Thursday, June 26
Monkey Swallows the Universe - "Jimmy Down the Well"
Matthew from Song, By Toad turned me on to Monkey Swallows the Universe some time ago, and this week I can't get them out of the rotation. "Jimmy Down the Well" in particular has demanded repeated plays. It's melodic and memorable, much like the rest of the album, but has a certain something that I can't resist. Although the lyrical content isn't exactly chipper the song is sure to get your foot tapping.
Monkey Swallows the Universe - Jimmy Down the Well
"Jimmy Down the Well" appears on their 2006 release, The Bright Carvings. I don't believe the album has been released in the United States, but it is available via Rough Trade UK.
Wednesday, June 25
Silver Jews fall tour announced; Atlanta 9/13
Yay! David Berman's Silver Jews are hitting the road again this fall, and that is excellent. In the wake of releasing their acclaimed (and darn good) Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea the band will entertain audiences from coast to coast with a hometown Nashville show to wrap up the road trip. The Atlanta date is September 13 at the Variety Playhouse. Woohoo!
Silver Jews - I'm Getting Back Into Getting Into You [courtesy of Drag City]
Silver Jews on tour:
08/28 Columbus, OH - Milo
08/29 Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
08/30 Pittsburgh, PA - William Pitt Union Assembly
08/31 Pontiac, MI - The Crofoot
09/02 Toronto, ON - Lee's Palace
09/03 Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa
09/04 Northampton, MA - Iron Horse Music Hall
09/05 Cambridge, MA - Middle East Club Downstairs
09/06 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
09/07 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
09/09 Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
09/10 Washington, DC - Black Cat
09/11 Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
09/12 Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle Tavern & Music
09/13 Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
09/14 Jacksonville, FL - Jack Rabbits
09/15 Orlando, FL - The Social
09/16 Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder
09/17 New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks
09/18 Houston, TX - Walter's on Washington
09/19 Austin, TX - Emo's
09/20 Denton, TX - Hailey's
09/22 Tucson, AZ - Plush
09/23 San Diego, CA - The Casbah
09/26 Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex
09/27 Big Sur, CA Fernwood Resort
09/30 Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
10/02 Seattle, WA - Neumos
10/03 Boise, ID - Neurolux
10/04 Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
10/05 Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater
10/07 Omaha, NE - Waiting Room
10/08 Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club
10/09 Iowa City, IA - The Picador
10/10 Chicago, IL - Metro
10/11 Indianapolis, IN - Birdys Bar & Grill
10/12 Nashville, TN - Exit/In
Lou and Ozzie: The horror....
As you may know, I am a fan of the Chicago Cubs. I've followed them for more than 20 years through good times and bad, and I am really enjoying their successful run so far in 2008. That said, not all is well at Clark & Addison. Idolator has brought to my attention an ad for a Chevrolet dealership featuring a rap battle between Cubs manager Lou Piniella and Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. Be prepared to cringe.
Yikes. Just... yikes.
Unicycle Loves You - 'Unicycle Loves You'
I have to say, I really like when a record comes out of nowhere and really impresses me. The most recent album to do so is the new, self-titled album from Chicago's Unicycle Loves You. They have a silly name but a darn good sound, pulling from umpteen genres of rock. They're infectious, high-energy, and their album has settled nicely into my regular rotation. Fans of Velcro Stars, Quiet Hooves, and adventurous pop-rock should eat this up. Stick this album on your iPod, go running, and just try to slow down. I dare you.
Unicycle Loves You - Highway Robbery
Unicycle Loves You - Hawaii!
Hear more from the band on their Myspace page.
Tuesday, June 24
Five minute 'Batman: Gotham Knight' preview released
You know, as much as DC can't get their act together with regard to live action flicks (Batman excepted), they continue to churn out really interesting animated material. On July 8 they'll release Batman: Gotham Knight to DVD, with six stories that take place between Batman Begins and the forthcoming The Dark Knight. DC has been kind enough to release a five-minute preview from a clip titled "Crossfire" via the MTV Movies Blog. Beware... this is probably PG-13 material, so you may not call your little Bat-fan over to the computer just yet.
