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  TEEN WHEAT w/ The Nein  
  The Drunken Unicorn  
  Atlanta, GA  
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So just for fun, we decided to go and try a new club. Well, it's not totally new. The Drunken Unicorn has been around since January and is the former "back room" at MJQ. But as an added bonus, they actually have a website so you can figure out what is going on there. (Actually, this website is infrequently mantained. Still, it's a step in the right direction from what MJQ is doing. Or not doing, as the case may be.)

Much like its parent club, The Drunken Unicorn is in a converted parking deck. And it was cold in there. I guess being in a concrete bunker makes the AC efficient. That, plus that fact that it wasn't too crowded this evening, meant that for a few brief hours i had complete relief from the generally sweltering temperatures these days.

We arrived at 10, and found the club divided into 2.5 rooms. The front room features a stage at one end, a sound booth towards the middle that sort of divides the room in half, and a back area for the merch table. The other room features the bar, a DJ booth, some couches, etc. Both rooms are painted in an "artsy" way with images of Unicorns and punk rock icons. It's an interesting theme, but i think it works.

Anyway, The Minions went into the back room to sit, wait for the show to get started, and enjoy a beer without sweating (can you tell i really liked the AC levels at this place?). In keeping with recent trends, the DJ in the club was playing the stuff i listen to. I went up and verified that he did in fact have the new Interpol disc (to be released in 3 months or so), and i liked the new tunes he played off of it. In fact, i think that the DJ, one Brian Parris, did a good job spinning indie rock, electroclash, and punk tunes. Not that anyone was really dancing, since the club was kind of dead at 10 PM on a Thursday, but it was good listening.

The information we had read stated show time around 10:30. In reality, the first band didn't go on until 11:30. This means we had and hour and a half to explore the club, so i have both a warning and a hint for you. The warning is this: back near the bar, the floor does some odd things with a few little 1-inch steps in places, so be careful. The hint: this might not happen all of the time, but the unisex restroom near the bar is hidden in a darkened alcove and had very insufficient lighting, so carry a flashlight to find your way.

At 11:30, The Nein took the stage. They are a three piece band from Chapel Hill, NC. They featured a bassist, a drummer, and a guy who sang, played with one of those synth/sampler pod things, and strummed guitar. The basswork and drumming were both really tight, and the guitar (where present) was trebly and loud and Fugazi-esque. I really enjoyed their set. There was one song in particular that featured the chorus "Voices on the stereo" (no idea if that is the title) that built up to a Peter Hook bass frenzy that really soared. In general though, the band was kinda math-rocky. Tracers heard a certain Archers of Loaf influence, leaving us to suspect that this is the next generation of Chapel Hill music. If so, it sounded good and i look forward to more.

The Nein played for 30 minutes, and then Teen Wheat took only 15 minutes to set up and start playing, which still meant they started their set after midnight (on, i might add, a work night). However, it might have behooved them to spend more time setting up. That is to say, the sound was awful. It had not been bad for The Nein, which may mean that what i heard was nothing like what The Nein intended or that The Nein got a soundcheck and Teen Wheat didn't. At any rate, Teen Wheat tonight were more drums than guitar, and more guitar than vocals. For their style of melodic hardcore (think Black Flag with actual melodic interplay between the guitars instead of pure power-chording) this mix really didn't work. Well, it did work in one instance. Their song Jet sounded like the Pixies' tune Change when played that way. Wierd. I think it frustrated the band too, since they seemed agitated and not really into their set. Eventually, after a half hour of trying, bassist Patrick flung his instrument down and stalked off, and they were done.

So we were at The Drunken Unicorn for 2 and a half hours, and had a pretty fun time. The place really started to fill up around midnight, and i believe that people were actually dancing in that back room.

But if you go there, you must check out the murals. And don't forget the flashlight!

Related Links:
  Teen Wheat played at Corndog-o-rama 04.  

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