7 YEARS! 2 G N I T ELEBRA
VOL. 27, NO. 7 FREE
Oscar Predictions Valentineâ€™s Day
EATS! Top Atlanta Restaurants That Won't Break the Bank
MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM FEB 23 – 24
STATE FARM ARENA FEB 17 – 18 INFINITE ENERGY ARENA FEB 22 – 24 © 2018 MARVEL
Competitors shown are subject to change. © 2018 Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
MonsterJam.com PG 2 • February 2019 • insiteatlanta.com
CONTENTS • FEBRUARY 2019 • VOLUME 27, NO. 7
EARS! ING 27 Y T A R B E CEL
Make Reservations for Valentine’s Day
13 The Fab Four 14 Jake Shimabukuro 15 Rosanna Arquette 16 Mike Doughty 17 Southside Johnny 18 Ben Kweller
“10 BEST RESTAURANTS FOR ROMANTIC DINING” – USA Today Award Winning Margaritas & Full Bar
09 Oscar Preview 10 Cheap Eats 12 Grande Lakes Orlando 18 Sensual Valentine
COLUMNS 04 05 06 07 07 07 08 09
16 Around Town On Tap Atlanta on a Dime Under The Lights New Releases Station Control Movie Reviews 17 Music Reviews
Your Neighborhood Pizzeria!
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EATS! Top Atlanta Restaurants That Won't Break the Bank
Atlanta’s Favorite Pizza! Multiple Atlanta Locations: JohnnysPizza.com insiteatlanta.com • February 2019 • PG 3
Events and Performances taking place this Month
FEBRUARY 1 - 24
FEBRUARY 7 - 23
Davis, and Winard Harper. Tickets to Saturday’s concert are free, but required.
Out Front Theatre Company
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14
Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds The musical Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds is written by the late reggae legend’s eldest daughter Cedella. The story centers on Ziggy (Patrick Coleman), a shy Jamaican child who hides from his fears of hurricanes, mongooses and evil spirits at home, watching TV. A bird, his mom and his nagging neighbor coax him out to face his demons and enjoy life. Cedella Marley’s story brings, "a little bit of Jamaica to kids who probably never heard of it," and shares Bob Marley’s message of peace and love with a new generation of songbirds.
FEBRUARY 2, 5, 8 & 10 Dead Man Walking
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center
A true story that spawned a best-selling book and an Academy Award-winning movie, Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking tells of Sister Helen Prejean and her time as spiritual advisor to Joseph de Rocher, a murderer on death row. Dead Man Walking is the most performed new American opera of the 21st Century. Don’t miss this magniﬁcent work that will penetrate your heart and mind, starring superstar mezzo-soprano and Georgia native Jamie Barton as Sister Helen and Michael Mayes as de Rocher.
Porcelain takes a look into the life of John, a 19-year-old gay Chinese-British man in London, who works for his immigrant father's restaurant. His performance on his "A level" exams has granted him acceptance to an upcoming term at Cambridge University, but he is restless, lonely and unsure of his identity. As a result, he takes temporary solace in hooking up with strange men in public bathrooms. Chay Yew’s racially charged thriller was originally produced at London's Etcetera eatre. Tickets at outfronttheatre.com.
FRIDAY & SAT FEBRUARY 8 & 9 Emory’s Jazz Fest 2019
Schwartz Center for Performing Arts
Revered as both a torchbearer and a storyteller, jazz vocalist Vanessa Rubin possesses a voice hailed for crystalline clarity, hearth-like warmth, and playful lioness sass. The Cleveland native takes the stage on Friday, February 8th at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts with the Gary Motley Trio to kick off Emory University’s Jazz Fest 2019. Tickets for Vanessa Rubin are $20 and can be purchased at arts.emory.edu/boxoffice. The general public is also invited to observe free jazz master classes on Thursday and Saturday afternoon. Jazz Fest 2019 closes on Saturday, February 9 with Emory’s Big Band, led by Gary Motley and joined by Kenny
Valentines in the Garden Atlanta Botanical Garden
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. Visit atlantabg.org.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16 Itzhak Perlman
The City of Sandy Springs, in partnership with the Sandy Springs Society and the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, present a recital by renowned artist Itzhak Perlman. Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. Beloved for his charm and humanity as well as his talent, he is treasured by audiences throughout the world who respond not only to his remarkable artistry but also his irrepressible joy of making music.
OPENS FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22 Cyclorama: The Big Picture Atlanta History Center
The restored Battle of Atlanta cyclorama painting is the centerpiece of this multi-media experience. This 132 year old hand painted work of art stands 49 feet tall, is longer than a football field, weighs 10,000 pounds, and is only one of two cycloramas in the United States. The Battle of Atlanta cyclorama painting is a full–color, three–dimensional illusion designed to transport viewers onto the battlefield. The 1886 painting was a visual story about the Battle of Atlanta, but over time it has evolved into an artifact with its own fascinating story. Cyclorama: The Big Picture provides a 360–degree perspective of history through the lens of Atlanta’s largest painting. Visit atlantahistorycenter.com.
SATURDAY, MARCH 9 Brunch Festival Atlantic Station
The 4th annual Atlanta Brunch Fest will be held on Saturday, March 9th from 12-4pm, with VIP entry at 11am. Close to 50 restaurants will be participating in the event and they will all bring their tastiest brunch items for the crowd to sample. There will be Bloody Mary's, mimosas, Brunch Punch, as well as a selection of beer and wine to choose from. Live music as well as everyone's favorite, DJ Q-Tip, will get the crowd moving. Visit their website atlantabrunchfestival.com for list of restaurants and menu items.
BE OUR VALENTINE ?
German Mardi Gras Festival
LIVE and B n a m r Ge
FULL Cash B ar
MUSIC • DANCING • FUN SATURDAY, FEB. 16 • 7-11PM “Anything Goes” • $8 Admission Prizes for Best Costumes & Presentations For info, call the Helen Chamber at 706-878-1908
1074 Edelweiss Strasse • The Festhalle Oktoberfest helenchamber.com Festhalle Friends
PG 4 • February 2019 • insiteatlanta.com
VINTAGE, COSTUMES, AND FUNKY CLOTHING /PSYCHOSISTERSATLANTA 428 Moreland Ave NE Atlanta (Next to Vortex) 404-523-0100 • Open 10am – 10pm(ish)
On Tap this Month MAJOR EVENTS COMING TO ATLANTA
February 6 - 26: Various Atlanta Theatres
ATLANTA JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
e Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF), returns February 6 with the Opening Night Gala at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and the Atlanta premiere of the Israeli dramedy “Shoelaces”. AJFF features a diverse collection of accomplished international and independent cinema. e festival takes place over 21 days at six locations, including the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center at City Springs. Visit AJFF.org
February 10: Atlanta Symphony Hall
THE FAB FOUR: ULTIMATE BEATLES TRIBUTE e Emmy Award winning Fab Four is elevated far above every other Beatles Tribute due to their precise attention to detail. eir incredible stage performances include three costume changes representing every era of the Beatles ever-changing career. is loving tribute to the Beatles has amazed audiences in countries around the world. Visit Atlantasymphony.org.
February 17: Infinite Energy Center
In 2016 Michael Bublé’s son was diagnosed with liver cancer and he took a break from performing. His son has now fully recovered and is back on stage for a Valentine Weekend performance at Inﬁnite Energy Center Sunday, February 17. e Canadian crooner is touring to promote his new album “love. love”. Every full priced ticket purchased for the tour includes a standard CD or digital copy. InﬁniteEnergyCenter.com
February 21 - 24: The Fox Theatre
ALVINAILEYAMERICAN DANCETHEATER Share the magic of Alvin Ailey American Dance eater with loved ones. e Company returns for one week only to the Fox eatre 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. Tickets at Foxeatre.org.
February 23 & 24: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Monster Jam is an exhilarating form of family motorsports entertainment. e stars of the show are the biggest performers on four wheels: the Monster Jam trucks! e twelve-feet-tall, ten-thousand-pound machines will bring you to your feet, racing and ripping up a custom-designed track full of obstacles to soar over or smash through. Taking place over two days, February 23 & 24. Visit MercedesBenzStadium.com.
February 23 & 24: Steamhouse Lounge
e 32nd Annual Steamhouse Lounge Oysterfest is back and now at the corner of Peachtree Street & 12th Street in Midtown 2 blocks from the Steamhouse Lounge. e event entrance is at Peachtree & 12th St. Enjoy Roasted and Fried Oysters, Lobster Bisque, Po’Boys, plenty of beer and live music from Drivin N Cryin, Francisco Vidal, Blair Crimmins & the Hookers and more. More info at SteamhouseLounge.com. insiteatlanta.com • February 2019 • PG 5
Thursday - Sunday, February 21 - 24
BEAUTY & THE BEAST
EVENTS HAPPENING FOR SMALL CHANGE IN ATLANTA
February 17 - 18; State Farm Arena February 22 - 24; Infinite Energy
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!
Saturday, February 23, 11AM - 3PM
Know of a low cost event happening? Event@AtlantaOnADime.com By Marci Miller
Friday - Sunday, February 8 - 10
NORTH ATLANTA HOME SHOW
$6 tickets online; Infinite Energy Center NorthAtlantaHomeShow.com
MARVEL UNIVERSE LIVE!
Remodel, Repair, Refresh at the 22nd 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.
Marvel fans, assemble for this live, actionpacked, battle to defend the universe from evil. Spider-Man, the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy join forces with Doctor Strange, master of the mystic arts, in a race against time to recover the Wand of Watoomb before it falls into Loki’s hands. is all new show unites some of Marvel’s greatest Super Heroes including Iron Man, Captain America, or, Black Panther, Hulk and Black Widow against some of the most threatening villains.
