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  Other Sound 2007 - Day 3  



Odl Fourth Ward, Atlanta, GA


No Disassemble, Silent Kids, Novelift, Jupiter Watts, The Orphins, One Hand Loves the Other, Club Awesome, Luigi

Reviewed by:
  Tracers and PostLibyan  
Photographs by:



By day three of the Other Sound Festival, things were moving right along. Both previous days had many highlights, and day 3 promised to be no different. In fact, if anything, it had more potential than the rest, what with the 8 bands and all. And to top it off, Club Awesome brought their near-ubiquitous pool in order to liven up the atmosphere. As if that was needed.

Yet, when we first got to Lenny's, right about the 8 pm designated start time, things seemed a bit…well…clogged up. First off, the early bands were still setting up and hauling stuff in. Second off, it was insanely humid and hot within Lenny's, likely due to the presence of the afore-mentioned pool, which seemed to affect the efficiency of the air conditioning. I had no worries, though, as I was bound and determined to have a good time.

After an increasing long set up, Atlanta-based No Disassemble took the side-stage, which was in actuality just a space on the floor of Lenny's with a couple of monitors and its own vocal PA. No Disassemble were a four piece, led by a small woman with a big guitar and an even bigger voice. Unfortunately, the afore-mentioned PA, such as it was, seemed to malfunction, leading to alternating unintentional feedback and no sound at all. Luckily, the woman had a fairly good sense of humor about tit, as she at one point began to sang, heard no sound, sort of shrugged and apparently began to scat (even though no-one could hear it). This sort of triumph of spirit over adversity goes a long way with me, and probably helped me to enjoy what ultimately turned out to be a very solid set of jazzy pop. And did I mention she had a great voice?

No Disassemble triumph over the side stage.


No Disassemble do a sort of jazzy/bluesy rock. The petite vocalist has a rich voice that was rather impressive. Despite their troubles, i thought they put on a great show.


Afterwards, The Silent Kids popped onto the main stage. Now, this was a set to which I looked forward. Over the last year or so, it seems like The Silent Kids are not playing out often, but when they do, they showcase brand new songs that are equally as good as any of their earlier works. I tend to think that the catchily accomplished nature of the new Silent Kids material can be attributed in some sense to their enduring line-up. Certainly, I think most bands tend to become better when they have a stable membership, as it allows them to look forward instead of teaching new folks how to play.

In this case, as it turns out, this show was the last one for keyboardist Beth Kargel. But, while this is a blow to the stability of The Silent Kids, on this evening, I could hear the band re-congeal around the core lineup of vocalist/guitarist Michael Oakley, guitarist Jeff Holt, and drummer Leanna Fugate.

The Silent Kids rocking out.

As they blew through a set of entirely unreleased material, I found myself going, "I really like this song…no, I really really like this song…." and so on. In particular, the song about the soccer riot and the guitar interplay on the cable car song made me stand up and take notice. Still, any way you look at it, The Silent Kids' new material is very strong (which it ought to be, considering how long it's been since their last release), and I'm really looking forward to their (hopefully) forthcoming new album.

Beth Kargel -- no longer silent.

After The Silent Kids finished, I was particularly wound up, which is why is was a little disappointing that there was such a long wait before the next band. Theoretically, they should have been setting up on the side-stage whilst the previous act performed. In reality, they didn't do this. So, as I stood there, on the hard concrete floor, sweating, I watched as this unknown band set up a full piano. Eventually, as a backing guitarist stood there expectantly, a rather scrawny guy sat down and began to play….

Novelift: and yes that is a real, portable piano, with strings and everything.

I'm not sure what I was expecting from this band, called Novelift, but I'm fairly certain that I wasn't expecting what they delivered. The pianist/vocalist sang delicately over the music, while the minimal piano and guitar backing acted as counter-points to the dominant vocal line-up. Taken together, they had a really nice sound that was a bit reminiscent of early Radiohead as covered perhaps by Joe Jackson. And, I expect I would have enjoyed them even more had they not been haunted by the same technical difficulties that plagued No Disassemble, and if they had their other missing band members (as apparently Novelift is normally a full band, with a rhythm section). Still, they were pretty good, and I know PostLibyan enjoyed them even more than I did.


