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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Q&A With Monotonix

Q&A With Monotonix

Metal mayhem from Israel's Monotonix


Your songs are chock full of classic metal riffs. Does the chaos detract from the music?

YG: I think a lot of people who see us for the first time don’t really get to listen to the music among the different distractions going on. But sometimes they would buy the album after the show and then when they come to the next show they can hopefully enjoy the music and the performance as well.

It’s very hard to compete with flying trash cans and pyrotechnics on a musical level, but I think we’ve grown in that aspect, and today, despite all the people falling on us and the mess happening around us, we are able to play the songs live the way we always wanted to play them. Until some drunk girl falls on the drummer.

Read my full review at Atlanta Music Guide ( http://ow.ly/3eUWE

Monotonix play 529 in Atlanta, December 8.
Forthcoming album, Not Yet is scheduled for release on January 25, 2010


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

CD Review: Sharon Van Etten, Epic

CD Review: Sharon Van Etten, Epic (Ba Da Bing)
By Giles Turnbull

Debut album, Because I Was In Love, showed Sharon Van Etten to be utterly open, if left a little fragile, from relationships and their endings. It could not have been more intimate had it been recorded at confession; a girl and her guitar, and you dressed in priest’s attire.

Van Etten’s follow-up, Epic, is no less revealing, but this time the stories take shape as a dialog with band. Her voice is as captivating as ever, just listen to "More Love", and even though the larger ensemble creates a bigger sound, there’s still that unmistakable vulnerability, as if trying to work out all the contributing factors at the same time as singing about them.

Hard to describe, it’s a kind of indie-folk with a distinctive edge, as she puts her own spin on heartache, heartbreak, and the hopeful hereafter. Epic builds on the engaging simplicity of Because I Was In Love, and takes it to another magical level. The band supports in subtle, but also imaginative ways, and the 3-part backing vocals are, at times, sublime; in “Peace Sign” it’s like the distant voices, fearfully echoing “none shall sleep” in Puccini’s famous aria, Nessun Dorma, were suddenly transported to the studio and asked to emulate an air raid siren in that same style; haunting.

Just as in Because I Was In Love, we get another treat of Sharon Van Etten’s own particular style, and it’s another well worth shouting about.

Sharon Van Etten plays The EARL, Atlanta, November 21.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

CD Review: Pigeon John, Dragon Slayer

CD Review: Pigeon John, Dragon Slayer (Quannum Projects)
With a title like Dragon Slayer, you may be expecting one of two extremes. If your point of reference is stories of knights in shining armor, that would be swashbuckling songs of a hero vanquishing fire-breathing mythical monsters; if you turn to the Urban Dictionary, you’re more likely to expect an album packed with misogynistic stereotypical (c)rap.

Either way you might be a little taken aback. Dragon Slayer, Pigeon John’s latest album in a 10-year career, is decidedly from the easy listening side of the hip-hop tracks. Instead of brazen in-your-face fast-flowing rhetoric, there are warm and fuzzy words, and a lot of unthreatening indie-spirited music.

Read my full review at Atlanta Music Guide ( http://met.al/cid )

Pigeon John is on tour with DJ Shawon in November, playing the Loft @ Center Stage, Atlanta, on November 9

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CD Review: Martina Topley Bird, Some Place Simple

CD Review: Martina Topley Bird, Some Place Simple (Honest Jon’s / Ipecac Records)

Martina Topley Bird is a name you might have come across, without even knowing. Some Place Simple is her third solo album, but she has been featured on albums by Tricky, David Holmes, Primus and Gorillaz, to name but a few. Her most recent collaboration is with Massive Attack, co-writing and singing on “Psyche” and “Babel” on their new album, Heligoland.

Her solo albums, Quixotic in 2003 and The Blue God in 2008, were cast in the same mould as that Bristol trip-hop vibe, brought to prominence by the likes of Tricky and Massive Attack. Some Place Simple is a minimalist leap away from that sound. There are tracks from both Quixotic and The Blue God, each with the hazy bluesy sci-fi sound of their original scores ripped away; all that remains is the beating heart, to which is added the scantest of percussive and keyboard accompaniments. There are also three new tracks, plus a remix of one of these, although I use the term hesitantly, since everything is so paired back to the bare bones that to call it a remix seems grandiose.

Read my full review on Atlanta Music Guide ( http://met.al/c5x  )

Martina Topley Bird plays The Fox Theatre, Atlanta on October 29 with Massive Attack. Some Place Simple is released on October 26.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

CD Review: Dark Dark Dark, Wild Go (Supply & Demand Music)

Dark Dark Dark
Wild Go
Supply And Demand Music

By Giles Turnbull

Wild Go is the sophomore album from Minneapolis-based Dark Dark Dark. The sextet began as a collaboration in 2006, centered around Nona Marie Invie’s distinctively beautiful voice, with additional vocals from Marshall LaCourt, and the pair’s excellent songwriting. The dramatically sparse supporting cast of instruments captures emotions and creates a mood simultaneously happy and sad.

