Code Orange, Down In It, Without, Yashira at Dollhouse – photos

Another Thursday night hardcore show at Dollhouse Productions, this one featuring Pittsburgh hardcore juggernaut Code Orange, North Carolina metalcore outfit Down In It, Savannah’s own Without and Jacksonville’s Yashira.

I couldn’t make it in time to catch Yashira, unfortunately, but the rest of the bill was crushing. Code Orange, in particular, sounded massive, pummeling the crowd with surprisingly varied compositions, while still staying planted firmly in huge, abrasive, super energetic, metal clad hardcore. At the same time a small portion of the crowd pummeled each other, while taking up a disproportionate amount of space in front of the stage, for whatever reason. Much like the Bane show, turnout for the show seemed pretty great.

Pointlessly low light, band members in constant motion, and my unwillingness to shoot flash make for tough photography conditions, but here’s what I got.

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Album Review: The Gumps – “The Gumps”

Gumps Album Cover

Thanks to the advancements of technology, D.I.Y. recordings no longer automatically draw visions of fuzzy audio on cassettes and hand written insert for CDs (although the personal touches aren’t always a bad thing). Readily available equipment and tenacious spirit is all most bands require these days to produce an album that not only will preserve the spirit of D.I.Y. but also help with that all too important facet of having recorded material to get your foot in the door with show bookers. Savannah locals, The Gumps, comprised of Matt Hewitt, Patrick Caviness, and Tucker Weston, have taken this to heart and the band’s self titled debut album is a prime example of the triumph of D.I.Y.

The Gumps self-titled debut album is a raucous ride that definitely hits you with some unexpected shifts along the way. At first, I’m inclined to call The Gumps folk punk as it seems the most fitting genre, but it doesn’t completely do them justice. There’s a bit of AJJ (formerly Andrew Jackson Jihad) in there, which is especially evident in songs like “Anger Issues” which, as one would expect, talks about working through personal struggles as best we all can. Then again, the band shows that they’re not out to take everything too seriously with tracks like “Love Song” in which Hewitt and Weston provide a serenade about the things that young lovers pine for with a playful euphemism based on a particular method of barbecuing that I’ll leave up to your imagination.

While some folk punk bands have shed the minimalist approach and embraced more complex instrumentation — like Defiance, Ohio and Ramshackle Glory — The Gumps’ 3-piece sound incorporating bass guitar, ukulele, and drums is surprising full, especially when combined with Hewitt’s and Weston’s call and response style of vocals. And if you don’t think that a ukulele can rip just as hard as any other stringed instrument, give “Watered Down” a listen and get back to me.

The Gumps is certainly a bit rough around the edges, but for an album that was entirely recorded at an in house studio, it’s a fantastic listen. Every element of the album carries a D.I.Y. feel to it, even down to the album’s cover art, which was made by the band and I hear is proudly nestled behind Gump House Studios. If you’re interested in picking up a copy of the album, give The Gumps a shout via Facebook or track Hewitt, Weston, or Caviness down at a local show and ask them about grabbing one of the beautifully produced CDs as the album isn’t quite available online yet. Trust me, they’re all good people and none of them bite. I hear they might even deliver the copy to you if you ask nicely enough. Besides, you get nice physical copy and you’ll likely make a new friend in the process. Win-win situation, right?

If for some reason you’re a bit shy, well then catch The Gumps at one of their several upcoming shows, especially their upcoming show with The Fuzzlers, Linda, and Tommy Techno coming up on July 16 at Sulfur Studios.

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Heyrocco releases new EP “Waiting on Cool”

It’s been a couple years since the Charleston trio Heyrocco has played Savannah, but they’ve sure been busy elsewhere with tours across the U.S. and in Europe.

Last Friday, Heyrocco released their new EP Waiting on Cool via Dine Alone Records and Vital Music Grop (U.K. and Europe). The guys are still exploring a kind of grungy pop — a self-described “Disney grunge” — but the new songs here have a little more room to breathe and develop in surprising ways.

