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AUGUST 18–SEPTEMBER 25

An uproarious and uplifting world premiere musical from the director of Tuck Everlasting and The Book of Mormon!

Get tickets

or f w o Buy n s as t Ticke $20 s low a

404.733.5000 alliancetheatre.org/theprom

BOOK BY CHAD

BEGUELIN AND BOB MARTIN SKLAR LYRICS BY CHAD BEGUELIN DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY CASEY NICHOLAW BASED ON AN ORIGINAL CONCEPT BY JACK VIERTEL MUSIC BY MATTHEW

Series on the Alliance Stage

PG 2 • August 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

1280 Peachtree Street NE // Atlanta, GA 30309


CONTENTS • AUGUST 2016 • VOLUME 25, NO. 1

CELEB

R AT I N G

25 YEARS!

Atlanta’s

Entertainment Monthly

INTERVIEWS 10 GiGi Edgely 10 11 If/Then 12 Leah Culver 18 Def Leppard 19 Patrick Adams 21 Bar Stool Preachers 21 Bracket 21 Chris Farren 21 Starbuck 12 21 Smooth Hound Smith

FEATURES 08 Pizza Guide 22 NCAA Top 25 22 GSU Football

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19

Around Town On Tap Atlanta on a Dime Under The Lights Movie Reviews Album Reviews New Releases 21 Station Control

insiteatlanta.com STAFF LISTING Publisher Stephen Miller steve@insiteatlanta.com Art Director / Web Design Nick Tipton nick@insiteatlanta.com Managing Editor Lee Valentine Smith lee@insiteatlanta.com Local Events Editor Marci Miller marci@insiteatlanta.com Sports Editor DeMarco Williams demarco@insiteatlanta.com

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Check out our Pizza Guide on page 8! insiteatlanta.com • August 2016 • PG 3


Around Town

Events and Performances taking place this Month

TUESDAYS, AUGUST 9,16,23,30

SATURDAY, AUGUST 13

City Winery Atlanta

Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheatre

Kevn Kinney

City Winery Atlanta, the restaurant, urban winery and concert venue now open at Ponce City Market, has announced that Kevn Kinney will be appearing every Tuesday night in August. The founder and front man of the Atlanta-based band Drivin N Cryin performs with special guests including: Charlie Starr from Blackberry Smoke, Aaron Lee Tasjan and Frank French. Visit citywinery.com

SATURDAY, AUGUST 13

Decatur BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Downtown Oakhurst

The Decatur BBQ Blues & Bluegrass Festival takes place Saturday, August 13 from noon to 8:00 pm in the heart of Oakhurst. Enjoy the sights, sounds, and smell of classic southern BBQ from metro Atlanta staples along with 7+ hours of original live blues and bluegrass music in the heart of Oakhurst. This is a family friendly event that is fun for all ages. Sample tasty barbecue from Fox Bros BBQ, Williamson Bros. BBQ, and Sweet Auburn BBQ along with cold beer from New Belgium Brewing. For more information and to purchase tickets visit decaturbbqfestival.com.

PG 4 • August 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

is this year’s Fan Favorite pick and closes out the 2016 summer season. Visit foxtheatre.org for ticket information.

UB40

Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater (The Fred) has established itself as one of the leading outdoor entertainment venues in the metro Atlanta area and has hosted hometown favorites, national and touring acts for more than thirty years. On Saturday, August 13 the three founding members of legendary reggae band UB40, Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue are reunited in what is sure to be a memorable performance. Visit amphitheater.org

SATURDAY, AUGUST 13 World Elephant Day Zoo Atlanta

Join the herd! Illegal poaching for ivory has forced Earth’s largest living land mammals into a greater need for action than ever before. Join African elephants Kelly and Tara for a day packed with family activities devoted to these majestic creatures, and learn more about the 96 Elephants Campaign and other conservation efforts to save elephants. Visit zooatlanta.org.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 14

The Bonaventure Quartet Chattahoochee Nature Center

The Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell is offering great nighttime entertainment this summer. Their Sundays on the River Concerts series is held the second Sunday of each month. Come out and see the Bonaventure Quartet featuring Amy Pike. Enjoy a mix of the gypsy-jazz stylings of Django Reinhardt and the torchy-twangy

FRIDAY, AUGUST 27

Great Southern Food Truck Rally Kennesaw State University

mezzo delivery of Patsy Cline with a rowdy troupe of Romani-esque instrumentalists. Perfect for a summer night! Visit chattnaturecenter.org for ticket information.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 20 Dinosaur Birthday Bash

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

You’re invited to a prehistoric party at Fernbank Museum! Join the fun as they celebrate the 15th anniversary of Giants of the Mesozoic. Guests will enjoy a day filled with dinosaur- and birthday-themed activities, including games, crafts hands-on activities and more. Event takes place from 10am – 2pm. Dinosaur costumes are encouraged. Visit Fernbankmuseum.org for more info.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 27 Some Like It Hot The Fox Theatre

The vintage movie classic Some Like it Hot starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon and directed by Billy Wilder

The Great Southern Food Truck Rally is a celebration of the best food trucks from Atlanta and the Southeastern region. The one-day event will take over Kennesaw State University Sports and Entertainment Park. Patrons can purchase sample-sized options or enjoy a full meal option from more than 40 Food Trucks. Enjoy great live music from the region’s best bands, lawn games, sponsor activities and more. Visit greatsouthernfoodtruckrally.com.

FRIDAY, SEPT 2 - SUNDAY SEPT 4 New Play! The Hole Runs Deep Mark Squared Studios, Tucker

Do something different over Labor Day Weekend with this sexy new play by Natalie Simone and directed by Onyx Keesha. Genine is looking to settle down with Robert and start a family but can’t seem to get high-school sweetheart and bad boy Dexter out of her system. It is a love triangle of secrets, sex and scandal. 21+ For Mature Audiences only. Three performances: Friday 8pm, Saturday 7pm and Sunday 6pm. Tickets available at TheHoleRunsDeep.com


On Tap this Month MAJOR EVENTS COMING TO ATLANTA August 12 - 13: Perimeter Mall

ATLANTA BAR-B-Q FESTIVAL e 8th Annual Atlanta BAR-B-Q Festival is is moving to Perimeter Mall. e event will showcase the world of barbeque and its endless flavors and cooking styles. Enjoy regionally inspired BBQ flavors and pick up tips guaranteed to make your next backyard BBQ a cut above the rest. Featuring more than 30 BBQ teams from across the region. Sample ribs, chicken, brisket, pulled pork, sauce, and more. Visit AtlBBQFest.com

August 20: Woodruff Park

GERMAN BIERFEST

JURASSIC PARK AUGUST 18

SAT AM CARTOONS AUGUST 20

CITIZEN KANE AUGUST 25

SOME LIKE IT HOT AUGUST 27

e 13th Annual Atlanta German Bierfest is back for an incredible day filled with authentic German beers, music and food. Festival fans will receive a commemorative glass to use to enjoy unlimited samples of more than 35 authentic German Beers. Atlanta area German restaurants and food vendors will serve up authentic cuisine. ere will be live music and plenty of family activities. Visit GermanBierfest.com

WILLY WONKA

& THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY

AUGUST 20

August 26 - 28: Atlanta Motor Speedway

IMAGINE FESTIVAL

is marks the festival’s third year in Atlanta. e 3Day EDM event has doubled in attendance each year necessitating the move from its former home in the Historic Fourth Ward Park to the Atlanta Motor Speedway. With five stages spread across the speedway, the fest promises music, circus troupes, performers, dancers, transformational village, art, workshops, classes and more. Visit ImagineFestival.com

August 27: The Fox Theatre

LITTLE MERMAID SING-A-LONG Come sing and dance to Disney’s e Little Mermaid Sing-A-Long! It’s fun and easy to read the on-screen lyrics and join your favorite characters in their most memorable musical moments. Join Ariel and Sebastian, the calypso-singing crab, in one of the most popular animated feature films of all time, as he teaches you the lyrics to the award-winning hits “Under e Sea,” and “Kiss e Girl”. Visit Foxeatre.org

FOR DETAILS VISIT FOXTHEATRE.ORG OR CALL (855) 285-8499

ROUND 1 FINAL

TASTE OF KENNESAW September 10 DOWNTOWN KENNESAW

September 2 - 5: Downtown Atlanta

DRAGON CON

Celebrating their 30th year, Dragon Con returns this Labor Day weekend. Dragon Con is the largest multimedia, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music and film in the world. Dragon Con boasts close to 40 fan-based tracks, a film festival, parade, art show, comics, pop art exhibits and displays, nightly concerts and parties. Visit DragonCon.org for more details.

September 3: Georgia Dome

CHICK-FIL-A KICKOFF

e Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is the unofficial start to the college football season. is year’s matchup pits the Georgia Bulldogs against the North Carolina Tarheels. Show support for your team at the Pep Rally at FanZone before the game. Team Cheerleaders and Pep Band will take the stage to get fans pumped up for the official CardMarch and Tiger Walk into the Georgia Dome. Visit Chick-Fil-AKickoffGame.com insiteatlanta.com • August 2016 • PG 5


Saturday & Sunday August 27 & 28

GRANT PARK SUMMER SHADE FESTIVAL

Free;Sat.10am - 10pm;Sun 11am - 7:30pm Grant Park summershadefestival.org

EVENTS HAPPENING FOR SMALL CHANGE IN ATLANTA

Know of a low cost event happening? Event@AtlantaOnADime.com By Marci Miller

Saturday & Sunday August 13 & 14

PIEDMONT PARK SUMMER ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL

Free; Sat. 10am - 5pm; Sun 11am - 5pm Piedmont Park piedmontparkartsfestival.com

Creek-area has to offer at this exciting event for the whole family. Admission is free; food tastings range between $1- 5.00.

Thursday, August 25; 6:30 - 9:30pm

SUNSET SIPS

Free with admission; Chattahoochee e Piedmont Park Summer Arts & Crafts Nature Center chattnaturecenter.org

Festival is a 2-day outdoor event focusing on the visual arts and family fun. is event will feature up to 250 painters, photographers, sculptors, leather and metalwork, glass blowers, jewelers and crafters. e Festival will also offer artist demonstrations, live acoustic music, a Street Market, children's play area plus festival foods and beverages with healthy alternatives.

Sunset Sips is a laid back, family friendly event on the nature center grounds and open for exploring. August’s performing band is the trio City Mouse. is young Atlanta folk band plays a mixture of instruments from the banjo, guitar, standup bass and fiddle. ey are a foot-stomping good time.

TASTE OF JOHNS CREEK

Free at public parks nationwide nps.gov/national-park-week

Held in Atlanta’s oldest park, the year’s festival will once again feature an impressive lineup of live music throughout the weekend on two stages. e artist market has doubled in size for this year’s festival and the farmers market will now take place both days. Open to all ages and free to attend, the festival will also have a diverse selection of local food trucks with offerings for all tastes, craft beer, a Kids Zone, a 5K run, and much more.

Friday, September 2 - Sunday, Sep 4

DECATUR BOOK FESTIVAL Free; Decatur Square decaturbookfestival.com

e AJC Decatur Book Festival is the largest independent book festival in the country. e festival features lectures and signings from more than 600 national and local authors, including award-winners, best-sellers, and some just getting started. Cassandra King Conroy and family will gather to pay a tribute to bestselling author Pat Conroy as the Keynote event.

Saturday, Sept 3 - Monday, Sept 5

MARIETTA IN THE PARK Free; Marietta Square artparkmarietta.com

e 30th Annual Marietta Art in the Park will showcase 175 top-notch fine artists and plenty of entertainment for the entire family September 3-5 in historic Marietta Square. It all takes place amid a variety of dining options and historic sites. Admission is free. is three-day festival draws more than 45,000 attendees. Decatur Book Festival September 2–4 decaturbookfestival.com

Thursday, Aug 25 - Saturday, Aug 28 Saturday, August 20; 4pm - 9:00pm FREE PARK DAYS Free Admission; Chattahoochee High thetasteofjohnscreek.com Taste of Johns Creek returns for all you foodies out there. Sample more than 20 local restaurants on the campus of Chattahoochee High School. ere will be an Art Walk with shopping abound, live music, local entertainment, kid’s activities and taste some of the best food the Johns

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. e fee-free days provide a great opportunity to visit one of the 127 national parks that normally charge an entrance fee.

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PG 6 • August 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

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Theater

Under The Lights

IF/THEN

August 9 - 14 The Fox Theatre (855) 285-8499 FoxTheatre.org/ifthen

and the actors' careers all hang in the balance, until a true hero emerges to save the day. Uproarious and ultimately uplifting, this new musical proves that standing up for yourself and inspiring others to accept their differences can make you the star you were always meant to be. Directed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw, director of Tuck Everlasting and co-director of The Book of Mormon.

