Monday, March 27, 2006

Margot and The Nuclear So and So's.

Ho. Ly. Shit. I can honestly say that it's been a very long time since I've seen a performance that has moved me to the point where I had actual tears well up in my eyes. Not just the music, but the entire performance itself. I think the last time was Nine Inch Nails at the Tabernacle. Margot and The Nuclear So and So's played an almost empty room at the Loft, and I certainly hope that I can convince you the next time they're in town that you are a warm body around for them, because it's a travesty for a band with talent like this to think Atlanta sucks to try and play for. Margot consists of eight full-fledged musicians that play a wide variety of instruments. I observed an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, a bass guitar, a trumpet, drums, more drums, a cello, and keys. They opened up with "Vampires in Blue Dresses," and even though it took a few moments for me to get into it, the rest of the set had me wiping drool off my chin caused by the sheer excitement of what they'd play next. In between songs, the guys (and lone girl) joked around and showed the sparse crowd how much fun they were having playing, which is something that is often lost by bands when they're on the road for so long. Lead singer Richard Edwards let the crowd in on the fact that he had been puking all day from bad food at "Waffles and Puke," yet you sure as hell couldn't tell by his outstanding performance.

My favorite part of the set was when they played "Skeleton Key," a song I checked out on their MySpace profile the other night in anticipation for tonight's show. The impact of the all the drums on stage is so great that will literally blow you away. Listening to the songs and their story-like lyrics had me daydreaming while witnessing passion and brilliance from all eight individuals. At some points, I had no idea where to avert my eyes because there was so much going on. It was much like watching a play or a movie, except all the acting was in my head. The ending song was "On a Freezing Chicago Street," which got so intense toward the end that I was thankful I was standing away from the stage, for a couple of cymbals came flying out toward the crowd, and luckily landed in an empty spot nowhere close to me.

As for the music, it has a poppy/folk feel to it that I'm not really sure I can compare to any other band. Their songs can start off sounding like something you think you might have heard on the radio, except you can't place what it is. Then, all of the sudden, here come the drums to hit the very core of you, and right behind the drums, an eerie mood blankets your soul, all set by the cello that sounds comparable to the opening of a horror movie where you just know every one of the characters is going to die. Add the beauty of the Rhodes to that and you have a unique sound that really cannot be emulated by any other band out there. The rhythm is perfect, the melodies completely stellar, and if you do not heed my advice and check them out, your life will be incomplete. This is a band you need to know, and something you need in your collection. I just spent my lunch money to get a copy of their CD, which comes out tomorrow. Go. Get. It. NOW.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Can We Breathe Yet?

Yet another round of shows to attend in the coming week. Go ahead and make plans to catch any of the following:

**Monday, March 27th - I think I mentioned this one earlier, but once again, South is playing The Loft with support from Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos, who I am very interested to see on stage, as they have eight (yes, eight) band members. At first listen, Margot sounds like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, except not as shitty. You'll just have to check it out for yourself. The show is $12 and the doors open at 7:00.

**Friday, March 31st -

Atlanta Music Guide's featured band of the month, Jil Station will be opening up the 10 High. This band is going places. Catch them now when you only have to fork out $7 to see them. This is where I'll be tonight. They go on at 10:00.

Sovus Radio has a show at Hard Rock with support from Elevation and Manchester Orchestra. If you end up here, I'd make sure it's late to see Sovus Radio, because unless you like music that sounds like everyone else mixed with lyrics so shallow and unimaginative that an eight year old could've written them, then I have a feeling you'll hate yourself for wasting a couple of hours on the supporting bands. $6

**Saturday, April 1st - Boulevard will be playing at Vinyl as support for Tora Tora Tora. Boulevard will give you more show for your $6 than anything else offered to you tonight, so go see them!

**Monday, April 3rd - Voxtrot from Austin, TX is playing the Drunken Unicorn. This band is selling out smaller venues up in New York with their diffrent and poppy sound. This is one to check out for sure.

