Atlanta has had this problem for a while. The way the city is structured causes it to lack a creative center. Unlike Seattle, Omaha etc... Atlanta's downtown areas were completely renovated for the '96 Olympics when many of the underground music clubs were closed. Since then there's been only slight success with the new attempts at venues. Many have failed or have become a little too desperate and focused more on the draw than talent. This left a lot of the underground bands to play more parties than venues which is very limiting to a band's potential to reach a large audience and often leaves them playing to the same group of people for every show. Therefore, many of the good musicians eventually move away.
Also, there's still a Southern Stigma attached to the city, where a lot of the musicians from here seem to be rebelling against the close-minded tradition of the south that they grew up with. It's a guilty past that Atlanta tries to hide by wishing it was NYC instead of embracing unique qualities that Atlanta still may have left. The few bands that have been successful here are the ones that are being true to what they are and not trying to be something else.
Unfortunately, sometimes it's much more fun to see a band who has more fantasy to their art instead of rehashing the next pseudo R.E.M band or southern metal band. While at a show in Atlanta, there's a sense that the audience is thinking "is this band for real, or not? Because if it's not, it's against the rules to like it".
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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