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Ployd's long strange trip from DJ to producer

ATL bass music innovator drops first original track and discusses Giant Skelly project

PLOYD ON THE TRACKS: The DJ is searching for eerie vibes -€” dark but not aggressive.

On a mild February afternoon in Virginia-Highland, the looming threat of snowstorm Pax shows on the faces of passersby as they make their way along the sidewalk outside of the coffee shop. Inside, Aireon Grimes, the DJ and self-described "vibe pusher" known as Ployd, slides up a chair, sips his black coffee, and lays three cigarettes on the table. He rolls them under his palm, each one poised for a break in the conversation.

But before he steps outside for a smoke, he relives an electronic odyssey. For the last eight years, Ployd has had a front row seat to the ever-changing face of Atlanta's electronic dance music scene. After first traversing realms of jungle and drum 'n' bass, he later helped usher in the changing tides of dubstep and trap music.

As a founding player in two of the city's original dubstep collectives, Atlanta Dubstep and Wobble House, Ployd has watched the music morph from a curious U.K. import into an aggressive American club phenomenon as trap, so-called brostep, and countless other subgenre permutations. Ployd always seems to be one step ahead of any trend.

"I tend to get a little bored of playing a certain style of music all the time," he says. "When I move on to another sound there are a lot of other DJs still playing that sound out, and plenty of people who are still new to it and want to hear it."

Ployd, 33, never plans his live sets. He makes up everything as he goes, drawing from the room's energy.

"I never know exactly what I'm going to play," he says. "Sometimes I'll grab the mic and warn everybody who's in the crowd that night: 'Hey, just so you guys know, I don't plan my sets, so if you see me up here staring at the ceiling, scratching my head, and looking kind of funny, that's just me trying to figure out what I'm going to play next. I'm not high, and I'm not on drugs or anything like that!"

Just a few nights earlier, Ployd performed a late-night set at the Iris, an electronic music club on Buford Highway. From behind the decks, he led a packed house through a rapid-fire sequence of rising and falling BPMs and stylistic musical shifts. His set was a patchwork of sludgy dubstep, more dubstep, and trap music, before he finally brought the night to a close with a dose of moombahton's swelling bass and robotic two-step beats.

"I like to say that I play what I want to hear, what you want to hear, and what you didn't know you wanted to hear yet," he says.

Over the years, Ployd has become one of Atlanta's most progressive DJs. He stresses the need for exploration and forward-thinking young minds to, as he puts it, "push the envelope rather than just follow the instructions on how to make an envelope." Still, he never saw the mainstream's co-opting of dubstep as a negative thing. He talks about massive regional music festivals such as TomorrowWorld and CounterPoint, which both take place right outside of Atlanta, as gateways for discovering new music.

"When we saw the music blowing up, a lot of people were turned off, but I never saw electronic music getting a lot attention as a bad thing," he says. "If anything it will draw out the kids who are lurking in their suburban homes and lead them to discover some house music or something else that they like."

Eight years after playing his first head-ringing DJ set in a Downtown Atlanta club, Ployd has become a fixture of the local EDM scene. Nearly a decade of headlining electronic music parties and amassing devotees with a Grateful Dead-like dedication has led him to make the move to producer. He's maintained a tight grasp on his original music, keeping every note miraculously off of the Internet and opting instead to earn fans by pummeling them live with blasts of bass. The official release this month of his first original track, as well as a new collaborative effort with the group dubbed Giant Skelly, mark a welcome new direction in Ployd's long, strange trip as an Atlanta EDM innovator.

Ployd first took to the stage in 2006 as a DJ at the now-defunct Downtown club the Mark Ultra Lounge for Anthony Rotella's "Transit" drum 'n' bass nights. He laughs while recalling how nervous he was about playing in a club for the first time. He remembers being so overwhelmed by the bass that he went cross-eyed twice during his set.

"It was one of those nights where the music was crazy," he says. "I had to take my headphones off and shake my head just to snap out of it."

Since then, his confidence has grown and it shows in his stage presence when he weaves to the music and commands the audience.

PURE ENERGY: Ployd, 33, never plans his live sets. Photo by Forrest DV Photography.
PURE ENERGY: Ployd, 33, never plans his live sets. Photo by Forrest DV Photography.

"Ployd's diverse palette has aided Atlanta in moving forward with several styles of music," Rotella says. "He's got a heart of gold and it's reflected in his bookings, fans, and DJ sets. Without his involvement in Atlanta Dubstep, I couldn't see that brand moving as far forward as it did."

Trap Check and Turnt party promoter, and Ployd's longtime cohort, Adrian "Zone3" Sosebee agrees. "Without Ployd there is no EDM scene in Atlanta," he says. "Ployd rocks the fucking crowd no matter what the situation may be. He plays because he loves it, not because he's trying be the next DJ sensation — he was the first DJ to play dubstep in Atlanta. You have to respect his game. I've watched him grow and branch out as an artist. When the EDM and trap movements exploded, some dubstep heads were resistant to the sound, but not Ployd. He embraced it and became Trap Jesus!"

Ployd takes another sip of coffee, running his fingers over his well-kept beard. It's true: The beard, and his thick, chest-length hair do make for a striking resemblance to the popular image of the Son of God. "Turning water into lean since 2006," he says with a laugh. "It's a hilarious nickname. I've had people say to me, 'You really need to rebrand yourself as Trap Jesus and get that whole thing going!' But that might be a little too David Koresh-y," he says, mulling over the cult-like following he's developed.

His down-to-earth ways have resonated with fans in a club music world rife with inflated egos. Being the guy who compares himself to Jesus isn't his style, even though his humility and compassion for the music and the crowd fit the roll. Ployd's accolades hinge on one thing: the sheer power of his live DJ sets. His stature throughout the southeastern U.S. has exploded within the dance music underground since that first show at the Mark. In person, his chill attitude has more of a Dead Head family vibe than one of a club-hardened DJ.

"I do dig some hippy stuff," Ployd says. "At home, if I'm not listening to some weird, grindy, robotic, electronic music, I'm listening to classic rock kind of stuff. Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd — love the Floyd."

Indeed, his very moniker, Ployd, is a contraction of the words Pink Floyd — a name he adopted when he was 16 years old to use as the handle for his first AOL account. Like the Dead, he prefers a more grassroots approach to building a fanbase.

Over the last few years, Ployd has become a regular fixture at King Plow and Terminal West, performing opening sets on bills such as the Trinumeral Fest with Flying Lotus and moombahton creator Dave Nada, along with other acts such as Nit Grit, Borgore, and Zoogma.

"What really makes Ployd stand out is that he's an authentic, real guy," says Terminal West co-owner Alan Sher. "There are a lot of people calling themselves promoters now and throwing electronic music parties. He's a grateful, humble dude, and you always know it's going to be a great set. He's been DJing since before it was cool. He cares about the people who come out to support him, and he'll take however long it takes to talk with them in person."

Thus far, Ployd has managed to keep all of his original music off of the Internet, although several bootleg videos of his DJ sets are floating around YouTube. He's also posted a few mixes to SoundCloud, including a Halloween mix for 88.5 (WRAS-FM), and scattered reworkings of tunes for contemporaries such as Treasure Fingers, Evol Intent, and a "country time" mix for Freakstep Records.

Maintaining a strict separation between his music and the Internet has created a mutual respect between him and his audience.

"It breeds a certain kind of fan," Ployd says. "They recognize it when someone is authentic, and isn't just trying to sell them on an image. Consciously or subconsciously, people see you're just doing your thing, and they respect that."

As always, though, Ployd's changing things up. With this month's release of the original track "Aliens, Bro. Aliens," Ployd went from working exclusively as a DJ to producing and promoting his own music.

"I was a little late to the production game," he says. "When I started doing this it was more just a way for me to hang out with my homies, have fun and show off our mixes to each other. Now, I'm comfortable enough with what I'm capable of creating."

From the first pings and subtle bass booms of "Aliens, Bro. Aliens," a new dimension of Ployd's more introspective, but also playful side comes to light.

GOOD VIBRATIONS: Ployd says he went cross-eyed twice from the bass during his first DJ set. Photo by Joeff Davis.
GOOD VIBRATIONS: Ployd says he went cross-eyed twice from the bass during his first DJ set. Photo by Joeff Davis.

 

"When I started writing this track it just kind of flowed out of me," he says. "I've made other tracks since this one that are technically better, but this one is near and dear to me because it taught me a lot about EDM production. I've had to go back over it a couple times and learn how to make the different frequencies work together. It's still not perfect in my mind but hey, what is?"

The sounds of birds chirping over a collage of angular beats, clicks, bass drops, and the swooshing of a razor-sharp pendulum blade give rise to a dark and enigmatic sound. Despite its many working parts, the song feels minimal — far from the busy and full-throttle grind of his club music pursuits.

On this track, Ployd delves into a more ethereal crossroads of warm synthesizer tones and dub beats. The combination is hypnotic.

"I've always been a big fan of mysterious-sounding music," Ployd says. "Dark soundscapes that are slightly aggressive and a bit scary. That's the vibe I wanted to accomplish with this track."

Gaining skill as a performer is one thing, but producing music comes with a much different set of challenges and rewards. It's the kind of change Ployd needs to keep moving forward.

"I have certain things that I want to express artistically," he says. "DJing is fun and great, but there are certain things that I want to express using my own voice and my own music. Not just someone else's music."

In his basement/bedroom lab, Ployd leans over his computer. His nose hovers inches from the screen and deep concentration washes over his face. His mouse zigzags across a galaxy of twittering sine waves and a maze of digital knobs and sliders to make subtle adjustments to the bass, a beat, or a sample.

Ableton software seems to be his instrument of choice — that and a library of sampled voices and real-world sounds he's culled from the BBC Sound Effects Library. He riffles through files on his computer, pulling up tracks he says are still works in progress, slowly being assembled for another new project he's working on called Giant Skelly.