**Wednesday, April 5th -

Ah, the moment I have been waiting for since the beginning of the year when I caught wind of Rhett Miller's plans to release a new solo album...he will be at the Variety Playhouse tonight. If you try to block me from standing in the front and center, then I might have to physically hurt you, so consider yourself warned.

I'm hoping I can get out of the Rhett Miller show early enough to make a trip over to the Drunken Unicorn to catch The Films from Charleston. Although I've not seen them live, yet, I'm chomping at the bit to because all of the demos I've heard out of them are stellar. It's one of those things where there's not a song I don't exclaim is my favorite upon hearing. If you like Atlanta band The Futurists, then you need to check out the Films. Trust me.

**Thursday, April 6th - Back to Vinyl for Rock Kills Kid tonight. This is a $.99 show put on by 99X, so scrape together the change for this one, it's worth it. I saw them open up for She Wants Revenge and Electric Six last month, and I've been listening to the EP non-stop ever since, if that gives you any indication of how super they are.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Eisley.Mute Math.The Working Title.

Last night I managed to see four bands. The Futurists opened up the Loft for the Working Title and Mute Math. I think that was probably the best I have ever seen/heard them, and the crowd was a very good size for an early opener. If you still have not seen the Futurists, shame on you! You need to fix that, trust me on this one.

I also really enjoyed The Working Title from Charleston, SC. I have not seen them or heard any of their stuff before, but I was immensely impressed, as was everyone I ran into while mingling around. They have a good sound that borders on an emo and alternative rock and it really works for them. I want to compare them to the likes of Our Lady Peace or Seven Mary Three, but with much cleaner vocals. Hey, I have a great idea! 99X should add their single "Crash" to the playlist! You want to hear it? Then click on the link I've left, or check out their Pure Volume site, which has four streamable samples you can listen to. Or, click here.

Mute Math followed, and I caught the first couple of songs, which were really super and catchy. I managed to fit quite a few head nods in there. The set started off hitting hard and fast to gain the crowd's attention, which it superbly did. Mute Math is one of those bands everyone seems to know about, except that I had never heard of them. The music is good. I don't see it as something I'd sing along to, but I could certainly listen to it while looking for a soundtrack to cleaning up the apartment on a Saturday afternoon. Their song "Chaos" reminds me of a mix of the Police and 30 Seconds to Mars. I know, it's an interesting combination, but hey, that's what I hear.

And, to end the night...Eisley. Yeah, here's the thing, if you don't know this band, have never heard them, or heard of them, change it! Quickly! I'm not even sure if I have words for what this music does to me, but I'm going to try. This is by far the best band I have come across in a very long time. I listen to them and the singing makes my blood turn warm while my skin immediately begins to break out in chill bumps. "I Wasn't Prepared" and "Telescope Eyes" both throw me into a somber and sullen mood that is so great and powerful that my eyes well up. You could think of this as a bad thing, but it isn't. It is moving and an incredible high reached through music alone, and for a band to have the ability to break through a hardened shell like mine and reach the core of my soul is an example of a near miracle. Seeing them live (though I couldn't see much from where I was standing) only made my thoughts of them sweeter, simply because the stellar sound at Vinyl had them sounding just as good as they do through my speakers.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

March Madness.

If you're a band reading this, please direct your attention here.

This week/weekend/next week is frightfully chock full of good acts. So much, in fact, that I have placed a call to the government to lend me the human cloning tool they keep locked up in the basement of the Pentagon so that I may place myself in more than one venue over the course of three days. They asked me who my shrink was and then told me I should fire him.

Wednesday, March 22 - Straylight Run is headlining the Loft with support from The Spill Canvas and The Exits. I haven't seen them live, but a friend of mine who is normally into pretty heavy stuff informed me that they are great live. If you don't know about them, they are not heavy at all. They actually have an old-school emo sound that's kind of like The Good Life. The tickets are $10 in advance, and it's an all ages show. 8:00 p.m. Yippee.

Thursday, March 23 -
***The Loft: Mute Math will be headlining with support from The Working Title and Atlanta's own The Futurists. This show is getting a poo ton of buzz. Mute Math reminds me of the Police, but with a punk-ish influence. It's a good sound, that's for sure. $10 for admission, doors @ 7 p.m.

