Thursday, September 27, 2007

You love us, you really love us!

Above: The cover of Eliot's album of the year, and also, love.

If you peruse the Internet as much as we do (and here's hoping you don't), you may have come across a couple things today. See, way back when, we asked that, if you felt so inclined, you stepped up and show your support for us, your good friends and fellow music obsessives here at Decatur CD. Well, you sure did, and here's how:

MyFOXAtlanta: Best Records and CDs store in Atlanta

Creative Loafing: Best Used CDs store in Atlanta

Needless to say, we are super proud. Thanks so much to everyone who voted for us. Rest assured, we will be showing our appreciation soon, so look forward to that. Have a lovely Thursday, everyone, and we'll see you soon...

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Monday, September 24, 2007

New. Release. Tuesday.

Above Iron & Wine photo by Mark Austin

What's the deal with the heat, people? Isn't it almost fall or some such nonsense? Puh-shaw, we say. Bring on the coolness. Luckily, the releases are pretty warm too, and we're happy to announce that we'll have new stuff from the bearded guy above, at least one other bearded guy, and many other folks. Here's a list for you and yours:

Joni Mitchell
Iron & Wine
Steve Earle
Devendra Banhart
Foo Fighters
José González
Nellie McKay
Bettye LaVette
Pat Metheny
Michael Ian Black
Pieta Brown
Erik Friedlander
Matt Pond PA
The Weakerthans
Tegan & Sara
Me'Shell NdegeOcello
Steven Wright
Sea Wolf
...and more!

You know the drill. Just say the word.


What's your favorite music publication?

It's time for you, dear reader, to step up to the plate and have your voice heard. We all love music, and many of us love reading about it. Just take a glance over to the right, underneath all the local band links, and you'll see a few of our favorites. But what is YOUR number one? Anything goes. It can be as mainstream as Rolling Stone or as obscure as a zine that prints three issues a year. It can be a blog or a 400-page, bi-weekly tome. The choice is yours, and we're curious. Post your favorite in the comment section below. We'll tally the votes and publish the winner in the coming weeks. Have fun with it, folks...


Sunday, September 23, 2007

This is a Lot of Concerts... Days 16-19

As dismal as it was that there was no Akron/Family show on September 16th, the first day of the second half of the month provided me with some much needed rest and quite the consolation with a set from an all-time great: Mr. Charlie Louvin, an 80-year-old with the energy of someone a quarter his age. And you better believe his voice was as beautiful as ever. That Sunday made it clear to this youngster why Louvin has achieved his legendary reputation.

On the topic of legendary musicians with beautiful voices, I caught another on the 17th, albeit as far removed from Louvin as you can get: Björk. The icelandic pop superstar did not disappoint at the Fox Theatre, giving the packed house a magnificent show, with a visual spectacle equal to that of the Flaming Lips. I'm not the biggest Björk fan in the world, but I can sum her show up musically in the words of punk icon Mike Watt describing Kelly Clarkson, "she's a helluva entertainer and the kid's got some pipes," bringing us to the startling equation: Kelly Clarkson + The Flaming Lips = Björk. You can't argue with the math, folks. I was tempted to catch Finnish psych-rockers Circle later that night at the Drunken Unicorn, but common sense and Tibetan homework won out.

The next night, however, both Tibet and common sense were both tossed aside for a trip up to Athens to catch the New Sound of Numbers, an experimental group that draws as much from free jazz such as Sun Ra as it does any rock band. They put on a fine show and accomplished the significant feat of making the long drive up to Athens worthwhile. Wednesday brought more "experimental rock" and my first trip of the month to my favorite Atlanta venue, the Eyedrum, to catch the underground trail-blazers from Prague, the Plastic People of the Universe (above).

The Plastic People started by diving into a deep, accessible hard rock groove before stretching out, largely behind the squalling improvisation of saxophonist Vratislav Brabenec, who is easily one of the two or three best European saxophonists I've seen at the Eyedrum so far this year. For all their psychedelic and even progressive tinges, the Plastic People of the Universe are first and foremost a rock band, and a damn fine one at that. One can only hope that crazy bloggers like myself will hype this excellent (and important) band towards their deserved larger audience.

