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  MYSSOURI w/ Salome's Wish, Phoenix Nebulin, and Bell Jar  
  The 9 Lives Saloon  
  Little Five Points, Atlanta, GA  
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Although we Minions tend to be East Atlanta Indie Rockers, we actually listen to, and enjoy, a surprisingly wide array of music. And every once in a while we have to break free of the comfortable beer-soaked bonds of The EARL and venture out into one of Atlanta's many other venues/scenes. On this night we headed to The 9 Lives Saloon in Little Five Points, a sort of metalhead/goth hangout.

The first thing i have to ask is, when did the term "goth" become synonymous with the term "metalhead"? This night featured black clad, pale skinned folk getting down to Judas Priest and Iron Maiden as it blared on the soundsystem. Very odd. In some ways, i suppose, heavy metal is the universal language of underground rock scenes. Sure, The EARL is more likely to play AC/DC, but when you get down to it, a power chord is a power chord. Very odd.

We wandered into the club at the insanely early (by East Atlanta standards) time of 9:30 PM. This happened to be just in time to see the first act, Bell Jar, take the stage. This is a four-piece band dominated by a frizzy haired woman with a powerful voice. At times her singing style reminded me of Bruce Dickinson (although that might be subliminal leakage from hearing Run To The Hills during the between bands break), Cher, Patti Smith, Alanis Morrissette, and Linda Perry (who was the singer in 4 Non Blondes). Think rich, powerful, deep female vocals. The band backing her up played somewhat typical late 80's hair metal style riffs at a mid-tempoed pace. Overall, they were not bad, but not spectacular.

After a somewhat lengthy, Iron Maiden filled break, the second act took the stage at 10:40 PM. They were called Phoenix Nebulin, and hailed from Miami. It's weird, but Miami is a really big city, and yet you rarely hear of rock bands coming from there. (And no, Gloria Estefan does not count as "rock".) At any rate, Phoenix Nebulin rocked the good rock. They had the same general lineup as Bell Jar: female vocalist, guitar, bass, drums. To this the bassist also added synth bits and drum machine from a laptop. Unfortunately, the electronic elements were only noticeable when the drummer wasn't playing (he was a buff guy who really beat the heck out of his kit). But when you could hear these elements, they added some very nice accents to the music. Overall their sound is a sort of harder pseudo-electronic rock. Think White Zombie, only not so pretentious. They even started off with a cheesey 80's cover, a fuzzed out hard rocking version of Don't You (Forget About Me) from Simple Minds. Overall, i found them to be fun and energetic.

A mere 15 minutes after Phoenix Nebulin ended their set, the third act, Atlanta's own Salome's Wish took they stage. They are a 5 piece band, including female vocalist (i'm sensing a trend here), drums, guitar, bass, and guitar/midi synths. I have caught parts of this band's sets in the past, and i really enjoyed them. They do a sort of darkish new wave style of music. Tracers said that they reminded her of Cocteau Twins live in 1996, although they reminded me of The Psychedelic Furs live. At any rate, they put on a great set, the highlight of which was, again, a cheesey 80's cover, this time The Metro by Berlin. And despite popping feedback issues, the crowd really got into it. Apparently gothic metalheads dance. Who knew? Overall, i enjoyed their set and will look forward to seeing them again.

Finally, at 12:15 headliners Myssouri went on. It seems like a few years ago i went to see these guys every month, but they really haven't been playing out too much lately. However, all of the recent time off has allowed the current lineup to gel together quite nicely. Tonight the band was tight and loud, cranking out their dark western music. Highlights of the set included a cover of The Dead Kennedy's Ride, How We Ride (at least, that's the chorus -- not too sure of the title), in which the guitarist was able to accurately re-create Klaus Flouride's excessively trebly guitar echo. Very nice. They also played The Floorless Jig, which is still a great song. Overall i enjoyed their set tremendously, and was reminded of why Myssouri are one of Atlanta's best rock acts.

So this was a fun night outside of our normal boundaries.

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We have reviewed Myssouri dozens of times, most recently in '02.


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