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Best of Atlanta 2013 Index

 

2013 Best Of Atlanta Large


2013 Index of Winners

Best bartender

Norvella from QUAD Legacy Live



Best blues club

Northside Tavern

Best concert of the past year

Music Midtown
musicmidtown.com

Best dark horse producer

10th Letter
Experimental beat maker 10th Letter, aka Jeremi Johnson, creates an all-encompassing mix that's as psychedelic and abstract as it is deeply soulful and direct. His talents are best showcased on the recent digital LP Yesterdays Dreams//Tomorrows Paths. Every noise morphs under the direction of Johnson'smore...
Experimental beat maker 10th Letter, aka Jeremi Johnson, creates an all-encompassing mix that's as psychedelic and abstract as it is deeply soulful and direct. His talents are best showcased on the recent digital LP Yesterdays Dreams//Tomorrows Paths. Every noise morphs under the direction of Johnson's thoughtful knob-twiddling. Similar to Madlib's crate-digging enthusiasm and Prefuse 73's cut-and-paste wizardry, 10th Letter touches on the best of retro-sourced vibes and forward-thinking techniques in songs such as "Return to Yesterday," "Let Me Know, Miss Electric Veins," and "Yesterdays Dreams." More than just a master of multiple methods, 10th Letter has surfaced in 2013 as a jack-of-all-trades, upending hip-hop instrumentals and lending a curious touch of peculiarity to Atlanta's expansive electronic music scene. www.10thletter.bandcamp.com. less...

Best drag queen

Baton Bob
batonbob.weebly.com

Best experimental act

Jungol
The electronic-tinged local rock innovator Jungol has created a beautiful and twisted film and soundtrack project dubbed Go Softly. The group's core members, twin brothers Josh and Graham Yoder, have long probed the outer limits of the imagination with reverb-heavy electronic rock. With Go Softly, themore...
The electronic-tinged local rock innovator Jungol has created a beautiful and twisted film and soundtrack project dubbed Go Softly. The group's core members, twin brothers Josh and Graham Yoder, have long probed the outer limits of the imagination with reverb-heavy electronic rock. With Go Softly, the group reaches even further into the realms of the strange and surreal. Released as a series of short vignettes via YouTube, the abstract film follows a few different characters communing with nature in various ways. Each scene is drenched in surreal colors that flood the synapses with disjointed narratives and themes that are at once pleasant and nightmarish. The film's musical score creates a dreamlike ambiance with bouncy rhythms and a totally psychedelic vibe. Together, the resulting sound and vision is hypnotizing, eerie, and sometimes just plain weird. www.jungol.net. less...

Best instrumentalist

Joe Sweat
Drummer Joe Sweat picked up his first pair of sticks at the age of 13. Ten years later, he's pounding the skins behind such powerful local punk and metal acts as Manic and Mangled. His steady pace and rapid style have begun to reshape the more aggressive enclaves of Atlanta's underground rock scenes.more...
Drummer Joe Sweat picked up his first pair of sticks at the age of 13. Ten years later, he's pounding the skins behind such powerful local punk and metal acts as Manic and Mangled. His steady pace and rapid style have begun to reshape the more aggressive enclaves of Atlanta's underground rock scenes. Earlier this year, when he joined ranks with Order of the Owl, his motorik dirge effectively stripped the doom-laced trio of its doomy tendencies, getting the lead out of its sludgy grind, and pushing the group into deeper, higher, and much faster realms of sonic terrain. At the ripe old age of 23, Sweat is forcing the scene to march to his beat. www.mangledmetal.bandcamp.com, www.scavengerofdeathrecords.bandcamp.com/album/manic-s-t-7. less...



