Monday, December 31, 2007

WHIRLYBALL SHOW: Black Lips, Gentleman Jesse & His Men, Baby Shakes, Coffin Bound

Henry over at Chunklet Magazine has done it again. Another Whirlyball Atlanta show, where the ticket is a 7" featuring unreleased songs from all the bands involved: Black Lips, Gentleman Jesse & His Men, Baby Shakes AND Coffin Bound...all for only $11 bucks!! It goes down on January 19th at Whirlyball Atlanta in Roswell with doors open @ 8pm. It is on sale exclusively through the insanely awesome Criminal Records in Atlanta (466 Moreland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307). Hope to see some folks out for this, it should be a fuckin' blast!!

Oh and, thanks Asshole's exactly what I wanted!!
Asshole Santa (Henry from Chunklet) with Jesse (from Gentleman Jesse & His Men / The Carbonas) and Cole (from Black Lips) over at Criminal Records (2007).

ICTH is officially ONE YEAR OLD today.

So it's official, this post marks one year in the life of It Covers The Hillsides. It's been fun...I've gotten to interview some really great people, see some fantastic shows, and got a chance to listen to/and discover some really amazing music, all because of this here blog. The only thing that I haven't accomplished yet, is to find another music geek to help me spread the sunshine over here at ICTH. If you, or anyone you know is interested in contributing their writing/HTML skills to this here blog, and being compensated in free music/shows please email me at itcoversthehillsides (at) gmail dot com (must live in the general Atlanta/Athens area). I know that ICTH could be that much better with some extra help, and because sometimes it's just too much to keep up with all by my lonesome. Otherwise, here's to another year! See ya' in '08!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hope everyone's havin' a good holiday...

So the holidays have been good for me so far...busy, but good. I've been out of town until today, which is why there have been no new posts for a bit. I did see Sigur Rós' film "Heima" in the theater (HD and 5.1 surround...the ONLY way to see this BTW), which was really beautiful, but I will say that the editing was really shoddy. It could have been SO much better if some better editorial decisions had been made, but oh well. ICTH will be returning to it's normal posting schedule after the New Year, until then I will be posting intermittently. Hope everyone has a great holiday!!!

Meanwhile, here are some Atlanta shows to look forward to:

Mon. 12/31/07 - Black Lips (New Year's Eve show!!!) @ The Drunken Unicorn
Mon. 1/07/08 - Dan Deacon @ Eyedrum
Sat. 1/12/08 - Yo La Tengo (Acoustic show), Kurt Wagner (from Lambchop) @ The Variety Playhouse
Fri. 1/18/08 - Yeasayer, MGMT @ The Earl
Sat. 1/19/08 - The Jupiter Watts, Luigi, Drug Rug @ The Earl
Sat. 1/19/08 - Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings @ The Variety Playhouse
Sat. 1/19/08 - Black Lips, Gentlemen Jesse & His Men, Baby Shakes, Coffin Bound (WHIRLYBALL SHOW) @ Whirlyball
Tue. 1/29/08 - Ween @ The Tabernacle
Wed. 1/30/08 - Fiery Furnaces, Super Furry Animals, Holy Fuck @ The Variety Playhouse
Thu. 2/14/08 - Liars, No Age @ The Earl
Sat. 3/01/08 - Beach House, Papercuts @ The Earl
Wed. 3/12/08 - Pelican, Black Cobra, Unearthly Trance @ The Drunken Unicorn
Wed. 3/12/08 - Built To Spill @ The Variety Playhouse
Mon. 3/17/08 - A Place To Bury Strangers, Holy Fuck @ The Drunken Unicorn
Sun. 4/13/08 - Explosions in the Sky @ The Variety Playhouse

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Place To Bury Strangers: TOUR DATES

One of my favorite new bands this year, A Place To Bury Strangers, have announced their 2008 tour dates which includes a date here in Atlanta with Holy Fuck! HOLY FUCK! I've heard about how fucking loud this band is live, I guess that means I'll have to pick up a pair of these before the show.

