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  Corndogorama 2008 - Day 4  


  Lenny's Bar  

Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta, GA


The Reverend God and the Jesus Squad, Club Awesome, Light Pupil Dilate, Battle Cat, Rizzudo, Summerbirds in the Cellar, Cassavetes, Cinemechanica, Maserati

Reviewed by:
  PostLibyan and Tracers  
Photographs by:



Well, here we are nearing the end of yet another marathon music session. This year, Corndogorama seemed to really wear me out, so that on Sunday my patience was thin and i was generally tired of the drunken masses and of the crappy metal bands. Who knew there were so many awful heavy metal acts in this city?

We arrived at around 2 PM, and there was a band on the main stage. The bassist of this band was wearing blue, furry chaps, and had a stuffed manhood prosthetic hanging down to the floor. Classy. They introduced themselves as Reverend God and the Jesus Squad, and proceeded to play hardcore punk for 20 minutes. This five piece act threw themselves into it, really doing their best to emulate early Minor Threat.

It is only appropriate that a performer calling himself "Reverend God" be holding
a beer and a lit cigarette at all times.

Actually, i grew up with that kind of stuff, so i found them entertaining. Instead of being monastic straight edge a la Minor Threat, they were beer swilling, sexual joke making, rowdy boys. They certainly sounded like Ian McKaye's old band, but i really think he would have disapproved of their misogynistic, drug-addicted, meat eating ways. Oh well. They were still funů


As long as I didn't look at the stage, I have to confess I enjoyed Reverend God and the Jesus Squid. I have a secret liking for hardcore, and as I was expecting yet another metal act, I found the punkish-ness rather refreshing. I wasn't as impressed with their costumes, but then again, as a total dork, I'm not sure I was the target audience.

It's The Jesus Squad.


The next band up was the one we had ventured out early to see, Club Awesome. Here at EvilSponge we have sung the praises of this act often enough. They are a four-piece pop act with catchy songs and are in some slight way reminiscent of The Jam.

Today Club Awesome had a different bassist. I wonder if this is a lineup change or a temporary fill-in? This new bassist new all of the parts, and this is not the most simplistic bass parts out there. It's not Les Claypool virtuosity either, but is not something that someone can just fill in with, as well as this guy did, on just the spur of the moment. The new bassist also knew the backing vocal parts, so i wonder if he is a lineup change. Time will tell, i guess.

The new bassist is (Club) Awesome.

Club Awesome played a typically brilliant, catchy set. They tore through Joseph Stalin and BBs Go Out Into the Night to great effect. There were maybe 20 people inside, but i noticed that everyone seemed to be bouncing along with the band. Good for them. This is one of our more interesting Atlanta acts. You should make a point of going to see them when you get a chance.

Club Awesome in action under the flash.


I do like my Club Awesome. Indeed, I do. Although they had a different bassist, they sounded remarkably tight. And, they also had Chris (I think) bouncing around the stage playing percussion and singing backing vocals, which actually managed to get a smile out of Club Awesome's really intense looking guitarist.

The serious guitarist is amused by the antics of Dancin' Chris.

But the best thing about Club Awesome, beyond the music, was the way the entire band threw themselves into the set, even though there were few people around. This proved so infectious that I began to bounce and sing along. My only complaint is that they didn't have a chance to do Trainwreck. Otherwise, they were great, and need to heard by more of the masses at large.

Club awesome in action without the flash.


We really didn't have anyone else we wanted to see for a while, but we hung out to see what was next. A band called Light Pupil Dilate set up on the side stage. I have heard this name before, and for some reason i thought they were a hip-hop act. (Why was Corndog so noticeably lite on the hip-hop? It's not like there is a shortage of such artists in Atlanta.) Instead, this was a three-piece playing sludgy stoner metal. I get it, DILATE. Ha. I am sure that is hilarious if you are stoned.

The thing is, Light Pupil Dilate looked promising...

Growing bored with that after just a few minutes we wandered outside to see who was playing on the big stage. The act was called Whoa Nelly, and i turned the corner to see a bunch of guys standing in a circle playing bluegrass. As an ethnic Cleve, bluegrass music is not something i was exposed to until i was in my late teens, and i find that i hate it. Passionately. I immediately turned around and headed up the hill.


Yup, we had it another slow spot. In the past, we might have toughed it out in hopes of running across some new exciting band. But the day was hot and steamy, and we were both hungry. Time to head out for a break, perhaps?


Our options being limited, Tracers and i chose to go out for a nice early dinner. We headed over to Manuel's Tavern for a nice comfortable seat in the AC and a pleasant meal.

