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  Other Sound 2007 - Day 1  


  The Drunken Unicorn  

Poncey-Highlands, Atlanta, GA


Envie, Mary O. Harrison, Pistolero, Moresight

Reviewed by:
  Tracers and PostLibyan  
Photographs by:



This is EvilSponge's third year attending The Other Sound Music Festival, and our second year of wall to wall coverage. The Other Sound is a gathering put on by local labels in various clubs around Atlanta and featuring a wide range of local acts. In a sense it is a chance to see all that our music scene has to offer.

The Festival kicked off at The Drunken Unicorn. We arrived around 8:30 and had a few minutes to say hi to friends before Envie went on at 8:50. This is insanely early for Atlanta , and both Envie and two other acts mentioned their heroism at performing at a time when most Atlantans are still trying to eat dinner.


You know, I understand the change of expectation when a show starts at that hour. However, let me tell you, it was a Thursday night, and I had been up since 6 am. So, while most Atlantans may be eating dinner at that time, this Atlantan (at least) was thrilled to see things get off to an early start.


Envie is really the act of Renee Nelson, who was once in American Dream. She has had a revolving cast of backing musicians over the years, and i happen to enjoy the current incarnation of Envie rather much.

Renee Nelson of Envie.

Nowadays Envie is absorbing Atlanta 's avant-garde post-punk scene, tonight featuring the drummer and bassist from Tenth to the Moon and the guitarist from King Kill. Together, the three of them make a noisy racket to back up Nelson's delicate piano, harp, and voice.

They played mostly off of their record, but still managed to work in a new song. For a short set (just under half an hour) that's not too bad.


The addition of the Tenth to the Moon gang, especially on bass (which was for this show only) gave Envie a really dark, brooding sound. This intense low end sounded really nice next to the dominant keyboards/harp of Renee Nelson. More importantly, it acted as a strong counterpoint to Nelson's focal soprano and filled out their overall sound. When you combine that with a new song, Envie's performance was a great way to start off The Other Sound.


Within minutes of Envie finishing, the next act took the stage. I suppose it helped that Mary O. Harrison (formerly of Charm School) used Ms. Nelson's keyboard for her set. Backing her up was a guitarist, Other Sound organizer Kim Ware on drums, and the mysterious Michelle, who i see around all of the time, and here was playing bass. The guitarist was rather good, really moving the songs along. In general, though, Ms. Harrison continues to play light, non-threatening pop music that is pretty much like the stuff she did with Charm School. I found the 35 minute set that they performed tonight to be exactly the right length. Any longer and i would get bored with the music...


I hadn't seen Mary O. as a solo act before, but I wasn't too surprised that the band played some bouncy pop music, which really suits Harrison's lightly delicate voice. Furthermore, it helps that the band knows how to pick up a catchy riff and /or vocal part. Pop music is inherently based on the familiar, and re-translations thereof. And certainly Mary O. Harrison and her band had this in spades. For me, the highlight of their set was a song called Last of the First, which had a catchy guitar riff and skipping vocal line that was rather reminiscent of some song from the early 60s, which I can't recall at the moment. Nicely done, and pretty much the definition of pop, as mentioned above.

Mary O. Harrison on the flute.


Charm School ... i mean Mary O. and band, tore down their gear rather quickly, and within 15 minutes of finishing the next act, Athenians Pistolero, had set up and begun to play. I get the impression that Pistolero have been around for a while. They are very professional and set up with a minimum of fuss. They also have some really nice gear, indicative of an act who has made music their livelihood. The band is a five piece, adding keys to the standard rock lineup. And even though the band treads awfully close to Athenian Country-pop, the keys add just enough melody to keep things interesting. Otherwise, they are a loud rock act, with guitars cribbed slightly from Television, and a bassist who grins like a fool while singing, dancing, and playing.

Pistolero in tuning action.

I found their set rather enjoyable. They obviously know what they are doing, and they do it well, with a certain polished attitude. As the first act of the Festival that was completely unknown to me, i was impressed.


