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JULY 2016


ARS ★ 2 E Y 4 2 992 ★



VOL. 24, NO. 12 FREE




Check out our Burger Guide!






s Ticket s a as low

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








7:00 PM Q&A

A special Q&A event on the Alliance Stage with the creators of The Prom, including a sneak peek musical performance!



Free e vent

Followed by LOVE WINS PROM

Join us after the show for our Love Wins Prom. Bring the person you always wished could be your prom date and celebrate the joy of being yourself! Dress accordingly!

IT’S AN EPIC WEEKEND OF FANDOM FUN! Get Your Membership Now and Save!

Dragon Con Night at The GA Aquarium

Meet stars from your favorite movies and TV shows

Live Music and All Night Dance Parties

Thousands of hours of programming & special events

Comics, Costumes, Games and so much more!

Huge Vendor Hall

The Legendary Dragon Con Parade

RSVP for this FREE event at

GET TICKETS! ON SALE JULY 5 BOX OFFICE 404.733.5000 GROUPS OF 10+ 404.733.4690 SEASON TICKET OFFICE 404.733.4600

Series on the Alliance Stage

PG 2 • July 2016 •

1280 Peachtree St NE // Atlanta, GA 30309

Labor Day Weekend, September 2–5, 2016 Hotels and more info at

CONTENTS • JULY 2016 • VOLUME 24, NO. 12 1992 ★

S★ 24 YEAR



Entertainment Monthly

INTERVIEWS 06 Broadway in ATL 17 Garbage 18 Brad Whitford 18 Trevor Rabin 19 The Posies 19 Purple Xperience 20 The Muffs 20 Draa 21 Kris Kristofferson



FEATURES 08 Burger Guide 11 July 4 Events 12 Summer Music 21 Music and Movies

COLUMNS 04 05 06 07 14 16 22 22


Around Town On Tap Atlanta on a Dime Under The Lights Movie Reviews Album Reviews Station Control 19 New Releases STAFF LISTING Publisher Stephen Miller Art Director / Web Design Nick Tipton Managing Editor Lee Valentine Smith Local Events Editor Marci Miller Sports Editor DeMarco Williams

Music Editor John Moore Contributing Writers / Interns: Alex. S. Morrison, Steve Warren, Dave Cohen, Benjamin Carr MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 76483 Atlanta, GA 30358 WEBSITE • ADVERTISING INFORMATION (404) 308-5119 • Editorial content of INsite is the opinion of each writer and is not necessarily the opinion of INsite, its staff, or its advertisers. INsite does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor do the publisher or editors of INsite assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. No content, THE POSIES GARBAGE i.e., articles, graphics, designs and information (any SUMMER CONCERT GUIDE and all) in this publication may be reproduced in any The manner without written permission from publisher. JULY 2016

1992 ★ 2

Follow us on the web!

© Copyright 2016, Be Bop Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Check out our Summer Music Guide on page 12!


VOL. 24, NO. 12 FREE

16 4 YEARS ★ 20


Check out our Burger Guide! • July 2016 • PG 3

Around Town

Events and Performances taking place this Month



Fernbank Museum

Alliance Theatre

Reptile Day

Come face-to-face with table after table of live reptiles and amphibians, including pythons, king snakes, geckos, tortoises, monitors, iguanas, and many more! This popular annual event offers a unique opportunity to interact with and learn more about these unique and ecologically-important creatures. Live Reptile Displays 10am – 2pm in the Great Hall. Visit


Bob Bakert and Friends

Chattahoochee Nature Center

Auditions for Troubadour The Alliance Theatre announces an open call audition for performers to star in the world premiere production with original music, Troubadour, written by Atlanta’s own Janece Shaffer, original music and lyrics by Kristian Bush (Sugarland), directed by Susan V. Booth, and music direction by Brandon Bush (Sugarland, Train, Kristian Bush). The audition will be held on Monday, July 11, beginning at 9am. Artists are required to be proficient on guitar with strong vocals, and are required to bring their own guitar to the audition. Visit

FRIDAY, JULY 15 Jazz Matters

The Wren’s Nest

The Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell is offering great nighttime entertainment this summer. Their Sundays on the River Concerts series is held the second Sunday of each month. Come out and see Bob Bakert and Friends on Sunday, July 10. You’ll enjoy tunes that you can sing along with from Eric Clapton to James Taylor and the Beatles, Pop and Blues. Perfect for a summer night! Visit for ticket information.

On every 3rd Friday this summer, join the Wren's Nest in Atlanta’s Historic West End for a cultural roots of jazz experience. This jazz concert series features different styles of jazz and genres influenced by it, such as Afro-Cuban and Latin, big band, blues, contemporary, traditional, smooth, R&B, soul and more! Visit

SATURDAY, JULY 16 Atlanta Field Day

Historic Fourth Ward Park

Atlanta Field Day is a throwback to grade school, built with adults in mind. They've got all the classic events like tug of war, relay races, obstacle courses, etc. - plus some crazy new games and some surprises

throughout the day. Teams will earn points in each event to add up to your total for the day. Grab some friends, start your team (8 or more people) and gear up for the competition of the Summer! Visit

JULY 19 - 31

Sleeping Beauty

Center for Puppetry Arts

A fantasy story filled with magic and heart, Sleeping Beauty has captivated the imagination of audiences for generations with its sweet message of love and hope. Using beautifully crafted marionettes and accompanied by the poetic, transcendent music of Tchaikovsky, the award-winning National Marionette Theatre returns with its delightful twist on the favorite fairy tale. Visit

a book that would be at home in any beach bag. There will be a Q & A session along with book signing. Visit

FRIDAY, JULY 22 Aaron Neville

City Winery at Ponce City Market

City Winery Atlanta, the restaurant, urban winery and concert venue at Ponce City Market opened this past month. It is the brainchild of Michael Dorf, founder of the iconic Knitting Factory, one of New York’s longest running music venues. Patrons can experience a compelling mix of chef driven cuisine from executive chef Jeffrey McGar and unique, house-made wines by the glass or bottle while listening to some of the most exciting musical talent in the country. Visit



Book Festival of the MJCCA

Downtown Oakhurst

Lauren Weisberger

Decatur BBQ Blues & Bluegrass

Lauren Weisberger, New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada and Revenge Wears Prada, brings us the perfect summer beach read with The Singles Game. A dishy tell-all about a beautiful tennis prodigy, Charlotte "Charlie" Silver. What Weisberger once did for the world of high-fashion magazines, she now does for the glamorous and elite world of tennis, taking readers beyond the court for

Enjoy classic southern BBQ from metro Atlanta staples along with over seven hours of original live blues and bluegrass music in the heart of Oakhurst. This is a family friendly event that is fun for all ages. Barbecue from Fox Bros BBQ, Williamson Bros. BBQ, and Sweet Auburn BBQ along with cold beer from New Belgium Brewing. For more information and to purchase tickets visit and follow them on Facebook & Twitter for updates.

Your Neighborhood Pizzeria!

Atlanta’s Favorite Pizza!

Multiple Atlanta Locations: PG 4 • July 2016 •


July 4: Lenox Square to Piedmont Park


e AJC Peachtree Road Race, organized by Atlanta Track Club, is the largest 10K in the world. In its 46th running, the AJC Peachtree Road Race has become a Fourth of July tradition for thousands of people throughout the metro Atlanta area and beyond. 60,000 runners follow a course that starts at Lenox Square, travels down Peachtree and finishes at Piedmont Park in Midtown. Visit

July 8 & 9: Buckhead Theatre

THE NAKED MAGIC SHOW Following sold out shows and rave reviews in Australia, Asia and the U.S., the world’s boldest and cheekiest magic show “e Naked Magic Show” is coming to the Buckhead eatre for three incredible performances. e 18+ only show features magic, mirth and more than a touch of mayhem. is boisterous R-rated magic show promises full frontal illusions. Tickets available at Fox

July 21: The Fox Theatre

COCA-COLA FILM FESTIVAL roughout the summer, modern and vintage movie classics will be shown on Fox eatre’s big screen and patrons will enjoy movies under the “stars” with Fox eatre’s distinct blue sky with twinkling stars and fluffy clouds. Special Movie Tours will be available prior to all films with exception of Saturday Morning Cartoons and e Little Mermaid Sing-a-Long. See Shrek on ursday July 21. Fox

Act Now!

Prices reduced to Only $695!

July 28: Philips Arena


Global superstar and Grammy Award winning artist, Pitbull brings e Bad Man Tour to Philips Arena on ursday, July 28. He is touring with Latin megastar, singer-songwriter, Prince Royce. Armando Christian Perez aka Pitbull is everywhere. His relentless work ethic transformed him into a Grammy winning international superstar, visionary entrepreneur, fashion maven, and successful actor.

July 30 - August 7: Atlantic Station


If John Isner is going to win his fourth consecutive BB&T Atlanta Open singles title, he's going to have to navigate his way through a draw with a mix of young upstarts and former and current ATP World Tour top20 players. e 2016 BB&T Atlanta Open boasts a singles field of ten top-50 players. Players include (18) Nick Kyrgios, (23) Benoit Paire, (24) Kevin Anderson, and (29) Lucas Pouille. Visit

August 2: Cobb Energy Arts Centre

Use discount code TPA for savings.

Test Prep Academy Summer Class Schedule

Downtown Campus


July 13 – Sept 7


July 14 – Sept 8


July 17 – Sept 11 July 19 – Sept 13

Alpharetta Campus


July 9 – August 20


August 27 – Oct 15

Enroll Today!


Peter Frampton is one of the most celebrated guitarists in rock history. His session work includes collaborations with such legendary artists as George Harrison, David Bowie, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ringo Starr, John Entwistle and many others. Frampton was recently inducted in the Musicians Hall of Fame and played an integral part in the 50th anniversary celebration of the Beatles’ arrival in the U.S.

The GSU Test Prep Academy features Dr. Gary Cohen (aka Dr. Test Prep) one of the country’s premier test prep instructors.

(404) 413-7300 or email • July 2016 • PG 5


BROADWAY IN ATLANTA Closes Out It’s 35th Anniversary Season with If/Then



ROADWAY IN ATLANTA IS SET to close out its 35th anniversary season with the highly celebrated Broadway hit, If/Then, which plays at The Fox Theatre August 9 - 14. This finishes off a season which saw a collection of blockbuster musicals including the Atlanta debut of the 2013 Tony Award-winner for Best Musical Kinky Boots, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, 2013 Tony Award-winner Rodgers +Hammerstein’s Cinderella, The Book of Mormon, Elf The Musical and more. And now, Atlanta audiences can enjoy an internationally inspired 2016/2017 season featuring Atlanta debuts of The Illusionists, Time Magazine’s #1 Show of the Year, Matilda the Musical, Roundabout Theatre Company’s Cabaret, Annie, An American in Paris, A Christmas Story, The Musical, The Bodyguard and Finding Neverland, as well as returning audience favorites. We recently spoke to Russ Belin, vice president of Broadway in Atlanta, to hear more about If/Then and the upcoming season: How excited is Broadway in Atlanta to have If/Then close out your 35th Anniversary Season? If/Then is a new, wholly original musical from a powerhouse team of creators that includes Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winners. We pride ourselves in bringing the very best of Broadway to the Fox Theatre here in Atlanta, and with this show’s pedigree, it is a perfect choice to close this landmark season of Broadway in Atlanta. How much anticipation is there for Atlanta native and former American Idol alum, Tamyra Gray to be returning to the city as one of the stars of the show? It is always a pleasure to host some of Atlanta’s own as part of the shows we present. We feel immense pride seeing homegrown talent on stage at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. Tell us about the show’s star Jackie Burns and how she does taking on the role originated by Idina Menzel: Idina is a world class performer, and she was the lead in the show on Broadway and in a few markets when the tour started. We are thrilled to have Jackie Burns taking the lead in the production when it comes to Atlanta. I saw Jackie in the show in NYC, and her performance will blow you away! We couldn’t be happier to share this new, contemporary musical with Atlanta audiences.

The Illusionists

PG 6 • July 2016 •



Know of a low cost event happening? By Marci Miller

Throughout Month of July

SIX FLAGS OVER GEORGIA Military Access Line for Blue Hawk

roughout the month of July, Six Flags Over Georgia is opening a special Military Access Line for its renovated roller coaster, Blue Hawk. All active and retired Military service members with a valid Military ID and one additional guest, will be able to skip the main line and use the exit lane to ride Blue Hawk. Blue Hawk opened earlier this year – featuring a 122 foot drop, two new coaster trains, new soft-vest restraints for a more comfortable ride and fresh blue paint – along 2,800 feet of track at speeds of more than 50 miles per hour.