Sunday, February 10, 1:55 PM
AJFF: LOVE, GILDA
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center AtlantaBallet.com
Tickets $13 - $15; Byers Theatre CitySprings.com
Saturday, February 16
rough laughter and tears, trailblazing Saturday Night Live comedienne Gilda Radner narrates her too-brief life story, in this aﬀectionate and privileged look at a beloved, brilliant comic superstar who exuded positivity even in the darkest times, and who continues to inspire a new generation of fans and performers. is documentary showing is part of this year’s Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF.org).
$8 Admission; Helen, Georgia HelenChamber.com
FASCHING (GERMAN MARDI GRAS)
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 ath-
letes of Special Olympics Georgia. Prizes will be awarded for the best costume, highest fundraiser, highest fundraising team, and more.
Saturday, February 23
BLACK HISTORY PARADE
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. Watch the Parade along Peachtree Center Ave, Marietta and Peachtree Street near Five Points Station or at Centennial Olympic. Parade begins at the Hurt Park and ends at Centennial Olympic Park.
Black History Parade
Free Admission February 23 • 1–4pm Sweet Auburn District blackhistorymonthparade.com
Grab your family and friends and come on out to Helen, GA’s Festhalle on Saturday, February 16 for a night of music, dancing and fun. e theme is “Anything Goes” where costumes are welcomed but not required. ere will be a full cash bar, live German band and costume contests with awards for costumes and presentation.
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PG 6 • February 2019 • insiteatlanta.com
Under The Lights ON STAGE THIS MONTH
WAITRESS Fox Theatre
February 5 - 10 (888) 285-8499 FoxTheatre.org/Waitress Inspired by the beloved film, Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker. Jenna dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town's new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. But Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life. Featuring original music and lyrics by 6-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles ("Brave," "Love Song"). An uplifting musical celebrating friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie.
Now Through February 24 Actors Express (404) 607-7469 ActorsExpress.com Actor’s Express presents An Octoroon, a wildly imaginative new work pitting the 19th century antebellum south on a collision course with 21st century cultural politics. Trouble has been a-brewin’ at the
Terrebonne Plantation since Judge Peyton died. Money is running out, an evil overseer is up to no good, and the heir to the estate is in love with someone he shouldn’t be. The play uses crazy theatricality to cast a critical eye on the modern world through the lens of the past. The play is written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.
Now Through March 3 Horizon Theatre (404) 584-7450 HorizonTheatre.com Horizon Theatre Company is kicking off its 35th Anniversary Season with The Wolves. This groundbreaking play by Sarah DeLappe was a 2017 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Drama. The Wolves is a fly-on-thewall look at a girls’ high school indoor soccer team when an uber-talented, but strange and worldly new team member arrives. As they practice on the field in the weeks leading up to the championship, Ms. DeLappe thoughtfully and eloquently opens a window into a complex world of young women facing their future - all in the space of 90 minutes. “This high energy story of soccer, hopes and dreams takes you inside the rituals and rivalries of a tight team,” explains Horizon Director Lisa Adler. “And with audience surrounding the action on the indoor soccer field set, you’ll be on the edge of your seat and in the midst of the action.”
THE LATEST DVD, BLU RAY & VOD RELEASES By John Moore
BAD REPUTATION (Magnolia)
It’s a pretty big task to synthesize Joan Jett’s 40-plus year career into an hour-and-a-half documentary, but director Kevin Kerslake does a commendable job here. Starting with her midto-late’70s stint as co-founder, guitarist and eventual singer of the ground breaking all-female group The Runaways, up to her current role as a solo artist, Bad Reputation covers a lot of ground. Alongside interviews with Jett and her longtime producer/collaborator Kenny Laguna, a slew of musicians from Pete Townsend and Iggy Pop to Billie Joe Armstrong and Debbie Harry are featured singing the praises and influences of this remarkable artist.
Despite being the umpteenth remake of this classic slasher film, the latest version of the Halloween franchise – a direct sequel to the 1978 original – is surprisingly great. Written by a trio, that includes Danny McBride (yup, that Danny McBride), the movie brings back one-time babysitter Jamie Lee Curtis as a paranoid
adult waiting for the return of Michael Myers. He escapes from the institution he has been locked away in and the inevitable confrontation happens. A perfect blend of suspense and dark humor, this latest version of Halloween almost makes up for the innumerable weak sequels and reboots that have take place over the past several decades.
BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY (MVD)
Thanks to the MVD Rewind Collection, a whole new generation is finally treated to Michael J. Fox as a coke addicted all night partier/ magazine fact checker. The film. based on a Jay McInerney novel, is 1980s in all it’s neon-lighted, shiny suited glory. The cautionary tale follows Fox’s Jamie Conway, dealing with the death of his mother, his impending divorce and a quickly failing career. The cast if filled out with Kiefer Sutherland, Phoebe Kates, Diane Wiest and Swoosie Kurtz. Though it’s definitely a time capsule of style and attitude, the movie is still just as compelling from start to finish as it was on its initial release 30 years ago.
MONSTERS AMONG US BY BENJAMIN CARR
ONSTERS TAKE ALL SHAPES and sizes on television, but an influx of traditional scary creatures have invaded screens recently. And though there is a mix of bloodsuckers and the bewitched, the most frightening characters are altogether human. The Passage
a threat to life as they know it. When Diana, a historian visiting Oxford, discovers a long-hidden manuscript that holds the key to the origin of vampires, she finds herself the target of all sorts of supernatural creatures who want to destroy witches and vampires forever. In a Twilight-level twist, the vampire Matthew finds himself both drawn to crave her and compelled to protect her. Though Teresa Palmer and Matthew Goode are terrific actors generally, they have very little chemistry as the romantic leads in this series. It contains very little spark and tension in its opening hours. The endeavor, filled with monsters and magic, is painfully dull. You
THE PASSAGE (Fox)
This saga, based upon Justin Cronin’s series of novels, stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar as a government operative charged with delivering an orphan named Amy to an experimental medical facility for devious experiments. As the world faces a pandemic, the facility is charged with creating a cure out of recently discovered vampire blood and wants to test it out on Amy, yet the vampires they’ve already created as test subjects are beyond control. Amy narrates at the beginning of the series, “This is the way the world ends.” Young actress Saniyya Sidney has an excellent presence and is full of energy and spunk. Mark-Paul Gosselaar does solid work and their banter provides the series that is heavy and dark with heart. The rest of the series is a mix of PG-13 horror and exposition, for the novels that the series is based upon span 90 years of a vampire apocalypse. But, given time, this show should come together and provide a thrilling ride.
A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES
(Sundance Now) This British miniseries available on demand is based upon the books by Deborah Harkness. It concerns a romance between a reluctant witch named Diana and Matthew and a repentant vampire who are facing with
Quite the opposite of a humdrum romance, YOU - which originally aired on Lifetime but now is a Netflix exclusive - is a compelling, terrifying, highly bingeworthy series about Joe, a bookstore manager and emotionally messed-up stalker who becomes obsessed with a young writer named Beck after one brief, flirty conversation. Penn Badgley, the star of Gossip Girl, is absolutely terrific and terrifying as Joe, who turns into a creep from the start. The viewers know almost immediately that Joe is unhinged, so the fun of YOU comes from seeing just how scary and murderous he is going to become over Beck, who remains blissfully unaware of all the danger she’s in. An added joy to this show is its supporting cast, which surrounds poor Beck with all sorts of sketchy people - who makes Joe seem almost normal and decent by comparison. The cast of other creeps includes Shay Mitchell and John Stamos. YOU is an excellent way to spend time. It’s a must-see.
insiteatlanta.com • February 2019 • PG 7
Movie Reviews CAPERNAUM (R)
1/2 Had I seen Capernaum before the end of 2018 it would have placed high on my Ten Best list and been named Best Foreign Language Film. It contains elements of the higher-profile Roma (an outsider acting as a parent) and Shoplifters (a poor family doing what it takes to survive) but does more to leave your mouth gaping in awe while tears stream down your cheeks. In Lebanon, Zain (Zain Al Rafeea) is “about 12” – his birth was never officially recorded. He works for a grocer so his family can live rent-free in a tiny apartment where Zain shares a bed with more sisters than you can count. When his oldest sister is sold in marriage as soon as she starts having periods, Zain strikes out on his own. He winds up living with a single mother, an illegal Ethiopian immigrant, and caring for her year-old son. The story is told in flashback from a courtroom where Zain, serving five years in juvie for “stabbing a sonofabitch,” is suing his parents “because I was born.” As Zain takes on adult responsibilities in the world, the young actor playing him exhibits a broad range that would be challenging for an actor of any age, and does so convincingly. Much of the praise must go to director and cowriter Nadine Labaki, who gets exactly what she needs, not only from Zain but also his infant co-star. Few directors would be foolish enough to rely on an adolescent and a baby to carry their film, and far fewer still would get such excellent results. Labaki sets the bar high and soars over it!
Didja hear the one about three guys from two different movies who walk into an asylum? It may have been an afterthought (telegraphed at the end of Split) but M. Night Shyamalan has created his own screen universe by completing a trilogy that began 18-plus years ago with Unbreakable. The result is less like the DC and Marvel universes and more like if James Cameron had put characters from Titanic and Avatar together in a joint sequel. When Philadelphia mastervigilante David Dunn (Bruce Willis) rescues four about-tobe-murdered girls from the 24 personalities of Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), the police deliver both men to the care of Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), who specializes in cases of delusions of grandeur, at Raven Hill, a palatial psych hospital where apparently the only other patient is brittle-boned, seemingly catatonic Elijah Price, a.k.a. Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson), who once caused mass disasters in hopes of finding a sole survivor who must
be a superhero. That’s how he met Dunn. The three patients become a crowd with the help of Kevin’s multiple personalities, known collectively as The Horde and protected by the super-strong Beast. (McAvoy has fun again but the novelty has worn off.) This is mostly backstory because Glass is pathetically short on frontstory. Not much happens but things seem to be leading to a planned catastrophe at the grand opening of the city’s tallest building. Instead Shyamalan shifts gears and tosses his fans a couple of twists that make little sense – or maybe I had found the setup so boring I hadn’t paid enough attention. Don’t be surprised if you feel the same way.
THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING (PG)
1/2 This Arthurian sequel, set in the dystopian present, isn’t intended for anyone much older than its 12-year-old protagonist, but it may not be dumbed down enough for its intended audience – at least until it gets to the action and loses those of us who have been trying to take it seriously. How many times can you watch flaming monsters on horseback attack our heroes without hurting anyone (it’s PG) and still worry about possible consequences when they return? An animated opening serves as a refresher course on the legend. Then in the present we meet Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis, a bland young actor who’s the son of motion capture king Andy Serkis), a nice kid who tries to defend his best friend against the school bullies. History repeats itself as Alex pulls a sword from a stone and sure enough, it’s Excalibur. The new kid at school, “Merton” (Angus Imrie, who brings the movie to life when he’s in it), turns out to be Merlin, who’s been aging backwards, as he proves by occasionally turning into Patrick Stewart when authority and overacting are required. He’s here to help Alex and his knights because King Arthur’s wicked half-sister Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) is coming to destroy the earth during a solar eclipse. Alex has an incidental quest to find or find out about his long-gone father. Writer-director Joe Cornish throws in a not-so-subtle message about how to mend a polarized world. If viewers who aren’t as sharp as Excalibur don’t get the point, hopefully they can learn from it anyway.
Serenity (not to be confused with Nathan Fillion’s Firefly spinoff) is a game and the viewer is It (not to be confused with the Stephen King adaptation). I’m trying to keep you from being confused because writerdirector Steven Knight does everything he
can to confuse you. On Plymouth Island, Mauritius, Iraq veteran Baker Dill (Matthew McConaughey) has a fishing boat, the Serenity. He gives rides to tourists but is obsessed with catching a large tuna he’s named Justice. Business isn’t too good but he’s got a sugar mommy in Diane Lane. Then his ex-wife Karen (Anne Hathaway) arrives to ask Baker to kill the abusive husband (Jason Clarke) she left him for, taking their son Patrick with her. It sounds like a simple film noir, but who is this dork (Jeremy Strong) who keeps chasing Baker but missing him everywhere? (Why not try the bar where he spends hours at a time?) And we learn that Patrick has invented a video game and thinks he can communicate with his dad through it. The climactic revelation provides more questions than answers. Maybe Serenity is not a simple film noir, but what the hell is it? By the end that question changes from “What?” to “Why?” as in “Why did Knight make it?” and “Why did I waste my time and money watching it?”
STAN & OLLIE (PG)
I watched Stan & Ollie on the 127th anniversary of the birth of Harlem, Georgia native Oliver Hardy, but I still couldn’t pick a favorite between the actors who play Hardy (John C. Reilly) and Stan Laurel (Steve Coogan). Both are excellent at impersonating the men (watch the scenes they’ve been recreating during the credits) and making them believable human beings. Most of the film takes place in 1953, during what would be the comedy duo’s farewell tour in the British Isles. There are flashbacks to 1937, when they split up briefly because Laurel didn’t want to re-sign with producer Hal Roach, who had originally paired them. Lest you think theirs is more than a bromance, many scenes include Mrs. Laurel (Nina Arianda) and Mrs. Hardy (Shirley Henderson). At times things get heavier than comedy-lovers would like, but there are wonderful moments when the guys automatically lapse into shtick in real life. I don’t know why anyone would want to see Stan & Ollie if they weren’t already somewhat familiar with Laurel & Hardy, but if they do there are plenty of opportunities to see the real thing afterward.
THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD (R)
CAPERNAUM PG 8 • February 2019 • insiteatlanta.com
was so cumbersome it would have created unnecessary risk for the soldiers. So despite occasional gunfire and explosions, this is mainly the day-to-day grind between battles, the personal stories of serving in the war. We see the men at leisure, or as relaxed as they can be when they might be fighting for their lives again at any moment. Sometimes their words tell us more than their faces about what they were thinking. If They Shall Not Grow Old is shown as it was in special engagements, there’s a lengthy segment at the end where Jackson himself discusses the film, including how and why he made it. His information about the restoration process may be of more interest to cinephiles than the film itself.
It’s unlikely that anyone with first-hand recollection of World War I will see Peter Jackson’s documentary about it, but it’s fortunate that many of them recorded their memories in interviews decades ago, so they can provide the narration. Century-old film footage has been amazingly restored, colorized (mostly in shades of green and brown) and, for some showings, converted to 3D. This isn’t the history book version of the war, with the emphasis on big battles. In the 1914-18 period you didn’t have photographers crazy enough to be embedded with the troops to capture the action. Besides, camera equipment
STAN & OLLIE UNTOGETHER (R)
I had two takeaways from Untogether: 1) Relationships are begun, ended and restarted as easily as opening or closing a window, with no consequences; and 2) Everyone in L.A. is Jewish and/or British or Australian. Seemingly level-headed Tara (Lola Kirke) is living with her partner, aging rock star Martin (Ben Mendelsohn), and her sister, Andrea (Jemima Kirke), a recovering alcoholic whose one novel was published when she was Tara’s age: 23. Martin wants to get the band back together; Andrea wants to write some more. The sisters are non-practicing Jews until Tara, working in a spa, meets a rabbi (Billy Crystal) and becomes interested in the religion – or is it the rabbi? Andrea has a one-night-standwith-potential-for-more with Nick (Jamie Dornan), a doctor who published a successful memoir about his wartime experiences. These five characters go through so many changes – some of them believable - they seem like a cast of thousands. There are also ‘80s songs, ‘60s clothes (the Kirkes’ mother owns a vintage clothing store in New York) and a transgender cat. Mendelsohn is married to debuting writer-director Emma Forrest, who seems to have taken elements from her own life and others’ and run them through a blender to create her screenplay. Andrea describes writing as “experience strained through imagination,” but I got the impression Forrest has more of the former than the latter.
REVIEWS BY JOHN B. MOORE
Other People’s Stuff (Island/Republic)
It’s easy to see John Mellencamp’s latest album as a placeholder of sorts. As the title aptly predicts, “Other People’s Stuff” is a collection of covers Mellencamp has recorded, going as far back as 1993’s “Human Wheels” sessions. The songs here have all appeared on various albums, soundtracks and compilations over the past couple of decades, so there are no real surprises on this 10-track record; but that doesn’t detract from the fact that these are all solid reinterpretations in Mellencamp’s trademark, gruff-voiced, relaxed style. The songs re a mix of Blues staples like “In My Time of Dying,” “Stones in My Passway” and Country classics (“Wreck of the Old 97,” “Mobile Blue”), but two of the strongest songs here are his take on Stevie Wonder’s “I Don’t Know Why I Love You” and the powerful Civil Rights anthem, “Eyes on the Prize,” performed at the White House in 2010. While “Other People’s Stuff” may not be a brand new Mellencamp, it pulls together a wide collection that have been scattered across Mellencamp’s cannon and puts them all together in one place.
Reel Big Fish
Life Sucks… Let’s Dance! (Rock Ridge Music) Southern California ska punk mainstays have been criticized for essential recording the same album again and again. That slam is a little broad, but even if partially true, at least it’s a fun record they keep revisiting. “Life Sucks… Let’s Dance!” is the band’s ninth album and first LP in six years and yup, it does sound like a lot of their other work – plenty of horns, goofy, fun songs and lots of shouted choruses – But fuck it; it’s still a ridiculously enjoyable 40-or-so minutes. Songs like the first single, “You Can’t Have All of Me,” “I Should Know By Now” and “Tongue Tied and Twisted Too” are all vying to become future show staples. There are a couple of filler songs on here that probably should have never left the studio (“Bob Marley’s Toe” is as awful as you think it will be), but overall, the band perfected their blend of addictive, not-too-serious third wave ska around the mid-90s and keeps delivering the kind of music their fans have grown to love. Reel Big Fish clearly aren’t breaking any new ground with “Life Sucks… Let’s Party!,” but to be fair, there are many out there that would be disappointed if they did.
Amazing Disgrace [30th Anniversary Re-Issue] (Omnivore Recordings)
In 1993, The Posies turned in one of the finest power pop records of the decade with “Frosting on the Beater.” So, it was almost a given that it’s follow-up wouldn’t stray too far from that formula. And thankfully it didn’t. The 14-track “Amazing Disgrace,” was just as accessible as it’s predecessor, if a little less optimistic in tone, likely
a result of troubles within the band (drummer Mike Musburger and bassist Dave Fox left before the recording of this one), and disagreements with their label at the time. Omnivore Recordings has just re-issued “Amazing Disgrace,” the final in a trio of the band’s DGC albums getting the re-issue treatment this year. This two-disc set includes the original record and eight bonus tracks on one disc as well as a bonus CD with an additional 15 tracks, mainly boasting demos and alternate versions of earlier songs. The album, their last for DGC, is easily one of their best efforts, second only to “Frosting on the Beating.” Though there wasn’t an obvious hit single in the U.S. from “Amazing Disgrace,” the record still managed to become their biggest seller in Europe up to this point. Songs like Throwaway”” and the fantastic “Ontario” compete just as well as most of the tracks off of “Frosting on the Beater,” but the album inexplicably didn’t pay off as well here as it’s predecessor. This re-issue, just like “Dear 23” and “Frosting on the Beater” serve as a great second chance for people to rediscover these three extraordinary albums from one of the best power pop bands to emerge from the 1990s. And thankfully the band that is just as vital today as when these albums were first released, still touring and releasing new music.