‘DA KINK IN MY HAIR

IF/THEN is a contemporary Broadway musical about living in New York today and all the possibilities of tomorrow. It follows Elizabeth, a city planner who moves back to New York to restart her life in the city of dreams. On the verge of turning 40, her smallest decisions and most random occurrences impact her world in ways she never dreamt possible. When her carefully designed plans collide with the whims of fate, Elizabeth’s life splits into two parallel paths and the play follows both stories simultaneously as this modern woman faces the intersection of choice and chance. If/Then reunites composer Tom Kitt, book writer/lyricist Brian Yorkey, and director Michael Greif, the creative team behind the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical, Next to Normal. With unforgettable songs and a deeply moving story, If/Then is a portrait of the lives we lead, as well as the lives we might have led.

THE PROM

August 18 - September 25 Alliance Theatre (404) 733-5000 AllianceTheatre.org/theprom THE PROM, a new musical comedy from the Alliance Theatre is likely bound for Broadway. It is the story of Emma who becomes an instant outcast and a national headline when her high school cancels the prom rather than let her attend with her girlfriend. Sensing a chance to correct an injustice, and maybe get some good publicity along the way, a group of fading celebrities takes up the cause, and invades Emma's small Indiana town. But their bumbling attempts at social activism make the situation far worse than they or Emma could have ever imagined. Cultures clash and the town erupts in chaos. The community's reputation, Emma's future,

Through - August 28 Horizon (404) 584-7450 HorizonTheatre.com The long-running international musical sensation and TV show, ‘DA KINK IN MY HAIR by Trey Anthony sweeps into the Horizon Theatre this summer. The story revolves around Novelette, a funny and frank West Indian hair stylist who serves as a confidant for the women in her shop ‘da Kink tells of love, hope, survival and redemption through eight women’s trials and celebrations. On this day in the salon of their West Indian stylist, hurried women converge to have their hair done for dates, jobs and upkeep. But they come away with not just a new hairdo, but a lifted soul and a lightened heart. This amazing musical tells their incredible, uncensored, unforgettable tales through songs and dance with a vibrant drum beat.

THE LITTLE MERMAID SING-A-LONG AUGUST 27

IN THE HEIGHTS

September 8 - 18 Rialto Center (678) 528-1500 TheatricalOutfit.org Before Hamilton reinvented musical theatre, its creator, superstar Lin-Manuel Miranda, wowed Broadway with IN THE HEIGHTS, a universal story celebrating New York’s Washington Heights, where the corner bodega coffee is sweet, neighbors’ windows stay open, and the air pulsates with salsa, soul and hip-hop. A charismatic storeowner, full of hope, dreams and a gift for storytelling, guides us through the lives of three generations who must choose between tradition and their future. This Best Musical Tony Award winner opens the 2016/17 Season.

“THE MOST COMPELLING AND THRILLING NEW MUSICAL IN YEARS!”

ROUND 1 FINAL

- New York Magazine

From the Pulitzer Prize & Tony Award-winning Creators of Next to Normal, the Director of Rent and the Producer of Wicked

 —NOW MAGAZINE

TREY ANTHONY’S

“VIBRANT, HOPEFUL, JOYOUS!”—NATIONAL POST A Sold-Out Musical Sensation and TV Show, Now Onstage. PLAYING NOW

EUCLID & AUSTIN AVES. IN LITTLE FIVE POINTS

404.584.7450 • HORIZONTHEATRE.COM

flx

Life in a city is full of infinite possibilities. This is the musical about all of them.

ON SALE NOW! AUGUST 9-14

FoxTheatre.org/IfThen 855-285-8499 insiteatlanta.com • August 2016 • PG 7


Taste of the Month - Pizza!

Where to Go for the Best Pizza in Town Athens Pizza House

1341 Clairmont Rd. Decatur 404.636.1100 AthensPizzaAtlanta.com Since 1966 the Papadopoulos family has been serving up great Greek and Italian cuisine to the Emory / Decatur area. They offer many terrific pizzas at various sizes and over 25 toppings to choose from. You will also find great specialty pizzas like the Mediterranean, Santorini and Athens. But don’t let the name fool you, there is much more here than great pizza. Some of the favorite recipes on their Greek dishes go back over 50 years! Try the Veal Parmesana, Roasted Lamb or the Oven Baked Chicken. Athens Pizza offers daily specials for lunch and dinner and has an extensive catering menu. Athens Pizza is Zagat rated and winner of several awards including Best Greek Cuisine. The restaurant can also accommodate parties large and small with their private room.

Nancy’s Chicago Pizza 265 Ponce De Leon 404.254.5103 NancysPizza.com

Chicago has some the best pizza in America and that great pizza can be found in Midtown Atlanta at Nancy’s Chicago Pizza. Part of what has made Nancy’s so famous is the freshness of the pizza. The dough is made from scratch while vegetables and toppings are delivered daily. Nancy's serves up thin and deep dish as well as take and bake pizza, appetizers, sandwiches and their signature salads. Nancy’s has recently expanded their restaurant doubling their original space. they now can seat over 150 patrons and accommodate private parties and events in their second dining room. There are multiple TV Screens throughout so you won’t miss any of the football games this fall. See their ad on the Back Page for coupons offering $2 and $3 Off online orders. They provide take-out and delivery to the area. Nancy's is the perfect place to call when planning a tailgate or get-together.

Your Neighborhood Pizzeria!

Mo’s Pizza

3109 Briarcliff Rd. 404.320.1258 MosPizza.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 anybody who comes here can find something they like. Check for daily lunch and dinner specials. Everything is made using the freshest ingredients including the dough built from scratch every day. Come to Mo’s this fall to watch all your college and pro football games. They have a huge deck to hang out on and plenty of HD Flat Screens offering great views from any table. Stop in Monday nights and get a Large Cheese Pizza for just $7.95. Mo’s is one of the longest running pizza joints in Atlanta, come in and see why they are one of the best.

Harry’s Pizza and Subs 2150 Powers Ferry Rd. 770 .955.4413 harryspizzaandsubs.com

Since 1989, Harry’s has been serving exceptional pizza to Atlanta. As you walk in the door, you experience an authentic New York vibe. Family owned and run, Harry’s is an excellent place for any occasion from a business meeting to an outing with your family. Not only do they serve real New York style pizza, they are also known for their chicken wings, oversized salads, and mouth watering sandwiches. Harry’s offers daily specials on menu items and always has a special on draft beers. Visit on a Wednesday night and play a few rounds of BINGO, or come on a Thursday to find the restaurant filled for weekly trivia. Harry’s is a great place to visit during any sports season and watch on the big screens downstairs as well as in the upstairs dining area. Stop by and visit Rich, Ilene, and the family, and see for yourself why Harry’s is always filled with happy, pizza loving customers!

Fellini’s

7 Area locations FellinisAtlanta.com

Fellini’s Pizza is an Atlanta icon. The fact that all seven locations are always bustling can be attributed to the great pizzas they make here. They have kept their menu

6 WINGS, SLICE OF PIZZA, AND A DRINK

Harry Says: My Pizza is the BEST! Don’t settle for less!

• Pizza • Harry’s Speciality Pizza • Oven Baked Subs • Pizza By the Slice • Spaghetti • Calzones • Appetizers • Fresh Salads • Wings

$8.99!

2150 Powers Ferry Road • Atlanta • 30339 770-955-4413 • harryspizzaandsubs.com

Soak up the sun! PATIO SEATING

Atlanta’s Favorite Pizza!

Multiple Atlanta Locations: JohnnysPizza.com PG 8 • August 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

Great Subs, Sandwiches, Salads & Wings Since 1980

(Mondays Only)

$7.95 Large Cheese Pizza!

Just off I-85 @ Clairmont (Corner of Briarcliff & Clairmont)

3109 Briarcliff Rd. • (404) 320-1258


simple, and focus on what they do best. Fellini’s pizzas can be ordered by the slice or as medium, large and Sicilian sizes. Try the classic Fellini’s special; which consists of pepperoni, mushrooms, Italian sausage, onions, meatballs, green peppers, green and black olives, and extra cheese. Another popular menu item is the White Pizza with mozzarella cheese, fresh garlic, oregano, and ricotta cheese. They also have a great Spinach and Mushroom pizza, and a Vegetarian pizza filled with meatless toppings. Fellini’s also serves 5 different types of Calzones and great Salads. Fellini’s uses only the freshest ingredients. All their locations have large patios to enjoy the outdoors and the view. So come to one of the Fellini’s locations today and you will see why they are the landmark of Atlanta pizza.

Johnny’s NY Style Pizza Over 50 Atlanta area locations: Order online @ JohnnysPizza.com

Johnny’s Pizza is synonymous with great pizza and subs in Atlanta. The secret to their success is in the preparation. They always use the finest ingredients. Johnny’s specializes in NY style pizza, They have several house specialties including the Johnny’s Deluxe, Italian Special, Veggie, Steak & Cheese, Pesto and Buffalo Chicken. Johnny’s also offers plenty of individual toppings to create your own masterpiece. In addition Johnny’s offers subs, salads, sandwiches and other popular Italian dishes including calzones, strombolis, and lasagna. Johnny’s restaurants offer dine-in, take-out and delivery and now online ordering. Go to JohnnysPizza.com to find the location nearest you.

Savage Pizza

484 Moreland Ave. 404.523.0500 115 Laredo Dr. @ Clarendon 404.299.5799 SavagePizza.com

This eclectic neighborhood restaurant is a favorite hangout among residents of Little 5 and Avondale Estates. Savage prepares

all their menu items using only the freshest vegetables and first quality meats, cheeses, breads and pastas. You'll find homemade sauces, fresh dough and thoughtfully prepared dishes made from scratch every day. In addition to their famous pizzas they also have great calzones, salads, subs and pasta dishes. Both locations offer the same great menu with ample seating inside and out with delivery to the area.

Fritti 309 N. Highland Ave. 404.880.9559 FrittiRestaurant.com

Located in the heart of historic Inman Park, Fritti is nationally recognized for its pizza and state of the art wood-burning oven. This world class oven can maintain a temperature of 1,000 degrees and cooks pizza unlike anything you have ever experienced. Fritti serves authentic Neapolitan Pizza that is prepared according to traditional artisan methods. The dough is made with Caputo flour and natural yeast. They use San Marzano tomatoes and the finest quality buffalo mozzarella. Try their Salsiccia e Pepperoni (Italian sausage and roasted peppers), the Cotto e Funghi (Crimini and Portobello mushrooms with cotto ham) or the vegetarian Estiva (fresh tomato, red onion & arugula). Along with their award winning menu Fritti is known for their great value. Fritti offers a variety of antipasti dishes for $10 or less including offerings of funghi fritti (fried mushrooms), fried calamari, classic Sicilian arancini and bruschetta. All their pizzas are available between $10 - $14.

Coming Next Month!

Fall Festivals Issue Ad Deadline Aug. 29

C

YEARS! TING 25 ELEBRA

Atlanta’s

Street Date Sept. 2

Entertainment Monthly

Call Steve Miller at (404) 308-5199 or email steve@insiteatlanta.com to advertise

Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner • Dine In, Pick-up, Delivery ($12 minimum / limited area)

$3.00 Off

Any Medium or Large Specialty Pizza Not Valid with any other coupons

WWW.SAVAGEPIZZA.COM

Little Five Points • 484 Moreland Ave. (Next to L5P Pharmacy) • (404) 523-0500 Avonale Estates • 115 Laredo Dr. (Corner of Clarendon) • (404) 299-5799

Have You Tried Our New Rustic Crust Italiano Pizza? View Our Full Menu Online: www.nancyspizza.com

2 OFF

$

Any $20* Order!

*Minimum order required before tax & delivery. Not valid with any other offer. Must mention coupon when ordering & present at time of pick-up or delivery. Valid only at location shown thru 9/30/16

MIDTOWN • 404-254-5103

3 OFF

$

Any $25* Order!

*Minimum order required before tax & delivery. Not valid with any other offer. Must mention coupon when ordering & present at time of pick-up or delivery. Valid only at location shown thru 9/30/16

MIDTOWN • 404-254-5103

A crispy yet fluffy crust, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil & topped with our four cheese blend of romano, mozzarella, munster & provolone and juicy tomato fillets. All the ingredients are cooked on top of the pizza.

