Tuesday, March 30, 2010

News and notes

* Brian Nelson from Black Tambourine does what I used to do, apparently, but he works in a big city and not the sticks so he probably makes more than $9 per hour. You can stream the band's new expanded compilation with demos and a couple of new tracks and enter to win a copy on vinyl here.

* Just when you all thought I was going to talk about other bands for a spell, Katy from Vivian Girls decides to unleash on the internet a song from the All Saints Day project she is working on with Cat Power's Gregg Foreman.

* I'm still waiting for The WOLF to have everything in place to run my radio show. Meanwhile, I have finished a second episode that will feature the witty observation that Neon Christ is to the new Alice in Chains lead singer what Vatican Commandos is to Moby.

* Speaking of radio, don't forget to listen to Knife, Michelle, and Parking Lot Paul today from 3-5 p.m.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The show barrage continues

Woven Bones are in Atlanta and are probably on stage right this second, but I'm at home recovering from the weekend.

This will be worth checking out if you are free tomorrow. There will be $1 beers and great tunes because, whether you like his bands or not, you've got to admit Tuk is constantly hitting the grindstone and making things happen in town.If true-blue neo-mods and old school punk and glam revivalists are not your thing, consider going to Athens to see San Francisco's Bare Wires, the debuting Fuzzlers featuring Eddy Peenloon, and The Trashcans at Go Bar.

Well worth $15

Pictures courtesy of Kevin BourkeIt took someone who truly is senational to get many of us to shell out $15 and leave us believing we had gotten our money's worth. King Khan and his Sensational Shrines were up to the task, partly due to assists by The Fresh & Onlys and G.G. King.
G.G. King, as I have said before, seem to land all of the good shows. They've played locally with Jay Reatard twice, both of King Khan's touring acts, and Pierced Arrows, just to name a few, and I would not be surprised if they are curtain-jerking for that Spits/Nobunny show this summer. I'm not complaining because 1) I always have a blast when I see those guys, 2) Greg is keeping it fresh by consistently cranking out new songs, and 3) they always seem to have their best shows when the place is packed to see the headliners.
Though several of my friends had namedropped them recently, I knew next to nothing about The Fresh & Onlys before seeing them live. They were superb, as they have that surfy vibe that's becoming prominent down to a science. Plus, it is way cooler when people who actually live near the beach (see also The Splinters) are the ones whose sound screams sun and fun.
When the Shrines hit the stage, it was like the circus had come to town. One of the most charismatic figures in game was joined on stage by a cheerleader, horn section, and a tight-knit group of German musicians.
As a history student and music nerd, I think it is great to hear a group that embraces both soul and black gospel music, since both genres are branches off of the same traditional African American music tree.
I had heard most of The Shrines' recorded output, I knew they would have a cheerleader, and I knew Khan was a fan of sequins and shark teeth, but I did not expect the on-the-back keyboard solos. What a way to wrap up an awesome three-day stay in town!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Vivian Girls, Wet Dogs, Happy Birthday wow a packed house at 529

Vivian Girls were everything I had hoped for Thursday, as they headlined a stacked bill at 529 that also included local band Gold Ghost, Sub-Pop stars Happy Birthday, and British post-punk minimalists Wet Dog.

Gold Ghost got to play in front of a fairly large crowd, though the dam did not break so the crowd could fully flow in until The Soft Pack show across the street at The Earl was finished. Gold Ghost features Frankie from Balkans on drums and former Facehugger, Ominous Castle, and Abby Go Go member Dan Wakefield as guitarist and lead singer, and if you like those bands, you'll probably dig this as Dan does a fine job as frontman of this experimental, surfy trio (the third member is their friend Rachel on bass).

Between me finally figuring out that King Tuff himself is in the fold and Adrian Barrera raving about the time or three he got to see them at SXSW, I had decided before the show that Happy Birthday would prove themselves to be the second best band on the bill. They delivered, as their set was chock full of songs that make the group sound like a poppier, easier to digest Dinosaur, Jr. One of my friends observed that King Tuff (AKA Kyle Thomas) resembled J. Mascis on stage because of his long, stringy hair. I disagreed, because I thought the stringy hair/baseball cap combo was reminiscent of Knox from The Vibrators.

