Founder Bruce Pavitt The business of starting the label that signed Nirvana, and what heâ€™d do differently today.
Atlanta Chamber Music Fest
The Athens Band
Fleetwood Mac Writing & Revisions
Make studio time count Album/Film Reviews Alzheimerâ€™s Music Fest
Great poems about male / female crap
Sub Pop Records
/ index /
/staff/ Ellen Eldridge Russell Eldridge Victor Schwartzman David Feltman Rose Riot Danielle Boise
Editor in Chief Music Editor Poetry Editor Editor, staff writer
Senior photographer, writer
Get feedback: author exchange......................................... 3
Senior photographer, writer
Interview with “Experiencing Nirvana” book, founder of Sub Pop Records: Bruce Pavitt............................................ 4
Danielle Boise, Amanda Dixon, Andrew Dugan, Ellen Eldridge, Russell Eldridge, David Feltman, Cyan Jenkins, M.C. Misiolek, Amy O’Dell, Turner Photography, Victor Schwartzman, Vince Zangaro
Pre-production tips to maximize studio time..................8 Comic by Cyan Jenkins: “The Creative Process”.............. 9 Alzheimer’s Music Fest July 28...........................................10 Revision and the craft of writing...................................... 11 In-depth review of “It Broke Anyway” poetry................ 13 Atlanta Chamber Music Fest July 11-13..........................16 The Athens Band: All Grown Up....................................... 18
REVIEWS Fleetwood Mac live at Philips Arena.............................. .22 Queens of the Stone Age: ...Like Clockwork.................. 23 Megadeth: Super Collider album review.......................23
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“Man of Steel” film review................................................. .24 “World War Z” film review............................................................24
Promotion for Authors: Author Exchange “Social media serves as a platform where current relationships with customers can be nurtured and new relationships can be formed.” Yet what’s the point of building relationships, creating conversation and nurturing relationships if ultimately it cannot sustain the business we run? Charity? These are the ideas behind the “author exchange” – an opportunity for authors to read each other’s work and comment on both the quality of the content as well as the opportunities for reaching a fanbase.
Have you ever read a book or a poem and thought, “This would encourage my friend going through a breakup”? Every author has an inherent way to inspire someone; seeking that wisdom and inspiration is why most people read in the first place! Sharing ideas with an author on how to encourage and reach his or her audience will also help that
writer key in to aspects that will make his or her book sell better. In the end, we create to make a living. Unless you truly are an artist who wants to work through your own pain or find a footing in the act of creating (a student) you need to start thinking not only of how to write a stellar song or ‘the
great American novel” but also of how to reach those who will be most helped by your art. If you’d like to read and provide feedback on a book in exchange for feedback on yours, contact: email@example.com
with the subject “author exchange.”
Bruce Pavitt on
and Experiencing Nirvana By Ellen Eldridge
Sub Pop co-founder Bruce Pavitt celebrates 25 years of success for Sub Pop Records, the label he founded with Jonathan Poneman and made famous by signing acts including Nirvana. The Silver Jubilee, with Mudhoney, J. Mascis and Father John Misty and more will take place free in Georgetown, Washington, on July 13.
Nirvana what it was at its height. What led you and Jonathan Poneman to quit your day jobs back on April Fool’s day in ‘88 and start the partnership for Sub Pop Records? I think for a lot of entrepreneurs, simply working a mediocre job that’s not inspiring will provide enough motivation to move forward. I believe he [Poneman] was working at Kinko’s and I was working at the Muzak Cooperation. We envisioned a life that was little more exciting. We released a few records prior, mostly out of my bedroom. We released a Green River record, which had members of Mudhoney and Pearl Jam, and we also released a Soundgarden record. The bottom line was that we were gaining some momentum and we realized there was a very healthy music scene in Seattle. You actually started more as a writer and a music fan; you had the magazine Subterranean Pop. The real root of the label came from and indie radio show called Subterranean Pop that same out of KAOS Radio in Olympia in 1979. From the show I started an Indie rock Zine in 1980 covering a lot of records that nobody else was covering. My focus was on artists from non-media centers like St, Louis, Austin or Seattle. That kind of thing. One thing led to another and the zine morphed into a cassette compilation then morphed in to a syndicated? Coming out of Seattle in the mid ‘80s and from all that came a few records and then like a lot of small businesses, we would start with one idea then move onto another. What did you and Jonathan Poneman know about marketing and business when you first opened the doors to Sub Pop?
Pavitt took some time to speak to Target Audience Magazine about not only his experience starting a label from the ground up but also about his forthcoming book “Experiencing Nirvana” that covers eight days with the true indie-level Nirvana as the band toured Europe in 1989. When this book comes out in print in October, 2013, fans will see that no band magically wakes up famous; the work has to be put in. “Experiencing Nirvana” will shine a light on the hard work all those involved put in to make
We had a good natural feel for marketing. We came up with some rather clever ideas. One of which was the single crowd. We were pretty famous for that. We encouraged people to send us money in advance for records of artist that they didn’t know who it was going end up being and that was a very successful program. So we did not go to business school per say. We were just music fans with passion for music. If you were to start a record label or something awfully similar today what kind of things would you do differently when it can to branding your label? That’s a good question. With Sub Pop our 5
initial brand had a lot to do with the reach and with Seattle. In the Internet era, I believe there’s less of an interest in the original scene and more of an interest in a gathering of people over the Internet.
very conscious of cash flow. For example, we were one of the first labels who started selling records C.O.D. direct to stores instead of working with distributors and waiting six months to get paid.
So, when you first started out with Sub Pop and the label it came to filling a need that you saw.
