Wednesday, January 31

Ideal Free Distribution CD available now

I first posted morsels from Ideal Free Distribution back in April '06, and in the meantime they have recorded, mastered, and officially released their self-titled debut album (with Apples in Stereo/Marbles/Ulysses mastermind Robert Schneider tweaking knobs). It came out yesterday on Happy Happy Birthday To Me (who I swear aren't paying me for all this promo lately) and is now shipping.

The band traces its roots back nearly a decade, and at least one song on the album has been a work in progress for nearly half that time. Ideal Free Distribution are from Lexington, Kentucky, and play a throwback brand of psychedelic pop. With its retro leanings, this is an album that seems as if it's proper medium would be vinyl spinning at 33 1/3 RPM rather than a shiny plastic disc. The band skillfully navigates the sonic landscape explored decades before by The Kinks, The Byrds, The Yardbirds, and other such rock royalty. In fact, the gallery of influences on their MySpace page resembles what could easily be a psych-pop wing of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The opening "Apples and Oranges" and "Saturday Drive" sound as fresh (though retro) as they did when I first heard them months ago. Several songs are also obviously inspired by the current state of world politics, with "The American Myth" and "Red Letter Days" most explicitly express frustration with the current political situation. However, the lyrical content is not solely focused on matters of war, peace, and politics. "Nine on a Side" seems more concerned with The National Pastime than more serious matters, and notably also features some of the album's spaciest moments (along with a fat bassline, harpsichord, and sitar). The bouncy "Mr. Wilson" and rocker "Son of a Gun" also strike me as standout tracks.

"New Madrid, 1811" wins my heart not just because it is both menacing and melodic, but also because it references the famous New Madrid Earthquake. My affection isn't as morbid as it may seem -- I spent my high school years living in the New Madrid Seismic Zone well aware of the massive earthquake nearly two centuries prior. Here are two tracks from the Ideal Free Distribution for your listening pleasure:

Ideal Free Distribution - New Madrid, 1811
Ideal Free Distribution - Apples and Oranges

You can visit the band's official site or MySpace page for more info, and their CD can be purchased from HHBTM via mail order.

Ideal Free Distribution has also done a music video for "New Madrid, 1811" posted here thanks to Google Video:



Not a bad way to end the month, eh?

Items of interest...

Long Knives play Drunken Unicorn tonight, Jan. 31, with Warm in the Wake. $5 gets you in.

Pitchfork has pics up from the Annuals set at Variety Playhouse.

Sunset Rubdown will be in Atlanta for a show at Drunken Unicorn on April 30. More dates at Pitchfork.

Preliminary work is underway on a remake of the classic 1968 oddity Barbarella, which wasn't really much more than a vehicle for Jane Fonda to run around wearing very little for 94 minutes. Here's hoping the villain is still Duran Duran.

You know, The Dears kinda look like...

So, I saw Montreal's The Dears last Friday night. I enjoyed myself, but my mind started to wander late in the set. For whatever reason, I kept thinking that the bass player looked familiar. Then, it hit me. He looked just like the dude from The Puffy Chair. In fact, I noticed the whole band kinda looked like other folks. Here's what I came up with:


Guitarist/vocalist Murray Lightburn and Tricky


Keyboardist/vocalist Natalia Yanchak and Marvel Comics' Silver Sable


Keyboardist/vocalist Valerie Jodoin-Keaton and Winona Ryder


Guitarist Patrick Krief and Dan Bejar of Destroyer


Bassist Martin Pelland and actor Mark Duplass


Drummer George Donoso and The Lead Sixth Grader (from South Park)

I could probably use better ones for Murray and Valerie. More suggestions?

The Dears - Who Are You, Defenders of the Universe
The Dears - Bandwagoneers

Tuesday, January 30

King of Prussia - Save the Scene

Despite their name, King of Prussia are from neither northern Germany nor suburban Philadelphia. They also aren't kin to Wilson of Gamehendge fame. They are, rather, products of the amazing musical hotbed that is Athens. Fans of the Elephant 6 collective may have caught wind of the band recently when some its members played an R.E.M. tribute show alongside some e6 stalwarts.

The band has just released its debut album, Save the Scene, and after listening to it a handful of times I suggest that C&T's readers check it out as well. While it is only 7 tracks long, it is interesting throughout and a nice first taste of the band. One cool aspect of it, to my ears anyway, is that it feels as if it is constructed in three segments -- a trio of pop songs, a transition track incorporating country elements, and a closing movement of more introspective and subdued material. While that may not seem to be recipe for a cohesive release, it really does work. If nothing else, it showcases the variety of directions King of Prussia is capable of going with satisfying results. It's my first exposure to the band, and I'm enthused.

Whimsical romp "Spain the Summertime" sounds at times like it could have been plucked from a classic jangle-pop album by an act like The Turtles or Herman's Hermits. "Misadventures of the Campaign Kids" and "Shades of Hippiedom" are, on the other hand, decidedly in the mold of modern indie pop though clearly influenced by the band's predecessors. "Misadventures..." also name-drops Tony Danza, which has got to be worth something.

