Revival Fest 2017 — lots of photos

After going on hiatus in 2016, Revival Fest — another offering from Savannah Stopover parent company MusicFile Productions — returned this year to the old paint shops at the Georgia State Railroad Museum. The sprawling complex feels just right for a day of music.

The palpable sense of history and craft makes a perfect backdrop for the various southern and roots styles that make up much of the Revival Fest lineup.

The day began with the Sweet Thunder Strolling Band — a project spearheaded by Andrew Hartzell — and then the brilliant young singer-songwriter Caleb Caudle performed on the indoor. Savannah blues stalwarts Bottles & Cans and the Charleston-based, Gullah-influenced Ranky Tanky played strong sets on the outdoor stage.

Savannah’s The Train Wrecks — one of Savannah’s top bands for many years — had the kids dancing inside, and then Cale Tyson played an especially strong set. I am not familiar with Tyson’s work, but I’m looking forward to listening to a lot more of it.

Next up were two stellar acts — one that I know and one that I don’t. T. Hardy Morris and the Hardknocks have gotten a lot of praise on this blog, and their live sets are always intense and tight. Morris and company have a new album in the works — we loved the previous records Drownin’ On A Mountaintop and Audition Tapes — that should be out within a few months.

And Blackfoot Gypsies wowed me both during their daytime set and in their post-fest set at The Jinx after midnight. The Nashville-based band has so many interesting elements that I don’t even know where to begin. I’ll try to do a longer post about Blackfoot Gypsies soon.

Big Sam’s Funky Nation from New Orleans proved a great choice for the inside stage — Savannah audiences aren’t often treated to funk bands of that caliber — and then Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics made a ton of new fans outside. The night was capped by longtime indie rockers Blitzen Trapper, an immensely talented band from Portland, Oregon.

I took a lot of photos, but if you want to see much better ones, you should check out the work of Geoff L. Johnson on the Revival Fest Facebook page. A few here, with lots more after the jump:

Totally Worth It Show: Surfer Blood and COEDS tonight (10/11) at The Jinx.

Hey guys, just a quick reminder that there’s an almost certainly great EARLY (don’t say I didn’t warn you) show tonight, Wednesday, October 11 at The Jinx. West Palm’s Surfer Blood are finally coming through town. I caught them opening for The Pixies a few years ago and honestly thought they were every bit as good as the headliners that night. They’ve gone through some ups and downs since then, but never stopped writing super catchy, organic, indie rock gems. MusicFile Productions, the crew behind Savannah Stopover, is putting on the show, so you know it’s going to be quality stuff. Plus, COEDS, one of our best local bands don’t play out nearly as often as they use to, so you need to catch them every chance you get. Check out a couple videos below if you need convincing. See you there.

What? Surfer Blood with COEDS

Where? The Jinx 912
127 W Congress St, Savannah, Georgia 31401

When? Wed. October 11. 9 p.m. (I think they’re serious about starting early, so you can be in bed at a reasonable hour!)

Who? Surfer Blood and COEDS. Watch:

New Music Monday – 10/9/2017

We decided not to post our usual Monday update last week amidst horrible news from Las Vegas — our sympathy to all affected by the shooting — and the death of Tom Petty, but we’re back this week with some really great new music from:

  • Kewl
  • Greco
  • Death From Above
  • J. Roddy Walston & The Business
  • Marilyn Manson
  • Angel Vivaldi
  • Ty Segall
  • Wavves
  • L7


Who is John Deluxe and what has he done with John Zimmerman? JZ is best known to Savannah clubgoers as the drummer for the garage rock duo Wet Socks — wow, we were lucky to get to see a live act with that much talent and spirit so often — but he also started doing slightly surreal shows as Kewl before he moved away (boo). Kewl lives on, and this new self-titled record is even better than Zimmerman’s fans could have expected. If you don’t trust me, you can take John Deluxe’s word for it: “LISTEN TO IT LOUD WHILE YOUR DRUNK.” – bill

Athens/Atlanta, GA
“Half As Bad”

