Monday, December 26, 2005

New Year's Rockin' Eve.

Minus Dick Clark, of course. Wondering what to do and where to go? Well, here's a list of happenings around Atlanta that you might be interested in.

  • At MJQ/The Drunken Unicorn, you have The Gates of Berlin and Snowden for a mere $10 cover. There will also be DJs and some sweaty dancin' fools up in there. Both bands have quite the following in Atlanta, so this is sure to be a show to please. I'll be at this one, wearing bells.

  • For a similar style, you can check out A Fir-Ju Well, Dropsonic, and Anna Kramer at the EARL. Haven't seen Dropsonic, but I know A Fir-Ju Well will put the rock hurt on your face with their stellar tunes. Bring $10 to get in and have yourself a couple PBRs.
  • The other place I wish I could be is Smith's Olde Bar to see the Judies, Lazyeye, and James Hall. The Judies' lead man Warren will mesmerize you with his superb stage presence and squirmy rockstar moves. It's $12, and you can find all of this talent and the best sound in Atlanta upstairs.

  • More of a hard rock fan? Then you might want to head over to Velvet Underground (right there attached to the Hard Rock Cafe) for Family Force 5, Last November, and Echovalve. All three of these bands have received much attention for their super live acts from all over the place, so you won't be disappointed. All of this is available to you for $10.

  • If you want to see some DJ action, then you should be at Vinyl for the Heathen Chemistry blowout. It's $60, but you actually get drinks and breakfast! Woohoo.

  • Finally, for those who want to swing their heads back and forth in a banging motion, Mastodon will be at the Masquerade.
And, for reference, here is the phone number for Checker Cabs. Just remember that they'll be busy as hell and you should give them time to come and get your drunk ass. 404-351-1111

Saturday, December 24, 2005

And The Guiltiest Pleasures of Them All.

Yesterday I put up my top 5 albums I couldn't live without. I also have five albums I catch a load of hell for loving. I've had the pleasure of seeing every one of them live this year, and I was probably the oldest person at each performance, which is why I call them guilty pleasures.

1. Almost Here - The Academy Is...
Ah, yes. This is one that I play continuously. I especially like it while I'm working out because it's very upbeat and has really sassy and snide lyrics throughout the track list. Checkmarks is still my favorite track, considering it gives the rest of the world a different view of the heartache of a rockstar. Speaking of rockstars, William Beckett is the epitome of the word. Seriously, if you ever have a chance to see him, it's a thing of pure beauty. Luckily, if you can mark off February 16th, you can catch him at the Masquerade shaking that sweet ass of his for all the ladies, myself included.

2. Commit This To Memory - Motion City Soundtrack
If you like overly saracstic lyrics and tones with a Moog chiming in the background, then you'd love this album. I think listening to it made me realize I don't need mental help nearly as bad as lead singer, Justin Pierre, which is blantantly obvious in Everything Is Alright. I like to put this in the player and then make faces at myself in the mirror while singing along. As dark as some of the subject matter is, I manage to still focus on the pure rock of it all. I saw them live twice this year, and I can confidently say that there is no other keyboard player who can rock your face off like theirs. If you don't believe me, go to the Masquerade on March 15th and witness it yourself.

3. Before The Robots - Better Than Ezra
I admit this one with no hanging of the head...I have been a fan of Better Than Ezra since Friction, Baby back in '94. It's been a long while since they've gotten any recognition for an album since then, but now they seem to be slowly climbing back into the saddle with this one. A Lifetime was released in May and still gets airtime on 99X. What I like most about the album is that it takes you on a roller-coaster ride of different types of songs...almost like there is more than one genre represented throughout. My two favorites are the ballad-like tune Overcome and the booty mover Juicy, which was featured on Desperate Housewives.

4. Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge - My Chemical Romance
I'm not normally into the whole emo/screamo thing, but after checking out I'm Not Okay (I Promise) on 99X, I decided, what the hell? I'll buy it. And I did. And I listened to it non-stop for about 3 months. It's still in the rotation, too. I loved this one so much that I got my hands on MCR's first full length, which I also love. There are numerous great tunes out of Three Cheers, like the better known Helena, all the way to I Never Told You What I Do For A Living. I won't say anything good about their live act, because there isn't anything good to say, but the music speaks to me, so I'll take it.

5. The Everglow - Mae
You won't find the explicit lyrics sticker on this album, since it's coming from a former (and maybe still recent?) Christian rock band. This is my mellow-rock retreat, the something I can listen to that seems to produce a reaction equivalent to Calgon, because it just takes me away. I could listen to Suspension on repeat for about an hour before deciding maybe I'm being psycho about a song. Of course, the live show I caught this summer just drilled their album even further into my brain. Holy wow can those guys tear a stage apart and surprise the poo out of me. Kudos to them for being an unforeseen favorite in my collection.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Five in '05.

