On the 26th I was scrolling through my feed on Instagram, bored and misanthropic after a week or so of being holed up in my apartment. I came across Matt’s story saying he was doing a show at a punk house in east Atlanta. Of course, I immediately put up a story myself trying to see if anyone would go with me, since I’m generally too shy and anxious to go alone, but then I said "Fuck it." Matt Pless is rarely booked here and I’m not gonna miss the chance.
It was a cold night that I enjoyed but wasn’t ready for, the wind was especially bad on my way to the Lenox Marta station and blew my already fluffy hair everywhere. When I finally arrived at the house it was already dark, and it seemed I was the first one there. I knocked on the door, noticing the LGBT equality sticker on it, and a kind person by the name of Chex opened the door. They showed me round the house and said the show would probably be in the backyard around a campfire. I though to myself, FUCK YEAH, how folk-punk is that? We then chilled in the living room watching Weezer’s Buddy Holly video play on the TV.
Then a knock came at the door and Matt Pless, Kelso Cherry (one of the houses residents), followed by her boyfriend Matt (or Matt squared as I joked). From that point on more and more people piled in. Here Be Monsters (who’s name I didn’t catch) as well as Dylan (Just Pals) came in, with their friends including Xander “Crash” McKamey (who performs under Car Crash Kid) and their boyfriend who’s name I forget, plus many others. A very friendly atmosphere followed, as it seems everyone was well acquainted with each other. Now I was the obvious outlier since I only know these people through social media or through mutual friends in the scene, but no one was acting as a gatekeeper or being hostile towards me. It was a very calm, pleasant atmosphere
By now Nirvana came on the TV, and after much joking about Kurt’s rig and Krist’s low hanging bass, it was time to go outside and start the fire and as the show. After burning a chair, a Christmas tree, and having its brethren swear vengeance against us, Just Pals began her set. It was very cold, so the temperature effected the tuning, but is it really punk if its in tune? She played banjo and sang, it immediately reminded me of the music tapes song “Takeshi and Elijah,” but that was just me. Towards the end of her set she needed someone to hold the lyrics to a song, so Matt Pless held it and became “the coolest music stand ever." It was very powerful and personal to hear her play through her anxiety, I suggest everyone check her out on Bandcamp!
After her set, Kelso cherry went on to do hers. It was half guitar songs and mandolin songs, and she played them with passion and a voice slightly reminiscent of Dolores O’Riordan from the Cranberries. She played a song about a recently deceased friend that their community knew well, and you could tell the effect it had on those that knew her. She went on to play “Poison” by Stick n’ Poke, to which a couple of us wrote a song about. The entire show had a very intimate feeling brought on by both the environment and lyrical content.
After Kelso came Matt Pless, and true to his reputation of being the Bod Dylan of folk punk, he pulled out a box of different key harmonicas and slid the right key into his harmonica holder and began the first song of his set. All of his songs had humor, emotion, politics, or a combination of the three. Between each of them, he gave off a tired yet wired vibe. He remarked about how his ADD made him play faster, and how the Nashville folks didn’t like that. He ended the set with the incredibly popular Ashtray, but after we gave a half assed yell of “encore!’ He played "When the Frayed Wind Blows." I was very excited to hear this one, as it was a personal favorite of mine. I was blown away, as he played it with such emotions that his voice cracked, and it chilled me to hear the pain in his voice.
At this point a break ensued as Here Be Monsters came out. One of his friends asked him to play the Final Fantasy Seven theme, but they had trouble figuring out a certain chord. He began the set with the political satire song “Thomas Jefferson Was a Racist” as he “wanted to get it out of the way since everyone wanted to hear it.” His performance was akin to Emperor X minus the new age christian vibe (thank God). Lots of melodic finger picking, comical lines on the folk punk scene, and amazing vocals. At one point he sang “I’m just here for the show and then I’ll be gone” which hit me since that described my shy awkward attitude at most house shows. After his set everyone returned inside to check out merch and head home, Matt Pless let me have a patch for free since I only had a twenty on me, saying “Venmo me sometime.” After that, true to the line by Here Be Monsters, I was gone.
