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  Corndogorama 2007 - Day 3  


  Lenny's Bar  

Midtown Atlanta, GA


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

Reviewed by:
  Tracers and PostLibyan  
Photographs by:



Day 3 of Corndogarama is never pretty: carnage in the form of very hungover people, trash, and spilled beer covers the landscape. Even at the new, larger venue of Lenny's, Sunday started off kind of ugly. We showed up at 12:20, twenty minutes after opening and 10 minutes before the second act was supposed to go on. However, they were still trying to get the bands to load in, so the dozen or so early spectators milled around outside, drinking coffee and watching very tired looking staff members slouch around.

  Day three was a grey dreary day, with light sprinkles falling on us as we stood outside Lennys. It was also particularly steamy, considering the rain that had fallen in buckets by the end of the previous evening. And not surprisingly, everything was running behind. Ah, day three, when the schedule begins to fall apart…  

When they finally let us in, we went down the hill to the outside stage to grab a nice seat in the shade before Chicken and Pigs started. However, opener Dang Dang Dang were setting up on one side of the stage, with Chickens and Pigs on the other side… So we had to watch Rick Dang, already drunk, play before we could see the vaguely silly county pop of Chickens and Pigs.

Rick Dang looks about 1,000 years old; a stick of a man with stringy gray hair, a beer, and a cigarette. He always has a beer and a cigarette. I'm not sure how he does it… Anyway, Rick Dang and his two backup players (Bass Dang and Drums Dang, i suppose) play a sort of normal blues rock. Rick really gets into though, thrashing his guitar around and obviously having a lot of fun. His energy is contagious, and watching him play is kind of fun. I find his music to be un-special, but he is a genuine character…

Rick Dang, what a character...


I'm not sure Postlibyan does Rick Dang justice. Sometimes he has two beers, and a cigarette. In all seriousness though, Rick Dang and his band seem like a perfect opening act for the hangover-fest that is Sunday at Corndog. Their brand of blues rock is familiar, and rolls over the ears easily as people shake off their exhaustion in preparation for another day at the fest.


Dang Dang Dang played about 20 minutes, then Chickens and Pigs started. This band features Eskimo Kiss label head Kim Ware on drums, local busy-body Tracy Clark on bass and guitar, and Jeff Evans on guitar and vocals.

Chickens and Pigs (and a plastic bunny!)

A closeup of the bunny.

They play a music that is part blues, part country, and generally silly. For example, they played their anthemic, and appropriate, tune Sunday Beer to an enthusiastic yet small crowd. People sang along, and it was a good time.

I would say that Chickens and Pigs are a poppier version of Hubcap City . That is, they make quirky music with odd, drawled lyrics, yet while Hubcap City try to be strange with their instrumentation, Chickens and Pigs play music that is not too out there, until you listen to the words…


Chickens and Pigs seem to have something of a revolving line-up, but seeing the threesome of stage on Sunday, you wouldn't really know it. The minimal instrumentation makes them seems vaguely country-esque, but to my mind they're a less raucous version of Tijuana Hercules. Plus, they don't seem to take themselves too seriously, which always helps my enjoyment of a band.

Tracy Clark can barely keep a straight face during her Chickens and Pigs set.


After that, it was time for a late lunch, so we walked down to Java-o-logy for a tasty flat bread sandwich and some nice, strong coffee. I enjoyed the lunch there very much. Java-o-logy routinely wins awards for their sandwiches and coffee, and i can certainly see why.

We got back to Lenny's in time to see Seraphix play their abbreviated set. This is a five-piece metal act, with a singer who is obviously a huge Danzig fan. He has died black hair, black fingernails, back jeans and t-shirt, and he screams dramatically while the band plays three-chord power metal behind him. Really, they were not bad for what they did, but after three songs they got yanked from the stage (to make up for lost time, i suppose), and to be honest 3 songs was enough for me…

Seraphix had a one way ticket to midnight...


It seemed on Sunday like both the inside and outside stages at Lenny's were running a bit behind. However, I did notice that the same guy was managing the stage, and he quickly put things to right. Case in point: Seraphix. This band only managed some 15 minutes of set time before they pulled off. And, to tell the truth, they didn't seem too happy about that turn of events, and they took their time getting off the stage.