So here are the five albums I could not have lived without this year. I'm going to count backwards because it seems so much cooler that way.

5. Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson. I'm sure this completely destroys my credibility, but unfortunately, it's the truth. If you can dig Kanye West, then I feel like I'm allowed to have Kelly Clarkson bottom out my list. Basically, this album has a shallow song that can fit into any angry feeling I've had over the past year. From Since U Been Gone to Behind These Hazel Eyes (mine are blue, by the way) to Gone, Breakaway covers it all. It's sassy. It's angry. It's man-hating. But throughout all of it, the songs still manage to remain upbeat and leave me walking away feeling somewhat empowered. A must in any young woman's collection, and yes, a must in mine.

4. Live It Out - Metric. Here's the sleeper of the list. I call it a sleeper because I think only a few people know about it. I love jamming out in the car to Poster of a Girl, mainly because the lyrics brilliantly fit my mood the majority of the time, and also because it leads into Monster Hospital, which manages to get me screaming "I fought the war but the war won't stop for the love of God" each time I hear it. I eventually manage to move on to The Police and The Private only to do the same head bobbing flail while behind the wheel. The beats in every song are all right on and make me love Metric even more than I did when I first heard them.

3. Strange Geometry - The Clientele. I already posted a big ass-kissing bit about this album right before seeing them live for the first time, so you had to know this would be on my list. My favorite thing to do when I can pull myself away from the world is to sit on the couch with coffee and some great work of literature and spin Strange Geometry. I don't know who this 'K' is that seems to be the subject of a couple songs, but I would like to meet them to thank them for inspiring Since K Got Over Me and every other song on there that keeps me calm and still, an abandonment from my normal routine.

2. Hot Fuss - The Killers. I'm not sure if this one came out last year or this year, but either way, I only discovered how incredibly awesome it is back in May, and I'm sorry I didn't give it a chance earlier than that. How often do you find a CD you can listen to all the way through without poking those little arrows to go to the next song? If you say often, I envy the fact that you're not a snob like me. The radio tends to stick to Somebody Told Me, All These Things That I Have Done, and Mr. Brightside. My all-time favorite is Midnight Show, even though I'm sure this is the reason I have almost been caught speeding down I-20 a few times. What? He said, "Drive faster!" So I did. And I still do. This one won't be retreating back to the jewel case for a very long time.

1. Silent Alarm - Bloc Party. This poo is so hot that I got heat rash when I picked up in the CD store. If you don't own this yet, shame on you! Listen to the masses on this one, it will not disappoint. Somehow they manage to create songs that have short lyrics, but hit hard and fast, all up in your face. Positive Tension and Banquet are on constant repeat over here, as is This Modern Love. I'm tortured by the beauty of it. Then they go and re-release this album completely remixed. Help! The mere idea of adding more beats and mixes to this already perfect track list sends me into a tailspin. There's nothing silent about this band, or their debut full length release, so get up and move to it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

It Ain't Easy Bein' Sleazy.

So it looks like my birthday is fast approaching. Luckily, there is a show that night! How appropriate that I ring in the big 26 with the blues.

Jon Harris and the Sin Hounds will be playing at Blind Willie's Thursday, December 29th. They'll be recording live, so you know it's going to be on, which it always is anyways. I have seen them a couple of times before and am quite the fan. They have many originals, but always seem to cover Whipping Post, which is a personal favorite of mine. I've also witnessed a Doors cover a couple of times, which goes to show you that the roots of Jon Harris' influences are in high taste and classic.

On stage, Jon is able to work the crowd with little movement. It's all in the emotion of his voice. He is able to work as an actor through his music, it's something you can feel in the way he sings. You can tell somewhere down the line that he's experienced all of the heartache he vocalizes, and if he hasn't, then he sure as hell has me fooled.

To top it off, the venue is your typical blues bar. Smoky air, red lights, and nasty bathrooms make for the full enjoyable blues experience. You're probably not working the next day because of the holiday, so get your ass in gear and go to Blind Willie's. Look for me. I'll be the drunk one.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

CD Releases Galore.

So tomorrow night seems to be one of those nights when cloning sounds like a super idea. Help. I hate making decisions. I don't feel like rummaging around all the websites to find the cover, so do like I do, bring $10 and you should be fine.

So there's a total of five places to chose from on one Friday night. Something for everyone. Don't be lame--get out, spend a couple of bucks, and go listen to some good local music.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

My Music Space.