A collaboration with fellow DJs/producers Brian Lørd (Kaynara) and Jake McDonald, Giant Skelly finds Ployd gradually moving toward performing with live instrumentation. Don't expect to catch them playing anytime soon — the group has yet to turn out a finished track, but it's all in the works.

The name Giant Skelly is a nod to both role-playing games of the '80s and '90s and a far-out conspiracy theory that's recently kept Ployd's mind occupied. Certain conspiracy theorists speculate that during ancient times, the earth was populated by a race of giants possibly from outer space. For some reason, their presence has been concealed as part of a Smithsonian cover-up. The only evidence of their existence, the theory goes, are the few scattered remains fringe archaeologists have unearthed around the world.

"I'm less concerned with the story being true than I am with just hearing a good story," Ployd says. "What could be cooler than a story about space giants coming to earth, and why are they being covered up? That's just a cool story, and it involves the Bible, so even the skeptics are secretly thinking, 'Could it be true?'"

Still in its infancy, the group has its sights set on performing more for the festival crowd than the club circuit. "Aliens, Bro. Aliens" and Giant Skelly are fitting next steps for Ployd. As an insider with one eye constantly looking toward left field, the city's electronic music scene has benefitted from his exploratory spirit.

"I want to see some eerie vibes come out of this — dark, but not overly aggressive," he says. "I'd like to see it go in a different direction than a lot of what we've seen with the evolution of dubstep and other forms of electronic music."

In January, one of the city's most prominent electronic music venues, Quad, closed. While its shuttering feels like a blow to the scene, Ployd remains hopeful.

"Since we've seen the music go a little more mainstream, a lot of kids have developed loyalties to clubs over the music itself," he says. "It makes sense. They know there's a party there on certain nights. Coming up in this music scene, when people went to electronica shows they knew exactly what they were going to see — if they didn't already know the DJ. It's become more of a party scene in recent years. Now, maybe some kids who didn't already know about some of the other things that are going on around town will get turned on to something new."



More By This Writer

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  string(6643) "In June, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declared that live music venues are allowed to reopen their stages for performances as of July 1. However, don’t expect the monthly music calendar to fill up anytime soon. Across the board, Atlanta’s live music promoters say that without a COVID-19 vaccine ready to go, or proof positive that the rate of infections is trending downward, most clubs aren’t comfortable inviting people to their shows. Most Atlanta music venue doors will remain shuttered for the time being.

“Sadly, we can’t really operate until we can operate safely with 100 plus people in the room, and [[[[[[knowing] that customers are comfortable coming out and eating in close quarters,” says Live Nation talent buyer and Eddie’s Attic promoter Andrew Hingley. “I also believe the vibe of the concert experience won’t translate that well with social distancing and musicians looking out to a small crowd of masks. I believe the energy for the customer and for the artists will be a disconnect from what people are used to,” he continues. “I believe Eddie’s Attic is looking at a mid-August to September time frame.”

But even if club owners do want to start booking shows, the number of bands and artists on the road is virtually nil for now and for the foreseeable future. OK Productions’ promoter Alex Weiss says, “It is crazy to open up venues, especially with the guidelines that Kemp has issued. With the way things work with the bands that I deal with, it will take more than a couple of weeks to set up a show, even if I wanted to, which I don’t.” He adds, “I definitely do not feel comfortable putting people at risk at this time. Most of the artists I deal with aren’t planning to tour now until 2021.”

In addition to the potential health risks of filling up rooms with concertgoers, Atlanta, and indeed the rest of the country are still reeling with daily protests being waged following the killing of George Floyd and now the June 12 police shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta.

Face of Knives promoter Daniel DeSimone, who books the Bakery, explains that these larger issues at hand take precedence over the daily operations of booking a club. What’s more, the lease on the Bakery’s 825 Warner Street location expired on June 30, and it will not be renewed. The celebrated independent arts and music venue is moving on. Details remain to be determined. In the meantime, the Bakery’s staff and organizers are still operating out of their temporary New Square location above Underground Atlanta.

Still, DeSimone reiterates that it will be a while before they’re up and running again. “Although Kemp has legally permitted event spaces to program as of July 1, we don’t ethically feel like we can invite people to our space and potentially contribute to the inevitable second wave of COVID-19, putting artists, guests, and staff at risk,” he says. “We likely won’t be regularly programming again until there is a proven, widespread, and affordable vaccine for the virus, and (we) encourage other public spaces to consider these risks as well. “Furthermore,” DeSimone adds, “we consider ourselves community organizers first, and a music venue second — maybe third, fourth, or fifth, honestly — and believe it is our duty as organizers to focus all of our efforts on addressing the larger human rights crisis facing our nation and city.”

Sadly, the Vista Room has closed its doors permanently. In an emailed announcement, the club states: “As an independent we simply cannot sensibly sustain the massive overheard losses which will now run thru (sic) at least August (six months) and even then, judging by the surprising lack of attendance at Restaurants & Gyms (sic) the last three weeks, people will hesitate coming until Christmas.”

The press release goes on to state that The Vista Room did not fail — “... we were squashed by a bug! But we are all alive and moving on down new trails as the world deals with COVID-19.”

On the NIVA front ...

Born in March when the coronavirus pandemic first took hold, and currently boasting more than 2,000 members in all 50 U.S. states, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) is still hard at work lobbying congress for a much-needed financial boost to keep the country’s music venues alive. Following a recent survey showing that 90 percent of the nation’s music venues will go out of business permanently if they can’t feasibly reopen soon, the organization is rallying behind the RESTART Act (S. 3814). If passed, the bipartisan act will modify the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to work for businesses that have lost all revenue amid the shelter-in-place orders. RESTART promises six months of payroll and operating expenses for music venues, and allows for more flexible use of government-sponsored loans with no minimum requirements for expense categories. RESTART expands availability for small businesses that work mostly with part-time employees, and extends the time frame for repayment and  PPP loan forgiveness. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

In new releases news …    Creativity by any means necessary is the driving force behind Touch, a new six-song album from Child of Regulus, aka Quinn Mason. Touch was conceived, composed, and executed entirely by Mason using his smartphone equipped with GarageBand and iKaossilator software.

Over the last several years, Mason has made his presence felt most strongly amid Atlanta’s late-night jazz scene, fluttering and skronking on a saxophone with Konda, Kamaal Williams, Wolfpack ATL, QUAS, and the Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra. Mason also curates Gallery 992’s Sunday-night improv sessions. Following shelter-in-place orders, Touch was born as a means to keep creating music while he was literally left to his own devices. Songs such as “Your Mind, Your Time,” Lo-Fi Lullaby,” and “No Quieres Fumar” eschew Mason’s more recognizable jazz modes while exploring electronic music, techno, jazz, and funk inflections.

Atlanta’s D-beat torchbearers Disable have a new 7-inch out, titled ... Slamming in the Depths of Hell. The record blasts six songs of hardcore punk fury with titles such as “Hellish Nightmare,” “False Flag,” and “Whistling Death” — anthems for our tumultuous times.

Chemical Illusion, the final offering from the late Rick Dang’s rock ‘n’ roll underdog outfit Dang Dang Dang, is now available on vinyl via Bandcamp. The album was originally released in June of 2018; Dang passed away in October 2019. —CL—"
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“Sadly, we can’t really operate until we can operate safely with 100 plus people in the room, and [[[[[[[[knowing] that customers are comfortable coming out and eating in close quarters,” says Live Nation talent buyer and Eddie’s Attic promoter Andrew Hingley. “I also believe the vibe of the concert experience won’t translate that well with social distancing and musicians looking out to a small crowd of masks. I believe the energy for the customer and for the artists will be a disconnect from what people are used to,” he continues. “I believe Eddie’s Attic is looking at a mid-August to September time frame.”

But even if club owners do want to start booking shows, the number of bands and artists on the road is virtually nil for now and for the foreseeable future. OK Productions’ promoter Alex Weiss says, “It is crazy to open up venues, especially with the guidelines that Kemp has issued. With the way things work with the bands that I deal with, it will take more than a couple of weeks to set up a show, even if I wanted to, which I don’t.” He adds, “I definitely do not feel comfortable putting people at risk at this time. Most of the artists I deal with aren’t planning to tour now until 2021.”

In addition to the potential health risks of filling up rooms with concertgoers, Atlanta, and indeed the rest of the country are still reeling with daily protests being waged following the killing of George Floyd and now the June 12 police shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta.

Face of Knives promoter Daniel DeSimone, who books the Bakery, explains that these larger issues at hand take precedence over the daily operations of booking a club. What’s more, the lease on the Bakery’s 825 Warner Street location expired on June 30, and it will not be renewed. The celebrated independent arts and music venue is moving on. Details remain to be determined. In the meantime, the Bakery’s staff and organizers are still operating out of their temporary New Square location above Underground Atlanta.

Still, DeSimone reiterates that it will be a while before they’re up and running again. “Although Kemp has legally permitted event spaces to program as of July 1, we don’t ethically feel like we can invite people to our space and potentially contribute to the inevitable second wave of COVID-19, putting artists, guests, and staff at risk,” he says. “We likely won’t be regularly programming again until there is a proven, widespread, and affordable vaccine for the virus, and (we) encourage other public spaces to consider these risks as well. “Furthermore,” DeSimone adds, “we consider ourselves community organizers first, and a music venue second — maybe third, fourth, or fifth, honestly — and believe it is our duty as organizers to focus all of our efforts on addressing the larger human rights crisis facing our nation and city.”

Sadly, the Vista Room has closed its doors permanently. In an emailed announcement, the club states: “As an independent we simply cannot sensibly sustain the massive overheard losses which will now run thru (sic) at least August (six months) and even then, judging by the surprising lack of attendance at Restaurants & Gyms (sic) the last three weeks, people will hesitate coming until Christmas.”

The press release goes on to state that The Vista Room did not fail — “... we were squashed by a bug! But we are all alive and moving on down new trails as the world deals with COVID-19.”

