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  string(2297) "Athens singer/songwriter Vic Chesnutt is as excited as anyone to be joining post-rock punkers Thee Silver Mount Zion Memorial Orchestra and Tra-la-la Band for a five-date tour that ends in Atlanta Sunday. The discordant, cinematic Canadian septet begun by Godspeed! You Black Emperor's Efrim Menuck backed Chesnutt on last year's terrific North Star Deserter, and plans are to repeat the process for a new album next year.

The group's supple, nuanced atmospheres proved ideal backgrounds for Chesnutt's downcast gems, from the somber, world-weary ache of "Warm" to the pretty, easy-answers broadside, "You Are Never Alone," where Chesnutt sardonically notes, "It's OK/You can get a quadruple bypass/And then keep on keeping on."

Chesnutt's friend, filmmaker Jem Cohen, will produce again, choosing both the songs and the players (who will all return, including Fugazi guitarist Guy Picciotto). Though Chesnutt was initially intimidated – he ranks Godspeed! as one of the best live shows he's seen – they hit it off immediately.

"It was like love at first sight," Chesnutt says. "They made me feel very welcome, and then when we started playing music, something really clicked, and they inspired me very much."

Chesnutt claims he's "not at liberty" to reveal if the band will be backing him live on this short jaunt, but he did confirm a September release on Orange Twin of the album he recorded at home last year with Elf Power. It was recorded quickly, a song at a time.

"I made up the song one day, we played it the next and recorded it," Chesnutt explains. The quick turnaround actually led Chesnutt to rewrite one of the songs: "I instantly realized after hearing it – the music turned out so well, the lyrics were stupid. Sometimes it's not instant gratification you get, but instant perspective."

After its release, they're planning European and American tours together, and when Chesnutt returns he says he'll begin work with Cohen and company, admitting that he's yet to demo any of the songs. It'll keep him busy, and that's a good thing. "Idle hands are the devil's playthings; it's very true," he offers.

Vic Chesnutt w/ Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Tra-la-la Band. $17. Sun., May 25. 8 p.m. Drunken Unicorn, 736 Ponce de Leon Ave. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net."
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The group's supple, nuanced atmospheres proved ideal backgrounds for Chesnutt's downcast gems, from the somber, world-weary ache of "Warm" to the pretty, easy-answers broadside, "You Are Never Alone," where Chesnutt sardonically notes, "It's OK/You can get a quadruple bypass/And then keep on keeping on."

Chesnutt's friend, filmmaker Jem Cohen, will produce again, choosing both the songs and the players (who will all return, including Fugazi guitarist Guy Picciotto). Though Chesnutt was initially intimidated – he ranks Godspeed! as one of the best live shows he's seen – they hit it off immediately.

"It was like love at first sight," Chesnutt says. "They made me feel very welcome, and then when we started playing music, something really clicked, and they inspired me very much."

Chesnutt claims he's "not at liberty" to reveal if the band will be backing him live on this short jaunt, but he did confirm a September release on Orange Twin of the album he recorded at home last year with Elf Power. It was recorded quickly, a song at a time.

"I made up the song one day, we played it the next and recorded it," Chesnutt explains. The quick turnaround actually led Chesnutt to rewrite one of the songs: "I instantly realized after hearing it – the music turned out so well, the lyrics were stupid. Sometimes it's not instant gratification you get, but instant perspective."

After its release, they're planning European and American tours together, and when Chesnutt returns he says he'll begin work with Cohen and company, admitting that he's yet to demo any of the songs. It'll keep him busy, and that's a good thing. "Idle hands are the devil's playthings; it's very true," he offers.

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The group's supple, nuanced atmospheres proved ideal backgrounds for Chesnutt's downcast gems, from the somber, world-weary ache of "Warm" to the pretty, easy-answers broadside, "You Are Never Alone," where Chesnutt sardonically notes, "It's OK/You can get a quadruple bypass/And then keep on keeping on."

Chesnutt's friend, filmmaker Jem Cohen, will produce again, choosing both the songs and the players (who will all return, including Fugazi guitarist Guy Picciotto). Though Chesnutt was initially intimidated – he ranks Godspeed! as one of the best live shows he's seen – they hit it off immediately.

"It was like love at first sight," Chesnutt says. "They made me feel very welcome, and then when we started playing music, something really clicked, and they inspired me very much."

Chesnutt claims he's "not at liberty" to reveal if the band will be backing him live on this short jaunt, but he did confirm a September release on Orange Twin of the album he recorded at home last year with Elf Power. It was recorded quickly, a song at a time.

"I made up the song one day, we played it the next and recorded it," Chesnutt explains. The quick turnaround actually led Chesnutt to rewrite one of the songs: "I instantly realized after hearing it – the music turned out so well, the lyrics were stupid. Sometimes it's not instant gratification you get, but instant perspective."

