Larry Jack’s Magical Music Tour – 8/25/17 – 8/30/17

Hey guys,
We’ve got a pretty good lineup of downtown music this weekend.  There are lots of choices on Friday, I am still deciding where to go.  The Discussion at the Wormhole is Laura Pleasant’s (Kylesa) new band, they should be fun to see.  El Rocko has a jazz band, for those who are into that.  The Roasting Room in Bluffton (Dangermuffin and Matt Eckstine) is another good-looking show.  I’ve seen Little Stranger (Barrelhouse South) a few times recently, I like their Beck-ish sound. I also hope to find a little time to mellow out to the Grateful Dead sounds of the Charlie Fog Band at the Social Club or the Singer-Songwriter night at the Jinx. If I have a little time left, the Sound Experiment at Molly’s are a newer band that I have enjoyed every time I have seen them.  Railapalooza on Saturday afternoon should be a good time. Later that evening is another night full of choices. I think I will make it a Savannah Band Night with Hitman, Train Wrecks, and Bottles & Cans.  I am sure you will be able to find something you like somewhere.  I hope to see you around sometime this weekend, be sure to say “hi”.

Friday 25th
Jon Lee’s Apparitions – Rail Pub (6p)
Cranford Hollow – Tybee Post Theater (8p, $15)
Travel Agency – El-Rocko
Dangermuffin, Matt Eckstein – Roasting Room
Little Stranger, Ember City – Barrelhouse South
The Discussion, Twisty Cats, Rude Dude and the Creek Freaks – Wormhole ($6-10)
Charlie Fog Band – Congress Street Social Club
The Sound Experiment – Molly MacPherson’s
Singer/Songwriter Night hosted by A.M. Rodriguez (Coy Campbell, Brandon Nelson McCoy, Josephine Johnson)  – Jinx (10p)

Saturday 26th
Railapalooza (Train Wrecks, In For A Penny, Machine Dreams, Bottles & Cans, Anders Thompson Trio, Matt Eckstein) – Rail Pub (3-11p, $10/15)
Missionary Blues – Tubby’s Thunderbolt (6p)
Damon and the Shitkickers – Jinx Happy Hour
Charlie Fog Band – Stage on Bay (8p, $10)
Spred the Dub, Roshambeaux – Barrelhouse South
Bottles & Cans – Jinx
Train Wrecks – Congress Street Social Club
Hitman – Molly MacPherson’s

Tuesday 29th
Clouds & Satellites – Foxy Loxy Cafe (7p)
Ben Keiser Band – Bay Street Blues
Eric Culberson Open Jam – Bayou Cafe

Wednesday 30th
David Allen Coe, PeeWee Moore – Stage On Bay (8p, $25)

Athens Popfest Friday: Review + Photos

Friday’s edition of Athens Popfest was a little rough for me–I spent most of the day incredibly sore, as I tripped over a rock and bruised my tailbone pretty bad. I was only able to catch three bands.

The first I saw that night was Laetitia Sadler, a French four piece that was a little too transcendental for my taste. The crowd seemed to love the sleepy, trippy beats and I heard several attendees say it was the best show they had seen in some time. My favorite of their songs was “Dry Fruit” — “a song about being lost in space.”

Next up was Eureka California, an Athens staple I’ve seen a few times now. The two piece really knows how to rock it out and I adore their female drummer, though my injury left me unable to stand on my tiptoes to photograph her.

I was very disappointed I could only stay for a few songs of Superchunk–they sounded great, but I was right by the stage and the crowd got pretty rowdy. Everyone knew all the words and I heard several people say it was their seventh or eighth time seeing them, which impressed me.

More pictures after the jump.

New Music Monday – 8/21/17

This week we present new work from:

  • Chain and the Gang
  • Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions
  • Unsane
  • The Lillingtons
  • Rainer Maria

Enjoy!