__On the NIVA front ...__

Born in March when the coronavirus pandemic first took hold, and currently boasting more than 2,000 members in all 50 U.S. states, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) is still hard at work lobbying congress for a much-needed financial boost to keep the country’s music venues alive. Following a recent survey showing that 90 percent of the nation’s music venues will go out of business permanently if they can’t feasibly reopen soon, the organization is rallying behind the RESTART Act (S. 3814). If passed, the bipartisan act will modify the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to work for businesses that have lost all revenue amid the shelter-in-place orders. RESTART promises six months of payroll and operating expenses for music venues, and allows for more flexible use of government-sponsored loans with no minimum requirements for expense categories. RESTART expands availability for small businesses that work mostly with part-time employees, and extends the time frame for repayment and  PPP loan forgiveness. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

__In new releases news …__    Creativity by any means necessary is the driving force behind ''Touch'', a new six-song album from __Child of Regulus__, aka __Quinn Mason__. ''Touch'' was conceived, composed, and executed entirely by Mason using his smartphone equipped with GarageBand and iKaossilator software.

Over the last several years, Mason has made his presence felt most strongly amid Atlanta’s late-night jazz scene, fluttering and skronking on a saxophone with Konda, Kamaal Williams, Wolfpack ATL, QUAS, and the Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra. Mason also curates Gallery 992’s Sunday-night improv sessions. Following shelter-in-place orders, ''Touch'' was born as a means to keep creating music while he was literally left to his own devices. Songs such as “Your Mind, Your Time,” Lo-Fi Lullaby,” and “No Quieres Fumar” eschew Mason’s more recognizable jazz modes while exploring electronic music, techno, jazz, and funk inflections.

Atlanta’s D-beat torchbearers __Disable__ have a new 7-inch out, titled ''... Slamming in the Depths of Hell''. The record blasts six songs of hardcore punk fury with titles such as “Hellish Nightmare,” “False Flag,” and “Whistling Death” — anthems for our tumultuous times.

''Chemical Illusion'', the final offering from the late Rick Dang’s rock ‘n’ roll underdog outfit Dang Dang Dang, is now available on vinyl via Bandcamp. The album was originally released in June of 2018; Dang passed away in October 2019. __—CL—__"
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  string(7244) " Child Of Regulus  2020-07-01T19:51:29+00:00 Child_of_Regulus.jpg    amn atlantamusicnews Despite lifting restrictions, music venues may still face extinction 31944  2020-06-30T15:55:00+00:00 ATLANTA MUSIC NEWS: NIVA lobbies for a RESTART jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Chad Radford Chad Radford 2020-06-30T15:55:00+00:00  In June, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declared that live music venues are allowed to reopen their stages for performances as of July 1. However, don’t expect the monthly music calendar to fill up anytime soon. Across the board, Atlanta’s live music promoters say that without a COVID-19 vaccine ready to go, or proof positive that the rate of infections is trending downward, most clubs aren’t comfortable inviting people to their shows. Most Atlanta music venue doors will remain shuttered for the time being.

“Sadly, we can’t really operate until we can operate safely with 100 plus people in the room, and [[[[[[knowing] that customers are comfortable coming out and eating in close quarters,” says Live Nation talent buyer and Eddie’s Attic promoter Andrew Hingley. “I also believe the vibe of the concert experience won’t translate that well with social distancing and musicians looking out to a small crowd of masks. I believe the energy for the customer and for the artists will be a disconnect from what people are used to,” he continues. “I believe Eddie’s Attic is looking at a mid-August to September time frame.”

But even if club owners do want to start booking shows, the number of bands and artists on the road is virtually nil for now and for the foreseeable future. OK Productions’ promoter Alex Weiss says, “It is crazy to open up venues, especially with the guidelines that Kemp has issued. With the way things work with the bands that I deal with, it will take more than a couple of weeks to set up a show, even if I wanted to, which I don’t.” He adds, “I definitely do not feel comfortable putting people at risk at this time. Most of the artists I deal with aren’t planning to tour now until 2021.”

In addition to the potential health risks of filling up rooms with concertgoers, Atlanta, and indeed the rest of the country are still reeling with daily protests being waged following the killing of George Floyd and now the June 12 police shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta.

Face of Knives promoter Daniel DeSimone, who books the Bakery, explains that these larger issues at hand take precedence over the daily operations of booking a club. What’s more, the lease on the Bakery’s 825 Warner Street location expired on June 30, and it will not be renewed. The celebrated independent arts and music venue is moving on. Details remain to be determined. In the meantime, the Bakery’s staff and organizers are still operating out of their temporary New Square location above Underground Atlanta.

Still, DeSimone reiterates that it will be a while before they’re up and running again. “Although Kemp has legally permitted event spaces to program as of July 1, we don’t ethically feel like we can invite people to our space and potentially contribute to the inevitable second wave of COVID-19, putting artists, guests, and staff at risk,” he says. “We likely won’t be regularly programming again until there is a proven, widespread, and affordable vaccine for the virus, and (we) encourage other public spaces to consider these risks as well. “Furthermore,” DeSimone adds, “we consider ourselves community organizers first, and a music venue second — maybe third, fourth, or fifth, honestly — and believe it is our duty as organizers to focus all of our efforts on addressing the larger human rights crisis facing our nation and city.”

Sadly, the Vista Room has closed its doors permanently. In an emailed announcement, the club states: “As an independent we simply cannot sensibly sustain the massive overheard losses which will now run thru (sic) at least August (six months) and even then, judging by the surprising lack of attendance at Restaurants & Gyms (sic) the last three weeks, people will hesitate coming until Christmas.”

The press release goes on to state that The Vista Room did not fail — “... we were squashed by a bug! But we are all alive and moving on down new trails as the world deals with COVID-19.”

On the NIVA front ...

Born in March when the coronavirus pandemic first took hold, and currently boasting more than 2,000 members in all 50 U.S. states, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) is still hard at work lobbying congress for a much-needed financial boost to keep the country’s music venues alive. Following a recent survey showing that 90 percent of the nation’s music venues will go out of business permanently if they can’t feasibly reopen soon, the organization is rallying behind the RESTART Act (S. 3814). If passed, the bipartisan act will modify the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to work for businesses that have lost all revenue amid the shelter-in-place orders. RESTART promises six months of payroll and operating expenses for music venues, and allows for more flexible use of government-sponsored loans with no minimum requirements for expense categories. RESTART expands availability for small businesses that work mostly with part-time employees, and extends the time frame for repayment and  PPP loan forgiveness. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

In new releases news …    Creativity by any means necessary is the driving force behind Touch, a new six-song album from Child of Regulus, aka Quinn Mason. Touch was conceived, composed, and executed entirely by Mason using his smartphone equipped with GarageBand and iKaossilator software.

Over the last several years, Mason has made his presence felt most strongly amid Atlanta’s late-night jazz scene, fluttering and skronking on a saxophone with Konda, Kamaal Williams, Wolfpack ATL, QUAS, and the Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra. Mason also curates Gallery 992’s Sunday-night improv sessions. Following shelter-in-place orders, Touch was born as a means to keep creating music while he was literally left to his own devices. Songs such as “Your Mind, Your Time,” Lo-Fi Lullaby,” and “No Quieres Fumar” eschew Mason’s more recognizable jazz modes while exploring electronic music, techno, jazz, and funk inflections.

Atlanta’s D-beat torchbearers Disable have a new 7-inch out, titled ... Slamming in the Depths of Hell. The record blasts six songs of hardcore punk fury with titles such as “Hellish Nightmare,” “False Flag,” and “Whistling Death” — anthems for our tumultuous times.

Chemical Illusion, the final offering from the late Rick Dang’s rock ‘n’ roll underdog outfit Dang Dang Dang, is now available on vinyl via Bandcamp. The album was originally released in June of 2018; Dang passed away in October 2019. —CL—    Courtesy Marquinn Mason CHILD OF REGULUS: While sheltered in place, saxophonist Quinn Mason crafted ‘Touch,’ an electronic album composed on his phone.  0,0,10    AMN atlantamusicnews                             ATLANTA MUSIC NEWS: NIVA lobbies for a RESTART "
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Despite lifting restrictions, music venues may still face extinction | more...
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  string(5305) "For most of us, after nearly three months of sheltering in place, the charm of quarantine time has worn off. But for Adam McIntyre of The Pinx, the downtime is proving to be quite an inspiration.

“I was a prolific writer as a teenager, and without my daily tasks of driving kids around and doing things I think I have to do but don’t, I go right back to what recharges and equally burns my energy, which is making music,” McIntyre says. “It’s all I want to do. So knowing that I was about to have a lot of time to create, I decided to get naked.”

McIntyre has created a trilogy of albums — a blues album, The Devil Got My Soul!; a more direct rock ‘n’ roll album, You’re Doing It Right; and a third, currently unreleased, album tentatively titled Quarantology III. McIntyre plans to change the name before it’s unleashed unto the public.

All three albums represent variations on a theme: McIntyre’s efforts to get comfortable without the “rock suit” he’s fashioned for himself while singing and playing guitar with the Pinx. “It’s a wonderful, beautiful suit if I do say so,” he adds. “But what if I wasn’t expected to do that? I took off the suit and made a blues record because that’s how I started. You’re Doing It Right is going even farther into removing identity. It’s running around wearing only purple paint. In space.”

Songs on McIntyre’s third record will largely be about becoming nobody, which he says is based on Ram Dass’s talks on ego vs. identity vs. the soul. “I’m looking to make a very fun record about losing yourself and seeing what is still left,” he says. “I guess it’s a trilogy of taking off your clothes, spiritually.”

To kick off this seemingly spontaneous series, in late March, McIntyre rolled out the first single from The Devil Got My Soul!, titled “Do The Damn Thing,” which features a blistering solo by Wayne Kramer of the MC5.

