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L5P | Covering Atlanta music and 'idiots': A look at Stomp and Stammer | News

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L5P | Covering Atlanta music and 'idiots': A look at Stomp and Stammer

ATLANTA -- Jeff Clark might be the first to tell you he has no business doing this -- sitting at a computer, writing a column for a magazine he publishes called Stomp and Stammer.

Stomp and Stammer mostly covers local music. Clark's magazine is an old-school print format publication. In fifteen years, both the music and magazine industries have changed radically. Clark would be the first to tell you those changes should have driven Stomp and Stammer out of business a long time ago. Yet it improbably endures.

"I think our secret, if you want to know the truth, is I keep my overhead very low as you can tell. I work out of my house," Clark laughed.  "It's not fancy."

Like the publisher's home/office near Little Five Points, the magazine lacks gloss. It looks much the same now as it did fifteen years ago. But Stomp and Stammer succeeds in its own modest way because of the content.

"There are always new things to cover, and new idiots to make fun of," Clark said.

Mack Williams can almost recite word for word the review Stomp and Stammer gave his band, Attractive Eighties Women.

"Our experience with Stomp and Stammer was a strictly negative one," Williams said.  "Basically (Clark) said, 'there's nothing worse than a joke band that isn't funny. And this is a joke band that isn't funny.'"

Williams' band is part of a long list of entertainers who have run afoul of Stomp and Stammer's critical eye. The magazine cheerfully gouges sacred cows and obscure wannabees with equal fervor.

"But the truth is if you look through the magazine, it's overwhelmingly positive," Clark said.  "People just focus on the negative stuff because we do it so well," Clark added wryly.

Williams says he has grudging respect for Stomp and Stammer's durability.

"He does contribute a lot to the Atlanta music scene," Williams said.  "He's doing this in an era when no one is really doing this anymore."

Attractive Eighties Women has recorded a song in tribute to Stomp and Stammer.  The lyrics are explicit and jokingly accuses Clark of planning the 9/11 attacks, among other atrocities.

"So if you want to be up to date on the worst new bands in Atlanta that are terrible and you shouldn't see them, you should pick up Stomp and Stammer because he lists them every month, all the terrible bands you shouldn't see or go pick up their albums," Williams said.

Clark says he distributes upwards of ten thousand free copies of Stomp and Stammer each month. He's the editor and ad salesman.  "I'm also the delivery boy," Clark said.

Its low financial profile is what has kept Stomp and Stammer around for fifteen improbable years-- that, and an acerbic personality that matches that of its publisher.