Tuesday, February 27

Lady & Bird

It's quite possible I missed the boat on this release last summer (though Keenly Observed didn't), but I've just discovered Lady & Bird. This Icelandic duo is made up of Keren Ann Zeidel and Bardi Johannsson (of Bang Gang). It is my understanding that their lone, self-titled release (a concept album, no less) initially hit shelves in 2003. However, only in June 2006 was it finally released to American audiences. Their sound is very much of the atmospheric variety, heavily utilizing breathy female vocals. I won't claim that every moment of the album worked for me, but there are enough highlights to keep me coming back for more (including covers of Lou Reed and the theme from "M*A*S*H"). A couple tracks:

Lady & Bird - Suicide is Painless [M*A*S*H theme]
Lady & Bird - Run in the Morning Sun

If you'd like to pick up the album, there are a number of inexpensive copies available from Amazon.

Monday, February 26

No postage required

Before I hit the road for Elekibass, Velcro Stars, and Ice Cream Socialists in Athens, here's another installment of goodies rescued from the C&T inbox. Some nice stuff here.

Illinois - Screen Door [typical Ace Fu coolness]
Sister Vanilla - Jamcolas [indie/shoegaze from Jesus & Mary Chain alumni]
Winterpills - Broken Arm [warm folky pop]
The Go Find - Dictionary [dreamy pop]
Les Breastfeeders - Viens Avec Moi [garage... in French]
Astrid Swan - Good Girl [Finnish singer-songwriter]
Avey Tare & Kria Brekkan - Sis Around the Sandmill [soundscapes]
The One AM Radio - In the Time We've Got [emotive indie]
Money Mark - Pick Up the Pieces [chill, funky pop]

Also, I did tape the Elekibass/Of Montreal show on Saturday night. However, I'm having computer issues so I can't share it just yet. I'll try to get to it soon. Pinky swear.

Ben Gibbard solo in ATL, May 12

Death Cab's Ben Gibbard is embarking on a solo tour in May, including a 5/12 stop at Center Stage here in Atlanta. Should be fun, although I fear with the band's current popularity tickets for that venue will be higher than I'd like.

Rather than repost Gibbard tracks I've posted before, I'll refer C&T's readers to a complete 2001 show by the Death Cab frontman at It's Hard to Find a Friend. Here's a taste:

Ben Gibbard - Photobooth [live 1-19-2001]

The full slate of dates is available from Death Cab's Myspace.

UPDATE: Well, tix are $20. Not bad at all. And David Bazan of Pedro the Lion is opening. Nice.

Saturday, February 24

Elekibass, Velcro Stars, Ice Cream Socialists at 40 Watt, Feb. 26

There's a great big sold-out show tonight here in Atlanta -- Of Montreal with Elekibass and Psychic Hearts at Variety Playhouse. I'll be there (and hoping Kevin B. keeps his knickers on), so I hope to run into a few C&T friends. Rather than focus on that show I'd like to highlight what is happening at the 40 Watt in Athens on Monday night (2/26). That evening Elekibass takes over the top spot on the bill with support from Murfreesboro's Velcro Stars and the Athens-based Ice Cream Socialists.

The Velcro Stars and Ice Cream Socialists have been featured here before, and both are rising bands from the southeast. Elekibass, for those unfamiliar, is a Japanese mod-pop band that sounds something like an Eastern descendent of The Kinks, Os Mutantes, The Beach Boys, and early Of Montreal. Some songs are sung in English and some in Japanese, but just about all I've heard make you want to clap along and/or grab a tambourine. I've never seen 'em live, but have been given a multitude of gushing reviews when I have asked folks about them lately. I suppose I'll find out tonight when they open for Of Montreal.

Elekibass - Almanack [courtesy HHBTM]
Elekibass - Springtime is the Season [Of Montreal cover]
Velcro Stars - Cascade
Velcro Stars - Pavilion
Ice Cream Socialists - Day of the Danny
Ice Cream Socialists - Zagnut's Revenge

It's going to be a fun next few days. Woo!

Friday, February 23

The Coathangers 2-22-2007 @ Lenny's

Well, it's official. I heart The Coathangers. The songs are catchy, memorable, often perverse, and lots of fun. They all sing, and they all play just about every instrument on stage to some level of success. Last night they absolutely rocked Lenny's, and now I know why they're quickly building a solid local following. I'll certainly be going back for more. I also learned last night that they have two forthcoming 7" releases on Die Slaugherhaus including a split with The Hiss. Very good news. Here is last night's set, (almost) direct from my Jukebox 3 to your hard drive. Note, once again, that many tracks are not safe for work:

The Coathangers
February 22, 2007
Lenny's, Atlanta, GA

Taped: SP-CMC-4's > battery box > Creative Nomad Jukebox 3
Conversion: JB3 > Dell Inspiron 6000 > Cool Edit Pro 2 > CD Wave > mkwACT

01. Minstrel Cycle >
02. Tonya Harding
03. Shut Tha Fuck Up
04. Spider Hands
05. banter/instrument switch^
06. Tripod Machine*
07. banter/instrument switch
08. Buckhead Betties
09. Haterade
10. banter/instrument switch
11. Where the Hell Were You?**
12. Nestle in My Boobies
13. instrument switch
14. Never Wanted U
15. banter
16. Parking Lot
17. banter
18. Get Off My Parcheezy
19. instrument switch
20. Bloody Shirt
21. banter
22. Don't Touch My Shit

^with some cell phone interference
*with Milton Chapman of The Hiss
**with Ian Franco of The Hiss

Also on the bill were Sea Lions, The 63 Crayons, The Hiss, and The Spooks

The full show is available in a .zip file via Sendspace.com.