With all of this new material taking shape, McIntyre has also found time for a whole batch of Pinx songs as well. The group has a new EP tentatively scheduled for a July release, and four to five songs are coming together for the next full-length album as well. More details are coming soon.

Of course, McIntyre isn’t the only local rock dude to turn out a new record this spring. Chunklet Industries and Mathis Hunter’s self-run indie label Ley Lines have teamed up to release Hunter’s latest album, Mood Lighting.

Following a new single from the LP that previewed in April, “Clone It Off,” Mood Lighting emerges as a layered, inward journey that’s as sentimentally profound as it is psychedelic. Each number reflects on the ins and outs of reconnecting with one’s identity in the wake of a relationship coming to an end. For this outing, Hunter takes up guitar, bass, percussion, and various other musical duties, and is joined by a coterie of Atlanta all-stars including drummer Lee Corum, Rich Morris on keys, and Andy Morrison playing guitar and lap steel. 

Keep your eyes peeled for a new video for the album’s closing number “Don’t Be Long” to arrive in June.

In other Chunklet-related news, on June 5, the label is rolling out a handful of stellar new releases including a Honey Radar singles comp featuring liner notes by Byron Coley; a new single by Shark Toys, which includes a Desperate Bicycles cover on the B-side; and 7-inch singles by Atlanta acts Vangas, Reverends, and the almighty Purkinje Shift.

Another Risk Of The Heart is the latest release from longtime Atlanta songwriting hero Blake Rainey and the Young Antiques. Released via Southern Lovers Recording Co., Another Risk Of The Heart is pressed on gorgeous blue vinyl, and finds singer and guitarist Rainey flanked by bass player Blake Parris and new drummer John Speaks (Skirt, the Jody Grind), all reveling in new anthemic songs with titles such as “Euclid Creeper,” “I Think You’ll Never,” and “Goin’ Home” featuring vocals by Atlanta expat Kelly Hogan (Neko Case, the Decemberists, Rock*A*Teens, The Jody Grind).

Each song was recorded in Rainey’s home Southern Lovers Recording Studios, blending his signature blend of power pop hooks and storytelling with a rural Southern inflection and crystalline production. Chris Lopez ( Rock*A*Teens, Tenement Halls) and Tom Cheshire (West End Motel, All Night Drug Prowling Wolves) also make guest appearances throughout the album.

Grace Bellury’s indie rock outfit Karaoke has a new video out for the song “Lo Hi.” The song is set to appear on a forthcoming album, title TBD. The video, directed by DJ Barbie Corvette, is a single shot — no cuts — in which the group’s synth player Adrian Benedykt Świtoń dances and writhes around a glowing hotel room eating pizza, smoking cigarettes, and staring into the camera with fixed, bedroom eyes. Sultry. Absurd. Awesome. The “Lo Hi” video is the first in a series of five new videos in which all members of the group will get their individual screen time. Look for more coming very soon.

Last, but not least, on May 22, Brian Revels & the Heat Lightning released a brand-new album, Jasper County Blues. Check it out on Spotify. —CL—

Send local music news items to chad.radford at creativeloafing.com."
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  string(5454) "For most of us, after nearly three months of sheltering in place, the charm of quarantine time has worn off. But for __Adam McIntyre__ of __The Pinx__, the downtime is proving to be quite an inspiration.

“I was a prolific writer as a teenager, and without my daily tasks of driving kids around and doing things I think I have to do but don’t, I go right back to what recharges and equally burns my energy, which is making music,” McIntyre says. “It’s all I want to do. So knowing that I was about to have a lot of time to create, I decided to get naked.”

McIntyre has created a trilogy of albums — a blues album, ''The Devil Got My Soul!''; a more direct rock ‘n’ roll album, ''You’re Doing It Right''; and a third, currently unreleased, album tentatively titled ''Quarantology III''. McIntyre plans to change the name before it’s unleashed unto the public.

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Songs on McIntyre’s third record will largely be about becoming nobody, which he says is based on Ram Dass’s talks on ego vs. identity vs. the soul. “I’m looking to make a very fun record about losing yourself and seeing what is still left,” he says. “I guess it’s a trilogy of taking off your clothes, spiritually.”

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With all of this new material taking shape, McIntyre has also found time for a whole batch of Pinx songs as well. The group has a new EP tentatively scheduled for a July release, and four to five songs are coming together for the next full-length album as well. More details are coming soon.

Of course, McIntyre isn’t the only local rock dude to turn out a new record this spring. __Chunklet Industries__ and __Mathis Hunter__’s self-run indie label ''Ley Lines'' have teamed up to release Hunter’s latest album, ''Mood Lighting''.

Following a new single from the LP that previewed in April, “Clone It Off,” ''Mood Lighting'' emerges as a layered, inward journey that’s as sentimentally profound as it is psychedelic. Each number reflects on the ins and outs of reconnecting with one’s identity in the wake of a relationship coming to an end. For this outing, Hunter takes up guitar, bass, percussion, and various other musical duties, and is joined by a coterie of Atlanta all-stars including drummer __Lee Corum__, __Rich Morris__ on keys, and __Andy Morrison__ playing guitar and lap steel. 

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Each song was recorded in Rainey’s home Southern Lovers Recording Studios, blending his signature blend of power pop hooks and storytelling with a rural Southern inflection and crystalline production. __Chris Lopez__ ( Rock*A*Teens, Tenement Halls) and __Tom Cheshire__ (West End Motel, All Night Drug Prowling Wolves) also make guest appearances throughout the album.

__Grace Bellury__’s indie rock outfit __Karaoke__ has a new video out for the song “Lo Hi.” The song is set to appear on a forthcoming album, title TBD. The video, directed by __DJ Barbie Corvette__, is a single shot — no cuts — in which the group’s synth player __Adrian Benedykt Świtoń__ dances and writhes around a glowing hotel room eating pizza, smoking cigarettes, and staring into the camera with fixed, bedroom eyes. Sultry. Absurd. Awesome. The “Lo Hi” video is the first in a series of five new videos in which all members of the group will get their individual screen time. Look for more coming very soon.

Last, but not least, on May 22, __Brian Revels & the Heat Lightning__ released a brand-new album, ''Jasper County Blues''. Check it out on Spotify. __—CL—__

''Send local music news items to chad.radford@creativeloafing.com''."
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  string(5841) " Adam McIntyre Of The Pinx Web  2020-06-04T13:39:00+00:00 Adam_McIntyre_of_the_Pinx_web.jpg    amn atlmusicnews New releases from Adam McIntyre, Mathis Hunter, Young Antiques, and more 31431  2020-06-04T03:59:00+00:00 ATLANTA MUSIC NEWS: Music for guys who like music jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Chad Radford Chad Radford 2020-06-04T03:59:00+00:00  For most of us, after nearly three months of sheltering in place, the charm of quarantine time has worn off. But for Adam McIntyre of The Pinx, the downtime is proving to be quite an inspiration.

“I was a prolific writer as a teenager, and without my daily tasks of driving kids around and doing things I think I have to do but don’t, I go right back to what recharges and equally burns my energy, which is making music,” McIntyre says. “It’s all I want to do. So knowing that I was about to have a lot of time to create, I decided to get naked.”

McIntyre has created a trilogy of albums — a blues album, The Devil Got My Soul!; a more direct rock ‘n’ roll album, You’re Doing It Right; and a third, currently unreleased, album tentatively titled Quarantology III. McIntyre plans to change the name before it’s unleashed unto the public.

All three albums represent variations on a theme: McIntyre’s efforts to get comfortable without the “rock suit” he’s fashioned for himself while singing and playing guitar with the Pinx. “It’s a wonderful, beautiful suit if I do say so,” he adds. “But what if I wasn’t expected to do that? I took off the suit and made a blues record because that’s how I started. You’re Doing It Right is going even farther into removing identity. It’s running around wearing only purple paint. In space.”

Songs on McIntyre’s third record will largely be about becoming nobody, which he says is based on Ram Dass’s talks on ego vs. identity vs. the soul. “I’m looking to make a very fun record about losing yourself and seeing what is still left,” he says. “I guess it’s a trilogy of taking off your clothes, spiritually.”

To kick off this seemingly spontaneous series, in late March, McIntyre rolled out the first single from The Devil Got My Soul!, titled “Do The Damn Thing,” which features a blistering solo by Wayne Kramer of the MC5.

With all of this new material taking shape, McIntyre has also found time for a whole batch of Pinx songs as well. The group has a new EP tentatively scheduled for a July release, and four to five songs are coming together for the next full-length album as well. More details are coming soon.

Of course, McIntyre isn’t the only local rock dude to turn out a new record this spring. Chunklet Industries and Mathis Hunter’s self-run indie label Ley Lines have teamed up to release Hunter’s latest album, Mood Lighting.

Following a new single from the LP that previewed in April, “Clone It Off,” Mood Lighting emerges as a layered, inward journey that’s as sentimentally profound as it is psychedelic. Each number reflects on the ins and outs of reconnecting with one’s identity in the wake of a relationship coming to an end. For this outing, Hunter takes up guitar, bass, percussion, and various other musical duties, and is joined by a coterie of Atlanta all-stars including drummer Lee Corum, Rich Morris on keys, and Andy Morrison playing guitar and lap steel. 

Keep your eyes peeled for a new video for the album’s closing number “Don’t Be Long” to arrive in June.

In other Chunklet-related news, on June 5, the label is rolling out a handful of stellar new releases including a Honey Radar singles comp featuring liner notes by Byron Coley; a new single by Shark Toys, which includes a Desperate Bicycles cover on the B-side; and 7-inch singles by Atlanta acts Vangas, Reverends, and the almighty Purkinje Shift.

Another Risk Of The Heart is the latest release from longtime Atlanta songwriting hero Blake Rainey and the Young Antiques. Released via Southern Lovers Recording Co., Another Risk Of The Heart is pressed on gorgeous blue vinyl, and finds singer and guitarist Rainey flanked by bass player Blake Parris and new drummer John Speaks (Skirt, the Jody Grind), all reveling in new anthemic songs with titles such as “Euclid Creeper,” “I Think You’ll Never,” and “Goin’ Home” featuring vocals by Atlanta expat Kelly Hogan (Neko Case, the Decemberists, Rock*A*Teens, The Jody Grind).