Batting third was Wet Dog, a group of ladies from England who play really awesome post-punk songs. The best songs were dance-worthy and reminiscent of lady-fronted standards by groups like Delta 5 or The Raincoats. Now that I'm jogging the old memory, I think Wet Dog may have been the second best band of the night.

Between the Wet Dog and Vivian Girls sets, I skillfully maneuvered my way between the people who weren't at the bar or in the dreaded 529 bathroom line so I could be front and center. Though I fashion myself as an amateur photographer and try to get close enough to get shots of my friends' bands, I probably had not positioned myself up front on purpose since I was a little kid making my way past other kids, their moms, and old record collector dudes to get a good look at NOFX. Based on how the crowd was buzzing by this point, I'd venture to say I was not the only jaded, old 529 regular who was suddenly recapturing that feeling we all got when we were first discovering great music and were excited when we got to see one of our favorites live.

Vivian Girls were everything I had dreamed they would be live. They played most of my favorites, including standards like "Wild Eyes" and "Tell The World" and newer favorites like "When I'm Gone" and "Can't Get Over You". My band Magnums started because Derek Lyn Plastic was impressed when he heard me sing along with the latter while driving him around town last fall, and that led to him convincing me we should write some songs together. I made sure the girls knew this story after the show, and set up the conversation by saying, "I know drunk dudes tell you all kinds of things after shows, but I promise you have never heard this one before..."

In case you are wondering what Vivian Girls song would be called "other" on a set list, they have a brand new tune that based on the chorus is called "Other Girls".
The girls all proved to be awesome performers. Katy moves around on stage a lot, plays the tambourine with her face, and even visited the crowd during "Out For The Sun", but throughout it all she came across as graceful and not like the typical antagonistic punk performer. Ali is a really good drummer who plays hard without being reckless and making wacky drummer faces, which makes her the female Dave Rahn. Cassie has one of the most immediately recognizable voices in our little garage rock world and she, like her bandmates, exudes confidence as if she is a seasoned performer though the band really has not been around that long.

I might as well stop beating around the bush and say what I have wanted to say since about 2 a.m. on Friday: people who are hell-bent on proving how cool they are by hating this band are fucking stupid.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

It's a little late in the ballgame to be announcing this...

but this is going on at The Drunken Unicorn in a few hours:
Tonight is a Double Reunion / Benefit show for Gavin C Frederick featuring The Hal Al Shedad (featuring James Joyce of Noot D'Noot and Judi Chicago), Some Soviet Station (featuring Jesse Smith of Gentleman Jesse and His Men) and Rizzudo (who also will be performing Plexorjet songs!)

I doubt I'll go, as I am backstage right now at the King Khan and the Shrines/Fresh and Onlys/G.G. King show waiting for Will Greene to finish his soundcheck so we can continue our oral interview. So far, I've learned that Will as a teenager was in a band with the guy who does Homestar Runner.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Today is the day!!!

That brief showing of excitement is not over midnight screenings of Hot Tub Time Machine (don't even try to pretend like you don't want to see it, too). Vivian Girls are coming to Atlanta, and this time around I'm going to see them.

They aren't coming alone, as they will be joined by King Tuff (triple !!!) and his newest band, Happy Birthday:The whole 90's throwback thing isn't so bad all the time, now is it?

Also on the bill are Wet Dog, who I expect to love, and Gold Ghost, a Balkans offshoot I will finally see live.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Daring, experimental types

Artist: Beaters
Title: White Hate 7"
Label: Zoo Music
Release date: 2009

Also riding into town Thursday to play The Earl with The Soft Pack are Beaters, a rather interesting post-punk group from the San Diego area featuring members of The Sess and, believe it or not, the bass player from West Coast pop powerhouse The Powerchords.

