6 ARS ★ 201 E Y 4 2 1992 ★
VOL. 24, NO. 9 FREE
SPRING Festivals Kathy Griffin Patio Dining
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CONTENTS • APRIL 2016 • VOLUME 24, NO. 9 1992 ★
S★ 24 YEAR
INTERVIEWS 08 Menopause Musical 09 09 Kathy Griffin 17 Jethro Tull 19 Vicki Lawrence 19 Janie Joplin Tribute 20 Let It Be 21 Mike Bell 21 Trapper Schoepp
FEATURES 10 Spring Patios 14 Spring Festivals 22 MLB Preview
COLUMNS 04 05 06 07 08 12 13 18
Around Town On Tap Atlanta on a Dime Under The Lights Station Control Movie Reviews New Releases 22 Album Reviews
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Music Editor John Moore email@example.com Contributing Writers / Interns: Alex. S. Morrison, Steve Warren, Dave Cohen, Benjamin Carr MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 76483 Atlanta, GA 30358 WEBSITE • insiteatlanta.com ADVERTISING INFORMATION (404) 308-5119 • firstname.lastname@example.org 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, MLB Preview Kathy Griffin i.e., articles, graphics, designs and information (any Patio Dining and all) in this publication may be reproduced in any manner without written permission from publisher. APRIL 2016
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3/17/16 PM 3 insiteatlanta.com • April 20165:02 • PG
Events and Performances taking place this Month
Atlanta History Center
CD Warehouse store locations
Sheep to Shawl
Record Store Day
At Sheep to Shawl guests experience the process of cloth making through demonstrations and activities ranging from sheep shearing and dying to spinning and weaving. Gather the entire family for a full day of fun that also includes open-hearth cooking, blacksmithing, candle making, and much more at Smith Family Farm. Free to members; included in the cost of general admission for nonmembers. Visit atlantahistorycenter.com.
APRIL 14 - 16
Visit CD Warehouse on April 16 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 facebook.com/cdwarehouseatlanta
The Ferst Center for the Arts
Red-Eye to Havre de Grace Set in September 1849, Red-Eye to Havre de Grace follows Edgar Allan Poe and the odd details surrounding his mysterious last days. Director Thaddeus Phillips of Lucidity Suitcase joins with musical duo Wilhelm Bros. & Co. for this new musical, informed by 19th Century train routes, historical accounts, and Poe’s own writing to create a haunting and spellbinding tale. An OffBroadway hit The New York Times called it "a feast of entrancing visual allurements", this is the perfect show for Poe fans and musical theater fans alike. Tickets at arts.gatech.edu/ferstcenter.
N. Highland Ave. in Morningside Village
Put on your running shoes and be ready at noon on Sunday, April 17 for Atlanta’s sixth annual Morningside Mile Race and Block Party to benefit the restoration of Virginia Highland firehouse 19, and the continuing campaign to raise funds for the landmark and its firefighters. Doc Chey’s hosts a noodle eating contest at 1:30 p.m. Visit morningsidemile.com.
Earth Day Celebration Ponce City Market
Georgia’s premier Earth Day celebration brings together a diverse group of grassroots’ environmentalists, devoted philanthropists, and business professionals whose collective goal is to integrate sustainable practices and policies wherever they work,
live or play. This year’s event offers tours of an on-site tiny house presented by Tiny House Atlanta. There will be auction items, including a weekend rental of Paddleboards and a trip on Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s pontoon boat. Guests will be among the first to enjoy the Ponce City Market’s newly opened rooftop with signature cocktails, live music and delicious food. Visit earthsharega.org/earth-day.
studied, stunning command of blues, jazz, and classical vocabularies. Born in Miami to a French mother and a Haitian father, Salvant immersed herself in music from age five, eventually honing her vocal chops in Aix-en-Provence, France. It’s only fitting that an artist of such unique origins would conclude the musical journey that is the Rialto Series, ending the season on a beautiful, high note. Tickets at rialto.gsu.edu.
APRIL 22 - 24
APRIL 23 & 24
Druid Hills Neighborhood
Participating Inman Park Restaurants
Druid Hills Tour of Homes & Garden Smyrna Crawfish Boil The theme of this year's tour is "History Happens Here.” Druid Hills comes alive, featuring architecture from the renowned firm of Ivey & Crook, interior designers from the region, southern fare, local musicians, Georgia artists and Emory Village merchants. Now, as always, the community culture of Druid Hills is vibrant, inspirational, celebratory, and focused on preserving and extending the vision of the noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Visit druidhillstour.org
Come and join Atkins Park in Smyrna Saturday and Sunday April 23 & 24 for their 13th annual Crawfish Boil. Atkins Park Partner & Zac Brown’s Executive Chef Rusty Hamlin will be on hand to boil your crawfish. Crawfish & Cajuns shipped directly from New Orleans. Tickets at smyrnacrawfishboil.com
Atlanta Taco Festival
Cécile McLorin Salvant
Rialto Center for the Arts
Atlanta’s favorite taco establishments will gather in Candler Park on Sunday, May 1, to participate in the inaugural Atlanta Taco Festival from 1 to 7 p.m. The Atlanta Taco Festival is the city’s only event dedicated to the ever-customizable taco and will allow Atlantans to taste unique menu items from Latin and non-Latin restaurants alike. The festival will also feature an exciting VIP tequila experience and live entertainment. Visit atlantatacofestival.com.
Poised. Radiant. Captivating. The words of praise for Grammy winning, jazz songstress, Cécile McLorin Salvant far outstrip her years of experience. This is a testament to her
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On Tap this Month MAJOR EVENTS COMING TO ATLANTA April 9: The Fox Theatre
ALTON BROWN LIVE Food Network star and Atlanta resident, Alton Brown, is taking his brand of quirky humor and culinary science on the road with the “Alton Brown Live, Eat Your Science”. Best known for “Iron Chef America”, the renowned television personality’s show promises to be an eventful evening of stand-up comedy, talks, show antics, multimedia lecture, live music and food experimentation. Visit Foxeatre.org.
April 17: The Fox Theatre
A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN Like a comet that burns far too brightly to last, Janis Joplin exploded onto the music scene in 1967 and almost overnight, became the queen of rock & roll. e show is a musical journey celebrating Janis and her biggest musical inﬂuences – icons like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Odetta, Nina Simone and Bessie Smith, who inspired one of rock & roll’s greatest legends. Mary Bridget Davies plays Janis. Visit Foxeatre.org.
April 22: The Fox Theatre
LET IT BE
Relive the past from Ed Sullivan to Abbey Road, with favorite hits including Hard Day’s Night, Day Tripper, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Twist and Shout, Get Back, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Strawberry Fields, and imagine the reunion that never was. For one night, the fab four come together again on stage for a surreal experience. See our interview with the cast on page 20. Visit Foxeatre.org.
April 23: Kingston Downs in Rome, Ga.
Atlanta Steeplechase is held on the beautiful 435-acre Kingston Downs complex. e event appeals to all ages and oﬀers an array of entertainment. Activities include an Air Show, Hat Contest, pony 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 atlantasteeplechase.org.
April 24: The Fox Theatre
STEVE MARTIN & MARTIN SHORT Steve Martin and Martin Short visit e Fox for an evening of comedy and music. e show “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life,” includes ﬁlm highlights, musical performances and an interview segment of memorable conversations. Also on the bill: the bluegrass music of e Steep Canyon Rangers, who are best-known for their frequent collaborators with the banjo-playin’ Martin. Visit Foxeatre.org.
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April 30: Cobb Energy Arts Centre
After a triumphant return to the Hollywood stage at this year’s Emmy Awards and a visit to his old stomping grounds at SNL, comedian Tracy Morgan is back at it with the “Tracy Morgan: Picking up the Pieces” tour. Audiences can look forward to the entertainer doing what he does best: bringing bag loads of funny and making people laugh. Purchase tickets at CobbEnergyCentre.com for this one night only event.
Saturdays and Sundays plus Memorial Day 10:30am - 6pm • Open Rain or Shine Located just minutes from Atlanta I-85 at Exit 61 - Fairburn SPONSORED BY
SAVE UP TO $3
BUY TICKETS ONLINE AT www.garenfest.com OR AT PARTICIPATING
insiteatlanta.com • April 2016 • PG 5
Sunday, April 24
Friday, May 6 & Saturday, May 7
Historic Marietta Square Free Admission; tasteofmarietta.com
840 Cherokee Ave, Grant Park Free; grantparkbbq.org
TASTE OF MARIETTA
EVENTS HAPPENING FOR SMALL CHANGE IN ATLANTA
Know of a low cost event happening? Event@AtlantaOnADime.com By Marci Miller
Monday, April 4 - Friday, April 8
MLK REMEMBRANCE WEEK
Ebenezer Baptist Church Free of charge and open to the public thekingcenter.org e Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site and Ebenezer Baptist Church will commemorate the annual observance of King Remembrance Week which honors the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. To commence the Park’s week long series of public activities, a special Wreath-Laying Ceremony will take place at Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church on Monday April 4, at 5:30pm.
Saturday April 16 - Sunday, April 24
FREE PARK DAYS
Free; nps.gov/national-park-week National Park Week is America's largest celebration of national heritage. It's about exploring amazing places, discovering open spaces, enjoying aﬀordable vacations, and enhancing the national parks.
Saturday April 16 - Sunday, April 24 BUCKHEAD RESTAURANT WEEK
Various Buckhead Restaurants Priced $15, $25, $35; brwatlanta.com
Buckhead is one of Atlanta’s most prestigious neighborhoods and home to some of the city’s top restaurants. For one week this month patrons get a chance to dine at
over 20 of these acclaimed restaurants on a specially priced tiered menu. Participating restaurants include: e Big Ketch, Davio’s, 10 Degrees South, Bistro Niko, Bricktops, Buckhead Diner, Eclipse di Luna, Mandarin Oriental, Meehan’s Public House, Ocean Prime and Pricci.
Saturday, April 16
ART ON THE CHATTAHOOCHEE
Jones Bridge Park, Peachtree Corners Free Admission; gwinnettcounty.com
Art on the Chattahoochee is a Fine Arts festival oﬀering unique works from local artists and crafters. ere will be entertainment, demonstrations, artists, commercial vendors, food trucks, a kid’s zone (with games, crafts, and inﬂatables), bands and more. e event kicks oﬀ on Saturday at 9:00am with 5K Trail Run. Fun Run is at 9:30am followed by the Artists Market.
Taste of Marietta is an annual food festival that showcases Cobb County restaurants and caterers. It is the largest and longest running food festival in Cobb County and has become a favorite annual tradition among local residents. Over 50 over Marietta’s favorite restaurants will be oﬀering samples. Tastings range from $1 - $5.
Saturday, April 30 - Sunday, May 1
PICK’N IN GRANT PARK BBQ Sign up and compete against some of the strongest talent in Atlanta. Teams must cook ribs, chicken, and pork. For attendees, competitors will not be serving samples during the competition. However some might serve up tastings when the competition closes on Saturday afternoon. Attendees can enjoy the street market, live music and kids zone.
Friday, May 6 - Sunday, May 8
SWEET AUBURN SPRINGFEST
T.W. Briscoe Park; Snellville Free; snellvilledays.com Snellville Days at Briscoe Park features over 200 craft, food, sponsor, and civic vendors. is event oﬀers kid's ﬁeld running and continuous live entertainment both days. Entertainment includes live music and dance, comedy shows, puppet shows, stilt walkers and more. Festival hours are Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
Historic Auburn Avenue District Free; sweetauburn.com
Celebrating its 32nd year in 2016, Sweet Auburn Springfest is one of the largest free outdoor festivals in the Southeast. It attracts up to 350,000 attendees over the three-day weekend with fun events, a variety of food, and plenty of entertainment for the whole family. is year’s added attraction is a 150 foot long zip line. Pick’N In Grant Park BBQ May 6 & 7 grantparkbbq.org
Sunday, April 17
ATLANTA STREETS ALIVE Historic West End; Free atlantastreetsalive.com
Atlanta Streets Alive opens streets for people by temporarily closing them to cars to create a whole new healthy, sustainable and vibrant city street experience. is year expanding to the historic West End route connecting 7 Atlanta neighborhoods via Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. and Georga Ave.
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CIRQU E DUSOLE IL .COM/KU RIOS
PG 6 • April 2016 • insiteatlanta.com
# K U RIOS
Under The Lights ON STAGE THIS MONTH
Extended through April 24 Alliance Theatre (404) 733-5000 AllianceTheatre.org/ethel Ethel is an exciting original show written by and starring accomplished Atlanta performer Terry Burrell. Ethel, is a glimpse into the magnificent and very complicated life of the legendary stage and film star Ethel Waters. A versatile actress who epitomized the glamour of Black Vaudeville while successfully and lucratively crossing over into traditionally white performance venues, Waters inspired directors, singers, and songwriters with her talent and versatility. Waters was the first to record “Stormy Weather” later starring in the remarkable Cabin in the Sky. Terry Burrell brings this amazing performer to life in a one-woman play with music, band, and the larger than life wit of Ethel Waters.
