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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! AN AMERICAN IN PARIS MUSIC AND LYRICS BY
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Huge Vendor Hall
The Legendary Dragon Con Parade
CRAIG LUCAS DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY
CHRISTOPHER WHEELDON Illustration: Don Oehl; Logo: Esther Wu
FoxTheatre.org/Paris • 855-285-8499 Labor Day Weekend, September 1 – 4, 2017 Hotels and more info at DRAGONCON.org PG 2 • July 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
CONTENTS • JULY 2017 • VOLUME 25, NO. 12
ATLANTA’S FIRST URBAN WINERY, INTIMATE MUSIC VENUE, RESTAURANT & PRIVATE EVENT SPACE 650 NORTH AVENUE NE, SUITE 201, ATLANTA, GA 30308 PONCE CITY MARKET | CITYWINERY.COM/ATLANTA | 404.WINERY1
EARS! ING 25 Y T A R B E CEL
The Princess Bride FREE SCREENING
08 Louie Anderson 12 Deon Cole 13 Melissa Etheridge 15 Retro Futura Fest 16 KC and The Sunshine Band 17 Amy Ray
Natural Wonder The Ultimate Tribute to Stevie Wonder
THE STRANGER (BILLY JOEL TRIBUTE) AN EVENING W/ MIKE SANTORO SOLO ON THE PATIO
MAJIC AFTER DARK
RAHSAAN PATTERSON EARLY & LATE SHOWS
THE VERVE PIPE
HIP HOP YOGA
DWEEZIL ZAPPA: WHAT’S IN A NAME? (STORYTELLING W/ GUITAR ACCOMPANIMENT, Q&A)
JUL 10 ISLEY BROTHERS TRIBUTE FT. BASSIST JON ROBERTS & FRIENDS JUL 11 THE PRINCESS BRIDE FREE SCREENING JUL 12 LES NUBIANS UP CLOSE & PERSONAL TOUR
JUL 15 SHAWN MULLINS JUL 15 A FEAST OF ICE & FIRE
Winemaking 101: Specialty Wine
JUL 16 SAWYER FREDERICKS W/ OPENERS GABRIEL WOLFCHILD & NORTHERN LIGHT & HALEY JOHNSEN JUL 17 N-STYLE ATLANTA PRESENTS JUL 18 DAVID COOK W/ KATHRYN DEAN JUL 19 THE APX JUL 20 FASTBALL W/ PARKER GISPERT JUL 21 NATURAL WONDER: THE ULTIMATE TRIBUTE TO STEVIE WONDER JUL 22 WINEMAKING 101: SPECIALTY WINE
Rusted Root Acoustic w/ Michael Glabicki & Dirk Miller
JUL 24 TODD SHEAFFER (RAILROAD EARTH) JUL 25 THE ALARM
July 1 Melissa Etheridge
Richard Marx with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra
Music Editor John Moore email@example.com Contributing Writers / Interns: Alex. S. Morrison, Dave Cohen, Benjamin Carr, Demarco Williams
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Check out our Summer Guide on page 14.
JUL 23 COMEDIAN LOUIE ANDERSON
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JUL 22 KASEY CHAMBERS W/ GARRETT KATO
THE FREDERICK BROWN JR. AMPHITHEATER
15 04 Around Town 05 On Tap 06 Atlanta on a Dime 07 Under The Lights 08 Station Control 09 New Releases 09 Albums 16 18 Movie Reviews
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DEPARTURE A TRIBUTE TO JOURNEY
JUL 14 EXPERIENCE CLUBESQUE
10 ATL’s Best Burgers 14 Summer Music Guide
Publisher Stephen Miller email@example.com Art Director / Web Design Nick Tipton firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Lee Valentine Smith email@example.com Local Events Editor Marci Miller firstname.lastname@example.org Movie Editor Steve Warren email@example.com
AMY BLACK A MEMPHIS MUSIC REVUE
JUL 13 Q PARKER OF 112
AMY RAY, MELISSA ETHERID GE, AND MORE!
Earth, Wind & Fire Tribute
Petty vs Clapton Tribute featuring The Pettybreakers & Journeyman
And....Get your tickets now for SEPTEMBER
PAT BENATAR and NEIL GIRALDO / TOTO
www.amphitheater.org • 770.631.0630 You may purchase tickets @ the Fred Box Office or online: www.ticketalternative.com or by phone at 1-877-725-8849 201 McIntosh Trail, Peachtree City 30269
insiteatlanta.com • July 2017 • PG 3
Around Town SATURDAY, JULY 8 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 ecologically-important creatures. Visit fernbankmuseum.org.
SUNDAY, JULY 9
Bob Bakert and his Six Piece Band Chattahoochee Nature Center
The Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell is offering great nighttime entertainment this summer. Their Sundays on the River Concerts series is held the second Sunday of each month. Come out and see Bob Bakert and his six piece band on Sunday, July 9. You’ll enjoy tunes that you can sing along with from Sting, Stevie Wonder, Van Morrison and Buffalo Springfield. Perfect for a summer night! Visit chattnaturecenter.org for ticket information.
SATURDAY, JULY 15 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,
Events and Performances taking place this Month
relay races, obstacle courses, etc. plus 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 atlfieldday.com.
JULY 17 - 23
Georgia Restaurant Week Various restaurants
The third annual Georgia Restaurant Week, brought to you by the Georgia Restaurant Association, aims to highlight the various dining options that are available to consumers throughout Georgia. This week will allow patrons, both local and from out of state, to explore various dining options throughout Georgia for a set price and experience the local Georgia products that are available in Georgia’s restaurants. Visit garestaurantweek.com.
FRIDAY, JULY 21
Atlanta Botanical Garden
SATURDAY, JULY 23 Louie Anderson
City Winery @ Ponce City Market
Iconic comedian Louie Anderson, the two-time Emmy award winner, is one of the country’s most recognized and adored comics of our day. His career has spanned more than 30 years. He is currently starring along with Zach Galifianakis in FX’s hit show “Baskets”. Visit citywinery.com
JULY 26 & 27 Mathew Sweet
City Winery @ Ponce City Market
Matthew Sweet emerged in 1991 as the leading figure of the American power pop revival. Sweet's third album, Girlfriend, became a word-of-mouth critical and commercial hit over the course of 1992, with its title track reaching the Top Five on the Modern Rock charts. Making up for a sixyear hiatus of solo releases, Matthew Sweet is touring the release of his latest album Tomorrow Forever. Visit citywinery.com.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 6 Water Day
Chattahoochee Nature Center
Water Day is a celebration of water as summer winds down. Splash through sprinklers, meet water-loving community partners, play water games, make water crafts! Come dressed to get wet – swim suits, sunglasses, and flip flops are welcomed. Activities included with general admission and CNC Membership. Visit Chattnaturecenter.org
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 16
SATURDAY, JULY 29
Taste of Helen
Heritage Sandy Springs
Take a short drive up to Helen, GA, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Chattahoochee River, for Taste of Helen. Enjoy culinary tastes from top area restaurants, live music and libations! Event takes place Wednesday, August 15 from 5:00 8:00 pm. Go to helenchamber.com or call (770) 878-1908 for ticket information.
Festhalle, Helen, GA
Prohibition in the Park Concerts in the Garden is an acclaimed summer concert series by Atlanta Botanical Garden. Enjoy the show through general admission seating on the lawn. Other performances this month include: Michael Feinstein (July 7) and Brandi Carlile (July 23). Visit atlantabg.org
specialty craft cocktails, sponsored by The Savvy Cellars and JR Revelry, infused with ingredients from the Farmers Market. Hors d’oeuvres will be prepared by Brooklyn Cafe, Savor Bar and Kitchen, Slope’s BBQ, CalyRoad Creamery, and Cloud Catering. Guests can experience the feel of the Prohibition-era in the cigar lounge, sponsored by Sandy Springs Cigars, while enjoying jazz music. Visit heritagesandysprings.org.
Enjoy an elegant evening at Heritage Green, featuring heavy hors d’oeuvres and complimentary libations, plus a silent auction to benefit the Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market and Historic Resources Program. Tickets include five tastings of
Special Olympics Georgia Presents
Adopt a Rubber Duck, Support and Athlete
2017 Annual Duck Pluck August 11, 2017 at Post Chastain Apartment’s pool
ONLY $5 Donation or More!
2 Nights at King & Prince Resort – St. Simon
$250 Macy’s Gift Card
$400 Visa Gift Card
2 Round Trip Tickets on Spirit Airlines
Dell Laptop Computer
YETI 35 Cooler and Tumbler
All the money raised is used to provide meals, housing and medals to athletes at the State Games. Visit duckrace.com/ atlanta/teams/6137 for more info! PG 4 • July 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
On Tap this Month MAJOR EVENTS COMING TO ATLANTA
July 4: Lenox Square to Piedmont Park
AJC PEACHTREE ROAD RACE
e AJC Peachtree Road Race, organized by Atlanta Track Club, is the largest 10K in the world. In its 47th 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 PeachtreeRoadRace.org.
Tuesday, July 11: Infinite Energy Arena
See legendary singer/songwriter James Taylor and his All-Star Band with special guest Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bonnie Raitt and her band for one intimate and memorable night. James Taylor’s warm baritone is among the most recognized voices in popular music. See Bonnie Raitt perform her hits "Something to Talk About", "Love Sneakin' Up on You", and the ballad "I Can't Make You Love Me". InﬁniteEnergyCenter.com
Saturday, June 15: The Fred Amphitheatre
Brian McKnight has released 13 albums to date, with several going 2 and 3x platinum, and he has sold over 20 million albums worldwide earning himself a spot in contemporary music history. In addition to being a singer, songwriter and producer, McKnight is also a multi-instrumentalist who plays nine instruments including piano, guitar, bass, drums, percussions, trombone and trumpet. Tickets at Amphitheatre.org
Thursday, July 20: The Fox Theater
COCA-COLA FILM FESTIVAL From July 16 and throughout the summer, modern and vintage movie classics will be shown on Fox eatre’s big screen and patrons will enjoy movies under the “stars”. Special Movie Tours will be available and for select showings, a magical pre-show experience including a sing-a-long with a vintage cartoon and performances on the world-renowned Mighty Mo organ. See Casablanca on ursday July 20. Foxeatre.org
Saturday, July 22: The Fox Theatre
Idina has captivated audiences at sold-out concerts around the world with her irresistible charm, wit and unparalleled vocal prowess. She is the incredible voice behind smash hit “Let It Go” and the star of Frozen, Wicked, Rent and Glee. Besides performing a sampling from these, Idina’s show includes classic pop, musical theater favorites and her own personal catalogue. Purchase tickets at Foxeatre.org.
