April 2, 2016 | doors at 8:30pm
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Party Panda Productions presents:
The Preakness | Paul Melancon and the New Insecurities
  • $15
  • $18
Uncle Green
Matt Brown, Bill Decker, Jeff Jensen, and Pete McDade started playing together as Uncle Green when they were fourteen and surviving high school in New Jersey. They moved to Georgia when they graduated, and played their first show in the famed 688 Club.

Over the next thirty years they released seven records and drove around the country in a series of Ford vans around the US, on tours that included the Black Crowes, Semisonic, Matthew Sweet, Ben Folds Five, the Reivers, and Robyn Hitchcock. The founding members of Uncle Green persevered through changes in record labels (four times? Five?), and even changes in their name (to 3 Lb Thrill, when they moved from Atlantic to Sony Records). Their last performance was in 2012, to mark the long-delayed release of Rycopa, a 2 CD, 32 song collection that was recorded, rejected by Sony Records, and then resurrected, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign.

This special show will mark 25 years since What An Experiment His Head Was was released by DB Records. Produced by Brendan O’Brien at the late great Southern Tracks Studios, Experiment was the album where the band first really began to play around with more complicated arrangements and production techniques, inspired by the lovely Mellotron available for their use. The well-received record led to shows across the US, and a leap to the world of major record labels. To celebrate its Silver Anniversary, Uncle Green will play Experiment from start to finish, as well as any other songs from the past thirty years that they can remember.
The Preakness
Despite the fact that the band shares its name with a 134-year-old horse race, The Preakness can trace its genesis to the 21st century technology of Myspace. Guitarist Brandon Arnold began posting homemade four-track recordings on the ubiquitous portal in 2005, eventually catching the attention of bassist Tracy Clark, who felt that her sense of harmony would be the perfect foil for Arnold's subtle pop melodies.

The band finally came to fruition in early 2006 in Atlanta, when Arnold (ex-Licentious 5) and drummer Tim Genius (ex-Bon Vivants) were winding down from other projects. Arnold re-connected with Clark, who was already playing in Silent Kids and the Blue Hour, and The Preakness was born. The potential of Arnold's early demos, and what Clark saw in them, became apparent right away, as lo-fi four-track charm gave way to explosive jangly pop, reminiscent of 80's and 90's college radio staples like Let's Active, Sebadoh, Superchunk, and Yo La Tengo.

Playing its first live show in April 2006, The Preakness became an instant attraction in Atlanta. The band would go on to play such festivals as Corndog-o-rama, The Other Sound Festival, and the Paste Rock and Reel Festival later that year.

The band recorded an EP's worth of material with Matt Glagola engineering (Glagola would later join the band as its drummer in 2009). Four of those songs made their way onto a 7" EP, Demons, which was released on the Eskimo Kiss imprint in 2007.

The Preakness enlisted pop savant Jason NeSmith to engineer its full-length debut. Recorded in early 2008 at NeSmith's Bel Air Studios in Athens, A Class Act fulfills the promise of the Demons EP and the rave reviews of those early shows. As described by Creative Loafing: "Each song condenses epic emotions into short vignettes brimming with metaphor and jangling emotions." "What They're Saying," "I Thought I Was in Control," and "On the Couch" all previously released on the EP, find their way onto A Class Act. Also included is a cover of Smog's "A Hit."

The band stays active in the Atlanta scene by playing in other side projects, though The Preakness remains the band's primary focus. Arnold now plays bass in Silent Kids, which coincidentally was one of Clark's gigs before joining The Preakness. Arnold also plays with the Liverhearts, as does Glagola. Clark currently also lends her talent as a multi-instrumentalist to Mary O. Harrison and the Tiny Tears.
Paul Melancon plays music. Literate, moody, indie-pop music. And he's got a band. Paste says he’s “in a category with the most talented of indie-pop singer-songwriters.” He's released two CDs and another with the band The Arts and Sciences. His third solo CD is due in 2016.