For more on The Coathangers (and show dates), check out their MySpace page.

Thursday, February 22

Lily Allen from the 9:30 Club

Last Friday while I was rushing around Atlanta to catch The Bomb and The Preakness, a lovely taper was at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC, capturing the Lily Allen show. Lily played most of Alright, Still along with a few covers. Here are some choice cuts, from which I clipped off the banter and crowd noise:

Lily Allen - Smile [live 2-16-2007]
Lily Allen - Everybody's Changing -> Naive [Keane/The Kooks; live 2-16-2007]
Lily Allen - Blank Expression [The Specials cover; live 2-16-2007]

The full show is available in lossless format from The Trader's Den. Lily will be at The Loft in Atlanta on March 19, and tix are available from Ticket Alternative.


The release of Guns 'N Roses' Chinese Democracy has been delayed yet again. Shocking, I'm sure.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - "With a Girl Like You" (Troggs cover)

You have to dig a little deeply on the Variety Playhouse website to find this info, but Missouri indie popsters Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin are back in Atlanta on March 24. For better or worse, they're the first band on a bill with Cinematics and Mute Math. After I had to miss their set with Harry and The Potters, I'm hoping to catch this one... then jet over to The EARL to see Bishop Allen. It's been more than a year now since I've seen SSLYBY, and that stinks.

Here's a fun tidbit -- at their recent Orlando show taped by C&T buddy breathmint, SSLYBY covered the classic Troggs tune "With a Girl Like You." Here's their cover and the original:

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - With a Girl Like You [The Troggs cover; live 1-8-2007 @ The Social, Orlando, FL]
The Troggs - With a Girl Like You

Per usual when I mention these guys, here's "Oregon Girl" from Broom, courtesy of Polyvinyl:

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Oregon Girl

This will be it for the day unless something big comes up. Hope to see some folks at Lenny's tonight.

Wednesday, February 21

How I Became the Bomb 2-16-2007 @ Smith's Olde Bar

As noted in other recent posts, among the shows I caught last weekend was a set by Murfreesboro's How I Became the Bomb. As this set was part of an ASCAP showcase, I had some concerns that the band would be met with an aloof response by the industry-heavy crowd. Those fears, thankfully, were not realized.

The Bomb played a spirited but brief set including several tracks from Let's Go! and two new songs. Luckily, the recording turned out pretty well too despite my taping from the venue's back wall. Might as well share, huh?

How I Became the Bomb
February 16, 2007
Smith's Olde Bar - Atlanta, GA

01. Kneel Before Zod
02. Minute Romance
03. Sleeper [new song]
04. crowd/banter
05. Ladykiller [new song]
06. Killing Machine
07. Bar Song
08. banter
09. Secret Identity

If there's demand for a lossless version, please do let me know.

For more on The Bomb, see their Myspace. You can buy their current EP, Let's Go!, from the band.

The Coathangers, The 63 Crayons, and others @ Lenny's on Thursday, 2/22

This Thursday night (2/22) there's a really nice bill at Lenny's here in Atlanta. As part of their series of "Punk Rock Thursdays" that venue has assembled a lineup including four local bands and a special visitor from Athens. I haven't quite been able to figure out the order in which the artists will appear, but the evening will include sets by The Hiss, The Coathangers, The 63 Crayons, Sealions, and Chopper. While The Hiss are a local mainstay and both Sealions and Chopper are new to me, I'm most interested in seeing The Coathangers and The 63 Crayons.

The Coathangers are an all-girl punk band from here in Atlanta. While they've been getting some attention lately, I've somehow managed not to stumble into one of their shows just yet. From what I can tell, their catalog appears to consist of catchy punk/pop with a fair share of the angry and risque. I suppose you could probably guess that based on the song titles below. Whatever the case, I've been listening to these tracks way too much.

Oh, and just consider all of these Not Safe For Work. For real, yo.

The Coathangers - Parking Lot
The Coathangers - Don't Touch My Shit
The Coathangers - Shut Tha Fuck Up
The Coathangers - Nestle in My Boobies

Mmmmm.... Nestle.

Athens band The 63 Crayons are in town supporting their new release, Spoils for Survivors (2/20), which has been previously featured here on C&T. It was officially released just yesterday. While I'd characterize 63 Crayons as a psych-pop act before I'd consider them punk, I'll take 'em on whatever bill I can get 'em.

The 63 Crayons - Save Us [from Spoils for Survivors]
The 63 Crayons - Rocketship [from Good People]
The 63 Crayons - Mrs. Brewster [from Good People]

I'll also note that 63 Crayons were the third band ever featured here on Cable & Tweed. Ah, memories. If you're at the show, say hi to the guy with glasses with a mic stand. Odds are it's yours truly.

Monday, February 19

Anna Kramer and my exhausting weekend

I'm tempted to write a recap of what I did last weekend, but the prospect is a bit overwhelming. I saw a total of eleven bands over three days, and really enjoyed most of them. That said, only two of them I hadn't seen before. My agenda was stacked with local favorites. Here's the list, for those who care:

Summerbirds in the Cellar & How I Became the Bomb (Smith's, 2/16)
The Close & The Preakness (The EARL, 2/16)
Moresight, Cassavetes, The Selmanaires (Star Bar, 2/17)
Slushco, El Capitan and Thee Scaliwags, Thee Crucials, Anna Kramer (Alex's birthday bash, 2/18)

Lots of highlights to speak of, but probably the most important was seeing Shannon Mulvaney playing bass once again with Anna Kramer. Shannon reports that the cancer is in retreat, his health is improving, and he should be going full-speed again in the near future. This is, simply put, terrific news. He and the band played a killer set at Alex's birthday event, and will appear at The EARL on May 2 with Uncle Monk -- the bluegrass band of one Tommy Ramone. You may have heard of his prior band.

