...they came from atlanta...
the hal al Shedad
singles and unreleased recordings: 1995-1999
i'm back. and i thought i'd dive into some atlanta goodness. i remember there being a mention in the comments awhile back about some hal al shedad (and atlanta in general) so i thought i'd fill the need. the hal al shedad was nothing short of amazing. i will go on record to say they were probably "the best" atlanta band of the mid/late 90's. having started out in the amazing house-show scene in the mid 90's with the likes of inkwell, car vs. driver, scout, and wheeljack, these guys fit right in with the hardcorest or hardcore shows as well as with the most indie-sweater-vest-wearing college radio shows of the time. amazingly powerful live performances and amazing and talented musicians all around. (i may be a bit biased having lived and worked with them from the beginning). the band consisted of benjamin lukens, edward rawls, and james joyce (names which you will see in the next few posts as well). in family tree news, james also played drums in car vs. driver. i will probably be doing a more in depth "story" on hal on my own site, proven hollow, so watch out for that. anyway, this album is all the 7"s and unreleased tracks throughout their life. personally i find the first couple 7"s to be the best thing they did, but it is all good and all worthwhile.
retconned consists of jon lukens (brother of ben from above). retconned is a one man force. a man and his machine. i had the pleasure of touring europe with retconned playing the exact opposite of sold out shows. its difficult to really categorize retconned. it is part noise, part beats (part beast), and at the same time you get that wierd "DC" vibe from it...hell i don't know. i just know i like it. one of his first reviews was for the first live performance i think. the review said something to the effect of "watching retconned was like walking in on your parents having sex." brilliant. retconned has many albums out, and this is the latest. it is good. that is all. to get the rest of his albums (for free!), go to retconned(dot)com. you will not be disappointed.
ultivac was 1 part retconned, 2 parts hal al shedad. and thats exactly what it sounds like. take jon and his toys from retconned, and team them up with ben from hal on bass and james from hal on drums. i was really knocked over when i heard this. its like the best elements from both bands combined into one. that's all i can really say about it. probably one of the least known atlanta bands of the time. but yet another in a long lineage of quality from all of these guys. warning: some of these songs drive my dogs insane.
...know all the right people...
sometime in the late 90's/early 00's, there was a mass exodus from atlanta to nyc. (i'm sure there was also the same exodus from every other city and town in the world). but you couldn't walk anywhere in the city without seeing all the same fucking people you saw back home. anyway...wierd. so jon from retconned was in the city and his brother ben soon came. they got together with 2 other atlantians, sean greathead from wheeljack and ray sullivan (technically from athens) who was in the walt lariat. what they made was amverts. i can't say i know a great deal about amverts (i had already left nyc when they started), but i do know that it "rules" and "rocks." much more rock/punk oriented than the previous bands, with jon and ben taking turns on the vokills. anyway, if you liked hal al shedad and you liked the ultivac from above, you will like this. this was heir only output (although i think there may be a few extra songs they have hidden somewhere. i'll ask and see if i can get them.
well i hope you enjoyed this trip down the lesser known atlanta path. as of this writing, jon, ben and james are all back in atlanta. retconned is currently putting a new album together. james is playing drums in a new atlanta old-guys super group called sonn av krusher. and ben dabbles around with various things.
let me know if you guys are digging this stuff, there is plenty more.