Monday, April 27, 2009

Death is on the Doorstep - The final Sonn Av Krusher show on Friday May 1, 2009

Update: Here is the Sonn Av Krusher set and the G.G. King set from the show, for your listening enjoyment.

This Friday at the Drunken Unicorn will be the final show of Sonn Av Krusher, which is a band that Gray Kiser and I started after moving back to Atlanta in 2006, and soon added Matt Mauldin to the fray. Well, two children (total = 6 for the band) and 13 shows later, we are going to fold up the banner and put the Krusher out to stud. I will be playing with both SAK and G.G. King at this show, so with any luck I will avoid having an aneurysm before the night is through. Here are some descriptions of the bands put together by Gray:

Hell Comes To Town - lumbering bear awoken from winter slumber wildly swings paws at cave intruders. If it means anything, the guitarist was in the original Zoroaster lineup.

G.G. King - frantic babysitter realizes child in her care has wandered over to the edge of the family pool, of course, she's a little too buzzed to really do anything but laugh. If it means anything, the band is made up of the old Carbonas, and Gentlemen Jesse and His Men, and many many more.

Sonn Av Krusher - naive boy accepts invitation for ice cream and cartoons in the apartment adjacent the bicycle shop, decides it's worth the ice cream to humor an older man in the sunset of his boy sees wad of cash in sock drawer he will pocket later after old man falls asleep...and not to feels alright.

It's been a great couple of years - I hope to see you one more time. Here is a collection of flyers thus far:

June 16, 2007 at Lenny's with The Wayne Williams, Chopper and Advantage Lendl. Gray put the wrong date on the flyer.

July 15, 2007 at Corndogorama with everyone you see here. Fun show, even if we played at 1:30 in the afternoon. It was our second show, so you take what you can get.

December 26, 2007 at the EARL with Noot d' Noot and Chris Devoe/Zano. This was under the notion that if you get all your friends together to play a show, everyone will have a good time even though the musical styles are completely different. We basically bummed out and maybe scared the EARL crowd a little bit.
May 24, 2008 at Eyedrum with The Forever War and Mistaken For Them. This was the show where we one the golden unicorn trophy for "Atlanta's Gayest Band", and by gay we mean happy.

June 19, 2008 at Lennys with F.U.C.T. , Mourdella and Sex In Cars. F.U.C.T. is kind of what Sonn Av Krusher was trying to be, so it was a real honor to play with them.
Here is another flyer for the show made by the Sex In Cars guys:

June 27, 2008 at Corndogorama

Here is a little blurb on the set by Tim Shea in Stomp and Stammer:
One of the principal reasons I even bothered to come out to Lenny’s today, the second day of this year’s Corndogorama festival, was to see Sonn Av Krusher, who I had seen a year ago at Corndog and they blew me away. I haven’t heard hide nor hair of 'em since. Basically, throw the Swans, King Snake Roost and Skullflower in a blender and you get these guys. Needless to say they're one of my favorite bands in town. They don’t play out much, but do yourself a favor and catch ‘em when they do. If you're a lover of power-bore drone pummel they do it better than anyone else in town The drummer apparently plays guitar in Noot d’ Noot (for those who care).

August 9, 2008 at The Drunken Unicorn with Recompas and Lay Down Mains. Another great Gray Kiser flyer, a concept I was looking for in the show.

October 16, 2008 at Lennys with Subrig Destroyer, Scarab and Whores. This was our first show with Subrig Destroyer, who is an excellent band and excellent guys.

November 6, 2008 at The Star Bar with Rizzudo, Grand Prize Winners from Last Year and Miles From Pangaea. We had nothing to do with this flyer, but at least one was produced!

November 29, 2008 at the Drunken Unicorn with All Night Drug Prowling Wolves, Princess Thunderstorm and American Cheeseburger. We definitely got the short end of the stick in having to headline over these bands.

December 5, 2008 at Wonderroot with The Subliminator, The Sunglasses and The Doppel Gang. Thanks to Gavin and Cory for watching our set. We do it all for you guys.

January 10, 2009 at the Drunken Unicorn with Subrig Destroyer, Hell Comes to Town and Whores. Probably the best overall show we had. I wish they were always like this.

February 20, 2009 at the Calendonia with Subrig Destroyer, Music Hates You and Noble Rust. Our big one city tour of America. Still enjoyed it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

At The Price Of The Union - Live

Here is the download: At The Price Of The Union - Live

I believe this show is from Under The Couch, probably around 1999 or 2000. As I have posted before, ATPOTU was definitely of the Hoover/Regulator Watts vibe, with some Great Unraveling/Convocation Of thrown in. They always put on a great show, and had a very devoted following. I remember when Chocolate Kiss played with them at UTC, their whole audience stood outside while we played, and once they loaded in, everyone came in and packed the place out. It's always fun when that happens, especially when there are windows in the venue where you can see everyone ignoring you.