I quizzed Anna Kramer a bit about the progress of her new material, and was told that recording is well underway and some songs simply await mastering. The new album will feature her current band, including Adam Renshaw (ex-Forty Fives) and Mulvaney (ex-Magnapop), as well as members of Gringo Star. It will also feature a rockin' new version of "All Those Pretty Things" that reflects how the song has been played live for the last year or so rather the sweet-sounding country version on her debut release.

From her self-titled CD:
Anna Kramer - I Can't Take It
Anna Kramer - All Those Pretty Things

A demo of one of the new tracks:
Anna Kramer - See My Lover (demo)

You can purchase Anna Kramer's current release from the fine people at Joe Rockhead or your favorite Atlanta-area indie retailer.

Sunday, February 18

Black Lips this week in Birmingham, Atlanta, Athens

Atlanta's Black Lips are gonna be out and about quite a bit this week. The band's new live-in-Tijuana release on Vice, Los Valientes del Mundo Nuevo, hits shelves on Tuesday. That evening at 7pm they play at Atlanta's Criminal Records to celebrate. The in-store show is free, of course, and it's sure to be entertaining.

The rest of the week sees them in Birmingham (2/22), Atlanta (2/23), and Athens (2/24) before taking off for Europe. Full tour details are available on their Myspace page.

From Los Valientes del Mundo:
Black Lips - Stranger (live)
Black Lips - Not a Problem (live)

From prior releases:
Black Lips - I've Got a Knife
Black Lips - Oh Katrina

You can order the new Black Lips release from Vice Recordings.

Saturday, February 17

OK Go - "Do What You Want" video

Grammy winners OK Go continue their string of innovative/cheap/odd/hilarious videos with the new clip for "Do What You Want." I'm still undecided whether the end result is amusing or sure to induce nightmares, but here you go:

Hat tip to Best Week Ever.

Stephin Merritt - "Smile! No One Cares How You Feel"

Just got home from a Midtown/East Atlanta Village double-header -- How I Became the Bomb @ Smith's followed by The Preakness @ The EARL. Great to run into so many folks tonight at the venues. That said, I stopped off for a mocha between locations and I'm completely wired. Thus, a post.

I totally stole this off the Myspace page of Brandon from The Preakness, but as the Gothic Archies and Stephin Merritt (also of Magnetic Fields, The 6ths, Future Bible Heroes) were topics of conversation earlier today I have a notion to share. I imagine Merritt needs little introduction, although I'll note that this track is from The Tragic Treasury: Songs from a Series of Unfortunate Events (which was released last October).

For those who are unaware, that release is comprised of songs Merritt recorded under his Gothic Archies moniker for the audiobooks of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events series. A few months back Merritt appeared on local Atlanta TV to perform "Smile! No One Cares How You Feel" all by his lonesome with a ukulele. Here's the performance, and some bonus awkward banter with a morning news dude. Classic.

And here's the portable version:
Gothic Archies - Smile! No One Cares How You Feel

You can stream the album on the Nonesuch site, and buy the sucker from Amazon or your favorite indie retailer.

Friday, February 16

Tix on sale today for Lily Allen @ The Loft

I can't remember if I ever mentioned this here... but Lily Allen is playing at The Loft (ATL) on March 19. And tix are on sale at noon today. You can buy them from Ticket Alternative.

For more info on Lily, check out TA's write-up or her Myspace. You're probably already her Myspace friend anyway.

I don't have any of her tunes on my hard drive at the moment to share (and I'm writing this in a hurry), but you can find plenty of audio samples over on The Hype Machine. Also, I'm amused that this is one post up from tracks by members of Black Lips and Deerhunter. Heh.

Thursday, February 15

Local stars on Rob's House Records

A good number of Atlanta rock bands have been getting widespread press as of late. While such acts' recent albums sometimes garner attention from online media and college radio, few folks outside of Atlanta may be aware of related (and limited) releases on Rob's House Records. Specifically, Rob's House has issued solo 7" singles featuring members of local bands The Selmanaires, Deerhunter, Black Lips, and Gringo Star (among others). Here are sample tracks from each:

Herb Harris (of The Selmanaires) - Blurry Vision
Jason Harris (of The Selmanaires) - Carroll Street Caprice
Bradford Cox (of Deerhunter) - Magic Lotion
Cole Alexander (of Black Lips) - Full Moon
Jude Stevens (aka Pete DeLorenzo of Gringo Star) - Running into the Side of a Mountain

You can buy these releases and others including works from Nikki Sudden, Anna Kramer, The Selmanaires, Mudcat, and Thee Crucials directly from Rob's House. I'd have included Black Lips and Deerhunter on the list, but it looks like those releases are currently sold out. Oh, and for the record... of course Nikki Sudden isn't from Atlanta. We would, however, have claimed him in a heartbeat.

The Selmanaires play at Atlanta's Star Bar on Saturday night (2/17) with Cassavetes and Moresight. I should be there taping, so say hey.

