INsite April 2014 Issue

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APRIL 2014


VOL. 22, NO. 9 FREE

Spring Patio Guide Atlanta’s Best Brunch!

i n r p g S

Festival Issue

Atlanta Dogwood • Kennesaw Big Shanty Smyrna Spring Jonquil • Inman Park Shaky Knees • Shrine Circus • Kirkwood Spring Fling Decatur Arts • Atlanta Jazz and Many More!

FUN & RIDES FOr everyone! See you at

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annu a l

the circus!

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6 Aprilll2Metro-Atlanta

1 ticket $1.25, 21 tickets $20 55 tickets $50, 120 tickets $100

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$s2ad1m.is9sio5n SnS A P u irc A c , ne dmissio al rides any o MEeG s gate a iv er d includ nlimited carn a nd un lose *10 and u en to c [no rides] p o y a d are free

Walgreens Discount Ticket Prices Mega Pass : $21.95

*mega pass includes gate admission, circus admission and unlimited carnival rides any one day open to close *10 and under are free [no rides]

Admission Tickets : $3.50 21 Ride Tickets Strip : $11.00 *Rides require more than one ticket Follow Us On Facebook

Unlimited rides

Monday-Thursday, May 19-22 $18 per person does not include admission c c i ir rc cu us s


r i ir a f fa

Admission $7.00, 10 *includes & under FREE circus admission

, 2014 May 16 − 26 Jim R Miller Park Marietta, GA th


Parking $5.00


c c i ir rc cu us s


r i ir a f fa for more information call 404.419.6755



“hilarious! he has the acid snap of a white richard pryor, merged with all the monty pythons at once.” -toronto star





Entertainment Monthly


INTERVIEWS 06 GMO OMG 10 American Idiot 15 Divergent 16 Kelli Giddish 21 James Durbin 22 Dita Von Teese 23 Boy George 25 Lisa Loeb 27 Tinariwen 28 Manchester Orchestra 28 Johnny Two Bags




08 11 12 16 26 29

-ny times

“funniest man, in, well, pretty much all of the known universe.” - the la times

“surreal awesomeness.” - GQ

Spring Patios Great Brunch Spots Video Game Preview Spring Festival Guide Travel to Costa Rica MLB Preview

COLUMNS 04 05 05 07 13 14 19 19 20 23 24 30 30

“sheer comic Genius”

Around Town On Tap On A Dime Events Under The Lights Movie Reviews Home Releases We Got Next Road Warriors Album Reviews Track Suits Concert Calendar Favorite Things Fanatic


fox theatre | may 23 | 22


the groundbreaking BROADWAY


23 Publisher Stephen Miller Managing Editor Bret Love Art Director / Web Design Nick Tipton Sports Editor DeMarco Williams Local Events Editor Glenn Lafollette Music Editor John Moore

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Contributing Writers / Interns: Jon Latham, Ryan Loftis, Rodney Hill, Alex S. Morrison, Steve Warren, Dave Cohen, Jennifer Williams, Matt Connor, Ed Morales, Sacha Dzuba, David Weinthal, Benjamin Carr, Kalena Smith, Justin Patterson, Lee Valentine Smith, Amanda Miles, Patrick Flanary, Ian Coverdale CONTACT US 130 West Wieuca Road, Ste. 111 Atlanta, GA 30342 phone (404) 256-4328 • website ADVERTISING INFORMATION (404) 256-4328 • Editorial content of INsite is the opinion of each writer and is not necessarily the opinion of INsite, its staff, or its advertisers. INsite does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor do the publisher or editors of INsite assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. No content, i.e., articles, graphics, designs and information (any and all) in this publication may be reproduced in any manner without written permission from publisher.

Fe st iva

APRIL 2014


VOL. 22, NO. 9 FREE

© Copyright 2014, Be Bop Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Check out our St. Patty’s Day Guide on page 11!


Lisa Loeb James Durbin Boy George ATL Native Kelly Giddish


Festival Issue



Atlanta Dogwood • Kennesaw Big Shanty Smyrna Spring Jonquil Shaky Knees • Shrine Circus • Inman Park • Spring Fling Decatur Arts • Atlanta JazzKirkwood and Many More!

MAY 1- 4 • TH FoxTheatre.Org/Idiot 855-285-8499 • April 2014 • PG 3

Around Town


All this month, check out the The Center for Puppetry Arts latest dinosaur exhibition in welcomes Charlotte’s Web from Atlanta. Extreme Dinosaurs April 10-May 25. Watch the features some of the newest classic story on the Center’s dinosaur discoveries from this ‘Golden stage. Go to for additional Age’ of paleontology, and explores why details and ticket information. scientists believe these dinosaurs may have had such bizarre features like horns, plates, See Stephen Mills’ Hamlet from frills and feathers. For more info, go to April 11-13 live with the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra. Once again, Atlanta Ballet redefines the On April 5, top canine athletes limits of dance with this modern production from across the region will travel of Shakespeare’s enduring masterpiece. Go to Centennial Olympic Park in to for more details. downtown Atlanta to compete in the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Don’t miss Sheep to Shawl Challenge Eastern Regional Event. This on April 12 from 10:30 ampremier canine sporting event features an array 4:30 pm. Gather the entire of dog breeds competing in several “Olympicfamily for a full day of engaging style” events. Please visit for more activities including demonstrations of sheep information. shearing, spinning, weaving, open-hearth cooking, blacksmithing, candle making and The Blue Moon Beltline Boil much more at Smith Family Farm. Visit Festival brings a low country for more details. food and music experience to Inman Park and Historic Fourth Ward on April 5-6, 2014. Please go online to for more.


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Zoo Atlanta presents its Spring Safari Day Camp from April 7-11 for kindergartners through 5th grade. You’ll receive exclusive tours, animal encounters, games and more during an award-winning day camp adventure. Book a program on

APR 07



Visit CD Warhouse on April 19 and celebrate Record Store Day. This national event recognizes the vinyl record and those great album covers. To honor this event CD Warehouse will be buying and selling vinyl records throughout the month. Find out more at

Other Stuff

For five years, Trey McIntyre has led his own cutting-edge dance company through a bold and beautiful passion project, infusing tenets of classical ballet with the vibrant, soulful energy of American life through rock, classical, and jazz sounds. Nobody makes people love dance like Trey McIntyre. See his show at the Rialto Center for the Arts on April 26 at 8pm. Music Director Robert Spano Visit will lead the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Britten’s The walls of Palazzo Rosa, the 44th War Requiem April 24 at 8 pm annual Decorators’ Show House and April 26 at 7:30 pm in Atlanta Symphony & Gardens, are no stranger to Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center. The concert the creative minds of the Atlanta will also feature soprano Evelina Dobračeva, Symphony Associates’ annual group of elite tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, baritone Stephen designers. The Decorators’ Show House Powell, and the Gwinnett Young Singers. will be open to the public from April 26– Tickets are $24-$75, and additional details are May 18, and all proceeds benefit the Atlanta available at Symphony Orchestra and its education and community engagement initiatives. For more Take part in Over The Edge, information, or to purchase tickets, visit a benefit for Special Olympics Georgia. Fundraisers will take part in rappelling down the Don’t miss the Callanwolde 2014 Druid Hills Tour of Buckhead Tower on April 25 an April 26. Homes and Gardens from May Visit for complete 2-4. Callanwolde is proud to be information and event details. participating as a home in the 2014 Druid Hill The Atlanta Opera welcomes the Tour of Homes and Gardens. The premiere Barber of Seville from April 26- tour of homes and gardens in Atlanta, the tour May 4 for four special shows. The celebrates the evolution of the architecture two hour, 25 minute performance and design of the Druid Hills neighborhood. is sure to be a classic. Go to Tickets may be purchased in advance on the website: for show times and details.

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MAY 02

APR 26

Celebrate the Mothers in your life.

This Mother’s Day, create a special moment for the special Mom in your life! Give her a gift that shows her all the love and nurturing she selflessly gives means the world to you. As one of Atlanta’s most respected jewelers for over 50 years, Alexander’s Of Atlanta is known to make moments like these unforgettable! Stop in and see why.

ER! W INN PG 4 • April 2014 •


404-634-3197 • 2891 North Druid Hills Road



On Tap this Month


Know of a low cost event of happening?



The fifth Annual Beer Carnival is set to pour up plenty for beer lovers and carnival enthusiasts to taste and experience. Formerly Winter Beer Carnival, this year’s event has been thawed out and moved to Saturday, April 5 at Atlantic Station in Midtown. The event has been expanded to offer more beers, carnival games, activities, DJs and great food. See website for listing of beers including traditional favorites, premium craft beers and an assortment of brews from near and far. For more information visit

April 5: Masquerade Music Park


After 2 great years at SweetWater Brewery, Hogs & Hops is moving to the Masquerade Music Park. The new location will allow for more space, more BBQ, more other food options, and more beer. Hogs and Hops is part beer festival and part food festival, which equals a carnival for your taste buds. Tickets are $40 in advance and $55 the day of the event. Admission includes all beer samples, five food tickets and two dessert tickets. Go to hogsandhopsatlanta. com for details.

April 8: Turner Field


Our long national nightmare (winter) is finally over. Spring is in the air, and that means its once again time for baseball. The Braves are at Turner Field for but a short time longer, so be sure to enjoy Opening Day. Atlanta welcomes the New York Mets for a 7:10 pm first pitch. Atlanta’s own Kristian Bush of the band Sugarland will be performing in Fan Plaza during pregame and singing the National Anthem. The event is also the 40th Anniversary of Hank Aaron’s 715th homer. Visit for details.

April 26: Aaron’s Amphitheatre


A rock-n-roll classic comes to Atlanta this month. The legendary Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band come to Aaron’s Amphitheatre on April 26 for a full night of some of the greatest rock songs ever written. You’ll know all of Springteen’s classic hits like “Born in the U.S.A.” and “Born to Run.” The Boss has been touring for nearly three decades and has sold more than 120 million albums worldwide. The show starts at 7:30 pm. For complete show information and tickets, go to

April 26: Chastain Park


One of the most talented guitarists in the world comes to Chastain Park Amphitheatre on April 26. Carlos Santana visits Atlanta as part of the Corazon Tour, the latest music from one of the true legends of rock-n-roll. The Latinmusic inspired, Grammy winning artist is still one of the best shows going, even at the age of 66. Don’t miss a chance to see one of the greatest musicians of all time. The show starts at 8pm. For ticket package details, go to

May 4: Centennial Olympic Park


The eighth annual “Fiesta Atlanta” is Atlanta’s premier Hispanic outdoor festival and the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the Southeast. Fiesta Atlanta features a daylong celebration of Latino culture and heritage, featuring continuous live musical performances by international and national recording artists. Mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing, a 5K race, youth soccer clinics and sponsor displays with free product samples, arts and crafts and authentic foods make Fiesta Atlanta a true multicultural celebration. Visit for details.


“CITYWIDE CELEBRATION OF LIVING LANDMARKS” Saturday, April 5, 2:00pm, Free Various Downtown Restaurants Callaway Gardens March 5-20, Free Grant Park 17800 Hwy 27 Around the City VariousUS Landmarks Pine Mountain, phoenixflies.orgGeorgia This event summer encourages This will take promotion place in conjunction with

patrons to experience Downtown The Phoenix Flies: Fight A Celebration ofAtlanta Living International Pillow Day. Created by the

on ice! Playground Throughout the heated months of Admission Callaway Gardens is Urban Movement, this group’s Landmarks wastocreated in 2003 by The Atlanta July and August, featured restaurants in the complimentary through the end of this goal is to create unique in public Preservation Center as ahappenings way to celebrate the Downtown Dining District willrescue be offering month (Price isbecome $15 for adults, spaces that will a significant part of 25th anniversary ofnormally the dramatic of the refreshing signature cocktails, hip happy $6.50 per child) providing guests with popular culture, partially replacing passive, Fox Theatre, an event that changed Atlanta’s hours and deals that you won’t want tothe miss. non-social, branded experiences the opportunity toconsumption enjoy time with their preservation outlook forever. This year, list like watching television. This event is open to Participating restaurants include Atlanta family and friends reconnecting in nature. includes free guided tours of The Fox Theatre, adults and children. Just bring your pillow. Grill, Azio Downtown, BLT Steak, Max Free admission includes the Virginia Piedmont Park, Historic Oakland Cemetery, Fight is anticipated to last oneand hour. Lager’s, No Mas! Walking Cantina The Hand Callaway Discovery Day Civil War Atlanta Tour,Center, TullieSundial Smith Restaurant. Visit the website for a complete Butterfly Center, Sibley Horticultural Farm House, Margaret Mitchell the CHASTAIN CHASE 6K FUNVegetable RUN House, list ofBeltline deals. Center, Mr. Cason’s Garden, new Park and much more. Sunday, AprilBrothers 6, 8am Azalea – 12pm,Bowl, $30 Registration, Callaway Overlook Children under 5 Free Garden, Discovery Bicycle Trail, Pioneer AMERICAN COUNCIL ATLANTA Chastain Park CRAFT (Race starts / ends SHOW at Road IN Runner Sports) Log Cabin, Ida Cason Callaway Memorial March 10-13, Regular admission: $13 Chapel, nature trails and daily programs. Children under 12: free This winds through Chastain Park and Cobb race Galleria Center THE UNIVERSOUL CIRCUSprovide a wide contributions will directly Two Galleria Parkway, Atlanta variety of free, evidence-based support Feb. 10 27, Tickets range from $15 - $35 programs forGreen peopleLotin the Atlanta area who are Turner Field affected by Avenue, cancer. Not a runner? Sign up for 521 Atlanta ThisCapitol 3-day event is the largest juried fine craft the 1 mile walk, or sleep in and participate as a Show in the southeast. The show has been

By Marci Miller 2011 SOUTHEASTERN HUNGER WALK/RUN 5KFLOWER SHOW EARTH DAY KIDS FEST Feb. 25 27, Adults $18 in advance) March 13, Noon-4pm, $25($15 for runners 8th ANNUAL GERMAN BIERFEST Saturday, April 13, 10am – 3pm, Adults $10

Youth/Student $7, Kids2 under 5 are Free Free for walkers Saturday, Children $6,August Children27, Under–27pm Free Cobb Galleria Centre Parking is free $30 your Online, the and Doorget in Free! Ride bike$35 fromAthome Two Galleria Parkway, Atlanta Turner Field Green Lot Woodruff Park, Downtown Atlanta Chattahoochee Nature Center 755 Hank Aaron Drive, Atlanta Presented by the This summer event celebrates greatness Chattahoochee Nature Center Southeastern istheonce again Horticultural Society, premier Join thousands of runners and walkers at of German inthisa annual family-friendly presenting the beer 12th Annual Earth Day Kids gardening event promotes preservation this annual event that benefits the Atlanta Fest. This event is a unique and exciting handsenvironment. Complete with authentic and awareness of on, environmental education where Community Food Bankflowers and fiveand otherplants local German food, activities forexperience the kids, music youth areeducation encouraged to Bierfest take the expression. first in through and artistic nonprofits. Participants can register assteps a team and fun, the German is not only becoming environmental stewards. Visit Show activities include speakers, juried or individually online or register the daythe of the only authentic German Bierfest in Eco-Village where you learn about competition, kids’ activities, Landscape & the event.but There will bewill activities for all local ages Atlanta, the only family-friendly beer organizations that are doing great things to Discovery Gardens and more. includingasgames, live entertainment & more. festival well. For the price of admittance,

protect the planet. Stopthe by each ofbeer the local nonGates open at noon, & walk attendees can drink all5K therun theybegin can profits for fun and exciting hands-on activities at 2 p.m. safely consume. Designated drivers are 10th ANNUAL WINE CRAWL and learn about OAKHURST some local environmentally encouraged and can attend for free. No one Saturday, Feb. 26, 4 pm-7 pm friendly businesses. Entertainment provided under the 21 will be permitted to $25 in advance for of Tasting Glass A-TOWN DAYage by Farmer Jason. consume alcohol.$5A designated driver $30 day26,ofNoon-8pm, event March service will also be on site for those who Oakhurst District LakewoodBusiness GARDEN SHOW IN BUCKHEAD find themselves in unsafe 200225Lakewood SE,an Atlanta April – 27, 10amAve – 6:00pm Daily condition to drive home. Daily Tickets $15, $20 Three Day Pass Buckhead Theatrein this year’s event will get Participants to sample wines from around theconcert, world A-TOWN DAY is a health festival, PIGS & PEACHES BBQcare FESTIVAL while exploring all the businesses in the and a 26 major of 5pm Awareness August & 27,day Friday - 11pm celebrating Returning to their roots, the Southeastern Oakhurst neighborhood. There will be 20 all things10am Atlanta. A-TOWN Saturday – 10pm, Free DAY benefits Horticulture Society is bringing the participating establishments and the event the Diabetes of Atlanta and The Ben RobertsonAssociation Community Center, Kennesaw Southeastern Flower Show back into Bus the expects sell out quickly. Thewill Fur B-Aware to Foundation. This event feature community. The 2014 show will take place in an will be on poetry, hand to live music, cartransport and participants lots ofTheatre family abbreviated show style atshow the Buckhead from barevents. to bar. Ticketsacannon-sanctioned be purchased friendly The and willevent set the features stage for the 2015 Southeastern from Steinbeck’s Ale House, Backyard BBQ, Butt andUjoint, Peach Flower Show and Anything future shows to come. This and Karvana Coffee Shop, all located in Dessert Contest, as well a WEEK Kansas City INMAN event willPARK featureRESTAURANT indoor andasoutdoor displays, Oakhurst village. Barbeque Society sanctioned Professional renowned plant speakers and accomplished March 28-April 3, $15 Contest, is with recognized as a Georgia chefs, unique from $25 & marketplace $35which for three-course meal offerings State NATIONAL Championship Cookoff. vendors. IHOP PANCAKEBarbeque DAY CELEBRATION Over $14,000 cash and prizes will be Tuesday, March 1,in7 am-10 pm, Free Pancakes WEDNESDAY WINDDOWN awarded to House contest winners. food International of Pancakes Savor historic Inman Park withBesides three-course Wednesday, April free 211 local for sale, from and music from of Locations throughout Metro Atlantaa number dinners restaurants. Proceeds 5:30pm – 8:00pm, Free Open local and national acts, festival goershelps will will benefit Project Hand, which Centennial Olympic be treated to a Park large Kid Zone (withchronic many people prevent or better manage attractions FREE to families), vendor On thisthrough day, customers willunique receive one disease comprehensive nutrition care. booths andstack sponsor exhibits. The Silver free short (three) ofand IHOP’s famous $1 raffle tickets will be sold will go towards Atlanta’s longest running FREE concert series Wings aerial exhibition buttermilk pancakes. All they askwill is2team that the charity. The winner of the raffle win kicks offparatrooper its season on Wednesday, April with returns thed’ouerves, event, and will jump into the patrons consider making a donation to aMausiki hostedtoScales hor beer and wine party and The Common Ground festival on Saturday, August 27. Crowds support local children’s hospitals through at Park’s Edge Restaurant for thirty of their Collective along with The Infinite Sound Family. will bewith treated to Network aPark wonderful display of Children’s Miracle other friends. Each will local bring Relax anInman evening ofrestaurant live or entertainment aerobatics and in charities. Since beginning every Wednesday in the performances park’s Southern tastes from their patriotic restaurants foritstheNational winner. the There will be aEnjoy fireworks Pancake Day inhuge, 2006, IHOP Company Amphitheater. everything The sky. winner willcelebration be also announced at the end of grand finale. has raised more $5.35 millionforby toa from jazz to contemporary music the restaurant week.than Check the performed website favorite national acts. support charities in thetouring communities in completelocal list and of participating restaurants.

Phantom Runner, which means you will make a the premiereonly. marketplace for regional fine contribution UniverSoul craft lovers and The collectors, and offersCircus guests continues itsworksurge the chance to meet and purchase from ATLANTA BRAVES YELLOW JACKET to around the toptheofcountry. the live esteemed artists from To April – October, Tickets Start at $6 entertainment ranks FAN DAY reach first-time collectors and established craft Opening Day, Tuesday, April 8 with interactive funky Saturday, 6, 3pm –its6pm, Free collectors alike, the newest show category for Turner FieldAugust rendition of a traditional Bobby Dodd Stadium Grant Field Under $100. participating artists isatHandmade UniverSoul has Artists who sell workcircus. for under $100 will have captivated audiences The kick off their 2014 season theirAtlanta boothsBraves specially marked for patrons from around on Tuesday,inbegin April 8atagainst their NLthe Eastworld rivals Festivities 3ap.m. on Callaway Plaza interested starting collection. with its unique brand the Yorkprizes, Mets. inflatables A pregame ceremony will withNew music, and games for recognize the 40th Anniversary of Hank Aaron that blends circus arts, the kids. From 4-6 p.m. the gates will open ATLANTAhisMOTOR SPEEDWAY FREEand OPEN music. HOUSE hitting 715th home run and breaking theater and fans can enter the stadium to meetBabe the March 12, 11am-3pm, Free Ruth’s record.Jackets. Kristian Bushinfrom Sugarland Founded Atlanta over 2011 Yellow Football players will be Atlanta Motor Speedway will perform a17pre-game concert and the years ago, the at audience seated with their position groups various 1500 TaraAnthem. Place, Hampton National This year,Head tickets startPaul as willthewatch infield. amazement as stilt points on playing coach low as $6 for select games and there are also walkerswill make way across a tight Johnson sign their autographs from 4-5 p.m. discounts for riders first responders and members of rope, horse perform death-defying and will be available for photographs from the Food discounts arefree. alsoActivities available Visitmilitary. the track’s Open House for stunts, and bend into 5-6 p.m.championship Pleasecontortionists limit legends autographs toonONE for season ticket holders. include racing the incredible and beautiful shapes. item per player or coach. be the quarter-mile “Thunder Ring.This ”, freewilldrawings first getown thecar 2011 football for bigopportunity prizes, drivetoyour on the track poster as well as schedule cards, ticket CHEERSPORT 2011 NATIONAL with the purchase of Labor Day NASCAR information andselect other items throughout the CHEERLEADING & DANCE tickets, fans can their seats for the Labor afternoon. Most campus parking lots will Day Race Weekend, tour the Speedway’s race CHAMPIONSHIP be available. it operates. FESTIVAL PEACHTREE LATINO control Feb. 18 –tower 20 and suites, take photos with which Sunday, August 28, 11am – 7:30pm, Free the Atlanta $30 for 2-dayMotor pass Speedway pace car and a SIMON GAMEPLAY TOUR Piedmont Park NASCAR Sprint $20 for 1-day passCup Series winner’s trophy, Saturday, 20gift @ shop 10am,and Free discounts at5 AMS much more. Kids UnderAugust are Free DiscoverWorld Mills Mall, Lawrenceville Georgia Congress Center 285 Andrew Young International Blvd., Atlanta

The Simon GamePlay tour will connect fans of all ages to the hottest video cheerleading games before Bring it on…this electrifying they are launched and available in stores. and dance competition features teams The recently launched Nintendo 3DS competing from across America. This gaming system will take center stage with year, it expects to grow larger than ever a “Nintendo Lounge, ” with couches, with over 9003DS teams participating, from snacks and games. Nintendo also offer ages three through college. will Cheersport “Street Pass,”bytournament-style play loved using was founded all-star coaches who Nintendo 3DS devices. GamePlay will competitive cheerleading and dance. feature 10 gaming pods, including 2 mature Check the website for the full competition zones, with products from instrusty leaders schedule. like SEGA, Capcom, 2K and Atari.

