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Daily Texan: Soulful Atlantics stress pleasure before business

BYLINE Richard Luttrell - 4/17/1992

How do you sell a band that doesn't want to be sold? What do you do with a group that has no intention of touring, making a flashy T-shirt or schmoozing with record companies? If it's the Atlantics, then you do nothing. You pay a scant cover charge and have a blast. The Atlantics, a conglomeration of local talent that includes members from bands ranging from Poi Dog Pondering to Mojo Nixon, began playing in late January under one requirement - to have fun. "It's more about fun than business. They don't call it the music business because it's fun, or they would call it the music fun," said drummer Mike Middleton. The 10-piece outfit consider their gigs a way to release the stress from their other lives, so they get together about twice a month and put on a show. With three horns, three singers, sitar, bass, organ and drums, anything can happen. Guitarist Sean McCarthy recalls, "One night (singer) Tom Clifford was taking requests. Then he said he would do anything anybody asked, for money. Well, somebody gave him $20 and asked him to do the funky chicken in his boxer shorts. He didn't do it at first, but he did later on." The Atlantics have no fixed number of members, and a variety of local artists - Chris McKay, Bruce Hughes and John Nelson of Poi Dog Pondering - often sit in with regulars McCarthy and Middleton, who both play with Mojo Nixon. As for their sound, the Atlantics play music from a few decades ago, but this does not mean it is dated. "It appeals to everyone. Everyone has heard it before," McCarthy said. "We're just funky white boys trying to play, I guess." This soul review will not be going on tour, but, says Middleton, "If we were asked to play for a bar mitzvah in Dallas for $5,000, sure we'd go. We'd probably rent a bus, get pretty ripped and do it." This newborn treasure chest of talent certainly deserves a once-over, if you are not afraid of a little fun. THE ATLANTICS Where: Hole in the Wall , 2538 Guadalupe St. When: Friday

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