Tag: Atlanta

Comprised of Boulder, CO-born siblings Chris Wood (upright bass, electric bass, vocals) and Oliver Wood (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals), and multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix, the acclaimed folk/roots/Americana act The Wood Brothers can trace the origins of their musical careers back to when Chris and Oliver were children: Their father, a molecular biologist, frequently performed old folk and roots music songs at family gatherings and campfires and their mother, a poet, instilled a passion for storytelling and turn of phrase.  As children and teens, they bonded over a mutual love of bluesmen like Jimmy Reed and Lightinn’ Hopkins; however, as they got older, their musical and professional paths would wildly diverge.

Oliver moved to Atlanta, where he picked up gigs in playing guitar in a number of local cover bands before landing a spot in Tinsley Ellis‘ backing band. As the story goes, at Ellis’ behest Oliver Wood began to sing — and then he founded King Johnson, a hard-touring band that released six albums of blues-tinged R&B, funk and country over the next 12 years of his life. Meanwhile, Chris Wood studied jazz bass at the New England Conservatory of Music, moved to New York, where in the early 90s he co-founded the critically applauded Medeski Martin & Wood (MMW), an act that became one of the stalwarts of the downtown New York jazz and abstract music scenes. After pursuing separate musical careers for the better part of 15 years, Oliver Wood’s King Johnson and Chris Wood’s Martin Medeski & Wood played on the same bill at a show in North Carolina that famously featured Oliver sitting in with his brother’s band. “I realized we should be playing music together,” Chris Wood recalled.

Soon after, the duo recorded a batch of Oliver’s songs, channeling the shared musical heroes of their youth while centered around their own musical strengths — Oliver’s songwriting and Chris’ forward-thinking, adventurous musicianship. A demo landed The Wood Brothers a deal with Blue Note Records, who released their 2006 John Medeski-produced debut, Ways Not To Lose, a critically applauded effort that was Amazon.com‘s editors’ number 1 pick for folk and made NPR’s “Overlooked 11” list.

Building upon a buzz-worthy profile, the act released 2008’s Loaded and 2009’s covers EP, Up Above My Head before moving on to Nashville‘s Southern Ground Artists, who released  2011’s Smoke Ring Halo, 2012’s Live Volume One: Sky High and Live Volume Two: Nail and Tooth, 2013’s Buddy Miller-produced The Muse. Shortly after the release of The Muse, the members of the trio relocated to Nashville, marking the first time that Chris and Oliver Wood have lived in the same city in several decades.

2015’s Paradise was the first album in which all three members of the band shared songwriting credits, as they were all in the same city to work on and refine material. Since then, the act has released another live album, 2017’s Live at the Barn. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year or so, you’d recall that I caught the acclaimed trio at The Vic Theatre in Chicago, during their tour to support their sixth, full-length album, the self-produced and recorded One Drop of Truth. And although at the time, I wasn’t familiar with them before the set, they proved their reputation for being one of the best touring bands in contemporary music.

Interestingly, their latest album, Live at the Fillmore, which is slated fora a September 6, 2019 release through Honey Jar Records/Thirty Tigers Records will be the newest edition to an ongoing series of live concert recordings. Recorded over a two night stand at San Francisco’s historic venue, the album finds the band continuing to build upon their reputation for the sort of performances that defy easy categorization — their delivery manages to live at the intersection of arena rock energy and intensity and small theater intimacy while happily blurring the lines between folk, rock, blues, funk, Americana and trailblazing. And in the case of Live at the Fillmore, the album features a career-spanning set that finds the act rising to meet the history of the room — all while showcasing the skills that have won them acclaim. “That room just feels like a classic from the moment you arrive,” Oliver Wood says of the iconic space. “All of our heroes have performed there at one time or another, and it’s really special to be able to walk in their footsteps. It inspires us every we time we get on that stage.”

“The longer we play together, the more we can read each other’s thoughts and anticipate each other’s musical choices, so we’re always evolving and reinventing aspects of our show,” Chris Woods adds. “The venue we’re performing in plays a big part in all of that, too. We made our last live album at Levon Helm’s barn, which is a very small, intimate place, but The Fillmore’s much bigger, and you can really hear that reflected in the scale of these performances.”

Live at the Fillmore‘s latest single “Keep Me Around” is centered around some delicate fingerpicked guitar, a sinuous bass line, the trio’s impeccable harmonizing and a soaring hook. Of course, you hear some amazing musicianship and otherworldly simpatico. And in some way, the song finds the band pushing their sound and approach in the direction of the the free flowing jam-like sound Levon Helm and The Band — but with an arena rock immensity.