Best new soul music fixture

Gwen Bunn
With a distinctively jazz-coated and slightly off-kilter vocal style, singer Gwen Bunn has emerged as the most promising new voice in Atlanta's soul music scene. Bunn made a splash in 2012 by lending her talents to saxophonist Darryl Reeves' album Mercury on the remake of Roy Ayers' classic "Every Timemore...
With a distinctively jazz-coated and slightly off-kilter vocal style, singer Gwen Bunn has emerged as the most promising new voice in Atlanta's soul music scene. Bunn made a splash in 2012 by lending her talents to saxophonist Darryl Reeves' album Mercury on the remake of Roy Ayers' classic "Every Time I See You." Later that year, she grabbed mainstream shine by repeatedly winning "Wild Out Wednesday," a talent contest on BET's "106 & Park." Her streak continued into 2013, when she joined forces with acclaimed producer/musician Zo! to record the bouncy track "Count to Five," the first single from his latest release, ManMade. Bunn also handled co-production duties on rapper Schoolboy Q's "Collard Greens," featuring hip-hop darling Kendrick Lamar. On top of all that, she's currently putting the finishing touches on Melody Dungeon, her second self-produced album, which includes the ultra-mellow, super-dreamy track "Epitome" that's been building buzz for months. www.reverbnation.com/gwenbunn. less...

Best rockabilly recovery act

Caroline & the Ramblers
It's tough keeping a band together in this town. Imagine the double trauma of your longtime group breaking up on the eve of finishing your first album, and having to put together a completely new lineup to keep things moving. Caroline Hull Engel, singer and guitarist for Caroline & the Ramblers did justmore...
It's tough keeping a band together in this town. Imagine the double trauma of your longtime group breaking up on the eve of finishing your first album, and having to put together a completely new lineup to keep things moving. Caroline Hull Engel, singer and guitarist for Caroline & the Ramblers did just that in 2013. For more than 20 years, Caroline has been Atlanta's rockabilly and honky tonk queen, sporting a powerful voice, great material, and a band that's matched to her vocal prowess. Just as the group was putting the final touches on its debut album, the band imploded. But when Caroline sets her mind to making something happen, it's gonna get done. Without wasting a single moment, she formed a new group, featuring guitarist Danny Arana, bassist Big Joel G, and drummer Mike Z, to rise from the ashes and reclaim the Ramblers' rightful place amid Atlanta's roots music scene with fresh energy and renewed confidence. www.reverbnation.com/carolineandtheramblers. less...

Best songwriter

Blair Crimmins
After abandoning the conventions of alternative rock for which he came to be known with the band Bishop Don, Blair Crimmins became so enamored with making old-timey music that he seemed like a novelty act. His forays into storytelling, ragtime, jazz, and antique songwriting didn't seem like much of amore...
After abandoning the conventions of alternative rock for which he came to be known with the band Bishop Don, Blair Crimmins became so enamored with making old-timey music that he seemed like a novelty act. His forays into storytelling, ragtime, jazz, and antique songwriting didn't seem like much of a risk, but a sense of newfound personal enjoyment welled from within every barreling note on his 2010 solo debut, The Musical Stylings Of .... Soon, new aspects of his voice emerged with all the gusto of a songwriter with a capital "S," complete with earnest and cautionary tales of wine, women, song, and retribution. But Crimmins knows he's no cowboy or folk troubadour: He shunned many of the trappings that box in dedicated songwriters and embraced horns, high-energy theatrics, and other elements outside the traditional canon. Crimmins has never been more refined than on this year's Sing-A-Longs CD. If he caters to any genre, it's one that's entirely his own, and that's something a lot of guys with pens and guitars either don't know how to do, or don't have the guts to do. www.blaircrimminsandthehookers.com. less...

Best stripper who's not Blondie

TIE: Barbie and Peaches from Clermont Lounge

Best trivia night

Dirty South Trivia at Diesel Diesel Filling Station

Best act of civil disobedience

Trayvon Martin protests
Even though the trial took place in Florida, Trayvon Martin protests occurred across the country in the days following the jury's decision to clear George Zimmerman on all charges of killing the 17-year-old. Atlantans took to the streets and practiced civil disobedience on a massive scale to demand justice.more...
Even though the trial took place in Florida, Trayvon Martin protests occurred across the country in the days following the jury's decision to clear George Zimmerman on all charges of killing the 17-year-old. Atlantans took to the streets and practiced civil disobedience on a massive scale to demand justice. They marched from Woodruff Park to the tombs of Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta, and back. They protested across the street from the CNN Center. They rallied in West End and walked en masse to the heart of Downtown, clogging Peachtree Street. The next day, hundreds - possibly thousands - did it again from the Atlanta University Center to Centennial Olympic Park. Atlanta got loud. Atlanta got angry. Atlanta remained peaceful. All in all, zero arrests were reported. less...