July 22 - 30: Atlantic Station
BB&T ATLANTA OPEN
Top American players Jack Sock (world ranking #18), John Isner (world ranking #21) and the Bryan Brothers (former world ranking #1) will play a mix of young upstarts and current ATP World Tour top-40 players for the 2017 BB&T Atlanta Open title. is year oﬀers new stadium design that not only provides more shade and air-conditioned spaces, but more activation areas and activities for fans. Visit BBTAtlantaOpen.com. insiteatlanta.com • July 2017 • PG 5
EVENTS HAPPENING FOR SMALL CHANGE IN ATLANTA
Know of a low cost event happening? Event@AtlantaOnADime.com By Marci Miller
Tuesday, July 4
4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION Centennial Olympic Park Free; CentennialPark.com
with an Independence Day parade and celebration on the Square presented by Superior Plumbing, free live concerts, arts and crafts show, food, carnival games and the City of Marietta ﬁreworks ﬁnale. roughout the day, more than 80,000 people are expected to celebrate on the Square with great food, fun activities, the best arts and crafts around and free entertainment. e 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. e ﬁreworks display is scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m.
Centennial Olympic Park’s 4th of July Celebration will oﬀer fun and entertainment for the entire family, including free music from e 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. e ﬁreworks are scheduled to begin at 9:45pm. Parking will available at the Red Deck Parking Garage, which is located on Andrew Young International Blvd. across Saturday - Tuesday, July 1 - 4 from the Georgia Dome and the Georgia FANTASTIC FOURTH World Congress Center., or ride MARTA, Stone Mountain Park which the Park is accessible from both the $15 Parking; StoneMountainPark.com Peachtree Center Station as well as the Experience the Lasershow Spectacular an Dome/Phillips/GWCC Station. Atlanta tradition that promises to wow your family with state-of-the-art digital Tuesday, July 4 graphics and awe-inspiring eﬀects. e 4TH ON THE PARK show includes a lighting feature at the base Marietta Square of the mountain shining up like ﬁngers of Free; MariettaSquare.com light showcasing the 825 foot mountainGrab your American ﬂag, put on your red, side. Laser beams bounce around in harwhite and blue, and celebrate America's mony with the music. e special independence July 4, from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. patriotic ﬁreworks ﬁnale will immediately
follow the Lasershow all four nights. Visi- “stars” beneath the Fox eatre’s distinctors may bring blankets and lawn chairs. tive blue sky with twinkling stars and ﬂuﬀy clouds. e festival kicks oﬀ Sunday, July Thursdays, July 6, 13 & 20 16 with a free afternoon at the movies. Enjoy a double-header of GPB’s “e LegMOVIES IN CENTRAL PARK end Lives On: Atlanta’s Fox eatre” Atlantic Station paired with the Walt Disney classic Free to attend; AtlanticStation.com “Steamboat Willie” – a nod to the Fox Atlantic Station's outdoor summer movie eatre’s magniﬁcent 1928 grand opening, series, Movies in the Park, is oﬀering free in which a sold out audience experienced movie screenings each ursday evening Mickey Mouse’s ﬁrst feature ﬁlm. in their Central Park through July 20. Moviegoers can also enjoy meal deals each Saturday, July 22 week from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. from a va- ICE CREAM FESTIVAL riety of Atlantic Station restaurants. The Meadows at Piedmont Park Movie screenings will begin at dusk. Free; atlantaicecreamfestival.com
Thursdays, July 13, 20 & 27
MOVIES ON THE TOWN
Town Brookhaven Free; TownBrookhaven.net/events Come on out for the 5th annual Movies on the Town series at Town Brookhaven. Movies take place each ursday night through the July 27th screening of Lala Land! Arrive early, grab dinner from one of the area restaurants and eat on the green space. ursday evening specials are also being oﬀered by several retailers. Areas have been designated for blankets and chairs. No pets, outside food/drinks or coolers.
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.
Sunday, July 16
SUMMER FILM FESTIVAL The Fox Theatre Free Screening; FoxTheatre.org
is summer enjoy movies under the
4th of July Celebration Centennial Olympic Park centennialpark.com
REceive Updated Events Weekly. Sign Up by Emailing Subscriptions@atlantaonadime.com Enter on the subject line: Sign me up Insite!
Your Neighborhood Pizzeria!
Atlanta’s Favorite Pizza! Multiple Atlanta Locations: JohnnysPizza.com PG 6 • July 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
Under The Lights ON STAGE THIS MONTH
July 14 - August 27 Horizon Theatre (404) 584-7450 HorizonTheatre.com
Award-winning writer/director Thomas W. Jones II is back with his musical adaptation of the novel Blackberry Days of Summer in this emotionally charged stage musical with unforgettable stories of love, hope, survival, and redemption. It is the end of The Great War, and a small Virginia town is rocked by secrets and seduction as Herman Camm, a provocative gambler (played by TC Carson of Living Single fame), weaves his magic on the lives of three unsuspecting women, Mae Lou and her daughter Carrie, and Pearl, a blues singer at the local juke joint. Herman is a charismatic ladies man, but he’s plagued by a dark past.
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
July 15-August 20 Actors Express (404) 607-7469 Actors-Express.com In this deviously delicious musical comedy, budding b o t a n i s t S e y m o u r Krelbourn is down on his luck and secretly in love with his coworker Audrey. When he discovers a new species of plant that promises him unending fame and fortune, he thinks all his problems are solved – the only catch is the plant is a bloodthirsty carnivore bent on world domination! Don’t miss AE’s horrifically hilarious take on one of the longest-running musicals in off-Broadway history. Originally heralded “a fiendish musical creature feature” by the New York Times, the cult classic will follow up on past summer hits Company, Rent and The Rocky Horror Show. Actor’s Express is located on the west side of Atlanta in the King Plow Arts Center at 887 W. Marietta Street.
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
July 20 - August 27 Aurora Theatre (404) 733-5000 AuroraTheatre.com Based on the novel by Victor Hugo with songs from the Disney film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame transports audiences to 1482 Paris. There they follow the tales of Quasimodo, a deformed bell ringer in a cold, cathedral tower who discovers his inner strength, a conflicted priest, Frollo, who battles the specter of damnation and Phoebus, a dashing soldier who shuns duty to pursue Esmeralda, a beautiful Gypsy dancer. At every turn, a malevolent force propels each of them toward fate. This musical retelling of the beloved medieval love story features a lush score by Alan Menken (Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin) — the only stage collaboration between the two giants of the American musical theatre.
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS
August 15 - 20 The Fox Theatre (855) 285-8499 FoxTheatre.org/paris
An American in Paris, the most awarded new musical of 2015 and winner of four Tony Awards®, will play Atlanta’s Fox Theatre for a limited one-week engagement August 15-20. Inspired by the Academy-Award winning film, “An American in Paris” is the romantic story about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. The production opened to widespread critical acclaim at the Palace Theatre on Broadway in April 2015.
“THRILLING! UPLIFTING!” –MD THEATRE GUIDE
BLACKBERRY Photo: Chris Banks Courtesy of MetroStage
BY RUTH P. WATSON & THOMAS W. J JONES II ORIGINAL MUSIC BY WILLIAM KNOWLES DIRECTED BY
THOMAS W. JONES II
“A–DC METRO COMPELLING & ROMANTIC JOURNEY INTO THE HEART OF THE SOUTH” THEATRE ARTS
JULY 14-AUG 27
EUCLID & AUSTIN AVES. IN LITTLE FIVE POINTS
404.584.7450 • HORIZONTHEATRE.COM
flx insiteatlanta.com • July 2017 • PG 7
SOLID PERFORMERS TO FRONT IT’S ALL RELATIVE BY BENJAMIN CARR
Legendary Comedian Louie Anderson, Keeps Storytelling All in the Family
OMETIMES AN ACTRESS CAN linger in the background of a show for a rather long time before she gets her due. They’re known for their scene-stealing moments, but they don’t often get to lead. So when that spotlight finally shines on them, it’s a moment to celebrate. Three recent shows have taken solid performers and finally pushed them front and center.
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
OMEDIAN/AUTHOR/STORYTELLER Louie Anderson has been performing his gentle brand of family-friendly standup for 40 years. Lately he’s enjoyed a revival of interest for his portrayal of Christine in the quirky Louis CK sitcom “Baskets” on the FX Network. The busy actor - an Emmy-winner last year for his role as the long-suffering mother of the unusual Baskets twins - returns to town this month for a show at City Winery. INsite recently spoke with Anderson by phone after a production meeting for the series.
Alison Brie is a consistent, solid comedic actress who is also capable of playing the gravitas of a dramatic scene. Her most notable television work, prior to this year, was on the sitcom Community, where she played the sunny, innocent Annie. While she was filming that show, she also showed her considerable dramatic chops in a recurring part on Mad Men, where she played Pete Campbell’s longsuffering, entitled wife Trudy. That double act should have prepared us for her work on the new Netflix show GLOW. But nothing in her arsenal of talents suggested what she is able to do with the character Ruth on the show. GLOW is a fictional telling of the history of the real-life Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, a cult-hit 1980s women’s wrestling show that used to air on UHF channels in the middle of the night. The original show showcased a mix of athletics, high comedy, vast stereotypes, amateur rapping, low production values, tacky plots and colorful leotards. It had women of all shapes and sizes, glamorized to the hilt and then let them rip each other apart. The new GLOW features Brie as an out-of-work, down-on-her-luck actress who finally agrees to attend any audition sent her way. She ends up in a gym full of a wide range of types and characters, including the show director (Marc Maron), who seems to run on enthusiasm and cocaine. And she is called upon to perform in a way that she never expected. Brie is a revelation in this show, where scenes allow her to be funny, insanely physical and really, really vulnerable. The character she builds has this integrity, even though she does some thoroughly awful things, so you end up rooting for her even when she’s annoying.
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK (Netflix)
Orange Is the New Black remains great TV precisely because it knows how to use its vast well of talented actresses, giving each of them a turn in the spotlight. But the fifth season’s standout performance comes from Danielle Brooks as Taystee. Taystee has been on this Netflix show from its first episode, with Brooks casually stealing scenes in the first season alongside her best friend Poussey (Samira Wiley). Last year’s episodes culminated in the death of Poussey and a breakdown from Taystee, which led to the full prison riot that is this season’s major plotline. Brooks, playing Taystee’s heartbreak as still fresh and painful, Orange is the New Black
puts fury and passion into every scene. The character becomes a leader, an activist and a voice for prisoner rights, fueled by the loss of her friend. Brooks never lets the audience forget what is motivating her character, giving the entire season a consistent, resonant tone. This season is much lighter than the previous two, and it deals all of the characters new roles in the prison hierarchy. Suddenly, the prisoners are in charge, the guards are in fear. And the entire show gets turned on its head. Taystee remains its heart, though. And that is a testament to Brooks’ work.
