Tuesday, November 30, 2010

7" Atlanta Radio Presents a Year-End Extravaganza

My final episode of 2010 airs Wednesday at 10 p.m. on The WOLF (www.westga.edu/thewolf) and will feature an incomplete list of songs from the year's best albums and singles, an interview with Gentleman Jesse Smith, and special songs by bands that just scream "Merry Christmas" (Anti-Heros, Run-DMC, etc.).

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New York stole my heart

I made my way to New York during Fall Break (Oct. 13-17), requiring me to fly on an airplane and leave the Southeast for the first time in my life. While there, I got to see one of my all-time favorites yet again and for the first time caught a Vivian Girls side project live and in person.

On Friday, I got to see 7 Inch Atlanta Radio pal Joe Jack Talcum once again. I had already seen him in Chattanooga and Athens back in the summer. This time, Joe was playing Bruar Falls backed by members of Samuel Locke Ward's band. He didn't bust out multiple harmonicas this time, and the set seemed shorter than the ones I saw in the South back in August, but it was still a singalong good time. What else? It was Joe's birthday! Also, I snagged a copy of his Butterfly Joe CD he did with Dean Clean and a couple of other musicians back in 2000. This one had been out of print for a while, and apparently a distro or store somewhere found a case or two of unopened copies.

Also on the bill was home recording legend R. Stevie Moore. I don't think it'd be too absurdly childish to point out that he looks like Santa Claus:
The next night was equally amazing, as The Babies shared the Cake Shop stage with The K-Holes and Hunx and His Punx.

K-Holes, a band I've been championing for quite some time, feature former Atlantans Jack and Julie Hines and scoarched through a nice warm-up set for a show they had the next day in Boston. The coolest part about seeing them was getting a copy of a limited run cassette with Black Lips demos from Jack's time with the band (Flower Spirit sessions, I'm assuming) on one side and some K-Holes tracks on the other.

The Babies were next, a Woods/Bossy/Vivian Girls supergroup of sorts with two awesome 7"s under their belts and a slew of catchy songs. Here's what they sounded like. Here's what they looked like:

Hunx closed out the night and was the last band I got to catch during my short vacation. Their songs were all sugary-sweet, danceable garage-pop. Seth is quite the showman and he LOVES the band name Magnums. True story.

By the time Sunday rolled around and I boarded a plane for the second time in my life, I had lots of memories from back-to-back nights of seeing bands featuring the guitarist from one of my favorites.

Self-promotion

Check out my radio show, which is now over 20 episodes old, every Wednesday at 10 p.m. on The WOLF Internet Radio (www.westga.edu/thewolf). Past guests have included the likes of Adrian Barrera, Ty Segall, Joe Jack Talcum, and Best Coast, just to name a few.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Podcastpalooza!

Check out three new podcasts featuring The Girls At Dawn, Best Coast, and Derek Lyn Plastic! The latter is my 20th episode, with Derek in the studio with his acoustic guitar.

You can also listen to all three episodes on the player at the bottom of this page.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another batch of reviews!

Here's some new-ish 7" I am digging, and you should, too.

Mermaids: "Holiday" b/w "Whirlpool" (Pretty Ambitious Records)
Mermaids' two-song debut takes the fun-in-the-sun leanings shared by many contemporary bands back to the garage. The beach parties this combination of Atlanta scene veterans and promising youngsters evoke with their music have more dancing, beer, and girls than the ones you'd picture while listening to the snoozecore of (fill in the blank) Beach(es). "Whirlpool," the b-side, is a nice, quick punch of 60's-inpsired pop, while the lengthier "Holiday" will totally drench you with harmonies and the steady drumming that has made Ryan Fetter Atlanta's current go-to drummer.

Knaves Grave: "I Don't Wanna Be Yr A.A.R.P." b/w "Shitty Sunrise" (Army of Bad Luck Records)
Atlanta's Knaves Grave plays guitar-driven, pop-inspired punk, and if you've seen them live, you know they play it loud. These songs, the a-side especially, are summertime anthems in a year when it apparently is going to stay hot until Christmas. Both tunes scream "I don't want to grow up" both lyrically and musically. Me either.

Step Dads: debut 7" (NMG Records)
Derek Lyn Plastic screaming his way through songs with titles like "Grim Reaper," "Power Slut" (Supertramp was already taken), "I Hate Haiti," and "Love Jail." Nothing else needs to be said, except that Paul Harper (Deerhunter, Facehugger) wrote and played all the guitar parts, which totally shred. "I Hate Haiti" is probably the catchiest of all the Derek Lyn Plastic-related songs released this year, so don't be scared away by the title. There's obviously a chuckle or two to be had here, but that does not take away from the fact that these guys recorded a damn good hardcore record.

Magnums: Young Romans 7" (NMG Records)
Here's another Derek Lyn Plastic production, with a different Facehugger vet in David Spence on guitar and yours truly on vocals. Spence shines with Spits-inspired guitar weirdness on "Young Romans", but the b-side tracks are the keepers. "Baa Baa White Sheep" is about the type of people you'll have to contend with if you, like me, make a career out of being a college student. "Fetishists Anonymous" through humor reveals that pretty much all of us get off to weird stuff. The next time I insult one of your bands while hiding behind a computer screen, remember that I'm the one who rhymed "electric shock" and "Willard Scott."