Thursday, July 14; Begins at 8:00 pm If you read the comments on the show’s Facebook page, audiences are obsessed by this production…some seeing it multiple times. What is driving this phenomenon? There is something about this show that really makes you think, and its causing people to come back to see the show more than once. Everyone makes choices in their lives, and I think most people wonder about the “what if?” This show puts that concept front and center and, besides having an amazing score with world class performances, you will leave the theater thinking about the “what if?” in your own life. Your 2016/2017 season kicks off with The Illusionists, which will play at The Fox Theatre September 27 – October 2…tell us more about that show: The Illusionists has been a sensation on Broadway in NYC for the last two seasons, and will definitely blow audiences away here in Atlanta. It has been over a decade since we have seen this quality of show featuring magic and illusions anywhere other than Las Vegas. What else can audiences look forward to next season? Next season really represents the best of Broadway that is going to be touring across the country. There is something for everyone in our upcoming season. The Bodyguard, which is premiering in the US as a national tour next season after its success on London’s West End, will star Grammy Award®-winner Debra Cox. Families can come together to shows like A Christmas Story, Annie, and The Little Mermaid. Broadway lovers will get a mix of favorites like The Phantom of the Opera, Riverdance, Mamma Mia! and Cabaret and new shows like Finding Neverland, Matilda, and An American in Paris. The list of reasons to see these shows could go on and on. What info can you give readers about purchasing a Season Package and the “Season Options” that are also available? A subscription is the only way to guarantee your seat for every show right now, and, in most cases, at a savings as opposed to waiting to buy individual tickets. You can buy subscriptions online at BroadwayInAtlanta. com or by calling our season subscriber hotline listed on our website. Plus, subscribers for the 16/17 season will be the first to be able to guarantee their seats for Hamilton when they renew their subscription for the 17/18 season early next year.


Atlantic Station Free to attend; Atlantic Station's outdoor summer movie series, Movies in the Park, is offering free movie screenings each ursday evening in their Central Park through July 28. Moviegoers can also enjoy meal deals each week from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. from a variety of Atlantic Station restaurants. Movie screenings will begin at dusk. Pets are welcome. ursday, July 14 offers the classic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Thursday, July 14; 6:30 - 9:30 pm SUNSET SIPS: GARRETT DOUGLAS

Free w/ Gen Admission; Chattahoochee Nature Center; is new program returns to bring you evening hours at CNC with a side of sunset. Sunset Sips is a laid back, family friendly event on the nature center grounds and open for exploring. Grab a friend and enjoy live local music and cash bar. People are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner and sit back with a glass of beer or wine while enjoying the sunset along with great music.

Thursday, July 21; Begins at Dusk


Town Brookhaven Free; Come on out for the 4th Annual Movies on the Town series at Town Brookhaven.

Movies take place each ursday night through the July 21st screening of Casablanca! is year offers an exciting blend of animated and non-animated movies. Arrive early, grab dinner from one of the area restaurants and eat on the green space. Specials are being offered by neighboring restaurants. Areas have been designated for blankets and chairs. No pets, outside food/drinks or coolers.

Saturday, July 23, - Sunday, July 31


Various Restaurants; Prix-fixe $15, $25, $35; e nine-day culinary event features dozens of restaurants throughout the neighborhood that are new to Downtown Atlanta, as well as the return of many classic Atlanta eateries. Presented by Central Atlanta Progress (CAP), this week-long dining adventure gives Atlantans the opportunity to indulge in Downtown’s finest dining hot spots. More than 35 participating restaurants.

Saturday, July 23; 11am - 6:00 pm


Piedmont Park, 10th & Charles Allen Dr. Free; Founded in 2010, this family fun event features America’s favorite dessert, Ice Cream! It also includes a variety of health and wellness vendors. ere will be fitness routines and other fun activities for the entire family including entertainment and an ice cream eating competition. e event is free to attend with ice cream for purchase.

Saturday, July 30; 12:30 - 6:30 pm


Jim R. Miller Park, Marietta; Free Admission w/ school supply donation; Taste and sample a variety of dishes from metro Atlanta's very own restaurants, caterers and food trucks. Kids will enjoy the fun zone, equipped with inflatables, waterslides, a rock climbing wall, bungee jumping and bouncy houses. Arts and crafts vendors will also be on site. School Supplies Giveaway provided by Inside Out Center. No alcohol will be served or sold during the festival.

Six Flags over Georgia Blue Hawk Roller Coaster


Sign Up by Emailing Enter on the subject line: Sign me up Insite!

Under The Lights




August 9 - 14 The Fox Theatre Tickets (855) 285-8499

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

a lifted soul and a lightened heart. This amazing musical tells their incredible, uncensored, unforgettable tales through songs and dance with a vibrant drum beat.


July 15 - 17 Lyric Theatre at the Cobb Energy Arts Centre (404) 377-9948 The first full-length musical by the legendary theatrical team of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, JOSEPH is a lovely, comic, and colorful journey through the Biblical story of young Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers after his father favored him with a gorgeous colored cloak. His gift of prophecy saves him from an uncertain fate and helps him to rescue Egypt from famine. Animated with a highenergy mix of music and dancing from 50's rock to calypso to country, this show is hailed for its family-friendly storyline, universal themes, and catchy music.

URINETOWN: THE MUSICAL June 14, 16, 17 MJCCA Theatre (678) 812-4002

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

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

ON SALE NOW! AUGUST 9-14 855-285-8499


July 15 - Aug 28 Horizon Theatre (404) 584-7450 The long-running international musical sensation and TV show, ‘DA KINK IN MY HAIR by Trey Anthony sweeps into the Horizon Theatre this summer. The story revolves around Novelette, a funny and frank West Indian hair stylist who serves as a confidant for the women in her shop ‘da Kink tells of love, hope, survival and redemption through eight women’s trials and celebrations. On this day in the salon of their West Indian stylist, hurried women converge to have their hair done for dates, jobs and upkeep. But they come away with not just a new hairdo, but

URINETOWN: THE MUSICAL is a sidesplitting send-up of greed, love, and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold. The musical satires the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics and musical theatre itself. Hilariously funny and touchingly honest, Urinetown provides a fresh perspective of one of America's greatest art forms. In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity's most basic needs. Amid the people, a hero decides he's had enough, and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom.

Join the Club • Become a Member

Receive Deals at Retailers and Win Free Tickets to Movies, Concerts, Theatre Shows & Events

More info at



“VIBRANT, HOPEFUL, JOYOUS!”—NATIONAL POST A Sold-Out Musical Sensation and TV Show, Now Onstage. OPENS JULY 15



flx • July 2016 • PG 7

Taste of the Month-BURGERS!

Where to Go for the Best Burgers in Town Cheeseburger Bobby’s

There is a kids menu and they offer a wide selection of draft and bottle beer and wine served by the glass or bottle. Come in on Tuesdays for their $5 Burger special and Trivia starting at 8 pm. George’s is open for lunch and dinner. Sunday (11:30am - 9:30pm); Monday (11:30am - 10:30pm); Tue -Thu (11:30am - 11pm); Fri -Sat (11:30am - 12am).

Farm Burger

Buckhead (404) 816-0603 Decatur (404) 378-5077 Dunwoody (770) 454-2201

Buckhead (678) 732-9531 Marietta (770) 919-9110 Sandy Springs (404) 600-2484

Cheeseburger Bobby's was founded in 2007 by brothers Richard and Bobby Stoll, who wanted to provide people in their area a fast casual dining experience that focused on the freshest ingredients and the most inventive menu. At Bobby's you can order a gourmet hamburger or a sizzling hot dog and top it any way you like it at the "Build Your Own Burger Bar". Cheeseburger Bobby's offers its patrons the freshest ingredients, from its gourmet hamburgers to its wide variety of freshly prepared toppings with which to prepare "The Best Burger". It all starts with fresh, never frozen 100 % U.S. beef, seared on a grill after you order it and served on a lightly buttered, toasted bun. The rest is up to you. Order up a Bobby’s specialty burger like the Smokehouse, Mushroom & Swiss or Black & Bleu. Or build your own choosing from a variety of cheeses and colorful veggie toppings. With more than a million different possible combinations, you can build a burger that’s just as unique as you are. Cheeseburger Bobby’s has ten metro area locations. Find one near you!


Farm Burger is about more than just a great burger. It is a labor of love that satisfies its founder’s personal commitment to animal welfare, ecological agriculture and sustainability practices. In an era where the concept of “Farm to Table” has become little more than a commodity, Farm Burger has created its own selfcontained agricultural and economic ecosystem which keeps dollars in the local economy while restoring the productivity of its pastures. While championing all things local, their grass feed beef is raised right here in Georgia. With their communal tables and lack of pre-designed burgers, Farm Burger encourages participation from its customers. There are wide assortments of toppings starting with the basics that come free with your burger to the more extravagant for a dollar or two more. If you prefer something unusual but you want to be sure it will be good, try one of their Blackboard Burgers or the Daily Burger which varies by location. All Farm Burger burgers are grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone-free, locally raised, ground fresh, made in-house and griddled to perfection!

The Downwind Restaurant

Dekalb Peachtree Airport 200 Airport Rd. #201 (770) 452-0973

Virginia-Highland 1041 N. Highland Ave (404) 892-3648

George’s, the iconic Virginia-Highland establishment now celebrating their 55th anniversary keeps winning over new fans of their famous burgers. These burgers are made from 100% ground chuck, hand-pattied, charbroiled and served on a lightly grilled whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomato, red onions, and a pickle spear. It comes with choice of fries, potato salad, coleslaw; swap out for tater tots or onion rings for just a little more. There are many great burgers on the menu to choose from. Some of the favorites include the Bleu Cheese Burger, Mushroom & Swiss Burger, Turkey Burger and the Hawaiian Burger. They also offer a Lamb Burger plus a Vegetarian and Black Bean Burger. George’s now has a full bar and with that offers their Bourbon Burger with a kick. Besides burgers, George’s offers a wide range of salads and sandwiches. You will find everything from Grilled Chicken Wraps, Patty Melts, Reuben sandwiches and even a blackened Mahi Mahi sandwich.

How many restaurants can boast patio seating with views of airplanes taking off and landing? The Downwind Restaurant & Lounge, a family owned establishment off of Clairmont Road can. Not only is their view superb, the food is fabulous too. The Downwind menu has many outstanding offerings including their award winning burgers. The Classic Downwind was voted “Best Burger in Town” and is built from a half pound of choice lean ground beef served with lettuce, tomato and onions on the side. You can also go beef free with their Veggie Burger or try one of their new healthy options including the Salmon Burger and Turkey Burger. Also find great sandwiches including the blackened chicken, roasted turkey or homemade tuna. Plus Greek specialties like the Spanakopita and Greek Spaghetti. They offer a full bar and live music every Friday night from 7pm - close. Downwind Restaurant is family friendly with an aviation themed playground for kids. Downwind Restaurant is open Monday through Saturday 11:00am - 10:00pm and closed on Sunday.

27 Years Serving Atlanta’s Best Breakfast, Lunch and Brunch!

Open 7 Days a Week Monday – Friday 7am – 3pm

Hours: 7am – 3pm Weekdays • 7am-4pm Weekends Located in Historic Virginia Highland Neighborhood 842 North Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 • (404) 872-2822

PG 8 • July 2016 •

American Roadhouse

Gordon Biersch Brewery

Virginia Highland 842 North Highland Ave (404) 872-2822

American Roadhouse is celebrating 27 years of providing quality food and service to Atlanta. Located in historic Virginia Highland neighborhood, this Zagat rated restaurant offers generous portions and down-home service. There are several great burgers on the menu. The Hickory Burger is made with thick bacon, cheddar & barbecue sauce. Their Turkey Bacon Burger is as the name implies; made with hand-formed ground turkey, turkey bacon & Muenster cheese. The Hoppin’ Jalapeño Burger comes with pepper jack cheese, pickled jalapeños & crispy onions. After a night out in Virginia Highland you might want to try their Hangover Cure Burger which is topped with bacon, double American, fried egg & crispy onions. Others on the menu include the Whistle Stop Burger topped with fried green tomato & pimento cheese and the classic Cheeseburger that comes with your choice of american, swiss, cheddar, muenster or pepper jack cheese. Sides include fries, sweet potato fries, mac & cheese and much more. Enjoy with a cocktail or your favorite beer. Open 7 days a week, 7am to 3pm Weekdays and 7am – 4pm weekends.

Big Al’s Gourmet Burgers

Midtown - 848 Peachtree St. (404) 870-0805 Buckhead - 3242 Peachtree Rd (404) 264-0253

Gordon Biersch is an upscale brewery restaurant specializing in handcrafted German lagers brewed in-house. Both Atlanta locations feature an on-site brewery where Gordon Biersch Brewmasters create their award-winning house beers, as well as limited-time seasonal brews. The burgers at Gordon Biersch go hand in hand with their great brews. All of their 8 oz steakburgers are made with USDA choice premium ground sirloin and grilled to order. Gordon Biersch originals include their signature Cheeseburger, Marzen Barbecue, California and Gastro Pub Burger. All of the burgers are served with GB’s legendary garlic fries. The menu offerings are constantly being updated with fresh new items, seasonal creations and daily lunch specials. They feature a made-from-scratch American menu with bold international flavors. So come in to either of the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants this summer for a hand crafted brew, outstanding burger and great time!

