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Best of Atlanta 2005 Poets Artists and Madmen

 

Best Of Atlanta 2005 Poets Artists Large


Poets, Artists & Madmen

Best Art Trend

Indie Craft
A new generation of artists, DIY types, post-feminists, lowbrow fans and out-of-the-box thinkers are erasing the usual high vs. low art world hierarchies, but no where is that tendency more evident than in the rise of INDIE CRAFT. Local groups like craft blogger Garth Johnson (www.extremecraft.com);more...
A new generation of artists, DIY types, post-feminists, lowbrow fans and out-of-the-box thinkers are erasing the usual high vs. low art world hierarchies, but no where is that tendency more evident than in the rise of INDIE CRAFT. Local groups like craft blogger Garth Johnson (www.extremecraft.com); the monthly Kraftwork neo-handicraft fair at Young Blood Gallery; and the grrls at the Indie Craft Experience, which staged a craftapalooza at Eyedrum in June, have incorporated aspects of indie-rock counter-culturalism and Bust magazine-era newfangled feminism to create something new and valuable in the homemade, the recycled and the crafted-with-love. less...

Best Art World Exit

Helena Reckitt
Always leave them wanting more. Atlanta Contemporary Art Center curator HELENA RECKITT weathered some hairy financial uncertainty at the Atlanta art institution and still managed to produce some stellar shows before she headed off in August for a fresh start in Toronto.

Best Club DJ

Brandon Sutton
It’s not easy being DJ BRANDON SUTTON’s stalker. Yes, there are plenty of chances to ogle him each week, with his residency at Halo and frequent gigs at Bazzaar. He’s always friendly to well-wishers who pop into his booth to gaze into those dreamy DJ eyes of his. But the problemmore...
It’s not easy being DJ BRANDON SUTTON’s stalker. Yes, there are plenty of chances to ogle him each week, with his residency at Halo and frequent gigs at Bazzaar. He’s always friendly to well-wishers who pop into his booth to gaze into those dreamy DJ eyes of his. But the problem is all the other stalkers getting in the way. Move over, bitches — Brandon is ours! less...

Best Dance Company

Coriolis Dance Project
Artistic director Elizabeth Dishman’s newfound mission is to create dances that even you double-left-footed movement newbies can at least partially appreciate (you seem to be laughing and clapping at the right places, anyhow), and the dances she creates for the CORIOLIS DANCE PROJECT continuemore...

Artistic director Elizabeth Dishman’s newfound mission is to create dances that even you double-left-footed movement newbies can at least partially appreciate (you seem to be laughing and clapping at the right places, anyhow), and the dances she creates for the CORIOLIS DANCE PROJECT continue to be the best brain-buzz you can get outside a Mensa meeting. We loved this year’s playful Falling, a study of balance and its absence that included the debut of Israeli import Hila Kerekesh, a sublimely subtle new dancer on the Atlanta scene. Dishman is moving to NYC, so the Oct. 1 performance of a reworked Falling (at Emory University’s Performing Arts Studio) will be the company’s Atlanta swan song.
404-931-0212. www.coriolisdance.org.

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Best Electronic Act

Larvae
Nobody stomps harder in the local electronic scene than Matthew Jeanes’ mostly solo, sometimes three-man electro outfit, LARVAE. This year, Jeanes launched sonic assaults on both American and European soil, dropping bombastic, head-nodding beats and bass swells while hooking up with the Berlin-basedmore...

Nobody stomps harder in the local electronic scene than Matthew Jeanes’ mostly solo, sometimes three-man electro outfit, LARVAE. This year, Jeanes launched sonic assaults on both American and European soil, dropping bombastic, head-nodding beats and bass swells while hooking up with the Berlin-based Ad Noiseum Records. Using guerrilla-style tactics, Larvae’s digital audio/visual dirges have manhandled some of the most recognizable sights and sounds of pop and corporate icons, manipulating everything from Nike to Kill Bill and Star Wars (think Uma Thurman wielding lightsabers instead of samurai swords), all the while avoiding any imperial entanglements such as licensing.
www.zeroplate.com.

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Best Gothic Delight

The Death Show
While we wish it hadn’t turned out to be such an appropriate year for THE DEATH SHOW, (re: Iraq, London, Niger, Indonesia, the Gulf Coast, etc.), there’s no denying that death is prominent in our present collective conscience. Ty Macabre and a bunch of other artists with graveyard namesmore...
While we wish it hadn’t turned out to be such an appropriate year for THE DEATH SHOW, (re: Iraq, London, Niger, Indonesia, the Gulf Coast, etc.), there’s no denying that death is prominent in our present collective conscience. Ty Macabre and a bunch of other artists with graveyard names woke the dead for a Good Friday variety show at the Inner Sanctum that included electronic voice phenomenon ghost hunters, a death processional of dancers, and two poets sharing their near death experiences. less...

Best Graffiti

Krog Street Tunnel
Atlanta’s own Berlin Wall and the city’s favorite soapbox, the KROG STREET TUNNEL is a trippy kaleidoscope of politics and explosive color thankfully overlooked by the city’s anti-graffiti law enforcers. The colorful display significantly adds to the city’s beleagueredmore...

Atlanta’s own Berlin Wall and the city’s favorite soapbox, the KROG STREET TUNNEL is a trippy kaleidoscope of politics and explosive color thankfully overlooked by the city’s anti-graffiti law enforcers. The colorful display significantly adds to the city’s beleaguered funky quotient. Shows change daily.
Between DeKalb Avenue and Wylie Street at the border of Cabbagetown and Inman Park.

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Best Kinetic Political Cattle Prod

America! Question!
Here’s something we noticed immediately after Several Dancers Core’s performance of AMERICA! QUESTION: Even people who weren’t so sure they had liked the dance were doing precisely what the dance intended them to do. (Dance little marionettes! Dance!) On the anniversary ofmore...

Here’s something we noticed immediately after Several Dancers Core’s performance of AMERICA! QUESTION: Even people who weren’t so sure they had liked the dance were doing precisely what the dance intended them to do. (Dance little marionettes! Dance!) On the anniversary of 9/11, the company posed questions about what it means to be American and prompted passionate debates about the critiques implicit in the dance. Some of the dance was avant-awesome. Some of it was just plain weird. But we’ll take that over a gas-guzzling SUV any dancing day of the week.
404-373-4154. www.severaldancerscore.org.

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Best Museum Makeover

High Museum of Art High Museum of Art
The HIGH MUSEUM OF ART is hoping to pull some serious attendance with the Nov. 12 unveiling of its $130 million expansion designed by revered Italian architect Renzo Piano. Three new buildings linked to the original Richard Meier-designed museum will more than double the museum’s size. Expectmore...
The HIGH MUSEUM OF ART is hoping to pull some serious attendance with the Nov. 12 unveiling of its $130 million expansion designed by revered Italian architect Renzo Piano. Three new buildings linked to the original Richard Meier-designed museum will more than double the museum’s size. Expect blockbuster crowds for the inaugural exhibition, a retrospective of the 88-year-old legend Andrew Wyeth. Let’s hope that what’s good for the High is good for the rest of Atlanta’s arts scene. less...

Best New Play Incubator

Alliance Theatre
You usually see hot new plays emerge from little black box theaters, not a city’s biggest playhouse. But this year, the ALLIANCE THEATRE served as a launching pad for two big, Broadway-bound, Southern-themed world premieres: The Color Purple musical and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. Plus, thanksmore...

You usually see hot new plays emerge from little black box theaters, not a city’s biggest playhouse. But this year, the ALLIANCE THEATRE served as a launching pad for two big, Broadway-bound, Southern-themed world premieres: The Color Purple musical and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. Plus, thanks to a $1.5 million gift from the Kendeda Fund, the Alliance permanently established its Graduate Playwriting Competition to develop bold new works like the Cuban melodrama Day of the Kings. The Alliance did more than pay lip service to the idea that new plays deserve resources.
1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-5000. www.alliancetheatre.org.

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Best Stripper

Sugar
Stripper-turned-actress White Chocolate may get the lion’s share of attention in the media, but Strokers’ other superstar dancer, SUGAR, is truly the best at what she does. Visit the Clarkston club and chances are you’ll be sold on her around-the-way-girl personality on themore...

