Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Note on RoboCop

Yeah, you read that right.

I was fact-checking just now and came across the RoboCop official DVD trilogy website. I just had to share with you what I believe might be the finest movie teaser of all time: "Part man. Part machine. All cop." All cop.

I think the glory of that statement might just speak for itself. Enjoy, if you're so inclined.

Sorry that didn't have anything to do with anything.


Apologies for post-less-ness. It's been and is still being quite the busy week. Here's what's up:

I went to see Super Furry Animals/Fiery Furnaces/Holy Fuck at the Variety last night. Will write more in a couple days. For now, let me just say that the Power Rangers helmet was plenty enough entertainment for me. Especially when (and forgive me if anyone who's seen Super Furry Animals before knew this was coming) he put the microphone up to the mesh eye/visor area rather than the solid plastic mouth area so sound would actually get through. Funny.

Otherwise, this is why I haven't been posting:

Vampire Weekend tours behind long-awaited album

Paul Simon to share stage with David Byrne, Grizzly Bear

Beyonce to play Etta James in Cadillac Records

Luke Temple to release collectable 7-inch, play SXSW

Also maybe I've been busy because of this. Or this.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Chris Walla - Field Manual, etc.

In my last bit of shameless self-promotion (for today! ha!), here is a link to my proudest mini-journalist moment so far:

Paste: Catching Up With...Chris Walla
Interview by yours truly!

I'm going to bask in the sunny delusion that this little piece makes me, you know, kind of a big deal. Shhh. Let me think it for a couple of days before the shine wears off...

Walla's solo debut hits stores this week (hence the article), so here's a track:

Chris Walla - Sing Again.mp3

In other news (completely!), The Selmanaires and Anna Kramer and the Lost Cause rocked extremely hard Saturday night. A great time was had by all - all who could get in, that is. Much to my surprise (although I guess I shouldn't've been surprised...) the show sold out FAST. Apologies to anyone who showed up and couldn't get in. My thang on The Selmanaires shows Feb. 1st-ish in SEP, so I'm waiting breathlessly for that after such a rockin' time with them. Got to meet fellow blogger extraordinaire Rich from Cable and Tweed. Got to stand in the 2nd row for The Selmanaires' set.

TheLeila took tons of pictures, but she's on a cruise so we'll have to wait till she gets back to see them.

The FOA "...." Video of the Day

You can interpret the "...." to mean either "...uh..." or, if you prefer, "....I don't get it."

Here, we see Matthew Houck dancing with a girl who has a tiger head? Or something? And drinking a tall boy? And it's all yellow? And maybe he's happy? But maybe he's nostalgic?

This song, if you'll remember, was the one for which he used a recording of the UGA Redcoat Band drumline as backing. I put the track up last week (or maybe the week before?) because I thought it was neat. No matter what visuals he's provided in this video, I still see the drumline practicing (with a clearly audible Dr. Beat, no less...) I still have copyright questions about the unauthorized recording of their practice, too. Doesn't make the song any less cool, though.


Phosphorescent - "At Death, a Proclamation"

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

I know this is both premature and somehow late. I know it'll just be infuriating to most of you because the album doesn't drop until February 19th.

I also know I should be doing my work.

But I don't have enough explatives or grandiose statements to describe Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago. There just aren't words.

So this'll have to do:

It's !@#%%^&*(()^%$#@ brilliant. Epic. Breathtaking.

A few words for something that has left me speechless.

Here is a song from Jagjaguwar while you wait:

Bon Iver - Skinny Love.mp3

For Emmma, Forever Ago:

The last thing I heard that so closely bordered on perfect was In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, if that tells you anything.

Thanks, Bradley.

Fall Madly in Love: Two for Today

The Selmanaires.

Hope For Agoldensummer.

Mean anything to you?

If not, man, are you in for a treat!

The Selmanaires, a several-month Atlanta favorite of mine, released their new record The Air Salesmen, yesterday on Atlanta's own International Hits. They then proceeded to rock out Criminal Records. There was cake. It was good.

