Friday, February 29

Friday Night Fights: Leap Year Edition!

As you may have heard, it's February 29. On this rarest of days, I figured it might be good to celebrate the leap year by featuring one of Captain America's classic battles with Batroc the Leaper. A flailing Frenchman thinks he can take Cap? Ce n'est pas possible!

Cap is defeated, no? Au contraire...

Cap battles Batroc the Leaper in Captain America #303 (March 1985), written by Mike Carlin and penciled by Paul Neary.

Comics Should Be Good has even more fun with Batroc.

For additional BWAM!!-KRAASH!-BASH!-WHUMP! action, kick it with Bahlactus.

Bonus mp3:

Billy Bragg - Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards [live 5-24-1992]

New Tokyo Police Club - "In a Cave"

The nice people at Saddle Creek have been kind enough to share the first single from the forthcoming Tokyo Police Club record Elephant Shell, titled "In a Cave." It's a pretty catchy little indie rock track, and a good first taste of the album:

Tokyo Police Club - In a Cave

Elephant Shell is due in April from Saddle Creek. Extensive tour dates, none of which are in Georgia including April 7 at the 40 Watt in Athens, are on their website.

Sleestaks, Chaka, and Will Ferrell

Whether during its original airing or in reruns, Land of the Lost was a TV favorite for a generation of kids. Its plot featuring Ranger Rick Marshall and his kids, Will and Holly, saw them trying to survive in a primitive, alien world populated by monsters, apemen, and the dreaded reptilian Sleestaks. Years after rumors of its production began, a July 17, 2009, release date has been announced for the Land of the Lost movie. The film will star Will Ferrell as Ranger Rick. Seriously.

The opening to Land of the Lost, circa 1974:

Bonus mp3: Tenacious D - Land of the Lost (theme) [live 10-21-2001]

Hat tip to Newsarama.

New Iron Man trailer

I missed Lost last night because of a professional obligation (thank goodness for ABC's full episode player), but during the show a new Iron Man trailer debuted. You knew I'd post this, right?

Iron Man is due in theaters on May 2.

Wednesday, February 27

Get Down, America!

It's the political season in the U.S., and since January we've seen the field of presidential candidates narrowed to a mere quartet trio (sorry, Mike Huckabee). As each of those contenders seeks to build a coalition for victory on November 4, they must be jealous of the coup that Howard the Duck pulled off in 1976. His ill-fated third-party campaign may not have won the White House, but he really was a uniter.

He got the dreamers and mystics...

The mindless zealots...

The working class...

Even the disenchanted and recent immigrants...

Now there's a candidate who didn't need to whimper about superdelegates.

Unfortunately for Howard, his All-Night Party ticket went down in flames and Jimmy Carter won the White House. Win or lose, however, he left the American people with one wise bit of advice:

Bravo, Mr. The Duck. Bravo.

The full slate of Howard's endorsements can be found in Marvel Treasury Edition #12: Howard the Duck (1976).

You're feeling what, now?

The top dogs at Marvel Comics had a press conference today to hype some of their upcoming series, and in doing so they released some pretty nifty preview art. Among the images are three pages from the upcoming Avengers/Invaders maxi-series, in which the World War II team of Captain America, Bucky, Namor the Sub-Mariner, the original Human Torch, and Toro time travel to the modern Marvel Universe.

I'm looking forward to that series a great deal, but I'm a little puzzled by an image in the preview. Just what feeling is Cap expressing here?

Anger? Determination? Lunacy? Constipation? Hmm...

Reminds me of some puzzling Superman art a couple weeks ago. If you don't get the reference there, Donna Summer still loves you.

Stephen King, John Mellencamp to debut musical in ATL

According to Access Atlanta, horror master Stephen King and Hoosier rocker John Mellencamp are collaborating on a musical. The kicker? It's set to debut at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta in April 2009. The production will be a Southern gothic drama titled The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County; Mellencamp will provide original music said to be in the country or zydeco traditions.