K-Holes: Swamp Fires 7" (11th Hour Records)
Former Atlantans, Georgiana Starlington/Wild Choir bandmates, and spouses Jack and Julie Hines provide the local ties to this raw garage rock unit from Brooklyn. "Swamp Fires" is bluesy, swampy rock with horns, while the more upbeat "Werewolf (With a Tan?)" is a female-fronted take on early rock and roll. Based on their two current bands, I'd be willing to guess there's a wide array of awesome records at the Hines residence.

That all was horribly biased.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Radio SNAFU

Due to miscommunication between myself and the folks at The WOLF, the Best Coast interview did not air last night. I apologize to anyone who tuned in and was disappointed.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Best Coast is going to be on the show tonight, plus record reviews!


There's a lot to share, so this is a good day to start a new tradition of posting combination radio show updates and record reviews. I miss blogging but remain way too busy to update this site as often as I did back in the day. Still, I figure a weekly posting like this is managable.

Tonight on the radio show (10 p.m. on The WOLF Internet Radio), check out my slightly informative/slightly comedic interview with Ali, Bobb, and Bethany from Best Coast. It's not every day that I interview a band when they are coming off a sold-out show. but I was able to chat with the trio at Criminal Records a day after their Drunken Unicorn show. I gave Ali (shown above) one of my radio show flyers (the original one designed by Hip to Death frontman John Breedlove)while she was still a Vivian Girl and a few weeks before the premiere episode aired. Little did I know, she would someday be a guest on the show. The podcast version of tonight's episode, as well as a podcast featuring my The Girls at Dawn interview, will be posted in the next few days.

Speaking of Vivian Girls:

The Beets/Cassie Ramone split 7" (Psychic Lunch Records):

Not only do I get Ali on my show this week. I have also had records featuring her former Vivian Girls bandmates arriving at 7 Inch Atlanta headquarters the past couple of days.

The first to arrive was this split, which features Cassie Ramone's instantly-recognizable artwork and handwriting and came in a package along with a live Dead Ghosts LP and an Indian Wars/Fungi Girls split.

The Beets' side opens with a tune called "I Don't Know" that fails to really hook me in, but it is followed by a keeper called "Matters Nothing." The latter is pure satirical psychedelia that would make both Joe Jack Talcum and any of today's garage punk heavyweights proud.

Cassie's songs were the reason I preordered this slab of blue wax, and once again the second song is the strongest. "What Do They Know" is a mellow soundscape that shows off Cassie's vocals and allows her to flex her songwriting muscle. It's a nice taste of what direction she might go in as a solo artist, but by no means does it reach "Lakehouse" or "Tell The World" levels of amazing. "Where We Were" does approach those heights, as it borrows a little from Neil Young's acoustic output and The Velvet Underground.

All Saints Day "I'll Come Around" b/w "Only Time Will Tell" (Art Fag Recordings):
Here's another Vivian Girls side project featuring the band's bass player, "Kickball" Katy Goodman, and Gregg Foreman from Cat Power. The a-side has been floating around the blogsphere for what seems like half a year or longer, so you probably already know it pairs dreamy guitar and organ distortion with the girl-group inspired harmonies that set apart Katy and Cassie's primary band. The b-side does not stray far from this winning formula, though the vocals on this one are more beautifully haunting and Foreman's guitar work is more at the forefront (couldn't resist the bad pun there). Between this, her solo stuff that will come out soon on Hardly Art Records, and future Vivian Girls releases, expect to hear a lot more from Katy.

Gentleman Jesse and His Men "She's a Trap" b/w "I Won't Say Goodbye" (Douchemaster Records):
The latest by the Atlanta band most qualified to rock the free world is hopefully a preview of their much-anticipated sophomore album. If I did not know any better, I would think "She's a Trap" was inspired by the band's relationship with Paul Collins. We all know better, though, because Jesse Smith has been responsible for popriffic riffs and hooks since he started this band (if you don't believe me, check out their new Burger Records cassette). The flipside, "I Won't Say Goodbye," is a slowed-down tear-jerker. This one, like first album gem "Sidewalks," shows that Smith is as good at penning a sensitive ballad as he is at recapturing the classic powerpop magic harnassed by a talented few, including the before-mentioned Paul Collins. GJ has recently toured a lot and added Milton from brother band The Barreracudas as organist. If the next album is as good as this single, there will be plenty more out-of-town venues and festivals wanting to book these guys.

Gold-Bears debut 7" (Magic Marker Records):
Here's a local band that might still be flying under your radar though they already have this solid 7" under their belts. Gold-Bears have the pop sensibilities and jangle and fuzz of 90's britpop stalwarts like Boyracer, whose guitarist, Stewart Anderson, appears on standout track "Jezzer." The other songs are a distorted powerpop anthem for the working man called "Tally" and the slowed down, sentimental "HK Song." All three tracks are guitar-driven pop songs with vocals that convey emotion in spades without wavering. This may be similar to some of the edgier pop or shoegaze records in your collection, but Gold-Bears are to my knowledge the best(and possibly the only) Georgia band of their kind this side of Athens.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The radio show is back for a second season!

7 Inch Atlanta! Radio is back for a second season. For this week’s season premiere, Ty Segall (pronounced Sea-Gull) and his band will make an appearance. Don’t expect any insight into his music, but do prepare yourself for some good laughs! This week’s tunes are by The Bobby Soxx, Beat Beat Beat, Theoretical Girls, Ty Segall, Devo, The Wet Dreams, Alice Cooper, The Dead Milkmen, The Spits, Dow Jones and The Industrials, The Only Ones, TSOL, Go Sailor, Ramones, The Boys, DDT, Lost Kids, Slaughter and the Dogs, and Deerhunter.

