Texas Radio and the Big Beat: OK, that headline has nothing really to do with what I’m about to tell you, other than it has “Texas” in it. But, as noted in last week’s paper, Flagpole is camped out at the annual South by Southwest conference/festival/behemoth in Austin, TX this week, and you can keep up with our goings on via Homedrone, and by following @gordonlamb on Twitter. We’ll tell everyone you said hey.
Every Picture Tells a Story: Athens artist and musician Jay Kellom Werner (known around town as Jay Karbomb) unveiled his new website last week. It’s a nice repository for his original artwork, guidelines for contract and commissioned work and a download of his three-years-in-development video game, “Patch.” Here’s where the music news comes in. In addition to hosting audio samples of his band Karbomb on the site, he’s also featuring three songs from his acoustic project Face and three samples from the “Patch” game I just mentioned. If you’re familiar at all with Werner’s in-your-face punk-‘n’-roll, you’ll want to check this stuff out, as it really gives a more complete picture of the man’s creativity. Head over to jay-werner.com and click around, homie!
Now I’m Talking About Now: The Swimming Pool Q’s return to Athens Friday, Mar. 14 to play the Melting Point (see story here). While not technically an Athens band, the Q’s were part of the contingent of classic art-rock/new wave bands that helped to redefine Southern music in the heady days of the early ’80s. Joining the bill is Guadalcanal Diary frontman Murray Attaway, whose jittery, literate vocals were as recognizable as Michael Stipe’s to college radio fans back in, uh, “the day.” Last year, Bar None Records released the essential Q’s double-CD 1984-1986: The A&M Years, which was tapped by Rolling Stone as one of the top 10 reissues of the year. Last November, the Q’s released the sharp System of Love EP. For more info, see swimmingpoolqs.com.
Let ‘Em In: The second annual Athens Slingshot festival is quickly approaching, and the organizers are reaching out to friendly citizens to assist with housing visiting artists. Hosts are needed Wednesday, Mar. 19–Saturday, Mar. 22. There’s a form to fill out over at slingshotathens.com/host-an-artist, where you let organizers know that you live in a two-room shack filled with cats—or whatever your situation may be—and indicate your level of willingness to help out. I kind of like the community-oriented aspect of this, and hope it works out well for all concerned. For all other information, see slingshotathens.com.
This is Where Their Dreams Live: When Tunabunny released its third LP, Genius Fatigue, in 2012, it was a solid listen but, in all honesty, only contributed one song (“Form a Line”) that deserved to be placed onto the band’s best-of list. It actually worked out just fine, because the group obviously needed room for the entirety of its new album, Kingdom Technology (review here). The full-length came out this week, and it’s already threatening to surpass 2011’s Minima Moralia as Tunabunny’s defining work. The record is full of guitars that sound like breaking glass, apocalyptic dance beats and full-chord breathers. As has always been the case with Tunabunny, all the best tracks clock in at around the two-minute mark. Although I’m loath to ever really give advice on how to listen to a band, the fact is that this one is proudly and defiantly unwieldy. So, if you’ve never heard ’em, start with the new one and then poke around with the other stuff. For more information, see hhbtm.com and facebook.com/Tunabunny.
Hold the Phone: The men-of-few-words behind Athens powerhouse The Powder Room have let slip that the group, which has been largely reticent with the press and notably absent from the live scene this winter, is busy completing its long-awaited debut album. The guys will spend the rest of this month and next mixing and mastering it with engineer Joel Hatstat (Cinemechanica). The record was recorded with engineer Kyle Spence (Harvey Milk), and the plan is to release it digitally and celebrate such on May 2 at the Caledonia Lounge with louder-than-love mind-blowers Motherfucker. That is all. If you suspect there’s more feel free to check out, visit facebook.com/powderroomga and see for yourself.
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