Thursday March 30 @ The EARL | 488 Flat Shoals Ave, Atlanta GA 30316  
XYLOURIS WHITE
White Magic
8:30 | $10-12 | 21+
When Xylouris White recorded their second album, this most intuitive and inquisitive of duos did what comes naturally to them: expanded their horizons. For George Xylouris, the Cretan lute player who partners here with the Dirty Three's preternaturally fluent Australian drummer Jim White, one aim was to extend a core metaphor of their ruggedly visionary debut album, 2014's Goats. "Like goats walking in the mountain" is Xylouris' poetic analogy for their approach: "They may not know the place, but they can walk easily and take risks and feel comfortable. Really, the goats inspired us."

That exploratory pitch is matched by the majestic Black Peak, named after a mountain top in Crete and, says Xylouris, "recorded everywhere". A peak in both artists' careers, the album testifies to their determination to stretch the scope of their instruments and forge something vigorously questing from more traditional roots. Where Goats was mostly instrumental, Black Peak gives Xylouris's full-force baritone a lead role. And where Goats was often frisky, its tumultuous, tender and terrifically expressive follow-up drives harder and dives deeper.

"As we work together we can see the horizon is always open," says Xylouris, "because that's how we work. We give each other space, and that comes from the space we always try to give the bands and the people who we work with in the past."
Partly, Black Peak pays testimony to both men's remarkable histories. One of Crete's best-loved artists, Xylouris is a scion of Greek musical royalty, a family from a mountain village near the Cave of Zeus. His father is revered singer / lyra player Psarandonis. A child when he began playing the lute, Xylouris would accompany his father in a backing role. Yet just as Psarandonis stretched the lyra's range ("If music is measured in meter," Psarandonis said, "I play in kilometre!"), so Xylouris elevated his eight-string laouto to the lead role in his Xylouris Ensemble.

Jim White has commanded international attention for more than two decades as part of Australia's Dirty Three, storm's-eye instrumental diviners whose emotionally choppy soundscapes brim with elemental force. Now New York-based, White is often found collaborating with alt-A-listers (including: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, PJ Harvey, Nina Nastasia, Cat Power and Smog,) where his playing redeploys the rolling momentum of free-jazz to supple ends, from sensitive to seismic.

PJ Harvey has likened White's playing to dancing. Yet if dancers need partners, Black Peak also pays testimony to a friendship forged over 25-plus years. Xylouris was touring with his Ensemble when he met White in Melbourne in the early 1990s, when the drummer was in his pre-Dirty Three avant-rock outfit Venom P Stinger. In retrospect, a cycle of influence emerges: Xylouris's 1990s live contributions to the Dirty Three seem to set a blueprint for Xylouris White, yet the Dirty Three were themselves inspired by Xylouris and Psarandonis.

That mutual admiration shapes the way the duo operate on Black Peak, always listening, encouraging, accommodating. "Each one has different roles at the same time, accompaniment and lead role," explains Xylouris. "It's very fluid."

This fluidity is clear from the rolling explosion of the title-track, where White's thunderous rhythm seems to urge, and be urged along in turn, by Xylouris's chugging lute-rock riff, pirouetting melody and soaring vocal. "Forging" maintains the momentum, Xylouris's thrashing, thrilling lute melody circling the rock of White's pulsing drum. Elsewhere, Xylouris White re-write their route map. "Hey, Musicians" is rich and sonorous. The skin-tingling crawl of "Erotokritos (Opening)" draws on romantic renaissance verse; "Short Rhapsody" is a joyous jam of slashing laouto and coiled percussion; "Pretty Kondilies" is dancing and declamatory. Finally, "The Feast" sprawls gorgeously between tradition and invention, its sombre, sighing spaces shared with guest star Psarandonis' stunning lyra and voice.

It took until 2013 for Xylouris and White to form as a duo, a process accelerated when White played with Xylouris and Psarandonis at a Nick Cave-curated All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Australia. Just as other parties helped unite them, so the path to Black Peak was trod with support. The producer is Fugazi's Guy Picciotto, as on Goats (Xylouris: "His enthusiasm and aesthetic bring richness to the proceedings."); the ghostly harmonies on "Erotokritos" come from Bonnie 'Prince' Billy.