Each song was recorded in Rainey’s home Southern Lovers Recording Studios, blending his signature blend of power pop hooks and storytelling with a rural Southern inflection and crystalline production. Chris Lopez ( Rock*A*Teens, Tenement Halls) and Tom Cheshire (West End Motel, All Night Drug Prowling Wolves) also make guest appearances throughout the album.

Grace Bellury’s indie rock outfit Karaoke has a new video out for the song “Lo Hi.” The song is set to appear on a forthcoming album, title TBD. The video, directed by DJ Barbie Corvette, is a single shot — no cuts — in which the group’s synth player Adrian Benedykt Świtoń dances and writhes around a glowing hotel room eating pizza, smoking cigarettes, and staring into the camera with fixed, bedroom eyes. Sultry. Absurd. Awesome. The “Lo Hi” video is the first in a series of five new videos in which all members of the group will get their individual screen time. Look for more coming very soon.

Last, but not least, on May 22, Brian Revels & the Heat Lightning released a brand-new album, Jasper County Blues. Check it out on Spotify. —CL—

Send local music news items to chad.radford at creativeloafing.com.    Courtesy Adam McIntyre PURPLE HAZE: Adam McIntyre of the Pinx.  0,0,10    AMN atlmusicnews                             ATLANTA MUSIC NEWS: Music for guys who like music "
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  string(82) "New music from DfTaLS, Misanthropic Aggression, Tears For the Dying, and Bad Moods"
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  string(6551) "The financial hardships wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic reach far and wide. Among the hardest-hit institutions across the country have been independent music venues.

Since Georgians began sheltering in place the second week of March, business for the city’s live music destinations has ground to a halt, and, aside from setting up GoFundMe accounts, revenue streams have remained shut off. A new coalition of venues and promoters, however, dubbed the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) has formed to lobby for, and to create a lifeline to support these indie music institutions, their staffs, artists, and their communities.

“Music venues were the first to close and will be the last to open,” said Dayna Frank, NIVA board member and owner of First Avenue in Minneapolis, in an April 20 press release. “It’s just brutal right now, and the future is predictable to no one. We can’t envision a world without these music venues, so we’ve created NIVA to fight for their ability to survive this shutdown, which we hear could go into 2021,” Frank goes on to say. “Our first order of business is to push to secure federal funding to preserve the ecosystem of live music venues and touring artists.”

One of the organization’s first acts was to petition Capitol Hill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, on April 22, with an open letter asking for assistance in ensuring the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program services the venues who need it most. The letter also asked for tax relief, including deferral of federal taxes for closed businesses, a forgiveness program, and for extensions on PPA loans until it’s safe for the concert industry to resume business. Continued federal support for unemployment insurance for employees of shuttered businesses, mortgage and rent forbearance, and the establishment of a grant-funded business recovery fund were also among the NIVA letter’s requests.

As of press time, more than 900 music venues in all 50 states have joined NIVA, including the 40 Watt in Athens, along with Atlanta promoters OK Productions and Rival Entertainment, as well as venues such as the Center Stage-Vinyl-The Loft complex, Smith’s Olde Bar, and The Masquerade.

“We joined NIVA because we believe there is strength in numbers,” says The Masquerade’s talent buyer Greg Green. “Instead of being just one of 800 small voices trying to be heard, we believe that the unified voice of all of these wonderful independent live music venues and promoters will carry a lot more weight regarding the issues facing our industry during this incredibly difficult time. Also, we think having the resource of all of the other members’ experience and knowledge available to us will be invaluable as we try to navigate ahead in the coming months and get back to presenting great concerts.”

There is no cost for venues to acquire NIVA membership.

In new-releases news, Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel is back with a new full-length album, titled Halocline. The music will be available to listen to via Bandcamp on May 16. In the meantime, check out the first single — the first time DfTaLS has even released a single — titled “Maelstrom.” It’s a six-and-a-half-minute improv set that projects something of an aquatic theme. The term “halocline” is what happens when two bodies of water are separated due to their different salinities. This first single is a full-bodied drift that finds theremin player Scott Burland and lap steel player Frank Schultz joined by Louisville, Kentucky-based vocalist Dane Waters.

Stream the song for free, or pay $1. There is also a preorder for the 16-track album up on Bandcamp as well. Every penny from their Bandcamp sales will be donated evenly to two charities: Giving Kitchen and the Atlanta Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund.

There’s talk of a CD and possibly a vinyl release of Halocline coming out via Stickfigure Records in the near future, once the pandemic has receded and the world starts moving again. Until then, it’s a Bandcamp exclusive.

Schultz has also recently unveiled a new collaboration with composer, percussionist, and mad genius Klimchak, titled Six Feet Apart. For this project, Schultz rounded up a handful of improv pieces on the lap steel, and sent them off to a few folks to see if anyone was interested in expanding upon them. Klimchak was in, and composed his own sections to go along with Schultz’s improvisational pieces. The result is three pieces — “Off the Clock,” “Adrift and Lost,” and “Limping into Destiny” — 20 minutes of textured ambient droning bliss.

Six Feet Apart is available on Bandcamp now. Any and all proceeds will be donated to Giving Kitchen and the Atlanta Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund.

In April, blackened death metal-punk trio Misanthropic Aggression rolled out a new 7-inch EP, titled Alcoholic Polyneuropathic Freaks in Hell. The three-song single is available now via Boris Records. National distribution via MVD begins in June.

Death rock and goth-punk trio Tears for the Dying recently unveiled the group’s second full-length, titled Memories. The album was engineered and produced by Tom Ashton of the March Violets, and recorded at Subvon Studio in Athens. This time around, singer, guitarist, and bass player Adria Schlenker, Debra Beat, and Candy Cancer shed the keyboard for most of the album’s tracks in favor of a raw, guitar-driven assault — all three members share guitar and bass duties here. Check out that smoldering cover of Christian Death’s “Spiritual Cramp”!

Bad Moods’ latest 7-inch, featuring a new version of “Super Collider” b/w “La France” and “Radiology” 7-inch has been making the rounds recently as well. Singer, guitar player, and songwriter Tim Haught and drummer Champ Hammett are formerly of Atlanta hardcore staples Foundation — Champ also played in Criminal Instinct. With Bad Moods they veer away from hardcore, taking a more straight-ahead approach to indie rock songwriting, with an emphasis on recording rather than playing live regularly. “The goal, in the beginning, was to sound kind of like the Lemonheads, or something like that,” Haught says. “In the end it comes across more like a power pop version of Leatherface.”

Keep an ear out for more Bad Moods recordings coming down the line soon. —­CL—

Send local music news items to chad.radford at creativeloafing.com."
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  string(6580) "The financial hardships wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic reach far and wide. Among the hardest-hit institutions across the country have been independent music venues.

Since Georgians began sheltering in place the second week of March, business for the city’s live music destinations has ground to a halt, and, aside from setting up GoFundMe accounts, revenue streams have remained shut off. A new coalition of venues and promoters, however, dubbed the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) has formed to lobby for, and to create a lifeline to support these indie music institutions, their staffs, artists, and their communities.

“Music venues were the first to close and will be the last to open,” said Dayna Frank, NIVA board member and owner of First Avenue in Minneapolis, in an April 20 press release. “It’s just brutal right now, and the future is predictable to no one. We can’t envision a world without these music venues, so we’ve created NIVA to fight for their ability to survive this shutdown, which we hear could go into 2021,” Frank goes on to say. “Our first order of business is to push to secure federal funding to preserve the ecosystem of live music venues and touring artists.”

One of the organization’s first acts was to petition Capitol Hill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, on April 22, with an open letter asking for assistance in ensuring the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program services the venues who need it most. The letter also asked for tax relief, including deferral of federal taxes for closed businesses, a forgiveness program, and for extensions on PPA loans until it’s safe for the concert industry to resume business. Continued federal support for unemployment insurance for employees of shuttered businesses, mortgage and rent forbearance, and the establishment of a grant-funded business recovery fund were also among the NIVA letter’s requests.

As of press time, more than 900 music venues in all 50 states have joined NIVA, including the 40 Watt in Athens, along with Atlanta promoters OK Productions and Rival Entertainment, as well as venues such as the Center Stage-Vinyl-The Loft complex, Smith’s Olde Bar, and The Masquerade.

“We joined NIVA because we believe there is strength in numbers,” says The Masquerade’s talent buyer Greg Green. “Instead of being just one of 800 small voices trying to be heard, we believe that the unified voice of all of these wonderful independent live music venues and promoters will carry a lot more weight regarding the issues facing our industry during this incredibly difficult time. Also, we think having the resource of all of the other members’ experience and knowledge available to us will be invaluable as we try to navigate ahead in the coming months and get back to presenting great concerts.”

There is no cost for venues to acquire NIVA membership.

In new-releases news, Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel is back with a new full-length album, titled ''Halocline''. The music will be available to listen to via Bandcamp on May 16. In the meantime, check out the first single — the first time DfTaLS has even released a single — titled “Maelstrom.” It’s a six-and-a-half-minute improv set that projects something of an aquatic theme. The term “halocline” is what happens when two bodies of water are separated due to their different salinities. This first single is a full-bodied drift that finds theremin player Scott Burland and lap steel player Frank Schultz joined by Louisville, Kentucky-based vocalist Dane Waters.

Stream the song for free, or pay $1. There is also a preorder for the 16-track album up on Bandcamp as well. Every penny from their Bandcamp sales will be donated evenly to two charities: Giving Kitchen and the Atlanta Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund.

There’s talk of a CD and possibly a vinyl release of ''Halocline'' coming out via Stickfigure Records in the near future, once the pandemic has receded and the world starts moving again. Until then, it’s a Bandcamp exclusive.