Pale Mara (Self-Released)
There is something remarkably soothing about the debut LP from Brooklyn duo Pale Mara. The 10 folk/ pop tracks that make up this effort is equal parts Cowboy Junkies and The Band. Pala Mara, comprised of Allison Robinson and Lee Bones, finds the duo weaving sweet male/female harmonies with languid, but hypnotic acoustic guitars and subtle drumming on their eponymous record. The result is 30 minutes of beauty that somehow manages to exist at a time when the world is anything by stress-free and beautiful. The debut is full of great songs, but among the best are “My Curse with the Canvas,” which finds Bones coming off like Harry Nilsson for 2019 and “Only Say It If You Mean It,” a track that perfectly showcases Robinson’s vocal depth. Pale Mara’s is the ideal 30-minute escape from life we could all use right about now.
Leftover Leftover Crack: The E-Sides and F-Sides (Fat Wreck Chords)
It’s amazing the once forgotten gems you can find once you do a thorough cleaning. Leftover Crack – one of the most underrated punk bands making a go of it today, have just turned in a rarities collection that cram 30 (30! Counting the minute-long album intro), rare songs – including an instrumental or two – that go back to the band’s late- ‘90s beginnings. The music skips in and out of genres seamlessly from hard core to straight-ahead punk rock. At times goofy, like the hilarious “Muppet Namblin’ (we’re blessed with two different versions) – sounding like Kermit The Frog morphed with pissed off Kermit, and times flat out great, “Nazi White Trash,” this collection perfectly sums up this New York-based collective: loud, fierce, impressively creative and keenly relevant. The band already has three solid full lengths to their name, but as Leftover Leftover Crack shows, even their orphan tracks deserve proper recognition.
OSCAR PREDICTIONS T BY STEVE WARREN
HIS YEAR’S BEST PICTURE nominees range from the biggest commercial success, Black Panther, the first superhero movie to be so recognized, and wildly popular musicals A Star Is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody, to the uncompromisingly arty Roma and The Favourite. In between are BlacKkKlansman, Green Book and Vice, three dramedies based on true stories that span half a century of American politics and culture, all entertaining and with middling success at the boxoffice. Being best has never been the sole determinant of Academy Award winners. Sentiment plays a big role, honoring legendary performers who have gone Oscarless for decades. This could help Glenn Close, five of whose seven Oscar nominations were in the 1980s. More important these days are politics, especially of the #metoo variety, which a year ago probably cost James Franco a Best Actor nomination. Controversy didn’t hurt Green Book at the Golden Globes but the Academy could be a different story. African Americans had a good year at the movies, as reflected in the nominations. Women behind the camera didn’t fare so well, and despite major boxoffice success, Crazy Rich Asians was ignored by the Academy. It’s a shocker that the year’s most popular documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? didn’t get nominated. I predict divergent outcomes for this year’s most-nominated (10 each) films, Roma and The Favourite. Often a film with a boatload of nominations goes away empty-handed, and I think that will be The Favourite’s fate. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz will cancel each other out in the Supporting Actress category, and everything else about the picture will prove a little too weird when it comes down to voting. Contrary to many experts, I don’t believe Roma will walk away with Best Picture and Best Director, as The Shape of Water (also by a Mexican director, but in English) did last year. Alfonso Cuarón’s directing trophy is probably the surest bet there is this year, and Roma should take Best Foreign Language Film; but Best Picture will go to something with more mass appeal. Despite the SAG Ensemble award, I think Black Panther will be limited to technical Oscars. It did an awesome job of creating a hybrid African culture with touches of past, present and future in costumes, scenery and music. Americans assume England hasn’t changed in 500 years, so to shoot The Favourite they just had to pick a castle, do a little dusting, and start filming. The 91st Academy Awards will be handed out on February 24. BEST PICTURE: Green Book BEST DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma BEST ACTOR: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody BEST ACTRESS: Glenn Close, The Wife BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Mahershala Ali, Green Book
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: RBG BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Roma (Mexico) BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie & Peter Farrelly, Green Book BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk BEST FILM EDITING: BlacKkKlansman BEST ORIGINAL SONG: “Shallow,” A Star Is Born BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Ludwig Goransson, Black Panther BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Black Panther BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Black Panther BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING: Vice BEST SOUND EDITING: A Quiet Place BEST SOUND MIXING: Bohemian Rhapsody BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Avengers: Infinity War BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT: Lifeboat BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM: Weekends BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: Skin
insiteatlanta.com • February 2019 • PG 9
Affordable Dining Guide
Great places in town to get a good meal without breaking the bank Eats
600 Ponce de Leon 404.888.9149 eatsonponce.net
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 casserole, 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 organicfriendly. 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 other popular Italian dishes including calzones, strombolis, and lasagna. Johnny’s restaurants offer dine-in, takeout and delivery along with online ordering. Go to JohnnysPizza.com for the location nearest you.
Baldinos Giant Jersey Subs 80 Powers Ferry Rd. 770.321.1177 5697 Buford Hwy. 770.455.8570 12890 Highway 9 678.580.0434 baldinos.us
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 instore 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
Best Inexpensive Restaurant
a favorite hangout among residents of Little 5 and Avondale 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.
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/chef-owned and operated restaurant busy. Here you 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
Your Neighborhood Pizzeria!
Thanks Atlanta for Voting us Best 17 Straight Years
SEE OUR DAILY SPECIALS
MONDAY – Baldinos Extra Special (#7) TUESDAY – Like it Hot? Grilled & Toasted The HOT Italian - Mmmm... WEDNESDAY – Ham it Up - (#5) Boiled Ham & Cheese w/ soup or side THURSDAY – “Check Out Our New Chicken Your Choice (#20,21,23) 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)
Find us online at
$3.99 All Day!
Doraville 5697 Buford Hwy. MILTON 12890 Hwy. 9 770-455-8570 678-580-0434
BEST SUBS IN ATLANTA 13 STRAIGHT YEARS! PG 10 • February 2019 • insiteatlanta.com
Atlanta’s Favorite Pizza! Multiple Atlanta Locations: JohnnysPizza.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. Some 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.
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 $7.50 - $8.95. Choose an entree along with Vegetable Roll, Soup and Fried Rice. For dinner
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 & event info. Agave has two beautiful dining rooms as well as an enclosed heated patio.
East Atlanta - 488 Flat Shoals Rd. (404) 522-3950 badearl.com
Located in the heart of the East Atlanta Village, The Earl is the kind of place you can hang out at all day. It is a great combination of restaurant, bar and concert hall. Featuring an amazing bar menu, moderately priced drinks and a music venue in the back, this is a place that can satisfy just about anyone in your group. Their burgers and sandwiches are very popular and have received numerous awards. Bar regulars love to wash them down with their PBR tall boys. At night anything and every-
488 Flat Shoals Ave. in East Atlanta Friday, February | Doors 9:00pm
Thursday, February 21 | Doors 7:30pm
DEBT NEGLECTOR | JEREMY RAY ANDREW MICHAEL Advance: $10 | Day of: $10
--------------------------------------Saturday, February 2 | Doors 9:00pm
Advance: $18 | Day of: $20
--------------------------------------Friday, February 22 | Doors 9:00pm
SOLAR FLOWER | HOSPICE
Advance: $12 | Day of: $12
--------------------------------------Saturday, February 23 | Doors 9:00pm
--------------------------------------Saturday, February 9 | Doors 8:30pm
NEW JUNK CITY
HEELTURN | EVAN STEPP & THE PINERS | NOWHERE SAFE MOUNTAIN PARTY Advance: $10 | Day of: $12
---------------------------------------Thursday, February 14 | Doors 8:30pm
GUTTER DEMONS SCREAMIN’ DEMONS
520 Flat Shoals Ave. SE East Atlanta (404) 688-8864 flatironatl.com
The Flatiron is located in the historic flatiron building on the corner of Flat Shoals and Glenwood, in the heart of East Atlanta Village. It is a favorite hangout among residents and those visiting the area. Flatiron is known for their award winning burgers and terrific bar menu. You’ll find great starters including chicken eggrolls, chipotle queso & salsa and spinach artichoke dip. Also choose from plenty of salads, sandwiches and sides plus an assortment of quesadillas. Everything on the menu is very affordably priced and delicious! Their menu offers several vegetarian and vegan options. Flatiron is a 21 and up, non-smoking restaurant with dog friendly patio. They offer a limited late-night menu Monday – Saturday from midnight to 2am.
WATCH YOUR FAVORITE SPORT EVENTS ON STATE OF THE ART HDTVs MADE-FROM-SCRATCH MENU 29° BEER FROM 32 HANDLES
PSYCHEDELIC PORN CRUMPETS Advance: $12 | Day of: $15
SERVING UP BURGERS THAT ARE SMASHED AND SEARED TO ORDER FOR MAXIMUM FLAVOR.
Advance: $10 | Day of: $10
FRANKIE & THE WITCH FINGERS
jumbo shrimp scampi and rack of lamb at very affordable prices. 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.
THE BEST KITCHEN IN SPORTS
--------------------------------------Saturday, March 9 | Doors 10:30pm
Advance: $10 | Day of: $12
E RD N OX EN
TWINLOOKING PEAKS BUCKHEAD BEST WAITSTAFF! 3365 PIEDMONT RD. ATLANTA, GA 30305 Twin Peaks Buckhead (404) 961-8946 3365 Piedmont Rd. • (404) 961-8946
HANGOVER BURGER | BILLIONAIRE’S BACON BURGER | AVOCADO SMASH BURGER
Advance: $15 | Day of: $15
---------------------------------------Sunday, February 17 | Doors 8:00pm
For more lisitngs, please visit
Advance: $12 | Day of: $12
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,
SHE RETURNS FROM WAR CHICK WALLACE
BLAIR CRIMMINS AND THE HOOKERS
THE PARROTS | FUN ISN’T FAIR
3652 Roswell Rd. 404.816.9090 landmarkdiner.com
THE UNDERHILL FAMILY ORCHESTRA
---------------------------------------Saturday, February 16 | Doors 9:00pm
MOZES & THE FIRSTBORN
Advance: $12 | Day of: $12
--------------------------------------Sunday, March 10 | Doors 8:00pm
BLOOD ON THE HARP
Twin Peaks is more than great views. The mountain lodge-style sports restaurant is known for their award winning burgers and wings along with great sandwiches and comfort foods. Start off with their Venison Chili or great selection of soups and salads. Choose from their Bites menu for popular chicken tenders, quesadillas and nachos. They offer signature dishes like Mom’s Pot Roast and Chicken & Waffles that will help warm you up this winter. Wash it down with their extensive selection of draft beers served from 32 taps. Twin Peaks is a great place to meet up for a business lunch or to get together with friends with rooms available for private party bookings.
