After making his final appearance with the Selmanaires at the Drunken Unicorn two weeks ago, bassist Tommy Chung is moving on to New York City at the end of the month. Chung has been a local music fixture for years, playing bass live with Atlas Sound, Adron, and Black Lips, whom he did a stint with back in 2007. His departure marks the end of an era.
Chung is heading north to be with his girlfriend and find work as a writer. What the future holds in store for the Selmanaires remains to be seen, but the group is not breaking up. "We are going to try to keep the Selmanaires going and focus on recording," Chung says. "The boys and I are planning to e-mail GarageBand files back and forth, and on occasion I will fly back to Atlanta to record, or they will fly up to New York to record with me."
Chung will play one more show with Mathis Hunter of Noot 'd Noot at WhirlyBall on Halloween night, with Judi Chicago and Gentleman Jesse.
Pioneering outpost of Atlanta's Reagan-era punk and alt-rock scenes, 688 Club is reopening down the road from its original location. The Spring4th Complex is annexing the building next door (714 Spring St.) and licensing the original name from 688 founder and co-owner Steve May, who will also serve as general manager for the new club.
"We fathered in the punk scene back in the early '80s, but it was always a progressive club and not just a punk rock place," May says. "Everyone from Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson to Afrika Bambaataa, R.E.M., and the Red Hot Chili Peppers played there, and we'd like to foster that kind of eclectic scene with rock, hip-hop — not just one genre of music."
The new 688 has a capacity of 1,100, which is double the original size. The club hosts its first official show on Halloween night with Three 6 Mafia, Project Pat, Decatur's own Tom P (whose new album Root for the Underdog is currently available), and more.
In new release news, the Last Waltz Ensemble's forthcoming album, New Orleans Jokerman, features appearances by and the Dirty Dozen Horns among others, and is due out with a release party at Smith's Olde Bar on Nov. 19. Mike Keenan from Hawks' vanity label Trans Ruin dropped a handful of releases this month, including a double 7-inch on gold vinyl featuring Hawks and like-minded French band Café Flesh. There's also a split 12-inch featuring Athens band Chrissakes and Baltimore's the Convocation (formerly the Convocation Of), and a split release with Dark Wolf for the vinyl version of the Sunglasses' debut, Bad Happy.
DT of local hip-hop duo Clan Destined released an instrumental EP comprised entirely of samples from the band Yes, appropriately titled The Yes Project. The Nice Guise (aka MCs Catalyst and Ty-vicious) recently released the Baka Remix EP, which features six songs from their self-titled debut, remixed by local producer Baka.
The Earl will release the second installment of its live 7-inch series on Nov. 26. This one features the Coathangers with "Haterade" b/w "Wreckless Boy," and it's on glow-in-the-dark vinyl.