"White Hate" is distorted electro-pop that is less electro and more pop than groups like Josh Fauver's Diet Cola. The flipside, "Venom Warrior", has organ parts that make it seem like a Satanic hymn and the vocals remind me of the frantic freeform jazz stylings of The Pop Group and Rip, Rig, + Panic.

These guys are good, and they have a sound that would make them fit in with some of the more daring and experimental post-punk and art rock bands in town. It's a shame their next trip to Atlanta falls on a night when Vivian Girls and King Tuff's new band are in town.

I'm willing to assume...

the dude you see briefly is King Tuff, which means if they've performed the song with him before, they might do it again in Atlanta. That's almost as cool as having Adrian Barrera rap with your song!

A nod to simpler times

Artist: Vivian Girls
Title: My Love Will Follow Me
Label: Wild World Records
Release date: March 2010

Vivian Girls releasing a great record is so expected by non-haters that at this point it's like tires on a dumptruck, and with their latest single they've churned out two more should-be hits with the help of King Tuff himself.

"My Love Will Follow Me" has done something the songs on Everything Goes Wrong did not do: it takes the girl group harmonies and surf-inspired riffs we've all come to expect from the girls and adds something new to the mix without watering down their can't miss formula.

And what is it that's new? Cassie adds mellow organ parts that will remind you of many of your favorite 60's pop standards or, more recently and locally, some of Gringo Star's earlier songs. The girls also clap along to the chorus of this well-crafted nod to days when simple pop songs like this one ruled the rock and roll world.

The flipside is the band's cover of The Chantels' classic "He's Gone" that has offered as a download across the blogosphere for some time now, and the harmonies sound as beautiful as they did when I posted a link to the song back in January. What many of us didn't know when we were digging this song back in January is that King Tuff (a.k.a. Kyle Thomas) plays guitar on the track. Thomas also recorded both songs at a place called Battleboro House Cartoon. A place called that has to have an interesting back story, right?

One spin of each song will make you realize Thursday cannot come soon enough, as that's the day Vivian Girls and Thomas' newest band, Happy Birthday, will perform at 529 along with Wet Dog and Gold Ghost.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A nice follow-up, with horns!

Artist: The Cute Lepers
Title: Smart Accessories
Label: 1-2-3-4 Go! Records
Release date: January 2010
Vinyl color: There's a couple of colors on the market already and, considering that the first Cute Lepers album is now on glow in the dark vinyl (!), there will probably be several more instances of manufactured scarcity.

Though most fans had already heard five of the 13 tracks long before this one dropped, Smart Accessories is a nice follow-up to The Cute Lepers' near-flawless debut LP.

The title track builds on the band's established powerpop sound by going outside of the box and adding horns. I can't read the man's mind, but I'm willing to assume this winning sound is what Lars Frederiksen was going for when he was inadvertently watering down The Heart Attacks. That's probably comparing apples and oranges since The Heart Attacks were definitely more "power" than "pop", but hearing horns in a punk song that's not wacky, annoying ska always reminds me of the most disappointing songs on Hellbound and Heartless.

Another daring move on part of Steve E. Nix and his bandmates was both recording a song that clocks in at over four minutes in "You Don't Have To Belong To The Religious Right" and releasing that song instead of an easier to digest pop nugget like "Thanks For Not Showing Up" as a single. Steve had a definite political motive when he wrote this one, but that's okay because he's gotten political before with The Briefs. Besides, they can't all be about sun, fun, and girls.

The ones that are about sun, fun, and girls and borrow from the classic sounds of The Buzzcocks, Undertones, and even The Cars won't surprise you, but you are more likely to sing along to them than a four minute diatribe against politically-active Christian sects. These powerpop nuggets include "Fall to Pieces", "Bob Forrest Song", and "No Escape".

This is another strong release that will remind you of some of the stuff you liked as a teenager, so pick up a copy during your next therapeutic record shopping session.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A good starting place for a week of awesome shows

Vivian Girls and King Khan and the Shrines returning to town and Some Soviet Station reforming for one night only are not the only highlights of this week, as this show at 529 should be a good one.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The British are coming!

