Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

file under: stuff i’d be doing this weekend if i wasn’t so lame.

prince vs. michael jackson

prince vs. michael jackson

yeah, not a clubber at all. in fact since i run most saturday mornings i am usually in bed by 10 in the evening while most of you are just getting wound up.

oh well.

i’ve never been in atlanta’s sutra lounge but when i came across the above poster in joe’s east atlanta coffee shop i thought, damn, now that is something i would consider actually going out for.

i’m not going to, i’m running the big peach 5k but i would.

i mean seriously, a night of dj’s mixing up nothing but prince and michael jackson? how badass is that?

if you go, enjoy and let me know so i can live vicariously through you.

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.


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…..

Songs About Atlanta: Oh Atlanta

Ever heard this one? It’s a good one. Alison Krauss belts out this song by, oddly enough the English band, Bad Company. Krauss and Union Station’s arrangement of the tune has a decidedly southern feel.

“Oh, Atlanta, hear me calling, I’m coming back to you one fine day. No need to worry, there ain’t no hurry, ‘Cause I’m, on my way back to Georgia, On my way back to Georgia.”

If you’re a fan of the ATL, maybe crank this as you taxi down Hartsfield-Jackson or sit in traffic on 75 north.

Coathangers @ The Earl, 4-4-09

I went to the Coathangers CD release show at The Earl Saturday with a friend.  This makes three times I’ve seen the Coathangers, and the third venue.  The show did not disappoint, but previous shows at the Drunken Unicorn and Lenny’s had more lively crowds.  The girls were good, but I felt like they should have been playing a crowded, sweaty house party instead of The Earl.  I don’t mean that as a knock on the band’s ability – they seem to be having so much fun on stage, that they deserve to have a crowd showing equal levels of abandon.

I’ve got a few friends who can’t stand the Coathangers, but I’ve always liked them.  What can I say, I enjoy a lively show.  Still, they’ve definitly progressed as a band.  I’m not intimately familiar with their set list, but what I presumed were newer songs have more layers and depth to their sound if not always their lyrics.  [Update: I should note that when I say their new songs have “layers” and “depth”, I mean relative to their old songs. The basic equation has not changed, and they are still a fairly sloppy garage-band kind of group.]

I got to the Earl in time to see one of the opening bands, Chopper.  Someone listened to a lot of Motorhead, which is generally a very good thing.  Suffice to say, they are quite different from the Coathangers.  I thoroughly enjoyed them, however.  They had some dirty, dirty guitar riffs and bass guitar.  Chopper itself was worth the price of admission.

Mary O. Harrison at The EARL

Mary O. Harrison at The EARL

My friend Andrejs invited me out to The EARL last night to see Mary O. Harrison and The Tiny Tears.  Mary O. Harrison is a pop songwriter from Atlanta whose music jumps from singer/songwriter, raucous rockers to Burt Bacharach/Stereolab styled gems.   A multi-instrumentalist, Harrison transitions seamlessly from guitar, keyboards to flute, sometimes all within one song and while singing.

With a brand new drummer backing her, Harrison and the band sounded tight and were obviously having fun on stage.  Playing songs from her 2008 record, Factory of Days, and several new songs, Harrison showed a wide range of songwriting skills.  The band ended the set with an anthem about “Facing my maker.”  The song slowly built and ended with an extended 2 chord jam.  Another highlight was the song, “My Old Island.”  The song blends Bacharach sensibilities with a Stereolab vibe.

You can listen to her entire album on her site,

You can catch Harrison preforming a solo acoustic show, April 18th on the Planet 420 Stage at SweetWater’s annual Earth Day Celebration in Candler Park.

Favorite Atlanta Venues – Past & Present

2009 will make 14 years I’ve lived in Atlanta.  I’ve been a part of the music scene, off and on, during that time and played at just about every club in town.  I’ve seen countless shows at clubs all over this city.  Today I was thinking about Atlanta’s live music clubs from days gone by and my favorite ones that still rock.

The Echo Lounge in East Atlanta, now East Atlanta Ice House, was my favorite club.  I saw so many great shows there: Death Cab For Cutie, Spoon, Dresden Dolls, Don Caballero, John Vanderslice and Ranier Maria to name a few.  Their sound system was big and loud.  Bands enjoyed playing there.  Due to some weird zoning laws the club had to close because of misfiled permits.

Another favorite club was The Point, now The Clothing Warehouse, in Little 5 Points.  I loved the intimacy of that club.  The band would have to walk right by you to get to the stage since there was no “backstage” there.  I saw many great shows there from Lush, The Ocean Blue and Ben Folds Five.

