Friday, February 29, 2008

Mayor of Ponce dishes Oysterfest at Piedmont Park

Posted By on Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 11:26 PM

The Mayor of Ponce went to Oysterfest last week, and left feeling all clammy about it.

Cresting the hill on 10th Street, I see a mass of people surrounding Park Tavern. Mass as in thousands. Thousands as in plural. I think to myself, this isn’t going to be a day in the park.

Since the exodus from Buckhead, it’s the first Oysterfest held at the crown jewel of Atlanta – Piedmont Park. I figure I better attend the event since it might be the last one for a while at the park. Because of the dire drought conditions, the blue-haired aristocrats who run the Piedmont Park Conservancy have already shooed away the Dogwood Festival, Gay Pride, Screen on the Green and the finish line to the Peachtree Road Race. If the elements don’t ease up, I fear they might do away with actual people. The 186-acre park will just be a wildlife refuge with swing sets.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Slate channels CL on Jeff Mangum

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 7:50 PM

For the 10th anniversary of Neutral Milk Hotel's landmark album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Slate has published a story about the defunct Athens group's leader, Jeff Mangum.

If you're a longtime CL reader and the story rings a bell, that's because it covers much of the same ground covered in CL's popular 2003 cover story, "Have you seen Jeff Mangum?", written by former staffer Kevin Griffis.

And for those of you wondering what happened to Kevin Griffis, he left journalism in 2004 to become a political consultant. Last time I looked, he was with the Obama campaign.

(photo by Jim Stawniak)

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Janet Jackson cries out for rough sex

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 12:11 AM

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CONFESSION: Janet Jackson gives the audience some foreplay at a Discipline listening session in N.Y.

What's weirder — Janet Jackson coyly declaring, "I love sex," or the rousing response she gets from the declaration during her listening session interview with Blender magazine editor, Joe Levy?

We're talking a 41-year-old woman here. She's closer to menopause than she is to puberty. At this point in her life, is it such a shocking surprise to hear Janet Jackson admit she likes to get her freak on?

Well, yeah, it kinda is. Despite being the artist who infamously revealed her grown woman boobies — which would make them boobs — during the infamous Super Bowl Halftime show, Janet has always been super shy when it comes to talking about sexuality, unless it's on her records.

Her new CD that dropped today, the curiously-titled Discipline, traverses plenty of sensual terrain. Nothing new there. In fact, the title track is a cry out for some much-needed S&M:

"Babe, I need some discipline tonight," she sings in the hook. "Don't hold back/I've been very bad/Daddy make me cry/Babe."

It's one of those slow crawlers meant to get deep inside you. And it does. But the rest of the CD sorta snaps, pops and plods along. The nine interludes spaced between the 13 actual songs don't help. In some of them, she talks to some robot she calls Kiyoko. The best contributions come from Atlanta-based songwriter/artist Ne-Yo, who is known for creating songs eerily reminiscent of Michael Jackson when he was still the king of pop. Ne-Yo collaborates on a couple of joints Jackson's boyfriend/super-producer Jermaine Dupri.

Honestly, I don't want to beat up on Janet Jackson. That's too easy. People have been doing it for half a decade now. And Discipline isn't a bad album. It just sounds shallow, despite the attempts to plumb emotional depths: "Greatest X" (written by The Dream) and "Can't B Good" (another Ne-Yo contribution that's one of the album's best).

But maybe it's time Janet starts singing about the things other grown folks can relate to: struggling with weight gain/loss (which she has); balancing independence and being in a relationship with someone just as successful (which she is); and of course, keeping it sexy as you approach 45 (which she will be).

Sure, preteens wouldn't buy that shit. Unfortunately, they probably won't be buying Discipline either.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Song charts

Posted By on Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 4:06 PM

Illustrator Richard Krolewicz, aka boyshapedbox, has started a Flickr group devoted to famous songs rendered as charts or graphs. It's open to the public.

The contributions are hit-and-miss, but when they hit, they're hilarious.

For example (click to enlarge):

Let me know

The Evita one is my new desktop.

I had some free time yesterday, so I made my own, too:


If you contribute any, let me know.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Anthony David signs major label deal

Posted By on Sat, Feb 23, 2008 at 9:59 PM



ACEY DUCEY: Atlanta's Anthony David throws up the deuce sign at Sound Shop record store in the Mall West End. The label deal he signed last week with Universal Republic means his record will finally get major distribution.

Two months after V-103 (WVEE-FM) began playing "Words" — Anthony David's duet with India.Arie from his 2006 sophomore release, Red Clay Chronicles — David has signed a major label deal with Universal Republic.

Though the deal was in the works months before V-103 began playing "Words," David says getting airplay on Atlanta's top-ranked radio station helped speed things along. (Click here to read the back story about how the independent artist's song made it into V-103's rotation.)

The wheels started turning late last year when David went to New York to perform a showcase for the label execs. Universal Republic is also home to artists such as Amy Winehouse and David's long-time collaborator, India.Arie.

His first release on the label could come as soon as May '08, he says. It will include a re-release of several songs from both of David's previous albums, 3 Chords and the Truth and Red Clay Chronicles (both released on local indie label Brash Music), as well as a few new songs.

The deal struck by David and his manager, Richard Dunn, will allow David to retain ownership of his masters.

For the last decade, the Savannah native has been a staple within Atlanta's underground soul scene. David says his independent streak won't change just because his status has. "All artists should act independently," he says. "Ultimately, you work for yourself."

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wanted: People with cool homes

Posted By on Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 3:30 PM

Urban Living, CL's monthly "Shelter from bland living" section, is back, and looking for a few cool homes. Apartments, lofts and condos are also eligible. If you live in a neighborhood where CL is available and your place is unique somehow — interesting-looking, history-filled or funky fun — leave a comment below with a description, or e-mail

Maybe your love of film noir has turned your pad into a virtual movie set. Or maybe you've painstakingly renovated the original 19th-century wood design. Commercial kitchen in the basement? Secret hallways? Panic rooms? That's all cool stuff.

Once you leave a comment, we'll follow up and ask for a photo or two. Just keep in mind that if we feature your home in Urban Living this spring, you'll be opening up your home to CL readers ... so tidy up already.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Portishead's great expectations

Posted By on Mon, Feb 18, 2008 at 10:58 PM


Like everyone else in the mid-'90s, I loved Portishead. I adored Dummy, its classic 1994 album. Although it took me a few tries, I learned to love its difficult and astringent 1997 self-titled follow-up. I bought both editions of Andy Smith's The Document. (Andy Smith was the tour DJ for Portishead.) And when the reclusive Beth Gibbons put out her solo album with Rustin Man, Out of Season, I not only bought the 2002 vinyl import, but the 2003 U.S. edition on CD. (Actually, a publicist sent me the CD.)

So it's safe to say I'm a Portishead fan. The impending arrival of its new album, Third, however, just worries me. What if it sucks? I mean, 10 years is a long time -- what if Portishead has fallen off? Worse, what if it's the equivalent of a reunion album -- Portishead rehashing the highlights of its "Sour Times" glory years? I guess it could turn out to be great. But honestly, what's the likelihood of that?

We'll find out for sure when Portishead's Third comes out April 29.

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