The Albert

918 Austin Ave. Inman Park (404) 872-4990

2221 Peachtree Rd. Buckhead (404) 351-0450

Since opening last year, Big Al’s Butter Made Gourmet Burgers have taken Atlanta by storm! Their burgers are built from 100% all natural Angus beef with no hormones or antibiotics. All their burgers are fresh, never frozen and are cooked in hand churned gourmet butter to give the extra flavor and tenderness to the burger. Order one of six beef burgers available as a single, double, or triple. Watch as the beef is cooked fresh from a ball of ground meat into a flattened patty. After flipping a dollop of hand-churned butter is scooped on top to melt into the meat itself as it finishes cooking. Even the buns get slathered with butter before being toasted to a golden brown. These burgers offer a taste like no other. Big Al’s offers a casual dining menu filled with all American traditions including spicy chicken sandwiches, chili cheese hot dogs, salads and sides including the popular Hungry Man Fries (fries topped with ground beef or turkey, melted cheese and homemade Pico De Gallo).

The Albert is the neighborhood bar of Inman Park and is affectionately known as the "Cheers" of Atlanta. They are celebrating their 9th Anniversary this July. The restaurant has an extremely relaxed feel where families and party goers alike feel welcome. The Albert prides itself on great food and all the meat is smoked in house. They are also known for their variety of diner style burgers, such as The Diner, The Albert, The Western and black bean and turkey burger options as well. In addition find a variety of appetizers, salads and sandwiches. Don't forget the mouthwatering pork spare ribs that come with a variety of house made sides! The Albert hosts trivia every Wednesday from 8-10 pm and Adult Tipsy bingo the first Monday of every month with amazing prizes. Hours: Mon thru Thursday open 11am - 3am. Kitchen closes at 11pm. Fri and Sat open 11am - 3am. Kitchen closes at 1am. Sunday 11am -12am. Kitchen closes at 11pm. Burgers Continues on Next Page

e Magazine sit



Best of Atlanta 2014


100% GRASSFED RAISED on the SWEET of the SOUTHEAST GRASSES decatur • buckhead • dunwoody


s r e g r u B

since 1961 4365 Roswell Road Hours: 678.732.9531 Sun-Thurs 11-9 Fri & Sat 11-10

A BURGER JOINT In Virginia Highland 1041 North Highland Ave. 404.892.3648

Tuesdays try our $5 Burger Special!

125 Barrett Parkway 770.919.9110 5975 Roswell Road 404.600.2484

Classic Single Cheeseburger

Meal Deal!

Includes Burger, Fresh Cut Fries & Med. Drink Expires August 31, 2016. Valid at Buckhead, Marietta & Sandy Springs locations. • July 2016 • PG 9

Come Try

The Albert’s Diner Burger

The Earl

East Atlanta - 488 Flat Shoals Rd. (404) 522-3950

Join us for Sports, THE WALKING DEAD viewing, Trivia and Bingo!

918 AUSTIN AVE • ATLANTA 30307 • 404-872-4990

Live Music & Entertainment • Full Bar • Daily Specials • Takeout Available

Downwind Restaurant & Lounge at the Dekalb Peachtree Airport

Mon-Fri 11am-10pm • Saturday Noon-10pm • Sunday Closed

770.452.0973 • 2000 Airport Rd. #201, Atlanta

Flatiron Bar & Grill 520 Flat Shoals Ave. SE East Atlanta (404) 688-8864

Chosen one of Atlanta’s TOP TEN Burgers by Atlanta Magazine The Albert is your place for good people, great burgers, and of course delicious drinks! American cheese, pickles, grilled & biting raw onions, and sharp bits of French’s mustard and Hellman’s mayonnaise.

available for bookings and a lively rooftop patio with great views of the city.

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 are well known and have received numerous awards including the EARL Burger, made with 100% Black Angus Beef. The Guacamole Burger is known for its “cowalicious goodness” and served with guacamole, salsa and cheddar. The Blue Bacon is topped with grilled mushrooms, bacon and blue cheese. There are also vegetarian options including the Portobello Mushroom and Black Bean burgers. The open front offers cafe’ seating with a great view of the East Atlanta scene. At night anything and everything can be heard on the back stage while the crowd varies with the bands. National acts and the best of the emerging Atlanta music scene grace the Earl nightly to packed crowds. The jukebox in the restaurant has one of the most eclectic group of albums in town. Bar regulars love to wash Earl burgers down with their PBR tall boys. With a casual atmosphere and eclectic mix of patrons, you can’t go wrong with a visit to The Earl.

The Flatiron restaurant and bar in East Atlanta is a favorite hangout among residents and those visiting the area. Open since 1997, their friendly and professional staff and great bartenders keep their customers coming back. Flatiron burgers placed second out of forty Atlanta restaurants and bars this spring in Creative Loafing’s Burger Week contest. Build your own 1/2 Pound Angus Beef burger using their variety of toppings or try one of their originals like the Flatiron Burger. This tasty treat is topped with bacon, grilled peppers, blue cheese crumbles, American cheese and crispy onion rings. They also have one that comes with Sautéed portabella mushrooms and melted smoked gouda with a side of steak sauce. In addition to their award winning burgers, the vegan friendly menu offers a variety of sandwiches, soups, salads, quesadillas and other appetizers. The Flatiron offers non-smoking inside and dog friendly patio. They are in the process of expanding the upstairs to offer pool tables.

Hudson Grille

7 Metro Area Locations

Twin Peaks Restaurant

3365 Piedmont Road Buckhead (404) 961-8946

FlatIron It’s the Biggest, It’s the Baddest

It’s a Party in Your Mother F%#*ing Mouth It’s the “SUCKTOPUS” And it’s only at the FLATIRON The Coolest Bar in EAV.

520 Flat Shoals Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316 (404) 688-8864 PG 10 • July 2016 •

Twin Peaks Restaurant is a rugged mountain lodge known for its man cave setting and beautiful Twin Peaks Girls. They have the best kitchen in sports and serve up high-quality comfort food with a wide array of sandwiches and salads to choose from. Twin Peaks’ menu features generous, mansized portions of classic American favorites like grilled-to-order Green Chile Meatloaf, butter-brushed Flat Iron Steak, hand-prepared Mozzarella Cheese Bites and Buffalo wings. The most popular item on the menu is the Twin Peaks Cheeseburger. Every burger is smashed and seared to order for maximum flavor. These delicious burgers are served up on buttery challah-inspired buns with caramelized onions, a choice of five cheeses, and fresh veggies like lettuce and tomatoes. For those looking to get a little more adventurous with their burger, Twin Peaks also offers its special Billionaire’s Bacon Burger, served with a bacon-laced burger patty. This burger is topped with Sriracha Pimento cheese and thick-cut Billionaire’s Bacon laced with brown sugar, red chile flakes, and smoked paprika. This burger is then finished off with lettuce, tomato, bacon beer mustard, and finally bacon mayo. Twin Peaks has an extensive selection of 29-degree draft beers from 32 taps served into huge ice-cold, frosted mugs. There are private rooms

Hudson Grille is the perfect place to catch the game, meet up with friends for a great meal or enjoy drinks from one of their expansive bars. All of their burgers are halfpound, hand-pattied. The signature Hudson Burger is a double patty with chili, jalapenos, onion rings, cheddar, jalapeno cheese. The Maker’s Mark Burger is made with Maker’s Mark Bourbon BBQ, applewood-smoked bacon, cheddar and crispy onions. Bulldog fans may like the #UGA Breakfast Burger served with fried egg, smoked bacon, BBQ mayo and cheddar cheese. Visit Monday thru Friday for lunch as they offer specials for $6.95. On Mondays receive double VIP points and $5.95 Burgers (includes two toppings and a side). Tuesday offers two for one appetizers while Wednesday has half-priced desserts.

The Vortex Bar & Grill 878 Peachtree Street (404) 875-1667 438 Moreland Ave. (404) 688-1828

The Vortex Bar & Grill is one of Atlanta‘s original burger joints. There are well over 20 original burger creations on the menu, and you can even build your own by choosing a unique combination of toppings. All the variations of this world famous hamburger are made with 100% choice ground sirloin and are grilled to perfection over an open flame. The Vortex is also a drinking man's bar, featuring one of Atlanta's largest selections of beer and spirits. The Little 5 Points location features a 20-foot high "Laughing Skull" facade.




Centennial Olympic Park’s 4th of July Celebration will offer fun and entertainment for the entire family, including free music from The United States Air Force Band of the West and Atlanta’s number one fireworks display. Come relax on the Great Lawn and celebrate Independence Day with Centennial Olympic Park. This year’s 4th of July celebration will once again be broadcasted by local ABC affiliate WSBTV. The fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9pm. Parking will available at the Red Deck Parking Garage, which is located on Andrew Young International Blvd. across from the Georgia Dome and the Georgia World Congress Center. Parking will be at a premium due to other citywide events happening during the same time period. It is recommended that you purchase parking




Downtown East Point holds the oldest and largest Independence Day Celebration in South Fulton County, “Salute to the Red, White and Blue” Hometown Celebration! The celebration is held across from the East Point MARTA station & East Point City Hall. This fun filled event features activities for the whole family with a select merchandise vendor market, musical performances throughout the evening and a fabulous food court. The fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9:30 pm. Patrons are invited to bring blankets and chairs to the event. Visit



For over half a century Lenox Square has celebrated Independence Day in grand tradition with patriotic activities for the entire family. This year’s activities will include the largest fireworks display in the Southeast, musical entertainment and food concessions. Musical entertainment begins at 6 p.m. Headlining the Independence Day event for the 6th year in a row will be Atlanta’s premier cover band, Party on the Moon. They will take the stage at 7:45 p.m. and play until the fireworks show begins at approximately 9:40 p.m. Everyone is invited to experience Atlanta’s patriotic celebration as Lenox Square lights up the sky on the Fourth of July! For more information visit the Lenox Square site

Experience the Lasershow Spectacular an Atlanta tradition that promises to wow your family with state-of-the-art digital graphics and awe-inspiring effects. The show includes a lighting feature at the base of the mountain shining up like fingers of light showcasing the 825 foot mountainside. Laser beams bounce around in harmony with the music. The special patriotic fireworks finale will immediately follow the Lasershow all four nights. Visitors may bring blankets and lawn chairs. For more information visit


400 AC HT R





The AJC Peachtree Road Race, organized by Atlanta Track Club, is the largest 10K in the world. In its 47th running, the race has become a Fourth of July tradition for thousands of people throughout the metro Atlanta area and beyond. The race, which starts at Lenox Square, once again has its finish line at Piedmont Park in Midtown. Race time is at 7:30 AM so get up early to line-up along Peachtree and cheer on the runners. Event participants and spectators are strongly encouraged to take MARTA. MARTA will begin running at 5 a.m. on race day. For more information on the event visit

in advance. For more information visit








Grab your American flag, put on your red, white and blue, and celebrate America’s independence on July 4th, from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. with the City of Marietta. Start the day with an Independence Day parade and celebration on the Square presented by Superior Plumbing, free live concerts, an arts and crafts show, food, carnival games and the City of Marietta fireworks finale. Throughout the day, more than 80,000 people are expected to celebrate on the Square. The Marietta Independence Day parade begins at 10 am and is scheduled to include more than 115 entries with more than 40 floats and approximately 2,000 participants. The fireworks display is scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. and will be shot from the First United Methodist Church parking lot. Visit


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Reach 74,000 of our loyal readers each Month! Learn about introductory advertising offers. Contact Publisher Steve Miller at (404) 308-5119 or email • July 2016 • PG 11


Summer VANS WARPED TOUR (June 30,

Aarons Amphitheatre Lakewood) The world’s longest running punk rock summer camp shows no signs of slowing down as it finally hits legal drinking age (technically it has been since last summer, as this year marks its 22nd year in existence). Some of the bigger bands taking the stage this Steve Miller year include throwbacks like New Found Glory, Less Than Jake, Yellowcard, We The Kings, Sleeping With Sirens, Falling In Reverse, Four Year Strong, Reel Big Fish and Pepper. New to the festival this year is the Monster Energy Party Zone, with two stages of harder music from bands like Atreyu, Every Time I Die, Motionless In White, The Color Morale, Chelsea Grin and others. And newer acts this year include groups like State Champs, Like Pacific, In Hearts Wake, Capsize and From Ashes To New.


Frederick Brown Amphitheater

PG 12 • July 2016 •

It’s hard to believe that Steve Miller has been playing since the mid-‘60s. This summer he’s back on the road following his induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The outspoken multi-tasking singer-songwriter-guitarist-producer began his career as a cornerstone of the bluesinfluenced San Francisco music scene with the classic albums Children of the Future, Sailor and Brave New World. In the ‘70s, Miller’s polished, catchy, good time rock ‘n’ roll captured a generation and served as an unforgettable summer soundtrack with “The Joker,” “Take the Money and Run,” “Rock’n Me,” “Fly Like an Eagle,” “Jet Airliner,” “Jungle Love,” and finally “Abracadabra” among the collection. His live show is a near-flawless, no-nonsense recreation of his many hits and often includes a nod to his early roots in pure, Chicago-style blues. Casual fans may be surprised to know that Miller often works with New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and is a board member of Jazz at

Lincoln Center. He curates performances at both institutions as he celebrates his appreciation for traditional American roots music.

