Although there are seemingly few firsts that a legitimate punk icon can achieve in 2013, the debut solo art show by Eric Goulden, better known as Wreckless Eric, will be unveiled tonight (Fri., Nov. 1) at Upstairs and to the Left, an art space inside Decatur's Brick Store Pub. The show, titled Paintings by an Antique Pop Musician, is curated by local art dealer, collector, and agent Shawn Vinson (Vinson Art). Tonight's opening will include a live solo performance by Goulden at the New Street Studio.
According to Goulden, Atlanta musician, former Wreckess Eric collaborator, and art collector Clay Harper first suggested the show, and encouraged Goulden and Vinson to become Facebook friends. Working with musicians is nothing new for Vinson, who had already curated an art show locally for Billy Childish. For Goulden, art is an old passion that has been rekindled through his D.I.Y. approach to music. Like numerous others from U.K. punk's "Class of 1977," Goulden was an art school student who put painting on the back burner when he rose to pop stardom, alongside fellow Stiff Records originals like Elvis Costello and Ian Dury.
Say goodbye to Brittany Bosco.
No, the Savannah-born, Atlanta-based singer/promoter/bandleader/all-around creative person isn't leaving town in the foreseeable future. She would, however, like her audience to leave notions of the artist she used to be in the past. These days, Bosco - who hit the scene in 2008 with her debut EP, The Spectrum - is all about that "new new": a new way of presenting herself to the world, a new approach to handling the business of music, and most importantly, brand new music.
The first salvo in this cavalcade of freshness started in September when she dropped the vibey, almost transcendental new single "Black Book." And the movement continues today (Halloween, of all days) as she unveils her latest track, "Slippin," produced by her homies in the NEVR crew. (Scroll down to hear the track.)
To get details about all this newness, we recently sat down and chatted up Bosco in the flesh.
So what is the impetus behind this "rebranding," of sorts, that you are undergoing?
Brittany Bosco: I'm just really reintroducing myself to people. I think I'm at a point where I've matured as an artist, and that I'm a little bit more seasoned. Now I can re-present myself ... [I'm not] abandoning what happened, but I am putting to rest my past, my earlier projects. Because I feel that [my older work] wasn't necessarily the best representation of myself; I was still growing and developing as a singer, as a student, as a daughter, as an artist in general. I feel like now, I'm a little bit more grounded and focused.
Sure, the official job title for Jorel "JFly" Flynn is "drummer," but he's more than just your average sideman. When he's not traveling around the globe banging on snares and cymbals, JFly helms a youth-centered nonprofit organization (the How Big Is Your Dream?! Foundation), coordinates his own music festival (the aptly named JFly Music Fest, which takes place in his hometown of Waycross, Ga., this Saturday) and more. JFly gave us the lowdown on what he's got cooking.
So what does your schedule look like these days? Who are you playing and/or touring with?
JFly: Well actually what I've been able to do, which makes me work with a lot more people, is do more of an independent drummer thing, as opposed to being tied with one band. Currently, I'm with Bobby Brown, Peabo Bryson, and I've done the New Edition stuff ... and with people like Alex Buyon and Jeff Lorber from time to time.
What you may not know is that Journey doesn't consider its best days to be behind them. Not that this should be a complete surprise, given the unbridled optimism of its most popular anthem.
"That's the great thing about Journey," says drummer Deen Castronovo, who joined the band in 1998 following the departures of Perry and drummer Steve Smith. "We can be what we want to be and grow as musicians. It's nice, instead of just being stuck in the moment."
Kyle Swick - former booker of the space and still constant volunteer - gave me the low down on what's happening there and why that concrete basement is so vital for Atlanta's music scene.
What's your role at the Wonderroot show space?
I book most of the shows, in addition to coordinating details between bands and handling some promotional duties. You can also find me running the soundboard at 90% of WonderRoot's shows.
Do you play in any bands that perform at WonderRoot?
Yes, I play in Places To Hide. WonderRoot has actually been host to a majority of the shows we've played. It's our preference to play in low-key settings like WonderRoot and show-houses. We're actually having our record release show at Wonderroot on May 25, and we couldn't be more excited about it!
What function do you see the space providing?
The show space at WonderRoot is 100% DIY, volunteer-run, and one of the few all-ages venues in Atlanta. It serves as a haven for both touring and local acts, a place to perform and grow without having to worry about all the corporate-minded venue regulations, and pressure for ticket sales, and lop-sided payouts, etc.
Two middle-aged men walk into a rock club. The slim one with the receding hairline, wearing a gray cardigan sweater, white button-down shirt, thin necktie, and wiry spectacles, looks like Mister Rodgers' step-brother. His companion, sporting a mop of wavy brown hair that deducts a handful of birthdays from his 52 years, clad in a dark olive sport coat, dark shirt, blue jeans and brown leather clogs, could easily pass for an English Lit professor slumming with his students on a no-school night. The two men quietly confer for several seconds before stepping onto the slightly raised wooden stage and sitting down behind their instruments.
In front of Mr. Rogers' half-brother is a Theremin, an electronic instrument of Russian invention dating from the 1920s, best known for creating the creepy Sirens-of-the-sea sounds in '50s-era sci-fi films. The English Lit professor positions his hands a few inches above a lap steel guitar, considering his options. The electric lap steel is both a product of the same era of experimentation as the Theremin and historically associated with country-and-western and certain types of Hawaiian music. Like the Theremin to his right, the Professor's instrument is hooked up to a laptop computer. Peering at the screen, he slides his finger on the scroll pad, making a last-minute adjustment. Leaning forward, he intones into the stage mike, "Good evening. I'm Frank Schultz and this is Scott Burland. We are Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel."
