Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fest Your Ears on This.

No more having to drive halfway across the country to get to a festival that's got a line-up worth a shit. Nope, you can take advantage of the fact that Atlanta is home to a smelly river (the Chattahoochee), and that river brings the Echo Project, a three-day music festival October 12-14. Today marks the early ticket sales, so go here if you're interested in it...what a good deal, and you won't have insane travel expenses.

Wondering who you're getting for your money? Well, here's a list of artists confirmed as of today (looks like a mini Bonnaroo if you ask me):

The Killers, Phil Lesh & Friends, Umphrey's McGee, The Roots, Cypress Hill, Moe, Cat Power, Polyphonic Spree, Brazilian Girls, and others. If you go, let me know how it is. I'm going to skip it, as the smell of patchouli and pot makes me want to vomit.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Great Northern in the South.

So there's this band that simply kicks ass. It's one of those I've had sitting around and miserably failed to really get to. I'm just glad the lovely people at Filter reminded me of them when they asked me to cover the show for their tourzine...

I just got back from the EARL, and I'm so pleasantly pleased with what I heard and saw that I'm going to suggest you go and check them out straight away if you haven't before. The band is Great Northern out of Los Angeles, currently on tour promoting their supremely awesome album, Trading Twilight for Daylight. This band has two hot chicks that know exactly how to lull you into a Xanax-like state that commands attention and love. The crowd at tonight's show proved that when I looked around and noticed everyone just staring and listening as intently as a group of people being told the secret to prolonged life.

As I listen, I can't help but be reminded of one of my most fav artists, Emily Haines, just because Rachel masters the keys and manages to lay down eerie, yet angelic vocals as if that's what she was bred for. Using bells and tambourines throughout their set only magnifies the highly transcended sound that quite rightly sets the mood for, uh, shall I say, romance? I'm totally going to add them to my playlist for "setting the mood," if you know what I mean. Don't be fooled with the comparison, though, because Haines is a hell of a lot more haunting and down trodden than what you're going to find with Great Northern.

Since I find you all so severely special, I'm going to give you a little present that you can start loving them with.

Great Northern - "The Middle"

PS - I really suck at taking pictures because I have no idea how to work my camera, however, I managed to capture a couple that might give you some idea of what I saw...

Their bass drum art was worthy of a shot, too.

Who's Hunting Deerhunter?

The continuing saga of Deerhunter took a turn for the worst Friday night, when frontman Bradford Cox and guitarist Lockett Pundt were robbed at gunpoint in their hometown of Atlanta. Don't worry, they're OK now. But on Saturday morning, Cox posted the following message on the band's blog and MySpace:

"We got a friendly homecoming surprise last night in Atlanta when Lockett and I got robbed at gunpoint after our show at Lenny's last night. We literally had just walked off the stage and I was pretty wasted. Lockett was trying to take care of me and get me home. He grabbed my guitar and my stuff and we walked to his car which was parked about a block away from Lenny's because it was so crowded. I heard a commotion behind us but like I said I was pretty out of it. I just opened the door to the car and collapsed in the passenger seat.

"Then I heard all this yelling and I hear this loud metallic banging on the window and look up and there is a gun in my face and a guy yelling 'get the fuck out the car man.' I stumbled out and see the other guy has Lockett with his arms spread on the roof of his car and is patting him down. Lockett was begging them to leave me alone. The guy put his gun up to my temple and said, 'give me EVERYTHING motherfucker I ain't fucking with you.'

"I just mumbled something and he put his hands in my pants and took everything I had. My cell phone, my wallet (empty except for credit / bank cards which Kristin immediately cancelled, and about 450 dollars in cash I had for my rent.) They also got all of Lockett's money. They even took my fucking Camel Ultralights and Orange Bic.

"All I can say is that I'm glad we are not dead. Or more specifically, I am REALLY glad they didn't hurt Lockett. He was just trying to help me get home and would not have even been there at that time otherwise."