Greco defines their band with four core words: Sing. Dance. Sweat. Sex.The band of 4 brothers certainly lives up to their claim and their single, “Half As Bad” is a prime example of it. Sultry, catchy, and pretty damn sexy, their video only gives a glimpse into what the band is capable of live. ~ Petey

Death From Above
Toronto, Ontario
Outrage! Is Now

This album dropped about a month ago, but it’s still worth a mention. The Canadian dance-punk duo, who can’t seem to make up their mind about the project, or the name, have put out one of their strongest efforts to date. Filled with thick, noisy bass riffs, perpetually interesting rhythms, and synthy hooks for days, Outrage! Is Now should be played as loud as possible. —Joshua

J. Roddy Walston & The Business
Richmond, Virginia
Destroyers of Soft Life

Savannah Stopover alum J. Roddy Walston & The Business released their fourth studio album last week. The particular cross-section of gospel, country, roots rock and southern rock inherent of J. Roddy’s hometown of Cleveland, Tennessee, has given him a deep well of influence to draw on. Destroyers of Soft Life seamlessly weaves together a wide patchwork of sounds, creating a unique, often uplifting, album that shifts through T. Rex jams, Spoon-soaked rockers, a Tom Petty side adventure and even a gospel-infused lament. Really good stuff. I am on listen #25. (Aside: My parents met and were married in Cleveland, which is like a second home to me. It’s an odd city, for sure. I recommend never visiting. It leaves a peculiar stain on your soul, that you can never wash out.) —Joshua

Marilyn Manson
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“KILL4ME” a new single

Here’s something surprising, the new Marilyn Manson is dark and twisted. I think people have always taken him way more serious than they should. It’s entertainment, people. Manson’s new single is well, entertaining. That is, if you dig the shock-rock-industrial thing, or if you enjoy the soundtracks to Rob Zombie films. Happy Halloween, ghouls. —Joshua

Angel Vivaldi
New Jersey

Guitar nerds: Do you enjoy nigh-impossible pick work and scale destruction, encased in instrumental metal guitar that is as beautiful and articulate as it is heavy and melodic? Then this Neoclassical/metallurgy is for you. It also works well as background music for creative projects. And while listening is fun, check out Angel’s videos, because watching this guy play guitar is more fascinating than hearing it. If you really dig this kind of stuff, I recommend falling into a YouTube black hole of his videos. Start here. (My old college buddy Ben Eller makes a cameo in a couple of Angel’s videos. Both of these guys are at the top of their guitar game. Check out Ben’s “Why you suck at guitar” channel too. It’s informative and hilarious.) — Joshua

Ty Segall
L.A., CA
“Alta”, out now on Bandcamp, seems to be a stand alone single

Proudly classic, yet entirely modern, rock. The hyper prolific Ty Segall seems to have melodies, harmonies, and riffs for days. In a different era Segall would rule the airways, in this era the bulk of his output is worth seeking out.

L.A., CA
“The Lung” from the Adult Swim Singles Program, 52 weeks of new music

Wavves contribution to the Adult Swim project is pretty much what I would expect…catchy, kinda sunny, lo-fi pop. I don’t like every single song Nathan Williams puts out, but most of his stuff is pretty damn good, and this falls on the pretty damn good side of the fence.

L.A., CA
“Dispatch From Mar-a-Lago”, single out now on Don Giovanni

L7 is back together, and thankfully this single doesn’t stink as bad as the band did when I saw them back in the day. Literally, I mean they smelled bad. So bad, in fact, that I’m still talking about how bad they smelled 30 years later. Anyway, this song is pretty catchy and fun and will appeal to you if you liked them during their original run. Seriously, they smelled soooo bad. Really, really bad.

Cedric Burnside Project at the Roasting Room Lounge & Listening Room in Bluffton – photos

Despite regular urging from friends and area music lovers, I didn’t make it to the
Roasting Room Lounge & Listening Room until a couple weeks ago. What prompted me to finally head to Bluffton to check out the space?

Cedric Burnside. The Cedric Burnside Project includes Burnside’s longtime collaborator Trenton Ayers. Based in Holly Springs, the two men play traditional North Mississippi blues — Burnside is the grandson of the legendary R.L. Burnside — but the sound sprawls across the decades into funk.

