June 9, 2013

Thunderbird, Other Factors, Glen Iris at the Model T

Filed under: Atlanta music — Frederick Noble @ 12:05 pm Share RSS

A free show, one of my favorite bands, a new venue to explore, an excuse to drive the Thunderbird – sounds like a perfect Saturday night.  We arrived at the Ford Factory Square on Ponce and found the Model T, a little bar on the end of the strip that attracts a mostly gay crowd of regulars. The place is small so we had to squeeze past the mic stands to make our way to the bar. We struggled to order drinks from their poor selection and settled in for the show.

Model T

It should be noted that none of the patrons of the Model T looked like the models in the slideshow flickering across the TV on the wall. (For that matter, no human looks like this.)

First up on stage (AKA, the corner), Thunderbird (the band, not my car.) A scrappy three-piece with a precise sound bordering on math rock but not quite as redundant and not at all boring.

Thunderbird

Because of the limited space, I didn’t want to block the view of other people wanting to see the show so my pictures for this review are slightly worse than usual. I apologize. A full refund will be mailed to you on Monday.

The Model T should apologize for not turning off the two TV’s directly above the band. The slideshow advertising the bar’s offerings was rather distracting, as was the movie on the other TV, New Jack City. I hate TV in a bar. I can’t not look.

Model T

I also find myself less engaged with bands that have the drummer as the lead singer. Maybe if the drum kit were moved to the front, I’d feel less emotional distance.

Thunderbird

But Thunderbird is a fine band and I’d see them again.

Model T

A few of the regular patrons of the bar mocked the bands, putting napkins in their ears and histrionically shouting, “IS IT OVER?” between sets. Others seemed to be enjoying it, such as the man that pulled off his prosthetic leg and shook it to the music.

Model T

Even before the slideshow announced a reunion party to remember the Phoenix, the gay bar that used to be up the block, I wondered if many of the patrons were former regulars of the establishment well known for being a haunt of hustlers.

As more straight folk showed up, some of the regulars didn’t seem to approve. The same gentleman waving his leg about tried to freak us out by seductively sucking on his thumb.

Meh.

Sorry, man, I grew up with the theater crowd around me. I don’t care what you like to suck on.

Next up, Other Factors, all the way from Brooklyn.

Other Factors

Also up, Boyz N The Hood. Yes, that is Ice Cube about to get his piece and go smoke some homeboy. Goddamn TV in bars.

Other Factors

Other Factors also have a precise sound approaching math rock (is there a name for this stuff yet? Do we need a name for every little splinter of rock?) but not falling into the mechanical abyss. They’ve got fantastic harmonies on the vocals and lots of energy. Highly recommended.

Other Factors

Model T

A large contingent of the Model T’s regulars retreated, replaced by people who came to see the bands. Glen Iris set up and busted out their punchy tunes.

Glen Iris

After about 60 seconds of rock, the bartender walked over to Chris, the guitarist you can’t quite see on the left, and said something in his ear. Chris looked annoyed and stopped playing, followed by Justin, the other guitarist. The bassist and drummer kept going for a few bars before realizing the show was over. Chris stepped up to the mic and said they’d never been told by the venue to quit before. The crowd got rowdy, whooping and clapping, in an attempt to get the guys to play on, or for the bar’s management to relent, but the bartenders ignored everyone except their regular patrons. Soon Chris was packing in his gear, leaving the rest of us to wonder what the hell had happened.

We overheard the bartender say something about the music driving the regulars, but that had already happened. After he was done loading out, Chris told us the bartender said it was too loud and asked the band to turn it down, then asked them to just quit. I didn’t think Glen Iris was any louder than the other bands. The drummer/singer from Thunderbird stormed around the room, tearing posters for the event from the walls and saying the next live music show would also be cancelled.

I don’t understand why this event was hosted at the Model T in the first place. Ford Factory Square lofts are directly above the bar and concrete walls are terrible sound insulators. The bar itself is tiny and not conducive to a live band. And the regulars aren’t the people known to support Atlanta’s live music scene. But I do enjoy the occasional foray to the frontier. You just have to watch out for angry natives.

Had the show gone well, I probably would’ve returned to the Model T some Friday morning just to see who goes to such an establishment at 9AM for bagels. However, I’d eat the $6 t-bone at Southern Comfort before returning to the Model T.

Say What?

1 Comment

  1. I always enjoy going to shows in non-traditional and sometimes sketchy venues – at least you remember this one over the 149th one at the Star Bar. You should check out the shows going on up in Roswell at the Swallow at the Hollow. It’s got a little bit of that fish out of water vibe, but Mathis has been booking great bands up there. I believe Anna Kramer will be playing on July 13th.

    Comment by James Joyce — June 18, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

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