This just scoped out via MTV.com: Butch Walker has posted a live album that you can download for free. It's called Leavin' the Game on Luckie St., perhaps a nod to Walker moving from Atlanta to Los Angeles (and then New York) last year. Not sure how the album sounds â I just saw the post a few minutes ago. With luck, however, it will be resemble the amiable glam-rock pastiche of Walker's underappreciated 2006 album, Butch Walker & the Lets Go Out Tonites and not the radio crap ... uh, hits ... that he writes for Avril Lavigne. Plus, while you're downloading the album, you can sign up for an account with Friends or Enemies, the latest social networking miasma.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our first and last annual Gordon Lightfoot Singing Contest.
The response was overwhelming.
OK, maybe overwhelming isn't the word. It was whelming. Six people participating â seven if you count the backing vocalist on the last call.
I'm not sure who's getting the tickets. I called three winners, but none have called me back yet. My great-grandfather used to tell me, "Andisheh, never trust a fan of Canadian folk-rock." I finally know what he meant.
WHO SAID BLACK GIRLS DON'T HAVE FRECKLES? Melissa plans to get close enough for fans to count them at her 8 p.m. performance tonight at Smith's Olde Bar. (Sugashack Music)
Here's a hint â there are more than 20, but less than 200.
Besides her Valentine's show at Smith's Olde Bar (1578 Piedmont Ave.), she talked about how she got exposed to old soul legend Betty Wright by sneaking into her dad's record collection as a kid. Young even features her dad on her new CD, Just Up the Road.
She also gives some tips on how guys can woo her on V-Day. It's not too late, fellas; she's single. But she's also a boss. The Greenville, N.C., native is releasing her new CD via her own independent label, Sugashack Music.
So step your game up.
CELESTIAL SOUNDS: Dennis Palmer of the Shaking Ray Levis works out his cosmic constants. (Courtesy Dennis Palmer)
Hindsight does not always bring with it a clear vision, especially when reflecting on a conversation with Dennis Palmer of the twisted Chattanooga improv duo the Shaking Ray Levis.
When interviewing him for a feature story that appears in Creative Loafing this week regarding his show with Col. Bruce Hampton at Eyedrum ($7, 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19), I asked him to tell me about his relationship with the Colonel and how they interact as musicians. At the time his response felt odd but not out of place.
"He's a dang Southern avant-garde hero to me," he said. "Bruce has been tapped into the mystery of the seven vowels and the cosmic constants before and since he landed on this here planet. You don't bump into someone like Bruce by accident."
Palmer is a mild-mannered, polite and articulate fellow, and his use of colorful Southern slang and equally colorful drawl flow smoothly, maybe even too smoothly. It's definitely accentuated to provoke a humorous, albeit weird affect.
There are dozens of atrocities committed against the English language in the name of Southern vernacular everyday. Walk down the city streets of Atlanta and they're everywhere. On the corner of Ponce and Moreland, you can buy "vine ripen" tomatoes at the fruit stand. Go around the corner to Atkins Park and the lunch special is "blacken catfish." At Philips Arena you can buy "bottle water" before you go sing the "natural anthem" at the Atlanta "Flacons" game.
All of these are reeling in my mind when talking with Palmer. He's well-aware of these atrocities and makes light of them by injecting them into the conversation every chance he gets.
So what the heck are the "Seven Vowels and Cosmic Constants" anyway? Is it just another way for Palmer to exploit the tongue of his Southern character and replace "consonants" with "constants" just for fun, or is he talking about something real here?
(Photo from El Bar's MySpace page)
El Bar, the Midtown hot spot tucked in the basement beneath El Azteca restaurant, is going the way of the dodo bird. Last Tuesday, while the Triple D's crew celebrated an "anti-Valentine's Day party" with inflatable sex dolls and raffle prizes, co-owner and indefatigable DJ Rob Wonder broke the bad news. Closing night is set for Friday, Feb. 29, but Rob says he has no special plans other than to just, you know, spin some records. If you've never been to the stonewalled club billed as "Atlanta's best-kept secret," you've got until the end of the month to pay a visit.
For reasons I don't entirely understand, there are six tickets on my desk to Gordon Lightfoot's concert at Cobb Energy Centre Friday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m.