As an added bonus, the Euro Cup Final was playing on the TV. The crowd at Manuel's was, obviously, fans of the Spanish team. My grandfather was named Joahnn, so i felt compelled to send my good wishes towards the German team. Alas, the Spainards are small and fast, and they seemed to run circles around the good, solid Deutscher team. We sat there for the last 30 minutes or so of the match, in time to see the end.

With hours still to kill, we then headed back to my place to take a look at the various promo records this fine 'Zine receives (warning: most of them are crap and we will never subject you innocent people to them), as well as to feed my surly diabetic cat.

Feline insulin administered, it was time to head back to Lenny's. It was just before 6:30 when we got back, and outside there were people racing pocket motorcycles around the blacktop. I have no idea what that was about.

We headed inside in time to see a four-piece band take the stage. They were all wearing matching black and purple hoodies, and they proceeded to play a really terrible, bass heavy type of metal, with vocals buried in the mix so that they could barely be heard. At one point, someone commented on this, and the vocalist implied it was on purpose, as people really don't want to hear him. I ventured up front to take some pictures, and realized that the band had two bassists, instead of a bassist and a guitarist. That explains their sound at least. They only played for 14 minutes, but that is 14 minutes of my life i will never get back. Dammit.

Battle Cat carry an EvilSponge Warning:  Avoid at all costs.


I think the band in question was called Battle Cat, which was a very promising name, implying (to me) something in the vein of Cinemechanica. But unfortunately that was not the case. Oh well. We usually have good luck with random band names, but not this time.


The stage was cleared and Rizzudo began to set up. I love this band, and am very glad to see them back in action after their hiatus. This is the third time i have seen them so far this year, and once again they put on a great set. They played a wonderful version of Seventeenth Street that featured a long, prog-like keyboard intro. They also played a few new songs, which was cool.

Rissudo in dual scream/keyboard action.


I like Rizzudo, although like some other Atlanta group I could name, they seem to play the same songs over and over again. Therefore, on this evening, I was really impressed with they had a couple of new tunes, which implies that the group is looking towards the future. Admittedly, the new stuff was directly in the same Rizzudo vein, but it was new and not just a rehash of their earlier songs.

The main vocalist in Rizzudo.


This was another fine set from the brothers. I am glad to see them writing new music. Could there be a new record on the horizon?


Rizzudo was the point in Corndog in which the schedule finally began to fall apart, not withstanding the efforts of the stage manager, the afore-mentioned Mr. Van Eaton. First off, Rizzudo took a fairly long time to set up and then didn't cut their set short to keep on schedule. Additionally, for some reason, the side stage was torn down, so that the next act had to load onto the main inside stage instead, which threw things a bit further behind.


The next band up was a touring act, Orlando's Summerbirds in the Cellar. I knew nothing about this band, but it seemed to take them a long time to set up. Eventually i realized that something was wrong with the sound system. One of the sound guys actually re-wired the keyboard setup, but was still unable to get any sound. At that point, the guy at the keyboards said, "We'll just play without them" and hefted his guitar. That earned my respect -- just moving on like that, keeping the night flowing, rather than holding things up over unruly gear. I have seen just the opposite happen (e.g., Stars of Track and Field at SxSW 2006), and it really put a damper on the evening.

Playing without the keyboards.

After a quick band conference to decide on a keyboard-less set list, they tore into it. This is a three-piece act featuring a drummer who also runs a sequencer, adding more electronic style sounds to his beats, a guitarist/vocalist who plays his guitar in a trebly post-punk sort of way, and a guitarist/keyboardist who was not playing keys tonight but instead plays his guitar with a lot of pedals in an almost psychedelic blues fashion, a la Spiritualized. That is a pretty good mix of sounds in my book, and i found that i really enjoyed their set.

The vocalist Summerbird, not in a cellar, although Lenny's is kind of dank...


At every Corndogorama it seems, we come across at least one band that is just expected. It's one of the best things about the festival, and the reason why I am willing to just stick things out even when I know nothing about the bands. In the case of Summerbirds in the Cellar (unlike Battle Cat), we hit the jackpot. Admittedly, Summerbirds in the Cellar had some technical difficulties which they couldn't overcome, but the songs they did play were quite nice, with the guitars being full and effected and acting as direct counterpoints to each other's notes. Really great sounding, and I really would like to see them again when they return to Atlanta.


Their songs were interesting, and i really liked the interplay of the two different guitar styles. I would go see this act again, if they come back to Atlanta.

Up next on the main stage was local band Cassavetes. We have been following this act off and on for a few years, and i honestly don't know if i like them or not. They do an odd mix of things, combining dub elements (nice echo on the drums tonight boys), country and western style guitarwork, and pop vocals. Sometimes the songs are more pop, sometimes more country. On the first tune they played tonight the dub beat really showed through, and i really enjoyed that tune. But they followed up with two songs laden with twang, and they lost me. So i don't know what to think of this band.