Batman: Gotham Knight is available now for pre-order.
Skittish - 'Tragedy of the Commons'
I have been enjoying the current album from Minneapolis folk/pop duo Skittish lately, so it would be criminal to keep it to myself. Tragedy of the Commons ventures into territory previously visited by bands like Jump, Little Children, Soul Coughing, and Augie March, but manages to remain cohesive despite its diversity. The band uses horns, piano, and electronic instruments to complement their sound, and male vocalist Jeff Noller seems to have an adept pop-rock touch. They do venture a bit too far into theatrics for my taste here and there ("Product of the Glove"), but that's hardly grounds for damnation.
Skittish - One for the Unloved
Skittish - The Girl Up the Hill
You can hear more on their Myspace and order Tragedy of the Commons from the band.
Monday, June 23
The Young Sinclairs - "Engineer Man"
C&T's friends at Kindercore brought The Young Sinclairs to my attention back in May, and now I'm thrilled to see they're coming to Athens. These Roanoke, Virginia, pop-rocksters will appear at the Caledonia Lounge on Thursday, June 26. They're supporting their debut full-length called Feel Bad, which is available online for just $6. I'll make a point of getting a copy this week.
"Engineer Man" is indicative of their sound, based in pop but drenched in retro mod and psychedelia. Good stuff.
The Young Sinclairs - Engineer Man
RIP George Carlin, 1937-2008
Saturday, June 21
My Friday at HeroesCon
I trekked up to Charlotte for HeroesCon on Friday, and it made for a long but fun day. I picked up a lot of books, got many signed, and got to chat with a lot of folks I only knew through their work or online interaction. Nice to meet Hillary from Shazhmmm as well. In fact, there was a pretty strong Atlanta/Athens contingent in the building.
The belle of the HeroesCon ball was Darwyn Cooke, who had a long line from opening until closing. I got through it in about 10 minutes. Huzzah to Darwyn for remaining chipper through the whole episode.
As noted in my previous post, Captain America, Daredevil, Criminal, Immortal Iron Fist, and Uncanny X-Men writer Ed Brubaker was unable to attend HeroesCon. Brubaker was, however, nice enough to send a stack of signed Criminal issues to Matt Fraction. He has them at his booth for the taking. If you're at the con, keep that in mind on Saturday.
I teased a prominent DC employee about rumors regarding change at the top there, and was assured Dan DiDio "isn't going anywhere" and rumors to the contrary are "bullshit."
Newsarama's rep was quick to request feedback on the site redesign, and noted that they're working on some of the site's flaws and hope the readership learns to navigate the revamped site effectively.
Stuart Immonen indicated that the ball is in Warren Ellis's court with regard to future issues of NEXTWAVE. He also shared that he enjoys when characters from the series show up elsewhere, as has happened a bit lately. Now, free The Captain!
Sketch of The Captain by Stuart Immonen
Also, one should never watch online videos recommended by the duo of Matt Fraction and Rick Remender. They are, however, well-suited to co-author Punisher War Journal.
Paolo Rivera had the art from the forthcoming Mythos: Captain America on display, and it's gorgeous. The book follows Cap through his origin, World War II, his time with The Avengers, and later life. Readers should note the care Rivera takes with regard to Cap's evolving uniform and shield. I can't wait to get my hands on it next month.
Tony Harris brought along the forthcoming first volume of the Ex Machina Deluxe Edition, and it's a pretty book. It's due July 15. Harris also confirmed that the six Starman hardcovers being released will include everything related to the title including all mini-series and one-shots. Nifty.
Chris Schweizer brought an advance copy of his Crogan's Vengeance on Oni Press, and it looks great. He let me know that the hardcover is available for pre-order now at only $10!
I finally got my hands on Laura Park's mini-comic "Do Not Disturb My Waking Dream," and it's even better than I expected. It has both fictional and autobiographical content, and it's both sweet and well-crafted. Order that sucker for $3. Laura was cool too, as was her partner-in-crime Julia Wertz.