Other tracks ("Cheerleaders" and "Terrarium") have an Americana flair, incorporating slide guitar and banjo, while "The Doctor and the Mathematicians" and "Phyzics Never Understood" feature piano and are more sullen in both lyrical content and tone. Here are two tracks from King of Prussia's Save the Scene:

King of Prussia - Misadventures of the Campaign Kids
King of Prussia - Terrarium

The band has just made the album available to order via their MySpace page, where you can pick it up for $8. You can find their tourdates there as well, including a February 21 date at the Caledonia Lounge in Athens. I'm told the band is also shopping for a label to do a wider release of Save the Scene, so if you can hook 'em up please do drop them a line.

Monday, January 29

C&T = 1


Almost forgot -- C&T is one year old today. My goodness. Here's what I said in the first post:

I really just want an outlet where I can share things I like and distribute my concert recordings. Expect a heavy focus on Atlanta/Athens area stuff and other fun indie tidbits.

Sounds about right, I'd say, although the distribution of concert recordings has decreased as my workload and bandwidth limitations have increased.

Thanks to everyone who visits, comments, links, whatever. Without you guys it wouldn't be any fun. I'm headed to see Jeff Tweedy tonight, so I'll be celebrating in style. Yay!

Sunday, January 28

Casper & The Cookies 12-16-2006 @ Ultra Mod, Athens


Because I'm a completely irresponsible Georgia blogger, I neglected to mention all last week that Athens band Casper & The Cookies is currently featured on Daytrotter. You can download a few exclusive tracks there from the band there.

On a (very) related note, I spent part of my Sunday converting the December 16, 2006, Casper & The Cookies show from the Ultra Mod in Athens. This set closed out the evening at a Happy Happy Birthday to Me party (following Titans of Filth, Visitations, Marshmallow Coast, Russian Spy Camera, and Velcro Stars) celebrating both the holiday season and the birthday of label boss Mike "Twee Diddy" Turner. I hope Mike doesn't ban me from future mail orders/shows for printing that nickname.

Casper & The Cookies concluded the evening by playing a set of covers and debuting a brand new Xmas song they'd written the week before. Some were more polished than others, but it was a lot of fun. Here's the setlist along with a few downloadable songs from my recording:

Casper & The Cookies
December 16, 2006
Ultra Mod Compound, Athens, GA

Taped: SP-CMC4s > battery box > Creative Nomad JB3
Converted: JB3 > Dell Inspiron 6000 > Cool Edit Pro 2.0 > CD Wave Editor > mkwACT > .mp3

Sweet Pea (Tommy Roe cover)
Cherry Bomb (Joan Jett cover)
This Ain't No Picnic (Minutemen cover)
Do It Clean (Echo and the Bunnymen cover)
I'm a Boy (The Who cover)
Happy Birthday
Way I Feel Inside (Zombies cover; aborted)
Way I Feel Inside (The Zombies cover)
Are You Receiving Me? (XTC cover)
Sweet Transvestite (from The Rocky Horror Picture Show)
Fuck Me Beneath the Christmas Tree*

*tech difficulties with mic at start; sorta falls apart at end

If you like, you can download the full set from either SendSpace.com or Megaupload. If one craps out, please try the other. If there's interest in a lossless (.flac) version of the show, please let me know.

Casper & The Cookies play at Caledonia Lounge on February 3 (with Russian Spy Camera and How I Became the Bomb) then go on tour with Apples in Stereo. Tourdates are available on their MySpace page. Their albums Oh! and The Optimist's Club are available from HHBTM.

Bonus mp3:
Casper & The Cookies - Sid from Central Park

Thursday, January 25

Atlanta/Athens concert info

Just some quick tidbits, mostly in chronological order...

The Features, Wax Fang, and Luigi are playing a free show at The EARL on Saturday, January 27. I hope to be there.

The Features - The Beginning (week one)
Luigi - Mariposa

Georgia Fireflies will play the Aurora Coffee location in the Virginia Highlands at around 8pm on Saturday, January 27. It's free, too.

C&T local faves The Preakness have a 4-song 7" release at the presses right now, and they'll be playing a free acoustic show at Aurora Coffee in Atlanta's Little 5 Points on Sunday afternoon (about 5pm).

The Preakness - What They're Saying (demo)

Ice Cream Socialists have just booked a headlining gig at the 40 Watt in Athens on Thursday, February 1. Don't know who else is on the bill, but that should be fun.

Ice Cream Socialists - Day of the Danny

The Feb. 3 Yo La Tengo show at Variety Playhouse and the March 14 Band of Horses/Cary Ann Hearst [love her!]/Arizona show at The EARL are nearly sold out. If you want tix, buy 'em soon. I just bought mine for Band of Horses, et al., but I'll probably miss Yo La Tengo to go see How I Became the Bomb that night in Athens.

Yo La Tengo - Beanbag Chair
Band of Horses - Funeral
Cary Ann Hearst - Dust & Bones
Arizona - Splintering

Madeline will be playing a CD release show for The Slow Bang at the 40 Watt on February 3. I'm gonna try to go catch her set after seeing How I Became the Bomb at Caledonia. Thank God downtown Athens is pretty small.