Having their names attached will certainly generate curiosity, and the expectation is that a successful run in Atlanta would lay the groundwork for a Broadway run. Good to see a high-profile production like this find a home in Atlanta.

New EP from Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, popsters Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies were one of my highlights from Athens Popfest '07, and they're on my radar again with a forthcoming EP. Due on March 25 from Holidays for Quince Records, EP I is a pretty sweet collection of mod-flavored pop. These cats and kittens know their way around a pop hook, and the songs rely as much on raw enthusiasm as vintage organs and handclaps. That, as you might guess, is a lot.

Astute readers will note that "Can You Dig It?" was a blog sensation in 2007, with this blog and others touting it as pristine pop. Here it is accompanied by the almost too-cute "Candyland" and herky-jerky "Make My Day," as well as the irresistible "Serva Ad Manum" and "Double Axe." The latter's guitar-driven second half is almost shocking after what precedes it, but provides an appropriately raucous conclusion.

Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies - EP I

1. Can You Dig It?
2. Candyland
3. Make My Day
4. Serva Ad Manum
5. Double Axe

I'm told the band is hoping to visit Atlanta/Athens again in the near future, and I'll be looking forward to it. For more on the band, see their Myspace.

Paste Store $4.95 sale!

Just a quick note -- Paste is shutting down their online music store, and they're letting their stock of CDs go for $4.95 each. If you're up for some bargain shopping, hit the store.

Lots of artists to choose from including Alejandro Escavedo, Aimee Mann, Beth Orton, Billy Pilgrim, Brazilian Girls, Cary Brothers, Cat Power, Damien Rice, Dan Bern, Danielson Familie, Death Cab for Cutie, Devendra Banhart, Elf Power, Elvis Costello... and that's just through the E's. You get the idea.

Monday, February 25

The Good Graces at Flicker Bar in Athens, 2/28

Atlanta folk-pop act The Good Graces, fronted by Kim Ware, will be appearing at Flicker Bar in Athens on February 28. Locals may know Kim as the drummer for ATL's own Mary O. Harrison, but in The Good Graces she picks up a guitar and takes charge. Her output under this moniker has largely been melodic lo-fi folk; that she cites John Darnielle, Laura Veirs, and Liz Phair as influences should hint at her sound.

The Good Graces - Stuck Inside [demo]

I'm told they'll go on second at Flicker, probably around 9:15pm.

Upcoming shows with The Good Graces:

2/28 Flicker Bar, Athens, GA
4/18 11:11 Teahouse, Atlanta, GA
5/25 WE Festival, Wilmington, NC

For more information, visit their Myspace.

Kimya Dawson at 40 Watt Club, March 29

A bit of exciting news for the Athens crowd, as anti-folk favorite Kimya Dawson plays the 40 Watt on March 29. Her Remember That I Love You was one of my favorite records of the past couple years, and in 2007 she caught fire with her contributions to the Juno soundtrack. It'll be my first time seeing Dawson live, and I'm pretty excited.

Kimya Dawson - I Like Giants [live 2004]
Kimya Dawson - Underground

Not in Athens? She has dates around the country through July on her website. Buy Dawson's music and goodies online.

Sunday, February 24

Take that, Princess Giselle

Whatever else happens on this Oscar night, I'm glad to see "Falling Slowly" from Once beat the trio of songs from Enchanted. Man, I've had my fill of fairy tale songs for a while. Indie rock goes Hollywood:

A well-deserved win for Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová.

An unfortunate realization

From now until the end of recorded history, Eddie Murphy's Norbit will be "the Oscar-nominated Norbit." Pending tonight's results, maybe even "the Oscar-winning Norbit."

That makes me a sad panda.

UPDATE: And... it lost to La Vie En Rose.

Saturday, February 23

Antics and adventure with Spidey and the Fantastic Four

For better or worse, modern audiences often favor comic books featuring the violent, erotic, or "realistic" over light-hearted fun. Those interested in the latter need look no further than last year's Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four: Silver Rage collection for good-natured superhero adventure.