BOSTON (Aug 6)

Verizon Wireless Amphitheater This summer Boston is playing nearly 50 shows in 100 days, so they should be ready for the blistering summer heat when they hit the hot VWA stage. When they arrive, it’ll be almost exactly on the 40th anniversary of the band’s self-titled debut, which is still a staple of their performances. Originally centered around multi-instrumentalist/ producer/songwriter Tom Scholz and singer Brad Delp, the band has weathered a number of personnel changes over the years. Most notably vocalist Tommy Dixie Chicks DeCarlo has been handling vocal duties since the death of Delp in 2007. But Scholz is still at the helm, currently joined by guitarist Gary Pihl, a veteran of Sammy Hagar’s band and bassist Tracy Ferrie, formerly of Stryper.


(Lakewood Amphitheater) Those crafty folks at Live Nation are bringing back the popular “Country Megaticket” series for this year. It’s advertised as a “season ticket” for a string of often quite literally hot country music shows. This year’s Megaticket is a fiveshow package deal featuring some of the biggest stars of modern country music with a selection of popular up ‘n’ comers. Four

different packages are available, starting at $169 and continuing on to a megamegaticket for $499. The five-concert run kicked off in May with Luke Bryan. It continues on the 15th of this month with Dierks Bentley with openers including Randy Houser. Brantley Gilbert headlines the August 26 edition with Justin Moore and Colt Ford along for the ride. On October 22, Florida Georgia Line wraps it up the raucous line-up with Cole Swindell, The Cadillac Three and Kane Brown.

DIXIE CHICKS (Aug 14) Verizon Wireless Amphitheater “DCXMMXVI” may not be the most catchy moniker for a tour, but the alternative country trio led by Natalie Maines and sisters Martie Erwin Maguire and Emily Erwin Robison have enjoyed a long and occasionally controversial career. Formed in Dallas in ’89 as a bluegrass and country quartet, the Dixie Chicks had major success nearly a decade later the hits “There’s Your Trouble” and “Wide Open Spaces.” The current tour is a massive rock-star affair, with a multi-media set and decidedly non-country openers along for the ride including Elle King, Anderson East, Vintage Trouble and Augustana. The Atlanta show is scheduled to include sets from rockers Vintage Trouble and the raw rootsy Americana of Smooth Hound Smith.


Piedmont Park This year’s version of the Revival is set for the meadow of Piedmont Park with the side of the hill reserved for blanket Joan Jett seating. The line-up is the most ambitious in the history of the easy-listening series. In addition to songs from the amazingly versatile Yacht Rock Review, irony-loving captain-hatted revelers will be groovin’ in soft rock heaven with appearances from Juice Newton (“Angel Of The Morning”) Ambrosia (“Biggest Part Of Me”), Player (“Baby Come Back”), Stephen Bishop (“On And On”), Robbie Dupree (“Steal Away”), Matthew Wilder (“Break My Stride”) and a mysterious “farewell appearance” from Starbuck (“Moonlight Feels Right”).


28, Atlanta Motor Speedway) EDM fans have a new Mecca thanks to the Imagine Music Festival. The threeday camping and electroni dance music fest has a new home at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Woodstock for the laptop set is crammed with 50 of the genres biggest artists including sets by the Disco Biscuits, Steve Angello, Benny Benassi, Borgore, Dillon Francis, Excision, Nero, Showtek, Zeds Dead, Papadosio, SNBRN, Thomas Jack and a slew of others. This marks the festival’s third year in Atlanta. The event has doubled in attendance each year necessitating the move from its former home in the Historic Fourth Ward Park, to the Atlanta Motor Speedway. With five stages spread across the speedway, the fest promises music, circus troupes, performers, dancers, transformational village, art, workshops, classes and more.

ONE MUSICFEST September 10, Lakewood Amphitheatre There was an unfortunate moment during the 2015 show when a horde of people literally walked out underwhelming headliner Lauryn Hill. One look at this year’s promising roster shows that organizers are doing everything in their

power to prevent a repeat. Whatever folks aren’t head-nodding by the time A$ap Ferg and Anderson .Paak finish their sets will almost certainly be toe-tapping to the sounds of Andra Day, Jazmine Sullivan and Erykah Badu. Ice Cube and Busta Rhymes will leave throats parched from screaming lyrics from their massive catalogs. Honestly, by the time the entire Dungeon Family comes out — please, please, puh-leeze let that include Andre 3000 — fans may be exhausted.


Chastain Billed as the “Rock Hall Three For All” tour, due to the recent inductions of all three acts, this triple bill should be one of the most satisfying and yes, rocking events of the summer. The tour is scheduled to begin this month in Michigan and rolls its way across the country for more than 30 blistering dates ending in sunny Florida on Sept. 23. The unique line-up combines the legacy of three solid hit-makers, each of whom could easily separately headline. If you’re keeping track of their respective histories, Cheap Trick is a class of 2015 member and Joan Jett and Heart were enshrined in the hallowed hall in 2013.







Featuring Ali Campbell, Astro & Mickey Virtue




MUSIC MIDTOWN September 17-18,

Piedmont Park While a few of the city’s other gatherings (Sweetwater 420 Fest, Shaky Knees Music Fest) are starting to get their legs under them, they still have a ways to go before they’re on equal footing with Atlanta’s Coachella. This soiree of sound has a reputation for attracting all kinds of rock lovers—and this September will prove no different as folk-rock (The Lumineers), blues-rock (Alabama Shakes) and rock-rock (The Killers) are well represented. Talent bookers also rocked it this year with the soul (Leon Bridges, Corinne Bailey Rae) and hip-hop selections (Big Boi, G-Eazy, and Lil’ Wayne and 2 Chainz’s Collegrove). Now, let’s just hope weather conditions around the park cooperate like they did last year.









The Purple Xperience

A Tribute to Prince and the Revolution


FOR TICKETS: The Fred Box Office: 770.631.0630 or 1.877.725.8849 THE FREDERICK BROWN JR. AMPHITHEATER 201 McIntosh Trail, Peachtree City, GA 30269 • 770.631.0630 • July 2016 • PG 13




 There are some things that parents like strictly because they’ve been force-fed. (We dare you not to hum along to the Kidz Bop version of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” after 100 listens.) Other things, like the sound of an ice cream truck, tend to get adults’ appreciate without much effort. Steven Spielberg’s 29th feature film, The BFG, will be such a moment. A fun manifestation of Roald Dahl’s classic book of the same name, this movie has a wonder-filled story your tykes will like — A 24-foot gentle giant (Mark Rylance) takes Sophie (Ruby Barnhill), a precocious little orphan, to Giant Country after she spots him lurking around London in the middle of the night — but you’ll have such an appreciation for its visual majesty that you won’t stop smiling either. Your child will look over and think you’re grinning at Big Friendly Giant’s (BFG) silly use of language (he’ll say words like “giggy-raffs” instead of “giraffes” and “human beans” for “human beings”—trust us, it’s cute), but really, scenes of Sophie hiding from danger in huge pots or being plucked up like a blade of grass will have you gleefully reminiscing about Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. Spielberg’s dreamy ride does go a little silly when the Queen of England somehow gets involved in a plot to rid Giant Country of Fleshlumpeater, Meatdripper and the other evil giants. But by then, the magic of The BFG will have already transfixed you to the screen. 3 Stars –DeMarco Williams


1/2 I wasn’t expecting anything in Central Intelligence to be funnier than the advertising line about “a little Hart and a big Johnson,” so I wasn’t disappointed that the only thing that came close was the final outtake during the credits. That doesn’t mean this action buddy comedy isn’t pleasantly amusing for much of its length. Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson work so well together you’ll enjoy them while wishing they had better material to work with. It takes too long for the action to start, and it’s connected to one of the stupidest spy plots in screen history. In high school, 20 years ago, Calvin (Hart), “the Golden Jet,” was the BMOC and star athlete. Now he’s a meek accountant with marital problems. Robbie (Johnson, showing unexpected range), now Bob, was the fat kid (great effects!) who got bullied. Now he’s a muscular CIA agent; but he may

have gone rogue, stolen satellite encryption codes and killed his partner. Pulled into Bob’s danger-filled orbit, Calvin isn’t sure who to trust. It’s easier for us, since if Bob’s the bad guy there can’t be sequels; and the chemistry between the stars is strong enough to warrant some, hopefully with better scripts. –Steve Warren


1/2 Our protagonist has short-term memory loss, but you don’t. You vividly remember how great a ride it was looking for Nemo alongside Dory, Crush the sea turtle and the rest of the bunch—even though it was over 13 years ago. So, when Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton and the rest of the Pixar team decided to put their swim trunks back on for this sequel, you were all for it. (The $286 million domestic haul at press time proves that others felt the same way.) That said, there’s a part of you that wants to say this second dive into the deep with Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) as she tries to locate her long-lost parents is just like old times, but that’s not quite the case. Sure, there’s a colorful cast of sidekicks — Hank the octopus (Ed O’Neil), Destiny the nearsighted shark (Kaitlin Olson) and Bailey the beluga whale (Ty Burrell) make the biggest splashes — but the adventure just doesn’t have the same heart. Uninspired instances when Hank drives a truck and Nemo’s dad Marlin (Albert Brooks) flies through the air feel too Saturday morning cartoonish. Thankfully, Pixar hasn’t forgotten everything; if anything, the 3-D-powered visuals below the sea or above it at the Marine Life Institute are some of the crispest we’ve ever seen. We just wish the team remembered the same story details here as it did for the original. –DeMarco Williams


1/2 I can’t remember the last time I wanted to like a movie as much as Free State of Jones. It tells a neglected true story of the Civil War South and was written and directed by Gary Ross, who did a fine job on Seabiscuit, Pleasantville and the first Hunger Games. It has contemporary parallels that couldn’t be more obvious if Bernie Sanders played the lead. Instead it’s Matthew McConaughey as Newton Knight, a Mississippi man who deserted from the Confederate Army in 1862 because he realized it was all about the poor sacrificing for the rich. Cotton growers were exempt from the draft if they owned 20 or more slaves, and the


PG 14 • July 2016 •

FINDING DORY soldiers routinely raided small family farms for food and provisions. Newt assembles a small band of fellow deserters and runaway slaves and camps in the swamp to evade the army. They grow until they control three Mississippi counties and a bit of Alabama. Though there’s only one overt racist in the group, it’s not shown as a racial utopia; there’s pretty much de facto segregation except for Newt treating the blacks as equals and falling in love with one of them (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). While I objected to the degree of violence in 12 Years a Slave, Free State of Jones goes too far in the other direction, sacrificing muchneeded dramatic impact to avoid offending delicate sensibilities. Most of the characters are deadly bland and the story meanders, only picking up momentum in the postwar years that are sketched in briefly. I’m glad I saw it for the history lesson but sorry about the missed opportunity to tell it well. The film is epic in intent but not content. –Steve Warren

INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE (PG13)  The sequel to Independence Day tries to recapture the jingoistic spirit of the original (or a Trump campaign speech) and celebrate two decades of advances in visual effects, but it fails miserably on both counts. Flyboys Liam Hemsworth and Jessie T. Usher say the right gung-ho words but lack energy, making them seem as robotic as creatures in another kind of sci-fi movie. And the visuals, not helped by 3D that isn’t worth the surcharge, are less impressive than those of many recent FX epics. A ridiculous number of characters make the story hard to follow but include tokens for specific demographics to relate to: African, Chinese, French, Gay and Jewish. Earth has been at peace for 20 years since uniting against a common alienemy. Suddenly alien prisoners awake from their catatonic state (as does Brent Spiner, who’s been comatose for 20 years – but that’s apparently a coincidence) and a new, bigger spaceship buzzes the moon on its way to Earth. Both the aliens and the U.S. are led by females this time – another demographic necessity? Will Smith’s character is dead, we’re told; but he’s represented by a painting, a photo, a son and countless references in the dialogue, so he seems more present than some of the actors who actually appear. There’s a lot

of swagger here with little to back it up. You won’t remember this one in 20 years. –Steve Warren


 In this summer of same old, same old, we should be thankful for a pregnant nun movie, whether it’s good or not. Fortunately The Innocents is good, if not in a league with The Sound of Music or Ida. Those were about novices’ crises of faith, while The Innocents is about a Communist’s crisis of non-faith. In December 1945 Mathilde (Lou de Laâge), a French Red Cross nurse, is summoned to a Polish convent where a young woman is in labor. The Russian invasion left several sisters pregnant but if it becomes known the entire convent will be evicted by the new regime. While still working for the Red Cross and maintaining a flirtation with a Jewish doctor there (a commercial necessity perhaps, but the film’s weakest aspect), Mathilde serves as the convent’s midwife and learns secrets the nuns wouldn’t tell in confession. So many events are horrific if not tragic, the film could easily cross over into campy satire, but it never comes close to that. Everyone (except the Russian rapists) is treated with respect. Even the Mother Abbess (Agata Kulesza), whose inflexibility makes her a classic villain, is doing right as she sees it. Just when you think all the stories from the Second World War have been told, along comes The Innocents. Can I get a Hallelujah? –Steve Warren


