Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Shaky Knees 2016 Photo Recap

Posted By and on Tue, May 17, 2016 at 12:46 PM

Crystal Fighters performed on Friday - PERRY JULIEN
  • Perry Julien
  • Crystal Fighters performed on Friday

Our man in the photo pit Perry Julien is back from Shaky Knees 2016 with a sunburn and a camera full of pictures. Check out a gallery of live shots of Jane’s Addiction, Slowdive, My Morning Jacket, the Kills, and tons of other acts spread across Shaky Knees’ five stages at Centennial Olympic Park from May 13-15. Haven’t seen any photos from Ghost’s phenomenal show yet? Mmr. Julien has you covered.

Ghost performed on Friday - PERRY JULIEN
  • Perry Julien
  • Ghost performed on Friday

More photos after the jump.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Big Ears 2016: A visual recap

Posted By on Tue, Apr 5, 2016 at 10:06 AM

Attila Sithar performing with Sunn 0 ))) at the Tennessee  Theater. - CHRISTOPHER WHITE
  • Christopher White
  • Attila Sithar performing with Sunn 0 ))) at the Tennessee Theater.

Another Big Ears Festival has come and gone, drawing intrepid listeners from far and near to Knoxville, Tenn., for a weekend of massive drones, nuanced improvisation, and … Faust. It undermines the group’s Germanic brilliance to label what Jean-Hervé Peron, Zappi and the rest of the group does as krautrock. Sure, they helped define the genre. But that was more than 40 years ago, and this group is still surfing the intangible cosmic forces that set them in motion. And yeah, they blessed everyone at Saturday night’s Bijou Theater show with a run through “Jennifer” from 1973’s quintessential Faust IV LP. But it was almost ironic of them to shift gears and honor such a classic number from Faust’s repertoire in the midst such a wild and forward-thinking spectacle on stage. And Zappi’s drum solo was the stuff of legend.

The sheer numbers of attendees at this year’s festival forming long lines outside of Anthony Braxton, the Necks, and Philip Glass shows taught Big Ears veterans one thing: We didn’t realize how good we had it in the past. The leisurely pace of previous years spoiled us all. This year’s influx caught a lot of people off guard, and the growing pains of several packed out — sold out — shows caused all sorts of grumbling. But anyone with the patience to wait in line got in for at least some of what they wanted to see and hear. Mostly. And really, can an influx of people engaging with such truly meaningful music be a bad thing?

Highlights of the weekend: Philip Glass, Maya Beiser, Nico Muhly, and Eighth Blackbird playing a surprise performances of "Music In Similar Motion" in a church, Shabazz Palaces lighting up the Mill and Mine, and being in the room during the Necks show at the Bijou were transcendent moments. Espescially the Necks — the oxygen left the room when these three Aussies locked into a bout of silent telepathy. Laurie Anderson joining Faust for a monstrous rendition of Outside the Dream Syndicate following news that Tony Conrad had canceled his appearance over health issues related to prostate cancer was harrowing.

Anderson maintained a ghostly presence on stage, which felt as though it was out of respect for the missing, essential player in the Dream Syndicate’s mythology, and a part of the festival’s vital essence. Big Ears defies the machinations and the philosophies of music for the masses by giving a stage to artists who remind us that there is power in pure and creative individuality. Conrad’s absence was palpable, even tragic.

Steering the crowds toward the Ijams Nature Center for Sunday afternoon’s finale was a brilliant, head-cleaning maneuver on the part of Big Ears founder Ashley Capps. Embracing an entirely new element of Knoxville’s beauty, while being immersed in the woods, along with percussionists and noisemakers performing John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit culminated in an expansive experience — too big for a traditional music venue — the likes of which the festival has never seen. Like the music, the sounds, the experiences, and the personalities that that this annual gathering celebrates, Big Ears is still the most creative, adventurous music festival in the country, if not the world.