“Even though we didn’t have a background in marketing and business we were very creative and resourceful and we tried to watch our cash flow.”
Yes absolutely; there wasn’t really a strong records label in Seattle, so we focused on that niche. What attracted you to Nirvana and made you want to sign them? It was Kurt’s voice. When we first saw the band, the material wasn’t really good and the stage presence needed to improve, but we were very impressed with Kurt’s voice. Why did you choose to leave sub pop in 1996 after selling 49 percent to Warner Brothers? Did you leave the day to day operations or did you leave all together? I am currently on the board of advisers. I have been away from the day-to-day operations for the label for a long time. I had invested about 17 years, from 1980 to 1997, successfully working in the music industry and at the time I wanted to focus more time on being a Dad. I moved to Orcas Island Washington and just pursued a different path. To what do you actually attribute to Sub Pop’s overall success? Because there are a lot of indie labels popping up today especially with Internet radio, what aspect for the business itself could other entrepreneurs, even if they are staring an Internet radio label, what kind of attributes did Sub Pop have that contributes to its success? First of all we’re very resourceful. We started the whole label on a $20,000 dollar investment. We were 6
We also had a sincere interest and love for the music and at the time when a lot of money started flowing in there were a lot of business and marketing majors that wanted to jump in on the band wagon, but they didn’t necessarily have a feel for music. You have to have a passion for music and be resourceful. Where you do you see Sub Pop Records in the future? I think their future has a lot to do with how they’re managing themselves in the present, which is that they manage to find a balance between keeping the office atmosphere an extended family. So, in essence, it’s a small indie business, but with international distribution. Finding the balance of the personality of an indie label with the clout of a major label, and as long as they continue to keep that balance they will be fine. What led to your original decision to write and release the book “Experiencing Nirvana: Grunge in Europe, 1989”? It occurred to me that a lot of people were very familiar with Kurt Cobain as an international pop icon who sold tens of millions of records, but there wasn’t as much information out there about Kurt in
the earlier days, when he was a struggling an indie rock grass roots activist, playing small clubs and touring around in a cramped van signing autographs at small indie record stores. I realized that I had the images and the story to share with people. So, I took the time out to simply share that part of Kurt’s life and how I personally observed that.
Did you take all the photos that are in the photo journal or did you compile everything? I took the photos. However, in the hard back version that’s coming out in September we will have some additional very beautiful live shots by a British photographer named Steve Double who was at the UK LangFest Show and captured some amazing pictures of Kurt and Nirvana, Tad and of Mudhoney. It’s really going to add a lot to the book.
You focused on those eight days when you and Jonathan joined the end of the six-week tour in Europe in ‘89. Do you provide other background about Kurt’s life or the band or is it just focused on those eight days? The eight days is kind of the focus, but within that there is a lot of reflection as to--for example the first time I met Kurt--the news and success of Nevermind. So, even though there’s the foundation, there’s definitely flashes of others. There’s commentary on parts of Kurt’s life. The opening aspect that I write really puts that show in context, and I think anybody reading the book will get a feel with what was happening with Sub Pop in the early years as well as Nirvana and the other groups. Do you think that this book would be beneficial for not only fans of Nirvana and the music but also to struggling indie bands and possibly indie labels? Yeah, absolutely. That’s without question. Just getting a feel for what it’s like to be working at the grass roots level. Some things still haven’t changed. What it’s like to get out there and what is that feel. I can really imagine a person at 16 or 17 wanting to start a band and this books serves as council to help envision what that might look like.
more exclusive live shots.
Mine are more of a paparazzi style: what it’s like backstage, what it’s like on the road and Steve’s photos are more professional and will be
Since you basically wrote this more or less as an independent author, how did you decide to initially release it on iTunes, and then how did you connect to Bazillion Books for the upcoming print release? I met someone from Apple, folks at Sub Pop, and they were really promoting this new software that I felt was very elegant, visionary and interactive, and it’s really fun. I thought that would be kind of a progressive way to introduce the material once that was released then we got a call from Bazillion Books and they offered to release it as a hard back edition. I also wanted to mention that we’re in the process of releasing an e-book through amazon for Kindle. [Thie Kindle version is available at time of publication].
Getting More Bang For Your Buck: How to Use Pre-Production to Save Money and Maximize Studio Time By Andrew Dugan
last summer. Once we added each member’s parts to the songs and made temporary structures, we As a young band looking to record our debut EP, the rehearsed them for weeks to a metronome, making it members of DuCru knew we had to be strategic in how comfortable for the metronome to be a part of perwe spent our time and money, especially when it came forming the songs. Writing the vocals immediately was not important to us; as to studio time. By putlong as the music was ting our focus on the “Because of our planning, rehearsal and pre-production of the solid and interesting, album within our own patience, we walked out of the studio with the we knew the vocals would seat themselves space, we developed ” best sounding record any of us has ever made easily when the time a scheme that helped was right. us quickly track the record in the studio, As soon as the songs were complete and felt whole, we allowing us the time to perfect the album, ultimately picked the six we believed represented the sound we maximizing the value of our studio time—and even wanted for the record. We recorded the songs live durimpressing our sound engineer. ing the entire process of writing and rehearsing, and once we thought they were ready, we multi-tracked I started by writing the rough foundation for them. A Language Apart and brought the ideas to the band
Our next step was to arrange the tracking of the album by taking our six chosen songs and placing them in the order the listener would hear them. We played them in all different orders to find the best flow for the album. Then, we wrote all the vocals as a group, each member suggesting different melodies, harmonies and lyrics for the songs.
