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  Corndog-o-rama 2006 - Day 2  



The EARL in East Atlanta, GA


Jetty, Moresight, Brainbox, Ghost Tour, The Silent Kids, The Preakness, Hot Young Priest, Hubcap City (From Belgium), Casionova

Reviewed by:
  Tracers and PostLibyan  
Photographs by:



After sleeping off the high of seeing Purple Rain in a live setting, we headed back to The EARL at noon to catch Jetty. Specifically, we were there for poor Brian.

Brian the bartender in early afternoon drumming action.

Brian is our regular bartender at The EARL, and in addition to tipping well we try and support his band. It helps that Jetty play mid-90's pop-punk in a manner that reminds me of The Alkaline Trio. The guitars are loud and crunchy, Brian pounds his kit, and vocals are loud and half sung/half yelled. This time around Jetty were a four-piece, adding a second guitarist to flesh out their power trio. I think this really worked for them. I would also like to note that the song they were playing when we showed up (a few minutes after noon -- sorry Brian, we were a little late) really reminded me of the instrumentals Archers of Loaf did on All the Nations Airports. Good stuff. Brian, however, looked dead tired, after working all night tending the random drunks dancing out to Prince songs...

Jetty in a three-guitar attack.

  Jetty are a band that also gets better every time I see them. Despite the early hour, Jetty were energetic as they moved through a quick-paced set. The additional of a second guitarist fills out their sounds and makes the band more powerful overall. Since they seem to be working as a cohesive unit, I would like to hear them record their nice 90s punk-ish songs.  

After Jetty, Moresight took the stage right on schedule. I have never even heard of these guys before. They are a four-piece band who play a sort of 70's ish rock. Their sound is sparse, and there are lots of nice harmonic vocals about. They were pleasant enough.

Moresight in action.

Moresight's lead vocalist under the red lights of The EARL.

However, having done our duty to our bartender, we decided to go sit in the front of The EARL and have some dunch. You know, The EARL actually has pretty decent coffee!

Thus fortified we headed back inside to catch Brainbox. This three-piece band features long-term scenester/drummer Eric Young. They also have strange instruments, like an 8-string bass (who has even heard of such a thing?), and a guitar with only half of a body! They make decent pop music.

  Brainbox has changed, I think since I last saw them. They have a slight prog undertone to their music, although that may just be a side effect of the unusual instrumentation. I didn't hear all of their set, but the folks inside seemed quite appreciative of them. And the music I did hear worked well, and certainly demonstrate that the members of the band have undeniable talent.  

Next on the side stage was Ghost Tour. All we knew going into this set is that Ghost Tour is the new band of the former drummer of Hex Error. (Ah, i miss Hex Error!) Well, the band came out as a three-piece... in costumes. The drummer was dressed as Winnie the Pooh, and the bassist was dressed in a rabbit costume. He remarked into the mic, "One member of the band didn't get drunk enough last night to agree to play in a costume", while staring fixedly at the guitarist/vocalist, clad in jeans and a t-shirt and not sweating under layers of fake fur....

Ghost Tour, with Winnie the Pooh on drums.

Ghost Tour played a kind of deep-groove noise rock. The drums were loud and exciting, the bass rolled along, and the guitars were a My Bloody Valentine-esque wall of noise. Buried in this mix were some subtle vocals. I found that this sound really worked for me, and i enjoyed them, while feeling sorry for the poor idiots who agreed to wear furry costumes in 90 degree weather! A very fun, and silly, set.

  I hadn't heard of Ghost Tour before the set, except that they feature drummer Greg Stevens, former drummer of Hex Error and occasional drummer for The Close. He's simply great, and I always enjoy watching him play. But then, they came out in costumes, and I was hooked before they even played a note. Luckily, though, the music held up to my expectations, and I really liked the wall of sound they created. So, this was a new band for me, but one I definitely want to see again in the future.  

Up next were The Silent Kids. This band recently expanded their lineup, moving bassist Jeff Holt over to lead guitar while adding Tracy Clark on bass and allowing the lead singer to play rhythm guitar. This is the second time i have seen them with this lineup, and last time they seemed a little ... off. Well, in the intervening month they have worked out the kinks in their new lineup, and they sounded great tonight. They make catchy keyboard pop with shoegazery guitars. Towards the end they played a fun version of Teenage Kicks, which was slightly slower than The Undertones, but still rather fun.

Silent Kids posess a sense of balance!

Silent Kids rock out!

Keyboardist Beth steps out front to sing Teenage Kicks.

  I confess that I have a great fondness for The Silent Kids. It may be that listening to their last album, Tomorrow Waits, many many times when writing the review allowed their quirky, noisy lyric-heavy style to grow on me. Furthermore, musically the band can be quite remarkable; guitarist Jeff Holt is always amazing, while drummer Leanna Fugate is positively fierce behind her kit. Today, they focused on new material, rocking out throughout their set, which ended too soon for me.  

Most of the band left the stage, but Tracy Clark stayed to play bass with her third band, The Preakness. This band features one of the vocalists in The Licentious Five (who are apparently on hiatus at the moment, per Ms. Clark). They covered a Bill Callahan tune that i didn't recognize, and in general played mid 90s guitar pop that was competent but not that exciting. Of course, i think that this was their live debut (it might've been their second live show -- it's sometimes hard to understand someone when you are having a shouted conversation inside The EARL), so i am going to cut them some slack on that count. Given that i enjoy The Licentious Five as well as Ms. Clark's basswork, i expect a bit more from this act. In time, in time.