ASCAP/MySpace Atlanta Showcase

Last night at Smith’s Olde Bar, by far the best place to see a local show in Atlanta, ASCAP and teamed up to bring the music lovers of the city four incredible bands under one roof. The opener was picked out of many entries from the hundreds of bands that are present in the local scene. Kill Gordon won the spot and showed his peers why he deserved to be on stage last night with inarguably the best performance I have seen out of them, and trust me, I’ve seen just about all of them. The sound coming from the vocal side was beautiful, the guitars and drums released a temper of rock, and the large crowd in attendance fed off the intensity and humor Kyle Gordon served them. Go to Lenny’s on December 9th to see their CD Release show, and to, most importantly, buy the CD.

The Gates of Berlin set up afterward and worked the crowd up even more. Their sound is modern and edgy, with a twist of pop that’ll get you dancing around, and you won’t even question yourself about it. It’s okay, you’re not the only one who looks stupid…the guy next to you is doing the exact same thing. They have strong use of the keyboard present in their songs that gives them a burlesque/vaudeville sound in some instances, which totally adds to the show. At the beginning, I was somewhat reminded of Jellyfish, but that faded and more rock than pop shone through towards the end, just exhibiting the range that The Gates of Berlin can move along. Check them out again on New Year’s Eve at the Drunken Unicorn.

Up next was Sovus Radio, another band I thoroughly enjoy catching now and then. I can’t say enough stellar things about their EP that entered my possession a couple months ago, and seeing them perform the songs live gets me every time. They closed with Juniper Jealous, which is quite the favorite among the females; so needless to say, the icing on the cake they made was unspoiled. Ty Thompson’s vocals were extraordinary and perfectly raspy enough to capture the psychedelic nature of the group. Exquisite performance out of these guys, as usual. If you’re one of the few people who haven’t seen them yet, jump on the bandwagon. You can thank me later.

Last, but of course, not least, was the interesting musical styling of A Fir Ju-Well, a band that I must say has the best little promotional items for their shows strewn around Atlanta. I think I sat on one of them while at Criminal Records one afternoon. The most fascinating part of this band’s act is the constant changing of instruments (which includes an accordion) amongst the band members. It’s rather impressive to see them literally play musical chairs throughout the entire set in between their experimental rock sounds. This is the first glimpse I’ve had of them, and I would say their style lies fairly close to that of the Flaming Lips. Naturally, you need to experience this band and their talent first hand at a live show. You can do that on New Year’s Eve at the EARL.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Good To Be Evil.

League of Evil

Wednesday at the Earl in East Atlanta, League of Evil played their very first show, opening up for Kill Gordon and The Sound Team. League of Evil has a very mellow sound and feel to it that was perfect for opening up a Wednesday night show. It reminded me a bit of Pinback, coupled with an edgier Radiohead-esque style, which was shown in their quality vocals paired with distinctive guitar riffs. Lead guitarist and singer Christopher Simony hit a few high notes in some of the songs that were balanced out nicely with Chris Parizo’s bass licks. This band has a very laid-back approach that could compliment a chill evening out, but on the other hand, they also exhibit the ability to completely rock. League of Evil is very much all about the music and less about the cheesiness that some bands tend to fall into now.

The set list was much like a roller coaster, as League of Evil started off with a slower tune revealing a long intro and then trading off to a harder melody, only to return to something more placid again. It really let the listeners witness how much eclectic sound the band is capable of producing. The real crowd pleaser was the last song, called Sleeping Late Among the Early Risers, which I will have to agree is definitely their sweetest piece of music, reminding me a bit of something I’ve heard out of the Doves.

League of Evil only has one more upcoming show listed as of yet, and that is on January 21 at the Drunken Unicorn. You can check out a couple of their songs on either MySpace or their official website.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Boulevard Broke the Dream


Muse meets the Killers meets Modest Mouse with a smidge of The Cure thrown into the mix. It took me a few songs to put my finger on the exact influence I heard in Boulevard's music, but I managed it. The five-piece band from Athens opened up the show last night at Smith's Olde Bar for James Hall, who I didn't even bother to stay for since I was so satisfied with hearing Boulevard and then leaving when the Julia Dream came on.

It's no secret that I like a band with some stage presence, so I wasn't disappointed in the least when the curtains opened in sync with the first taps of the drumsticks and Boulevard came out with their pretty eyeliner donned faces and upbeat sound. They utilize a keyboard on all of their songs, which is beautifully present throughout. Even better is that the keyboard player, Stephen James, somehow managed to work the entire stage (and room for that matter) from his little corner with many twirling dance moves and animated facial expressions. About halfway through the set, front man Benji Barton shed his guitar and grabbed the mic to concentrate on belting out the tunes for the rest of the show. This was a great move considering his mastery of the pelvic thrust, booty shake, and "do me" look to make the ladies swoon.

By the end of the night, thanks to my cohort Greg, I had a copy of their record Vice & Daring in my hands, and we listened to it in the car while in route to the next bar, making sure to repeat my favorite track, Marie, over and over. Its super catchy tune and lyrics you can sing along to make it stand out from the rest, and you could tell the band was having a feel good time while playing it. Boulevard will be having a CD release show at the Drunken Unicorn on December 9th, and I highly suggest you get your ass in gear and make it out, then be sure to purchase the album.

