Sunday, February 28, 2010

Why my show going ways have declined

It's probably weird that I'd even miss The Coathangers, but my oral history project takes up a lot of my recreation time. Josh Fauver (above) from Deerhunter, SIDs, and Army of Bad Luck Records was my most recent narrator, as we met Saturday at San Francisco Coffee to talk about Atlanta music, Poison and Nirvana's wardrobes, and the festival circuit.

Two months into this project, I've interviewed Mark Naumann at New Street while The Black Lips worked on their new album in the next room; chatted with Chris Van Etten in The Coathangers' practice space, which means we were surrounded by stuffed animals and a Britney Spears poster; and watched mustachioed cyclists and grown-up goth chicks go in and out of a coffee shop while Josh shared memories about his music career.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pinche Gringo makes the blues bizarre via a cassette tape

Artist: Pinche Gringo
Title: S/T cassette
Label: ZAP Cassettes
Release date: October 2009

One-man garage rocker Pinche Gringo, who has made several trips to Atlanta in recent years and briefly was in Knoel and the S.S. with 3/4ths of the original Trashcans, mixes sped-up nods to the Rolling Stones and slower Southern blues tunes on this, his first ZAP Cassette.

"Pinche's Lament", which is featured twice as there is an alternate version toward the end of the tape, is the standout that should be the A-side to a future 7" or even the anchor of a more polished full-length release. It, like many Black Lips classics, is a song that on the surface sounds like contained chaos but beneath a layer or two is a beautifully-crafted modern garage rock song. There's lots of cool stuff going on at once, from entrancing hooks and riffs to electronic effects in the alternate cut that kinda sound like a persistent swarm of swamp flies.

Pinche Gringo also slows things down a notch ("Hang Up"), makes psyched-out blues-rock a little more bizarre thanks to random samples that sound like they might be from an anti-drug video ("Friday on Izagaga"), and passes the microphone to The Lovely Sarita for an Appalacian-flavored singalong ("Space Girl"). He even teams up with his Knoel and the SS pals for a version of "Mental Rehab".

This one is definitely worth picking up if you still have a cassette player. If you don't have one, get one because with cassettes being so cheap to make and fun to own, I fully expect to see more and more new releases on this seldom-used format. In the past year here in Atlana G.G. King made a demo cassette, Balkans and The Subsonics released a live show bootleg, and Jack and Alex from the Barberries and Trashcans began helping a friend in Washington D.C. with ZAP Cassettes. Hell, there may even be a Magnums cassette released sometime in the not too distant future.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

American Hardcore makers are passing the collection plate

The makers of the American Hardcore book and film are at it again. This time they plan to highlight lesser-known acts in Lost Rockers.

Though almost everything I work on is for academic projects and is, in my mind at least, grant-worthy, I'm not so sure I'm comfortable with filmmakers or bands asking for cash whenever they have a film or album they want to release. Most of the people who care enough to want to release a punk film or album have more ambition than they have resources, and while our little communities support each other when needed (see the recent benefit show to release the final Spoft Spots 7"), should anyone really beg to the whole world as if they are a televangelist?

Come to think of it, maybe the minds behind American Hardcore should have rocked gold lame' pants like they claim our predecessors in Atlanta did when yesteryear's hardcore heroes had the "displeasure" of sharing the 688 or Metroplex stage with Neon Christ and DDT. That way, they'd have vintage threads to sell and they could then spend that money on this film.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Four pre-Nobunny punk stompers

Artist: Sneaky Pinks
Title: S/T 7"
Label: 1-2-3-4 Go! and Rubber Vomit Records
Release date: Originally released in 2005, repressed in 2009

Though the cool looking foil sleeves are long gone, this classic 7" from the same clever mind that brings us Nobunny is now easier to find thanks to a repressing by 1-2-3-4 Go! Records.

"I Can't Wait" could have easily been written by B. Jay, as the chorus and backup vocals are definitely reminiscent of The Lids. The flipside has three quick blasts of punk in precussion-heavy shoutalong "Kill Kill Kill", lo-fi stomper "Life Stupid, I Stupid", and a cheesy yet fun theme song that leads into an eternal drum loop.

None of the songs sound the same, and each one is a keeper. If you love Nobunny, this will be right up your alley. If not, it might annoy you. If you don't like Nobunny and are annoyed, that's kinda funny! Seriously, this was my wisest purchase since I discovered Useless Eaters a month ago.

Steve goes solo while The Disco Lepers charm your pants off

Artist: The Cute Lepers, The Lurching Leper, and The Disco Lepers
Title: Join The Lepers Again
Label: No Front Teeth
Release Date: 2009
Vinyl color: Red

Here's a neat record featuring The Cute Lepers, Steve E. Nix flying solo as The Lurching Leper, and London's charmingly disgusting Disco Lepers.

