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Event:
  Corndogorama 2008 - Day 1  
 
Date:
 

Thursday.26.June.2008

 
 
Venue:
  Lenny's Bar  
 
Location:
 

Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta, GA

 
 
Artists:
 

Special Olympiad, Trial by Fire, Loose Screws, the Holland Dutch, Attractive Eighties Women, Tenth to the Moon, Thee Crucials, Heinous Bienfang

 
 
Reviewed by:
  Tracers and PostLibyan  
 
Photographs by:
  PostLibyan  
         
 
 

Review

 
 
Tracers:
 

In Atlanta, with the summer comes Corndogorama. A multi-day music festival, which moved last year to Lenny's, Corndogorama usually offers up numerous local bands (as well as a few touring acts) who cross genres. Likewise, for me, on of the best things about musical festivals like this is that most of the bands play rather short sets, so that even if something isn't quite your thing, it'll be over soon enough. And truth be told, this thought kept me sustained throughout the early part of the first day.

As we headed over to Lenny's to begin our four day extravaganza, PostLibyan and I had two main questions regarding this year's 'Fest. First, as well all know, it rains during every Corndogorama, and even though Atlanta remains stuck in a drought, we pretty music assumed it was going to rain sometime during the event. The main question was when, and would it mess up the schedule? In a closely related train of thought, our second question revolved whether or not the stage manager with a clipboard from last year who kept things running along nicely would be back.

We got inside just about the time the first band of the Festival was ready to begin. And lo and behold, the stage manager had returned! This was good news indeed. What wasn't particularly good news was the first act, a group called Special Olympiad. This was a group on men in black ski masks and hoodies (I think they might have been trying to be ninjas?), fronted by a man in too short shorts.


The trashy singer of Special Olympiad.

 
         
 
PostLibyan:
 

At one point the vocalist introduced the band, saying things like, "Drummer, ninja".


Ninjas and heavy metal make this Olympiad Special.

 
         
 
Tracers:
  They had a black banner with their name hung behind the stage, and they played metal. Fast, hard metal. Think thrash-like, and you're in the right musical place. Luckily for me, they didn't play that long (see short sets, above), and I was happy they set the bar low for the rest of the evening.  
         
 
PostLibyan:
  They were dressed as ninjas, and although i know nothing of their martial arts skills, i could tell that their Metal Fu is weak. This was a by-the-numbers heavy metal act. I expect to see 15 year olds doing this crap, not grown adults who ostensible have had time to a) grow out of it, and b) learn how to actually play.  
         
 
Tracers:
 

Afterwards, a band set up on the side stage. This was Trial by Fire, and their mostly clean cut appearance was belied by the edgy music they played. The music had a nice bounce to it, although the vocalist snag in that distinctive metal, growly style.


Trial by Fire's lead growler.

It was a little disconcerting, but nothing I couldn't handle. At the very least, although the volume was very loud, I could hear something in Trial By Fire that was interesting. And, like the first band, they played another short set, so that the music didn't have a chance to become off-putting.

 
         
 
PostLibyan:
  I found that, at moments (their better moments in fact) the music that the band behind the screaming vocalist was doing was reminiscent of Evol-era Sonic Youth. It was interesting in a heavily distorted, vaguely jammish riffing sort of way.  
         
 
Tracers:
  With that, it was back to the main stage, and a group called "Loose Screws". They too had a metally punk flavor, with a healthy dose of Motorhead throw in. In other words, they were very loud, very fast, and very hard. In fact, I have to say that their set wasn't too shabby at all; afterwards, I went "well, I'm awake now" based on the sonic boom they produced. Still, none of these first three bands had really stood out to me as anything I would necessarily be eager to hear further.  
         
 
PostLibyan:
 

If i had to classify this band, i would call them Oi. They played anthemic (in the sense that you wanted to raise your fist and scream along) hardcore punk.


Oi!  It's a Loose Screw.

I bet these guys have a few Agnostic Front records in their collections.

 
         
 
Tracers:
 

After Loose Screws, there was a definite change in musical tone when The Holland Dutch took the side stage. This was a four piece, with a female vocalist/guitarist and , to top it off, Rob Gal on lead guitar! Postlibyan pointed out that the vocalist looked familiar, and we spend some of their set trying to determine where we had seen her before.


The Holland Dutch girl in the foreground is the familiar-looking one.

 
         
 
PostLibyan:
  I think she was in The Moto-Litas, although i have no way of being sure.  
         