The Roasting Room’s second floor bourbon bar made a perfect venue for this sometimes-intimate, sometimes-raucous show, which was part of the Concert Series. The show began with Burnside solo, singing and playing guitar, and then he was joined by Ayers. With such great energy in the room, the pair seemed reluctant to take a break, so the first set alone was well over an hour. No one left between sets either — in fact, the crowd seemed to get even bigger. What a great night of music from electrifying (and very photogenic) pair of musicians.

The first shot here is from Jamie Smith Arkins, one of a number of other Savannahians who made the trip for this extraordinary show.

Larry Jack’s Magical Music Tour – 10/5/17 – 10/11/17

Thursday – 10/5
Matt Eckstine –
Molly MacPherson’s (4-8p)
The Mercers –
Treehouse (5-9p)
Velvet Caravan –
Rancho Allegro (7p)
The Mammoths –
Barrelhouse South
Daikaiju –
El Rocko ($5, 10p)
The Vibrators, Rocket 77, The Pauses –
Jinx ($15)

Friday – 10/6
Savanna Bassett – Rail Pub (7p)
Solo Collective – House of Strut (7p)
Jonathan Brown, Basik Lee, Perpetual Care, Cunabear, Valore – Wormhole
The Mercers – Molly MacPherson’s
Sammy J, Lespeical – Barrelhouse South
Stronger Sex, Hudson K, Tommy Techno –
El Rocko
The Head –
Congress Street Social Club
Isaac Smith Album Release, Reuben Bidez, Gin House –

Saturday – 10/7
Machine Dreams, Orange Doors, Date Stuff – El Rocko
Jason Courtney Band, American Hologram, Bill Hodgson – Wild Wing Cafe
Bottles & Cans – Jinx
Outlaws, Scooter Brown Band – Stage on Bay (8p)                                         
The Heavy Pets, Kick The Robot – Barrelhouse South
Five Shot Jack – Congress Street Social Club
Whisky & Wine – Totally Awesome Bar
Liquid Ginger –

Sunday – 10/8
Voodoo SoupCongress Street Social Club

Monday – 10/9
Open Mic – Abe’s on Lincoln

Tuesday – 10/10
Ben Keiser Band –
Bay Street Blues
Eric Culberson Open Jam –
Bayou Cafe
Open Jam –
Molly MacPherson’s
Particle –

Wednesday – 10/11
Height Keech, Valore, Cunabear, Obamabo – El Rocko
Surfer Blood, COEDS – Jinx
Eric Culberson Band – Boomy’s

preview: Revival Fest in Savannah on Saturday, 9/30

There’s something magical about Revival Fest, which takes place on 9/30 on stages inside and outside the old paint shops at the Georgia State Railroad Museum. (For years, the complex was just called “The Roundhouse” but there is much more to the property than just the roundhouse itself.)

MusicFile Productions, which produces Savannah Stopover, launched Revival Fest in 2013 but took a break in 2016. The event has come back with a vengeance this year — and a killer lineup.

From Josh Peacock’s Revival Fest, an all-Southern celebration, returns to Georgia State Railroad Museum in this week’s Do Savannah:

The single-day festival, which focuses on a showcase of Southern-infused vintage music complemented by bourbon, beer, cocktails and food, will once again take over the the grounds at the historic Georgia State Railroad Museum in Savannah.

In the past three iterations, a host of great acts have shared the festival’s two stages. Those Darlins, Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price, Southern Culture on the Skids, Futurebirds and Roadkill Ghost Choir are just a few of the great bands to play.

This year, the lineup continues the festival’s ethos, with rock, country, blues and soul. New lineup additions include more funk and even a celebration of Gullah culture.

From Anna Chandler’s preview of headliner Blitzen Trapper in Revival Fest returns; Savannah’s Lowcountry hoedown brings bands, booze, and bites in this week’s Connect Savannah:

Portland’s own Blitzen Trapper returns to Savannah. Music File Productions has previously brought the beloved folk-rock five-piece to town to perform a one-off show at The Jinx and headline Savannah Stopover Music Festival in 2016.