Kyoko Kitamura singing with the Anthony Braxton Trio at the Standard. - CHRISTOPHER WHITE
  • Christopher White
  • Kyoko Kitamura singing with the Anthony Braxton Trio at the Standard.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Anthrax, Lamb of God unleash chaos at the Tabernacle

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 5:38 PM

Anthrax singer Joey Belladonna responds to an eager fan. - BOBBY MOORE
  • Bobby Moore
  • Anthrax singer Joey Belladonna responds to an eager fan.

Metal vets Anthrax and Lamb of God’s package tour passed through town Tues., Jan. 19, summoning metal fans from near and far to the Tabernacle.

Anthrax has changed the game since 1981, crossing over along the way with not just hardcore punks but also the staunchest rebels of them all, Public Enemy. The thrash pioneers remain relevant in 2016, putting on energetic live shows on the heels of its promising its politically-charged next album, For All Kings (out Feb. 26 via Megaforce and Nuclear Blast). Lamb of God is living even larger off the commercial success of 2015’s VII: Sturm Un Drang LP, now defined by Grammy nominated track “512.”

The crossover thrash sound of openers Power Trip fit the bill like a studded leather glove. Too bad its 7 p.m. set time was missed by latecomers. Fellow openers Deafheaven was not a good fit at all, despite the post-metal band’s critical and commercial accolades. Excitable and presumably drunk audience members heckled the band between songs, and at least one befuddled man stomped off later in the set yelling “this shit is getting too emo for me,” at no one in particular. The guys in Deafheaven might know how Jimi Hendrix felt when Monkees fans didn’t understand the appeal of psychedelic blues rock in 1967 — or maybe they are too busy to care, basking in the  success of breakout 2013 LP Sunbather.

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Scenes from A3C 2015

Posted By on Mon, Oct 12, 2015 at 3:59 PM

Soul Food Cypher takes over the Atlanta Streetcar during A3C 2015. - BRANDON ENGLISH
  • Brandon English
  • Soul Food Cypher takes over the Atlanta Streetcar during A3C 2015.

A3C 2015 has come and gone. Now that the dust has settled, take a look back at a weekend filled with with appearances from hip-hop legends and newcomers. 

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Willie Nelson and the Family on stage at Chastain Park Amphitheater

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 9:55 AM

click image PERRY JULIEN
  • Perry Julien

Willie Nelson
, still touring extensively at 82 years old, performed to a sold-out crowd at Chastain Park Amphitheater on Sept. 25, backed by his recording and touring band, the Family.

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Scenes from Music Midtown 2015

Posted By and on Mon, Sep 21, 2015 at 3:07 PM

Run the Jewels - PERRY JULIEN
  • Perry Julien
  • Run the Jewels

Another Music Midtown has come and gone. Beautiful weather and beautiful bodies graced Piedmont Park over the weekend (Sept. 18-19). Performances from the likes of Van Halen, Alice In Chains, Drake, Elton John, Tove Lo, Hall & Oates, and more drew flocks of concertgoers, young and old, for two days of music in the city.

It also marked the first time Run the Jewels performed “Big Beast” from Killer Mike’s R.A.P. Music, live with Bun B and T.I. on stage to deliver their respective parts. Big Boi was on the stage, too. And Gangsta Boo got straight-up dirty with her run through “Love Again” from RTJ II. Family friendly indeed — just cover the kids’ eyes!

See the full Music Midtown gallery.

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Scenes from Kamasi Washington's Atlanta debut

Posted By on Fri, Aug 7, 2015 at 11:31 AM

Kamasi Washington (left) and trombone player Ryan Porter take the stage at Aisle 5 on Wed., Aug. 5. - CHRISTOPHER WHITE
  • Christopher White
  • Kamasi Washington (left) and trombone player Ryan Porter take the stage at Aisle 5 on Wed., Aug. 5.