From Laura Park's "Do Not Disturb My Waking Dream"
David Malki debuted the hardcover of his forthcoming Wondermark: Beards of our Forefathers at the show, and I couldn't help but pick it up. Malki repurposes wood etchings from a century ago to craft entertaining gag strips. It is also available for pre-order at just $10.
The awesome Ben Towle gave me a copy of his 2006 mini-comic "Hey, Teach!" about kids in a cartooning class that became obsessed with MODOK. I heart these kids.
Alex Robinson and Top Shelf had the hardcover of his brand new Too Cool To Be Forgotten for sale, and as a bonus had candy cigarettes branded with the book's logo. They still make candy cigarettes? The book, by the way, looks great and is available for pre-order.
Chris Giarrusso draws a
I guarantee I'll get his Mini-Marvels: Rock, Paper, Scissors Digest once it is available.
I picked up some more books and got to meet a lot of talented creators, so my day at the show was a success. HeroesCon continues through Sunday.
Thursday, June 19
HeroesCon this weekend in Charlotte
After a hectic week, I have something awesome to look forward to on Friday (not that AthFest is anything to sneeze at). HeroesCon is this weekend in Charlotte, and it will feature tons of both mainstream and indie comics creators.
Admission is only $10 per day, so if you're in the Charlotte area I'd recommend checking it out.
UPDATE: Brubaker canceled. That makes Rich a sad panda.
Athens Popfest schedule announced
C&T's friends at Kindercore have been kind enough to point out that the full lineup for Athens Popfest (August 12-16) is now online. I don't see a weak link in the whole schedule, and that closing night at 40 Watt is going to be epic.
8:00 - Fish Schticks | 8:35 - Bob Hay & the Jolly Beggars | 9:10 - Allison Weiss | 9:45 - Titans of Filth
LITTLE KINGS 8.13.08
2:00 - Boy Genius | 2:35 - the Hotwalls | 3:15 - Amo Joy! | 4:00 - Afternoon Naps | 4:45 - Nervous Systems (not confirmed yet) | 5:30 - Oh Sanders
8:00 - Supercluster | 8:35 - Blondie-Grunt | 9:10 - Nana Grizol | 9:45 - Hot Pants Romance | 10:20 - the Coathangers | 11:00 - Whistling School for Boys | 11:30 - Judi Chicago | 12:00 - Spring Tigers | 12:35 - the Selmanaires | 1:15 - We Versus the Shark
LITTLE KINGS 8.14.08
2:00 - That’s My Daughter | 2:40 - Little Birds | 3:20 - A Faulty Chromosome | 4:00 - Panda Riot | 4:45 - Averkiou
6:00 - Night Driving in Small Towns | 6:45 - Good Graces | 7:30 - Mary O Harrison
8:30 - the Ocelots | 9:30 - the Besties | 10:30 - Twin Tigers | 11:30 - Dead Confederate
40 WATT CLUB 8.14.08
8:00 - Patience Please | 8:30 - Velcro Stars | 9:00 - Bunnygrunt | 9:30 - Cars Can Be Blue | 10:15 - Great Lakes | 11:00 - the Love Letter Band | 11:45 - Dark Meat | 12:30 - Roky Erickson & the Explosives
LITTLE KINGS 8.15.08
2:00 - Railcars | 2:40 - Tendaberry | 3:20 - One Happy Island | 4:00 - Hat Company | 4:30 - Fat Planet
6:00 - Oh Fortuna | 6:45 - Noisycrane | 7:30 - Gospel Gossip
8:30 - Laminated Cat | 9:30 - Ham 1 | 10:30 - My Teenage Stride | 11:30 - Violet Vector & the Lovely Lovelies
40 WATT 8.15.08
8:00 - Cryptacize | 8:30 - Secret History | 9:00 - the Faintest Ideas | 9:30 - Ruby Isle | 10:00 - the Buddy System | 10:30 - the Lolligags | 11:00 - Fishboy | 11:30 - the Apes | 12:15 - Boyracer | 1:00 - TBA
LITTLE KINGS 8.16.08
2:00 - Lognhalsmottagningen | 2:15 - Bad Animal | 3:00 - the Young Untold | 3:30 - Bright Lights | 4:15 - American Cheeseburger
6:00 - Oh Fortuna | 6:45 - Marc with a C | 7:30 - Hot Lava
8:30 - Sgt Dunbar & the Hobo Banned | 9:30 - Thrushes | 10:30 - the Sterns | 11:30 - Man Factory
40 WATT 8.16.08
8:00 - the Smittens | 8:30 - Big Fresh | 9:00 - Thee American Revolution | 9:30 - Pipes You See Pipes You Don’t | 10:00 - Andy from Denver | 10:30 - Casper & the Cookies | 11:00 - Circulatory System | 12:00 - Elf Power | 1:00 - the Music Tapes
Tickets are available now.
