Top 10 Atlanta Concerts for September 2010
Unless you’re this guy, you can’t spend every night going out to hear bands. But if you had unlimited time and money and lived in a good music town like Atlanta, you wouldn’t be hurting for options. Each month, I’ll try to narrow it down for you here by listing my picks for the 10 Most Tantalizing Atlanta Concerts. Here are some concerts worth checking out in September 2010:
Kate Campbell, Caroline Herring, & Claire Holley
Three great songwriters with lovely voices. Before there was Paste magazine, our website was promoting all three.
The Drunken Unicorn
We named this echo-chamber, low-fi duo Best of What’s Next back in Feb. Recommended if you like Neko Case.
Justin Townes Earle
Smiths Olde Bar
From our glowing review by Austin L. Ray: “The hooks, fully amped up here, signify the slow evolution that has occurred over Earle’s brief-but-prolific catalog. The finest moments of his phenomenal first LP, 2008’s The Good Life, are chock full of them, but on Harlem River Blues, they’re more fully realized, fleshed out and integrated into songs with arrangements that both deserve and support them. It’s the sound of a young musician coming into his own, hitting his stride and greeting maturity with a grin.”
This Louisiana quintet played our SXSW party in Austin and were one of the surprise hits with both the staff and the crowd.
Dean Wareham plays Galaxie 500
Before there was Luna or Dean & Britta, there was Galaxie 500, a short-lived dream-pop band that released three records from 1987-1991. As Wareham revives those songs for hardcore fans, the second night is already sold-out.
Last year, we named the Community actor one of the 10 Best Comedians of the Decade, saying: “With a cultishly popular MTV show (Human Giant), a flourishing stand-up career, a scene-stealing turn in Judd Apatow’s Funny People, and a blog he actually posts on regularly, it’s only fitting that twentysomething comic Aziz Ansari make our list. Whether he’s hanging with idol Kanye West or bloodying up Ted Leo as Clell Tickle: Indie Marketing Guru#, Ansari stays connected to the music world while taking us all on the highway to the comedy zone.” I saw him at Bonnaroo last year, and he was hilarious.
I had the pleasure of visiting with this country/folk singer/songwriter in her home near Boston for a feature in Paste a few years ago. She’s just written a few songs for Faith Hill and appeared on Oprah, but with five kids, doesn’t make it down to Atlanta often.
Titus Andronicus & Free Energy
Two bands that will rock your face off, and if you don’t think you can handle that, talk to my 68-year-old Titus Andronicus-loving friend Jim Adamson. From Michael Saba’s Titus Andronicus review: “If Bruce Springsteen sowed the seeds of small-town introspection, his fellow New Jerseyites Titus Andronicus are flooding the fields. The punk quintet deconstructed postindustrial life with its gut-wrenching debut, The Airing of Grievances. And the band’s sophomore LP, The Monitor, crushes the rosy spectacles of heartland rock, peeling away the façade of barroom camaraderie to reveal an entire generation inured to those highs.”
Ms. Mann graced the cover of the second issue of Paste back in 2002. We caught up with her again in 2008. But if you still haven’t seen her live, now is your chance.
David Bazan + Band w/ Mynabird
We named the former frontman for Pedro the Lion one of our 100 Best Living Songwriters, saying: “If crushing truths perish by being acknowledged, David Bazan is the grim-news reaper. As the principal player in Pedro the Lion and Headphones, his music summons up an atmosphere of absolute candor and first-thought confession. On the occasion of a baby being born, if the father’s initial feeling is one of dread and regret, Bazan’s song will say so. His lyrics puncture all forms of defensive optimism and unmask the ways our use of words (winners, success, progress, going places) often appear engineered to avoid perception. He chronicles the subtle forms manipulation assumes, and the moving target of his satire is the brainwash we often administer unto ourselves. Like a Dostoevsky for our all-at-once world, Bazan tells the truth and tells it slant.”
UPDATE: This list would be horribly incomplete without reminding you about the Pavement reunion show at the Tabernacle on Sept. 26—possibly the best show all month.