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MOTHERS + PALM w/ Palberta, Pallas, Art School Jocks, Shepherds & Trashcan at The Earl

  • The Earl 488 Flat Shoals Avenue Southeast Atlanta, GA, 30316 United States (map)

"Mothers began in 2013 as the solo project of Athens, Georgia-based visual artist Kristine Leschper while she studied printmaking at the Lamar Dodd School of Art. Now a quartet, their debut album 'When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired,' released via Grand Jury Music and Wichita Recordings, has earned the young band high praise from the press, including from NPR Music ('First Listen'), The New York Times, Pitchfork, The Guardian, NME ('Radar'), and Q Magazine, among many others, while the band themselves have been included on numerous ‘Musicians to know’ lists for 2016 including from Stereogum, Vulture, Spotify, Paper Magazine and others. Comprised of eight original songs - the majority of which were written while Leschper was finishing art school in early 2014 - Mothers’ debut LP is an introduction to the foundations of the young band, a snapshot of a particular period of their genesis that maps both where they began and where they are heading."

"Palm plays rock music backwards. Their songs bear a certain methodology, though there is a tendency towards impulse which seems almost violently opposed to it. The band deals willfully in contradictions like this. The elements of any given song fit together like slightly melted puzzle pieces, serving up rigidity and looseness in equal measure. Palm songs imply architecture, but their compositional structures are somehow bound by different rules of physics than the ones we know. Lattices of guitar language (provided by Eve Alpert and Kasra Kurt) intersect the rhythmic organism characterized by the twitchy throb of Gerasimos Livitsanos' bass and the careless tumble of Hugo Stanley's drums, with a layer of disembodied vocals draped atop the whole thing. Emotional yet clinical, wild yet contained, the sounds they offer are equally bizarre as they are pleasantly pretty. Palm formed around 2011, shortly after its members met in college in Upstate New York. The years they spent writing and playing when not in school culminated into the release of Trading Basics in 2015, around which time they relocated to Philadelphia. Since then they've been playing shows throughout the country while they continue to hammer out their sound to be as refined as it is outlandish. More to come."

"Palberta take joy in confusion. Formed in New York’s Hudson Valley at Bard College, the trio of Lily Konigsberg, Anina Ivry-Block, and Nina Ryser has spent the last few years baffling audiences in the Northeast DIY scene with brief blasts of broken rounds, abstract nursery rhymes, and jittery haphazard rhythms that speed to cartoonish extremes or slow down to a crawl seemingly on a whim. Despite the anti-hero virtuosity that they each demonstrate on guitar, bass, and drums, Ivry-Block has said in interviews that she’s “never really learned how to play songs on the guitar or really any of the instruments.” Consequently, their sound is largely in line with the post-punk era’s great experimentalists—This Heat’s rattlesnake coils of toxic rhythmic interplay, Sun City Girls’ prankish melodies—but they approach these sounds with a sort of overloaded glee, crashing and careening through styles and sounds for little more than a couple minutes at a time. Then, they’ll awkwardly trade instruments before barreling through another sub-two-minute track. They’ve released a couple of tapes and splits—most notably 2013’s My Pal Berta and 2014’s Shitheads in the Ditch—that attempted to bottle their delirious energy, but at 20-songs long, Bye Bye Berta is their first real attempt at doing so longform. The effect, even through just the first couple of bite-sized pieces, is jarring and deliberately so. Within five minutes, Konigsberg, Ivry-Block, and Ryser tunnel through dazed chorales (“Why Didn’t I?”), discordant speed blues (“Acoustic Rollup”), bracing noise rock (“Jaws”), and narcotized concréte (“Bells Pt. B”). The stylistic hopscotch is unsettling, but playful, something like attempting to hop onto a speeding carousel. Even as you start to feel sickly, you can’t help but hang on tight. Compared to some of the more outré experiments they’ve slipped onto singles and splits since Shitheads, the sounds that make up Bye Bye Berta feel especially well-considered. It’s a strange thing to say about a record that has an intentionally misremembered—and largely off-key—rendition of the Bee Gees’ “Stayin Alive,” but it’s clear that Palberta are giving real thought to the diverse textures they can wring out of their instruments. “She Feels That Way,” for example, is presented first as a sparse, unplugged ballad. It’s then followed by a noisy, rumbling version of the same track—the original’s toy piano plinks are scoured by the brillo-tough, barely-in-tune guitar lines. These two versions of the same loose, spectral melody show it plainly, but Palberta never really repeat a specific sound between songs, even with their limited instrumental palette. It only adds to the euphoric disjunct of the record as a whole. It’s happened elsewhere in Palberta’s catalog, but on Bye Bye Berta’s eighth track, “Trick Ya,” they finally break. As their atonal skronk and single line of lyrics—“Don’t trick me! I’m gonna trick ya”—accelerates toward a brick wall, the trio can’t keep up with the pace and then they one by one break down in laughter. The track descends into unplugged slow bass plucks, the wreckage of an effort toward ambitious playing. Amid all the intentionally awkward and off-putting melodies squeaked and squeezed from guitar, bass, and drums, that moment is the first outward indication that this isn’t a stone-faced attempt at some lofty goal, like pushing the boundaries of guitar music or something. Instead, they pause and laugh, letting listeners who aren’t already familiar with their occasionally goofy live shows know that their compositional efforts are as much a form of amusement for themselves as they are anything else. It’s hard not to chuckle along with them."