Wednesday, June 18
New Old 97's video - "Dance With Me"
Have you ever dipped french fries in a milkshake, and been surprised that the combination both (1) happened at all and (2) was awesome? The new Old 97's video for "Dance With Me" is along those lines. Not only does it feature music by a band I like (man, did I wear out my copy of Fight Songs) but it also stars
Number Six Tricia Helfer from Battlestar Galactica totally flaunting her association with that franchise. Be warned though -- the ending is a little sad.
The song appears on the band's current album, Blame It On Gravity, which I actually haven't heard yet. I should get on that...
Tuesday, June 17
Dark Meat: Athens in San Francisco
Professional responsibilities have kept me from blogging this week, but Will A. sent me a video that I must share. Dark Meat are among the many bands playing AthFest this weekend (Friday, to be specific). Recently while on tour out west the whole band, all 21 of them, escaped their tour bus for and went marching through the streets of San Francisco. Luckily, there's a 14 minute video of the episode including a bit of talky-talk with the band. Fun facts: Hulk Hogan is their enforcer/spirit animal, and many of the band are apparently enemies of the Fantastic Four.
Dark Meat at SXSW 2007 (by Alex Adan)
I can't get the video to embed properly, but you can watch it at imeem.
Dark Meat - Freedom Ritual
Dark Meat play at 9:10 Friday night at the main outdoor stage of AthFest.
Wednesday, June 11
Atlanta ticket giveaway: The Breeders at The Loft, June 13
The Breeders released their current album, Mountain Battles, in April and on Friday night they'll be at The Loft in Atlanta. I have a pair of tickets to the show available to give away. If you would like them, e-mail me with "Breeders tix" in the subject line. Get in quick, as time is tight -- I will pick a random winner at 3pm EST on Thursday, June 12.
From Mountain Battles:
The Breeders - Bang On
The Atlanta show concludes the American tour, after which the band heads to Europe.
New King of Prussia video - "Shades of Hippiedom"
Athens psych-popsters King of Prussia have released a new video for their "Shades of Hippiedom," and it's jam-packed with familiar places and faces. To me, anyway. That brick house at the beginning is right around the corner from my place. The song is pretty cool too!
King of Prussia have upcoming shows at the Star Bar in Atlanta (6/14), the 40 Watt in Athens (6/18), and at AthFest (6/21). The excellent album, Save the Scene, is available now.
Sunday, June 8
Colour Revolt tour begins; Athens and Atlanta this week
Mississippi's Colour Revolt released their Plunder, Beg, and Curse back in April, and today they begin six weeks on the road. The tour includes a June 11 show at the 40 Watt in Athens and a June 12 engagement at Vinyl in Atlanta. Atlanta's Gringo Star opens both of those dates, and will be joined by Twin Tigers in Athens.
Colour Revolt - Naked and Red
The complete tour:
06/08/08 Tampa, FL - Orpheum
06/09/08 Orlando, FL - The Social
06/10/08 Jacksonville, FL - Jack Rabbits
06/11/08 Athens, GA - 40 Watt
06/12/08 Atlanta, GA - Vinyl
06/13/08 Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo
07/14/08 Macon, GA - Hummingbird
07/15/08 West Columbia, SC - The Music Farm
07/16/08 Lexington, SC - New Brookland Tavern
07/17/08 Charlottesville, NC - Milestone Club
07/18/08 Nashville, TN - The End
07/21/08 Lawrence, KS - The Picador
07/23/08 Dekalb, IL - House Cafe
07/24/08 Champaign, IL - The High Dive
07/25/08 Lansing, MI - Mac's Bar
07/26/08 London Ontario Canada - The Lounge
09/02/08 Camden, NJ - Download Festival
09/28/08 Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Festival
Okkervil River release tour dates; Athens on October 2
It's now the second week of June, and October is staring to look very busy. After their recent visit along with the New Pornographers, Okkervil River return to Athens on October 2. They'll play the 40 Watt alongside Big Business in support of their forthcoming The Stand Ins. That record is due September 9 in the U.S. and October 13 in Europe.
