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TALK OF THE TOWN: Alabama astronaut lands at Eddie's Attic

Abe Partridge walks on the fabled stage as the headliner in historic first

ABE 1 RD1 1726
Photo credit: RICK DIAMOND PHOTOGRAPHY
WAITING ON THE ALIENS TO COME: Abe Partridge.
desc
A TIME TO LAUGH: Abe Partridge at Eddie’s Attic. Photo credit: RICK DIAMOND PHOTOGRAPHY.

It’s the same for any singer/songwriter stepping onto the stage at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur for the first time. There’s the sense of awe and wonder, playing a room where the careers of so many performers have been launched, those songsmiths who base their careers on what they have to say and how they say it. Usually accompanying themselves on an acoustic guitar or piano, they are plugged in, tuned up and ready to make that great leap forward. Just seeing their picture in the “tonight” box next to the side entrance door brings them closer to fine. Playing the room, and having the audience respond favorably, is the icing on the cake, the cherry on top, yeah, even the proverbial cat’s meow.

desc
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: Partridge’s songs aren’t simple. He may write one in 20 minutes, but it could take him days to learn the words. Photo credit: RICK DIAMOND PHOTOGRAPHY.

Abe Partridge was no different. More than a few times between songs, he shook his head in disbelief and remarked how incredible it was to be playing Eddie’s. It was a career goal that was just a dream when he first started writing songs while still an avionics engineer tech sergeant in the U.S. Air Force.

His show was booked for a Tuesday night, July 2, two nights before the Fourth of July with jingoism at a fervor that could only mean it’s an election year. Not a lot of people are in town at such a time. Even fewer think about going to see a singer/songwriter. The crowd was small, but those there hung on Abe’s every word, as he told stories of love, the blues of being in an “undisclosed location in (the) southwest Asia killing floor,” the irony of a punk rocker buying a Black Flag t-shirt on Amazon, or the harsh reality that “our babies will never grow up to be astronauts” 50 years after man first walked on the moon.

After the show, Partridge mingled in the lobby with the audience, who he’d invited to check out his art work for sale or perhaps by a CD or t-shirt. And they did. His wife Cathy was at the merch table, pulling stickers and magnets, while explaining Partridge’s technique of painting on tar-covered boards. There are those who claim NASA's moon landing was fake, but Partridge's performance at Eddie's was real. The night was one small step for a musician, one giant leap for Abe Partridge.

desc
POP COUNTRY IS FOR POSERS: Folk music is for real people. Photo credit: RICK DIAMOND PHOTOGRAPHY.

 



More By This Writer

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  string(5861) "On March 21, Graham Levitas and Steve Levitas, the son and brother of Atlanta singer/songwriter Tony Levitas, posted the following on his Facebook page:

“We appreciate so much everyone’s love and concern for Tony Levitas. Unfortunately, he is confirmed with COVID-19 and is literally fighting for his life. This will go on for several days, potentially without significant improvement. On a happy note, after a decline last night, he is somewhat better this morning, but by no means out of the woods. If and when he gets to that point, we will certainly let everyone know. Otherwise, you should assume that the battle continues and could go either way.

“He is in the hands of very talented medical professionals and is not in any pain or discomfort, but there is nothing that any of us can do at this point except hope for the best and pray if you are so inclined.

“And please follow all public health advice regarding extreme caution to prevent the further spread of this horrible disease. Please feel free to share this message with people who care about Tony. Thanks to everyone. Much love. Donate to those who cannot feed themselves (via the Atlanta Community Food Bank). Cherish your loved ones always, even extra now.”

Having tested positive for COVID-19, Levitas was on a ventilator in the intensive care unit of an Atlanta hospital as of that writing.

::::

Levitas, along with Andrew Cylar and Alan Gamble, co-founded the band Arms Akimbo in the early ’80s. Mainstays of Atlanta’s early alternative (“new wave”) scene, they garnered a respectable  following and critical praise for their live shows and recordings, including This Is Not the Late Show, a full-length album on 688 Records.

Although Levitas took time off from music to establish a psychology practice and start a family, in recent years he returned to songwriting and recording, forming a new band, Tony Levitas and the Levitations, with his son Graham and former Arms Akimbo bassist Bob Glick, posting performance videos on social media.

Levitas took time to share with Creative Loafing some of what it was like to contract the virus that has changed the way we live in the 21st century.

 “I am a COVID-19 survivor. I can say with 100 percent certainty it is no hoax. After a month-long stay at Northside Hospital in March and 17 days on a ventilator in a medically induced coma, today marks six weeks since I’ve been home. When I was first discharged, I could hardly walk, had lost over 20 pounds, and was quite weak.

“Now I can go for nice long walks, cook, play guitar, sing some (my voice is still not fully back yet because of the ventilator), and even hit some golf balls. Sleep was poor and anxiety had been high, like PTSD, coming so close to death. But those are better now.

“I’m starting back to work next week, part-time, doing tele sessions.

“As a psychologist, my mindset has always been pretty positive, but now my daily gratitude has reached new heights. They tell me I’m quite lucky to be alive and that I came real close to not making it. I even had a doctor stop by my ICU room the day I came off the ventilator, and he said, ‘So glad to see you made it, I didn’t expect you to.’

“My training as a psychologist also helped me get through the long hours of solitude alone in my hospital room, no visitors allowed because of the coronavirus lockdown. When you have that much time to just lie in bed and think, it’s easy for your thoughts to go dark. But I kept reeling them back in and focused on the three P’s: to stay positive, present, and patient.

“The outpouring of love and prayers has been incredibly moving and healing. People from all over the world, (and) from many different faiths, have prayed for me and sent me their love. I can’t begin to share what this has meant to me and how it’s helped me recover. My son Graham organized ‘Tunes for Tones,’ where a number of musicians play and record songs I had written, so very touching! They can be found on YouTube.

“We hear about the heroes during this virus. I can tell you from firsthand experience that the doctors, nurses, and medical staff put their lives on the line everyday and are under extreme stress. They deserve our appreciation and thanks. I will be forever grateful to them, and to my family, loved ones, and friends.

“As far as how I contracted the coronavirus, I saw a couple for therapy in my office on March 6. The husband contacted me a few days later and said he’d been diagnosed with the coronavirus. I got sick on March 11 with a high fever and cough. My girlfriend Renee saved my life by getting me to the E.R. when she made me go a few days later. After administering a CAT scan of my lungs, the doctor told me my lungs looked like they had shattered glass in them. That’s how they knew I had contracted the virus. I believe I was one of the earlier cases in Georgia. The treatment was somewhat experimental, with (massive doses of) various medications and my being flipped on my stomach to reduce the pressure on my lungs while I was on the ventilator.

“This helped save my life.

“One of my doctors, Howard Silverboard, a pulmonologist, was instrumental in saving me. He said he doesn’t really worry about contracting the virus. He wears protective gear and washes his hands often. I fear that people not taking the pandemic seriously could be at grave risk. My hope is that people will stay safe and practice social distancing and wear a mask when indoors near others.

“I’m determined to make something positive come from my illness, whether it’s being able to help others, maintaining daily gratitude, or writing new music. I started a new song while in the hospital and finished it when I got home. It’s called, ‘Not My Time To Die.’” —CL—"
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“We appreciate so much everyone’s love and concern for Tony Levitas. Unfortunately, he is confirmed with COVID-19 and is literally fighting for his life. This will go on for several days, potentially without significant improvement. On a happy note, after a decline last night, he is somewhat better this morning, but by no means out of the woods. If and when he gets to that point, we will certainly let everyone know. Otherwise, you should assume that the battle continues and could go either way.

“He is in the hands of very talented medical professionals and is not in any pain or discomfort, but there is nothing that any of us can do at this point except hope for the best and pray if you are so inclined.

“And please follow all public health advice regarding extreme caution to prevent the further spread of this horrible disease. Please feel free to share this message with people who care about Tony. Thanks to everyone. Much love. Donate to those who cannot feed themselves (via the Atlanta Community Food Bank). Cherish your loved ones always, even extra now.”

Having tested positive for COVID-19, Levitas was on a ventilator in the intensive care unit of an Atlanta hospital as of that writing.

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Levitas, along with Andrew Cylar and Alan Gamble, co-founded the band Arms Akimbo in the early ’80s. Mainstays of Atlanta’s early alternative (“new wave”) scene, they garnered a respectable  following and critical praise for their [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TrEKnMqbV8|live shows] and [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpyahc4UXxg|recordings], including ''This Is Not the Late Show'', a full-length album on 688 Records.

Although Levitas took time off from music to establish a psychology practice and start a family, in recent years he returned to [https://www.reverbnation.com/tonylevitas?fbclid=IwAR3jgCSlmxTLSpHkNHBFyTgwOfU5deju_uDhrzLYcHZs_GqoOnV4bNzS2WI|songwriting and recording], forming a new band, [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM4UE8DDX5A&list=PLL3hMSZpw9Ogs68PylmCwkEDGKza_Lpnb|Tony Levitas and the Levitations], with his son Graham and former Arms Akimbo bassist Bob Glick, posting performance [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPJcdFjakD4&list=PLD88ndx9Yef6RgTteoBxly4zWXGOaKvz5|videos] on social media.

Levitas took time to share with ''Creative Loafing'' some of what it was like to contract the virus that has changed the way we live in the 21st century.

 “I am a COVID-19 survivor. I can say with 100 percent certainty it is no hoax. After a month-long stay at Northside Hospital in March and 17 days on a ventilator in a medically induced coma, today marks six weeks since I’ve been home. When I was first discharged, I could hardly walk, had lost over 20 pounds, and was quite weak.

“Now I can go for nice long walks, cook, play guitar, sing some (my voice is still not fully back yet because of the ventilator), and even hit some golf balls. Sleep was poor and anxiety had been high, like PTSD, coming so close to death. But those are better now.

