The long-running garage band reinvents its sound, visits both Ace of Cups and a newly reborn Double Happiness tonight
More than 20 years into Black Lips’ career, the Atlanta garage-rock crew has undergone its most radical reinvention yet with Sing in a World That’s Falling Apart, an energetically shambolic effort that finds the band’s country influences, which occasionally haunted the background in the past, moving decisively to the fore.
Throughout, the musicians toy with genre conventions, ditching scuzzy garage riffs for slide guitars, drunken “yee-haws” and loping honky-tonk grooves, while the lyrics playfully rib country tropes. (Even the album’s title comes across less as a reflection on current global events than a nod to country’s past, nearly passing for a lost Louvin Brothers release.) As expected, the musicians maintain their flippant, tongue-in-cheek-humor, which surfaces in the decidedly impolite lyrics of songs like the ironically named “Gentleman.” “This old middle finger has grown fat and tired from flicking the bird,” singer Cole Alexander drawls. “My mouth has grown cankerous, from spittin’ dirty words.”
In addition to Black Lips’ concert at Ace of Cups tonight (Tuesday, March 3), the band will also DJ a free after-party at newly reborn Brewery District venue Double Happiness, which returned quietly last month with a soft opening on Valentine’s Day and has continued to announce more shows in recent weeks. Har Mar Superstar, who performs earlier in the evening at Rumba Cafe with Heart Bones (Superstar’s musical duo with Sabrina Ellis of A Giant Dog), will also perform a DJ set at the Double Happiness after-party, as will local band Thee Thee’s. The party kicks off at 11 p.m.