Friday, May 30, 2008

Summer Guide Contest! Deadline: today, 5 p.m.

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2008 at 6:58 PM

We'd like to thank the record number of readers who have entered into our Summer Guide Contest for tickets/passes to 11 of the 111 best things to do this summer. (I say record number in that, it seems like a ton more than last year, which was my first year doing this, which will then count as the entire history of CL Summer Guide contests. So there.) So consider this a final reminder of the deadline for the contest, which is today (Friday), 5 p.m. We'll then gather up all the applicants and place them in a lottery system so complicated I probably couldn't even explain it to people. (Although it might involve printing out the answers, wadding them up into balls of paper, and drawing from a garbage bag. We'll see.) We'll announce the winner on Monday, June 2, in this here PopSmart blog. Until then, if you haven't played the game, you have about two hours left. It's really easy: Simply visit the Summer Guide online (either by clicking here or on the Summer Guide tile on our homepage), and scan through the 111 options, looking for hyperlinks on 11 of those coolest of cool events, and then filling out the form as described. We'll take it from there. Get crackin'.

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Spring Break Forever: Hipster hop is, um, dead

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2008 at 1:34 PM



Remember in my first blog when I said I'd try to express my opinions without getting beat up by some gangster rapper I might run into someday? Well now I'm gonna try and do that without getting beat up by some Hipster rapper that I def will, and HAVE, run into. I know some of y'all are waaaay more hood than hipster and are just trying to get paid, but if any of you all have a problem with my words it's not Creative Loafing, crib notes, Godney Starmichael, RAD BADFORD, Supreeme, or any of them. It's me and my rants again. And white people, I know you're really sensitive about race these this one's not about race or gender or sex....Its just about music!!!


Being a skinny rapper who isn't "socially conscious" or dealing coke on record (in real life I'm a Huey P. Newton idolizing Tony Montana), I had a deep seated fear of being lumped into what is now called Hipster Hop. It seems as if anyone whose clothing fits and doesn't rap about the struggle or the hustle gets lumped into that scategory. For those of you who don't know, the term hipster no longer only applies to white kids who did psychedelic drugs and listened to Miles Davis. Now it applies to Filipino dudes in exclusive Japanese tees and sneakers, cokehead art student chix who only like "dance music" (cocaine robot remixes), gender ambiguous dudes with fancy haircuts and American Apparel shirts, weird black guys with messy perms who AREN'T hairdressers, and pretty much most people @ DSC, Sloppy blah, Cinespace (LA), Silent Barn (NYC), Sway (NYC), Broke n...Bang Bang blah blah blah.

The term is used almost haphazardly to describe people who often don't have that much in common. A wave of rappers are coming out of this 238 BPM fashion-cocaine-Macbook-Japan-MySpace-based miniverse who are being called Hipster Hop. My friends and I debate if this subgenre has any signifying sonic markers. I am going to attempt to pinpoint what separates hipster hop from the rest of rap.

Continue reading »

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Air Loaf

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2008 at 1:22 PM

Today’s Air Loaf features Max Arbes chatting with CL’s Chad Radford about Buddy Guy — playing tonight at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

Air Loaf is broadcast weekdays on 1690 WMLB-AM at approximately 8:10 a.m., 12:20 p.m. and 6:20 p.m.


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Thursday, May 29, 2008

CL does Bonnaroo!

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2008 at 9:04 PM

Hello, music fan. My name is Brooke, and I'm going to be CL's ambassador to Bonnaroo. The selection process for this prestigious gig was pretty tough — I sat through a 27-hour bluegrass jam session while subsisting on little more than hummus and second-hand smoke.I emerged victorious over two Navy Seals and CL staff writer Thomas Wheatley (who ran screaming into the wilds of Villa Rica near the end of hour 14). So from June 12-15 I'll be posting from glamorous Manchester, Tenn., home of one of the biggest music festivals in the Southeast. You can expect daily concert reviews and photos, as well as the occasional entry that I wrote at 3 a.m. and have no memory of.

