The Mynah Birds were a pseudo-mythical mid '60s Toronto R&B band that included Neil Young and Rick James, but never released a record. They are the inspiration for the Mynabirds, the new solo project from singer/songwriter Laura Burhenn, a former member of gloomy indie-pop D.C. duo Georgie James. Embracing folk, soul and classic rock, Flood's production recalls former Jayhawks leader Gary Louris and Arcade Fire. But the songs live and die by Burhenn's vocals, which frequently dominate the horns, pedal steel, piano and organ. That's usually a good thing, particularly on "Let the Record Go," "Numbers Don't Lie" and "We Made a Mountain," a stomping, country-western-inspired heartbreaker worthy of Patsy Cline or Loretta Lynn. It's hard to believe the Mynah Birds sounded like this, but it doesn't matter. Burhenn has forged her own path here, and we don't need to imagine how great it is. (Saddle Creek) 4 out of 5 stars.
Within the first two minutes of Rebel Scum, a documentary film about Knoxville, Tenn.'s self-proclaimed white trash punk band, the Dirty Works, vocalist Christopher Scum lights his hair on fire in a drunken haze. Off camera, there's a scramble to put him out, but Scum simply pats out the flames with his hand while staring blankly into space. The silence is broken when the voice of director Anthony "Video Rahim" Hakmati warns that if he doesn't stop hurting himself, the filming is over. "Being in the hotel room with him while he was in this terrible state was both surreal and terrifying," recalls producer and narrator, Francis Percarpio, who co-runs Worldstorm Arts Lab with Hakmati.
$5. 10 p.m. Sat., May 8. The Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939. www.plazatheatre.com. After party with Nick Ogawa, Darling Trees, DJ and the Bear. $5. 9 p.m. Sat., May 8. Highland Inn Ballroom Lounge. 644 N. Highland Ave. 404-874-5756.
The scene is an apropos introduction to the mountainous frontman whose unbridled passions, addictions, and mental damage culminate in such songs as "Knoxville Hates Us," "Bible Belt" and "Christ Pod." The latter is a song about jailhouse religion that builds on the mantra, "No God, no religion." On stage, Scum beats himself in the head with brass knuckles, microphones and whatever else he can use to admonish his demons. Rebel Scum offers an insider's look at these grotesque, compelling scenes, shielding viewers from none of the harsh realities the film uncovers.
(Photo Courtesy Worldstorm Arts Lab)
Visual artist Fahamu Pecou keeps upping the ante. In addition to tomorrow's exhibition from his series Hard to Death: All Falls Down, he's moderating a candid conversation about black manhood. Rapper Killer Mike (aka Mike Bigga) and music photographer Shannon McCollum are two of the featured panelists.
Our distinguished panelists will question, comment and dialogue about the popularization of certain trends and social behaviors celebrated within black male culture such as "saggin." We will discuss the inherent social commentary made by this fashion statement as well as the proliferation of celebrated negative behaviors within black male youth culture.
If a local band, especially one as well-connected as the N.E.C., celebrates a record release, it seems their whole community emerges out of the woodworks to witness the miracle of new musical life. The fact that it was a free show at the Star Bar didnt hurt either, and the room steadily filled as Alabama-based openers the Dirty Lungs played their brand of driving, almost-classic pop-rock, then Atlantas own punk/punk/punk prodigy Predator treated the room to its frenetic quick-strumming and un-shy shouts. It would have been enjoyable even without the chemically-aided dancers carving out a whole in the crowd at the middle of the roombut they didnt hurt the spectacle.
Way back in January of 2009 a whole bunch of local bands who felt somewhat looked over by the hype surrounding director Matthew Robison's ATL rock doc. We Fun, band together to release a compilation dubbed We No Fun. It was a clever title -- a play on Brian Eno's seminal NYC no wave comp., No New York, and it promised a bad ass selection of songs from local bands that lived slightly to the left of cut-and-dry punk and garage rock. No malice was intended; it was just a comp. made by the bands for the bands as a gesture to untie the local DIY scene.
When the record release date came and went with no records in sight, it seemed like a business-as-usual flub up. People have record release parties with actually having the records in their hands all the time. But when weeks without records turned to months, folks just kind of stopped talking about it. Ask Hawks vocalist and comp. organizer Michael Keenan, what took so long, and he'll will rattle of a laundry list list of problems that he encountered along the way, ranging from cracked plates at the pressing plant and phone calls and e-mails being ignored to paperwork being mysteriously sent to the wrong person.