1/2 I never thought of myself as a Francophile, but my three favorite films so far this year have come from the land of Freedom Frogs. The latest surprised me because except for Be Kind Rewind, I’ve never been a fan of Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). But who doesn’t enjoy a movie about misfit teenagers who find that they fit together? Daniel (Ange Dargent), 14, is a talented artist who’s bullied because he’s small, androgynous and “easily influenced.” His only friend is a girl on whom he has a crush he’s too shy to act on. Enter Théo (Théophile Baquet), the new boy in class. A skilled mechanic, he’s shunned because he reeks of gasoline. It’s (platonic) love at first sight. Soon they’re building a tiny

THERAPY FOR A VAMPIRE house on wheels in which to run away together for the summer, in a road trip that takes up most of the film’s second half. There are adventures and life lessons galore as Gondry keeps the pace brisk, with a sensibility less like his own films than those of Francois Truffaut, with a bit of a Stand by Me vibe. Though I wish she’d be Amelie forever, Audrey Tautou plays Daniel’s mother. Baquet, a potential international dreamboat, will probably get stuck in a comic book franchise, while Dargent can have a career of playing funny sidekicks. As for me, I should consider moving to France instead of Canada if Trump’s elected. –Steve Warren


1/2 As they say in relationships, It’s not you, The Music of Strangers; it’s me. I love the philosophy the film documents, the fact that it was filmed in more places than a James Bond triple feature, the self-effacing way star attraction Yo-Yo Ma gives other musicians the spotlight – everything but most of the music the film’s about, which plays almost constantly. I’m not xenophobic and my musical tastes are as eclectic as those of director Morgan Neville – I once went from d.j.-ing at a country radio station in Smyrna to a classical station in Atlanta – but the musical potluck Ma has assembled is an acquired taste I haven’t acquired. In 2000 Ma, the only cellist iconic enough to have appeared with The Simpsons and The Muppets, brought together musicians from countries along the Silk Road, the ancient trade route between Europe and the Far East. They brought their instruments and their musical traditions and started playing together. Since then they’ve performed in 33 countries and cut six albums. Ma says he was inspired by a lecture in which Leonard Bernstein spoke of a “universal musical language,” but the result sounds more like the Tower of Babel to my ears. The film starts and ends with Ma, whose Chinese parents moved to France before he was born, but it profiles several musicians in the ensemble and some of the problems in their home countries, such as Iran and Syria. If you can appreciate the music, this is a great way to spread the gospel of multiculturalism. I couldn’t, but that’s my fault. –Steve Warren


 Sometimes it only takes one shark to ruin your whole vacation. That’s what happens to Nancy (Blake Lively), who drops out of med school and comes to a secluded Mexican beach (filmed in Australia) with her surfboard and her breasts. A couple of hot local guys warn her about everything that can go wrong there – except the shark. Come nightfall Nancy’s stranded on a rock with only a seagull to talk to (better than Tom Hanks’ volleyball, I suppose). The shore is so near and yet so far, because the shark is nearer. That’s all it takes to maintain suspense for over an hour, and director Jaume Collet-Serra is wise enough to keep the plot as stripped down as the heroine. (OK, she

wears a wetsuit much of the time.) The climax is unbelievable enough to be downright silly, but it’s still exciting. The Shallows is no Jaws but it’s the best shark movie since Open Water. Yes, even better than the Sharknados! –Steve Warren

THERAPY FOR A VAMPIRE (NR) ** 1/2 If you liked Pride and Prejudice + Zombies, think of this Austrian mashup as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf + Vampires, as a bickering older couple plays “Get the Guests” with a younger, relatively innocent couple. The Count and Countess are older than Viktor and Lucy, centuries older. Also involved is Austria’s favorite son, Sigmund Freud. (A shot of him munching on a hot dog is the film’s best sight gag.) Freud inadvertently plays Cupid when he recommends Viktor to paint the Countess, who is frustrated because she can’t see her reflection. (That suggests another mashup, where the Queen from Snow White is a vampire...) Because Viktor keeps painting Lucy as a blonde, the brunette gets a makeover to look like his dream muse. Unfortunately, this also makes her look like Nadila, the woman who originally turned the Count, and whom he never got over. Writer-director David Ruehm does a nice job of making Therapy... look like a film of the Freud era, but in color, with mostly good effects, ancient and modern; but his world is sadly underpopulated. He works in all the usual clichés: bloodsucking and shapeshifting, sunlight, stakes, garlic, mirrors, cross and double-cross; plus some OCD on the Count’s part that was new to me. It’s rarely laugh-out-loud funny but good for a fairly steady (blood)stream of mild chuckles. - Steve Warren





Your Neighborhood Pizzeria!


 I thought I was pretty up on perversions but I never knew about fetishistic tickle torture until I saw Tickled. Like Catfish, this is a documentary that couldn’t have become a better drama if it had been scripted in advance. I doubt filmmakers David Farrier and Dylan Reeve could pass a lie detector test about all the details and sequence of events, but even a hint of truthiness makes their good yarn better. A New Zealand entertainment reporter whose specialty is “the weird and bizarre side of life,” Farrier couldn’t resist following up when he found videos online of “competitive endurance tickling.” When he started inquiring and blogging about it he got nasty emails from the Americans behind the “sport” and their lawyer, with threats of lawsuits and worse. It was strange enough that people who post their business on the Internet wouldn’t want publicity, but that was just the first layer of the onion. What else Farrier found smelled worse than an onion and involved “bullies with way too much money” – or maybe one bully with too much money and too many identities. It’s a terrific kinky detective story, all the better because it’s (at least mostly) true. Hell, just hearing auditions described as “test tickles” is worth the price of admission! –Steve Warren See the rest of our movie reviews at

Atlanta’s Favorite Pizza!

Multiple Atlanta Locations: • July 2016 • PG 15


Album Reviews


Little Richard

Mono Box: The Complete Specialty and Vee-Jay Albums

(Specialty/Concord/Bicycle) One would assume the classic catalog of Little Richard Penniman, the selfproclaimed “Georgia Peach” has been reissued, remastered and revisited enough to satisfy any fan - old or new. It has, but that didn’t stop the folks at Concord from assembling this magnificent package. It’s a massive slab of history that would be a welcome addition to any good music collection. The deluxe five LP box wisely covers the dynamic performer’s finest eras by including his entire catalog of material from two influential labels. His earliest releases on Specialty and his flamboyant ‘60s comeback period on Vee-Jay, cover 1957–1965, the rawest rock ‘n’ roll years of his career. While some companies merely reissue, Concord has painstakingly recreated each one of the records, with covers and even labels that match (and in a few cases actually improve) the originals. But it’s not only nice to look at, it sounds good too. The music on the handsome vinyl has been remastered from analog tapes and feature the original mono mixes. Also included is an informative 16-page book with rare photos of the Macon, Georgia native with extensive new liner notes. Usually packages of this quality are held for holiday season gift ideas, but the wise decision to release it in the middle of the year is a good move, saving it from the end-of-year legacy product abyss. His debut album from ‘57, aptly titled Here’s Little Richard, remains his strongest effort to date, and includes two of his biggest hits “Long Tall Sally” and “Tutti Fruitti.” The second from the next year includes “Lucille” and “Good Golly Miss Molly.” The two VeeJay releases aren’t as widely appreciated, but they offer a rich portrait of the full-defined artist, fully re-committed to rockin’ after his early ‘60s sabbatical into the gospel. There are a ton of collections on the market that falsely appear to be Little Richard’s Greatest Hits, but this sumptuous set can lay absolute claim on the title. -LVS

Paul Simon

Stranger to Stranger (Concord Records)

Once you achieve the level of success of someone like Paul Simon (or Paul McCartney or Bob Dylan, and a handful of others) you’re forgiven for just wanting to coast. Maybe do the hits tour every few years, or re-interpret the classics (yup, I’m talking ‘bout you Willie). Clearly no one mentioned this to Mr. Simon. PG 16 • July 2016 •

On his latest, “Stranger to Stranger” (his 316th album?), Simon offers a satisfying record that incorporates jazz, folk, the African drumming of “Graceland,” and straight up pop music. Simon, always a brilliant writer, can take even the most mundane topic, like trying to get back into the VIP area of a show or a song about an old baseball legend (“Wristband” and “Cool Papa Bell,” respectively) and make them sound compelling. The record ends with the beautiful and musically adventurous “Insomniac’s Lullaby.” Produced by Simon along with his long time producing partner Roy Halee, “Stranger to Stranger” is everything we’ve come to expect from a Paul Simon album: sharp, original and wildly inspiring. Almost 45 years into his solo career, Simon has earned the right to phone it in, but thankfully he never does. –JM

keepsake, but if you aren’t willing to shell out the cash, the 2 CD deluxe edition is definitely a nice compromise including the remastered album, demos and an unreleased 1981 Chicago concert. –JM

Imaginary Sons

Vaudeville Etiquette

Aura Vista Motel (Sunyata Records)

Adam & the Ants (Sony Music/Legacy

Recordings) It’s been 36 years since the release of “Kings of the Wild Frontier,” Adam Ant’s comeback album after Malcolm McLaren lured away his entire backing band for his latest project Bow Wow Wow, and the sound is still revolutionary. It was the album that introduced the drum-heavy Brundi Beat to pop music listeners in the US, Europe and beyond and would come to best define Ant’s sound for the next several decades. Sony Music and Legacy Recordings have just put out a new addition of the record on vinyl, double CD and an impressively stocked deluxe box set (crammed with a slew of extras). For those who think Ant is little more than a style template that Johnny Depp ripped off for his pirate look, spend just 10 minutes with “Kings of the Wild Frontier” and it becomes obvious that he was creating some of the most exciting pop music to come out of the ‘80s. With the help if guitarist Marco Pirroni, Ant created a sound that is equal parts exotic and accessible, combing experimental elements with sing-along choruses and sharp hooks. Songs like the album opener “Dog Eat Dog,” the title track, “Physical (You’re So)” and “The Magnificent Five,” have become some of the most seminal for the artist who launched a comeback in 2013. The super deluxe box set that’s being released includes a DVD of promo videos (the closest thing to a time machine set for the early 1980s), a DVD release of the band’s 1981 Tokyo concert, a mini documentary, a double CD set and 180g gold vinyl LP of the album, along with replica fan club memorabilia. The box set is a fantastic

The band is not offensively bad, they can play their instruments well enough, but there is just notihng about them that seems unique. Even their song titles (“Just Because I Rock Doesn’t Mean I’m Made of Stone,” “Our Pets’ Heads Are Falling off,” etc.) seems like they were cribbed from early aught emo bands. The only think aggressive about these guys is their mediocrity. –JM

When it seems like every other group out there has morphed into an acoustic strumming folk rock band, it takes an album like “Aura Vista Motel” to remind you that all bands are not created equally. The sophomore effort from this Seattlebased five piece is a little darker than their debut, but just as satisfying. Wildly eclectic throughout, on songs like the title track and “Damn Lonely” they flirt a little with Americana, elsewhere, like on “Tipping Point” they mix in Blues, but one of the finest moments is on the album opener “Crosseyed Crazy,” a barroom stomp. Vocal duties are split between Bradley Laina and Tayler Lynn and the male/female trade off gives the band a sound that sets it apart from many. Though folk music may be en vogue right now, Vaudeville Etiquette manage to set themselves apart from the masses yet again. –JM

Don’t Impress Me (Bossy Lil’ Thing Records) Richmond, VA’s Imaginary Sons channel a slew of influences, from Queens of the Stone Age and Primus to the Butthole Surfer and Meat Puppets, on their sophomore effort “Don’t Impress Me.” The result is a sloppy, but endearing mix of swirling rock guitars and pounding drums sort of the crossroads of stoner rock and Blues. Their musicianship is front and center on songs like the satisfying psychedelic “How to Forge a Rose” and the more raucous “Wave of Love” (where Tommy Crisafulli sound uncanny like David Lee Roth) and the punkinspired “I Get What I Want.” Elsewhere the album drifts a bit with a few so-so rock tunes, but taken as a whole, “Don’t Impress Me” is a decent offering from a band still experimenting with its sound. With songs that span anywhere from under three minutes to nearly seven minutes, you can’t argue that there’s a strict formula the band is sticking to. –JM

2/3 Goat

Let it Rise (Self-Released)

Lost Love

Comfortable Scars (Stomp Records)

So it looks like Blink 182, a weak copy of Green Day and every other pop punk band before them, actually had enough sway to influence a new generation of mediocre pop punk groups. How else do you account for a band like Lost Love? The Montreal-based four piece play mundane paint-by-numbers pop music with loud enough guitars to be considered punk(ish). Surprisingly, the band has only been around since 2013, but “Comfortable Scars” marks their second full length record. Then again, there is hardly much in the way of originality in these songs so what’s another dozen tracks every year or so?