After the Plastic People, I did my radio show (SHAMELESS PROMOTION: Wednesdays 10 pm to 12 am at, surprised at how quickly the first two thirds of my venture had gone....

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Get your 10 on.

We're happy to announce that Creative Loafing just launched a new regular feature on their Crib Notes blog. They're calling it Spin Cycle, and it highlights a few select local stores and their weekly top 10 lists. Kanye West ruled the Atlanta charts this week, taking the number one spot on our list and placing no lower than four on the others. We invite you to take a look:

Spin cycle: Atlanta's top 10 retail lists


Friday, September 21, 2007

This is a Lot of Concerts... Days 13-15: Akron!

Ok, so flying to Boston for one night and sleeping in the park was a little bit crazy, but, honestly, flying is easy... And sleeping? Well that's a luxury. I'm willing to take things a little bit further when it comes to Akron/Family (above). The fabulous Akron boys were to play in Athens on the 15th, but their show on the 13th in Birmingham was too tempting to pass up, 9 AM class the next day be damned!

After driving two and a half hours through torrential rains and construction on I-20, I arrived at the Bottletree (an excellent little venue if there ever was one) just in time for Akron's set. For this tour, Megafun and Greg Davis join Akron to form a seven-piece force of nature. The sheer power of this band was evident when, about five minutes into the set, all seven men were pounding drums and shouting at the top of their lungs. Akron placed a heavy emphasis on an almost tribal sense of percussion throughout the two-and-a-half hour show.

Akron/Family shows are utterly exhausting. They start with blasts of pure rock energy before turning to 7-piece harmonic chanting. Next comes a funky, danceable jam before they descend into chaotic noise. Songs emerge briefly and descend again into the glorious mass of alternately beautiful and abrasive improvisation. And just when you think they've utterly exhausted you, "Ed is a Portal" kicks in and propels life back into the entire crowd. By the time the song reaches its climax, the atmosphere is one of an utterly blissful celebration and the band and the audience are one.

Yes, that's a lot of ridiculously high priase, but they're my favorite band in the world, so I get to geek out over them and drive all over the country to see them. I left Birmingham at 3 am eastern time, utterly elated. I got home in time to catch about an hour of sleep before class.

As much as my heart told me to drive to Knoxville to catch Akron/Family at the Bijou, my brain won out for once and I got an excellent substitute in the form of one of Atlanta's finest local rock acts, the Carbonas. The British hardcore band the Hipshakes opened with a fun set and the Carbonas, despite missing their regular bassist, turned in yet another perfect set of punk energy and pop melody.

I drove up to the 40 Watt for Akron/Family's show on the 15th and the same gushing praise applies: manifestations of ancient gods, lightning personified, etc etc. I think that's (more than) enough for now...I'll keep it a little more down to earth next time as Septinnitus contniues.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

You want tickets? We got tickets.

Above: Oh You're So Awesome Jens

It's been a while since we last updated you on all the tickets you can buy right here at Decatur CD for myriad shows around Atlanta, and we apologize. The thing is, things get hectic, releases pile up, other weird things happen and we found ourselves blogging about all kinds of other nonsense. Good nonsense, of course. At any rate, Ticket Alternative, as per usual, is bringing tons of good stuff to town via The EARL, Drunken Unicorn, The Loft, Andrew's Upstairs, Vinyl and much more. What kind of good stuff? Why, let us enlighten you, asterisk stylee:

* Recent store favorite Jens Lekman will perform at Drunken Unicorn on Nov. 16th. Tickets go on sale tomorrow. His latest, Night Falls Over Kortedala (coming October 9th - save $2 with a pre-order now!), is easily one of the finest records of the year.

* Fantastic local group, Silver Lakes, will play The EARL on Sept. 29th. Their self-titled album is one of our favorites from any modern Atlanta band.

* Junior Brown is playing The Loft on Oct. 5th. The All Music Guide speaks highly of Brown's "often-stunning instrumental work," which combines "Western swing, honky tonk, and electrified Bakersfield country."