Festival Peachtree Latino has been the largest family & multicultural event in the southeast since 2000. They have featured hundreds of exhibitions, family activities, sporting events, parades, arts & crafts, ethnic foods and outdoor musical performances featuring renowned international musicians on two stages. The best part about it is that the event is absolutely FREE!! This year, Festival Peachtree Latino has more to offer, with new attractions and a larger schedule of musical performances.





New Documentary Sheds Light on the Controversy Over Genetically Modified Organisms



N THE OPENING LINES OF THE NEW documentary film GMO OMG, first-time director Jeremy Seifert gets right to the heart of the controversy surrounding Genetically Modified Organisms: “Having children makes you see everything differently,” he says in voiceover, explaining why he felt he needed to make the film. “It bothered me that we were eating GMOs, and we didn’t know what they were.”


By definition, a Genetically Modified Organism is any organism whose DNA has been altered by genetic engineering, including plants, fish and mammals. The main genetically modified foods are popular cash crops like corn, canola, cottonseed oil and soybean. Seifert’s film comes along at a time when debate over GMOs amongst consumers, biotechnology companies, the FDA, non-profit advocacy groups, farmers and scientists is reaching a fever pitch. There are a number of difficult questions that still desperately need to be answered about GMOs, including whether genetically modified foods should be labeled as such, the objectivity of existing scientific research, the effect of GMO crops on human health and the environment, their effect on pesticide resistance, and the potential role of these crops in eliminating the

global hunger problem. But the biggest question of all may be why more Americans don’t seem to care about the potentially hazardous chemicals we’re putting into our bodies?


GMO OMG is not a perfect film, but it does shine a spotlight on troubling issues surrounding our planet’s food supply by sharing some shocking statistics: • 80% of all corn, soy and cotton grown in the U.S. is genetically modified with pesticides to kill insects and/or herbicides resistant to weed killer. • 80% of all processed foods on your grocery store shelf have GMOs in them. • Over 90% of the total seed diversity in the United States has disappeared over the last century. • The top 3 companies in the BioTech industry– Dupont, Monsanto, and Syngenta– control 53% of the total seed supply in the WORLD. • Most of the GMO studies that have been done lasted just 3 months, and were funded by the very same companies who make GMOs. You can’t study long-term impacts of anything in 3 months. • More than 60 countries (including Australia,

Japan, and all EU countries) have either banned or significantly restricted the production and sale of GMOs. But not the United States.


Seifert’s project was originally inspired by a news story he read about Haiti. After the 2010 earthquake devastated the country, Monsanto offered Haitians 475 tons of seeds. Surprisingly, the impoverished nation did not respond with gratitude, instead burning the seeds and rising up in protest against Monsanto. “I had been to Haiti 6 months before the earthquake,” Seifert recalled during an interview after an Atlanta screening of GMO OMG. “ I spent time in Port au Prince and City Soliel, and saw the hunger and poverty there. When I read this article about 10,000 rural people marching in the streets, I didn’t understand why very poor farmers in a desperate situation would burn seeds. It just didn’t make sense to me why they would take such a radical stance.” So he returned to Haiti with cameras in tow to find out for himself. The Haitians Seifert interviewed for the film speak out passionately against what they refer to as “seeds of death.” They resent the fact that companies like Monsanto are trying to patent and own nature. They say that the chemicals in GMO seeds kill the soil over time, ultimately rendering it useless. And perhaps most importantly, they decry the fact that the rise of industrial agriculture will be the death knell for small, independent farmers.


Unless you regularly follow news about agriculture, biotechnology and the environment, you might wonder what all the fuss is about where Monsanto are their ilk are concerned. But Monsanto is the company that created Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone. RBGH increased milk production in cows, but also caused them painful problems, and was banned in Europe and Canada due to puss/ blood in the milk and a potential link to cancer. They also invented Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB), a toxic chemical banned in the U.S. due to toxicity, but only after tons of the stuff was dumped into rivers, causing widespread environmental and health problems. Monsanto also brought us DDT, the pesticide in Agent Orange, which famously burned the skin off of Vietnamese civilians. GMO OMG suggests that genetically modified foods may similarly present unknown consequences. The film cites Gilles-Éric Séralini’s controversial 2-year study on RoundUp-resistant GMO corn, which found long-term health risks such as hormonal PG 6 • April 2014 •

imbalance and tumors of the mammary and pituitary glands. The study was refuted by many in the scientific community (some of whom are suspected to be on Monsanto’s payroll). But an online petition in support of Séralini’s study was signed by 80 scientists from the Bioscience Resource Project earlier this year. While the jury may still be out on the veracity of Séralini’s study, we know this much to be true: Monsanto has sued more than 90 small farmers in the U.S., either for saving seeds patented by the company or for unknowingly growing GMO crops after seeds blew onto their land from neighboring farms. They’ve threatened to sue any state that attempts to pass GMO labeling laws, and spent $45 million on lobbying just to defeat California’s Prop 37 in 2012. They’ve also managed to infiltrate the United States government, with at least seven high-ranking officials in the FDA having Monsanto employment history. Given what we do know about Monsanto’s history, are these really the sort of people we want controlling 53% of the world’s total seed supply?


GMO OMG ultimately raises more questions than it answers, thanks to Monsanto ignoring the director’s requests for an interview. But Seifert does point a finger of responsibility at those who ignore companies working to gain control over the world’s food supply: “There is a choice, and consumers have a role to play,” he says. Supporters of the sustainable food movement (which has made terms such as Slow Food, farm-to-table, and locavore into huge foodie buzzwords) have embraced the film’s anti-GMO stance. In turn, the film’s website refers those interested in learning more about GMOs to organizations such as Food Democracy Now, Center for Food Safety, Organic Consumers Association, Just Label It, and the Non-GMO Project. Their collective goal is public education, the labeling of GMOs, and a return to organic, local agriculture that is free of pesticides and herbicides. “We do have power as consumers,” Seifert insists. “We eat every single day. With our money, we will either participate in a system of nurture or we will participate in a system of exploitation. Labeling is the first necessary and obvious step, and we should all demand it. But even if I found out that GMOs are good for us and make us smarter and faster, I couldn’t participate in what I see as a system that’s ultimately about the exploitation of land, resources and a monopolization of that resource. I want to support food and farm policies that will benefit small farmers, local food, agriculture and culture.”


Written and Choreographed by MAurice Hines direCted by Jeff cAlHoun

Under The Lights ON THE STAGE THIS MONTH! MAURICE HINES TAPPIN’ April 2 - May 4 Alliance Theatre Box Office (404) 733-5000

Tap Dance Legend, lifelong performer, and Tony Award nominee Maurice Hines (Sophisticated Ladies and Eubie!) captivates audiences with stories, songs and smooth choreography in Maurice Hines Is Tappin’ Thru Life. Hines, who started performing at five years old, brings the history of American tap to life and pays tribute to his brother Gregory, family, and the singers who inspired him, from Frank Sinatra to Lena Horne. As an introduction to the future of tap, Hines showcases the talents of tap-dancing brothers John and Leo Manzari. The Menzari Brothers performed with Hines in the show’s recent run at Arena Stage and previously in the 2010 production of Sophisticated Ladies. Hines will be backed by an all-female powerhouse ensemble, the DIVA Jazz Orchestra. A charming storyteller, Hines turns the Alliance Stage into a place of intimate story-telling and dance moves that will make you realize you are in the presence of a song-and-dance legend.


April 10 - 27 The Fox Theatre (855) 285-8499

Experience the phenomenon of The Lion King coming to The Fox Theatre for the first time during a three week run. Visually stunning, technically astounding and with a musical score like none other you've ever

heard. Giraffes strut, birds swoop, gazelles leap. The entire savannah comes to life as the music soars and Pride Rock slowly emerges in the mist. Marvel at the breathtaking spectacle of animals brought to life by a cast of more than 40 actors. Thrill to the pulsating rhythms of the African Pridelands and an unforgettable score including Elton John and Tim Rice's Oscar-winning song "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" and "Circle of Life." Now in it’s 17th year, The Lion King is the highestgrossing Broadway show in history and one of the most popular stage musicals around the world.

MAurice Hines is

“tHe life of tHe pArty.” —Washington Post


May 1 - 4 The Fox Theatre (855) 285-8499

Direct from Broadway, the smash-hit musical American Idiot tells the story of three lifelong friends forced to choose between their dreams and the safety of suburbia in a post 9/11 world. Winner of two Tony Awards®, the Atlanta production offers incredible spectacle and thrilling performances with the hope embodied by a new generation. Based on Green Day's Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum album, American Idiot features the music of the band with the lyrics of its lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong. The book is by Armstrong and Michael Mayer and direction is by Tony Award® winner Mayer of Spring Awakening. The musical features the hits “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “21 Guns,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” “Holiday” and the blockbuster title track “American Idiot”. This thrilling production will gives audiences the time of their lives.

Buy Early & Save!

Broadway legend and tap extraordinaire Maurice Hines teams up with the unforgettable Manzari Brothers to share his life story and glamorous career through tap.

April 2–May 4 Tickets @ 404.733.5000 Groups 404.733.4690 Maurice Hines with members of the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, in Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater November 15-December 29, 2013. Photo by Teresa Wood.

Series on the Alliance Stage

Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs • April 2014 • PG 7

Spring Patio Guide

Where to Go when looking to Dine Al Fresco! Athens Pizza House

Savage Pizza

1341 Clairmont Rd. Decatur 404.636.1100

Since 1966 the Papadopoulos family has served up great Greek and Italian cuisine to the Emory / Decatur area. Athens Pizza is Zagat rated and the recipient of various awards including Best Greek Cuisine in Atlanta. Don’t let the name fool you, there is much more than great pizza, as some of the favorite recipes on their Greek dishes go back generations! During the spring months, diners head out to their patio to dine al fresco. Their patio is also a popular destination for groups and small parties. Athens Pizza offers an extensive catering menu for parties of all sizes.

Twin Peaks Restaurant

3365 Piedmont Rd. 404.961.8946

Twin Peaks, the mountain lodge-style sports restaurant in Buckhead, and its beautiful Twin Peaks girls offer great views! All three patios: street level, second floor open air and lively rooftop are adorned with the outgoing and beautiful Twin

PG 8 • April 2014 •

days a week. Then head to your table on their romantic southwestern designed patio with fireplace. Every Monday Thursday this spring try their prefixed menu. Add one of their award winning margaritas and great ambiance and one can see why this is a Cabbagetown favorite. 484 Moreland Ave. 404.523.0500 115 Laredo Dr. 404.299.5799

Peaks girls. Twin Peaks offers high-quality comfort food including man-sized portions of classic American favorites like slow roasted Grilled Meatloaf, butter-brushed Flat Iron Steak, hand-prepared Mozzarella Cheese Sticks and fresh Buffalo Wings. Also find an extensive selection of 29degree draft beer served from two fullservice bars with 32 taps.


242 Boulevard SE 404.588.0006

Mo’s Pizza This eclectic neighborhood restaurant is a favorite hangout among residents of Little 5 and Avondale Estates. Both locations offer patio seating. Savage prepares all their menu items using only the freshest vegetables and first quality meats, cheeses, breads and pastas. On their menu you'll find innovative homemade sauces, fresh dough and thoughtfully prepared dishes, made from scratch every day. They offer is a wide variety of salads, subs, calzones and of course pizzas to choose from.

The Downwind Restaurant

Consistently voted the Best Southwestern Restaurant in Atlanta, Agave uses only the freshest ingredients to create chef inspired dishes with a authentic southwestern flare. Agave’s menu is a unique blend of eclectic southwestern cuisine and extensive tequila bar that goes great with al fresco dining. Start with their two for one appetizers at the bar; available from 5pm - 7pm seven

including award winning burgers and some of the best seafood in Atlanta. Pilots fly in from Florida bringing Flounder, Sea Bass and fresh Fish of the Day. They offer a full bar and live music every Friday night from 7pm - close. Downwind is family friendly with an aviation themed playground for kids. Come help them celebrate 25 Years of aviation hospitality!

Dekalb Peachtree Airport 2000 Airport Rd. #201 770.452.0973

How many restaurants can boast patio seating with views of airplanes taking off and landing? The Downwind Restaurant & Lounge, a family owned establishment off of Clairmont Road can. Not only is their view superb, the food is fabulous too. Downwind boasts outstanding offerings

3109 Briarcliff Rd. 404.320.1258 at corner of Briarcliff & Clairmont Rd.

Mo’s has been serving up great pizza in Atlanta for over 30 years! But the menu isn’t limited to pizza: sandwiches, subs, wings, nachos and salads ensure that anybody who comes here can find something they like. Check for daily lunch and dinner specials. Everything is made using the freshest ingredients including the dough built from scratch every day. In spring, their front deck is the place to be. Families and friends flock here to catch some rays, enjoy the food and watch the Braves on one of their many screens.

Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant

2641 Buford Hwy. 404.325.2898

Pancho’s is Atlanta’s favorite Mexican restaurant! They are known for their Monster Margaritas as well as for their Monster Burritos. Here you will find winning combination of great value, quality and service. Lunch specials during the week start at just $6.75. This spring Panchos is offering Tilapia Fish Tacos along with specials for two, including the Pancho’s Parrillada (carne) and Pancho’s Mariscada (seafood). Grab a table on the patio for al fresco dining under the canopy of a giant oak tree that provides a great atmosphere for friendly get-togethers. Pancho’s offers drink specials and has several beers on tap. The patio features a live Mariachi band on Saturdays.

friends while enjoying their famous New Orleans cocktails and stay for dinner. Copeland's of New Orleans patio/ courtyards also offers their full menu.

The Flying Biscuit Cafe’

1655 McLendon Ave. 404.687.8888 1001 Piedmont Ave. 404.874.8887 Catering 404.849.2283

The Flying Biscuit serves great breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Their Midtown location (shown) near Piedmont Park allows for dining inside or on their corner patio. The patio is surrounded by windows which come off when the weather cools, offering great views of the bustling Midtown scene. The Midtown and Candler Park locations are offering new nightly dinner specials and new beer and wine selections thisHealthy spring.

#1 Chinese Restaurant in Atlanta

Johnny’s NY Style Pizza Multiple Metro Area Locations

Vegetarian Items Always Available 7 Area locations


3887 PEACHTREE RD • 404-816-2229 • BUCKHEAD/BROOKHAVEN DELIVERY (LIMITED AREA; MIN $10) OUT •with CATERING • FULL BAR SERVICE Johnny’s Pizza CARRY is synonymous great pizza and subs in Atlanta. They specialize WWW.CHINCHINATLANTA.COM in NY Style pizza, which is thin in the middle and thick around the edges. The Cheshire Bridge location featured has daily lunch specials from just $6.85 and this spring is offering $5 pitchers of beer on As The Varsity is with hamburgers, Tuesdays and $1 PBR Drafts all week long. Fellini’s is to Atlanta for pizza. They offer a So bring the family and meet up with simple menu that focuses on quality that friends as the Braves game is sure to be can’t be beat. Favorite pizzas include the shown. Or come for Trivia on Tuesday and Spinach Mushroom and Fellini’s special. As Thursday nights. Johnny’s restaurants offer popular as they are for their pizza, salads dine-in, take-out and delivery. and calzones, Fellini’s is also known around Atlanta for their great patios. Almost all Copeland’s of New Orlean’s include a fountain like the Ponce location 3101 Cobb Pkwy Suite 220 770.612.3311 shown, and are always bustling with people.

ys Monda $1 PBR Drafts $5 Pitchers of Beer Th ys Tuesda Trivia ursda



1142 Barrett Pkwy 770.919.9612


Multiple Area Locations Copeland's Famous New 1810 OrleansCHESHIRE BRIDGE Restaurant and Bar offers great Cajun A simple menu, fresh ingredients, and inspired patio/courtyard seating at both of 404-874-8304 attention to detail is what has made their Atlanta restaurants. Enjoy $5 Chipotle such a success. “Food with Martini's and $6 Appetizers while listening Integrity” means ingredients that are to live jazz during Jazzy Fridays, every unprocessed, family farmed, added horFriday 6pm - 9pm on their patio/courtyards mone free and organic. All of Chipotle’s (afterTake 5 PM)in the patio scene with Atlanta locations have outdoor seating. this spring.


Toco Hills Shopping Center 2963 N. Druid Hills Road Atlanta, GA 30329 (404) 929.9907 •

★★★ ★



7 days a week… 7am – 10pm!

Candler Park 1655 McLendon Ave. 404.687.8888 Midtown 1001 Piedmont Ave. 404.874.8887 • Catering: 404-849-2283


• Zagat Rated • Dine In or Take Out • Lunch & Dinner Specials


484 Moreland Avenue • L5P • 404.523.0500 | 115 Laredo Dr. • Avondale • 404.299.5799 • April 2014 • PG 9



Writer/Director Michael Mayer on the Green Day Musical, American Idiot



T WAS AN IDEA SO CRAZY, perhaps it just had to work. Back in 2007, director Michael Mayer– a seasoned Broadway veteran who was coming off his first Tony Award win for Spring Awakening– got a bee in his bonnet to turn Green Day’s album American Idiot into a stage musical. The punk-pop band, who had created the 2004 album as a rock opera inspired by The Who’s Tommy and Quadrophenia, fell in love with the idea on first listen, with frontman Billie Joe Armstrong working directly with Mayer during the adaptation process. The show opened on Broadway in 2010, and went on to win Tony Awards for Scenic & Lighting Design, as well as a nomination for Best Musical. Now, the tour is making its way to Atlanta. In January, Mayer did an interview with Maryland Public Television’s Eric Nueman to promote the tour. What follows are the highlights of that interview. How did you come up with the idea for this project? When the American Idiot album came out I was working on a film called Flicka, and I fell in love with the album by just hearing a few cuts on the CD. It was the only CD in my car as I would drive from Hollywood to Malibu and back. So I’m driving up and down the Pacific Coast Highway listening to the album over and over again, and I couldn’t get enough of it. As I was listening to it, I began to recognize the same type of anticipation of each song as I would as a kid, listening to an original Broadway cast recording. Something tickled in my head and I thought, “There is actually this narrative inside this album. What if I staged it?” And that’s where the idea first came to me. How did Green Day react when you first told them you wanted to turn their album into a musical? It was interesting! I [did] an interview with Variety after Spring Awakening opened and they were talking about rock music in the theatre. I said, “I’m sure that someone’s going to be doing American Idiot: The Musical, because it’s ready to go.” My producer from Spring Awakening, Tom Hulce, called me up and said, “So you’re talking about American Idiot. Are you interested in doing that?” I said, “It’s a great idea, but I‘m sure someone’s already doing it.” He said, “What makes you so sure?” And I said, “Well, because it’s a good idea.” He said, “Why don’t I find out if they’re open to it?” I thought it was the most far-fetched thing you can imagine. Why is this punk band going to be interested in musical theatre? Several weeks later, I find myself and Tom meeting with Green Day’s agent, Jenna Adler, and manager, Pat Magnarella. I pitched them my idea to take the main character from the album, the Jesus of Suburbia, pair him with two best friends, and turn the one journey that’s on the album into a journey of three guys in the post 9/11 Bush years trying to find themselves and figure out how to PG 10 • April 2014 •

make sense of the America they were born into… They said they liked it, and that they were going to take it to Billie Joe. And so Billie Joe, Pat, and Jenna all came to New York that September to see Spring Awakening, which Billie Joe flipped over. We spent all night talking about what American Idiot might be as a musical. Billie Joe was encouraged enough by how different Spring Awakening was to [know] that, if we were to work together on something, it might be in the realm of the Green Day experience. So he brought it to Mike and Tré, and they eventually got in a room with us after we organized a reading of the musical. They heard it, and they were sold from that point on. How did you and Billie Joe collaborate? I took the album, with his blessing, and crafted onto it the story I had imagined. Every step of the way I would send him a draft of what was essentially a libretto. So I was taking the lyrics that he had written for one narrator and assigned them to a variety of characters I had created. Then he would suggest changes or just give me the thumbs up to go forward. That was the process that took us through June 2008, which is when we did our first reading of it. And that’s when Green Day heard our version of American Idiot for the first time.

There was a range of ages and styles, and it was really cool to see people who had never been to the theatre before show up because they were Green Day fans. Likewise, it was amazing to see Broadway audiences discover a kind of sound that they certainly hadn’t heard on a Broadway stage. It was really a meeting of two worlds that came crashing together. It was really cool to see a completely different version of what a Broadway audience could be. I’m so interested in the collision between contemporary music and narrative. When those two things come together, what happens? I think it’s very exciting, and that’s what I’ve been doing mostly in the last several years. So to watch the two audiences come together and share an experience, it leads me to believe that it’s one of the keys to sustaining an audience for theatre as we go forward in this new century. The older audiences get older and die, and what can you do? So the audience that’s always going to be there for South Pacific just isn’t going to exist anymore. Unless we continue to make theatre that’s resonant for¬– and speaks to– a younger audience, I don’t see how theatre will continue to be the vital art form I believe it is.

popular band in the future? First of all, I’d jump at the opportunity to work with Green Day again, and I think that Billie Joe Armstrong got the theatre bug. Every now and then we’ll send each other a text saying, “Well, what about this?” or “What about that?” So he is definitely on board to write something new for the stage, which is really exciting. But there are a lot of other bands and songwriters out there making fantastic music that speaks to the generation right now, who I can imagine making some very interesting theatre work. I’m developing something with Colin Meloy, the frontman of The Decemberists, a band I really love. I think we’ll come up with something very special at some point.