SEX WITH STRANGERS
April 1 - May 1 Horizon Theatre (404) 584-7450 HorizonTheatre.com Sex with Strangers is the highly anticipated new production by playwright Laura Eason. Olivia, an attractive, gifted but obscure novelist, is unexpectedly snowbound in a secluded cabin with Ethan, a wildly successful, bad boy blogger turned author. Opposites attract and the chemistry is hot. After a weekend of passion, their literary futures are intimately intertwined, and both must confront the complications of reinventing themselves when the past is just a click away. This sensuous and provocative comedy about fame, cyber identity, and big ambition asks: what would you do, and who would you become, to get what you want?
April 8 - 24 Atlanta Lyric Theatre (404) 377-9948 AtlantaLyric.com Dreamgirls is the story of an up-and-coming girl group from Chicago, The Dreams, who become back-up singers for a James Brown-like rhythm and blues star. They are spotted by an unscrupulous manager who recognizes their potential for stardom.
He takes the women under his wing, helping them crossover into the pop mainstream. What starts as encouragement turns to exploitation as his ambitions grow. The women are on a roller coaster ride to fame that includes romance and heartbreak, disappointment and redemption.
BORN FOR THIS: THE BEBE WINANS STORY
April 13 - May 15 Alliance Theatre (404) 733-5000 AllianceTheatre.org/bornforthis The Alliance Theatre opens their worldpremiere Born for This: The BeBe Winans Story, the hilarious and heartwarming true story of six-time Grammy Award-winning icon BeBe Winans’s journey to fame. In Born for This, Detroit natives BeBe and CeCe Winans, youngest siblings of the Winans family dynasty, experience the ultimate in culture shocks when invited to join Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Praise The Lord Network. The Winans teenagers become not only television celebrities, they also become like adopted children of the Bakkers, integrating TV evangelism. As BeBe and CeCe encounter fame, fortune, and even a young Whitney Houston, BeBe must learn to balance his desire for success with his true calling.
From Charles randolph-Wright, director of Motown the Musical
a n e w a M er ic a n Mus ic a l s Ta r r i n g T h e n e x T g e n e r aT i o n
THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA
o f w i n a n s pe r f o r M e r s
April 14 - May 15 Balzer Theatre (678) 528-1500 theatricaloutfit.org In 1953, Margaret Johnson of WinstonSalem is on holiday in Italy when dashing Fabrizio falls fast for her daughter, Clara. As the courtship races, Margaret must reveal a family secret or summon the courage to consent to marriage. Themes of sacrifice, destiny and the effervescence of first love ripple through this lush period musical. Winner of six Tony Awards, The Light in the Piazza transports audiences to sunshine-filled Tuscany and into the hearts of some of musical theatre’s most endearing characters.
a s B e B e a n d c ec e
“We’re all born for a purpose. this musical celebrates the journey of finding it.” —six-time grammy Award winner BeBe Winans
“Sexually and intellectually provocative… A hell of a lot of fun!”
Sex with Strangers
—The Hollywood Reporter
By Ch A rles r A ndolph-Wright and B eB e Win A ns Music and lyrics By B eB e Win A ns direc Ted By Ch A rles r A ndolph-Wright Edgerton Foundation New Play Award recipient
April 13–MAy 15
APRIL 1-MAY 1
TickeTs as low as $20
tickets 404.733.5000 // Groups 404.733.4690 alliancetheatre.org/bornforthis
EUCLID & AUSTIN AVES. IN LITTLE FIVE POINTS
404.584.7450 • HORIZONTHEATRE.COM
Series on the Alliance Stage Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs
insiteatlanta.com • April 2016 • PG 7
EMBRACE THE CHANGE! SHOWS OFFERING ESCAPISM Menopause the Musical Comes Back to Atlanta
BY MARCI MILLER
ENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL is a groundbreaking celebration of women who are on the brink of, in the middle of, or have survived “The Change.” Now celebrating 14 years of female empowerment through hilarious musical comedy, Menopause The Musical has evolved as a “grassroots” movement of women who deal with life adjustments after 40 by embracing each other and the road ahead. Set in a department store, four women meet while shopping for a black lace bra at a lingerie Would men like the show? sale. After noticing unmistakable similarities Men love the show too because they can relate. among one another, the cast jokes about their Everyone has a mother or sister or aunt or woeful hot flashes, mood swings, wrinkles, coworker or knows somebody who will be going weight gain and much more. We recently got to speak with Ingrid Cole who through or has gone through the change. plays the role of EARTH MOTHER. Ingrid Tell us about your character EARTH MOTHER is a critically acclaimed actor/singer based in and how does she handle “the change”? Atlanta, GA. In 2010 and 2012, She is the nurturer and caretaker she was honored with a Suzi of the group. She tries also to be Bass Awards for Best Leading the peacemaker but struggles with Actress in a Musical for A her own issues. I always enjoy Catered Affair at the Aurora when people come up to me after Theatre, and for her portrayal of APRIL 1 – 3 the performance and tell me that Rose in Gypsy with the Atlanta COBB PERFORMING I reminded them of themselves or Lyric Theatre. She has toured the ARTS CENTRE someone else in their lives. I think US extensively with Menopause TICKETMASTER.COM everyone relates to all the women on the Musical. stage at some point. Ingrid gave us a behind-thescene look at the show. Are you like your character at all? Totally. What can audiences expect to see when they buy a ticket for MENOPAUSE THE What are some of your favorite scenes/ MUSICAL? musical numbers from the show that you get to When you come into the theater and noticed perform? that you’re surrounded by people just like you We have a secret little song that we do during who are going through the change something the overture backstage where we all hug each magical happens. You walk in not knowing other and share a moment together before going anyone and leave as family. During the 90 back out. I really enjoy that. Onstage I really minutes you laugh and cry and sometimes enjoy the group numbers. We have so much fun both at the same time. You end up celebrating with each other. There is a lot of love on that the thing that you’ve been dreading the most. stage. We all care for each other like sisters and It doesn’t matter if you’re Republican or I feel privileged to be able to be on stage with Democrat or white or black. If you’re a human these other talented actors. being walking on the earth you will experience menopause. The songs are parodied from the What advice do you give women who may be 60s 70s and 80s and everyone loves the singing going through menopause right now? and dancing. It’s a high energy show that Try to embrace the changes that are going on empowers people. What could be better than in your body. I know it’s hard to do but if you can that? Oh...You’re sure to lose 10 pounds from laugh at the situation it does make it better. At laughing so hard. least it does for me.
MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL
BY BENJAMIN CARR
Sometimes you turn to your television for escapism, other times you tune in to stories of literal escape. Three such tales, vastly different shows about characters breaking away from everyday life, are drawing eyes this month.
UNDERGROUND (WGN America)
Underground is a harrowing, difficult Southern story of a group of slaves fleeing their plantation owners in 1857 Georgia. Starring Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Friday Night Lights), Aldis Hodge (Leverage) and Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), the show effectively communicates a story of the Underground Railroad from multiple characters’ perspective, showing us those who hope to escape oppression and those who stand in their way. Though the restrictions of television stop the show from being as graphic as a film like 12 Years a Slave or as weighty as Roots, Underground is still tough, resonant and worthwhile TV. Hodge and Smollett-Bell, in particular, carry the show as its primary signs of hope. Not only do they intend to flee slavery, they intend to do it together, sparking romance in a place where they’re scared to even look directly at one another. Meloni plays a desperate man trying to raise his son while his wife has been committed to an asylum, and his shifting motivations and alliances make his character impossible to trust and fascinating to decipher. Underground is a bit soapy with some of its twists, but that only makes the harrowing circumstances of the show more bearable for a general audience.
CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND (CW)
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, starring recent Golden Globe winner Rachel Bloom, is the
story of an anxiety-ridden lawyer named Rebecca, who realizes that she is desperately unhappy in New York and flees to West Covina, Calif., which is four hours from the beach. Her primary reason for moving is her teenage summer fling Josh, whom she runs into on a street one day before she decides to chase him across the country in the hope that they will fall madly in love again. This conceit makes Rebecca both insane and creepy and a charming, funny and intelligent romantic. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend does not stop there, though. It’s also a fullfledged musical. Through wacky dream sequences and genre-skewering parody tunes, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend goes for broke, and its experiment usually works. Bloom had a background filming nutty, bitter breakup song music videos before she and Aline Brosh McKenna created this show. And it’s a funny, strange ball of delight.
PEE-WEE’S BIG HOLIDAY (Netflix) Netflix is apparently is working to reboot every single show or pop culture moment from the 1980s. Case in point, Pee-Wee Herman in the character’s first new film in over 20 years. Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday, starring Paul Reubens as the titular star is everything that fans of the original movie and TV show could hope for. Instead of venturing across the country toward the Alamo to retrieve his bike, this time Pee-Wee decides to take a break from his small town life to attend the birthday of his new best friend Joe Manganiello (True Blood), who is playing a silly version of himself. Along the way, Pee-Wee runs afoul of a gang of farmer’s daughters, a group of bank robbers out of a Russ Meyer movie, an Amish community and more. But watching the return of PeeWee Herman is such a singular delight you’ll feel like the person being transported.
Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday
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More info at www.cinemoms.com PG 8 • April 2016 • insiteatlanta.com
Bring down the house with the 2016/17 season.
NUMBER ONE ON THE D-LIST Kathy Griffin tours “Like A Boss”
May 31–July 10, 2016
septeMber 16–OctOber 9, 2016
august 18–septeMber 25, 2016
OctOber 12–30, 2016
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
Do you ever worry about possible repercussions CONVERSATION WITH KATHY to some of your jokes? Griffin is like an intense jolt of caffeine. I had someone ask me the other night if I was The effervescent comic actress, a twoafraid I was gonna get shot on stage. And because time Emmy and Grammy winner, is a kinetic I do a lot of work with veterans – I’ve performed mass of pop-culture-fueled energy, prone to riff in Iraq and Afghanistan – I said, “No, absolutely on anything from organized religion and social not.” Then I went home and thought about it, and issues to local and international politics. Throw I went, [in a meek voice] “Well …probably not.” in a healthy dose of D-List celebrity dishing and It’s really gotten crazy so I try to bring humor the hilarious and often ribald results distinguish to the situation in a way that we can at least get her as one of the finest and busiest performers together for a couple of hours and laugh about it working today. Her no-holds-barred, no tabooall. I’m highly aware that the audience can come left-unexamined brand of humor has been seen from hearing something highly inflammatory on more comedy specials than and then an hour later they’re any other comedian and she’s at my show. But I pretty much been featured in a variety of have a feeling that my crowd dramatic and comedic roles in Atlanta will be more on the in television, film and theater. liberal side. But you know, it’s Currently on the road for a at Symphony Hall so I guess APRIL 15 • 8PM grueling 80-city trek, her “Like we’ll see. A Boss” tour - including a stop Symphony Hall at Symphony Hall this month David Cross played there a - promises new material at kathygriffin.net while back, and nationally a each venue. The woman who lot of stand-ups are playing makes Anderson Cooper the fancy Halls. nervous every New Year’s Eve recently called for Symphony Halls are incredible for stand-ups a marathon chat session. for the most obvious reason: the acoustics. You’ve got a venue where you barely need a microphone, This tour is a massive undertaking. It’s huge, as so I actually won’t lose my voice as opposed they say. to some low-down dirty casino. You’ve got an I’m doing 80 cities on this tour, Lee. 80 cities! audience that’s ready to sit and listen instead of I’ve lost my mind. Chris Rock asked me if I downing two-for-one daiquiris or something. owed child support. By the time I get to Atlanta, On an 80-city tour, it kind of becomes all about my God, I’ll have been in ‘Vegas, Boston, Grand the venue and the city. Atlanta is so rich with Rapids - where I’m not gonna drink the water, material; there’s always something going on there. Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Meyers. It’s one of the places where I can’t wait to hit the Honey, I’m goin’ to the real America with mic because I can’t even keep up with Atlanta. this tour. So if you want to come along as my Me with my potty mouth and my uncensored bodyguard, you’re more than invited because ways, at of all places Symphony Hall! I’m going deep into Trump country. Things have gotten really contentious out there. If I put a The whole world is a reality show at this joke about Trump on my Twitter, I get flooded. point. Entertainment Tonight is now World And remember, I actually go to the towns where News Tonight. these people live. I’ll make fun of these people Yeah, if you watch a Trump speech for on a talk show or one of my specials, and then example, he’s really running it like the Celebrity two seconds later, I’m on a plane to Jacksonville, Apprentice and he thinks he’s in the final two. It’s where I’ll open my show by saying, “Hello not between Bret Michaels and Holly Robinson almost Georgia!” Peete, but I guess that’s what he thinks this election is! You really know your trash TV, don’t you? Ok Lee, you’ve caught me admitting that I’ve watched every episode of that show, so I’m busted. But only because my dear departed friend Joan Rivers won the Apprentice, which was a giant victory for her. Besides being a good pal she was truly an inspiration. She represented that she was kicking ass at 81, still doing stand-up and having multiple television shows. It really meant a lot to her when she won that show. I think it meant a lot from a feminist point of view.
