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The Method Actors.

Old 03-12-10, 02:54 AM
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The Method Actors.

The Method Actors are this crazy-awesome band from the early ‘80s Athens, GA. music scene. During the early period the band consisted of two guys, Vic Varney on lead vocals and ridiculous guitar and Dave Gamble on vocals and thunderous drums. These two could make a hell of a racket. They’ve been disbanded for many years but Vic is still active on the music scene in New York and is also a teacher (and stand-up guy).


The Method Actors circa 1980- Vic Varney (left) and David Gamble (right)

Anyone that’s a fan of the Athens’ scene (R.E.M., the B-52’s, Pylon, Oh-Ok, Love Tractor, etc…) should waste no time checking this band out. This band definitely has the number one spot on my list of most underappreciated bands of all time. They really deserved to have a lot more success than they’ve achieved.

These two guys have put together some crazy-ass-rhythms. Gamble pounds the fuck out of the drums as Varney is all over the place on guitar (and later on bass). David is like the Incredible Hulk thrashing around behind the drum set. Vic does things on the guitar that guitarists aren’t supposed to do and that’s what makes him a fantastically unique guitarist. Trying to classify Varney’s style is very difficult; the best I can come up with is that he’s a lead-rhythm guitar player. Vic's voice is just as unorthodox and great as his guitar stylings are.

There are tons of folks out there that are Method Actors fans that haven’t heard them yet.

Finally, years after the LPs have been out of print, a CD collection was released on March 9, 2010 from Acute. I encourage folks to check out the album (titled ‘This is still it’) on iTunes and if you dig the music purchase it through iTunes or get the physical disc through Amazon.

I also encourage you to check out Vic’s solo work which can be found here at his website.

Some cool pictures and info from a MySpace page

Review of 'This is still it' over at Last Days of Man on Earth

'This is still it' Review from BBC.co.uk

Here’s the only video I know of from YouTube of the band playing at Hurrah’s in 1980.



My review of the new compilation:

The Method Actors back in print with ‘This is still it.’

After being out of print for over 20 years, the Method Actors are back; and boy do they sound great.

The compilation gathers songs from the two-man lineup of the Athens Ga. Band. It spans the period of ’80-’81. ‘This is still it’ covers the group from their first EP through their first full LP; collected from a total of seven releases. Though there is a lot of material missing from the band from that period, this collection is still a must and I’m just glad to have the Method Actors join the digital medium.

The compilation was mastered from vinyl and sounds absolutely wonderful. If the booklet hadn’t stated that the CD was mastered from vinyl, I’m not sure I would have been able to tell. This is the best example of a vinyl-to-CD transfer I’ve ever heard (huge props to Jessica Thompson on her mastering job). This is also the best the Method Actors have ever sounded on record.

This compilation, released by Acute Records, opens with the relentless epic “The Method” (incorrectly titled “Do the Method” on the CD packaging) and closes with the equally relentless and powerful “Hi-Hi-Whoopee.” In between are some of the strangest and most awesome songs you’ve probably never heard; from the danceable “Commotion” to the thunderous drums, spacey guitar and haunted vocals of “Pigeons” to the marvelously executed “Halloween” which showcases Varney’s wild all-over-the-place bass playing. And steel drums, come on who doesn’t love some great steel drums?

The two men responsible for this incredible racket are Vic Varney on vocals and guitar (and later bass) and David Gamble on drums and vocals. These two men together are a powerhouse. Varney’s idiosyncratic vocals and guitar playing is a perfect match for Gamble’s beat-the-hell-out-of-the-drums style.

This disc is a must for anyone who’s a fan of the other great art-rock bands of the period such as the Talking Heads, Television and Pere Ubu. And anyone who considers themselves a fan of the other Athens bands of the time (R.E.M., the B-52’s, Pylon, etc.) should give the Method Actors a listen and purchase ‘This is still it’ if they feel so inclined. I also suggest that anyone planning on getting the release should opt for the physical CD release in order to get the booklet that includes some great info and some equally cool photos.

This compilation is a wonderful addition to the CD collection of anyone who appreciates great eccentric music.

Last edited by RagingBull80; 03-12-10 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 03-12-10, 09:21 AM
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Re: The Method Actors.

Thanks for the tip about the new CD collection. I missed by a few years having a chance to check them out in their heyday. They are definitely a band that gets name checked around here from time to time.
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Old 03-12-10, 09:36 PM
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Re: The Method Actors.

ADDED TO MY ORIGINAL POST:

Here's my review for the 'This is still it' compilation:

The Method Actors back in print with ‘This is still it.’

After being out of print for over 20 years, the Method Actors are back; and boy do they sound great.

The compilation gathers songs from the two-man lineup of the Athens Ga. Band. It spans the period of ’80-’81. ‘This is still it’ covers the group from their first EP through their first full LP; collected from a total of seven releases. Though there is a lot of material missing from the band from that period, this collection is still a must and I’m just glad to have the Method Actors join the digital medium.

The compilation was mastered from vinyl and sounds absolutely wonderful. If the booklet hadn’t stated that the CD was mastered from vinyl, I’m not sure I would have been able to tell. This is the best example of a vinyl-to-CD transfer I’ve ever heard (huge props to Jessica Thompson on her mastering job). This is also the best the Method Actors have ever sounded on record.

This compilation, released by Acute Records, opens with the relentless epic “The Method” (incorrectly titled “Do the Method” on the CD packaging) and closes with the equally relentless and powerful “Hi-Hi-Whoopee.” In between are some of the strangest and most awesome songs you’ve probably never heard; from the danceable “Commotion” to the thunderous drums, spacey guitar and haunted vocals of “Pigeons” to the marvelously executed “Halloween” which showcases Varney’s wild all-over-the-place bass playing. And steel drums, come on who doesn’t love some great steel drums?

The two men responsible for this incredible racket are Vic Varney on vocals and guitar (and later bass) and David Gamble on drums and vocals. These two men together are a powerhouse. Varney’s idiosyncratic vocals and guitar playing is a perfect match for Gamble’s beat-the-hell-out-of-the-drums style.

This disc is a must for anyone who’s a fan of the other great art-rock bands of the period such as the Talking Heads, Television and Pere Ubu. And anyone who considers themselves a fan of the other Athens bands of the time (R.E.M., the B-52’s, Pylon, etc.) should give the Method Actors a listen and purchase ‘This is still it’ if they feel so inclined. I also suggest that anyone planning on getting the release should opt for the physical CD release in order to get the booklet that includes some great info and some equally cool photos.

This compilation is a wonderful addition to the CD collection of anyone who appreciates great eccentric music.

Last edited by RagingBull80; 03-12-10 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 03-28-10, 02:40 AM
  #4  
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Re: The Method Actors.

Here's a review of the new CD release over at Pitchfork. Off to the right side there's a neat little media player that you can use to check out the songs from the album.
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