VOL. 26, NO. 7 FREE
6 YEARS! 2 G N I T ELEBRA
e l b a d r o f f A g n i n i D
Top Atlanta Restaurants that Won't Break the Bank
Art Garfunkel, John Oats & Gordon Lightfoot
FEB 15 – 19 INFINITE ENERGY ARENA
FEB 22 – 25 DisneyOnIce.com
PG 2 • February 2018 • insiteatlanta.com
CONTENTS • FEBRUARY 2018 • VOLUME 26, NO. 7
EARS! ING 26 Y T A R B E CEL
Make Reservations for Valentine’s Day
09 Gordon Lightfoot 12 Howard Jones 12 The Revolution 13 Rachael Yamagata 14 Art Garfunkel 15 John Oates 17 Snarky Puppy
10 BEST RESTAURANTS FOR ROMANTIC DINING – USA Today Great Gluten Free and Vegetarian Options Daily
FEATURES 08 Oscar Preview 10 Dining Guide 13 Valentine Guide 16 Grande Lakes Orlando 18 Sensual Valentines
COLUMNS 04 05 06 07 07 08 18 18
Your Neighborhood Pizzeria!
Around Town On Tap Atlanta on a Dime Under The Lights Station Control Movie Reviews Album Reviews New Releases 15
insiteatlanta.com STAFF LISTING Publisher Stephen Miller firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director / Web Design Nick Tipton email@example.com Managing Editor Lee Valentine Smith firstname.lastname@example.org Local Events Editor Marci Miller email@example.com Movie Editor Steve Warren firstname.lastname@example.org
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VOL. 26, NO. 7 FREE
S! TING 26 YEAR CELEBRA
© Copyright 2018, Be Bop Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Top Atlanta Restaurants that Won't Break the Bank
Check out our Dining Guide on page 10! Art Garfunkel, John Oats &
Atlanta’s BEST Favorite ATL Pizza! Winner of
I Ns i t e ★ 201 7
Multiple Atlanta Locations: JohnnysPizza.com insiteatlanta.com • February 2018 • PG 3
Around Town NOW THROUGH MARCH 4 Rainforest Adventures Center for Puppetry Arts
Rainforest Adventures is an original production featuring more than 40 puppets representing animals from the Amazonian rainforest, including frogs! Families are invited to step inside the rainforest and get hands-on with a variety of fun activities. Rainforest Adventures is recommended for ages 4 and up. Tickets can be purchased online at Puppet.org or calling 404.873.3391.
FEBRUARY 2 - 10 Don Quixote
Atlanta Ballet at Cobb Energy Centre
Yuri Possokhov’s Don Quixote serves as Atlanta Ballet’s first production of 2018. Audiences are sure to find something to love about this lavish rendition of a classical ballet story, tinged with humor and adventure! World-renowned choreographer Yuri Possokhov began his professional career with the Bolshoi Ballet, and has since made his mark as a principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet, where he later joined as choreographer in residence. Tickets at cobbenergycentre.com.
FEBRUARY 9 - 24 First Date
Marietta Theatre Company
For its third production of the 2017-2018 season the Marietta Theatre Compan offers
Events and Performances taking place this Month
First Date. A romantic musical comedy written by Austin Winsberg. The awardwinning play wittingly depicts the desires and desperations of dating, starting from the awkward first date Through first impressions, uncomfortable conversations and refreshing twists, can the couple spark a new flame, or are they both romantically burnt out? Tickets available at MariettaTheatre.com.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10 Fasching - Mardis Gras Festhalle in Helen, GA
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 24 & 25 Monster Jam
FEBRUARY 10 – MARCH 4 The Jungle Book
Sanford Performing Arts Center, Decatur
Atlanta’s nationally acclaimed Alliance Theatre is presents The Jungle Book, based on the beloved book by Rudyard Kipling, as part of its Alliance Family Series. “This is a story about finding family where we least expect it,” said Director Rosemary Newcott. “It’s a classic tale about survival, adaptability, and about embracing differences and recognizing that we can learn from a diverse number of sources and in multiple ways.” AllianceTheatre.org/junglebook.
FEBRUARY 10 – MARCH 4 Ontario Was Here Aurora Theatre
To celebrate the season of the heart, audiences are invited to the Aurora Theatre stage for the emotional drama, Ontario Was Here. The play by award-winning playwright Darren Canady, weaves an insightful look at the lives of social workers who serve disadvantaged children, unveiling the strife that these workers bear as a result of trying to help others while navigating the emotional balance between their clients’ lives and their own. AuroraTheatre.com.
in real time to create a live silent film. Koala and a string quartet provide live scoring on piano, strings and turntables. Tickets at arts.gatech.edu and 404-894-9600.
Monster Jam® is the most exciting form of family motorsports entertainment on the planet. The stars of the show are the biggest performers on four wheels: the Monster Jam trucks! The twelvefeet-tall, ten-thousandpound machines will bring you to your feet, racing and ripping up a custom-designed track full of obstacles to soar over or smash through. Visit MonsterJam.com.
Grab your family and friends and come on out to Helen, GA’s Festhalle on Saturday, February 10 for a night of music, dancing and fun. The theme is “Anything Goes” where costumes are welcomed but not required. There will be a full cash bar, live German band and costume contests with awards for best male and female costumes and best overall presentation. Visit helenchamber.com for info and tickets.
SATURDAY, MARCH 3
Nufonia Must Fall
Ferst Center for the Arts
DJ, musician, and graphic novelist Kid Koala presents his graphic novel-turnedmovie Nufonia Must Fall, a tender robot love story about a robot on the verge of obsolescence and infatuated with a winsome human. Directed by K.K. Barrett, Oscarnominated for Her, this live performance mixes puppet theater, video, electronic instrumentation, and a string quartet as footage is edited
Monster Energy Supercross Monster Energy AMA Supercross is the world's premier stadium motorcycles circuit. Comprised of 17 races of heart-stopping action. See the best riders like Ryan Dungey, Chad Reed, Ken Roczen, Justin Barcia and Eli Tomac as they seek to outrace each other on the sport’s most challenging tracks. Featuring tight corners, fast straight-aways, challenging rhythm sections, triple jumps, and whoops sections, these tracks pack excitement into every inch of dirt. SuperCrossonline.com.
BE OUR BLOODY VALENTINE?
/PSYCHOSISTERSATLANTA 428 Moreland Ave NE Atlanta (Next to Vortex) 404-523-0100 • Open 10am – 10pm(ish) PG 4 • February 2018 • insiteatlanta.com
On Tap this Month MAJOR EVENTS COMING TO ATLANTA February 13: The Fox Theatre
MARY J. BLIGE
Mary J. Blige, an iconic Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, actor and philanthropist, is a ﬁgure of inspiration, transformation, and empowerment making her one of the deﬁning voices of the contemporary music era. She is loved for her passionate, chart-topping hits like: “You Remind Me”, “Real Love”, “Be Without You”, “No More Drama” and “Family Affair”. Tickets at 855-285-8499 or Foxeatre.org.
SPIRAL ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS
OYSTERFEST SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17 DOORS OPEN AT 1 P. M. AT PARK TAVERN
February 14: Cobb Energy Centre
SCOTT BRADLEE POSTMODERN JUKEBOX Imagine a place in time where the dance ﬂoor is full of revelers twerking in poodle skirts while well-heeled hipsters drink martinis at the bar. No doubt Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox would be playing. e ensemble reimagines contemporary pop, rock and R&B hits in the style of various yesteryears. Performing Valentine's Day Feb 14 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Visit CobbEnergyCentre.com.
February 15; Cobb Energy Centre
ATLANTA JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL e Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF) concludes on February 15th with the ﬁlm e Last Suit about an aging Jewish tailor who leaves his life in Argentina to embark on a journey back through time and halfway around the world, in the bittersweet road movie. Heartfelt and charming, e Last Suit exudes a poignant message of the enduring importance of family, friends and honor. Visit AJFF.org
February 15 - 19: Philips Arena February 22 - 25: Infinite Energy Arena
DISNEY ON ICE
See all your favorite Disney characters from Frozen, e Lion King, Toy Story and more come to life in this exciting show. Join Mickey and Minnie for a celebration of magic and family fun. Dive into the ocean with Dory & Nemo; travel to Arendelle with Anna, Elsa and Olaf; see Simba, Pumbaa and Timon prowl the Pridelands. Visit DisneyOnIce.com.
February 17: Park Tavern
e Oyster Festival is a daylong event that features live music from local bands, DJs, cold beer and other tasty beverages and tons of fresh raw, steamed, and fried oysters with plenty of cocktail sauce and crackers. Not an oyster lover? Indulge in their delicious fried shrimp and yummy french fries. Tickets include admission into the event and entertainment (bands and DJs) excluding food and beverage. SpiralEntertainment.com.
March 3; Cobb Energy Centre
AN EVENING W/ AUDRA MCDONALD Audra McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both singer and actress. She is the recipient of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards and an Emmy Award. Blessed with a luminous soprano voice and an incomparable gift for dramatic truth-telling, she is cherished on Broadway, opera and concert stages, ﬁlm and television. Tickets at CobbEnergyCentre.com.
LIVE MUSIC, COLD BEER
& TONS OF FRESH RAW, STEAMED, & FRIED
OYSTERS (AND DON’T FORGET OUR SIGNATURE FRIED SHRIMP!)
GET YOUR TICKETS BEFORE THEY SELL OUT!
SPIRALENTERTAINMENT.COM BEST of
I Ns i t e ★ 201 7
488 488 Flat FlatShoals ShoalsAve. Ave.ininEast EastAtlanta Atlanta Monday, February 5 \ 8:30 pm THE WORLD / INFERNO FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY The Bicycle Eaters \ Jeremy Ray Advance - $12 \ Day of - $15
Friday, February 9 \ 9:00 pm THE ARTISANALS Tedo Stone \ Chick Wallace
Thursday, March 8 \ 8:30 pm THE WIND + THE WAVE Rachel Price \ Jesse Ruben Advance - $15 \ Day of - $15
Sunday, March 11 \ 8:00 pm SHANE TORRES
Advance - $12 \ Day of - $15
Advance - $12 \ Day of - $12
Saturday, February 10 \ 9:00 pm DIRTY FENCES Dinco Boys \ Bad Spell
Wednesday, March 14 \ 8:30 pm SOFT KILL Choir Boy
Advance - $10 \ Day of - $10
Advance - $10 \ Day of - $12
Friday, February 16 \ 9:00 pm BLAIR CRIMMINS and THE HOOKERS Prisca
Friday, March 16 \ 9:00 pm JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD T. Hardy Morris
Advance - $12 \ Day of - $12
Saturday, February 17 \ 9:00 pm BLAIR CRIMMINS and THE HOOKERS Chelsea Shag Advance - $12 \ Day of - $12
Thursday, February 22 \ 8:30 pm Wussy Mag presents:
TAYLOR ALNDR Hydrakiss \ Haint \ BLAMMO \ BITTER
Advance - $15 \ Day of - $15
Sunday, March 18 \ 8:00 pm YAMANTAKA / SONIC TITAN Chew \ Shouldies Advance - $10 \ Day of - $12
For more listings, visit
Advance - $8 \ Day of - $10 insiteatlanta.com • February 2018 • PG 5
Saturday, February 24
BLACK HISTORY PARADE
EVENTS HAPPENING FOR SMALL CHANGE IN ATLANTA
Know of a low cost event happening? Event@AtlantaOnADime.com By Marci Miller
Now Through February 25
Saturday, February 10, 6:30–9:30 PM
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre BigAppleCircus.com
Free; Chattahoochee Nature Center chattnaturecenter.org
BIG APPLE CIRCUS
e Legendary Big Apple Circus returns for its 40th Anniversary for four weeks only at the Verizon Amphitheatre in Alpharetta. Featuring never before seen the stunts, the show is starring Nik Wallenda, and the Fabulous Wallendas performing the death defying seven-person pyramid. Views from an intimate One Ring Circus where no seat is more than 50 feet from the ring. A world class live band keeps the crowd and performers moving all show!
