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Best of Atlanta 2017 Index

Poets Critics Dolls Main Large





2017 Index of Winners

Best giver of all the damns

Asma Elhuni
ASMA ELHUNI’s name bubbled up in new outlets worldwide this year when she videotaped a man harassing her at local coffee shop because she’s Muslim. But beyond that incident, Elhuni — who serves as the outreach director for the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations — hasmore...
ASMA ELHUNI’s name bubbled up in new outlets worldwide this year when she videotaped a man harassing her at local coffee shop because she’s Muslim. But beyond that incident, Elhuni — who serves as the outreach director for the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations — has been fighting the good fight in Atlanta for a while now, lending her time and platform to a number of causes. Case in point: Months ago she helped organize a variety of activists and organizations to fight the displacement of residents who live around Turner Field. The former baseball stadium is under development by Georgia State, and through a prolonged camp-in at a makeshift tent city, Elhuni and fellow concerned citizens worked to raise awareness about the downside of gentrification in that part of town. Her efforts underscore what she has identified as her personal mission to fight policies that discriminate against “the poor, immigrants, blacks, Muslims, people of color, trans, queer and nonbinary folks.” www.twitter.com/asmaelhuni less...

Best reason to get excited about the future of Downtown development

Newport US
Usually when developers announce plans for projects they have in the works, that news is met with a good deal of nervousness and skepticism by many Atlanta residents. But that’s not the case with NEWPORT US and its plans for South Downtown. The German-based company released renderings in July depictingmore...
Usually when developers announce plans for projects they have in the works, that news is met with a good deal of nervousness and skepticism by many Atlanta residents. But that’s not the case with NEWPORT US and its plans for South Downtown. The German-based company released renderings in July depicting what it has in store for eight blocks of the neighborhood marred by pockets of blight — and those plans call for transformation without destroying the character of the structures. So, look for restoration of buildings in the area, not demolition. The company has also built engagement with the community into the fabric of the project, and that’s a far cry from other developers who seem to be locked in conflict with residents and activists. less...

Best dry cleaners

Sig Samuels

Best head shop

Starship Enterprise

Best spin class

Flywheel

Best tattoo studio

Only You Tattoo Only You Tattoo
photo by: Lindsey Max

Best store for your all your occult needs

ATL Craft
Witches take note: Nestled on Edgewood Avenue (next to Sister Louisa’s Church Murch store), ATL CRAFT is a shop that owner Haley Murphy boasts is stocked with “everything you need for spell work”: we’re talking oils, crystals, ritual bath supplies, meditation masks, jewelry and more. Along withmore...
Witches take note: Nestled on Edgewood Avenue (next to Sister Louisa’s Church Murch store), ATL CRAFT is a shop that owner Haley Murphy boasts is stocked with “everything you need for spell work”: we’re talking oils, crystals, ritual bath supplies, meditation masks, jewelry and more. Along with the magical aides, the spot also sells work by a number of local healers and artists — like Kat Shaw from Herbalista, Orion Crook and Maddy Barreto, among others — and, perhaps most importantly, provides a one-of-a-kind space for learning, support and fellowship for people whose belief systems typically fall outside of the status quo. 489-B Edgewood Ave. S.E. www.atlcraftshop.com. less...

Best boutique for discounted couture

Labels
LABELS has so many discounted goods for sale — with four different locations on the same street, by category, for your bargain-hunting needs: Separates; Dress and Shoe; Children; and Men’s. Each of the four collections is housed in an English-style cottage, and you can park at one shop and easilymore...
LABELS has so many discounted goods for sale — with four different locations on the same street, by category, for your bargain-hunting needs: Separates; Dress and Shoe; Children; and Men’s. Each of the four collections is housed in an English-style cottage, and you can park at one shop and easily walk to the others. Brands range from high-end designers like Chanel, Prada and Jil Sander to contemporary favorites such as Theory, Alice + Olivia and Rag & Bone. You’ll also find a wide variety of clothing up for grabs, from everyday button-downs and trousers for work to more elaborate fare, like a decadent Dior gown or costume jewelry. 3202 Paces Ferry Place. 404-841-8444. www.labelsrb.com. less...