***Vinyl: Eisley comes back through Atlanta with Simon Dawes and Brighten. I have not seen Eisley yet, but that will change tonight. They're composed of three chicks and two guys and have a very mellow and smooth sound that makes for a great soundtrack to a chill night. It's like bathtub music...the kind you want to throw in while you're in there relaxing that really makes you ponder all of life's little happenings through bubble meditation. I'm reminded of frente! from the early 90's, who I have recently rediscovered through breaking out my CD collection.

Friday, March 24th - The Features are taking on the EARL. I'm not sure where I heard their song "Blow It Out," (maybe on 99X?) but I love it so much that I want to see them live. The chorus begins with "If you're happy and you know it, turn the volume up and blow it out" in this quivery vocal fluctuation. It's great! They hail from Tennessee, so they don't hit Atlanta too often. If their show is any bit as energetic as their songs, then this will be one to make me happy.

Saturday, March 25th - If you can't find something to do tonight, something is severely wrong with you. Emerge and take in all the marvelous options available to you!

***The Loft: Nine Black Alps will be headlining with support from local favorites Snowden and League of Evil. (If you're interested in my thoughts on Snowden or League of Evil, then I've just linked them for you) $10 to get in and doors open @ 8 p.m.

***Smith's Olde Bar: Rantings of Eva (my review on them here) will be opening up for The Whigs, who call Athens home. I've only heard many positive things about the Whigs, so this should prove to be a great show. I wonder if the Tories will show up. Nyuk Okay, then. $10 for a ticket in, doors are at 8 p.m.

***The Drunken Unicorn: The Hiss will be headlining with support from The Drownout.

Monday, March 27th - Looks like I will be over at the Loft once again to kickstart the week with South and their New Order-esque sound from London and Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos. I'm interested in the latter simply because the name is utterly outrageous and long. The cost to get in is $12 and doors are at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, March 28th - FYI, She Wants Revenge will be at the Loft with Nightmare of You. I don't think I'm going to attend this one considering what happened last time, but it's worth mentioning.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Local Mixtape: The Pop Edition.

Lately I have been hearing more and more songs by local bands that I am completely hooked on and constantly spin on iTunes. All of these bands play out in Atlanta quite often, and I highly recommend you check them out any chance you get. Here is a list I've compiled of songs that have that 'single' potential and are "mainstream radio-friendly." Some of them can be downloaded for free from the artists or on MySpace, and the others can be obtained through the band's EP.

-Bain Mattox - Another band creating a lot of buzz, playing larger sized venues, and selling out smaller ones with their mainstream poppy sound is Bain Mattox. Their full length album Prizefighter's title track is another one I can listen to on repeat because it's got this lyric that's kind of sassy and fun to sing along to that goes "shut up, sit down, I think it's getting kind of loud in here." Next show: April 1st @ the Roxy

-Boulevard - With their six song EP, Vice and Daring, Boulevard has nailed the feel-good single of the moment with "Marie." I hear this song and I think of sunny days and long car rides that result in good times with friends. It can immediately remove me from any kind of funk I happen to be in with it's positive and upbeat melodies that come from a mixture of guitars, keys, and cymbals. I really enjoy the clapping that can be heard in the background in some parts of the song. Benji Barton's deep voice doesn't dampen the mood on this track whatsoever. Next show: April 1st @ Vinyl.

-The Futurists - "Candlelight" is the newest download available from this band comprised of four college students. The first time I heard this song, I wasn't nearly as fond of it as I am now, which is usually the case with me and new music. I need a couple of listens, and then all the sudden, I'm hooked. This song is just brilliant. It manages to intertwine a deep blues-y sound without turning away from the rock vibe the band displays in other tracks. The lyrics are somber and have a strong emotional presence that makes my heart sad, which means it has managed to accomplish the very thing that music is supposed to, and that is to move us. Expect very large things to come out of this band. If this is any indication of what's to come, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Next show: March 23rd @ The Loft opening for Mute Math.