When we initially played the songs for our sound engineer, Matt Bittman (At The Drive-In, The Mars Volta, Bosnian Rainbows), we would tell him what we thought the tones should roughly sound like and built from that. All of the pre-production we put so much effort into made it feel natural and easy to track the songs in the studio, saving us an immense amount of time and money.
We spent 14 hours a day rehearsing the entire recording process on our own. Our practice space was taken over by sheets with various notes of tones, mic placement and effects we used in each recording. This collaboration made for a good vibe amongst the band, getting everyone on the same page with each otherâ€™s tone, playing and vision of the album. Making time to think out the tones for your records is extremely helpful to save time in the long run.
Our pre-production also gave us extra time to experiment with perfecting tones and mic placement during the recording process instead of having to waste time figuring out like what the background vocals in the chorus should sound like, or if that wah pedal in that one part is really what we wanted.
By the time the album was done that winter, we had about 10 recordings of each song. We showed up to the studio with the whole album roughly recorded, and had pre-production album sheets containing photos of all the tones we used in our practice space. Our first day in the studio ended up being extremely productive, as we were able to track all of the drums, bass and scratch guitar for each song, along with being able to track full guitars and vocal to the first song. Nearly every track on the record was done in the first or second take because of the vision we had already set out.
Because of our planning, rehearsal and patience, we walked out of the studio with the best sounding record any of us have ever made. We left with absolutely no regrets on the recordings and enough extra cash to pay for the printing of the album to vinyl, making our 14-hour rehearsal days well worth it. DuCru recorded their debut EP, A Language Apart, at Wright Way Studios in Baltimore, MD. A Language Apart is now available for download here: http://ducru.bandcamp.com/album/a-language-apart www.ducru.bandcamp.com
For about two years, Alzheimer’s Music Fest has been a focus and something I have wanted to accomplish in Georgia and on a regional level. At 63, my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Now at 71, we have found a certain kind of happiness that I would like to spread to others that are afraid to take care of a loved one with his condition at home. I continuously see in younger generations and even my own, elders being treated as a nuisance and obligation.
on a weekly basis. It amazes me how many people do not realize that Medicare, Medicade, and insurance companies do not relieve you financially in any way when it comes to extended home care. The Alzheimer’s Music Fest’s main objective is to raise money for those taking care of their loved ones at home effected by this debilitating disease.
This truly worries me. My main focus in starting this event was to bring my two greatest passions, music and Alzheimer’s awareness, together. So I decided to partner up with Kelleye Troup, Gary Kitchen (Laona M. Kitchen Foundation), 120 Music Hall and Tavern, and many local musicians and businesses to shout from the top of my lungs that we should not throw away our elders, but assume responsibility as they did upon many of us.
Alzheimer’s Awareness is a must and bringing community, businesses and music together will shine light on caregivers and their financial challenges that need to be more of a focus. We will be asking for sponsors, financial donations, and item donations to contribute to Silent Auctions, raffles ect. We have partnered up with 120 Music Hall and Tavern, Laona M. Kitchen Foundation and many local music acts to insure there will be no overhead. This will ensure that all money raised will go to the family with caregiver needs.
With the money we raise here, my hope is to make that a little easier financially so caregivers can afford home healthcare and have time to recharge their batteries
PLEASE SUPPORT THIS OVERLOOKED IMPORTANT CAUSE! By Vince Zangaro
MEGASCRIBE A discussion on the craft of writing
By M.C. Misiolek
Revisions, Revisions, Revisions!
voluted. Characters get too chatty and pull away from each other. The timing and natural cadence of the story slows down, causing the action sequences to have less impact. The quest for total perfection is great if you’re writing a textbook, even a requirement, but not always when you’re writing about people.
It’s amazing how many revisions a writer will make over the life of any given project. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ripped apart a screenplay, for one reason or another, since I got it in my head I could write a coherent storyline someone would actually pay for! Usually, you end up with a much better product, but like anything else, there’s a downside – it’s about knowing when to stop. Sure, you can always find better and better ways to tell a good story, polish your grammar and syntax, or boil everything down to a more perfect betrayal of some weakness in the human condition. The latter point being what as good as your talent and creativity writing is all about, really – isn’t it? as a writer can make it. Your baby belongs to the world now, sink or swim. If you expect to make a
career out of writing,
or just want to satisfy a compulsion to get all those ideas floating around in your head out on paper, you need to avoid the trap of making one single project your life’s work.
Every time you do a revision you end up with a slightly different story. At some point during the development of every project you have to lock it down and face the fact that it’s
A story always sounds better when the narrative is written in the voice of its characters; even if the grammar and syntax is wrong.
When Samuel Clemens wrote his great masterpiece The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, he was soundly trounced by his contemporaries in the trades of the day. They thought it was the worst piece of garbage ever written and gleefully pointed out every error in grammar, punctuation and creative spelling they could find. They just Usually the best stories have didn’t get it, but Samuel Clemens simple linear A to B plotlines where the real meat and potatoes of knew his audience, and they got it. everything lies in the chemistry be- So don’t let the mechanics of writing constrain your writing style. If you tween well defined characters. get too fixated on crossing every “T” It’s the tension and raw human emo- and dotting every “I” you’ll lose the tion bleeding through a compelling intimacy of your audience. action oriented narrative that most Now, you would think after a few readers value; no matter what the projects a writer would know when genre. The simpler the plotline the easier it is to see when a project has enough is enough when it comes to been revised to death – once you revisions, but that’s not always the get the hang of it. Plotlines get con- case. A writer can often spot deficiencies in the direction a project has taken in other peoples work, but 11
not in his or her own. That’s why God created editors.
ally going on around them that ties the two characters together.