I had the pleasure of interviewing them and writing a short piece for SEP, which will appear around the first of February. Can't wait. For guys that rock so hard, they sure are sweet. And I can't recommend their live show or their album enough. They're celebrating the album release with their labelmates Anna Kramer & the Lost Cause this Saturday night at The Earl.

The Selmanaires, from their MySpace (link above). Photo by Neda Abghari.

A song from The Air Salesmen, courtesy of International Hits:
The Selmanaires - Reason and Chance.mp3

Athens' own Hope For Agoldensummer completed and shipped their long-awaited second album, Ariadne Thread, in December. It's so beautiful (visually too). These three ladies put on the quietest but most compelling live show I've ever seen. They croon, they harmonize, they play the saw. The saw. They jingle, they smile. They switch chairs and musical instruments. When Crystal and I dropped in on their 11/11 show at the 11:11 Teahouse, they covered Aaliyah's song "Are You That Somebody?", which was both gut-bustingly hilarious and know...kinda good. They'll visit The Earl on Feb. 13 with The Pendletons and Delta Co. Can't wait.

Hope For Agoldensummer at The Echo Project in October. Photo by me.

You can sample songs from (or purchase) both albums at the band's CD Baby page. I particularly recommend "Man of Faith" from Ariadne Thread.

Really, take my advice on these two fantastic groups. You won't be sorry, I swear it! And so do they!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Legs legs legs legs

Check out this ad for!

That's serious leggage...

Also, episode 8 is up at Have You Heard! I guest-hosted with Bradley in Adam's absence and had a great time! Listen here.

(Edit: Have You Heard got hacked yesterday, so bear with them as they return their site to normal. The episode is still there and listenable! Do it!)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

MGMT / Yeasayer / Morning State

Last night, a group of four bright-eyed Paste interns made their way into the wilderness of East Atlanta to see a show. They almost got lost on the way in their excitement, but eventually made it inside The Earl, that friendliest of friendly Atlanta music venues. They were greeted by a half-empty room, as it was still early. The room was bedecked with its usual furnishings - brightly-colored merch in the back complete with sullen merch guy/band memeber, grumpy-looking bartender, viking hat, mood lighting, paintings declaring "Pabst" in scroll lettering. People milled around amid the sound tech's lovely choice of filler music, The Selmanaires' most recent album, The Air Salesmen. It was a good night to be at The Earl.

By "good" though, I do, at least in some part, mean "weird."

Atlanta's own Morning State opened, and though they play around here an awful lot, it was my first time seeing them. They're energetic, but they're not exactly up my alley. One of the final songs of their set really excited me (maybe "Spectacular"?), but I don't know what it was (being as I wasn't, for once, there to review the show!). As the room began to fill, we were a little put-off by the appearance of "those girls." You know, the ones who wear halter tops and spiky heels, pull their hair half up and dance around stupidly - the ones who cannot be old enough to be in this club legally. You don't often see them at The Earl. We were bewildered.

In due time, as the room filled inexplicably with every frat boy inside 285, it became apparent that MGMT (who was to go on second) had switch spots with Yeasayer (who was the original headliner) because of the local pull for MGMT. One of the co-founding members of The Whigs, Hank Sullivant, is playing guitar with MGMT right now, so a lot of folks from nearby came to see them.


Though I like MGMT's record better, Yeasayer definitely stole the night for me. Frontman Chris Keating has absolutely hypnotic stage mannerisms and his voice makes me swoon. We were commenting on how he sort of has a Thom Yorke thing going on, but more raucous and with more blood. (Yes, blood! He cut himself on the broken suspended cymbal he was beating on murderously from atop a speaker. That's carnage two weeks in a row at The Earl! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go here.) He seems a man possessed. His hands rise to face level, one holding a microphone, one open, palm inward. He convulses toward the crowd or toward his synthesizer. He bobs. He raises his open hand in the air as if toward the heavens, pulling down music. He climbs. At one point, Keating, gripping the mic as if he feared it would fly away, held it away from his face for a moment. He looked at it. Turned it over for a second. Stared at it with puzzlement, seemingly astonished at its sudden appearance. Maybe for him there was no one else in the room and he was singing into a hairbrush in his bathroom until he realized where he was. (That is, except for the moment when the drunk dude that was high-fiving everyone tried to high-five him. He refused. Didn't want to get him all bloody, you know. Not sanitary.) I was enthralled.

