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Best Experimental Music Act: The Back Pockets

Staff Pick

It's easy to mistake the THE BACK POCKETS' ragged display of noise-folk and performance art for an urban art-hippie thing. But there's not a lot of peace and love going on within this marriage of broken banjo strumming, keyboards, industrial rhythms and theatrics. Frontwoman and mastermind Emily Kempf leads a revolving cast of players in an all-encompassing cabaret that stands apart from Atlanta's rock 'n' roll bar scene. The sound is Of Montreal mixed with Marquis de Sade, with ramshackle musical elements unfolding alongside actors' exaggerated vignettes. The audience is armed with drumsticks, tearing down the wall between spectator and performer. Through it all, band members don face paint of jeweled shapes, clouds and flowers, taking on a feral presence that, despite its anti-pop connotations, results in songs and scenes that are compelling and catchy.

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