Archive for April, 2009

Ride of Silence

I caught wind of The Ride of Silence event just a week after the ride in Atlanta in 2007 and kicked myself.

The intent of the ride is to bring awareness to cyclists on roadways in a different manner than the quiet yellow “Share the Road” and “Slow Down” signs. It’s a short group ride, friendly to all levels of cyclists where no words are spoken. The rides usually travel high profile roads, with the participants donning black armbands to remember those cyclists who have been injured or killed in a bike v auto incident.

Publicity was virtually nonexistent, which perplexed me since I like to think of Atlanta as a cycling kind of town – what with the boys in their lycra kits up and down Highland and the fixies without helmets a plenty. Admittedly the issue hit close to home for a number of reasons – not the least of which are my brother who was nearly killed after being hit by a drunk driver in broad daylight, or the man I saw hit by a teen on the phone near the CVS on Highland a few years back.

So I jumped in. I offered to organize the ride last year and we had a better turn out than years previous. Before the ride, those gathered share their stories, and we have a few moments of silence. The stories are touching and compelling and gut wrenching, and because of them – on top of my existing reasons – I’m doing it again this year. I’m hoping to see our numbers double, and awareness rise.

If you live in Atlanta and have a bike – beach comber or fixie, mountain bike or road, with a kiddie wagon behind you or not – I hope you’ll come out.

To stay in touch, join the facebook group and/or RSVP to the event. I’d love to see you there.

DATE: May 20, 2009
TIME: 7:00 pm
WHERE: Hundreds of locations world wide – In Atlanta meet at Piedmont Park – corner of 10th and Charles Allen.

Review: BORN @ Beep Beep

I previously saw BORN at Beep Beep Gallery when he showed a series of graffit-inspired prints with Hense and Sever.  His latest show, which opened Saturday night, is quite different.  Now, I don’t want to give the impression that I’m a particularly knowledgeable about art – I did more than fine in my Art History classes, but frankly I just wrote a lot of B.S. that the profs seemed to like.  If I see a piece that I like, I find myself justifying the “why” with a lot of big words to make myself feel smarter.  At the end of the day, I think “good art” is mostly just a matter of what pleases a particular person’s aesthetic sensibility.

BORN’s latest work pleases my aesthetic sensibility.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect – when I know the artist, I’m always afraid I’m not going to like their stuff.  Then I end up doing the awkward compliment thing where I feel like a skeezy liar and also a coward because I can’t just say, “hey, it’s not really my thing.”  I have seen more than a few friends TANK on stage at Dad’s Garage over the years, and there is very little in this world more painful than that moment after the show when they ask, “So, what’d you think?!”  It is even worse when they aren’t aware that they tanked.  But I digress….

The show at Beep Beep is a collection of a paintings and constructed sculptures that focus on aged or otherwise distressed materials that BORN collects.  Lots of peeling paint, broken wooden slats, and rusted metal wires.  I personally liked the highly structured aspect of the works coupled with the rundown feeling.

There is a Southern folk feeling to the work that reminded me of my grandpa’s shed out in Stone Mountain, with all the rusted tools and the roof falling apart.  Enough of the original object is left to hint at a past life of usefulness, but that was so long ago that now there is just a sad loneliness of a different era.  Which becomes beautiful in it’s own right.

I think that is what makes art “good” – when it connects with something in your history, and you can make it your own.


i got on board last season. i wanted a local team to root for and i don’t like football and i have a baseball team and the thrashers just seemed so bland. so i picked the hawks; the much-maligned consistently bad atlanta hawks.

and over the course of a season i fell in love. honestly i feel in love the day of the home opener when the hawks shocked the dallas maveriks. i watched a team scrap and claw and barely make it into the playoffs last year and the take the eventual nba champs to seven games.

there was more decrying of the hawks in the off-season, as they were unable to keep 6th man josh childress from departing altanta for greece. greece. apparently j-chill preferred to be out of the nba than in atlanta.

and then the season started. and this hawks team has been good. i have watched more than 2/3 of the hawks game this year, in person or on tv, and i have really fallen hard this season. they came out of the gate with a bang and have played up to par since then.

last week, against the paces they clinched the fourth seed in the nba’s eastern conference. we will be hosting a home playoff series and have a very good chance of winning and moving on to the second round of the nba playoffs.

this team is fun too. with no showy superstars, they go out and play every night, getting great contributions from the starters, but also from the trio that has come off the bench with a gusto this year; flip murray, mo evans, and of course, zaza pachulia.

so how about it atlanta? the hawks have lived up their part this season. now it’s your turn. get on the bandwagon. let’s get some buzz going. believe in these hawks.

NOW YOU KNOW!!!!!!!!!

Songs about Atlanta: Love Shack

When someone first suggested we do a series of posts on songs about Atlanta, I called dibs on “Oh, Atlanta” at about the moment that Jamsmooth put up his post about it.  I honestly can’t think of that many songs about Atlanta, specifically.  There was a time when I lived in Michigan and would listen to certain songs while pining for home, but all those songs were either about Georgia (Georgia On My Mind) or had lines about the South in general.  Ryan Adams’ Oh My Sweet Carolina in particular can usually bring me close to tears (“Oh the sweetest winds they blow across the South”), but it isn’t appropriate for this series.  The crowd at the Fox went nuts for that line, btw.