You'll also get to hear Ty and I sing gospel songs and you'll find out if this lady is a space alien:

Things will get even more awesome next week when Joe Jack Talcum is my special guest. You read that right!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Don West is on my show... sorta



Check him out tonight!
http://www.westga.edu/thewolf/index_13444.php
10 p.m. EST on The WOLF Internet Radio!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Did you sit around and miss me while I was gone?

June 23? Wow, it’s been a minute since I posted here.

I generally have tried to avoid talking about myself on this blog, but I feel like the handful that still check this space to see if I’ve gotten back into the blogging game should know why 7 Inch Atlanta pretty much died a sudden death.

This summer, I have been working with The Georgia Humanities Council and the University of West Georgia’s Center for Public History on a Smithsonian (!) exhibit on traditional music called New Harmonies. I am currently part of a three-scholar team that is studying traditional music in the state so we can help localize the exhibit. Basically, New Harmonies has exhibit panels every site will have to set up, and we will provide Georgia-specific literature for the sites that get the exhibit when it passes through the state in 2012.

Between that and my graduate thesis on underground music in Atlanta (the working title right now is Kids Like You and Me: Punk and Undergound Music in Atlanta: 1978-2010), you can imagine that if I am awake, I am probably writing or reading about music.

Somebody has got to do the research I am doing for those two academic projects, and plenty of other people are blogging. When I first felt burnt out, there was no question about what had to go first.

The 7 Inch Atlanta name still exists through my radio show and podcast (which I am way behind on uploading those, aren’t I?), so check that out. If you have given me a record that never got reviewed, do not fret because getting played on college radio is way cooler than being blogged about by an ex-news reporter who cannot get writing out of his system.

Thanks to everyone who put me on a guest list, gave me a record, or merely said a kind word about the blog. It was fun for two years and kept me with an excuse to write and track down new music.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

7 Inch Atlanta Radio's tenth episode, featuring G.G. King!

Greg King is this week's guest, and I'm going to play a hidden backwards message from a G.G. King song!

Also, tune in to hear a song from my buddy Derek Lyn Plastic's new CD, which officially drops on July 4.

Tonight at 10 p.m. on The WOLF Internet Radio!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Woven Bones are this week's guests on the podcast

They were already one of my favorite bands. Now I know they are kickass people after a conversation that included references to Wesley Snipes, Danny Glover, and of course Adrian vs. Predator.

http://7inchatlanta.podomatic.com/entry/2010-06-20T10_16_07-07_00

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Episode 9 featuring Woven Bones

Tonight's show features all three Woven Bones as they discuss their sound, tribal drumming allegations, Wesley Snipes, Danny Glover, Adrian vs. Predator, the Gentleman Jesse Admiration Society, and more. The show will also feature songs from bands ranging from The Busy Signals and Carbonas to Lou Reed and The Buzzcocks.

Check it out tonight at 10 p.m. on The WOLF Internet Radio (www.westga.edu/thewolf).

Monday, June 14, 2010

New podcast and probable future forecast

The new podcast is here:

http://7inchatlanta.podomatic.com/entry/2010-06-14T13_58_05-07_00

I'm considering making the radio show/podcast the main thing I do music-related and have the blog mainly serve as a tool to promote the show.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I'm running behind

The podcast and a couple of reviews should be coming your way in the next two days.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cassie Ramone and Titus Andronicus cover Weezer

Cassie went to high school with some, if not all, of the guys from this band, which makes me long for a Black Lips/Tilly & The Wall mash-up. By this logic, that means Magnums and Sloppy Meateaters teaming up for a Nirvana cover is not a terrible idea (even though it is).

Decisions, decisions

Friday: Go see The Humms at The Drunken Unicorn or the Baby Dinosaurs release party at 529?

Saturday: Welcome Predator and Balkans back home or check out Woven Bones at The Earl?

These are good problems to have!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Baby Dinosaur's first paired with Bobby's rawest release

Artist: Baby Dinosaurs vs. Bobby and The Spoft Spots
Title: Split 7"
Label: Die Slaughterhaus Records
Release date: June 2010
Release number: DSH-042

The newest Die Slaughterhaus release splits two of the final songs recorded by the late Bobby Ubangi with a couple of tracks from party-pop queens Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction.

Of the bands that captured my interest when I first started blogging, Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction is the last to release something on vinyl. That's why it's no surprise that I could not wait to get my hands on this one. Their songs, the delightfully tacky (don't sue me, Hooters) "Coke Dick" and a punked-up cover of "I Won't Tell", are fun as hell to hear on vinyl, even if you've heard both dozens of times live at The Star Bar or house shows. Their ode to drug-fueled impotence is the real gem here, as they have taken a page from Frantic and wrote a song about a drug that's probably as easy to score in town as weed and at times has made people within the scene more lazy and more broke.

The Soft Spots side brings us a version of "Make You Mine" that might be the rawest Bobby Ubangi-related release ever, including the tracks from that great Lids 7", and a rough-plodding cover of Link Wray's "Rumble". This, like an earlier Soft Spots 7" co-released by Die Slaughterhaus and Rob's House, captures well Ubangi's love for simple three-chord rock and roll. Is this as good as Ubangi's solo releases that came out while he was battling cancer? No, but these rough around the edges recordings definitely have a place in his small but rich back catalog.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

News and Notes

* Suicide Squeeze is now taking pre-orders for a Coathangers remixes 7" featuring Dan Deacon's "143" remix and Judi Chicago's take on "Arthritis Sux". Only 250 were pressed on green vinyl. Five hundred more black vinyl copies are also available. Another Coathangers 7" will be out late this year on Die Slaughterhaus records, meaning they are getting priority over Adrian vs. Predator. Any excuse to bring that up...

