hissing lawns | a music blog in Savannah, Ga.

Hey guys,
If you didn’t make it to see music last weekend, you missed some incredible shows.  Murder By Death, Cusses, Same As It Ever Was, and many more bands put on fun, rocking shows. But if you missed last weekend, you have a chance to make it up this weekend. It looks like some more exciting shows coming up this week.If you haven’t been to the Jinx’s Halloween Tribute Band show, you should try to make it out this year.The show consists of many of our great local musicians in various cover bands, often one-off bands that you will not see again. It has turned into one of my favorite annual shows. But, if you are busy on Halloween, there are still plenty of shows to see this week.

Thursday 10/30/14 - Thursday has turned out to be one of the more interesting nights to go out. I almost always make a stop at Molly MacPherson’s to catch TimeCop vs DangerSnake, one half of the Accomplices band. As an added bonus, Ashley Workman works the bar Thursday nights. I will also make a quick stop at Barrelhouse South to catch Atlas Road Crew before they play at the Music Farm in Charleston Friday. The show at Hang Fire will have three excellent instrumental bands from Savannah. Hot Plate is kinda jazzy, Doom Salad a little heavier, and Star Period Star sounds more prog-rock. I’ll try to catch at least a few of those bands.
Atlas Road Crew (Columbia rock & roll) – Barrelhouse South
TimeCop vs DangerSnakeMolly MacPherson’s
Hot Plate, Doom Salad, Star Period StarHang Fire
Old Wounds, VICES, Young and Heartless, Old Lines, Without, MOTHERSweet Melissa’s (7p, all ages)

Friday – 10/31/14 – One of the best nights of the year! I will probably be parked at the Jinx for most of the night, lots of good musicians playing in cover bands. During the breaks, I will jump over to the Barrelhouse to catch Kota Mundi’s EP Release Party.
Kota Mundi (Savannah reggae), KidSyc (Savannah rap) – Barrelhouse South
Halloween Cover Band NightJinx ($10)

Saturday – 11/1/14 – I will be sad on this day-after Halloween, GAM won’t be playing their usual show, due to Keith Kozel’s illness. I am not really sure where I will end up on this night, I have listed a few choices.
Savannah Sweet Tease, Blood Wrestling, Whores., Black TuskJinx
Eric CulbersonCongress Street Social Club
Steppin StonesBarrelhouse South
BoxcarsRandy Wood Guitars ($25)

Sunday – 11/2/14 – The Food Day at Daffin Park is a nice, family friendly event. You can catch lots of the bands that I have been talking about during the daytime and even bring the kids! I hope to make it out to the Tybee Island Social Club after that to catch The Bastard Sons Of Johnny Cash (great band name!).
Savannah Food DayDaffin Park; all ages; Omingnome (12p), Ambrose (1p), Waits & Co (2p), City Hotel (4p), Accomplices (5p)
Bastard Sons Of Johnny CashTybee Island Social Club (6-9p)

Monday – 11/3/14 – A Monday metal show at the Jinx!!! These guys have almost 150,000 Facebook likes.
Goatwhore (New Orleans Southern metal) - Jinx

Tuesday – 11/4/14 – This show looks interesting. A seven-piece bluegrass band at the Bean.
Charlie & The Foxtrots (Nashville bluegrass) – Sentient Bean

Somewhere near the middle of Murder By Death‘s show last week at The Jinx here in Savannah, lead singer Adam Turla told the audience that the band was about to play a new song — one about his grandfather who had been ill for many years. Adam noted his mother’s role as longtime caregiver, and then he added that his grandfather had died the day before the show.

A similar announcement at another show might have seemed schmaltzy, sentimental, shocking. But if you’re already a fan of Murder By Death, you know the band has been meditating on the inevitability of death and the burdens of living for over a decade. Thursday’s set here in Savannah even began with “I Came Around”, a brilliant song about paying the “false courtesy” of going to a funeral of someone you never liked — and realizing you’d been wrong about him all along.

So Turla’s matter-of-fact statement about his grandfather’s passing just brought the crowd closer, and then after a couple of other high-powered songs with dark themes, it was time to sing about whiskey.

This was Murder By Death’s third time in Savannah and at The Jinx. They played the inaugural Savannah Stopover and then at The Jinx’s 10th anniversary in late 2013. I was also lucky to catch Murder By Death at Headliners Music Hall in Louisville back in June (photos here). I was on the road a lot over the summer dealing with a family crisis, and I found — and continue to find — real comfort in Murder By Death’s unflinching art. At the show in Louisville, I took particular note of a new song titled something like “A Big Dark Love”. Before last week’s gig, I asked bassist Matt Armstrong if that song was on the set list. He told me it wasn’t, but then Adam gave me a shoutout from the stage as the band launched into it.