We got to meet him at the merch table later, and he was all ease and friendly energy, none of the expected disconnect from social graces sometimes the hallmark of such bizarrely compelling performers. We asked him how his hand was. His shirt was bloodstained and his thumb was bandaged. Kinda hardcore. He blew off the question - these are the side-effects of the rocker's life. Before we left, he shoved buttons at us and smiled.

After Yeasayer's set, MGMT played to an absolutely packed room. The frat boy that stood right in front of our unfortunate spot in the crowd was at least 6'7". No joke. I got stomped on. My hand got burned with a cigarette (at a no-smoking show!!). It was weird. I had a really hard time paying attention to the music with so much annoyance flying around me. I learned to pay attention in time for "Kids," my favorite MGMT number. My sudden concentration was not to last, though, as Sara came running up halfway through the song, hissing "You will never believe who's here!"

"Who?!" I replied.


Holy. Crap.

She lead me over toward the bar to stare at him creepily (and as inconspicuously as possible) from across the room. There he stood by the merch table, white-jacketed and slumped humbly, watching the happenings.) Alone. Un-surrounded by an entourage as I, for some reason, expect someone I respect so highly to be.

Here's the kicker. After hanging out in the area while everyone thought about buying the CDs for a bit, I actually walked up to him. I said something blithering, to the effect of "Kevin. Hi. I'm a big fan. I love your work." To which he replied something and TOUCHED MY SHOULDER. I have no idea what he said. I do know he smiled, replied softly and nodded shyly. Who knew he would be so...unlike he is on stage. So un-sexual, un-glam, un-swaggering. Sweet, even. I think I babbled something else that included the word "awesome," to my complete shame, and bounced off toward the others. EEEE! So I was a stupid fan-girl. But I don't care.

We all left satisfied, I think. Everyone got to talk to those they admired. Sara was talking to another member of Yeasayer for a while (she loves them). Tiago talked to Barnes before I did. It was good in the end. And the t-shirts were cheap. I couldn't sleep for hours.

For your listening pleasure:

Yeasayer - 2080.mp3

MGMT - Kids (stream below - sorry no mp3)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Yesterday's Accomplishment

(Claire and Mike Sardina, singers in Lightning & Thunder, a Neil Diamond tribute act, being chronicled in a new documentary.)

Read about it and stream tracks from Tony Dekker (of the Great Lake Swimmers)'s score here:

Great Lake Swimmer covers Neil Diamond, scores doc

Another photo from the Song Sung Blue website:

That's Eddie Vedder with the Sardinas.

Yeah, that's what I got done yesterday. I wish I was more productive, but I'm not.

In other news, it looks like I'll be guesting Have You Heard with Bradley again this weekend because Adam's out of town. If you missed the last podcast I helped out with, it's here. It was tons of fun, and I'm excited about getting to do it again!

And this time, maybe I'll be more prepared...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Your musical interlude for the day:

Holy crap.

Seth Avett plays "Mary" by Langhorne Slim, very very well.

Thanks, Mary (no relation...or is there?)

Also, this is funny/great. CYHSY not only make excellent music, they're advocates for responsible reproductive habits. Who woulda thunk?

In case you've forgotten:
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood.mp3

In conclusion,
The new Destroyer record is awesome. So is (I regret to admit) the Vampire Weekend. Also, Attractive Eighties Women. And Good Shoes. And Pants Yell! That's all for now.

Come to the Star Bar tonight!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Things I adore right this second:

1. In my various research today, I found this picture:

It's a drawing by Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum, and I think it just may encapsulate everything I love about his songwriting. Yes?
I found it here. Don't think the site's been updated recently, but that's ok.