Niecy Nash is a superstar, long deserving of her own show and TNT has given her that chance with Claws. She’s a comedy genius with an impressive TV background. Nash first gained attention on Reno 911! But recently she stole full episodes of Scream Queens and received an Emmy nomination for her work on the HBO hospital comedy Getting On, where she played a quiet, kind nurse. Nash is an incredible talent. But Claws is a weird, wild and uneven show - part Barber Shop, part Scarface. Her character Desna owns a nail salon in Palmetto, Florida, populated by a staff of eccentrics. The nail salon also launders drug money for a wacky kingpin from the Dixie Mafia, and all sorts of murder and shenanigans occur within the first two episodes. The makers of the show, though, don’t know yet how to juggle all the elements of the show. There are funerals filled with strippers, random nudity, girlfights, golden handguns and - weirdly - lots of stuff about salon real estate. It’s a mixed bag. You’ve got a burning speedboat filled with dead bodies one minute. The next minute, you’re supposed to care that there’s a dissatisfied customer with a bad manicure. Perhaps it will eventually settle down. Nash certainly deserves a showcase for her considerable talents.
You just did another spot on “This Is Not Happening” [set to air this fall on Comedy Central]. How’d it go? I just did another story on there about my mom and dad and little brother and a little winter adventure. I had a lot of fun doing it and I think it went well. But you always wonder because it’s not joke-laden.
Storytelling is hot in comedy right now, as is character-driven persona, but you’ve been doing it for 40 years. You accepted the role with no deliberation Isn’t that amazing? You know, I’m a storyteller at all? from my Norwegian and English/Irish/Dutch Yeah, none. He went, “Ok, we’ll be in touch.” background. Those were the comedians back Then the next time I heard from them was to then. There’d be a long, drawn-out, highly shoot the pilot. I did one scene in it and I think detailed story with a nice punchline at the it was just meant to be. Before we shot, I went to end - hopefully. That’s what I did last night, it the director and said, “Hey Jonathan [Krisel], I’m was about a journey with my not going to change my voice for dad and my brothers. My dad this character.” He said, “Ok.” So ended up a little drunk – well, I just did it and we’ve had two a lot drunk - and we had to wonderful seasons. We’re sitting navigate getting home from the in the writers’ room right now JULY 23 Moose Lodge. deciding what the third season City Winery will be. So far, it’s been pure fun. There’s a lot of storytelling citywinery.com/atlanta in the current alt-comedy Congratulations on the show, movement. it’s nice to see you getting You’re exactly right. It’s a very nostalgic a whole new wave of attention and a new generation right now. I think people are reliving generation of fans. and reinventing the past in a forward-thinking Thank you, it’s so nice of you to say that. But way. Not just being in it, but learning from it and people will say the funniest things when you asking where can we go with it and what can we get something like this happening. They’ll say, do to improve upon it. “I didn’t know you had it in you.” Or “Why were you hiding this?” All that kinda stuff. But I do And your family has been an incredible well of feel very lucky. I feel like the higher powers in material for you. the world have taken over and are guiding me to Well, both my father and now my mother. a path that I otherwise wouldn’t be on. (Laughs) I couldn’t resist. When comics ask me for advice, I always ask them: What do you You can’t beat that combo of the other Louie care about? What matters to you? And what’s and Zack and Jonathan. interesting to you in your life? Those are the They’re comedy royalty right now. I’m the things you should be doing and nothing else. old guy.
Otherwise it seems forced. Yeah, my advice is always to go inside. Go inward with your material. Go within yourself. If you don’t care about the material you’re doing, no one else is gonna care about it, either. Speaking of your dad, I hear you’re working on a new play about him. Yeah, I’m working on “Dear Dad,” based on the book I wrote. It was letters to my dad after he died. So I’ve been acting it out on stage, little parts of it. In fact, the story I did last night is from it. I took all the details from that, so instead of reading it I told the story of it. Your mom must be looking out for you; taking the role of Christine was a brave move. It was. It was a fate thing. I was on my way to work one day and Louie CK called me and said
PG 8 • July 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
“Hey, I’m here with Zack Galifianakis and we’re doing this new sitcom. We were wondering if you would consider playing a part in it.” I go, “Yeah, I’d love to.” And they go, “We’d like you to play his mother.” And I go, “Yes! Bring it on!”
I know from talking with Jonathan during the early days of Portlandia and Louie’s work in general, there’s probably a lot of improvisation going on during production. Well, to be honest with you, a lot of times what I’ll end up saying is, “Do you mind if I do it like my mom would do it?” and they’re all for it. What do you think your mom would say about your performance? I think she’d be in love with the idea, but she’d try to tell me what I’m not doing right about her. Which would be fine. I would listen and take it to heart. She’d say, “You almost have it Louie, but you’re not quite right on it yet.” Like how any good mom would be, am I right?
Please read full interview online at insiteatlanta.com.
NEW RELEASES THE LATEST DVD, BLU RAY & VOD RELEASES By John Moore
THE YOUNG POPE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
(HBO Home Entertainment) With an impressive cast (Jude Law, Diane Keaton, James Cromwell) and just enough controversy, The Young Pope‘s first season was impressive, if not a little tame in comparison to shows like Game of Thrones. Law plays a young American priest elected Pope. His ultra-conservative views and unwillingness to play nice with others in the Vatican makes for a unique character that bucks Hollywood clichés. As with any show/movie that portrays the Catholic Church there was the expected backlash from conservatives, but that just added to the show’s appeal.
(Candy Factory Films) This documentary about the controversy behind folks looking to preserve the street art of the mysterious Banksy and those out to simply exploit it for their own financial gain is nearly as fascinating as the identity of the artist. San Francisco art collector and preservationist Brian Greif tries to rescue a spray-painted Banksy rat from the side of a downtown apartment. As he negotiates with the homeowner to buy, remove and preserve the piece before someone defaces it, there is amother art collector looking to buy it to simply flip it for a profit. With plenty of interviews from fellow street artists and others in the art collection world, Saving Banksy is a fantastic look at an insular community that is still a mystery to most.
HEAT: DIRECTOR’S DEFINITIVE EDITION (Twentieth Century Home Entertainment) More than 20 years after this iconic crime drama was first released, completests can finally rejoice thanks to the latest edition of this classic. Starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Val Kilmer, this Michael Mann masterpiece became the crime heist film that all others would be judged against. The Director’s Definitive edition comes with a slew of deleted scenes, three separate theatrical trailers, a Q&A with the director
MUSIC from the Toronto Film Festival, a panel with the actors moderated by one of the movie’s biggest fans, Christopher Nolan and several other mini-docs. This latest collection is like mana from heaven for film buffs.
BLAKE EDWARDS’ THE PINK PANTHER FILM COLLECTION STARRING PETER SELLERS
(Shout! Factory) In this streamlined but feature-packed collection, the meticulous archivists at Shout! Factory have assembled the definitive collection of Peter Sellers’ Pink Panther film series. The six comedy-mystery movies included literally span the life of the actor’s beloved, bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau character. The franchise began with his debut in the jewelheist caper “The Pink Panther” and continued with the hastily-issued follow-up “A Shot In The Dark” - offering a double-dose of Clouseau from 1964. While Sellers was in demand for other productions, the role was set aside for a decade except for one misguided instalment, 1968’s “Inspector Clouseau,” starring Alan Arkin. Thankfully that film - while not as excruciatingly bad as the more recent Steve Martin reboots - is not included in the set. Sellers and producer-director Blake Edwards resurrected Clouseau in the successful “Return of the Pink Panther” in 1975 and began a short streak of box-office hits with the star in fine form and the director keeping the slapstick storylines mostly coherent while working around Sellers’ multiple characters and penchant for inspired bits of improvisation. While “The Pink Panther Strikes Again” (1976) and “Revenge of the Pink Panther” (1978) were strong chapters, “Trail of the Pink Panther” was a sad episode in 1982. Released two years after Sellers death, “Trail” is a wildly uneven collection of leftover bits, pieced together by Edwards as a tribute to the late actor and one last gasp of the original series. More and lessenjoyable Panthers followed, but this set is all Sellers and a must-have for fans and devotees of comedic filmmaking. Extras include a 24-page book, new interviews, select audio commentaries, theatrical and TV trailers and an extensive photo gallery marking the release a loving tribute to the genius of Sellers, who died 37 years ago this month.
REVIEWS BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH AND JOHN B. MOORE
clever, repetitive lyrics. -LVS
(Honeycomb Hideout/RED) Making up for a sixyear hiatus of solo releases, Matthew Sweet gets back to business with his latest album, To m o r r o w Fore ver. Clocking in at over an hour it’s a whopping 17-tracks of catchy, musically challenging and often-thought-provoking material. Although influenced by Sweet’s return to his native Omaha and the recent loss of his mother, the songs still chime with the upbeat, memorable hooks he’s utilized since his days in the burgeoning Athens music scene of the mid-‘80s. His craftsmanship quickly outgrew the limits of the Classic City clique and his subsequent solo releases have all contained a plethora of pop gems - including of course, his biggest radio success, “Girlfriend.” Here he bookends that effusive 1991 hit with “Trick,” opening the new package with his signature crunch and the perfect candidate for a new single. It finds Sweet comfortably at home doing what he usually does best - slinging bowls of chunky garage rock stew, seasoned with
Peter Hook & The Light Unknown Pleasures
(World Records) The likelihood of the full New Order line up getting back together is somewhere between another Replacements reunion and a Smiths Reunion; not bloody likely. But this collection of live albums from Peter Hook, founding member of both New Order and their precursor, Joy Division, is bound to serve as some solace to lifelong fans of both bands. Since 2010, Peter Hook & The Light has been touring the globe playing a mix of originals as well as Joy Division and New Order songs live. Four of those shows have finally been released on CD covering Joy Division’s two albums, Unknown Pleasures and Closer. And each is an impressive addition to the cannons of both bands. All of the album includes rare, and in some cases, never released singles to round them out. – John Moore
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CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK! CD WAREHOUSE ATLANTA insiteatlanta.com • July 2017 • PG 9
Taste of the Month-BURGERS!
