Thursday, May 31

Around the horn

The Sufjan Stevens track from the current Believer Magazine compilation is spreading through the blogosphere like wildfire. Why? Because it's rocktastic. Buy it.

Sufjan Stevens - In the Words of the Governor

The New Pornographers have a new record, Challengers, due on August 21. The lead single has been getting strong response online, and after a couple listens I can say I like it too.

New Pornographers - My Rights Versus Yours

I have a huge crush on the new Spoon album, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, due July 10. You can pre-order and get bonus goodies from Merge.

Spoon - The Underdog

Sweden's Shout Out Louds will release Our Ill Wills in September, and have just released the record's first single.

Shout Out Louds - Tonight I Have to Leave It

The Poison Control Center have signed to Afternoon Records and will release A Collage of Impressions in the fall. In the meantime, a 6-track limited EP featuring album track "Glory Us" is due on July 10.

The Poison Control Center - Glory Us

Speed Racer's Mach 5 racer from the forthcoming film adaptation has been revealed.

There's a new horror movie about killer sheep?

Some people in Rhode Island with nothing better to do are fighting over who gets to have 867-5309 as their phone number. Jenny not impressed.

Kanye West claims he is the Mel Gibson of the music world. Still no apology for terrible, horrible, no good, very bad treatment of "Young Folks."

Spin and others report that CBS has purchased

So, who can tell me when Once is coming to Atlanta? Please?

Arum Rae brings the blues

While peeking at my Chainestereo write-up in this week's Flagpole, I noticed the entry right below it. It previews a show this Friday night (June 1) at Tasty World with King of Prussia, Russian Spy Camera, Morningbell, and Virginia native Arum Rae. While the first three bands are familiar to me, I had to seek a little knowledge about the latter.

Already having earned accolades in her home region, Arum Rae has been branching out to venues up and down the east coast. A rather versatile performer with one hell of a voice, she ventures into both blues-based swamp rock and sweet country with jazz sensibilities. A graduate of the famed Berklee College of Music, she recorded her debut LP, Too Young to Sing the Blues, with the assistance of musicians who had previously played alongside such luminaries as Ani Difranco, Tom Waits, and Paul Simon. Most... impressive.

Fortunately for those of us in Atlanta, we'll get two chances to see her this week at Eddie's Attic (6/2, open mic shootout) and Smith's Old Bar (6/4, $5). I'd suggest the Smith's show for a full set, but I'm sure she'd appreciate the support at Eddie's on the way to that prize money.

Arum Rae - Lookin' for Love
Arum Rae - Home

In June, Arum Rae plays throughout the southeast and on onward to Colorado. Her tour, beginning tonight in Birmingham:

5/31 The Nick, Birmingham, AL
6/1 Tasty World, Athens, GA
6/2 Eddie's Attic, Decatur, GA
6/4 Smith's Olde Bar, Atlanta, GA
6/8 Sentient Bean, Savannah, GA
6/9 The Bone Yard, Swainsboro, GA
6/10 Beach Party, Jacksonville, FL
6/12 The Surrey Tavern, Augusta, GA
6/13 Home Team BBQ, Charleston, SC
6/14 Cumberland's, Charleston, SC
6/15 21 Eleven, Greenville, NC
6/16 Motorcycle Camp Night in BlueGrass, Blue Grass, VA
6/23 Three Kings Tavern, Denver, CO
6/29 Highland Pacific , Denver, CO
6/30 Cactus Jacks, Evergreen, CO

For more information on Arum Rae, see her Myspace. You can buy Too Young to Sing the Blues from CD Baby.

Wednesday, May 30

C&T in The Loaf and ATL weekend happenings

First off, there's a wee bit of an unintentional C&T media blitz this week. The blog (along with yours truly) is featured in this week's Creative Loafing, and I also have a profile of Chainestereo in the Athens-based Flagpole weekly. Neat.

Lots of stuff going on this weekend in Atlanta... here's what catches my wandering eye:

Friday, June 1

Friday night at Whirlyball in Roswell is a long-anticipated show with a stacked bill -- Deerhunter, The Selmanaires, The Coathangers, and The Carbonas all share the stage. If you've been paying attention you know that tickets to this shindig are available only at Atlanta's Criminal Records, and your $10 gets you both admission and a limited 7" with exclusive tracks from each of the bands. Now you can play "Nestle in My Boobies" (the song, pervert) on your very own hi-fi phonograph system. Rejoice! The show is sponsored by the folks from Chunklet.

Deerhunter - Spring Hall Convert
The Selmanaires - Selmanaire Rock
The Coathangers - Parking LotThe Carbonas - Lost Cause

For those of you who are out of town, Lillian at Criminal has informed me that the limited 7" with these bands is now available for mail order. The phone number to call is on the Criminal website. You're welcome.

Also on Friday night is a terrific pop showcase at Star Bar, with Casper & the Cookies, M Coast, and Chainestereo all in the house. Kinda funny they'll be performing at the home of the Redneck Underground movement, but I'll take it. This lineup also plays at the Caledonia Lounge in Athens on Thursday, May 31.

Casper & the Cookies - Sid from Central Park
M Coast - Sail Around the World
Chainestereo - Magnetic South

Saturday, June 2

Saturday night two of my favorite local acts, The Selmanaires and Anna Kramer, play at Lenny's Bar. The show is a benefit for Young Blood Gallery and Boutique, and will also feature a raffle, silent art auction, and door prizes. Should be lots of fun.

The Selmanaires - Images
Anna Kramer - I Can't Take It

Over at The EARL on Saturday there's a great lineup including Mitch Easter (of Let's Active), Tim Lee 3, and C&T faves The Preakness. Mitch Easter is known not only for his membership in Let's Active, but also for his extensive collaboration with those R.E.M. dudes. He is currently touring to support his album Dynamico released in March. The Preakness go on first around 10pm with their brand of lo-fi driving pop.

Mitch Easter - Sudden Crown Drop
The Preakness - What They're Saying
Mitch Easter will also play a free, all-ages show at the Aurora Coffee location in Virginia Highlands on Saturday at 3pm. Huzzah.

If you're looking for something low-key in Atlanta on Saturday night, you might consider attending a screening of HBO's new comedy series "Flight of the Conchords." Note that one-half of the parody folk duo in the show is the male lead from Eagle vs. Shark. Doors open at 9pm, and the screening starts at 9:45. You can RSVP online if you'd like to attend.

Flight of the Conchords - Issues (aka Think About It)
Flight of the Conchords - Hiphopopotamus meets the Rhymenoceros

I am now officially looking forward to seeing these guys in the comedy tent at Bonnaroo.

No excuse for being bored. For more local happenings, see

No postage required

Lots of quality new tunes in the mailbox lately that I hate to overlook. Here's a sampler of the goods...

Ryan Adams - Two [uh, Ryan Adams]
Morningbell - The Speed of God [throwback pop]
John P. Strohm - Sha La [power pop]
Wooden Wand - Delia [gothic folk]
Kurt Hagardorn - You Are My Girl [country-tinged indie pop]
Meowskers - Colors That Lie! [piano/fuzz extravaganza]
The Cobbs - Say You Never Knew Me [indie garage]
Morning State - Retreat!!! [hooky indie rock]
Favourite Sons - Pistols & Girls [big beat/gothic revival]
Acute - The City [alt-pop]
The Electric Soft Parade - If That's the Case, Then I Don't Know [alt-rock]

Some nice stuff, eh? If only I had time to post about everything...

