Wednesday, April 30, 2008

REMtrospective 1: Chronic Town

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 1:43 PM

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Title: Chronic Town (EP)

Released on: Aug. 24, 1982 (I.R.S. Records)

Favorite tracks: “Wolves, Lower,” “1,000,000”

Recently I heard Michael Stipe, Peter Buck and Mike Mills on “Fresh Air” talking about R.E.M.’s career and it reminded me of how much I like the group. That almost seems to go without saying, especially since I went to college in the 1980s. I never thought of R.E.M. as my #1 favorite 1980s band (which is more of a four-way tie with R.E.M., U2, Talking Heads and Elvis Costello), but R.E.M. was in a lot of ways the definitive band back then, both in the prevalence of their music and their influence on indie/college radio rock, especially at a Southern university.

So I’ve been inspired by blogger/screenwriter Todd Alcott's cinematic example to do a chronological, album-by-album retrospective of R.E.M., up to their new one, Accelerate, which I’ve barely heard as of this writing. (Yes, I probably should have done this back before Accelerate's release date.) Now, I’m not a rock critic and I don’t claim to have the ear or vocabulary of a musicologist. To the best of my ability, I’ll write about their sound, their songs, why they “click” and how they’ve evolved. I’ll share any tidbits I come across, and I’ll talk about how the music sounds to me now, as opposed to how the albums sounded when they came out. And I’m giving my self plenty of leeway to share memories and associations the music inspires. Feel free to join in.

Skipping over the band’s 1981 single “Radio Free Europe” (which I’ll mention with Murmur), I begin with the 1982 EP Chronic Town.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Scenes from We Fun

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 1:46 PM

For this year’s music issue, directors Chris Dortch and Matthew Robison gave CL two exclusive video clips from their upcoming Atlanta rock documentary, We Fun: Atlanta, GA Inside Out.

The first clip features yours truly waxing nostalgic about my first encounter with the Black Lips. During the interview we talked a lot about the musical climate within the first few years of millennium change. It was a different town back then. Danger Mouse was just the DJ name for Brian Burton who was churning out primitive but brilliant trip-hop with his Pelican City moniker. Scott Heron’s Prefuse 73 and Savath+Savalas were on the upswing. Richard Devine was churning out great albums and playing shows, and Cat Power was well on her way to moving mountains in New York. As a result Atlanta held a strong art house / coffee shop intelligent music scene. But when the most talented and lauded artists around town moved on to the greener pastures of NYC, the local scene just petered out. Enter the Black Lips.

I first made the Black Lips guitarist Cole Alexander’s acquaintance in the spring of 2002. There was a knock on the door that was so faint that I almost didn’t hear it. The knock came from a young and doe-eyed guitarist, Cole Alexander, who timidly offered me a copy of the Black Lips “Ain’t Coming Back” 7-inch. The photocopied sleeve was too big for the plastic outer sleeve, yet he’d managed to cram it in, paying no attention to the bends and dog-ears he caused in the process.

The record was scratched all to hell, and the b-side was even scuffed with a dusty shoe print. The four songs on this poor piece of wax were a mishmash of noisy and far-away garage rock rhythms and hiss. He was grateful that I was willing to listen to the record.

While recalling this for Dortch and Robison, I was reminded of the famous story of when Joy Division vocalist Ian Curtis met British journalist and Factory Records owner Tony Wilson. Curtis promptly called him a bastard. I got off pretty easy with the Black Lips. Nevertheless, while telling the story Dortch and Robison’s faces lit up as though I had just given them something to turn into a legend.

The second clip is footage of Bobby and the Soft Spots performing live in the basement at Rob’s House Record HQ in East Atlanta.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Chad Radford's top 10 Atlanta releases from May '07 to May '08

Posted By on Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 5:08 PM

In keeping with last year’s music issue I’ve compiled a list of my 10 favorite local releases that came down the line between May ’07 and May ’08.

