Posts Tagged ‘ The Earl ’

[MP3] Spirits and the Melchizedek Children – “Land Tied”

I’m a little late on this one, but I couldn’t just let it pass without posting.  Spirits and the Melchizedek Children played a killer run through the entirety of their 2011 album We Are Here To Save YOU! at our Atlanta Music Roundtable show at The Earl last month, but before they did, frontman Jason Elliot opened the set solo with a new song.  The song was recorded and released by the band as a tease of their upcoming album, where the song will probably appear in a much different form.  This version is quiet and bare, featuring only Elliot’s voice and electric guitar, and it showcases the ethereal sense of melody that was so strong on the last album.

[MP3] – Spirits and the Melchizedek Children – “Land Tied” (live at The Earl)

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TONIGHT: Royal Baths at The Earl

 

Late last year, Royal Baths released Litanies, a sleeper of an album that wormed its way into my brain and managed to stay in heavy rotation deep into 2011.  The San Francisco band fits in easily with the current crop of ’60s psych-rock revivalists, but they add a distinct veneer of low key menace that sets them apart.  Stoned vocals drift strangely over the tense buzz of guitars, with an occasional detour into damaged nursery rhyme territory.  It’s good music for a cloudy day.

See them tonight at The Earl, with Grave Babies, Cassandras, and Shepherds.

[LIVE REVIEW] Woods @ The Earl, 8/8/11

Woods might be best known as the band behind concise, psych-tinged folk-pop tunes like “Rain On,” but they’ve always been a bit more…out there.  Prior to 2009’s Songs of Shame, they were making strange, noisy basement-folk that was largely free of the clean hooks found all over the last three albums.  The basement days might be behind them, but they’ve only cleaned up so much – the lineup still features a full time tape manipulator, and it’s not uncommon for live shows to venture into drawn out psych jams.

Take last night’s show at The Earl.  They opened with their poppiest foot forward, playing spot-on recreations of “Pushing Onlys” and “Suffering Season,” two of their most well known songs.  By the time they reached “I Was Gone,” though, it was clear they were willing to stretch things out a bit.  That song was blown out into an extended psych-rock monster that spent several minutes in the wilderness before the band finally returned to the chorus.  It wasn’t the last time they went off-script, either.

Jeremy Earl’s songwriting might dominate the albums, but that’s definitely not the case on stage.  The rest of the set was split evenly between those two modes, alternately focused and jammy.  Depending on what you want out of this band, that was either a good thing or bad thing.  I personally preferred it.  Their albums are strong, but they tend to get a little samey.  The live approach adds energy.

This was my third time seeing the band, but the first time I was really able to see what tape manipulator G. Lucas Crane was doing.  He has two tape decks running through several effects pedals and what looks like a mixer between them.  When you can see what he’s doing, it’s easier to pick out his contribtuions to the band’s overall sound.  He definitely adds something off-kilter to the mix, even on the straightforward ones.  There’s also that pair of headphones-turned-mic he’s got wrapped around his head, the most visually distinctive aspect of the band and the first thing everyone who’s seen them live seems to mention.

I would have liked to see a longer set, but I can’t really blame the band.  They would have probably liked to see a bigger crowd.  Mondays are tough, particularly when there are thunderstorms, but there was still a surprisingly small turnout.  Shame on us?

By the way – that’s just a stock press photo up there because some asshole stole my camera recently, and iPhone pics from The Earl tend to look pretty bad.

[PICS] The Booze, Ocha La Rocha, and The Marques @ The Earl, 7/30/11

Photos by Peterson Worrell

The Booze

Ocha La Rocha

The Marques

More photos of all three bands after the jump.

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[PICS] Sealions, Modern Skirts, and Oryx and Crake @ The Earl, 7/29/11

Photos by Peterson Worrell

Sealions

Modern Skirts

Oryx and Crake

More pictures of all 3 bands after the jump.

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[LIVE REVIEW] J Mascis at The Earl, 4/7/2011

Any band as long-running and influential as Dinosaur Jr is going to develop a cult, and a sizable chunk of the Atlanta chapter showed up to see frontman J Mascis play a solo acoustic show at The Earl on Thursday.  Mascis recently released his first official solo album, but with all due respect to the very solid Several Shades of Why, that’s not why a near-capacity crowd filled The Earl.  The new songs were generally well-received, particularly album highlight “Not Enough,” but it was the Dinosaur Jr tracks on the setlist that drew the bigger reactions.  “Not You Again” probably got the biggest.  Most of the Dino stuff came from the post-Barlow ’90s albums, which is nice since those songs aren’t played by the full band very often these days.

Nothing he played on Thursday night approached the gloriously noisy volume of a full band Dinosaur Jr performance, but a J Mascis solo show is only quiet relative to the rest of his body of work.  He still plays with plenty of pedals and the solos still draw blood.  He did a bit of looping on some songs, but it honestly wasn’t something he seemed comfortable doing.  I get the feeling he only does it because there are times when he needs to lay a foundation to shred over.  Opener and album collaborator Kurt Vile came out during the middle of the set, playing guitar on one song and singing backup on another.  It was the only time J was accompanied by anything over than his acoustic guitar.

In the end, it’s hard to talk about this show objectively.  I had a great time, but I’m also glad I didn’t attempt to drag along a casually interested friend.  If you’re not among the Dino Jr/Mascis faithful, it might have been a patience-testing 70 minutes.  For the converted, though, it was a gift – a rare chance to hear stripped-down versions of classic songs in an intimate setting.  If you’re a Dinosaur Jr fan, catching a Mascis solo show is definitely worth your time.

There’s a few more pics and a video of “Get Me” after the jump.

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[LIVE REVIEW] Deerhunter and Lower Dens at The Earl

None of my pictures will import for some reason, so I stole this one from my roommate. Thanks, Sarah.

My review of this past Sunday’s Deerhunter/Lower Dens show at The Earl is up over at Dead Journalist.  You can read it here.

This was my favorite Deerhunter show of the 5(?) that I have seen, but I was reluctant to lean too heavily on the superlatives in the review because I never saw any of the early, pre-Cryptograms club shows.  By the time I moved to Atlanta in 2009, they had already been a major indie act for a few years.  The first time I saw them was in 2007, in an outdoor space with probably 3,000 other people, and it honestly didn’t do much for me.  Neither did Cryptograms (although I think the Fluorescent Grey EP is their best release).  Their more ambient stuff never drew me in, which is strange because I’m typically a sucker for bands that strike the balance between ambient and rock that they went for on that album.

I’ve come to like them much more over time, and I think Halcyon Digest is their best album, but I don’t feel like I’m enough of a fan to make sweeping statements about their career.  Maybe things would be different if I had seen them on that first tour they did with Liars, or had I lived in Atlanta in their early club days.  As it is now, though, I’m just a moderate fan with deep respect for what they do.

I didn’t mention Lonnie Holly’s opening performance with Bradford and Cole in my review because I wasn’t there.  I was over at Small Reactions’ last-minute house show earlier, and Lower Dens had already started when I walked into The Earl.  The Blue Indian has a pretty good review of that performance (with video) here.  You can see the whole set (plus video of Lower Dens and Deerhunter) on ifilmbands’ YouTube channel, too.