Atlanta A Cappella Vocal Band | Best To Burn

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Jan272017

Red Light, Green Light, 1-2-3!

Our home away from home is having us back again for evening of awesome music and awesome house bourbon.

Location: Red Light Cafe, Atlanta, GA

Ticket info coming soon

Oct82016

We're on a Porch Again!

Join us at one of the most amazing grassroots neighborhood festivals around: Oakhurst Porchfest!!. Come on by and hang on the front lawn with us.

Location: 530 Oakview Road, Decatur, GA

Tickets: FREE!

June252016

BTB@B&B: FREE performance in Stone Mountain

So there's a new Bed & Breakfast opening up in Stone Mountain called The Stillwell House, and they've invited us to help celebrate! We'll be on from 6-7...Open House is from 4-8. Lovely poster here.

Location: The Stillwell House, 992 Ridge Ave., Stone Mountain, GA

open house poster

May72016

BTB@RLC: Big Show at the Red Light Cafe

We love the Red Light: the atmosphere, the sound, the house bourbon...and folks love watching us there. Be one of those folks, would ya?

Location: Red Light Cafe, Atlanta, GA

Mar202016

Little5@5, Part the Third

It's time again for what's becoming a semi-regular night on the Little5@5 stage at Epworth United Methodist Church. Come on down for a fun, relaxed set of vocal awesomeness.

Location: Epworth at Candler Park

Best To Burn.

(A recap.)

Best to Burn knows what you did last summer.

Best to Burn ate the last brownie. Sorry about that.

Best to Burn is a vocal band in Atlanta.

Best to Burn is ready to stuff some awesome in your ear.

Up Close and Personal

Because band websites are supposed to have bios.

Carl Christie

The heat in the soundbooth — a tiny box, really, lit by a single bare bulb — was almost unbearable. Carl rolled up his sleeves like a T-Bird from "Grease" and settled in front of the pop screen, waiting to read the disclaimers for his latest radio spot.
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Carl Christie - Best To Burn

Carl Christie

The heat in the soundbooth — a tiny box, really, lit by a single bare bulb — was almost unbearable. Carl rolled up his sleeves like a T-Bird from "Grease" and settled in front of the pop screen, waiting to read the disclaimers for his latest radio spot.

"Could we open the door for a minute, maybe?" he pleaded into the microphone. The unseen producer didn't respond.

Carl sighed, then muttered, "To write with a broken pencil is pointless. See, because when a pencil breaks, the tip is gone and it's not sharp anymore, so —"

"Let's take it from the top," the invisible sound guy barked.

This was no way to treat the one and only Carlos Fantastico, the man who played Christopher Columbus at the 1992 World's Fair in Seville, Spain. The guy who, just by speaking, sold dozens of Hardee's Thickburgers. The voice-over artist who helped cure your jock itch by recommending a medicated powder. He was the original PA announcer for the Atlanta Thrashers NHL franchise, fercryinoutloud.

Did this producer have any idea how hard it was to learn all those Czech, Kyrgyzstani and Finnish names before announcing the roster at a Thrashers game? "Per Svartvadet" doesn't pronounce itself, you know...

Carl's basso profondo had anchored nearly every a cappella singing group that ever passed through Atlanta. He was a photographer, a DJ, a mobile massage pro and the Grand Marshal of Cinco de Marcho. But here, in this sweltering soundbooth, he was nothing but a workhorse in a puddle of sweat.

He sang to himself his favorite lyric from "The Little Mermaid" — "What would I give, if I could live out of these waters?" — and fantasized about a world where his talents would get the recognition they so richly deserved.

Fantasize no more, Fantastico. Your dream has come true.

John Hendrix

The old woman, her hair a white puff and her posture curved like a question mark, shuffled toward John and tapped his shoulder with a wrinkled and quavering hand.
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John Hendrix - Best To Burn

John Hendrix

The old woman, her hair a white puff and her posture curved like a question mark, shuffled toward John and tapped his shoulder with a wrinkled and quavering hand.

John looked up from his "Thor" comic book.

"Here, little boy," she said. "Have a lollipop."

