Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I Believe You Can Rhett My Engine.

Today is Tuesday, meaning that there are new releases. Rhett Miller dropped his second solo project, The Believer, today. A little background on Rhett...he is the voice of the Old 97s and has been working on his solo project since 2002 while maintaining his presence with his them. He hails from Texas, which is stereotypically the heart of country music and inspiration, and you would believe it from listening to his songs. They all have a twangy undertone that is overpowered by a unique rock. This is one of those sounds that you can hear if you're familiar with Rhett's work and just know it's him. It mirrors the Old 97s sound, but has a distinct tag on it that is exclusive to Rhett Miller himself.

The Believer boasts a heavy reliance on strings that makes for a smooth and soothing mood setter. The songs have an old-fashioned flow to them concerning the instrument use that ties in well with the somber lyrical content. "Ain't That Strange" is a track found about halfway through the album, and it's probably one of the more rocked out songs in the entire collection with faster guitar shredding and angrier tones. I also really dig the first play, "My Valentine," and the way it attacks the bitterness of a relationship gone bad, which can also be found in "I Believe She's Lying."

Rhett cites the late Elliott Smith as a big influence, and even wrote the title track of the album as a tribute to him. This album is a must in your collection. I'll probably spin in as I'm winding down for the evening or trying to keep my sanity at my day job. It's a different kind of rock, the kind that makes you feel good about life and hopeful about love, despite all of the outside powers that be. This is some good stuff.

If you want to check it out before purchasing, you can listen to the entire thing streamed on Rhett Miller's MySpace profile. If you want to see him live, then buy tickets...he plays April 5th at the Variety Playhouse. Tickets are $17.50.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

What A Novel Idea!

Finally, after about a month of recording, Snowden will be playing tonight at the Masquerade for the ASCAP showcase that is going down. This is the first show Snowden has played since the stellar New Year's Eve performance they pulled out at the Drunken Unicorn. Personally, I'm anxious to hear what kind of new songs and mixes they'll be throwing out at the crowd tonight.

Opening will be Tora Tora Tora, a band who has been on the bill with Snowden at least once or twice before. They will be followed by The Judies, who are headed up by this super skinny kid named Warren. Warren is the epitome of the word rockstar, so if you want to be entertained, be sure to catch his performance.

Rounding out the bands leading up to Snowden is The Futurists. You can refer to a recent blog of mine where I praise the hell out of this band for a further explanation as to why they are so great. If there were ever a band that I felt was going places, this would be the one. All around really nice and genuine guys, their music is definitely something to check out, and like I've stated before, they are certainly easy on the eyes. I'm sure they think I'm psycho, but I can't help but stare.

The information states that the show will start at 7:00 p.m., but if you're a pro attendee like myself, then you would know that means closer to 8:00. Either way, get there early to take it all in, and bring $8 for the cover. Don't worry if you're not of age, the Masquerade caters to all ages.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I Want Revenge.

Electric Six.She Wants Revenge.Rock Kills Kid

Probably the one thing in the world of live music that makes me happier than anything else is when I go to a show with intentions of seeing an established band that I already know about, only to find that the opening band that I don't know is better than the act it leads to. This makes me happy because it broadens my personal music spectrum, which I think is a positive result for any music lover.



I went up to the EARL tonight to check out the sold out Electric Six show, which might more appropriately be referred to as the sold out She Wants Revenge show, because all the fair-weather fans cleared out when they were finished. Opening up for the aforementioned acts was Rock Kills Kid, a five piece from Los Angeles that dons a rock and electronica sound that made me pay attention. In some instances, I could see this band as the love child of Robert Smith and Bono. I feel like I've nailed a taste test in that I go to their website, only to see U2 and The Cure listed as two of the band's influences. The lead singer's voice really reminded me of Bono in addition to the way he attacked each song with heightened hand gestures and a constant touching of the face. He manages to finish some lyrics by crouching while drawing out the ends of words in a raspy voice, which I thought was a beautiful touch. The catchiest tune I heard all night, by far, was "Paralyzed," which boasts a chorus you can completely jam out to in either your car, or possibly the on dance floor. Even listening to it now, I want to get off my lazy ass and move around. Not many songs can have that effect on this girl. The other song that stood out to me was the most definitely Cure-esque "Hide Away" that was played at the end of the show. It's a slower tune than the rest that speaks of lost chances and presents a melancholy undertone. I'm pretty sure that this song will end up on repeat in my player, especially since I actually shelled out extra money and bought the EP, which is an act I rarely practice.

