3 Atlanta Bands That You Need To See Live

3 Atlanta Bands That You Need To See Live

Lanes, Hardcastle, and Mansell are some of Atlanta's best young talent.
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I’m a firm believer in supporting local music. If you look hard enough, it isn’t very difficult to find really great bands in your area. Atlanta is on the come up in many creative mediums, everything from movies to music. Here are a few bands from the Atlanta area that are worth a listen. Whether you like pop, rock, or alternative, one of these groups is bound to have something that you’ll like. They all play shows in the area fairly often so keep a look out for when you can catch them next.

1. Lanes

Timothy Romero is the front man of Lanes. He not only sings and plays guitar but, he produces as well. Tim has been playing several different backing musicians since he left college to start Lanes. He brought in friends from all different musical backgrounds to play with the band, "Mostly guys I grew up playing music throughout HS with in the Atlanta area. Having different musicians join brings a fresh perspective to the music, and you gain a lot from having more new ears on the music."

Right now, Lanes is Tim on guitar and vocals, Case Snedecor on drums, and Turner Wood on bass. Turner and Case have been touring musicians for awhile, playing with bands like Nightmares and Issues. Turner is an artist manager and came to see Lanes play one night. Tim and Turner immediately hit it off, and it kind of grew from there. Case and Turner are childhood friends.

As far as what inspires Tim, he finds much of his musical and general artistic drive from many things,

“I draw a lot of inspiration from other artists, like all songwriters do. Right now, a huge inspiration of mine is Kendrick Lamar, he's lyrics just blow me away. But I also really like classic Pop and Funk music. Marvin Gaye, The Rolling Stones, Prince, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Earth Wind and Fire etc. For me, whatever inspires me in life is what inspires my music.”

That inspiration is very clear in his music; there are lyrics you would hear in a Kendrick song with a very classic melody and funky beat. It all meshes seamlessly into a genre of its own. The latest release, 'Witness Yourself, Vibe Thing!' is a flawless depiction of this vision.

“Lanes is definitely a blend of several genres, each song a different mix of new and old music. I would say our music is Indie/R&B if you want to be simple. A mix of indie rock, alternative R&B, pop, funk. All of those things.” When you listen to Lanes, there is no way to truly put their sound in a box. It is blending genres lyrically, compositionally and melodically. Each song has a different feel that is unlike anything else in the indie R&B genre.

Lanes are about to announce a bunch of new shows, they are planning on playing a lot of shows through the rest of the year while simultaneously recording new music. They have a lot of content that hasn’t been heard yet so they are just working on performing as much as possible, here in Atlanta and across the country. Growing their audience is a huge part of the vision and touring; having more & more people hear them and see them live. “We really haven't had much exposure to this point, so many people still haven't heard of us yet. We're just working as hard as possible right now.” I have no doubt that once they get their name out there, success is imminent.

“We played Smith's Olde Bar here in Atlanta last April with a band called The Norm. If you've never been to Smith's, it's a very intimate setting, which I love. We had packed the place, and it was just a very raw, real performance by all the bands. Even though I've played for bigger crowds, that has been my favorite so far.” They’ll be back on August 31st so make sure you are there! A bonus to up & coming bands is the intimate venues and shows they put on; just another reason to support small local artists!

2. Hardcastle

Hardcastle is another Atlanta originated band that is on the come up. Comprised of Graham Laderman on vocals and occasional guitar, Kaden Paulson and Val Hoyt on guitar, Miles Laderman on drums, and Noah Christian on bass. Graham and Miles are brothers, and they connected with Val Hoyt while attending The Galloway School in their high school years. Graham linked up with Kaden Paulson and Noah Christian at Belmont University and the rest is history. When asked to describe their sound they answered,

“The Hardcastle Sound is blending rock and roll with modern indie. It's not an imitation or knock-off of some band, we're trying to create our own lane. Where sounds of all different genres can blend together and work in a new way. We don't like limits. It's going to make you feel emotions, contemplate both the music and lyrics and inspire you to take action - or at least we'd like to dream that it will.”