I can't go to the concert, so you can have the tickets for free.
Sing me at least 15 seconds of "Sundown" and, bam, you qualify for two tickets. Sing me at least 15 seconds of "If You Could Read My Mind" and, bam, you qualify for two tickets. Sing me the first three verses of "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" and you qualify for two tickets. Sing all three and you may get all six tickets.
Be sure to tell me your name and how to reach you. You can pick up the tickets at our office.
In the unlikely event that more than one person calls me for this contest, I'll divide up the tickets between my favorite entrants.
My office phone is 404-614-1888. The deadline is 9 a.m. Friday.
Note: I may record your singing and put it on this blog. Naturally, I will not include your contact info in the podcast.
Good luck and God speed!
(Gordon Lightfoot, you are not eligible to participate.)
(Photo by Sarah Friedman)
Fresh from his memorable performance at the 50th annual Grammy Awards, hip-hop genius/royal brat (depending on your point of view) Kanye West is heading to Atlanta. He's bringing a killer lineup with him, too: Rihanna, Lupe Fiasco and Pharell Williams' N.E.R.D., which is putting out a new album this year. It all happens at Gwinnett Center in Duluth on Sunday, May 4. Tickets go on sale on Friday, Feb. 15.
It's no huge secret that the best jazz is usually found in intimate settings.
The romantic ideal -- finding a burning tenor player at 2 in the morning in a smoky, hole-in-the-wall jazz club, whose playing transcends mere notes and rhythms -- may well be the best way to hear jazz, but the music has also flourished in concert halls, university venues and outdoor festivals. Plenty of inspired moments have been heard in these larger arenas, and pianist Benny Green and saxophonist James Moody have both been awe-inspiring when performing in a football stadium in Idaho.
The musicians were joined by singer Nnenna Freelon, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, bass player Derrick Hodge and drummer Kendrick Scott Friday at Symphony Hall for a tour celebrating 50 years of the Monterey Jazz Festival.
Unfortunately for the musicians, something seemed cold about the room, and none of them were quite able to piece together snippets of inspiration into a cohesive set.
The octogenarian Moody, with ample comic support from Green, launched into his puckish singing routine "Benny's From Heaven," to uproarious applause. And Hodge joined Freelon for a delicate and swinging duet on "Skylark," but these moments were too few. Blanchard closed the concert with readings from his Grammy-winning rumination on New Orleans.
(Photos by Hannibal M.)
"We on some black hipster shit in here!" announced Wil May, host for the hip-hop showcase "Perfect Attendance." Yes, it's true: Atlanta's black hipsters are back and in full force. For the past several months, they've been organizing concerts and parties with the fervor of punk rock bands. Rarely a week goes by without a show featuring either Proton, Gripplyaz or Hollyweerd. Typically, all three were on the Perfect Attendance lineup.
Perfect Attendance was held at the Drunken Unicorn Friday, Feb. 8. It was presented by Fadia Kader's Come Up Kids crew, and much of the two-hour showcase featured Jaspects as both lead performer and backing band. Several of the scene's players were either performing or were in the audience, including Battery 5, Kid Kaos and others. Perfect Attendance was just the latest of dozens of events seeking to inflate the ATL hip-hop buzz to record levels, but it was as good an opportunity as any to see what the hype was all about.
Happy V-Day â hint, hint.
Tickets for the first half of Radiohead's North American tour â including a May 8 date at Atlanta's Lakewood Amphitheatre â go on pre-sale Feb. 14 at W.A.S.T.E. General sales begin on Feb. 16.
Below are the rest of the U.S. dates scheduled before Radiohead's summer tour of Europe and the U.K. The second round of North American dates will be announced later.
May 5 - Cruzan Amphitheatre - West Palm Beach, Florida
May 6 - Ford Amphitheatre - Tampa, Florida
May 8 - Lakewood Amphitheatre - Atlanta, Georgia
May 9 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre - Charlotte, North Carolina
May 11 - Nissan Pavilion at Stone Ridge - Bristow, Virginia
May 14 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - St. Louis, Missouri
May 17 - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion - Houston, Texas
May 18 - Superpages.com Center - Dallas, Texas
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