It's hard to imagine a better creative team for a fun book than writer Jeff Parker and the late, great Mike Wieringo. As expected, they knock this one out of the park. The mini-series reprinted in this book echoes an earlier era when seeing one's favorite heroes team up was a novelty. In this case, the premise is that Spider-Man seeks out the Fantastic Four to help thwart an alien race's takeover of Earth.

Spidey is alerted to the coming invasion by longtime FF nuisance and ally The Impossible Man, a shapeshifting member of the Poppupian race. Impy has seen a servant of another alien life form, the H'mojen, en route to Earth. After some brief shenanigans and an initial confrontation with the invaders, the pair track down the Fantastic Four and set out to rescue humanity.

Spidey and Impy take to the skies

The middle chapters are pure old school adventure, with Mr. Fantastic scouring distant galaxies for clues while the remainder of the FF and temporary member Spidey take on the baddies. There are monsters to battle and technobabble to spare, along with some good ol' clobberin' time for The Thing, Human Torch, and the wall-crawling Webhead.

The Amazing Spider-Nerd

The good guys eventually seek out Dr. Doom, taking advantage of his ego and ambition to advance their cause once steered in the right direction by warriors of the High Evolutionary. With that assist and some quick thinking by the heroes and an irked band of allies, they save the day. Would you expect any less?


Parker and Wieringo do a great job here, with lots of fun antics and family moments even in the midst of crisis. They also utilize the characters' supporting casts and gadgets (old and new) to great effect, including a rare (sort of) appearance of the ridiculous Spider-Mobile. Wieringo's art is playful and clean, and a reminder of what the world lost when he passed away last summer at age 44. I'd certainly recommend this collection to anyone looking for entertaining and humorous comics, including the kiddies. A refreshing collection from a couple outstanding creators.

Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four: Silver Rage
was released in October 2007 and is now available from Amazon.

Friday, February 22

Friday Night Fights: Knockout!!!

If you ever want to piss off the Silver Age Flash, Barry Allen, just mess with his dearest love Iris West. The Reverse-Flash, Professor Zoom, learned the hard way in Flash #165 (November 1966) by writer John Broome and artist Carmine Infantino:

That's gonna leave a mark.

Professor Zoom's failed attempt to steal Barry Allen's bride is reprinted in Flash: The Greatest Stories Ever Told from DC Comics.

Bahlactus doesn't need your women, puny earthling.

Thursday, February 21

New Coathangers video - "Tonya Harding"

Atlanta's ladies of leisure in The Coathangers have released their first video. It's a clip for "Tonya Harding" from their debut LP on Rob's House Records, and it features lots of stop-motion, funky images, funny masks, and balloons. Give a gander:

No word what Nancy Kerrigan thinks of all this.

Athens ticket giveaway: These United States at Flicker, 3/7

As previously mentioned here, Washington, DC, garage/pop band These United States will be in Athens on Friday, March 7, to share the stage with Andy from Denver (formerly Marshmallow Coast). They'll appear at Flicker Bar on Washington Street, right by the Fabulous 40 Watt. It promises to be a fun night, and now you can get a chance to attend for free -- I'm giving away a pair of tickets to the show!

These United States - First Sight
These United States - Kings and Aces
These United States - The Business

If you'd like to see TUS and Andy from Denver at Flicker, send me an e-mail (see link at top of sidebar) with "TUS tix" in the subject line. I'll pick a winner (well, will) on March 1.

For more on These United States on tour, see my post from last week. Good luck!

Wednesday, February 20

Spoon spring tour announced, Atlanta 4/14

Spoon has announced the dates on their spring tour, and they include a stop in Atlanta. Looks like they've moved up to a bigger venue. I guess that makes sense given I even hear them at the grocery store these days. They still rock.