Stripper-turned-actress White Chocolate may get the lion’s share of attention in the media, but Strokers’ other superstar dancer, SUGAR, is truly the best at what she does. Visit the Clarkston club and chances are you’ll be sold on her around-the-way-girl personality on the floor and her bombastic pole skills on stage. Oh, and she looks good nekkid, too.
Strokers Club, 1353 Brockett Road, Clarkston. 770-270-0350. www.strokersclub.com.

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Best Art Event

Art, Beats, & Lyrics
Word. As part of the College Night at the High series, ART, BEATS & LYRICS brought together some of the city’s most promising young street artists (MICHI, UrbanMedium, Dubelyoo, Dosa and Fuze Green), breakdancers and DJs (Klever, Jamad and Spider). The event proved that if you cater to a hip,more...

Word. As part of the College Night at the High series, ART, BEATS & LYRICS brought together some of the city’s most promising young street artists (MICHI, UrbanMedium, Dubelyoo, Dosa and Fuze Green), breakdancers and DJs (Klever, Jamad and Spider). The event proved that if you cater to a hip, young, multiethnic crowd, they will come. The High had to turn people away when local event organizer Jabari Graham’s one-night-only spectacular exceeded all expectations. But don’t worry if you missed out on the fun. Graham hosts another Art, Beats & Lyrics event called Cold Busted Art Exhibition on Nov. 18 at the Defoor Centre.
www.artbeatslyrics.com.

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Best Art School

Atlanta College of Art
Considering the pending merger with the Savannah College of Art and Design, now seems as good a time as any to celebrate the iconoclastic, artist-centered vision of the ATLANTA COLLEGE OF ART. With alumni like Radcliffe Bailey and Kara Walker, somebody must be doing something right at this fine art-orientedmore...

Considering the pending merger with the Savannah College of Art and Design, now seems as good a time as any to celebrate the iconoclastic, artist-centered vision of the ATLANTA COLLEGE OF ART. With alumni like Radcliffe Bailey and Kara Walker, somebody must be doing something right at this fine art-oriented college known for its congenial, nurturing relationships between teachers and students. The school celebrated its 100th anniversary this year by hosting performances by DJ Spooky and David Byrne.
1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-5101. www.aca.edu.

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Best Cable Guy

Lance Krall
LANCE KRALL, former Atlantan and alumnus of Whole World Theatre, leveraged his breakout performance on Spike TV’s “The Joe Schmo Show” to his own self-titled sketch comedy series earlier this year. Filmed in Atlanta with an ensemble of the star’s chums from Whole World,more...
LANCE KRALL, former Atlantan and alumnus of Whole World Theatre, leveraged his breakout performance on Spike TV’s “The Joe Schmo Show” to his own self-titled sketch comedy series earlier this year. Filmed in Atlanta with an ensemble of the star’s chums from Whole World, “The Lance Krall Show” drew on improvisational comedy, amusing spoofs of prank shows like “Punk’d,” and Krall’s killer Christopher Walken impression. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that it gets picked up for a second season. less...

Best Hip-hop Act

Psyche Origami
In a town where hip-hop super-stardom reigns supreme, PSYCHE ORIGAMI subverts the blingin’ and big pimpin’ of the drrty paradigm with sheer brainpower. Remaining commercially accessible without compromising the fundamentals of underground hip-hop, MC Wyzsztyk (pronounced WIZ-stick)more...

In a town where hip-hop super-stardom reigns supreme, PSYCHE ORIGAMI subverts the blingin’ and big pimpin’ of the drrty paradigm with sheer brainpower. Remaining commercially accessible without compromising the fundamentals of underground hip-hop, MC Wyzsztyk (pronounced WIZ-stick) spits a torrent of scientific theory and existential slang at lightning speeds. DJs Dainja and Synthesis weave a web of baroque beats and innovative melodies, just trying to keep up. Crafting The Standard, a concept album about fuel for the mind and body in an age when gas costs an arm and a leg, Psyche Origami transcends the clubs and aims for the true heads.
www.psycheorigami.com.

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Best Improv Group

Dad's Garage Theatre Dad's Garage Theatre
The novelty of improvisational comedy is that it’s always a surprise to performers and audiences alike. Also the Reader’s Choice for Best Improv Group, DAD’S GARAGE THEATRE (under new artistic director Kate Warner) takes the spirit of improv to heart by constantly dabblingmore...
The novelty of improvisational comedy is that it’s always a surprise to performers and audiences alike. Also the Reader’s Choice for Best Improv Group, DAD’S GARAGE THEATRE (under new artistic director Kate Warner) takes the spirit of improv to heart by constantly dabbling with off-beat ways to keep its comedy fresh, from new formats like the wrestling-inspired comedy competition Brawl! to new settings for its improvised soap opera Scandal! The playhouse’s 10th birthday celebration in June found the entire troupe, from seasoned vets to young upstarts, in supremely silly form and ready to take on another 10 years. less...

Best Literary Event

Poetry at Tech
It’s been going on long enough that we’ll dispense with the old jokes regarding what do engineers know about poetry (and poets about engineering). POETRY AT TECH used to carry an invisible question mark on its tail end, but Georgia Tech poetry professor Thomas Lux and Ginger Murchisonmore...

It’s been going on long enough that we’ll dispense with the old jokes regarding what do engineers know about poetry (and poets about engineering). POETRY AT TECH used to carry an invisible question mark on its tail end, but Georgia Tech poetry professor Thomas Lux and Ginger Murchison have assembled the best poetry series going. The after-parties at Lux’s place — an opportunity to mingle with the poets — are also way cooler than what we imagine your average Techie parties are like ... not that you ever invite us.
404-385-2760. poetry.gatech.edu.

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Best Local Playwright

Karen Wurl
A terrific slam poet and winner of the 2005 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award for new local writers, KAREN WURL debuted deliciously witty dark comedy Miss Macbeth at Power Plays, the 2005 Essential Theatre Festival. The pitch-perfect backstage satire mingled so cleverly with homages to “themore...
A terrific slam poet and winner of the 2005 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award for new local writers, KAREN WURL debuted deliciously witty dark comedy Miss Macbeth at Power Plays, the 2005 Essential Theatre Festival. The pitch-perfect backstage satire mingled so cleverly with homages to “the Scottish Play” that the only tragedy of Miss Macbeth was that it needed to be longer — and how often can you say that about any play, let alone a new one? less...

Best Local Singer/Songwriter

Anna Kramer
ANNA KRAMER is a little lady with a great big guitar who has more in common with the Rolling Stones and Gram Parsons than anyone else. Her frayed jangle and twang meets country and rock and roll under the flag of the British invaders — a place where the old gods of guitar finesse dress likemore...
ANNA KRAMER is a little lady with a great big guitar who has more in common with the Rolling Stones and Gram Parsons than anyone else. Her frayed jangle and twang meets country and rock and roll under the flag of the British invaders — a place where the old gods of guitar finesse dress like mods and jam on Kinks songs. Whether going solo or performing with a revolving rhythm section of Selmanaires and A Fir-Ju Well members, Kramer struts a distinctive rock walk that transcends the singer/songwriter ghetto. less...

Best New Music Act

Tenement Halls
The Rock*A*Teens had a ragged, reverberating wail that was easy to imagine cascading down the time-tattered streets of Cabbagetown. That sound had much to do with the vocals of singer/songwriter/guitarist Chris Lopez, who continues the world-weary tradition in his new band, TENEMENT HALLS. Lopez’smore...

The Rock*A*Teens had a ragged, reverberating wail that was easy to imagine cascading down the time-tattered streets of Cabbagetown. That sound had much to do with the vocals of singer/songwriter/guitarist Chris Lopez, who continues the world-weary tradition in his new band, TENEMENT HALLS. Lopez’s gently frayed voice quavers just barely above the spooks that taunt him, and his sly, spry melodies recall facets of the Kinks and Elvis Costello. While scratchy and mesmeric organs and jangly guitars warble moodily, Lopez paints scenarios of desperate, tired narrators.
www.mergerecords.com.

