THREE PAC: It’s been just over two years since trap rapper/hip-hop artist AyoPaco (the working name of Paco Marquez) released his EP Planet Pac, and eight months since he released a new song, “Ready Set Go (Skillet).” Now, he’s slated to finally release his debut full-length album in January. In advance of this release, he has a new single out named “i8.” Marquez’s flow is smooth and confident while never being brash or aggro. But I’m a total sucker for his beats. While the sound is definitely contemporary, and its influences are myriad, Marquez never performs over rote trap beats or half-conceived compositions. This new track has a pronounced electropop presence, similar to several of his other tracks, which elevates this above those who might be considered his peers. Find this on Spotify and ayopaco.com.
IN THE LAB WITH A PEN AND A PAD: One of the brightest shining stars of Athens hip hop and founder of Tribe House Records, Cassie Chantel, will host a Songwriting Master Class Saturday, Nov. 12 from 1–3 p.m. It takes place at the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement Justice Center & Bookstore located inside Georgia Square Mall. This event is free, all ages and open to the public. In related news, Chantel also announced that her performance during this year’s Wild Rumpus would be her last for a while as she concentrates on other projects. For more information, please see facebook.com/AADMovementjusticecenter, and catch up with all things Cassie Chantel by heading to facebook.com/CassieChantel1, tribehouserecords.com/cassie-chantel and cassiechantel.com.
OFF THE ROAD AGAIN: It’s been a while coming, but CannonandtheBoxes will release its debut album High Life Dec. 2. The group’s name comes from its leader, Cannon Rogers. Over the past year, he’s been busy playing pedal steel and acting as road manager for Charleston’s Susto—which is a super sweet gig, ask anyone who’d know—and becoming a full-time member of Elijah Johnston’s band, as well as filling in a bit with Hotel Fiction. So, all in all, incredibly busy. Somehow he and the band managed to knock out a full-length record, and the lead single “Classic City Celebrity” comes out Friday, Nov. 11. Rogers said in an email to Flagpole that the song “…began as a tongue-in-cheek joke about the town we love so much but became our mantra as we took our songs on the road this past summer.” It’s a departure from the Americana displayed on the group’s earlier releases. There’s an obvious nod to mid-1970s mellow pop but not like, say, Bread. This is more in the John Sebastian (The Lovin’ Spoonful) vein. It’s lighthearted for days and hopefully a nice preview of coming attractions. Find this on its release day at Spotify, et al. For more information, please see facebook.com/CannonandtheBoxes.
I BLINKED & I MISSED IT: When Futurebirds released its surprise Halloween album, that’s exactly what it was. It came out a mere week and a half ago, and it’s named Ghoulin’ Around. It features eight songs, including choice covers of select tracks by Diarrhea Planet, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones and two by Roky Erickson. The two original musical numbers here (“Vampire Nights” and “Demons Inside”) are groovy rockers that channel artists as diverse as Alice Cooper, Badfinger and even U2. I don’t know if this is essential, but it sure was a solid late-night listen when I found it. In other news, Futurebirds won’t be playing Athens again this year, but you can catch them in Savannah on Dec. 2 and in Charleston, SC on New Year’s Eve. Find Ghoulin’ Around over at futurebirdsmusic.bandcamp.com. For more information, please see futurebirdsmusic.com.
PARISH IS BURNING: Cerebral and self-described Situationist rockers Ahleuchatistas have a new album out named Expansion, its first since 2014. This record features an all-new lineup save for mainstay, and quickly accomplished solo artist, Shane Parish. The new group features bassist Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, John Zorn) and drummer Danny Piechocki (Terms). If you read the album notes and get overwhelmed, don’t worry. They read and function like an artist’s statement, and they might scare you off as easily as attract you. Fact is, the group isn’t an easy listen, but neither is it punishment. Settled into its role as a musical disruptor, Ahleuchatistas makes dense, complex music that draws from jazz, noise, math rock and, however contradictory this term may be, the avant garde tradition. The tracks do tend to blur into one another unless paid very close attention. That said, there are specific highlights here, namely “The Curse That Keeps on Giving,” “Mirrorball Neurons” and the nine-minute-plus title track. You can find this at ahleuchatistas.bandcamp.com and find more information on both the band and Parish at shaneparish.com/ahleuchatistas.
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