“I’m starting back to work next week, part-time, doing tele sessions.

“As a psychologist, my mindset has always been pretty positive, but now my daily gratitude has reached new heights. They tell me I’m quite lucky to be alive and that I came real close to not making it. I even had a doctor stop by my ICU room the day I came off the ventilator, and he said, ‘So glad to see you made it, I didn’t expect you to.’

“My training as a psychologist also helped me get through the long hours of solitude alone in my hospital room, no visitors allowed because of the coronavirus lockdown. When you have that much time to just lie in bed and think, it’s easy for your thoughts to go dark. But I kept reeling them back in and focused on the three P’s: to stay positive, present, and patient.

“The outpouring of love and prayers has been incredibly moving and healing. People from all over the world, (and) from many different faiths, have prayed for me and sent me their love. I can’t begin to share what this has meant to me and how it’s helped me recover. My son Graham organized ‘Tunes for Tones,’ where a number of musicians play and record songs I had written, so very touching! They can be found on YouTube.

“We hear about the heroes during this virus. I can tell you from firsthand experience that the doctors, nurses, and medical staff put their lives on the line everyday and are under extreme stress. They deserve our appreciation and thanks. I will be forever grateful to them, and to my family, loved ones, and friends.

“As far as how I contracted the coronavirus, I saw a couple for therapy in my office on March 6. The husband contacted me a few days later and said he’d been diagnosed with the coronavirus. I got sick on March 11 with a high fever and cough. My girlfriend Renee saved my life by getting me to the E.R. when she made me go a few days later. After administering a CAT scan of my lungs, the doctor told me my lungs looked like they had shattered glass in them. That’s how they knew I had contracted the virus. I believe I was one of the earlier cases in Georgia. The treatment was somewhat experimental, with (massive doses of) various medications and my being flipped on my stomach to reduce the pressure on my lungs while I was on the ventilator.

“This helped save my life.

“One of my doctors, Howard Silverboard, a pulmonologist, was instrumental in saving me. He said he doesn’t really worry about contracting the virus. He wears protective gear and washes his hands often. I fear that people not taking the pandemic seriously could be at grave risk. My hope is that people will stay safe and practice social distancing and wear a mask when indoors near others.

“I’m determined to make something positive come from my illness, whether it’s being able to help others, maintaining daily gratitude, or writing new music. I started a new song while in the hospital and finished it when I got home. It’s called, ‘Not My Time To Die.’” __—CL—__"
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  string(6294) " Levitas 1 Web  2020-06-03T17:57:45+00:00 Levitas_1_web.jpg   Thanks for sharing your scary experience. I am so glad you are a survivor. Nick  Tony Levitas recounts his days in the ICU 31415  2020-06-01T04:15:00+00:00 Surviving COVID-19 jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Tony Paris Tony Paris 2020-06-01T04:15:00+00:00  On March 21, Graham Levitas and Steve Levitas, the son and brother of Atlanta singer/songwriter Tony Levitas, posted the following on his Facebook page:

“We appreciate so much everyone’s love and concern for Tony Levitas. Unfortunately, he is confirmed with COVID-19 and is literally fighting for his life. This will go on for several days, potentially without significant improvement. On a happy note, after a decline last night, he is somewhat better this morning, but by no means out of the woods. If and when he gets to that point, we will certainly let everyone know. Otherwise, you should assume that the battle continues and could go either way.

“He is in the hands of very talented medical professionals and is not in any pain or discomfort, but there is nothing that any of us can do at this point except hope for the best and pray if you are so inclined.

“And please follow all public health advice regarding extreme caution to prevent the further spread of this horrible disease. Please feel free to share this message with people who care about Tony. Thanks to everyone. Much love. Donate to those who cannot feed themselves (via the Atlanta Community Food Bank). Cherish your loved ones always, even extra now.”

Having tested positive for COVID-19, Levitas was on a ventilator in the intensive care unit of an Atlanta hospital as of that writing.

::::

Levitas, along with Andrew Cylar and Alan Gamble, co-founded the band Arms Akimbo in the early ’80s. Mainstays of Atlanta’s early alternative (“new wave”) scene, they garnered a respectable  following and critical praise for their live shows and recordings, including This Is Not the Late Show, a full-length album on 688 Records.

Although Levitas took time off from music to establish a psychology practice and start a family, in recent years he returned to songwriting and recording, forming a new band, Tony Levitas and the Levitations, with his son Graham and former Arms Akimbo bassist Bob Glick, posting performance videos on social media.

Levitas took time to share with Creative Loafing some of what it was like to contract the virus that has changed the way we live in the 21st century.

 “I am a COVID-19 survivor. I can say with 100 percent certainty it is no hoax. After a month-long stay at Northside Hospital in March and 17 days on a ventilator in a medically induced coma, today marks six weeks since I’ve been home. When I was first discharged, I could hardly walk, had lost over 20 pounds, and was quite weak.

“Now I can go for nice long walks, cook, play guitar, sing some (my voice is still not fully back yet because of the ventilator), and even hit some golf balls. Sleep was poor and anxiety had been high, like PTSD, coming so close to death. But those are better now.

“I’m starting back to work next week, part-time, doing tele sessions.

“As a psychologist, my mindset has always been pretty positive, but now my daily gratitude has reached new heights. They tell me I’m quite lucky to be alive and that I came real close to not making it. I even had a doctor stop by my ICU room the day I came off the ventilator, and he said, ‘So glad to see you made it, I didn’t expect you to.’

“My training as a psychologist also helped me get through the long hours of solitude alone in my hospital room, no visitors allowed because of the coronavirus lockdown. When you have that much time to just lie in bed and think, it’s easy for your thoughts to go dark. But I kept reeling them back in and focused on the three P’s: to stay positive, present, and patient.

“The outpouring of love and prayers has been incredibly moving and healing. People from all over the world, (and) from many different faiths, have prayed for me and sent me their love. I can’t begin to share what this has meant to me and how it’s helped me recover. My son Graham organized ‘Tunes for Tones,’ where a number of musicians play and record songs I had written, so very touching! They can be found on YouTube.

“We hear about the heroes during this virus. I can tell you from firsthand experience that the doctors, nurses, and medical staff put their lives on the line everyday and are under extreme stress. They deserve our appreciation and thanks. I will be forever grateful to them, and to my family, loved ones, and friends.

“As far as how I contracted the coronavirus, I saw a couple for therapy in my office on March 6. The husband contacted me a few days later and said he’d been diagnosed with the coronavirus. I got sick on March 11 with a high fever and cough. My girlfriend Renee saved my life by getting me to the E.R. when she made me go a few days later. After administering a CAT scan of my lungs, the doctor told me my lungs looked like they had shattered glass in them. That’s how they knew I had contracted the virus. I believe I was one of the earlier cases in Georgia. The treatment was somewhat experimental, with (massive doses of) various medications and my being flipped on my stomach to reduce the pressure on my lungs while I was on the ventilator.

“This helped save my life.

“One of my doctors, Howard Silverboard, a pulmonologist, was instrumental in saving me. He said he doesn’t really worry about contracting the virus. He wears protective gear and washes his hands often. I fear that people not taking the pandemic seriously could be at grave risk. My hope is that people will stay safe and practice social distancing and wear a mask when indoors near others.

“I’m determined to make something positive come from my illness, whether it’s being able to help others, maintaining daily gratitude, or writing new music. I started a new song while in the hospital and finished it when I got home. It’s called, ‘Not My Time To Die.’” —CL—    Renee O’Hearn BACK AT IT: Tony Levitas.  0,0,10                                 Surviving COVID-19 "
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Article

Monday June 1, 2020 12:15 am EDT
Tony Levitas recounts his days in the ICU | more...
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  string(3060) "Yesterday afternoon (4/20), Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced that he is ready for the state to get back to work, allowing certain businesses to reopen as early as Friday, April 24. The date is not quite Easter weekend, but it’s not too far after. Kemp has said that non-essential businesses such as bowling alleys, tattoo shops, nail salons, barber shops, and gyms and work-out places, and massage parlors may be open for business. Restaurants will be allowed to re-open Monday, April 27.

The question is, will you go? With Georgia, as of five days ago, ranked 46 nationally and behind all neighboring states in COVID-19 testing, is it safe to go out? With Georgia ranked fifth, at 5.4%, as of this morning among the states with the highest number of coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, is it safe to go out?

Georgians are being told by their governor that it is. Georgians are being told by a man who, just over two weeks ago, admitted he didn’t know until that day that asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 could spread the disease, that it is safe to go out. Sure, he’s said that we should wear face masks, practice social distancing, wash our hands and not touch our face, but anyone who has been out over the last four weeks knows that, while you may do your part, others do not. And let’s look at the businesses that he is allowing to reopen this week, not exactly places where participants are able to maintain a distance of six feet apart.

With the governor’s decision, even those who do choose to continue self-quarantine, self-isolate, whatever you may call what you’ve been practicing for the last four to five weeks to keep yourself healthy — and alive — when you do have to go out for essentials — food, medications, beer and wine — you will now have a greater chance of co-mingling with someone who couldn’t wait a little longer to get a haircut, a new tattoo, or workout with other sweaty, heavy-breathing people who think such a regimen is the only way to stay “fit.”

And what if you are an employee at one of the businesses the governor has allowed to re-open, yet you don’t feel its safe to go back to work? Do you risk being fired? Do you hope you have an understanding boss? Or, do you believe the man who pointed a shotgun as a warning at a kid wanting to date his daughter in a campaign ad that it’s safe to do so?

