Madison Concert Ticket Giveaway: ATMOSPHERE


One of the Midwest’s most beloved hip hop acts is kicking off their latest tour right here in Madison tomorrow night (9.8) at the Orpheum Theatre, and we want you to be there. Read on to find out how you can enter to win a pair of tickets to Atmosphere‘s highly anticipated show, and don’t forget to download their brand new double EP set: To All My Friends, Blood Makes The Blade Holy: The Atmosphere EPs on iTunes and Amazon—just released today!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Orpheum Theatre – 8pm – $25 adv $30 dos – all ages


Twelve years after becoming the first hip-hop act to put the Twin Cities on the map, Atmosphere has grown into one of the most accomplished MC/producer duos around. Between Slug and Ant, they’ve released seven albums, 13 Sad Clown tour albums and various side-projects like Felt – amounting in well over a million units sold. And along the way have performed to sold-out crowds everywhere from modest sized venues in their hometown to colossal festivals in Japan. Since releasing their 1997 debut, Overcast!, Ant’s ASR-born melodic beats and Slug’s open book and observational style of rapping continues to evolve into hip-hop that’s more honest – more textured. And the praise for these Rhymesayers pioneers hasn’t stopped flowing in. 

As Rolling Stone once gushed about Slug, “This Minneapolis indie rap hero has potential to spare, delivering taut, complex rhyme narratives with everyman earnestness.” Or as the Village Voice once wrote of Ant, “His dusty grooves are hooky and R&B-informed, and even when they back up Slug’s most maniacally depressed rhymes, they never feel heavy-handed.”

While Slug’s name has become synonymous with introspective rap, the new revelatory recording process with Ant inspired the MC to open up his subject matter well beyond his own life. In fact, their latest release When Life Gives You Lemons… is entirely based around fictional narratives that deal with societal issues – many, which revolve around the theme of parenthood. To accompany the release, the album was issued with a limited 40 page hard cover book that includes a children’s story by Slug in addition to all of the lyrics. And this was done in part to celebrate Slug’s growth as a writer.

“This time around I really did force myself to try and write these stories as if I was writing a book or short stories and just trying to figure out how to put them into music,” says Slug. 

The song that got this whole album started is “In Her Music Box” – the tale of a young girl who sits in the back seat of her wannabe pimp of a father’s car, absorbing the explicit raps she hears coming out of the speakers. The song is not so much about neglect as it is examining the dichotomy between a young, inexperienced father and his impressionable child. As Slug say s of the track, “The main point of it was to look at and speculate on how children at that age learn the art of escapism that as adults sets up for self-medicating and self-abuse.”

Another vital track on the album is “Shoulda Known,” which also touches on parenthood in the context of examining poor decision making and how crucial it is to think beyond the present. With songs like these, Slug proves that his best work isn’t necessarily the most revealing. And if you ask him, making an album with Ant completely comprised of fictional content sure helped get all of the real life characters from his former verbal journals off his back. 

”Every record I put out you can guarantee there’s going to be about five people that are going to call me and e-mail me and go, ‘I can’t believe you fuckin’ said that on your record! I can’t believe you fuckin’ told people about that!’ This time around, nobody can call me out on that.”

WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS: Atmosphere’s latest single, “Freefallin'”(download it here) reminds listeners that despite our complaints to the contrary, most of us really don’t have it all that bad, and that our “problems are the good ones to have.”  Slug raps:

But somebody wants that life you got,
They think your boyfriend’s nice or your wife is hot,
They on your block looking at that home you bought,
They’d move in today if that door wasn’t locked.
Nowadays you oughta’ watch your spot,
Even with all the flaws of that boss you mock,
You can still close your eyes and toss a rock,
I bet you’d hit someone that’d love to cop your job.

Because it’s never too early to get into the Thanksgiving spirit, we want you to take the group’s advice and take a moment to appreciate what you have.  Tell us about at least three things that you’re grateful for in the comments section below.  We’ll choose and notify a winner by tomorrow at 10:00 am.  Good luck! 

8 Responses

  1. – My wife
    – My dog
    – My health/existence

  2. I am thankful for . . .
    . . the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means I have enough to eat
    . . too much e-mail, because it means I have friends who are thinking of me
    . . the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours, because it means that I am alive

  3. My Gemini personality
    My parents and their traditional values and attitude
    My sister who is nervous she’ll turn into Nurse Annie(Misery)

  4. I’m grateful for…

    -a happy, healthy and capable body and mind, and the ability to take care of both of them.

    -my job that allows me to teach kids how to love music – I actually get paid to play piano, talk about music, hear hilarious stories, and hang out with kids!

    -the ability to really believe in people and see good and beauty everywhere. To not be jaded despite a scary and tumultuous world.

    -clear and starry skies at night.

  5. A few things that I am thankful for:

    – the ability to read this post
    – The inevitability of winning a pair of atmosphere tickets.
    – being too kool for skool
    – i’m working on a fourth one

  6. My friends: Two of my best friends got married this weekend and everything about the event reminded me how lucky I am to be surrounded by such amazing (and attractive) people. I’d be lost without them.

    Opportunity: The fact that I’ve been able to do so many things in my life that I wanted to do instead of had to do.

    Health: So far I’ve yet to have any major health issues among my friends or family. I’ve seen second hand how things like permanent disabilities and terminal illness can affect loved ones and I’d never wish that on anyone.

  7. Keep it coming. We love the Suicidal.

  8. Thanks everyone! Great responses all around. The tix for this one go to Eric—congrats! Hope to see everyone at the show.

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