MIDTOWN • 265 PONCE DE LEON AVE. NE • 404-254-5103 insiteatlanta.com • August 2016 • PG 9


EVENTS

BLITHE SPIRIT

Effervescent Sci-Fi Favorite Gigi Edgley Loves Dragon Con

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

W

HILE DRAGON CON celebrates their 30th anniversary so does the fantasy film “Labyrinth” featuring David Bowie, Jennifer Connolly and a gaggle of Jim Henson’s fantastic creations. Henson’s puppeteer son Brian is slated for a panel discussion about the film. Perhaps no single person embodies the overall blithe spirit of the Con more completely than actress/singer/director/ producer/artist/activist Gigi Edgley. A Renaissance woman of the arts, she’s best known for her role as the bewitching Chiana on the cult favorite series “Farscape” from the Jim Henson Company. But the Perth-born Edgley has appeared in other memorable roles, including “The Lost World” and “BeastMaster”, “Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge”, cutting edge indie films and audio dramas. True to the iconic nature of the genre, the Deadliest Fandom host has been immortalized with action figures, video games, trading cards, and a series of comic books. Edgley spoke with INsite about Dragon Con. As a vet of cons across the country, what’s your take on Dragon Con? It’s an awesome convention! I promote it year ‘round. I do conferences almost back-to-back and I’m always on different things and I rave on about it everywhere. I often say you haven’t even been to a convention unless you’ve gone to DragonvCon. It’s a world all its own.

yet you seem to be the biggest fan of the Con fans. I totally am! I love them all. I’m usually the most overzealous fan there, actually. I’m just so grateful to the people who have been along with me on my journey and I really enjoy going out and meeting everyone. They have to pull away from me usually, because I love to share all the stories. And you never know who you’ll meet. At Dragon Con actually, I met the beautiful production team from Runic Films and they asked me if I’d like to read the idea for a movie called “Hashtag.”

DRAGON CON

You host the Deadliest Fandom battles and PG 10 • August 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

Guests from Star Trek, Rogue One, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Guardians of the Galaxy, Dr. Who, Marvel’s Daredevil and other top television shows and movies shine brightly at Dragon Con.

W

It’s very fan-driven. It’s always been one of my favorites because What did you think when you read it? of that. I was just Comic Con and that’s Oh, I loved it. It was the light at the end of always a momentous occasion but it’s sort a very dark tunnel because I’d of going in a different area. moved here to continue work It’s almost Hollywood, and on Creatureshop Challenge that’s good too but Dragon and when it didn’t continue I SEPTEMBER 2–5 Con is unique because almost didn’t know what I was going everyone there dresses up. dragoncon.org to do. But these guys literally You’re known in the States for saved my life. They put me the sci-fi roles, but it certainly back on the screen again and hasn’t pigeonholed your career. gave me a renewed purpose for living. It’s I always search for stories that inspire me, such a beautiful story. challenge me and help me follow my dreams. I just want to do stories that will move people That’s the film you crowd-funded, correct. and take them to a far-off, amazing place, Yes and I’d never done that before. I wasn’t wherever that may be. That’s the whole reason sure about it. Everyone has always been so I moved to America initially, because I’d been gracious to me and helped me out, I was a going back and forth from here to Australia little scared to say, ‘Oh and hey guys, I’m for the past ten years before I moved here. making a movie.’ But they made up some little It was bad timing at first because I moved flyers to put on the convention table. I found here in the middle of the writer’s strike! So I out that people really love Kickstarter and wrote my own film called “Nobody Knows,” all that because you become a team. I finally which people can watch online now for free if feel like I’ve joined forces with the fans to tell they’re into it. this story. It’s in post-production now and That was based on one of your comics, right? It was all about a moment that happened to me on “Farscape” and I was excited to actually be on the other side of the camera and see what it’s like to direct and see it from that angle. I used all of my money on that. People come up at the cons and they say, ‘Oh it must be such a nice life, so glamorous and the limousines and all that.” But I’m very honest with them when I say, ‘Well there’s some of that, but mostly it’s about finding a way to pay your bills so you can keep telling amazing stories.’

STARS ALIGN FOR DRAGON CON’S 30TH

I’m so excited about it. People can check out runicfilms.com to learn a little more about it. Our plan is to take it to Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals and all that and get some street cred, then take it to investors and make a full-length film of it. It’s so exciting! I love staying busy; I just have to channel all this energy into something creative. Dragon Con 2016 runs through Labor Day weekend, September 2 - 5, with events and activities at AmericasMart and the Hyatt Regency, Marriott Marquis, Hilton, Westin Peachtree and Sheraton Hotels. For more information, visit dragoncon.org.

ILLIAM SHATNER, KARL Urban, Alan Tudyk, Alex Kingston, Jack Gleeson, and Charlie Cox lead a long list of television and movie stars coming to Atlanta to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Dragon Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy, science fiction, and gaming convention. Shatner, best known as Capt. Kirk from the original Star Trek series, and Urban, who plays Dr. McCoy in the movie franchise reboot, will help Dragon Con mark 50 years of Star Trek. Brian Henson, puppeteer and son of the late Jim Henson, will be among the top puppetry guests. Henson will talk about the 30th anniversary of Labyrinth, the fantasy movie featuring David Bowie, Jennifer Connolly, and a large cast of Jim Henson’s creations. Rogue One’s Alan Tudyk will join us as well. Tudyk is well known for his role on Firefly, Dodgeball and other movies, and his comic web series Con Man. Gillian Anderson, half of the Mulder Scully duo from television’s X-files, returns to Dragon Con for the first time since 2012. Sam J. Jones and Melody Anderson from the 1980 cult classic Flash Gordon, and Gil Gerard and Erin Gray from NBC’s Buck Rogers in the 25th Century will be on hand, representing classic science fiction from 1970s and 1980s. Brett Dalton, who plays HYDRA leader Grant Ward on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., will also be among the fan favorites on hand to lead discussions, talk with fans and sign autographs during the four-day convention. “We are delighted to have so many guests from so many of today’s most popular or, in the case of classic science fiction, best loved shows and movies to join us for our

30th Anniversary celebration,” convention co-chair Rachel Reeves said. “Overall, we will have some 400 guests – actors, authors, artists and other creators and experts – from across science, science fiction, and fantasy worlds, in whatever medium.” An estimated 75,000 people are expected to attend Dragon Con 2016, filling downtown Atlanta over the September 2 to September 5 Labor Day weekend, with events and activities across AmericasMart Buildings #1 and #2 and five host hotels – Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, Westin Peachtree, and Sheraton Atlanta. This year’s convention will also feature main cast members from some of the most popular television shows including NBC’s Gotham, CW’s “Arrowverse” (Arrow, Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow), NBC’s Grimm, BBC’s Torchwood, CW’s iZombie, Syfy’s Dark Matter, Syfy’s Ghost Hunters, CW’s The 100, and Fox’s X-files. Three of the most popular leads from BBC’s enduring Dr. Who series have a central role at Dragon Con this year. Kingston, known to many television audiences for her role on ER, will be joined by fan favorites Arthur Darvill and Karen Gillan. Gillan plays the assassin Nebula in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie franchise and Darvill can be currently seen in the CW’s Legends of Tomorrow series. Guests from television shows created by Joss Whedon, the American writer, director and producer, include Firefly, Dollhouse, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and spin-off Angel, and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Other classic science fiction and fantasy television is also well represented, including Mystery Science Theater 3000, Farscape, the Battlestar Galactica franchise, and the Stargate franchise.


STAGE

LEGEND ANTHONY RAPP

Brings Broadway to the ATL with If/Then

BY MARCI MILLER

T

HIS AUGUST, ATLANTA IS LUCKY to have Broadway icon Anthony Rapp, an original cast member of RENT, take the stage at The Fox Theatre as he reprises his role of Lucas for the touring production of IF/ THEN. The show, which played on Broadway for one year, originally reunited Rapp with former RENT cast mate, Idina Menzel. Menzel’s role has now been taken over by Jackie Burns, but Anthony Rapp has stayed on and August 9 - 14, audiences will get to see his final performance of the tour and will discover what makes IF/THEN one of the most unique and special plays to come around in a long time. We recently spoke to Anthony Rapp to learn more about IF/THEN and also touched on his role in RENT:

proud of her success and was thrilled to get to be a part of a new project with her. And our characters have so much history so it wasn’t like we had to do any homework. It was just a total pleasure. She’s such an authentic and incredible performer and person so I think her success is so deserved. She’s always been a superstar even though it’s just become in the last couple of years where she is a household name.

What made you stay on with the touring production of the show? Well, I really believe in the piece and I believed in the opportunity of the tour to help give the show extra life, extra reputation. The idea that we only ran for a year on Broadway and that we could have more people become acquainted with this wonderful show was very Tell us about the premise of exciting to me. And I also IF/THEN and the two paths THE FOX THEATRE have a real, tremendous that its main character AUGUST 9 – 14 loyalty to the writers Tom chooses to take: FOXTHEATRE.ORG/IFTHEN Kitt and Brian Yorkey. I’ve Elizabeth, played by Jackie known them for a long time Burns, is a woman getting out along with producer David of an unhappy marriage. The show follows Stone and director Michael Greif. And I her from the day she arrives back in New enjoy touring. I wouldn’t want to tour all the York City to try to start her life over again. time, because it’s hard but I’ve toured several I’m an old college friend Lucas and she gets times throughout the course of my career and reacquainted with me and also a new friend it’s nice to do especially with a good group Kate. And on her first day back, she has an of people and a good piece. And my hope unseemingly small decision to either go off has been realized that the show has reached with me or go off with Kate. And it turns out people that otherwise wouldn’t have seen it. to be a decision that completely alters the And we’ve gotten a nice response from people course of her life. So the show follows both all over the country who are happy to get to paths that her life takes after that one decision. see something new and innovative. And it explores the many, many ways we are all interconnected with one another in our So many shows that tour are classics, and IF/ decisions and circumstances and how the THEN is completely original…. intersection of fate and choice shape our lives. For me, that’s exciting. That’s the kind of theater that I like. I like a good revival when Can you relate to the premise of the show? it’s well done. The classics are “classic” for In your own life, did you ever have two paths a reason but I’m always interested in seeing to take? what’s new and fresh so for sure, our audiences I don’t usually second guess too much but have been happy that there is something the most self-evident case of fate intervening innovative that they can witness. And I in my life was when I was cast in the think it’s important and vital to the art form workshop of RENT. It was a ten performance to continue to be relevant and meaningful production. There was no possible way to for people. They can have a wide variety of know it would completely and dramatically experiences when they go to the theatre. alter the nature of my life. There were other jobs, other shows and films. I don’t even Tell us about being an original cast member remember now what they were but they of RENT? What was it like to be part of seemed important at the time. Had I gotten something that became a huge phenomenon? cast, that would have made me unavailable It was amazing when I look back on it. It to do this three week workshop of RENT, so filled a void, it filled a vacuum and when that is one of those things I look back on. It something like that happens it’s just sort of wasn’t necessarily the same thing where I had physics. There is just tremendous energy that a choice that I made. It was just the way that comes around it. It makes sense in retrospect, circumstances transpired. I never would have predicted it, but there was a hunger that no one knew for something like Tell us about working with Idina Menzel it. So it made sense that the lightning struck once again on IF/THEN: so powerfully. But only in retrospect. It was a wonderful reunion. I am still so

IF/THEN

insiteatlanta.com • August 2016 • PG 11


MUSIC

MAKING A NAME FOR HERSELF

Leah Culver – The Artist Formerly Known as MK Ultra – Spreads Light & Positivity

imposing genre. Where many producers rely on simple repetitive, industrial beat HE ATLANTA MOTOR pulverization, Culver brings a hook-laden SPEEDWAY has been the site of pop sensibility to her signature style. thousands of race events, served as a “I approach music almost like a band movie set and hosted a number of legendary would,” she states in her official biography. concerts. This month, on the same site that “It’s definitely EDM, but there’s a rock energy vibrated to the electric groove of the first and unity to it. It’s who I am.” Atlanta Pop Festival in 1969, the expansive Since entering the dance music community quad-oval track will pulse to the electronic in 2011 as the mysteriously anonymous sounds of the Imagine MK Ultra, the softMusic Festival. spoken musician is finally The broad EDM genre performing under the is often defined by the banner of her real name. percussive and bassHer newest music also heavy music produced reflects her diverse musical AUG 26–28 for nightclubs, raves, tastes and influences. Her and festivals, often Atlanta Motor Speedway 2015 track “Powerlines,” presented by highimaginefestival.com was a slick propulsive spiral energy DJs – usually with sensual vocals that interspersed with seamlessly segue into the trippy visuals. Its rise to mainstream appeal catchy pop approach of her latest release is relatively new and reflects the global “Ex Is A Loser.” Recently, Culver talked with broadening and commercialization of the INsite from her studio in Los Angeles. once-alternative rave and club culture. Since it includes house, techno, trance, dubstep, You’re breaking a lot of the popular drum and bass and a number of related misconceptions about EDM. subgenres, casual listeners can get lost in the I think that’s good. But the thing about mix. EDM is that there’s a whole bunch of Enter Leah Culver. The Atlanta-born different genres and they each have a singer/songwriter/producer/DJ stands out different, very specific, energy to them. as a new and decidedly positive force in the Every song definitely has his own story to scene. Infusing elements of rock and folk tell and the ability to make the crowd feel into her kinetic electro/hardstyle sound, she different ways - even within the same song. I adds a refreshing pop presence to the oftenguess there’s a layout or a format that tends

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

T

IMAGINE MUSIC FESTIVAL

to be used a lot but it can still be creative in its own way.