Madeline - I Left the Light On

The Black Lips and Dark Meat have scheduled shows together at the Bottletree in Birmingham (Feb. 22), Whirlyball in Atlanta (Feb. 23), and the 40 Watt in Athens (Feb. 24). This strikes me as the kind of genius that put peanut butter together with chocolate. You know those will be wild.

Black Lips - Not a Problem
Dark Meat - Dead Man

Of course, Jeff Tweedy is in town at The Tabernacle on Monday, January 29. That's C&T's first birthday, so there will be reason to celebrate beyond it being my first Tweedy solo show.

Jeff Tweedy - Is That the Thanks I Get? (live)

Now, go see some live music.

Of Montreal all over the map

These tracks have been featured on C&T before, but it seems a good time to make them available again. Why? Well, the blogosphere is having a huge collective orgy over the new Of Montreal album. I couldn't be more delighted.

Of Montreal apparently love covers -- they've released an EP of them, done an entire show at the 40 watt devoted to them, and have played the songs of folks from The Beatles to Gnarls Barkley in their live show. Here are a couple of covers I taped them playing at the February 11, 2006, show (at Atlanta's Variety Playhouse) along with a Velvet Underground cover from an out-of-print Japanese release. If you don't have these yet, enjoy!

Of Montreal - The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch [Brian Eno cover; 2-11-2006]
Of Montreal - Tired of Waiting for You [The Kinks cover; live 2-11-2006]
Of Montreal - She's My Best Friend [VU cover; from Rabid Chords Vol. 2]

Now, for the regular visitors who already do have those tracks, here are a couple new to the ol' rotation. I don't know when or where I got these, but they're pretty damn fun:

Of Montreal - Where Eagles Dare [Misfits cover]
Of Montreal - Crazy [Gnarls Barkley cover; live]

If you wanna see them pull some crazy stuff in front of your own eyes, see 'em live. Tour dates are up on MySpace. They put on one hell of a show.

If you'd like to hear 'em do David Bowie's "Moonage Daydream" head over to Funeral Pudding or You Ain't No Picasso.

Wednesday, January 24

The Dears & Annuals at Variety Playhouse on Friday

The Dears

Annuals

This Friday night at Variety Playhouse promises to be one heck of a show. Montreal's The Dears and Raleigh, North Carolina, band Annuals share the stage. By all accounts, both are great live bands touring to support very good albums. The Dears' Gang of Losers and Annuals' Be He Me each hit U.S. shelves back in October. Annuals also release a UK-only EP titled Big Zeus next Monday (1/29).

The pop/rock stylings of The Dears conjure thoughts of Blur or The Smiths at times, but also incorporate interesting instrumentation and soaring crescendos. Pitchfork name-dropped Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, and Animal Collective to characterize the sound of Annuals. While I'm not inclined to such hyperbole, they do strike me as a saner, more polished version of Ace Fu labelmates Man Man. However you want to describe them, I'll be there.

The Dears - Who Are You, Defenders of the Universe [from No Cities Left]
Annuals - Brother [from Be He Me]

Tickets to the Variety Playhouse show are available online.

Tour dates for both The Dears and Annuals are online at their respective sites.

No postage required

Some interesting things from my inbox, with very brief descriptions:

Peter Bjorn and John - Young Folks [great Swedish pop; U.S. release Feb. 6]
Lost in the Trees - Tall Trees [awesome pop with strings]
The Basement - Do You Think You're Movin' On? [Irish Americana]
Berg Sans Nipple - Mystic Song [Electronica-tinged pop]
MSTRKRFT - Street Justice [big fat dance music]
Mezzanine Owls - Lightbulb [moody indie]
Bracken - Heathens [dream pop]
Boredoms - Jungle Taitei [Japanese noise]

Have a great Hump Day!

Tuesday, January 23

Of Montreal - New album and EP

As I imagine many C&T readers are aware, Tuesday was a big day for new releases. I picked up my new Shins CD, and I've had the new full-length from Of Montreal since I got a review copy (complete with its awesome packaging) from a local record store a week or so ago.

Something that has received less attention is that Of Montreal has released not only a new album, but also a new limited release EP. Titled Icons, Abstract Thee, they will be selling this EP on the current tour as long as they last. However, if you'd like to play it safe or are simply eager to hear it before they come through your town you can also order it direct from Polyvinyl for $6.

Here are mp3's from both Hissing Fauna and Icons, Abstract Thee to check out:

from Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?:
Of Montreal - Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse

from Icons, Abstract Thee:
Of Montreal - Du Og Meg

Polyvinyl is also selling a killer bundle of *seven* albums by Of Montreal for only $50. If you need to catch up on the band's back catalog, that's a great opportunity.

Their current tour dates are on their MySpace, as is the video for "Heimsdalgate Like a Promethean Curse."

Bonus mp3:
The Shins - Phantom Limb [from Wincing the Night Away]
Of Montreal - So Begins Our Alabee [from The Sunlandic Twins]
Of Montreal - Disconnect the Dots [from Satanic Panic in the Attic]

Chainestereo - "Magnetic South"

Photo by Katie Bricker

Damn, do I live in a cool place. I recently picked up the debut EP by Atlanta/Athens band Chainestereo (apparently pronounced 'shin-stereo') at Criminal Records, and I've been enjoying it immensely. I haven't seen these guys live yet, but they just played the Confessions of a Music Addict showcase last weekend and I expect they'll continue to get more attention in the future.