He opened his mouth to protest, then saw that it was cherry. A man had to pick his battles.

"Thanks," he said between slurps, then extended the handle on his rolling bag and made his way toward his gate.

Another city, another airport, another old lady thinking he was eight years old. He never had the time or energy to explain that he had left those innocent years behind long ago, that he had hefted a baritone sax for countless hours of marching band practice, that he had nearly failed an online phys-ed course, that he'd jumped out of a friggin' airplane. It didn't even help when he covered his wild nimbus of curls with the Irish flat cap he got at the Jameson Distillery in Dublin — they still thought he was a kid.

There was no way these elderly ladies could know that he was an electrical and computer engineering graduate from Georgia Tech who performed hydraulic analyses of control valves and eliminated cavitation and excessive vibration in the country's most important oil pipelines with his bare hands.

He nearly wanted to yell across the terminal to the old woman, "Do you realize that when I sing ‘You Give Love a Bad Name' at a karaoke bar, middle-aged suburban women in their mom jeans literally fall to the floor in ecstasy?"

But he didn't. He kept the lollipop in his mouth and wondered, will I ever get to show people who I really am?

Opportunity's knocking, Johnny. Answer the door.

Christy Fennessy

Christy stared at her reflection in the dirt-streaked mirror and took inventory: zip-front bustier, zebra-print stretch-pants, spangly blue scarf, fingerless gloves, faux-fur boots, teased hair, bottle of Jack Daniel's.
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Christy Fennessy - Best To Burn

Christy Fennessy

Christy stared at her reflection in the dirt-streaked mirror and took inventory: zip-front bustier, zebra-print stretch-pants, spangly blue scarf, fingerless gloves, faux-fur boots, teased hair, bottle of Jack Daniel's.

How did she end up here, in this disgusting bathroom, after growing up in suburban New Jersey, singing preciously pretty arias in church, playing the lash-batting ingenue in school musicals, quick-sticking on the lacrosse team, and providing a delicate descant to her college a cappella group Vocal Point at the University of Rochester?

Maybe that concussion she got during a college field hockey game had taken its toll. How else to explain why a Britney Spears-chasing magazine journalist and perky fitness instructor would be at a dive-bar dressed like David Lee Roth for a gig with the world's first all-female Van Halen tribute band?

The bathroom door creaked open. "We're on in five minutes," the drummer said. "You need more eyeliner."

Is this what Christy's life had come to?

Hell yes.

The gig with She-Ruption came and went. The guitarist left the band to pursue a life of stardom and forgery in Vermont. Christy had two kids. And she continued reporting on the bond market and parkour and old ladies who write erotica. She put her sparkly costumes in the basement in a box, tucking away her rock-star dreams, and silently wished there would come a day to live them again.

That day has come.

Benjy Rose

The gold and blue trophy — topped by a tarnished bumblebee with a taunting smile — sat on Benjy's shelf, daring him to do something greater.
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Benjy Rose - Best To Burn

Benjy Rose

The gold and blue trophy — topped by a tarnished bumblebee with a taunting smile — sat on Benjy's shelf, daring him to do something greater. Sure, he'd won the 1988 Long Island Sectional Spelling Bee, but in this topsy-turvy, what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world, he needed more.

So he tried. He wrote his college application essay in Dr. Seuss's trochaic pentameter. He went SCUBA diving with sharks at the Great Barrier Reef. He played Bach's Tocatta and Fugue on a booming pipe organ at Brown University. He wore suspenders and blessed the rains while singing the solo from Toto's "Africa" with the Bear Necessities.

But the sense of accomplishment he experienced as a spelling champ continued to elude him.

Even when Benjy and his former a cappella band LiveWire won both the inaugural Southeast Subregional Harmony Sweepstakes in 1999 and the Boston Regional Harmony Sweepstakes in 2000. Even when he wrote and performed jingles about a morning radio show, UPC codes, and a wireless company moving office locations. Even when he hawked warm Diet Crystal Pepsi during weekend overnight shifts on New England alternative radio.

