Sunday, April 17, 2016

This Week's Shows (4/18 - 4/24)

The big event of this week, the 800-pound gorilla in the room, is the three-day Sweetwater 420 Fest in Centennial Park this weekend.  I won't be going as the bands booked don't quite align with my personal tastes; they didn't last year either, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see Snoop Dog perform.  In any event, it's been impressive to watch the festival grow from a single-day event in Candler Park with mostly local bands to a large, three-day event with nationally touring acts.

But even without the Fest, this is still a better-than-average week for Atlanta music, with sets by Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, Esperanza Spalding, Mother Falcon, American Authors, and Hurray For The Riff-Raff, and revivals of bands like LA punks MDC, as well as 90s radio stalwarts Bush and Sister Hazel.  Finally, for a week that begins with a band called Must Be The Holy Ghost and features a set by Spirits and the Melchizedek Children, there will be not one, not two, but three separate Christian rock bands performing this week.

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. 


MDC, Deathwish, The Swingin' Dicks, Nag (The Drunken Unicorn)
Alternately known as Multi-Death Corporation, Millions of Dead Cops, and Millions of Damn Christians, hardcore punk legends MDC topped the Dead Kennedys in the 1980s by performing politically charged songs that were arguably more extreme than what got the Kennedys into trouble. 

Must Be The Holy Ghost, Slowriter,  Kakune (529)
We last saw Raleigh's loop-crazed Must Be The Holy Ghost at a day party during 2014's Hopscotch Fest.  For this show, he will be supported by Atlanta's Slowriter (Bryan Taylor).

Must Be The Holy Ghost at Hopscotch, September 2014
Trevor Jackson, B. Justice, GOLDe, Vedo the Singer, Skooly (Vinyl)
Indianapolis' Trevor Jackson launched his singing career in 2013 with a string of R&B singles, including Like We Grownand Superman, both of which landed on his New Thang EP later that same year. A handful of singles scattered across 2014 and early 2015 led to In My Feelings, the singer's guest-filled debut album.


American Authors, Ryan Star (Vinyl)
Falling somewhere between the heady introspection of Alt-J, the arena-sized folk-rock of Mumford & Sons, and the urban, heartfelt grandeur of Fun., Brooklyn's American Authors offer an emotional and propulsive mix of summery indie pop and meticulously crafted, commercial modern rock.

Audacity, The Rodney Kings, The Mumzees (529)
Audacity play scrappy Californian garage punk. 


Thao & The Get Down Stay Down (Terminal West)
Thao & the Get Down Stay Down is an indie pop band led by Thao Nguyen, whose songwriting tends toward the musically playful and lyrically heavy-hearted. Before forming The Get Down Stay Down, she collaborated on a single under the name Merrillthaocracy with tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus, who produced The Get Down Stay Down's fourth album, Man Alive, which was just released last month.

Robyn Hitchcock, Eugene Mirman (Variety Playhouse)
Robyn Hitchcock is one of England's most enduring contemporary singer/songwriters and live performers. Despite having been persistently branded as eccentric or quirky for much of his career, Hitchcock has continued to develop his whimsical repertoire, deepen his surreal catalog, and expand his devoted audience beyond the boundaries of cult stature. He is among alternative rock's father figures and is the closest thing the genre has to a Bob Dylan (not coincidentally his biggest inspiration).  Comedian Eugene Mirman opens.

Robyn Hitchcock at Eddie's Attic, February 2014
Eugene Mirman opening for Andrew Bird, March 2012
Har Mar Superstar, Pls Pls (Aisle 5)
Har Mar Superstar (Sean Tillmann) is a balding, out-of-shape white man with a pencil-thin moustache who croons sex-laden R&B tunes while break dancing. His live shows, sung to the backing of a small boom box, usually culminate in Har Mar stripping down to his underwear (often of the tighty whitey variety).  So there's that.  Atlanta's Pls Pls opens.

Pls Pls at Criminal Records, L5Fest, 2013
True Widow, Slimy Member, Spirits and the Melchizedek Children (The Earl)
Heavy and melodic, True Widow has a heavy and melodic sound that takes its cues in equal parts from the worlds of drone, post-rock, and shoegaze, blending rumbling guitars, sprawling songs, and drifting, reverb-soaked vocals.  Atlanta's Spirits and the Melchizedek Children open.

Spirits and the Melchizedek Chilren at 529, January 2014
TacocaT, Boyfriends, Wet Nurse (529)
Seattle Weekly noted of the palindromic TacocaT, "If Pabst Blue Ribbon were a band, it would be TacocaT. TacocaT is discordant and goofy—like an R-rated Presidents [of the United States of America], but with Hillary(s) in the Oval Office.  They're an OK band to thrash around drunk to . . . so we'd recommend waiting for their next sweaty club gig to get the quintessential TacocaT experience." 529 should provide just the setting for the female-fronted Seattle quartet.

TacocaT at Bumbershoot, 2012

The Disco Biscuits (Terminal West)
First of a two-night stand by trance-fusion band The Disco Biscuits before their next-day set at the Sweetwater 420 Fest.  Sold out.

Amanda Cook (Center Stage)
Amanda Cook is a Canadian artist and worship leader known for her passionate, faith-based singer/songwriter pop music. Expect a lot of Christians in the audience. 

Roadkill Ghost Choir, Tedo Stone, Oak House (The Earl)
In case you missed them last week at The Earl, Roadkill Ghost Choir return to The Earl, this time backed by Atlanta's Tedo Stone and Athens' Oak House.

