Supa Dave West has spent his time in the trenches working as a drummer and producer alongside the likes of such hip-hop greats as J Dilla, De La Soul, Ghostface Killah, and more. Tonight (Fri., Sept. 19), West celebrates the release of his latest album of instrumentals, titled Beat Boxing, at the monthly Left Field Experiment night at 529.
West headlines the night with local rapper, producer, chef, and lobster enthusiast Dillon Vaughan Maurer. Tuamie and DJ Presyce also perform. DJs Knumbskull, Divine Interface, the Morkestra, and Obeah, are also on deck, along with the evening's host D.T. of the Difference Machine. Before tonight's show Dillon and Dave checked in talk about how they met, Dilla, and Beat Boxing.
How do you guys know each other?
Dillon Maurer: I met Dave at Django on Peachtree when it used to be open. I was upstairs and I turned around and saw this dude just glowing, wearing a long chocolate brown coat and a scarf. I don’t ever do this but I stopped and said, “Who are you? I feel like I need to know you.” And he was like, “My name's Dave… West.” And I thought, “That has to be Supa Dave West.” I was familiar with his work from De La Soul. I saw him again a week later, got his number, and we started building.
You moved here from Queens?
Supa Dave: I moved to Virginia first. Someone I knew had a dream around the same time as 9/11 and told me to get out of the city. So around end of August, I went to a friend’s house in Virginia, and then it happened. I have a daughter so I was torn between going back to New York because I liked seeing her grow up around green grass. I was working at a recording studio about three blocks away from Ground Zero, a buddy of mine just barely escaped with his life.
"What's round on the ends and 'hi' in the middle?"
When Devo inserted that riddle into a live performance of the song "Jocko Homo," they were paying snarky homage to their home state of Ohio. From its geographical space as a midpoint of sorts between the cities of New York and Chicago, Ohio never developed an artistic cultural hegemony. As it turns out, this has worked out to its advantage. Rather than engaging with the prevailing trends, Ohio has historically produced outright outliers: Pere Ubu, Guided by Voices, Albert Ayler, and a great many others. Afghan Whigs fit nicely into that puzzle of idiosyncrasies.
As an unlikely merger between the tortured sounds of early alternative rock and the sleek sounds of soul music, the Afghan Whigs defied conventions while still gaining massive success.
Throughout the ‘90s, the band rode the wave of gnarly sound coming from the Sub Pop label to major label ascendance before breaking up in 2001. Following a grand slam reunion tour in 2012, the band has returned to Sub Pop for their first album in sixteen years, titled Do To The Beast.
When asked the biggest difference between the label now and the label then, singer/guitarist Greg Dulli is quick to reply with a laugh: "They know what they're doing now. I'm sure they would say the same thing. We're all the same age — they were learning how to run a business, just like we all were. Young and making mistakes and kind of trying to catch up with what was going on around them. They did a remarkable job, and they also went broke. They went broke in the middle of us making our second record for them. They went so broke that I got stranded in California; that's kind of, in a lot of ways, why I'm still here."
Tonight, Tues., Sept. 2, friends of Chris Piskun are gathering at the Star Bar for a musical tribute to the guitarist and long-time Little Five Points fixture who passed away on Sun., Aug. 24.
Tonight's memorial is free and open to the public. People are gathering at 8:30 p.m., and the night will feature musical performances by James Hall and friends, Brent Hinds, Ronney Danger, David Black, Jimi Mullins, Mark Chopper, and more.
Food will be provided by the Euclid Ave Yacht Club and Savage Pizza.
Imagine a family reunion where all the uncles and aunts in attendance happen to be the forebears of Atlanta’s hip-hop scene. That was the vibe at the Rialto Theater on Sunday, Aug. 31 for the premiere of the new VH1 documentary, ATL: The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rise in the Rap Game.
Not even the arrival of surprise guest R. Kelly and his entourage could sway the crowd’s attention from a celebration 30 years in the making. Scheduled to air tonight (Tues., Sept. 2) on VH1 at 10 p.m., the 63-minute film documents the city’s rise from hip-hop’s boondocks to undisputed rap capital.
But this documentary forgoes the sheen and bling of Black Hollywood for the city’s meager, mostly overlooked hip-hop beginnings. It pays well-deserved tribute, instead, to frequently overlooked early contributors like MC Shy D, Kilo Ali, Raheem the Dream, King Edward J., and the groundwork laid by producers Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri, and Organized Noize.
By linking the city’s rap scene with its historic civil rights roots, the film sets Atlanta’s southern breed of hip-hop apart from the coasts that alternately dominated the genre before the South’s rise. The doc also ties the local scene’s launch in 1982 — when Mo-Jo became the first local rapper to release a record with “Battmann: Let Mo-Jo Handle It” — to the end of Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered Children case that plagued the city’s African-American community for four years before reportedly ending that same year.
From Andre’s regional battlecry, “the South got something to say,” at the 1995 Source Awards to T.I.’s subgenre defining trap anthems, a portrait of Atlanta emerges in ATL: Rise of a city of perennial underdogs slowly finding the means to voice their own Southern-inflected drawl.
As part of their monthly party series at El Bar, Motion Family and Ballers Eve are celebrating indie artists and their videos. Along with Speakerfoxxx and Cristo Disco, DJ Dirrty aka JDirrt will be on-hand to showcase his twerk-inducing sets. The music will be the soundtrack to a visual montage of some of the best independently shot videos from the city and beyond. Free PBR from 10-11 p.m., so get their early. #FreeDave
Needless to say, the man has many friends and fans, and the response has been immense. But his journey is just beginning. According to his girlfriend, Beth Anne Harrill, "The support has been overwhelming, and extraordinary. Everyone knew he was special, and they all want to help." Harrill notes, "People are outraged by this, but more concerned about his welfare."
