Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Figure Demo Tape

Here is the download: Figure Demo Tape

Sorry about the gap in posting. I have been on a Spring break of sorts, but am back and feeling refreshed, so there should be a regular stream of posts this way coming.

As we have been posting a great deal of Kyle Spence material lately, I thought it would be nice to include what I believe was his first recording on drums. Keep in mind that he was in his early high school days when the band Figure was around, but even then it is incredible to think that he was still miles ahead of most drummers out there. Figure was an Atlanta band from the 1990-1992 era and until writing this blog, I only knew of them as one of the "other" bands on the Bag of Jakes single that wasn’t Dirt or Fiddlehead. However, after working on this blog and coming in contact with so many new people from Atlanta’s music history, I have been able to meet up with Justin Gray, who was the bass player of Figure, among others. He has provided me with several recordings and stories from this time period, including this demo and some other gems that I will be posting soon. I am not sure how Justin Gray and Kyle Spence met, as there is a significant age difference between the guys, but he must have seen Kyle in action somewhere and knew that he was the right kid for the business.

Musically, they are a pretty decent band from this era, and I could have seen them getting interest from a major label or scam indie somewhere and becoming an established regional college/indie band during this time. It is important to remember that during this time it seemed that pretty much any band with at least some kind of refined sound was being signed by major labels, and there was almost a feeling of entitlement by every local band that they were going to be the next Nirvana or R.E.M. and never have to work another day in their lives. Justin worked at Clark Music at the time on Ponce De Leon and Boulevard/Monroe, and practiced once or twice with Kip Duvall from No Walls, but never officially joined the band. He is now playing in The Goldest, a new band that just released a nice EP, and Kyle has moved on and on and on as one of Atlanta’s drummer elite. I am not sure what happened to the guitarist John McGinnis, but I'm sure Justin can let us know.

One other thing we talked about regarding Atlanta's postpunk history. There was a Fugazi show at the Excelsior Mill (now The Masquerade) before their first record came out that went down in history as the starting point for this scene, which linked the bands like Figure, Fiddlehead, Such As, and several others. I guess it was kind of like the Sex Pistols show in Manchester for Atlanta. I wasn't at the show myself, as I was part of the next wave of bands to come through, but I don't know if there was ever a similar show like that in my early days.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

MRR Reviews - aka Brad post #4

Things have been kinda crazy for me recently. I had to put my eleven year old dog down as a result of the big C and then last Thursday a fucking tree fell on my house. Needless to say blogging has been the last thing on my mind. So to get a post out I'm just letting the reviews do the talking for me...these are from my old Maximum Rock-N-Roll 'zines and are presented alphabetically by band name and chronologically by issue. If you click on the image you can see the issue number, month and year in your address bar. I kinda got the feeling on some of these that they just gave the release to the wrong reviewer. Clearly a powerpop fan certainly wouldn't dig good 'ole oi chants or math rock brutality.