Posts Tagged ‘flagpole’

Mind Brains at Flagpole

A new year, a new supergroup: The excellently named Mind Brains features current and former members of the New Sound of Numbers, of Montreal, Dark Meat, M Coast, Olivia Tremor Control and more. The group’s music, as heard on its self-titled debut, out now on Orange Twin, is indebted to Elephant 6’s avant-pop lineage but skews decidedly towards the “avant” end of that compound. Absurdity and playfulness abound on Mind Brains, an anomaly in an era where most “experimental” music is kind of a bummer. Sometimes a bummer is just the thing, but if you’re looking for a pick-me-up—albeit one in the form of bizarro bleeps and bloops—scope out this show.

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Muuy Biien and Eureka California at Flagpole

2014 was the year Eureka California made the shift from “the band that could” to “the band that did.” With little fanfare and almost zero downtown club presence, the group quietly released a true kicker of an LP, toured the UK and steadily increased its stateside audience without jockeying for the ever-shifting hometown spotlight. The simple songs onCrunch never sound simplistic, and though the band’s early work owed a certain debt to ’90s-era power-pop, it has since been paid in full.


Steadfastly bratty local rock act Muuy Biien grew up in a big way with D.Y.I. (short for “Do Yourself In”), the imposing follow-up to 2012’s This Is What Your Mind Imagines. While that debut, with its frenetic, stop-start arrangements, invoked the sweat-soaked spirits of Darby Crash and D.C. hardcore, D.Y.I. scaled back the madness without losing any energy. With the “Cyclothymia” series, frontman Josh Evans and company continue to experiment with menacing drone. Elsewhere, the band finally, fully embraces the taut, Fall-meets-Joy Division gloom-punk it has been steering toward in its live gigs for some time, incorporating vicious low-end sneer and motorik precision into already-potent guitar hellscapes. It’s been a heck of a lot of fun for Flagpole to watch Muuy Biien develop over the last few years; it’s no shock that D.Y.I. emerged as our clear consensus favorite album of 2014.

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Tunabunny at Flagpole

Eccentric and prolific local rock group Tunabunny is reportedly prepping yet another new LP, titled PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland Jr., the follow-up to March’s weird and lovely Kingdom Technology. But while they’re at it, they’re still churning out visual accompaniments to tracks from the last release.

Today, we’re happy to premiere one such project, the video for Kingdom Technology‘s ethereal opening track, “Airless Spaces.” The clip, which features a first-person journey through a strip mall, is as formless and yet arresting as the band’s music.

Watch below:

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Athens Intensified at Flagpole

Greg Broussard is a dance music legend. Under his Egyptian Lover stage name, Broussard released several LPs and a whole slew of 12-inch singles in the 1980s, including the club megahit “Egypt, Egypt.” Broussard’s urgent, minimalist production style both foresaw the coming electro movement and helped usher in the golden age of hip hop.

The Egyptian Lover continues to tour and record into the fourth decade of his career, and he’ll hit Athens for the first time ever on Saturday, playing New Earth Athens as part ofAthens Intensified‘s second weekend.

Flagpole caught up with the pioneering producer via email, where he discussed his far-reaching influence and corrected one key piece of the historical record.

FlagpoleGive us the Egyptian Lover backstory in a nutshell.

Greg Broussard: The Egyptian Lover is the person I created to get out the ‘hood and become who I wanted to be. I would imagine what my life should be, and I sought out to be him. And oh, wow, did I have fun living up to it.

What was the dance music scene like when you were first coming up? 

The dance music scene was a lot of funk and soul. Then came Prince, Rick James and Michael Jackson. This was an absolute dream to grow up during this musical time. Then came Kraftwerk, rap music and “Planet Rock.” I could not want to be in a better place or time then in L.A. in 1984. Everything was happening, and I put out an album and the radio played it endlessly. There was some really good music in the late ’70s and all of the ’80s. I was lucky to live it.

Click through to check out the rest of the Q&A.

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Athens Intensified at Flagpole

Flagpole top picks for Athens Intensified.

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Slopfest at Flagpole

To a certain set of townies, the arrival of AthFest each June is a source of excitement for one reason: It means SlopFest is right around the corner. The three-day rock and punk-oriented fest is a decidedly underground counterpart to its more visible companion but is known for featuring some of the most exciting acts both well-established and on the rise. This year’s lineup includes local bands like Little Gold, Motherfucker, Cinemechanica, Shehehe, Deep State and Eureka California, as well as the debut solo outing from MC Louie Larceny (ex-Mad Axes) and performances by regional must-sees Faux Ferocious and cross-country standout The Hugs. Thursday’s kickoff show is free of charge, and you can attend the rest of the weekend for a song. For the full schedule, see the Calendar.