Murder By Death has a new album in the can, and we’ll definitely be writing about its release — and hopefully covering the band’s tour to promote it. Petee, Tom, and I all brought our cameras to the show last week (I know, this is not the most efficient use of our resources, but we’re here for the music, not the logic), so we have a lot of pics after the jump. The lighting was tough — sometimes The Jinx is able to mix up the looks better than in last week’s show.

Devil At My Side opened — and what a pleasure to see them again so soon after Statts Fest. The band is basically an Americana rock act with Tony Beasley/Whiskey Dick plus the members of Niche. Perfect opener for MBD.

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Muuy Biien by Mike White

Muuy Biien by Mike White

“Ya’ll mind if I take a piss in the back restroom right here while ya do this here interview? I heard in the distance from where I sat with three of the five that make up the noise-punk band Muuy Biien.

“That’s perfectly fine,” I shouted back, not wanting to throw off the zen this drunken show-goer had clearly achieved.

We were in the back of Graveface Records, which had just hosted a show featuring Anxiety Junkies, Crazy Bag Lady, and the focus of this interview: Muuy Biien, collectively of Athens, Georgia.

When I stepped into the venue earlier, I heard a voice shouting from the stage.

“Can I get into it?”

The band shouted, “Yeah!

“Can I get into it?”

This time the crowd answered, too, “Yeah!

The singer made the call one more time, and then the room exploded. The crowd seemed to suddenly lose its equilibrium and the band was soaking it up and throwing it right back.

It was a reference to James Brown, what the frontman, Joshua Evans, shouted before the song started. I recognized it and asked him about it later, and to my excitement he said that the father of funk was a big inspiration.

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When I got downtown about 8 p.m. on Saturday night, Damon and the Shitkickers were nearing the end of their traditional happy hour set at The Jinx. Around the corner at Hang Fire, No Control’s fall fest had already been going for two hours — I got there just in time for electricparK., husband and wife rappers with sharp senses of timing and of the absurd.

If so many people were already out and about listening to live music before 8 p.m., why do so few Savannah shows start before 10 or 10:30?

Anyway, that’s another blog post. Hang Fire was pretty awesome all night — diverse styles, a wide range of fans, great energy. After electricparK., Whaleboat delivered a fantastic set — one of the best I’ve ever heard from the band that has played only sporadic gigs of late. I also saw Culture Vulture for the first time — what’s not to love about a jazzy, progressive instrumental 3-piece that includes a trombone? Later, I caught just enough of Charlotte-based indie act Grown Up Avenger Stuff to know that I want to hear a lot more.

In the midst of those acts, I slipped over to The Jinx for an excellent set by punk band Crazy Bag Lady. CBL, which was on Saturday night embracing some sort of Halloween theme that included blond wigs and the name Swayze Bag Lady (I didn’t get the joke at all), has played as many gigs as any young Savannah act over the last year — and now they have a tightly honed live show and a record deal with Retro Futurist. Hard work pays off.

After Crazy Bag Lady, The Savannah Sweet Tease Burlesque Revue took the stage before a packed club. There’s something quite disturbing and wonderful about a burlesque performer dressed as Freddy Krueger . . .

All in all, an excellent night, even though I missed several acts I hoped to see at Hang Fire, including CUSSES. Here are some pics — not very many and not particularly good ones. The lighting at Hang Fire is always tough, but I was mainly distracted by just the sheer combination of energy, artistry, and friends.

A couple shots here with more after the jump:

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Sometimes I turn to Murder By Death for the dense, dark lyrics that could stand alone as poetry. Sometimes I’m listening because of the pacing — for the songs that build and build and build until the tension is forced to resolve itself. Sometimes I really just want to hear Sarah Balliet play the cello. Sometimes I want to lose myself in Adam Turla’s voice.

Murder By Death puts on one of the strongest live shows I’ve seen in recent years, and I’m thrilled to see them again at The Jinx here in Savannah on 10/23, with the southern rock of Devil at My Side opening. Online ticket sales have ended, but there might be some available at the door — well worth the $20.

Murder By Death has recorded a new album — it’s sure going to be tough to follow up to 2012’s Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon, but I’ve come to expect some great things from such uncompromising artists.

Murder By Death also puts on a powerful live show. They are super fun to photograph — here a few shots from this summer’s gig at Headliners in Louisville:

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Hi guys,
I was out of town last week and it looks like I am coming back to Savannah on a very busy week. This is just another typical Savannah weekend of plenty of shows going on. No reason to ramble on, there are too many shows to talk about this weekend (and more).