After its release, they're planning European and American tours together, and when Chesnutt returns he says he'll begin work with Cohen and company, admitting that he's yet to demo any of the songs. It'll keep him busy, and that's a good thing. "Idle hands are the devil's playthings; it's very true," he offers.

Vic Chesnutt w/ Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Tra-la-la Band. $17. Sun., May 25. 8 p.m. Drunken Unicorn, 736 Ponce de Leon Ave. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net.             13027361 1273531                          Vic Chesnutt: Return engagement "
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Show Preview

Wednesday May 21, 2008 12:04 am EDT
Athens-based artist pairs up again with Canadian collaborators | more...
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  string(2115) "Atlanta philanthropist Josh Rifkind is more ramped-up than ever over the return of 500 Songs For Kids, the charity event that kicks off at Smith's Olde Bar Thursday, May 1, and runs through Saturday, May 10.

Last year Rifkind, who spearheads the nonprofit Songs for Kids Foundation, wrangled 500 different local and national bands and artists to perform a song from Rolling Stone magazine's list of "Top 500 Songs of All Time." Spread out over 10 days, acts that participated included the Whigs, Janelle Monae, Edwin McCain and Pete Yorn – all of whom donated door sales to the Songs For Kids Foundation.

Each year the foundation sends musicians to children's hospitals and 20 special needs camps all over the state. The money from 500 Songs for Kids plays a big part in funding its activities.

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There's an undeniable giddiness in his voice as he jumps around the list rattling off songs they picked and the artists who will perform them.

The itinerary of this year's song marathon includes the Coathangers, performing Britney Spears' song "... Baby One More Time" (song No. 71 from the list). Sean Faylon will perform Digital Underground's "The Humpty Dance" (song No. 475). Cracker will perform its own song "Low" (No. 138). Mason Jennings will perform Asia's "Heat of the Moment" (No. 268) and Skid Row bassist Rachel Bolan will perform Skid Row's "I Remember You" (No. 300).

"Composing the list was excruciating but fun," Rifkind adds. "The great thing about the list of songs is that we took it so seriously. It isn't just some thrown-together list. We labored over this tirelessly."

500 Songs for Kids. $10. Thurs.-Sat., May 1-10. 7 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com or www.songsforkidsfoundation.org."
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Each year the foundation sends musicians to children's hospitals and 20 special needs camps all over the state. The money from 500 Songs for Kids plays a big part in funding its activities.

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There's an undeniable giddiness in his voice as he jumps around the list rattling off songs they picked and the artists who will perform them.

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"Composing the list was excruciating but fun," Rifkind adds. "The great thing about the list of songs is that we took it so seriously. It isn't just some thrown-together list. We labored over this tirelessly."

''500 Songs for Kids. $10. Thurs.-Sat., May 1-10. 7 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave. 404-875-1522. [http://www.smithsoldebar.com/|www.smithsoldebar.com] or [http://www.songsforkidsfoundation.org/|www.songsforkidsfoundation.org].''"
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  string(2350) "    500 Songs for Kids kicks it up a notch for '08   2008-04-30T04:04:00+00:00 Article - Child's play   Chad Radford Chad Radford 2008-04-30T04:04:00+00:00  Atlanta philanthropist Josh Rifkind is more ramped-up than ever over the return of 500 Songs For Kids, the charity event that kicks off at Smith's Olde Bar Thursday, May 1, and runs through Saturday, May 10.

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The aim remains the same this year, but the songs are different. Rifkind, along with his partners in the foundation, Sanjay Kothari, Kendra Gurkin and Justin Kerenyi, embarked on the difficult task of composing a list of the top 500 "sing-along" songs of all time. "We reviewed every popular song in history, from heavy metal to show tunes," Rifkind says.

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Show Preview

Wednesday April 30, 2008 12:04 am EDT
500 Songs for Kids kicks it up a notch for '08 | more...
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  string(55) "Kabota, Strezzo and Judi Chicago teaser show at Eyedrum"
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  string(1868) "Are you tired of corporate sponsorship interfering with your gay-friendly activities? Would you rather see a pirate flag behind the stage during an evening of "homo-hop" instead of some big-money logos? Do you spell Queer with a capital "Q"? If so, MondoHomo Dirty South might just be your bag.

This year the second annual festival takes place Memorial Day weekend, Friday-Monday, May 23-26. But first the folks in charge have put together a sneak peak of the indie and DIY artists scheduled to celebrate queer culture's contributions to the mainstream.

Atlanta acts Kabota, Strezzo and Judi Chicago, as well as Florida's Fruit Machine and Heavy Flow, are slated to perform at the MondoHomo Teaser Party.