"All these things together, Jim from Australia, me from Crete, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy from Kentucky, Psarantonis from Crete, Guy Picciotto from Washington give us the inspiration of the horizon," says Xylouris. "Jim and I travel a great deal and we like to do so. We have been doing that together the past three years, which is what inspired us to think of the horizon.

"We're still goats," he adds, "now on the horizon." On the spectacular Black Peak, Xylouris White show just how far their horizons can stretch.

Friday March 31 @ Drunken Unicorn | 736 Ponce de Leon Ave, Atlanta GA 30306  
DIARRHEA PLANET
Antarcticats
Pinkest
9pm | $12 | All Ages
The gravitational pull of Diarrhea Planet is strong; once you get caught in the orbit of its stadium-sized riffs and blistering solos, it's hard to escape. The Nashville six-piece has been melting faces since its debut 7" Aloha first started making waves outside the leafy campus of Belmont University, where its members first met. What started as a dorm room dick joke between two friends bored by the music-business ladder-climbing of their classmates has grown into one of the biggest--and loudest--rock acts to come out of Nashville since their big bros and labelmates in JEFF The Brotherhood. As they toured the country behind their critically acclaimed 2013 LP I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams, the likes of Billboard, Rolling Stone, SPIN, and even BuzzFeed have taken notice. Ignore them at your own peril.

On their latest LP for Infinity Cat Recordings, Turn to Gold, the Planet boys worked with Vance Powell, the Grammy-winning engineer and Jack White confidant. Powell used his expertise in recording live sound to capture some of the energy of the Diarrhea Planet live experience--they tracked the main guitar and drum tracks live, in the same room, for a record that's both massive and frenetic. It's easily the most sophisticated and complex music they've ever made, but still carries the joyous irreverence that minted thousands of RAWK fans across the country.

The band's rhythm section, which features drummer Ian Bush (a.k.a. Tuff Gus) and bassist Mike Boyle, is the bedrock on which the foundation is built, but what makes Diarrhea Planet explode is the raw power of its four guitars. Not one note is wasted, and each ax slinger plays a role; Jordan Smith writes soaring power pop singalong hooks; Brent Toler brings a classic rock sensibility and chunky, fuzzy riffs; Emmett Miller's wields classical training and a wizard-like five-finger pick-less technique for mind-bending, finger-tapping solos; and Evan Bird is the glue that holds them all together, capable of playing any part (or instrument) as needed.

Diarrhea Planet is a nationally touring band, playing a punishing schedule of more than 200 shows a year. But they cut their teeth in the clubs and house shows of the Nashville DIY scene, built by the likes of JEFF, Heavy Cream, Natural Child, Pujol, and shaped in legendary spaces like the old police precinct that would come to be known as Glenn Danzig's House. As they've graduated from living rooms to clubs to festivals, the energy has remained constant--just ask the ladies in the mosh pit or the crowdsurfing dads you're sure to find at any Diarrhea Planet show. They're carrying the torch for the past, present and future of rock, and you'd be wise to take notice--everyone else sure has.

Saturday April 1 @ Drunken Unicorn | 736 Ponce De Leon Ave, Atlanta GA 30306  
HORSE THE BAND
Graf Orlock
9pm | $13-15 | 18+
Horse The Band is going on tour performing at The Drunken Unicorn w/ Graf Orlock + tba on April 1st.

Horse the Band is an American band from Lake Forest, California who are best known for their 8-bit videogame-influenced sound combined with metalcore. Frontman Nathan Winneke once jokingly described their sound as "Nintendocore", although the band have gone to lengths reiterating that this merely describes the sound, not the substance.

Friday April 7 @ The EARL | 488 Flat Shoals Ave, Atlanta GA 30316  
Triple D's & Tight Bros present
SHANNON & THE CLAMS
9pm | $15 | 21+
The American West. America's America. It was here in three very different worlds that Shannon and the Clams were spawned. From the dark redwood forests of Oregon emerged Cody Blanchard: singer and guitarist. The dusty walnut orchards and vineyards of northern California gave us Shannon Shaw: singer and bassist. Out of the lonely dunes of California's central coast shambled Nate Mayhem: drummer and keys. These three talented visual artists were drawn separately to Oakland, California and it was there that the Clams began playing house parties and grimy clubs.

