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JUNE 2015


VOL. 23, NO. 11 FREE

Ludacris Indigo Girls Best Barbecue Summer Movies

r e m m u S Guide 19

EARS  2 Y 3 2  92


Slide the City coming soon!

Couture cocktails

at The Pinewood Tippling Room

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

Small-batch ice cream at Butter & Cream

Dragon Con Night at The GA Aquarium

Meet stars from your favorite movies and TV shows

Live Music and All Night Dance Parties

Thousands of hours of programming & special events

Comics, Costumes, Games and so much more! Get healthy after the holidays with fitness opportunities, wholesome eats, and natural products all around town.

Huge Vendor Halls

The Legendary Dragon Con Parade

Splash into the season! Ride a 1,000-ft. water slide through downtown Decatur – then enjoy a cold one or a cone once you dry off! Summer sure is sweet all around Decatur.


Visitors Center decaturga

113 Clairemont Ave. Tues.-Sat. 10 am-4 pm

Find Slide the City ticket information at


PG Decatur-atlanta-insite-summer 2 • June 2015 • 2015.indd 1

decaturga 5/26/15 1:00 PM

Labor Day Weekend, September 4–7, 2015 Hotels and more info at

CONTENTS • JUNE 2015 • VOLUME 23, NO. 11 Atlanta’s

Entertainment Monthly

INTERVIEWS 10 David Gray 16 Cheech & Chong 19 Ludacris 19 Lou Gramm 20 Indigo Girls 21 SideOneDummy 21 The Primitives 21 Radio Birds 22 Alex Morgan




08 11 12 16 22

Summer Guide Best BBQ Summer Movie Guide Father’s Day Movies Travel to Norway

COLUMNS 04 05 06 07 07 14 17 17 17 18

Around Town On Tap On A Dime Events Under The Lights Station Control Movie Reviews Track Suits Favorite Things New Releases Album Reviews


22 STAFF LISTING Publisher Stephen Miller Managing Editor Bret Love Art Director / Web Design Nick Tipton Sports Editor DeMarco Williams Local Events Editor Marci Miller Music Editor Lee Valentine Smith

Follow us on the web!

Contributing Writers / Interns: Jon Latham, Ryan Loftis, Rodney Hill, Alex S. Morrison, Steve Warren, Dave Cohen, Jennifer Williams, Matt Connor, Ed Morales, Sacha Dzuba, David Weinthal, Benjamin Carr, Kalena Smith, Justin Patterson, John Moore, Amanda Miles, Patrick Flanary, Ian Coverdale MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 76483 Atlanta, GA 30358 WEBSITE • ADVERTISING INFORMATION (404) 308-5119 • Editorial content of INsite is the opinion of each writer and is not necessarily the opinion of INsite, its staff, or its advertisers. INsite does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor do the publisher or editors of INsite assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. No content, i.e., articles, graphics, designs and information (any and all) in this publication may be reproduced in any manner without written permission from publisher.

© Copyright 2015, Be Bop Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Check out our Summer Guide on page 8!

JUNE 2015


VOL. 23, NO. 11 FREE

Ludacris Indigo Girls Best Barbecue Summer Movies

SumGmuideer 1992  2

15 3 YEARS  20

Coming June 26




Advertise Today! Space Deadline June 22.

ads@insiteatlanta • (404) 308-5119 • June 2015 • PG 3

Around Town

Events and Performances taking place this Month

JUNE 3 - 7

War with a clock-ticking plot that has Manhattan in its crosshairs. Visit

Piedmont Park


Avenue Q: PG-13 Edition

Al Jarreau

Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheatre

The neighbors are nice on Avenue Q, the only address you can afford when you’re fresh out of college, out of a job, or just trying to find your way in life. Princeton, Gary Coleman, Christmas Eve and their newfound friends (played by talented actors and puppets) valiantly seek jobs, dates and their ever-elusive purpose in life. Sesame Street meets The Simpsons in this upbeat musical for grown-ups with special performances in new PG-13 edition. Free general admission and reserved seating section is $15. Guests must bring own low chair or blanket. Visit


Book Festival of the MJCCA

MJCCA-Zaban Park in Dunwoody, GA

On Thursday, June 4 at 7:30 pm Nelson DeMille will hold a conversation with Dana Barrett of "The Dana Barrett Show" about Mr. DeMille’s new book Radiant Angel. In his 19th thriller, the #1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille's inimitable protagonist John Corey returns to face the all-too-real threat of a newly resurgent Russia. Prescient and chilling, DeMille takes readers into the heart of a new Cold

