Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Free Pharoahe Monch concert

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2008 at 8:11 PM

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Tomorrow at the Loft, car manufacturer Toyota Scion presents an evening with Pharoahe Monch in the latest installment of its Live Metro series. As usual, the show is free. But the audience should bring its good manners in return. At the last Live Metro concert in December, the crowd was so impatient to see Slick Rick that they barely clapped for his sterling backing band, Connie Price & the Keystones. And you'd figure that a hip-hop audience would recognize the opening act, Percee P, a prime influence since his epic 1988 single "Let the Homicides Begin," right? Nope. The crowd didn't even acknowledge his existence.

So yes, cheer loudly for Pharoahe Monch, but give some dap to Orgone, the L.A. funk band that will work its ass off to convert Organized Konfusion's "Stress" and Pharoahe's "Simon Says" into bristling live jams. And don't forget to say thanks to DJ Eleven from the Rub, who will open the night with a selection of killer tunes. In short, don't be one of those idiots who only claps for the headliner.

RSVP for Pharoahe, Orgone and DJ Eleven at www.scion.com/livemetro. But make it quick — the list closes at noon tomorrow.

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Daath wants your voice

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2008 at 4:28 PM

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THIS COULD BE YOU: Daath at Ozzfest

(Photo from Daath's MySpace page)

Ever had a hankering to sing death metal anthems in front of hundreds of screaming and slightly scary people? Daath, the Roadrunner Records-approved band, has been looking for someone to replace departed vocalist Sean Farber since last October.

"We don't want a one dimensional singer, we want someone diverse with range and power," says DAATH guitarist Eyal Levi. "We like vocalists like David Vincent, Corpsegrinder, Michael Akerfeldt, Vortex, and Phil Anselmo."

If you sound like the aforementioned fellows — or better yet, if you even get those references — then contact Daath via its MySpace page. The search appears to be ending soon, however, so if you're interested send in your materials immediately. The band hits the studio in March to record the follow-up to last year's The Hinderers. Finally, if you're more familiar with Darth Vader than Daath, read Hamilton Jordan Jr.'s May 30, 2007, CL profile.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008

99X and the fate of mainstream radio

Posted By on Fri, Jan 18, 2008 at 10:49 PM

After 15 years, alternative-rock station 99X (WNNX-FM 99.7) is moving to the Web to become a high-definition subchannel and webcaster. Top 40 hits sister station Q100 (WWWQ-FM 100.5) will be taking its slot for the higher frequency Jan. 25. Apparently, the transition has been looming over 99X for some time now, as the station's ratings have been declining and the station is ranked 11 in its targeted audience of 18-34-year-olds.

When the AJC’s Rodney Ho wrote about the transition in his radio and TV blog, the majority of the commentors were thrilled about the change, complaining that it should have been done a long time ago. They also bashed program director Leslie Fram, the morning show and the monotony in 99X’s playlist.

So why are they replacing 99X with Q100, which also has a monotonous 20-song playlist of Top 40 hits and a similar morning show?

The majority of mainstream radio stations in Atlanta have morning shows with hosts rambling on about their personal lives and/or political views. When music is actually played, it's the same songs over and over again. At least 99X had different radio programs to break up the monotony: "Organic X" played acoustic rock; "Sunday School" played new music, imports and promoted local bands; and "Live X" aired live shows played in the studio.

With the growing popularity of XM Radio, Sirius and the iPod, mainstream radio in general could soon succumb to the same fate. With all the new technology, and the annoyance listeners feel when there's too much talk and not enough tunes, why would anyone bother listening to the radio at all?

Georgia State’s Album 88 (WRAS-FM 88.5) and Georgia Tech’s WREK (WREK-FM 91.1) — both of which were CL Best of Atlanta 2007 winners — seem to be the only stations that truly play a wide variety of music. Album 88's playlist consists of everything from Swedish acoustic to hardcore metal. Georgia Tech plays music from video games (no shock there) alongside South Asian music and hip-hop. With their minimal chat and variety in music, college stations could set the standard for mainstream radio in the future.