The Wood Brothers are currently on tour, bringing their live show to venues across the country. Sadly, they’re not in the New York Metropolitan area but if they’re playing in a city near you, you should catch them. Check out the tour dates below.

Tour Dates

8/16 – Jackson Hole, WY – Jackson Hole Live *
8/17 – Big Sky, MT – Moonlight MusicFest
8/19 – Crystal Bay, NV – Crystal Bay Club Casino
8/20 – San Rafael, CA – Terrapin Crossroads (Sold Out)
8/21 – San Rafael, CA – Terrapin Crossroads (Sold Out)
8/22 – San Jose, CA – City National Civic **
8/24 – Jacksonville, OR – Britt Festival Pavilion **
8/25 – Seattle, WA – Woodland Park Zoo Amphitheatre **
8/27 – Boise, ID – Knitting Factory Concert House **
8/28 – Salt Lake City, UT – Red Butte Garden **
9/5 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre ^
9/8 – Chattanooga, TN – Moon River Music Festival (Sold Out)
9/21 – East Aurora, NY – Borderland Music and Arts Festival
10/16 – Pensacola FL – Vinyl Music Hall
10/17 – Ponte Vedra, FL – Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
10/18 – Wilmington, NC – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater
10/19 – Greensboro, NC – The Carolina Theatre
10/20 – Black Mountain, NC – Leaf Festival
10/25 – Placerville, CA – Hangtown Music Festival
11/7 – Roanoke, VA – Shaftman Performance Hall ^^
11/8 – Highlands, NC – Highlands Food & Wine Festival ^^
11/9 – Louisville, KY – Headliners Music Hall ^^
11/10 – Cincinnati, OH – Taft Theatre ^^
11/12 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant ^^
11/13 – Kansas City, MO – The Truman ^^
11/14 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue ^^
11/15 – Madison, WI – Barrymore Theatre ^^
11/16 – Indianapolis, IN – The Vogue ^^
12/3 – Baton Rouge, LA – Manship Theatre ^^^
12/4 – Houston, TX – The Heights Theater ^^^
12/5 – Austin, TX – Paramount Theatre ^^^
12/6 – Dallas, TX – The Kessler Theater ^^^
12/7 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom ^^^
12/9 – Omaha, NE – Slowdown ^^^
2/27 – 3/1 – Punta Cana, DR – Avett Brothers at the Beach

* w/ Upstate
** w/ Colter Wall
^ w/ Fruition + Steep Canyon Rangers
^^ w/ Nicole Atkins
^^^ w/ Katie Pruitt

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New Video: JOVM Mainstays, The Coathangers Return with 60s Girl Group Inspired Visuals and Sounds for New Single “Down Down”

“Down Down” Nosebleed Weekend’s latest single will further cement the band’s reputation for crafting incredibly catchy hook in a song that possesses an obvious studio sheen — but without removing the scuzzy and primal feel of the album’s previously released material; in fact, “Down Down” possesses a mosh pit-ready feel while pairing it with a 60s girl group-leaning harmonies and layers of distorted and towering guitar chords.

Directed by Matt Odom, the recently released music video for “Down Down” interestingly enough draws from old footage and videos of 60s girls groups playing on American Bandstand, The Ed Sullivan Show and others complete with the members of the band singing and playing in front of psychedelic and art school projects — but with a clean, hyper-modern feel.

 

In the decade since their formation, Atlanta, GA-based trio and JOVM mainstay The Coathangers have released four full-length albums and have gone on a number of North American and European tours, all of which have cemented their reputation for writing incredibly catchy songs — and for unruly live shows. During the recording sessions for Suck My Shirt, the band went through a lineup change as Candice Jones left the band, making the band a trio comprised of Julia Kugel (vocals and guitar), Meredith Franco (bass), and Stephanie Luke (drums). Naturally, as a result of the lineup change, the newly-constituted trio’s fourth full-length effort, Suck My Shirt revealed a refined songwriting approach in which the album’s material still retained the raw, seemingly spontaneously simplicity and fury that has won them national and international attention — but with streamlined, more direct arrangements that made the material feel more urgent.

Make It Right,” the first single off the band’s soon-to-be released fifth full-length album Nosebleed Weekend continued in the same lines of their previous effort as it possessed a similar primal simplicity — in other words although it nodded at garage rock and surfer rock, there was an underlying sneering, “we don’t give a fuck” attitude. The following single, album title track “Nosebleed Weekend” paired their signature sneering “zero fucks given” attitude with an anthemic hook that you can imagine a room full of sweaty concertgoers lustily yelling along with upraised fist and in a way that’s reminiscent of 90s alt rock.

