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Music Features

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  string(4036) "In the early 1970s country music experienced some severe growing pains. The watered-down cosmo-country unleashed by Chet Atkins had all but wiped out the real honky-tonkers, but a few brave souls refused to buckle to the man. Willie Nelson just up and left. He went back to Austin to create the outlaw country scene. Waylon Jennings demanded and got full creative control of his recordings, and from that, the work of Billy Joe Shaver emerged.

In 1973, Jennings recorded Honky Tonk Heroes, a collection of Shaver tunes (except for one cut) which, along with Nelson's Shotgun Willie and iconic Phases and Stages, marked the beginning of the outlaw era in modern country music. Shaver was right there in the midst of it all.

While taking his new tour van to the shop in Texas, Shaver recalls, "Waylon was a renegade. He was a friend, but he would get upset if you upped him. I had to threaten to fight him to get him to pay attention to the songs that ended up on Honky Tonk Heroes, and I got every cut except one. That one they added still disappoints me.

"Waylon was mad that Rolling Stone magazine said 'the hero of Honky Tonk Heroes is Billy Joe Shaver,'" Shaver says. "He never did another one of my songs after that."

Fast-forward 40 years, Waylon is dead, Willie is a global superstar, and Shaver is still plugging along with unbridled enthusiasm, reaching for the golden ring. He's had plenty of success along the way, but hasn't quite made the upper echelon of stardom that he so rightly deserves. In August he released Long in the Tooth, his first album of new material since 2007, and was recently doing gigs with longtime pal Nelson. Even with such good friends, for Shaver, finding a label wasn't easy. "We had a hard time finding a record deal for this one, I was waiting on some friends to come through and it just took too long. So we recorded it when we had a chance, and wrote most of the songs in the studio."

As usual, Shaver's lyrics are golden, deceptive in their simplicity, but full of incredible wisdom and truth. Joining in on the studio fun this time are a few well-known friends. "Leon Russell is an old friend, we did some shows together but never recorded until now," Shaver says. "And Tony Joe White, well, I like him, and he likes me."

Adding a guest vocal is the man himself, Nelson, who also recorded a couple of the new tunes for his last album. "Willie Nelson is the best there is — he's dangerous, and he keeps me honest," Shaver says. "He recorded my songs as the first two cuts on his record before I did, then he came over and sang on 'Hard to Be an Outlaw' with me for my record. I might have mentioned the title to him, and he said I better write it fast or he would."

The album is a mixed bag, a few rockers, some tongue-in-cheek odes to aging, and a couple of heartfelt ballads. It's fairly typical of Shaver's past work, including the period when he worked with his son, hotshot guitarist Eddy Shaver, who died from an overdose on New Year's Eve 2000.

"Eddy was such a good guitarist," Shaver recalls. "When we started playing together, he unplugged me. We had a hard time getting any labels in Nashville to sign us back in the late '80s and early '90s. They said we were too rock 'n' roll then."

In spite of his many trials, Shaver soldiers on with a mission. His profound faith has been his motivator, and he wears it proudly. "I've been through a lot, had some health issues that are now taken care of — knee replacements, pins in my shoulder, I need some more but it can wait," he says. "Jesus Christ keeps me going, he made us all No. 2. I have had to lean on him a lot, and he pulled me through a lot of stuff. It's in a lot of my songs. I don't do it on purpose, it just happens. I was born to be a songwriter, started writing when I was 8. God gave me a gift and I will keep doing it as long as I can."

For grizzled road warriors like Shaver and Nelson, age ain't nothing but a number. Shaver found his calling early on, and even at 75 he still works it like a teenager. "
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  string(4097) "In the early 1970s country music experienced some severe growing pains. The watered-down cosmo-country unleashed by Chet Atkins had all but wiped out the real honky-tonkers, but a few brave souls refused to buckle to the man. Willie Nelson just up and left. He went back to Austin to create the outlaw country scene. Waylon Jennings demanded and got full creative control of his recordings, and from that, the work of [http://www.billyjoeshaver.com/|Billy Joe Shaver] emerged.

In 1973, Jennings recorded ''Honky Tonk Heroes'', a collection of Shaver tunes (except for one cut) which, along with Nelson's ''Shotgun Willie'' and iconic ''Phases and Stages'', marked the beginning of the outlaw era in modern country music. Shaver was right there in the midst of it all.

While taking his new tour van to the shop in Texas, Shaver recalls, "Waylon was a renegade. He was a friend, but he would get upset if you upped him. I had to threaten to fight him to get him to pay attention to the songs that ended up on ''Honky Tonk Heroes'', and I got every cut except one. That one they added still disappoints me.

"Waylon was mad that ''Rolling Stone'' magazine said 'the hero of ''Honky Tonk Heroes'' is Billy Joe Shaver,'" Shaver says. "He never did another one of my songs after that."

Fast-forward 40 years, Waylon is dead, Willie is a global superstar, and Shaver is still plugging along with unbridled enthusiasm, reaching for the golden ring. He's had plenty of success along the way, but hasn't quite made the upper echelon of stardom that he so rightly deserves. In August he released ''Long in the Tooth'', his first album of new material since 2007, and was recently doing gigs with longtime pal Nelson. Even with such good friends, for Shaver, finding a label wasn't easy. "We had a hard time finding a record deal for this one, I was waiting on some friends to come through and it just took too long. So we recorded it when we had a chance, and wrote most of the songs in the studio."

As usual, Shaver's lyrics are golden, deceptive in their simplicity, but full of incredible wisdom and truth. Joining in on the studio fun this time are a few well-known friends. "Leon Russell is an old friend, we did some shows together but never recorded until now," Shaver says. "And Tony Joe White, well, I like him, and he likes me."

Adding a guest vocal is the man himself, Nelson, who also recorded a couple of the new tunes for his last album. "Willie Nelson is the best there is — he's dangerous, and he keeps me honest," Shaver says. "He recorded my songs as the first two cuts on his record before I did, then he came over and sang on 'Hard to Be an Outlaw' with me for my record. I might have mentioned the title to him, and he said I better write it fast or he would."

The album is a mixed bag, a few rockers, some tongue-in-cheek odes to aging, and a couple of heartfelt ballads. It's fairly typical of Shaver's past work, including the period when he worked with his son, hotshot guitarist Eddy Shaver, who died from an overdose on New Year's Eve 2000.

"Eddy was such a good guitarist," Shaver recalls. "When we started playing together, he unplugged me. We had a hard time getting any labels in Nashville to sign us back in the late '80s and early '90s. They said we were too rock 'n' roll then."

In spite of his many trials, Shaver soldiers on with a mission. His profound faith has been his motivator, and he wears it proudly. "I've been through a lot, had some health issues that are now taken care of — knee replacements, pins in my shoulder, I need some more but it can wait," he says. "Jesus Christ keeps me going, he made us all No. 2. I have had to lean on him a lot, and he pulled me through a lot of stuff. It's in a lot of my songs. I don't do it on purpose, it just happens. I was born to be a songwriter, started writing when I was 8. God gave me a gift and I will keep doing it as long as I can."

For grizzled road warriors like Shaver and Nelson, age ain't nothing but a number. Shaver found his calling early on, and even at 75 he still works it like a teenager. "
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  string(4263) "    The honky-tonk hero still chases his dreams   2014-12-04T09:00:00+00:00 Billy Joe Shaver at 75   James Kelly 1223517 2014-12-04T09:00:00+00:00  In the early 1970s country music experienced some severe growing pains. The watered-down cosmo-country unleashed by Chet Atkins had all but wiped out the real honky-tonkers, but a few brave souls refused to buckle to the man. Willie Nelson just up and left. He went back to Austin to create the outlaw country scene. Waylon Jennings demanded and got full creative control of his recordings, and from that, the work of Billy Joe Shaver emerged.

In 1973, Jennings recorded Honky Tonk Heroes, a collection of Shaver tunes (except for one cut) which, along with Nelson's Shotgun Willie and iconic Phases and Stages, marked the beginning of the outlaw era in modern country music. Shaver was right there in the midst of it all.

While taking his new tour van to the shop in Texas, Shaver recalls, "Waylon was a renegade. He was a friend, but he would get upset if you upped him. I had to threaten to fight him to get him to pay attention to the songs that ended up on Honky Tonk Heroes, and I got every cut except one. That one they added still disappoints me.

"Waylon was mad that Rolling Stone magazine said 'the hero of Honky Tonk Heroes is Billy Joe Shaver,'" Shaver says. "He never did another one of my songs after that."

Fast-forward 40 years, Waylon is dead, Willie is a global superstar, and Shaver is still plugging along with unbridled enthusiasm, reaching for the golden ring. He's had plenty of success along the way, but hasn't quite made the upper echelon of stardom that he so rightly deserves. In August he released Long in the Tooth, his first album of new material since 2007, and was recently doing gigs with longtime pal Nelson. Even with such good friends, for Shaver, finding a label wasn't easy. "We had a hard time finding a record deal for this one, I was waiting on some friends to come through and it just took too long. So we recorded it when we had a chance, and wrote most of the songs in the studio."

As usual, Shaver's lyrics are golden, deceptive in their simplicity, but full of incredible wisdom and truth. Joining in on the studio fun this time are a few well-known friends. "Leon Russell is an old friend, we did some shows together but never recorded until now," Shaver says. "And Tony Joe White, well, I like him, and he likes me."

Adding a guest vocal is the man himself, Nelson, who also recorded a couple of the new tunes for his last album. "Willie Nelson is the best there is — he's dangerous, and he keeps me honest," Shaver says. "He recorded my songs as the first two cuts on his record before I did, then he came over and sang on 'Hard to Be an Outlaw' with me for my record. I might have mentioned the title to him, and he said I better write it fast or he would."

The album is a mixed bag, a few rockers, some tongue-in-cheek odes to aging, and a couple of heartfelt ballads. It's fairly typical of Shaver's past work, including the period when he worked with his son, hotshot guitarist Eddy Shaver, who died from an overdose on New Year's Eve 2000.

"Eddy was such a good guitarist," Shaver recalls. "When we started playing together, he unplugged me. We had a hard time getting any labels in Nashville to sign us back in the late '80s and early '90s. They said we were too rock 'n' roll then."

In spite of his many trials, Shaver soldiers on with a mission. His profound faith has been his motivator, and he wears it proudly. "I've been through a lot, had some health issues that are now taken care of — knee replacements, pins in my shoulder, I need some more but it can wait," he says. "Jesus Christ keeps me going, he made us all No. 2. I have had to lean on him a lot, and he pulled me through a lot of stuff. It's in a lot of my songs. I don't do it on purpose, it just happens. I was born to be a songwriter, started writing when I was 8. God gave me a gift and I will keep doing it as long as I can."

For grizzled road warriors like Shaver and Nelson, age ain't nothing but a number. Shaver found his calling early on, and even at 75 he still works it like a teenager.              13081089 12857965                          Billy Joe Shaver at 75 "
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Article

Thursday December 4, 2014 04:00 am EST
The honky-tonk hero still chases his dreams | more...
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  string(46) "Hard Working Americans sing for the common man"
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  string(50) "Roots-rock super group jams on blue-collar anthems"
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  string(2991) "After making his name as a scruffy roots-rocker and silver-tongued folk singer, Todd Snider spent the past several years dipping his toes into the jam band world. So it's no surprise his most recent project, Hard Working Americans, started out as a merger of Snider's primary interests: sharp songwriting and superlative playing. The seeds for the band were sown a couple years ago when Snider played a show in California with Dave Schools, longtime bassist for Athens jam giants Widespread Panic. "Todd's like, 'Jam bands spend a lot of time learning how to play and they get a bad rap for not being able to write songs,'" Schools says with a laugh. "So that was his plan: Let me pick a bunch of songs that friends of mine have written or that I think are really great songs and let's put a dream band together and put some musicality to it."

They did just that. With Snider out front and Schools on bass, Hard Working Americans' lineup also includes guitarist Neal Casal, who has played with Ryan Adams and Chris Robinson, plus keyboardist Chad Staehly (Great American Taxi), guitarist Jesse Aycock, and drummer Duane Trucks, who has toured with Panic and is the younger brother of guitarist Derek Trucks. The group gathered at Bob Weir's TRI Studios in California and recorded songs Snider had collected by folks such as Randy Newman, Lucinda Williams, Hayes Carll, Brian Henneman of the Bottle Rockets, and Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.

The songs were chosen to tell the story of a frustrated blue-collar worker, and the performances are inspired, from the solid Schools/Trucks rhythm section to Snider's vocals, which are as consistently melodic — and less talking-blues — as anything he's done in years. As a whole, the band's self-titled album doesn't wander into jam territory too much. This is pure Americana music, from the bluesy swagger of "Blackland Farmer" and the Southern rock crunch of "Another Train" to the gospel-tinged beauty of "Down to the Well" and the smoldering struggle anthem "Welfare Music."

"We put this band together of people who'd never really played together and it wound up being sort of explosive," Schools says.

TRI's in-house filmmaker Justin Kreutzmann followed Hard Working Americans from the beginning, resulting in a new documentary, The First Waltz, that captures a band being born. Last winter, that band entered the studio and recorded several original songs for a second album. "Neal and Jesse, apparently, have been saving up garage-psych riffs for the past 20 years," Schools says.

So momentum is on Hard Working Americans' side, and the band plans to let it guide the way. "Todd knows he can cobble together an award-winning folk record in a couple of weeks," Schools says. "But he's like, 'I wanna hear what you guys can do with this song.' He's very giving with his stuff but he's also very precise in what he thinks is cool."

Snider's days of dipping his toes into the jam scene are over, in other words. Now, he's diving in."
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  string(3118) "After making his name as a scruffy roots-rocker and silver-tongued folk singer, [http://www.toddsnider.net/|Todd Snider] spent the past several years dipping his toes into the jam band world. So it's no surprise his most recent project, [http://www.thehardworkingamericans.com|Hard Working Americans], started out as a merger of Snider's primary interests: sharp songwriting and superlative playing. The seeds for the band were sown a couple years ago when Snider played a show in California with Dave Schools, longtime bassist for Athens jam giants [http://www.widespreadpanic.com/#!bannerSplash/0/|Widespread Panic]. "Todd's like, 'Jam bands spend a lot of time learning how to play and they get a bad rap for not being able to write songs,'" Schools says with a laugh. "So that was his plan: Let me pick a bunch of songs that friends of mine have written or that I think are really great songs and let's put a dream band together and put some musicality to it."

They did just that. With Snider out front and Schools on bass, Hard Working Americans' lineup also includes guitarist Neal Casal, who has played with Ryan Adams and Chris Robinson, plus keyboardist Chad Staehly (Great American Taxi), guitarist Jesse Aycock, and drummer Duane Trucks, who has toured with Panic and is the younger brother of guitarist Derek Trucks. The group gathered at Bob Weir's TRI Studios in California and recorded songs Snider had collected by folks such as Randy Newman, Lucinda Williams, Hayes Carll, Brian Henneman of the Bottle Rockets, and Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.

The songs were chosen to tell the story of a frustrated blue-collar worker, and the performances are inspired, from the solid Schools/Trucks rhythm section to Snider's vocals, which are as consistently melodic — and less talking-blues — as anything he's done in years. As a whole, the band's self-titled album doesn't wander into jam territory too much. This is pure Americana music, from the bluesy swagger of "Blackland Farmer" and the Southern rock crunch of "Another Train" to the gospel-tinged beauty of "Down to the Well" and the smoldering struggle anthem "Welfare Music."

"We put this band together of people who'd never really played together and it wound up being sort of explosive," Schools says.

TRI's in-house filmmaker Justin Kreutzmann followed Hard Working Americans from the beginning, resulting in a new documentary, ''The First Waltz'', that captures a band being born. Last winter, that band entered the studio and recorded several original songs for a second album. "Neal and Jesse, apparently, have been saving up garage-psych riffs for the past 20 years," Schools says.

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Snider's days of dipping his toes into the jam scene are over, in other words. Now, he's diving in."
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  string(3273) "    Roots-rock super group jams on blue-collar anthems   2014-12-03T09:00:00+00:00 Hard Working Americans sing for the common man   Ben Salmon 10493594 2014-12-03T09:00:00+00:00  After making his name as a scruffy roots-rocker and silver-tongued folk singer, Todd Snider spent the past several years dipping his toes into the jam band world. So it's no surprise his most recent project, Hard Working Americans, started out as a merger of Snider's primary interests: sharp songwriting and superlative playing. The seeds for the band were sown a couple years ago when Snider played a show in California with Dave Schools, longtime bassist for Athens jam giants Widespread Panic. "Todd's like, 'Jam bands spend a lot of time learning how to play and they get a bad rap for not being able to write songs,'" Schools says with a laugh. "So that was his plan: Let me pick a bunch of songs that friends of mine have written or that I think are really great songs and let's put a dream band together and put some musicality to it."

They did just that. With Snider out front and Schools on bass, Hard Working Americans' lineup also includes guitarist Neal Casal, who has played with Ryan Adams and Chris Robinson, plus keyboardist Chad Staehly (Great American Taxi), guitarist Jesse Aycock, and drummer Duane Trucks, who has toured with Panic and is the younger brother of guitarist Derek Trucks. The group gathered at Bob Weir's TRI Studios in California and recorded songs Snider had collected by folks such as Randy Newman, Lucinda Williams, Hayes Carll, Brian Henneman of the Bottle Rockets, and Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.

The songs were chosen to tell the story of a frustrated blue-collar worker, and the performances are inspired, from the solid Schools/Trucks rhythm section to Snider's vocals, which are as consistently melodic — and less talking-blues — as anything he's done in years. As a whole, the band's self-titled album doesn't wander into jam territory too much. This is pure Americana music, from the bluesy swagger of "Blackland Farmer" and the Southern rock crunch of "Another Train" to the gospel-tinged beauty of "Down to the Well" and the smoldering struggle anthem "Welfare Music."

"We put this band together of people who'd never really played together and it wound up being sort of explosive," Schools says.

TRI's in-house filmmaker Justin Kreutzmann followed Hard Working Americans from the beginning, resulting in a new documentary, The First Waltz, that captures a band being born. Last winter, that band entered the studio and recorded several original songs for a second album. "Neal and Jesse, apparently, have been saving up garage-psych riffs for the past 20 years," Schools says.

So momentum is on Hard Working Americans' side, and the band plans to let it guide the way. "Todd knows he can cobble together an award-winning folk record in a couple of weeks," Schools says. "But he's like, 'I wanna hear what you guys can do with this song.' He's very giving with his stuff but he's also very precise in what he thinks is cool."

Snider's days of dipping his toes into the jam scene are over, in other words. Now, he's diving in.             13081064 12825858                          Hard Working Americans sing for the common man "
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Article

Wednesday December 3, 2014 04:00 am EST
Roots-rock super group jams on blue-collar anthems | more...
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  string(6526) "Late last year, both the History of the Great American Songbook and the Catalog of Amazingly Beautiful Things Music Geeks Drool Over were immeasurably expanded and elevated by the release of The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Vol. 1 (1917-27). Jointly produced by John Fahey's Revenant and Jack White's Third Man Records, Rise & Fall Vol. 1 was notable not only for the significance of its contents — 800 recordings by 172 artists issued by Paramount and its associated labels near the dawning of mass-mediated American music — but also for its deeply informative supporting material and exquisitely artful packaging.

Housed in a handcrafted oak case modeled after the kind used for phonographs in the 1920s, Rise & Fall Vol. 1 includes books and catalogs filled with historical narratives and biographical sketches, commercial artwork and advertisements, and whimsical artifacts. The recordings were stored on a metal-crafted USB device resembling a phono needle housing, and a select number of tracks were pressed onto six vinyl disks impregnated with swirls of color, which made the albums look like burled wood, and wrapped in a folio laser-etched from a single sheet of white birch.

Faced with a ridiculously stellar opening act to follow, the production team assembled for The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Vol. 2 (1928-32) began their quest by posing the following question, in the words of Dean Blackwood, president of Revenant Records: "What would Paramount have done back in the day, had the company given a shit, and had it possessed the resources of one of its well-heeled competitors like RCA Victor?"

Evidently, the Grafton, Wis.-based record company would have created a package that measures up to its predecessor in every possible aspect, but in a stylistically different form. Rise & Fall Vol. 2 contains 800 digital tracks by 170-plus artists; more than 90 restored period Paramount ads from the Chicago Defender; six LPs pressed on white vinyl, each side distinguished by a hand-etched numeral and a holographic image; a 250-page hardcover book chronicling the latter chapter of Paramount's fascinating history; a field guide with artist bios and a discography; and a music-and-image app with all tracks and ads stored on a USB drive, which looks like the coolest car hood ornament ever made. The whole shebang is tucked into a sleek art deco-style polished aluminum and stainless steel cabinet/attaché case, which pays homage to the leaders of the Streamline Moderne industrial design movement, especially John Vassos. Vassos designed most of the elegantly jet age-style RCA Victor radios of the day, including the Special Model series of portable phonographs upon which the Rise & Fall Vol. 2 cabinet is based.

"With its quarter-sawn oak tiger-stripe wood grains, Vol. 1 takes on the rough-hewn Craftsman furniture styling of 'teens- and early twenties-America," Blackwood says. "Vol. 2 reflects the country's love affair with the streamlined profiles of the 1930s machine age, which perhaps is the first form of modernist design that we could uniquely claim as our own."

The music on Rise & Fall Vol. 2 is similar in breadth, scope, and quality to what Vol. 1 has but is different in significant ways. Vol. 2 contains more jazz, more blues, plenty of gospel, and fewer novelty songs, which isn't to say there is a shortage of exotically entertaining material.

Could there be a creepier, more mournful blues than Slim Barton and Eddie Mapp's "Wicked Treatin' Blues (take A)?" Mapp's dulcet harmonica opens the song in a dirgelike rhythm as Barton, who usually accompanies on guitar, lays down his instrument to alternately intone and moan his way through the lyrics: "You will miss me by my walk/You will miss me by my talk/But I ain't comin' home anymore." Mapp, who was born in Social Circle, Ga., played harmonica with Atlanta-based musicians including Curley Weaver, "Barbecue" Bob Hicks and his brother Charlie. Together, they performed as the Georgia Cotton Pickers.

The peach state is amply represented on Rise & Fall Vol. 2, which features performances by Ma Rainey, "Georgia" Tom Dorsey, and Tampa Red, among others.

Inadvertently, it would seem, based on the account penned by Scott Blackwood (Dean's brother), Paramount is the most important single source of early Mississippi Delta blues. The label's catalog contains some of the most influential and collectible recordings in history, by artists such as Skip James, Charley Patton, Son House, Tommy Johnson, Blind Roosevelt Graves, Lottie Kimbrough, Meade Lux Lewis, Blind Joe Taggart, Geeshie Wiley & Elvie Thomas, and the Mississippi Sheiks.

"The whole project really takes its contours from Jack White," says Blackwood, referring to the White Stripes guitarist and founder of Nashville's Third Man Records. "The design form really didn't attain liftoff until he articulated this vision about leveraging Paramount's furniture-making pedigree — echoing his own — and setting up a sort of back story for the set."

Other members of the Paramount team deserving mention include Alex van der Tuuk, arguably the world's leading Paramount scholar and co-producer of the set; sonic wizard Christopher King, who turned a pile of audible trash into a trove of listening pleasure; David Glasser and Anna Frick at Airshow Mastering, who digitized everything; Katie Deedy and Tony Mostrom, who created hundreds of illustrations for the collection; Susan Archie, who gathered and restored the original Paramount artwork, among other tasks; and Bryce McCloud, described by Blackwood as "the design and build guy most deserving of a genius grant."

"The musicians captured in these two volumes were the first to play back to us what we really sounded like as a country — on our street corners and in our nightclubs, dance halls and show tents; at our fish fries and country suppers — earlier and with much more comprehensive scope and richness than a preservationist body like the Library of Congress," Blackwood says. "We wanted to tell that story in a different way by creating an interactive museum exhibit that lets you call on all the sounds, smell the bindings and wood and metalwork, and conjure up all the ghosts by putting your hands on everything."

Interactive museum exhibits. Cabinets of wonder. The Rise & Fall of Paramount releases set an exceptionally high standard for archival compilations. Together, they constitute an essential repository for anyone interested in the history of American vernacular music."
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_raw"]=>
  string(6823) "Late last year, both the History of the Great American Songbook and the Catalog of Amazingly Beautiful Things Music Geeks Drool Over were immeasurably expanded and elevated by the release of ''[http://clatl.com/atlanta/the-rise-and-fall-of-paramount-makes-a-historical-impression/Content?oid=9894261|The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Vol. 1 (1917-27)]''. Jointly produced by John Fahey's Revenant and Jack White's [http://thirdmanrecords.com/|Third Man Records], ''Rise & Fall Vol. 1'' was notable not only for the significance of its contents — 800 recordings by 172 artists issued by Paramount and its associated labels near the dawning of mass-mediated American music — but also for its deeply informative supporting material and exquisitely artful packaging.

Housed in a handcrafted oak case modeled after the kind used for phonographs in the 1920s, ''Rise & Fall Vol. 1'' includes books and catalogs filled with historical narratives and biographical sketches, commercial artwork and advertisements, and whimsical artifacts. The recordings were stored on a metal-crafted USB device resembling a phono needle housing, and a select number of tracks were pressed onto six vinyl disks impregnated with swirls of color, which made the albums look like burled wood, and wrapped in a folio laser-etched from a single sheet of white birch.

Faced with a ridiculously stellar opening act to follow, the production team assembled for ''[http://www.thirdmanrecords.com/news/the-rise-and-fall-of-paramount-records-volume-2-1928-1932/|The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Vol. 2 (1928-32)]'' began their quest by posing the following question, in the words of Dean Blackwood, president of Revenant Records: "What would Paramount have done back in the day, had the company given a shit, and had [it possessed] the resources of one of its well-heeled competitors like RCA Victor?"

Evidently, the Grafton, Wis.-based record company would have created a package that measures up to its predecessor in every possible aspect, but in a stylistically different form. ''Rise & Fall Vol. 2'' contains 800 digital tracks by 170-plus artists; more than 90 restored period Paramount ads from the ''Chicago Defender''; six LPs pressed on white vinyl, each side distinguished by a hand-etched numeral and a holographic image; a 250-page hardcover book chronicling the latter chapter of Paramount's fascinating history; a field guide with artist bios and a discography; and a music-and-image app with all tracks and ads stored on a USB drive, which looks like the coolest car hood ornament ever made. The whole shebang is tucked into a sleek art deco-style polished aluminum and stainless steel cabinet/attaché case, which pays homage to the leaders of the Streamline Moderne industrial design movement, especially John Vassos. Vassos designed most of the elegantly jet age-style RCA Victor radios of the day, including the Special Model series of portable phonographs upon which the ''Rise & Fall Vol. 2'' cabinet is based.

"With its quarter-sawn oak tiger-stripe wood grains, ''Vol. 1'' takes on the rough-hewn Craftsman furniture styling of 'teens- and early twenties-America," Blackwood says. "''Vol. 2'' reflects the country's love affair with the streamlined profiles of the 1930s machine age, which perhaps is the first form of modernist design that we could uniquely claim as our own."

The music on ''Rise & Fall Vol. 2'' is similar in breadth, scope, and quality to what ''Vol. 1'' has but is different in significant ways. ''Vol. 2'' contains more jazz, more blues, plenty of gospel, and fewer novelty songs, which isn't to say there is a shortage of exotically entertaining material.

Could there be a creepier, more mournful blues than Slim Barton and Eddie Mapp's "Wicked Treatin' Blues (take A)?" Mapp's dulcet harmonica opens the song in a dirgelike rhythm as Barton, who usually accompanies on guitar, lays down his instrument to alternately intone and moan his way through the lyrics: "You will miss me by my walk/You will miss me by my talk/But I ain't comin' home anymore." Mapp, who was born in Social Circle, Ga., played harmonica with Atlanta-based musicians including Curley Weaver, "Barbecue" Bob Hicks and his brother Charlie. Together, they performed as the Georgia Cotton Pickers.

The peach state is amply represented on ''Rise & Fall Vol. 2'', which features performances by Ma Rainey, "Georgia" Tom Dorsey, and Tampa Red, among others.

Inadvertently, it would seem, based on the account penned by Scott Blackwood (Dean's brother), Paramount is the most important single source of early Mississippi Delta blues. The label's catalog contains some of the most influential and collectible recordings in history, by artists such as Skip James, Charley Patton, Son House, Tommy Johnson, Blind Roosevelt Graves, Lottie Kimbrough, Meade Lux Lewis, Blind Joe Taggart, Geeshie Wiley & Elvie Thomas, and the Mississippi Sheiks.

"The whole project really takes its contours from Jack White," says Blackwood, referring to the White Stripes guitarist and founder of Nashville's Third Man Records. "The design form really didn't attain liftoff until he articulated this vision about leveraging Paramount's furniture-making pedigree — echoing his own — and setting up a sort of back story for the set."

Other members of the Paramount team deserving mention include Alex van der Tuuk, arguably the world's leading Paramount scholar and co-producer of the set; sonic wizard Christopher King, who turned a pile of audible trash into a trove of listening pleasure; David Glasser and Anna Frick at Airshow Mastering, who digitized everything; Katie Deedy and Tony Mostrom, who created hundreds of illustrations for the collection; Susan Archie, who gathered and restored the original Paramount artwork, among other tasks; and Bryce McCloud, described by Blackwood as "the design and build guy most deserving of a genius grant."

"The musicians captured in these two volumes were the first to play back to us what we ''really'' sounded like as a country — on our street corners and in our nightclubs, dance halls and show tents; at our fish fries and country suppers — earlier and with much more comprehensive scope and richness than a preservationist body like the Library of Congress," Blackwood says. "We wanted to tell that story in a different way by creating an interactive museum exhibit that lets you call on all the sounds, smell the bindings and wood and metalwork, and conjure up all the ghosts by putting your hands on everything."

Interactive museum exhibits. Cabinets of wonder. ''The Rise & Fall of Paramount'' releases set an exceptionally high standard for archival compilations. Together, they constitute an essential repository for anyone interested in the history of American vernacular music."
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Housed in a handcrafted oak case modeled after the kind used for phonographs in the 1920s, Rise & Fall Vol. 1 includes books and catalogs filled with historical narratives and biographical sketches, commercial artwork and advertisements, and whimsical artifacts. The recordings were stored on a metal-crafted USB device resembling a phono needle housing, and a select number of tracks were pressed onto six vinyl disks impregnated with swirls of color, which made the albums look like burled wood, and wrapped in a folio laser-etched from a single sheet of white birch.

Faced with a ridiculously stellar opening act to follow, the production team assembled for The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Vol. 2 (1928-32) began their quest by posing the following question, in the words of Dean Blackwood, president of Revenant Records: "What would Paramount have done back in the day, had the company given a shit, and had it possessed the resources of one of its well-heeled competitors like RCA Victor?"

Evidently, the Grafton, Wis.-based record company would have created a package that measures up to its predecessor in every possible aspect, but in a stylistically different form. Rise & Fall Vol. 2 contains 800 digital tracks by 170-plus artists; more than 90 restored period Paramount ads from the Chicago Defender; six LPs pressed on white vinyl, each side distinguished by a hand-etched numeral and a holographic image; a 250-page hardcover book chronicling the latter chapter of Paramount's fascinating history; a field guide with artist bios and a discography; and a music-and-image app with all tracks and ads stored on a USB drive, which looks like the coolest car hood ornament ever made. The whole shebang is tucked into a sleek art deco-style polished aluminum and stainless steel cabinet/attaché case, which pays homage to the leaders of the Streamline Moderne industrial design movement, especially John Vassos. Vassos designed most of the elegantly jet age-style RCA Victor radios of the day, including the Special Model series of portable phonographs upon which the Rise & Fall Vol. 2 cabinet is based.

"With its quarter-sawn oak tiger-stripe wood grains, Vol. 1 takes on the rough-hewn Craftsman furniture styling of 'teens- and early twenties-America," Blackwood says. "Vol. 2 reflects the country's love affair with the streamlined profiles of the 1930s machine age, which perhaps is the first form of modernist design that we could uniquely claim as our own."

The music on Rise & Fall Vol. 2 is similar in breadth, scope, and quality to what Vol. 1 has but is different in significant ways. Vol. 2 contains more jazz, more blues, plenty of gospel, and fewer novelty songs, which isn't to say there is a shortage of exotically entertaining material.

Could there be a creepier, more mournful blues than Slim Barton and Eddie Mapp's "Wicked Treatin' Blues (take A)?" Mapp's dulcet harmonica opens the song in a dirgelike rhythm as Barton, who usually accompanies on guitar, lays down his instrument to alternately intone and moan his way through the lyrics: "You will miss me by my walk/You will miss me by my talk/But I ain't comin' home anymore." Mapp, who was born in Social Circle, Ga., played harmonica with Atlanta-based musicians including Curley Weaver, "Barbecue" Bob Hicks and his brother Charlie. Together, they performed as the Georgia Cotton Pickers.

