Sunday, October 19, 2014

Foxygen Video

Let's be honest, here.  The new Foxygen album, . . .And Star Power, is two good songs followed by 3 1/2 sides of filler.  Not that the filler doesn't have its moments of brilliance, but filler none the less.

Foxygen already released a video of the first of the two good songs.  Here's the new video for the second.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Little Five Points Halloween Parade, The Musical

In addition to the usual (and unusual) marching bands and assorted Halloween-themed floats, the L5P Halloween Parade featured a number of bands or possibly people pretending to be bands.  I couldn't tell - they all passed by so quickly, I couldn't really hear what they were playing or pretending to be playing and to be perfectly candid, unlike years past, I didn't hang around after the parade to catch any of the real, bona fide bands playing the stages tucked in and around Little Five Points.

In any event, here are the parade bands, as well as some other characteristically quirky characters from today's parade.

I didn't even notice the Big Lebowski impersonator in front of the faux Scooby-Doo band until after I came home and started editing my pictures.

The crowd was the largest I can recall seeing at this annual event.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution unhelpfully estimated the crowds as vaguely in "the thousands."

Friday, October 17, 2014

Courtney Barnett and San Fermin at The Loft, Atlanta, October 16, 2014

Last night, the mighty San Fermin played The Loft in Atlanta.  Last night, Courtney Barnett finally made it to Atlanta.  And Rocktober's only getting warmed up.  

I didn't get a chance to see opener Mikhael Paskalev.  I somehow got roped into meeting some former work colleagues for a few beers about 35 miles outside of Atlanta, and by the time I finally got back inside the Perimeter and to The Loft for last night's show, Courtney Barnett was about to take the stage.

I've been waiting for almost a year now, but this was my first time seeing Barnett perform and was certainly expecting a loud, electric set of garage-rock anthems, but the band's sound last night was much more muscular and aggressive than her records or videos suggest, perhaps in part because of an apparent change in lead guitarist, and they now thrash more than they used to just noodle around.  

There's an interesting balance in excelling at garage rock:  if you play too poorly, you don't sound any different than any other band in any other bar in any other city, but if you play too well, it's not garage rock any more.  Part of the brilliance of Barnett's band was they've found that perfect, Goldilocks sweet spot between too slack and too tight.

On another note, I was surprised to see that Barnett was opening for San Fermin and not the other way around.  Both bands are great, although very, very different, and although I've seen more internet buzz about Courtney Barnett than I have about Sen Fermin, last night was nonetheless San Fermin's first headlining performance in Atlanta, 

And,  man, did they ever knock it out of the park. With two horns (baritone sax and a very extroverted trumpet), two singers, a violinist, keys, bass, and, of course, drums, they were able to project to the very back of the intimate Loft space (but fortunately for me, I was at the very front, and could hear every and see everything). 

We first saw San Fermin at Shaky Knees (above) where they just about stole the entire show, but missed them this year during Day Two of Bumbershoot (below, which reminds me - I need to post my Day Two retrospective sometime soon), partly because some sadist in the scheduling department put them on at the same time as Pickwick, the best band you've never heard of, and partly because I already had tickets to last night's show and knew that I'd be able to see them soon.  

Two very different bands, but one great night of fun music.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Modest Proposal

If the music's so loud that everyone in the audience is wearing earplugs AND everyone in the band is wearing earplugs AND the soundman in the booth is wearing earplugs, then maybe you don't need all of those Marshall amps.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

tUnE-yArDs and Allo' Darlin' in Atlanta, October 14, 2014

And so it began.  Rocktober. 2014.

8:00 pm, Variety Playhouse, James Tillman

9:21 pm, Variety Playhouse, tUnE-yArDs

9:22 pm, Variety Playhouse, tUnE-yArDs

9:42 pm, Variety Playhouse, tUnE-yArDs

10:05 pm, Variety Playhouse, tUnE-yArDs

11:11 pm, 529

12:31 am, 529, Allo Darlin'

12:51 am, 529, Allo Darlin'

For their encore, Allo Darlin' performed Tallulah and My Heart Is A Drummer.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


So this is it - Rocktober, baby! Tonight alone we have tUnE-yArDs performing at Variety Playhouse, Allo Darlin' at 529, and Phantogram at the god-forsaken Tabernacle.

If all goes as planned and the creek don't rise (not a sure bet at all on this stormy, rainy day), I should be at two out of three of these this evening.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Rocktober Previews

Rocktober, like the Georgia autumn, has been a little slow in coming this year, but starting this week, it begins in earnest and looks like it will last well into November.

We last saw Louisiana's Givers way back in the misty, far reaches of time during MFNW (RIP) 2011, and thought at the time that it was one of the most fun shows ever.  Maybe it was having Ages and Ages and Pickwick opening or maybe it was meeting Damien Jurado in the audience, but we had a great time and Givers were every bit as energetic and joyful and ebullient and sincere that night as the video above suggests (possibly more so). Unfortunately, we've heard absolutely nothing from them since that night, but next week (Wednesday, October 22) they play the Vinyl lounge at Center Stage.  

That same year, we also Seattle's Motopony at Bumbershoot and were equally but differently impressed.  But like Givers, we saw and heard nothing from them since then, except a solo show by frontman Daniel Blue at the awesome Marmoset day party during MFNW (RIP) 2013.  However, Motopony have a new EP out and will perform at The Drunken Unicorn on Wednesday, October 29.

Even better news might be that San Francisco's Family Crest will be opening for Motopony.  We also saw Family Crest at the Marmoset party and were blown away by their chamber-pop folk-rock.

There's more shows this week than I can even shake a stick at, but I'll try to keep things posted up here.