As I waited for the National's set to begin, the harsh realization that I was already dead tired after only 7 days hit me hard. I started to feel a bit down, but then I bought a cool tour-exclusive 7" and I felt thoroughly reinvigorated! Such is the life of a music geek.
The National further eleveated my spirits. Don't let the fact that they've accumulated more hype than anyone this side of Deerhunter fool you, The National make some great music. On record, their complex song structures reward repeated listens. Live, that complexity provides constant stimulation to go along with the antics of singer Matt Beringer and the band's spastic violinist. I personally felt that the high number songs from 2005's Alligator
(a more exciting record than the melancholy Boxer
) really made the concert a success.
The next day, I caught the close of the Other Sound Festival at 11:11 Teahouse, highlighted by the Untied States (above), who are one of the rare "experimental bands' that does not get too self-indulgent. Their blend of punk verve with gloriously noisy chaos recalls New Zealand's legendary Dead C. It's a shame that this group has been lost amongst the recent hype surrounding Atlanta's scene, as they're one of the city's better bands.
Speaking of the hype surrounding the Atlanta scene, the Black Lips are right at the center of it, which place the Gaye Blades (a group that features members of the Black Lips) right in the thick of things as well. The Blades, whom I saw on the 10th at the Unicorn, are everything you might expect from a Black Lips side project. They're not really all that different from Let it Bloom
era Black Lips, but they're tons of fun live and well worth checking out on record too. Conveniently, Decatur CD stocks the Gaye Blades 7" (on Rob's House) so come pick up your copy! Free week's supply of hipster cred with purchase while supplies last.
On the 11th, I cheated by sitting down at Java Monkey, listening to a singer-songwriter and catching up on homework. Hey, music geeks are human too, okay? It counts. Besides, the 12th saw me back in the full swing of things as I was lucky enough to get in to the Peter Bjorn, & John show at Variety. They didn't blow me away, but their ecstatically poppy set was good fun, highlighted, somewhat surprisingly, by a couple cover songs.
Stay tuned for my utter abandonment of all other aspects of life when Akron/Family comes through the southeast...