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Best of Atlanta 2012 After Dark

 

Best Of Atlanta 2012 After Dark Large


After Dark

Best Atlanta-based music blog

Maurice Garland
Name-dropping Southern hip-hop has become something of a hipster commodity on a national level in recent years, but nobody covers the music and the scene as thoroughly as Atlanta's own Maurice Garland. With his self-titled blog, Garland is not only the undisputed authority on rap south of the Mason-Dixon,more...
Name-dropping Southern hip-hop has become something of a hipster commodity on a national level in recent years, but nobody covers the music and the scene as thoroughly as Atlanta's own Maurice Garland. With his self-titled blog, Garland is not only the undisputed authority on rap south of the Mason-Dixon, his well-curated mix of new music, interviews, commentary, and music criticism has elevated him a level above tastemaker to cultural guardian. When Killer Mike decided to title his new album R.A.P. Music, it was in reaction to Garland Tweeting his thoughts about the state of "Rebellious African People's" music. Has anyone ever named an album after one of your Tweets? www.mauricegarland.com. less...

Best new venue

Terminal West Terminal West
Outside, its bouncers are smiling. Inside, its three bars supply 25 different beers. Terminal West is now Robert Shaw and Alan Sher's dream venue, built after years of throwing concerts inside a King Plow Arts Center gallery space that required them to rebuild and destroy their stage setup for everymore...
Outside, its bouncers are smiling. Inside, its three bars supply 25 different beers. Terminal West is now Robert Shaw and Alan Sher's dream venue, built after years of throwing concerts inside a King Plow Arts Center gallery space that required them to rebuild and destroy their stage setup for every show booked. Their persistence inspired an avid following that justified the need for a permanent venue. Terminal West now resides inside a former 6,700-square-foot iron and steel foundry, and its back patio faces train tracks running parallel to Marietta Street. But the better view is inside - featuring a stage setup capable of illuminating and amplifying newgrass pioneer Sam Bush, New Orleans sissy bounce queen Big Freedia, and the most buzzed-about DJ/electronic music producer of the year, Skrillex. Best of all, it's here to stay. less...

Best perennial soul stirrer

DJ Kemit
Based on his output over the course of the last year, it would be hard not to recognize DJ Kemit as one of the city's best DJs. He is after all, the musical force behind three of the city's most beloved soul/house nightlife events: Soul Makossa, Kickin' Up Dust (both at the Sound Table), and the mega-funmore...
Based on his output over the course of the last year, it would be hard not to recognize DJ Kemit as one of the city's best DJs. He is after all, the musical force behind three of the city's most beloved soul/house nightlife events: Soul Makossa, Kickin' Up Dust (both at the Sound Table), and the mega-fun Spread Love (595 North). He's also one of the featured spinners - along with Salah Ananse, Kai Alce, and Ramon Rawsoul - at the massive annual House in the Park gathering. And Kemit recently dropped his debut album, Everlasting, which showcases vocals by superstars such as Eric Roberson, Carl McIntosh (of Loose Ends), N'Dambi, and more. So, you see our point about not giving him some shine, right? Yeah, we thought so. www.twitter.com/DJKemit. less...

Atlanta's longest-running nonstop dance-or-be-damned party

Backstreet Atlanta
For 30 years, Backstreet Atlanta was the city's best-known all-hours nightclub. More than a gay disco, it was a landmark of Atlanta's sanctified underbelly and a queer haven where the performing drag queens of Charlie Brown's Cabaret reveled in giving straight patrons a reason to blush. Even before themore...
For 30 years, Backstreet Atlanta was the city's best-known all-hours nightclub. More than a gay disco, it was a landmark of Atlanta's sanctified underbelly and a queer haven where the performing drag queens of Charlie Brown's Cabaret reveled in giving straight patrons a reason to blush. Even before the city began its nightlife crackdown near the turn of the millennium, Backstreet served as an after-hours respite for late-night lurkers and off-the-clock bar workers after regular clubs stopped the music. But in 2004, the danceteria that never shut its doors did just that when sibling owners Vicki and Henry Vara ended their hard-fought legal battle against encroaching city legislators, stiffer liquor licensing laws, and a gentrifying Midtown constituency. Though the club at 845 Peachtree St. has been closed for eight years, Backstreet lives on as a symbolic reminder of the once-vibrant nightlife scene and celebrated subculture Atlanta lost in its rush to normalcy. less...