A formerly licentious Preakness rock out!

  The Preakness are a new band from Atlanta, consisting of a trio of talented musicians. I wasn't sure what to expect, but they played a fairly lofi Indie Rock, circa the early 90s. The music was a little too quiet for the rowdiness within the EARL, but when I moved closer to the stage, I found I enjoyed them more. Several of the songs were quite catchy, and I suspect that with a little time, and in a better location, they could be quite impressive.  

The Preakness tore down, giving Ms. Clark a much needed rest, and Hot Young Priest took the stage. This is another three piece, this time with a female vocalist/guitarist. They make energetic rock/pop that at times reminds me of Bettie Serveert (thanks to Tracers for pointing out the similarity between the voice of that band's vocalist and that of HYP's Mary Byrne! Now i can't help but make the comparison when i hear them...). It was a decent set, but pretty typical for them.

HYP's rhythm section.

Mary Byrne of Hot Young Priest.

  Hot Young Priest are in general a straight forward rock band, without any of the jangliness that characterizes many Atlanta Indie bands. Backed with the stunning rhythm section of drummer Chris Jansen and bassist Daniel Wynn, guitarist/vocalist Mary Byrne is free to play fast and loud guitar and show off her talented voice. having been around now for several years, Hot Young Priest have hit their stride, nailing one song after another throughout their set.  

One last act before the break: Bill Taft's Hubcap City, on the side stage. Hubcap City have expanded to a four-piece band, adding a violinist and another guitarist. The music, which was once quirky and catchy, has become dark, moody, and aggressively weird. I applaud Bill for trying new things and constantly keeping people on their toes, but the current lineup is ... less fun than previous incarnations of the band. The music wallows in misery, minor chords, and drones that are depressing in that way that only a well-played violin can be. There were moments of real brilliance in today's set, but overall i wish that Bill would go back to being silly. Oh well. He changes so much that i am sure in a few more months Hubcap City will be funny weird again.

Hubcap City with Bill Taft on trumpet.

Yes, that assortment of junk really is what Hupcap City beat and clatter on for percussion.

  Hubcap City are always something of wild card when they play, but they are definitely a tradition at Corndogorama. One year, I seem to recall that they showed and played a couple of number while hitting an I-beam for percussion. This year, they sounded particularly dark and claustrophobic, and musically they added a cold chill to the heat of the EARL. Hubcap City completely controlled the attention of crowd, and skillfully drew listeners into their dim mood.  

After that strangeness, the Minions filed out into the heat to stand with 500 or so of our closest unwashed friends and watch, no, hear (i couldn't see a damned thing in the crowd) the Corndog Eating Contest.

A toast ... to the Corndog Eating Contest!

Corndog eating action.

This year, someone ate 10 corndogs in 5 minutes. I get heartburn just thinking about that, but the contest was a lot of fun. People were screaming and cheering, Col. Slanders was making funny comments, and people were tossing Corndogs into the crowd. A good silly time.

We went back inside to catch a very short set from the reunited Casionova. This was an old American Dream side project that we saw years ago. Tonight they played a decent set, but a highlight was a long version of the old American Dream tune Cold Train, with Bill Taft adding his trumpet. That's a great song, and it's been a long time since i have seen it performed. It made me realize how much i miss the classic lineup of American Dream. They were really good back in the day... Oh well, life moves on. As did we Minions, heading out in search of real food.

Casionova kick it old school.

  I had totally been looking forward to this set by a reconstituted Casionova, led by vocalist/guitarist David Railey and drummer Keith Crutchfield, who now apparently lives in California. With one additional musician on the stage, they played only three songs, although the last has an aching drone to it, and Cold Train was as beautiful as I remember. Unfortunately, as the schedule was running a bit behind because of the corndog eating contest, Casionova's set was cut short, and I was left wanting more.  
  Over our meal we decided that there was really no one we wanted to see playing the rest of the evening that we had not seen play recently. Also, the sky was darkening in a rather threatening manner. So we retired to Tracers' front porch to chat with old friends and drink a few Sweetwater's, as the rain came down in sheets. It turns out that this was a wise decision, as on Sunday people told us of the nightmare that happened at Corndog-o-rama when the rain started really coming down and 500 people tried to cram into the back room. Apparently, they had to turn people away into the rain, as the room wouldn't hold anyone else... I can't imagine how stuffy it must've gotten with a packed room full of slightly soaked indie rockers! Ugh... So we choose wisely, if somewhat inadvertently.  
Related Links:

Read the entire Corndog-o-rama 2006 review:
    Day 1: Elevado, Casavettes, The Blue Hour, The Orphins, Psychic Hearts, Luigi, The Close, I Am The World Trade Center, Snowden, Shock Cinema, The Artist Formerly Known as The League of Evil
    Day 2: Jetty, Moresight, Brainbox, Ghost Tour, The Silent Kids, The Preakness, Hot Young Priest, Hubcap City (From Belgium), Casionova
    Day 3: The Jupiter Watts, Lust, The Protectors Of, Hell Mach 4, Untied States, The Liverhearts

Added bonus material:
    Photo gallery: nice guitars at Corndog06
    Photo gallery: Pedal fetishism at Corndog06

In addition, some of these acts have been reviewed before. Links within the review point you to the appropriate places.


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