The band was forged in the anachronistic remote communities of the west, in some strange mixture of computer show and country fair; their music is some odd alloy of The Last Picture Show and The Decline of Western Civilization. The pioneer spirit of western life is all over this band: pushing into the unknown, blazing their own trail, creating their own destiny, with the accompanying canyon-esque loneliness and untamed joy only truly known by those with the courage to pull up stakes and head off into the big empty sunset.
Gone by the Dawn, the newest Shannon and the Clams album, is their best work to date. The music is complex, the lyrical content is emotionally raw and honest, and the production is the strangest it's ever been. The album was written as one member was recovering from a serious breakup and another was deep in one. The lyrics reflect it, and the entire album is dripping with sadness, pain, and introspection. Shannon and Cody have not written generic songs about love or the lack of it. Instead they have written about their very own specific heartbreak, mistreatment, and mental trials. The emotion is palpable. On Gone by the Dawn the Clams have DARED TO BE REAL. They've exposed their true emotions, which is what's most moving about the album. People are scared to be so real. Society does not encourage it. Folks remain guarded to protect themselves from being mocked, punished, and becoming outcast . The Clams have opted to forgo the potential tongue-clucking finger-waggers, and have instead had the artistic courage and audacity to splay their pain and struggles out for all to hear. We are lucky to hear them get so damn real.

For Gone by the Dawn, the Oakland trio hooked up with studio wizard and renaissance-man Sonny Smith to record the album at Tiny Telephone Recording in San Francisco. Best known as the driving force behind San Francisco's beloved Sonny and the Sunsets, Smith uses his refreshing production techniques to create an engaging sonic landscape without compromising the Clams' signature Lou Christie-meets-The Circle Jerks sound. The Clams have evolved: their skills are sharper, their chops are tighter and weirder and they've added new instruments to to the mix. A whole new dimension of the Clams has emerged.

Nowadays, it's exceedingly rare for a two-and-half minute rock song to have raw emotional power, but with Gone by the Dawn Shannon and the Clams have gifted us an entire album of them.

Friday April 7 @ Drunken Unicorn | 736 Ponce De Leon Ave, Atlanta GA 30306  
THE OCTOPUS PROJECT
Jeffrey Butzer and the Bicycle Eaters
Kyle
9pm | $10 | 21+
Austin's favorite experimental pop band, The Octopus Project, is set to return with their 6th studio album, Memory Mirror, in March 2017. The album was recorded by the band, mixed by Danny Reisch (Shearwater, White Denim) & Dave Fridmann (Tame Impala, Flaming Lips), and mastered by Greg Calbi (David Bowie, Talking Heads).

The Octopus Project has been releasing joyous party music since 2002, following a musical path that veers through blown-out rock'n'roll, vivid electronic colors, surreal pop and expansive psych landscapes. As performers they've earned a reputation for elaborate multimedia experiments and extremely loud, extremely fun live shows - a practice they've pursued over a decade of worldwide touring that has included festival stages such as Coachella, Lollapalooza and All Tomorrow's Parties, and tours as handpicked support for artists as diverse asAesop Rock, DEVO, and Explosions in the Sky.

Also active as composers for video games and film, they were awarded the Special Jury Award for Musical Score at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival for their work on the film KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER. They are currently working on another film score to be released in 2017 -- DAMSEL (directed by Zellner Bros. // starring Robert Pattinson & Mia Wasikowska).

Tuesday April 11 @ Drunken Unicorn | 736 Ponce De Leon Ave, Atlanta GA 30306  
Tight Bros and A. Rippin Production present:
NEGURA BUNGET
Vimur
We Hunt Kings
9pm | $10 | 18+
Negură Bunget began its journey in early 1995. The first demo, From Transilvanian Forests, was recorded in November 1995 and released under the band's original name, Wiccan Rede. The release of this demo was preceded by the band's first live performance, in Buzau (June 1995) and was then followed by concerts all around Romania.