Chain and the Gang
Washington, D.C.
“Rome” from Experimental Music, out Sept. 29 via Radical Elite

Throwback garage rock political shit stirring from Ian Svenonius’ Chain and the Gang. “Rome wasn’t burnt in a day.” Indeed. Great stuff from the ex front man of The Make Up.
tom

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Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions
U.S.A/Ireland
“Sleep” from upcoming 3 song EP, Son of a Lady, out September 15 via Pledge Music.

Hope Sandoval, formerly of Mazzy Star, is still doing her bleary, beautiful, singular and mysterious indie rock thing. It’s still pretty damn cool.
tom

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Unsane
NYC
“Aberration” from Sterilize out at the end September on Southern Lord.

Ask someone who knows what’s up to name noise rock projects and Unsane is going to be one of the first bands mentioned. At it since 1988, Unsane are still churning out the kind of cathartic, brutal, and just flat out gnarly tunes that they made their mark with. This one might leave a bruise.
tom

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The Lillingtons
New Castle, WY
“Insect Nightmares” from the upcoming Stella Sapiente due out on Fat Wreck Chords

When you think of pop-punk there should always be one band that comes to the forefront of your mind: The Lillingtons. Pioneers of the pop-punk genre, the group has been innovating the genre since the mid-nineties. Catchy riffs, sci-fi and occult references, and tongue and cheek humor are all guaranteed to be found on any Lillingtons record and their latest track, “Insect Nightmares”, off of their first album in nearly a decade. – Petey

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Rainer Maria
Madison, WI
S/T

[bandcamp width=350 height=470 album=197136046 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=f

Much like fashion, music most certainly comes and goes in cycles. Although emo never truly died out, it’s certainly making a major resurgence these days. Rainer Maria was one of the leading forces of the 90s emo and indie rock scene and now, over 5 years since their last album release, they’ve come back better than ever with a new self titled release. The trio shows no signs of rust, combining the jangly, classic indie rock riffs with heartfelt, sing-songy lyrics and vocals that they’ve been known for years. – Petey

Athens Popfest Thursday: Review + Photos

I was only able to catch a few bands on Thursday at Georgia Theatre, but they were all pretty good and the lineup was a nice variety.

Red Pony Clock was one of the more interesting acts I’ve seen in a while–they were a nine piece with a xylophone and a couple of trumpets, not something you see regularly. They were a little bit disorganized (understandable with nine people on stage!) at the start of their set, but once they got on the same page, they sounded phenomenal. It was easy to get lost in their melodies and they were very reminiscent of last year’s Popfest headliners, Love Tractor.

Palehound was kind of the opposite–a messy garage rock three piece from Boston fronted by two charismatic girls (loved the bassist!).

The next act, The Gotobeds, were in the same vein–a four piece from Pittsburgh who implored the light guys to go “buttfuckingnuts” at the last song. They seemed to be having a blast, leaping around on stage, taking swigs of Maker’s Mark, and even hopping onto the speakers at the side of the stage. My favorite quote, spoken of Georgians: “you lost the war but you’re very kind.”     

The last act I caught of the night was Marshmallow Coast, formerly known as M Coast. A member of Athens darlings Elephant Six Collective, the five piece was very reminiscent of Death Cab for Cutie, with soft vocals.

More photos after the jump.

Athens Popfest Wednesday: Review + Photos

Athens Popfest is always a bittersweet event –the four day festival is always fun, but it marks the end of the student-less summer and sends Athens off with a bang back into its typical chaotic state of students, traffic, and football.

Oddly, the bands start playing in the middle of the day on a Wednesday. I had to work during the day so I didn’t make it till the evening shows at 40 Watt.

First up was White Violet, a kind of trippy, synthy duo that seemed to take a little while to get into their groove. I felt like they had loosened up a lot by the later songs and sounded a lot better–I liked their livelier stuff. The vocals were very reminiscent of Elvis Costello (always a good thing in my book).

The second band on stage was Happy Abandon, a Chapel Hill-based trio. The lead singer’s hair made him look like he belonged in A Flock of Seagulls–he was adorably nervous and definitely correct when he said “talking is not [his] strong suit.” Their music sounded great and I loved their harder stuff–some of the breathier vocals on the quieter songs didn’t really seem to fit with the rocking guitar. Their first album will be released on 8/25 but they were selling it at the show.