The peach state is amply represented on Rise & Fall Vol. 2, which features performances by Ma Rainey, "Georgia" Tom Dorsey, and Tampa Red, among others.

Inadvertently, it would seem, based on the account penned by Scott Blackwood (Dean's brother), Paramount is the most important single source of early Mississippi Delta blues. The label's catalog contains some of the most influential and collectible recordings in history, by artists such as Skip James, Charley Patton, Son House, Tommy Johnson, Blind Roosevelt Graves, Lottie Kimbrough, Meade Lux Lewis, Blind Joe Taggart, Geeshie Wiley & Elvie Thomas, and the Mississippi Sheiks.

"The whole project really takes its contours from Jack White," says Blackwood, referring to the White Stripes guitarist and founder of Nashville's Third Man Records. "The design form really didn't attain liftoff until he articulated this vision about leveraging Paramount's furniture-making pedigree — echoing his own — and setting up a sort of back story for the set."

Other members of the Paramount team deserving mention include Alex van der Tuuk, arguably the world's leading Paramount scholar and co-producer of the set; sonic wizard Christopher King, who turned a pile of audible trash into a trove of listening pleasure; David Glasser and Anna Frick at Airshow Mastering, who digitized everything; Katie Deedy and Tony Mostrom, who created hundreds of illustrations for the collection; Susan Archie, who gathered and restored the original Paramount artwork, among other tasks; and Bryce McCloud, described by Blackwood as "the design and build guy most deserving of a genius grant."

"The musicians captured in these two volumes were the first to play back to us what we really sounded like as a country — on our street corners and in our nightclubs, dance halls and show tents; at our fish fries and country suppers — earlier and with much more comprehensive scope and richness than a preservationist body like the Library of Congress," Blackwood says. "We wanted to tell that story in a different way by creating an interactive museum exhibit that lets you call on all the sounds, smell the bindings and wood and metalwork, and conjure up all the ghosts by putting your hands on everything."

Interactive museum exhibits. Cabinets of wonder. The Rise & Fall of Paramount releases set an exceptionally high standard for archival compilations. Together, they constitute an essential repository for anyone interested in the history of American vernacular music.             13081028 12809350                          "The Rise & Fall of Paramount Vol. 2" makes a historical impression "
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Wednesday November 26, 2014 04:00 am EST
Revenant and Third Man collaborate for another unprecedented archival release | more...

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  string(37) "Full Moon Records closing in December"
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  string(74) "Plus Order of the Owl gets a new drummer, Mara debuts, and more music news"
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  string(5506) "On Nov. 3, Ted Selke, owner of Candler Park's Full Moon Records, posted a letter from the building's owner, Clay Harper, on the store's front window. The letter is a notice to vacate, stating that Selke's tenancy is being terminated because the property is not zoned for live/work.

The letter marks the end of a 23-year stint during which Selke has lived and worked in the space since opening Full Moon Records in March 1991. Over the years Selke has played drums, bass, and sang in several Atlanta bands, including Arms Akimbo, Joybang, and Black Crowes precursor, Mr. Crowe's Garden. With his Third Eye Records imprint he released material by local jazz ensemble Gold Sparkle Band. He also released the self-titled album by No Walls, an experimental rock outfit led by a young William DuVall, who now fronts Alice in Chains.

Selke must vacate the premises at 1653 McLendon Ave. by Dec. 31. Until then he's spending his time putting the finishing touches on the second full-length by his band, the Seventh Ring of Saturn, which is due out in 2015.

In the letter Harper offers to help find a new location for Full Moon, but Selke has no interest in keeping the store going.

"Running the record store has been great," Selke says. "It's time to start something new. I have at least two customers that ask about buying my store every time they come in, and Harper took away my ability to sell the business. He is also putting me out in the middle of winter, after I stocked up the store for the holidays and beyond, when he could have told me at the beginning of the year when he bought the building, or even over the summer so I could have had a chance to sell off some inventory and get my things organized for moving."

In the meantime, Full Moon will remain open on Fridays and Saturdays in November, and possibly a few days in early December. Everything in the store is currently 20 percent off.

“Ted has been a great tenant, but he’s living there. My insurance company says that has to change immediately,” Harper says.

Order of the Owl played 529 on Nov. 19 with new drummer Dwayne Jones (Demonaut, Sourvein) in tow. Over the last year Joe Sweat (Big Jesus, Manic, Mangled) had been playing with OotO since original drummer Corey Pallon parted ways with the band. Sweat's fast-paced metal style had put an accelerator on the group's rock 'n' roll drumming and bottom-heavy grind.

Jones' drumming slows the group back down, restoring a bit of OotO's original loose thunder. His drumming also makes room for numbers such as the "Dead Trees" half of "Mighty Demon Lover"/"Dead Trees" to be worked back into the setlist. Keep an ear out for more new songs that are slated for release on the group's forthcoming The Wolves of True Diamond Hate EP due out in 2015 via Domestic Genocide.

In new music news, GG King's second LP, Unending Darkness, is out now via Scavenger of Death Records. The album took two years to complete, and finds King embracing an even more experimental side of his songwriting. BONUS: The first 100 copies come with a cassette tape featuring 10 demos and outtakes from the album. The group celebrates with an album release party at 529 on Sat., Dec. 6.

CNN International aired a portion of a new song by Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics titled "Tried on a Smile" in mid-November. The full song is available on CL's Crib Notes music blog, and is a sneak peek at Velle and Co.'s second full-length, slated for a late spring release. The song shows the group's high harmonies and horn and rhythm sections delving deeper into the late '60s Motown-lite sound it's been perfecting over the last several years. "Tried on a Smile" is certainly a high note, and a nod to Aretha Franklin, Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett, et al.

The group's trumpeter Jason Collier tells us more about the inspiration behind this feel-good jam of the season: "The main thing that inspired me to write 'Tried on a Smile' was a gem from my mother," he says. "I was going through some difficult times and her wisdom guided me through. She told me to 'fake it till I make it' — to simply try on a smile and see if I felt better. I did."

Under his solo moniker, Mara, singer and guitarist Jordan Parker of experimental garage rock outfit Vera Vera hones a sound that he describes as "phantom pop." Given his voice's already spectral character, it's an apt description. On Nov. 25, Parker rolled out a six-song, self-titled debut EP, released by Deer Bear Wolf.

The video for Tom P's "Nightmare," featuring Jarren Benton, is what would happen if a zombie apocalypse broke out in the middle of a house party. Tom P directed the video, which centers around a wannabe rapper (played by his manager Kevin Grimes) who is having some bad, bad dreams.

In Awful Records news, MC/producer KeithCharles Spacebar flaunts his musical heart-on-sleeve with "S T A C Y," a trip-hop-y collab with NEVR. And whereas Father may be viewed as the prominent voice in Awful Records, Richposlim might be the collective's most vocal artist. From his epic Twitter rants to the penchant for using words like "Wazzam," 'Po's music and slang is a welcome punch to the face. Enter his HUBRIS EP.

In a continuation of his video for "Raw," Wara from the NBHD reminds us that drugs are bad in his visual for "Slangin." Selling drugs is a deadly game, but someone has to do it. Or do they? That is the question young Wara's song and video answer with a brutal honesty.

With additional reporting by Paul DeMerritt and Gavin Godfrey."
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  string(6220) "On Nov. 3, __Ted Selke__, owner of Candler Park's __Full Moon Records__, posted a letter from the building's owner, Clay Harper, on the store's front window. The letter is a notice to vacate, stating that Selke's tenancy is being terminated because the property is not zoned for live/work.

The letter marks the end of a 23-year stint during which Selke has lived and worked in the space since opening Full Moon Records in March 1991. Over the years Selke has played drums, bass, and sang in several Atlanta bands, including __Arms Akimbo__, __Joybang__, and Black Crowes precursor, __Mr. Crowe's Garden__. With his __Third Eye Records__ imprint he released material by local jazz ensemble __Gold Sparkle Band__. He also released the self-titled album by __No Walls__, an experimental rock outfit led by a young __William DuVall__, who now fronts __Alice in Chains__.

Selke must vacate the premises at 1653 McLendon Ave. by Dec. 31. Until then he's spending his time putting the finishing touches on the second full-length by his band, __the Seventh Ring of Saturn__, which is due out in 2015.

In the letter Harper offers to help find a new location for Full Moon, but Selke has no interest in keeping the store going.

"Running the record store has been great," Selke says. "It's time to start something new. I have at least two customers that ask about buying my store every time they come in, and [Harper] took away my ability to sell the business. He is also putting me out in the middle of winter, after I stocked up the store for the holidays and beyond, when he could have told me at the beginning of the year when he bought the building, or even over the summer so I could have had a chance to sell off some inventory and get my things organized for moving."

In the meantime, Full Moon will remain open on Fridays and Saturdays in November, and possibly a few days in early December. Everything in the store is currently 20 percent off.

“Ted has been a great tenant, but he’s living there. My insurance company says that has to change immediately,” Harper says.

__[http://clatl.com/cribnotes/archives/2014/11/18/order-of-the-owl-returns-with-new-drummer-new-label|Order of the Owl]__ played 529 on Nov. 19 with new drummer __Dwayne Jones__ (__Demonaut__, __Sourvein__) in tow. Over the last year __Joe Sweat__ (__Big Jesus__, __Manic__, __Mangled__) had been playing with OotO since original drummer __Corey Pallon__ parted ways with the band. Sweat's fast-paced metal style had put an accelerator on the group's rock 'n' roll drumming and bottom-heavy grind.

Jones' drumming slows the group back down, restoring a bit of OotO's original loose thunder. His drumming also makes room for numbers such as the "Dead Trees" half of "Mighty Demon Lover"/"Dead Trees" to be worked back into the setlist. Keep an ear out for more new songs that are slated for release on the group's forthcoming ''The Wolves of True Diamond Hate'' EP due out in 2015 via Domestic Genocide.

In new music news, __GG King__'s second LP, ''[http://scavengerofdeathrecords.bandcamp.com/album/unending-darkness-2|Unending Darkness]'', is out now via Scavenger of Death Records. The album took two years to complete, and finds King embracing an even more experimental side of his songwriting. BONUS: The first 100 copies come with a cassette tape featuring 10 demos and outtakes from the album. The group celebrates with an album release party at 529 on Sat., __Dec. 6__.

CNN International aired a portion of a new song by __Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics__ titled "[http://clatl.com/cribnotes/archives/2014/11/21/ruby-velle-and-the-soulphonics-tried-on-a-smile|Tried on a Smile]" in mid-November. The full song is available on ''CL'''s Crib Notes music blog, and is a sneak peek at Velle and Co.'s second full-length, slated for a late spring release. The song shows the group's high harmonies and horn and rhythm sections delving deeper into the late '60s Motown-lite sound it's been perfecting over the last several years. "Tried on a Smile" is certainly a high note, and a nod to Aretha Franklin, Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett, et al.

The group's trumpeter Jason Collier tells us more about the inspiration behind this feel-good jam of the season: "The main thing that inspired me to write 'Tried on a Smile' was a gem from my mother," he says. "I was going through some difficult times and her wisdom guided me through. She told me to 'fake it till I make it' — to simply try on a smile and see if I felt better. I did."

Under his solo moniker, __[http://clatl.com/cribnotes/archives/2014/11/21/vera-veras-jordan-parker-unveils-mara-debut|Mara]__, singer and guitarist Jordan Parker of experimental garage rock outfit __Vera Vera__ hones a sound that he describes as "phantom pop." Given his voice's already spectral character, it's an apt description. On Nov. 25, Parker rolled out a six-song, self-titled debut EP, released by __Deer Bear Wolf__.

The video for __Tom P__'s "[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQNYkYXTepw|Nightmare]," featuring Jarren Benton, is what would happen if a zombie apocalypse broke out in the middle of a house party. Tom P directed the video, which centers around a wannabe rapper (played by his manager Kevin Grimes) who is having some bad, bad dreams.

In __Awful Records__ news, MC/producer __KeithCharles Spacebar__ flaunts his musical heart-on-sleeve with "[https://soundcloud.com/keithcharlesspacebar/s-t-a-c-y-prod-kcsb-x-nevr|S T A C Y]," a trip-hop-y collab with __NEVR__. And whereas Father may be viewed as the prominent voice in Awful Records, __[https://soundcloud.com/richposlim|Richposlim]__ might be the collective's most vocal artist. From his epic Twitter rants to the penchant for using words like "Wazzam," 'Po's music and slang is a welcome punch to the face. Enter his ''HUBRIS'' EP.

In a continuation of his video for "Raw," __Wara from the NBHD__ reminds us that drugs are bad in his visual for "[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNltJ4JWkg4|Slangin]." Selling drugs is a deadly game, but someone has to do it. Or do they? That is the question young Wara's song and video answer with a brutal honesty.

''With additional reporting by Paul DeMerritt and Gavin Godfrey.''"
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  string(5800) "    Plus Order of the Owl gets a new drummer, Mara debuts, and more music news   2014-11-26T09:00:00+00:00 Full Moon Records closing in December   Chad Radford Chad Radford 2014-11-26T09:00:00+00:00  On Nov. 3, Ted Selke, owner of Candler Park's Full Moon Records, posted a letter from the building's owner, Clay Harper, on the store's front window. The letter is a notice to vacate, stating that Selke's tenancy is being terminated because the property is not zoned for live/work.

The letter marks the end of a 23-year stint during which Selke has lived and worked in the space since opening Full Moon Records in March 1991. Over the years Selke has played drums, bass, and sang in several Atlanta bands, including Arms Akimbo, Joybang, and Black Crowes precursor, Mr. Crowe's Garden. With his Third Eye Records imprint he released material by local jazz ensemble Gold Sparkle Band. He also released the self-titled album by No Walls, an experimental rock outfit led by a young William DuVall, who now fronts Alice in Chains.

Selke must vacate the premises at 1653 McLendon Ave. by Dec. 31. Until then he's spending his time putting the finishing touches on the second full-length by his band, the Seventh Ring of Saturn, which is due out in 2015.

In the letter Harper offers to help find a new location for Full Moon, but Selke has no interest in keeping the store going.

"Running the record store has been great," Selke says. "It's time to start something new. I have at least two customers that ask about buying my store every time they come in, and Harper took away my ability to sell the business. He is also putting me out in the middle of winter, after I stocked up the store for the holidays and beyond, when he could have told me at the beginning of the year when he bought the building, or even over the summer so I could have had a chance to sell off some inventory and get my things organized for moving."

In the meantime, Full Moon will remain open on Fridays and Saturdays in November, and possibly a few days in early December. Everything in the store is currently 20 percent off.

“Ted has been a great tenant, but he’s living there. My insurance company says that has to change immediately,” Harper says.

Order of the Owl played 529 on Nov. 19 with new drummer Dwayne Jones (Demonaut, Sourvein) in tow. Over the last year Joe Sweat (Big Jesus, Manic, Mangled) had been playing with OotO since original drummer Corey Pallon parted ways with the band. Sweat's fast-paced metal style had put an accelerator on the group's rock 'n' roll drumming and bottom-heavy grind.

Jones' drumming slows the group back down, restoring a bit of OotO's original loose thunder. His drumming also makes room for numbers such as the "Dead Trees" half of "Mighty Demon Lover"/"Dead Trees" to be worked back into the setlist. Keep an ear out for more new songs that are slated for release on the group's forthcoming The Wolves of True Diamond Hate EP due out in 2015 via Domestic Genocide.

In new music news, GG King's second LP, Unending Darkness, is out now via Scavenger of Death Records. The album took two years to complete, and finds King embracing an even more experimental side of his songwriting. BONUS: The first 100 copies come with a cassette tape featuring 10 demos and outtakes from the album. The group celebrates with an album release party at 529 on Sat., Dec. 6.

CNN International aired a portion of a new song by Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics titled "Tried on a Smile" in mid-November. The full song is available on CL's Crib Notes music blog, and is a sneak peek at Velle and Co.'s second full-length, slated for a late spring release. The song shows the group's high harmonies and horn and rhythm sections delving deeper into the late '60s Motown-lite sound it's been perfecting over the last several years. "Tried on a Smile" is certainly a high note, and a nod to Aretha Franklin, Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett, et al.

The group's trumpeter Jason Collier tells us more about the inspiration behind this feel-good jam of the season: "The main thing that inspired me to write 'Tried on a Smile' was a gem from my mother," he says. "I was going through some difficult times and her wisdom guided me through. She told me to 'fake it till I make it' — to simply try on a smile and see if I felt better. I did."

Under his solo moniker, Mara, singer and guitarist Jordan Parker of experimental garage rock outfit Vera Vera hones a sound that he describes as "phantom pop." Given his voice's already spectral character, it's an apt description. On Nov. 25, Parker rolled out a six-song, self-titled debut EP, released by Deer Bear Wolf.

The video for Tom P's "Nightmare," featuring Jarren Benton, is what would happen if a zombie apocalypse broke out in the middle of a house party. Tom P directed the video, which centers around a wannabe rapper (played by his manager Kevin Grimes) who is having some bad, bad dreams.

In Awful Records news, MC/producer KeithCharles Spacebar flaunts his musical heart-on-sleeve with "S T A C Y," a trip-hop-y collab with NEVR. And whereas Father may be viewed as the prominent voice in Awful Records, Richposlim might be the collective's most vocal artist. From his epic Twitter rants to the penchant for using words like "Wazzam," 'Po's music and slang is a welcome punch to the face. Enter his HUBRIS EP.

In a continuation of his video for "Raw," Wara from the NBHD reminds us that drugs are bad in his visual for "Slangin." Selling drugs is a deadly game, but someone has to do it. Or do they? That is the question young Wara's song and video answer with a brutal honesty.

With additional reporting by Paul DeMerritt and Gavin Godfrey.             13081027 12809036                          Full Moon Records closing in December "
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Wednesday November 26, 2014 04:00 am EST
Plus Order of the Owl gets a new drummer, Mara debuts, and more music news | more...
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  string(36) "5 mixtapes that put B.o.B on the map"
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  string(1633) "At one time B.o.B was the guy who stopped you in the street to hand you a mixtape. In fact, he did that for four years before his debut album, The Adventures of Bobby Ray, dropped. Each mixtape added a new element of musicality, allowing you to witness the young prodigy growing right in front of your eyes. Here is a look at five mixtapes that introduced B.o.B to the world.

image-1

!!The Future

Checking in at a whopping 30 tracks of songs and skits, B.o.B's first mixtape featured him at his rawest, displaying his skills as a rapper, producer and catchy hook writer.


---
image-2

!!Cloud 9

Though many were introduced to B.o.B though this mixtape, it is actually his second. Whereas its precursor was mostly a one-man show, Cloud 9 paired B.o.B with fellow rapper-turned-pop star Pitbull.


---
image-3

!!Hello! My Name Is B.o.B

With his third mixtape, B.o.B began flexing more of his creativity, rapping over beats he produced sampling everyone from the Beatles to the Outfields and singing on more of his hooks. The ambitious effort drew some Andre 3000 comparisons.


---
image-4

!!Who The F#k Is B.o.B?

After introducing himself to national media with his previous effort, B.o.B returned later in the year, hoping to answer all of the questions it posed. The tape featured the single "I'll Be in the Sky," which signaled his lean toward a pop sound.


---
image-5

!!B.o.B vs Bobby Ray

This two-sided mixtape is B.o.B's attempt to put together all of his musical stylings into one package. One end has him trading bars with Killer Mike and OJ Da Juiceman, whereas the other has him singing over acoustic guitar.


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[image-1]

!!''[http://www.datpiff.com/BOB-The-Future-mixtape.5027.html|The Future]''

Checking in at a whopping 30 tracks of songs and skits, B.o.B's first mixtape featured him at his rawest, displaying his skills as a rapper, producer and catchy hook writer.


---
[image-2]

!!''[http://www.datpiff.com/BoB-Cloud-9-mixtape.9636.html|Cloud 9]''

Though many were introduced to B.o.B though this mixtape, it is actually his second. Whereas its precursor was mostly a one-man show, ''Cloud 9'' paired B.o.B with fellow rapper-turned-pop star Pitbull.


---
[image-3]

!!''[http://www.datpiff.com/Bob-hello-My-Name-Is-Bob-mixtape.11707.html|Hello! My Name Is B.o.B]''

With his third mixtape, B.o.B began flexing more of his creativity, rapping over beats he produced sampling everyone from the Beatles to the Outfields and singing on more of his hooks. The ambitious effort drew some Andre 3000 comparisons.


---
[image-4]

!!''[http://www.djdownloadz.com/dj-scream-mlk-dj-spinz-bob-who-the-fck-is-bob-mixtape|Who The F#k Is B.o.B?]''

After introducing himself to national media with his previous effort, B.o.B returned later in the year, hoping to answer all of the questions it posed. The tape featured the single "I'll Be in the Sky," which signaled his lean toward a pop sound.


---
[image-5]

!!''[http://www.datpiff.com/BoB-BoB-Vs-Bobby-Ray-mixtape.95723.html|B.o.B vs Bobby Ray]''

This two-sided mixtape is B.o.B's attempt to put together all of his musical stylings into one package. One end has him trading bars with Killer Mike and OJ Da Juiceman, whereas the other has him singing over acoustic guitar.


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  string(1849) "       2014-11-20T10:00:00+00:00 5 mixtapes that put B.o.B on the map   Maurice Garland 1224271 2014-11-20T10:00:00+00:00  At one time B.o.B was the guy who stopped you in the street to hand you a mixtape. In fact, he did that for four years before his debut album, The Adventures of Bobby Ray, dropped. Each mixtape added a new element of musicality, allowing you to witness the young prodigy growing right in front of your eyes. Here is a look at five mixtapes that introduced B.o.B to the world.

image-1

!!The Future

Checking in at a whopping 30 tracks of songs and skits, B.o.B's first mixtape featured him at his rawest, displaying his skills as a rapper, producer and catchy hook writer.


---
image-2

!!Cloud 9

Though many were introduced to B.o.B though this mixtape, it is actually his second. Whereas its precursor was mostly a one-man show, Cloud 9 paired B.o.B with fellow rapper-turned-pop star Pitbull.


---
image-3

!!Hello! My Name Is B.o.B

With his third mixtape, B.o.B began flexing more of his creativity, rapping over beats he produced sampling everyone from the Beatles to the Outfields and singing on more of his hooks. The ambitious effort drew some Andre 3000 comparisons.


---
image-4

!!Who The F#k Is B.o.B?

After introducing himself to national media with his previous effort, B.o.B returned later in the year, hoping to answer all of the questions it posed. The tape featured the single "I'll Be in the Sky," which signaled his lean toward a pop sound.


---
image-5

!!B.o.B vs Bobby Ray

This two-sided mixtape is B.o.B's attempt to put together all of his musical stylings into one package. One end has him trading bars with Killer Mike and OJ Da Juiceman, whereas the other has him singing over acoustic guitar.


             13080969 12765292                          5 mixtapes that put B.o.B on the map "
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Article

Thursday November 20, 2014 05:00 am EST

At one time B.o.B was the guy who stopped you in the street to hand you a mixtape. In fact, he did that for four years before his debut album, The Adventures of Bobby Ray, dropped. Each mixtape added a new element of musicality, allowing you to witness the young prodigy growing right in front of your eyes. Here is a look at five mixtapes that introduced B.o.B to the world.

image-1

The...

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  ["title"]=>
  string(23) "The World Loves B.o.B -"
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  string(63) "Reconciling the Grammy-nominated rapper's place in his hometown"
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  string(63) "Reconciling the Grammy-nominated rapper's place in his hometown"
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  string(18155) "Hundreds of rap fans have descended upon the corner at Third and Spring streets. It's the first night of A3C 2014, and they're hoping to get inside one of two showcases happening simultaneously at opposite ends of the block.

Inside Quad @ Spring4th Complex, hood-hipster media outlet Noisey is hosting a showcase simply titled "ATLANTA." The lineup features a long list of acts such as former underdog-turned-XXL Freshman Jarren Benton and current underdogs Key! and Father.

The line snakes along Spring Street to Quad's entrance, where it becomes a bottleneck of wannabe VIPs saying anything and everything to talk their way past security. They're clamoring for entry to see artists who, with a few exceptions such as Que and Ca$h Out, are acts that can be found performing along Edgewood Avenue any given night.

Down the block at Enclave, a showcase called No Genre has virtually no line. Platinum-selling artist B.o.B is the headliner, and the showcase is named after the rapper/producer's new record label. The bill also includes local favorites such as Scotty ATL in addition to out-of-towners who have come from as far as Seattle and Milwaukee. Many in the audience are here because they couldn't get into Noisey's ATLANTA show down the street.

image-4
No Genre's crowd is also full of rappers waiting for their turns to perform while the openers scream into the mics. By the time B.o.B hits the stage, the speakers are ruined. B.o.B gives the sound man a few minutes to "get this shit right" and then returns to perform a handful of his hits. He invites his No Genre artists on stage, starts a mosh pit, and shares his weed with some fans. After the show, B.o.B heads outside toward his Mercedes-Benz SUV. There is no mad rush to get backstage for photos and autographs. No VIPs. The scene is a far cry from the ATLANTA showcase, where fans hang out backstage all night, waiting on headlining newcomer ILoveMakonnen, who flaked out and never even performed.

"We've toured all around the world, and people go crazy when they see him, asking for autographs," says B.o.B's manager Brian "B. Rich" Richardson. "But when he comes home, nobody knows him."

This dilemma is strange, considering B.o.B's accomplishments compared to ones by many of his Atlanta hip-hop peers.

In 2008, B.o.B was featured on the first-ever XXL Freshmen cover. Since then, he has been nominated for six Grammy Awards, making him one of the most recognized XXL Freshman class artists. In 2013, B.o.B had one gold single, "We Still in This Bitch," featuring T.I. and Juicy J, and one platinum single, "Headband," featuring 2 Chainz — more than all of the ATLANTA artists combined. Last September, B.o.B rocked two of Atlanta's biggest stages with two of hip-hop's biggest names: Eminem brought him out at Music Midtown, and OutKast recruited him to open for its #ATLast Sunday night show. Oh yeah, he's performed for President Obama, too.

image-3
The difference in crowd size and reaction at the ATLANTA show compared to the No Genre stage sums up B.o.B's music industry journey so far: His name is recognized on international stages, but he's often overlooked at home. B.o.B's A3C performance was his last in Atlanta before he launched his monthlong, 23-city No Genre tour, which will touch down everywhere from Pensacola to Portland, but nowhere near Peachtree Street.

"No promoters in Atlanta booked a date," says B.o.B's co-manager TJ Chapman over the phone from B.o.B's tour bus, outside Tucson, Ariz. "To them he's just B.o.B from Atlanta. They don't realize how massive the movement is around the world. The shows we do happen to do in Atlanta are either for the Braves, corporate shows, or school shows. I guess people just don't see it."

pageimage-6
B.o.B hit the radar in 2006 and dropped a slew of genre-bouncing mixtapes over the years until his 2010 debut album The Adventures of Bobby Ray hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The gold-selling album spawned three Top 10 hits, including the double-platinum single "Nothing on You," featuring Bruno Mars, and the Grammy-nominated single "Airplanes," featuring Hayley Williams. His next two albums, 2012's Strange Clouds and 2013's Underground Luxury, both had at least one gold- or platinum-selling single.

During the same period, a handful of Atlanta rappers have either been crowned king of Atlanta hip-hop or recognized as kings in waiting. T.I. claimed the throne with his 2006 album King. Trap king Young Jeezy held the crown after him, and then rap jester Gucci Mane crashed the royal court toward the end of the decade. Since 2011, 2 Chainz and Future have shared the crown. As far as the New Atlanta upstarts go, a range of artists including Trinidad James, Raury, and Two-9 have had their names thrown in the ring for the "who's next" discussions.

image-8
"As far as Atlanta goes, B.o.B is probably a bigger international artist than T.I. and Jeezy because he has spent more time overseas than them," says long-tenured V-103 (WVEE-FM) evening radio personality Greg Street.

Street goes on to liken B.o.B to past local-turned-global acts such as Kris Kross and TLC. "He is not just an everyday ordinary street rapper," Street says.

All things considered, B.o.B, born Bobby Ray Simmons Jr., should be looked at as one of Atlanta's leading voices. The 26-year-old's ability to straddle genres is viewed as diverse in some ways, but indecisive in others. Music listeners want options, but they also often want to know what to expect.

"One minute he wants to make rap, then he wants to make rock, then he wants to make ratchet, then he wants to make classical," B. Rich says, laughing. "People say it's all over the place, but that's why he's using the label 'No Genre.' There's not too many people that can make a song with Taylor Swift and Juicy J."

B.o.B agrees. "Of course it's human nature to want to be noticed," he says while reclined on a plush sofa inside West Midtown's Mean Street studios, where he just hosted a private listening preview of his yet-to-be-titled fourth album. "But I'm enjoying this storyline, the brewing tension of B.o.B fans upset that I'm getting slept on."

It wasn't until last year, with the release of the singles "We Still in This Bitch," featuring T.I. and Juicy J; "Headband," featuring 2 Chainz; and with a cameo appearance on Ty Dolla Sign's hit "Paranoid," that B.o.B's voice could be heard daily on V-103 and Hot 107.9 (WHAT-FM). Previously, the only time B.o.B's music was heard on Atlanta radio was on the now defunct 95.5 The Beat (WSBB-FM).

"I'm enjoying the story because it feels like a movie," says B.o.B, as he puffs away on a blunt. "When you look back at my life, it's going to be more interesting than a story that says, 'There was once this very talented guy who put out music and everybody praised him, it was great, the end.'"

B.o.B's "movie" began in 1988 at his birthplace, Winston-Salem, N.C. Just as he began walking, his parents moved the family to Georgia. Their first stop was Lawrenceville, then Decatur when Bobby Ray was 9 years old. He lived the life that most kids on the Eastside did: He played Little League Baseball at Gresham Park, youth football for the Tucker Lions, and basketball at Henderson Middle School. The middle child of three, he didn't make music much of a priority back then. His parents' attempts to get him to join the choir or pick up the trumpet never worked. He thought he wanted to play piano when his younger sister started lessons. But even then, the idea of following the rules in music didn't quite compute.

"I tried to teach him the basics, but he would be like, 'I want to play a song,'" says B.o.B's younger sister, Arielle. "Every piano piece I had, he tried to play ... but differently. He always followed his own rhythm."

image-10
One day B.o.B and his older brother, Jamal found $20 on the ground. They spent it on DMX's first album, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot. The record ignited a real interest in music, specifically rap. Around the same time, B.o.B started acting up in school, writing raps instead of essays in class. Concerned, his mother called on B. Rich, her best friend's son, to mentor him.

"She was worried about him acting up in school," says B. Rich, who at the time was working as a pharmaceutical sales rep by day and an open-mic promoter by night. "He told me that he wanted to rap, so I told him I'd start helping him with that if he did better in school."

"I learned a lot from B. Rich and I still do," says B.o.B. "I used to be somewhat anti-social because I was typically the youngest person in most situations. B. Rich taught me how to shake that off and get in people's faces and interact with people. That type of interaction goes a long way."

In ninth grade at Columbia High School, B.o.B started a rap group called Da Klinic with Jamal and a cousin, Stephen Hill. The group didn't make much noise past Candler Road, and Hill left to attend college. But B.o.B's production skills got noticed, namely his production of a regional club hit in 2006 called "Da Cookie Man" for an Atlanta rapper named Citty, who was signed to Slip-N-Slide Records. Eventually, B.o.B began making music on Atlanta's open mic circuit.

"Every day he kept saying, 'I'm going to get signed before I turn 18,'" Arielle says.

One fateful night, B. Rich snuck the underage rapper into Bankhead hangout spot Club Crucial for an open mic. When he performed his sing-songy ode to cannabis sativa "Cloud 9," well-connected music mover TJ Chapman of TJ's DJs took notice and signed on to co-manage the new artist. B.o.B wound up signing a recording contract with Atlantic Records through über-producer Jim Jonsin's Rebel Rock imprint. He signed the deal before he started his senior year in high school, which he never returned to finish.

"It hurt because me and his father were very big on education," says B.o.B's mother Karen.

Both of his parents have Master's degrees and wanted their son to be "a lawyer or something." "We did try to work something out because he only had one more quarter to go," Karen says. "I asked the school if he could get a tutor while he toured and recorded. But they said he had to be present. They wouldn't work with us at all."