On an unrelated note, the heroes at Adult Swim are airing a Robot Chicken Star Wars special on June 17. If you've seen their collect call from Darth Vader to the Emperor or verbal showdown between Luke and his father, you know The Force is strong with this one.

Tuesday, May 29

The Phoenix Foundation

Timing is a very funny thing. Just yesterday Alex sent me to check out the website of Eagle vs. Shark, a promising comedic film from New Zealand that will begin playing in the U.S. next month. I noticed the music on the site and liked it, but couldn't figure out just who it was. Today I was contacted about The Phoenix Foundation, the very same band that wrote and performed the film's score. Well, how about that?

The Phoenix Foundation are an indie rock outfit from Wellington, New Zealand. It appears they've been critically praised in their home country, and a little snooping reveals that Spin gave them some love last week. They are visiting the U.S. to support both Eagle vs. Shark and their album Horsepower, now available from Young American Recordings. These guys play an interesting brand of indie rock, flavored by folk-pop, Brit-pop, and even New Wave -- they strike me as somewhere in the neighborhood between Austin's Peel and Decatur's Warm in the Wake. I imagine they won't have much trouble finding an American audience.

I'm sure this is all old news to the New Zealanders out there, but they're new to me...

The Phoenix Foundation - Going Fishing
The Phoenix Foundation - Sister Risk
The Phoenix Foundation - Let Me Die a Woman

For more info and American tour dates, see their official website.

AthFest in your pocket

As I've mentioned here recently, this year's AthFest takes place June 20-24 in Athens, Georgia. The lineup is extensive and can be found online, including such acts as Cars Can Be Blue, Casper & the Cookies, Cinemechanica, Dark Meat, Dexateens, Drive-By Truckers, The Good Ship, Zach Gresham (of Summer Hymns), King of Prussia, M Coast, Madeline, Bain Mattox, Modern Skirts, Murder Beach, Russian Spy Camera, Tin Cup Prophette, Velcro Stars, Venice is Sinking, Warm in the Wake, We Versus the Shark, The Whigs, and Zoroaster. Uh, and that's rather incomplete. Yeesh.

Each year in conjunction with the festival Ghostmeat Records releases a compilation CD of artists participating in the festivities. The AthFest 2007 collection includes the following:

01. Athens Boys Choir - Athens, GA*
02. Now It's Overhead - Walls^
03. M Coast - Aurora
04. Nana Grizol - Circles 'Round The Moon*
05. Liz Durrett - Far From Home*
06. Sleepy Horses - Lubbock Love Song
07. King of Prussia - Misadventures Of The Campaign Kids
08. Down with the Woo - Learn To Street Fight*
09. The Renegadez - I Ain't Wit Dat
10. Nelo - Jumping Bean*
11. Music Hates You - So Much Dirt In My Spotless Lab*
12. Tin Cup Prophette - Go Dig My Grave
13. Bloodkin - Night School*
14. Travis Williams - Stand Up*
15. Dark Meat - Tower*
16. Kimberley Morgan & the Everlovin' Band - Glory*
17. Mikey Dwyer - Into The Night*
18. Beyond Tomorrow - Here We Go Again
19. The Empties - Oh My God*
20. The Lovenotes Family - They Gon' Love Us*

*previously unreleased
^first time on CD

It's a pretty nifty comp, and 14 of the 20 tracks are exclusive. You can order the compilation from AthensMusic.Net. Proceeds from the sales benefit AthFest, Inc., which is a non-profit organization that supports the Athens music and arts scene.

Bonus tunes from AthFest participants:

Casper & the Cookies - Sid from Central Park
Cars Can Be Blue - I Used to Think [not safe for work]
Cars Can Be Blue - Dirty Song [NOT SAFE FOR WORK!]
Dark Meat - Angel of Meth
Drive-By Truckers - Carl Perkins' Cadillac
M Coast - Sail Around the World
Madeline - I Left the Light On
Russian Spy Camera - Svengali What's the Caper
Summer Hymns - Start Swimming
Tin Cup Prophette - Going Numb
Velcro Stars - Brand New
Venice is Sinking - Undecided

Now to figure out which days I'm gonna head over for the festival...

Monday, May 28

Threadless $10 sale

Heads up, gang -- the good folks at Threadless are having another $10 sale through June 3. Time to add to the summer wardrobe...

Andrew Bird 4-16-2007 @ Mercy Lounge, Nashville, TN

As I noted after returning home from it, Andrew Bird's Nashville appearance last month was one of my favorite shows this year. I've been sitting on the tape since the show (not literally, mind you) and have just gotten around to converting it. Bird (vocals, violin, guitar, whistling) took the stage alongside Martin Dosh (drums) and Jeremy Ylvisaker (bass), and the show also featured a guest appearance by drummer Patrick Callahan of My Morning Jacket on "Fake Palindromes." And it was good.

The recording turned out pretty well, but I'll note that the dynamics of Bird's performance make some moments pretty quiet. He's also soft-spoken on stage, so the banter between tracks is sometimes difficult to hear. The full show is available below as .mp3 files, or from the Live Music Archive in lossless (.flac) format.

Andrew Bird
April 16, 2007 - Mercy Lounge, Nashville, TN

Source: SP-CMC4s > battery box > Creative Nomad JB3
Lineage: JB3 > Gateway MT6541 > Cool Edit Pro 2.0 > CD Wave > dbPowerAmp > .flac

01. instrumental intro
02. Imitosis
03. banter
04. Fiery Crash
05. Spare-Ohs
06. banter
07. Dear Dirty
08. banter
09. Heretics
10. banter
11. Plasticities
12. banter
13. Simple X
14. Armchairs
15. banter
16. Fake Palindromes [with Patrick Callahan of MMJ]
17. banter
18. Don't Be Scared
19. Skin Is, My
20. banter
21. Scythian Empire
22. applause
- encore -
23. Why?

I'm sure Janet, Tessa, and The Falconer will be glad I finally got around to this. Now to get Mr. Bird to schedule some of those rumored fall dates here in Atlanta/Athens...

Sunday, May 27

The mythology of Folklore

Athens-based experimental folk outfit Folklore has a number of southeastern dates coming up to support their The Ghost of H.W. Beaverman. Their debut full-length, it follows last year's Carpenter's Falls EP. Folklore is primarily the project of Elf Power guitarist Jimmy Hughes, and includes a cast of prominent Athens musicians.

Although relatively lo-fi in production, The Ghost of H.W. Beaverman is an interesting and ambitious record. It is a concept album, crafting songs around a mythology centered on events and personalities from upstate New York (some actual, some imagined). It's not purely driven by the premise like Tommy, for example, but incorporates various story elements into the songs. This effort is broadly rooted in a sort of psych-folk aesthetic, with songs ranging from accessible folk ("The Vet" and "The Pharmacist") to jangle-pop ("The Father") and psychedelia ("The Drowning of Lake Bonaparte"). A number of tracks incorporate brass, woodwinds and strings as well, generally contributed by musicians affiliated with the Elephant 6 umbrella.

While an interesting listen, the record isn't instantly accessible -- because the lyrics are steeped in Folklore's mythology initial listens were more enjoyable with the lyrics on hand. It's a bold move to tackle the unfamiliar and ask the listener to come along for the ride. There is the potential that such a maneuver would constrain a record's appeal, but then I'm reminded of Sufjan Stevens singing about the Chickenmobile of Decatur, Illinois, or Snowden referencing the MJQ Concourse. Still, the record has some real gems that make the effort worthwhile.

