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""Their range is impressive and their many influences are evident.""

My friend Blackjack and I used to see a lot of bands. From the granola grounds of Decatur to the boot stomping of Little Five to places on Trinity long gone, we sampled most everything Atlanta had to offer in the 90s. Now, we're older, grayer, a little tubbier and listening to Sirius and XM because there is so little out there to excite an aging hipster. We are close to needing aural viagra.

Which is why I want to talk to you about Tendaberry.

The great thing about "500 Songs For Kids" at Smiths Old Bar is you get to see 40 or so bands in rapid succession. It is a feast of styles and flavors. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it don't. But it's always fun.

When the young men of Tendaberry hit the opening note of The Jackson Five's "The Love You Save", my tired ears suddenly perked up. My thoughts were instantly of Bad Brains with a dash of Fishbone tossed in. Perusing their webpage I realize I didn't give them enough credit. Their range is impressive and their many influences are evident.

They'll be at Lenny's on the 30th.

I plan to be there.

Will you?
- Grift Drift

"Unexpected Finds"

Last night I went to 500 Songs for Kids at Smith's Olde Bar. Last year, I attended the show the first Saturday night and saw performances that were both awe-inspiring and tragically awful. Unfortunately, I forgot to note the names of the bands that really knocked my socks off (in particular the one that did Tied to the Whipping Post stands out in my mind even a year later), but I was determined not to make the same mistake this year. As I listened and danced and sang along, this time I noted on my Blackberry the handful of bands that were so impressive that I would definitely or even possibly seek them out to see them perform their own stuff. I came away from last night with five:

1. Tendaberry: Griftdrift has already written them up and there is not much to add. This is the one band from last night that absolutely blew my mind. I cannot wait to see them do their own stuff live. The lead guitarist is like the second coming of Jimi Hendrix in the body of Steve Urkel--there is no way to put into words how fantastically he can rock out.
- Going Through the Motions


Jonathan Merenivitch

Lead of the four-man punk band Tendaberry that performs a wicked version of rapper Ghostface Killah's "Cherchez Le Ghost"

1) In the not-too-distant past, some people tried to combine hip-hop and rock and made a total hash of it. It was obnoxious, macho and mean. One of our desires musically was to mix hip-hop and rock but be a bit more sensitive and intelligent in the execution.

2) A little from both. In some cases it's driven by an intuitive, almost innocent desire to create, and in others it's a cynical, cash-grabbing move. In the end, the audience will always seek music that's motivated by a genuine desire to express oneself, rather than a desire to "get money, fuck bitches."

3) One of the best music scenes in existence was punk-rock London in '77. And they took influences from everywhere, from the NY punk rock of the Ramones and the dub of Lee "Scratch" Perry in Jamaica. That's how you make a strong and distinctive music scene. Taking from everything you have a genuine love for, adding a bit of your own personality and hoping that other people dig what you do, and have the same idea


- Creative Loafing

"I have no words..."

Who am I kidding? Of course I have a few words. This is what I do. Still, I'll let the pics tell the story. A respectable crowd was on hand for a good portion of the night to take in the musical stylings of the Radiant Kidz family, of which I must disclose that I am a member. I could lie to you and tell you that the show was mediocre in the interest of not trying to seem as if I'm only interested in showing love to my crew. I could be dishonest and say the show was good. The plain truth of it is that the show was fucking fantastic. I'ven't been to a Radiant Kidz show and not been blown away in the past but to see the mixed audience respond the way it did and to have both promoters and bar owners from other establishments absolutely gushing? Well, it's about time honestly. These guys are masters of their craft. Their stage show is second to none. I've personally only bore witness to Yelawolf,Janelle Monae, The Black Keys and Deerhunter perform with such a level of showmanship balanced with pure artistry live. Their technical skill is impressive, their sounds refreshing. With this crew it's ALL about the art itself. The Jam session at the end was evidence of this. The DJ, BOTH Drummers (Thomas & Ali), Spree & Jonathan on Guitar teamed up with Atypik & Smalleyez for a Free-for-all Freestyle session that left the audience mesmerized. DJ Variable, Ms. Leah, Smalleyez, Tendaberry, Spree Wilson, Ali aka Alien1 aka Animal tore the house down. Shit was phenomenal. If you missed it, you missed out.

Next show:June 10th @ Smith's Olde Bar in Midtown

http://www.abenghorn.net/2008/05/i-have-no-words-for-what-friday-night - ATL Heat

""Featuring Tendaberry (your new favorite band)...""

