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  The Bluejays, Martyr & Pistol, Envie, Binary System, Hex Error, Catpower  
  The Earl, The Echo Lounge, and Earthshaking Music  
  East Atlanta, GA  
Reviewed by:

Since I didn't make it to Day 3, my contributions end here:

Day 2 entailed more bands for me than Day 1 as well as much more drinking. So my memories, though hazy, are more extensive.

THE ECHO LOUNGE, round one

The Bluejays: Another solid show by my favorite local "slide guitar and harmony" band. Everyone looked a little bored, and the set was a little rote. But this reaction is understandable when you are playing to a crowd of, well, five. Plus, The Bluejays played out a lot in the month prior to the show. They're probably bored of hearing themselves right now.

Martyr and Pistol: The set was short but sweet and had a nice resonance in the quiet, cavernous atmosphere of the almost-empty Echo Lounge. Martyr and Pistol also rolled out at least one new song from their latest CD. It rocked a little more than their earlier work with more guitar and less melancholy cello. The new direction is interesting and different, but I'll need to hear more of it before I make a real judgment.

Martini: Since I wasn't designated driver, I began my evening with two martinis at The Echo. The martinis were decent. They could have been drier, but at least The Echo has great olives -- firm and salty. Considering the sparse crowd at the time, the bartender wasn't terribly friendly, and I believe The Echo has raised its drink prices slightly.


Envie: Probably the most musically beautiful set I saw all weekend. The addition of drums added grounding to Renee Nelson's ethereal vocals and harp. Props to Renee also for taking a fashion risk with a daringly revealing outfit and a new 'do.

Martini: Did I mention this was at Earthshaking Music? No martinis in a drum store. The greatest downside of this set was that I started it with a buzz and ended it sober.

THE ECHO LOUNGE, round two

Binary System: OK, so this Roger Miller guy is from Mission of Burma which meant that when we returned to The Echo it was much more crowded with emo-boys and jazz geeks who were all boot-prepared with cameras and microphones. With the Mission of Burma influence, I was thinking that there would be at least some guitars. But no. What we got was Schroeder on acid. The act consisted of Miller with spastic jazz keyboarding and poor vocals as well as an amazing drummer who really gets into his percussion work. However, this was free-jazz-a-rama. Not my thing. I left before the end of the set because I got tired of inexplicable "oohs" and "aahs" from the many male music geeks.

Martini: Two more from the mediocre and unfriendly bartender. Even with these two, I still wished I had my old buzz back. Before Binary System was over, I fled to The Earl.


Hex Error: Ahh, the sanctity of punk. The lead singer for Hex Error was a bit on the smallish side, but he yelled loud. And, the guitars were ear splitting. Just what I needed after so much musical gentility and reverence. What I most remember of their act involved a lot of my own head banging, and on a Friday night, that's a good thing.

Martini: Ahh, the sanctity of a good bartender. My favorite bartender in East Atlanta made me two fabulous martinis, so smooth I shot them back like water while rocking out. Who says hardcore has no class? As usual, the olives were big, chewy, and robust. But, most of all, I appreciate the humility of my favorite bartender who ran low on olive juice. He feared my second martini just wouldn't be dirty enough. But, like Jesus with the loaves and fishes, he conjured an abundance of olive-y goodness, and my buzz was back.


OK, at this point, I had every intention of seeing Larvae with some of The Minions, so with a nice buzz and optimistic attitude, I headed to Earthshaking. Larvae, it turns out, is a TWO MACINTOSH band. Sober, I can handle one dose of electronica, but buzzed and in stereo, I was gone.

THE ECHO LOUNGE, round three

Catpower: I'll just state this upfront-- I didn't go to The Echo to see music. I went for a nightcap in the fabulous back bar while waiting for Larvae-listening Minions. Anyway, when I walked in, the band was only on soundcheck, so I paid no attention and made a beeline for the booze. That was the extent of my Catpower experience. However, I did find out later that the soundcheck was actually their set, and I wasn't *that* drunk. Note to self: no need to catch Catpower at a later date.

Martini: The back bartender was much nicer and funnier than Mr. Unfriendly up front, which makes it difficult to give my review. Ah, but I must be honest. This final martini of the evening was the strangest and lowest quality of the weekend. I'm not sure (I was on Martini X at this point), but I think she used sweet vermouth instead of dry. Good green olives and sweet liquor just ain't right. But I had a wonderful conversation with someone more drunk than me -- the magical beauty of The Echo's back bar -- so it was worth it.

I then skipped up to Earthshaking (Absolut makes such a happy drunk) and met up with the sober Minions.

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