I'm told they're a young quartet, and I know they play a catchy brand of garage pop that reminds one of the very bands they list as influential on their MySpace page -- The Kinks, The Pixies, The Replacements, etc.

Given their current EP is a mere 6 tracks and I'd rather not give away too much of it, here's the opener titled "Magnetic South." It's probably a good introduction to them given what I have heard.

Chainestereo - Magnetic South

You can hear additional tracks on their MySpace including the standout "Appomattox" and the unreleased "Zombie Soiree." The digital version of the album and some B-sides are available from Disc Revolt. Hard copies can be purchased from Criminal Records in Atlanta. If you're not in town, you might get ahold of them by phone or email to pick one up. I bet they'll help you out.

Cake - "War Pigs"

Not much commentary needed for this one -- Cake has released a cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" for download via their webpage. All the more appropriate with the State of the Union address this evening, it seems.

Cake - War Pigs [Black Sabbath cover]

Thanks to I am Fuel, You are Friends for the heads-up.

ELSEWHERE...

The 2007 State of the Union drinking game is online.

Oscar nominations came out today. There are a couple of best picture nominees I haven't seen yet ("Babel" and "Letters from Iwo Jima"), so I'll have to get on that.

The nominees for the Golden Rasberry Awards for Hollywood's worst are out as well. Thankfully, I haven't seen a single one of these duds.

Monday, January 22

The Eames Era

I first posted about Baton Rouge quintet The Eames Era nearly a year ago when they came to Atlanta (fun show, btw), but it's time to do so again. Why? They have a new album, Heroes and Sheroes, due out April 17.

The Eames Era is an indie pop/rock band that some label as twee, but I'm not sure I buy it. There's just a bit too much swagger in vocalist Ashlin Phillips for me to lump them in that category, but I can also see where it might be appropriate. Their pop songs are full of sweet hooks and jangly guitar along with vocals about life and love.

Here are a few tracks from Heroes and Sheroes to whet your appetite:
The Eames Era - Last to Know
The Eames Era - Both Hands Full
The Eames Era - When You Were a Millionaire

The album is not yet available for sale, but should soon be through the band's website.

If you're more the visual type, they also have some videos on their site.

Bonus mp3 (from their 2005 release, Double Dutch, available now):
The Eames Era - Year of the Waitress
The Eames Era - Go to Sleep

Sunday, January 21

Long Knives



This post doesn't give a lot of advance notice for their show at Atlanta's Eyedrum tonight (Jan. 21), but I wanted to be sure and introduce C&T's readers to Long Knives. I first learned of them through Brandon Arnold of The Preakness and have since been fortunate enough to be sent a copy of their current EP. They're an Atlanta-based outfit that has grown from a duo into a six-member band since their inception. I really like them, and think they deserve to be heard beyond the Peachtree City.

Their sound is an amalgam of Americana with psychedelia; I suppose you might call them rustic shoegaze if there is such a thing. Think along the lines of Horse Feathers, Spider, or Iron & Wine with more tendency to rock out. They cite among their influences Spacemen 3/Spiritualized, Mojave 3, and Will Oldham and it's apparent that they're not kidding. The EP also features a reworked Alison Krauss cover ("Down to the River") even while their MySpace says they sound like "guys who listen to a lot of of metal, but sound like pussies."

Here are a couple tracks from their EP. I almost hate to post a cover given the quality of their originals, but I think it'll be of interest to a lot of folks.

Long Knives - Fuckwit
Long Knives - Down to the River [Alison Krauss cover]

If you would like to hear the whole EP and more, you can stream it from their homepage. You can also check out samples via MySpace. If you like to purchase a copy of the EP, you should contact the band through MySpace or e-mail vocalist/guitarist Mike Kane for purchasing info.

Atlanta locals should be aware that along with tonight's show at Eyedrum, they will also be at the Drunken Unicorn on January 31 with Warm in the Wake.

Saturday, January 20

How I Became the Bomb 8-9-2006 at Southern Shelter

Southern Shelter has posted the audio of the August 9, 2006, How I Became the Bomb show from Little Kings in Athens. For those of you who don't have the EP yet, you can go there to hear more of what they're about. Then order the damn thing. You can also, of course, be The Bomb's BFF on MySpace.

I'm listening through the show now and it's a typically excellent recording by Sloan.

For those not aware, Southern Shelter is the live Athens mp3 blog. You can also browse and find lots of recordings from Athens shows including a whole bunch of local and Elephant 6 bands. It's a terrific site.

Thursday, January 18

The Decemberists coming to the southeast this April


Pitchfork has announced tourdates for The Decemberists this spring, including these April dates in the southeast:

04-02 Raleigh, NC - Meymendi Concert Hall #
04-04 Knoxville, TN - Tennessee Theater
04-05 Nashville, TN - City Hall
04-06 Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
04-08 Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live #
04-09 Tallahassee, FL - The Moon #
04-10 Birmingham, AL - Alabama Theater #
04-11 Memphis, TN - New Daisy Theater #
04-13 Louisville, KY - Brown Theater #

# with My Brightest Diamond

The Decemberists - The Soldiering Life
The Decemberists - Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect
The Decemberists - The Engine Driver
My Brightest Diamond - Something of an End

Hopefully I'll make that Tabernacle date. Woo!

