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  CANYON w/ Myssouri  
  Atlanta, GA  
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There's something about the Eyedrum that I like. It's nothing obvious - they're located in a dark concrete basement, they don't have a real bar, and the PA is primitive. But there's a certain low key atmosphere which is very soothing. No-one's parading around; no-one's on display. Since I started going there regularly, it's rapidly moved up the scale of favored Atlanta venues.

One of the best things about the Eyedrum is its tiny size, which makes it an inviting location for bands, especially bands who are either changing things in their sound or unknown in Atlanta. Therefore it wasn't too surprising to find out that Myssouri, a local band, was going to debut their new lineup at the Eyedrum. From my understanding, Myssouri's membership is anything but stable. In the past, however, I could never hear any difference in Myssouri, despite the comings and goings of various bandmates. Lead singer and guitarist Michael Bradley would control the songs - making the roles of the other musicians seem superfluous in the mix of their dark country, Nick Cave-ish sound.

On this evening, however, one could hear the changes. The new bassist played a somewhat funkier, thumpier, and more rollicking riff. Instead of a slightly mournful roll, the drums had a crispness which moved the sound along, not allowing anything to linger or gather tumbleweeds. Overall, there was new heavier sound to the music, giving it a harder edge. "It's like Satan's honky tonk," said PostLibyan. And I had to agree, likening Myssouri to the Birthday Party (or a less rambunctious version of the Cramps).

While the next band set up, Brillo, PostLibyan, and I sat down to do a post-mortem. Both PostLibyan and I liked the changes whereas Brillo missed the old twangy, "lost in the desert with only your horse's corpse for company" sound. Since this was the first show with the new line-up, it's conceivable that in the future Myssouri will return to their old form. However, I like the new direction, and think it shows growth (instead of regression).

As we sat and debated Myssouri's merits, I heard the next band, Canyon, begin. Knowing absolutely nothing about them, I left my seat to move towards the stage, wanting to hear what this band had to offer. I bopped my head along to the first song, a somewhat straight-forward slowish Indie rock (in the vein of Pinetop Seven, or a more rock Black Heart Procession) until my concentration was shattered by this slightly discordant sound. When I turned my head, I realized that the guitarist had picked up a set of sleigh bells and was shaking them rhythmically. And, for a moment, I was dreadfully afraid that Canyon was going to move into a slightly goofy, Elephant 6-ish territory. But they didn't. Despite some odd instrumentation (including accordion, squeezebox, and an acoustic guitar), the music in and of itself came across as upbeat with a little twang. Furthermore, the sparse crowd really seemed to enjoy the band as they went through their hour long set, dancing and bobbing their heads and applauding loudly at the end of each song.

Looking back, I can't describe Canyon's sound exactly - except to say that they rocked and I really really liked them. Hell, all three of the Minions present really liked them; we all bought CDs and gushed appropriately to the band members after the set. All in all, it was a fun, low key evening - much like I have come to expect when I go out to the Eyedrum.

Related Links:
  Postlibyan's first impression of The Eyedrum.
Eyedrum's website.
A review of Myssouri's latest EP.

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