Tour Dates:
12/21 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
12/29 - Toronto, ON - The Drake
02/14 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Bar
02/15 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
02/16 - Indianapolis, IN - Locals Only
02/17 - Chicago, IL - Schuba's*
02/18 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock*
02/20 - Winnipeg, MB - Parkway Theatre*
02/21 - Regina, SK - The Exchange*
02/22 - Edmonton, AB - Velvet*
02/23 - Calgary, AB - The Hifi Club*
02/25 - Vancouver, BC - Richards On Richards*
02/26 - Seattle, WA - TBA
02/27 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
02/29 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom Of The Hill*
03/01 - Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland
03/03 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
03/04 - Tucson, AZ - Plush
03/06 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge*
03/07 - Denver, CO - Larimer*
03/08 - Kansas City, MO - Record Bar*
03/09 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room*
03/10 - St. Louis, MO - Bluebird*
03/11 - Oklahoma City, OK - Conservatory*
03/16 - New Orleans LA - One Eyed Jacks
03/17 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn*
03/18 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
03/19 - Washington, DC - Rock 'N Roll Hotel
03/20 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
03/21 - Boston, MA - Middle East (Upstairs)
03/22 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall Of Williamsburg
* with Holy Fuck

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I'm sick. Standing out in the cold for 40 mins. on Sunday afternoon waiting to get backstage at the Gwinnett Center Arena (horribly huge place BTW) to interview Silverchair was the culprit. I thought I would be going through the front of the building for this, so I left my jacket in the car, because carrying that thing around inside for hours usually sucks. I didn't realize that I would have to walk all the way around the building (a horribly huge place, like I said) and then wait 40 mins. for their tour manager to meet up with me (not his fault) and let me in (it was 30 degrees outside, also not his fault). By the time I got inside, I was feelin' pretty crappy. On top of all that, I didn't get the photo pass I was told I'd get. All in all, doing press for bands that play venues of that size kinda sucks. It's all too convoluted and painfully complicated. Oh well, back to the sick part. I'm gonna try and do some posts tonight, but no promises. I feel fucking crappy.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

ICTH's Top Videos of 2007

[VIDEO] Pinback "From Nothing To Nowhere (Breakfast Club version)"

[VIDEO] Justice "D.A.N.C.E."

[VIDEO] Bat for Lashes "What's a Girl to Do?"

[VIDEO] Fionn Regan "Be Good or Be Gone"

[VIDEO] Panda Bear "Comfy in Nautica"

[VIDEO] Of Montreal "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse"

[VIDEO] Arcade Fire "My Body Is a Cage" (fan video)

[VIDEO] Radiohead "All I Need" (fan video)

[VIDEO] Menomena "Evil Bee"

[VIDEO] Liars "Plaster Casts of Everything"

[VIDEO] Grizzly Bear "Knife"

[VIDEO] Feist "1, 2, 3, 4"

[VIDEO] Blonde Redhead "Top Ranking"

[VIDEO] Björk "Earth Intruders"

[VIDEO] Animal Collective "Peacebone"

[VIDEO] Beirut "Elephant Gun"

[VIDEO] YACHT "See a Penny (Pick It Up) - Retread Session"

[VIDEO] Menomena "Wet and Rusting (Live for La Blogotheque)"

[VIDEO] Battles "Atlas"

[VIDEO] múm "Rhubarbidoo"

[VIDEO] Tullycraft “Georgette Plays A Goth”

[VIDEO] Dan Deacon “The Crystal Cat”

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sigur Rós' "Heima" gets limited theatrical screenings

Sigur Ros' beautiful new DVD of intimate live performances around their native Iceland, will be screened theatrically in a few cities starting 12/18. I haven't seen it yet, so maybe I'll wait to see it on the big screen (which I'm pretty sure is better than my setup at home ;-) ).

"Sigur Ros have confirmed a number of theatrical screenings of their new documentary film Heima, which was released on DVD Nov 20. All the screenings will be in high-definition with 5.1 surround sound audio, so audiences can fully appreciate the splendor of this remarkable film."

12/18, 7:30pm - San Francisco CA - Embarcadero Center Cinema
12/18, 7:30pm - Denver CO - Chez Artiste
12/19, 8pm - Boston MA - Kendall Square Cinema
12/19, 8pm - Atlanta GA - Midtown Art Cinema
12/20, 8pm - Austin TX - Dobie Theatre
12/20, 8pm - Seattle WA - Metro Cinemas

Midtown Art Cinema - website

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

ICTH's Top Songs of 2007

So here are the top songs for me this year, as with the top albums list, there were quite a lot so I narrowed it down to these 30 songs. They are in order of how often they were played in my iPod/iTunes. 2007...what a great year for music!! (I only provided MP3s of songs that might be hard to find...the rest are easily available somewhere online.)