This album is expansively spacious, and yet full of many things; there’s a certain something that you feel but just can’t put your finger on. It may be the elusive mix of styles, bluesy and atmospheric, but dodging further categorization; the tempos, fairly uniform throughout, in a way that’s mesmerizing, never prosaic; every song, intensely personal and at the same time relevant to the world.

Here a melancholy violin reflects on romance, there a meandering accordion gives a Parisian air of intrigue; a certain je ne sais quoi. Everything is in perfect balance, whether it’s the stark simplicity of “Robert,” the solemnity of “Heavy Heart,” or the drifting emotion of “Say The Word;” from the apocalyptic storytelling of title track “Wild Go,” imagining New York returning to its natural state, to the breathtaking views in the landscape of “Daydreaming,” over which the Invie’s vocal melody floats like a feather on the wind.

The album release show in Minneapolis, which drew over 1,000 people for the start of their US tour, speaks volumes for the engaging appeal of Wild Go.


Dark Dark Dark play Five Spot, Atlanta on October 9.

CD Review: Andy Shauf, Waiting For The Sun To Leave (P Is For Panda)

CD Review: Andy Shauf, Waiting For The Sun To Leave (P Is For Panda)

Andy Shauf is the quietest man in the world, probably. But he grew up listening to Napalm Death, Slipknot and the sounds of monster trucks playing tug of war with bungee cord — maybe. He’s also definitely been voted one of USA Today’s Pop Candy “Pop Five Canadian Artists You Should Be Listening To.”

Read my full review on Atlanta Music Guide ( http://met.al/bnf&nbps;)

Friday, September 24, 2010

CD Review: Underworld, Barking

CD Review: Underworld, Barking (Om Records / Cooking Vinyl)
As a whole, this album is a mixed bag of tricks; a colliding of several different worlds. There are moments of genius, written and delivered by masters of their craft, mixed up with tracks that feel like radio edits of what could be much better, longer explorations. Then there are the pop-natured thrills, destined to be dance floor favorites; and wrapping it all up are the indulgent experimental exhibits that give the album the relaxed vibe of a band having fun.

Read my full review at Atlanta Music Guide ( http://met.al/ayz )

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

CD Review: Elizabeth & The Catapult, The Other Side Of Zero

CD Review: Elizabeth & The Catapult, The Other Side Of Zero (Released on Verve Forecast, October 26, 2010)
Things really start to descend from heartfelt into heartbroken with track seven, “Open Book.” You can actually reach out and touch the soulfulness of “Worn Out Tune,” and by the time you reach title track “The Other Side Of Zero” or the beautiful strains of “Do Not Hang Your Head” fill the air, you probably have the candles lit, a large glass of wine poured (another already drunk), and the outside world pushed far away.

Read my full review on Atlanta Music Guide ( http://met.al/ava  )

Elizabeth & The Catapult kick off their album tour at the Variety Playhouse, with Aimee Mann on September 25, 2010.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

CD Review: Buke and Gass, Riposte

CD Review: Buke and Gass, Riposte (Brassland)
The Buke is in fact a modified six-string former baritone ukulele, and the Gass is a guitar-bass hybrid... Before forming Buke and Gass in 2008, Dyer and Sanchez had, between them, toured with some notable acts, including Deerhoof, Les Savy Fav, and The Fall; in fact, it is rumored that the soul of Mark E. Smith was captured and kept in an empty wine bottle, and has now been released into the Buke, from where it hurls obscenities.

Read my full review at Atlanta Music Guide ( http://met.al/acn )

Buke and Gass are on tour thru October 2, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Live Review: Andy Shauf and Lauris Vidal at The Drunken Unicorn, Atlanta, September 8, 2010

Live Review: Andy Shauf and Lauris Vidal at The Drunken Unicorn, Atlanta, September 8, 2010
You can be sure of a great time and a huge smile, as you get caught up in the songs flying out of the stomping, clapping, fierce strumming, uke shredding, banjo beating world of Lauris Vidal. Smile, this is what gigs, large or small, are all about.

Read my full review at Atlanta Music Guide ( http://met.al/a43 )

Thursday, September 9, 2010

CD Review: Various Artists (Nophi Compilation Four)

CD Review: Various Artists (Nophi Compilation Four), (Nophi Recordings)

Includes my really short history of electronic music; two decades grossly bludgeoned down to fit in a nutshell...

