Tag Archives: Atlanta

1 night. 4 venues. 7 bands: A Tale of a Music Enthusiast

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On any given night in Los Angeles there will be a great band playing somewhere. I will go, enjoy the music, chat with friends and call it an evening. Sometimes, the gods of music seem to get angry with me and book too many amazing musical events on the same evening, thus forcing me to make somewhat agonizing decisions that, more often than I care to admit, leave me so paralyzed I don’t venture out at all. Monday night I choose to defy those gods as I successfully completed the near impossible feat: Hit up 4 venues in one evening. Here is my story.

It all started with one of my favorite hometown bands, Scarlet Grey. Even since I helped out on their music video for “The Sky & I,” seeing this band has been a bit like a family reunion. The boys of Scarlet Grey are taking off for London for a while and booked their last LA show for Monday August 22nd at The Troubadour.  In my calendar it went with indelible black ink.

Soon after, I was incredibly pleased to see that one of my favorite Nashville-based artists, Ben Rector, had booked a gig at my favorite LA venue, The Hotel Cafe. Ben doesn’t come to LA that often, so this was not something I wanted to miss. I went to ink it in the calendar and was dismayed when I saw the date already filled. Fortunately Ben played at 8pm and Scarlet Grey at 9:45 so I could catch both.. Excellent! A full and exciting evening planned with two great acts.

Things started to get a wee bit complicated when I met Bay, a musician in the band Some Hear Explosions, outside The Viper Room after The Veronicas show.  Bay handed me a CD sampler and spoke of this magical Some Hear Explosions show taking place at The Viper Room. He painted such an enticing picture, I was excited…until I asked him when said show was to occur. Monday August 22nd. Why Monday is often the most convoluted day of the week show-wise is beyond me. It’s MONDAY! Anyway, after listening to said sampler and cursing the goodness of it, I penciled in the 11:15 SHE set thinking that The Viper usually runs late anyway, so it was entirely possible to make it after The Troubadour…the venues are fairly close together.

Finally, during SSMF, a friend of mine pointed out two additional bands also playing on Monday. Chappo, a Brooklyn-based band I had heard good things about, was playing a set at The Satellite and The Constellations were going to be at The Bootleg. I really wanted to see Chappo because I juuuust missed them at SSMF, but their Satellite set fell right in the middle of my already inked in events, so I cast that thought aside. The Constellations, however, were playing at midnight. The Constellations are a band from Atlanta, Georgia. They make infrequent appearances in Los Angeles and I had been craving a live set since their CD came out last year.  I didn’t care about the excess driving, the time crunch, or the fact that I would be too tired to function the next day. I needed to be at that show! I penciled it in right after Some Hear Explosions.

Come Monday night, every little thing just seemed to be working out. Traffic was shockingly light and I arrived at The Hotel Cafe early. I immediately found street parking (something that doesn’t often happen for me) and I went into the venue to find the 7pm act, Korey Dane, still playing. I only caught 2.5 tunes, but I was impressed. Just as I was thinking, “I really need to see this guy again,” someone hands me a flier for BuskerFest, an event taking place this Saturday in Long  Beach at which Korey Dane is playing along with Everest , Jay Buchanan, and more.

Ben Rector took the stage shortly after 8pm and for the next 30min or so I was lost in his world. He played many of my favorites (“When a Heart Breaks,” “The Beat,” even “Hank”!) going back and forth from the guitar to the piano. It was only Ben’s second time playing in Los Angeles, but fans were out in full force, singing along, clapping unprovoked(!), and listening attentively to Ben’s stories.  There was Frisbee throwing, “Loving You Is Easy” got an improvised verse about grilled cheese, and throughout the whole set I could not stop smiling. My only complaint was that he didn’t play “Moving Backwards,” the song that first introduced me to Ben a couple of years ago. I still haven’t heard it performed live…and this bothers me greatly.