Summerbirds & The Bomb @ Smith's, Fri., 2/16

Along with the show at The EARL, this Friday night there is also a nice event at Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta. Four regional bands will play an ASCAP showcase curated by The Devil Stole the Beat. The names that stand out for me are the first two acts -- Orlando/Athens band Summerbirds in the Cellar and Murfreesboro's How I Became the Bomb. The former is a favorite of C&T buddy Michelle, and if you've been reading here the past few months you should be intimately familiar with The Bomb. Because I effing love them.

Here's the schedule for Smith's on Friday -- note the early start!

8:30 - Summerbirds In The Cellar [Indie/psych]
9:30 - How I Became The Bomb [WOOHOO!]
10:30 - Rouletta [Southern rock]
11:30 - Dead Confederate [Rock]

Tracks from the acts of interest to yours truly:

Summerbirds in the Cellar - Behold the Wolf 1
How I Became the Bomb - Secret Identity

Erie Choir @ The EARL, Fri., 2/16, with The Preakness, The Close, The Liverhearts

If you're in Atlanta, you may already be aware that this Friday night (February 16) at The EARL is a big show with local favorites The Preakness, The Close, and The Liverhearts. Just those three bands would be a very solid lineup. However, there's also a fourth band opening up the night that we Atlanta folks are less familiar with (unless I've missed a memo).

Erie Choir are a Durham, NC, act headed by Eric Roehrig who plays backed by a collection of pals. What I've heard of them has been emotive pop with folk flourishes. Some of it has been in the vein of artists like Elvis Costello or America, while other tracks have reminded me of acts like Portland's Horse Feathers or Atlanta's own Long Knives. For more on Erie Choir, check out the excellent post on them at Ear Farm.

Erie Choir - Favorite Fotos
Erie Choir - Lullaby for John Grives
Erie Choir - Trunion Pike

Also, I love that the headline quote on their MySpace page is from a Huey Lewis song. As a wee lad I played the crap out Sports and Fore!. It's hip to be a square, ya know.

Tracks from the other bands on the bill, for those considering their Friday night options:

The Preakness - What They're Saying [demo]
The Close - John Henry by Decision
The Liverhearts - Local Lift

Wednesday, February 14

Ruby Isle

Well, here's some exciting news that I didn't even know was in the works. Dan Geller of Athens electro-pop act I am the World Trade Center has a new project, Ruby Isle, and their initial EP offering is due on March 13. It's titled Into the Black, and will apparently bear the Kindercorpse label. No, not Kindercore. Yes, seriously.

The sounds here will be familiar to fans of I am the World Trade Center (though sans Amy D.'s vox), and should appeal to fans of recent Of Montreal material as well. I'm less familiar with Mark Mellman and Aaron Lemay, who round out the trio along with Geller, but I'll be curious to hear more from this threesome. I admit that I'm often the first to dismiss dance music, but this is pretty cool stuff.

Ruby Isle - Into the Black
Ruby Isle - Atom Bomb

For more info check out their MySpace. For those making the trek to Austin, they'll be making a couple appearances at SXSW. Not a bad place for their first live gigs, I'd say.

Apples in Stereo on Conan tonight

If you're looking for some quality programming this evening after Lost, The Apples in Stereo will be appearing on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Presumably they'll be performing a song from New Magnetic Wonder, their current release on Simian Records.

I bet they won't be playing "Stephen, Stephen" although that would be bizarre and hilarious. For those who care, the guest appears to be Drew Barrymore.

Apples in Stereo - Energy [from New Magnetic Wonder]
Apples in Stereo - Apples in Stereo theme song [from applesinstereo.com]

Hello Saferide - "Valentine's Day"

Not to bring down the mood after Alex's great mix, but this seems the perfect time to share a V-Day song that's a bit more cynical. Sweden's Hello Saferide sings of leaving an unsatisfying mate in her "Valentine's Day." This clearly isn't a song about love, although lust does make a cameo. One of the last couple verses, to give you an idea:

So I hope you are sorry and I wish you the worst
And that’s all I had to say
I think we have fish sticks if you need dinner
This year, on Valentine’s Day

Hello Saferide - Valentine's Day [lyrics here]

If you're in Atlanta, note that The EARL is hosting a "Valentine's Day is for Suckers" event tonight with chanteuse Diamond Lil, Blondie from the Clermont Lounge reading poetry (and presumably strutting her stuff), and music from girl punk outfit The Coathangers. For more on the event see Creative Loafing.

Initial Bonnaroo acts announced

Um... holy shit. On the bill this year so far [courtesy Pitchfork]:

The Police, Wilco, Flaming Lips, Tool, Ween, The Decemberists, The White Stripes, The Roots, Cold War Kids, Ben Harper, The Black Keys, Spoon, Lily Allen, Feist, The National, The Hold Steady, David Cross, Lewis Black, Annuals, Fountains of Wayne, Franz Ferdinand, Damien Rice, Regina Spektor.... among others.

And that's just the start. More acts will be announced on Wednesday via the official Bonnaroo site.

Only a handful of those acts I haven't seen live, but that number includes Sting & company in their only scheduled date in the southeast. Hmm...

Bonnaroo takes place June 14-17 in Manchester, Tennessee.

Tuesday, February 13

Valentine's Day Mixtape or Last Minute Gift Idea

My girlfriend wanted a mix CD of love songs for Valentine's Day, so I thought I'd share it with everyone else out there to download and burn, and hopefully you'll surprise and impress your loved one.

