Thursday, May 17, 2007

Memphis Pops - July 28th, 2007

Saturday, July 28 at the Hi Tone Café Memphis
6:00 Ardent Records 40th Year Documentary
7:00 70s sultry pop punks The Klits
8:15 Vending Machine
9:30 Antenna Shoes
10:45 Goner Recording star The Carbonas
12:00 The Everyday Parade featuring members of The Crime!
1:15 Viva L'American Death Ray

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Vending Machine

Memphis’ Vending Machine is the nom-de-band of Robby Grant, a one-man local institution with a musical resume longer than Dom DeLuise’s grocery list. A journeyman aesthete that picks his projects and co-players with care, Mr. Grant has held down the guitar slot in Big Ass Truck, Mouserocket, and the Glitches to name a few. But Vending Machine is his baby, a great excuse to exercise an exceptional talent for furious, quirky pop. And I don’t mean “quirky” in the bad word sense, nor do I mean “pop” in the overt, uh, “pop” way. This is leftfield Southern eccentricity at its finest, without what you may associate with Southern rock, but more than a passing hint of the individuality that made early R.E.M. and Pylon so great. King Cobras Do is the fourth Vending Machine album in six years (plus a 7”), which is literally a saturation in Memphis music time, but that’s sort of what it takes in this town when you have the moxy to make something that falls outside of garage rock, blues, or Americana. Let’s hope that a widespread national appreciation follows in the wake of King Cobras Do, as an opening song like “Babies” deserves nothing less. It’s almost a chore to get to the rest of the album, as this song’s furious guitar/organ herky-jerking and sticky falsetto hook will be enjoyed 5 – 10 times before one realizes that it has eleven worthy successors. “44 Times” is dark indie blues (but catchy!! they’re all catchy!!) and the syncopated blip and burp of “Saturn National Anthem” shows a loose playfulness before its early-Pink Floydish meltdown. “Runaway” is like early acousti-lectric Sebadoh, and it’s neighbor, “Garden 1040 A.D.” is simply gorgeous and closes with a brilliantly haunting guitar-god solo. Not to lapse into the blow-by-blow format, as these things are wont to do, so I left out some treasures that need finding. Underrated? Sure, but those days are numbered. Hear the magic.

Antenna Shoes

Antenna Shoes features Tim Regan's versatile workmanship and pop songwriting skills, culling songs from new inspirations, old dreams and ancient sagas. Regan took a sabbatical from his other all-consuming project, Memphis' Snowglobe, to live in the Smokey Mountains creating the ideal environment to write and record his first proper solo album. Along the way, Regan hooked up with fellow Appalachian Mark Linkus, of national indie stalwarts Sparklehorse, doing piano sessions for Sparklehorse's Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain. Regan has now decided the time is right to push Antenna Shoes to the next level and take this project on the road. Antenna Shoes' Generous Gambler looks the listener directly in the eyes with a sincerity and forthright honesty that has made Regan the coveted sideman he's become. Regan's debut CD pulls no punches, yet the range of emotions Antenna Shoes offers affect a warmth and sincerity that commands attention, listen after listen.


This one's a punk rock broken-hearted valentine for sure. With three sold-out singles and two sold-out full-lengths behind them, Atlanta's Carbonas are next to explode out of the happening Atlanta indie scene - fast in the footsteps of garage freaks The Black Lips and psych-poppers Deerhoof. Their new album on Goner Records is a twenty minute buzzsaw sugar rush full of massive guitar hooks and hummable choruses that won't shake out of your head. LP/CD in stores late August


2007 finds Viva L'American Deathray Music at the height of their powers as a three-piece, kings of all things hip, aloof, and intense. After years as Memphis' finest glam/soul VU spectacle this side of a quaalude and a time machine, they have morphed into a more calculated no-wave DIY juggernaut that does not fear the future. Their most recent record, "In the Meantime," was released on Kid Congo Powers' New York Night Train Label. They sound like Television and have the drummer from the Polyphonic Spree. Rather obviously, they are ace. - NME, 2006

The Everyday Parade

The Crime ruled Memphis new wave in the early '80s. In those days, everyone had a skinny tie and a Rickenbocker, but not everyone could write a song. Those that could often never left their parent's garage. The Crime did it all - killer harmonies, ripping guitar leads, and panty-littered stages. Now, Jeff Golightly and Rick Camp return, and, miraculously, the voices and the songs are still there! Backed by a crack crew of indie vets, Golightly is back in the fray, with a new album set to come out in July.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Snocap and Myspace

All the songs from two Vending Machine albums ("Chamber from Here to There" and "Kicked and Scratched") are now available via digital download on MySpace.

Look for the Snocap area on the page:

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