Released just before their sold-out show at Baby’s All Right tonight, the band’s latest single “Squeeki Tiki” pairs punchy and bratty vocals and a catchy hook, a throbbing bass line, propulsive four-on-the-floor-like drumming and industrial-like squeaking and squawking in a sneering “in your face” “zero fucks given” song that draws from garage punk and surfer rock — as though the song drew from The Ramones, The Beach Boys and Nirvana.

Since their formation back in the 2007, the Atlanta, GA-based quartet The Pinx, currently comprised of Adam McIntyre (vocals, rhythm guitar), Chance McColl (lead guitar), Jonathan Lee (bass) and Dwayne Jones (drums), have developed a reputation across the Southeast for a relentless touring schedule that had the band opening for the likes of Ben Harper and Relentless7 among others, for songs that have appeared during highlights broadcast on ESPN and Fox Sports, and for a sound that draws heavily from The MC5, Cheap Trick, Led Zeppelin, Motorhead and others — or in other words 70s-leaning arena friendly power chord rock.

After a brief hiatus that saw McIntyre’s stint with fellow Atlanta-based band StoneRider during their European tour and a massive lineup change, the band reformed and with a change of songwriting approach and sonic direction. As McIntyre says of the material he wrote that comprised the band’s forthcoming new album, Freedom: “A lot of the stuff I learned about songwriting during my decade in Nashville came back. Not the formulaic bro-country aspect, but folks like Todd Snider and Dan Baird. Smart, funny guys who write songs that reflect themselves well. I wanted some of that to come through. It all has to mix with the rock & roll and the blues and soul and everything, and I put together a band tailor-made to do just that.” McIntyre also adds ““These songs are all true stories. I tried to write concise, simple little rock and roll songs. This is the set I want to play live.”

Freedom‘s latest single “Baby Won’t Ya” is an Southern double fried, whiskey soaked, The Black Crowes-indebted cover of The MC5 that retains the song’s anthemic, power chord-heavy swagger but with a studio sheen that doesn’t clean up the original’s sleazy dive bar feel.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about  Atlanta-based trio  and JOVM mainstay The Coathangers. In the the decade since their formation, the band has released four full-length albums and have gone on a number of North American and European tours, which have cemented their reputation for writing incredibly catchy songs — and for unruly live shows. Back in 2014, during the recording sessions for Suck My Shirt, the band went through a lineup change as Candice Jones left the band, making the band a trio comprised of Julia Kugel (vocals and guitar), Meredith Franco (bass), and Stephanie Luke (drums). Naturally, as a result of the lineup change, the newly-constituted trio’s fourth full-length effort, Suck My Shirt revealed a refined songwriting approach in which the album’s material still retained the raw, seemingly spontaneously simplicity and fury that has won them national and international attention — but with streamlined, more direct arrangements that made the material feel more urgent.

Make It Right,” the first single off the band’s soon-to-be released fifth full-length album Nosebleed Weekend continued in the same lines of their previous effort as it possessed a similar primal simplicity — in other words although it nodded at garage rock and surfer rock, there was an underlying sneering, “we don’t give a fuck” attitude. The album’s latest single and album title track “Nosebleed Weekend” pairs their signature sneering “zero fucks given” attitude with an anthemic hook that you can imagine a room full of sweaty concertgoers lustily yelling along with upraised fist and in a way that’s reminiscent of 90s alt rock.  In particular, I’m reminded of L7, Hole and Bikini Kill but angrier and seemingly fueled on whiskey.

 

 

If you’ve been frequenting this site a bit over the years, you may recall that I’ve written about the Atlanta-based trio The Coathangers on a couple of occasions. And interestingly, the band has what may arguably be one of the most prototypically punk rock and funniest formation stories that I’ve heard. As the story goes, the band formed when the then-quartet of guitarist and vocalist Julia Kugel (a.k.a. Crook Kid Coathanger), bassist Meredith Franco (a.k.a. Minnie Coathanger), drummer Stephanie Luke (a.k.a Rusty Coathanger), and keyboardist Candice Jones (a.k.a. Bebe Coathanger) decided to start a band for the sole purpose of being able to hang out and play parties — and they didn’t let the fact that none of them actually knew how to play an instrument get in the way of them being in a band and having a good time. As a result, the band’s earliest songs walked a tightrope between abrasive dissonance and a primal minimalism.