You both represent a certain generation but now there’s a number of younger female comics who are also inspirational. Where do you think you fit in with the whole “women in comedy” discussion? I’ve got to tell you, there’s a world of difference being a female in comedy at 40 than it is being 55. So I tour, and as you’ll see at the show, I stand there for two hours and I answer to no one but the audience. They’re the boss. No network, no studio, just the audience. A lot of people think sexism is over because of Amy Schumer or Tina Fey. I love them but I’ve never had that Loren Michaels or Judd Apatow seal of approval. I’m 55 so my story is different. I have to constantly stay busy and when I go out, I just don’t hold back. I’m wired to spout off with my bucket of dick jokes and I absolutely love it.
NOveMber 25–DeceMber 24, 2016
NOveMber 5–12, 2016
February 22–March 12, 2017
February 4–26, 2017
2016/17 Season Tickets on sale now.
March 19–april 9, 2017
March 24–april 15, 2017
Starting as low as $68 for the Alliance Stage Series. SeaSon TickeT office 404.733.4600 alliancetheatre.org/seasontickets Single tickets on sale July 5, 2016
gE nOW A T s z T r T hE hE
Ri l p a o T ed exTend On
JaNuary 18–February 12, 2017
DeceMber 2–24, 2016
d! n a m e d 24 By
Atlanta’s own Terry Burrell brings the wit of amazing performer Ethel Waters to life in this one woman play with music.
Terry Burrell in the Alliance Theatre’s 2015/16 production of Ethel. Photo by greg Mooney.
March 25–april 24 By and starring Terry Burrell Directed by kenneth Roberson
Groups 404.733.4690 // alliancetheatre.org/ethel
series on the hertz stage
series on the alliance stage
Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs
insiteatlanta.com • April 2016 • PG 9
Spring Patio Guide
242 Boulevard SE 404.588.0006 AgaveRestaurant.com
Places to Go when Dining Outdoors! Athens Pizza House
1341 Clairmont Rd. Decatur AthensPizzaAtlanta.com 404.636.1100
Since 1966 the Papadopoulos family has served up great Greek and Italian cuisine to the Emory / Decatur area. Athens Pizza is 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! As the weather warms in spring, diners head out to their patio. Their patio can also be booked for private parties. Athens Pizza offers an extensive catering menu for events.
Tacos & Tequilas is a family-owned traditional Mexican restaurant offering recipes passed down through generations. Here you’ll find all your Mexican favorites – tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, burritos, quesadillas and more! The quality in their food is on par with the finest Mexican restaurants in the city but at very reasonable prices. At Tacos & Tequila everything is authentic including their drinks as they offer 100 different brands of tequila. Both Atlanta locations have large patios that are great places to head to this spring.
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
848 Peachtree Street 404.870.0805 3242 Peachtree Road 404.264.0253 GordonBiersch.com
Consistently voted the Best Southwestern restaurant in Atlanta, Agave uses only the freshest ingredients to create chef inspired dishes with an 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 days a week. Then head to your table on their southwestern designed patio. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Agave all week long with events May 5 through May 7th. With creative daily specials, award winning margaritas and great ambiance it’s easy to see why this is a Cabbagetown favorite.
3109 Briarcliff Rd. 404.320.1258 MosPizza.com
Tacos & Tequilas
650 Ponce de Leon Ave 678.705.5955 4279 Roswell Rd. 404.705.8225 TandTAtlanta.com
Gordon Biersch is an upscale brewery restaurant specializing in handcrafted German lagers brewed in-house. They feature a made-from-scratch American menu with bold international flavors. Gordon Biersch is now offering a great spread of new small plates, to pair with their constantly rotating beers. Both locations offer large patios, which are open now; Buckhead comes with an outdoor fireplace.
one 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. When the weather heats up, 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.
500 10th Street NE 404.249.0001 ParkTavern.com
The Patio at Park Tavern has one of the best views in the city overlooking Piedmont Park and the Midtown Skyline. This amazing backdrop provides for a great atmosphere and is dog friendly. The large patio area is dotted with table seating, private cabanas, fire pits, and TV's to catch your favorite teams in action. Their patio can be transformed for weddings and private events. April means concert season is back at Park Tavern. Presenting a new David Bowie concert series with Electric Avenue, Summer Sunsets with Yacht Rock, and Sunday's FREE Concert Series Sunset Sessions.
7 Area locations FellinisAtlanta.com
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 any-
As popular as they are for their pizza, salads and calzones, Fellini’s is also known around Atlanta for their great patios. Most include a huge fountain in the middle that is lit up at night. The
The Only Thing We Over Look is the Park!
Atlanta’s Best Patio! 1/2 Off Sushi Nightly from 10pm–Midnight Wine Wednesday – 1/2 Priced Bottles of Wine
When It rains We Pour $1 Drafts! • parktavern.com
Soak up the sun! PATIO SEATING Great Subs, Sandwiches, Salads & Wings Since 1980
$7.95 Large Cheese Pizza!
Just off I-85 @ Clairmont (Corner of Briarcliff & Clairmont)
3109 Briarcliff Rd. • (404) 320-1258
PG 10 • April 2016 • insiteatlanta.com
Cinco de Mayo All Weekend Long! Thurs. May 5th thru Sat. May 7th
Celebrate with Authentic Mexican Specials + Atlanta’s #1 Rated Margaritas & Tequila Bar
The Fiesta begins nightly at 5pm! Make reservations now!
and Candler Park locations are offering a new beer & wine menu this spring in addition to nightly dinner specials.
Chicago’s Nancy’s Midtown
265 Ponce De Leon #A 404.254.5103 NancysPizza.com
patios here are always bustling with people. Visit them and see why.
The Downwind Restaurant
Dekalb Peachtree Airport 2000 Airport Rd. #201 770.452.0973 DownwindRestaurant.com
a favorite hangout among residents of Little 5 and Avondale Estates. Both locations offer ample table seating inside and out with large patios. 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 homemade sauces, fresh dough and thoughtfully prepared dishes made from scratch every day. They offer is a wide variety of great salads, subs, calzones and of course pizzas!
The Flying Biscuit Cafe’
The Downwind Restaurant & Lounge located off Clairmont Rd. at the Dekalb Peachtree Airport offers amazing views of the runway. While watching the planes take off and land enjoy the great food here. Their menu has many outstanding offerings for lunch and dinner including their award winning burgers and sandwiches. Downwind Restaurant is known as having some of the freshest seafood in Atlanta as it gets flown in each day. They offer a full bar and live music every Friday night from 7pm - close. Downwind Restaurant is family friendly with an aviation themed playground for kids.
484 Moreland Ave. 404.523.0500 115 Laredo Dr. 404.299.5799 SavagePizza.com
This eclectic neighborhood restaurant is
1655 McLendon Ave. 404.687.8888 1001 Piedmont Ave. 404.874.8887 Catering 404.849.2283 FlyingBiscuit.com
Multiple Metro Area Locations JohnnysPizza.com
Johnny’s Pizza is synonymous with great pizza and subs in Atlanta. They specialize in NY Style pizza, which is thin in the middle and thick around the edges. Johnny’s is also known for their delicious calzones, subs, sandwiches and salads. All Johnny’s locations offer patio seating including dine-in, take-out and delivery as well as online ordering. Go to JohnnysPizza.com to find the nearest location to you.
Raging Burrito & Taco
141 Sycamore St. Decatur 404.377.3311 RagingBurrito.com
Twin Peaks Restaurant
3365 Piedmont Rd. 404.961.8946 TwinPeaksRestaurant.com
The Flying Biscuit serves great breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Their Candler Park location (shown) is the original Flying Biscuit cafe and boasts a newly renovated patio. While the Midtown location off Piedmont Park allows for dining inside or on their corner patio which is surrounded by windows that come off when the weather cools, offering great views of the bustling Midtown scene. The Midtown
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Chicago has some the best pizza in America and that great pizza can be found on Ponce in Midtown at Chicago’s Nancy’s. The restaurant seats 70 inside and 25 on their patio. Besides great pizza they offer an assortment of sandwiches, appetizers, salads and barbecue. See their ad on the Back Page for coupons offering $2 and $3 off online orders. Nancy’s provides take-out and delivery to the area.
Johnny’s NY Style Pizza
YEARS ★ 2016
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 serviced by the outgoing Twin Peaks wait staff. Twin Peaks Restaurant offers highquality comfort food with a wide array of sandwiches and salads. Choose from an extensive selection of 29-degree draft beers on 32 taps while the girls pour and serve into huge ice-cold, frosted mugs. Several rooms are available for private parties and corporate functions.
Raging Burrito & Taco on Decatur Square offers one of the best patio scenes in the city. In spring their patio comes alive. The menu features hearty burritos, tasty tacos, large salads, quesadillas and more. On weekdays they offer free chips & dip from 11am to 3pm. While relaxing on their patio, enjoy one of the 16 Craft Beers available on tap or try one of their 15 Tasty Margaritas. Also get Sweetwater 420 and IPA pints on special Monday through Wednesday.
Your Neighborhood Pizzeria!
Reach 74,000 of our loyal readers each Month! Learn about introductory advertising offers. Contact Publisher Steve Miller at (404) 308-5119 or email email@example.com insiteatlanta.com Live Music & Entertainment • Full Bar • Daily Specials • Takeout Available
Downwind Restaurant & Lounge at the Dekalb Peachtree Airport
Atlanta’s Favorite Pizza!