Where to Go for the Best Burgers in Town Cheeseburger Bobby’s
Buckhead (678) 732-9531 Marietta (770) 919-9110 Sandy Springs (404) 600-2484 cheeseburgerbobbys.com
Cheeseburger Bobby's was founded in 2007 by Bobby Stoll, who wanted to provide people in his 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. Angus 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 thirteen metro area locations. Find one near you!
The Downwind Restaurant
Dekalb Peachtree Airport 200 Airport Rd. #201 (770) 452-0973 downwindrestaurant.com
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.
Buckhead (404) 816-0603 Decatur (404) 378-5077 Dunwoody (770) 454-2201 Farmburger.net
George’s, the iconic 56 year-old VirginiaHighland establishment, keeps winning over new fans of their famous burgers. These burgers are made from 100% ground chuck, handpattied, charbroiled and served on a lightly grilled whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomato, red onions, and a pickle spear. Each come with choice of fries, tots, potato salad and coleslaw. George’s has many great specialty burgers on the menu. 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. Besides burgers, George’s offers a wide range of salads and sandwiches. You will find everything from Grilled Chicken Wraps, Patty Melts, Reubens and Sloppy Dogs. And they have a kids menu for the little ones. Adults can order from their full bar and choose from a wide selection of draft and bottle beer and wine served by the glass or bottle. 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 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 grassfed, antibiotic and hormone-free, locally raised, ground fresh, made in-house and griddled to perfection!
Virginia-Highland 1041 N. Highland Ave (404) 892-3648 georgesbarandrestaurant.com
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 www.downwindrestaurant.com
FlatIron 1ST PLACE Winner 2017
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FEATURING POOL TABLE & DART ROOM 21 and up
520 Flat Shoals Ave • East Atlanta • (404) 688-8864 PG 10 • July 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
Taste of the Month-BURGERS! Continued . . .
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!
Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar 2840 Atlanta Rd. Smyrna (770) 435-1887 AtkinsPark.com
520 Flat Shoals Ave. SE East Atlanta (404) 688-8864
The Flatiron 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 won first place out of over 50 Atlanta restaurants and bars this spring in Creative Loafing’s Burger Week contest. They placed second last year. 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. 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. The upstairs is now open featuring a pool table and dart room. 21 and up establishment.
Gordon Biersch Brewery
Midtown - 848 Peachtree St. (404) 870-0805 Buckhead - 3242 Peachtree Rd (404) 264-0253 gordonbierschrestaurants.com
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 burgers 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
Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Smyrna, GA recently celebrated their 14th anniversary in the neighborhood, offering up everything from family dining to late-night fare. Their menu stays true to the classic southern influence of the Virginia Highland location with a bit of Cajun flare-serving New Orleans classics like Jambalaya and Gumbo year round and hosting annual festivals such as OysterFest and Crawfish Boil. One true connection between the 'city' and 'suburban' version of Atkins Park is the most beloved 'Bruno Burger', named for their founding father Warren Bruno. It is eight ounces of fresh ground beef, grilled, and topped with sautéed onions and mushrooms then smothered in provolone cheese. It's served on a brioche bun with fresh veggies and their hand cut french fries (or try the beer battered onion rings if you're really hungry!) and is a staple on all of their menus including the Late Night. Atkins Park-Smyrna stays open until 4 AM every night except Saturday (3 AM) and hosts live music (no charge!) every Friday and Saturday night. They offer an extensive craft beer and wine list, two patios and boast multiple private event spaces.
East Atlanta - 488 Flat Shoals Rd. (404) 522-3950 badearl.com
Located in the heart of the East Atlanta Village, The Earl is the kind of place you can hang out at all day. It is a great combination of restaurant, bar and concert hall. Featuring an amazing bar menu, moderately priced drinks and a music venue in the back, this is a place that can satisfy just about anyone in your group. Their burgers 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
THE BEST KITCHEN IN SPORTS SERVING UP BURGERS THAT ARE SMASHED AND SEARED TO ORDER FOR MAXIMUM FLAVOR.
WATCH YOUR FAVORITE SPORT EVENTS ON STATE OF THE ART HDTVs MADE-FROM-SCRATCH MENU
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GOOD BURGERS. Live Music. Great Times!
3365 PIEDMONT RD. ATLANTA, GA 30305 (404) 961-8946 HANGOVER BURGER | BILLIONAIRE’S BACON BURGER | AVOCADO SMASH BURGER Hours: Sun-Fri 11am – 4am Sat 11am – 3am
(770) 435-1887 2840 Atlanta Road Smyrna, GA 30080 atkinspark.com insiteatlanta.com • July 2017 • PG 11
Taste of the Month-BURGERS! Continued . . .
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.
Twin Peaks Restaurant
COLE BLOODED COMEDY Deon Cole Took a Dare and Hasn’t Looked Back Since
You get a grace period. I think the larger you are, the bigger your grace period is. But after that grace period, I don’t care who you are, you better bring it. Whoever you are - Seinfeld, Dick Gregory, whoever - you’d better bring it.
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
3365 Piedmont Road Buckhead (404) 961-8946 twinpeaksrestaurant.com
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, man-sized portions of classic American favorites like 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 thickcut 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 available for bookings and a lively rooftop patio with great views of the city.
7 Metro Area Locations HudsonGrille.com
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 half-pound, 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 $4 off all Burgers. Tuesday offers two for one appetizers and Fridays you can receive a free dessert with any Big Plate or dinner special!
City Winery 650 North Avenue (404) 946-3791 citywinery.com/atlanta
Located within the historic Ponce City Market center, City Winery is a unique, cultivated venue, combining a fully functioning urban winery with intimate concerts, food & wine classes, tailored private events and spaces with elevated, wine-focused dining. Their globally inspired & “wine-centric” menus, incorporate locally sourced ingredients. The Barrel Room and Restaurant upstairs offers a comfortable, elegant setting, while downstairs offers concert dining. If you are looking to grab a great burger and see an amazing show, this is the place! The Bacon Cheddar Burger is as good a burger as you will ever have. Served on house made sesame seed bun with lettuce, tomato and onion and parmesan-truffle steak fries. Their burger is offered at both the restaurant and concert dining and available on the brunch, lunch and dinner menus.
g n i n n i W d r a Aw nce 1961! i S s r e g r u B A BURGER JOINT In Virginia Highland 1041 North Highland Ave. 404.892.3648 PRIVATE ROOM AVAILABLE | CALL FOR DETAILS GeorgesBarAndRestaurant.com PG 12 • July 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
HE COMEDY PATH TAKEN BY Deon Cole is a series of gradual, organic steps. His trajectory ignited one night at a comedy club in Chicago when a friend bet him $50 to perform at an open mic showcase. Since Def Jam is another tough scene for comedy. then, the burly comic/actor has landed prime gigs It was tough for me because I was like a comic’s on Def Comedy Jam, Conan O’Brien’s Tonight comic, if you know what I mean. I didn’t think Show, Angie Tribeca, Black-ish, a number of a lot of people really picked up on what I was supporting roles in films (“Barbershop,” and the doing. I was big on going against the grain and upcoming “The Female Brain”) and comedy being out of the ordinary but I didn’t fit their specials. mold at that time. So it was His latest project, The hard for me. I knew in my heart Standups is slated for a July 4 what I was supposed to be debut from Netflix Originals. July 14-16 doing and it wasn’t that. The half-hour series features Atlanta Comedy Theater Cole and five other popular But that period forced you to atlcomedytheater.com comics including Beth Stelling, write more material, right? Nikki Glaser, Nate Bargatze, I went home from the Def Dan Soder and Fortune Feimster. Jam tour because I didn’t have enough material The busy Cole discussed his career with INsite and so I just starting writing and writing. I didn’t early one morning via cell from his home in even know what I was doing. Anything I thought Los Angeles. was funny, I’d write it down. I wasn’t calling myself a writer or anything like that. I didn’t even You have enough going on for four people. know about the title “writer.” I was just observing Thanks for taking some time to talk with us. everything. (Laughs) Yeah, man. It’s a blessing because I remember when I had nothin’ to do, so I Those observations led to Conan. don’t complain. When I had more material, I started doing showcases and got a manager. Finally I met a guy The Standups premiers this month. who worked with Conan when he was doing the You’re in good company with some great Tonight Show. He loved my work and the rest upcoming comics. is history. They went and got who they thought would be special for this special, to kick off a brand new Conan hired you as a writer. show. I was honored they chose me to be a part Ironically, he didn’t even know I wrote. He liked of it. my stand-up so I didn’t have to submit anything or do any interviews or anything. It changed Let’s talk about your road to comedy. It’s a my life. little bit more organic than some of your fellow comedians. That led to your own show in the summer Absolutely. It’s been a lot of just reaching one by of 2013. one and going at it at my own pace and it’s ended I had a show on TBS [“Deon Cole’s Black Box”] up paying off. Great show. It came on right after Conan and they were trying to get me to be Daniel Tosh, And you started just on a dare from a friend? but I was like I can’t be Danny Tosh. It just didn’t Yeah, he bet me $50 that I wouldn’t do it. I did make any sense to me because I was dealing with it and never looked back. topical stuff, things that were going on the news.
When you got up there, how did it feel? Were you nervous to be onstage? You know how you feel when you go home and you go, “Ahh, I’m home,” right? It was kinda like that. It was, “Ok, I’m here.” After everything that I’ve tried before that, it just seemed like this is what I’m here for. Getting a following in your hometown of Chicago isn’t easy. That’s a tough comedy town. Yeah, Chicago is a comedy town and it prides itself on originality, uniqueness and character. It’s instilled in us to go above and beyond those who came before us. It’s a great scene. You said a while back that people in the arts sort of got a pass from the tough element of the streets of Chicago. Well, let’s put it like this.
Fast forward to Black-ish. You were hired as a writer before you joined the cast. Yeah, I went over there to write while I was waiting on the show with Steve Carrell to start. The guy who was supposed to play Charlie didn’t show up and since I was writing for him and understood the character, they asked me to do it. You said you didn’t consider yourself as a “writer” early on; did you consider yourself an “actor” as well? I’d always wanted to act since I was a kid. I kinda looked at comedy as a way to get the acting thing going, so when the opportunity presented itself, it was a no-brainer. I’d been auditioning for a long time but I never got any parts I was up for, still to this day.
