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"It started as a fake band. We felt like it wasn't serious; we had fake names; we had fake instruments; we had a guy sitting on stage watching TV!"
--Kelly Crisp (The Rosebuds)
CD Reviews
Gang of Four - What Happens Next PDF Print E-mail
Written by Glen Sarvady   
ImageGang of Four
What Happens Next
[Metropolis]

Get It at Amazon

Gang of Four have been returning in fits and starts since the early ’90s – a brief 2011 live iteration even managed to reunite the full original quartet. But the legacy ranks have quickly been trimmed to guitarist Andy Gill, and the announcement of an album under the Go4 banner without vocalist Jon King seemed a crime against nature. It’s beyond ironic that one of the movement’s most unabashedly leftist bands has now spawned two advertising professionals and an A&R man.

Despite this backdrop I’m unable to despise and dismiss What Happens Next nearly as much as I hoped. New vocalist John Sterry does an unnervingly convincing job of replicating King’s delivery – ignore the credits and one might believe this was Jon’s voice another decade on. Gill wisely invests his energy in recreating the more austere Solid Gold-era grooves, except for the two tracks sung by the Kills’ Alison Mosshart (an impressive coup, and a nice change of pace) which ape the upbeat vibe of “I Love a Man in a Uniform.” Far less welcome is Herbert Gronemeyer’s guest spot, which sounds like a Peter Gabriel outtake from So.

Actually, What Happens Next’s greatest accomplishment is not sucking – Gill runs out of decent musical ideas by the halfway point, and even the highlights are mere knockoffs of past successes. (How many times can he go back to the “What We All Want” well?) A friend suggested that the mark of a great artist is the ability to control their audience’s emotions. By that standard Gill earns high marks – even if it feels manipulative.
About Elly PDF Print E-mail
Written by David T. Lindsay   
ImageAbout Elly [NR]: In movies such as Antonioni’s L’Avventura or Ozon’s Swimming Pool, once a character goes missing, that event provides the psychological undercurrent to any further action, but in director Asghar Farhadi’s film, a demure schoolteacher accepts an invite to spend the weekend at the seashore before vanishing. Speculation as to her whereabouts slows any further action as husbands learn of an immodest proposal that threatens to jeopardize them all when someone she did know shows up.
Georgia Music News 05/18/15 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Clark   
ImageKristen Englenz is a young singer-songwriter whose debut six-song CD, The Extent of Play, has a genuinely appealing quality absent from nearly every other local release in this genre. It’s not that she has a jaw-dropping voice or anything (although it’s quite nice), but there’s something about her delivery – natural, restless, untamed – that gets to me. The lyrics ring true. The instrumentation is spare, but just right (members of Little Tybee and Book of Colors contribute). There is a stirring intimacy to these performances that holds you in their grasp. And there’s at least one song that kinda sounds like she may’ve listened to Kristin Hersh at some point in her fresh life, which is never a bad thing. She’s at Java Monkey in downtown Decatur on May 29th with Mike Killeen.

Savannah hard rock trio Cusses are releasing a four-song EP titled Here Comes the Rat come June 2nd. Very basic stuff here – blaring guitar, thudding drums, banshee vocals, by-the-book lyrics – but what they lack in imagination they somewhat make up for with brashness and volume. A full-length LP, Golden Rat, is on the horizon.

Athens’ Darnell Boys take us back the era of back-porch country-folk-blues, at least that’s the basic premise, Their new CD, Workman’s Will, has ‘em bein’ all drawly ‘n’ hokey ‘n’ shit, trying their darndest to sound as jivin’ hepcat black as five dorky white dudes who dress like Mumford & Sons can sound. Lawdy, boys, I doo dee-clayah! Go pick cotton or shine shoes from sunup to sundown for nine years before you put out another one.

Janelle Monae will light up The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday, May 18th… Toni Braxton visits the syndicated Meredith Viera Show on Tuesday, May 19th.
Radio Hour Playlist 05/17/15 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Clark   

Torres - "Strange Hellos"
Toro Y Moi - "Run Baby Run"
The Go! Team - "Walking the Jetstream"
The Helio Sequence - "Stoic Resemblance"
The Tallest Man on Earth - "Sagres"
Courtney Barnett - "Nobody Really Cares if You Don't Go to the Party"
Best Coast - "Heaven Sent"
Surfer Blood - "Feast – Famine"
Mac McCaughan - "Only Do"
Heartless Bastards - "Hi-Line"
Hollis Brown - "Highway One"
Matthew Edwards & the Unfortunates - "Dizzy"

