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  Corndogorama 2007 - Day 2  


  Lenny's Bar  

Midtown Atlanta, GA


Mouser, Club Awesome, Slushco, The Orphins, Elevado, Midwives, Judi Chicago, Spy For Hire, The Winter Sounds, Continue and Save, The Preakness, Untied States, and Moresight

Reviewed by:
  Tracers and PostLibyan  
Photographs by:



Saturday at Corndogorama is usually an endurance test. The first band goes on around noon or one, and the music continues late into the evening. On this Saturday, however, we had a bit of a break, as the first band we wanted to see wasn't supposed to play until 2 or so. This meant I could eat a leisurely lunch before wandering over to the mayhem, and hopefully conserve my energy so that I could withstand the rigors of the festival.

When we first managed to make our way over to Lennys, it was quickly apparent that the outdoor stage was running a bit behind schedule. No worries, as the indoor stage seemed to be running more or less on time, courtesy of the world's most efficient stage manager. I wish I had gotten the guy's name, because throughout the weekend, this one guys seemed to keep things moving right along, no matter happened around him.

Anyway, once we made it inside, a band was setting up, complete with full horn section. After a couple of minutes, the announcer Rodney took the stage to introduce the band, apparently called Mouser. He turned, saw the horns blaring as they sound checked around him, and declared that at future Corndogoramas there would be "no horns before 3 p.m."

As it turned out, Rodney was on to something. Mouser are a somewhat bizarre amalgamation of sheer noise and punk, with screeching horns to boot. Their music appears to be intentionally abrasive, but has a slight undercurrent of melodicism which suggests that they are in fact quite talented and that the noise has some sort of design. Still, in the early afternoon, with a somewhat sparse crowd, Mouser was almost a bit much. In some ways, they reminded me of one of the earlier incarnations of Deerhunter, who were always interesting but occasionally almost unlistenable.

Mouser, the band which caused the rule, "No horns before 3!"


I would say that the band is "Zappa-damaged" in that I think what they were trying to do is be like The Mothers of Invention. Ugh. That stuff sounds better on paper than it does in practice…


After Mouser finished, we went out into climbing heat in time to finally see Club Awesome take the outdoor stage. It was decidedly steamy, and I felt a strong pang of sympathy when lead singer Errol Crane popped onto the stage in a heavy-looking White Tiger costume (which is actually mint green, when you see it in the light), which he wore throughout their set. Honestly, I think I began to sweat more just looking at him.

Mint green tiger!

Still, Club Awesome played their happy dancey Indie pop to an appreciative, albeit small, crowd. Seeing them, I began to appreciate how far this band has come in the last year or so. They consistently play well, and managed to make things sound good, even under disadvantage of heat and a somewhat dodgy mix.

The bassist of Club Awesome, although not brave enough to wear faux fur in July,
stuck with the theme of mint green clothing.

By the time they ended, the crowd had grown and many of them were dancing along to the band, heedless of the potential for sunburn. In fact, high above us, on the MARTA track, workers stopped to peer down at Club Awesome, although they may been merely gawking at the tiger costume.

MARTA workers, no doubt thinking, "Why is that fool wearing a
mint green tiger costume in this heat!"

As soon as Club Awesome finished, I rushed backup the hill, hoping to catch part of Slushco.


I couldn't take the heat, so I went inside to see Slushco. This is a local pop band, who are now expanded to be a 5-piece with the addition of a girl who sings backup, plays percussion, and does something to a synthesizer. They played a short but sweet set of catchy tunes, some off of their Clouds EP, and some new stuff as well. Definitely enjoyable.

Slushco considered Corndogorama a "business casual" event.


Unfortunately, they were just finishing when I came inside. I stayed and enjoyed the air conditioning for a while before going back outside in order to see The Orphins.

As you may know from these pages, I am a big fan of The Orphins; however they sometimes seem overly beset by strange technical problems. On this day, it seemed like they were not only have some equipment issues, but, once they actually got started, the sound mix both on-stage and in the audience was outright bizarre. The vocals were too low, the guitars were only minimally audible and it sounded like the drummer was playing a series of blackjacks. In other words, it was like The Orphins' songs were being covered by some weird metal act. This might have been more interesting if the band had felt on, but they too were off their game. So, it was disappointing set, which was made especially more pointed by the fact that these days they seem to play out only rarely, which makes a sighting of the band fairly note-worthy.

Orphins on the Big Stage.

Disappointed, I went back inside to catch Elevado, a local band who combine compelling vocals with insistently jazzy rhythms, with a side order of horns. They're a rather different band, but they do their brand of different rather well. Either way, I was looking forward to seeing them during the day, and not at the end of a long work night, which is when I normally encounter them. Since it looked like it would a few moments before they began, I shuffled off to the restroom, which is how I found myself looking up confusedly, as Elevado paraded in next to me and began playing as I was trapped near the restroom.

Elevado parading through the crowd, with Tracers trapped in line for the Ladies Room behind them.