BRINGING THE ROCK AND SOUL
Three Decades on, Melissa Etheridge Rocks Harder Than Ever
That was magical for me. I got off the bus that morning in New York City and EXT YEAR, THE SELF-TITLED my phone was just on fire about what had debut from Melissa Etheridge turns happened in Orlando. I was devastated. 30. In three decades, the talented The first thing I want to do when I feel that singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/ way emotionally is to play music. So I was activist has released a series of successful, at my apartment and I started playing. As critically acclaimed albums, received many the day went by, I thought, “Well this is a coveted awards including an Oscar and two song.” I called my friend Jerry Wonda from Grammys, a star on the Hollywood Walk The Fugees; he has a studio and he cleared of Fame and survived an intense bout with the whole day and then some musician breast cancer. friends came in. That Known for her selfsong was just a labor of penned hits “Bring Me love and not a dime was Some Water,” “Come To spent to do it. The very My Window,” “Like The next day, we were able Way I Do,” “Fearless Love” to put it on the Rolling Saturday, July 1 and many more, her latest Stone website and it was album Memphis Rock Frederick Brown, Jr. out to the world. It was and Soul is a tribute to Amphitheater so satisfying to think that the influential ‘60s sound amphitheater.org maybe it could help and of Stax Records. Touring start some healing. So to support it, her current yeah, the technology was live show is a raucous such that I could do it almost immediately. celebration of her confessional songs with a few choice covers from the Stax And you beat the “Ohio” record [held by catalog, all infused with the adrenaline Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young in 1970]. of the moment. Etheridge spoke with I think they got that single out in about a INsite by phone before a performance in week or so. Springfield, Missouri. Yeah! Remember that? It was very much inspired by that whole thing. Your most recent album was released last October and as fast as the world is When inspiration hits, do you have a changing, it seems like forever ago. specific songwriting method? Do you block Yeah, it does. I feel very strongly that out time every day to write? these are the times - right now - when When I was in my 20s and early 30s and artists, musicians and poets need to before I had children, I would write all the inspire. These are the times. So I am time. I’d just have a guitar on the bed and writing new songs and I’ll probably record I’d just be writing and writing. On the tour at the end of the year. It’s funny though bus, everywhere, just all the time. Then - I’m writing now as I’m hoping that in when I had children, I had to make time a year when it comes out, things will be to write. I’ll go months without writing completely different. sometimes, just living, which is important to do. Those Memphis soul classics you cover are also from a time of great social change. Life has inspired some of your best songs. Yeah, when I do “Respect Yourself ” from Exactly. I tell people all the time that I’m the Staple Singers - it’s from a definite inspired by life so I’ve gotta go live some of it. time of political unrest and racism - and you look around and go, this still applies Tell us about your now. That’s one reason I rewrote some of “No Label” wine the lyrics, to make it even more applicable it’s unique in that to today. The whole story of Stax has it combines two that aspect to it. It’s a political statement popular things in in itself. one: alcohol and cannabis. I’m glad you’re giving Otis Redding Also two regulated some attention on this album. Janis substances in one. Joplin is often cited as the definitive It’s a very difficult soulful vocalist, including some early product for that comparisons to your style. But I’ve always reason. When our thought you are more Otis-inspired than country feels more Janis. comfortable with Have you seen the footage of Otis playing cannabis products, at Monterey? You can see Janis watching I think people will him. Then Janis, like a week later at the understand that this Fillmore, is moving exactly like he moved. is an old process and not just something She studied everything about him. So I came up with a few years ago. Herbily when you’re talking about Janis, you’re infusing wine is an old way of making it also talking about Otis. She was instantly and it’s not like an edible. So we’ll see. It’s a inspired by him. So many of the artists good thing that has a long road ahead of it. who’ve inspired me were inspired by Stax artists. Like your career. Next year, your debut album will be 30 years old. In addition to looking back at your Yeah, how did that happen? influences, you’ve also making some very direct social commentary. “Pulse” Any special plans to celebrate it? was such a heartfelt track and thanks to Well we did a deluxe edition for the 20th technology, released almost immediately anniversary of it. But you know what I’d after you wrote it last summer. love to do? I love seeing these artists do a
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
I FEEL GOOD ABOUT WHERE THINGS ARE RIGHT NOW. IT FEELS AWESOME TO REACH PEOPLE AND FOR YOUNGER PEOPLE TO BE FOLLOWING MY MUSIC. concert that’s just one album. I think I’d love to do that, present some shows that’s just that first album, and play all the songs. The industry has changed so much since 1988. What has been the biggest change for you personally? The biggest change has been the internet. I have the ability now to reach everyone without having to have a middle person or a record company. Just like with “Pulse.” Bam! It can be out there and you all can hear it. That’s amazing to me. I’m fortunate that I still have a very healthy touring life and the Memphis Rock and Soul album has been on the blues charts since it came out in October. It hasn’t gone off the charts. Things take longer sometimes and my career has always been like that. But it eventually gets out there. So I feel good about where things are right now. It feels awesome to reach people and for younger people to be following my music. I love seeing a lot of younger people at the concerts. It’s a great journey. I’m not as ‘woe is me’ as some people in the industry are. The Pink Ribbon Garden Project is a whole new avenue for you. Yeah, I just started it this year. It’s a long story of how it got started. On my last cruise, we donated some cabins to some Pulse survivors and some breast cancer survivors. I met this really amazing
woman [Robin Maynard] who had been helping with Pulse survivors. We were talking about the state of cancer and the state of health and food injustice. I said, “The best thing anyone can do is make a community garden,” because growing healthy food makes a healthy body. You can’t tell these women, “Ok, you’ve got breast cancer - now good luck.” For those who eat healthier, there’s a better chance it won’t come back. I said, “Look, I’m coming to town, let me know if you can think of anything we can do.” She got together with the city council and they donated a piece of this park for a community garden. Not only will the survivors and volunteers get to work in the garden, they’ll get to understand how food is grown and how it works. So it’s about bringing whole foods to underserved, underprivileged people. We started in Orlando in May and we’re working on bringing it to other cities right now. It’s so satisfying. It’s a real, natural process. Getting to know the earth is so important for everyone. The new album is a solid rocker, but in the live setting, those songs really ignite. We’ll do four or five from the new album and this time we don’t have the horn section, so we really rock them. You also rock the classic hits. I’m so fortunate to have those songs and we definitely rock them. I just want to write songs that can be performed live that can inspire and move people. So the live show is the rock and roll that we seem to be missing lately. With the loss of Gregg Allman, I was thinking about those great jam bands, those rockin’ Southern bands where you get a five-minute guitar solo and all those sort of things. That’s what I’m bringing, and that’s what we’re doing. insiteatlanta.com • July 2017 • PG 13
GILLIAN WELCH, STEPHEN STILLS, DONALD FAGEN AND LYLE LOVETT
SUMMER MUSIC GUIDE
CONCERTS BY THE SPRINGS July 9, Heritage Sandy Springs Concerts by the Springs is a beloved 20+ year community tradition, presented free of charge by Heritage Sandy Springs – a nonprofit whose mission is to promote history, steward a community park, and enhance the cultural identity of Sandy Springs. On July 9, the summer heat brings Kinchafoonee Cowboys, a classic country band based in Athens, GA. The Cowboys are local favorites and have also shared billing with entertainers such as Alabama, Trisha Yearwood, and Dave Matthews. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. with the FREE concert from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Coolers welcome. Beverages are sold during the concert, with proceeds benefiting HSS. Concert-goers may visit on-site food vendors, or pre-order picnics from local restaurants. A beautiful venue, friendly community, amazing entertainment, delicious food, and more…it’s THE place to be on summer Sunday nights! The remaining 2017 season will feature The Rupert’s Orchestra (August 13) and The Tams (September 10). Visit heritagesandysprings. org for details.
SUNDAYS ON THE RIVER CONCERTS
July 9, Chattahoochee Nature Center The Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell is offering great nighttime entertainment this summer. Their Sundays on the River Concerts series is held the second Sunday of each month through September. Enjoy a night out with families and friends and listen to the smooth jazz sounds of Bob Bakert and his six piece band on July 9 from 6:00 – 9:30 p.m. Other performances this summer: Gwen Hughes & “Grit Hits!” (August 13); Bob Bakert (Sept. 10). This is the perfect way to
wrap-up the weekend at an outdoor concert at the Ben Brady Lakeside Pavilion. The Sunset Sips concert series is taking place the 4th Thursday of the month this summer through September except July. This program offers music lovers to an eclectic collection of local talent. In this is a laid back, family friendly series and CNC’s grounds are open for you to explore. Sunset Sips is included with General Admission and Free to CNC Members. Grab a friend and head over for live local music, a cash bar and feel free to bring a picnic dinner. Visit chattnaturecenter.org for more details.
Aug at ASO, Symphony Hall/Woodruff Arts Center The crafty folks at the ASO have been programming an unusually varied slate of shows lately and this month they’ve gone overboard with a fine roster of classic folk and rock. Gillian Welch performs her Harrow and the Harvest album in its entirety on August 5. Stephen Stills joins forces with friend and muse Judy Collins for a unique evening of their individual and collective performances on August 9, Donald Fagen of Steely Dan revisits his solo material with a youthful, Woodstock-based band of players on August 16. Lyle Lovett politely ambles back to town with his sly and suave Large Band on August 19.
3 DOORS DOWN
August 11, Cobb Energy Centre
July 13, Infinite Energy Center Arguably the most influential living rock musician on the planet, McCartney is also one of the most readily identifiable figures in pop culture. Yes, Paul Mccartney he was a Beatle and in Wings and yes, he still does impressive marathon shows that rival Bruce Springsteen in length, musicality and sheer stamina. Yes, it’s an expensive ticket, but we’re talking about a 40 (give or take) song set from a true legend.
Grammy Award®-nominated multiplatinum rock band 3 Doors Down will perform at 3 Doors Down Cobb Energy Centre on Friday, August 11. Since forming in 1995, Mississippi quintet 3 Doors Down has sold more than 16 million albums worldwide, received three Grammy nominations, and won two American Music Awards, and five BMI Pop Awards for songwriting—including “Songwriter of the Year.” Their debut The Better Life, became certified six-times RIAA platinum in 2000 and was fueled by the success of juggernaut hit “Kryptonite.” 2005’s platinum Seventeen
SATURDAY, AUGUST 12TH 2:00 –9:00 PM
T I C K E T S AVA I L A B L E AT
PG 14 • July 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
Days and 2008’s 3 Doors Down each earned #1 debuts on the Billboard Top 200, while Time of My Life landed at #3 in 2011. Ignited by the single “In The Dark,” 3 Doors Down unleashed their sixth full-length album, Us and the Night, in 2016. Tickets available at Ticketmaster.com, CobbEnergyCentre.com and the Centre’s box office.