I haven't promoted any in-town shows this week, partly because so many bands(Coathangers, Barreracudas, Mermaids, etc.) are in Austin at SXSW. Here's a little something, though, that might pique your interest.

This Sunday, March 21, there will be another Soul Spectacular Dance Party in Athens at Ben's Bikes (670 W. Broad St.). The event will kick off around 9 p.m. and will include a home-cooked meal, DJs Mahogany and Kurt Wood, the Eye Gate light show, a keg and punch, and, for the first time in Soul Spectacular Dance Party history, live music by UK-based garage rockers Thee Vicars. This will be part of a two-night-stand for Thee Vicars, as they will be in Atlanta Saturday for the Fringe Factory 2nd Anniversary Party on Spring St.

Join The Professionals Today

Here's something a little more serious from the Facebook front. Commander Paul Collins wants you in The Beat Army, so enlist today. Collins, who has to be considered an honorary Atlantan at this point, will be back in town next month for the Mess Around.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

More lightning from Useless Eaters' bottle

Artist: Useless Eaters
Title: Sucked In
Label: Goner Records
Release date: 2009

Memphis' youngest and brightest star, Seth Sutton, shines on this release by the city's most ballyhooed label.

The A-side, "Sucked In", is a Killed By Death style punk stomper with traces of surf guitar and ranted yet creative lyrics. This, like "Hear/See", sounds like it could have been written and recorded by someone who could have opened for The Germs or Screamers, though Sutton was not even alive when those bands were scaring the shit out of the West Coast.

The main difference between "Sucked In" and "Hear/See" is the Goner single has better B-sides than Sutton's Shattered Records release. Both songs tackle pretty standard punk song topics without sounding like something you have heard way too many times. "Malfunction" is the newest in a long line of quality punk songs about mindless drones. "My Help" is about clingly acquaintances, and when Sutton says "That's right" at the end of the chorus, he kind of sounds like his old bass player, Jay Reatard.

Sutton really has lightning in a bottle with this band. Anyone who can consistently be minimalist without sounding like shit, write angry songs without being shouty, and experiment in the bedroom (so to speak) without fucking up his sound has lightning in a bottle. I don't want to call him the next Spits or Jay Reatard, but young Mr. Sutton certainly has all the tools to become a modern garage-punk mainstay.

The 7" Atlanta mascot, perhaps?

Befriend this guy! I figure I might get confused with him by someone at some point, so it is in my best interest to find him some fans. (For random people arriving via a Google Search for "Bukkake parties Atlanta" and "What does 7 inches look like" (this site really has been accessed from Google via those search terms), the unfunny joke here is my name is Bobby Moore).

If Bobby Moore: Elvis Impersonator has a shitload of fans, then people who confuse him with me will think the blog, radio show, thesis project, future band, etc. are all popular and therefore should be embraced and loved.

If he doesn't get more than 14 fans, then the best I can hope for is sympathy when people think grad school has aged my appearance by a couple of decades.

B-b-b-bobby knows best!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

RIP Alex Chilton

Jeggings? Ha, those girls are silly!

The Coathangers are tour tweeting as opposed to tour blogging. They are currently in Austin and will be keeping us updated via camera phone pictures.

North Trolls are worth championing, while Wrister is one 90's throwback that is not embarassing

Artist: Wrister and North Trolls
Title: Split 7"
Label: No Breaks Records
Release date: 2009
Vinyl color: Mine is gray-ish

This single, which came out last year on locally-based No Breaks Records, features a couple of house show circuit mainstays.

The two songs provided by Wrister are, as someone from Razorcake has pointed out, reminiscent of groups from the 90's like Hot Water Music who took their anthemic punk jams to living rooms and basements long before they began garnering more widespread attention. If you can revisit without blushing stuff you liked in high school aside from that Christian ska phase I assume we all went through, then "Nanners" and "What Goes Down" might be up your alley.