Thursday 10/23/14 – There has been plenty of coverage of the big Murder By Death show this week, you can read it about it on this site (and Connect and DO) from people who can really write. I hope you got/get your tickets, they go up to $20 at the door.
Murder By Death/ Devil At My SideJinx ($15/20)

Friday 10/24/14 – I hope to get a break from work around lunchtime and catch the Theremin Show at the Trinity Methodist Church on Telfair Square, it looks like it could be fun. And it is an incredible venue to watch a show. I hate to admit it, but I wish someone would play the Star Trek theme. Heading into later in the evening, there are several good party shows going on. It looks like you better wear your dancing shoes, every one of these shows are sure to get you moving.
Theremin Concert (Ricardo Ochoa, Richard Leo Johnson)Trinity Methodist Church (12:15-12:45)
Hypnotics (Savannah garage rock) – Molly MacPherson’s
Same As It Ever Was (Talking Heads Tribute Band)Jinx ($10, 2 full sets)
Those Cats (Statesboro soul/funk with 2 sax players) – Congress Street Social Club

Saturday 10/25/14 – It looks like most of this night will be spent at Hang Fire. This is a very diverse line-up, with everything from country blues to electronica to hard rock. There are several other good shows going on that night, I have listed several of them.
No Control Fall Festival [AM Rodriguez (6p), Sunglow, Beneath Trees (7:15), Electricpark, Whaleboat, Culture Vulture (9:30), Grown Up Avengers Stuff, Madre Padre, CUSSES (11:55)]Hang Fire (6pm, $8)
Missionary Blues (Savannah blues) – BubBaQ (7p, all ages)
Velvet Caravan (Savannah gypsy-jazz) – Jazz’d (9p)
City Hotel (Savannah bluegrass) – Rocks On The Roof (9p)
Savannah Sweet Tease (burlesque), Crazy Bag Lady (Savannah punk) – Jinx
Gravy (funk/soul from New Orleans) – Congress Street Social Club
Dirk Quinn Band (Philadelphia funk-jazz improv) – Barrelhouse South

Sunday 10/26/14 - I will probably make the drive to Tybee for a few shows on this day. Paving Gravy at the Tybee Social Club is always a laid-back way to start the day off. I plan to head over to the North Beach Grill later in the day for a festival they are having. If I am still ready to listen to some tunes, I will head over to the Whitley Deputy show at Barrelhouse or Voodoo Soup at Congress Social Club to end the evening.
Paving Gravy (Savannah bluegrass supergroup) – Tybee Social Club (12-3p)
North Beach Grill 5th Anniversary [Jimmy Wolling Band, Train Wrecks, Accomplices, Velvet Caravan (7p), Nickel Bag Of Funk]North Beach Bar & Grill (1p-10p)
Whitley Deputy BandBarrelhouse South (9:30)
Voodoo Soup (Sav’h classic rock) – Congress Street Social Club

Monday 10/27/14 – You may as well continue the weekend with this Monday night show.
Bright Light Social Hour (Austin psychedelic southern rock) – Hang Fire

Tuesday 10/28/14 – Another night with a few good shows. The big show is at the Jinx, with a tasty looking line-up.  The show is scheduled to start at 8:30, so maybe it won’t run real late.  If you lean more toward the heavy end of the music, you may want to head down to Hang Fire for a loud show. I hope I get to make it at least to the end of the show for a bit of Toxic Shock, if it is not too late.
Hooray For The Riff Raff (New Orleans honky-tonk blues), Alanna Royale (Nashville dirty pop/raunchy soul), City Hotel (Savannah bluegrass) – Jinx ($18-20)
Jealousy Mountain Duo (German noise abstract), Don Vito (German noise rock), Mannequin Pussy (Philly punk), Toxic Shock (Sav’h punk, members of Crazy Bag Lady) – Hang Fire ($5)

Savannah-based surf-soul-rockers Triathalon have released their first album — Lo-Tide — on Broken Circles Records.

You can stream the record here and obviously click on through to Triathalon’s Bandcamp page:

I especially like the laconic retro longing of “Downtown” and the subtle surprises of “Swells”, which has been a staple of Triathalon’s live shows for a while now. We’ll have more soon about the band’s upcoming tour.

I spent both Friday night and Saturday night at The Jinx, here’s my attempt at speed reviewing the 6 bands that I saw.

Friday night:
Jeff Two Names and the Born Agains: Savannah’s best pop punk band (running unopposed). New bass player is good looking.

Canopy, or 2/3 of Canopy: Bass player was, ummm, detained, so huge, thick, syrupy, instrumental Sabbath grooves were born of guitar and drums only. Hell yeah. Out of Atlanta.

Sins of Godless Men: Heavy rock trio who changed drummers mid set. New drummer (John from Coastlines) hits hard. General rock goodness, with enough sense to provide some light of their own on stage.

Saturday night:

Rotten Blush: Really didn’t know much going in, but I heard a Queens of the Stone Age vibe, which sounded pretty damn good.

The Powder Room: Noise rock out of Atlanta. Totally my speed and as such, one of the best bands I’ve seen out of Atlanta recently and my favorite set of the weekend. I’ll go see them every time.

Bear Fight!: I love Bear Fight! and they always draw a good crowd. Set was great, but for the love of God, could someone please put some light on the stage? Looking forward to hearing new songs soon.

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