Atlantis Music Conference 2000
Atlanta, GA • August 9-12, 2000
August is Atlantis time again, a chance to see nearly two hundred mostly unsigned bands from around the Southeast and across the country. In its three years of life, this event has grown in many ways — more panels, more bands, more venues, more parties — but for me, the best thing is still seeing a ton of bands. This year included some national artists, as well: Bif Naked, the Psychedelic Furs, and others. Here are some notes on a few of the shows I caught.
Empire 44 played in the seemingly cavernous Variety Playhouse — the elaborate lighting and sound system were the perfect compliment for their extremely visual show. It’s too bad more people weren’t there to see.
The Psychedelic Furs were a great live band in their heyday, and recently toured with the Go-Go’s and the B-52s on an “80’s flashback” tour. I missed that show, smelling an I’ve-got-a-mortgage-to-pay sellout, and half-expected the flashback to be more of a bad trip — thankfully, I was surprised. A little balder, but otherwise sleek, suave, and seemingly healthy, the Furs made a great appearance at Atlantis. They sounded terrific, played all their best old and new music (everything from “India” and “President Gas” to “Heaven”). Kudos to them for playing “the hits” and not trying to pretend they haven’t been pretty much sitting on their butts for ten years.
The Forty-Fives headlined the Echo Lounge on Friday night — a year or so of constant touring has honed this band into a razor-sharp rock machine. A Hammond organ now fills out their Rickenbacker/Fender-powered ’60s soul-xplosion. If James Brown had grown up listening to the Clash and the Sex Pistols, this is the band he’d be in.
Gargantua is the hastily reformed/renamed remnants of Super X-13. They said it best themselves during the show, “I like to rock… and I like to roll!” Stone metal motherfuckers in the vein of Nashville Pussy and KISS (pre-1980), they carnally pleased a swelling crowd at the Star Bar late Saturday night.
X-Impossibles shut down the Star Bar on the last night of the conference, and this show was somewhat a celebration of their recent signing to Cargo Records. They don’t hide their love of the New York Dolls and the Clash, and took it even further tonight, with covers of Iggy’s “Search and Destroy” and AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.”
The rest of the weekend was awards, parties, panels, glimpses at new music technology, and hanging out with music industry wizards and wannabes; all well and good, but for me, it’s about the bands.