B.O.B was still in for some crash courses, though. After landing on a remix to Danity Kane's "Showstopper" and the initial success of his 2007 single "Haterz," Atlantic Records was hesitant to push the hype button on their young new rapper. "We had 'Haterz,' but the label didn't know what to do with him," says B. Rich.

image-7
It didn't help that the rapper, just entering his 20s, didn't want to rap anymore. B.o.B was going through a stage of self-discovery, performing at spots such as Apache Café and the Drunken Unicorn alongside other future stars in record label limbo, including Yelawolf and Janelle Monae. B.o.B traded in his Braves hat and sunglasses for a straw fedora and a guitar and began making everything from rock to pop to folk under the name Bobby Ray. He looked completely comfortable with the change, but some listeners were thrown off, seeing the guy who called himself "the beast from Decatur" strumming an acoustic guitar.

"I kinda went through a phase," he says, laughing. "My music is like a neutron in a laboratory that got out of the container and started bouncing around like, 'the fuck is going on?'"

Arielle played keyboard for Bobby Ray's touring band from 2009-2012.

"He wanted to just wake up and do what he felt like doing," Arielle says. "But he didn't have that luxury yet because he was a new artist. He wanted to do the music he felt, but because he came out with 'Haterz,' he couldn't just follow that up with a rock song. I saw him fighting, trying to be himself."

Apart from wearing sunglasses indoors at his listening party, not much about B.o.B screams "rapper." He's tall, but not imposing, and a man of few words when the cameras are off. In conversations he punctuates most of his words with a smile or a joke. Since starting his career, he's kept the same small circle of friends and family that operates more like a support system than an entourage.

image-5
Rebel Rock/Atlantic linked B.o.B with T.I.'s Grand Hustle imprint to add some street cred to B.o.B's quest for pop appeal. To try to make sense of everything, B.o.B's management borrowed a page from the Rubberband Man's book and released a mixtape, B.o.B vs. Bobby Ray, to showcase all sides of his musical personality.

pageimage-2
B.o.B gained a few fans with his new musical direction, but he didn't win over the world until his debut single, "Nothing on You," exploded on the charts in 2010. The follow-up single, "Airplanes," added gasoline to the fire, leading to sneaker endorsements, intercontinental tours, and Disney radio play.

"When I first came out, I had 'Haterz' and wanted people to know I was more than just a rapper," says B.o.B, ashing his blunt. "But then when I became a pop star," he says, his eyes widening and his hands making an explosion gesture, "I was like, noooooo, I'm a rapper!"

B. Rich adds, "It was a good thing monetarily to have a number one hit and have the accolades, but it hurt us in the sense that people just thought he was a pop artist. It kind of had a negative connotation to it."

While B.o.B was "drinking a German beer, with a Cuban cigar/in the middle of Paris, with a Dominican broad" as he raps on his 2012 hit "So Good," groups including Travis Porter were getting played in every (strip) club in Atlanta. Going out and not hearing his own music get played or enjoyed by his peers began to have an effect on B.o.B. The result was 2013's rap-heavy Underground Luxury.

"I wanted to get back to what I was doing, having fun," B.o.B says about the album, which despite not selling as much as his previous efforts, still had gold- and platinum-selling singles. "I don't want to be the good guy. I don't want to be where everything B.o.B does has to be conscious or has to be serious or musically eclectic. I don't want to have to do anything, I just want to do what I want to do."

image-9
And therein may lie the problem with B.o.B's popularity in Atlanta. Whereas Outkast has created some of the most mind-bending music ever heard, you can still trace them back to their days as "2 Dopeboyz in a Cadillac" on Headland and Delowe. T.I. can make a pop song but can still be tracked back to being one of the "Dope Boyz" in the trap off Bankhead.

B.o.B introduced himself as an artist willing to go all over the place with his music. His gift of crossing musical styles can also be seen as a curse when someone is trying to identify him.

B.o.B doesn't disagree, shooting smoke from the side of his mouth and quipping, "Maybe it's because I'm a Scorpio, we do that type of shit. I'm just a person who likes to be a sponge, I adapt to things. I can be in a cipher with people having a politically conscious discussion or in a cipher with guys talking about the new Jordans coming out. I can relate to both."

B.o.B proved that in September when he performed twice at Music Midtown, once for his own set, and again as a guest of Eminem. A week later he was opening up for Outkast at the final show of the #ATLast weekend. Music Midtowners were treated to the pop hits, whereas the ATLiens were given the rap-heavy set list. Though there were some groans on social media when it was announced that B.o.B would have his own 45-minute set at Outkast, his high-energy performance impressed the antsy crowd. People who knew the words sung along; others finally realized, "Oh, he sings that song?" It was a far better response than what fellow East-of-Atlanta rapper Childish Gambino got the night before.

image-1
"Bob has a big enough catalogue where he can perform for any crowd," B. Rich says. "He is seasoned enough to know how to get a crowd going. A lot of people were won over at that #ATLast show alone."

Perhaps the key to B.o.B earning that elusive Atlanta love is getting around to showing some back. His new label, No Genre, named after his successful mixtape series, recently held "American Idol"-style auditions at the Westin Hotel downtown. Nearly 400 people lined up to perform for B.o.B in hopes of signing with his label.

B. Rich envisions B.o.B working with more of Atlanta's street-oriented artists and showing that his production can co-exist with the likes of Mike Will Made It, Zaytoven, 808 Mafia, Sonny Digital, and other producers currently defining Atlanta's underground sound.

If his new single, "Not for Long" featuring Trey Songz, is any indication, B.o.B plans to continue flirting with the pop sound that made him and his managers rich. Judging from the other songs he previewed at the recent listening party, he's also sticking to his "do what I feel" philosophy when it comes to making music. On one untitled track, he laments anyone who's tried to deny his skills. Another track titled "Ladies," featuring T.I., is self-explanatory, while "America the Beautiful" has him doing spoken word over the patriotic melody. As the music played, it was hard to tell which listeners were nodding their heads to the beat, and which were just chewing extra hard on the free food.

"I don't care if people don't get the point. The people who get it, get it," B.o.B says.

"We are making an album with pop and rap on it," says B. Rich. "We want him to become more of an A-list artist. You have a black kid from Decatur, raised on Candler Road, making big-ass music the world loves, and I don't think people understand that, but I think they will start understanding that now."

Barely home but always repping, B.o.B still has plenty of time to win over the city. Since a new sound or language comes from Atlanta every year, B.o.B's no-genre approach may be the thing that finally gets him his hometown recognition. In his mind, though, he's exactly who and where he's supposed to be.

"It feels good to be from Atlanta," B.o.B says, taking one last puff from his blunt and brushing ash off his No Genre T-shirt before sneaking out of the studio. "I can move anywhere in the world, but I'm still here."

Next: 5 mixtapes that put B.o.B on the map"
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  string(19388) "Hundreds of rap fans have descended upon the corner at Third and Spring streets. It's the first night of [http://clatl.com/atlanta/a3c-field-guide/Content?oid=12315898|A3C 2014], and they're hoping to get inside one of two showcases happening simultaneously at opposite ends of the block.

Inside Quad @ Spring4th Complex, hood-hipster media outlet [http://noisey.vice.com/en_us|Noisey] is hosting a showcase simply titled "ATLANTA." The lineup features a long list of acts such as former underdog-turned-''XXL'' Freshman [http://clatl.com/atlanta/jarren-benton-wants-atlantas-respect/Content?oid=11412809|Jarren Benton] and current underdogs [http://clatl.com/cribnotes/archives/2014/09/05/key-im-two-9-forever|Key!] and Father.

The line snakes along Spring Street to Quad's entrance, where it becomes a bottleneck of wannabe VIPs saying anything and everything to talk their way past security. They're clamoring for entry to see artists who, with a few exceptions such as Que and Ca$h Out, are acts that can be found performing along Edgewood Avenue any given night.

Down the block at Enclave, a showcase called No Genre has virtually no line. Platinum-selling artist [http://www.bobatl.com/|B.o.B] is the headliner, and the showcase is named after the rapper/producer's new record label. The bill also includes local favorites such as Scotty ATL in addition to out-of-towners who have come from as far as Seattle and Milwaukee. Many in the audience are here because they couldn't get into Noisey's ATLANTA show down the street.

[image-4]
No Genre's crowd is also full of rappers waiting for their turns to perform while the openers scream into the mics. By the time B.o.B hits the stage, the speakers are ruined. B.o.B gives the sound man a few minutes to "get this shit right" and then returns to perform a handful of his hits. He invites his No Genre artists on stage, starts a mosh pit, and shares his weed with some fans. After the show, B.o.B heads outside toward his Mercedes-Benz SUV. There is no mad rush to get backstage for photos and autographs. No VIPs. The scene is a far cry from the ATLANTA showcase, where fans hang out backstage all night, waiting on headlining newcomer ILoveMakonnen, who flaked out and never even performed.

"We've toured all around the world, and people go crazy when they see him, asking for autographs," says B.o.B's manager Brian "B. Rich" Richardson. "But when he comes home, nobody knows him."

This dilemma is strange, considering B.o.B's accomplishments compared to ones by many of his Atlanta hip-hop peers.

In 2008, B.o.B was featured on the first-ever ''XXL'' Freshmen cover. Since then, he has been nominated for six Grammy Awards, making him one of the most recognized ''XXL'' Freshman class artists. In 2013, B.o.B had one gold single, "We Still in This Bitch," featuring T.I. and Juicy J, and one platinum single, "Headband," featuring 2 Chainz — more than all of the ATLANTA artists combined. Last September, B.o.B rocked two of Atlanta's biggest stages with two of hip-hop's biggest names: Eminem brought him out at Music Midtown, and OutKast recruited him to open for its #ATLast Sunday night show. Oh yeah, he's performed for President Obama, too.

[image-3]
The difference in crowd size and reaction at the ATLANTA show compared to the No Genre stage sums up B.o.B's music industry journey so far: His name is recognized on international stages, but he's often overlooked at home. B.o.B's A3C performance was his last in Atlanta before he launched his monthlong, 23-city No Genre tour, which will touch down everywhere from Pensacola to Portland, but nowhere near Peachtree Street.

"No promoters in Atlanta booked a date," says B.o.B's co-manager TJ Chapman over the phone from B.o.B's tour bus, outside Tucson, Ariz. "To them he's just B.o.B from Atlanta. They don't realize how massive the movement is around the world. The shows we do happen to do in Atlanta are either for the Braves, corporate shows, or school shows. I guess people just don't see it."

[page][image-6]
__B.o.B hit__ the radar in 2006 and dropped a slew of genre-bouncing mixtapes over the years until his 2010 debut album ''[http://clatl.com/atlanta/bobs-bogus-journey/Content?oid=1432033|The Adventures of Bobby Ray]'' hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The gold-selling album spawned three Top 10 hits, including the double-platinum single "Nothing on You," featuring Bruno Mars, and the Grammy-nominated single "Airplanes," featuring Hayley Williams. His next two albums, 2012's ''Strange Clouds'' and 2013's ''Underground Luxury'', both had at least one gold- or platinum-selling single.

During the same period, a handful of Atlanta rappers have either been crowned king of Atlanta hip-hop or recognized as kings in waiting. [http://clatl.com/atlanta/ti-delivers-no-mercy-that-pales-in-comparison/Content?oid=2493569|T.I.] claimed the throne with his 2006 album ''King''. Trap king Young Jeezy held the crown after him, and then rap jester Gucci Mane crashed the royal court toward the end of the decade. Since 2011, 2 Chainz and Future have shared the crown. As far as the New Atlanta upstarts go, a range of artists including [http://clatl.com/atlanta/trinidad-jame-the-natural-born-star/Content?oid=7204696|Trinidad James], [http://clatl.com/atlanta/raury-is-atlantas-indigo-child/Content?oid=11393367|Raury], and [http://clatl.com/atlanta/two-9s-atlanta/Content?oid=12118194|Two-9] have had their names thrown in the ring for the "who's next" discussions.

[image-8]
"As far as Atlanta goes, B.o.B is probably a bigger international artist than T.I. and Jeezy because he has spent more time overseas than them," says long-tenured V-103 (WVEE-FM) evening radio personality Greg Street.

Street goes on to liken B.o.B to past local-turned-global acts such as Kris Kross and TLC. "He is not just an everyday ordinary street rapper," Street says.

All things considered, B.o.B, born Bobby Ray Simmons Jr., should be looked at as one of Atlanta's leading voices. The 26-year-old's ability to straddle genres is viewed as diverse in some ways, but indecisive in others. Music listeners want options, but they also often want to know what to expect.

"One minute he wants to make rap, then he wants to make rock, then he wants to make ratchet, then he wants to make classical," B. Rich says, laughing. "People say it's all over the place, but that's why he's using the label 'No Genre.' There's not too many people that can make a song with Taylor Swift ''and'' Juicy J."

B.o.B agrees. "Of course it's human nature to want to be noticed," he says while reclined on a plush sofa inside West Midtown's Mean Street studios, where he just hosted a private listening preview of his yet-to-be-titled fourth album. "But I'm enjoying this storyline, the brewing tension of B.o.B fans upset that I'm getting slept on."

It wasn't until last year, with the release of the singles "We Still in This Bitch," featuring T.I. and Juicy J; "Headband," featuring 2 Chainz; and with a cameo appearance on Ty Dolla Sign's hit "Paranoid," that B.o.B's voice could be heard daily on V-103 and Hot 107.9 (WHAT-FM). Previously, the only time B.o.B's music was heard on Atlanta radio was on the now defunct 95.5 The Beat (WSBB-FM).

"I'm enjoying the story because it feels like a movie," says B.o.B, as he puffs away on a blunt. "When you look back at my life, it's going to be more interesting than a story that says, 'There was once this very talented guy who put out music and everybody praised him, it was great, the end.'"

B.o.B's "movie" began in 1988 at his birthplace, Winston-Salem, N.C. Just as he began walking, his parents moved the family to Georgia. Their first stop was Lawrenceville, then Decatur when Bobby Ray was 9 years old. He lived the life that most kids on the Eastside did: He played Little League Baseball at Gresham Park, youth football for the Tucker Lions, and basketball at Henderson Middle School. The middle child of three, he didn't make music much of a priority back then. His parents' attempts to get him to join the choir or pick up the trumpet never worked. He thought he wanted to play piano when his younger sister started lessons. But even then, the idea of following the rules in music didn't quite compute.

"I tried to teach him the basics, but he would be like, 'I want to play a song,'" says B.o.B's younger sister, Arielle. "Every piano piece I had, he tried to play ... but differently. He always followed his own rhythm."

[image-10]
One day B.o.B and his older brother, Jamal found $20 on the ground. They spent it on DMX's first album, ''It's Dark and Hell Is Hot''. The record ignited a real interest in music, specifically rap. Around the same time, B.o.B started acting up in school, writing raps instead of essays in class. Concerned, his mother called on B. Rich, her best friend's son, to mentor him.

"She was worried about him acting up in school," says B. Rich, who at the time was working as a pharmaceutical sales rep by day and an open-mic promoter by night. "He told me that he wanted to rap, so I told him [I'd] start helping him with that if he did better in school."

"I learned a lot from [B. Rich] and I still do," says B.o.B. "I used to be somewhat anti-social because I was typically the youngest person in most situations. [B. Rich] taught me how to shake that off and get in people's faces and interact with people. That type of interaction goes a long way."

In ninth grade at Columbia High School, B.o.B started a rap group called Da Klinic with Jamal and a cousin, Stephen Hill. The group didn't make much noise past Candler Road, and Hill left to attend college. But B.o.B's production skills got noticed, namely his production of a regional club hit in 2006 called "Da Cookie Man" for an Atlanta rapper named Citty, who was signed to Slip-N-Slide Records. Eventually, B.o.B began making music on Atlanta's open mic circuit.

"Every day he kept saying, 'I'm going to get signed before I turn 18,'" Arielle says.

One fateful night, B. Rich snuck the underage rapper into Bankhead hangout spot Club Crucial for an open mic. When he performed his sing-songy ode to cannabis sativa "Cloud 9," well-connected music mover TJ Chapman of TJ's DJs took notice and signed on to co-manage the new artist. B.o.B wound up signing a recording contract with Atlantic Records through über-producer Jim Jonsin's [http://www.rebelrock.com/|Rebel Rock] imprint. He signed the deal before he started his senior year in high school, which he never returned to finish.

"It hurt because me and his father were very big on education," says B.o.B's mother Karen.

Both of his parents have Master's degrees and wanted their son to be "a lawyer or something." "We did try to work something out because he only had one more quarter to go," Karen says. "I asked the school if he could get a tutor while he toured and recorded. But they said he had to be present. They wouldn't work with us at all."

B.O.B was still in for some crash courses, though. After landing on a remix to Danity Kane's "Showstopper" and the initial success of his 2007 single "Haterz," Atlantic Records was hesitant to push the hype button on their young new rapper. "We had 'Haterz,' but the label didn't know what to do with him," says B. Rich.

[image-7]
It didn't help that the rapper, just entering his 20s, didn't want to rap anymore. B.o.B was going through a stage of self-discovery, performing at spots such as Apache Café and the Drunken Unicorn alongside other future stars in record label limbo, including [http://clatl.com/atlanta/yelawolf-raps-redneck-manifestos/Content?oid=2278158|Yelawolf] and [http://clatl.com/atlanta/janelle-mone-becomes-electric/Content?oid=9177374|Janelle Monae]. B.o.B traded in his Braves hat and sunglasses for a straw fedora and a guitar and began making everything from rock to pop to folk under the name Bobby Ray. He looked completely comfortable with the change, but some listeners were thrown off, seeing the guy who called himself "the beast from Decatur" strumming an acoustic guitar.

"I kinda went through a phase," he says, laughing. "My music is like a neutron in a laboratory that got out of the container and started bouncing around like, 'the fuck is going on?'"

Arielle played keyboard for Bobby Ray's touring band from 2009-2012.

"He wanted to just wake up and do what he felt like doing," Arielle says. "But he didn't have that luxury yet because he was a new artist. He wanted to do the music he felt, but because he came out with 'Haterz,' he couldn't just follow that up with a rock song. I saw him fighting, trying to be himself."

Apart from wearing sunglasses indoors at his listening party, not much about B.o.B screams "rapper." He's tall, but not imposing, and a man of few words when the cameras are off. In conversations he punctuates most of his words with a smile or a joke. Since starting his career, he's kept the same small circle of friends and family that operates more like a support system than an entourage.

[image-5]
Rebel Rock/Atlantic linked B.o.B with T.I.'s Grand Hustle imprint to add some street cred to B.o.B's quest for pop appeal. To try to make sense of everything, B.o.B's management borrowed a page from the Rubberband Man's book and released a mixtape, ''B.o.B vs. Bobby Ray'', to showcase all sides of his musical personality.

[page][image-2]
__B.o.B gained__ a few fans with his new musical direction, but he didn't win over the world until his debut single, "Nothing on You," exploded on the charts in 2010. The follow-up single, "Airplanes," added gasoline to the fire, leading to sneaker endorsements, intercontinental tours, and Disney radio play.

"When I first came out, I had 'Haterz' and wanted people to know I was more than just a rapper," says B.o.B, ashing his blunt. "But then when I became a pop star," he says, his eyes widening and his hands making an explosion gesture, "I was like, noooooo, I'm a rapper!"

B. Rich adds, "It was a good thing monetarily to have a number one hit and have the accolades, but it hurt us in the sense that people just thought he was a pop artist. It kind of had a negative connotation to it."

While B.o.B was "drinking a German beer, with a Cuban cigar/in the middle of Paris, with a Dominican broad" as he raps on his 2012 hit "So Good," groups including [http://clatl.com/atlanta/an-evening-with-travis-porter/Content?oid=3333875|Travis Porter] were getting played in every (strip) club in Atlanta. Going out and not hearing his own music get played or enjoyed by his peers began to have an effect on B.o.B. The result was 2013's rap-heavy ''Underground Luxury''.

"I wanted to get back to what I was doing, having fun," B.o.B says about the album, which despite not selling as much as his previous efforts, still had gold- and platinum-selling singles. "I don't want to be the good guy. I don't want to be where everything B.o.B does has to be conscious or has to be serious or musically eclectic. I don't want to ''have'' to do anything, I just want to do what I want to do."

[image-9]
And therein may lie the problem with B.o.B's popularity in Atlanta. Whereas Outkast has created some of the most mind-bending music ever heard, [http://clatl.com/atlanta/straight-outta-stankonia/Content?oid=10895134|you can still trace them back to their days as "2 Dopeboyz in a Cadillac"] on Headland and Delowe. T.I. can make a pop song but can still be tracked back to being one of the "Dope Boyz" in the trap off Bankhead.

B.o.B introduced himself as an artist willing to go all over the place with his music. His gift of crossing musical styles can also be seen as a curse when someone is trying to identify him.

B.o.B doesn't disagree, shooting smoke from the side of his mouth and quipping, "Maybe it's because I'm a Scorpio, we do that type of shit. I'm just a person who likes to be a sponge, I adapt to things. I can be in a cipher with people having a politically conscious discussion or in a cipher with [guys] talking about the new Jordans coming out. I can relate to both."

B.o.B proved that in September when he performed twice at Music Midtown, once for his own set, and again as a guest of Eminem. A week later he was opening up for Outkast at the final show of the [http://clatl.com/atlanta/outkast/Slideshow?oid=12319131|#ATLast] weekend. Music Midtowners were treated to the pop hits, whereas the ATLiens were given the rap-heavy set list. Though there were some groans on social media when it was announced that B.o.B would have his own 45-minute set at Outkast, his high-energy performance impressed the antsy crowd. People who knew the words sung along; others finally realized, "Oh, ''he'' sings that song?" It was a far better response than what fellow East-of-Atlanta rapper Childish Gambino got the night before.

[image-1]
"Bob has a big enough catalogue where he can perform for any crowd," B. Rich says. "He is seasoned enough to know how to get a crowd going. A lot of people were won over at that [#ATLast] show alone."

Perhaps the key to B.o.B earning that elusive Atlanta love is getting around to showing some back. His new label, No Genre, named after his successful mixtape series, recently held "American Idol"-style auditions at the Westin Hotel downtown. Nearly 400 people lined up to perform for B.o.B in hopes of signing with his label.

B. Rich envisions B.o.B working with more of Atlanta's street-oriented artists and showing that his production can co-exist with the likes of Mike Will Made It, Zaytoven, 808 Mafia, Sonny Digital, and other producers currently defining Atlanta's underground sound.

If his new single, "Not for Long" featuring Trey Songz, is any indication, B.o.B plans to continue flirting with the pop sound that made him and his managers rich. Judging from the other songs he previewed at the recent listening party, he's also sticking to his "do what I feel" philosophy when it comes to making music. On one untitled track, he laments anyone who's tried to deny his skills. Another track titled "Ladies," featuring T.I., is self-explanatory, while "America the Beautiful" has him doing spoken word over the patriotic melody. As the music played, it was hard to tell which listeners were nodding their heads to the beat, and which were just chewing extra hard on the free food.

"I don't care if people don't get the point. The people who get it, get it," B.o.B says.

"We are making an album with pop and rap on it," says B. Rich. "We want him to become more of an A-list artist. You have a black kid from Decatur, raised on Candler Road, making big-ass music the world loves, and I don't think people understand that, but I think they will start understanding that now."

Barely home but always repping, B.o.B still has plenty of time to win over the city. Since a new sound or language comes from Atlanta every year, B.o.B's no-genre approach may be the thing that finally gets him his hometown recognition. In his mind, though, he's exactly who and where he's supposed to be.

"It feels good to be from Atlanta," B.o.B says, taking one last puff from his blunt and brushing ash off his No Genre T-shirt before sneaking out of the studio. "I can move anywhere in the world, but I'm still here."

__Next:__ [http://clatl.com/atlanta/5-mixtapes-that-put-bob-on-the-map/Content?oid=12765292|5 mixtapes that put B.o.B on the map]"
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  string(18408) "    Reconciling the Grammy-nominated rapper's place in his hometown   2014-11-20T10:00:00+00:00 The World Loves B.o.B -   Maurice Garland 1224271 2014-11-20T10:00:00+00:00  Hundreds of rap fans have descended upon the corner at Third and Spring streets. It's the first night of A3C 2014, and they're hoping to get inside one of two showcases happening simultaneously at opposite ends of the block.

Inside Quad @ Spring4th Complex, hood-hipster media outlet Noisey is hosting a showcase simply titled "ATLANTA." The lineup features a long list of acts such as former underdog-turned-XXL Freshman Jarren Benton and current underdogs Key! and Father.

The line snakes along Spring Street to Quad's entrance, where it becomes a bottleneck of wannabe VIPs saying anything and everything to talk their way past security. They're clamoring for entry to see artists who, with a few exceptions such as Que and Ca$h Out, are acts that can be found performing along Edgewood Avenue any given night.

Down the block at Enclave, a showcase called No Genre has virtually no line. Platinum-selling artist B.o.B is the headliner, and the showcase is named after the rapper/producer's new record label. The bill also includes local favorites such as Scotty ATL in addition to out-of-towners who have come from as far as Seattle and Milwaukee. Many in the audience are here because they couldn't get into Noisey's ATLANTA show down the street.

image-4
No Genre's crowd is also full of rappers waiting for their turns to perform while the openers scream into the mics. By the time B.o.B hits the stage, the speakers are ruined. B.o.B gives the sound man a few minutes to "get this shit right" and then returns to perform a handful of his hits. He invites his No Genre artists on stage, starts a mosh pit, and shares his weed with some fans. After the show, B.o.B heads outside toward his Mercedes-Benz SUV. There is no mad rush to get backstage for photos and autographs. No VIPs. The scene is a far cry from the ATLANTA showcase, where fans hang out backstage all night, waiting on headlining newcomer ILoveMakonnen, who flaked out and never even performed.

"We've toured all around the world, and people go crazy when they see him, asking for autographs," says B.o.B's manager Brian "B. Rich" Richardson. "But when he comes home, nobody knows him."

This dilemma is strange, considering B.o.B's accomplishments compared to ones by many of his Atlanta hip-hop peers.

In 2008, B.o.B was featured on the first-ever XXL Freshmen cover. Since then, he has been nominated for six Grammy Awards, making him one of the most recognized XXL Freshman class artists. In 2013, B.o.B had one gold single, "We Still in This Bitch," featuring T.I. and Juicy J, and one platinum single, "Headband," featuring 2 Chainz — more than all of the ATLANTA artists combined. Last September, B.o.B rocked two of Atlanta's biggest stages with two of hip-hop's biggest names: Eminem brought him out at Music Midtown, and OutKast recruited him to open for its #ATLast Sunday night show. Oh yeah, he's performed for President Obama, too.

image-3
The difference in crowd size and reaction at the ATLANTA show compared to the No Genre stage sums up B.o.B's music industry journey so far: His name is recognized on international stages, but he's often overlooked at home. B.o.B's A3C performance was his last in Atlanta before he launched his monthlong, 23-city No Genre tour, which will touch down everywhere from Pensacola to Portland, but nowhere near Peachtree Street.

"No promoters in Atlanta booked a date," says B.o.B's co-manager TJ Chapman over the phone from B.o.B's tour bus, outside Tucson, Ariz. "To them he's just B.o.B from Atlanta. They don't realize how massive the movement is around the world. The shows we do happen to do in Atlanta are either for the Braves, corporate shows, or school shows. I guess people just don't see it."

pageimage-6
B.o.B hit the radar in 2006 and dropped a slew of genre-bouncing mixtapes over the years until his 2010 debut album The Adventures of Bobby Ray hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The gold-selling album spawned three Top 10 hits, including the double-platinum single "Nothing on You," featuring Bruno Mars, and the Grammy-nominated single "Airplanes," featuring Hayley Williams. His next two albums, 2012's Strange Clouds and 2013's Underground Luxury, both had at least one gold- or platinum-selling single.

During the same period, a handful of Atlanta rappers have either been crowned king of Atlanta hip-hop or recognized as kings in waiting. T.I. claimed the throne with his 2006 album King. Trap king Young Jeezy held the crown after him, and then rap jester Gucci Mane crashed the royal court toward the end of the decade. Since 2011, 2 Chainz and Future have shared the crown. As far as the New Atlanta upstarts go, a range of artists including Trinidad James, Raury, and Two-9 have had their names thrown in the ring for the "who's next" discussions.

image-8
"As far as Atlanta goes, B.o.B is probably a bigger international artist than T.I. and Jeezy because he has spent more time overseas than them," says long-tenured V-103 (WVEE-FM) evening radio personality Greg Street.

Street goes on to liken B.o.B to past local-turned-global acts such as Kris Kross and TLC. "He is not just an everyday ordinary street rapper," Street says.

All things considered, B.o.B, born Bobby Ray Simmons Jr., should be looked at as one of Atlanta's leading voices. The 26-year-old's ability to straddle genres is viewed as diverse in some ways, but indecisive in others. Music listeners want options, but they also often want to know what to expect.

"One minute he wants to make rap, then he wants to make rock, then he wants to make ratchet, then he wants to make classical," B. Rich says, laughing. "People say it's all over the place, but that's why he's using the label 'No Genre.' There's not too many people that can make a song with Taylor Swift and Juicy J."

B.o.B agrees. "Of course it's human nature to want to be noticed," he says while reclined on a plush sofa inside West Midtown's Mean Street studios, where he just hosted a private listening preview of his yet-to-be-titled fourth album. "But I'm enjoying this storyline, the brewing tension of B.o.B fans upset that I'm getting slept on."

It wasn't until last year, with the release of the singles "We Still in This Bitch," featuring T.I. and Juicy J; "Headband," featuring 2 Chainz; and with a cameo appearance on Ty Dolla Sign's hit "Paranoid," that B.o.B's voice could be heard daily on V-103 and Hot 107.9 (WHAT-FM). Previously, the only time B.o.B's music was heard on Atlanta radio was on the now defunct 95.5 The Beat (WSBB-FM).

"I'm enjoying the story because it feels like a movie," says B.o.B, as he puffs away on a blunt. "When you look back at my life, it's going to be more interesting than a story that says, 'There was once this very talented guy who put out music and everybody praised him, it was great, the end.'"

B.o.B's "movie" began in 1988 at his birthplace, Winston-Salem, N.C. Just as he began walking, his parents moved the family to Georgia. Their first stop was Lawrenceville, then Decatur when Bobby Ray was 9 years old. He lived the life that most kids on the Eastside did: He played Little League Baseball at Gresham Park, youth football for the Tucker Lions, and basketball at Henderson Middle School. The middle child of three, he didn't make music much of a priority back then. His parents' attempts to get him to join the choir or pick up the trumpet never worked. He thought he wanted to play piano when his younger sister started lessons. But even then, the idea of following the rules in music didn't quite compute.

"I tried to teach him the basics, but he would be like, 'I want to play a song,'" says B.o.B's younger sister, Arielle. "Every piano piece I had, he tried to play ... but differently. He always followed his own rhythm."

image-10
One day B.o.B and his older brother, Jamal found $20 on the ground. They spent it on DMX's first album, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot. The record ignited a real interest in music, specifically rap. Around the same time, B.o.B started acting up in school, writing raps instead of essays in class. Concerned, his mother called on B. Rich, her best friend's son, to mentor him.

"She was worried about him acting up in school," says B. Rich, who at the time was working as a pharmaceutical sales rep by day and an open-mic promoter by night. "He told me that he wanted to rap, so I told him I'd start helping him with that if he did better in school."

"I learned a lot from B. Rich and I still do," says B.o.B. "I used to be somewhat anti-social because I was typically the youngest person in most situations. B. Rich taught me how to shake that off and get in people's faces and interact with people. That type of interaction goes a long way."

In ninth grade at Columbia High School, B.o.B started a rap group called Da Klinic with Jamal and a cousin, Stephen Hill. The group didn't make much noise past Candler Road, and Hill left to attend college. But B.o.B's production skills got noticed, namely his production of a regional club hit in 2006 called "Da Cookie Man" for an Atlanta rapper named Citty, who was signed to Slip-N-Slide Records. Eventually, B.o.B began making music on Atlanta's open mic circuit.

"Every day he kept saying, 'I'm going to get signed before I turn 18,'" Arielle says.

One fateful night, B. Rich snuck the underage rapper into Bankhead hangout spot Club Crucial for an open mic. When he performed his sing-songy ode to cannabis sativa "Cloud 9," well-connected music mover TJ Chapman of TJ's DJs took notice and signed on to co-manage the new artist. B.o.B wound up signing a recording contract with Atlantic Records through über-producer Jim Jonsin's Rebel Rock imprint. He signed the deal before he started his senior year in high school, which he never returned to finish.

"It hurt because me and his father were very big on education," says B.o.B's mother Karen.

Both of his parents have Master's degrees and wanted their son to be "a lawyer or something." "We did try to work something out because he only had one more quarter to go," Karen says. "I asked the school if he could get a tutor while he toured and recorded. But they said he had to be present. They wouldn't work with us at all."