 
Tracers:
 

Still, I was taken in my Gal's guitar playing (which I always enjoy) and the poppy sound of the band. It reminded me a little of 6X, which is not a bad thing in my book, by any means. The Holland Dutch were probably the first band on this evening which I might just go out of my way to hear again.

In the meantime, Attractive Eighties Women was preparing for their set. Attractive Eighties Women are a rather interesting sort of band: at first, they come off a bit like an in-joke, filled with slightly silly tunes references people and places us local Atlanta music folks find familiar. But, as a whole, the band is so durn exuberant and outgoing that it's hard not get involved in their songs or their sets. For instance, the entire band arrived dressed up, including one person dressed as "mustard".


Attractive Eighties Women like mustard on their guitar!

 
         
 
PostLibyan:
 

In addition to the mustard guitarist, the rest of the band were dressed up as employees at The Varsity, a local diner. Except for the vocalist, who was wearing an old laser tag outfit for some reason.


Attractive Eighties Women will meet everyone in the parking lot after the set for a laser tag smackdown!

 
         
 
Tracers:
  Likewise, they held super-soakers filled with very cheap whiskey, which they would occasionally shoot into the crowd or the willing month of anyone interested in a drink. And, as for the humorous aspect, they sang songs about Stomp and Stammer's Jeff Clark and about a somewhat infamous Kroger up on Ponce. In other words, they were dealing with the things we know so well (or at least, things I know so well), so I was able to relate to it all.  
 
     
 
PostLibyan:
  They also had a song called Pandamonium, which featured the chorus, "gotta kill the baby communist panda", no doubt referring to our local zoo's latest addition. And they sung an homage to The Sock Man on Moreland Avenue.  
 
     
 
Tracers:
 

Finally, as a complete surprise, Attractive Eighties Women also played a over of Weezer's El Scorcho, which was so unexpected and so well done that it became totally charming. Combined with the afore-mentioned energy of this act, and I thought Attractive Eighties Women put on an awfully good set.


During their final song, the vocalist of Attractive Eighties Women covered himslef in condiments,
then rubbed corndogs on himself, then handed those corndogs out to the crowd. 
That is several layers of "yuck" if you ask me.

This left me all pumped up for the next band: Tenth to the Moon. I like Tenth to the Moon, if only because they were one of the weirder things out there, and I've never heard them play the same set twice. Similarly, with Tenth to the Moon, you never really know which musicians will show up and who will play.


Doug Hughes plays keys while Mitch Foy drums and sings.

 
 
     
 
PostLibyan:
  Tonight, Tenth to the Moon were main med Mitch Foy and Dough Hughes, plus Keith Lee (who is the guitarist from Envie) on bass, and Envie drummer Sean Moore in his regular role.  
 
     
 
Tracers:
  Tenth to the Moon came out and launched into a rather dark, moody setting that was compounded by the fact that, at one point, the keyboard complex came unplugged, thereby temporarily removing the treble from their music. Still, despite this difficulties, Tenth to the Moon put on one of their usual phenomenal sets, and I really really enjoyed them as they created chaos on the side stage. I think my only complaint about them is that I do wish they'd play out more.  
 
     
 
PostLibyan:
 

With this lineup they were bass heavy, with lots of keyboard overtones. The rhythm heavy sound, but Foy's deep voice, made them sound like an early industrial band to me.


Mitch Foy pulls out the earlier industrial.

Think early Front Line Assembly or one off their ilk. Which is fine by me. This was yet another fun Tenth to the Moon set.

 
 
     
 
Tracers:
 

With that little venture into the odd, it was time to return to musical normality with Thee Crucials. Thee Crucials are a nice, fun, coolly frenetic dance band with strong 60s garage undertones. In short, musically I just adore them, and I especially like their frenetic live sets. Along with Tenth to the Moon, this one of the two bands I really wanted to see on this Thursday evening. As they set up, I noticed that they were dressed down (normally, I think most everyone has on dress clothes), and that several of the band members looked new to me.


Thee Crucial new keyboardist.

This new-ish aspect carried over into their set, which was still good but with out as much high strung nervous energy as Iím used to seeing. Some of this may be due to the fact that the lead singer played the guitar on most of the tunes, so he couldn't carry on into the crowd in his usual manner. The other factor may be that several of their songs were slower paced and more melodic, which was quite nice overall. Still, my complaints are really only minor, as Thee Crucials still did a fine job and it seemed like the folks in the crowd liked them. I know the band certainly must have appreciated that, as I've heard them say more than once that they don't really draw people in Atlanta.