I've been championing The North Trolls since I saw them about a year ago at Lenny's with Jacuzzi Boys, Woven Bones, and The Barreracudas, and their three songs further cement their spot as one of the most underappreciated bands in town. The instantly catchy "When I Get Home" and "Hello Mason" remind me of The Goodnight Loving's faster, more punk sounding songs. "Cheap Drugs" combines the band's senses of humor and pop sensibilities well enough that this could pass as a demo by The Vandals. These three songs alone make this single well worth $5.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

No radio show this week, but I've found something to hold you over

Whoa. I'll be swimming in this ocean of obscure goodness all Spring Break long. Well, this and some guy-fronted stuff I've got on my "To Review List".

Final blues-blazing bow by CPC Gangbangs

Artist: CPC Gangbangs
Title: Kill Yourself For Rock and Roll 7"
Label: Dusty Medical Records
Release date: Late 2009

This release was apparently the last hurrah for CPC Gangbangs. If that's true, this rowdy group of Canadian garage standouts left us with guns blazing.

The opener, "Kill Yourself For Rock and Roll", starts off sounding like a mix between electric blues and early 80's California punk. After an instrumental opening that clocks in at over 1:20, two vocalists who sound like they are singing at each other from different rooms chime in and the song kicks into high gear.

"Big City Blues" lives up to its name, as it makes the band sound like a charmingly shitty version of Z.Z. Top. I bet Shitty Z.Z. Top is not taken as a band name, even if Shitty Beach Boys is.

I surprisingly have not heard any other CPC Gangbangs releases, not even their Die Slaughterhaus single, so I can't really compare it to their early offerings. I can say this is an interesting single that displays a band combining tried and true influences to make music that sounds refreshingly original.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A busy and worthwhile weekend with Pierced Arrows, Ex-Humans

The pre-SXSW fun continued this weekend, as the legendary Pierced Arrows and yet another former Atlantan and current Brooklynite put on solid performances on consecutive nights.

On Saturday, I went to Lenny's for the first time since that abortion I helped book last summer after attending a relaxing front yard barbecue at Jared Swilley's Cabbagetown home.

The headliners Saturday were Pierced Arrows, featuring a couple of living legends in Fred and Toody Cole. The band is Dead Moon with a different drummer, though their best crowd pleasers are Dead Moon songs. I'm not going to pretend to know a lot about the Dead Moon/Pierced Arrows back catalogs, but I can say I left Lenny's as a believer who had just witnessed an immaculate rock and roll experience. I don't know if that was one of their better shows, as I have nothing to compare it to, but when it comes to energy and execution, Saturday made it seem like Pierced Arrows achieve King Khan levels of amazing with their live shows.

Before Pierced Arrows hit the stage, Atlanta's long-running living jukeboxes, The Forty-Fives, were also crowd pleasers. Their set included old hits that have stood the test of time and a cover of "The Kids Are Alright" by The Who.

Opening was G.G. King, who seems to get booked with all the top-tier out-of-towners (see the most recent and upcoming King Khan appearance in Atlanta and Jay Reatard's final trip to town). Seeing Greg time and time again does not get monotonous, as he is constantly writing new songs. There were so many newbies on the set list that familiar favorites like "Drug Zoo" were forsaken. I don't think they played "Witching Hour", either, but that's okay as you will all be hearing it soon on my radio show.

After spending the greater part of Sunday at David Spence's house watching weird videos (Jason Priestly as a cartoon eagle in an NRA safety video was my favorite) and writing a couple of Magnums songs, I ventured over to 529 to see Ex-Humans. I sadly missed Radio Nowhere and a touring band, but I showed up in time to hear all of my favorite Customers tunes and their cover of Roky Erickson's "White Faces". Who is it that for months has been calling them early Replacements as a Roky Erickson tribute act? That's way better than the generic stuff I usually say when describing a band, and it turns out I was more right than I realized.

The main eventers and closers of a wild weekend was ex-Carbona Josh Martin and the Ex-Humans. Their growing list of solid punk songs has me anxious for their LP, which apparently is being mixed by Dave Rahn. Their set seemed brief, but that's probably because it was a Sunday and we all had to be out of the club by midnight.