Al Jarreau’s unique vocal style and innovative musical expressions have made him one of the most exciting and critically-acclaimed performers of our time with seven Grammy Awards, scores of international music awards and popular accolades worldwide. For tickets visit


Wild on the Rocks Zoo Atlanta

Wild on the Rocks is a popular summer evening series for adults taking place the second Thursday of each month beginning at 6:00 pm. Guests will have the Zoo all to themselves to view elephants, giant pandas along with hundreds more animals on exhibit at Zoo Atlanta. During this special event patrons will enjoy live music, tasty treats and zoo inspired art. Visit


Dad’s Garage & Friends

clude: Colin Mochrie, Fred Willard, Gary Anthony Williams, Amber Nash, Lucky Yates, Mark Meer and more. Visit

in top talent including writers for Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and Sara Evans. This musical and storytelling experience delves into the stories behind the songs. James will serve as host for the show that features Jason David Carter (former Team Blake member NBC’s The Voice) and JP Williams (Nashville-based songwriter with Atlanta ties). Visit



Behind Brookhaven MARTA Station

Midtown Art Cinema

Brookhaven Beer Fest

The Big Lebowski

The 5th annual Brookhaven Beer Fest is taking place Saturday, June 13 from 3:00 8:00 pm. There will be over 150 beers to sample including: IPA’s, Ales, Lagers, Ambers, Stouts and more. There will also be a wine tasting tent and live music from bands and DJ’s. Visit


Tunes from the Tombs Oakland Cemetery

Boasting a locals-only lineup, Historic Oakland Cemetery’s summertime music festival Tunes From the Tombs returns for its fifth year on Saturday, June 13. Festival headliner Matthew Sweet will top a day of genre-spanning performances from some of the south’s best bands. Visit for ticket information.

The Midtown Art Cinema has begun midnight screenings of The Big Lebowski on the fourth Saturday of every month. The Coen Brothers classic about a Los Angeles stoner who gets caught up in a kidnapping plot will play this month on June 27. The film stars Jeff Bridges in a career-defining performance, and it also features Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Goodman. The theater will also have White Russians for sale and XBox Bowling - as The Dude still abides. Visit


The Fox Theatre

Home By Dark

Dad's Garage and Friends is back and bigger than ever at the fantastic Fox Theatre. This star-studded event is the biggest comedy bash of the summer. Performers in-

Home By Dark is a songwriter concert series launched by a local performing songwriter James Casto in 2007. The series pulls

Gwinnett Performing Arts Center

Do you have General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

If you are eligible to participate in this study, all investigational medication, study-related tests and study doctor’s visits will be provided at no cost to you. Study participants may be reimbursed for study-related expenses.

For more information please contact Northwest Behavioral Research Center at 678-992-0109 PG 4 • June 2015 •

Now Buying & Selling

CDs! LPs! Blu-Rays!

Best of Atlanta 2014

at all three locations!

DULUTH Pleasant Hill at Satellite Blvd Behind IHOP 770-623-1552

TOWN CENTER 50 Barrett Parkway at Bells Ferry Road next to Barnes & Noble 770-425-3472

e Magazine sit


To participate in this clinical study, you must meet all study entry criteria, including the following: • You are between 18 and 65 years old, • You have been taking a stable dose of an FDA approved GAD treatment for at least two months, • You are willing and able to comply with scheduled medical visits, a study treatment plan, laboratorytests and other study procedures for the duration of the study—approximately eight weeks.



If your medication isn’t relieving the symptoms of GAD, you may be eligible to participate in a clinical research study to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of an investigational medication, in tablet form, for GAD.


ROSWELL 10800 Alpharetta Hwy At Mansell Road 770-518-3300


On Tap this Month MAJOR EVENTS COMING TO ATLANTA June 7: The Fabulous Fox Theatre


e Fox eatre Block Party is taking place on Sunday, June 7 from noon – 6 p.m. e celebration is a thank you to Atlanta for supporting the Save the Fox campaign in 1974-1975 and an opportunity to share the icon with a new generation of fans. e block party will provide guests the opportunity to experience the magic of the Fox through live entertainment on two stages and special tours. Visit