This may be one of the greatest things ever. It's the final track to In The Aeroplane Over The Sea.

2. I also adore this song from the Bowerbirds.

They're touring with Phosphorescent, apparently. Related to my digging around for this article, I found the Band of the Week bit Paste did on Phosphorescent in October, when his album came out. It contained an interesting little tidbit, which is that The University of Georgia drumline probably had something to do with the writing of one of his tracks. (As a former member of the Redcoats, myself, that was certainly surprising to me.) Big dork, I know.

So, therefore, the next thing I adore is

3. "At Death, A Proclamation" by Phosphorescent, which is an excellent song in any case.

Phosphorescent with a tiger, apparently (from his MySpace):

4. Another thing I wrote up on the Paste website: Ladyhawk announces album release, tours Canada

As AWESOME as I feel like my writing is, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? So here, my friends, is Ladyhawk:

Wow. Look at the mugs on these guys. I'm in love.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I'm not a photographer. Gimme a break.

Thursday night at the 10 High was lovely! TheLeila and I had an excellent time cheering on Y O U as they recreated one of the most bizarre bits of our popular culture. She's posted some pictures I took with her camera of the band as they played their original material at the beginning of their set. Her camera could kick my camera's ass. With its hands tied behind its back. In the dark. And they're still all blurry.

Not the point.

"The Surprise Party" is a weekly event, and since I can't be there next week (It's our monthly Big Trouble in Little Five Points at the Star Bar with The Lord Is My Shotgun, Ghostfinger, and The Pendletons! Presented by Performer Magazine and Pop Death Squad! Free! See poster, below) I'll have to be content to return in two weeks for "The Yacht Rock Review." (...Am currently laughing immoderately behind laptop.) According to Y O U's MySpace, this is what the night of January 24th has to offer:

"Atlanta’s smoothest band (Y O U and friends) performs your fave ’70s dentist office rock, including Steely Dan, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Christopher Cross, Ambrosia, etc. Comedy sketches by Y O U will pepper the set on the video screens."

Incredible. I'll be there.

I'll be here, too:

Photo by Julia. Unfortunately.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I'm doing a good bit of web work for Paste now, and here, ladies and gentlemen, is my very first byline associated with the magazine.


It's about Bob Mould from Husker Du.

Suddenly a little busy and important

So here's the thing. I've suddenly started receiving publicity email from bands directly. This is new. I can only assume it's from added readership surrounding the podcast or through MySpace, or maybe from bylines in regional music mags. I don't know. Being contacted directly (as if I have, say, an opinion that matters!) makes me want to do what I can to support whatever band has done so. Problem is, all the shows of which I've been informed so far fall on nights when I've already got plans.

Tonight, for instance, Nashville's The Nobility is opening the first monthly Mod Night at the Star Bar in Little Five with The Booze and Tres Bien.
The Nobility:

I don't imagine I'll make it because I'm already going to be at the 10 High watching Y O U's second go at their Thursday night residency, also known as "The Surprise Party." Tonight I think they're performing the whole "Dark Side of the Rainbow" thing live, then playing some original songs with their music videos, which are quality.
"La La Lindsay", Dir. Brothers Chaps:

Also, this Saturday, the 12th (while I'll be at the Earl watching Attractive Eighties Women at their CD release party) The Young Antiques will be at Smith's Olde Bar with the Drexlers and the legendary Five Eight.

It's a shame, really. Wish I could be everywhere at once. Maybe you can be everywhere instead!

Monday, January 7, 2008

I Podcasted!

"You're whating a who?" my friend indignantly replies when I inform him I am recording a podcast with Adam and Bradley Sunday afternoon. "I think you just won the hipster Olympics."

Well. Olympian or not (I still maintain my t-shirt isn't ironic enough to qualify me for such a high honor), I had the infinite pleasure of being a guest on Have You Heard yesterday. The episode (number six) hit this morning, and clocks in at a little over an hour.