As expected, the Cute Lepers song is this single's highpoint. "Young Hearts", a touching ode to those of you who work your asses off for your band and are still broke, is everything we have grown to expect from Steve E. Nix and friends, as it features mighty powerpop riffs and catchy female backup vocals.

It is followed by Steve's solo flight at The Lurching Leper, "Death By Magazine", which comes across as nothing more than a bedroom recording by someone who usually performs with polished, mallpunk-worthy units like The Briefs and Cute Lepers. That being said, the lyrics are pretty cool, as Steve attacks mainstream magazines for the role they play in ruining the self-esteem of some young people.

The Disco Lepers' side is nonsensical, slightly annoying, and disgusting punk songs with titles like "Epileptic Sex", "I Was a Hemophiliac Blood Donor", Nazi Tampons", and the especially offensive "I'm Carcogenic". I already warned you that these guys are charming. The real highlight is "Teenage Menopause", as it seamlessly mixes the pop-based, Chuck Berry ripping sounds of classic London punk with the twisted lyrics of G.G. Allin. Don't even pretend like "No fear of pregnancy, she had a historectomy" is not disturbingly clever.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mess Around news

In other Mess Around news, Ty Segall is apparently going to be in Europe soon, and that's why he no longer is being advertised as participating.

Dum Dum Girls hit the big time

Artist: Dum Dum Girls
Title: "Jail La La" b/w "Play With Fire"
Label: Sub Pop
Release date: February 16, 2010

Since first hearing them about a year ago I have expected Dum Dum Girls to accomplish big things, and early 2010 finds the label Nirvana made famous releasing their newest single.

"Jail La La" is a catcy, well-written song, but compared to a tune like "Catholicked" it is very clean-sounding and safe. The goth-inspired dreariness of that amazing Captured Tracks 12" is replaced by a pop sensibility that makes the band sound even more similar to older British pop groups like The Shop Assistants. Granted, the band does not have to always give off negative vibes, but I hope the jump to Sub Pop does not lead to nothing but sunshine and bubblegum.

That fear about pop sensibilites snuffing out the darkness and weirdness Dum Dum Girls are capable of was a little hasty, as the flipside is a delighfully dreary cover of The Rolling Stones classic "Play With Fire". Doubled-up vocals make this already mellow yet chilling song less mellow and more chilling. I've been planning on doing a covers-only episode of the upcoming radio show, and this will sound great alongside Beat Beat Beat's "When The Birdmen Fly", any of the Carbonas Euro Tour b-sides, and another goosebump-causer in Vivian Girls' "Blindspot".

This release does not quite measure up to Dum Dum Girls' earliest offerings, but it still should make you long for a debut long-player.

Atlanta's original G.G.

Artist: G.G. Allin and the Southern Baptists
Title: "Look Into My Eyes And Hate Me" b/w "Hotel Clermont"
Label: Railroad Records
Release date: 1993
Vinyl color: Red

Here's a neat little sidenote in Atlanta punk history: G.G. Allin was briefly in a local band.

When The Murder Junkies abandoned Allin in Atlanta, he started staying at The Clermont Lounge and hooked up with some local musicians, including local engineer extraordinaire Jeff Bakos, for this release.

The a-side is typical latter-day Allin, with dark lyrics that should have taught local metalheads a thing or two and gruff, growling vocals that should have pleased what was then a booming local skinhead scene.

The flipside, "Hotel Clermont", is about you-know-where, the original Atlanta G.G.'s temporary home. He apparently even dated one of the strippers. Sadly, the backstory is way more interesting than the song, as it rips off slow-driving, southern-fried metal.

Looking at the liner notes can quickly tell you how Atlanta has changed since 1993, as Allin (whose mailing address is a prison in Mississippi) gives a special thanks to now defunct Music Midtown and the now shitty Masquerade.

This record is an easy find, as there's a whole stack of them in that seldomly open Rock Star Boutique place in East Atlanta. The single goes for only $2 there, so it's worth picking up because of the cool backstory and the listenable a-side.

Friday, February 19, 2010

News on future releases

* Douchemaster Records is going to continue the tradition of Atlanta labels supporting The Crusaders of Love, as they will release the band's debut LP, "Never Grow Up!" (seen above), on March 2. As usual, the Douchemeister himself, Brian, has posted a free preview MP3 on the label's blog.

* Vivian Girls' own Wild World Records has a nice deal for those of you who are impatiently waiting for their new "My Love Will Follow Me" single. For $16 including shipping you can get the new Vivian Girls 7" plus copies of the upcoming Babies and German Measles singles. The Babies are a side project that features Cassie Ramone.