B.O.B was still in for some crash courses, though. After landing on a remix to Danity Kane's "Showstopper" and the initial success of his 2007 single "Haterz," Atlantic Records was hesitant to push the hype button on their young new rapper. "We had 'Haterz,' but the label didn't know what to do with him," says B. Rich.

image-7
It didn't help that the rapper, just entering his 20s, didn't want to rap anymore. B.o.B was going through a stage of self-discovery, performing at spots such as Apache Café and the Drunken Unicorn alongside other future stars in record label limbo, including Yelawolf and Janelle Monae. B.o.B traded in his Braves hat and sunglasses for a straw fedora and a guitar and began making everything from rock to pop to folk under the name Bobby Ray. He looked completely comfortable with the change, but some listeners were thrown off, seeing the guy who called himself "the beast from Decatur" strumming an acoustic guitar.

"I kinda went through a phase," he says, laughing. "My music is like a neutron in a laboratory that got out of the container and started bouncing around like, 'the fuck is going on?'"

Arielle played keyboard for Bobby Ray's touring band from 2009-2012.

"He wanted to just wake up and do what he felt like doing," Arielle says. "But he didn't have that luxury yet because he was a new artist. He wanted to do the music he felt, but because he came out with 'Haterz,' he couldn't just follow that up with a rock song. I saw him fighting, trying to be himself."

Apart from wearing sunglasses indoors at his listening party, not much about B.o.B screams "rapper." He's tall, but not imposing, and a man of few words when the cameras are off. In conversations he punctuates most of his words with a smile or a joke. Since starting his career, he's kept the same small circle of friends and family that operates more like a support system than an entourage.

image-5
Rebel Rock/Atlantic linked B.o.B with T.I.'s Grand Hustle imprint to add some street cred to B.o.B's quest for pop appeal. To try to make sense of everything, B.o.B's management borrowed a page from the Rubberband Man's book and released a mixtape, B.o.B vs. Bobby Ray, to showcase all sides of his musical personality.

pageimage-2
B.o.B gained a few fans with his new musical direction, but he didn't win over the world until his debut single, "Nothing on You," exploded on the charts in 2010. The follow-up single, "Airplanes," added gasoline to the fire, leading to sneaker endorsements, intercontinental tours, and Disney radio play.

"When I first came out, I had 'Haterz' and wanted people to know I was more than just a rapper," says B.o.B, ashing his blunt. "But then when I became a pop star," he says, his eyes widening and his hands making an explosion gesture, "I was like, noooooo, I'm a rapper!"

B. Rich adds, "It was a good thing monetarily to have a number one hit and have the accolades, but it hurt us in the sense that people just thought he was a pop artist. It kind of had a negative connotation to it."

While B.o.B was "drinking a German beer, with a Cuban cigar/in the middle of Paris, with a Dominican broad" as he raps on his 2012 hit "So Good," groups including Travis Porter were getting played in every (strip) club in Atlanta. Going out and not hearing his own music get played or enjoyed by his peers began to have an effect on B.o.B. The result was 2013's rap-heavy Underground Luxury.

"I wanted to get back to what I was doing, having fun," B.o.B says about the album, which despite not selling as much as his previous efforts, still had gold- and platinum-selling singles. "I don't want to be the good guy. I don't want to be where everything B.o.B does has to be conscious or has to be serious or musically eclectic. I don't want to have to do anything, I just want to do what I want to do."

image-9
And therein may lie the problem with B.o.B's popularity in Atlanta. Whereas Outkast has created some of the most mind-bending music ever heard, you can still trace them back to their days as "2 Dopeboyz in a Cadillac" on Headland and Delowe. T.I. can make a pop song but can still be tracked back to being one of the "Dope Boyz" in the trap off Bankhead.

B.o.B introduced himself as an artist willing to go all over the place with his music. His gift of crossing musical styles can also be seen as a curse when someone is trying to identify him.

B.o.B doesn't disagree, shooting smoke from the side of his mouth and quipping, "Maybe it's because I'm a Scorpio, we do that type of shit. I'm just a person who likes to be a sponge, I adapt to things. I can be in a cipher with people having a politically conscious discussion or in a cipher with guys talking about the new Jordans coming out. I can relate to both."

B.o.B proved that in September when he performed twice at Music Midtown, once for his own set, and again as a guest of Eminem. A week later he was opening up for Outkast at the final show of the #ATLast weekend. Music Midtowners were treated to the pop hits, whereas the ATLiens were given the rap-heavy set list. Though there were some groans on social media when it was announced that B.o.B would have his own 45-minute set at Outkast, his high-energy performance impressed the antsy crowd. People who knew the words sung along; others finally realized, "Oh, he sings that song?" It was a far better response than what fellow East-of-Atlanta rapper Childish Gambino got the night before.

image-1
"Bob has a big enough catalogue where he can perform for any crowd," B. Rich says. "He is seasoned enough to know how to get a crowd going. A lot of people were won over at that #ATLast show alone."

Perhaps the key to B.o.B earning that elusive Atlanta love is getting around to showing some back. His new label, No Genre, named after his successful mixtape series, recently held "American Idol"-style auditions at the Westin Hotel downtown. Nearly 400 people lined up to perform for B.o.B in hopes of signing with his label.

B. Rich envisions B.o.B working with more of Atlanta's street-oriented artists and showing that his production can co-exist with the likes of Mike Will Made It, Zaytoven, 808 Mafia, Sonny Digital, and other producers currently defining Atlanta's underground sound.

If his new single, "Not for Long" featuring Trey Songz, is any indication, B.o.B plans to continue flirting with the pop sound that made him and his managers rich. Judging from the other songs he previewed at the recent listening party, he's also sticking to his "do what I feel" philosophy when it comes to making music. On one untitled track, he laments anyone who's tried to deny his skills. Another track titled "Ladies," featuring T.I., is self-explanatory, while "America the Beautiful" has him doing spoken word over the patriotic melody. As the music played, it was hard to tell which listeners were nodding their heads to the beat, and which were just chewing extra hard on the free food.

"I don't care if people don't get the point. The people who get it, get it," B.o.B says.

"We are making an album with pop and rap on it," says B. Rich. "We want him to become more of an A-list artist. You have a black kid from Decatur, raised on Candler Road, making big-ass music the world loves, and I don't think people understand that, but I think they will start understanding that now."

Barely home but always repping, B.o.B still has plenty of time to win over the city. Since a new sound or language comes from Atlanta every year, B.o.B's no-genre approach may be the thing that finally gets him his hometown recognition. In his mind, though, he's exactly who and where he's supposed to be.

"It feels good to be from Atlanta," B.o.B says, taking one last puff from his blunt and brushing ash off his No Genre T-shirt before sneaking out of the studio. "I can move anywhere in the world, but I'm still here."

Next: 5 mixtapes that put B.o.B on the map             13080951 12757433                          The World Loves B.o.B - "
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Thursday November 20, 2014 05:00 am EST
Reconciling the Grammy-nominated rapper's place in his hometown | more...
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  string(2883) "In July the Muffs released Whoop Dee Doo, the L.A. pop-punk trio's sixth album, a decade after 2004's Really Really Happy set the group's legacy in stone. That gap was an unplanned hiatus that happened when a break from touring turned into a break from one another. Singer and guitarist Kim Shattuck says she didn't even cross paths with bassist Ronnie Barnett and drummer Roy McDonald for about two years.

So in 2008, after Shattuck had written a batch of news songs she liked, she was unsure what to do with them — if anything at all. "I'm super content to just write songs and be the only one who hears them," Shattuck says.

Fortunately a mutual friend of all three of the group's members held a dinner party that brought them all face to face. When talk of new material came up, Barnett and McDonald were taken aback when they learned that Shattuck had a slew of her razor-sharp pop-punk numbers ready to go. "I think they were kinda weirded out that I'd sort of not told them about the songs," Shattuck says. "But I don't need to branch out on my own. I love those guys. They're my family."

Indeed, the Muffs have been a solid musical unit since 1994, when McDonald joined Shattuck and Barnett between the band's self-titled debut and its sophomore album, Blonder and Blonder, each a near-perfect collection of power chords and buzzy guitars plus Shattuck's bubblegum melodies and ragged howl. Both albums are overlooked classics of the Nirvana/Green Day era that swept countless '90s alt rock bands into the arms of major labels.

This summer the Muffs sated longtime fans with Whoop Dee Doo. Of the album's 12 songs, "Weird Boy Next Door" rides a roller-coaster hook for nearly a minute before Shattuck screams, hoarse with the passage of time, but no less powerful. "Like You Don't See Me" and "Up and Down Around" are driven by unshakeable melodies and chugging guitar riffs.

Deeper cuts, such as "Cheezy," "Forget the Day" and "I Get It" explore the Muffs' longstanding interest in twang and '60s pop.

In 2013 Shattuck replaced Kim Deal as the Pixies' bassist for five months. As she told NME last December, she speculated that her firing came because "I get the feeling they're more introverted people than I am." So whether excitement for Whoop Dee Doo is a result of that high-profile gig or the Muffs' extended absence is unclear. "A little of both, probably," she says.

Not that it matters. "I'm glad people are picking up on our record," she says. "It's nice to have it be recognized and have people listen to it. But my ultimate goal isn't the final product. It's doing it. It's writing songs and learning them with the guys and recording them. Once we get it out it's like it's off my plate."

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So in 2008, after Shattuck had written a batch of news songs she liked, she was unsure what to do with them — if anything at all. "I'm super content to just write songs and be the only one who hears them," Shattuck says.

Fortunately a mutual friend of all three of the group's members held a dinner party that brought them all face to face. When talk of new material came up, Barnett and McDonald were taken aback when they learned that Shattuck had a slew of her razor-sharp pop-punk numbers ready to go. "I think they were kinda weirded out that I'd sort of not told them about [the songs]," Shattuck says. "But I don't need to branch out on my own. I love those guys. They're my family."

Indeed, the Muffs have been a solid musical unit since 1994, when McDonald joined Shattuck and Barnett between the band's self-titled debut and its sophomore album, ''Blonder and Blonder'', each a near-perfect collection of power chords and buzzy guitars plus Shattuck's bubblegum melodies and ragged howl. Both albums are overlooked classics of the Nirvana/Green Day era that swept countless '90s alt rock bands into the arms of major labels.

This summer the Muffs sated longtime fans with ''Whoop Dee Doo''. Of the album's 12 songs, "Weird Boy Next Door" rides a roller-coaster hook for nearly a minute before Shattuck screams, hoarse with the passage of time, but no less powerful. "Like You Don't See Me" and "Up and Down Around" are driven by unshakeable melodies and chugging guitar riffs.

Deeper cuts, such as "Cheezy," "Forget the Day" and "I Get It" explore the Muffs' longstanding interest in twang and '60s pop.

In 2013 Shattuck replaced Kim Deal as the Pixies' bassist for five months. As she told ''[http://www.nme.com/news/pixies/74353|NME]'' last December, she speculated that her firing came because "I get the feeling they're more introverted people than I am." So whether excitement for ''Whoop Dee Doo'' is a result of that high-profile gig or the Muffs' extended absence is unclear. "A little of both, probably," she says.

Not that it matters. "I'm glad people are picking up on our record," she says. "It's nice to have it be recognized and have people listen to it. But my ultimate goal isn't the final product. It's doing it. It's writing songs and learning them with the guys and recording them. Once we get it out it's like it's off my plate."

Shattuck may be content to be the only one who hears her songs, but Muffs fans would no doubt prefer that she get more off her plate before another decade goes by."
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  string(3118) "    Pop-punk faves come back strong   2014-11-20T09:00:00+00:00 The Muffs return: Whoop Dee Doo!   Ben Salmon 10493594 2014-11-20T09:00:00+00:00  In July the Muffs released Whoop Dee Doo, the L.A. pop-punk trio's sixth album, a decade after 2004's Really Really Happy set the group's legacy in stone. That gap was an unplanned hiatus that happened when a break from touring turned into a break from one another. Singer and guitarist Kim Shattuck says she didn't even cross paths with bassist Ronnie Barnett and drummer Roy McDonald for about two years.

So in 2008, after Shattuck had written a batch of news songs she liked, she was unsure what to do with them — if anything at all. "I'm super content to just write songs and be the only one who hears them," Shattuck says.

Fortunately a mutual friend of all three of the group's members held a dinner party that brought them all face to face. When talk of new material came up, Barnett and McDonald were taken aback when they learned that Shattuck had a slew of her razor-sharp pop-punk numbers ready to go. "I think they were kinda weirded out that I'd sort of not told them about the songs," Shattuck says. "But I don't need to branch out on my own. I love those guys. They're my family."

Indeed, the Muffs have been a solid musical unit since 1994, when McDonald joined Shattuck and Barnett between the band's self-titled debut and its sophomore album, Blonder and Blonder, each a near-perfect collection of power chords and buzzy guitars plus Shattuck's bubblegum melodies and ragged howl. Both albums are overlooked classics of the Nirvana/Green Day era that swept countless '90s alt rock bands into the arms of major labels.

This summer the Muffs sated longtime fans with Whoop Dee Doo. Of the album's 12 songs, "Weird Boy Next Door" rides a roller-coaster hook for nearly a minute before Shattuck screams, hoarse with the passage of time, but no less powerful. "Like You Don't See Me" and "Up and Down Around" are driven by unshakeable melodies and chugging guitar riffs.

Deeper cuts, such as "Cheezy," "Forget the Day" and "I Get It" explore the Muffs' longstanding interest in twang and '60s pop.

In 2013 Shattuck replaced Kim Deal as the Pixies' bassist for five months. As she told NME last December, she speculated that her firing came because "I get the feeling they're more introverted people than I am." So whether excitement for Whoop Dee Doo is a result of that high-profile gig or the Muffs' extended absence is unclear. "A little of both, probably," she says.

Not that it matters. "I'm glad people are picking up on our record," she says. "It's nice to have it be recognized and have people listen to it. But my ultimate goal isn't the final product. It's doing it. It's writing songs and learning them with the guys and recording them. Once we get it out it's like it's off my plate."

Shattuck may be content to be the only one who hears her songs, but Muffs fans would no doubt prefer that she get more off her plate before another decade goes by.             13080915 12729377                          The Muffs return: Whoop Dee Doo! "
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Thursday November 20, 2014 04:00 am EST
Pop-punk faves come back strong | more...
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"What I usually say is, 'I go wherever people call me,'" says Nascimento. "I feel very happy for receiving any kind of invitation, without any distinction. I really care about people, and that is what makes me happy."

This sort of humility, to say nothing of humanity, fully imbues Nascimento's voice. His agile tenor has enraptured audiences at every stretch of the stylistic spectrum. Pop crowds have fallen in love with his voice for its seductive, communicative power, whereas serious jazz musicians have recognized Nascimento as possessing an unparalleled prowess. His composition skills are not unworthy of attention, but his voice is the bright star around which his musical universe is organized.

Born in 1942, Nascimento grew up in the city of Três Pontas, where his adopted parents provided him with a key to his future. He was given the run of the radio station where his father worked, hosting his own show as a teenager. "My program was called 'You Request the Song,' but I was the one in charge of choosing the songs," he recalls.

In this grabbing of the reins, Nascimento is not so different from your typical college radio DJ. "I was very lucky; all my music background comes from that time. Before I started my career as a crooner, at the age of 13, I had already listened to music from all over the world, because of that job on the radio. It was a crucial phase in my life."

By the time he was beginning his career as an artist, he'd already accomplished a lifetime's worth of crate digging and discovery. This exploration naturally led to his first success as an artist, the now-legendary album Clube da Esquina. Written in collaboration with the artist collective of the same name, this 1972 album combined rock, jazz, Latin folk, bossa nova, and other genres into an unpredictable but wholly listenable product. The quirky harmony of "Tudo Que Você Podia Ser," the Robert Wyatt-esque piano of "Cais," and the expansive melodic reach of "San Vicente" each offered a spin through the eclectic mental/musical recall of Nascimento and his partners.

Clube da Esquina established itself as a force working alongside but not in direct connection with the Tropicalia movement, perhaps de-emphasizing the psychedelic in favor of a populist lushness. Again, Nascimento's voice played a starring role in the proceedings. As Damon & Naomi's Damon Krukowski once wrote: "if Tom Zé is Brazil's Frank Zappa, Milton Nascimento is its Tim Buckley."

Shortly thereafter, he began to encounter what would become a seemingly endless line of enthusiastic foreign fans-turned-collaborators, starting with saxophonist Wayne Shorter. "I had just recorded Clube da Esquina and was in concert season in Rio when Wayne came to Brazil to play with Weather Report," Nascimento says. "He asked someone to find me but then his wife, Ana Maria, heard about my concert on the news. What happened then was that he started making his concert shorter so he could watch mine. That way we became friends, and in 1974, he invited me to record Native Dancer."

To hear even the first few seconds of Native Dancer (an album whose jacket reads, "Wayne Shorter ... featuring Milton Nascimento") is to fall in love with this wonderful, singular voice. Shorter's lyrical soprano saxophone fits into the same frequency range as Nascimento's opening falsetto, and the two sounds seem to compete for which can be the easier on the ears. While working on Native Dancer Nascimento encountered Herbie Hancock, and the two began a lifelong musical partnership that continues to this day. "The last time I was with Herbie was during International Jazz Day in Istanbul, 2012, and it was a wonderful opportunity," says Nascimento. "I played at a 1,600-year-old church accompanied by Wayne Shorter, Herbie, and Esperanza Spalding. I love Herbie, and I am ready for whatever it is that he invites me to."

Moving beyond language isn't only of use when communicating with audiences or other artists. It's also a useful tool when the written or spoken word is considered dangerous. On 1973's Milagre dos Peixes, Nascimento and his Clube da Esquina bandmates released a collection of largely instrumental or wordless compositions rather than be compelled by Brazil's unfriendly government to alter their protest-heavy lyrics. Still, that was a long time ago, and Nascimento regards the era through a humble lens. "Despite the military dictatorship, I have many good memories, above all, from the friendships I had back then," he says. "It was a very significant period in my life, which I miss a lot."

His interest in issues facing Brazil, however, hasn't faded. "Nowadays, the issue that concerns me the most is the situation with the indigenous people in Brazil," he says. "It is a very dramatic subject, especially in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, where indigenous nations are being destroyed due to the lack of attention to their lands. However ... this happens pretty much all over Brazil. At the same time other countries, as well as the UN, should pay more attention to this situation."

Although Nascimento's half-century in music has yielded four Grammys, about 40 solo albums, and countless tours the world over, this visit marks his first-ever appearance in Atlanta. "I have always cared a lot for what I do, so I consider everything I have done within these 50 years on the road something very special," he says. "Very special," in this context, is a true understatement. As with the best things in life, words fail us once again."
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"What I usually say is, 'I go wherever people call me,'" says Nascimento. "I feel very happy for receiving any kind of invitation, without any distinction. I really care about people, and that is what makes me happy."

This sort of humility, to say nothing of humanity, fully imbues Nascimento's voice. His agile tenor has enraptured audiences at every stretch of the stylistic spectrum. Pop crowds have fallen in love with his voice for its seductive, communicative power, whereas serious jazz musicians have recognized Nascimento as possessing an unparalleled prowess. His composition skills are not unworthy of attention, but his voice is the bright star around which his musical universe is organized.

Born in 1942, Nascimento grew up in the city of Três Pontas, where his adopted parents provided him with a key to his future. He was given the run of the radio station where his father worked, hosting his own show as a teenager. "My program was called 'You Request the Song,' but I was the one in charge of choosing the songs," he recalls.

In this grabbing of the reins, Nascimento is not so different from your typical college radio DJ. "I was very lucky; all my music background comes from that time. Before I started my career as a crooner, at the age of 13, I had already listened to music from all over the world, because of that job on the radio. It was a crucial phase in my life."

By the time he was beginning his career as an artist, he'd already accomplished a lifetime's worth of crate digging and discovery. This exploration naturally led to his first success as an artist, the now-legendary album ''Clube da Esquina''. Written in collaboration with the artist collective of the same name, this 1972 album combined rock, jazz, Latin folk, bossa nova, and other genres into an unpredictable but wholly listenable product. The quirky harmony of "Tudo Que Você Podia Ser," the Robert Wyatt-esque piano of "Cais," and the expansive melodic reach of "San Vicente" each offered a spin through the eclectic mental/musical recall of Nascimento and his partners.

''Clube da Esquina'' established itself as a force working alongside but not in direct connection with the Tropicalia movement, perhaps de-emphasizing the psychedelic in favor of a populist lushness. Again, Nascimento's voice played a starring role in the proceedings. As Damon & Naomi's Damon Krukowski once wrote: "if Tom Zé is Brazil's Frank Zappa, Milton Nascimento is its Tim Buckley."

Shortly thereafter, he began to encounter what would become a seemingly endless line of enthusiastic foreign fans-turned-collaborators, starting with saxophonist Wayne Shorter. "I had just recorded ''Clube da Esquina'' and was in concert season in Rio when Wayne came to Brazil to play with [Weather] Report," Nascimento says. "He asked someone to find me [but then] his wife, Ana Maria, heard about my concert on the news. What happened then was that he started making his concert shorter so he could watch mine. That way we became friends, and in 1974, he invited me to record ''Native Dancer''."

To hear even the first few seconds of ''Native Dancer'' (an album whose jacket reads, "Wayne Shorter ... featuring Milton Nascimento") is to fall in love with this wonderful, singular voice. Shorter's lyrical soprano saxophone fits into the same frequency range as Nascimento's opening falsetto, and the two sounds seem to compete for which can be the easier on the ears. While working on ''Native Dancer'' Nascimento encountered Herbie Hancock, and the two began a lifelong musical partnership that continues to this day. "The last time I was with Herbie was during International Jazz Day in Istanbul, 2012, and it was a wonderful opportunity," says Nascimento. "I played at a 1,600-year-old church accompanied by Wayne Shorter, Herbie, and Esperanza Spalding. I love Herbie, and I am ready for whatever it is that he invites me [to]."

Moving beyond language isn't only of use when communicating with audiences or other artists. It's also a useful tool when the written or spoken word is considered dangerous. On 1973's ''Milagre dos Peixes'', Nascimento and his ''Clube da Esquina'' bandmates released a collection of largely instrumental or wordless compositions rather than be compelled by Brazil's unfriendly government to alter their protest-heavy lyrics. Still, that was a long time ago, and Nascimento regards the era through a humble lens. "Despite the military dictatorship, I have many good memories, above all, from the friendships I had back then," he says. "It was a very significant period in my life, which I miss a lot."

His interest in issues facing Brazil, however, hasn't faded. "Nowadays, the issue that concerns me the most is the situation with the indigenous people in Brazil," he says. "It is a very dramatic subject, especially in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, where indigenous nations are being destroyed due to the lack of attention to their lands. However ... this happens pretty much all over Brazil. At the same time other countries, as well as the UN, should pay more attention to this situation."

Although Nascimento's half-century in music has yielded four Grammys, about 40 solo albums, and countless tours the world over, this visit marks his first-ever appearance in Atlanta. "I have always cared a lot for what I do, so I consider everything I have done within these 50 years on the road something very special," he says. "Very special," in this context, is a true understatement. As with the best things in life, words fail us once again."
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"What I usually say is, 'I go wherever people call me,'" says Nascimento. "I feel very happy for receiving any kind of invitation, without any distinction. I really care about people, and that is what makes me happy."

This sort of humility, to say nothing of humanity, fully imbues Nascimento's voice. His agile tenor has enraptured audiences at every stretch of the stylistic spectrum. Pop crowds have fallen in love with his voice for its seductive, communicative power, whereas serious jazz musicians have recognized Nascimento as possessing an unparalleled prowess. His composition skills are not unworthy of attention, but his voice is the bright star around which his musical universe is organized.

Born in 1942, Nascimento grew up in the city of Três Pontas, where his adopted parents provided him with a key to his future. He was given the run of the radio station where his father worked, hosting his own show as a teenager. "My program was called 'You Request the Song,' but I was the one in charge of choosing the songs," he recalls.

In this grabbing of the reins, Nascimento is not so different from your typical college radio DJ. "I was very lucky; all my music background comes from that time. Before I started my career as a crooner, at the age of 13, I had already listened to music from all over the world, because of that job on the radio. It was a crucial phase in my life."

By the time he was beginning his career as an artist, he'd already accomplished a lifetime's worth of crate digging and discovery. This exploration naturally led to his first success as an artist, the now-legendary album Clube da Esquina. Written in collaboration with the artist collective of the same name, this 1972 album combined rock, jazz, Latin folk, bossa nova, and other genres into an unpredictable but wholly listenable product. The quirky harmony of "Tudo Que Você Podia Ser," the Robert Wyatt-esque piano of "Cais," and the expansive melodic reach of "San Vicente" each offered a spin through the eclectic mental/musical recall of Nascimento and his partners.

Clube da Esquina established itself as a force working alongside but not in direct connection with the Tropicalia movement, perhaps de-emphasizing the psychedelic in favor of a populist lushness. Again, Nascimento's voice played a starring role in the proceedings. As Damon & Naomi's Damon Krukowski once wrote: "if Tom Zé is Brazil's Frank Zappa, Milton Nascimento is its Tim Buckley."

Shortly thereafter, he began to encounter what would become a seemingly endless line of enthusiastic foreign fans-turned-collaborators, starting with saxophonist Wayne Shorter. "I had just recorded Clube da Esquina and was in concert season in Rio when Wayne came to Brazil to play with Weather Report," Nascimento says. "He asked someone to find me but then his wife, Ana Maria, heard about my concert on the news. What happened then was that he started making his concert shorter so he could watch mine. That way we became friends, and in 1974, he invited me to record Native Dancer."

To hear even the first few seconds of Native Dancer (an album whose jacket reads, "Wayne Shorter ... featuring Milton Nascimento") is to fall in love with this wonderful, singular voice. Shorter's lyrical soprano saxophone fits into the same frequency range as Nascimento's opening falsetto, and the two sounds seem to compete for which can be the easier on the ears. While working on Native Dancer Nascimento encountered Herbie Hancock, and the two began a lifelong musical partnership that continues to this day. "The last time I was with Herbie was during International Jazz Day in Istanbul, 2012, and it was a wonderful opportunity," says Nascimento. "I played at a 1,600-year-old church accompanied by Wayne Shorter, Herbie, and Esperanza Spalding. I love Herbie, and I am ready for whatever it is that he invites me to."

Moving beyond language isn't only of use when communicating with audiences or other artists. It's also a useful tool when the written or spoken word is considered dangerous. On 1973's Milagre dos Peixes, Nascimento and his Clube da Esquina bandmates released a collection of largely instrumental or wordless compositions rather than be compelled by Brazil's unfriendly government to alter their protest-heavy lyrics. Still, that was a long time ago, and Nascimento regards the era through a humble lens. "Despite the military dictatorship, I have many good memories, above all, from the friendships I had back then," he says. "It was a very significant period in my life, which I miss a lot."

His interest in issues facing Brazil, however, hasn't faded. "Nowadays, the issue that concerns me the most is the situation with the indigenous people in Brazil," he says. "It is a very dramatic subject, especially in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, where indigenous nations are being destroyed due to the lack of attention to their lands. However ... this happens pretty much all over Brazil. At the same time other countries, as well as the UN, should pay more attention to this situation."

Although Nascimento's half-century in music has yielded four Grammys, about 40 solo albums, and countless tours the world over, this visit marks his first-ever appearance in Atlanta. "I have always cared a lot for what I do, so I consider everything I have done within these 50 years on the road something very special," he says. "Very special," in this context, is a true understatement. As with the best things in life, words fail us once again.             13080944 12756198                          Milton Nascimento reveals beauty beyond words "
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Thursday November 20, 2014 04:00 am EST
Legendary Brazilian singer goes where the road calls | more...
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A massive sculpture of a giant squid looming over Argosy's back room, musical-themed children's books, bicycles fitted with projectors working in tandem to create one moving picture — not to mention 2011's ambitious and detailed "Boxcar Fair" puppet show/music video. Listing the creative endeavors of Little Tybee's singer/guitarist Brock Scott sounds like the itinerary of a traveling carnival. Earlier this month, the ringmaster took to Instagram to announce a new brand with multiple uses.

For Little Tybee, the creation of On the Grid Creative is a simple stone with which to kill two complex birds. One being the organic decision to break with indie label Paper Garden Records to self-produce its own creative undertakings. The other being a desire to encompass the entire spectrum of creative work Scott does under one moniker.

Scott says the decision to self-release Little Tybee's next self-titled album, due out midsummer, was a natural one after years of resourcefully finding new ways to connect with its audience without industry funds. "I don't think there's anything wrong with record labels and the model they have set up, I just don't think most bands can afford to give away the rights to their music or have them watered down," Scott says. "If you can figure out stuff for yourself then you keep the power. I think that's what the future of the music industry's going to be."

As for the business aspect of running a record label, Scott has no interest in taking on other bands as "clients," at least not at the moment, and will continue to concentrate mostly on Little Tybee, its subsequent solo projects, and collaborating with as many local artists and musicians as he can.

But to call On the Grid Creative a vanity label would be doing it a disservice. "I don't think it's fair to call it a record label really; it's more of a creative agency or a curated trust," Scott says. "It's naive to think that a record label should be just about the music."

As a longtime resident of the Goat Farm Arts Center, there is no shortage of opportunities for Scott to take on unorthodox ways to expand Little Tybee's narrative. And with all the projects he has going on at one time, it makes sense that he would want to organize them into one easily identifiable entity.

By utilizing a broad network of Atlanta creators, including artists such as Ashley Anderson, Jason Kofke, and Nick Benson, Scott wants to focus specifically on content and incorporate all artistic mediums while pushing boundaries. He says, "Some bands don't really give enough credit to their audience and they assume it's just a stark wall they're pushing their music on, but people love density and nuance and minutiae."

Conventional record label or not, Scott hopes to continue creating an immersive world through On the Grid Creative. And to harness the kind of varied talent that will inspire even the most lackadaisical of us all to become the masters of our own imaginations.

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Article

Wednesday November 19, 2014 04:00 am EST
First Flight' arrives after a decade and change | more...
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  string(6729) "Since 1981 Death in June has remained a source of perpetual allure, tension, and speculation. Culled from the ashes of London's left leaning '70s punk outfit Crisis, Death in June's long-standing member Douglas Pearce (Douglas P.) has spent a lifetime building a provocative musical legacy. For more than 30 years Pearce has pushed the boundaries of many rich and esoteric musical forms, from bleak post-punk, new wave, and industrial dirges to playing a key role in defining the neofolk genre — an experimental musical style that blends acoustic folk songwriting with noise and modern classical. Pearce's guitar melodies and impressionistic voice and lyrics overflow with contradictory sentiments: triumph and misanthropy, aggression and melancholy collide in his songs, sometimes all in the same hook.

The pitfall, however, lies in his unsettling appropriation of imagery and lyrics that are often perceived as nods to fascism. Allegations that Pearce is a Nazi sympathizer have circulated since the cover for the group's 1983 debut LP, The Guilty Have No Pride, featured an unmistakable totenkopf — the skull and crossbones that can be traced back as far as the Thirty Years' War but is more often associated with the Third Reich. Protests have formed at Death in June's shows, but Pearce's agenda is never clearly defined save for a phrase etched onto the vinyl of the group's 1985 LP Nada!: "We aim to please with constant unease!"

Pearce remains open to interpretation of his work, but when reactions become confrontational, it's of little concern to him. "The yapping dogs of this world rushing to the gate to bark at the stranger in strange dress walking by are too stupid to see or hear the real danger breaking in at the rear of their property," he says in an e-mail from his home in Australia. "All they can hear is the sound of their own barking. I keep on my path and that yapping noise soon disappears into the distance."

Accusations of fascism aside, Pearce has proven himself to be an accomplished musician, continually distilling new musical styles with Death in June's cryptic and always passionate sound and vision. By now, he has so clearly established the project's ever-shifting musical milieu that his latest offering, 2013's The Snow Bunker Tapes, an acoustic rendering of 2010's Peaceful Snow, seems like a refined next step. But taking a reductionist's approach to his songs reveals a timeless quality in his writing. With so much attention paid to Death in June's image, the beauty of the songs can be overshadowed. But Pearce continues on his own terms. Whether he's simply pushing buttons or reconciling a darker side of his psyche is unclear; Pearce isn't one to start explaining himself.

The unease carved into Nada! still resonates louder than ever, and there is no sense of peace in sight. "That 'unease' extends to this day in my life and psychological make-up," Pearce says. "It's never not there. I don't believe you can be an 'artiste' or creative individual of any worth without it. Writing some songs in particular or entire albums can be a cathartic release and the experience is a good one to have behind you once it's complete, but it's been decades since I felt 'a sense of peace.'"

What binds Death in June's early songs, such as "State Laughter" from The Guilty Have No Pride and "She Said Destroy" from Nada!, to more recent songs such as "Cemetery Cove" and "The Scents of Genocide," is an ineffable disharmony with the world threaded deep within the music. "I'm not sure if I ever did feel a sense of peace about anything except perhaps momentarily after orgasm with men I've loved in my life," Pearce adds. "Then a feeling of 'oneness' can descend and perhaps that is a major part of existence — to feel 'complete,' to feel 'whole' but, at peace? That sounds like someone who is totally blind to the ways of the world, or dead!"

