This week’s shows (2/7/12-2/12/12)

Thurston Moore, San Agustin – Wednesday (2/8), The Goat Farm, $15.

With the future of Sonic Youth in jeopardy, it’s good to see Thurston Moore keeping busy.  Last year’s Demolished Thoughts is probably the quietest album he’s ever released, but it’s far from the pensive strum of most acoustic singer-songwriter efforts.  He approaches his instrument much the same way he does on late period Sonic Youth albums, just with less volume and the support of a string section.  The new songs sounded great in the afternoon sun at Pitchfork last year, so I’m assuming they’ll sound even better on a what should be beautiful night at The Goat Farm.

Natural Child, Turf War, The Boom Bang – Friday (2/10), 529, free.

Nashville’s Natural Child play bluesy stoner punk that exists in an alternate universe where the last four decades of music never existed.  It’s simple and sincere, with their best moments carrying the same pure rock charge that also buoys labelmates JEFF the Brotherhood.  Kindred spirits Turf War could pass as their drunker Atlanta cousins.

CJ Boyd, Nerdkween, Rabbis – Sunday (2/12), The Cut, $5.

Journeyman experimentalist CJ Boyd builds billowing soundscapes out of looped bass.  It’s minimal stuff, but not inaccessible or dryly academic.  Little Advances favorite Nerdkween is on the bill, too, bringing singer-songwriter chops matched with a fondness for tape hiss and other avant flourishes.  The show is going down at The Cut, a Reynoldstown salon by day that occasionally turns into a pretty cool performance space at night.  This should make for a soothing cap to the weekend.

More shows worth checking out after the jump.

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This week’s shows (1/30/12-2/5/12)

Jeff Mangum – Wednesday (2/1), Variety Playhouse, $36 (sold out).

What’s left to say about Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum at this point?  He disappeared, and now he’s back.  Rumors of his return were obsessed over for years, and his re-emergence has been dutifully covered in all corners of the internet.  It’s a good story, particularly since it looks like he’s put his recluse days firmly behind him – he’s got a slew of dates scheduled for the rest of the year, including a featured a spot in the Coachella lineup.  Maybe (hopefully) a Jeff Mangum show won’t seem like such an earthshaking event a few years in the future, but for now this string of shows feels pretty special.


Liturgy, When Pain Is King, Scarab – Thursday, (2/2), $8.

I don’t necessarily think the idea of “transcendental black metal” is a bad one, but Liturgy frontman Hunter Hunt-Hendrix certainly sounds like an asshole describing it.  Ignore all the pretension and condescension, though, and you’re left with two pretty terrific full lengths and a killer live show.  Aesthetica threatened to break them into the indie rock mainstream, but it’s hardly a crossover album.  Their sound is nearly as intense and uncompromising as their black metal forefathers, even if Hunt-Hendrix is aiming for something less bleak.  The music and underlying philosophy are worth embracing, even if the creator occasionally comes across as a giant turd.


Attention System, Death Is A Dialogue, Five Knives, Kid Portugal – Saturday (2/4), Star Bar, $8.

We mentioned local electro-rockers Attention System in the most underrated category of the Atlanta Music Roundtable, with several of us mentioning that they probably deserved a little more local, uh, attention.  Come out to Star Bar on Saturday and show them some love.  They put more effort into their stage show than most bands in town, with lights and intensity that put many of their peers to shame, so you’ll get your money’s worth.

More shows after the jump.

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[STREAM] Mice in Cars – Good Men Are Monsters EP

There’s a healthy amount of aggression on Good Men Are Monsters, the new two track EP from local post-punk outfit Mice in Cars.  It’s just not always on the surface.  Opener “Exit Interview” is mostly sustained menace, drawing tension from a muscular rhythm section that threatens rather than pummels.  It sounds a little like June of 44.  “Six Months on Mir” ditches the restraint, slashing and burning through its runtime loudly and recklessly.  That one’s a bit closer to Rodan on the ’90s Louisville post-whatever continuum.