I've got a busy week and a trip to see relatives in the near future, so it was good to have that much fun in Atlanta before a necessary short break from show-going. I'll be back in time for Vivian Girls, of course.

Download Scramble for free!

Most of you have probably had a copy, digital or otherwise, since it was released last April, but if you don't own The Coathangers' delightful Scramble album, you can download it for free, courtesy of Suicide Squeeze Records.

Thanks to Grrrl Sounds for posting this.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Girls At Dawn, Predator kick off their mini-tour in style

Predator, who I am starting to consider the best Atlanta band that still plays most of their shows in town, and Brooklyn's Girls At Dawn kicked off a short trek to SXSW Thursday at 529 with a fun show that was packed though Leatherface was playing elsewhere in town.

I was really excited about seeing The Girls At Dawn and their garage punk take on the timeless girl group formula. They did not let me down, as they put on a good set anchored by the tracks we all know from their first two releases and some similar-sounding new songs. Here's one of those songs we all know from the band's Hozac debut, though honestly the one song I filmed was the weakest of the night.

Most of us know drummer Sarah Baldwin from her days as an Atlantan. Her bandmates are Ana Economu, the daughter of one of The Effegies:
That probably makes some of you record-collector dudes feel old.

The third TGAD member is Erin Campbell:
Hurry back to Atlanta, girls.

Though Worn in Red and Dinosaur Feathers also performed Wednesday, I'm going to skip ahead and talk about Predator. I think I've drilled home the point by now that they are consistently awesome, and Atlanta is starting to take notice based on the sizable crowd that stuck around all night.

My only complaint is that Predator as headliner means there sometimes will be a few stray, drunk jocks in the crowd swinging elbows and basically proving that agressive music can bring out the worst in some people. This is not the 1980's and shows are about having fun with friends and getting drunk. Keep your macho bullshit to yourself, especially nowadays when there are more girls front and center at shows than there would have been in the dumb ole days.

I'm not trying to be a wet blanket. as I know that slamming or moshing or whatever you want to call it can be fun when my glasses are tucked away in a safe place, but some people don't understand how to feed off a band's energy without being dicks in the process.

Now that I'm off my soapbox, I'm going to wish Predator luck in Austin. Rock their faces off, Mike.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The launch date is set

Tune in Wednesday, March 17, at 10 p.m. to www.westga.edu/TheWOLF to hear the first ever episode of 7 Inch Atlanta Radio! If you can't listen on Wednesdays, tune in to the replay each Sunday at 10 p.m.

The SXSW parade, plus an appearance by garage punk legends

It's that time of year again. Many of our New York friends in the coming week will be passing through town on their way to SXSW. Former Atlantan Sarah Baldwin and The Girls at Dawn are one of those groups, as they will play Thursday at 529 with Predator and a couple of out of town acts that likely are also on their way to Texas. I've given the first two Girls at Dawn releases positive reviews, and I can't wait to see what they bring to the live stage.
On Saturday, The Pierced Arrows (formerly Dead Moon) will share the Lenny's stage (haven't mentioned that place in a while) with G.G. King and The Forty-Fives.
Finally, Ex-Humans, featuring former Carbonas guitarist Josh Martin, will play what I'm willing to assume is the first Sunday show at 529 with local bands The Customers and Biters (who aren't listed on the poster but apparently are slated to perform).

Three can't miss shows in a can't afford to go to all of them ecomony!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Reading Rainbow split with a future hype band

Artist: Eternal Summers/ Reading Rainbow
Title: Summer Reading
Label: Chimney Sweep Records
Release date: 2009

Here's another release worth owning by the newest band I champion, Philadephia's Reading Rainbow. It's a split from last year with Eternal Summers, an indie pop duo that have all the tools to become one of this year's hype bands.

Eternal Summers, a guy/girl two-piece from Virginia, are my favorite new discovery since I first heard the other band on this split 7". They play dreamy, beach-inspired indie pop that's stripped down out of necessity and not as a musical statement. That is to say I think this band will sound more polished when the big indie labels come calling before the end of the year.

