An Atlanta Legend

October 8th, 2009



“I want eight crapshooters for my pallbearers, let ‘em all be dressed down in black.
I want nine men going to the graveyard, but only eight mens coming back.
I want a gang of gamblers gathered around my coffin side, with a crooked card printed on my hearse.
Don’t say that crapshooters will never grieve over me, my life’s been a doggone curse.”

— Blind Willie McTell, “Dying Crapshooter’s Blues”

Take a walk over to the corner of Luckie and Cone streets in downtown Atlanta and you won’t find much today, just a parking lot, a parking garage and a convenience store. Back in 1940, when the Tabernacle down on Luckie Street was still the Third Baptist Church, John and Ruby Lomax were staying at the Robert Fulton Hotel, a hulking mass of red brick that towered over that street corner.

By Wyatt Williams Creative Loafing

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They’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse

September 16th, 2009


Fake Surfers, the fourth album from Seattle’s junk-punk, noise-pop foursome the Intelligence, begins like the opening scene from The Godfather.

The opening track slowly pans across hazy tones while a haunted, sci-fi traipse carries as much of the album’s punch as the songs themselves. There’s no telling if the same languid pace will dominate the record, or if it will suddenly burst into a cacophony of crunching, art-rock kerang. But the tension soon breaks as a wall of ecstatic guitars take hold in “Tower.”

By: Chad Radford Creative Loafing

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Rhythm with an attitude!

August 31st, 2009


Every once in a while, a musician of such skill and dexterity comes along that seeing him perform live makes you stop dead in your tracks and say, “Whoa.” Seattle drummer Kevin “KJ” Sawka is one such musician. The collegiate-looking jungle/drum and bass head has mastered the art of what sounds like drum machine music by playing drums like a machine.

“Electronic music can be a little boring to watch sometimes, but that’s where I differ in a big, big way,” Sawka says.

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By Chad Radford  Creative Loafing

Strange Flare in Music

August 14th, 2009


Jonathan Kane holds a strange musical pedigree. His drumming on the first Swans record Filth shaped the antagonistic scrape of American industrial rock throughout the ’80s, but he fancies himself a bluesman.

“I like music that swings,” he says. “Music that obsesses on a theme and builds to a point of the ecstatic is what I aspire to, and it’s what moves me.”

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By Chad Radford Creative Loafing

Remembering a Legacy

August 2nd, 2009


High priestess of soul Nina Simone was a true diva. Her imperious manner, both on and off stage, could intimidate audiences and critics alike. But daughter Simone, né Lisa Simone Kelly, hasn’t cowered under her mother’s shadow, even though Nina Simone initially opposed her decision to become a singer. “I’ve created my own path,” says the daughter, who still saw fit to pay tribute to her mother’s legacy with the release of her ’08 solo album, Simone on Simone. “It just so happens that I’m Nina Simone’s daughter as well. It gives me a huge foundation from which to leap.”

Simone, as she prefers to be called, started singing professionally in the early ’90s with touring productions of Jesus Christ Superstar and Rent before joining the Grammy-winning acid jazz group Liquid Soul in ’98. But she didn’t gain her mother’s approval until she appeared on stage with her at the Guinness Blues Festival in Dublin ten years ago.

By Grant Britt  Creative Loafing

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Whitney Houston is back

July 27th, 2009

NEW YORK — Whitney Houston says her daughter’s support helped fuel her as she geared up for her comeback record.

“She was with me every step of the way: ‘Mom, you can do this.’ When I get discouraged and I get like, ‘This is tiring, this is wearing me out, I’m just not at that point,’ she’d just go, ‘No, mom, you can do this, get up, get up,'” Houston said of 15-year-old Bobbi Kristina in an interview on Tuesday. “She encourages me and inspires me, when I look at her and I look at her eyes and I see myself, I go, ‘OK, I can do this. I can do this.'”

The 44-year-old superstar is releasing “I Look to You” on Sept. 1. It’s her first album in years on Arista Records. On Tuesday evening, she premiered several tracks before an industry audience that included her only child, mother Cissy Houston, cousin Dionne Warwick, Alicia Keys and Diane Sawyer.

Read Full Article by The Associated Press, Access Atlanta

Georgia Hall of Fame is running low on funds

July 27th, 2009

Longtime concert promoter Peter Conlon will be inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in September. Whether there’s an actual hall after October seems to be in question. “I guess I’ll have to go down and buy the plaque at a yard sale,” he quipped.

The Macon museum, facing lower revenues and state funding, may close if it doesn’t raise $225,000 by Oct. 27.

“Right now we don’t have sufficient money to continue operating with the integrity and quality that the legacies of our inductees deserve,” executive director Lisa Love said. The museum relies on state funding for a hefty percentage of its operating budget and recent budget cuts imperil its future, she said.

 Read Full Article by Jennifer Brett, Access Atlanta

Blues at its finest

July 26th, 2009


By Stephanie Mitchell

                Nick Edelstein and his band gave a very entertaining performance at Zuffy’s Place on Thursday night. Each band member had a very welcoming stage presents and the drummer and bassist kept great time with Nick as he fluttered up and down the guitar. The band played originals as well as covers such as songs by Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones.

                The acoustics at Zuffy’s were very good and the band fit in well with the relaxed atmosphere. The blues they played was both up beat and slow. The drummer was very clean with the driving rhythm and the bassist was followed well with Nick’s blues guitar. They were  a very fun, energetic band that put off an awesome sound that made you want to get up and dance.

Keeping the Youth

July 13th, 2009


Within the first few seconds of pressing play on The Eternal, Sonic Youth’s 16th studio album in nearly 30 years, the band sounds like it has been recharged. “Sacred Trickster” tears the album wide open with a visceral intensity that surges into “Anti-Orgasm,” bringing the album to a frenzied climax of noise, and chiming, art-punk dirge.

Sonic Youth hasn’t rocked this hard in years, and the fire was sparked in 2007 when the group went on tour playing the 1988 masterpiece Daydream Nation. “After reacquainting ourselves with Daydream Nation, we were really surprised by the energy of some of the songs,” says guitarist and vocalist Lee Ranaldo. “At first we didn’t think it was such a hot idea, but revisiting those songs really inspired a lot of what’s going on with this record.”

By Chad Radford for Creative Loafing

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Pride in America

July 7th, 2009


Best known as an experimental electronic musician, DJ Spooky, aka Paul Miller, has also won positive reviews for his remixed version of D.W. Griffith’s classic 1915 film The Birth of a Nation. The silent film, known both for its influence on the development of cinema and its racist imagery, is based on the writings of Baptist minister and playwright Thomas Dixon, who “presents racial conflict as an epic struggle with the future of civilization at stake,” Miller imparts over e-mail. “That’s basically the end-all be-all of The Birth of a Nation.”  

Miller’s remix, however, titled ReBirth of a Nation, is a chopped up and reconstructed version of the original. It decontextualizes Griffith’s work, giving it a new plot that Miller roughly describes as such: “Black person gets elected. White people go crazy!”