It's been a tough month for Atlanta's music scene. By now, many of you have heard about the Tues., Jan. 16, raid by the Morrow Police Department and the Clayton County Sheriff's Office on the Aphilliates Music Group's offices, and the arrest of DJ Drama and Don Cannon. The bust, according to Morrow Police Chief Jeff Baker, netted 81,000 CDs (or "mixtapes" -- which Baker estimates to be worth more than $1 million), four vehicles and studio equipment.
The extraordinary action resulted from coordination between Morrow, Clayton County and Fulton County law enforcement officials and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). They allege that the Aphilliates' CDs were illegal mixtapes filled with copyrighted material. (Drama and Don Cannon will be formally charged in Fulton County.)
No one from the Aphilliates camp is talking. Orlando McGhee, who runs the company with Drama, Cannon and third Aphilliate DJ Sense says, "We can't make any comments at this time." For more information about the Aphilliates raid, visit Creative Loafing's Bad Habits blog at www.clbadhabits.com.
HELLO, GOODBYE: Satellite Records is closing its doors on Sunday, Jan. 28. For the past decade, the Little Five Points storefront was a meeting ground for local DJs and electronic music fans who soaked up the latest jungle, techno, house and breakbeat sounds. Now, owner Brett Abramson will convert the mostly vinyl shop into an online record store and change its name to Propel Records. Its new home address is www.propelrecords.com.
On Friday, Jan. 26, Satellite Records will throw a party at Fever. Abramson (who produces tracks as Numinous) says he, Jonathan Allyn and other DJs who once worked at the store will helm the turntable decks that night. Despite Propel Records' launch, it will be a bittersweet affair.
THE 585 UPDATE: Weeks after Atlanta police closed its doors on Jan. 6, the fate of the 585 Music Hall is still unresolved.
In an e-mail, Matthew Vetter clarifies that his partners, co-owners Deke Spears and Steven Marchi, were improperly arrested that night. "The owners were arrested for selling alcohol without a license. However, no alcohol of any kind was being sold," he writes, noting that they simply gave out free beer to audience members.
It's unknown if the 585 will reopen. "The 585 Music Hall was shut down for operating without a proper business license and having a locked fire escape," Vetter writes. He adds, "The charge to get into the venue was solely for the bands to be paid and to help us make rent. We turned no profit." Unfortunately, the city may be hesitant to work with the owners after targeting them for not having the proper permits. Stay tuned.
AND ANOTHER ONE: Langford Sound & Stage, the recording studio and concert venue in Roswell, also closed after only several months of operation. "Sadly it has become impossible for us to continue keeping the doors open to Langford Sound and Stage. It has just become cost prohibitive," wrote the co-owners on their website, www.langfordsoundandstage.com.
In an e-mail, co-owner Lisa Langford adds that she and husband Tony plan to launch a home recording studio as well as a mobile audio and video recording facility. You can visit www.mti-music.com for further details.
CD RELEASES: Lots of CD release parties this week. Acoustic rock band Blake Rainey & his Demons celebrates The Dangerous Summer on Thurs., Jan. 25, at the Earl. Day Mars Ray and the Bouldercrest Singing Group open. ... Melodic rock group Connor Christian & the Morning Star Revival introduces A Southern Gothic on Fri., Jan. 26, at Smith's Olde Bar. Big City Sunrise and the Beggars' Guild open. ... Athens' Southern rockers Tishamingo bring The Point on Sat., Jan. 27, at Variety Playhouse. Sun Domingo kicks things off. ... Dreamy popsters Warm In The Wake give Gold Dust Trail on Sat., Jan. 27, at the Star Bar. Silver Lakes opens. ... Awkwardly named band Y-O-U brings Flashlights on Sat., Jan. 27, at Smith's Olde Bar. Trances Arc and Clay Cook start it up.