In a word, the scene at Aisle 5 on Wednesday night was sweltering. It was heatstroke hot, and the mass of bodies and minds that gathered to witness Kamasi Washington's Atlanta debut displayed an uneasy tension between explosive energy and quiet anticipation. The audience had to save its strength to cope with rising temperature, and with the spiritual and intellectual spectacle unfolding on the stage.

With just one epic-length proper album under his belt, aptly titled The Epic out via Brainfeeder, Washington has carved out his own place alongside his musical forefathers who have dialed into the true sound of the universe — Lonnie Liston Smith, Alice Coltrane, John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, et. al. The L.A.-based saxophone player took the stage with a massive stature. And like Miles Davis, he knows how to assemble a band that packs gravitational pull. Two drummers, keys, bass, horns, and the counterweight of vocalist Patrice Quinn’s tranquilizing voice settled in with an opulence and grandeur that matched Washington’s tenor sax rhythms and wailing.

On Wednesday night, Washington led a seven-piece ensemble through a set hanging in the balance between composed and improvised excursions. Hard bop jazz, funk, and various other modal inflections blended with a cosmic resonance that was at once massive, ecstatic, and infinitely beautiful. In its presence, the heat of so many bodies packed in like sardines melted away.

Faun and a Pan Flute opened the show, each of the group’s members squeezed onto the stage amid an arsenal of instruments — enough gear to accommodate Faun’s nine-piece ensemble, and Washington’s crew. With just four songs Faun and a Pan Flute set in motion a night of heady musical abstraction, broadcast to a room that soaked in every note and every nuance, locked in the throes of survival mode brought on by the heat and the power of Washington’s command of just enough straight-ahead jazz to temper a personal, universal blast from the cosmos.

See a gallery of more images from the show.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Scenes from Lakewoodstock's day of music

Posted By on Tue, Aug 4, 2015 at 5:02 PM

On Sat., Aug. 1, the Cleaners played host to a day filled with music and community building in South Atlanta's Lakewood Heights neighborhood. Performances by Midnight Larks, Salsa Chest, Lonnie Holley, Basketball Movie, Faun and a Pan Flute, and more performed on three different stages throughout the day.

For many, it was the first time visiting the neighborhood. When asked to ruminate on the experience, Elizabeth Jarrett, who curated the Deer Bear Wolf stage, says it was fascinating to watch festivalgoers and community members treat the Cleaners as though it were a sacred place.

"Although there have been shows there previously, this event was a christening for the Cleaners' recently transformed performance venue," she says. "Time and time again, I am inspired and humbled by the support of new, burgeoning projects from the Atlanta community as a whole. It was apparent by the large, constant crowd in between the two stages throughout the day that the music was complimentary to the community engagement I witnessed. People wandered in — some knowing what they were experiencing, and others attracted by an unusual crowd on a previously forgotten corner — and they stayed. The Lakewood community leaders were there, Lakewood residents were there, the Atlanta music community was there, all to support friends or complete strangers, doing something they value in a neighborhood that has long been overlooked.”

View a gallery of images from the inaugural Lakewoodstock.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Dead Milkmen brought a second wind to Shaky Knees

Posted By on Tue, May 12, 2015 at 11:13 AM

Founding members Joe Jack Talcum (from left) and Rodney Anonymous provided a light-hearted end to the first sweaty day of Shaky Knees.
  • Bobby Moore
  • Founding members Joe Jack Talcum (from left) and Rodney Anonymous provided a light-hearted end to the first sweaty day of Shaky Knees.

On May 8, the Dead Milkmen played its first Atlanta show in at least 20 years at the Masquerade, riling up a sold-out crowd at a Shaky Knees late night show. Many faces in the crowd had spent the day sweating it out on the festival asphalt, but the Dead Milkmen’s on-stage wit, banter, and the bevy of classic punk sing-alongs brought the exhausted audience back to life.

After all these years, Rodney Anonymous is still a rant-filled powder keg.
  • Bobby Moore
  • After all these years, Rodney Anonymous is still a rant-filled powder keg.

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