Whether you’re on a ﬁrst date or have been together for years, come to CNC for a movie date night. Don’t have a date? Grab a friend. is event is deﬁnitely a departure from the ordinary. Bundle up, bring your favorite blankets, and enjoy a movie on our lawn under the stars. Movie and a cash bar provided for your convenience. Feel free to bring a picnic dinner.
Friday - Sunday, February 9 - 11
Free; Avalon, Alpharetta, GA ExperienceAvalon.com
NORTH ATLANTA HOME SHOW
Infinite Energy Center AtlantaHomeShow.com
Remodel, Repair, Refresh at the 21st annual North Atlanta Home Show in Gwinnett. More than 150 companies will be displaying the latest in home improvement products and services. Take advantage of one-stop comparison shopping for everything for your home, inside and out and talk face to face with hundreds of experts on the latest home remodeling.
Tuesday, February 13 at 5 PM - 9 PM
MARDI GRAS AT AVALON
1 - 4 pm; Free; Sweet Auburn District blackhistorymonthparade.com e Black History Month Parade celebrates the culture, heritage, history and accomplishments of Black/ African American people in the United States and from across the world. e parade features marching bands, entertainers, dignitaries, civic groups, non-proﬁts, celebrities, corporate groups, artistic expressionist, entertainment and fun for the whole family. Parade begins at the Hurt Park and ends at Centennial Olympic Park.
Saturday, February 24, 11AM - 3PM
Fundraiser; Special Olympics of GA specialolympicsga.org Be “Freezin’ For A Reason!” e Polar Plunge is the Special Olympics largest
fundraiser. Participants collect pledges in exchange for the opportunity to jump into icy waters of Acworth Beach. All proceeds collected by Plungers will beneﬁt the athletes of Special Olympics Georgia. Prizes will be awarded for the best costume, highest fundraiser, highest fundraising team, and more.
Tuesday, February 27, 4:00 - 7PM
KENNESAW BUSINESS EXPO
Free; KSU Continuing Education Center kennesawbusiness.org e Business Expo provides patrons a unique opportunity to see some of the local business leaders in a comfortable setting. It explores how busy professionals can achieve greater productivity while growing their potential customer base. Visitors will ﬁnd lots of free give-a-ways and coupons as Cobb businesses show oﬀ new products, deals and upcoming releases of future products or promotions. Big Apple Circus
Now through February 25 Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre bigapplecircus.com
In celebration of Fat Tuesday, Avalon will host its fourth annual Mardi Gras Pub Crawl. Enjoy New Orleans-themed drinks and special oﬀerings while visiting Avalon’s famed retailers and restaurants. Plus, don't miss out on the second line band strolling the Boulevard and making it a Mardi Gras to remember. Break out your best purple, green and gold, grab beads by the handful and kick back at our Big Easy bash.
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An exciting extravaganza— take a bite! –The New York Times
Join the Club • Become a Member
Open Now Thru Feb. 25!
Receive Deals at Retailers and Win Free Tickets to Movies, Concerts, Theatre Shows & Events
More info at www.cinemoms.com PG 6 • February 2018 • insiteatlanta.com
CRIME STORIES ARE BACK! BY BENJAMIN CARR CRIME STORIES AND POLICE procedurals
have been a staple of television since the days of Dragnet and Perry Mason. Finding a new way to approach the same old stories has led to some innovative storytelling - and some occasional duds, like the hilariously awful 1990s police musical Cop Rock. The newest crop of police dramas is a mix of bad and good.
One of the rare misfires from producer Ryan Murphy, this new Fox drama is so bonkers that it’s unintentionally hilarious. It follows a group of gung-ho, zany and sexy first responders in Los Angeles from the moment of a crisis forward. It is the most melodramatic nonsense, but that doesn’t mean it’s not addictive. The crises themselves are wild. A bouncy house filled with kids floats off the side of a cliff. A car accident drives a spike through a man’s head. A couple joining the Mile High Club gets trapped in a lavatory during a plane crash. The characters, though, are overburdened with dramatic circumstances. Angela Bassett plays Athena, a strong-willed police officer whose husband just came out as gay and whose daughter just attempted suicide after some bullying. Peter Krause plays Tommy, a recovering alcoholic fire chief trying to teach responsibility to his gorgeous, hot-headed sex addict deputy named Buck (Oliver Stark). And Connie Britton plays a voice on the phone - who also is dealing with her mother’s Alzheimer’s and her recent breakup. The show has yet to gel in any way that doesn’t feel forced and absurd, but its overwrought silliness should help it last at least two years. A cast this good, though, deserves much better.
THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE: AMERICAN CRIME STORY (FX)
Following last year’s magnificent miniseries The
People vs. O.J. Simpson, anything would feel like a let-down. But the crime at the center of this year’s American Crime Story installment on FX isn’t as complicated as The Trial of the Century was. Beginning with the 1997 Miami murder of the fashion designer, here played by Edgar Ramirez, this show - also from Ryan Murphy - examines how a gay serial killer named Andrew Cunanan, portrayed by the great Darren Criss, was able to go on a killing spree and evade police capture. Because nearly every character in the glossy series is gay, the implications of what the crimes revealed about society are the focus of the new show. Co-starring Ricky Martin and Penelope Cruz, the series feels a bit campy and obvious in its first episodes. However, like the O.J. series, this one may grow into something deeper and compelling.
THE ALIENIST (TNT)
This new crime drama, based upon the Caleb Carr novel, is a massive, ambitious departure from anything else on its network - and anything else on television right now. Indeed, it feels like a bloodier, violent Sherlock Holmes. The first episode was gruesome, entertaining and mostly marvelous. A serial killer is on the loose in 1898 New York City, murdering and mutilating children. The latest victim is a child prostitute, a boy who dresses like a girl. The body is discovered in pieces on the Brooklyn Bridge, still under construction. Dr. Lazlo Kreizler, played by Daniel Bruhl, a specialist in criminal psychology, begins an investigation into the crime, believing it linked to other murders. At some point, he challenges Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt - yes, that one - to help him with his investigation. Co-starring Luke Evans and Dakota Fanning, this show is dark and creepy. The characters and the setting are fascinating, apart from the brutal crimes at the center of it all. In a crowded field of the same old stuff, The Alienist is really quite something.
Under The Lights ON STAGE THIS MONTH
THE BALLAD OF KLOOK AND VINETTE
Now thru February 18 Horizon Theatre (404) 584-7450 HorizonTheatre.com Klook is a drifter who’s gotten too old to drift. Vinette is on the run but she doesn’t know what’s chasing her. Together, they make a tentative stab at love and reach for hope until the past catches up to the future and smacks it in the face. Tough, tender, funny, poignant, The Ballad of Klook and Vinette will grab you from the inside out. This love story set against poetry and jazz fuses soulful music combined with a witty, moving story making this a mesmerizing theater experience. The play stars Brittany Inge, who performed in Blackberry Daze at Horizon last season and was recently listed as one of ACJ's 8 upand-coming Atlanta actors to watch; and Amari Cheatom, who joins the cast from LA and is most popularly known for his role in the film Django Unchained.
February 20 - 28 The Fox Theatre (855) 285-8499 FoxTheatre.org/Rent In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later,
Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini's La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.
February 22 - March 18 Theatrical Outfit (678) 528-1500 theatricaloutfit.org This month Theatrical Outfit debuts Perfect Arrangement by local award-winning playwright Topher Payne. Inspired by true stories of McCarthy-era social survival, this bubbly cocktail party-meets-TV sitcom simmers into poignant realism as two closeted couples, one gay and one lesbian, face exposure and a future more gray than Technicolor.
THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
Thru FEB 18
arts@tech professional artists series
One-hour Family Ballet
February 8-11, 2018
Perfect for ages 12 &under! Visit atlantaballet.com or call | 1.800.982.2787 for tickets! Atlanta Ballet 2 is supported in part by
nufonia must fall by Kid Koala
It’s a robot romance just in time for Valentine’s Day! Kid Koala’s graphic novel Nufonia Must Fall comes to life at the Ferst Center with an amazing mix of puppetry, video, and live and electronic music. 50 puppets, 17 miniature stages, four cameras, Kid Koala, and the Afiara Quartet live!