1. A Band of Bees - I Love You
2. Sondre Lerche & The Faces Down Quartet - (I Wanna) Call It Love
3. Death Cab for Cutie - Earth Angel
4. RJD2 - Making Days Longer
5. T Rex - Hot Love
6. Saturday Looks Good To Me - Since You Stole My Heart
7. Elf Power - Come Lie Down With Me (And Sing My Song)
8. Anna Kramer - I Like to Have You Near
9. Johnny Cash - 'Cause I Love You
10. The Selmanaires - Take It Slow With Me [live 1-7-2006]
11. The Rosebuds - Warm Where You Lay
12. Magnetic Fields - If There's Such a Thing as Love
13. Of Montreal - Everything Disappears When You Come Around
14. Slushco - Waiting For Response
15. Belle & Sebastian - If You Find Yourself Caught in Love
16. Eddy Clearwater (featuring Los Straightjackets) - Let The Four Winds Blow
17. Elvis Presley - I Need Your Love Tonight
18. The Beatles - Eight Days a Week
19. The Gurus - It's Only Love
20. Maximo Park - Kiss You Better

Update, 2/18: Took down the pic, as I presume Alex doesn't object and I agree some criticism was warranted. It's not important re: the content anyway. I shrugged it off as black humor, but don't see any reason to offend anyone.

Monday, February 12

Flaming Lips coming to the southeast

The Flaming Lips are returning to the southeast in April, and then going right back home to Oklahoma (I guess). Here are the dates, courtesy of Pitchfork:

04-11 Athens, GA - Classic Center
04-12 Orlando, FL - House of Blues
04-13 Pompano Beach, FL - PB Amphitheater
04-14 St. Petersburg, FL - Jannus Landing
04-17 Myrtle Beach, FL - House of Blues
04-18 Raleigh, NC - Disco Rodeo
04-19 Norfolk, VA - The Norva

Sorry folks elsewhere in the States. The Lips are ours this spring, and you can't have any. Here's the Flaming Lips covering the White Stripes, because it happens to be on my hard drive at the moment:

Flaming Lips - Seven Nation Army [White Stripes cover]

The full Arcade Fire tour is up too, if that's your thing.

The Police tour dates

Those Bonnaroo rumors were true -- The Police are headlining the annual Tennessee jamfest. They're said to be playing 80 dates this year, including the following announced today:

May 28 - Vancouver, BC - GM Place
Jun 06 - Seattle, WA - Key Arena
Jun 09 - Denver, CO - Pepsi Center
Jun 15 - Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand Garden Arena
Jun 16 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
Jun 18 - Phoenix, AZ - US Airways Arena
Jun 26 - Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center
Jun 30 - New Orleans, LA - New Orleans Arena
Jul 02 - St. Louis, MO - Scottrade Center
Jul 22 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
Jul 25 - Montreal, QC - Bell Centre
Jul 28 - Boston, MA - Fenway Park [barring Mooninite antics]
Aug 01 - New York City, NY - Madison Square Garden
Aug 03 - New York City, NY - Madison Square Garden

Watch their website for more details.

Sunday, February 11

The Police 6-15-1986 @ Giants Stadium

Unless you've been stranded on a desert island for the past month, you've probably heard that N.W.A.'s least favorite band is back together. The appearance by The Police at Sunday's Grammy Awards has been hyped beyond belief, and it's likely that Monday afternoon they'll announce an upcoming tour. I'll note that they played a pretty solid version of "Roxanne" on the broadcast.

Interestingly enough, this isn't the first reunion for Gordon, Andy, and Stewart. They got together back in June '86 for Amnesty International's Conspiracy of Hope Tour after a couple years off (during which they did issue a singles collection), and reunited for a private appearance at Sting's wedding in 1992. More recently they played a short set at their 2003 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. Since I'm anticipating Monday's announcement (along with everyone else, it seems) here's a recording of one of those 1986 "reunion" sets. This also happened to be the last public show until the Rock Hall of Fame set 17 years later. Enjoy!

The Police
October 15, 1986
Giants Stadium
East Rutherford, New Jersey

01. Message In A Bottle
02. King Of Pain
03. Driven To Tears
04. Every Breath You Take
05. Roxanne
06. Invisible Sun

For those of you who can check this out at the time (I won't be able to), The Police have set up a website to listen in on the press conference and some rehearsal recordings. I believe the press conference is at 2pm EST Monday (2/12) and they're promising an mp3 of some sort to download by 7:30pm. Interesting, if nothing else. If there's news, do tell!

Saturday, February 10

Pelle Carlberg - "Clever Girls"

Speaking of Swedes, this seems like as good a time as any to share a song I've been mildly obsessed with for about six months. Pelle Carlberg is a veteran of Sweden's pop scene, best known for his work with Edson. However, he's recently been concentrating on solo material. The results have been pretty killer, if I do say so myself.

My favorite track has been the ridiculously catchy "Clever Girls..." that Carlberg made available via his website last year. While one female friend of mine (hi Charity!) called the lyrics depressing and I'd like to think we men aren't quite so shallow, it's just a fun track.

Pelle Carlberg - Clever Girls Like Clever Boys Much More Than Clever Boys Like Clever Girls

If you like that, here's some more dandy stuff from Mr. Carlberg:

Pelle Carlberg - Riverbank [from Everything. Now!]
Pelle Carlberg - Go to Hell, Miss Rydell [from Everything. Now!]
Pelle Carlberg - Middleclass Kid [demo]

For more on Carlberg, see his official site. He is also, of course, on MySpace. His next album, In a Nutshell, is due out March 28. You can order his material from Labrador Records or from Amazon.