Best movement in the making

Two9
If the children are the future, Two9 is a harbinger of hell to pay. And no, that's not a backhanded compliment. Like Los Angeles' Odd Future and Harlem's A$AP Mob, the ragtag Atlanta collective of MCs and producers recalls an era when smoking blunts and bagging stunts was no fun if the homies couldn'tmore...
If the children are the future, Two9 is a harbinger of hell to pay. And no, that's not a backhanded compliment. Like Los Angeles' Odd Future and Harlem's A$AP Mob, the ragtag Atlanta collective of MCs and producers recalls an era when smoking blunts and bagging stunts was no fun if the homies couldn't have none. Ratchet lyrical aspirations aside, this young crew of rowdy upstarts has a mean work ethic that includes an endless stream of new music, in-house video direction, and production, which they've successfully farmed out to big names such as Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, and Kreayshawn. Did we mention they run deep? With a core consisting of Key!, Curtis Williams, Fat Kids Brotha, Retro Su$h!, Wavy Wallace, and Damien Aidoo, Two9's extended list of hometown affiliates (MoneyMakinNique, Papa Jae, the Coolismac, DJ Osh Kosh, Originalfani, Gunner Stahl) make it hard to sleep on the self-made movement espoused on the recent mixtape Two 9 Forever. Five years ago, an otherground rap scene sprouted in Atlanta that largely went unheralded by the industry players-that-be. The emergence of Two9 feels like a second coming of sorts. Just don't expect these kids to be content with asking for what's presumably theirs for the taking. www.two-9.tumblr.com. less...

Best debut performance

Night Sun
Back in November 2011, Black Lips singer/guitarist Cole Alexander and former Cee Lo Green collaborator Curtis Harding unveiled their spooky, low-fi soul project Night Sun with a show at 529 on an unseasonably balmy Tuesday night. Those who squeezed into the packed club experienced a spectral collisionmore...
Back in November 2011, Black Lips singer/guitarist Cole Alexander and former Cee Lo Green collaborator Curtis Harding unveiled their spooky, low-fi soul project Night Sun with a show at 529 on an unseasonably balmy Tuesday night. Those who squeezed into the packed club experienced a spectral collision of Southern soul and garage rock. For months, both Cole and Curtis had been talking about the "other project" they'd been kicking around. And when they took the stage that night, Cole's grinding swamp melodies and Harding's soulful wail cut through the stifling clouds of smoke and sweat that hung heavy in the air. With a slow and bluesy punch they created a mystique that, to this day, comes up in conversations at the bar. It was a helluva first impression. less...

Best emigrant-turned-essential local DJ

Kid Cedek
After Kid Cedek moved here three years ago, he learned to spin the electro, dubstep, and trap to which Atlantans are accustomed. But he also champions the latest genre to sprout from his native-area DMV (D.C.-Maryland-Virginia): moombahton. With a sound like reggae's loose grooves spiked with house music'smore...
After Kid Cedek moved here three years ago, he learned to spin the electro, dubstep, and trap to which Atlantans are accustomed. But he also champions the latest genre to sprout from his native-area DMV (D.C.-Maryland-Virginia): moombahton. With a sound like reggae's loose grooves spiked with house music's nervousness, it's helped Kid Cedek set himself apart from the rest of Atlanta's nightlife lineup whether he's spinning at Graveyard or co-hosting the Five Spot's new 18-plus night DEF ATL. www.kidcedek.com. less...