No one can answer the question for you. You have to decide for yourself. The governor is following guidelines set forth by “the White House,” and, as he noted — though he didn’t identify the “we” he referred to — “we appreciate the leadership and share in the president’s desire to re-open the economy and get Americans back to work.” For those of us at Creative Loafing, we look to Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is guided by science and statistics, before deciding whether it’s time to “re-open the economy,” to engage in such non-essential activity as the governor has allowed to re-open, and, to decide what is best for us, our families and our friends."
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  string(3078) "Yesterday afternoon (4/20), Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced that he is ready for the state to get back to work, allowing certain businesses to reopen as early as Friday, April 24. The date is not quite Easter weekend, but it’s not too far after. Kemp has said that non-essential businesses such as bowling alleys, tattoo shops, nail salons, barber shops, and gyms and work-out places, and massage parlors may be open for business. Restaurants will be allowed to re-open Monday, April 27.

The question is, will you go? With Georgia, as of five days ago, ranked 46{SUP()}th{SUP} nationally and behind all neighboring states in COVID-19 testing, is it safe to go out? With Georgia ranked fifth, at 5.4%, as of this morning among the states with the highest number of coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, is it safe to go out?

Georgians are being told by their governor that it is. Georgians are being told by a man who, just over two weeks ago, admitted he didn’t know until that day that asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 could spread the disease, that it is safe to go out. Sure, he’s said that we should wear face masks, practice social distancing, wash our hands and not touch our face, but anyone who has been out over the last four weeks knows that, while you may do your part, others do not. And let’s look at the businesses that he is allowing to reopen this week, not exactly places where participants are able to maintain a distance of six feet apart.

With the governor’s decision, even those who do choose to continue self-quarantine, self-isolate, whatever you may call what you’ve been practicing for the last four to five weeks to keep yourself healthy — and alive — when you do have to go out for essentials — food, medications, beer and wine — you will now have a greater chance of co-mingling with someone who couldn’t wait a little longer to get a haircut, a new tattoo, or workout with other sweaty, heavy-breathing people who think such a regimen is the only way to stay “fit.”

And what if you are an employee at one of the businesses the governor has allowed to re-open, yet you don’t feel its safe to go back to work? Do you risk being fired? Do you hope you have an understanding boss? Or, do you believe the man who pointed a shotgun as a warning at a kid wanting to date his daughter in a campaign ad that it’s safe to do so?

No one can answer the question for you. You have to decide for yourself. The governor is following guidelines set forth by “the White House,” and, as he noted — though he didn’t identify the “we” he referred to — “we appreciate the leadership and share in the president’s desire to re-open the economy and get Americans back to work.” For those of us at ''Creative Loafing'', we look to Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is guided by science and statistics, before deciding whether it’s time to “re-open the economy,” to engage in such non-essential activity as the governor has allowed to re-open, and, to decide what is best for us, our families and our friends."
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  string(3722) " CL Cover APR 2020  2020-04-21T23:20:21+00:00 CL_cover_APR_2020.jpg   I am with you Mr. Paris....I believe that Mr. Kemp has been duped by Mr. Trump. When the last tallies are in it will be apparent who was actually paying attention.  In the wake of the governor's decision to allow many non-essential Georgia businesses to re-open April 24, what is a smart person to do? 30878  2020-04-21T18:30:00+00:00 You want to get out of the house? Will you bet your life on it? tony.paris@creativeloafing.com Tony Paris Tony Paris  2020-04-21T18:30:00+00:00  Yesterday afternoon (4/20), Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced that he is ready for the state to get back to work, allowing certain businesses to reopen as early as Friday, April 24. The date is not quite Easter weekend, but it’s not too far after. Kemp has said that non-essential businesses such as bowling alleys, tattoo shops, nail salons, barber shops, and gyms and work-out places, and massage parlors may be open for business. Restaurants will be allowed to re-open Monday, April 27.

The question is, will you go? With Georgia, as of five days ago, ranked 46 nationally and behind all neighboring states in COVID-19 testing, is it safe to go out? With Georgia ranked fifth, at 5.4%, as of this morning among the states with the highest number of coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, is it safe to go out?

Georgians are being told by their governor that it is. Georgians are being told by a man who, just over two weeks ago, admitted he didn’t know until that day that asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 could spread the disease, that it is safe to go out. Sure, he’s said that we should wear face masks, practice social distancing, wash our hands and not touch our face, but anyone who has been out over the last four weeks knows that, while you may do your part, others do not. And let’s look at the businesses that he is allowing to reopen this week, not exactly places where participants are able to maintain a distance of six feet apart.

With the governor’s decision, even those who do choose to continue self-quarantine, self-isolate, whatever you may call what you’ve been practicing for the last four to five weeks to keep yourself healthy — and alive — when you do have to go out for essentials — food, medications, beer and wine — you will now have a greater chance of co-mingling with someone who couldn’t wait a little longer to get a haircut, a new tattoo, or workout with other sweaty, heavy-breathing people who think such a regimen is the only way to stay “fit.”

And what if you are an employee at one of the businesses the governor has allowed to re-open, yet you don’t feel its safe to go back to work? Do you risk being fired? Do you hope you have an understanding boss? Or, do you believe the man who pointed a shotgun as a warning at a kid wanting to date his daughter in a campaign ad that it’s safe to do so?

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Article

Tuesday April 21, 2020 02:30 pm EDT
In the wake of the governor's decision to allow many non-essential Georgia businesses to re-open April 24, what is a smart person to do? | more...
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  string(1977) "What started out as gesture of good will has become a full-time job for brothers Craig and Jeff Moore, co-owners of the Old Fourth Distillery on Edgewood Avenue. When the coronavirus first hit Atlanta and hand sanitizer started disappearing from the shelves of area retail stores, the two brothers got the idea to switch from manufacturing spirits to sanitizer and started gifting bottles of the in-demand hand product to their neighbors and friends on the Edgewood Corridor in the Old Fourth Ward. Not only were area businesses recipients, but the Moores made sure the homeless and street people in the area, many of whom do not have regular access to soap and clean water, were able to at least sanitize their hands.

Of course, news spread of their kindhearted efforts, and, before you know it, the distillery was getting requests for gallons of hand sanitizer from the Atlanta Police Department, the Georgia State Patrol, area hospitals, and emergency medical services and technicians. Then orders from FEMA and other out-of-state organizations began to come in.


“With bars and clubs closing because of the pandemic, we knew our alcohol sales would be slowing down, so we decided to re-think what we were manufacturing here,” Craig says of the distillery known for its vodka, bourbon, and gin. “We weren’t going to be able to continue business as usual, and we wanted to help make a difference.” 


Garnering media attention worthy of rock stars, O4D was overwhelmed with orders for their new product, made from a mixture of 190 proof alcohol and aloe vera gel, so much so that they’ve had to stop giving out free sanitizer to the public in order to fulfill their government and First Responder orders.. For now, its a full-time business, one that has prompted other distilleries in the area to follow suit. Nonetheless, here’s hoping the Moore brothers can get back to fueling their passion for producing tasty libations sooner, rather than later."
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Of course, news spread of their kindhearted efforts, and, before you know it, the distillery was getting requests for gallons of hand sanitizer from the Atlanta Police Department, the Georgia State Patrol, area hospitals, and emergency medical services and technicians. Then orders from FEMA and other out-of-state organizations began to come in.

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“With bars and clubs closing because of the pandemic, we knew our alcohol sales would be slowing down, so we decided to re-think what we were manufacturing here,” Craig says of the distillery known for its vodka, bourbon, and gin. “We weren’t going to be able to continue business as usual, and we wanted to help make a difference.” 


Garnering media attention worthy of rock stars, O4D was overwhelmed with orders for their new product, made from a mixture of 190 proof alcohol and aloe vera gel, so much so that they’ve had to stop giving out free sanitizer to the public in order to fulfill their government and First Responder orders.. For now, its a full-time business, one that has prompted other distilleries in the area to follow suit. Nonetheless, here’s hoping the Moore brothers can get back to fueling their passion for producing tasty libations sooner, rather than later."
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  string(2631) " Old Fourth Distillery Photo of Craig Moore. Doin' Good in the 'Hood: Craig Moore, Old Fourth Distillery. Taken by Tony Paris.  2020-04-10T19:45:47+00:00 O4W#1-B.jpg    o4w distillery Necessity is the mother of invention 30522  2020-04-08T19:40:00+00:00 Old Fourth Distillery jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris TONY PARIS Tony Paris 2020-04-08T19:40:00+00:00  What started out as gesture of good will has become a full-time job for brothers Craig and Jeff Moore, co-owners of the Old Fourth Distillery on Edgewood Avenue. When the coronavirus first hit Atlanta and hand sanitizer started disappearing from the shelves of area retail stores, the two brothers got the idea to switch from manufacturing spirits to sanitizer and started gifting bottles of the in-demand hand product to their neighbors and friends on the Edgewood Corridor in the Old Fourth Ward. Not only were area businesses recipients, but the Moores made sure the homeless and street people in the area, many of whom do not have regular access to soap and clean water, were able to at least sanitize their hands.

Of course, news spread of their kindhearted efforts, and, before you know it, the distillery was getting requests for gallons of hand sanitizer from the Atlanta Police Department, the Georgia State Patrol, area hospitals, and emergency medical services and technicians. Then orders from FEMA and other out-of-state organizations began to come in.


“With bars and clubs closing because of the pandemic, we knew our alcohol sales would be slowing down, so we decided to re-think what we were manufacturing here,” Craig says of the distillery known for its vodka, bourbon, and gin. “We weren’t going to be able to continue business as usual, and we wanted to help make a difference.” 