4/02 Kansas City, KS @ Uptown *#
4/04 Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre *#
4/05 Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts *#
4/06 Detroit. MI @ Emerald Theater *#
4/07 Pittsburgh, PA @ Carnegie Music Hall *#
4/09 New York, NY @ Terminal 5
4/10 Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory *
4/12 Norfolk, VA @ Norva *#
4/14 Atlanta, GA @ Center Stage *#
4/16 Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution *#
4/18 Nashville, TN @ Vanderbilt University (Rites of Spring)
4/19 Indianapolis, IN @ Vogue

* = w/ The Walkmen
# = w/ White Rabbits

A lovin' spoonful:

Spoon - The Way We Get By
Spoon - I Turn My Camera On

For more info, see their website.

Race, intrigue, and 'Incognegro'

Cracking open Incognegro, the new graphic novel from writer Mat Johnson and illustrator Warren Pleece, I was a bit unsure what was in store. The provocative title dripped of race and mystery; frankly, it made me a little uncomfortable. That may, to some extent, have been the point.

Incognegro is what the title implies -- a noir mystery in which Jim Crow era racism plays a central role. Protagonist Zane Pinchback is a New York reporter who has made a career of investigating lynchings and other maltreatment of African-Americans, particularly in Dixie. He also happens to be Black, though his skin tone allows him to blend with white society. The story sees him about to leave this risky behavior for a desk job when he's pulled back in for one last assignment. His own brother, Alonzo, has been arrested and imprisoned for the grisly murder of a Caucasian woman in Mississippi. Pinchback, of course, fears the worst.

From there the story takes unpredictable turns, with Zane and companion Carl quickly caught up in a thrilling murder mystery with corrupt officials, mistaken identities, and well-deserved revenge. The story threads are woven together seamlessly, though perhaps not always as the reader would have hoped. Without spoiling the story, I'll add that the end is priceless.

Incognegro is a fine work. I will admit that the repetition of racial slurs and depiction of bigoted white characters is jarring, but it probably fits the 1930s setting more closely than one can now imagine. That the girlfriend of the imprisoned Alonzo is a white woman speaks to Johnson's readiness not to categorize all Southern whites as racists, though I'll let future readers judge her otherwise. The story's social commentary is, notably, about secrets and class as much as race -- those who fail to behave as society dictates, whether subservient Blacks or "hillbilly" whites, are put in their place.

The art of the book is black and white, with Pleece delivering clean and realistic drawings rich in period detail. The characters are distinct and recognizable despite the large cast, an achievement doubly impressive given the lack of color at Pleece's disposal. His art adds a great deal to the mood created by Johnson's tale as the two complement each other nicely. Definitely a recommended read for fans of noir fiction, particularly those with interest in race and class issues in the Old South.

Incognegro was released February 6 by DC's Vertigo imprint, and is available from Amazon.

Tuesday, February 19

Hanne Hukkelberg - "A Cheater's Armoury"

Norway's Hanne Hukkelberg is set to release her album Rykestrasse 68 in the U.S. on March 4. She's a talented and eclectic singer-songwriter, and fans of Feist, Regina Spektor, and the like may find she's right in their wheelhouse. The first single from her new record is "A Cheater's Armoury," a jazzy, airy number that certainly has my attention.

Hanne Hukkelberg - A Cheater's Armoury

Hukkelberg will be on American soil next month for a handful of shows, including SXSW.

3/10 Knitting Factory, NY, NY
3/11 Union Hall, Brooklyn, NY
3/12 SXSW, Austin, TX
3/13 SXSW, Austin, TX
3/14 SXSW, Austin, TX
3/15 SXSW, Austin, TX

The animated video for "A Cheater's Armoury" is on her website. To hear more, see her Myspace page.

Breakin' with Mr. Rogers

Forty years ago today, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood debuted on National Educational Television. It went on to be a staple in the viewing of countless children. That said, did you know ol' Fred Rogers could breakdance?

In a cardigan, even. Such a badass.

Monday, February 18

The Selmanaires and The Coathangers at The EARL, Weds. 2/20

There are days when I miss living in Atlanta. Wednesday will be one of them.

That night two of the ATL's finest, The Selmanaires and The Coathangers, play alongside one another at The EARL. The Selmanaires will be supporting their excellent new album on International Hits, and The Coathangers will be playing to kick off their tour. I always enjoy each of them live, so this should be a treat.