Yes, that’s the band name and no, I have no idea about the meaning or origin of the quirky moniker. But 2/3 Goat does play an impressive mix of folk and Americana (the New York-based band has dubbed their sound metrobilly). There are plenty of bands out there right no peddling this genre, but 2/3 Goat does it pretty well. Boasting dual vocals, from Annalyse McCoy & Ryan Dunn, the band clings deeply to authentic bluegrass and country helping them to stand out amongst a slew of other bands that likely discovered Americana after the genre started picking up fans recently. Lyrically the music can be a tad precious at times (like “Whistle in the Wind”), but the musicianship is stellar throughout, the vocals impressive and the band can nail it on a song like “Whiskey Sins.” Goofy name aside, 2/3 Goat show a lot of promise with “Let it Rise.”–JM



Garbage Explores Ominous Soundscapes on Latest Album



N 1995 GARBAGE DEFIED THE constraints of mainstream music with their self-titled debut. Twentyone years later their sixth album Strange Little Birds finds singer Shirley Manson, guitarists Steve Marker, Duke Erikson and drummer Butch Vig as vital as they were when they led the post-grunge alternative movement. The second Garbage release on their own independent label is a moody swirl of menacing yet accessible textures, highlighted by the enthralling “Empty” and the ominous grasp of “We Never Tell.” The album solidifies the fact that the mid-‘90s radio darlings haven’t lost a degree of creativity or passion, as they infuse each track with their instantly recognizable sound. Best known for their anthemic hits including “Only Happy When It Rains,” “Stupid Girl” and “#1 Crush,” the band remains relevant and is currently on tour. Steve Marker spoke with INsite on a recent day off the road. Recently I spoke with Kristin Kontrol, your opening act for this tour. Oh cool! How is she?


Friday, 6 Friday, 1 Saturday, 2 Friday, 8



years was due to pressure from the record companies. We were always signed to more than one record company, depending on She’s super excited to be opening the tour. the different parts of the world and they Well we are too! I love her new record all had different objectives and all of these I loved [her former band] the Dum Dum ideas about how to do things. Make this Girls but I love her new stuff too. kind of video, work with these people. The label in the US here was like, ‘You’re not She said her first concert was Garbage so selling enough so maybe we should put you this tour must be a huge thrill for her. with the latest rappers and Wow, you know I’d heard do some collaborations’ with that but I had forgotten that. whoever was hot that week. You’re right. But we always resisted that KRISTEN KONTROL because it didn’t feel right. I’m OPENS She pointed out that even glad because I’d hate to have though you became a FRIDAY, JULY 22 that one awkward hit with mainstream act, it wasn’t whoever was popular. Tabernacle uncool to like you because you were “not lame,” her Talk about lame! That would words. be your ticket to the ‘90s Ah, that’s a good Cruise, opening for someone compliment. Not lame, I like that! It’s hard very embarrassing. to be not lame these days. And I think that’s (laughs) Oh yeah, the cruise scene! We true. We never had that one single defining haven’t done that. Things haven’t gotten that hit that everybody got sick of. We never had bad yet. The KISS Kruise, everybody! that one song that people just wanted to hear over and over. We’re really lucky that I get those sad emails that basically say we have a lot of songs that people know. “Sail to the Bahamas with Tiffany”! Hopefully they’re not sick of them yet. I can’t think of anything worse.


It hasn’t happened yet, otherwise you’d be playing casinos and chili cook-offs. You never just recycled pop or played down to the audience. I hope not. We kind of just stumbled into whatever it is that we do. I can’t even tell you why that is, but at least we didn’t end up lame! We just kept going. We’re real stubborn. There were times it would have been easier just to say, ‘Oh fuck it, this is too much. I don’t want to do this anymore.’ But going on stage with the other guys in the band and Shirley is still a thrill. We’re lucky to have found something in life that we loved doing that much. We still don’t feel that we’ve become so professional that we end up doing it by numbers and it keeps it interesting and a fun challenge. Is having your own label [Stunvolume] a challenge? I think we’re all a lot happier. Looking back a lot of the strife in the band in past


Since this is your second independent release, you should really have the process down to a science by now. It’s working out okay. I’m really proud for what is really just us and a small handful of people helping us. We’ve managed to put out a record that actually was the number one rock record for a week when it came out - and that’s pretty cool. It’s our little cottage industry. There’s a story that some fan mail inspired the Strange Little Birds title, but it’s also a lyric on one of the tracks. Yeah, it’s a line from “Even Though Our Love Is Doomed” I think Butch probably wrote that part of the song. When it came time to put it out, we needed to call it something so we started to look for lines from the songs. That kind of stood out as maybe the way we think about ourselves and also our fans. We tend to have some very passionate fans who are not the head

cheerleader or the quarterback. They’re more like us, the freaks and geeks. It turned out as a very dark soundscape. Was that the original vibe or concept? We didn’t start out to make it particularly dark but once we started writing the songs it became clear pretty quickly that was the way it was heading. I guess that’s where our heads were at when we were making it - and still. But it’s also a reaction to just what you hear on the radio now and see on TV. Music wise, it’s a lot of happy dance music. And we can’t relate to it. I mean the real mainstream stuff that everybody hears. We don’t feel a part of that at all and this record is more of how we feel. During last year’s tour, you played the first album in its entirety to celebrate the twentieth anniversary. How has the band changed over the years? It’s kind of like a family. Or a dysfunctional marriage perhaps. It’s not always smooth and we fight and argue like anybody else. But at the end of the day, we respect each other. The other person’s opinion is just as valid as anyone’s and we always come to a compromise somehow. And by coming to a compromise, we realize that it’s stronger than any decision that we would have made on our own. It keeps us moving forward. Is the songwriting process the same respectful democracy? Yeah. One person never comes in and says, ‘Okay, this is how it goes and I want you to play this and Shirley, I want you to sing it like this.’ Even if, say, I bring in a basically finished song to the band, it would still go through a long process of everybody trying different directions and different production ideas. And because of that, hardly anything ever remains like it started out. Basically everybody has to be happy with how it is before we put it on the record. It can take a long time and it can be kind of painful sometimes. It’s not always easy but I guess that’s what makes it a Garbage song. We’re old fogies. We are still putting out whole albums and hoping people will appreciate it that way. It may be a lost cause, but we’re too old to change.


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Guitar heroes Brad Whitford and Derek St. Holmes reunite to rock

There were a lot of different things going on at the time but Aerosmith in general had N APRIL OF 1981, DURING A been very quiet. I was living in Massachusetts creative valley with their day jobs, at the time and Derek was living in Atlanta Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford and so we went down there, rehearsed for a while Ted Nugent band vocalist-guitarist Derek and made the album. I think it took about a St. Holmes recorded Whitford/St. Holmes total of four weeks around April of that year. at Axis Studio in Atlanta. They toured to Then I went back up to New York support it, but the record was to try to work with Aerosmith. only a modest success and soon WHITFORD/ We were trying to put some the guitar heroes would be back together and just not ST. HOLMES material with their respective employers. having much luck with it. Over the years the record has JULY 8 gained a cult following, with The Masquerade You actually left the band for a hard rock purists and assorted while at that point. gear-heads often citing it as Yeah, late that summer. It had an influential piece of music history. Fast come to a screeching halt. There just wasn’t forward three decades to two years ago when anything going on. the two friends casually reunited. Jamming for fun, they began to write, assemble a So that gave you a good window to work on band and ultimately record a new batch of the Whitford/St. Holmes project for a while. songs. They sold the independent Reunion And we did. We worked on it a little while album at a string of well-received live shows. and then Derek had to go back out to work Now Mailboat Records, home to a number with Ted. We did the record, that little bit of of heritage acts including Jimmy Buffett and touring and that was it until a couple years Pat Benatar, has officially released the album ago. and paired it with a remastered edition of the duo’s original ’81 sessions in a special doubleThe legacy of the record has certainly disc set. To celebrate, Whitford/St. Holmes is endured. back in business with a big summer tour that Yeah it became a bit of a cult classic, brings them back to town this month. Just something my contemporaries knew about, before soundcheck at the Fillmore, Whitford all the guitar players. Which is cool. called to discuss the project.



What was the atmosphere like in the Aerosmith camp when you decided to make the Whitford/St. Holmes album?

How did you initially know Derek? Was it through touring with Ted? Yeah we toured with Ted Nugent all the time in the mid-‘70s. We became friends way

back in the day.

So fast forward to a couple years ago when you guys were both living in Nashville. We would be hanging out on a daily basis. And if we’re hanging out, we’re playing guitars. We started to write songs and before we knew it we decided to put a band together. We just did it all ourselves, no record company or anything. A couple years ago I was talking with [bassist] Tom Hamilton and he mentioned that his role in Aerosmith is somewhat of a peacemaker or a conduit between everybody. What is your role in the band dynamic? I think it’s shifted over the years. I’m probably somewhat of an agitator or troublemaker! It’s a very complicated relationship with those guys. You know it’s been 40 plus years, so it’s very complicated and it’s changed over time. I think Tom and I are probably kind of walking down the same side of the street when it comes to the politics of Aerosmith, so it’s probably similar roles. Has the passage of time mellowed your relationships with those guys or does aging create more friction? I think it’s a little bit of both. But the band sure sounds good. That’s the one good thing about it, the musicianship continues to grow. It’s a fun band to play with, that’s for sure. When the first Whitford/St. Holmes album was first released, Areosmith was at a creative low. Now you’re on another hiatus

but this time everyone is busy working on new things. What’s brewing behind the scenes? Working. It’s definitely a working hiatus. Steven’s been working on his countrifiedwhatever-it-is, Joe’s working with the Hollywood Vampires, I’m doing this thing and Tom is doing some shows with Thin Lizzy this Summer in Europe. Getting together is just in the discussion stage for now. What’s next for you personally? I just hope to continue to do this for a long time. What I enjoy doing most is creating and performing music for people. It’s made a huge difference in my life and I continue to influence other people. And when I get that kind of feedback it’s very rewarding.

BIRTH OF A SUPERGROUP Bridge the Classic Eras of Yes as ARW



NE OF THE MOST REVERED AND SEGMENTED rock bands of all time, Yes was founded in 1968 and has weathered numerous stylistic and personnel shifts. With the recent death of co-founder, bassist and songwriter Chris Squire, Yes is more splintered than ever, yet it soldiers on with annual tours and a new singer. On the heels of the most recent upheaval, original vocalist Jon Anderson, guitarist-producer Trevor Rabin and keyboardist Rick Wakeman are currently assembling ARW, a supergroup that opens a new chapter in the voluminous Yes family album. Bridging the gap between the band’s classic ‘70s era and early ‘80s MTV crossover success, the trio plans to perform a mixture of Yes catalog classics and brand new compositions created especially for the project. Reached by phone at his Los Angeles studio, Rabin granted INsite the first interview about the new project as he worked on the band’s first new song. Even though the music is still a work in progress, Trevor Rabin

PG 18 • July 2016 •

ARW already has a busy fall tour schedule lined up including an October date at Atlanta’s Fox Theater.

At the time, I was in a development deal with Geffen Records. They said, ‘We want you to join this band.’ When I didn’t join, they dropped me! They said, ‘If you’re not doing this, we’re done. We’re not supporting you anymore.’ Luckily I had written [what became the basis of Yes’ best-selling album] 90125, so I had some material to fall back on.

This project has been a long time coming. I’ve heard rumors about it for years. But you’ve been immersed in the soundtrack business for a long time. Well every time Rick or Jon would call, I’d be like ‘Sorry guys, I’ve got a film to score and then I’m going straight into another one.’ It just took forever. It’s been something that we’ve been wanting to do for quite some time so I’m very happy OCTOBER 10 we can finally do it. I finally told my agents to not book any more of these scores for the The Fox foreseeable future.

Is it true that you offered that material to other bands before it became a Yes project? Yeah, I took it out and kind of peddled it around a bit. I’ve still got a letter from Clive Davis saying, ‘I just don’t see anything here.’ But a guy at Atlantic said that they had two different artists who were interested in working with this material. One was a project with Chris Squire and Allan White who It’s a big commitment to put your film work weren’t playing with Yes at the time. One thing on the back-burner. led to another, we did the album and it eventually Yeah but I knew that if I don’t commit myself to it, it’s just not became a Yes record. going to happen. It’s funny, I started doing film in ‘95 I think, and was only planning to do it for a year or two and then get back It was such a startlingly different sound for the band, yet it to doing this. Then one project turned into the next. [Producer became the biggest one in the catalog. Jerry] Bruckheimer got hold of me and I was doing one after the I really want to call it Cinema, I wanted it to be a whole new other, so now 13 Bruckheimer movies later, I’m finally back. thing. I’d spent my whole life getting to that point and I wasn’t Yes wanted you back in the band at some point, right? sure about it becoming part of the history of something else. To Right, it would come up every couple years. Chris Squire would me it was a whole new thing but they talked me into it and that call me and ask but I was always in the middle of a film. And was it. frankly as much as I wanted to work with Chris, I loved the guy, but to me Yes without Jon Anderson is kind of like the Stones In this band the three of you can control everything without the without Jagger. It just didn’t feel right to me. input of label people. That must be a great feeling. It is. The business is so different, why put out an album when I’ve heard that in 1979 there was talk of a similar group like you can just put out some great music? So were going to do three this that also included you and Rick Wakeman. or four tracks, then after the tour is finished, maybe we will sit That was actually something that eventually became the band down and do a whole album. But this summer and fall, all these tracks are going to come out first and I think that’s the way we are Asia. It was something I decided not to do. What happened was going to operate. I’m just very excited about it. I got a call from the guy who is managing this thing, Brian Lane.




