November 15, 2017

Chris McKay Drops a Massive Comp, and More Music News

Threats and Promises

Photo Credit: Manda McKay

Chris McKay

FOR THE FAITHFUL: Songwriter, guitarist and rock photographer of note Chris McKay has outdone his ever-prolific self this month. He’s just released a 55-track compilation of demos, home recordings and other tracks. It’s titled Music for Survivors, and he compiled most of it while recuperating at home from an auto accident. He’s broken the tracks down into five sets of songs. Each set comprises a “disc,” and the tracks are labeled as such. The fifth set is actually a brand new album named Euno that is also available separately. Some of these tracks were meant to be songs for McKay’s band The Critical Darlings, and others are songs that didn’t fit that project for whatever reason. Mostly, this massive set reflects McKay’s signature big pop sound, which he maintains with a tasty sense of melody. The liner notes explain this entire project pretty thoroughly, so why not read them when you’re checking this all out over at

THE ART OF STAYING ON TASCAM: Drew Kirby released a new record under his Civils moniker recently. And, as founder and head honcho of Marching Banana Records, it makes sense that’s the label that released it. It’s titled Tape Doctor, and according to its notes, it was envisioned as a “no singing” album. That’s not what happened, though. Instead, through a huge amount of analog reel-to-reel tape manipulation and layering, these tracks became actual songs. It starts off with the Ween-ish “Herculo Montana,” which is pretty bad and derivative, but the whole thing quickly gets much better. The title track is a nervous wreck of a thing worthy of hardcore remixing; “Burner Ethics” is bouncy and glitchy in a Death Grips kind of way; and “Eyes Like Test Tubes” is musical self-immolation via its laborious pacing, sound disintegration and distinctly bad mood. So, overall, it’s tops! Loop around to or and listen in.

ELBOW RUBBIN’ TIME: The UGA Sports & Entertainment Law Society is hosting a music industry mixer at the 40 Watt Club Wednesday, Nov. 15. All musicians and industry folks—or wannabe industry folks—are welcome to attend this free event. Although there’s no information provided about this specific gathering, these things generally have some information available about industry-run charitable programs, a couple of short talks about specific industry topics and so on. While the direct benefit to musicians is always a little iffy—though there can be some—these things can be a great way to meet people who can help you or can be aided by your help. Whatever your status, don’t ever be intimidated by meeting industry people. Literally everyone had that first job where they didn’t know a thing and had to ask a bunch of questions. Also, keep in mind that at any given time in the music world, there’s only about $40 going around and everyone’s trying to get it, so be sure to distinguish yourself in some way.

MAMA DON’T TAKE MY KODACHROME: Athens photographer and friend to all musicians Jason Thrasher will appear at the Athens-Clarke County Library Thursday, Nov. 16 from 7–9 p.m. in celebration of his new book Athens Potluck. The book is based on a series of photographs of Athens musicians—each one suggested by the previous musician in the series—and has been a celebrated collection of Thrasher’s work for several years. The book is published by Athens’ Deeds Publishing and is a gorgeous addition to any shelf or coffee table. No one can be certain of such things, but I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that the first run of books is going to sell out fairly quickly, especially with gift-buying season upon us. So, if you want one, grab a copy at your local bookseller (aka the Avid Bookshops) soon.

LEMME IN: The raffle is open for the 2018 Nuçi Pass, which will allow a single winner, plus one guest, free admittance to an enormous amount of shows. The field of participating venues is now staggering, and includes Atlanta and other non-Athens joints such as the Buckhead Theatre, Center Stage, Eddie’s Attic, Red Clay Theatre, Smith’s Olde Bar, Terminal West, The Loft, Variety Playhouse, Vinyl and Macon’s Cox Capitol Theatre. Raffle tickets are only $5 each, and you can buy as many as you like. The drawing is held Dec. 17, and you can gather all additional information at