Okkervil River - Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe
Okkervil River - Black
The complete tour:
09-12 Lawrence, KS - The Bottleneck
09-13 Omaha, NE - Slowdown
09-14 Madison, WI - Barrymore Theater
09-15 Fargo, ND - Aquarium
09-17 Seattle, WA - The Showbox
09-18 Vancouver, British Columbia - Richards on Richards
09-19 Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
09-21 San Francisco, CA - Treasure Island Festival
09-23 Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theatre
09-24 Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern
09-26 El Paso, TX - The Blue Iguana
09-26-28 Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Music Festival
09-30 New Orleans, LA - The Republic
10-1 Birmingham, AL - Matthew's Bar & Grill
10-2 Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
10-4 Richmond, VA - The National
10-6 New York, NY - Webster Hall
10-7 New York, NY - Webster Hall
10-8 Northampton, MA - Pearl Street Nightclub
10-9 Millvale, PA - Mr. Smalls Theatre
10-10 Buffalo, NY - Tralf Music Hall
10-11 Montreal, QC - Les Saints
10-12 Toronto, ON - Phoenix
Friday, June 6
Around the horn
So, what's up? Let's see...
Project Rooftop is having a Superman design contest. Artistic types get on that.
Elf Power tour dates are out, including a June 20 show in Athens that I'll miss for HeroesCon. D'oh!
The Apples in Stereo are also going on tour, but no Georgia dates in sight.
Is UFC fighter Quinton Jackson up for the role of B.A. Baracus in the A-Team flick? Maybe.
The Weekly Crisis has the best moments in comics this week.
OhmPark notes that Deerhunter is streaming songs from their forthcoming Microcastle via their Myspace.
Rock dinosaurs Metallica are still afraid of The Internets.
A Green Lantern film may be just around the corner. Sherlock Holmes and Green Hornet too!
Crash and Burn Girl is all about the new Lily Allen. Her music, not her lesbian vampire role.
The forthcoming Girl Talk album will be another pay-what-you-want deal, if you still care.
Friday Night Fights: Bleeding Face Edition
When Bahlactus calls, Boss Tweed answers.
What happens when Manleau, a suave cyborg spy, takes on thugs like the Fighting Cock and the Barnyard Animals? Beautiful things, man.
From "Your Bleeding Face," in Injury #1:
Crackin' your jaw, anyway.
Manleau's exploits are told in Injury #1 from Buenaventura Press, with story and layouts by Ted May and art by Jason Robards.
Atlanta ticket giveaway: Ingrid Michaelson at Variety Playhouse, June 10
Next Tuesday, June 10, pop singer Ingrid Michaelson will be at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta. I have a pair of tickets to the show up for grabs. If you'd like them, e-mail me with "Ingrid tix" in the subject line. I'll pick and contact a random winner on Monday evening.
Michaelson has become quite popular in the past year, and her "The Way I Am" from Girls and Boys has rightly earned her both airplay and recognition.
Additional tour dates and songs are on her Myspace.
Thursday, June 5
The Hold Steady coming to the 40 Watt, August 9
This news will excite others more than me, but indie rockers The Hold Steady will be at the 40 Watt in Athens on August 9. They'll be supporting their forthcoming Stay Positive, due July 14 from Vagrant Records. Tickets are available now.
The Hold Steady - Your Little Hoodrat Friend
The Hold Steady - The Swish
The full set of tour dates is available on their Myspace.
