Thursday, March 08, 2012


New York's Cults played a set last Tuesday, March 6, to a sold-out crowd at the redoubtable Earl in Atlanta, Georgia.  

West Yorkshire's Spectrals opened.

I don't know if anyone knew quite what to make of Spectrals.  I don't know if Louis Jones knew what to make of Spectrals.  He had intended to tour the States with a drummer, but his drummer had passport problems and couldn't make it, so Mr. Jones made a last-minute decision to tour alone.  I was surprised, with all the gear and instruments on the stage, to see a single musician take the stage alone and play accompanied only by his own guitar.  

Spectrals plays slightly skewed, reverb-heavy pop and garage rock, sometimes with some dazed surf guitar thrown in because, why not?  Something about Mr. Jones' endearing and sincere-sounding  voice and songs reminded me a little of some of the solo material by Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys.

Tuesday was only Mr. Jones' second day in America, and he had breakfast in an Atlanta Waffle House.  No telling if he'll come back.

Between Spectrals and the headliners was San Diego's Mrs. Magician.  There is no "Mrs." is Mrs. Musician - just four guys playing slightly psychedelic, garage rock.  They were loud and lots of fun.

Mrs. Magician closed their set with a song called There Is No God,a brave move on Super Tuesday in the Deep-South Bible Belt.

Cults took the stage a little before 11:00 pm, opening with an instrumental Intro before launching into Abducted.

Madeline Follin:

The band was quite capable in capturing the 60s nostalgia of their girl-group sound live.  Ms. Follin's voice rose nicely over the instruments, and everything seemed to effortlessly fall into place.  Ms. Follin even seemed to be having some fun, toying with the hem of her dress as she swayed to the music and later  teasing one guy in the audience who was shouting especially loud (not me).

It was reassuring to see that the xylophone sound in Go Outside was actually made with a real xylophone (see above).  Below, Brian Oblivion:

Everybody in the band (except the drummer) has admirably long hair.  And straight.  If they ever lose their taste for touring, they can always make a living supplying wig makers.

Only disappointment of the evening: no encore.  The capacity crowd didn't even try.  Everyone just kind of filed out, even before the house lights and music came back on.

We've gotta do better than that.

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