"Despite playing shows for a year, Pallas has yet to release any studio recordings. Instead the band has focused on honing their ecstatic art rock in live settings. The four-piece is an example of balance and collaboration, a sparkling mix best exemplified by Valentina Tapia’s expressive bass lines and Danielle Brutto’s powerful vocals. Transferring the critical details of their temperamental energy from the stage to the studio will be a test for the group, but it’s one they seemed poised to confront with wit and efficiency. Though a release date hasn’t yet been announced, Pallas will soon release Location 13, their debut 12″ (at 45 rpm) on Designer Medium Records. The sessions were recorded with Atlanta’s own Graham Tavel in mid-2016, and Pallas will release two of the songs as a cassette single in February. The band will also be touring with Hellier Ulysses in March, but according to guitarist Zane Durfee, “We are headed to some undetermined zones in the North… or maybe it was the West. We might drive straight into the ocean and hope for the best.” –Immersive Atlanta

Art School Jocks                                                                                                                     "While it’s tempting to lump local four-piece Art School Jocks in with the likes of Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls and other indie-rock, lo-fi, twee-pop female outfits, the group packs a bit more of a punch. Yes, they’re a girl band. Yes, they’re cute. Yes, they have fashions and bangs. Blah, blah, blah. While the surface may be what lures listeners into Art School Jocks’ self-titled EP (out June 2 via Father/Daughter Records), what keeps it on repeat is its catchy hooks, moody vocals and depth of character. Imagine if Vivian Girls — minus the surf rock — sat in a 3000-level sociology course and got woke. The group maintains an aesthetic reminiscent of Black Tambourine and the C86 scene through their upbeat garage sound. Rather than using a mass of pedal effects, ASJ keeps it simple and uses RAT and chorus pedals paired with alternate tunings to achieve a fuzzy tone and depth of feeling, best heard on tracks such as “Suffering Prom” and “Inside Joke.” The EP’s pace resists the speedy riffs and heavy-set noise of punk, allowing the lo-fi hooks to speak for themselves. Songs touch on an array of social issues and themes of general discontent, but not so much that it kills the music’s ebullient spirit. The EP bypasses themes of typical love stories that, in the current state of the nation, aren’t so all-consuming anymore. That’s what makes ASJ’s badassery notable. Vocalist Deborah Hudson vacillates between deep and nearly indecipherable in “Nina,” where one phrase that’s most certainly discernible is “black lives matter to me.” In “Catdog,” Dianna Settles’ voice ushers in more sauntering lures of harmony. All of ASJ’s best qualities shine through in “Just a Gwen,” a sarcastic anthem that resonates with women’s resentment towards everyday misogyny and rape culture, with an addictive loop that will have anyone humming the song hours after listening. All while in an alluring guise of femme basement pop, Art School Jocks serve up a healthy dose of real talk." -Creative Loafing Atlanta                                                               

Shepherds                                                                                                                                    "A reverie isn’t a slumber, yet it is not wide-eyed consciousness either. It lies balanced between the two, the state of a peaceful and blissful daydream, of getting lost in your thoughts and ideas. This notion of a dreamlike stupor is perfectly embodied in “Reverie”, the new single from post-punk band Shepherds. The song floats and shimmers in gentle waves, its ethereal sounds drawing from synthpop, shoegaze, R&B, and noise-rock. Shepherds is the project of singer and guitarist Jonathan Merenivitch, accompanied by an Atlanta supergroup that includes bassist Peter Cauthorn of Mood Rings and drummer Adrian Switon of the George Bataille Battle Cry." -Katie Siregar / Stereogum