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This Little Underground

Our live music columnist shows locals some love, including 90 Proof Pemberton and Orlandooom, and even tolerates '90s R&B

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Speaking of the South, Atlanta's Ponderosa returned (Feb. 21, Will's Pub). Their sudden Southern rock leap from literalism to reinvention on dream-stroked 2012 album Pool Party has positioned them for indie relevancy. But their live show is far more extraordinary in its massive, gazed-out heights. If they want to fully actualize their potential, they must double down on that tremendous energy and presence.

Of the openers, Lakeland's Mrenc were best. I haven't been totally sold on the projects of main brain Eric Collins since Denison Marrs, a leading area space-rock band from around the turn of the millennium. But this performance had the depth-mining slow burn he does so well.

While all that earnestness was happening, however, next door was something else entirely with I Don't See Nothin' Wrong, the Thursday '90s dance music night at Lil Indie's. Even nostalgia can't bring me to excuse a big part of the '90s as being almost exactly when R&B took the plunge from which it's only recently begun to recover. Luckily, the DJs have an expanded format that allowed for some tasteful jazz-rap and even a little freestyle while I was there. But even despite all the new jack swing in effect, the unchained perpetration of outrageous dance moves makes it the ideal night to be wiled out.

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