Gawk at this press shot of The Babies:
One of those guys looks like my friend Ross, for whatever that's worth.

and then watch The German Measles here:

A plethora of shows tonight and tomorrow

Here's the skinny if you need someplace to be tonight if, for instance, your roomate is going to have guests over you don't particularly like and you figure they'll end up rummaging through your fridge and you're the kind who likes to avoid confrontation.

Friday's options include out-of-towners Screaming Females and JEFF the Brotherhood playing with The N.E.C. at 529; The Biters as one of the opening acts at The Earl; much-hyped Floridians Surfer Blood at The Drunken Unicorn with Turbo Fruits (an "everything but the girl" version of Be Your Own Pet), Carnivores, and Holiday Shores; and The Doppel Gang's final show ever at The Highland Inn, where they surprisingly start shows at a decent hour.

Saturday has a couple of album release parties, with Dead Rabbits releasing their newbie at Wonderroot and The Booze celebrating another album at Center Stage with The Biters, Tres Bien (I like those guys a lot), and Muddy Waters Jr., who will have The Booze as his backup band. Center Stage should be packed, as if The Booze can pack The Star Bar which is 21+, they shouldn't have trouble drawing at an 18+ venue.

I hate being that guy who promises he'll come to people's shows and then doesn't (don't you hate that, K-Holes and Facehugger?), so no promises as to what I might go and see tonight and tomorrow.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Facehugger is reborn tonight at 529

Facehugger is reborn once again and will headline a pretty good show tonight at 529. Not sure what to expect from version 3.2 of this band? Same here, but finding out what they have to offer without vocalist John Hannah in the fold might be worth the $3-5 for admission.

Also performing are the Nomen Novum, whose Paradises LP is critically acclaimed. They also have a newish EP that can be downloaded for free here. Based on the freebie, this band offers beautiful tropical music with lots of vocal and running water samples (don't listen to this if you have to piss).

Also on the bill are The Back Pockets, a local collective featuring the talents of Spooks drummer Adam Bruneau. Here's a short documentary about the band's visit to Chicago:

That poster request...

led to this. Thanks, John Breedlove.

Final (or at least the Douchemaster and Rob's House guys hope so) lineup for this year's star-studded Mess-Around

Friday, April 23rd. Matinee @ Club 529.

Gaye Blades
Bukkake Boys

Friday, April 23rd. Evening at The Earl.

The Urinals
Davila 666
GG King
Bad Sports

Saturday, April 24th. All day at Club 529.

Gentleman Jesse & His Men
Wizzard Sleeve
Georgiana Starlington

Saturday, April 24th. Evening at The Earl.
Reigning Sound
Paul Collins Beat
King Louie's Missing Monuments
White Wires
Woven Bones

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Radio promos, Stepdads, and Magnums

* Expect to see a couple of radio promos posted soon with song clips and a poster designed by Hip To Death's John Breedlove. The first promo features songs by Black Lips, Carbonas, Predator, Vivian Girls, and Useless Eaters. The second is more Atlantacentric and features Derek Lyn Plastic, G.G. King, Gentleman Jesse, Black Lips, and The Barreracudas.

* Step Dads, a new band featuring Derek Lyn Plastic on drums and vocals and Facehugger's Paul Harper and David Spence on guitar and bass, will have their debut 7" released by German label PTrash later this year. A couple of those dudes will also be involved in a 7" by a collective called Magnums once I get a third and fourth song written.

* All this radio talk is not meant to overshadow Knife, Parking Lot Paul, Michelle, and everyone else who contributes to Check them out on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-5 p.m.

K-Holes' return highlights what should be a good show

See local stalworths G.G. King, Brooklyn up-and-comers K-Holes, and The Archrivals with their newest member, Knife, tomorrow night at 529. I really mean it when I say I'm going to be there.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

New Black Tambourine songs?

So says The Washington City Paper. You can probably guess how excited I am that Black Tambourine is returning to vinyl (that compilation most of us probably already own was CD only) if only because they're similar in sound to The Vivian Girls. I've always wanted to get all obnoxious with linked texts just for laughs, so there you go.

Video of the Week: I'm thinking the radio show should start with the album version of this song

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Weekend shows!

This weekend's best bets begins in Athens, were Cars Can Be Blue, the new-look Trashcans, and Pinche Gringo will perform with a Misfits covering mariachi band! I've decided not to make the trek, but anyone who does should have a blast.

I do plan on being at 529 this Saturday for everyone's favorite group of youngsters, Balkans, as they play with Knaves Grave and Class of 2010 presidents The Mermaids.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Participate in the 7 Inch Atlanta Poster Contest!

7 Inch Atlanta Radio should be up and running soon with a weekly one-hour broadcast every Wednesday at 10 p.m. on The Wolf, the University of West Georgia's brand new student-ran radio station. A second hour might be added, but for now I just want a poster or two advertising the hour I currently have scheduled.

