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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

A lot of a cappella: Yale, Alliance performances coming up

Out of the Blue performed at Congregation Etz Chaim last weekend. They perform again tonight. AJC/Elissa Eubanks

Out of the Blue performed at Congregation Etz Chaim in Marietta, and at Woodward Academy tonight. AJC/Elissa Eubanks

Straight-up, there’s an awful lot of a cappella going on lately. I can’t explain this, but I like it. I’ve been a bit entranced by it since hearing a UGA group, With Someone Else’s Money, do their version of a Ben Folds/Regina Spektor duet.

Aside from Folds’ recent University A Cappella album, there’s NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” and more shows coming up locally. Two Yale University a cappella groups perform in Atlanta this week, and you’ll see yet more singers performing before “Avenue X” shows at Alliance Theatre this month.

AJCer Lynn Peiser wrote a bit about the local shows in “Guided by voices: A cappella music grows beyond campus borders“:

Yale, being a breeding ground for collegiate all-vocal groups, is home to the oldest group, The Whiffenpoofs, who first sang their now-famous ode to Louis Linder, the owner of Mory’s Temple Bar in New Haven, Conn., in January …

Continue reading A lot of a cappella: Yale, Alliance performances coming up »

New concert series, ‘Eddie and Agnes,’ to launch in 2010

UPDATE 12/18: Here’s the official announcement from Agnes Scott College, and a blog post (plus a beautiful logo!) from Daren Wang.

“Eddie and Agnes,” a new Decatur concert series expected to be announced this week, will offer audiences  the size and acoustics of Presser Hall at Agnes Scott College and the talent-booking skills of local music man Eddie Owen.

No artists or dates have been announced yet, but organizers hope to have the first show booked for February and to follow up with 10 to 15 more shows throughout the year. At 800 seats, Presser Hall is roughly the size of venues like Variety Playhouse, but expect these shows to feel more like Decatur, less like Little Five Points.

“Eddie and Agnes” director Daren Wang, who is also the AJC Decatur Book Festival co-founder, said they discovered a great model for local entertainment with the Eudora Welty-inspired show by Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kate Campbell, Caroline Herring and Claire Holley during the 2009 festival. Tickets …

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Hear young Georgia musicians ‘From the Top’ this weekend


Flautist Hally Davidson, from McDonough, and pianist Bryan Anderson, from Stockbridge, rehearsed before appearing on NPR's "From the Top," at Emory University in November. AJC/Jason Getz

I’m going to post about last night’s “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” show at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre later today, but as it turns out, Atlanta is kind of a public radio darling this weekend. Local musicians that performed at a live recording of “From the Top” last month will show up on the airwaves this weekend, too.

Those of you who attended the show already know what’s coming from the young performers on stage. For the rest of us, AJCer Bo Emerson wrote this story about how they managed to fit “prodigy” into their schedules. The story appeared in Sunday’s AJC, but hasn’t yet appeared online.

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in performances by local youth orchestras, keep an eye on the calendar listings. There are several holiday concerts coming up!

Till the, here it …

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Georgia Music Hall of Fame: staying open, and in Macon


Image courtesy the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

Despite budget cuts, huge expenses and fewer-than-expected visitors, the Georgia Music Hall of Fame will stay open, and stay right where it is.

The Music Hall faced the possibility of closing; it never brought in as much money as expected and the state could no longer afford to cover its expenses. Today was the deadline to raise $225,000 to keep the doors open. They’ve raised $139,000 and made cuts to more than make up the rest, AJCer Howard Pousner reports.

Although some suggested moving the Hall to Atlanta, where attendance would likely be greater, the public and private support holds them to Macon, said Jim Gillis, chairman of the state hall of fame authority.

From Howard’s article:

“We’ve seen a lot of people talk about trying to move the hall to Atlanta, and while that would most likely lead to some larger attendance numbers, we feel the overall cost of moving and then raising money to operate [would be greater] than raising …

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Chelsea Lynn LaBate wins Eddie’s Attic Open Mic Shootout


That's the winner: Chelsea Lynn LaBate. Forgive my grainy, far-away photos. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

After nearly five hours of acoustic singer-songwriter performances, there were just two acts left standing at the Eddie’s Attic Bi-annual Open Mic Shootout: Chelsea Lynn LaBate and The Honey Dewdrops.

As one of seven judges for Friday night’s songwriting competition, I’d love to write you a tale of competition and suspense, but this was kind of a quintessential Decatur night: acoustic music, smoke-free food and drink, black curtains and holiday lights, unfailingly polite, appreciative applause. Eddie’s Attic is like the public radio of music venues. It’s fun, smart and ends with hug, but any adrenaline belongs to those behind the microphones.

