SINGLES GOING STEADY: Man about town Josh McKay (Deerhunter, Macha) has a new thing going on named The Corsican. He and an old friend, drummer Keith Crutchfield, got together on some songs McKay had been working on, got ol’ Henry Owings at Chunklet to put it out, and now there’s a Valentine’s Day single. The A-side is a McKay original named “Fever Believer,” and it’s kind of a pop-oriented garage tune with plenty of sound effects and hooky stuff going on. The flip side is a cover of “Love at First Sight,” which was made continentally famous by French pop singer Étienne Daho in 1986 but written by Young Marble Giants’ Stuart Moxham for his project The Gist and originally released on that band’s record Embrace the Herd in 1982. At any rate, the slowly churning track, with its minimal instrumentation, slight melody and mid-to-low vocals, is so markedly different from the A-side that this could be two totally different bands. This release is billed as The Valentine’s Single and will appear online Feb. 14. Preorders of the vinyl should have shipped by the time you read this, but chances are good you can still grab one. Head to chunklet.bandcamp.com and figure it out.
THEY SPEAK FOR THE TREES: Even though they’re claiming Atlanta as a home base now, the boys in Arbor Labor Union are still Athens-related enough to go ahead and mention that the group’s spankin’ new album came out last week. It’s named New Petal Instants, and it pretty much solidifies the direction the band has been headed for a while. More than any other local-ish band in recent memory, Arbor Labor Union inhabits that weird, new hippie sensibility distinguished by Meat Puppets, et al. Which is to say, they’re smart dudes who are likely well read and grew up listening to punk rock, but hell, the United States is a big place, and there’s a lot of dirt to dig, right? To this end, the band flourishes in bright moments of mid-’80s Americana-y college rock like “Flowerhead” and “Give Us the Light.” I was less thrilled by pre-release single “Crushed by Fear Destroyer,” but, you know, there’s no accounting for taste. Anyway, check this out at arborlaborunion.bandcamp.com, and start choppin’ at facebook.com/arborlaborunion.
PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A GROWN MAN: Grant Evans and Rachel Evans, the compositional godheads behind the Adversary label, have closed down both their previous labels, Hooker Vision and VAALD. The pair are back to releasing their own music, collaboratively and individually, on a single label. This development has allowed them to open the books, so to speak, and begin releasing other artists again, too. In February, Adversary has already put out three new tapes, but I’m just gonna tell you about the first one right now. It’s Grant Evans’ The Pessimist, and it contains two tracks (“Born in a Funeral Home” and “The Pessimist”) that each run exactly 10 minutes long. The first is an experiment with what sounds like scraped cello strings, which are appropriately eerie but eventually accompanied by piano. The second, which really nails the artist’s statement of being an aural self-portrait, is a somnambulant march toward what must feel like inevitability. It’s only slightly gentler to listen to and standardized in a traditional sense by a sole piano key keeping rough time, as if it’s the chime of a grandfather clock. It’s not for dilettantes or tourists—or, as Evans himself says, for fans of music. I heartily encourage your journey to adversaryelectronics.bandcamp.com so you can enjoy this on your own.
CITYWIDE, SUIT ’N’ TIED: The Segar Jazz Affair concert series, Athens’ premier (and only) smooth jazz event, has left its longtime home of The Foundry and is now hosted at Hotel Indigo. This series is hosted by Dwain Segar, who is the host of the “Segar Jazz Affair” radio show on WXAG 92.7 FM and 1470 AM Saturday afternoons from 4–7 p.m. The first show at Hotel Indigo’s Rialto Room—Segar’s 62nd concert as host—happens Sunday, Feb. 16 and will feature “Atlanta Sax Man” Antonio Bennett and his band Neo4. Future guests include trumpeter Isaac Byrd Jr., saxophonist Toney Exum Jr., saxophonist Marcus Click and more. This event will feature two sets: one at 6 p.m. and one at 8 p.m. For more information, see thesegarjazzaffair.com and facebook.com/AubreyEntertainmentAthensGA for tickets.