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"Kids are into power pop, I guess. I mean, what are they gonna listen to, Vampire Weekend?"
--Jesse Smith (Gentleman Jesse)
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Feb.15 Cover - Belle and Sebastian PDF Print E-mail
Written by Glen Sarvady   
ImageBands in Peacetime Want Daddy D’z (In Moderation):
Belle and Sebastian Write About Love, Talk About Atlanta

This just in – Sarah Martin’s cell phone has an Atlanta number.

The Belle and Sebastian multi-instrumentalist and occasional vocalist got the phone when her band took up temporary residence in Atlanta last spring to record Girls in Peacetime Want To Dance, and figured they’d continue to spend enough time in the States that she might as well hang onto it. And it certainly came in handy when I caught up with her in Los Angeles, the morning after the band had performed their new “Nobody’s Empire” on Conan. It sure beat trying to navigate a wonky hotel switchboard, as I did to get in touch with guitarist Stevie Jackson.

The band has plenty of connections in LA, having recorded their prior two albums there (2006’s The Life Pursuit and 2010’s Write About Love). In fact, Martin recalls talking with friends after a summer 2013 LA show, tentatively setting social plans for when they came back to record. “One of the label bosses said ‘I don’t think so – you guys all have too viable an existence in LA; you need to go somewhere where the reason you exist is to make a record.’”

Enter Atlanta, which hadn’t been on Belle and Sebastian’s radar. “We used to have a lot of friends in Athens, but initially the idea of Atlanta wasn’t that appealing to me,” Martin admits. But the prospect of working with producer Ben H Allen III proved to be more than enough pull. According to Jackson, “We’re always looking for someone to mix it up. The fact that Ben’s training and background isn’t in pop music so much as Atlanta hip hop was appealing to us. Our manager also works with the Kaiser Chiefs (for whom Allen produced last year’s Education, Education, Education & War, a UK chart-topper) and after he met Ben in Atlanta he came back and said ‘he has to go to the top of the list – he’s so imaginative and amazing.’”

The admiration is mutual. “I’ve worked with a lot of nice people, but these are the nicest,” says Allen, who first met Belle and Sebastian over Skype and soon after flew to Glasgow to sit in on a week of rehearsals. “If seven people are going to fly over here we want to make sure we get along first,” he rationalizes. “My studio’s not very big, but it never felt cramped. (Even when they weren’t needed) they all stayed around, just wanted to hang out in the studio reading books or watching music films on their laptops.”

Although best known for his work with the likes of CeeLo Green and Animal Collective, Allen says it was already clear which of B&S’s new songs lent themselves to a beat-heavy approach before he got involved. In other words there are no acoustic versions of the synth-heavy “Enter Sylvia Plath” floating around, as Martin assures me. Allen, an Athens kid who “grew up steeped in indie rock and sneaking into the 40 Watt with a fake ID,” saw his job as to “help everything globally relate” across a stylistically disparate batch of songs.

Georgia Music News 02/02/15 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Clark   
ImageFour-pronged slog-monsters Surrogates give earholes a beatdown with bleak workouts that lurch into shape with an impenetrable trudge that eventually reaches a choleric boil. Their EP, I Made You Something, slams needly guitar digressions against sullen bass and drums, while singer Haseena Peera hollers like a dragon in agony. They’re on a bill at 529 on Feb. 7th. I hear they give good hugs.

To those unaware, Unending Darkness, the new LP from GG King, could be mistaken for a newfound treasure from Britain’s post-punk, minimalist art-rock heyday of the late 1970s. Greg King and Ryan Bell have been trending in that direction for years now anyway, but here they dive in head-first with no apologies, and I for one am thrilled. With succinct songs that hit and run in choppy shards, chilly sour-tempered vocals and flashes of frantic noize twisting into knots, it’s not like it hasn’t been done before but they do it so, so right. Out now on Scavenger of Death.

Born in Ringgold, Georgia, Emily Kate Boyd’s been based in Chattanooga and Atlanta, establishing a fan base amongst the Decatur singer-songwriter crowd before relocating to her current home in Buenos Aires. Her new independent CD, In the Woods, sounds like a typical weeknight at Eddie’s Attic but was recorded in Argentina, Virginia and Atlanta, the latter sessions featuring local players including Heather Luttrell, bassist Robert Henson, percussionist Rafael Pereira, drummer Craig Henderson and others.

Royal Thunder’s finally finished the followup to CVI, with Relapse Records assigning April 7th as the release date for Crooked Doors. “It’s been too long,” said the band in a press release. “Damn right,” said Jeff Clark in a shitty magazine.

The USA’s only punk band, Lowbanks do their thing on Live at WREK this Tuesday, Feb. 3rd at 10 p.m. on Georgia Tech’s 91.1 FM in Atlanta… Because everyone needs one now and then, The Hugs are playing Live in the Lobby this Tuesday, 8 p.m. on WUOG, 90.5 FM in Athens. 
Georgia Film News 02/01/15 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Clark   
Image90 Minutes in Heaven, the first movie from a new filmmaking division of Family Christian Stores, the largest Christian retail chain in the country, will be shooting in Atlanta throughout February. It’s an adaptation of Don Piper’s autobiographical account of witnessing Heaven while being pronounced dead following a motorcycle accident, only to be revived an hour and a half later. Michael Polish (Big Sur, Twin Falls Idaho) will direct, with his wife, Kate Bosworth, starring alongside Hayden Christensen (left) as Piper.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, based on a bestselling novel by Ben Fountain, is expected to begin filming in Atlanta by mid-April, with Ang Lee directing. Set in Dallas in 2005, it’s about surviving members of a heroic military unit returning home from a tour of duty in Iraq, reluctantly dealing with intense media attention. No stars have been announced yet.

