Menu | Rating System | Guest Book | Archived Reviews:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

  THE ESKIMOS w/ Greta Lee and The Dot Commies  
  The Contemporary Art Center  
  Atlanta, GA  
Reviewed by:
Performance Rating:
Sound Quality:
Overall Rating:

If I hadn't read PostLibyan's review of a show at the Contemporary, I think the lack of a proper venue would have surprised me when we arrived at the art gallery. But I already knew that the Contemporary's musical space is really an outdoor courtyard with a primitive sound system. Furthermore, their ongoing local music concert series seems to be loosely run affair where bands hang out before they play, sitting among the crowd, drinking beer and being friendly.

So it didn't seem odd to see four men wander up to the front of the courtyard, pick up intruments and being to play. They didn't look like musicians to me; rather they looked graphic designers or high school teachers or members of some other settled profession. Still I was pleased when this band, called The Dot Commies, played a type of garage rock sounded like an 80s new wave band out of Texas, sort of like the bastard child of Bobby Fuller and Devo.

To top it off, the between song banter was actually humorous, consisting primarily of a running joke that this was actually a performance of Flickerstick, one of the contestants on VH-1's "sold my sold to rocknroll" reality show, Bands On The Run. I actually might not have known this on a normal day; however, as it turned out, Flickerstick were indeed playing a local venue that night, so they were mention in a newspaper article I had read that morning. Truly this was a bar band, in the very best sense - I can easily see myself standing at The Star Bar, half drunk on PBR, dancing like a fool to their music.

With this type of fun garage rock in the opening act, it would be reasonable for the next band to be vaguely rock-ish in their orientation. One would guess wrong. I was utterly shocked and amazing when Greta Lee turned out to be a country singer-songwriter. Unlike other Minions, I like some sorts of country music - dark and literate tales that feel authentic to me and somehow resonate in my own life. Unfortunately, that's not the type of country music Greta Lee plays - it's shiny and happy. For instance, although her music addresses some of the typical topics of country songs, her hometown is sunny and not dying and although her man may be bad, she loves him anyway.

Technically, she and her band seemed quite proficient. Greta Lee herself reminded me of Mary Chapin Carpenter, both in her vocal abilities as well as in her phrasing. And the music went down smoothly, without any real distractions. I can honestly say it's not my type of music, but it's something that I could see many fans of modern country music enjoying.

Since the concert took place, I've run across a couple of articles about The Eskimos, most of which describe them as a country-influenced roots rock band out of Athens. Admittedly, I haven't heard their newly released album; however based on their live sound, I'm not sure those afore-mentioned article-writers have ever even heard this band. O.K., at some points, I might be the influence of The Band influence in their sound (truthfully, one of The Eskimos' songs sounded like a note for note re-write of The Weight). In general they have a vague 70s-ish southern stoned rock thing going. But more than anything, on this specific Friday night, they sounded like the direct linear descendents of the ballad-crooning version of Creed.

Frustrated by the Eskimos' three guitar lineup that refused to rock, I ended up wandering inside The Contemporary Art Gallery, where I was distracted by the art (and one short anime called Building a Better Mousetrap featuring The Merchant of Death 2000). Outside of The Dot Commies, it was the most satisfying aspect of the experience, which perhaps demonstrates the wisdom of mixing art and music in the same evening.

Related Links:
  none available  

Return to the top of this page. | Return to the Concert Review menu.