Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dark Meats, Hotel Lights and Broken Letters: July's Southeast Performer arrives!

Drumroll please!

It's.....my very first cover story EVER!

This month's SEP's quite the milestone for your favorite writer's tiny career! I had the privilege of doing a piece on one of the most hectic bands I've ever witnessed. Athens' Dark Meat is just...a walking disaster that somehow manages to function to the enjoyment of lots and lots of devoted fans. If you've never seen 'em live, you just don't understand. The first time I saw them, I got pegged in the forehead with one of those little bouncy balls you get from grocery store vending machines...twice! It's a true testament to just how many bands per capita there really are in Athens, Ga. Behold:

Anyway here's the story:

Dark Meat
The Most Organized Chaos You Ever Heard

Ben Clack’s oversized eyeglasses reflect the light from the street as he sips his Schlitz at a table in the empty theater. The Dark Meat bassist gestures at the chaos outside. It’s unexpectedly the day of the spring football scrimmage in Athens, Ga., and inebriated (or at least enthusiastic) college kids clad all in red stumble by on the sidewalk. Clack and frontman Jim McHugh glance up disinterestedly from time to time, but turn rather soberly away from the window. They’re here to talk about their own brand of chaos, an infamous shape-shifting musical collective that is a completely different variety of social experiment and one of Vice Records’ newest signees. It’s a project that’s taken them on the road over and over again, wreaking havoc in clubs around the country and on the eardrums of their lucky listeners; they’ve started fires in venue corners and butted heads with bouncers, all while performing delicately-named songs like “Well Fuck You Then” and “Assholes Of Eyeballs.” Even if one considers the numbers by themselves, forgetting about the spectacularly schizophrenic live shows and broad-scope recordings, Dark Meat is a force to be contended with. The band contains at least 12 members at all times - sometimes many more, almost all of whom are in other Athens musical groups - and commitment seems the only way to keep an operation like this running. Luckily, Dark Meat has got plenty of it. [Read more...]

Mike from Deadly Designs took a bunch of the live shots, which are pretty damn cool. (I don't know why the photo credit says "Mick." Sorry, Mike.) Check him out for other awesome Athens band photography.

This month's Performer also has a feature on Atlanta rapper Quanstar, as well as spotlights on Bombadil, Hotel Lights and The Broken Letters. As always there's a slew of live reviews
and recorded reviews for you to devour as you will. If you're in a band, you'd do well to read all the stuff in the advice section about touring and gear and what not. Enjoy!

[M4A] Dark Meat - "Freedom Ritual" (sorry about format...too lazy to convert...)

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