Germani was moved from Grady's Neuro ICU to a private hospital in Midtown, and while his condition is still somewhat critical he has now progressed enough to go to the Shepherd Center, where he will continue to receive intensive rehabilitation.
So who is this guy that so many have risen to support? What is it about this particular case that has inspired so many to donate money, share information in social media, provide food and service for the family, and collectively bond in pursuit of justice?
Germani is one of the most pleasant and friendliest people in town. He is somewhat of a local celebrity in his own way, through his multiple interests and diverse connections to the community. For years he has been an avid and law abiding cyclist who rides from his home in Decatur to Midtown every day for work. He participates in fundraising bike rides for organizations such as the American diabetes Association.
While not a musician, he is very active in the local "Redneck Underground" roots music scene. Germani is a classic country music connoisseur with an encyclopedic knowledge of honky tonk, and a massive record collection, and he often works as a DJ at various country shows and radio stations around town. He is also a show booker who brings obscure, and always great, country artists to town. He and his close friends spend their own money to make these events happen. An avid history buff, Germani is also the host of Atlanta Time Machine, where, for years, he has researched and published "before and after" photographs of Georgia landmarks. Old archival pictures from bygone eras are paired with his own contemporary snapshots of the same sites. It is a fascinating, entertaining and educational way to spend a few hours on the Internet.
Local punks Acid Freaks will be calling it quits, at least for the time being, after tonight's show at 529. “It’s more of an open-ended hiatus, just because Brannon [Greene] and Mike [Koechlin] are in so many other bands and we haven’t done anything in a while,” says singer and guitarist Joe Hardwick.
He isn’t kidding — the boys of Acid Freaks know how to keep themselves busy. Greene and Koechlin play together in local bands Predator, G.H.B., and Ryan Dinosaur, and Koechlin also plays for Dinos Boys and G.G. King. With Acid Freaks temporarily disbanded, Hardwick is starting a new project. “I’m going to call it Adult Braces,” he said. “It’s heavy, but I don’t have a lineup 100 percent locked down.”
Acid Freaks leaves behind just one officially released track, "Meth Buddies," from the 2013 Atlanta punk compilation Land of Nod.
Acid Freaks, Waste Layer, the Grasshopper Lies Heavy, and Pretty Please play 529 tonight (July 15). Donations for touring band. 9 p.m. 529 Flat Shoals Avenue.
Haunting joins Mangled and Coffin Dust for a triple death metal showdown and their debut show at the Highlander tonight (Fri., July 11) at 10 p.m. Guitarist and vocalist, Scott Taysom, shares some insight on how the band came to fruition and the obstacles within shifting from the punk scene into the realms of death metal.
So, tell me about Haunting. What’s the direction you’re taking and who’s involved?
Haunting started a little less than a year ago and consists of members from Living Decay, Paradox, and Sadistic Ritual. So far we have a demo tape available and we are now writing for a seven-inch. We're purely a death metal band but we're not so concerned with following a set tradition which can sometimes happen within this genre. Hopefully each release shows an evolution in the writing, I think it's already showing in our newer songs.
Your first show is tonight at the Highlander with Mangled and Coffin Dust — all death metal. Do you think that having a show booked with three death metal bands is going to be repetitive?
What's cool about the show Friday is that each band has an individual sound even though all three bands are death metal. That makes it much more interesting to me. You could have three bands in the same genre playing a show and they all sound generic as shit, or you could have a mixed genre show, but may not be into the other bands. Friday's show will focus on a specific sound, but hopefully each band grabs people's attention in a particular way.
At just 29 years of age, bassist/producer Kevin Scott has become one of the most respected names in Atlanta's booming jazz and retro-funk/soul scene. At any given time, the barreling bass player can be found playing all over town with various groups of various genres, including the Wolf Pack, Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics, and Col. Bruce Hampton (Ret.), sometimes on the same night. But for the last eight years his steadiest gig has been his Tuesday night jam sessions, which found a stable home at Elliott Street Deli & Pub a few years ago, where he holds court for his weekly jazz jams. Tonight, the Pub honors Scott with King for a Day, an all night music fest with multiple stages and a treasure trove of music, including Frank Barham, Whispers of the Night (featuring Benjamin Shirley and Majid Araim), Currency, Christopher Alpiar Trio, and many more. Of course, the jam will be an ongoing highlight.
King for a Day jazz jam. Elliott Street Deli & Pub. Tues. July 8, 8 p.m. till Wed. July 9, 8 a.m. Free. 51 Elliott St. 404-523-2174. www.elliottstreet.com.
New York hell raisers Wyldlife, one of more compelling modern acts mixing traditional rock 'n' roll, glam, and '77 punk sounds, begin their summer tour tonight (Tues., July 1) at 529. The band's youthful exuberance and abandon, abundant in both their lyrics and stage presence, will likely remind some locals of the Heart Attacks' heyday. The group has a working relationship with a former Heart Attacks member, as Wyldlife's 2013 LP The Time Has Come For Rock and Roll was recorded here by Biters singer and guitarist Tuk Smith.
Wyldlife, Dinos Boys, and Black Linen play 529 tonight (Tues., July 1). $5. 9 p.m.
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