Show Preview: Gentleman Jesse @ Red 7 (11.19) — UPDATE – CANCELLED

Date Monday, November 19th
Location Red 7
Doors 9:00 PM
Tickets CHEAP

Personally, this is one of the best line-ups I’ve seen in some time, with two of my favorite bands blasting into town to rock it out at Red 7 on Monday night.  Kicking off the night are Bad Sports, featuring a line-up split between Austin and North Texas.  They’re like a dirtier version of the Ramones, so you can’t go wrong.  And then, the genius of power-pop takes the stage via Gentleman Jesse & His Men.  The group’s long put out hits that I’ve adored and raved about, and their recent record, Leaving Atlanta, was definitely talked about greatly in our discussion of year-end lists. You only have to work two days this week, right? So why not start it off here.


Drats…apparently Jeese had van issues, so the show has been cancelled!

Download:Gentleman Jesse – Eat Me Alive [MP3]

Gentleman Jesse & His Men – Leaving Atlanta

Rating: ★★★★½

Jesse Smith didn’t have the best year last year; he was mugged while helping strangers in Atlanta.  You couple that with the title of the album, Leaving Atlanta, and you figure that the record might be a bit of a bummer, giving us songs about one man’s struggle to leave his favorite town.  However, all tragedy aside, Gentleman Jesse seems reinvigorated, leaving us with his best offering to date.

“Eat Me Alive” in its title prepares the listener for what one would assume is a condemnation of Atlanta, and for all intents and purposes it might just be that, but Jesse doesn’t seem willing to give in, singing “it’s as good a place as any to try and survive.”  Whatever his feelings, he’s going to stick it out in Atlanta, clearly having given birth to some of Jesse’s best tracks.  On the whole, the record’s filled with seemingly desperate titles such as “I’m a Mess” or “We Got to Get Out of Here,” but there’s something else taking root in Jesse’s songwriting, helping move him beyond simple power-pop.

One example of such a change is the album’s stand out track “Careful What You Wish For,” which is as close to a ballad as Smith has written to date.  Indeed, there’s jangling guitars aplenty, but the inflection in his vocals gives listeners a glimpse into a more introspective Jesse.  Personally, I can listen to that chorus line over and over again.  There’s also “Take It Easy on Me,” which is another slow moving song, but it’s also one of the tracks that really provides you with a look into the soul of Gentleman Jesse.  At first it looks almost like a love song, and I suppose that it is, but with the personal history public knowledge, it almost seems as if he’s asking for the city of Atlanta to show him a kinder side–the side that made him fall in love with it in the first place.

Leaving Atlanta will keep long-time followers pleased throughout, leaving us with plenty of power-pop goodness, albeit on a more serious note.  You’ll find a sing-a-long foot stomper in “What Did I Do.” It’s the classic sound you’ve come to know from Jesse, making way for the more potent track that follows, “You Give Me Shivers.” While the song blasts off with a jittery burst, it settles into a fast paced tune of glorious power-pop that makes being a fan of the genre so enjoyable.  With these sorts of songs, and a bit of introspection, we’re seeing a nice evolution from Mr. Smith.

Gentleman Jesse has been playing music in various outfits for some time now, but this is by far the best he’s sounded on record.  Leaving Atlanta benefits from a few subtle stylistic changes that change the mood of the listener, providing an escape from the slight monotony you found on his first record.  Regardless of the circumstances surrounding his life, and possible move as suggested in the title, it’s clear that Atlanta’s been great for Jesse, leading him to write his best collection of tunes to date.


Download:Gentleman Jesse – Eat Me Alive [MP3]

Brand New Power Pop from Gentleman Jesse

For the last couple of years I’ve loved the purveyor of pure power-pop, Gentleman Jesse and his group of merry men from Atlanta.  He’s been working hard at his new record, Leaving Atlanta, which comes out on March 13th via Douchemaster Records.  One of the best things about the group, and this track below, is that the band just gives you straight up rock n’ roll.  There’s no frills, there’s no gags, it’s just an honest-to-god rock song. Still, that’s not always good enough for a lot of people, but those people are wrong, as this song’s got me pumping my fists in the air, tapping my feet on the ground, and ready for the rest of the release. Well played gentlemen.