The band has released eight studio albums via Lidkercow Ltd., Sub Pop, and Vagrant and three live albums. In 2017, Blitzen Trapper will release Wild and Reckless, the anticipated follow-up to 2015’s All Across This Land.

From my Unplugged column in this week’s Do: “As someone who attends a lot of shows around town, I can say unequivocally that those festivals presented three of the best individual days of live music that I have experienced in Savannah.”

And the cost for general admission is just $34.50, with free admission for children 10 and under.

The music kicks off at 2:00 with a very short set by the Sweet Thunder Strolling Band followed by Savannah blues stalwarts Bottles & Cans, and performances go almost nonstop till 11. Here’s the order:

  • Bottles & Cans, Savannah
  • Caleb Caudle, Winston-Salem, N.C.
  • Ranky Tanky, Charleston, S.C.
  • The Train Wrecks, Savannah
  • Cale Tyson, Cleburne, Texas
  • Blackfoot Gypsies, Nashville
  • Hardy & The Hardknocks, Athens
  • Big Sam’s Funky Nation, New Orleans
  • Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics, Atlanta
  • Blitzen Trapper, Portland, Ore.

For general info, check out the festival FAQ. I’ll see a lot of you Saturday

The paint shops at the Georgia State Railroad Museum at the 2014 Revival Fest

New Music Monday – 9/25/17

This week’s lean, mean post features just three artists:

    • Blacklisters
    • Shopping
    • Ted Leo
    • Daniele Luppi/Parquet Courts


London, UK
“The Hype” on Fat Cat Records

London post- punk dance trio Shopping return with their first new track since 2015’s LP Why Choose. Socially conscious, heavy lyrics in a flat out dance track? Why not. A little party might be what we all need on a Monday. Catchy and addictive as hell. -Kayne

Leeds, UK
“Dart” from their upcoming e.p. out 9/29 on Too Pure Singles Club.

Menacing noise rock of the Jesus Lizard, Pissed Jeans, Young Widows ilk. If you like those bands, this is totally worth your time.

Ted Leo
“Can’t Go Back” from The Hanged Man, out now.

Look, I’ll admit it, I’m totally biased, I love Ted Leo. He’s a super nice guy, and a fantastic songwriter. The Hanged Man, his first output under his name since 2010, showcases the songwriting prowess while maintaining the punk ethics and fire that his career is built upon. Sure, he’s getting older, and the songs are more mature, too (Is that a piano I hear?!?), but everything still rocks, particularly live. Long live Ted Leo.

Daniele Luppi/Parquet Courts
“Talisa” [ft. Karen O] off MILANO, due out October 27 via Danger Mouse’s 30th Century Records.

The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s appear to be teasing some upcoming activity on social media, but if you’re itching for new Karen O vocals, here you go. Short and sweet.

Larry Jack’s Magical Music Tour – 9/21/17 – 9/26/17

Hey guys,
This should be a pretty good week to check out some music downtown.  The Jazz Festival is getting in full swing this week with shows at Forsyth Park.  Another big highlight this week will be the Statts Fest at Grayson Stadium, a family-friendly event with some of Savannah’s best bands.  I think any of these shows listed will be worth checking out. I hope to see you around sometime this weekend.

Thursday 9/21
Jason BibleMolly MacPherson’s (4p)
SSU Wesleyan Gospel Choir, Eric Culberson Band, Selwyn Birchwood, Victor WainwrightSavannah Jazz Festival at Forsyth Park (6p)
Bottles & CansBayou Cafe (9p)
McLovinsBarrelhouse South

Friday 9/22
In For A PennyRail Pub (6:30p)
Abbey Road LIVE!Tybee Post Theater (8p)
Jackyl, WaylandStage On Bay (8p)
Mary J. BligeSavannah Civic Center (8p)
The MustardMolly MacPherson’s
Treehouse!, Sol SeedBarrelhouse South

