Saturday, July 29, 2006

Ten Count Fall Stands Tall.

Last night I went to the Masquerade to check out a little powerpop band from Ohio called Ten Count Fall. I have decided the Masquerade is a big shithole (I know that it's not the cleanest place, but usually pretty suitable for watching a show) because when I walked in, the place was sweltering to a point where I was questioning whether I was hitting menopause way too early in life due to the fact that although it was 90+ degrees outside, there was NO AIR CONDITIONING! I'm really glad I wasn't onstage trying to play in that heat, because from the ground, it was hot as balls. I know the show was in the Hell area, but I mean, come on, I don't want to feel like I'm actually in Hell.

Anyways, I was pleasantly surprised with the show itself. These kids are young (just graduated from high school), and they somehow have the performing thing down, and the songs are pretty amazing, too. The sound is a mix between punk, pop, and rock, and it's done beautifully by the four young men. They have a bit of that Panic! At The Disco feel to them minus the burlesque keys, making for a much more powerful sound. I don't think I've ever seen guitar players get so enthusiatic while playing, but the two I saw last night were definitely that, jumping up and down and getting crazy with each other. To cool down some, they even resorted to spitting water on each other, which prompted a few guys from the crowd from a local band (...cough...cough...Jil Station...cough...cough...) to follow the lead and initiate a little water fight. One of the guys even hopped onstage for the last song, stripped his shirt, and did his best imitation of a psychotic Warped Tour participant.

It was great. I was laughing at the jokes Ten Count Fall told between songs and at the overall fun atmosphere they created. Their songs are enough to get you moving, and their energy is enough to keep your attention. From what I understand, they are planning to hit Atlanta about every six weeks, so when they do, I'll be sure to point it out so you can go experience it for yourself. You can go to their MySpace site to listen to the songs, and there's one, "Waking Up," available for download. If you like it, buy their self-titled CD or a t-shirt or something. These kids probably need the money to fuel their van across the country.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Welcome . . . Zero Chance.

There is a new band in town, and they are just the good time that followers of mainstream are looking for. The name is Zero Chance, and the album is Better Days for Broken Hearts. The record is ten tracks of poppy goodness that I might recommend to listeners of Bain Mattox or The Fray, just because the vocals are slightly high and full of catchy ranges that make me want to sing along, except I don't exactly know the words yet, but I will after another listen through. This especially applies to the song "Burn My Radio," which I caught myself bobbing my head to, the sure test of whether it's breaking past the surface or not. Zero Chance passes that one.

Lead singer, Erick Bellitto, has a distinctive voice, but that doesn't mean it doesn't remind me of one of my favorite bands . . . Mae. That almost girlish sounding voice is almost like Dave Elkins' except that Bellitto approaches his songs in a less rock kind of way in a certain respect. Zero Chance is riding the wave of chicks everywhere looking for that specific song that hits them where they've been broken, and with that, I think they can really find a place here, especially since this sort of sound seems to be on the rise.

Definitely good at what they're doing, I recommend giving a listen. They have a MySpace! Who the hell doesn't have a MySpace these days? Check it out, and enjoy.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Same Poo, Different Day.

One really unfortunate thing about buzz is that a band has to live up to it in order to fuel it. I will normally check something out if the buzz lasts long enough, therefore, I ended up at Smith's Olde Bar tonight to see if what everyone is saying about Tim Brantley is true. And, my verdict is . . . "What is the big effing deal?" Now, there will be many who will disagree with me on that, but as I will point out, like I usually have to in instances such as this, it's only my opinion, after all.

I'm wondering if one of the requirements of choosing band members is that you have to wear a hat to play in the band, because all of the members, minus the drummer, were wearing some kind of hat. Sometime during the set, a new guitarist came out to join the band. I think this guy took a wrong turn on his way to Dollywood and ended up on stage with an outfit only Levi Strauss could really be proud of. That was distracting considering the rest of the band were donning frocks of a vintage nature.

You're probably thinking, "Who cares what they look like? Was the actual music good?" Meh. Obviously the guy is talented. He played the keys the majority of the time, so there was this old western bar feel to the relatively folky sound that I could actually appreciate. Honestly, I wasn't blown away just because it didn't really display anything different to me. The band most definitely has a solid following of ex-frat boys and blonde bimbos who like to drink themselves silly and grind up on each other (I'm assuming they didn't get the memo that it really isn't music to "grind" to per se) in a pure college alumni fashion, which is always good for selling albums, but may deter more serious listeners from, well, getting serious about them. Of course, if that's what those guys are going for, then they've certainly accomplished it.