Do you see yourself working with another

What was their reaction? I was terrified. We had a band, we had microphones, and it was loud. There were 12 singers, one of which was John Gallagher Jr., for whom I created the lead role of Johnny because he had been so brilliant in Spring Awakening. So they’re singing, and I’m watching the singers, and at one point they’re all glued to Green Day. One of the singers just gives me a little nod and a thumbs-up. And so I sneak a look over and all three guys have tears pouring down their face. Then I knew we had struck gold with this. How did this show bring in a new audience to the theatre? When we were playing on Broadway, I’d walk down 44th Street, and the line outside the theatre looked different from every other line outside every other show. It looked like the audience you’d see going into a big, popular movie:


Taste of the Month - BRUNCH!

Make plans now for Easter, Mother’s Day & Graduations

The Flying Biscuit

1655 McLendon Ave 404.687.8888 1001 Piedmont Ave 404.874.8887 Catering Hotline 404.849.2283

The Flying Biscuit serves great breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner seven days a week starting at 7 am. They are known for their mouthwatering biscuits and affordable menu items. Their signature dish is The Flying Biscuit Breakfast . It is served with two large farm-fresh eggs, free-range chicken and sage breakfast sausage. If you are in the mood for an omelet, The Flying Biscuit has several including the health conscious Hollywood Omelet made from egg whites, spinach, mushrooms & mozzarella cheese topped with a warm tomato sauce. Enjoy Weekend Sweet Specials on a variety of pancakes; chocolate chip, blueberry and more! The Flying Biscuit offers an organic-friendly menu and bakery and is a great choice for catering.

Copeland’s of New Orleans

3131 Cobb Pkwy #220 Cumberland 770.612.3311 1142 Barrett Pkwy Kennesaw 770.919.9612

American Roadhouse

842 N. Highland Ave 404.872.2822

Located in historic Virginia Highland neighborhood, American Roadhouse has been providing quality food, generous portions and down-home service since 1989. Find a variety of breakfast plates including the Roadhouse Breakfast (Two eggs, bacon or sausage & choice of home fries, fruit or grits, served with a buttermilk biscuit). Also try their Breakfast Burrito, Roadhouse Scramble and Red Flannel Hash. Several omelets and benedicts are on the menu including the Meat Lover’s Omelet, Vegetable Omelet, Classic Eggs Benedict and Crab Cake Benedict. Also find an assortment of pancakes, French Toast and waffles. American Roadhouse is open 7 days a week for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Hours are weekdays from 7am - 3pm and weekends 7am - 4pm.


4199 Paces Ferry Rd. 770.432.2663

Nestled along the banks of the Chattahoochee River, Canoe offers a beautiful brunch setting. Featured menu items include the Brioche Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict served with toasted English Muffins and citrus hollandaise. Their French Toast comes with banana-mascarpone, walnuts and fresh berries. Canoe serves brunch on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., offers lunch on weekdays and dinner every day.

J. Christopher’s

Multiple Metro Area Locations

Home of the New Orleans Live Jazz Sunday Buffet. This popular buffet is served on Sunday at both locations from 10am to 3pm. Copeland's Traditional New Orleans Jazz Brunch Buffet has the best brunch value in Atlanta. A sampling of what is offered includes: a Prime Rib & Honey Ham Carving Station, Peel and Eat Shrimp Boat, made to order Omelet Station and a Brioche French Toast & French Belgian Waffles Station. The Jazz Brunch also has an extravagant dessert station that includes a Chocolate Tower with assorted dippers, fruits and desserts. For those who don't want the buffet, or during the other days of the week, patrons can choose from their large menu. Some popular brunch items include: Eggs Benedict, Cajun Scrambled Eggs, Pork Loin Sausage and Apple Wood Smoked Bacon. Eggs are served any style and many of the buffet items like the Brioche French Toast are available on the menu. Copeland's is open 7 days a week.

Known for its casual dining experience, J. Christopher's serves traditional breakfast and lunch favorites as well as unique menu items. Signature items include Blueberry Crunchcakes, Eggs Benedict and Eggs Christopher (think Eggs Benedict with smoked turkey, crispy bacon and sliced tomato). They also offer southwestern-inspired dishes, skillets, omelets, pancakes, waffles, salads, sandwiches and a host of delicious coffee drinks. J Christopher’s is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily at all metro Atlanta locations.

Wahoo! A Decatur Grill 1042 W. College Ave. Decatur 404.373.3331

Wahoo Grill offers an eclectic menu that focuses on seafood with a southern twist. Their garden patio is the perfect spot for brunch in spring which is served here on Saturdays and Sundays. All their egg items come with grits or a hash brown casserole. Try the Eggs Benedict, Maryland Crab Cake, the signature Wahoo Omelet or the Lump Crab Cakes. Brunch buffet is available on Sundays 10am until 3pm. • April 2014 • PG 11




(Activision) Platform: 3DS Previously best known as a mobile app, Cut The Rope is an extremely addictive puzzle game franchise based on physics. Triple Treat bundles together all three versions of the game– the original (which won Apple Design and BAFTA Awards), Experiments and Time Travel–for over 650 levels of fun. The concept is deceptively simple: Using the law of gravity, players cut ropes to feed candy to a cute green monster. But the game is surprisingly challenging, with charm and humor that make it one of our family’s favorites.

DEAD RISING 3 (Microsoft) Platform: Xbox One I love zombies, so naturally I’m a fan of any game that involves slaying them. For my money, Dead Rising 3 is among the best ever made. It’s set 10 years after the last game, and players are cast as mysterious mechanic Nick Ramos, who has to escape from the walker-infested city of Los Perdidos, California before an impending military strike wipes the entire town off the map. There’s a massive open world to explore, exceptionally detailed gore, and seemingly endless weapon combinations for your zombiekilling pleasure. It’s like a virtual Walking Dead world come to life!




It’s hard to believe that Donkey Kong is 33 years old. It’s harder still to believe that Nintendo continues to come up with titles that keep the classic character fresh for new generations of gamers. Tropical Freeze is a platform adventure that finds the great apes trying to save their frozen island from invading “Snowmads” using Diddy’s jetpack, Dixie’s spinning ponytail, Cranky’s pogo-cane jump and DK’s ground pound. There are 6 different islands and a diverse variety of dynamic game play, making for family-friendly fun that more than lives up to the Donkey Kong legacy of quality.



ON VIEW ONLY IN ATLANTA FROM MAY 21–SEPTEMBER 7! Dream Cars showcases seventeen groundbreaking concept cars from the 1930s to the present, all of which push the limits of the imagination. Explore design innovation through the lens of the automobile. TICKETS: HIGH.ORG OR 404-733-5000 | GROUPS OF 10 OR MORE RECEIVE $10 ADMISSION!* FOR GROUP TICKETS, CALL 404-733-4550 PRESENTING SPONSOR




This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Images: General Motors Firebird I XP–21, 1953. Courtesy General Motors Heritage Center. Lancia (Bertone) Stratos HF Zero, 1970. Courtesy XJ Wang Collection. Photography by Michael Furman. *per person

PG 12 • April 2014 •

(D3 Publisher) Platform: X360 The sequel to Earth Defense Force 2017 picks up eight years after the 2012 action shooter ended, with the defeat of an alien invasion and the destruction of their Mothership. This time, a badass race of giant aliens and insects are discovered deep under the Earth’s surface, and the EDF are once again called upon to save humanity from their onslaught. To call this one “hardcore” would be an understatement, as you destroy hundreds of enemies attacking you en masse. It’s a bit too hack ‘n’ slash for my tastes, but adrenaline junkies will undoubtedly love it, especially on the damn-near-impossible Inferno mode.


Platform: X360 Released a decade ago, Fable became one of the most beloved RPGs on the original Xbox. Anniversary is an

HD update of the extended version, Fable: The Lost Chapters. On the positive side, the game looks and sounds better than ever, with exquisite 3D graphics and remastered audio (including music by Danny Elfman and Russell Shaw). On the downside, the bugs and glitches that plagued the original title are back in full force, with long loading times that will leave you frustrated. It’s too bad, because it mars what could’ve been a fun trip down memory lane.


Enix) Platforms: PS3, Vita Another HD remastering, this one celebrating beloved PS2 titles from one of the most popular video game franchises of all time (see: 100 million units sold in 25 years). Released in 2001, FFX introduced players to the world of Spira, telling the story of a star blitzball player named Tidus who helps a beautiful summoner named Yuna to save the world. It was the first game in the series to have fully voiced characters and a conditional turn-based battle system. The new version is light years ahead in terms of graphics, character design, cut scenes, and sound. In short, fans of the series will be delighted.


(Warner Bros) Platforms: 3DS, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U, X360, Xbox One Our family has loved the Lego games ever since Lego Indiana Jones came out back in 2008. So it’s no surprise that this adaptation of the surprisingly awesome Lego Movie is one of our favorite games we’ve played in ages. The plot is essentially identical: Everyman Emmet finds out he’s “The Special,” goes on a quest to save the world from the malevolent Lord Business, and runs into everyone from Abraham Lincoln to Batman along the way. It’s a madcap adventure with hilarious voiceovers from actors like Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, and Liam Neeson… what’s not to love?


(Ubisoft) Platforms: PC, PS3, X360 If you’ve ever watched a single episode of South Park, you know what to expect here. The colorful Colorado town has expanded quite a bit in terms of characters since the first game (and its insane turkeys) was released on Nintendo 64 back in 1998, but beyond that, not a helluva lot has changed. Written and voiced by the hilariously irreverent Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the RPG casts players as a new kid in town, stuck in the middle of a serious LARPfest between elves and the noble warriors of the Kingdom of Kupa Keep (yes, KKK). The game play is simple but ridiculously fun, with lots of humor and clever references to past episodes. If you’re a fan of the show, trust me: Open every door in town!


Movie Reviews 12 YEARS A SLAVE (R)

 There have been other movies that didn’t flinched when it came to illustrating the physical atrocities of slavery. In a quiet moment, you can all still see the graphic imagery from Amistad and Roots in your heads. Yes, this movie —an adaptation of Twelve Years A Slave, Solomon Northup’s 1853 autobiography about being a free, successful black man in New York who was kidnapped and forced into nomadic servitude in Louisiana— has unimaginable moments where flesh is ripped and blood is spewed, but that’s not what’s most lasting here. What stays with you long after the cringing stops are thoughts of the emotional toll the evil must have had on those exploited. Northup (a spectacular Chiwetel Ejiofor), like countless others, was torn from his family. White overseers nary bat an eye about ruining multiple lives with the exchange of paperwork. Our lead thinks of his wife and two children often. Director Steve McQueen heightens such moments with a stubborn camera that focuses on Ejiofor’s face for 60 or so uninterrupted seconds. Slave owners wave the Bible and sometimes talk lightly (especially the devilishly perfect Michael Fassbender), but sheer evil spews from almost everything they do. It’s all such a confusing psychological dance, but McQueen’s camera never blinks. His shots are stunning. Foghorn-like noises are eerie. (Noted composer Hans Zimmer handles the music.) Casting is a revelation. Benedict Cumberbatch, Pal Dano, Sarah Paulson, Paul Giamatti and Alfre Woodard all leave an impact, no matter how little screen time each gets. Still, it’s the moments when Ejiofor and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o, a slave/concubine who picks cotton with more fervor than any man on the plantation, are in shots together. The two family-less souls have a brother-sister bond that feels sincere. The lone casting call that feels forced is Brad Pitt’s as a Canadian anti-slavery advocate. The “white savior” air comes off a bit clichéd and unnecessary. Thankfully, though, it doesn’t take the ultimate spotlight from Ejiofor and Nyong’o. Oscar voters will learn how to pronounce their names soon enough. –DeMarco Williams


 Rise of an Empire expands on Zack Snyder’s over-the-top fantasy retelling of the reallife Battle of Thermopylae, in which a small Greek contingent sacrificed themselves to stall a vastly superior Persian army led by the god-king Xerxes. While Leonidas and his Spartans are dying at Thermopylae, Athenian general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) is rallying the squabbling Greek city-states to launch a unified fleet to repel the Persian armada, commanded by the beautiful but ruthless Artemisia (Eva Green). Themistokles and his Athenians seem every bit as capable as the Spartans, dispatching Persian invaders by the bushel. Severed limbs spiral in slo-mo and gouts of blood spew forth in 3D glory as Themistokles frets over the cost of war and frustrates Artemisia and Xerxes in their dreams of conquest. Those who loved the original will likely love this new 300 as well. Directed by Israeli Noam Murro, Rise of an Empire is more sprawling, but less focused, offering stylish

cinematography, macho bombast, bloody combat aplenty, and one of the craziest love/ hate sex scenes you’ve seen. Rodrigo Santoro returns as Xerxes and Lena Headey takes a break from Game of Thrones to reprise her role as Spartan Queen Gorgo. –John C. Snider


 Steve Coogan has been playing the character he helped create off and on for 20 years in British TV movies and series, but he’s had this dick down from day one. An ambitious small-town broadcaster guided by intense self-interest, his non-stop patter raises stupidity to an art form. Here, the radio station is bought by a soulless corporation. Alan goes to bat for co-worker Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney), until he realizes one of them is going to go; then he does a warp-speed 180 and gets Pat sacked. Pat comes back with a shotgun, creating a hostage situation. Believing Alan to be his friend, Pat insists he serve as intermediary between him and the police. English police being more patient than their American counterparts, the situation is allowed to drag on, allowing Alan to get international publicity as “the face of this siege.” The humor is right on my wavelength and, as a former broadcaster, the movie gets extra points for its setting. You may not be as amused, but if you like Coogan’s comic work and other efforts of co-writer/creator Armando Iannucci (Veep, In the Loop), you should agree it’s one of the year’s funniest. –Steve Warren


 Freida Mock’s tribute to Anita Hill begins in 2010, with Hill receiving a voicemail from Ginni Thomas (wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas), requesting an apology for the events of 19 years earlier, when Hill testified before a Senate committee about the sexual harassment she suffered under Judge Thomas at the EEOC. The film would be more interesting if Mock had been able to get an explanation from Mrs. Thomas of why she called, but the matter is dropped for a rehash of clips from 1991 and a “Whatever Happened to...?” update on Hill’s subsequent activities. There’s nostalgia for talk of largebreasted women, pubic hairs on a Coke can and “Long Dong Silver”; and a look at Hill today, teaching at Brandeis University, in an 11-year relationship with a man she met near there, and bringing her still-relevant message to groups of women and girls (including a session at Spelman). While questions are left unanswered, the film delays the day Hill’s heroism becomes a mere historical footnote. –Steve Warren


 Jason Bateman has proven that he can direct with his first outing, but this film is unfortunately spoiled by its trailers. The story follows Guy Trilby (Bateman), a grown man entered into a children’s spelling bee for reasons he initially refuses to divulge. He exploits a loophole in the competition’s rules that allow him to not only stay in, but to advance all the way to the national, televised event. Along the

DIVERGENT THE FILM IS LONG (2 HOURS AND 20 MINUTES), BUT NEVER SLOW, AND WOODLEY (THE DESCENDANTS, THE SPECTACULAR NOW) RIVALS JENNIFER LAWRENCE IN TERMS OF SHEER TALENT. DIVERGENT IS NOT A GREAT FILM, BUT IT LEFT ME EAGER TO SEE THE SEQUEL. Our review:  way, he meets young competitor Chaitainya Chopra (Rohan Chand), with whom he forms an unlikely bond that is the source of most of the film’s comedic scenes. If you’ve seen the red band trailer, the best bits are almost entirely given away. Bad Words is a good film and the performances are largely noteworthy, especially Bateman, who is playing a character opposite of what he has come to be known for. But there just isn’t enough additional material in it to warrant a strong recommendation. Bateman has a good directorial eye, and maybe it’ll be more satisfying with an additional viewing after shaking off the disappointment of the glaring spoilers in its advertisements. But upon exiting the theatre, it was pretty forgettable, aside from a few quotes seen in the trailer. –Christian Perez


 The best thing I can say about bottomfeeding horror films like this is that, if studios keep cranking them out, eventually the movie-going public will get tired of shelling out hard-earned cash for formulaic tripe and force filmmakers to get creative again. The story (such as it is) follows Nick (Luke Kleintank), who’s blessed/cursed with the ability to touch people and see how they’ll die. On his 23rd birthday he visits his mother in an insane asylum, hoping to learn who his father is. Mom freaks out, Nick leaves, and the insane asylum burns down that night. (Spoiler Alert: Daddy is not of this world.) Nick inherits a mysterious house that was washed away in a flood decades before and, when he, his pregnant lady, his friend and three surveyors ultimately find it… well, do I really need to explain what happens next? Director Vincent Salva (Jeepers Creepers) throws every horror movie cliché you could possibly imagine into the blender, but the result is surprisingly weak sauce with few genuine chills or thrills. Tobin Bell (of Saw

fame) lends cred as the house’s creepy caretaker, but for the most part the film is a jumbled mess that never congeals into anything worthy of deep analysis. It’s just really, really BAD. –Bret Love


 You can’t avoid comparing Divergent to The Hunger Games. Adapted from popular YA novels featuring teen heroines, both stories feature a dystopian society, a culture of divisiveness, kids in life-threatening danger, brooding hunks, and intense action sequences. I actually preferred this film to the first Hunger Games, primarily because I found Shailene Woodley’s Beatrice a more sympathetic character than Katniss, and the overarching Philip K. Dick-ian story about a world divided by class more realistic than a reality show in which society cheers as children die. In Divergent, when teens turn 16 they must choose between one of 5 “factions” (selfless, honest, peaceful, intelligent, or brave) that determine their future. Given an aptitude test before Choosing Day, “Tris” learns that she is Divergent– a combination of strength, intelligence and selflessness– which makes her a threat to the powersthat-be. The tester warns her never to tell anyone. The first half follows her struggle to make the cut for the Dauntless (bravery) faction, and her budding love for brooding trainer Four (Theo James). Eventually we learn that Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet), leader of the intelligent faction, is hell-bent on wrestling governmental control from the selfless faction (including Tris’ family), killing anyone who gets in her way. The film is long (2 hours and 20 minutes), but never slow, and Woodley (The Descendants, The Spectacular Now) rivals Jennifer Lawrence in terms of sheer talent. Divergent is not a great film, but it left me eager to see the sequel. –Bret Love • April 2014 • PG 13


 France was represented rather weakly in the Best Animated Feature Oscar category by this slight, mildly endearing entry about interspecies friendship between a bear (Ernest) and mouse (Celestine). The watercolored film begins with Celestine in an orphanage, drawing pictures of mice and bears together, in contrast to the Fox News-style bedtime stories she hears, designed to instill a fear of bears and enforce segregation. Celestine is being forced into a dental career, even though she shows talent as an artist. She finds a soulmate in Ernest, who left the judicial track to be an itinerant musician. They help each other rob a family that both rots teeth (via a candy store) and sells replacements, then go on the run. Considering the mouse’s youth, not to mention their relative size, it’s awkward when the platonic friends declare their wish to “live together forever.” Based on popular Belgian children’s books, the film could tell its story in half the time. Check the schedule to choose between the subtitled version (reviewed) and one dubbed into English, with more familiar voices. –Steve Warren


 I’m such a non-fan of Lars von Trier (Antichrist, Dogville) that it’s high praise when I say his latest film won’t make my Ten Worst list. That doesn’t mean it’s all good. When Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) asks Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård), “Am I boring you?” I wanted to respond in an emphatic affirmative, having already endured his dissertations on ash leaves and fly fishing. Seligman found Joe battered in an alley and brought her home to drink tea and tell him her life story of being a sex addict. She tells it in chapters, some better than others, with Stacy Martin playing her as a teen/young adult. Shia LaBeouf figures in two chapters as Jerôme, her first lover and, later, her boss. Perhaps the worst chapter is the lingering death of Joe’s father (Christian Slater), but the best features Uma Thurman as the vengeful wife of one of Joe’s lovers. It’s worth sitting through the rest of the movie to see. Director von Trier, with the help of eight body doubles and assorted prosthetics, tries to set a record for showing what The Wolf of Wall Street set a record for saying. I’ll take quality over quantity, as the sex scenes are mostly joyless and unsexy. Clips from Vol. II behind the credits make you feel like you’ve been watching TV. –Steve Warren


 NOTE: Beware of spoilers if you haven’t seen Vol. I! One was the vanilla volume. In Two, as Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) continues telling




With the possible exception of Carol Burnett, few women in the history of comedy could hold a candle to Lucille Ball. Here’s Lucy (which ran 1968-1974) was not quite on par with the classic I Love Lucy in terms of consistent quality, but it was a solid showcase for her talents. The show cast Lucy as a widowed mother of two teens (played by her real-life children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr.), working for her brother-in-law (the always hilarious Gale Gordon) at an employment agency. Ball, a TV staple for nearly 20 years PG 14 • April 2014 •

her life story to Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård), she gets heavily into sadomasochism and lightly into lesbianism. In the beginning she’s settled down with Jerôme (Shia LaBeouf) and raising a child, but she no longer gets any pleasure from sex. She visits a sadotherapist (Jamie Bell) to get back in the game, but loses her family. In the next chapter, Joe gets into the “shady side of the debt collecting business,” and boss Willem Dafoe encourages her to groom a teen (Mia Goth) as her successor. There are plenty of body parts on display, but it’s rarely sexy, except maybe for the S/M crowd. (There were moments when I felt like a masochist for sitting through it.) Joe intuits that Seligman is a virgin because he’s not turned on by her stories. By that yardstick, there will be a lot of virgins in the audience at Nymphomaniac, Vol. II. –Steve Warren


 I like movies that give me some understanding of things above my mental pay grade without talking down to me. I was hoping Particle Fever would be one of those, because I’ve read articles about the Higgs boson and, for all I got from them, it might as well be a ride at Legoland. The film follows three generations of physicists over five years, as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) appears to prove the existence of the so-called “God Particle” that explains what happened after the Big Bang. The problem for non-scientific viewers is that the significance of the Higgs is explained over visuals of a complex timeline. Either is difficult for a layperson to absorb, but the combination is as lethal as the collisions of protons the LHC employs to pin down the elusive thingy. The enthusiasm of the scientists is contagious, and the visuals are stunning. The LHC looks like a CGI set for a sci-fi film, and there’s some terrific animation, especially celebrating the first high-energy collisions. But I still can’t explain the difference between super-symmetry and multiverse theories, and the Big Answers result in even Bigger Questions. –Steve Warren


 Matt Wolf’s documentary focuses on world events, and how they affected the teens of their era. He begins in 1904, when there was no transitional period between childhood and going to work as a near-slave in a factory. Child labor laws gave youngsters free time, which they spent as hooligans, getting into trouble, or scouts, getting prepped to be soldiers. The fun of the Jazz Age was followed by the hardship of the Depression, leading to another war. Negroes who went to Europe to fight got to taste equality before returning to a segregated America. Again, some got into trouble while others went to wholesome

by that point, is at the top of her game, with impeccable comedic timing as she delivers her trademark blend of pratfalls and hijinks.