Presented by



June 13:Woodruff Arts Center Symphony Hall


As front man for the Smiths, Morrissey was huge in Britain during the '80s and possibly bigger in the U.S. His theatrical crooning and poetic lyrics filled with romantic angst, social alienation, and cutting wit connected powerfully with a legion of similarly sensitive, disaffected youth. After the Smiths' breakup in 1987, Morrissey’s cult status has remained intact amongst his fans. Find out more at





June 13: Georgia Dome


Kenny Chesney will make his third appearance in four years at the Georgia Dome after taking 2014 off. Chesney returns on Saturday, June 13 with special guests Eric Church, Brantley Gilbert and Chase Rice. Winner of six Academy of Country Music awards, four consecutive Entertainer of the Year awards, he is one of the most popular touring acts in country music, regularly selling out the venues. Purchase tickets at

June 13: Atlanta Botanical Garden


Sunday July 12


SunTrust Concerts in the Garden encores for a 13th stellar season on the Great Lawn in Atlanta. Josh Turner starts off this year’s line-up with special guest Rachel Cole. Most shows begin at 8:00 pm and all shows are rain or shine. Tickets can be purchased through Ticket Alternative may be picked up at Will Call. Seating is general admission on the Great Lawn. Visit for full summer line-up.

June 26: Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre







SATURDAY AUGUST 22 BUY TICKETS NOW AT TICKETMASTER Venue box office M-F: 10am-6pm Latest concert calendar & venue info at VZWAMP.COM


Saturday september 19

Natalie Cole will captivate concert attendees by performing her breakthrough hits and enduring classics like “is Will Be,” “I’ve Got Love on My Mind,” “Our Love” and the hypnotic duet with her dad, Nat King Cole in “Unforgettable”. Natalie Cole vocally shines with her signature arrangements and flawless style which are evident in her renditions of yesteryear’s standards. Tickets available at

July 11: The Fabulous Fox Theatre


Chef, author, and raconteur Anthony Bourdain is best known for traveling the globe on his stomach, daringly consuming some of the world's most exotic dishes on his hit TV show Parts Unknown on CNN. For one night only, Bourdain will spend the evening sharing candid, unyielding insights about his life's work and travels, including an open question and answer session with the audience. Tickets at

As a healthy young female

, you have the power to give the gift of life and love. You can help a couple build the family they’ve dreamed of by donating your eggs...and receive $7,000 for doing it! Donation is completely confidential and health screening is provided at no charge. If you are a non-smoking female between the ages of 21 and 31 and are interested in more information about egg donation, please visit our website or e-mail us at • June 2015 • PG 5


Know Knowofofaalow lowcost costevent eventhappening? happening? By Marci Miller

New Exhibit: Ongoing


The Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater



Al Jarreau

Michael McDonald

June 6

June 13

By Marci Miller

The Promenade at Piedmont Park three-day Emory Jazz Fest. Other Jazz Fest shows with paid admission include Irvin e free ASO become Mayfield andconcerts the Newhave Orleans JazzaOrmuch anticipated kickoff to summer. chestra on February 7 and Reginais Carter year’s concerts will be led by ASO Assistant with the Gary Motley Trio on February Conductor Joseph Young. Piedmont Park 13.

