Sunday, April 10, 2016

This Week's Shows (4/11 - 4/17)

Here's a something-for-everyone week of music in Atlanta: on one hand, we have a two-night stand by Mumford & Son at a hockey rink in Gwinnett County, pop royalty Elle King at Variety Playhouse, and MTV heroes Duran Duran at a downtown basketball arena, while on the other hand, we have the Atlanta debut (as far as I know) of Dan Boeckner's new project, Operators, the reconstructed Mr. Twin Sister, and the first Sunset Session at Park Tavern of the season, with lots in between as you'll see below.

As always, please keep in mind that musicians and night-club proprietors lead complicated lives and I'm prone to errors, mistakes, typos, and fubars; it's advisable to confirm any of the information below on your own before making plans. 


Deerhunter, The Subsonics, Bitchin Bajas (Variety Playhouse)
Deerhunter are an experimental noise rock band from Atlanta, fronted by Bradford Cox. Cox's vocal style blends vocal experimentation along the lines of Meredith Monk or Yoko Ono with a more direct and punky howl inspired by the Fall's Mark E. Smith, while his bandmates churn out an aggressive mix of industrial-grind guitars and fractured dance rhythms that often recalls earlier Georgia art punks like the Method Actors and Pylon.  2015's Fading Frontier is arguably Deerhunter's best effort yet, and if you missed their previous sold-out show at the Playhouse, here's your chance to make up for it.

Deerhunter at Bumbershoot 2013
Lissie, Skrizzly Adams (Terminal West)
Lissie Maurus draws on her blue-collar Midwestern origins to create her own form of indie folk music. The granddaughter of an international barbershop quartet champion, she grew up singing in theater productions, eventually picking up the guitar and playing her own songs at local coffee shops as a teenager. Thrown out of high school during her senior year, she spent a brief period at Colorado State University, relocated to Paris for a semester, and eventually ditched college altogether to pursue her music career. Returning to the U.S., Lissie headed west and settled in Los Angeles, where she became a fixture on the local venue circuit.

Lissie at Bumbershoot 2013
Mumford & Sons (Duluth Infinite Energy Arena)
First of a two-night stand by the British folk-rock superstars.


The Cult, Holy White Hounds (Variety Playhouse)
One of England's leading heavy metal revivalists, The Cult picked up the pseudo-mysticism and Native American obsessions of the Doors, the guitar orchestrations of Led Zeppelin, and the three-chord crunch of AC/DC, while adding touches of post-punk goth rock.  The Cult gained a dedicated following in their native Britain with mid-'80s singles like She Sells Sanctuary before breaking into the American metal market in the late '80s. However, the band was plagued with off-stage tensions and problems that prevented them from retaining their popularity and split in 1995 following a pair of unsuccessful records, but return on an occasional basis for new records.

Mumford & Sons (Duluth Infinite Energy Arena)
Second of the two-night stand by the British folk-rock superstars.


Elle King (Variety Playhouse)
Pop singer, songwriter, and occasional actor Elle King is the daughter of London King and Rob Schneider of Saturday Night Live fame. Her music mostly exists at some amorphous intersection of blues, country, rock, soul, and big-budget pop and she sings about such time-honored topics as bad men, worse behavior, and bouncing back from both. 

Eyehategod, Fight Amp, Cloak (The Earl)
Heavily influenced by Black Sabbath, Black Flag, and the Melvins, New Orleans' misanthropic sludge metal outfit Eyehategod was formed in 1988 and became an important part of a Southern sludgecore scene.   Eyehategod went on an unofficial hiatus in 1993. In 1996, Eyehategod briefly reconvened; however, the band fell largely silent for some time afterward, with occasional recordings and intermittent tours afterwards. 


Roadkill Ghost Choir, Polyenso, Walker Lukens (The Earl)
If, for whatever reason, you can't make this show, Americana shoegaze band Roadkill Ghost Choir will be playing The Earl again on April 21, so no worries.

Roadkill Ghost Choir performing in the rain, Shaky Knees, 2013


Duran Duran, Chic (Philips Arena)
Duran Duran's Paper Gods Tour comes to Philips Arena.  Paper Gods was a guest-filled album released last year that sought to re-capture the sleek pop pizzazz of Rio and earlier efforts, but let’s face it, most people just want to hear the ’80s MTV hits like Planet Earth, Hungry Like the Wolf and Save a Prayer.  Paper Gods, like most of Duran Duran's post-millennium output, has by and large failed to set the world afire, mostly owing to the fact that it will never be 1982 again.  Chic, featuring Nile Rodgers, opens.