* This AJC article says The Judies will try to carry on with different frontmen from different bands. I don't miss my old job as a crime reporter for a newspaper, so I am trying to avoid sharing my opinions on this situation. I'm merely trying to correct yesterday's assumption that the band is now defunct.

* Old news, but The Woven Bones got a well-deserved 4 out of 4 stars for their new LP from the L.A. Times. Woven Bones will be back in Atlanta this Saturday at The Earl.

* Older news, but my main musical inspiration, Joe Jack Talcum, will be appearing at Athens Pop Fest this August along with other heavy hitters like Quintron and Miss Pussycat, The Wedding Present, Go Sailor, and Mission of Burma. Also scheduled are some Georgia-based favorites like Cars Can Be Blue, The Humms, and Gold-Bears.

Two special guests tonight on the show!

Two of the best in the world at what they do are going to make this week's 7 Inch Atlanta Radio (10 p.m. tonight on The WOLF, www.westga.edu/thewolf) a can't miss show!
First, I am going to talk to Lance, the drummer of The Spits, about The A-Team, album artwork, and the band's future LP with In The Red.

Then listen as Cole Alexander gives his side of the Almighty Defenders/Lindsay Lohan story.

It should be a fun show, with tunes by G.G. King, Bobby and The Soft Spots, Baby Dinosaurs vs. Extinction, German Measles, Balkans, Sneaky Pinks, and more.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ohio's best primitive, trilingual, all-girl punk band crashes a Die Slaughterhaus party

Die Slaughterhaus Records hosted the first of two straight Friday night shows at 529last weekend, with Cleveland's HotChaCha stealing the show.

Opening the show was Athens-based comedic duo Cars Can Be Blue, as they busted out a couple of new, poppy songs and quite a few old, slightly perverse favorites. As usual, Nate and Becky's on-stage banter was as funny as the songs themselves. Mark from Die Slaughterhaus and I were almost in tears when Nate was describing the play at home version of Cars Can Be Blue, which was a cross between the old Life board game and those VHS-enhanced games from the early 90's.

Up next was Pizza Party, a slightly sloppy thrash and hardcore band reminiscent of Suicidal Tendencies. There was not as much crowd activity as there usually is at 529 when a faster punk band is on stage, but that is not because Pizza Party did not emit equal parts humor and rage. It was a lot of fun to see Jessica Juzz play bass in a band. She's one of those people who does a lot of different things well, though I think I prefer seeing her as a fearless frontwoman.

On third and stealing the show was the tribe of Ohio ladies known as HotChaCha. If you have heard any of their recordings, including their brand new LP, you know this group is good. If you have not seen them live, though, you don't know how awesome they truly are. Though they sound different, I would imagine if HotChaCha's multilingual predecessors from Kleenex/Liliput reformed they would give off the same tribal vibe when performing live. When lead singer Jovana told us from stage that the group was facing transmission issues with their van, I decided immediately that a trip to the nearest ATM was in order. Pricey vehicle repairs suck and this band doesn't, so everyone was done a favor when they sold me their LP.

Closing out the night was Atlanta's best party band, The Coathangers. They have gotten a lot of love lately here on 7 Inch Atlanta, so there's no need to rehash old reviews about how much fun it is to see this band. Instead, let's go ahead and get excited about the Die Slaughterhaus 7" they will be recording soon. Now that will be a fun 7" release show. Maybe, if we are all lucky, HotChaCha will come back and play that one!

One could safely assume...

this spells the end of The Judies.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Episode 7 download, featuring nothing but cover songs and an interview with Alex from Crusaders of Love


This week's podcast features Alex from Crusaders of Love telling a couple of stories about his pal King Louie and a slew of cover songs by bands like Nobunny, The Spits, G.G. King, Quadiliacha, Black Tambourine, and more.

Spits play show of the year

The Spits/Nobunny bill at The Earl was pretty much guaranteed to be one of the best nights of rock and roll in Atlanta this summer, and the show delivered mainly due to the headliner's ability to overcome a few early fuck-ups.

A couple of local groups opened the festivities. I missed The Customers' set, but I did get to see G.G. King's set of mostly new songs. For some reason, Greg's metal influences seemed more obvious than usual on this given night.

Nobunny and his current backup band then hit the stage, with the frontman wearing his trademark creepy as fuck and likely smelly from wear and tear mask. The country-influenced song that started off the set and the bizzare mish-mash of songs, including a Spinal Tap number and Gentleman Jesse's "I Don't Wanna Know (Where You've Been Tonight)", toward the end were definite highlights, but everything in between was lacking compared to past Nobunny stops in Atlanta. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad set at all, but Nobunny and his crew definitely have better shows. Such is life on the road.

