Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Nathan Baugh 1/15/83 - 12/24/15

    Earlier this year, Guntersville, AL band The Devil's Got A Hold On Me played a show at the Glass Onion in Gadsden. I'd seen them play several times and was excited to see them tear up my local vinyl fix. Though the crowd was minimal (welcome to Gadsden!), the trio gave us their all. At least the cool people showed up. Per usual, Keith's guitar was loud and nasty and dirty and effortless. Brad killed on drums, pounding the beat with a sufficient prowess and an excess of violence. I've never heard anyone ask, "Where's the bass guitar?". The duo was, as always, tight and unhinged at the same time.

And then there was Nathan...
 
    Nate yelled into the microphone. He was always angry, hurt, determined. He mostly sang looking down. Or maybe inward. I never once saw the man sing to an audience. Never. He refused to face us beyond a passing glimpse. We were a corner into which he had backed. In reality, he was a nice guy who loved his family and friends. He was a proud supporter of the independent music scene. But when performing, he was somewhere else. He was something else. For the space of a 20 minute set, he was a volcanic island, erupting and raging in the center of a ravaging noise hurricane. Sweat rained and the racket whipped around. The walls and the floor shook. He stood his ground and fought back at the waves. When it was all over, the sun came out. Nathan Baugh looked up into it.

Now that island is gone...

Nate passed away on Christmas Eve, 2015. If you would like to donate to help his family with expenses, please visit Nathan Baugh's funeral fund on GoFundMe. Money is tight for a lotta folks this time of the year, but any amount helps. And after ya do that, check out this tune The Devil's Got A Hold On Me contributed to the GAD! digital comp, So This Is What They Were Talkin' About....
-Adam Harmless

Friday, December 4, 2015

REVIEW : Nato Coles & The Blue Diamond Band- “Promises To Deliver”

Caught wind of this band based on a recommendation by another Huntsville-area musician, Judson Charles Law. What was once a wind has blossomed into a full-blown Alabama mobile-home chompin’ tornado. If memory serves, he used the words “Replacements” and “Springsteen” as reference anchors for the band. At that point, my eyes glazed over, and everything took on the appearance of the backdrop of the Twilight Zone movie freakouts. And to the benefit of Mr. Law, full credence is due to his ascertainment.
I have gone very few days in the last two months not spinning this record. I have listened to it on days when I was telling myself “not Nato Coles again. Find something else. Anything.” And like any female protagonist in almost every romantic comedy produced in the last thirty years, I kept returning, powerless to its charms, to my renegade, maverick romantic interest, Nato Coles (& The Blue Diamond Band, where noted).
In a nutshell, Nato Coles is the early sector of Bruce Springsteen's career (up to and including Born In The U.S.A.) if maybe it had been prescribed some type of anti-depressant instead. The blue-collar, heart-on-the-sleeve raw honesty and emotion is there, the street-level perspective intact, but it ends up leaving one with the feeling of excitement at the prospect of a bold, cross-country adventure, rather than the urge to go commit suicide at the nearest railyard on the cloudiest day of the year. There are also touches of Ryan Adams, Jeremy Porter And The Tucos, Lucero, etc. It’s self-aware and introspective and self-examinate enough to provide sustenance to the soul, nutrition to the spirit, but is enough fun to be able to put on and mindlessly bullet down the highway en route to a destination free of the bridles that attach themselves to creature comforts we all seem to need to make the modern human condition sufferable. 
In closing: Go on bandcamp, get everything they have for sale, and go out and “See Some Lights.”
                                                                                                                            
-Jackson A.D.

[This review (and many others) appear in the upcoming Issue 10 of GAD!]