The title Waiting on Cool has an air of ennui — of the boredom of the road, of hanging out, of youth — as one can literally see Nate and Tanner waiting on bassist Chris Cool, but it obviously plays on the ironies of “cool” in other ways.

Check out the new record on Spotify, and click here to purchase on iTunes.

I’ve shot a bunch of photos of Heyrocco over the last few years — at Savannah Stopover, a No Control Festival, The Sparetime, Hang Fire, a private party — but all the pics feel pretty old at this point since the band hasn’t played Savannah in a minute. In other words, they look so young! Still, if you want to see some pics, click on through.

Murder By Death + Saintseneca at The Jinx – photos

Murder By Death made another stop in Savannah recently, and I’m not sure what to say about the band that we haven’t said here, here, here, here, here, and here.

If there’s anyone in Savannah who loves Murder By Death more than I do, it might be Jinx owner Susanne Guest Warnekros and her longtime bar staff. A few songs into the show Adam Turla of MBD told a funny story about heading south from Louisville for Shaky Knees in Atlanta and trying to decide whether the festival should be a one-off show. As the band was contemplating a few other southern dates, Gil Cruz from The Jinx happened to send an email in all caps — the crowd around me burst out laughing at this point in the story — asking “WHEN THE FUCK ARE YOU COMING BACK TO THE JINX” or something close to that.

So Murder By Death returned to The Jinx for what was, I think, their fourth Savannah show. It’s the smallest room that MBD is still playing anywhere in the world.

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I didn’t keep track of the whole setlist, but it included beautiful renditions of “Lost River”, “I Came Around”, “Strange Eyes”, and tons more. The mix was truly exceptional for the show, too. Great stuff all the way around. How will the band follow up the album Big Dark Love? I can’t wait to find out.

Saintseneca opened. Wow. I had never seen and knew little about the Columbus, Ohio-based 5-piece, but I was impressed with everything about the set — provocative lyrics, beautiful vocals, lush instrumentation. I will be following Saintseneca from here on out.

There are some tough lighting conditions at The Jinx right now, but I obviously took some photos. More after the jump.

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Walter Parks’ Swamp by Chandelier at Tybee Post Theater – photos

text by bill, photos by Jon Waits

Walter Parks | Swamp by Chandelier

Walter Parks | Swamp by Chandelier

Walter Parks — a tremendous solo artist, frontman of Swamp Cabbage, longtime guitarist for Richie Havens — put on a sublime show a couple of nights ago at the Tybee Post Theater. Swamp by Chandelier opened with Parks’ rendition of a traditional Okefenokee Swamp holler. I had read about some of the history of hollers and of the Okefenokee in Do Savannah before the show, but the haunting sound was new to me. Here’s a taste:

Long, lanky, and limber, the 50-something Parks is a charismatic figure on stage, and the Tybee show was punctuated with stories — of life on the road, of Okefenokee history, of the meetings of cultures, of the importance of experience. (Park told an especially funny story about taking a health-conscious friend from up north to Mrs. Wilkes’ for lunch. “Please pass the kale,” the visitor said at one point.)

In addition to adaptations of hollers, Parks performed beautiful songs from his extensive catalog, including a ballad about falling in love with his wife Margo, a bluesy ode to grits with butter, and an amazing guitar version of The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. The excellent drummer Paul Cooper came on and off stage as needed.

The sound was awesome at the Tybee Post Theater, and the staging was wonderfully dramatic — a large painting by Jeankarlos Cruz contrasted beautifully with the symbolic moss and the very real chandeliers.

Jon Waits is of course a regular contributor here at hissing lawns, but for this shoot he was actually hired by Walter Parks. Our thanks to Margo and Walter for letting us share a few of the images here. More after the jump.