As soon as Ben Rector’s set was over, I left The Hotel Cafe to head to show number 2: Scarlet Grey at The Troubadour. On the way back to my car I passed by The Piano Bar. There was good tune-age coming from within, so I ducked in for a song. Turns out it was Waylon Payne, the guy who played Jerry Lee Lewis in the movie Walk the Line. It would have probably been a great night of music just hanging out at The Piano Bar (I spotted piano extraordinaire Brother Sal in the corner), but I couldn’t stay.

Heading to The Troubadour I was again amazed to find traffic to be light and free parking to be a piece of cake. I walked into the venue in time to hear my favorite Dead Country song, “Euro Thrash” and find where all my friends were hiding before the quickest set change ever occurred and suddenly Scarlet Grey were on the stage rocking out to “No Boys in the Ballroom” and “Fancy Blood.” The band played quite a few new songs that gave me the impression that they are aiming to up the rock factor, adding longer musical interludes and shifting the audience dance from jumping up and down to head banging. The set was over way too quickly but the boys came back out to do an encore which included “The Sky & I” so I was quite pleased.

I was even more pleased to realize I had some time after the set to hang out with The Grey Family for a few minutes before taking off to show number 3. The Viper was easy to get to and for the third time that evening, I made it in time to catch a few songs from the previous band (in this case, The Mulhollands).  I was excited to see the cat walk had been brought out and I spent the time in between sets saying hello to some familiar faces in the room and recollecting my last Viper/cat walk experience (Semi Precious Weapons).

Some Hear Explosions started around 11:30. Bay wasn’t kidding when he said a lot of effort was going in to that night’s performance. Lights, video, sound effects in addition to the runway upped the level of intensity for the already energetic band. Some Hear Explosions played a couple songs I knew from the sampler with such panache, it was impossible not to get into it. It was difficult to disengage 20 minutes into the set, but the call of The Constellations was strong.

I arrived at The Bootleg just as Robert Francis was ending (thankfully things were running late). I found my peeps and we recounted stories of our evening’s adventures thus far. Between the three of us, we had gone to 6 different shows before convening at The Bootleg. I was starting to fade but then the set began and before I knew it, the music had taken over and I was a dancing machine! The Constellations proved to be as good if not better than I had anticipated. I love bands that really fill the stage (there are six of them…and only 1 guitarist) and lead singer, Elijah Jones, has a unique voice that sits somewhere between groovy rock and growling spoken word and can hit the most perfect maniacal laugh with impressive ease.  New Band Love!!

The Constellations played all the songs I wanted to hear (“Felicia,” “Setback,” “Step Right Up”) and the set had put me in such a good mood, I found myself lingering at the venue for some time after the music had ended. I just wanted to retain as much of that magical energy for as long as possible. I don’t think I want to tell you want time I finally got home that evening/morning. At the end of it all, I had seen two of my favorite acts, discovered a great new artist, added a new band to my local must see list, and fallen in love.  For a music enthusiast such as myself, this was not a bad way to spend an evening. 7 Bands. 4 Venues. 1 night. Not bad…not bad at all!

 

 

~ Kristen

 

 

Free Download: Joe Firstman’s New Song!

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Joe Firstman has a new record coming out September 6th. The title of the new CD is Swear It Was A Dream and the cover art is picture above. I know quite a few people (myself included) who will be very excited about this. Go here for a sneak peak of one of the new tunes, “Who’s Turnin Your Light Out?”. The first 200 people to ask can get a free download! So. GO!

Joe always seems to be out on the road. He’s got several dates this fall across the country:

 

Just stumbled across this video on Joe’s website. Funny, his answer to the question “what is your favorite thing about playing music?” is just about the same as my answer to why I like going to so many shows…no wonder I like this guy so much!

 

~ Kristen

New Band Altert: The Milk Carton Kids

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It’s Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale! Looks like they’ve finally made it official. This makes me very happy as I LOVE this duo. The formation of The Milk Carton Kids was just announced so don’t forget to like on facebook, follow on twitter, and check out their website.