This horror anthology originally aired in syndication from 1988-1991, and was rebroadcast on Sci-Fi Channel in the ‘90s. Produced by Tales From the Darkside’s Richard P. Rubinstein, Monsters essentially picked up where TFTD left off, but focused on horror rather than sci-fi and fantasy. The formula was also similar: Straightforward action plots, an ironic twist ending, with dashes of humor throughout. The most memorable elements were the creepy monsters of the title, as well as cameos from stars such as Steve Buscemi, Gina Gershon, David Spade and Deborah Harry. PUNK SINGER- Bikini Kill frontwoman Kathleen Hanna has always been intriguing. But this documentary makes you realize how

VERONICA MARS NEW VIEWERS MAY BE A LITTLE LOST. BUT THE MOVIE WORKS… EVEN IF YOU END UP IN AN ARGUMENT ABOUT OUR HEROINE’S CHOICES FOR HER FUTURE. Our review:  “teen canteens” and became “sub-debs” and “squires” (as well as a defined consumer market). Wolf has found a treasure trove of archival footage, and shot some recreations that fit in seamlessly. I don’t agree with all his choices, but he’s put a lot of interesting material on the screen. –Steve Warren


 There’s no Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in Paris, but Nick (Jim Broadbent) and Meg (Lindsay Duncan) find a place to stay when they revisit the city where they honeymooned to celebrate their 30th anniversary. Alternately bickering and waxing romantic, they blow a good chunk of their retirement nest egg, and Nick reveals he’s been forced to take early retirement from his teaching job. Except for the fact that they’re both English, they could be Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy a couple of episodes on in their “Before...” series. They run into an old friend of Nick’s (Jeff Goldblum), who invites them to a party of artists and intellectuals. All the while, Meg is threatening to leave Nick one minute and planning bathroom renovations the next. The actors are pros, and there’s not a false moment in their performances, but the ping-ponging mood swings become tiring. I question my reaction because of the film’s pedigree– writer Hanif Kureishi (My Beautiful

important a cultural figure she was. In the early ‘90s, she was one of the main figures behind the Riot Grrrl movement, giving a much-needed jolt to contemporary feminism. Punk Singer briefly covers her childhood, but mainly focuses on Bikini Kill (and its sudden implosion), the founding of Le Tigre, and the latest chapter in her career. Told through interviews with Hanna, bandmates, her husband (Beastie Boy Adam Horowitz), and peers like Carrie Brownstein and Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, this is a fascinating look one of the strongest feminist icons of the past couple of decades.


Every TV series creator’s hope is that their show gets picked up by a network. How bummed do you think the creators of Rogue were when they found out their solidly impressive cop series was getting picked up by DirecTV? The show centers on Grace Travis

Laundrette) and director Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Persuasion)– but by the end I felt it explains why so few marriages make it to the 30-year mark today. –Steve Warren


 This reunion movie of the decade-old teen detective show, which was financed by fans through Kickstarter, is an odd-but-satisfying spectacle that works because primarily due to Kristen Bell’s appeal in the title role. Rob Thomas, who created the show and wrote/ directed this mystery, tries to give fans a little of everything they loved about the show– snappy dialogue, will-they-or-won’t-they romance, the father-daughter dynamic that gave the show its heart, nostalgic cameos, and a decent story– and mostly succeeds. With a bright future as a lawyer ahead, Veronica returns to her noir-esque roots in her hometown of Neptune. When her ex, Logan, is accused of murder the same week as their class reunion, it brings the sleuth face-to-face with old friends and foes while trying to solve a new mystery. Fans (of which I am one) will love it. New viewers may be a little lost. But the movie works… even if you end up in an argument about our heroine’s choices for her future. –Benjamin Carr

(Thandie Newton), a detective going undercover with a crime boss to solve the murder of her young son. With solid writing and a refreshingly original premise, this little-seen series deserves much more attention. Here’s hoping they find their audience on DVD.


This Julia Louis-Dreyfus comedy not only proves the Seinfeld curse can be lifted, but also happens to be the funniest show on. The second season of this DC-set political comedy is even better than the first. Louis-Dreyfus’ lowly Vice President (who gets about as much respect as Biden) is being used to rally the troops during mid-term elections. Clearly, she and her staff (including the brilliant Tony Hale and the surprisingly funny Anna Chlumsky) are bound to screw things up. Season two proves Veep as one of the best-written comedies currently on TV.



DIVERGENT’S TRIS AND ROCKIN’ ROLLINS Georgia Native Kelli Giddish is on FOUR COME TO LIFE the Law & Order: SVU Beat on the Big Screen!



OT ON THE HEELS OF HUGE young adult movie and book franchises like the Twilight Series and The Hunger Games, comes a new entry into the arena, Divergent. Based on the trilogy of books by 25-year-old author Veronica Roth, Summit Entertainment, the studio behind the lucrative launch of other young adult films, is banking on a new round of fan-driven box office success. The young stars of Divergent, Shailene Woodley and Theo James are bracing for what is certain to be instant stardom come opening weekend. At a recent premiere of the film in Atlanta which featured red carpet appearances by Woodley and James, hundreds of young girls showed up in droves, carrying their Divergent books and screaming for the two stars that are not yet household names. However, just because these two are still relatively unknown, doesn’t mean they lack experience. Shailene Woodley has already been nominated for a Golden Globe for her turn as George Clooney’s daughter in “The Descendents.” She also received rave reviews earlier this year for her performance in the Georgia-made film, “The Spectacular Now.” Theo James has appeared in numerous TV shows including “Downton Abbey” and is set to star against Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in the upcoming “London Fields” and with Richard Gere and Dakota Fanning in “Franny,” both scheduled for released later this year. We had the chance to sit down and speak with these two rising stars to see what it took to bring Divergent’S Tris and Four to life on the big screen: Did reading the books help you in getting to know your characters? TJ: Yes, definitely. With Four, the second book really informs readers about his background and gives more perspective on him, so that was definitely important. But at the same time, you need to make your own decisions about the character and be kind of confident. Obviously, the big question is “Are you nervous about living up to expectations?” especially playing a character that is beloved and people are invested in. But at the end of the day you need to make decisions based on your own instinct because that is our job. Shailene, tell us about your interest in being a survivalist and do you think it helped you get the role of Tris? SW: I started studying indigenous cultures because I really loved the lifestyle that they lived and loved how they connected to the eco-system. Then I studied wilderness and survival skills because I thought it would be fun and I wanted to know how to survive and thrive. I think it helped me get the role of Tris. I was having a meeting with the film’s producers and they asked what I did in my free time. I was like “I do this and I do that and I think hunting is an important thing. If I want to eat meat, I

want to know how to hunt.” And they asked if I’ve worked around guns and I said I knew something about them…so I think it might have helped with Tris because we’re very similar. How do you handle fan’s expectations? TJ: You can’t really be aware of it because anything that is going to affect your performance, you need to disregard. You have your own take on the character. They hire you for what you are going to do with the character. It has to be natural and intuitive. SW: If I had tried to play Tris the way everyone envisioned her, she would be a mess of a human, because there would be tons of different ideas of someone verses an intuitive authenticity that we were able to bring to the characters. Tell us about the physical training you had to do for the movie: SW: We had about a month of training prior to the filming. Which was fun and awesome. Our stunt coordinators were incredibly bad-ass and were ex-military and an ex-boxer. They are both very well-versed in their world. We did basic hand to hand combat training as well as physical fitness. We had to pump it in the gym all the time to get those muscles. And learn fight choreography. Did you do your own stunts? SW: We did as many as we could as insurance would allow. We both ran and jumped on and off the train. The one scene where we are like slomo in the air, that wasn’t me. I wanted to do the zipline scene but most of it is green screen. There is one shot where my stunt double goes between buildings in Chicago and I did it too. She did about 1,000 feet of zipline and I maybe did 300400 feet. We were both 85 feet in the air, dangling in the middle of a Chicago alley at 2am or 3am. What was it like working with Kate Winslet and Ashely Judd? TJ: Kate is one of those consummate professionals. Not only is she an amazing, incredible actress and has a lustrious career, but she’s someone who still has a passion for acting, she believes in it. So she comes in, hangs out in the trailer. Has a filthy sense of humor in a fun way. Really, a dynamic person. SW: Ashley and I connected a lot actually. We’re both very similar in our spiritual viewpoints. Our lifestyles are very similar. It was like having a big sister around.

Do you think that your lives will completely change once the movie opens? TJ: It’s hard, you really don’t know. As actors, you are mentally trained to not go there. SW: Even as human beings, you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Regardless of this industry and leaving the whole Divergent thing out of it, you never know. To think about it or worry about it seems like a major waste at the present moment.



umming, Georgia native Kelli Giddish plays Detective Amanda Rollins on NBC’s Law And Order: Special Victims Unit. As a kid interested in theater arts, her Georgiarooted family continually encouraged her talents. She graduated from Forsyth Central High School in 1998, after winning Region Best Actress in the 1997 One Act competition, and State Literary Champion for Girls Dramatic Interpretation. She then majored in theater at Indiana’s University of Evansville and then moved to New York City to continue her acting career. After a long stint on All My Children, she’s now best known for her role as Detective Rollins. She recently spoke with the press about her iconic portrayal of the determined cop. What do you think it is about Rollins that continues to challenge you? It’s just so lovely to be able to play somebody with a fault and with something that they’re trying to overcome, you know, within themselves. It’s been a real joy to play that because it always leads hopefully, to a road of redemption. Rollins brought her addiction under control for a while. Can you explain why that changed? Well, she doesn’t have her addiction under control right now. She managed this addiction for a while because she’d put herself in such a horrible place. So she was like, you know what? I got to go back and do things by the book and really get a hold of this. And like addictions, I think that this creeps back up on her and you get to see that Amanda’s in such a horrible place and she does things the audience are going to be gasping at, in order to save her job, in order to save her life, you know? It gets really, really serious. The series has had a long run. How much longer do you think it will continue? Oh, I’ll ride this boat as long as it goes. But hopefully, we can continue SVU, because I feel so proud of the work we’ve done, especially this year. But also, as I always say - as long as my rear end and my face are kind of in the right places I’d love to do film and keep on. I came up doing theatre, so I would love to be here in New York doing some plays in the next five to ten years. Of course, that would make me extremely happy. When you signed on for the show a few years ago, it was really pretty much a procedural series, and now it’s become much more character-driven. How have things progressed, in your opinion? As an actor, you’re always happy being able to play the personal stories and trying to define your character and getting to research something personal that you get to play. I think it has turned a little more towards that, and it’s still, a beginning, middle and end kind of a show but when the audience gets to see more the personal details, more about what each character’s struggles and joys are, it kind of informs the cases too.

Rollins is a finely drawn character. Do you enjoy the many nuances of playing her? Everybody knows what Ice-T is going to say next because they’ve been watching him for 15 years, you know? They know what he’s going to say but they can’t wait for him to say it, because they know him. They know Fin, and they know Benson, too. It’s so great to be this new character


and come on the scene and have some huge faults that you have to get over. Some really big character defects. What is she hiding and what are her secrets? Then you get to develop that and the audience gets to see how she is going to deal with it all. So I think it’s kind of important to have that and not to get bogged down in any of it, because it’s not that kind of a show. I just want to think it informs the audience, by informing them about our characters. You’ve played so many cops and detectives and tough girl roles. Do you ever want to put on a dress and just be a nice, suburban mom? Absolutely, yes. And that’s what I had fun playing on The Good Wife. I loved the costumes. I accepted that job just because I accepted more jobs. I did a couple episodes and I was like, “Can I please go back to The Good Wife so I get to wear all these fantastic clothes?” I did this webisode series a few years ago called The Burgs and it was a comedy, and you get to be goofy and that kind of thing. And I know everybody has that side to them. I’d like to explore that on screen as well. The show is one of the longest-running on television right now and is always able to change and mutate. But now that most of the original main characters are gone, where do you think that the show can go from here? I really think we’ve done a good job, and we’re going to see... well, maybe we’re going to get a new captain, an interim captain. And let’s see who that is, you know? That’s exciting. That’s an exciting place for us to go, and if that creates tension, then whatever it creates in the squatter room is going to be a lot of fun to play. So that’s kind of the near future, little things that are super exciting. And in the future, Dick Wolf knows what he’s doing and this show has lasted so long because people tune in sometime during the week and they watch an hour of television. Usually, there’s some kind of ending that gives us a little resolve to people doing bad things to other people. Hopefully, the guy gets caught. Now that’s not always the case and I think we’re bringing back some characters perhaps that we’ve seen before in the seasons earlier, which would be fun to explore again, as well. What do you think is so appealing about Law and Order to spawn so many spinoffs? You know, it deals with something very intimate, something heinous. I mean, sex crimes, special victims. Think about when the show first came on. There wasn’t the internet. So all of those issues that have come up with kids and internet and what that means and the trouble that people can get into on that. That’s just one front and I think they’ve done a really good job year after year exploring it and also teaching the audience about it all, because you don’t know a lot of this stuff goes on until you see it on TV. • April 2014 • PG 15



Beer Carnival Atlantic Station SATURDAY APRIL 5

The 5th Annual Beer Carnival is set to pour up plenty for beer lovers and carnival enthusiasts to taste and experience. Formerly Winter Beer Carnival, this year's event has been thawed out and moved to Saturday, April 5 at Atlantic Station in Midtown. The event has been expanded to offer more beers, carnival games, activities, DJs and great food. See website for listing of beers including traditional favorites, premium craft beers and an assortment of brews from near and far. For more information visit

Spring Festival on Ponce Historic Olmsted Linear Park APRIL 5 - 6

The 3rd annual Spring Festival on Ponce features over 150 local and regional artists with the beautiful backdrop of historic Olmsted Linear Park. Visitors will enjoy fine art and crafts, children's area, live

acoustic entertainment, local food and beverage concessions including "gourmet" food trucks. For more information, visit

Hogs and Hops

Masquerade Music Park APRIL 5 Atlanta Beer Festivals hosts the 3rd annual Hogs and Hops at Masquerade Music Park on Saturday, April 5th Noon - 6pm. The new location offers more space, more BBQ, more music, more everything. Expect over 20 food vendors and 50 to 75 different beer options. General Admission tickets are $45 in advance and $55 day of the event. Ticket includes all beer tastings, 5 food tickets, and 2 dessert tickets with entry at 2pm. Additional food tickets can be purchased.

Atlanta Dogwood Festival Piedmont Park APRIL 11 - 14

The Dogwoods are in full bloom, and hundreds of artists from around the country will set up their tents for the 78th Annual event. Virtually every kind of art

imaginable is represented at the festival, with a nationally renowned-juried Fine Artist Market that includes sculpture, paintings, pottery, jewelry, photography and much more. There is a Kids Village featuring huge inflatables, arts & crafts and face painting for all ages, as well as the ever-popular 24-foot rock-climbing wall. For more info visit

Kennesaw Big Shanty Festival Downtown Kennesaw APRIL 12 - 13

The Superior Plumbing Kennesaw/Big Shanty Festival has activities for all ages. Take time to wander through more than 250 booths featuring a vast array of oneof-a-kind and homemade crafts. The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History sits at the center of the festival reminding visitors of Kennesaw’s important role in the Civil War. There will be two entertainment stages, festival foods, Kids Zone and more! For more info visit

Sweetwater 420 Fest Candler Park APRIL 18 - 20

For its 10th anniversary, the event moves from its

long time home at Candler Park to its new roomier locale at Centennial Olympic Park. The three day music and arts festival celebrating Earth Day is no longer free. $10 is required for single day admission. There will be plenty of live music, food, and SweetWater beer. Visit for ticket information and band listings.

Atlanta Steeplechase

Kingston Downs in Rome, Ga. APRIL 19

The 49th annual Atlanta Steeplechase is held on the beautiful 435-acre Kingston Downs complex. The event appeals to all ages and offers an array of entertainment. Activities include an Air Show, Hat Contest, Jack Russell Terrier races, shopping, pony rides, wagon rides, a petting zoo, live music and steeplechasing. Atlanta Steeplechase patrons enjoy the circuit’s best horses and jockeys showcased in five premier races throughout the afternoon. Visit

Saturday; April 12, 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. Sunday; April 13, 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. or 770-423-1330

Saturday, April 26 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday, April 27 Noon to 5:00 p.m.

Located at the beautiful Village Green 200 Village Green Circle, Smyrna, GA 30080 For more information call 770-423-1330 or PG 16 • April 2014 •

Inman Park Festival

Shaky Knees Music Festival

The Inman Park Festival is a neighborhood event featuring food, music, fun, the city's largest street market and it's most outrageous parade. The parade takes place on Saturday, April 27th and will be led by the Inman Park Butterfly and followed by floats, clowns, jugglers, and the legendary Kelly's Seed and Feed Marching Abominables. The parade begins at Edgewood and Euclid at 2:00 p.m. and runs to Austin Ave. at the foot of Little Five Points. Children's activities include a giant slide, obstacle course, relay races and more. Admission to all festival events is free, except for the Tour of Homes, which requires a paid ticket. For more information visit

Shaky Knees Music Festival returns to Atlanta for its second year, May 9-11, 2014. This year’s festival will be held at Atlantic Station and features bands across four outdoor stages as well as local food trucks, artisans and vendors. The music lineup includes The National, Modest Mouse, Alabama Shakes, The Replacements, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Spoon, Local Natives, The Gaslight Anthem, Violent Femmes, Cage The Elephant, Portugal The Man, Iron & Wine, and many more! Advanced three-day passes are on sale now for $169, with single day tickets also available at $84 per ticket. VIP three-day passes are only $575 and includes access to special lounges and viewing areas close to the stages, private restrooms, private bars, complimentary food and beer & more. Tickets are available now at

and Tour of Homes APRIL 25 - 27

Smyrna Spring Jonquil Festival The Village Green - Smyrna, Ga. APRIL 26 - 27

Atlantic Station MAY 9 - 11

Buckhead Arts Festival Chastain Park Buckhead MAY 10 - 11

The Smyrna Spring Jonquil Festival presented by Superior Plumbing features over 175 Arts & Crafts booths, 15 food booths, an entertainment stage, and a variety of children's activities. The Jonquils will be in bloom in the midst of spring time in Smyrna. The kids are sure to be entertained with a wide variety of inflatable slides, Quad Bungee, Rockwall, bounces and much more. Live entertainment will be provided with a puppet show, tropical bird show and acoustic music by Scott Thompson. Admission is free. For more information visit

Sandy Springs Beer Festival Heritage Green APRIL 26

The Heritage Sandy Springs Beer Festwill feature over 100 types of craft, domestic and import beers to sample, as well as great local food from area restaurants and food trucks, and a variety of live music by regional acts on the Rhythm & Brews Stage. Admission is $30 per person in advance (plus processing fees) or $40 at the door, and includes entry into the Festival for unlimited safe tastes, souvenir pint glass, complimentary water, and a $5 food voucher coupon to use with any food vendor. More at


Taste of Alpharetta

Historic Downtown Alpharetta MAY 8

The Southeast's premier dining festival celebrates its 23rd year in its new location in downtown Alpharetta! Dine at more than 50 restaurants in one unforgettable night that’s become an annual tradition for 50,000 families, foodies and festival-goers. Sample delicious appetizers, entrees and desserts along downtown streets. Experience the culinary competition, cooking demonstrations and exhibits at the culinary arts and music stage. Play at the fun zone and party with metro radio stations. Participating restaurants will charge $1 to $3 per food sample. For more information visit

Now in their 5th year, the Buckhead Arts Festival is a twoday outdoor event with an emphasis on the visual arts. The event is located on Park Drive at beautiful Chastain Park. It boasts 175 artists and artisans, live acoustic music, a professional children's area, delicious local foods and beverages. Admission is free and children and pets are very welcome. Last year saw 25,000 visitors to the event. Festival Hours are: Saturday, May 10 10 am - 6 pm, Sunday, May 11 11 am - 6 pm. Visit


Friday, May 9




















Yarab Shrine Circus & Fair Jim R Miller Park, Marietta, Ga. MAY 16 - 26

The Yaarab Shrine Circus is sure to amaze and entertain kids of all ages. For the First time in Marietta, Rick Wallenda of the world-famous Wallenda Family will be walking the tight rope, Shawn Ives performing incredible motorcycle jumps and Robinson Cortes will be performing trapeze and aerial stunts high above the arena for crowds each day. Doug Terranova is back to bring you a magnificent tiger act that shows the natural behavior of these beautiful animals on command. Patty Zerbini, will show her skills working with both Asian and African elephants in the arena. Visit for more on performances, rides, food vendors, hours and ticket information.

