The play, which is unrehearsed and (self-admittedly) poorly written by the indie band, involves its members acting, playing music, and generally being silly. Kind of like a running joke that's become a weird, funny tradition, the show also features other groups as performers, which this year includes deadCAT, Cocorico, and Highlander.
After a four-year "hiatus," as the group would call it, Judi Chicago returns to the stage tonight (Sat., Dec. 14), at the Drunken Unicorn, reuniting Ben Coleman, aka Kid Pyramid, Travis Thatcher, and James Joyce for a night of electro-rock decadence. Before the show, Coleman took a few minutes to talk about the band's return, and what the future holds in store for Judi Chicago.
What sparked the reunion?
To put it simply, to play a show. We're a pretty musical bunch. We asked each other if we wanted to play a show, and we were all like, "Yeah!" We had a couple of venues that wanted us to play, but they never really got back to us. Our main issue was that Travis was still in Chicago, and we needed money upfront to get him down here to play. So we needed that in order to move forward.
Is there any more development for JC aside from the show?
We have a rule that if we are playing a show, we are going to play new material. So we have a lot of new songs that haven't been released for a couple of years. Partly because we've been doing our own things, like I've been studying to become a recording engineer. This show means a lot to us, at least for me, because Judi Chicago has had such a positive impact on my life, and this show is going to be a fun one.
Any previews for us?
We're a very "seam of the pants" kind of band, but we have a brand new song that we're really excited about performing on Saturday. And we're going to do a lot more electronic stuff (Travis will still be [living] in Chicago, unfortunately) after the show.
For more than 20 years, singer and guitarist Simon Joyner has amassed a stark body of songs steeped in the ramshackle imagery and narratives embodied by the people and the landscape of the American Great Plains - namely that of his hometown, Omaha, Nebr. Currently making his way across the country, performing in people's living rooms, Joyner makes his way to Atlanta tonight (Wed., Dec. 11) to play a show in the Locust Lofts in Avondale Estate's Rail Arts District. (buy a ticket to find out the address). Tickets are $15 and the show starts at 8 p.m.
For these stripped-down performances, Joyner plays an acoustic guitar and sings a few solo numbers, and some with a trio rounded out by Noah Sterba (keyboard, guitar) and Kevin Donahue (drums, bass). A handful of videos from these shows have been making their way around the Internet this week, painting a picture of these shows as intimate settings in which the group runs through a comprehensive set of songs touching on everything from Joyner's 1994 early masterpiece, The Cowardly Traveler Pays His Toll on up through 2012's Ghosts. You might even hear some newer numbers if the mood strikes. "House shows are generally the most fun to play, but it's difficult to support a national tour by just playing fun shows in people's basements," Joyner says. "These shows have been set up as a sort of a community kind of thing where people will come out to support the music, while creating a more personal kind of experience," he adds. "It's also been a really nice change of pace."
... And it's not too late to make a request, so let him know if there's something you want to hear when you buy your tickets.
Before tonight's sold-out show at the Variety Playhouse, Scottish synth pop group Chvrches will play a free ticketed show at Criminal Records today (Tues., Nov. 26) at 5 p.m., followed by an album signing.
To get a free ticket, you must buy a vinyl or CD copy of the group's new album, The Bones Of What You Believe (Glassnote Records). The tickets are first-come, first-served and guarantee you entry into the store - not a place in line. Any leftover tickets will be given out at 4:30 p.m., a half-hour before the show.
Show's coming up in a few hours, so grab 'em fast!
If whiskey-stained, forlorn folk is your cup of tea, chances are you'll find yourself at the Earl tonight. Atlanta-based singer/songwriter Ben Trickey and Duluth, Minn-bred David Dondero have both just issued albums of their own respective material and plan to celebrate with a collaborative release party that almost guarantees a night of sullen revelry. While Trickey's Rising Waters follows a boldly warbling Americana in the vein of Jason Molina or Conor Oberst, Dondero's songs chart a darkly humorous and wholly moving course that relies solely on his voice and guitar. Both artists highlight a decluttered and warmly genuine strain of modern folk. Take a listen to both albums along with even details below:
Sample of Ben Trickey's Rising Water:
Full stream of David Dondero's Golden Hits Vol. 1:
BenTrickey, David Dondero, Ryan Sheffield and the Highhills, and Jeremy Ray & Joseph Lazzari. $8. Tonight, 11/20. 8 p.m. The Earl, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950.
Doomtree's leading lady, the emcee/rapper known as Dessa, played a pop-up show at Truly Living Well's Wheat Street Garden Monday afternoon. A member of the innovative Minneapolis rap collective (along with P.O.S., Cecil Otter, Mike Mictlan, Lazerbeak, Paper Tiger, and Sims), Dessa is in town playing out the southern leg of her Parts of Speech tour, which kicked off in Kansas earlier this month.
Throughout the tour, Dessa has been playing small daytime sets at local farms like Truly Living Well to raise awareness about local food within the rap community. You can catch Dessa's full set at Vinyl tonight.
$14. 7:30 p.m. Vinyl, 1374 W. Peachtree St. 404-885-1365. www.centerstage-atlanta.com/shows/vinyl
Lee Fields & the Expressions bring the old-school funky flavor to the Earl tonight (Thurs., Nov. 14). Fields' career stretches beyond an astonishing forty years, settling in with his most recently released album, 2012's Faithful Man (Truth & Soul).
Fields' presence on his records intrinsically mirrors the stylings of James Brown, and the Expressions' performance tells as much of a story as Fields' lyrics. His tales of highs, lows, love, and loss pour out of sound systems like the sweat dripping down from Fields' forehead onto his shiny leather jacket. And no matter how old you are, it's hard not to attach yourself to the band's retro-groove instrumentals.
Catch Lee Fields and the Expressions and Russell Gunn & Elektrik Butterfly tonight (Thurs., Nov. 14) at the Earl. $17. 8:30 p.m. 488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950.
Jazz heads take note: Acclaimed quartet, the Robert Glasper Experiment, takes the stage in Atlanta tonight ( Wed., Nov. 6), performing songs from its recently released new album, Black Radio 2.
A follow-up to the group's Grammy-winning Black Radio, BR2 follows the blueprint of the project's original iteration by pairing the Experiment crew with an ass-load of guest vocalists, including Jill Scott, Eric Roberson, Lalah Hathaway, Norah Jones, and even Brandy, among others. No word yet if any of these (or any other) special guests will appear with the band tonight, but with the ATL being such a center of gravity for so many notable soul singers, there's a distinct possibility.
The band's first record since last year's EP EP (ehh?), LP LP was dropped last week via El Camino Media and features 80s-tinged dance pop, catchy choruses, and heavy synths. Stream the full album below.
Formed in 2011 by frontman Dan Dixon (previously of Dropsonic), the group shares the stage tonight with openers Jungol and Skybison.
Reverend Horton Heat is headlining a Halloween night show at the Loft, and we've got a pair of tickets to give away. All you have to do is be the first person to leave the correct answer to the following question in the comments section of this post and the tickets are yours.
Jim Heath, aka Reverend Horton Heat, hails from Corpus Christi, Tex. - a town that's often lamented in song. "Corpus Christi," a song by San Francisco punk outfit the Avengers, appeares on the group's David Ferguson-produced 1983 LP. What Bonnie 'Prince' Billy LP did Ferguson engineer and mix three decades later?
Tickets are up for grabs now. Go!
Reverend Horton Heat and Wayne "The Train" Hancock play the Loft tonight (Thurs., Oct. 31). $20. 8:30 p.m. 1374 West Peachtree St. 404-885-1365.
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...