Download the Marie mp3 here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Hot Hot Heat on a Cold Cold Night.

Hot Hot Heat

It's pretty much freezing outside. It seems that winter is finally upon us...until it freakishly turns 75 next week, as it usually does here in Atlanta. Tonight was the Budweiser One Night Stand with Hot Hot Heat at the Coca-Cola Roxy. Supposedly you had to win tickets from 99X to get in, as in, they could not be bought by the general public. My friend Jay had an extra, so I went along for the ride.

There were two opening bands, but we only went in for Hot Hot Heat. I am fond of this band that hails from Canada, so I was excited to finally see them live for the first time. The lights throughout the show were quite impressive. Sometimes it's all about the visual. The last time I visited the Roxy was back in May to see Better Than Ezra, which was amazing. The show I saw tonight was somewhat mediocre. The venue is a good size, and the sound there is always good, so those two factors weighed in nicely. There was also a good bit of space to grind up on your redneck boyfriend if you happened to be the trashy chick who was standing in front of me, so that's always desirable to have when you're viewing a group that gets so much play on the radio.

I have to say that I wasn't completely impressed with the lack of energy exhibited by lead man Steve Bays. Sure, he walked around and tried to work the crowd, but the swagger most seasoned front men possess wasn't present until the very last song, which appropriately happened to be Goodnight Goodnight. I will give him credit for his style, though, since for some reason I couldn't help being envious of his pants. He also does this great thing with his tongue while he sings that kind of reminds me of a lizard.

When they played Island of the Honest Man there was a lot more energy than in some of the other songs. It seemed to me that the whole band just really felt more on a couple of songs than all of them, which I personally think should be shown throughout the entire show. Even when they performed the newest hit heard on the radio, Middle of Nowhere, it appeared that they were just going through the motions. This could be because they've been touring for a while (almost an entire month straight), and the luster of performing has worn off, so this is something I hope they try to perfect before they come back to Atlanta.

The stage show was well displayed, with backdrop art from the new album Elevator that dropped a couple of times during the show. The band gave a shout out to Butch Walker, who was in attendance, before playing a song described as the only "bitter break-up song" of the night, a phrase I have heard Butch toss around before. At the end, red and white confetti shot out from the stage close to where we were standing, and I must say that this gesture made me smile. It was fun, I just hate it for whoever has to clean that up now.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Kill and the Radio Star.

Kill Gordon and Sovus Radio

Last night was another one of those nights that I get excited about because two of my favorite local bands played together at 10 High. The fact that I can walk there made it that much better, and allowed for an extra PBR or four.

First up for the night was The Poles from Asheville, NC. I have heard wonderful things about this band, but honestly, it's just not my style of music. I quietly sat back and listened to their set while waiting for Kill Gordon to go on, but I couldn't get into it. The feelings of those around me were mixed, some liked them, some didn't. When they finished up, Kill Gordon took the stage.

KG went right into it opening with In the Know, which immediately set the rock mood for those of us up front and center. There was definitely a lot of dancing and hair slinging from the crowd throughout the set. The band demanded attention with Pop Song, which is one of my favorites from Kill Gordon, by belting out "you're alright for a white girl." Lead man Kyle Gordon has a firm stage presence and rockstar quality that is to be admired by anyone who gets up in front of a group of people. On the last song, staying true to their form, Kyle began flailing around the stage with his guitar, which was missing a couple of strings from the first song, only to fall over the pedastal set up for the drums and squirm around on the floor like a fish out of water before getting up and throwing his guitar down. Cyrus, the bassist, followed Kyle's example next by chucking his guitar and knocking over one of the cymbals. Needless to say, it was definitely an ending that the crowd went wild over.

Sovus Radio accepting the 2005 Open Mic Madness Award from Josh Rifkind in October.

Finally Sovus Radio set up and took over for the rest of the evening. Surprisingly, the crowd was still pretty packed at this late hour, which is usually not the case. They have definitely built a much larger fan base since I first saw them in the spring, and it's easy to see why. Decked out in thrift store threads and silk scarves that any wearer of plaid pants would envy, they played with their psychedelic style to pleased onlookers. Everytime I hear Sovus Radio, whether it be live or on their stellar demo, I feel like I should either be lying in bed writing a masterpiece of a novel, or sitting in a room of red lights and smoking massive amounts of dank. The sound is definitely trippy in the best way possible. These guys have their own style, and it works so well that people keep coming back for more, and this is why I love them.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

You Can't Blame them for Being So Good.

