Shopping Atlanta to Athens

February 12, 2005 at 5:58 pm Leave a comment


Criminal Records
The only thing I’ve bought from Criminal so far are some magazines
and Ghostly 12″s. The store seems obfuscated, I never see what I want
in plain sight and what is in plain sight rarely interests me. They do however
stock every magazine in sight and that’s what really works for it. I mean I can pick up the new believer + some other mag and get coffee next door at Aurora. The staff is alright but always seems to have trouble with my trade in. Criminal feels a little behind the times, I wish I could walk in and they’d have 1 maybe 2 copies of whatever indie thing I’m looking for this week and maybe they do have it behind the counter but it’s just not made for surfing it’s made for picking up used indies and emos and a magazine or two.

Wax ‘n Facts
Wax n Facts is kidna the epicenter of indie stores in Atlanta. Basically whatever’s not terribly obscure and indie is there plus a good amount of soul jazz and honest john’s re-issues. Like Criminal it lacks a lot of newer stuff (i.e. Execeptor, Sightings, Hair Police, Kompakt stuff (but both are getting better), and free-folk especially). What is has though that Criminal lacks is tons of vintage vinyl and a good slection of used cds easily available and a nice staff. Could probably compare it most easily to Reckless Records in Chicago, but Atlanta doesn’t seem to have as dedicated vinyl traders as Reckless’ consistently crazy Chicago stock attests to. Extra points for having Pharoah Sanders featured last time I was there and a bunch of new impulse re-issues this time around. I guess it’s biggest advantage over Criminal is that somehow the store seems stocked by association hence it’s not hard to find stuff that you might like in addition to whatever your picking up. Basically it feels like the stockers have taste I can admire. I might ass on tour once Criminal wouldn’t buy Warp 12″s from me, but Wax n Facts bought two.

Satelite Records
When I first started going to Atlanta I gravitated towards Satelite Records more than any store. Probably becuase I was so tired of indies and also becuase electronic music was exploding back then. Anyway, it’s a dance store with all the usual trance, breaks, and d’n’b, but it also has an entire wall of techno and house that puts its above any dance store I’ve found on the East Coast before you hit Maryland. Bpitch, Circus Company, Traum/ Trapez, Kompakt, and others are stocked (the lead singles from Traum and Kompakt are usually well stocked too) and they get in a few copes of less dance-floor oriented stuff like Perlon and less covered labels like Bruchstueke, Plong, Context, and others. Tech-house has been running a little low for me lately and this time around all I found that was immediately appealing was the 2 new Traum 12″s but the place has taste, Jeff Mills, Matthew Herbert, Hawtin, etc are all well represented unlike say your Florida shop where Loumo and Isolee are about as deep as they go.

School Kids Records Athens, GA
Having been to School Kid’s various off-shoots I was expecting the original school kids to be the living epicenter of indie-hegemony, instead I found a really good shop reminiscent of my alma mater Park Ave Cds in Orlando. Found probably the most here of any store I went to including Sighting’s Arrived in Gold, Vetiver, 2 Michael Mayers, and Sweet & Honey a Ghost side project. Fairly nice staff, but your not allowed to open and listen to new music which sucks cuz I probably would have passed on one of the mayer’s and the vetiver.

Wuxtury Athens
Barely even stepped in this place, consists of 3 different shops as far as I can tell, a comic book store, a small cubblyhole below the comic shop with records (or is that a different store?) and a full on music store around the corner. Primarily thrifted records, seems like a cool place when I asked for Exceptor they seemed kinda off set if not annoyed and then the Sunno I bought I asked if it was the new one only to find out the one I got was a re-issue for a demo they did. The comic book store though rules and is one the better comic and figures places I’ve ever been too, guy at the register was cool too.

wax n facts
Xiu Xiu Fabolous Muscles
Saw these folks live in Tampa and wasn’t to impressed but picked up the record anyway. Xiu Xiu is far more original than your average indie-rock band, but I just don’t see why this stuff isn’t on MTV, why we still have radio stations announcing “kurt lives” and sloshing around 15 year old soundgarden when melodrama and presence from this group far outshines anything alternative rock ever did. One track is a spoken word monologue breaing resmeblance to Dennis Cooper or Benjamin Weissman. This a couple of very intelligent folks making good pop music that’s outside of the bends of indie’s status quo (which pretty much describes 5 rue de christie in general) but it’s not my thin. That said, great group, good album.

