Atlas Sound @ Le Poisson Rouge/MHOW, CMJ Music Marathon

Atlas Sound = Bradford Cox.  Bradford Cox is most notably the lead singer of the Atlanta-based ambient/shoegaze outfit, Deerhunter.  On occasion, he records and performs as the solo act named Atlas Sound.  As for my first show of my CMJ experience, I attended the Selmanaires/Atlas Sound/Broadcast show at Le Poisson Rouge; I also went to his performance at the Music Hall of Williamsburg the following night.

At Le Poisson Rouge (LPR), I stood and watched as he and the Selmanaires, another Atlanta-based group and personal friend of Bradford's, sound check and perform a few songs; "Shelia", Untitled Jam and "My Halo".  Donning his 'Neil Young' attire (a green-plaid long sleeve button up, jeans and his 'big boy' boots), Bradford was joking around with his band mates, the sound crew and himself; he commented on the smell of garlic and cheese.  In all, the band rushed through a few rehearsals before the doors were opened.  At that point, the Selmanaires took the stage.  Without any previous knowledge of the band, I went blind into this performance with no preconceptions or expectations.  Truth be told, I was very impressed; by the number of heads nodding during their performance, most of the crowd was impressed as well.  Their sound was well constructed and sounded extremely well through the LPR soundsystem.  Great job guys.

As for Bradford's set, I couldn't have been any more pleased.  As he towered at center stage, he strummed through song after song, changing every now and then from his acoustic to electric (a Gretch, complete with a leather circle on back in case he wants to wear a big belt buckle) guitar.  For me, these were some of the highlights from his set (videos featured below):  Untitled Jam, "Walkabout" and "Shelia".  The untitled jam clocks in just over nine minutes long and includes Bradford drumming during the middle of the song; the slower "Walkabout" featured Cox's soft vocals that wrapped around the Selmanaires' warm sound; and "Shelia" was more for the head-nodders, more uptempo and bouncy than the rest of his set.  This wasn't the one-man-show, all electronic Atlas Sound show, people have accustomed to seeing; overall, it was more folky in sound but they definitely displayed their boisterous, shoegaze side when the time arrived.  It was a fantastic show.

The following day, Bradford agreed to do an interview with me after his show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg; Round 2.  This particular set wasn't as polished as the previous day's but was still a great time.  With a packed house, Bradford broke the tension with jokes, conversations and hysterical 'artist' poses; the crowd was very responsive, much more than the LPR crowd.  Again, another great show but with a few mishaps.  Along with my interview with Bradford (and friends), I included a bonus clip from the Music Hall show of their cover of the Velvet Undergrounds' "What Goes On":

Eventually, all of the LPR show will be uploaded (quality pending).  Please stayed tuned to Music Taster's Choice, as I will be featuring concert footage and an interview with Oklahoma City's the Uglysuit from the Living Room as part of the CMJ Music Marathon.

Atlas Sound @ Le Poisson Rouge/MHOW, CMJ Music Marathon Atlas Sound @ Le Poisson Rouge/MHOW, CMJ Music Marathon Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on October 24, 2009 Rating: 5
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