The tracklist of The Ghost of H.W. Beaverman, with a couple samples:

01. Enter the Ghost
02. The Kid
03. The Father
04. The Drowning at Lake Bonaparte
05. The Bartender
06. The Vet
07. Bill & James
08. The Pharmacist
09. The Ghost
10. H.W. Beaverman
11. Going Home

Upcoming Folklore tour dates:

May 30 - Caledonia Lounge, Athens, GA (w/ Summer Hymns)
May 31 - Grey Eagle, Asheville, NC (w/ Summer Hymns)
June 15 - Snug Harbor, Charlotte, NC
June 16 - Art Bar, Columbia, SC
June 23 - Athfest @ Hot Corner, Athens, GA (w/ Titans of Filth)
July 21 - Caledonia Lounge, Athens, GA (w/ Je Suis France)

There is an extensive Flagpole interview with Jimmy Hughes of Folklore online. For more on the band, see their Myspace.

Saturday, May 26

Talking pictures: Waitress

At times it is perfectly clear that there is a justice deficiency in the world. Just in case I'd forgotten, this weekend I was strongly reminded.

After sitting through a sold-out viewing of the bloated, chaotic, and stupid mess that is Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, I later went to see Adrienne Shelly's Waitress. I believe there were a grand total of eight warm bodies in the theater. Without a doubt, Waitress was one of the better films I have seen this year.

Much of the early buzz surrounding the movie revolved around the 2006 murder of its writer-director-actress Adrienne Shelly, an unavoidable topic that unfortunately could have overshadowed the film. However, Waitress excels to such an extent that the knowing audience can easily forget this attached baggage.

Warning: minor spoilers ahead

At its core the movie is Just Another Romantic Comedy™, but it far surpasses the typical Roberts-Ryan-Grant-Law brand of the genre. Protagonist Jenna (Keri Russell) is an unhappy waitress with a gift for pie-making who finds herself trapped in an awful marriage. She and coworkers Becky (Cheryl Hines) and Dawn (Shelly) provide much of the film's quirky charm with their banter, with grumpy but endearing Old Joe (Andy fucking Griffith) gamely taking part as well.

Much of the plot revolves around Jenna's desire to escape her marriage, a plan which is sidetracked by an unexpected pregnancy. However, said pregnancy also sparks an unexpected romance with her doctor (Nathan Fillion of "Firefly"/Serenity and "Lost") that only serves to complicate matters. This relationship provides many of Waitress's sweeter moments, but not without the bittersweet as well. There are laughs to spare, as well as episodes of intensity and dread courtesy of Jenna's controlling husband Earl (Jeremy Sisto of "Six Feet Under"). Not since Little Miss Sunshine do I recall leaving a theater so charmed and satisfied by a film, and I sincerely hope it achieves a similar level of success.

If swordplay and swashbuckling is more your speed, Waitress may not be the film for you. However, if you appreciate small films with big hearts then I'd recommend you give this one a shot. Waitress is currently playing in select theaters. The trailer is on YouTube.

Bonus mp3:

The Eames Era - Year of the Waitress

Friday, May 25

"A Journey Through Athens Music" with Jeff Tobias

Hat tip to The Day Jobs for pointing this out.

Athens musician Jeff Tobias of Dark Meat and We Versus the Shark has produced an 8 minute video titled "A Journey Through Athens Music." Tobias tours many of the prominent venues in town (The 40 Watt, Georgia Theatre, Caledonia Lounge, Tasty World), and briefly profiles several Athens bands (REM, B-52's, Pylon, etc.) and landmarks. Worth a look whether you're a local or you'd just like to learn a bit more about what I'm always rambling about.

Well done, Jeff! Note that the piece has an original soundtrack by Athens' own Allison Weiss, who is also credited for production.

Watch for the five-finger discount at Wuxtry...

Initial Corndogorama info revealed...

As has been the subject of considerable local chatter, the annual Corndogorama festival is moving this year from its long-time home at The EARL over to the new Lenny's location. I've heard a lot of mixed feeling about this, and I suppose I'll wait until the event before making a judgment. Regardless, organizer Dave Railey has released some initial info on this year's event (via the Lenny's website)...

It is the 11th year of the FEST, the dates are 7/12-7/15, this year's theme is the Year 2112: STICK to the Future, it'll be held at Lenny's with 3 stages, 2 indoor and 1 outside underneath a tent. It'll be 60 bands over a 4 day peroid, with bands such as vietnam [atlanta], the selmainaires, Fiend without a face, dropsonic, the life and times, 5-8, Mastodon, the coathangers, day mars ray, ancient Chinese secret, Caddle, the graboids, all the saints, bluegrass, country, dj's like klever, jeff myers from jazz space+bass, chim chim, brian paris, sars, corvette and CSX, Personalities like the suicide girls, sassparilla the singing guerilla, roller boogie baby, corny huskadero, and of course, MC Rotnee.

With events like the first ever corn dog wrestle off, the Beer Factor Olympics, tricycle race, the Corn dog Challenge eating contest, The Queen Corn dog pageant, and the heavy metal petting zoo, dunk tank, the mystery touching booth, & introducing Beachparty2112: bringin' the beach to the city-brought to you by Faster Mustache and Walter Krunkite. For food, of course we'll have the corn dog couple Amanda & Jeff with their secret recipe of jalapeno corn dogs (veggie if you prefer), Ria's bluebird wiil be catering the event with their brand new smoker. cotton candy, lemonade, funnell cakes, & many adult beverages. Also, an artist market, booths by various sponsors, including Atlantis Hydroponics, Pine on-line Magazine, SUPER DELUXE from Cartoon Network, German Wines by DMR Imports, & a Tuaca tiki hut + surprises + prizes.


Hopefully more details will emerge in the near future, and the lineup will be expanded. Going by Dave's count, the note above only mentions about 25% of the bands. I don't care much about the spectacle/food/contests aspect of the whole thing. I guess Mastodon is the big act, but I'm not personally interested in them. We shall see...

Bonnaroo schedule announced

Man, have I been waiting for this day. The schedule for Bonnaroo has been released. I'm sure I'll be going over this thing in detail soon, but an initial glance reveals the following...

Looks like The National will be the big act on Thursday night for me. Tool headlines on Friday with Cold War Kids in the afternoon and then Lily Allen, The Roots, and Black Keys on different stages almost simultaneously. I think Black Keys are gonna win that one.

The Police and Flaming Lips each play Saturday... wow. That day also has some real conflicts that are a bit irritating. Both Gogol Bordello/Regina Spektor/Annuals and Spoon/Ween will be on different stages at the same time. Crap.

Sunday is a mess -- The Decemberists, Wilco, Feist, and The White Stripes will be on various stages from 4:30-8:30 with some overlap. Nifty. Sunday's headliner is Widespread Panic though, which means I'll get to beat the traffic out.

The comedy tents are stacked -- Lewis Black and David Cross on both Thursday and Friday, and then Dave Attell and Demitri Martin on both Saturday and Sunday.

Just a few weeks 'til the festivities kick off June 14 in Manchester, Tennessee. Woo!

Laura Veirs and Saltbreakers 5-23-2007 @ The EARL (audio, yo)

I already posted a few songs from the Laura Veirs and Saltbreakers show at The EARL, but here's the whole set. I don't suppose it's necessary to repeat my review -- this was a really nice set by a fine artist.

