Thursday, June 26, 2008

Criminal Records offers free Withered in-store this Saturday

Posted By on Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 8:20 PM


Metal underdogs Withered are playing a free in-store show at Criminal Records in L5P this Saturday (June 28th) at 4 p.m.Withered was culled from the ashes of Atlanta’s grindcore/crusty punk staple, Social Infestation in 2003 when guitarists and vocalists Chris Freeman and Mike Thompson reconvened after calling it quits with SI. After a handful of label jumps and line-up changes, and finally settling with drummer Beau Brandon and bassist Mike Longoria, the group is playing in support of its excellent Prosthetic Records debut, Folie Circulaire.

The Criminal Records in-store is free, and even though it is not the most evil of venues, the show will be badass nonetheless.

(Photo by Paul Romano)

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Corndogorama 2008 playlist (part I): Of corndogs and kings

Posted By on Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 8:00 PM

Mmmm, corndogs. Who can resist that tasty summertime treat — a mystery-meat hot dog all wrapped up in a blanket of fried batter? Vegetarians, maybe (though for the lacto-ovos among us, there are these lovely substitutes).

Luckily, this weekend Lenny's Bar will host the 12th annual Corndogorama where they'll be serving up plenty of those meaty lollipops (it sounds dirty, but they really are kind of like lollipops with that whole edible item on a stick business). Oh, and there will be tons of local bands.

2008 marks the "Year of the Mustard King" for Corndogorama. In honor of this regal festival, we have taken a smattering of songs and crafted some sample packs for you, the beloved readers. Think of them as the musical version of those fast food condiment packets that are currently overheating in your glove compartment ... you know, only better.

For the rest of this week, we'll post a new playlist with a delicious mustard theme. Each playlist will feature six songs from some local acts playing at this year's Corndogorama.

Today, we're taking a special look at English mustard.

Click here to listen: English Mustard Playlist

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Ludacris partners with VoodooVox to launch cellphone recording studio

Posted By on Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 7:36 PM

Cellphones have upgraded.

Thanks to Atlanta native and Grammy Award winner Ludacris, cellphones can now be used as personal, on-the-go recording studios.

Ludacris' multi-genre music website WeMix announced last week that it has teamed up with network exchange providers VoodooVox to launch MyVox Voice API, the newest — and cheapest — way to "drop a flow."

Now, any member can use their cellphone as a microphone to lay down vocals, tracks and beats and instantly broadcast their original content worldwide.

What's it mean? Musician hopefuls will no longer need over-priced recording equipment and expensive producers to record their own music. As long as you have a cell phone — which is most everyone between the ages of 10 and 75 — you can cut your own original track.

"A&R, marketers, the radio game, million-dollar videos, predictable producers: this system makes it really tough for new blood or new ideas to rise to the top," said WeMix founder Chris "Ludacris" Bridges. "Using WeMix allows new artists to get their voice heard."

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Air Loaf: Corndogorama

Posted By on Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 2:17 PM

Today’s Air Loaf features CL’s Chanté LaGon and Chad Radford discussing Corndogorama as well as other music shows happening this weekend including Brothers Unconnected.

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, June 25, 2008

R.E.M. returns to roots with end of U.S. tour

Posted By on Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 4:00 PM


R.E.M. returned to its roots with supporting acts Modest Mouse and the Nationals to end its U.S. tour Saturday night at Lakewood Amphitheater.

Unfortunately, not much can be said about the underwhelming openers, a sentiment apparently shared by the attending masses. Modest Mouse performed with minimal enthusiasm for a modest crowd, a great many of whom didn't bother finding their seats until R.E.M. began its set.

What followed, however, was an excellent show even for a casual fan (or someone familiar with the majority of R.E.M.'s hits, thanks to the group's hourly inclusion on 99X since its primordium). Stipe and company had a commendable set list that managed well the fragile balance of crowd pleasers and new material. In contrast to Modest Mouse's nearly agonizing show (featuring Issac Brock's writhing ability to constantly appear mid-struggle in withholding escaping intensities), Stipe performed with the energy of a newcomer playing an arena for the first time, hamming it up to a highly receptive hometown crowd whilst rocking dance moves most often observed at MJQ on a Wednesday night.

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Former Mayor Jackson's daughter represents ATL at Montreux

Posted By on Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 2:57 PM

Alexandria Jackson, the 24 year-old daughter of former Atlanta mayor and civil rights leader Maynard Jackson, has been selected to compete at the Montreux Jazz Festival’s annual vocal competition.

To cultivate emerging jazz voices, each year Montreux accepts entries from singers from 50 countries around the globe. The list of entries is whittled down to around 15 finalists who are selected to take part in the semi-finals and finals at the Montreux Jazz Festival from July 6 to July 10.