New Music Monday – 8/14/17

We present new work this week from:

  • Queens of the Stone Age
  • Big Hush
  • The Effects
  • SHEHEHE
  • Jason Isbell
  • The National

Enjoy!

Queens of the Stone Age
Palm Desert, CA
“The Evil has Landed” from Villains, due Aug. 25.

I don’t know, I see people bitching about the Mark Ronson production of the new QOTSA album, but the lead single grew on me, and I’m currently a little obsessed with this 6 and a half minute desert/psych rock gem. Man, that last minute and a half really grabs me. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the new album.
tom

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The Effects
Washington, DC
“Back and Forth”, from Eyes to the Light, out Sept 29th on Dischord Records.

I’ll be honest, I have a weak spot for late era Dischord mathy/emo/post rock. Off kilter rhythms, angular guitars and clear, articulate vocals from a band featuring a dude from that one band that released that one record I liked 25 years ago? Yeah, I’m in. Dischord is pretty discerning about what they release anymore, and I flat out trust them at this point.
tom

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Big Hush
Washington, D.C.
Spirit/Wholes

After years of EPs and singles, D.C.’s Big Hush has released their debut album, Spirit/Wholes on Robotic Empire Records. In the vein of Creepoid, Spirit/Wholes is a lush, occasionally heavy, shoegaze album with pop and punk sensibilities sprinkled throughout. Following the reunion of shoegaze titans Slowdive, and the release of a new album, it’s probably safe to say this genre, which peaked in the ‘90s, is getting a reboot of late. You won’t hear any complaints from me. — Joshua

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The National
Cincinnati, Ohio
“Carin at the Liquor Store”

The National released the third single from the forthcoming, seventh LP, Sleep Well Beast. The National does some its best songwriting in ballad form. This new single is no exception, hitting with the same emotional satisfaction of older tunes like, “Pink Rabbits,” “I Need My Girl,” and “England.” Matt Berninger’s melancholy baritone helms a sugary piano-based score (reminiscent of his other band El VY), completed by subtle strings, and a watery guitar solo at the end. A lot of The National’s music can be a downer if you’re flying high on life, but behind intimate and introspective lyrics, and exceptional musicianship, there is nigh another band that can speak to you in the darkest moments of life like this band does. Well, in my experience, anyways. — Joshua

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SHEHEHE
Athens, GA
Endless Summer out now on Laser Brains Records

Technically, summer’s almost over, but if SHEHEHE has their way, the party won’t be ending anytime soon. Endless Summer is packed to the gills with catchy riffs and is a total blast from start to finish. A bit retro-rock, a bit modern day punk, Endless Summer is a scorcher through and through. It’s just like a summer kegger packed into CD form and can you really go wrong with a party like that? – Petey

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Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Muscle Shoals
“If We Were Vampires” from The Nashville Sound, out now

OK, maybe a little corny, but this animated video for a lovely song from Isbell’s rocking new album tackles themes of aging, love, loss, and mortality. It’s a testament to Isbell’s sheer talent that he can do so much with so little. – bill

Roadkill Ghost Choir + Becca Mancari at Service Brewing’s 3rd anniversary party

Service Brewing Company celebrated its 3rd anniversary last month with a party that pretty much lasted all day. Guests could sample Service’s current selection of beers, including SBC 3, a strong, rich Wheatwine that I found addictive.

Roadkill Ghost Choir and Becca Mancari performed predictably excellent sets for the soldout crowd.

Congrats to our good friends at Service on their hard-earned success over the last three years. Many of us will be headed down to Service again for the big Indian Street Block Party on 9/1.

New Music Monday (ish) – 8/7/17

A little late getting this week’s post up because of travel schedules, but Tom has four great selections for New Music Monday. Enjoy!