10 p.m. (Thurs.), 7 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.) · FREE! (Thursday), $5 (Fri. & Sat.), $7 (wristband).

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Eureka California and Muuy Biien at Flagpole

Eureka California: Crunch
(HHBTM)
Eureka California refuses to be jaded, bringing teenage exuberance to deceptively smart material. You hear it in the snare drum that starts off “I Bet You Like Julian Cope” like a cheer in a high school gym. The title refers to the ‘70s UK musician, but it could just as well be addressed to a crush. Propelled by Marie Uhler’s drumming, Jake Ward delivers hook after hook with the confidence of a singer who can name-drop Descartes and then laugh it off: “And I think therefore I am/ And I think like a man.” Full review | hhbtm.com

Muuy Biien: DYI
(HHBTM)
Athens’ strongest and sharpest punk band, Muuy Biien has evolved by leaps and bounds on its second LP. It’s laser-cut, throat-throttling stuff, boiled down clean to the bone. Gone is the shambled fuzz of the debut; think more Gang of Four or even early Bauhaus. Ominous ambience weaves together the focused blasts of visceral tunes—it sounds strange, sure, but trust me, it coheres crazy well. You haven’t heard Muuy Biien, though, until you cram yourself in a tiny room with 50 other people and find yourself careening across the floor in time with the rumbling melodic bass. Full review | hhbtm.com

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Eureka California at Flagpole

Eureka California is a barebones duo with a big sound, a testament to just how much you can get out of a few basic elements. Jake Ward and Marie Uhler play two-minute rock and roll songs. They write verses that are catchier than most bands’ choruses. This is rock music made timeless, the kind of thing you find on a cassette stuck under your car seat and keep in the deck for hours. It’s what Ward is talking about when he sings, “This ain’t no A-side/ But it sure ain’t no B-side”—that eternal place in between.

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Eureka California at Flagpole

Some artists aspire for too much. Slick production? Nine-piece supergroup? Sure. When you’re done pecking at gourmet food and hanging around scenesters, Eureka California will be waiting for you just down the street.

The duo’s second LP, Crunch, is even leaner and scuzzier than its first, a whirlwind of raw riffage and nimble hooks propelled by pummeling drum work. It’s a charming mess, a wild yet über-catchy string of power-pop that rivals The Jam’s earliest hits without even the slightest trace of effort.

Songs like “Happy Again” and “Twin Cities” barge into your eardrums like crazy old friends, blokes that can toss off any bad day with a goofy shrug. “I Bet That You Like Julian Cope” is so stupidly absurd that you can’t help but grin; on “Art Is Hard,” singer Jake Ward piles together clichés in a last-ditch effort for dignity but only succeeds at winning you over.

Best of all, though, Crunch bears no baggage—no slavish, backwards garage worship, no careful arty motifs, no macho-misogynist postures. When Ward sings, “This ain’t no B-side/ And it sure ain’t no A-side,” you’re struck dumb. What side is it, then? Is this a stupid joke, or does Eureka California know something we don’t? And why does it matter if you like Julian Cope, anyway?

Maybe it doesn’t matter, and that’s why Crunch works. It could be one silly ramble, or your life in a nutshell, or both. 4 out of 5.

Eureka California plays the Georgia Theatre rooftop on Friday, May 16 and Little Kings’ 10th Anniversary Party on Saturday, May 31.

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Muuy Biien DYI Review at Flagpole

On D.Y.I.Muuy Biien’s second full-length, the band harnesses all the energy, bile, spite and brilliance of its debut to create a record that is more controlled and more sonically varied but every bit as immediate. The result is staggering.

The album is fast and loud, but repeated listens reveal it to be remarkably restrained in its construction—almost sparse, at times. The essentials are in the drums and bass—the guitars only come in when they need to, like the ghostly notes on the verse of “What Isn’t,” stumbling unevenly down the scale, orphaned, mournful. The ambient material, scattered on alternating tracks on the first record, is better integrated here, in the three tracks of the “Cyclothymia” series, which are placed smartly at the beginning, middle and end.

Beneath all the menace in frontman Josh Evans’ delivery there is a disarming honesty. When it comes to Evans’ lyrics, it’s hard to pick out single lines to quote; they tend to blitz by at first, part of the band’s overall assault, only to pop up later in vulnerable moments. Hungover one morning after making a fool of yourself the night before, you might look in the mirror and think of the title track: “Be a man/ Do yourself in.” Your kid sister will get a tattoo that reads, “She bursts like a landscape.” And, within a year, you’ll probably have one, too. 5 out of 5.

Muuy Biien plays The World Famous on Friday, Apr. 18.

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