DECATUR BBQ, BLUES & BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL August 12, Harmony Park in Oakhurst
For its eighth year, the One music and arts festival will feature a bill of legendary acts. Jill Scott and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley headline, but one of the most-talked about sets is sure to be the farewell show from Yasiin Bey (Mos Def). Scott is still touring her 2015 release Woman and reggae superstar Marley will be dipping into his latest release Stony Hill, scheduled for release July 21. Bey’s jams will supposedly be his last, at least according to a message from Kanye West last year, so fans should most definitely be in attendance for the rare performance. Sean Paul, Too $hort, Jiddena, Kaytranada, and Tank and the Bangas. A kickoff celebration happens on Friday night, September 8 at The Tabernacle featuring a party with Thundercat, Ari Lennox and Noname.
The 17th annual Decatur BBQ Blues & Bluegrass Festival flavored by Tabasco takes place Saturday, August 12th and has a musical lineup that features something for everyone. Eight bands and two stages will include local, regional and national Blues, Bluegrass, Folk and Rock acts. Headlining this year’s event is the country & bluegrass group Farewell Angelina. “Each year we are fortunate to bring to our fans a great lineup of music, this year we feel the variety of acts and music will offer the festival goer a bit of everything while staying true to our blues and bluegrass roots” says Michael Vajda Festival Director. Other festival artist highlights include: Georgia Music Legend winner Beverly Guitar Watkins headlining the Sovereign Systems stage; returning acts include The Georgia Flood, Grizzly Goat, Porch Bottom Boys; plus new acts including Donna Hopkins Band and Vista String Band. Festival hours are 2pm – 9pm and will be located at 630 East Lake Drive and Harmony Park in the Oakhurst neighborhood in Decatur, GA. Tickets available at Fresh Tix and Ticket Alternative. For more information visit Decaturbbqfestival.com or call at 678 778 2000.
ABBA THE CONCERT
Aug 18, Cobb Energy Center
Sept 10, The Fred Now equally billed with her long-standing musical partner and husband as Benatar/ Giraldo, Pat and Neil’s live show is a rockin’ retrospective of the diminutive singer’s considerable cache of radio-friendly hits. Sure, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “You Better Run” are Undeniable crowd-pleasers, but deeper cuts from 2003’s Go and her 1979 debut are just as emotive as the original recordings.
Sept 16, 17, Piedmont Park
The venerable Music Festival returns to the Park with performances from Bruno Mars, Mumford and Sons, Blink 182, Future and a wide swath of musical styles from Young The Giant, Big Sean, Wiz Khalfa, Weezer, Two Door Cinema Club, Hiss Golden Messenger, The Naked and Famous, Haim, Coin and many more.
Sept 22-24, Atlanta Motor Speedway
Not the original band, of course, but a lovingly-detailed tribute, right down to the costumes, arrangements, vocals, choreographed routines and those oh-so‘70s feathered hairstyles. With the renewed interest in the band’s greatest hits thanks to the popular musical “Mama Mia,” the songs are instantly familiar to new generations of fans who probably missed the original ABBA mania. The lavish event, billed as being “as close to the original ABBA as you will ever experience” may even best the original quartet’s harmony-laden performances.
September 9, Lakewood
The psychedelic overload of sound, light, color and creatively exposed skin known as the Imagine Music Festival takes it up a big ol’ notch for its fourth annual event. Headliners include Above and Beyond, deadmau5, the legendary producer Tiesto, Pretty Lights Live and Gorgon City lifting the EDM gathering to a whole new dimension of sensory pleasures. At press time, Georgia-born instrumental favorites Sound Tribe Sector 9 had just been added to the constantly expanding line-up. Featured artists include Datsik, Big Gigantic, Claude Vonstroke and Netsky offering a literally dizzying array of acts on the expansive stages at the freewheeling Speedway. Last year over 25,000 attendees jammed the site, enjoying the central music stage as well as art and an intriguing selection of related workshops.
KATRINA & THE ‘80S
Retro Futura Tour–‘80s Video & Radio Stars
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
N 1983, KATRINA AND THE WAVES released a limited-edition vinyl LP to showcase their catchy tunes and to sell at shows. Copies of the self-funded record made their way around the world - from fans at local gigs around Cambridge to fellow musicians, record companies and the press including this writer. In addition to the original version of their biggest hit, the instantly recognizable “Walking On Sunshine,” the record contained nine other hook-laden, ‘60s-influenced, power-pop songs. Clocking in at just under 30 minutes, the brief collection eventually earned them a short-lived deal with a Canadian label. After The Bangles successfully covered “Going Down To Liverpool” on their own debut long player in ‘84, the Waves signed a lucrative international contract with Capitol. With the major-label machine in place, “Sunshine” became an inescapable radio and video hit in the summer of 1985. It remains You’re certainly back with a strong lineup. popular as a wide variety of films, television Yeah the last tour had Howard Jones along shows and advertisers continue to license it, as well and this year we’ve added Paul Young generating impressively lucrative royalties. [and Men Without Hats, When the band broke up Modern English, The in the late ‘90s, Katrina English Beat and Annabella Leskanich soldiered on from Bow Wow Wow]. as a solo act, touring with Paul and I will be sharing her own band, releasing a a bus which should be fun. July 28 • Chastain Park string of new albums and I know him well but not occasionally appearing retrofuturatour.com that well, you know? You on nostalgic package really get to know people shows. This summer, the when you have to share a new edition of the Retro Futura Tour takes bus with them. I think there’s nearly 30 dates her back on the road to rewind the ‘80s and there’s only three hotels listed, so we’ll be including a stop at Atlanta’s Chastain Park. sleeping on the bus. Very rock ‘n’ roll. INsite chatted by phone with the amiable singer-songwriter at her home in London. This is an ‘80s retro affair, but it’s very much
THE RETRO FUTURA TOUR
The last time you played Atlanta was at Center Stage in ‘85 when “Walking On Sunshine” was still new. You guys arrived super late and the opener had to play two long sets. Oh my God, the Center Stage! I remember that show because my sister was living in Atlanta and she was there with me. We arrived in some fancy limo, though I don’t know how or why. And the press were taking pictures of us. She was very glamorous and a real head-turner and she got out first. All these flashes went off and there was just this big excitement. When I got out, the penny dropped. I used to go visit her every single summer. We would hang out at the Buckhead Diner. She’s passed on now, and I haven’t had much call to come back but I still have a niece who lives there so I’m really looking forward to finally coming back to Atlanta. Now a mere 32 years later, you’ll be revisiting the ‘80s at Chastain Park. You know, my sister used to tell me what a fantastic place it was. She saw Roy Orbison there once. She went with a bunch of her friends and she’s like, “Roy Orbison? Who is that? But let’s go anyway, we’ll get the picnic and the bottle of wine.” She said it was about the best concert she’d ever seen so I’m looking forward to playing there very much. When we did the Retro Futura tour last time - I guess it was about three years ago now - we got so much flack because we didn’t play Atlanta. People said, “How can you have a US tour not play Atlanta?” I said, “I know!”
like one of those ‘60s package tours. I’m telling you! I’ve read a lot of those books about the old package tours in the ‘60s, those soul shows driving through the South. The buses would have those horribly flimsy, uncomfortable seats where you sat almost straight up. Diana Ross said the Supremes would be sitting bolt upright in those seats, still wearing their stage clothes. And it was so hard for them to find a restaurant or a toilet to use because of course they were black. Just crazy times.
Thankfully a lot has changed since those days. Oh yes! But I’m about 5’10” so it’s going to be pretty tight with those bunks. You know the older you get, you start thinking - could this be the last tour? The last big adventure on one of these buses where we’re all crammed in. Where it all the comes down to the smell of people’s feet and all the little rules of the road. But there’s nothin’ like it so I’m up for it. ‘80s music endures. The last time you played here, did you have any idea you’d end up as part of a nostalgia movement? In the ‘80s I thought it would never last. And even in Katrina and the Waves, we used to laugh at some of the clothes people were wearing and some of the crazy hair. They had their hair all up like cockatoos and were wearing pirate outfits like, you know Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran. We really thought this is never going to last. Now all this time later, I’m still making a living doing ‘80s music. insiteatlanta.com • July 2017 • PG 15
KC KEEPS IT COMING
The King of Disco Hooks Still Boogies in the Sunshine (Band)
ay July BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH For N 1976, GAS WAS LESS THAN A thebow- dollar a gallon and Apple Computers and
busy schedule of shows and four new tracks on the charts in the past year. His newest, “Move Your Body” finds the Florida-bred musician in fine form, with a new collection of DJ remixes of the hypnotic track released last month. INsite caught up with KC by phone from Las Vegas, moments after a workout at a local gym.