The Spits came roaring out with lights and smoke, a skull backdrop, and 1960's style wide neckties, but they faced some problems of their own. An unplugged guitar and a broken bass string or two early in the set would have derailed almost anyone else, but these guys persevered and ended up having probably the best and most enjoyable set I have seen all year. I was pumping my fist and singing along and so was the guy to my left (Joe from The Black Lips) and to my right (Mark from Die Slaughterhaus Records). Hell, Clay from G.G. King even crowd surfed for the first time in his life during all the excitement. The Spits said goodnight before the last five or six songs, but they kept coming at us with quick blasts of weirdo punk rock. I didn't want it to end, no matter how exausted the guys on stage looked. To reiterate, it was the best thing I've seen all year, including a certain show at 529.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I'm behind and looking ahead to tonight

Nobunny was a little disappointing Wednesday, but The Spits went above and beyond when they had a chance to save the night. More about that show in a few days.

Tonight, head to The Earl to see Quintron and Miss Pussycat, Gentleman Jesse and His Men, and The Barreracudas before you venture over to see Hot Cha Cha, The Coathangers, Pizza Party, and Cars Can Be Blue at 529.

And on Saturday, your best bet is seeing local indie-pop band Gold-Bears at The Drunken Unicorn when they play with Spectralux and The Sunshine Factory.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Have a good time all the time with the all cover songs edition of 7 Inch Atlanta Radio!


This week’s episode features a special guest appearance by Alex from Crusaders Of Love as he tells a couple of funny stories about King Louie. Also check out covers done by The Ramones, Beat Beat Beat, Plexi 3, Nobunny, The Spits, G.G. King, Carbonas, Quadiliacha, Baby Shakes, The Wolfmen, Crusaders of Love, Finally P...unk, Black Lips, The Spooks, Those Darlins, Gentleman Jesse and His Men, Dum Dum Girls, Black Tambourine, Mika Miko, and The Stolen Minks. 10 p.m. EST on The WOLF (www.westga.edu/thewolf.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Death dance rock for brainiacs

Artist: Death Domain
Title: 3-song 7"
Label: Army of Bad Luck
Release date: January 2010
Release number: ABL016

Death Domain is awkward dance beats mixed with brainy lyrics that could only have been written by a molecular microbiology student like longtime SIDS member Adam Stroupe.

Stroupe is not just a student, though, as Creative Loafing's Chad Radford reported last year that the reason he moved to Baltimore was to persue his Ph.D. at John Hopkins University. So if these lyrics go over your head (I'm a graduate student and I don't know what the fuck "Toxoplasma Gondii" means), he's not showing off. He's writing about what's prominent in his life the moment he sits down to compose a song, and that's what good songwriters do.

The a-side, "Toxoplasma Gondii", is like a really cerebral and less dance-worthy Gary Numan song. It's pretty catchy stuff, even if the science nerd lyrics will probably zoom right over your head.

The two b-sides are a little more experimental, like SIDs without the crazy, unpredictable punk approach. "From My Window" has a title most of us can pronounce and sounds like it is about a tourtured, distant admirer and not something over our heads about cells splitting or whatever.

This three song release is a hard one to define. It's too smooth to be punk or industrial and way more cerebral than even the most arsty-farsty noise rock songs.

What else? It has a glow-in-the-dark cover!

Great night in a strange environment

Last Thursday's main attraction in Atlanta was a great grouping of bands at an unusual venue. The Barreracudas, Crusaders of Love, Ex-Humans, Biters, and The Booze all played Eastside Lounge's tiny, five feet off the ground stage. Seriously, jumping off that thing would be a Randy Savage elbow drop instead of a stage dive. Once I got past how bizarre it was to hang with my friends and see their bands in a totally different kind of venue, I had a blast.
You know the bill is stacked when Adrian and company are curtain-jerking. They played another solid set of newish songs that'll probably be on an upcoming LP.
My new friend Alex (he's going to be on the radio show tomorrow) and the other French guys and girl from Crusaders of Love were fantastic, playing cuts from their Douchemaster LP. They were cool people and a great band to boot. The interview I did with Alex is labeled on my computer as being recorded at 5:30 a.m., and I believe it, as none of us actually slept that night. Hurry back, guys.

Ex-Humans from Brooklyn were next playing basic, three-piece, ass-scorching punk rock. As you can see, former Carbonas and Beat Beat Beat guitarist Josh Martin is their lead singer. The real treat in their set was a guest appearance by Stalkers frontman Andy Animal on a Troggs cover.

On a side note, I tried to interview Andy after the sho but drunkenly forgot to press record. Oops.

After that, the tiny upstairs area of the Eastside Lounge was packed, so I just listened to The Biters and The Booze from downstairs. I could hear them loud and clear.

The Biters continues to crank out great rock and roll that is a cross between early pop-inspired punk like The Boys and the arena-filling rock of Cheap Trick. This was my first time seeing them with Tuk's brother Travis on bass, and they did not miss a beat. Forget any silly hangups you might have about haircuts or these guys' past bands, because The Biters are the real shit.

The Booze closed the party with their tribute act that kind of sounds like The Strokes doing Rolling Stones covers. You're probably right and I'm the only one who hears The Strokes when I see The Booze live. This is definitely a talented group, though, and it never ceases to amaze me that Randy can keep finding guys in Georgia with the Mod look who also are good musicians.

What was it like seeing rock and roll in an environment like the Eastside Lounge? It was way more enjoyable than expected. All of us overgrown punk kids were pretty much the only ones there, and the staff liked us enough to play a Bad Brains DVD for the folks congregated at the bar. Will ESL start having the kind of kickass shows we see at 529? Probably not, but I wish them luck because the more venues catering to our bands, the better.