Pearce points out that his experiences as a gay man fundamentally resonate with some listeners. But like everything in the group's canon, finding meaning is a matter of how much of themselves listeners project onto the music. "For years I've pointed in some directions of inspiration and I've codified some songs and imagery so that if you are gay you could appreciate them on that level, and therefore heighten your appreciation of whatever it is," Pearce says. "It adds to Death in June. It gives it broader depth. Naturally, you don't have to be gay to like Death in June. But it does give it an extra edge. But heterosexuals are also welcome in the Death in June congregation — we try to be a broad church of acceptance."

Drummer Patrick Leagas and bass player Tony Wakeford filled out the group's original line up. But with the 1986 arrival of The World That Summer, Death in June became Pearce's outlet. The list of collaborators reads like a who's who of industrial culture provocateurs: John Balance (Coil), David Tibet (Current 93), and contentious rabble-rouser Boyd Rice (NON) have counted themselves among the group's ranks.

Pearce retired from performing live in 2005 but returned to the stage in 2011 to honor Death in June's 30th anniversary. Sporadic performances in Europe, the U.S., and Mexico have been a continuing part of that celebration. Each show unfolds over backdrop of an American flag marked with a grinning totenkopf. Pearce, wearing a spectral white mask, takes lead dressed in European combat garb.

For the Death of the West Mk III Tour, the lineup is pared down to Pearce and Slovakian piano and accordion player Miro Snejdr (Lounge Corps).

The two met when fans on the Internet pointed Pearce toward Snejdr's work. They connected in 2010, and have since fashioned wholly new interpretations of much of Death in June's catalogue. "He's given me the opportunity to not only do the Peaceful Snow album in a completely different way to what's usually expected from Death in June, but also have him reinterpret many of the Death in June 'classics' via the Lounge Corps albums and the Neo Kabaret material we now do live," Pearce says.

The setlist includes everything from the group's debut 12-inch, "Heaven Street," to more recent material from Peaceful Snow and The Snow Bunker Tapes. Currently there are no new songs to play, but that will soon change. "My next priority after touring will be to start recording new material," Pearce says. "I've fought that urge for a while but I know it's time to start considering What Will Become of Us, which is the working title of the new album. If it's any good I can set the release of that to coincide with my 60th birthday in 2016."

And thus begins a new chapter in Death in June's saga of perpetual allure, tension, and speculation."
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The pitfall, however, lies in his unsettling appropriation of imagery and lyrics that are often perceived as nods to fascism. Allegations that Pearce is a Nazi sympathizer have circulated since the cover for the group's 1983 debut LP, ''The Guilty Have No Pride'', featured an unmistakable totenkopf — the skull and crossbones that can be traced back as far as the Thirty Years' War but is more often associated with the Third Reich. Protests have formed at Death in June's shows, but Pearce's agenda is never clearly defined save for a phrase etched onto the vinyl of the group's 1985 LP ''Nada!'': "We aim to please with constant unease!"

Pearce remains open to interpretation of his work, but when reactions become confrontational, it's of little concern to him. "The yapping dogs of this world rushing to the gate to bark at the stranger in strange dress walking by are too stupid to see or hear the real danger breaking in at the rear of their property," he says in an e-mail from his home in Australia. "All they can hear is the sound of their own barking. I keep on my path and that yapping noise soon disappears into the distance."

Accusations of fascism aside, Pearce has proven himself to be an accomplished musician, continually distilling new musical styles with Death in June's cryptic and always passionate sound and vision. By now, he has so clearly established the project's ever-shifting musical milieu that his latest offering, 2013's ''The Snow Bunker Tapes'', an acoustic rendering of 2010's ''Peaceful Snow'', seems like a refined next step. But taking a reductionist's approach to his songs reveals a timeless quality in his writing. With so much attention paid to Death in June's image, the beauty of the songs can be overshadowed. But Pearce continues on his own terms. Whether he's simply pushing buttons or reconciling a darker side of his psyche is unclear; Pearce isn't one to start explaining himself.

The unease carved into ''Nada!'' still resonates louder than ever, and there is no sense of peace in sight. "That 'unease' extends to this day in my life and psychological make-up," Pearce says. "It's never not there. I don't believe you can be an 'artiste' or creative individual of any worth without it. Writing some songs in particular or entire albums can be a cathartic release and the experience is a good one to have behind you once it's complete, but it's been decades since I felt 'a sense of peace.'"

What binds Death in June's early songs, such as "State Laughter" from ''The Guilty Have No Pride'' and "She Said Destroy" from ''Nada!'', to more recent songs such as "Cemetery Cove" and "The Scents of Genocide," is an ineffable disharmony with the world threaded deep within the music. "I'm not sure if I ever did [feel a sense of peace] about anything except perhaps momentarily after orgasm with men I've loved in my life," Pearce adds. "Then a feeling of 'oneness' can descend and perhaps that is a major part of existence — to feel 'complete,' to feel 'whole' but, at peace? That sounds like someone who is totally blind to the ways of the world, or dead!"

Pearce points out that his experiences as a gay man fundamentally resonate with some listeners. But like everything in the group's canon, finding meaning is a matter of how much of themselves listeners project onto the music. "For years I've pointed in some directions of inspiration and I've codified some songs and imagery so that if you are gay you could appreciate them on that level, and therefore heighten your appreciation of whatever it is," Pearce says. "It adds to Death in June. It gives it broader depth. Naturally, you don't have to be gay to like Death in June. But it does give it an extra edge. But heterosexuals are also welcome in the Death in June congregation — we try to be a broad church of acceptance."

Drummer Patrick Leagas and bass player Tony Wakeford filled out the group's original line up. But with the 1986 arrival of ''The World That Summer'', Death in June became Pearce's outlet. The list of collaborators reads like a who's who of industrial culture provocateurs: John Balance (Coil), David Tibet (Current 93), and contentious rabble-rouser Boyd Rice (NON) have counted themselves among the group's ranks.

Pearce retired from performing live in 2005 but returned to the stage in 2011 to honor Death in June's 30th anniversary. Sporadic performances in Europe, the U.S., and Mexico have been a continuing part of that celebration. Each show unfolds over backdrop of an American flag marked with a grinning totenkopf. Pearce, wearing a spectral white mask, takes lead dressed in European combat garb.

For the Death of the West Mk III Tour, the lineup is pared down to Pearce and Slovakian piano and accordion player Miro Snejdr (Lounge Corps).

The two met when fans on the Internet pointed Pearce toward Snejdr's work. They connected in 2010, and have since fashioned wholly new interpretations of much of Death in June's catalogue. "He's given me the opportunity to not only do the ''Peaceful Snow'' album in a completely different way to what's usually expected from Death in June, but also have him reinterpret many of the Death in June 'classics' via the Lounge Corps albums and the Neo Kabaret material we now do live," Pearce says.

The setlist includes everything from the group's debut 12-inch, "Heaven Street," to more recent material from ''Peaceful Snow'' and ''The Snow Bunker Tapes''. Currently there are no new songs to play, but that will soon change. "My next priority after touring will be to start recording new material," Pearce says. "I've fought that urge for a while but I know it's time to start considering ''What Will Become of Us'', which is the working title of the new album. If it's any good I can set the release of that to coincide with my 60th birthday in 2016."

And thus begins a new chapter in Death in June's saga of perpetual allure, tension, and speculation."
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  string(7235) " Music Deathinjune1 1 29 1200  2018-08-08T19:52:14+00:00 music_deathinjune1-1_29_1200.jpg     Douglas P. reflects on a legacy of conflicting emotions and timeless music 8038  2014-11-13T09:00:00+00:00 Death in June: Allure, speculation, and unease jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Chad Radford Chad Radford 2014-11-13T09:00:00+00:00  Since 1981 Death in June has remained a source of perpetual allure, tension, and speculation. Culled from the ashes of London's left leaning '70s punk outfit Crisis, Death in June's long-standing member Douglas Pearce (Douglas P.) has spent a lifetime building a provocative musical legacy. For more than 30 years Pearce has pushed the boundaries of many rich and esoteric musical forms, from bleak post-punk, new wave, and industrial dirges to playing a key role in defining the neofolk genre — an experimental musical style that blends acoustic folk songwriting with noise and modern classical. Pearce's guitar melodies and impressionistic voice and lyrics overflow with contradictory sentiments: triumph and misanthropy, aggression and melancholy collide in his songs, sometimes all in the same hook.

The pitfall, however, lies in his unsettling appropriation of imagery and lyrics that are often perceived as nods to fascism. Allegations that Pearce is a Nazi sympathizer have circulated since the cover for the group's 1983 debut LP, The Guilty Have No Pride, featured an unmistakable totenkopf — the skull and crossbones that can be traced back as far as the Thirty Years' War but is more often associated with the Third Reich. Protests have formed at Death in June's shows, but Pearce's agenda is never clearly defined save for a phrase etched onto the vinyl of the group's 1985 LP Nada!: "We aim to please with constant unease!"

Pearce remains open to interpretation of his work, but when reactions become confrontational, it's of little concern to him. "The yapping dogs of this world rushing to the gate to bark at the stranger in strange dress walking by are too stupid to see or hear the real danger breaking in at the rear of their property," he says in an e-mail from his home in Australia. "All they can hear is the sound of their own barking. I keep on my path and that yapping noise soon disappears into the distance."

Accusations of fascism aside, Pearce has proven himself to be an accomplished musician, continually distilling new musical styles with Death in June's cryptic and always passionate sound and vision. By now, he has so clearly established the project's ever-shifting musical milieu that his latest offering, 2013's The Snow Bunker Tapes, an acoustic rendering of 2010's Peaceful Snow, seems like a refined next step. But taking a reductionist's approach to his songs reveals a timeless quality in his writing. With so much attention paid to Death in June's image, the beauty of the songs can be overshadowed. But Pearce continues on his own terms. Whether he's simply pushing buttons or reconciling a darker side of his psyche is unclear; Pearce isn't one to start explaining himself.

The unease carved into Nada! still resonates louder than ever, and there is no sense of peace in sight. "That 'unease' extends to this day in my life and psychological make-up," Pearce says. "It's never not there. I don't believe you can be an 'artiste' or creative individual of any worth without it. Writing some songs in particular or entire albums can be a cathartic release and the experience is a good one to have behind you once it's complete, but it's been decades since I felt 'a sense of peace.'"

What binds Death in June's early songs, such as "State Laughter" from The Guilty Have No Pride and "She Said Destroy" from Nada!, to more recent songs such as "Cemetery Cove" and "The Scents of Genocide," is an ineffable disharmony with the world threaded deep within the music. "I'm not sure if I ever did feel a sense of peace about anything except perhaps momentarily after orgasm with men I've loved in my life," Pearce adds. "Then a feeling of 'oneness' can descend and perhaps that is a major part of existence — to feel 'complete,' to feel 'whole' but, at peace? That sounds like someone who is totally blind to the ways of the world, or dead!"

Pearce points out that his experiences as a gay man fundamentally resonate with some listeners. But like everything in the group's canon, finding meaning is a matter of how much of themselves listeners project onto the music. "For years I've pointed in some directions of inspiration and I've codified some songs and imagery so that if you are gay you could appreciate them on that level, and therefore heighten your appreciation of whatever it is," Pearce says. "It adds to Death in June. It gives it broader depth. Naturally, you don't have to be gay to like Death in June. But it does give it an extra edge. But heterosexuals are also welcome in the Death in June congregation — we try to be a broad church of acceptance."

Drummer Patrick Leagas and bass player Tony Wakeford filled out the group's original line up. But with the 1986 arrival of The World That Summer, Death in June became Pearce's outlet. The list of collaborators reads like a who's who of industrial culture provocateurs: John Balance (Coil), David Tibet (Current 93), and contentious rabble-rouser Boyd Rice (NON) have counted themselves among the group's ranks.

Pearce retired from performing live in 2005 but returned to the stage in 2011 to honor Death in June's 30th anniversary. Sporadic performances in Europe, the U.S., and Mexico have been a continuing part of that celebration. Each show unfolds over backdrop of an American flag marked with a grinning totenkopf. Pearce, wearing a spectral white mask, takes lead dressed in European combat garb.

For the Death of the West Mk III Tour, the lineup is pared down to Pearce and Slovakian piano and accordion player Miro Snejdr (Lounge Corps).

The two met when fans on the Internet pointed Pearce toward Snejdr's work. They connected in 2010, and have since fashioned wholly new interpretations of much of Death in June's catalogue. "He's given me the opportunity to not only do the Peaceful Snow album in a completely different way to what's usually expected from Death in June, but also have him reinterpret many of the Death in June 'classics' via the Lounge Corps albums and the Neo Kabaret material we now do live," Pearce says.

The setlist includes everything from the group's debut 12-inch, "Heaven Street," to more recent material from Peaceful Snow and The Snow Bunker Tapes. Currently there are no new songs to play, but that will soon change. "My next priority after touring will be to start recording new material," Pearce says. "I've fought that urge for a while but I know it's time to start considering What Will Become of Us, which is the working title of the new album. If it's any good I can set the release of that to coincide with my 60th birthday in 2016."

And thus begins a new chapter in Death in June's saga of perpetual allure, tension, and speculation.    The Hooded Man PEACEFUL SNOW: Douglas Pearce of Death in June        13080889 12712138                          Death in June: Allure, speculation, and unease "
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Thursday November 13, 2014 04:00 am EST
Douglas P. reflects on a legacy of conflicting emotions and timeless music | more...
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Unlike most up-and-coming MCs with clandestine side hustles, Gilles' day job as an entertainment, real estate, and civil litigation attorney gives him the luxury of the steady income needed to get an independent music career off the ground. The 29-year-old's first notable solo foray after graduating from Howard University's law school is his 2013 debut Successfully Lost. The project was a mixed bag of rhymes centered on an artist with one foot in the studio and the other in the courtroom. Successfully Lost, coupled with Gilles legal background, earned him a feature on Black Enterprise. Even with national recognition, the sense was that the music was decent, but the selling point was the dichotomy of Gilles being an artist whose quantity of musical content might be surpassed only by the amount business casual articles of clothing in his closet. Thankfully for Gilles, who has drawn comparisons to Childish Gambino, B.o.B, and Wale, his latest offering, Super., out Nov. 18, is a step in the right direction toward branching out from being just a lawyer who happens to rap.

For the past year, Gilles has been tinkering with the project — adding songs, scrapping some tracks altogether, switching the order around, etc. The end result is Gilles' most cohesive release yet. At 12 tracks (with two bonus cuts), where Super. succeeds is in its storytelling. Raised in a single-parent household with his older brother, Gilles says conceptually he's "very middle of the road."

"I talk about conversations, I talk about relationships, I talk about ambition, I talk about debt," Gilles says. "Artistically, that's when I really let my quirks shine through."

True to that last sentiment, standout cuts such as "Windows Down, Tinted Out" tell the story of a kid who grew up on free lunch in elementary school, and later would "ride two trains listening to 2 Chainz — Playaz Circle era." On "Future 4 Wii," Gilles taps into his vulnerability in regard to his dealings with the opposite sex. When he says "I'm a lawyer, still don't speak to police," on the Kid Cannibal-produced "Straight Like That," it's hard not to laugh at Gilles' everyman honesty, which complements the absurdity of such lines as "Got some tear drops tatted on my condoms" in "Bodies." Whereas most rappers would appear to be lyrical schizophrenics when jumping from nice guy to cold-blooded asshole (I'm looking at you, T.I. vs. T.I.P.), Gilles' music thrives when he skips between the two personalities, hence the title of his most recent single, "The Righteous Ratchet."

It's obvious from spending time with the MC — who doesn't drink or smoke — that he's more than comfortable embracing his oddball personality, and that carries over into the music. And Gilles' response to being compared to other young rappers with a mean bow tie collection and a conscience? Like his lyrics, the rebuttal is quick-witted.

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Almost as if he's aware of how his eccentricity might catch a stranger off guard, the Brooklyn-born, Atlanta-raised MC jokes that "ain't nothing normal about a rapping lawyer."

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Unlike most up-and-coming MCs with clandestine side hustles, Gilles' day job as an entertainment, real estate, and civil litigation attorney gives him the luxury of the steady income needed to get an independent music career off the ground. The 29-year-old's first notable solo foray after graduating from Howard University's law school is his 2013 debut ''Successfully Lost''. The project was a mixed bag of rhymes centered on an artist with one foot in the studio and the other in the courtroom. ''Successfully Lost'', coupled with Gilles legal background, earned him a feature on [http://www.blackenterprise.com/career/lawyer-rapper-gilles-inspiration-dreams/|Black Enterprise]. Even with national recognition, the sense was that the music was decent, but the selling point was the dichotomy of Gilles being an artist whose quantity of musical content might be surpassed only by the amount business casual articles of clothing in his closet. Thankfully for Gilles, who has drawn comparisons to Childish Gambino, B.o.B, and Wale, his latest offering, ''Super.'', out Nov. 18, is a step in the right direction toward branching out from being just a lawyer who happens to rap.

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Almost as if he's aware of how his eccentricity might catch a stranger off guard, the Brooklyn-born, Atlanta-raised MC jokes that "ain't nothing normal about a rapping lawyer."

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"I talk about conversations, I talk about relationships, I talk about ambition, I talk about debt," Gilles says. "Artistically, that's when I really let my quirks shine through."

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It's obvious from spending time with the MC — who doesn't drink or smoke — that he's more than comfortable embracing his oddball personality, and that carries over into the music. And Gilles' response to being compared to other young rappers with a mean bow tie collection and a conscience? Like his lyrics, the rebuttal is quick-witted.

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Thursday November 13, 2014 04:00 am EST
MC's storytelling shines through on latest project | more...
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  string(4041) "College, for a lot of people, is a really great opportunity to shed the child they grew from and take on a new adult persona. Aaron Carter never went to college. "I never needed to go to college because I always had a profession," he says.

At age seven, he had a recording contract. "I have always been able to make a living off of what I do."

Many remember Carter for his monstrously popular flurry of Disney-friendly pop hits such as "That's How I Beat Shaq" and his cover of the Strangeloves' "I Want Candy," both of which dropped before he could legally drive. Carter toured with Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys (of which his older brother Nick was an integral member). He held a Guinness World Records title by age 10 as the youngest recording star to have four consecutive Top 10 hits. Carter attained a far-reaching branch of celebrity at a young age. His parents handled everything before he turned 18, acting as managers. Until they didn't. "They divorced and I was left there kinda stranded on my own, trying to figure out how I'm gonna pick up the pieces again," Carter says. "It's just kinda taken me this long to figure it out and get it back together."

That process involved a lot of searching and struggle, including work on Broadway and reality television, substance addiction, and bankruptcy. However, now at 26, he's healthy and focused on his role as an entertainer. Carter has been hyping his latest pop banger, "Ooh Wee," a song he performed live on "Good Day L.A." over the summer. He started "Aaron Carter's Wonderful World Tour" in mid-September; it runs until February 2015.

He's working on a fresh album with a title that remains unannounced — his first since 2002's Another Earthquake. "The effort I put into it, that's what's going to make it so special," he says. "I actually care about it. I'm not just doing it because."

Carter's professional hustle is evident, but unfortunately doesn't end with all the obvious, musical legwork. Still, the general public recalls him as the floppy-haired twerp in orange overalls, running 'round a cul-de-sac with Shaquille O'Neal in the video for "That's How I Beat Shaq." It's an identity to which he owes everything, but it won't stop gnawing at his heels. "A lot of times the public won't treat me like a person," he says. "They just want to take a picture with me real quick."

For whatever reason, people have trouble understanding that children, no matter how famous they get, eventually grow up.

Carter's hardest grind is to be taken seriously as an adult artist. "It's hard," he says. "It takes effort. A lot of me convincing them I'm just a normal person, stuff like that." He's quiet on the other end of the phone before adding: "I guess I'm not normal. When it comes down to it, because I've been doing it so long, I don't feel like I'm not normal."

Celebrity aside, Carter maintains a stranglehold on his social media presence. His Instagram account is protected, despite his roughly 162,000 followers. "You know, I don't trust a lot of people," Carter says. "I'm a little more private about my life. ... I don't like random people judging all my stuff."

However, some of Carter's recent tweets invite fans to call or text, and list an L.A.-area phone number. "Yeah, it's my cell phone number," he says, although it's different from the one from which he called for this interview. "I can control it a little better than Instagram. ... That's just a way for me ... to contact fans and be in touch."

And do his fans ever take the open invitation? "It doesn't stop ringing, and I don't stop picking it up," he says. "I always pick it up."

The attention shows folks haven't forgotten about him as an entertainer or as an artist — and he doesn't intend to allow that to happen. "I'm a fire sign, and it's definitely given me the confidence to be a leader, have faith in myself," he says. "Never give up, even when people poke fun or wanna put me down or want me to be the topic of their negativity. ... I'm going to do this until the day I die.""
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  string(4227) "College, for a lot of people, is a really great opportunity to shed the child they grew from and take on a new adult persona. Aaron Carter never went to college. "I never needed to go to college because I always had a profession," he says.

At age seven, he had a recording contract. "[I] have always been able to make a living off of what I do."

Many remember Carter for his monstrously popular flurry of Disney-friendly pop hits such as "[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfhhWA9GF0M|That's How I Beat Shaq]" and his cover of the Strangeloves' "[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLPpGKKV3s4|I Want Candy]," both of which dropped before he could legally drive. Carter toured with Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys (of which his older brother Nick was an integral member). He held a Guinness World Records title by age 10 as the youngest recording star to have four consecutive Top 10 hits. Carter attained a far-reaching branch of celebrity at a young age. His parents handled everything before he turned 18, acting as managers. Until they didn't. "They divorced and I was left there kinda stranded on my own, trying to figure out how I'm gonna pick up the pieces again," Carter says. "It's just kinda taken me this long to figure it out and get it back together."

That process involved a lot of searching and struggle, including work on Broadway and reality television, substance addiction, and bankruptcy. However, now at 26, he's healthy and focused on his role as an entertainer. Carter has been hyping his latest pop banger, "Ooh Wee," a song he performed live on "[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlkEpFDDbCE|Good Day L.A.]" over the summer. He started "[http://www.aaroncarterontour.com/|Aaron Carter's Wonderful World Tour]" in mid-September; it runs until February 2015.

He's working on a fresh album with a title that remains unannounced — his first since 2002's ''Another Earthquake''. "The effort I put into it, that's what's going to make it so special," he says. "I actually care about it. I'm not just doing it because."

Carter's professional hustle is evident, but unfortunately doesn't end with all the obvious, musical legwork. Still, the general public recalls him as the floppy-haired twerp in orange overalls, running 'round a cul-de-sac with Shaquille O'Neal in the video for "That's How I Beat Shaq." It's an identity to which he owes everything, but it won't stop gnawing at his heels. "A lot of times [the public] won't treat me like a person," he says. "They just want to take a picture with me real quick."

For whatever reason, people have trouble understanding that children, no matter how famous they get, eventually grow up.

Carter's hardest grind is to be taken seriously as an adult artist. "It's hard," he says. "It takes effort. A lot of me convincing them I'm just a normal person, stuff like that." He's quiet on the other end of the phone before adding: "I guess I'm not normal. When it comes down to it, because I've been doing it so long, I don't feel like I'm not normal."

Celebrity aside, Carter maintains a stranglehold on his social media presence. His Instagram account is protected, despite his roughly 162,000 followers. "You know, I don't trust a lot of people," Carter says. "I'm a little more private about my life. ... I don't like random people judging all my stuff."

However, some of Carter's recent tweets invite fans to call or text, and list an L.A.-area phone number. "Yeah, it's my cell phone number," he says, although it's different from the one from which he called for this interview. "I can control it a little better [than Instagram]. ... That's just a way for me ... to contact fans and be in touch."

And do his fans ever take the open invitation? "It doesn't stop ringing, and I don't stop picking it up," he says. "I always pick it up."

The attention shows folks haven't forgotten about him as an entertainer or as an artist — and he doesn't intend to allow that to happen. "I'm a fire sign, and it's definitely given me the confidence to be a leader, have faith in myself," he says. "Never give up, even when people poke fun or wanna put me down [or] want me to be the topic of their negativity. ... I'm going to do this until the day I die.""
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  string(4286) "    The teen pop star is still growing up   2014-11-12T09:00:00+00:00 Aaron Carter wants you to call him   Beca Grimm 12117653 2014-11-12T09:00:00+00:00  College, for a lot of people, is a really great opportunity to shed the child they grew from and take on a new adult persona. Aaron Carter never went to college. "I never needed to go to college because I always had a profession," he says.

At age seven, he had a recording contract. "I have always been able to make a living off of what I do."

Many remember Carter for his monstrously popular flurry of Disney-friendly pop hits such as "That's How I Beat Shaq" and his cover of the Strangeloves' "I Want Candy," both of which dropped before he could legally drive. Carter toured with Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys (of which his older brother Nick was an integral member). He held a Guinness World Records title by age 10 as the youngest recording star to have four consecutive Top 10 hits. Carter attained a far-reaching branch of celebrity at a young age. His parents handled everything before he turned 18, acting as managers. Until they didn't. "They divorced and I was left there kinda stranded on my own, trying to figure out how I'm gonna pick up the pieces again," Carter says. "It's just kinda taken me this long to figure it out and get it back together."

That process involved a lot of searching and struggle, including work on Broadway and reality television, substance addiction, and bankruptcy. However, now at 26, he's healthy and focused on his role as an entertainer. Carter has been hyping his latest pop banger, "Ooh Wee," a song he performed live on "Good Day L.A." over the summer. He started "Aaron Carter's Wonderful World Tour" in mid-September; it runs until February 2015.

He's working on a fresh album with a title that remains unannounced — his first since 2002's Another Earthquake. "The effort I put into it, that's what's going to make it so special," he says. "I actually care about it. I'm not just doing it because."

Carter's professional hustle is evident, but unfortunately doesn't end with all the obvious, musical legwork. Still, the general public recalls him as the floppy-haired twerp in orange overalls, running 'round a cul-de-sac with Shaquille O'Neal in the video for "That's How I Beat Shaq." It's an identity to which he owes everything, but it won't stop gnawing at his heels. "A lot of times the public won't treat me like a person," he says. "They just want to take a picture with me real quick."

For whatever reason, people have trouble understanding that children, no matter how famous they get, eventually grow up.

Carter's hardest grind is to be taken seriously as an adult artist. "It's hard," he says. "It takes effort. A lot of me convincing them I'm just a normal person, stuff like that." He's quiet on the other end of the phone before adding: "I guess I'm not normal. When it comes down to it, because I've been doing it so long, I don't feel like I'm not normal."

Celebrity aside, Carter maintains a stranglehold on his social media presence. His Instagram account is protected, despite his roughly 162,000 followers. "You know, I don't trust a lot of people," Carter says. "I'm a little more private about my life. ... I don't like random people judging all my stuff."

However, some of Carter's recent tweets invite fans to call or text, and list an L.A.-area phone number. "Yeah, it's my cell phone number," he says, although it's different from the one from which he called for this interview. "I can control it a little better than Instagram. ... That's just a way for me ... to contact fans and be in touch."

And do his fans ever take the open invitation? "It doesn't stop ringing, and I don't stop picking it up," he says. "I always pick it up."

The attention shows folks haven't forgotten about him as an entertainer or as an artist — and he doesn't intend to allow that to happen. "I'm a fire sign, and it's definitely given me the confidence to be a leader, have faith in myself," he says. "Never give up, even when people poke fun or wanna put me down or want me to be the topic of their negativity. ... I'm going to do this until the day I die."             13080883 12711391                          Aaron Carter wants you to call him "
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Wednesday November 12, 2014 04:00 am EST
The teen pop star is still growing up | more...

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Considering the influx of Atlanta festivals, from corporate giants such as Music Midtown to DIY fests such as Deer Bear Wolf, CorndogOrama's relevance remains threatened more than ever before. "Atlanta is on the map now," Railey says.

Unlike the heyday of Dottie's, Atlanta now offers local music diehards an abundance of festivals that showcase the city's lesser-known talent. Yet even in its stripped-down form, CorndogOrama retains its vitality as a window into an Atlanta lost on recent generations. The festival hearkens back to a time when the Black Lips were still urinating onstage, when the prospect of a gentrified Cabbagetown was laughable, and when the identity of an "Atlanta" band was crude and undefined. CorndogOrama was born when Atlanta's hip-hop domination was in full swing, before the city's punk and experimental undercurrents attracted hints of outside recognition.

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Yet as CorndogOrama's deep-fried fame exploded, Railey's ambitions grew out of step with the whims of Atlanta's indie fan base. The event was moved to the (also now-defunct) Lenny's bar, where the festival enjoyed the apex of its greasy glory. It was 2007, and local metal luminaries Mastodon had just returned from a triumphant tour with Iron Maiden to headline CorndogOrama for a grand homecoming performance. Railey estimated attendance at 3,000, a sizable feat considering the festival's dive bar roots. But bigger names brought bigger ticket prices, and a perfect storm of a failing economy, smaller lineups, and brutal heat waves ate away at CorndogOrama's prominence.

Railey looks back at his cholesterol-inducing lovechild through rosy red glasses. "The two years people focus on the most involve the financial problems I had," he says. "Those were two years out of 13, so we had 11 amazing years, but for some reason everyone focuses on the two negative years."

Despite years of personal financial losses and bitter Internet chatter, Railey continues to revive and reshape CorndogOrama to accommodate growing crowds while staying faithful to the festival's local credo. "From what I've heard from bands and fans, they want to keep it going," he says. "It's not about the biggest bands but about the bands that are hungry and want to play, have a good time, and entertain." "
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For CorndogOrama's 18th anniversary, Railey's aims are humble. Gone are the days of big-ticket headliners such as the Avett Brothers and past incarnations that would stuff 140 bands over four days. This year's CorndogOrama spans two days, and while the lineup is more than 20 bands strong, Railey has kept his sights local with performances from resident favorites such as Zoners, Spirits and the Melchizedek Children, and many others, including a headlining set from PLS PLS on Saturday night.

Considering the influx of Atlanta festivals, from corporate giants such as Music Midtown to DIY fests such as Deer Bear Wolf, CorndogOrama's relevance remains threatened more than ever before. "Atlanta is on the map now," Railey says.

Unlike the heyday of Dottie's, Atlanta now offers local music diehards an abundance of festivals that showcase the city's lesser-known talent. Yet even in its stripped-down form, CorndogOrama retains its vitality as a window into an Atlanta lost on recent generations. The festival hearkens back to a time when the Black Lips were still urinating onstage, when the prospect of a gentrified Cabbagetown was laughable, and when the identity of an "Atlanta" band was crude and undefined. CorndogOrama was born when Atlanta's hip-hop domination was in full swing, before the city's punk and experimental undercurrents attracted hints of outside recognition.

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For CorndogOrama's 18th anniversary, Railey's aims are humble. Gone are the days of big-ticket headliners such as the Avett Brothers and past incarnations that would stuff 140 bands over four days. This year's CorndogOrama spans two days, and while the lineup is more than 20 bands strong, Railey has kept his sights local with performances from resident favorites such as Zoners, Spirits and the Melchizedek Children, and many others, including a headlining set from PLS PLS on Saturday night.

Considering the influx of Atlanta festivals, from corporate giants such as Music Midtown to DIY fests such as Deer Bear Wolf, CorndogOrama's relevance remains threatened more than ever before. "Atlanta is on the map now," Railey says.

Unlike the heyday of Dottie's, Atlanta now offers local music diehards an abundance of festivals that showcase the city's lesser-known talent. Yet even in its stripped-down form, CorndogOrama retains its vitality as a window into an Atlanta lost on recent generations. The festival hearkens back to a time when the Black Lips were still urinating onstage, when the prospect of a gentrified Cabbagetown was laughable, and when the identity of an "Atlanta" band was crude and undefined. CorndogOrama was born when Atlanta's hip-hop domination was in full swing, before the city's punk and experimental undercurrents attracted hints of outside recognition.

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Wednesday November 5, 2014 04:00 am EST
David Railey stays humble in the face of a local music legacy | more...
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Over the last 15 years the New Pornographers have functioned like a modern Brill Building (the songwriting and publishing one-stop shop that pumped out some of the planet's catchiest songs), ever since Newman assembled the group in Vancouver circa 1999. Bassist John Collins, guitarist Todd Fancey, ex-drummer Kurt Dahle, and keyboardists Kathryn Calder and Blaine Thurier lay the foundation for the band's wall of sound, while Neko Case and Destroyer's Dan Bejar regularly take turns at lead vocals. But the captain of the ship, the core songwriter and face of the band, is Newman, a soft-spoken Canadian with a preternatural gift for setting majestic melody and memorably odd turns of phrase to crunchy guitar rock.