Mon-Fri 11am-10pm • Saturday Noon-10pm • Sunday Closed
770.452.0973 • 2000 Airport Rd. #201, Atlanta www.downwindrestaurant.com
Multiple Atlanta Locations: JohnnysPizza.com insiteatlanta.com • April 2016 • PG 11
Movie Reviews APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD (PG)
1/2 The French don’t make many animated features – or if they do we don’t see them – but when they do, Zut alors! Apparently they wait until they have an idea worth filming, not a quota to fill. (Don’t worry, that won’t catch on here.) The country that gave us The Triplets of Belville does it again with a steampunk sci-fi thriller with a female protagonist and enough plot for a trilogy. (A live-action version could be a successful YA franchise.) In 1870 Gustave, a scientist, is commissioned to create an invincibility serum for military use. He fails, but his attempt gives animals the power of speech and two of them escape before the lab blows up. The 20th century is quite different from the one we knew (a cable car runs from Paris to Berlin in 82 hours!) because the world’s scientists all vanished on the brink of their greatest discoveries. In 1931 Gustave’s descendants are still working on his formula. Young April is separated from her parents and grandfather, who go dead or missing. Ten years later she’s living with her talking cat, Darwin. That’s when the bulk of the film takes place, with romance, dragons and answers to a lot of questions leading to a somewhat rushed finale. April... is original, thought-provoking, creative and fun. Vive le Franimation! –Steve Warren
BORN TO BE BLUE (R)
Born to Be Blue gives the impression that jazz trumpeter/vocalist Chet Baker wasn’t much fun to be around, except when he was high. Most of the movie takes place during a period when he wasn’t getting high, so it’s not much fun either. It’s 1966 and Baker (Ethan Hawke), fresh from an Italian prison, is on the comeback trail. He’s starring in a movie about himself until his return to heroin aborts the project, but by then he’s managed to start a relationship with his leading lady, Jane (Carmen Ejogo). Everyone’s rooting for Chet to stay clean, but the question is when, not if, he’ll slip. Unlike most biopics, this one doesn’t claim to be true; but it includes as much factual information as most. Much of it is sandwiched into terrible expository
CITY OF GOLD PG 12 • April 2016 • insiteatlanta.com
dialogue (“At least I didn’t abandon my wife and kid and become the world’s biggest junkie”), including a lengthy introduction when Baker headlines at Birdland, where he needs no introduction. Within the script’s limitations on the range he can convey, Hawke gives an excellent performance and does a spot-on impersonation of Baker’s singing voice. Dubbed trumpeter Kevin Turcotte doesn’t do as well on the instrumental side. We’re still waiting to see Don Cheadle as Miles Davis, but it looks like Audra McDonald’s HBO turn as Billie Holiday will be hard to beat in the sudden glut of films about jazz legends. –Steve Warren
CITY OF GOLD (R)
1/2 As documentaries about critics go, watching Jonathan Gold drive around L.A. looking for restaurants is more fun than watching Roger Ebert die in Life Itself. Gold, the first food critic to win a Pulitzer Prize, obviously enjoys eating the way I enjoy movies. (Fortunately I’ve never earned enough to afford the concession stands, so I’ve stayed relatively slim.) Despite filmmaker Laura Gabbert hitting me over the head with it, it only sunk in toward the end that Gold’s mission is to bring people together through sharing a basic part of their diverse cultures: what they eat. Instead of dining in style in trendy eateries, he combs the ethnic neighborhoods, eating in hole-in-the-wall restaurants and from food trucks, putting many of these places on the map when he praises them in print. His praises are sung in turn by restaurant owners (duh!), fellow writers and erudite experts in various fields. His editors love his writing but not the effort it takes to get him to turn it in on time. (Perhaps being dependable is what I’ve been doing wrong all these years.) The film has several inspiring stories of how immigrants brought their family recipes with them and started by selling street food before they could move indoors. I can’t say it gave me an appetite for fried grasshoppers, but City of Gold may make me more aware of the stories behind the food I eat. A handful of F-bombs earned a foolishly restrictive rating. –Steve Warren
FIREWORKS WEDNESDAY (NR)
APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD Some Iranian films take a long time to reach the States, ten years in the case of Fireworks Wednesday. It was made by Asghar Farhadi five years before his Oscarwinning A Separation. I’m not sure it was worth the wait but it is worth seeing. If it were American I’d probably dismiss it as pure soap opera, but being set in an exotic culture where a man can beat a woman in public without consequence makes it special. It begins with a young couple planning their imminent marriage. Her fiancé drops Rouhi (Taraneh Alidoosti) at the agency that sends her on domestic jobs and we follow her on a day from hell that gives her reason to be less optimistic about wedded bliss. The couple she’s sent to clean for are fighting, with the wife threatening to take their young son and leave. She suspects her husband of having an affair with the hairdresser across the hall, a woman whose divorce is no happier than the other couple’s marriage. Rouhi’s sympathies – and ours - shift in the course of the day, keeping things from getting dull. The sense of danger women feel in the streets of Teheran is heightened because it’s New Year’s Eve and firecrackers are exploding constantly. –Steve Warren
THE FIRST MONDAY IN MAY (PG-13)
1/2 Can fashionista films replace foodie flicks, or is there room for both subgenres? The First Monday in May raises the question of whether fashion is “art.” It’s certainly commerce for New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has the largest collection in the world (more shoes than Imelda Marcos?) and holds their major annual fundraiser, the Met Gala, around the opening of a new fashion exhibition. Filmmaker Andrew Rossi had an all-access pass to the creation of last year’s show, “China: Through The Looking Glass,” and the accompanying gala. He used the occasion to focus on Vogue editor/museum trustee Anna Wintour (which will interest the Wintour Soldiers, or whatever her fans are called), who chaired the event and – no fool, she - seated herself between George Clooney and Bradley Cooper. From the clothes on display in the exhibition and on the red carpet, one would conclude that fashion qualifies more as art than as clothing, often appearing totally nonfunctional if the wearer has to walk, sit or squeeze into a studio apartment. Although the exhibition would be seen by more than 800,000 in the next four months,
the gala has an air of pre-revolutionary Versailles, with enough money expended on the evening, including donations to the museum, to raise a medium-sized country out of poverty. Rossi’s film is certainly star-studded, though most are glimpsed for less than ten seconds. It has its moments, especially if you’re into fashion, fundraising, Chinoiserie or stargazing; but is it Art? –Steve Warren
1/2 While waiting to see – and hear – Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins, you can torture your eardrums and delight your other senses with a French adaptation of the same true story. Catherine Frot, who won the French César award for this performance, plays Baroness Marguerite Dumont, another wannabe opera singer of a century ago who has enough money that her total lack of talent doesn’t matter. She married a penniless baron for his title and is as blind to his infidelity as she is deaf to her own singing voice. Like Norma Desmond, she has a faithful butler who shields her from reality. After years of hosting charity concerts at home for a close group of wealthy friends, Marguerite (not to be confused with Margaret Dumont, who had her Night at the Opera with the Marx Brothers) is championed by avant-gardists with a sense of irony and decides to give a public recital. The delusional diva is tutored by a mediocre tenor whose entourage includes a deaf pianist and a bearded lady fortune teller. Laughable as she is, Marguerite is also kind and generous, so we’re not rooting for her total humiliation. There’s also a young love story between a music critic and a promising soprano, but that remains well in the shadow of the main plot. Writerdirector Xavier Giannoli has set a high bar for the Stephen Frears/Streep version to compete with. I’m saving a place on this year’s Top Ten list for Marguerite. –Steve Warren
MY GOLDEN DAYS (R)
1/2 Parts of My Golden Days are made from baser metals. It’s more a prequel than a sequel to Arnaud Desplechin’s 1996 My Sex Life...or How I Got into an Argument. In that one Paul Dédalus (Mathieu Amalric) was 30-ish. Now he’s well into middle age and reflecting on his past. (The French title, which translates as Three Memories of My Youth, was more accurate.) Played
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MY GOLDEN DAYS by other actors, he’s seen at 11, 16 and in his late teens and twenties. Young Paul has a melodramatic scene with his mother, shortly before her suicide, that plays like something out of Bates Motel. Teen Paul has an adventure in Russia, repercussions from which don’t reach him until the present, despite all the traveling he’s done as an anthropologist in the meantime. Finally comes the main event, the tale of Esther (Lou Roy-Lecollinet), the great love of Paul’s life. Desplechin has obviously studied the films of Francois Truffaut and tries to recapture their magic, substituting sex for subtlety. Quentin Dolmaire, who plays teen Paul, is no match for JeanPierre Leaud as Antoine Doinel; and Roy-Lecollinet unwisely tries at times to duplicate the mystery of Jeanne Moreau in Jules and Jim. God knows there’s room for more than one coming-of-age film, but this sincere flattery is almost as bad an idea as Gus Van Sant remaking Psycho. If you’ve never seen the originals you should find it reasonably entertaining, but you’d be wiser to discover or rediscover Truffaut. –Steve Warren
RIO, I LOVE YOU (NR)
1/2 What might have been a decent collection of short stories set in Rio de Janeiro is crazily edited into a patternless mosaic that will have viewers trying to figure it out instead of enjoying it. The cast, writers and directors are drawn from all over the world. Most have done a fine job and there’s enough beautiful photography for a travelogue. Some tales, notably those about a one-armed boxer and a homeless old lady, deserve to be spun into features. At least one, with John Turturro (who wrote and directed it) and Vanessa Paradis as a bickering couple, should have been left out. While those stories are told in their entirety at one go, others are broken in pieces scattered throughout. Some people are introduced in establishing shots and never seen again, while others appear in different stories, so you have to try to remember who they are while being introduced to a new set of characters around them. It feels like a cocktail party where you don’t know anyone at first but bounce around, getting vaguely acquainted with several guests but being unable to spend as much time as you’d like with the most interesting ones. –Steve Warren
SWEET BEAN (NR)
I wonder how showing “foodie” movies affects concession sales. Can people watching the preparation and consumption of exotic dishes be satisfied with ordinary popcorn? Does the sight make them
hungry enough to eat anything? The bar doesn’t appear to be set too high in Sweet Bean. Dorayaki is a Japanese snack food, a sandwich made with pancakes spread with an, a sweet paste made from beans. Sentaro (Masatoshi Nagase) is so glum he could be running a WWII POW camp instead of a neighborhood dorayaki shop. He doesn’t even eat his own product, made with an he buys in bulk, until he hires 76-year-old Tokue (Kirin Kiki), who has her own delicious recipe for bean paste. She transforms his business and his life overnight, but a movie needs conflict and the woman who owns the shop provides it. The movie asks the question, Just because someone has had leprosy, does that mean they should be treated like a leper? Unfortunately it doesn’t provide enough medical details for the vast majority of us to give an informed answer. Could rubber gloves have solved the problem? Be warned that after a slow first half, Sweet Bean gets even slower; but besides the food – where can I get some dorayaki around here? – and characters to care about, there’s uplifting philosophy about listening to nature and not spreading gossip. Without a single mention of religion, this could be the year’s most spiritual film. –Steve Warren
TAKE ME TO THE RIVER (NR)
1/2 Though effectively unnerving, Matt Sobel’s family drama leaves you with more questions than answers. Ryder (Logan Miller) rides with his mother (Robin Weigert) and father (Richard Schiff ) to mom’s family reunion on a Nebraska farm. Having spent his 17 years in California, the gay teen can’t understand why he shouldn’t come out to the whole family. His parents veto the idea but rebellious Ryder compensates by dressing provocatively. On the farm he’s idolized by his four young female cousins, especially precocious Molly (Ursula Parker), who’s nine. She goes with Ryder to the barn and runs out screaming with blood on her dress. Her father, Ryder’s uncle Keith (Josh Hamilton), imagines the worst and becomes oddly passive-aggressive for the next 24 hours (about one hour of screen time). Why, for instance, does he give Ryder a lesson in handling a gun, except to heighten tension by introducing the weapon? Because the barn scene is foreshortened, we lack Ryder’s full perspective. Without knowing what happened we’re unsure how sympathetic to be toward him. The moral of the story, if you can do the required mental arithmetic, is that the definition of “normal” isn’t the same in Nebraska as it is in California. –Steve Warren
THE ROYALS - SEASON TWO (Lionsgate) For some unfathomable reason, the U.S. has a stalker-like obsession with British royalty. And while watching the coming and goings of the current English monarchy is about as much fun as watching paint dry, the Elizabeth Hurley-fronted series The Royals is pure guilty pleasure. Loosely based on the book Falling for Hamlet, Hurley is Queen Helena who heads a twisted family that includes her twin son and daughter – both deliciously flawed in their own ways. Season two finds the family scheming for control much like the clans in Game of Thrones, with murder, sex and betrayal just as essential to the plot of both shows. It isn’t pretty, but this salacious soap is hard to look away from. PUNK’S DEAD: SLC PUNK 2 (Cinedigm) When the indie movie SLC Punk came out it slowly became a cult hit thanks to every loner Doc Marten-clad teen in the late ‘90s. Since then, punk rock has become about as dangerous and threatening as a boy band. So the sequel, Punk’s Dead, seemed a little unnecessary. By the same writer/director as the original, James Merendino, the sequel pick up with
the teenage Goth/ steampunk hybrid son of the Heroin Bob (dead, so speaking from the afterlife in this one) going nuts from a break-up, getting drunk for the first time and heading to a punk show. While obvious there was an audience for this one – the film was partially crowd funded – the result now seems pretty tepid and meandering. Some things are best left in the past, but a pretty fitting movie title.
THE DICKS FROM TEXAS (MVD Visual) There have been countless articles and rock bios written about all of the British bands that were formed after witnessing the Sex Pistols live. Add Texas punk hardcore band The Dicks to the list. Garry Floyd saw the band at the San Francisco show, eventually migrated to Austin and told anyone who would listen that he was in a band called The Dicks. Years later, he actually put that band together and they became one of the most notorious hardcore/punk bands to come out of the Lone Star State. Through interviews with vets like Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye, Mike Watt and David Yow, among others, filmmaker Cindy Marabito rolls out the story of one of punk’s most underrated bands.
At All Three Locations!
Saturday, April 16!
DULUTH TOWN CENTER Pleasant Hill 50 Barrett Parkway at Satellite Blvd at Bells Ferry Road Behind IHOP next to Barnes & Noble 770-623-1552 770-425-3472 See the rest of our movie reviews at
ROSWELL 10800 Alpharetta Hwy At Mansell Road 770-518-3300
CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK! CD WAREHOUSE ATLANTA insiteatlanta.com • April 2016 • PG 13
Atlanta Film Festival
Various Venues around Atlanta APRIL 1 - 10
The 40th Anniversary of the Atlanta Film Festival kicks off April 1st and will pack more than 150 events and 25,000 attendees into the exciting 10-day event. Among the many film screenings, educational workshops, special presentations and parties are eight can’t miss events that are free and open to the public. Visit atlantafilmfestival.com.
Atlanta Dogwood Festival Piedmont Park APRIL 8 - 10
The Dogwoods are in full bloom, and hundreds of artists from around the country will set up their tents for the 80th annual event. The festival takes place
PG 14 • April 2016 • insiteatlanta.com
over the three-day weekend with live music, international performances, gourmet and festival fare, the popular disc dog competition and more under blooming dogwood trees. There is a Kids Village featuring huge inflatables, arts & crafts and face painting for all ages. Festival attendees will also have a chance to run in their 5K. For more information visit dogwood.org.
Hogs and Hops
Masquerade Music Park APRIL 16
Hogs and Hops takes place on Saturday, April 16 at its new home in Historic 4th Ward. This event features tasty BBQ, complimentar y foods, live music and tons of fun. Expect over 15 food vendors and 50+ different beer options. Doors open at 1 pm for General Admission and ticket includes: all beer samples and 1 BBQ Tasting (additional BBQ tastings $3). VIP tickets offer early entry at noon along with four food tickets and all beer samples. This event is brought to you by Atlanta Beer Festivals. Visit hogsandhopsatlanta.com.
