Around Here
Each January, we dedicate "Around Hear" to those low-profile local artists who are our favorites from the passing year the results of our staff and freelancers combing clubs and stacks of CDs for more than the booze and adulation we normally receive. This is by no means an attempt to make a definitive guide of "the best" acts, rather some friendly suggestions to our loyal readers looking for something fresh or that elusive next-big-thing. Check the magazine and the website for updates on our annual IE showcase Friday, February 25th at Metro, where you'll have a chance to see some of these bands live.
Abstract Giants, The Bon Mots, Todd Bowie, Thaione Davis, 15 Minutes Late, Funkadesi, Health & Beauty, Kiss N Ride, Magnus, P1xel & The Chronic Network, Ruth Buzzy, Sour Deluxe, Sunday Runners, Superchrist, Sybris, Larry Taylor, University, Miss Alex White, XYZR_KX.

Supergroups Black Eyed Peas, The Roots, and OutKast have proven that rap isn't just for hip-hop anymore, but can be injected into nearly any musical style. Enter the eight-man entourage known as Abstract Giants. When their trio of MCs banters back and forth on the mic while the rest of the band lay down their silky smooth funk/jazz induced grooves, the result is not just original, but infectious. When it comes to these musicians, the whole really is greater than the sum of the parts -- and that's quite a sum. (Contact: www.abstractgiants.com.)

-- Carter Moss, January 2005