Monday, April 21, 2008

Photos: The Avett Brothers / Paleface / Christopher Denny (Variety Playhouse 4/19/08)

Apologies for some of these being chopped off at the right. Attempting to correct it.

Christopher Denny & the Old Souls:



Paleface (and Mo):

(Read the review I wrote of their most recent release, A Different Story, here.)

The Avett Brothers: (sorry so blurry)
Scott appears alone. The Variety Playhouse is packed. We've been cheering in anticipation. It's loud and then hushed as he begins to play.

Seth joins.

Bob emerges to much applause. He makes what I've come recognize as his "bass face," half concentration, half confidence.

Joe Kwon rounds out the touring group on cello.

We are hyperventilating. This is how they thrash.

And this.

These are blurry because I have a substandard camera, but also because they don't quit moving ever.

Sometimes Seth sits down at the piano. Sometimes Scott plays the drums.

Paleface comes back on stage at the Avetts' invitation to help them perform "Go To Sleep."

They are kinetic. Scott's sweat is showering the first few rows, his hair flying it in great arcs vertically in front of him. Seth's knees fly high, their boots pounding the innocent, unsuspecting stage, suddenly enduring their unprompted punishment. Joe's cello actually touches the ground for a much smaller portion of the time than would be expected. He picks it up and plays it sideways like a ukulele.
avetts 1

Scott's broken two strings at this point, Seth one, by my count. They've played lots that I know, lots that I don't: "Paranoia in B-flat Major" (which they allowed the audience to sing a lot of, namely the part that goes "But if love is a game, girl then you're gonna win, I'd spend the rest of my life bringing victory in if you want me to!" and then the end where they duet in high falsetto...which is terribly comical when attempted by a choir of thousands of extremely un-trained fan-types), "Salina," "When I Drink," "The Weight of Lies," "Die Die Die," and more. "Go To Sleep" is their finale, the final "la la, la la la la" chorus answered by the audience repetitively. They take their bows one by one and leave the stage, the crowd still clapping in time, still singing. We keep it up, and one, two, five minutes pass. It gets louder. They're stomping in the balcony now, the very walls rumbling with our desire for their return. The drunk young man in the row in front of us, the one with the crappy mohawk haircut and overalls, is completely beside himself.

Then, our prayers answered, they reemerge. They've all changed clothes, shed the black shirts, ties and vests and donned simple t-shirts. Seth's put on his kamikaze headband. They're grinning from ear to ear, reiterating their gratitude at our presence, telling us they debuted at the Grand Ole Opry last night, and that they're glad to be here.

They play "Talk On Indolence," to my glee, and something else I can't remember. Then they bow again, shake hands with everyone else they can reach from the stage and exit. We keep right on making noise, and after a few more moments' whistled cheers, they come back one more time.

They play "If It's the Beaches," from their only EP, The Gleam. It almost sounds like they're about to play "The Ballad of Love and Hate," the one song that would make me cry like a baby in the midst of those thousands of people, but they don't. "If It's the Beaches" begins similarly, waxes likewise poetic and sentimental, and contains a few select lines that actually make your gut hurt. It draws to a sweeping close, the last few notes ringing out and then only the cacophony we make remains.

[MP3] The Avett Brothers - "If It's The Beaches"

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Happy Record Store Day!!

Today's the first annual Record Store Day, spearheaded by the proprietor of our very own Criminal Records in Atlanta. In-store performances abound! Go out and support your local retailer of awesome!

Here's what Criminal promises their customers today:

BAND SCHEDULE (subject to change)

Outdoor stage:

* 1:00 PM - The Bridges
* 2:00 PM - Ocha La Rocha
* 3:00 PM - Bobby & the Soft Spots
* 4:00 PM - Suitcases
* 5:00 PM - Judi Chicago
* 6:00 PM - The Coathangers
* 7:00 PM - Anna Kramer & the Lost Cause
* 8:00 PM - Noot d'Noot

Indoor stage:

* 2:30 PM - Trances Arc
* 3:30 PM - Andy Hull (Manchester Orchestra)
* 4:30 PM - Club Awesome
* 5:30 PM - Dead Confederate
* 6:30 PM - Single Malt Solution
* 7:30 PM - Hope for agoldensummer
* 8:30 PM - Janelle Monae


Guest DJ sets!



Exclusive releases!

Sidewalk sale!

Vinyl swap meet!

Goodie bags!




And other general awesomeness!

Well, I don't know about you, but I'm in.

Recent Pasteings:

Almodovar and Cruz team up for Broken Embrace

Sub Pops!: Iron and Wine, Wolf Parade, more to play SP20

Record store doc to feature Noam Chomsky, Thurston, more

Foo Fighters, Plant & Krauss, Beck head 2008 ACL line-up

Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People to hit WiiWare

Rob Corddry joins the cast of Oliver Stone's W

Jens Lekman to tour the UK, stick it to ATP

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Show Docket 4/17/08

Coming up in the ATL!