01) Caribou "Melody Day"
02) Radiohead "Reckoner"
03) Grizzly Bear "Blackcurrent Jam"
04) Sunset Rubdown "The Taming of the Hands That Came Back to Life"
05) Panda Bear "Bros"
06) Yeasayer "2080"
07) Les Savy Fav "Raging in the Plague Age"
08) Justice "D.A.N.C.E. (MSTRKRFT remix)"
09) Black Kids "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You"
10) Pinback "Barnes"
11) Beirut "The Flying Club Cup"
12) Animal Collective "Chores"
13) The Besnard Lakes "And You Lied To Me"
14) Division Day "Hurricane"
15) Deerhunter "Spring Hall Convert"
16) Fionn Regan "Put a Penny in the Slot"
17) A Place To Bury Strangers "My Weakness"
18) Slaraffenland "Watch Out" [MP3]
19) Jupiter Watts "Travel Without a Sound" [MP3]
20) Burial "Archangel"
21) PJ Harvey "The Devil"
22) The National "Mistaken For Strangers"
23) Iron & Wine "Carousel"
24) Spoon "Black Like Me"
25) Menomena "Evil Bee"
26) Low "Hatchet"
27) The New Pornographers "Myriad Harbour"
28) The Frames "The Cost"
29) The Ginger Envelope "Caretaker" [MP3]
30) Feist "I Feel It All"

Kindercore Records releasing XMas 3: The War On Christmas!

Kindercore is back hardcore! Not only are they releasing the new King of Prussia album (which is spectacular BTW) they will also be releasing their new 19 track Christmas comp "XMas 3: The War On Christmas!". This is no ordinary Christmas comp: it not only features a 19 track CD featuring Kindercore bands and others, but it comes packed in a "color comic with a mix of holiday-themed mayhem and sweetness"! OMG! The CD/comic is limited to 100 copies, which will only be available via Kindercore's website for $10. The music and comics will also be available from the iTunes store in a few days, but this is the only place to pick up the limited edition physical version.

"100% percent of the profits from this release (both the physical and digital versions) will be donated to Oxfam to help out unfortunate folks around the world - geek out for charity this XMAS! Let the War begin!"

Track List:
01. Rump Posse - Carol of the Manbarks
02. Folklore - Christmas Ape Goes to The Moon
03. The Observatory - Xmastime (is Xmastime)
04. Fabulous Bird - Everybody Knows It’s Christmas Time Again
05. King of Prussia - Christmas on The Other Side
06. The 63 Crayons - Holiday
07. Ruby Isle - Jack’s Obsession
08. The Buddy System - Xmas on TV
09. Blak Thor - Noel (I’m Giving Love For Christmas)
10. Murder Beach - All Around
11. Mumbletron 2k12 - Outta Bed
12. Je Suis France - Baby, Please Don’t Get Stoned (It’s Christmas)
13. Bunnygrunt - The Blues for Xmas
14. Koncak - It’s Christmas Time
15. Headlights - Kicker of Elves
16. The Show is The Rainbow - Silent Night
17. The Snowsuit Sound - The Ballad of Black Piet
18. Venice is Sinking - The Grey Line
19. The Jersey Barrier - Grey Skies

Comics by:
Jesse Lockwood, Nethie Lockwood, Ryan Lewis, Mat Lewis, Maya Livio, Lauren Gregg, Craig Sheldon, Rama Hughes and Travis Fox

Kindercore - website | Oxfam - website

FRIENDLY REMINDER: 99X Mistletoe Jam 2007

Just a reminder that this year's more indie-friendly 99X Mistletoe Jam featuring Modest Mouse, The Shins, Silverchair and Silversun Pickups is going on this Sunday, Dec. 16th over at the Gwinnett Center Arena. Tickets start at just $10! Doors open at 5pm. Find out more info here.

99X Mistletoe Jam 2007:
Silversun Pickups 5:30-6:15pm
The Shins 6:40-7:25pm
Silverchair 7:45pm-8:45pm
Modest Mouse 9:15-10:30pm

I'll be interviewing Silverchair at this show, so expect to see that up soon after.

DETHKLOK (Adult Swim) playing FREE SHOW(!) this Thursday (12/13)

The real incarnation of the Adult Swim cartoon metal band, Dethklok, will be playing a FREE show this Thursday (12/13) at Center Stage in Atlanta. Only the first 450 people in line will be guaranteed admission! Doors open at 9pm.

I would love to go to this, but I'm pretty sure that all those no-job-having kids with nothing better to do than stand in line all day will ruin those plans. That's OK though, because I'm sure that all those 21+ over shows I get to go to are way better anyway. Take that you under-age Dethklok-ruining kids!!

