Charles Darwin was a freaking genius. Or a basehead.
Whether you subscribe to the theory of evolution or not, you gotta admit there's only one way dude could've come up with that whole monkey-to-man hypothesis. Yep, strange things can happen when you're up in the lab late at night surrounded by Bunsen burners and test tubes. And you thought Richard Pryor invented crack. Ha! Don't make me laugh.
Well, blame it on Darwin's secondhand smoke, but we were sitting around marinating on Atlanta's various music scenes – from Bankhead's club-hop to Dunwoody's garage rock – and cooked up our own little theory. Actually, we just stole Darwin's and decided to apply it to this year's Music Issue.
And what we discovered about the evolution of Atlanta music is that the future has a past – and that past is indelibly present within the creators and subcultures surrounding the city's sounds.
For instance, Atlanta's newest band is an old favorite with a new name derived from an old Beatles member. Just for that, we had to put Peter Furgiuele of Gringo Star on the cover, if nothing else. Then there's Janelle Monae, a singer whose futuristic concept album is based on a 1927 film. Considering Atlanta is the hip-hop mecca, now is the perfect time for former CL Music Editor Roni Sarig to give us a Southern hip-hop history lesson with an excerpt from his brand-spanking-new book, Third Coast. We also take a fresh look at Fabo – a cat who has been more influential than anyone in determining the current direction of ATL hip-hop, despite the fact that his creative contributions are often overshadowed by the old stereotypes heaped upon him. And when it comes to Atlanta's indie-rock scene, nothing could be more throwback than the re-emergence of 7-inch records.
Put the pieces together and you'll see why the whole world's watching (and listening to) Atlanta. Might not be as earth-shattering as Darwin's old theory. But hopefully we didn't make a monkey of ourselves in the process.
–Rodney Carmichael, music editor
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Music Issue 2007
Georgia Music Directory 2007