Tuesday, November 3, 2015

THOUGHTS ON WRITING REVIEWS & LEAVING OUT FRIENDS


Proper review coming soon in GAD! X
  Here's a little inside baseball for ya. The process of reviewing music (and everything else for that matter) is not an exact science. Every reviewer approaches their subject differently. Some folks just run through an album once and they're done and they have an opinion and they type/write/scrawl their opinion and they are on to the next one. Others take weeks deconstructing every waking second of said release, analyzing the most minute details, of not only the audio, but even the artwork and liner notes. Some writers are clinical. Some are comical. Some are all about the music. Some give their life story in an attempt to find that music's proper context within it. None of those styles are correct or incorrect. And no critic's voice is appreciated by everyone.       
    My music review writing style kinda fluctuates. There's usually some humor or rhetoric. I can be clinical, but I tend opt for fast and excited for the zine. You make up the rules in a zine. And there's no penalty for breaking your own rules. My approach to listening to the music under review, however, is pretty much always the same. If its a CD, LP, cassette, mp3, or whatever, I always start by listening to it on the original format in which I received it (Duh!). Later, I listen to the music in the car and when walking. That gives me the opportunity to really get to know the music. If it's a CD, I just take it with me everywhere. Records and cassettes often come with a digital download. If they don't, I'll make a copy for myself. I don't share the copies because if I did that would defeat the entire purpose of trying to get folks to buy music. I used to always put the mp3s onto CDrs, but for the the last few issues, I've mostly just opted for putting the mp3s on  my smartphone. Now I have the music with me everywhere, which has worked beautifully for me.
      Except in one case. Almost a year ago, my band played a show with a cool skate punk band called Pirate Nights. I've seen 'em a few times and have made sure to talk about them whenever possible. They've even been kind enough to lend a track to our digital comp, So This Is What They Were Talkin' About.... Anyway, I spied a 12'' at their merch table and purchased it, with the full intention of writing a review. It's called The Carpetbagger's Split and it features four bands, each contributing 3-4 songs. I know and have written in the zine about 3 of the 4 groups, Pirate Nights (of course), Devil's Got A Hold On Me (also contributors to the STIWTWTA comp), and Johnny! Bad Touch. The other band, of which at the time I wasn't familiar, is Jackpot Justice.  The record was put out by L.R.S Records with Alabama Independent Music. I listened to it. SPOILER: I enjoyed it!! It came with a digital download, of which I took advantage. I saved it onto an SD card and put it in my phone....a Windows phone. There's my problem. I only used that phone for a little while and when I changed back to an Android-based phone, I simply swapped the SD card over. Unfortunately the phone had changed the format of several tracks from mp3 to WMA (booooooo!!!!). So no Carpetbaggers on the go for me. The plan was to go ahead and review other releases and do this one last. But we started running behind and out of space (like we are now...and always!). Later I just somehow had it in my head that we had published a review. My head is not to be trusted. Anyway, this a great record and I do recommend it. And I promise a review in the next issue of GAD!. Unless I fuck up. -Adam Harmless

Monday, October 19, 2015

WHAT THE HELL IS A "GAD"?

   What is GAD!? GAD! is a an old school, black & white, photocopied, poorly stapled together, zine. What's a zine? Go look it up. Then make one. Anyway, the GAD! zine is a free publication put together by volunteers to promote independent music, film, art, zines, poetry, etc. Mostly of the punk rock variety, but we are hardly limited to that one genre. Independence and creativity are our thing. Because most of us live in Alabama, a lot of our coverage is of the Southeastern US, but we talk to and about artists from all over the world.
   We're currently putting together our 10th issue. It'll be out before the end of the year. That sounds kinda vague, doesn't it? Well, that's because even after we have our content ready, we still have to do layout (either on a computer or with scissors and glue), print the pages (while doing battle with our stubborn photocopier), put issues together, and staple them. Because the zine is free, we depend entirely on funds from donations. Sometimes the funds are a tad short and we have to wait. Such is the life of a zinester.
   So what is the point of all this? Well, with the zine taking so long to make and mail out, it becomes difficult to be truly up-to-date in our coverage. This page is our way of continuing the coversation about the terrific art that inspires us between the print issues, as well as, talking about the process of creating the zine. This also a great way to share content for which there isn't room in the print issues. For longtime readers and supporters, rest assured that the GAD! zine is precious to us and we will continue to publish issues. We ain't gonna stop!! Thanks! -Adam Harmless