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Musicians, They Go Through Stages ... 

Man, it was a weekend for going both deaf and def. Fri., Nov. 18, saw the Whigs at Smith's Olde Bar; Sat., Nov. 19, saw U2 at Philips Arena; and Sun., Nov. 20, saw Kanye West, also at Philips. Oh, and I saw 'em all. Plus, there were assorted "... and surprise guests." Wrote a little song about it. Wanna hear it? Goes sumpthin' like this ...

Celebrating the long-anticipated release of the band's debut full-length, the ill-named Give 'em All a Big Fat Lip, Athens trio the Whigs put a crowded Smith's Olde Bar through its paces with raucous jitters that made jangle-pop junkies rim the stage like eager school girls. To stage right the 'Fro, from local band Second Shift, bobbed approvingly.

Meanwhile, it was reported back to me that a showcase for Big Boi's Purple Ribbon label -- held Sat., Nov. 19, at the Roxy Theatre -- offered more than just the label stable (Sleepy Brown, Killer Mike, Bubba Sparxxx, etc.). 8Ball & MJG got buck on their verses from Three 6 Mafia's stutter-strut single "Stay Fly" (awarded the DJ Ballz Deep "Go Nutz" distinction by yours truly to recognize excessive crunkitude). Along with that Memphis, Tenn.-sion was the ATL's own Dem Franchize Boyz throwin' down hype lyrics and hyper dance routines in their white tees. And on Mon., Nov. 21, Ludacris hosted a listening party, surely the first of many, for the upcoming Disturbing tha Peace posse compilation. If Luda drops half the paper on promo tha Big Boi has, it's gonna be another good month for souvenir shot glasses and shot-caller ballers crowding the stage.

Shut up, Bono's talkin'!

Have I got your attention? No? Then let me repeat it 10! More! Times! "Shut up, Bono's talkin'!" And if I do repeat that 10 more times and/or sing the wrong words to every song with a grating drawl, then I am just like the douche bag standing behind me at the second of two sold-out U2 shows. This mangled alpha male and his bombed date -- whose name I know is "Gina" because he kept slurring at her that she had had enough to drink -- proved that no monetary amount can buy class even if it can get you good seats for U2's ascendance into the digital age of unchecked dissemination.

Still, Drunky McDrunkerson, as we'll affectionately christen this "good ol' boy," served his purpose, lightening moments where Bono's socially conscious showboating threatened to supersede the show. Besides, every time I see a concert with my friend Uncle Wu, some jarring aspect unexpectedly grinds the mood to a halt, be it a performer's broken leg or baffling comment such as Bono's big-ups. Here the Fly is talking about a great son of Atlanta, someone who helped pave paths of cultural relevance and influence, and our expectations of some MLK Jr. love are met with ... wishing Ted Turner happy birthday. Supposedly Dallas Austin joined in somewhere in the building.

The only celebrity sighting at Kanye West was Disturbing tha Peace member Bobby Valentino. And instead of pushing an agenda of erasing Third World debt during his hit parade, Kanye -- who did shout out Clark Atlanta University -- listed the brand names of his flossy clothes to remind the audience that maybe we could "touch the sky" (his tour's name) but apparently we couldn't touch no stage-commanding artist's threads.

RedEye celebrates going out and going off. Send comments to, but hand-scrawled hate mail is preferred.

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