Read my full review at ( http://met.al/a0p )

The full track listing is on the Nophi website, www.nophi.net, where a limited edition of 100 hand-numbered copies plus bonus Nophi goodies is available to pre-order now. Compilation Four is released September 15, 2010.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

CD Review: Lauris Vidal, Better Part

CD Review: Lauris Vidal, Better Part (P is for Panda)
Things kick off alt-rockily, with title track “Better Part,” followed by “Freed,” which wouldn’t sound out of place on a classic Rolling Stones album. Continuing in the same vein is “Killing Fields,” and then on through folk (“Movin’”) before dropping into laid back dub, with the superb “NY Floors” and “Tragic”; Lauris’ dub banjo is so cool it would melt over ice cubes.

Read my full review on Atlanta Music Guide ( http://met.al/9t9 )

Lauris Vidal starts a series of East Coast tour dates at the Drunken Unicorn in Atlanta tomorrow night, September 8. See you there!

Monday, September 6, 2010

NEWS FLASH: Cellist Killed In Bizarre Gardening Accident

NEWS FLASH: Cellist Killed In Bizarre Gardening Accident
"Police in southwestern England say a former member of the Electric Light Orchestra was killed in a freak collision with a huge hay bale that rolled down a steep hill.
The victim was identified on Monday as 62-year-old Mike Edwards, who played cello in the British rock band between 1972 and 1975." (The Daily Telegraph)

Between 1972 and 1986, ELO released eleven studio albums and 27 Top 40 hit singles in both the UK and the US. They released another album in 2001.

That's dreadful news, but funny bizarre. It's more than Rock & Roll... it's pure Spinal Tap! Rock on Mike Edward.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Archive: Royksopp at Carling Accademy, Bristol

From the Splinter Magazine Archive: Live Review - Royksopp at Carling Accademy, Bristol (October 10, 2005)
After a summer of gigs dominated by guitars, Royksopp were like a jolt to the system. Instead of guitars, basses and real drums, the only non electronic instrument (voices excepted) was a solitary cymbal. Everything else was wired up like an electric chair. Filling the Carling Academy with wave after wave of pulsating squelchy synths, vocoder vocals and electronic drums fit to summon a cavalry.

Song titles flashed up on a narrow neon banner. Favourites like "Eple" and "Poor Leno"; the wonderfully melting vocals of "Sparks" sounding a hundred times more energetic than when isolated on CD.

Royksopp release their new album, Senior on September , 2010 (Wall of Sound / EMI), CD, Vinyl and Digital formats.

Friday, September 3, 2010

CD Review: Lauris Vidal, Best Part

CD Review: Lauris Vidal, Best Part (out on Ssptember 21, 2010 on P is for Panda)
That’s always been a strength of his songwriting; however they’re put down, the songs groove and grab your attention. If you hadn’t imagined a banjo grooving then you definitely need to listen to this record...

Read my full review on Atlanta Music Guide ( http://met.al/9t9 )

CD Review: Paloma Faith, Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?

CD Reviiew: Paloma Faith, Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?
A possible contender for album of the year?

Read my full review at Atlanta Music Guide ( http://met.al/9s9 )

CD Reviiew: Lakes, The Agreement

CD Review: Lakes, The Agreement
San Francisco band, Lakes, independently release their debut album.

it’s been a summer full of exceedingly, in some cases excruciatingly, cheerful songs. It can be quite refreshing, then, to have something a touch more melancholy; a band that’s not afraid to go out and play in the rain...

Read my full review at Atlanta Music Guide (  http://met.al/9s8 )

Live Review: Scissor Sisters @ Buckhead Theatre, Atlanta, 21 August 2010

Scissor Sisters at The Buckhead Theatre, Atlanta, 21 August 2010
The US tour opener in Atlanta.

Read my full review at Atlanta Music Guide (WARNING: Contains traces of silver spandex!) ( http://bit.ly/9A7B54 ).

Thursday, September 2, 2010

CD Review: M.I.A., Maya

CD Review: M.I.A. Maya (out now on N.E.E.T. Recordings
A great 3rd Album.

This album has everything, from paranoia to power tools, and that’s just the first 60 seconds...

Read my full review on Atlanta Music Guide ( http://bit.ly/9ib6SZ )

Live Review: Lauris Vidal @ Drinkshop, Atlanta, 19 August 2010

Lauris Vidal at Drinkshop, Atlanta, 19 August, 2010

If you turned up at Drinkshop hoping to hear some dub hardcore Hawaiian, as Lauris Vidal describes his music on his MySpace, or the slightly more laid back, chilled out vibe of the songs actually on said website, then you might have been a little surprised...
Read my full review at Atlanta Music Guide ( http://bit.ly/9dR6A6 )