Heather Morris (Glee), Melanie Lynskey (Two and a Half Men), Michael Ian Black and Meredith Hagner (Men at Work, As the World Turns) have joined the cast of Folk Hero & Funny Guy, alongside Wyatt Russell and Alex Karpovsky. Script writer Jeff Grace (It’s a Disaster) makes his directorial debut with the road comedy about a singer-songwriter (Russell) who hires his childhood friend, a struggling comic (Karpovsky) to be his opening act on a tour. Filming is scheduled to begin Feb. 9th in Atlanta.

Aubrey Plaza (The To-Do List), Zoey Deutch (Vampire Academy), Dermot Mulroney (The Grey, Jobs) and Julianne Hough have joined Robert De Niro and Zac Efron in the cast of Dirty Grandpa, currently filming in the Atlanta area… The sci-fi flick The 5th Wave, with Chloe Grace Moretz, wrapped its Georgia production in mid-January.

Much of the same demented local crew behind the 2011 independent tits ‘n’ blood fest Dear God No!, namely producers James Bickert, Lisa Williams, Jonathan Hilton and Shane Morton, are prepping another flick called Frankenstein Created Bikers, with current plans to begin filming in the spring. Will half the regulars at the Star Bar be in this one too?

Shaq Inc., a scripted pilot for truTV starring Shaquille O’Neal as himself and loosely based on the behind the scenes workings of his business empire, is shooting in Atlanta this month, which is convenient since O’Neal, who is also executive producing the show, has an apartment in Buckhead. John Fortenberry, who helmed some episodes of the Atlanta-filmed Necessary Roughness, will direct the pilot, being produced by Mandalay Sports Media.

New caps on North Carolina’s film industry tax incentives are repelling more business south to Georgia, as it’s been made clear by Fox that production on Sleepy Hollow will be moving here if the program is renewed for a third season.

The third season of Devious Maids has begun production in Atlanta…. Sadly, Fox has cancelled Red Band Society… No word yet on the fate of NBC’s Constantine, though ratings have been improving since it was moved to a better, 8 p.m. time slot on Fridays.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, the combination live action/animation movie shot in Savannah, opens in theaters Feb. 6th… The DUFF, with Mae Whitman, Skyler Samuels and Bianca Santos, opens Feb. 20th.
Radio Hour Playlist 02/01/15 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Clark   
Twerps - "New Moves"
Colleen Green - "TV"
Unwed Teenage Mothers - "Nothing Will Ever Get Any Better"
Ariel Pink - "Put Your Number in My Phone"
Bob Dylan - "I'm a Fool to Want You"
Bob Dylan - "Why Try to Change Me Now"
Lloyd Cole - "Myrtle and Rose"
Lillie Mae Rische - "Nobody's"
Jake Xerxes Fussell - "All in Down and Out"
Via Tania - "In the Air"
Sleater-Kinney - "Fangless"
Sleater-Kinney - "Hey Darling"
Belle and Sebastian - "Allie"

Springtime Carnivore - "Name on a Matchbook"
A Place to Bury Strangers - "We've Come So Far"
Acid Baby Jesus - "Diogenes"
Pond - "Elvis' Flaming Star"
Bob Dylan - "Some Enchanted Evening"
Bob Dylan - "That Lucky Old Sun"
Amason - "Kelly"
Maggie Bjorklund - "Fro Fro Heart"
Archie Bronson Outfit - "Two Doves on a Lake"
Nude Beach - "I'm Not Like You"
Tennis - "Never Work for Free"
Father John Misty - "Chateau Lobby #4"

The Stomp and Stammer Radio Hour
Sundays 3-5pm Eastern
WMLB, 1690 AM Atlanta

Thanks for listening!
News Leak 02/01/15 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Susan Moll   
ImageWe can barely contain our excitement over word that Tame Impala plan to release their follow-up to Lonerism sometime this year. No title or street date has been announced, but you can rest assured that we’ll keep you apprised of these crucial details as they become available.

Rock producer, manager, musician, schemer, hustler and all-around badass Kim Fowley passed away from bladder cancer Jan 15. He was 75.

The Church have selected Feb. 3 as the arrival date for their 25th album, Further/Deeper. It marks the first time the band has recorded an album without Marty Willson-Piper who, according to singer Steve Kilbey, was “unavailable” to participate.
Little Jimmy Dickens, singer, guitarist and a key player in the Grand Ole Opry fold for over 60 years, suffered cardiac arrest and passed away Jan. 2. He was 94.
The Castle Face outpost just issued the fifth installment of the Ty Segall Band’s Live in San Francisco album series, which was taped at a modest-sized venue called the Rickshaw Stop.  
The members of L7 are considering reuniting for a tour after 13 years of inactivity, but no solid plans had been announced by press time…
The Omnivore Recordings outpost has put together double-disc reissues of Jellyfish’s Bellybutton and Spilt Milk LPs, which you can find at your friendly neighborhood tone vendor at this very moment. Both albums have undergone extensive remastering to restore them to their ‘90s power-pop glory, and a wealth of bonus cuts – 51 in all – accompanies them.
Tangerine Dream co-founder and keyboard player Edgar Froese suffered a pulmonary embolism and died Jan. 20. He was 70.
Smith Westerns threw in the towel back in December, and if this is the first you’re hearing about it, it’s likely because no one has given two shots about them for years…
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