The group's first three albums, beginning with 2000's Mass Romantic, followed by 2003's Electric Version and 2005's Twin Cinema, are near-perfect monuments to ebullient power pop. But 2007's Challengers signaled a downshift in pace and mood for the band. These qualities also carried over to 2010's Together, and Newman's third solo album, 2012's Shut Down the Streets, which centered on all phases of life, from birth to death. As Newman grappled with growing older, his music grew quieter and more personal.

Which is why Brill Bruisers, with its unabashed gleam and endless sea of bubbly synthesizers, is such a thrill. It's also a pleasant break from the stylistic shift of Challengers and Together, and a sign of the band's return to its rightful place on pop-rock's throne.

It's all of those things because Brill Bruisers is a return to the New Pornographers' early aughts form that arrives on the heels of a happier time for Newman. "When we started this record, my son was a little over one year old, so there was that sense that, 'Oh yeah, we seem to be doing this,'" Newman says. "It was springtime and he was walking, so we'd be working in the home studio and I'd see my wife and my little son walking around and I thought, 'OK, this is a good time.'"

Newman spent long hours in his home studio, poring over recordings and arranging them into what would become Brill Bruisers. The traditional rock band parts — guitars, bass, and drums — are simply the backbone of these songs. Newman and Collins layered on keys, synths, and vocals with an anything-goes mentality.

But Brill Bruisers packs more than digital luxuriance. The album's title track is a steadfast march through wordless vocal hooks. There's a "woo-ooh" or "bo-bah-bah-bo" around every corner. "Backstairs" sounds as though it was unearthed from the '70s, with its vocoded chorus and interlocking coda. "Dancehall Domine," "Fantasy Fools," and "You Tell Me Where" are the same kind of irresistible sonic sugar highs that dot the band's back catalog. And on "Champions of Red Wine" and "Marching Orders," Case's icy vocals float above fields of synth arpeggios that stretch to the horizon.

If it sounds like Newman and Collins spent a lot time playing with new toys, well, they did. To pile on sounds, they programmed keyboard parts on a computer and used iPhone and iPad apps and anything else that "sounded cool," Newman says.

"It felt like that was the unique area that the album could inhabit in the rock 'n' roll landscape: 'We are still a rock 'n' roll band, but we're using a lot of electronic elements,'" Newman says. "At the heart of it, when you listen to the New Pornographers without any of the other decorations on top, we're essentially the Ramones."

The Ramones' perfect blend of punk, pop, and rock 'n' roll confections slathered with soaring harmonies and sugary synths? Brilliant and bruising, indeed."
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Over the last 15 years the New Pornographers have functioned like a modern Brill Building (the songwriting and publishing one-stop shop that pumped out some of the planet's catchiest songs), ever since Newman assembled the group in Vancouver circa 1999. Bassist John Collins, guitarist Todd Fancey, ex-drummer Kurt Dahle, and keyboardists Kathryn Calder and Blaine Thurier lay the foundation for the band's wall of sound, while Neko Case and Destroyer's Dan Bejar regularly take turns at lead vocals. But the captain of the ship, the core songwriter and face of the band, is Newman, a soft-spoken Canadian with a preternatural gift for setting majestic melody and memorably odd turns of phrase to crunchy guitar rock.

The group's first three albums, beginning with 2000's ''Mass Romantic'', followed by 2003's ''Electric Version'' and 2005's ''Twin Cinema'', are near-perfect monuments to ebullient power pop. But 2007's ''Challengers'' signaled a downshift in pace and mood for the band. These qualities also carried over to 2010's ''Together'', and Newman's third solo album, 2012's ''Shut Down the Streets'', which centered on all phases of life, from birth to death. As Newman grappled with growing older, his music grew quieter and more personal.

Which is why ''Brill Bruisers'', with its unabashed gleam and endless sea of bubbly synthesizers, is such a thrill. It's also a pleasant break from the stylistic shift of ''Challengers'' and ''Together'', and a sign of the band's return to its rightful place on pop-rock's throne.

It's all of those things because ''Brill Bruisers'' is a return to the New Pornographers' early aughts form that arrives on the heels of a happier time for Newman. "When we started this record, my son was a little over one year old, so there was that sense that, 'Oh yeah, we seem to be doing this,'" Newman says. "It was springtime and he was walking, so we'd be working in the home studio and I'd see my wife and my little son walking around and I thought, 'OK, this is a good time.'"

Newman spent long hours in his home studio, poring over recordings and arranging them into what would become ''Brill Bruisers''. The traditional rock band parts — guitars, bass, and drums — are simply the backbone of these songs. Newman and Collins layered on keys, synths, and vocals with an anything-goes mentality.

But ''Brill Bruisers'' packs more than digital luxuriance. The album's title track is a steadfast march through wordless vocal hooks. There's a "woo-ooh" or "bo-bah-bah-bo" around every corner. "Backstairs" sounds as though it was unearthed from the '70s, with its vocoded chorus and interlocking coda. "Dancehall Domine," "Fantasy Fools," and "You Tell Me Where" are the same kind of irresistible sonic sugar highs that dot the band's back catalog. And on "Champions of Red Wine" and "Marching Orders," Case's icy vocals float above fields of synth arpeggios that stretch to the horizon.

If it sounds like Newman and Collins spent a lot time playing with new toys, well, they did. To pile on sounds, they programmed keyboard parts on a computer and used iPhone and iPad apps and anything else that "sounded cool," Newman says.

"It felt like that was the unique area that the album could inhabit in the rock 'n' roll landscape: 'We are still a rock 'n' roll band, but we're using a lot of electronic elements,'" Newman says. "At the heart of it, when you listen to the New Pornographers without any of the other decorations on top, we're essentially the Ramones."

The Ramones' perfect blend of punk, pop, and rock 'n' roll confections slathered with soaring harmonies and sugary synths? Brilliant and bruising, indeed."
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  string(4558) "    Canadian powerhouse gets brilliant on 'Brill Bruisers'   2014-11-05T09:00:00+00:00 New Pornographers return to form   Ben Salmon 10493594 2014-11-05T09:00:00+00:00  In August, the New Pornographers released its sixth studio album, Brill Bruisers, which received a tasteful but intensive promotional push. When Carl (AC) Newman picks up the phone to talk about it, he's in New York, enjoying some well-earned time at home, which has been scarce lately. "It was a crazy couple of weeks," Newman says. "Fly to L.A. Fly to Edmonton. Fly to Halifax. Go back to New York and do 'Letterman.' Do the Brill Building show," he adds, referring to the legendary New York City pop-song factory where the band performed for NPR in September. "We were doing a lot of things that involved a lot of traveling. But that's what you do when you put a record out."

Over the last 15 years the New Pornographers have functioned like a modern Brill Building (the songwriting and publishing one-stop shop that pumped out some of the planet's catchiest songs), ever since Newman assembled the group in Vancouver circa 1999. Bassist John Collins, guitarist Todd Fancey, ex-drummer Kurt Dahle, and keyboardists Kathryn Calder and Blaine Thurier lay the foundation for the band's wall of sound, while Neko Case and Destroyer's Dan Bejar regularly take turns at lead vocals. But the captain of the ship, the core songwriter and face of the band, is Newman, a soft-spoken Canadian with a preternatural gift for setting majestic melody and memorably odd turns of phrase to crunchy guitar rock.

The group's first three albums, beginning with 2000's Mass Romantic, followed by 2003's Electric Version and 2005's Twin Cinema, are near-perfect monuments to ebullient power pop. But 2007's Challengers signaled a downshift in pace and mood for the band. These qualities also carried over to 2010's Together, and Newman's third solo album, 2012's Shut Down the Streets, which centered on all phases of life, from birth to death. As Newman grappled with growing older, his music grew quieter and more personal.

Which is why Brill Bruisers, with its unabashed gleam and endless sea of bubbly synthesizers, is such a thrill. It's also a pleasant break from the stylistic shift of Challengers and Together, and a sign of the band's return to its rightful place on pop-rock's throne.

It's all of those things because Brill Bruisers is a return to the New Pornographers' early aughts form that arrives on the heels of a happier time for Newman. "When we started this record, my son was a little over one year old, so there was that sense that, 'Oh yeah, we seem to be doing this,'" Newman says. "It was springtime and he was walking, so we'd be working in the home studio and I'd see my wife and my little son walking around and I thought, 'OK, this is a good time.'"

Newman spent long hours in his home studio, poring over recordings and arranging them into what would become Brill Bruisers. The traditional rock band parts — guitars, bass, and drums — are simply the backbone of these songs. Newman and Collins layered on keys, synths, and vocals with an anything-goes mentality.

But Brill Bruisers packs more than digital luxuriance. The album's title track is a steadfast march through wordless vocal hooks. There's a "woo-ooh" or "bo-bah-bah-bo" around every corner. "Backstairs" sounds as though it was unearthed from the '70s, with its vocoded chorus and interlocking coda. "Dancehall Domine," "Fantasy Fools," and "You Tell Me Where" are the same kind of irresistible sonic sugar highs that dot the band's back catalog. And on "Champions of Red Wine" and "Marching Orders," Case's icy vocals float above fields of synth arpeggios that stretch to the horizon.

If it sounds like Newman and Collins spent a lot time playing with new toys, well, they did. To pile on sounds, they programmed keyboard parts on a computer and used iPhone and iPad apps and anything else that "sounded cool," Newman says.

"It felt like that was the unique area that the album could inhabit in the rock 'n' roll landscape: 'We are still a rock 'n' roll band, but we're using a lot of electronic elements,'" Newman says. "At the heart of it, when you listen to the New Pornographers without any of the other decorations on top, we're essentially the Ramones."

The Ramones' perfect blend of punk, pop, and rock 'n' roll confections slathered with soaring harmonies and sugary synths? Brilliant and bruising, indeed.             13080817 12660301                          New Pornographers return to form "
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Article

Wednesday November 5, 2014 04:00 am EST
Canadian powerhouse gets brilliant on 'Brill Bruisers' | more...
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  ["title"]=>
  string(34) "Negativland: It's all in your head"
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  string(41) "Mark Hosler steps out of his comfort zone"
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  string(6311) "For the past 34 years, the mixed-media sound-art collective Negativland has built a body of work that challenges large-scale sociopolitical topics, such as religion, government, marketing tactics, gun control, and copyright laws, with a mix of repurposed found sounds, experimental electronics, and genuinely catchy pop constructs. The band's members work in a number of mediums including radio shows, short films, lectures, art shows, and more. Negativland's latest release, It's All in Your Head, is a two-hour concept album that examines why people believe in God, and comes packaged in a modified Bible. Presented as a radio network broadcast, the album juxtaposes existing songs with found sounds, religious audio and media snippets, and the band's signature "boopers," all of which sit comfortably and uncomfortably alongside each other. Negativland's founding member Mark Hosler took a few minutes to talk about the modernized approach to found material, the recent U2 controversy, and the perks of stepping out of his comfort zone with his current set of solo shows.

When Negativland started, the found audio approach must have been more laborious than it is now. Before you really had to dig or stumble upon sources, but now you can click to YouTube and skim through an endless amount of source material.

We all have a love of using things we find. In a sense, everyone in Negativland is an archivist — an anthropologist or archeologist of our culture. We find and dig up these crazy, amazing things and then we get to reuse them, present them, and share them with the world. That's always been something we have a common love or appreciation for. The advent of YouTube was a sea change in many ways, because it's like a gigantic, globally created archive of shared material. The tricky thing about looking for things on YouTube is that if you can find it, anyone can find it.

But part of what has often inspired Negativland's work is when we find things no one else has found. So if you find a weird audio thing in, say, a thrift store somewhere, instead of YouTube, there hasn't been much way for anyone to share it in a mass way yet. The record we got a lot of attention for in 1991, the U2 single, was made because we got a hold of these outtakes of Casey Kasem having a bad day in a recording studio, and if the Internet had existed back then, I guarantee you we would have never made that record. We were inspired to make it partly because the material we found was so great and rare, but the other part of it was, "We have to share this with people! Oh my God! This is amazing. Wow!" This kind of joy, almost a childlike thrill and excitement, "I have to tell all my friends!" The way we share this with our friends is we put out a record.

What was your reaction to U2's recent album being sent to everyone's iPhone?

On some level, what they did is completely offensive, and on some level it's really interesting. There's a lot of ways you can look at, though it was sort of shocking to read Bono quoted as saying something like, "This was very punk rock of us and in your face" putting their new album onto your iPhone like that. When in fact U2 just got paid $100 million by Apple. U2 didn't give it away. Apple paid them for the rights. And of course, if you're a customer of Apple you've signed all of these agreements that do allow them to do stuff like that. To some degree, I get the complaints. On the other hand, I think this is what we're signing up for, isn't it? If you want to be this enmeshed in the corporate world and Internet online digital device world, guess what? There's weird stuff they can do to you.

Some of Negativland's works are labeled "pranks." Is that an agreeable term, or does it devalue what you're about?

In some ways we're happy if people are aware of our work, no matter what way they are. We know that there are certain aspects of our work that get a lot of attention, some of our work gets a medium amount of attention, and other aspects of our work get very little attention. But for us, all of the layers of our work are very important, and they're all a part of what, I think, makes Negativland this very complexly layered creature. What I do like about that is if someone gets interested in our work, and they start to dig — if they take the time, which in this day and age is a lot to ask — I'd like to think our work has enough details, layers, and interconnectedness between projects, contexts, all kinds of referential things — a whole alternative universe is there for you to dig into and enjoy. But maybe all you know is, "Oh those guys are just shit-stirring pranksters and they got sued by U2." But obviously there's a lot more to the story.

You've been associated with Negativland for 34 years now. When did you start doing solo shows?

I was building a new performance setup to use for recent Negativland shows and decided to focus on all these homemade electronic devices and boxes we have called Boopers. I thought, if I overdid this and had way more devices than I needed for a Negativland show, I wonder if I could do a solo performance. That would be really challenging, and scared the hell out of me. But that's interesting that it scares the hell out of me, maybe that means I should look into this. It was freaky to do at first, because I had no safety net. No one was there to back me up, like when I'm on stage with Negativland and we're all trying to mix with each other and be all one piece in a coherent way.

Martin Schmidt, of Matmos introduced me to the idea of performing in quadraphonic sound. I realized with the mixer I had that I could do an extra set of outputs and do my performance in quad, and that has turned out to be so much fun. I think the human brain just takes music in differently when it surrounds you, and starts to think it's more "real." It's like peripheral vision with your eyes, but you have sound coming from in front of your face and behind your head and something happens that I can't put my finger on. It's a good challenge to figure out how to perform where I'm not only choosing the sounds I use but I'm constantly choosing where they go in the room and where they move to between the four speakers. It looks like I'll be able to do that at Eyedrum. I can't do that at every venue."
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_raw"]=>
  string(6370) "For the past 34 years, the mixed-media sound-art collective [http://www.negativland.com|Negativland] has built a body of work that challenges large-scale sociopolitical topics, such as religion, government, marketing tactics, gun control, and copyright laws, with a mix of repurposed found sounds, experimental electronics, and genuinely catchy pop constructs. The band's members work in a number of mediums including radio shows, short films, lectures, art shows, and more. Negativland's latest release, ''It's All in Your Head'', is a two-hour concept album that examines why people believe in God, and comes packaged in a modified Bible. Presented as a radio network broadcast, the album juxtaposes existing songs with found sounds, religious audio and media snippets, and the band's signature "boopers," all of which sit comfortably and uncomfortably alongside each other. Negativland's founding member Mark Hosler took a few minutes to talk about the modernized approach to found material, the recent U2 controversy, and the perks of stepping out of his comfort zone with his current set of solo shows.

__When Negativland started, the found audio approach must have been more laborious than it is now. Before you really had to dig or stumble upon sources, but now you can click to YouTube and skim through an endless amount of source material.__

We all have a love of using things we find. In a sense, everyone in Negativland is an archivist — an anthropologist or archeologist of our culture. We find and dig up these crazy, amazing things and then we get to reuse them, present them, and share them with the world. That's always been something we have a common love or appreciation for. The advent of YouTube was a sea change in many ways, because it's like a gigantic, globally created archive of shared material. The tricky thing about looking for things on YouTube is that if ''you'' can find it, anyone can find it.

But part of what has often inspired Negativland's work is when we find things no one else has found. So if you find a weird audio thing in, say, a thrift store somewhere, instead of YouTube, there hasn't been much way for anyone to share it in a mass way yet. The record we got a lot of attention for in 1991, the ''U2'' single, was made because we got a hold of these outtakes of Casey Kasem having a bad day in a recording studio, and if the Internet had existed back then, I guarantee you we would have never made that record. We were inspired to make it partly because the material we found was so great and rare, but the other part of it was, "We have to share this with people! Oh my God! This is amazing. Wow!" This kind of joy, almost a childlike thrill and excitement, "I have to tell all my friends!" The way we share this with our friends is we put out a record.

__What was your reaction to U2's recent album being sent to everyone's iPhone?__

On some level, what they did is completely offensive, and on some level it's really interesting. There's a lot of ways you can look at, though it was sort of shocking to read Bono quoted as saying something like, "This was very punk rock of us and in your face" putting their new album onto your iPhone like that. When in fact U2 just got paid $100 million by Apple. U2 didn't give it away. Apple paid them for the rights. And of course, if you're a customer of Apple you've signed all of these agreements that do allow them to do stuff like that. To some degree, I get the complaints. On the other hand, I think this is what we're signing up for, isn't it? If you want to be this enmeshed in the corporate world and Internet online digital device world, guess what? There's weird stuff they can do to you.

__Some of Negativland's works are labeled "pranks." Is that an agreeable term, or does it devalue what you're about?__

In some ways we're happy if people are aware of our work, no matter what way they are. We know that there are certain aspects of our work that get a lot of attention, some of our work gets a medium amount of attention, and other aspects of our work get very little attention. But for us, all of the layers of our work are very important, and they're all a part of what, I think, makes Negativland this very complexly layered creature. What I do like about that is if someone gets interested in our work, and they start to dig — if they take the time, which in this day and age is a lot to ask — I'd like to think our work has enough details, layers, and interconnectedness between projects, contexts, all kinds of referential things — a whole alternative universe is there for you to dig into and enjoy. But maybe all you know is, "Oh those guys are just shit-stirring pranksters and they got sued by U2." But obviously there's a lot more to the story.

__You've been associated with Negativland for 34 years now. When did you start doing solo shows?__

I was building a new performance setup to use for recent Negativland shows and decided to focus on all these homemade electronic devices and boxes we have called Boopers. I thought, if I overdid this and had way more devices than I needed for a Negativland show, I wonder if I could do a solo performance. That would be really challenging, and scared the hell out of me. But that's interesting that it scares the hell out of me, maybe that means I should look into this. It was freaky to do at first, because I had no safety net. No one was there to back me up, like when I'm on stage with Negativland and we're all trying to mix with each other and be all one piece in a coherent way.

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  string(6560) "    Mark Hosler steps out of his comfort zone   2014-11-04T09:00:00+00:00 Negativland: It's all in your head   Bobby Power 7184489 2014-11-04T09:00:00+00:00  For the past 34 years, the mixed-media sound-art collective Negativland has built a body of work that challenges large-scale sociopolitical topics, such as religion, government, marketing tactics, gun control, and copyright laws, with a mix of repurposed found sounds, experimental electronics, and genuinely catchy pop constructs. The band's members work in a number of mediums including radio shows, short films, lectures, art shows, and more. Negativland's latest release, It's All in Your Head, is a two-hour concept album that examines why people believe in God, and comes packaged in a modified Bible. Presented as a radio network broadcast, the album juxtaposes existing songs with found sounds, religious audio and media snippets, and the band's signature "boopers," all of which sit comfortably and uncomfortably alongside each other. Negativland's founding member Mark Hosler took a few minutes to talk about the modernized approach to found material, the recent U2 controversy, and the perks of stepping out of his comfort zone with his current set of solo shows.

When Negativland started, the found audio approach must have been more laborious than it is now. Before you really had to dig or stumble upon sources, but now you can click to YouTube and skim through an endless amount of source material.

We all have a love of using things we find. In a sense, everyone in Negativland is an archivist — an anthropologist or archeologist of our culture. We find and dig up these crazy, amazing things and then we get to reuse them, present them, and share them with the world. That's always been something we have a common love or appreciation for. The advent of YouTube was a sea change in many ways, because it's like a gigantic, globally created archive of shared material. The tricky thing about looking for things on YouTube is that if you can find it, anyone can find it.

But part of what has often inspired Negativland's work is when we find things no one else has found. So if you find a weird audio thing in, say, a thrift store somewhere, instead of YouTube, there hasn't been much way for anyone to share it in a mass way yet. The record we got a lot of attention for in 1991, the U2 single, was made because we got a hold of these outtakes of Casey Kasem having a bad day in a recording studio, and if the Internet had existed back then, I guarantee you we would have never made that record. We were inspired to make it partly because the material we found was so great and rare, but the other part of it was, "We have to share this with people! Oh my God! This is amazing. Wow!" This kind of joy, almost a childlike thrill and excitement, "I have to tell all my friends!" The way we share this with our friends is we put out a record.

What was your reaction to U2's recent album being sent to everyone's iPhone?

On some level, what they did is completely offensive, and on some level it's really interesting. There's a lot of ways you can look at, though it was sort of shocking to read Bono quoted as saying something like, "This was very punk rock of us and in your face" putting their new album onto your iPhone like that. When in fact U2 just got paid $100 million by Apple. U2 didn't give it away. Apple paid them for the rights. And of course, if you're a customer of Apple you've signed all of these agreements that do allow them to do stuff like that. To some degree, I get the complaints. On the other hand, I think this is what we're signing up for, isn't it? If you want to be this enmeshed in the corporate world and Internet online digital device world, guess what? There's weird stuff they can do to you.

Some of Negativland's works are labeled "pranks." Is that an agreeable term, or does it devalue what you're about?

In some ways we're happy if people are aware of our work, no matter what way they are. We know that there are certain aspects of our work that get a lot of attention, some of our work gets a medium amount of attention, and other aspects of our work get very little attention. But for us, all of the layers of our work are very important, and they're all a part of what, I think, makes Negativland this very complexly layered creature. What I do like about that is if someone gets interested in our work, and they start to dig — if they take the time, which in this day and age is a lot to ask — I'd like to think our work has enough details, layers, and interconnectedness between projects, contexts, all kinds of referential things — a whole alternative universe is there for you to dig into and enjoy. But maybe all you know is, "Oh those guys are just shit-stirring pranksters and they got sued by U2." But obviously there's a lot more to the story.

You've been associated with Negativland for 34 years now. When did you start doing solo shows?

I was building a new performance setup to use for recent Negativland shows and decided to focus on all these homemade electronic devices and boxes we have called Boopers. I thought, if I overdid this and had way more devices than I needed for a Negativland show, I wonder if I could do a solo performance. That would be really challenging, and scared the hell out of me. But that's interesting that it scares the hell out of me, maybe that means I should look into this. It was freaky to do at first, because I had no safety net. No one was there to back me up, like when I'm on stage with Negativland and we're all trying to mix with each other and be all one piece in a coherent way.

Martin Schmidt, of Matmos introduced me to the idea of performing in quadraphonic sound. I realized with the mixer I had that I could do an extra set of outputs and do my performance in quad, and that has turned out to be so much fun. I think the human brain just takes music in differently when it surrounds you, and starts to think it's more "real." It's like peripheral vision with your eyes, but you have sound coming from in front of your face and behind your head and something happens that I can't put my finger on. It's a good challenge to figure out how to perform where I'm not only choosing the sounds I use but I'm constantly choosing where they go in the room and where they move to between the four speakers. It looks like I'll be able to do that at Eyedrum. I can't do that at every venue.             13080763 12628903                          Negativland: It's all in your head "
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Tuesday November 4, 2014 04:00 am EST
Mark Hosler steps out of his comfort zone | more...
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  string(4516) "At first, bassist Jesse Keeler worried that someone had died when he saw his former bandmate Sebastian Grainger's name in his inbox. Neither had spoken to the other during the five years since the collapse of their lauded dance-punk duo, Death From Above 1979. Upon reading the email, Keeler was surprised to find no one had died. Instead, Grainger was reaching out for a chance at reviving a defunct band with only one album and a rabid fan base that clamored for more.

The band had never run its proper course. Its career trajectory was like that of a comet brilliantly exploding across the night sky, leaving nothing but vivid memories of its existence in the minds of those lucky enough to catch a glimpse.

Death From Above 1979 started playing shows in 2001, right when the concept of blog buzz was a new force in the music industry. The two friends were broke, jamming throughout Toronto with only a drum set, vocals, a bass guitar, and a synthesizer. With those sparse instruments, Keeler and Grainger developed a monstrous style of grating, libido-amping bass riffs and pulsating drums charged with an equal balance of aggression and groove. The duo quickly grew from 20-somethings playing house parties to fighting for air in the first wave of the unforgiving Internet hype machine.

"We had to learn that it was OK to say no sometimes," Keeler says. "You don't want to do anything to ruin your luck when you're younger, so when the people who booked us were telling us something was a great idea, at a certain point we had to ask, 'When have I fucking been home?'"

The band was playing every show it could land, regardless of the pay. As a result, play started to feel more like work for Keeler. His father, also a musician, repeated a sage piece of advice that he wished his younger self had understood. "Be careful that music becoming your job doesn't ruin it for you," Keeler says. "If you ruin the enjoyment of playing then you ruin the output, and it's not worth it to allow that to ruin music for you."

Even though Death From Above 1979 has learned its lesson of balancing work and play, Keeler still wishes someone would remind him of that bit of advice, "all the time, literally every week," he says.

The duo's original run from 2001 to 2006 produced only one document of its lawless aesthetic, titled You're a Woman, I'm a Machine. Yet after Death From Above 1979 announced its demise, the LP found a renewed life on its own. New fans stumbled upon the record, thanks to references from other bands, such as CSS' "Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above," and remixes of the debut album from the likes of Justice, Alan Braxe, and Queen of the Stone Age's Josh Homme.

It took a literal riot for Keeler to realize how many people demanded more. The first reunion show happened during SXSW 2011, when a mass of fans blocked off by a flimsy fence rushed inside the venue. Attendees were trampled, police Tasers flashed, and somehow a horse was punched in the face. Death From Above 1979 was back.

No new music was planned at first, but in 2012 the duo performed new material and announced that a second album was in the works. A decade after You're a Woman, I'm a Machine shell-shocked the collective worlds of dance and punk, the duo finally produced its second deafening love child, The Physical World.

Despite the 10-year gap, The Physical World sounds barely a year apart from its predecessor. During the duo's hiatus, both members branched off into their own musical territories. Keeler explored pounding electro as half of the duo MSTRKRFT, and Grainger followed differing veins of rock in a number of projects. It is difficult to imagine the two spent any time apart over the last 10 years, as the songs from their latest album maintain all of the unruly, bare-knuckle brilliance of Death From Above 1979's early years.

Now that the group has reached greater levels of success, and Keeler has a family to look after, how does he know Death from Above 1979 won't spiral into the same overworked implosion? "It's different now when we walk into a record label because we're walking in there with all of our fans and all the stuff we've done, and they know that we've done it all without them," Keeler says.

After Keeler read Grainger's first communication in five years, he had to ask himself if the thrashing youth that founded Death From Above 1979 was still alive inside of him. "I had to see if I could still do it," he says. "As far as I can tell, we've gotten even better.""
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  string(4569) "At first, bassist Jesse Keeler worried that someone had died when he saw his former bandmate Sebastian Grainger's name in his inbox. Neither had spoken to the other during the five years since the collapse of their lauded dance-punk duo, Death From Above 1979. Upon reading the email, Keeler was surprised to find no one had died. Instead, Grainger was reaching out for a chance at reviving a defunct band with only one album and a rabid fan base that clamored for more.

The band had never run its proper course. Its career trajectory was like that of a comet brilliantly exploding across the night sky, leaving nothing but vivid memories of its existence in the minds of those lucky enough to catch a glimpse.

[http://www.deathfromabove1979.com/|Death From Above 1979] started playing shows in 2001, right when the concept of blog buzz was a new force in the music industry. The two friends were broke, jamming throughout Toronto with only a drum set, vocals, a bass guitar, and a synthesizer. With those sparse instruments, Keeler and Grainger developed a monstrous style of grating, libido-amping bass riffs and pulsating drums charged with an equal balance of aggression and groove. The duo quickly grew from 20-somethings playing house parties to fighting for air in the first wave of the unforgiving Internet hype machine.

"We had to learn that it was OK to say no sometimes," Keeler says. "You don't want to do anything to ruin your luck when you're younger, so when the people who booked us were telling us something was a great idea, at a certain point we had to ask, 'When have I fucking been home?'"

The band was playing every show it could land, regardless of the pay. As a result, play started to feel more like work for Keeler. His father, also a musician, repeated a sage piece of advice that he wished his younger self had understood. "Be careful that music becoming your job doesn't ruin it for you," Keeler says. "If you ruin the enjoyment of playing then you ruin the output, and it's not worth it to allow that to ruin music for you."

Even though Death From Above 1979 has learned its lesson of balancing work and play, Keeler still wishes someone would remind him of that bit of advice, "all the time, literally every week," he says.

The duo's original run from 2001 to 2006 produced only one document of its lawless aesthetic, titled ''You're a Woman, I'm a Machine''. Yet after Death From Above 1979 announced its demise, the LP found a renewed life on its own. New fans stumbled upon the record, thanks to references from other bands, such as CSS' "Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above," and remixes of the debut album from the likes of Justice, Alan Braxe, and Queen of the Stone Age's Josh Homme.

It took a literal riot for Keeler to realize how many people demanded more. The first reunion show happened during SXSW 2011, when a mass of fans blocked off by a flimsy fence rushed inside the venue. Attendees were trampled, police Tasers flashed, and somehow a horse was punched in the face. Death From Above 1979 was back.

No new music was planned at first, but in 2012 the duo performed new material and announced that a second album was in the works. A decade after ''You're a Woman, I'm a Machine'' shell-shocked the collective worlds of dance and punk, the duo finally produced its second deafening love child, ''The Physical World''.

Despite the 10-year gap, ''The Physical World'' sounds barely a year apart from its predecessor. During the duo's hiatus, both members branched off into their own musical territories. Keeler explored pounding electro as half of the duo MSTRKRFT, and Grainger followed differing veins of rock in a number of projects. It is difficult to imagine the two spent any time apart over the last 10 years, as the songs from their latest album maintain all of the unruly, bare-knuckle brilliance of Death From Above 1979's early years.

Now that the group has reached greater levels of success, and Keeler has a family to look after, how does he know Death from Above 1979 won't spiral into the same overworked implosion? "It's different now when we walk into a record label because we're walking in there with all of our fans and all the stuff we've done, and they know that we've done it all without them," Keeler says.

After Keeler read Grainger's first communication in five years, he had to ask himself if the thrashing youth that founded Death From Above 1979 was still alive inside of him. "I had to see if I could still do it," he says. "As far as I can tell, we've gotten even better.""
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The band had never run its proper course. Its career trajectory was like that of a comet brilliantly exploding across the night sky, leaving nothing but vivid memories of its existence in the minds of those lucky enough to catch a glimpse.

Death From Above 1979 started playing shows in 2001, right when the concept of blog buzz was a new force in the music industry. The two friends were broke, jamming throughout Toronto with only a drum set, vocals, a bass guitar, and a synthesizer. With those sparse instruments, Keeler and Grainger developed a monstrous style of grating, libido-amping bass riffs and pulsating drums charged with an equal balance of aggression and groove. The duo quickly grew from 20-somethings playing house parties to fighting for air in the first wave of the unforgiving Internet hype machine.

"We had to learn that it was OK to say no sometimes," Keeler says. "You don't want to do anything to ruin your luck when you're younger, so when the people who booked us were telling us something was a great idea, at a certain point we had to ask, 'When have I fucking been home?'"

The band was playing every show it could land, regardless of the pay. As a result, play started to feel more like work for Keeler. His father, also a musician, repeated a sage piece of advice that he wished his younger self had understood. "Be careful that music becoming your job doesn't ruin it for you," Keeler says. "If you ruin the enjoyment of playing then you ruin the output, and it's not worth it to allow that to ruin music for you."

Even though Death From Above 1979 has learned its lesson of balancing work and play, Keeler still wishes someone would remind him of that bit of advice, "all the time, literally every week," he says.

The duo's original run from 2001 to 2006 produced only one document of its lawless aesthetic, titled You're a Woman, I'm a Machine. Yet after Death From Above 1979 announced its demise, the LP found a renewed life on its own. New fans stumbled upon the record, thanks to references from other bands, such as CSS' "Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above," and remixes of the debut album from the likes of Justice, Alan Braxe, and Queen of the Stone Age's Josh Homme.