iPhones didn’t exist. Punk hadn’t exploded and MTV was still a sketchy concept. But amid the swirl of the Bicentennial Year, pop radip bristled with the insistent beat of disco and KC and the Sunshine Band were peaking on the charts and in Your show is a physically the dance clubs. demanding workout, but you Led by Harry Wayne Casey, also go the gym route? the big, Miami-based band I try. Sometimes I don’t dominated the airwaves and look so fit, but I’m here in Las late night shows such as the Vegas visiting some Midnight Special friends. You’ve got with emphatic, to sweat out some groove-laden call of the things you and response put in your body anthems. KC’s sometimes. You July 15 • The Bowl at Sugar Hill songs weren’t have to stay on it. Shakespeare, heykcsb.com • thebowlatsugarhill.com they were simple It’s a good time for dancefloor single tracks, and directives. “(Shake, your latest single is a good example. Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty,” “That’s the Yeah and this is the fourth one I’ve put out in Way (I Like It),” “Keep It Comin’ Love,” “Get the last year or so. I actually have enough that I Down Tonight” and “Please Don’t Go” still could put out three whole albums. Or CDs. Or rank among the most played music of the ‘70s. digital albums. I don’t even know what to call In the aftermath of the whole “Disco Sucks” ‘em anymore! “Move Your Body” is just a fun movement, new generations of fans embraced little song and it was a lot of fun to do. the band and many artists have sampled the distinctive hooks. The luxury of releasing tracks as you see fit KC remains a productive performer, with a
KC AND THE SUNSHINE BAND
488 Flat Shoals Ave. in East Atlanta Thursday, July 6 I 8:30 pm
Friday, July 21 I 8:30 pm
THE CAIRO GANG PARALYZER
BIBLE OF THE DEVIL GUNPOWDER GRAY | THE PINX
-------------------------------------Friday, July 7 I 8:30 pm
-------------------------------------Saturday, July 22 I 8:00 pm
TIMMY JAMES & THE BLUE FLAMES
IRRELEVANT MUSIC FEST NIGHT 3
THE CRUSH ACCIDENTS
-------------------------------------Saturday, July 8 I 9:00 pm
NECROT REPULSORY EARTHLING | OLD THRONES
MOTHERS | PALM PALBERTA | PALLAS ART SCHOOL JOCKS SEA GHOST
-------------------------------------Thursday, July 27 I 8:00 pm
ZALE | MAN UP, YANCEY
-------------------------------------Thursday, July 13 I 9:00 pm
-------------------------------------Friday, July 28 I 9:00 pm
A DRUG CALLED TRADITION
CASUAL TIGER PAY TO CUM | DROOL -------------------------------------Saturday, July 15 I 9:00 pm
LAZER/ WULF DOUBLE FERRARI -------------------------------------Thursday, July 20 I 8:00 pm
OMNI | JOCK GANG DEEP STATE | SOFT OPTION GLARE PG 16 • July 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
THE DIFFERENCE MACHINE ORDER OF THE OWL WRAY -------------------------------------Saturday, July 29 I 9:00 pm
FUTURE GENERATIONS PRIVATE ISLAND DOT.S
For more lisitngs, visit
must be a nice perk. Lately we’ve just been putting stuff out on the dance market for the last year or so and it’s my fourth Top 40 Billboard charting dance record, so that’s exciting. And I’m glad that there’s a lot more to come; I have a lot of good stuff in the pipeline. It’s been an almost three-year project total and now that it’s all coming out, it’s very exciting to me. But I’m taking my time because I want to make sure it’s the best when it all comes out. Releasing singles is nothing new to you, thought. From the early days at TK Records in Miami, you’d issue singles without the pressure of having to fill an entire album. Yeah, back then you could release a single and test it in some markets. If it was a hit, you’d add more markets and it would grow from there. We don’t have that luxury anymore because of the way radio is and stuff like that. So now I’ve been focusing on the dance market and just putting them out a little at a time as I’m getting the main project made. You were unique in that you had a little more control of the releases that some other artists of the genre. I always had the freedom to do that because it was an independent label so I could call all the shots. That was a great position to be in, and definitely rare for a major act. It was, yeah. And back then, the independents and the majors and even radio took a lot more chances and gave people more opportunities to have a solid hit. Now radio is so corporate that one guy in New York or somewhere controls stations all over the country. If they don’t like it or if it’s not making noise for them, they just won’t play it. And there’s no [chain retail] stores anymore, so it’s a lot more difficult. Even in the age of technology, it’s sometimes more difficult now. But you know you can’t stop a hit, so we’ve just gotta get that one. And now there’s like seven DJs who have new remixes of the new song and that’s just out. It must be great to have the freedom to offer more than one version of a song. In the old days, there was the single and the album version and if you were lucky, a live version. Yeah, nowdays almost every club has a different sort of genre so you have to include a little bit of everything so everyone’s a little happy with it. But it’s a fine line.
Your music, especially some of the hooks from the biggest hits been heavily sampled over the years. How does it feel to hear one of your finely crafted hooks anchoring the middle of a brand new song? Well, when we get permission it feels great. When they don’t, it doesn’t feel so good. Really it’s the highest form of flattery, if ya ask me. We have been sampled a lot which gives some credence to the music. The critics back then were a little tough on us. I kinda felt like the Rodney Dangerfield of music because we didn’t get a lot of respect from those guys. But it’s rewarding in every way to know that you’ve created some grooves that a new generation loves. Sometimes they love it so much they want it to be a part of their music. It’s a good position to be in, especially after the conquering the whole anti-disco movement. The hooks have endured. (Laughs) Yeah. Well I’m the hook master! And you bring all those hooks into the live show. How has the live experience changed over the years? I’ve been fortunate to have played with a number of great musicians over the years and now we have [Atlanta-born] Travis Payne, who worked with Michael Jackson and a bunch of other great people. He’s responsible for the choreography of the latest show. We’ll be changing it up some more this year, too. It’s just a good time onstage and I like for everybody to take part in it. The goal is to keep it up and lively and fun. You’ll be playing a set full of songs you’ve been playing for quite a long time now. I have but there’s not time to ever get bored with them. I’m known for them and the audience reaction makes every show different, new and fresh. It’s fun to see their reactions. Some audiences are very quiet and collected and some are just crazy out of their heads. But by the end of the night, even the cool ones go pretty nuts. During those crazy mid-‘70s, what was it like inside the KC hit factory? Well pretty much I’d work all night, go to sleep, wake up at 3 in the afternoon and I’d start all over again. That was it. It was a like a machine because I was constantly making music. Not only was I writing and producing KC and the Sunshine Band music, but I had other artists on the label that I was responsible for. It definitely kept me kinda busy.
AMY RAY’S SUMMER SOIREE
Indio Girl Previews a Batch of Her Newest Songs for the Hometown Crowd
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
INCE HER SOLO DEBUT IN 2001, Amy Ray has sporadically issued some of the most challenging music of her career. Without the creative compromise of collaboration, Ray’s singular work defies category and spirals from the raw punk-influenced folk of her early work to the country-gospel and Americana of her most recent release Goodnight Tender in 2014. As she readies material for her next album, she’s planning a special evening of music as a hometown preview for a batch of the new songs. She’ll be joined by her current band and like-minded eclectic musical friends Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters from Asheville. Ray’s canon of work continues to run parallel to her extensive catalog of Indigo Girls material and performances. INsite caught up with her a few days after a brief “4 Voices” ensemble tour with Joan Baez, Mary-Chapin Carpenter and her Indigo partner Emily Saliers.
and play them for people. Last time we went out, we had a couple of new ones or maybe three. And playing them out helps us fine-tune the arrangements. Now we’ve got more to learn for this show, it just helps us be a better band. It’s good for feedback and it helps us figure out what we’re doing wrong and what we’re doing right. At this point in your career, does it ever make you a little nervous to debut new, unrecorded songs? I get a little nervous that I might screw up! I get a little nervous about are people gonna like it, but for me, I have to remember which chord to play and when the drums come in. When we’re doing it at my house or whatever, it doesn’t matter how we play it and we can try different things. I don’t know why, but there’s a different pressure live. When I go back and listen to a board tape or a watch a video of a show, I’ll see places where we totally made mistakes, but sometimes I’ll like it. So if you can let go of those expectations and have fun, it’s just a show. You’re supposed to have fun.
How’d this show come together? It’s not really Anne Platt & part of a tour. Mistakes and weird The Honeycutters Open Yeah, we’re gonna little moments are what make a new record in July 14 makes a live show special. late winter and right Variety Playhouse Seamless shows are now what we need to boring. variety-playhouse.com be doing as a band is I totally agree. I love it trying to play some when I go to see live music songs in front of people. It’s a way to keep and unexpected stuff happens and it’s fun our musical thread happening. This band to see how they work with it. I really do has been with me since Goodnight Tender love to see new songs played live, because and most of them played on it, so it’s the you don’t know what it’s supposed to sound band that has toured with me off and on like so it’s exciting. for four years now. Four years is a pretty good gelling time for a band. We have a sort of narrative now, we are having a musical conversation, I guess, for lack of a better term. What’s helpful to us at this point is to just learn new songs
Since you have basically the same band that promoted the previous release, are you still working within the same sort of country-gospel sound? Yeah but I think the leaning is probably a little more upbeat and raucous than the last record. Maybe more there’s some more southern rock leanings and maybe even more of a punk sensibility at times than with the last one. But yeah it’s still in the country vein - the traditional country, Americana, gospel roots vein for sure. In general, country is a timeless genre. It doesn’t leave room for much nostalgia. I think the trick is to write a song that can be timeless as well. But you don’t want to be afraid of being of the times, either. Like referencing unique, special images of the times but you want the sentiment or the melody to somehow be timeless. That’s a fine line, because as much as we both love punk, for example, it’s definitely from a specific time. That’s the tricky part of being a songwriter. It’s hard to achieve. You’re in a great place as a writer because you have an incredible catalog of work to continue to build upon. For me as a writer, I think I have a lot of stuff where I feel like I was not hitting my stride yet. And that leaves a lot of room for me because I think I’m still learning. But I definitely think there was a moment when I realized you have to really sit down and work on it in order to be a good writer.
I THINK I HAVE A LOT OF STUFF WHERE I FEEL LIKE I WAS NOT HITTING MY STRIDE YET. AND THAT LEAVES A LOT OF ROOM FOR ME BECAUSE I THINK I’M STILL LEARNING. BUT I DEFINITELY THINK THERE WAS A MOMENT WHEN I REALIZED YOU HAVE TO REALLY SIT DOWN AND WORK ON IT IN ORDER TO BE A GOOD WRITER. Does having a child change your songwriting technique? Yeah, she’s three and a half and that does affect how I approach writing now. I have to be a lot more surgical and be like, “Ok, today I have to work on the chorus of this song” and be more disciplined about it. Other than like, “I’ve got three hours and I can go through my lyric book and just ponder.” Now it’s more like, “All right, finish this line or verse - you’ve got 30 minutes, now get to work.” Your opening act shares your current steel player, Matt Smith. Yeah, but he’s more of a guitar player in the Honeycutters and they’re really great. The writer for that band, Amanda Platt, is very prolific and she’s written a lot of great tunes. I’m hoping their new record launches them into more people’s lives. They really are known in bluegrass circles but this record is meant to cross into that Americana territory and hopefully get them more notice. This show seems to be a great platform for them. They have an audience too and that’s why we’ve teamed up. They have an audience that’s different than mine. So I wanted to play Atlanta but I don’t have a new record out, but I do have new music to play. They have a brand new record coming out so it seems really complimentary to help each other out. We’ve played a few gigs together before and for me it’s always a good night. I hope we can collaborate a little too. I have to email Amanda and see what songs we’re gonna learn. You’re just back from an incredible collaboration project with you, Emily and Joan Baez and Mary-Chapin Carpenter. Any plans for an Atlanta show? I feel like we probably will. We just had
a limited amount of time in June that everybody was available to go out this time. So we had 8 or 10 shows to try it out on the road and work on the set and everything. And by the end of it, of course, we hit our stride. We’ve done shows together over the past 25 years here and there, but you don’t really get it until you’ve done it six or seven times in a row. It evolved into a really good place and then it was over. So it seems like we need to do it again. Could an album ever come from a collaboration of four such distinct personalities? I don’t know. I think of the things that really makes it work is it’s really alive. In some ways I feel it would be hard to capture it on an album as completely and accurately as we’d like to have it. We’d have to record every show and pick out what works best, but even then, the special part of it to me is that it’s an in-person thing. The power of Joan Baez doing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” in a room - and everybody’s there and you can just hear the environment - is so different than what you’d ever hear on a record. Or the four of us doing something all together and the audience singing along. You can capture it, but it’s just not the same as being there. It’s of the moment. Yeah. You know, when something is going well, the impulse is always, “Well let’s record it.” But for me, and I’m sure everyone in the group and the managers and all may feel differently about it, but part of the specialness of it is that we get together and we do it and then it goes away. So that’s kinda fun. And Joan is the mentor of the three of us. Her audiences are very outspoken and she gives them that voice to speak out. So it was very powerful in the way any good live show should be. It’s a dialogue between the artist and the audience.
