Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Atlanta-Based Ticket Company Offers Cheaper Alternative

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Jamie Dwyer and Iain Bluett were just a couple of indie music fans five years ago when they had a brainstorm that became a business.

“We were constantly buying tickets,” recalls Dwyer, “and we got tired of buying from a company that gave terrible customer service and charged what we felt were ridiculous service charges. We finally looked at each other and said, ‘We can do this better.’”

 The friends formed Ticket Alternative, a Midtown-headquartered ticket sales and printing company that has established itself as an option to Ticketmaster, the industry giant and competitor Dwyer was referring to.

Ticket Alternative has since become the ticket handler for 150 venues nationwide and a major player in the Southeast, particularly among smaller-capacity locations like Atlanta’s the Loft and The EARL. Although tiny compared with Ticketmaster, the company is among the largest of many smaller players in the industry, which also features names like Etix.

Ticket Alternative employs a full-time staff of 16, an office in the United Kingdom, and a lucrative, if less glamorous, ticket printing operation. That unit has supported investments in the sales end of the business, helping finance technology, staffing and office space needs.

With expenses expected to hold fairly steady now, the founders say, every show venue that’s added as a client should mean increased revenue and profit.

“We’re positioned where we can grow very quickly,” says Dwyer.

Read Full Article. By David Markiewicz, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Creative Loafing to Release just 500 Copies of Music Issue

Monday, April 27th, 2009


It’s time once again for the highly coveted annual Creative Loafing music issue. This year we’re offering up an honest-to-goodness old fashioned 12-inch vinyl LP compilation that features cuts from several of our favorite local artists.

Dubbed The Mixt A Vol. 1, the record includes 10 songs from the likes ofPredator, Grip Playaz, the Balkans, the N.E.C., A. Leon Craft, Anna Kramer & the Lost Cause, Mums F.P., Stanza,Carnivores and Zoroaster feat./ Brent Hinds from Mastodon.

The record is strictly limited to 500 copies that will be available at not one, but two record release shows. The first show happens at Eyedrum on Thurs, May 7. The $10 cover at Eyedrum gets you into the show as well as a copy of the record. The N.E.C., Grip Playaz, the Balkans and A.Leon Craft are all scheduled to perform. Doors open at 7 p.m. Music starts at 8 p.m.

 Read Full Article. By Chad Radford, Creative Loafing.

Gearing Up For Jazz Month

Friday, April 24th, 2009

The Atlanta Jazz Fest returns this spring with a monthlong series of shows around the city capped by a Memorial Day weekend slate of outdoor concerts at Grant Park.

Last year, the festival moved from Piedmont Park to downtown’s Woodruff Park to avoid wear and tear on drought-stressed Piedmont.

This year’s festival focuses on local artists and takes place in nightclubs, restaurants and concert halls throughout May.

The Grant Park shows, May 23-24, feature Atlantans Freddy Cole and Russell Gunn and West Coast smooth jazz fusion ensemble Hiroshima.

It’s the 32nd year of the Atlanta Jazz Fest, which has gone through many incarnations since its birth in the 1970s as a wild-haired, free-jazz celebration.

Read Full Article. By Bo Emerson, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Record Store Day 2009

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Criminal Records owner Eric Levin recalls a time in the not-so-distant past when it seemed like owning a record store was something to lament rather than celebrate.

A deluge of media chatter about music going digital forecasted nothing but doom and gloom for CDs, LPs and the stores that sold them. Behemoth chains like Tower and Virgin were going the way of the dodo, while downloading music for free via such file sharing sites as LimeWire was considered the future.

“For a time, whenever I met new people they would come up to me like I had cancer and say, ‘You own a record store? I’m sorry… .'” Levin says. “I felt as though I was being made the butt of a joke, which implies that I am a bad business person, and I bristled at that. Overnight, record stores had gone from being cool places to being something to almost be reviled.”

Rather than sit idly by while the cult status of mom-and-pop record shops deflated in the public’s eye, Levin — along with a handful of record store owners, employees, and marketing gurus from around the country — hatched a plan. On April 19, 2008, that plan came to fruition with the first Record Store Day. Dedicated to the institution of the independent record store, it was a Hallmark holiday of sorts that served as a beacon to remind the world that record stores still exist. The implications resonated around the world.

In Atlanta, Criminal Records transformed the Little Five Points parking lot into a carnival atmosphere complete with bands, DJs and a makeshift flea market for selling records. Stores threw parties in other cities as well. Newbury Comics in Boston, Grimey’s in Nashville, and Amoeba Records stores in San Francisco and Los Angeles all followed suit in what felt like a kitschy but successful grassroots campaign.

Read Full Article. By Chad Radford, Creative Loafing.

Kodac Harrison Plays Tonight

Friday, April 10th, 2009


On Friday April 10, Atlanta musician/poet Kodac Harrison celebrates his 60th birthday and the release of his new live CD Reach For the Moon at Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St. $10 (advance). $13 (door). 9 p.m.