-Harrison Hudson - "No Matter" is the newest download posted from Harrison Hudson, and this song is just great. Harrison utilizes vocals that flow very smoothly into each other, and the chorus is one you can sing along to. There is a slightly "classic rock" feel to it with the moderately twangy tone in the vocals and gutsy guitar riffs.

-Jil Station - Another band that takes a retro idea and makes it more modern and affable to today's listeners with their single, "Vanguard" from their Moderation EP, which will also be featured on their debut full length album Still Love in the near future. With baritone vocals and a focus on keys, this song succeeds in sounding like a moody rock anthem that has a dark flavor you can grasp onto and revel in. I often listen to this as I walk around town, and I'm sure it places a certain expression on my face that makes me seem like I know something you don't know, and I like it. Next show: March 31st @ 10 High

-Kill Gordon - "Pop Song White Lady" has a very retro/psychedelic undertone to it that reminds me of some of the songs my parents had on vinyl from various bands like the Beatles and the Stones. Kyle Gordon's voice is grainy and rough like a true rocker's should be. This is raw and will make listeners of classics from the aforementioned bands happy to listen to Kyle sing about how "you're alright, for a white girl."

-Last November - "Sniper" is one of the singles that Last November is pushing from their debut album, All The Gory Details. I think I really like this song because it starts the beat off with the use of keys, and because lead singer Luke Pilgrim's voice is so velvety and tranquil against the instruments. The music has the same affect as when you get gum stuck in your hair, it's hard to remove from your head. Next show: March 25th @ The Roxy.

-The Modern Society - If you like poppy rock, then you would love this radio-friendly song called "Tokyo" that The Modern Society has on their album Friends & Enemies. I actually really like this song because it's one of those that you hear that sticks in your head, and you'll be walking around humming it to yourself, saying, "Where are you now?" I've seen them live a couple times, and their following of fans know this song so well that they can literally finish it for the band. Next show: March 25th @ the Roxy.

SXSW In Your Living Room, Part II.

After a lapse in being able to find time to sit down and give a listen to the bands being showcased at the SXSW conference this weekend, I'm back to share more up and coming talent that jumps out at me.

**Straylight Run - You may have already heard of this four piece, as they have a song out there that I've seen pop up in more than one place called "Existentialism on Prom Night." On the SXSW site, they have posted "Hands in the Sky" for download, which is an interesting track that starts off with calm and mellow music that leads into soothing vocals only to break into a chorus that is repeated over and over in a fashion that is almost like yelling over a constant clapping noise in the background to keep the beat. It's angry, and I like it.

**Sybris - This band out of Chicago is led up vocally by a chick with a raspy, yet still smooth voice that fluctuates between a whisper and actual singing, which in this case on "Best Day In History In Ever" is more of a spoken song. It's coupled with quick guitar licks and rapid drum beats to make an interesting, and completely obscure sound.

**Band Marino - This band caught my eye because of their name. Obviously, they are from Florida. You can download "Someday We Die" off the SXSW site. I like this song because it relies very heavily on strings and banjo picking to compliment the eerie vocals. It has a bit of a folk feel to it, but is definitely something I could listen to when winding down, or dancing (no, not booty dancing, but real ballroom dancing). The usage of the violin with edgy guitar is beautiful.

**Dressy Bessy - This band has a tune to download that quite honestly is highly cheeky, but I am loving it. It's called "Electrified," and the singer's voice is just so damn catchy that I think I'll probably be playing this song over a few times. Something is wrong with you if you don't get the sudden urge to jump up and dance around in your undergarments when you listen to this one.

**The Cinematics - From the UK, The Cinematics have a sound that merges a mainstream feel with your typical Brit rock that makes for a really lovely and unique sound. "Chase" reminds me of Coldplay and a very watered down Modest Mouse combined with U2.

**Piers Faccini - I'm throwing in one singer-songwriter for those of you who enjoy that sort of thing. I liked this song, "Picture of You," that Piers Faccini from France has available. He kind of reminds me of Jack Johnson and a little of the really old school Dave Matthews tunes, like from Remember Two Things. It's relaxing and endearing music that's good for a picnic or something.

