Archive for the ‘Artist’ Category

Van Hunt gives two shows for Atlanta on Independence Day

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

 

Van Hunt doesn’t sound like himself.

Last year, he admits, he was devastated after Blue Note/EMI decided against releasing his untamed third album, Popular. In hindsight, however, Hunt suggests that given the opportunity to do it over, he would’ve tempered the characteristic defiance that’s come to define his bitches brew.

“I think I would have made a different record,” he says. “I don’t think I understood that they wanted a particular sound. It wasn’t like it was a foreign sound to my artistry. It was just one part of what I do. I think I could have made a record that would have made them more comfortable doing what they do — which is sell records.”

Surely Hunt’s foray into independent artist territory has nurtured his newfound sense of empathy for the business side of music. In May, he self-released a compilation of rarities, Use in Case of Emergency (VanHunt.com) that makes a fine, muddy mess of those pesky lines in the sand separating funk, rock and soul. He plans to follow it up with a new studio album by September.

Read Full Article DeMarco Williams, Creative Loafing

R & B with a Retro Twist

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Take some classic R&B, retool it with a Motor City makeover, and the resulting retro-fitted vehicle that comes roaring out of the garage will bear the emblem of the Detroit Cobras.
 
Though the band has only put out one original tune (“Hot Dog” from 2005’s Baby) in its 15-year career, the Cobras don’t like being called a cover band. “We’ve never said this is like a Rolling Stones project where we start with covers with hopes of being an originals band one day,” says vocalist Rachael Nagy. “We do what we do because we love doing it.”  

Call them rearrangers, presenting garage and soul with a gritty punk edge. The duo blends the raw energy of Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels with Irma Thomas and ’50s R&B crossover legends the Five Royales.
Read Full Article

Article written by Grant Britt Creative Loafing

Younger Musicians Performing for Woodruff Concert Series

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Tealights

 The Woodruff Arts Center is booking younger local musicians to perform in Sifly Piazza every Thursday night throughout the month of June. These free “Nights on the Piazza” shows will kick off at 5 p.m. and three young local acts will play until around 8 p.m.

The first of the series starts tomorrow night (Thurs., June 4) with performances by Nerdkween (5:30 p.m.), Tealights (6:30 p.m.) and Hope For Agoldensummer (7:30 p.m.).

“This is something I’ve wanted to see happen for a long time because I feel like there are a lot of people my age (28) who are very interested in art/music, but don’t see the Arts Center as some place they want to go,” says WAC’s Strategic Communications Manager, Kathleen Covington. “We hope by giving them an introduction with the free concerts, they will see that there really is a lot here that they would enjoy.”

 Read Full Article by Chad Radford, Creative Loafing

Loyalty to the Band and no one else

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Zoroaster, “White Dwarf”

Few Southern metal bands churn out a sound as vast and bombastic as the mighty Zoroaster. On its third album, Voice of Saturn, released via the group’s self-run Terminal Doom Records, guitarist/vocalist Will Fiore, drummer Dan Scanlan and bassist Brent Anderson reach new highs in their low-end concoction of drone-laden metal dirges. As their aural palette expands, so, too, does their business model. Voice of Saturn finds the group maintaining absolute control over every aspect of its music — from songwriting to pressing to distribution.
— Chad Radford

In the earlier stages, we signed to a label and it really was a great thing for us. Over the course of the next year, Will and myself were still paying for everything as far as touring, merchandise, recording, etc., and we found out really quickly how the royalty checks work — they don’t! We never got a penny from our album sales, only through touring and promoting ourselves. So we said, “Fuck it. Instead of handing our music over to someone else, let’s start our own label — Terminal Doom Records — and keep control over everything.”

Read Full Article By Chad Radford

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

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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

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Apparently it is Atlanta Week on MTVNews.com. 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.

Atlantan with New Vibe

Friday, March 20th, 2009

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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