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Coathangers show growth, R.E.M.'s Rieflin still a no-show

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The Coathangers's new "Johnny" b/w "Wife Eyes" 7-inch, slated to drop the second week of October, brings the brash lady punk foursome full-circle, back to the label that got the party started: Die Slaughterhaus Records. But the songs on this new single are a far cry from the squelching three-chord tantrums of their '06 Slaughterhaus debut.

Time on the road and two records under their collective belt have refined the Coathangers' sound, and while there's still a spastic element to the new songs, the group's confidence and prowess as musicians have become quite sharp. I wouldn't call it Beatles-like transcendence, but considering a song like "Wife Eyes" — the group's take on servitude to a spouse, a computer (get it, "Wi-Fi?") or whatever — in comparison to their first single, "Don't Touch My Shit," they've come a long way. The interplay between the slide guitar and piano that brings "Johnny" to a close illustrates the group's full-bodied rock 'n' roll sound, no longer constrained by punk's limitations.

R.E.M. recently finished recording its 15th studio album, due to be released in 2011 via Warner Bros. This time around, the group worked with Accelerate producer Jacknife Lee in New Orleans at the Music Shed and in Berlin at Hansa Studios.

And while we're on the subject, is anyone else tired of R.E.M. still not allowing drummer Bill Rieflin to appear in any of its band photos or interviews? I get it, he's not Bill Berry, but he has been in the picture (in some capacity) since 2003; and really, he's the most intriguing character in the group these days.

Fringe Factory returns to Atlanta on Sat., Oct. 2. This time around, DJs Vikki V and Suzy Q bring the psychedelic dance party to the Music Room beneath Pizza Vesuvius on Edgewood Avenue.

Ria's Bluebird celebrates 10 years of slinging breakfast on Sun., Oct. 3 with a 4 p.m. parking lot party featuring reunion performances from Rizzudo, the Rent Boys and Tweezer.

The Inside the Music series returns Oct. 29 to Stankonia Recording Studios for an ATL Freshmen class of 2010 showcase of up-and-coming artists. Back in May, the series kicked off with performances from Hollyweerd and Cyhi Da Prynce. The list of performers for the next installment remains TBA, but keep an eye on Crib Notes for more info coming soon.

On the new releases front, Sorry No Ferrari's new full-length Ternary is out Oct. 23. It's the inaugural release from the Square Root of Music Records — yet another vanity offshoot label from the Stickfigure stable. If you haven't guessed, TSROM is all about math rock. Ternary was recorded during summer '09 at Open Sky Studios and features contributions from Mary Knight (Tealights) and Eric Gunther (From Exile, Daath). The Selmanaires' "Sinister Season" b/w "B-Spell (feat. Adron)" 7-inch is out this week on Double Phantom. Roman Photos' "Rib Cage" b/w "Closer" 7-inch is in the works for Deerhunter bassist Josh Fauver's Army of Bad Luck label. And last but not least, Sealions' debut CD, Strange Veins, is being released Oct. 9 with a release party at 529.

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