Hopefully you can dig on at least one of these. I downloaded a couple of them.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Only One Reason To Run.

I have just returned from the Snow Patrol show that was held at the The Loft tonight. You know, the one that was sold out? Yeah, that's the one. I seem to be on a roll here lately with my recent show buddy.

Anyways, we got there as Snow Patrol had begun about the second song of the night. The place was packed, and although the Loft can definitely boast one the most pristine sound systems in all of Atlanta, it's not ideal for viewing if you happen to be stuck behind one of the rather large posts that hold the building up. After moving around a bit, we finally settled on a place with a clear view of the stage, and after standing there for two songs, I noticed the most inane situation in front of me. The guy that I almost went redneck white trash on at the She Wants Revenge show at the The EARL is standing directly in front of me! The very same guy! The one with his eighties style pseudo-mullet and unsoiled Chucks who found it more than appropriate to violate one of the limbs attached to my lower body. Sure enough, he was at this show, and I don't know who I pissed off to end up right behind him again, but I must have done something horrible and now karma is biting me in the ass for it. I wanted so desperately to get a picture of the perpetrator, unfortunately, the only evidence I have is from my piece of poop cell phone camera. He talked the whole time to his friend, and in doing so managed to infringe on my show buddy's personal bubble, while only paying attention to the more popular songs so that he could shake his big ass two inches from my crotchal region. Way to go, buddy, you've managed to piss me off twice in the span of four weeks. Assbag.

This is the buttface. I know it's a crappy picture. Believe me, if I run into him again, I will be ready with a flash.

Enough of the rant, how about the actual show itself? Anytime I hear Snow Patrol, I think of mellow, yet upbeat tunes that are good to pop in when I'm getting ready to retire to bed. This show had me rethinking that, so it accomplished that, if nothing else. The lights that went with the changing of songs were right on target and worked well to set the mood and heighten the anticipation of the next chord played. Frontman Gary Lightbody was quite amusing with his European accent and light humor he shared with the crowd in between songs. He appears to be one of those people who can make anyone comfortable in his presence with his quick wit and ability to convey a laissez-faire attitude when things go awry. This is fortunate for him since during the performance of Snow Patrol's biggest hit yet, "Run," Paul Wilson's bass amp blew halfway through the song, and Lightbody had to improvise while the situation was remedied. He did this by doing an acoustic cover of Bright Eyes' "You Will. You? Will. You? Will. You? Will." keeping the attention of the unusually chatty crowd the entire three minutes.

The band showcased a couple of new songs, which have me curious about what the new album, "Eyes Open," which will hit stores May 9th, will have in store for fans, and I mean that in a completely positive manner. There are definite hints of a broad range of well-known artists, such as U2 and Nine Inch Nails (thanks to Kyle for nailing those) that are audible in the new material, making for a future of at least two or three strong singles. I highly suggest you catch them when they roll back through town. Lightbody has a good bit of hair to sling for you as he jumps up and down for you while not playing the guitar. I know that sounds surprising out of a band with such a relaxed tone, but trust me, I just saw it with my own eyes, you will not be disppointed, and you'll be a better fan for it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

SXSW In Your Living Room.

I cannot even express the color of green I am this week as many people I know are in Austin, TX right now to frolic around in five days of music, beer, and food while I am stuck on the east coast wishing that I was there, or that a big pile of money would land on my head so I could be there. Next year, my friends. Even if it means I have to take up a collection by washing cars or something, I will be there.

At any rate, the SXSW website has my complete and utter attention because of a few reasons. You can go there and look at the schedule of bands playing each day, and if you see a cassette tape icon next to the band name, then that means they have a complimentary song for download. I know that this concept is not new and that you can do the same thing on MySpace or PureVolume, right? Of course you can, but the beauty of the SXSW site is that it weeds out all the shitty bands you'd normally have to go through to find something you like, because if the band sucks, they certainly aren't going to be one of the many that were invited to play this music festival/conference/extravaganza.

So, because I am a junkie when it comes to discovering new sounds, I have decided to pick out a few of the good ones I came across and list them here. All of the items are available for free download, so if you want the song, go to the SXSW site and search the band name, and you should be good to go.