Garnering media attention worthy of rock stars, O4D was overwhelmed with orders for their new product, made from a mixture of 190 proof alcohol and aloe vera gel, so much so that they’ve had to stop giving out free sanitizer to the public in order to fulfill their government and First Responder orders.. For now, its a full-time business, one that has prompted other distilleries in the area to follow suit. Nonetheless, here’s hoping the Moore brothers can get back to fueling their passion for producing tasty libations sooner, rather than later.    TONY PARIS DOIN’ GOOD IN THE0’HOOD: Craig Moore, Old Fourth Distillery.  -84.3738249,33.7542066,15  An Atlanta guide during the Coronavirus pandemic, 20 People to Watch - Jeff and Craig Moore: The microdistillers  O4W distillery                             Old Fourth Distillery "
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Article

Wednesday April 8, 2020 03:40 pm EDT
Necessity is the mother of invention | more...
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  string(65) "ATL pop artist R.Land takes action: ‘prayers’ aren’t enough"
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  string(8874) "It’s an image so ubiquitous in Atlanta that it’s now burned into our collective subconscious landscape. One that’s simple, really, but says so much: A drawing of two hands, clasped in prayer, with the words “Pray for ATL” below them. Originally attributed to R.L. Ministries, it’s the work of Atlanta pop artist R.Land. It’s not the only image for which R.Land is known, but it has certainly had the most impact.

R.Land has been an artist since the late ’80s, but it wasn’t until he moved from Duval County, in northeast Florida, to Atlanta a quarter of a century ago that his work began popping up in the city he now calls home. The inhabitants of his drawings are somewhat disheveled and scraggly — misfits, if you will — yet endearing in an inviting way. The creatures draw you in — and then seem to knock you sideways with a saying or surroundings that make you think twice.

With the advent of the coronavirus, R.Land thought it was time to take action to insure the health and safety of those in this city who’ve embraced his work over the years. With a few changes, “Pray for ATL” became “Wash for ATL,” and the clasped hands took on a new significance in light of the threat of COVID-19.

In a recent exchange of emails — R.Land was one of the first in Atlanta to take up voluntary self-isolation (he also wears his painting respirator when he has to go shopping) — the artist discussed his new work and what has become a new mantra for Atlanta and the United Way.

Tony Paris: You created the “Wash for ATL” design based on “Pray for ATL.” What was the inspiration behind “Pray for ATL?”

R.Land: Originally, “Pray for ATL” was a reaction to what was starting to happen in intown Atlanta in the early part of this century — the unique, soulful vibe of the urban core was under attack … developers were coming in and bringing chain retail businesses (normally found in the suburbs) and building “yuppie ghettos,” those large condos and loft buildings. They were quickly constructed and exploding all over town.

I knew this threatened the very character of the city that I had fallen in love with decades earlier. The call for prayer was just my way of expressing my frustration and dismay over that situation, but once I started posting the image around the streets (of Atlanta) in 2004, it took off pretty fast and meant different things to different people. I love that the design has absolutely transcended its original intent and has become a hometown identifier for lots of folks.

In a United Way press release you state you created “Wash” as a “lighthearted way to remind people” of what to do during this pandemic. A lot of your work, on the surface, seems lighthearted, but many times I sense a deeper meaning to it. Do you find such an approach tends to get a message across better than to knock someone over the head with sloganeering and beliefs?

Yes, because it gives the viewer a chance to think about the issue or subject in an unexpected or challenging way, hopefully. Even a very profound and serious message can be delivered in a seemingly simple and lighthearted package.

Funds raised from the sale of “Wash for ATL” items will provide crucial services to high-risk audiences, yet you were interested in working with United Way even before this project. What is it that draws you to the organization?

They are a tried-and-true, respected organization, and the Atlanta chapter is the largest in the country. They have the reach and ability to get help to those who are in dire need quickly and on a large scale. They’re working with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta on the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund, and they have done, and are doing, a lot of good for our community as well.

How is “Wash for ATL” helping United Way?

The image is continuing to be a good PSA, and it’s raising awareness and money for the fund. But hopefully it’s also reaching new people who may know my work but don’t have a relationship with United Way, and it’s letting them know they can help by making a donation — or they can help by buying a “Wash for ATL” t-shirt or a mug or a magnet. All of it helps. And I hope people feel good while they’re wearing their shirt or drinking coffee in their mug because they know they’re doing good. They’re not just buying something they may like of mine, which is great, of course; they’re actually making a difference. Taking the old “Pray for ATL” design and changing it to “Wash for” and adding suds was a no-brainer in light of what was happening with the pandemic. I’m glad I did it, because I couldn’t have imagined the kind of response it has gotten ... or that United Way would reach out to partner, and it would turn into something that actually offers relief to people being hit hard by this.

There are t-shirts, coffee mugs, and small magnets available. Are there plans for any other items?

Yes! Coming up ... wall art prints, poster prints, and soap dispensers (not really). I do have more phases of the campaign planned. And we’ve been working with Chris Carlock from Bang-On (T-Shirts) in L5P on the t-shirts. There are some new colors coming out soon.

Recently you also created the label for Ria Pell Ale. Was that your idea, or, were you approached by Creature Comforts Brewing Company to create the artwork?

Creature Comforts contacted me back in November of 2019, and we talked extensively about the plan for that product and its launch. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of the beer will go to Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition.

There was a celebration for Ria Pell Ale’s release at Elmyriachi on March 15, yet you weren’t in attendance. That was the first weekend that Atlantans seemed truly concerned about the coronavirus pandemic, even a week before the Mayor signed a stay-at-home order. Where were you?

At home! As you said, it was the first week where folks were beginning to freak out about the virus, and I was just getting over a pretty rough bout of viral bronchitis. So I wasn’t gonna push my luck, as much as I would’ve loved to have been there!

I understand that there were posters made for Ria Pell Ale which were printed but, since you were in quarantine, were not distributed March 15. What are the plans for those posters now?

Those prints were planned for that event but now we’re selling them at rlandart.com, and the proceeds will go to Ria’s Bluebird to financially help the staff (who of course aren’t working while the restaurant is closed), until the crisis subsides and things start to open back up again.

Another one of your designs, “Plazasaur,” is also being used to raise funds for employees of the Plaza Theatre. Was that image originally for fundraising as such — or was it a logo created for the Plaza to do with it as they like?

Yes, I created that design a decade or so ago and donated it to Jonny and Gayle Rej, who were the owners of the Plaza Theatre at that time, so that they could sell the shirts as souvenirs and have a way to make extra money. I really loved that they were keeping the Plaza alive and giving it so much love!  Chris Escobar, the new owner, reached out a couple of weeks ago and asked if we could reboot the design and use it as something they could sell to generate interest in the theater and help offset operation\costs and help employees while they are closed for the duration of the pandemic.

Are any other of your works currently being sold in conjunction with efforts to raise money for those impacted by COVID-19?

I’ve got some things in the works. I’ll let you know when they’re ready to go.

A number of people complain about having to stay at home during the pandemic, yet, in a previous conversation we had, you said people should take advantage of this time in quarantine. What did you mean?

I’m trying to treat it as an opportunity to deep dive into new projects, catch up on old projects, and focus on that stuff, unfettered by the expectations of a normal day. What my normal day was. It’s an opportunity to crack shit wide open in terms of things you’d like to take on or have yet to imagine …  At least for me. A lot of people don’t have that kind of opportunity because they’re working on the front lines and just trying to survive this, so it’s also been important for me to use this time to find a way to help those folks in the way I can.

!!!For more information:
To order "Wash for ATL" t-shirts, go here.
To order other "Wash for ATL" and R.Land items, go here.
For more information on how to donate to The Greater Atlanta Covid19 Response and Recovery Fund, go here. To learn more about the fund, go here.
For information on how you might receive help, go here.


 "
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R.Land has been an artist since the late ’80s, but it wasn’t until he moved from Duval County, in northeast Florida, to Atlanta a quarter of a century ago that his work began popping up in the city he now calls home. The inhabitants of his drawings are somewhat disheveled and scraggly — misfits, if you will — yet endearing in an inviting way. The creatures draw you in — and then seem to knock you sideways with a saying or surroundings that make you think twice.

With the advent of the coronavirus, R.Land thought it was time to take action to insure the health and safety of those in this city who’ve embraced his work over the years. With a few changes, “Pray for ATL” became “Wash for ATL,” and the clasped hands took on a new significance in light of the threat of COVID-19.

In a recent exchange of emails — R.Land was one of the first in Atlanta to take up voluntary self-isolation (he also wears his painting respirator when he has to go shopping) — the artist discussed his new work and what has become a new mantra for Atlanta and the United Way.

__Tony Paris: You created the “Wash for ATL” design based on “Pray for ATL.” What was the inspiration behind “Pray for ATL?”__

__R.Land:__ Originally, “Pray for ATL” was a reaction to what was starting to happen in intown Atlanta in the early part of this century — the unique, soulful vibe of the urban core was under attack … developers were coming in and bringing chain retail businesses (normally found in the suburbs) and building “yuppie ghettos,” those large condos and loft buildings. They were quickly constructed and exploding all over town.

I knew this threatened the very character of the city that I had fallen in love with decades earlier. The call for prayer was just my way of expressing my frustration and dismay over that situation, but once I started posting the image around the streets (of Atlanta) in 2004, it took off pretty fast and meant different things to different people. I love that the design has absolutely transcended its original intent and has become a hometown identifier for lots of folks.

__In a United Way press release you state you created “Wash” as a “lighthearted way to remind people” of what to do during this pandemic. A lot of your work, on the surface, seems lighthearted, but many times I sense a deeper meaning to it. Do you find such an approach tends to get a message across better than to knock someone over the head with sloganeering and beliefs?__

Yes, because it gives the viewer a chance to think about the issue or subject in an unexpected or challenging way, hopefully. Even a very profound and serious message can be delivered in a seemingly simple and lighthearted package.

__Funds raised from the sale of “Wash for ATL” items will provide crucial services to high-risk audiences, yet you were interested in working with [https://www.unitedwayatlanta.org|United Way] even before this project. What is it that draws you to the organization?__

They are a tried-and-true, respected organization, and the Atlanta chapter is the largest in the country. They have the reach and ability to get help to those who are in dire need quickly and on a large scale. They’re working with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta on the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund, and they have done, and are doing, a lot of good for our community as well.

