Listening Stack

Friday, December 5, 2014

10 essential albums from the outer reaches of Skinny Puppy's universe

Posted By on Fri, Dec 5, 2014 at 7:21 PM

  • Emilie Elizabeth and John Kraw
When Skinny Puppy takes the stage at the Buckhead Theatre on Sat., Dec. 6, the group will close out a night filled with performances by industrial music’s elder statesmen and young innovators alike, following sets by Youth Code, Haujobb, and Front Line Assembly. Since founding the group in 1982, Skinny Puppy’s core members Nivek Ogre and cEvin Key have carved out a dark legacy as a cornerstone of modern industrial music. From the ghostly menace of Remission (1984) to the harsh electronic torment of Too Dark Park (1990) and Last Rights (1992) to the digital tension of recent albums Mythmaker (2007) and The Weapon (2013), Ogre and Key have perpetually stood on the experimental edge of a sound that Skinny Puppy helped define. For three decades Skinny Puppy has continually refined the musical terrain it covers, all the while staying busy crafting music with numerous solo and side projects. The following is a primer that looks at 10 of Key and Ogre’s other essential offerings culled from the dark matter of Skinny Puppy’s ever-expanding universe.

Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, Haujobb, and Youth Code play the Buckhead Theatre Sat., Dec. 6. $40.15. 7 p.m. 3110 Roswell Road. 404-843-2825.

Cyberaktif: Tenebrae Vision. Wilhelm Schroeder aka Bill Leeb of Front Line Assembly, cEvin Key and Dwayne Goettel (R.I.P.) join forces for a subtle but driving collection of sparse and slowly burning terror-beat attacks. Released in 1991, history has proven Tenebrae Vision to be a sleeper album that’s more akin to FLA’s classic EBM plod. Still, songs such as “Paradiessiets” (featuring Blixa Bargeld of Einstürzende Neubauten) and “Nothing Stays” are among the most memorable songs the Canadian industrial camp has turned out.

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Top 5 ATL hip-hop songs of the summer

Posted By on Thu, Oct 3, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Whether you were riding around the city in the Hotlanta heat or firing up the grill for a cookout, your summer playlist was incomplete without these five tracks. Continuous radio spins and club DJs made it almost impossible to escape the heavy 808s laced with a Southern drawl. Check out the rest of the list for 2013's summer anthems by some of ATL's finest.

"Feds Watchin" - 2 Chainz

"Money Baby" - K Camp

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

More Atlanta artists and writers weigh in on their Halloween favorites

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 1:15 PM

In case you missed it, check out "Atlanta artists, DJs, and music scribes conjure up 19 of their favorite Halloween jams." After the list went up yesterday, more folks started weighing in their spooky favorites — enough to warrant a sequel.

While not necessarily "Halloween" themed, for my money, this is one of the most frightening records ever made. Basically an exorcism into a microphone. I interviewed Henry Rollins for a fanzine in November of 1984. He told me that he recorded his vocals in the studio's lounge area (complete with couch and Coke machine) holding a Shure 58 mic in his hand, just like he would onstage. This allowed him more freedom of movement. The creaking sound you hear at the end of this song is Henry crumpled into the fetal position on the floor with his head banging against the leg of the couch. You then hear the Coke machine come on just before the tape cuts. — William DuVall (Alice In Chains)

Stereolab — “Come And Play In The Milky Night”: This one is more personal to me and literally transports me to October 31, 1999 every time I hear the opening atmospheric filtered synths. This is the closer of the ultimate Halloween album in my opinion (the cover is even orange and brown.) Laetitia urges all the children to come and play on the blasted heath of weird fog. Easy to picture cauldrons and bats and things. Orange and brown. — Bradford Cox (Deerhunter, Atlas Sound)

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Atlanta artists, DJs, and music scribes conjure up 19 of their favorite Halloween jams