And that's just a few of the many upcoming shows, folks. Other TA gigs include The Pipettes, The Black Angels, Final Fantasy, Great Lake Swimmers, The Brunettes, White Rabbits, Caribou, The Donnas and many more. Don't forget: You can buy tickets to any of these shows right here at Decatur CD. Take a look at Ticket Alternative's latest "featured events" newsletter, and we'll see you soon.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This is a Lot of Concerts... Days 8-12

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...

Monday, September 17, 2007

New. Release. Tuesday.

Tomorrow is unofficial box set day. In addition to an awesome four-disc-one-DVD collection of the above legend, we'll also have box sets from a couple jazz icons (see below). There are several other bigger (and smaller) name artists with new stuff as well. Oh, and because Eliot will be sad if we don't say it...Akron/Family. Phew. Check out the list:

Emmylou Harris (box set)
Miles Davis (box set)
John Coltrane (box set)
Mark Knopfler
James Blunt
The Fall (live)
KT Tunstall
Rogue Wave
Les Savy Fav
The Donnas
Jesca Hoop
Ben Lee
Kevin Michael
Counting Crows (reissue)
...and many more!

Now is your chance to get any last-minute pre-orders in. Holler at us via the usual routes.

As a bonus, our friends at Warner Brothers sent along some YouTube clips of Emmylou Harris talking about the new box set. Enjoy:

Emmylou Harris - Favorite Things on "Songbird"
Emmylou Harris - Putting Together Songs for "Songbird"
Emmylou Harris - About the title for "Songbird"


Sunday, September 16, 2007

This is a Lot of Concerts... Day 7: The Pharoah

As soon as my Tibetan class ended on Friday, September 7, I raced to the bus stop with my Grado headphones glued to my ears, blaring "The Creator has a Master Plan" by the legendary Pharoah Sanders, a man I intended to see in a mere matter of hours. The catch? Sanders was playing in Boston and I had to be back in Atlanta the next morning.

Three trains, two buses, one plane, and a confused security guard later, I found myself in Boston's south station without the faintest clue how to find Sculler's Jazz Club. I was now faced with my greatest challenge yet: understanding a Bostonian accent to get directions. Fortunately, Boston's transportation system is easily navigable so only a minimum of communication was needed to get me to Scullers in plenty of time.

With a packed house waiting and his band setting up, the 66-year-old saxophonist made his way to the stage. The room immediately hushed at his presence and Sanders wasted no time tearing into the first piece, his tenor still as distinctive and powerful as it was forty years ago. Sanders and his quartet played an astonishing set, peppered with standards like "My Favorite Things" and epic freakouts alike. All four musicians turned in some nice solos, particularly drummer Joe Farnsworth, but the highlights were all Sanders', most notably with some excellent echo work and spry dancing.

Just when it appeared that the set would wind down without Sanders' seminal "Creator," that distinctive opening solo appeared out of nowhere. The very first notes of the song put smiles on the faces of everyone in the room and by the time the main melody kicked in, the elation was palpable. Sanders ended the song with a beautifully lyrical solo and made his way out of the room, leaving everyone in the audience happier than they entered.

Nothing could dampen my mood, not even the fact that I didn't have a place to sleep. In fact, the memories of Pharoah Sanders made my night sleeping in Boston Commons downright cozy, while the 24-hour Chinese restaurant full of pink-haired cross-dressers felt as comfortable as home. A few more trains and planes and I was back right here at Decatur CD preparing for The National's concert that evening...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Happy Saturday from Decatur CD.

It's a really nice day out. And we thought, what better way to celebrate a really nice day than with a really nice picture of it? Or, rather, a nice picture of our album cover wall, which continues to grow. After all, if we can't be outside and enjoy the day, at least we can pretend we're there (or, something) by looking at a photo. What's that saying about a thousand words? At any rate, you can click the photo above to see a bigger version of it. From left to right, that's Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Wilco, Ella Fitzgerald, Emmylou Harris, Mark Knopfler and the White Stripes. There are some more coming soon, so stay tuned. We remember back in the day (OK, it was really only about a year ago, almost to the day, in fact) when that wall was quite a bit more lonely. Ah, memories. Stop by and see us today...


Monday, September 10, 2007

New. Release. Tuesday.