Peter, Bjorn & John - "Young Folks" acoustic on The DL

Swedish sensation Peter, Bjorn & John recently appeared on AOL's The DL to perform an acoustic set including several songs from Writer's Block. Here's their performance of "Young Folks" from the session:

If you don't yet have an mp3 of the album version of this track, here 'tis:

Peter, Bjorn, & John - Young Folks

You can order Writer's Block from Amazon.

Friday, February 9

How I Became the Bomb - "Runaway" (live)

Murfreesboro's How I Became the Bomb busted out several unreleased songs last Saturday at Caledonia Lounge, including a fun cover of Del Shannon's "Runaway." The original hit #1 back in 1961, and was among the earliest pop hits to feature a sort of synthesizer (so says Wikipedia, anyway). The Bomb played a fun, if somewhat raw, version of this classic.

How I Became the Bomb - Runaway [Del Shannon cover; live 2-3-2007]

How I Became the Bomb will be at Atlanta's Smith's Olde Bar on Feb. 16 as part of the ASCAP showcase produced by The Devil Stole the Beat. For more on The Bomb, check out MySpace.

Their EP, Let's Go, is available from their website.
How I Became the Bomb - Secret Identity
How I Became the Bomb - Robo

Thursday, February 8

John Vanderslice spring tour

John Vanderslice tourdates aren't out yet via his homepage or JV's Myspace, but there's what appears to be a complete slate on Pollstar. No Atlanta date, but he'll be coming to the 40 Watt. The itenerary:

02/28 The Independent - San Francisco, CA (Noise Pop Festival)
04/06 Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, OR
04/07 The Triple Door - Seattle, WA
04/09 Kilby Court - Salt Lake City, UT
04/10 Hi-Dive - Denver, CO
04/12 The Maintenance Shop - Ames, IA
04/13 Lakeshore Theater - Chicago, IL
04/14 Ladies Literary Club - Grand Rapids, MI
04/15 Ohio U. - Athens, OH
04/17 Johnny Brenda's - Philadelphia, PA
04/18 Maxwell's - Hoboken, NJ
04/19 Mercury Lounge - NY, NY
04/20 Middle East - Cambridge, MA
04/25 Rock and Roll Hotel - Washington, DC
04/26 Local 506 - Chapel Hill, NC
04/28 The Map Room - Charleston, SC
04/29 Art Garage - Columbia, SC
04/30 40 Watt Club - Athens, GA
05/01 Bottletree - Birmingham, AL
05/02 SLU - St. Louis, MO
05/03 Randy Bacon Gallery - Springfield, MO
05/05 Dan's Silver Leaf - Denton, TX
05/06 Emo's Austin - Austin, TX
05/08 Modified - Phoenix, AZ
05/09 The Casbah - San Diego, CA

JV tunes:
John Vanderslice - Exodus Damage
John Vanderslice - Pale Horse
John Vanderslice - Me and My 424

By the way, Andrew Bird tourdates are due out next Tuesday. Anybody have the inside scoop on an Atlanta or Athens show?

Andrew Bird - Heretics [from Armchair Apocrypha, due March 20]
Andrew Bird - A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left
Andrew Bird - Lull

Wednesday, February 7

Inner Banks

If you live in Atlanta and listen to Album 88 on a regular basis, you've probably heard a good deal from Inner Banks. Their self-titled release on DAG! Records has received heavy airplay on Georgia State's terrific radio station. A quick review of my old posts reveals an unfinished draft of a note on them back on December 1. I imagine it was a casualty of either being busy or distracted by putting together my year-end features that week. Oops. Although they're probably ancient in blog terms at this point, I thought I'd revisit them.

Inner Banks is primarily the Brooklyn-based married team of David Gould and Caroline Schultz, each of whom is a veteran of other established acts (bio here). Like Great Northern, much of Inner Banks' appeal is their atmospheric sound, defined by mood as well as melody. However, they're more akin to a fusion of Americana and post-rock than in the dream pop realm. While I prefer the tracks with vocals to instrumentals (e.g., "Acoustic" below), I've been generally impressed with everything I've heard from them to date.

Inner Banks - Anthem
Inner Banks - Glittering Sky
Inner Banks - Acoustic

Good stuff. To learn or hear more from Inner Banks, check out their MySpace.

Tuesday, February 6

Titans of Filth coming to Drunken Unicorn on Fri., 2/9

From their Myspace page:

There once was a band they named Titans
If you have a party, invite em
Their songs are all bleak
Their bodies are weak
Their talents are all set to frighten

This Friday night, Athens popsters Titans of Filth will be appearing at Atlanta's Drunken Unicorn. I was introduced to this band only a few months ago, and by all indications they're another strong Athens band to watch. Goodness knows I've been listening to them quite a bit (as does Audioscrobbler). While they are from the same city as other pop bands I've mentioned here recently, their sound stands in stark contrast to acts like Casper & The Cookies, Ice Cream Socialists, or King of Prussia. Rather than hook-laden romps or frenetic anthems, Titans of Filth appear to concentrate heavily (though not exclusively) on mid-tempo songs with darker, more introspective lyrics than their local counterparts. However, that isn't to say that they can't write some foot-tapping fun songs too.

The quintet employs the standard guitar/bass/drums setup, and also adds both violin and accordion. Primary vocal duties are handled by Sam Grindstaff, and violinist Ann also sings harmonies. My understanding is that in its earliest incarnation, the band featured piano rather than accordion, but they've since adopted full-time use of the ol' squeezebox.

