Posts Tagged ‘ concerts ’

Midtown Music Festival: Everything I Hate About Everything

I am a firm believer in sandwich criticism, where the negative is squished between the positive. This will be a Katz’s Deli Pastrami Sandwich of a post.

Eating murdered cows is less ethically dubious than Music Midtown.

The Highlander is a good midtown dive bar, with decent drink prices and generous shots. I thank it for providing me with a fortified buzz and a respite from the Midtown Music Festival’s corporate assault.

For fifty-five dollars, concertgoers had the pleasure of seeing Midtown’s spacious Piedmont Park transformed into a corporate bordello, with hooha logos animated on the jumbotrons flanking both stages, plastered on makeshift billboards, and adorning every piece of free schwag lugged around by knuckle-dragging mouthbreathers. The jumbotrons were especially insidious, being too small for audience members far away to see, but perfect for flashing consumerist propaganda in between shows. Continue reading


This week’s shows (12/6/2010-12/12/2010)



Still just the listings this week, and I won’t be back to regular posting yet, either.  This is a pretty solid week of shows, though.  If you can make it, you should absolutely be at Monotonix on Wednesday.

Monday (12/6/2010)

Petal Shop, Chicken & Pigs, Hawkeye Pierce – 529

Tuesday (12/7/2010)

Street Violence, Buffalo Buffalo, The Hymens, Karoshi – WonderRoot

Wednesday (12/8/2010)

Monotonix, Hawks, The Sunglasses – 529

Fiend Without a Face, The Compartmentalizationalists, John Wayne – The Earl

Darkest Hour, Veil of Maya, Periphery – The Masquerade

Mr Gnome, Blaming Tim, Ricer – Drunken Unicorn

Thursday (12/9/2010)

Awolnation, Weapons of Audio, Cousin Dan – Drunken Unicorn

Dillon, The Nice Guise, Boog Brown – 529

SMKA 2 Year Anniversary Party:  Aleon Craft, J-Live, Jarren Benton, A-1, DJ Diabase – Star Bar

Goldilocks, New Collisions – The Earl

The Back Pockets (performance art), Free Ticket, WishGift, Matthew Paul Butler – WonderRoot

Friday (12/10/2010)

Oryx and Crake, Venice is Sinking, Redharp – 529  (benefit show, more details here)

Brutal Truth, Withered, American Cheeseburger – Drunken Unicorn

Modern Skirts, Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun, Jon Lindsay – The Earl

Saturday (12/11/2010)

Predator, Balkans, Ralph – 529

Charges, The Young, Gun Party – Drunken Unicorn

The Happenstance:  A Battle of Hastily Assembled Bands – The Earl

Winter Soulstice (Benefit for WonderRoot):  Stokeswood, Attention System, more (check back later today for more info on this one) – Smith’s Olde Bar

Sunday (12/12/2010)

Job for a Cowboy, Skeletonwitch, Misery Index, Trap Them, Legion X – The Masquerade

This week’s shows (11/8/2010-11/14/2010)

Wolf Parade at Pitchfork Festival 2010


Monday (11/8/2010): Tonight’s two best bets are on very different ends of the musical spectrum.  If good-natured, slightly dancey indie-pop is your thing, and you’ve never found either “twee” or “saccharine” to be a valid insult, Freelance Whales and Miniature Tigers at the Drunken Unicorn is where you need to be.  That’s totally not meant as a diss, it’s just descriptive – both bands are sugary and sincere, and that rubs some people the wrong way.  The kind of people, for instance, that will probably be at 529 for the thrash metal of Wolves & Jackals, Phalanx, and Brooklyn’s Wizardry.  That one’s free.

Tuesday (11/9/2010): Does anyone else find it strange that Os Mutantes is second billed to Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti?  I know the latter is a pretty big deal in indie circles, but I thought the seminal Brazilian psych-rockers were bigger than that.  I’m also pretty surprised that this combo got bumped down from Variety Playhouse to The Earl.  It’s probably guaranteed a sellout now, so get your tickets in advance.  Magic Kids open.  The other big show tonight is DJ Shadow at The Loft.  I paid for similarly expensive tickets to see him with Cut Chemist on the 45s tour a couple years back, and I left that show somewhat disappointed.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t $35 good, either.  Just a little dull.  It seems like he’s amped things up for this tour, though, as he will apparently be performing inside the Shadowsphere, a 3D structure that will be accompanied by custom visuals.  On a smaller note, psych/improv Texans Smoking Spore will be at Eyedrum with local act The Subliminator, who combines “spoken word, proccessed vocals and optical theremins.”  From what I can tell, it sounds like Tom Waits’ spoken word tracks mashed up with 20 Jazz Funk Greats-era Throbbing Gristle, and I like both of those things very much.