But all of this is moot now. Earlier this week while walking through Little 5 Points I bumped into Mr. Keenan, who was carrying a box of We No Fun LPs and he looked as giddy as a school girl to finally have them in-hand. He even gave us his three favorites songs from the record to post.
Vera Fang "Let's Go To Spain" mp3
Brass Castle "Sinister Thunder Bird" mp3
Retconned "Nien Ten" mp3
There were 500 records pressed, and another record release party is being planned at Criminal Records for sometime early in June, but there's no date yet.
1. Who's your all-time favorite Atlanta Brave?
Sid Bream for his amazing speed around 3rd base. Amazing. He will always be a superstar in my mind.
2. Philly cheesesteak or New York style pizza?
New York style pizza all the way. You can't beat it.
3. Who's your favorite Atlanta rapper?
C4 from Paperwork. Amazing futuristic funk/hip-hop situation.
4. When's the G'n'R tribute album coming (Welcome to the Jungol)?
As a joke we actually learned "Welcome to the Jungle" to play on New Years in 2005. But right before the show we decided not to do it, and just did a Zeppelin song instead. The headlining band actually ended up playing "Welcome to the Jungle" as their New Years song. It was pretty strange because we never even played it during sound check. They had no clue. So we knew from that point that our G'n'R tribute album probably wouldn't work out for us.
5. Tell me a vaguely racist joke.
Q: How many guys does it take to satisfy an Amish woman?
A: Two Menn-o-nite.
Jungol, It's Elephants, Living Rooms. $8. 9 p.m. The Earl, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950.
If you picked up the print version of CL this week to scan our music listings, you may have noticed something strange. They're all f'd up!
We apologize for going back in time, y'all. But somehow, instead of highlighting live music for Wed., April 28 - Tues., May 4, the printed listings flash back to July of last year. A terrible mistake, that's part-Gremlin and part-human error. (Cue the Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Heads Will Roll").
Fortunately our preview show coverage of Imaad Wasif, Megafaun and Kaki King is all up-to-date, as well as our online music and club listings. For more of the week's current music events, please visit our soundmenu critic's picks and Chad Rad's concert picks of the week. Feel free to add anything else in the comments.
ALEX CHILTON died after suffering a heart attack this year, but the prolific songwriter, best-known for co-founding Memphis power-pop luminaries Big Star, left his mark. Be it immortalized in song by the Replacements or through the dozens of albums he churned out as both musician and producer, Chilton is the patron saint of earnest pop songcraft. Local acts Anna Kramer & the Lost Cause, the Pinx, Tous Le Jours, the Young Antiques, the Goldest, the Skylarks, Johhny La Rocha and more host an entire evening honoring his legacy. Proceeds from the show will benefit the American Heart Association. $8. 9 p.m. Star Bar, 437 Moreland Ave. 404-681-9018.
While a stabby synth and breathy cadenced "aahs" attempt to dominate Pill's latest single, as usual the Old 4th Wardee's unassisted vocals command your full attention. "Ok Denn" is slated for release on the DJ Drama/Gangsta Grillz 1140: The Overdose mixtape. Read a little more about an upcoming video, or download the track from The Educated Villians. It's always nice when a guy can stop playing celebrity basketball for a minute to rhyme Living Single's "Khadijah" with "fucking seizure."
Pill "Ok Denn", prod. by Grade A Muzik
(Photo courtesy SMKA)
>> Christina Aguilera's video for "Not Myself, Tonight" is definitely a music video. No arguments there, right? We can all agree on that part, yes? Okay. Let's move on, then.
>> Kid Rock promises the CMTs will suck.
>> The Los Angeles Times profiles Screen Actors Guild, Critic's Choice, MTV, and Grammy Award winner, and Atlanta's own(!), Chris Bridges.
>> Beck's record club continues in their full-album cover of INXS's 80's pop masterpiece Kick with "Mediate."
>> Brandon Flowers will release a solo album. Really, you shouldn't have. No, really. You shouldn't have.
>> Courtney on Kimmel. If only she could release a Hole album of just her talking on late night talk shows. That I would buy.
>> Think you've got it bad? Don't worry, it could be worse. You could be the inside of Jessica Simpson's mouth.
>> If you haven't read Chuck Klosterman's excellent piece on Beck in Spin you're going to need to do that right now.
>> A closer look at Nellie McKay.
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