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Best Place to Hear Spoken Word

Apache Cafe Apache Cafe
The old brick building is rough and raw, but the gem-colored fancy drinks are smooth and refined at the APACHE CAFE. All preceding adjectives (except “old”) also apply to the poets at Free Forum Xchange’s Sunday open-mic night as they sing their syncopated serenades to praisemore...
The old brick building is rough and raw, but the gem-colored fancy drinks are smooth and refined at the APACHE CAFE. All preceding adjectives (except “old”) also apply to the poets at Free Forum Xchange’s Sunday open-mic night as they sing their syncopated serenades to praise pussies and political power, and twist their words with a jester’s intent. They’re lovers of language all. less...

Best Snacks Served at a Dance Performance

Cake
We’re pretty sure we would have enjoyed the dancing even without the woman who walked the aisles serving us from a tray laden with jars of frosting and plastic spoons, not to mention the little pastry cooked up live on stage in an EZ-Bake Oven in the time it took one dancer to perform a shortmore...

We’re pretty sure we would have enjoyed the dancing even without the woman who walked the aisles serving us from a tray laden with jars of frosting and plastic spoons, not to mention the little pastry cooked up live on stage in an EZ-Bake Oven in the time it took one dancer to perform a short transition work. The Zoetic Dance Ensemble never fails to throw a good party ... er, performance, and this year’s CAKE, held at the hip Nickel and Dime Studios in Avondale Estates, was no exception. The snacks were just the frosting on the ... (oh, come on, you knew we had to go there).
678-966-0253. www.zoeticdance.org.

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Best Artist With Staying Power

Philip Carpenter
PHILIP CARPENTER has been a fixture on the Atlanta scene for more than 20 years now, offering painting instruction at the Chastain Arts Center and the Atlanta College of Art. Although he’s been exhibiting his work since the ‘80s, two strong exhibitions this year at Hartsfield-Jacksonmore...
PHILIP CARPENTER has been a fixture on the Atlanta scene for more than 20 years now, offering painting instruction at the Chastain Arts Center and the Atlanta College of Art. Although he’s been exhibiting his work since the ‘80s, two strong exhibitions this year at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Marcia Wood Gallery show how remarkably Carpenter’s work has grown. His physically awe-inspiring and conceptually provocative colored pencil drawings of utilitarian tools like hammers and wrenches, begun some 20 years ago, were elegant enough. But his new, vividly colored drawings centered on gendered kiddie toys from guns to baby dolls prove this Atlanta artist is still growing and exploring promising new subjects and techniques. less...

Best Country Act

Sonoramic Commando
Sure, the band is named after Plymouth’s Ram-tough engine from the early ’60s, but SONORAMIC COMMANDO’s V-8 powered country can outrun any competitor on the street today. The unassuming gang of amiable roots enthusiasts has been pickin’ n’ grinnin’more...

Sure, the band is named after Plymouth’s Ram-tough engine from the early ’60s, but SONORAMIC COMMANDO’s V-8 powered country can outrun any competitor on the street today. The unassuming gang of amiable roots enthusiasts has been pickin’ n’ grinnin’ for years in various combinations. Together, the fellas make some of the sweetest back-porch harmonies you will find around town — even if you don’t catch them on an actual porch. Sure, they can rev it up when the time is right, but when they ease into their engaging dirt-road anthems, you’ll want the ride to last awhile. Old-school to the bone, them boys don’t care ’bout no “American Idol,” they’re the dual four-barrel heartbeat of rural Americana.
www.sonoramiccommando.com.

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Best Female Actor

Carolyn Cook

Best Local Author Who Tells the Truth, the Whole Truth

Mark Bixler
The thousands of young male refugees who fled genocide in Sudan, walking first to Ethiopia, then to Zaire, have been co-opted as the poster boys for just about any self-righteous movement that could spin some faint association around them with fairy tale revisions of their struggles. So kudos to Atlantamore...
The thousands of young male refugees who fled genocide in Sudan, walking first to Ethiopia, then to Zaire, have been co-opted as the poster boys for just about any self-righteous movement that could spin some faint association around them with fairy tale revisions of their struggles. So kudos to Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter MARK BIXLER for telling the whole story, with all its complexities and contradictions, in his book The Lost Boys of Sudan (Warner Brooks, $19.95), a rich study woven together by the life stories of several “lost boys” who immigrated to Atlanta. less...

Best New Art Neighborhood

Decatur
Galleries in the rising art hood of DECATUR run the gamut. Two new venues include the sleek Function Gallery, exhibiting a range of primitive and conceptual works with a shared folksy bent, and the hip New Street Gallery, showing work by local emerging artists. Backing up these new kids on the blockmore...
Galleries in the rising art hood of DECATUR run the gamut. Two new venues include the sleek Function Gallery, exhibiting a range of primitive and conceptual works with a shared folksy bent, and the hip New Street Gallery, showing work by local emerging artists. Backing up these new kids on the block are the more established galleries that have already made the Atlanta suburb an art destination, including Vinson Gallery and the Temple Gallery on the Decatur Square, the Seen Gallery in Oakhurst and the Dalton Gallery at Agnes Scott. less...

Best Promoter

Alex Weiss
The concert business has gone from bad to worse in terms of customer exploitation through ticket brokers and price gouging, and the industry has suffered as a consequence. Fortunately for Atlanta, we have guys like ALEX WEISS who are willing to do whatever it takes to bring in decent acts for the rightmore...

The concert business has gone from bad to worse in terms of customer exploitation through ticket brokers and price gouging, and the industry has suffered as a consequence. Fortunately for Atlanta, we have guys like ALEX WEISS who are willing to do whatever it takes to bring in decent acts for the right reason: the love of music. After booking the Echo Lounge for several years, Weiss now mans his own company, OK Productions. His recent ventures include annual events like the Elvis Death Day show at Variety Playhouse, Drive Invasion at Starlight Six Drive-In, as well as booking Brian Jonestown Massacre and Japanese acts like Guitar Wolf and the 5,6,7,8’s at the Earl.
www.okproductions.net.

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Best Public Art

Art in Freedom Park Freedom Park
Though the range of work in the summer-long ART IN FREEDOM PARK exhibition ran the gamut from so-so to sublime, it was nice to see this grassroots effort (and a laudable involvement by the Freedom Park Conservancy) in trying to bring art out of the galleries and to the folk who bike, jog and sauntermore...

Though the range of work in the summer-long ART IN FREEDOM PARK exhibition ran the gamut from so-so to sublime, it was nice to see this grassroots effort (and a laudable involvement by the Freedom Park Conservancy) in trying to bring art out of the galleries and to the folk who bike, jog and saunter through the 210-acre greenspace. Notable pieces include Meshakai Wolf’s faux animal-crossing road signs warning of citified critters like squirrel and opossum on the roadways; Linda Stern‘s politically charged and user-friendly “Hammocks for the Homeless” made of construction site material; and Phil Proctor’s bright yellow metal sculpture that looks like metal origami plunked into the middle of the park. The Conservancy’s dedication to public art continued last month with the installation of folk artist Thornton Dial’s sculpture “The Bridge,” the largest piece of public art ever created by the artist. The work, at the corner of Ponce de Leon Avenue and Freedom Parkway, sits on the John Lewis Plaza dedicated to the civil rights legacy of that beloved U.S. Representative.
The cross-shaped park runs from DeKalb Avenue to Ponce de Leon Avenue, from Boulevard to Oakdale Road. www.artinfreedompark.org. www.freedompark.org.

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Best R&B/Soul act

Slick & Rose

Best Surf/Instrumental Band

The Surge
Surf music is a quirky, guitar-driven, instrumental force of rock that comes in waves. Of course, it’s been around for years with artists like the Ventures and Dick Dale leading the movement since the late ’50s and early ’60s, but every few years, there’s a resurgencemore...
Surf music is a quirky, guitar-driven, instrumental force of rock that comes in waves. Of course, it’s been around for years with artists like the Ventures and Dick Dale leading the movement since the late ’50s and early ’60s, but every few years, there’s a resurgence of surf in the South. Now a bright new combo is reverbing through the area, hanging 10 on cool vintage equipment. THE SURGE is a trio led by surf-meister guitarist John McCorvey, who goes by the stage name “Eddie Katcher.” He’s joined by bassist “Mitch Matrix” and drummer “Stix Stechkin,” a veteran of Alabama’s legendary Penetrators. Surf’s up! less...