Best hardcore band

Bukkake Boys

Best metal band

Royal Thunder

Best DJ for a drunken sing-along

Sofa King Evil
Sofa King Evil's idea of a killer transition: segueing from Lil Wayne's Sir Mix-A-Lot reference in "The Motto" ("Oh my God, Becky/look at her butt") to the original track, "Baby Got Back," itself. His idea of a last-call sing-along: spinning '90s middle-school dance fodder. Two Saturdays each month,more...
Sofa King Evil's idea of a killer transition: segueing from Lil Wayne's Sir Mix-A-Lot reference in "The Motto" ("Oh my God, Becky/look at her butt") to the original track, "Baby Got Back," itself. His idea of a last-call sing-along: spinning '90s middle-school dance fodder. Two Saturdays each month, he loosens up the MJQ crowd with his sense of humor and shamelessness. And when he cues up "Wannabe" by Spice Girls, even dudes can't resist chiming in. www.soundcloud.com/sofakingevil. less...

Best experimental act

Faun and a Pan Flute
Best known for orchestrating layers of winding and bucolic rhythms that evoke equal parts Can's hypnotic rhythms and the Grateful Dead's hippie-dippie ways, Faun and a Pan Flute is the most engaging act of the last year to spring from Atlanta's esoteric rock underbelly. With a lineup that generally settlesmore...
Best known for orchestrating layers of winding and bucolic rhythms that evoke equal parts Can's hypnotic rhythms and the Grateful Dead's hippie-dippie ways, Faun and a Pan Flute is the most engaging act of the last year to spring from Atlanta's esoteric rock underbelly. With a lineup that generally settles in at around nine players, the group has transformed from a ragtag math rock band into a much larger ensemble that knows no musical bounds. Since former Street Violence vocalist Suzanne Baker joined the group, her voice has become a calming agent that has redirected the Fauns to explore a nuanced kaleidoscope of sound where every horn, guitar, and drum arrangement is an essential component to the whole. Don't let the saxophone and long hair fool you, there's nothing jammy about Faun and a Pan Flute. Every note, every crashing melody, and every breath this group takes contributes to an unorthodox musical method that is distinct and deliberate. www.faunandapanflute.bandcamp.com. less...

Best beatmaker-turned-boss

Mike Will Made It

Best blues album

Black Cat Oil
This year, Delta Moon released Black Cat Oil, the Atlanta group's seventh and most transcendent offering in an already respectable catalog. The collision of Tom Gray and Mark Johnson's dual slide guitars push Southern twang to progressive new heights, crafting an unmistakable Delta Moon sound out ofmore...
This year, Delta Moon released Black Cat Oil, the Atlanta group's seventh and most transcendent offering in an already respectable catalog. The collision of Tom Gray and Mark Johnson's dual slide guitars push Southern twang to progressive new heights, crafting an unmistakable Delta Moon sound out of the humid Southern air. The album reveals its strengths through a series of dark and downtrodden tales that walk hand-in-hand with a molasses rhythm section on such songs as "Down & Dirty," "Wishbone," and "Neon Jesus." Aside from a cover of Mississippi Fred McDowell's "Write Me a Few of Your Lines," Black Cat teems with captivating originals, which is a rare treat for blues music in the modern era. With a combination of experience, passion, and songwriting prowess, Delta Moon has churned out a round of songs that are screaming to become standards marveled by future generations. www.deltamoon.com. less...