Tonight 4/17 @ The Star Bar:
Pop Death Squad and Performer Magazine present Big Trouble in Little Five Points
Dead Confederate
The Constellations
Hands Down Eugene
9 p.m. FREE

Tomorrow, 4/18 @ Lenny's:
Wolfe Bros. & Video Bean along with Performer Magazine present Sound Check
The Selmanaires
The Coathangers
Sleep Therapy
9 p.m. $5

Saturday, 4/19 @ Variety Playhouse:
The Avett Brothers (!!!!!!!!)
Christopher Denny & The Old Souls
8:30 p.m. SOLD OUT

Friday, 4/25 @ The Earl:
Tapes 'n Tapes
White Denim

9:30 p.m. $12

Saturday, 5/3 @ Lenny's:
Man Man (!!!!!)
Yeasayer (!!!!!!)
9 p.m. $12 (tickets still available! buy 'em!)

Thursday, 5/8 @ Lakewood Amphitheatre:

Saturday, 5/10 @ Caledonia (Athens):

It's going to be a great month.

Fishboy. Tour. Awesome.

I never talk about Fishboy.

Ok, I just lied just then. I talk about Fishboy all the time. Only because they're fantastic, though! If you haven't experienced Albatross: How We Failed to Save the Lone Star State With the Power of Rock and Roll, you very much need to. Stream the entire rock opera here. Buy it here.

Then, come see the band play the Caledonia Lounge in the A-T-H on May 10th!

Rich from Cable & Tweed is giving away a copy of their record. Go here to enter!

Here be the rest of their tour:

Apr 23 The Boom Boom Room w/ Jacob Enwood Fayetteville, Arkansas
Apr 24 The Way Out Club w/ That's My Daughter and Wooden Kites St.
Louis, Missouri
Apr 25 Replay Lounge w/ The Jim Button Band Lawrence, Kansas
Apr 26 Surf Ballroom (home of Buddy Holly's last show!) w/ Poison
Control Center!Clear Lake, Iowa
Apr 27 Borg Ward w/ Quin Scharber Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Apr 28 The Statehouse Bloomington, Indiana
Apr 29 Quencher's Chicago, Illinois
Apr 30 503 Oldham ct. w/ Joy Bombs/Big Fresh Lexington, Kentucky
May 1 Charm City Art Space w/ the Up Set Baltimore, Maryland
May 2 The Knitting Factory w/ Uncle Monsterface and The Besties New
York, New York
May 3 Party w/926 Main Street Apt. 2 Worcester, Massachusetts
May 5 6 Barton St.Rochester, New York
May 6 12:00PM Live on 89.7FM WITR Rochester, Pennsylvania
May 7 Khyber w/ MILK!Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 8 SPAZZATORIUM GALLERIA!Greenville, North Carolina
May 9 255 Ashley Ave Charleston, South Carolina
May 10 Caledonia Athens, Georgia
May 13 Lowe Mill w/ Japanther Huntsville, Alabama
May 15 Cafe Mi Aroma w/ Mermaid Police Chattanooga, Tennessee
May 16 Tomato Tomato w/ Velcro Stars Murfreesboro, Tennessee
May 17 Actor's Cafe Shreveport, Louisiana

They're still looking for somewhere to play May 11 in Atlanta. If you got some connections, let me/Eric know!

I've also been told we may get to look forward to a Fishboy b-sides release later in the year.

Don't miss this!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Playlist: "Even we were scared at first"

A soundtrack for your day, if you so desire (No, it's not a Muxtape. It does the exact same thing as a Muxtape. Why does everyone love Muxtapes so much?):

Photos: The Ruby Suns / Throw Me The Statue / Chainestereo (Drunken Unicorn 4/14/08)

Atlanta's Chainestereo openened the night: Chainestereo 3
I was pleasantly surprised by them.

This girl is insane. In a good way, of course:
Chainestereo 1

Next, the stage was occupied by the band we came to see, Seattle's Throw Me The Statue (signed to Secretly Canadian). Let's just say we got to see a more private performance earlier in the day, but wanted to experience the full effect (with audible vocals, etc).

[MP3] courtesy of Secretly Canadian: Throw Me The Statue - "Lolita"

Throw Me The Statue 6

Throw Me The Statue 4

Throw Me The Statue 3

Throw Me The Statue 2

Throw Me The Statue 1

After that, new Sub Pop darlings The Ruby Suns laid it down. They're from New Zealand, and very charming. Observe:
The Ruby Suns 5

The Ruby Suns 3

The Ruby Suns 2

The Ruby Suns 1

April's Southeast Performer done been arrived....

It's definitely April 15th. I know. This is old news, but I didn't do my requisite "Insert-month-here's SEP arrives!" post, so here it is:

I got to write my first feature for SEP, and was pretty ecstatic about it. It's on ex-big-label artist Matthew Ryan and his new band/album Matthew Ryan vs. The Silver State.