Kirkwood Spring Fling and Tour of Homes Bessie Branham Park MAY 17

Don't miss being part of the 13th Annual Kirkwood Spring Fling & Tour of Homes on Saturday, May 17. Celebrating the historic and eclectic in-town neighborhood of continues on next page • April 2014 • PG 17

Kirkwood, this family-friendly Festival offers a fun-filled opportunity to enjoy the warmth of spring beginning with a 5K at 8am. Beginning at 10am the juried Artist Market will feature creative works from local artists including painters, photographers, potters, jewelers, glassmakers and more. Live music featuring country, jazz, funk and rock n' roll from Atlanta favorites will be presented on the Main stage and downtown Kirkwood stage. The Blue Ribbon BBQ Contest is back by popular demand and the Kids Area will include a variety of fun, creative activities and performances from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Plus plenty of food and drink and the ever-popular Tour of Homes. Visit

East Atlanta Beer Festival

East Atlanta Village, Brownwood Park MAY 17

The 11th Annual East Atlanta Beer Festival will be held in East Atlanta’s Brownwood Park. From a great beer selection to early access VIP entry to rocking local music, the EABF is an event not to be missed. Sample over 175 craft beers from across the globe and visit shops and restaurants in East Atlanta Village. Enjoy live local music on the festival's main stage and enjoy a wide array of food. Proceeds benefit community projects. Visit

The High Museum

New Exhibit: Dream Cars OPENING MAY 21



Don’t miss “Dream Cars” this summer at the High Museum of Art! This major exhibition of innovative automotive design, opening May 21, will showcase 17 groundbreaking concept cars from across Europe and the U.S., including some of the rarest and most imaginative cars designed by Ferrari, Bugatti, General Motors and Porsche, among others. These pioneering masterworks from the early 1930s to the present pushed the limits of imagination and foreshadowed the future of design. The exhibition will pair conceptual drawings, patents and scale models with the realized cars, demonstrating how their experimental designs advanced ideas of progress and changed the automobile from an object of function to a symbol of future possibilities. For more details and to purchase advance tickets, visit

Decatur Arts Festival Decatur Square MAY 23 & 25


Piedmont Park MAY 23 - 25

Celebrating 37 years of musical mastery, the Atlanta Jazz Festival is the perfect way to spend Memorial Day Weekend with family and friends. Audiences will enjoy a wide spectrum of styles from traditional straightahead jazz, Latin jazz and swing to jazz flavored with neo-soul, hip-hop and R&B. “This year’s Atlanta Jazz Festival is going to be one of our best,” says Camille Russell Love, Director of the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “We will present a diverse lineup of artists from around the world, and because we are blessed with a wealth of talent here in Atlanta, we’ve added a third stage in Piedmont Park just for local artists.” The festival takes place in the heart of midtown Atlanta’s beautiful Piedmont Park. A wide variety of food vendors will tempt your taste buds with BBQ, gyros, burgers, Caribbean foods and more! And the family-friendly atmosphere will include two KidZone areas with games, inflatables and fun activities. National and international musicians will perform on two stages. Admission to the festival is free. Festival hours in Piedmont Park are Friday, May 23 from 4 -11 pm; Saturday, May 24 from 11 am-11 pm and Sunday, May 25 from 11 am -11 pm. Visit

Peachtree Hills Arts Festival Peachtree Hills Park MAY 31 & JUNE 1

The Peachtree Hills Festival of the Arts will bring 125 artists to the shady, tree-lined neighborhood May 31st – June 1st. The two-day festival will be held in and around the Peachtree Hills Park & Recreation Center. Visitors will enjoy fine art and crafts, a children’s area and local food and beverage concessions including the “gourmet” food trucks. Local acoustic musicians will enliven the atmosphere. For more information please visit

Out of Town Music Festivals

Wanee Festival (April 10 - 12) Live Oak, Fla. Turtuga Music Festival (April 12 - 13) Ft. Lauderdale, FL Moogfest (April 23 - 27) Asheville, N.C. CounterPoint Music Festival (April 25 - 27) Kingston Downs, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (April 25 - 27), (May 1 - 4) Beale Street Music Festival (May 2-4) Memphis, TN Hangout Music Festival (May 16 - 18) Gulf Shores, AL Beale Street Music Festival (May 2-4) Memphis, TN Spoleto Festival USA (May 23 - June 8) Charleston, S.C.

FOR MORE INFO GO TO ATLANTAFESTIVALS.COM Decatur's biggest arts event takes place over Memorial Day Weekend. Get started Friday evening, May 23, with the ArtWalk all around Decatur. The fun continues with the new dance festival, literary arts performances, musicians all day long on Decatur's community bandstand, a juried artists market, the fine arts exhibition, a special Kids and Teens Arts Festival and more. For additional info visit PG 18 • April 2014 •

Atlanta Jazz Festival

Outdoor Music Venues Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Alpharetta, Ga. Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheatre Peachtree City,Ga. ASO Classic Chastain Chastain Park Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood Lakewood Way Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre Mableton, Ga.

Road Warriors This Month’s Hottest Shows BY SACHA DZUBA


Smith’s Olde Bar, The Earl, The Loft Now in its ninth year, 500 Songs for Kids is the yearly concert series that draws over 500 musicians to perform the top 500 songs of all time, as chosen by Rolling Stone Magazine. Over the course of 12 days, the event schedules hundreds of known and unknown musical artists to perform their versions of one song each. However, the concert event isn’t about the musicians or the songs themselves, but rather the very worthy causes that are being supported. The Songs for Kids Foundation assists children’s hospitals and special needs children’s organizations. The show dates and venues are as follows; Smith’s Olde Bar on April 10th, 11th, 12th; The Earl on April 17th, 18th, 19th; and The Loft on April 24th, 25th, 26th and May 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. It’s for a very worthy cause and any night chosen is a great night for music. You never know who you might see; as the event has had appearances by many notable music performers over the years. Come out anytime for a diverse mixture of hits, do it for the kids.


Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood A trifecta combination of pop music along

with hints of rock ‘n’ roll in strong country vein. The trio that is Lady Antebellum brings their closely knit harmonies, backed with solid guitar and piano lines, back to Atlanta. Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley trade vocal lines that interweave throughout each song, supported with Dave Haywood’s backing vocals; creating classy and emotionally driven melodies. These performers care about and believe in their music, they have the ability to touch the audience without seeming forced. Crowd pleasers such as “Love Don’t Live Here”, “I Run to You”, and “Need You Now” are sure to get whoops and hollers from the cowboy hat crowd. This will be a fine night to wear your country pride and your boots.


Terminal West The Sounds are a Swedish band that mixes aspects of indie, punk, rock, and dance with a decidedly 80’s and New Wave sensibility. Initially gaining notoriety with their song “Living in America”, they’ve consistently had a variety of hits in Europe.Their lovely and dangerous frontwoman Maja Ivarsson successfully evokes elements of Blondie and Dale Bozzio (of Missing Persons) while creating a vocal style all her own. Their latest album, Weekend, is a fantastic mixture of musical aspects from all points of their career thus far; elements of dancey punk rock, shimmery shoegazey guitars, and even 60’s style rock. In a live environment, The Sounds are a force to be reckoned with; known for energetic, charismatically vibrant, and intense live shows. I know we all live for the Weekend, be sure to kick it off with The Sounds!


Terminal West As one of the top international reggae acts in the scene, the Easy Star All-Stars have made a name for themselves re-envisioning and reshaping some iconic and deeply loved music into their own reggae/dub style. They initially became well-known through their incredible Dub Side of the Moon album. You guessed it, yes; a complete recreation of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Their success spawned reimaginings of Radiohead (Radiodread), Lonely Hearts Club Band (substitute the word “Dub” for “Club”), and Thriller (Thrillah). This tour celebrates the 10th anniversary of their Dub Side of the Moon album and sees the Easy Stars performing the album in its entirety alongside other classic material. Do not miss this fantastic opportunity to hear Pink Floyd’s classic album completely turned on its head; a reggae masterpiece. Make sure to wear your natty dreads with pride, bob and weave to their hypnotic beats.


Terminal West Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun are far more than can be described by the words indie electro pop. A band of four hardworking and diligent musicians who realized their indie dreams through an immensely successful Kickstarter campaign that funded their full-length album Wildfire. Their multi-year long, punishing tour schedule of 15-20 shows per month has built a dedicated fan base and has seen them open for bands such as The White Stripes, Garbage, and Interpol. Many people have attempted to describe the band by fusing multiple sub-genres, but their sound is a fuzzy dream creation that is truly unique. The dynamics of their danceable noise, bows to shoe gazing dreamscapes just long enough to lull you into a false sense of security before they assail your senses with Sonic Youth-like buzz-saw rock. This is sure to prove




an incredible performance; as this will be their album release show for EP, QUADS. Make sure you pick up a copy, do not miss it!


The Masquerade After threatening to quit touring altogether back in 2012, break out your bushy side-burns and bring along your plastic vampire fangs because Unknown Hinson is comin’ back to town. The hard drinkin’, hell raisin’ rockabilly vampire is the self-proclaimed “king of country westerntroubadours”. Also known as the voice of Early Cuyler in the Squidbillies (on Adult Swim) he’s a great crooner and a smokin’ guitar player with a preference for “party liquor, sexy womerns, and fine guitars”. His famous fans include Matt Groening and Billy Bob Thornton; heck Hank Williams III has a tattoo of him! He’s got lyrics and a style that’s darkly satirical, with his tongue set firmly in his fanged cheek and music that’s country-western, rockabilly, blues, and rock influenced. Wax your pompadour back and bring your own jar ‘o’ ‘shine to party with the original rockabilly Dracula, Unknown Hinson!


Smith’s Olde Bar Arguably the most exciting artist to emerge from the war-torn desert of North Africa since Tinariwen, Omara “Bombino” Moctar is a Tuareg guitarist from Niger whose African blues is filled with emotional resonance. His backstory is rich, with his family forced to flee their home in Agadez and seek shelter in Algeria when he was just a boy. After learning to play guitar as a teen, Bombino and his family ultimately returned to Niger, only to find guitars banned when yet another Tuareg rebellion erupted in 2007. Two of Bombino’s fellow musicians were executed, forcing Bombino to live in exile in Burkina Faso. His critically acclaimed debut album earned him comparisons to Ali Farka Toure and Jimi Hendrix. His latest, Nomad, is even better. The chance to see him in an intimate setting such as Smith’s simply unmissable, be there.

Artists on the verge of making it big

Latest Project: Shake (Topshelf Records) For Fans of: Basement, Jimmy Eat World and Paramore Why You Should Care: Because the buzz for this melodic, ‘90s emo/punk- influenced group was so loud,

TEERING BAND MEMBERS INTO PRACTICE OR scheduling time for writing new material can be a pain in the ass. Let’s be honest, most people don’t get into bands because they’re extremely punctual and fastidious about holding down reliable business hours. So just imagine how tough it is when you and your fellow musicians don’t even live in the same time zone, much less the same city. But somehow the guys in Diamond Youth, whose members call Baltimore, Chicago and Los Angeles their respective home bases, have managed to put out a slew of impressive EPs. Their latest, Orange, came out at the end of January on Topshelf Records. Singer/guitarist Justin Gilman spoke with us recently about how the band has managed to make things work despite the distance, their new record, and opening for Jimmy Eat World.

popular indie label Topshelf Records couldn’t resist signing the band.

Are you guys still scattered between Chicago and Baltimore, or are you all finally in the same place? Ha! It’s actually the opposite now. We’re even more spread out than ever, because Sam recently moved to L.A.! But it’s a quality of this band that I don’t ever see changing. How difficult is it to write songs and carry on the normal activities of being in a band when you live so far apart? Being apart is something we embrace at this point. It’s the nature of the beast. I actually moved to Chicago as we started the band, which would generally be band suicide. But we’ve made it work for years. We come up with initial ideas on our own, and then we get together to solidify things out before recording. I actually love the solitude of writing music alone. We all write, and it lets each of us express ourselves individually. Then we collaborate until we get something that we’re all excited about. It’s probably the most nerdy way ever to write rock songs. You guys have been fairly prolific with the EPs ever since you formed the band. Was it a conscious decision to put out EPs versus a full-length album? I don’t think the conscious decision was to just release a ton of EPs, but to release as much music as we could as often as possible. We love writing music, and obviously want to share it, and it just so happened that that meant a yearly batch of six songs or so. I hate waiting for my favorite bands to release something for four-plus years, ya know? Can you talk a little bit about the songs on Shake? Are there any that you are particularly proud of? Shake is a mixed bag. You’ve got some upbeat bangers, a

40-second punk track and a guitar/vocal ballad. My favorite song on Shake is definitely “Can’t Shake the Feeling,” just because of it’s simplicity and overall groove. We recently added it to our set, among other new songs, on our U.S. tour with Polar Bear Club, and it’s a blast to play live. Also, since the chorus is so simple, people in the crowd were singing along by the end of the song each night. That’s such a great feeling. You guys have always been very DIY. As you’ve grown more popular as a band and gotten busier, have you had to rely on others more for help in getting that stuff done, such as art work, booking shows, and printing shirts? We definitely love creating all kinds of art, and will always do as much as we can ourselves. Sam (Trapkin) and I met at art school and had our first graphic design internships together, so we have that creative foundation. And, at the same time, we love collaborating with our friends, too. So when we do need to bring in help for a video or a larger project, we just call up our creative friends. It just makes it more fun! You guys are heading out on tour again soon. What other plans do you guys have for 2014? I think we’ll just keep doing the same things we’ve been doing: Touring, making videos, designing merch, and of course writing a ton of songs. That’s the great thing about being in a band– there are so many aspects to maintain, but we love doing them all. Those are all the questions I have. Anything else you want to talk about? We’re playing with Jimmy Eat World tonight at Ram’s Head Live in Baltimore. WTF?! • April 2014 • PG 19



Album Reviews

Reviews by Brett Love, John B. Moore, Lee Valentine Smith & Blue Sullivan

The Dean’s List STANTON MOORE – Conversations (Royal Potato Family) The classic jazz trio, NOLA-style BL: Over the past 20 years, Stanton Moore has proven himself a masterful funk drummer in the tradition of Clyde Stubblefield (James Brown) and Ziggy Modeliste (The Meters). From his main gig in Galactic to side-projects such as Garage A Trois and The Midnite Disturbers, he’s also proven himself a leading light on the New Orleans music scene, fusing a respect for the Crescent City’s historic traditions with more contemporary experimental inclinations to create fresh sounds that appeal to both sides. What he hasn’t done, until now, is make an album devoted to his deeprooted love of jazz. Conversations, with David Torkanowsky (The Meters, Dr. John) on piano and James Singleton (Professor Longhair, Aaron Neville, Harry Connick Jr.) on bass, is a classic jazz trio album with a heavy dose of New Orleans spice. To prepare, Moore studied with veteran drummer Kenny Washington and Jeff Hamilton, co-leader of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. The results are apparent in Moore’s playing, from the smooth brushwork on “Tchefunkta” to the dazzling improvisational skills shown throughout. If this all sounds yawn-inducingly academic, one listen to the toe-tappin’ Conversations will convince you that jazz, in the right hands, can be funky, grooveoriented and remarkably accessible. The opening “Lauren Z” pairs Singleton’s standup bass grooves and Moore’s syncopated percussive drive with some of the sweetest piano melodies I’ve heard this side of Vince Guaraldi’s heyaday. “Carnival,” and “Magnolia Triangle” really give the drummer some, paying tribute to the trio’s NOLA roots in fine, funky fashion. But while Moore may be the star of the show, songs like “Driftin’” prove Torkanowsky and Singleton to be titanic talents in their own right. All in all, it’s best jazz album I’ve heard in years. CYNDI LAUPER – She’s So Unusual: A 30th Anniversary Celebration (Epic/Legacy) Seminal ‘80s album gets anniversary treatment JM: Cyndi Lauper’s breakthrough debut, She’s So Unusual– the album that launched a career and a slew of hits that took over ‘80s radio (see: “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” “Time After Time,” “Money Changes Everything, “All Through the Night”)– came out 30 years ago. Feeling old yet? In its honor, Legacy is putting out a 2-CD set complete with demos, rehearsal takes, remixes and a live track. Surprisingly, PG 20 • April 2014 •

the album’s standout track (and Lauper’s signature song), “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” was actually a cover of a 1979 song written and sung by a dude. Similarly “All Through the Night” was originally written and sung by a male performer. The stillstriking “Time After Time,” one of pop radio’s most enduring love songs, was cowritten by Rob Hyman from The Hooters, and the single “When You Were Mine” is actually a Prince cover. Despite not having a firmer hand in writing all the songs on her debut, with this record and her charmingly unique vocals, Lauper was able to carve out a strong enough niche and still remains relevant today, both on Broadway (Kinky Boots) and on her annual summer tours. While not every on the second disc of rarities song is a must-hear, there are some cool, little-heard tracks. Particularly the synth-stripped, guitar demo of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” (which makes the song a bit darker), and the non-LP B-Side “Right Track, Wrong Train,” which sounds as good as the other songs that made the proper album. LINDA RONSTADT – Duets (Rhino) Classic vocal collaborations from the new Hall of Fame inductee LVS: As she enters the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this month, Rhino Records is releasing a collection of Linda Ronstadt’s best duets. Though it comes nowhere near completely documenting her many collaborations, the volume showcases her status of one of the greatest singers of her generation. In an all-too brief 15-track allotment, the disc highlights vocal turns with Emmylou Harris, Frank Sinatra, James Taylor, Dolly Parton and more, featuring one previously unreleased song with bluegrass star Laurie Lewis. Culled with the approval of Ronstadt, Duets manages to offer up a number of the singer’s many styles. One of the most successful female vocalists of the classic rock era, the album touches on material from a dizzying time warp ranging from 1974 to 2006. Country is well represented, as expected, with Dolly Parton (“I Never Will Marry”) and Emmylou Harris (“I Can’t Help It [If I’m Still in Love with You]”). As are her forays into the sunbaked Southern California sound with the Eagles’ Don Henley on Warren Zevon’s “Hasten Down the Wind,” and with J.D. Souther on “Prisoner in Disguise.” A welcome addition is easy-rock stalwart James Taylor, represented here with a rousing take on Ike and Tina Turner’s “I Think It’s Gonna Work Out Fine.” Of course, any collection of Ronstadt’s duets is expected to include the wistful “Somewhere Out There,” with James Ingram. It’s dutifully added here, along with three tracks from Ronstadt’s 2006 studio album, Adieu False Heart, with the mesmerizing Ann Savoy.

TESS PARKS – Blood Hot (359 Music) Underwhelming album from Canadian songstress JM: The debut album from Toronto-based singer-songwriter Tess Parker owes more than a little debt to bands like Mazzy Star and Portishead, with atmospheric guitars swirling under moody vocals. The result, though somewhat interesting for a few songs, starts to wear thin about halfway through the album. By the end (11 tracks, total), you start to think you might have just been listening to the same three songs on shuffle the whole time. Parks has a decent voice, when you can actually hear it over the guitars. But on half of her tracks it sounds like she’s recording her vocals either lying down or through a clenched jaw. As for the lyrical content, the words are all but lost in the mix. There may be a decent album in here somewhere, but it’s simply too difficult to tell given the final product. (D) THE LAWRENCE ARMS – Metropole (Epitaph) Longtime Chicago punks have still got it JM: It’s been eight very long years, but Chicago punks The Lawrence Arms have finally made up for the wait with Metropole. I realize its cliché to throw out terms like “maturity” and “growth,” but their sixth album is such a strong step forward in their musical canon that you can’t help but notice the differences. They’ve always been a fun band, finding a way to marry pop choruses with gritty punk rock without sounding like just another flavor-of-the-week band. But, with Metropole, the lyrics are smarter, Chris McCaughan’s vocals are more refined and the music is less sloppy, without sounding too slick or processed. It’s hard to imagine songs like “Seventeener (17th and 37th)” and “Beautiful Things” coming from an earlier version of The Lawrence Arms. Both are crammed with honesty and thoughtfulness. But that’s not to say the band has become boring. For every sober song, there’s a tune that shows there’s still a smartass playfulness that has always been part of the band’s hallmark (like “Drunk Tweets”). This trio has obviously done a lot of living in the past eight years, and their music is the better for it. They’ve evolved from a good punk-rock band in their 20s, to a great one in their late 30s. (B+) EMA – The Future’s Void (Matador) A spatial look at personal and global relationships LVS: EMA is the initials of singersongwriter Erika M. Anderson, newly christened after her stint in Californiabased art-rock duo Gowns. Her first release arrived in May of 2011, and Past Life Martyred Saints presented prominent guitars and kinetic lyrics in a rough-hewn kaleidoscope of low-budget landscapes. Fast forward to 2014, and EMA’s newest

attack is both loopy and spatial. The Future’s Void takes wide themes of alienation and belonging and looks at them through a crazy telescope from outer space. With sparse but effective production from Leif Shackelford, the record bristles with an electronic buzz to radiate a cautionary cache of tracks, painting EMA’s staggering look at the future as the sonic equivalent of the finale of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Intriguing stuff. (A) HAYLEY REARDON – Wayfindings EP (Kingswood Records) If Bob Dylan were a 17-year-old girl… JM: Once you get past how instantly enjoyable Hayley Reardon’s new EP is, you’re hit by the stunning news that this singer/guitarist is only 17 years old. Her voice and lyrics (with the exception of a cover of Taj Mahal’s “Fishin’ Blues,” all the songs here are penned by Reardon) are far stronger than anything you’d expect from a teenager, and bring to mind everyone from Mary Chapin Carpenter to fellow Bostonian Chris Trapper. That Taj Mahal cover, by the way, is brilliant, bringing so much more to the song than was thereto begin with. Her personal observations, propped up only by acoustic instruments and a confident voice, are direct and powerful, even when they’re as simply put as a line like “It’s the way you drive and all the Bob Dylan you pretend to like” (from “Numb and Blue”). This seven-song EP is the stellar follow-up to her 2012s debut, Where the Artists Go, and proves that Reardon is clearly an artist destined for bigger and better things. (B+) CHUCH RAGAN – Till Midnight (SideOneDummy) The punk/folk fusion at its best JM: Ragan was not the first punk-rocker to pick up an acoustic guitar (that trend goes at least as far back as John Doe of X). But damn if he hasn’t perfected the image of punk-rocker as born-again folkie over the past seven years. On Till Midnight, his fifth full studio effort, Ragan has evolved his style slightly– still appropriately loose, but with lyrics that seem to flow easier than on previous albums. In press materials, Ragan admits there are quite a few love songs on this one. And there are. “Wake With You” is simply beautiful, and quite possibly the most sincere song Ragan’s ever put to tape. “I love to write love songs because it’s the most powerful emotion,” he explains. “It’s what grounds us to this Earth and makes us want to fight to make the world a better place.” Ragan’s heart-on-sleeve songwriting– unhidden behind a barrage of loud drums and distorted guitars, but offered frankly and backed by little more than acoustic guitars, fiddles and soft drums– is what makes Till Midnight so immensely compelling. It’s honest and brave, stripped of all pretention and gimmicks. Ragan continues to be one of the best things going, not only in the punk/folk genre, but in all of music right now.



American Idol Alum James Durbin Celebrates the Release of His Second Album BY BRET LOVE


You’re known for your love of big, loud, hard rock ‘n’ roll, so I find the fact that you’re doing an acoustic tour intriguing. What was the impetus behind that idea?

Sophomore albums are notoriously problematic. How do you feel about the historic tradition of the “sophomore slump”? I think it’s all about what you make it. If I let “the tale of the sophomore slump” get to me, then yeah, it would probably happen. (Laughs) But I’m already feeling so much more positive and happy with Celebrate. It’s MY record. My stories. My experiences, written into songs! I don’t listen to society’s definition of success. I march to the beat of my own drum.