Best Vocalist

Heather Luttrell
Lately, HEATHER LUTTRELL, the lovely, heavily inked rock and blues performer, has been collecting quite a bit of printer’s ink for her appearance on CBS’ “Rock Star: INXS.” So she didn’t win the contest; she’s a rock star already and one of the bestmore...

Lately, HEATHER LUTTRELL, the lovely, heavily inked rock and blues performer, has been collecting quite a bit of printer’s ink for her appearance on CBS’ “Rock Star: INXS.” So she didn’t win the contest; she’s a rock star already and one of the best Atlanta performers around. And besides, why should she be stuck singing Michael Hutchence songs at some crappy dive when her own new Grits N’ Pulp album is so much better. The single may be “Anything But Me,” but when this fiery redhead launches into tunes with titles like “Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues (They Just Get Drunk),” she channels Janis, bests Bonnie Raitt and roars like the hyperactive lovechild of Ani Difranco and Social Distortion.
www.heathergrrrl.com.

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Best All-Around Play

Topdog/Underdog
The Alliance Hertz Stage’s TOPDOG/UNDERDOG broke out from the pack to emerge as the year’s undisputed can’t-miss theatrical event. Our best “guest actors,” Joe Wilson Jr. and Kes Khemnu, alternated the roles in Suzan Lori-Parks’ Pulitzer-winning dramamore...
The Alliance Hertz Stage’s TOPDOG/UNDERDOG broke out from the pack to emerge as the year’s undisputed can’t-miss theatrical event. Our best “guest actors,” Joe Wilson Jr. and Kes Khemnu, alternated the roles in Suzan Lori-Parks’ Pulitzer-winning drama of three-card monte, the Lincoln assassination and the American dream. Topdog/Underdog even won laurels out of town: The Hertz Stage’s co-production with Providence’s Trinity Repertory Company earned Kent Gash the “Outstanding Director, Large Company” award from the Theatre Critics of New England. less...

Best Band Reunion

Pylon and Love Tractor
It’s a tie: PYLON and LOVE TRACTOR, two of Athens’ most influential ’80s new-wave bands, returned to dynamic duty this year following lengthy periods of inactivity. Both groups have an impressive canon of material, with their most enduring works released through Atlanta’smore...

It’s a tie: PYLON and LOVE TRACTOR, two of Athens’ most influential ’80s new-wave bands, returned to dynamic duty this year following lengthy periods of inactivity. Both groups have an impressive canon of material, with their most enduring works released through Atlanta’s DB Recs. Pylon, created in 1979, stick to the old-school Athens adage: “If one of us leaves, it’s not the same band anymore,” and has the distinction of being the only Classic City act from the “golden age” to feature all of its original members. Formed in the ’80s, Love Tractor now consists of founding singer/guitarist Mike Richmond and a gang of relatively new recruits heard on its recently released Black Hole album. Welcome back, folks, we missed you!
www.wearepylon.com.

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Best Band to Go Disco

Of Montreal
Kevin Barnes’ Athens psych-pop crew OF MONTREAL has worked from the backbone of Beach Boys’ vocals and Beatles’ straight strum to make records that run the gambit from sweetly earnest to playfully psychedelic. The result was so lovable that when its former label, Kindercore,more...

Kevin Barnes’ Athens psych-pop crew OF MONTREAL has worked from the backbone of Beach Boys’ vocals and Beatles’ straight strum to make records that run the gambit from sweetly earnest to playfully psychedelic. The result was so lovable that when its former label, Kindercore, ceased operations in 2003, it only took a few months for the band to land on Midwestern indie Polyvinyl. Barnes tweaked his lo-fi sound, noticing that all the kids were dancing these days, and made two albums (Satanic Panic in the Attic and this year’s The Sunlandic Twins) with disco-inspired sing-alongs like “Rapture Rapes the Muses” and “So Begins Our Alabee.” We’d follow Barnes through sludge, so we have no problem with a little booty-shaking, albeit in an indie-rock kinda way.
www.ofmontreal.net.

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Best Burlesque Performer

CALU
One of the most striking of this fair city’s cornucopia of comely burlesque queens is the delightful CALU. Whether she’s commanding attention as a member of local burlesque troupe the Doll Squad, shrieking in the horrible B-movie horror send-up Cheerleader Autopsy, slinging drinks andmore...

One of the most striking of this fair city’s cornucopia of comely burlesque queens is the delightful CALU. Whether she’s commanding attention as a member of local burlesque troupe the Doll Squad, shrieking in the horrible B-movie horror send-up Cheerleader Autopsy, slinging drinks and DJing at Smith’s Olde Bar, or just being herself, Calu’s mysterious beauty is awe-inspiring. Her deliciously tattooed body is truly a curvaceous canvas of colorful ink. But don’t stare too long because just like the sun, she’s brightly illuminating and dangerously combustible. Yeah, she knows you want her, but just look and don’t touch — because she’ll surely kick your punk ass.
www.dollsquad.com.

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Best Instrumentalist

Terri Onstad
A life of classical training has given TERRI ONSTAD a unique set of tools in her role as Atlanta’s musical journeyman, providing cello, rhythm guitar, bass, and vocals to a number of different projects. Whether working with Sonya Tetlow, No River City, Slim Chance & the Convicts and others,more...
A life of classical training has given TERRI ONSTAD a unique set of tools in her role as Atlanta’s musical journeyman, providing cello, rhythm guitar, bass, and vocals to a number of different projects. Whether working with Sonya Tetlow, No River City, Slim Chance & the Convicts and others, her quick ear for picking up a melody and her powerfully emotional cello playing bring new textures to whatever style of music she’s experimenting in. She also effortlessly provides pitch-perfect harmonies that would make Emmylou Harris green with envy. If you are looking for something special and unique to make that next recording project stand out, Terri is the go-to gal. less...

Best International/World Music Act

Hair of the Dog
Before any purists cry “Foul!” and claim that Cajun and zydeco don’t count as “world music,” last time I checked my atlas, Louisiana was part of the world. Led by Whit Connah and Barbara Panter-Connah, HAIR OF THE DOG has been making asses shake and feet glidemore...

Before any purists cry “Foul!” and claim that Cajun and zydeco don’t count as “world music,” last time I checked my atlas, Louisiana was part of the world. Led by Whit Connah and Barbara Panter-Connah, HAIR OF THE DOG has been making asses shake and feet glide for almost 30 years. The musical spirit has stayed on course as the group celebrates the culture and sounds of the ragin’ ’coon ass. But this band isn’t limited to one trick, and on any given night it may rip through a stack of classic country tunes, or a perfect Delta blues riff. With a repertoire like that, how can it not be “world music”?
www.couchslug.com/HairofTheDog/default.htm.

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Best Keeping it Real Gallery

Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery
EYEDRUM ART AND MUSIC GALLERY’s continued presence since opening in 1998 is a reassuring reminder that the indie spirit lives on despite the rising rents and in-the-box art thinking. This artist-run, nonprofit, interdisciplinary living room for the city’s culture hounds has capitalizedmore...

EYEDRUM ART AND MUSIC GALLERY’s continued presence since opening in 1998 is a reassuring reminder that the indie spirit lives on despite the rising rents and in-the-box art thinking. This artist-run, nonprofit, interdisciplinary living room for the city’s culture hounds has capitalized on a renaissance sensibility by bringing video, performance, poetry, music, visual arts and everything in-between all together under one roof. Notable events this year included the Submerged and Shelter group shows, a solo exhibition by Gail Vogels, the Indie Craft Experience and a screening of artist Joseph Cornell’s films.
290 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org.

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Best New Gallery

Romo Gallery Romo Gallery
With a nose for cutting-edge artists and a willingness to take chances, Sam Romo’s eponymous venue, ROMO GALLERY, has added a fresh new conceptual-art voice to the growing energy of the Castleberry Hill art district. The gallery’s recent shows by outside-Atlanta artists, such as Workingmore...
With a nose for cutting-edge artists and a willingness to take chances, Sam Romo’s eponymous venue, ROMO GALLERY, has added a fresh new conceptual-art voice to the growing energy of the Castleberry Hill art district. The gallery’s recent shows by outside-Atlanta artists, such as Working Artists in Brooklyn and photographer Yoshio Itagaki’s solo show, indicate a rising national interest in artwork addressing the intersections of technology and biology with media and folklore, which should only deepen and evolve over time. less...

