24 April, 2008

The Selmanaires, The Coathangers, Sleep Therapy @ Lenny's

Last Friday night, Lenny's Bar hosted an all Atlanta bands lineup. The show was sponsored by SESAC, a performing rights organization that helps musicians receive proper compensation for the use of their music on radio or TV as well as hotels, restaurants, retail stores, etc. All three performances were also accompanied by hilarious random video clips projected onto a screen behind the performers courtesy of Video Bean, a noted local visual jockey and employee of Lenny's.

Sleep Therapy opened the evening with their brand of ambient guitar rock. The band's sound is still a work in process, but don't let that fool you on their ability to deliver a quality show. The lead singer has a good voice and can play some mean pedal-driven guitar riffs. The drummer and bassist are adequate for their style, but the keyboardist adds the extra dimension needed for this band to deliver on their goals. Check out their MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/sleeptherapyatl) to hear a few of their recorded tracks.

Sleep Therapy performance rating (out of 5): 2.25

Next up were The Coathangers. The CH are as hot a band as Atlanta can claim at the moment. They are an all female lineup that fuses 80's pop, punk rock, and a whole lot of attitude into some of the most fun music you will hear. Their musical talents aren't the best (at least not yet), but that's not really the point of their music. The CH played all their crowd favourites, including "Parcheezzi", "Wreckless Boy", and "Don't Touch My Shit!". Another crowd favourite and the band's most notable song to date, "Nestle in My Boobies", was performed with a twist as "Nestle in My Pubies" with the chorus and a few of the lyrics altered to fit the content. As a final measure to ensure the night was a success, the band also played a few new songs which were all great and show that the gals are moving in the right direction as they continue to grow in popularity. To get more info on The Coathangers, and to hear recorded tracks, visit their MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/fuckthecoathangers). I highly recommend catching one of their shows, not just because they are a great live act, but because all the girls seem to be losing weight. They were all thin beforehand, so show some love!

The Coathangers performance rating (out of 5): 3.5

The headlining act needs no introduction here in Atlanta. The Selmanaires (pictured above) are a band well recognized for their funky style of Southern-flavoured surf rock. Led by frontman and bassist Tommy Chung, this band continues to show itself as an emerging force of the Atlanta music scene. The Selmanaires played mostly songs from their most recent album The Air Salesman, but did find room for their trademark single "Selmanaire Rock", a song driven by bass, a repeating country-blues guitar riff, and whispered vocals. In traditional fashion, this song was played after a seamlessly meandering transition. Other notable songs performed included "Nite Beat", "Broken Mirrors in the Mud", and "GMAFB". While the basslines do tend to drive this band forward, enough cannot be said for what Mathis Hunter and Jason Harris do for the overall sound of this band. Mathis plays percussion and guitar, and Jason plays percussion and keyboards. Actually, all four members are multi-instrumentalists, but Mathis and Jason are the two who constantly change instruments throughout a performance, sometimes playing drums at the same time, and provide much of the funky side this band displays. Herb Harris, the lead vocalist and guitarist, has a great stage presence and a fantastic lyric delivery to round out the band's sound. Visit The Selmanaires' MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/theselmanaires) for more info, songs, and show listings.

The Selmanaires performance rating (out of 5): 3.75

This show was one of the better offerings Atlanta has had so far this year. The performances for all three bands were excellent, and the video backdrop was great for a locals only show, although I must admit it was a bit distracting. How can you not pay attention to video clips of Manute Bol teaching kids to play basketball, O.J. Simpson movie roles, Madonna music videos, or "World's Most Daring ..." montages? In my opinion, Lenny's always gets an "A" in atmosphere (one stage, two bars, four pool tables, and all kinds of stuff painted and hung on the walls), and it doesn't hurt to have the stage room nearly filled to capacity. My best regards to all three bands, as I look forward to seeing them many more times.

Overall concert rating (out of 5): 4.0

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