This year's line-up is pretty impressive — Atlanta-area acts like Drive-By Truckers and Dead Confederate will play alongside performers including, but not limited to Kanye West, M.I.A., B.B. King, Cat Power, Gogol Bordello and My Morning Jacket. Check out the complete lineup here.

Don't have a ticket to Bonnaroo? All is not lost! Criminal Records is giving away a pair. No purchase is necessary, just drop your information in the contest box up front. (Although the new Langhorne Slim album is delightful, and they totally stock it. Just saying.)

The contest ends a week before Bonnaroo starts, so no lolligagging, lest ye be denied a weekend of music with thousands of fellow stinky fans.

In anticipation of the festival, I created a Muxtape of Bonnaroo artists. Check it out here: The selection process for this mix was extensive. Is the song representative of the artist's repertoire? Would it provide a suitable sonic entryway into the festival? Most importantly, do I already own it?

Since I was limited to 12 tracks, and there are over 140 artists playing the festival, tens of tens of talented artists didn't make it on my mix.

Feel free to make your own Muxtape and post a link to it in the comments. Extra points for tracks from any of the performers in the comedy tent.

For more information about the festival, check out

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Spotlight: Randy Castello

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2008 at 2:40 PM


If you want edgy, talk to Randy Castello. He's earned a rep for nurturing emergent sounds and scenes as the talent buyer for Drunken Unicorn and the man behind Tight Bros Network promotions company. When he announced his split from Drunken Unicorn last week (due to undisclosed, irreconcilable differences), it sounded like the perfect time to talk to him about his evolution and how he has, in turn, affected Atlanta's.

Continue reading Spotlight.

(Photo by Megan Macksey)

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Air Loaf

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2008 at 7:00 AM

Today’s Air Loaf features Max Arbes chatting with CL’s Chad Radford about this week's music scene.

Air Loaf is broadcast weekdays on 1690 WMLB-AM at approximately 8:10 a.m., 12:20 p.m. and 6:20 p.m.


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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The DejaBlue Grass Band lit up Red Light Café Thursday

Posted By on Wed, May 28, 2008 at 6:15 PM

They come from Utah, Texas, South Carolina, Alabama and Decatur, but The DejaBlue Grass Band has blended the roots from their regions to bring something new to the Atlanta bluegrass scene.

Friends, family, former band members and even in-laws crowded into Red Light Café Thursday night for the band’s CD release party for their first album, Bucket Full of Rain.

The burgundy, cinderblock walls of Red Light Café aren’t ideal for acoustics, but this 5-piece lit up the dingy room with sharp vocals, crisp chords and one hell-of-a fiddler.

The night was filled with The DejaBlue Grass Band’s unique sound — bluegrass twang meets country lyrics sauced with a whole ‘lotta soul. It was spun into mostly covers, but they did toss in a few originals: the title track “Bucket Full of Rain” by lead vocals and guitarist Joey Bowers and about three new songs from mandolin player and harmonies Rutland “Rut” Walker.

“It’s nerve-wracking as hell playing a song you wrote in front of people,” Walker confessed to the crowd

Obviously, this band is in unfamiliar territory.

Continue reading »

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Less shock, more rock: Mack Messiah’s showman ruins the show

Posted By on Wed, May 28, 2008 at 5:45 PM

Maybe you have to be high or just extremely intoxicated to enjoy a Kenny Crucial performance. Unfortunately, I was neither of these things when I saw Mack Messiah at the Drunken Unicorn on Wednesday, May 21.

Despite his status as a local music icon, there was nothing profound or amazing about Crucial’s performance, and his attempts to be the intense rock star figure made him look insane, and not in a good, crazy rock and roll way. A heavy air of unease jostled everyone in the room. The typical hipsters were there, coolly sipping their PBR’s, only this time they were clutching them tightly with fear. Instead of dancing to the music they looked confused and uncomfortable, shifting from side to side, trying unsuccessfully to nod their heads to the Casio beat.