It took a literal riot for Keeler to realize how many people demanded more. The first reunion show happened during SXSW 2011, when a mass of fans blocked off by a flimsy fence rushed inside the venue. Attendees were trampled, police Tasers flashed, and somehow a horse was punched in the face. Death From Above 1979 was back.

No new music was planned at first, but in 2012 the duo performed new material and announced that a second album was in the works. A decade after You're a Woman, I'm a Machine shell-shocked the collective worlds of dance and punk, the duo finally produced its second deafening love child, The Physical World.

Despite the 10-year gap, The Physical World sounds barely a year apart from its predecessor. During the duo's hiatus, both members branched off into their own musical territories. Keeler explored pounding electro as half of the duo MSTRKRFT, and Grainger followed differing veins of rock in a number of projects. It is difficult to imagine the two spent any time apart over the last 10 years, as the songs from their latest album maintain all of the unruly, bare-knuckle brilliance of Death From Above 1979's early years.

Now that the group has reached greater levels of success, and Keeler has a family to look after, how does he know Death from Above 1979 won't spiral into the same overworked implosion? "It's different now when we walk into a record label because we're walking in there with all of our fans and all the stuff we've done, and they know that we've done it all without them," Keeler says.

After Keeler read Grainger's first communication in five years, he had to ask himself if the thrashing youth that founded Death From Above 1979 was still alive inside of him. "I had to see if I could still do it," he says. "As far as I can tell, we've gotten even better."             13080725 12609764                          Death From Above 1979 lives "
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Thursday October 30, 2014 04:00 am EDT
After a decade, the dance-punk duo returns | more...
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Bassist Joseph D. Rowland calls these moments "letting the light in" while explaining how Pallbearer has gravitated toward cleaner guitar tones that showcase the intricacies of the band's sound.

Portland-based producer Billy Anderson, known for his work with heavy titans such as Sleep, Neurosis, and the Melvins, along with more subtle indie acts such as Jawbreaker was an accomplice.

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It's an enlightened view, and with enlightenment, the darkness fades, and the path to world domination is much easier to follow."
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Portland-based producer Billy Anderson, known for his work with heavy titans such as Sleep, Neurosis, and the Melvins, along with more subtle indie acts such as Jawbreaker was an accomplice.

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The result: More room for Pallbearer's other interests to bloom.

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It's an enlightened view, and with enlightenment, the darkness fades, and the path to world domination is much easier to follow."
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Bassist Joseph D. Rowland calls these moments "letting the light in" while explaining how Pallbearer has gravitated toward cleaner guitar tones that showcase the intricacies of the band's sound.

Portland-based producer Billy Anderson, known for his work with heavy titans such as Sleep, Neurosis, and the Melvins, along with more subtle indie acts such as Jawbreaker was an accomplice.

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Rowland has cited an array of influences, from Black Sabbath, Camel, and Alice in Chains to Ennio Morricone, Popol Vuh, and Boston. Pallbearer's combination of musical acumen and faith in its own vision gives the band an opportunity to look beyond metal's ceiling. "I don't think anybody's pretending we're cult anymore," Rowland says. "It would be absurd to try to play ourselves off like that. I have no interest in the cult metal scene. It's just another spin on elitism. I have no shame in the fact that I love Boston. Good music is going to be what it is. Whether people think we're good or not, we're writing music that's at least good to us."

It's an enlightened view, and with enlightenment, the darkness fades, and the path to world domination is much easier to follow.             13080726 12609774                          Pallbearer lets in the light "
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Thursday October 30, 2014 04:00 am EDT
Arkansas metal band looks beyond doom on 'Foundations of Burden' | more...
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A massive sculpture of a giant squid looming over Argosy's back room, musical-themed children's books, bicycles fitted with projectors working in tandem to create one moving picture — not to mention 2011's ambitious and detailed "Boxcar Fair" puppet show/music video. Listing the creative endeavors of Little Tybee's singer/guitarist Brock Scott sounds like the itinerary of a traveling carnival. Earlier this month, the ringmaster took to Instagram to announce a new brand with multiple uses.

For Little Tybee, the creation of On the Grid Creative is a simple stone with which to kill two complex birds. One being the organic decision to break with indie label Paper Garden Records to self-produce its own creative undertakings. The other being a desire to encompass the entire spectrum of creative work Scott does under one moniker.

Scott says the decision to self-release Little Tybee's next self-titled album, due out midsummer, was a natural one after years of resourcefully finding new ways to connect with its audience without industry funds. "I don't think there's anything wrong with record labels and the model they have set up, I just don't think most bands can afford to give away the rights to their music or have them watered down," Scott says. "If you can figure out stuff for yourself then you keep the power. I think that's what the future of the music industry's going to be."

As for the business aspect of running a record label, Scott has no interest in taking on other bands as "clients," at least not at the moment, and will continue to concentrate mostly on Little Tybee, its subsequent solo projects, and collaborating with as many local artists and musicians as he can.

But to call On the Grid Creative a vanity label would be doing it a disservice. "I don't think it's fair to call it a record label really; it's more of a creative agency or a curated trust," Scott says. "It's naive to think that a record label should be just about the music."

As a longtime resident of the Goat Farm Arts Center, there is no shortage of opportunities for Scott to take on unorthodox ways to expand Little Tybee's narrative. And with all the projects he has going on at one time, it makes sense that he would want to organize them into one easily identifiable entity.

By utilizing a broad network of Atlanta creators, including artists such as Ashley Anderson, Jason Kofke, and Nick Benson, Scott wants to focus specifically on content and incorporate all artistic mediums while pushing boundaries. He says, "Some bands don't really give enough credit to their audience and they assume it's just a stark wall they're pushing their music on, but people love density and nuance and minutiae."

Conventional record label or not, Scott hopes to continue creating an immersive world through On the Grid Creative. And to harness the kind of varied talent that will inspire even the most lackadaisical of us all to become the masters of our own imaginations.

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Thursday October 30, 2014 04:00 am EDT
Hip-hop duo finds biggest success working as a team | more...
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But why has going to see a hodgepodge of musicians from local bands getting together to run through other bands' songs become such a haunted holiday tradition for Atlanta? The answer is a lot less complicated than one might suspect.

"For a lot of people, whether they'll admit it or not, the holidays are a comforting time," says Ian Deaton, who plays the role of Jello Biafra, the Dead Kennedys singer and political rabble-rouser, in his cover band, the Ted Kennedys.

Deaton fronts the band's lineup alongside bass player Andrew Wiggins (Wymyns Prysyn, Hawks), guitar player George Asimakos, and drummer Ryan Fetter.

"From Halloween all the way till New Years Eve, no matter what your religion, if you have one, people enjoy the passage of fall," Deaton says. "People are coming back into town, they're reuniting with friends and family. It sounds silly, but stepping back into a town where you haven't been for a while, and you have to see your family, it makes things easier. There will always be comfort in seeing and hearing music that you already know."

This year, drummer Erin Santini is performing in an all-women Misfits cover band, called 30-Year-Old Women From Mars (featuring vocalist Jennifer von Schlichten, bass player Jenn Downs, and guitar player Nikki Speake), and in a Joy Division tribute band called Unknown Pleasures (featuring guitarist Ross Politi of Del Venicci, bass player Rachel Pagillo, and vocalist David Spence). For Santini, the experience is not unlike putting a Halloween costume on her music. "As someone who likes to play original music most of the time, it can be really nice to put on a costume and pay tribute to another musician in your own special way," Santini says. "It's a lot of fun, and when Halloween is over the band is over. But for a brief while you can get together with some friends and people you wouldn't normally play with and really have a good time playing music."

Nostalgia also plays a key role in what makes Atlanta's Halloween cover band scene such an ongoing phenomenon. "When you're playing Misfits songs, that's your childhood," Santini adds. "I don't think I've ever played in any band on Halloween and not had it remind me of my childhood."

The trend spreads throughout the city come Halloween night. The Ted Kennedys, 30-Year-Old Women From Mars, Unknown Pleasures, and local Nirvana cover band Nameless Nameless take the stage at the Earl. But the buck doesn't stop there: In Little Five Points, the Biters headline a night at the Star Bar and play a set of all KISS songs. For the opening set, members of Dinos Boys and Night Terrors delve into Mötley Crüe's greatest hits. And over at Center Stage, the ATL Collective is performing Michael Jackson's timeless horror pop classic Thriller in its entirety.

Each of these shows brings a formidable swath of the city's hardest-working local rock talent to the stage, setting aside their more concerted songwriting voices to suit the season.

Stepping back to look at the larger implications of such a trend, the audience's demand for cover bands could rub some musicians the wrong way. For Deaton, it's all just par for the course when crafting a wicked All-Hallows' Eve show. "Throughout my many years of playing music in this town, I have had way more intense reactions from audiences while playing in cover bands than I have ever had while playing in any of my real bands," Deaton says. "Get up on stage and play a couple of Misfits songs and people cry and lose their minds. It feels good to play your heroes' music, and to play for an audience like that. If you stop to think about it, it can be a little depressing, even though we love doing it.

"People praise you after the show," he adds. "It can be hard to know what to do with the praise: 'We didn't write the songs, but we loved playing them, and we're glad you dig it, too!'""
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But why has going to see a hodgepodge of musicians from local bands getting together to run through other bands' songs become such a haunted holiday tradition for Atlanta? The answer is a lot less complicated than one might suspect.

"For a lot of people, whether they'll admit it or not, the holidays are a comforting time," says Ian Deaton, who plays the role of Jello Biafra, the Dead Kennedys singer and political rabble-rouser, in his cover band, the Ted Kennedys.

Deaton fronts the band's lineup alongside bass player Andrew Wiggins (Wymyns Prysyn, Hawks), guitar player George Asimakos, and drummer Ryan Fetter.

"From Halloween all the way till New Years Eve, no matter what your religion, if you have one, people enjoy the passage of fall," Deaton says. "People are coming back into town, they're reuniting with friends and family. It sounds silly, but stepping back into a town where you haven't been for a while, and you have to see your family, it makes things easier. There will always be comfort in seeing and hearing music that you already know."

This year, drummer Erin Santini is performing in an all-women Misfits cover band, called 30-Year-Old Women From Mars (featuring vocalist Jennifer von Schlichten, bass player Jenn Downs, and guitar player Nikki Speake), and in a Joy Division tribute band called Unknown Pleasures (featuring guitarist Ross Politi of Del Venicci, bass player Rachel Pagillo, and vocalist David Spence). For Santini, the experience is not unlike putting a Halloween costume on her music. "As someone who likes to play original music most of the time, it can be really nice to put on a costume and pay tribute to another musician in your own special way," Santini says. "It's a lot of fun, and when Halloween is over the band is over. But for a brief while you can get together with some friends and people you wouldn't normally play with and really have a good time playing music."

Nostalgia also plays a key role in what makes Atlanta's Halloween cover band scene such an ongoing phenomenon. "When you're playing Misfits songs, that's your childhood," Santini adds. "I don't think I've ever played in any band on Halloween and not had it remind me of my childhood."

The trend spreads throughout the city come Halloween night. The Ted Kennedys, 30-Year-Old Women From Mars, Unknown Pleasures, and local Nirvana cover band Nameless Nameless take the stage at the Earl. But the buck doesn't stop there: In Little Five Points, the Biters headline a night at the Star Bar and play a set of all KISS songs. For the opening set, members of Dinos Boys and Night Terrors delve into Mötley Crüe's greatest hits. And over at Center Stage, the ATL Collective is performing Michael Jackson's timeless horror pop classic ''Thriller'' in its entirety.

Each of these shows brings a formidable swath of the city's hardest-working local rock talent to the stage, setting aside their more concerted songwriting voices to suit the season.

Stepping back to look at the larger implications of such a trend, the audience's demand for cover bands could rub some musicians the wrong way. For Deaton, it's all just par for the course when crafting a wicked All-Hallows' Eve show. "Throughout my many years of playing music in this town, I have had way more intense reactions from audiences while playing in cover bands than I have ever had while playing in any of my ''real bands''," Deaton says. "Get up on stage and play a couple of Misfits songs and people cry and lose their minds. It feels good to play your heroes' music, and to play for an audience like that. If you stop to think about it, it can be a little depressing, even though we love doing it.

"People praise you after the show," he adds. "It can be hard to know what to do with the praise: 'We didn't write the songs, but we loved playing them, and we're glad you dig it, too!'""
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  string(4777) "    From the Dead Kennedys to Michael Jackson, ATL covers the hits   2014-10-30T08:00:00+00:00 Halloween cover-up ben.eason@creativeloafing.com Ben Eason Chad Radford Chad Radford 2014-10-30T08:00:00+00:00  Halloween comes but once a year, and for Atlanta music fans that means one thing: cover bands. There's no denying that Atlanta loves a good cover band, especially when the leaves are changing colors and a crispness fills the autumn air. Over the last several years, local musicians have staged various and sundry seasonal tributes to musical touchstones such as the Ramones, Black Sabbath, the Dead Kennedys, Bauhaus, the Misfits, and many others, all with a campy sense of aplomb. The more of a staple the act they're covering, the greater the crowd's reaction — and the spookier the music, the better.

But why has going to see a hodgepodge of musicians from local bands getting together to run through other bands' songs become such a haunted holiday tradition for Atlanta? The answer is a lot less complicated than one might suspect.

"For a lot of people, whether they'll admit it or not, the holidays are a comforting time," says Ian Deaton, who plays the role of Jello Biafra, the Dead Kennedys singer and political rabble-rouser, in his cover band, the Ted Kennedys.

Deaton fronts the band's lineup alongside bass player Andrew Wiggins (Wymyns Prysyn, Hawks), guitar player George Asimakos, and drummer Ryan Fetter.

"From Halloween all the way till New Years Eve, no matter what your religion, if you have one, people enjoy the passage of fall," Deaton says. "People are coming back into town, they're reuniting with friends and family. It sounds silly, but stepping back into a town where you haven't been for a while, and you have to see your family, it makes things easier. There will always be comfort in seeing and hearing music that you already know."

This year, drummer Erin Santini is performing in an all-women Misfits cover band, called 30-Year-Old Women From Mars (featuring vocalist Jennifer von Schlichten, bass player Jenn Downs, and guitar player Nikki Speake), and in a Joy Division tribute band called Unknown Pleasures (featuring guitarist Ross Politi of Del Venicci, bass player Rachel Pagillo, and vocalist David Spence). For Santini, the experience is not unlike putting a Halloween costume on her music. "As someone who likes to play original music most of the time, it can be really nice to put on a costume and pay tribute to another musician in your own special way," Santini says. "It's a lot of fun, and when Halloween is over the band is over. But for a brief while you can get together with some friends and people you wouldn't normally play with and really have a good time playing music."

Nostalgia also plays a key role in what makes Atlanta's Halloween cover band scene such an ongoing phenomenon. "When you're playing Misfits songs, that's your childhood," Santini adds. "I don't think I've ever played in any band on Halloween and not had it remind me of my childhood."

The trend spreads throughout the city come Halloween night. The Ted Kennedys, 30-Year-Old Women From Mars, Unknown Pleasures, and local Nirvana cover band Nameless Nameless take the stage at the Earl. But the buck doesn't stop there: In Little Five Points, the Biters headline a night at the Star Bar and play a set of all KISS songs. For the opening set, members of Dinos Boys and Night Terrors delve into Mötley Crüe's greatest hits. And over at Center Stage, the ATL Collective is performing Michael Jackson's timeless horror pop classic Thriller in its entirety.

Each of these shows brings a formidable swath of the city's hardest-working local rock talent to the stage, setting aside their more concerted songwriting voices to suit the season.

Stepping back to look at the larger implications of such a trend, the audience's demand for cover bands could rub some musicians the wrong way. For Deaton, it's all just par for the course when crafting a wicked All-Hallows' Eve show. "Throughout my many years of playing music in this town, I have had way more intense reactions from audiences while playing in cover bands than I have ever had while playing in any of my real bands," Deaton says. "Get up on stage and play a couple of Misfits songs and people cry and lose their minds. It feels good to play your heroes' music, and to play for an audience like that. If you stop to think about it, it can be a little depressing, even though we love doing it.

"People praise you after the show," he adds. "It can be hard to know what to do with the praise: 'We didn't write the songs, but we loved playing them, and we're glad you dig it, too!'"       0,0,10      13080729 12610013                          Halloween cover-up "
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Article

Thursday October 30, 2014 04:00 am EDT
From the Dead Kennedys to Michael Jackson, ATL covers the hits | more...
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  ["title"]=>
  string(27) "Distal's electronic odyssey"
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  string(63) "Retrograde Space Opera builds a conduit for freeform expression"
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  string(63) "Retrograde Space Opera builds a conduit for freeform expression"
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  string(6927) "To the unacquainted, East Cobb's Chimney Springs seems like an insular North Atlanta suburb. However, in the late '90s this conventional neighborhood was the site of underground death matches that left a permanent mark on at least one survivor. "When I was in school we'd have these LAN local area network parties; there would be 15 kids sitting in a dark basement with our computers hooked together, playing first-person shooters Unreal Tournament and Quake," says DJ and producer Michael Rathbun, who operates under the name Distal. "While running around shooting at each other in these modified games, we'd trade music, and listen to all kinds of stuff including hardcore breakbeats, techno, and Coil.

"The games, the soundtracks, the ways we had to dial in, the technology in general was all glitchy, not perfect, but that influenced me," he adds.

All of this computer-centric behavior bred a legacy of DJs and electronic music composers who have come a long way from learning about rave culture through Internet Relay Chat forums, and are now themselves the subjects of threads, playlists, and shows. Rathbun has taken the confluence of bass-fragged samples and long nights of dilated pupils, mixed in a love of science fiction, comic books, and polyrhythmic interfacing, and produced Retrograde Space Opera, his latest album and first release for his new label, Anarchostar. The label is a canvas for a psychedelic story to be told, and the album an outlet for evolving the synth-glazed and stuttering electro-funk Rathbun has been debugging since 2007. There was a long period, however, that informed his sound after electronic music helped him leave behind a typical suburban prog-rock and hip-hop upbringing.

"I DJed for eight or nine years before I started production," Rathbun says. "I knew it was time to create original things when I started turning my sets into free-for-alls. I'd get kicked out of clubs for playing breakcore, mixing gabber with Southern rap. I made promoters cry, got in fistfights."

Among the more ragged genres Rathbun etched into battered subwoofers were happy hardcore, Detroit techno, and drill 'n' bass. They were augmented by tracks from the Warp Records and Planet Mu continuums, including Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Venetian Snares, and Atlanta's own Richard Devine. Then, just as party stagnation and DJ aggression set in, dubstep opened a wide sonic palette of entries for fans of styles from jungle to tech-house. Finding resonance in the distending bass, tribal skitters, and reverb of artists such as Bristol, UK producer Pinch. Rathbun turned to digital audio workstation Logic, as well as his bountiful sample collection, to reverse-engineer the sensation of maximized minimalism.

"I had been playing with all this noise, these walls of sound, and then I stumbled on 'Underwater Dancehall' by Pinch, as well as 'Kingdom' by Untold, and I became obsessed with how these guys made mixes that were so open but so dominating," Rathbun says. "I remember sitting in my bedroom studio surrounded by speakers and controllers, making the whole house hate me as I had the same track looping for hours while working on mixdowns that replicated that command of space."

Experimentation, software manuals, and a subscription to British audio technology magazine Future Music led to a less complicated mix for Rathbun. All those hours carving deviant bass paid off when Pinch approached Rathbun to release singles and then Distal's debut LP, Civilization, via Tectonic Recordings. Along the way Rathbun promoted the fluctuations of low-end on the scene through releases on numerous international labels, co-founding promotions group Atlanta Dubstep and Embassy Recordings, and getting locally produced tracks into the hands of radio-show tastemakers such as Baltimore's Joe Nice and the UK's Gilles Peterson.

However, much like drum 'n' bass years before, dubstep codified around a central, more industrial style (derided as "brostep" by the underground). Rathbun drifted away from the glowsticks and toward more percolating facets of Chicago house and juke/footwork, as well as contemporaries such as ambient, refracted Oneohtrix Point Never, scorched techno sequencers Vatican Shadow, and Andy Stott. Locally, Rathbun cites Tomahawk Chop Squad, HYDRABADD, and Makonnen as a few recent names in bass saturation to watch.

He also embraced the idea of being an album/long-form EP artist rather than someone putting out more disposable singles online. This evolution culminates in the high-concept umbrella that is Retrograde Space Opera and Anarchostar.

The narrative — to be revealed slowly online and across CD and vinyl packaging — is a dystopian vision of a civilization's destruction/advancement. Set on an unknown planet thousands of years in the future, the story describes a world ravaged by bureaucrats that have squandered all natural resources. Sequestered on a dying, overcrowded planet by the uncaring upper echelon, the inhabitants are galvanized by a hero determined to lead them from tyranny, toward the planet's center and through a portal leading to the Anarchostar.

This plotline evolved out of a journal of sorts, collecting swatches fueled in part by the real-life revelations of NSA programs, drones, ISIS, etc., that populate the Nineteen Eighty-Four-like news. It's born on Rathbun's lifelong love of sci-fi and acid western films such as Star Wars, Dune, Akira, Blade Runner, Dark Star, and The Holy Mountain, among others, as well as his love of French illustrator Moebius and graphic novels that touch on issues of spirituality, society, and personal liberty.

The visual aesthetic is a collaboration with Argentinian vector artist Freschore, who met Rathbun when he booked him for a South American gig. Their politicized, universe gets fevered sonic color from the filtered bounce of 8-bit leads, acid house, and shifts of dizzy, spliced percussion that awaken catatonic senses. Despite the lists of genres navigated and dark corners illuminated, there's cohesiveness to Retrograde Space Opera, as it launches a period of consistent artistic output.

"I hate how some labels have been around for just two years and are on their 50th release; the signal-to-noise ratio is way too high because they're pushing just to get their logo, their brand, out faster," Rathbun says. "I'm just going to be releasing three to four albums a year, and I'm going to work those hard, really nail it home."

Anarchostar takes as inspiration labels such as London's Hyperdub, a decade-old outlet for dubstep, grime, UK funky, future R&B, and footwork artists that have a balanced regiment of left-field releases. The common thread: A governance of bass, space, and quality. With Retrograde Space Opera as a template, Rathbun will champion sounds that range from dub-swallowed floor-fillers to tropical space music, but share a greater quadrant of fluid expression."
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_raw"]=>
  string(7045) "To the unacquainted, East Cobb's Chimney Springs seems like an insular North Atlanta suburb. However, in the late '90s this conventional neighborhood was the site of underground death matches that left a permanent mark on at least one survivor. "When I was in school we'd have these LAN [local area network] parties; there would be 15 kids sitting in a dark basement with our computers hooked together, playing [first-person shooters] Unreal Tournament and Quake," says DJ and producer Michael Rathbun, who operates under the name [https://soundcloud.com/distal|Distal]. "While running around shooting at each other in these modified [games], we'd trade music, and listen to all kinds of stuff including hardcore breakbeats, techno, and Coil.

"The games, the soundtracks, the ways we had to dial in, the technology in general was all glitchy, not perfect, but that influenced me," he adds.

All of this computer-centric behavior bred a legacy of DJs and electronic music composers who have come a long way from learning about rave culture through Internet Relay Chat forums, and are now themselves the subjects of threads, playlists, and shows. Rathbun has taken the confluence of bass-fragged samples and long nights of dilated pupils, mixed in a love of science fiction, comic books, and polyrhythmic interfacing, and produced ''Retrograde Space Opera'', his latest album and first release for his new label, [http://www.anarchostar.com/|Anarchostar]. The label is a canvas for a psychedelic story to be told, and the album an outlet for evolving the synth-glazed and stuttering electro-funk Rathbun has been debugging since 2007. There was a long period, however, that informed his sound after electronic music helped him leave behind a typical suburban prog-rock and hip-hop upbringing.

"I DJed for eight or nine years before I started production," Rathbun says. "I knew it was time to create original things when I started turning my sets into free-for-alls. I'd get kicked out of clubs for playing breakcore, mixing gabber with Southern rap. I made promoters cry, got in fistfights."

Among the more ragged genres Rathbun etched into battered subwoofers were happy hardcore, Detroit techno, and drill 'n' bass. They were augmented by tracks from the Warp Records and Planet Mu continuums, including Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Venetian Snares, and Atlanta's own Richard Devine. Then, just as party stagnation and DJ aggression set in, dubstep opened a wide sonic palette of entries for fans of styles from jungle to tech-house. Finding resonance in the distending bass, tribal skitters, and reverb of artists such as Bristol, UK producer Pinch. Rathbun turned to digital audio workstation Logic, as well as his bountiful sample collection, to reverse-engineer the sensation of maximized minimalism.

"I had been playing with all this noise, these walls of sound, and then I stumbled on 'Underwater Dancehall' by Pinch, as well as 'Kingdom' by Untold, and I became obsessed with how these guys made mixes that were so open but so dominating," Rathbun says. "I remember sitting in my bedroom studio surrounded by speakers and controllers, making the whole house hate me as I had the same track looping for hours while working on mixdowns that replicated that command of space."

Experimentation, software manuals, and a subscription to British audio technology magazine ''Future Music'' led to a less complicated mix for Rathbun. All those hours carving deviant bass paid off when Pinch approached Rathbun to release singles and then Distal's debut LP, ''Civilization'', via Tectonic Recordings. Along the way Rathbun promoted the fluctuations of low-end on the scene through releases on numerous international labels, co-founding promotions group Atlanta Dubstep and Embassy Recordings, and getting locally produced tracks into the hands of radio-show tastemakers such as Baltimore's Joe Nice and the UK's Gilles Peterson.

However, much like drum 'n' bass years before, dubstep codified around a central, more industrial style (derided as "brostep" by the underground). Rathbun drifted away from the glowsticks and toward more percolating facets of Chicago house and juke/footwork, as well as contemporaries such as ambient, refracted Oneohtrix Point Never, scorched techno sequencers Vatican Shadow, and Andy Stott. Locally, Rathbun cites Tomahawk Chop Squad, HYDRABADD, and Makonnen as a few recent names in bass saturation to watch.

He also embraced the idea of being an album/long-form EP artist rather than someone putting out more disposable singles online. This evolution culminates in the high-concept umbrella that is ''Retrograde Space Opera'' and Anarchostar.

The narrative — to be revealed slowly online and across CD and vinyl packaging — is a dystopian vision of a civilization's destruction/advancement. Set on an unknown planet thousands of years in the future, the story describes a world ravaged by bureaucrats that have squandered all natural resources. Sequestered on a dying, overcrowded planet by the uncaring upper echelon, the inhabitants are galvanized by a hero determined to lead them from tyranny, toward the planet's center and through a portal leading to the Anarchostar.

This plotline evolved out of a journal of sorts, collecting swatches fueled in part by the real-life revelations of NSA programs, drones, ISIS, etc., that populate the ''Nineteen Eighty-Four''-like news. It's born on Rathbun's lifelong love of sci-fi and acid western films such as ''Star Wars'', ''Dune'', ''Akira'', ''Blade Runner'', ''Dark Star'', and ''The Holy Mountain'', among others, as well as his love of French illustrator Moebius and graphic novels that touch on issues of spirituality, society, and personal liberty.

The visual aesthetic is a collaboration with Argentinian vector artist Freschore, who met Rathbun when he booked him for a South American gig. Their politicized, universe gets fevered sonic color from the filtered bounce of 8-bit leads, acid house, and shifts of dizzy, spliced percussion that awaken catatonic senses. Despite the lists of genres navigated and dark corners illuminated, there's cohesiveness to ''Retrograde Space Opera'', as it launches a period of consistent artistic output.

"I hate how some labels have been around for just two years and [are] on their 50th release; the signal-to-noise ratio is way too high because they're pushing just to get their logo, their brand, out faster," Rathbun says. "I'm just going to be releasing three to four albums a year, and I'm going to work those hard, really nail it home."

Anarchostar takes as inspiration labels such as London's Hyperdub, a decade-old outlet for dubstep, grime, UK funky, future R&B, and footwork artists that have a balanced regiment of left-field releases. The common thread: A governance of bass, space, and quality. With ''Retrograde Space Opera'' as a template, Rathbun will champion sounds that range from dub-swallowed floor-fillers to tropical space music, but share a greater quadrant of fluid expression."
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  string(7182) "    Retrograde Space Opera builds a conduit for freeform expression   2014-10-22T08:00:00+00:00 Distal's electronic odyssey   Tony Ware 1223520 2014-10-22T08:00:00+00:00  To the unacquainted, East Cobb's Chimney Springs seems like an insular North Atlanta suburb. However, in the late '90s this conventional neighborhood was the site of underground death matches that left a permanent mark on at least one survivor. "When I was in school we'd have these LAN local area network parties; there would be 15 kids sitting in a dark basement with our computers hooked together, playing first-person shooters Unreal Tournament and Quake," says DJ and producer Michael Rathbun, who operates under the name Distal. "While running around shooting at each other in these modified games, we'd trade music, and listen to all kinds of stuff including hardcore breakbeats, techno, and Coil.

"The games, the soundtracks, the ways we had to dial in, the technology in general was all glitchy, not perfect, but that influenced me," he adds.

All of this computer-centric behavior bred a legacy of DJs and electronic music composers who have come a long way from learning about rave culture through Internet Relay Chat forums, and are now themselves the subjects of threads, playlists, and shows. Rathbun has taken the confluence of bass-fragged samples and long nights of dilated pupils, mixed in a love of science fiction, comic books, and polyrhythmic interfacing, and produced Retrograde Space Opera, his latest album and first release for his new label, Anarchostar. The label is a canvas for a psychedelic story to be told, and the album an outlet for evolving the synth-glazed and stuttering electro-funk Rathbun has been debugging since 2007. There was a long period, however, that informed his sound after electronic music helped him leave behind a typical suburban prog-rock and hip-hop upbringing.

"I DJed for eight or nine years before I started production," Rathbun says. "I knew it was time to create original things when I started turning my sets into free-for-alls. I'd get kicked out of clubs for playing breakcore, mixing gabber with Southern rap. I made promoters cry, got in fistfights."

Among the more ragged genres Rathbun etched into battered subwoofers were happy hardcore, Detroit techno, and drill 'n' bass. They were augmented by tracks from the Warp Records and Planet Mu continuums, including Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Venetian Snares, and Atlanta's own Richard Devine. Then, just as party stagnation and DJ aggression set in, dubstep opened a wide sonic palette of entries for fans of styles from jungle to tech-house. Finding resonance in the distending bass, tribal skitters, and reverb of artists such as Bristol, UK producer Pinch. Rathbun turned to digital audio workstation Logic, as well as his bountiful sample collection, to reverse-engineer the sensation of maximized minimalism.

"I had been playing with all this noise, these walls of sound, and then I stumbled on 'Underwater Dancehall' by Pinch, as well as 'Kingdom' by Untold, and I became obsessed with how these guys made mixes that were so open but so dominating," Rathbun says. "I remember sitting in my bedroom studio surrounded by speakers and controllers, making the whole house hate me as I had the same track looping for hours while working on mixdowns that replicated that command of space."

Experimentation, software manuals, and a subscription to British audio technology magazine Future Music led to a less complicated mix for Rathbun. All those hours carving deviant bass paid off when Pinch approached Rathbun to release singles and then Distal's debut LP, Civilization, via Tectonic Recordings. Along the way Rathbun promoted the fluctuations of low-end on the scene through releases on numerous international labels, co-founding promotions group Atlanta Dubstep and Embassy Recordings, and getting locally produced tracks into the hands of radio-show tastemakers such as Baltimore's Joe Nice and the UK's Gilles Peterson.

However, much like drum 'n' bass years before, dubstep codified around a central, more industrial style (derided as "brostep" by the underground). Rathbun drifted away from the glowsticks and toward more percolating facets of Chicago house and juke/footwork, as well as contemporaries such as ambient, refracted Oneohtrix Point Never, scorched techno sequencers Vatican Shadow, and Andy Stott. Locally, Rathbun cites Tomahawk Chop Squad, HYDRABADD, and Makonnen as a few recent names in bass saturation to watch.

He also embraced the idea of being an album/long-form EP artist rather than someone putting out more disposable singles online. This evolution culminates in the high-concept umbrella that is Retrograde Space Opera and Anarchostar.

The narrative — to be revealed slowly online and across CD and vinyl packaging — is a dystopian vision of a civilization's destruction/advancement. Set on an unknown planet thousands of years in the future, the story describes a world ravaged by bureaucrats that have squandered all natural resources. Sequestered on a dying, overcrowded planet by the uncaring upper echelon, the inhabitants are galvanized by a hero determined to lead them from tyranny, toward the planet's center and through a portal leading to the Anarchostar.

This plotline evolved out of a journal of sorts, collecting swatches fueled in part by the real-life revelations of NSA programs, drones, ISIS, etc., that populate the Nineteen Eighty-Four-like news. It's born on Rathbun's lifelong love of sci-fi and acid western films such as Star Wars, Dune, Akira, Blade Runner, Dark Star, and The Holy Mountain, among others, as well as his love of French illustrator Moebius and graphic novels that touch on issues of spirituality, society, and personal liberty.