Center Stage - website | Dethklok - Myspace

Monday, December 10, 2007

Thursday, December 6, 2007

ICTH's 40 Best Albums of 2007

2007 saw an overwhelming amount of great albums, and unfortunately I just didn't quite have room enough for them all (I had a list of over 70+ albums).

VIDEO: Girl Talk "Bounce That"

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

On a small note...

I do apologize about the lack of posts recently, I've been so busy that even blogging became just one more thing to do rather than dedicating some time to relaxing (something I need to do more of). So I took some well deserved time off, and now I'm ready to hop back in. You can expect a 2007 Top Album List, as well as a 2007 Top Songs List, sometime this week. And, uhhh, yeah, here's to not-so-busy times!!

INTERVIEW: Mike Turner, label-head, Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records

I recently sat down with Mike Turner, label-head of Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records (Athens, GA), to ask him a few questions about his label, the music industry & Athens' distinctive music scene.

ICTH: What's the relationship like between you and the bands on your roster?
Both business and personal.

MT: Well, some bands are really close friends, and other bands are folks I'm
just beginning to know. There are a few bands that let the label have more
control than just releasing the record, and there are a few bands that the
label is just releasing, promoting, and distributing the record. I guess
the main thing is knowing which bands you can work more closely with than
others. For instance I work more as a manager with the Lolligags than say
Red Pony Clock. I handle all aspects of the Lolligags from booking studio
time, to booking shows, to about everything but writing and performing the
songs. Then you have bands like Casper & the Cookies which are a bit more
developed professionally as far as having a press agent, a booking agent,
and pretty much the label just focuses on distribution and manufacturing,
yet the Cookies are some of my closest friends. I really handle each band
differently. It depends on what the band is looking for, and what I can
afford time wise.

ICTH: Are bands under contracts/obligation to the label?

MT: Some bands are under contract, some are just hand shake deals, and others
are based album to album. I don't mind contracts, but it's not always
needed. Plus the bands that are under contract it is written to where
there is a way out for either party if need be. However now that the label
is working with film and tv folks, we are having to negotiate terms with
all the bands on how to handle licensing of their songs for such. So I can
see in the future having each band being under a contract with really
defined terms due to all the new areas that the label is starting to

ICTH: How do you go about getting artists for your roster?

MT: Bands come to the label in a number of ways, I either see a band live and
am just blown away by their live show, or get a demo in the mail, or a
band on the label will suggest I check out a band they played with on the
road. It happens a number of ways. The main thing that matters most about
a band being on HHBTM is that they understand what the label is about. We
mainly ask that a band will help out their label-mates which could mean
helping them book a show, give them a place to stay when they play in
their town, try to get their local store to carry their record, just treat
the other bands as family. It's also really good for the band to tour, or
at least understand that being on a label does not guarantee record sales.
It's very important to tour, and if there isn't any touring then to
understand the record might not sell as well as other bands on the label
that do tour.

ICTH: Why did you start an independent record label initially?

MT: Well, I never meant to start a label in the first place, it just sorta
happened. I was getting ready to stop doing my zine at the time the Bee's
Knees. So I contacted a bunch of bands that i was into and knew from doing
the zine about giving songs for a compilation CD to give away with the
zine as a blow out last issue. Then once word got out on who was going to
be on the compilation a bunch of distros got in touch and started placing
these big orders, so in about 2 days of posting ordering details on 2
message boards or I guess then it was newsgroups I had orders for twice as
many copies as i had planned on printing and pressing. I hand made all the
sleeves with the help of my mom who sewn 500 cloth sleeves for me, and my
friends who helped cut out cards tock slip sleeves and helped me fold,
glue and stamp the other 600 sleeves. From the fun I had doing the
handmade packaged CD comp, I then took on doing a 7" singles club with
each single having a different handmade sleeve. I still can't believe I
handmade over 7,500 sleeves in just over year. Then once doing the club I
started getting people sending me their full length albums and it just
sorta progressed from there. I don't hand make all the sleeves like I used
to, but now I do some hand making for preorders or special edition
versions of albums that we release.

ICTH: What has changed (if anything) since then?