If I had to single out the best Atlanta label for this year, thus far there’s no doubt that it would be Douche Master Records. But the label’s reach has extended far beyond Atlanta over the last year. Excellent singles in the DM catalogue by groups, such as Hex Error and Cheap Time, as well as the Black & White’s self-titled full-length are all worthy of note, but they don’t fit into the category of a “local release.” The one significant local release from Douche Master this year is the reissue of Carbonas’ “Black Out” single … Is it a faux paw to list reissues in the year’s best of list? I think so … But it’s worthy of an honorable mention. The “Black Out” single is a good companion to Carbonas’ third full-length, which shows a tremendous amount of growth on the group’s part. Vocalist Greg King’s voice sounds so much more controlled than it has on previous releases and the group’s grasp on tight, manic melodies in songs, like “Phone Booth” and “Ass Vogel” are so much more refined than any of the group’s previous records that it easily eclipses anything else to come out of Atlanta this year.

I also want to make a note about including the Selmanaires 7-inch in this list and not the album, The Air Salesmen. Whenever I play the CD I catch myself skipping to the tracks from the single. As soon as they’re finished I play them again, rather than letting the rest of the songs play out. For me, the single, “Just to Get Your Love” b/w “Verdigris Intrigue” are such powerful songs that they outshine the rest of the album.

So here’s my list…

Carbonas
1.) Carbonas — Carbonas (Goner Records)

2.) Atlas Sound — Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel (Kranky)

3.) Zoroaster — Dog Magic (Terminal Doom Records/Battle Kommand Records)

4.) The Black Lips — Good Bad Not Evil (Vice)

5.) Baby Shakes — “Tell Me Now,” “Baby, It's You,” “Come On, Babe” 10-inch (Rob's House Records)

6.) Anna Kramer & the Lost Cause – The Rustic Contemporary Sounds Of... (International Hits)

7.) The Coathangers – The Coathangers (Rob’s House Records)

8.) The Selmanaires — “Just To Get Your Love” 7-inch (International Hits)

9.) Noot d’ Noot – “Jiggle City” 7-inch (Solutionist)

10.) Daniel Clay – The Protestant (Self-released)

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Air Loaf

Posted By on Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 3:58 PM

Today’s Air Loaf features CL’s Chad Radford and WMLB-AM’s Max Arbes chatting about Destroyer, Jay Reatard and Earth — all playing in Atlanta this week.

Air Loaf is broadcast weekdays on 1690 WMLB-AM at approximately 8:10 a.m., 12:20 p.m. and 6:20 p.m.

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The Day Celebration hits Buckhead, GA May 8-10

Posted By on Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 3:46 PM

The Day Celebration is a charitable event taking place on May 8-10 in the real Buckhead, GA (near Madison) that benefits 5 Georgia-based charities.

The events organizers, The Fare Thee Well Foundation, are hosting The Day Celebration on an 80-acre Triple B Farm that's easily accessible from Atlanta, Athens, Augusta and Macon. The festival comes complete with a “Kids Zone,” general and RV camping, 24 hour security and lots of food and drinks. A limited number of tickets are being offered in order to promote a relaxed, intimate setting for both the artists and audience.

The site opens for camping on Thursday, May 8th at 5:00 p.m. Music kicks off at 7:00 p.m. with performances from the Dappled Grays, ToyTV, the Planet Riders, Sound Punch, Funkle Fatback and Rebecca Jean Smith.

The Lee Boys

THE LEE BOYS: Reachin' (photo by Heather Blanton)

On Friday, May 9th, gates open at 9 a.m. Music starts at noon. Performers include Bolder Monkey, Electric Codpiece, Soulhound, Big City Sunrise, Laura Reed & Deep Pocket, Donna Hopkins Band, the Lee Boys, Blueground Undergrass and the Ramblers performing the Grateful Dead’s 1981 live album, Reckoning.