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Volcom Tour

Here's a little advance warning since I have been accused of not telling people to go see bands until the week of the show.

The Volcom Tour hits The Masquerade on Thursday August 16th, featuring The Riverboat Gamblers, Valient Thorr, Totimoshi, and ASG. I can really only vouch for one of these bands, The Riverboat Gamblers.

These guys are hands down the best punk band around. They're from Texas and I used to catch them when I lived in Austin and they played little rooms like Room 710 on Red River. I have noticed that they are progressively getting bigger each year and even had the pleasure of seeing them with MC5 at The Echo Lounge before it closed down.

Any way about it, go see these guys.

More From the Inbox.

I'm trying, guys, I really am. It's hard to get to every single thing that hits my inbox everyday. But, now that I'm somewhat settled in this thing called life, I can tackle what the world is telling me you should like, and tell you if I agree with them or if I think they're full of shit.

>>The Sea Dragons - I got an email about this band and thought I would listen since I thought the name was kind of cool and their influences looked pretty awesome as well. But then I went and listened. After I took the nap the music somehow lulled me into, I decided it was too boring.

>>Eugene Francis Jnr. - A band from the UK that approached me. They seem to be fans of the blog, and pretty confident in the music they make...and with good measure. Why? Because it certainly doesn't suck. Yay! How often does that happen? I encourage your fingers to click your mouse to the little link I've placed there for a taste of some upbeat, dancy tunes that you're sure to enjoy. Seriously. I may have had a few beers (thank God for free wifi at bars), but I know what's good. And this is. I'm going to recommend "My Own Pollution." Gives me a little Bloc Party feeling, whom I heart to the fullest.

If you lurve it, buy it here.

>>Rilo Kiley - Heel yes. You can say that with a nice accent if you please. They just announced tour dates...and September 29th brings them to our beloved city of Atlanta. Variety to be exact. Damn, I'm giving you a sweet song to stream. I kind of want to do a belly dance of some sort listening to it. Appropriately enough, it's called "Moneymaker."

Stream the awesomeness here: Rilo Kiley - "Moneymaker"

>>Eisley - Oh man. I heart this band like I heart ice cream and chocolate...and that's a ton of cement blocks. So smooth. So angelic. So effin' perfect. All the time. I missed them because I was in NYC. Sucks, but hey, the things you do...You can listen to a stream of "Invasion," a tune that flows like water through an open dam. Vocals that move and music that compliments with the best of them. I simply cannot wait for the new album. Can. Not. Wait. All I'm going to say is if you knew them before, they're sounding more mature now, and it's almost like the drug you know is out there, but you can't get your hands on it.

Stream it here: Eisley - "Invasion"

>>Tegan & Sara - Yet another chick band that I knew was out there, was told they were awesome, but let them slip under my radar. Hey, I never said it was flawless. I see no Atlanta dates listed as of yet, but they definitely are showing me they're worth checking out. And they have such cute rockstar haircuts! How can you possibly go wrong here?? This track you can stream is an upbeat tune that you can feel. I want back in your head...oh, yes. Who hasn't felt that before? The album The Con came out Tuesday.

Stream it here: Tegan & Sara - "Back in Your Head"

>>The Pendletons - Hey, we've spoken nicely about this rock band before because, well, they melt your face. Or at least, they melt mine. And Ally's, for that matter. They're out with a full-length called Oh, Me!, and what I'm hearing is the poo doo dong. This band is out of Athens, so I'm seriously hoping they'll bring some national attention to this area, as they certainly deserve it. Never boring, always rocking like a band should, check them out so you can say you knew them when...

The Pendletons - "Not Gonna Stop"
The Pendletons - "Sad Songs"

>>Jesca Hoop - Okay, an overabundance of estrogen, I know, I know. But I'm just giving you what's been given to me. This might be slightly too poppy for my taste, but if you're into those such as Regina Spektor or Imogen Heap, this is up your alley. Or even Lily Allen. I think that's who she reminds me of. Either way, it's not terrible, just not something I'm going to sport in my CD player while I'm cruising up North.

