Monthly Archives: June 2010

In Rotation

I have never been big into reviewing records. I don’t enjoy it and it always feels like some pompous way for me to push my opinion onto another artist’s product. Nonetheless, I am still a music lover and these records from local artists have caught my attention over the past couple months.

This Piano Plays Itself –  As the House…

Adair Park Recordings

www.myspace.com/thispianoplaysitself

Jungol – Over the Sun and Under the Radar

http://jungol.net

Knaves Grave – *??? (this is not the official title of their album, but I dig these guys)

http://www.myspace.com/knavesgrave

Odist – On the 49th Day

Stream here

Hot Breath – ??? (*I saw this band perform at Athfest and they blew my mind. Be on the look out for them in the near future)

http://www.myspace.com/hottbreath

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July Show Calendar

Wednesday, July 7

This Piano Plays Itself, Dirty Lungs, Hello Ocho @ 529

Saturday, July 10

Man or Astro Man?, Hawks @ the Earl

Wednesday, July 14

So So Death, Ralph @ 529

Thursday, July 15

Can Can (cd release), Matt Kurtz One, Romeo Spike @ the Earl

Letters Organize, Vegan Coke, 1994 @ Drunken Unicorn

Friday, July 16

Monstro, Bigfoot, Pinx @ Star Bar

Saturday, July 17

Hijacking Music Festival @ Lennys

Selmanaires, Adron @ Star Bar

Wednesday, July 21

Little Tybee, Mermaids, Nights Driving in Small Towns


Thursday, July 22

Joan Armatrading, Jamie Maclean Band @ Variety Playhouse

Saturday, July 24

MINT Benefit Concert @ WonderRoot

Sunday, July 25

Seu Jorge, Almaz @ Variety Playhouse

Friday, July 30

Attention System, Sonen @ Highland Inn Ballroom

*Mike White took the photo of Hawks at the top of the post. You’re the man Mike

How to Win a Grammy in 2011

As I listen to Drake’s debut album Thank Me Later, I finally get it. Thank Me Later is a solid debut album – it’s heavily produced, it has some catchy hooks and melodies and the lyrical content just scratches the metaphysical surface enough to entertain and intrigue musical audiences.  But it won’t confuse anyone with anything lower than a 10th grade education.

However, that still does not encapsulate the genius of the album. The real genius lies in the fact that Drake received not one, but two Grammy nominations before this album even dropped. That’s right – he received two nominations and had only dropped one big mixtape and a random assortment of tracks before then. He had no hit singles, no classics under his belt, had not been around the scene for more than a couple years and received two nominations. And now as I listen to Thank Me Later, the gears are turning and certain information is coming to light.

The 2010 Grammys already passed, but that’s irrelevant, they choose next year’s winners by the end of the summer anyway. But don’t fret, there’s still time – I’m going to tell you, the readers, to look towards the future and learn how to win a Grammy nomination for 2011. Don’t worry about utilizing just Drake’s formula, anyone can do it and I will explain.

How To Get a Grammy Nomination in 2011


Do not create anything aside from pop music – Pop artists always receive Grammy nominations and awards and honestly if you’re not creating pop records, who cares? Those prog-rock and heavy metal guys have been creating music for decades and expanding their genres by experimenting with different sounds, time signatures, instruments and styles. No one cares.

Metallica was playing metal shows worldwide for years and when they were nominated in the best metal record category in 1989, who won? A non metal band. Pop group Milli Vanilli won and they didn’t even sing  on their record. No work or stress involved – do not create anything aside from pop music.

Watch your age – If you are younger than 30, you will need to create pop music, have a team of professional A&R guys and in general it’s good to be spotted with some kind of famous arm candy before you’re nominated. The A&R guys are a must have- you need these people because they will astroturf your musical resume ie claim you have street credit and worked the small clubs and house parties for years even though your rich uncle is really their boss.

If you’re older than 60, you will not be nominated unless you are Fleetwood Mac, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, or Bob Dylan. If you are not one of these people, you might want to skip the rest of this article.

*Ages 30-60 are not considered by the Academy unless they produce music in a genre that no one listens to.

Have money, lots of it – If you don’t have money, you won’t be nominated, I’m sorry. However, if you’re a rapper, you can always claim you came from a hard hood and made yourself from the ground up. Nonetheless, you still won’t be nominated unless you abandon gutter rap records for glitzy pop material and already have money.

Be named Drake – It worked for him, it may work for you

Flash a boob – The good thing about flashing a boob is that it doesn’t actually require making music, you will get a nomination and you will also receive publicity in a variety of entertainment outlets. Plus it’s free.

