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They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? Bring the Circus Spirit

They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? rolled their post-punk circus sound into Atlanta for an intimate show at local rock haven Lenny’s Bar Saturday night (Aug. 18). Opening act, local Atlanta favorites the Attractive Eighties Women, fronted by the charismatic, male Phoebe Cates, played a crowd rousing set of hilarious and hard rockin’ tunes. Amongst odes to murdering Atlanta’s prized baby panda, Mei Lan, and exclaiming the joys of Live Action Role Playing, the band made a nod at the headliners with their song “They Shoot Hipsters, Don’t They?” which was more an attack on scene snobbery than a jab at the headlining out-of-towners.

The six-piece army that is They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? began their performance with a rhythmic cacophony from their “percussion bag” — an amalgamation of bike tires, metal scraps, tin foil, kneepads, wood blocks and other unidentifiable noisemakers. While the band claims to have toned down their spectacle, their near-hour show was a sight to behold as they ran through songs from their sophomore, Kill Rock Stars effort Pick Up Sticks including “One Last Final Push” and “Busted Bell.” Their clamor-riffic hootenanny may not include animals and freaks, but They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? didn’t need the tricks of the big top to win back a dwindling crowd.

We asked: They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?’s moniker is culled from the 1969 Sydney Pollack melodrama of the same name. What film name would you choose for an alter ego?