Lake Forrest Drive, Sandy Springs APRIL 16 & 17
Sandy Springs Artsapalooza is a two-day outdoor event with an emphasis on visual arts and handcraft. This festival will feature up to 150 local and regional artists representing disciplines in painting, ceramics, glass, woodwork, handcraft, mixed media and more. In addition to the beautiful selection of artwork, the festival will also include an amazing lineup of gourmet food trucks, live acoustic music, children’s activities, as well as free parking and free admission. In all, this festival is the perfect spring destination with activities for the entire family. Visit sandyspringsartsapalooza.com
Kennesaw Big Shanty Festival Downtown Kennesaw APRIL 16 - 17
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. A parade kicks off the weekend on Saturday at 9:30am. For more info visit kennesawbusiness.org.
Georgia Renaissance Festival
I-85; Exit 61 - Fairburn / Peachtree City APRIL 16 - JUNE 5
The 2016 Georgia Renaissance Festival opens for its 31st Season on the weekend of April 16 & 17, and runs for 8 consecutive weekends through June 5th, including Memorial Day Monday. Festival guests will be greeted by Queen Anne Boleyn and her Court, merry minstrels, fair maidens, gallant Knights in shining armor and a fullday of entertainment on 10 stages, food fit for kings, and a marketplace of over 150 master artisans displaying their time-hon-
ored artistry as they craft their one-of-akind treasures. Visit garenfest.com.
Sweetwater 420 Fest
Centennial Olympic Park APRIL 22 - 24 The annual music and arts festival celebrating Earth Day offers be plenty of live music, food, and SweetWater beer. Over the three day event more than 50 bands will perform on 5 stages. Headliners this year include: Kid Rock, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Bastille, Ludacris, The Disco Biscuits, The Roots, Awolnation and Cypress Hill. Visit sweetwater420fest.com for ticket information and band listings.
Smyrna Spring Jonquil Festival The Village Green - Smyrna, Ga. APRIL 23 & 24
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. Artisans are from all over the southeast feature their own hand-made crafts, paintings, clothing, furniture, jewelry and much more. The huge interactive children's area includes big and small inflatable activities, sand art, and more. New for 2016 is LEW-E’s Comedy Circus Show and Kachunga and the Alligator Show. Admission is free. For more information visit smyrnacity.com.
Inman Park Festival and Tour of Homes APRIL 30 - MAY 1
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 30 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 inmanparkfestival.org.
Chastain Arts Festival Chastain Park, Buckhead MAY 7 & 8
The award-winning, two-day festival is held in Atlanta’s beautiful Chastain Park. An estimated 40,000 visitors attend each year with up to 185 displays of art and crafts, including many local and regional artists and artisans. In addition to the abundance of unique art, there will be a children's area in the adjacent green space, local gourmet food, beverages and a small stage
for acoustic musical performances. This free event showcases painters, photographers, sculptors, leather and metal craft persons, glass blowers, jewelers and more. Visit chastainparkartsfestival.com.
Kirkwood Spring Fling and Tour of Homes Bessie Branham Park MAY 14 - 15
Don't miss being part of the 14th Annual Kirkwood Spring Fling & Tour of Homes on Saturday and Sunday, May 1415, 2016. Celebrating the historic and eclectic intown neighborhood of Kirkwood, this family-friendly festival offers a fun-filled opportunity to enjoy the warmth of spring with a 5K run, artist market, diverse lineup of live music, creative kids' activities, Blue Ribbon BBQ Cookoff and Tour of Homes. The event will take place at Bessie Branham Park, rain or shine. The festival is free, but the 5K and Tour of Homes require tickets. Visit kirkwoodfling.com.
Shaky Knees Music Festival
Saturday; April 16, 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. Sunday; April 17, 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
www.kennesawbusiness.org or 770-423-1330
Saturday, April 23 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday, April 24 Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Central Park & International Plaza MAY 13 - 15
Shaky Knees Music Festival returns May 13 featuring bands across four outdoor stages as well as local food trucks, artisans and vendors. The music lineup includes Jane’s Addiction, My Morning Jacket, Florence + The Machine, Walk the Moon and many more. Full lineup and ticket info online now at ShakyKneesFest.com, with single day and 3-day passes available.
Located at the beautiful Village Green 200 Village Green Circle, Smyrna, GA 30080 For more information call 770-423-1330 or www.smyrnacity.com
Marietta Greek Festival
Greek Orthodox Church in Marietta MAY 13 & 15
This popular festival brings all the aromas, sounds, tastes and traditions of Greece to your doorstep. Enjoy authentic Greek food and pastries, cooking demonstrations, church tours, music, and dancing with special audience participation. The festival takes place Friday May 13 through Sunday May 15 at the Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church 3431 Trickum Road in Marietta. Visit mariettagreekfestival.com
Shaky Beats Music Festival Centennial Olympic Park MAY 20 & 22
The Inaugural Shaky Beats Festival features over 40 top-notch electronic, indie and hip-hop acts across three stages. Major Lazer, Odesza, Big Gigantic and more will have you hooping and dancing the night away. Leave your FoMO behind and come join the party. Visit shakybeatsfestival.com.
East Atlanta Beer Festival
East Atlanta Village, Brownwood Park MAY 21
The 13th Annual East Atlanta Beer Festival will be held in East Atlanta’s Brownwood insiteatlanta.com • April 2016 • PG 15
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 200 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 a wide array of food. Proceeds benefit the community. Visit Eabfonline.com.
Yarab Shrine Circus & Fair Jim R Miller Park, Marietta, Ga. MAY 15 - 25
Yaarab Shrine's 74th Annual Shrine Circus is a popular annual family event that offers an affordable, safe, and wholesome environment for adults and children of all ages. In addition to the 25 (80minute) circus performances under The Big Top, there are more than 40 exciting carnival rides and attractions, as well as lots of food such as hot wings, funnel cakes, cotton candy, fried Oreos, snow cones, elephant ears, and more. Circus goers can enjoy circus acts from around the world including high-flying trapeze acts, aerials and acrobats, elephants, and of course, world-famous Shrine clowns. The Circus Midway and Flea Market begins Friday May 20, at 5:00pm and is open Monday through Friday at 5:00pm, 10:00am on Saturdays, and 12:00pm on Sundays. Visit 2016shrinecircus.com.
Atlanta Jazz Festival Piedmont Park MAY 27 - 29
Celebrating 39 years of musical mastery, the festival returns to historic Piedmont Park with three days of music over Memorial Day Weekend. 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 straight-ahead jazz, Latin jazz and swing to jazz flavored with neo-soul, hip-hop and R&B. Experience the stellar swing of saxophonist Benny Golson, soak up the sensuous stylings of Eliane Elias, and groove to the soulful rhythms of Jamison Ross. The festival offers music every day in May and culminates with the huge final weekend in Piedmont Park. Over Memorial Day Weekend a wide variety of food vendors will tempt your taste buds with BBQ, gyros, burgers, Caribbean foods and more. 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 27 from 6pm - 11 pm; Saturday, May 28 from 11am - 11pm and Sunday, May 29 from 11 am - 11 pm. Visit atlantafestivals.com.
Decatur Arts Festival Decatur Square MAY 27 - 29
Decatur's biggest arts event takes place over Memorial Day Weekend. Get started
MAY 21-30, 2016
Jim R. Miller Park | Marietta, GA WALGREENS DISCOUNT TICKET PRICES
*Mega pass includes gate admission, circus admission and unlimited carnival rides any one day open to close. all riders must be 36” *10 and under are free [no rides]
*does not include admission **All riders must be 36”
Mega Pass : $21.95
Admission Tickets : $3.50 21 Ride Tickets Strip : $11.00 *Rides require more than one ticket **All riders must be 36”
REGULAR RIDE TICKETS AT THE GATE 1 ticket $1.25 : 21 tickets $20 55 tickets $50 : 120 tickets $100
Friday evening, May 27, 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 DecaturArtsFestival.com.
Saturday features Chris Robinson, the Revivalists, Lee Fields and more. Alcohol and food are available for purchase. For full line-up and ticket information visit candlerparkmusicfestival.com.
Virginia-Highland Summerfest Virginia-Highland Neighborhood JUNE 4 & 5
Indulge in a variety of Learning Experiences, Tasting Tents, Dinners & Events and Masterclasses all designed to educate and entertain guests from the novice to the connoisseur. Visit atlfoodandwinefestival.com
Taking place the first weekend in June, the VirginiaHighland Summerfest offers an Artist Market featuring works of over 200 artists and craftsmen from all over the Southeast. The Kidsfest offers games, crafts and activities for children of all ages. Live music will be held on stage and will feature a variety of local musicians along with nationally acclaimed singer songwriters. Over a 1,000 runners will compete in the Summerfest 5K on Saturday through the neighborhood streets of VirginiaHighland. Visit vahi.org for more info.
Candler Park Music Festival
Atlanta Fringe Festival
Atlanta Food & Wine Festival Greensward area of Piedmont Park JUNE 2 - 5
The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is a fourday culinary experience celebrating the South.
Candler Park, Atlanta JUNE 3 - 4
Downtown and East Atlanta JUNE 8 - 12
This popular neighborhood festival formerly known as the Midsummer Music and Food Festival is back this month on Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4. The Gallop & Groove 5K will be held Saturday at 10:00 am. Friday features musical performances by Galactic, Keller Williams and Blair Crimmins & the Hookers.
The 4th annual Atlanta Fringe Festival brings adventurous local and national artists together for a five-day celebration of live performances from across the theatrical spectrum. Expect a wide variety of dance theatre, spoken word, circus performance, puppetry, comedic monologues, to traditional ensemble theatre. For more information visit atlantafringe.org.
2016 YAARAB SHRINE
Monday-Thursday, May 23-26 $18 per person
REGULAR ADMISSION AT THE GATE Admission $7.00 10 & under FREE
Circus & Fair
*includes circus admission
MAY 4 – MAY 30 At all Metro-Atlanta
MEGA PASS $21.95
DISCOUNT COUPONS AVAILABLE AT METRO ATLANTA FOOD DEPOT LOCATIONS
includes gate admission, circus admission and unlimited carnival rides any one day open to close, all riders must be 36" *10 and under are free [no rides]
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 404.419.6755
WWW.2016SHRINECIRCUS.COM Jim R. Miller Park, 2245 Callaway Road, Marietta, GA 30008 - Take I-75 to Windy Hill Road (exit #260). Go west approximately five miles on Windy Hill Road and turn left on Austell Road. Turn right on Callaway Road. Jim R. Miller Park will be on your right.
PG 16 • April 2016 • insiteatlanta.com
THE BAND, THE MAN, THE ROCK OPERA Jethro Tull’s Classic Hits are Presented in a New Theatrical Production
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
the scary stories like bio-engineered crops and cloning and so on and so forth. Toss into it, as you said, elements of concern about climate change and how that’s going to impact the agricultural sectors worldwide. I thought there’d be plenty of material to make it an interesting contextual way of coming up with what is, essentially, a best of Jethro Tull tour, but we’re doing it in a narrative form. By giving it the construction of the operatic medium, where songs or arias are joined together with explanatory little links, it takes on the underlying theme.
HE NAMES IAN ANDERSON and Jethro Tull are inseparable and interchangeable. Anderson has led the classic British band called Jethro Tull since 1968 and remains the only constant member. But there was actually a real man with that name, an obscure 18th-century English agriculturist. Tull the band is much better-known of course, with an impressive catalog of folk-tinged, flute and keyboarddriven progressive rock that helped define the heyday of FM radio in the early to mid-‘70s. Although the band hasn’t released Plus you’ve added new technology to mirror an official record since 2003 and Anderson those ongoing changes. often swears they’re Exactly, to combine the finished, the name, existing story with the big history and catalog of video screens, the multimaterial lives on in a new media presentation, and multi-media production. special guests who sing Cleverly titled “Jethro APRIL 16 certain lines in character Tull - The Rock Opera,” behind me on the screen. Fox Theatre the enigmatic Anderson I think we have a real toestars in and sings the best jethrotull.com tapping experience that is of Tull, framed within a colorful and actually has “quasi-operatic” storyline substance. But it’s not just wrapped around the reimagined life of a list of things that I put to the forefront in its historic namesake. The internationally order to get people to think about these big touring show features David Goodier (bass), issues. I do like to know there is something John O’Hara (keyboards), Florian Opahle lying behind the sequence of songs. To me (guitar), Scott Hammond (drums) and a few it’s a very structured and thought-through virtual guests. Recently the erudite singerpresentation. But I’m fully aware that 90 songwriter spoke at length with Insite about percent of the audience may sit there, the production. tap their feet and simply go, “Oh yeah, I remember that one.” You always seem to be looking for a new way to present your material. How did you There’s a stigma of the rock opera being an conceive the new rock opera? overblown platform of artistic pretense. Well, as a result of being on tour in the That’s right. I wish that I didn’t have to summer of 2014, driving through the call it a rock opera. It does sort of make you northern Italy, South of France area, just think of, you know, “Tommy” and various looking out the car window. I was thinking other historical ways of doing it. Most of of all the different agricultural methods, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s early the different crops and the different ways work would be described as rock opera. It’s of doing things. It just occurred to me: a rather tired expression but I can’t seem to “I wonder what ol’ Jethro Tull, that great think of a better way to describe it. But it is, agricultural inventor of the 18th century, after all, an entertaining couple of hours of would make of travelling abroad and seeing mostly well-known material. these different ways of doing things?”