Your music actually bridges several different genres at the same time. It’s definitely coming from a pop sensibility with a rock presentation. Yeah what I want to do is bring in more of a live sound along with my DJ set. You’re going to hear that even more so on some of my upcoming stuff. You’re definitely going to hear a lot more live drums and guitars. Of course live vocals, too - but it all still fits into the EDM pocket. For your live shows - including festival gigs like Imagine - do you use a full band set-up and backline? Sometimes but not always. Sometimes I’ll play by myself and the only live part will be my DJing and singing. But for festivals I usually bring up my drummer and guitarist, so it’s my DJ set with a live band and then I’m singing, so it’s a totally real show and in the moment. Whether it’s on the big Imagine Festival stage or in a club, do you feel a special vibe when you play Atlanta? I do. I play Sunday on the main stage at Imagine and it’s so exciting for me because Atlanta is always home base. I really want to do it right every time I play there. I spend an equal amount of time between L.A. and New York and Atlanta but all of my stuff is here in L.A. and all of my family and old friends and history is in Atlanta so I’ll always be connected to it. The story goes that your Atlanta DJ debut in 2011 was basically done on a dare. Yeah, I just did it. Really because I feel like it’s kind of fun to put yourself into sort of uncomfortable situations so you can grow. My brother was a DJ back in the ‘90s and he’s eight years older than me. He started when he was 10. So even when I was 2, he was doing drum and bass in the room next to me. I grew up literally all around music. My oldest brother is a guitarist and drummer and everyone in my family plays music. At first you were called MK Ultra. How and why did you select that name? I called myself MK Ultra from day one. I was booked for that first show like two days before I officially came up with that name and then that was it. I thought it was a pretty cool name at the time because it didn’t sound like a boy or girl. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a female in this maledominated industry but I just liked the idea that that nobody knew what I was or who I was. It was like having an alternate identity or a persona.

PG 12 • August 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

When I first heard of the act called MK Ultra, I had no idea who you were or what you looked like. I don’t think I even saw a picture of you for quite a while. Yeah and I think that’s good. If you start building a name and no one knows what you look like, that’s definitely a credibility of its own in a sense. MK Ultra was a good dubstep name which is what I came out with first but I just part of evolving. But it was limiting in a way. Now that you’re using your real name, does it open your creativity and possibilities a bit more? I think it does.. As myself, I just can’t hide any emotions on my face. When it’s me singing, often you’ll see what I’m thinking, so I guess it helps to show my face more prominently. I thought MK Ultra was cool because it gave me a little bit of distance between everything. But as Leah Culver, this is who I am. I’m doing a lot more of the singing and everything. I’m really giving myself more time on the stage. It certainly works with “Ex Is A Loser.” The title alone resonates on so many levels. It’s a very personal song, but it’s not about any of my own personal exes. It’s definitely relatable, though. Really it’s just a song to try to help people through their own breakups. It’s a healing song, the way I see it. A break-up anthem with humor. Yeah, I think we’ve all felt the grief of a break-up and there’s usually some bitterness to those feelings. But with this song, I’ve had people come up to me and say it helped him through the pain of a break-up or whatever. So if I can help other people get over it and in maybe do it a fun way, then it works. Maybe someone’s car won’t get keyed because of it. You’re actually saving people some money with this song. Maybe so! Or jail time.


insiteatlanta.com • August 2016 • PG 13


MOVIES

Movie Reviews BY STEVE WARREN AND DEMARCO WILLIAMS

JASON BOURNE (PG-13)

 Reunions are meant to be fun. When you and your high school buddies get together, the laughs flow as much as the Budweiser. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for Jason Bourne, a reunion of sorts for Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass, the title actor and director, respectively, from the second (The Bourne Supremacy) and third installments (The Bourne Ultimatum) in Bourne’s fivepart canon. If you recall, all the dragging and dialogue-heavy moments in the Jeremy Renner-starred fourth movie, The Bourne Legacy, were supposed to give way to a throwback Damon-Greengrass testosterone fest this time. When the movie opens with Jason duking it out in an underground fighting circuit, you think you’re in for a steady dose of carnage like the good ol’ days. But all of a sudden, this wonky story comes into play where Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) starts filling Bourne’s head with this “You need to know where you come from” mess that sends our tragic hero down a dangerous road for answers we could have sworn he trekked down one or two sequels back. So, the wild fights and chase scenes you thought were coming are exchanged for flashbacks, new characters (Alicia Vikander) with questionable motives and a tiring game of catand-mouse between Bourne and CIA director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones). That’s not the Bourne we wanted. For all of that, they could have simply re-enlisted Renner and saved the postage on the invitations because I’ll be damned if we got haircuts and picked out new outfits for this reunion. –DeMarco Williams

STAR TREK BEYOND (PG-13)

1/2 Boldly going where many have gone before, director Justin Lin takes the reins of Star Trek for its golden anniversary. The Enterprise is more than halfway through a five-year mission in space and Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine) says things “are starting to feel a bit episodic.” After 50 years, Star Trek is nothing if not episodic. Each movie is a “very special episode” of the TV show, double the length with an exponentially increased budget. Interpersonal relationships among the iconic characters are combined with repelling the latest threat to the universe. This time the

LIGHTS OUT

PG 14 • August 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

STAR TREK BEYOND

monotony is relieved when the Enterprise is steered into an ambush by Krall’s (Idris Elba) critters. At stake is an object known as the Abronath, or what Hitchcock called a “MacGuffin.” The plot’s a little sketchy and hard to follow but it serves to string together several CG action set pieces, which is what people go to the movies for these days. Kirk talks about his daddy issues, which should be explored more in the next film when Chris Hemsworth returns as the elder Kirk. Spock (Zachary Quinto) gets to be a romantic leading man to Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Chekov does very little in his final portrayal by the late Anton Yelchin. A tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy is confusing from a timeline perspective, especially when it shows him with the old TV cast – an alternate-universion of the current crew? –Steve Warren

BAD MOMS (R)

1/2 Bad Moms should have been called Mean Women. It checks in with the high school types of Mean Girls a generation later, when they’re grown up (to varying degrees) and raising children of their own. Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) is still top dog (or whatever you call a female dog), running the PTA like Trump would, with an iron fist. She’s obviously a pampered housewife with plenty of time for activities. At the other end of the food chain is Amy (Mila Kunis), who “has it all” – a job, a husband, two kids – and no time to enjoy it. Each has two lieutenants: Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn (who steals the movie) for Amy and Jada Pinkett Smith and Annie Mumolo for Gwendolyn. Amy and company decide they deserve a break. They say they’re going to be “bad moms,” probably because a focus group liked the title, but they’re really more “Moms just wanna have fun.” This they do – and so do we – with Amy’s marriage ending just as she connects with hunky single dad Jay Hernandez. And of course in the end, being bad moms makes them better moms. Though rarely hilarious, the movie provides a pretty steady stream of funny stuff. There’s a message between the lines but if there’s a single moment meant to be taken seriously, I blinked and missed it. Politicians usually stand up for motherhood and apple pie, but after this movie they may want to stick with the pastry this season. –Steve Warren

DON’T THINK TWICE (R) 

Sorry, Bob Dylan fans, but Don’t Think Twice is better than all right. The idea of improvisation frightens even some professional actors, but it’s what all of us do every day when we have spontaneous conversations. A fortunate few get paid for doing it, and occasionally one of them hits the jackpot and gets famous. That’s what happens to The Commune, the improv troupe at the center of this hilarious drama. The six thirtysomethings have been a team forever, working day jobs and playing in a downtown club at night. Just as they get word the club is closing, Jack (KeeganMichael Key) achieves everyone’s goal: he’s added to the cast of TV’s “Weekend Live.” The others are thrilled for him. Well, thrilledish. Miles (writer-director Mike Birbiglia), the group’s founder, is jealous but hopes Jack can get him on the show’s writing staff. Sam (Gillian Jacobs), who lives with Jack, becomes insecure and passive-aggressive. Bill (Chris Gethard), Allison (Kate Micucci) and Lindsay (Tami Sagher) also hope for writing gigs but feel at least as sorry for themselves as they are happy for their friend. They can joke about death but this may be a bridge too far. The best fictional look inside show business in some time, Don’t Think Twice proves comedy is serious business. –Steve Warren

ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE (PG)

 There are no sharks to jump but it’s obvious the Ice Age series has gone to the well at least once too often. There seems to be a lack of energy to match the lack of originality as everyone goes through the animotions one more time in a victory lap for the money. The misadventures of Scrat, the acorn-chasing squirrel, which were the highlight of the first four films, are expected to do too much heavy lifting here, setting the plot in motion by creating the solar system (the Big Nut Theory?) and moving it along by causing a meteor to threaten Earth. Until this becomes a bigger problem, Manny the mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano) and his wife Ellie (Queen Latifah) are dealing with empty nest syndrome, preparing to marry their daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) to Julian (Adam Devine). It could be a sitcom: Fur-

ish. The coming catastrophe causes another migration, leading to the introduction of new characters; but despite the urgency there’s always time for puerile body function jokes. No one attempts to create character voices so you’ll recognize everyone you hear. That’s why they pay ‘em the big bucks. –Steve Warren

LIGHTS OUT (PG-13)

 There are no new horror movie plots. We’ve already seen enough ghosts (and -busters) in 2016 to populate a Halloween orgy. (Now that’s an original plot!) In Lights Out, manic mom Sophie (Maria Bello) has an imaginary – or is she? – friend, Diana, who only appears when it’s dark (or sometimes dark-ish). Sophie’s daughter Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) lives on her own. Commitment-phobic, she treats her boyfriend Bret (Alexander DiPersia) like a chauffeur with benefits. Little stepbrother Martin (Gabriel Bateman) lives with mom in a fortress-like house, but both he and Rebecca are attacked by Diana. Eventually they all spend the night under Sophie’s roof – and then the lights go out... This is one of the better ghost stories, elevated by above-par acting (Palmer, Bello, Bateman) and a silly but serviceable script with a hint of intelligence, even if it doesn’t always follow its own rules. You’ll sleep with the lights on after you see it. –Steve Warren

LO AND BEHOLD: REVERIES IN THE CONNECTED WORLD (PG-13)

1/2 Whatever your concept of the Internet, it’s likely to be altered in some fundamental way by a nugget of fact or opinion in Lo and Behold. Whether you feel it’s worth panning through the entire film like an old-fashioned prospector to find that nugget is purely subjective. One suspects writer-director Werner Herzog was seeking a sci-fi concept when he started interviewing scientists and others, and perhaps he made a video blog from the interviews before combining them into this feature. Many viewers will tune out in the first ten minutes because of the heavy science and math involved in the


MISS SHARON JONES! creation of the Internet. Then Herzog gives an ominous, somewhat misleading hint that things will get more interesting: “How do we keep it running? How do we guard it?” What follows covers a multitude of topics: artificial intelligence, rehab for Internet addicts, solar flares, the colonization of Mars, robots, a radiation-sensitivity disease, cyberwarfare, videogamers who solve a puzzle that baffles science, and many others, most of which have had entire movies, documentary and narrative, devoted to them. Some segments lack essential context and some interviewees have apparently been coached to project more personality than they possess, but together it’s like a fleet of sci-fi spaceships landing on the planet Reality. You won’t love it all but you may want to see it for the good parts. –Steve Warren

MISS SHARON JONES! (NR)

 Fans of 20 Feet from Stardom should appreciate this story of another soul singer’s long, slow rise from obscurity. At least part of it. Documentarian Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA, Shut Up and Sing) briefly sketches in Sharon Jones’ history in a trio of wedding singers while working other jobs to pay the rent; her rejection by Sony as “too fat, too black, too short and too old”; and achieving some success as vocalist with the Dap-Kings. Then, in 2013, she’s diagnosed with stage two pancreatic cancer. Most of the film takes place in that year, as Jones goes through long months of chemotherapy while the band and record label that depend on her can’t pay their bills. Tentative plans are made for a 2014 world tour and the release of the album they cut in 2012, but everything depends on Jones’ health. Kopple makes her struggle empowering but leans a little too heavily on the tear-jerking moments. For over an hour the film is stingy with brief music samples, except when Jones belts “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” in church; but we finally get three full songs from a comeback concert in New York and a homecoming concert in Augusta GA. They’re worth waiting for. Miss Sharon Jones! could be a litmus test to see if you’re human. You’re not unless you have to keep fighting off the urge to run up to the screen to give Sharon a hug. –Steve Warren

NERVE (PG-13)