Best beauty bargain

Nail Mall
If you want to bring the nail salon experience home, there’s no better place to start than NAIL MALL, a Buford Highway shop featuring rows upon rows of manicure goods. Brand-name polishes, such as Essie and OPI, line the walls in every shade (and opacity), and go for $4 and $4.75, respectively —more...
If you want to bring the nail salon experience home, there’s no better place to start than NAIL MALL, a Buford Highway shop featuring rows upon rows of manicure goods. Brand-name polishes, such as Essie and OPI, line the walls in every shade (and opacity), and go for $4 and $4.75, respectively — or about half of what they’ll cost you at the corner drugstore. Plus you can pick up wholesale-size bottles of lotion and cuticle oil, or even salon-style chairs and nail-drying machines (typically only found in wholesale-only stores) at discounted prices. 5338 Buford Highway, Doraville. 678-547-0098. www.nailmall.com. less...

Best place to get your car fixed at an affordable price

Roger Jordan Garage
ROGER JORDAN GARAGE was opened in 1943 in the same Inman Park location it currently operates out of by the Roger Jordan — who later passed it down to his two sons. One son, Don, still works there, along with nephews and even more family. “I don’t pay myself much and don’t work very hard,” Donmore...

ROGER JORDAN GARAGE was opened in 1943 in the same Inman Park location it currently operates out of by the Roger Jordan — who later passed it down to his two sons. One son, Don, still works there, along with nephews and even more family. “I don’t pay myself much and don’t work very hard,” Don says. The place is everything you always wanted in a car repair shop. One of the Jordans (or a tattooed mechanic) will listen to your sob story, empathize and then give you a great deal. You might have to wait a little bit to get it done — the disclaimer displayed at the garage’s entrance flat-out states that they make no promises on when your car will be finished — but it’s worth the wait. 1152 DeKalb Ave. N.E. 404-688-2692. www.rogerjordangarage.net.

photo by: Joeff Davis

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Best concert venue

The Tabernacle

Best band to turn up and drown out current national politics

Art School Jocks
No, nobody should ignore the sinking ship that is the Trump presidency. But sometimes coming up for air, in the form of catchy protest pop (post-)punk, is what's needed to continue forging ahead. That's where ART SCHOOL JOCKS come in. With a well-crafted eponymous EP released in June via Father/Daughtermore...

No, nobody should ignore the sinking ship that is the Trump presidency. But sometimes coming up for air, in the form of catchy protest pop (post-)punk, is what's needed to continue forging ahead. That's where ART SCHOOL JOCKS come in. With a well-crafted eponymous EP released in June via Father/Daughter Records, the foursome of scene veterans combines various influences (post-punk, Britpop, emo) with socially aware lyrics. Hit 'Just a Gwen, which garnered the group national attention via NPR, Stereogum and Mother Jones, explores and denounces the dark irony of victim-blaming culture Ñ don't dress that way, watch your drink Ñ around sexual harassment and assault. This music is the perfect salve for these hard times. www.artschooljocks.com.

photo by: Joeff Davis

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Best local promoter

Zero Mile
Over the last few years, Atlanta has witnessed a dramatic spike in the quantity and quality of music being booked across the board. From corporate behemoths to DIY guys booking smaller rooms, competition among promoters is thick. When the management and promotions teams behind Terminal West (led by Scottmore...
Over the last few years, Atlanta has witnessed a dramatic spike in the quantity and quality of music being booked across the board. From corporate behemoths to DIY guys booking smaller rooms, competition among promoters is thick. When the management and promotions teams behind Terminal West (led by Scott Orvold and Alan Sher) and Agon Entertainment announced they'd partnered to launch ZERO MILE, the new organization took over booking for Athens' Georgia Theatre, and Atlanta's Variety Playhouse and Terminal West, while working with other venues, as well. Working together, Zero Mile put into place a network that allowed for all three venues to flourish together as a viable independent operation. Since May, Zero Mile has booked everyone from Waka Flocka Flame to Gillian Welch, tackling a broad range of musical terrain. Zero Mile will also oversee booking and promotion for the music venue being built as part of the upcoming Atlanta Dairies development on Memorial Drive. As Atlanta continues its dominance as one of the most vibrant cities in the Southeast, Zero Mile's ingenuity and dedication to building from the ground up has positioned the organization as a major player, primed for expansion and growth as a leader of Georgia music. www.zeromile.com. less...

