Arizona & Gift Horse Show/John Cougar TrainingCamp Wrap-Up/I Quit?

Well, it's been a while. But here's what's new:

Gift Horse played a show with Arizona last Saturday in Asheville, NC at a smoky little dive called Broadway's. Much like last time, the guys were extremely hospitable and put on one hell of a good show. Arizona currently calls Asheville home, and a modest and appreciative hometown crowd came out to see the show and give the local boys hell throughout their entire drunken, bad-ass set. Special thanks to Arizona's drummer James and his roommate Claire for letting us crash at their house after the show and listen to some 80's music until 4 a.m. We awoke Sunday morning to find that it had snowed pretty hard throughout most of the night. After we got rolling we went over to hang out with Arizona at Echo Mountain Studios, an old church complex converted into a really upscale, professional recording house unlike anything I have personally ever seen. Helluva place. Special thanks to Arizona bassist Alex for cooking us a huge delicious breakfast before we made the trip back to Athens. They are really a great group of genuine people who have been extremely kind to us from the moment we met them. I very strongly recommend them to the curious and look forward to playing many more shows with them.

Thanks a ton to Lydia See for coming out and taking some pictures and for writing a review of the show on her blog. Very cool.     

Also, the John Cougar TrainingCamp has a review of our 40 Watt show up on the Flagpole's website. Read if you please, but be quick because after a while it will disappear from the linked page that I just provided for you, which is retarded.

And finally, I'm thinking of reformatting this here blog for a variety of reasons. First off, I don't really think I want to promote that hard for a few of the bands over there on the left hand side of the page anymore. Some yes, some no. But anyhow, I'm thinking about centering this blog around my band (and Blue Flashing Light). The fact that I have to say "Gift Horse played a show with Arizona..." and not "we played a show with Arizona..." is starting to wear on me. Plus no one in Athens really cares because (gasp!) there are a lot of dicks out there. So don't be surprised if you search for this blog one day and it doesn't exist anymore. 


John Cougar TrainingCamp in the Red and Black

The John Cougar TrainingCamp has a "Soundslide" up on the Red & Black's homepage. That's a slide show with sound, apparently:

SOUNDSLIDE: John Cougar Training Camp - Variety

They also ran a story in today's "Out and About" section. Pick it up at local newsstands or read it online.

Thanks to Jim Diffly for coming out and taking some pics (including this one) and John Barrett for the story. See you guys tonight at the show!

The 5 Most Anticipated Local Albums of 2009

The following is from a piece I wrote for Rough Draft:
-By M

1. Modern Skirts – All Of Us In Our Night
I suppose it’s cheating to include this album considering it’s been floating around locally since late in 2008, but the national release is slated for January 20, 2009. I love their distinct palate of chords and semi-Brit pop chord progressions. Add infectious melodies and you have a damn fine pop album. Having already listened to it extensively, I say Modern Skirts are on the way up and I expect this album to kill in 09.
Why I’m excited: Their previous material proves the band’s songwriting worth, and with production help from David Lowery (Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven) and Mike Mills (uh, R.E.M. dumbass) you know it’s good.
Next Athens show: January 31 at the 40 Watt with Constellations and Oblio.

2. Cinemechanica – As of yet untitled full-length
I don’t know much yet, but Cinemechanica has a new one in the works. If you are a virgin to the bliss that is Cinemechanica, please do yourself a favor and go see them at their next Athens show. The formula of some unbelievable guitar work and the sickest drum fills you’ve ever heard promises to create epic albums.
Why I’m excited: It’s been 4 years since the last Cinemechanica full-length,
and I’ve listened to the three songs on 2008’s Rivals EP on continuous repeat
for months. Stiff Slack is onboard to release the album in Japan, but look for
its U.S. release in the fall on HelloSir Records.

3. A.Armada – As of yet untitled full-length
Speaking of epic albums, the debut full-length from A.Armada is one to look forward to. If you’re one of those people who think that it’s difficult to get into instrumental bands, check out A.Armada. From bombastic and soaring to beautiful and ethereal, this band will make believers out of skeptics.
Why I’m excited: Even with only six songs it’s still very easy to get lost in the swirling delay and reverb of A.Armada’s exceptional last release, Anam Cara. I can’t wait to see what their debut full-length is capable of. Golden Antenna will release the album in Europe, but once again look for its fall local release on HelloSir.

