Excerpts from Electric Degeneration, Degenerate Press' semi-weekly e-zine, free and ad-free. A full episode contains sections for music reviews, upcoming events, blasphemy, classifieds, and anything else we feel like saying. If you'd like to subscribe just contact us.
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We got a couple of hearty responses to last episode:
"I am obviously biased, but I have high hopes for my baby's daddy, Shawn's
new band ROCK CITY DROPOUTS. It's Shawn (from X-Impossibles) on guitar and
vocals, Eric Smith from Grand Moff Tarkin on bass (he's the husband of Barb
from Lust), and Shawn Thacker from Truckadelic on drums (he's married to
Kelly from Boss!) They are playing on February 1st with Lust at the Star
Bar, I don't if that will bring back the "dead" scene, but it ought to be a
damn good show."
Sorry to hear about the Wild Kingdom going on in your attic! Where are Marlon Perkins
and Jim when you need them?
Wanted to respectfully share my thoughts on this Dead Atlanta Music Scene thing. I
don't believe it to be true, but even if it were to some degree, labeling it as so or
complaining about it has the opposite effect that I would think anyone who cares
enough about it to complain would want. Similar to how the stock market is driven
primarily by perception -- fearful, pessimistic investors will drive it down even
when all other ingredients for success are there -- a town's local scene will respond
to the same kinds of forces, rumors of doom and whatnot. In other words, keep telling
everyone it sucks, and pretty soon it actually will, because you've influenced people
to believe it to be so, even if not initially true. They'll simply stay home instead.
I often find myself bragging to friends in other towns about the wealth of
entertainment opportunities in Atlanta, especially in music, and just last year saw
dozens upon dozens of great shows at multiple clubs around town, with acts both local
and national, often on the same bill.
Now, as far as Stomp & Stammer's assessment goes, if Jeff Clark took the same glee in
promoting local acts as he does in attempting to puncture various local bands, events
and personalities' little balloons, his rag might actually be a force for some sort
of good, or at the very least, of minor interest while sitting on the can. I love the
Catfight! girls and their band, but since their shows are pretty much the only ones I
ever see Jeff at anyway (this past weekend being one -- hadn't seen him anywhere else
since before Thanksgiving), he's about as credible as his magazine is respected by
local musicians, most of whom I think find it most appropriate for use *after*
sitting on the can.
I've got nothing but respect for you and your excellent work and reviews, but I've
gotta say -- and let me be delicate here -- it kind of rings a little hollow to read
every week about your adventures out of town or of staying at home, yet then
pronouncing the local scene "dead." You need to be close to the body to see if
there's a pulse or not. (But to be fair, I see you out a helluva lot more than Jeff
We might just honestly disagree on what level of quality or excitement or style is
necessary to sustain interest at specific shows and in the scene in general; perhaps
I'm simply more easily pleased. Shiny objects fascinate me, after all. But at any
rate, nothing's going to get any better for anyone when local writers jump on a "This
Sucks" bandwagon -- and yes, I respect a critic's obligation to call it as they see
it, with integrity. The problem is, that still always reminds me of Teddy Roosevelt's
famous rail against critics, the one that begins, "It's not the critic who counts..."
If anyone wants to improve things, it's time for more people to get "in the ring,"
indeed, or otherwise quit complaining."
"Do you agree with S&S that the decline is a result of heroin use
Hey, SR, no need to be delicate, tell it like it is! Yeah, we DO need to get out more, that's for sure. Unfortunately the jobless and post-holidays budget has put a damper on that so we're sticking to a show a week at most. And lately our adventures out of town have been holiday/family related, such as this coming weekend's journey to Miami to see my father and sit on the beach.
As for wanting to improve things, I don't really see that as my "job." I believe there is a positive result from healthy criticism of any system, be it government, corporate or entertainment. People need to discuss things, otherwise the system settles into mediocrity.
And who am I to judge?
Nobody. Just a guy with a big mouth and willingness to use it.
I'll try to use my powers only for good, but a little truth now and then never hurt, much.
As for S&S's heroin comments, what an ass. (But at least he's a consistent ass, if you read his diatribe against government assistance in his opening column.) Sure, a few local musicians have made fatal mistakes with drugs, and yes, it's sad, but I'd hardly point to heroin use as the cause for Atlanta's semi-catatonic scene. My fear is a shifting culture, changing demands, the rock crowd aging and the hip hop crowd coming to dominance is what is actually behind the change of scene.
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