This band fascinated me. They set up, in two pieces, a full piano that they had carted with them from Nashville. The guitarist played an exquisite looking instrument of a brand i had never heard of (Jaros?) through a stack of pedals i had never seen before, and then through an older looking amp of a type new to me (Bogner?). Huh -- the gear was nice but foreign to me, like they were from Russia instead of Nashville.

The head of a nice Jaros guitar. Apparently made on Earth2.

And the music was amazing -- light piano, effected guitar, and delicate voice. Radiohead is a fair comparison, but i think it downplays the subtlety of what they were doing to say they were aping Radiohead.

After they were done, i set off to talk to them and hopefully pick up one of the CDs they mentioned they had with them. Alas, the band disappeared. They, their beautiful tunes, and their odd gear slipped back through the dimensional rift to whatever alternate Earth they are from… Intriguing.


Then, it was time for The Jupiter Watts. This 5 piece band is one of my favorites in Atlanta , and I think their self-titled release is one of the best albums on this year. Furthermore, their live shows, which center around the dueling guitars & vocals of James Trigg and Ramon Wals, are inevitably both tight and fun. On this evening, The Jupiter Watts had a different line-up to offer The Other Sound. It seems that Mr. Wals has an arm problem, and was unable to play an instrument.

Frontman Ramon Wals.

Into this void stepped a gentleman by the name of Matt, who added a slightly different, more ambling feel to his guitarwork. Similarly, Wals took on the position of "front-man", as he sang, moved around the stage, and added random acts of percussion to the proceedings. It was basically the same Jupiter Watts I'm used to seeing, but with a slightly different accent if you will. And, I have to confess, I enjoyed seeing them mix it up, even if it wasn't due to the best of circumstances.

Clay Fowler keys it up for The Jupiter Watts.

After that highlight, The Orphins set up on the side stage. In the recent past, The Orphins have been a little hit or miss in their live sets. As an example, at Corndogorama I was particularly disappointed with their sound and their energy level. Yet, one week before this set at Other Sound, I saw them play at The EARL, and they were tight, together, and firing on all cylinders. I was a bit worried going into this set, then, as I wasn't sure that The Orphins could put together two solids sets in a row.

Yet, I probably shouldn't have doubted them. Although they've been playing many of the same songs for a good long time, seeing them on this evening was in some ways like seeing them for the first time. The Orphins were totally in sync with each other, and with the audience as well. People bounced around them, singing along to oldies like Camp Cryotop and Devil Duck as well as newer tunes that showed an evolution to their patented sound. In particular, one of their new-ish songs has a vaguely Latin feel as vocalist Thomas Barnwell and Daniel Upton sing together in a stop/start pattern. Furthermore, on this evening at least, The Orphins rhythm section drove their entire set, plunging ahead through occasional technical difficulties (hey -- it was the side stage!) to keep the band's frenetic edge. All in all, The Orphins were excellent, which was especially rewarding considering the occasional mis-steps I've heard them make in recent times.

Orphins energeticlaly play the side stage.

Alas, when The Orphins finished up, it was time to stand around and wait some more. In this case, for some unknown reason, it seemed to take an extremely long time for One Hand Loves the Other to set up on the main stage. I'm not sure why, although I think some of the delay had to do with their inability to get things into place while The Orphins played. Either way, after several hours standing on the hard concrete slab that is the floor of Lenny's while the entire bar heated up do to the presence of that pool, the time that it took this band to set up seemed to stretch to infinity and beyond…


The delay here was particularly frustrating because the cause turned out to be lack of batteries. When they eventually figured that out they asked the crowd for 2 AA batteries. I thought, "Dammit people -- carry spares!" If AA batteries are that essential to your sound, as they were in this case since without them there was no cello, then carry extra! Sheesh.

OHLTO: apparently an electric cello runs on AA batteries. Who knew?