Best electro ghetto technician

heRobust
The synth-laden soundscapes of heRobust have given Atlanta an earful in 2012. The young electronic producer Hayden Kramer merged his soulful glitch with jazzy melodies and warbling bass lines on his two-part February release Late Night and Morning After. Then, after bathing listeners in celestial sounds,more...
The synth-laden soundscapes of heRobust have given Atlanta an earful in 2012. The young electronic producer Hayden Kramer merged his soulful glitch with jazzy melodies and warbling bass lines on his two-part February release Late Night and Morning After. Then, after bathing listeners in celestial sounds, he switched up the vibe in June with a 10-track avalanche of trapstep remixes titled Busted - the best of which featured a haunted mashup of Ludacris' and Field Mob's "Georgia" with Ray Charles' "Georgia on My Mind." But the icing on heRobust's multilayered cake came a couple of months later when he dropped the 5-track goonstep EP Rob & Hood with song titles like "Beanie Babymama" and "Malt Flickr." On "Dirty South," the last track on the EP, he takes the 1995 classic of the same name back to the future with enough trippy bleeps, pulses, and digital fuzz to make an old Georgia bulldog wonder if, in some alternate universe, ATLiens really do exist. www.soundcloud.com/herobust. less...

Best secret soul weapon

Algebra Blessett

Best soul album

Clementine Sun
In early 2012, bassist/producer Khari Cabral (aka Khari Simmons) stepped away from Jiva, the band he founded in the late 1990s, and released his first solo collection of music, Clementine Sun; and soul music fans were glad that he did. The lush, melodic, bossa nova-tinged album was produced and arrangedmore...
In early 2012, bassist/producer Khari Cabral (aka Khari Simmons) stepped away from Jiva, the band he founded in the late 1990s, and released his first solo collection of music, Clementine Sun; and soul music fans were glad that he did. The lush, melodic, bossa nova-tinged album was produced and arranged by Cabral, but was mixed by the international icon Bluey of the group Incognito and features vocals from a lineup of heavyweight singers, including Sabrina Malheiros, Monday Michiru, and Atlanta's own India.Arie, among others. What this means for the future of Jiva is unknown, but in the meantime, we suggest folks dive deep in the sounds of Clementine Sun - there's lots to enjoy. less...

Best trap ambassador-at-large

Daniel Disaster
With a bio that boasts, "We're only interested in making music you can fight or strip to," Daniel Disaster, the DJ, producer, and driving force behind Heroes x Villains, has made huge strides in an era when the roles of the DJ and the artist are becoming one in the same. As the man who coined the termmore...
With a bio that boasts, "We're only interested in making music you can fight or strip to," Daniel Disaster, the DJ, producer, and driving force behind Heroes x Villains, has made huge strides in an era when the roles of the DJ and the artist are becoming one in the same. As the man who coined the term luxury trap, giving credence to the 70-140 BPM hybrid of post-dubstep and trap music, no one is pushing the boundaries of electronic dance music with more flare. And with this year's arrival of his first official song, "Original Choppaz," he makes good on his promise to deliver the soundtrack to sex and violence with a dark, pervasive flare. www.heroesxvillains.tumblr.com. less...

Best jazz club

Churchill Grounds Jazz Cafe

Best neighborhood bar

Corner Tavern Edgewood Corner Tavern
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best sports bar

Taco Mac Taco Mac
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best college bar or club

QUAD at Spring4th Complex Legacy Live

Best bartender

Cam Whittemore The Shelter

Best concert venue

The Tabernacle

Best dance club

QUAD at Spring4th Complex Legacy Live

Best karaoke

Mr. Smokey's Karaoke Sweetwater Bar and Grill

Best trivia night

The Independent

Best acoustic music club

Eddie's Attic

Best local mixtape

Capt. Mudfish's Breaking Bad
captmudfish.tumblr.com
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  • 1 (current)
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Best Atlanta-based music blog

Maurice Garland
Name-dropping Southern hip-hop has become something of a hipster commodity on a national level in recent years, but nobody covers the music and the scene as thoroughly as Atlanta's own Maurice Garland. With his self-titled blog, Garland is not only the undisputed authority on rap south of the Mason-Dixon,more...
Name-dropping Southern hip-hop has become something of a hipster commodity on a national level in recent years, but nobody covers the music and the scene as thoroughly as Atlanta's own Maurice Garland. With his self-titled blog, Garland is not only the undisputed authority on rap south of the Mason-Dixon, his well-curated mix of new music, interviews, commentary, and music criticism has elevated him a level above tastemaker to cultural guardian. When Killer Mike decided to title his new album R.A.P. Music, it was in reaction to Garland Tweeting his thoughts about the state of "Rebellious African People's" music. Has anyone ever named an album after one of your Tweets? www.mauricegarland.com. less...