Once the conceptual perspective shifted towards the exploration of the universe and spirituality of their ancestors, the band's name changed to Negură Bunget. The new approach became clearly evident on the debut album, Zīrnindu-să, released by the newly founded Romanian label Bestial Records (late 1996).

December 1998 brought Negură Bunget's second release, Sala Molksa, a MCD also released by Bestial Records. The 4 tracks unveil a more complex sound, aggressive, atmospheric, fast - The Music of Transilvanian Spirituality.

Măiastru sfetnic is the third opus of Negură Bunget. The album was released in 1999. More than 56 minutes, yet only 6 epic tracks, displaying the band's vision on how a Black Metal-based world should have looked like. Măiastru sfetnic brought the band a 3 albums contract with Italian label code666 Records. A new track was recorded specially for code666's compilation Better Undead Than Alive, and the band's first video was shot for the same track (Văzduh) in the mountains of Transilvania.

'N crugu bradului album, the 4th opus of the band can be seen as a spiritual endeavor though the essences of the Transilvanian traditional spirituality. Just 4 tracks, symbolizing the evolution of a year's 4 seasons, yet 54 minutes of conceptual Black Metal. The album was released in February 2003, and got positive reviews all over the media, making the band well known on the international scene. In April/March 2004 Negură Bunget embarked on its first European tour. In the following summer the band also played Under The Black Sun Festival in Germany and Wanted Festival in Hungary.

In 2005 the band released the MCD Inarborat Kosmos. A second European Tour followed in autumn 2005, anticipating the new album, OM. 23 gigs all over Europe showed the band live potential is no less than its studio one. OM is finally released by code666 in November 2006 in a special double digipak edition (CD/DVD). With OM Negură Bunget proposes once again a new complete opus, focused around the symbolism and signification of one unitary concept. Romanian language offers a vast and complex signification: OM means MAN (the human being), but OM is also the main contemplative state in traditional esotericism. A new European Tour took place in April/May 2007, with more than 40 concerts throughout the Europe. Another tour was completed at the end of 2007.

In October 2007 Negură Bunget signed a contract with German label Lupus Lounge / Prophecy Production, followed by the release in 2008 of the early Negură Bunget albums. A live DVD was recorded at the beginning of 2008 and planned to be released by Prophecy in early 2011. The beggining of 2008 marked another European tour for Negură Bunget, this time along The Vision Bleak and Farsot. This was followed by a Romanian Tour in April.
In the summer of 2008 Negură Bunget played some of the most important Metal Festivals: Wacken OpenAir and Summerbreeze, but also Artmania Festival, Kaltenbach Open Air, Rockmania Festival, Paalisare Rock Fest. Another extended European Tour was completed in October/November 2008.

The work on Măiestrit, a re-interpretation of the original Negură Bunget album Măiastru sfetnic was finalized before the end of 2009, and the album was released in March 2010, by Prophecy Productions.

Soon after the band started to work on a new album, entitled Vīrstele pămīntului, which was completed on seclusion in the wilderness of the mountains. Vīrstele pămīntului (Ages of the Land) is as the title suggests an album about ages, about places of the earth and places of the spirit, about bounds transcending worlds. It's an album about embracing your destiny, about choosing and consciously assuming a way of life. The album was released by code666 in March 2010, in a special handmade woodbox edition, and got some amazing review across the media. A full European Tour followed in March/April/May 2010, with 50 gigs across Europe, presenting the new materials.

2010 was an intense year - two albums released, followed by a long European tour as headliners (Spirit of the Land Tour), another tour in autumn (Black Trolls Over Europe), some festivals in between (including Hellfest) and a lot of work, all make this year special and unforgettable. Figures for 2010: 72 gigs played, 2 European Tours as headliners, more than 50.000 km of driving, 66 answered interviews, more than 10.000 CD's sold.

2011 marked 15 years of Negură Bunget, so the band activities celebrated this anniversary. April brought the release of the Live DVD - Focul Viu and of the MCD - Poartă de dincolo symbolically marking the end of the 10 years cooperation with Code666 Records. April also meant a tour along Norwegian legends Enslaved. Some summer festivals were played - Exit and Party San. The second part of 2011 saw the band on the Transilvanian Legacy Tour, traveling through Europe and Romania, playing more than 35 dates. In 2011 Negură Bunget started developing its most ambitious project, The Transilvanian Trilogy, a complex musical and visual trilogy.

