By Stephanie Roman
A dreary and wet evening belied the roster of high-energy performers waiting inside The EARL on Thursday. We entered the room to find Pictureplane (pictured above) – one man tinkering with squeaks and extra reverb from behind a Korg draped in a banner featuring one seriously psychedelic Yoda. The lyrics were muffled, and he held the microphone too close and also smoked a cigarette. About five people were standing around trying to figure this out.
In fact, Pictureplane is a guy from Denver called Travis, who happens to dabble in the visual arts while making the neu-raver music that left some indie rock kids scratching their heads. His artwork includes marker on paper, T-shirt designs, vandalism of pop culture campaigns – definitely worth checking out his gallery online at here.
Next up were Judi Chicago (above and below) from right here in Atlanta. This is the band to see if you are feeling groovy and want to share your sunny disposition with the world (or with the dance floor). Conversely, if you are just a complete asshole and want to go kick a puppy … pause, listen to Judi Chicago, and you will be healed. The duo of Travis Thatcher and Ben Coleman take turns kicking out the jams on everything from drum machines to tambourines, a pink guitar, a sassy sax, and pounding on their own sweaty bodies. Call the resulting symphony acid-house, funk, electro, disco, or anything made with love that makes us feel warm inside. These two take full advantage of the entire stage, floor space between the crowd, and even patrons’ feet while clever stream-of-consciousness lyrics abound: “the-head-bone’s-connected-to-the-ring-tone.” Overall quite silly, yet sexy as hell. All elements of the show are tailored for the express purpose of motivating the crowd to dance, and obviously for the band’s own enjoyment (judging from the looks of pure bliss on their faces). God bless ‘em.
Headlining this evening were the hard-rocking boys of Health from Los Angeles. They played an unapologetic wall of sound with frenetic energy that kept me from snapping any good photos! At times, three-fourths of the band would be knelt on the floor adjusting pedals or just playing with pure intensity. Most of the vocals were lost in the mix and it was not easy to distinguish one song from another. But the live show did feature two drummers, which provided a sense of physical drama to offset any lack of sonic clarity. The band will tour Europe this Spring and are sure to deliver a beneficial dose of health to our friends overseas. Except for their eardrums.
Get happy with Judi Chicago at Criminal Records on April 18, or at
one of their monthly DANCING events at 529 in East Atlanta (next on
April 25). They'll also be playing with Ponytail on May 23 – tickets
Category: Live Reviews