So you can imagine my dismay when it was brought to my attention by a reader that a character in my first novella (THE GUNNER’S DAUGHTER) was a little “soft,” which is a code word for an undeveloped character.
In the end, the solution to the problem with Major Brownsby turned out to be very simple. All I had to do was let Brownsby be Brownsby. It was through the voice of the character himself speaking directly to the reader in the dialogue that gave him the weight he needed in He elaborated further by informing me the appear- the overall context of the story. ance of the character in question – Major Brownsby – seemed unnatural to him. His comings and goings as Of course it required the creation of two extra throw described within the narrative led him to believe the away characters that didn’t exist before the revision. So Major was actually a ghost. now we’ve come full circle. I can see how a reader could come to that conclusion. The Gunner’s Daughter was originally written as a screenplay many years ago, and was only recently converted into a novella for the Amazon Ebook market.
Do I start another revision to flesh out the new characters? When is enough, enough? I couldn’t tell you. That’s up to you to decide. I know I’m done with this project. It’s time for me to move on. Did I really fix the Brownsby problem? You be the judge.
A screenplay is very different from a book. You have about 120 pages to come up with a complete story If you’re interested in a historical satire blending rowith all the characters fully developed, the dialogue, mance and swashbuckling adventure, The Gunner’s and all the action – both passive and active – complete- Daughter should be on your reading list: ly blocked out within a few lines of narrative. It’s like an outline and requires a whole different toolkit. You even http://amzn.to/12nSbqD read it differently than you would a book. In a screenplay less is more. In a book more is more. Major Brownsby is a very dashing and colorful character in the story, so I can also see how the reader would want to see him fleshed out more. The Gunner’s Daughter had been downloaded over six-hundred times, so a revision was a must. I couldn’t just leave it. Okay, let’s begin with a little background on the mechanics of how the character was constructed. First off, Major Brownsby is not a ghost. There are no supernatural elements of any kind, either in the novella or the screenplay version. The Major is a conscript, presented to the reader in the form of a supporting character. His purpose is to provide the muscle, so the much older main character – Reverend Blackburn – can maintain his control over the town of Falconburg, which is slowly degrading into complete moral and social collapse. The Major is very direct, so in a sense, he also represents an unrestrained version of Reverend Blackburn as a young man. It’s the short-hand no-nonsense understanding of what is re12
Great poems about male-female crap: April Michelle Bratten
By Victor Schwartzman
gether, showing the four stages in a male-female relationship. We start with different body views between the genders, leading to that wonderful first kiss, to a hand job, to the bliss of marriage. Yes, a male-female relationship in four poems! The poems are from “It Broke Anyway,” published by NeoPoiesis Press: www.neopoiesispress.com. More of her poetry is at www.aprilmbratten.blogspot.com There will be a discussion after the fourth poem, and questions you may spend your lifetime trying to answer. Our Quadrilogy on male-female relationships starts with a good place: Balls
Yes: April Michelle Bratten writes great poems about the everyday male-female crap we all shovel (it’s also the same crap for other orientations, nobody escapes.) There are plenty of poems about this stuff, so what makes Bratten’s worth your time? Poetry has always been one of the most personalized of the creative writing forms. It was the dominant form in print for centuries. However, with the introduction of fiction, poetry’s mainstream glory days faded until now, when we mostly read about the poet’s hangovers and heartbreaks, with the occasional side trip into how awful it is trying to get published. Not all poetry is like that, of course--just the stuff that still sells. C’mon, you know it’s true. Mainstream poetry is either wallpaper (Oh! Look at that flower! or Oh! Look at how great I write!). But then there’s April Michelle Bratten. Let’s do a Human Relationship Quadrilogy from four of her poems. They are separate poems but work real good to-
I know a thing or two about balls. There are men who pretend to have them, filling their little flaps with jelly. There are men who actually hate their own, folding them in their laps like paper. There are men who will not leave them alone, puffing, feeling, tugging at skin and hair. I tell them all, it is just flesh. I once touched a set that was as rough as sandpaper. It confused me. I thought all manhood was made to slide, easy velvet, down a woman's hardened skin. She thinks men are soft and slide down the woman’s skin and make her happy. Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? 13
Women aren’t supposed to have a ‘hardened skin’. And what is supposed to be the center of a man’s universe, is ‘just flesh’ to her.