Two of the best in the game are coming to town

Garage-pop genius Nobunny and West Coast punk revivalists The Spits are coming together tomorrow to play The Earl along with local favorites The Customers and G.G. King. It'll be two of the best acts from the original Mess-Around back together.

It's a wonder I waited this long to make a big deal out of this show, as The Spits are one of my favorites and had the best album of 2009.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Noise explosion tomorrow at 529

This should be a good one tomorrow night at 529. Twin Stumps is a Brooklyn-area noise band that recently released their debut LP. The other bands are locals, including classic hardcore punk juggernaut Bukkake Boys. Big Dad, a Hawks side project, will be playing their first show.

A split... sort of, and it's worth a listen

Artist: Georgiana Starlington/Wild Choir
Title: Split 7"
Label: Rob's House Records
Release date: April 2010
Release number: rhr057

Here's a new Rob's House release that technically is a split 7", as Georgiana Starlington and Wild Choir is a pair of bands with shared members and slightly different takes garage-punk.

The backbone of both Brooklyn-based bands is former Black Lips guitarist Jack Hines and his wife and fellow Die Slaughterhaus alum, Julie. The couple is also in the slightly more awesome K-Holes. Joining them in Georgiana Starlington and Wild Choir is Deerhunter drummer Moses Archuleta and Rob's House co-owner and former Liverheart and Gaye Blade Trey Lindsey.

The Georgiana Starlington side offers "Brave Wolf", which is the kind of jangly, country and western inspired tune fans of the groups Army of Bad Luck debut would expect. Jack sings this one, and I've always thought he ironically sounds like a cross between Cole and Joe. Is that because of shared influences, or is there such a thing as a Dunwoody accent?

"Cryin' Over You" by Wild Choir is the flipside, and it is a little less country and a lot more rock and roll. It is a raw take on some really old rock and roll and soul influences. It's good enough to be a Georgiana Starlington track, and I bet a lot of people who see this band live don't know that they are technically hearing a different band when the quartet breaks out this song.

I'd rather have BMW target us than Scion. Just saying...

Here's a BMW advertisement featuring "Cinco de Mayo" by Golden Triangle.

That's the coolest thing since that Hunx Lenscrafters commerical I've never actually seen.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Too good to be called a "side project"

Artist: The Babies
Title: "Meet Me In The City" b/w "Somebody Else"
Label: Make a Mess
Release date: Spring 2010

The second release by this Woods/Vivian Girls collaboration finds Cassie Ramone relegated to backup vocals while Woods' Kevin Morby takes center stage. If letting the guy on bass occasionally nab vocal duties from a girl with an instantly recognizable voice worked for Plexi 3, then it could (and did) work for The Babies.

The title track is indiepop meets garage-punk with girlgroup style backup vocals. And, best of all, there's a sweet mini guitar solo toward the end of this one. These lyrics and this song would not have worked as well with Cassie singing lead, so the switch was a good decision.

"Somebody Else" is similar but faster and presumably more punk-inspired. There's some outstanding lyrics and great guitar work going on here. In fact, I think this band might be a bit too awesome to be called a "side project".

This week's podcast stars Adrian Barrera

7 Inch Atlanta's exclusive interview with Adrian Barrera is now available in handy podcast form. Also tune in to hear songs by Barreracudas, Predator, Dum Dum Girls, Crusaders Of Love, The Customers, Roky Erickson and The Aliens, Carbonas, The Original Three, Thee Oh Sees, The Hussy, Gentleman Jesse & His Men, Paul Collins Beat, The Babies, All Saints Day, The Wax Museums, Cola Freaks, Gold Ghost, and The Bukkake Boys.

7 Inch Atlanta invades Athens

Nate from Cars Can Be Blue and The Trashcans has kindly invited me to his Athens shindigs for months, and I finally made it out to Ben's Bikes last Sunday to see Heavy Cream, several awesome bands that were scheduled to appear, and a nice surprise at the end of the night.
The Trashcans, a garage rock three-piece with ties to both Atlanta and Athens, opened. Though I've been following this band since they started last summer, I had not seen them in a while because lately they've almost exclusively played Athens. It was a fun set, and they sounded tighter than they did when I last saw them (which I'm pretty sure was in the Watch Yr Head House basement).
The Vingettes from Minnesota were next. Don't they just look like a band I would praise now and mention as often as possible later? They were, and I will.

They were a fun two-piece band that was kind of bluesy like our hometown boys from Dead Rabbits. The primary singer (seen above) had a voice that reminded me of one of the ladies from Sleater-Kinney. They even busted out a cover of "Stand By Me" and seemed to enjoy interacting with the audience.

Apparently, the band is going to relocate to Memphis. Let's hope that leads to their Atlanta debut. One of the girls told me they didn't come to our city because they had no Atlanta connections. Hopefully, the guys from The Trashcans have fixed that, because I think you Atlanta folks would eat this band up.
Before I move on to Heavy Cream, has anyone noticed that 1) most of my half-decent pictures make it look like the guy from American Cheeseburger was the only one in the audience (which wasn't true) and 2) the placement of the industrial light fixture makes it look like light is coming out of the nearest musician's butt? Anyhow, moving on...
I was bummed that I missed Heavy Cream the day before in Atlanta because I picked Estoriafest instead. Never fear, because the girls and guy from that band were willing to pull triple duty for us Georgians. Earlier in the evening, they played an Athens bar with their tourmates from JEFF the Brotherhood and, as stated before, they played 529 in Atlanta the previous night.
Lots of Atlantans had told me I'd eat up what this band brings to the table, and I did. Hell, their soundcheck alone was almost worth driving to Athens, as they shredded through a cover of "Mother" by Danzig (which, let's face it, is kind of useless without the video).
The Humms were the last scheduled band, and they, like The Trashcans, are even better than before. It's pretty much a completely new band with a new bass player and my buddy Zig Zag Youngblood from Pipsqueak behind the drum kit. It is impossible to not dance to this band's songs, and I, for one, can't wait to hear their Lemonland LP.