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Let's get something straight. I don't like scary things. Never have. I watch It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and Beetlejuice every Halloween and typically need a night light to sleep. The same goes for music. Anton LaVey's “Satan Takes a Holiday” is a whirlwind of zany, Satanic organ jigs and ditties. Leave it to the Black Pope to make the happiest sounding record this side of the lake of fire. — Jeffrey Bützer

Apparently, this Northwest ’60's garage band tried to hire Vincent Price to do the opening monolog of this track, but he was too expensive and they couldn't afford it. Ironically, decades later Michael Jackson would do exactly the same sort of intro with fantastic commercial results. Nevertheless, “Werewolf” by the Frantic embodies the classic American tradition of Halloween: Spooky, otherworldly, and fun. — Cole Alexander. (Black Lips)

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Top 7 most soulful Christmas songs

Posted By on Fri, Dec 23, 2011 at 11:37 AM

When you grow up listening to black radio, Christmas songs sound a little different … a little more soulful. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that my favorite holiday tunes weren’t created by folks like Bing Crosby or Pat Boone. (And I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels this way.)

In honor of the impending festivities, here’s a look at my seven favorite soul-tinged Xmas tracks. (I know you’ve got some, too. Feel free to share.)

"I Can Hardly Wait For Christmas": We’ll start things off with a fairly recent classic — from the 1990s — by that iconic crew the O’Jays. It’s new-ish, but it’s still a must-hear tune.

"Christmas Just Ain't Christmas Without the One You Love": OK, here’s another one by the O’Jays … and this one is a lot older (think 1960s). The O’Jays have been doing it for a minute now.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wonder cranks out the hits

Posted By on Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 12:10 AM

  • Kristien Elan Chase

Last damn year I was interviewing Atlanta-raised producer Wonder Arillo, choppin' it up over a few pints of Guinness. I had just started blogging for Crib Notes, trying desperately to keep up with the internet and post something, anything, that hadn't already blown through everybody's playlist at the speed of sound. And it's not like Wonder was a fly-by-night musician. At the time, I went to him for a feature not only because he is a friend, but because he is extremely talented. He'd put in plenty of work, winning a Grammy working with DJ Toomp to produce TI's "What You Know." Either way, I slept on publishing anything about Wonder. I blame myself. See, Wonder and I have known each other since 6th grade, and for some reason, it's a hell of a lot easier for me to write about a complete stranger than it is a guy I've always looked up to.

Nowadays, Wonder is doing even better than he was back in 2010, and things could hardly be described as bad then. Check out the sexy video for "Feelin' You" from 2Chainz (aka Tity Boy), featuring the Codeine Cowboy rapping over Wonder's hi-hat heavy reinterpretation of an Alicia Keys' interlude. After the jump, read an edited version of my unpublished piece on Wonder. In the meantime, follow him on twitter, listen out for the signature computer-voiced "Wonder" tag in front of his beats, and if anybody needs me, I'll be hanging my head in shame...

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sleeping in the Aviary: no birds, just animalistic human behavior

Posted By on Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 9:49 AM

  • Sleeping in the Aviary
Sleeping in the Aviary is making its way back to Atlanta this week for a free show at Noni’s on Wednesday, April 13.

The Minneapolis-based group released its third album late last year called Great Vacation! (Science of Sound), which lead man Elliott Kozel describes as “a gooey exploration of spine-tingling animalistic human behavior.” The group’s dark and whimsical sound tiptoes around garage rock, experimental pop and doo-wop, and is saturated with character.

“It’s got songs about scuba diving, S&M (spanking and ball-gagging and all that), being in love in outer space, getting stoned and driving around, wandering around at the mall and dying over and over and over and over again,” Kozel explains.

