A peeve is an annoyance or irritant. So, for example, when a venue doesn’t mark a sold-out show as “Sold Out” on their website and lets you click a button that says “Buy Tickets”. That’s a peeve. When you get to the ticket seller’s site – say TicketMaster, who we’ll call FTM for short – and they carelessly fuel your hope and let you search for tickets. That’s a peeve. When you first have to assure them that you’re not a robot, and then pick all the images with sandwiches, and finally, after killing a few microseconds evaluating whether or not a hamburger is a sandwich, FTM tells you ‘sorry, no tickets match your search’. That’s a peeve. Seriously? You can’t just say it’s ‘Sold Out’? No. For FTM there’s no such thing as a sold out show since they’re also a “reseller”. A reseller is what used to be called a scalper. A scalper is someone that ran the risk of being arrested for reselling. Maybe the next word of the day should be euphemism?
P.S. Oh yeah, when you run a live music discovery app and it’s a royal pain in the ass to find out when some venues’ shows are sold out so you can let your users know? That’s a peeve too.
Walking into San Francisco Coffee in Virginia-Highlands, it didn’t take long to spot the two members of Atlanta-based indie rock band The Head. Fraternal twins Mike and Jack Shaw were instantly identifiable sitting at a table in the middle of the room. They exuded that cool, relaxed vibe that must come from years of being on stage. Sure, they haven’t reached their mid-20’s yet, but they’ve been performing since age 14 when they met guitarist Jacob Morrell while high school freshmen. Their maturity, level-headedness, and laser focus on what they want must be at least part of why Blurt magazine called them “Atlanta’s youngest rock ‘n’ roll veterans.” After a lengthy and engaging conversation, it was clear they’ll get to wherever they want to go… and they’ll do it by working their asses off and putting in the time. That, and the fact that they have the sound, the presence, the musical creativity, and the team behind them to make it happen.
For six months in 2015, they toured primarily the East coast, returning to the Drunken Unicorn in November for the release party of their 5-song EP, MILLIPEDES. That same month, they released “It Ain’t Easy,” the first of two videos directed by Rebecca Arrowsmith, followed by “Raincoats.”
Then it was back into the studio to record their LP which is set for a Fall 2016 release.
This is what Mike and Jack had to say about their upcoming album, the Atlanta music scene, and what loyal bar patrons get when they die… read more…
But I don’t own a record player.
Why then, you ask? Fair question.
So, I was out listening to live music recently—at none other than Vinyl in Midtown—and initially, I bought the record of the opener for the eye-catching cover. The artwork even received accolades from my 7 year old as well as the cashier where I bought the frame for it. Lacey Elkin, the artist, has secured a place on my stairwell wall to bring me yet another ounce of joy each time I look at it… that joy that comes from discovering something that you connect with.
I went out to hear live music. I came home with artwork. And a small bucket of new discoveries. read more…
So many shows, so little time. One night to be precise. And oh, the expectations! Follow your instincts and don’t settle for your neighbor’s lame party with spinach artichoke dip and fireworks from Wal-Mart. There is more live music in Atlanta on NYE than you can shake a stick at to suit every taste bud. That is, enough to ensure you will wake-up happy (in spite of the potential hangover) and ready to take on the new year. Here’s a sampling of a baker’s half-dozen of the 20+ dishes on the buffet, so choose what makes you go back for more. And crack open your MusicLoon app to see the rest of the shows being served up.
Smithsonian + Clashinista @ Smith’s Olde Bar
Smithsonian and Clashinista will be upstairs at Smith’s Olde Bar to close out 2015 with their incomparable tributes to The Smiths and the only band that matters. These two bands never disappoint, so if you’re a fan of punk or post-punk, or the 97 other derivative genres, call an Uber and see the show! Get tix.
Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics at Venkman’s
Atlanta’s Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics will have you feeling good with their unique soulful sounds. Catch them at Venkman’s, 10:30 pm – 1:00 am. $20 is the price of enjoyment. If you haven’t been to the recently opened Venkman’s, this is a great time to check it out. Get Tix.
The Revivalists at The Buckhead Theatre
The Revivalists with Stokeswood and WRENN at The Buckhead Theatre. General admission tickets are $30+ (all ages). VIP tix (21+ only) will set you back $150+ each; here’s what you get: a seat in the Loge, unlimited beer and wine at the private VIP bar, a midnight champagne toast, Men Among Mountains CD, and exclusive access to the balcony. Get tix.
Yacht Rock at Park Tavern
Last – but certainly not least – go ahead and indulge that guilty pleasure and party with Yacht Rock Revue at Park Tavern! This is an all inclusive event…your $140 ticket gets you food and drinks from 9pm to 2am plus tunes from Yacht Rock Revue, Yacht Rock Schooner and a DJ. Get tix.
And in case you’ve already committed to going to that neighbor’s for NYE, just resolve to quickly redeem yourself in 2016 by checking out one of the many awesome shows coming up in January and beyond. Want to know who, where and when? Well you’ve got the MusicLoon app for that! Use it. Share it. Rate it.
Happy New Year…See you at a show!
P.S. If you’re hosting a NYE party for your neighbors, I’m sure it’s gonna be epic!
I’m going to avoid forcing a connection between live music and Halloween. You know: frightfully good music on tap or a screamingly scary number of good bands to see. But there really are some good shows to be had! Here are a few choices…open the App for all the shows!
The B-52s are at The Fox Theater for what’s billed as a “Halloween Scream”. The concert poster advises “B-Afraid” and “B-Very Afraid”. I guess that sums it all up? Remaining tickets are going for about $50 to $70 all in. MusicLoon is giving away a pair of seats in the center orchestra, 20th row or so; enter to win here.