Blame Game

Today I walked up to Criminal Records in anticipation of hearing Blame Game, a band I have read much buzz about in publications such as Southern Performer and Creative Loafing. They were voted as Best Overall Musical Act in Atlanta in the Creative Loafing this year, so that was one reason I wanted to check them out. Another reason being that I work with the mother of one of the guitarists, George Asimakos.

The In Store performances at Criminal Records are normally set up outside in the summertime, but during the fall they get moved inside to the back of the store, where the space is cramped, however, the sound is quite good given the situation. After meeting up with a couple of people from the office, we settled into a nook by the front counter of the store and got a face-rocking 35 minute set.

The only way I can describe this style of music is "glorified jam session." This is the kind of music I would throw into the CD player and put on repeat while having party guests over, considering the majority of the album is instrumental. There were hardly any vocals during the entire set. In fact, the whole thing was comparable to one very long song. I say this because the band never stopped playing in between songs. They segued into each track without any pausing whatsoever. The talent is more than evident in these four guys. There were a couple of instances where the drummer put down his sticks and picked up a saxophone for a couple of bars, adding to the jazz-like feel of the sound. As I was listening, I picked up possible influences of Jimi Hendrix, but in a much more updated sense, far from that of Lenny Kravitz.

Blame Game has a tendency to move through their list by layering each instrument to where the listener can pick up every one of them and appreciate what each member is extracting. It's similar to being on a musical roller coaster. One second you are slowly moving along with long and drawn out notes, and the next you are whirling forward at lightning fast speed on quick, clean beats. It's absolutely uncanny how these guys display the obvious talent they have.

Criminal Records only had one copy left of their recent release Honey and Salt from StickFigure that came out in June. I suggest taking a listen to these guys if you like music, because this, my friends, is indie music at it's finest.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Deep Inside the Concourse...


Tonight I realized that it is painful as hell to wear heels and walk to a venue where you plan to stand for three hours. I'll tell you what wasn't painful, though, and that was the Snowden performance I got to see at the end of a long walk to the Drunken Unicorn.

I've really been digging the new tunes they have posted on their MySpace site, and I've heard them a couple of times at the past couple of shows, but after spending my day catching up on them, I was very ready to hear them performed again.

Tonight was a different kind of show in so many good ways. The smoky and dark room of the Drunken Unicorn was almost bare before Snowden went on, but by the time they took the stage, it was hard to find a good spot to view from. There was definitely an anxious crowd as they all settled into their normal positions, and the veterans in the room were surprised to find an added body to the foursome. That added body was Kyle Dreaden of Jil Station, who has been rehearsing with Snowden on the side.

People are normally skeptical of a change in the show they're used to seeing, but personally, I think it's a keen move on the band's part to explore other ways of presenting music, and from asking around, everyone agreed with me. Kyle was there to give added support to Jordan Jeffares on the keyboards and on the majority of the vocals, and judging from the reaction of the audience, it was a good move. Fresh off a mini tour through Philidelphia and New York, I think this was the best performance I have seen from Snowden, granted I've only seen them about four times total. The sound was perfectly on target, making it easy to pump the energy from the drunk group dancing (we'll just call it dancing) up close toward the front of the stage. I saw this group as I entered the venue, and they weren't even aware there were bands playing tonight, so I know by the end of the night, Snowden had at least six new fans, though from the murmur, I found out that the number is higher than that.

The vigor of the band was enhanced by the combination of Jordan's mad guitar shredding and Kyle's slick dance moves. It's plain to see how this collaboration came about. During my new personal favorite, Anti Anti, there was a ton of movement around me as well as on stage. I'm sure it had something to do with the change up in tempo that's thrown into the song so beautifully. I'm certainly hoping that I get to see this magnificent alliance happen again, since I walked away with a smile on my face at what I was able to view and listen to for about forty minutes tonight.

Download Black Eyes mp3 here.
Download Good News mp3 here.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

IMO, not Emo.

Repeat is by far the best feature on any kind of music playing device. I get to listen to something all the way through, and just when I'm sad that it's over, it starts again! I use to peruse local bands and listen to samples of their music. I tend to just stick to my local area and my favorite national acts simply because I don't want to get addicted to something I will never get to experience in person.

So, I wanted to highlight a couple of songs I have discovered through MySpace that I just cannot live without. Some of them you can actually download for free. I like free. Here they are:

  • Snowden has a song up right now that I have seen them perform a couple of times, and I'm having a hard time leaving their page because at the moment the song Anti Anti is streaming and I think its brilliant. The changes in the beats of their songs grab me and make me want to move around and jiggle my butt, which, if you know me you would know is an extremely hard thing to do. Go here to listen.
  • Kill Gordon's Pop Song is another one I immensely enjoy. They mixed this with Jordan Jeffares of Snowden, and it sounds so good. It's a very feel good song and just sticks you in a super mood. I can't wait to get my hands on the CD.
  • Sovus Radio's Darling Be My Guest makes me feel trippy in a good way. This song is perfect for some downtime. Ty Thompson's raspy, yet smooth voice has a way of settling me. The background vocals make me feel like I'm in a field of tall grass wearing some kind of hippie looking dress and a big hat. This is definitely one for anybody who appreciates a retro sound. Their MySpace page.
  • As much as I'm not into the super edgy rock sounds, Steadlur has this song that I just love. It starts out with a cowbell, which immediately brings me there. I listen to Guilty As Sin and I think I should be punked out running up and down North Avenue flicking people off.
  • Still Holding On is the song that first attracted me to Rantings of Eva. I have been to a couple of their shows and it's always a good time. I know they're working on a LP right now, which makes me happy, because that means I'll have more of their songs I can listen to. This is some mellowish-rockish stuff. Their MySpace profile.
  • A more punky sounding song I like comes from The Futurists' Last Stand. It's got a catchy chorus and somewhat reminds me of an updated beachy/surf rock song. Their MySpace profile.
  • Here's my exception to the local bands. Jared Scharff calls NYC his home, and I have had the luck to see him play Arlene's Grocery up there. He has four songs up on his MySpace profile that I love listening to either when home or riding around in the car. Stereo is the song that attracted me to him in the first place. At one point you can hear clapping in the background, and I really like it. A lot. The song makes me want to throw my hands in the air and sing at the top of my lungs. My other favorite is Confrontational and I think it's the lyrics and the chorus on this one that gets to me. Raw rock at its finest.
This list is just what I can come up with off the top of my head. It would behoove you to at least check them out. It's only my opinion, but I have been told I have good taste, which, of course, is a compliment I will run with.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

What To Do? Where To Go?

I've noticed an overabundance of some good local music this weekend that kind of makes me want to clone myself so that I can attend more than one show at a time.

  • November 10th: Tonight is the LiveX 10 CD release at the Loft. I'm still contemplating this outing. Morningwood will be there. I hate Morningwood. It starts at 7:00 and it's free.
  • November 11th:
    • At the Loft, you have Heavy Mojo performing alongside Family Force 5. I like Heavy Mojo. I purchased their CD It Is What It Is a few months ago, and I really enjoy it to get into a party mood. They pull out a fantastically energetic show as well if you want to check out something like that. Tickets are $5 and the time to be there is 8:30.
    • At 10 High, the Gates of Berlin are apparently going to "rock your panties off" at around 10:00. Guys, get in line for this one. I'd go later, though because Helios is also playing and I have seen them a couple of times and well, I would just go later. There's no price listed anywhere. It'll probably be around $7.
  • November 12th:
    • I will be in attendance at the Drunken Unicorn to see Snowden, Tora Tora Tora, and Sleep Therapy. Of course I have made known that I am a fan of Snowden, but I have also had the pleasure of witnessing Tora Tora Tora and am thrilled to see them again. Show is at 9:00 and you really need to be there.
    • The Tender Idols, Variac, and the Modern Society are going to be at Smith's. If I wasn't so anxious to be at the Unicorn, this is where I would be. This one is listed at 8:00.
    • Another anxiously awaited show is LCD Soundsystem, who will be at Earthlink Live.
    • Super Furry Animals will be at the Loft. If their performance is anything like their website, I'd be interested to see it. I'm kinda drunk right now, and it's not helping me any.
  • November 17th:
    • Mae will be at the Masquerade. I saw them at Warped Tour and this band kicks ass live. It's $12 to get in and you can catch them in Heaven. How appropriate.
  • November 18th:
    • Big show at the 10 High tonight! Sovus Radio and Kill Gordon will be playing side by side again. Don't miss this one. It's a Friday, so you have no excuse. Unless you happen to be...
    • the Earl for the Selmanaires, who are having their 7" release that night. It's $5 and the doors open at 9:00.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Sex A La "Mode"

Depeche Mode

Sex. The one thing that I was thinking of the entire time I was watching the forty-something Dave Gahan gyrate his hips in an Elvis-like gesture on Saturday night. Sure, the company I was with may have contributed to this thought, but Depeche Mode’s trophy lead man didn’t hurt those feelings whatsoever. I was highly impressed with how good he looks “for his age.” He must be pretty confident with himself considering the fact that he was strutting around in some fitting black pants and was shirtless by the last few songs.

Despite the fact that I felt quite young at this show (a nice change from most of the shows I have gone to recently), I had a stellar time, and this is saying much regarding the slight detail that I had to drive to Gwinnett and sit in a large arena to experience the whole thing. The Bravery opened up to a sparse crowd, which is really a shame. They put on an excellent performance to those of us who were actually paying attention. They sounded great covering their hit An Honest Mistake and the new single Unconditional. I could’ve done without the spastic jumping up and down of the lead singer, but overall, it was a pretty energetic showing of what this band can do.