From then on, their energy and intensity wouldn't let up, as I found myself drawn into the sway of their jazzy sound, underlined by a brooding quality I'm not sure I've ever really appreciated them musically until this set, and I was especially disappointed when they ended after what seemed like an extremely short time.


I don't know if it took them too long to set up or what, but after 3 tunes the Stage Manager motioned for them to leave, and they did so, displaying obvious frustration. I was disappointed by the short set, mainly because this is the first time I have ever heard of Elevado playing before 1 AM! Alas, I was once again thwarted from seeing a full show by them. Maybe some day….

Elevado's percussionist.


Oddly enough, Elevado made an appropriate intro to the next band, who were playing on the side stage, called Midwives. Taking the usual mid-afternoon "weird" slot normally inhabited by Hubcap City and the like, this group came out wearing leather masks and boxer shorts.

Midwives beat the heat by playing in their boxers.

Beyond their attire, their musical line was also a bit odd, and included keyboards, stand up bass, violin, and (on one song) a toy grand piano. While this may not seem too appealing, musically they managed to sound vaguely Tom Waits-y, but with less dreariness and more playful jazz-like inflections in their manner. Combined with the afore-mentioned unusual attire, they were rather entertaining and certainly a little weird.

The tall bassist of Midwives looks comical playing his miniature piano.

But, as it turned out the weirdness was really only beginning. After a short break, two guys in cut-off shorts and white shirts came out into the middle of the floor and began to sing/short some sort of rapping poetry over dance rave beats. At the same, they bounced around the floor, climbing n garbage cans, interacting with the people who had come to surround them, dancing, screaming, and generally being aggressively strange. Maybe it's my age, or maybe it's my own inclinations, but I was more or less taken back and tried to move away from the spectacle. Unfortunately, the spectacle followed me, as one of the guys came over the counter by which I was standing and began to peel up the band stickers.

Judi Chicago hates band stickers on the bar!

Hmm….definitely this was some sort of performance art, but in their defense the crowd seemed to enjoy it. In fact, from the number of people who apparently knew their music, Judi Chicago have some sort of following, and those folks were eating it up.

For some reason, a spectator held this "Eat it Dan" sign up during Judi Chicago's
performance. Perhaps it was a part of the art? Or maybe heckling by a friend/fan?


This is an odd act, yet somehow interesting. One of the guys in British, and the two of them kind of shout into their microphones while dancing over rave beats. It's kind of amusing I guess…

Judi Chicago in action.


The next band, Spy for Hire, turned away from the strangeness of the preceding acts, and played more of an 80s-influenced British-style rock. It was slightly new wave-ish with effected guitars and a throbbing bass that has a breeziness to it. Admittedly, the music wasn't anything particularly new or original, but, after the last band, I was a little tired of originality. Spy for Hire were a pleasant break, and their set was short enough that I never got tired of their proceedings.


Spy For Hire reminded me of such acts as The Fixx, Sleep Therapy, or Five Foot Flame. Good stuff, if that is a genre you like.

Are Spy For Hire themselves, and do they even know?


Afterwards, a band of which I'd heard but thought I had always wanted to see came on. They are called The Winter Sounds, and are apparently based in Athens. Of course, as I am wont to do, I had them mixed up in my head with Silver Lakes, an Atlanta band fronted by Steven Satterfield (ex-Seely). Don't ask me how I made that mental switch. Nevertheless, even though they weren't who I was expecting, I really enjoyed listening to The Winter Sounds.

The Winter sounds in action.

With some beautiful instruments at their disposal, the 5 piece band played jangly, revved-up Indie pop, with some absolutely gorgeous guitarwork overlaying a strong rhythm section. At the same time, their melodies had that same sing-along, anthemic quality that gave them an early 90s Britpop feel. Taken together, the music had a intriguing jangle to it and I was glad I made that mental mistake. As it turned out, The Winter Sounds were one of the best discoveries from this year's Corndogorama.

The Winter Sounds had some nice gear, like
this beautiful Gretsch, which was well-played.


Definitely a great set. I don't know who The Winter Sounds are, but they had nice hear, and played like professionals. The music is as wirling mess of guitarwork with tight rhythms and just a bit of vocal harmonizing thrown in. Glorious – like The Frames blended with early Blur. I was very impressed, and will be on the lookout for these people to make that long trek down 316 again.


After dancing around and enjoying The Winter Sounds, I was ready for another bouncy happy band, like, say, The Preakness! Well, they were coming up, but before they could play, we had another unknown quantity, called Continue and Save. This four piece featured one of the members of Spy for Hire. However, unlike the new-wavey aspects of Spy for Hire, this band was more moody in its musical inclinations. They also had a angularity to their melodies that sat somewhat uneasily with their more dream-like approach to music. Unfortunately, after the energy and fire of The Winter Sounds, Continue and Save suffered by comparison. It wasn't really the band's fault at all. Rather, their poor line-up placement interacted with the increasingly stifling atmosphere inside Lenny's to make them less noticeable than they actually should have been.

Continue and Save?


