Bits: mr. Gnome EP, Wayne Coyne is a model citizen, new Bonnie Prince Billy Daytrotter session, new Bob Pollard, Hell and Half of Georgia’s first show

Hell and Half of Georgia: You Could Fix Me Up with a Smile

Okay, here’s what you do: Go download Hell and Half of Georgia’s self-titled album, play it through once, then set it aside and go do something else.

Now, come back and listen again.

The first thing you’ll notice is that you’ve gotten adjusted to the raggedness of Sean Fahlen’s voice and can now hear the sweet center of it. The second thing you’ll notice is that the band’s simple and friendly melodies have already lodged themselves in your brain. These are the best kind of country songs, made of heart and backed by solid musicianship. These songs feel like they belong inside a barn that has been cleared for a dance or at an old gas station during a rest stop on a long roadtrip through the dusty Southwest. When you listen to these songs, you feel like you’re listening to good friends play. And you can practically feel the sun of the band’s homestate of California shining down on your skin (which is very helpful as I sit next to a Cleveland window through which I can see several inches of Ohio … Continue reading