Go, September, go! Starting tomorrow, the releases really heat up this month. Leading the pack of big names are the above two fellas, but there is a TON of other stuff. We're looking forward to providing you with new music from all of the following folks:

Black Lips
Kanye West
Animal Collective
50 Cent
Pink Floyd (reissue)
Frank Black
Ella Fitzgerald (live)
Kenny Chesney
Joe Henry
Elvis Costello (reissue)
Dirty Projectors (Black Flag covers)
The Go! Team
Elvis Costello (another reissue)
Goo Goo Dolls
Ghostland Observatory
Oakley Hall
Hot Hot Heat
Love (live)
Mono (EP collection)
Red Stick Ramblers
Qui (ft. David Yow of The Jesus Lizard!)
Shout Out Louds
Henry Rollins
Jonathan Rice
Billy Joe Shaver (live)
The Good Life
...and more!

Quite a day indeed. We'll see you soon...


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Last call: Vote for Decatur CD

myfoxatlanta's HOT LIST Nominated: Best Records and CDs in Atlanta

Time is running out on this, and though we've been completely blown away by your support so far, we just want to send out a quick reminder to anyone who hasn't voted yet. Time is running out. And just in case you need a refresher, here's what we said last time:

The folks at are letting the many varied denizens of our fine city decide which businesses are the best. Now, we don't want to tell you what to do, but we sure know who we would vote for in the "Best Records and CDs category." So take a minute, check out the site and see what you think. As always, we appreciate your support.

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Kodac Harrison and Kristin Markiton photos

Last night, a couple talented folks played the store. If you keep up with this here blog at all, you already know this, but after watching it, we can tell you it was, indeed, a fine performance. Check out the photos, and be sure to stop by and listen to Kodac Harrison's soon-to-be-released new album, Dreams and Nightmares. We have a copy here in the store that you can listen to, and we're taking pre-orders now as well. Don't forget that his CD release party is on September 17th at Eddie's Attic. He'll be performing once again with Kristin Markiton, and we're told some other interesting guests will be showing up as well.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

This is a Lot of Concerts, Days 1-6

Young Eliot here, reporting live from 6 days into the quest that my blogging buddy the Security Chicken deemed insane. I scoffed in his face at the time, proclaiming that I didn't need such trivial things as "sleep" or "food," but the Chicken is wiser than you might think...

The going got tough on the very first day when the University of Georgia football game led to some nasty traffic on my way to see Bill Callahan (alias Smog) at the 40 Watt. After a harrowing experience that involved a mad dash from a moving vehicle, I finally made it in to the show and though I missed Sir Richard Bishop's set (which I hear was great), Bill Callahan made it all worthwhile. After a slightly shaky first song, the set picked up as Callahan and his band got into a real zone with his unique brand of indie pop. Callahan doesn't exactly light up the stage with theatrics, but he makes up for it with his intensity. Day 1 was a success, despite the best efforts of tens of thousands of football fans, but the naysayers had a point--I was already exhausted.

Fortunately, Sept. 2 presented an easy answer to my exhaustion and the issue of ticket costs, as I caught Peter Case right here at Decatur CD and, better yet, Warren was crazy enough to pay me for it! I shouldn't have to describe the (all covers) show, 'cause we hope you were there, but those of you that weren't--you missed out on a killer version of "A Whiter Shade of Pale" and much, much more excellent music from Mr. Case (pictured above with yours truly).

And on the third day, disappointment struck. I don't mean to be hard on the ladies from Au Revoir Simone, but their set at the Drunken Unicorn left a bad taste in my mouth. Though they certainly had some nice tunes, they constantly complained of the sound and tended to get just a tad bit dull. Oh No Oh My failed to impress me either, but Numbers, a no wave throwback with a fractured sense of melody, saved the evening with a deliciously abrasive set.

Speaking of abrasive, the Coathangers can fall into that category at times, but their music can also be as catchy as anyone's in Atlanta. They found a nice middle ground for their record release party on Sept 4. Though the surroundings left a little bit to be desired, the music was fantastic. Fortunately if you missed the show, you can come down to Decatur CD and get your own dose of the Coathangers via 12", 7", or CD.