They have a couple songs up for FREE download on their site. So, what are you waiting for? Just press “download”!

They are on tour this summer, opening for Joe Purdy. That means, The Troubadour on April 30th for all my fellow Los Angelenos. For everyone else, check out their website or just look at the dates and places below:

 

4/22 Austin, TX: The Parish
4/23 Dallas, TX : The Loft
4/25 Santa Fe, NM: Corazon
4/27 Phoenix, AZ : Rhythm Room
4/28 Solano Beach, CA : Bellyup Tavern
4/30 Los Angeles, CA : Troubadour
5/3 San Francisco, CA : The Independent
5/5 Portland, OR : Doug Fir
5/7 Vancouver, BC : The Rio Theater
5/9 Boise, ID : Neurolux
5/10 Salt Lake City, UT : State Room
5/12 Denver, CO : Bluebird Theater
5/14 Lawrence, KS : Bottleneck
5/15 Des Moines, IA : Vaudeville Mews
5/16 Minneapolis, MN : Varsity Theater
5/17 Milwakee, WI : Turner Hall
5/18 Chicago, IL : Lincoln Hall
5/19 St Louis, MO : Off Broadway
6/9 Birmingham, AL : WorkPlay
6/10 Atlanta, GA : The Loft
6/11 Asheville, NC : Grey Eagle
6/12 Carborro, NC : Cat’s Cradle
6/14 Annapolis, MD : Ram’s Head
6/15 Philadelphia, PA : World Café Live
6/16 New York City, NY : Highline Ballroom
6/17 Fairfield, CT : Stage One
6/20 Northampton, MA : Iron Horse
6/21 Allston, MA : Brighton Music Hall
6/22 Fall River, MA : Narrows Center for the Arts
6/23 Burlington, VT : Higher Ground
6/25 Montreal, QC : Petit Campus
6/26 Toronto, ONT : Horseshoe Tavern
6/27 Pittsburgh, PA : Rex Theater
6/28 Cleveland, OH : Beachland Ballroom
6/30 Syracuse, NY : Westcott Theater

~ Kristen

 

p.s. Joey and Kenneth playing “Girls, Gather Round” live at the Vail Film Festival:

 

Truth & Salvage Co. full length CD out TODAY!

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It’s Tuesday. You music lovers know what that means. This Tuesday is particularly important as one of my fave LA bands has their first full length CD available. Truth & Salvage Co. has been on my must see list for awhile now. They put on one of the most enjoyable live shows and now, their music can be brought to you, wherever you are.  Their self-titled album is available on ITunes and in select stores. Their official CD release party is in Ashville, North Carolina tonight at The Grey Eagle. If you’re lucky enough to live close by, go celebrate with the band for me! I, for one, am participating in the Storming the Amoeba event and will be dropping by the Hollywood location later this evening to pick up my copy.  

Check it out before you buy it on AOL’s listening party.

And please, please, please, do yourself a favor and go see their live show. They are touring all over the country. Check to see if they’re coming to a town near you:

May 25, 2010 – Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle (CD RELEASE SHOW)
May 26, 2010 – Charleston, SC @ The Pour House
May 27, 2010 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
May 28, 2010 – Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club
May 29, 2010 – Birmingham, AL @ Workplay Theatre
May 30, 2010 – Little Rock, AR @ Little Rock Riverfest
June 3, 2010 – Nashville, TN @ 3rd & Lindsley 
June 5, 2010 – Ozark, AR @ Wakarusa
June 6, 2010 – Dallas, TX @ Cambridge Room at HOB
June 7, 2010 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s BBQ
June 8, 2010 – Houston, TX @ Bronze Peacock @ HOB
June 9, 2010 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Chelsea’s Café
June 11, 2010 – Oxford, MS @ Proud Larry’s
June 12, 2010 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo
June 15, 2010 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Thunderbird Cafe
June 16, 2010 – Washington, DC @ DC9
June 17, 2010 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
June 18, 2010 – Philadelphia, PA @ North Star Bar 
June 19, 2010 – New York, NY @ Piano’s
June 20, 2010 – Northampton, MA  @ Iron Horse Music Hall
June 22, 2010 – Syracuse, NY  @ Westcott Theatre
June 23, 2010 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
June 24, 2010 – Pontiac, MI @ Pike Room
June 24, 2010 – Pontiac, MI @ Pike Room
June 30, 2010 – Saratoga, CA @ Mountain Winery
July 1, 2010 – San Francisco, CA @ Cafe Du Nord
July 2, 2010 – Jacksonville, OR @ Britt Pavilion
July 3, 2010 – Quincy, CA @ High Sierra Music Festival
July 4, 2010 – Reno, NV @ Aces Ballpark
July 5, 2010 – Crystal Bay, NV @ Crystal Bay Club
September 4, 2010 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks
December 10, 2010 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint
December 11, 2010 – Hollywood, CA @ Hollywood Palladium

Enjoy the new music!

~ Kristen

Carney Day!

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Today is the day folks! Mr. Green Vol. I is officially out in stores, on ITunes, etc. Carney’s first full length CD has been on the precipice of release for sometime now it seems, but I’m pretty sure it’s actually happening this time. I would highly recommend everyone go out and get yourself a copy. Once again, for a taste, enjoy the video for the band’s first single, “Love Me, Chase Me” :

The release falls in the midst of a little tour…to get your taste of Carney live (trust me, you’ll love it), see if they’re coming to a town near you. And if you live in LA, I really hope you can come to The El Rey this Saturday to see the boys put on their last hometown show before heading of to NYC.

As for the rest of the dates (copied directly from Myspace):

10 May 2010 8:00 P
Casbah San Diego, California, US  
11 May 2010 8:00 P
Hotel Utah San Francisco, California, US  
13 May 2010 8:00 P
Detroit Bar Costa Mesa, US  
15 May 2010 8:00 P
El Rey Theatre Los Angeles, California, US Find Tickets
30 May 2010 8:00 P
Furthur Festival Angels Camp, US  
31 May 2010 8:00 P
Maxwells Hoboken, New Jersey, US  
1 Jun 2010 8:00 P
Bowery Ballroom New York, New York, US  
2 Jun 2010 8:00 P
Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub Cambridge, Massachuse, US  
3 Jun 2010 8:00 P
Johnny Brenda’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvan, US  
5 Jun 2010 8:00 P
The Bell House Brooklyn, New York, US  
6 Jun 2010 8:00 P
Jammin Java Music Club & Cafe Vienna, Virginia, US  
7 Jun 2010 8:00 P
Lee’s Palace Toronto, Ontario, CA  
9 Jun 2010 8:00 P
Double Door Chicago, US  
10 Jun 2010 8:00 P
Triple Rock Social Club Minneapolis, US  
12 Jun 2010 8:00 P
Bluebird Theater Denver, US  
14 Jun 2010 8:00 P
Crocodile Cafe Seattle, US  
15 Jun 2010 8:00 P
Venue Vancouver, CA  
16 Jun 2010 8:00 P
Mississippi Studios Portland, US  
22 Jun 2010 8:00 P
The Rhythm Room Phoenix, US  
24 Jun 2010 8:00 P
The Cambridge Room @ House of Blues Dallas, US  
25 Jun 2010 8:00 P
Stubbs Jr BBQ Austin, US  
26 Jun 2010 8:00 P
Walter’s on Washington Houston, US  
28 Jun 2010 8:00 P
WorkPlay Theatre Birmingham, US  
29 Jun 2010 8:00 P
Vinyl Atlanta, US

 

~ Kristen