**The Presets from Australia very much remind me of She Wants Revenge, so if you have been digging on that, you should check out the download they have to offer, "Are You The One?" There's a dance beat present with that monotonous voice tone similar to SWR. Listening to this song makes me think I should be in a large room with strobe lights and beautiful people surrounding me.

**The Rinse from Brooklyn is offering "Young Offender," which is a catchy little tune that uses a background rock that is similar to Bloc Party to contrast with the lead singer's poppy vocals.

**The Brother Kite's "Death Ray" is a melody that utilizes the partnership of edgy guitar rock and spacey vocals that sound much like an echo (of course, my speakers are not exactly stellar, so I may be hallucinating the echo sound). The last twenty seconds of this song remind me of a Gregorian chant or something along those lines that prompts a desire to meditate. I feel more relaxed already.

**My Education is the perfect follow-up to the end of the last band listed's song with their long, melodic, instrumental style in "Snake In The Grass." As I fall deeper into a calm spell with the soothing, psychedelic nature of the music, I'm reminded a little bit of Pilotdrift, as I frequently use their CD to enter the same kind of mood that My Education seems to be laying on me at the moment. If you care to test me, you can find Pilotdrift on the SXSW site, too, since they are also playing.

**Of Montreal should be checked out next with "Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games" to snap you out of the chill spell the last two bands should have put you in. Of Montreal is from right here in Georgia, Athens to be exact, and has found a good bit of fame and following all over the U.S. among the obscure indie lovers everywhere. I like this song, and most of what I've heard out of them. This is one of those happy song beats that have you wishing you were outside on a sunny day riding your bike to a picnic in the park where you and your pals plan to have a gay ol' time. Who doesn't need one of those in their collection?

There are others, but I prefer to save them for later, because, as I stated the other day, the shows have wound down considerably due to SXSW. Cheers.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Life Is For Living.

SXSW begins this week, and Atlanta seems to be the last place on the way there that many national touring acts have decided to hit, making this past couple of weeks a blessing and a curse for a frequent show-goer such as myself. A curse in that I have basically not slept more than 4 hours a night for about a month, and a blessing in that I have been able to catch some really wonderful shows.

One of the shows I have been fortunate enough to catch was Living Things at Vinyl, with support from the Twenty-Twos and The Vacation. The Twenty-Twos are a four piece almost chick band (the drummer is a dude) out of New York. They have a punk-ish/rock sound that works well with lead lady Jenny Christmas' uber skinny figure and edgy guitar. The music reminds me of the girl band that emerged in the mid 90's, L7, with a small exception...Christmas' vocals are more like Kay Hanley of Letters to Cleo. I'm not a fan of chick bands whatsoever, but this one had me tapping my bronze heels against the chair and bobbing my head back and forth.

After a short intermission, The Vacation took the small stage to completely transition the mood left by the Twenty Twos with their cock rock sound. This is one of those bands that thrives on shock value. By about the third song, lead singer Ben Tegel was shirtless and pouring beer into his mouth during instrumental breaks before spitting it into the air in true rock star fashion. At one point, he jumped off the stage into the audience before hopping onto a ledge by the stage and continuing to croon. You may not like them if you're easily offended, and I'm not, which may be why I was chuckling when I heard them sing a song about "Destitute Prostitutes" and effing a whore. The last song had Tegel out in the crowd again pointing at people and throwing his head back as he preached about the life of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. It was really quite amusing, and although this is not the kind of music I would sit around and listen to, the live show is plenty for me to actually go see them when they come around.

After all of that, Living Things came out. Their single "Bom Bom Bom" has been in regular rotation on 99X for quite a few months now if you're not sure who they are. This track is one I listen to and feel like I should be in a convertible with the top down riding down a desolate highway through the desert on a 100 degree day, with my huge sunglasses and hair flying all over the place. All decked out in black and very tight fitting pants, Lillian Berlin ruled the stage with his Jagger-esque movement and his exemplar rock star hair. His voice was deep and seductive while managing to stay true to the form of gritty rock, a trait you'll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. In between songs, he made a few comments that really displayed his natural humor. I laughed when he said Jimmy Carter was supposed to stop by with some peanuts. I appreciate cheese sometimes, I guess. Berlin was able to work the crowd quite nicely, for as I looked around, I noticed many fans all out dancing and throwing their hair around in beat to the music. For the closing tune, Berlin shed his shirt and came out in the crowd to get into the faces of a few select audience members, which only left us all wanting more.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

If You're Happy And You Know It...

...Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. I fully expected to go to this show and have a boatload of negative things to say. No, I didn't buy a ticket, and no, I didn't stand outside of Variety Playhouse to try and come by one since this show was sold out for months. A friend of mine with faith in the band and an extra ticket asked me to give them a chance, so I have, and here's the verdict:

I was impressed. CYHSY is not one of those bands I would listen to while just sitting around with my thumb up my ass, or put in my car's CD player, but as far as a live act, it's doable. The five piece makes use of keys, guitars, and an amazing drummer, Sean Greenhalgh, who really added a good, strong presence to the show. It wasn't that he performed phenomenally or did anything spectacular, it was the fact that his part in the songs they played stood out the most to me over frontman Alec Ounsworth's vocals, which I finally decided sounded like a mixture between Bob Dylan and Jane's Addiction lead, Perry Farrell.

The style of the group is respectable, mainly because they all look like they belong together. Last night had them all wearing t-shirts, each man in a different color. As I was watching them, I could almost feel the passion for playing their music for a room full of die-hard fans exuding from them, and I greatly admired them for it, as most bands have lost all sense of why they are musicians in the first place. Although I feel like the performance started off slow, it definitely picked up by the second song, and about halfway through, the keyboard player/guitarist started jumping up and down onstage and shaking his tambourine with such valor that it actually had me toe-tapping. During the entire set, I noticed that the band clapped more than most I've seen throughout some of the songs, and the crowd followed. I find this act of expression to be overly fitting considering the name of the band.

If you have been living under a rock, then you may not have heard of the Arctic Monkeys, however, I see CYHSY taking the same direction. They self-released a self-titled album last year before being signed to Wichita Records in the UK after rave reviews from Pitchfork Media and becoming hugely popular on the underground indie-hipster scene. Since then they've appeared on David Letterman and Conan O'Brien, and the rumors have flown throughout the grapevine that both Elton John and David Bowie have been spotted in attendance at their shows. I could completely see the hippies catching onto CYHSY as well, if they would ever bother to pull their heads out of Widespread Panic's ass long enough to listen to it.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Stroke Below Par.

Hmmm, wherever shall I begin? Thanks to Kyle for the last minute ticket to the sold out (even though there were plenty of empty seats) Strokes show tonight, and for the title of this post. For weeks now, I have been hearing everyone talk about how pumped they are about seeing the Strokes play the Tabernacle. The show, as I stated earlier, was sold out and has been for a while. I eagerly jumped at the chance to go when I was informed of an extra ticket floating around about an hour before the show. I get to the Tabernacle to sit through quite possibly the longest set-up imaginable for a band. Finally, the lights went down and the fivesome entered the stage. Actually, it was more like they moseyed out on stage. Very nonchalantly and with more than a twinge of arrogance, lead singer Julian Casablancas took his place in front of the mic stand and began to sing the opening song. The only thing I could think of was that he looked like he just walked off the set of Fast Times at Ridgemont High with his clunky white high tops and black denim. I did, however, really enjoy the Coca-Cola t-shirt Fab Moretti was sporting while atop his drum riser.

After about the third song, I began to realize how bored I was. I caught myself staring at the painted black asterisks on the ceiling of the Tabernacle and pondering what kind of ladder it must have taken to paint them. This is something that should not be looked at when a band with as much hype as the Strokes is playing on stage. I decided to look down on the stage and try to keep my attention there, but honestly, the chick that was dancing all over the wall of the balcony like it was a pole at Fannie's Show Bar was more interesting than the (what appeared to be) very intoxicated Mr. Casablancas. When I was finally able to pull my eyes off this chick, I became in tune with the display of lights on stage, which I must say were beautiful in that Lite Brite kind of way. It is evident that in order to make up for the lackluster performance onstage, The Strokes must use an array of distracting lights and backdrops so that maybe you won't notice how bad they suck.