uncontainable lust for both of them to take such a risk. But while froggy-boy sticks his tongue down her throat, she thinks about Hurricane Hugo. It’s a tidy metaphor, the natural force of lust from him invadFar from being a source of wonder, ing her, reminding her of the natural forces which deBratten thinks men are kind of ridiculous and don’t stroyed her home and created an unpredictable and know what to do with their balls—fiddle with them, more difficult future. play with them, stuff them with kumquats. It’s all the opposite of what most men assume most women Will the sexual relations this kiss has begun lead our think. Isn’t she supposed to go Gaga over his man- Princess to the castle or at least a lovely home in the hood’? Instead, the balls she mentions touching suburbs, or will she end up in a small, harsh place, a are‘rough as sandpaper.’ When those balls rub against possibly dangerous place. The lust is all on his side. a woman’s thighs, they’ll hurt. She lets him do it. Why? Because it was sloppy, Balls are something to avoid! immature, an impulse. This girl is light years ahead of froggy-boy. As soon as she started she probably The poet probably wonders when men will ever grow wondered when Mr. Tongue would finish and how up (keep waiting honey.) Yet connecting up is part she could get rid of him. of life’s something or other. So let’s work our way up from his balls. It’s time for more than looking. From our first fast kiss, we all eventually move from Set your phasers on stun, it’s time for the First the mouth to other body parts: Contact between two alien species: The hand job First Kiss as I held his penis in my spit slicked hand Sloppily, immaturely, I thought about how I forgot in front of a pristine mirror to buy more lotion in the men's bathroom of my Baptist church, at the store today I let that froggy-boy kiss me. which made me remember I remember the subtle I ought to buy new look of bewilderment in my eyes windshield wipers as I clutched the wet sink because it's so hard to drive and allowed him to dive at me in a blizzard with tongue and springy eye. with broken ones He did it without grace, like last month without the dented smell when I had to pull over of a flower in my pocket. on the highway As he groped the front of my jeans, like a scared deer I thought about that summer to peel the ice off Hurricane Hugo destroyed my family's of those black rubber blades townhouse in Charleston. and how that police car We had to drag our belongings slowed down through the grass and mud but did not stop to a new place, as it passed me smaller, ruder, shooting a sharp rain of snow and somehow considerably more unstable in my freshly washed hair and maybe I should get The guy doubtless thinks he’s a stud. a new shampoo To her, he’s froggy-boy. because the one They’re in church (Baptist, no less, it couldn’t be more I have been using lately strict.) Worse, they’re in the men’s room. Many con- just hasn't been getting the job done. ventions are being defied. It should be a moment of 14 July 2013
The woman knows what he expects and gives him what he wants. If she is in another dimension, the very definition of “gets what he wants” means he doesn’t care. She is the opposite of aroused, but to him all that is important are his balls, his tongue and now his cock. She could be shining his shoes for all it matters to her (and which would be servile enough for him.) What does she get out of it, apart from come out of his penis getting all over everything, and guess who will have to clean up? She’s working. The payment is below minimum wage. In fact, there is no indication she gets anything except possible repetitive strain injuries. There must be fringe benefits, maybe dental. Having run around the bases, it’s time to come on home plate (so to speak.) We’re ready now for the big deal, which relationship-wise is a lifetime of togetherness and bliss (SPOILER ALERT: you guessed it): Marriage We married in broad daylight in front of the looking-trees and under the watchful sun and right next to the baby purple flowers that seemed to open their heads and in the eye-line of everyone else all dressed in black with big dramatic hats we married and then we drank too much at the reception, wherein I locked myself in the bathroom like a prisoner in black and white stripes like an infant butterfly without a cocoon and when you coaxed me out we fucked on the white bed my lace knitted lingerie wrinkled and in disrepair while you held my knees above my head and said you were so glad I was your wife then you dug your nails in deep into the meat of my thighs and I cried from what I said was only a flesh wound but really it was much more than that.
The wedding night is a disaster. The marriage won’t be much better. Divorce will soon follow--at least, one hopes so. They might have married during broad daylight, with the bright sun shining. The opening lines are almost romantic, even. But that’s the ceremony, what’s done for show. The reality arrives soon after. Upstairs, after the ceremony, when he hikes her legs over her head and starts humping. Probably dry humping. And digging his nails in deep until she cries. Which brings us around to the centuries-old point that women and men live on the same planet but in different worlds. What is new in Bratten’s poems is her no-nonsense voice that is shorn of pretension, self-involvement or condescension. She manages to be honest without being soppy, revelatory for your own life without self-conscious bleeding that is irrelevant. No affectation, no posing, no knowing winks. No look-athow-great-I-write poetry. It is spare on the page (note the one word lines in Balls, a great way to emphasize a point as if she was speaking out loud.) In most of today’s poetry, sexual relationships are depicted in terms either flowery romantic or bitterly melodramatic or hauntingly wistful. Given we now can see several centuries’ worth of poetry, we can also see it’s all been done before. What’s new is the individual poet’s take. Bratten’s voice, if not unique (there are other poets writing fine stuff ) is certainly way different from what’s on the bookstore shelf. It ain’t Aunt Phyllis’ poetry nor is it the poetry of Alfred Academic. Make no mistake, this stuff isn’t easy to write. It is direct and dramatic, creating a character(s) and situation in a few lines. No wasted words. And the poet remains in the background, which frankly is not easy for most poets. They want front and centre for themselves, their experiences, their style, their creativity.
Bratten’s poems do not draw attention to themselves as poems but to what the poems are about. These are not “look at me” poems, but “look at this.” 15
By Amy O’Dell Art is an essential element of any community. It and Artistic Director of ACMF) stated that “Part of the helps to define our culture and provides an outlet for idea is to introduce [the students] to something that us to share what we’re about. The more engrossed in they may not be familiar with already and stir someart our community is, the more thing inside of them that will enriched and imaginative our make them want to continue to ACMF introduces young community will be. do this kind of thing.”