I arrived at Little Kings properly breakfasted and caffeinated (thanks to the fine Athens establishment that sent me with a free to go cup of unsweetened iced tea!) and perfectly on time. The first band had cancelled so, the next band, Tendaberry, started a bit late. I’d talked to a friend earlier, who’d told me that they’d sound checked with R.E.M.’s “So. Central Rain”, which happens to be a favorite of mine. My interest was piqued, but I still went in completely unprepared for what was about to happen.

The lead singer immediately started screaming lyrics of “So. Central Rain” acapella, followed by “This set is dedicated to Michael Stipe and Kanye West,” followed by more acapella screaming of a Kanye West song (forgive me for not knowing which one), which then kicked into a set of soulful chorus-soaked punk that at this point seems nearly impossible to describe accurately, but left my jaw on the floor and my face permanently smiling.

I saw shades of early 80’s Elvis Costello, a more punk and less funky version of Prince, Gang of Four, and crazy post-punk thrash, all caressed together with a beautiful and powerful voice by one of the most charismatic frontmen I’ve seen in ages (there was a moment he jumped into the audience and soloed guitar with his teeth about 6 inches from my face). At one early set break frontman Jonathan joked “We’re the real Black Kids!” to which the drummer replied with a classic drum fill. Mark my words, you will be hearing plenty more about Tendaberry in the weeks and months to come. Here’s video of their cover of the Buzzcock’s “Orgasm Addict.”

- Three Imaginary Girls

"This Show was the Shit"

Last night I went to a dope ass show. I was going to support the homie Small Eyez, but I didn't quite know what to expect from Spree Wilson and Tendaberry. I'd heard some of Spree's music before, but I really didn't enjoy it at the time. Tendaberry, well I'd never heard their stuff.

But man...I think I'm a fan of everybody on that stage now...all three of these acts ripped it.

Spree went on first and dude pretty much set the tone for the night. Dude played guitar, rapped, told jokes...quite entertaining. But, and I'm sure others will admit to this as well, his drummer stole the show...hell, he damn near ended it!

First, I saw the drummer doing shit I'd never seen before. He would be banging out on the drums and then he'd get up and walk around the drumset, still playing and playing on beat! At one point he messed around and let one the sticks fly out of his hand, so someone tossed it back to him and he caught it on some one-handed Randy Moss shit and stayed on beat with what he was doing.

Unfortunately, he was rocking out so hard that he put a hole in the snare. So at that point, Spree's show came to an end. And it also put Tenderberry's show in jeopardy too, being that they are a punk rock band.

After that, Small Eyez went up and did his thing as usual. I've only heard his stuff through myspace and CD, but seeing him do his thing live was an added bonus. I suggest that you keep up with his schedule so you can see what I'm talking about.

I think he only planned on doing a certain amount of songs but he kinda had to stall until that snare drum got replaced so that Tendaberry could go on. He did a good job in stalling because all of the songs he did were damn good. "Score," "Blink" and "Cruise Control" were my personal favs.

By the time Small Eyez finished a new snare had showed up so the show could go on. I'm not gonna lie, when I saw Tendaberry, I didn't know what to expect. I don't judge people by their appearance, but, from looking at these cats, you knew what they were NOT going to do, but not exactly they were going to do.

Turns out, they were a Punk Rock band and they are dope as hell. Seeing them perform reminded me how much I like Punk and made me go home and dig up some of my old Bad Brains records. I really need to cherish my little punk collection more than I do. I think the last thing I bought that could be classified as such was that first Yeah Yeah Yeah's album a few years back. I'm slipping...

Anyways, these dudes had a wealth of material in their catalog and all of it was dope. They also played some punked out versions of "Cherchez La Ghost", Prince's "Controversy" and Kanye's "Can't Tell Me Nothing." I was in that bitch rocking out!

The climax of the night was when all three acts ended the night with a jam session where Spree and his guitar joined Tendaberry to play a punk rendition of Outkast's "Elevators" with Small Eyez freestyling over it, shit was dope. Oh yeah, the drummer was banging out on the back door...

Anyways, I just felt I had to share that. I have so many peers complain about the quality and freshness of music, but yet, I don't see alot of them in the quality and fresh places. I mean, yeah, I do my share of complaining about what's out there, but I've found that in order to find the new new, you have to go outside and play. Its that simple.