On this release, both members split vocal duties. Nicole, the guitarist, sings lead on the entrancing "Secret Language" and while drummer Daniel sings the equally beautiful "Electric Blue". Mixing beach vibes with psychedelic pop qualifies as a trend by this point, and Eternal Summers are as good at spreading sun and fun as anyone.

The Reading Rainbow side begins with the stripped down arthouse punk of "Be Who I See" and ends with a real gem in "Be My Sunrise". The latter is a beautifully bizarre amalgam of 60's pop, The Velvet Underground, and comparable new bands like Brilliant Colors. This is less bare bones than the other Reading Rainbow recordings I've heard, as there is an organ solo, though primitive drumming is still the band's backbone.

Bukkake Boys are back, and this time they're really pissed

Artist: Bukkake Boys
Title: Bukkake Boys E.P.
Label: Sorry State Records
Release date: Early 2010
Vinyl color: A few of them were on white vinyl

Atlanta's Bukkake Boys are back with their second 7", and there's a one in six chance they are pissed off at you.

Of the seven songs, all but "No Sleep", which I assume is about life on the road, is a blast of anger at elitists, selfish assholes, personal space invaders, fake bitches, nice people playing safe music, and those who "follow the leader/find a new trend". Had they not left out frat boys they'd have all their bases covered.

I'm not well-versed in hardcore at all, but I do know these guys capture the balls-out energy of the subgenre while swapping a political platform or apocalyptic visions for rants about personal freedom and observations about everyday shitty stuff. The music will make you want to break everything that isn't tied down, but the lyrics will make you think about what pisses you off or, if you catch yourself going along with the program, they will make you wonder why you don't get pissed off at yourself.

I agree with "fuck you trends", but after you hear this one, angst will hopefully be "in".

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Predator headlines raucous night of local punk and hardcore

Last night's show at 529 featuring local punk powerhouses Predator and Bukkake Boys and relatively new acts Ralph and The Bums did not suffer from a lack of attendance or audience participation despite the fact that Man Or Astroman? were performing to a packed house in nearby Roswell.

The Bums kicked things off, as this group of Savage Pizza employees put on a surprisingly good show. They look and sound like they would have opened at 688 instead of 529 if the older guys in the band had hooked up a couple of decades earlier, as their mix of classic American influences like The Stooges and Johnny Thunders reminds me a little of some of the older Atlanta bands I have been digesting lately. There were a couple of familiar faces in the band, including one of The Luchagors, and they had a lead singer who acted batshit crazy and freaked out middle age women and large metal dudes alike. I, for one, would love to see this guy in a less-controlled house show environment.

Ralph was on second, and they played no frills hardcore with angry lyrics and no idle chatter in between songs. The pit came alive for the first time during the set, and the crowd was only getting warmed up.

Bukkake Boys played next, and they showed no stage rust from their recent hiatus. Ralph was unquestionably awesome, but Bukkake Boys were faster, louder, and angrier. Their energy was swiftly channelled by the audience, which led to stage diving and a giant plastic trashcan getting tossed onto the stage and then back out into the crowd. It was crazy. It was bedlam. It was motherfucking punk rock in its purest form. The next time Bukkake Boys play at the tiny 529 venue, go. It'll be the best 21+ hardcore show you'll see in this city. If you're under 21, get a fake (just kidding) or keep an eye out for Wells Street Warehouse flyers.

Predator closed out the night with yet another strong set. The grown-up hardcore kids who likely came out to see Ralph stuck around the whole night, and they were not finished having a rowdy good time. Mike, Brannon, and John provided the perfect soundtrack for the last round of poetic chaos in motion.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A guy/girl reverb shower

Artist: Reading Rainbow
Title: Restless 7"
Label: Zoo Music
Release date: Late 2009

Here we are in March, and I'm still discovering awesome releases from 2009. The latest keeper from yesteryear to arrive in the mail was Reading Rainbow's "Restless" 7", from San Diego's Zoo Music label.