Best addition to an excellent park

Piedmont Park's 13-acre expansion Piedmont Park
One of the best parks - arguably the best park - in Atlanta just got better. This summer, Piedmont Park's 13-acre expansion and its collection of new entrances was unveiled. The add-on near the intersection of Piedmont Road and Monroe Drive is crowned by the new Piedmont Commons, a multi-use fieldmore...
One of the best parks - arguably the best park - in Atlanta just got better. This summer, Piedmont Park's 13-acre expansion and its collection of new entrances was unveiled. The add-on near the intersection of Piedmont Road and Monroe Drive is crowned by the new Piedmont Commons, a multi-use field for relaxing and picnicking. New access points to the park, including a trail through the North Woods forest alongside the Atlanta Botanical Garden, offer easy access to Ansley Park and Morningside residents. The effort is a follow-up to a 2011 expansion that included wetlands, an expanded and improved dog park, and an interactive fountain. Even more excellence is on the way: The park's final planned expansion is set to include a skate park, and eventually the Beltline will also be built out along the greenspace. www.piedmontpark.org. less...

Best child care center

The Suzuki School The Suzuki School
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best elected state official

State Rep. Stacey Evans
She doesn't have a reserved seat on Sunday morning talk shows like Mayor Kasim Reed. Nor the penchant for protests like state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta. But State Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, deserves every bit as much of the spotlight. CL bestowed her with a 2012 Arnie Award - our annual accolademore...
She doesn't have a reserved seat on Sunday morning talk shows like Mayor Kasim Reed. Nor the penchant for protests like state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta. But State Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, deserves every bit as much of the spotlight. CL bestowed her with a 2012 Arnie Award - our annual accolade for do-gooders under the Gold Dome - for coming back early from maternity leave to protest abortion legislation by wrapping herself in caution tape with other female Democratic lawmakers on the House floor. Evans took home yet another Arnie in 2013, this time for her adamant push to lower the HOPE scholarship's grade point average requirements for tech school students. Her proposal, which was designed to give students better access to vocational training opportunities at technical colleges, gained bipartisan support from her fellow lawmakers - as well as a reluctant Gov. Nathan Deal. www.staceyevans.org. less...

Best free annual event

Dogwood Festival AND SweetWater 420 Fest

Best hotel

W Atlanta-Midtown W Atlanta Midtown

Best morning drive-time radio show

"The Regular Guys" on 100.5 (WNNX-FM)

Best rabble-rouser

Common Cause Georgia
While progressive political group Better Georgia has emerged as a major GOP foe and a force to be reckoned with, Common Cause Georgia truly deserves applause for daring to question City Hall and the business elite. Amid the rushed process of the Atlanta Falcons' new stadium deal, the ethics watchdogmore...
While progressive political group Better Georgia has emerged as a major GOP foe and a force to be reckoned with, Common Cause Georgia truly deserves applause for daring to question City Hall and the business elite. Amid the rushed process of the Atlanta Falcons' new stadium deal, the ethics watchdog group stood as one of the few steadfast opponents and continuously expressed concerns. The organization called out city officials, most notably Mayor Kasim Reed, for what it considered a failure to maintain transparency. Common Cause also raised hell over the use the hotel and motel tax, from which at least $200 million (and potentially hundreds of millions more) will go toward the stadium's construction. In the end, Common Cause made a valiant, albeit unsuccessful, effort to collect 35,000 signatures to force the issue to a referendum. www.commoncause.org/ga. less...

Best stray animal

Piper the Beltline Cat
Not too many animals, domesticated or not, have their own Facebook page with more than 4,600 likes. But Piper the Beltline Cat, so named for her home in a drainage pipe along the Atlanta Beltline's Eastside Trail, has become an Atlanta celebrity and unofficial mascot for the smart-growth project evermore...
Not too many animals, domesticated or not, have their own Facebook page with more than 4,600 likes. But Piper the Beltline Cat, so named for her home in a drainage pipe along the Atlanta Beltline's Eastside Trail, has become an Atlanta celebrity and unofficial mascot for the smart-growth project ever since she cozied up in the metal coop earlier this year. It was there that she would chow down on Fancy Feast and "read" fan mail left in the mailbox admirers planted in her front yard. That is, until she was "bought out" by a developer building a residential complex atop her claimed home. No worries, however. The feline apparently found a new home a few blocks from the Beltline in a similar pipe attached to a bungalow. A big *pawbump* (her catchphrase, not ours) to the city's coolest stray. www.facebook.com/BeltLinePiper. less...

