Like last year's compilation, this year's Stankonia Sessions is a reflection of what A3C has become: a wide range of voices and talent. "You might be standing next to someone who's stupid dope - who might not be a headlining artist, but could be super talented. That is the beauty of A3C," said Jeron Ward of the Flush, the production trio housed in Stankonia Studios.
This time however, both SMKA and the Flush (also featuring Go Dreamer and Rick Walkk) essentially opened its doors to any billed emcee up for the challenge - rappers who they might not have heard otherwise - and shed them under a decisively spacey and ambient light.
When Ward sat down with CL in Stankonia Studios, Phantogram was recording new material after having contributed to Big Boi's second solo album Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors (out December 11). Those new songs will appear in a greater Flush compilation scheduled for next year, in addition to projects by Go Dreamer and Spree Wilson.
Before moving on completely though, Ward chatted about the biggest surprises and personal favorite tracks off this year's Stankonia Sessions 2012, plus what's new about #NewAtlanta. An edited and condensed transcript follows after the jump.
Longtime Atlanta radio listeners may recognize the name Tomas Algarin. For 13 years, Algarin hosted the show "Latin Aura" - which, as the name suggests, focused on Latin-flavored jazz music (including tropical "salsa," Afro-Cuban and more) - for WCLK FM (91.9). While it aired, Latin Aura pumped out a percussion-fueled stream of great music and a ton of information (delivered in both English and Spanish) about the history of the artists who created the music.
But in 2006, officials at the station decided to cancel the program; and in doing so, they ended the city's only show dedicated to Latin jazz ... a show that, bottom line, I used to love. So, I decided to track down Algarin to reminisce about those good-ole "Latin Aura" days and find out what he's up to these days.
I really enjoyed listening to your show, "Latin Aura," back in the day; it was educational and featured a lot of good music.
Tomas: I felt the same way. For me, it was a sad day when they decided they wanted to do away with the program.
When the show was on, did you receive a good response from the listening public?
On Thursday, on my way to meet James, Streetz 94.5 spun his breakout single immediately before B.o.B.'s "Still in This Bitch" and 2 Chainz's "I'm Different." The slowly swinging "All Gold Everything" was a natural fit for its rotation, although the rest of Don't Be S.A.F.E. is far from formulaic. His countrified flow warps and slumps its way through the groggy "One More Molly," only to perk up and relay a joke his mom told him at IHOP in "Sneaky vs. Selfish."
James spoke with CL about the making of Don't Be Safe, the delay leading up to his first-ever A3C performance and how he feels while navigating the rest of Atlanta's rap scene.
"Preach," an audience member yelled back.
Inside Tree Sounds Studios, B.o.B was previewing Fuck Em We Ball - which, based on the snippets he offered, sounded like the ideal soundtrack to his birthday party tonight at Opera Nightclub. Songs like the title track and "Campaign," featuring longtime co-conspirator Playboy Tre, were fueled on little else but heavy bass, drum-machine beats and B.o.B.'s flow, which often operated in double-time.
Fuck Em We Ball comes less than six months after B.o.B's sophomore album Strange Clouds, in which he answered to seemingly dueling expectations, from longtime followers of his mixtape grind and casual fans of his Grammy-nominated work. Far less seems to be at stake now, although as the night wore on, B.o.B shifted to calling Fuck Em We Ball an album, rather than a mixtape.
About halfway into his preview, he even paused "Everythang" ("a song for the ladies" - meaning, a slower song about ladies) to point out how he played the bass and electric guitars himself. Evidently, B.o.B. still felt as if he had something to prove.
Immediately following the preview, B.o.B. spoke with CL about the making of Fuck Em We Ball and what he hopes to accomplish this year.
While stationed at Stankonia Studios, Wilson spoke to CL about the moment that sparked "Right One|Wrong Time," his contributions to G.O.O.D. Music's Cruel Summer, and his newfound freedom.
When I last spoke with you in 2010, you had just moved to New York. What brings you back to Atlanta?
Just doing music out here with my friends. I'm doing that in New York too, but more so songwriting; I do most of my performance stuff in Atlanta. When I came out with The Never Ending Now I was doing the same thing, basically writing songs in New York and then coming back to Atlanta to record them.
Why does that process work for you?
In Atlanta I'm around my family and friends. I'm able to maneuver around the city, I'm able to hear my music in the car. It's different; it's not as vast as New York. It's more of a vibe type of thing. When you're recording in New York you can get a certain kind of vibe, and you get a totally different kind of vibe in Atlanta. I feel more comfortable working in Atlanta; I can't quite explain it. It's like not having to take your shoes off when you go to work at your mom's house.
Have you worked with the Flush before?
No, but I've worked with Go Dreamer before. It was my first time working with Jeron [Ward]. So this was actually our first collaboration, but we've known each other for a few years.
When it comes to cranking out new music, there aren't many soul artists — locally or nationally — who are as prolific as Atlanta-based vocalist/guitarist Anthony David.
Last year alone David dropped his lauded full-length As Above So Below and the EP (of sorts) #LocationLocationLocation. Come next Tuesday (Nov. 13), when he serves up his latest offering, Love Out Loud, he’ll be able to add another full-length project to his discography.
The album features a diverse collection of 11 songs — from reggae to soul to even a few pop-ish tracks — that are peppered with hints of 1960s, ’70s and ’80s-era music ... which you’ll be able to hear this Saturday, Nov. 10, when David celebrates the release of Love Out Loud with a show at Center Stage.
But before he takes the stage or his new tunes go on sale, David gave us the lowdown about on his latest.
