"All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him."
- Sun Tzu, the Art of War
In every war there comes a time to call a truce, and when the members of Attractive Eighties Women declared war on me after giving their latest CD, The Ancient Cry of the Tyrannosaur a measly 1 out of 5 stars, it was time to meet face-to-face on a battlefield of their choosing. Guitarist Christie Brinkley and frontman Phoebe Cates chose Octane Coffee. In the past I have described AEW as being equal parts Lenny Bruce impious humor-made-local, and the power-trash jams of the Replacements circa 83, but the first part isn't quite right. These guys are more like Andy Kaufman meets the Mats at the dog end of a three-day amphetamine-fueled performance art bender. They don't mind speaking their minds about their disdain for rock critics, communists and worst of all pandas.
Chad Radford: Thank you for meeting me today.
Christie Brinkley: Thank you. I brought you this statue of a King-Fu Master out of respect for what you do, and for meeting us here today. It's a gift from us as a gesture of respect for you meeting us. But I also cut of his left hand as a warning and to remind you of our disapproval of the album review that you wrote of our new record.
Phoebe Cates: We do that for critics who give us bad reviews. We even wrote a song about the coward Jeff Clark, but it's not a nice song. You made the right decision to come and speak with us today. I looked at your review of our new record online and it had 17 comments. The only other thing that had any comments was something about Dallas Austin, and he only had two comments. That's a pretty accurate percentage of how much more popular we are than Dallas Austin, which if you do the math it works out to about 13,000% more popular. So as you see we are a band that gets people talking and that gets people excited.
Chad Radford: I heard your song about Jeff Clark...
PC: You mean "the coward Jeff Clark" of Stomp & Stammer?
CR: What did he do to you?
PC: He had some pretty derogatory things to say about our band and my chosen occupation, and I felt that it was a bit above and beyond to go after a man's job in an album review.
CR: What's that?
PC: I am an animatrix, and not only did he dislike our album, but he disliked the show that I work on and felt the need to mention that in the review. I used to work on a show called Frisky Dingo, but it has since been canceled by the Cartoon Network.
CB: Yeah, and Jeff has a lot of pull in this town and I can only speculate, but he might have had something to do with it getting canceled...
CR: I also heard a song where you said something about Preston Craig. I kind of liked the hyper-local angle of your songs.
PC: That's what gets a reaction from our audiences. We don't play anywhere else - maybe 4 or 5 shows outside of Georgia each year.
CB: We all have full-time jobs so it's hard for us to get out on the road, and we never had aspirations to be anything but big in our home town.
PC: Like Adam's House Cat, they only wanted to be big in their home town in Alabama, but the guy went on to be in the Drive-By Truckers, so that's kind of like us...
CR: Right, well I just didn't like the record...
PC: And that's fine with us, because you aren't our target demographic.
CR: Who is?
PC: Seventeen year old boys who like to drink beer and party.
CB: ...People who aren't as smart as you, and we could tell by reading your review that you are a dick.
PC: Right, and we don't want any dicks listening to our music, only cool bros, and if any dicks show up to our show at the Earl they will be barred entry by the dude with the dreadlocks who works there.
CR: How will you be able to spot a dick at the door?
PC: We'll just give the guy a picture of you and the coward Jeff Clark and say if these guys or anyone who looks remotely similar to these guys try to get in, you can kick their asses.
CR: Can Preston Craig go?
PC: He can come because he's not a dick. I think of him more as a hipster douchebag.
CB: Yes, a very lovable hipster douchebag.
CR: What's the difference?
PC: Douche bags generally mean well.
CB: Why don't you ask us about our art?
CR: Tell me about your art.
PC: Our art has only one goal, and any art is created with a goal in mind and that is to provoke a reaction from the viewer or listener, whether it's to make a political statement or whatever, and our art has one goal and that is to get people partying, get people drunk and get people making bad decisions. Those are the three tenants of our art. It's like how Hulk Hogan has his 'say your prayers, eat your vitamins and train hard.' Our is drink hard, party hard, and throw up if you need to.
CB: ...and vitamins the next morning.
PC: B vitamins are best if you're going to drink hard.
CR: Why is that?
PC: I don't know, do I look like a scientist to you?
PC: I think I read it on the internet where all of the truth is. I think I read it on Snopes.com, or maybe at Creative Loafing, I can't remember.
CR: Let's talk about your album...
CB: I think that Ancient Cry of the Tyranasaur is probably the best record ever to come not only out of Atlanta, but out of the United States of America. No one - maybe Mastodon, but no one else could even begin to compete with our guitar solos. Nothing they have done quite gets to where we are, but they're working on it. Kelly McGillis and myself are probably the best guitar players in Atlanta, but I keep seeing reviews that say we don't know how to play our instruments and it makes me angry.
PC: Right, and i think it's safe to say that we really are the best band playing in Atlanta today.
CR: Maybe I just don't get it.
CB: You are too smart to get it.
PC: There are probably other factors going into you not getting it as well.
CB: It's probably a cultural thing.
PC: Where are you from?
PC: Well, we've come to a conclusion right there.
CB: Right, you are a white male, probably in your 30s and you come from a middle class background in the Midwest.
PC: If you want to get our album and understand what it's all about you have to be swamp wise. It's a state of mind best described in Okefenokee Joe's song "Swamp Wise." Okefenokee Joe had a dog named Swampie, and he had a cat named Skeeter, and the three of them lived together in the Okefenokee swamp, but Swampie the dog was not as swamp wise as he needed to be and he got ate up by a gator.
CB: Phoebe is actually from the swamps of Southeast Georgia.
PC: That's true. I come from the swamp and I consider myself to be quite swamp wise and if you listen to our album and you are swamp rise you will probably get it. And what's really funny is that in your review you said to save your money and don't buy the CD, but go to the show instead. But guess what! People don't have to choose. If you pay to get into the show you get a free copy of the CD with admission!
CR: Have you waged war on other people besides me and Jeff Clark?
CB: No, we are largely peace loving people.
PC: That's not really true Steve, I mean Christie. We are currently waging war on the Sweetwater Brewery and Jake's Ice Cream. We are boycotting them and we encourage others to do the same because they are trying to raise money and save the pandas in the Atlanta zoo, and prevent them from having to go back to their Communist motherland. And if there is one thing that you need to know about Attractive Eighties Women, aside from how awesome we are, is that we hate pandas.
CR: I am familiar with your song "Pandamonium." What is your beef with pandas?
PC: This is a capitalist nation and we don't need these communist pandas taking ll of our tourists money! When you send a little innocent child to the zoo to see lions and giraffes and expect them to learn about capitalism by paying to see these animals. But when they see how well these pandas are living, with all of the bamboo they can eat in a plush environment... who pays for that? The sweat of the Chinese workers who are stitching our shoes together, that's who's paying for these pandas to live in such plush environs, and they're just teaching our children that communism is a superior economic system for our country. Anyone who wants them here, like Sweetwater Brewery and Jake's ice cream, well... they should leave too -- I don't want to say that they are supporting Nazi/communist policies in our government, but I'm not not saying it either...
CB: Well said.
Attractive Eighties Women host their CD release party for The Ancient Cry of the Tyrannosaur at The Earl on Sat., Aug. 29. The Bearfoot Hookers & Tendaberry open. $8. 9 p.m. 488 Flat Shoals Rd. 404-522-3950.
Also, the night before the show at the Earl (Fri., Aug. 28) AEW will appear at Criminal Records to play a free in-store performance at 7:30 p.m.
(Top photo by Chad Radford. Bottom Photo by Josh Meister)
great band good style LOUD.!
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