Still, I haven’t been able to think of many songs about Atlanta.  So this is the best I can do – the B-52’s Love Shack. Hey, it mentions Atlanta.  The other song I could think of was Leaving, by the Indigo Girls, because of that line about airports and Delta signs, so count yourselves lucky.  And it was good enough for Creative Loafing.  At least I didn’t try and write a post about one of those songs that I’ve never heard in my life.

I’m headin’ down the Atlanta highway, lookin’ for the love getaway


Also, these guys were one of the very first bands I ever saw live – my mom took me to see them at Chastain, perhaps in 1992.  I would have been 10, which feels about right.  It rained a lot, and my mom and I danced like idiots in the rain.  Apparently the B-52’s and the E Street Band are the only bands that can cause me to dance like a middle aged white person.  I have other “white person” moves, however:

  • Arms crossed, feet splayed, head nodding.
  • generic mosh pit mayhem
  • Moonstomping

I digress.  Enjoy the song.  You love it.  Don’t lie.

song about atlanta: midnight train to georgia


okay, it’s not technically about atlanta, but it’s hard for me to think of atlanta without thinking of this song. it’s one of the two quintessential songs about georgia in my book, and my favorite. when i used to drive i-75/i-24 with alarming frequency between tennessee and points north and atlanta, it was always my ritual to play this song as i crossed the georgia/tennessee line back into georgia. usually these drives were late at night and hearing gladys belt out that she was going back to find a simpler place and time always got me pumped again.

so i give you our next song about atlanta, midnight train to georgia by gladys knight and the pips

UPDATE: i had to include this after someone reminded me of it’s existence. hilarious. enjoy.


paging jerry keen.

i have a message for georgia house majority leader jerry “disney world” keen:

if you feel like calling majority leader keen and asking him if he might just like to move to orlando, you can find his contact details here.

BORN opening at Beep Beep Gallery

If you are looking for stuff to do, here’s an idea: support your local artists by going to the artist BORN’s opening at Beep Beep Gallery. BORN, who started out as a graffiti artist back in the day, has previously shown at Beep Beep with fellow graffiti alum HENSE.  You can see images of BORN in his studio here.  Check out an interview with the artist here (via Thoughtmarker).  Finally, check out some of his old tags here.

Beep Beep is a great little success story.  It started out with a few friends throwing an occassional house party/gallery in a rented house in Oakhurst in January 2006.  They would just move all the furniture against the wall, get a keg, and throw art up on the wall.  It turned out to be pretty popular (hey, I bought a print once), and it wasn’t long before they opened up a small space on Charles Allen just off Ponce.  Beep Beep has been in Creative Loafing’s Best of Atlanta for 2007, although for some reason I can’t find the link.

It is a great little shop, highlighting great local artists. I’m lucky enough to know one of the gallery owners as well as the artist, and I’m psyched about the opening.

The opening is Saturday, April 11, from 8-11pm.

Songs About Atlanta: Soul Food


One of my favorites from Goodie Mob. One of the best things about Atlanta is all the great restaurants. In this song the Goodie Mo B mentions one in particular that every ATLien must experience, The Beautiful. Without a doubt some of the best soul food I’ve ever tasted. Don’t know if JJ’s Rib Shack is still open but I bet it’s good too.

“Come and get yo soul food, well well
Good old-fashioned soul food, all right
Everythang is for free
As good as it can be
Come and get some soul food”

songs about atlanta: welcome to atlanta


it’s like a bag of cheetos or a big, meaty burger from the vortex. no matter how bad you know it is for you, no matter how fattening, you just can’t help digging in.

that’s welcome to atlanta, atlanta’s rap anthem.

if anything could ever serve as a testament to the atl’s arrival as a hip-hop captial it’s jermane durpree howling “welcome to atlanta, where the players play.” before i live in atlanta, when i used to fly through here on delta and the flight attendant would announce, “welcome to atlanta,” when the plane landed this song would always pop into my head.

it’s also how my cousins in south carolina learned about old national highway. and as for me, well , i make my own rules, b&!t*h, call me the mayor.

and let’s not forget ludacris beling out one of my favorite lines in all of hip hop – “i’m big paper like pancakes, stacking ’em up,”

love it.

i’ll see you guys on my way to the dec to hit jazzy t’s…..

update: your "leaders" speak about the marta situation.

the ajc reports on the response of yours an my elected leaders on the financial crisis at marta.

for his part the governor just seems torqued that nobody asked for his help, which makes sense seeing as he and his staff are so effective at getting legislation passed (sarcasm intended.) he then said, “It’s always unfortunate when people who depend on MARTA have their service cut, and I hope they (MARTA) can find a way …. to make it through the end of the year.”

translation – sorry, losers without cars. hope someone figures this out, but don’t ask me. not my gig.

thanks sonny. we appreciate your concern.

the lite governor, well he is a little more concerned.

cagle, pressed about marta cutting a day of service apparently said, “that could be hurtful.”


he went on to add, “MARTA is a vital part of what gets done in metro Atlanta, particularly with tourism and the convention business.”

no word on whether the lieutenant governor thinks the 100,000 plus people that ride marta to work every day are a vital part of what gets done in metro atlanta or not.

still no word from the dunce from dallas.

clowns. all of you.

keep up the phone calls.

governor perdue – 404-656-1776
lieutenant governor cagle – 404-656-5030
speaker richardson – 404-don’t-waste-your-breath.

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