Shortly after that, Depeche Mode came out. By this time, the arena was packed, except for the seats that were higher up towards the suites, which were also oddly meager in warm bodies. I was distracted a little bit by the man in the row in front of us, who was roughly my father’s age, holding his hands up to the sky and swaying back and forth in some sort of dance to slow songs and then pumping his pelvic region with no rhythm at all during the faster songs, but I chalked it up to the beauty of “the Mode” (as Kyle would say, and did, many times). They managed to play all of my favorites, including Personal Jesus (which incidentally is the most fun to watch when you’re standing beside two young men who cover this song in their band and obviously care for this particular song more than the rest), Policy of Truth, Just Can’t Get Enough, and Enjoy the Silence. Mostly they played songs from the new album Playing the Angel. The stage looked incredible as well. The keyboards were housed in these big, silver, space bubble-looking contraptions that had dots of lights on them that changed colors with each song. My favorite was the pink and purple lights.

All in all, it was a tremendous show. I got out of there early enough to catch Sovus Radio at Lenny’s, too. That was it’s own show in itself. Maybe later I will write about that, but right now, I must be off to the free happy hour. Stay classy, San Diego.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Acting as the Clientele's Clientele

If you didn’t heed my advice and attend the Clientele's show at the Earl last night, then you should be kicking yourself in the ass right now. I have been adamant about the magnificent content of their new album, Strange Geometry, for the past month now, so to get the chance to see them here in Atlanta was a remarkable luxury.

I wasn’t able to catch the first act, but I was able to catch Annie Hayden open up for the British trio with a set that was, as she described it, “quiet.” I was able to carry on a conversation through the entire set, but it wasn’t a bad thing. Her music was very chill and satisfying. I think it would’ve been more appropriate if I had been sitting down at a candlelit table gazing longingly into the eyes of someone of the opposite sex over a glass of wine, but slightly swaying in the smoky air of the Earl with a lager had to suffice, and it did. By the end of this lovely display of indie/acoustic sound, I was partially wishing I was at home crawling into a bed of sateen sheets in some oversized and super comfy pajamas, but in a good way.

After about a 45 minute pause between the bands, Alasdair MacLean came out onto the small stage and picked up an acoustic guitar to start off the recital with an older song from the catalog. He jumped right into it without much warning, and I was amazed to see the crowd (which wasn’t near as substantial as it should’ve been) inch forward effortlessly and cease all chattering completely to witness this threesome’s example of music. Alasdair switched up his guitar before the next song to the most stunning specimen I think I have ever seen up close and played Since K Got Over Me, which the audience was highly receptive to, since it’s the first single from the album. Over the course of the set, I found myself staring impolitely at the guitar, truly and utterly flabbergasted at the noise that was emitting from it. I haven’t ever heard anyone make riffs like that before. As clean as they were, they sounded quite edgy, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

They played about three or four other songs off the new album, like E.M.P.T.Y. and I Can’t Seem to Make You Mine, before closing up with an invitation from Alasdair to “couple up for the boy/girl dance” and a slow tune to follow. I think the highlights of the evening rested on the wit exemplified by MacLean, which I was unaware could be displayed so well by a Brit (except maybe for Hugh Grant), and the sheer fact that if I had sat in the back of the room with my eyes closed, I would’ve thought that someone was playing a mixed CD of songs by the Clientele because they were so dead on, something I am wholly fond of.

Monday, October 31, 2005

I Hate Geometry, Except for this Kind.

One of my most favorite pasttimes is laying on my overly comfortable eggplant couch with a cup of coffee or hot tea and a book. This is one of those scenarios I find incomplete without the presence of music. I have found the perfect CD for such occasions. Strange Geometry by the Clientele has become a staple in my CD collection, which is a hard spot to accumulate, as anyone that knows me can attest to.

This is one of those albums you can put in the player, listen through the whole thing, and then repeat it and not get tired of the music. From the first tune, Since K Got Over Me, I was hooked on it. The lyrics are quite heartwrenching if you listen closely, yet the actual music is somewhat uplifting. There is a lull of heartbroken emotion that hangs over the entire CD, yet it's not particularly depressing. Toward the end of the album, Losing Haringey plays, which is one of those songs where the entire verse is spoken and tells a story, much like how Chris Martin of Coldplay attacks The Streets' Dry Your Eyes.

Other favorite tracks of mine include E.M.P.T.Y., Spirit, and Impossible. I have it on good authority that the other albums by the Clientele are just as good or better than this one, and this one is pretty damn good, so once the bills are paid and the fun has been had, I am going to start building my collection of the Clientele's catalog.

