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Best of Atlanta 2016 Index

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2016 Index of Winners

Best band name BOA Award Winner

Spore Lord

Best blues bar BOA Award Winner

BLIND WILLIE’S has been a dependable destination for local and national blues acts since 1986. That’s three decades spent slinging out every style of blues music to dedicated audiences that expect a rollicking good time. Little has changed over the years: The T-shirts, menu, furnishings, sound, themore...
BLIND WILLIE’S has been a dependable destination for local and national blues acts since 1986. That’s three decades spent slinging out every style of blues music to dedicated audiences that expect a rollicking good time. Little has changed over the years: The T-shirts, menu, furnishings, sound, the bands, and even the reasonable cover charges are all about the same as the last time you were there. But you don’t go to a place like Willie’s looking for the shiny and new. You go for the friendly faces and to drink a few cold ones. Blind Willie’s is still one of the only joints to book up-and-coming as well as established talent in the roots field, and supports some of the best local blues artists. The monthly calendar boasts regular performances by such long-standing blues fixtures as “Steady Rollin’” Bob Margolin, Watermelon Slim, and Beverly “Guitar” Watkins as well as more contemporary acts like Mudcat, Joe McGuinness, and the Matt Wauchope Trio. Blind Willie’s has earned its stripes as an Atlanta institution and a go-to spot that any lover of the blues can call home. less...

Best dance floor collab BOA Award Winner

Speakfoxx & Bosco's Girls in the Yard
A-Town homegirls SPEAKERFOXX & BOSCO’s GIRLS IN THE YARD mixtape collaboration arrived this year as a bass-dropping, confetti cannon-popping summer jam with a lesson in self-esteem to boot. Released by Fool’s Gold Records, the project is full to the brim with anthemic girl power and party songs.more...
A-Town homegirls SPEAKERFOXX & BOSCO’s GIRLS IN THE YARD mixtape collaboration arrived this year as a bass-dropping, confetti cannon-popping summer jam with a lesson in self-esteem to boot. Released by Fool’s Gold Records, the project is full to the brim with anthemic girl power and party songs. Think of “Shooter” as the ride-or-die chick’s club-banger lament upon realizing her dude ain’t quite the hitter he hyped himself up to be, followed by the sense of empowerment that comes from being unafraid to fly solo. With individual grinds that have established them as noteworthy Atlanta-based artists and tastemakers for years, this collective effort is fueling a heightened level of success for both. You might say they’re on some grown woman shit. www.soundcloud.com/speakerfoxxx/bosco-speakerfoxxx-girls-in-the-yard. less...

Best dance music institution BOA Award Winner

MJQ CONCOURSE is Atlanta’s staple spot for all flavors of old-school, new-school, and worldly hip-hop. Want proof? Look no further than the legendary Fantastic Friday nights, featuring D.R.E.S. tha BEATnik, DJ Fudge, Majestik, and DJ Lord (when he’s not on the road with Public Enemy) every first,more...
MJQ CONCOURSE is Atlanta’s staple spot for all flavors of old-school, new-school, and worldly hip-hop. Want proof? Look no further than the legendary Fantastic Friday nights, featuring D.R.E.S. tha BEATnik, DJ Fudge, Majestik, and DJ Lord (when he’s not on the road with Public Enemy) every first, third, and fourth Friday of the month. Come back for Face Off Fridays with DJ Rasta Root and Jah Prince every second Friday. Trap, that old-school, up top sound, Caribbean inflections, EDM, and ’90s classics are all on the playlist. less...

Best engineer BOA Award Winner

Jonny Rhum
JONNY RHUM truly sees the potential a band brings to the stage. A belief that good sound fosters good community made him the Earl’s go-to sound engineer and philosopher in residence for six years, deploying a mix of the Socratic method, yogic meditation principles, and an easy smile to help musiciansmore...
JONNY RHUM truly sees the potential a band brings to the stage. A belief that good sound fosters good community made him the Earl’s go-to sound engineer and philosopher in residence for six years, deploying a mix of the Socratic method, yogic meditation principles, and an easy smile to help musicians relax and play. Rhum’s ability to listen to and meet the needs of bands, audiences, and his own instincts developed into an artistic touch with sound. Rhum retired from his post at the Earl for a new life in Asheville, North Carolina, but the good vibrations Rhum created in making something beautiful each time he twisted the knobs, along with his skill for deep conversation and-pitch perfect sound, will always be music to ours ears. less...

