Thursday, February 26, 2009


Why am I a writer??!!!

This story might kill me.

Other people should be writers, however. Take, for instance, Bryan's shot at reviewing Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavillion for Flagpole. Recommended reading! So proud!

Also, R.I.P. Randy Bewley. You will be missed.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Black Lips - 200 Million Thousand

For Atlanta Music Guide:

Black Lips
200 Million Thousand

Vice Records

By Julia Reidy

As one of Atlanta’s most rapidly maturing acts of recent years, the Black Lips already Let It Bloom, and now they’ll “Let It Grow.” The latter, the fourth track to their fifth studio album, 200 Million Thousand (their third record for Vice), introduces the listener to more of what they’d expect from the irreverent flower punk four-piece — whining garage guitar; yelled, often incoherent, slurred vocals; a drunken aural atmosphere that almost seeps beer through headphones or speaker banks. But, as so often seems to happen when fans start to predict a band’s future direction, they’ve veered a bit off the path they set for themselves with 2007’s fantastic Good Bad Not Evil. They’ll develop a different way.

Rather than continuing to make their songs more hook-centric and deliberate with each release, the Black Lips have turned toward more echo and psychedelia, even opting for slower garage tempos over breakneck punk pacing. No track on 200 Million Thousand is quite as grimily charming as “Veni Vidi Vici,” for instance, or as adorably anarchic as “Bad Kids” (both from Good Bad Not Evil). Instead, we’re given the warbling vocals, silly falsetto backup and bells of “Trapped in a Basement” and the swaggering, reverb-heavy half-rap of “The Drop I Hold.”

As always, the Black Lips have a knack for walking the line between complete lyrical frivolity and topical poignancy. No songwriting moment on 200 Million mimics the timeliness of Good Bad’s “O Katrina!” but “Big Black Baby Jesus of Today” certainly doesn’t shy away from controversy. Even the seemingly lighthearted “Drugs” touches on a theme that seems to pop up repeatedly in the band’s material. One of the final lines of the song — which also discusses cruising around, taking drugs and hanging out with friends — says, “I hope they follow me,” expressing a wish that these good times (and the people that constitute them) will last forever. It mirrors the end of “Transcendental Light,” the final track from Good Bad, and maybe at its core reflects a fundamental anxiety about the fact that the carefree life can only be an ephemeral one...[Read more]

(I think I need to work on word variety a little...)
The Black Lips are playing the Variety on Friday with Atlas Sound and Gentleman Jesse...should be a good time!

Oh hey, did I ever show y'all my review of the Women record for this months Stomp and Stammer?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Live Review: Au, Tealights, Sleep Creeps @ The Earl 2/2/09

Written for's Tales From The Moshpit section:

Au; Tealights; Sleep Creeps @ The Earl, 2/2/09

Written by Julia Reidy
Dana Valatka had forgotten to grab the tomato-shaped shaker when he picked up his drumsticks. He got up again, nestled it in one palm, and looked over significantly at Luke Wyland, Au’s songwriter and leader of the Portland recording collective, who was settling himself, shoeless, behind a keyboard, melodica and lap steel. They made eye contact for the first of many times during the set, when they would give each other nonverbal cues, or, more notably, sing or scream until it looked like the veins would pop out of their earnest foreheads. The meager crowd had rushed forward before Wyland had a chance to bid us to the front of the stage; we formed two straggling, expectant rows, eager to prove that though attendance was low, enthusiasm was high. They raised their arms above their heads, and with one synchronized motion began the noisy, beautiful, incendiary show that would follow... [Read more]


I really love this band. Check them out on their MySpace.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Theft and "Hurricane Jane"

At favorite coffee shop today, mourning the loss of Rosie, my mom's beloved red 1980 Puch road bicycle, which was stolen off of my front porch while locked up securely last night. (Or, I guess, not so securely.) All anyone needs is good pair of bolt cutters, I know, but that doesn't lessen the indignation.