New indie artist Lady Lamb is at The Earl — Check out the video for her most popular tune Billions of Eyes. Get Tix.
Throw it back (#1) with Blue Oyster Cult at Variety Playhouse. Curious to see whether these guys will belt out Don’t Fear the Reaper’ with as much confidence as they did thirty years ago! Get tix.
Throw it back (#2) with The Sugarhill Gang at The Tabernacle. The groundbreaking rappers, often credited with bringing rap to the masses, lost Big Bang Hank nearly a year ago to cancer. Nonetheless surviving members Wonder Mike and Master Gee soldier on and will no doubt put on a great show. Also performing are Grand Master’s Furious Five, Kool Moe Dee, and Kurtis Blow. Get tix.
ATL Collective performs Michael Jackson’s Thriller at Vinyl (Friday night also)
Are you one of the nearly 10,000 people who’ve seen an ATL Collective show? If not, you should seriously consider joining the ranks. Scoutmob describes the collective as “the most non-cover band cover band in the history of rock n’ roll”. The cozy confines of Vinyl coupled with music from Thriller should combine for an awesome Halloween party! (OK I’m going.) Get tix.
Second Annual Saints & Sinners Ball at Park Tavern
X-Ambassadors are headlining the party with Coleman Hell and Stokeswood opening. Yeah, Coleman Hell is this guy’s actual name. His single “2 Heads” recently topped the Alt 18 – that’s Sirius XM’s AltNation’s weekly countdown of listeners’ favorite new songs. X-Ambassadors – whom you may know from their ‘Renegades’ single that Jeep uses to hawk their jeeps – puts on a killer live show. That being said, a Park Tavern crowd can sometimes manage to talk over a band. So if you’re going to the party, keep in mind it’s a party: “the high-energy Halloween bash will also feature themed drink specials, a costume contest and plenty of surprises throughout the night.” THIS EVENT IS 21+ ONLY. Get tix.
Here’s a link to that Jeep commercial…it’s about as pure an example of commercializing a song as I can imagine. (I didn’t say that was a bad thing. It’s just a thing.)
The Black Lips at Variety Playhouse
It’s Halloween and you’re in Little Five. So you are already halfway to a memorable night. Dunwoody punk-rockers, Black Lips, will be rocking the Variety Playhouse stage and, according their FB page, celebrating the pagan gods. I will deny recommending this show solely for the bucket list-esque joy of placing “Dunwoody” and “punk-rockers” next to each other in a sentence. However, I won’t deny my deep (okay, cynical) appreciation for punk rock bands having Facebook pages. All sarcasm aside, this band is damn good. Get tix.
Boos and Brews at Masquerade
Atlanta Beer Festival’s fourth annual Boos and Brews Halloween bash moves to the Masquerade this year. According to their website the event features “Live Music, DJ’s, costume contest, full bar, great beers, and Chamber of Horrors Haunted House.” The party is club-wide… i.e. Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. Get tix.
With tens of thousands of music fans descending on Piedmont Park, the sun blazing, and temperatures going from 0 to 100 real quick (fine, 62 to 85 slowly), the wise festival goer will be ready. And if you’re reading this looking for help, well, let’s just say you’re a risk taker. OK here are 5 things to do:
- Bring and use sunscreen
- Drink plenty of clear (or amber) fluids
- Know your bands
- Have a plan
- Be flexible – have a Plan B
If I need to explain numbers 1 and 2 then you need a more indulgent blogger. To help with #3 – Know Your Bands! – MusicLoon has published a couple of Spotify playlists:
Music Midtown 2015 – This is the longer of the two playlists. It has at least one tune from each of the 30 artists in the line-up. Listen here!
MM15 Non-Geezer – As the name suggests, this playlist focuses on bands that were not eligible for the inaugural Rock & Roll Hall of Fame balloting. From Drake to Elle, and Icona Pop to X Ambassadors. Listen here!
Have a Plan
As many as 71% of festival goers walk in on Day 1 without any plan for who they’re going to see. Don’t be a statistic! Listen to the playlists, look at the schedule (Friday | Saturday) and figure out who you want to see. (And don’t be so gullible…how would I know how many people walk in without a plan??)
This year Music Midtown expands to 30 artists on 4 stages, up from 25 artists and 3 stages last year. The start and end times are unchanged from last year: gates open at 4pm Friday and at noon on Saturday. The music stops at 11pm both nights. So get to know the names and locations of the stages (map) and the schedule. (BTW there’s no downloadable schedule on Music Midtown’s site, so I threw one together here.) If you want to see two bands that are playing at the same time you can try to catch half of both shows. I mean that’s the approach to take if you want to guarantee a particularly awful and unsatisfying result. No. You’ll need to pick one band. For example, do you want to see the band that’s hawking Jeep Renegades (X Ambassadors on the Honda Stage at 2:45) or the band that hawked Bud Light Mixx Tail with their song Everywhere I Go (New Politics on the Belk Stage at 3:00)? I can’t even answer that question for myself so don’t expect me to help you. You should see one of them though.
Be Flexible – have a Plan B
So – again – I don’t have to elaborate here, do I? Plan A, Plan B. Pretty simple. I mean, my god, it’s only a music festival. Too crowded at your stage? Go to another stage. Take a food break. Grin and bear it. Or grin and bare it…but not all of you. (That is, all of you can grin but not each of you should bare all of you, but all of you for some of you might be okay).