Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sounds Good To Me.

Besides having incredibly sexy CD cover art (two very hot chicks, one wearing a practically see-through wifebeater), The Sounds have a super hot vibe as well. They released their upbeat album, Dying to Say this To You, on March 21st, and from what I've sampled, the presence is made known at first listen.

My first little taste of them is the single "Song With a Mission." I think the mission is well accomplished if they're trying to mix Bloc Party's "Banquet" and John Cougar Mellencamp's "Hurt So Good" underneath a sassy female vocalist, because that is exactly what it sounds like. Just think of how nasty peanut butter and banana sounded until you tried it, and that's what you have here. It's delightfully and surprisingly tasty. I listen to that song and "Queen of Apology," and I want to grab my iPod and play like the commercial where I'm kicking my feet up in pure 80's style with my hands in the air, shaking my head back and forth to the beat.

You've got a tad bit of everything in these songs from this hard-hitting Swedish band. Strong vocal presence from Maja Ivarsson, synthesizers, and rock guitars create pure beauty that have convinced me that whoever doesn't dig this possesses a bare soul.

I know that they just hit Atlanta not too long ago, so you'll have to wait to check them live, but for now, I suggest you hop on this album...pronto!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Basic Training For Your Ears.

Did anyone reading this happen to heed my advice and get to the EARL early enough to catch Army of Me last night? I hope you did, because then you can tell me I'm right, which I love hearing, because I am a female.

There weren't a ton of people in the room to begin with, but by the end of the set, the band from Washington, DC had won over everyone who hadn't heard of them or seen them before, and they managed to pull all the warm bodies close to the stage. A few months ago, they played at a venue in Underground Atlanta, but they obviously belong more in an atmosphere like the EARL. Lead man Vince Scheuerman sounded pretty much exactly like he does on the band's recorded stuff (which you can download and check out on their website) and exemplifies a beautiful and sharp guitar shred while mastering the vocals at the same time. I'm partial to bands who can boast good back-up vocals, and Army of Me displayed their expertise on this, too, by throwing guitarist Brad Tursi's higher pitched voice into a few songs.

It's easy to see and hear why these guys just signed with Doghouse/Atlantic Records...they can easily play rock music, and for a nice change, you can actually understand what is being sung. I have their demo EP, and this is what sold me on them, so if you like what you hear, I highly recommend you purchase it. Go here and listen to "Perfect" & "Going Through Changes" and you'll understand why this is a band to watch out for. They have the next couple shows with buzz band Rock Kills Kid, so check it.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Attention Pop Lovers.

Here's a heads up. There is a singer-songwriter in your area who has Star 94 potential! Kalen Nash, out of Athens, can be compared to the likes of such artists as Howie Day, Teddy Geiger, and Gavin DeGraw. His single, Anthem of Love, is worth checking out if you like this kind of music, because he has a very powerful and moving voice that can immediately lift your spirits. This song actually reminds me of summer for some reason. And fields. With fireworks. If you want to delve further into Kalen Nash, check out his MySpace page, where you can listen to the single I just mentioned, and where there are a couple of songs available for FREE download. Anthem of Love is available on iTunes, as well, so...yeah. Go.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Recommendations, Edition I

I haven't been to many shows lately because nothing has tickled my fancy, and I haven't listened to any albums for pleasure because I've been reviewing them all for Stomp & Stammer and Southeast Performer, so I apologize for being a lame ass in that department.

Instead, I'll list some upcoming show recommendations I hope to make in the coming weeks, and that you may want to pencil in on your music calendar.

-May 18 - I'll very regretfully be missing this show because I'm taking my sister out for overpriced birthday martinis. Pinback is playing at the Roxy. I have their latest release, Summer in Abaddon, and I am in love with it. Seriously, this album kicks so much ass, Mike Tyson would be jealous. I listen to it at work a lot because it's got this calming effect about it that makes it hard to harbor hate towards anything while listening. Every track is a strong one, and I can't really pick a favorite, although I'm partial to Non Photo-Blue, Sender, Syracuse, Fortress and AFK. If you don't know Pinback, introduce yourself. You will be pleased as punch.

-May 19 - Imogen Heap brings her Ani DiFranco-esque tunes to the Variety Playhouse tonight. Her latest album, Speak For Yourself, is one of my new favorites. When I needed chick music in high school, I turned to Sarah McLachlan, and today, I turn to Imogen Heap. You may have heard her acapello-ish hit Hide and Seek, but there are a ton of others on the album that are worthy of many listens, as well. Goodnight and Go is the perfect tune to feed your stalker mood, and Headlock will put you in the mood to dance.

-May 20 - I already mentioned this one in a previous post, so here's a reminder...Army of Me is opening for the Whigs at the EARL. Be there. Be there. Be there early. You have been warned.

-May 25 - Boulevard is going to be headlining The EARL with support from The Libras and Morningstate. I've seen all three bands, and though I'm not particularly fond of The Libras, which sports former members of Avenge Vegas, there are plenty of people who are. Morningstate is gaining momentum on the local circuit as well.

-May 25 - Unless you're a sixteen year old girl, or an avid collector of guilty pleasures like myself, then you probably won't care about this, but it is certainly worth mentioning. Atlanta's own Cartel is going to be at the Masquerade. I love this band. Their first full-length album, Chroma, is one of those CDs that keeps finding itself back in my player. I got my hands on an advanced copy some time ago, and I listened to it non-stop for about a month. I caught them in the fall at the Masquerade, and even though I was one of the oldest people in the room, it was a great performance, complete with screaming girls. It's like they've reached some kind of mini Beatles phenomena status.