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Yeasayer is awesome

Posted By on Fri, Jan 18, 2008 at 8:20 PM

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(Photo by Alexander Wagner)

Yeasayer, who is playing tonight at the Earl, is the first indie-rock band I've gotten excited about in a long time. (OK, the first one in a few months.) I've been down on indie-rock recently — like many music fans, I've gotten sick of the "emperor's new clothes" mentality that seems to elevate mediocre bands to unparalleled heights of blog buzz. Yeasayer's All Hour Cymbals isn't stunningly original, and when you hear it you'll immediately think of Animal Collective's avant-folk-pop cataclysm. But Yeasayer has a strong sense of melody and songwriting that its peers often lack.

There are a handful of songs on All Hour Cymbals that I've played over and over again, like "Sunrise" and "2080." You can download MP3s for both from Yeasayer's website, and then try to cram into the Earl tonight before the show sells out (if it hasn't already).

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D.R.E.S. tha Beatnik hosts Afterlife this Saturday???

Posted By on Fri, Jan 18, 2008 at 6:33 PM

In case you don't understand the relevance of this post, let me explain.

Afterlife ... an 18-plus party at Masquerade every Saturday with resident DJs Preston Craig (creator of KissAtlanta.com and Decatur Social Club), Rob Rowe, Captain Crunk and Treasure Fingers. It's pretty much like a rave minus the Ecstacy. Electro remixes of your favorite songs, old and new. Colorful lights. Kids wildin' out.

D.R.E.S. ... holds it down as the ambassador of underground hip-hop in Atlanta. In the CL Best of Atlanta 2002 issue, he was said to have the "rockingest esophagus in town." He produces and hosts Mic Club, an MC/producer battle, on Tuesdays at Apache Cafe. Every Friday, he's on the mic at MJQ's hip-hop night singing lyrics, shouting out folks, rocking the crowd. Anything that has to do with "real" hip-hop in the city, D.R.E.S. is a part of.

I'm always down for a clash of cultures, and this should be a good one.

Here's a taste of both:

Afterlife[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/KwKDsSXTEC8" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

D.R.E.S.[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/f7sA_cBUFZk" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Who's Amazing Journey

Posted By on Wed, Jan 16, 2008 at 9:55 PM

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As the snowflakes flutter upon the city, my thoughts turn to a favorite documentary from recent months: Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who.

Imaginatively, the two-and-a-half-hour Amazing Journey splits the Who's entire career into a double LP, from its origins as a rhythm-and-blues cover band in early '60s England to its never-ending reunion tours in the '90s and today, with each track on the vinyl marking a separate section of its history. I've heard many of the band's classics -- who doesn't own a copy of Who's Next and Live at Leeds? But I never realized how many great songs the group had until seeing the film, which is impressively directed by Murray Lerner (best-known for Festival, a 1967 Oscar-nominated documentary about the Newport Folk Festival).

VH-1 Classic showed Amazing Journey commercial-free last November, just before it was released on DVD. It has continued to show it occasionally, and I've watched it several times since. I tried to find out when the channel would show it again, but the site was too difficult to navigate. So you'll just have to look out for it, I guess. In the meantime, you can view a trailer on the Amazing Journey website.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rocko does him

Posted By on Tue, Jan 15, 2008 at 10:32 PM

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When word got out that Rodney "Rocko Da Don" Hill, R&B singer Monica's ornery boyfriend, snagged a deal with Jermaine Dupri's So So Def imprint, most people laughed at him. And when Rocko dropped a none-too-subtle ode to his fabulousness, "Umma Do Me," most people laughed at him again.

But it looks like Rocko's getting the last laugh. "Umma Do Me" has been in heavy rotation on Atlanta's radio stations and in its hip-hop clubs since last fall. DJs like spinning it because its mock-epic track, produced by Drumma Boy, blends nicely with Balis' beat for Shawty Lo's "Dey Know." Its repetitive hook — "Hey, umma do me" — manages to stick in your brain without getting on your nerves.

Next up: Rocko's debut album, Self Made, which is tentatively scheduled to drop in March on Def Jam. I'm not expecting much — these out-of-the-blue new jacks have proven to be more one-hit wonders than career artists with great debut albums. Perhaps he'll surprise us.

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