One last club I liked that bit the dust was The Cotton Club on Peachtree St., next to Jock’s and Jill’s. I didn’t care for the rectangular layout of the club but I did see some great shows there: Mojave 3, Floyd’s Funk Revival and missed seeing a sold out Mr. Bungle show. I couldn’t believe it sold out.

Clubs like The Masquerade and The Variety Playhouse never went away and still have national acts every week.  I like Variety and The Masquerade but they’re much bigger than the Echo Lounge and The Point were.

My favorite club now that has the intimate vibe that Echo and The Point did is The EARL.  The EARL is small and you can get right in the face of whoever is playing.  I recently saw Les Savy Fav there and was treated to the performance of a lifetime.  I’m glad I got to see such a great band in a small venue like The EARL.  If you’ve seen Les Savy Fav you know it’s as much performance art as it is music.  It’s an interactive show to say the least.

Right down the street from The EARL and across from The Clothing Warehouse is The Star Bar. I’ve always enjoyed seeing shows there. Star Bar leans more towards local acts so honestly I haven’t been there as much. I do like the vibe there and they have a good sound system.

What about you? What were some of your favorite clubs from the past? Which ones do you like now?

Hey Man, Let’s Get The Band Back Together

I’ve lived in Atlanta for fourteen years, nearly ten of those have been in East Atlanta. When I moved to my neighborhood I never realized that I’d be able to relive my teens/early-twenties a mere handful of blocks from my house. The time machine into which I step is also know as The EARL.

At The EARL I’ve seen performances by Dick Dale, two-thirds of Hüsker Dü (namely Bob Mould and Grant Hart performing solo shows), Mission of Burma, as well as others. And this weekend I’ll be at there twice, to catch both performances put on by The Long Ryders. Here’s the kicker about this… these shows will be the first United States shows put on by The Long Ryders in over twenty years, they are likely be their only performances in the United States, and there is a chance that they may never get back together again.

For those of you not as old as me, The Long Ryders were up-and-coming “alternative” music stars back when “alternative” music was in its infancy. In those days The Long Ryders toured the globe headling shows and were scheduled to tour with bands such as U2. However, their path to rock stardom was interrupted when some of the band members chose other paths and the band broke up in 1987.

Tickets for the shows can either be purchased via Ticket Alternative; or at The EARL on the day of the show.

Opening The Grange

The bold, brushed-steel sign of The Grange public house.

The bold, brushed-steel sign of The Grange public house.

It probably isn’t fair to judge a new restaurant on its opening night.[1] I’m sure The Grange doesn’t want me to do that and, honestly, I don’t think I want to do that to them. So let’s call this a first impression, with the understanding that we’ll meet again soon.

I found out The Angel was closing the hard way: I showed up and no one was there. The place was lights-out and empty. Uh-oh, I thought. Good news is, the place didn’t lay fallow for long. Better news is, The Grange kept pretty much everything that was good about The Angel’s space—the dark woods, the brick patio, the tile floor, and the little pub-nooks—and added just a bit of light, just a bit of air, to open it up and make it feel fresh.

On to the bad news. Saturday night, the joint was hopping, but tangled. The space between patio and bar was wandered by folks trying to figure out the seating situation, with no host and no list to help. I like wandering into a self-serve pub space, sure, but that night was just too busy for that. A tall man with keys on the end of a long spoon rushed around, apologizing for late dinners and calming frustrated customers. Beer was being brought in by the six-pack. They were in the weeds.

So let’s go back to some good news. Service was happy, attentive, and up-front. As soon as our waitress knew there was going to be a delay on our food, she let us know. Our appetizer showed up quick and hot.

Which brings us back to some bad news. The food on Saturday night was a bust. In an Irish pub, chips shouldn’t be skinny, limp, soggy things. What comes with them shouldn’t be a plastic Solo cup of blue-cheese dressing. Fish and chips shouldn’t consist of a single ragged piece of fish burned within an inch of edibility and more of those skinny fries. The shepherd’s pie was ordinary.

Word since Saturday, though, is better. The report I got says “Grange impressed” and “Good food.” Also, “Great hangout vibe,” which I sure agree with.

Friendly advice, Grange? Commit to the Irish vibe on your menu, nail those pub-favorite dishes, and add some distinctive dish that gives your place its own voice. In the meantime, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that The Grange stays busy enough to find its flow. The trick is giving a new place time to find its footing without, you know, just not going and accidentally running it out business, I guess.

Not to jinx it, but I’d be surprised if they can’t make it work there.

1. I’ve read that some restaurant critics give a new place three months to get their act together before they review the place. How long do you wait?

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