In this set they play two songs from their Mechanics of Wind CD, put out by Buddy System Records, now held by Stickfigure Records, and one unreleased song. The Owens brothers from Buddy System became friends of the ATPOTU guys through The hal al Shedad, and kept the Buddy System/Atlanta connection going for a few more years after hal dissolved. As mentioned before, ATPOTU was Craig Lee Demsey (guitar) from Lowboy, The Forty-Two, Aslund Constant, and afterwards Thoroughbred and a later version of The Good Friday Experiment. Luke Gilbert (bass) went into Thoroughbred with Craig after this band broke up, and Josh Lott (drums) went on to play in Paper Lions, Teenage Methlab, and Elf Power before enrolling in Law School. You can most easily find him at the Highland Inn Ballroom, that is where I seem to run into him most these days.

One more story about this band, supposedly at one of their early shows, they played a tape of only the John J. Rambo lines from First Blood on a boombox while they were setting up and in between their songs, which I think is brilliant and would like to rip off someday. "Let It Go ... Let It Go..."

Friday, April 17, 2009

86 - Esoteric Champions of Atlanta Postpunk

Here is the download:
86 - Part One (Incl. Closely Guarded Secret and Minutes In A Day)
86 - Part Two (Incl. Provocation)
86 - Part Three (Incl. Way To Go and Singles/Comp. Tracks)
86 - Part Four (Incl. Live at the Metroplex - 1987)

Here is the listing:
1-7: Closely Guarded Secret
8-13: Minutes In A Day
14-25: Provocation
26-34: Way To Go (Live at the Metroplex in 1986)
35-36: "Useless/Behind My Back" 1983 Single
37: "Man Overhead" from Twilight Records Compilation
38: "Inside" from Youth Culture Single
39-49: Live at the Metroplex in 1987

This post has been a long time coming, but I like to be as complete as possible in my coverage of bands on this blog, so I spent a long time connecting the gaps of their discography in my collection, and then procrastinating based on the amount of workload involved in a post such as this. I would like to graciously thank Rob Easterday for the Closely Guarded Secret and Way To Go albums, and Kim from Pineal Ventana for the soundboard recording of the show from 1987, and a certain unnamed friend of the band for some other bits and pieces included here. My intention is for this blog to really be a central gathering point for all these bands and their music (which has been out of print for years or decades) to be available for everyone to enjoy, and people like Kim and Rob really help so much in achieving this. Many thanks.

I only knew of 86 as a classic Atlanta postpunk band from the 688/Metroplex era circa 1983-1988, and would always see their Closely Guarded Secret and Minutes In A Day albums in record bins around town, but otherwise had no knowledge of them. Eventually I purchased Provocation and Minutes In A Day so I could hear what they were all about, but for some reason by that time the Closely Guarded Secret album all of a sudden became difficult to find. I never even made the connection that Mac McNeilly was the same drummer for The Jesus Lizard, among so many others, was also the drummer for 86. Yet another story of a local drummer taking the world by storm ala Kyle Spence and Gerhard Fuchs.

Listening to their music, they seem to be great guys and a great band of the era, in a family along with Honor Role or even a Mission of Burma. Definitely knew what they were doing, and some really professional drumming. I can see how Mac helped made Jesus Lizard what they were. I also liked how every member sang in the band, and seemed very democratic and diverse in their approach. Personally I lean towards the "Way To Go" Live album as my favorite of their recordings, as their music seems to translate better in a live setting and you can get a better picture of what they were about. I'm sure they played some amazing shows, but you really don't hear much about them outside the people in Atlanta who were around at the time. There is hardly anything on the interweb about them, and only a Myspace page and some Youtube videos to give any further glimpses into who they were. I did find this article about them in Trouser Press:

Like Honor Role, 86 was one of the few mid-'80s Southern indie bands immune to jangle-pop obsessions. Melodrama and juvenilia plagued its records, but, for the time and place, the Atlanta trio was worth noting.

Firmly rooted in collegiate post-punk, Closely Guarded Secret contains lots of new wave fallout and youthful squirreliness. Well-played but anonymous, the seven-song mini-LP is simple but enjoyable. Despite lame vocals, Ken Schenck's choppy, early-U2-ish guitar playing saves the ship. And is that a Police influence on "No Answer"?
The artier Minutes in a Day is less redolent of the rehearsal room. Mac McNeilly has matured into a tricky, hard-hitting drummer. Schenck loosens the reigns and cranks up the squawk. The dark title track is a guilty pleasure of edgy rhythms and reverb.
The final studio album dispenses with some of the amateurish tendencies of prior work. Max Koshewa's newly fattened bass thickens the previously anemic bottom end. Confident, louder compositions allow Schenck to squiggle all over the place. His solos weave a crooked, luminous path as the rhythm section locks into position. Still, the album suffers from whiny, Anglo-fixated vocals, clich├ęd lyrics (advice: don't print 'em) and overt politeness.
86 was reportedly one hell of a live act. To capitalize on that, its label issued Way to Go, a limited, farewell attempt to capture the onstage experience.
After 86 bit the dust, McNeilly picked up a bass and played in Phantom 309, who split an EP with Shenck's next project, the Sun Also Rises. Mac later reclaimed his drum throne for a long stint with the Jesus Lizard, netting his original group some posthumous notoriety.