Their unique sound is exactly as they described; it cannot be defined by one genre or style.

Inspiration is vast when it comes to Hardcastle, which I feel is relatable to everyone. Everything around us can inspire, nothing is off limits. On inspiration, they said, “The list is endless and ever changing. And we don't mean that lightly. One second it's 21 Savage or Travis Scott and the next Jeff Tweedy's new album, or Nirvana. You never know. It keeps us on our toes when creating music... we're always drawing from different sources of inspiration, sometimes subconsciously. Recently we watched Memento as a band and that was really cool, last night it was Zootopia - also dope.

Another thing we've been doing to make sure we're always getting inspired from various mediums is getting on Tumblr. We each have accounts and try to re-post things that inspire us. We're on a quest to find out what the limits of 'Hardcastle' are and what it entails, and a big first step in that is learning about each other - what moves us to do certain things.”

Good news for fans; these guys have a ton of new music in the works, and releasing it will be out soon. Fans who have been to shows will know a few of the songs from hearing them live. They shared, “The thing for us is getting to a final product that we are all happy with. So fans, expect lots. We want to give you everything, but only when we have given everything.” This pure unaltered dedication and desire to keep creating for themselves and their fans is what stems successful bands and personally, I cant wait to see where this takes them.

3. Mansell

Last but certainly not least is Mansell. I saw them play at The Masquerade and was immediately impressed with their flow and maturity in their music and on stage. Mansell is a trio featuring Holden on vocals and guitar, Grayson on drums and vocals, and Trent on bass and vocals. The three have known each other since elementary school, which explains their comfortable presence with each other. Through Grayson, they found their grouping and the music flowed as they evolved individually.

Simply, when asked what artists/musicians inspired their music, art, and culture, they said, “timeless ones.” That answer, though very straight forward is very apparent in their music. Personally, I feel as if their music transcends time, in the same way as it inspires them; they have created a sound and feeling that is very timeless. This proves true in their debut album, Mantra, released in 2016. They described Mantra as,

“Encapsulating the three of our lives individually and collectively through the ages of 16-18. Everything was all very raw and we recorded it that way. It is very much a community journal entry, musically. It’s a handful of our true thoughts and movements during that period, and not a romanticized version form of it.”

Mantra is young, transparent and so very, very raw. It is real quality music at its finest and from such a young group, it is youthful in the themes but inherently very mature in its composition and overall feeling. Music videos and many shows are in the works, alongside constant music production that will hopefully be out soon. Mansell is an incredibly talented group of guys that I highly recommend seeing live.

Each of these bands is giving a refreshing sound to their respective genres. They all have a unique take, that makes their music distinctive and high quality. The Atlanta area is rooted in creativity and is continuing to grow musically; these 3 up and coming groups are headlining that movement. Supporting local artists is such an important factor to the growth of a city, and these groups are worthy of the support and recognition. Catch Hardcastle & Lanes playing The Masquerade on August 25th and Lanes & Mansell playing at Smith’s Olde Bar on August 31st, these are shows you don't want to miss.

Social Media links:

Lanes

Twitter & Instagram

Hardcastle

Twitter & Instagram

Mansell

Twitter & Instagram

A special thank you to all three bands for collaborating with me in the creation of this article. Stream them all on Spotify! Happy listening!

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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7 Reasons Why Literature Is So Important

"Literature Is One Of The Most Interesting And Significant Expressions Of Humanity." -P. T. Barnum
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Today, there are too many people who believe that literature is simply not important or underestimate its abilities to stand the test of time and give us great knowledge. There is a stigma in society that implies one who is more inclined toward science and math will somehow be more successful in life, and that one who is more passionate toward literature and other art forms will be destined to a life of low-paying jobs and unsatisfying careers. Somewhere along the line, the world has come to think that literature is insignificant. To me, however, literature serves as a gateway to learning of the past and expanding my knowledge and understanding of the world. Here are just a few reasons why literature is important.