All in all the show was a very intimate event, about twenty or thirty people huddled around a campfire listening to people share very personal songs, and to have fun and tell jokes along the way. As a somewhat outsider, I felt very comfortable in the environment. Everyone was very kind and understanding to one another, as is indicative of the folk punk scene. My apologies if I was too shy or awkward at the show! If I misgendered/misnamed anyone or said something you want removed, feel free to hit me up on Instagram @Smelly_Sunny and I’ll ratify it ASAP!
The new year has, so far, started off with a bang. While there have been political tensions with things heating up in the federal government, I'll take the time today to focus on the lighter stuff. The Big Gig, Upchuck's new EP and the release show, and the debut album from Billy Batts & the Made Men are all optimistic in the beginning of the new year. Let's dive right into shit.
I'll start first with the Big Gig, the biggest, loudest, and longest of the year. Last year's Big Gig was long, but this year's Big Gig was even longer. Although it only had one more band, it seemed to go on for eternities. Which is not a compliment from me, I got tired of being there after nine fucking hours. However, in that nine hours I did get to see some great local and regional bands, including, but not limited to Clavicle, Blurry, Challenger Deep, Gilt, Tenth Row, and the Callous Daoboys. I left after the Daoboys, but other beloved local bands played after, like Stay Here, Blis., and Michael Cera Palin. Maybe I didn't see MCP, but at least I bought my girlfriend a shirt. It was, overall, a great way to kick off the new year.
Next up is the brand new Upchuck EP. Upchuck's following has been growing exponentially ever since the release of their first demo in 2018. And we've been waiting for them to release this EP for a whole fucking year and it' finally here. It's essentially a psychedelic garage-punk record. And it kicks ass. Fuzzy guitars, loud vocals, and loud drums make this record shine it all its lo-fi glory. You can listen to it here. The show presented to us just how fucking insane Upchuck fans are. Crowd surfing inside a shopping cart, jumping off a staircase into the crowd (one such person kicking me in the head), and viciously ripping apart a plush dinosaur head. There was beer everywhere, one dude had a large, bleeding gash in his forehead, and I stood in the back like a wimp cause I got an ouchie on my head. It was probably best that I did, however, because the mosh pit never stopped. It started before the band even fucking started. And the opening acts, Eat, Kent Osborne, and Rude Dude and the Creek Freaks all put on one hell of a show. In conclusion, Upchuck is a great band that puts on great shows and if you don't like them you're lame.
Finally, we get to the debut album by our friends Billy Batts & the Made Men, Russ. The local teenage punk act released the "Aimed At My Head" single last year, and released the full album on January 7th of this year. It's a fast, energetic, and melodic punk album, with screamy lead vocals, a mix of clean and shouted backing vocals, crunchy guitars, melodic bass, and fast, busy drums. It all comes together so well on this record, and the tracks flow well between each other. You can listen to the full album on all major streaming platforms, and you can buy it on CD here.
2020 may turn out to be be a rocky year for politics, but it seems to be a good year for our scene. Let's just hope no one fucks it up. They can fuck up the government, but they can't take art away from us. And remember: do it your goddamn self.
Hey, guys! Today I'm just gonna give a little update about how things in RMAC are going and what's going to happen.
So, as you all know, the blog on Raccoon Man has been less active than usual. That's because I've run out of things to talk about, and Sunny has been busy with his personal life. And I, myself, have been busy. The band, my job, my personal life, and my future are all taking up a lot of time. So, it can be expected that the blog will continue to be less active than usual. However, I will try my best to post something worthwhile every Saturday.
Of course, we're planning on two things: a protest, and a fundraiser for Lost-n-Found Youth. For the protest, see Sunny's last post titled "Chick-Fil-A Boycott/Protest." The fundraiser is a show we're trying to put together and is supposed to take place this December before Christmas. We'll update you guys on those events in the future.
Speaking of which, some of you may know that me and Sunny got into a dispute over that very protest. That is now water under the bridge, and we are continuing to work together. Everything's okay, folks!