4. Pegasuses-XL – As of yet untitled full-length
I love the glitchy, abrasive, distorted keyboard madness that is Pegasuses-XL. This new record is being produced by Andy Baker and promises to be somewhat of a departure from previous sounds, but I’m confident it will still retain the controlled chaotic element that makes Pegasuses-XL such a great live band.
Why I’m excited: Even though some critics tore Pegasuses-XL’s 2008 release The Antiphon the proverbial new asshole, I thought it was excellent. It’s thematic from track to track, and a few moments really excel and leave you wanting more. What the fuck do the critics know, anyway? Look for this new one on the Ernest Jenning Record Co. in late spring/early fall.
Next Athens show: January 30 at Little Kings with the outstanding local hip-hop kids Deaf Judges.

5. Gift Horse – Debut full-length very tentatively titled Die Leaves, Fall
So…this is my band, and I’ll be damned if I’m not including our own stuff. As you read this, we’re in the studio with Hank Sullivant (
Kuroma) and Nate Nelson (Nate Nelson & Cortright) making our debut full-length, which should be out as soon as possible. Shameless self promotion, you say? Damn right.
Why I’m excited: I love myself.
Next Athens show: January 23 at Caledonia with Baak
Gwai, Kebert Xela, & Sound and Shape

Since 2009 is well underway, I figured it was time to throw this up there. Obviously you may disregard the dates and stuff, as most of them have already passed.

John Cougar TrainingCamp in "Rough Draft"

The following is from an interview between Jason Scarboro (Dead Confederate) and Rough Draft's Allegra:

John Cougar Trainingcamp…Where Only The Strong Survive
By Allegra

If you’re all up in the Athens concert scene (that includes more than just Georgia Theatre, trustafarians), you might have noticed that 40 Watt will soon be hosting John Cougar Trainingcamp. If your reaction was anything like mine, you did a double take…and then spent the next few hours (or longer- I’m going on 3 weeks) thoroughly entertained by the name.

Jason Scarboro, the founder of John Cougar Trainingcamp and drummer for Dead
Confederate, was kind enough to answer some of our more pressing questions
about the upcoming show:

Rough Draft: First of all, how the hell did you come up with the idea of John Cougar Trainingcamp?
Jason Scarboro: Well I have always loved basically stoner metal, and also liked the bigness of bands with multiple drummers. So when we had a little down time from Dead Confederate, I asked a handful of friends if they'd be willing to put together this set, and lucky for me they said yes.

RD: Are you a fan of the real John Cougar, or was it just a badass name?
JS: Definitely just a bad ass name.

RD: Does the Trainingcamp have rigorous, early morning calisthenics?
JS: Of course we do! Two joints and a jog. What kind of dog and pony show you think I’m running here?

RD: Are there any artists/genres that you guys have a special affinity for?
JS: I'd have to say for me personally, the bands that inspired me to want to do this were obviously the Melvins, Sleep, Black Sabbath, Acid King, you know, the good shit. Anything really sludgy, with just a really badass riff steals my heart.

RD: Have practices been chaotic?
JS: Yeah, it's been pretty intense. The guys of Blue Flashing Light were kind enough to allow us to use their space at Pigpen, filling it with the three drum sets and all the other amps and things. And anytime you have that many musicians playing together, parts have to be kind of ironed out. I'm still humbled and very
thankful that my friends were even willing to try something like this with me.

RD: If the Trainingcamp were America's Next Top Model, would you be Tyra?
JS: I was thinking Randy Jackson. We both wear glasses.

John Cougar Trainingcamp makes its debut Thursday, February 12th at 40 Watt,
doors at 9 PM, $7 (18+) $5 (21+). I can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t
want to go to this show…it’s got everything. As an added incentive, if you can
find me at the show and tell me John Cougar Mellencamp’s life history, I’ll buy
you a drink. This does not apply to my coworkers.

For more of the interview (which is off to a smashing start) pick up this weeks copy of Rough Draft. I believe it came out today, but I'm not sure. You can pick it up just about anywhere downtown, but here's a few specific paper bins:

Amici's, Mellow Mushroom/Doc Chey's, Pita Pit, Broad St. Bar & Grill, ERC, Walker's, The Grill, Sandbar, Lansdowne, Boar's Head, Wild Wing, Copper Creek, Smoker's Lounge, Clocked, Gameday Pub, GA Bar, Little Italy, Globe...and so on. You can also get it at a few random apartment complexes and some on-campus paper bins.

See you at the show!