Roadkill Ghost Choir at The Earl, August 2013
Oak House at The Earl, January 2016
Thoth Nemesis, Black Mass, Spore Lord, Homicidal (529)


Sweetwater 420 Fest (Centennial Olympic Park)
Kid Rock headlines the Day One lineup that includes The Disco Biscuits, Cypress Hill, Lucero, Pepper, Zoogma, Paper Diamond, Illenium, and Ployd.

Cypress Hill at the Sixth Annual Atlanta Pot Festival, April 1, 1995

Esperanza Spalding (Center Stage)
Esperanza Spalding is a fine jazz bassist, but has also distinguished herself playing blues, funk, hip-hop, pop fusion, and Brazilian and Afro-Cuban styles as well. The Portland musician's recent Emily's D+Evolution is an ambitious, prog-rock infused concept album revolving around a central character named Emily, Spalding's middle name.

The SteelDrivers (Terminal West)
Sold out show by the soulful Nashville bluegrass band.

The Disco Biscuits (Terminal West)
Late-night second show of the two-night stand by trance-fusion band The Disco Biscuits, following their set at the Sweetwater 420 Fest.  Sold out.

Sister Hazel, The Georgia Flood, Christian Lopez (Variety Playhouse)
Sister Hazel is an alternative rock band from Florida, whose style blends elements of folk rock, pop, classic rock 'n' roll and southern rock. Their music is characterized by highly melodic tunes and prominent harmonies. Their song All For You was a 90s radio staple.

Rend Collective (The Tabernacle)
The Rend Collective are a modern praise and worship band out of Northern Ireland that grew out of a group of Christian friends looking for a way to bring spirituality more in line with the complexities and confusions of life in the 21st century.  A nice second helping for fans of Amanda Cook (See Thursday night)

Mother Falcon, Takenobu (The Earl)
An ambitious symphonic rock/orchestral pop collective based out of Austin and spearheaded by bandleader and founder Nick Gregg, Mother Falcon was formed in 2008. Taking a cue from other classical-minded pop artists like Sufjan Stevens, Beirut, and the Polyphonic Spree, the group eventually added members and by the time they began performing, numbered anywhere from 11 to 20 musicians on any given night. Mother Falcon quickly became a must-see event around town, playing numerous high-profile festivals and releasing a string of well-received EPs and LPs. Atlanta's Takenobu opens.

Takenobu at 529, July 2013
Funk You, The Get Right Band (Aisle 5)


Sweetwater 420 Fest (Centennial Olympic Park)
Bastille headlines the Day Two lineup that includes The Roots, Rebelution, Dawes, Maceo Parker, The North Mississippi All-Stars, AWOLNation, The Word, Tokyo Police Club, Chrome Pony, and Minnesota (the band, not the state).

Tokyo Police Club at Shaky Knees, May 10, 2014

Dawes at Shaky Knees, May 10, 2014
Leftover Salmon, Ripe (Variety Playhouse)
Official Sweetwater 420 Fest late-night show featuring Leftover Salmon, who will be playing the festival the next day.

Questlove (The Loft) 
Another Official Sweetwater 420 Fest late-night show.

Hurray For The Riff Raff, Promised Land Sound (Terminal West)
New Orleans-based indie folk outfit Hurray for the Riff Raff were formed by singer/songwriter/banjo player Alynda Lee, a Bronx-raised Puerto Rican troubadour who left home at 17 to ride the rails and eventually landed in the Big Easy. After honing her skills on the washboard with a gang of train-yard musicians called the Dead Man's Street Orchestra, she picked up the banjo that a close friend had given her and began writing her own songs. Hurray for the Riff Raff's signature blend of folk-blues and Southern gothic Americana is often rounded out by a rotating cast of accordion, guitar, organ, and musical saw players.

The Explorer's Club, Robert Schneider, Casper & the Cookies (The Earl)
The Explorers Club is a pop rock band from South Carolina whose surf rock sound has drawn comparisons to the Beach Boys.  Supporting the band will be Elephant 6 collective member Robert Schneider of Apples In Stereo.

Underøath, Caspian (The Tabernacle)
Amanda Cook fans (see Thursday night) and Rend Collective fans (see Friday night) who want their Christian rock with a harder edge should enjoy Florida's Underøath, who have evolved from a run-of-the-mill Christian metalcore band into a fluid, dynamic, and energized rock group that adeptly blends emotive melody, charged punk rock rhythms, and a chunky, engaging bottom end.

Demonic Christ, Abysmal Lord, Ritual Decay, Hegemony (529)
Probably the other end of the spiritual spectrum from the Underøath show.


Sweetwater 420 Fest (Centennial Olympic Park)
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals headline the Day Three lineup that includes Leftover Salmon, Ludacris, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Atmosphere, Manchester Orchestra, Robert DeLong, The Bright Light Social Hour, Emancipator, and Waking Astronomer.

Manchester Orchestra on a far-distant stage at Music Midtown, 2011
Margo Price (Eddie's Attic)
Country traditionalist Margo Price's recent success has set all kinds of records for album sales in a decade when sales have been low, a tribute to the success she's earned as well as the connection she's established with her new fans. Price has the sound of a timeless country singer and has captivated the music industry with her true tales of loss, struggle and redemption. Her song Hurtin' (on the Bottle) has all the heartache of a classic song

Bush, The Dose (The Tabernacle)
Bush formed in London in 1992 and found immediate success with the release of their debut album Sixteen Stone in 1994, which has been certified 6× multi-platinum and launched a string of successful singles (Glycerine, Machine Head, Everything Zen, etc.) At this point, the band probably qualify as rock royalty, and lead singer Gavin Rossdale, aka the former Mr. Gwen Stefani, remains a potent sex symbol.
Bush at Music Midtown, 1995

No comments:

Post a Comment