Wednesday (11/10/2010): You can catch the kinda mathy Maps & Atlases with the very mathy Tera Melos at The Masquerade.  Nostalgia circuit mainstays Social Distortion will be at The Tabernacle with Lucero (who are always worth seeing live).  Montreal’s Land of Talk (who are by all accounts an amazing live band) will play The Earl with Suuns.  And locally, indie-poppers Night Driving in Small Towns headline the Drunken Unicorn with support from Schooner and Wages.

Thursday (11/11/2010): Bonobo brings his downtempo/trip-hop thing to the Masquerade with Tokimonsta in support.  You also can catch Glen Iris, The Shepherds, The Bums, and Ricer for free at Star Bar.  The best option, though, is probably the sludgy guitar/drums metal of Jucifer at The Earl, with excellent support from Doomsayer and WYMYNS PRYSYN.

Friday (11/12/2010): Deep breath…Priestess/Naam/Hex Machine at the Drunken Unicorn (metal), Sons of Tonatiuh/The Vaginas/Hollow Leg at 529 (also metal), Nuclear Power Pants/Bermuda Triangles/Buffalo Bangers at Eyedrum (Wham City costumed art-punks and other weirdness), Black Mountain/The Black Angels at The Earl (stoned sounds of the ’60s and ’70s), Young Orchids/Young Hines/Wives at Star Bar (proto-punk/glam sounds of the ’60s and ’70s).  And then at Variety Playhouse there’s big time indie rockers Wolf Parade, who put out a curiously underrated album this year that confirms that their much-hyped, much-loved debut was no fluke.

Saturday (11/13/2010): NYC (by way of Japan) comic book punks Peelander-Z team up with local superhero themed band The Falcon Lords for a show that’s sure to be heavy on goofy theatrics and audience participation.  Tokyo’s Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re also play.  Should be fun.  Also on Saturday:  Eyedrum is hosting their 2nd Annual Earball, and there’s a bunch of people playing, The Back Pockets, Magicicada, and Wowser Bowser among them.  It looks like a pretty diverse lineup.  Check out the whole list here.

Sunday (11/14/2010): Don’t burn out by the end of the week, because Sunday night’s got one of the month’s most promising shows.  Brooklyn’s Bear in Heaven (a group of Georgia transplants) headline The Earl.  They’re still touring behind their 2009 breakout album Beat Rest Forth Mouth and its recently released companion, Beast Rest Forth Mouth: Remixed.  Their thick, anthemic synth-rock should kill in a room the size of The Earl.  They’re playing with Cloudland Canyon, who traffic in druggy krautrock revivalism, and Sun Airway, who play pleasantly low-key, head-in-the-clouds synth-pop.

I got a little long-winded this week.  Sorry.

This week’s shows (10/25/2010-10/31/2010)

Marnie Stern


Monday (10/25/2010): Franz Nicolay headlines a big bill over at 529.  He’s probably most well known for his time on keyboards for The Hold Steady (he’s the guy with the ‘stache), but he’s also played with World/Inferno Friendship Society and, most recently, Against Me!.  In addition to all that, he’s put out a couple of solo albums, and that’s presumably what he’ll play from tonight.  I’ll mostly be there for the cathartic, ramped up folk-punk of O Pioneers!!!.  Have Fun Exploding, Junior Battles, and Trench Party also play.  Check back here for a review of the new Trench Party EP later this afternoon.

Tuesday (10/26/2010): I haven’t heard much of The Growlers‘ music, but their Tuesday show at The Earl is worth going to for openers Heavy Cream alone.  This is what I had to say about them last time I saw them.  Tomorrow’s Tulips and pretty good locals Spirits and the Melchizedek Children play, too.  The other option is Small Black, Class Actress, and Living Rooms at the Drunken Unicorn.