It was at this point in time that Tracers noticed something odd: lots of people were walking around with beers in their hands (not weird for a bar, even on Sunday afternoon), yet no one had a PBR, the official drink of Atlanta indie rockers. I asked the bartender, and sure enough, on Saturday night the crowd drank Lenny's out of PBR!!!! That must be a first.

The next band inside was Moorish Idols, who are a young band. They had a lot of technically difficulties, so even though they were allotted the full 30 minutes to play, they squandered half of it fussing with an amp. Apparently the guitar amp was feeding back so that it bothered the lead singer/guitarist, although it sounded fine from where i stood. The crowd got rather annoyed at this delay….

Moorish Idols at work (finally!)

Moorish Idols play happy, lite pop. It's not challenging, but their songs are good. I think the band has potential, but let me offer them this advice: learn to play through adversity. Unless your amp is feeding back so bad it makes you sound like Kevin Shields, it's not really that big of a deal. Keeping the crowd of hungover people standing around is a bigger loss than a slightly fuzzier sound. I'm just saying.


Technical difficulties. Clearly, Moorish Idols thought they had technical difficulties. I couldn't hear it (and I've got a good ear), but then again I wasn't standing in front of the monitor. Still, when you combine this with the relative slowness of their load-in, they only got to play a few minutes. I've liked what I've heard by them previously, but they seemed a bit flat during this set. I think perhaps the lead singer was a bit irritated, which effected his music negatively. Either way, they were a bit of a letdown, which was hopefully only due to the circumstances.


And then a really weird thing happened: Tenth to the Moon. This is a big, revolving band with a few consistent members, but other people seem to come and go in the band. Today they were a 6-piece, with drums set up in the middle of the floor, a keyboardist, a bassist, a guitarist, a guy in silver face paint singing and crawling on the floor, and a guy in goggles doing some kind of weird tape manipulation. They started with a song wherein 3 members were beating on drums in the middle of the room, while the others made a whirling mess of sound around them. It was intense, and vaguely tribal.

Tenth to the Moon's tribal drumming.

The set didn't get any more normal from there, with the tape loop artist pulling the tape out while "scratching" it (like vinyl, really), and then looping it around the pillar in the middle of the room.

Well, that's one way to ruin a tape...

Their music is no wave / post-punk, and their performance is energetic and purposely odd. I enjoyed the heck out of it. I am glad to see that someone is still doing this sort of thing. The crowd seemed appreciative, which is good for what is definitely one of the more creative and "out there" bands around Atlanta right now. I hope they keep it up.


Tenth to the Moon are one of Atlanta 's odder bands. You can always count on them to do something outlandishly different, and during this set they did not disappoint. One of the highlights of their set was their opening number, which included half of the band at one point or another banging on drums in a tribal sort of rhythm. From there, they moved on to other no wave-y tunes, which then concluded by the lead singer crawling on the floor and throwing cymbals onto the concrete ground. Definitely different, but one of the most intensely enjoyable sets at Corndog. And I don't usually get into this sort of thing. As I said at the time, for Tenth to the Moon, they were positively melodic.

Tenth to the Moon's keyboardist.


The next band on stage was … oddly familiar. They are called Dig Your Hole, and they feature Kat Gass (of Bob, and American Dream) on bass and vocals. She is backed up by the drummer from Tenth to the Moon, and Mr. Gass on guitar. The music is a noisy girl pop. Kat screams a lot, and thumps at her bass. A pretty good set, on the whole, and it was great to see her back in action after such a long absence…

Kat Gass, back in action.


I stayed for all of Dig Your Hole's set. It was definitely harder rock with loud loud guitars and bass, over which Ms. Gass sang yelled. Also, underneath the insistent thumping, you can hear hints of the unusual music once played by Bob, which is a quality sadly lacking in most music I hear these days. I enjoyed them, and liked to see folks who I've heard previously branch out and try something new.


And then i wanderered outside to see the reunion of Slackey Family Circus. In fact, SFC is the band that first brought me to Lenny's, way back in the 90's when it was called Dottie's and still located in a doublewide across from the cemetery. You see, i used to work at a coffee shop with Mrs. Slackey. Actually, i knew her before she met Aubrey Slackey and his band of then indie rockers. In fact, i drove her to their wedding. No, really. So i was curious to see what Aubrey has been up to in the 10 or so years since i last saw his band. The answer, apparently, is "bluegrass". There were about 10 people of stage with banjos, acoustic guitars, mandolins, fiddles, etc. They made a raucous, crazy bluegrass sound. Not my thing at all. The old Slackey Circus used to make decent indie rock -- what the heck happened? Weird….