The night was not over, it turned out, because JEFF The Brotherhood decided Heavy Cream should not be the only ones who pulled triple duty. I can't say I saw much of their set, as I took part in a fruitless quest to find Sunday beer, but I can't praise the two touring bands enough for coming out and partying with the crowd at Ben's Bikes.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The sights and smells of Estoriafest

(Photos except for the second and third Tornado Town shots courtesy of Kevin Borke)

Last week's Estoriafest was fun in the shade for day drunks and local music enthusiasts and was headlined by a couple of bands that have a new LP in the works.
Tornado Town opened, as they apparently are known for breaking up and then reforming to play at restaurants.
As you can see, this band features familiar faces working with different people and dipping their musical feet into a slightly different style.
The highlight, aside from Will Greene's guitarist faces (people had to chug a beer everytime he made one. Same went later for Ryan from Mermaids and his drummer faces.), was a heart-felt and well-executed cover of "Bobby is a Lover" by The Gaye Blades performed in tribute to Bobby Ubangi. Nice one, guys.
Glen Iris, another familiar faces doing something a little different band, was next, and they were way more awesome than I remembered them being when I saw them about a year and a half ago. They play some pretty hard and bluesy stuff and have a two guitars and no bass lineup.
Mermaids were next and they stole the show. Every good thing I had heard about this slightly spacey, sorta garagely, and definitely surfy combo is true. They mix the experience of former Gringo Star member Matt McCalvin, Joey from Knife and the 4th Ward Daggers, and former Barberries drummer Ryan Fetter with a couple of really young guys who are also members of The Clap.
The Coathangers then treated the fairly large and inebriated crowd to a couple of brand-new songs, including one where Candice drums and Stephanie takes over keyboard duties.



After the best party band in town exited the stage, The Barreracudas kept the fun going with their newest powerpop gems that likely will be on their debut long-player and old favorites like "Diet Coke".

Adrian Barrera and Warren Bailey were not done for the night, though, as they continued playing in the sweltering heat with their other band, Gentleman Jesse and His Men. Like The Barreracudas, Jesse and his men have a batch of new songs that will someday be on a Douchemaster LP. This was not a standard Gentleman Jesse show, though, because Dave Rahn had a dental emergency and Greg King had to replace him on short notice. The band still sounded great, because when Greg drums the songs end up being faster.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

German Measles take the noise out of noisepop

Artist: The German Measles
Title: "Color Vibration" b/w "I Don't Like Your Friends"
Label: Wild World Records
Release date: March 2010

The Brooklyn boys in The German Measles (was Rubella already claimed as a band name?) take the noise out of today's noisepop, which allows some pretty good lyrics to shine.

"Color Vibrations" sounds like it is really about colors and is not some kind of artsy metaphor. How nerdy yet punk is that? The "whoa ooooh" backups give this a pop quality that would keep this song from sounding out of place if it followed Gentleman Jesse on a mixtape.

The flipside, "I Don't Like Your Friends", is as straightforward as its title suggests. I don't throw around comparisons to an all-time favorite too often, but the slightly humorous yet brutally honest lyrics of this one paired with its singalong chorus allow me to imagine what this would sound like if it was covered by The Dead Milkmen. Actually, there's no point in wondering what a cover would sound like just yet, as there are still hours of enjoyment to be spent listening to the original.

Don't forget my interview with Adrian

He's not turning his back on the radio anymore!



Har har har.

Check it out at www.westga.edu/thewolf tonight at 10 p.m. EST.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Sour Notes were tonight's positive note

I scoped out that Sour Notes show I posted about earlier tonight at The Earl, and I'm glad I gave them and The Tealights a chance.

Little Tybee opened, but since The Earl starts weekday shows at a decent hour, I sadly missed their whole set.

When I got there, the band that invited me, The Sour Notes, was already setting up. Before I talk about their music, do they not have the coolest band name? Anyways, Jared Boulanger has brought this Austin-based band back with a new lineup. He is now joined by three girls and another guy behind the drum kit, and collectively they are more than capable of adding a harder edge when needed to their electronic indiepop soundscapes. This band is definitely worth catching if their summer tour passes through your town.

Closing out the night The Tealights, a local band that cranks out beautiful, pofessionally-played songs that are more classy and polished than what I am used to hearing.

As you can probably imagine, I did not recognize anyone at The Earl aside from the door guy and bartender because these bands draw a different crowd than, say, The Barreracudas. That's okay, though, because it was kind of fun to go to a familiar place and feel sort of like a visitor instead of a participant (At home, he's a tourist).

"Georganne" is Balkans' most polished offering to date

Artist: Balkans
Title: Balkans Play "Georganne"
Label: Double Phantom Records
Release date: May 2010

Balkans are back with more slightly surfy,somewhat psychedelic rock and roll, and this time they sound way more polished than before.

A-siders "Bill Spills" and "Leopard Print" bring the surfy, punk influenced sound of earlier Balkans offerings and really showcase Stanley's badass drumming and Frankie's mellow yet mighty vocals.