The liars they were wrong so we drowned
apparently this album was controversail hence I thought it might be a good experimental ep instead it’s medocire electronics mixed with medocire lyrics finished off with medocire rock segways.

Willie Hightower Honest John’s Collection
as much as I like soul Honest John’s re-issues of hightower and candi stanton I enjoy but don’t see as master works. Willie’s collection here is good, but not great like Howard Tate or other forgotten soul gems.

als bought thomas fehlamn low flow and a workshop LP but wax n facts doesn’t let you listen to stuff (that I know of) so no review.

Satelite Records

Nathan Fake – Dinamo EP and Jesse Somfay Nectar of My Love
These 2 traum 12″s are lovingly designed and produced. Their both house building off minimal’s cliches into new groups, but Somfay’s recalls typical house standards of the last 10 years and Fake’s work is good at times but not as awesome as expected. Still, 2 good platters with hooks and bleeps hard to find elsewhere

Swayzack vs Swayzack
sawyzack remix ep in which the groups all over the place sound is pinned down to sub-low sequences similar to Akufen. good, but like everything else I got in Atlanta not great.

Feder EP Bruchstuecke
Bought this mostly because the Luciano they released is insane. Similar in feel to that album it’s kinda electro – tech and accomplished, but I doubt I’ll play this much. Was on sale though

School Kids

Live At Your Cosmic Mind Sweet & Honey
The band one of the guys in Ghost was in before Ghost was the surprise winner on this trip. Didn’t think much of Ghost, but this collection of stoned space rock recalls Gong, Zepplin, and and numerous thrifted eps. Rocks, rolls, and everything else is a good album should do all while maintaing enuff fuzz and reverb to make me happy. Really good stuff favorite album so far in this bunch.

Michael Mayer Immer and Mayer Touch
Heard Touch was kinda trancey and it’s good, but I guess Mayer isn’t for me. On the other had his mix CD Immer is amazing, starting with Jan Jelinek’s remix of Auch it reminds what was so right with tech-house while including cuts that go outside of the sublow sound.

Sizzla Rise To The Occasion
You always find dancehall where you least expect it and this Sizzla album was in the used section at School Kids. The first few tracks rock including Sizzla dissing get rich and kill all your competitors rap. like most dancehall though it’s a mixed bag, for the tracks that are amazing there’s some total cheese, but all in all destroys Åmerican hip-hop all the while proving that dirty south or whatever is new in the commercial rap world really is just drawing for these guys. At least RZA releaes their shit some times.

Sightings Arrived in Gold
Fucking A. After the reviews for Arrived in Gold I was expecting some noise album I’d be gruddingly put in the player a few times to try and understand and perhaps re-discover 10 years later in a different mood. Instead I found the best rock record of 2005 so far. Spaciously produced they use the distance of their recordings to turn grueling noise into arrangements that go beyond their influences. The disco influecesd internal compass uses an eighties drum break similar to !!!’s work, but fucks it so hard the things comes rock hard and thumping around which noise guitar builds in clicks similar to a minimal groove, one of ten holds a minimal drum loop around a caravan of noise and submerged yells, sugar sediment loops a jazz piano refrain in front of a noisey assemlbage that never gets annoying. The Sightings have learned to take rock to it’s extreme, but here come back with what might be a pop record made in the 10,000 hertz range. Amazing.

Sunno Didn’t really listen to this much, but it’s good. slightly ligther than sunno’s second album, not as good as the first, no idea how it compares to the most recent.


A few things. None of these shops are bad. all provide good music in different levels. Bigger cities stores have a tendency to be larger, more inclusive, and hence harder to shop in if your just browsing (which is pretty much how I always shop). Also, I left out Vetiver which is nice neo-folk that I like and ended up stuck in my car hasn’t left much of an impression yet. it, along with joanna newsome, kinda alaram me in a way. I was hoping Devandra would be a wonderful splotch in indie, but instead it seems he was just a harbinger for a style that other’s are now imitating, no offense to Joanna who is original but still well with in a mold.

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Audio Peru more South American techno Team Shadetek DJ Set

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