I imagine that fans of Tim Brantley also follow Georgia and the Zac Brown Band. (Note: I think Zac Brown's song "Chicken Fried" is pure genius. Once again, it reminds me of college, but in a good way. Of course, I went to school in south Georgia, soooo. . .yeah.) I've just noticed similarities in all of their crowds. The music seems to be the soundtrack for a good drunken time, but not for a record deal.

Tim Brantley has a video here if you want to test this out for yourself.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Butch Walker and The Let's-Go-Out Tonites.

Hometown musical genius and former Marvelous 3 frontman, Butch Walker, played to a sold out crowd last night at the Variety Playhouse (still the absolute best venue in Atlanta to see a show, in my opinion). Walker played two shows to kick off his summer tour with his new backing band, the Let’s-Go-Out Tonites, which looks like it’s half made up of local Atlanta band, the Booze. I was amazed at the crowd when I entered the venue, because I only ever see it that packed when hippie bands like Mofro and Umphrey’s McGee come through here. Butch came out on stage wearing a fedora hat and all black get-up, which I thought gave a great effect as the brightest stage lights known to mankind shone down into the crowd creating that "I am the most almighty and powerful musician in the world" effect. He really wailed on all the opening songs, then chilled it down quite a bit with favorites like "Mixtape" and "Don’t Move" from his last album, Letters.

I was basically a virgin to the new stuff from the recently released The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker and The Let's-Go-Out Tonites, but I have to say, it has come a long way from the whiny singer/songwriter feel of Walker’s last album. He even managed to throw in a burlesque/cabaret-feeling song that got the crowd back up after a few slower songs. He really does put on a good show as he jumps around the stage using interesting guitar playing techniques and witty faces to keep the crowd's attention.

I only have one complaint. Obviously the Let's-Go-Out Tonites make up the backing band, and I can dig them as a band. What I cannot dig is the two chicks that stand on the side of the stage and shake the tambourine, sing backing vocals you can’t even hear, and flail around like a couple of pseudo-go-go dancers. For someone who self proclaims that they’re all about themselves (cough . . . Butch Walker . . . cough), the addition of these girls completely distracts from him. I’d rather focus on him, since he, after all, is the performer, but instead, I was focused on these girls and baffled at why the hell they were standing up there on stage exhibiting moves and wardrobe worthy of Cyndi Lauper. They didn’t really serve a purpose.

After the show, I headed over to Two Urban Licks for the private after party for Butch put together by Caren West PR. This is the second party of hers that I’ve been to in a week, and I have to give her props, because the girl can put on a stellar party. Anyone in the music industry that I’ve ever rubbed elbows with was there, and it was quite amusing to see the band boys all kiss Butch’s ass so profusely. Aww, how cute. I wonder how many of those band boys were booing Butch last year when he won Best Frontman at the AMG Awards, hmm?

Regardless of that, I have to give the guy a thumbs-up. Not only is he talented, but he’s a nice guy and clearly genuinely believes in what he’s doing and singing. You get a gold star, Butch, just leave the Cyndi Lauper wannabes at home next time, and you’ll be close enough to live perfection for me.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

An Open Letter to The Killers.

Dear The Killers,

You don't know me, but I have been a fan of Hot Fuss for quite some time now. In fact, I still listen to it on a regular basis, even though it's been out for something like two years. I was also fortunate enough to catch you live in Atlanta last summer, and I must say, I was further impressed.

I woke up this morning to our local radio station, 99X, playing the "World Premiere" of your first single, "When You Were Young," off the new record that you're making me wait until October 3rd to purchase. I simply love it, and I just want to let you know that despite all the pressure for you to make this album as stellar as the first, I have faith in you and predict that it's going to be as marvelous as a shoe sale at Bloomie's.

Sincerely,

Me

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In other news, it appears that Tom Petty has picked none other than the Strokes to open up for him while he tours in the fall. I certainly hope the Strokes have cleaned up their live act since they were last in Atlanta, or else Petty is going to have to perform a miracle in order to awaken the crowd from a vegetative slumber. Tickets go on sale Saturday morning at 10:00.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

New Release Tuesday.

After the big Muse and Thom Yorke releases last week, I'm not sure how much more awesomeness my ears can handle. But this week is another week, with more releases. There are two that have me whistling "Dixie."

First up, from Charleston, SC, The Working Title drops their debut album, About Face. I had the pleasure of seeing these guys open for Mute Math a couple months ago, and as rare as it is for me to instantly like what I hear, that actually happened. If you feel like being lazy, you can get the album on iTunes. I like to sample before I buy, so here's a link to their MySpace in case you want to listen to them. If you do happen to be out and about in the record stores, look for this:



Secondly, Atlanta's very own Jil Station released their debut full-length, Still Love today. AOL seems to be picking up on this lovely collection of songs, because they are streaming the album here if you want to take a listen to the whole thing. Scroll through the CDs at the top of the screen to find Jil's. Also available on iTunes, and in pretty much all retail and independent record stores. Look for this:



And in live show news, I'm taking it easy this week and only attending two. I know, this is such a shock.

