Bananagrams Vol. 2
B-A-N-A-N-A-S: The second group of recordings compiled under the moniker Bananagrams is out now. Titled Bananagrams Vol. 2, the collaborative recording project showcases a handful of songwriters—members of New Wives, Dana Swimmer and Padre appear on the tracks. The whole collection is loosely psychedelic, but mostly just breezy and weirdly pleasant, with the most pleasant of all being “Build a Bridge,” a song written by Jack Blauvelt. You'll swear it's an unreleased Ween tune. The collection was released via Marching Banana Records, which has a whole pantload of free stuff online, including work from the artists mentioned above as well as Futo, Fake Flowers, Kirby & the Mablets, Mr. Moustache and Nathan Forsyth. About 75 percent of it is pretty good, too. Head to marchingbanana.bandcamp.com to figure out what's going on.
Click it On: Another wonderful portal to the past landed in my lap this week courtesy of decades-long band manager, scene enthusiast and video maker Warren Chilton. There's a trove of video treasures over at youtube.com/rottingtapes, and anyone could do a lot worse than spending an hour digging through them. There are live clips from Billy James in 1986, Asa Nisi Masa in 1997, tons of Guadalcanal Diary stuff from the early 1980s—which makes total sense, as Chilton was the band's manager—including rare live footage from Atlanta's 688 Club, and an exceedingly rare clip of Oh-OK playing the Strand Cabaret in Marietta Square on May 6, 1983. Here's to more folks uploading all their old videotapes! This is as necessary an activity as there ever was.
Great Grooves: Nicholas Mallis and the Borealis released their debut album this past weekend, but the full record won't be available for streaming until July 22. On that date, listeners can hear the entirety of Golden Age Vanity on Bandcamp, Spotify, iTunes and all other major online outlets. Compact discs should be available in local record shops now. Mallis has already released a slow stream of tracks from the album; the latest is “White Girl,” a blue-eyed R&B slow jam with clear nods to Prince and Marvin Gaye. In lesser hands, this type of thing could have easily slipped into parody territory, but Mallis' hands are greater, and it's utterly enjoyable, especially toward the end when the guitar really comes in. Anyway, have a taste via nicholasmallis.bandcamp.com and don't say you weren't told about this.
Sweaty Metal: The touring monsters in Lazer/Wulf are coming home and releasing their new album Friday, July 18 at the Caledonia Lounge. Fresh off a tour of Europe, where they played a bunch of shows with lots of famous metal dudes, the band saw the stream for The Beast of Left and Right pop up last week on The A.V. Club. (The record comes courtesy of Retro Futurist.) Also on the bill are Bit Brigade, playing The Legend Of Zelda, and The Powder Room. It's gonna be hot. It's gonna be packed. Be there early. Keep up with all things Lazer/Wulf via facebook.com/lazerwulves and lazerwulf.com and see Marshall Yarbrough’s story.
Breathe In: New-ish Athens band Grand Vapids is pretty close-vested with its music. The band propagates this gorgeous blend of early/mid 1990s slow-indie that once upon a time might have been referred to as “emo.” Everything is well constructed and feels very thoughtful. The band has a number of gigs under its belt already but has only released a few teaser videos for its upcoming album. The group is composed of Austin Harris, McKendrick Bearden, Chris Goggans and Paul Stevens. You can see the videos at grandvapids.com and keep up with the band via facebook.com/grandvapids. Grand Vapids next plays Athens on Saturday, July 26 at the 40 Watt Club with Brothers, Semicircle and Programs.
Mellow Fellow: Dwain Segar, popular radio DJ and host of "The Segar Jazz Affair," will play at the West Broad Farmers Market Saturday, July 26 and Saturday, Aug. 2. Both performances happen at 10:15 a.m. The market is run by the Athens Land Trust and located at the former home of the West Broad School at 1573 W. Broad St., at the corner of Broad and Minor streets. Segar, who plays smooth jazz exclusively, can be heard Tuesday and Wednesday nights on WXAG 1470 AM from 8–11 p.m. and Saturdays 4–7 p.m. He also DJs regularly at both The Grotto (140 E. Clayton St.) and Omega Bar (3155 Atlanta Highway). Head to thesegarjazzaffair.com to stream his show and get more information. For more info about the farmers market, see athenslandtrust.org.