Their recorded output to date consists of a single 5-song EP, which I was lucky enough to acquire back in December. Titled Best Behavior, the EP was received well enough to be selected by Flagpole as one of its 10 favorite Athens releases for 2006. Notably, it was also recorded by Jason NeSmith of the aforementioned Casper & The Cookies. Although I hate to put up 60% of the EP at once, I really want folks to check these guys out... so have at it:

Titans of Filth - Beauty
Titans of Flith - We Made a Fire
Titans of Filth - The Morbid Widow's Portrait Gallery

They're playing at the DU with a pair of bands seemingly interested in hungry and/or amorous extremities -- One Hand Loves the Other and Feeding Fingers. I'm not familiar with either, but I'm interested in checking them out.

Southern Shelter has a recording of the Nov. 30, 2006, Titans of Filth set for download. For more info, see their MySpace page.


Ohmygosh. Ben & Jerry's Stephen Colbert ice cream?! [hat tip to Best Week Ever]

Method Actors

After posting the CYHSY tour dates below, I thought once again (as I often do) of how much that band reminds me of an Athens act from a quarter-century ago. Method Actors were among the post-punk and early new wave bands that included Talking Heads, Television, and Athens comtemporaries Pylon and (to a lesser extent) The B-52's. They debuted in 1979 and released a string of LPs until 1984, garnering ample critical praise.

Jon from Underneathica has mentioned them on more than one occasion (e.g., here) and done a better job than I could ever do given my limited exposure to Method Actors material. I know they began as a duo and eventually grew into a larger outfit, with additional members joining the fray over time. The New York Times called them "more interesting than Pylon" and the UGA student newspaper hilariously called them "the most pretentious band since creation." The latter sounds not unlike reaction to a certain Brooklyn/Philly band with a lengthy name, no?

Method Actors - Do the Method
Method Actors - Dancing Underneath
Method Actors - No Condition
Method Actors - All Tomorrow's Parties
[VU cover]

I'm not aware of any Method Actors releases currently in print, but I'd give a big wet kiss to anyone who'd reissue their material. They do, however, have a MySpace page (!!!). Lead vocalist Vic Varney does continue to maintain a web presence where he has available music he has been working on. I understand he remains in the Athens area, but I imagine some of my Classic City readers can elaborate on that.

If there are any Method Actors historians out there, please do update the Wikipedia entry. It's barren, and it seems they deserve more attention than the current single line. Trouser Press has a decent biographical write-up on the band and discography.


I'm pretty sure this Andrew Bird appearance as "Dr. Stringz" on the Noggin channel is just about the best thing ever.

MSNBC.com's Indie Study features Of Montreal.

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer"/"Angel" and "Firefly" honcho Joss Whedon has left the production of the forthcoming Wonder Woman movie. Paramount, you suck.

The Dalai Lama has accepted a distinguished professorship at Atlanta's Emory University. That's pretty nifty, if I do say so myself.

Great Northern

Silverlake, California, band Great Northern is new to me, but I'm glad to have been introduced to them. Their debut LP, Trading Twilight for Daylight, is due out on Eenie Meenie Records in May.

Judging from the track below and those available on their MySpace page, it seems that Great Northern plays a lush style of atmospheric pop with interesting instrumentation and dueling male/female vocalists. They seem quite good at being quite lovely. Their sound strikes me as comparable to acts like Seely, Muse, or perhaps Doves... although none are quite on the mark. Here is "Home" from Trading Twilight for Daylight:

Great Northern - Home

More info and streaming tracks are available on their official site and MySpace page.

Monday, February 5

Clap Your Hands Say Tour

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is coming back to the South in April. Here are the dates, courtesy of Pitchfork, all with Elvis Perkins opening:

04-17 Nashville, TN - Cannery Ballroom
04-18 Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
04-19 Athens, GA - 40 Watt
04-20 Jacksonville, FL - Freebird
04-21 Orlando, FL - The Club at Firestone
04-22 Fort Lauderdale, FL - Revolution
04-24 New Orleans, LA - Republic

The full slate of dates in Europe and the U.S. is available at Pitchfork.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Underwater (You and Me)
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Over and Over Again (Lost & Found)
Elvis Perkins - Ash Wednesday

Sunday, February 4

Madeline 2-3-2007 @ 40 Watt Club, Athens

Saturday night I ventured down the road to Athens for a long-anticipated night of music. After catching sets from Russian Spy Camera and How I Became the Bomb at Caledonia Lounge (more on that later -- Sloan and I both taped), I scrambled over to the 40 Watt Club to see Athens-based songstress Madeline at her CD release party (The Slow Bang is now available from Orange Twin). Boy, am I glad I did. It was my first time seeing her, and it was more than I could have expected.

Madeline played her set as part of an eight-piece band including an upright bass, organ, and horn section (including Laura Carter of Elf Power, who also played accordion and woodwinds). The large band filled out the sound of her familiar songs, and the large and enthusiastic crowd at the 40 Watt added spark to the event. This was one of those occasions when I left the venue incredibly glad that somebody was there to capture the moment. I've uploaded the recording for posterity at the Live Music Archive, and you can check it out here.

February 3, 2007
40 Watt Club
Athens, Georgia

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

01. intro/tuning
02. You Can't Break My Heart
03. Fish in the Sea
04. Lit Elephants
05. tuning
06. Shotgun Wedding
07. band intros/banter
08. Demise of Madame Butterfly
09. band change
10. Uncle's Sweetheart pt. 2*
11. band change
12. I Know You Won't
13. band switch/tuning
14. Dollar Beer (aborted)
15. Dollar Beer
16. banter
17. Blackout Song
18. banter/band switch
19. Durty South
20. banter/false start
21. Bella's Song
22. crowd/band switch
23. Good Houses
24. crowd
- Encore -
25. I Left the Light On
26. Home to Me
27. banter
28. Slow Down

*vocal low at start

The full show can also be streamed or downloaded as either lossless or lossy files via the Live Music Archive.