students to music and
Jonathan Wright, Katie Holland We already have wonderful mustrives to stir something and Jessica Sherer understood sic teachers in our local areas this when they envisioned a way that create excellent programs inside them to make to enhance the Atlanta commuin our schools; however, somethem want to continue nity by creating a unique protimes these programs cannot gram for young musicians. In fully satisfy the more driven 2012, the three of them founded students. the Atlanta Chamber Music Festival, a three-day intensive Katie Holland (an instructor of music at UNG-Gainesseminar for middle and high school musicians. ville, instructor of bassoon at Mercer University, principal bassoon of the LaGrange Symphony, basAlthough there are chamber music festivals through- soon for Atlanta Chamber Winds, bassoon for Anon out the country, this is the only chamber music festi- Ensemble and also Executive Director of ACMF) val catered toward young musicians in Georgia. The remarked, “All of these kids are very intensely inseminar allows these students to experience cham- volved in music and so this is a place where [young ber music repertoire, which is not often taught in musicians] can meet people that feel the same they their school programs. do because they aren’t in that sort of environment every day.” Because of time limitations and a greater number of students in school classrooms, instrumental music A program like this doesn’t come easy. programs mainly focus on orchestral and band repertoire. Introducing dedicated musicians to chamber Jessica Sherer (flute teaching artist for the Atlanta music through this seminar allows the students to ex- Music Project, flutist with Anon Ensemble, piccolo/ pand the variety of repertoire they play, experience third flute for Northwest Florida Symphony, piccolo/ performing music with other advanced and dedicat- second flute for Albany Symphony, second flute for ed young musicians, and have a chance at an early LaGrange Symphony, and Director of Operations for age to enjoy the excitement and rewards of quickly ACMF) said, “It requires significant amounts of time, learning challenging music then performing it in energy, and resources. It’s definitely not something front of an audience… all of which are normal daily to do for the money, but something if you’re trying occurrences in the life of a professional musician. to leave a meaningful legacy in your community, trying to make a difference in the lives of your students, Jonathan Wright (an active freelance violinist with and trying to provide students with a really meaningTrans-Siberian, Macon, LaGrange, Valdosta, Savan- ful experience they will probably carry for the rest of nah, and Hilton Head Orchestras, teacher, contractor, their lives.” 16
Being a professional musician is already time-consuming with teaching, performing and practicing.
long but they won’t go anywhere if you’re not 150 percent invested in it, in all three categories.”
It is important to realize these stuIt is certainly a unique career that dents are the musicians that will conmany people don’t realize often re- tinue to create and/or support music quires more time than a 9-to-5 job. throughout their lives and for the fuIt is incredible that active musicians ture. and educators would invest even more time, money and energy into Special programs such as ACMF make creating this program. our community more advantageous by expanding young musicians bet“It was very rewarding and in the end, ter and into more diverse arenas in this end product is a good thing for their field therefore guaranteeing the students,” Holland said. higher quality music in our communities. By creating, being involved in, Any professional musician under- or supporting these programs, stands the importance of having outside school programs for young stua dents; however, not many will have We are the dream or commitment to begin future of music in our one.
“I think passion, vision, and motivation are the three top things you need to have if you’re going to try something like this because without them, there’s no chance,” Wright said. “You can start things like this all day
and creating a beautiful line of communication .
The Atlanta Chamber Music Festival will be held at Oglethorpe University July 11-13. Their ensemble in residence, Anon Ensemble will perform a concert on July 11th at 5:30 pm, a Faculty Showcase Recital will be presented on July 12th at 6:30 pm, and there will be a Student Recital on July 13th followed by a reception. All are open and free to the public! If you would like more information or would like to support the festival, you can visit: www.atlantachambermusicfestival.com
to the world
The Athens Band: All Grown Up By Amanda Dixon
Photo by Turner Photography
Flash back to one of The Athens Band’s very first singles, “Animals (Mama Said)” with its wild, bloodboiling, upbeat feel and its fiery lyrics. These young musicians have grown up right before our eyes, and despite the variety within their own musical portfolio, there is no mistaking the energy or the passion that The Athens Band consistently brings to the stage. 18
“I just saw, well you know, that whole youthfulness, they were just so into it,” Taylor said about interacting with the band for the first time. He was introduced to the group back in 2010 and began working with Athens after sitting in several practice sessions. “I kind of liked the fact that they really gravitated towards more of your classic rock kind of stuff,” he said. “That intrigued me.” Based out of Athens, Ga., the band made its debut in 2008. Beau Anderson, Athens’ lead guitarist, and guitarist and singer Chase Brown were its only players until they ran into the missing drummer they were searching for, Zak Smith, at the Gwinnett Guitar Center. A few years later, Granados joined the team after meeting the other members at a local music camp.
Photo by Turner Photography The four members of the group have been playing and producing music for almost five years now, but they continue to be misjudged from time to time due to their young age. Athens’ musical director and producer Steve Taylor recalled instances when the group was not granted the same respect as other bands, particularly when performing at unfamiliar locations. Nevertheless, the band enjoys disproving unfavorable first impressions. “I can definitely say the tradition in this band is being underestimated by people because of our age, for sure, which is one of my favorite things about this band,” Justin Granados, Athens’ 18-year-old bass player said. “Once in awhile, you just get that guy who hears your age, they hear your age and they just immediately, they downsize you. Then the best part is changing their minds. When they see us at that show and their jaw drops and they realize that maybe we do have something,” Granados said. Indeed, there is something fascinating about this band.
“We write our emotions. That’s all we do honestly. It’s not a game to us when we write. It’s all about what we feel.” “It used to be almost all their appeal was just their young age,” Taylor said. “When the average age [was] between 11 and 14, it was mostly a novelty thing. What I’m seeing transitioning with them now is… being able to stand on their own and basically give them skills and everything to be real players and singers.” The Athens band has matured both individually and professionally since their earlier days. “I think creatively, we’ve all kind of come to an agreement on what everyone wants to do musically, and it works that way too,” Granados said. “It works as an overall effort from everybody. Chase [Brown] is the driving force of the band, but we all give what we’re feeling to the music.” Smith agrees that each member of the band seems to be on the same page, especially when it comes to 19
songwriting and everyone has collaborated to produce genuine, sentimental lyrics. “We write our emotions,” Smith said. “That’s all we do honestly. It’s not a game to us when we write. It’s all about what we feel.”