Schultz has also recently unveiled a new collaboration with composer, percussionist, and mad genius Klimchak, titled ''Six Feet Apart''. For this project, Schultz rounded up a handful of improv pieces on the lap steel, and sent them off to a few folks to see if anyone was interested in expanding upon them. Klimchak was in, and composed his own sections to go along with Schultz’s improvisational pieces. The result is three pieces — “Off the Clock,” “Adrift and Lost,” and “Limping into Destiny” — 20 minutes of textured ambient droning bliss.

''Six Feet Apart'' is available on Bandcamp now. Any and all proceeds will be donated to Giving Kitchen and the Atlanta Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund.

In April, blackened death metal-punk trio Misanthropic Aggression rolled out a new 7-inch EP, titled ''Alcoholic Polyneuropathic Freaks in Hell''. The three-song single is available now via Boris Records. National distribution via MVD begins in June.

Death rock and goth-punk trio Tears for the Dying recently unveiled the group’s second full-length, titled ''Memories''. The album was engineered and produced by Tom Ashton of the March Violets, and recorded at Subvon Studio in Athens. This time around, singer, guitarist, and bass player Adria Schlenker, Debra Beat, and Candy Cancer shed the keyboard for most of the album’s tracks in favor of a raw, guitar-driven assault — all three members share guitar and bass duties here. Check out that smoldering cover of Christian Death’s “Spiritual Cramp”!

Bad Moods’ latest 7-inch, featuring a new version of “Super Collider” b/w “La France” and “Radiology” 7-inch has been making the rounds recently as well. Singer, guitar player, and songwriter Tim Haught and drummer Champ Hammett are formerly of Atlanta hardcore staples Foundation — Champ also played in Criminal Instinct. With Bad Moods they veer away from hardcore, taking a more straight-ahead approach to indie rock songwriting, with an emphasis on recording rather than playing live regularly. “The goal, in the beginning, was to sound kind of like the Lemonheads, or something like that,” Haught says. “In the end it comes across more like a power pop version of Leatherface.”

Keep an ear out for more Bad Moods recordings coming down the line soon. __—­CL—__

''Send local music news items to chad.radford@creativeloafing.com.''"
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  string(7210) " Masquerade Credit Elena De Soto 1 2 Web  2020-05-11T20:22:29+00:00 Masquerade_Credit_Elena_de_Soto-1_2_web.jpg    amn New music from DfTaLS, Misanthropic Aggression, Tears For the Dying, and Bad Moods 31020  2020-05-01T04:13:00+00:00 ATLANTA MUSIC NEWS: NIVA fights to keep music venues alive jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Chad Radford Chad Radford 2020-05-01T04:13:00+00:00  The financial hardships wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic reach far and wide. Among the hardest-hit institutions across the country have been independent music venues.

Since Georgians began sheltering in place the second week of March, business for the city’s live music destinations has ground to a halt, and, aside from setting up GoFundMe accounts, revenue streams have remained shut off. A new coalition of venues and promoters, however, dubbed the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) has formed to lobby for, and to create a lifeline to support these indie music institutions, their staffs, artists, and their communities.

“Music venues were the first to close and will be the last to open,” said Dayna Frank, NIVA board member and owner of First Avenue in Minneapolis, in an April 20 press release. “It’s just brutal right now, and the future is predictable to no one. We can’t envision a world without these music venues, so we’ve created NIVA to fight for their ability to survive this shutdown, which we hear could go into 2021,” Frank goes on to say. “Our first order of business is to push to secure federal funding to preserve the ecosystem of live music venues and touring artists.”

One of the organization’s first acts was to petition Capitol Hill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, on April 22, with an open letter asking for assistance in ensuring the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program services the venues who need it most. The letter also asked for tax relief, including deferral of federal taxes for closed businesses, a forgiveness program, and for extensions on PPA loans until it’s safe for the concert industry to resume business. Continued federal support for unemployment insurance for employees of shuttered businesses, mortgage and rent forbearance, and the establishment of a grant-funded business recovery fund were also among the NIVA letter’s requests.

As of press time, more than 900 music venues in all 50 states have joined NIVA, including the 40 Watt in Athens, along with Atlanta promoters OK Productions and Rival Entertainment, as well as venues such as the Center Stage-Vinyl-The Loft complex, Smith’s Olde Bar, and The Masquerade.

“We joined NIVA because we believe there is strength in numbers,” says The Masquerade’s talent buyer Greg Green. “Instead of being just one of 800 small voices trying to be heard, we believe that the unified voice of all of these wonderful independent live music venues and promoters will carry a lot more weight regarding the issues facing our industry during this incredibly difficult time. Also, we think having the resource of all of the other members’ experience and knowledge available to us will be invaluable as we try to navigate ahead in the coming months and get back to presenting great concerts.”

There is no cost for venues to acquire NIVA membership.

In new-releases news, Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel is back with a new full-length album, titled Halocline. The music will be available to listen to via Bandcamp on May 16. In the meantime, check out the first single — the first time DfTaLS has even released a single — titled “Maelstrom.” It’s a six-and-a-half-minute improv set that projects something of an aquatic theme. The term “halocline” is what happens when two bodies of water are separated due to their different salinities. This first single is a full-bodied drift that finds theremin player Scott Burland and lap steel player Frank Schultz joined by Louisville, Kentucky-based vocalist Dane Waters.

Stream the song for free, or pay $1. There is also a preorder for the 16-track album up on Bandcamp as well. Every penny from their Bandcamp sales will be donated evenly to two charities: Giving Kitchen and the Atlanta Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund.

There’s talk of a CD and possibly a vinyl release of Halocline coming out via Stickfigure Records in the near future, once the pandemic has receded and the world starts moving again. Until then, it’s a Bandcamp exclusive.

Schultz has also recently unveiled a new collaboration with composer, percussionist, and mad genius Klimchak, titled Six Feet Apart. For this project, Schultz rounded up a handful of improv pieces on the lap steel, and sent them off to a few folks to see if anyone was interested in expanding upon them. Klimchak was in, and composed his own sections to go along with Schultz’s improvisational pieces. The result is three pieces — “Off the Clock,” “Adrift and Lost,” and “Limping into Destiny” — 20 minutes of textured ambient droning bliss.

Six Feet Apart is available on Bandcamp now. Any and all proceeds will be donated to Giving Kitchen and the Atlanta Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund.

In April, blackened death metal-punk trio Misanthropic Aggression rolled out a new 7-inch EP, titled Alcoholic Polyneuropathic Freaks in Hell. The three-song single is available now via Boris Records. National distribution via MVD begins in June.

Death rock and goth-punk trio Tears for the Dying recently unveiled the group’s second full-length, titled Memories. The album was engineered and produced by Tom Ashton of the March Violets, and recorded at Subvon Studio in Athens. This time around, singer, guitarist, and bass player Adria Schlenker, Debra Beat, and Candy Cancer shed the keyboard for most of the album’s tracks in favor of a raw, guitar-driven assault — all three members share guitar and bass duties here. Check out that smoldering cover of Christian Death’s “Spiritual Cramp”!

Bad Moods’ latest 7-inch, featuring a new version of “Super Collider” b/w “La France” and “Radiology” 7-inch has been making the rounds recently as well. Singer, guitar player, and songwriter Tim Haught and drummer Champ Hammett are formerly of Atlanta hardcore staples Foundation — Champ also played in Criminal Instinct. With Bad Moods they veer away from hardcore, taking a more straight-ahead approach to indie rock songwriting, with an emphasis on recording rather than playing live regularly. “The goal, in the beginning, was to sound kind of like the Lemonheads, or something like that,” Haught says. “In the end it comes across more like a power pop version of Leatherface.”

Keep an ear out for more Bad Moods recordings coming down the line soon. —­CL—

Send local music news items to chad.radford at creativeloafing.com.    Elena DeSoto SOUND OF MUSIC: The Masquerade and more Atlanta music destinations and promoters join the National Independent Venue Association to lobby for support.  0,0,10    AMN                             ATLANTA MUSIC NEWS: NIVA fights to keep music venues alive "
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New music from DfTaLS, Misanthropic Aggression, Tears For the Dying, and Bad Moods | more...
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  string(36) "ATLANTA MUSIC NEWS: The Brains redux"
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  string(101) "Plus: The Star Bar will live again, new music from Nikki & the Phantom Callers, Picture One, and more"
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  string(101) "Plus: The Star Bar will live again, new music from Nikki & the Phantom Callers, Picture One, and more"
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  string(8086) "For the Atlanta music scene, and everyone else around the planet, life is on pause, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold. Every music venue in town has suffered cancelations and closures en masse. The timing could not have been more inconvenient for The Star Community Bar, which closed its doors on January 1, 2020. Since then, the lauded Little 5 Points music venue and dive bar at 437 Moreland Avenue has remained in a holding pattern.

According to a March 13 feature story published by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in January, new owners Luke Lewis, Bruce McLeod, former Trackside Tavern and The Comet Pub & Lanes bartender Dan Meade, and longtime bartender at The Highlander, Christopher Jackson, have taken over business operations and signed a new lease with plans to get The Star Bar back up and running as soon as possible, with most of the previous staff back in place.

The plan has been to not change a thing for the storied music hangout, which has been a pillar of the local scene since 1991. Aside from giving the place a thorough cleaning and a new coat of paint, the stage, the photo booth, and the Elvis Vault will live on. Plans to reopen the Little Vinyl Lounge downstairs are still coming together. Aside from that, the mantra has been to reopen “sometime soon,” but as of press time, social distancing and self-quarantining are keeping everyone locked away at home. The Star Bar’s doors remain shuttered for the time being.

