Atlanta Mess-Around Gets Underway Tonight

Nobunny at the Knockout in San Francisco 2008, photo by<a href=
Nobunny at the Knockout in San Francisco 2008, photo byCanderson.
posted Friday Nov 14th, 2008

The Atlanta Mess-Around Festival gets underway tonight at the Earl. A weekend bender thrown in conjunction by the sonic trinity of Atlanta-based record labels, Die Slaughterhaus, Rob House Records and Douche Master, the two day event promises to be a boozy, hedonistic celebration of the glorious lifestyle that comes with pledging one's allegiance to underground rock'n'roll music. The line-up this weekend is pretty solid with must-see acts.

Friday gets started with the Gaye Blades, the super-group featuring Jared Swilley of the Black Lips and Bobby Ubangi of Bobby and The Soft Spots, that play brilliantly executed questionably fruity tunes or at least pop that exudes the pleasantries of a deeply sewn friendship. This performance though will also feature Jesse Smith from Gentleman Jesse and is comically being billed as "Blade 2." The Denton, Texas outfit known for single-handedly knocking the collective rock'n'roll IQ down to a more respectable, apish party fart level, the Wax Museums will also hit the stage. Coming off their debut full-length on Douche Master, these dudes are sure to put on quite a show.

It's hard to deny the saccharine charm of New York's Baby Shakes. Playing sweet sounding bubblegum, their set will fit nicely between the dumb guttural barks of Wax Museums and the new wavier All Night Drugprowling Wolves. The Baby Shakes just released their first LP on Douch Master his fall and it lives up to all the hype delivering perfect gum-smacking tunes that are sure to sweeten the deal.

Two monolithic headlining acts, Carbonas and The Spits, are set to close Friday's festivities. As an indicator of the Carbonas impact on the Atlanta scene, three of the bands this weekend feature members of the Carbonas including Saturday night's headliners Gentleman Jesse and His Men. For the better part of the last decade, The Carbonas have been banging out full-throttle straightforward punk, and now serve as a foundation of the sprawling underground rock'n'roll scene, and a festival that would exclude them in Atlanta would be unthinkable. Apparently the same goes for any festival in regards to The Spits. The Wood brothers will soon be busting out of the shadows as their first release in nearly three years is just around the corner and is destined to set the record straight that The Spits sit at the apex of modern punk music.

Saturday's line up is equally impressive. Lover! holds the opening slot and is one of the most prolific act of the past year, releasing arm loads of perfect glam meets power pop tunage. Headman Rich Crook coming out from behind the spotlight in his former acts, Knaughty Knights, Reatards and Lost Sounds, has been one of the most exciting turn of events in the last couple of years. His knack for crafting anthemic and instantly classic sounding songs, has got everyone wondering what he has up his sleeve next. Next up, Oxford Mississippi's The Black and Whites, now featuring Crook on the skins, play a more prototypical sounding pop rock, but their live sets are all over the board with nuclear energy and left field covers.

Cheap Time, the Nashville upstarts who landed themselves on the iconic In The Red label have been burning down all the right walls with their modern take on the glam swat. Melding upbeat, interstellar rhythms and cartoonishly high-pitched vocals, these guys may pull a lot from their Sparks records, but they come up with a more snide and immediate tone that doesn't come off a bit retrospective. The Hex Dispensers, from Austin, Texas have a slot on the bill just before Nobunny, whose whip-up of post-Ramones pop and unkempt charm might just end up being the hottest sound to catch fire this year. His debut album is riddled with hits and inflicts a tantrum of retarded dancing so contagious you may never stop. Look out for Nobunny's first 7" release out on HoZac before the end of the year as well.

Just off their highly acclaimed debut on Douche Master, Gentleman Jesse and His Men close the festival Saturday night. And as they stand as one of Atlanta's modern pop heroes, their set will certainly get the Earl bumping, as it's going to be a great weekend down there in Atlanta.