Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A. Grimes drops 'M.I.L.F.' single

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 8:20 AM

Late last night A. Grimes dropped a new single via Band Camp, called “M.I.L.F.” It’s the first new song they’ve released in a minute, and it’s also their first new material to be unveiled since the group has become reacquainted with its old bass player, Gage Gilmore. The song brings the same kind of warped, carnival-esque hell ride to the table that has come to define the group’s sound since they released the Malt Liquor Fantastrophe EP back in December. Check it out.

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Chris Garneau leaves his comfort zone

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 8:01 AM

Musician Chris Garneau wrote the score and will perform in FILTER at Ferst Center April 2
  • Musician Chris Garneau wrote the score and will perform in FILTER at Ferst Center April 2
High school seniors don't pick a “Boy Least Likely to Dance on Stage” in their yearbooks, but if they did I bet Chris Garneau would have won. Like a lot of contemporary singer-songwriters, there's something very still about him. He performs seated at the piano, songs so intimate and personal that his not-unpowerful voice often fades into a whisper or lifts into a childlike falsetto. He's known for bringing a vintage lamp to place on the piano and light the show, forming a small, warm, protective bubble: stationary, homelike, fixed. He seems to suggest the opposite of dance.

It's somewhat surprising then to find Garneau a central figure in the dance performance FILTER on-stage at the Ferst Center this weekend. The world-renowned choreographer Jonah Bokaer chose Garneau to create the score for the work, and as the piece evolved, Bokaer began to incorporate Garneau's presence more and more, even bringing him out from behind the instruments and onto the stage. It's an unusual and challenging change for any musician whose performances don't normally incorporate a lot of movement. We caught up with Garneau to talk about composing his first score for dance, navigating a multi-disciplinary collaboration, and stepping outside his comfort zone to move around on stage with some of the world's best dancers.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cut Copy's magic door at the Masquerade

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Music makes the people come together. I forgot who said that (cough), but they must have been talking about the Cut Copy concert last night at the Masquerade. Along with gays, hipsters and flower children, bros (and I mean buh-roes) surrounded on all fronts. But the dudes brought the audiences to a whole new rowdy level. A group of douchey guys from Clemson drove two hours from South Carolina to get to the Atlanta show, and while they were most definitely hopped up on Adderall, I had to admire this swing in pop culture: No longer is it uncool for frat boys to listen to dance music. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? Definitely undecided on that one.

Cut Copy is the dancey band from Australia who turned down Lady Gaga's offer to open on her latest tour. That takes some balls. The band had just come from Miami, which they declared as very "cheesy." Atlanta was more their speed, they said, and this Masquerade stop was the best date on their statewide tour in years. True or not, everyone ate it up.

Onstage was a giant white door, one you'd find in a big stack at Home Depot. A concert-goer even commented about how cheap it looked. But half-way through the set, the door magically changed to an LED screen with the bluest sky. Later it was a floating nightstand with a lamp and other household objects on it. What does this all mean? Is it some sort of portal to a danceable universe of Lights and Music? Yes, I'd say it is.

While the stage show didn't have the theatrics of Royksopp, lead singer Dan Whitford had a more fire-and-brimstone approach. Each song was accompanied by his commanding hand movements, what I imagine Depeche Mode must have performed like. A few seizuring lights behind the band made them look like superstars. The group didn't dance much, instead just looking awkward on stage. The audience more than made up for it, though, with two crowd surfers appearing toward the end of the show. To me, it doesn't matter whether audiences or the band brings the energy. As long as there are Lights and Music, everyone's in for a fun time.

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Big K.R.I.T., a ghost of Southern hip-hop's past, returns with 4eva

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 4:44 PM

According to Wikipedia, Big K.R.I.T. is 24 years old. But he looks like an old man when he's onstage rapping, almost like he's been here before. Last night, the Meridian, Miss. native and Atlanta resident celebrated the release of his new mixtape, Return of 4eva (the follow-up to last year's amazing K.R.I.T. Wuz Here), with a listening party at Tree Sound Studios located way out on Peachtree Industrial Blvd. You can tell a lot about an artist's trajectory by the size and status of the crowd he draws to these sort of things. The makeup of this particular crowd wasn't "industry" or "in-the-streets," but more in-the-know. The place was packed on a Monday night with local tastemakers and scene stalwarts (Bem Joiner, Fort Knox), artists and DJs (4-Ize, Señor Kaos, DJ Rasta Root, DJ Dibiase), music bloggers/journalists/documentarians (Maurice Garland, 3 Little Digs, That Retail Chick Desiree Williams, Motion Family), and a slew of word-of-web attendees mouthing words to songs that had only recently been leaked. (Return of 4eva was officially released for download last night.)

The listening party was scheduled for 7 p.m.-10 p.m., but like any party where the food is free and the courtesy drinks are flowing, time was relative. When K.R.I.T. finally came out of hiding and took the stage with his partner and hype-man for the night Big Sant, it was well past 10.

"Y'all thought we wasn't gonna perform tonight, huh?" Big Sant said in the mic after they performed the opening cut "My Sub" — a song designed to maximize subwoofer bass, and dedicated, by K.R.I.T., "to all my people that ride subs, amps, tweeters and shit."

Much has been written about K.R.I.T.'s ability to mine the seemingly bygone tenets of Southern hip-hop while simultaneously creating something both familiar and authentic (which has to be about as hard as coming up with a new recipe for fried chicken). It can be heard in how he stresses his vowels similarly to deceased king of all things trill, Pimp C, but also in the way that he romanticizes the celebrated traditions of the culture (with his affinity for subwoofer bass and genuine pimp talk) to tell his own story without succumbing to stale clichés.

