Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Why Bonnaroo is going to ruin my life, Part 2

I knew there was another one! Pontiak, Virginia's talented (and prolific!) stoner-guitar rockers, are passing through Atlanta on their way to Athens June 13. The three brothers will be playing an in-store at Criminal Records at 5:30. Wish I could go!! They're extremely impressive live, cascading wall-after-wall of sound, feedback, distortion...Stay tuned to FOA for a review of their new album Maker, which released in April via Thrill Jockey. And go catch the show for me!

Paste Band of the Week: The Daredevil Christopher Wright

I wrote this week's BOTW on! It's a band I really stand behind-- everyone should take a listen. Enjoy!

Band of the Week: The Daredevil Christopher Wright

Hometown: Eau Claire, Wisc.
Members: Jason Sunde (bass, vocals), Jesse Edgington (drums, miscellaneous percussion, vocals), Jon Sunde (guitar, vocals)
Album: In Deference to a Broken Back
For Fans Of: Shearwater,Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens

There's a track on The Daredevil Christopher Wright's debut LP that shares a name with the band and tells the story of a man who literally dedicates his life to performing death-defying stunts. The Wisconsin trio has taken similar leaps—not of he motorcycle-jumping variety, but nearly as risky and contingent on vulnerability. Their debut, In Deference to a Broken Back (out now on Amble Down Records), owes as much to the band's musical open-mindedness as two of its members classical training; its reference points are far-flung, from Chopin-does-acoustic-folk etudes, circus waltzes, string quartets, whistling, post-punk rock-out—even one of those plastic recorders you might recognize from elementary school music class...[Read more]

[MP3] The Daredevil Christopher Wright - "The East Coast"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why Bonnaroo is going to ruin my life.

Ok, not really. But I am distressed about a couple of things surrounding leaving the ATL for Tennessee June 11-14, not the least of which is the PHENOMENAL batch of shows traipsing through our fair city in my absence.

The top of my list is St. Vincent with Pattern Is Movement Sunday, June 4 at The Earl. Woe is me! I've been a big Pattern Is Movement fan since I got wind of their record All Together last year. They're on Crushworthy Record Label (see new sidebar posting to your right) Hometapes out of Portland, Ore., along with Megafaun (!!) and Slaraffenland (!!!!). Many will read this as blasphemy, but I like them waaaay better than I like St. Vincent, and was basically just excited at the chance to hear them be weird and creative in person. Reportedly, they cover D'Angelo in concert. Oh, and St. Vincent is really good too. Oh well. In lieu of this experience, I'll have to satisfy myself with reading Pattern Is Movement's tour blog and looking at the pretty pictures they've taken of the American west coast on their Tumblr. Excerpt: "Today was beautiful. Nothing happened." Very Vonnegut, yes?

The Earl also has Here We Go Magic, The Selmanaires and Carnivores (ex-Chainestereo, whose song, "A Crime," I have been chasing around for WEEKS) Friday, June 12. Sigh.

For those skipping the festival, there are a bunch of artists passing through Atlanta on their way to or from their sets in Tennessee, like Bon Iver and Grizzly Bear.

And Sunset Rubdown hits the Drunken Unicorn June 16, which is rad.


Ok, maybe that's it. I just combed all the club show listings and I guess that's all I'm stressed about. That, and scheduling interviews and deadlines around the trip. For a bit of a pick-me up, I can always go here.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

FOAVOD: White Rabbits - "Percussion Gun"

Want! Hopefully I'll be reviewing this record soon. "Percussion Gun" is the first single from White Rabbits' sophomore LP, It's Frightening, which released Tuesday on TBD Records. It's no secret that Spoon's Britt Daniel produced the record, and even if it had been a secret, it wouldn't stay that way for long. Daniel's mark is scrawled all over the songs-- his restraint, the way tension and momentum don't necessarily go hand-in-hand with volume, the bright production. Thumbs up!

Spinner's got a full album stream this week in honor of the release. Go ahead, have a listen!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Q&A with Kyle Gordon of Young Orchids

To be honest, it sometimes makes me uncomfortable that the line between journalism and promotion sometimes gets sorta blurry when you're a music writer. It depends entirely on the publication's standards, I suppose, but sometimes there are real conflicts of interest-- especially since you tend to make friends with musicians in the process of covering their bands and their friends' bands. (I am NOT referencing Almost Famous, shut up!) Or since if you're interested in being a rock critic, it's probably because you already hung out with those types anyway...or even that you make music yourself.

All that being said, I did an interview with my co-worker Kyle for Atlanta Music Guide last week. He's started a band called Young Orchids, and they'll be playing Pop Death Squad's monthly Big Trouble in Little Five Points show this Thursday, May 21 at the Star Bar with The Bridges and All These Kings.

