Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Record Review: Abe Vigoda - Crush

A record review almost entirely inspired by that '90s theme party we threw a while back...

For Tiny Mix Tapes:

Abe Vigoda


As 80s nostalgia has melted into 90s nostalgia with the concluding aughts, some parts of pop music (especially indie pop) have perhaps unsurprisingly slid what’s retro forward, dwelling no longer on the 60s and 70s (revisited psychedelia, disco), but on the 80s, an era that now concluded nearly 20 years ago. Granted, there’ve always been synthesizers. In some circles, the indispensability of the artificial, of the 4/4 dance beat, was never called into question — night clubs and dance pop have always needed the non-acoustic to survive. But even as theme-party attendees have abandoned their sweatbands and side-ponytails for flannel and combat boots, the center-of-the-road alt-pop band has looked to those fads’ temporal predecessors for inspiration. (See: Yeasayer’s Odd Blood, Bear In Heaven’s Beast Rest Forth Mouth, M83’s Saturdays=Youth, etc.)

Enter Abe Vigoda, a Los Angeles quartet up to this point declared by itself and others a “tropical punk” band (and one possessed of perhaps my favorite ridiculous name)...[Read more]

Live Review: Jimmy Eat World @ Center Stage, September 21

For Atlanta Music Guide:

(Photo courtesy of Luca)

Live Review: Jimmy Eat World at Center Stage, September 21

As unseasonably hot inside the venue as the month of September has been outside, Jimmy Eat World frontman Jim Adkins took the stage and within a song had soaked through more than half of his shirt. Before long, the sweat started flying off the tips of his hair, and coupled with epic smoke-machine-meets-stage-lights effects, it felt like the pure essence of rock ‘n’ roll...[Read more]

Friday, September 24, 2010

Flagpole Calendar Pick: Agent Ribbons

This is a very cool record from a very cool band. Highly recommended! Playing tonight at Caledonia in Athens.

For Flagpole:

Calendar Pick: Agent Ribbons
w/ Cars Can Be Blue, Dusty Lightswitch, Laminated Cat
Friday, Sept. 24 @ Caledonia Lounge

With a frilly cowgirl dress for sale on Modcloth.com inspired by their music, and a whole country’s worth of road under their belts, the three women of Agent Ribbons prove both more feminine and more forceful than your average group.

Their sophomore record Chateau Crone will be released via Antenna Farm Records on Oct. 12, and it covers a lot of road—from American doo-wop- or surf-influenced ditties to Eastern European-emulating ballads...[Read more]

Friday, September 17, 2010

Record Review: Megafaun - Heretofore

For Tiny Mix Tapes:



When I interviewed Megafaun’s Phil Cook in April, the band had just written and recorded Heretofore within the space of six weeks. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an unmastered version of the short LP, and even in that raw-ish form, their grounding in “roots music” — the one that somehow incorporated their high school jazz band beginnings with a love of folk and bluegrass — mixed as obviously as ever with a commitment to pushing boundaries. Cook spoke about the balance between tradition and experimentation, the trust between the band’s members, and winning people over by not taking themselves too seriously...[Read more]

I've written about Megafaun before!

Live Review: Crystal Castles @ The Masquerade, September 8

One of the sweatiest shows I've ever attended...

For Atlanta Music Guide:

Live Review: Crystal Castles @ The Masquerade, September 8

As the floor shook steadily underfoot 50 feet back from the stage upstairs at the Masquerade, the crowd got restless. The room was filled with a seething mass of older teens and younger 20-somethings; a full hour had elapsed since Bear In Heaven’s abnormally early set concluded (much to my disappointment) and people were beginning to get antsy...[Read more]

(Photo by Ben Grad via AMG.)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Record Review: Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse - Dark Night of the Soul

For Flagpole:

Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse
Dark Night of the Soul


Dark Night of the Soul almost never saw the light of day. The release of the collaborative record between late Sparklehorse frontman Mark Linkous and former Athens resident Danger Mouse (AKA Brian Burton) was delayed more than a year by Burton’s legal battle with EMI and Linkous’ untimely death. In 2009, the extensive David Lynch-furnished accompanying picture book was put out along with a blank CD, but July 14 marked the first time the record itself saw proper release...[Read more]

Record Review: Efren - Always Been A Bleeder

For Flagpole:

Always Been A Bleeder

Slo Pro

In a quiet eddy where gothic Americana, psychedelia and straight-up country swirl together, Scott Leon-O’Day of local band Efren sits holding a guitar. Armed with only his breathy voice, he sings of the hand he’s been dealt (“Check It Down”) and watches the brackish waters, at times assisted by a trio of instrumentalists...[Read more]