E DN TR ON
Advance: $10 | Day of: $12
3365 Piedmont Rd. 404.961.8946 twinpeaksrestaurant.com
ALL THE SAINTS
JUPITER WATTS A DRUG CALLED TRADITION
AC HT R
1341 Clairmont Rd. Decatur 404.636.1100 athenspizzaatlanta.com
thing can be heard on the back stage as national acts and the best of the emerging Atlanta music scene grace the Earl nightly to packed crowds. With a casual atmosphere and eclectic mix of patrons, you can’t go wrong with a visit to The Earl.
Athens Pizza House
choose from over 20 chicken dishes and a dozen beef and pork dishes starting at just $11.95. They also offer a variety of vegetarian dishes, ramen and sushi.
Kabob, Chicken Kabob, Falafel and a Grilled Vegetable sandwich. Sandwiches are just $6.50 and entrees start at $9.50.
badearl.com insiteatlanta.com • February 2019 • PG 11
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-square-foot 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.
Comprised of more than 40,000 square feet, The RitzCarlton 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 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. 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 PG 12 • February 2019 • insiteatlanta.com
pools and an adult only lap pool at The Ritz-Carlton 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 conducting genetic testing on Largemouth Bass through the catch and release program. Eco-Tours Program Program offers 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 twomile 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.
Norman’s Offering breathtaking views of the lake and golf course, Norman’s is a James Beard Award winning restaurant serving New World Cuisine. 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 contemporary Italian cuisine embracing an entirely farm-fresh philosophy. All pasta and gnocchi are made in-house and other ingredients are bought local and organic whenever possible. Highball & Harvest Features interactive dining, a novel railroad inspired design, handcrafted cocktail classes and a creative menu. Bleu Poolside Bar & Grill offers every imaginable tropical concoction at their large seated bar including cask wine and draft and bottled beer. Bleu poolside specialties include a Green Chili Pork Sandwich and Blackened Chicken Salad Wrap. Citron, An American Brasserie American cuisine. Open for breakfast 7:00am - 11:30am. Lobby Lounge Newly renovated lobby bar, offers an extensive wine list from around the world. Sushi Bar Offers a chef crafted menu consisting of new American Sushi and a selection of Asian tapas. 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.
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; grandelakes.com
ENJOY THE SHOW
The Fab Four are the Fabulous Fourmost of Beatles Tribute Bands own material as well. We’ve all gone the original route when we were younger, with trying to get a deal and all of that stuff. But that ship has sailed and now we just do the show. We all love The Beatles anyway so it works for us. We first met at an L.A. Beatles convention in the ‘90s and now here we are.
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
T THIS POINT IN MUSIC history, it’s not an exaggeration to say that the world is decidedly overpopulated with tribute/cover bands. However well-meaning, sometimes there’s just no real reason for their existence. Nearly every legendary act has a phalanx of imitators crisscrossing the globe playing How many personnel changes have corner bars to fancy halls, churning out the occurred so far? hits. The quality level of musicianship and We’ve changed a couple, but we’re presentation varies from embarrassingly unique in that the originals are still part of bad to surprisingly good. the Fab Four family. Our original George The Fab Four, on the other hand, push Harrison is doing front-of-house sound. So the tribute concept to its highest possible he’s our George Martin now. If a member level of excellence. can’t be onstage anymore for whatever In two decades of existence, the reason, they’re still part of the band. You California-based band has emerged as have to stay ahead of the Jones, as they say, the ultimate, fine-tuned edition of Beatle right? We have to keep it young and fresh. tributes, with painstakingly accurate No one wants to be a 60-year-old trying to recreations of costumes, hair and sing “All My Lovin’” like on equipment. With a setlist the Ed Sullivan Show. None of around 90 percent of of us want to do that. the Beatles band and solo catalog, the Fab Four are That’s a lesson some of an internationally touring the other tribute acts need corporation, reinventing the to heed. pure excitement of a careerWell there are some spanning performance by people that just don’t know the world’s greatest band. when to hang up the boots. And it’s all played live. No I know it’s hard for them tracks, tricks or lip syncing to do that because it is so Sunday, Feb 10 allowed. Even the actual much fun, but you’ve gotta Beatles couldn’t replicate Symphony Hall keep the sacred status of a some of their own material atlantasymphony.org Beatle. Don’t go up there on stage. if you don’t look the part INsite spoke with the Fab’s or sound good anymore own Paul McCartney, comusically or visually. We take it all very founder Ardy Sarraf. seriously. Those Beatle records are the Bible and we try to replicate the records Symphony Hall is a great venue for any as much as we can. We’re the only fourshow, but it seems perfect for what you do. piece that I know of that does everything It is. I think this is our second or third live. So we can do “Day In The Life” or time there, and it’s great to include it in “Strawberry Fields.” Things that often take our little down-south mini-tour during five or six guys on-stage to do, we can pull that week. off as a four-piece without any kind of tracks or anything like that. Every vocal is You’ve toured as the Fab Four for twenty live, unlike some of the bands out there. If years, do you call the different legs of we didn’t really sing, I think that would be tours by a new name every time you go cheating. out - or have you given up like Bob Dylan with his “Neverending Tour?” You’re beating The Beatles because Unlike some bands that only tour during they couldn’t even do some of their own certain times of the year, we are literally on complicated stuff live. the road every weekend. So we’d probably Yeah, but we have to. We do a two-hour run out of names for it. It’d be worse than show that’s basically the red and blue naming hurricanes, there’s just too many. albums. All the hits. We’ve been road warriors for twenty years, starting the show in ‘Vegas, at the Hilton How obscure do you get? on Elvis Presley’s old stage, actually. We did that for about two and half years and then we started touring.
Touring is hard work, even when you’re playing the music you love. For us, it’s a good mix because we’re on the road half the time and home half the time. We’re kind of in the travel league of pro athletes or the military or business travelers. It’s not easy but we love it. We chose to do it and now we’ve just gotten used to it. It is taxing sometimes but once the show starts, that’s the fun part. Two decades is a long time to do any job, especially a creative one. The Beatles is the focus, but obviously you’re all musicians who play your
We throw a few album-tracks in there sometimes, especially when we go back to the same venues we’ve played before, just so everyone can have a little variety. When we play in L.A., we really mix it up. Do you know the whole catalog at this point? It’s pretty close. A few times we’ll do an entire album. We did the Pepper album in ’17 and this year we’ll be doing the Abbey Road album in its entirety a few times. Will you ever tackle the entire White Album? There’s so much weird stuff on there! One of these days we’ll do it all the way through. We do quite a few songs from it already. In general, I think we know pretty close to 90 percent of their whole catalog. That’s a lot of stuff. And, as you know, you’re playing to people who know that material inside and out, every little detail, including the original demos and outtakes. Oh yeah, and sometimes at local shows here in L.A., we’ll throw in stuff like that and do things like “Hey Bulldog” or “Rocky Raccoon” or “Dear Pridence.” So we have an eclectic following and we’re pretty allover-the-place, too. Gavin Pring, who does George Harrison is actually from Liverpool and Adam Hastings is coming into the band in March is also British. Actually his first big run with us will be when we play the south, so he’ll be on the Symphony Hall show. So there’s two Brits in the band now. Speaking of detail, you play left-handed as Paul, but you’re actually right-handed.
WE LOVE THE BEATLES AS MUCH AS ANYONE IN THE AUDIENCE AND WE JUST WANT EVERYONE TO ENJOY THE SHOW.
That’s a lot of work. Yeah, I taught myself how to play lefthanded over twenty years ago now, just to do this. If we are calling ourselves the ultimate tribute to The Beatles, what kind of tribute would it be if I played righthanded? You’ve gotta be left-handed. That’s so important to the look. Right, you’ve got to have those famous silhouettes of The Beatles on stage. But then you take it further and do the physical resemblances with the make-up, the wigs and the clothes. And I would dare-say that I really think we do it right. I think we look better than most bands and we sound better than most bands who do this. When you see the pictures of the three of us up-front, as George, John and Paul, it’s so close it’s scary. Gavin and Adam are close to dead ringers for George and John. You have to stay on the money because, let’s face it, you do have some competition. Absolutely. Sometimes there’s too much competition. When you have too many bands, it just muddies up the water. Like you said, there are die-hand fans coming to the show and they know what they want to see. But some bands will just plop a mop on their head. ‘Hey, I can sing She Loves You.’ And they’re 300 pounds. There’s nothing wrong with being 300 pounds, but no one wants to see a 300-pound John Lennon. The only 300-pound John Lennon anyone needs to see is if it’s Lennon himself. Exactly, if he’d had an Elvis stage. But what we’re about is taking the audience back in time and giving them the thrill of seeing The Beatles for a quick two hours. We have all the guitars and the clothes. The devil’s in the details with us. Always has been. You’ve got touring down to rock and roll science at this point. Yeah, after twenty years, we’re finally learned that it works best if we have basically four complete sets of instruments and amps and the frontof-house board in cases. So at any given time, we’ll have three or four sets of instruments crisscrossing the country as we tour. It all just comes down to caring about the music. We love The Beatles as much as anyone in the audience and we just want everyone to enjoy the show.
insiteatlanta.com • February 2019 • PG 13
Prodigy Jake Shimabukuro Rocks the Clean Life
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
mixing it, I brought it home and played it for my mom and day. The first song is “Time Of The Season” and as soon as it came on, they both perked up and went, ‘Is this The Zombies song?’ A lot of the songs really resonated with them and they told me it’s their favorite record of mine.