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Larry Jack’s Magical Music Tour – 5/19 – 5/24/16

Hey guys,
It’s a little slower week downtown this weekend, but I am sure you will find plenty of stuff to listen to somewhere around town. There are several good shows on every night. Don’t forget to take a look at the Tybee Post Theater shows this weekend, both nights look like good shows. It looks like I may be wandering around Congress street this weekend, I hope to see some of you around.

Thursday 19th

The Fritz (NC funk rock) – Barrelhouse South
Joh O’Mary (Sav’h singer-songwriter) – Molly MacPherson’s
Chrome Pony, Wet Socks (Sav’h garage punk), Garden Giant (Sav’h rock) – Jinx ($5)

Friday 20th
Autarx (Orlando punk), Tokalos (Sav’h blues garage rock, album release), Greta O & Toxic Shock (Sav’h punk), Feeding Tube (Sav’h punk) – House Of Strut ($5, 8p)
American Hologram (Sav’h goth Americana), Ed Lemon Jr. and the Get RightsBarrelhouse South
Charlie Fog Band (Sav’h Grateful Dead covers) – Molly MacPherson’s
Nightingale News (Sav’h rock), Matt Megrue and the Daisy Chains, Dead Oak (Sav’h rock)  – Jinx ($7)
Walter ParksTybee Post Theater

Saturday 21st
Individually Twisted (Sav’h rock) – Savannah Taphouse
Niche (Sav’h rock), Irata (NC hard rock), Bask (NC heavy)- Jinx
Orange Constant (Statesboro jam) – Congress Street Social Club
Root of All (FL reggae), Of Good Nature (NC reggae-rock) – Barrelhouse South
Sarah Poole (Sav’h singer-songwriter) – Molly MacPherson’s
Ike Stubblefield Trio (Hammond organ legend) – Tybee Post Theater

Sunday 22nd
Obamabo, SSWIII, Vinay Arora, Instrumental Aje, Stardust PixxiesSulfur Studios

Monday 23rd
Craig Tanner and Mr. Williams Open MicAbe’s On Lincoln

Tuesday 24th
Ben Keiser Band (Sav’h rock) – Bay Street Blues
Eric Culberson Open MicBayou Cafe

Highly Suspect with Slothrust and The Inverted at The Jinx – photos

Club gigs don’t often sell out far in advance in Savannah, which is a notoriously walk-up town, but tickets for Highly Suspect were gone before The Jinx and MusicFile Productions (parent company of Savannah Stopover) even started promoting the show.

The Massachusetts-based three-piece has been nominated for two Grammys, but they had never played the Savannah market and we don’t hear much of their brand of hard rock around here.

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Lots of new faces turned up at The Jinx for the high-energy show, which was sponsored in part by Rock 106.1 — you can see both Ryan and Kotter in my pics.

Before Highly Suspect took the stage, Slothrust impressed with their skillful, quietly charismatic garage rock. The Inverted, a young rock band from Florida, was added late to the bill and turned in a great set.

More photos of all three bands after the jump.

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Richard Leo Johnson at Galerie 124 – photos

At the most recent First Friday Art March, Richard Leo Johnson (“a man of aliases”) showed up with his guitar — make that five guitars, actually, plus a theremin and loop pedals — for a sublime recital in the courtyard of Galerie 124 on Taylor Street, which earlier this year hosted Johnson’s remarkable exhibition “…once was lost…”

Some of those rediscovered photos from the 1970s and 1980s were on display in the gallery, and I took my time appreciating their many wonders both before and after Johnson’s performance. If you don’t know Johnson’s work or the backstory on the photos, you can read my quick q+a with Richard in one of my recent Unplugged columns in Do Savannah.

Or you can check out the photos published in Oxford American. Or just hit play and view some of the photos while Forrest Gander reads a poem by his wife C.D. Wright, who died shortly after writing these words inspired by the exhibition.

"Once was Lost" Video from richard leo johnson on Vimeo.

