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Modern Skirts, Cusses


At 9 p.m. Friday, June 1

Congress Street Social Club, 411 W. Congress St.

Jay Gully, JoJo Glidewell, Phillip Brantley and John Swint have been Skirting since 2004. One of the cleverest, most interesting quirko-pop bands to emerge from Athens in many an era, Modern Skirts' earlier stuff was piano-driven, sublimely crafted music that drew deeply from the harmonic well of the Beach Boys and other ‘60s masters who knew how to craft great and hard-to-ignore three-minute songs.

It was in 2007 that R.E.M.'s Mike Mills named Modern Skirts his favorite Athens band; subsequently, they opened several European shows for the city's favorite sons.

On Modern Skirts' latest, Gramahawk, there's more of an emphasis on hard power-pop rhythms and synthesizers - it's not as "jangly" as its predecessors. The sound originated with Gully's ongoing and wholly unhealthy fascination with a band of cheesy, Japanese-made keyboards he had laying around the house.

In music, evolution is the only real alternative to stagnation.

"We love this more than anything we've done before," Brantley told an interviewer last month. "We don't even like to play the old songs anymore," he says. "I feel like we've finally found our voice."


With Odist, Tow3rs, and Floor Flexors DJs

At 10 p.m. Thursday, May 31

The Jinx, 127 W. Congress St. $8

First and foremost, everybody who walks in the door between 9 and 10 p.m. gets a free copy of the Cusses album on CD. Sweet.

After 10, here's the deal: You can pay $8 admission and have the usual blast, or choose from these options the lovely Smithers is holding: Admission plus a CD is $10; for $20, you get admission, CD and a T-shirt; admission, Cusses on vinyl and a digital download of the album; or admission and Cusses on vinyl; for $30, admission, the vinyl and a T-shirt.

Got all that?

From the Raleigh area, Towe3rs, fronted by guitarist and songwriter Derek Torres, starts the show at 10 p.m., followed at 10:50 by the proggy three-piece Odist.

Cusses will play an hour-long set starting at 11:50. At last week's Connect Best of Savannah Readers Poll bash, the band took five awards, which may be a record.

And don't you think Angel's new blonde ‘do looks cool?