Jesca Hoop - "Intelligentactile 101"

Alright. That's all I feel like tackling today. What do you think? Comment. Please. With sugar on top?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

When You Were Young(er).

Surely I'm not the only one noticing that it's been about ten years or so since the artists of this year's "big" tours have had a hit. Or played together. Or maybe even talked to each other...

The Police. Smashing Pumpkins. Counting Crows. The Beastie Boys. Crowded House. You get the idea. As I have opted to listen to mainstream radio at work today, I have noticed that a couple of these bands have new stuff out. No, I don't listen to that stuff anymore, no matter how much I thrived on it back in the day. No particular reason why, it's just that my tastes have changed since I've added years to my life.

So, today, since it seems appropriate with the influx of bands trying to re-emerge from the reigns of washed up musician hell they've no doubtedly been living in for the past decade, I'm going to do a little mixed tape segment of my most favorite tunes from the 1994-1997 era of music. Make fun all you want...but I still get nostalgic and teary-eyed like a damn angst-ridden adolescent whenever I hear them. Enjoy.

Candlebox - "Far Behind"

Mazzy Star - "Fade Into You"

Smashing Pumpkins - "Disarm"

Radiohead - "Creep"

Pearl Jam - "Crazy Mary" (cover of Victoria Williams song)

frente! - "Labour of Love"

the Murmurs - "You Suck"

Tori Amos - "Crucify"

Better Than Ezra - "Desperately Wanting"

Thursday, July 19, 2007

So Many CDs, I Need a Side of Queso.

I'm back from the short hiatus...and I'm well rested. That doesn't mean the hundred CDs I have stacked up have been listened to, though. But hey, I'm willing to put a dent in them with initial impressions and jaded opinions. My neighbors are going to want to kill me once I've delved into it all. So, shall we?

>>The Start. I've been staring at this album (Ciao, Baby) for a couple of weeks thinking that if I listened to it, I would probably like it since it's a boy/girl duo, and those tend to be pretty hot lately. At first listen, I want to throw myself into a dark dance club with strobe lights and seductively take the room. There's a strong, slightly techno beat going on that has a light sass to it let on by female vocals. It's totally delicious. Seriously, skip the spoon...you'll want to lick the bowl with your fingers instead.

The Start - "Wartime"

The Start - "Blood on My Hands"

>>Parade. A band from Atlanta/Athens with a five song EP called Answer Me. The first track is called "That's Hott." I hate Paris Hilton and the dumb shit she says, so this song kind of rubs me wrong based mostly on the fact that my brain wanders into Paris-land upon listening. But it's the music I'm trying to focus on. Honestly, I'm on the fence about how I feel, but I think I don't care for it. The sound is a little dated, but also has this orchestral feel to it that's very much in your face. So, the verdict is...it's not terrible, but I'm not inclined to listen to it again, either.

>>Fionn Regan. Slowing down a bit, let's hit the adorable Fionn Regan, a singer-songwriter from Ireland who just signed with Lost Highway Records (also home to Ryan Adams). Being that I'm a chick who sometimes needs a chill record for sappy downtime, I'm digging Mr. Regan. The End of History is a folky, endearing collection of songs that you might somewhat compare to (dare I say it?!) Damien Rice. Never a bad thing. This one is getting ripped to my library because I fell in love at first listen.

Stream the most awesome song here: Fionn Regan - "Hunter's Map"

>>Sea Wolf. Touring with the recently exploded Silversun Pickups, Sea Wolf has an EP out called Get to the River Before it Runs Too Low that has sweet flowing, easy moving set of five tracks that's sure to have you singing along and smiling the whole time. It's like the soundtrack for this summer that you're not aware of. But hey, thanks to me and the powers that be, you can snatch a tune here, get acquainted, then sit back and enjoy the warm fuzzy.