Saturday 9/23
Kellen Heller, Blood Bath & Beyond, Days to Come, Lillakk, FAQ, Dead City ClownsStage On Bay (1p)
Bottles & Cans, Clouds & Satelites, Train Wrecks, Damon & The ShitkickersStattsfest at Grayson Stadium (3p)
Warrior Lift Benefit Blues Show w/ Big Mike and the Booty Papas, Missionary Blues BandAmerican Legion (6p, $30/40)
HitmanMolly MacPherson’s
Porch 40, SumilanBarrelhouse South
Chew Congress Street Social Club

Sunday 9/24
Voodoo SoupCongress Street Social Club

Monday 9/25
Open MicAbe’s On Lincoln

Tuesday 9/26
Clouds & SatellitesFoxy Loxy Cafe (7p)
Ben Keiser BandBay Street Blues
Eric Culberson Open JamBayou Cafe

Wednesday 9/27
XEB (members of Third Eye Blind)Barrelhouse South ($15)
Eric Culberson BandBoomy’s

Statts Fest Goes Bananas is Saturday, Statts Pre Game was a blast – pics

Statts Fest Goes Bananas II is Saturday, beginning at 3 o’clock, at the always awesome Grayson Stadium and you should go. Take the wife, the husband, the kids, grandma, your kinda weird uncle, take everyone. A great lineup of local bands, serious food choices, amazing silent auction, kids’ activities, a fantastic cause and, you know, beer. I’m not going to rehash why Jason Statts needs help (honestly, it chokes me up a bit every time, and you know the deal by now), but what I will rehash every year is how amazing it is that the community and Friends of Statts comes together to lend a helping hand and raise some much needed funds for a good dude. Amazing.

The man himself made it to The Jinx for Statts Pre Game and Punk Rock Garage Sale and looked to be in good spirits. I somehow made it through the whole event, here’s some stream-of-consciousness thoughts before a ton of pics.

So many unique and weird things at the Punk Rock Garage Sale, word is we’ll see more events like it.

Mad respect to every band who came in from out of town to play. So cool.

The Savannah music scene doesn’t have a ton of active bands currently (fix that, please), but the bands playing out tend to be flat out great. Black Tusk, obviously. The Gumps are killer. Sins of Godless Men destroy, even when battling technical issues. Yes, even Jeff Two-Names and The Born Agains.

The 2 (I think?) new songs Black Tusk played were excellent, leaning as far punk as metal, which works really well for them. Also, they are crushing live. Every time.

Royal Thunder played at the end of a marathon day, and some people had understandably tapped out by then. They were FANTASTIC, I wish everyone had a chance to see them.

Nate Hall from U.S. Christmas opened with a solo set and has a song on Bandcamp that benefits Statts, you should buy it here.

There is a post Statts Fest show at The Jinx Saturday and Shoplifters, Keith Kozel’s newish project is playing. I highly, highly, recommend seeing them. They don’t play out a ton and are everything a rock band should be. Really great.

Anyway….pics, check ’em out.

New Music Monday – 9/18/17

What a difference a week makes. Last Monday, we were still dealing with the effects of Hurricane Irma, but the hissing lawns crew is fine. This week we’re back with new work from:

  • Beck
  • Neil Young
  • The Naional
  • Foo Fighters
  • Choke Up
  • High Waisted
  • Frightened Rabbit


Los Angeles, CA
“Up All Night” from Colors, due out October 13.

I always felt like there were two “Becks”, electro weirdo Beck, you know, the “two turntables and a microphone” dude and bummed out, acoustic Beck, responsible for gorgeous tunes like Lost Cause and Paper Tiger. I’m good with both Becks. They’re cool. I think there may be a third Beck, though, radio friendly unapologetic pop Beck, judging from the lead singles from the upcoming Colors. I think I’m begrudgingly okay with him, too. Also, I feel like this video is trying to slap me in the face with some kind of meaning or symbolism, but I’m too lazy to figure it out/google it. Whatever, the song is catchy.

Neil Young
“Hitchhiker”, title track from newly released album recorded in 1976.

Look, I don’t want to belabor the point, but if you’re a Neil Young fan and you haven’t listened to this album yet, YOU’RE SCREWING UP.

