Excerpts from Electric Degeneration, Degenerate Press' semi-weekly e-zine, free and ad-free. A full episode contains sections for music reviews, upcoming events, blasphemy, classifieds, and anything else we feel like saying. If you'd like to subscribe just contact us.
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First off, I'd like to apologize for the lack of Sunday broadcasts lately, resulting
in lengthy Wednesday broadcasts like this one where I don't have room to cram
in all the good stuff everyone sends. We've been out of town, then had out of
town guests, shows, TV, sleep, and other activities that have taken priority.
This weekend it was an invasion by a pair of Vikings. An old and favored friend of mine from Denmark sailed into town, her burly boyfriend stepping onto shore first, brandishing his battle axe and scaring the neighbors.
No, he didn't really have an axe, but his size did impress the whole neighborhood and his shock of blond hair and crystal blue eyes made me want to hide the women and children and dig out the broadsword! Degenerate LS followed, the perfect vision of a Viking woman, something worth going home to after all that looting, pillaging and raping two villages down.
We headed to Daddy D'z for some BBQ. They were out of just about everything due to an unexpected rush, but they still had piles of ribs. Then headed to Echo Lounge for the East Atlanta Animal Shelter benefit. Catfight! was on stage as we walked in the door. It was the first time I'd seen Barb, their not-so-new drummer, beating the skins and I gotta say I'm impressed. She adds a little extra something, or maybe I'd just seen the previous lineup too many times. Reasoning aside, they were excellent. We hung around for a song or two from The X-Impossibles but wanted to chat so we skipped most of their set, returning for the always fabulous 6X.
Sunday we had brunch at Tapatia's, a little Mexican diner not far from DP HQ, and introduced the Danes to chorizo and juevos rancheros, followed by a tour of downtown.
Monday I played hooky from work and joined them for a tour of the Fabulous Fox, something I've always wanted to do but you never do those kind of touristy things until the Vikings invade. It's definitely worth the $5, though woefully lacking in behind the scenes content. Afterward I took them for collards and other southern specialties at Southfork, the best cheap soul food in town. They hopped back in their ship and sailed south to terrify Florida, leaving me to get back to the grind.
Special thanks to degenerate SW for helping compile that report!
We got the Moto-Lita's new CD "For the Greater Good" this week. It's a clean production, as you'd expect on a Daemon release - all the vocals and music practically sparkle. This local all girl group packs an audible punch, very reminiscent of local girl rock groups of days gone by who's names I can't seem to recall. It's good stuff, with very nice guitar work and a strong lead vocal. My only complaint is the songs kind of run together after a while and all the sudden you realize the CD is over. It's a good sound, but the sound remains a bit too much the same. Even the beats barely change. I've heard good things about their live shows so I hope to catch them in person soon. They're online at http://www.geocities.com/motolitas/
We got a promo from Ten Spiders, a group out of Philly or somewhere up north. They're led by a girl with a lilting voice playing a furious banjo. The music leans heavily towards the groove rock genre, with songs averaging 4 minutes (makes me miss punk), sometimes stretching into almost 6 minutes. They could very easily open for Phish or whatever the latest deadhead neohippy jam rock band is. But it's a little trippier than the norm, somewhat like locals pH Balance meets Blueground Undergrass. Not bad, with a few nice harmonies and some good guitar work. The banjo comes off more percussive than it does twangy so if you're a bluegrass phobe this probably won't scare you off. On the other hand, if you're a bluegrass fan there's not much of it here to rest on. If this sounds good to you they're coming to Augusta and Savannah later this month. Check out their web site for more info: www.tenspiders.com
We also got a three song promo from local Paul Sforza. It's highly textured singer/songwriter stuff. Paul's voice has plenty of emotion and a great range. The music ranges from a rocky singer/songwriter tune to a jazzy singer/songwriter stuff to a ballad flavored, slow jazz/blues singer/songwriter tune. But it's all done with a painfully earnest sound and lyrics. Excellent stuff, just a bit on the weepy/heartfelt side for those of us that want to "rock and roll all night, party every day.
Then it was every other day.
Now I'm lucky if I find half an hour a week in which to get funky."
If you're interested, Paul Sforza has a web site at www.paulsforza.com
Friday I headed to the loft limbo between Cabbagetown and L5P for R. Land's show/party. The place was packed with pretty people and fun paintings, as well as his new web site projected on a couple walls - www.rlandart.com
The studio/loft was hot as an oven though, so most folks grabbed a beer from the bar and headed out into the parking lot. Around midnight it hadn't cooled down a bit but Plastic Plan was ready to play anyway. Their skinny ties and black shirts matched the 80's new wave sound they pumped out of a synthesizer, drums and bass with enough effect pedals to score the next Star Wars film. Fun stuff, but unfortunately they followed that with their final performance on Saturday before one of them skipped town.
Which brings me to a point I've been considering for a couple of weeks.
THE MUSIC SCENE IN ATLANTA HAS DIED.
Dramatic pause while you gasp "No!"
Yes, died. In the last three months hordes of musicians have fled Atlanta like confederate soldiers fleeing Sherman. And we aren't talking unknowns either, we're talking leaders of an Atlanta music renaissance that ran strong for some 10 years. But if you've read the alternative papers lately you've noticed article after article about how club organizers just can't get the people out, especially during the week. These articles even share space with article after article about another local music celeb moving out west.
I can remember a time, two years ago or so, that any night of the week I'd have a tough time decided what to do with my entertainment dollars, what few I had. But I didn't fear because it didn't take many dollars to catch a fantastic show at one of a dozen clubs I liked. But many of those bands are gone and I'm having a hard time finding ones to take their places. Sure, there's still gold in them thar bars, but the mother load has, for the moment, been tapped out. I know it's a cyclical thing and in another few years you won't be able to swing a Pete Townsend windmill arm without whacking into some amazing talent but I'd like to go on record as saying it's the calm after the storm.
Moan all you like. Scream the names of your favorite acts 'till you're blue in the face. Then try to go find something worth seeing on a Monday night for under $10 and get back to me.
Speaking of the death of music, check out this article sent to us by a subscriber:
"Basically it's about the stranglehold that Clear Channel Communications has
on radio in this country--and now concerts too. It's not like we don't know already that radio stinks--but it is interesting to see one of the big reasons why."
Further evidence to support my claim came with this coincidental report from degenerate SK:
"Went to the Echo lounge last night to see Mary Prankster, the Moto-Litas, and Nillah. I arrived to find the place closed, with a note saying that Mary's van broke down 200 miles away. I have never seen Mary Prankster, but I have heard some pretty witty stuff from her. Still, I would imagine the Moto-Litas would draw more folks. Maybe the power went out or the A/C was on the blink. For whatever reason, the Echo still manages to avoid being a premier music venue."
But wait, there's more! I noted a while back that the annual Elvis Death Day celebration was this Thursday, "You know where. You know who." I had seen early reports that it was the usual Kingsized set at the Star Bar, only to find Kingsized wouldn't do it this year so you get "Bitching with Elvis, featuring Bitch and special guests." I'm not saying change is bad, I ain't even seen Bitch yet, but goddamn that Kingsized show was awesome every year.
So get out there and support your local artists before they all skip town, or give up and admit they're waiting tables for life.
In other news, hip hop has returned to Tuesdays at Dottie's, 'cept now it's Lenny's. Last night was the first night of the return to spinning vinyl and the crowd was small but appreciative. Hopefully it'll bring back the kids, and their money.
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