And you take that attitude with the individual band members, as well. When you’ve had so many play a part in the band over the years, you can’t have them
all on stage. Some for very obvious reasons, as some are sadly no longer with us. So as the guy who wrote the songs and the words and being the front-man for all these years, I’ve put my own name in the mix as well.
JETHRO TULLTHE ROCK OPERA
Most people would probably never think of that question. What was your next step? Well, I looked it up online and to my surprise I found that he did actually make some tours to Northern Italy and Southern France and did incorporate some of these then-new ideas into his work to become the important kickstarter of the agricultural revolution of that era. And that of course made me think, well since that was part of his story as we know it, it just conjured up certain song titles and subject matter from various bits of my repertoire from over the years. Of course, as it related to the Jethro Tull catalog. I thought I could tell a story about him, within the framework of my own material. And rather than make it an historical piece, I could reposition Jethro Tull in the present and in the near future. Sort of make him a revolutionary in a contemporary way, working on the new technologies in crop and livestock production. And with that comes the inevitable topic of climate change on the landscape. Right and then you’re dealing with some of
Did you add any new material? Yes, there are five new little songs to take their place in there, to be more specific about the storyline and the development of the events. But 80 percent of it is stuff we’ve been playing for years. Did you need to make any drastic changes to the classic songs? For the most part, it’s exactly how you’d expect to hear it. Musically speaking, the arrangements are really just as they were recorded, however many years ago. Where necessary, the lyrics may get changed a little bit, not at all or sometimes I’ve added in an extra verse or two. It’s great how you’ve made a rather seamless transition between Jethro Tull, the band and Ian Anderson the artist. If you go to the concert hall to hear Beethoven or whatever it might be, walking into the theater as you take your nice comfy seat, you don’t think you’re actually going to see Ludwig van Beethoven stride out on the stage and conduct the orchestra. The important thing is we’re talking about the rock band called Jethro Tull and its repertoire from 48 years. That to me, after all these years, is really what it’s about.
May & June
Summer Concert Series! PLUS OUR
Summer Spotlight Concerts!
KELLY PORTER PRODUCTIONS presents:
“THE VOICE OF IRELAND”
Remember When ROCK WAS YOUNG Elton John Tribute with Atlanta Pops Orchestra
TO SEE OUR ENTIRE SUMMER CONCERT SERIES & SPOTLIGHT CONCERTS GO TO: www.amphitheater.org or visit us on twitter and Facebook!
You may purchase tickets at The Fred box office or online at www.ticketalternative.com or by phone at 1-877-725-8849
THE FREDERICK BROWN JR. AMPHITHEATER 201 McIntosh Trail, Peachtree City, GA 30269 • 770.631.0630
insiteatlanta.com • April 2016 • PG 17
REVIEWS BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH AND JOHN B. MOORE
A Cure For Loneliness
(Concord Records) As frontman for the J. Geils Band, Peter Wolf has a well-earned a reputation as a gospel-tinged R&B soul shouter. His solo albums, an excellent string of underthe-radar classics, typically allow him the freedom to explore elements of country, blues and vintage rock’n’roll. His latest release continues his knack for pouring his entire record collection onto a single disc. Sounding at times like a lost artifact from the mid-‘70s, A Cure for Loneliness features nine new Wolf originals, and cowrites with the versatile Will Jennings. Yes, that’s the same Will Jennings who wrote “My Heart Will Go On” and “Up Where We Belong.” But there’s nothing sappy about his work with Wolf, and this marks their third batch of excellent collaborations. True to Wolf ’s penchant for mining the vaults for cool obscurities, the album includes three choice obscure covers: the retro-fitted “It Was Always So Easy (To Find An Unhappy Woman),” the eerie doo-wop of “Tragedy” and the teary Nashville-sound of Thomas Wayne’s “Stranger.” Also a cover of sorts is his revisit of the Geils’ 1980 hit “Love Stinks,” offered here as a full-tilt bluegrass number. The backhanded redo is a hilarious staple of his live shows and he’s backed here by his usual solo band the Midnight Travelers. Highlights include the ‘40s shuffle of “Mr. Mistake” and the testifying groove of “How Do You.” The true emotive centerpiece of the set is “It’s Raining,” cowritten with legendary soul artist Don Covay and originally intended as a duet with the late Bobby Womack. Wolf summons the spirits of both artists and handles the tune with the proper balance of respect and grit. Peter Wolf plays City Winery June 3.
World War Willie
(River House Records) In four decades of rocking, New York-based Willie Nile has never managed to become a household name, but what he’s lacked in celebrity, he’s more than made up for in pure passion and great recordings. From his Arista debut – which remains one of the strongest rock singer-songwriter excursions ever released - to his newest, his uncompromising pledge to rock has never waned. He seems proud of the fact that he’s matured a bit and one of the funniest and most candid explorations of his new set is “Grandpa Rocks.” What would be corny and contrived in the hands of a nearly any other rocker imaginable becomes a feel-good treatise on aging and a good-humored slap at ageism in the music industry. Recorded with his usual producer Stewart Lerman and his capable band, the collection bristles with an immediate live feel and a primitive energy. The cover hints at his overall conPG 18 • April 2016 • insiteatlanta.com
cept for the batch and he doesn’t hold back with his often-stinging observations on the state of the world at large. But he doesn’t have to preach when his raucous readings such as “Let’s All Come Together” are deadon declarations for peaceful cohabitation. Album opener “Forever Wild” would be a hit if rock music still dominated the charts and “Trouble Down in Diamond Town” easily beats Nile fan and friend Bruce Springsteen in the hardscrabble story-song category. Two heartfelt tributes round out the list with “When Levon Sings,” a touching ode to Levon Helm of the The Band and concludes with a great rendition of Lou Reed’s oft-covered “Sweet Jane.”
The Album Collection (RCA/Legacy)
Dropped down like Manna from heaven (or more spe cifically, from the folks at Legacy Records), Elvis Presley fans across the globe can now pick up the ultimate fan set – a 60-CD collection of records from The King. Included are restored versions for 57 Presley albums originally released from RCA between 1956-and-1977 in addition to three separate discs of rarities dating back as late as the ‘50s. Any attempt to review this set in its entirety would be futile and pretty much unnecessary. If you are unaware of his work “Congrats on just being born!” or “Glad you woke up from that coma!” Whether they cite it or not, every major (and minor) rock band today, exists because of Elvis. Even if they didn’t grow up listening to albums like King Creole, Aloha From Hawaii, or fuck it, even the Elvis Christmas Album, the bands they did listen to grew up on Elvis records. Every crucial milestone in his career is included here, from the live sets, the gospel records, holiday albums and great soundtracks to bad movies. The liner notes here are particularly fascinating, penned by John Jackson, who graduated from Indiana University with the first BA degree in Rock and Roll History. His thesis was on the life and cultural impact of Presley and does a stellar job of getting across his impact and legacy in the write up included with this set, alongside a 300-page illustrated hardcover book with commentary, discography and recording session data. The King is dead, long live The King!
This Year’s Storm (Self-Released)
There is a pretty strong late ‘80s and early ‘90s college radio vibe to This Year’s Storm, the newest from Boston-based Gladiola. And for good reason, the band counts Midnight Oil, Camper Van Beethoven and The Waterboys as influences and were able to nab Dave Miehan from early 1990s Power Pop band The Neighborhoods to engineer the record, (the one exception is the album opener “We’re Never Going Back,” which
was mixed by the Mitch Easter, who has worked with everyone from Pavement to R.E.M.). As a result, any of the 11 tracks here would fit quite nicely on 1993’s No Alternative comp. The four-piece, boasting middleaged musicians come about their sound organically (unlike a slew of 20-somethings recording today that seem to look on the 1990s as ironic nostalgia) delivering a satisfying record that improves on the promises the band made with 2013’s Off You Go. Lyrically, the band manages to deftly balance nostalgia and reminiscing while still embracing the wisdom gained from a couple more decades of living. The album has a decidedly Boston sound, bringing to mind some the city’s greats like Buffalo Tom, The Lemonheads, The Del Fuegos and even The Cars. The tradition of pretention-free rock with solid hooks lives on with an album like “This Year’s Storm.”
Upland Stories (Bloodshot Records)
Robbie Fulks can apparently not make a bad record. Yes, some are better than others, but since his debut two decades ago, he consistently put out thoughtful, challenging modern takes on folk and country. His latest, Upland Stories, is no different. Across a dozen tracks, Fulks proves song after song how well he can churn out a story with disparate characters living complicated lives, all in the span of about three minutes. His voice can be a bit twangy for some, but it’s stripped of all posturing and shown off flawless thanks to the subtle backing; there is the occasional pedal steel and piano, but mainly just drums and an acoustic guitar. Fulks has always drawn from a lot of literature in his songs and this record is no different. On “Alabama At Night,” “America is a Hard Religion” and “A Miracle,” Fulks was inspired by the writings of James Agee and a trip he took to Alabama in the 1930s. Not a deep departure from his earlier records, but a deeply satisfying new collection of folk/country songs from the one of the genre greats.
Alex Dezen Self-Titled
(Rock Ridge Music) Since 2003, Alex Dezen has been the face of The Damnwells, a Brooklyn-based alt country outfit in the vein of Whiskeytown and Wilco. But forget what you think Dezen’s first proper solo record will sound like as it owes much more to modern rock than his background would suggest. Building off a series of EPs he put out in 2014, this self-titled effort, financed via crowd funding, is a brave departure for the singer, but ultimately a little too safe to be interesting. In the past, Dezen has written for
everyone from Justin Bieber to Cody Simpson, but his lyrics seem pretty matter of fact and often didactic here. The song “A Little Less Like Hell” is maybe the first non-punk track to feature C-Span in the lyrics and his tendency to over-explain a situation is grating. A lyric like “I watched Obama’s speech on YouTube. I don’t have a TV,” gives the feel more like streamof-conscious talking versus thoughtful writing. And the song “Leonardo” is really about who you think it might be about (and, no, it’s not da Vinci). While there are hints, few and far between, on the record at a better album, most of the songs here are just underwhelming.
Wild Vision 12” (Loose Trucks)
The Brooklynby way of Athensindie band Great Lakes has been spent the past two decades churning out five records and managed to keep their sound evolving thanks to a collective of musicians that have come and gone with nearly each effort. Guitarist/ singer Ben Crumb has been at the center of each record and for the latest, Wild Vision, he pulled in singer Suzanne Nienaber, bassist David Lerner, drummer Kevin Shea and keyboardist Joe McGinty. Like most of their other efforts, the band blends a little bit of psychedelic and folk to their Indie Pop, but also rely on pedal steel and mandolins throughout this one for a subtle Americana vibe. The combined vocals of Crumb and Nienaber is a powerful combo, but the slow pace of the songs tend to have a droning effect after a while. Beautiful but melancholy, regardless of the lyrics, “Wild Vision” is the closest thing the band has created yet to a break up album.
Versus 12” (HHBTM Records)
With their third record in as many years – and third full length since 2012 - Eureka California are proving to be the Willie Nelsons of indie pop; not a year goes by without at least something new. Their latest, Versus, finds the Athens, GA duo at its best, playing quirky, witty rock with loud guitars and louder drums. Comparisons to a band like Pavement are obvious, but singer Jake Ward arguable sounds better. You can even hear someone like Jonathan Richman in a song like “Sign You Name With an X” or “Caffeine.” The 11 tracks here are bursting with neurotic energy and self-doubt, which can be both cringe-worthy at times and easily relatable. Though distortion runs wild throughout the record, the band is just as powerful on the softer tracks, like “Everybody Had a Hard Year.” Though 2014’s Crunch as well as their debut, Big Cats Can Swim, were both great records, Versus finds the band at its best, with one satisfying song after the next.
CHANNELING JANIS JOPLIN
Broadway’s Mary Bridget Davies on the Legend and Her Influences was it! When he passed away, I was heartbroken. Then when they started the Rising Star in his honor and I was nominated, I was like, “This is just ridiculous!” It was like a blues Tony to me.