__How is “Wash for ATL” helping United Way?__

The image is continuing to be a good PSA, and it’s raising awareness and money for the fund. But hopefully it’s also reaching new people who may know my work but don’t have a relationship with United Way, and it’s letting them know they can help by making a donation — or they can help by buying a “Wash for ATL” t-shirt or a mug or a magnet. All of it helps. And I hope people feel good while they’re wearing their shirt or drinking coffee in their mug because they know they’re doing good. They’re not just buying something they may like of mine, which is great, of course; they’re actually making a difference. Taking the old “Pray for ATL” design and changing it to “Wash for” and adding suds was a no-brainer in light of what was happening with the pandemic. I’m glad I did it, because I couldn’t have imagined the kind of response it has gotten ... or that United Way would reach out to partner, and it would turn into something that actually offers relief to people being hit hard by this.

__There are t-shirts, coffee mugs, and small magnets available. Are there plans for any other items?__

Yes! Coming up ... wall art prints, poster prints, and soap dispensers (not really). I do have more phases of the campaign planned. And we’ve been working with Chris Carlock from Bang-On (T-Shirts) in L5P on the t-shirts. There are some new colors coming out soon.

__Recently you also created the label for [http://www.creaturecomfortsbeer.com/calendar/2020/4/6/brew-for-one-ria-pell-ale-eh2tr|Ria Pell Ale]. Was that your idea, or, were you approached by [http://www.creaturecomfortsbeer.com|Creature Comforts Brewing Company] to create the artwork?__

Creature Comforts contacted me back in November of 2019, and we talked extensively about the plan for that product and its launch. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of the beer will go to [https://atlantaharmreduction.org|Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition].

__There was a celebration for Ria Pell Ale’s release at [https://www.elmyriachi.com|Elmyriachi] on March 15, yet you weren’t in attendance. That was the first weekend that Atlantans seemed truly concerned about the coronavirus pandemic, even a week before the Mayor signed a stay-at-home order. Where were you?__

At home! As you said, it was the first week where folks were beginning to freak out about the virus, and I was just getting over a pretty rough bout of viral bronchitis. So I wasn’t gonna push my luck, as much as I would’ve loved to have been there!

__I understand that there were posters made for Ria Pell Ale which were printed but, since you were in quarantine, were not distributed March 15. What are the plans for those posters now?__

Those prints were planned for that event but now we’re selling them at [https://rland.bigcartel.com/product/limited-edition-creature-comforts-ria-pell-ale-print|rlandart.com], and the proceeds will go to Ria’s Bluebird to financially help the staff (who of course aren’t working while the restaurant is closed), until the crisis subsides and things start to open back up again.

__Another one of your designs, “Plazasaur,” is also being used to raise funds for employees of the [https://plazaatlanta.com|Plaza Theatre]. Was that image originally for fundraising as such — or was it a logo created for the Plaza to do with it as they like?__

Yes, I created that design a decade or so ago and donated it to Jonny and Gayle Rej, who were the owners of the Plaza Theatre at that time, so that they could sell the shirts as souvenirs and have a way to make extra money. I really loved that they were keeping the Plaza alive and giving it so much love!  Chris Escobar, the new owner, reached out a couple of weeks ago and asked if we could reboot the design and use it as something they could sell to generate interest in the theater and help offset operation\costs and help employees while they are closed for the duration of the pandemic.

__Are any other of your works currently being sold in conjunction with efforts to raise money for those impacted by COVID-19?__

I’ve got some things in the works. I’ll let you know when they’re ready to go.

__A number of people complain about having to stay at home during the pandemic, yet, in a previous conversation we had, you said people should take advantage of this time in quarantine. What did you mean?__

I’m trying to treat it as an opportunity to deep dive into new projects, catch up on old projects, and focus on that stuff, unfettered by the expectations of a normal day. What my normal day was. It’s an opportunity to crack shit wide open in terms of things you’d like to take on or have yet to imagine …  At least for me. A lot of people don’t have that kind of opportunity because they’re working on the front lines and just trying to survive this, so it’s also been important for me to use this time to find a way to help those folks in the way I can.

!!!__For more information:__
To order "Wash for ATL" t-shirts, [https://washforatl.square.site|go here.]
To order other "Wash for ATL" and R.Land items, [https://www.rlandart.com|go here].
For more information on how to donate to The Greater Atlanta Covid19 Response and Recovery Fund, [https://secure.givelively.org/donate/united-way-of-greater-atlanta-inc/covid-19-relief-fund|go here]. To learn more about the fund, [http://cfgreateratlanta.org/nonprofits/available-grants/covid-19-response-recovery-fund/|go here].
For information on how you might receive help, [https://www.unitedwayatlanta.org/need-help/|go here].

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  string(9735) " Atlanta Artist R.Land R.Land 2 Studio JAMES CRICHLOW Jacksonville Business Journal 2020-04-10T18:28:23+00:00 R.Land_2_studio_JAMES_CRICHLOW_Jacksonville_Business_Journal.jpg    rland washatl United Way and other organizations to benefit from his artwork 30513  2020-04-01T04:00:00+00:00 ATL pop artist R.Land takes action: ‘prayers’ aren’t enough jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris TONY PARIS Tony Paris 2020-04-01T04:00:00+00:00  It’s an image so ubiquitous in Atlanta that it’s now burned into our collective subconscious landscape. One that’s simple, really, but says so much: A drawing of two hands, clasped in prayer, with the words “Pray for ATL” below them. Originally attributed to R.L. Ministries, it’s the work of Atlanta pop artist R.Land. It’s not the only image for which R.Land is known, but it has certainly had the most impact.

R.Land has been an artist since the late ’80s, but it wasn’t until he moved from Duval County, in northeast Florida, to Atlanta a quarter of a century ago that his work began popping up in the city he now calls home. The inhabitants of his drawings are somewhat disheveled and scraggly — misfits, if you will — yet endearing in an inviting way. The creatures draw you in — and then seem to knock you sideways with a saying or surroundings that make you think twice.

With the advent of the coronavirus, R.Land thought it was time to take action to insure the health and safety of those in this city who’ve embraced his work over the years. With a few changes, “Pray for ATL” became “Wash for ATL,” and the clasped hands took on a new significance in light of the threat of COVID-19.

In a recent exchange of emails — R.Land was one of the first in Atlanta to take up voluntary self-isolation (he also wears his painting respirator when he has to go shopping) — the artist discussed his new work and what has become a new mantra for Atlanta and the United Way.

Tony Paris: You created the “Wash for ATL” design based on “Pray for ATL.” What was the inspiration behind “Pray for ATL?”

R.Land: Originally, “Pray for ATL” was a reaction to what was starting to happen in intown Atlanta in the early part of this century — the unique, soulful vibe of the urban core was under attack … developers were coming in and bringing chain retail businesses (normally found in the suburbs) and building “yuppie ghettos,” those large condos and loft buildings. They were quickly constructed and exploding all over town.

I knew this threatened the very character of the city that I had fallen in love with decades earlier. The call for prayer was just my way of expressing my frustration and dismay over that situation, but once I started posting the image around the streets (of Atlanta) in 2004, it took off pretty fast and meant different things to different people. I love that the design has absolutely transcended its original intent and has become a hometown identifier for lots of folks.

In a United Way press release you state you created “Wash” as a “lighthearted way to remind people” of what to do during this pandemic. A lot of your work, on the surface, seems lighthearted, but many times I sense a deeper meaning to it. Do you find such an approach tends to get a message across better than to knock someone over the head with sloganeering and beliefs?

Yes, because it gives the viewer a chance to think about the issue or subject in an unexpected or challenging way, hopefully. Even a very profound and serious message can be delivered in a seemingly simple and lighthearted package.

Funds raised from the sale of “Wash for ATL” items will provide crucial services to high-risk audiences, yet you were interested in working with United Way even before this project. What is it that draws you to the organization?

They are a tried-and-true, respected organization, and the Atlanta chapter is the largest in the country. They have the reach and ability to get help to those who are in dire need quickly and on a large scale. They’re working with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta on the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund, and they have done, and are doing, a lot of good for our community as well.

How is “Wash for ATL” helping United Way?

The image is continuing to be a good PSA, and it’s raising awareness and money for the fund. But hopefully it’s also reaching new people who may know my work but don’t have a relationship with United Way, and it’s letting them know they can help by making a donation — or they can help by buying a “Wash for ATL” t-shirt or a mug or a magnet. All of it helps. And I hope people feel good while they’re wearing their shirt or drinking coffee in their mug because they know they’re doing good. They’re not just buying something they may like of mine, which is great, of course; they’re actually making a difference. Taking the old “Pray for ATL” design and changing it to “Wash for” and adding suds was a no-brainer in light of what was happening with the pandemic. I’m glad I did it, because I couldn’t have imagined the kind of response it has gotten ... or that United Way would reach out to partner, and it would turn into something that actually offers relief to people being hit hard by this.

There are t-shirts, coffee mugs, and small magnets available. Are there plans for any other items?

Yes! Coming up ... wall art prints, poster prints, and soap dispensers (not really). I do have more phases of the campaign planned. And we’ve been working with Chris Carlock from Bang-On (T-Shirts) in L5P on the t-shirts. There are some new colors coming out soon.

Recently you also created the label for Ria Pell Ale. Was that your idea, or, were you approached by Creature Comforts Brewing Company to create the artwork?

Creature Comforts contacted me back in November of 2019, and we talked extensively about the plan for that product and its launch. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of the beer will go to Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition.

There was a celebration for Ria Pell Ale’s release at Elmyriachi on March 15, yet you weren’t in attendance. That was the first weekend that Atlantans seemed truly concerned about the coronavirus pandemic, even a week before the Mayor signed a stay-at-home order. Where were you?

