Loves, Both New and OldSometimes when you're signifying to socially conscious hip-hop, you just want to shout, "This is protected by the red, the black, and the green - with a key! Sissy!" The temptation reached militant heights when X-Clan's Brother J, a member of the Brooklyn-based group known for the above quote, stepped to the stage - called out by Akil of Jurassic 5 - at the inaugural A3C Independent Hip-Hop Festival held Fri., April 1. Those two were but spontaneous guests at the Loft, however. The headliners of the show were local and regional acts such as Psyche Origami, Mars Ill and Prophetix. Saturday welcomed a bigger crowd and big showings by Divinity and Heavy Mojo, as well as soon-to-be Florida-to-ATL transplants Intellekt. Hearing performers with the conviction of those at A3C, hip-hop certainly come across as "protected." And it has a much better chance of survival with this showcase, which served to bring indie hip-hop crews together and show strength in numbers - but also acted as a comparison study in who can really rock a crowd. If Arc the Finger Records can pull it off again next year, Atlanta is not totally fucked - or crunked - when it comes hip-hop.
Atlanta definitely wasn't fucked when Jody Watley appeared at Compound, though sex surely was on the brain. If Watley'd asked, "Don't you want me?" on Friday, I would have said, "Yes!" I was kinda hoping she'd go all the way with her striptease-style dance, with or without her hip-hop choreographed male sidekicks. But a tallin', ballin' crowd made it hard to see the lovely Jody jiggle what's in the middle and pop what's on top, what with the satiny black strapless corset and breath-defying denim jeans. Yes, they were that tight. But damn, so was the voice, seasoned from nearly 20 years in the business, and demonstrated when Watley had the crowd singing back up to "Looking for a New Love" and mixed some TLC into her classic "Friends" - totally a capella and even with a bit of the Rakim rap. And all of that was after an earlier show at eleven50. No need to look for a new love, Jody. The ATL's got you. -- Chante Lagon
Clash of the TowniesWhen it comes to the avant-garde, there's a fine line between the raddest thing ever and complete and utter bullshit (like the Blazziere). The first Notown Sound Festival at Eyedrum on Sat.-Sun., April 2-3, gravitated toward the former but wasn't completely immune from the latter. The lineup for the two-day event featured a who's who of noise and oddball folkies from Atlanta and beyond. Local acts, including Airoes, Anna Kramer, Wilson + Heath and Zandosis performed earlier in the day, while more recognized artists including No Neck Blues Band and Sunburned Hand of the Man performed at night. On Saturday, Excepter, one of the most lauded artists, performed during the peak of festival attendance (guesstimated at a couple hundred). Analog drums and chirps clashed with reverb-drenched guitars and dueling male/female vocalists bellowing like banshees. Merging the simple and hard-hitting cadence of early industrial artists Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire with the bad acid in the graveyard scene from Easy Rider, the shit went on for way too long.
A steady stream of the city's most attractive über-art onlookers stared transfixed, some in total awe while others nodded off in their seats, the heads bobbing as they drifted in and out of consciousness. Overall, the Notown energy was described as anticlimactic though not uninteresting.
Additionally, in terms of things captured, in the small gallery local photographer Tommy Chung opened an exhibition of photographs centered largely on Atlanta's multifaceted punk and underground music scenes. And while musicians took most of the photos, everything from neighborhood kids to the Atlanta skyline is portrayed in full glory. The exhibit, which could/should be renamed Pictures of Tommy's Friends, continues through April 23. It was a night of well-framed activities. -- Chad Radford
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Beck and Alabama Shakes...that's about it. I'm sure there's an unknown or two I would…
Well, this years Music Midtown sucks!
I'm pretty sure he was 19.
3 people apparently love handing over an extra 40% in fees for nothing in return…
Dang. I thought they would name some actual headliners.