I'd like to think pieces like these don't pass judgment and therefore don't cross any lines. Either way it was fun to write, and anyone who can should try to catch the show.

Q&A with Kyle Gordon of Young Orchids

By Julia Reidy

Young Orchids is the latest musical brainchild of Kyle Gordon, previously of Atlanta rockers The Booze, KillGordon and Ski Club. Though the group is new, these pros aren’t as delicate as the name suggests. Along with Ski Club bandmate Michael Kai, Gordon has put together a lineup of veterans to grow this project into a powerhouse. Having already opened for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah outside the CW Midtown Music Complex and graced the stage at 529, this Thursday, May 21, the band plays its third Atlanta show since its inception under a year ago. We grilled Gordon on songwriting for a new act, reputations and what it takes to make music blossom.

Q: So you guys have done this before. You’ve been the primary songwriter for lots of projects. Have you approached writing for the Young Orchids differently than you’ve approached writing for any of your other bands?

A: No. When I write, I write for whatever project I’m with at the time. My stuff isn’t so varied that it sounds like different artists. I’m not writing a polka song and then a country song and then a rap song and then a rock song. They’ve all got the same feel; they’re all pretty monotonous, I don’t know [laughs]. Actually, Michael and I write the music together. I definitely write a ton of music — I’m always writing, and I’ve got a lot of ideas I want to see to fruition. Every song I write, I want to see come to life, and that means whatever band I’m in at the time is going to be the unfortunate assholes that have to learn it. [laughs]...[Read more]

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Live Review: Cursive, Man Man @ Variety Playhouse, 5/1/09

For Atlanta Music Guide:

Live Review: Cursive, Man Man @ Variety Playhouse 5/1/09

Three white animatronic cats perched atop a speaker preceded the five men of Man Man onto the Variety Playhouse stage after they finished their plain-clothes sound check and ventured off to get into costume. The cats would stay still barely long enough so that you’d think they were lifeless, then move just slightly and blink, reflecting the black light and making you jump out of your skin in a mixture of surprise and almost unbearable anticipation. When Man Man re-emerged in their all-white to match, the creepy kitties nodded in approval and the full, albeit young, Variety echoed enthusiastically...[Read more]

Also for Atlanta Music Guide:

Q&A with José Reyes, co-founder of Fringe

Four times a season, several seemingly disparate creative ideas come together harmoniously in one venue: classical chamber music, electronica DJ-ing, visual art, short film, performance art and essay. It’s an idea new to Atlanta, and it’s one of the most interesting evenings $15 can buy. Co-founded and run by Fia and Dana Durrett and José and Nikolle Reyes, Fringe has enjoyed almost two complete seasons of events and a heap of critical acclaim to go along with them. We talked to José Reyes about the inception of the arts series and what enthralled attendees can expect when they experience the fourth and final performance of Fringe’s second season this Saturday, May 9. For more information, visit, and to buy tickets click here.

Q: How did you guys come up with this idea? What made you want to do it in the first place?
A: Well, we met some friends — Fia and Dana Durrett — and they were telling us about their love of chamber music. We didn’t really know anything about chamber music, so we got to start learning more about it. As we learned more about it and traveled and listened to it in other places, we just realized that there’s something really awesome about hearing it in a small venue, but we were missing a whole younger group of people — essentially the iPod generation, which is basically anyone who is interested in technology and new stuff, or even older stuff, but in a way that would be more meaningful to them. We thought, “They [Fia and Dana] love chamber music. We don’t know anything about chamber music, but we do know about art and what we might do for a show and what that might look like.” It took about a year for all that to germinate into actually having a concert...[Read more]

Monday, May 4, 2009

Record Review: Cursive - Mama, I'm Swollen

For Atlanta Music Guide:

Mama, I’m Swollen

Saddle Creek

By Julia Reidy

The seminal Omaha band’s seventh full-length record seems almost made to be listened to in terms of pacing. It’s like an amusement park ride, quick and thrilling at times, but slowing suddenly, menacingly, right before a breathtaking plunge. When it relaxes, it does so via slowing tempo and dropping volume, but also through dramatic stylistic shifts. Compare the breathy, plodding delivery of “We’re Going To Hell” with the jaded wail of “Mama, I’m Satan,” or with the synthy groove/soaring anthem of “Let Me Up.” Opener “In The Now” rockets right out of the gates with warped guitars and the refrain, “Don’t want to live in the now, don’t want to know what I know.” Throughout the record, angst-filled vocals meet bendy guitar melodies — they alternate between pitch perfect and precise, and warped and atonal. Tracks are sometimes broken by noise-maker effects and creepy instrumentals, never letting the listener get too comfortable...[Read more]

[MP3] Cursive - "From The Hips"