Bright Lights, Fun City
By Samantha Parvin
In the spirit of true Atlanta indie rock, Judi Chicago’s second full-length album exudes an air of spooky, with funky keyboard and synth accents and a “mwa ha ha” kind of Dracula-esque vocal tone. These three multi-instrumentalists, Travis Thacker – AKA Baron Saturday – James Joyce and Ben Coleman, create a sort of bad-boy dance techno meets good ole’ rock ‘n’ roll, and fit seamlessly with other Atlanta power groups like The Constellations and The Judies (who have also earned great success recently, both in the form of record label contracts).
The debut track, “Fun City,” is effortlessly fun itself and pays homage to a place where these rocksters proclaim they “broke free/We formed a committee/And we’re stamping our name on the face of Fun City” (we can only hope Fun City is the alias for a place that begins with “A” and ends with “tlanta”). The trio must be highly motivated by food because the track list on this album makes me hungry. “Burger Hole” is a funky song that declares, “The streetlights country fry my soul/Stick it in your burger hole”; techno-rrific “Coldcuts” sings “I’m hungry, yeah, I’m hungry/Are you hungry?” and I can’t help but think well, come to think of it, yes, yes I am!
Atlanta-based producer Ben Allen’s influence is evident on Bright Lights, Fun City, as his most-acclaimed projects include Gnarls Barkley’s St. Elsewhere, Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion, and tracks with Atlanta’s own The Constellations. The off-beat, general weirdness in Allen’s music provides a refreshing element of art, versus a strictly music-for-the-sake-of-fame-and-money so prominent in recent musical ventures. It’s damn good for shakin’ a leg or two as well.
So if you’re up for a little spike in your musical Kool-Aid, show up in your dancin’ shoes at Judi Chicago’s album release party for Bright Lights, Fun City at Lenny’s on April 2.