At home! As you said, it was the first week where folks were beginning to freak out about the virus, and I was just getting over a pretty rough bout of viral bronchitis. So I wasn’t gonna push my luck, as much as I would’ve loved to have been there!

I understand that there were posters made for Ria Pell Ale which were printed but, since you were in quarantine, were not distributed March 15. What are the plans for those posters now?

Those prints were planned for that event but now we’re selling them at rlandart.com, and the proceeds will go to Ria’s Bluebird to financially help the staff (who of course aren’t working while the restaurant is closed), until the crisis subsides and things start to open back up again.

Another one of your designs, “Plazasaur,” is also being used to raise funds for employees of the Plaza Theatre. Was that image originally for fundraising as such — or was it a logo created for the Plaza to do with it as they like?

Yes, I created that design a decade or so ago and donated it to Jonny and Gayle Rej, who were the owners of the Plaza Theatre at that time, so that they could sell the shirts as souvenirs and have a way to make extra money. I really loved that they were keeping the Plaza alive and giving it so much love!  Chris Escobar, the new owner, reached out a couple of weeks ago and asked if we could reboot the design and use it as something they could sell to generate interest in the theater and help offset operation\costs and help employees while they are closed for the duration of the pandemic.

Are any other of your works currently being sold in conjunction with efforts to raise money for those impacted by COVID-19?

I’ve got some things in the works. I’ll let you know when they’re ready to go.

A number of people complain about having to stay at home during the pandemic, yet, in a previous conversation we had, you said people should take advantage of this time in quarantine. What did you mean?

I’m trying to treat it as an opportunity to deep dive into new projects, catch up on old projects, and focus on that stuff, unfettered by the expectations of a normal day. What my normal day was. It’s an opportunity to crack shit wide open in terms of things you’d like to take on or have yet to imagine …  At least for me. A lot of people don’t have that kind of opportunity because they’re working on the front lines and just trying to survive this, so it’s also been important for me to use this time to find a way to help those folks in the way I can.

!!!For more information:
To order "Wash for ATL" t-shirts, go here.
To order other "Wash for ATL" and R.Land items, go here.
For more information on how to donate to The Greater Atlanta Covid19 Response and Recovery Fund, go here. To learn more about the fund, go here.
For information on how you might receive help, go here.


     james crichlow/jacksonville business journal AT HOME HE’S A TOURIST: R.Land where he spends most of his time, at his downtown studio.  0,0,10 chris.carlock@creativeloafing.com (itemId:470511 trackerid:9), United Way of Greater Atlanta (itemId:470510 trackerid:1), Elmyriachi (itemId:486 trackerid:1)   rland washATL                             ATL pop artist R.Land takes action: ‘prayers’ aren’t enough "
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Wednesday April 1, 2020 12:00 am EDT
United Way and other organizations to benefit from his artwork | more...
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  string(10398) "In the late '70s/early 1980s, it was common to get a phone call or a letter from Vic Varney, letting me know when his band the Method Actors would be playing in town, whether at 688 or the Agora Ballroom. Of course, calling the Method Actors a band, back then, was stretching the term. Bands were made up of at least three, usually four or more musicians. When the Method Actors took the stage, it was Varney on guitar and vocals, with David Gamble on drums and vocals. They didn’t need anyone else. The songwriting was tight, the performances angular shots to the head and heart. If the Athens music scene from which they came — The B-52’s, Pylon, Love Tractor, etc. — was changing the way we heard music, the Method Actors were turning the very concept of what it meant to be a band on its head.

At the time, the Method Actors seemed destined for “greater things,” as it is said, but perhaps the greatest thing they did was exist at all. The four years they were together, whether as the original duo, or later as a three- and then four-piece band, seemed like it would go on forever. Then, as quickly as the Method Actors emerged, they disappeared.

Getting an email from Vic Varney, telling me he would be playing a show in Atlanta Saturday, March 14, was a surprise, to say the least. It’s been 25 years since he’s played this city, by his count. If you were to ask me, it seems like two or three lifetimes ago.

What has Varney been doing in the interim? Apparently, writing and recording songs as he always has. He explains it best.

Tony Paris: Refresh my memory: Is it Method Actors, The Method Actors, or the Method Actors?

Vic Varney: It’s the Method Actors. I've always used a lower case t for all 'the' bands, including the Beatles. Whether that's correct or not in all cases to me is irrelevant, simply because I like the idea of a definite article being definite enough without having to draw any more attention to itself.

Tony Paris: The Method Actors were very much a part of the Athens scene, yet the band also seemed to be very much unto itself.

Vic Varney: I totally, happily, sadly, realistically agree. This is a point that seems to have been lost on most from Day One, and I can totally see why. First, my deep involvement with Pylon; that shaded a certain perception. I was very much part of the inner sanctum of a wonderfully edgy, niche-y scene, which, although I shamelessly promoted it (and self-promoted), I was destined to part from pretty early.

The Method Actors were an entity very much unto itself because, at the risk of sounding horribly self-aggrandizing, David and I were totally anomalous entities unto ourselves. If anything, we sort of backed into being in the right place at exactly the right time but, for better or for worse, were never really of a piece with that scene. The fact is, in 1980 and 1981 we were out of Athens more than in it, and much of that time was spent in England.

Having spent my life paying for that — not really fitting in — I feel that I can talk about it pretty objectively. And let me rush to point out that I'm not saying any of this with either pride or bitterness, on the one hand, or condescension on the other. I loved being a part of what happened in Athens, in particular, between 1978 and 1982, and have been a proud Athenian before and since (even when I was living in New York). But what we were doing in the Method Actors, as both a two-piece, and, later, as a three- and finally four-piece, didn't really mesh with whatever else was going on, not only in Athens but really anywhere. It would be horribly self-mythologizing to regard it as sui generis, but take Little Figures (1981), no longer my favorite Method Actors record but, as a double with 17 songs, obviously the most expansive — listen to “Bleeding," then “Pigeons," then “Halloween," then "H-Hi Whoopee." I mean … who else was doing that?

Robert Christgau once wrote in the Village Voice that the Method Actors personified what might be called Nonpopular Music. That is, a band destined to toil in the vineyards of pop but who could never make anything popular, anything that huge numbers of people would like. He didn't mean it as a compliment. But that's insightful. I seem to have done my best ever since to prove him right.

Tony Paris: Briefly, what have you been doing musically in the many years since the Method Actors?

Vic Varney: Since the end of the Method Actors (ca. 1984), I've recorded approximately 500 songs, of which I'd consider about 100 “keepers." For 26 of those years I was a full-time teacher of English (UGA, Columbia, and NYU) so I didn't really have time to pursue the career end of it with as much passion and focus as perhaps I should have, although I've never stopped playing out. In New York, I played at the Fez and, later, had a regular gig at the Living Room. I've played out, spottily, in Athens at a variety of venues over the last 35 years.

What I've particularly mastered is a failure to do anything with music on the promotional side. On the positive, I own all of it because I've written everything I've recorded and paid for all of the recordings. On the negative, I've done absolutely zero to find any of the recordings a good home. And I can be very specific about why: First, up until recently I had, as I said, a full-time job which entailed certain responsibilities. I spent all my available music time writing, practicing, and recording, and that left little time for the thing that increasingly, if unfortunately, became anathema: promoting the stuff, playing that particular game — just not my beach.

And to be totally frank — and this is painful to admit but it would be pretty dumb not to — I think that particular failure comes from my seeing pretty early that what I was doing had a certain ceiling. That it was simply not going to win any contests in a certain arena, and that what time I had would be best spent ensuring that what mattered the most to me, the songs, were taken care of. Which meant spending the time to write well, then distill, then distill further, then, when satisfied they were ready to go in the oven, record properly. As anyone with ears who hears can attest, an awful lot of them have been recorded beautifully, many with terrific musicians, including David LaBruyere on bass; Russ Pahl and Matt Stoessel on pedal steel; Andrej Kurti on violin; Dave Domizi on double bass; Tony Oscar — the brilliant Brazilian percussionist with whom I'll be playing at Gallery 378 on March 14 — among others.

Tony Paris: As in the past, you are accompanied by a percussionist. What draws you to such minimalist accompaniment onstage?

Vic Varney: Not too long ago I had dinner in Nashville with David LaBryuere and his soon-to-be-wife Chelsea, who I had met but didn't really know. She said, “David talks about you a lot, so tell me, what, exactly, is your story, musically?” And I said, “Well, I started out in a two-piece band then decided to reduce.”

So in that regard I guess I've recently ... expanded. But to your point: I've recorded over 15 "proper" albums. Ten were done with no more than one other musician. There are a lot of reasons for that — not least of which is really banal: money. I couldn't afford to adequately pay more than one person. If you pay for everything you do up front as you go, and you don't have a lot of dough to work with, and you want to spend whatever it takes to get a really good result in a good studio, then you have to make certain choices. I write and arrange with that in mind.

But the deeper, more revealing answer is this: I just don't like a lot of fluff. Recording a lot has taught me a lot, and one thing I noticed almost from the get-go is that the more stuff you add, the more conventional you're going to sound, especially if what you add is well done. I also noted, as I think everyone does, that doing so makes you a lot more likeable, and that almost everyone around you will encourage you to do that.

But the fact is, I've always — always — been drawn to those who said more with less. People like Robert Johnson, Joao Gilberto, Dylan, early Joni Mitchell, the Bruce Springsteen of Nebraska, the Richard Thompson of the solo shows, solo Blood Ulmer, Turkish musicians singing, playing an oud, those who did it with just voice and guitar. What I call the X-ray sound: where the soul comes through, and, ideally, little else. I'm about to record what I fully expect to be the best version of that I've done so far. And, buddy, let me tell ya — it's been a lifetime in the making. Sit down with a guitar, a chair and a mic, and pour your soul out, live, for 30 minutes ... sounds easy, don't it?