You can download the full show in lossless (.flac) format from The Traders' Den (requires BitTorrent).... or.... you can grab the full show as .mp3 files from Sendspace (117mb). In addition, several individual tracks can be sampled below. Note that if you grabbed the tracks from the review post, these are different files. Enjoy!

Laura Veirs and Saltbreakers
May 23, 2007 - The EARL, Atlanta, GA

Taping: SP-CMC-4's > batt box > Creative Nomad Jukebox 3
Conversion: JB3 > USB > Cool Edit Pro 2 > CD Wave > dbPowerAmp > .mp3

Pink Light
Wandering Kind
Parisian Dream
Cast a Hook
Song My Friends Taught Me [Laura solo]
Wind is Blowing Stars [Laura solo]
Ocean Night Song
Drink Deep
To the Country [with Ashley Eriksson of Lake]
Black-Eyed Susan
Black Butterfly
Don't Lose Yourself
- encore -
Secret Someones

Entire show with Eli Moore of Lake on bass; Lake opened

Please let me know if the torrent acts up. Note that I won't be able to seed much (if at all) during the day, so hopefully some other seeders will jump on.

By the way, for those who are interested... the Roger Waters show from Atlanta on Sunday night (5/22) is also available on The Traders' Den. If that's your bag, have at it.

Thursday, May 24

St. Vincent coming to The EARL, July 11

Ladies and gents, I noted in my Laura Veirs review that I rarely get all that amped for particular shows these days. On July 11, I'm gonna be completely hyped about the show at The EARL. That night St. Vincent will take the stage with Scout Niblett supporting.

St. Vincent's Annie Clark is a rising force, and her forthcoming Marry Me is one of my most anticipated releases of the summer. It is due out on July 10, just a day before her scheduled ATL visit. Annie is a veteran of both Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan's band, and her Paris is Burning EP and sample tracks from her forthcoming record promise big things ahead for this multi-instrumentalist, genre-crossing artist. Other than Bonnaroo, this is probably the show of the summer for me. Can you tell I'm excited by this news?

St. Vincent - Now Now
St. Vincent - Marry Me
Scout Niblett - Dinosaur Egg [live]

Tickets are available now via Ticket Alternative. I just bought mine...

Laura Veirs @ The EARL, May 23, 2007

I made what was surprisingly not a tough decision last night -- I opted to skip the Lost season finale in favor of seeing Laura Veirs at The EARL. I rarely anticipate particular shows all that much these days, but I was very much looking forward to seeing Laura's first visit to Atlanta.

The charming Veirs delighted the crowd with about 90 minutes of her indie folk, drawing primarily from her current record Saltbreakers but also performing selections from Year of Meteors and Carbon Glacier. As is evident in the photos above, the band took the stage in custom stage outfits with Veirs even having an "LV" guitar stitched onto her dress. She seemed pleased and almost surprised to be greeted by an enthusiastic crowd.

The band was a bit handicapped, as bassist Karl Blau was suffering from a toothache and was replaced by Eli Moore of opening band Lake. However, Moore had apparently picked up some of the songs during the tour and otherwise learned his parts during the soundcheck. Given the circumstances, Moore performed admirably. Pianist/organist Steve Moore (no relation) and drummer Tucker Martine were also a joy to watch, particularly as they exchanged knowing looks with their pinch-hitting bassist.

Throughout the set the band reminded me why I'm so fond of Saltbreakers -- songs like the title track and "To the Country" managed to be both grandiose and sweet. The latter was a fun romp, with Lake's Ashley Eriksson singing harmonies and the audience contributing a good bit of clapping. Another fun moment came when the band experienced some minor technical difficulties -- the impromptu banter turned into a band fashion show while Laura and the gents showed off their duds and the keyboardist provided background music akin to what you'd hear during the Showcase Showdown. The biggest crowd response of the night might have been to "Galaxies," which may also have been the most rockin' track of the evening. Veirs performed a pair of songs solo in the middle of the set, which along with songs like "Nightingale" and "Black Butterfly" provided some of the night's softer moments. It was an enjoyable evening, and the band seemed to enjoy it as much as the crowd.

A few tracks from the show, because I've had time to edit them while waiting for tonight's Lost to show up on the ABC site...

Laura Veirs - Saltbreakers [live 5-23-2007]
Laura Veirs - Galaxies [live 5-23-2007]
Laura Veirs - To the Country [live 5-23-2007; w/ Ashley Eriksson]

For Laura Veirs tourdates, check out her official site.

Wednesday, May 23

Wherein the Black Keys promise to visit, and Jack, Meg, Peter, Bjorn, and John don't even bother to call anymore (sigh)

A conversation, overheard in my imagination:

The White Stripes, The Black Keys, and Peter, Bjorn and John walk into a bar. Each has just released new tour dates.

WS: You know what would be fun?
PBJ: No, what?
WS: We should totally give Atlanta the shaft on our summer/fall tours.
PBJ: Like, for reals! We only ever play in Chicago, New York, and L.A. anyway. Sometimes D.C./Baltimore. Yep.
WS: Oh, we're playing all over the place. Even Mississippi and Alaska! Just not Atlanta. Or even Athens.
PBJ: Genius!
BK: Wait, a minute. You guys are being silly. Atlanta-Athens is a huge market, and we have records to promote. Even the schmucks at MTV have figured out that Atlanta likes indie music or whatever. We'll play there.
WS: Oh.
PBJ: Oh. Where?
BK: We'll be at Tabernacle on June 21, right after Bonnaroo, and WE'RE BRINGING ALONG DINOSAUR JR. It's a pretty nice place, and that'll be a kickass show.
WS: Damn, that's right. The Raconteurs played there last fall, and it was good. But we didn't book it this time for some reason.
BK: See, Atlanta rocks. You should both go there as soon as possible.

Yes, Black Keys. I concur. And now I share your music with the nice people, along with that of your Dino Jr. buddies:

The Black Keys - 10 A.M. Automatic
The Black Keys - All Hands Against His Own
The Black Keys - Grown So Ugly
Dinosaur Jr. - Almost Ready
Dinosaur Jr. - Freak Scene

The Black Keys are also giving away a free live EP via their Myspace.

The Black Keys are in Atlanta on June 21. The White Stripes will not be visiting us, nor will Peter, Bjorn and John. At least not yet. Please come see us soon, guys (and Meg). We don't bite.

UPDATE: Ask and ye shall receive... got word tonight that Peter, Bjorn and John are playing Atlanta in the fall. And to top things off... St. Vincent is coming to a small venue here in the summer. Details TBA!

Hey there mister blue

Matt over at You Ain't No Picasso posted one of my favorite covers today (Shins doing Magnetic Fields' "Strange Powers"), so I thought it might be a good time to share another.

It's no secret that I'm a Decemberists booster -- The Crane Wife was probably my favorite record of 2006. I'm excited that I'll be seeing them again at Bonnaroo, and then a month later (July 13) they'll be playing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (tix here). Hawt! Last time I saw them they busted out a couple treats in the encore, playing The Tain in its entirety (*swoon*) along with Electric Light Orchestra's "Mr. Blue Sky." Total bliss, I tell ya.

Here is said ELO cover, and the band's take on a classic Kate Bush track for good measure:

The Decemberists - Mr. Blue Sky [10-19-2005; Electric Light Orchestra]
The Decemberists - Wuthering Heights [live; Kate Bush]

For The Decemberists tour dates, check out their official site.

Stay on target...

