Thursday, November 29, 2007

See & Do: The Charalambides

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 3:46 PM

(Photo by Charlie Finch)


Though sometimes lumped in with the New Weird America/avant-folk crowd, the CHARALAMBIDES predate that scene by many years. The Austin, Texas, couple began recording in the early '90s, and issued several albums before gaining national exposure. The duo's music can be difficult stuff – it experiments with tonal extremes, from chanting to atonal rhythmic guitar. Scottish singer Alasdair Roberts headlines the Thurs., NOV. 29, show. $8. 9 p.m. The Earl, 488 Flat Shoals Road. 404-522-3950.

For more See & Do, click here.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Crunk's not dead

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2007 at 9:28 PM


I wonder if Lil Jon knows about Crunks not Dead, a small indie label out of the Northwest. It isn't a traditional rap imprint, however, but an outlet for queer-identified electro and hip-hop artists. Talk about subversion!

One of its artists is Nicky Click, a performer from Durham, N.C. who sings and raps over her booty-bass and electronic beats. Her new album is I'm On My Cell Phone. I saw Nicky Click during Mondo Homo at the Drunken Unicorn last summer. As she performed, home movies were projected on a screen behind her. The flicks mostly consisted of her looking glamorous, sashaying around and having a pajama party with her friends. It was interesting and kinda weird, sort of like watching Harmony Korine's cult classic Gummo. Admittedly, that may not be the best comparison, depending on your feelings about that film ...

But hey, make your own opinion. Here's a video of Nicky Click's "Rhea." You can visit her website here, and her MySpace page here.

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In synch

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2007 at 2:54 PM

Last night's annual viewing of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" brought on the usual misty-eyed memories of days gone, but also reminded us of the most recent Atlanta-influenced connection to the Charles Schulz classic. Take that, Vince Guaraldi!

Suddenly I'm in the mood to watch The Wizard of Oz set to Dark Side of the Moon. Who knew?

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Le Castle Vania tells Lies in Disguise

Posted By on Tue, Nov 27, 2007 at 8:47 PM


(MySpace photo by Shadow Scene)

Back when I wrote about Le Castle Vania in the May 30 issue of CL (which you can read here), he noted that he was working on a new project with Blake Miller of L.A. band Moving Units (whose new album, Hexes for Exes, is pretty good). When I interviewed him, he gave me a late pass for writing about him after he had already landed on URB magazine's coveted Next 100 list.

Well, I need a late pass again. Earlier this month, Le Castle Vania and Miller debuted a new track on Decatur Social Club impresario Preston Craig's blog The two are calling themselves Lies in Disguise, and the cut, a remix of U.K. producer Partyshank's "Penis vs. Vagina," is disco-sampladelica, a nu-rave blend of MSTRKFRT and the Prodigy. The Partyshank single with the Lies in Disguise remix officially drops in January on So Sweet Records. (The label is also selling Le Castle Vania's "I Love You But I've Chosen Disco" T-shirts, and you can order one here).

To promote Lies in Disguise, Le Castle Vania and Miller plan to hit all the major festivals next spring, including SXSW in Austin, Texas, and Winter Music Conference in Miami, Fla. (which promises to be an electro-house bonanza). Book your plane tickets now.

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Butch Walker's Malibu home burns

Posted By on Tue, Nov 27, 2007 at 6:17 PM

Hit singer/songwriter/producer Butch Walker's home, according to a press release sent by his publicist, was destroyed in the recent Malibu, Calif., fires. Worse, it seems that Walker had permanently relocated from Atlanta to Malibu, so he lost everything:

Butch Walker and his family have fallen victim to the wildfires spread by the Santa Ana winds across Malibu, CA. On November 24th a family friend was forced to evacuate the singer, songwriter and producer's Malibu home, which was being rented from Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Flea, due to the rapidly spreading fire. Walker was in New York City at the time on tour.

Says Walker "I had just consolidated my entire recording studio and house from Atlanta into the one house In Malibu. I lost everything I've ever owned. Every master of every song I've ever recorded, every piece of recording equipment, guitars, drums and things I've collected over the years, cars, motorcycles, every family memorial, heirloom, picture, and document we ever had.... Gone. I feel like I finally know the difference between 'going back' and 'going home'."

Incidentally, Flea noted in comments to the Los Angeles Times Saturday, Nov. 24, that one of his houses burned to the ground, but that it was a second house up for sale, not his primary residence. He didn't mention that Butch Walker was staying there.

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Bilal rocks Sol Fusion

Posted By on Tue, Nov 27, 2007 at 4:21 PM


SOL BROTHER NO. 1: Bilal performs at Sol Fusion on Thanksgiving eve.

(photos by Shannon McCollum)

Sol Fusion, the international love fest/get-your-back-up-off-the-wall jam helmed by lifestyle aficionados J. Carter and Kenny Burns, hit yet another crescendo last week during its fifth anniversary celebration. Voted Critics' Pick for Best Club Event by CL in '05 (click here to read the review), Sol Fusion is a cool blend of artists, musicians, creative cuties, down-home homies and on-point crowd controllers such as DJ Kemit. With soul maestro Bilal riding shotgun, this was one event everybody and their mama’s mama will tell the grandkids about.

