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  The Star Bar  
  Little Five Points, Atlanta, GA  
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Luigi is perhaps one of my favorite local bands these days. Although I don't see them every time they play, I find that they are good enough to stand up to repeated viewings, which is in itself a good recommendation. Similarly, I encountered The Jupiter Watts a while back at a local art gallery and, from what I remember, I thought they put on a mighty fine show. So with both of these on the bill, it seemed like the show to drag an out of town friend to as an introduction to the Atlanta scene.

Surprisingly, when we arrived at the Star Bar at around 11, the first opener, Charm School, had not only finished playing, but Luigi was already taking the stage. The Star Bar was rather crowded, so the only place to stand was off the side of the stage. This is not always optimal, sound-wise, but, on this evening, the mix off the monitors was quite good, and I could hear everything clearly. Hopefully, the bands thought so as well.

Anyway, Luigi played mostly new material, instead of focusing on tracks from their 2004 release, Vamonos. Still, despite my lack of familiarity with the songs, everything rocked and jangled as expected. Bassist Scott Rowe, in particular, stood out, as the songs sounded particularly bass-heavy. This perhaps was a function of our location, but either way, it made a nice counter-point to Michelle Dubois's vocals. Likewise, drummer Brian Fletcher kept things moving along quickly, but not necessarily in a rushed manner. Normally, Fletcher blends in more, but on this evening, he seemed like something of a focal point.

For me, the highlight of the set was a very nice version of Come Forward, which, if I recall correctly, I listed as one of my favorite songs off Vamonos. Furthermore, the new songs hold up well in comparison to their older material, and I look forward to Luigi's subsequent recordings. Clearly, the crowd also enjoyed the set, since, when I looked around, I could see various people dancing to their music.

Afterwards, The Jupiter Watts came on, ostensibly to celebrate the release of their new record, Let It Lie. I actually have a copy of the album and I think the band played most of the songs from it. Certainly, I was impressed by the way they played Strange Things Happen Every Day, which I know I already like. Yet, and more impressively, some of the spacier moments on the album really translated well to a live venue.

During their set, this band reminds me vaguely of a cross between The Velvet Underground and Luna. The slightly monotonous, rhythmically basic drumming has the hallmarks of Mo Tucker, while both of the vocalists have a Dean Wareham quality. Yet, this comparison in and of itself makes The Jupiter Watts sound more derivative and less interesting than they actually are. In fact, based on this one show, I'd certainly go see them again, and recommend them as a local act to follow.

All in all, it was a good night of local music, which showed off two musically mature bands who each construct a good song and also know how to deliver them live. And, when I asked my friend what he thought, he said he was rather impressed, and thought that both bands represented the Atlanta scene in a good way.

Related Links:

Vamonos, the debut album by Luigi.


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