Composing each song has required a distinct process. “We want every song to have something different about it to where it still sounds like us, but you know, you don’t get bored, Brown said. “There’s a lot of bands that you hear that, you put in their CD and every song, it
“I think right now they’re pretty much just getting onstage and playing what they rehearse and they’ve worked up and they’ve written and just kind of let everything else just sort of naturally take its course,” he said. “They’ll keep evolving and we’ll probably see
Photo by Turner Photography Athens has not quite settled on one particular sound, and Taylor described it as “evolving,” but there are clear distinctions between the songs on the first EP, Animals, and the band’s newer material.
sounds exactly the same, so we’re trying to do the opposite of that. You write softer songs and you appeal to the soft rock, Southern rock, country type of people and you write harder songs and you appeal to the metal heads. You try and do stuff that can catch everybody’s ear,” Brown said.
“Things have kind of taken on a little bit more of a Southern kind of rock edge about it, Taylor said. “[They’re] just a little bit more soul- Athens looks to bands such as ful and melodic.” REM, Guns N’ Roses and Enter the Era for inspiration, and while TayOf course, the band’s ability to cre- lor says the band is not intentionate a diverse set of songs is part of ally trying to stand out from other its appeal to fans across various musicians in the area, he believes age groups and genres. further developing their brand will come in the future. 20
more and more personal identity out of them as time goes on.” In the meantime, Taylor is helping the members of the Athens band to perfect their craft and is pushing them to continue taking private lessons. They are no strangers to putting in a lot of hours, especially when recording, and their work ethic and level of concentration impress Taylor. “I know when I was their age, one I don’t think I had near the focus that they do,” Taylor said. “They still like to cut up and have a good time, but then when we get to-
Photo by Turner Photography gether, whether it’s here at my studio or at my home or if I come to their rehearsal room, I mean when it’s time to work, they are just machines as far as just focus.” Although they have mostly stuck to performing in Athens, Atlanta and the outskirts of both cities, the band finally received the recognition it deserves at the state level as rock and country youth nominees for the 2013 Georgia Music Awards. “It’s really an exhilarating feeling to know that people care enough about what you’re doing to actually want to even nominate you for any kind of award, especially one that kind of, involves all the artists in your state,” says Brown. “There’s a lot of music in Georgia and to be picked out of everybody is, it’s a pretty great feeling.” The Athens Band plans to continue to feed its passion for music. Taylor hopes the band can travel and reach audiences internationally and fans can expect another EP in the near future. If “Animals (Mama Said)” is an indication of anything, it’s that The Athens band is a group of serious musicians that aren’t going anywhere.
“When they get on stage, they all love being on stage and they have that really good natural stage presence,” Taylor said. “I think if you team that up with just being a great player on top of that, I think that’s a really good start for a lifelong career.” www.theathensband.org
Photo and review by Danielle Boise took my breath away. Fleetwood Mac continued the set list with “Never Going Back Again,” “Without You,” “Gypsy,” “Eyes of the World,” “Gold Dust Woman,” “I’m So Afraid,” The shared history and love of mu- “Stand Back” and ended with “Go sic remained as they performed Your Own Way” before coming back These living legends gave an Earth- together so cohesively that when for the first of two encores: shattering performance that per- Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie fectly straddled the line between Nicks performed “Sara,” they shared Mick Fleetwood played an amazing electrifying and beguiling. an intimate moment by ending drum during “World Turning” bewith an endearing embrace that fore going into the crowd-induced Fleetwood Mac kicked off its nearly left some in the crowd cheering dance and sing-along of “Don’t Stop.” while others softly cried. 2.5 hour set of 23 songs and two encores with “Second Hand News” followed by the “The Chain” and Buckingham’s moment to shine A standing ovation rippled through then the band played the haunt- arose with “Big Love,” as he took the the arena with “Silver Springs” and ingly sublime “Dreams” before stage as his own and stated, “This the last song of the night, “Say demoing the new song “Sad An- next song is particularly significant Goodbye,” ended the show that trugel,” which was released April 30 on to me. It is about transition. It once ly was about the bigger picture, the their new Extended Play EP. was an ensemble piece and, look- experience. ing back at the lyrics of the song to “Rhiannon,” “Not That Funny” and where I was in 1987, I was ‘looking Every member had a moment to Mick Fleetwood’s emotional “Tusk” out for love.’ I was not looking for shine without ego or hurt; just the amped up the raw factor. Before love. This song was about the con- shared love of music that binds going into “Sisters of the Moon,” templation of alienation and now, Fleetwood Mac together, and that Stevie Nicks stated, “That song it’s about the power and impor- love is what the band shared with the audience in such a powerfully hasn’t been played on stage since tance of change.” authentic way that remained as 1981.” Nicks’ performance of “Landslide” heartwarming as truly magical to live brought tears to my eyes and watch. While watching and hearing Three years after the last tour and 35 years after the Rumours release, Fleetwood Mac glided onto the stage and took over Philips Arena in Atlanta on Monday June 10 for a nearly sold-out performance.
material that hadn’t graced the stage in several touring cycles, it was clear to see that the past had been forgiven and all ego removed.
Queens of the Stone Age
Megadeth - Super Collider
Review by David Feltman
Review by Russell Eldridge
There’s nothing “like clockwork” about the Queens of the Stone Age’s sixth album. Aside from the fact that the band’s hiatus made this the longest period between albums, there’s a grinding gears sound to the newest release that’s far from the proficient ticking of a veteran band.
Megadeth has made it past the often unlucky number 13 with its 14th album, Super Collider. The truth is, it’s typically the second album that’s bad luck for most bands, but some believe that Megadeth’s second release, Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying, is one of the band’s best. Some naysayers have already emerged concerned about the musical direction for Super Collider, but I would bet Megadeth expectedand maybe even desired this backlash.
