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After Dark

After Dark

It's a dark time in America. Employment's down. Politicians suck. Bankers are drinking us dry. We rank near the bottom of the totem pole in education, transportation and just about every other category that matters. We haven't been No. 1 in anything for a long time, but at least we still party like we are.

We took that into consideration as we compiled this year's After Dark list of our favorite Atlanta musicians and sparks of nightlife. It required a lot of time spent in the dark: Dancing in dimly lit alleyways, searching out spirits down dark tunnels, bathing in dank beats emanating from our earbuds.

In the process, we found consolation in a fly-as-hell lady DJ, a kid named Ernest with a computer chip in his hip, a bunch of closeted karaoke freaks, a bonged-out band of metalheads, and a Church full of sanctified sinners, among others.

The "power music electric revival" OutKast preordained a decade ago reverberated throughout the city this year, spawning a new wave of electronic newborns, from the well-endowed Cousin Dan, with his codpiece-mounted keyboard, to the viral dance craze that finally answers the age-old question, "Where's the Beef?"

So even as the country fades to black, we can rest assured knowing Atlanta will make a bombass fallout shelter.

Rodney Carmichael

BEST 404 soul glo redux

He's gotten delightfully weirder over the past 15 years, yet Cee Lo Green has somehow become a household name in Middle America. "F*** You" landed »more

Best ambient composers

You have to know the rules before you can effectively break them, and Qurious seems to operate on a higher level of consciousness than its »more

Best Atlanta-bred song and dance

It must be something in the red clay. From the Bankhead Bounce to the Walk It Out, Atlanta has a storied history when it »more

Best band to rise above punk's pigeonholes

Punk rock is best when it's channeled through one man confronting the things that keep him awake at night. Greg King's nightmares manifest in the »more

Best dive bar

We call it a dive because it hasn't been fixed up in forever, the domestic beer is served in bottles and the clientele is decidedly »more

Best DJ to lose your cool to

She's a lady DJ who isn't afraid to sweat her perm out. And that ain't the half. Since graduating from Scratch DJ Academy two years »more

Best event space-turned-dubstep destination

When it's not reserved for wedding receptions or other traditional events, West Midtown's King Plow Arts Center hosts monthly Haute Mess dubstep parties and world-renowned »more

Best experimental band

Over the last three years, Lyonnais has methodically explored the grey area between post-punk and proto-industrial drone. Through it all, the group has fostered a »more

Best indie rock underdogs

Reveling in the mesmerizing aesthetics of drone pop and Krautrock, Red Sea's songs creep along at a hypnotic pace. But a slow and jangling indie »more

Best karaoke for closet freaks

After scouring thousands of song titles in the sticky-from-beer binder, you finally submit your pick (Madonna's "Express Yourself") and anxiously anticipate the DJ calling you »more

Best live act to regroovenate your soul

Whether performing for a standing-room-only crowd at Apache Café or headlining at Variety Playhouse, Avery*Sunshine turns any show into an intimate affair. She pairs her »more

Best local blues act

An Atlanta guitar slinger with a swooping pompadour, Rod Hamdallah has swiftly risen through the ranks of Atlanta's die-hard blues scene by taking cues from »more

Best local hip-hop producer on some other ish

<a href="http://supernatural.bandcamp.com/track/the-supernatural-man">The Supernatural Man by ETHEREAL</a>

With his zoned-out beatscapes, young gun producer/MC Ethereal aims to usher in a decidedly chill age of Atlanta rap. »more

Best local music institution to reinvent itself

Good things have been afoot at the Masquerade since the club opened its doors in 1989. Throughout the '90s, bands such as Nirvana, Radiohead, and »more

Best local overall act

We're proud that Perry, Ga.-bred Ernest Greene has chosen our fair city as his new home base, 'cause he's such a fine Southern gentleman, but »more

Best local producer

When Ben Allen updates his résumé at the end of the year, not only can he boast of producing breakthrough recordings from Georgia-based up-and-comers Washed »more

Best local promoter

Since booking his first show in January 2009, Brannon Boyle of Speakeasy Promotions has been adding flair to the local music scene by corralling a »more

Best MC to molest a mic

4-IZE is the only Atlanta rapper bold enough to go where no MC has gone before — bestiality, baby. Since the December release of his »more

Best metal band to hit the bong to

The devil's weed is always a little sweeter when cosmic metal monsters Wizard Smoke spark up the joint. The menacing five-piece ensemble drives its up-tempo »more

BEST MTV-approved arena rock

On the heels of releasing Simple Math, Manchester Orchestra nabbed two MTV VMA noms this year and booked its first international headlining tour. But none »more

Best nautical-themed pop act

With the April release of Little Tybee's proper debut, Humorous to Bees (Paper Garden Records), the group proved it's one of the most refined bands »more

Best new gay thing to happen outside of Midtown

Atlanta has a rich tradition of gay bars with delightfully suggestive names: BJ Roosters; Swinging Richards; and the recently shuttered Three Legged Cowboy. But Atlanta's »more

Best off-the-radar place to see a local show

Forget a Facebook invite; you couldn't stumble upon this place with a pocket compass. That's because the location of the tunnel shows that take place »more

BEST OMG goth rap

After debuting with the bombastic Flockaveli last year, rap's most divisive figure found time to pose nude for PETA and then announced his early retirement »more

Best patio dance party for sinners and saints

When's the last Sunday you went to church? Never? Great! Every second Sunday wünder-DJ Vicki Powell makes sinners and saints alike sweat on the patio »more

Best plugged-in avant-garde ensemble

It's not just the fashionable whiff of geeky technological coolness that makes Sonic Generator the current frontrunner in Atlanta's new classical music scene. The seven »more