Reading Rainbow is a guy and girl two-piece, kinda like Cars Can Be Blue but with lots of reverb and, based on this release, fewer penis jokes. The Philadelphia-based duo likely has a juvenile sense of humor we can all appreciate, though, as their MySpace URL is the guffaw-inducing www.myspace.com/levarmotherfuckingburton.

"Restless" is the perfect mix of pop vocals and reverb-drenched noise rock, reminiscent of Dum Dum Girls' recent "Jail La La" single. It shares the A-side with "Into the Void", a fast-driving song where some of the vocals sound like harmonized incantations.

The B-side is a cover of The Velvet Underground's "Stephanie Says" that is true to both the original and the band's own sonic vision. Had The Velvet Underground fit the near-meaningless term "post-punk" instead of fitting the stupid-sounding yet meaningful "protopunk" label, their earliest demos might have sounded like this.

So that's where it's at...

The Bukkake Boys are back, and so are The Woggles

Atlanta's best hardcore band ,Bukkake Boys, will return to the local stage Friday at 529 when they share the stage with Predator and Ralph. Ruby, the Bukkake Boys' lead singer, has been studying abroad, and I'm pretty sure this is their first Atlanta show since he came back to the states. They've played out of town since their singer's return, as shown on this random Flickr account.

Local garage legends The Woggles will be playing in Athens the next night along with my Trashcans pals and The Nairobi Trio, a band featuring Woggles guitarist Jeff Walls and ex-members of Hillbilly Frankenstein. The free event, which doubles as a birthday bash, will also feature ex-Woggle Kurt Wood and graphic designer Devlin Thompson DJing and visually stimulating awesomeness provided by the Eye Gate Lightshow crew. If that's not enough, there will be kegs, booze, and birthday cake. I haven't been told the exact address, but I do know it's going down near the Broad St.-Church St. intersection.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Newish bands and a new mixtape

Gold Ghost are one of the more promising new bands out there and feature some familiar faces like Frankie from Balkans, El Fossil are a surf-influenced powerhouse, and Wymyn's Prysyn are apparently a Hawks side project. I can't make it, but someone should go and take my place. All you'll have to do is stand around with your hands in your pocket.

Speaking of those Balkans kids, they have just released their
second monthy mixtape. If it is anything like the first mixtape, it'll be a glimpse at the band's songbirthing process.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The first Atlanta punk music video? Plus random musings about Standard Deviations

Whether The Restraints was the first Atlanta punk band is up for debate, but I'd be willing to say this is the first Atlanta punk music video. Lead singer Chris Wood was a small yet larger than life man who brought over the top antics to Atlanta stages long before the Renegades/Black Lips and friends. This ain't quite Neon Christ or Anti-Heros, or even DDT for that matter, but it's still exciting to see how things looked and hear how things sounded on the ground level.

Here's a slightly more exciting live clip from what I am willing to assume is the release party for 1980's Standard Deviations compilation of early Atlanta punk bands that featured The Restraints, Swimming Pool Qs, KAO4S, The Basics (who rock), Operator, and No Exit. There are still sealed copies of this compilation at Wax N' Facts, or at least there were a few late last year. You'll have to ask for it if you're interested because they keep them upstairs.

I've got to read and write about early Atlanta punk for a chapter of my thesis, so I'll post stuff like a Standard Deviations review if anyone is interested in knowing more about these bands.

Everything well-aged is new again

One thing I learned Saturday from Josh Fauver is that the CDs that come with a couple of Army of Bad Luck releases are enhanced and contain more than lossy digital tracks.

The SIDS "Kandy Kane" 7" features some fun and bizarre pictures, like these:

They apparently made a stop at my birthplace, Rome, Georgia, when the band was still active. Talk about taking civilization to the barbarians.*

The free CD that came with Finally Punk's Casual Goths LP is also enhanced. It features videos ranging from clips of the girls playing a show on a bus to clips of them tasting wine, skinny dipping, and walking a cat on a leash.

I'm probably the only one who hadn't figured out that these releases include bonus content. Still, this is cool stuff.

* Just kidding.