Go here to purchase the Clientele's CDs.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

More Shows than Cher's Farewell Tour

Next week will be hectic if you are a lover of live music like myself. Thankfully, the paycheck is coming just in time for this schedule:

  • October 28th: Death From Above 1979 is doing an instore DJ set at Criminal Records (466 Moreland Ave. next to Junkman's Daughter) after a night of playing Philips with Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age. Just for Atlanta. Should be awesome, and it's free!
  • October 29th: VHS or Beta will be at Vinyl 1374 W. Peachtree) for the 3rd annual Halloween party/show thing with Venice is Sinking. $12.00
  • November 1st: The Clientele will be at the EARL (488 Flat Shoals) with Annie Hayden. The new CD, Strange Geometry, is one of my favorites, so this is one I will not be missing. $10.00
  • November 3rd: Kill Gordon is scheduled to do an acoustic set at the Cosmopolitan Lounge (45 Thirteenth Street). I have a feeling that Kyle will rock more than that crowd's faces. $5.00
  • November 4th: The Academy Is... at the Tabernacle (152 Luckie Street) with All-American Rejects. Don't know if I'll be making this one, but if you've never seen William Beckett on stage, then you haven't witnessed the birth of a true rockstar. $20.00
  • November 5th: Depeche Mode at the Gwinnett Arena (OTP, it doesn't need an address). No explanantion needed.

Monday, October 17, 2005

This "Night Out", I Should've Stayed In...

Boys Night Out

A friend of mine got me on the list to attend the Nintendo Fusion Tour show at the Tabernacle this past weekend so that I could go see one of my guilty pleasure bands, Motion City Soundtrack. So, I went over to the Tabernacle (first time I've been to any kind of church on a Sunday in years) with an acquaintance and trekked up the stairs to the very top balcony to see them play.

I'm a punctual individual, so we were a little early. Before Motion City Soundtrack came out, my friend and I had to endure the subpar musical style of a band I had never heard of, Boys Night Out. Honestly, the last time I heard such a god awful noise was when I was walking past the Vans stage at the Warped Tour when Atreyu was covering Bon Jovi. Not only does Boys Night Out sound like every other screamo/emo band out there at the moment, but their appearance announces that they are desperately trying to appeal to any and every angst ridden teenager in existence by making sure each member of the five-piece band flaunts a different stereotype.

My fellow concert-goer pointed out that the lead singer was probably a cheerleader gone bad. And no, the lead singer is not a chick. One minute he was singing an almost bearable tune, and then the next, he was screaming some lyrics into the microphone, even though I'm pretty sure no one knew what he was trying to sing. My ears were bleeding in a bad way before Motion City came out, and for that, I'm going to recommend you make like a girl and stay home when the occasion is "Boys Night Out."

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Rock Party with Bloc Party

Bloc Party

Last night, Bloc Party tore up the Tabernacle with an amped up Cure-esque sound fury. The floor was shaking where I stood for roughly an hour last night, caused by a crowd that was completely enthralled with the resonance of perfection that came from the band. Lead man Kele Okereke made playing the guitar and roaring his popular lyrics at the same time look as easy as the Bowling 101 class I took in college. He was able to keep eye contact with the crazy fans in the front, as well as the flailing ones who were in the back, while the drumbeats coming from a shirtless and fan-blown Matt Tong flawlessly kept the mob moving.

During This Modern Love, the mass of people could be heard throughout the renovated church setting chanting the tune as if it were their own personal anthem. The emotion could be felt throughout the vast space during the course of Banquet, and amazingly enough, the mood was uplifted despite the saddened tone the song lyrics portray. The heartwrenching cry made by Kele was accompanied beautifully by the poignant riffs of Russell Lissack's guitar for the duration of So Here We Are. Overall, this show was rather rewarding for this self-proclaimed music snob. I have yet to pick up the album, but after witnessing this, I know what my next purchase will be.

(After the show, at the Eastside Lounge, me, Russell Lissack, and some tool that wouldn't go away.)

Listen and purchase here: Silent Alarm

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Dive Bars and Local Stars

Friday night two of my favorite local acts played under the same roof, which made my life easier, so I expected to be pleased with the performance as well. I headed over to Lenny's in East Atlanta, and luckily, my expectations were fulfilled by both Kill Gordon and Sovus Radio.

For only having been together for a month or so as a full band, Kill Gordon pulled out a great show. The vocals were super charged, and Kyle Gordon's retro and classic sound meshed well with the bass, guitar, and drums. Although they play a simple sound, it hits big and catches your ear, while Kyle's all-over-the-place guitar shredding catches your eye.

Sovus Radio wrapped up the showcase with a set that the chanting crowd would not allow to be cut short. Debuting a couple of new songs turned out to be a pleaser for all who were in attendence. One tune in particular really drew the crowd in with the roller coaster of sound that was amped by the keyboards and bass through extended instrumentals. Overall, Sovus Radio proved that they deserved the Atlanta Music Guide's nod for Best New Band this year.