Scott Burland was born in 1962 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He graduated from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston in 1985, and moved to Atlanta in 1990. Today, when he's not waving his hands around a theremin, he's filling prescriptions behind the pharmacy counter at Kroger.
"I took organ lessons from age six to twelve, and learned a lot of Bach, but I hardly had any interest in playing during my adolescent and early teens," Burland says.
With a pop inspired sound that owes more to the Ramones than the proto-hardcore approach of contemporaries like the Germs, the Zeros have consistently won over young fans of punk and powerpop since its initial run ended in 1980, due partly to a string of collectable releases by Bomp Records. At the Mess-Around, fans both young and old will see the band play with current acts they likely inspired, including Puerto Rican punks Las Ardillas and Los Vigilantes. "The Zeros are a great band and we caught wind of them being back together a few years ago," said Triple D's Damon Hare, one of the Mess-Around's promoters. "We tried to get them in 2011, but it just couldn't work that time. We finally made it happen, and we're lucky to have a first wave West Coast punk band be a part of it this year."
Las Ardillas and Los Vigilantes, touring the states together since March promoting both bands' latest Slovenly Records seven-inches, wrap up their tour at the Mess-Around. Since they have to fly here to play shows, both bands tend to map out lengthy tours, including festival dates, whenever they are in the states. "We're suicidal with the tours," said Jota Vigilante, his band's guitarist and vocalist. "It's a Puerto Rican thing. Davila 666 did it the same way."
It's easy to listen Red Sea's debut EP, Weird Problem, way too much. At work. In the van on tour. In friends' rooms. On the road in strangers' living rooms when they ask "what's good coming out of Atlanta?" Their songs are riddles, ones not easily unraveled, and below are some images and words from a walk I took with three of them - Stephen Luscre, Mick Mayer, and Kyle Sherrill - through a splendid afternoon in Little Five Points. Skip around, choose your own adventure and go see them soon.
Moreland Avenue - dodging traffic and talking coffee shops. Starbucks has a public bathroom, and Patrick, the one Red Sea member not present, has to clean it. I live the scary surprise of cleaning a bathroom in L5P once a week. It poses questions I don't want the answers to: How did we go through two mega rolls of toilet paper but only 15 paper towels? What position does a person stand in to make that end up there? When we're not determining the anti-gravity properties of a Lil' 5 number 2, we're up front at Aurora Coffee, listening to Weird Problems wiggle through the speakers and trying to figure out how they put together this record we like so much.
Waves of green grass in Freedom Park and a sea of pillow-fighting goofballs. Mick starts chatting, "We've got ideas Kyle has been talking about," as Kyle brings out The Changing of the Avant Garde, an oversized book with what looks like an '80s swimming pool floating over a mountain range on its cover. "We got it from Kudzu," Kyle says as pages turn and images of buildings juxtaposed on top of each other sprawl out from between the covers. I've never been to Kudzu. Steven says it has good records. Kyle lets me know it's full of Mom knickknack B.S.
Your standard abstract artist will take an apple and paint it melting in space or make it the head of an elephant's body. Shitty Bedford takes that apple, wraps it in tinfoil and starts microwaving it full blast while screaming out saxophone solos over the sparks. And he'll usually be playing the horn behind his back with a handmade mask of your worst and favorite nightmare from third grade sitting atop his head. The music will end, the apple will melt, the mask will speak an unknown language and you'll be a true believer. I needed that type of Shitty vibe and was glad to sit down and ruminate on cats (they'll do what they do) and dogs (if you give them love they'll stay by your side and out of the dumpster) and past shows (that's the one where you lit everything on fire inside of an aquarium while the whole room screamed "HOT SHIT!"). We talked all things Shitty. My heart was lifted considerably.
On new shit: Dead Man's Underwear, Bedford's new-ish band that's performing this Saturday (January 5) at 529, playing electronic versions of old Shitty songs. "I became inspired by Ostrich Von Nipple's making a really amazing cover album of my old music." (Everyone/everything surrounding Shitty is perfectly named). The perfectly named record in question: Ostrich Von Nipple Plays Some Shitty Tunes. Good and wacky covers that made Shitty want to "do a dance version of my songs, which seemed kind of stupid, and kind of still is."
Instead, Stimuli launched the Rent Tape Series, which entailed writing, producing and releasing a mixtape each month throughout the year. From month to month, mixtape to mixtape, Stimuli leapt from topic to topic: He explored his relationships with women (The Old Me: How I Met Your Baby Mother) and how those changed (The New Me: Sherrod Khaalis). He self-evaluated himself as a rapper, at the year's start (The Calling) and more than halfway through 2012 (The Savior). Fittingly, he also broke down his money issues, from The Chills (Broke at 30) to perhaps his biggest fear, The 9.2.5.
Stimuli has moved on from picking random beats (featured producers include J. Cole and Clams Casino) and recording at home, to posting up at Salem Psalms Library and forging a producer-emcee relationship with Focus. More importantly though, while the Rent Tape Series started as a test of endurance, it's evolved into a meaningful ritual of figuring out his strengths and weaknesses as a rapper and otherwise, granting Stimuli some much-needed sanity.
Stimuli, a former CL contributor, caught up with CL about how leveled with his listeners via the Rent Tape Series.
Nashville has more dive bars than ATL now that sucks. tbh i think that new…
*Christ, Lord sorry
"Punk" style like this seems like it is the polar opposite of punk. Bradford Cox…
They're kind of starting to look like a joke of themselves. Song's good though.
All 80s movies want you...
Their show with Chris, Lord about 3 years at the Unicorn was the best.