We’re continuing our virtual travels across the US in search of new and exciting sounds and this time our eyes and ears are on Georgia! Jump into PIM archives in order to hear more music from across the USA.
You know them, you love them.
And if you don’t know PRS, chances are – you might’ve heard of this great band called Pylon out of Athens, GA. Very much revered by REM, the band never really turned into a household name, owning to its share of bad luck (the worst being death of guitarist Randy Bewley in 2009).
But just like Phoenix rising from the ashes, the band came back…sort of. Pylon Reenactment Society is led by Pylon’s original member Vanessa and is comprised of members of various local bands (Big Atomic / Casper and the Cookies / Supercluster) and performs crowd favorites such as “Driving School”.
Recent years brought even more exciting developments – PRS started recording original material! And its very much true to the spirit of Pylon and their post-punk roots, as you can see in the video below.
Some urges never go away and one of those is to hear what modern-day electronic composers could do with classic mid 90s Warp Records catalog. Rather conveniently, catalogs of both Richard Devine and The Flashbulb (aka Ben Lee Jordan) are here to satisfy the said urges.
Both are seasoned pros with careers stretching back to the late 90s and both work on music that is very cinematic in nature – Devine’s latest is rather tense and dark, while The Flashbulb’s latest is a step away from purely electronic to more organic sound and incorporates acoustic/orchestral elements into the mix.
Much like liner notes state on “Yellow House”, there’s more than a whiff of supernatural/esoteric to OM’s work. Think pop music with gauzy/dreamlike quality to it (with equally mysterious lyrics to go along) – i.e. perfect soundtrack for your next sleepwalking session.
Even more post-punk from GA – this time from Atlanta. There’s only a tiny snippet of their album available on Graveface BC page (entitled “Bed”), yet it got us salivating for more. Think extra funky bassline, weird vocals and cryptic lyrics – who is “she” that they’re referring and to why is she so tired?
Gil Scott-Heron sang about winter in America back in the 70s and it felt convincing, it felt real – nothing plastic about it all. Georgia-based artist/educator Lonnie Holley may not sound much like Gil, but his message is equally convincing since we are, indeed, in a fucked-up America right now. As unorthodox as his approach might be (with Waitsian growls gracing the soundscapes he creates), Lonnie’s songs make you think and make you shiver a bit too, the effect every songwriter should strive for.
And let me out of this dream too.
The Purkinje effect (sometimes called the Purkinje shift) is the tendency for the peak luminance sensitivity of the human eye to shift toward the blue end of the color spectrum at low illumination levels as part of dark adaptation.
TPS plays instrumental rock that is as complex as the idea behind the effect they were named after. The band’s music always seem to be on the move, always changing and bending shape as if its uncomfortable being in the same position for too long – perpetuum mobile, as it were (or “instrumental ping pong” as their bio puts it).
And while they’re not from GA (but are signed to GA-based label), we still feel its worthy to mention Harriet Tubman, the band we heard immediately after TPS. They provided a dubbier/spacier counterpoint to TPS’s hyperkinetic sound – Bill Laswell’s bass excursions pitted against the sound of early King Crimson.
There is a slight possibility that Pylon influenced quite a few bands, both in Athens and beyond. Case in point – this trio that features ex-members of Deerhunter and plays a bouncy, minimalist post-punk with songs barely lasting beyond two minutes, yet filled to the brim with catchy melodies and hooks.
Life is full of mysteries and one of those mysteries is – where do bands like Beije come from and where do they go? Chunklet Industries does not provide a whole lot of information, except that they were around for a very brief moment and broke up almost as soon as they got together.
As for the music? Part 1 of their “You got it dude” single is some heavy synth/guitar action that could be a distant, younger relative of “OK, This is the Pops” by Tones on Tail (as long as your willing to overlook the deliberately placed 1-minute long test tone placed at the end). Part 2 is more of the same, but much noisier and much faster. Oh, and there’s also an equally strange video to go along with it all:
Why a release like “Lingua Franca” isn’t all over the commercial radio by now is one of the greatest mysteries of the universe. Its got everything going for it – the beats, the rhymes, the flow and the clever wordplay.
Perhaps the answer is that commercial radio simply sucks nowadays? At either rate, their loss – the world needs more skilled female MCs, there aren’t that many of them out there.
Word of advice – don’t forget to put “band” in front of SoAB name whenever you’re searching for them/their music online. That is, unless you want to read about an obscure porn movie with a weird plot from the early 80s.
What the the band and the said movie have to do with each other is a bit of a mystery to us. However, if we’re talking music what we got here is an old school rock’n’roll with a strong occult vibe – not always consistent in quality, but when it works, it really works (case in point – The Witch from 2018 In the Pink Clouds).