Cassavetes singing.

By this time the side stage had been taken down, so all bands were on the main stage. Also, there was a real threat of rain, so it was rumored that outdoor headliner Zoroaster, another local metal band, were being moved inside. The inside slowly filled up.


The thought of Zoroaster fans mixing it up with Maserati fans left me with some humorous mental images. It would be the militant math folks versus the metal folks, and I couldn't quite picture how they would get along.


At a quarter after nine Athenian post-rock meets metal band Cinemechanica took the stage. I thought that the Zoroaster fans milling about might like them, but alas Cinemechanica chose this show to debut their new "more post than metal" sound. They are stripped down at this point to a standard four-piece band.

THe new, trimmed down Cinemechanica, now with 33% less metal per volume.

The songs they played, without the extra guitar or drums, came across as classic post-rock. To be honest, i enjoyed them more tonight than i ever have before, but i fear that the drunken metal fans were not so into it.


As I mentioned in Saturday review, I have a fondness for Hello Sir records, home of both Cinemechanica and Maserati. Therefore, not surprisingly, I was looking forward to Cinemechanica, even though I hadn't seen them live in a while. As Postlibyan mentions, tonight, Cinemechanica weren't as hard as usual, but I thought the music sounded really quite lovely. Without as much metal, you could hear the intricacies of the melodies and I definitely appreciated the lighter sound, which showed off the precision of the music. This incarnation of the band provided a really nice bridge from Summerbirds in the Cellar and Maserati, and I really do have to go see them more often, I think.


Fortunately the rain passed and the Zoroaster fans moved back outside, leaving only the true faithful post-rockers around to wait for Maserati.

Maserati's drummer, with cool transparent underlit kit.

Ah, the rare Maserati performance. I really enjoy this Athenian band. Their drummer is amazing to watch, and they have a great interplay between their two heavily effected guitars and the deep bass riffing.

Maserati's powerful rhythm section.

Tonight Maserati played four songs in about 40 minutes. One of them was brand new (even labeled, simply, "New" on the printed set list), but the other three came from their most recent full-length, Inventions for the New Seasonn. Personally i loved this set. The music was complex and soaring, yet anchored by some truly deep grooves off of the rhythm section. I really wish they played out more often.

Maserati's pedals and setlist.  "New" was the fourth of 5 songs.


Surprisingly, Maserati sounded heavier than I recall, although that may have just been in contrast to Cinemechanica. At the very least, their sound didn't invoke the cold breeziness that I usually associate with their performances. But, as usually, they had a brilliant intricacy to their music, whereby the "main" part passes from musician to musician as the layers swell, all of which has a solid rhythm to anchor things. the only disappointment I had from Maserati is that they simply didn't play long enough to suit me. But I think that's just the mark of a really fine band.

Maserati's guitarist on the drummer's left.

And with that, it was over for us. Whilst there weren't as many "had to see" bands as there have been in previous years, Corndogorama 2008 had a lot to offer up. We managed to see several new bands that I'd go see again, and we got to see some older acts which have been around for a while. In retrospect, I definitely enjoyed Corndog and was glad to have gone all four days.

Maserati's guitarist on the drummer's right.


Maserati were, i think, a fine end to a very mixed Corndogorama. There seemed to be a lot of crap this year. Indeed, i think i spent less time at this Corndog than i did the 2007 one. But there were still some really great performances. Thanks, Dave Railey, for once again doing this.

There was plenty of Corndogorama-related merchandise available.

Related Links:

Read the entire Corndogorama 08 review:
     Day 1 featuring Special Olympiad, Trial by Fire, Loose Screws, The Holland Dutch, Attractive Eighties Women, Tenth to the Moon, Thee Crucials, Heinous Bienfang
     Day 2 featuring Volcanizm, Twin Tigers, Graboids, Spy for Hire, Antic Clay and the Last Holy Train, Magnapop, Chump, Hollyfaith, and James Hall
     Day 3 featuring Thy Mighty Contract, Handsome Jack, Rock City Dropouts, A.Armada, The N.E.C., 5-8, It's Elephant, Grinder Nova, All Night Drug Prowling Wolves, The Orphins, Gringo Star, Snowden
     Day 4 featuring The Reverend God and the Jesus Squad, Club Awesome, Light Pupil Dilate, Battle Cat, Rizzudo, Summerbirds in the Cellar, Cassavetes, Cinemechanica, Maserati
Band links for today:
   Rev. God & the Jesus Squad:
   Club Awesome:
   Light Pupil Dilatet:
   Whoa Nelly:
   Summerbirds in the Cellar:


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