 If I hadn’t seen trailers for Nerve months ago I’d think it was a hastilyassembled attempt to cash in on the Pokemon Go craze. Well, and if it weren’t so well filmed on New York locations with complex visual effects. Nerve has roots in movies from The Most Dangerous Game (1932) to The Hunger Games, turnof-the-century Japanese

horror flicks, films about gladiatorial combat and reality TV competitions – anything that involves deadly risks with spectators calling the shots. Nerve is an online game of Truth or Dare with cell phones in the hands of Players and Watchers. Pressured by her clingy mom (Juliette Lewis) to go to a local college, Vee (Emma Roberts) is drawn into the game and out of her shell by her friend Syd (Emily Meade), to the chagrin of Vee’s long-suffering wannabe boyfriend Tommy (Miles Heizer). On her first dare Vee kisses a stranger, Ian (Dave Franco), and so begins a long night of dangerous, sometimes illegal activities. Eventually Vee turns into Ms. Robot to try to bring down the game. It’s a cautionary tale so bad things have to happen, but not as bad as if they’d gone for a R rating. It’s tame-ish but makes its point, and remains fun from start to finish. If you’re picky you can wonder how they get some of the shots from cell phones and why the phones never need charging, but I still dare you not to enjoy the movie. –Steve Warren

PHANTOM BOY (PG)

1/2 A relative disappointment from the makers of the Oscar-nominated A Cat in Paris, this animated fantasy is aimed at a very narrow age range. It’s too childish for anyone well into their teens, but young viewers could be traumatized by the possibility of the 11-yearold hero succumbing to a fatal disease; not to mention gunfire, explosions and the possible destruction of New York City. Leo, who is hospitalized with what appears to be cancer but is never named, discovers he has the ability to leave his body and fly around the city for short periods, while still speaking to whoever’s with his immobile body. NYPD Lt. Alex Tanguy, disrespected by his captain, is demoted to patrolling the docks. A disfigured madman hacks into the city’s computer system, causes a brief blackout and threatens unspeakable harm if the mayor doesn’t pay him a billion dollars in 24 hours. Tanguy is injured on the case and winds up in the same hospital as Leo, whose phantom self becomes his legman. Also involved is a journalist, Mary Delauney, who is Tanguy’s potential love interest. Even a fantasy needs some internal logic but Phantom Boy frequently breaks its own rules and doesn’t earn the slack it demands that you cut it. If the French voices sounds too odd in the New York setting, a dubbed version will be shown at some matinees (check theater schedule); but I wouldn’t advise bringing anyone too young to read subtitles. –Steve Warren

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MUSIC

Album Reviews

REVIEWS BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH AND JOHN B. MOORE

five years ago, but it never surfaced. “Bees And Seas” could be their swan song, and if so, it’s still a stellar remembrance of the band, but I’m still holding out for another tour. -JM

Young Mister Self-Titled

Hymn For Her Drive Til U Die

(self-released) It is said you can’t judge a book by its cover and certainly the same goes with albums. Journalists often get so much product, it’s impossible to delve into it all (or even remember it) a few days later. In the case of the new album from Hymn For Her, a cursory first glance at the tongue-in-cheek cover art gives the distinct and overall negative vibe of a Grateful Dead tribute project. The world has plenty of those already, so no thanks. But give it a chance because the enclosed disc is the antithesis to a tired old retread. The wandering duo of Lucy Tight and Wayne Waxing obviously play within the Americana arena, and they work in the duo format that’s so popular at the moment. But this ain’t your usual White Stripes or Shovels and Rope. Actually there’re a bit of both here, with the better parts of Timbuk 3 thrown in for tangy flavor. The band, who famously live in a cramped 1961 Airstream trailer, cross the country hitched to an unkempt batch o’ outlaw-blues and ironic ballads featuring Tight on banjo, guitar and the electric cigar-box. Yep, the proceedings can be as kitschy as you’d imagine but amid the hooky homages and kooky delivery are some genuinely sincere performances. Set opener “Devil’s Train” sets the pace for half of the material - the boisterous rockers that are produced by Vance Powell (Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson). The tender side of the group is ably captured by former R.E.M. pal and producer Mitch Easter at this North Carolina studio. The veteran musician finds just the right balance for the band and his crisp approach includes the hands-down album highlight. “Seas of Croatia” is a gentle and downright tear-jerking ballad featuring Lucy Tight in fine form. Overall, the record rolls out a fine slab of songs to soundtrack any summer road trip. Like a trip to a favorite destination, Hymn For Her’s latest rollicking ride is a solid effort that’s worth more an a few return visits. -LVS

(Refresh Records) Over eight tracks, Young Mister – under the guidance of Steven Fiore – creates a stirring mix of Americana, contemporary folk and pop making for a remarkable debut. Not afraid to draw on influence like ELO’s Jeff Lyne, the result is refreshing different from your standard pop record in 2016. The album kicks off with “The Best Part,” a song that could have come off Weezer’s “Pinkerton” if Rivers Cuomo was in a more chipper frame of mind at the time, followed by the equally infectious “Would It Kill You.” The tempo slows down a bit for the rest of the record, but the songs are still equally impressive. The mix of Fiore’s confident vocals and sharp lyrics make for a deeply satisfying record. Prior to launching Young Mister, Fiore spent years touring the U.S. and worked as a songwriter for others. The experience clearly paid off as this debut sounds just as strong as some of the records that have come recently by veterans like Wilco and Dawes. -JM

Lasers Lasers Birmingham Royal Blue EP

(Self-Released) Oddly appealing name aside, LA-based Lasers Lasers Birmingham owes way more to classic country folks like Johnny and Waylon than the EDM-sounding moniker would have you believe. On his second EP, “Royal Blue,” Alex Owen (formerly with Vanish Valley) layers plenty of pedal steel, honky tonk guitar and the occasional Hammond organ on the four songs that make up this latest effort. Over way too quickly, the album is just four great songs stripped of all pretense and gimmicks, leaning more on Owen’s powerful vocals and lyrics. While there’s not a weak track here, the slower-tempo “Anyway You Slice It” is impressive and beautiful in its simplicity. Can’t wait for a full length. -JM

Mikey Erg

Tentative Decisions

(Don Giovanni Records) Who says punk rockers have to be lazy? Along with putting time in with The Ergs!, Star Fucking Hipsters, The Worriers, the Dopamines, Dirt Bike Annie and plenty of others; and playing in the house band for The Chris Gethard Show, Mikey Erg somehow found time to pull together 11 tracks for his solo LP debut. Tentative Decisions is not that far removed from the spikey guitar pop punk from The Ergs!, and that is clearly a good thing. The album closer, the aptly titled languid fuzz ditty, “Nyquil & Sudafed,” clocks in at nearly four-and-a-half minutes, but that one stands as an anomaly as most of the songs here are about two-and-a-half minutes of distorted burst of raucous fun. “Song for New Britain,” the frenetic ‘(This is Not) The First Time” and the mellower “Waiting Out the Winter” are among the standouts on an already impressive record. The Ergs! may be gone (or not, I’ve lost track of all the break-ups, the one-off reunions and the full-blown reunions), but Mikey isn’t going anywhere. -JM

10,000 Maniacs

Playing Favorites

(Omnivore Recordings) It doesn’t happen often, but every now and then a band can be just as successful, PG 16 • August 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

if not more so, after replacing their singer. Unfortunately, 10,000 Maniacs are not one of those bands. Natalie Merchant left the group in 1993 and was replaced by violinist and singer Mary Ramsey. The band eventually won the right to use the 10,000 Maniacs name and soldiered on with four more mediocre albums. It’s telling that their latest, Playing Favorites, a live album, is crammed with songs from the Merchant era (only three songs here were written/recorded after she left the group). The result is pretty underwhelming. It’s not that Ramsey has a bad voice, it’s just that she’s singing songs that Merchant made famous and comes off sounds like little more than a cover band at this point. The album is a good excuse to revisit 10,000 classics like “Trouble Me,” “Hey Jack Kerouac” and “Like the Weather.” It’s just a shame that they aren’t being performed by the original line up. -JM

Slobberbone

Bees And Seas: The Best Of

(New West) After about a decade of laying low, the Texas-based alt country/rock underdogs that make up Slobberbone are back with a best of album, culling material from their four drastically underrated albums. The 18-track “Bees And Seas” is everything you’d want from the band, showing off their ability to play pop (“Sweetness, That’s Your Cue,”) country/punk (“Tilt-A-Wheel”) and straight up dirty rock ‘n roll (“Barrel Chested”). There is not a single track on this record that hasn’t earned its right to be there. From the mid-‘90s up to 2002’s “Slippage,” the band turned in one impressive record after another, and managed to win over fans across the U.S. and Europe, all without every getting a lot of attention from radio. They called it quits in 2005, before getting back for a few tours from between 2009 – 2011. There was talk of a new album about

Blue Jeans

Songs Are Easy

(Jigsaw Records) And you thought “pop” was a dirty word. On their full length, “Songs Are Easy,” the band Blue Jeans manages to grab influences from T. Rex, The Modern Lovers and Material Issue and pull together a remarkably solid indie pop record. Unlike front man Tim Sedra’s pervious band, Veronica Lake, this new outfit eschews fuzzy guitars for a cleaner sound, swapping out distortion for jangly guitars. While not creating any new ground with “Songs Are Easy,” the band does a pretty stellar job of making pop sound fun again, especially on a bubble gum track like “Clean Break” or the fantastic “Ratz Revenge,” which sound like a slowed down version of a Ramones song. There are a couple of ho-hum songs buried in the record, but overall, an impressive collection of indie pop. -JM


HOME THEATER

NEW RELEASES

THE LATEST DVD, BLU RAY & VOD RELEASES By John Moore

LEE SCRATCH PERRY’S VISION OF PARADISE (Cadiz Music) Legendary Reggae/Dub pioneer Lee “Scratch” Perry has always been an odd cat, so it’s appropriate that any documentary about him be just as quirky. Lee Scratch Perry’s Vision of Paradise is far from ordinary, but a fun, peculiar look at the godfather’s of Jamaican music. Filmed over 15 years by Volker Schaner, who was given extraordinary access to the legend in the studio, in the ocean of his native Jamaica, in Ethiopia and England and in his new adopted home of Switzerland. Along with interviews from the subject and a slew of Dub and Reggae musicians, the film is filled out with animation. The DVD comes with a 24page book and a making of documentary which is nearly as entertaining as the doc. TRADERS (Dark Sky Films) The British export Traders is as fun as it is dark. The movie focuses on two friends who recently lost their jobs and are struggling to stay afloat in an increasingly dire economy. John Bradley (Samwell from Game of Thrones) comes up with the idea

of setting up a secret online marketplace where two competitors agree to bring a set amount of money to a secluded area, both write suicide notes and then proceed to fight to the death. The winner walks off with the money and gets away with murder. The two friends predictably clash as things go awry and the film turns darker, but no less compelling. Like Fight Club and Shallow Grave before it, Traders is troubling, but still hard to look away from.

AMATEUR NIGHT AT CITY HALL: THE STORY OF FRANK RIZZO (MVD Visual) Frank Rizzo may not be as infamous nationally as Huey Long or Rod Blagojevich, but in Philly, depending on what neighborhood you visit, he was either the city’s savior or the most corrupt politician ever to serve as mayor of Philadelphia. Amateur Night At City Hall, originally released in 1978 does a decent job of trying to remain objective while still managing to accurately cover the rise of Rizzo from beat cop, to police commissioner to mayor of Philadelphia (1972 – to-1980). A hero to the working class, Rizzo was seen as a nightmare to liberals, minorities and civil rights crusaders with his authoritarian, crack some skulls leadership style. Despite the fact that the documentary was released two years before Rizzo left office, there is still plenty of controversies covered in the film.