As for that Halloween show we said we were going to, we didn't go. It ended up being too far for me that night, and Sunny probably didn't wanna be that far out without a friend. Sorry, guys.
Finally, our band is going through changes. But these are good changes. We're moving forward, writing new material, updating our lineup, etc. We're very excited and can't wait to share more with you guys!
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you've enjoyed this blog. See you next week! And remember: do it your fucking self!!
Hey, everybody, Sunny here.
I'm here writing about a topic that is becoming more popular in the recent months, but has been a continual issue throughout many years: Chick-Fil-A's relationship with the LGBT community.
For over five years it's been made very clear that the family running CFA is giving money to anti-gay organizations (I will link the wiki and several other sources, if you don't trust wikipedia then check the sources it sites, all of it is good info). The family, in question, is the Cathy family, who has a fortune of at least eleven billion dollars, making them the 15th wealthiest family in our country. While their wealth isn't inherently a moral issue, it's what they do with it that I have an issue with. As a family running a corporation, they can't be sued for giving money to whomever they choose. This loophole has resulted in them giving money to organizations like that the National Christian Foundation, who in has had many supportive endeavors with Scot Lively, a minister known for his illegitimacy and spreading anti-LGBT beliefs to Uganda. You may know him as the man trying to "take back" the rainbow as a symbol of the LGBT community. In the U.S. he's very seriously. To the point that he was allowed to address the Ugandan parliament for five hours.
The fact that one of the main supporters of such a cause is so ingrained in our society is inherently wrong. As a society already being fucked in the ass constantly by fascist corporations, we need to start fighting back. RMAC is currently trying to get a petition signed showing those that choose to stand with the LGBT community and fight against this corporation by boycotting. I will also start organizing "die-ins," where we will lay on the ground with signs inside CFA franchises representing those oppressed and the members of the LGBT community killed for their own authenticity. We are also trying to throw a show with the Thumbscrews and any other artist we can fit on the bill in order to raise money for LGBT organizations in Georgia, any artist interested should contact Aidan or I about said gig.
Please, start fighting back. Quit sharing instagram post and actually do something about corporate corruption. This is your chance.
Wiki on CFA's history of controversy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chick-fil-A_same-sex_marriage_controversy
An inside look at the Cathy family's wealth: https://www.businessinsider.com/cathy-family-chick-fil-a-fortune-net-worth-lifestyle-photos-2019-3
Some of the key connections between the NCA, CFA, and Scott Lively: https://www.businessinsider.com/chick-fil-a-backlash-as-expands-into-uk-2019-10
A John Oliver video on the Ugandan LGBT crisis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2W41pvvZs0
The Callous Daoboys was formed on, according to their Facebook, August 29, 1293, and have since gone through several lineup changes before settling on the current and most well-known lineup. They describe themselves as "mathcore metalcore," "outlaw queer metal," and "high-strung metal core, chaotic mathcore." They have two EPs, one stand-alone single, one album, Die On Mars, and have accumulated a strong cult-following.
Michael Cera Palin formed on February 13, 2015 with the goal of making "punky/emo music." They were together for three years, releasing two singles and two EPs before breaking up in the midst of a personal crisis one of the band members was facing. However, that crisis has been resolved, and they have reformed to the excitement of the Atlanta indie community. You can read the whole story of their break-up and reformation on their instagram, @michalcerapalin.
With these two bands now on the bill, the night is sure to attract a lot more fans, and should definitely be on your bucket-list. Or at least on your to-do list.
Anyway, there will be another post once more bands have been announced and any additional information is given. Don't miss this show, and remember, do it your fucking self!!
Formed in Atlanta, GA in 1989, Magnapop played a rock 'n' roll-infused pop punk sound that got them a moderate amount of MTV video play in the '90s. Their album Hotboxing (produced by Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü and Sugar fame) was their breakthrough into the larger alternative scene.
Five Eight were conceived in Athens, GA, and have toured with R.E.M., Cheap Trick, Ramones, and other notable bands. After an extreme nervous breakdown after forming the band in 1988, singer-songwriter and guitarist Mike Mantione became a prolific songwriter. They have released ten albums to date.