As noted, Sloan and I both taped at Caledonia. I will probably defer to his recordings given his better equipment, and he also managed to record Casper & The Cookies (I missed most of their set while over at the 40 Watt). Mike from Deadly Designs was also in the house taking great pictures as usual. It was, in short, a heck of a night in Athens.

Saturday, February 3

No postage required

Yet another selection of goodies from my inbox for your consideration:

The Icicles - Sugar Sweet [lovey-dovey pop]
The Paper Airplanes - The Fences [epic indie rock]
The Visitors - Stop What You're Doing ['90s-esque indie rock/punk]
Summer Wardrobe - Ned Kelly [pop with Americana elements]
The Makes Nice - Candy Wrapper [melodic indie rock]
Brent Amaker and The Rodeo - Bring Me the Whiskey [foot-stompin' country]
The Coach and Four - Hello Destroyer [poppy-yet-angular indie rock]
The Safes - Phone Book Full of Phonies [power-pop/dance-rock]
Postscripts - This Is [hushed indie folk]
My Teenage Stride - To Live and Die in the Airport Lounge [bouncy dance-rock]

A few of these I like quite a bit. Dig in!

If you want more info on an artist, feel free to ask.

Looking ahead to Super Sunday

Other than Prince, I have no idea who to root for on Sunday. I grew up as a fan of both the Bears and Colts. Never have picked a favorite, and it's never really mattered. This presents a complication tomorrow. I do normally favor NFC over AFC teams, but my family as a whole is certainly more inclined to root for Indy. Either way, I'll be excited for the victor. Who are you pulling for?

Prince - Black Sweat
Sir Georg Solti/Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Bear Down, Chicago Bears
Mudkids - Go Blue (Colts) [AP article on this song]

Oh, and if anybody's gonna be at the Caledonia Lounge tonight for How I Became the Bomb, Russian Spy Camera, and Casper & The Cookies please do say hello. I imagine I'll be the only guy there in a Cubs hat hanging out under a microphone stand.

Thursday, February 1

THE MOON RULZ #1!!! -- Boston officials are farking idiots

Apologies for the detour into national events, but this deals with a TV program dear to my heart so I'm gonna go there.

Attention, C&T readers: The following Boston-area officials are, it seems, complete farking idiots:

Mass. Governor Deval Patrick
Boston Mayor Tom Menino
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis
U.S. Representative Ed Markey
District Attorney Daniel Conley
Assistant Attorney General John Grossman

I'm sure they aren't the only ones, but they've been visible in print and televised media spouting rhetoric, hyperbole, and ignorant nonsense about the phony "bomb scare" in their city yesterday. I imagine you're familiar with the events in question. Each and every one of them needs to pull his respective head out his respective ass.

The apologies issued by Turner Broadcasting and Adult Swim are more than the individuals above deserve, and each of them should apologize to the citizens of Boston, as well as to Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens. The latter gentlemen now face felony charges for attempting to incite a panic in the city, which anyone with any sense knows they did not do. This is asinine, and city officials should back down before they come off looking even worse (unless, that is, the people of Boston truly fear two-dimensional invaders from the Moon). Everyone under 30 in America is already laughing at them for reacting like this to Lite Brite boards with Ignignokt and Err flipping the bird. I can only imagine how they'll react to the impending Glo Worm invasion.

When this blows over, it's clear that Berdovsky and Stevens will face nothing more than misdemeanor charges for some lame offense with a minor fine. Nothing more is justified. The judge in the case is already showing signs of sanity, thank goodness. Furthermore, one would think that somewhere within the police force there would be someone with sufficient detective skills to identify a prominent character from a well-known television program and contact its parent company. That's how it seems to have been handled in the other major cities where anyone even noticed these things hanging for 2-3 weeks without incident. The Mooninites aren't as ubiquitous as Mickey Mouse, sure, but I would hope Boston/Massachusetts law enforcement would investigate a bit deeper before unjustifiably freaking out the populace and shutting down parts of the city (the very act Berdovsky and Stevens are accused of, incidentally).

Perhaps the officials above should watch some Adult Swim sometime and lighten up. Yeesh.

D Schoolly - Mooninite Death March

Baby, it's cold outside

Here in the southeast, we're having one of our coldest days of the season. Folks up in the Carolinas have been hit particularly hard by snow and general winter nastiness. Not that we have seen a snowflake yet in Atlanta, but it reminds me why I was glad to escape midwestern winters.

Not that everyone needs to be reminded of winter's chill, but here are some tunes that might fit the season:

The Never - Winter Time
Tacks, the Boy Disaster - Frozen Feet
Velcro Stars - Another Winter
Sluscho - Weatherproof
Christians & Lions - Stay Warm

Hope everyone stays nice and toasty despite Old Man Winter's wrath. I'd get each and every one of you a cup of cocoa if I could.

New Snowden video: "Like Bullets"

Atlanta indie heroes Snowden have just released the video for "Like Bullets" from Anti-Anti. It's minimalist, surreal, and it doesn't look like any of them made it out alive. Snowden is dead, long live Snowden!

The title track from Anti-Anti:

Snowden - Anti-Anti

The album is available from Jade Tree Records, where you can also stream the full album. For more info and tourdates, see their official site.