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MUSIC

BRINGIN’ ON THE HEAT

Def Leppard’s Phil Collen Doesn’t Mind the Weather

much more. Absolutely, I remember in the ‘50s and N 1977, AS PUNK EVOLVED FROM ‘60s you’d see the posters and it’d be James a movement to a fashion statement, Brown, the Isley brothers with Jimi Hendrix Def Leppard was formed in the gritty and Little Richard. That would all be on industrial town of Sheffield in South the same night but it all came from bluesYorkshire, England. By the early ‘80s, the influences, all the soul, funk and of course band had successfully cemented their metalrock. And that’s what we are. I just hate meets-melody sound. Bridging the gap it when people try to stay in a box with between brash heavy rock, any kind of artistry. I think ‘60s-injected glam and slick the creativity just needs to MTV-friendly pop, their grow. And that’s what has instantly recognizable songs happened here. It started FRIDAY, AUG. 12 • 7PM include a sturdy canon of out as a bluesy thing but Lakewood Amphitheatre radio and video hits. it became so much more. Currently celebrating the Debbi Blackwell-Cook is on 35th anniversary of their vocals and we’ve got Robert landmark album High and Dry - which DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots, Hollywood includes “Bringin’ On The Heartbreak,” one Vampires) on bass and Forrest Robinson of the first rock videos broadcast on MTV, who actually used to work out of Atlanta the band is once again on tour. with a lot of the sessions there - is on After a few early personnel changes, by drums. It’s all right across the board. It’s the mid-‘90s the band had settled on the fascinating to me to fuse all these different enduring line-up of Joe Elliott (vocals), Phil elements together into one band, but really, Collen (guitars, vocals), Rick Savage (bass, it all comes from the same place. vocals), Rick Allen (drums, vocals), and Vivian Campbell (guitar). While the group That’s the way AM and early ‘70s FM radio reached a commercial peak in the mid-‘80s, used to be. You’d hear all kinds of styles in they continue to produce successful and one sitting. fresh music twenty years after their greatest Absolutely and I loved it. That’s what early hits collection was released. music television was, as well. One minute Fans still clamor for “Pour Some Sugar on on MTV you’d have Michael Jackson and Me,” “Hysteria,” and “Armageddon It” but then you’d have Def Leppard and then their recent, self-titled album released last you’d see The Police or The Go-Go’s. Soul fall is just as solid and far more eclectic than one minute and then rock and then funk or their classic records. Recently INsite caught new wave. More than anything else, I think up with health-conscious, undeniably MTV was kind of America’s radio station. It physically fit guitarist Phil Collen at his wasn’t segregated, you know what I mean? If home in California. someone was a Beastie Boys or a Slayer fan, they’d sit and watch MTV and see all these It seems like every time Def Leppard diverse types of music. I loved it for that comes to town, it’s at the peak of summer reason. Later on of course, it changed; it got heat. I think the last time you headlined less diverse and that’s a shame. Lakewood, it was literally 100 degrees that day. Now we live in the age of instant Yeah it’s the same in Dallas as well. gratification. The last five times we’ve played there, it’s Oh we’re all so spoiled and entitled been triple digits. I think it’s a part of the these days. We’ve all sort of become like global warmin,’ it’s just gotten hotter over an elitist millennial, if you will. We want it the years. now, we want it straight-away or we can’t be bothered. Do you enjoy playing in that extraordinary heat? In in this age of track-driven industry, it I do, actually! Personally I love it because must be a little frustrating for someone like I just like heat. I was talking to my daughter you to release an entire album. just today and she said, ‘Would you rather It was interesting last year for Def be freezing cold or too hot?’ I said, ‘Oh Leppard because we went into definitely too hot.’ She said, ‘Yeah me too.’ I hate the cold, so the outdoor summer shows are great for me - apart from the bugs. The vibe’s really cool, everyone just comes out and has fun. It’s much more of a relaxed vibe as opposed to a hockey or sports arena in a snowstorm. It seems to me to be kind of an American summer thing, especially since the ‘70s and I really dig it.

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

I

OH WE’RE ALL SO SPOILED AND ENTITLED THESE DAYS. WE’VE ALL SORT OF BECOME LIKE AN ELITIST MILLENNIAL, IF YOU WILL. WE WANT IT NOW, WE WANT IT STRAIGHT-AWAY OR WE CAN’T BE BOTHERED.

DEF LEPPARD

Before we discuss Def Leppard, let’s talk about your new sideproject Delta Deep (www. deltadeep.net). The starting reference point for the sound is the blues, but it’s PG 18 • August 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

the studio with the intent to just do a new track. But we had so many ideas, we just kind of kept going. It was coming from the purest place because we didn’t even have to make a record so it became total artistic expression. It wasn’t about money, it wasn’t about anything really. We knew we would maybe just break even if the album was a hit, but we thought it was important to express ourselves. That’s why we got into a band in the first place! And I think that’s why it’s been so successful because we really wanted to do it - as opposed to having to do it. There were no record company executives or anyone that pressured us, so for it to be successful was great. And it’s a very diverse collection all different types of music and one record. Yeah, normally we don’t do that. We would give ourselves a theme or a brief, before we’d get started. But it’s more important to be excited about something and really want to do it than to try to stick with a certain theme or a business plan. Obviously it was more of a relaxed process than during the crazy ‘80s. When we worked with [influential producer] Mutt Lange, he had a plan and it was great to be a part of that, but it was a different kind of message. He said, ‘Let’s try and make something so special and

so different to anything that’s come before.” So there were guidelines and rules and influences from all over the place. Those songs mirrored the times. Absolutely. And you know MTV dictated a lot of that. It was The Police and Michael Jackson and Prince and Billy Idol. All of that. But with this, there were absolutely no rules at all, so we had total artistic freedom and it was wonderful. And no pressure to make a sure-fire hit single. Right. And no financial pressure, either. By the time we did Hysteria, (recorded between ’84 – ’87), we were over four million dollars in the hole. God knows how much that would be in this day and age! So there were all sorts of pressures on us to produce. But musical diversity has always been a part of the sound and image. People who liked new wave could easily enjoy Def Leppard, just as you, from the glam world of London, easily appreciated soul and blues. Yeah, I was there at the start as all that stuff was explodin.’ The Kinks and The Who, you’d hear them alongside Aretha Franklin and the Muscle Shoals musicians, you know? I still don’t see musical boundaries. You know, I’ve always thought Def Leppard is way closer to Earth, Wind and Fire than other rock bands. We have that groove and melody. I know a lot of people can’t hear that, but I’ve always thought that. It’s refreshing that you’re still excited about making new music. Well, a lot of people sort of take their foot off the gas. You can’t do that. A lot of people don’t understand that when you have a bit of success, you have to work even harder. A lot of artists and musicians especially, they can get lazy. But you can’t. You’ve just got to keep pushin’ even harder, that’s the trick to it.


TV

Station Control

DARKNESS FALLS ON OUR TVS JUST IN TIME FOR SUMMER BY BENJAMIN CARR

D

ARKNESS HAS FALLEN UPON our television sets this summer, and not just in the form of political conventions. New and returning programming that debuted within the last month concentrate upon things that lurk in shadows or creep up behind you. The shows are compelling, the stories are rich. But the prevailing tone is as black as night.

THE NIGHT OF (HBO)

HBO’s new limited series The Night Of, which stars John Turturro and Nightcrawler’s Riz Ahmed, tells the story of a young woman’s murder - from the perspective of a spectacularly unlucky, possibly guilty young Pakistani-American named Nasir Khan. In the first episode, Nasir plans to go to a party, takes his father’s cab without permission, accidentally ends up with a strange young woman named Andrea in his cab. She takes him home with her, seduces him, does recreational drugs with him - even challenges him to some fun, sexy, thoroughly ridiculous knife play. (These pre-homicide scenes will lead you to shout at your TV screen, “Don’t do it! Don’t go there! Don’t!!!” Still, the camera continues to show us how all the evidence continues to mount against him.) He blacks out, wakes up, and Andrea is - of course - stabbed to death. Idiotically Nasir flees the scene, breaking glass and leaving DNA everywhere in his path. Even as he drives away from the murder scene, he makes a series of terrible choices that do not reflect well upon his innocence. Every move Nasir makes is the wrong move. Eventually we are on the scene as the murder investigation begins, and we quickly begin to view the case from the perspective of the police, including a homicide detective named Box, played masterfully by Bill Camp. And poor, young Nasir looks guilty as sin. (And, because of his blackout, viewers do not know if he is.) The first episode of the show feels like it unfolds in real time, it’s so detail-oriented. The pace is maddening and relentless. The characters are compelling. Yet much about the show will frustrate viewers, particularly anyone who’s ever watched an episode of Law & Order. First, the female victim Andrea, played by Sofia Black-D’Elia, is portrayed as a sort of dreamy figment of fantasy, a manic pixie dream girl. And the show objectifies and then brutally destroys her so quickly that she is hard to embrace as an actual person and harder to mourn. Through the first two episodes, all women characters appear to be given the short end of character development. They come across as objects and archetypes, easy to discard or dismiss. The show was developed Stranger Things

by Oscar-winning writer Steven Zaillian and renowned crime novelist Richard Price.

TV

A MATTER OF TRUST

Suits Star Patrick J. Adams Discusses the Show’s New Direction

STRANGER THINGS (Netflix)

Netflix’s new show Stranger Things, meanwhile, is downright lovable and bingeworthy. It’s a supernatural mystery about a missing boy, a strange girl with superpowers and a faceless monster that has escaped from a bizarre government experiment. It seems to share the DNA of many classic 1980s sci-fi and adventure films that centered upon children. It blends E.T. with Firestarter, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Goonies. It’s so steeped in nostalgia that it even stars Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine. Ryder plays Joyce, the mother of a missing son. One night after a long day of playing Dungeons & Dragons with his friends, Joyce’s son Will disappears - apparently abducted by a creepy monster from the woods. By the next day, Will’s entire D&D faction bands together to find the child. Along the way, the kids cross paths with a bald strange girl named Eleven, portrayed by Millie Bobby Brown. She appears to have escaped from a government program and can make things float with her mind. And Eleven appears to hold the key to finding Will. Though it states the show takes place in 1983, the makers of the program use details from all over that decade to enhance the tone of the product. It’s equal parts funny, thrilling and scary. Stranger Things feels like an old, lost VHS gem. And it is lots of fun. The child actors at the center of the show hit the exact right notes in every episode. Made by the Duffer Brothers, the show will amass a huge, cult following. And it deserves it.

DIFFICULT PEOPLE (Hulu)

On the lighter side of darker fare, Hulu’s sitcom Difficult People has returned for a second season, and it has raised the stakes for its fame-hungry, bitter characters, played by show creator Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner. The basic premise of the show remains the same, though. Julie and Billy wander around New York, hating upon everything and everyone, cynically trying to get “discovered” and become comedy stars. Derisive mockery is their method, and they raise it to an art form. In the second season, guest stars like Tina Fey, Nathan Lane and Lin-Manuel Miranda have shown up as themselves. And Julie and Billy wreak havoc upon everyone in their path, all while trying to land show gigs and avoid real emotional intimacy. The lead characters are perpetual children, trying to avoid any decency or sincerity. And it’s all very funny.

THE WHOLE THING IS SORT OF A GROWING ORGANISM. THE SAME THINGS THAT MADE US LAUGH TWO YEARS AGO, YOU CAN’T RELY ON THEM AGAIN TO MAKE YOU LAUGH THIS TIME.

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

S

INCE IT PREMIERED IN THE summer of 2011, Suits has remained one of the best modern legal dramas on television. Set in a fictional New York City law office, the character-driven show centers on iconoclastic college drop-out Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) who works as an associate for Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht). Mike’s closely-guarded secret is he never attended law school. As season six unfolds, Mike begins a sentence in prison, dramatically changing the dynamic of the show. Adams recently spoke with the press about the quirky, humor-laced USA Network series and the new pitfalls that await his character. One of your character’s traits is trustworthiness which can be good or bad, depending on the situation. Yes, I think one of the big pitfalls of Mike is that he falls for a good sob story pretty quickly and he can be sort of naive when he hears about somebody’s personal tragedy. And I think that sort of sets us off really nicely on the sixth season and sets up for who he can trust and who he can’t trust. I think it’s a lesson that in prison he’s only going to need to learn once. Will the prison theme be a season-long storyarc or will it resolve soon? I can say that it is not resolved quickly but it is something that we are working to resolve. Obviously anyone who is in prison wants to get out as quickly as possible. Mike is fortunate in that he’s a very smart guy. We’ve spent five seasons watching these guys come up with creative solutions to what seemed like impossible problems. And that’s no different here. Being in that jail cell is a big part of season six. It’s not something we’re going to solve quickly or easily. With the new twist, will the rapport between Mike and Harvey, including their snarky banter, continue this season? There’s always a good rapport between the two of them. But now it’s a little less playful, given that the stakes are so high this season. What’s the hardest transition for Mike in prison? I feel like it’s a dangerous environment. He has always been in a world where he was unsure of himself and trying to hide things from people but now his life is actually being threatened. He’s in real physical danger in this place. At any moment, something could

happen, he could die or get really hurt or he could be responsible for somebody else being really hurt. For me, the biggest part of this prison storyline is getting him out of the comfort zone of being in an office. Since Suits has always been known for lightheartedness and humor, how do you think viewers will react to seeing a darker tone on the show? Because prison is a difficult place to find a lot of levity given the circumstances of the show, that storyline is a little heavier. The stakes are really high for Mike, so there’s a darker tone for him in prison. But they’ve done a really good job of balancing that with a ton of levity with what’s going on with the office. So certain characters are picking up that particular ball and running with it while Mike is dealing with the reality of trying to get out of prison. What’s the best and worst part of being isolated from the rest of the cast this season? The best part is that feeling of getting to be on a new show but now I think the hardest part is that I miss my friends and a lot of those interactions. I’m definitely realizing that being away from them is sad, because it would be for Mike and I’m excited to hopefully be reunited with them soon. Speaking of snarky dialogue, how much room do you guys have for improv within each script? A lot of times, especially when they’re getting ready to shoot, the writer of the episode will say, “This is what we wrote, but if you want to do something different in this part, or if there’s a different joke that you guys want to try in this moment, then go for it.” Ultimately, the real litmus test of what’s funny are the people on our set. If we can make everybody laugh on a take, that’s usually a good sign that we’re headed in the right direction. That must have changed over the years as your working relationships have grown. Totally. The whole thing is sort of a growing organism. The same things that made us laugh two years ago, you can’t rely on them again to make you laugh this time. We can’t keep making the same exact joke that we’ve done for years because the audience gets used to it. So we use ourselves as a barometer of what is going to still be funny. Suits airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on USA. Visit www.usanetwork.com/suits for full-episodes, information and merchandise. insiteatlanta.com • August 2016 • PG 19