Best street

Peachtree Street

Best vision for Atlanta's west side

Northside Drive Corridor Study
Walk along Northside Drive and you'll pass auto shops, stores set far back from the street, and traffic congestion. Try to cross the busy north-south thoroughfare and you better have a will. Georgia Tech professor Mike Dobbins and a group of his students have set out to overhaul what's essentially anmore...
Walk along Northside Drive and you'll pass auto shops, stores set far back from the street, and traffic congestion. Try to cross the busy north-south thoroughfare and you better have a will. Georgia Tech professor Mike Dobbins and a group of his students have set out to overhaul what's essentially an intown highway. Over the course of a year, the former Atlanta planning commissioner and his pupils brainstormed and created the Northside Drive Corridor Study, a beautiful vision of transit, mixed-use development, and walkable environments that could improve Northside Drive. Among the proposals: starting bus rapid transit, turning the reservoir along Howell Mill Road into a park, and promoting dense, mixed-income developments. The analysis was timely - both a new Atlanta Falcons stadium and possible Amtrak and Greyhound stations are being considered along the road, which could mean major changes in the years to come. Heavy-hitters such as Central Atlanta Progress, the Midtown Alliance, City Hall, and Georgia Department of Transportation sponsored the study, so it's likely it will have some strong advocates when upgrades are considered. www.northsidedrvision.gatech.edu. less...

Best barbershop

Roosters Men's Grooming Center

Best bikini wax

Brazilian Wax by Andreia Brazilian Wax by Andreia
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best doggie day care

Bark ATL Bark ATL
We try not to get our feelings hurt when we drop off "Luke" and "Lola" at Bark ATL on our way Downtown. As soon as we pull into the driveway, they do everything but shout "See ya!" as they leap toward the friendly attendants waiting at the back gate, completely forgetting to give us our goodbye kiss.more...
We try not to get our feelings hurt when we drop off "Luke" and "Lola" at Bark ATL on our way Downtown. As soon as we pull into the driveway, they do everything but shout "See ya!" as they leap toward the friendly attendants waiting at the back gate, completely forgetting to give us our goodbye kiss. Missing those pups, we can't help but sneak online a few hundred times a day to peek in on their activities, all captured on Bark ATL's Bark Cams, or check the Bark ATL Facebook page or Twitter feed for status updates and photos. Sunny out? They're no doubt splashing near the pool or sunning on the patio. Midday thunderstorms? They're likely snuggled indoors napping on their favorite blue cots. Time to play? There are plastic castles and bridges to explore, new friends to roughhouse, and tails to catch. Whenever we check in, things always appear tidy and under control, just the way we like it. For extras, we indulge in nail trims and holiday photo sessions, because nothing says Christmas like your dog sitting on a white cotton cloud wearing a red Santa hat or fuzzy brown antlers. less...

Best fashion designer to watch

Afriyie Poku
In Afriyie Poku's native homeland of Ghana, the word oberima is like saying "gentleman" or "you're the man." So it's fitting that Poku would name his new luxury collection Oberima Afriyie, considering the young designer's mission to redefine the modern gent. Though the look book is still under developmentmore...
In Afriyie Poku's native homeland of Ghana, the word oberima is like saying "gentleman" or "you're the man." So it's fitting that Poku would name his new luxury collection Oberima Afriyie, considering the young designer's mission to redefine the modern gent. Though the look book is still under development for a 2014 debut, his menswear designs have already earned top honors at Peroni Style Atlanta's 2012 show and Charleston, S.C.'s 2013 Fashion Week. His personal style skirts a fine line between effeminacy and masculinity, which carries over into his designs. Bearing a strong 19th-century influence, his line features such fancifully constructed items as high-waisted riding pants and double-breasted morning coats. But he keeps it edgy and contemporary with additions like shendyt pants, derived from Egyptian waist wraps. It's a progressive look for 21st century menswear, but surely you can pull it off if you're the man. www.facebook.com/afriyiepoku. less...

Best florist

Candler Park Flower Market

Best gym

LA Fitness LA Fitness
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best independent bookstore

Charis Books and More

Best jewelry

Worthmore Jewelers

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