ALENTED INSTRUMENTALIST Jake Shimabukuro has taken the once-limiting platform of the ukulele to incredible new levels. As he grew up in Honolulu, the prodigy learned the basics of the diminutive instrument from his mother and developed his craft by immersing The Zombies played the Winery last year. himself in the varied techniques of such You’ll be doing that song on the same stage classic rock guitarists as Carlos Santana, the actual band performed it. Jeff Beck and even Warren Haynes. Oh really? That’s great! I’ll make sure Originally signed to Sony in Japan, it to mention that at the show. We’ve been took a fluke of the internet to bring him opening with that one, actually. I just love to world-wide attention. His version of playing it live, but I love live performance. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” became It’s the best way to connect with people, a viral You Tube sensation and established sharing an experience together. the soft-spoken musician as a major player. Today, backed by the The new album and solid rhythm section the live show is a of Nolan Verner good mix of covers Sunday, February 24 & (bass) and Evan and originals. How Hutchings (drums) Monday, February 25 do you select the and guitarist Dave City Windery covers? Preston, his latest I listen to all kinds citywinery.com/atlanta album The Greatest of music and there’s Day, is the basis of his so many songs I’d love current tour. to cover. We just finished another record, INsite spoke with the clean-living actually. It’ll be out in the fall. On it, we did Shimabukuro by phone in route to a show a couple of pretty interesting covers. “Wish at Southern Oregon University. You Were Here,” the old Pink Floyd tune and we also did a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s You’re coming back to the Winery almost “Landslide.” exactly a year since your previous visit. I’m very excited to come back there, Two very different songs. Your personal too. It’s in such a cool part of town and record collection must be incredible. the audience that came last time was I just love so many different types of so welcoming. We got such a positive music. I do love all the classic rock, but response, a great turnout and it made us I’ll cover any song that really speaks feel really good. to me, even classical or traditional Hawaiian music. I know so many acts that can’t even fill up that room for one night and now you’ve got You’re all over the map stylistically and two big nights lined up there. probably because of that, the jam band (Laughs) I just hope everyone comes out. scene has really embraced you. I actually hope a lot of families will come That’s right and I love it. I’ve always because it’s a very family-oriented show. been a fan of stuff like Bela Fleck and I’m not sure what the policy is there about the Flecktones, Phish, The Grateful children, but I hope families can come Dead. I feel the energy of it. There’s a because the ukulele speaks to all ages. lot of improvisation, a lot of just pure spontaneity. There’s a bit of looseness that You’ve released another album since the allows for a playful vibe. It’s such amazing last time you were in town. The Greatest music of the moment. Day was released back in August. Looking back, what do you think of it now? You were invited to the Warren Haynes I’m very proud of it. I think one of my Jam a while back, that must have been proudest moments was after we’d finished a blast.
Oh man, he’s another one of my favorites. What an incredible guitar player. His tone and feel and voice, he’s just really something. A wonderful bandleader and just an incredible human being. It was an honor to be invited and an incredible experience. You really have to be at a certain level of musicianship to be invited to play with him. He’s been truly supportive and kind of helping me out a lot. He’s so giving of his time and he genuinely loves to play and really loves to jam. He’ll jam until 5 in the morning. And that’s just one song! (Laughs) Exactly. But guys like him, they take you on a whole journey with a song. We played together on the Allman Brothers’ song “Melissa” and it was just an incredible experience. From your range of interests and expertise, you are fast becoming the new Jeff Beck. Oh man, that’s so nice. Funny you mentioned him, I love his music and I was on a plane the other night and I was listening to his version of “A Day In The Life,” non-stop. I just had it on repeat the whole flight and every time I played it, I’d pick up on something new. Have you worked with him yet? No, I’ve never even met him, but I’d sure love to someday. I hear you’ve been working on an album of duets. You should invite him to be on it. Oh yes! That’s actually a good idea. We’re making progress on it. So far, I’ve got a couple of tracks with Willie Nelson, Michael McDonald, Ray Benson from Asleep At The Wheel. I think next we’ll have Jack Johnson and then Bette Midler and I’m hoping to get Warren on there as well when his schedule isn’t so busy. I’ve noticed a lot of your heroes are guitarists. Have you ever thought of adding guitar to your arsenal of sounds? No, I’ve always just stayed with the uke. It’s been a part of my life since I was four, so I’m going to see where it takes me from here.
I really admire your clean-living lifestyle. It’s so easy to fall into bad habits on the road. It is. On the road it is easy to eat a lot of fried foods and after-show type food like pizza and scarfing down beers and all that. But I’ve never been a drinker and I’ve always tired to eat healthy. Every once in a while, maybe we’ll have some pizza after a show but for the most part, we try to keep a lot of fruits and vegetables around and stay away from fast foods as much as we can. You may be one of the healthiest people in rock music. (Laughs) Well that’s very important to me. We’ve all been completely drug-free our entire lives. At every show, I make it a point - especially if there’s kids there - to encourage everyone to be drug-free, too. I remember when I was a kid, there was an entertainer who came to our school and it was so cool. Then at the end, he told us about being drug-free. It really made an impact on me. I never forgot it. So now I feel that if I say it at all my shows, if there’s even one kid that I can reach, then it’s all worth it.
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More info at www.cinemoms.com PG 14 • February 2019 • insiteatlanta.com
THE FEARLESS ROSANNA ARQUETTE The Outspoken Actor and Activist is Coming to the AJFF
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
INCE THE ‘80S, ONE OF THE most interesting and challenging actors in film and television has been Rosanna Arquette. A member of the acting and activism dynasty of Arquettes, she actually began her film career in the Georgia-made summer-camp comedy called “Gorp.” Since then, her roles have been consistently interesting and delightfully offbeat. Arquette returns to the Peach State this month as a special guest of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival to introduce and discuss her role in “Holy Lands,” also starring James Caan. Just back from an empowering visit to the Sundance Film Festival, the actress spoke with INsite by phone from the Los Angeles airport. I spoke with Dennis Quaid last month who reminded me that his first movie was also your first film, made here in Georgia. Oh my God! “Gorp!” I’d forgotten about that. I think I was 19. Then we worked together a few years later on a movie called “Johnny Belinda.” But, yeah. Have you worked in Georgia since then? They’re making a movie around every corner these days. I haven’t, but I’d love to. But I have been there a couple times for the [GCAP] foundation Jane Fonda has. I was there last year for a big celebration for her birthday. It’s great you’re coming back this year for the AJFF. “Holy Lands” looks like a wonderful film. A lot of people truly love it. It’s a beautiful story, about family and how they communicate. My character is trying to find a way to make peace with everybody in her life. So I’m going down there to honor this movie. I’m glad they invited us. You’ve always chosen interesting roles, but it seems your recent projects are more challenging than ever. You’ve made some
particularly fearless choices lately. Well I try. I’m up against a lot, the way the world is changing, but I’m fortunate in that I was such an ingénue for so many years and doing young roles. So this is actually an exciting time for me to be able to play my age and be in situations that are more age-appropriate. The roles are much more interesting to me now, I have to say.
THE UPRISING OF HATRED IS SO AWFUL THAT WE HAVE TO FIGHT AGAINST IT, WE HAVE TO STAND UP TO HATRED AS HUMAN BEINGS - OR ELSE WE’RE NOT HUMAN.
There’re so many great platforms for actors now. More than ever before. Yeah, like Amazon - they’re doing such great work, and Hulu and all of them. You had a thought-provoking new series on You Tube last year. What’s the status of Sideswiped? Yeah, from You Tube Originals. It got great reviews. I don’t know what happened, but they didn’t bring it back. I just found out yesterday. It’s definitely time for more female-centric shows such as that - and on a contenthungry platform like You Tube, why would they not renew it? I don’t know, it doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe it’s some internal thing where they’re figuring out who they are and how they want to go about it. They’re not Hulu or Amazon or Netflix yet. But there’s just so many people doing original content now. I think even Facebook is doing original content. But we never really got a real explanation as to why they didn’t renew it. You were just at Sundance for “Untouchable,” a very different film than “Holy Lands.” Yeah, it’s a documentary on Harvey Weinstein. It’s compelling and hard to watch and it really explains the impact he had on so many women and their lives - including me - for many years. I’m fortunate that I wasn’t raped. And we have to say alleged, but I know all the women it happened to. It truly knocked their lives into another stratosphere, where you spend everyday just trying to figure out how to deal with the trauma and grief and PTSD that it causes in people’s lives and relationships. People don’t realize what it does to somebody. For the victims and survivors of rape, a piece of you dies. You can do a lot of work on yourself, and I’ve seen people who’ve really turned their lives around [from the trauma]. People like Oprah and Maya Angelou and [Me Too Movement founder] Tarana Burke. She took her rage and pain and turned it into a whole movement. It’s good that film premiered at Sundance for the industry movers and shakers and buyers, it’s like that film was holding up a mirror to some of the people who are still in power. Yeah it is and it’s opened up an awareness of something that now people are really conscious of - and there’s also very many men who are angry this happened and they have to change their behavior. They’re forced to look at themselves and change their shitty behavior. We’re just saying stop that, it’s not working. Also there are so many wonderful men who are afraid it’s a male-bashing thing. But it’s not. We’re calling out people who have done terrible, terrible things to other people. But there
are some wonderful men who are willing to change and heal and help other men. And you’ve put a good face to the act of simply standing up for yourself. Probably much more than a regular activist, due to your profile and history. I get a call or somebody reaches out to me everyday in some way shape or form, who is a survivor. But we need the men to also step up. It was so bold of you to simply speak your truth. Thank you. But there’s a price to be paid either way, for either saying no to him or for speaking out. It’s a big price a lot of us have had to pay. But we keep going. The reward is so much greater than the price that’s paid, though. What the great reward to me is, now there’s a sisterhood that is so powerful. I’m so honored to be a part of it. We’re all connected in some way because of this experience. Now it’s a time for healing and that’s a big part of the work Tarana does. Her whole work is about healing the trauma. But when one person speaks out, it helps another person to be able to speak out and as you see all across the world now. I’ve learned from speaking to so many female artists over the years that the ‘old boy network’ is still very much alive. Unfortunately, that mindset is a part of everything. It affects every walk of life, every profession, every level of income. It’s everywhere and now we have to be conscious because there’s an awakening going on for the human race. It’s not ok to be abusive to people. And as much as we’re seeing a rise in the consciousness, we’re also seeing a rise in the racism and misogyny and homophobia. But on the other side, we’re seeing powerful women who are getting into office. That’s what’s going to happen. Someday the old boys club is going to be as ancient as an 8-track tape. It’s a human rights issue and simply a humane gesture to stand up to it all.