In the the decade or so since their formation, the band has released four full-length albums and have gone on a number of North American and European tours, which have cemented their reputation for writing incredibly catchy songs — and for unruly live shows. Back in 2014, during the recording sessions for Suck My Shirt, the band went through a lineup change as Candice Jones left the band. Naturally, as a result of the lineup change, the newly-consituted trio’s fourth effort revealed a refined songwriting approach in which the album’s material possessed a raw, spontaneous simplicity and fury with arrangements that felt streamlined and more direct. In other words, no frills, no bullshit, balls-to-the-wall rock that spiritually channelled AC/DC and the Ramones.  

“Make It Right,” the first single off the band’s forthcoming Nosebleed Weekend continues in the same lines of their previous effort as it possesses a raw and furious feel paired with a primal simplicity — it’s grimy, gritty punk that also manages to nod at old fashioned garage rock and surfer rock, complete with a “we don’t give a fuck” sneering attitude. Interestingly, the largest departure for the forthcoming album was the actual recording process. Their previous albums were recorded at The Living Room Studios in Atlanta with Ed Rawls while this effort had the band recording the material at Valentine Recording Studios in North Hollywood, where The Beach Boys and Bing Crosby recorded albums. As the band’s Julia Kugel mentioned in press notes “The studio had been custom built by Jimmy Valentine and he was very protective of his passion. It sounds weird, but his spirit was there, checking in on us and fucking with us a bit.” That shouldn’t be surprising as the Nosebleed Weekend sessions were the first sessions at the studios in 36 years — and yet in some way, the location seems to help capture the materials’ primal immediacy.

 

 

 

As I’ve mentioned on this site a number of times, the Internet really has proven to be a wonderful place to discover both new music and extremely rare, lost music — and with an increasing ease. Just think about it, the technology that brings this site into your home has contributed to a wild proliferation of independent labels across the world, equally competing against the major conglomerates for your ears, attention and money. And interestingly enough, smaller, independent artists have been much more willing (and able) to take the sort of risks that their larger, monied rivals wouldn’t and couldn’t — i.e., attempting to re-introduce artists, whose work was so wildly ahead its time that audiences at the the time just couldn’t accept it — and yet fill in a musical gap, or seem so current that it was impossible to figure how it was missed; attempting to reintroduce regionally favored artists from a time when hit songs in Milwaukee were often different than hit songs in Atlanta, Baltimore, Des Moines, Minneapolis or New York.

Of course, before the Internet, bulletin boards and social media, much of this material was only known to cultish and dedicated insiders, who would spend their time seeking and collecting long-lost and long-forgotten albums, often hoarding them in private collections or selling them at collector’s shows. The Internet and blogosphere have democratized the process, allowing the average listener and fan a chance to listen and to love some of these long-forgotten wonders. Unsurprisingly, there’s money that can be made from discovering long lost material, and it often results in labels and bloggers mining beloved and influential genres to exhaustion through endless compilations of certain genres — in particular psych rock, AM rock, doo wop, singer/songwriter folk, funk, soul and a few others come to mind.

Now, strangely enough up until last year, there hadn’t been many proto-metal, pre-stoner rock compilations when the Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA-based distributor Permanent Records released a compilation of incredibly rare singles from the 60s and 70s on Brown Acid: The First Trip. With the help of Daniel Hall of RidingEasy Records, Permanent Records co-owner Lance Barresi spent time not just collecting and compiling the singles on the compilation, they also spent a great deal of time tracking down the songs creators, often bands who haven’t been together in over 30 or 40 years, and encouraging them to take part in the entire process.  As Barresi explained in press notes for the first compilation, “All of (these songs) could’ve been huge given the right circumstances. But for one reason or another most of these songs fell flat and were forgotten. However, time has been kind in my opinion and I think these songs are as good now or better than they ever were.“ And by having the artists participate it can give the songs and the artists a real second chance at success, if not some kind of attention.

Barresi and Hall have complied a second volume of rare proto-metal and pre-stoner rock from the 60s and 70s, Brown Acid: The  Second Trip, which is slated (fittingly enough) for release on April 20. The Second Trip‘s first single, Ash’s “Midnight Witch” manages to sound as though it drew from Mountain‘s “Mississippi Queen,” Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride” and early Black Sabbath as layers of huge, sludgy and bluesy power chords are paired with a driving rhythm and soulful vocals. And while being forceful, the song manages to possess a trippy feel — and in some way the song nods at material that has been released by a number of contemporary bands including Ecstatic Vision and others.