As you head into the release of this second album, how have your goals for your life and career changed since you first auditioned for Idol back in 2008? My goals and aspirations during the beginning stages of Idol were to get to live my dream of singing professionally and to support my family. Those dreams haven’t changed; they’ve just grown. We may have our disabilities, but our disabilities don’t have us. We all have the ability to be whoever WE choose to be. That’s our right of being alive.

The Beach Boys

May 17

June 21

July 12

Michael Bolton

Arrival– The Music of Abba

TBA Concert will be announced in May! Check our website, facebook or call us!

August 2

July 26

September 27

And don’t Miss our spotlight ConCerts! Night Fever Beyond 5

Bret Michaels

Sept. 6

Lisa Kelly

June 7

I couldn’t help noticing the big neck tattoo showing the cover of Celebrate. Can you explain its personal significance to you? Well, I wouldn’t call it “big.” (Laughs) I’ve always wanted my wife Heidi’s lips tattooed on me. We went in to get tattooed at one of our local spots in Santa Cruz and, in addition to getting matching lucky horseshoes with one of our son Hunter’s first words, I got her lips on my neck.

Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers

Gladys Knight

June 6

You have such an emotionally moving backstory, from losing your dad at an early age to being diagnosed with Tourette and Asperger after he passed away. What was your interaction with fans like once you started touring? I was really green when I auditioned. I really didn’t know what to expect. But I knew that I was gonna work my ass off to be the best me that I can be. I have a great connection with my fans because we’ve grown together. From day one of my Idol audition, it’s been a group effort. They’ve seen me at my highest, and my lowest. That’s the reality of reality TV. They voted for me. They made me.



The Voice of Ireland

Hotel California

The Rat Pack is Back Sept. 13

You went into writing/recording your first album, Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster, almost immediately after Idol ended. How did the experience of recording and touring measure up to your dreams and expectations? Were you surprised when it debuted at #8 on the Rock Charts? I was very surprised where Memories debuted. That’s all thanks to my fans. By the time the Idol Live Tour had ended, it only gave me 2 & 1/2 weeks to pick songs and record the entire record. I used my days off on tour to co-write songs. That’s my favorite part of making a record, the songwriting. For my upcoming record, I spent at least a year and a half writing songs. It’s a great skill to have, because I know my voice can leave me at any time. But, as long as I have the ability to craft a great hook and write songs, I’ll always have a career.

How will the music on Celebrate be different from your last album? Does the acoustic tour suggest a softening of your sound? I wouldn’t call it a “softening” at all. I’d call it an evolution as a songwriter. Celebrate is dialed-in better. I didn’t limit myself to writing only hard rock songs. I have more stories to tell that can’t only be contained to that genre. I listen to a wide variety of music, and I’ve always been inspired by artists of all different genres. In this day and age, artists don’t have to be confined to one single style.

May 10

Let’s start off with the obvious question: How has your experience on American Idol transformed your life and career? Well, to start off, my experience on Idol gave me my career. I know that I wouldn’t be exactly where I am today if it hadn’t been for them giving me a chance to show what I can do. That being said, it’s what you do with that chance that transforms your life. You’re in control of your decisions. I just gotta keep making the good ones!

You’re right, I do love big, loud, rock ‘n’ roll. But that’s not all I am, or all I listen to. When I write, I write on an acoustic guitar. I wanted to do an acoustic tour to show my fans that these songs don’t need to be electric. They’re just as powerful and meaningful stripped down. That’s not to say I can’t wait to plug in and blow the roof off of every venue. That’s just saying there’s a whole lot more to me than what’s been written on my Wikipedia page.

July 11

INGER JAMES DURBIN’S childhood could teach Annie a thing or two about the hard-knock life. His musician father died of a drug overdose when James was just 9 years old. Durbin was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome and Asberger’s, and was teased and bullied for being different. So it was the ultimate underdog story when the Santa Cruz native made his way onto the American Idol stage a few years back, balancing a larger-than-life love of good old-fashioned hard rock ‘n’ roll with an emotional back story and a heart-on-his-sleeve personality. Durbin’s passionate performance style ultimately made him an audience favorite, and he transformed his 4th place finish into an impressively successful album, Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster, which debuted at #8 on the Rock Charts. Now, Durbin is back with his sophomore LP, Celebrate, for which he recently embarked on a nationwide acoustic tour. He graciously took time out of his busy schedule to discuss Idol, the new album, and how his incredible life story has made him a role model for people with disabilities.

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The Frederick brown jr. Amphitheater

201 McIntosh Trail • Peachtree City, GA 30269 • April 2014 • PG 21



Dita Von Teese Brings A Burlesque Extravaganza to Atlanta working in a lingerie store when I was 15 years old, but it wasn’t until a bit later that I got interested in pin-ups and, particularly, vintage erotica. That is when I first started creating vintage fetishistic photos. Someone gave me the address of a place where I could buy a Victorian corset, and that changed everything for me. After seeing pictures of Bettie Page, I got the idea of recreating that type of thing in the ‘90s.



ORN HEATHER RENÉE SWEET in Michigan in 1972, the artist later known as Dita Von Teese grew up fascinated with the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and wanting to be a ballerina. After moving to California as a teenager and taking a job as a salesgirl at a lingerie store, she developed an interest in corsets, basques and the like, eventually studying costume design. Who do you think society is fascinated by By the age of 20, she had launched a career this old-school notion of the tease being as a fetish/glamour model in the classic more alluring than the strip? Bettie Page mold, and launched a revival When I first started doing my shows, it of classic Burlesque dancing that continues was in strip clubs. The 1930s-40s were a to grow more and more popular today. Her pretty racy era, when you think about it, and signature shows, including one with a giant the burlesque era was pretty racy, too. So I martini glass and another that revived the don’t have this view of that being a kinder, feather fan dance originally gentler time for eroticism. performed by Sally Rand, Burlesque shows were the influenced women around strip clubs of their era. A lot the world to give Burlesque a of those Burlesque dancers try. She also appeared on the didn’t wear pasties or g-strings cover of Playboy, was married BURLESQUE: STRIP when they could get away to Marilyn Manson for a few STRIP HOORAY! with it. They flashed and did years, and famously appeared all sorts of racy things. There April 13, 7:30pm at a New York art benefit was spectacle, live music and Tabernacle wearing nothing but $5 million costumes, which was why I worth of diamonds. found it intriguing. I like the Now, the Burlesque legend combination of the risk and the aesthetics. is bringing her variety show, “Strip, Strip I love having it in photographs, because it’s Hooray!” to Atlanta for the first time, strange and and sometimes taboo situations appearing at the Tabernacle on April 13. combined with the beautiful and glamorous. We were tickled and titillated when the sex I love combining those two things. I’ve never symbol spent time with us to discuss the had any interest in doing something that was allure of Burlesque, why her shows attract so just pretty. many women, and what Atlanta audiences can expect to see. Is there something empowering for you about being the object of men’s fantasies? When did you first become There has been a definite shift in my fascinated with career. When I first started doing shows, burlesque and retro it was mostly a male audience. Now, pin-up culture? my shows are 80% women. So I I was don’t have that feeling of people perpetually fantasizing about me when I go on stage. That’s not to say that there aren’t people out there having those kinds of thoughts. But I’m not walking out to an audience filled with leering guys. It’s a bunch of hot chicks, with their hair in curls, and they’ve dragged their boyfriends along with them. I’ve seen the shift from when I first started in 1991 to what it is now. I like that people have found an inspirational quality in it more than I like being a sex object. It’s not something I expected, for burlesque to become what it is.


Why do you think so many more women are interested in it these days? Do you think there is something liberating in celebrating the beauty of the female form? One of the best ways to release taboos is to indulge in them and to PG 22 • April 2014 •

decide that you’re OK with that. I think a lot of the women are interested in a burlesque show because it is a brand of glamour that anyone can create. It’s a kind of eroticism that you can indulge in, no matter what you look like. You can’t pick up a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and say, “I’m going to be like her!” None of us can be like her. But you can go to a show like mine and you’ll see a diverse cast of performers displaying different kinds of sensuality. There is a lot of the art of creation in it. I think that’s why there are so many women coming to see a show like this. What, for you, makes a good burlesque show? What are the ingredients? Now that the revival is global and in full force, we’ve seen so many performers and acts that are the same. We don’t need to see another person doing what I’m doing, or what someone else has been doing for 10 years. I think the most interesting things are the performers who are capturing the spirit of what burlesque is about without feeling like they have to do another feather fan dance or a martini glass act. They’re seeing it in a different way and tapping into their own personalities, making it an act that isn’t necessarily set in the 1940s. It can evolve even further if people see it that way instead of feeling like you have to do a retro-style striptease. I think the evolution of the art is the only way it is going to live on and move forward. Can you talk about some of the qualities of the performers in your show that you really admire? There’s always diversity in beauty and style. That’s been my aim all along, so that everyone can come to the show and see someone they can relate to. I don’t want people to say they came to the show to see me; I want people to leave the show saying which act they really loved. I want people to enjoy the night, and maybe see something they haven’t seen before. One of the acts I have in the show is from the Crazy Horse Paris, which is a place I’ve been connected to for many years. It’s the first time we’ve been able to take an act out of

the Crazy Horse and put it in another show. It’s never toured the U.S. before, ever. It’s kind of unheard of, so I’m really proud to have that act in the show. Aside from that, Perle Noire is a wonderful performer, and Catherine D’lish is my collaborator for all of the shows I’m doing in “Strip Strip Hooray.” And then there’s Murray Hill, who we can’t do the show without. He has an amazing sense of humor, which is required when you’re doing a strip tease show. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Atlanta Burlesque troupe Dames Aflame, but the humor is one of the things I love about their shows. There has to be a little bit of lightness, even if it’s just a wink of an eye. I don’t do wacky humor, but there’s always a little something in it that I find funny. Everyone has to find their own brand of humor, and there are lots of different ways to bring it to the stage. How do you keep yourself creatively engaged after 22 years of doing burlesque, so you’re not just going through the motions? Extravagance! Every single act I do takes me 1-3 years to produce. The music is all made custom. There are usually between 100,000-400,000 Swarovski crystals put on each costume. There’s an enormous expense. and that does it for me, in a way, because the stakes are high. It makes me really put a lot of effort into what I’m going to do. I love seeing opulence on stage. One of my passions is to show people something they haven’t seen before and make it electric on stage. What do you hope that people who’ve never seen your show before will take away from “Strip Strip Hooray”? If they’ve seen a burlesque show before, I hope that they will see something different. If they are performers, then maybe they will be inspired to be at the level that our performers are. I want people to have a good time and, for that 90 minutes, to be an escape tool of fantasy and spectacle. And to be inspirational: I hope maybe they will see somebody that they can relate to.






Boy George Returns (and He’s Still the Center of Attention)



EORGE O’DOWD IS AN accomplished DJ, author, songwriter, fashion designer and photographer. But he remains best known as Boy George, the flamboyant lead singer of ‘80s New Wave hit-makers Culture Club. A vital part of the influential New Romanticism movement in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, the vocalist’s style is informed by blue-eyed soul, punk, R&B and reggae. But he hasn’t released a proper album of new music in 18 years. This Is What I Do is a soulful collection of anthemic songs featuring collaborations with producer Youth (U2, Depeche Mode), and an impressive guest-list. A deluxe issue of the album, released on his own Very Me Records, is currently available. The busy entertainer is also readying a new assortment of his colorful B-Rude fashion line. Before embarking on a short tour that brings him to the United States (currently not including an Atlanta date), George spoke with us by telephone from London. It’s been 18 years since you released a fulllength solo album. Why now? It just feels like the right record for now and I’m very happy with it. It’s a kind of lover I can trust. And there was no pressure to compete with something I just did, you know what I mean? Back in the days of all the Culture Club stuff, we were working to a kind of schedule.

N THE POST-SPOTIFY ERA, THE album has become little more than a cute semantic relic of a bygone age. Even the old guard (Tower Records, R.I.P.) has to admit that it’s a singles-dominated world now. But admitting that doesn’t mean we accept Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” as the most-streamed song in history (a very sad reality recently divulged in Billboard). Stand back and let 2013’s version of “Cotton Eyed Joe” rule? F*cking never. Instead, let us turn back the wave of cheesy audio fascism by checking out these brilliant tracks instead: Oliver – “MYB” If you want something to dance to, try this 6-minute blast of retro-futurism. Starting as a frisky slice of ass-shaking (“MYB” stands for “move your body”) robotic house, it morphs into the kind of gorgeous alien anthem Kraftwerk & ELO might’ve made at the peak of their powers. What’s your opinion of electronic dance music? Is it the new pop? Well, you’ve got all types of it. You’ve got what you guys in America call EDM, which is definitely pop music. Then you’ve got the slightly darker stuff that you won’t know unless you go clubbing. In the kind of clubs I play, you don’t see bottles of champagne and sparklers. It’s not about table service, it’s about the music. Occasionally, I do get booked into those clubs, but they don’t usually work for me. I’m much more at home in a venue where the paint is peeling, there’s sweat running down the wall, and it’s all about the music. So that side of it is very healthy because there’s all types of it, not just one thing. And it’s quite a progressive scene; there’s always a lot happening and I like that.

You’ll be touring to support this album, but you also tour as a DJ. Which do you like best? Well, as a DJ, you sort of have to keep people on a perpetual high. With the live show, you can take people to a different place. You can make them sad, elated, or cry if you want. So in that ’M VERY RANDOM AS A respect, the live experience Your club music isn’t PERSON. RANDOM WORKS has a bit more emotional FOR ME. I DJ RANDOM. I DID fashion-centric. depth to it, but the two Right. The kind of clubs A SET THE OTHER NIGHT things, whether you have IN A CLUB, AND SOMEBODY I play, there’s no VIP! If the audience in your hand, you turn up and you’re TWEETED ME AND SAID DJing or singing, there’s “THANKS FOR TAKING A famous, you just have to nothing like it. It really TIRED FORMAT AND TURNING get down like everybody is the most incredible IT ON ITS HEAD.” THAT’S else. That’s the kind of experience. I’m very lucky THE ULTIMATE COMPLIMENT! clubbing I prefer. I’m not IF I WASN’T CALLED BOY to do both. But what I do GEORGE, I’D BE CALLED DJ against glow sticks and all as a DJ is very different that, but when it comes RANDOM! than what I do with my down to when people start band. filming you while you’re DJing, rather than dancing, that’s really Both feature you as very different centers disappointing. There are people with their of attention. cameras out. I’m like, “Why are you bringing Yeah, that’s it. Sometimes people who are your camera to a club? What’s wrong with into my music will come to my DJ show you? Why are you filming the DJ?” It’s so and I don’t know what they think they’re bizarre. The clue is in the title: dance music! gonna hear, you know? It’s underground But there’ll always be a couple of people dance music, not even the dance music you who just throwing down! Dancing like no hear on the radio. I don’t play poppy dance one is watching them, like it’s their last day music. It’s very underground, low-slung. on earth! I’ll go up to those people and say, And sometimes people do sort of wander in. “Thank you, you’ve really made the evening.” For the uninitiated, what does your DJ set sound like? Well, I do a series every month on iTunes, which is free, called Club Culture, and that gives people an idea of what I play. It’s free to download, and you can download it on your phone. If you’re interested in what I do as a DJ, that would be a great point of reference.

Volume 1: EDM Revolt!

And it makes their evening that you’ve noticed them, I’m sure. Yeah, absolutely. It’s a bit like that when you do the live show, you just see some people and they are having the best time! There’s nothing better! Essentially, I suppose you’re looking for their approval and you want to make people happy. So there’s that moment where it really works and that’s why we do what we do, in a sense.

Sorry for the random nature of these questions. I know we’re pressed for time. No, that’s fine, I’m very random as a person. Random works for me. I DJ random. I did a set the other night in a club, and somebody tweeted me and said “Thanks for taking a tired format and turning it on its head.” That’s the ultimate compliment! If I wasn’t called Boy George, I’d be called DJ Random! Let’s address the Culture Club rumors. Are you guys actually working on a new project? We are definitely doing a record. We’ve been writing it together. When will this happen? Pretty soon. After I get back from America, we have plans to go to Spain and record. If we can get the whole thing done in a month or two, it would be great. But recording projects have a habit of taking on their own life. But we definitely plan to start recording in May and then we’ll see where we go from there. The most important thing is, the music has to be right. We have to feel it and it has to work. What is the band dynamic at this point? It was really great fun to work with them. We really were able to put all the bullshit of the past behind us and actually enjoy the musical process of writing songs. I think we all walked away with a big smile on our faces, we were really happy. The past was a bit rocky, to say the least, both personally and musically. I always felt like we had a score to settle in terms of the music. I always felt like there was a record we didn’t make, a record we should have made. I suppose the pressure of being in a successful band and the kind of celebrity aspect of that gets in the way of what you do musically. It’s gonna be a lot of fun to come back and make a record where it’s about the record, not about anything else. Nobody has any expectations of us because we haven’t been around for years. It’ll be a case of -- as when I make my records -- doing what we feel and following our instincts.

Paul Kalkbrenner – “Altes Kamuffel (Vitalic Remix)” Not every meeting of great minds yields greatness (see: that miserable Fatboy Slim/ Riva Starr single). But you put two of the most quietly innovative artists in progressive house together, and you get a lasciviously sensual gatecrasher that imagines the Blade Runner soundtrack on a fistful of euphoriainducing narcotics. Jagwar Ma – “The Throw” I once spent a very late night in Hollywood with the ex-wife of Shaun Ryder, the mastermind behind the Madchester dance-rock kings, Happy Mondays. I asked her why they divorced, and she explained that she got tired of finding him passed out naked with a similarlyclothed-and-conscious groupie in their bathtub. I tell the story to describe this mud-caked wonder by Jagwar Ma. It’s so reminiscent of those halcyon late ‘80s-early ‘90s days at Glastonbury that you can practically smell the skanky weed and dirty sex all over it. Elliphant – “Revolusion” Mark this date, as it will likely be the first and last time I recommend anything with the words “dub” & “step” in the description. I am making a special exception for this mean little bit of business, because the first two minutes sound like M.I.A.’s “Born Free” in a blood-spraying knife fight with Atari Teenage Riot (in other words, f*cking ace). So ace, in fact, that I’m willing to overlook the left turn into Bassnectar territory at the end. RETRO PICK: Coldplay – “Talk (Thin White Duke Mix)” Put simply, Stuart Price (a.k.a. Thin White Duke, a.k.a. Jacques Lu Cont, a.k.a. Les Rhythmes Digitales) is the greatest remix artist on Earth. I could nearly fill this column with just the names of all the amazing things he’s contributed to dance music in the last 10+ years. This is his crowning achievement, and quite possibly the best EDM remix ever made. Go listen, and then come thank me. If you would like to hear this month’s tracks– and a few more great ones we didn’t have room to write about– check out our “Track Suits Mix” at: Special thanks to TJDJ in DC and my impeccably tasteful brother, Jody, for their help in curating this column. • April 2014 • PG 23


FAT MATT’S Chickenshack MASQUERADE Kadavar SMITH’S 500 Songs for Kids STAR BAR Polish Nails TABERNACLE twenty one pilots VARIETY Brett Dennen

WEDNESDAY APRIL 2 529 Alexandria EARL Onchi EDDIE’S ATTIC Kris Allen FAT MATT’S The Hollidays MASQUERADE Mephiskapheles LOFT The Internet VARIETY Television WILD BILL’S Shudderdog

FRIDAY APRIL 11 529 The Left Field Experiment AARON’S Lady Antebellum EARL Turk War EDDIE’S ATTIC Charlie Mars FAT MATT’S Lady D MASQUERADE All That Remains SMITH’S 500 Songs for Kids STAR BAR Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band VARIETY Brad Mehldau VINYL Kameron Corvet WILD BILL’S Battle of Georgia

THURSDAY APRIL 3 529 Eureka California EARL Breadcrumb Trail EDDIE’S ATTIC Rhett Miller FAT MATT’S Chickenshack MASQUERADE Childish Gambino SMITH’S The Steepwater Band TABERNACLE Grouplove VINYL The Mowgli’s FRIDAY APRIL 4 529 Bipolaroid EARL Lazer / Wulf EDDIE’S ATTIC Antigone Rising FAT MATT’S Atlanta Boogie MASQUERADE Masq Metal Mania! SMITH’S Red Baraat STAR BAR Return of the Grievous Angel TABERNACLE Archer Live! VARIETY Railroad Earth VINYL Arc & Stones WILD BILL’S Full Decibel SATURDAY APRIL 5 529 deadCAT CENTER STAGE Passion & Poetry EARL Gringo Star EDDIE’S ATTIC Michael Martin Murphey FAT MATT’S Ron Cooley MASQUERADE Anvil SMITH’S Goddamn Gallows STAR BAR Will Mitchell VARIETY Railroad Earth VINYL Afton Showcase WILD BILL’S Montgomery Gentry SUNDAY APRIL 6 CENTER STAGE Marsha Ambrosius EARL Bonaventure Quartet EDDIE’S ATTIC Amy Black FAT MATT’S Fat Back Deluxe MASQUERADE Authority Zero VARIETY Todd Rundgren VINYL Jars of Clay MONDAY APRIL 7 529 Cheap Art CENTER STAGE Marsha Ambrosius EARL I Want Whisky EDDIE’S ATTIC Open Mic FAT MATT’S Dry White Toast SMITH’S Dylan Taylor STAR BAR Monday Night Comedy TUESDAY APRIL 8 529 Spines EDDIE’S ATTIC Ben Taylor FAT MATT’S JT Speed SMITH’S Drew Davis WEDNESDAY APRIL 9 529 Great Barrier Reefs CENTER STAGE Scott Stapp EDDIE’S ATTIC Cheryl Wheeler FAT MATT’S The Hollidays MASQUERADE Kadavar STAR BAR Swank Sinatra VARIETY Robert Cray Band THURSDAY APRIL 10 529 White Fang EARL Ben Kweller EDDIE’S ATTIC Horse Feathers PG 24 • April 2014 •