Best Overall Music Act

Blame Game
Any given performance from BLAME GAME offers a glimpse of a group driving toward complex, tonal perfection. Along with bassist Chris Ware, guitarists/vocalists George Asimakos and Andrew Wiggins construct a grid of gigantic arches that are pounded into place by drummer Alex Lambert’s swaggermore...

Any given performance from BLAME GAME offers a glimpse of a group driving toward complex, tonal perfection. Along with bassist Chris Ware, guitarists/vocalists George Asimakos and Andrew Wiggins construct a grid of gigantic arches that are pounded into place by drummer Alex Lambert’s swagger from rapid-fire precision to loose improvisation. On stage, Lambert and Ware are stationed front and center while the rest of the group follows their extravagant hybrid of jazz and hardcore. Stage presence, wardrobe and personality are secondary to the shimmering and ever-thickening sounds of a group that relies on the chemistry of intellect.
www.sunrevolver.org/blamegame/.

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Best Place to See a Play

Balzer Theatre
The Atlanta theater scene’s most impressive newcomer of the past year wasn’t a person but a place. Theatrical Outfit’s new permanent home, the 200-seat BALZER THEATRE, boasts a slick art deco design, a huge stage, a great sound system and not a bad seat in the house. The Balzermore...

The Atlanta theater scene’s most impressive newcomer of the past year wasn’t a person but a place. Theatrical Outfit’s new permanent home, the 200-seat BALZER THEATRE, boasts a slick art deco design, a huge stage, a great sound system and not a bad seat in the house. The Balzer Theatre gives skittish audiences more than enough reason to venture downtown so long as Theatrical Outfit stages shows such as Hank Williams: Lost Highway that live up to it.
84 Luckie St. 404-651-4727. www.theatricaloutfit.org.

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Best Poetry Slam Series

Poetry Atlanta
For several years now, one of the greatest cities for spoken word poetry failed to field a team for the National Slam Competition, but Atlanta is once again sending its finest slammers to the big game thanks to a series of lively local slam competitions at Java Monkey, organized by big-haired beatnikmore...

For several years now, one of the greatest cities for spoken word poetry failed to field a team for the National Slam Competition, but Atlanta is once again sending its finest slammers to the big game thanks to a series of lively local slam competitions at Java Monkey, organized by big-haired beatnik Kodac Harrison of POETRY ATLANTA, the community development extension of the Atlanta Review.
205 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-378-5002. www.poetryatlanta.com.

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Best Promising Young Artist

Heidi Geldhauser
Though she’s still just a pup, recent Atlanta College of Art grad HEIDI GELDHAUSER really goes out on a limb. Her thesis exhibition, Fluff, at ACA’s Gallery 100, featured an installation of wedding cake and plates that invited her audience to participate in the art experience, whichmore...
Though she’s still just a pup, recent Atlanta College of Art grad HEIDI GELDHAUSER really goes out on a limb. Her thesis exhibition, Fluff, at ACA’s Gallery 100, featured an installation of wedding cake and plates that invited her audience to participate in the art experience, which provoked an unexpected reaction from gallery-goers. Some were content to just eat cake, but in a troubling turn, others vandalized the installation and smashed dozens of plates. Geldhauser’s implicit question of just what constitutes art was clearly provocative, even threatening to some. In a concurrent show, The Future Perfect featuring work by graduating ACA students, Geldhauser challenged convention yet again by making a wonderfully clever and labor-intensive work that suggested the Sistine Chapel done by a fourth-grader. Clearly ambitious, Geldhauser is currently at work on a follow-up work addressing myth and fantasy. less...

Best Band to See Live

We Versus the Shark
Though almost unknown in Atlanta, WE VERSUS THE SHARK has blown the mind of the college town to our east several times over the last couple years. The quartet of young’ns make music that’s peripatetic, frenetic and infectious. The entire frontline sings, with voices ranging from themore...

Though almost unknown in Atlanta, WE VERSUS THE SHARK has blown the mind of the college town to our east several times over the last couple years. The quartet of young’ns make music that’s peripatetic, frenetic and infectious. The entire frontline sings, with voices ranging from the snarl of bassist/keyboardist Jeff Tobias to the lilt of guitarist/keyboardist Samantha Paulsen. Each song is like three mini-tracks bombarded together in a supercollider with sounds of echoing computers going haywire and thrashing metal-god roars all built around lockstep rhythm and jazzy drumbeats. And the best thing about this band: Even when a set blows your hair back like you just removed a screwdriver from a light socket, the members still aren’t satisfied. Part Dismemberment Plan, part Motorhead, part Rapture = gonna make you sweat.
www.wevstheshark.com.

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Best Band Whose Members Broke Up but the Band Didn’t

I am the World Trade Center
If you read the Vibes section of this venerable rag a year ago, you know all about the troubles that haunted I AM THE WORLD TRADE CENTER right around the release of its third album, The Cover Up. Quick recap: lost label, got label, members ended romantic relationship, back together, off again, on again,more...

If you read the Vibes section of this venerable rag a year ago, you know all about the troubles that haunted I AM THE WORLD TRADE CENTER right around the release of its third album, The Cover Up. Quick recap: lost label, got label, members ended romantic relationship, back together, off again, on again, off again, Amy Dykes diagnosed with cancer, on again, members get engaged, Amy’s cancer goes into remission, off again. That’s a long and intensely emotional year. What does it mean for fans of the band who don’t want to butt into Dykes and bandmate Dan Geller’s personal life? Not a whole lot, but their sound is better, owing to a new lower octave that Dykes discovered, and aside from her haircut, the onstage interplay is the same as ever, though maybe with some extra tension. Chemistry doesn’t always end with relationships.
www.iamtheworldtradecenter.com.

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Best Comedian

Courtney Patterson
COURTNEY PATTERSON excels in such serious roles as Stella in Georgia Shakespeare’s A Streetcar Named Desire or a secretive sister in the Jewish Theatre of the South/True Colors Theatre Company co-production of Brass Birds Don’t Sing. But over the past year, she demonstrated the split-secondmore...
COURTNEY PATTERSON excels in such serious roles as Stella in Georgia Shakespeare’s A Streetcar Named Desire or a secretive sister in the Jewish Theatre of the South/True Colors Theatre Company co-production of Brass Birds Don’t Sing. But over the past year, she demonstrated the split-second comic timing worthy of a big-screen character actress in such roles as Georgia Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, Aurora Theatre’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers (in which she played three different women), and Theatrical Outfit’s Hank Williams: Lost Highway, where her honky-tonk vamp-turned-tone-deaf singer routinely ran away with the show. less...

Best Experimental Music Act

Hubcap City (from Belgium)
Banjo/trumpet-playing singer/poet Bill Taft has been one of Atlanta’s most musically interesting and creative fringe dwellers ever since the days of the legendary Mudd Shack. His collaborations with dearly departed local icons Benjamin (Smoke), Deacon Lunchbox, and the Jody Grind were progressivelymore...

Banjo/trumpet-playing singer/poet Bill Taft has been one of Atlanta’s most musically interesting and creative fringe dwellers ever since the days of the legendary Mudd Shack. His collaborations with dearly departed local icons Benjamin (Smoke), Deacon Lunchbox, and the Jody Grind were progressively evolving variations that led ultimately to HUBCAP CITY (FROM BELGIUM). Taft, guitarist Matthew Proctor, and drummer Will Fratesi manufacture soundscapes and auditory portraits derived from their subjective life experiences filtered through a prism of alternating urban blight and hope. Of course, the group also has a song cycle inspired by the record reviews in Sassy magazine, too. If there is ever a documentary made on the “Cabbagetown sound,” Hubcap City (from Belgium) would be a vital component.
www.members.aol.com/n10j27b82/hubcapcity.html.