12 13 MON
insiteatlanta.com • February 2018 • PG 7
Movie Reviews BY STEVE WARREN
HAPPY END (R)
1/2 If you don’t like “art” films you’ll really hate this one; and while I’m generally a fan of writer-director Michael Haneke (Caché, Amour, Funny Games), I’ve got to side with the haters. The Laurent family made their fortune in construction but construction is the problem with this script. Haneke throws scenes at you, some apparently randomly, and lets you assemble them in your own mind in some hopefully coherent fashion. Isabelle Huppert gets top billing in the ensemble but doesn’t do much heavy lifting. She’s one of the few family members who doesn’t attempt suicide or assist in someone else’s – with or without being asked – but she rarely smiles. She’s taken over the business from her dementiaaddled father (Jean-Louis Trintignant) but can’t trust her grown son to take it over from her. Her brother the surgeon (Mathieu Kassovitz), who’s cheating on his second wife, assumes custody of his adolescent daughter (Fantine Harduin – the film’s real star) when his first wife dies. There’s an industrial accident and a lot of irrational behavior to move things along, plus scenes shot from so far away you may miss – or be unable to guess – what’s happening. Some are held for so long you not only can’t tell how they connect to the rest of the story, but you forget the rest of the story by the time they’re over. That’s Art, dammit. You figure it out! - Steve Warren
THE INSULT (R)
You don’t have to be Lebanese or Palestinian, Christian or Muslim, Republican or Democrat, or Hatfield or McCoy to understand and perhaps relate to the stubbornness and the hatred behind it that escalate a fairly simple disagreement into an uncivil war in Lebanon’s Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. Yasser (Kamel El Basha) is a Palestinian refugee working for a construction company in Beirut. When the gutter outside Tony’s (Adel Karam) apartment drips on him in the street, Yasser tries to repair it as part of his job. Tony, a Lebanese Christian who watches antiPalestinian TV all day, refuses the repairs and destroys them. Name-calling leads to hate speech, which leads to physical violence, despite the efforts of Yasser’s boss and their wives to broker peace between the men. Tony only wants an apology,
MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE PG 8 • February 2018 • insiteatlanta.com
which Yasser is too proud to give him; but once lawyers get involved the stakes are raised significantly. Much of the film takes place in courtrooms, but it’s far more than a legal drama. At one point there’s an almost thrown-away indication that the squabblers share a distrust of Chinesemade products, a point of agreement that could be built upon but isn’t. It’s a subtle hint that many problems can be resolved or avoided if we focus on our commonalities rather than our differences. Director and co-writer Ziad Doueiri isn’t so simplistic but suggests we can get beyond irrational hatred, even if there’s a rational reason for it. His film is at once timely and timeless, and hardly ever predictable, even when it’s being obvious. See it before you get into your next argument. - Steve Warren
MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE (PG-
13) 1/2 The Maze Runner films haven’t reached the trending status of YA (Young Adult) blockbusters like Twilight and The Hunger Games, but the first two were slickly made dystopian action dramas. The third offers more of the same – perhaps too much more, at 140 minutes. It opens with an illogical but exciting action sequence that’s given no context (unless you know the characters and their situation) until afterward, when Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito) reminds a hundred or so young people who have just been rescued that they were being sacrificed as guinea pigs because they’re “immune to a plague that could wipe out the human race.” Their captors were WCKD (World In Catastrophe: Killzone Experiment Department), run by Janson (Aiden Gillen) and Ava (Patricia Clarkson). Everyone wants to save humanity but WCKD, like Big Pharma, has selfish motives and evil methods. Our hero, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) leads a mission to rescue his friend Minho (Ki Hong Lee) from WCKD headquarters, inside a newlywalled city. Gally (Will Poulter) rejoins them after being left for dead at the end of the first film. Mainly it’s two-plus hours of chases, fights and shootouts. There’s a hint of a romantic triangle with Thomas, Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) and Brenda (Rosa Salazar), but more emphasis on the bromances between the male buddies. It’s all pretty generic, like a grand-scale TV event – fun enough while you’re watching it but quickly forgotten. - Steve Warren
OSCAR PREDICTIONS Shape of Water BY STEVE WARREN
FTER LAST YEAR’S FIASCO IN naming the wrong film Best Movie, the 90th Academy Awards will look to turn the page and focus on the balance between art and politics. Last year’s Moonlight win let the Academy check the Race and Sexual Orientation boxes. Will they want to check the Feminism box this year, or consider that done by the nominations for cinematographer Rachel Morrison (the first woman in her category) and director Greta Gerwig (the fifth woman in hers, but also nominated for Original Screenplay)? The nominations show some influence of the Black Lives Matter, #metoo and #timesup movements, plus the Academy’s effort to recruit younger and more diverse members. Will Guillermo del Toro’s Mexican status work against him? It might if Congress voted for the Oscars; but while the legislature might condemn him as a “rapist-murderer-drug dealer,” Hollywood liberals are more likely to anoint him as writer-producer-director of the year’s mostnominated (13) film, The Shape of Water. Early front-runners where Get Out, Sally Hawkins, Willem Dafoe and Laurie Metcalf, but at press time odds have shifted to The Shape of Water, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney. After James Franco won a Golden Globe a few allegations of sexual impropriety cost him an Oscar nomination. The only constant has been Gary Oldman for Best Actor. BEST PICTURE: The Shape of Water Picture and Director split again last year, but I’ll predict twin Oscars on one mantle this year: BEST DIRECTOR: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water I’d be a fool to ignore the recent precursors in the acting categories: BEST ACTOR: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour BEST ACTRESS: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI nomination (with no wins) in 24 years, for Blade Runner 2049. He’s got to win sometime, but I don’t think this is his year. BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Hoyte van Hoytema, Dunkirk This year the Original Screenplay slate is stronger than the Adapted. The award could be a consolation prize for Greta Gerwig or Jordan Peele for their otherwise Oscarless multiple nominees. BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: James Ivory, Call Me by Your Name While I’d like to root for Baby Driver, with its high-speed tour of Atlanta, the American Cinema Editors picked Dunkirk (drama) and I, Tonya (comedy); and I have to go along: BEST FILM EDITING: Dunkirk The smart money is on “Remember Me” from Coco, but I’ll put my dumb money on an anthem from a movie that’s shown surprising strength and longevity at the boxoffice: BEST ORIGINAL SONG: “This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Blade Runner 2049
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Allison Janney, I, Tonya
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Phantom Thread
Since one of the most-laureled documentaries, Jane, didn’t get an Oscar nomination, I’ll bet on the other, made by 89-year-old Agnes Varda: BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Faces Places
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING: Darkest Hour
They could have engraved this statuette months in advance: BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Coco
BEST SOUND MIXING: Dunkirk
I’ve only seen two of the foreign language nominees, The Insult and The Square, and I liked them both; but I guess I’ll go with the consensus among my fellow prophets: BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: A Fantastic Woman (Chile) Here’s a tough one. Roger Deakins has his 14th
BEST SOUND EDITING: Baby Driver
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: War for the Planet of the Apes BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT: Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405 BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM: Revolting Rhymes BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: My Nephew Emmett
LIGHTFOOT COMES ALIVE
It’s No Hoax - as He Approaches 80, Gordon Lightfoot is Very Much Alive and Well BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
N 2010, WORD QUICKLY SPREAD that Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot was dead. The internet hoax went viral and fans began to post the prerequisite flood of thoughts and prayers for his family and associates. The outpouring was genuine and fortunately for music fans, the news was fake. With a recording career that began in 1966, Lightfoot has had a long and prolific career with a canon of 220 songs, including his biggest hits “Sundown,” “Early Morning Rain,” and “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” At this point in his career, he certainly doesn’t have to endure the strain of interviews, fans, travel and performing but beginning this month the affable musician has 75 shows scheduled for 2018. INsite spoke with Lightfoot in his studio near Toronto as he prepped one of his guitars in anticipation of the new tour. He arrives in Atlanta later this month for a return engagement at Symphony Hall. You are the first artist I’ve talked to who survived the dreaded online death hoax. But you did have an actual health scare a few years ago. Yeah, in 2002. The situation there was I had an aortal aneurism. It put me out of business for two and a half years. I was out cold for the first six weeks. But you sprang back with a burst of creativity and completed an album in the process. I had a series of vocal and guitar tracks that I’d recorded about a year before I went down. Eighteen selections were sitting in the vault. They were meant as demos so my band could learn the songs. Then I was in the hospital for three and a half months, just the first time. During that time I was thinking, ‘What am I gonna do about my band, how can I run my business and what about my family if I can’t work?’ For about six months, I wasn’t sure if I could ever get back to it or not. But then I thought about those demos. I got the guys in the band together and we found which takes were salvageable. The guys started working on it while I was still in the hospital. That became
IT’S A VERY ISOLATED THING WHEN YOU’RE SONGWRITING AND YOU’RE UNDER CONTRACT TO DO AN ALBUM; YOU’RE WORKING ON IT MOST OF THE TIME. IT’S LIKE YOU’RE WRITING A BOOK.
my last album [Harmony, released in 2004]. So that could have been my rebirth right there - to come back from an illness and be able to make an album at the same time. The guys would bring the stuff to me in the hospital at night so I could listen to it.
November in my hometown in Orillia, which is north of here. Yeah, we’re doing well in terms of the orchestra. With wear and tear, and some of the adversities of gettin’ older the vocal loses a little bit of its brilliance as the years go by. But it’s strong, it’s in tune and the five-piece band is really tight now. The folk-rock genre, as you know, is great fun to do. But to get ready for it involves exercise - as boring as that may sound. It involves practicing the instruments every day.
What do you think of it in retrospect? I would have liked to do the whole thing from scratch, as we’d planned. I can’t say I was totally knocked out with it but we did it independently. I did 20 original albums altogether, five of them were for United Artists and fourteen were for Reprise. I’m actually FEBRUARY 26 • 8PM quite surprised and pleased Symphony Hall that I’m able to carry on at atlantasymphony.org this age.
You mentioned your upcoming 80th birthday. How does it feel to still be an active guitarist at this point in your life? Well in 2010, I had a trans-hysteric attack in my right arm. Golly, all of a sudden, I couldn’t play! But it gradually came back. I started playing and practicing a lot more and it started working its way back. It came back about 98 percent. In doing so, I perfected some of the technical things I’d been working on all these years, like getting perfect intonation of the instruments, that’s what we strive for.
Your career has spanned generations. Do you feel the folk troubadour’s charge to be a social commentator, or are you more comfortable with the more personal approach? During the Vietnam war, a lot of people were looking at that time head on and directly, but I was looking at it more from the periphery. I’d see the soldiers at the airports and it was a very sad time. I have a song we do a lot called “Drink Your Glasses Dry,” which could mean a number of things now that there’s a possibility of draft again. That’s one thing I’ve always admired about your writing is that you paint a very broad swath of social commentary, presented from a very personal place and a decidedly Canadian perspective. Yeah, with relationships and the environment, too. I’m a Canadian and I watch and I learn from my neighbors and try to keep it all going in a general direction. It’s emotionally charged because of what’s behind it - in my case, so many marriages, so many kids (laughs). You’re working on your 12-string at the moment. Do you still enjoy the preparations that come with a new tour? You don’t have to play live anymore, but you obviously love to do the work. I’ll be doing my 80th birthday show in
Symphony Hall is a perfect place to execute those intonations; the room sounds great. It’s like your beloved Massey Hall in many ways. Oh yeah, it’s one of our favorite venues. Concert halls and the reconditioned theaters we play all across America - I’ve tried to think about all the great old theaters across America and it must be 150 to 200. It’s great for us, we get out a lot of volume but not too much. We’ve worked on it so much we just try to do the best job we can do everytime. With 220 songs to pick from, it must be difficult to plan a two-hour show. Of the 220, there are about 38 or so we’ve got it boiled down to, the ones that work well for me and the audience. Then there are about 12 or 14 that must be done and the rest of the material has to be rotated around that, so we have three different shows to set up and that’s part of the homework. I have all of that figured out before we leave. And then there’s the exercise and just taking it all seriously. It’s all part of the plan, part of my routine now. I
still run my own errands and I don’t find any of it boring because it’s getting through one more day of being prepared for getting out on that stage. It’s not work when it all sounds good. The casual observer doesn’t realize the 8 o’clock show involves a full day of work. Yeah and with travel and all that, we don’t arrive by magic. We do soundcheck and work on the intonations. I don’t ever feel it’s perfect until about a half-hour before we go on stage. I keep working at it. Even at supper, I’m thinking about the tunings because I have two 12-string guitars. That’s a lot of work in itself. It is and I have two six-string guitars and I do all of my own tuning. We don’t have the luxury of a tuning crew. I use one of my six-strings to warm up my right hand in the afternoon. Then you get on stage and perform those songs, some of which elicit a number of deep emotions. But for you, do you continue to feel the moments that may have inspired those songs - or have they become an act of performance at this point? I get a lot of visuals of past occurrences in my personal life from the roller-coaster ride, yeah. I think about the dips and dives. But I really like to turn things positive, even on the darker stuff like relationships and unrequited love and all that business. How do you feel your songwriting has evolved over the years? It’s a very isolated thing when you’re songwriting and you’re under contract to do an album; you’re working on it most of the time. It’s like you’re writing a book. You ignore your family, the ones you love. I was between marriages for 19 years and wrote eight or nine albums. Will there be a new album soon? Well I doubt it. I’ll be 80 in November. Now it’s about what I’d traded for responsibility and that basically is my family - my wife, six kids and five grandchildren and two ex-wives. Once the obligations are behind a person, which now all of mine are, you can work on things just for fun. insiteatlanta.com • February 2018 • PG 9
Affordable Dining Guide Great places in town to get a good meal without breaking the bank
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 for the location nearest you.
600 Ponce de Leon 404.888.9149 eatsonponce.net
favorite hangout among residents of Little 5 and Av o n d a l e Estates. They offer a wide variety of salads, subs, calzones and of course pizzas to choose from at affordable prices. Savage Pizza uses only the freshest vegetables, top quality meats, cheeses, breads and pastas. On their menu you'll find innovative homemade sauces and thoughtfully prepared dishes made from scratch every day. Savage offers lunch and dinner with delivery to the area. Both locations offer ample seating.