Sea Wolf - "You're a Wolf"

>>Jesse Harris. Apparently there's a new movie coming out called The Hottest State, and this guy wrote most of the songs on the soundtrack. He has his own album that just hit last week, which is called Feel. This is another bout of singer-songwriter music that makes you want to make out and hold hands and skip down the street. Wow. I don't know where that came from, but let's just say it's a goodness you can actually feel and leave it at that, mkay?

Jesse Harris - "Feel"

Jesse Harris - "I Don't Mind"

>>Beautiful Mess. Yet another Atlanta band that recently came out with Waiting for the Naked, which appears to be boasting punky songs about drinking, writing songs, being in love, and smoking cigarettes. Wavering vocals that remind of the new wave 80s movement fit in well with the music, despite the fact that it might be the most climatic ingredient I'm hearing. I feel like I'm on a roller coaster with a ton of small hills...and I never get to the one that clicks all the way up and drops me for the ultimate rush.

>>Johnny Irion. With a high downhome Americana spirit, Irion gives me the welcomed feeling of calm with Ex Tempore. I'm getting a vibe much like the one Ryan Adams might give me with that same slight tinge of twang, but also with lyrics that hit the heart like a sack of bricks. It's evident by the words sung and pure professionalism exuded that Irion is no stranger to music or the road. This is one of those albums that you'll find turns into a classic, because all the music is fresh without being at all pretentious, and at the same time, it's also everlasting.

>>Gravy Train. It doesn't happen often when I find myself speechless. Like, I'm so baffled and hurt that someone actually put money into making this album, All the Sweet Stuff, that it's making me sick to my poor stomach. Now, at the same time, my harsh thoughts and feelings are going to completely destroy my "indie" cred. No, I'm not what you'd refer to as a hipster, and no, I'm not ready to roll over and allow talentless people to get by in music simply because they look "cool" and "unique" (which, ironically enough is soooo unique that everyone else looks like them, too!). Sorry, but this band just threw me on my soapbox. The songs are babble. Yes, babble. It's supposed to be kitsch, but as far as I'm concerned, that translates into crap. I have the same feeling about the Coathangers. These two bands should tour together, because it's the same concept, except Gravy Train bears penis and I'm pretty sure they don't attempt to play instruments. Ugh. I might start a petition to have this kind of shit banned, except I don't feel like being burned at the stake. /end rant.

Oh, and while I was blogging this, Claire and I were indulging in some vodka drinks and came up with an awesome idea. When we get shit like this, we're going to show you through a picture how we use your CD! So, here's the first installment...

>>Robbers on High Street. When I think of going to a good rock show, I imagine it would (and should) sound like this. The first track on Grand Animals, "Across Your Knee" is kind of boring, but once you pass it, you'll get into the pure grit of feel good rock that'll make you want to shimmy up to the front row with your imported beer and your BFF in tow. As all albums normally tend to do in this genre, there's some times the music is taken down a notch, but it's still worthy of a hearty listen.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Musicians' Contribution To Cheap Bastards Everywhere

In a time when people are progressively going to fewer and fewer shows because they don't want to shell out a hefty cover at the door, Pop Death Squad is giving you a chance to hear some good music even if you're a cheapskate. You guessed it . . . a FREE SHOW!

Big Trouble in Little Five Points
Thursday July 19th
@ The Star Bar
Ages 21+ only
Show starts at 8:00pm
Featuring: The Hiss, The Rewinds, Rare Birds

If you haven't heard the new Hiss album, Chocolate Hearts (released only on vinyl), you should check it out. It's pretty rockin . . . probably more so than the last one.

[Hipster Disclaimer: My record player broke and I tossed it, so before anybody acts a smartass and says, hey Claire, how did you listen to that record without a record player I will just negate your comments by saying that my boyfriend has one. Nobody can accuse us of being too-cool-for-school because we log a lot of John Cougar Mellencamp American Fool hours on vinyl.]