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Best Jazz Act

Takana Miyamoto
Sure, pianist TAKANA MIYAMOTO is known around town as a “sideman” for soul singers Julie Dexter and Gaelle, but her talent on the keys is best put to use in the service of jazz. Miyamoto has appeared at the straight-ahead spot Churchill Grounds countless times, sharing the stage withmore...

Sure, pianist TAKANA MIYAMOTO is known around town as a “sideman” for soul singers Julie Dexter and Gaelle, but her talent on the keys is best put to use in the service of jazz. Miyamoto has appeared at the straight-ahead spot Churchill Grounds countless times, sharing the stage with local heroes such as Russell Gunn. She recently recorded a collection of simple, melodic tunes and released her debut solo CD called Piano Tales.
www.takana.net.

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Best Gallery

The Seen Gallery

Best Graffiti/Guerilla Art

Krog Street Tunnel

Best Local Author

Hollis Gillespie
Confessions of a Recovering Slut and Other Love Stories www.hollisgillespie.com

Best Local International/World Music Act

TIE Crumbling Arches/Miguel Romero

Crumbling Arches www.crumblingarches.tk


Miguel Romero www.miguelromero.com

Best Visual Artist Over 30

Alli Royce Soble

Best Museum

The High Museum of Art High Museum of Art

Best Theater Company

The New American Shakespeare Tavern

Best Touring Play

Like a Dog on Linoleum
Leslie Jordan’s one-man show www.brotherboy.com

Best Art Exhibition

Van Gogh to Mondrian (at High Museum of Art) High Museum of Art

Best Locally Produced TV Show

“Blue Collar TV”
The WB Network Thursdays, 8 p.m. www.warnerbros.com

Best New Gallery

All or Nothing Tattoo All Or Nothing Tattoo

Best Club DJ

DJ Little Jen (Jen Mitchell)

Best Film Event

Screen on the Green

Best Improv Group

Dad’s Garage Theater Company Dad's Garage Theatre

Best Local Band to Break Up

The Californias

Best Male Actor

Chris Kayser

Best Place to See a Movie

Regal Hollywood 24
3265 Northeast Expressway, Chamblee 800-326-3264 www.regalcinemas.com

Best Play

Peachtree Battle (at Ansley Park Playhouse) Ansley Park Playhouse

Best Promoter

Peter Conlon
Peter Conlon Presents www.peterconlonpresents.com

Best Stripper

Blondie

Best Art Event

National Black Arts Festival

Best Dance Company

Atlanta Ballet

Best Public Art

Art in Freedom Park Freedom Park

Best Art Trend

Indie Craft
A new generation of artists, DIY types, post-feminists, lowbrow fans and out-of-the-box thinkers are erasing the usual high vs. low art world hierarchies, but no where is that tendency more evident than in the rise of INDIE CRAFT. Local groups like craft blogger Garth Johnson (www.extremecraft.com);more...
A new generation of artists, DIY types, post-feminists, lowbrow fans and out-of-the-box thinkers are erasing the usual high vs. low art world hierarchies, but no where is that tendency more evident than in the rise of INDIE CRAFT. Local groups like craft blogger Garth Johnson (www.extremecraft.com); the monthly Kraftwork neo-handicraft fair at Young Blood Gallery; and the grrls at the Indie Craft Experience, which staged a craftapalooza at Eyedrum in June, have incorporated aspects of indie-rock counter-culturalism and Bust magazine-era newfangled feminism to create something new and valuable in the homemade, the recycled and the crafted-with-love. less...

Best Art World Exit

Helena Reckitt
Always leave them wanting more. Atlanta Contemporary Art Center curator HELENA RECKITT weathered some hairy financial uncertainty at the Atlanta art institution and still managed to produce some stellar shows before she headed off in August for a fresh start in Toronto.

Best Club DJ

Brandon Sutton
It’s not easy being DJ BRANDON SUTTON’s stalker. Yes, there are plenty of chances to ogle him each week, with his residency at Halo and frequent gigs at Bazzaar. He’s always friendly to well-wishers who pop into his booth to gaze into those dreamy DJ eyes of his. But the problemmore...
It’s not easy being DJ BRANDON SUTTON’s stalker. Yes, there are plenty of chances to ogle him each week, with his residency at Halo and frequent gigs at Bazzaar. He’s always friendly to well-wishers who pop into his booth to gaze into those dreamy DJ eyes of his. But the problem is all the other stalkers getting in the way. Move over, bitches — Brandon is ours! less...

Best Dance Company

Coriolis Dance Project
Artistic director Elizabeth Dishman’s newfound mission is to create dances that even you double-left-footed movement newbies can at least partially appreciate (you seem to be laughing and clapping at the right places, anyhow), and the dances she creates for the CORIOLIS DANCE PROJECT continuemore...

Artistic director Elizabeth Dishman’s newfound mission is to create dances that even you double-left-footed movement newbies can at least partially appreciate (you seem to be laughing and clapping at the right places, anyhow), and the dances she creates for the CORIOLIS DANCE PROJECT continue to be the best brain-buzz you can get outside a Mensa meeting. We loved this year’s playful Falling, a study of balance and its absence that included the debut of Israeli import Hila Kerekesh, a sublimely subtle new dancer on the Atlanta scene. Dishman is moving to NYC, so the Oct. 1 performance of a reworked Falling (at Emory University’s Performing Arts Studio) will be the company’s Atlanta swan song.
404-931-0212. www.coriolisdance.org.

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Best Electronic Act

Larvae
Nobody stomps harder in the local electronic scene than Matthew Jeanes’ mostly solo, sometimes three-man electro outfit, LARVAE. This year, Jeanes launched sonic assaults on both American and European soil, dropping bombastic, head-nodding beats and bass swells while hooking up with the Berlin-basedmore...

Nobody stomps harder in the local electronic scene than Matthew Jeanes’ mostly solo, sometimes three-man electro outfit, LARVAE. This year, Jeanes launched sonic assaults on both American and European soil, dropping bombastic, head-nodding beats and bass swells while hooking up with the Berlin-based Ad Noiseum Records. Using guerrilla-style tactics, Larvae’s digital audio/visual dirges have manhandled some of the most recognizable sights and sounds of pop and corporate icons, manipulating everything from Nike to Kill Bill and Star Wars (think Uma Thurman wielding lightsabers instead of samurai swords), all the while avoiding any imperial entanglements such as licensing.
www.zeroplate.com.

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Best Gallery

The Seen Gallery

Best Gothic Delight

The Death Show
While we wish it hadn’t turned out to be such an appropriate year for THE DEATH SHOW, (re: Iraq, London, Niger, Indonesia, the Gulf Coast, etc.), there’s no denying that death is prominent in our present collective conscience. Ty Macabre and a bunch of other artists with graveyard namesmore...
While we wish it hadn’t turned out to be such an appropriate year for THE DEATH SHOW, (re: Iraq, London, Niger, Indonesia, the Gulf Coast, etc.), there’s no denying that death is prominent in our present collective conscience. Ty Macabre and a bunch of other artists with graveyard names woke the dead for a Good Friday variety show at the Inner Sanctum that included electronic voice phenomenon ghost hunters, a death processional of dancers, and two poets sharing their near death experiences. less...

Best Graffiti

Krog Street Tunnel
Atlanta’s own Berlin Wall and the city’s favorite soapbox, the KROG STREET TUNNEL is a trippy kaleidoscope of politics and explosive color thankfully overlooked by the city’s anti-graffiti law enforcers. The colorful display significantly adds to the city’s beleagueredmore...

Atlanta’s own Berlin Wall and the city’s favorite soapbox, the KROG STREET TUNNEL is a trippy kaleidoscope of politics and explosive color thankfully overlooked by the city’s anti-graffiti law enforcers. The colorful display significantly adds to the city’s beleaguered funky quotient. Shows change daily.
Between DeKalb Avenue and Wylie Street at the border of Cabbagetown and Inman Park.

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Best Graffiti/Guerilla Art

Krog Street Tunnel

Best Kinetic Political Cattle Prod

America! Question!
Here’s something we noticed immediately after Several Dancers Core’s performance of AMERICA! QUESTION: Even people who weren’t so sure they had liked the dance were doing precisely what the dance intended them to do. (Dance little marionettes! Dance!) On the anniversary ofmore...