insiteatlanta.com • July 2017 • PG 17
Movie Reviews BY STEVE WARREN
BEATRIZ AT DINNER (R)
I thought Rocky Horror had retired the “car broke down” trope forever. It’s back, but not to set up the usual thriller situation; but with a screenplay by Mike White (Chuck & Buck, The Amazing Race) you don’t expect the usual. When Beatriz (a deglamorized Salma Hayek) is stranded in a posh, gated Newport Beach community, what follows is more of a social horror story - The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie revisited, but with subtle suspense. Beatriz is a holistic healer at a cancer center. She makes house calls to give massages to Cathy (Connie Britton) and her husband, the wealthy parents of one of her patients. That’s where her car dies and she’s invited to stay for a dinner party celebrating a legislative victory on behalf of developer Doug Strutt (John Lithgow), who’s there with his third, “well-compensated” wife. Of course Beatriz is out of her element, but a little wine makes her forget her manners when Strutt reminds her of the man who destroyed her Mexican hometown. More wine and vegetarian Beatriz loses it when Strutt displays his hunting photos. Though he was reportedly inspired by a certain lion-killing dentist, his smug, too-richto-care attitude may remind some of a certain political figure who’s also on his third wife. We can see that Beatriz wants to avenge the people and animals this man has hurt, but you’ll have to wait to the end to find out whether she does, or leaves it up to us.
LIKE CRAZY (NR)
If Thelma and Louise were Italian and escaped from a psychiatric facility, their adventure might have been something like Like Crazy. Talk about bipolar – and we will in a minute – this movie is like a double feature. I loved the first half, which may be the year’s best comedy, and only liked the second, a more ordinary drama that relies on too much of a coincidence to set up its best scene. Valeria Bruni Tedeschi is amazing as Beatrice, who in her manic phase acts like she runs the clinic, Villa Biondi, instead of being a court-ordered patient. The staff and other “guests” are tired of her ways, so in search of a friend she attaches herself to a new arrival, Donatella (Micaela Ramazzotti), a depressed younger woman who blossoms somewhat under Beatrice’s unwanted attentions. Some confusion at a work-release gig strands the pair in the real world, and they’re in no hurry to leave it. But staying requires stealing cars and other things, and interacting with people who may have been responsible for their mental states in the first place. Their sad backstories are gradually revealed as Like Crazy become far less fun
BEATRIZ AT DINNER
TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT
but is still well done. Based on their physical resemblance to the stars, I could picture Edie Falco and Hilary Swank in an American remake, which wouldn’t be a bad idea. Bruni Tedeschi won the Best Actress award from Italy’s Oscar equivalent, and Paolo Virzì won for directing what was named Best Picture of the year.
TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT
(PG-13) 1/2 The addition of Anthony Hopkins and some medieval jibber-jabber shouldn’t make you approach the fifth Transformers movie as if it were by Shakespeare, even if it has as much plot and as many characters – human and Autobot – as all 38 of the Bard’s plays combined. There’s nothing new about the Transformations, so director Michael Bay doesn’t linger over them like in the early films; he keeps everything moving because there’s a lot to squeeze into two-and-a-half hours. It comes down to a battle between the humans of Earth and the bots of the planet Cybertron. Our friend Optimus Prime returns to Cybertron and is persuaded by evil Quintessa to fight against us in the coming war. The bots have been on Earth for at least 1600 years, influencing world events without anyone seeming to notice them until the last decade. They’re banned in America and pursued by Josh Duhamel’s TRF (Transformers Reaction Force) like metaphorical Muslims, but they’ve left ancient artifacts that can be useful. A talisman makes Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) the Last Knight of the title, and a magical staff buried with Merlin can only be operated by his last surviving descendant, Viviane (Laura Haddock), Oxford’s hottest professor. Hopkins plays an earl who knows a lot of the historical stuff. The visuals are constant spectacle overload, though 3D doesn’t add much. With all that’s going on there’s still time for humor, romance and – Stonehenge? Whatever you think of the series, this one won’t transform your opinion.
GOOD FORTUNE (PG)
Sainthood isn’t reward enough for some people. Unlike many of the “faith-based” films that are a hot commodity, Good Fortune is truly inspiring. It’s the true story of John Paul DeJoria (known as JP), who went from being homeless and a biker gang member to growing multimilliondollar businesses out of Paul Mitchell hair care products and Patrón tequila and using his wealth and power for philanthropy and activism to save the planet, help the homeless and dozens of other causes. (It’s a far cry from the news – real and fake – about rich people using their power to keep their money and help their fellow billionaires keep theirs.) I might think it impossible if not for the most generous person
I ever worked for, Atlanta’s Dante Stephensen of Dante’s Down the Hatch. Like JP, Dante treated his employees with respect and appreciation. But he’s got his own documentary. This one, by Josh Tickell and Rebecca Harrell Tickell, lets some of JP’s family and celebrity friends (e.g., Dan Aykroyd, Michelle Phillips, Cheech Marin) tell his story, going back and forth between a chronological biography and segments about his charitable efforts, including celebrating his 70th birthday in Austin at an annual motorcycle ride and concert to raise money for first responders. In the early going the filmmakers try too hard to illustrate every word with stock footage, but they soon relax and let the amazing tale take over. Like all rich men, JP’s most successful marriage is his third, to a younger, beautiful blonde. Yes, they live in “a $50 million Malibu mansion,” but they’re helping others realize their own potential too. “Success unshared is failure,” JP says. He also says that working as a team, ordinary people “can achieve extraordinary results.” After seeing the story of his life, I’m a believer!
THE JOURNEY (PG-13)
As an old peacenik I appreciate the message of The Journey, that when human beings get to know each other we find we have more commonalities than differences. The film might be called speculative fiction, being based on a true event that essentially ended The Troubles in Northern Ireland. In 2006 opposing leaders are meeting in Glasgow for peace talks: Rev. Dr. Ian Paisley (Timothy Spall), a fierce Protestant, and Martin McGuinness (Colm Meaney), “the acceptable public face” of the Irish Republican Army. The film is light on details about their disagreements and what compromises are necessary to bring them together, but too much of that would have made my head explode. It’s enough to know a simple handshake can end decades of civil war. Paisley is going home to Belfast to celebrate his 50th anniversary but a storm closes the airport so he has to go to Edinburgh to catch a plane. Security mandates that McGuinness travel with him and their British hosts arrange a car (driven by Freddie Highmore) for them with the idea that the men, who haven’t spoken in 30 years, are more likely to reach accord privately than in a public forum. There are silly attempts to build suspense about missing the plane, especially showing the pilot flipping switches before the men have their decisive conversation on the ground; but director Nick Hamm is eager to avoid viewers getting claustrophobia from watching two men in a car. The actors do their part brilliantly without regard for what’s going on around them, and they make The Journey worth taking.
As if to show Hollywood that a movie can have PG 18 • July 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
middle-aged female protagonists, the Swiss and French have made one about a bad driver. Sorry, poor joke, especially considering the seriousness of the situation. Nathalie Baye plays Marlène, who may have hit-and-run, killing Luc, the teen son of Diane (Emmanuelle Devos). The police aren’t having any luck but a detective comes up with some leads and Diane follows up, settling on Marlène as the prime suspect. Using the alias Hélène, she gets to know Marlène and her partner, Michel (David Clavel), individually, by patronizing Marlène’s beauty salon and negotiating with Michel to buy the possible death car, a 1972 mocha-colored (hence the title) Mercedes. There are two questions here: what really happened and what will Diane do if/when she finds out? Along the way she meets Marlène’s teenage daughter, setting up a possible quid pro quo. And since this is a movie, Diane also meets Vincent (Olivier Chantreau), a handsome young smuggler who gets her a gun and teaches her how to use it. A grieving mother is sympathetic but Diane’s behavior is downright creepy; it’s odd that Marlène and Michel don’t mention her to each other. Directed and co-written (based on a novel) by Frédéric Mermoud, Moka is a chick flick but good enough for even some men to enjoy.
THE B-SIDE: ELSA DORFMAN’S PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY (PG-13)
If you think every picture tells a story, The B-Side may change your mind. Every person tells a story, and any Facebooker can tell you they’re not all equally interesting. Given some visuals to work with, a great filmmaker can make almost anyone’s story palatable to a large number; but surprisingly, Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line, The Fog of War) is unable to do much with Elsa Dorfman’s. He lets her tell most of it herself – a sweet, chatty old Jewish lady who’s taken a lot of photos with Polaroid’s 20x24 camera and even their supersized 40x80. The film serves as an infomercial for an obsolete technology. Given a camera to use while teaching elementary school, Dorfman took a lot of selfies to get comfortable with it. Early in her career she shot several folk singers and poets, most notably Allen Ginsberg, who became her friend and who gets almost as much screen time as Dorfman. Most of her celebrity photos flash by in a montage that hardly gives you time to recognize them. Photos of herself, her family and civilian clients get far more exposure and on an interest scale rank somewhere between your friends’ food pictures and their vacation photos. Spending her adult life in Massachusetts, Dorfman notes that “I didn’t have the work and I didn’t have the personality” for Boston dealers to want to handle her pictures. It’s too bad Morris wasn’t as discerning. See the rest of our movie reviews at insiteatlanta.com/movies.asp
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Atlanta's Entertainment Monthly featuring our annual music issue. Also, check out Atlanta's Best Burgers and our summer concert guide!
Published on Jul 5, 2017
Atlanta's Entertainment Monthly featuring our annual music issue. Also, check out Atlanta's Best Burgers and our summer concert guide!