We go over music news, review Biirdie's forthcoming record Catherine Avenue, and all three of us make an album recommendation. My recommendation was...shocker...Fishboy, with Albatross: How We Failed to Save the Lone Star State with the Power of Rock and Roll. If you're any kind of regular reader of this blog, you know I've mentioned them several times, but I really think it's a record that deserves much wider attention than it's gotten so far. I just enjoy it.

And just for clarification purposes, I really like the Biirdie record. I know it got run through the ringer a little on the podcast, but I seriously recommend it. I've enjoyed having it and listened to it repeatedly, and I encourage you to buy it when it comes out on the 22nd and support this California group. In retrospect, I wish I'd defended it a little more, uh, vehemently.

Go listen! Have You Heard is quality every single week, and I'm honored to have been a part of it.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Tea bags, orange cones, and weird outfits: January's Southeast Performer arrives!

It'll be on news racks and ledges under windows across the Southeast in the next couple days, but here's the web links to all the stuff I wrote for SEP this month!

Live Reviews: The New Sound of Numbers, The Selmanaires, and Pylon at The Earl (Show of the Month!)
Of Montreal on Halloween at the 40 Watt!

(Note: It says John Harris is the drummer from The Selmanaires. I don't know why. It's Jason Harris. Sorry Jason.)

Here's my record review. I'm actually kinda proud of it, so I'm copy-pasting here. Indulge me.

The New Whole Usuals - Martin Moeh
Produced by Andrew Dolfie and Daniel Scobey
Recorded, mixed and mastered at ITC Productions

The New Whole Usuals, a Murfreesboro, Tenn. oddball group with an inclusionary philosophy, declare that “you too can be a new whole usual.” This idea extends beyond general hospitality to tonalities, instrumentations and styles. The band’s latest release, Martin Moeh, encompasses as many different sounds and ideas as is really advisable. Through 15 tracks, the album runs the gamut from Brian Wilson-esque multi-part vocal arrangements to harpsichord counterpoint and to bizarre experimental sound effects.
Obviously using heavy classical influence, the eighth and ninth tracks, “Big” and “Small,” for example, fluctuate between cartoonish wind sequences and baritone-heavy vocal textures, sometimes expressing discernable lyrics, sometimes not. The New Whole Usuals definitely seem to have employed a full orchestra’s worth of ideas in this effort. Jazz chords and sudden time and key signature changes don’t frighten these adventurers. The very next song, “You Will Become,” transitions into sweeping ‘70s rock ballad territory, with banjo and electric guitar, followed by the psychedelic rock of “Microscopic Pete vs. The Angry Duck.” The latter incorporates trumpet improvisations over a rambling sing-a-long and full brass section.
Andrew Dolfie’s vocal stylings are equally changeable, varying between delivery reminiscent of Barenaked Ladies, Belle and Sebastian and Elliott Smith, alternately harsh and intimate. “My Friend Sheila,” the only track credited to both Andrew Dolfie and Daniel Scobey, includes an almost Debussy-inspired piano part and Smiths-like confessional lyricism. Never adhering to strictly one idea, the song incorporates whispering and other various sound effects. The words “At last” are uttered before the song slows and suddenly becomes a circus waltz complete with bells, then gives way to the acoustic guitar, laptop rhythms, and soft crooning of “Go to Bed,” a tale of insomnia and arguments.
At first off-putting, this infectious album ultimately crawls under the skin. It’s quicker than listening to 12 separate records, but it packs the same punch. (Me and the Machine Records)

-Julia Reidy

And finally, my very first spotlight! It's about Atlanta hip-hop artist, Teabag da Herbalist.

The rest of the issue is excellent as well, and (as you can see) features Black Kids on the cover! Check it out!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

"Triumvirate of Awesomeness"

Adam and Bradley at Have You Heard are chugging along and amassing listeners by the day, and deservedly so! Their latest episode is their 2007 top 20 countdown, and an excellent rundown of music of the year. If you've got an hour and 22 minutes, hit it up! They have several selections I agree with completely, and several they're talking about so glowingly that I'm starting to change my mind. Especially their bit on Menomena. I had trouble dealing with the majority of the Menomena record, except their song "Rotten Hell" which I effing love! Observe, and PLEASE listen all the way to the end:

A&B talk about a different track which they really like, as well as the origin of the band's name (muppet-based, no kidding!), and I may be starting to come around to a wider liking of the band. I'm easily convinced, perhaps.