2012 was another busy year for the band. March brought Negură Bunget on Paganfest Europe in an amazing line-up along Eluveitie, Primordial and Solstafir. April/May was time for the very first US and Canadian tour - almost 40 dates were set for this amazing endeavor - Transilvanian Legacy.

Some summer festivals followed. The first part of the visual / musical trilogy was developed and a complex production and recording process started. Some media recognition - the band was voted Best Romanian Metal band in 2012 by www.metalhead.ro and Metal Artist of 2012 by www.czb.ro.
The 2013 started again intensely, with a complete reset of the band studio and live concept, meant to take Negură Bunget on some brand new paths. A small tour in spring, some festivals in the summer, all prepared for an intense end of the year- The EP gīnd a-prins was completed in autumn and the band performed over 70 gigs in 3 months, throughout 3 different tours (including one with Greek legends Rotting Christ). Some media recognition again - the band was voted Best World Metal band in 2013 by www.metalhead.ro and Best Romanian Metal Band in 2013 by www.maximumrock.ro.

2014 meant again lots of touring and studio work.

TĂU, the first part of the Transilvanian Trilogy - a personal exploraltion of the band homeland natural element - finally saw the light of day in 2015, is some amazing editions, including a compex 72 pages artbook with DVD and bonus CD. Negură Bunget prepared an extensive promotion for the new album, including an European Tour in spring, followed by one in US and Canada in autumn, over 120 gigs all together.

With more than 750 live appearances up to date, Negură Bunget is eager to unleash the power of their Black Metal, promoting its musical and spiritual vision and, as always...

-The Transilvanian Spirituality.

Saturday April 22 @ Drunken Unicorn | 736 Ponce De Leon Ave, Atlanta GA 30306  
FROTH
9pm | $10 | 18+
Formed in 2013 in Los Angeles, Froth first garnered attention with their debut LP, 'Patterns.' Originally intended as a small-run cassette release, the album quickly became an underground sensation in the Southern California music scene, catapulting the band to local fame and prompting a vinyl re-release in 2014.

2015 saw the release of the band's sophomore album, 'Bleak.' A more dynamic, adventurous effort, the record matches lush shoegaze soundscapes with driving krautrock beats. Froth toured extensively across the U.S. and Europe in support of the album, opening for acts such as The Drums, Tamaryn, Pond and Craft Spells.

After signing with Wichita Records in 2016, Froth is set to share their third album, 'Outside (briefly),' on February 10, 2017. This time around, the band has dialed back the noise, revealing delicately beautiful melodies, intricately arranged instrumentals and some of their most experimental songwriting to date.

Saturday April 29 @ Drunken Unicorn | 736 Ponce De Leon Ave, Atlanta GA 30306  
FORESEEN
Red Death
9pm | $10 | 18+
Returning a few years and a few tours after their 2014-released Helsinki Savagery debut album set the world ablaze, Finland's FORESEEN is back with the topically resonant savage crossover burst, Grave Danger, their second album for 20 Buck Spin. Additionally, the band is plotting their return to the US directly in conjunction with the album's release.

Continuing the direction of its predecessor, Grave Danger delivers the punishingly relentless pace and aggression now firmly established by the iron hammer of Foreseen. Here find scraping, throat-ripping vocals over lacerating thrash dominance and possessed hardcore breakdowns that twist seamlessly with an ever-increasing '80s heavy metal tenacity, exemplified on tracks like "Fearmonger," "Bloodline," and "Chemical Heritage." FORESEEN also embraces social commentary and critique throughout as heard in the lyrics to "Government Cuts" and "Suicide Bomber," among others.

With new albums from several of the leading crossover bands of the current era releasing in early 2017, FORESEEN is set to carry the banner for the United Forces representing Finland and Europe in a genre particularly known and grown in the US. Perhaps a perfect moment in time to unleash the fury of politically-minded no-joke crossover once again, 20 Buck Spin presents this new European invasion into North America during this shockingly dark hour.