Wednesday, June 4
The Black Lips at Other Music, NYC
Atlanta's Black Lips recently played an in-store at Other Music in NYC, and the store has made video of the set available to all. It has a few songs and a little bit of interview action to tide you over 'til the next show:
Their current album, Good Bad Not Evil, is now available.
Robin, the Boy Wonder: Sports Enthusiast
Ordinary kids might play baseball in Little League, or have a catch in the backyard. When you're the ward of The Batman, apparently you find new ways to enjoy the National Pastime.
Whether pitching or batting, Robin is a double threat.
Not sure how you'd score that, but it's clearly unassisted.
Robin redefines the designated hitter rule in Detective Comics #68 (October 1942), written by Bill Finger and drawn by Bob Kane, reprinted in Batman Archives Volume 2.
While I'm at it.. how about them Cubbies!?
Tuesday, June 3
The Black Keys return to Atlanta on October 2
Another concert announcement for the fall, as blues-rock badasses The Black Keys will be at The Tabernacle in Atlanta on October 2. As great as I think they are, I'm actually a little surprised. Last time they played there, with Dinosaur Jr. in tow, I doubt it was even half full. In fact, I'm not sure if they opened the balcony. Either way, great to see they'll be back in Georgia.
Dates for the full tour are at You Ain't No Picasso.
Are The Raconteurs worth $40 plus fees to you?
Porlolo - 'Meadows'
Next month Gunnison, Colorado, indie folk artist Porlolo will release her sophomore album titled Meadows. Porlolo's Erin Roberts is a great talent who gets far too little attention. Her debut Storm and Season was a terrific record, and Meadows is more of the same. The new record showcases Porlolo's talents with gusto -- she's a lovely guitarist and trumpet player, and her songs effortlessly meander from romanticism to heartbreak.
Opener "Meadows" is a gorgeous and backed by smartly used strings, and "Tear You Down" and its vengeful lyrics have a country flair and cowgirl cadence. "The is No I in Athens" features Roberts on trumpet and is both gorgeous and bittersweet. The folk-pop of "Animals Should Live Forever" is sweet and fetching, not unlike recent output from Seattle's Laura Veirs, and sea shanty "Rattle, Roam" would be right at home on a Decemberists record. I admittedly enjoyed the first half of the record more than the second, but Meadows is a fine work.
Porlolo - There Is No I in Athens
Porlolo - Animals Should Live Forever
The CD release show for Meadows will be held on July 18 at the Hi-Dive in Denver. Storm and Season is currently available from CD Baby.
New Thao Nguyen video - "Swimming Pools"
Word in from the Thao Nguyen camp that she and the band have released a new video for "Swimming Pools" from their excellent We Brave Bee Stings and All. It's a lo-fi affair with the band playing in close quarters and causing trouble in the neighborhood. Such ruffians.
Thao Nguyen with the Get Down Stay Down are currently on tour with Rilo Kiley, and play a headlining show at The EARL in Atlanta on June 19.
Monday, June 2
C&T on Blog Fresh Radio: Adron
I took the opportunity to chat about Brooklyn-via-Atlanta songstress Adron, who I recently featured on C&T. Her album hits on July 1 from New Street Records, and I suggest you make a point of checking it out.
Adron - Airplanes
Bloggers from Punk Photo, Sound on the Sound, The Music Slut, and The Daily Growl also contributed to the show.
Beat the Devil call it quits
One of my favorite discoveries of the past few years, New York's Beat the Devil, has decided to part ways. No reason is given on their Myspace blog, but the various members are remaining active. Their amazing vocalist and harmonium player Shilpa Ray will now front Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers, who have a Myspace page but no music yet available. Mishka Shubaly and Mitchell King, who rounded out the trio, now play together in RIBS.
Beat the Devil - Shine in Exile
Beat the Devil earned a solid bunch of fans in Atlanta through their great live shows and single EP, and it's sad to see them go. Here's hoping the members' other projects are just as impressive.
Threadless $10 sale through June 8
A rare commercial message today, as I don't tend to keep bargains to myself.
The folks at Threadless are running a $10 sale on T-shirts through June 8, with some great designs up for grabs. Time to beef up that summer wardrobe...