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Criminal Records Needs You!



Earlier today I read that Criminal Records was closing!  I thought it was some cruel joke as no one would ever dare close Criminal Records!!  I reached out to Eric Levin to see if he could shed some light on this.  For those of you who don’t know, Eric is the owner of Criminal Records and the co-founder of Record Store Day!

Criminal Records just celebrated their 20th anniversary!  It’s hard to believe that it has been 20 years since they opened the doors and became one of the most well-known locally owned and operated businesses in Atlanta.

Eric told me that a move to a 6,000-square-foot space from a 2,500 one tripled expenses and happened three years ago, when the economy took a turn for the worse.  He went on to tell me that people vote with their money, and unfortunately they are not voting for locally owned Criminal Records.

Being heavily in debt, in part due to his purchase of still struggling Aurora coffee on Moreland Avenue, Eric knows that with people visiting larger chain Starbucks just down the parking lot, Aurora has put him in further debt.  Now with people purchasing songs online and not frequenting local record stores, Criminal Records is drowning.

When I asked Eric what would help, his answer was simple.  Anything and Everything.  Eric is not putting his hope all in the fact that Criminal can be saved. He is a realist and knows that they could shut their doors for good November 1st.  He also knows that the love of the music community and the wonderful businesses that keep Atlanta going can save Criminal Records!

Eric is open to the idea of a partner.  So if any music savvy business people wants to be part of this great Atlanta landmark, feel free to contact him and let him know!

Also, several great businesses and bands have already reached out to help including Manchester Orchestra, Orange Amps, The Variety Playhouse and more!  We encouraged him to set up a paypal account and start accepting donations, so if and when they do we will let you know!

The Backstage Beat will keep you in the loop as to any development, benefits and news as we learn about it.  We can save Criminal Records and we should!






Artists to Watch

Cry With Us! Puddles Pity Party in Orlando



Ange Alex

I owe him a poem:

Here’s a story of a sad clown who one night in February was traveling through O-town. 

He brought a suitcase and a lot of gum, he brought music and videos and tons of fun.

He sang high but mostly he sang low, and he put of one hell of a good show.

He gave a bearded guy a cupcake and danced with a lady, a wolf he would make

There is no doubt he is a boss sir, he even got love from Kevin Costner.

Fans filled the plaza for a night of delight as the 7 foot clown gave us some real insight.

He sang Bowie and Queen and even some Who, also Cash, Lorde and “Let it go” too

Videos played of pets and babies crying, also beautiful artwork and people smiling.

Last night Orlando was anything but mad as we showed much love for a clown that is sad.

Ok, I’d cry too after that poem. Here’s some more info:

If you haven’t been to see a Puddles Pity Party show, you are missing out. 

The show had me smiling and laughing so hard my stomach hurt, but I was also moved so many times by the range of Puddles voice. True entertainment never gets old and I have a feeling he is going to last forever.

I loved the interaction he had with the crowd. He pulled numerous people up to help him on stage and all of them were good sports, one man even singing the entire song, “All by myself” karaoke style! The show was so well thought out and planned but with room for some hilarious improv. Especially at the end when he pulled the 3 fans from the audience dressed like clowns. At the end of them performing together, Puddles suddenly remembers that he is scared of clowns! Genius! 

Hands down one of the best performances I’ve seen in years.


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Holiday Fun

Kingsized Holiday Fun! Big Mike is Back at the Variety Playhouse!



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Big Mike Geier and his Kingsized Rock ‘n Roll Orchestra, along with the Dames Aflame Dancers, Lil’ Santa and other special guests, bring tidings of comfort and joy with their signature glitz and glamour in what has become a tinsel-time tradition at the Variety Playhouse. The all-ages 90-minute show features your Holiday favorites by the likes of Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Andy Williams, Heat Miser, The Grinch and more!

Photo: Emily Butler

We caught up with Big Mike to ask a few questions.

TBB: Big Mike! It’s been a couple years since we had the pleasure of seeing you perform live. We are so excited to be back in Atlanta and we are ready for this show. What can you tell us about this years event?

Big Mike: Welcome back to Atlanta, Ange! We’re also excited to be in town for another wild and wonderful Holiday Jubilee. We like to honor the tradition that the Jubilee has become and don’t mess too much with the format. You can expect the always magnificent sounds of the 12-piece Kingsized Rock ‘n Roll orchestra performing your favorite holiday classics and the dazzling Dames Aflame dancers providing the glamour. The show is all about holiday nostalgia, whatever that means to you: Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Donnie Hathaway, The Grinch, Rankin Bass, Peanuts, the Dreidel Song? It’s all in there.

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Music Gallery

Turkuaz at Aisle 5



Brooklyn based funk band Turkuaz played at Aisle Five in Atlanta last week and here are some shots from the show!

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