Best jazz club

Churchill Grounds Jazz Cafe

Best neighborhood bar

Corner Tavern Edgewood Corner Tavern
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best new venue

Terminal West Terminal West
Outside, its bouncers are smiling. Inside, its three bars supply 25 different beers. Terminal West is now Robert Shaw and Alan Sher's dream venue, built after years of throwing concerts inside a King Plow Arts Center gallery space that required them to rebuild and destroy their stage setup for everymore...
Outside, its bouncers are smiling. Inside, its three bars supply 25 different beers. Terminal West is now Robert Shaw and Alan Sher's dream venue, built after years of throwing concerts inside a King Plow Arts Center gallery space that required them to rebuild and destroy their stage setup for every show booked. Their persistence inspired an avid following that justified the need for a permanent venue. Terminal West now resides inside a former 6,700-square-foot iron and steel foundry, and its back patio faces train tracks running parallel to Marietta Street. But the better view is inside - featuring a stage setup capable of illuminating and amplifying newgrass pioneer Sam Bush, New Orleans sissy bounce queen Big Freedia, and the most buzzed-about DJ/electronic music producer of the year, Skrillex. Best of all, it's here to stay. less...

Best perennial soul stirrer

DJ Kemit
Based on his output over the course of the last year, it would be hard not to recognize DJ Kemit as one of the city's best DJs. He is after all, the musical force behind three of the city's most beloved soul/house nightlife events: Soul Makossa, Kickin' Up Dust (both at the Sound Table), and the mega-funmore...
Based on his output over the course of the last year, it would be hard not to recognize DJ Kemit as one of the city's best DJs. He is after all, the musical force behind three of the city's most beloved soul/house nightlife events: Soul Makossa, Kickin' Up Dust (both at the Sound Table), and the mega-fun Spread Love (595 North). He's also one of the featured spinners - along with Salah Ananse, Kai Alce, and Ramon Rawsoul - at the massive annual House in the Park gathering. And Kemit recently dropped his debut album, Everlasting, which showcases vocals by superstars such as Eric Roberson, Carl McIntosh (of Loose Ends), N'Dambi, and more. So, you see our point about not giving him some shine, right? Yeah, we thought so. www.twitter.com/DJKemit. less...

Best sports bar

Taco Mac Taco Mac
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Atlanta's longest-running nonstop dance-or-be-damned party

Backstreet Atlanta
For 30 years, Backstreet Atlanta was the city's best-known all-hours nightclub. More than a gay disco, it was a landmark of Atlanta's sanctified underbelly and a queer haven where the performing drag queens of Charlie Brown's Cabaret reveled in giving straight patrons a reason to blush. Even before themore...
For 30 years, Backstreet Atlanta was the city's best-known all-hours nightclub. More than a gay disco, it was a landmark of Atlanta's sanctified underbelly and a queer haven where the performing drag queens of Charlie Brown's Cabaret reveled in giving straight patrons a reason to blush. Even before the city began its nightlife crackdown near the turn of the millennium, Backstreet served as an after-hours respite for late-night lurkers and off-the-clock bar workers after regular clubs stopped the music. But in 2004, the danceteria that never shut its doors did just that when sibling owners Vicki and Henry Vara ended their hard-fought legal battle against encroaching city legislators, stiffer liquor licensing laws, and a gentrifying Midtown constituency. Though the club at 845 Peachtree St. has been closed for eight years, Backstreet lives on as a symbolic reminder of the once-vibrant nightlife scene and celebrated subculture Atlanta lost in its rush to normalcy. less...