Best local experimental music act BOA Award Winner

TIE: Dux AND The Difference Machine

Best local jazz act BOA Award Winner

Kebbi Williams & The Wolfpack

Best local mainstream act BOA Award Winner

Chelsea Shag

Best local music blog BOA Award Winner

Immersive Atlanta

Best local rock hangout BOA Award Winner

THE EARL is integral to the character of East Atlanta Village. An impressive array of musical talent has flowed through the restaurant and venue’s intimate settings since the doors opened in the summer of ’99. Some of Atlanta’s most revered indie rock acts such as Deerhunter and the Black Lipsmore...
THE EARL is integral to the character of East Atlanta Village. An impressive array of musical talent has flowed through the restaurant and venue’s intimate settings since the doors opened in the summer of ’99. Some of Atlanta’s most revered indie rock acts such as Deerhunter and the Black Lips cut their teeth here before graduating to larger stages. In 2016, the smoky club still pairs established and upcoming bands with top-notch sound. Performances by storied acts such as post-punk icons Pylon Reenactment Society to the always raucous garage-punk blowout the Atlanta Mess-Around provide concertgoers with a look at diverse, underserved musical legacies. One standout show of the summer placed acoustic songstress Adron with the tropicalia bliss of beach-pop show-offs Fantasy Guys. For serious listeners or those who love to bum around East Atlanta until last call, the Earl is a place for low-key revelry and cultural uplift. Plus, cheap PBR pitchers. less...

Best no-frills chill BOA Award Winner

BURKHART’S PUB is a no-frills neighborhood hangout. Free from the travails of urban snobbery, everything from the trivia nights to the drag shows such as the Saturday night Synergy with Monica Van Pelt, Angelica D’Paige, and more makes this two-level hot spot a staple of Atlanta’s LGBT scene inmore...
BURKHART’S PUB is a no-frills neighborhood hangout. Free from the travails of urban snobbery, everything from the trivia nights to the drag shows such as the Saturday night Synergy with Monica Van Pelt, Angelica D’Paige, and more makes this two-level hot spot a staple of Atlanta’s LGBT scene in 2016, whether you’re looking for a relaxing dinner on the patio or a raucous show on the main stage. less...

Best progressive pop act BOA Award Winner

CLAVVS
After first meeting at an East Atlanta house show in 2013, CLAVVS singer/songwriter Amber Renee and producer Graham Marsh used their shared love for pop and Atlanta’s trap music production to jump-start their electrified modern psychedelia. This year’s mesmerizing debut EP Halfblood combines dancemore...
After first meeting at an East Atlanta house show in 2013, CLAVVS singer/songwriter Amber Renee and producer Graham Marsh used their shared love for pop and Atlanta’s trap music production to jump-start their electrified modern psychedelia. This year’s mesmerizing debut EP Halfblood combines dance beats on codeine with a gothic atmosphere. “Cover it with sugar and then feed it to ’em slow/If they spit it out, open up their mouths/Shove it down their throats,” Renee sings in “Throats.” Marsh is a four-time Grammy winner, and has made a career from working with artists like Janet Jackson, CeeLo Green, and T.I. Renee has been singing her whole life. Yet despite their obvious mainstream appeal, the duo stay true to the ominous musical terrain that fascinates them both. CLAVVS’ eerie pop soundscapes are fitting for soirees and séances alike. www.soundcloud.com/clavvsatl. less...

Best sports bar BOA Award Winner

Hudson Grille AND Taco Mac
www.hudsongrille.comhttp://hudsongrille.com AND www.tacomac.com

Best stripper other than Blondie BOA Award Winner

Barbie (Clermont Lounge) AND Lux ATL (Pink Pony)

Best (and most unlikely) comeback BOA Award Winner

Jeff Francoeur's call up from the minor leagues
Many people had thought Atlanta Braves outfielder JEFF FRANCOEUR’S CALL-UP FROM THE MINOR LEAGUES was either a publicity stunt or a really expensive act of kindness by the down-on-its-luck Bravos. But the Parkview High School graduate surprised fans by matching his career batting average and othermore...
Many people had thought Atlanta Braves outfielder JEFF FRANCOEUR’S CALL-UP FROM THE MINOR LEAGUES was either a publicity stunt or a really expensive act of kindness by the down-on-its-luck Bravos. But the Parkview High School graduate surprised fans by matching his career batting average and other impressive stats (at one point, the former SI cover boy had a team-high batting average). The summer before he was considering retirement after enduring a stint at a triple-A club in El Paso. But he had a good run — until the Braves, being the Braves, traded him. atlanta.braves.mlb.com. less...

Best architect BOA Award Winner

John Portman

Best bizarro news story BOA Award Winner

Young Thug rode a horse around
Young Thug has proudly embodied many entities. The rapper has masqueraded as a therapist, a Martian, a fashion icon. All those facets of Thugga’s identity may be true, yet the entire city of Atlanta (and the whole Twitterscape) scratched their proverbial heads when he added equestrian to that list.more...
Young Thug has proudly embodied many entities. The rapper has masqueraded as a therapist, a Martian, a fashion icon. All those facets of Thugga’s identity may be true, yet the entire city of Atlanta (and the whole Twitterscape) scratched their proverbial heads when he added equestrian to that list. In March, YOUNG THUG RODE A HORSE AROUND to announce the tour supporting his album Hy!£UN35. The mini equine-based tour to announce the larger one cruised around Poncey-Highland before stopping to mug beneath Plaza Theatre’s marquee, which displayed the tour details. The resulting photograph featured Young Thug, clad in tight white pants, beaming like a kid on a sugar high. Was the curious publicity tactic inspired by cosmic sway? A lean-fueled fever dream? We’ll likely never know, but then again, some mysteries are better left unsolved, and perhaps Thugga’s horsing around should be counted among them. twitter.com/youngthug. less...