Seeing this show last night really has me kicking myself for not buying a video camera yet. I have to put that on my list of purchases for next month. This would have been a perfect youtube moment.

You can peep the mixtape made to coexist with the show HERE
Posted by southpeezy at 2:56 PM - http://pitlanta.blogspot.com/2008/03/this-show-was-sht.html

"(post-)Punk rawk show"

(post-)Punk rawk show
Pop Culture, atlanta February 21st, 2008

On an entirely different weekend evening from the Red Letter Agent show, spent appearing at work-related functions, I wrapped up and blazed into the chilled wind, I got to the parking deck and found with great relief that I’d had the foresight to put comfortable clothes in the car.
The clock had already been ticking for a while, and I had seen the Ga Music Concert Series listing, and wanted to be able to see as many bands as possible.
Yes, this one was at Vinyl. It’s a neat venue. The only downside to going to the “cw complex” is that the parking for the building is pretty high. Parking within a block or so is really cheap, but they usually lock up and go home by midnight. So if you park cheap, you have to leave to show really early.
I went through the wardrobe quick-change of magical proportions and drove down into midtown.
After getting parking, I went inside to find that Tendaberry was on stage and in the middle of “Cold Boy”. Hmm. Only two bands for me tonight. Tendaberry is a Post-Punk and Soul inspired band who forged their bonds on the campus of Morehouse College here in Atlanta. I can definitely hear the influences of the Kinks, Sly and the Family Stone, and Arcade Fire. Here are some pictures I snapped:

The keyboardist, Shane, was missing that night, but the remaining three showed bare temerity in their play. The Cold Boy and Righteous Waiting tracks got the crowd moving and Jonathan playfully injected some ’60s Soul lyrics into the mix (1967 to be exact), which the crowd really loved.

Now if I appear to be carefree
It’s only to camouflage my sadness
And honey to shield my pride I try
To cover this hurt with a show of gladness
But don’t let my show convince you
That I’ve been happy since you
Decided to go, oh I need you so
I’m hurt and I want you to know
But for others I put on a show
Just like Pagliacci did
I try to keep my surface hid
Smiling in the public eye
But in my lonely room I cry
The tears of a clown

That’s him in the white coat there in the second pic.
After Tendaberry, the last act of the night was The Ski Club. After setting up, they started to play, and the energy level in the place ramped right back up again. John And Kyle more or less tag team the lead song by song, and there are plenty of stage antics going on for the whole show, including smashing of guitars, spilling of drinks, and good-natured tomfoolery. At one point, Cliff tossed an empty PBR can off the stage and actually hit his mock target. Whoops!
Barcelona and Happysad are really good tracks to check out if you haven’t heard them before.

Overall, it was a great show, and I’m glad I got to see both bands. There were a couple of other bands I wanted to see, but since they are all local, I’ll be sure to catch them another time. - http://gettinggruntled.com/archives/210

""The drums were great""

Death on Two Wheels, Tendaberry, Deep Cotton, Janelle Monae @ Lennys Bar - 02-16-08
Monday, February 18, 2008

Death on Two Wheels
Deep Cotton
Janelle Monae

This show started off with indie rockers Death on Two Wheels. These guys brought some rock and roll with them complete with boots, blues hats, sleeveless shirts, screams, and funky beats. At first they seemed like every average indie rock band out there, but after continuing through their set it was apparent that they are a hard working rock band. They were tight, the energy was big, and the music just flowed from them almost as if they didn't even have to try to make it click.

The second act was a punk rock outfit out of Atlanta going by the name of Tendaberry. The guitarist/vocalist was by far the most present of the group. He went from singing smooth vocals as an opener, to screaming in real punk rock fashion, to jumping off stage, to playing guitar behind his head. He was the life of the show while his rhythm section held down the beats. I was hoping the bass player would get a little more into it, but regardless he didn't miss a beat. The drums were great, this guy is very talented and kept my interest throughout the set.

The guitarist for Tendaberry also doubles as a rhythm guitar for Deep Cotton, a crazy rock and (insert anything else you can think of here) band from Atlanta. Their set was short and started off some low sultry vocals from the bass player before he started using the bass. There was guitar throwing, mic throwing, clothing throwing, etc. This band was more hype than anything else, they brought a whole new energy to the stage to prepare the crowd for what was to come...