So, see, sometimes it pays to be on time to a show and catch the opening act. She Wants Revenge played second, and had I not been busy thinking of ways to impolitely remove the asshole next to me from my leg (which he was feverishly grinding upon without my consent), then I may have come out with something better to say, however, in this situation, I found it hard to concentrate, so you'll have to forgive me. In the future, I pray that I don't end up at the EARL standing next to a bunch of drunken meatheads who missed their turn to Buckhead when I am trying to enjoy good music.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Positive Rantings.

Finally, I have made it back to the blog with some material, so those of you who keep telling me to update, I'm updating. As a sidenote, I am such a dedicated enthusiast that even after spending the day in bed from some kind of stomach thing, I still went and sipped on Sprite.

Rival Concerts threw together a show at Vinyl tonight consisting of three different sounds for your listening pleasure. Starting off was a band/guy called B. Young from Nashville. The one thing that really stood out to me was B. Young's incredible voice and range. It's really a beautiful thing to listen to. He plays an acoustic guitar and belts out these insanely smooth sounding lyrics while shredding. The denim-decked, slightly "boy band" appearance fits well with the music he's presenting. I get this feeling that his following probably consists of many teen to early 20-somethings who are into him for his sweet love ballads and dreamy facial expressions, which is never a bad thing. As far as presence, well, they can definitely stand to have more.

The next band was Ligion. I'm not really going to comment on this because it's not the style of music that I dig, but I will say that they put on a good show, and I thoroughly enjoyed the cover of Midnight Oil's "Beds Are Burning."

Headlining was the Rantings of Eva, which is one of those bands that I get super excited about when they shuffle onto my iPod. They've been out of commission the past couple of months recording new stuff, so it's been a while since I've seen them. Frontman Ryan Flanagan has this buttery voice that is soothing and calm while coupled with the rock coming from their three guitars and drums. What I like most is that they certainly have mastered a unique sound that is all their own, even though you can still compare them to the likes of Jeff Buckley and, in some instances, Coldplay or Death Cab For Cutie. The staple song that most fans seem to know and grasp onto is "Still Holding On," which, they of course played tonight, except that it sounded like there was a change up in the drumbeats. This was a plus, for sure. You should make sure you catch their next show if you haven't had the pleasure of doing so yet. On stage, you can see the surge of passion with which they play their tunes, which is evident with constant leg kicking (no, not like Mick Jagger, either) and flying hair. In Atlanta, the next show is at Smith's Olde Bar on March 15th.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Oh, No. I Got A Life.

I have not updated this blog recently simply because I have actually been busy. I have taken on a part time job running a new local website called Atlanta Mojo. This site is basically a way to promote any happenings in Atlanta. Bars, venues, events, etc. can be posted there for free. It's the perfect tool for concert-goers and musicians alike for this reason. Much like MySpace, TagWorld, or Pure Volume, this site can house mp3, news, 'groupies,' and show listings, except for that you can reach far more people on a local level. I know of at least two of my favorite local bands that have profiles in the "Live" section of the site.

It is free to join and to use, so check it out. Meanwhile, with it being a new concept, I am going to be hammering away at that until there is some stability while trying to maintain this lovely blog. I will, however, be posting a write up of the Rantings of Eva show at Vinyl next week, in addition to the show at the Masquerade (The Academy Is...). So, until then, I will be finding a local band online to highlight here after I find two seconds to breathe.