Dueling guitars in Thee Crucials.

At this point in the evening, it was still rather early, although we had seen everyone we really wanted to. Still, the next act up was Heinous Bienfang, an Atlanta act that's been around, I swear, as long as I've been following local music (and let me tell you, that's a long time indeed). As I looked around, I noticed Lennys filling up with people who started to group at the front of the stage in eager anticipation. This was promising, as I have to confess I honestly didn't recall anything about this act, other than I know I've seen them before. I just know I have. And the gadgetry they set up on stage, including a large power knob and a metal toaster with "Toast" painted on the side told me immediately this would be all about spectacle and performance.


Toast is an important part of the Heinous Bienfang experience.

Then the band themselves came on to a video projected at the back of the stage; many of the numerous band folk were dressed in everything from plush striped pants to one guy in a mask to everything in between. Around me the crowd pushed forward, getting closer and beginning to dance as the music (and the show) began. The first thing that struck me about Heinous Bienfang is that it's hard to separate the music of this band (which is fairly straight up rock) from the storyline that is embodied in their set. The second thing that struck me is that they have a lot of ardent fans, and I should move away from the stage so as not to get stepped on.

From my new safer vantage point at the back, I couldn't see as much of the show, but I could follow the story, which apparently involved killing Heinous because he was annoying and eventually resurrecting him.


Heinous Bienfnag will live forever.  Much to our dismay.

Underneath the story, as I mentioned earlier, the music was fun and induced people to dance, in a somewhat more retro (and dare I say it more normal) manner than I would have expected. In short, they were a mostly straight-forward band, enhanced by the narrative, and not the out of this world performance rockers I think I was expecting. Still, it was fun to see the different part of their set, including white bread being thrown into the crowd as well as something to do with what looked to be an old beauty parlor dryer. I'm not sure if all of this was characteristics of their sets, but the imagery was over the top and made things more enjoyable. Certainly, everyone in Lennys seem to think this was quite cool.

 
 
     
 
PostLibyan:
 

Yeah, i don't understand the attraction of this band at all. So they throw toast into the crowd and wear goofy costumes while playing bad 70s jazz-fusion? (Seriously -- these people have listened to one too many Mothers of Invention records, but don't have the ability to fully pull it off on stage.) I don't get this at all… I found their set boring. The spectacle wasn't even that exciting, one the initial confusion of the costumes wore off.


Heinous Bienfang with a nice loaf of incense bread.

 
 
     
 
Tracers:
 

When Heinous Bienfang finished (and their set seemed short, although my watch told me otherwise), we figured it would be hard for anyone to top that. And without a convenient printed schedule to reference, we weren't really sure as to what lay ahead. Figuring that we'd already reached our quota of fun, we decided to call it an evening, so that we could be well rested for the next day.

 
 
     
 
Related Links:
 

Read the entire Corndogorama 08 review:
     Day 1 featuring Special Olympiad, Trial by Fire, Loose Screws, The Holland Dutch, Attractive Eighties Women, Tenth to the Moon, Thee Crucials, Heinous Bienfang
     Day 2 featuring Volcanizm, Twin Tigers, Graboids, Spy for Hire, Antic Clay and the Last Holy Train, Magnapop, Chump, Hollyfaith, and James Hall
     Day 3 featuring Thy Mighty Contract, Handsome Jack, Rock City Dropouts, A.Armada, The N.E.C., 5-8, It's Elephant, Grinder Nova, All Night Drug Prowling Wolves, The Orphins, Gringo Star, Snowden
     Day 4 featuring The Reverend God and the Jesus Squad, Club Awesome, Light Pupil Dilate, Battle Cat, Rizzudo, Summerbirds in the Cellar, Cassavetes, Cinemechanica, Maserati
Band links for today:
   Special Olympiad: http://www.myspace.com/specialolympiad
   Trial by Fire: http://www.myspace.com/thetrialbyfireband
   The Holland Dutch: http://www.myspace.com/thehollanddutch
    Attractive Eighties Women: http://www.myspace.com/attractiveeightieswomen
                                         http://www.attractiveeightieswomen.com/
    Tenth to the Moon: http://www.myspace.com/tenthtothemoon
                               http://www.tenthtothemoon.com/
   Thee Crucials: http://www.myspace.com/theecrucials
   Heinous Bienfang: http://www.myspace.com/heinousbienfang

 
         

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