“A proper opening date has changed several times because of licensing issues with the city,” says the Star Bar’s music promoter Bryan Malone. “Everything appeared to be in the clear, and then this global pandemic began to take root. I was hoping to announce then that we’d be opening this coming weekend, but held off in light of news reports which seemed too ominous to ignore. If you had told me on January 2  that we’d still be waiting midway through March I would have thought it quite unlikely,” he adds. “But this virus threatens to delay not only that, but everything else — life in general. Indefinitely.”

Stay tuned for more updates as they become available.

In recent years, Tom Gray has been rocking stages around the world, singing and playing slide guitar with progressive blues outfit Delta Moon. After being sidelined in 2019 to deal with a stage four lung cancer diagnosis, Gray has a little more time on his hands than usual. Since February, he’s been involved in launching a campaign to reissue material that he recorded in the late ’70s and early ’80s with his new wave band the Brains. He’s even talking about offering up some unreleased material as well.

In March, Gray and the Swimming Pool Q’s singer and guitarist Jeff Calder went to Preserve South in Buford, Georgia, to bake the original master tapes for all of the Brains’ recordings to which Gray owns the rights. This includes the group’s 1978 debut 7-inch, featuring the song “Money Changes Everything,” later made famous by pop star Cyndi Lauper with her version as the opening number of her 1983 LP, She’s So Unusual. Gray and Calder are also working on the master tapes containing the Brains’ 1982 EP, Dancing Under Streetlights (Landslide Records), as well as some unreleased material. The group’s 1980 self-titled full-length and 1981’s Electronic Eden LPs were originally released by the now defunct Mercury Records. Those masters are currently owned by the Universal Music Group, but Gray and Calder hope to gain access to them soon. 

“Back in the CD era, several reissue labels were interested in the Brains albums, but Mercury was a stone wall,” says Gray. “Today we will be dealing with Universal. The plan, based on the advice of an LA attorney who knows today’s business, is to create enough online interest to show Universal that this would be worth their trouble.”

This reissue campaign will mark the first time these recordings by the Brains have been made available in any format other than the original, long out-of-print vinyl pressings. Stay tuned for more information, including release dates, as it becomes available over the coming weeks.

In new releases news, Picture One, the solo recording project of multi-instrumentalist and co-owner of the Deanwell Global Music label Thomas Barnwell unveiled his third full-length LP, titled Across the Depths of Seven Lakes. Over the last decade, Barnwell has played guitar on releases by local acts including the Orphins and Thy Mighty Contract, and in 2016, co-composed the score for director Adam Pinney’s film, The Arbalest. Barnwell has also reissued material by seminal proto-goth and darkwave acts including French post-punk group Asylum Party and Atlanta’s early ’80s synth-punk outfit the Modern Mannequins.

Picture One finds Barnwell delving into a more personal side of his mostly-instrumental songwriting. Across the Depths of Seven Lakes (out April 3), however, is the first Picture One release on which Barnwell shows off his voice and lyrics.

“I started singing on this record because I wanted to process a lot of what I have been going through over the last couple of years,” he says. “Trying to be more creative than I have been — I haven’t done lyrics in maybe 10 years. I just wanted that connection again. When you play stuff live, people really connect with vocals a lot,” he adds. “ And I wanted to make something that I would personally want to listen to multiple times.”

In other new releases news, 4-IZE recently dropped a new album, titled Look Into My IZE, which he describes as “the most hip-hop album of 2020.” The album features collaborations with a bevy of heavy-hitters including the late Sean Price, Rapper Big Pooh, Talib Kweli, Señor Kaos, J-Live, Shawnna, and the almighty Ludacris, the latter of whom tears it up on the song “Shit On Deez Niggaz.” Guest producers on the album include Floyd the Locsmif, Swizz Beatz, Illastrate, 9th Wonder, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, D.R.U.G.S. Beats, and Planet Asia.

“Music has always been an informal method of therapy, being noted as an excellent power to expel diseases, as well as a sovereign remedy against despair and melancholy,” 4IZE says in a press release. “For the listener as well as the artist.”

Under the direction of Sarajevo-born guitarist Eddie Beho, Sataraš Quartet has spent the last few years fleshing out a singular repertoire of Southern European jazz and folk music inflections, American blues, and improvisation. In April, the group unveiled its debut album, Errors and Omissions. The album’s arrival was also accompanied by a new two-song EP by the group’s rhythm section of Colin Bragg and Blake Helton, titled Mask Mania.

April 3 also marks the arrival of Nikki & the Phantom Callers’ debut album, titled Everybody’s Going to Hell (But You and Me). The album’s first proper single, “Fallen Angel,” is accompanied by a video directed by Video Rahim and Ashley Simpson, and premiered in March via Wide Open Country. The album finds the countrypolitan rockers reveling in a creative, upbeat blend of modern indie and timeless Southern rock influences in songs with titles such as “Howl With Me,” “Mamas Should Know,” and “They’ve Never Walked Through Shadows.”

“Your first album is always kind of like your first set list,” says singer and guitarist Nikki Speake. “You gather up what you have and see how it all fits together. Some of the songs were written 20 years ago, most were written and recorded within the last year. When I write songs, it’s sort of like a therapy session,” Speake adds. “I’m trying to get through what’s on my mind, and everyone in the group seems to be on the same musical wavelength. We don’t have to think about it much, and we’re just trying to have fun with it.”

For the time being, release shows are being postponed through April and May. Stay tuned for more announcements coming soon.

Send Atlanta music news tips to chad.radford at creativeloafing.com."
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  string(8231) "For the Atlanta music scene, and everyone else around the planet, life is on pause, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold. Every music venue in town has suffered cancelations and closures en masse. The timing could not have been more inconvenient for __The Star Community Bar__, which closed its doors on January 1, 2020. Since then, the lauded Little 5 Points music venue and dive bar at 437 Moreland Avenue has remained in a holding pattern.

According to a March 13 feature story published by the ''Atlanta Business Chronicle'' in January, new owners __Luke Lewis__, __Bruce McLeod__, former Trackside Tavern and The Comet Pub & Lanes bartender __Dan Meade__, and longtime bartender at __The Highlander, Christopher Jackson__, have taken over business operations and signed a new lease with plans to get The Star Bar back up and running as soon as possible, with most of the previous staff back in place.

The plan has been to not change a thing for the storied music hangout, which has been a pillar of the local scene since 1991. Aside from giving the place a thorough cleaning and a new coat of paint, the stage, the photo booth, and the Elvis Vault will live on. Plans to reopen the Little Vinyl Lounge downstairs are still coming together. Aside from that, the mantra has been to reopen “sometime soon,” but as of press time, social distancing and self-quarantining are keeping everyone locked away at home. The Star Bar’s doors remain shuttered for the time being.

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Stay tuned for more updates as they become available.

In recent years, Tom Gray has been rocking stages around the world, singing and playing slide guitar with progressive blues outfit Delta Moon. After being sidelined in 2019 to deal with a stage four lung cancer diagnosis, Gray has a little more time on his hands than usual. Since February, he’s been involved in launching a campaign to reissue material that he recorded in the late ’70s and early ’80s with his new wave band __the Brains__. He’s even talking about offering up some unreleased material as well.

In March, Gray and the Swimming Pool Q’s singer and guitarist Jeff Calder went to Preserve South in Buford, Georgia, to bake the original master tapes for all of the Brains’ recordings to which Gray owns the rights. This includes the group’s 1978 debut 7-inch, featuring the song “Money Changes Everything,” later made famous by pop star Cyndi Lauper with her version as the opening number of her 1983 LP, ''She’s So Unusual''. Gray and Calder are also working on the master tapes containing the Brains’ 1982 EP, ''Dancing Under Streetlights'' (Landslide Records), as well as some unreleased material. The group’s 1980 self-titled full-length and 1981’s ''Electronic Eden'' LPs were originally released by the now defunct Mercury Records. Those masters are currently owned by the Universal Music Group, but Gray and Calder hope to gain access to them soon. 

“Back in the CD era, several reissue labels were interested in the Brains albums, but Mercury was a stone wall,” says Gray. “Today we will be dealing with Universal. The plan, based on the advice of an LA attorney who knows today’s business, is to create enough online interest to show Universal that this would be worth their trouble.”

This reissue campaign will mark the first time these recordings by the Brains have been made available in any format other than the original, long out-of-print vinyl pressings. Stay tuned for more information, including release dates, as it becomes available over the coming weeks.

In new releases news, __Picture One__, the solo recording project of multi-instrumentalist and co-owner of the Deanwell Global Music label Thomas Barnwell unveiled his third full-length LP, titled ''Across the Depths of Seven Lakes''. Over the last decade, Barnwell has played guitar on releases by local acts including the Orphins and Thy Mighty Contract, and in 2016, co-composed the score for director Adam Pinney’s film, ''The Arbalest''. Barnwell has also reissued material by seminal proto-goth and darkwave acts including French post-punk group Asylum Party and Atlanta’s early ’80s synth-punk outfit the Modern Mannequins.

Picture One finds Barnwell delving into a more personal side of his mostly-instrumental songwriting. ''Across the Depths of Seven Lakes'' (out April 3), however, is the first Picture One release on which Barnwell shows off his voice and lyrics.

“I started singing on this record because I wanted to process a lot of what I have been going through over the last couple of years,” he says. “Trying to be more creative than I have been — I haven’t done lyrics in maybe 10 years. I just wanted that connection again. When you play stuff live, people really connect with vocals a lot,” he adds. “ And I wanted to make something that I would personally want to listen to multiple times.”

In other new releases news, __4-IZE__ recently dropped a new album, titled ''Look Into My IZE'', which he describes as “the most hip-hop album of 2020.” The album features collaborations with a bevy of heavy-hitters including the late __Sean Price__, __Rapper Big Pooh__, __Talib Kweli__, __Señor Kaos__, __J-Live__, __Shawnna__, and the almighty __Ludacris__, the latter of whom tears it up on the song “Shit On Deez Niggaz.” Guest producers on the album include __Floyd the Locsmif__, __Swizz Beatz__, __Illastrate__, __9th Wonder__, __J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League__, __D.R.U.G.S. Beats__, and __Planet Asia__.