Baldinos Giant Jersey Subs
Eats keeps their menu simple and their prices low. First choose from a variety of pastas. You pay by the sauce which range from $6.25 and $7.75 and includes: marinara, olive and garlic, pesto, Alfredo, creamy marinara, turkey meat sauce and chicken chili. All pasta plates come with garlic bread and you can add on extras from meatballs to chicken breast for just $2 more. They offer meat and vegetable plate dinners too. Choose from their prized jerk chicken, lemon pepper chicken and turkey meatloaf. Some of the vegetables include: broccoli, green beans, and collards. Vegetable plates are priced at $6.00 for three or $8.00 for four. A meat and two sides run $8.75 and $9.75 for three sides. Eats is open seven days a week from 11am until 10pm.
The Flying Biscuit Café
1655 McLendon Ave 404.687.8888 1001 Piedmont Ave. 404.874.8887 flyingbiscuit.com The Flying Biscuit Café serves great breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week. One of Atlanta's home grown gems, they are best known for their mouth-watering biscuits
and original affordable menu items. The Candler Park and Midtown locations offer a wide assortment of bakery items as well as new beer and wine selections. The Flying Biscuit’s menu is organic-friendly. Enjoy weekend Sweet Specials on a variety of pancakes including chocolate chip, blueberry and more. And don't forget, Kids Eat Free Monday through Thursday from 4 – 8 PM.
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
Best Inexpensive Restaurant
Winner I Ns i t e ★ 201 7
80 Powers Ferry Rd. 770.321.1177 5697 Buford Hwy. 770.455.8570 12890 Highway 9 678.580.0434 baldinos.us
Buckhead (404) 816-0603 Decatur (404) 378-5077 Dunwoody (770) 454-2201 Grant Park Opening Farmburger.com Farm Burger is about more than just a great burger; it is a labor of love. In an era where the concept of “Farm to Table” has become little more than a commodity, Farm Burger has created its own selfcontained agricultural and economic ecosystem which keeps dollars in the local economy while restoring the productivity of its pastures. While championing all things local, their grass feed beef is raised right here in Georgia. With their communal tables and lack of predesigned burgers, Farm Burger encourages participation from its customers. There are wide assortments of toppings starting with
Baldinos has been recognized for serving the best sub sandwich in the South since 1975. Their true New Jersey style subs are as fresh as any sandwich anywhere. The rolls are baked in-store everyday - all day; each sub is sliced fresh as ordered; hot subs are grilled, not nuked or pressed, and only the freshest produce garnishes every sub as ordered. Salads, soups and delicious baked goodies compliment a true value menu. Check out Baldinos $3.99 Daily Special - a different sub every day that will keep you coming back.
484 Moreland Ave. 404.523.0500 115 Laredo Dr. 404.299.5799 savagepizza.com This eclectic neighborhood restaurant is a
Your Neighborhood Pizzeria!
Thanks Atlanta for Voting us Best 16 Straight Years
SEE OUR DAILY SPECIALS
MONDAY – Baldinos Extra Special (#7) TUESDAY – Like it Hot? Grilled & Toasted The HOT Italian WEDNESDAY – Ham it Up - (#5) Boiled Ham & Cheese w/ soup or side THURSDAY – “Check Out Our New Chicken Breast” – Try our #21 FRIDAY – Meatless Combo - Tuna (#10) or Veg Stir Fry (#27) w/ side SATURDAY – Steak Out- A-Steak Sub Your Choice (#11,13, or 19) SUNDAY – American Special - (#14) w/ choice of soup or side Marietta 80 Powers Ferry Rd 770-321-1177 (closed Sundays)
Doraville 5697 Buford Hwy. MILTON 12890 Hwy. 9 770-455-8570 678-580-0434
$3.99 Atlanta’s All Day! BEST Favorite ATL Pizza! Winner
BEST SUBS IN ATLANTA 11 STRAIGHT YEARS! PG 10 • February 2018 • insiteatlanta.com
I Ns i t e ★ 201 7
Multiple Atlanta Locations: JohnnysPizza.com
the basics that come free with your burger to the more extravagant for a dollar or two more. If you prefer something unusual but you want to be sure it will be good, try one of their Blackboard Burgers or the Daily Burger which varies by location. All Farm Burger burgers are grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone-free, locally raised, ground fresh, made in-house and griddled to perfection!
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. Athens Pizza is Zagat rated and winner of several awards including Best Greek Cuisine. So don’t let the name fool you, there is much more here than great pizza. Many of the favorite recipes on their Greek dishes go back over 50 years! Athens Pizza offers daily specials for lunch and dinner. They have an extensive catering menu while the restaurant can also accommodate parties large and small with their private room.
will find regional dishes like gyros, falafel and kabob sandwiches. They have a great Business Lunch Special offering Shish kabob, Kufta kabab & Gyro slices w/rice pilaf, salad, pita and drink for $8.40. Mediterranean Grill has tasty sandwiches including: Gyro, Kufta Kabob, Chicken Kabob, Falafel and a Grilled Vegetable sandwich. Sandwiches are just $6.50 and entrees start at $9.50.
Nancy’s Chicago Pizza
265 Ponce De Leon 404.254.5103 nancyspizza.com Chicago has arguably the best pizza in America and that great pizza can be found in midtown Atlanta at Nancy’s Chicago Pizza. Nancy's serves up thin, deep dish and new Rustic Crust Italiano Pizza as well as a full menu including great appetizers, sandwiches and signature salads. Nancy’s in Midtown displays multiple TV screens in their two dining rooms. They recently completed a major renovation doubling in size; now able to accommodate 200 seats. The new room is perfect for private functions and events while take-out, delivery and catering are available. Nancy's is the place to call when looking for a great meal at a great price.
3652 Roswell Rd. 404.816.9090 landmarkdiner.com
N. Decatur Plaza 404.320.0101; Midtown 404.917.1100; East Cobb 678.996.0045; Athens 706.543.5000 mediterraneangrill.com
Mediterranean Grill is the place to go for authentic Mediterranean food. Their loyal customers keep this family/chefowned and operated restaurant busy. Here you
Atlanta’s favorite diner offers great meals at affordable prices 24 hours a day. Start the day with an omelet, french toast or golden pancakes. For lunch try one of their many sandwiches like sliced turkey, egg salad or the BLT. You can also find several great burgers and chicken fingers for the kids. For dinner they have all the finest dishes like blackened grouper, jumbo shrimp scampi and rack of lamb at very affordable prices.
& event info. Agave has two beautiful dining rooms as well as an enclosed heated patio.
The Buckhead location is now offering three-course dinners for just $17.99 including entree, soup & dessert. Buckhead location is also the new home for The Punchline.
3887 Peachtree Rd. 404.816.2229 Multiple locations at chinchinga.com Chin Chin is consistently voted Atlanta’s Best Chinese restaurant. Their menu offers standard favorites and many exotic dishes in Chinese cuisine at affordable prices. The Brookhaven location featured offers over 30 lunch specials from $7.25 - $9.50. Choose an entree along with Vegetable Roll, Soup and Fried Rice. For dinner choose from over 20 chicken dishes and a dozen beef and pork dishes starting at just $11.95. Vegetarian dishes offered at $10.95.
242 Boulevard 404.588.0006 agaverestaurant.com Agave blends eclectic southwestern cuisine, extensive tequila bar and wine list coupled with exceptional service, to make this one of Atlanta’s top restaurants. Get free chips and salsa upon arrival and two for one appetizers at the bar nightly from 5 pm – 7 pm. Sign up for email alerts through their website for great dining deals
550 Amsterdam Ave. in Midtown 404.875.4494 loca-luna.com Loca Luna on Amsterdam Ave is a favorite date night, girls night out or place to meet up with friends. The restaurant offers a spacious main dining room, ample bar/lounge area, tropical outdoor patio with Midtown skyline view. Enjoy a wide range of tapas including Snapchat worthy selections like: Spanish Style Ribs, Pao de Queijo, Emapanda de Carne and Ceviche De Camarones. Come in Tuesday 5-10pm for Unlimited Tapas at just $18 or crazy Taco Thursday’s with $2 tacos and $4 margaritas 5-10pm. Take part in free Salsa Lessons from 8-9pm on Wednesdays with Orquesta MaCuba Salsa Band and $5 Skinny Drinks. They feature live Latin music every night on their large dance floor and the hottest DJ's spin late night on Fridays and Saturdays. There is plenty of free parking and free valet available.
Harry’s Pizza and Subs
2150 Powers Ferry Rd. 770 .955.4413 harryspizzaandsubs.com
Since 1989, Harry’s has been serving exceptional pizza to north Atlanta. This family owned and run restaurant specializes in New York style pizza but they are also known for their chicken wings, oversized salads, and mouthwatering sandwiches. Harry’s offers daily specials on menu items and always has a special on draft beers.
Winner I Ns i t e ★ 201 7
BEST IN GREEK & ITALIAN CUISINE
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Harry Says: My Pizza is the BEST! Don’t settle for less!
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Unlimited Tapas $18 5-10pm
loca-luna.com 550 Amsterdam Ave NE • Atlanta, GA 30306
2150 Powers Ferry Road • Atlanta • 30339 770-955-4413 • harryspizzaandsubs.com insiteatlanta.com • February 2018 • PG 11
‘80s Hitmaker Howard Jones is Back on the Road with Three Decades of Songs & Stories of have to do it that way. I wrote the whole of Dream Into Action (1985) pretty much on the road.
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
FTER SPENDING LAST SUMMER crisscrossing the country headlining the ‘80s-themed Retro Futura tour, this With modern technology, now you can bring winter finds Howard Jones back on the road. your studio on tour in your pocket. This time out, he’s backed only by his piano It’s true. Now you can record on your phone. and interesting tales from over three decades for The Songs and The Stories Tour. The show But it’s still not the same as the real is a stripped-down look at the stories behind studio experience. some of his greatest hits, mixed with deep cuts Yeah, I have to say the records we made in the and material from his recent ‘80s are still sounding really album Engage. good. I think it’s because Once an MTV fixture and more time was spent in the major label artist, Jones is studio getting the sounds FEBRUARY 21 now happily working as an just right. The records I indie artist on his own label. City Winery really like have been done in The equally crafty Rachael citywinery.com/atlanta proper studios. The first five Sage opens the show with records I made, I did them in a charming set of her own the studio but now I have a fiercely indie, piano-based music. studio at home to put it all together. INsite caught up with the soft-spoken Jones at his home in the UK. Do you enjoy the scoring process for films? It’s a good way to reach people all around You’re on the road so much; are you able to the world in a different way, really. I take it write while on tour? quite seriously when I get asked to do a song I have a song in the film “Animal Crackers” for a film, to fit it into the narrative and work which came out a little while back. I was on the with the director and get his ideas in there. I’m road and talking with the director who was very really enjoying it but I’m also looking forward keen on the idea of me coming up with a song to making another new album of my own, for the film. I was in a hotel in Little Rock so I sat hopefully this year. down with my laptop and I was just belting out vocal ideas into the computer. Then when I got People do pay attention and they do notice to Nashville, I was able to play him the piece I’d the updates. been working on. When needs must, you kind One should never underestimate their
audiences. They’re up for new, fresh ways of looking at things in the same way that I am, so it’s great. I think they like the fact that I’m not treating them as showroom dummies and just playing them the hits. It’s important to respect their taste.