Nothing could erase the image of a young Benjy dressed in an acid-washed denim jacket with pegged sweatpants – lifted just a touch, so you could see a sliver of ankle – and the blue, pink and yellow baseball hat he wore tipped back on his head. Nothing could drown out the cheers that echoed in his mind: "Ben! Jee! Can! Spell!"

Nothing could top the euphoria of that win.

Until now...

Steve Ryan

It may be hard to believe, but life in the lab isn't all groupies and superstardom.
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Steve Ryan - Best To Burn

Steve Ryan

It may be hard to believe, but life in the lab isn't all groupies and superstardom. So many hours spent hunched over a microscope, staring at brain slices, trying to understand why the principal neurons in a rat's amygdala spontaneously receive synchronized input in the form of compound, rhythmic, inhibitory postsynaptic potentials. Is it possible they originate from burst-firing parvalbumin interneurons? Steve ached to know.

He sat back in his rolling chair and reached to stroke his lush beard, then remembered it was tucked into a hairnet. The whiskers — "suburbs of the chin," as Melville once called them — were the stuff of legend. Other neuroscientists hid behind their clipboards and spoke in hushed, reverential tones about how word has it, Steve was born with that beard on his face.

Truly, though, Steve didn't have the beard when he was born in Cleveland, Ohio. But they'd been together through the biomedical engineering program at Georgia Tech, through Steve's time singing bass with Sympathetic Vibrations, through his co-founding of the South Asian a cappella group Taal Tadka (though he is neither South, nor Asian). Rumor has it the beard even helped his former group Catatonic win the MidAtlantic Harmony Sweepstakes in 2014.

Steve and the beard had been together 14 years, by far his longest relationship. And though he loved it, and its ability to conceal most of his face and some leftover mac and cheese, he wondered if its Sampson-like power distracted from his other skills. Did the four-year-old boy who shouted "FATBEARD" while walking by on the street know that Steve could beatbox? Did people know he could make a mean poached egg? Did they realize he could kick it in the kind of lab Dr. Dre raps about, too? (A recording studio, duh. Stop staring at the beard and get with it.)

No. Even as the beard has inspired awe, Steve himself has toiled in relative obscurity, eluded by the superstardom he’s earned.

That ends now.

Samantha Rich

"Oh Captain Lundvik, what am I gonna do with you?" she purred to the three-legged tabby and the 56th animal she'd fostered since graduating from Georgia Tech just a year before.
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Samantha Rich - Best To Burn

Samantha Rich

The cat stretched, then slunk into Sam's lap, itching for a scritching.

"Oh Captain Lundvik, what am I gonna do with you?" she purred to the three-legged tabby and the 56th animal she'd fostered since graduating from Georgia Tech just a year before. At her feet was Rigsy — or "Pudding Brain," as she'd nicknamed the slobbery mutt — and perched on her left shoulder was the parakeet, Madame Karabraxos. Snuggled next to her on the couch was the little pig she called Doctor Who.

Sam herself sometimes felt like the good doctor, who in his adventures through space and time encountered more than 180 alien species and regenerated, again and again.

She was born 10 weeks early in Augusta, Ga., and survived. She went SCUBA diving in Australia and lived to tell the tale.

She lined up outside the theater in the middle of the night to see the Harry Potter movies. Her solo on the White Stripes' song "Seven Nation Army" with her college a cappella group, Infinite Harmony, made the song almost danceable.

She knitted. She baked. She simplified enterprise mobility management platforms. She once thought she had pancreatitis (it passed). And she read a lot of books. (Not just anyone can get away with having a BKEATER vanity plate on her VW Bug, you know.)

But here, surrounded by her animal menagerie and her boyfriend (he was in the room, somewhere. Maybe under that pile of marmosets?), she yearned for a new adventure. Something akin to rolling down a grassy hill in Scotland. Something exciting, something ... oh, what would you call it? It was on the tip of her tongue ...

Something like Best to Burn.

Hear, here.

Awesomeness in your ears.

Previously unreleased fly-on-the-wall rehearsal recording. Enhanced with Vitamin B, reverb, and whiskey.



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