Tony Paris: With so many Athens bands reforming in one way or another, do you see some resurrection of the Method Actors in the future?

Vic Varney: No; absolutely zero.

Tony Paris: You mention having played a number of singer-songwriter showcase clubs, something that seems incongruous with your approach in the Method Actors. Has your songwriting changed? Or just the way and means of getting your songs to the public?

Vic Varney: Not sure I totally understand the question, but let me know if this helps: The Method Actors were loud, “experimental.” Tyrone's, the 40 Watt Club (all six iterations), Eddie’s, CBGB's, the Morton, the Agora, Hurrah, the Milkweg, the Peppermint Lounge, the Whisky, Blair's house tomorrow night, Betty Alice's living room, THE Living Room, whatever … I don't really see any distance between what I'm doing anywhere — just doing whatever I can, in any context offered, to get whatever it is I'm doing at that time across.

The problem is that what I've been doing over a far reach of time has changed quite a lot. And coming up one particular way colors everything one's expected to do afterwards. In a sense, I've kind of been chastised for not spending the last 35 years trying to recreate 1981. But that's OK — I do have one solace, which is that whatever song I wake up to work on every day is … time worth spending, time worth easing the passage of time. —CL—

Vic Varney, joined by Brazilian percussionist Tony Oscar, was scheduled to play the Lo Basement at 378 Gallery, 378 Clifton Road, 404-530-9277, Saturday, March 14. The show has since been cancelled."
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  string(10474) "In the late '70s/early 1980s, it was common to get a phone call or a letter from Vic Varney, letting me know when his band the Method Actors would be playing in town, whether at 688 or the Agora Ballroom. Of course, calling the Method Actors a band, back then, was stretching the term. Bands were made up of at least three, usually four or more musicians. When the Method Actors took the stage, it was Varney on guitar and vocals, with David Gamble on drums and vocals. They didn’t need anyone else. The songwriting was tight, the performances angular shots to the head and heart. If the Athens music scene from which they came — The B-52’s, Pylon, Love Tractor, etc. — was changing the way we heard music, the Method Actors were turning the very concept of what it meant to be a band on its head.

At the time, the Method Actors seemed destined for “greater things,” as it is said, but perhaps the greatest thing they did was exist at all. The four years they were together, whether as the original duo, or later as a three- and then four-piece band, seemed like it would go on forever. Then, as quickly as the Method Actors emerged, they disappeared.

Getting an email from Vic Varney, telling me he would be playing a show in Atlanta Saturday, March 14, was a surprise, to say the least. It’s been 25 years since he’s played this city, by his count. If you were to ask me, it seems like two or three lifetimes ago.

What has Varney been doing in the interim? Apparently, writing and recording songs as he always has. He explains it best.

__Tony Paris: Refresh my memory: Is it Method Actors, The Method Actors, or the Method Actors?__

__Vic Varney:__ It’s the Method Actors. I've always used a lower case t for all 'the' bands, including the Beatles. Whether that's correct or not in all cases to me is irrelevant, simply because I like the idea of a definite article being definite enough without having to draw any more attention to itself.

__Tony Paris: The Method Actors were very much a part of the Athens scene, yet the band also seemed to be very much unto itself.__

__Vic Varney:__ I totally, happily, sadly, realistically agree. This is a point that seems to have been lost on most from Day One, and I can totally see why. First, my deep involvement with Pylon; that shaded a certain perception. I was very much part of the inner sanctum of a wonderfully edgy, niche-y scene, which, although I shamelessly promoted it (and self-promoted), I was destined to part from pretty early.

The Method Actors were an entity very much unto itself because, at the risk of sounding horribly self-aggrandizing, David and I were totally anomalous entities unto ourselves. If anything, we sort of backed into being in the right place at exactly the right time but, for better or for worse, were never really of a piece with that scene. The fact is, in 1980 and 1981 we were out of Athens more than in it, and much of that time was spent in England.

Having spent my life paying for that — not really fitting in — I feel that I can talk about it pretty objectively. And let me rush to point out that I'm not saying any of this with either pride or bitterness, on the one hand, or condescension on the other. I loved'' ''being a part of what happened in Athens, in particular, between 1978 and 1982, and have been a proud Athenian before and since (even when I was living in New York). But what we were doing in the Method Actors, as both a two-piece, and, later, as a three- and finally four-piece, didn't really mesh with whatever else was going on, not only in Athens but really anywhere. It would be horribly self-mythologizing to regard it as ''sui generis'', but take Little Figures'' ''(1981), no longer my favorite Method Actors record but, as a double with 17 songs, obviously the most expansive — listen to “Bleeding," then “Pigeons," then “Halloween," then "H-Hi Whoopee." I mean … who else was doing that?

Robert Christgau once wrote in the ''Village Voice'' that the Method Actors personified what might be called Nonpopular Music. That is, a band destined to toil in the vineyards of pop but who could never make anything popular, anything that huge numbers of people would like. He didn't mean it as a compliment. But that's insightful. I seem to have done my best ever since to prove him right.

__Tony Paris: Briefly, what have you been doing musically in the many years since the Method Actors?__

__Vic Varney:__ Since the end of the Method Actors (ca. 1984), I've recorded approximately 500 songs, of which I'd consider about 100 “keepers." For 26 of those years I was a full-time teacher of English (UGA, Columbia, and NYU) so I didn't really have time to pursue the career end of it with as much passion and focus as perhaps I should have, although I've never stopped playing out. In New York, I played at the Fez and, later, had a regular gig at the Living Room. I've played out, spottily, in Athens at a variety of venues over the last 35 years.

What I've particularly mastered is a failure to do anything with music on the promotional side. On the positive, I own all of it because I've written everything I've recorded and paid for all of the recordings. On the negative, I've done absolutely zero to find any of the recordings a good home. And I can be very specific about why: First, up until recently I had, as I said, a full-time job which entailed certain responsibilities. I spent all my available music time writing, practicing, and recording, and that left little time for the thing that increasingly, if unfortunately, became anathema: promoting the stuff, playing that particular game — just not my beach.

And to be totally frank — and this is painful to admit but it would be pretty dumb not to — I think that particular failure comes from my seeing pretty early that what I was doing had a certain ceiling. That it was simply not going to win any contests in a certain arena, and that what time I had would be best spent ensuring that what mattered the most to me, the songs,'' ''were taken care of. Which meant spending the time to write well, then distill, then distill further, then, when satisfied they were ready to go in the oven, record properly. As anyone with ears who hears can attest, an awful lot of them have been recorded beautifully, many with terrific musicians, including David LaBruyere on bass; Russ Pahl and Matt Stoessel on pedal steel; Andrej Kurti on violin; Dave Domizi on double bass; Tony Oscar — the brilliant Brazilian percussionist with whom I'll be playing at Gallery 378 on March 14 — among others.

__Tony Paris: As in the past, you are accompanied by a percussionist. What draws you to such minimalist accompaniment onstage?__

__Vic Varney:__ Not too long ago I had dinner in Nashville with David LaBryuere and his soon-to-be-wife Chelsea, who I had met but didn't really know. She said, “David talks about you a lot, so tell me, what, exactly, is your story, musically?” And I said, “Well, I started out in a two-piece band then decided to reduce.”

So in that regard I guess I've recently ... expanded. But to your point: I've recorded over 15 "proper" albums. Ten were done with no more than one other musician. There are a lot of reasons for that — not least of which is really banal: money. I couldn't afford to adequately pay more than one person. If you pay for everything you do up front as you go, and you don't have a lot of dough to work with, and you want to spend whatever it takes to get a really good result in a good studio, then you have to make certain choices. I write and arrange with that in mind.

But the deeper, more revealing answer is this: I just don't like a lot of fluff. Recording a lot has taught me a lot, and one thing I noticed almost from the get-go is that the more stuff you add, the more conventional you're going to sound, especially if what you add is well done. I also noted, as I think everyone does, that doing so makes you a lot more likeable, and that almost everyone around you will encourage you to do that.

But the fact is, I've always — always — been drawn to those who said more with less. People like Robert Johnson, Joao Gilberto, Dylan, early Joni Mitchell, the Bruce Springsteen of Nebraska'', ''the Richard Thompson of the solo shows, solo Blood Ulmer, Turkish musicians singing, playing an oud, those who did it with just voice and guitar. What I call the X-ray sound: where the soul comes through, and, ideally, little else. I'm about to record what I fully expect to be the best version of that I've done so far. And, buddy, let me tell ya — it's been a lifetime in the making. Sit down with a guitar, a chair and a mic, and pour your soul out, live, for 30 minutes ... sounds easy, don't it?

__Tony Paris: With so many Athens bands reforming in one way or another, do you see some resurrection of the Method Actors in the future?__

__Vic Varney:__ No; absolutely zero.

__Tony Paris: You mention having played a number of singer-songwriter showcase clubs, something that seems incongruous with your approach in the Method Actors. Has your songwriting changed? Or just the way and means of getting your songs to the public?__

__Vic Varney:__ Not sure I totally understand the question, but let me know if this helps: The Method Actors were loud, “experimental.” Tyrone's, the 40 Watt Club (all six iterations), Eddie’s, CBGB's, the Morton, the Agora, Hurrah, the Milkweg, the Peppermint Lounge, the Whisky, Blair's house tomorrow night, Betty Alice's living room, THE Living Room, whatever … I don't really see any distance between what I'm doing anywhere — just doing whatever I can, in any context offered, to get whatever it is I'm doing at that time across.