There are no prizes in this contest aside from bragging rights and I might just buy you a beer or two if you are a local musician or show-goer.

Email me if you're interested.

P.S. if no one bites I have a backup plan.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Slumber party girl pop from Florida

Artist: Garbo's Daughter
Title: Goes Pop! cassette
Label: Burger Records
Release date: Late 2009
Release number: BRGR-022

Florida-based trio Garbo's Daughter is yet another band that shares my love for 1960's girl groups and Phil Spector (before he shot The Barbarian Queen), as evidenced by their debut four song cassette tape.

The opener, "Private Party," is fun and cute dance pop that will remind you of those big sister slumber party scenes you used to see in movies. It is followed by the delightful "He Makes My Heart Go POP!" which is, as you can probably figure out, a sugary pop 1960's throwback about a boy, complete with an opening sample from some film or TV show that promises the hottest thing since Cher began her solo career.

The last half of this cassette-only EP begins with Spectoresque original "I Only Have Eyes For You" and a cover of the Spector-pinned Crystals classic, "Oh Yeah, Maybe Baby". Both songs are good ones, even if they lack the charm and danceability of the first two tracks.

While The Booze see no point in improving on the near-flawless sounds of the 60's that arrived on our shores from the U.K., these girls are clearly content with celebrating American-bred acts from that decade without adding anything new to the mix. Garbo's Daughter is as good as anyone, including The Flips, when it comes to paying tribute to their pop idols.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Spits draw inspiration from CHiPS

Artist: The Spits
Title: Pain 7"
Label: Slovenly Recordings
Release date: Late 2009

The Spits did more in 2009 than put out one of the year's best long-players. They also put out a 7" dedicated to alleged kiddie fiddler Roman Pulanski with three amazing originals and a cover song lifted from CHiPS.

The cover song, "I Hate Pain" by Pain, is a new one to me. It is best known as the song performed by the generic, angry punk band in the "battle of the bands" episode of CHiPS I just forced myself to watch on YouTube. The best part, aside from Eric Estrada's singing, was when they show this punk girl with a Jack Grisham haircut. Now THAT should be a fad and I will do whatever I can to encourage girls to cop the next governor of California's impeccable style circa 1982.

Back on topic, this song is pretty damn awesome. While most bands turn to Killed By Death compilations when they want to cover obscure songs, The Spits looked to a shitty and slightly homoerotic (says the guy who wrote the previous paragraph) television show for inspiration. In the process, they took a paint-by-numbers punk tune and made it a little more dangerous and a lot more weird.

From there we have a middle finger raised to all authority figures in "Beat You Up", an honest though satirical take on American imperialism in "Army Life" (or, as the record's label calls it, "Army Bound"), and yet another eye to eye with the Apocalypse Spits number in "Planet Failure".

All four songs are awesome, but "Army Life" gets the nod as the best. It's one of the best Spits songs to date, and they've been releasing good ones for almost a decade. It's also the kind of classic punk track that makes you wonder if you should dance and laugh or get off your ass and try to fix this wretched world.

"Marching through the jungles, the desert, and the ice. I probably won't come home, I love the army life!" Sing that to the next old-timer who tells you punk rock is all safe and nice now.

Newz for the Week!

* I guess it's not too soon to let this cat out the bag: I'm getting a radio show, and this time it won't just be a one-off thing. It's going to be with the University of West Georgia's new student-ran online station, The Wolf. I'm going to be able to play vinyl, so there's even more incentive now for folks to send records my way. I'll let everyone know the launch date for the show as soon as it is announced.

* According to The Atlanta Mess-Around's Facebook page: "If you're coming from out of town please go to They're giving 10% off rooms if you say Mess Around to them. They're our sponsor and we love them!" That's good news for all the out-of-towners who want to be part of this huge weekend of live music.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A couple of Star Bar shows for record collector types

I'm thinking about checking out the Jonathan Richman show. Seeing Exene would be awesome, but I'm busy and there's no telling how many times I've seen her live between X, The Original Sinners, and The Knitters.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The first wave of band announcements for this April's Mess Around

Brian at Douchemaster Records has confirmed some big names for this year's Mess Around.
We're doing it again. Two full days of insanity in East Atlanta happening April 23rd and 24th. Limited two day passes are available now here:
More details soon enough, but here's what's happening thus far:

The Urinals
Reigning Sound
Davila 666
Gentleman Jesse & His Men
Ty Segall
GG King
Woven Bones
Wizzard Sleeve
King Louie's Missing Monuments
White Wires
Bad Sports
Georgina Starlington
Bukkake Boys

See you in April!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Potentially awesome show tomorrow at 529

Tomorrow night Ralph, Wild Yaks, and S.S. Knoel (Alex from The Barberries as a one man garage band) are performing at 529. DJ Brandon Static will also be on hand.