Years ago two flannel-clad Swedish girls made a home video of themselves in the forest covering a Fleet Foxes song. Their harmonies were immediately an abyss to fall into. The very next day Fleet Foxes heard it and responded. But that's the Internet for you. They then recorded their first highly acclaimed album, The Big Black and the Blue, and that — along with seeing them perform live — was enough to get the attention of Mike Mogis, the Saddlecreek label musical handyman of sorts who can engineer and produce with the best of them. They then proceeded to make "The Lion's Roar," still very much a First Aid Kit record, but a more streamlined, powerful one. Klara, the younger sister, talked to CL about the power of the almighty Internet, double standards with pirating, disregarding Father John Misty's advice to stay in school, and how listening to Joanna Newsom makes her feel like there are no boundaries.
First Aid Kit. $21-$26. 8p.m. Thurs., October 4. The Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road. 404-843-2825. http://www.thebuckheadtheatre.com/
I have always kind of looked at you guys as almost the poster children for what can happen via the Internet nowadays. So when you guys released that Fleet Foxes cover song, and then got a reply from them directly the next day, and eventually worked with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, all of that would’ve been impossible without help from the Internet. How much of a role would you say the Internet’s played in your career?
Well I think for us it meant everything. It was through these men that we found music. In Sweden it’s not like you can walk into a record store and find these folk and country records. But through the Internet we could find and listen to them. So that in and of itself played a big part in wanting to make records. And then there was the Fleet Foxes cover, and without YouTube no one would’ve ever seen it. Just the fact that we could send it directly to Fleet Foxes and have them reply to us like that. It couldn’t have happened any other way. But like now if you’re in a band, there’s a very big chance that the Internet’s going to play a very big part in you reaching out to people because it’s so simple nowadays.
Weren’t you sixteen when you guys recorded your first album Big Black and the Blue?
Yeah, I think I was sixteen. For most people two years isn’t that much but since we’re still so young we’re, you know, becoming who we are. We’re still evolving or something, or I hope at least! [Laughs]
Am I correct in thinking that you’re 19?
I am 19, yes. And Johanna is 21.
And so you both are very young. Not only that, you’re women in an industry jam packed with men. How do you respond to that? You guys are very big for your age. It usually takes people until at least their twenties to do what you all have managed to do.
"You don't have to grow dreadlocks or grow flowers or disarm yourself ... you don't have to do any of that pussy shit. All you gotta do is be man enough to stand up and say this shit ain't right and rap it."
Killer Mike has always been known for speaking that raw, unfiltered. And in the midst of the best year of his career, he's remaining steadfast on that. It's part of the reason why he's CL's Best Overall Artist of 2012. Well, that and the fact that he and producer El-P put together what will likely be looked at as one of the best album's of the decade eight years from now. Forgive us if we're a little premature on that one.
But back to Mike's latest outspoken soundbite. The Well Versed and 2 Dope Boys recently went half on an interview with Mike in which he talked about the reason why conscious music gets such a bad rap, among other things. Basically, a lot of it is wack, he says without mincing words — which mirrors the sentiment he recently tweeted.
Though Wednesday night line dancing is still a staple at Wild Bill's, this Gwinnett cowboy bar has long since shed its redneck reputation with dance nights, mixed martial arts fights and other events that cater to many demographics. And over the past two summers, the Wild Bill's Summer Rock Series has become a popular new addition to the club by bringing '80s and '90s bands such as Cinderella, Dokken and Rehab to the Atlanta area in a large, yet somewhat intimate, setting. The Summer Rock Series kicks off again this Saturday with Skid Row, a band that has been part of the previous two series. With bassist Rachel Bolan and drummer Rob Hammersmith both living in the Atlanta area, Skid Row's annual Wild Bill's performances have become a homecoming of sorts for the band. As he prepares to take the stage with local hard rock favorites Bigfoot and The Dreaded Marco, Bolan takes a moment to talk about this tour, the band's new album and his other extracurricular endeavors.
You're starting your tour on Friday and playing at Wild Bill's on Saturday. What can we expect from that show?
Rachel Bolan: We're going to do all the stuff that people expect us to do, but we'll probably throw in some obscure things. We have a new album we're working on, so we'll probably play some stuff off that that has yet to be released, which will be fun. We always like doing that kind of stuff and watching the blank look on people's faces.
Even though they always want to hear the hits from the '80s and '90s, I'm sure they also want to hear something new from time to time.
Gorillaz feat. Andre 3000 and James Murphy: "DoYaThing" video
In case you missed it, FADER published a lengthy interview with Andre 3000 earlier this week in which the reclusive MC dished on several pressing topics, including what it's like to get old in rap, the increasing prevalence of his guest appearances and the mysterious, ever-discussed possibility of impending OutKast material (hint: don't hold your breath).
Some choice excerpts:
On Chris Brown:
Even the Chris Brown remix—of course I love the beat, but at that time a lot of people were on Chris Brown as a human being. And I know he’d gone through his troubles or whatever and I just was like—I just wanted to stand by him and be like, Hey, you know, you can’t really charge a man forever and condemn a man forever. So it’s really just like a support thing. I thought it was a cool thing to do.
On rap's new guard:
I’m happy to see Kanye and Wayne and Drake and all these new artists. They inspire me in a way because they reach back and they say, “Hey, we want to get you on these songs.” I don’t rap every day. I don’t sit around writing raps like that. And when these artists call, it’s kind of like they get me going. And I really wanna just be good for them. I want to impress them or have them be happy to say, “Okay, he did well on my song.” I don’t want to be messing their song up.
*Christ, Lord sorry
"Punk" style like this seems like it is the polar opposite of punk. Bradford Cox…
They're kind of starting to look like a joke of themselves. Song's good though.
All 80s movies want you...
Their show with Chris, Lord about 3 years at the Unicorn was the best.
I am a connoisseur of this real soul music like the comment above I'm glad…