Atlanta music news: Howlies go bust

Plus, Zoroaster gets another new bassist, Biters hit the road with Ace Frehley

When Howlies' drummer Aaron Wood announced via Facebook that the band was breaking up Oct. 5, it brought one of Atlanta's finer rock 'n' roll bands to an unceremonious end. When CL's Crib Notes music blog contributor Jhoni Jackson asked for an explanation, he responded, "I took a mastur-nap — it's where you masturbate and take a nap afterward — and then I woke up from my mastur-nap and I was like, 'Whoa, I'm gonna quit a band.'"

It was a lame stroke at humor and a slight disservice to the rest of the members of a band whose 2009 Kim Fowley-produced debut, Trippin' With Howlies, arrived bursting with the hooks and energy of an outfit that seemed destined for some level of success.

Since the initial announcement, Wood has also canceled Howlies' final show, which was scheduled for Star Bar's 20th anniversary/Halloween party. Though the rest of the band disagreed with Wood's decision, they've decided not to continue Howlies without him. "Aaron quit Howlies, and cancelled this show on his own. The rest of us had no intention of ending this band," Justin Brooke and the remaining members wrote via email. "This is the way one person has chosen to end a 16-year musical partnership. People have been asking if we'll continue Howlies without Aaron, but we don't feel like that would be doing you or us any favors."

Nevertheless, Star Bar's Halloween party is still on with the Booze, Twin Tigers, Biters and another unnamed band. Speaking of Biters, the black-clad, glam-trash-rock outfit is heading out on tour with KISS guitarist Ace Frehley throughout November. Meanwhile, Zoroaster has adopted Brass Knuckle Surfer guitarist Mike Morris to serve as the group's new bass player after what turned out to be a temporary stint with fill-in Travis Owen (Whores).

Criminal Records continues to hang in limbo, still far from reaching the $100,000 it needs to stay open after the holiday season. But three of the store's employees — Shannon Mulvaney, Lillian Lai-Hughes and Eddie Parsley — are considering taking over the store and carrying on in some form. "Things need to change drastically," Mulvaney says. "I've started talking to a lawyer to figure out how to do it correctly — we're all going to do that together and on our own. I just don't want it to close. I've worked here for 12 years, longer than I've worked anywhere else, and the sooner we can possibly do it the better, because D-Day is coming."

NEW RELEASES: Pony Bones released a new LP titled Cock-A-Doodle-Doo. Matthew Proctor, Cameron Stuart and Shitty Bedford make up the band, and the record features guest appearances from Bedford's howling dog, Lucifer.

New Animal recently posted virtual single "Still in Mind" b/w "Don't Think I'll Make It Through Another" on Bandcamp. Both songs offer a sneak peek at what could be in store for an official label release next year. For now the group is focused on writing and recording the best material it can muster. Pillage & Plunder has a new disc out titled Look Inside for the Prize. Modern "retrobilly" foursome the Serenaders' My One and Only is out. Indie pop experimentalists the Kiwis' have released a new disc, Shangri-La. And trip-hop newcomers Where Are We? have posted an intriguing EP titled Superplexed on Bandcamp.

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