Looks of sheer disbelief and confusion spread throughout the room as Crucial resembled a deranged mole from the “Whac-a-Mole” game at Chuck E. Cheese … the one you’re supposed to bop with a mallet. Veins bulging and eyes wide, instead of popping out of a hole, he was popping up and down behind his music stand.

The music was not bad, and I actually enjoyed myself more when Crucial wasn’t screaming/singing. Their sound was a mutant hybrid of glam rock, psychedelic pop, and I would assume funk since one of the songs was titled “Funky Like Your Daddy.” It would have been fun and easy to dance to if everyone wasn’t so focused on Crucial, wondering what crazy thing he was going to do next. The saving grace of the performance was 18-year-old bass, keytar and omnicord player Monika Julien, who stood out even above the supposedly legendary Crucial. Julien met Crucial at the South by Southwest music conference in Austin. According to her, the two hit it off and soon began practicing together. Wednesday was the first time Julien had performed with Mack Messiah, but she has been a member of local experimental hardcore band When Rocky Beat the Russian for about a year now.

Fiercely hunched over while playing her omnichord, Julien was really into what she was doing and it was obvious through her prevailing sound and the modest smile on her face. Not modest at all, Crucial was really into what he was doing as well; however, he was obviously more into himself. Instead of a modest smile, he screamed at the audience and ended the show with his fists pumping in the air shouting, “Bow to me!”

Red faced and eyes full of rage, he no longer resembled the deranged but harmless Chuck E. Cheese mole. In fact, he suddenly looked more like the devil himself and after that little escapade, the band might best be served by calling itself Mack Lucifer.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Non-profit arts organization, WonderRoot Community Arts Center opens in Atlanta

Posted By on Tue, May 27, 2008 at 5:38 PM

WonderRoot, a non-profit organization established and based in Atlanta has announced the grand opening celebration of a new Community Arts Center on Saturday, May 31st at 8:00 p.m. at 982 Memorial Dr.

The grand opening will feature a tour of the facility and a chance to check out some of the studio’s artistic offerings, via an art show featuring local artists, an Alley Cat bike race and musical performances by Athen's surreal /twee pop emissary Nana Grizol and the Atlanta Sedition Orchestra.

The new facility houses a digital media lab, darkroom, recording studio, ceramics studio, classroom space and a performance space. WonderRoot members are granted unlimited access to these facilities on a first come, first served basis. The Community Center will also be host to regular arts-based workshops for youth ranging from poetry workshops to music production.

After taking a tour of the facility, NPR’s “News & Notes” contributor Amani Channel had this to say.

The schedule for the WonderRoot grand opening is as follows.:

7:30 p.m. Alley Cat bike race sponsored by Skid Row

8:00 p.m. Grand Opening (Facility tours, local art show featuring Bean Summer, Stephanie Howard, Ansley West, Katie Coleman, Matt Miller, Jeanette Zeis, Heather Weese, Ashil Parag, Tim Franzen and more).

9:00 p.m. Musical Performances by Nana Grizol and the Atlanta Sedition Orchestra.

…and at noon the following day there will be a $5 vegan brunch and complete screening of the Freaks and Geeks series.

For more information contact Alex Auxier, WonderRoot Music Initiatives, 404-432-8130 or look online at

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Mighty Hannibal Barack's the vote

Posted By on Tue, May 27, 2008 at 4:36 PM

Georgia's own Mighty Hannibal previewed his new song in support of Barack Obama's presidential nomination at the Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans earlier this month. He borrows the hook from the Winans' song "It's Time" (produced by Teddy Riley) and throws in his own ad-libs.

Favorite line: "I ain't gonna study war no mo', so John McCain got to go."

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Best known for his classic anti-Vietman song "Hymn No. 5," Hannibal wrote it in 1966, long before anti-war sentiment had reached its peak:

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And here's footage from his performance at The Earl last year, backed by the Black Lips, who actually cleaned up for the show:

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