Right, the uprising of hatred is so awful that we have to fight against it, we have to stand up to hatred as human beings - or else we’re not human. But with all the craziness it does remind me of the ‘60s. From that upheaval came so much great art - great films, great music, just an exciting explosion of creativity in the middle of the insanity. I’m so lucky that I got to be a kid in that time. I remember marching with Martin Luther King with my parents when I was six-years-old for an anti-war peace demonstration in Chicago. I remember Love-Ins and Peace-Ins and Woodstock. And that’s still my favorite period of music. Now, because of social media, we can see the new movements and the kids who are really making a change. The kids from Florida, those Parkland students, are the most inspiring group I’ve ever seen in my life. They are fueling trauma into good and they really have a voice. They’re our future and I just bow down to them. It makes me feel hopeful that maybe are gonna be ok. We are witnessing an incredible time, even thought part of it just so horrendous. And you’re also making some great art in the middle of all this crazy stuff. I’m trying. You know, it’s really hard some days to be positive. My husband is really good at reminding me to stay in the zone of positivity. But I also know that being an artist, and most artists I know, part of our life is angst. But you have to be really careful and work and give. We have the Alexis Arquette Family Foundation in support of the LGBTQIA community (www.alexisarquette. com) and Patricia has her Give Love Organization (GiveLove.Org). She’s doing some of her best work right now as well. Oh my gosh, yes. She’s gotten all these awards and accolades for Escape At Dennemora. I even said, I forgot she was my sister! For more information, tickets and schedules for Festival events and screenings, visit AJFF.Org. insiteatlanta.com • February 2019 • PG 15
DUSTING OFF RUBY VROOM
Mike Doughty Looks Back on Soul Coughing’s Unique Debut
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
NLY A RELATIVE FEW ALBUMS CAN BE called truly original, groundbreaking pieces of art. Ruby Vroom, the debut studio release from the late, great and highly influential New York-based band Soul Coughing is one of them. Arriving in late 1994, during a time when formulaic commercial alternative ruled radio and major labels, the record’s sound was an abrasive blast of free-range expressionism. The first of three studio albums for the band, it uprooted the musicians to Hollywood to record with experimental eccentric Tchad Blake at the helm. A blend of samples, fever-dream jazz, indie rock and hip-hop and soul fusion, the record didn’t exactly become the next big thing - but for clued-in listeners, it became a favorite. In honor of its 25th anniversary, Soul Coughing leader and songwriter Mike Doughty is looking back on the album with a tour that includes a performance of the album in its entirety. INsite caught up with Doughty by phone recently to discuss the history of the album.
all. The intuitive decisions you made about those songs at that time are often great decisions. People will often take the leap with you, because they know the leap is coming. It’s so freeing. There’s a lot of improvising in your work in general. Yes and especially within the show, so there’s a great set of parameters to be able to operate within.
In the case of Ruby Vroom, it’s such a unique piece of music. At the time it was actually something new and even in retrospect, it remains a very unique listening experience. I think it’s a record that nobody else tried to do, which I found very surprising. I thought we had come up with ways to combine these very specific threads. There’s the hip-hop thread, the experimental music thread, the jazz thread and the kind of singersongwriter, indie-rock kind of thread. We’d figured out how to do this thing and I thought there was gonna be more of us. I thought we might be the beginning of something that somebody else would do better. Or if not better, then in a way that would be more popular. But it turned out to be a pretty unique thing, even as hip-hop beats came more and more into the rock side of things as the ‘90s progressed. I think nobody ever got quite as weird or dissonant as we did.
You’ve avoided some of the Soul Coughing catalog over the years but now, for the 25th anniversary, you’re plunging headlong into the first album. Yeah, I started doing Irresistible Bliss [Soul Coughing’s 1996 album] shows like two years ago, as a sort of dry-run We’re both music fans and we’ve heard Thursday, Feb. 21 because I knew the 25th anniversary of a lot of material over the years, but The Earl this one was coming up. Everybody’s been there’s very few records, especially from doing these full-album shows, so I tried it badearl.com the ‘90s, that can be described as truly out in some clubs, with just me and a cello groundbreaking. player. I discovered that people are doing I appreciate that. I really wanted to the album shows because they’re great. It’s so much fun make a case for this album, even just on an egotistical to be inside a framework like that. To be playing this big level. When lists come out on a regular basis, like ‘The 100 piece of music as opposed to taking it in chunks. I think greatest records of the ‘90s’ or whatever. I always expect most artists probably do not listen to their albums after us to be maybe like number 87. It’s fine if people don’t they sequence them and send them off to be mastered. think we’re Nevermind or Check Your Head. But I always thought Ruby Vroom belonged in there somewhere. Right and a tour for an album has a completely different structure. So now you’re taking it out on the road. A much different structure. The second song can’t be I guess the real reason is I wanted to remind people of slower than the first, and you have to end on a rocker not what an innovative record it was. How unique and how a ballad. You know, all these ideas that people have about good the songs were. I’m trying to say this purely without structuring a live show, the flow of doing a concert. If you trying to sound grandiose about it, but I think it’s a really plan an album, you realize you’re not bound to that stuff at good record. But I don’t know. I guess I grew up in a world where you really didn’t brag about yourself.
Let’s talk about working with Tchad Blake. He’s done so many wildly diverse recordings over the years. What was he like in the studio? Was he hands-on like a Todd Rundgren or did he just let you run wild with ideas? He was an artist, essentially. He played an instrument. For him, that instrument was the studio. He wasn’t the kind of guy who’d talk about chord changes or structural ideas. It really kind of felt like we were just jamming with him and he was band member. All these different weird things he did, like taking a rinky-dink PA system and using it to record or taking a mic and putting it in a car muffler or recording the drums in a booth as opposed to out in a room. There were just so many great things he’d try. He was as inspiring as any musician.
PG 16 • February 2019 • insiteatlanta.com
Going into the project, did you have the sonic ideas already in mind or did his style change the overall sound of it? The thing I remember was meeting with him and an old Trojan Records compilation was playing in the background at whatever café we were in. You know, those old 1967 to ’69 kind of songs, the really early not-quite reggae and not ska records when that world was really finding its identity. I said, ‘How do you make something sound like this?’ He said, ‘Well, you record three albums in a day.’ I was like,
‘Alright, let’s do it, man!’ We didn’t do that, but it was just that he really got the kind of thing I was looking for when I said that. He would follow stuff down the rabbit hole, just without hesitation. The first time we recorded “True Dreams of Wichita,” I said, ‘I don’t like the way this vocal sounds. I want to put a mic in the back of your old rusty Ford pick-up truck in the parking lot and then run the vocal back into the studio.’ He was like, ‘All right.’ Obviously he had an assistant engineer so that was the guy who had to actually run a mic cable 200 yards and set up with headphones in a parking lot. And we ended up not using it! But the thing is, he was fine about the idea, with no reservations whatsoever. You needed a risk-taker like that with the material on the album. Oh yeah and he was very much a maverick. I think he sort of jumped at the chance to work with a band that had basically been playing the album - though not in the sequence it eventually lived in - at clubs. Like at The Knitting Factory, and we had a residency at CB’s Gallery and we were an incredibly rehearsed band. We just went in the studio and just started recording. So I think it created kind of a perfect moment once we got into the studio. When you were done with it, what did you think about the finished product? At first I loved it and then I hated it. Our fans in New York didn’t like it. We had a core of people that came to every show and made t-shirts with lyrics on them, this really rabid little group of people. When they got the album, they said, ‘This doesn’t sound like you guys.’ So I was a little bit crestfallen at the time. But it’s an album of its moment. Have you started rehearsals for the new Vroom tour? Oh yeah. I had real trepidation about how we’d approach the sound of the original recording and of course my tendency is to improvise. I have a bandleader in Brendan B. Brown from Wheatus who is also opening the show. He’s obsessive and exact and particular. So the balance between those two opposite impulses is what’s gonna make it good. So every show will be different. Absolutely. Will you utilize your improv system for this project? Yeah, I have a system that’s based on some stuff that people like John Zorn and Butch Morris did. It’s like a system of live improvising that uses particular handsignals to change the sound in the moment. I think it’s gonna be good.
SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY BRINGS IT EVERY NIGHT Jersey Sound Pioneer Just Won’t Stop Rockin’
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
ON BON JOVI SAYS HE’S THE reason he sings. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band are some of his oldest friends and collaborators. His live shows are legendary for soulful rock and roll workouts. At a youthful 70 years young, John Lyon, aka “Southside Johnny” is one of the pioneers of the R&B-tinged Jersey Sound and he has no plans to retire anytime soon. He most recent album Soultime finds the raspy-voiced performer in fine form and he’s bringing songs from it and the latest edition of The Asbury Jukes for a rare trip down south. INsite recently spoke with the dryhumored singer-songwriter-multiinstrumentalist from his home in - where else - New Jersey. We featured your old friend Little Steven last year when he was in town for a show. I know you guys go way back. Oh yeah, way back. We knew each other as teenagers. I think we met when we were 17 or 18 years old. He played at the local club I was hanging out at. I think I was there with [high school pals and eventual E-Street Band members] Garry Tallent and Vini Lopez. They said, ‘That’s Steve from The Shadows.’ I’d heard of the band but I’d never met him. He was from way up north of me, which was like ten miles away.
admired. We had a small local following and reputation which meant we could get maybe three or four hundred people out to the shows. That was considered successful back then.