Bully
Nashville, TN
“Feel The Same” from Losing, out October 20 on Sub Pop

I really dug Bully’s 2015 debut album, Feels Like. The new single might push Alicia Bognanno’s vocals a bit more in front of the guitars than the Feels Like mix, but I can’t imagine I won’t love the new stuff if this is where it’s headed. Bully would sound right at home on a classic alternative station, and I mean that in the best way possible.
tom
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Neil Young
Los Angeles, CA
“Hitchhiker” from album of the same name, due Sept. 8 via Reprise Records


An unreleased, acoustic, prime era Neil Young full album recorded in 1976 with David Briggs???? Yes, Please, and Thank You.
tom

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Plaque Marks
Philadelphia, PA
“Plaque Marks” single out now on Bandcamp

Do you miss Fight Amp? Do you catch Creepoid every time they come through town? Do you wish The Powder Room would play Savannah more often? Well, if you answered yes to any of those questions, this is right up your alley (and it’s a dirty, nasty alley, at that). Featuring members of all of those bands, plus Ecstatic Vision, Plaque Marks is just as gnarly and noisy as you would expect. Good stuff if you like it aggressive.
tom

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The World is a Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid to Die
Connecticut, USA
“Dillon and Her Son” from Always Foreign, out September 29 on Epitaph Records

It might actually take you longer to read the band name than to listen to this song, a compact, upbeat, synth driven sort of thing. I dig it.
tom

Key Change Cabaret – Go Your Own Way – photos

Last week’s sold-out show by Key Change Cabaret was slightly different than normal performances, in that it was dedicated solely to Fleetwood Mac material; hence ‘Go Your Own Way’. This was the final summer gig for the Cabaret, and while this year was a shorter run (five shows) than in years past, the enthusiasm from audience members, and the performers themselves was palpable. It’s a little bit different when most of the singers have the theatre/actor background thing going for them, but it certainly takes their professionalism & comfort on stage to another level. The backing musicians this year have been nothing less than stellar. Here’s looking forward to the next season!

Here are a few photos, with many more after the jump….

Bragg Jam 2017: Write-Up + Pictures

Went down to Macon last weekend for my second edition of Bragg Jam. Such a well-run festival with lots of great venues and artists, it’s really a pleasure to go to and more than worth the drive.
The first act I caught was Widow Pills at Grant’s Lounge. This was one of my favorite venues of the night–it was a run-down looking hole in the wall with graffiti all over the place and records hanging everywhere, tons of history and a very neat set-up with the audience surrounding an open stage. The Widow Pills were fantastic, a soulful southern rock foursome playing in their hometown under constantly changing rainbow colored lights.
Next up was Little Stranger at the Roasted Cafe and Lounge. The duo is from Charleston and apparently occasionally plays with a band. The rapper had great flow and an impressive amount of breath. I checked out some of their songs before the festival–they’ve got an eclectic style and reminded me a little of a less-produced Twenty One Pilots.
I headed back to Grant’s Lounge for a minute to add my own graffiti on the wall and catch the High Divers, an Americana group that was also from Charleston. The four piece had a female keyboardist that sometimes helped out with vocals, which tended towards the chill side. I’m not normally a huge fan of guitar jams in the middle of sets, especially festival sets (what can I say, I prefer them a little faster paced), but they pulled them off well, only occasionally doing long freestyle guitar solos.
Backtracked again to Roasted to catch Athens-based The Norm. Felt almost like deja vu, as they sounded a lot like a more throwback-to-the-90s version of Little Stranger. They were obviously influenced by the Red Hot Chili Peppers circa Blood Sugar Sex Magik. I loved the lead singer’s guitar skills and the rapper was excellent as well, though he wasn’t quite as prominent as Little Stranger’s.
The Bearfoot Beer Garden featured a performance by *repeat repeat, a rocking four piece with a great sound that had kind of a raw, garage rock type feel. I adored their cool retro telephone mics, which had surprisingly good sound quality and weren’t just there to look neat, though to be honest they looked cool enough that it would’ve been excusable if they were only there for aesthetic purposes.
I caught the first of Mel Washington’s two sets of the night, at the beautiful photo gallery Gallery West. He was one of my favorite acts I saw at Bragg Jam. Another Charleston native, he was incredibly soulful. His backing band was great as well–they were running a little bit late, a problem that plagued many of the night’s later acts, but they were more than worth the wait. He opened with a cover of the classic A Change Is Gonna Come and then moved on into rockier territory, the louder songs really reminded me a lot of the Foo Fighters. He seemed a little restrained by the conservative venue, I would’ve loved to see him somewhere a little looser where he could really let it all out.

