Peruse the lineup for this year's Atlanta Jazz Festival and you'll notice a number of artists listed who - much to the chagrin of a few hardcore traditionalists - don't neatly fit into the standard "jazz" categories. Of course the festival, which takes place May 25-27 (with free shows at Piedmont Park and ticketed performances at several other venues), has been in the business of showcasing genre-jumping musicians over its 36-year history. However, for 2013, there's a larger than usual cadre of talent that's dedicated to pushing the melodic envelope, and their presence on the bill isn't just a coincidence.
Alexandra Jackson: The daughter of Atlanta's first African-American mayor, Maynard Jackson, singer/pianist Alexandra Jackson (as heard on here recently released debut EP, From the Start) is quickly gaining a rep for presenting jazz standards with a fresh "veneer." When she takes the festival stage, keep your ears peeled for refreshed versions of classics like "I've Got the World on a String" and "Midnight Sun," among others.
>> Stress is a killer. Sometimes we all just need a few minutes alone. Just a couple minutes away from the terrible things on the news and in our minds. 10 deep breaths, in the nose, out the mouth. A time out. But if you're unable to get away, you're chained to your desk, might I recommend raising the headphones to their full and ear-locked position and listen to Ashley Eriksson's "Humming in the Dark." If that's not your cup of Roche, try Ciara's new anthem, "I'm Out (feat. St. Nicki)." And if you like to heal your head with guitars, THIS IS YOUR EVERYTHING.
Paramore with lead singer Hayley Williams played to a sold out crowd at The Tabernacle on Tuesday night.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This post has been changed to correctly identify vocalist Hayley Williams.
This week, Cee-Lo, Big Gipp, Khujo, and T-Mo joined forces with Janelle Monáe to offer up "Special Education," a new cut from Goodie Mob's forthcoming album Age Against the Machine, due out Aug. 27.
Age Against the Machine is Goodie Mob's first proper studio album with all four members of the group in the mix since World Party arrived back in '99. "Special Education" is a grinding, synth and bass-driven number, and despite its modern production qualities, it feels like a classic Dungeon Family Cut. Janelle Monáe brings a touch of her trademark non-conformist sentiment to the song when she sings, "I don't wear the clothes you wear, I'm just different and I don't care. It's kind of sad and it's a shame, everyone wants to be the same." Good things are in the works.
>> What is the meaning of life? Who am I? What is my true nature/essence? What is my true identity? What is my greater purpose? How should I live my life? What is death? What happens when we die? Is there a god, and, if so, what is her nature? Also, is Daft Punk's new album, Random Access Memories, good or not?
>> If you count Liberace as music news (of course you do), then you should really check out the great piece at NPR on HBO's upcoming Steven Soderbergh-directed Liberace movie, Behind the Candelabra.
>> Queens of the Stone Age have stitched together a 15-minute short film from their recently released ... Like Clockwork videos/cartoons by Boneface and Liam Brazier.
>> 17-year-old rapper Chief Keef uses adorable twitter emoticons to express his rage. Awwww.
Back in March, CL's resident country music scribe James Kelly penned an eloquent remembrance of Maddox.
Born in Augusta, Earl discovered music early on, and one of his first band gigs was with the Grease Guns, which included Gregory Dean Smalley, who would later move to Atlanta and help create the legendary Bubbapalooza festival at the Star Bar. When Greg succumbed to AIDS related illness in 1996, it was Earl who helped take care of him to the end. His devotion to his friends was that strong. Continue reading ...
Tonight's memorial begins at 7 p.m. and runs till 10 p.m. The Soul Bar is located at 984 Broad St. in downtown Augusta.
"Have you ever seen Snake Eyes?" Charles Hellier asks me. I pause and say "Maybe a long time ago ..." Like most Americans, I'm sure I have seen almost all Nick Cage movies. Charles laughs and begins our interview with "Yeah, it's terrible." The other half of Hellier Ulysses, Thomas Ulysses, couldn't make it so we called him, threw him on the SPEAKER PHONE and kind of got down to business.
Hellier Ulysses are a noisy Birdnames. Maybe one of the highest compliments I think I can pay any band. They wrestle the weirdo pop sensibilities of Americas #1 underrated band and make them heavier, louder and at times more engaging. Switching bass and guitar throughout their set and alternating lead vocal duties, Hellier Ulysses spin odd melodies over misplaced notes and Charles' foot stampeding away through driving bass drum beats. It's engaging. It's different. It's good. T is for Thomas, C is for Charles, and B is for Billy. Let's go!
T: Hello. Do I sound strange?
B: Yeah, you sound strange.
C: Billy has nothing prepared. We're doing it live.
T: DANG. So, when do we start?
B: It's started. Have you ever seen Snake Eyes?
C: It's not very good.
T: Wait, you have no questions prepared?
B: Well, when I found out you weren't going to be here I proposed we should write a mad lib and then call you, but Charles said you'd be mad.
T: I wouldn't be mad.
B: So we can call you back in ten minutes?
T: No way man. (Charles mouths "he's mad")
B: So it does make you mad?
T: It doesn't.
B: So we can call you back and do that?
T: No way. (Again Charles mouths "he's mad")
ATL Death Fest will be spread out across two venues in the East Atlanta Village, 529 and the Basement. Four of the seven touring acts are from other countries, including Cruciamentum from the U.K., Abigal from Japan, Australian d-beat band Kromosom, and Rotten Sound. The latter is a 20-year Finnish death metal veteran that will most likely steal the night with its headlining performance at 529's tiny showspace. The last band to go on that night will be the Basement's headliners Mangled, a local act with a chance to cement one of the top spots in the local death and thrash metal scene.
>> Kendrick Lamar talks to Erykah Badu for Interview: "Since day one, since the first time I touched the pen, I wanted to be the best at what I do."
>> Solange is the amazing, gorgeous, stunning, perfect cover model/story for the June/July 2013 issue of Complex magazine.
>> Drake to stay classy,
San Diego New York City.
>> RIP Ray Manzarek
As good a show as you were going to find in the city two weekends ago was not in a typical venue. Instead, Olympia, Wash.'s Broken Water (Hardly Art), and locals Wymyns Prysyn and Dasher, forged an all-out assault at Capsule on May 11. While many were there to see the touring band, which backed up its hype with a solid set, the locals definitely held their own.
Drivin N' Cryin.
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