According to festival founder Kiki Carr's mission statement for MondoHomo '08, "Queer is a cultural mindset that spans ages, colors, ethnicities. For me, MondoHomo and the word 'queer' include a whole range of folks ..."

To underscore the event's inclusiveness, not all of the teaser party's acts fall into the queer music category, but everyone on board is down with the cause.

Travis Thatcher and Ben Coleman of electro-dance music duo Judi Chicago adopt a straight-but-not-narrow philosophy – the group makes regular appearances at the East Atlanta gay bar Mary's' late-night Logjam parties.

"We aren't gay, but we are totally inspired by a lot of gay culture," Coleman says. "Disco, house, etc. The gays do it all best, and most of the true innovators in those styles are ignored, at least in house music, because they were black, gay or both. Look at dance music now, and it's all straight honkies like me and Trav. So we're eager to raise a hand for the guys that pioneered it all. We're an inclusive bunch."

MondoHomo Dirty South Teaser Party. $10. Sunday, April 27. 9 p.m. Eyedrum, 290 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org."
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This year the second annual festival takes place Memorial Day weekend, Friday-Monday, May 23-26. But first the folks in charge have put together a sneak peak of the indie and DIY artists scheduled to celebrate queer culture's contributions to the mainstream.

Atlanta acts Kabota, Strezzo and Judi Chicago, as well as Florida's Fruit Machine and Heavy Flow, are slated to perform at the MondoHomo Teaser Party.

According to festival founder Kiki Carr's mission statement for MondoHomo '08, "[Queer] is a cultural mindset that spans ages, colors, ethnicities. For me, MondoHomo and the word 'queer' include a whole range of folks ..."

To underscore the event's inclusiveness, not all of the teaser party's acts fall into the queer music category, but everyone on board is down with the cause.

Travis Thatcher and Ben Coleman of electro-dance music duo Judi Chicago adopt a straight-but-not-narrow philosophy – the group makes regular appearances at the East Atlanta gay bar Mary's' late-night Logjam parties.

"We aren't gay, but we are totally inspired by a lot of gay culture," Coleman says. "Disco, house, etc. The gays do it all best, and most of the true innovators in those styles are ignored, at least in house music, because they were black, gay or both. Look at dance music now, and it's all straight honkies like me and Trav. So we're eager to raise a hand for the guys that pioneered it all. We're an inclusive bunch."

''MondoHomo Dirty South Teaser Party. $10. Sunday, April 27. 9 p.m. Eyedrum, 290 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. 404-522-0655. [http://www.eyedrum.org/|www.eyedrum.org].''"
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  string(2110) "    Kabota, Strezzo and Judi Chicago teaser show at Eyedrum   2008-04-23T04:04:00+00:00 MondoHomo at a glance   Chad Radford Chad Radford 2008-04-23T04:04:00+00:00  Are you tired of corporate sponsorship interfering with your gay-friendly activities? Would you rather see a pirate flag behind the stage during an evening of "homo-hop" instead of some big-money logos? Do you spell Queer with a capital "Q"? If so, MondoHomo Dirty South might just be your bag.

This year the second annual festival takes place Memorial Day weekend, Friday-Monday, May 23-26. But first the folks in charge have put together a sneak peak of the indie and DIY artists scheduled to celebrate queer culture's contributions to the mainstream.

Atlanta acts Kabota, Strezzo and Judi Chicago, as well as Florida's Fruit Machine and Heavy Flow, are slated to perform at the MondoHomo Teaser Party.

According to festival founder Kiki Carr's mission statement for MondoHomo '08, "Queer is a cultural mindset that spans ages, colors, ethnicities. For me, MondoHomo and the word 'queer' include a whole range of folks ..."

To underscore the event's inclusiveness, not all of the teaser party's acts fall into the queer music category, but everyone on board is down with the cause.

Travis Thatcher and Ben Coleman of electro-dance music duo Judi Chicago adopt a straight-but-not-narrow philosophy – the group makes regular appearances at the East Atlanta gay bar Mary's' late-night Logjam parties.

"We aren't gay, but we are totally inspired by a lot of gay culture," Coleman says. "Disco, house, etc. The gays do it all best, and most of the true innovators in those styles are ignored, at least in house music, because they were black, gay or both. Look at dance music now, and it's all straight honkies like me and Trav. So we're eager to raise a hand for the guys that pioneered it all. We're an inclusive bunch."

MondoHomo Dirty South Teaser Party. $10. Sunday, April 27. 9 p.m. Eyedrum, 290 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org.             13027138 1273062                          MondoHomo at a glance "
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Wednesday April 23, 2008 12:04 am EDT
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