Download:Gentleman Jesse – Eat Me Alive [MP3]

New Tunes from Gentleman Jesse and His Men

When I briefly spoke to Jesse of Gentleman Jesse at his show this year over at Beerland, he said he had a slew of 7″ coming our way.  The first came off Douchemaster, while the most recent, You’ve Got the Wrong Man, just came out on Hozac Records.  Of course, it’s all leading up to a new GJ&HM release that’s supposed to come out in 2011.  His tracks are always short and sweet, full of jangling guitars, rocking that simple power-pop straight at you in under 3 minutes.  It’s what made me love punk, and it’s what definitely gets me excited about everything Jesse, and his men, put together. Try out one of the new tracks, and then hit up Hozac so you can get your hands on it.


Download: Gentleman Jesse – You’ve Got The Wrong Man [MP3]

New Music from Gentleman Jesse and His Men

Make no mistake, Gentleman Jesse and His Men have been one of my favorite groups over the last few years.  No matter what happens, I always return to their simplistic power-pop, and pogo about my room like a child.  This is probably what we all needed a little bit more of in our life, isn’t it? Well, lucky for you, Jesse and his posse have released a brand new 7′ titled She’s a Trap.  I picked it up at his show not too far back, but you can grab it from his label Douchemaster.  Keep an eye on this chap, as there’s surely a new record right around the corner, but for now, here’s the title track off the recent release.


Download: Gentleman Jesse and His Men – She’s a Trap [MP3]

Top 40 Songs Of The Year

So when we thought making an albums of the year post was hard, this one proved to be even harder.  How do you take literally thousands of songs and narrow it down to the best 40 of the year?  Not too sure how to answer that question, but we tried.  Each of these songs scream 2008 in our ears.  As evident by this list, the year in music was quite a good one and we had some tough choices to make.  We’ve got some of the songs streaming for you or links to the song on youtube.  Follow the jump to see if your favorite tune of the year made the list.

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Albums Of The Year: 15-1

A few days ago, we gave you part one of our albums of the year list.  Today we bring you the best of the best from a wide range of artists who brought the noise this year.  We’ve fought it out amongst our ATH writers for weeks and these are the albums that we all loved.  These 15 albums went into thunderdome and emerged victorious.  Follow the jump to see if your favorite band made the Top 15 of 2008.

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Gentleman Jesse and His Men – s/t

Rating: ★★★★★

A few months back I was fortunate enough to come across a short album by Atlanta band, Carbonas. After careful research I came across Gentleman Jesse and His Men, a band fronted by Carbonas bass player, Jesse Smith. I adore the more abrasive album featuring Jesse on bass, nothing comes close to my level of enjoyment when listening to the power-pop of the band he fronts.

Immediate references will draw upon similarities to bands such as The Exploding Hearts, due to vocal delivery, and Buzzcocks, based solely on emotional similarities. Still, one would have to go much farther back, back into the 50s bandstand rock n roll in order to complete the circle of influences. Every riff seems straight out of an era, but done so refreshingly that its hard not to fall in love right away.

Remember those bands you grew up listening to when you were younger? This should have been one of those bands. This should have been the only one. Every song has staying power, and it goes beyond the box we’ve placed Gentleman Jesse inside. If teenagers had good tastes, then they would spend countless hours in their mirrors singing and bouncing along to this album with a hairbrush in hand, wishing they could take to the stage. This album has that much power.

Vocal inflections allow for the listener to differentiate between each song, though you might find that the rhythm section becomes a little redundant at times. Still, you could list every single song on the album as a hit. Pick a song, sing along and you’ll bob your head for the rest of the day.

“All I Need Tonight,” the third track definitely jumps out at you as one of the more powerful songs. The backing vocals bring back the simplicity in garage rock, just in time for the killer solo at the end of the song. It’s precisely the way it was always meant to be; straightforward rock music without meandering into noise and atmospherics. “The Rest of My Days” ask “where is time going,” and its clear that the rest of my days will be spent listening to this album, this song.

The latter half of the night packs just as much punch as the first half of the album. Songs like “I Get So Excited” and “You Got Me Where You Want Me” are meant to be sung by entire audiences. Each song is full of fervor, hoping to grab the audience and hold them close to the speakers one last time before the album winds down to its end. No one should skip a song.

After listening to the album in my ears for days, its hard to be really objective here; this album is the most refreshing thing to come by and cleanse my pallet, which is odd due to its apparent nostalgia in the realm of power-pop. Those of you interested in good clean pop rock will do well to find this immediately. I can see it nearing the Top 10 right now as it plays again and again.