Wednesday (10/27/2010): The Clap headline 529 with Dangerous Ponies, Pure Country Gold, and Chandu.

Thursday (10/28/2010): Tough decisions tonight.  Oryx and Crake play a free set at the Woodruff Arts Center at 6:30, while Torche plays an in-store at Criminal Records at 7:00 (you need to buy Songs for Singles in advance to secure your spot).  Whatever you decide, though, you should wrap the night up with Marnie Stern, Cinemechanica, and Thy Mighty Contract at 529.  If you miss Marnie (which, seriously, you shouldn’t), there’s also the Paste tour over at The Earl with Jason Isbell, Langhorne Slim, Jesse Sykes & Phil Wandscher, and Mimicking Birds[EDIT] I forgot a couple of big ones.  Metric plays The Tabernacle with local openers Sealions (good for them, that’s a nice fit).  And, finally, Crocodiles play The Earl with Golden Triangle (who destroyed at 529 last month), Knaves Grave, and Dirty Beaches.

Friday (10/29/2010): Halloween inevitably brings cover bands.  On Friday, you can catch some at 529: Hand Of Doom (Black Sabbath), Meowhaus (Bauhaus), Ted Kennedys (Dead Kennedys), and Iron Crypt (Motorhead).  There’s also the monthly Laserbeam Kitty party over at Highland Inn Ballroom with Sonen, Le Sexoflex, and Panther God.

Saturday (10/30/2010): Two big ones tonight.  Highland Inn Ballroom is having a Halloween party with a great local lineup that includes Jungol, Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun, and This Piano Plays Itself.  There’s also a free Fresh & Onlys show at 529, with support from Royal Baths and Mermaids.  The show is acting as the release party for Mermaids’ very good new album (review will be up tomorrow).

Sunday (10/31/2010): Chunklet’s Halloween show is probably the best bet:  Judi Chicago, Gentleman Jesse, and Mathis Hunter will be up at Whirlyball.  The Earl’s also got a good one, with Fiend Without a Face, West End Motel, Walk from the Gallows, and Daikaiju.

Live Review: Local Natives

Local Natives

In case you missed it yesterday, you can find my live review of this past weekend’s Local Natives show over at Dead Journalist.

A couple of random thoughts that had no real business making it into the review…

– It can be fairly shocking how many teenagers make it out to the larger, all ages shows at The Masquerade.  It makes me wonder how different age restrictions would have affected attendance at some of the lesser attended shows I’ve seen lately.  Would more than 30 people have shown up to The Earl for Screaming Females if they’d been able to get in?  How about Sharon Van Etten at 529?  Both were on weeknights, though, so maybe it wouldn’t have been much different.  Also, bar sales have got to be huge for both those places.  Both can probably afford off nights, attendance-wise, because there’s always going to be people drinking there, even if they’re not paying cover.

– If you only have 12 songs, and everyone knows you only have 12 songs, and you’re a headlining band that’s expected to play for around an hour, why do an encore break?  Seriously.  When Local Natives left the stage after 10 songs, it was obvious they were coming back out for two more, especially since they had yet to play “Sun Hands.”  There’s no way they’re leaving without playing that one, and everyone knows it.  The encore break had zero impact on my enjoyment of the show, but that’s kind of the point.  It just seemed…silly.

[PICS/VIDEO] Venice is Sinking/Tin Cup Prophette at the Woodruff Arts Center, 10/14/2010

More pictures and a video of Venice is Sinking performing “Bardstown Road” below.

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[LIVE] LCD Soundsystem at The Tabernacle, 10/4/2010

If this really is the last LCD Soundsystem tour, I’m glad I was able to catch them twice this year, on two different legs of the tour.  The fall setlists have been different from the summer ones:  “Pow Pow,” “Us v. Them,” and “New York, I Love You”  seem to have been traded out for “Dance Yourself Clean,” “You Wanted a Hit,” and “Home.”  That’s a good thing, as I can now say I’ve seen them play everything I’d ever wanted to hear from their catalog, with the sole exception of  “North American Scum.”   The band is also slightly different, with Hot Chip guitarist Al Doyle now playing (mostly) bass.  I can’t really say if this was better or worse than their headlining set at Pitchfork, as the two experiences are too different to bother comparing.  I can say, however, that both performances are two of the best I’ve seen this year.

More pictures after the jump.

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