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  Jet By Day, Martyr & Pistol, Envie, Binary System, Hex Error, Larvae  
  The Earl, The Echo Lounge, and Earthshaking Music  
  East Atlanta, GA  
Reviewed by:

Day 2 of IG starts off with the rest of The Minions abandoning me to go see some country band. I go to The Earl to start the day off with Jet By Day. Jet By Day are a young looking pop-punk band that releases on 2 Sheds Records. They were very pleasant: not challenging, but good at what they do.

Then i trudged up the street to The Echo, and got rained on. So i was in the process of increasing the humidity inside the club while i watched Martyr & Pistol. I like this band. Something about the guitar work reminds me of the 80's New Wave stuff i so love, especially the work of Joy Division. However, tonight the guitar was a little under-loud. Plus, the band was experimenting with some new songs. Plus, they got a really short set. Overall -- not the best performance i have seen by this band.

Once they were done it was time to run over to Earthshaking Music to catch Envie. Earthshaking Music is an instrument shop with all kinds of gongs and percussiony things to play with. The music area is a back room that looks like some kind of rehearsal space. I felt like i was in a high school auditorium -- sitting on hard plastic chairs set up in rows just minutes before by the "actually lower than me on the social totem pole" AV geeks. However, the sound was nice and if Earthshaking advertized that they were having bands again, i would not be opposed to going there.

Envie is the side project of Renee Nelson, harpist/keyboardist for American Dream. Joining her are Goth superstar cellist Diana Obscura, and the old "bald surly looking" drummer from Myssouri. Envie's sound combines Nelson's keyboards (or occasionally harp) with Obscura's rich cello bowing and the drummer's sparse rhythm, all backing up Nelson's voice. Obscura sang a few duets with her as well, adding her more classical vocal stylings to Nelson's pop singing. The overall effect was very pleasant and peaceful.

The calm before the storm, as it were.

After the Envie set we ran over to The Echo to see if we could catch the end of Heroes Severum. Alas, this was not to be. So we stood around and waited for 20 minutes or so while Binary System set up.

Binary System was one of the "name bands" at the IG Festival. It is the current act of Roger Miller, who you may know from such famous post-punk bands as: Mission Of Burma. Binary System is Miller on keys and vocals, with a guy i have named The Human Vein playing drums. (I swear -- this guy was all veins popping out on top of bones. He had negative 10% body fat! It was damned creepy to look at.)

I don't know exactly what i was expecting Binary System to do. Free Jazz, however, was probably not in the running; and yet, that is exactly what Binary System do. The Human Vein thumps along at his drums (he is quite talented BTW; veiny, but talented) and Miller twiddles with a keyboard and occasionally sings. It all has that "no real melodic cohension" sort of feel that is typical of free jazz.

On the whole, i would say that the set was okay. Not spectacular, although a few songs did work really well. Some of the instrumental jams in particular stuck out to me as noteworthy. And The Human Vein did get in a really great drum solo at one point. The crowd really seemed to get into it. Which surprised not only me, but Roger Miller himself. In fact, at one point after some boisterous applause he said to the crowd, "Wow. You guys are really open-minded."

As soon as this show was done, we dashed up the street to The Earl, in time to catch the last half (or so) of the performance by Hex Error. Hex Error are an Atlanta based 3 piece band that makes mid-80's Hardcore Punk. Yeah baby. Think Black Flag before Hank got pretentious. Or Seven Seconds. Or D.R.I. before Crossover. Think: Loud. Hard. Fast. Screaming. Thundering drumming. Squealing guitars.

It's good shit, if you're into that. I personally enjoy that kind of music. And after the over-intellectualization of that Binary System set (is any music MORE over-intellectualized than free jazz?) i was really pleased with Hex Error's angry energetic music.

I think these guys rock, but i can admit that it really isn't for everyone.

After Hex Error, we split up. Zythos and Brillo wandered up to The Echo to see Catpower. Tracers and i wandered back to Earthshaking Music to see Larvae.

Larvae is Atlanta's sole (as far as i can tell) IDM band. It features Matt Jeanes (owner of Sub:Marine Records) and another guy on dueling Mac Powerbooks and knob-twiddling. Otherwise -- it's IDM. The beats are all heavily processed computer noise, and there is minimal melody overtop.

I listen to that kind of music as i work. I find the rhythms to be pleasant accompaniment to writing code. Sitting in a chair in what felt like a high school auditorium, listening to Larvae, i felt like i should have been at work. But i enjoyed the performance. It was ironic to see a "laptop band" perform rhythm-heavy music in a store that specializes in exotic percussion. If you like IDM, i recommend giving Larvae a chance. They do not perform out too often though.

After that performance, we hung out chatting with local musicians until Zythos and Brillo showed back up. Then, we headed home. Tired, but having seen several good performances.

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