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
OLLOWING A SUCCESSFUL RUN on Broadway, A Night With Janis Joplin explores the influences of the legendary singer. Best known for classic rock staples “Me and Bobby McGee,” A Night with Janis looks like a lot of work “Piece of My Heart,” “Mercedes Benz,” and a lot of fun at the same time. and “Try (Just A Little Bit I do it six nights a week I Harder),” the emotive singer never get tired of it. There’s has rocked generations of a different crowd every night female vocalists. In this and they give you different production, writer/director energy for each show. And Randy Johnson explores this show brings people Joplin’s female mentors with who don’t usually go to the cameos from the spirits of APRIL 17 • 6:30PM theater, because it’s definitely Aretha Franklin, Odetta a real rock show. Fox Theatre and Nina Simone, the iconic singers who inspired foxtheatre.org And you encourage the rock & roll’s greatest blues crowd to be a real rock and diva. Accomplished singerroll audience. songwriter and Joplin expert Mary Bridget Definitely. We love it when you clap or Davies - star of the Broadway production sing along or get up and dance, it’s that and the soundtrack album - is currently energy that keeps us going! It takes me a on the road with the show. Calling from while to unwind and come down after the Kansas City, Davis spoke with INsite about show, because it’s just an adrenaline rush. channeling the rebel spirit of Janis Joplin.
A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN
You’ve been nominated for a Tony Award and the Sean Costello Rising Star Blues Award. As an actress and a music fan, both of those must be equally exciting for you. Yeah, when I first started performing, [the late, Georgia-based] Sean Costello
You’ve portrayed her in several productions but when did you first become aware of Janis Joplin? My parents were baby boomers and they gave me a really good musical foundation at a young age. But by the time I was a teenager was when she really started resonating with me. You know, the
awkward years of high school. I would sing along and I went, “Wow, I kinda sound like her, what a funny gift to have but when would I ever use that?” And now here’s the show! I really feel like I’ve been preparing for this role for my entire life.
Your previous show, “Love, Janis” was a very different version of the Joplin story. Yeah, “Love, Janis” had two women that portrayed Janis, her outer and inner personalities. I was the stage persona and I did all the singing. It was more of a memoir and it was pretty dark. The other actress shot heroin on stage, there was a death scene and the actual audio of the coroner’s report played. We really went there. It was heavy. This show is a whole different vibe, it’s a celebration, a concert of the music and the women who came before her and influenced her. So you’ll see and hear actresses singing as Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Bessie Smith. You’ve toured with Janis shows, sang with [Joplin’s former band] Big Brother and the Holding Company and were nominated for awards for your portrayal. Do you ever worry about being typecast as Janis? No, I really believe that being on Broadway and recording my own material has solidified that I am an actor and a musician. There’s a difference there and
I’m comfortable in it. I embrace it now. But if that’s how people know me - then great. But then they can check out my own music, too. [Davies excellent album Wanna Feel Somethin’ is available via CD Baby and Amazon.] Since Janis is such a big part of your persona, do you ever feel like you’re somehow channeling her? Absolutely! When I was 21, before I started singing in smoky bars, I drove with my sister and mother to Sedona, Arizona. It’s really hippy-dippy out there; power vortexes and psychics and all that. A real PLEASE SEE JANIS ON PAGE 20
THIS IS MAMA 2.0
Actress/Singer Vicki Lawrence Takes Mama on the Road for “Two Woman Show” When I put the show together, I knew I had to put Mama in it because everybody loves her so much, but I also need to be Vicki. So I wanted the first half to be me. We ended up making it largely autobiographical because I think my life has been nothing if not serendipitous and comical.
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
EVOTEES OF CLASSIC television know Vicki Lawrence from her stints on The Carol Burnett Show (1967-1978) and Mama’s Family (19831990). The actress / singer has had a long and distinguished career that also includes game shows, a talk show, two books, multiple award And the show includes your nominations and a massive hit greatest hit. single in 1973. Currently on It does and I tell the story tour, she looks back on her life about how no one wanted to in “Vicki Lawrence and Mama: record it. I said screw it and just A Two Woman Show.” As did it myself! I also tell the story APRIL 2 advertised, it’s half Vicki and half about how the “Mama’s Family” “Mama,” the beloved Thelma show happened and the story of Jennie T. Harper character she originated me writing the theme song, so Anderson Theatre on the Burnett show. Lawrence I include that. And you know, recently spoke with INsite from Mama is very musical, too. She her home in California. sings and she dances.
It’s rare that a TV-star would have a massive hit single, but “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” was a smash in 1973. At the time when it happened, disc jockeys just couldn’t figure it out. They couldn’t put Vicki from the Carol Burnett Show and Vicki who had a hit song together. Record people weren’t on TV and vice-versa. Now, if you aren’t doing everything - including your own make-up and clothing line and Gawker and TMZ you’re gone. You’ve definitely led an interesting life. Do you enjoy telling your story as part of the show?
She raps too, I hear. She sure does! I told my writing partner, “I want to write a rap song for Mama.” He said, “Seriously? What in the world is she gonna rap about?” I said, “Her life!” In 2008, you wrote the “Mama For President” book during the election. I know, and you know what, we need to put it out again right now. And call it “Mama For President: I Told You So!” Mama has changed considerably since she debuted on the Burnett Show.
Very much so. When we started “Mama’s Family,” we did two episodes and they just didn’t feel funny to me. We shut the show down for a couple of weeks. I said let’s bring [fellow Carol Burnett Show regular] Harvey Korman in on this because he was always such a mentor to me. He taught me nearly everything I know about comedy. So I asked him what to do. What sort of advice did he offer? He said, “She’s been very one-dimensional. You can’t expect people to just watch this woman screaming and yelling for a half-hour. To be a sitcom character she has to be silly and fun. And remember she is you. Anything you can do, she can do.” And that advice really set her free. She did everything from running for mayor to dirty dancing. And the audience loved all of it. It’s my husband’s nightmare that he’ll roll over in bed one morning and Mama will be there, because she is me. Are you instantly in character the moment you put on the costume? It’s hard not to when you look like that. My husband won’t even talk to me when I’m in drag, “Just get that old woman away from me!”
right and stage left, you can’t even find the toilet!” So being the team player that he was, he decided to train me. I think it was either train me or kill me. He just decided, dammit we’ll make her a comedian. Mama can get a little racy, do you allow her to be a bit more saucy in the live show? I think so. I really want to push her into the new century. I look back a lot at my own life in the show, but I didn’t want the Mama portion to be a retrospective. I wanted to push ahead and do stuff that makes it fun for me. She’s kind of like my evil twin in that she can say and do things that I could never get away with saying. All the politically incorrect stuff that you just don’t say, unless you’re Donald Trump. People love the fact that she’s this little Southern/ Midwestern old lady but she has opinions about all the things that are going on in the world. My son directs the show and he likes to say this is “Mama 2.0.”
You mentioned Harvey Korman. He was your mentor when you first started out on the Burnett show, right? He was. He was very serious about his comedy and he really took me under his wing. When I first landed on the show, he said, “Forget stage insiteatlanta.com • April 2016 • PG 19
LET IT BEATLE!
New Beatles Production is a Live Celebration of Group and Solo Hits The second act becomes an imagining of what would have happened if the Beatles had reunited and played live. By Lennon’s birthday 1980, the Beatles had all established solo careers and had some great hit songs in their own right. So we’re looking at it as if they’d reunited to play each other’s solo tunes.
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
ORGET FANTASY SPORTS leagues, the new production of Let It Be is a real fan’s dream. Divided into two acts, the show presents the familiar story of the Beatles’ music career in chronological order. From their gritty Cavern Club days through mid‘60s Beatlemania into their In this show, the songs and final days with the Abbey costumes tell the story Road album. The second with little to no narrative, half is an imagined reunion correct? APRIL 22 • 8PM of the four musicians in a It’s a real concert and it’s showcase of their extensive Fox Theatre also a record of how the solo hits. The show opened Beatles have impacted the LetItBeLive.com to good reviews in London’s world. The first act is like a West End district in 2012 60-minute rock show, with and quickly moved on to all the appropriate costumes too. Then the Broadway, subsequently annexed into second half is the solo work. It’s a great an international road production that is way to come together as the Beatles as a currently touring the States. An able cast real fan would imagine it. And we take of talented actors portray the iconic roles great pride in that it’s all performed live. of John, Paul, George and Ringo and the Atlanta stop will feature Broadway veteran Have you’ve played in other BeatleChris McBurney as Mr. Starr. INsite related productions before this one? caught up with McBurney before a recent Yeah, I was playing in Rain which the performance to discuss all things Fab. same producers had also worked with, so when they brought Let It Be to Broadway, I The current production is a substantially was living in New York and it was a natural reworked edition of Let It Be. move for me. Once the Broadway show It’s a new show, definitely. Before we was going, we went on tour to Singapore, were doing the Cavern Club era up to Japan, and even Liverpool for almost a Abbey Road through the whole show, but month and a half back in November. now we’ve kind of condensed all of that history into the first act. So by the time As a fan and a musician, it must have the first half ends, the audience is sort of been a real treat -- and a bit daunting -wondering what’s next, where can it go at to play Beatle songs in Liverpool. that point? One of the biggest exports out of Liverpool is the Beatles and it’s a huge So it’s on to the solo years.
LET IT BE
JANIS FROM PAGE 19
X-Files kind of town. They had this place where you could get a picture of your aura. My mom was really into that stuff, but I was like, “What?!” But we did and mine was orange. And that’s my favorite color. And there was this orb in the picture, this off-color kind of circle. And they guy said, “You have a spirit guide.” I was like, “Yeah, what is it, a wolf or something?” Just being a jerk. The guy was like, “No, it’s a woman, and she’s here. She did what you do.” I go, “Oh she went to college?” He was like, “No, will you please let me finish?” You were just being a total skeptic to this guy. PG 20 • April 2016 • insiteatlanta.com
tourist industry for them. I was a little worried about the response but it was great fun with great audiences and we were really well-received. It just felt special to go to the roots of the Beatles and play their music.
remember that it was magic to me. Even at that age, I knew there was something special about this music. It was very mysterious to me. Then as I got older, I revisited Beatles music in high school and ever since I’ve been getting more into the material and the history of the band. It’s been a hugely rewarding experience.
How do the audiences react in different parts of the world? Can you sense a bit of culture shift from area to How do you prepare for a area? like Let It Be? IT’S A RECORD production Sometimes in Japan, they We really are dedicated to can be a bit more reserved but OF HOW THE authenticity. We try to play that’s part of their culture. They the music absolutely note for really listen and I’ve noticed in BEATLES HAVE note. And we also watch a lot Japan and Singapore by the end IMPACTED THE of video footage and listen to a of the show they’ll be excited of music, including a lot of WORLD.” lot and come down to the front of isolated tracks, just to be sure the stage to shake our hands. we’re doing it as close to the But the music is so well-known originals as possible. We really everywhere, people just eat it up no matter go over the stuff with a fine-tooth comb, to preserve the legacy with as much respect where we go. and details as we can. You’re reliving the fans’ emotions and When you shift to the different eras as the memories with each song. Yes, sometimes we’ll play a tune and you show progresses and you change clothes and wigs, can you personally feel a shift can just see people’s eyes light up and you in attitude and time? know there’s some sort of very distinct Yeah, a little. There are definitely memory connected to that song they’re moments, like transitioning from the Ed reliving. That to me is what’s amazing Sullivan suits into the Shea Stadium look, about the power of music in general, but it’s a brand new thing for us. With that Beatle music in particular. stadium vibe and knowing the Beatles were becoming such a force at that time, so When did you first become aware of The couple that with the crowd sounds, it feels Beatles? Every fan has a Beatle Moment. like a clear difference. Then, putting on What was yours? the Pepper outfits, we get a great reaction Mine was probably when I was six or when the lights come up and we’re playing seven. I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin Sgt. Pepper. We can feel the force and and my brother had a lot of records, and influence of those different eras, often just he was a few years older than me. He from the crowd reactions. had the White Album and I played it. I
Totally. Then he goes, “What do you think you’re going to do with your life? I’m getting something about performing or singing and that’s what she, your spirit guide, did. I see a lot of energy, and she’s here so you don’t make the mistakes she made.” But I didn’t really get it. It was a polaroid picture and when I got back home, I stuck it in a cookbook and forgot about it. Later when I was moving, it slipped out of the book. This was right before we were going to Broadway with A Night with Janis Joplin and I was packing to move to New York. I looked at it and just started weeping. I was like, “Oh my God, it’s you. It’s been you all the time!” So when I do the show, I do it for Janis. People come to see her, not me. I’m just the vehicle.
MIKE BELL & THE MOVIES
With an Elvis Costello Vibe, the Band Releases Second Album
BY JOHN B. MOORE
your brain decides to “fix” it. While proud of the first record (Nothing Works) musically, lyrically speaking it was very disingenuous…almost written by committee. This new album, Room, was an attempt to course correct from a lyrical and emotional standpoint. Stray away from the “what sounds cool” method of lyric writing and actually write honestly.
