Guadalcanal Diary and The Howlies

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Saturday, July 2nd @ Smith’s Olde Bar
1578 Piedmont Road Northeast – Atlanta, GA

The Howlies

Howlies—all lifelong friends who grew up together in Destin, Florida—formed in the Summer of 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia, after spending a drunken evening outdoors, howling with the neighborhood dogs. Based on basement recordings, they quickly secured the praise and producing duties of the legendary Kim Fowley (The Runaways, The Modern Lovers, The Germs). Howlies, then, traveled to California in Spring 2008 to record “Trippin’ with Howlies” with Fowley.

Wanting to capture the band’s ferocious but tight live performance, Kim recorded the band live and to tape in 42 hours. The result,”Trippin’ with Howlies”, captures the unique range of Howlies’ sound: from the 21st century surf-garage rockness of “Sea Level”, to the modern doo-wop high school prom sound of “Aluminum Baseball Bat”, to the majestic march of “Angeline”, all recorded in a style that Fowley describes as “a vinyl-inspired analog raid on the ProTools present.”

After a year of almost constant U.S. touring, Howlies have gained a reputation for their live performances. According to the Nashville Scene, a recent Howlies’ show “brought jaws to the floor with breakneck rhythmic ferocity, ghoulish gang vocals, and compositional twists and turns”. The bite of a Howlies’ show, beyond the smoke and flashing lights, is in the bark—the howl.

Download free single ZOMBIE GIRL here

Guadalcanal Diary

Currently reactivated in celebration of their pearl (30th) anniversary, Guadalcanal Diary first emerged as one of the most distinctive voices in the early ’80s Southern indie-pop explosion that produced such notable Georgia combos as the B-52s, R.E.M. and Pylon. But Guadalcanal Diary was notably different from its peers; during their original eight-year, four-album/one-EP lifespan, the quartet—singer/guitarist Murray Attaway, guitarist Jeff Walls, bassist Rhett Crowe and drummer John Poe—created an iconoclastic mix of garagey jangle, rootsy twang and pounding voodoo jungle rhythms. Song lyrics displayed a curious preoccupation with religion, the paranormal, cultural imperialism and the mythological margins of American history, while occasionally revealing an irreverent sense of humor bordering on the absurd.

The band formed in 1981 in Marietta Georgia, where it developed its unique sound with little influence or input from the local Atlanta and Athens music scenes. After releasing the critically-acclaimed Watusi Rodeo EP in 1983, the group achieved an early breakthrough with its first full-length album, Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man. The LP was originally released in 1984 by the seminal Atlanta indie label DB/Landslide; it quickly earned the foursome a deal with Elektra Records, who reissued Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man to wider acclaim. Elektra would go on to release all three subsequent studio albums: Jamboree (1986), 2 x 4 (1987) and Flip-Flop (1989).

Each of their discs won substantial critical praise and contributed to the band’s reputation, while Guadalcanal Diary’s legacy was secured as the result of sweat-soaked live shows that were by turns rousing, cheeky, and poignant. Between 1981 and 1989 Guadalcanal Diary toured North America and Europe extensively, building a loyal cult following that has remained unabated in the years since. Music videos for ‘Watusi Rodeo’, ‘Litany (Life Goes On)’ and ‘Always Saturday’ found regular rotation on MTV and the band was also featured on MTV’s The Basement Tapes, The Cutting Edge, and 120 Minutes.

Guadalcanal Diary disbanded amicably in 1989 and Murray Attaway followed up with a solo recording, In Thrall (Geffen 1993) and a number of film scores. John Poe went on to a quieter life, while Rhett Crowe left the music business for other pursuits. Jeff Walls resurfaced in Hillbilly Frankenstein and has been active with the Woggles since 2003; he has also done session work and produced recordings for a variety of artists.

Guadalcanal Diary reunited informally in 1996 and performed sporadically over the next three years; this outing resulted in the live CD Guadalcanal Diary At Your Birthday Party (Guadco 1998).2003-2004 saw the long-awaited CD re-release of the bands’ most sought-after recordings. Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man and 2 x 4 were reissued by Rhino Handmade in special editions that included bonus tracks, demos, rare photos and expanded liner notes. Last year Attaway and Walls joined forces once again to launch a new group, Bomber City (whose name is a typically characteristic tongue-in-cheek homage to their hometown of Marietta Georgia).

2011 marks the 30th anniversary of Guadalcanal Diary’s first show in the summer of 1981, when they played for a friend’s backyard wedding party in Marietta. These reunion shows celebrate the fans, the friendships, and the spirit that made the music of Guadalcanal Diary something worth remembering. – Nomad Artists