But people do love the ‘80s. As nostalgia and simply as good music. I always thought the ‘80s would finally get its due. People here in the UK looked down on the ‘80s for quite a while as a terrible time for music and all that. That’s all changed now, of course, but it was really unfair, because it was a very rich time for music. There’s no one single ‘80s sound. Exactly. There were all sorts of genres for pop music - all doing very well, side by side. It was all going on at the same time. I think that’s really healthy, rather than pop just being kind of one thing. And people were experimenting with new production techniques and new equipment like synthesizers and drum machines and all the tools of the studio. To be a recording artist at that time was very exciting. We had all these toys to work with and we could put a new stamp on rock and roll and pop. You managed to create your own sound in the process. Right, that’s what I wanted to do. I love my heroes but I don’t want to sound like them. You also had to think not only musically but
visually because of the rise of MTV. Yeah we were the first generation for that. You had to think visually because of the videos and how you’d present yourself to the audience so you had to keep in touch with fashion and style. The only era I can think of that would parallel that would probably be the ‘60s, when all those elements were firing together as well. What is the single biggest shift in music you’ve seen during your career? Well it’s changed beyond all recognition now. The way people record and consume music but also the importance of music in society. It’s diminished since the ‘80s. Other things have come along to challenge it. But if you’re a new artist now, you can form your own label, have direct contact with your fans and book your own shows. So the power has come back to the artists. This new world we sort of find ourselves in. It’s really up to the individual to make it happen.
VIVA THE REVOLUTION!
After the Death of Prince, His Band is Back to Celebrate His Music and Legacy
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
I think we are still trying to process it all. We’re still trying to figure it out, but as we do, we realize the thing we need most is to be around each other. So we might as well play some music.
S ANY GOOD PRINCE fan knows, The Revolution was the band he assembled in Minneapolis in 1983. The musical diversity of the group blended straightThe loss of Prince was so big in culture but also for you on a ahead R&B with strong elements of pop, funk, and even personal level as a confidant and collaborator. psychedelia with the prolific visions of its founder. With I felt the magnitude of my loss but it was compacted by the Prince, the Revolution released two full studio records, two world losing him too. There was comfort in the loneliness soundtrack LPs and two videos. Purple Rain, which sold but at the same time, I keep saying, ‘I’ve lost nearly all of my over 16 million albums in the United States, made the band heroes.’ From David Bowie to Tom Petty to Maurice White to an internationally known unit, and six top Leonard Cohen to everyone else. And I knew ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart all of them. I think the only one left is Stevie certainly didn’t hurt their notoriety. The Purple Wonder. Rain film bolstered their image as an iconic rock ensemble. You can see the impact from the creative side, The Revolution officially disbanded in 1986 FEBRUARY 24 but from the intensely personal side as well. but now, after the shockingly early demise Tabernacle Yeah, it’s definitely a strange time and it’s of Prince in 2016, the original members coming out in the new material I’m writing tabernacleatl.com from the height of the mid-’80s era are back with Lisa, but with The Revolution, it’s not together. Wendy Melvoin (guitar, vocals), Lisa about writing something new. Maybe sometime Coleman (keyboards, vocals), Brown Mark (bass, vocals), Matt in the future when we’re all sort of settled and have a better “Doctor” Fink (keyboards, vocals) and Bobby Z. (drums) have idea of what this all means, we’ll write something for him and reunited to celebrate the enduring legacy of that intensely try and do something with it. creative period. As they splintered away over the years, the members went So it was a year of downtime and shock before you ever on to do their own projects, most notably Wendy and Lisa thought about playing a show together. continued their musical partnership into the ‘90s with and a Oh yeah, we were quiet and stunned. We just sat back series of well-received album releases. Today they continue and watched where the pieces were falling. We couldn’t do to write music for several platforms. They have a new album anything the first year. Nothing at all. Then when we did, it in production in addition to contributing music for albums, was three shows at First Avenue [the legendary Minneapolis film and TV - including NBC’s Shades Of Blue series. INsite club seen in the film Purple Rain]. By the third night we caught up with Wendy Melvion by phone from Los Angeles. walked backstage and just crumbled into each other’s arms, crying. It was almost too difficult to navigate. After Prince passed, there was obviously a period of shock, so how long did it take to basically get the band back together? How were those shows? They were obviously charged with
PG 12 • February 2018 • insiteatlanta.com
electricity and sadness but some sort of rebirth as well. It was beautiful but it was also so heavy, so deep. It was a building full of grieving people. I referred to it at the time as a Shiva, you know? The Jewish ceremony of mourning for seven days and seven nights, where you get together with your friends and eat and mourn. So it was our version of a Purple Shiva. It was deep, man. Really hard. Everyone is grieving but then you are tasked to go up and play. But the beauty of that was, the connection was elevated. Whether you are depressed or mourning or whatever, when five people get on stage, even like with the Stones, no matter the backstory, you get on stage and it just works. The music becomes independent of your own feelings at the time. So it put us in the same place as everyone with a sense of release and healing. And now that healing has become a tour. I guess you could call it that. I’ve been hesitant to quite figure out what it is, but yeah, I guess it is. We’ve been getting messengered by the fans all around the world, ‘Please come, we need you.’ So we’re trying to sort it out.
Alvin Ailey Dance Company
Atlanta Ballet’s Beauty & the Beast
February 8 - 11 Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre (770) 916-2800 atlantaballet.com
Fall in love with this celebrated fairy tale all over again with a one-hour production designed for our younger audience members, children ages 12 and under. Your family will be mesmerized by this enchanting tale of adventure, unlikely friendships, and the power of true love! Performing February 8 – 11 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Select the Thursday, February 8 at 7pm performance for the best availability of seats.
Jeffrey Osborne + Rachelle Ferrell
February 15 - 19 The Fox Theatre (855) 285-8499 alvinailey.org foxtheatre.org
This Valentine’s Day share the magic of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater with loved ones. Led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, The Company returns for one week only to the Fox Theatre for inspired performances featuring new productions of Ailey classics and premieres by some of America’s most celebrated dance-makers. All shows close with Mr. Ailey’s inspiring Revelations – the world’s most popular work of modern dance.
Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox
February 14 Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre (770) 916-2800 CobbEnergyCentre.com
Saturday, February 10 The Fox Theatre (855) 285-8499 foxtheatre.org
Celebrate Valentine Weekend with R&B Music Icon, Jeffrey Osborne and Jazz Vocalist, Rachelle Ferrell. The show features an evening of soulful tunes and cool Jazz vibes. Obsorne is best known for such hits as "On the Wings of Love," "You Should Be Mine," "Were Going All the Way," and "Only Human." He is also wrote the lyrics to Whitney Houston's classic ballad "All At Once" and performed on the now legendary, "We are the World" song. Ferrell is an accomplished singer-songwriter that has performed everything from R&B to Pop to Jazz to Gospel and has an impressive six octave range. She is best known for her hits songs, "Welcome to My Love" and "Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This " with Will Downing.
Imagine a place in time where the dance floor is full of revelers twerking in poodle skirts while well-heeled hipsters drink martinis at the bar. No doubt Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox would be playing. The ensemble reimagines contemporary pop, rock and R&B hits in the style of various yesteryears.
Dad’s Garage Theatre Valentine’s Day Show
February 14 Dad’s Garage Theatre in Inman Park (404) 523-3141 dadsgarage.com
Dad’s Garage is offering a whole week of love themed
shows concluding with their special Valentine's Day Show. They'll be playing some improv games and scenes base on your stories of love gone right or wrong. Nothing gets the love juice flowing faster than laughter. This show is inappropriate for anyone not old enough to experience adult humor. Exhibits
Valentines in the Garden
Saturday, February 10, 7 - 11 pm Atlanta Botanical Garden atlantabotanicalgarden.org
Enjoy an elegant evening of music, dancing, cocktails, desserts and orchids at the most romantic spot in Atlanta. Take a stroll through the tropical conservatories, sample heart-melting treats from top caterers, sip specialty cocktails from cash bars, dance to live music.
Love Stories of Oakland
Saturday, February 10, 2:30 - 5:30 pm Oakland Cemetery (404) 876-5859 atlantabotanicalgarden.org
Celebrate Valentine’s learning about Oakland Cemetery’s tales of everlasting love. Love Stories of Oakland recounts the loves, lives, and losses of Atlantans of days past. This hour long tour explores some of the frequent symbols of love and devotion found throughout the cemetery, and reveals poignant epitaphs that speak to enduring love.
“FROM FEAR TO EXCITEMENT”
Rachael Yamagata is on a tour & Riding High at the Top of the Singer-Songwriter Game
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
that I can switch up, I am. So the spontaneity of the moment will make each show a onetime experience.
OR AN ARTIST OFTEN DESCRIBED as a “Troubadour of Heartache,” the engaging Rachael Yamagata comes across You’re playing solo shows for the first time the crackling cell connection as a lighthearted ever. There’s always been some sort of band burst of creative inspiration. behind you. Her most recent studio album was Tightrope Yeah. I’ve never done this before. When I Walker, which is now almost two years old. The initially routed it, I was like, ‘This is going to scare emotive record remains a surge of emotive, the shit out of me, so alright - let’s do it!’ It’s always experimental compositions. An impressively very comforting to have a band up there with you prolific composer who often but this time it’s definitely my begins projects with as many solo set. as 200 songs to choose from, Yamagata is also known as a What did you do to prepare for busy collaborator. Her stellar the solo experience? FEBRUARY 13 roster of alliances includes Ryan The last couple of months I’ve Eddie’s Attic Adams, Ray LaMontagne and been doing some serious prep eddiesattic.com Duncan Sheik. work because I knew I’d be super Between frequent laughter and freaked out. I’ll have my boyfriend some decidedly off-the-record throw things at me, make asides, she recently spoke with INsite from cellphone calls or anything else just to distract me. her front porch at her home/studio/office in I tend to get super nervous before a show anyway, Woodstock, New York. She discussed how she so having a band and having my tequila tonic has feels about her most recent album in retrospect, always been a great thing. But now for this tour, her myriad of behind-the-scenes responsibilities I’ve given everything up. I’m not drinking and I’m as an indie artist and her penchant for sharing the completely giving myself over to the experience of often deeply personal moments of her songs. being nearly naked on stage. Now that you’re three shows in, how do you This is an interesting tour for you. think the tour is going so far? This tour is definitely quite different for me, The first show, I was really nervous. But there yeah. First, I’m totally solo. I’ve been trying to were some magical moments that have given me pick venues where I can arrange for real acoustic this great energy to keep at it. People have been pianos - which I adore and they make such a giving me standing ovations! I think it’s because difference in the sound. This time, every element they’re really appreciating the honesty of it all.
When you come to a live show, you want the person on stage to win anyway, so there’s a great communal support going on. I think it’s been turning pretty quickly from fear to excitement.