On May 25, 1977, a pop culture phenomenon was unleashed. As the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Star Wars (now known as Episode IV: A New Hope) is nearly upon us, it seems an appropriate time to geek out and celebrate one of the greatest film trilogies ever produced (for our purposes the prequels aren't terribly relevant). There's obviously no reason to stress the significance of these movies here; they're iconic films full of iconic characters that have taken on lives of their own in future films, novels, comics, and the like. The associated merchandising and such was revolutionary, and the John Williams score was widely adored. In fact, it won the Oscar for best original score in 1978 and still has not fallen out of favor. Really, how can you not love that title theme?

John Williams - Main Theme

Since its release the score has maintained its popularity and spawned a number of homages and imitators. These have spanned multiple genres and eras, with jazz, disco, electronic, and other takes on the classic Williams compositions. Meco's dance version of the theme and cantina band song even hit #1 on the pop charts in 1977.

Maynard Ferguson - Star Wars
Meco - Star Wars theme/Cantina Band [7" edit]
Electric Moog Orchestra - Cantina Band
Evil Genius Orchestra - The Imperial March (Darth Vader's theme)

Along with numerous covers, Star Wars has also inspired countless songs that reference its characters, settings, etc. Nerf Herders Anonymous has compiled an ever-growing list of such tracks, including these classics from old school SNL and the soundtrack to Kevin Smith's finest full-length feature:

Bill Murray - Star Wars [as Nick the Lounge Singer]
Supernova - Chewbacca [Clerks soundtrack]

MC Chris - Fett's Vette

I imagine you guys can come up with more. If you've got something particularly good, feel free to send it along.

In part to celebrate three decades of Star Wars, the History Channel will air Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed on Monday night (9pm EST). Looks to me like it will be a pretty cool special. Then again, I'm the nerd who just posted about the Star Wars anniversary on his music blog...

Tuesday, May 22

From the mouth of Bradford

I'd be surprised if the Deerhunter-loving Pitchfork didn't pick up on this already, but there's an interview with Bradford Cox available on the Creative Loafing website. It's a conversation with music editor Rodney Carmichael and they cover topics such as Bradford's appearance, the band's music, and what the hell is wrong with people. It can be downloaded as a podcast from Creative Loafing.

There's also an accompanying article from the Creative Loafing music issue. An excerpt:

Still, Cox struggles to make sure his exhibitionism on stage is not misinterpreted as self-exploitation. "I'm not trying to exploit myself to provoke people or shock people," he says. "But I'm not shy at the same time. So I guess I started realizing what effect it has on people. ... I say 'fuck it' and try to hit the ceiling with everything you do. And if you have something that one person would consider a handicap, I would say, like, just try to make it explode, you know?"

From their 2007 full-length, Cryptograms:

Deerhunter - Spring Hall Convert
Deerhunter - Heatherwood

Deerhunter play at Whirlyball in Roswell, Georgia, on June 1 along with The Selmanaires, The Coathangers, and The Carbonas.

Fishboy and Buddy Holly save the Lone Star State (or not)

Among the artists who will be visiting Athens for this year's Popfest (August 8-11) is Fishboy from Denton, Texas. I posted a Fishboy track last week, but have since been informed of something exciting coming up.

Fishboy is currently working on a concept album/rock opera due for release on Athens label Happy Happy Birthday to Me in the fall. The premise? Here's how Fishboy tells it:

It's a rock opera about how myself, the band and the ghost of Buddy Holly attempt to save Texas by going on a tour/crime spree in order to perform all 8030 of the songs I've written in my sleep since I was in the womb. It's appropriately titled: Albatross: How We Failed To Save The Lone Star State With The Power Of Rock And Roll.

Sounds fun, no? Fishboy has been kind enough to send along a few sample tracks; this is some nifty stuff, and I'm eager to hear it in context:

Fishboy - Parachute (Using the Ghost of Buddy Holly as a)
Fishboy - Blackout Flashback
Fishboy - Halftime at the Propername Spelling Bee

Hopefully more info on the full-length will be coming soon. For more on Fishboy check out their Myspace.

Monday, May 21

My Brightest Diamond, Rasputina coming to ATL on Aug. 1

A couple of days ago, I thought about posting an alert regarding Rasputina's upcoming show at Vinyl (August 1) but was thwarted by a fruitless search for easily accessible mp3 files. There has, however, been a development in the meantime -- My Brightest Diamond has joined that bill. Neat.

After seeing My Brightest Diamond grace the stage at the Fox last September, it will be quite a change to see Shara Worden & co. on the small stage at Vinyl. It's unclear to me at this point whether she or cello-rockers Rasputina will be opening, but I don't suppose it matters much (UPDATE: Looks like MBD is the opener).

My Brightest Diamond - Something of an End
My Brightest Diamond - Disappear
Rasputina - Saline the Salt Lake Queen [live]
Rasputina - Hunter's Kiss [live]

I'd share something from the My Brightest Diamond remix album, but I pretty much despise remix albums and don't wish to encourage the practice. So there.

The full slate of My Brightest Diamond/Rasputina dates is up at Pitchfork.

Sunday, May 20

Rabbit is a Sphere - Laps in the Sleep Saloon

Continuing our exploration of Denver's recent output, C&T now turns its attention to Rabbit is a Sphere. They have just released their album Laps in the Sleep Saloon on Needlepoint Records. The band is a quartet comprised of several veterans of the Denver indie scene, and it's apparent that each contributes to the final product. This is in part because the album is actually a bit schizophrenic; both the lyrical content and sound of the band are a bit all over the map. There are introspective moments ("Cough and Convince"), lo-fi classic indie riffs ("Stars at Noon"), angular post-rock tunes ("Drag"), and even distorted goofy punk ("Stutt Family Happy Puppet"). They're not as consistently frenetic as Ice Cream Socialists, but they certainly have their moments.

Press accounts frequently compare them to Fugazi or X, but their heavier moments actually remind me of Nick Cave's current Grinderman project. Their lighter moments, on the other hand, strike me as something between Yo La Tengo and The Breeders. The latter is likely just because of the female lead vocal on a few of the tracks, but it probably fits. To give you an idea of their diversity, here's one big ol' rock track ("American Lust") and one of a moodier sort ("Cough and Convince") :

Rabbit is a Sphere - American Lust
Rabbit is a Sphere - Cough and Convince

For more on Rabbit is a Sphere, check out their Myspace. Laps in the Sleep Saloon is available from CD Baby.

Porlolo - Storm and Season

Here's another artist I've been turned on to by one of my old running crew -- Lance recently urged me to check out the debut from Denver's Porlolo. As best I can tell, Porlolo is primarily Erin Roberts. Her music is generally somewhere between country-folk and folk-rock, reminding this listener of such artists as Madeline or Jesse Sykes.

Porlolo's Storm and Season is a strong first release, with tracks both heartfelt and uplifting (though not always simultaneously). Horn arrangements and harmonies complement the traditional guitar-bass-drums setup, giving many of the songs a rich texture. While this record is squarely within a genre in which it can be difficult to stand out, I suspect Roberts is well on her way to doing just that.

Porlolo - Usetonaut
Porlolo - Breakdown

Storm and Season is available from CD Baby.

Rufus & Neko coming to ATL, August 13

This has already been mentioned at Confessions and now at Pitchfork, but I've been under the weather and am just getting around to it. Two performers who I am quite fond of, Neko Case and Rufus Wainwright, will be appearing at Atlanta's Tabernacle on August 13. I've seen each live before, and found both to be wonderful and dynamic live performers. It appears that this pairing will only be doing five dates together, so it's a happy circumstance that they will be here in Atlanta.

