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While the news stations have their broadcast times and the print media have their print delays, we here at Degenerate Press are scooping them all with our new digital camera. The fire isn't even out yet, and you're hearing about it almost live!
This is a fire in progress at Penn and Ponce in Atlanta. The new Highlands on Ponce condo development is rapidly becoming the lowlands on Ponce! The development was mostly steel and wood, but apparently some construction started a small fire, that rapidly became a large fire, threatening the famed Krispy Kreme next door, and the lousy Spaghetti Factory on the other side. Firemen arrived and subdued the blaze, but the damage was pretty extensive.

By the way, ANYONE hijacking our list for their own list will be removed. We'll change the list alias, then start spamming YOU with viruses. I'm tired of getting hate mail from subscribers who are NOT INTERESTED in YOUR stuff - they didn't sign up for YOUR list, they signed up for OURS. We welcome classifieds and articles of any sort from any subscriber and run 99% of them so there's no need to be sneaky about it. Thank you.

Last week we got a couple of CD's in the mail. Nineteen Forty-Five features a former Three Finger Cowboy and I was bummed to read of TFC's breakup, but the Nineteen Forty-Five CD is good stuff (see the full review on the Ear Plugs site, so we emailed 'em and got them scheduled to play our Summertime Blast this July. About the same time The Helgas confirmed, as did The Bluejays so we've already got a swell lineup for the Blast! That's July 7, Saturday, 2 PM, for those what need to plan ahead.
We also got a three song demo CD from Low Z, a local metallic act with spacey, harmonic sounds on the opening track, not bad, followed by battering metal guitar mania on the second track, also not bad and well produced, followed by a track that mixes the spacey, softer stuff on an intro with the harder stuff once it gets going. Clear vocals, which is unusual for this kind of music, but nice production doesn't make up for lack of content - it's basically 18 minutes of heavy metal guitar cords. I can picture the hair swishing as heads bang along the front row at the local heavy metal vomit party while Low Z rock their world. But it's a world I don't visit often. If you live there you'll like this.
Meanwhile, on the planet with a lower concentration of heavy metals, we hit the Star Bar on Friday. I don't know why I bother showing up before 11 PM for live music in Atlanta. At 10:30 the Star Bar was near empty. By 11 there's a trickle coming in the door but the opening act is tired of waiting. Glory Fountain is a duo, a pretty female voice on lead with an acoustic guitar, a male voice backing up, playing electric - a very yin/yang combo, with nice harmonies and tunes, but a bit sleepy for me so I watched about half their set then retreated downstairs for a beer.
After a break, Kelly Hogan took the stage to a packed house. I don't know why I worry about the joint being empty when I arrive at a reasonable hour, by midnight you could barely breathe the place was so crowded. Pointless chatter aside, Kelly is as charming as ever. I can't think of another performer than can go from Johnny Paycheck to Journey and make them both sound like they're her own, and both of them sound great. Sure, it's often done half in jest, but with her voice the smile you get from the humor of the selected tune is quickly replaced with a smile of genuine appreciation. She pulled "Double B" out of the audience, a guy we saw Y2K eve belt out a killer version of Highway to Hell right at midnight at the Clermont Lounge. Together they did a pretty version of Everybody's Talkin' from the Midnight Cowboy soundtrack, by Harry Nilsson. And the hits kept coming, some old and some new, some borrowed and... well, the odd thing about Kelly's voice, or maybe it's her demeanor, is every song sounds a little blue. There's something beautifully tragic about her, which is half the pleasure in seeing her perform. Something about her makes you want to take her home and give her a bowl of soup. I know it's not just me, glance around the crowd at a Kelly Hogan performance and you'll see doe-eyed folks of both sexes. But back to the sound, Thee Golden Arms, the band Kelly has assembled half from Atlanta and half from Chicago, was tight. Andy, the guitarist, can play the variety of styles as if each is his fave, and the boy has the best falsetto I've ever heard - he's got an amazing vocal range to match his guitar skills. They're due back May 22, Tuesday, at Echo Lounge so catch them then!

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