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  Myssouri, The Fire Show, The Potomac Accord, American Dream, Anti-social Chamber Music, Shannon Wright, Songs:Ohia  
  The Gravity Pub, The Earl, The Echo Lounge, and Earthshaking Music  
  East Atlanta, GA  
Reviewed by:

Today started off with an annoying wait. We were standing around the Echo waiting for Myssouri to start playing, and they were waiting for more people to file in. Meanwhile, Maserati, who i had also wanted to see but was skipping due to the scheduling conflict, were performing down the street at The Earl. If i had known that Myssouri were going to wait 45 minutes to get things going, i could have caught part of Maserati's set.


And Myssouri were waiting for a "significant crowd" to show up so that they could debut their "video". This was the only one of the several films shown at the festival that i saw. And it was, well, a music video. Mostly it featured Myssouri playing in an all white room while chickens and goats wandered around. These were interspersed with scenes of lead Myssourian Michael Bradley commiting domestic violence (well, he was acting here!). All set to the tune of The Floorless Jig, one of Myssouri's current crop of bluesy romps. A good song, and the video was ... interesting at least.

After the video they introduced the filmmaker (whose name i have totally forgotten) and then launched into their set.

Myssouri have been through many many lineup changes, but i have seen this incaranation several times in the past 9 months, so they seem kind of stable now. And it really shows -- they are tighter than they have ever been. This incarnation is harder edged and plays more blues than goth, but it all still features Michael Bradley's amazing deep voice. Additionally, i think that their current guitarist is quite talented. Then again, Myssouri has always had good guitarists....

I skipped out of their set afte 20 minutes or so, because i was NOT going to miss The Fire Show, who were scheduled to go on at The Earl. The Fire Show is a band formed out of the ashes of Number One Cup, and while Number One Cup were quality indie pop, The Fire Show are ... something different.

They are impossible to describe, which is usually a good sign. I would call them an apocalyptic post-punk band, but that doesn't do them justice. Tracers and i wandered into The Eyedrum one night and saw them play their hearts out to us, the bar staff, and the opening band. It was, in a word, brilliant.

Everything i had heard said that they continued to be that good all of the time, so i was not going to miss this show no matter what.

And they delivered! The Fire Show are stripped down to a two piece, just the two refugees from Number One Cup. But they play as a full band, playing bass and drum into a simple looping mechanism, then sequencing those loops while they play guitar. It was an interesting effect, and seemed to be more of a "we do this because we have a hard time finding drummers/bassists to keep up with us" than a "pretension" type of thing.

They were loud, dark, and passionate. Again, they played their hearts out, and put on one hell of a performance.

Unfortunately their performance overlapped that of the other band i was dying to see, The Potomac Accord. So after The Fire Show was done i quickly said Hi, gave them an EvilSponge card, and scurried up the street to the unrelenting heat of The Gravity Pub.

The Potomac Accord had changed since i last saw them, adding a violinst and a new bassist. The violin is a wonderful addition to their sound, adding another mournful counterpoint to their wandering emotional tunes.

I sat in the sweltering heat for 30 minutes totally entranced by the sounds they make. We have reviewed them here before, and i just have to repeat myself: go see this band when you can.

After the show, we stood and talked with the band shortly, then headed back up to The Earl to catch Atlanta stalwarts American Dream. After The Fire Show and The Potomac Accord, there really was no way that any other band was going to impress me, which is good that i retreated to the familiarity of American Dream. I know those songs and i love them, so i could just sit, groove, and be happy.

American Dream put on a very solid set, including many past favorites as well as a few new treats. Bassist Kat Gass sang one song, which actually was really nice. On the whole they put on a solid set.

After they were done, i wanted to sit and relax, so Tracers and I trudged up to Earthshaking Music to see Anti-Social Chamber Music. We knew nothing of this band, but figured that given the name, we had to check them out.

And they were very very fun. ASCM is, apparently, a musical collective from NYC. There were 4 members present tonight: a keyboardist, a cellist, a saxaphonist, and an accoridianist. They played a sort of whacky free-jazz, and just seemed to be having so much fun that the crowd was happy.

And it was an odd crowd -- i supect that most of the people were like us in that they had wanted to sit down, and the name intrigued them. Most of the people that is -- Binary System (the free-jazz keyboard combo from last night) were there and they were ecstatic.

ASCM played several peices, all of which i remember enjoying as i watched. The only one i remember is a solo cello piece. The cellist played along with some drones looped on a CD, in a beautiful exploration of the capabiliites of his instrument.

Otherwise, they were different, and they told jokes and silly stories between songs. What fun, and totally unexpected.

But by then i had had a little too much beer, and was a little too tired. So, back to The Earl. The Earl had, in the meantime, become insanely crowded. So we filed in to see the last few minutes of Shannon Wright's set. She was playing guitar and singing. Her music is pleasant enough but quite honestly i prefer her piano work.

After she finished there was what seemed like an interminable intermission while Songs: Ohia set up. Which was bizarre seeing as the first half of the Songs: Ohia set was just Jason Molina playing acoustic guitar and singing. How hard is it to set that up?

I like Songs: Ohia. I have enjoyed them in concert before. I think that their dark midwestern folk music is great listening on a rainy day. But seeing Molina sing these achingly slow songs with almost no accompaniment after a long day of much beer, after a long weekend of many shows, was too much. I almost fell asleep standing in The Earl watching the show.

This, i think, was a tactical error. I understand that Songs: Ohia are a "big name" band, but having them headline one of the main venues on the last full night of the festival was too much. I saw a lot of die hard music geeks trying to stay it out, but fighting a losing battle with sleep. A band that rocked a bit would probably have been more appropriate for that slot.

Which is not a slam on Songs: Ohia by any stretch. I thought that they played well. I also think that they were an imappropriate act for that time slot.

But oh well. It's only the First Annual IG Festival. I am sure that they will take this into account for the Second Annual Festival!

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