On Saturday, May 10th, gates open a 9 a.m. Music starts at 11 a.m. Performers include Stop Drop & Roll, the Squirrelheads, Ralph Roddenberry Band, Deep Blue Sun, Speakeasy, Col. Bruce Hampton & The Quark Alliance and Dubconscious.

Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the following charities: Brain Tumor Foundation for Children, Inc., an Atlanta-based organization funding medical research and support for families of children with brain tumors; Georgia Coalition to End Homelessness, Inc., which funds solutions to the issues surrounding homelessness in Georgia; The Georgia Wildlife Federation, an affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation, which funds efforts to protect Georgia’s wildlife, land, water and air resources; the Dogwood Alliance, a non-profit organization made up of individuals and grass-roots organizations who are committed to protecting the endangered forests of the South; and the Humane Society of Morgan County, a volunteer driven organization dedicated to promoting the humane treatment of animals through adoption programs, reduced fee spay/neutering and community education.

Weekend passes are available for $75, and include parking, camping (three nights, starting Thursday).

Friday passes are $45.

Saturday passes are $50.

Children 12 and under get in free.

This is a rain or shine event. All sales are final. Tickets are available at www.thedaycelebration.com or by calling 877-772-5425.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Air Loaf

Posted By on Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 1:35 PM

Today’s Air Loaf features CL’s Rodney Carmichael and WMLB-AM’s Max Arbes discussing the Darfur Now College Tour. Fri., April 25. Free. Screening: 7-9 p.m. Goizueta Business School; Concert: Anthony David, DJ Drama, Janelle Monáe and Novel. 9:30 p.m. Glen Memorial, Emory Univeristy, 1300 Clifton Road. www.darfurnowtour.com/tour/atlanta.

Air Loaf is broadcast weekdays on 1690 WMLB-AM at approximately 8:10 a.m., 12:20 p.m. and 6:20 p.m.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Real Life Top Five: The Pinx

Posted By on Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 2:33 AM

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The Pinx's face-melting rock inspired by Led Zeppelin, David Bowie and the Kinks makes for one hell of a show, especially if they start spewing beer on the crowd. The trio, made up of Adam McIntyre, Joseph Giddings and Jim O'Kane, plays Vinyl Friday, April 25. Here McIntyre and Giddings list five reasons why it's better to play a rock show obliterated.

Continue reading Real Life Top Five.

(Photo courtesy of The Pinx)

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Spotlight: Mace Hibbard

Posted By on Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 10:30 PM

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Once saxophonist Mace Hibbard starts talking about his family, it's easy to understand why he's a professional instrumentalist and where his classical, rock, funk and R&B influences come from. Music is in his genes.

"My whole family is musicians," he says. "My dad is a trumpet player, my mom was an elementary and middle school music teacher, my sister's an opera singer. The way I got into music was just growing up around it."

Continue reading Spotlight.

(Photo courtesy Mace Hibbard)

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Show Preview: Mondo Homo

Posted By on Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 9:30 PM

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Are you tired of corporate sponsorship interfering with your gay-friendly activities? Would you rather see a pirate flag behind the stage during an evening of "homo-hop" instead of some big-money logos? Do you spell Queer with a capital "Q"? If so, MondoHomo Dirty South might just be your bag.

This year the second annual festival takes place Memorial Day weekend, Friday-Monday, May 23-26. But first the folks in charge have put together a sneak peak of the indie and DIY artists scheduled to celebrate queer culture's contributions to the mainstream.

Continue reading Show Preview.

(Photo by Zach Wolfe)

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Air Loaf

Posted By on Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 1:35 PM

Today’s Air Loaf features CL’s Rodney Carmichael and WMLB-AM’s Max Arbes discussing this year's music issue — dropping today!

Air Loaf is broadcast weekdays on 1690 WMLB-AM at approximately 8:10 a.m., 12:20 p.m. and 6:20 p.m.

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