They’d put you on the same bill as the touring acts? (Laughs) No, we would pretend to be them! No, really we covered a lot of their material. We did open for The Vagrants and Leslie West was in that band before he was in Mountain. And we played with a band called The Seven Of Us, which later became NRBQ. We were all young guys trying to make it. I don’t know if they even had records, they just got on the road and made it happen. Then as now the live show was the proving ground. That’s the way it was. Back then, in the late ‘60s, if you just made a single, you might get on the radio. Nobody got to make an album back then unless you were a huge star. If you sold 200 copies of your single, you made your money back. People would come to see a band but if you weren’t any good, they didn’t invite you back. You had to bring the goods every night. You had to! I don’t care how sick you are, or how pissed off you are, you had to be up there and be entertaining and energetic and just believe in what you were doing. Or you didn’t get any more shows.
Back then, that was a whole separate scene. That’s a great Yeah, you got training ground for booked in the local any band. clubs. There were a Exactly, and you lot of bands that got had to fight hard for booked in the local any recognition you clubs in a five-mile Tuesday, February 26 got. You’d try to get a radius. Luckily for City Winery DJ to play the single me, that was Asbury to get some attention. citywindery.com/atlanta Park, the boardwalk A lot of it was just and Belmar, so there sheer force of will. were a lot of clubs. He That’s what got us over, just not quitting was from Middletown and Bruce was from and just kicking ass. You had to do it Freehold, so we all had our little territories. to survive. It wasn’t until the Upstage Club opened that we all got to meet each other, become How old were you when you started friends and collaborate and all that. playing live? 17 or so? Yeah. I started singing when I was 15 or So the whole Jersey Sound was born in the 16, just at parties. When I was 17 I joined club scene of the territories. a band and had to learn to play bass. I was Absolutely. We were lucky back then already playing the harmonica. Then yeah, in that they opened what they called when I was around 17, I started playing for Hullabaloo clubs, because there was a TV 5 and 10 dollars a night. Then if we wanted show called that. They had people like The to play some of the clubs in New York, Yardbirds and The Animals, bands we really you had to pay to play. We didn’t want to
SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY AND THE ASBURY JUKES
do that, so we didn’t. That’s just immoral to do that to kids. There’s plenty of other clubs in the world. We loved rock’n’roll and wanted to play it and we played it fiercely and furiously. Was that your career goal at the time? Yeah, some of the guys had great ambitions. I just wanted to get up there and play and be a part of whole tradition of bands. It felt good and girls would come and talk to you! It was just magic. There’s something empowering and attractive about getting up on a stage, even a really small one. Yeah, if you’re a guy that nobody talked to in school and all of a sudden girls from school see you on stage? It’s like, ‘Well yeah I like this! I’ll take the ten dollars I’ll make tonight and take them to the movies!’ Fast forward to the early to mid ‘70s and signing with a label was a big deal. Columbia got Bruce and you went with Epic. Yeah, but I always made my money on the road. I never made money from the record companies anyway. Now you have your own label, Leroy Records. Yeah and now I finally get the money if we sell them on the road or over the internet. And if we sell a download song for a dollar a piece, certainly you’ll get more than a dollar’s worth of enjoyment from it and I can make a buck. What do you think of the whole ‘the internet is running the music industry’ argument?’ Well if people hear some of our music for free and they like it, maybe they’ll come see us when we come to their town. That’s all I really want. Your live show is legendary. People need to see it. Yes, it’ll save their lives! It’ll cure their bunions or something.
Soultime comes pretty close to the live sound, but it’s not of the moment. How many albums have you made total at this point? You know, I don’t know. The past is not something I dwell in too much. I don’t really keep track of all the things I’ve done. I don’t keep track of all the songs I’ve written or even how much money is coming in or going out. Just this past week, we were working on songs for our next album and maybe some stuff for another one as well, in another style. You just want to keep moving forward. Then, when you’ve had enough, one day you just say, ‘no more!’ But I haven’t gotten to that point yet. No reason to retire when it’s still fun, right? All I want to do is go and make music. To me, it’s such a great gift to realize that I’ve spent my entire adult life making a living making music. It’s something that most people who want to do it, they don’t get a chance to do it. I don’t have to have to have a day job that’s just amazing to me. That’s rare, even these days. Yeah! I know people who are a lot better than I am at doin’ this stuff and they still have day jobs. I got lucky early on. Once the commitment hits and you realize that you have to do it every night and make it work, that’s your hard work. The hard part is just to be ‘on’ every night. The rest of it is just riding in a bus, drinking beer and watching “Blazing Saddles.” Sounds like a great life to me. But I think maybe on the 30th day on the road, you’d get a little tired of it. It’s like, ‘Where are we? What day is it?’ It’s no secret that you’re 70 years old. But you’re still a madman on stage. I think the worst thing that ever happened to me was a couple of years ago I thought, ‘I’ll be 70 soon. Maybe I should retire.’ Once that little worm gets in your brain and you have a bad night or you’re tired or angry about something, it’s like, ‘Ok, that’s it, I’m done!’ And you know what? I regret having ever even thought about it. I know I don’t want to quit. What am I gonna do if I did? Sit around and mope? I think I’d rather play some music. insiteatlanta.com • February 2019 • PG 17
BEN KWELLER IS BACK The Upbeat Musician Puts a Positive Spin on Personal Trauma
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
EN KWELLER IS THE SMART, exuberant amalgam of Mitch Easter, Harry Nilsson and Evan Dando. For the better part of two decades, his ‘90s-meets-the-‘60s style of pop-injected positivity has served him well. The “sugar metal” commercial alternative fizz of his band Radish seamlessly blended into his current status as a prolific solo artist with his own band and an impressive catalog of EPs, collaborations and albums. Now back on the road after five years of contemplative woodshedding - due to a near-death experience in 2013 from carbon monoxide poisoning and the passing of friend Anton Yelchin in 2016 - he’s back to his usual, upbeat self. He has a batch of new material ready for release as single tracks, videos and eventually in standard album form as Circuit Boredom later this year. “Heart Attack Kid,” the lead track, arrives February 8. INsite spoke with Kweller during a wide-ranging conversation from his home in Texas. Probably the best thing to say to you is simply, ‘Welcome back.’ (Laughs) Yeah, I guess I was away there for a while - to the tune of about five years. For the first time, I was dealing with the concept of, ‘One second you’re here and the next second you’re gone.’ So it was a mix of good, bad and needed.
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were you still writing songs? Yeah, the one constant I had was songwriting. It wasn’t every day, but songs were still coming out of me. I’ve always had that and it’s always been my best friend. I was like, ‘I’ve got my family and I’ve got my songs.’ But I didn’t know if anyone would ever hear them. Eventually I had around 50 but I was still reluctant to start the machine back up. Then one day my friend [producer] Dwight Baker called me and said, ‘Dude, get your ass over here and let’s record something together, just for fun.’ That became my new album and it’s really fresh and really fun.
Give us the short version of what happened. We were just on a little family vacation [to a cabin in New Mexico in Enduring that much trauma the winter of 2013] and might inspire some really we almost died. Me, my dark music. wife Lizzy and our two Tuesday, February 26 When I first started writing boys wouldn’t be here Masquerade again, some of the songs if Liz hadn’t woken us masqueradeatlanta.com were pretty dark. I went for up that night. She said, what I was feeling at the ‘Something’s wrong. I feel time. But then I was like, terrible.’ I jumped out of ‘Damn, if I ever do put this out, it’ll be this bed and just collapsed. We crawled to the horrible, emo, suicide record.’ Maybe one door and managed to get everyone outside day I’ll put that out. But as time went on, it in the snow. I called 911 as the boys were became clear. I’m coming back and getting falling in and out of consciousness. They reacquainted with my fans, and they’ve told tested our blood and they said we were me my music is a light at the end of the maybe 15 minutes away from not waking up tunnel for them. So I purposely picked songs because our CO levels were so high. When with that sort of classic, hopeful feeling that we got back home, I called up my team and my music is often associated with. told them to just cancel everything. And then depression set in. The death of your friend [actor, visual artist] Anton Yelchin was a big influence as well, right? You had a long road back. When he was gone in the blink of an eye, it I did. I’d never dealt with depression really woke me up. Before I got to know him, before. I’m usually pretty carefree and I just I was like, ‘What is it with actors? They just go with the flow, you know? But this was the kinda learn some lines. Are they like a cover first time I really felt out of control of myself. band or what?’ But when I got to know him, I didn’t want to leave my family, I didn’t want I realized it’s a craft, a real art, to express to do shows or anything. someone else’s writing. He put a fire under my ass. That dude was working on something What was your next step at that point? every day - a movie or a commercial or Well I grew up near Dallas and in the Deep taking pictures. He was just always making Elum scene - which is a lot like the Little Five art. When he left us, I was like, ‘Ok, I really Points scene you have in Atlanta. And we’ve need to get back to work.’ lived in New York and Austin but we wanted to get away from the city. So we came out If someone has to leave a legacy, what here to this little ranch in Dripping Springs, better way to do it than to inspire creativity about 45 minutes outside of town - just to be and productivity? with nature and our thoughts. That’s it, man! That’s exactly what it’s all about. Music lasts forever and the recordings You weren’t interested in playing live, but will outlast us all.
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