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Brass Castle, Modey Lemon, Catfight, The Nightporters
November 2003
Thanksgiving Eve we hit the Star Bar to find the place dead empty. What the fuck? Nobody has to work the next day. Guess everyone is out on the road in the impasse that is one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Brass Castle open, a duo of familiar faces banging out some rolling thunder guitar and bashing, smashing drums with random tempo and melody changes, sometimes foregoing a bridge and sometimes foregoing structure entirely.

It's blurry, sloppy stuff that's 50% good, 25% crap, 25% brilliance. I'd rather someone try and occasionally fail than have 100% mediocrity in any field.
Halfway through the set, they change positions and it's sort of a new band, but most of it sound the same, which is to say it all sounds a little different.
They've got great energy, lousy wardrobes, shitty hair, halitosis... no, wait, that's their set list.

They do have some fun tunes with fun titles!

Modey Lemon blew us away when we caught them a while back at the Echo Lounge. But for their second CD they added a third member, and brought along a lot more gear and three cute groupies. The Fates? Furies? Sirens? Harpies? Or just Buckhead bimbos? You know, those women who yell "WHOOOO" and high five each other in tight jeans and tiny T's. The male sex drive has a hard time distinguishing the good, the bad, and the good looking.

Modey Lemon cranked up their new three person sound, now with 33% more fuzzy noise! A moog synthesizer provided a retro-futuristic background that does nothing but play interference with what was a kick ass sound.
The new guy switched to guitar, but did nothing but fuzz out the previously strong lead.

They had a great thing going and have all but lost it. I can't believe the difference. Both I and degenerate CD walked out shaking our heads at the end of the show.

Friday after Turkey Day we hoped the familial types would be out of town or at home, so we hit Northside Tavern in hopes of seeing Mudcat. A familiar site kept us away - every parking spot in a 2 block radius packed with Lexuses and the like. At this rate I may never get to see that band again. Northside is just too small to hold 'em and the yuppie swine are rapidly gentrifying my side of town. Fucking hell.

So we head back across town to Echo Lounge for the Stomp and Stammer party, only to find we've missed The Helgas. The Black Lips are wrapping up their set with a torrent of chaotic racket that chased us into the back bar for beverages and socialization.

After a bit, Catfight! came on. It's been a while since I saw them and I was happy to hear lots of new material. All fine stuff.
The Nightporters were off the scene long before I began roaming the night, so a reunion show meant little to me, other than I'd get a glimpse of one of the zillions of Atlanta acts I missed over the years.

They did a set of stuff reminding me of The Clash and The Jam, punk with an ability to play their instruments and write a good melody. Upbeat rhythm with lyrics of some social import.

They had plenty of energy, particularly for an act of an age not usually associated with this type of music. They also made few mistakes in their opening set, impressive since they hadn't played together in years.
A dozen or so fans from The Nighporters' heyday bopped around close to the stage, one in a 688 t-shirt.
I couldn't help but notice they brought their own lighting and film crew. Echo Lounge has yet to correct their incredible backlighting. I can't usually get a decent picture in the place and the drummer is always hidden behind a smoky curtain of light.

The Nightporters came on for an encore they obviously hadn't rehearsed and things got messy, a sloppy end to an otherwise enjoyable set. I vaguely recall something about them deciding to regroup, release something new or re-release something but I didn't write it down and didn't get to this report until three weeks later so if you're in the know, let us know.


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