They also talk about Of Montreal, which as we all know, I adore. And they mention my trip to the 40 Watt to hear/see them play (the review of which appears in January's? SEP.) Thanks, boys :)

And the National. Oh, the National. Can't. Stop. Listening. Have. Tried...Can't.
The guys call Boxer "a grower" and they're dead right. This is my absolute favorite song right now, and it's not the one in the podcast:

Here's the Take Away Show with The National. It's pretty much incredible.

The guys talk about tons more, but I won't ruin it for you. Have a listen!

I'm going to be a guest on Have You Heard next week, as far as I know. (If they ever let me know about those albums...ahem.) So be sure to listen in! This is the Atlanta independent music criticism community at its best, y'all!

Happy New Year, fearless readers!

It's been a busy holiday season! Last night witnessed my first live Band of Horses experience. So. Good.

I also got to hear and meet the lovely members of A Decent Animal, a group with whom I'm very impressed. They'll be releasing some stuff in the coming months, so keep your eyes and ears open. It's better than Decent, especially if you're feeling brood-y. Great senses of humor, too.

Because I'm too professional and tactful (ha!) to yammer about Band of Horses in the article I'm about to write about A Decent Animal, I'll dump all the knowledge about BOH I gleaned from ADA here so I'll feel better. I'm not sure if this is utterly tasteless. If it is, I'm so sorry.


ADA went on tour with BOH this summer. They were friends with the guys, then Ben Bridwell went to one of their shows and liked what he heard. He brought another couple of band members with him to another ADA show, they discussed, and invited ADA on tour with them. Supposedly, Bridwell will be producing the upcoming ADA album (already covered in SEP, so I think it's ok to talk about that on here?). The guys from ADA are all compliments when it comes to Bridwell and BOH. They talk about him in glowing terms, using words like "integrity" and "enthusiasm." This is good to hear when you're right in the middle of one of those hard-and-fast band obsessions/crushes.

Also, apparently BOH is so named because the original lineup was all born in the Chinese zodiac year of the horse. Go figure.

BOH has been caught off-guard by the sudden success they've experienced this year. They keep extending tours.

Their show is endlessly entertaining. Despite the few covers (that I didn't know) thrown into the middle of their set, the energy was high and the momentum was quick. There they stood, all six (?) of them on stage, including the three core members and a keyboardist, bassist, and Tyler Ramsey on guitar (who has a notable solo career and is releasing an album this month...recorded at Echo Mountain like many other great Southeast acts).

Some songs played, in a very rough approximation of the order they played them:

Monsters ("We're gonna start with a boring song.")
The First Song
Is There A Ghost
Ode to LRC
The Funeral
Weed Party
The Great Salt Lake
Islands on the Coast
Wicked Gil (I think I may have figured out some lyrics during this song! I think he's saying "I implore". I really still have no idea.)
Part One (I think)
No One's Gonna Love You
Cigarettes, Wedding Bands
The General Specific

Bridwell said "Go Dawgs" several times, I'm assuming because the Sugar Bowl is tonight. Otherwise, he thinks about football too much. But the fact that he wore a hat from my alma mater throughout the performance just made me swoon a touch more than I already was. And that's something.

I'll save a torrent of info about A Decent Animal for the article I'm working on, which will show up in the March issue of SEP. I'm only gushing about BOH so much because there's no where else for the info to go (at least, that's the story I'm stickin' to). I really do think ADA deserves a good bit of attention, though, and they'll get it. Excellent fellows.

I mean, I'm still overwhelmed by the caliber of the beards at this was staggering. Just...nearly inconceivable beardedness...

A painting done by ADA. Behold the beards.

The playlist below is a sample song from everyone I heard last night.

I start my internship at Paste Magazine in the morning. Wish me luck!