Rufus Wainwright - Going to a Town
Neko Case - Star Witness
Neko Case - Hold On, Hold On

Tickets go on sale today (Sunday, 5/20) at noon via Ticketmaster. The complete set of dates for each artist is available from Pitchfork Media.

Thursday, May 17

Light, heavy, and in between

The musical menu in ATL this week is a little lighter than it was a couple weeks ago (Arcade Fire, The National, Modest Mouse, Man Man, Spoon, etc. within 5 days!) but I'll still be getting out to see plenty of good stuff. On the agenda for the next several days...

Tonight (5/17), The Selmanaires take the stage at The EARL alongside Tussle. I just caught their live taping of a video project at Georgia State last week, but I have a hard time staying away when The Selmanaires are playing. As far as I'm concerned they are, as I've said before, the best rock band in Atlanta. I've also been fortunate enough to hear a couple of the songs they recently recorded up at Lake Fever Productions in Nashville and I can't wait until they're unleashed on the world. Cuz... damn.

The Selmanaires - Selmanaire RockThe Selmanaires - In the Direction of Yes

Saturday (5/19) is fairly loaded, but I will be wandering down to the Star Bar to see Nashville garage punk outfit The Clutters. I haven't seen these guys live since last summer's show with The Woggles in Nashville, and I've been dying to catch them again. They're noisy and rockin', and I've been quite pleased to see them get a lot of attention since the release of their current LP Don't Believe a Word. They'll be sharing the stage with Thee Crucials.

The Clutters - You'll Never Be Famous [from T&C]
The Clutters - 9999 (Ways to Hate Us) [from DBAW]

In a different genre altogether is Seattle-based songstress Laura Veirs. Likely due to her home base on the opposite coast, this will be my first opportunity to see Miss Veirs in person and I'm quite excited. She plays The EARL next Wednesday (5/23). Many of you know that I have a fondness for the occasional singer-songwriter-with-edge/charm type, and Veirs fits the bill. Plus, she's adorable and that never hurts. You may even have heard her and not be aware of it -- she's the lovely female voice on "Yankee Bayonet" from The Decemberists' Crane Wife album. Veirs will be in town touring to promote her latest release, Saltbreakers. Lake opens.

Laura Veirs - Wandering Kind [from Saltbreakers]
Laura Veirs - Pink Light [from Saltbreakers]

Oh, and Bright Eyes/Gillian Welch is Friday at the Fox. Among the other great events this weekend are The Preakness at the 11:11 Teahouse (Saturday night) and the Two Sheds anniversary party at The EARL featuring Silent Kids, Jupiter Watts, An Epic At Best, and Blake Rainey & His Demons that same evening. Surely no excuse for being bored Saturday in ATL...

Wednesday, May 16

No postage required

Since my song collection has been a little ignored during this frantic time, I thought it would be nice to put up another collection of tunes culled from my inbox and around the web. All are free and legal downloads, so no guilt here. Go nuts, cats and kittens:

The Maybellines - Battleship [twee sank my destroyer]
Snoozer - Winterclothes [lush pop]
Fishboy - Tree Star [indie pop]
Old-Timerz - Mt. Burger [energetic pop]
Sgt Dunbar & the Hobo Banned - Tomatoes & Radio Wire [gypsy psych]
The Wyndyms - You Lookin Sexy [goofball soul]
Birds of Avalon - Bicentennial Baby [indie rock/pop]
We Versus the Shark - This Graceless Planet [Athens post-rock]
Gene Defcon - Laying Down with My Headphones On [lo-fi folk]
Baby Calendar - Fifteen Year Old Sneakers [bratty pop]
Patience Please - I'll Have What She's Having [pop-punk]
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Doing All the Things That Wouldn't Make Your Parents Proud [dream pop]

As always, your thoughts and further suggestions are welcome. Now, mere hours until Lost...

One for The Rev

This is for you, Jerry Falwell...

If only Falwell had consumed his share of Pat Robertson's age-defying protein pancakes, he might still be with us today. SIGH.

AthFest and Popfest updates....

As many of you are aware, I've had an eye on Athens a lot lately. Why? My happy arse is moving there in a couple months. With that in mind, I've been paying attention to the Athfest and Popfest announcements. Both are incomplete lists, but here's most of what's known so far:

Athfest - June 20-24

Drive-By Truckers, Dark Meat [!!], The Whigs [!!], Dexateens, Velcro Stars [!!], Madeline [!!], M Coast [!!], Tin Cup Prophette [!!], Warm in the Wake [!!], Venice is Sinking [!!], Little Country Giants, Jack Logan, Modern Skirts, Mouser, Murder Beach [!!], Nutria, Perpetual Groove, Psychic Hearts, Southern Bitch, The Squalls, Time Toy, Squat, King of Prussia [!!], Cars Can Be Blue [!!], Casper & the Cookies [!!], Don Chambers, Cinemechanica, Bain Mattox & Shot From Guns, Bang Bang Bang, David Barbe, Wild Sweet Orange, Allison Weiss, We Versus the Shark, Beyond Tomorrow, Bobby Yang & his Unrivaled Players, Bob Hay & The Jolly Beggars, Dead Confederate, Divine Maggees, The Dumps, Electa Villain, Lake City, Morning State

Athens Popfest - August 8-11

Daniel Johnston [!!!], Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Circulatory System [!!!], Elekibass [!!], Dark Meat [!!], Casper & the Cookies [!!], High Water Marks [!!], Red Pony Clock, Bunnygrunt, the American Revolution [ft. Robert Schneider] [!!!], Cars Can Be Blue [!!], M Coast [!!], Darren Hanlon, We Versus the Shark, Ideal Free Distribution [!!], Poison Control Center, Cinemechanica, How I Became the Bomb [!!!], the Smittens, Velcro Stars [!!], Kite Flying Society [!!!], the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Fishboy, Ryan Anderson, Birds of Avalon, Violet Vector & the Lovely Lovelies, Yellow Fever, New Sound of Numbers, Titans of Filth [!!], Patience Please, Venice is Sinking [!!], Hat Company, Christopher's Liver, Black Kids, Jerk Alert

Good grief...

Vince Herman - Saturday Night in Athens Town [live 11-13-2004]

The Dismemberment Plan @ The Black Cat, April 27-28

These shows were never really on my radar since they took place in D.C., but The Dismemberment Plan made some big noise a couple weeks ago. Although they had been dormant since 2003, the band came together for a pair of reunion shows at The Black Cat to benefit the ill son of Jawbox vocalist/guitarist J. Robbins. Pitchfork gave the shows a positive review, and accounts I've heard from locals who attended have been gushing.

Luckily, a kind soul taped those performances and has uploaded them to the wonderful Live Music Archive. You can download either the April 27 or April 28 performance, and after an initial listen I'm pleased to report that both are clean matrix (audience + soundboard) recordings. Here are a few tracks from each to sample:

The Dismemberment Plan - The Ice of Boston [4-27-2007]
The Dismemberment Plan - Gyroscope [4-27-2007]
The Dismemberment Plan - A Life of Possibilities [4-28-2007]
The Dismemberment Plan - Time Bomb [4-28-2007]
The Dismemberment Plan - Spider in the Snow [4-28-2007]

For more on the beneficiary of the shows, please see Desoto Records' site about little Cal Robbins. The little guy is suffering from Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and could really use your help.