MUSIC

BAR STOOL PREACHERS CALIFORNIA PUNK BAND Talk Band, Influences and New Album Back with New Music, The Last Page BY JOHN B. MOORE

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ROM “GOD SAVE THE QUEEN” to Rock Against Racism, punk rock was born out of politics. In the decades since the late ’70s/early ‘80s though punk for many has morphed from railing against Thatcher and Reagan to singing about farts and high school crushes ignored. Thankfully the Bar Stool Preachers aren’t against mixing a little politics with their music. “Writing the lyrics, I don’t want to pull punches, especially in today’s political landscape,” says Tom McFaull, singer for the Brighton, UKbased punk/ska band. “Proportional representation has died and I think it’s pretty widely felt right now that political systems are failing across the world. I’ve always thought that if you’ve got an opportunity, or a soap box, from which you can try and affect positive change, you’ve kinda got a duty to do that.” And they do - really well on Blatant Propaganda, their debut full length. Oakland’s Pirate Press just put out the album in the U.S. The band used crowd funding to scrap together the capital to record and press on CDs and record. McFaull spoke recently about the band, their influences and the new album. Did you guys all grow up listening to similar bands? There’s actually a really diverse mix of bands that we listen to. A few are naturally recurring across everyone’s playlists (The Clash, Rancid, Dropkicks), but what we all grew up listening to is pretty eclectic. It’s nice as there are four songwriters and everyone brings their individual styles to the table. Did your dad (Colin, from the band Cock Sparrer) ever impart any helpful advice when you decided to go into music yourself?

For sure! I’m lucky to be really close to my Dad, we get to talk practically every day, so he’s always checking in and trying to tell me what to do. As you’d imagine, it is incredibly helpful to have someone this close to me that’s done it before, and he wholeheartedly believes in the band. Plus, when we play together, their rider fucking owns, so we get to steal a lot.

Who is putting out the record and when will it be available? We released it ourselves but have had some help getting it as far as it can go. The amazing Pirates Press Records in Oakland, CA. have put it out for us in the States, and we’re working with a few European labels to try and cover the bases. We used a crowd sourcing platform to help us raise the pressing costs and the support was incredible. We crushed the target and that meant that instead of just CDs and records, we could release a whole back catalogue of merch that will really help to set us up as we run into the festival season! Thanks again to everyone that helped us get this fucker off the ground! Oh, and its available now! Hit up Pirates Press if you’re stateside. Any plans to tour the U.S.? We’d love to tour the U.S. It’s seriously high up on our band bucket list, but it’s all about timing. Forming in 2014 we’re still a relatively new band, so we’re just making sure we can walk before we sprint off on a West Coast tour. Ah fuck it, that being said, anyone that fancies putting us on we’ll definitely be making it happen at some point in the near future, so get in touch! What’s next for you guys? Apart from cracking on with album #2, we tour with the Street Dogs in the summer as well as playing some really cool festivals (Rebellion Punk Festival, Boomtown, and Festival of Sound). After that we go back to gigging 2-3 nights a week as standard, then we head off on another big tour run, this time with The Slackers (again!) in November across Europe and the UK.

CHRIS FARREN

Goofy T-Shirts & Songwriting BY JOHN B. MOORE

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HRIS FARREN HAS BUILT A SOLID FAN following thanks to his work with bands Fake Problems and Antarctigo Vespucci (his duo with Jeff Rosenstock), but it took a goofy t-shirt he made, putting a pic of Will Smith and his family under the logo for the classic mope band The Smiths, to finally get his work on The Tonight Show. Host Jimmy Fallon held up the Farren-designed shirt for the cameras in 2014 and offered it to his guest Will Smith in front of a television audience of millions. Despite the response, Farren said don’t expect a full t-shirt line anytime soon. “I’m super lucky to have had that happen to me, it really gave me the opportunity to focus on music full time. I was able to fly to New York a bunch to record with Jeff Rosenstock and get Antarctigo Vespucci off the ground,” he says. “My focus is and always has been songwriting. I had that idea for the shirt and tossed it online, and it just kind of went crazy, totally unexpectedly, but I don’t have any desire to sit around brainstorming novelty shirt ideas.” PG 20 • August 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

BY JOHN B. MOORE

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OMING BACK FROM A NEARLY decade long hiatus, California punk band Bracket, known for their fantastically brilliant harmonies, surprised many by putting out a brand new full length in 2014. The 16-track Hold Your Applause proved to be well worth the wait. “We took a break after (2006’s) Requiem because we were a bit burnt out,” says singer/ guitarist Marty Gregori. “It took us a few years to build our studio, learn to use the equipment, and record the songs. It was a lot of work. After we finished Requiem, we tried some different things musically. I wrote and released a string quartet. Angelo (Celli) wrote and released some of his own songs, Zack (Charlos) wrote songs and played in another band for a while.” So it was inevitable that the group would eventually put out a new record. Titled The Last Page, the album is essentially one 70-minute-long song. Gregori spoke with us recently about the album and whether or not this is the end of Bracket. When did you start working on the new record? From what I have gleaned online it will be one lone track - is that true? We started working on this in 2012. We recorded the basic tracks for The Last Page and our last album Hold Your Applause at the same time. After we recorded scratch tracks and drums for the two albums, we put The Last Page on the back burner so we could finish Hold Your Applause first. What else can you tell me about it? The Last Page came from an idea inspired by albums like The Beach Boys’ Smile and the second side of The Beatles’ Abbey Road. It’s

That focus on songwriting resulted in his first solo LP, Can’t Die, out September 30 on SideOneDummy. Farren spoke recently about the new record and what’s next. What’s the status of Fake Problems right now? Not sure! If we think of a cool idea for a record I’m sure we’ll do it, but for now we’re closed for business. You obviously worked on other projects, but was there a little bit of unease the first time you release something under your own name rather than part of a band or even the duo with Jeff? I wasn’t nervous necessarily going into it, more so excited and curious to see how it would all turn out. I’ve been collaborating for so long and that’s my comfort zone. I wanted to push myself to make a complete piece where I had the final say in the end product. I think forcing myself to step out this way will help me as a songwriter and as a collaborator for future projects. And I will say I did have a lot of great minds involved with this record. My great friends Casey Lee and Sean Stevenson, both from Fake Problems, contributed a lot of great ideas for guitar parts and drums. How long have you been working on the music from Can’t Die? I started writing the record in September of 2015, and started

this idea of taking a bunch of unrelated song ideas and piecing it together. The snippets all come from song ideas we’ve recorded onto our phones or old cassette recorders over the last ten years. They range from fifteen seconds to two minutes. We ended up recording about a hundred segments. Piecing it together was a pretty huge task. Obviously, it wasn’t just us playing and recording a seventy minute song in one room. We had to carefully choose how we tied all the segments together. Sometimes, the key or the tempo would not work from one segment to the next or the lyrics didn’t follow the pattern we set. We are really happy with how it came out. It just seemed like an interesting way to present an album. We’ll see how our listeners will react. Are you putting this one out yourself? We are putting it out ourselves. With the internet, it’s pretty easy to get our music out there. The album will be available digitally on Bandcamp, iTunes, and Amazon. The CD will be available on at bracket.bandcamp.com. It comes out August 5th. We are working out the details on a Vinyl release with Head2wall Records right now. They did an amazing job on the vinyl release of Hold Your Applause a couple years ago. What else are you working on? A new Bracket album, actually. As soon as The Last Page was sent off to be mastered, we started working on new music. I don’t want to say too much about it, but it will go in yet another direction musically. Is that title a hint that this is the end for Bracket? It is a hint at the end, but obviously we are not there yet. Every album since 2000’s When All Else Fails has been our last album (laughs).

recording in December. I was done recording by the middle of January. Jeff and I had just completed working on Leavin’ La Vida Loca our first actual full length, and I was in a really good, active place creatively. As soon as I got home from tour that summer, I started writing. I wrote probably a song a day for about 5 weeks, and then went back and reviewed it all and tried to figure out what worked best together, what sounds and themes I gravitated towards, chose my favorite 15 songs and edited them from there. You’re on tour for most of the summer and the record will be out soon. What’s next for you? More touring! I love performing LIVE MUSIC BABY. When I’m not on tour, I’m right back into writing songs. I feel like every time it’s time to write a new record, I completely forget how to do it. I’m trying to bridge that gap by consistently writing songs and always having somewhat of an arsenal to choose from.


MUSIC

THE CHICKS DIG ‘EM

Indie Duo Smooth Hound Smith are a Maines Attraction

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

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doesn’t do. We got a little dialogue going and then she showed up later in that tour at one of our shows in L.A.

HEY DON’T MIND IF YOU CALL them an Americana act, but Smooth Hound Smith’s gritty roots rock is a How did she hear your music? true melting pot of styles. The bluesy blend Zack: It’s funny, she had been at a venue of multi-instrumentalist Zack Smith (vocals/ that we had played and I guess they’d put our guitars/foot drums/harmonicas/banjo) and first CD in the house music. She heard it and Caitlin Doyle (vocals/percussion) was born she was just like, ‘Who is in 2012 and bred on small this?’ Then it just turned stages across the country. SMOOTH HOUND into a relationship and she Now based in hip East ended up singing on our SMITH Nashville, their garagealbum Sweet Tennessee AUGUST 14 • 7PM sale backline of wellHoney. When we heard Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre used guitars, drums and they were going to tour assorted instruments of again, we reached out percussion is packed and and submitted. We didn’t hear anything for ready for a busy summer season opening the a while but it ended up coming through so it Dixie Chicks’ massive tour. While on the road has really been a dream scenario for us. to their first show with the Chicks, the duo spoke with INsite from the van they lovingly Not a bad payoff for four years of hard work. call The Blue Beast. Zack: Yeah. I think about four years ago today we were playing the Farmers Market, How did you get the Dixie Chicks stamp of now we’re about to play these massive halls. approval? We’re definitely stoked because our original Zack: About two years ago we were driving goal was never anything big, we just wanted through Texas on the way to a show. We to play a lot and see the country. were talking about a whole bunch of stuff but in particular were talking about the How did you guys meet? Dixie Chicks because Caitlin has been a fan Zack: We were both playing in bands in for a really long time. When we got to the L.A. Then when I’d quit the band I was in, I venue in Austin, I look and we have all these decided to move to Nashville but we stayed Twitter notifications. Weird. Now I’m not in touch long-distance. We really started even a big Twitter user, but I looked at it connecting and she came to visit me in and what had happened was Natalie Maines Nashville and sat in at a solo show that I had actually tweeted about us, saying some was doing. complimentary things which she normally Caitlin: That first show I played a washboard

I’d brought along. If you’ve ever seen a washboard go through security at the airport, it’s pretty funny. They were like, ‘Are you going to use this to do your laundry?’ I was like, ‘’Yeah that’s the plan.’ When did you decide to move back to Nashville? Zack: I had a feeling I wanted to move back there but Caitlin wasn’t completely sold on it so we started looking for houses and we ended up finding this great house that we rented for just a fraction of the price of something we could get in L.A. The duo format has really been a popular movement in the last few years. Zack: There’s definitely some easy aspects to it. Since we were driving around in the van, we built a platform in the back for a bed and we can just sleep in here because we’re a couple. But if you had a third person, then it becomes less practical and we’d be losing money instead of making any. We have experimented a little with adding players but it’s great to do it with just the two of us. There’s a chemistry there that I don’t know we would have if we had someone else along with us. This is definitely not a typical country tour with bros in hats and all that. It’s a full-on rock production. Zack: Definitely. I just think they did a really good job of making a whole night full of music instead of just like, ‘Hey y’all, it’s a country throwdown.’

Caitlin: The people that love the Dixie Chicks, love Natalie and anything that she and the girls are gonna put together, they’re gonna love and really appreciate. Yeah, this is a just a night of good music. The tour ends in September, then what? Caitlin: We play our last show with the Chicks on September 2 in Salt Lake City and then we’re getting married on the 10th in Santa Cruz. It’s going to be a really busy year for us. Zack: Caitlin’s got everything ready for the wedding so now we can just sort of enjoy the tour. Be ready for the extreme heat at some of the sheds on this tour, it’s brutal this time of year. Zack: Oh man, we’re ready. We played in Atlanta a couple years ago in July or August at this show called “Tunes From The Tombs,” outside at Oakland Cemetery. That was the hottest, sweatiest thing we’ve ever done!

