The Mammal Gallery, it seems, is in need of some pretty serious upkeep that's fundamental to maintaining its day-to-day operations. This Sat., March 1, the Downtown music venue, art space, and burgeoning community center will launch a Kickstarter campaign with a goal to raise $25,000 that will fund several major renovations. "It's to fix all of the broken things in the building, such as the floor, so people don't fall through into our basement," says Mammal Gallery co-owner Chris Yonker. "The money will also be used to fix the plumbing so there can be more than one working toilet in the building. It's all going to make the building a better, functioning venue." Other necessary repairs include fixing a leaking roof and a broken heater and air conditioner. Information regarding the Kickstarter project, and the requisite video that covers what they're doing and why they're doing it, will be available via www.mammalgallery.com this weekend.
Diamond D has been pulling double duty as of late. On Fri., Feb. 28, the formerly Atlanta-based producer, MC, and founding member of the Diggin' in the Crates crew will host a listening party for his brand-new album, The Diam Piece, at the Basement. Guests on the album include Pete Rock, A.G., Pharoahe Monch, J-Live, Prince Po, Rock Most, and many more.
On April 15, New Orleans-born, ATL transplant BIGREC is releasing his latest album, DoomsDay, an album produced entirely by Diamond D. Guest appearances by Black Moses, Jawz of Life, and Shred TVT line the album's 13 tracks, and a video for "Bullseye" has already made its way to the Internet. "I've been doing music for quite some time — this is my 20th year as a musician. When someone like Diamond D approaches you and says he wants to work with you after seeing your performance, there's no way you can turn it down," BIGREC says. "That sort of thing never happens, but it did. I got off the stage and someone says to me, 'There's someone over here that wants to talk with you.' When I turned the corner it was Diamond D, and he said, 'Straight up, I appreciate what you do and I want to work with you.' Over time we've built a rapport and a respectful body of work, as opposed to a project that's driven by singles. From beginning to end, you have no choice but to go with the flow."
The album serves as REC's manifesto of sorts, calling for an end to the division in underground and mainstream hip-hop, or, as he declares in the title track, "More talent, less acting; more substance, less flashing."
For more on the album and how it all came together, check out the William Feagins Jr.-directed Prelude 2 Doomsday mini documentary about the making of the album.
The second annual Slingshot Festival returns to Athens from March 19-23 with a much greater push and far more diverse programming. Founded by Kai Riedl of Macha and composer Eric Marty, this year's festival will be held in multiple venues throughout downtown Athens and will place an emphasis on American and international electronic and experimental pop music, visual arts, and technology. Tinariwen, Kishi Bashi, a rare Washed Out DJ set, a Japan-themed night featuring Peelander-Z and five other Japanese bands, and a performance by festival co-founder Riedl's new group, Electrophoria, are among the dozens of shows slated to go down. Stay tuned to Crib Notes for more information including venues, daily performance schedules, and a ticket giveaway coming later this week.
Concord America's mixed bag of rock 'n' roll influences and an eagerness to tour has netted the Chamblee trio a deal with the Columbia, S.C., indie label Post-Echo for the release of its yet-to-be-titled sophomore album.
Consisting of Ben Presley (vocals, guitar) and brothers Vinny (bass) and John Restivo (drums), the group has crafted a jangle-pop sound shaped by more recent garage-punk influences. Concord America's brightest moments sound like sped-up, reverb-heavy odes to Golden Age college radio fixtures like the Feelies. The group's Post-Echo debut should be out later this year, and will be the follow-up to last year's self-released effort, Shag Nasty.
Tokyo-based psych-noise rock outfit Gezan is making its way to the States for the first time, which includes an Atlanta stop at 529 on Wed., March 5, where the group will share the stage with Dark Sister, Speakerfoxxx, and Blunt Fang. The ATL Twins have been tapped to host the whole shebang.
After releasing the group's latest album, Leslie, via Muckman Records back in November 2013, the Hotels have spent most of their time playing shows around town. But following a performance at WonderRoot on Thurs., Feb. 27, the group is taking a break from playing for the next month or so to focus its attention on recording some newer songs that singer and bass player James Watson has in the works.
Finally, sad news arrived this week when word spread that longtime Atlanta music fixture Rob Parham passed away due to complications related to brain and lung cancer. Parham spent years playing guitar in Atlanta bands such as William Carlos Williams, Brown Sounds, and Bon Vivants, and worked as a projectionist in the Flakes. Parham was 44 years old. More information, including a tribute night, will be available over the weeks to come.
With additional reporting by Bobby Moore.
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