Looking at the itinerary, you’re playing some really cool rooms on this tour. So the venues shouldn’t be a problem. Yeah, I’m excited about that. We were very intentional with which rooms we selected for the kind of experience we wanted. We really want this to be a good night out and most of the venues are seated. I hear good things about Eddie’s Attic so I’m really looking forward to it, too. Let’s look at Tightrope Walker in retrospect. Now that you’ve had a couple of years to tour and live with it, what is your opinion of it? I’m really proud of that record. I think we did two full-band tours with it originally. It was fun to have that because a lot of it does have a big production feel to it. I really love that people are starting to get familiar with the songs on it. Are you thinking about your next record yet? I have no idea what it’ll be but I’m glad this one is still existing in the climate we have now. One of the greatest gifts we have in this profession is the ability to articulate the climate we live in. I think I offer something - whether it’s perspective or emotional healing or inspiration in some light. Music is the one thing that truly unites and heals. For me, it’s more important now than ever to
remind everyone how connected we are and how divisiveness and negativity plays into toxicity. Music plays such a role in combating that. No matter what side you’re on, music can get people from all different thought perspectives into the same room. We’ve got to remember to do that, to shed our armor and just take care of each other. You’ve been through all the major label business moves - yet you seem so much happier as an independent artist. Maybe I’ve finally got it down. It’s a good time. There’s been tremendous highs and lows, I’ve had a lot of experiences and paid a lot of dues. insiteatlanta.com • February 2018 • PG 13
ART GARFUNKEL: SINGER WITH A CAPITAL ‘S’ The Angelic Voice is Back for a Luminous Engagement at the Winery
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
HEN HE FIRST ANSWERS the phone, Art Garfunkel swears he’s “disheveled” and unorganized. But as the conversation careens through a myriad of topics, his voice takes on the measured rhythms of a hip counterculture poet. That’s exactly who he is. And yes, he really does converse in the same unconventional, free-flowing verse as in his autobiography What Is It All But Luminous. Like his contemporary Bob Dylan, he’s prone to ask as many questions as he receives, often instead of a standard answer. For over 50 years, the iconic artist has harmoniously interpreted the best songwriters from the modern era, especially the works of his former singing partner Paul Simon. If his only record was “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” the legacy would be sealed, but Garfunkel is beloved for an incredible canon of material, with and without Simon. “Mrs. Robinson,” “The Sound of Silence,” and “A Heart In New York” and “All I Know” are just a few of his instantly recognizable classics. Now almost 100 percent recovered from a multi-year struggle with vocal chord issues, he’s back on tour and headed to City Winery for two shows this month. INsite spoke with the erudite singer/ actor/writer by phone at his home in New York.
IT’S A FUNNY THING WHEN YOU’RE A LIFELONG SINGER… IT’S ENCHANTING, IT’S GREAT, IT’S A CANDLE SET A LITTLE APART. I do. Arthur Junior is 26 and he’s in Germany and I have a sixth-grader [Beau Daniel] who is the joy of my life, the centerpiece of my activities. Getting him to school and making sure now that he’s 12 and entering these tricky adolescent years with a daddy nearby.
Your acting debut in “Catch -22” opened a whole new chapter in your life - just as That’s around the same age you were it helped define a new generation of nonwhen you first met Paul Simon. It’s such a conformist ‘70s filmmaking. formative time for everything, especially It did. I moved from the luckiest in the arts. singer in the world, as a That’s the age when harmony guy, as a Simon everything is thrown at you. and Garfunkel guy, into You really do check in as the world of acting which the person you are. Your is as rich as the world of personality, your tastes FEBRUARY 10 & 11 music. It really opened up form right around there. City Winery a tremendous area of fun, It’s almost like, ‘that’s it,’ it citywinery.com/atlanta creative expression and doesn’t change much. Were theater. Saying somebody you a Beatles nut? else’s lines and being an actor is a game and it was just unfolding Oh yes and the Beach Boys and all the for me. I have no training at all in classes, folk stuff. teachers or mentors. I just was [director] You had good taste then. Mike Nichols’ notion. I’m the gleam in his eye. I also enjoyed the Simon and Garfunkel catalog during that period as well. It was also around this time that books We were good. You know, we go to the became such a big part of your life. arts to get away from things. It’s a world That’s right, when I had all that down unto itself. It tries to turn its back on time, hanging in the hotel before they all the noise, the Trumpery. The test is, called us to the set, I began to go from are you captivating enough to succeed book to book to book. Now it’s been in taking your audience elsewhere? It’s 1,270-something books. I think, if you’re the great elsewhere where artists want to gonna read, just write it down at the end. live. My autobiography is about the great elsewhere. It’s about my life. The wonder You still have every book you’ve ever read of it all, the mystery of being a person. at this point, correct? They’re all in my possession, yes. I The book contains a lot of non-linear sustained a bit of a fire and it ripped up imagery but it’s a totally cohesive read some of my shelves a few years ago. But I that covers a lot of ground, even within replaced every damned one of ‘em. I love one specific moment. my books. My beautiful wife Kim really If I were a filmmaker, I’d be one of those took the opportunity to redo everything European filmmakers with a lot of jumpafter the fire; my location is with all of my cuts. A lot of editing. reading wrapped around me. But no bad splices though, just real You have a couple of sons who have emotions and scenarios. performed with you at various times, When you write these things, you go by as well. feel. You’re thinking, ‘I’m the writer, but
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I’m also the reader as I’m writing it. What wants to come next?’ It’s a funny thing when you’re a lifelong singer. If you’re the lifelong singer, how do you spend your life? I have my private life, as it is with so many, light and shade, and then there are the things you do to keep it interesting. If they offer you an acting role, can you jump in and see how it feels? Many of the entries came during your lengthy walks as you’d get away from the noise of the city. If you’re writing your whole life, can you walk across the United States and Europe? I’ve walked these countries just to get out of town, just to shake out the city stuff. The traffic, the honking of the horn. You shake it out by walking in Indiana and Missouri or Wyoming. I’m interested in the vitality of being. The last tour was songs and stories and poetry. How has it changed? What if it’s the same? Then it will be even better. I knew you were involved with diplomacy and niceness! You’re committed to being diplomatic - if not truthful. But really, aside from a little kibitzing and joking around, what if it’s the same show? This is what I do. If you haven’t seen it, then here it is. If you have, then here it is again. Since you’re doing two nights, it’s worth seeing twice. Like a record. When you play a record, you play it again, that same exact record. I never think from my end there’s a need that I must come back with a new show. It would be tremendously burdensome. I don’t want to not do “Bridge” or “Scarborough.” I didn’t learn to do a better show since I saw you last. I learned a little bit of nuances, so there’s a little bit of change. One big change is the voice. It’s definitely back. I forget that when I was there last, the
voice was hardly there. I lost it in 2010, Lee. By ‘13 and ‘14, I was doing shows but I was croaking. By 2016, I was rolling along. I was very brave. When your whole identity is singing, especially. I lost it. But I found it! It’s such a pure sound. [starts singing “Scarborough Fair” and breaks up]. Not this morning it’s not. (Laughs) I’ve seen shows where the artist may have thought it was a ‘bad’ performance, but it was still great because it was of the moment. But I have to meet my good standards, it doesn’t matter if people say, ‘Oh that was more than good enough.’ If I don’t like it, I’m down. I walked off the stage with Paul at Central Park in 1981. A half a million people were cheering for Simon and Garfunkel and the show was over. It was 10:30 at night. Paul will attest to this; as we walked off, I’m just behind his neck and I say, ‘Oh man, we blew it.’ He said, ‘We blew it?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I wanted us to be a little more precise and our pitch to be more accurate.’ He turned around and said, ‘Are you crazy Artie? This was a home run, man!’ That’s what a perfectionist I am. And that’s the real Simon and Garfunkel, that’s a tiny vignette. People love the music you made together. We’re sweethearts! We’re like cartoon characters. We are musicians. We play. Lee, we play with notes and chords and words. I have made a friendship with the public, the western world, Europe and North America. Many years ago, they seemed to know I’m in this for the right reasons. It’s what we gave the world, the healthiness and joy of rock and roll. The purity of that feeling, there’s just no match for it. That’s what I thought I was doing when I was making those records, putting it out into the world and making things lift up.
ON THE RECORD: JOHN OATES
Mainstream Pop and Soul, the Singer-Songwriter Hones His Rural Roots in Arkansas BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
S HALF OF HALL AND OATES, John Oates has sold over 40 million records and toured the world. Their mix of Philly soul and mainstream pop made them one of the most popular acts of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, easily marking them as the most successful duo of the rock era - with every sort of award and honor imaginable. Since the late ‘70s, Hall has released a number of solo albums, but it wasn’t until 2002 that Oates began to issue records under his own name. Beginning with the self-described “hodge-podge” of Phunk Shui, his style has shifted dramatically. Now fully immersed in the Nashville music scene near his home and embraced by the Americana crowd, Oates’ three most recent albums deftly detail his appreciation of oldtime blues, folk and country. Arkansas, his latest, arrives this month as Oates takes his Good Road Band on a tour of the States. In May, he shifts gears back to mega-platinum arena-rock mode for a massive Hall and Oates tour - scheduled to arrive in Duluth in June. INsite spoke with Oates from his office in Tennessee.
ONCE I MOVED TO NASHVILLE, I FELT LIKE I WAS COMING HOME IN A WAY …I’VE ENTERED INTO A MUSICAL FAMILY WHERE WE’RE ALL COMING FROM THE SAME PLACE.
by Mississippi John Hurt, a legendary music figure who isn’t credited enough these days. Yeah, he’s been a hero of mine since the early ‘60s. I saw him perform at the Philadelphia Folk Festival and some of the coffee houses of that era. Later I got to meet him. Now I actually own his guitar. It’s a Guild, the one he played at Newport in 1964. If you watch the video from the song “Arkansas,” you’ll see it.