Monday, May 14

The Fragile Army is on the march

As I sit here waiting on an oil change at the Athens VW dealership, it's been pointed out to me that Pitchfork has just posted the dates for the Polyphonic Spree tour. Oddly enough, I'm over in the Classic City primarily to catch their show tonight at the 40 Watt. It'll be a nice treat after a week or more of being either sick or swamped.

Now, if you're in my home area and you can't make this evening's Monday night madness, fear not. The Spree will be at Atlanta's Roxy Theatre on June 27. Here's the U.S. tour schedule:

5/14 40 Watt, Athens, GA
5/27 Sasquatch! Festival, George, WA
6/23 Granada Theatre, Dallas, TX
6/24 Stubbs BBQ, Austin, TX
6/25 Warehouse Live, Houston, TX
6/26 HOB, New Orleans, LA
6/27 Roxy Theatre, Atlanta, GA
6/29 TLA, Philadelphia, PA
6/30 9:30 Club, Washington, D.C.
7/1 Warsaw, Brooklyn, NY
7/2 Avalon, Boston, MA
7/3 Metropolis, Montreal, Quebec
7/5 Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto Ontario
7/6 The Majestic, Detroit, MI
7/7 HOB, Cleveland, OH
7/8 The Vogue, Indianapolis, IN
7/9 The Rave II, Milwaukee, WI
7/10 Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis, MN
7/13 Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC
7/14 Aladdin Theatre, Portland, OR
7/15 The Showbox, Seattle, WA
7/17 GAMH, San Francisco, CA
7/18 El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
7/20 Canes Bar & Grill, San Diego, CA
7/22 Gothic Theatre, Denver, CO
7/23 The Belly Up, Aspen, CO
8/4 Lollapalooza, Chicago, IL

The Polyphonic Spree's forthcoming album, The Fragile Army, is due June 19. You can check out a preview of it on the TVT Records site.

The Polyphonic Spree - Soldier Girl
The Polyphonic Spree - Lithium
[Nirvana cover]


Headline of the day: Royals to Get a Taste of Angels' Colon

Uh... tee-hee.

Wednesday, May 9

And all the day you'll have good luck

One record I've been spinning a lot at C&T HQ is the new release, I Believe in You. Your Magic is Real, from Portland's YACHT on Marriage Records. As I'm sure the artist/label intended, I've found the first single particularly irresistible. Now YACHT has released a video for "See a Penny (Pick It Up)" that's just about as enjoyable.

In the video our hero is a misplaced and lonely penny, trolling the streets of Portland in search of companionship. I imagine the PDX folks out there can easily identify the locales where the copper wonder ventures. Dig the Of Montreal and Peter, Bjorn and John posters in the record store window too. I wonder if I've been in that place...

Who knew trains were such murdering bastards?

From I Believe in You. Your Magic is Real:

YACHT - See a Penny (Pick It Up)
YACHT - Platinum [featuring Bobby Birdman]

You can buy the album from Marriage Records.

Tuesday, May 8

MTV hearts ATL

The content of this is fairly hit-or-miss, but at least we got some attention...

Bonus points if you spot The Coathangers' name in the video. Also, I have no idea what the hell Andy Hull from Manchester Orchestra is talking about. If Criminal can't keep your band's record in stock once it's released, you probably have a local audience...

Two Gallants back with new EP, single

The boys from Two Gallants, one of Saddle Creek's core acts, have a new EP due June 19 titled The Scenery of Farewell. If their promo materials are to be believed, it's primarily comprised of acoustic efforts that don't quite fit on their typical output. While these guys can be a little emotastic for me at times, the EP's first single, "Seems Like Home to Me," has a country vein running throughout that I'm digging after a couple listens. Here 'tis:

Two Gallants - Seems Like Home to Me

You can order The Scenery of Farewell from Saddle Creek.

Two Gallants are playing a number of festivals in the near future, then touring with Les Claypool through the month of June. For the Georgia folks, that does include a June 13 stop at Atlanta's Variety Playhouse (buy tix). Full dates on their Myspace.

Bonus mp3:

Two Gallants - Las Cruces Jail (radio edit)

Newsflash: Last-minute Venice is Sinking show Weds. night at Vinyl

The NYPD taketh, and Athens giveth away. It's, like, synergy or something.

If you're in Atlanta, do note that Athens indie folk/psych/popsters Venice is Sinking have booked a last-minute show at Vinyl. It will be tomorrow night, May 9, with Wild Sweet Orange. Personally, I still haven't caught these guys live and I'm dying to after last year's Sorry About the Flowers. I may have to jet down there after the Greg Maddux vs. John Smoltz game at Turner Field. Hmm...

If you haven't checked out Venice is Sinking, go for it:

Venice is Sinking - Undecided
Venice is Sinking - Pulaski Heights
Venice is Sinking - You Got Lucky [live; Tom Petty]

You can buy Sorry About the Flowers from the band.

Apologies for the quick post. I'm buried in grading at the moment and trying to dig my way out. Argh!

Monday, May 7

CocoRosie show on Thursday cancelled..

Sadly, it sounds like CocoRosie has canceled their show on Thursday at the Masquerade due to jailtime... here's the word from their myspace bulletin:

dear loves
we are so sorry to announce that we cannot play the rest of the us tour dates
the band got arrested, thats all i can say
we love you all
we are playing a free show in New York on may 19th
please come if you can
we are crying
say a prayer for our band
Sierra and Bianca

For those of you who are deeply saddened by the last of CocoRosie this week, here's a couple songs to get you through:

From La Maison de Reve...
CocoRosie - Terrible Angels
CocoRosie - Butterscotch

From Noah's Ark...
CocoRosie - Beautiful Boyz [with Antony]
CocoRosie - Bisounours [with French rapper Spleen]



Sunday, May 6

Peel to hit the road, visit Smith's Olde Bar 6/12

Although it's not yet listed on the band's Myspace, the website of Smith's Olde Bar says that Austin-based Peel will be in Atlanta on Tuesday, June 12. These guys have been the subject of considerable buzz lately, and I've been rather enjoying their current album. Their music is conducive to dancing and singing along, and I'm pleased as punch that they're going to be in the neighborhood. And the show's only $5 -- woohoo!

Peel - Oxford
Peel - In the City
Peel - Workers Wake Up

You can stream the entire record online or buy it from the band.

Peel tour dates, for those outside the Atlanta area:

5/11 Emo's Lounge, Austin, TX
5/15 Mohawk, Austin, TX
6/2 Emo's Outside, Austin, TX (w/ Octopus Project)
6/8 Hailey's, Denton, TX
6/9 Jackrabbit Lounge, Shreveport, LA
6/10 Cell Block, Mobile, AL
6/11 The Nick, Birmingham, AL
6/13 Bella Festa, Wilmington, NC
6/14 The Black and The Red, Washington, DC (w/ Page France)
6/15 The Battering Room, Brooklyn, NY
6/16 Piano's, NY, NY
6/17 Piano's, NY, NY
6/20 The Firehouse, North Manchester, IN
6/21 The Darkroom, Chicago, IL
7/20 The Parish, Austin, TX (w/ The Liars, White Ghost Shivers)

Saturday, May 5

A rant: Matt & Kim & Lady Sov

I hate when this happens.

I've been eager to check out Brooklyn's Matt & Kim for a while, but missed their prior ATL appearance due to a conflict. They're coming back to play at Drunken Unicorn on May 11, but they'll now be opening for Lady Sovereign. As you might guess, I'm less than enthused by this development.