The Slackey Family Circus do bluegrass...
...for tips!

So i headed back inside to watch a rare performance by The Sudden Rays. Vocalist and guitarist Chris Hoke lives in Birmingham now, so the band rarely has the chance to perform live. And yet, tonight in their short set they managed to do a few new songs! I was impressed with that feat of long-distance song writing. And they sounded very good for a band that cannot practice because of the distance involved. It was great to see them, and i hope to see them next year at Corndog as well…


Ah, the Sudden Rays. I *heart* the Sudden Rays. These days, we don't hear them much, so seeing them during Corndog was a must. Even though the band doesn't get together very often, it was nice to hear them. And they sounded as good as I remember. I think they played a slightly sped up version of Over the Wires as well as other long-remembered songs.

A rare Sudden Rays perrformance is always welcome.

Chris Hoke's vocals were, as usual, plaintatively echoed over his phenomenal guitar work. And, as Postlibyan points out, despite the distance between band members, they managed to pull off a couple of new songs, which are as enjoyable as their earlier material. It was a great set, made bittersweet by its very rareness.

Not surprisingly, the Sudden Rays played right before the Jupiter Watts. I've seen them numerous times this year in various venues, and I've listened to their latest album a lot. So, you'd think by now, I'd be a bit sick of seeing them. Right? Well, not exactly. Every time they play out, they do their songs just a little differently, adding parts here and re-working things there. Beyond this, their music and songs are just so damn good that it's a pleasure to hear them each time. On this afternoon, they played a short-ish set due to time constraints, but the mix was right on, and the band members played off each other to create a musical storm of guitars, bass, keyboards, and drums. Everything sounded intricately full, and was topped off by their usual catchy vocal lines. Nicely done, and as always a pleasure.

The Jupiter Watts.


Afterwards, Jupiter Watts took the stage. They played a tight set of solid indie pop. These guys really have it together these days, and they sounded great at Lenny's.

By this point we were really ready to call it a night and leave the festival for the year, but we stayed to chat with various friends and ended up seeing an interesting band. They played on the side stage, and were called The Forever War.

The Forever War involves horns, apparently. But they played after 3, so it's okay...

They made a sort of hardcore punk, with a good bit of Slint-like angularity to the rhythms. And they had a trumpet, which is an odd addition to that sort of band, but which really worked. I had never even heard of this band, but found myself really getting into them. For a total unknown, they impressed the heck out of me… Later legendary Atlanta math-rock guitarist Gary T. Flom (ex- Purkinje Shift, Moreland Audio, and Home of the Wildcats) told me the band is what is left of old hardcore act Hal al Shedad. Huh. Well, they are making music even more interesting these days. Good for them.


Now The Forever War were definitely a Slint-damaged band. There isn't so much of that around these days, so it's really nice to hear someone do so really math-y rock, and doing it well. Beyond that, the addition of some clever trumpet lines lifted them above what I would have expected. Certainly, I would like to hear these guys again. They were good enough that I stayed later than I had wanted, if only to hear them finish their set.

But after The Forever War, I noticed that the rain had begun to fall again, and the inside venue was beginning to get positively sweltering. And to top it off, my inner Metalhead committed Hari-kari in 2002, leaving me with no desire to stay and see Mastodon, no matter how legendary their shows tend to be. So, I was well and truly done.


And that, i am afraid, was it for me. Three days, 34 bands, a lot of beer, and too much standing around means that i was totally beat. Still, Corndogarama is fun event. Tiring, but fun. You'll probably see me there next year…

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:
  Chickens and Pigs MySpace:  
  Seraphix on GarageBand:
  Moorish Idols band site:
  Moorish Idols MySpace:
  Tenth to the Moon MySpace:
  Dig Your Hole MySpace:
  Slackey Family Circus MySpace:
  The Sudden Rays band site:
  The Sudden Rays MySpace:
  Jupiter Watt band site:
  Jupiter Watts 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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