Best college bar or club

QUAD at Spring4th Complex Legacy Live

Best movement in the making

Two9
If the children are the future, Two9 is a harbinger of hell to pay. And no, that's not a backhanded compliment. Like Los Angeles' Odd Future and Harlem's A$AP Mob, the ragtag Atlanta collective of MCs and producers recalls an era when smoking blunts and bagging stunts was no fun if the homies couldn'tmore...
If the children are the future, Two9 is a harbinger of hell to pay. And no, that's not a backhanded compliment. Like Los Angeles' Odd Future and Harlem's A$AP Mob, the ragtag Atlanta collective of MCs and producers recalls an era when smoking blunts and bagging stunts was no fun if the homies couldn't have none. Ratchet lyrical aspirations aside, this young crew of rowdy upstarts has a mean work ethic that includes an endless stream of new music, in-house video direction, and production, which they've successfully farmed out to big names such as Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, and Kreayshawn. Did we mention they run deep? With a core consisting of Key!, Curtis Williams, Fat Kids Brotha, Retro Su$h!, Wavy Wallace, and Damien Aidoo, Two9's extended list of hometown affiliates (MoneyMakinNique, Papa Jae, the Coolismac, DJ Osh Kosh, Originalfani, Gunner Stahl) make it hard to sleep on the self-made movement espoused on the recent mixtape Two 9 Forever. Five years ago, an otherground rap scene sprouted in Atlanta that largely went unheralded by the industry players-that-be. The emergence of Two9 feels like a second coming of sorts. Just don't expect these kids to be content with asking for what's presumably theirs for the taking. www.two-9.tumblr.com. less...

Best bartender

Cam Whittemore The Shelter

Best concert venue

The Tabernacle

Best dance club

QUAD at Spring4th Complex Legacy Live

Best debut performance

Night Sun
Back in November 2011, Black Lips singer/guitarist Cole Alexander and former Cee Lo Green collaborator Curtis Harding unveiled their spooky, low-fi soul project Night Sun with a show at 529 on an unseasonably balmy Tuesday night. Those who squeezed into the packed club experienced a spectral collisionmore...
Back in November 2011, Black Lips singer/guitarist Cole Alexander and former Cee Lo Green collaborator Curtis Harding unveiled their spooky, low-fi soul project Night Sun with a show at 529 on an unseasonably balmy Tuesday night. Those who squeezed into the packed club experienced a spectral collision of Southern soul and garage rock. For months, both Cole and Curtis had been talking about the "other project" they'd been kicking around. And when they took the stage that night, Cole's grinding swamp melodies and Harding's soulful wail cut through the stifling clouds of smoke and sweat that hung heavy in the air. With a slow and bluesy punch they created a mystique that, to this day, comes up in conversations at the bar. It was a helluva first impression. less...

Best emigrant-turned-essential local DJ

Kid Cedek
After Kid Cedek moved here three years ago, he learned to spin the electro, dubstep, and trap to which Atlantans are accustomed. But he also champions the latest genre to sprout from his native-area DMV (D.C.-Maryland-Virginia): moombahton. With a sound like reggae's loose grooves spiked with house music'smore...
After Kid Cedek moved here three years ago, he learned to spin the electro, dubstep, and trap to which Atlantans are accustomed. But he also champions the latest genre to sprout from his native-area DMV (D.C.-Maryland-Virginia): moombahton. With a sound like reggae's loose grooves spiked with house music's nervousness, it's helped Kid Cedek set himself apart from the rest of Atlanta's nightlife lineup whether he's spinning at Graveyard or co-hosting the Five Spot's new 18-plus night DEF ATL. www.kidcedek.com. less...

Best hardcore band

Bukkake Boys

Best karaoke

Mr. Smokey's Karaoke Sweetwater Bar and Grill

Best metal band

Royal Thunder

Best trivia night

The Independent
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