"You Don't Have to Drive"

Sleeping in the Aviary plays Noni’s Bar and Deli on Wednesday, April 13 with the Long Shadows and Baby, Baby. Free. 9 p.m. 357 Edgewood Ave. 404-343-1808.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mood Rings: Sweater Weather Forever

Posted By on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Double Phantom Digital’s first release of 2011 arrives with Mood Rings’ four-song Sweater Weather Forever EP. Produced by Phil Jones (Dog Bite, Washed Out), the group orchestrates a short set of quietly twisted melodies that swim in echo and nostalgia.

There’s a sense of elegance behind every slow and tasteful arrangement throughout Sweater Weather Forever, and everything comes wrapped in pleasing textures that reveal themselves in “Year of Dreams,” setting the stage for a starry-eyed ambiance. Rhythmic complexities appear deceptively simple as the tones sink deeper in “Indian Hills.” The grainy but full-bodied sound of the recording carries as much of its dreamlike pace as singer and guitarist William Fussell’s glowing voice. At times he even hits falsetto notes that create the illusion of Beach Boys-style harmonies in “Yellow Teeth.” But there is only one voice at work here, and it harmonizes with the music’s reverberating shadows. These glassy, summertime intonations move in long strains of rhythm and ‘60s pop, all flowing at the whims of invisible currents. “Washer” follows suit as it rides a gentle descent into strung-out captivation.

As a whole, the EP thrives on this kind of narcotic power by rallying the senses and teasing the brains receptors, but at only four songs it's a frustrating quick fix. By offering just a taste of what the group is capable of churning out, Sweater Weather Forever’s perfection solidifies Mood Rings’ place in the world with a sound that is soft, ethereal and totally mesmerizing. It sets a high standard for Mood Rings, and creates even higher expectation for what happens next.

Mood Rings play the Drunken Unicorn, Tues. Feb. 1 with Smith Westerns and Yuck. $8-$10. 9 p.m. 736 Ponce de Leon Place.

Download Sweater Weather Forever.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Song of the Day: 'F.A.B.' by Tendaberry

Posted By on Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 3:18 PM


Local post-punk soul band and Morehouse alumni Tendaberry has a new single "F.A.B." from their upcoming EP, entitled HIT IT!

"'F.A.B.' is the first single off of Hit It!, and it is an acronym for a coarse slang term for a beautiful woman," bassist Carlton Knight says regarding the song's title (a reference to fine ass bitches). "As always we must remind you that Tendaberry is composed of four polite young black men and that songs oftentimes do not reflect the true nature of their writers. Though, in this case it does..."

Tendaberry. With Gun Party, Dead Rabbits. $5. 8:30 p.m. Fri., Jan. 21. Highland Inn Ballroom. 404-874-5756 ext. 450.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Lucy Dreams 'Realize'

Posted By on Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 2:31 PM

  • Quinn Kray

Before catching anyone’s attention with a few rough demos posted on their Myspace page, Lucy Dreams turned heads when they played their first show opening for Abby Go Go at 529 back in December. The unassuming four-piece made-up of Decatur High students Lloyd Wingard (guitar, vocals), Jacob Armando (drums), Graham Tavel (bass) and Dani Lyman (keyboard/vocals) took the stage and unleashed a wall of slurred pop hooks, warped melodies and distortion. They left such an impression that they were later asked to play the opening slot for Deerhunter and Black Lips’ show the night that Eyedrum closed down its 290 MLK location.

That same night that the group changed its name to Lucy Dreams, a new moniker that seems slightly less juvenile when the group explains that it’s a reference to Tavel’s white pit bull that was sleeping on a nearby sofa when they were brainstorming for something better than Buffalo Buffalo.

The group has a six-song, self-released EP, titled Going Postal due out April 1.
Here’s a sneak peak at what the group has in store, called “Realize.” This is the first song to show Lyman taking the reins on lead vocals, and the first time Wingard has made a concerted stab at writing lyrics. Many of their songs thus far have been the product of a stream-of-consciousness writing style, and this one resonates with primitive dream-pop sounds, but there's something a little more sophisticated hiding underneath all of that noise. …And how about that tremolo bar?

"Realize" mp3

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