Best spandex-clad dance floor freak

An outsider performance artist with insider appeal, Cousin Dan rocks ridiculous stage-wear and makes simplistic, addictive music videos for his synth-based electro jams. Underneath the »more

Best weekly club night for face-melting bass

Having one's face melted off every Friday may not sound like that much fun. But QUAD's weekly 18-and-up Melt romps do just that with ambitious »more

BEST WTF garage band

Pop demigod Mark Ronson produced the band's latest record, but local garage hellions Black Lips remain as flippant and skuzzy as ever — cover of »more

BEST 404 soul glo redux

He's gotten delightfully weirder over the past 15 years, yet Cee Lo Green has somehow become a household name in Middle America. "F*** You" landed »more

Best ambient composers

You have to know the rules before you can effectively break them, and Qurious seems to operate on a higher level of consciousness than its »more

Best Atlanta-bred song and dance

It must be something in the red clay. From the Bankhead Bounce to the Walk It Out, Atlanta has a storied history when it »more

Best band to rise above punk's pigeonholes

Punk rock is best when it's channeled through one man confronting the things that keep him awake at night. Greg King's nightmares manifest in the »more

Best dive bar

We call it a dive because it hasn't been fixed up in forever, the domestic beer is served in bottles and the clientele is decidedly »more

Best DJ to lose your cool to

She's a lady DJ who isn't afraid to sweat her perm out. And that ain't the half. Since graduating from Scratch DJ Academy two years »more

Best event space-turned-dubstep destination

When it's not reserved for wedding receptions or other traditional events, West Midtown's King Plow Arts Center hosts monthly Haute Mess dubstep parties and world-renowned »more

Best experimental band

Over the last three years, Lyonnais has methodically explored the grey area between post-punk and proto-industrial drone. Through it all, the group has fostered a »more

Best indie rock underdogs

Reveling in the mesmerizing aesthetics of drone pop and Krautrock, Red Sea's songs creep along at a hypnotic pace. But a slow and jangling indie »more

Best karaoke for closet freaks

After scouring thousands of song titles in the sticky-from-beer binder, you finally submit your pick (Madonna's "Express Yourself") and anxiously anticipate the DJ calling you »more

Best live act to regroovenate your soul

Whether performing for a standing-room-only crowd at Apache Café or headlining at Variety Playhouse, Avery*Sunshine turns any show into an intimate affair. She pairs her »more

Best local blues act

An Atlanta guitar slinger with a swooping pompadour, Rod Hamdallah has swiftly risen through the ranks of Atlanta's die-hard blues scene by taking cues from »more

Best local hip-hop producer on some other ish

<a href="http://supernatural.bandcamp.com/track/the-supernatural-man">The Supernatural Man by ETHEREAL</a>

With his zoned-out beatscapes, young gun producer/MC Ethereal aims to usher in a decidedly chill age of Atlanta rap. »more

Best local music institution to reinvent itself

Good things have been afoot at the Masquerade since the club opened its doors in 1989. Throughout the '90s, bands such as Nirvana, Radiohead, and »more

Best local overall act

We're proud that Perry, Ga.-bred Ernest Greene has chosen our fair city as his new home base, 'cause he's such a fine Southern gentleman, but »more

Best local producer

When Ben Allen updates his résumé at the end of the year, not only can he boast of producing breakthrough recordings from Georgia-based up-and-comers Washed »more

Best local promoter

Since booking his first show in January 2009, Brannon Boyle of Speakeasy Promotions has been adding flair to the local music scene by corralling a »more

Best MC to molest a mic

4-IZE is the only Atlanta rapper bold enough to go where no MC has gone before — bestiality, baby. Since the December release of his »more

Best metal band to hit the bong to

The devil's weed is always a little sweeter when cosmic metal monsters Wizard Smoke spark up the joint. The menacing five-piece ensemble drives its up-tempo »more

BEST MTV-approved arena rock

On the heels of releasing Simple Math, Manchester Orchestra nabbed two MTV VMA noms this year and booked its first international headlining tour. But none »more

Best nautical-themed pop act

With the April release of Little Tybee's proper debut, Humorous to Bees (Paper Garden Records), the group proved it's one of the most refined bands »more

Best new gay thing to happen outside of Midtown

Atlanta has a rich tradition of gay bars with delightfully suggestive names: BJ Roosters; Swinging Richards; and the recently shuttered Three Legged Cowboy. But Atlanta's »more

Best off-the-radar place to see a local show

Forget a Facebook invite; you couldn't stumble upon this place with a pocket compass. That's because the location of the tunnel shows that take place »more

BEST OMG goth rap

After debuting with the bombastic Flockaveli last year, rap's most divisive figure found time to pose nude for PETA and then announced his early retirement »more

Best patio dance party for sinners and saints

When's the last Sunday you went to church? Never? Great! Every second Sunday wünder-DJ Vicki Powell makes sinners and saints alike sweat on the patio »more

Best plugged-in avant-garde ensemble

It's not just the fashionable whiff of geeky technological coolness that makes Sonic Generator the current frontrunner in Atlanta's new classical music scene. The seven »more

Best spandex-clad dance floor freak

An outsider performance artist with insider appeal, Cousin Dan rocks ridiculous stage-wear and makes simplistic, addictive music videos for his synth-based electro jams. Underneath the »more

Best weekly club night for face-melting bass

Having one's face melted off every Friday may not sound like that much fun. But QUAD's weekly 18-and-up Melt romps do just that with ambitious »more

BEST WTF garage band

Pop demigod Mark Ronson produced the band's latest record, but local garage hellions Black Lips remain as flippant and skuzzy as ever — cover of »more

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