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  Corndog-o-rama 2006 - Day 3  



The EARL in East Atlanta, GA


The Jupiter Watts, Lust, The Protectors Of, Hell Mach 4, Untied States, The Liverhearts

Reviewed by:
  Tracers and PostLibyan  
Photographs by:



We showed up at The EARL at 4 on Sunday, only to find that the schedule had totally changed. Someone had cancelled, and The Jupiter Watts were delayed from starting until 4:45. So we had some time to kill, standing in front of The EARL drinking a Sweetwater and watching the crowd mill about. Good people watching at Corndog, especially on day three when many people are very hung over.

Standing in front of The EARL on a Sunday afternoon drinking Sweetwater
and watching the tricycle blow in the wind. A good day.

  To my great surprise as well as joy, throughout the weekend, or at least when I was there, Corndogorama had run completely on schedule and on time. At the time, I thought this nothing short of amazing. But alas, on Sunday our luck had run out. Although things were still running on time, the playing schedule held little resemblance to the printed one, as bands were shuffled around and the times were redone.  

This afternoon The Jupiter Watts played a set of mostly new material. Apparently this is stuff they have written since Kevin Wallace and Jared Walsh joined on as the rhythm section. I think the new stuff sounds great, with Wallace's loud drumming and Walsh's deep bass. Their current sound is crisp and very clear with the notes widely spaced, to allow each to echo on its own. They are loud, and very epic at times. In some respects, this new stuff reminds me of the things Sonic Youth are doing these days, or maybe somewhat of the last album by Oranges Band. Either way, a really great set. These guys are going into the studio with David Barbe in a few weeks, and the Minions are looking forward to hearing these songs recorded.

The Jupiter Watts: Ramon with the shaky egg.

The Jupiter Watts: James with the tambourine.

  Over the last year or so, The Jupiter Watts have become one of my favorite Atlanta bands to see live. Recently, they have begun to mix in more and more new material, which shows off the filled out sound courtesy of their newish rhythm section. This backing allows vocalists/guitarist James Trigg and Ramon Wals to focus on their interplay, which demonstrates itself through some pretty guitarwork and soaring harmonies. I like the direction the band is taking, and particularly like their closing song, Nothing At All, which is a pure form of janglepop in all of its glory.  

Next was the band Lust, which is a three piece consisting of a male drummer dressed as a bull and two female frontpersons dressed as matadors. (Or is that a picador costume -- i don't really know what the difference is!)

Lust: sadly, i was unable to photograph the drummer in a black bull costume
seated at the back of a dark stage against the dark gray walls of The EARL.

The played competent loud pop punk a la Green Day or one of their ilk, but with lots of posing and clothing removals from the girls. Tracers remarked that she wasn't impressed because she is obviously not their target audience. Well, i'm not either -- i have nowhere near enough tattoos for those ladies. (That is to say, i have none and they were heavily inked up.) Still, they were fun enough.

Next was an unknown band on the side stage, a group called The Protectors Of. Despite their grammatical faults (how many times do i have to tell you -- don't end with a preposition!), they were really good. They were a four-piece post rock outfit with a bit of Television like guitar interplay going on. The vocals were deep, rich, and soulful, and really worked well over the intertwining guitars. Overall, this band has been added to my list of local acts to look out for. I guess they are a new band, but watch EvilSponge for future reviews to come.

The lead guitarist of The Protectors Of.

  The Protectors Of were nowhere to be found on the printed schedule, but lo and behold they showed up on the side stage. I don't know exactly who they replaced, but I suspect it may have been a good substitution. I liked their post-rocky sound, which were anchored by a throbbing bass. Definitely another band to check out in the future.  

Back on the main stage Hell Mach 4 set up. Well, most of the band. At one point between songs the vocalist/guitarist ranted about how his bassist of 12 years had betrayed him, been kicked out of the band, and was sent home to Maryland. Details are sketchy, but something really dark went down and he is an unhappy man. Perhaps that's why tonight Hell Mach 4 were loud and angry, playing things a bit punkier than they usually do. I think i should point out that their guitarist is one of the more technically proficient players in Atlanta, and he is not afraid to let you know that. However, he knows when to shut up and rock, and he and drummer Buffy have learned to work together very well over the past 12 years. The two of them were tight, angry, and enjoyable.

Hell Mach 4 ... or maybe Hell Mach 2.

  Hell Mach 4 were actually supposed to play at 4 pm, which is why we had shown up so early in the first place. At first, I thought they had cancelled, but I was glad to see them show up in the middle of the line-up. I know I've seen them several times before, but tonight they were down to a duo consisting of an extremely talented guitarist/vocalist and an equally talented drummer. Usually, they're more mathy than they were tonight, but instead they played with a punk edge that was enhanced by the ferociousness of the drumming.  

They tore down and Untied States took the stage. This is a band of angry dwarves that makes energetic math rock! I kid of course, they aren't really dwarves, but they are remarkably short. I know this because they were setting up their copious amounts of gear (including numerous fluorescently painted lamps that they have synced to one of the guitars) as i was standing their enjoying The Protectors Of. I'm of average height, and i tended to tower over Untied States. Strange. Why is it that so many musicians are short? Is becoming a rock star what you do when you can't play basketball? Hmmm....

Untied States placed many lights like this around The EARL.

Anyway, Untied States have gotten better and better as a band. Their music is angular and loud. They sounded really great tonight, tearing through a set that left them panting and sweating. Good stuff.

Untied States in action.

  Lamps, lamps, everywhere. Florescent orange and blue lamps on the floor and outer stage of the EARL. Pretty lamps that dimmed and brightened. Lamps that kept distracting me from Untied States. That's what I remembered about this band.  

At this point i was pretty exhausted from the long weekend, but i wanted to stay and see one more act, The Liverhearts. This band has been through several lineup changes, but lately they have been pretty stable and i really like what i have been hearing. I had to stay and see if they have actually gotten better, or if the last show was a fluke. Well, the verdict is that either the steady lineup has helped them cement their sound, or they are on some kind of streak, because they sounded great again tonight. Nowadays they are making music that is halfway between The Fall and Slint. It's rather catchy, but with odd lyrics and the occasional goofy time change. Tracers thought they were reminiscent of Built To Spill, but i am not really familiar with that band so i can't say. All i know is that the crowd loved it, and the band were having a great time. They played their hearts out, and it really was a great end to another fun Corndog-o-rama.

The Liverhearts in heartfelt vocal action.

Liverhearts rock out!

  The Liverhearts have changed their sound over the last year or so, and I'm liking the change. They've always had punk edge to their sound, but they new lineup really emphasize the more angularly melodic nature to their music. Furthermore, these days the vocalist sounds at times like Rick Valentin of The Poster Children, which is never a bad thing. And they were certainly worth coming out for, as were pretty much every other band I heard over the weekend. It's one of the best things about Corndogorama: seeing local bands I've never encountered as well as those who have changed since the last time I saw them. This festival is always a reminder that people who say the Atlanta music is dead don't know what they're talking about.  
  We said our various goodbyes to the other scenesters, and headed out to get a full night's sleep before work the next day. On the whole, not a bad festival. I don't think it was as strong as last years, overall. However, Friday night was really strong, showcasing pretty much the best the Atlanta indie rock scene has to offer, and doing it well. There were a lot of great bands, and it's always a fun time, so next year you should make a point of getting down to East Atlanta the last weekend in June. Grab a PBR and a deep-fried hot dog on a stick, and just roll with it.  
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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