Johnson has taken to calling his music “psychedelic Americana” but almost any term seems reductive. I shot a few photos (more after the jump):

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Wreckless Eric at Congress Street Social Club

So, an odd combination, right? Wreckless Eric at Congress Street Social Club on a Sunday afternoon?

You probably know Wreckless Eric’s “Whole Wild World” — a big hit single from almost 40 years ago — but Eric Goulden isn’t touring on the basis of light-hearted rock and roll nostalgia. On stage, he’s got a dark comic edge and delights in distortion.

Wreckless Eric sings about dark places and dark times, including modern day America. Or, if you prefer, amERICa:

There was a great turnout for the 5 p.m. set on the patio at Social, and Wreckless Eric seemed maybe a little surprised by how many people had turned out just to hear him. This was another gig from MusicFile Productions, the parent company of Savannah Stopover. I was with Kayne and Peter at Bragg Jam in Macon in 2015 for Eric’s gig at Fresh Produce Records, so I knew they were hoping to get him to Savannah at some point, but this show ended up with a visceral edge that I didn’t really feel in last year’s Macon set.

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a quick trip for day 2 of Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta – photos

hissing lawns got press credentials for Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Music Fest in both 2014 and 2015 — you can find all of our posts here — but this year our press request was turned down.

After that rejection and after another possibility to shoot photos fell through, I was planning to sit out this year’s Shaky Knees, but then some friends offered a ride to Atlanta for day 2 of the festival and even had access to a free loft just a couple of blocks from Centennial Olympic Park. No brainer. We hit the road about 9:30 a.m. on Saturday — good conversation certainly makes I-16 less boring. We decided to splurge and get VIP day passes ($250), but more on that in a moment. I’ll begin with the good stuff: the music. (I took along my Fuji x100t, so I got some photos, but nothing like those I would have gotten with my DSLR.)

We started the day with Day Wave, a project of Jackson Phillips from Oakland, Calif. The band has been described as dream pop, but that term doesn’t really describe the high-energy live show.

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Then we headed to Noah Gundersen on the neighboring stage. I love the density, emotion, and passion of Gundersen’s work, and I hope to have chances to see the Seattle-based performer again soon.

Dirty Heads, Moon Taxi to play SCAD’s New Alumni graduation concert in Forsyth Park on 6/3

This just in: Moon Taxi and Dirty Heads will play SCAD’s New Alumni graduation concert in Forsyth Park on 6/3.

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Dirty Heads

Moon Taxi by Joshua Wilkins Black

Moon Taxi by Joshua Wilkins Black

Here’s Dirty Heads:

And check out Moon Taxi‘s sound (if you aren’t already familiar):

Dirty Heads‘ new album That’s All I Need is now available for preorder. The Huntington Beach, Calif.-based band has amassed nearly half a million Facebook fans for their fun mix of reggae, hip hop, and alt rock.

Moon Taxi‘s new album Daybreaker is out now. The Nashville-based indie rockers have gotten really popular over the last couple of years and have attracted big crowds to several festivals.

I haven’t had a chance to see either Dirty Heads or Moon Taxi — and they don’t have the name recognition of some former New Alumni Concert headliners — but the styles should work really well together for a celebratory outdoor show.

Boston’s 40th anniversary tour comes to Johnny Mercer Theatre – photos

Boston stormed through Savannah’s Johnny Mercer Theatre recently on their 40th anniversary tour. Those of us of a certain age can remember the sudden feeling of exhilaration every times a Boston hit came on the radio back in the 1980s, and, despite, some dramatic changes in the lineup — including the tragic passing of lead singer Brad Delp in 2007 — the band still sounds much like they did decades ago.

Founder Tom Scholz is still brilliant on keys and guitar. Scholz and his early bandmate Gary Pihl have brought talented, energetic musicians to the group, and the band still knows how to put on a big stage show.

Ann Sosbe of One Horse Photography shoots a lot of the shows at the Savannah Civic Center, and she got some typically great pics of Boston, which she has graciously shared with us. Click on through for more:

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