Each of the 23 acts has a remarkable talent, whether for writing songs, singing them, playing or performing them. That’s what got them through the Monday Open Mic competition and onto the Shootout stage. What changes this competition is …

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See you at Eddie’s Attic Open Mic Shootout November 27


Eddie's Attic has helped launch the careers of performers like the Indigo Girls. It could happen again Friday at the Decatur venue's Open Mic Shootout. AJC file photo

It’s time again for the twice-per-year Open Mic Shootout at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur. More than 20 performers, one song, head-to-head competition, single-round eliminations.

They’re competing for $1,000, but perhaps moreso, the mojo. Eddie’s Attic has helped to launch a lot of music careers, but past winners of this competition include Jennifer Nettles, John Mayer, Clay Cook and Shawn Mullins.

I’ll be among the judges this year, so make sure to come say hi.

Here’s a list of most of the performers:

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Should the Georgia Music Hall of Fame move to Atlanta?

Today was the deadline for the Georgia Music Hall of Fame to have raised $225,000 or close its doors.

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Inside the Music Hall of Fame in 1996, when it opened. AJC file photo

The Macon museum will stay open for now — the deadline to raise money and plan for the future was extended to Dec. 2, when the state board that oversees the hall was rescheduled to meet.

Executive director Lisa Love said in an AJC interview that she’s “very positive,” but didn’t say how much money has been raised.

There’s a lot of  of energy going into keeping the museum open, from benefit concerts to dog treat sales, and to keeping the hall in Macon. An Allman Brothers museum set to open in December could increase visits, and a proposed hotel-motel tax in Bibb County would go toward the hall and other Macon attractions.

But none of this has stopped talk of moving the museum to Atlanta.

Should the Georgia Music Hall of Fame move to Atlanta?

  • No! Leave it in Macon.
  • Yes! It’ll be better off in …

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Blind Willie biographer travelin’ around Georgia this month

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Blind Willie McTell. File photo

In my weekly calendar combing, I noticed author Michael Gray popping up all over Atlanta, and I now see why: he wrote a new biography of Blind Willie McTell. More importantly, it’s the only full Blind Willie biography out there.

If you’re not into old bluesmen, you might still know this one as a Georgia native, as the namesake for the Virginia Highland club, Blind Willie’s, the fellow in the dedication on The White Stripes’ second album, “De Stijl,” or an entry in the New Georgia Encyclopedia.

Now that Gray’s book, “Hand Me My Travelin’ Shoes: In Search of Blind Willie McTell,” is out, here’s a nice story in Creative Loafing, “Retracing Blind Willie’s Blues,” and another from the AJC by Bob Townsend.

Alas, parts of Bob’s story didn’t make it online, and that’s no fun for anybody, so here you are — his interview with biographer Gray, other perspectives on Blind Willie and a list of events where you can meet the author.

All this info was …

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Eyedrum revitalized: new leadership, more community support, planned capital campaign, maybe a new space


A dance-a-thon at Eyedrum on Saturday night drew the late-night crowd. Things are looking up for the non-profit arts space. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

Less than three months since Eyedrum put out the message that financial trouble could force it to close, the non-profit gallery and community arts center is safe through the end of the year  — and making major changes to the organization. There’s a new director, new board members and they’ll vote next week whether to move to a new space. Board chairman Allen Welty-Green said they expect to launch a capital campaign in coming weeks, too.


Cindy Brannon and Sara Nesselbush checked out the artwork at the Eyedrum Dance-a-thon. AJC

July was a dark time for the 11-year-old organization. It remained debt-free and volunteer-run, but booking and donations were down and utility and rent costs were adding up. Board members were exhausted, the 6-000 square foot space too expensive, and alternative spaces too much work to fix. “The stress of …

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PHOTOS: Girls Rock Camp bands play the East Atlanta Strut


Julia Denniss, 12, and Leslie Lang, 13, are members of Quothe the Canary, a Girl Rock Camp band. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

The East Atlanta Strut was a soggy show this year with small crowds huddled under umbrellas. The mid-day exception was inside Earthshaking Music, where bands from Girls Rock Camp played a 45-minute set in front of a standing-room only audience.


Natalie Spruell, 13, sings for the band 500. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

I wrote about Girls Rock Camp Atlanta this summer, when the not-for-profit day camp held its week-long session.

The camp teaches girls the history of women in rock, basic music skills and what it means to be in a band. Some girls have had enough by the time camp closes. Even if they loved it, the rock star life isn’t for everybody.

But some of those bands stayed together, brought in new members, wrote new songs, took lessons on their instruments, continued to practice together.

I didn’t have a microphone on me, but they sounded great. Here, at least, is a …

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