My Morning Jacket - "Believe (Nobody Knows)"
Ceremony - "The Separation"
Crocodiles - "Foolin' Around"
Rose Windows - "The Old Crow"
Cassandra Wilson - "The Way You Look Tonight"
Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands - "La Done D'agula"
Waxahatchee - "Summer of Love"
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - "While the Song Remains the Same"
Palma Violets - "Hollywood (I Got It)"
Speedy Ortiz - "Dvrk Wvrld"
Honeyhoney - "Big Man"
The Waterboys - "November Tale"

The Stomp and Stammer Radio Hour
Sundays 3-5pm Eastern
WMLB, 1690 AM Atlanta
http://www.1690wmlb.com

Thanks for listening!

Glenn Phillips (May.15 issue) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tony Paris   

ImageSomething Lost, Something Found:
Glenn Phillips Reflects on His Fiery First Musical Memoir


It’s been forty years since the release of Lost At Sea, guitarist Glenn Phillips’ first solo album. Forty years! That means it’s been that long since I interviewed him for my high school newspaper, Phillips being the first local Atlanta musician I interviewed. Ever.

It doesn’t seem like just yesterday that I was ready to graduate. Thankfully, it seems more like six or seven lifetimes ago. But the music on Lost At Sea sounds just as fresh, just as new, just as real as when I first took it home and listened to it in my parents’ basement four decades ago.

I’ve always heard Lost At Sea as a triumphant record. Not one of good over evil, nor one of joy over tragedy, which it most certainly is, but one of the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity. When you think you have nothing left, the will to break through, to create something better, on your own terms, wins out. It’s that “do it yourself” attitude that fuels Lost At Sea, DIY before there was DIY, independence from the norm, from the expected, indeed, from the required.

In 1975, no one was releasing their own records by themselves. Bands were looking to get signed by a major label at best, or a regional label at least. Having gone the major label route with the release of the Hampton Grease Band’s Music To Eat on Columbia Records, Phillips knew that to make the record he wanted, he had to do it on his own terms. By himself. Phillips recorded the album at home in his small, two-room Brookhaven duplex, produced it himself, pressed it himself and distributed it himself. The release of Lost At Sea pre-dated the independent label Stiff Records in England and the many indie records punk spawned, including The B-52’s “Rock Lobster” and “Radio Free Europe” by R.E.M. Lost At Sea was before punk, but, by it’s very nature, was punk. It certainly was different from anything else you could find in a record store at the time. An instrumental album, it was raw and visceral – and just as emotionally charged as any record with a vocalist. It roared with the thunder of Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run, and gave guitarist Jeff Beck’s Blow By Blow a run for its money, two albums it shared shelf space with in record stores the first year of its release, but certainly didn’t share near the recording nor advertising budget.

To mark the anniversary of the landmark album, which certainly influenced local musicians in Atlanta and elsewhere to record and release records on their own, as well as to inspire others to follow their heart and not let their dreams die, Phillips’ Snow Star Records, in conjunction with Shagrat Records in the U.K. and Feeding Tube in the U.S., is releasing a 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition double vinyl set of Lost At Sea, featuring a flat transfer of the original analog master along with a second LP of previously-unreleased pre- and post-Lost At Sea recordings. In addition, Phillips will be performing Lost At Sea in it’s entirety, for the first time ever, reuniting with original recording musicians Mike Holbrook (bass); Jim “Mad Dog” Presmanes (drums); Bill Rea (acoustic guitar); and John Carr Harriman (cello); Saturday, May 30th, at the Red Clay Music Foundry.

In case you haven’t been paying attention the last forty years, or just graduated from high school yourself, Phillips and I discussed his career. I started:

The history of the Hampton Grease Band is as much legend as it is rumor, even though you attempted to set the record straight in the liner notes that accompanied the 1996 re-release of Music To Eat on CD. One “fact” fans of the record like to cite is that it is “the second worst selling album in Columbia Records’ history,” as if that in itself is a badge of honor. Was that the case?

A few months after the record was released, we were told by Columbia that it was their second worst seller, beaten only by a yoga record. Over time, that story has mistakenly been repeated as it being the second worst seller of all time, which given the fact that this took place 44 years ago, may not be the case. It was an extremely poor seller (at the time). The sales people at Columbia didn't know what to make of the record, and as a result, some of them marketed it to stores as a comedy album, where it was filed alongside Don Rickles and Bill Cosby.

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