“MOONLIGHT” STILL FEELS RIGHT Atlanta’s Starbuck is Revived with Yacht Rock fans

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

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YEARS AGO THIS SUMMER, ONE OF THE most inescapable songs on the radio was “Moonlight Feels Right.” The ubiquitous moog and marimba pastiche was like an audio daiquiri, ably fortified by singersongwriter Bruce Blackman’s intoxicating drawl. The mellow tune was a decidedly southern-fried mix of Steely Dan meets Supertramp and it remains a staple of classic pop-rock, soft rock and nostalgia programming. It was the band’s biggest hit by far, but the surviving core members of the group are still active in various solo projects and with the revitalized edition of Starbuck, a featured act at the annual land-locked voyage of the Yacht Rock Revival. The affable Blackman still resides near his home-base of Atlanta and he recently spent some time with INsite before a recording session. “Moonlight” has evolved from a soft rock standard to a Yacht Rock favorite. Yeah, I think so. Even though we’d never heard of the term back then, but that’s exactly what it is. It’s an evergreen staple of the genre at this point. It’s still played a lot, that’s for sure. Last report I had on plays was March and “Moonlight Feels Right” was at just a hair less than 150,000 times. 90,000 in the US and 60,000 outside the US. And that was just March of this year. Now that you’ve lived with it for 40 years, do you ever get tired of it? I’ve been living with it for 42 because there’s a couple years that I didn’t even show it to anyone. I kept to myself for a long time but

my wife kept on at me. She said I had to let somebody hear that song. Then when I finally did - kaboom!

write the little A-B-C ditties that are so popular today. It’s still a young man’s game sometimes because youth drives the market. But I did see a statistic the other day and it said that last year was the first time in the history of recorded music that old music sold more than new music. And they defined “old music” as anything 25 years old or older.

You’re recording later today, is this for a new Starbuck project? Right now, it’s my own stuff. I’ve had three songs in a row make it into the Top 40 in Adult Contemporary, so I’m working on more of that. But Starbuck is going to make a new record - and soon. Bo Wagner the marimba player, we And “Moonlight Feels Right” is like a classic car at this point. formed Starbuck together, he’s going to be It is! You know when we first cut that thing, twelve record moving from L.A. to Tampa companies turned it down. Some of ‘em said after Christmas. He’ll be close they passed on it because “it’s not disco.” I’m thinking, “Well tell me somethin’ I didn’t know!” enough that we can finally Then two years later, they were burning disco begin work with all the rest of records! So you never know but hey, we finally the guys who are here. We’re got a deal and what happened, happened. going to use all our vintage AUG 20 • 7PM instruments, the whole What was the original inspiration for it the thing and just do it right. No Piedmont Park song? computers, just us  playing. pleaserock.com It’s about my wife Peggy and musically when I was writing it, I was thinking of “Summer How many original members Wind” by Frank Sinatra. With the horns and stuff, what I was are you working with now? trying to do was take synthesizers and use them like a big band. This is definitely the original band. You Take the opening of “Moonlight,” if you were to take out got me, Bo Wagner on marimbas, Tommy Strain on guitar, David the synths and put a big horn section in there with those Shaver and Sloan Hayes on keyboards and Jimmy Cobb on bass. same riffs, you’d get a big band song. That was our original The only two we’re missing are Johnny Walker and Darrell Kutz, intention. The week before I wrote it, I’d walked through a they’ve both passed away. It’s an honor to get to play with these plate glass window and I severed the finger of my right hand. guys and we’re very excited to get to play with Yacht Rock again. They took me down to Piedmont Hospital and they sewed it I’ve been hearing from friends from all over the world and we’ve back on so I had this gigantic cast on my hand. got people coming from San Francisco, L.A. and New York.

YACHT ROCK REVIVAL

Most people in your position would be rehashing the old stuff at this point. But you’re still working, doing something new and that’s great. I really don’t know how to do anything else. Luckily songwriting is something that doesn’t have an age connected to it. But I can’t

So you were forced into writing mode at that point. Yeah. One night about a week after that accident, I was sitting there writing and had my Mini- Moog on the floor with me. I wrote that song with just my left hand. Later people said, “Maybe ya oughta start writing with your left hand again!” insiteatlanta.com • August 2016 • PG 21


SPORTS

SPORTS

2016 NCAA FOOTBALL PREVIEW BY DEMARCO WILLIAMS

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HERE ARE SOME WHO ARE ALREADY calling Clemson junior QB Deshaun Watson the best college football player since Auburn’s Cam Newton in 2010. That’s high praise, sure, but when you consider the fact that they both have rifles for arms, sports coupes for feet and Heisman trophies for doorstops, the comparison makes sense. Of course, the one thing Newton has that Watson’s still missing is an NCAA championship. But thanks to Deshaun’s unquestioned abilities and a Tigers defense that doesn’t know the words “weak spot,” that all changes for Clemson on January 9.

1. CLEMSON

Beyond an all-world QB and a star-studded D (we see you, Ben Boulware), the Tigers have a nearly impenetrable frontline and a standout receiver (Artavis Scott, Jr.) who’s roaring to go.

The trendy pick for most-improved team in the nation, these Vols will rely on a lot of QB Joshua Dobbs (27 total TDs) and RB Jalen Hurd (12 TDs) to improve on their 9-win season.

11. HOUSTON

Cougars head coach Tom Herman won’t let his team utter the words “Peach Bowl” or anything else connected to last year’s 13-1 campaign for fear of looking backwards. If Houston keeps scoring like it did in ’15 (six games over 40 pts.), the only thing on folks’ minds will be “dark-horse title contender.”

12. GEORGIA

We don’t care how pretty a spiral freshman Jacob Eason throws, if UGA running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel aren’t 100% by Week 2, things could get ugly during Kirby Smart’s first year.

2. OKLAHOMA

3. ALABAMA

The defending national champs may still have an unforgiving defensive line and secondary (giving up a third-best 14.4 points per game), but this is the most unsure the Tide have been behind center in some time.

4. LSU

The Tigers return 17 players, including NFLready bruiser Leonard Fournette, from a team that won nine games and stomped over Texas Tech by 29 points in the Texas Bowl.

5. OHIO STATE

When Urban Meyer says that his 2016 team is “as talented a group” as he’s had in his four years with the Buckeyes (50-4), you have to take the squad seriously.

6. MICHIGAN

These Wolverines are dressed for success — and this year we’re talking more about Jabrill Peppers’ tackling technique than Jim Harbaugh’s starched khakis.

7. FLORIDA STATE

Things may have gotten wobbly around Tallahassee after Jameis Winston’s exit — the Seminoles’ three-loss season culminated with a Peach Bowl upset to the Houston Cougars — but Dalvin Cook’s brilliant runs have a way of settling things.

8. STANFORD

Christian McCaffrey dazzled for an NCAArecord 3,864 all-purpose yards a season ago, meaning the Cardinal running back did everything short of write this blurb.

9. MICHIGAN ST

Most teams wouldn’t know how to handle expectations like the ones hovering over East Landing (the Spartans are 36-5 over the past three years), but most teams aren’t coached by the dynamic Mark Dantonio. PG 22 • August 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

BY DAVE COHEN

10. TENNESSEE

Clemson’s Deshaun Watson

If they gave out awards strictly based on personality, affable Sooners QB Baker Mayfield would win top honors. But because hardware is generally handed out for performance, the 3,700-yard-passing Mayfield earns it that way, too.

GSU PANTHERS LOOK TO IMPROVE ON 6 WIN SEASON

13. FLORIDA

A weak non-conference schedule (UMass, North Texas) and an LSU home game means that all the Gators have to do to stay in the Playoff mix is find a serviceable offense to keep up with a D that only gave up 16 points a game.

14. OKLAHOMA STATE

The Cowboys started 10-0 but lost its last three games. Fans in Stillwater sure hope that the 18 returning players have a short memory.

15. IOWA

Though the Hawkeyes were thrashed 45-16 by Stanford in the Rose Bowl, you won’t want to underestimate a pissed-off QB (C.J. Beathard) and shutdown corner (Desmond King).

16. OREGON

Montana State transfer Dakota Prukop has some Johnny Manziel in him — we just hope it’s more of the fleet-footed, resourceful Manziel and not the felony-pending, TMZ version.

17. LOUISVILLE

Wonder why hopes are soaring around Cardinals Country? Louisville returns 18 players from a group that defeated Texas A&M in the Music City Bowl.

18. BAYLOR

A slew of off-the-field issues have certainly left the Bears wounded coming into the season, but Shock Linwood’s between-the-tackle bursts should help in the healing around Waco.

19. USC

Even if the Trojans lose to Bama in the season opener, head coach Clay Helton is the sort of no-nonsense leader who’ll accept nothing less than a Pac-12 title game appearance from his talented troupe.

20. MIAMI

The Hurricanes, who haven’t had a 10-win season since 2003, went out and found a coach, UGA’s Mark Richt, who’s had nine such campaigns in that span. Rest of the Best:

Boise State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Washington

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YEAR AGO AT THE SUN BELT Conference Media Day event in New Orleans there was no expectation whatsoever for Georgia State Football from anyone in the media. The Panthers were coming off of back-to-back 0-12 and 1-11 seasons but for those of us who watched this team at practice and saw every game you could see they were getting better and headed in the right direction. While there were still a few bumps in the road last season the Panthers put it all together down the stretch, winning their final four games, including a shocking 34-7 dismantling of Georgia Southern in Statesboro for their sixth win to become bowl eligible. In just their third season playing football at the FBS level (sixth season overall) Georgia State earned a bid to play in the AutoNation Cure Bowl in Orlando. Fast forward to Sun Belt Conference Media Day this year, the talk concerning Georgia State has done a complete one-eighty. The Panthers are picked to finish fourth in the league behind Appalachian State, Arkansas State and Georgia Southern. We spoke with Coach Trent Miles. What a difference a year makes with the way Georgia State was received this year at media day. They did not have any expectations for us last year. I think they had us picked last or second to last and no one knew what to expect other than they did not think we were very good. Now I think they see that the patience of playing a lot of young guys our first couple of years and getting beat up has paid off and the expectation has changed. It’s not changed anymore for anybody more so than it has for us as a program. It’s been the plan. Teach them how to compete, how to win and how to compete for championships and I think that’s where we’re at. We have to keep out focus on the process and what we have to do to win one game at a time. We still understand that we have to play with a chip on our shoulder and be hungry because we’ve not arrived yet. The only way to do that is to go out on the field and prove it. With last season’s turnaround is it still a work in progress in getting the program on stable ground at the FBS level? It’s a culture that you try to establish and build and you can’t do it over night. Sometimes it takes getting your brains beat in to understand how to do it and our guys have really done a good job building a culture of success whether it’s in the classroom, in society and on the field. Obviously we’re not happy finishing 6-7 last year. That’s a losing season so we’re not happy with that. We have to have the approach that it’s unacceptable and that we need to go out and prove that we are a winning football program because we have a winning culture.

Is there a fine line on resting too much on the late season success last year and keeping that edge on heading into a new season? We have to learn from the past, just not live in the past. We say it all the time; it’s

WE HAVE TO LEARN FROM THE PAST, JUST NOT LIVE IN THE PAST. WE SAY IT ALL THE TIME; IT’S “UNDERSTAND BEHIND, LOOK FORWARD.”

“understand behind, look forward.” We have to understand what we did wrong in the past and what we did well. Now you learn from it and process it and the slate starts new. It’s a new season and right now we’re undefeated and we’re looking to stay that way. How will this team be different offensively without having Nick Arbuckle at quarterback? TM: You know, we’re going to miss Nick and I doubt that we’re going to have 4,300 yards passing from that position this season but our expectation with the three guys we have, Aaron Winchester, Connor Manning and Emiere Scaife, is that we just need them to be the best that they can be and it’ll be good enough. We will need to be much better running the football. Coaches Harold Etheridge and Luke Huard understand that. The whole offense understands that. Our offensive line has taken it to heart. We’re looking for big things from our quarterback and we feel that if one of those three guys, whoever’s on the field, plays to the best of their ability, not Nick Arbuckle’s ability, we’ll have a chance to be much better than we were. It’s a challenging early season schedule. Following the opener with Ball State at home the Panthers are on the road at Air Force, Wisconsin and then the conference opener at Appalachian State. All I can really look at is Ball State and after that game I’ll worry about Air Force. We cannot look past Ball State. We cannot control our conference schedule and we know we have to go and play a “money” game and go to Wisconsin which is a good game for us because of how much we’re going to net financially. We can’t worry about the schedule. We just worry about us and how we approach everything and going through the process of being the best that we can be and that starts with Ball State on September 2.


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INsite Atlanta August 2016 Issue  

Atlanta's Entertainment Monthly featuring our 25th Anniversary issue! Over the years, we bring you the best news in movies, music, events, s...

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