The National
Cincinnati, Ohio
Sleep Well Beast

By all standards, The National are American’s indie-rock darlings. Their seventh studio album, Sleep Well Beast, has cemented the argument. The National have certainly found a groove as a unit, but they are not afraid to press their limits. Similar to other great bands (Radiohead comes to mind), they push and pull at the arraignments and melodies just enough to stretch the songwriting foundation they’ve built over the last 18 years. Yet, they serve the song. If simplicity is required, they are not afraid to trim the arraignments back and let frontman Matt Berninger’s baritone take the helm. That restraint, coupled with a spirit of daring, and Berninger’s lyrics (which come with help from his wife, fiction writer Carin Besser) has earned them their title. — Joshua

Frightened Rabbit
Selkirk, Scotland
Recorded Songs

The Scottish indie-pop/rockers apparently had three songs that “exist happily next to one another,” so they released an EP. Simple. Cool. These are lovely, sugary sweet tunes, and as they said, do exist rather wonderfully together. The highlight of this EP, however, is the second track, “How It Gets In,” which features Savannah Stopover alum Julien Baker. In fact, it sounds a lot like one of her songs. — Joshua

Foo Fighters
Seattle, WA
Concrete and Gold out now on RCA Records

We’ve all got those trusty items that we come back to time and time again that never let us down. A favorite pair of jeans. A pen that inexplicably never runs out of ink. A trusty pocket knife that has a myriad of uses only limited by your imagination. Well, Foo Fighters latest release is the sonic equivalent of that. There’s not much that’s revolutionary with their newest record, but when you’re one of the keystones of rock music, do you have to reinvent the wheel with every new album? Absolutely not. A killer release in every sense of the word. ~ Petey

Choke Up
Boston, MA
Stormy Blue out now on Say 10 Records

Choke Up’s newest release, Stormy Blue, hits a ton of high points for me. Equal parts raw punk rock and late 90s emo (a la Get Up Kids and Taking Back Sunday), Stormy Blue displays an earnest, youthful side while also embracing a good bit of melancholy that comes with maturing and age. ~ Petey

High Waisted
New York, NY
“Firebomb” off of their split EP with The Coax out now on Little Dickman Records

When you carry the reputation of being “Best Party Band”, you’ve got some hefty expectations to live up to. New York’s High Waisted lives up to the hype and delivers even more with their new pair of releases off of their split EP with The Coax. A bit more garage rock of an offering than their usual surf rock heavy tone, the new releases are a both bangers in major ways. ~ Petey

Atlanta, Ga.
“Toe to Toes”

Just a few months after releasing a brand new album (Emperor of Sand) Mastodon announced a new EP and the first single. They debuted this behind-the-scenes video on Revolver, giving an inside look at the band’s recording process. Which is pretty rad to watch. It’s also hilarious. Most striking to me was how all four of these guys contribute to the writing and recording process. Otherwise, this song is a slight return to that older Mastodon sound, something they departed from on Emperor. Also, I think it’s pretty clear Brent Hinds is a mad genius. I am pretty stoked to hear the rest of this EP. —Joshua

Kylesa’s Laura Pleasants’ new band, The Discussion, plays debut show

I feel it’s safe to say that Kylesa fans were disheartened to see the group call it quits. I know I was. So it goes. I also feel it’s safe to say a lot of people were stoked when Laura Pleasants announced a new project, The Discussion.

Ahead of a European tour, The Discussion released a five-track EP (embed below for your listening and purchasing pleasure), titled European Tour Ep. Straight-forward, simple title. I like that.

The Discussion debuted on home turf ahead of their tour, playing their first show ever at The Wormhole. If you missed this show, no worries, they will play The Jinx in November after tour. From the crowd though, it seems a lot of local fans did not miss this show, and The Discussion did not disappoint.

Along with the new tracks, they played a couple of Kylesa tracks and a Cure cover, which was apropos. Pleasants wrote and recorded all of the music herself playing all the instruments with the exception of drums on the EP. The Discussion’s live incarnation is pretty stellar: From the now deceased Cray Bags, Derek Lynch helms bass duties. Rhythm wizard Richard Adams lays out the beat for the EP and the live show. Out front, Pleasants captains the post-punk psychedelic rock in all her metal majesty.