Here’s something we noticed immediately after Several Dancers Core’s performance of AMERICA! QUESTION: Even people who weren’t so sure they had liked the dance were doing precisely what the dance intended them to do. (Dance little marionettes! Dance!) On the anniversary of 9/11, the company posed questions about what it means to be American and prompted passionate debates about the critiques implicit in the dance. Some of the dance was avant-awesome. Some of it was just plain weird. But we’ll take that over a gas-guzzling SUV any dancing day of the week.
404-373-4154. www.severaldancerscore.org.

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Best Local Author

Hollis Gillespie
Confessions of a Recovering Slut and Other Love Stories www.hollisgillespie.com

Best Local International/World Music Act

TIE Crumbling Arches/Miguel Romero

Crumbling Arches www.crumblingarches.tk


Miguel Romero www.miguelromero.com

Best Museum Makeover

High Museum of Art High Museum of Art
The HIGH MUSEUM OF ART is hoping to pull some serious attendance with the Nov. 12 unveiling of its $130 million expansion designed by revered Italian architect Renzo Piano. Three new buildings linked to the original Richard Meier-designed museum will more than double the museum’s size. Expectmore...
The HIGH MUSEUM OF ART is hoping to pull some serious attendance with the Nov. 12 unveiling of its $130 million expansion designed by revered Italian architect Renzo Piano. Three new buildings linked to the original Richard Meier-designed museum will more than double the museum’s size. Expect blockbuster crowds for the inaugural exhibition, a retrospective of the 88-year-old legend Andrew Wyeth. Let’s hope that what’s good for the High is good for the rest of Atlanta’s arts scene. less...

Best New Play Incubator

Alliance Theatre
You usually see hot new plays emerge from little black box theaters, not a city’s biggest playhouse. But this year, the ALLIANCE THEATRE served as a launching pad for two big, Broadway-bound, Southern-themed world premieres: The Color Purple musical and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. Plus, thanksmore...

You usually see hot new plays emerge from little black box theaters, not a city’s biggest playhouse. But this year, the ALLIANCE THEATRE served as a launching pad for two big, Broadway-bound, Southern-themed world premieres: The Color Purple musical and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. Plus, thanks to a $1.5 million gift from the Kendeda Fund, the Alliance permanently established its Graduate Playwriting Competition to develop bold new works like the Cuban melodrama Day of the Kings. The Alliance did more than pay lip service to the idea that new plays deserve resources.
1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-5000. www.alliancetheatre.org.

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Best Stripper

Sugar
Stripper-turned-actress White Chocolate may get the lion’s share of attention in the media, but Strokers’ other superstar dancer, SUGAR, is truly the best at what she does. Visit the Clarkston club and chances are you’ll be sold on her around-the-way-girl personality on themore...

Stripper-turned-actress White Chocolate may get the lion’s share of attention in the media, but Strokers’ other superstar dancer, SUGAR, is truly the best at what she does. Visit the Clarkston club and chances are you’ll be sold on her around-the-way-girl personality on the floor and her bombastic pole skills on stage. Oh, and she looks good nekkid, too.
Strokers Club, 1353 Brockett Road, Clarkston. 770-270-0350. www.strokersclub.com.

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Best Visual Artist Over 30

Alli Royce Soble

Best Art Event

Art, Beats, & Lyrics
Word. As part of the College Night at the High series, ART, BEATS & LYRICS brought together some of the city’s most promising young street artists (MICHI, UrbanMedium, Dubelyoo, Dosa and Fuze Green), breakdancers and DJs (Klever, Jamad and Spider). The event proved that if you cater to a hip,more...

Word. As part of the College Night at the High series, ART, BEATS & LYRICS brought together some of the city’s most promising young street artists (MICHI, UrbanMedium, Dubelyoo, Dosa and Fuze Green), breakdancers and DJs (Klever, Jamad and Spider). The event proved that if you cater to a hip, young, multiethnic crowd, they will come. The High had to turn people away when local event organizer Jabari Graham’s one-night-only spectacular exceeded all expectations. But don’t worry if you missed out on the fun. Graham hosts another Art, Beats & Lyrics event called Cold Busted Art Exhibition on Nov. 18 at the Defoor Centre.
www.artbeatslyrics.com.

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Best Art School

Atlanta College of Art
Considering the pending merger with the Savannah College of Art and Design, now seems as good a time as any to celebrate the iconoclastic, artist-centered vision of the ATLANTA COLLEGE OF ART. With alumni like Radcliffe Bailey and Kara Walker, somebody must be doing something right at this fine art-orientedmore...

Considering the pending merger with the Savannah College of Art and Design, now seems as good a time as any to celebrate the iconoclastic, artist-centered vision of the ATLANTA COLLEGE OF ART. With alumni like Radcliffe Bailey and Kara Walker, somebody must be doing something right at this fine art-oriented college known for its congenial, nurturing relationships between teachers and students. The school celebrated its 100th anniversary this year by hosting performances by DJ Spooky and David Byrne.
1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-5101. www.aca.edu.

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Best Cable Guy

Lance Krall
LANCE KRALL, former Atlantan and alumnus of Whole World Theatre, leveraged his breakout performance on Spike TV’s “The Joe Schmo Show” to his own self-titled sketch comedy series earlier this year. Filmed in Atlanta with an ensemble of the star’s chums from Whole World,more...
LANCE KRALL, former Atlantan and alumnus of Whole World Theatre, leveraged his breakout performance on Spike TV’s “The Joe Schmo Show” to his own self-titled sketch comedy series earlier this year. Filmed in Atlanta with an ensemble of the star’s chums from Whole World, “The Lance Krall Show” drew on improvisational comedy, amusing spoofs of prank shows like “Punk’d,” and Krall’s killer Christopher Walken impression. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that it gets picked up for a second season. less...

Best Hip-hop Act

Psyche Origami
In a town where hip-hop super-stardom reigns supreme, PSYCHE ORIGAMI subverts the blingin’ and big pimpin’ of the drrty paradigm with sheer brainpower. Remaining commercially accessible without compromising the fundamentals of underground hip-hop, MC Wyzsztyk (pronounced WIZ-stick)more...

In a town where hip-hop super-stardom reigns supreme, PSYCHE ORIGAMI subverts the blingin’ and big pimpin’ of the drrty paradigm with sheer brainpower. Remaining commercially accessible without compromising the fundamentals of underground hip-hop, MC Wyzsztyk (pronounced WIZ-stick) spits a torrent of scientific theory and existential slang at lightning speeds. DJs Dainja and Synthesis weave a web of baroque beats and innovative melodies, just trying to keep up. Crafting The Standard, a concept album about fuel for the mind and body in an age when gas costs an arm and a leg, Psyche Origami transcends the clubs and aims for the true heads.
www.psycheorigami.com.

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Best Improv Group

Dad's Garage Theatre Dad's Garage Theatre
The novelty of improvisational comedy is that it’s always a surprise to performers and audiences alike. Also the Reader’s Choice for Best Improv Group, DAD’S GARAGE THEATRE (under new artistic director Kate Warner) takes the spirit of improv to heart by constantly dabblingmore...
The novelty of improvisational comedy is that it’s always a surprise to performers and audiences alike. Also the Reader’s Choice for Best Improv Group, DAD’S GARAGE THEATRE (under new artistic director Kate Warner) takes the spirit of improv to heart by constantly dabbling with off-beat ways to keep its comedy fresh, from new formats like the wrestling-inspired comedy competition Brawl! to new settings for its improvised soap opera Scandal! The playhouse’s 10th birthday celebration in June found the entire troupe, from seasoned vets to young upstarts, in supremely silly form and ready to take on another 10 years. less...

Best Literary Event

Poetry at Tech
It’s been going on long enough that we’ll dispense with the old jokes regarding what do engineers know about poetry (and poets about engineering). POETRY AT TECH used to carry an invisible question mark on its tail end, but Georgia Tech poetry professor Thomas Lux and Ginger Murchisonmore...