MT: As a business in general, almost everything... the way your promote and
market records has changed not only in the last 7 years, it's changed
drastically in the last year, and will do so even further in the year to
come. Blogs, itunes, napster, distros closing, mom and pop stores closing,
myspace, facebook. There have been many great things come up, and just as
many bad. I think the record industry as an industry will be fine, it will
just be different. I'm not too worried. I just know when it's more of a
head ache and no longer any fun, I'll stop doing it. It's a scary time
and a very exciting time. I think you just have to keep moving forward and
to look at what you are doing personally and what seems to work and what
doesn't, and be willing to change constantly. The labels, bands, and
record stores that keep their heads buried in the sand won't be around,
and the ones that adapt and keep moving forward will be around for many
years to come.

Personally I moved from Florida to Athens in 2004, started the Athens
POPFEST that same year, got married that same year, and decided to finally
end my zine the Bee's Knees in it's tenth year of publication. I also
turned over my promotion company Yum Yum Publicity to one of the folks
involved in the label. I also recently started a show promotion company
with one of my closest friends Gordon Lamb called Buddies Helping Buddies.
We are promoting one show a month in Athens with booking, handling the
fliers, all the press, and putting the bills together. Athens relly didn't
have anyone promoting, so we decided to give it a try. So far our first
show was a sold out show, and the ones we have lined up for January and
February are looking to do well.

As a label I have learned what publicity is, and how to go about getting
it, how to work better with distributors, jumped into soundtrack and tv
licensing, and shaped up the roster quite a bit from the early days. Been
on a few tours with bands to better understand what it is like on the
road, and sat in on a few recordings to see that as well. I am really
excited to start learning about song publishing, and to keep learning more
of all the legal side of the music business. I have a lot more to learn,
but I still want to work a bit at a distributor to see fully what goes on,
and to work for a bigger PR firm to see that side as well.

ICTH: Do you make a living solely off of the label?

MT: No, the money the label makes is put right back into the bands and the
label. I work at Wuxtry Records in Athens, and I help my wife with her
business Pancake Meow with her shipping and packaging for her crafts.

ICTH: Where do you see the music industry going in the next few years?
Especially for the independents.

MT: I see the bigger indies turning into majors over time. Majors trying to
rethink things and be indies, and both somehow still staying around, but
with more equal footing than before. Music pirating will become harder, or
more people will get prosecuted for doing it. Digital distributors and
stores will grow and grow to where the download will continue to get
cheaper over time, and hopefully better quality as well. DIY will always
be there, but only the bands that have it together will make it. Indies
that do the 50/50 will hopefully always be around, but it will only be the
ones that embrace the new technology that will really be profitable, or
the ones that have a good grasp of what their customer base or fans of
their bands and label really want. Radiohead' s pay what you want will
work great for bands that are at that status, but say for a band no one
knows of this will not have the same effect at all. It's very brave to do
this type of promotion, but I am sure live revenue, song licensing, and
t-shirt and record sales at live shows is where they will make more anyway
in 2008 than on actual record sales. I could be wrong, but I doubt they
really bank their livelihood on physical sales that this point. Vinyl will
over take the CD , and CD's will get cheaper since most folks prefer to
download anyway.

ICTH: Finally, what do you like/dislike about the Athens music scene?

MT: Athens music scene is all over the map, so you can come to Athens and
catch some great pop, rock, and experimental bands, but if looking for hip-hop and R&B you might just want to drive to Atlanta. There is never a
shortage of house shows, clubs, or bands, as since Athens is so small, and
there isn't much going on, people just form bands to kill some time it
seems. Most people that are in bands here are usually in multiple bands
which can be great at times, but on average the bands that tend to make it
outside the loop that surrounds Athens tend to be bands that focus on just
one band. I love that Athens is so cheap to live in, and that it's still
small enough to know everyone in town if you live here long enough. Also
with the college the town seems to remain young, and it keeps some of the
older folks in the scene like myself young at heart. It can be really
great being around so many kids that aren't jaded yet. Also it's a very
polite town, at shows when you say excuse me people move aside for you,
which never happens in bigger cities. Athens has the advantages of bigger
cities without all the attitude. The main thing I dislike in Athens is the
late shows. I'd prefer more early shows, but this is a late town, so you
just have to deal with it. Overall the music scene here is pretty tight
knit community, and you find bands that don't match musically sharing
bills which is always fun. You can create and grow at your own pace in
Athens, which isn't the case everywhere, and I think that's one of the
things that keeps me from moving away outside of the close friends I have
made since moving here.

HHBTM is home to some great musicians including Casper & The Cookies, The Lolligags, The High Water Marks, The Keith John Adams, Elekibass, Fishboy & Red Pony Clock.