Grave Danger will see LP, CD, and digital North American release via 20 Buck Spin on April 24th, with Svart handling the release for European territories. Watch for audio samples, preorder info, and more to be issued in the days ahead.

With a prior US tour supporting Power Trip, which saw the bands invading This Is Hardcore Fest and more, FORESEEN will make their stateside return in support of Grave Danger. The band has scheduled a US run of tour dates, primarily alongside Red Death, from April 21st through May 7th, the shows concentrated in the Eastern and Southern regions of the country.

Saturday April 29 @ Aisle 5 | 1123 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30307 
OK Productions & Tight Bros Present:
GENERATIONALS
Psychic Twin
9pm | $12-14 | All Ages
New Orleans natives Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer struck up a friendship as high school freshmen and formed Generationals in 2007 after graduating college.

Though their retro vibe bears the influence of Phil Spector's mid-century pop, Generationals' sound is wide-ranging and diverse, incorporating elements of britpop, dance and electronic music infused with rhythmic guitar lines, computer noises, RZA beats, and poppy vocals that sometimes sound like a Janet Jackson/Prince face-off.

Above all, with each release the band continues zeroing in on their strong suit: superior pop songwriting.

Monday May 1 @ Drunken Unicorn | 736 Ponce De Leon Ave, Atlanta GA 30306  
SHOW ME THE BODY
Dreamcrusher
9pm | $10 | All Ages
Show Me the Body is a sludgy trio of NYC natives who, with only two EPs, have become fixtures of the city's underground scene. In 2016, they capture the increasingly alarming state of a New York that is rapidly attempting to eradicate the chaos they favor. Like their friends Ratking, who are fellow members of Letter Racer collective, SMTB's sound is as diverse as their environment, pulling from blues, hip-hop, hardcore, and post-punk. "In some ways, Show Me the Body is our way of community organizing, of getting people together," vocalist Julian Cashwan Pratt told The Guardian. "Even if there's not one message shared, there's at least a commonly felt veracity, a commonly felt aggression and feeling and spirit."

"Body War" is the band's latest homage to the city, four minutes of discordant and grating noise. Banjo-playing Pratt spews guttural verses like "I go so far, push so hard/ Just to live under this monolith" against sharp stomping by drummer Noah Cohen-Corbett and shredding from Harlan Steed, the band's wizard of a bassist. At a recent show, the first whiff of Steed's opening bass line threw the crowd into a frenzy. As audience members climbed onstage only to immediately toss themselves back into the pit (or else be pushed back by Pratt), SMTB's faces each sneered into savage expressions, seemingly unfazed by the mania.

Monday May 8 @ The EARL | 488 Flat Shoals Ave, Atlanta GA 30316  
MONO
8:30pm | $15 | 21+
The Tokyo, Japan based 4 piece Instrumental Rock band MONO was originally formed in 1999. Their unique approach of blending orchestral arrangements and shoegaze guitar noise in their music has been held in extremely high regard; so much so, that the band's musicianship can no longer be sustained by Rock music alone and was praised by British Musical Magazine NME as "This is music for the Gods". One of the most monumental live memories of the band was a special set of shows with 23-piece orchestra in New York, Tokyo, London and Melbourne.

Their annual world tour consists of around 150 shows. The band has now visited over 50 countries and proudly holds the stake of being one of the most internationally successful bands in Japan. Among their fans, they are revered as one of the best live bands in Rock.

After releasing 9 successful albums including a live album with New York orchestra, the band received the highly regarded award "The Marshall Hawkins Awards: Best Musical Score - Featurette" from the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema for their collaborative short film "Where We Begin" in 2015.

Now in 2016, the band has finished recording their 9th album with Steve Albini at Electrical Audio, Chicago. The album is set for an Autumn 2016 release.