Get the most renowned producers to produce your big hit single – So you just got through writing an amazing, innovative and new record on a low budget. You might be an artist signed to a small indie label or even unsigned. Your content does not matter – you need a big name attached to your project. This means you will need Timbaland, Will.I.Am, Rick Rubin, or Swiss Beatz, etc.

You probably won’t be able to afford their services for an entire album, but that’s okay. Don’t focus on releasing an album full of mind-blowing material, just come out with that one catchy hit single and be sure to list their name everywhere. You get brownie points if this famous producer is in your video.

SELL THE MOST RECORDS – This is VERY important and mandatory to be nominated and ultimately win – actually it’s so important I’m listing it twice

SELL THE MOST RECORDS

Quit music and start acting – If you followed the steps listed above, you’re probably already in the high ranking for a Grammy nomination and/or have already won the award. At this particular juncture, it is wisest to quit music and start acting.

Jungol – “Two People” NEW Single

Jungol has been performing around the local Atlanta and Athens areas for years and they have definitely paid their dues. Their new album Over the Sun and Under the Radar was released a couple months ago and I feel it’s one of the stronger releases coming out the Atlanta area.

One problem I’ve always had with local bands and their music is that it sounds just that – local. When you compare their songwriting and arrangements to major label groups or artists operating at a slightly higher echelon, the material doesn’t always stand out.  For me, it’s not an issue of recording quality or fancy Pro Tools tricks, but writing carefully structured and witty songs. Unfortunately, I may hear three or four truly talented local acts that share these traits amongst a heap of twenty other bands.

Jungol definitely falls in the first category. I feel they write catchy and smart tunes that can be played on both experimental college radio or mainstream rock radio. I would even go so far as to compare them to more mainstream acts such as Mutemath, Elbow, or Muse. I feel their new record Over the Sun has some serious potential and encourage readers to check out this innovative act in the near future.

To hear more of Over the Sun, click here

To buy Over the Sun, click here

Rise of the Supergroups

The supergroup is no innovative concept. It’s a phrase that dates back to the sixties and was initially applied to rock bands. These supergroups consisted of members from already established groups who formed via label/marketing interests, their own random encounters and also previous friendships and bonds from other musical projects.

Historically, supergroups have tended to be short-lived and spur of the moment. Many musicians from popular music acts often break into their own solo careers and create their own brand independent of their groups.  However, with the landscape of the music business constantly shifting and breaking up, even that has changed. Now it appears as if supergroups are a more lucrative venture in the post iTunes/digital industry and solo acts are less prevalent. Here is a list of supergroups that have formed over just the last couple years:

  • Them Crooked Vultures (features members of Led Zeppelin, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters)
  • Dead Weather (White Stripes, the Kills, Raconteurs)
  • Monsters of Folk (My Morning Jacket, M. Ward, Bright Eyes)
  • The alleged Center Edge Territory (Jay Electronica, Mos Def, Curren$y)
  • Scarlett Johannson and Pete Yorn
  • She and Him (Zooey Deschanel, M. Ward)
  • Broken Bells (Danger Mouse and James Mercer)
  • Gayngs (Rhymesayers, Andrew Bird, Bon Iver, the Rosebuds)
  • Slaughterhouse (Joe Budden, Royce da 5’9, Joell Ortiz, Crooked I)

Now the real question is: Will the supergroup become the new vehicle or cash cow for the music industry in the future?

There are clear advantages to forming or joining a supergroup. Of course, there’s increased visibility. The individual members are already visible stars, so why not add them all up and become even more popular? A supergroup can hopefully attain greater album sales considering the music listener/fan is not only getting one rock star, but several  for the price of one. And last, but not least, because the supergroup is comprised of multiple talents, companies may be more inclined to offer corporate sponsorships and deals to the entire group as opposed to just one member.

Nonetheless, many musicians are still pursuing the solo career route. Thom Yorke, Julian Casablancas, and Kele Okereke from Bloc Party have all gone solo and received a great deal of publicity and coverage. Thom Yorke has enlisted Flea to play in his touring band Atoms for Peace and they played to sold out crowds all over the United States just a couple months ago.

But the question still stands as to whether or not the “supergroup model” will supplant other economically viable business models in the entertainment industry. It’s hard for me to personally point out many flaws within this model, but time will tell. In the meantime, readers, please feel free to leave comments and opinions on supergroups. Is the supergroup the remedy to an ailing music business?

*FYI, this article was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend. Thanks for the great feedback Katie!