HERE’S A PRETTY STRONG ELVIS Costello vibe to Mike Bell’s music and that shouldn’t come as a surprise. “I bought a copy of My Aim is True for five bucks back in high school based on the album art and a suggestion from a friend,” says Bell. “That night I went home and listened to it twelve times in a row.” Costello’s influences and those of some of Philadelphia is getting a lot of attention the other 1970s Stiff Records bands – not to lately for the music scene here; does that mention Lookout bands as well, are pretty add any additional pressure knowing that front and center on Mike Bell & The Movie’s so many people are paying attention and debut, as well as his new record, Room. But that you will be compared - fair or not - to the comparisons to Declan MacManus are some of the other bands in pretty welcomed by Bell. FEEL LIKE WE DON’T the Philly scene? With their latest record, years ago I was working ALLOW OUR ART TO asFive Room, out April 1st on a comedy writer for a Lame-O Records, he took BREATHE ANYMORE. friend who was looking to some time recently to speak ONCE SOMETHING IS break into stand-up comedy. with us about the band, the DONE THE QUESTION We would meet once a new record and what’s ahead. BECOMES WHAT IS week and go over material new bits go over issues NEXT? WHEN THE REAL for Your debut didn’t come out with current material, etc. too long ago and you already QUESTION SHOULD BE, It was winter and for some have a new record coming WHAT IS THIS? reason we had all decided to out. Is this a particularly meet at the Starbucks next prolific time for you guys or to Macy’s at 13th and Chestnut. The first are you always working on new music? flakes of a winter storm had begun to fall Prolific implies there is a rhyme or reason and exiting the building it was one of the to the way music is written; like the belief most breath taking sites, from above. On the in God. I have always taken the stance that street, however, people looked miserable. there is no such thing as “writer’s block”… Hunched over, covering their heads from or God. When someone sits down to write the encroaching snow. It was that moment I a song they are already doing something knew Philadelphia was home. I’d been living disingenuous, the idea of working on a song in the city since 2001 (almost a decade at disqualifies it a bit. My method has always that point) but could never tell you why I been based on the concept that when an idea stayed. It’s loud, it stinks in the summer, the is there, it is there and to document it before
parking authority are assholes, but, in that moment it all made sense.
I wrote the entire lyrics to song “Nothing Works” stumble drunk at a Joan of Arc show at Johnny Brenda’s and the opening lines of “Philadelphia Girls (Winter Edition)” came from a trip to the Shop Rite in South Philly. We’ve always been here; it’s the rest of you who are just now catching up. I just wish ya’ll had been paying this much attention when Northern Liberties, Cops on Dirtbikes, Towers and D’Amore were tearing this town apart. As a local it seems to me that it’s a pretty tight scene with bands helping each other out. Is that accurate? When you are shooting on location the concept is “leave it looking better then when you arrived.” Hopefully, that is what is happening with the current scene in Philly… guess only time will tell. Do you plan to tour much the rest of the year? You would be downright amazed what can get accomplished when you no longer have to concern yourself with touring. We’ve been doing this band for five years now; we aren’t done touring but it is definitely not a priority. What’s next for the band? Quite honestly, I emptied the tanks with this last record. So, allowing it to breathe a minute in the world would be nice. Feel like we don’t allow our art to breathe anymore. Once something is done the question
becomes what is next? When the real question should be, what is this? Most likely, the next Movies record is already written over countless voice memos and notebooks…just not positive I’m interested in hearing it yet. Maybe in a year, two, three, a decade…who knows? Anything else you want to cover? Evan Bernard has been hard at work writing and recording with his band The Superweaks; he also runs a recording studio in Philadelphia. Greg Labold keeps himself busy drawing comics, screen printing and putting on shows as the drummer for the Philadelphia band APE! Peter Helmis is highly focused on his current project Dogs on Acid, as well as, countless other endeavors that keep him from getting the proper amount of sleep. Mike Bell is happy playing guitar in Year of Glad.
After Five Year Break from Last Album, Schoepp Returns with Rangers & Valentines
BY JOHN B. MOORE
T’S BEEN ABOUT FIVE YEARS SINCE THE WORLD last heard a new album from Trapper Schoepp. But he never intended the wait between records to be that long. Between touring, traveling, writing, making music videos and other less exciting adult stuff, he had to deal with problems in his throat. But he’s finally back with his next effort, Rangers & Valentines, just out on Xtra Mile Recordings, home to everyone from Against Me! to Frank Turner. Schoepp spoke recently about the album, the delays and getting comedian Marc Maron to record a song with him. Was it a conscious decision to put that much time between records? No. A lot of artists are in a perpetual state of catching up with their songwriting, though. I feel like I already have the next one written and this one isn’t even out. There are a lot of moving parts in a record’s release and if you’re a young artist at the bottom of the food chain, it just takes longer to get everything moving. That’s the way it goes. We’ve assembled a great team for this record and I’m glad we didn’t rush it. The sky isn’t falling after all. When did you start work on Rangers & Valentines? A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away.... You have some pretty impressive guests on this one. How did you get Marc Maron involved? And how did you connect with John Davis from Superdrag? Serendipity struck many times while making this record. Maron was at a Jewish deli in Nashville at the same time a few
of us were. We told him about the record and he asked if he could come by. He had never been in a studio with musicians and we’d never been in the studio with a comedian, so there were a lot of laughs all around. I was listening to Maron’s WTF Podcast interview with Benmont Tench one day and the next day the dude was playing guitar on our record. Strange. And John Davis has a studio a few blocks away from where we recording, so he came by when we needed another guitarist and added some cool parts to “Mono Pt. II.”
Did recording in Nashville make it easier to get access to great musicians? Of course. That’s the spirit of Music City. Plug up and go with whoever can swing by. Jeremy and Spencer from the instrumental band Steelism brought some cool cosmic country sounds to the record. Steve Selvidge from the Hold Steady brought the rock. It’s in part a diverse sounding record because of all the different personalities that played on it. I loved your debut, but this record seems like a much bolder statement; your singing and songwriting sounds more confident. Would you agree with that? Age doesn’t always equal confidence, but it does give you more experiences to draw from. For me, that’s widened the subject matter and made for a more exciting album. But I’m biased! You also experiment quite a bit with different genres and instruments. Was that something you wanted to try all along or did Brendan Benson bring that out - or was it a little bit of both? I’d say the latter. Diverse yet cohesive is what we went for. Brendan has a great mind for rock and power pop music, but
also loves old soul and country records. Some of my favorite records are Wilco’s Being There and Springsteen’s The River because of how fun and varied of a listening experience they are. I wanted to bring that kind of energy to these 10 songs. I came to Brendan with 25 very different songs, so we were working from a broad canvas from the get go. What’s next for you? I’m currently on a train from London to Birmingham to start a 20 show, 9 country tour through Europe with Jesse Malin. The record will be out April 1stand we’ll be on the road from then until my van or voice stop working. insiteatlanta.com • April 2016 • PG 21
2016 MLB PREVIEW BY DEMARCO WILLIAMS
E’RE IN AN EVEN YEAR, so that means it’s a forgone conclusion that the San Francisco Giants will hoist the World Series trophy, right? That way of thinking sure worked well enough in 2014, 2012 and 2010. But in ’16, the talented San Francisco Giants simply won’t have enough to compete with the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets down the stretch. Fret not, though, numbers geeks. When the boys from Queens defeat the Toronto Blue Jays for the crown this season, there will be some symmetry to it all—the win will mark the 30th anniversary since the last time the Mets had a victory parade in New York City.
NATIONAL LEAGUE 1. NEW YORK METS
If the impressive starting rotation (Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom) stays relatively healthy this spring and summer, the Mets will avenge last year’s Fall Classic disappointment vs. the Kansas City Royals.
2. CHICAGO CUBS
It’s hard not to like what you see at the plate (Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant) and on the mound (Jake Arrieta) for the Cubs, but we think embarrassment from last year’s sweep in the NLCS will have lingering effects.
3. SAN FRANCISCO
We know what we said in the intro, but after looking at the middle of the Giants’ order (Buster Posey, Hunter Pence) and the top of the rotation (Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto), we’re thinking about changing our minds.
4. LOS ANGELES DODGERS
This team is talented (Clayton Kershaw, Yasiel Puig) and terrifyingly deep (nonstarters Carl Crawford, Chase Utley), but the magic always seems to run thin by the divisional series for the Dodgers.
5. ST. LOUIS
We know what Matt Holiday (22 HR/90 RBI career averages) is capable of and, after a full season in the league, we’ll know what promising youngsters Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk are all about.
As much as we love Andrew McCutchen and the impressive starting staff (an NL second-best 3.21 ERA), the Pirates simply don’t have enough bats to go any deeper into the postseason than they have already.
Having Dusty Baker in the clubhouse means two things: 1) somebody will need to keep the toothpick supply stocked; 2) Nats veterans (Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth) will get the kick in the butt they need to give NL MVP Bryce Harper some offensive help.
By scoring Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller during the offseason, the Diamondbacks have told the baseball world that they’re all in for the foreseeable future. We’re just not sure they have enough bats to back up the bold moves. PG 22 • April 2016 • insiteatlanta.com
Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo
Second baseman Dee Gordon led the league in batting a year ago. If his hand is close to 100%, Giancarlo Stanton will top the home run list. For the Marlins to contend, Jose Fernandez may have to pace the NL in wins.
We’ll stare as long as we can in third base phenom Maikel Franco’s direction to keep from looking at the sad shell of former slugger Ryan Howard.
Trading away Aroldis Chapman was a big blow, but if the Reds can get Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Billy Hamilton rolling, there will at least be small glimmers of hope.
Things might very well be looking up for the Brew Crew (Orlando Arcia), but until everything truly comes together, they’ll be looking up at the rest of the NL Central in the standings, too.
13. SAN DIEGO
What did the worst-hitting team (.243 BA) do to improve their fortunes this year? Go out and acquire Jon Jay and Alexei Ramirez, two guys who combined for 11 dingers in ’15.
Can you name the NL’s leader in RBI a season ago? It’s the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado—and he’s going to need to duplicate his 130-RBI performance for Colorado to even dream about 75 wins.
All the talk about Turner Field’s crazy concessions (pizza sandwiches!) and SunTrust Park’s wacky amenities (zip lines!) can’t distract fans from a lineup that didn’t have a single player hit 20 home runs or drive in 70 RBI last year.
NEW YORK METS OVER CHICAGO, 4-2
AMERICAN LEAGUE 1. TORONTO
If Troy Tulowitzki (.280 BA and 70 RBI in ’15) holds up his end of the batting bargain, we could be witnesses the greatest offensive foursome — AL MVP Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion make up the other Maple Mashers —in baseball history.
These guys are so much fun to watch hit (Jose Altuve), run (George Springer) and throw (Dallas Keuchel) that you can almost stomach the ridiculously high number of strikeouts—almost.
3. KANSAS CITY
You won’t see Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer or any of the other largelyunknown Royals in any national TV ads, but if they hustle and hit like they did last year, they’ll be too busy trying to repeat as World Series champs for commercials.
We don’t know what the more impressive one-two punch is, Prince Fielder and
Adrian Beltre in the heart of the lineup or Cole Hamels and (a healthy) Yu Darvish at the top of the pitching order.
Toronto’s Josh Donaldson
We like seeing Justin Upton in front of Miguel Cabrera in the lineup. We love the spring that ace Justin Verlander has had. We’re intrigued by the summer these Tigers might have.
With David Price as the unquestioned ace now, the Sox might have enough in the artillery to ensure that soon-retiring Boston icon David Ortiz goes out with one more postseason run.
7. NEW YORK YANKEES
Some time around the 4th of July Alex Rodriguez will slug his 700th career home run. Of course, if Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann and newcomer Starlin Castro have big starts, there will be nightly fireworks displays in the Bronx.
8. LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Any team with Mike Trout (41 HR, 90 RBI) and Albert Pujols (40 HR, 95 RBI) has to be taken seriously, even if much of the pitching rotation is just so-so and the farm system is a joke.
In Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco, the Tribe has some flame-throwers. Unfortunately, their hitting is much too hot and cold for our liking.
These Mariners are like the cast of Expendables 4—though you have a bunch of headliners (Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Felix Hernandez), you can’t help but wonder if the wrinkled group’s brightest days are behind them.
11. TAMPA BAY
Even if Toronto, Boston and New York fight each other to the death in the AL East, the light-hitting Rays simply don’t have enough muscle (25th in the MLB in runs a year ago) to make much of a move.
12. CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Now that the odd Adam LaRoche retirement debacle is behind them, the Sox can look forward to watching Jose Abreu carry the offense and Chris Sale and Jose Quintana attempt to do the same from the hill.
The Orioles can score with the best of them — the Adam Jones-led team assured themselves of staying on the offensive with the addition of Mark Trumbo — but things get a shaky when it comes to getting folks out (4.05 team ERA).
Even if pitcher Sonny Gray proves the second coming of Rollie Fingers, the Golden State Warriors will likely have earned more regular-season wins than these Athletics by the time it’s all said and done.
We can’t wait to see what all rookie Byron Buxton can do. As for just about everything else the Twins have to offer? Well, we’ll just cover our eyes.
TORONTO OVER HOUSTON, 4-1
NEW YORK METS OVER TORONTO, 4-2
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