Existing sonically somewhere between Kylesa and The Cure, The Discussion is off to a killer start. I am excited to see how this project evolves. Lynch and Adams were fantastic, and anyone who’s ever seen Kylesa live will know Pleasants on-stage prowess is always on point. Her solo voice as a musician is not only interesting, but damn good.

(If you’d like to learn more about The Discussion in Pleasants own words, here are some rad articles from the two local alt-weekly’s: Do Savannah, Connect Savannah.)

Twisty Cats opened the show.

Here’s some photos from hissing hawns’ editor/OG punk/music fan/motherfucking patron of the arts Tom Cartmel, with more after the jump:

New Music Monday – 9/4/17

This week we present work from:

  • Car Seat Headrest (we like the new track so much we’re recommending it twice …)
  • OCS
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor
  • Smoke
  • Tyler Edwards


Car Seat Headrest
“War Is Coming (If You Want It)”

Will Toledo and company’s latest single has all the traits we’ve come to expect, including but not limited to the arresting but emotionally ambivalent lyrics (“Last night I dreamed that you’d murdered some kids / Gone up towards the border where the freaks live / I couldn’t tolerate it, yet somehow I did”), beautiful tempo changes, and unexpected flourishes (mainly synth). A previous version of this track was on sale for one day on Bandcamp to benefit the Transgender Law Center. No word yet on a date or name for the followup album to Teens of Denial, one of the best records of 2016. – bill

Car Seat Headrest is a favorite around hissing lawns, and Teens of Denial, the latest album, is one of my favorite works in the last decade or so. Will Toledo was fairly prolific before his newfound relative fame, and I was hoping that he wouldn’t slow down much after signing with the major indie label Matador and ascending to the medium size font on festival flyers. This song makes it seem like he and I will be on good terms for a long time. Great power pop in the vein of The Cars, Weezer, and Big Star filtered through a modern lo-fi sensibility.

OCS, formerly Oh Sees, formerly Thee Oh Sees, formerly OCS
San Francisco, CA
“Memory of a Cut Off Head” from album of the same title, due November 17 on Castle Face Records.

John Dwyer changes the name of his ridiculously prolific project almost as often as he changes the sound. Just 3 days after releasing the highly recommended double drummer, guitar shredding, psych rock album Orc, Dwyer changes the name back to OCS and the switches the sound to mellow acoustic folk. Whatever, until he starts playing bland contemporary country or insufferable acid jazz or something I’m along for the ride.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Montreal, Canada
“Undoing a Luciferian Towers” from Luciferian Towers out September 22.

Given the band name and the album title, you’d expect some pretty pretentious music. What you get though….well, actually it kinda does seem pretty pretentious, but, stick with me here, it’s really cool instrumental rock that ebbs and flows, builds and (sometimes) releases, and basically sounds like nothing else out there. I really like it as background music and it works really well live if you’re in the right frame of mind. No times on the track listing for the album, but at 8ish minutes I’d bet that this isn’t even close to the longest song on the record.

Atlanta, Georgia
‘Shadow Box’

There’s absolutely nothing ‘new’ about this track, or band, except that you may not have heard them before. As we’ve just passed the anniversary of ‘Colemania’, which was an Atlanta all-star performance celebration of my best friend Coleman Lewis’ life, and fundraiser for his son’s future education, I thought it an apropos salute. One of these days I’ll get around to writing about my late 80s & 90s experiences, but quite frankly I’m still a bit too close to the fire to put pen to paper. In the meantime listen to this track, investigate Smoke’s discography, and check out former members Brian Halloran & Bill Taft’s current project ‘W8ting4UFOs’. Sing along, sing along to one of Atlanta’s finest faded glories….
Jon Waits


Tyler Edwards
Seattle, Washington
‘Girl in the Southeast’

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing & working with a lot of talented musicians over the years, but occasionally someone comes along that just has ‘it’, whatever that is. Hailing from Florence, S.C. this cat took his sound to Seattle a few years back, and ever since has been wowing west-coasters with harmony, melody, and a certain Southernism that always has authentic flavor. Check out this video that came out in July, and try to tell me that I’m not speaking the truth.
Jon Waits