Best trap music ambassadors

Migos
Are MIGOS really bigger than the Beatles? No. But Offset, Quavo and Takeoff are the de facto leaders of the new school. The album Culture received a massive boost by the success of "Bad and Boujee," and has since seen "T-Shirt" and the Gucci Mane-aided "Slippery" gain steam as legitimate mainstream hits.more...
Are MIGOS really bigger than the Beatles? No. But Offset, Quavo and Takeoff are the de facto leaders of the new school. The album Culture received a massive boost by the success of "Bad and Boujee," and has since seen "T-Shirt" and the Gucci Mane-aided "Slippery" gain steam as legitimate mainstream hits. The group's style of call-and-response ad-libs reminiscent of '50s era doo-wop groups have both innovated and redefined how melody is used in hip-hop across the board. A lot of young artists are direct descendants of the style that the Northside trio has been cultivating for years now, and the broader music world has finally taken notice. www.migosonline.com. less...

Best instrumentalist

Marquinn "Quinn" Masonry
On any given night of the week, MARQUINN "QUINN" MASONRY can be found playing music from Gallery 992 (his regular spot) and Aisle 5 to the wilds of the Atlanta Beltline, sputtering and blowing into an alto saxophone. Be it with the Convergence, the Wolfpack, Konda, Leo Project, Charolastra or some othermore...

On any given night of the week, MARQUINN "QUINN" MASONRY can be found playing music from Gallery 992 (his regular spot) and Aisle 5 to the wilds of the Atlanta Beltline, sputtering and blowing into an alto saxophone. Be it with the Convergence, the Wolfpack, Konda, Leo Project, Charolastra or some other spontaneously formed ensemble, Masonry is a tempestuous player looming over Atlanta's free jazz and improvised music scene. He's a MVP for anyone who's paying attention; the kind of player who doesn't have to show up for practice and still nail his performance every time. Masonry's thoughtful yet emotional performances pack in variety and passion, enough to transfix anyone within earshot, and his influence can be discerned not only in the work of his Best local music compatriots, but further afield via such icon musicians as Marshall Allen of the Sun Ra Arkestra, Sonny Stitt and John Coltrane. Even when he's between parts, quietly listening to the rest of the musicians on stage, waiting for his cue, Masonry is dialed into his own wavelength. He lives the music he plays, and it's his sense of intuition that guides his music and leaves an impression on his fellow performers and anyone who has gathered to take in his presence.

photo by: Joeff Davis

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Best band sticking to its guns

Biters
BITERS tirelessly chase rock stardom in a world that doesn't know how much it needs rock stars. Even when mainstream rock music had a cleaner bill of health, the journey to the top was often fast-tracked by creative and aesthetic compromises. Fortunately, Biters aren't about to take a single shortcut.more...
BITERS tirelessly chase rock stardom in a world that doesn't know how much it needs rock stars. Even when mainstream rock music had a cleaner bill of health, the journey to the top was often fast-tracked by creative and aesthetic compromises. Fortunately, Biters aren't about to take a single shortcut. The band's dedication to classic punk and rock 'n' roll sounds is steadfast, so don't expect to ever hear singer Tuk Smith rap over artificial beats. They're never ditching the denim and leather or changing hairstyles, either. Each member is too dedicated to a look, a sound and a lifestyle to never sell out. www.bitersband.com. less...

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