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"I hate how some labels have been around for just two years and are on their 50th release; the signal-to-noise ratio is way too high because they're pushing just to get their logo, their brand, out faster," Rathbun says. "I'm just going to be releasing three to four albums a year, and I'm going to work those hard, really nail it home."

Anarchostar takes as inspiration labels such as London's Hyperdub, a decade-old outlet for dubstep, grime, UK funky, future R&B, and footwork artists that have a balanced regiment of left-field releases. The common thread: A governance of bass, space, and quality. With Retrograde Space Opera as a template, Rathbun will champion sounds that range from dub-swallowed floor-fillers to tropical space music, but share a greater quadrant of fluid expression.             13080636 12537836                          Distal's electronic odyssey "
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Article

Wednesday October 22, 2014 04:00 am EDT
Retrograde Space Opera builds a conduit for freeform expression | more...
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  string(3237) "As Atlanta's whiplash metal scene continues to ride the lightning, Boris Records has amassed an arsenal of mostly 7-inch singles by local headbangers. However, the recent arrival of Peruvian black metal trio Morbid Slaughter's "Wicca" (b/w "Nightly Breath of God") 7-inch, the label has begun looking for new acts far beyond Atlanta. But make no mistake, the city that's too busy to hate remains the focus of Boris Records' metal maelstrom. This month the label hosts Boris Fest II, the second annual gathering of metal heads from Atlanta and throughout the Southeast. The mission: Give a stage to Atlanta's extreme metal scene — kind of. "Really, it's an excuse to throw a party," says a laughing Sam Leyja, who founded Boris Records in 2011.

Leyja, who works as an animator at Turner Studios and plays organ with local rockers Tiger! Tiger!, began releasing singles and other recordings when he noticed the rejuvenation of the local metal scene. "A handful of bands were playing exciting stuff," Leyja says. "Bands come and go, though. I wanted to document some of them."

Since then Boris has debuted singles, EPs, and one 12-inch from Atlanta acts including thrash and death metal purists Sadistic Ritual, Disfigurement, hard rock purists Gunpowder Gray, and others.

For this year's fest, seasoned death metal act Withered headlines a night of performances alongside Gunpowder Gray, and gutter metal mutants Mangled, Cesspool, Vimur, and Birmingham, Al. shredders Ectovoid. All of these bands are part of the region's booming metal scene, which finds a flashpoint here in Atlanta. "The sound isn't as homogenous as the Bay area or Gothenburg, but the attack is relentless," says local metal show regular Scott DePlonty. "Having perfected their chops at legendary shows in warehouses, basements of art galleries, clubs, and of all places a Jack's pizza parlor, these bands are ready to infect the world."

The label's first 10 releases span an array of death metal permutations ranging from stoner masters Spewtilator to Sadistic Ritual. "I've been a metal head since the '70s," Leyja says. "I grew up listening to thrash and death metal when they were something new. Back then there weren't as many bands to choose from — not like it is now. So I gave a listen to anything new that came along."

For Mangled guitarist Rafay Nabeel, Leyja's efforts give an identity to his band and his hometown peers. "If you want to listen to what Atlanta has to offer in terms of death, thrash, or black metal, Boris is where to look," Nabeel says.

The recent arrival of Morbid Slaughter's 7-inch finds the label shifting gears somewhat. It's Boris' first release by a band that's not from the region. There's also a Morbid Slaughter full-length in the works along with a 7-inch by fellow Peruvian metal masters Maze of Terror. Still, Boris has several local releases in the works including a Mangled/Coffin Dust split EP. Whether booking a festival, releasing music, or just looking for an excuse to party, Boris is doing its part to keep the scene charged. "Looking beyond Atlanta is something that's always been in the back of my head," Leyja says. "It happened sooner than I thought it would, but my focus will always be on local music.""
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  string(3432) "As Atlanta's whiplash metal scene continues to ride the lightning, [http://boris-records.com/|Boris Records] has amassed an arsenal of mostly 7-inch singles by local headbangers. However, the recent arrival of Peruvian black metal trio [http://borisrecords.bandcamp.com/album/wicca-7|Morbid Slaughter]'s "Wicca" (b/w "Nightly Breath of God") 7-inch, the label has begun looking for new acts far beyond Atlanta. But make no mistake, the city that's too busy to hate remains the focus of Boris Records' metal maelstrom. This month the label hosts Boris Fest II, the second annual gathering of metal heads from Atlanta and throughout the Southeast. The mission: Give a stage to Atlanta's extreme metal scene — kind of. "Really, it's an excuse to throw a party," says a laughing Sam Leyja, who founded Boris Records in 2011.

Leyja, who works as an animator at Turner Studios and plays organ with local rockers Tiger! Tiger!, began releasing singles and other recordings when he noticed the rejuvenation of the local metal scene. "A handful of bands were playing exciting stuff," Leyja says. "Bands come and go, though. I wanted to document some of them."

Since then Boris has debuted singles, EPs, and one 12-inch from Atlanta acts including thrash and death metal purists Sadistic Ritual, Disfigurement, hard rock purists [http://borisrecords.bandcamp.com/album/gunpowder-gray-12|Gunpowder Gray], and others.

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The label's first 10 releases span an array of death metal permutations ranging from stoner masters Spewtilator to Sadistic Ritual. "I've been a metal head since the '70s," Leyja says. "I grew up listening to thrash and death metal when they were something new. Back then there weren't as many bands to choose from — not like it is now. So I gave a listen to anything new that came along."

For Mangled guitarist Rafay Nabeel, Leyja's efforts give an identity to his band and his hometown peers. "If you want to listen to what Atlanta has to offer in terms of death, thrash, or black metal, Boris is where to look," Nabeel says.

The recent arrival of Morbid Slaughter's 7-inch finds the label shifting gears somewhat. It's Boris' first release by a band that's not from the region. There's also a Morbid Slaughter full-length in the works along with a 7-inch by fellow Peruvian metal masters Maze of Terror. Still, Boris has several local releases in the works including a Mangled/Coffin Dust split EP. Whether booking a festival, releasing music, or just looking for an excuse to party, Boris is doing its part to keep the scene charged. "Looking beyond Atlanta is something that's always been in the back of my head," Leyja says. "It happened sooner than I thought it would, but my focus will always be on local music.""
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  string(3450) "    Second annual metal fest unites the local scene   2014-10-22T08:00:00+00:00 Boris returns   Bobby Moore 7660490 2014-10-22T08:00:00+00:00  As Atlanta's whiplash metal scene continues to ride the lightning, Boris Records has amassed an arsenal of mostly 7-inch singles by local headbangers. However, the recent arrival of Peruvian black metal trio Morbid Slaughter's "Wicca" (b/w "Nightly Breath of God") 7-inch, the label has begun looking for new acts far beyond Atlanta. But make no mistake, the city that's too busy to hate remains the focus of Boris Records' metal maelstrom. This month the label hosts Boris Fest II, the second annual gathering of metal heads from Atlanta and throughout the Southeast. The mission: Give a stage to Atlanta's extreme metal scene — kind of. "Really, it's an excuse to throw a party," says a laughing Sam Leyja, who founded Boris Records in 2011.

Leyja, who works as an animator at Turner Studios and plays organ with local rockers Tiger! Tiger!, began releasing singles and other recordings when he noticed the rejuvenation of the local metal scene. "A handful of bands were playing exciting stuff," Leyja says. "Bands come and go, though. I wanted to document some of them."

Since then Boris has debuted singles, EPs, and one 12-inch from Atlanta acts including thrash and death metal purists Sadistic Ritual, Disfigurement, hard rock purists Gunpowder Gray, and others.

For this year's fest, seasoned death metal act Withered headlines a night of performances alongside Gunpowder Gray, and gutter metal mutants Mangled, Cesspool, Vimur, and Birmingham, Al. shredders Ectovoid. All of these bands are part of the region's booming metal scene, which finds a flashpoint here in Atlanta. "The sound isn't as homogenous as the Bay area or Gothenburg, but the attack is relentless," says local metal show regular Scott DePlonty. "Having perfected their chops at legendary shows in warehouses, basements of art galleries, clubs, and of all places a Jack's pizza parlor, these bands are ready to infect the world."

The label's first 10 releases span an array of death metal permutations ranging from stoner masters Spewtilator to Sadistic Ritual. "I've been a metal head since the '70s," Leyja says. "I grew up listening to thrash and death metal when they were something new. Back then there weren't as many bands to choose from — not like it is now. So I gave a listen to anything new that came along."

For Mangled guitarist Rafay Nabeel, Leyja's efforts give an identity to his band and his hometown peers. "If you want to listen to what Atlanta has to offer in terms of death, thrash, or black metal, Boris is where to look," Nabeel says.

The recent arrival of Morbid Slaughter's 7-inch finds the label shifting gears somewhat. It's Boris' first release by a band that's not from the region. There's also a Morbid Slaughter full-length in the works along with a 7-inch by fellow Peruvian metal masters Maze of Terror. Still, Boris has several local releases in the works including a Mangled/Coffin Dust split EP. Whether booking a festival, releasing music, or just looking for an excuse to party, Boris is doing its part to keep the scene charged. "Looking beyond Atlanta is something that's always been in the back of my head," Leyja says. "It happened sooner than I thought it would, but my focus will always be on local music."             13080638 12537883                          Boris returns "
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Second annual metal fest unites the local scene | more...
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  string(3256) "With "I Decline," the opening song from Perfume Genius' latest album, Too Bright, pianist Mike Hadreas' overlooks a vast expanse of undefined humanity. "I can see for miles," he croons over piano lines as delicate as spider silk. What Hadreas, the lone performer/songwriter behind the Perfume Genius curtain, sees is left intentionally unclear. It could be as specific as healthier life choices, but he prefers to keep it opaque. Hadreas takes a careful look over this boundless territory, even implying that he is an "angel above the grid," yet he rejects this offering. "I decline," he proclaims. This defiance prefaces the birth of a redefined Hadreas that takes control on his third, and most confrontational album yet.

Hadreas uses his latest as bold subterfuge, a glossy armor that repels societal expectations and hides his fragile insides. If "I Decline" is the pitch for Hadreas' new persona, the second song, 'Queen,' is his grand entrance, the defining moment of his ascent into pure tenacity.

"Queen" is a song arresting in its directness. Hadreas' homosexuality, and the negativity he's endured because of it, colors much of his anger on Too Bright. "No family is safe when I sashay," he spits out like venom before "Queen's" triumphant chorus crashes in.

The confrontational Hadreas who snarls throughout Too Bright may surprise listeners who have followed the pained musings of his last two albums, Put Your Back N 2 It and Learning. "A lot of my first music was looking at the past and dealing with things that have already happened and trying to heal old wounds," he says. "It wasn't doing the trick for me."

His combative lyricism served more as a newfound therapy than a middle finger to his detractors. "I knew if I twisted the anger I had and took away the victimy and defensiveness of it and flipped it to something more powerful, it would be more helpful to me and other people too," he says.

The drastic change in his personality isn't restrained to his lyrics, either. There are songs such as the short, yet powerfully unsettling "Grid" that incorporate grating synthesizers, which wail like steel colliding with steel. "I'm a Mother" is another signpost of his bubbling rage. The track is driven by a droning, cheerless synth chord that guides his vocals, manipulated to the point where any signs of human warmth are stripped away.

One of Too Bright's producers, Adrian Utley of Portishead fame, is partially responsible for Hadreas' transformation. "I didn't have to overexplain anything to him," he says. "Mood-wise he knew exactly what I was trying to be."

The audacious Hadreas who makes Too Bright such a remarkable feat is even beginning to merge with his real-life persona. In live performances, he's embracing the power of his body movements, prowling the stage rather than shying behind his piano, and most notably of all, having fun. "I've played five shows now, and I'm already feeling more comfortable," he says. "I'm proud of my other shows, but I wouldn't ever consider them fun."

Perhaps the most crucial facet of Hadreas 2.0 is his refusal to wait for audiences to latch onto his message. "Instead of asking people to listen," he says, "I now have this need to sing at people more than I ever have before.""
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Hadreas uses his latest as bold subterfuge, a glossy armor that repels societal expectations and hides his fragile insides. If "I Decline" is the pitch for Hadreas' new persona, the second song, 'Queen,' is his grand entrance, the defining moment of his ascent into pure tenacity.

"Queen" is a song arresting in its directness. Hadreas' homosexuality, and the negativity he's endured because of it, colors much of his anger on ''Too Bright''. "No family is safe when I sashay," he spits out like venom before "Queen's" triumphant chorus crashes in.

The confrontational Hadreas who snarls throughout ''Too Bright'' may surprise listeners who have followed the pained musings of his last two albums, ''Put Your Back N 2 It'' and ''Learning''. "A lot of my first music was looking at the past and dealing with things that have already happened and trying to heal old wounds," he says. "It wasn't doing the trick for me."

His combative lyricism served more as a newfound therapy than a middle finger to his detractors. "I knew if I twisted the anger I had and took away the victimy and defensiveness of it and flipped [it] to something more powerful, it would be more helpful to me and other people too," he says.

The drastic change in his personality isn't restrained to his lyrics, either. There are songs such as the short, yet powerfully unsettling "Grid" that incorporate grating synthesizers, which wail like steel colliding with steel. "I'm a Mother" is another signpost of his bubbling rage. The track is driven by a droning, cheerless synth chord that guides his vocals, manipulated to the point where any signs of human warmth are stripped away.

One of ''Too Bright'''s producers, Adrian Utley of Portishead fame, is partially responsible for Hadreas' transformation. "I didn't have to overexplain anything to him," he says. "Mood-wise he knew exactly what I was trying to be."

The audacious Hadreas who makes ''Too Bright'' such a remarkable feat is even beginning to merge with his real-life persona. In live performances, he's embracing the power of his body movements, prowling the stage rather than shying behind his piano, and most notably of all, having fun. "I've played five shows now, and I'm already feeling more comfortable," he says. "I'm proud of my other shows, but I wouldn't ever consider them fun."

Perhaps the most crucial facet of Hadreas 2.0 is his refusal to wait for audiences to latch onto his message. "Instead of asking people to listen," he says, "I now have this need to sing at people more than I ever have before.""
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  string(3517) "    Balladeer-turned-combatant finds confidence   2014-10-09T08:00:00+00:00 Perfume Genius shines on 'Too Bright'   Paul DeMerritt 10168567 2014-10-09T08:00:00+00:00  With "I Decline," the opening song from Perfume Genius' latest album, Too Bright, pianist Mike Hadreas' overlooks a vast expanse of undefined humanity. "I can see for miles," he croons over piano lines as delicate as spider silk. What Hadreas, the lone performer/songwriter behind the Perfume Genius curtain, sees is left intentionally unclear. It could be as specific as healthier life choices, but he prefers to keep it opaque. Hadreas takes a careful look over this boundless territory, even implying that he is an "angel above the grid," yet he rejects this offering. "I decline," he proclaims. This defiance prefaces the birth of a redefined Hadreas that takes control on his third, and most confrontational album yet.

Hadreas uses his latest as bold subterfuge, a glossy armor that repels societal expectations and hides his fragile insides. If "I Decline" is the pitch for Hadreas' new persona, the second song, 'Queen,' is his grand entrance, the defining moment of his ascent into pure tenacity.

"Queen" is a song arresting in its directness. Hadreas' homosexuality, and the negativity he's endured because of it, colors much of his anger on Too Bright. "No family is safe when I sashay," he spits out like venom before "Queen's" triumphant chorus crashes in.

The confrontational Hadreas who snarls throughout Too Bright may surprise listeners who have followed the pained musings of his last two albums, Put Your Back N 2 It and Learning. "A lot of my first music was looking at the past and dealing with things that have already happened and trying to heal old wounds," he says. "It wasn't doing the trick for me."

His combative lyricism served more as a newfound therapy than a middle finger to his detractors. "I knew if I twisted the anger I had and took away the victimy and defensiveness of it and flipped it to something more powerful, it would be more helpful to me and other people too," he says.

The drastic change in his personality isn't restrained to his lyrics, either. There are songs such as the short, yet powerfully unsettling "Grid" that incorporate grating synthesizers, which wail like steel colliding with steel. "I'm a Mother" is another signpost of his bubbling rage. The track is driven by a droning, cheerless synth chord that guides his vocals, manipulated to the point where any signs of human warmth are stripped away.

One of Too Bright's producers, Adrian Utley of Portishead fame, is partially responsible for Hadreas' transformation. "I didn't have to overexplain anything to him," he says. "Mood-wise he knew exactly what I was trying to be."

The audacious Hadreas who makes Too Bright such a remarkable feat is even beginning to merge with his real-life persona. In live performances, he's embracing the power of his body movements, prowling the stage rather than shying behind his piano, and most notably of all, having fun. "I've played five shows now, and I'm already feeling more comfortable," he says. "I'm proud of my other shows, but I wouldn't ever consider them fun."

Perhaps the most crucial facet of Hadreas 2.0 is his refusal to wait for audiences to latch onto his message. "Instead of asking people to listen," he says, "I now have this need to sing at people more than I ever have before."             13080458 12403279                          Perfume Genius shines on 'Too Bright' "
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Thursday October 9, 2014 04:00 am EDT
Balladeer-turned-combatant finds confidence | more...
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A massive sculpture of a giant squid looming over Argosy's back room, musical-themed children's books, bicycles fitted with projectors working in tandem to create one moving picture — not to mention 2011's ambitious and detailed "Boxcar Fair" puppet show/music video. Listing the creative endeavors of Little Tybee's singer/guitarist Brock Scott sounds like the itinerary of a traveling carnival. Earlier this month, the ringmaster took to Instagram to announce a new brand with multiple uses.

For Little Tybee, the creation of On the Grid Creative is a simple stone with which to kill two complex birds. One being the organic decision to break with indie label Paper Garden Records to self-produce its own creative undertakings. The other being a desire to encompass the entire spectrum of creative work Scott does under one moniker.

Scott says the decision to self-release Little Tybee's next self-titled album, due out midsummer, was a natural one after years of resourcefully finding new ways to connect with its audience without industry funds. "I don't think there's anything wrong with record labels and the model they have set up, I just don't think most bands can afford to give away the rights to their music or have them watered down," Scott says. "If you can figure out stuff for yourself then you keep the power. I think that's what the future of the music industry's going to be."

As for the business aspect of running a record label, Scott has no interest in taking on other bands as "clients," at least not at the moment, and will continue to concentrate mostly on Little Tybee, its subsequent solo projects, and collaborating with as many local artists and musicians as he can.

But to call On the Grid Creative a vanity label would be doing it a disservice. "I don't think it's fair to call it a record label really; it's more of a creative agency or a curated trust," Scott says. "It's naive to think that a record label should be just about the music."

As a longtime resident of the Goat Farm Arts Center, there is no shortage of opportunities for Scott to take on unorthodox ways to expand Little Tybee's narrative. And with all the projects he has going on at one time, it makes sense that he would want to organize them into one easily identifiable entity.

By utilizing a broad network of Atlanta creators, including artists such as Ashley Anderson, Jason Kofke, and Nick Benson, Scott wants to focus specifically on content and incorporate all artistic mediums while pushing boundaries. He says, "Some bands don't really give enough credit to their audience and they assume it's just a stark wall they're pushing their music on, but people love density and nuance and minutiae."

Conventional record label or not, Scott hopes to continue creating an immersive world through On the Grid Creative. And to harness the kind of varied talent that will inspire even the most lackadaisical of us all to become the masters of our own imaginations.

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Thursday October 9, 2014 04:00 am EDT
Aussie musician tackles anxiety, hay fever | more...
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  string(3112) "Elizabeth Morris' singing voice has never been strained by worry, fear, or tension. Over the past few years, the singer and songwriter behind London-based band Allo Darlin' has become as renowned for her comforting, honeyed croon as her wellspring of idyllic indie-pop songs.

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The band's self-titled 2010 debut is a gentle collision of plucky ukulele, propulsive rhythms, and languorous tales of love and loss. The follow-up, 2012's Europe, mines that same vein while stepping up the production.

The success of those two albums gave the band confidence that carried into the making of We Come From the Same Place. "With this one, it felt like we didn't have anything to prove," Morris says from her new home in Italy. "We're good. We can trust in ourselves and be true to ourselves, and hopefully people will like it. The approach in the studio was — 'Let's play all in the room at once and try to get the sound of us together.'"

The album's lead track, "Heartbeat," is a charmer, with Morris sighing across a jaunty uke-powered dance number. "Angela" moves more deliberately, draping a story of unrequited love atop a rubbery bass line. "Bright Eyes" is a winning duet between Morris and Rains with a sunny simple chorus: "I feel better hanging out with you!"

Meanwhile, "Romance and Adventure" and "Half Heart Necklace" are more punk-paced and overcast.

We Come From the Same Place marks a new era for Allo Darlin', one that includes day jobs and less focus on the traditional definition of success. The group has decided to "take the stress out of trying to be a band that lives off the band," Morris says, which means touring the way they want to and only as much as they want to, while keeping their music out of advertisements — a principle the self-described "stubborn" and "old-fashioned" Morris holds dear.

"I understand why musicians do that, because they live off music and it's really hard when so few people buy albums these days," Morris says. "I respect people who make that decision. It's not an easy one. But I decided that rather than make the band business-focused and have a lot more people working for us who would make us more money, we'd rather just ... keep it honest our way."

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But on Allo Darlin's latest album, ''We Come From the Same Place'', Morris unlocks a new level of plush, effortless assuredness. Her voice is stronger. The distinctive clips and curls of her native Australian accent are more prominent. And whatever wrinkles previously existed in the velvet of her voice have smoothed out. Throughout their third album, Morris and her band are supremely at ease — and not by accident. The quartet, featuring Morris alongside fellow Australian Bill Botting (bass) and Brits Paul Rains (guitar) and Michael Collins (drums), formed a half-dozen years ago and quickly earned plaudits for their classic indie-pop jangle.

The band's self-titled 2010 debut is a gentle collision of plucky ukulele, propulsive rhythms, and languorous tales of love and loss. The follow-up, 2012's ''Europe'', mines that same vein while stepping up the production.

The success of those two albums gave the band confidence that carried into the making of ''We Come From the Same Place''. "With this one, it felt like we didn't have anything to prove," Morris says from her new home in Italy. "We're good. We can trust in ourselves and be true to ourselves, and hopefully people will like it. The approach in the studio was — 'Let's play all in the room at once and try to get the sound of us together.'"

The album's lead track, "Heartbeat," is a charmer, with Morris sighing across a jaunty uke-powered dance number. "Angela" moves more deliberately, draping a story of unrequited love atop a rubbery bass line. "Bright Eyes" is a winning duet between Morris and Rains with a sunny simple chorus: "I feel better hanging out with you!"

Meanwhile, "Romance and Adventure" and "Half Heart Necklace" are more punk-paced and overcast.

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But on Allo Darlin's latest album, We Come From the Same Place, Morris unlocks a new level of plush, effortless assuredness. Her voice is stronger. The distinctive clips and curls of her native Australian accent are more prominent. And whatever wrinkles previously existed in the velvet of her voice have smoothed out. Throughout their third album, Morris and her band are supremely at ease — and not by accident. The quartet, featuring Morris alongside fellow Australian Bill Botting (bass) and Brits Paul Rains (guitar) and Michael Collins (drums), formed a half-dozen years ago and quickly earned plaudits for their classic indie-pop jangle.

The band's self-titled 2010 debut is a gentle collision of plucky ukulele, propulsive rhythms, and languorous tales of love and loss. The follow-up, 2012's Europe, mines that same vein while stepping up the production.

The success of those two albums gave the band confidence that carried into the making of We Come From the Same Place. "With this one, it felt like we didn't have anything to prove," Morris says from her new home in Italy. "We're good. We can trust in ourselves and be true to ourselves, and hopefully people will like it. The approach in the studio was — 'Let's play all in the room at once and try to get the sound of us together.'"

The album's lead track, "Heartbeat," is a charmer, with Morris sighing across a jaunty uke-powered dance number. "Angela" moves more deliberately, draping a story of unrequited love atop a rubbery bass line. "Bright Eyes" is a winning duet between Morris and Rains with a sunny simple chorus: "I feel better hanging out with you!"

Meanwhile, "Romance and Adventure" and "Half Heart Necklace" are more punk-paced and overcast.

We Come From the Same Place marks a new era for Allo Darlin', one that includes day jobs and less focus on the traditional definition of success. The group has decided to "take the stress out of trying to be a band that lives off the band," Morris says, which means touring the way they want to and only as much as they want to, while keeping their music out of advertisements — a principle the self-described "stubborn" and "old-fashioned" Morris holds dear.

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For Morris and Allo Darlin', honesty means playing the music they want to play, and We Come From the Same Place exudes the ease that accompanies that peace of mind. It's the sound of a band that's free and happy to make beautiful music, simple as that.             13080461 12403344                          Allo Darlin' stays honest "
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Article

Thursday October 9, 2014 04:00 am EDT
British act downshifts with 'We Come From the Same Place' | more...
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  string(30) "'Illmatic' hits the big screen"
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  string(3177) "Rapper Nas introduced himself as a street poet with his 1994 debut, Illmatic. The album shows, through a resolute optimism that still resonates with hip-hop fans, how the '80s crack epidemic had lingering effects on the New York projects where he grew up. When Erik Parker, former music editor of VIBE, revisited Illmatic a decade after the fact for a magazine retrospective, he realized that discussing the studio sessions wouldn't show why the album still matters. So he teamed up with director One9 to create a generation-spanning documentary, Nas: Time Is Illmatic, that features Nas, his brother Jungle, and his father Olu Dara to illustrate the music's historical significance. Before bringing the film to Atlanta for A3C, One9 and Parker took a few minutes to talk about exploring Illmatic's deeper historical significance.

Why make a documentary film about Illmatic?

One9: No one was covering Illmatic the way we thought we should. At the time it was released, Illmatic was overlooked by the mainstream, but to the people it spoke to it meant everything. We wanted to document it for generations to come. When we talked to Olu Dara, Nas' father, he showed us Natchez, Miss., where he's from. He's a jazz and blues cornet player, and he showed us that his father was a musician. He was part of the northern migration from New York City to Queensbridge, America's largest housing projects. After that we explored Illmatic in a different way.

What was the biggest challenge making the film?

Erik Parker: One challenge was streamlining a story so that it wasn't just a documentary for music fans, but a coming-of-age story that explains a piece of American history. Another challenge was actually making the film. For the first part of our journey we used money out of our pocket. Eventually we had a meeting with Orlando Bagwell, who was a director at JustFilms and the Ford Foundation. As first-time filmmakers, it's difficult to convince people that you have a good idea. But Orlando Bagwell believed in us and gave us a grant to do more research. From there we had enough to prove to the world that we can pull this off, including Tribeca Film Institute, who also gave us a grant.

Which scene are you most proud of?

O9: The most powerful scene was Nas looking at the Illmatic liner notes photograph of the people on the bench and hearing what happened to them. Jungle talked about who's locked up, missing, in jail for murder. I think that was the first time he saw what happened to them — his friends, his peers, the people he grew up with. It shows the cycle of what's going on not just in Queensbridge but across the country. That, to us, reflected what we wanted to convey in the movie.

EP: When we went back to Queensbridge, it was Nas in his natural environment. There were so many layers to every interaction: These two guys know each other from a long time ago, and they're happy to see each other — that's great. Look at these two people that come from the same place but are in different stations in life. Look at the love the community has for him. You could notice the people who were no longer there. That day was rewarding for us as filmmakers."
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  string(3371) "Rapper [http://www.nasirjones.com/|Nas] introduced himself as a street poet with his 1994 debut, ''Illmatic''. The album shows, through a resolute optimism that still resonates with hip-hop fans, how the '80s crack epidemic had lingering effects on the New York projects where he grew up. When Erik Parker, former music editor of ''VIBE'', revisited ''Illmatic'' a decade after the fact for a magazine retrospective, he realized that discussing the studio sessions wouldn't show why the album still matters. So he teamed up with director One9 to create a generation-spanning documentary, ''[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESkmaXnw8ow&feature=youtu.be|Nas: Time Is Illmatic]'', that features Nas, his brother Jungle, and his father Olu Dara to illustrate the music's historical significance. Before bringing the film to Atlanta for [http://www.a3cfestival.com/|A3C], One9 and Parker took a few minutes to talk about exploring ''Illmatic'''s deeper historical significance.

__Why make a documentary film about ''Illmatic''?__

__One9:__ No one was covering ''Illmatic'' the way we thought we should. At the time it was released, ''Illmatic'' was overlooked by the mainstream, but to the people it spoke to it meant everything. We wanted to document it for generations to come. When we talked to Olu Dara, Nas' father, he showed us Natchez, Miss., where he's from. He's a jazz and blues cornet player, and he showed us that his father was a musician. He was part of the northern migration from New York City to Queensbridge, America's largest housing projects. After that we explored ''Illmatic'' in a different way.

__What was the biggest challenge making the film?__

__Erik Parker:__ One challenge was streamlining a story so that it wasn't just a documentary for music fans, but a coming-of-age story that explains a piece of American history. Another challenge was actually making the film. For the first part of our journey we used money out of our pocket. Eventually we had a meeting with Orlando Bagwell, who was a director at JustFilms and the Ford Foundation. As first-time filmmakers, it's difficult to convince people that you have a good idea. But Orlando Bagwell believed in us and gave us a grant to do more research. From there we had enough to prove to the world that we can pull this off, including Tribeca Film Institute, who also gave us a grant.

__Which scene are you most proud of?__

__O9:__ The most powerful scene was Nas looking at the [''Illmatic'' liner notes] photograph of the people on the bench and hearing what happened to them. Jungle talked about who's locked up, missing, in jail for murder. I think that was the first time he saw what happened to them — his friends, his peers, the people he grew up with. It shows the cycle of what's going on not just in Queensbridge but across the country. That, to us, reflected what we wanted to convey in the movie.

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  string(3434) "    Documentary delves into historical impact of Nas' debut   2014-10-02T08:00:00+00:00 'Illmatic' hits the big screen   Christina Lee 2325034 2014-10-02T08:00:00+00:00  Rapper Nas introduced himself as a street poet with his 1994 debut, Illmatic. The album shows, through a resolute optimism that still resonates with hip-hop fans, how the '80s crack epidemic had lingering effects on the New York projects where he grew up. When Erik Parker, former music editor of VIBE, revisited Illmatic a decade after the fact for a magazine retrospective, he realized that discussing the studio sessions wouldn't show why the album still matters. So he teamed up with director One9 to create a generation-spanning documentary, Nas: Time Is Illmatic, that features Nas, his brother Jungle, and his father Olu Dara to illustrate the music's historical significance. Before bringing the film to Atlanta for A3C, One9 and Parker took a few minutes to talk about exploring Illmatic's deeper historical significance.

Why make a documentary film about Illmatic?

One9: No one was covering Illmatic the way we thought we should. At the time it was released, Illmatic was overlooked by the mainstream, but to the people it spoke to it meant everything. We wanted to document it for generations to come. When we talked to Olu Dara, Nas' father, he showed us Natchez, Miss., where he's from. He's a jazz and blues cornet player, and he showed us that his father was a musician. He was part of the northern migration from New York City to Queensbridge, America's largest housing projects. After that we explored Illmatic in a different way.

What was the biggest challenge making the film?

Erik Parker: One challenge was streamlining a story so that it wasn't just a documentary for music fans, but a coming-of-age story that explains a piece of American history. Another challenge was actually making the film. For the first part of our journey we used money out of our pocket. Eventually we had a meeting with Orlando Bagwell, who was a director at JustFilms and the Ford Foundation. As first-time filmmakers, it's difficult to convince people that you have a good idea. But Orlando Bagwell believed in us and gave us a grant to do more research. From there we had enough to prove to the world that we can pull this off, including Tribeca Film Institute, who also gave us a grant.

Which scene are you most proud of?

O9: The most powerful scene was Nas looking at the Illmatic liner notes photograph of the people on the bench and hearing what happened to them. Jungle talked about who's locked up, missing, in jail for murder. I think that was the first time he saw what happened to them — his friends, his peers, the people he grew up with. It shows the cycle of what's going on not just in Queensbridge but across the country. That, to us, reflected what we wanted to convey in the movie.

EP: When we went back to Queensbridge, it was Nas in his natural environment. There were so many layers to every interaction: These two guys know each other from a long time ago, and they're happy to see each other — that's great. Look at these two people that come from the same place but are in different stations in life. Look at the love the community has for him. You could notice the people who were no longer there. That day was rewarding for us as filmmakers.             13080331 12315842                          'Illmatic' hits the big screen "
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Thursday October 2, 2014 04:00 am EDT
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