VANCE for Atlanta INtown Paper

Links to my transportation and greenspace articles for Atlanta INtown paper:

1. Profile of Atlanta BeltLine volunteer and activist, Angel Poventud:

Hero of The BeltLine: Angel Poventud’s ongoing mission

2. Profile of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. CEO and President, Brian Leary:

Behind the BeltLine: CEO Brian Leary

3. Profile of the visionary behind the belt line concept for Atlanta, Ryan Gravel:

Catching up with BeltLine visionary Ryan Gravel

4. Park Pride Parks and Greenspace Conference (Transportation Theme):

Parks and transit in bloom at Park Pride Conference

5. The Transportation Initiative for Greater Metro Atlanta:

Transit tax vote set for July 31

Gringo Star Interview

I spoke with rocker Pete DeLorenzo of Gringo Star at Aurora Coffeehouse in L5P of The ATL before they embarked upon a recent European Tour. Back home after, they played the Masquerade in Atlanta on Friday night September 10th, with The Toadies, before hitting the road again. You can view their music videos at youtube and listen to them at: www.gringostar.net

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO MUSIC?

I always loved radio a lot. I was a senior in high school thinking about what to do with my life. I’m not religious as far as organized religion but spirituality is important to me. I went to church and was not really listening to the sermon, I was just kinda…I had this image come to my mind. I was playing to thousands of people. I maybe didn’t even have a guitar at the time. I went home and freaked out. Was that a genuine experience or was it something I took the wrong way? I don’t know. I went to college and halfway through I started playing guitar more. I had a young man’s revelation that I’d rather was dishes and play. Music was the only thing that was pure to me.

NOW YOU’RE JADED?

Well my band had music in a Tommy Hilfiger ad…You need money. In the ’90s we wanted to be so anti-commercial.

WAS THAT A RESPONSE TO THE ’80s, ANTI-’80s?

I wouldn’t say anti-’80s, it was artists wanting to be artists. A lot musicians saw the commerciality  – fascinated but repulsed by it.

WHICH BRINGS ME TO, WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR INFLUENCES?

I’m 9 years older than the rest of the guys in the band. Replacements, Minutemen, Husker Du. The rest of the band is into Buddy Holly. When I heard the Replacements all my conditioning was disintegrated. That discontent in the music, I really related to. Their music wasn’t tailor-made.

YOU’VE TOURED IN THIS BAND SINCE 2004?

Yeah

BEEN TO EUROPE BEFORE?

Couple of times. I’m still working at Eat’s when I’m in town, but we are starting to sustain ourselves. Sometimes we want to take a break, but we are not to that point where we can do a record, tour, then take a break. We are still introducing ourselves.

I HEARD YOU JUST PLAYED ORLANDO, WHERE I ONCE LIVED. WAS THAT DOWNTOWN?

We played a downtown music fest and a really fun house party that night.

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR NAME?

We had a different name and changed it. A friend of ours came up with it and we laughed. People have a love-hate relationship with that name.

DO YOU REST AT ALL WHEN YOU TOUR?

We generally play everyday.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT ATLANTA?

It’s like a small town in a big city. The people I know are really good people. I always think about wanting to leave, but people are friendly here. It’s a really good place to hone in on your craft.

ATLANTA IS WHERE YOU LIVE TO BECOME WHAT YOU ARE?

True. And it’s still wide open.

Julie C. May at pb&j (Kirkwood-ATL)

Friday March 20th was the opening for photog Julie C. May at pb&j Gallery in the Kirkwood district in Atlanta, GA. They have been in business for two years. And the charming little village as a whole is doing quite well and now has most of your major urban needs condensed for you into a couple of blocks – so Atlanta, y’all. Please Go!!!

Hailing from the Beverlywood area of LA for the past ten years, Julie C. May has meanwhile toured the world in pursuit of great shots. The front room at this quaint, super-cute gallery is full of her selected finds. It runs through May 3rd.