Wednesday, January 17

This weekend in Atlanta/Athens...

In Athens...



M Coast (formerly Marshmallow Coast) will be opening for Camera Obscura at the 40 Watt in Athens on Friday night, January 19. This promises to be a good one. If anybody made the Camera Obscura show at The EARL I'd be curious to know how it was. I'm too busy with work stuff to get out. Hooray for the start of a new semester...

Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
M Coast - Sail Around the World [courtesy of HHBTM]


Also at the 40 Watt this weekend is Deerhunter, who take the stage there on Saturday supported by Psychic Hearts and The Selmanaires.

Deerhunter - Spring Hall Convert


In Atlanta:

Fri., Jan 19



Pistolero @ 11:11 Teahouse
The Selmanaires, The Nein, and Cassavetes @ Lenny's
The Cogburns @ Star Bar [Jenn's last show!]
Deerhunter, Brass Castle, Supreeme @ The EARL
Slow Motion Crash @ Drunken Unicorn

samples:
Pistolero - Endless Summer
The Selmanaires - Selmanaire Rock
Cassavetes - My Heart Your Beat
The Cogburns - Strange
Brass Castle - Angel Fights

Sat., Jan 20

Attractive Eighties Women @ Drunken Unicorn
Hope for a Golden Summer @ 11:11 Teahouse
The Bridges, Bang Bang Bang, Chainestereo @ Vinyl [Confessions showcase]
Gringo Star, KillGordon, Sovus Radio @ The EARL

hear:
Hope for a Golden Summer - Malt Liquor

I'm sure there's more, and I know I didn't dig very deep with regard to Athens. I imagine I'll do more of that after I move there. If there's something C&T's readers should know about that I neglected, do tell...

This, that, and the other

Black Snake Moan, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci, looks like a sexy, sweaty, Southern-fried treat. The trailer is up at MySpace.

The forthcoming Will Ferrell and Jon Heder vehicle, Blades of Glory, looks better than I imagined. YouTube has the trailer.

If Quentin Tarantino were from Bangkok and infatuated with cowboys and colors you'd normally associate with Fiestaware, I imagine he would have made a film like Tears of the Black Tiger. Check out the trailer at iFilm.

ScreenRant.com may have the concept art for the Iron Man armor in the flick coming in 2008. Lookin' good so far.

Bill O'Reilly is the guest on The Colbert Report this Thursday. Here's hoping hilarity ensues.

The Sarah Silverman Program debuts on Comedy Central on February 1. I'll be watching.

Tuesday, January 16

Ice Cream Socialists

Our exploration of the southeast's sprawling music scene continues with a look at an emerging Athens-based indie pop band that has captured my attention. Ice Cream Socialists are a seven-member outfit that's been taking their local scene by storm but to my knowledge have not yet ventured beyond the Classic City. I haven't yet seen them live, but you can bet it's on my agenda.

Their album Belles & Missiles was released last fall and was selected by Flagpole as the #2 local release of the year. That's saying something when the locale involved is basically the nation's indie capital (Dark Meat's Universal Indians took top honors). Although their material is firmly rooted in pop, they venture between twee, indie rock, foot-stompin' jamboree-style country ("J. Michael Floyd"), and even a trippy classical interlude ("Waltz") rather effortlessly. The schizophrenic "Luv Dem Cannonballz" features both lovely violin playing and an unexpected "rap" segment. Hell, they evoke The Arcade Fire with the soaring climax of "Fuzz is a Friend." Few bands I've heard go from cute to menacing to epic and back again in the course of 10 tracks.

As you might guess given the size of the band, they expand upon the traditional guitar-bass-drums format by adding keys, accordian, and violin to the mix. In fact, the liner notes to B&M also list two drummers. Take that Mickey & Bill.

Enough dancing about architecture -- here are a couple of tracks from Belles & Missiles to check out:

Ice Cream Socialists - Day of the Danny
Ice Cream Socialists - Zagnut's Revenge

You can also download "Rapunzel" from the band's page at last.fm.

Belles & Missiles is available from the good people at CD Baby. To learn more and hear the demo of their track on a forthcoming Happy Happy Birthday to Me compilation ("Mr. Crazy"), visit their MySpace.

Monday, January 15

How I Became the Bomb


As was Madeline, here's another band I've mentioned here repeatedly but haven't yet given their own post. How I Became the Bomb have become something of a juggernaut in recent months, garnering ample buzz in the southeast and attention from industry big shots. They've also gotten recent love from Southeast Performer, Out the Other, and Confessions of a Music Addict. Like Velcro Stars, they're a Murfreesboro-based band that I first learned of through the folks at Grimey's and Grand Palace last winter. Their current EP, Let's Go!, kicks umpteen kinds of ass. Goodness knows I've played the crap out of my copy.