Blues legend Buddy Guy provided my fix the following night. Whether he was playing Hendrix songs behind his back or venturing out into the crowd or playing his guitar with a drum stick, it was clear to me that Guy was a showman of the highest caliber. His antics may have made the show an absolutely blast, but it was his complete command of the guitar that made the show great.

September 6th saw the grandiose Tabernacle give way to the brand new venue 11:11 Teahouse (which was thankfully quite easy to find) and Buddy Guy's stage antics give way to the quiet focus of Windy & Carl. Yet, somehow, their droney, psychedelic textures were every bit the match for Guy as far as I was concerned. I spent some time at the Drunken Unicorn earlier in the day, taking in the Other Sound 2007 festival, though nothing particularly stood out, I can heartily reccommend checking out Moresight or Pistolero.

And that wraps us up for now, stay tuned for Pharoah Sanders, The National, Untied States, lots of energy drinks, and so much more!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Peter Case in-store photos

My oh my, how the week has flown by. Things keep happening, people keep buying CDs and we're just struggling to keep up with it all. But, as a wise man once said, "Busy is better than bored." We're certainly not bored. At any rate, the Peter Case in-store performance sure was a blast. He played just over an hour's worth of covers that included Roy Orbison, The Beatles and a fantastic rendition of "A Whiter Shade of Pale," wrapping the set up with "A Million Miles Away" by, of course, The Plimsouls. If you weren't here, sorry, but we have to say this: You missed out. On the up side, you can enjoy these photos. We're saving a special one for the first post of Eliot's month-long music excursion, which should be coming later tonight. Until then, have a look at these shots...

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Kodac Harrison/Kristin Markiton in-store on Friday

This Friday, Sept. 7th at 7pm, we're honored to have a pair of local legends performing for FREE at Decatur CD. Kodac Harrison started out at Trackside Tavern back in the day, moved his act to Eddie's Attic once the celebrated venue opened, performed many successful European tours and has hosted the insanely popular Java Monkey Speaks poetry night for over six years.

Creative Loafing Savannah has called Harrison a "Southern Tom Waits" and a "rural Leonard Cohen," further gushing that he's "one of the southeast's musical treasures." He's fronted several bands and released 13 recordings for three different labels. Needless to say, his legend is intense and we're looking forward to his performance.

Joining him will be Kristin Markiton, a former member of Delta Moon and current solo recording artist. In addition to the acclaim she's earned with her old band and current solo album, Wandering Moon, she also appears on Kodac's new album.

Speaking of which, that new record is called Dreams and Nightmares, and you can pre-order it from us on Friday. His CD release party is a week after the in-store, on September 17th at 7pm at Eddie's Attic.

This is going to be a very special evening for local music, so don't miss out, folks.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

New. Release. Tuesday.

Phew. Things are hectic, which is why our usual new-release guide is just a tad late this week. Normally, we like to give you a minor heads-up as to what's coming out, but with Peter Case (photos coming later in the week - stay tuned!) and the holiday and all, well, enough of our excuses. Have a look at the precious few notable artists that delivered new music to Decatur CD today:

The Coathangers (Atlanta's own)
Manu Chao (the Latin legend returns)
Albert Ayler/Don Cherry (live)
Ted Nugent (The Nuge is like a cockroach.)
Pink Floyd (reissue)
Bud Powell (live)
Megadeth (live)
...and more!

Look forward to more from us very soon.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

Thurston Moore is a funny fella.

Sonic Youth rules. That's pretty much a given. And as far as we know, Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley are doing all right financially. But this quote from Moore about band reunions is both funny and perhaps true as well:

"The Pixies reunion was a real success, and Dinosaur Jr. seems like a big success, and both those bands play as good as they ever did. Mission Of Burma blew my mind when they came back. But a band like us never did break up. Which was to our own detriment. What would have happened if we did break up after (classic 1988 double album) Daydream Nation - or even after (1990's) Dirty - and had gotten back together two years ago? You'd be interviewing me at the Chateau Marmont as I'm waiting for my limousine. We probably would have made so much money. This was our biggest career faux-pas - not breaking up."

This seems like a good one for the comments. Two questions, y'all:

1) What is your favorite reformed band?


2) Which band needs to break up?

Have fun...