The Selmanaires - Selmanaire Rock
The Selmanaires - Reason and Chance
The Coathangers - Parking Lot
The Coathangers - Shut the Fuck Up

Also on the bill are Chopper and Mammals. A whole $7 gets you inside.

This November, I'm voting for Red Skull

If Mike Bloomberg plans to run as a third-party candidate this fall, he may have some competition. Marvel released its first round of May 2008 solicitations today and they include the cover to Captain America #38:

Another great effort by Steve Epting. Don't really know yet what the story will be, but given Brubaker and Epting's Cap is the best book on the shelves I doubt I'll be disappointed.

Dawn Landes touring with Jason Isbell, Athens date 2/27

New York indie folk artist Dawn Landes has been getting a good deal of attention lately, and for good reason. She's a talented lass. Landes is currently on tour with Jason Isbell, and they'll be in Athens on February 27. The timing couldn't be much better, as her album Fireproof is due in the U.S. on March 4 (it was released in the UK last month). Look for it to get a lot of attention throughout 2008.

Dawn Landes - Bodyguard
Dawn Landes - Tired of This Life

Dawn Landes on tour with Jason Isbell:

2.17 World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA
2.19 Toad's, New Haven, CT
2.20 Paradise, Boston, MA
2.21 Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
2.22 9:30 Club, Washington, DC
2.23 Satellite Ballroom, Charlottesville, VA
2.24 Soapbox, Wilmington, NC
2.26 Headliner's, Columbia, SC
2.27 Georgia Theatre, Athens, GA
2.28 Blue Cat's, Knoxville, TN
3.01 Headliners, Louisville, KY
3.02 Cannery Ballroom, Nashville, TN

Later in March, Landes heads overseas to support Josh Ritter in Europe.

To hear more from her, visit her Myspace or official site.

Sunday, February 17

East bound and down

So, Eric Fishboy and I had a little fun at the expense of the Hooper theme song the past couple days. It's pretty much a steaming pile of camp, and probably sets the record for use of the word "stuntman" in a single song. I remain a fan, however, of the theme to another old Burt Reynolds flick.

Some of you may scoff, but I've always had a soft spot for the Jerry Reed classic "East Bound and Down" from Smokey and the Bandit. Students of classic cinema may recall the film features an in-his-prime Reynolds as "Bandit" (along with Sally Field as love interest "Frog") in a modified 1977 Pontiac Trans Am partnered with trucker "Snowman" (along with Basset hound Fred), racing against the clock to drive a shipment of beer from Texarkana to Atlanta in 28 hours. I mean, that's practically Shakespearean.

The movie is basically one long chase scene with a suave-as-Lando Bandit taunting cranky Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason) and his dim-witted son. It's not high art, but it's a fun product of its time. I'm not sure how many times Bandit's theme is revisited in the movie, but it sure it good background music for a car chase.

Play it on your own time, but please don't try to outrun the fuzz:

Jerry Reed - East Bound and Down

If you're being chased by Jackie Gleason, feel free to freak out. He's been dead since 1987.

Bonus mp3: Supersuckers - East Bound and Down [live 10-1-2004]

Saturday, February 16

Watercolor Paintings - "Happyships"

Thanks to a free compilation from ACOSM Records, I was recently introduced to Santa Barbara, California folk/punk artist Watercolor Paintings. Behind the name are Rebecca Redman and her brother Howsha, who offer up some seriously charming and lovely tunes. Recommended for fans of K Records fare or Athens' own Madeline Adams.

Watercolor Paintings - Happyships

Upcoming shows for Watercolor Paintings:

2/16 Velvet Jones, Santa Barbara, CA (with St. Vincent!)
3/25 Slack Ranch, Napa, CA
4/04 House show, Los Angeles, CA (with Griznar Collective)
4/05 Che Cafe, San Diego, CA

To hear more from them, visit their Myspace. "Tender Loving Care" made me laugh outloud.

Friday, February 15

Friday Night Fights: Knockout!!!

