Why wait to book a bar when you can call your friends and play music loud and sloppy on a warm Georgia night? Jack and Taylor called some friends in bands and put the word out and people showed up at Jack, John, and Maybeth's place across from the graveyard and assembled around a makeshift stage, an old deck under the stars, under gorgeous black silhouettes of long-leaf pines next to a shed out back.
Fancy Blood's "salsa bossa nova glam" stylings opened as Zach's fine ironies and dark observations barked out over nervous complex guitar licks, while Chris throttled his bass and Steve laid down a raucous beat support on drums. It was raw geek-angst chic of the best sort, and sloppy. Sure, Zach had to stop a time or two ("Sorry, fuck!" maybe an album title?) as someone missed a bridge or forgot lyrics, but that was part of the charm--intelligent music for friends, lots of laughter and cold beer on a hot night. They're very new, but show a lot of promise in their urgency and lyrical cleverness. I think they're leaning toward a Fugazi meets Pavement aesthetic, though they might cite more obscure musical references. Feel free to correct me.
False Arrest, the youngest band of the night, changed things up with classic 80's-style hardcore skate punk. They machine-gunned through their set, finishing in a sweaty heap by the end of their irreverent 20 minutes. I suspect they woke the dead across the street. One highlight was the perfect punk minimalist party narrative "More Beer." Between furious guitar licks, they chanted "more beer, more beer, more beer" all through the minute-long song until the last chorus, "more pot." Funny and honest. I enjoyed talking to the bass player, Bo, after, who spoke enthusiastically about Bad Brains, Black Flag, and Woodie Guthrie.
Jack plays guitar for No More Analog, next up, which features Taylor Patterson on drums and The Captain on bass and vocals. The trio modulates between witty punk and heavier post-rock. "No Vacancy" is my favorite so far, while "Anasazi," offers smart punky social commentary. The set ended prematurely when the police arrived to shut down the party. The officer, reasonable even in the face of The Captain's miked anti-establishment banter ("Dude, he can totally hear you!), said he'd have preferred to join the crowd rather than shut it down. Nevertheless, despite John's patient persuasion and offer to continue the show inside the shed, there was no way to talk around some new ordinance. Apparently one of the dead across the street who maintained a posthumous antipathy toward the Anasazi called to complain.
People didn't want to leave, so the party moved to a nearly vacant house a few blocks away so Cyclops could have their turn without a blue light show. They kept it inside, but they cranked through their precise prog-math rock influenced set in front of a receptive crowd. I never thought I'd live long enough to hear King Crimson's influence throb back into the music scene, though their guitarist, Nick, mentioned Yes when I asked him about it. Made me want to go home and fix the turntable so I could pull out primordial Genesis' Trespass and crank up "The Knife" again.
The party broke up, and everyone headed to Rachael's to swim. I headed home, but with music in my head from the night and from the previous shed show a few weeks back that featured a reunion of the Honest A's, local heroes who put out a great ep a few years back. Carson was back from Okinawa to visit, and she and Rachael and Dustin filled up the hot shed with their standards, my favorite among them ending with the perfect Zen punk chant, "This is what we do! This is what we do! This is what we do!" Everybody screaming it over and over. This is what we do.
Note: Most of the Myspace sound quality on some of the links is lousy, but you might get a hint.