Music Man: Atlantis 11.0

[ 0 ] September 22, 2008 |

Another Atlantis Music Conference has come and gone. Hard to believe its been 11 years since the first one. Say what you will about it, but I have fun every year. Doing what I do for a living, I’m out at the venues a lot throughout the year, but it’s nice having a 3 day/night run of back to back shows. It’s like playing catch-up on bands that I may have missed in previous months, or perhaps was just too lazy to make the drive to Athens to see a show that most likely wont start until 2am. In fact, I found the last band I signed at last year’s Atlantis, so I was hoping for a repeat this year…
I saw some bands that I expected to be great, actually pull off a great show, I saw some bands that I expected to be great simply phone it in leaving myself and others disappointed, I also saw some bands that I had never seen before completely blow the doors off, taking my eardrums with them…here are the highlights:
Death on Two Wheels–This was probably my 5th time seeing this Atlanta band, and every show is impressive, but this one saw them take it to another level, not just because the lovely ladies in The Bridges sang backing vocals the whole time (although that was a nice touch), it was more because they played like veterans of a big stage who did us a favor and played on a small one…the tighter-then-ever line-up, the transitions between songs, and of course, the songs themselves, quickly drove this band to possible "next big thing out of Atlanta" status. Let’s just hope they don’t fall into the Atlanta rut of only playing Atlanta/Athens, and consequently not making a name for themselves elsewhere…
Oh Dorian–This was the surprise of the conference. Having never heard of or seen Heather Kemp (aka Oh Dorian), I had zero expectations when Tim Sweetwood from The Masquerade dragged me downstairs to the Atlanta Room at Smith’s to see a few songs. Great songs, crazy-good voice, and real soul. Looking for something refreshing to fill your musical void? Catch her the next time she’s in our town…
Part Bear–I’ve been hearing about Athens-based Part Bear for a while, but have never before seen them (file this under the afore-mentioned "too lazy to make the drive to Athens to see a show that most likely wont start until 2am")…From note one, I was drawn in. The rawness and sheer energy of this three-piece band is unbelievable. Although I don’t hear this comparison on their recordings, their live performance reminded me of Liam Gallagher if he was singing for Rated R-era Queens of the Stone Age. It’s actually kinda hard to explain it, but suffice it to say that one you see these guys play, you’ll be hooked.
Act of Congress–Here’s a band I totally missed, and instantly regretted it. As I was walking into the StarBar they were leaving the stage and everyone I spoke to about their show told me it was amazing. I might just have to make the drive to B’ham to see them the next time they play. They sold out the 600 capacity WorkPlay Theater the last time they played there, so they’re doing something right…

All in all I probably saw 30 different bands over the course of the weekend, and there were indeed many more that were actually pretty good, and only time will tell if any of them end up on my label’s roster (or any label for that matter), but one thing for sure is that the Atlanta music scene seems to be in fine shape as of late, so let’s keep it that way…
-mm

Honorable Mentions–All Get Out, The Media Says, The Falcon Lords, The Empties
Current Listening-The Helio Sequence "Keep Your eyes ahead" Act of Congress "Declaration"

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