Natalie B. David

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    'Guitar Hero' Tour Heats Up Atlanta

    A mix of Guitar Hero fanatics and adventurous newbies battled it out for dominance and supreme bragging rights when the Guitar Hero: Aerosmith ROCKS the Hard Rock contest-sponsored by SPIN and the Hard Rock Café-stopped at downtown Atlanta's Hard Rock last night (July 23). As Steven Tyler's wardrobe from the "Walk This Way" flanked the festivities, 18 faux-axe-slingers gave it their all in a fight for the rock 'n' roll chance of a lifetime. The four highest-scoring winners from the entire tour will win the chance to meet the band in Boston and duke it out on Aug.

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    Atlas Sound Comes Home

    It's not often that you catch a frontman call for his father's approval from center stage, but, then again, Bradford Cox is no ordinary frontman. Cox's new project, Atlas Sound, made their hometown proud in Atlanta last night (Feb. 19) as the group kicked off their tour at hipster-haven the Drunken Unicorn to a crowd of family, friends and fans. Earnestly asking his father and sister for reassurance from across the room, Cox and Co.

  • Love in October

    Who? After moving to the Midwestern U.S. from theirnative Sweden in the early 2000s, brothers Erik(vocals/guitar/piano/Moog) and Kent Widman (bass/Moog) began power-popoutfit Love in October in Minneapolis in 2006. Their debut EP, Words of Sound, graced ears in early 2007. For their studio full-length, Pontus, the Devil, and Me, due out Jan. 22, the band is rounded out by Charlie Abbott (guitar/ piano) and Chresten Hyde (drums). What's the Deal?With producer Ed Rose (Get Up Kids, The Appleseed Cast) at the helm,Love in October posit emo and power-pop tunes along the lines of MotionCity Soundtrack and the Plain White T's. The short-and-sweet tunes on Pontus, the Devil, and Meprimarily spin tales of personal frustration and unrequited lovebrushed with tints of exasperation and frustration.

  • Neïmo

    Who? Something of a rare breed amongst the City of Lights' longtradition of ace electronic and pop music artists, the four lads inNeïmo -- Bruno Dallesandro (vocals), Camille Troillard (guitar),Matthieu Joly (keyboards) and Alexis Hadefi (drums) -- have their earsand hearts set on big, danceable rock'n'roll tunes with new waveundercurrents. Their 2005 debut, From Scratch, was recorded in two days and a self-titled EP with cuts from their spring follow up, Modern Incidental, is out now. What's the Deal? Toss those Francophile names away and there'snothing in Neïmo's catchy, sexy songs that give any indication of whatcountry issued their passports. That includes an astonishingly firmgrasp of the English language, a practice that hindered the band inFrance because of broadcast rules that require radio stations to playmusic with at least 40 percent French-language lyrics.

  • Zookeeper

    Who? A vet of early emo act Mineral and indie rocksentimentalists the Gloria Record, Austin-bred singer/songwriter ChrisSimpson disappeared in 2004 in the midst of recording what would'vebeen the latter band's sophomore effort. Simpson finally reemerged twoyears later with a new sound and a fresh moniker: Zookeeper. Aself-titled EP also arrived in 2006, while Zookeeper hit the road withthe likes of Umbrellas and Georgie James. Zookeeper's first full-length LP, Becoming All Things, is available now via Brooklyn-based indie label, Belle City Pop!. What's the Deal?Not as experimental as the Gloria Record or as angsty as Mineral,Simpson reinvents himself with Zookeeper, all without abandoning hispenchant for earnest lyrics and the tuneful song-smithing heard in hisprevious endeavors.

  • The Whitsundays

    Who? Score one more for the Great White North.Edmonton, Alberta quintet the Whitsundays -- Paul Arnusch(vocals/percussion), Dave Swanson (guitar/vocals), Clint Frazier(drums), Lyle Bell (bass/vocals), and Doug Organ (keyboards) -- arebusy fellows. The '60s-inspired indie pop ensemble shares membersFrazier and Bell with buzz-worthy electro-noisemakers Shout Out Out Out Out,while Arnusch also shares his talents with dream-pop astronauts Fauntsand post-punkers the Floor. The band's combined effort, an eponymousdebut LP, is due Jan. 22 via Friendly Fire Recordings. What's the Deal?Combine the sound of late-'60s psychedelic pop with the modern indieair of the Shins and the deliciously smooth milkshake that results isthe Whitsundays.

  • Dashboard Confessional Strips Down the Emo

    The emo train stopped in Atlanta last night (Oct.

  • Kill the Lights

    Who? Montreal quintet Kill the Lights -- Alexander Hackett (guitar/vocals), Stephanie Hanna (vocals/keyboards), Joseph Yarmush (guitar/ keyboards), Johnston Dignard (bass), and Yann Geoffroy (drums) -- formed in Toronto in 2005 after Hackett and Geoffroy made a move from Montreal to the Ontario metropolis out of boredom. The eventual result of their efforts, the debut LP Buffalo of Love, is out now via Toronto's Maple Music imprint. What's the Deal? Kill the Lights mix up danceable '80s infused post punk along the lines of fellow Joy Division followers Editors and Interpol, only these members of the new school add in Hanna's soulful female vocals for a kick of spice and flavor. Far more experimental than most of their peers, Kill the Lights excel at long shoegaze walks as well as short electro-pop dance numbers.

  • The Hours

    Who? After years waiting in the wings Antony Genn (guitar, vocals) and Martin Slattery (keyboard) teamed up in 2004 to make music for themselves. With a combined r�sum� that includes Pulp, Elastica, Black Grape, and Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, this pop duo have cut their teeth with an esteemed group of frontmen. Joining forces has earned the twosome numerous accolades including the endorsements of pop-tunesmith Jarvis Cocker and world-renowned artist Damien Hirst, whose artwork graces the cover of the Hours' debut LP, Narcissus Road, which is out now in the U.K. via A&M. Plans for a domestic release are slated for January. What's the Deal?

  • Björk Declares Her 'Independence'

    Even though some fans had mixed feelings about Björk's latest release, Volta, they still showed up in full force Monday evening (Sept. 17) at Atlanta's elaborate Fox Theatre. The sold-out show -- a mix of dance club excitement and tribal costuming -- was a bit atypical and otherworldly for the Hotlanta landmark, but was a perfect theme for Björk's career-spanning set. Show opener "Earth Invaders" featured bursts of 10-foot high flames and various flags hanging from above stage, introducing Björk to countless exuberant, anxious fans in-waiting.

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