Think I'm being harsh? The people seated next to me left about halfway through the set, which was well over an hour long. Through further observation, I noticed that the looks on the faces of those surrounding me were somber and filled with disappointment. I can't say that I blame them. The worst thing that could possibly happen to a fan is to see a band they love get on stage and make them question why they bothered to spend hard earned money on a ticket to watch a guy swagger around stage in an inebriated state and scream lyrics into a microphone. Shame, shame, I know your name. (Insert frowny emoticon here) Overall, I'd have to say that this was more painful than when I let that guy stick a needle through the cartilage in my nose.

Sidenote: I was just informed that Julian doesn't drink anymore. So, I may be wrong in my assumption that he was schnockered. Thank you.

I Love When I'm Right.

Because I am a female, naturally, being right suits me. A band I first latched onto back in October has been given the title of Atlanta Music Guide's Featured Band of the Month for March. It gets me overly excited when a band I can't shut up about gets recognition from someone other than myself. This happened with the Futurists and Sovus Radio a couple months back...the same thing...they were both featured bands on AMG. This month, it is Jil Station.

I love AMG. It has become my main source of finding out local news and show/venue information. They also have ticket giveaways every now and then for hot shows around town, and every year they host an awards show to recognize all the local talent in Atlanta. Kudos to them for supporting the local music scene.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Musical Voyeurism.

Kiss Atlanta made a post a few months back about this phenomena of, and naturally, out of curiosity, I went and made myself a profile. And then I let it sit. And sit. And sit. The main reason for not using it was that I didn't quite understand how it all worked. So, out of boredom about a month ago, I finally downloaded the little music player they offer on the site, and the audioscrobbler, though I had no idea what the audioscrobbler was supposed to do. I figured out how to use the radio player, and I was immediately excited.

An icon shows up on your desktop (it's pretty), and when you click on it, it asks you what station you want to listen to. I always type in an artist I like (this usually consists of Depeche Mode, Broken Social Scene, or Doves), and then the radio player searches similar artists and creates a list and randomly plays streamed music. You can skip songs you don't like. The player saves this information, so you can go back and click on the history of similar artist stations you've used.

After using it solid for a month, I began to accumulate charts. The site tracks everything you listen to and creates a weekly chart of what artists and tracks you listened to the most, and how many times you listened to them. Here's the amazing part: the audioscrobbler. As I switched everything over to my beautiful new iBook that I cannot afford, I clicked on the audioscrobbler icon on my hard drive. All of the sudden, when I listened to anything on my computer through iTunes, it was uploaded and synched up with, which means all of those songs I have in my personal music library are displayed on my charts, as long as I've listened to them. I'm listening right now, and you can see what track I just listened to by visiting my profile page on the site.

Another fun feature it has is the ability to tag artists, tracks, and albums so you can easily find them. It also allows you to write journals about songs or artists. There are groups you can join, and after listening to enough tracks, the site generates a list of 'neighbors' who has similar music tastes to your own, who you can befriend if you wish. If you listen to a certain artist a lot, you may end up listed as one of their top fans. There are just so many cool features to this site. If you have time, you should check it out.

I feel so dirty...this chart changes every week to tell you what I've been listening to. The code the site gives you automatically updates it every Monday, usually around noon, so you can post it on your website. The guilty pleasures are out, folks.
addict79's Weekly Artists Chart

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Thursday. The New Friday.

While all of the teenagers are throwing themselves at Cartel tonight at the Masquerade, I will be over at the Drunken Unicorn with the cool people of Atlanta. For the following:

League of Evil will opening up the night with their Doves-esque tunes to get you primed for Jil Station, who will have you shaking your hips to the beat. All the ladies will be giggling and blushing back and forth with their entourage over Kyle Dreaden's super slick movement and impeccable style. It'll be great times. The Five Foot Flame will round up the night, so be sure to stick around for that.