Yeah, I agree that I would have liked Continue and Save better if they had opened for The Winter Sounds. As it was, I found their vaguely Gang of Four influenced rock to be interesting enough. I would be curious to see them play a full set in a different setting.

Now, after three good new wave-ish bands, it was time to hit the barbeque. Ria's Bluebird (one of the 2 restaurants we have reviewed on this site!) provided some lovely slow cooked, pulled pork sandwiched. Their cole slaw was great too – more vinegar that creaminess. I have never eaten at Ria's, but this was Southern food done right! And it really hit the spot when sandwiched between a lot of PBRs.


So finally we got to see The Preakness. I really like this three piece, who play lo-fi-ish pop tunes, courtesy of vocalist/guitarist Brandon Arnold's hook-y vocal melodies and catchy lyrics. Behind this, the drummer plays vigorously, while bassist/backing vocalist Tracy Clark bounces right along, adding pretty vocal harmonies as well. I'm a big fan of classic North Carolina Indie rock sound, and I have to say that The Preakness remind me of that.

Brandon Arnold off The Preakness under red lights.

Furthermore, their songs have a habit of staying stuck in your head for days. Even with the short set necessitated by the time constraints of Corndogorama, they played a number of songs, and got the crowd moving. By the time they were over, the inside of Lennys had filled up dramatically and the air had become positively sweltering. I was so glad to go outside into the heat, where at least the air might move….

But, by the time we got to the outdoor stage, the sky was starting to threaten, and Untied States were already most of the way through their set. Untied States are one of those bands that Postlibyan and I encounter every now and then. I never really remember much about their sets, but I believe PostLibyan actually kind of likes them. Me? I remember their props. As an example, at last year's Corndogorama, they had lamps of varying colors that brightened and faded on cue. Those were kind of cool. But unfortunately they didn't have the lamps this year. And with the removal of the lamps, they seemed to have changed their sound. And I really didn't care too much for it. After a few minutes, I was ready for them to be done. Luckily, they were.


All I gotta say is: what the heck happened? Of the 5 people on stage as Untied States, only 2 are left from the last time I saw them, and that was only in March! Apparently there has been a serious shake-up in the band. And, also, apparently they haven't worked out the kinks in the new lineup… Disappointing, really. But bands march on, and I am sure that in time Untied States will be back to doing quality math-punk rock.

Mostly new Untied States.


As the skies grew darker, Atlanta band Moresight began to set up. And set up. And set up some more. Evidently, they were having some problems getting things to work; these difficulties appeared to be exacerbated by the somewhat intoxicated state of the band, most especially the drummer. This did not bode well for their set. Yet once they began to play, they pulled it together more or less. With a straight-up 60s garage rock with a hint of psychedelia sound, the outdoor environment seemed perfectly appropriate for them, as the crowd around me bounced and danced, despite the heat and humidity.

Moresight's smoke machine was somewhat ineffectual outside.

By the time they got around to my favorite Moresight song, Angelyne, I too had given into their infectious energy, and bopped right along with everyone else. Unfortunately, the problems with their set-up led them to play a really short set, which was a definite letdown.

Moresight's vocalist, under threatening skies.

After that, with the skies becoming more threatening and the crowds increasing and the AC inside totally overwhelmed, it became apparent that a long night was ahead. Sure, The Selmanaires and Snowden were supposed to play much later. But I was definitely over-heated and over-tired, and I wasn't sure I could handle many more random drunk people stomping on my feet. Since Postlibyan needed to go feed his demanding cat before coming back to see James Hall, I asked that he drop me off on his way. As I hit the front step of my porch, the skies opened up and the rain began to pour. And I was really really happy I had called it as night, as the thunder continued to rumble until I toddled off to bed at a positively decent hour.

Related Links:

Read the entire Corndogorama 2007 review:
    Day 1 featuring: 63 Crayons, Parade, Rev Rebel, The Bon Vivants, The Green Hit, Canada, "Mystery Band", Bad Magic Number, Magnapop, Luigi, and Ancient Chinese Secret
    Day 2 featuring: Mouser, Club Awesome, Slushco, The Orphins, Elevado, Midwives, Judi Chicago, Spy For Hire, The Winter Sounds, Continue and Save, The Preakness, Untied States, and Moresight
    Day 3 featuring: Dang Dang Dang, Chickens and Pigs, Seraphix, Moorish Idols, Tenth to the Moon, Dig Your Hole, Slackey Family Circus, The Sudden Rays, Jupiter Watts, and The Forever War

Band Links:
  Mouser MySpace:
  Club Awesome MySpace:
  Sluscho band site:
  Slushco MySpace:
  The Orphins MySpace:
  Elevado band site:
  Elevado MySpace:
  Judi Chicago MySpace:
  Spy For Hire MySpace:
  The Winter Sounds band site: http://
  The Winter Sounds MySpace:
  Continue and Save MySpace:
  The Preakness band site:
  The Preakness MySpace:
  Untied States band site:
  Untied States MySpace:
  Moresight band site:
  Moresight MySpace:

In addition, some of these acts have been reviewed before. Links within the review point you to the appropriate places.


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