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Lizard King: Revisited

US Magazine reports that a new book on Jim Morrison claims The Doors singer died of a heroin overdose in a Paris club, not at home, and that his 1971 death was covered up by drug dealers. They also state that authorities may reopen the case.

I somehow doubt after all the waffling back and forth over the years regarding his mysterious death that authorities are going to give it another go round just based on a new book, but hey, that's just my opinion.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Belgium Gets Kinky

The other day I stumbled across a band from Belgium that I can't stop listening to, Swimmers in Loch Ness. As far as I can tell they're brand new because there's not a lot out there about them other than the inclusion of their track Toronto in a Kinky Star podcast. Unless you are fluent in Dutch, their Myspace won't make a lot of sense to you but they're compared to Tortoise, Sufjan Stevens, and Godspeed You Black Emperor! Any way about it, I really dig the track Toronto.

Oh, and while you're at it, check out The Kinky Star Radio Show. Some of the music is Dutch, some isn't, but there's a lot of really cool new stuff coming from their direction.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sticking It To The Man

This post isn't about a new album or your favorite artist going on tour, but if you're in a band or work for a fledgling music company, listen up.

You may or may not know that I manage bands. There, I do. Over time I have become increasingly sick and tired of independent artists not being able to afford the luxuries that other working people do (like say, insurance) because they are more or less broke independent contractors. It kills me to see some of my young artists suffer from broken bones and strep throat from road germs only to have to pay sky high prices for health care.

So, if you're in a band, here's the answer: The Freelancers Union.

Yes, you heard me. There's a union that offers advocacy, connections, and even better, affordable insurance for independent artists. Check it.

Ok, I am getting off my soapbox now.

Monday, July 09, 2007

COAMA On the Road.

I know there are a good amount of people in New York that read us, so I'll mention (again) that I'm going to be hitting Piano's Tuesday night, July 10th, to see Rantings of Eva. The most exciting part is that I believe my recently re-transplanted pal FAB will hopefully be hanging out, too. Here's a track of theirs if you want to check it out, or visit their MySpace site to hear some newer tunes. They play at 7:30, $8.00 gets you in the door. I'll probably already be drunk. I love vacation.

Rantings of Eva - "Infrared"

Monday, July 02, 2007

Summer of Love. And Other Stuff.

I'm about to take a short hiatus for much needed vacation to someplace that has no Internet. Obviously, I cannot blog when there's no Internet.

>>When I get back from this week of relaxation, I'm headed off to NYC. I plan to go to the Whitney Museum for the Summer of Love exhibit. I guess it's been forty whole years since the hippies dubbed 1967 the Summer of Love, man (insert Lennon specs and peace sign here).

What does that have to do with music? Well, I'm pretty sure that the music of that era made an impact on lots of today's artists, and Rolling Stone has a nice compilation of all things 1967 that I thought was worth mentioning. This is cool, too.

>>Speaking of love and hippies, did anyone else happen to catch Larry King call Ringo by the name of "George" over the weekend? How the hell do you mistake dead Beatles from living ones? Retirement, anyone?

>>Against my will, the parents had me watching part of this televised concert yesterday, and I just want to further reiterate that Fergie is unoriginal. I decided this when I saw her sing something where she spells the word "glamorous" and then rips a line from Kilo Ali's "Nasty Dancer," which was ripped from Tina Turner's "Private Dancer." Ugh.

>>Holy shit. Yahoo is kind of mainstream and has highlighted this band I learned about a couple years ago from this guy in this band.

>>Why does this make me smile and smirk?

>>And is this really necessary? I mean, I think I'd rather hear that Ace of Base is getting back on the tour bus. At least then I wouldn't have to be subjected to tweenage girls wearing skin tight clothes and too much make-up like their role models...