Featured locations: Venice, Italy…Russia…Berlin…Poland…Puerto Rico…St.Kitts…CHI-Town…the girl really gets around. Her photography, shot in black and white with a 1976 Nikon and in shiny-today-digital-color, has so much life. As she says: “Every wrinkle tells a story.” These photos capture people “not reacting, living.”

Not much for self-promotion, the striking and radiant Julie C. May instead chooses to focus on her true passion – her business.  She founded the “Unscene Tour” to give a sense of home and a big boost to emerging photogs across the nation.  Check it: www.unscenetour.com

Back to the show, my companions were my adorable girlfriend, Jami Buck and my uber-hip Bromance from Cafe Intermezzo (via Cali), Duane. I wore lime green seersucker and a white belt and spring was underway. Spritzers are nice and so are almonds and art. Check it: www.facebook.com/hanvance

May got into photography originally “to get more boys to flirt with me.” Provocatively sexy statement for a married woman, I thought. Duane and I were the best heterosexual options on this night, as “the boys” were out in full force to support the gallery and kick back some free wine. They dress quite well, too. Check it: www.facebook.com/bobburkhart    (the b of pb&j)

From elderly Venetians that are clearly Old Souls to a Navyman resplendent in that one ray of light amongst the Chicago skyscrapers, personalities of people and the commonality of life experiences throughout diverse areas of the world are conveyed in a show perhaps more about face than space.

And then my baby paid half for me to get a small piece of Jack Simmonetta’s stuff. He is the j of pb&j. Just thinking to myself I was: the thousands of colors of blue are a nice color, and it is getting late.

So we said bye and headed to Poncey-Highlands for a post-pre-party at my babe’s townhouse, with too much of that Absolut Mango vodka and yet another adorable Jaimie, and then the four of us were up the street to the basement of the Highland Inn for the single best dance party in town. We listened to the Detriot to ATL transplanted rapper Stewart House along the way. And then we finally hit the dancefloor.

Cisco Adler Branches Out

Cisco Adler Interview by Han Vance, Copyright © 2008

I interviewed Cisco Adler at the Malibu Rum Party at Mason Murer Fine Art:

What did you grow up listening to?

My parents’ music first, then Hip-Hop: I was a Hip-Hop snob. Then I started branching out; rebelling from my Dad’s music…and it paid off.

How did you meet Mickey Avalon?

My brother and his manager were friends, and he opened up for my band, Whitestarr. I was like, “That’s why I was so…why I had been so into Hip-Hop.”

I hear influences of classic rock when I listen to your solo stuff.

Melody: I always dip into that. You can’t beat a classic melody. That’s why Akon and those dudes are making so many hits. They sound classic in a way.

Where did you grow up? LA?

Back and forth between LA and Maui with my mother, so I’m an island boy.

Tell me about Cisco Adler Presents. Do you produce, promote, write songs for others?

I do everything under the sun…Banana Beat Records is my imprint through Interscope/Suretone. Lisa D’Amato is my first artist.

I love her stuff. You don’t seem to have any genre boundaries.

As long as I like it and it goes with my vibe I don’t…Then I have Remi Nicole from London. She’s like a Lily Allen but a little harder and ghetto.

Shwayze walks up nearby and I recognize him from the Buzzin’ video and ask Cisco if it is him. Shwayze? I ask.

Shwayze, Cisco confirms. It’s all about Shwayze right now. A hit song will always speak for itself. You don’t have to say anything.

How did you guys meet?

When I was in my band there were always people around. He was one of the people on the couch. Then he started begging to show up at the studio. He would always come up to me at night when I was drunk. I was like ‘ just show up in the studio.’ We made the whole album before we got picked up. It was uninfluenced.

I briefly spoke to Shwayze next while Cisco posed for pictures with chicks that knew him from the Hollywood celebrity press or MySpace:

You grew up in Malibu?

Mostly. I moved to Malibu when I was really young.

I read that on your MySpace account, but you never know what is true. It said, “Only black kid in Malibu.”

That’s pretty true.

How big has MySpace been for you?

It’s been everything. I got so much exposure through meeting people on MySpace, people hearing my stuff.

Currently listening :
Mickey Avalon
By Mickey Avalon