Here, in his own words, is his story.

I grew up in Jackson, Ga., and my first influences came from Macon — Otis Redding and the Allman Brothers. I was a first lieutenant in the Army right after Vietnam, and training was cut back so I had plenty of time to play guitar and to read. I discovered John Steinbeck, who became my favorite author. My first professional gig was at a place called East of Eden in Salinas, California, about two months after I got out of the Army.

I moved up to a communal community in West Virginia and continued to play guitar. For several years I went back and forth between Georgia and West Virginia, but often felt isolated and longed for the excitement of the city. I moved up to New York City for awhile, and down in the Village a club owner told me I should put together a band and record an album. I knew I would have an easier time doing that in Atlanta, so I moved back and recorded my first album in 1984.

Read Full Article. James Kelly, Creative Loafing.

The Real Underground Atlanta Is Coming to Light

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Killer Mike has been vocal about distinguishing authentic Atlanta rap from the emerging hipster-hop scene that’s taken root here in recent years. Now, he’s taking it to the recording booth with the scheduled release of a compilation album titledUnderground Atlanta.

Due in June ’09, the album will highlight a range of hood-happy and street-certified ATL artists from Gucci Mane to T.I. — who recently signed Mike to Grand Hustle Records.

Underground Atlanta will be released through Killer Mike’s own Grindtime Official imprint via his distribution deal with SRC/Fontana.

Read Full Article. By Rodney Carmichael, Creative Loafing.

10 Albums that Describe Atlanta, as Picked by Jermaine Dupri

Saturday, March 28th, 2009


Apparently it is Atlanta Week on For his contribution, Jermaine Dupri picks ten albums he thinks define Atlanta.

I am hugely surprised he 1) listed them in the order he did – Usher before Outkast? Really? 2) included himself (No shame yo!) 3) Only included huge urban artists. There are a ton of good rock artists among other genres in Atlanta plus a score of lesser known urban artists *cough* Janelle Monae *cough* he could have included. Cutting edge, really? Cop out?

Jermaine’s Top 10:
1. Confessions by Usher
“The best R&B album of this decade, which did wonders for the city musically. It set us apart once again to show the world that ATL is the new Motown.”

2. CrazySexyCool by TLC
“It continued to keep the ATL in the forefront of urban pop music and is the biggest-selling urban female-group album.”

To See the Rest of the List, Click Here. By Drive A Faster Car blog.

Atlanta an Inspiration to R&B Singer

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

For the past decade, R&B singer, songwriter and musician Raphael Saadiq has not only looked to his native Oakland and the Motown sound for musical inspiration, but also to our Motown of the South.

“[Atlanta production team] Organized Noize probably really got my attention first,” says Saadiq, who while having recorded three solo albums (including this year’s Grammy nominated “The Way I See It”) is still probably best-known for his eight-year run with breakthrough R&B band Tony! Toni! Toné!

“It was just inspirational to watch those people play music. There’s just so much talent in the South; so much realness. And it’s just been good for me, being a musician, to put my ear to the Atlanta music scene. And I’ve been really digging it.”

Little wonder that Saadiq, who first made his way onto the scene as a teenager playing on pop superstar Prince’s “Parade” tour — and has been producing (D’Angelo, Angie Stone, Joss Stone) and performing ever since — has many ties to this city.

Read Full Article. By Sonia Murray, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Changing the Faces of Atlanta’s Orchestras

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Musicians of color often have a difficult time breaking into the classical music scene.

The Talent Development Program with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is trying to change that trend by nurturing African-American and Latino music students.

Tony Cox talks with Azira Hill — who started the program 15 years ago — and cellist Khari Joyner, one of the program’s participants.

To listen to the Interview, Click Here. Interview conducted by Tony Cox, NPR.

Atlantan with New Vibe

Friday, March 20th, 2009


Austin, Texas – With her New Wave hair, black-and-white dinner jacket and Mary Janes, Janelle Monae looks like an extra from the 1982 science-fiction cult classic “Liquid Sky,” an escapee from one of Prince’s fever dreams or from a planet about 10 light years from here.

It’s also made her one of the buzziest acts playing SXSW this year. “Many Moons,” a song from her 2007 debut EP “Metropolis Suite I of IV: The Chase,” was nominated for a Grammy for best urban performance. Her amazing look has generated fashion spreads.

Born in Kansas City and based out of Atlanta, the 24-year-old Monae’s voice is a complete deadpan when she replies “Wonderland” after being asked where she is calling from.

In fairness, her vanity label/collective/arts movement is called Wondaland Arts Society. Here are a few notes from the Society’s Web site: “We have created our own state, our own republic. There is grass here. Grass sprouts from toilet seats, bookshelves, ceilings and floors. Grass makes us feel good. In this state, there are no laws, there is only music. Funk rules the spirit. And punk rules the courtrooms and marketplace. Period.” Sounds pretty good to me.

Read Full Article. By Joe Gross, Atlanta Journal-Constitution