1. Expanding horizons

First and foremost, literature opens our eyes and makes us see more than just what the front door shows. It helps us realize the wide world outside, surrounding us. With this, we begin to learn, ask questions, and build our intuitions and instincts. We expand our minds.

2. Building critical thinking skills

Many of us learn what critical thinking is in our language arts classes. When we read, we learn to look between the lines. We are taught to find symbols, make connections, find themes, learn about characters. Reading expands these skills, and we begin to look at a sentence with a larger sense of detail and depth and realize the importance of hidden meanings so that we may come to a conclusion.

3. A leap into the past

History and literature are entwined with each other. History is not just about power struggles, wars, names, and dates. It is about people who are products of their time, with their own lives. Today the world is nothing like it was in the 15th century; people have changed largely. Without literature, we would not know about our past, our families, the people who came before and walked on the same ground as us.

4. Appreciation for other cultures and beliefs

Reading about history, anthropology, or religious studies provides a method of learning about cultures and beliefs other than our own. It allows you to understand and experience these other systems of living and other worlds. We get a view of the inside looking out, a personal view and insight into the minds and reasoning of someone else. We can learn, understand, and appreciate it.

5. Better writing skills

When you open a book, when your eyes read the words and you take in its contents, do you ask yourself: How did this person imagine and write this? Well, many of those authors, poets, or playwrights used literature to expand their writing.

6. Addressing humanity

All literature, whether it be poems, essays, novels, or short stories, helps us address human nature and conditions which affect all people. These may be the need for growth, doubts and fears of success and failure, the need for friends and family, the goodness of compassion and empathy, trust, or the realization of imperfection. We learn that imperfection is not always bad and that normal can be boring. We learn that life must be lived to the fullest. We need literature in order to connect with our own humanity.

Literature is important and necessary. It provides growth, strengthens our minds and gives us the ability to think outside the box.

Cover Image Credit: google.com/images

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I Made Emma Chamberlain's Mediocre Vegan Cookies, And They're Pretty Incredible

Emma and her vegan cookies have made their way into my heart, and are here to stay.

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One day, I went down the black hole that is 'YouTube at 3 am' and discovered my favorite social media influencer of all time: Emma Chamberlain. I started binge watching her videos every night for about a week, where I came across her "Cooking With Emma" series. I decided that I wanted to give her vegan antics a go for myself.

I've never cooked or baked anything with the intention of it being vegan, so not only is that new territory for me, but I've never even eaten a vegan cookie. The only reason I'm doing this is because Emma did, and she is aesthetic goals.

To start the journey of vegan baking, I took to Pinterest, just like Emma, and found this recipe to use. Although the video that inspired all of this used a gluten free recipe, I opted for only vegan, because I'm allergic to most of the ingredients that make things gluten-free.


In true Emma style, I used a whisk to combine the wet ingredients together, making sure to use her special technique.


Then, I did the same thing with the dry ingredients.


After that, I dumped everything together and combined all of the ingredients.


Once they were combined, I chopped up a vegan chocolate bar, because Emma and I like chocolate chunk cookies, not chocolate chip, there's a difference.


Now that everything is combined, I made balls of dough and stuck it on a pan, and baked them while I binged more Emma, because what else would I be doing in my spare time?



The recipe said to make the balls a lot smaller, but we aren't perfect, so I made them gigantic. In my head, I thought the worst thing that could happen was it turn into one big cookie, but that's a whole other video you need to watch.

I took them out of the oven, and they were brown on the top, but still a little doughy. At this point I was tired of waiting and eager to eat them, so I disappointingly set them aside to cool, which only lasted a minute or so before I snagged one up to try.



The taste was definitely one I've never associated with cookies, and came to the conclusion that if I decided to go vegan, it would be doable with these cookies and Emma Chamberlain by my side.



Emma inspired me to get out of my comfort zone, which is a reoccurring theme throughout her channel, and I'm happy to be apart of it. She taught me that even if mediocre cookies is all you have, eat them with pride because you made them yourself.

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