Backstage Pass

Friday, June 13, 2008

Live from Bonnaroo: Random pisser steals the show

Posted By on Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 8:00 PM


VAMPIRE WEEKEND: From far away

Overheard at Bonnaroo: "Some guy in VIP was talking about how, like, he got to take free showers, and I was like 'Well, I shower every four days anyway.'" — Girl behind me in line.

Day one of Bonnaroo started at 4 a.m. and ended at about 1 a.m., and the in-between times were filled with a healthy mix of music, sitting in a car and public urination.

Allow me to explain.

Once we actually got to Bonnaroo and got our tent set up (which only took about seven hours total — proof that God smiles on CL and all its endeavors), the first order of bidness was checking out the opening-day lineup. Superdrag was the first band I caught, which was strangely appropriate — between Metallica, Pearl Jam, Chris Rock and Janeane Garofalo, acts I liked in the 9th grade are making a big comeback at Bonnaroo this year.

I'm not as familiar with Superdrag's new stuff, which they played a lot of (and which underwhelmed me, frankly), but anything off their 1996 release "Regretfully Yours" was absolute audio gold.

We skipped MGMT and most of Battles (who we heard the last part of while waiting in line, and it sounded awesome and I wish I could have been more adjacent to the stage) for two trips to the comedy tent, which was a hard decision, but one that paid off in two big ways:

1) The comedy tent was air-conditioned.

2) I saw a really drunk guy urinate on two rows of people in front of him.

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Live from Bonnaroo: Decisions, decisions...

Posted By on Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 6:35 PM


My life is hard.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Less shock, more rock: Mack Messiah’s showman ruins the show

Posted By on Wed, May 28, 2008 at 5:45 PM

Maybe you have to be high or just extremely intoxicated to enjoy a Kenny Crucial performance. Unfortunately, I was neither of these things when I saw Mack Messiah at the Drunken Unicorn on Wednesday, May 21.

Despite his status as a local music icon, there was nothing profound or amazing about Crucial’s performance, and his attempts to be the intense rock star figure made him look insane, and not in a good, crazy rock and roll way. A heavy air of unease jostled everyone in the room. The typical hipsters were there, coolly sipping their PBR’s, only this time they were clutching them tightly with fear. Instead of dancing to the music they looked confused and uncomfortable, shifting from side to side, trying unsuccessfully to nod their heads to the Casio beat.

Looks of sheer disbelief and confusion spread throughout the room as Crucial resembled a deranged mole from the “Whac-a-Mole” game at Chuck E. Cheese … the one you’re supposed to bop with a mallet. Veins bulging and eyes wide, instead of popping out of a hole, he was popping up and down behind his music stand.

The music was not bad, and I actually enjoyed myself more when Crucial wasn’t screaming/singing. Their sound was a mutant hybrid of glam rock, psychedelic pop, and I would assume funk since one of the songs was titled “Funky Like Your Daddy.” It would have been fun and easy to dance to if everyone wasn’t so focused on Crucial, wondering what crazy thing he was going to do next. The saving grace of the performance was 18-year-old bass, keytar and omnicord player Monika Julien, who stood out even above the supposedly legendary Crucial. Julien met Crucial at the South by Southwest music conference in Austin. According to her, the two hit it off and soon began practicing together. Wednesday was the first time Julien had performed with Mack Messiah, but she has been a member of local experimental hardcore band When Rocky Beat the Russian for about a year now.

Fiercely hunched over while playing her omnichord, Julien was really into what she was doing and it was obvious through her prevailing sound and the modest smile on her face. Not modest at all, Crucial was really into what he was doing as well; however, he was obviously more into himself. Instead of a modest smile, he screamed at the audience and ended the show with his fists pumping in the air shouting, “Bow to me!”

Red faced and eyes full of rage, he no longer resembled the deranged but harmless Chuck E. Cheese mole. In fact, he suddenly looked more like the devil himself and after that little escapade, the band might best be served by calling itself Mack Lucifer.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

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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Friday, March 21, 2008

Psychedelic Horseshit and Times New Viking at Eyedrum

Posted By on Fri, Mar 21, 2008 at 5:42 PM


TIMES NEW VIKING: Who needs a keyboard stand when you've got a bucket of paint and a box of vinyl records? (All photos by Chad Radford.)

From the days of Pere Ubu and Devo on through Brainiac and Guided By Voices, middle Ohio has long been a fertile breeding ground for skewed hybrids of art-damaged punk and pop sounds.

Two trios from Columbus, Oh., Psychedelic Horseshit and Times New Viking passed through town last night to uphold the Buckeye state’s tradition at Eyedrum. After opening sets from Atlanta acts Tree Creature and Gold Painted Nails, as well as Sydney, Australia-based duo Naked On the Vague, Psychedelic Horseshit played a ramshackle set with drums and keyboards balanced on paint-splattered buckets.