Friday May 12 @ Drunken Unicorn | 736 Ponce De Leon Ave, Atlanta, Ga, 30306  
Tight Bros A. Rippin Production present:
WHORES.
Wrong
Bummer
9pm | $12 | 18+
Atlanta's "new kings of noise rock" Whores have hit the proverbial big time. With a two EPs that have achieved near-cult classic status in the noise rock underground and countless cross-country tours, over the past five years the band have managed to gain the kind of respect usually reserved for acts that have been pounding the pavement for decades. At the helm is veteran musician Christian Lembach, whose knack for combining sludgy, crushing riffs and immense walls of feedback is amplified further during the band's hypnotic live show. By all accounts, Lembach has never given less than his all for a crowd, and this assertion is validated by his tireless dedication to fan accessibility.
- Noisey

Saturday May 20 @ Terminal West | 887 W Marietta St NW, Ste C, Atlanta, Georgia 30318  
OK Productions & Tight Bros Present:
PERFUME GENIUS
serpentwithfeet
8pm | $16-18 | All Ages
Over the course of two astonishing albums, Perfume Genius, aka Seattle native Mike Hadreas, cemented his place as a singer-songwriter of rare frankness, creating songs that, while achingly emotional, offered empathy and hope, rather than any judgment or handwringing. Sparse, gorgeous and with Hadreas' quavering vocals often only accompanied by piano, they were uncommonly beautiful tales of a life lived on the dark side - scarred, brutalised, yet ultimately, slowly but surely reclaimed.

"Too Bright", however, is something else altogether. Less self-conscious, and less concerned with storytelling and easily-digested melodies, it is a brave, bold, unpredictably quixotic exploration of what Hadreas calls "an underlying rage that has slowly been growing since ten and has just begun to bubble up." This sharp U-turn came early in the writing process, when a creatively frustrated and uninspired Hadreas decided not to write what he thought people might want to hear - or as he describes it, "mid tempo Adele songs, carefully plotting each chord and lyric like math" - but focus instead on writing what came naturally, 100% visceral and unfiltered, no matter what the potential reception might be. "I looked to PJ Harvey", he recalls. "How powerful and raw she can be, and thought, "what is my version of that?"'

The resultant album, then, is a stunning about-face which brings to mind audacious career-shift albums like Kate Bush's The Dreaming or Scott Walker's Tilt, records which walk the tightrope between pure
songwriting and overt experimentation. Here, Hadreas is aided in his efforts by not one, but two unlikely conspirators - John Parish, who plays drums on several tracks, and Portishead's Adrian Utley, who, as producer, brought the physical resources to flesh out the songs in innovative ways. According to Hadreas, Utley was the key to unlocking hitherto unexplored terrain on the album, using both synths and
organic instrumentation to push the tracks to darker and more unreal heights. The album is also rounded off with key contributions from longtime touring band members Alan Wyffels and Hervé Bécart.

The fragile yet defiant "I Decline" opens the album, draped in hushed, languorous beauty, but it is an outlier. The interim between "Put Your Back N 2 It" and "Too Bright" has seen Perfume Genius grow claws and fangs, and he is unafraid to draw blood. On the following track (and first single) "Queen", the line "Don't you know your queen?" booms out over ominous guitars, not so much a genuine question as a rhetorical
one, as Hadreas proceeds to deconstruct gay panic with relish. Even with a wordless, albeit soaring and cacophonous symphony of a chorus it sounds huge, anthemic, a gleeful kiss off to what he describes as
"faces of blank fear when I walk by...if these fucking people want to give me some power - if they see me as some sea witch with penis tentacles that are always prodding and poking and seeking to convert
the muggles - well, here she comes".

That mischevious sense of defiance runs rampant through the album. A surreal threat hangs over songs like "My Body" and "Grid", with piercing screams, tribal drums and electronic stabs highlighting disturbing lyrics of self-destruction and temporary respite from the darkness. On "Fool" meanwhile, deceptively swinging doo-wop rhythms disguise a story of social mutiny, with Hadreas tearing into the stereotype of "a walking, talking candelabra", and rejecting it for something much more volatile and dangerous. "Ive met people that laugh at EVERYTHING i say", he muses. "I could be talking about OJ or Munchausens Syndrome or bloody stool - I am still just the cutest thing. Here only to enrich their lives, not have one of my own. Make their dress, tell them how great their boobs look and then peace. Isnt he the best?"