“Music has always been an informal method of therapy, being noted as an excellent power to expel diseases, as well as a sovereign remedy against despair and melancholy,” 4IZE says in a press release. “For the listener as well as the artist.”

Under the direction of Sarajevo-born guitarist Eddie Beho, __Sataraš Quartet__ has spent the last few years fleshing out a singular repertoire of Southern European jazz and folk music inflections, American blues, and improvisation. In April, the group unveiled its debut album, ''Errors and Omissions''. The album’s arrival was also accompanied by a new two-song EP by the group’s rhythm section of Colin Bragg and Blake Helton, titled ''Mask Mania''.

April 3 also marks the arrival of __Nikki & the Phantom Callers__’ debut album, titled ''Everybody’s Going to Hell (But You and Me)''. The album’s first proper single, “Fallen Angel,” is accompanied by a video directed by Video Rahim and Ashley Simpson, and premiered in March via ''Wide Open Country''. The album finds the countrypolitan rockers reveling in a creative, upbeat blend of modern indie and timeless Southern rock influences in songs with titles such as “Howl With Me,” “Mamas Should Know,” and “They’ve Never Walked Through Shadows.”

“Your first album is always kind of like your first set list,” says singer and guitarist Nikki Speake. “You gather up what you have and see how it all fits together. Some of the songs were written 20 years ago, most were written and recorded within the last year. When I write songs, it’s sort of like a therapy session,” Speake adds. “I’m trying to get through what’s on my mind, and everyone in the group seems to be on the same musical wavelength. We don’t have to think about it much, and we’re just trying to have fun with it.”

For the time being, release shows are being postponed through April and May. Stay tuned for more announcements coming soon.

''Send Atlanta music news tips to chad.radford@creativeloafing.com.''"
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  string(8999) " Nikki & The Phantom Callers Photo By Jaysen Michael  2020-04-06T15:19:05+00:00 Nikki_&_the_Phantom_Callers_Photo_by_Jaysen_Michael.jpg    atlmn Plus: The Star Bar will live again, new music from Nikki & the Phantom Callers, Picture One, and more 30455  2020-04-06T15:17:04+00:00 ATLANTA MUSIC NEWS: The Brains redux jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Chad Radford  2020-04-06T15:17:04+00:00  For the Atlanta music scene, and everyone else around the planet, life is on pause, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold. Every music venue in town has suffered cancelations and closures en masse. The timing could not have been more inconvenient for The Star Community Bar, which closed its doors on January 1, 2020. Since then, the lauded Little 5 Points music venue and dive bar at 437 Moreland Avenue has remained in a holding pattern.

According to a March 13 feature story published by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in January, new owners Luke Lewis, Bruce McLeod, former Trackside Tavern and The Comet Pub & Lanes bartender Dan Meade, and longtime bartender at The Highlander, Christopher Jackson, have taken over business operations and signed a new lease with plans to get The Star Bar back up and running as soon as possible, with most of the previous staff back in place.

The plan has been to not change a thing for the storied music hangout, which has been a pillar of the local scene since 1991. Aside from giving the place a thorough cleaning and a new coat of paint, the stage, the photo booth, and the Elvis Vault will live on. Plans to reopen the Little Vinyl Lounge downstairs are still coming together. Aside from that, the mantra has been to reopen “sometime soon,” but as of press time, social distancing and self-quarantining are keeping everyone locked away at home. The Star Bar’s doors remain shuttered for the time being.

“A proper opening date has changed several times because of licensing issues with the city,” says the Star Bar’s music promoter Bryan Malone. “Everything appeared to be in the clear, and then this global pandemic began to take root. I was hoping to announce then that we’d be opening this coming weekend, but held off in light of news reports which seemed too ominous to ignore. If you had told me on January 2  that we’d still be waiting midway through March I would have thought it quite unlikely,” he adds. “But this virus threatens to delay not only that, but everything else — life in general. Indefinitely.”

Stay tuned for more updates as they become available.

In recent years, Tom Gray has been rocking stages around the world, singing and playing slide guitar with progressive blues outfit Delta Moon. After being sidelined in 2019 to deal with a stage four lung cancer diagnosis, Gray has a little more time on his hands than usual. Since February, he’s been involved in launching a campaign to reissue material that he recorded in the late ’70s and early ’80s with his new wave band the Brains. He’s even talking about offering up some unreleased material as well.

In March, Gray and the Swimming Pool Q’s singer and guitarist Jeff Calder went to Preserve South in Buford, Georgia, to bake the original master tapes for all of the Brains’ recordings to which Gray owns the rights. This includes the group’s 1978 debut 7-inch, featuring the song “Money Changes Everything,” later made famous by pop star Cyndi Lauper with her version as the opening number of her 1983 LP, She’s So Unusual. Gray and Calder are also working on the master tapes containing the Brains’ 1982 EP, Dancing Under Streetlights (Landslide Records), as well as some unreleased material. The group’s 1980 self-titled full-length and 1981’s Electronic Eden LPs were originally released by the now defunct Mercury Records. Those masters are currently owned by the Universal Music Group, but Gray and Calder hope to gain access to them soon. 

“Back in the CD era, several reissue labels were interested in the Brains albums, but Mercury was a stone wall,” says Gray. “Today we will be dealing with Universal. The plan, based on the advice of an LA attorney who knows today’s business, is to create enough online interest to show Universal that this would be worth their trouble.”

This reissue campaign will mark the first time these recordings by the Brains have been made available in any format other than the original, long out-of-print vinyl pressings. Stay tuned for more information, including release dates, as it becomes available over the coming weeks.

In new releases news, Picture One, the solo recording project of multi-instrumentalist and co-owner of the Deanwell Global Music label Thomas Barnwell unveiled his third full-length LP, titled Across the Depths of Seven Lakes. Over the last decade, Barnwell has played guitar on releases by local acts including the Orphins and Thy Mighty Contract, and in 2016, co-composed the score for director Adam Pinney’s film, The Arbalest. Barnwell has also reissued material by seminal proto-goth and darkwave acts including French post-punk group Asylum Party and Atlanta’s early ’80s synth-punk outfit the Modern Mannequins.

Picture One finds Barnwell delving into a more personal side of his mostly-instrumental songwriting. Across the Depths of Seven Lakes (out April 3), however, is the first Picture One release on which Barnwell shows off his voice and lyrics.

“I started singing on this record because I wanted to process a lot of what I have been going through over the last couple of years,” he says. “Trying to be more creative than I have been — I haven’t done lyrics in maybe 10 years. I just wanted that connection again. When you play stuff live, people really connect with vocals a lot,” he adds. “ And I wanted to make something that I would personally want to listen to multiple times.”

In other new releases news, 4-IZE recently dropped a new album, titled Look Into My IZE, which he describes as “the most hip-hop album of 2020.” The album features collaborations with a bevy of heavy-hitters including the late Sean Price, Rapper Big Pooh, Talib Kweli, Señor Kaos, J-Live, Shawnna, and the almighty Ludacris, the latter of whom tears it up on the song “Shit On Deez Niggaz.” Guest producers on the album include Floyd the Locsmif, Swizz Beatz, Illastrate, 9th Wonder, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, D.R.U.G.S. Beats, and Planet Asia.

“Music has always been an informal method of therapy, being noted as an excellent power to expel diseases, as well as a sovereign remedy against despair and melancholy,” 4IZE says in a press release. “For the listener as well as the artist.”

Under the direction of Sarajevo-born guitarist Eddie Beho, Sataraš Quartet has spent the last few years fleshing out a singular repertoire of Southern European jazz and folk music inflections, American blues, and improvisation. In April, the group unveiled its debut album, Errors and Omissions. The album’s arrival was also accompanied by a new two-song EP by the group’s rhythm section of Colin Bragg and Blake Helton, titled Mask Mania.

April 3 also marks the arrival of Nikki & the Phantom Callers’ debut album, titled Everybody’s Going to Hell (But You and Me). The album’s first proper single, “Fallen Angel,” is accompanied by a video directed by Video Rahim and Ashley Simpson, and premiered in March via Wide Open Country. The album finds the countrypolitan rockers reveling in a creative, upbeat blend of modern indie and timeless Southern rock influences in songs with titles such as “Howl With Me,” “Mamas Should Know,” and “They’ve Never Walked Through Shadows.”

“Your first album is always kind of like your first set list,” says singer and guitarist Nikki Speake. “You gather up what you have and see how it all fits together. Some of the songs were written 20 years ago, most were written and recorded within the last year. When I write songs, it’s sort of like a therapy session,” Speake adds. “I’m trying to get through what’s on my mind, and everyone in the group seems to be on the same musical wavelength. We don’t have to think about it much, and we’re just trying to have fun with it.”

For the time being, release shows are being postponed through April and May. Stay tuned for more announcements coming soon.

Send Atlanta music news tips to chad.radford at creativeloafing.com.    Jaysen Michael SOUTHERN CHARM: Nikki & the Phantom Callers’ debut album, ‘Everybody’s Going To Hell (But You and Me),’ is out now.  0,0,10 luke.lewis@creativeloafing.com (itemId:470530 trackerid:9), bruce.mcleod@creativeloafing.com (itemId:470531 trackerid:9), dan.meade@creativeloafing.com (itemId:470532 trackerid:9), christopher.jackson@creativeloafing.com (itemId:470533 trackerid:9), The Brains (itemId:470535 trackerid:8)   ATLMN                             ATLANTA MUSIC NEWS: The Brains redux "
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Welcome to Creative Loafing’s weekend roundup podcast for March 13-15! Will Cardwell, Jacob Chisenhall, and Chad Radford discuss their top picks for the weekend, including ASO presents Return of the Jedi, Uniform & The Body, and more! Tune in and turn out.

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Friday March 13, 2020 12:15 pm EDT
ASO presents Return of the Jedi, Uniform & The Body, and more | more...
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