Best free thing to do BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Streets Alive
Every couple months, men, women, and children reclaim the streets with bicycles, in-line skates, unicycles, or just their feet, and enjoy the freedom of the open road without any cars during ATLANTA STREETS ALIVE. A brainchild of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, visitors bike, skate, sprint, dance, skip,more...
Every couple months, men, women, and children reclaim the streets with bicycles, in-line skates, unicycles, or just their feet, and enjoy the freedom of the open road without any cars during ATLANTA STREETS ALIVE. A brainchild of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, visitors bike, skate, sprint, dance, skip, spin, hula-hoop, cartwheel, lag, or move in any shape, way, or form they please for exercise or just to reconnect with their communities. Businesses set up things like hula-hoop contests or field day events; restaurants adorn the streets with outdoor seating areas. The April event showed how easy it is to get around the city when you don’t have steel beasts breathing down your neck. With a vibrantly colored sea of bodies, helmets, high-fives, and bouncy music, the event celebrated cultures — free of traffic and free of price. www.atlantastreetsalive.com. less...

Best light show BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Beltline Lantern Parade
In a few short years, the ATLANTA BELTLINE LANTERN PARADE went from a small idea by local artist Chantelle Rytter to the city’s brightest and most beautiful gathering of residents. On one evening in September, artists cobble together 20-foot-tall illuminated skeletons and children piece together makeshiftmore...
In a few short years, the ATLANTA BELTLINE LANTERN PARADE went from a small idea by local artist Chantelle Rytter to the city’s brightest and most beautiful gathering of residents. On one evening in September, artists cobble together 20-foot-tall illuminated skeletons and children piece together makeshift glowing boxes. The crowd lines up, starts to walk, and takes ownership of the Eastside Trail for roughly two miles. Atlantans and visitors, along with some teens on hallucinogens, stand alongside or post up on porches and take in the parade that proceeds to the soundtrack of the Seed and Feed Marching Abominable. In a city that tends to overplan and commercialize its events, the lantern parade is a nice reprieve. www.atlantabeltline.org. less...

Best local sports radio show BOA Award Winner

"Dukes & Bell" 92.9 (WZGC-FM)
atlanta.cbslocal.com/show/dukes-bell

Best rock radio station BOA Award Winner

105.7 (WRDA-FM)
radio1057.iheart.com

Best secret stash of Victorian architecture BOA Award Winner

West End
Yes, WEST END has won awards from Curbed and Redfin proclaiming it Atlanta’s coolest community. But it’s not the first time the neighborhood has been fashionable. The neighborhood that began in the 1830s as a small village and pub called the White Hall Tavern became its own city in the 1860s. Developersmore...
Yes, WEST END has won awards from Curbed and Redfin proclaiming it Atlanta’s coolest community. But it’s not the first time the neighborhood has been fashionable. The neighborhood that began in the 1830s as a small village and pub called the White Hall Tavern became its own city in the 1860s. Developers over the years built housing ranging from bungalows to gorgeous Victorian mansions — grand homes that, thanks to dedicated longtime residents and new arrivals unafraid to swing a hammer, can be seen in their gabled glory along Peeples Street, Oglethorpe Avenue, and other thoroughfares. Every year, a few well-preserved survivals from those days open up for the neighborhood’s tour of homes. Wren’s Nest is the most famous but it’s got plenty of lovely companions well worth a visit. www.atlantawestend.com. less...

Best street BOA Award Winner

Peachtree Street

Best street character BOA Award Winner

Baton Bob
batonbob.weebly.com

Best accessories for bar hopping BOA Award Winner

Fossil & Hide
Karen Horn Smith and Jenny Watts’ local accessories line FOSSIL & HIDE is designed for those who aren’t afraid to be asked, “Is that an animal skull hanging from your necklace?” because the answer is probably, “Yes.” Since spring 2012, the local duo has been churning out rock ’n’ roll-inspiredmore...
Karen Horn Smith and Jenny Watts’ local accessories line FOSSIL & HIDE is designed for those who aren’t afraid to be asked, “Is that an animal skull hanging from your necklace?” because the answer is probably, “Yes.” Since spring 2012, the local duo has been churning out rock ’n’ roll-inspired wares in a signature style that embraces chunky metals and large stones of turquoise and quartz that lend themselves to statement-making layering. Score a choker, bangle, necklace, ring or earring set of your own at pop-up shops at Argosy and Estoria, or from ATL stockists such as Live Free Tattoo, the Clothing Warehouse, Kudzu Antiques, Henry & June, and Citizen Supply. www.fossilandhide.com. less...

Best auto shop BOA Award Winner

My Favorite Automotive

Best car wash BOA Award Winner

Avril's

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