THE SECRETS OUT The Posies Release Solid States






ARSHALL CHARLOFF IS the front man for The Purple Experience, a five-piece Prince tribute band hailing from, like Prince himself, Minneapolis, Minnesota. They have been touring around the country since 2011 bringing fans the sounds and now memories of Prince and The Revolution. Interestingly enough, while they are a tribute band one of its members keyboardist Matt “Doctor” Fink was actually a member of Prince and The Revolution from 1978 to 1991 while Charloff’s latest two recordings are on the album “94 East” featuring Prince, on which he plays both keyboards and bass guitar. Charloff brings The Purple Experience to the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater on July 22 and recently spoke with INsite’s Dave Cohen.

That’s an excellent question. I think it’s just channeling what he exuded, which was extreme confidence at the highest level of musicianship, the highest level of entertainment and engagement with an audience that I’ve ever seen encompassed in one person. So, I just try to encompass that. I don’t really do a whole lot of trying to “be” Prince. I do a whole of trying to be the best guitar player, best piano player, best bass player, best drummer, best singer and best entertainer that I can be. You’re going to get a lot of what I bring as my own artistry, that being said I am heavily influenced by Prince and always have been. There are certain mannerisms, things like that, just from paying so much attention throughout the years that I think I’ve just adopted them anyway without trying anymore.


dancing, but because we have branched off and started a community that’s totally self-contained in terms of the economics, it’s all word of mouth. We are all in our own world and nurturing that world and we don’t need the mainstream.

T’S BEEN SIX YEARS SINCE THE Posies last put out a record, but they’ve experience enough tragedies in that timeframe to crush less resilient bands. Since the release of 2010’s brilliant Blood/ Candy, founding members Ken Stringfellow What are the types of venues you have and Jon Auer have seen some of those been playing on this tour? closest to the band pass away including Stringfellow: We played in this lost drummer Darius Minwalla, former bassist office space in LA; we played a backyard Joe Skyward and Big Star frontman Alex in Phoenix; we played a posh craft cocktail Chilton – the seminal band Stringfellow and Auer have been moonlighting in for the bar in Austin. The criteria was places where bands don’t normally play. We past two decades. played at Midlake Studios in Denton, Putting tragedies aside, the two decided to Ardent Studios in Memphis; we played at a come up with a radically different sound church near Atlanta; we played for their eighth record, WE WERE VERY at a couple of private homes. “Solid States.” Easily their most ambitious record DIY. WE MADE THE We’re presenting experiences. to date, the album finds COVERS AT THE Can you imagine trying to The Posies experimenting PRINT SHOP OF THE pull together a tour like this with electronic sounds without the Internet? and layers. Despite the UNIVERSITY WHERE Auer: I can’t. We made our new instruments and first record Failure in our own MY DAD TAUGHT experimentation, it still studio. before there was holds on to the beautiful AND SOLD THE Garage Back Band and you could melodies that earned the TAPES OUT OF A make an album on your laptop. band a slew of fans across My dad was really into music BACKPACK. the globe decades ago. and he turned our rec room To introduce Solid into a studio. The laundry room became States to the public, The Poises undertook the control room and we actually made a a novel month-long tour this spring that record there. The only technology I had had them playing secret shows at unusual to mix with was a cassette deck. We were venues across the U.S., with the locations very DIY. We made the covers at the print announced just hours before they hauled shop of the university where my dad taught their equipment on stages (the equipment, and sold the tapes out of a backpack. I used by the way, consisted of little more than a to work at a record store and I’d dub our PA, two keyboards, guitars, drums and a album onto the promos we got. We had to laptop). all this the hard way and now you can sit in Stringfellow and Auer spoke with us your pajamas and do all this. recently about the new record, the secret shows and plowing ahead after loss. When did you start working on the Solid States record? Let’s talk about this current tour. You are Auer: When we decided to do this one doing secret shows, not announcing where as a duo, I had to give Darius (Minwalla, they will be until right before. How are drums) and Matt (Harris, bass) a call and they working out? let them hear it from us. So I called up Stringfellow: They’re going amazingly well. The response is great. We don’t have a Darius and we had an hour-and-a-half call huge PA, but the overall experience is great about it and I called Matt and they gave us the blessing. And then two months after for people even if it’s a little rough and that Darrius died. There was no going ready. It’s not like “Live Nation Presents” back. There was no back to go to. Now and here’s your $18 martini. For the D.C. I feel like everything I do is a tribute in show, I was looking at these 70 people bouncing around and it was like a hardcore a way, if that doesn’t sound too maudlin or corny. audience – not because people were slam

Having Matt “Doctor” Fink, who played and toured with Prince and The Revolution from 1978 to 1991 on stage with you playing keyboards and your prior work on the “94 East” album, which featured Prince, from a credibility standpoint, The Purple Experience has it. Sure, although I don’t think it’s limited to just the two of us. All the players in the band are Minneapolis-based musicians and have been in the music scene there for twenty to twenty-five years. But knowing Matt, I’ve worked with him in the studio prior to this project on the 94 East recordings. Those were the original Prince recordings before he got signed at Warner Brothers when he was working with Pepe Willie and Matt did a lot of mixing on those projects and I was brought in as a session player so I played bass, guitar and keyboards on several of the 94 East albums. Yes, it means a lot obviously that an original member of The Revolution is represented. It certainly brings a lot of credibility to the project and it means a lot to me but Matt has been my friend for so long that I tend to forget his history sometimes.

Friday, July 22 The Fred

With the recent passing of Prince has your approach to the show that you’re doing changed at all? Yes, it has changed. The word Tribute has a deeper meaning. It really is now. It’s shifted from our brand and experience and watching what we do to kind of more of a healing environment for everybody in the room as well as everybody on the stage. I break character on occasion where I never did before in the previous five years. I’ve had personal experiences with Prince myself, individually, and in the days following, when we had gigs on the books that pre-dated his passing, we were booked months prior, and we were off on the road the next day with obligations so it was a more personal show with the audience and I was able to share, first-hand, my own experiences with Prince. It changed a lot. You met Prince on a couple of occasions? My personal meetings with him pre-date this Purple Experience project. It started when I was eighteen and I did meet him several times. I was invited into rehearsals, etc. I did not unfortunately have the opportunity to be faceto-face with him since doing this project.

There’s an on-stage personality and an attitude that you bring to the stage during each show. How do you convey that to your audience each night going between you, the musician and the persona of Prince that you’re portraying?

This will be your first show at Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater but Atlanta is a regular tour stop when you’re on the road. We’ve played in Atlanta many times. Atlanta for some reason is a hot spot for us for the past five years. We seem to play shows there every two to three months. • July 2016 • PG 19


LA BASED POP PUNK BAND THE MUFFS Lead Singer / Guitarist Kim Shattuck on Blond and Blonder



had yet to be released. Shattuck spoke recently about the reunion and Courtney Love’s role in naming one of their albums.

T TOOK A DINNER PARTY HOSTED by a former band member a few years ago to bring The Muffs back together. But since the 2014 release of their When you went back and listened again to comeback record Whoop Dee Doo, the Blonder and Blonder in picking demos to band shows no signs of slowing down. put on the re-release, what were your first “Our old drummer, Jim Laspesa, started thoughts about the record? having dinner parties and the We still play a lot of these theme of one of the dinner songs live, but I went back SO I’M SQUEEZING BY parties was The Muffs,” says AND SHE (COURTNEY and listened to the masters Kim Shattuck, singer and and realized this is a good guitarist for the Los Angeles- LOVE) SEES ME AND SEES I was struck by based pop punk band. “It MY BLONDE HAIR AND album. “wow, we did a solid album,” was Jim, his boyfriend, me, IMMEDIATELY THINKS I’M because I’m a really picky, my boyfriend/husband, COPYING HER. picky person and I think Ronnie (Barnett, bass) at the time that we did it, I and his girlfriend and Roy wished we would have had louder bass and (McDonald, drums) and his wife. Everyone kick drum, but back then I was thinking was asking ‘what are you up to?’ I had been “more guitars, more me!” as the selfwriting and demoing songs but I hadn’t centered 30-somethig that I was. But it still told the guys and so that was big news to came out really good. When I was hearing them.” the demos again I was thinking, why did we After that they found out she had been reject this song? writing music again McDonald and Shattuck got on the phone and talked for Blonder and Blonder was your second hours and started plotting the band’s next album but it was almost like a new move after their nearly decade-long hiatus. band; you were down to a trio, you had a The end result was the critically and fannew drummer. lauded Whoop Dee Do and the re-release Yeah, we hooked up with Roy (McDonald, of the band’s first two records by Omnivore drummer) in 1994 and we lost Melanie Recordings. The latest re-release, Blonder (Vammen, former guitarist) in July 1994, so and Blonder, came out on May 27 and we were left to be a power trio and it put includes seven bonus tracks - five of which a different spin on the way things went. I

think the songs are a little faster, I think we had a little cleaner sound. Melanie played the big giant Big Muff pedal which put a lot of thickness to the sound that we didn’t really have as much with Blonde and Blonder. It was a little different feel. I read somewhere that the album title came from a comment Courtney Love had made to you. It absolutely did. I used to bleach my hair a little bit, little stripes here and there and as anyone with dark hair knows you just do it more and more. Just like someone who gets a tattoo, you eventually become covered in tattoos. So I put more and more blonde in my hair. We went to Seattle for some show and we walk through this tight hallway and there’s Courtney Love against

the wall holding court and we squeeze by her. I didn’t really want to see her because she was always so obnoxious and so loud. I know her and I didn’t want to run into her because you cannot get a word in edgewise no matter how hard you try and I’m tired of trying to talk over her. So I’m squeezing by and she sees me and sees my blonde hair and immediately thinks I’m copying her. Forget Marilyn Monroe, forget Jean Harlow, in her mind she started the blonde hair. So she goes “Oh, is that blonde hair I see? It’s just blonder and blonder.” Ron was with me and he said “We have to call the album Blonder and Blonder.” We had other titles on the list like “All Things Must Pass Gas” and Let it Bea Arthur,” but that’s the one we went with.

TEMPE PUNK BAND DRAA On Release of New Single Losing My Charm



OST BANDS THAT START OUT IN HIGH school end up being little more than a name, a logo on notebooks and maybe a few tepid jam sessions in someone’s basement before drifting apart. But the origins of the Tempe-based band Draa, currently making a name for themselves by deftly blending dream pop and post punk, actually start all the way back in math class. “Seth (Ponzo, drummer) came to me in the first week of our senior year high school economics class and asked if I was looking to start a band,” recalls MacAndrew Martin, who sings and plays

PG 20 • July 2016 •

guitar in the Arizona-based band Draa. “Our aspirations were entirely different in the first leg and it definitely has taken some time to be as sure of ourselves as we are now. Releasing the EP and single, as well as lineup changes have all helped the band move forward greatly since then.” The band self-released their EP last year online and with a small run of CD’s. The response was so positive that they are prepping a vinyl release later this summer through Funeral Party Records. They’ve just released a new single, “Losing My Charm,” re-recorded after the EP and after the most recent lineup change. Is there a decent music scene in Phoenix/ Tempe right now?

I’d say that in Phoenix and Tempe there is a lot of variety, though we always have admired Ascetic House artists (Body of Light, Destruction Unit), and other acts like Gatecreeper and Gay Kiss. They have all pushed the boundaries in comparison to more commonly released local music.

of an impression of what we sound like or box us in. Did you self-release the EP that came out last year? Yes, we released it online and with a small run of CD’s. We are getting a vinyl release of it this summer on Funeral Party Records though.

There seems to be a strong Smiths/Morrissey sound THE BAND NAME DRAA Can you talk about the new to “Losing My Charm” and WAS SOMETHING I CAME single? Was this recorded “When She Said”. What musical influence do you guys ACROSS ON WIKIPEDIA. separately from the EP? IT IS THE NAME OF A Is it available on record share? MOROCCAN VALLEY. I as well or just download Matthew (Johnson, guitarist) CAN’T EXACTLY SAY for now? and I share a really strong connection with The Smiths WHAT ABOUT IT STOOD The new single came in particular. I grew up with OUT TO ME AT THE TIME, about pretty recently. It was my parents relentlessly playing AND I MAY HAVE TAKEN A recorded quite a while after Strangeways, and they’ve DIFFERENT APPROACH ON the EP, and it was after we always been an important CHOOSING A NAME NOW. had the most recent lineup change. Losing My Charm band to me. Johnny Marr’s was always my favorite from approach to song structure the EP, but it didn’t feel right the way it and guitar technique is something that was released before. We all felt like giving has really influenced our songwriting. it another go, but in the way we would We love jangly guitars, and similarly we approach writing it now. During the EP are also influenced by The Beatles, Oasis, recording we spent a lot of time lingering and R.E.M. on overdubs and dancing around with our pedals, but this time around we wanted to What are the origins of the band name? keep everything more clean, and direct. The band name Draa was something I Working with Ben Greenberg for the came across on Wikipedia. It is the name mixing and mastering ended up being a of a Moroccan Valley. I can’t exactly say really good match for the songs. No plans what about it stood out to me at the time, for a release on record now, but you can and I may have taken a different approach on choosing a name now. However, I really expect it as a cassingle very soon from like the neutrality of it, it doesn’t give much Funeral Party Records.