When you're one of the most formidable strongmen in the Marvel Universe, like Absorbing Man, you'd think you could handle Wasp and Ant-Man (well, Ant-Man II, Scott Lang). Apparently, you'd be wrong. From Avengers #275 by Roger Stern and John Buscema (January 1987):

An ass-kicking and a Burt Reynolds reference. Now that's embarrassing. The bopping in question:

Bahlactus is pleased. Sally Field too.

Persepolis at Athens Ciné, February 15-28

I've wanted to see this for a while, so I'm pleased to see that the film adaptation of Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel Persepolis begins running at Athens Ciné tonight. It will show nightly at 4:00, 7:00, and 9:30 through February 28.

For the uninitiated, Persepolis is the story of Satrapi's childhood in the years immediately surrounding the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. It documents her experience living in a household with a revolutionary spirit, thrilled to see the Shah displaced but later disillusioned with the Islamic regime that took its place.

It's a moving and emotional story of a nation in turmoil and its effect on one family; friends and relatives find themselves the victims of government oppression, torture, and worse. Protagonist Marji, as well as her friends and family, deal with new restrictions and watchful eyes while trying to maintain their sanity in the midst of bombings and demonstrations. Among the finest contributions to the genre, and highly recommended. It has been followed by sequels that are on my reading list, and I'm eager to consume them in the near future.

From Persepolis

The French film based on the graphic novel has been nominated for an Academy Award and won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and I'm excited to see it. It appears to follow the story of the initial graphic novel fairly closely, and features the same black and white animation style as the source material. The trailer, in French with English subtitles:

Athens Ciné has organized a pair of events surrounding the film, beginning tonight. This evening's 7pm show will be accompanied by a panel of speakers from UGA's Film Studies and Women's Studies Departments and School of Public and International Affairs including three faculty members, a doctoral candidate, and an undergraduate student.

A second event follows on Sunday, February 17, when Professor Laura Mason from French History at UGA will take part in a coffee and conversation event featuring Persepolis. This event is also at 7pm.

For more on the film, see its official website.

First Indy IV trailer!

The first trailer for the forthcoming Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has been released. Oh boy...

Higher quality here.

I will never be as cool a professor as Dr. Jones. Sigh.

Thursday, February 14

Colin Meloy album pre-order now available

Colin Meloy's forthcoming Colin Meloy Sings Live is now available for pre-order from The Decemberists' shop, and there's an incentive to get in early. The first 300 CDs and 100 LPs purchased from the band will be signed by Colin and mailed to arrive on or before the April 8 release date. Everyone who pre-orders will also be entered to win a grand prize consisting of a sheep, ship, and skull as seen on stage with Colin during his 2006 tour as well as two tickets to a show on his spring tour. You know I ordered mine.

Colin Meloy - Clementine [live 1-18-2006]

Get in on this quick -- there's no way they'll last long.

MST3K: "What to do on a Date"

My little bovine hero Bully at Comics Oughta Be Fun! features Joel and the 'bots from Mystery Science Theater 3000 for Valentine's Day. If you have 11 minutes to spare and/or are determined to reduce workplace productivity, you should watch it too. You might even learn something!

Swimming meets? Really?

Wednesday, February 13

These United States to tour U.S., play Athens 3/7

I've been interested in Washington, DC's These United States for quite a while, and their debut album is finally due next month. A Picture of the Three of us at the Gate to the Garden of Eden is set to hit shelves on March 4. What I've heard of these guys has hinted at fine throwback garage rock with ample pop sensibilities. They've released the first single, "First Sight," and it sounds quite a bit different than I expected -- I'll be curious which direction the album goes.

These United States - First Sight [from A Picture...]
These United States - Kings and Aces [live]
These United States - The Business [demo]

To promote the record, the band will embark on a six-week American tour including a March 7 date in Athens, Georgia. The tour's shows are billed as "Experiments 1 through 33," and each night the band will collaborate with guest musicians from the host city to play a unique set. They certainly won't have a chance to get bored.