While it's hardly the first time that I've wanted to see an opener more than the headliner, it irritates me to no end when said headliner is the sort of act that causes the cost of the show to double or triple. In this instance, adding Lady Sov to the bill raised the cost from $8 to $15. I would have gladly paid the former price to see Matt & Kim headline, but I'm much less inclined to pay the latter and see them play a half-hour opening set. Horse feathers! What to do, what to do...

Anyway, Matt & Kim are neat:

Matt & Kim - Yea Yeah
Matt & Kim - No More Long Years
Matt & Kim - Verbs Before Nouns

For a complete list of Matt & Kim dates, see their Myspace. Also, if you haven't seen the video for "Yea Yeah" then you should.

Voxtrot to tour, hit ATL

Austin indie rock/pop outfit Voxtrot have a new self-titled album due May 22, and they'll be hitting the road to promote it throughout late May and June. That includes a June 27 stop at Atlanta's Drunken Unicorn.

Voxtrot - Kid Gloves [from the forthcoming LP]
Voxtrot - Trouble [from Your Biggest Fan EP]
Voxtrot - Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives [from Mothers... EP]
Voxtrot - The Start of Something [from Raised by Wolves EP]
Voxtrot - Heaven [Talking Heads cover]

The tour:

5/22 Waterloo Records, Austin, TX [5pm, acoustic]
5/25 Emo's, Austin, TX [CD release]
5/27 Anderson's Fifth Estate, Phoenix, AZ
5/29 El Rey, Los Angeles, CA
5/30 Great American Music Hall, San Francisco
5/31 UC Davis Campus Quad, Davis, CA [12pm, free]
6/1 Doug Fir, Portland, OR
6/2 Sonic Boom, Seattle, WA [4pm Ballard store, free]
6/2 Crocodile, Seattle, WA
6/5 Triple Rock, Minneapolis, MN
6/6 Intersection, Grand Rapids, MI
6/7 Magic Stick, Detroit, MI
6/8 Sneaky Dees, Toronto, ON
6/9 Main Hall, Montreal, QC
6/10 Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY
6/11 Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH
6/12 Ottobar, Baltimore, MD
6/13 Black Cat, Washington, DC
6/14 Middle East, Boston, MA
6/15 Webster Hall, New York, NY
6/16 Pure, Philadelphia, PA
6/18 Southgate House, Lexington, KY
6/21 Common Grounds, Gainesville, FL
6/22 Studio A, Miami, FL
6/23 Crowbar, Tampa, FL
6/24 Backbooth, Orlando, FL
6/26 Beta Bar, Tallahassee, FL
6/27 Drunken Unicorn, Atlanta, GA
6/28 Bottle Tree Cafe, Birmingham, AL
6/29 Spanish Moon, Baton Rouge, LA
6/30 Proletariat, Houston, TX

That's gonna be a tiring trek. I'm worn out after just typing the list of dates...

For more info or to hear more songs from the new record, see their Myspace.

Friday, May 4

This weekend in ATL/ATH...

Good grief, what a weekend. It looks like I'll be at Go Bar in Athens tonight for Cars Can Be Blue and The Coathangers, as I'll be over there anyway. Saturday will be all about seeing Spider-Man 3 and then Modest Mouse/Man Man in Atlanta. Sweeeeet. An incomplete list of what's happening...

Fri., May 4

Blonde Redhead & Annuals @ Variety Playhouse, Atlanta

Blonde Redhead - 23
Annuals - Brother

One Hand Loves the Other (CD release party) w/ Madeline & Isia Cooper @ Drunken Unicorn, Atlanta

One Hand Loves the Other - Rubbernecker Nightingale
One Hand Loves the Other - Tortoise
Madeline - I Left the Light On
Madeline - To Hell and Back

Pistolero, Kitty Snyder @ 11:11 Teahouse, Atlanta

Pistolero - The Kissing Bandit
Pistolero - From Tacoma (live)

The Coathangers & Cars Can Be Blue @ Go Bar, Athens

Cars Can Be Blue - I Used to Think
Cars Can Be Blue - Batman
The Coathangers -Parking Lot
The Coathangers - Nestle in My Boobies

Sat., May 5

Modest Mouse, Love as Laughter, Man Man @ Masquerade Music Park, Atlanta

Modest Mouse - 3rd Planet [live at KVRX]
Modest Mouse - Never Ending Math Equation [live at KVRX]
Love as Laughter - Temptation Island
Man Man - Van Helsing Boombox

Chainestereo, others @ 11:11 Teahouse, Atlanta (shooting for post-Modest Mouse)

Chainestereo - Magnetic South

Yikes. That ought to keep me busy for a couple days...

Thursday, May 3

Arcade Fire 5-1-2007 @ Atlanta Civic Center

Photo courtesy of Radio Cure

Let me begin by saying I've never really been on the Arcade Fire bandwagon -- I think they're a talented act worth paying attention to, but I've never really understood the level of hype surrounding them. I'd been told for quite a while that I'd change my mind once I saw them live, but I passed up a couple opportunities to do so before attending Tuesday night's show at the Atlanta Civic Center. In the end, I'll say that I wasn't swayed one way or the other but I can see why others might be nutso for the band.

I was told that some 4,000 tickets were sold for the show, and the Civic Center reminded me somewhat of a massive high school auditorium. The National opened the night, playing an enjoyable if somewhat slow-paced set during which I thought the sound could have been better. Unfortunately, the house was only about half-occupied while they were on stage and I heard more than one person in my vicinity utter some variation of "Who the hell are these guys/The National?" during the set. Sigh.

As for the Arcade Fire set, my general take is that it was quite enjoyable but didn't really put to rest my pre-show puzzlement. Others I spoke to labeled it "amazing" and/or the best show they'd ever seen, however, so perhaps I'm the exception. They played versions of songs from Funeral and Neon Bible that were faithful to their recorded output, and judging from the audience participation I'm guessing that was generally applauded.

Personally, I was particularly impressed with "My Body is a Cage," the "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" > "Rebellion (Lies)" combo, and first encore "Intervention." They're certainly an intense and energetic act, and I enjoyed watching the players interact and seeing members bounce from one instrument to another during the set. The band also won Brownie points from the crowd by inviting everyone to surge toward the front after "Neigborhood #1 (Tunnels)." Their percussionist also scaled a sort of retaining wall in the audience during one of the songs, but I've forgotten when. Any help?

As noted below, I did tape the show. You can grab .mp3 files of the full show in a 98mb .zip file (via Sendspace, and a backup link in case that one dies) or sample a few tracks below. Lossless (.flac) files are available via The Trader's Den. The relevant info:

The Arcade Fire
May 1, 2007
Atlanta Civic Center
Atlanta, GA

Taped: SP CMC-4's > batt box > Nomad Jukebox 3
Location: Left side, rear of orchestra section
Conversion: JB3 > Gateway MT6451 > Cool Edit Pro 2 > CD Wave > .mp3

01. religious lady rant > Black Mirror
02. banter
03. No Cars Go
04. Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
05. Haiti
06. banter
07. Black Wave/Bad Vibrations
08. My Body is a Cage
09. banter
10. Windowsill
11. banter
12. The Well & The Lighthouse
13. Ocean of Noise
14. Neigborhood #1 (Tunnels)
15. applause/banter
16. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) >
17. Rebellion (Lies)
18. applause/banter
19. Keep the Car Running
20. applause/banter
- encore -
21. Intervention
22. applause
- encore 2 -
23. Wake Up

Radio Cure has a more extensive review of the show, as well as more pics and some video.