Here is a video from their Myspace page, just to give you an idea what it was all about, or maybe give you a nice rush of nostalgia for those good old days:

Ken Schenck

Max Koshewa

Mac McNeilly

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Kicker Boys - Fuck Off Nazis

Here is the Download: Kicker Boys LP

I first heard of the Kicker Boys via The View compilation, and at the time didn't make the connection that they were an Oi band. If you listen to I Don't Scare from that comp, I was getting a more hard rock vibe from these guys. However, once I got to hear their other songs, the name Kicker Boys clicked - and just check out the artwork:

I had some exposure to the Atlanta Oi scene and the music in general through my old Ska days, but never got to see these guys. We did play with Moonstomp at least once before, and maybe Brickwall United here and there. Oi music is such a phenomenon to me, and really interesting as a musical subgenre on almost an academic sense. It takes the most basic punk arrangements and places it in the skinhead/ska culture and exists in this kind of bubble apart from all other music, with its own insular set of rules and aesthetics. Enough about that, enjoy the album.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sacrificial Lamb - East Cobb House Show Nostalgia

Back in 1995, The hal al Shedad and The Forty Two played a garage/house show in Cobb County with several other bands, including Sacrificial Lamb. This was a milestone show for several people in the scene, and luckily someone filmed the set and some of the goings on at the show, and we can enjoy it in 2009. I was at the show, but unfortunately missed their set, which was good, but no Geisch. As I didn't grow up around this area, I'm not sure of everyone in this video, but there are some nice cameos of Ben Lukens, Scott MC, Gavin Frederick, Rebecca Merchant, and Craig Lee Dempsey in there. Thanks Henry for the link!

You also have to check out Part Two:

Friday, April 3, 2009

Kid Boom Boom - Insanity from the Year 2000

Here is the download: Kid Boom Boom 8-Minute Album

I realize this picture is technically of The Close, Kid Boom Boom played this show as well (Halloween 2000 at C-11), and for some reason did not take any pictures of their set. Probably because I was so unbelievably floored by what was being thrown down by these guys. Tom Cheshire sang in Kid Boom Boom, and he also played the Vincent Price character in The Close's version of Michael Jackson's Thriller in the picture above.

Thanks to Russ Jackson, the guitarist of Kid Boom Boom, for sending me the recording. I'm not sure if this was intended to be a 7" or what, but it is really an opera of sorts that covers more ground in 8 minutes than most bands do in an entire 42 minute LP. I'm also not sure of their complete history, but I know that they played several times in 2000 and 2001, and I saw them at least twice during that period, and then they moved on to greener pastures. I could never tell if their songs were improvised or loosely written, but my bet leaning more on the improvisational side, as they could really feed off the energy (or lack thereof) from the crowd and make everyone look like fools. The only other recording I have of them is from the String Theory compilation, which feels like a more traditionally structured heavy rock tune, so maybe down the road they got some solid songs down and turned on the tape machine. If anyone has other songs from this recording, I would love to hear it. I also saw that they appeared on the Live at Eyedrum Volume 3 compilation, so I'm also looking for that recording if anyone has it in their collection.

So the band was very mysterious. Tom Cheshire from The Rent Boys, All Night Drug Prowling Wolves, etc. on lead vocals, Russ Jackson from Ansurbana, Crusher Destroyer on guitar and Dwayne Halstead on the drum kit. I remember Russ played an original issue Orange guitar head which sounded amazing, and had this great almost free jazz guitar style. It reminded me of the similarly chaotic San Diego Gravity scene (Antioch Arrow, Angel Hair, Heroin, etc.), which was not very prominent in this particular scene in Atlanta. Every time I saw them, they played less than 10 minutes a set, and were unbelievable.

Update: Russ Jackson is now playing in a band called Bald Eagle - they have one album put out by Gavin Frederick on his Earthshaking Rhythms label, and another coming out later this month.

Enjoy the recording, and as you may remember in my previous Rent Boys post, Kevin Spacey was a big fan of theirs and would come out to their shows in NYC. Anyhow, I asked for a picture, and Mike Shina (aka Vic Carrente) of The Rent Boys answered. Thanks!