Unlike Postlibyan, I didn't hear so much of the country-pop in Pistolero's sound. Rather, I would definitely say they are very Athenian, with jangly, reverby guitars over a simple, insistent rhythm section. The reminded me of any number of Athens bands, although the keys brought to mind The Possibilities, albeit without the garage-y edge. Still, it was clear to me that this band seemed to be having a whole lot of fun on the stage, including most prominently the afore-mentioned bassist, whose infectious happiness helped win me over to this band.


Pistolero played another short set, so that it was just after 11 (a mere 2.5 hours after arriving) when headliners Moresight took the stage. In costume. And by "in costume" i mean they were dressed in a manner that is not, i take it, their typical day to day wear. The lead singer and the bassist were both wearing cheap suits and fake moustaches. The lead guitarist had on a bear costume, except for the head. And the drummer, well, his costume was "the half naked rabbi", complete with briefs and a large fake beard. (No, really -- what the heck was he supposed to be dressed as? "Half naked rabbi" cannot possible be right!)

Half Naked Rabbi drummer???


Moresight's costumes threw me for a loop, although with the bear on stage, I thought perhaps they were going up against Club Awesome's tiger costume. But, based on existing pictures of the band, I'm not sure that these costumes were a one-time only thing. In fact, once I saw them dressed up, I remembered that I had heard that Moresight were changing their name to The Howlies. Maybe somehow this all connected? Nevertheless, once Postlibyan pointed out the "half naked rabbi" look, I pretty much had to ignore the drummer for the rest of the evening. And tat's a bit hard, considering he's one of the vocalists, as well as an entertaining drummer.


I first saw Moresight a little over two years ago, and since then they have become a local favorite. They are a tight band that plays a danceable blues rock. The riffs are catchy, and yet sparse. No one plays unnecessary notes. The drumming is driving and often martial, like on crowd favorite Angelyne. The vocals are simple, yet they seem to have a meaning beyond their simple yelps and yowls.

Moresight: dueling guitars (and bonus bear costume).


I really like Moresight, or whatever name they're going by these days. I think this is because they remind me so much of the early 60s blues-rock garage bands that I grew up (Thanks, Dad!). Their music is insanely hummable, and has a nasty habit of getting stuck in your head for days. Songs like the afore-mentioned Angelyne or the surfy Sea Level just make you want to dance and bounce, and not just stand there like a fencepost. It's a great quality for a band, which, combined with their increasingly tight musicianship makes them really hard to ignore.

Moresight really get into it.


Really, i think this band is doing good things. They are not the most interesting band (reading back over the description in my previous paragraph, it occurred to me that i could be describing the early Rolling Stones!), but they do it in an interesting way. And the songs are catchy, which gets the crowd dancing. And the crowd dancing gets the musicians to act crazy, including flailing around on the floor and handing random percussion instruments out to the crowd. Which gets people dancing even more... They really built tonight's crowd into a veritable frenzy. It was a shame to leave, all energized from their set, at midnight to go home and go to bed. But, alas, that is what a responsible reviewer does, in order to be well rested to cover the other three days of the festival.

Related Links:

Read the entire Other Sound 2007 review:
    Day 1 featuring: Envie, Mary O. Harrison, Pistolero, Moresight
    Day 2 featuring: Fernandina, Citified, The Yum Yum Tree, The Press, Lay Down Mains, All Night Drug Prowling Wolves
    Day 3 featuring: No Disassemble, Silent Kids, Novelift, Jupiter Watts, The Orphins, One Hand Loves the Other, Club Awesome, Luigi
    Day 4 featuring: Chickens and Pigs, Batata Doce, Tenth to the Moon, and Untied States

Band Links:
  Envie Website:
  Envie MySpace:
  Mary O. Harrison MySpace:
  Pistolero band site:
  Pistolero MySpace:
  Moresight MySpace:

In addition, some of these acts have been reviewed before. Links within the review point you to the appropriate places.


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