A new era of nightlife has arrived in Atlanta, but it didn't happen overnight. Over the last several years, the city has redefined itself as a vibrant place where traditional, trendy, experimental, edgy, and exotic sounds collide. Case in point: Edgewood Avenue. In the last five years, the revitalized stretch of street near the corner of Boulevard has become well established as Atlanta's nightlife vanguard. Thanks to newer venues such as Erosol/Department Store and older ones such as Church and the Sound Table that helped start the nightlife renaissance here, you can find hip-hop, EDM, rock 'n' roll, Caribbean rhythms, house music, karaoke, or a marching band full of tubas any night of the week.
On Buford Highway, drag gets the dinner theater treatment at Lips Atlanta. Behind the establishment's unassuming exterior, lavish costumes, over-the-top interior design, and some of the region's best performers make for one of the city's most electric drag productions.
Exceptional musicianship revealed itself in 2014 through the likes of burgeoning songwriter Eliot Bronson, indie rockers Warehouse, marimba player Chris Childs, and dozens of other fresh faces. At the same time, Atlanta legacy acts such as Mastodon and Black Lips rolled out stellar albums. Even the almighty OutKast returned to the stage after spending more than a decade in limbo. Seeing each of these long-running ATL ambassadors return for a strong year serves as a reminder of just how deep our city's roots run.
The A3C hip-hop festival's 10th year looks to be its biggest yet. The metal scene continues grinding along as Hellgoat trolls the depths of demonic riffage. And Dasher's post-punk/hardcore dirge has continued to draw national attention. For this year's Best of Atlanta issue, we went backstage for an insider's look at some of the winners. It's easy to get caught up in the image that Young Thug brings to the covers of magazines such as Complex and the Fader. But he wouldn't be the cultural enigma he is if not for the contributions of his cohorts and producers Dun Deal, TM88, and Southside.
Sometimes, witnessing the process of what goes on behind the curtain is just as important as seeing it all unfold for a live audience. As our man Fort Knox says any time he steps onto a stage to host a hip-hop event, "It's gonna be HEAVEE, HEAVEE HEAVEE!"
— Chad Radford, Music Editor
"Our Streets" by Stokeswood
Kevin Scott's Jam Session
Connor Christian & Southern Gothic
Kebbi Williams and The Wolfpack
Connor Christian & Southern Gothic's New Hometown AND Levi Lowrey's self-titled album
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
"Our Streets" by Stokeswood
In June, MASTODON released its sixth album, Once More ’Round the Sun. It arrived as a slab of hooky hard rock and immediately became the band’s highest charting record yet, peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard 200. True metal heads are quick to eat their own. It’s been a delicate balancing act formore...
In June, MASTODON released its sixth album, Once More ’Round the Sun. It arrived as a slab of hooky hard rock and immediately became the band’s highest charting record yet, peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard 200. True metal heads are quick to eat their own. It’s been a delicate balancing act for the band to craft those tangled and monstrous riffs that keep longtime fans headbanging, while pushing the group further toward commercial success. The 11 songs on Once More ’Round the Sun hit the sweet spot. Credibility on both fronts comes thundering in on such sleek, stately, but still brutally skull-crushing songs such as “Tread Lightly,” “High Road,” and “Diamond in the Witch House.” Mastodon’s fusion of the prog/sludge perfection of such past victories as Leviathan (2004) and Blood Mountain (2006) constrict around tempered pop-metal the group brought with Crack the Skye (2009) and The Hunter (2011). The group’s endless touring schedule has left a deep impact. Once More ’Round the Sun resonates with the same almighty roar that catapulted these mammoth rockers far out into the cosmos. www.mastodonrocks.com.
DASHER is still a bit of a homegrown secret, but that shouldn’t last long. Dasher made its vinyl debut in May to rave reviews with the Die Slaughterhaus 7-inch “Go Rambo” b/w “Time Flys.” Shortly after, the band joined local lady punks the Coathangers on Suicide Squeeze Records’ roster. Themore...
DASHER is still a bit of a homegrown secret, but that shouldn’t last long. Dasher made its vinyl debut in May to rave reviews with the Die Slaughterhaus 7-inch “Go Rambo” b/w “Time Flys.” Shortly after, the band joined local lady punks the Coathangers on Suicide Squeeze Records’ roster. The group’s dark and driving sound is a hybrid of post-punk and hardcore. Singer, principal songwriter, and drummer Kylee Kimbrough enabled the band’s ascent when she set a permanent lineup for the group with guitarist Kelly Stroup (Manic) and bassist David Michaud (Uniform). The band adapts to any noisy, gnarly show by laying waste to everything in earshot. dasher2.bandcamp.com.
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