"I was inspired by it because it was sort of a call," says Michael Person, who plays in the alt-country band Hawkeye Pierce. He's referring to James Spooner's 2004 Afro-Punk, a groundbreaking documentary that explored the modern black experience in rock 'n' roll through interviews with artists such as Mike Ladd and Kyp Malone from TV on the Radio.
"When I saw the movie I was, like, 'Wow, there's a lot of other hardcore punk bands out there that have black people in them.' So I thought that was pretty cool, and it made me feel better about my growth as a musician," Person says.
Person and his company, PM Productions, is promoting a July 14 showcase at Apache Café featuring several Atlanta bands, all with black members. He attempted to hold a similar event called the Afro Punk Festival at the Earl last year, but it was marred when Spooner complained about the use of the "Afro Punk" name, forcing Person to change the title at the last minute. (Full disclosure: Spooner learned of the local Afro Punk Festival after I called him for a comment.)
While Spooner's objections were understandable, Person's homage represents how Afro punk has become a movement greater than a mere documentary. And let's face it: It's not very punk to accuse someone of stealing your brand.
Anyway, Person says, "This one, it's more about getting together all the bands in Atlanta that feature African-American members." That includes his group Hawkeye Pierce. Others performing include indie-pop chanteuse Nerdkween, thrash-rock band Chopper, Gimmie, Elliyas, Rev Rebel, the Black Headz and Afternoon Tea.
"The festival covers so many different genres, from country to metal to noise to punk," Person says. "With hip-hop being so big in Atlanta, it's good to shine light on African-Americans in the rock scene, and the different types of genres that African-Americans play."
The Alternative Black Arts Festival takes place Sat., July 14, 9 p.m. $10. Apache Café, 64 Third St. 404-876-5436. www.apachecafe.info.
ooooohhhh, I'm so excited!! I can't wait to see them together!
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