After Dark

There isn’t just one Atlanta music scene — there are many. You can find a few music venues that cater to your tastes, catch a show you know you’ll like, and then bounce into similarly themed bars and clubs without exploring anything outside your comfort zone. But that would be only a sliver of what the city offers.

Nationally, we’re known for hip-hop. The city creates new stars like the MTV-dominating Yung Joc, supports the albums and movies of established artists such as T.I. and OutKast, and still manages to launch snap music on an unsuspecting world. Occasionally, a rock act or two pops into national awareness — among them are longtime producer Butch Walker and rising emo group Cartel. But that’s not as common.

None of those successes epitomize Atlanta completely. No one act ever will: There’s too much to encompass. We have a Grammy-winning symphony. And we have labels like Arc the Finger, which signs hip-hop artists who oppose the blingin’-dope-boy image Atlanta helped create. We have legions of homegrown indie-rock bands that gig just about every night of the week, blues bands with years-long residencies, electronic artists more famous abroad than in their hometown, and growing Caribbean and Hispanic communities with unique spins on Atlanta’s customs and their own. Then, of course, there’s the soul scene, the drum and bass soldiers, the househeads, the rockabillies, and, well, you get the idea.

-— Heather Kuldell

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