The problem is that what I've been doing over a far reach of time has changed quite a lot. And coming up one particular way colors everything one's expected to do afterwards. In a sense, I've kind of been chastised for not spending the last 35 years trying to recreate 1981. But that's OK — I do have one solace, which is that whatever song I wake up to work on every day is … time worth spending, time worth easing the passage of time. —CL—

''Vic Varney, joined by Brazilian percussionist Tony Oscar, was scheduled to play the Lo Basement at 378 Gallery, 378 Clifton Road, 404-530-9277, Saturday, March 14. The show has since been cancelled.''"
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  string(11027) " VV Crop  2020-03-10T12:56:14+00:00 VV crop.jpg    methodactors vicvarney athensmusic 378gallery Vic Varney, an early mainstay of the Athens music scene,  discusses that, while he may have been absent from performing, he has continued to write and record new songs. 29999  2020-03-10T12:45:49+00:00 HIGH FREQUENCIES: Being there and back again tony.paris@creativeloafing.com Tony Paris TONY PARIS Tony Paris 2020-03-10T12:45:49+00:00  In the late '70s/early 1980s, it was common to get a phone call or a letter from Vic Varney, letting me know when his band the Method Actors would be playing in town, whether at 688 or the Agora Ballroom. Of course, calling the Method Actors a band, back then, was stretching the term. Bands were made up of at least three, usually four or more musicians. When the Method Actors took the stage, it was Varney on guitar and vocals, with David Gamble on drums and vocals. They didn’t need anyone else. The songwriting was tight, the performances angular shots to the head and heart. If the Athens music scene from which they came — The B-52’s, Pylon, Love Tractor, etc. — was changing the way we heard music, the Method Actors were turning the very concept of what it meant to be a band on its head.

At the time, the Method Actors seemed destined for “greater things,” as it is said, but perhaps the greatest thing they did was exist at all. The four years they were together, whether as the original duo, or later as a three- and then four-piece band, seemed like it would go on forever. Then, as quickly as the Method Actors emerged, they disappeared.

Getting an email from Vic Varney, telling me he would be playing a show in Atlanta Saturday, March 14, was a surprise, to say the least. It’s been 25 years since he’s played this city, by his count. If you were to ask me, it seems like two or three lifetimes ago.

What has Varney been doing in the interim? Apparently, writing and recording songs as he always has. He explains it best.

Tony Paris: Refresh my memory: Is it Method Actors, The Method Actors, or the Method Actors?

Vic Varney: It’s the Method Actors. I've always used a lower case t for all 'the' bands, including the Beatles. Whether that's correct or not in all cases to me is irrelevant, simply because I like the idea of a definite article being definite enough without having to draw any more attention to itself.

Tony Paris: The Method Actors were very much a part of the Athens scene, yet the band also seemed to be very much unto itself.

Vic Varney: I totally, happily, sadly, realistically agree. This is a point that seems to have been lost on most from Day One, and I can totally see why. First, my deep involvement with Pylon; that shaded a certain perception. I was very much part of the inner sanctum of a wonderfully edgy, niche-y scene, which, although I shamelessly promoted it (and self-promoted), I was destined to part from pretty early.

The Method Actors were an entity very much unto itself because, at the risk of sounding horribly self-aggrandizing, David and I were totally anomalous entities unto ourselves. If anything, we sort of backed into being in the right place at exactly the right time but, for better or for worse, were never really of a piece with that scene. The fact is, in 1980 and 1981 we were out of Athens more than in it, and much of that time was spent in England.

Having spent my life paying for that — not really fitting in — I feel that I can talk about it pretty objectively. And let me rush to point out that I'm not saying any of this with either pride or bitterness, on the one hand, or condescension on the other. I loved being a part of what happened in Athens, in particular, between 1978 and 1982, and have been a proud Athenian before and since (even when I was living in New York). But what we were doing in the Method Actors, as both a two-piece, and, later, as a three- and finally four-piece, didn't really mesh with whatever else was going on, not only in Athens but really anywhere. It would be horribly self-mythologizing to regard it as sui generis, but take Little Figures (1981), no longer my favorite Method Actors record but, as a double with 17 songs, obviously the most expansive — listen to “Bleeding," then “Pigeons," then “Halloween," then "H-Hi Whoopee." I mean … who else was doing that?

Robert Christgau once wrote in the Village Voice that the Method Actors personified what might be called Nonpopular Music. That is, a band destined to toil in the vineyards of pop but who could never make anything popular, anything that huge numbers of people would like. He didn't mean it as a compliment. But that's insightful. I seem to have done my best ever since to prove him right.

Tony Paris: Briefly, what have you been doing musically in the many years since the Method Actors?

Vic Varney: Since the end of the Method Actors (ca. 1984), I've recorded approximately 500 songs, of which I'd consider about 100 “keepers." For 26 of those years I was a full-time teacher of English (UGA, Columbia, and NYU) so I didn't really have time to pursue the career end of it with as much passion and focus as perhaps I should have, although I've never stopped playing out. In New York, I played at the Fez and, later, had a regular gig at the Living Room. I've played out, spottily, in Athens at a variety of venues over the last 35 years.

What I've particularly mastered is a failure to do anything with music on the promotional side. On the positive, I own all of it because I've written everything I've recorded and paid for all of the recordings. On the negative, I've done absolutely zero to find any of the recordings a good home. And I can be very specific about why: First, up until recently I had, as I said, a full-time job which entailed certain responsibilities. I spent all my available music time writing, practicing, and recording, and that left little time for the thing that increasingly, if unfortunately, became anathema: promoting the stuff, playing that particular game — just not my beach.

And to be totally frank — and this is painful to admit but it would be pretty dumb not to — I think that particular failure comes from my seeing pretty early that what I was doing had a certain ceiling. That it was simply not going to win any contests in a certain arena, and that what time I had would be best spent ensuring that what mattered the most to me, the songs, were taken care of. Which meant spending the time to write well, then distill, then distill further, then, when satisfied they were ready to go in the oven, record properly. As anyone with ears who hears can attest, an awful lot of them have been recorded beautifully, many with terrific musicians, including David LaBruyere on bass; Russ Pahl and Matt Stoessel on pedal steel; Andrej Kurti on violin; Dave Domizi on double bass; Tony Oscar — the brilliant Brazilian percussionist with whom I'll be playing at Gallery 378 on March 14 — among others.

Tony Paris: As in the past, you are accompanied by a percussionist. What draws you to such minimalist accompaniment onstage?

Vic Varney: Not too long ago I had dinner in Nashville with David LaBryuere and his soon-to-be-wife Chelsea, who I had met but didn't really know. She said, “David talks about you a lot, so tell me, what, exactly, is your story, musically?” And I said, “Well, I started out in a two-piece band then decided to reduce.”

So in that regard I guess I've recently ... expanded. But to your point: I've recorded over 15 "proper" albums. Ten were done with no more than one other musician. There are a lot of reasons for that — not least of which is really banal: money. I couldn't afford to adequately pay more than one person. If you pay for everything you do up front as you go, and you don't have a lot of dough to work with, and you want to spend whatever it takes to get a really good result in a good studio, then you have to make certain choices. I write and arrange with that in mind.

But the deeper, more revealing answer is this: I just don't like a lot of fluff. Recording a lot has taught me a lot, and one thing I noticed almost from the get-go is that the more stuff you add, the more conventional you're going to sound, especially if what you add is well done. I also noted, as I think everyone does, that doing so makes you a lot more likeable, and that almost everyone around you will encourage you to do that.

But the fact is, I've always — always — been drawn to those who said more with less. People like Robert Johnson, Joao Gilberto, Dylan, early Joni Mitchell, the Bruce Springsteen of Nebraska, the Richard Thompson of the solo shows, solo Blood Ulmer, Turkish musicians singing, playing an oud, those who did it with just voice and guitar. What I call the X-ray sound: where the soul comes through, and, ideally, little else. I'm about to record what I fully expect to be the best version of that I've done so far. And, buddy, let me tell ya — it's been a lifetime in the making. Sit down with a guitar, a chair and a mic, and pour your soul out, live, for 30 minutes ... sounds easy, don't it?

Tony Paris: With so many Athens bands reforming in one way or another, do you see some resurrection of the Method Actors in the future?

Vic Varney: No; absolutely zero.

Tony Paris: You mention having played a number of singer-songwriter showcase clubs, something that seems incongruous with your approach in the Method Actors. Has your songwriting changed? Or just the way and means of getting your songs to the public?

Vic Varney: Not sure I totally understand the question, but let me know if this helps: The Method Actors were loud, “experimental.” Tyrone's, the 40 Watt Club (all six iterations), Eddie’s, CBGB's, the Morton, the Agora, Hurrah, the Milkweg, the Peppermint Lounge, the Whisky, Blair's house tomorrow night, Betty Alice's living room, THE Living Room, whatever … I don't really see any distance between what I'm doing anywhere — just doing whatever I can, in any context offered, to get whatever it is I'm doing at that time across.

The problem is that what I've been doing over a far reach of time has changed quite a lot. And coming up one particular way colors everything one's expected to do afterwards. In a sense, I've kind of been chastised for not spending the last 35 years trying to recreate 1981. But that's OK — I do have one solace, which is that whatever song I wake up to work on every day is … time worth spending, time worth easing the passage of time. —CL—

Vic Varney, joined by Brazilian percussionist Tony Oscar, was scheduled to play the Lo Basement at 378 Gallery, 378 Clifton Road, 404-530-9277, Saturday, March 14. The show has since been cancelled.    Courtesy Vic Varney METHOD ACTING: Vic Varney now and then.  0,0,1    MethodActors VicVarney Athensmusic 378Gallery                             HIGH FREQUENCIES: Being there and back again "
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  string(178) "Vic Varney, an early mainstay of the Athens music scene,  discusses that, while he may have been absent from performing, he has continued to write and record new songs."
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Article

Tuesday March 10, 2020 08:45 am EDT
Vic Varney, an early mainstay of the Athens music scene,  discusses that, while he may have been absent from performing, he has continued to write and record new songs. | more...
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