Mike Turner of HHBTM evoked Devo and New Order to characterize their sound; I'd liken them to The Selmanaires (from Atlanta) or Russian Spy Camera (from Athens) but I'm not sure what good those comparisons will do for the nationwide audience. They're a quirky quintet fronted by Jon Burr, and based on their sound alone I'd guess they may in fact be either androids or from the future. Basically, they play a sort of twisted danceable (post?)-punk-pop that invites far too many hyphenations. They're upbeat, just a tad geeky, and lots of fun.

In case you have not yet checked out one of their tracks here on C&T or elsewhere, here are a couple cuts from Let's Go!. I have to add that selecting tracks here was incredibly difficult -- just about any of the EP's seven tracks would have been suitable.

How I Became the Bomb - Secret Identity
How I Became the Bomb - Robo

I thought about posting "Kneel Before Zod" after yesterday's popular superhero post, but you can hear that on their MySpace.

You can order their EP directly from the band for only $8. I'll add that they also come with terrific packaging.

Atlanta/Athens area folks should know they'll be in our vicinity twice in the near future -- Feb. 3 at Caledonia Lounge in Athens (with Casper & the Cookies and Russian Spy Camera) and Feb. 16 at Smith's Olde Bar as part of an ASCAP showcase. They also have a few Tennessee shows on the slate. Full dates can be seen on their MySpace.

Superhero goodness

Because I've been inspired by the leaked pics of the Spidey 3 Venom toy design, here's some fun superhero songs by bands from ol' Dixie:

The Wee Turtles - Flame On! My Life as the Human Torch
The Wee Turtles on MySpace

Cars Can Be Blue - Batman [not safe for work]
Cars Can Be Blue on MySpace

Beanstalk - Spider Jam [Spider-Man theme cover]
(defunct Florida band, no linky link)

For good measure, here's a golden oldie by a band from about 4,000 miles from the South... but whatever. With the props above to Matchstick Johnny, the Dark Knight, and your friendly neighbood wall-crawler, I thought it would also be nice to feature a tribute to a lesser (though more flexible) hero:

The Kinks - Plastic Man

For the curious, there's an extensive list of superhero-related songs up at urbangeek.net.

In other superhero news, SciFi Channel has given the green light to the development of a new Flash Gordon TV series. It's set to debut in July 2007. Neat.

ELSEWHERE...

Of Montreal may not be superheroes, but they rock anyway. Live Music Blog has the audio of their August 19, 2006, show at the 40 Watt Club in Athens.

Sunday, January 14

Madeline


One of my favorite rising artists in the vibrant Athens music scene is Madeline Adams, professionally known simply as Madeline. I have posted a track of hers here before, but I felt it was time for a closer look. Why, you ask? Well, her 2006 vinyl-only release on Valiant Death, The Slow Bang, has just been released on CD by Orange Twin.

Madeline plays an emotive and charming brand of folk. She has won a legion of fans across the country thanks to rampant touring and a distinct, irresistible style. Satisfying comparisons are escaping me at the moment, but her voice and songs are sweet, endearing, and often playful. Madeline's songs often have a narrative quality, telling some tale of growth or love that captures the listener's ear. The Slow Bang expands upon the sound of her earlier releases by incorporating more instrumentation and the vocal harmonies of Phosphorescent's Matthew Houck who also produced the record. Here are sample tracks from her releases to date:

From The Slow Bang (2006/2007):
Madeline - The Demise of Madame Butterfly
Madeline - To Hell and Back [with Matthew Houck]

From Kissing and Dancing (2002):
Madeline - I Left the Light On
Madeline - Seeing Double
Madeline - Sailing Away

From Madeline/Dead Bird split EP (2003):
Madeline - Against the World and Losing the Battle (Faith)

The Slow Bang is now available to buy from Orange Twin. Madeline's prior releases are available for very affordable prices from No Idea Records.

Madeline has also just started a MySpace page and is lining up tour dates up and down the east coast for winter/spring. You can bet I'll drop an update once they're set. I imagine those dates will also show up on her Crayola-based official site or personal MySpace page.

Saturday, January 13

The EARL show announcements...

Patrick from The EARL in Atlanta has sent along some new dates. Damn good stuff coming, as usual. Here's a sampler with audio goodness:

Feb. 9 - The Woggles, Tiger! Tiger!, others

Mar. 13 - The Autumn Defense
The Autumn Defense - Tuesday Morning

Mar. 14 - Band of Horses
Band of Horses - Funeral

Mar. 16 - Maserati

Mar. 21 - Black Lips
Black Lips - Not a Problem

Mar. 24 - Bishop Allen
Bishop Allen - Tea for Two

Mar. 29 - The Shut-Ups
The Shut-Ups - Don't Know Why

Mar. 30 - Hope for Agoldensummer w/ Drakkar Sauna
Hope for Agoldensummer - Malt Liquor
Drakkar Sauna - O, God, I Have a Canoe

Apr. 4 - The Electric Six

Apr. 13 - Trans Am
Trans Am - Total Information Awareness

Apr. 15 - Junior Boys
Junior Boys - In the Morning

Apr. 20 - Acid Mothers Temple

May 10 - Mono w/ World End Girlfriend
Mono - The Flames Beyond the Cold Mountain

May 11 - Grupo Fantasma
Grupo Fantasma - Laredo (featuring Baby G)

This certainly isn't a comprehensive list, just what caught my eye among the new dates. For the full schedule see The EARL's website and click on the monkey. You can also sign up there for their mailing list, which I highly recommend if you're in the Atlanta area. They're good folks, and they book great bands.

