It got us thinking about labels here at Atlanta’s A-List, but not music labels. We went in a different direction (as we often do). We started thinking about the labels people are always putting on music, on artists, on people. It got us thinking about our own labels (and that kind of introspection always leads to something on Sunday afternoon).
After all that thinking and a few domestic beers, we decided that maybe our label was a little misleading. Our first reaction, of course, was “who cares”. Then, after another handful of bar nuts and another screw top, we decided that it wasn’t people who were looking for the A-List (y’know the people who dig the velvet rope thing) that we need to think about. We’re okay with them not finding what they’re looking for here.
But then we thought maybe we need to think about the people who really are looking for what we really are doing here. Unfortunately we’re still not sure exactly what that is – but we took a little personal inventory anyway.
This is what we came up with. First, we don’t really like labels. They’re a convenient way for people to separate themselves from other people without bothering to do a damn thing. We do it with cars, houses, neighborhoods, hangouts, everything. We especially do it with music. That’s sort of a shame. People are just missing out on opportunities to learn something new. Let’s be honest here. The most innovative, and often very best, club and dance often happens on the other side of the velvet rope we just told we don’t like so much. Just because it isn’t the first place we think of, it doesn’t mean there isn’t something good to be found there. (confession – we have spent hours in several NYC lounges just to hear a particular DJ spin the turntables).
Now that you know we don’t like labels, we’re going to tell you about our new label (’cause hypocrisy certainly is not beyond us). And by label we mean those descriptive words underneath “Atlanta’s A-List” at the top of the blog.
Second, we do realize that we tend toward what most people would call “indie rock” (a label we still don’t really understand). But there’s more to it than that. What we really like are independents. Whether it’s indie music, indie shops, indie venues, or indie blogs – what we like is the people who have the guts and independence (get it?) to get out there and go for it. That’s so much of what you’ll find at all the links on the blog – A-List Atlanta, A-List Venues, A-List Links. So the second word is “independent”.
Finally, we do love to read. We (which you already know is really just one guy – uh, except when it isn’t, right?) are currently working on three works of non-fiction, one collection of short stories, and one novel. Maybe because of that we really don’t do the best job of letting hardcore readers know about local author appearances, great new books, cool book clubs and other stuff out there – but we really do try. Follow us on Twitter – we’re better about book stuff there. So, anyway, we have added the (appropriately enough for us) parenthetical “(occasionally)” before “literate” in the tag. (Maybe also so it won’t scare the hardcore music heads away.)
We all know that these weekly rants are hardly literate and if we’re not writing about books every week, then I guess we’re overselling it a little. That being said, you can always check out our short list of book reviews (more to come we promise) and we’ll try to do better by that audience (really).
So that’s our thing about labels. Want to see a show this week?
We don’t know where we heard it, or even when, but we have a distinct recollection of hearing somebody say to us, or saying to somebody within earshot, that Pete Yorn was “alright for a rich kid with a guitar.” It was like a begrudging acknowledgment that this guy might have some talent despite his perceived background. Whoever said it obviously had a some trouble with that label thing. Pete Yorn is a true talent and having a dentist for a Dad (for whatever that’s worth) doesn’t reduce that.
Pete will be at Center Stage on Friday night. (Advance tickets are still available for $24) Pete is out in support of his latest full length, Back & Forth – a record guaranteed to make your girlfriend swoon. In typical Pete Yorn style, the songs are again melodic, thoughtful and sometimes shamelessly heartfelt. They’re not always pretty happy tunes (see “Social Development Dance”), but I still think they’ll make the girlfriend wanna make out (with Pete, even if not with you).
If you’re the type who needs a little hipster cred to get you into you into Decatur CD or Criminal Records for a copy, then note that Mike Mogis (formerly of Bright Eyes and soon of Monsters of Folk) is the producer. We saw Pete play the Bowery Ballroom, before it had a slick website, and shortly after musicforthemorningafter dropped and, despite the decade in between, we expect the same kind of personal and engaged performance this weekend in Midtown.
Before we go…
If you missed it this week, we posted a new Record Review and gave you some same day updates on a couple of other shows. Look for more of the same this week. We can’t do it all in one day. If you can, you’re one shot better than us.