Cullen Omari, Living Hour, Man Up Yancey, Joshua Loner (The Earl)
Former Smith Western Cullen Omari had to cancel this date, which is unfortunate as his debut LP, New Misery, is excellent, but the show must go on.  Living Hours, a psychedelic dreampop band from Winnipeg, Manitoba, will play instead.

Wreckless Eric, Gentleman Jesse (Mammal Gallery)
Wreckless Eric is Eric Goulden. He was given the name to hide behind, but after awhile realized he was stuck with it. Onstage, he hides behind nothing, he tells the truth with big open chords, squalls of feedback, lilting enchantment, bizarre stories and backchat. Joining Eric is Atlanta legend Gentleman Jesse. The leader of Gentleman Jesse & His Men, Jesse Smith also comes out to play a rare solo set.

The Coathangers, Paint Fumes, Bad Spell, Paralyzer (Star Community Bar)
The Coathangers are an punk rock band from Atlanta that formed in 2006 as a joke. After playing a house show, they were asked to open for The Hiss on the strength of their performance. Their playfulness continues into their songs, with titles such as Don’t Touch My Shit, Nestle In My Boobies and Shut the Fuck Up.  Over the years, however, they've grown in their abilities and are now a respected band that headlines nationally.


Little Green Cars, John Mark Nelson (Vinyl)
Dublin's Little Green Cars play in the amiable rural rock style of the Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, and First Aid Kit.  Offering an Irish take on Americana, they employ generous five-part harmonies over a bed of R.E.M. Fleetwood Mac, and Woody Guthrie-inspired country-folk-pop. In 2016, they released their second album, Ephemera, named after a poem by Irish poet W. B. Yeats about slowly fading love.

Mr. Twin Sister, Hellier Ulysses, Pop Weirdos (Drunken Unicorn)
After the release of their debut album In Heaven, Long Island, New York-based indie pop quintet Twin Sister responded to hardships, including a near-devastating car accident while on tour, by completely transforming themselves. Rechristened Mr Twin Sister, their self-released, self-titled second album is so different from their previous music that it feels like a true debut. Mr. Twin Sister is miles away from In Heaven's bubbly indie pop. Reflecting its genesis, Mr. Twin Sister celebrates music's transformative powers, combining house, industrial, R&B, trip-hop, and more into sultry, glamorous electro-pop.

Andrea Estella with Twin Sister at The Earl, January 25, 2012
Parker Millsap, City Mouse (The Earl)
Parker Millsap is a singer-songwriter from Purcell, Oklahoma playing a blend of blues, country, alt-country/Americaca, and folk music. Parker garnered attention with his popular song Truck Stop Gospel, and plays with childhood friend Michael Rose on bass and Daniel Foulks on the fiddle. Parker's guitar style has drawn comparisons to Elvis, and he also plays the harmonica and slide guitar.


Operators, Bogan Via (The Earl)
Dan Boeckner is having a busy year. Not only has he reunited Wolf Parade, his other band Operators released their debut album, Blue Wave, on April 1.  The single Cold Light sounds a little like New Order and a little like The Cure, but is unmistakably a Boeckner original.

Neon Indian (Park Tavern)
Neon Indian is an electronic music band from Denton, Texas, fronted by Mexican-born Alan Palomo. This show is the season debut of Park Tavern's free Sunset Sessions series that run from 7:00 to 11:00 pm.

Acoustic Hot Tuna (Variety Playhouse)
Begun as an acoustic spinoff of the Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna eventually became the full-time focus of founding members Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen, emerging as a popular touring act of the 1970s. The two are lifelong friends, growing up together in Washington, D.C., and together they helped lead Jefferson Airplane to massive success during the late '60s.

Darlingside, David Wax Museum, Haroula Rose (Eddie's Attic)
Indie folk band Darlingside formed in 2009 at Williams College in western Massachusetts. A group of string players combining classical, folk, and rock, Darlingside boasted a strong vocal presence from the very start, layering their songs with lush, multi-part group harmonies. Coining their sound "string rock," they quickly established themselves as a dynamic live act, reinventing themselves as a richly layered string band with a crafty pop sound. Tourmates David Wax Museum will provide their unique Mexo-Americana folk rock.  First of a two-night stand, which continues on Monday of next week.

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