The winner receives a cash prize in Swiss francs, that's equal to $4,755.00, plus a week of recording time at Balik Farm Studio in Switzerland’s Toggenburg region. The winner also receives an invitation to perform at the annual meeting of the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) in January the following year and in summer, plays an opening slot at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

For more information click here.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Searching for Lizz Wright's groove

Posted By on Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 7:11 PM


On Friday night, I had the chance to be reminded of all the reasons why I love Lizz Wright, who I profiled in this week's issue in anticipation of last Friday's performance at Center Stage. Wright, a Hahira native who attended Georgia State University and performed around town before moving on, is out touring on her third (and best) CD, The Orchard. But the performance also reminded me of the reasons why I believe the best is still yet to come for this 28-year-old marvel who often draws comparisons to Norah Jones (for better or worse).

Wright must be a delight to work with in the studio. It's probably no coincidence that they now share the same producer, Craig Street, who seems to have a gift for matching vocalists with talented session musicians and songs to cover. And sure enough, The Orchard boasts some wonderful re-workings of everything from Ike & Tina Turner's "I Idolize You" to Led Zeppelin's "Thank You." (Fans may also recall her brilliant reworking of the ’60s anthem, "Get Together," actually titled "Everybody Get Together," popularized by the Dave Clark Five.) Technically speaking, Wright is arguably as proficient as any alto out there, and that includes another to whom she's compared, Cassandra Wilson. She can wring vibrato from the lowest, huskiest notes without every sounding flat or without resonance, and she almost never cheats on a note. She has an uncanny ability to fill her tones with the kind of warmth that make altos such a delight. And she almost never, ever tries to over-sell a song.

But in a weird way, this last strength in the studio seems to become a weakness when she performs live, because Wright tends to hold back in a way that leaves the audience wanting more. Now, take this as one cynic's opinion; I'd argue a solid majority of the Center Stage audience would disagree with me. But from the moment she took the stage to her encore, Wright barely made an attempt to connect with her obviously appreciative audience, or to take a song to another level — beyond the studio version.

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New Fag Static LP is refreshingly dark

Posted By on Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 4:32 PM


Fag Static guitarist Ian Deaton sent me a text message this weekend to tell me that the test pressings for the group's new LPs are back and that one with my name on it is waiting for me at The Majestic on Ponce.

I picked it up Sunday afternoon and it hasn't left my turntable since. The new record, titled Ficcanaso brings a much needed change of pace for Atlanta. This town's music scenes are as separate and distinct as its neighborhoods, and let's face it, the only real neighborhood around these parts that's been on the upswing over the last few years has been the sloppy garage and punk rock bastions that have thrived in the wake of the Black Lips' success.

Hardcore died a long time ago, and as so much simple, ramshackle rock and roll has been the face of Atlanta for so long, everything else has felt like a neglected stepchild. But the arrival of Ficcanaso signals a change on the horizon.

There isn't truly a categorical home for Fag Static. The group draws from elements of hardcore, grindcore, artcore and judging by the song titles on the new album, Italian horror film scores.

The group features 1/2 of the original line-up of former ATL post-hardcore saving grace, Blame Game. And while there is no denying that Blame Game was a fantastic band, the group couldn't resist sinking into a mire of uptight and prog-ish guitar worship that, by the end of the its time, had blunted any sense of spontaneity from the music. Fag Static doesn't make the same mistakes. There is plenty of open space to roam around between the growling vocals, rapid fire drumming and quick pace of the music.

The first song on the b-side, "il Scoperta" is creepy in the most addictive way imaginable, and the balance of warm washes of tones and drones that are constantly at odds with an all out aural assault shows an incredible amount of growth on the group's part.

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Be a Best of Atlanta CL Super Delegate!

Posted By on Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 3:00 PM


Want the power to nominate a candidate for higher office? Have a strong opinion about what's truly the best of the best in Atlanta?

Become an officially endorsed CL Super Delegate and give us your opinions. For this year's Best of Atlanta Raging Election edition, we are looking for independent voters to act as special CL critics.

If your nominations are picked, YOU will be considered a CL critic and given the power to bestow a Critic's Pick Best of Atlanta award for 2008. We are looking for picks in all categories, so send us a blurb about what you consider to be the Best of Atlanta and why. Send them to

If you haven’t voted, what are you waiting for? And don’t forget to take our exit poll once you do!

We look forward to your nominations!

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Sam Fog curates Athens photo show

Posted By on Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 1:36 PM


All Photos by Carl Martin

CARL MARTIN: Photographs 1986-2007 is a comprehensive look at the work of Athens photographer Carl Martin, that was curated by recent Athens transplant and Interpol drummer Samuel Fogarino at Opal Gallery in L5P and runs through August 2.

This collection features 32 of of Martin's photographs spans twenty-one years of his life spent between New York City and Athens, GA. His unique awareness and fascination with the world around him resonates in the loose comic geometry of his lens. The range of subjects is not limited to a particular typology, but simply what was being seen, "the way things are."

The following interviews with Carl Martin and Sam Fogarino were conducted over the phone and in person on June 19 as the show was being installed.

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