…Like Clockwork actually opens with the sounds of something being broken before launching into the warbled and over-distorted dissonance of “Keep Your Eyes Peeled.” The whole effect is like a busted, unwound music box that is just freaking creepy when pared with Josh Homme’s extraterrestrial tenor harmonizing with Scissor Sister Jake Shears falsetto. Perhaps inspired by the collaborations of the Sound City soundtrack, Homme lists an impressive number of special guests, including: Trent Reznor, Jake Shears, Brody Dalle and Elton John. It’s notable that the creepy, warbly sound manifests the most on the tracks that feature these guests. Considering the addition of Dave Grohl back to the roster and the departure of band mates Zane Lowe and Joey Castillo, there seems to be a new, albeit alien, sound trying to emerge. There is a measure of psychedelia still ingrained in the album’s spacey riffs, but the signature desert/stoner rock that has its roots back in Homme’s Kyuss days are less evident than ever. While it’s good to see the band branching out and trying new things the desert rock element is definitely missed. In many ways …Like Clockwork feels like the band is wiping the slate clean and trying to find its voice all over again. As Homme sings on the title track, “Holding on too long is just a fear of letting go…one thing that is clear, it’s all downhill from here.” http://www.qotsa.com
Maybe because I can see what Megadeth has done for metal music, I’m hard-pressed to have anything truly negative to say. Mustaine’s musical compass for Super Collider may very well be directing him to his past influences. The spirit or essence of Alice Cooper appears on songs like “Off The Edge” and the title track, while “Built For War” most cloesly follows Megadeth’s formula for thrash metal, with a short but extremely melodic and well written solo. “Burn” starts off with a Paul Gilbert sounding solo that one might speculate is shred monster Chris Broderick’s influence. “The Blackest Crow” begins with an eerie banjo that will probably send some Megadeth fans through the roof. A younger version of me might have been caught off guard, but the current model of my musical thought thrives on hearing something different. Much of what’s considered new in today’s metal is the same as the metal I listened to as a kid, so it’s exciting when a band experiments with different sounds and tries new things. My only criticism for Super Collider is that, after listening to the album on several systems, the guitars were mixed lower than one might expect on a Megadeth record. I guess that means I will just have to turn everything up louder. http://www.megadeth.com/ 23
Film Review: “World War Z”
Film Review: “Man of Steel”
Review by David Feltman
Review by David Feltman Max Brooks’ faux oral history of the zombie apocalypse might have been turned into the greatest Ken Burns style faux documentary ever. Instead, Brad Pitt’s passion project gets subverted into a more traditional (read bland) hero’s journey. Pitt travels around the zombie-ridden globe looking for clues on how to stop the outbreak. There’s not even really a war.
Most of the film’s problems stem from being too box office minded. The PG13 rating makes “World War Z” the most bloodless zombie movie ever made. Characters only ever mention zombies biting and even when characters get impaled or have body parts lopped off, there’s not a drop of blood. Rather than being fully fleshed characters, cast members are just used as plot devices to move Pitt to the next big action set piece. The movie always places spectacle over story, leaving gaping plot holes and robbing the film of the sort of suspense in which classic zombie flicks trade. The sound design in the film is exceptional, however. The pre-recorded voice of a talking stuffed animal is used to great effect in underscoring the opening outbreak sequence. Creepy zombie croaks and the incessant fluttering of flickering fluorescent lights squeeze as much suspense as possible from the film’s cold, empty veins. Even the synthy piano score offers some retro throwback love, with the film’s central theme sounding like a cross between John Carpenter and Dario Argento. As far as the spectacle goes, some of the action sequences do deliver the goods, but a few big explosions and a good sound track aren’t enough to sustain a two-hour movie. Even the most ardent zombie fans will have a hard time staying entertained as the zombies flop around on the floor and fly through the air like crazed salmon or demon possessed dolphins. The 3D adds nothing to the experience. With so many other good zombie films out there, you may want to skip “World War Z,” stay home and watch “Dawn of the Dead” again.
Like J.J. Abram’s “Star Trek Into Darkness,” Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” is content to simply remake the most popular of the franchise’s previous films. Unlike “Star Trek,” however, “Man of Steel” only manages to diminish what made “Superman II” a fan favorite. To Snyder’s credit, “Man of Steel” does attempt a new, modern vision of the iconic comic book hero, but that vision involves stripping back Superman’s most iconic elements. The film introduces Clark Kent as a hobo wandering the earth like Bruce Banner or Caine from “Kung Fu” when he’s not playing “Deadliest Catch.” No glasses, no reporter, no Metropolis…at least not until the very end. Snyder trades in his zooming slow motion effects for shakey-cam action shots and his bleached out color palate is completely at odds with a character known for his vibrant plumage. Henry Cavill makes an excellent Superman when he’s not sporting a Wolverine beard, but the rest of the cast seems bizarrely out of place. Michael Shannon, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner may all be fine actors/actresses in their own right, but they all feel, well, alien in the film. The few good ideas in the movie, like the “illegal alien” themes and young Clark trying to control his powers and come to grips with his heritage, are only briefly presented before the comic book goofiness (like a weapon that appears to terraform the planet through the power of dubstep) takes over with deadpan seriousness. The action scenes are well staged but too few and far between in a movie where the hero doesn’t don his signature costume until an hour in. It is a relief to get a Superman movie that isn’t wall-to-wall kryptonite and Lex Luthor, but it is a shame that baddies like Darkseid and Doomsday stay on the cinematic sidelines. Sadly, for all its potential and pedigree, “Man of Steel” is just dull.