...and by that I mean Janelle Monae, a very talented artist now hailing from Atlanta as well. I had only heard a few of her songs via myspace and 88.5 prior to the show, and that in no way prepared me for what was to come. First starters I would like to note the lack of bass player during her set, this made me sad. There was a guitarist and drummer, also performed with Deep Cotton, and what looked like a manager holding a strobe light in the back. The drummer also worked a sampler that had the tracks loaded into it, the band would then play over it. There were some backup vocals being played as well, but Janelle over came those with her extremely present and powerful vocals. She busted out old school dance moves and even threw down some stuff the world has never seen before, weaving us in and out of song after song. She did a few covers, including Fugees "Killing me Softly", which she nailed and I am sure Mrs. Hill would approve, and finished out her encore by climbing through the tiniest window in the DJ booth. Her performance was very exciting and a treat for all of those that packed out Lennys Bar Saturday night.

Bret Phillips

Labels: ShowReviews - http://www.oteampress.com/2008/02/death-on-two-wheels-tendaberry-deep.html

""Unorthodox in their ability to throw caution to the wind and just plain do what feels right.""

Pleasantly surprised with a preview of this dynamic new addition to the independent music scene, I got to taste test Tendaberry’s debut album "Am I still ILLmatic?"
Initially I could not decide if there were too many chefs in the soup or if this was some brave new combination of my favorite ingredients,but as fate would have it, I found myself being tossed around by the suggestion of decades of punk pounding, soul shaping sounds, that disorient you straight out the gate.
This is not your momma’s music.

Listening to "Am I still Illmatic", I found myself caught up in a groove of ska-hoppin, metalhead shakin, 80’s arm slingin’ and a beat box knee raise that almost threw out my back. This album tests your ability of free thinking like listening to jazz music. Being that it seems to move in loosely formatted waves, without fear of the mind that demands a repetitive and continuous rhythm to follow.
Unorthodox in their ability to throw caution to the wind and just plain do what feels right.

Lead singer, Jonathan Merenivitch’s confidence far outweighs his expierence, as Tendaberry was formed in the spring of 2004.
His brazen lyrics and post punk moody wail seems extracted from a evening at CBGB’s.
Seeming forced for just a moment, Johnathan’s range and unexpected vocal bravery are an independent
sound that you have wanted to hear released into the now since Robert Smith of The Cure.

Shane Orange (keyboards, vocals), Carlton Knight (bass, deep voice), Thomas Spann
(drums) and lead singer Jonathan Merenivitch (guitar), formed Tendaberry at Morehouse College,
the only all male historically black institution of higher learning in the United States.
The Morehouse mission statement seeking to educate men to change the world. These fellas are most certainly trying to combine their musical and lyrical talents to serve up something real.

"Am I still illmatic? is full of timely finger snappin’ and manly screams that whip you through quintessential ska changes and an inventive, ever changing line up. Guitar solo out of nowhere finds a home in "Righteous waiting". Proving again that Tendaberry is not confined by the format of any particular genre, and not willing to bow to expectation.
If you can sit still I suggest you check your pulse.
You have heard it before, but not like this.
Oh, not like this.

Tendaberry has convincingly issued a new combination of sounds, styles and melodies that stop the clock.
I greedily found myself wanting to protect this indie recipe from public consumption, knowing that the oh-so trendy and remarkable sound could easily be exploited by big business capitalist who want to clean our plates of any and all originallity.

High energy and on a mission, "Am I still Illmatic?" has bounded into a land of mixed genre montages and slick interceptions of blatant cool.
From Athens to Atlanta it seems that the general conscience is that you are indeed Illmatic and a force to be reckoned with.
Let this hit your pallet before spittin it out.. find the flavor and relish it.
You think you like apple, but were serving up Tendaberry pie. Yummie.

- Indie Music Universe


Cold Boy - 2005
Subvert the Subverted -2005
Tendaberry EP-2006
Am I Still Illmatic - 2009

All Self-Released



Jonathan and Carlton have known one another all of their respective lives. Jonathan's guitar playing is extremely distinctive, just listen to the lush melodies... Carlton's pulsating bass carries each tune away to its supposed destination. They carried this established relationship onto the campus of Morehouse College. Thomas brings an array of sociable funk to the proceedings. Shane came to the band in search of a white crayon. Instead of continuing his visual art effort, he decided to play the keys in a post-punk/soul band. Who would've thunk it? The death of ignorance in black culture as we know it........is here!