It’s been going on long enough that we’ll dispense with the old jokes regarding what do engineers know about poetry (and poets about engineering). POETRY AT TECH used to carry an invisible question mark on its tail end, but Georgia Tech poetry professor Thomas Lux and Ginger Murchison have assembled the best poetry series going. The after-parties at Lux’s place — an opportunity to mingle with the poets — are also way cooler than what we imagine your average Techie parties are like ... not that you ever invite us.
404-385-2760. poetry.gatech.edu.

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Best Local Playwright

Karen Wurl
A terrific slam poet and winner of the 2005 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award for new local writers, KAREN WURL debuted deliciously witty dark comedy Miss Macbeth at Power Plays, the 2005 Essential Theatre Festival. The pitch-perfect backstage satire mingled so cleverly with homages to “themore...
A terrific slam poet and winner of the 2005 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award for new local writers, KAREN WURL debuted deliciously witty dark comedy Miss Macbeth at Power Plays, the 2005 Essential Theatre Festival. The pitch-perfect backstage satire mingled so cleverly with homages to “the Scottish Play” that the only tragedy of Miss Macbeth was that it needed to be longer — and how often can you say that about any play, let alone a new one? less...

Best Local Singer/Songwriter

Anna Kramer
ANNA KRAMER is a little lady with a great big guitar who has more in common with the Rolling Stones and Gram Parsons than anyone else. Her frayed jangle and twang meets country and rock and roll under the flag of the British invaders — a place where the old gods of guitar finesse dress likemore...
ANNA KRAMER is a little lady with a great big guitar who has more in common with the Rolling Stones and Gram Parsons than anyone else. Her frayed jangle and twang meets country and rock and roll under the flag of the British invaders — a place where the old gods of guitar finesse dress like mods and jam on Kinks songs. Whether going solo or performing with a revolving rhythm section of Selmanaires and A Fir-Ju Well members, Kramer struts a distinctive rock walk that transcends the singer/songwriter ghetto. less...

Best Museum

The High Museum of Art High Museum of Art

Best New Music Act

Tenement Halls
The Rock*A*Teens had a ragged, reverberating wail that was easy to imagine cascading down the time-tattered streets of Cabbagetown. That sound had much to do with the vocals of singer/songwriter/guitarist Chris Lopez, who continues the world-weary tradition in his new band, TENEMENT HALLS. Lopez’smore...

The Rock*A*Teens had a ragged, reverberating wail that was easy to imagine cascading down the time-tattered streets of Cabbagetown. That sound had much to do with the vocals of singer/songwriter/guitarist Chris Lopez, who continues the world-weary tradition in his new band, TENEMENT HALLS. Lopez’s gently frayed voice quavers just barely above the spooks that taunt him, and his sly, spry melodies recall facets of the Kinks and Elvis Costello. While scratchy and mesmeric organs and jangly guitars warble moodily, Lopez paints scenarios of desperate, tired narrators.
www.mergerecords.com.

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Best Place to Hear Spoken Word

Apache Cafe Apache Cafe
The old brick building is rough and raw, but the gem-colored fancy drinks are smooth and refined at the APACHE CAFE. All preceding adjectives (except “old”) also apply to the poets at Free Forum Xchange’s Sunday open-mic night as they sing their syncopated serenades to praisemore...
The old brick building is rough and raw, but the gem-colored fancy drinks are smooth and refined at the APACHE CAFE. All preceding adjectives (except “old”) also apply to the poets at Free Forum Xchange’s Sunday open-mic night as they sing their syncopated serenades to praise pussies and political power, and twist their words with a jester’s intent. They’re lovers of language all. less...

Best Snacks Served at a Dance Performance

Cake
We’re pretty sure we would have enjoyed the dancing even without the woman who walked the aisles serving us from a tray laden with jars of frosting and plastic spoons, not to mention the little pastry cooked up live on stage in an EZ-Bake Oven in the time it took one dancer to perform a shortmore...

We’re pretty sure we would have enjoyed the dancing even without the woman who walked the aisles serving us from a tray laden with jars of frosting and plastic spoons, not to mention the little pastry cooked up live on stage in an EZ-Bake Oven in the time it took one dancer to perform a short transition work. The Zoetic Dance Ensemble never fails to throw a good party ... er, performance, and this year’s CAKE, held at the hip Nickel and Dime Studios in Avondale Estates, was no exception. The snacks were just the frosting on the ... (oh, come on, you knew we had to go there).
678-966-0253. www.zoeticdance.org.

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Best Theater Company

The New American Shakespeare Tavern

Best Touring Play

Like a Dog on Linoleum
Leslie Jordan’s one-man show www.brotherboy.com

Best Art Exhibition

Van Gogh to Mondrian (at High Museum of Art) High Museum of Art

Best Artist With Staying Power

Philip Carpenter
PHILIP CARPENTER has been a fixture on the Atlanta scene for more than 20 years now, offering painting instruction at the Chastain Arts Center and the Atlanta College of Art. Although he’s been exhibiting his work since the ‘80s, two strong exhibitions this year at Hartsfield-Jacksonmore...
PHILIP CARPENTER has been a fixture on the Atlanta scene for more than 20 years now, offering painting instruction at the Chastain Arts Center and the Atlanta College of Art. Although he’s been exhibiting his work since the ‘80s, two strong exhibitions this year at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Marcia Wood Gallery show how remarkably Carpenter’s work has grown. His physically awe-inspiring and conceptually provocative colored pencil drawings of utilitarian tools like hammers and wrenches, begun some 20 years ago, were elegant enough. But his new, vividly colored drawings centered on gendered kiddie toys from guns to baby dolls prove this Atlanta artist is still growing and exploring promising new subjects and techniques. less...

Best Country Act

Sonoramic Commando
Sure, the band is named after Plymouth’s Ram-tough engine from the early ’60s, but SONORAMIC COMMANDO’s V-8 powered country can outrun any competitor on the street today. The unassuming gang of amiable roots enthusiasts has been pickin’ n’ grinnin’more...

Sure, the band is named after Plymouth’s Ram-tough engine from the early ’60s, but SONORAMIC COMMANDO’s V-8 powered country can outrun any competitor on the street today. The unassuming gang of amiable roots enthusiasts has been pickin’ n’ grinnin’ for years in various combinations. Together, the fellas make some of the sweetest back-porch harmonies you will find around town — even if you don’t catch them on an actual porch. Sure, they can rev it up when the time is right, but when they ease into their engaging dirt-road anthems, you’ll want the ride to last awhile. Old-school to the bone, them boys don’t care ’bout no “American Idol,” they’re the dual four-barrel heartbeat of rural Americana.
www.sonoramiccommando.com.

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Best Female Actor

Carolyn Cook

Best Local Author Who Tells the Truth, the Whole Truth

Mark Bixler
The thousands of young male refugees who fled genocide in Sudan, walking first to Ethiopia, then to Zaire, have been co-opted as the poster boys for just about any self-righteous movement that could spin some faint association around them with fairy tale revisions of their struggles. So kudos to Atlantamore...
The thousands of young male refugees who fled genocide in Sudan, walking first to Ethiopia, then to Zaire, have been co-opted as the poster boys for just about any self-righteous movement that could spin some faint association around them with fairy tale revisions of their struggles. So kudos to Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter MARK BIXLER for telling the whole story, with all its complexities and contradictions, in his book The Lost Boys of Sudan (Warner Brooks, $19.95), a rich study woven together by the life stories of several “lost boys” who immigrated to Atlanta. less...

Best Locally Produced TV Show

“Blue Collar TV”
The WB Network Thursdays, 8 p.m. www.warnerbros.com

Best New Art Neighborhood

Decatur
Galleries in the rising art hood of DECATUR run the gamut. Two new venues include the sleek Function Gallery, exhibiting a range of primitive and conceptual works with a shared folksy bent, and the hip New Street Gallery, showing work by local emerging artists. Backing up these new kids on the blockmore...
Galleries in the rising art hood of DECATUR run the gamut. Two new venues include the sleek Function Gallery, exhibiting a range of primitive and conceptual works with a shared folksy bent, and the hip New Street Gallery, showing work by local emerging artists. Backing up these new kids on the block are the more established galleries that have already made the Atlanta suburb an art destination, including Vinson Gallery and the Temple Gallery on the Decatur Square, the Seen Gallery in Oakhurst and the Dalton Gallery at Agnes Scott. less...
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