SATURDAY APRIL 12 529 The Swear CENTER STAGE Karmin EARL Hawks EDDIE’S ATTIC David Ryan Harris FAT MATT’S Lady T LOFT Sultry Spring Soiree MASQUERADE Lazarnie Smichki SMITH’S 500 Songs for Kids STAR BAR Todd Prusin VARIETY Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy SUNDAY APRIL 13 CENTER STAGE Stephen Marley EARL Georgia Slim EDDIE’S ATTIC The Brothers Comatose FAT MATT’S Fat Back Deluxe MASQUERADE Nonpoint SMITH’S Fat Castor TABERNACLE Dita Von Teese VINYL Afton Showcase MONDAY APRIL 14 EDDIE’S ATTIC Patrick Park FAT MATT’S Dry White Toast MASQUERADE Nile SMITH’S Oui Damsel STAR BAR Monday Night Comedy TUESDAY APRIL 15 529 Rent Party Comedy EARL Bobby Bare Jr EDDIE’S ATTIC GT & Agnes Scott FAT MATT’S JT Speed WEDNESDAY APRIL 16 529 Pompeya EARL Desert Noises EDDIE’S ATTIC Ben Miller Band FAT MATT’S The Hollidays MASQUERADE Blessthefall SMITH’S Man Squeeze VINYL Run River North THURSDAY APRIL 17 529 Hello Ocho EARL 500 Songs for Kids EDDIE’S ATTIC Sons of Fathers FAT MATT’S Chickenshack LOFT Bun B & Kirko Bangz MASQUERADE Passafire SMITH’S Relay for Life VINYL Wild Child FRIDAY APRIL 18 529 Protomartyr CENTER STAGE Siavash Ghomayshi EARL 500 Songs for Kids EDDIE’S ATTIC Charlie Hunter FAT MATT’S Rough Draft MASQUERADE Punk Rock Show SMITH’S Please Please Rock Me STAR BAR The Evils VARIETY Abbey Road VERIZON Good Friday VINYL Carl Dylan WILD BILL’S Battle of Georgia

Lady Antebellum at AARON’S AMPHITHEATRE: April 11

SATURDAY APRIL 19 529 The Love Language CENTER STAGE Rahsaan Patterson EARL 500 Songs for Kids EDDIE’S ATTIC Kristy Lee FAT MATT’S The Wild Oats LOFT Augustana MASQUERADE Tech N9ne SMITH’S Wendy Colonna STAR BAR Gunpowder Gray TABERNACLE Alter Bridge VARIETY Wishbone Ash SUNDAY APRIL 20 EARL Midnight EDDIE’S ATTIC Kelly McFarling FAT MATT’S Fat Back Deluxe MASQUERADE Trinidad James MONDAY APRIL 21 EDDIE’S ATTIC Open Mic FAT MATT’S Dry White Toast STAR BAR Monday Night Comedy TUESDAY APRIL 22 CENTER STAGE RuPaul’s Drag Race EDDIE’S ATTIC Drake White FAT MATT’S JT Speed MASQUERADE Huey Mack WEDNESDAY APRIL 23 EARL Dick Valentine EDDIE’S ATTIC Steve Moakler FAT MATT’S The Hollidays MASQUERADE Iced Earth TABERNACLE Rob Thomas THURSDAY APRIL 24 EARL Angel Olsen EDDIE’S ATTIC Erick Baker FAT MATT’S Chickenshack LOFT 500 Songs For Kids MASQUERADE Chiodos SMITH’S Misery Loves Chachi TABERNACLE Taking Back Sunday VINYL Afton Showcase FRIDAY APRIL 25 CENTER STAGE The Mavericks EARL The Atlanta Mess-Around EDDIE’S ATTIC Rodney Crowell FAT MATT’S Sana Blues

LOFT 500 Songs For Kids MASQUERADE Texas In July SMITH’S Yarn TABERNACLE Nickel Creek VINYL William Frizsimmons WILD BILL’S Chase Rice SATURDAY APRIL 26 AARON’S Bruce Springsteen EDDIE’S ATTIC Erin Thomas FAT MATT’S Sweet & Salty LOFT 500 Songs For Kids MASQUERADE Unknown Hinson SMITH’S Tyler Bryant STAR BAR Swervocity SUNDAY APRIL 27 EARL Acid Mothers Templte EDDIE’S ATTIC Ralph Stanley FAT MATT’S Fat Back Deluxe LOFT Riff Raff SMITH’S Jake Clemons VERIZON Alabama VINYL Nathaniel Rateliff MONDAY APRIL 28 EARL White Hills EDDIE’S ATTIC Damiem Jurado FAT MATT’S Dry White Toast LOFT Laura Mvula MASQUERADE Kyng STAR BAR Monday Night Comedy TABERNACLE Rob Zombie VINYL Hellogoodbye TUESDAY APRIL 29 EDDIE’S ATTIC Joshua James FAT MATT’S JT Speed MASQUERADE Seether VINYL DVL WEDNESDAY APRIL 30 529 Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers EARL The Men EDDIE’S ATTIC Emerson Hart FAT MATT’S The Hollidays MASQUERADE Framing Hanley SMITH’S Bombino VARIETY Better Than Ezra VINYL Wakey! Wakey!



Busy Singer-Songwriter Lisa Loeb Looks Back on Two Decades BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH


N 1994, SINGER-SONGWRITER Lisa Loeb began her career with irresistible single “Stay (I Missed You).” Included in the soundtrack to the film “Reality Bites,” the song enabled her to become the first unsigned artist to have a number one single in the US. Her considerable cache of subsequent studio CDs, including her debut release, Tails and its successful follow-up, Firecracker, cemented her as a star in the ‘90s and she remains a popular live act. She’s worked in film, television, voiceovers and children’s recordings, with an impressive career that also includes stints in two successful television series and two well-received children’s albums. As 2014 unfolds, she continues to work on her iconic Lisa Loeb Eyewear Collection while she looks back on twenty years since the release of “Reality Bites.” Now a parent with two young children, Loeb is currently touring to support 2013’s beguiling and insanely catchy record No Fairy Tale, a bristling pop collection produced with her friend Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory. The busy Loeb recently spoke with Insite from her home in Los Angeles. When you debuted, the whole music industry was in upheaval. How do you feel it has changed? Well, I felt like I really had to focus on just music whereas now I can do all kinds of projects. Grown-up music, kids’ music, musicals, the eyewear line, and developing television shows. I’m able to do a lot of different things while I’m still making music. Nowadays, because of my life and having young children, I don’t tour as much so I do as much as I can from home. My goals now are a bit different than they were then. It changes the focus and helps sharpen it at the same time. Exactly. Now I can focus on a particular project, whether it’s a musical or anything else. I can reach directly to the people, even though there are a lot of ways for people for hear your music on the internet, over and over for free, and songwriters take a pretty bit hit from that. What’s the best way to combat that? The best way is to play live, and sell t-shirts and things that can’t be downloaded. Or create relationships with corporations that allow you to tie-in your music to other things, to create a trade situation. It’s just having to think more creatively, just to get the music to more people and to be more involved in general. And it opens up so many more possibilities. It does and in a perfect world, that would be happening in addition to people actually buying music. But now, creative thinking helps to being everything around as a greater incentive. You mentioned a new musical. Tell us a bit about that. I am part of a collaboration of a kids’ musical called “Camp Tipuana,” it’s based on a record I made in 2008 called Camp Lisa and I’m collaborating with the same people I made the record with. It’s in

development and should be up in New York City in the spring.

The whole “Camp Lisa” project has just exploded into a multidimensional world at this point. I’m really excited about that because it just started as a way to make another kids’ record. Summer camp music was the thing that really spoke to me the most, and it got me really involved in music to begin with. It can be funny, it can be touching, it can be fun to sing along with, and very visual. So we created an album inspired by the kind of music I was listening to when I was a kid at sleep-away camp. We made the Camp Lisa record, then I started a foundation so that all the proceeds could go to actually send kids to summer camp. It’s a great way to learn about yourself, about life and be independent, just things you don’t normally learn in school -- and learn a bit about music too. And come back home with those experiences. And those inspirations became the basis for two kids’ books. So it’s all been a huge inspiration for me, as well. And the kind of music you do for children, definitely respects them rather than talks down to them. Yes! Well, the kind of music I listened to growing up, like on The Muppet Show or Free To Be, You And Me, and even Sesame Street and The Electric Company all had a great sense of style and a sense of humor and the content was very entertaining whether you were any age. Everything was made in a fully-developed way. That’s the way I make my kids projects, they are for everybody to enjoy, with the highest standards we have for anything else. From the artwork to the songwriting. The things a child hears make a definite impression, even as innocuous pop music. Oh, totally. I was listening to a lot of pop music on the clock radio [as a kid growing up] in the ‘70s. Some of it might have been a little too mature for my ears, but it was interesting and sonically challenging, and it was made by real, grown-up musicians. I had a real record that came with my miniature Barbie doll called Dawn and the music was by an actual band! It wasn’t like some of the music that happens on toys today, like they think they might be doing something entertaining to kids, but it’s actually a little bit annoying. Is your writing process the same for any audience? Musically, I think it’s important to not talk down to anyone and make it as universal as possible. The kids’ songs tend to be a little bit more visual, though and they tell a story a bit more with themes that might resonate with the kids a bit more. Like, on the Camp Lisa record, we had a song about what to do when it’s raining. You don’t have to be depressed, you can play inside and come with a lot of different ideas. And it also comes off as an FM-radio song from the ‘70s. So it’s universal to all ages. And then after nearly a decade with no “adult” music, you released No Fairly Tale early last year. It has a definite “rock” edge to it that might surprise some of your more pedestrian fans.


Yeah, but if you really listen, there’s that edge though all the records so far. Maybe not on every song, but on a handful of songs that are a bit more rock. But if you only know my singles, then yeah, it’s a bit of a different direction. There’s a great song on there, called “The ‘90s,” where you address the decade you sort of matured in. That decade gets a bad rap sometimes, while often it’s deserved.

You’re right, the ‘90s may not be as cool as the ‘70s and not as “out-there” as the ‘80s, but I think the ‘90s brought a big return to songwriters making real music and presenting it in a lot of ways, from rock and roll to country to folky or acoustic. It was a time to return to making real music. Lisa Loeb is currently on tour across the country. For updates and merchandise, visit


All American Tour 2014


Fri: July 18

ray lamontagne

Jenny Lewis • The Belle Brigade

Will Hoge

Fri: July 25 • Sat: July 26

Sat: May 24

The River’s 97 Days Of Summer Kick Off Concert

styx • foreigner don felder The Eagles Formerly of

Tue: June 3

jack johnson Amos Lee

Sat: June 14


Tue: August 5

james taylor mötley crüe

Thu: July 17

the doobie brothers

peter frampton VZWAMP.COM

Sun: August 3

Dodge Presents

.38 Special


Emmylou Harris (Friday) Gov’t Mule (Saturday)

Sat: August 16


Matthew Curry

the avett brothers

Alice Cooper

Sun: August 24

keith urban

Jerrod Niemann • Brett Eldredge


All artists and schedules subject to change without notice. All tickets subject to service charge. Concerts rain or shine. • April 2014 • PG 25



Visiting the Finca 6 Archaeological Site BY BRET LOVE; PHOTOS BY BRET LOVE & MARY GABBETT


Y THE BEGINNING OF 2014, science had found the Higgs boson (a.k.a. “the God particle), put a rover on Mars, and created a robotic hand that allows amputees to feel sensations. Yet somehow the Stone Spheres of Costa Rica remain a complete mystery, with little more than educated hunches about their significance to the ancient peoples of Costa Rica. We’d seen some stone spheres during previous trips to Costa Rica– usually individual stones displayed prominently in the center of a town’s park. But it wasn’t until we visited the Finca 6 Archaeological Site in Palmar Sur that we began to understand how important these mysterious orbs are to researchers trying to learn more about Costa Rica’s pre-Columbian history. When we visited in December, the Finca 6 Archaeological Site had not yet been opened to the public. The staff was busy putting the finishing touches on the brand spanking new museum before a visit by Laura Chinchilla, the President of Costa Rica, the following day. Fortunately, as journalists, they allowed us to explore the site, which lies in the heart of the Diquís Delta region. There are around 300 stone spheres in Costa Rica, and over 10% of them lie on this 10-acre property. Known locally as Las Bolas, the Diquís Spheres range in size from a few centimeters to over 6 feet in diameter, can weigh up to 15 tons, and are said to be almost perfectly round. Carved from gabbro (rock formed from molten magma), the orbs have been found all over southern Costa Rica, buried with pottery dated to 200 BC-600 AD, as well as with sculptures dated to around 1000-1500 AD. But the Diquís culture disappeared sometime after the Spanish conquest in 1502, and their spheres were lost to history for more than 400 years. The Stone Spheres of the Finca 6 Archeological Site were discovered during the agricultural boom of the 1930s, when the United Fruit Company cleared this jungle land to make way for banana plantations. Using bulldozers, the workmen clumsily pushed these ancient artifacts out of the way, damaging many of them in the process. After rumors circulated that there was gold in them there globes, workers drilled holes into the core of many and blew them open with dynamite. Some of these spheres were eventually put back together again, and are now on display at the National Museum of Costa Rica in San Jose. Science soon took an interest. Doris Stone, the daughter of a United Fruit executive, published an article about them in 1943. Her story drew interest from noted Harvard archaeologist/anthropologist Samuel Kirkland Lothrop, whom Stone directed to the Diquís Delta. The results of Lothrop’s research were published in 1963′s Archaeology of the Diquís Delta, Costa Rica. By 2010, University of Kansas researcher John Hoopes was evaluating the spheres’ eligibility as a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. Under the protection of the National Museum of Costa Rica since 1990, the Finca 6 Archaeological Site is seriously worthy of UNESCO consideration. It has dozens of ancient stone spheres of varying sizes PG 26 • April 2014 •

spread across its 10 acres, as well as two 30-meter wide artificial mounds (built out of river stones) believed to have elevated the dwellings of elite members of the Diquís society that once called the property home. This is one of the few places in Costa Rica where archaeologists have found spheres that were clearly associated with structures. It’s also one of the few places where they’ve found well-preserved spheres still in their original location. For a country that doesn’t have nearly as many archaeological attractions as neighbors like Belize and Guatemala, that makes Finca 6 a VERY big deal! Under the direction of the National Museum’s Francisco Corrales and Adrian Badilla, 12 years of research on this property have provided a mixture of insight and intrigue regarding Diquís culture. Archaeologists believe that the spheres were created by specialized artisans, using stone tools such as hammers and chisels to carve the basic shape, then smoothed out and polished. In some cases, you can see drawings that were carved into the surface. Though many of the stone spheres were moved, researchers have found that they were often arranged in lines or triangles. But Finca 6 revealed two groups of spheres in a straight line, parallel to each other, oriented eastwest and approximately 130 meters apart. But why? There are no definite answers, but there’s a LOT of mythology and conjecture surrounding these icons of Costa Rica‘s cultural identity. Some believe that the stones came from Atlantis, and were polished smooth by the water. Others believe they’re the work of aliens. Local legends hold that the ancient natives had a powerful potion that could soften rock. In the indigenous Bribri culture, it’s believed that Tara (or Tlatchque), the god of thunder, used a giant blowpipe to shoot these cannonballs at the gods of winds and hurricanes in order to drive them away. But the more believable theories suggest that the stone spheres had religious and/or astronomical significance, possibly aligned to represent the shapes of constellations and used in tribal rituals. What is known for certain is that they were arranged very precisely, and their use at the entrance to homes with elevated platforms suggests they were associated with high status. Perusing the various other archaeological relics displayed in the Finca 6 site’s new museum as workers painted and cleaned in preparation for President Chinchilla‘s visit, I found myself still hungry to learn more about the Diquís people: Who were they? Why did they make the massive stone spheres? How did they get them into place? What did it all mean? In a land where culture often seems to take a backseat to nature and wildlife, the Stone Spheres could offer valuable clues to Costa Rica’s pre-Columbian past. Here’s hoping UNESCO will bestow World Heritage protection on these ancient archaeological relics soon, so that Finca 6 can generate the sort of sustainable tourism revenue that would help finance Corrales and Badilla’s research. As you walk the grounds of this former banana plantation, you get an eerie feeling that there’s 1000+ years of Costa Rican history buried just below the surface, waiting to be uncovered.



The Return of Tinariwen, Mali’s Tuareg Blues Legends BY BRET LOVE


HE AFRICAN BLUES LEGENDS OF Tinariwen have an incredible back-story that speaks to the importance of patience and persistence on the path to success, particularly in times of crisis. Formed in 1979 by musicians born in the Sahara Desert of northern Mali, the ensemble came together in Algerian refugee camps, where they lived to escape persecution after the Tuareg rebellion of 1962-64. Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, who witnessed the execution of his father (a Tuareg rebel) at age four and later made his first guitar from a tin can, a stick, and bicycle brake wire, founded the band. Radical protest songs from Morocco, Algerian rai, and classic rock artists such as Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix influenced their music, but they started out playing weddings and baptisms. Locals called them Kel Tinariwen, which loosely translates from the Tamasheq language as “the People of the Desert.” In 1980, Libyan leader Muammar alGaddafi enlisted Tuareg men to receive military training, and Ag Alhabib and Co. heeded the call. In 1985 they did the same for Tuareg rebels, and ultimately met up with other musicians who would join the band. Tinariwen began writing songs about the sociopolitical issues facing their people, recording them onto cassettes for free for anyone who wanted one. Their “Desert Blues” sound began to spread by word-ofmouth, giving voice to the problems of the Tuareg people. Then, after returning to Mali for the first time in 26 years, the second Tuareg rebellion of 1990 sent Ag Alhabib and his friends back to fighting for their lives and freedom. Finally in 2001, with help from French world music group Lo’Jo, Tinariwen performed high profile gigs at the WOMAD and Roskilde music festivals, and released their first album outside of North Africa. They gradually attracted influential fans such as Bono and the Edge of U2, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, and Chris Martin of Coldplay. In 2005 they received a BBC Award for World Music, and in 2010 they represented Algeria in the opening ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Now, more than 30 years after the band’s formation, Tinariwen is coming off a Best World Music Album Grammy Award for their 2011 album, Tassili. But that doesn’t mean that things have gotten any easier for the group, as the armed conflict that has plagued Northern Mali ever since its independence from France in 1960 continues unabated. The militant Islamist group Ansar Dine, led by Iyad Ag Ghaly (who took a leading role in the Tuareg rebellion of 1990, and is suspected to have al-Qaeda ties), is fighting to impose strict Sharia law throughout Mali. After Ansar Dine declared “We do not want Satan’s music,” Abdallah Ag Lamida was arrested by radical Islamists last year while trying to save his guitars from being destroyed. As a result of the political unrest in Mali, the nomads of Tinariwen had to make an epic journey to the desert of Joshua Tree,

California to record its critically acclaimed new album, Emmaar. Boasting guest appearances by Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, Nashville fiddler Fats Kaplin, and poet Saul Williams, the album is a gritty, atmospheric and hypnotic work that cements Tinariwen’s status as leaders of the African blues revolution. We recently spoke via translator with vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Eyadou Ag Leche, who joined the band back in the ‘90s, to discuss everything from the essence of Tuareg culture to the deep historical connections between the music of West Africa, the Delta Blues, and Rock ‘n’ Roll.

constituted of 4 generations with the arrival of Sadam, our youngest guitarist and singer. What were some sociopolitical issues of the Tuareg rebellion that this music was created to address? Since decolonization and the borders that were imposed on us by France, we never got help from the Malian government for essential infrastructure, such as health, education, and water. This forced our people into exile and caused chaos. We want to spread the message that our community is only wishing for recognition of its rights, and that we want freedom and peace at home. This is mostly what we sing about when we’re addressing a message about our cause.

For our readers who may not know much about the Tuareg, how would you describe the culture? Could you talk about the importance music When the band plays in everyday life? was first starting LIKE THE BLUES, The essence of out, distributing OUR MUSIC IS ABOUT the Tuareg culture homemade cassettes is closely linked to throughout the NOSTALGIA. WE CALL the desert, and our Sahara region, did OUR NOSTALGIA ASSOUF. you ever dream of environment. Our culture is a matriarchal LIKE THE BLUES, WE SING the success the band society, so the women enjoys today? ABOUT MISSING OUR have a leading place No, we couldn’t in our community. PEOPLE, OUR HOME, LOVE imagine achieving Music and ancestral such international AND EXILE. Tamasheq (our success from our language) poetry is desert! We are very absolutely a part of the everyday lives of the grateful to all the audiences we meet Tuareg. We play a lot of traditional music, around the world. But as musicians our like the Tende, a style and rhythm inspired original aspiration was simply playing, by the camel’s dance. Percussion, women enjoying, and sharing our music. Another singing, and Tamasheq poetry are the important part is to spread the message of essence of Tuareg music, and definitely part our community’s suffering, and this simple of Tinariwen’s sounds. claim for peace and rights. How did Tinariwen originally come together as a band? The first members were Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, Abdallah Ag Lamida, Hassan Ag Touhami, “Japonais,” and Keddou Ag Ossad. They began playing together around Tamanrasset in southern Algeria, performing for baptisms and weddings. The songs were about life in the desert and love, but also closely linked to the sociopolitical situation of our Tuareg community– the suffering and rights of our people, who were forced into exile. When the Tuareg rebellion broke out in Mali, the songs helped to spread the message about our cause. Tinariwen has always been a collective, and new members joined the band over the years. Today, Tinariwen is

There is a deep historical connection between the music of West Africa and the Delta blues. But I’ve read that you’d never heard American blues music until you began touring internationally. Can you talk about that connection? Yes, we have the same feeling. Like the blues, our music is about nostalgia. We call our nostalgia Assouf. Like the blues, we sing about missing our people, our home, love and exile. We discovered blues not long time ago, and most of our members listen to blues a lot now. One of the first things the al-Qaeda militants did after invading Mali was to condemn “Satan’s music” and destroy people’s instruments. Why do they see the music of Mali as such a threat?

