CALL THE DOCTOR: The still fairly new-ish Palace Doctor is steadily working towards releasing its debut LP, produced by Hank Sullivant (Kuroma) and member Phillip Brantley. All recording is completed, and it’s slated for a late summer release, but no date is set. There’s a new track you can check out named “Not an Addict” available at soundcloud.com/palacedoctor, and it’s fine as far as it goes, with its big guitars and mid-tempo bombast. But once you start streaming it, be sure to stick around for the previously released “Heaven,” which I think has lots more personality and is more befitting for a band trying to make its mark. Palace Doctor next plays the Georgia Theatre Rooftop Friday, Apr. 14 right after Explosions in the Sky takes over the main room downstairs.
GET YER WORM: Early-bird passes are on sale now for the 2017 Athens Popfest, which staged a successful and enthusiastically received comeback last year after a five-year break. These early passes will run you $55 and include every Popfest show. As soon as the headlining acts are announced, prices will increase. This year’s Popfest runs Aug. 9–12. See athenspopfest.com to purchase.
NIGHT MOVE: A benefit for Chess and Community happens at Ciné Saturday, Apr. 15 at 8 p.m. Billed as “The Woke Show” and hosted by Minister Server, it’ll feature some current cream of the Athens-music crop, including Lingua Franca, Life the Griot, Dictator, Yung’N Restless, Fistful of Steel, Kyky Renee Knight, Rise Rashid, Squalle and Jerz. Admission is sliding scale and donation-based, with suggested amounts being between $5–$10. This night is sponsored by Ciné and Hot Corner Hip Hop. Proceeds benefit Chess and Community’s “Think Before You Move” scholarship. For more information, see chessandcommunity.org.
NOISE ANNOYS: Killick Hinds has struck yet again—as he will likely continue to do—but this time he’s all alone, and this step away from his near-constant collaboration is a nice one. Last week, he released a five-track record named never stop lovin, and it features just himself, his guitar and—as he puts it—“a bit of computer magic.” It begins gently enough with the highly lulling “duck and steer,” which acts as an open door for a somewhat darkened hallway. The creaky drone of “Sun Imbue Lands” and outer-space celestial dust of “epip(-h)any” are swept away quickly by the sharp, nearly piercing exploration of “tiptap.” It all returns to gentleness with closing track “refract,” and while I could have used a few minutes more of this particular track, it’s a nice bookend for this short record. Check it out at killick.bandcamp.com.
WELCOME BACK: Jimmy Taylor has spent over a decade recovering from a series of injuries and associated ailments stemming from a life-threatening accident. The past several months have marked a new era of creativity and focus for Taylor, and his project Hello Kitty Kat is turning into a fully realized thing. He plays and records everything himself, and each of the 12 tracks currently available certainly has the feel of something revisited continually. While a certain amount of Taylor’s songs definitely recall his time in the then-rising (“then” being the early-to-mid 2000s) Athens band Iron Hero, his tastes have a decidedly 1990s alt-rock flavor. That said, Taylor is at his best when he allows these tastes to flow through him as influences (“Saturday,” “Crosswalks”) rather than directives (“Trick”). Check it all out at hellokittykat.com.
BEFORE IT WAS EASY: Athens filmmaker Christopher Childs spent a lot of time at punk and hardcore shows in the early 2000s with an eye in his video camera’s viewfinder. Thanks to him, there’s a nice pile of videos from that time slowly becoming available online. Although a large amount of the footage centers on the Atlanta scene—hence the name Atlanta Punk Archive—he’s got videos from Athens bands Guff, Exit 86, Service Industry and Hunter Gatherer on deck. It’s been a real treat to sit and watch through so many of these old tapes, and hopefully it’ll be a treat for you, too. He’s not finished uploading everything yet, so head to atlantapunkarchive.com (which redirects to his YouTube channel), click “subscribe” and never miss a new one.
FAMILY AFFAIR: Brother and sister duo Jessie Gerke and Brad Gerke (Summer Sonics) released a new song as Gerkey a couple of weeks ago named “End All, Be All,” and while it’s ostensibly from an EP of which no evidence exists, you can still hear the single. Now, it’s just a truism of the music universe that anything billed as some sort of family-based duo is just gonna be awful. But this isn’t. It’s a little on the long side, clocking in at almost five minutes, but it’s a tuneful acoustic-electric song, and the pair’s voices blend nicely. In particular, Jessie’s voice sounds a lot like Four Eyes’ Erin Lovett’s, and Brad’s complements this in a nice, non-overpowering way. All in all, it’s an innocuous little tune performed well and recorded nicely. For more information, see facebook.com/gerkeymusic.