-May 30 - Another show I've already mentioned...and another reminder. I cannot stress enough how imperative it is that you be at the EARL tonight to see Margot and The Nuclear So and So's. You owe it to yourself if you're a true music fan. Death is the only thing that will keep me from this show.

-June 3 - I'm starting my month off at the Masquerade to see Jil Station and a band out of California called The Ruse. Jil Station just keeps getting better every time I see them, which I love. It's fun to watch a band grow, and while they're on the verge of releasing their first full-length album due out in July, there is much growing to witness. This is a Saturday, and it's one right at payday, so you will probably best catch me at the bar. Cheers.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Yeah, I'm Old. And Guilty.

I hate so much what I'm about to type, however, it's not something I can overlook, so here goes...

Teddy Geiger is amazing. Yes, some of the lyrics about setting the mood in a mall, among others, are quite juvenile, but the kid is something like 17 years old, so that's to be expected. I just got home from attending his show at the Loft, and I have to give him props. For one, it was extremely easy to get a beer because the majority of the audience was well under 21. In addition, he has really got a voice on him that he can back up in a live setting. Seriously, I only heard what's streamed on his site before going to this show, and it sounded almost exactly the same live. Here's to hoping his voice doesn't dramatically change once he hits puberty.

I could hear everything he was singing so clearly that I was brought to tears halfway through the set because he was somehow nailing every emotion I've had lately, and hearing that, coupled with the beer, was a little much for me. No, he doesn't jump around stage or make a ton of witty comments. He just gets in front of his audience and plays the keys, sometimes switching to guitar, and grabs your heart and carefully handles it with his voice and personal lyrics. I'm tempted to get the entire album after having "Love Is A Marathon" pointed out to me, and so I can listen to "For You I Will" on repeat. Appropriately enough, the album is entitled Underage Thinking, and in all honesty, it's some really good stuff. Ah, yet another guilty pleasure to add to the list.

Best Idea. Ever.

I received this information in my e-mail inbox today. This is a great way to begin a Friday or Saturday evening and take in what Atlantic Station has to offer. I haven't really been over there, yet, but I hear there are a ton of good restaurants and shops. So, here you go. Attend this, discover the local music Atlanta has to offer (for free...perfect!), and then check out your surroundings. If you need more information, you can find it by clicking on the picture. Cheers!

SUMMERSOUNDS Music Series
at Atlantic Station
FREE CONCERTS
Friday & Saturday Nights (6pm - 8pm)
"Central Park" at Atlantic Station
Kick Off Concert - Saturday, May 6
ANTHONY DAVID and Guests
Bring a blanket, lawn chairs, food, drink & your friends
to enjoy some of Atlanta's finest musical talent in an open-air environment.
Check out the full schedule & become SummerSound's "Friend" at
www.myspace.com/atlanticstation


Monday, May 01, 2006

The Afters.

I was tipped off about this band called the Afters, so I have taken a few minutes to go listen. I like it. It's upbeat and the vocals are smooth over a plethora of sounds coming from strong drumbeats and angelic sounding guitars. I have a feeling the single, "A Beautiful Love," that I've been listening to on repeat for the past ten minutes or so is going to be one that I can be caught humming in the shower tomorrow morning. Of course, I'm not the only one who thinks this is a hit song, because if you're one of these people who watches the wonderful programming on MTV, you've probably heard it, too...on 8th and Ocean, because it's the theme song. If you don't know about it, you should check it out. Here's a website: The Afters. After the initial listen to the single, I'll probably try to pick up the entire album, I Wish We All Could Win.

Also, if you dig it, you can go to Six Flags on June 17th and see them in person. Roller coasters and good music? Are you kidding me? Why didn't I think of that?

Sunday Funday.

Congratulations go out to The Modern Society for advancing in the Miller Lite competition thing that’s going on right now. I went to see four bands compete last night at the 10 High, and I have to say, three out four with good, solid material isn’t a bad night. After drawing to see what the line-up would be, it was determined that Variac would go first, and they certainly set the bar high for the following acts. I’ve seen them a couple of times in the past, and I could never really get into it, despite the fact that they are certainly talented and display catchy tunes in their catalog. I think the point they had me as a fan who will make an effort to catch the next show was when they played the last song, a new one called Lady Come Around, which lead singer J.T. Hall compared to Gram Parsons. Honestly, it was one of those songs that you listen to and think, “Yeah, that’s got ‘single’ potential.” It had a very good balance to be classified as alt-country, and in all seriousness, if the band went that route for all their material, I’d volunteer have the band name tattooed to my forehead to be a walking advertisement for them, because they have a definite knack for that sound. You can catch them at 10 High on May 19th with the Modern Society.

After Variac, the Julia Dream took the stage. I have also seen them before. I’m not trying to deliberately be mean here, but after the first song, I looked at my friend and said, “I think I would rather have my feet in stirrups to be subjected to my annual pap smear than finish listening to this set.” And that is all I will say about that.

If you’re into the emo type of sound, then you should check out The High Flight Society. I had no idea who they were, but the singer has a great voice, and the music sounds good. They had to have gained a few new listeners with their performance last night, it was worthy of at least that.

The Modern Society closed it out with an energetic set that ended like it always does; with the crowd finishing the lyrics to their hit “Tokyo.” Thanks to 99X for providing good Sunday entertainment in the form of a contest, and thanks for involving the audience. It was fun.