Now that your autobiography Change of Seasons has been out for a year, how do you view it in retrospect? Well it took two years to write and it was cathartic in a way. I appreciated the fact that by delving into these memories, it brought back things I might not have thought of for the rest of my life, so it was a very interesting and emotional experience. One of the things In the ‘60s, many prominent folk artists that kinda shocked me was how I was able to cited him as an early influence. But over the squeeze in so much into every day. I’d kept a years, he’s been mistakenly journal all during the ‘70s labelled as a Delta and that became a kind Blues guy. of catalyst for the book. He was a very unique [Co-writer] Chris Epting FEBRUARY 26 & 27 player. A lot of people do would review them and he sort of lump him into the was a good memory jogger. Eddie’s Attic Delta Blues category, but I was like, ‘How did I do eddiesattic.com/ he was a Piedmont Hill all that stuff?’ But now that Country performer - and I’m saying that out loud, there weren’t a lot of them. I’m realizing that now I’m probably doing even more now than then. The His style had a little bit more of a ragtime feel. His songwriting and his finger-picking guitar paperback edition of it comes out in May. style were very unique, so it appealed and It’s really unique that you were able to keep a influenced a lot of people. Me especially. journal during the ‘70s, when that was about This record is a solid follow-up to Good the last thing many musicians were doing. Road To Follow from 2013. There’s a definite Yeah, I started it when I graduated college thread there, but this one has much more of in 1970. I had the foresight to say to myself, a cohesive band sound. ‘Whatever I do from this day forward is Yeah, Good Road had a lot of styles because going to somehow set the course for the rest I had a number of collaborators. I was working of my life.’ Little did I know then that I’d be working with Daryl Hall. We knew each other in different worlds and I wanted to do what they wanted to do. But I actually think this but we weren’t working on anything. I didn’t album is more connected to a record I made know we’d form a partnership and do all in 2010 called Mississippi Mile. I recorded that these things. So it all just happened to sort of coincide with this nearly 50-year collaboration with Mike Henderson from the Steeldrivers. I think that one is even more of a direct link to and this crazy career. the Arkansas album. The newest thing in that crazy career is a great new solo record. People are in love with That makes three very strong records that are vastly different than what people normally vinyl now, but this is so authentic and retro, associate you with - blue-eyed soul and pop. it needs to be on a scratchy old 78. After these three, I think people are finally We did actually consider doing a 78 of it, but we realized that would be too much of a niche realizing who I really am as a musician. Stripped away from the popularity and the thing. But it is on vinyl. We cut the lacquer massive success of the Hall and Oates thing, I at a place called Return to 1979 with an early think these albums really showcase who I am. 1960s lathe. It sounds amazing on 180-gram vinyl. Has living in Nashville played a part in shaping your sound or would you have gone I’ve heard this project was initially inspired
in this direction anyway? I’d always wanted to do it but I didn’t have the support system and the musical community. Once I moved to Nashville, I felt like I was coming home in a way. Now I have a group of musicians and people who really kind of “get” what I do, because they do it themselves, too. I feel like I’ve entered into a musical family where we’re all coming from the same place. When you take this record out on tour, you’ll have the Good Road Band along with you. Yeah on selected dates I’ll have the full Good Road Band, exactly like on the album. But a lot of those guys are very busy doing their other things, so on some shows, I’ll have the fourpiece rhythm section, the same ones - drums, bass and electric guitar - who also played on the album. In Atlanta, it’s gonna be the core rhythm section. This will be your second visit to Eddie’s Attic. Oh yeah and I loved it there. It’s as up close and personal as you wanna get. We had an amazing show last time and now we’re doing two nights - so obviously the word’s out. People there come for the music and that’s what it’s all about for me. Now that you are comfortable within your own sound, it must be very freeing to return to the big shows with Daryl. Now I have the best of all worlds. I can go out on the road and play giant arenas - which we’re gonna be doing this year again starting in May. But I can do this as well. It’s a great balance. Is it a challenge to shift from the small club mindset where everyone pays attention to the giant sports arenas where you can’t see past the first few rows? It’s just so completely different performance, style, mindset, everything. It’s big, it’s brash, it’s over the top. It’s about the spectacle in the arenas. Whereas what I do solo is totally music-oriented. It’s stripped away of all the artifice. The Americana mindset is so non-arena - for the most part. Well for the most part but Chris Stapleton does it right. He’s playing the arenas and
stadiums and he’s pretty real. Chris has been fully embraced by the Americana movement and then from the mainstream, almost in direct reverse of your solo progress. And with you, there’s no “Oh, he’s the pop guy” snobbery. No, not anymore. The fans who’ve followed me have realized what I’m doing and that it’s all about the music. Your musical ride from the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and especially this decade has been an amazing journey. Your first solo record from 2002 is so far removed from what you’re doing now. The way I look at it, when I did Phunk Shui, I was like a brand new artist because I’d ever done a solo album. It was just a hodge-podge of ideas, ‘Let’s try this or let’s try that.’ I didn’t know who I was. I was just using whatever materials I had at my disposal at the time. But once I moved to Nashville in 2007 and did Thousand Miles of Light, it began to coalesce as to who I really am. What I needed to do was go back to my original inspirations, my original roots in order to find my own voice. I think this Arkansas album is the best version of that so far and I really want people to hear it. insiteatlanta.com • February 2018 • PG 15
GRANDE LAKES ORLANDO An Oasis in Central Florida
BY MARCI MILLER
ET AMIDST 500 ACRES OF LUSHLY landscaped grounds, Grande Lakes Orlando is a unique destination with a level of service and facilities appealing to the sophisticated traveler. With a luxury 582-room Ritz-Carlton and deluxe 1,000-room JW Marriott, an 18-hole Greg Norman designed championship golf course, as well as a 40,000-squarefoot spa and extensive meeting facilities, Grande Lakes truly redefines the Orlando experience. Guests at both hotels have access to all the facilities at the resort.
The beauty of our Orlando luxury hotel suites is celebrated with thoughtful design and décor, while spacious layouts, luxurious bathrooms and indulgent bedding tempt one to forgo exploration for welcome seclusion. Their 1,000 guestrooms, including 64 suites, offer excellent views of the pool, lawns, lakes and golf course. All rooms and suites feature separate marble bathtub and shower and marble vanities. Guestrooms feature dual data ports, fiber optic technology, as well as wireless high-speed internet access.
experience. Designed by two-time British Open Champion Greg Norman, the course blends a variety of hazards to provide a challenging but fair test of a golfer’s abilities, resulting in an atmosphere reminiscent of a private course. The course is home to the PGA Tour’s PNC Father/Son Challenge. Tennis The resort offers three lit tennis courts with lessons and cardio clinics available.
Comprised of more than 40,000 square feet, The Ritz-Carlton Spa is secluded and protected by lush gardens, a peaceful lake and Spanish-Moorish architecture. Featuring The Ritz-Carlton Spa philosophy of sanitas per agua, “health through water,” guests are transported back in time through treatments honoring water therapies famous throughout the world since ancient times. Reflecting its Florida location, the Spa highlights citrus-inspired health and beauty treatments as well as spa rituals from the most exotic Ritz-Carlton locations. Amenities include: 40 treatment rooms; 4,000-square-foot private lap pool; outdoor rooftop eco-space with herb garden and scrub bar eco-garden hammock massage; sauna, steam, massage and facials; 6,000-square-foot Wellness Center with Vitale, Spa Café. Spa facility and spa pool use is for guests 18 years of age or older only.
GRANDE LAKE SPORTS
Golf Unwind on the back nine on one of the most naturally beautiful golf courses in Orlando FL when you set out to play 18 holes at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club® Orlando, Grande Lakes. A certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, this luxury golf course blends into Central Florida’s natural landscape, protecting natural resources and habitats while enhancing the overall golf
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conducting genetic testing on Largemouth Bass through the catch and release program. Eco-Tours Program Offering a two-hour guided Eco-Tour through Shingle Creek on a kayak or canoe. Sunrise Safari Guests are taken on a guided trip to explore the 500-acre resort in a customized all-terrain golf cart, led by a Certified Florida Master Naturalist. Participants have the chance to observe and photograph Whitetail Deer, bobcats, North American river otter, foxes, raccoons, alligators and a host of birds ranging from Great Horned Owls to Roseate Spoonbills. Mountain Bike Trail The Hidden Lake mountain bike trail offers guests a two-mile mountain bike adventure on the resort’s SCOTT bicycles. Guests can venture on the trail at their own pace or embark on a guided ride led by the hotels’ resident “Trail Boss,” who will also point out the best places to catch a glimpse of wildlife along the way. Amenities Other amenities include: executive business center; arcade room; bocce ball court, sand volleyball, bonfire, gift and sundry shops; butterfly gardens; full service concierge and shuttle service to area attractions.
DINING Pools Spend a day under the sun in one of their outdoor heated hotel pools. All their pools offer poolside cabanas with personal concierge service. Guests have access to the 24,000-square-foot Lazy River located at the JW Marriott Orlando on property. Guests may also enjoy hydrotherapy pools and an adult only lap pool at The RitzCarlton Spa (day pass or treatment reservation required). Fishing Fishing excursions take place on the 40-acre Shingle Pond (parallel to Shingle Creek), which sits on the most remote section of Grande Lakes. Guests can fish from the shore or board Hyde Drift boats alongside a guide and fish the private waters of Shingle Pond. The resort is the first to collaborate with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to assist in
Norman’s Norman’s is internationally celebrated as one of the finest hotel restaurants in the world. Featuring James Beard Award winning Chef Norman Van Aken’s, acclaimed New World Cuisine as the culinary centerpiece. New World Cuisine is best described as a fusion of Latin, Caribbean and Asian recipes with traditional European technique. The large windows and outdoor terrace feature breathtaking views of the lake and golf course. Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen The Kitchen serves seasonal small plates using farm fresh ingredients from the resort’s on property Whisper Creek Farm and craft beers from the on-site nano-brewery, Whisper Creek Farm: The Brewery. Primo Award winning Chef Melissa Kelly creates her contemporary Italian cuisine embracing an entirely farm-fresh philosophy. Through harvesting her own organic garden and ongoing work with the Florida Organic Growers Association, Chef Kelly ensures that only the most natural ingredients are served. All pasta and gnocchi are made in-house and other ingredients are bought local and organic whenever possible. Highball & Harvest (“H&H”) combines rustic authenticity with Ritz-Carlton refinement to feature interactive dining, a novel railroad inspired design, handcrafted cocktail classes and a creative menu. Engage with other guests at their interactive cocktail table and large communal bar area where bar chefs create handcrafted cocktails and curate personalized cocktail classes. Cocktails are served on the rocks with hand-carved ice, sculpted bar side with a high-end Japanese ice saw and infused with Whisper Creek Farm herbs and fruits. Enjoy a raw oyster bar where chefs shuck oysters by hand to serve with the signature H&H Hot Sauce. The restaurant offers Central Florida’s largest selection of wines from the casks which ensure perfect temperature control and freshness.
Fairways Pub: The inspired clubhouse fare and a great selection of draught beer and scotches at Fairways Pub provide the perfect finishing touch to a day on the links. Featuring views of the 18th hole and the resort. To-Go menu for golfers. 11:00am-4:00pm (Mon-Thu), 11:00am-5:00pm (Fri-Sun) First Drop: Savor an authentic artisanal beverage experience at First Drop, the new signature Ritz-Carlton lobby café. Taste locally roasted coffee, fresh juices, handcrafted milkshakes and smoothies, as well as select small bites including breakfast and lunch sandwiches, salads, pastries, candy, and snacks. 6:00am - 7:00pm
KIDS ACTIVITIES Bleu Poolside Bar & Grill offers every imaginable tropical concoction at their large seated bar including cask wine and draft and bottled beer. The restaurant offers a great selection of salads including Hearts of Palm and classic Caesar. Their Bleu Bites include Fish Tacos and Lobster Quesadillas. Bleu poolside specialties include a Green Chili Pork Sandwich and Blackened Chicken Salad Wrap. Other eateries on premises: Citron, An American Brasserie features cuisine that is truly “American.” Open for breakfast 7:00am - 11:30am. The Citron, Patisserie offers fresh baked bread, pastries and homemade ice cream. Lobby Lounge their newly renovated lobby bar, offers an extensive wine list from around the world. Open daily from 4:00pm – 12:00am while food service is available until 11:30pm. Sushi Bar offers a chef crafted menu consisting of new American Sushi and a selection of Asian tapas. Open daily 5:00pm – 10:00pm. Café Bodega An eco-friendly grab & go café featuring crafted breakfast sandwiches, quiches, build your own oatmeal and low-fat Greek yogurt parfaits with fresh fruit, lunch wraps, salads and soup with alternative healthy snacks and low-fat frozen yogurt. Open daily 7:30am – 3:00pm. Quench Poolside Bar & Grill serves creative tropical drinks, fresh salads and grill items. Open 11am - dusk. Starbucks Café delivers all your favorite specialty handcrafted coffee beverages, alternative cold beverages, snacks and pastries in a cozy coffee house setting. Open 6:00am – 8:00pm. Vitale: Revitalize your body at the Spa Café after a workout, treatment or dance lesson. Featuring healthy cuisine, including great salads, power drinks, smoothies, and a wide selection of waters. Spa, workout or casual attire. 11:00am-4:00pm (Sun-Thu), 11:00am-5:00pm (Fri & Sat)
Orlando Grande Lakes is among the most kid friendly of any Ritz-Carlton property around the world. The resort lets kids tap into an innate curiosity by introducing them to the natural wonders and rich cultural traditions of the area. Ritz Kids experiences provide children with activities to reward their interest in the beauty and workings of the world we live in. Their Ritz Kids drop off program offers a variety of supervised physical and creative activities designed especially for children aged 4 to 12. Ritz Kids has something for every child on vacation including: Outdoor Activities, Obstacle Courses and Relay Races, Karaoke and Dance Parties, Arts and Crafts and so much more. Ritz Kids Open House encourages all ages to join in games, movies and a take-home craft of the day. Daily activities include: Amazing
Nature - Explore the beauty of Grande Lakes; Rivers - Learn how rivers benefit nature and humans in many ways; Kids Night Out - Join Ritz Kids for dinner, arts & crafts, games and movies while the parents enjoy a night out in Orlando.
