‘Tis the Season
It is that time of year when we all get a little bit busier with any array of unrelated tasks that need to be accomplished for we turn the calendar. We are taking care of year-end business deals, juggling holiday party invites, and wondering how we are going to neutralize the effect of all the food we have eaten in the last 10 days (and how much more we intend to eat in the next 20). Oh yeah, there’s that Christmas gift thing too. Well the A-List can help with that one.
In what I consider the coolest gift idea of the year, the mix tape is back…on MP3. For a modest $20, Chicago Public Radio will send you a 128 mb flash drive packaged in a classic cassette case that even has the little paper insert where you can write the artist and track names. Fill it with your favorite tracks, or your favorite girl’s favorite tracks, and you are ready for stocking stuffing (did I really just say that?).
In a year that saw the feature film release of Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, it feels good to be able to forget that we all listen to everything through earpods and give a mix tape! It feels especially good for those of us for old enough to eff-up a reference to a record that included the 15 years defunct, Leaders of the New School (for those really paying attention, there were at least three, if not four, members of A Tribe Called Quest – not two as recently claimed in this space) that was released in the hey day of the mix tape. I know I have at least one ex that was wooed by the mix…
The point is to support the good people at public radio, listen to the Sound Opinions podcast (who came up with the idea), and remember that you can still make somebody happiest by just making something for them.
This Week in East Atlanta (and elsewhere)
I have to admit I have trouble making the trip to East Atlanta and it’s not too far for me. There’s something about crossing I-20 that represents some kind of mental resistance for me (though not as dramatic as the roadblock that Pharr Road is). The point is that when I do hit East Atlanta Village, I am always happy that I did. The Earl is unquestionably my favorite place to hear music in that ‘hood and there are plenty of other good reasons for the visit (like Bound to be Read Books).
The Earl will host two shows of note this week. Tuesday night, California psych-punkers Darker My Love will be there. They are supporting their new Dangerbird release, 2. This band really intrigues me and will probably get my ten-spot the night of the show. If you are interested too (and have plenty of free free time) read the near novella about them behind the calendar link on the Earl’s website.
Thursday night Brit doll Holly Golightly will be bringing her modern alternative blues to the Earl. It’s sort of jangly, rootsy and acoustic but not exactly traditional – which makes it curious and interesting. Despite her obvious origins, I would drop it into that Americana bucket that I always enjoy drinking from.
(Speaking of buckets, does anybody out there know what a cooper does? Just found out this myself weekend. Museums are cool.)
The Other Side of the Tracks
For legendary blues, the place to be on Thursday night is Smith’s Olde Bar – Johnny Winter will be playing upstairs. It’s worth the climb. Johnny was a star of college radio back when that meant blues and jazz, not a band out of Athens, and that is how I first heard this albino bluesman. I bought his first record, The Progressive Blues Experiment, for a quarter when my college radio station embraced the compact disc and decided to sell all of its old albums on the cheap. (I spent a lot of quarters that Saturday afternoon). This is blues for fans of the blues, with lots of big guitars and a foot stomping rock n’ roll sound. If you don’t know Johhny’s bone fides, check him out at Woodstock – yeah, the one your parents went to.
I know we’re both wearing down here, but I still haven’t gotten to Saturday night’s show. Marc Broussard will be at Center Stage. Once again, I will be bucking up the obscene fees demanded by Ticketmaster (no link for you – and yes that so-called service will be the subject of a future A-List rant) to see an artist who has developed a great live reputation and has yet escaped my view.
Broussard is supporting his new disc, Keep Coming Back, which I have only heard in part, but I like the single and it fits his Louisiana-style pop soul sound. I agree that he can sound much older than he is, especially on 2004′s Carencro, and that’s what I like about it. There are moments when he is just a little to pop for me but he shares common ground with one of my other favorites, Grace Potter, because he channels an earlier era of music (that I love) so perfectly and delivers originals that keep that sound fresh and new for me. I guess that’s sort of cheesy, but the tickets are in hand (or at least at will call) so I will be there.
Finally, welcome to the new A-Listers who signed up with Bernadette. We’re happy to have you on board. Spread the word. Direct your friends (and enemies) to atlantasalist.blogspot.com or have them send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will start receiving this weekly note (it might just be your best way to get even).
That’s another A-List. One of these days, I’m gonna sit down and write a long letter to all the good friends I’ve known.