On record, both Psychedelic Horseshit and Times New Viking shroud their respectively short, lobbed songwriting in a haze of lo-fi fuzz. At Eyedrum, the noise factor was an equalizer that served as a booster for both bands' secretly catchy melodies.

Most notable was the transformation that came over TNV. The group’s recently released third full-length (and first for Matador Records), titled Rip It Off, sounds like it was recorded on a boom box. But when played live, the scratchy fidelity of each song melts away to reveal a wealth of rapid fire drumming and immediately catchy hooks.

The album is by no means a hard sell, but live the songs are propulsive, fun and much more compelling.



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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Real Life: Die Slaughterhaus record sleeves

Posted By on Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 6:35 PM

(Ryan Androus)


Record sleeves aren't just about packaging, but impact. When done right, they can propel a band to another level. Mark Naumann, who has run local DIY output Die Slaughterhaus Records since 2001, shares his top five DSH record sleeves.


Continue reading Real Life. 

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Podcast: Gordon Lightfoot singing contest

Posted By on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 at 9:21 PM

Thank you to everyone who participated in our first and last annual Gordon Lightfoot Singing Contest.

The response was overwhelming.

OK, maybe overwhelming isn't the word. It was whelming. Six people participating — seven if you count the backing vocalist on the last call.

Click here to listen to five CL readers and two CL staffers singing the songs of Gordon Lightfoot.

I'm not sure who's getting the tickets. I called three winners, but none have called me back yet. My great-grandfather used to tell me, "Andisheh, never trust a fan of Canadian folk-rock." I finally know what he meant.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Monterey Jazz Festival meets cool reception in Atlanta

Posted By on Tue, Feb 12, 2008 at 10:05 PM

It's no huge secret that the best jazz is usually found in intimate settings.

The romantic ideal -- finding a burning tenor player at 2 in the morning in a smoky, hole-in-the-wall jazz club, whose playing transcends mere notes and rhythms -- may well be the best way to hear jazz, but the music has also flourished in concert halls, university venues and outdoor festivals. Plenty of inspired moments have been heard in these larger arenas, and pianist Benny Green and saxophonist James Moody have both been awe-inspiring when performing in a football stadium in Idaho.

The musicians were joined by singer Nnenna Freelon, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, bass player Derrick Hodge and drummer Kendrick Scott Friday at Symphony Hall for a tour celebrating 50 years of the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Unfortunately for the musicians, something seemed cold about the room, and none of them were quite able to piece together snippets of inspiration into a cohesive set.

The octogenarian Moody, with ample comic support from Green, launched into his puckish singing routine "Benny's From Heaven," to uproarious applause. And Hodge joined Freelon for a delicate and swinging duet on "Skylark," but these moments were too few. Blanchard closed the concert with readings from his Grammy-winning rumination on New Orleans.

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Jaspects, Janelle Monae, Proton equal 'Perfect Attendance'

Posted By on Tue, Feb 12, 2008 at 9:54 PM


YOUNG, BLACK AND WEIRD: Hollyweerd rocks the Drunken Unicorn.

(Photos by Hannibal M.)

"We on some black hipster shit in here!" announced Wil May, host for the hip-hop showcase "Perfect Attendance." Yes, it's true: Atlanta's black hipsters are back and in full force. For the past several months, they've been organizing concerts and parties with the fervor of punk rock bands. Rarely a week goes by without a show featuring either Proton, Gripplyaz or Hollyweerd. Typically, all three were on the Perfect Attendance lineup.

Perfect Attendance was held at the Drunken Unicorn Friday, Feb. 8. It was presented by Fadia Kader's Come Up Kids crew, and much of the two-hour showcase featured Jaspects as both lead performer and backing band. Several of the scene's players were either performing or were in the audience, including Battery 5, Kid Kaos and others. Perfect Attendance was just the latest of dozens of events seeking to inflate the ATL hip-hop buzz to record levels, but it was as good an opportunity as any to see what the hype was all about.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tittsworth & Klever rock MJQ

Posted By on Wed, Dec 12, 2007 at 6:24 PM


DJ KLEVER (LEFT) AND TITTSWORTH: Don't stop believin'.

(photos copyright the Midnight Socialite)

After turning the Royal from a second-string contestant for celebrity photo-ops into a favored hangout for Atlanta's '80s babies, Sloppy Seconds has moved to MJQ, and will now happen there the second Saturday of every month. Last Saturday, Dec. 8, event svengali Caleb Gauge brought his star client, DJ Klever (whom he manages), and Washington, D.C.'s Tittsworth for the first installment. The two turntablists party rocked on four Serato-powered turntables, and flew from Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" to Three 6 Mafia's "Stay Fly."

Freelance party photographer the Midnight Socialite, whom Rodney Carmichael spoke to for CL's Oct. 4 issue, took a few photos of the party. Check out the flicks below, and then visit the Midnight Socialite's website for an extended look at his work.

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