Don’t call them cute!

July 4th, 2009


Brooklyn couple Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino are dance-punk duo Matt & Kim, a highly touted act often described as “cute.” Though that description annoys them, it’s hard to deny; their enthusiastic personalities and contrasting physical features make one want to draw them into a bear hug. He’s tall and pale and wears Asics, she’s short and olive-complexioned and wears big hoop earrings. Even when they disagree it’s adorable.

“Matt’s pretty good at convincing me to do shit I don’t want to do,” imparts Kim, the duo’s drummer. “In the ‘Yea Yeah’ video he was like, ‘We’re going to have food thrown at us.’ I was like, ‘That does not sound fun.'” (Rest assured that watching the pair splattered with cream pies, pizza and ketchup was fun for the viewer, however.)

 By Ben Westhoff Creative Loafing

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Van Hunt gives two shows for Atlanta on Independence Day

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 ( 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

Dead Confederates: Coming to life

June 24th, 2009


It’s been an eventful year for Dead Confederate. Since last September’s release of the debut LP Wrecking Ball, they’ve appeared on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and recently finished a tour with childhood heroes Dinosaur Jr. This weekend, the Athens quintet pulls double-duty closer to home, performing at both AthFest and Corndogorama.

Dead Confederate’s sultry psych rumble evokes a range of acts including Pink Floyd’s spacey atmospherics, the Black Angels’ primal drone, and My Morning Jacket’s Southern-fried guitar rawk. They came into existence in the late ’90s as the jam-oriented act Red Belly Band. After graduating from college, they set about pursuing music in earnest, embarking on a new sound, name and outlook.

“We fell in love with creating music all over again,” says singer/guitarist Hardy Morris. “We were floundering as a college band that didn’t take themselves too seriously. Then we started writing some songs that really mattered to us and it took on a whole ’nother level.”

By Chris Parker     Creative Loafing 

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Tattoo artist shows his skills in the music business

June 18th, 2009


By day, Corey Davis tattoos images on clients at Atlanta’s City of Ink. In his spare time, he tailors his own image as a member of Mach 5 and reimagines Atlanta’s underground hip-hop scene as co-founder of the second annual Atlanta Indie Music and Arts Festival.

In Davis’ lexicon, “indie” is more than a musical genre; it’s a blueprint for success. “You can’t really depend on people to handle stuff like you really want to,” he says regarding his leap from performer to promoter.  “Nobody puts as much care into it as you would yourself.”

Davis’ own hustle developed as a result of promoting Mach 5, the duo he started six years ago with festival co-founder A. Ware when they were still North Springs High School juniors. “I studied advertising and design,” says the Savannah College of Art and Design senior, “so it helped me learn how to branch out and market myself as well as be an artist.”

By Grant Britt, Creative Loafing

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R & B with a Retro Twist

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.
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Article written by Grant Britt Creative Loafing

Younger Musicians Performing for Woodruff Concert Series

June 3rd, 2009


 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

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

Atlanta-Based Ticket Company Offers Cheaper Alternative

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

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

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