 

 

 

Roland Clark is a renowned Atlanta, GA-based house music producer, songwriter and vocalist who has recorded and released material under several different aliases including Houseboy, Keita, Jesus Jackson, People, Roland Clark Presents: Digital Pimps, Dark Clark and South Street Player, as well as releasing material under his own name. Clark has also been a member of Leviticus and Urban Soul — and has collaborated with Bob Sinclair, Todd Terry, Roger Sanchez and Fatboy Slim; in fact, “Song for Shelter,” borrows a sample from DJ Le Roi’s “I Get Deep” featuring Clark.

However, at their heyday Urban Soul was not just influential, they were commercially successful — the act had hit the US Hot Dance Music/Club Play Charts seven times during the 90s. And if you were in a club in the early 90s, you’d likely know of “Alright” one of Urban Soul’s biggest song. Skittering drum programming, thick, cascading synth chords and soulful yet ethereal vocals bubbling and floating over the mix. Although the song is now 25 years old, it manages to sound as though it could have been released within the few years — as though someone like 100% Silk Records.

Electronic music producer and artist Alexander Technique is best known for his time helping pioneer both the term and idea of the “mash up” with Princess Superstar when they launched DJs Are Not Superstars Records, where they both mixed rock, techno and 90s hip-hop, as well as releasing material under several genres and subgenres of electronic music including the work of Larry Tee, Harvard Bass, Etienne De Crecy, Zoo Brazil, Sia and others. Technique is also the co-founder of Drop Ready Records. The renowned producer, remixer, electronic music artist and label head recently remixed Urban Soul’s classic “Alright.” And as Technique explains in press notes “”The remix was originally about 7 minutes long but after playing it for Todd Terry and my label partner Pedro, they both suggested that I make it longer. Todd even got in and played some keys towards the end…”

Interestingly, the Alexander Technique remix pushes the song towards the 21st century as it pairs Clark’s soulful and sensual crooning with a dense and super slick production that sounds as though it channels both a John Carpenter soundtrack, if filtered through hyper modern European house music as layers of shimmering synth, layers of buzzing synth, are paired with explosive flashes of cymbal and skittering drum programming.

 

 

Born in rural Vermont and currently based in Atlanta, GA, Nick Takenobu Ogawa is a classically trained cellist and composer, who writes, records and performs under the moniker Takénobu. As the story goes, Ogawa was raised in an extremely small town with a population of about 1,000 residents — and as a result, the cellist and composer grew up playing in the woods, since he had no next-door neighbors and had no cable TV. His parents were professors at Middlebury College, and when Ogawa turned 6, they introduced him to cello, and he took private lessons and practiced religiously until he had turned 18. But after 12 years of study and orchestral playing, Ogawa began veering away from classical music and started focusing on a self-taught style of play that borrowed techniques from his guitar playing and composition based on a variety of roots and world music influences.

Ogawa moved to Kyoto, Japan, where he spent a year experimenting and cultivating his unique playing style and sound — until he had suffered a wrist injury from intense practice. He then wound up attending Haverford College in Philadelphia where he graduated with thoughts of entering law school; however, instead of studying for the LSAT’s and preparing applications, Ogawa moved to Vancouver, BC, where he recorded his full-length debut album. He then moved to Brooklyn and won the 2006 Williamsburg Live singer/songwriter competition and with the winnings he was able to release his 2007 debut effort, Introduction. The album was released to favorable reviews but didn’t gain much exposure.

Frustrated and despondent, Ogawa was close to giving up on pursuing music. But just before his own deadline, the Vermont-born, Atlanta, GA-based cellist and composer submitted his debut effort to Pandora. And ironically enough, just as he was about to give up was the exact moment that he started to see increasing press attention and commercial success; in fact, thanks to Pandora’s recommendation algorithm, in the four year period between 2007-2011, Introduction received enough streams and sales that Ogawa was able to focus on music full-time, releasing three more full-length album. Adding to a steadily growing national profile, Ogawa’s music has received airplay on NPR‘s Morning Edition, has opened for Kishi Bashi and performed and arranged cello on Dessa‘s “It’s Only Me.”  

Reversal, Ogawa’s fifth full-length effort is slated for a February 12, 2016 release and the album’s first single “Curtain Call” pairs a gorgeous and moody cello composition with Ogawa’s achingly plaintive vocals singing about a relationship that has come to an inevitable conclusion, and both sides have recognized that they have to part — perhaps forever. Sonically speaking the song employs the use of several different layers of cello to create a lush and yet spectral arrangement that emphasizes the melancholy sense of acceptance at the core of the song.