These United States on tour:

2/14 Norhtern Liberties Winter Music Fest, Philadelphia, PA
2/15 Dante's, Frostburg, MD
2/16 Stone Soup, Shepherdstown, WV
2/23 Union Pool, Brooklyn, NY
2/28 Radio CPR, Washington, DC

These United States "Experiments 1 through 33" and SXSW:

3/03 Exp. #1 IOTA, Arlington, VA (w/ The Federal Reserve)
3/04 Exp. #2 Gallery 5, Richmond, VA
3/05 Exp. #3 Nightlight, Chapel Hill, NC
3/06 Exp. #4 The Rocket, Asheville, NC (w/ Arizona)
3/07 Exp. #5 Flicker, Athens, GA (w/ Andy from Denver)
3/08 Exp. #6 J. Benton Bookseller, Birmingham, AL
3/10 Exp. #7 Minicine, Shreveport, LA
3/11 Exp. #8 Club DaDa, Dallas, TX (w/ The Silent Years)
3/12 Emo’s Main Room Force Field, SXSW, Austin, TX
3/13 Cream Vintage. TX Party, SXSW, Austin, TX (w/ Le Loup, Georgie James)
3/14 AfterTheJumpFest, SXSW, Austin, TX
3/16 Exp. #9 Ramblin Gallery, El Paso, TX
3/18 Exp. #10 Plush, Tucson, AZ (w/ Bon Iver, Phosphorescent)
3/19 Exp. #11 Trunk Space, Phoenix, AZ
3/20 Exp. #12 The Epicentre, San Diego, CA
3/21 Exp. #13 Echo Curio, Los Angeles, CA
3/22 Exp. #14 The Partisan, Merced, CA (w/ Two Sheds)
3/23 Exp. #15 Hotel Utah, San Francisco, CA (w/ The Blank Tapes)
3/25 Exp. #16 Mississippi Studios, Portland, OR
3/26 Exp. #17 Sunset Tavern, Seattle, WA
3/27 Exp. #18 This House On Fire, Boise, ID
3/28 Exp. #19 Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City, UT
3/29 Exp. #20 Hi-Dive, Denver, CO
3/31 Exp. #21 400 Bar, Minneapolis, MN (w/ Vandaveer)
4/01 Exp. #22 Vaudeville Mews, Des Moines, IA (w/ Vandaveer, The Lonely H)
4/02 Exp. #23 Mission Creek Fest, Iowa City, IA (w/ Vandaveer)
4/03 Exp. #24 The Hideout, Chicago, IL (w/ Vandaveer)
4/04 Exp. #25 The 930, Louisville, KY (w/ Vandaveer)
4/05 Exp. #26 The Dame, Lexington, KY (w/ Scourge of the Sea, Vandaveer)
4/07 Exp. #27 AS220, Providence, RI (w/ Deer Tick)
4/08 Exp. #28 P.A.’s Lounge, Somerville, MA
4/09 Exp. #29 Studio Verte, Portsmouth, NH
4/10 Exp. #30 Cake Shop, New York, NY
4/11 Exp. #31 Union Hall, Brooklyn, NY (w/ David Dondero)
4/12 Exp. #32 Talking Head, Baltimore, MD (w/ Casiotone for the Painfully Alone)
4/13 Exp. #33 Black Cat, Washington, DC (w/ Wye Oak)

For more on These United States, see their Myspace or official site.

Tuesday, February 12

Checking in with Cars Can Be Blue

Nate Mitchell and Becky Brooks of Cars Can Be Blue

I recently had a chance for a little Q&A with Nate Mitchell from naughty Athens twee duo Cars Can Be Blue, and took the opportunity to see what the band has in the works.

C&T: So, any recording going on?

CCBB: Yes, CCBB has three days booked at Andy Baker's Bakery studio here in Athens where we we will be attempting to record 21 new songs. We are happy to announce that recording engineering will be overseen by Joel Hatstat (Cinemechanica, Pegasuses XL), with production/mixing assistance by Jeff Walls (The Woggles, Hillbilly Frankenstein, Guadacanal Diary). Jeff Tobias (We Vs. the Shark, Pegasuses XL, Dark Meat, Mouser, etc. etc.) will be our "hired gun" bass player.