Don't let age fool you, both bands have maintained their energy, and are both very very loud. Magnapop played a mix of old and new, with covers of Big Star and Fugazi. Bassist Shannon Mulvaney banged his bass on the open garage door and kicked his monitor over. Singer Linda Hopper jumped around the stage and sang like she hasn't aged a year since Hotboxing. If you saw her outside of Magnapop, you think she'd be tending to her garden and baking cookies, with her grey hair, white button-up shirt, and mom jeans. However, this just made the show even better, because it shows that age doesn't always matter when you're in a rock band. I can just imagine it: Linda Hopper– gardener by day, rock singer by night. Man, I hope she has a good sense of humor.
Now, I said both bands were very very loud, but let me add a third "very" for Five Eight. Those fuckers were loud. Their first song was full of energy and raw emotion, Mike driving the bulk of the show. He even left the band behind at some parts, playing songs others didn't know. You'd think it would fall apart at some point, but it never did– the perfect thrill. They jumped and thrashed around, and played songs from all over their discography, mixing their softer tracks with their louder, noisier tunes. While they did drag on for quite a while, I will say that they were a lot of fun, and I enjoyed their time on stage.
Local legends Magnapop and Five Eight both formed in the late eighties and put on one hell of a show thirty years later. Magnapop released a new album this year, and Five Eight released their 2017 album Songs For St. Jude on vinyl this year. You can check out both bands on Spotify, but I recommend buying their physical releases, of course, for bands make more money off of physical sales than they do off of streams. Stay safe out there everyone, and remember, do it your fucking self!!
It's finally here. The second annual Big Gig has been announced. Taking place at the Masquerade on Saturday January 4th, 2020, the second installment in the Big Gig franchise already has some good acts in the lineup. Well-renowned local bands such as Blurry, Stay Here, and Challenger Deep are on the bill, including locals Mighty and regionals Harm. Out-of-towners the Fairview are making a return, hailing from Massachusetts. Ticket prices are up from ten dollars to fifteen dollars this time around, most likely due to the popularity of this year's past installment. But before I go too much further, I will dive into what the first Big Gig was like, and what we can expect from this upcoming event.
In January of 2019, the first annual Big Gig took place on a chilly Saturday evening. Doors opened at four pm. I was joined by Sunny and our friends for the rest of the night. There were fifteen bands, all ranging from math rock, indie pop, indie rock, shoegaze, dream pop, alt-rock, metal, and so on. There were locals and there were out-of-towners. The bigger names on the bill were Tenth Row, the Callous Daoboys, Stay Here, and Harm, among more. Three of the bands we saw, the Callous Daoboys, Kid Macho and Clavicle, became my local favorites, and bands like Satyr and Harm were equally important in helping me discover diversity in the scene.
I had been trying to find any sort of sign of a local scene for two years before I finally found it. The first annual Big Gig was an eye-opening experience, but will the second annual Big Gig have as big of a pay off? Probably not for me, given the situation I was in, searching and searching until I found what I was looking for. However, I have high hopes that this show will be just as fun, if not more fun than the first Big Gig.
The show will take place at the Masquerade in the Hell stage on Saturday January 4th, 2020. Doors open at 2 pm. Not all of the bands have been announced yet, but I will make another post for the updated lineup. Anyway, I hope to meet new people there! If you don't know what I look like, here's a picture:
Okay, see you guys there! And remember: do it your fucking self!!
Last Saturday, I posted a review of Kid Macho's last EP, Alternative Stress. It was not a very positive review. However, my friend and contributor, Sunny, told me that it would be contradictory to hold up the scene and then criticize it at the same time. Of course, the scene needs to be held accountable for morals and quality, but negative reviews would lead readers to not listen to the release being reviewed. That is not what we want here. We want the scene and it's contributors to be successful, no matter if we don't like their content or not. So, I have decided not the post anymore reviews until further notice. I have also deleted that particular Kid Macho review. Thank you to all who support this decision. I feel that it's for the best of the scene.
In other news, I will be posting every Saturday, so look forward for that!! Please keep creating and do it your fucking self!!!
The latest rants and raves from those at RMAC.