The title track and b-side, "Georganne", has the same hypnotic effect as a Jacuzzi Boys song, but instead of sounding like my favorite Miami trio this sounds more like really heavy, punk-influenced shoegazing music.

Like numerous Atlanta bands before them, including their tourmates Predator, this group's willingness to play out often has translated into a more polished unit capable of writing and recording songs that top their earlier output. Bringing in one of the city's unsung talents in The N.E.C.'s Cyrus Shahmir ro record and mix this 7" helped the band's cause, as well.

Check these young guys out if they pass through your town this summer. Here's some upcoming shows, including dates for their brief East Coast tour with Predator:

May 29 - Atlanta - Spring 4th Teen Party w/ Predator, Tom P Atlanta
May 30 - Athens - Farm 255 w/ Predator, Bambara
May 31 - Columbia - New Brookland w/ Predator, Mercy Mecry Me
June 2 - Philidelphia - Danger Danger w/ Predator, Power Animal
June 3 - Brooklyn - Bruar Falls w/ Predator, K-Holes
Jun 5 - Brooklyn - Union Pool w/ Predator, The Stalkers
Jun 6 - Brooklyn - Death By Audio w/ Predator, So So Glos
Jun 8 - Nashville - Glen Danzig's House w/ Predator, Canonmen
Jun 9 - Montgomery - Trap House w/ Predator, Shining Path
Jun 10 - Mobile - Alabama Music Box w/ Predator
Jun 11 - Atlanta - Wells Street Warehouse w/ Predator Atlanta, Georgia
Aug 21 - Atlanta - Goat Farm Fest w/ All the Saints, NEC, Hawks + MORE
Sept 25 - Atlanta - High Museum of Art w/ Back Pockets, Phonepunk

The Sour Notes are in town tonight

The Sour Notes are back together and will be in Atlanta tonight. Check it out.

7 Inch Atlanta Radio goes one-on-one with Adrian Barrera

Check out an exclusive interview with Adrian Barrera (The Hiss, Gentleman Jesse, Barreracudas) tomorrow on 7 Inch Atlanta Radio! Tune in to hear Adrian's thoughts on time travel and the upcoming Barreracudas and Gentleman Jesse albums. You will also hear songs by groups like The Customers, The Babies, Paul Collins' Beat, Gold Ghost, The Wax Museums, Predator, Cola Freaks, and more. Check it out tomorrow at 10 p.m. EST on The WOLF Internet Radio, www.westga.edu/thewolf.

Monday, May 24, 2010

More timeliness here at 7 Inch Atlanta

The fifth podcast is now available (several hours late) here, on iTunes, and on the player at the bottom of the page. Starting this Wednesday at 10 p.m. on The WOLF Internet Radio(www.westga.edu/TheWOLF), things are going to be a little different. This week, I've got a short, pre-taped interview with Adrian Barrera, and you'll get to hear clips of the man himself talking about Estoriafest, upcoming tours and records for The Barreracudas and Gentleman Jesse, and how he's constantly learning more about songwriting by working with people like Jesse and Paul Collins.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Documentary makes a stop at David's house

Local solo artist and Attractive Eighties Women member Steve LaBate is part of an ongoing project called 40 Nights of Rock and Roll, where he and a filmmaker friend are going to see 40 concerts in 40 cities this summer. One of the stops so far was in Atlanta. Not only did they stop in Atlanta, they went to DAVE MAGNUM'S HOUSE! It's a shame they didn't film a certain band's recording sessions instead. That'd make for riveting viewing. I'm just kidding, of course, as it's awesome that they filed Tendaberry.

Better than Bubba?

I'm going to scope this out today. I hope it's better than Corndogorama and Bubbapalooza (gag me) combined!!!

Hopefully this will be followed by Magnums practice. It definitely will be followed by a trip to Athens to see Heavy Cream and a slew of other bands at Ben's Bikes.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Birthday delivers the goods

Artist: Happy Birthday
Title: Self-titled LP
Label: Sub-Pop Records
Release date: Winter 2010

Kyle Thomas of King Tuff fame has outdone himself yet again with his newest band, Happy Birthday, and their Sub-Pop debut LP.

Album opener “Girls FM” is the real diamond here. There’s no telling how many plays this song has gotten at 7 Inch Atlanta Headquarters since I snagged a copy of this LP in late March. This song, like most of the album, is bizarre enough to appeal to us overgrown punk kids and is well written and sounds clean and professional enough to please the pickiest indie rock connoisseur. Few bands possess that kind of crossover appeal. I guess that’s why this group is on Sub-Pop, right?

This album comes out the gate stong, and it does not let up. In fact, all eleven tracks are keepers.

Tracks like “Cracked”, “Maxine The Teenage Eskimo”, and “Subliminal Message” allow Thomas to step outside of the powerpop box that perfectly packages his King Tuff persona and write equally good yet more experimental songs.

More mellow numbers like “Perverted Girl” and “Fun” show off Thomas’ songwriting skill almost as well as his King Tuff material.

There’s plenty of variety on this album beyond the experimental and mellow. “Zit” is a balls-out punk song, and those never get old. Towards the end of the album, you’ll hear songs in “I Want To Stay (I Run Away)” and “Pink Strawberry Shake” that make it sound like Happy Birthday would rather be the modern answer to Electric Light Orchestra than The Rolling Stones.

Come December, this, along with the debut long-players by Dum Dum Girls and Crusaders of Love, will be in the album of the year argument.