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Abby Gogo signs with Pretty Ambitious

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 4:15 PM

After returning from this year's SXSW showcase Atlanta psych. rock foursome Abby Gogo has signed on with Pretty Ambitious Records to release the follow up to last year’s self-titled debut for Double Phantom.

The first order of business with the new label is to get a 7-inch released this fall, followed by the new album.

"We're just trying something new," says singer and guitarist Bon Allinson. "Those girls are go getters and they've got a lot of experience with promo and college radio and just the business side of things in general," he adds. "They had our back in Texas and as a label I think they'll get the job done."

In the meantime Abby Gogo is set to open for the Black Angels at Masquerade on Fri., April 1, and will also headline the Pretty Ambitious stage at the Tunes from the Tombs Oakland Cemetery Fundraiser on Sat., May 21.

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Tracklist: Rolling in the covers

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Comes with mp3.
  • Comes with mp3.
>> The Pains of Being Pure At Heart made a Weezer video for "The Heart in Your Heartbreak." Thanks, Weezer.

>> Don't worry, Beyonce has only parted ways with her father on a business level. She still loves him like a fired manager.

>> Get your own hit song, John Legend. Just kidding, guy! You sound great.

>> Steven Tyler to make gross creepy music with his daughter.

>> NPR makes an LCD Soundsystem namecheck mix.

>> BlueBeat pays big-time for The Beatles.

>> In Britney Spears news, slow everything day at The LA Times?

>> AV Club looks back on important Pearl Jam.

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Trench Party embraces Casio-fi with Vacation

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 1:12 PM

  • Photo by Noah Orisich

Trench Party crooner Jake Cook has a new 8-song mini album titled Vacation floating around the Internet this week. This time around Cook approaches his craft a bit differently in that he's plugged a Casio keyboard straight into a USB port on a PC laptop and just started playing. The result is a collection of new songs that are about as far away from the folk/singer-songwriter sound as he could possibly get, and it's a big change. There’s an element of pure pop and R&B going on in songs like “You Are The Perfect Tool,” “Baby That’s A Fact” and “Do The Nuclear Bomb.”

Each one comes together with an air of minimalism, which actually adds a little more weight to Cook’s woozy songwriting. Is this lo-fi? Kind of, but not really. It has an air of spontaneity to it, but we’re talking about a computer here, so there’s no tape his or anything effecting the songs. But there is some kind of unique quality to the recording. The vocals are dry and the slightest bit of reverb on the piano draws out a pure, untainted, and virtually unproduced sound. I guess you would call this Casio-fi.

Download Vacation

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Robert Spano gives 'Lecture on Nothing' the silent treatment

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 11:06 AM

“Structure without life is dead, life without structure is unseen.” — John Cage, "Lecture on Nothing"

“I am here and there is nothing to say,” begins John Cage's Lecture on Nothing, which was performed Friday night by Atlanta Symphony Orchestra music director Robert Spano at Emerson Concert Hall in Emory University's Schwartz Center for Performing Arts.

Born in 1912, John Cage was the most famous and influential composer of the American musical avant garde movement during the latter twentieth century, his ideas touching not only music, but philosophy, social theory, visual art and performance art. Cage died in 1992, but his work continues to influence younger generations. (Sonic Youth covered music by Cage on their 1999 album SYR4, and last December the Cage Against the Machine rendition of 4'33” hit No. 21 on the British pop singles charts.)

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Neon Christ doc. needs your help

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 4:11 PM

All Alone Together: Neon Christ and Atlanta Hardcore is a documentary film by director Edgar Johnson about the Atlanta hardcore punk scene in the early ‘80s. More specifically it’s about the band Neon Christ, which, even though they weren’t the first hardcore band in Atlanta (DDT and AVOC predated them by just a little bit), is unarguably the most memorable ATL hardcore act of the Reagen era. It was also the band in which vocalist/guitarist and current Alice in Chains frontman William DuVall’s songwriting really started taking shape.

The film will also examine the socio-political elements that gave rise to bands like Neon Christ, and how punk and hardcore have changed over the last 30+ years.

But of course none of this can happen without money and the film’s producers have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $6,500 to fund the project. The band is giving away some pretty interesting items to donors, such as their posthumous Neon Christ 2x7-inch that was released in 1990 (for a $100 donation). They’re also giving away DuVall's black ESP guitar (signed of course), which was used during the 2008 Neon Christ reunion show at the Treehouse, and has also been used onstage and in the studio with Alice in Chains. But that takes a donation of a cool $2k.

The film is still under production, but judging by the interviews with the youngsters in the trailer (above) All Alone Together seems to be taking a que from Penelope Spheeris' style, albeit less jagged.

Regardless, if punk rock changed your life your probably going to want to give 'til it hurts.

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Featureless Ghost debuts 'Take It Out' single via Altered Zones

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Earlier today Altered Zones debuted a new single from Featureless Ghost called "Take It Out."

The song is the A-side of a digital 7-inch that was released via their Band Camp page today. The B-side is an even more experimental self-titled cut. Both songs harness the fried aesthetics of distressed VHS fidelity to mine a serene, avant-garde pop sound that's lying in the naturally occurring noises, textures and distortions of the medium, and it's incredibly pleasing, particularly the B-side.

A new video for "Brain Dive" appeared on their site recently as well, and if you like what you've heard so far you may want to hit it up.

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