These people are against cultures and freedom in general. There is no reasonable explanation for such a hatred-fueled behavior, I would say. I’ve read that Abdallah Ag Lamida was arrested by Ansar Dine militants while trying to rescue his guitars. How did all that go down? He lost his guitar, but he managed to escape after few days. He has been arrested by the Mujao, but it was not because of his guitar. Due to the political instability of Mali, you had to record the new album in Joshua Tree. How did that change of scenery, and working with western producers, impact the band’s sound on Emmaar? Emmaar is the first album that we recorded far from home. We couldn’t record in our territory, as the situation was too unsafe. But we needed to record it in another desert, because it’s an environment that is essential for us. We need to feel the natural elements of it– the sand, the silence, the air, the wind, the rocks– and the feeling of freedom. We decided to record in Joshua Tree, and we felt at ease. We recorded the album live, all together in the same room, to feel the interconnection between each other, the words and the music. We wanted to get the rough, organic sound of our first album, Radio Tisdas. And thanks to good gear, we were able to get that sound! I know the Tuareg typically live a nomadic lifestyle. But when you’re traveling on tour, what do you miss most when you’re away from your homeland? We always miss our homeland. We miss the desert. We miss our people. We’re traveling non-stop with them in our mind! Mali and other parts of north Africa seem to have had more than their fair share of turmoil in recent years. What are your hopes for the future of your country, and for Africa on the whole? We are with the people who rise up and claim their rights and their freedom. It all takes time though. And we aren’t naïve: It’s all about politics, private interests, and finance… all this that is preventing people’s rights to be respected. We still have hope for negotiations and peace talks, but today our main way to help is to spread the message through our music all around the world. Hopefully soon we’ll be back home for playing to our Tuareg community. • April 2014 • PG 27



Manchester Orchestra Rebounds After Losing Two Members BY JOHN B. MOORE


T’S BEEN A TOUGH COUPLE OF YEARS FOR THE guys in Manchester Orchestra. In a short time span, they lost their record label and their entire rhythm section with the departures of drummer Jeremiah Edmond and bassist Jonathan Corley. The group soldiered on with new recruits Andy Prince and Tim Very and started work on 14 new tracks. But the vibe wasn’t right, and all but one or two of the songs were scrapped. They took a break, built a studio and refocused their efforts. In the span of about four days, they managed to hit a creative wave that they rode to a full album’s worth of songs, Cope. Manchester Orchestra frontman and founder Andy Hull spoke with us recently about finally finding that source of inspiration, finding a new rhythm section, and why they’re ok flying under the radar. This is the first album you did with (bassist) Andy Prince. Yeah and it’s also the first record we did with (drummer) Tim, when he was there for all the writing. How did the addition of Andy and Tim to the mix change the dynamics of the band? How did it change the way you went about writing this album? Well, those guys are both exceptional musicians and they were both really able to keep up and push and help improve the ideas that were there. They have a really great chemistry together and, you know, it just kind of allowed us to look into a more tight and explosive, song selection. This was obviously a transitional period for you guys, with new members and a label change as well. Yeah. Did you feel a little out of sorts walking into this record, or were

you always pretty comfortable that everything would work out? Really, my mindset the entire time was that this is all going to get figured out. Because it always does, and so there’s just no reason to worry about what we’re going to do when we didn’t have a record done. We didn’t know what it was going to be, so we just hit the lab and started working. We got pretty far, like 14 songs, by the end of December 2012. I thought we were pretty much done, but only one or two of those songs even made it on the record. We tried to stay as focused as we could to get this thing done. We were able to just keep writing and if we had done this with a label at the time, they would have convinced us that out of the 14 songs we had there was enough to put out a record. When you had the songs completed and how you wanted them, is that when you started looking around for a new label? Yeah. People were still interested and calling and people who were interested and wanted to come down and check out what we were doing, did. The people we ended up working with came down while we were making it and kind of checked it out. It made sense for us to go to (the label) that had the same mindset we did and understood what we were trying to do, so we could continue to grow this thing. Having followed you guys for a while, one thing that struck me about this record was the sequencing of the songs. Not sure how much thought you put into it, but they really flowed together seamlessly. Yeah, thanks for that. We put a lot of thought into that. That’s always a really big thing we use to try and nail. It’s certainly an intense listen, and I get that; it’s a lot to hear at one time. You guys finally had your own studio for this record. Yeah, we did. We bought a house and built our own studio. We did that in order to start writing and recording. But every record


we’ve done (the process) has been completely different than the one before. It’s not intentional. It’s just never been the same. The approach for the writing was certainly different. It was more like “let’s just see what we can do,” and most of these songs were written in a span of about four days. We came up with a song, would demo it by recording live in our studio and then once we got a badass take, I’d record vocals. You were pretty young when you started this band. Yeah, I was like 16 when I really first started. And it wasn’t really a band at the time, but pretty much you. Are you surprised by how this project has evolved and turned into this pretty formidable group? Yeah, I really am. Especially when your entire rhythm section leaves, and there were no hard feelings. A lot of bands can suffer from that because it totally changes the backbone of the band. I don’t know how or why this happened to us, but we got a new backbone and it’s made of titanium. These guys are pushing me to be better. I just feel really blessed about that. The growth has always been slow and steady. We’ve never had one of those “Oh shit!” moments, where everyone knows who we are all of a sudden. There’s still a feeling that you’re under the radar a bit– that you’re pushing uphill– and I think that’s good. We’re in this for a career. I use that stuff for motivation.

Guitarist Jonny Two Bags Releases His Solo Debut BY JOHN B. MOORE


ONNY WICKERSHAM, BEST KNOWN as Jonny Two Bags, has played guitar in some of the world’s most influential punk bands, including U.S. Bombs, Youth Brigade, The Cadillac Tramps and, for the past 14 years, Social Distortion. But everyone wants to be a frontman now and then, so Wickersham has just put out his first solo record. As it turns out, he also happens to make a pretty stellar singer. While you can’t deny the punk influences on his record, Salvation Town, it slants much closer to the Americana and folk camps. Working with longtime friend and producer David Kalish (a longtime collaborator of Rickie Lee Jones), they pulled together everyone from


Pete Thomas (who has been backing Elvis Costello for decades) to Jackson Browne (yes, THAT Jackson Browne) to work on this record. The sound is as impressive as it is unexpected, given his resume. Wickersham was cool enough to talk with us recently about the album, his influences, and the next Social Distortion record. You’ve been playing in bands for decades now. How long have you wanted to put out your own solo album? It’s difficult to nail down exactly when I started to think about doing something on my own. It just sort of developed over the years. As a kid I would listen to my father’s records and, depending on what band it was, I would imagine playing different instruments. Sometimes I wanted to play bass, like Paul McCartney; sometimes I wanted to be the drummer, like Keith Moon; but mostly I wanted to play the guitar, like my idol Jimmy Page. As I got older, I started to appreciate songs, lyrics... what was being said. I guess that was probably around the time I started hearing punk rock. Eventually I started to develop some ideas of my own that went beyond my usual duties as guitar player. Why did now seem like the right time for this record? I’ve realized something interesting in the process of making this record, and everything that comes with it. Having been a sideman and/or band member for most of my life, I can see now that I’ve been in relatively safe place. You never have to take any of the heat as a sideman. I guess I never really had the confidence to do this until now.

For those who just associate you with punk music, the sound could be a surprise. Can you talk a little but about your musical influences on Salvation Town? I can see how it might take some people off guard, although to me this album makes perfect sense. I’ve been around various forms of American roots music my entire life. My father was a working musician. Folk/country and rock ‘n’ roll music was always in my home as a child. When I got into punk rock around the age of 13, I also found the roots and rockabilly bands that were part of that scene. As time went on and the punk scene evolved, I gravitated to this area rather than to the thrash/metal side. That’s not to say that I don’t love the Bad Brains and the CroMags. One of my favorite bands of all time is Rudimentary Peni from the UK, so I love punk rock for sure. What made you decide to work with David Kalish? What was it like to work with him? We’re great friends, which means that we definitely clashed at times. But for the most part it was a very productive experience. Without him, this would have been a different record in many ways. He is a very talented engineer, and he has an amazing ear in terms of performance and sound. He gets the drums to sound amazing. He gets fantastic performances out of the players, and comes up with great ideas for more subtle things, like overdubbing timpani over a tom tom part or adding a press role to the beginning of a song. I bring the songs and ideas for parts and arrangements to the table, but David makes them sound fantastic.

You have a great collection of guests on this record, including Jackson Browne. Did you

know all of these musicians prior to working on this record? Kalish rounded up most of the players, with the exception of guys I already knew, like Brent Harding, Dave and Vincent Hidalgo and Zander Schloss. The way Jackson ended up singing on the record is pretty funny. “Then You Stand Alone” was originally more of a punk or rock ‘n’ roll-type thing. But as this version started to shape up, I commented on how it was beginning to sound like something Jackson Browne could have done. About a week or so later, Kalish tells me that he’s going to a party or club or something and that Jackson was supposed to be there. So I said, “Why don’t you ask him to sing on this track?” Of course I never really thought it was even a possibility. The next day I get a call from Kalish, telling me that Jackson agreed to do it. So amazing! Then, to take it to the next level, a couple of weeks later we get David Lindley on the song. Jackson AND Lindley? That’s like winning the guest musician lottery!. I feel very fortunate to have these people play on my first record. Do you plan to put a band together and tour? Absolutely. I’ve got a great band together that currently includes Dave and Brent, as well as my old friends Mitchell Townsend on guitar and Jordan Shapiro on pedal steel. Kalish is playing B3. We’re touring in April/ May, supporting Chuck Ragan and The White Buffalo. I’m really excited. Has Social Distortion started work on the next album yet? Not yet. I would imagine we’ll fire the Social D machine up later in the year. We’ve pretty much been on hiatus.




ITH THE NUMBERS FINALLY crunched, the announcement came that the Los Angeles Dodgers had supplanted the New York Yankees as the MLB franchise with the highest payroll. Of course, the Yanks will be the first to tell you that money can’t buy you glove (or World Series titles). That truth hasn’t stopped the Dodgers, a proud team that hasn’t been to the Fall Classic since 1988, from writing fat checks to the likes of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez ($154 million), leftfielder Carl Crawford ($142 million) and ace Clayton Kershaw ($215 million) over the past few years. This season, the investments will pay off — L.A. will roll through the NL West and NL Playoffs, going on to face Boston or the L.A. Angels in the World Series. It won’t matter who they’ll play because the abundance of talent at the plate and on the mound will be too rich for either team’s blood.



When Andre Ethier, a career .288 hitter with some pop, is penciled into the eighth slot, your lineup is stacked. If a rotation that’s front-loaded with Kershaw and Zack Grienke holds up its end, this team will flirt with 100 wins.


Anywhere you look around Busch Stadium — the outfield (Peter Bourjos), the plate (Matt Holliday, Allen Craig) and on the mound (Adam Wainwright) — these Cardinals look pretty damn fly.


The Braves’ rotation has taken a beating (starters Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy’s season-ending Tommy John injuries in March), but if certain parts of the batting order wake up (hear that, B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla?), the loses won’t hurt nearly as much.


A spring training ESPN poll of Major League players named the Nationals’ Bryce Harper as the game’s most overrated player. I wonder what those same guys are gonna say after the polarizing outfielder smashes 35 HRs and gets 90 RBI in a full, healthy year.


With young studs like Khris Davis and a post-PED Ryan Braun on the roster, we’re giving the Brewers a real shot at contending for the Wild Card.


The Phillies are not aging well. Chase Utley’s knees aren’t reliable. Ryan Howard’s legs are pretty suspect. The bullpen of unknowns isn’t necessarily old, but it’s still got plenty of wrinkles to work out.


Few people outside of the Greater Phoenix area even realize that the D-backs went 81-81 last year. Underrated talents Paul Goldschmidt, Gerardo Parra and Martin Prado will make sure their bats are even louder this year.


Some teams have so much depth that a few injuries won’t hurt them much. These Padres aren’t so fortunate. A year or two from serious ATLANTA’S contention, if Carlos B.J. UPTON Quentin and Co. can stay in the lineup, the NL West will grow sick of this bunch quickly.


To counter the fact that they finished last in the league in team hits, home runs and batting average in 2013, the Marlins went out and… well, did absolutely nothing.


The lone threat to the Dodgers in the NL West, these Giants have been a symbol of consistency in the game. They’ll need Buster Posey and Hunter Pence’s steadiness at the plate and Tim Lincecum’s return to dominance on the hill to keep pace in ’14.


We’re guessing the haters out there who only see these scrappy Pirates as one-year wonders are simply blinded by the sheen coming off Andrew McCutchen’s MVP trophy.


With Prince Fielder and his 100-plus RBI gone to Texas, this year could have been easily discounted as a rebuilding year in the D. But with Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander giving A efforts every night, we ain’t buying it.


Though he only played in 126 games a year ago, Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki had 25 HRs and 82 RBI. If he plays 150 games (and Carlos Gonzalez does his part), this ranking could be way too low for the Mile High club.


While their constituents in the Bronx keep writing checks to players, the Queens-based Mets, a team that has lost 261 games over the last three seasons, just keeps breaking promises to fans.


We’re getting to the point now that we’re actually feeling pretty bad for Cubs fans. C’mon, Chicago, is signing Rick Renteria as manager really the biggest offseason move you made?


Billy Hamilton’s blinding speed and Joey Votto’s bulky bat are joys to watch, but we have to admit that seeing closer Aroldis Chapman take a liner to the face was absolutely heartwrenching.


NL Championship: LA Dodgers over Atlanta Braves, 4-2


1. BOSTON- The defending World Series

champs are going to need another colossal season from David Ortiz (30 HRs, 103 RBI) and Dustin Pedroia (.301 BA, 84 RBI) if they’re to have any shot at repeating. At this point, you’d be silly to bet against them doing it.


Last year’s struggles proved that Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton were, in fact, mortals. If the former all-stars can somehow resurrect themselves as their 2011 selves, they’ll be worshipped around Anaheim like gods.


Mariano Rivera has left. Derek Jeter won’t be far behind him. The Yanks needed a shot of something, so they went out and bought a catcher (Brian McCann), centerfielder (Jacoby Ellsbury) and a captivating Japanese export (Masahiro Tanaka).


The Royals have some sluggers (Mike Moustakas) and a bit of smoke (James Shields). All that’s missing are a May and a June where everything comes perfectly together.


Moneyball and metrics are great tools for assessing talent, but sometimes you just gotta give players the eye test — and A’s outfielder Yoenis Cespedes passes with flying colors.


Some things are just automatic: Kim Kardashian gracing the cover of a grocery store tabloid; Captain America topping the box office; the Rays winning at least 90 games with a roster of good players who care more about wins than getting wrapped up in endorsements.


Fielder’s arrival to first base for the Rangers is big for a number of reasons: 1) Prince’s 30 dingers will be huge for the middle of the Texas order; 2) Fielder chopped off his trademark dreadlocks, casting the illusion that he’s lost weight from his 275-pound frame.


Prognosticators who said the Orioles would slightly regress in ‘13 were right—the team took an eight-game dip in the win column. Experts are expecting another nosedive this year. Won’t happen if the faceless rotation rises up.


Though the lineup card is a monster (especially Edwin Encarnacion in the No. 3 slot), once you take a stare at the hurlers, things are so average it’s scary.


The trendy breakout team of ‘13, the Indians don’t have the middle-order power or top-ofthe-rotation pop to do much about anything in ‘14.


In a blatant money grab, Robinson Cano (10 years/$240 million) jetted from the Northeast to the Pacific Northwest. Sadly for Cano and Co., the move won’t pay off into many more victories for the perennial 70-win club.


The two biggest questions surrounding the Twins: “What’s the cause of Joe Mauer’s power shortage?” and “Is there anyone on the roster who can assist in erasing the team’s offensive outages?”


We really think the future is bright for first baseman Jose Abreu and right fielder Avisail Garcia. But by playing in the same division as Detroit and Kansas City, there are many dark days ahead for the squad.


There won’t be any victory parades routed for downtown Houston anytime soon, but there will be reasons to cheer for the outfield—and their names are Dexter Fowler and George Springer.

AL Championship: Boston over L.A. Angels, 4-1

World Series: LA Dodgers over Boston, 4-2 • April 2014 • PG 29




FANATIC A Monthly Sports Wrap-up


players of the world? Well, Sports Illustrated sees them and gives them their due shine with its 2014 All-Underrated Team. Here is the roster: Marte, Pittsburgh, LF; Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee, CF; Gerardo Parra, Arizona, RF; Kyle Seager, Seattle, 3B; Desmond, Washington, SS; Jason Kipnis, Cleveland, 2B; Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, Toronto; Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee, C; Mike Minor, Atlanta, Pitcher; Greg Holland, Kansas City, Reliever.


“This is a colossal victory for student-athletes coming on the heels of their recent victories. It seems not only the tide of public sentiment but also the tide of legal rulings has finally turned in the direction of college athletes and against the NCAA.” –CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK LAW PROFESSOR MARC EDELMAN on the ruling that Northwestern student-athletes could bargain with the university as employees

“Don’t believe people when they say there are no must-wins in the regular season. This was a must-win for the PACERS, who were looking at having their Eastern Conference lead trimmed to one game, with Miami enjoying a much softer remaining schedule than the Pacers. This was, quite simply, the most important game of the regular season, the Pacers most important regularseason game in many years.” –Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz, after the Indiana Pacers’ 84-83 triumph over Eastern Conference rivals Miami Heat on March 26

Though we’re still in the thick of the 2014 NCAA TOURNAMENT, it’s never too early to look ahead to 2015’s excitement. If the whispers around Durham of Duke freshman Jabari Parker coming back to redeem himself —not that his return will help INsite from looking so damn foolish for picking the Blue Devils to win it all— are true, you have to put Duke in the title mix. Parker (and whatever cast of characters from this year’s underachieving bunch) will be paired with No. 1 overall recruit Jahlil Okafor and consensus top-10 pick Tyus Jones. Other teams that will certainly cause havoc in next year’s bracket include SMU, Kansas, Florida and Arizona.

And finally... Looks like Michael Phelps, the all-time leader in Olympic medals who retired after the 2012 Summer Games in London, will return to competitive swimming by this year’s U.S. championship or next year’s world’s… The San Antonio Spurs have won at least 55 games in a season for the 17th time. Only one franchise has won with a greater frequency, the L.A. Lakers, and they’ve done it on 20 occasions... How good is Tiger Woods? Of the seven writers asked on to give their vote for player of the year at the midseason mark, the wildly inconsistent Woods still earned four of the nods. Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott split the other three votes.

“We hammer Carmelo Anthony for not playing a team game, for playing too much isolation, for being a black hole, and then we blame Andrew Wiggins because he tried to work within the set of the offense?” –CBS Sports’ Matt Moore on Wiggins’ 4-point outing in KANSAS’ NCAA TOURNAMENT LOSS VS. STANFORD With MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL getting under way this month, names like Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols will be heard a lot. But what about the Starling Marte, Ian Desmonds and other super-talented-but-criminally-overlooked MICHAEL PHELPS

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Spring Patio Guid e Atlanta’s Best Brun ch!

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OU MIGHT NOT KNOW IT from the temps of late, Spring has officially sprung. For many Atlantans, that means it’s time to immerse yourself in all Georgia’s great outdoors has to offer. As nature-lovers, KELTY we’re always looking for new gear that can enhance our outdoor adventures. Here are a few of our latest discoveries:


Finding a 3-person tent that offers elbow-room AND manageable packing weight is no easy feat. But the TN3 from KELTY (, part of their new TraiLogic Collection, is light and compact without sacrificing comfort. Boasting 40 sq ft of interior space, the TN-3’s shorter tent pole sections allow it to fit into a backpack, weighing in at just over 5 pounds. But our favorite feature is the Stargazing Fly, which allows for viewing constellations, with a zipper you can close without getting out of your sleeping bag. When we don’t have my kiddo, the Tadpole 2 from THE NORTH FACE ( is another great option. Redesigned with 29 sq ft of interior room and a trail weight of just 3 lbs 15 oz, it’s an ideal 2-person tent for spring, summer and fall. The hubbed poles and color-coded webbing make it a breeze to set up, and the enhanced ventilation and added loop for hanging headlamps and other accessories are a welcome touch.






Anyone who’s done any camping/ backpacking knows how crucial the little things can be in survival situations. The Hiking Essentials Kit from PACK6 ( is a genius product created by Honor Boone after her brother disappeared while hiking Yosemite in 2005. It includes a long-distance safety whistle, signal mirror, fire starter, compass, headlamp, Swiss Army Knife and more, all in a waterproof fanny pack. If you’ve spent much time in the mountains, you should know that bears and human food do not make for a good mix. Weighing in at 16 pounds, the Roadie 20 cooler from YETI ( is a fearsome foe for any hungry Yogi and Boo-Boo you might encounter. Its one-piece construction, heavy insulation, and stainless steel handle is sturdy enough to withstand a grizzly attack, as long as you have a bearproof lock.




Our adventures take us to rugged places (see: the Amazon, Jordan, Antarctica), so we prefer bags that can take a beating. And because we’re bloggers, we always need our laptops. That’s why we love the S100 Sport Elite Laptop Backpack from PELICAN PROGEAR ( It’s got a watertight, crushproof laptop case built in, plus floating shoulder straps and an ergonomic ventilated back for comfort. For serious backpackers and climbers, the new Bacon Pack from EDDIE BAUER ( is a minimalist masterpiece. Weighing in at 24 oz, this 28-liter technical summit pack is made for quick ascents and long hikes. The interior 15 mm nylon web skeleton gives the pack strength, structure and stability, and the removable waist belt, retractable tool loops, and ski-carry system make it adaptable as well. Traveling is a huge priority these days, and EAGLE CREEK ( makes it incredibly easy. Their 60L All Systems Go Duffle Pack is made to transform from a water-resistant duffel bag into a front-loading travel pack, with removable backpack straps and a lockable bottom compartment. It’s Steve at to use up to 5 of their patented also designed Pack-It Cubes, which make organization of the interior a breeze.



The Portable Solar Charger from JOOS ( has won awards for innovation from Wired magazine and the Consumer Electronics Show. With a sturdy waterproof plastic casing, efficient solar cell, and internal battery, the portable panel provides plenty of “Joos” to quickly charge cell phones, tablets and other portable devices, even when it’s not especially sunny out. Speaking of inclement weather, the FRX3 Hand Turbine AM/FM Weather Alert Radio from ETON ( is an excellent investment for any outdoorsman. Just one minute of hand-cranking can produce enough power for 15-20 minutes of music, news or weather reports. The built-in USP port means you can charge your cell phone or tablet without an outlet, and there’s a built-in flashlight as well.


Another offering from new TraiLogic Collection from KELTY, the SB 20 is a lightweight sleeping bag stuffed with 800-fill DriDown, which is rated to keep you warm and cozy even when temperatures drop to 20º F. With a thermal-comfort hood and a natural fit toebox, the bag’s “Head 2 Toe Dri” waterproof protection is guaranteed to keep condensation away from your extremities, even when it’s below freezing. THE NORTH FACE’S Furnace sleeping bag is designed to keep you comfortable in even colder climates, with a temperature rating of 0º F. The 550-fill water-resistant ProDown and an anti-compression layer on the underside of the bag (composed of Heatseeker Eco synthetic) help insulate your body heat, while the shaped hood and draft collar prevent heat loss from the top. Given the fact that Atlanta had lows in the upper 30s as this issue went to press, those features could come in REALLY handy for Spring camping…

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