Tomorrow night, Atlanta's nationally known celebrity producer and rocker, Butch Walker, is playing a sold out show at Variety Playhouse. I haven't exactly heard the new stuff yet, but if it's anything like Letters, then I'll probably be addicted. What can I say? I like sappy, angry songs coming from men covered in tattoos.

And Thursday night, over at Smith's Olde Bar, the musical stylings of Rantings of Eva and Tim Brantley. I think someone might shoot me if I reveal my love for Rantings of Eva's chill rock range again. Oops, looks like I just did. I'm not really sure about Tim Brantley, but I'll give anything a first chance. I'll let you know how that works out . . .

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Have Mercy.

Okay, folks, there's this band out of the supposedly beautiful Charleston, SC (I say "supposedly" because I've never been there) called Leslie that will be gracing Atlanta with their presence on Saturday at the most dive venue in the city, Star Bar. I highly suggest you check out their songs "Lady" and "Sex Gospel" so that you can understand the level of badassness that will be displayed for a mere $7 from your wallet. I'm excited to see them for the first time because I have heard from numerous people in different circles what an amazing guitarist they have in Sadler Vaden.

This is pure rock, guys. Click on the little link up above to test out the range of Leslie's music. You'll hear a softer side in "Lady" and all out cock rock in "Sex Gospel." Just the words "sex" and "gospel" in one title make me feel like I've sinned, so I have a feeling when I wake up Sunday morning, the thought of going to church to cleanse my soul from the rock debauchery may cross my mind. To drive this home even further . . . the threesome looks like Jesus, as in, they all have a "Jesus" look about them. Forgive me, father, for I'm planning to sin. Star Bar serves PBR in the can for $2 a pop. See you there . . .

Monday, July 10, 2006

Thom Yorke - The Eraser

I just raved about the highly anticipated Muse album, Black Holes and Revelations, that comes out in the U.S. tomorrow. Another album everyone is anxious to get their ears on is Thom Yorke's solo release, The Eraser. Thanks to a friend, I've had the pleasure of sampling it ahead of time so that I can come here and let you know that you should go buy it tomorrow. As some of you may or may not know, depending on how much you keep up, Thom Yorke is the lead singer of indie-rock giants Radiohead, so this is release is kind of a big deal.

If I had to describe what you're going to find on this album, I'd have to refer to Radiohead's track, "Idioteque," because there is the same kind of feel to this record as there is in that particular song, which you can find on Kid A. There's a lot of that whole incorporation of varying beats behind Yorke's angelic vocals that keep the tracks moving smoothly together. Speaking of tracks, there are only nine of them on The Eraser, which actually had me salivating for more. Good move on his part, I guess.

Lyrically speaking, Yorke sticks to his signature practice of mixing stuff that makes sense with stuff that doesn't at all, making you think he may have been bouncing back and forth between the real world and Wonderland in the midst of writing. The title track is one I can relate to, as it begins, "Please excuse me but I got to ask/Are you only being nice/Because you want something?" That one is easily my favorite.

Lastly, an interesting aural observation I made upon listening is that I was pleasantly reminded of local favorites Snowden in some instances. That may sound like an odd comparison since I'm putting a local Atlanta band into the same category as someone as seasoned as Thom Yorke, but if you're educated on the two, you'll probably hear the same thing I did. I'm just saying. I give this album a thumbs up.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

And This is What We're About.

So I pride myself on trying to help the little guys out, which is why I started this blog in the first place. . .to promote local music. One of the first posts I ever wrote was on a band called Sovus Radio, and I've mentioned them since then because, well, simply put, they are phenomenal.

Therefore, I'm going to do a little plug here for them because in the new age of the Internet, there are these voting things that bands are going through to play big shows, like Lollapalooza, for instance. The Lollapalooza people are picking bands to play the festival based on votes, and Sovus Radio is involved in this.

Here's what you need to do: Go to this site, bookmark it, and then click on the vote button. Once you do that, you enter your e-mail address, and you're sent an e-mail asking you to confirm your vote. Very simple, and there are no spam repercussions from using this, I can assure you of that because I've been voting for the last month now. That's the other thing. . .you bookmark the site because you can go back every 24 hours and vote.

This is a simple and easy way to promote the Atlanta music scene, so if you'd like to do your duty (ha, I said "duty"), then play along. They entertain you, it'd be nice if you'd entertain them. Cheers.