As I'm thinking about revising my previous opinions about gun control, this song comes on:

Hurricane Jane - Black Kids

While, I shockingly, actually did kind of enjoy most of Black Kids' Partie Traumatic, I don't really like that song. It reminds me of bad disco and gives me sort of an I-partied-too-much headache. I think it's the repetition.

Leaves a bad taste in my mouth, just like this idiot theft. What will they get for the bike that for me meant so much? $20 or something? Wow, that seems like it was worth it. And I was so looking forward to riding everywhere when it got a little warmer. I had been planning routes in my head as I was falling asleep every night with temperatures in the 20s. Really, I was.

In Rosie's honor:

What have you guys had stolen recently? Thoughts?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Music critics, meet your forebears!

Today Slate has an awesome piece called "Great Composers, Lousy Reviews: When music critics attack." It explores the long history of overblown music criticism as far back as when it was applied to Mozart and Beethoven. It's good to know our roots are strong!

Best excerpt:

Well, everybody liked Brahms, right? In Boston they didn't. In 1885, the Evening Transcript reported, "It must be admitted that to the larger part of our public, Brahms is still an incomprehensible terror." Another critic suggested that egresses in the new Boston Symphony Hall should be labeled "Exit In Case of Brahms." By 1905, Boston seemed to be resigned to him, maybe because now they had Debussy to kick around: "Poor Debussy, sandwiched in between Brahms and Beethoven, seemed weaker than usual. We cannot feel that all this extreme ecstasy is natural; it seems forced and hysterical; it is musical absinthe."

Read the whole article here.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Howlies are Paste's Band of the Week

Ohai! My BOTW piece on the ATL's own Howlies showed up on today. This one was really a pleasure. Justin was lovely to talk to, and I'm so proud of Atlanta bands that put out a quality product and seem to do so with integrity, etc.

Photo by Jason Reed

Band of the Week: Howlies

Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Fun Fact: A “howlie” (or “haole”) is a slang term for a tourist in Hawaii, not some sort of wolf creature.
Why They're Worth Watching: Howlies have taken 1950s and ‘60s rock and turned it on its head, creating an anachronistic mash-up of songs that translate to the stage like a happy monster unleashed from its cage.
For Fans Of: Chuck Berry, surf rock, early Beatles

The hidden track on Howlies’ debut record, Trippin’ With Howlies, features legendary producer Kim Fowley dryly reading the liner notes he’s written for it, voice dripping with equal parts sincerity and irony. “Howlies are the first rock band of the 21st century,” he says. “Trippin’ With Howlies is a vinyl-inspired analogue raid on the ProTools present.” It wouldn’t be worth mentioning if it wasn’t so spot-on. Atlanta’s Howlies, re-formed from the ashes of experimental band Moresight, formed in late 2007, wielding an arsenal of traditionally-inspired rock song structures topped with relentless performance energy and fun-loving lyrics.... [Read more]

And what's more, the piece got a shoutout on Largehearted Boy. Which is insignificant, I know, but it makes me happy.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

FOAVOD: Animal Collective - "My Girls"


I cannot get this song out of my head. What I find most interesting about the video, though, is not the psychedelia. I mean, sure, it's cool when their silhouettes start dripping, I guess...I'm just more fascinated by watching how they're making the music. I like seeing what buttons they have to press to produce those noises. There's been a lot of talk about how what's remarkable about AC is the way they use synthetic sounds to produce organic music. I don't know if that's a catch phrase someone made up once and was very proud of, but it seems to be true...

Fishboy did a Daytrotter Session!

FOA fave Fishboy (alliteration much?) did a Daytrotter session several months ago and it showed up on their site this week. It's great stuff, and highlights just what I adore about this band.


We’re in front of the computer today, like every day it seems, so the entire world is morphing into a society that balances more of those particular traits than ever before.

Download the Daytrotter version of my very favorite Fishboy song, "Blackout/Flashback," here.

Read the whole article here.

Oh, and P.S.: Gringo Star just did one as well. (Read my review of their album All Y'all on Paste:Local here.)