I also reviewed the Heavy Mojo / Ponderosa / Part Bear show in the live reviews section.

It's a solid issue. The whole thing's worth a good read, especially if you're a musician. Check it out.

Also, this Thursday's the monthly Performer Presents/Big Trouble in Little Five Points show (FREE!!!) at the Star Bar. Pretty sure I'm actually going this time. I hear fantastic things about these bands. 'Specially The Constellations (Gnarls Barkley ties...).

Dead Confederate's from the A-T-H.
Hands Down Eugene's from Nashville.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

On Backlash: Ben Gibbard's April Fool's Day Joke

This is Ben Gibbard. He's the frontman for seminal soft-spoken indie rock group Death Cab For Cutie.

On April 1st, he did what so many of us do. He made a joke. Observe:

It's a little funny. It made me chuckle. What I find interesting, however, is how a few of the other members of my esteemed music journalism community reacted to this and Death Cab For Cutie's mere existence as a band. (I also cannot believe the debate in the comments section of the YouTube page!)

Here are some excerpts:

A fellow Atlanta music blog I read every day and enjoy, I Guess I'm Floating, had this to say:

"It's not lame because the music is lame or the idea is lame, it's lame because it's illogical and improbable for a guy like Ben Gibbard. He'd never branch out from convention the way this joke claims he would-- he proved that on Plans, an album that might as well have been dedicated to O.C. fans and the pasteboard 'indie' they're told to love in the liner notes."

Connor then says Gibbard's starting to look like Michael Moore. Ouch.
The comments section below this one's pretty priceless too, and practically a sociological study on the tiny self-victimizing subcultures attached to music fandom. The word "emo" is thrown around a bunch...debates as to the degree to which Death Cab fits into that category ensue (full disclosure: I engaged in just such a debate in this podcast, I think. If not, then it's this one.) I'm not saying it's unfounded. I just can't believe how swift and severe the reaction was. I think IGIF was surprised, too.

Some hate from Buzzgrinder:
"No, that’s not a fat Ryan Adams on the xylophone, it’s Ben Gibbard. The frontman of Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service has started a new group called Just Jazzin. The band is apparently just a joke, yet somehow not as funny as the last Death Cab album. Aw snap! You’ve been served, Ben Gibbard."

Here's another from Tiny Mix Tapes:
While reporting the band's upcoming tour dates, writer Nobodaddy calls them "doily rockers" and concludes his little rant on how only your younger cousins can like them with the ejaculation, "Right. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to devote the rest of my morning to formating this now-sizable list of tourdates for this shell of a band. Have a super day, everyone!" Geez. Bitter much?

Forgive me if I fail to see how a band like Death Cab deserves so much bile. They obviously have a sense of humor about themselves, a point so many performers never reach. They're not teenagers anymore and perhaps their aesthetic and chosen subject matter has turned a corner around which a lot of us can't follow. Fine. Don't listen to it anymore. I wonder whether anyone would be wasting so much energy on this if they hadn't signed to a major label and happened to be featured on a teen television drama. I don't think a band would ever consciously make the choice to place themselves in the path of so much ridicule, as IGIF and TMT seem to assume. But then, I don't know. I'm not them. I mean, Chris Walla was perfectly nice...

I'm not necessarily defending them. I grew out of my Death Cab phase a couple of years ago (as most people seem to postulate inevitably happens when one reaches a certain age), but I'm approaching this particular situation with a sense of detachment and bemusement. Why is this such a big deal to people?

Please utilize comments section. I want an answer to this.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

When life sends you moldy lemons...

What is this, you ask? Let me explain.


A couple weeks ago, the Paste office received perhaps the best press kit ever in the history of press kits. If, by "best," you mean "grossest."

I had the extreme privilege of blogging about it on the blogs. I could never do it the justice my esteemed web editor did with his slug, so I'll just plagiarize. This is the tagline (Oh, the poetry! It sounds like a teaser for the nightly news - "Is your home poisoning you? Tune in at 11 for the full story."):

Why did Paste receive this moldy lemon in the mail? Click here to find out!

Wow. Atmosphere one. Paste interns zero.

I gotta say though, I'm still conflicted about the whole "any publicity is good publicity idea." While we did, of course, immediately toss the envelope and all its contents—the moldy lemon, the one-sheet and ultimately the CD, thus ensuring that we couldn’t review it—straight into the garbage, we did talk about it all over It'll appear if you Google “Atmosphere,” or “When life gives you lemons,” wont’ it? Still, I’d like to discourage the future mailing of any perishables to any magazine office. Nothing says “good music,” like rancid foodstuffs. Thank you in advance.

Oh, and ironically enough, Atmosphere’s single from this album is called “Shoulda Known.”