Friday, January 12

Buildings Breeding

Straight from my inbox to your ears, here's a nifty band from Davis, California, that strikes me as worth further exploration. They're called Buildings Breeding. Their self-titled debut album comes out January 23 on Mushpot Records, and I'll be eager to hear it.

From what I can tell they're a quartet (though in search of a bass player) led by Chris Larsen and Melanie Glover who play mod-inspired indie pop. For a point of reference, the sample tracks made available to me have shades of Nico and classic psych and jangle-pop. A fair comparison might be to The Light Footwork or a trippier version of The Submarines. They've already gotten recent love from CMJ and their forthcoming release is being picked up nationwide by college radio. They utilize both male and female vocalists, although I'm not sure of the balance between the two since I haven't heard the full album. Here are a couple tracks from Buildings Breeding to check out:

Buildings Breeding - Stacking Up Reasons
Buildings Breeding - Emma Wood

For more on the band, check out their MySpace. The CD should soon be is now available from the Mushpot Records online store.

Update: Another fine track from these guys called "Beesting" is available from the folks at last.fm. Also, I'm told the album will be available for online ordering next week. I'll post an update when it goes on sale.

Pan's Labyrinth


I decided to cross-post this to see if there is any interest from any of you folks from Atlanta in getting together with a group of us from Auburn and seeing this film. I think it'd be great to have a chance to meet some of you and possibly hang out or do something else that is fun.

I remember seeing the first stills to this film many months ago and I was just completely intrigued with the idea of an adult fairy tale. A lot of the images look downright frightening as I have no idea what is to be expected. I'm interested in seeing a film that takes away the rules and never plays it "safe". This is easy to imagine considering it's a rated R film and director Guillermo Del Toro's reputation as a great director of horror and fantasy work with past films like the beautiful and twisted Cronos and Devil's Backbone, to popcorn flicks like Hellboy and Blade 2.

It's finally getting a wide-release here in the U.S. on the 19th, and a bunch of us from Auburn are planning on checking it out in Atlanta sometime that weekend. Andy and I have been discussing it at work and would like to see if we could possibly get a group together of some of you Atlanta folks to see the film and have a chance to meet and hang out a little bit. I've already asked Rich about coming along, so if any of you would like to come see it as well than please feel free to join us. Maybe we can all do something after or whatever.

This film is getting so much hype though that as my excitement builds for it, the more I fear i'll be disappointed. It's even getting love from other music bloggers who i've never seen cover films at all. It's already being hailed as a masterpiece by many, so I can't wait to finally see this for myself to decide.

If you still haven't seen the trailer for the film, please do yourself a favor and check it out. I've got a few tracks from the soundtrack as well that i've been listening to all night and it manages to stand on it's own as a hauntingly beautiful piece of orchestral work despite me not seeing the film at all. The melodies have a very childlike innocence while still being dark and mysterious. It's kinda a similar listening experience to that of The Fountain soundtrack, as you can just sit down and randomly listen and enjoy.

Pan's Labryinth | Watch Trailer
Javier Navarrete | "Long, Long Time Ago (Hace Mucho, Mucho Tiempo)"
Javier Navarrete | "Fairy and the Labyrinth (El Hada y el Laberinto)"

Thursday, January 11

Velcro Stars CD release @ Caledonia, Grimey's, Grand Palace

Beginning this Saturday night (1/13) at the Caledonia Lounge in Athens, the Murfreesboro-based Velcro Stars will play a series of CD release events at some of Georgia and Tennessee's coolest little spots. Following the Athens show they will be visiting the wonderful Grimey's in Nashville (6pm in-store; 1/16) and The Boro in Murfreesboro (1/19). Supporting them in Athens will be Russian Spy Camera and Cars Can Be Blue, both of whom I posted tracks from last week. They'll be promoting their forthcoming album Hiroshima's Revenge, which I understand will be a joint release between Happy Happy Birthday To Me and Grand Palace Records.

I have turned a spotlight on Velcro Stars here before, but I'm happy to do it again. They're a quintet from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and they've spent the last year or so building a growing and enthusiastic fanbase here in the southeast. When I saw them play in Athens about a month ago I understood why. Basically, they induce shit-eating grins of a magnitude well beyond hygenic levels.

They play an energetic brand of pop music that may well be impossible to ignore. Nashville media have compared them to The Features, Superchunk, and Pavement but I'd say if anything they build on these influences rather than mimic them. Keith Pratt appears to handle the majority of the vocal duties, although other members take the lead as well. Rebekah Kidd, the keyboardist and lone female member, provides a welcome diversity to both lead and harmony vocals.