Which is not to say that Hadreas has completely abandoned the shimmering, exquisite piano ballads that he is so known for. "No Good" is a heartbreaking meditation on a difficult life lived on the outside but "spent looking in", while the somber closer "All Along" is a resigned yet firm rebuke to acceptance and reassurance from external forces, preferring instead to find refuge from within - "I have my love", Hadreas asserts, "and I apply it where I need to". This, in fact, is the overarching theme of "Too Bright"; the connective tissue loosely joining up these 11 stunning, weird and wonderful tracks - the discovery of strength and power where previously he felt he had little. As he himself puts it, during the making of the album, it felt "like i had woken some ancient beast which began to rattle and threaten to rise". With this record, consider the demon awoken. There's no turning back now.

Wednesday May 31 @ The EARL | 488 Flat Shoals Ave, Atlanta GA 30316  
Bowery, Tight Bros & Speakeasy Present:
KIKAGAKU MOYO
8:30 | $10-12 | 21+
Kikagaku Moyo (Japanese for Geometric Patterns) is the musical union between five free spirits. Go Kurosawa (drums, Vocals) and Tomo Katsurada (Guitar, Vocals) formed the band in 2012 as a free artist's collective. They met Kotsuguy (Bass) while he was recording noise from vending machines and Akira (Guitar) through their university. Ryu Kurosawa had been studying Sitar in India, upon returning home he found the perfect outlet for his practice.

They recorded their first EP in a day and posted it to Bandcamp. On the other side of the world, a small label from Greece was listening and offered to press a limited run of LPs. Interest picked up through the blogging community and the band found tight group of dedicated fans around the globe. Since 2013 the band has released two full lengths, an EP, and several singles. They have toured Australia, the United States, Europe and Japan extensively. Kikagaku Moyo love to connect with people through performing, whether they are playing in a barn deep in a Swedish forest, on a desolate Mediterranean beach, or beside a sleepy river at 2014's Levitation Fest they bring out the magic in everyone present.

Their latest release "House in the Tall Grass" (Guruguru Brain) was recorded in the winter of 2015/16 in Tokyo. Their delicate use of melody and soft vocal harmonies contrast seamlessly with fuzzed out sitar riffs and feedback. To Kikagaku Moyo a song is like a breath of wind through the leaves or a fish jumping from the water. Their music is a conversation--sometimes delicate and tender other times explosive, but always human and always changing.

Friday November 3 @ Variety Playhouse | 1099 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307  
JEN KIRKMANThe "All New Material, Girl" Tour
8pm | $20 | All Ages
Jen Kirkman is a stand-up comedian and the author of the book, I Can Barely Take Care of Myself, which became an instant New York Times Bestseller in April 2013. Her debut Netflix Original Comedy Special I'm Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine) is now available for streaming on Netflix worldwide.

Jen was a long time writer and round table guest on Chelsea Lately and is also well known for her roles as the narrator in many episodes of the web-turned-TV series Drunk History which is now in its third season on Comedy Central. You've also seen Jen on her regular appearances on Comedy Central's @midnight. She's done stand up on many late night shows: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Conan, John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show and The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson. She also voiced many characters on the Cartoon Network cult classic Home Movies.

Jen has released two stand-up albums Hail to the Freaks (released March 2011) which hit #13 on the Billboard Charts. Her debut album was 2006's Self Help. Jen has a weekly podcast, I Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman, which is often in the top 100 in comedy on iTunes.

Her second book, "I Know What I'm Doing and Other Lies I Tell Myself; (Dispatches From a Life Under Construction)" will be released through Simon & Schuster in early 2016.
Jen tours the world as a stand-up and recently toured Australia to sold out crowds in both Melbourne and Sydney. She is currently based in Los Angeles.

"Jen Kirkman is a thinking person's comedian. Not by being hyper-intellectual--although she's a fiendishly smart writer and performer--but by doing comedy for people who live inside their own heads." - The Onion AV Club

"Jen Kirkman finds side-splitting laughs in lame weddings and dying alone."- Entertainment Weekly

"Ms. Kirkman knows how to deliver a one-liner, but her inclination is to linger in the telling of a story. She digs into a subject, embroidering it with jokes at various angles. A huge number of her bits culminate in vivid metaphors." -The New York Times