Bragg Jam 2017 in Macon – photos

Last weekend, I went up to Bragg Jam in Macon for the 4th year in a row. There wasn’t a bus from Savannah as there has been for the past few years, but a number of Savannahians made their way to the annual concert crawl, and Revival Fest once again sponsored the stage at Fresh Produce Records.

Bragg Jam takes over a large section of downtown Macon for one manic, music-filled Saturday at the end of July. For 2017, the festival added a Friday night lineup at the Cox Capitol Theatre (why can’t Savannah have a venue like the Cox?), but my group decided to spend only one night.

In most years, I see several bands that are new to me at Bragg Jam, but this year I couldn’t resist seeing some truly tremendous acts that I’ve seen before, beginning with Family and Friends at the Cox. The Athens-based ensemble had the 5:30 time slot — early by Bragg Jam standards — but the theatre was largely full.

From there, my night included killer sets by Macon blues artist Robert Lee Coleman and his band in the VIP lounge on the second floor of the Crazy Bull, Okey Dokey at the Library Ballroom, Chrome Pony (with a short appearance by members of Twin Peaks) at the Cox, Little Tybee at the Library Ballroom, Pylon Reenactment Society at Fresh Produce, T. Hardy Morris and The Hardknocks at Grant’s Lounge, White Denim at the Cox, and Roadkill Ghost Choir at Grant’s.

The only three bands I had not seen were festival headliner White Denim, which was a little jammy for me late at night, the really fun Okey Dokey, and the thrilling Pylon Reenactment Society, which includes Vanessa Briscoe Hay from the original Pylon lineup.

Before driving back to Savannah on Sunday, we made a pilgrimage to Rose Hill Cemetery to see the graves of Gregg Allman, Duane Allman, and Berry Oakley and then stopped for brunch at the lovely new Piedmont Brewery & Kitchen in the heart of downtown.

With its wide streets and grand buildings, downtown Macon is a true gem. Over the last few years, revitalization efforts have been steadily paying off, and I look forward to new discoveries in the years to come.

For the sake of ease, I didn’t take my big Nikon on the trip, so I only shot with a FujiFilm x100t. The sensor often seemed to pick up too much color from the stage lights, which I decided to leave in some of the shots here. Because of the crowd and the darkness of the stage, I didn’t get any shots of Roadkill Ghost Choir at Grant’s, but after the jump you’ll find at least one of all the other acts I managed to see.

And to the other 70 or so bands that I did not see on Saturday, my apologies! As much as one would like to see everything at Bragg Jam, there’s just no way.

Victoria Scalisi — a driving force behind Savannah’s metal & punk scene — dies from cancer

Victoria Scalisi died last night after a battle with cancer.

I never formally met Victoria, but I was in awe of her powerful voice and stage presence when I first saw her perform with her new band Lies in Stone about a year ago at The Jinx.

Victoria was a member of Damad, arguably the most influential metal band from Savannah. Members of Damad formed Kylesa after Victoria stepped away from the stage. Victoria was for a time with Karst, but then in 2016 DAMAD reunited for a benefit show in Savannah and a handful of other shows around the country. DAMAD’s return was cut short when Victoria was diagnosed with cancer.

Throughout the day, Victoria’s friends and fellow musicians — including Phillip Cope of Damad and Kylesa — have posted memories of her and expressions of love for her family. We here at hissing lawns send our love and condolences too.