C&T: Any plans for a new album in the near future?

CCBB: We will record the new songs, send 'em off to the plant and our second album (titled "Doubly Unbeatable") out in May 2008 on the Happy Happy Birthday To Me label.

C&T: Upcoming performances/shows/tours?

CCBB: We're doing a special Valentine's show Feb. 14th @ the Caledonia Lounge here in Athens with Sex Robots (St. Louis band, featuring Mario fr. Bunnygrunt) and the hilarious Stubble on Stubble comedy show.

We have longer tour plans being firmed up with Keith John Adams and the Velcro Stars for later this spring.

C&T: Any other projects in the works?

CCBB: I [drummer Nate] personally have a lot going on, what with playing drums in CCBB, mutant garage punk duo Double Dynamite and gentle pop merchants Titans of Filth, as well as playing bass in a weird dance band called Everybody Everybody with Laura Swindall (drummer from the Athens band Christopher's Liver).

Becky has been getting into special effects makeup lately (I suggest people visit her personal Myspace profile for gruesome photos).

C&T: Anything else you'd like people to know about?

CCBB: Becky sews hats and other clothes and has an online shop on the Etsy site. Please buy some of her shit.

Thanks Nate! Some tracks from the band, all probably not safe for work:

Cars Can Be Blue - Do You Remember?
Cars Can Be Blue - I Used to Think
Cars Can Be Blue - Batman

For Cars Can Be Blue info and tour dates, hit up their Myspace. You can buy their first album, All the Stuff We Do, from Happy Happy Birthday To Me.

Sopo Bicycle Cooperative Benefit This Weekend

For the Atlanta crowd, a guest post from C&T friend Rachael...

Sopo Bicycle Cooperative, your community bicycle repair shop, is pleased to present our Fourth Annual Broken Hearts and Bicycle Parts benefit show (Friday, February 15, 9 pm, Lenny's Bar, $7). Recommended if you like big sweaty electro dance shows, carnival-style marching bands, sexy ladies spinning fire, and community do-goodery.

Here's the line up:
Judi Chicago
One Hand Loves the Other
Atlanta Sedition Orchestra and
the Kiwis.

Also featuring Hot Toddy's Flaming Cabaret during the Skids-n-Tricks Competition. Enjoy Raffle Prizes, our SUV Piñata, Custom Air Brush Merch, and more.

Radiohead May tour dates released, Atlanta 5/8

This just in...

Radiohead have confirmed their May tour dates, including May 8 in Atlanta. Rejoice!

May 5 - Cruzan Amphitheatre - West Palm Beach, Florida
May 6 - Ford Amphitheatre - Tampa, Florida
May 8 - Lakewood Amphitheatre - Atlanta, Georgia
May 9 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre - Charlotte, North Carolina
May 11 - Nissan Pavilion at Stone Ridge - Bristow, Virginia
May 14 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - St Louis, Missouri
May 17 - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion - Houston, Texas
May 18 - Center - Dallas, Texas

According to the press release, pre-sale begins Thursday, February 14, and tix are available to the general public on Saturday, February 16. There's your last-minute Valentine's Day gift, slackers.

Monday, February 11

Steve Gerber, 1947-2008

"Plants are like people. Writers are like plants. Therefore, and this may come as a surprise, writers are like people. Given them light, water, nourishment, a comfortable pot and an encouraging world and they'll grow." -- Howard the Duck #16

Word in tonight that beloved writer Steve Gerber has passed away from complications due to pulmonary fibrosis at age 60.

Gerber created Howard the Duck for Marvel Comics, and wrote such series as The Defenders, Man-Thing, Omega the Unknown, and Guardians of the Galaxy, among others. He was also wrote and edited the animated series G.I. Joe and Transformers, and created the animated Thundarr the Barbarian. His work brought joy to many, and he'll be missed.

See Newsarama for more information and commentary.