georgia
Nov 25 2009 8:00P
DRUNKEN UNICORN w/ CUSTOMERS and more..all ages Atlanta, Georgia

Thursday, November 5, 2009

King Khan and BBQ Show pictures coming tomorrow

Until then, contaminate your eyes with the superstars of Micro Wrestling Federation. They made an appearance in Carrollton, and I went not knowing it would be two hours of softcore fetish porn.


Hip To Death plays free show tonight

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The King is coming!

King Khan, that is. He's one of those can't miss live acts, just like The Spits and Black Lips. He'll be playing with 7 Inch Atlanta favorite G.G. King and my favorite southern-fried powerpop girls, Those Darlins.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Check out The Girls At Dawn before folks find out what they've been missing

Artist: The Girls At Dawn
Title: "Never Enough" b/w "Every Night"
Label: Hozac Records
Release date: Fall 2009
Release number: HZR-043

Brooklyn-based trio The Girls At Dawn effectively mix 60's girl group influences with newer sounds like punk and indie rock, as evidenced by their Hozac Records debut.

The band has local appeal, as they feature longtime Atlantan and former Knife and the 4th Ward Daggers bass player Sarah Baldwin.

The a-side, "Never Enough", mixes pop hooks and girl group harmonies with guitar fuzz and what sounds like an old cathedral organ. This is what Marine Girls and Dolly Mixture might have sounded like if they had been around after shoegazing became a musical fad in the UK.

"Every Night" begins with studio chatter, but it quickly transports listeners to the same dream world often visited by Dum Dum Girls. The haunting melodies and distorted backup vocals make this one less catchy than the a-side, but of the two songs this one is most likely to get stuck in your head. There are also riffs in this one that definitely were lifted from 1977 punk rock.

Let's get the obvious Vivian Girls comparison out of the way. Do Girls At Dawn sound like them? Not really, though it would be fair to assume both trios have comparable record collections. They are more like the before-mentioned Dum Dum Girls, minus the dreary outlook on life.

Get this one from Hozac before the rest of the garage punk world realizes what they are missing.

RIP Chatsworth Niedermeyer

This is from Thee Crucials' Myspace page:
Unhappy news this morning, folks. We've received word that our part-time organ player and full-time cheerleader, Chatsworth Niedermeyer, passed away early Sunday morning in an apparent single-car collision, near his home in rural Georgia. He had been in the studio working on his solo project with his band, the niedermen, earlier in the evening, and was apparently alone in the vehicle, but not much else is known at this time. He is survived by his wife Laura Lee, his broether Charleston, and two children from a previous relationship. No services are planned. Chatsworth's tikme on earth was brief, his tme with us briefer still, but he made an impression. Here's to you, poondoggie. 10/04/1983 - 11/01/2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Oops! Forgot a Video of the Week

I got this at a good idea potluck

That was a nod to Bev.

This is a nod to Douchemaster Records.

The Stolen Hearts and The Dating Game at The Star Bar

The Dating Game and Stolen Hearts performance at The Star Bar I hyped up was a blast. I'm not sure if the lingerie show element was a joke of if I missed it because I hung out with friends beforehand.

Two rounds of The Dating Game kicked off the festivities. With Jett as host and six dudes answering questions with the hopes of winning prizes, it was guaranteed to be worth a least a chuckle or two.
The wacky guy shown above with Jayda won the first round, as he was very quick and hilarious. He even outwitted Knife, a funny man in his own right.
Adrian "Panda Bear" Barrera is another wild and crazy guy, and he won the second round.
The Stolen Hearts performed a good set of female-fronted powerpop afterwards.
Ashley has proven she had a hidden talent as a singer all along, and she looks comfortable on stage for someone in her first band.
The same can be said about Rachel, the drummer. When Plexi 3 was in town in May, Wendy Norton raved about how good the Stolen Hearts are and specifically mentioned Rachel's drumming. I'd be willing to call that high praise, wouldn't you?
Hanging backstage with friends may have been the best part of the night, though, as some people really like to show off for the camera.