See, Bilal ain't your average singer. He’s emotive. His live set is a mixed bag of personal narrative and an extreme exercise in sonic freedom digging in the crates of jazz, blues, hip-hop, R&B, alternative and musical expressions yet to be named. And with a distinct voice moving from falsetto wails to baritone-inflected blues, every woman in earshot was wooed. But Bilal is more of a blue-collar soul star than the ego-driven star all too commonplace in the industry. His appeal rests on a marriage between witty lyrics dripping with lived experience and a toe-tapping/head-nodding rhythm section causing body parts to shake. Though he covered classic tracks such as “Love Poems” and “Fast Lane,” his performance of the foot-in-your-ass track “Sometimes” brought down the house (almost literally) as a possessed Bilal slammed mic stands and gave his electric piano a beating only Ike Turner could appreciate.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Don't forget about Crime Mob

Posted By on Mon, Nov 26, 2007 at 7:39 PM


(photo by Zach Wolfe)

As we recount the heroes and villains, winners and losers of 2007, don't forget about Crime Mob, the teenage crunksters who dropped a solid sophomore effort, Hated on Mostly, way back in March.

Sure, "Rock Yo Hips" was no "Knuck if You Buck" or "Stilettos (Pumps)." But at least it wasn't totally wack like "Coffee Shop." (Sorry, Yung Joc, but it's true.) And instead of making a bunch of outrageous claims about how they represent the youth (Shop Boyz and Soulja Boy, take a bow) Crime Mob quietly earned our respect by making a good album. (Except for that song "Circles," which samples the Friends of Distinction chestnut and is a little corny.)

Diamond and Princess may be the two most talented female MCs to hit the mainstream since Remy Martin back in 2004, and they didn't swing on any stripper poles to prove it. Judging by their glamorous new publicity stills, which you can view in abundance on Diamond and Princess's respective MySpace pages, that's probably going to change. You can't stop teenage hormones, I guess.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Movies that rock

Posted By on Fri, Nov 23, 2007 at 4:54 PM


(photo © Jonathan Wenk/TWC 2007)

In this week’s issue I took a rather broad-sided look at the slew of rock-related movies that have been released in 2007, "Rocking in a hard place" — particularly the rock biopic, which seems to have been practically reinvented whether as a documentary or as a feature film.

I’d dashed off the piece for a Wednesday deadline but failed to check to see if all the movies mentioned were still in local theaters. Fortunately, all but one of the films, Kurt Cobain: About a Son, are still around, most notably the recently released Todd Haynes film I’m Not There — about Bob Dylan.

Also fortunate is the fact that our film critics have reviewed each of the movies, so I’d definitely recommend checking out Felicia Feaster’s reviews of I’m Not There and Control, as well as Curt Holman’s reviews of Across the Universe and Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten. One caveat: A quick glance at our Movie Times reveals that Across the Universe, Control and Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten are all hanging by a thread. (Both Control and Strummer have moved over to the Plaza Theatre, which for some reason does have its own kind of rock ’n’roll vibe.)

Finally, a question: What’s your favorite rock ’n’ roll movie, or rock biopic, for that matter?

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

'Dang it was the dung': Rahbi at Apache, Nov. 17

Posted By on Thu, Nov 22, 2007 at 12:48 AM


THE VAUDEVILLIAN IN BLACK: Rahbi (right) as Michael Jackson. His live album, Rahbi-Raw, will be released Dec. 11.

(photos by Kimble Joyner — more below the break)

Click here to read the Nightcrawler review of his show.

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A conversation with DJ Drama: the extended interview

Posted By on Wed, Nov 21, 2007 at 10:44 PM


It's hard to believe the Aphilliates' offices are still located at 147 Walker St. -- the same place where Atlanta police arrested Tyree "DJ Drama" Simmons and Don Cannon last January on bootlegging charges.

"A lot of people were like, 'You're going to stay there? Don't you feel like it's negative energy?'" says DJ Drama, who takes a moment to talk before going on the air to host "Gangsta Grillz Radio," the 8 p.m. Friday show he co-hosts with Cannon for Sirius satellite radio. The duo broadcasts the program from a studio room in the offices. "But it would only be negative energy if I felt as if everything turned out in a negative way. I'm the type of person where my glass is always half-full. This is our home."

It's the type of attitude that has sustained Drama throughout the year: When it rains lemons, make lemonade. After DJ Drama, widely known as the uncrowned king of mix CDs, was arrested, he pressed up T-shirts that read, "Free DJ Drama." Hot 107.9 (WHTA-FM), the station that once hosted the Aphilliates' "Gangsta Grillz Radio" program Saturdays at 8 p.m., temporarily took Drama off the air. Now Hot 107.9 features the program five nights a week: Monday through Thursday at 10 and the original Saturday time slot.

When police raided the offices, they seized the master copies for DJ Drama's Atlantic Records debut, Gangsta Grillz: The Album. After DJ Drama re-recorded some tracks and commissioned new material, the album will finally drop Dec. 4. He talked about the album, his friend Tip "T.I." Harris' ongoing legal troubles (Drama is T.I.'s DJ), and why he calls mix CDs "the veins of hip-hop."

CL: This is the same space that you had last time, right?

Drama: Same space. This is where they came. We’re still here.

CL: It actually looks like it’s cleaner, and there’s more stuff here than there was before.

Drama: They took everything, so we just had to rebuild. Basically, we went out, got new stuff, and went back to work. You know, we do our Sirius show from in here, so they had taken all our ISDN lines and everything. So we just had to put everything back together and get back to work. But I’m happy to say that we’re doing the show live here. We finished up the album and everything.

A lot of people were, like, “You’re going to stay there? Don’t you feel like it’s negative energy?” But it would only be negative energy if I felt as if everything turned out in a negative way. I’m the type of person where my glass is always half-full. This is our home. This is where we built a lot of things. So for me to feel like the energy wasn’t good in here, I mean, it is what we make it. It’s back to business.

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