To make a long story short, I imagine these guys are going to be among the Murfreesboro bands making big waves in 2007 (along with How I Became the Bomb and Ghostfinger). I'll add that selecting songs to share from this album was particularly difficult, as about 12 of the 15 struck me as worthy introductions to the band. On that note, here are a few tracks from Hiroshima's Revenge to check out:

Velcro Stars - Cascade
Velcro Stars - B-Side of Love
Velcro Stars - Pavilion

I don't believe Hiroshima's Revenge is available quite yet for online ordering, but I'll be sure to post an update once it is. I'll add that the screenprinted packaging is lovely as well. Hope to see some of you at the Athens release party!

Monday, January 8

A Film by Kirk

As many of you may have seen by now, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2007 inductees today. They include R.E.M., Van Halen, Patti Smith, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and The Ronettes. Not a bad class, and it's nice to see the local boys from Athens show up in the mix.

Notably, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five are the first hip-hop/rap act to be inducted into the institution, a trend that is likely to continue over time. Reading the news today reminded me of one of my favorite random moments ever on TV, as a Grandmaster Flash song was prominently featured. Back in the second season of Gilmore Girls, the people of Stars Hollow began a night of film under the stars by viewing a short film by (and starring) local oddball Kirk (played by Sean Gunn). I've rarely laughed so hard at dramedy fare. Luckily, some kind soul has put it online to share. Take a gander, and be sure to wait for the twist a minute in:

Genius!

The song in question, so you can boogie too:

Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel - White Lines

Also, happy birthday to Elvis Presley. He would have been 72 today.

Friday, January 5

Cold War Kids coming to ATL, March 23

Greetings from CC's Coffee in downtown New Orleans. Thanks to my friend Tavishi, I now know that Cold War Kids are going to be playing at Vinyl on March 23. Um, yes please.

Cold War Kids - Heavy Boots
Cold War Kids - The Soloist in the Living Room

That's all I have time for at the moment. For the remaining tour dates, see their MySpace.

Hope everybody's having a great week(end)!

Tuesday, January 2

Shows in ATL this week

Alright, I lied. One more post before I leave. But this one is important if you're in Atlanta. If you're not, these bands are worth checking out anyway.

On Saturday, January 6, there are two shows in Atlanta that showcase local indie rock talents. Luigi headlines at Lenny's with some great supporting acts, and Manchester Orchestra will be at The 585. There's also a great show in the Hell section of Masquerade with two fun national acts -- Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin and Harry and the Potters. Here's the rundown and some sample tracks:

Jan. 6 Luigi, The Preakness, Moresight, & The Eyes @ Lenny's (um.. wow)
Luigi - Mariposa
The Preakness - What They're Saying (demo)
Moresight - Hoop Earrings

Jan. 6 Manchester Orchestra, Stellamaris, Estates, and O'Brother @ The 585
Manchester Orchestra - Wolves at Night

Jan. 6 Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin & Harry and the Potters @ Masquerade
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Oregon Girl
Harry and the Potters - Voldemort Can't Stop the Rock

Also, on Tuesday, January 9....

The Scourge of the Sea and Petticoat, Petticoat will be playing at Ella Guru at 6pm. For those who don't know Ella Guru is a nice music store in the Toco Hills shopping area off North Druid Hills Road (near Famous Pub). These Lexington indie popsters won't be playing a club show in town, but playing Ella Guru before going off to Athens for their Wednesday show at Tasty World. Do check 'em out, and encourage people to come if you like them. This is a last-minute booking, so they'll need help getting the word out.

Jan. 9 The Scourge of the Sea & Petticoat, Petticoat @ Ella Guru
The Scourge of the Sea - Smitten Kitten
The Scourge of the Sea - Waterwings
Petticoat, Petticoat - We're Gonna Be Poor
Petticoat, Petticoat - Glittering Heels

Should be some fun stuff to choose from here. Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, January 1

New year, new look, new music

I'm getting ready to go out of town, so this will probably be my only post this week. I hope everyone had a great New Year's Eve, and has a great '007 ahead of them. Mine will include a move from Atlanta to Athens, which will be exciting.

Since I don't have time for in-depth posts on these terrific artists at the moment, I'll leave you with a sampler platter of what I've been enjoying lately. It's heavy on pop and indie folk stuff, but you probably could have guessed that. This would make one heck of a little mix tape, actually. I may have to go grab a CDR...

Madeline - I Left the Light On
Ice Cream Socialists - Day of the Danny
International Falls - On a Roll
The Poison Dart - Rise & Shine
Russian Spy Camera - Svengali What's the Caper
Cars Can Be Blue - I Used to Think
How I Became the Bomb - Fat Girls Talkin Bout Cardio
Tom Brosseau - I Fly Wherever I Go

Wax & Wane - Hell is Here
Titans of Filth - The Morbid Widow's Portrait Gallery
Hope for Agoldensummer - Love Letter
Ideal Free Distribution - Apples and Oranges
Velcro Stars - Seize the Day
Yukon - Marriage
Elephant Parade - Goodbye


Please do let me know what you like -- I'm sure I'll be returning to some of these folks later. If you'd like more info on somebody, let me know. Hopefully I'll be able to check in on things while I'm in New Orleans. Happy new year!