Grande Lakes is located 15 minutes from the Orlando International Airport, five minutes from the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center, and minutes from all the major theme parks. 4012 Central Florida Parkway Orlando, FL 32837; Phone: 407-206-2400; Reservations 1-800-576-5760; www.grandelakes.com
CORRESPONDENCE OF COURSE
Michael League and Snarky Puppy are a Creative Movement BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
ROOKLYN-BASED SNARKY PUPPY is a more of a movement than a traditional band. Blending elements of jazz, funk, rock and world music, the large ensemble is led by bassist/composer/producer Michael League. Primarily an instrumental combo, the Grammy Award-winning group has included vocalists and has backed singers, including at a recent Carnegie Hall performance. In addition to touring and recording, the band also presides over the ambitious GroundUP festival and record label.
current climate but none of them have the task of becoming “the ultimate protest song.”
Since we’ve mentioned Crosby, how did you first start working with him and what is the songwriting process like? (He told me that you are one of his favorite people to collaborate with. That’s high praise.) Crosby just started tweeting at us one day. Like, REALLY tweeting at us. And he didn’t stop. So after about a week and somewhere around 2 or 3 dozen tweets, I sent him a direct message with my phone number. He called me, we talked, I The Carnegie show sounds like it was a invited him to be a guest tremendous event. Obviously your friend and on our Family Dinner collaborator David Crosby was a highlight, - Volume 2 album, but how did it all come together? Do you and we hit it off. FEBRUARY 14 & 15 enjoy playing the larger halls or do you prefer Then he asked me to Variety Playhouse the intimacy of smaller clubs? produce Lighthouse, groundupmusic.net We were actually approached by a promoter which was amazing. named Danny Kapilian, who pitched us the We hung out at his idea of doing a concert at Carnegie celebrating place in California writing and getting protest music. I chose the guests and together we made the setlist. material together then tracked in Santa It was an incredible night of music with Crosby, Laura Mvula, Monica with my good friend Fab Dupont. Chris Thile, and Fatoumata Diawara. In general I prefer playing It was a real pleasure from start to finish (but small rooms but I’m never going to say no to Carnegie Hall. don’t tell Croz I said that).
A number of familiar protest songs were performed, but the last time I spoke with Crosby, he said the ultimate contemporary protest song hasn’t happened yet. An anthem for the modern era. Do you think the world is too segmented now to agree on the universal appeal of a protest song? Writing a song like “Ohio” is not easy. It has to be simple, and it has to hit upon a specific sentiment that already exists in a great number of people’s hearts. The kinds of artists who make protest music are not in the mainstream now as they were in the ‘60s. That makes it more difficult. I’m definitely writing some songs about the
What were the highlights of the Lighthouse project and then the tour kick-off show in Atlanta? Crosby said he was a little nervous before that show because of the level of musicianship in that band. To me, the highlight was really just making music with those three beautiful people every night. I have such respect for Michelle Willis and Becca Stevens and to sing and play together each night with Croz was really special. We became like a family, and it opened up creative doors for the new album that the four of us will
be recording in April in New York. Since the GroundUP festival is approaching, tell us a little about it. It’s not a typical festival, it seems much more interactive. We’ve designed it to be a very unique experience, and more importantly, a discovery point for audience members. All of the artists are accomplished but I don’t headhunt for big names when putting the roster together. I try to create a balanced lineup of artists from different musical traditions, all of whom are engaging and artful performers. It’s a very intimate festival- only 1,500 guests per day- and it makes you feel like you’re in your buddy’s back yard (if your buddy owned a palm tree grove on Miami Beach). We have two stages that alternate so the listener is able to watch every second of performance from every single artist if they choose. It’s catered by award-winning local chefs. We represent local Florida brews. We have late night shows until 4 a.m. There are masterclasses and loads of extracurricular activities that help to dissolve the barrier between artist and audience. The GroundUP label is as ambitious as the festival of the same name. It’s a good time for independent music and you seem to be making the most of the freedom from standard major label demands. How did it start and how will it expand over the next few years? The label started out of the idea that Snarky Puppy’s growing audience could be redirected in a way, to appreciate other unknown artists. This has proven to be the case and the label has taken on a life of its own. insiteatlanta.com • February 2018 • PG 17
Album Reviews NEW RELEASES
THE LATEST DVD, BLU RAY & VOD RELEASES
REVIEWS BY JOHN B. MOORE
Cotton Fields and Blood for Days
(Skate Mountain Records) It’s not too tough to pin down Abe Partridge’s influences on his latest. Everyone from John Prine and Townes Van Zandt to Dylan and Willie, can be heard throughout “Cotton Fields and Blood for Days.” And like his musical heroes, the Mobile-based Partridge shares a knack for strong storytelling, slightly off-kilter vocal delivery and a tendency to turn in perfectly imperfect country songs with a strong streak of punk rock and individuality. The appeal of his sophomore effort, “Cotton Fields and Blood for Days” can best be understood by listening to just two songs; The seemingly traditional “Ride Willie Ride (or Thoughts I Had While Contemplating Both the Metaphysical Nature of Willie Nelson and His Harassment by the Internal Revenue Service)” and the slightly more raucous “I Wish I was a Punk Rocker.” Musically, the styles are pretty different, though both boast acoustic guitars, “Ride Willie Ride” hues closer to a traditional country waltz, while “I Wish I was a Punk Rocker” overlays a distorted guitar and backing vocals. But both sport Partridge’s smart, impressively droll lyrics, a hallmark of his music. Along with eight originals, the album closes with a brief but spirited cover of the spiritual “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down.”
Sam’s Town and Day & Age
[Vinyl Re-Release] (Island/UMe) Vegas synth rockers, The Killers, seemed to come out of nowhere in 2004, with their wildly successful debut “Hot Fuzz”. While that record housed some of their biggest hits, it was the albums that followed that really showed the Vegas-based group’s depth. UMe and Island have just released two of the group’s best albums on 180-gram vinyl (2006’s “Sam’s Town” and 2008’s “Day & Age”). If “Hot Fuzz” was the band excising their Duran Duran and Muse influences, “Sam’s Town” was the band discovering everyone from Springsteen to Petty and spiking that synth sound with classic rock. Lyrically and musically, this album is less sterile and more mature then its predecessor. While Brandon Flowers still sings some odd lyrics (more on that in a minute), he’s also putting out some of his most thoughtful on this record. You can practically here Springsteen in a line like “They say the devil’s water, it ain’t so sweet/You don’t have to drink it right now/But you can dip your feet/ every once and a while” (“When We Were Young”). Elsewhere on the record, “Read My Mind” is a fantastic pop song, from start to finish. There are some weaker tracks here and there (like the formulaic “Bones”), but overall a great sophomore record that managed to eclipse their debut. PG 18 • February 2018 • insiteatlanta.com
By John Moore
In 2015, the band put out “Day & Age,” probably their most underrated record to date. Flowers is back with more head scratching lyrics on this one like the grammatically puzzling line “Are we human or are we dancer” (from “Human”), but damn the song is infectious. “A Dustland Fairytale,” in the middle of the record, just may be the best song the band has ever recorded, followed not too far behind by “Neon Tiger,” also off “Day & Age.”
Helen Kelter Skelter Melter
(Shaking Shanghai) Oklahoma’s Helen Kelter Skelter are quite possibly the only shoegaze band out there that can boast about having an organ weaved throughout their sound. To be fair, they are much more than just another in the seemingly endless list of bands to rediscover this genre. On “Melter,” their sophomore effort, H/K/S play a moody, solid mix of rock that also manages to include psychedelia, swamp and even hints of glam here and there (especially on a song like “Fly Thru Clouds”). The result is, more often than not, impressive. Songs like “Time Bomb” with its jerky guitars and synth lines sits perfectly next to a track like “Tracers,” with its Sabbath-like rhythm section, sounding like a completely different, but just as laudable band. There are a couple of down moments on the record where it sounds like they had a song that wasn’t quite there yet, but overall, a pretty ambitious album that pays off for the most part. H/K/S are easily the most intriguing rock band to come out of Oklahoma since the Flaming Lips.
Drowning In The Sea, Rising With The Sun
(Fat Wreck Chords) Despite being around for three decades, “Drowning In The Sea, Rising With The Sun” marks the first time the Swingin’ Utters have put out a definitive Best Of collection from their catalog (there was a pre-Fat Wreck Chords era set and a collection of B-Sides and rarities, but nothing that properly covered the band’s range and depth up to this point). This 33-songs set highlights a band that rarely had a misstep; There have been some line-up changes and a brief hiatus over the years, but the group has never put out a bad album. There are no pretentious concept records to apologize for and no dips into niche genres (that’s what side projects are for), just a career of satisfyingly brilliant music offering classic, hook-laden punk rock and nowhere is that more apparent than on “Drowning In The Sea…”. Spanning from their mid-‘90s debut (though the band has been together since 1988), this set includes some obvious fan favorites, some staples from their live shows and several songs that have never been played before an audience before.
L.A.M.F. – LIVE AT THE BOWERY ELECTRIC (MVD Visual)
Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers only put out one official record, L.A.M.F.. In 2016, The Heartbreakers only surviving member, guitarist Walter Lure, pulled together a Punk Rock/ New Wave dream team to help him re-create the album over two nights in New York. MC5’s Wayne Kramer, The Replacements’ Tommy Stinson and Blondie’s Clem Burke filled out the band. The set, captured brilliantly here, covers the album in its entirety and thankfully, unlike most punk rock mementoes, the video and sound quality here are amazing. The music itself is raucous, raw and a little sloppy, exactly how it should be.
LUCKY (Magnolia Home Entertainment)
In Harry Dean Stanton’s final role, he plays Lucky, a 90-year-old man set in his daily routines, living alone in a tiny town, populated by characters as quirky and compelling as he is. After passing out inexplicably in his kitchen (well, aside from the fact that he’s 90), Lucky begins
to question spirituality and his purpose. Beautifully shot and acted, Stanton and his fellow cast members, (including David Lynch, Ed Begley, Jr. and Ron Livingston) serve the picture beautifully. A quiet, unassuming film that stays with you long after it’s over.
RAY DONOVAN – THE FIFTH SEASON
(Showtime Entertainment) Five seasons in, the Liev Schreiber-led drama about a Hollywood fixer, shows no sign of aging. Through a series of bizarre, yet still gripping plot twists, the show still manages to surprise. In this latest offering Ray is undergoing court-ordered anger management courses, while protecting an actress from her abusive manager. Toss in blackmail, continuous family drama and an impressive amount of violence and season five plays out pretty much like the previous four – but that is far from being a bad thing.
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