Stream both tracks below, and buy the EP for cheap over at Mice in Cars’ Bandcamp.

[VIDEO] Book Club – “Cold Cold Year”


Book Club just released a video form “Cold Cold Year,” one of the best tracks from last year’s excellent Ghost.  The footage was shot in Paris at the end of 2011, but the grainy black-and-white makes many of the images feel well-worn, like they could have plausibly come from decades past.  It’s a good fit for the band’s clean, straightforward folk, which is sounds similarly out of time.

Check out  Ghost and the totally free Live on AM 1690 for free over at Book Club’s Bandcamp.

[MP3] Solitude – “Roll On”

Solitude throws a lot at the wall on the twelve tracks that make up the recently released I Have to Stay Out. Not all of it sticks, but the stuff that does makes quite the impression. The appropriately named project is mostly just the solo endeavor of Atlanta’s Jordan Kadrie, and the music he records under that moniker is ramshackle DIY junk-pop that sounds like it was recorded with whatever random assortment of items Kadrie had lying around in his bedroom. Album standout “Roll On” throws beatboxed vocals on top of the junkyard percussion heap and settles into a stomping rhythym that sounds a bit like Tom Waits gone electro. It’s one of the album’s most straightforward moments, but it still sounds liable to burst apart at the seams. That combination of ambition and volatility is what makes the album so endearing, though, as well as easily forgivable even when it gets a little rough around the edges.

Download “Roll On” below, and get the whole album on the pay-what-you-want scale here.

[MP3] Solitude – “I Have To Stay Out”

This week’s shows (1/23/12-1/29/12)

Order of the Owl, Mind Powers, And That Is Why – Friday (1/27), The Cottage, $5.

I’m presenting this show, so my recommendation is admittedly biased. Honestly, though, this lineup would have drawn my attention anyway. Order of the Owl is one of my favorite live bands in town right now. They deliver thunderous doom metal through a cloud of heavy psychedelia, and it’s best heard live and loud as hell. The support is awesome, too, Mind Powers (from Columbus, GA) play frenzied noise-punk reminiscent of Mclusky and anything Steve Albini’s ever been in, and locals And That Is Why effectively nail the back-to-basics punk thing. Plus, it’s hard to have a bad time at The Cottage. Come on out.

The Ruination, Nigredo, Samadha, Dark Room, Knowsis (DJ sets) – Saturday (1/28), The Earl, $5/$7.

Probably the strongest all-local lineup of the week. The Ruination is an experimental dub band capable of throwing up some seriously tripped-out soundscapes. It can occasionally be meandering and tough to get your head around, but the sounds coming from the stage are compellingly strange enough to command your attention. Nigredo move between gorgeous ambient passages and dense walls of heavy release with an ease thats put most post-rock bands to shame. Jungol electronic side project Dark Room is worth showing up early for, too, especially since cover’s only $5 if you get there before the music starts.

Wowser Bowser, Qurious, Madeline – Saturday (1/28), The Drunken Unicorn, $8 (includes CD).

Wowser Bowser‘s debut album To the Pleasant Life! is out tomorrow, and they’re playing a release show on Saturday at the Drunken Unicorn to celebrate. Being the generous souls that they are, they will be giving a CD copy of the album to everyone who shows up. I recently posted a track from the album here, so check that out if you still need convincing. Get there early for Qurious and Madeline.

More shows worth checking out after the jump.

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[STREAM] Warning Light – “Blacked Out”

When Warning Light (aka Atlanta’s Drew Haddon) recorded and released the “Blacked Out” digital single earlier in the week, there was some scary shit lurking on the horizon. The single’s two songs were written to protest SOPA/PIPA, which has thankfully been tabled for the time being. Both tracks are appropriately dark, and the context transforms them into an interesting mirror of the unease felt by those who understood SOPA’s destructive potential. They would be worth a listen even without that context, though, as they’re both fine examples of the atmospheric drones Haddon specializes in.

Stream “Blacked Out” below, and get the single on the pay-what-you-want scale here.