A POET LOOKS AT 80 Kris Kristofferson out with a New Album, Tour and Film


10 Fantastic Films Worth Watching



AST MONTH, SINGER-SONGWRITERactor-activist-poet Kris Kristofferson released a double-length album, a new movie and celebrated his 80th birthday. Rather than retire to his home in Hawaii, the raspyvoiced performer continues to tour, currently on the road (again) with Willie Nelson and backed by the late Merle Haggard’s band. His new record The Cedar Creek Sessions, is a raw and emotive visit with some of his greatest songs and “Traded” is a gritty new western costarring Trace Adkins and Michael Pare. The Renaissance man, author of “Me and Bobby McGee,” “For The Good Times” and “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” star of “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid,” “Heaven’s Gate,” and “A Star Is Born” agreed to a rare interview with INsite.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World



Tell us about your new western film “Traded” and how you became involved with the project. When I got the offer I noticed that director Timothy Woodward had recently worked with get, and I worked with Merle right up until Mickey Rourke and my wife texted him to ask the end. We had a concert together in Los Angeles on February 11th, and I was fortunate what Timothy was like to work with. Mickey enough to have visited with him at his home said he was a good kid and talented, level a couple days before he died. headed. So I accepted. Plus I feel He was a man of great courage I [PLAYED] WITH a keen sense of personal loss every WILLIE NELSON IN and integrity and I will always time I see a good Western that I’m LAWRENCE, KANSAS revere him. not in.


How do you feel this film compares with those modern classic westerns? And how does Woodward’s style compare to Peckinpah’s? Timothy was efficient, creative and a gentleman. Sam was a raging alcoholic. You’ve made several films with fellow musician/actors. Which of the musicians you’ve starred with were your favorites? Willie is up there, as is Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings. It’s great working with friends.

You act with your daughter Kelly in the film who also accompanies you on some of your acoustic shows. Was it difficult for either of you to be in the same movie? Kelly has been singing since she was a baby and just enjoys it. It’s completely natural and a part of who she is. She was a theater major through college and started acting around the age of seven in community plays. Traded was her first film role and I didn’t give her a lick of advice. She didn’t need any. Since we are talking about the combination of music and movies, lets briefly discuss two very different classic films from your career: “A Star Is Born” and “Songwriter.” In both you are a singer and you co-star with singers (Barbara Streisand and Willie Nelson) - and both had very successful soundtrack albums. In retrospect, how do you view each of those films today? They are two films I can be proud of. They were both great experiences, although very different. You’re playing a series of shows with Willie Nelson - and in a bittersweet turn, filling in for the late Merle Haggard. What’s it like to share a stage with Willie and what are your thoughts on Merle? Willie and I work together every chance we

Your new album Cedar Creek Sessions looks back at a lot of your earlier work, with a few new songs too. Has your style of songwriting changed over the years and what was the greatest part about making such an ambitious, double-length recording? Actually, I had a couple days to kill in Austin and some songs that I had never recorded myself, like The Loving Gift, that John and June had cut as a duet. Lucky me, Sheryl Crow came in and sang June’s part. I’ll do anything with her. What has been the biggest change in the music industry during your career – for better and for worse? When I was in Nashville, Music Row was two streets. We songwriters were plugging our own songs and each other’s. We were just chasing after good songs, it didn’t matter who wrote them. We gave co-writer credits even when someone was just in the room. Now there are whole writing teams and the music is big business. I am glad I was there when I was. Your 80th birthday was last month and you’ve accomplished more than several lifetimes put together. But what’s next for you? What would you like to do that you haven’t yet? I [played] with Willie Nelson in Lawrence, Kansas on my 80th, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do on that day. I’m amazed by all the blessings in my life. The Cedar Creek Sessions is now available from retail and online music outlets and “Traded” is currently presented in VOD and Digital HD platforms with blu-ray and DVD release slated for early August. Kristofferson will join Willie Nelson for his “Fourth of July Picnic” this year at the Austin 360 Amphitheater.

OR THIS MONTH’S EXPLORATION of movie history, we’re going to look at films that go hand in hand with music. We’re going to examine some that are actual concerts, some documentaries, and some that simply have wonderful scores/soundtracks that are often more remembered than the actual film. When researching this piece, I immediately wrote down the films of Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen. It would take up the whole issue if I were to discuss the great musical choices in their filmography, so they must just be understood as great. I also originally had Once and Dancer in the Dark on my list. But they have both appeared multiple times in my previous columns, so being left out to make way for other films to shine.


When this film was released, it was wellreceived by many of my peers. But it appears that the appreciation has diminished as time goes on, and I cannot understand why. It’s not a perfect film by any means, but it’s wholly enjoyable hearing the Beatles’ legendary songs in this context. If the rendition of “Let it Be” doesn’t get to you, check your pulse!


You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who knew this metal band before this rock doc was released. But prior knowledge of their lengthy career isn’t a requirement to appreciate one of the most interesting and inspiring documents of a hardluck band you’ll ever see. These guys have been at it for too long, with too little recognition, and their story is captivating.


This one is all about using music to help establish a character. Joseph Gordon Levitt plays the titular role– a rough, tattooed jerk with a good heart that’s just barely visible. We meet him with a guitar crunch and then follow along with him, with the music of Metallica allowing us to see precisely who he is and how set he is in his ways.


The Coen Brothers and T. Bone Burnett are a match made in heaven, and O Brother, Where Art Thou is usually a given for a piece like this. Instead, I decided to touch on their latest collaboration, the more subtle and somber tale of a New York folksinger in the ‘60s. This film lives and breathes its distinctive time and setting. And while the characters and plot are strong on their own merits, it’s the music that drives the story.

shower, I’ll lay in my towel and watch.


I love Edgar Wright’s work. And while his Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End) is his calling card, this is a marvelous addition to his catalogue, with a delightful punk spirit. The music is kickass, the visuals are kickass… It’s just cool all around. And what’s cooler than being cool?


The most obscure selection on this list (only fans of the band Every Time I Die have even heard of it), this is unlike any music documentary I’ve seen. At two hours long, it features the hilarious band on tour, splicing in concert footage set to their studio recordings. Somehow, they even make these moments comical. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, as they are a hardcore band. But I’d be surprised if you didn’t find something to laugh at as these goof balls spout SHINFO (shitty information) and generally dick around.

SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT Yeah, I had to include this one. It hasn’t necessarily withstood the test of time in terms of laughs. But, when I saw it years ago, I really liked profanity-laden songs such as “Uncle Fucka,” “What Would Brian Boitano Do?” and “Kyle’s Mom’s a Bitch” sung by cartoon children. It remains a fun watch 15 years later, and a worthy addition to the expansive South Park canon.


The Talking Heads are a good band. Director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) has made some phenomenal films. Put them together and you get a fascinating concert experience. If you don’t know the band all that well, this will make you love songs you never knew before, while ushering you into the lives of the musicians. I may be over-selling the film, but it’s stuck with me ever since I first saw it. Stop Making Sense


I find it fascinating that indie icon Richard Linklater directed this mainstream hit, but it’s a marvelous film. In lesser hands, it could’ve been hokey comedic drivel. But it turned out to be a humorous history lesson on all things rock, with a protagonist (Jack Black) who refuses to give up on his dreams and encourages others to do the same. If this one’s on TV after I get out of the • July 2016 • PG 21




VINYL: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (HBO Studios) One of the most talked about TV series of the year, Vinyl appeared to have everything going for it: created by Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese with a focus on the debaucheries of the late ‘70s world of music and record companies it seemed like an obvious winner. But thanks to overly-complicated story lines (how many historical musical milestones can you cram into one episode?), an unsympathetic lead character and distracting cameos, the backlash came early for this series. At its core there are compelling stories to be told and with access to the music of the ‘70s, Vinyl had the potential to reinvent itself in the second season. However, despite initially renewing the show for a second season, HBO just announced that it was cancelling Vinyl. The showrunner was replaced in April and it seemed like the network was willing to give the series time to find its grove, but just like so many record labels that drop bands from their roster when new executives come in, the fate of Vinyl is rumored to have been in the hands of HBO’s newly-named programming head.

TV HOUSE OF LIES: THE FOURTH SEASON (Showtime Entertainment) Four season in, House of Lies was starting to show some age. Thankfully, season four finds the team of business consultants in full on destruction and eventually rebuilding mode. Marty (Don Cheadle), is out of prison and the former colleague/ex who put him there, Jeannie (Kristen Bell), is pregnant with his kid. Now that’s how you revive one of cable’s guiltiest pleasures. The plots are still pretty unbelievable, but thanks to solid writing and a stellar cast (that also includes Parks & Recreation’s Ben Schwartz and Anchorman 2’s Josh Lawson), House of Lies continues to be one of Showtime’s best comedies. Sadly, it was just announced that season five will be its last. VEEP: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON (HBO Studios) Even if you’re not a political junkie, Veep is easily one of the funniest shows on cable. In season four, the brilliantly foul-mouthed president Selina Myers (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), one of the few who could make Trump blush, is now running the country after the president steps down. Through 10 episodes, Myers comes to grips with her new role while trying to secure her position in the next election. While Louis-Dreyfus is perfect as Selena, it’s the supporting cast, her equally inept team, including Anna Chlumsky, Matt Walsh, Tony Hale and Reid Scott (among many others) that steal the best lines in this season.

Station Control




WO OF THE BEST TELEVISION shows currently in production, plus a third promising favorite, recently returned to the airwaves bringing with them the strongest female protagonists. Their newest seasons are just as solid, making these shows a pleasure to revisit.


Orange Is the New Black’s fourth season ranks among its best. The Netflix series returns with a season-long arc about how private ownership of the prison has affected changes in the minimum-security facility. None of these changes are for the better within the prison, and this season is intense in the amount of pain it showcases to the viewers. Deftly resolving a handful of cliffhangers within its first episode, the season often downplays the flashback structure to emphasize how the entire prison is affected by changes in its ownership. Piper (Taylor Schilling) was once the protagonist of the show but she’s lost a lot of ground regarding her moral center. The show thankfully focuses on her much less as her downfall continues. The other characters remain delightful however and the show structure gives a wide range of actresses a chance to really shine. Among them newcomer Blair Brown, playing a celebrity chef incarcerated for tax fraud. The character is a mix of Martha Stewart’s legal troubles and Paula Deen’s reputation. Another standout include Lori Petty returning as the mentally ill Lolly, and Adrienne C. Moore as the newly Jewish Black Cindy. Orange Is the New Black has so many strong actresses of different races, ages and backgrounds that the whole show feels like a gift even when it breaks your heart.

UNREAL (Lifetime)

Lifetime’s UnREAL, last summer’s surprise hit and Peabody Award winner is back to skewer and roast more reality TV. Offering a behind-the-scenes look at shows like The Bachelor, the show centers this season on producers Rachel (Shiri Appleby) and Quinn (the fantastic Constance Zimmer) as they try and capitalize on the previous season’s success of their show-within-the-show Everlasting. This season Rachel is placed in a position of power and uses it to do something that The Bachelor has yet to try:

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an African-American suitor. B.J. Britt joins the show as Darius Beck, an NFL star with a winning smile and his own set of secrets. Though UnREAL examines uncharted ground regarding race in reality television, it doesn’t do so in a high-minded way. The show remains blunt, cynical and hilariously delicious. Rachel and Quinn put their contestants in incredibly stressful situations that sometimes go too far. The first season’s suicide of a mentally-ill contestant serves as a (pardon the pun) jumping-off point for this season. The second season shows no signs so far of a sophomore slump.


MTV’s Scream which began last summer with something of a whimper, returns stronger this season. Last year’s sweet, innocent protagonist Emma (Willa Fitzgerald) survived a masked killer who turned out to be a member of her own family, but she didn’t discover the full truth until Season Two. There were two killers, not one. Her friend Audrey (the magnificent Bex Taylor-Klaus), the bisexual bullying victim whose hazing kicked off the entire show, helped mastermind last year’s crimes and got away with it. This season someone has discovered Audrey’s secret and a new killer stalks her and her friends threatening to reveal the truth of her crimes. A villain trying to evade discovery makes for a much more interesting story than last year’s sweet girlstalked-by-killer. It’s just smarter storytelling centered on the show’s most interesting layered character. The makers of the show know what they did last summer. And they’ve learned from their mistakes.

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INsite Atlanta July 2016 Issue  

Atlanta's Entertainment Monthly featuring our annual music guide. The latest concerts, celebrity interviews and events. Also, check out our...

INsite Atlanta July 2016 Issue  

Atlanta's Entertainment Monthly featuring our annual music guide. The latest concerts, celebrity interviews and events. Also, check out our...