However, eventually, the band was set up, batteries were in place, the sound was checked, and the music finally began. Looking around me, the crowd really seemed to enjoy the lounge-y vocals backed by electronic music style of One Hand Loves the Other. For me, having thoroughly enjoyed all of the previous bands, they seemed a bit out of place. I could visually see that they had energy, but it didn't come across in their music. Instead, I heard a vaguely Rick Astley-esque pop, which was kind of fun back in the 80s, but may be a little out of place in a hot steamy club.

OHLTO: Lou is never gonna give you up...

In retrospect, though, I have to confess that I'm no Liza Minnelli, so it could very well be that I am just not their target audience. Either way, with the circumstances of the evening, I don't think they really fit in too well, and I too often found myself thinking about my grocery list and all the errands I really ought to perform the next day.


I agree that placing the electro pop of One Hand Loves the Other in the middle of this night of rock acts was an odd choice. Still, i think they managed to do well. I had never seen them before, but i did enjoy the copy of the album that their label was kind enough to send to me. I was pleased to see that they are able to translate what they do to the stage. Sure, most of the sound came from the laptops at the back of the stage, but the cellist, keyboardist, and vocalist had enough stage presence to be entertaining. Overall, i found their set more enjoyable than i would have thought. Good for them. However -- but more batteries!

OHLTO featured the second flute of the festival!


I wasn't impressed with One Hand Loves the Other, but there was hope ahead for me -- it was time for Club Awesome! Seriously, though, Club Awesome are one of those bands that never disappoint. This four piece plays lively, dance-y pop rock with funny lyrics and sing-along-with-the band style. Furthermore, Shooting BBs Out Into the Night is easily one of the best single songs that has percolated through my consciousness in the last year or so. When you add that to their ubiquitous pool, Club Awesome just screams summer in Atlanta.

Unfortunately, though, they were stuck on the side stage, and with the PA that gave all the bands trouble. While they were still loads of fun, and got everyone dancing and bouncing about, they just seemed a little off. I think it was because the mix pretty much buried the keys and the guitars, and the vocals were inaudible at times, which led the band to seem a little languid in their approach But, even when Club Awesome are having issues, they're still better than 90% of what I hear on a regular basis. And, with their amazingly good song catalogue, they were able to overcome the sonic limitations and the heat to draw folks in to their sunny musical outlook.

Club Awesome were directly responsible for the humidity.

Then, it was time for the last band of the evening: Luigi. Yes, it was an hour later than they had original been scheduled to go one. Yes, it now a virtual concrete steam bath inside Lennys. And, indeed, unlike most of my brethren, I was entirely way to sober to be dealing with the heat and the pain in my aching feet. But no matter the circumstances, I always really really like Luigi. And this set had something entirely new to offer: the commentary of guitarist Johnny McConnell. I'm not sure if it was the late hour, the alcohol that flowed like water, or what, but Mr. McConnell was definitely chatty. In all the times I've seen them, I'm fairly certain I've never heard him utter a word, but once Luigi took the stage, he kept coming up to his mic and saying, "I want people in the pool! I want naked people in the pool!" In fact, when someone actually jumped in the pool and it was pointed out to the band, both McConnell and Drummer Brian Fletcher stood up and cheered.

Luigi getting ready to play while keeping an eye on the pool.

With this as a background, it's not surprising that Luigi rocked this evening. They played some new songs and some old songs, and more or less tore the stage apart. It made me very happy, and brought me away from the multiple miseries of the environment. Still, after maybe half of their set, my tiredness (and the realization that I had yet another evening ahead) overcame and I eagerly took PostLibyan's suggestion that perhaps it was time to go.

Still, at the end of the evening, I reflected and realized I'd had an excellent time. And since The Other Sounds is really all about showing off Indie Atlanta labels and their bands, I have to think that the 8 bands who played at Lennys demonstrated a wide range of musical styles and talents.

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:
  No Disassemble MySpace:
  Silent Kids Website:
  Silent Kids MySpace:
  Novelift Wesbite:
  Novelift MySpace:
  Jupiter Watts Website:
  Jupiter Watts MySpace:
  The Orphins Website:
  The Orphins MySpace:
  One Hand Loves the Other MySpace:
  Club Awesome MySpace:
  Luigi Website:
  Luigi 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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