Month ofMuseum February, 50% off Tickets Free with Admission Tennessee Aquarium, High Museum of Art Chattanooga Seriously Silly! efaculty art &and whimsy of Mo College students, staff can take Conservancy President and CEO Mark Willems is a retrospective of illustrations by Banta advantage of special savings throughout says “ere WINTER is no better way to spend HERITAGE CLASSICS: the children’s at book and a summer night in Atlanta than by enjoythebest-selling month of February theartist Tennessee JULES & THE GENTS author. Willems has created moreand thanRiver 40 ing great classical music in Atlanta’s most Aquarium, IMAX 3D eater Sunday, February books childrene and Aquarium’s won numerous lit- beloved green space!” 15, 4:30pm – 6:30pm, Gorgefor Explorer. College Heritage Sandy Springs $5 per Person erary awards. Seriously Silly features more Days Discount offers college students, facthan 100 works by the artist from prelimi- Sunday, June 21; 10:00 am - 6:00 pm ulty drawings and staff to half-price admission to all nary completed illustrations FATHER'S DAY CARClassics SHOW three attractions. e Heritage Winter concert sethat chronicle the past 12 years of Willems’ Park Admission; vehicle group Jules & riesw/will conclude with$15 jazzper whimsical world, populated by his beloved Free Stone Mountain Park characters Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and the Gents performing a selection of jazz UNIVERSOUL CIRCUS Piggie, e4Pigeon and1many more. songs from the 20's-60's. Atlanta resident February – March Julieout Stein group which integrates Come to leads Stonethe Mountain Park on FaThe Green Lot at Turner Field Saturday, June 6 & Sunday, June 7 ther’s Day to enjoyfrom a vintage car show feajazz standards the greats like Louis Tickets start at $20; Discounts Available turing Camaros, Mustangs, SUMMERFEST Armstrong, Miles Davis, Chevys Antoniofrom Jobim, theBenny 1950sGoodman, and more. In addition to more. the car Free Event Coltrane and show, Stone Mountain Park is offering one Virginia-Highland Neighborhood UniverSoul connects with progressive, upcomplimentary Adventure Pass when wardly mobile, urban pop cultures from companied RAG-O-RAMA DOLLARPass SALE with a paid Adventure adaround the world with aseasonal stellar production One of Atlanta’s premier festivals, mission. Little 5 PTS - February 21 & 22 that blendsfeatures circus arts, theater music. Sandy Springs - February 28 & March 1 Summerfest a juried artistand market, It’sroad fresh,race, coolKidsfest and hipand approach to live acfam- Friday, 5K lots of family June 26 - Sunday, June 28 tivities. is year the feaily entertainment hasArtist earnedMarket it a coveted ATHFEST FESTIVAL tures over 200 artists spot asworks one ofofTicketmaster’s top tenand most Get ready for Rag-O-Rama's biggest sale of KidsFest Artist never all over the southeast. Over Outdoor craftsmen requestedfrom family attractions. the year,Stages, e Dollar Sale!and Shoppers Access is Free. Paid Wristbands 1,000 runners are planned to compete in Market know what they will find for $1.00. Rag-Othe 5K Saturday morning. During the two Downtown Athens Rama carries current, classic, and vintage FREE PARK DAY day festival there will be live music on stage styles, men's & women's clothing and acFebruary 2015, FREEfrom several along with 14-16, food and drink Experience nearly 100 bands items on three cessories, one-of-a-kind andoutmuch local Localrestaurants. national parks nationwide door stages and in Athens' clubsgenmore. Shoppers can buy,renowned sell or trade during thisitems. massiveSale three-day event.during Local the tly used takes place Saturday, June 6 & Sunday, June 7 live music, art, film screenings and Kidsfinal two weekends this month. Visit one of Georgia’s national parks for BUTTERFLY FESTIVAL provide entertainment for all ages. freeGeneral during President’s Weekend. Partici- Fest $12 Public; $8 CNC Members Club crawl venues are located throughout pating parks include Chattahoochee River downtown. Chattahoochee Nature Center BLACK HISTORY PARADE National Recreation Area, Chickamauga February 28, 12:00pm – 5pm, FREE and Chattanooga National Military Park, Saturday, June 27 & Sunday, 28 Historic MLK/Sweet Auburn June District e annual Flying Colors Butterfly Festival Cumberland Island National Seashore, Fort WARD ARTS FESTIVAL fills the Chattahoochee Nature Center with FOURTH Frederica National Monument and Fort the beating wings of hundreds of beautiful Free Event Pulaski National Monument. e Black History butterflies. e "Butterfly Encounter Ex- Historic Fourth WardMonth Park Parade celebrates the culture, heritage, history and accomhibit” invites visitors to hand-feed more plishments of Black/ African American than 200FEST: free flying e event JAZZ BIGbutterflies. BAND NIGHT Old Fourth Ward Arts at the also features music, FREE photography and e people in the United StatesFestival and from across February 14,live 8:00pm, Historic Fourthe Ward Park is a two-day celentomology exhibits, arts and crafts, face the world. parade features marching Emory’s Schwartz Center the richcivic the arts while honoring painting, butterfly parades and more. Kids ebration bands,ofofour entertainers, dignitaries, community. ere is somecan wear their butterfly costumes and join history groups, non-profits, corporate thing for everyone: finecelebrities, arts and crafts, a the dailyhear butterfly parades. Come the Emory Big Band and Fac- children’s groups,play artistic area,expressionist, local food and entertainbeverulty Jazz Band for free as & they and fun for theacoustic whole family. concessions, live entertainThursdays, June 11,18 25close 7:30out pmthe agement

ASO SUMMER CONCERTS Free Admission; Ticket Required

ment in the amphitheater, plus a new “Emerging Artists” pavilion for new artists and artisans.


G SHOW: Brass Transit Chicago G JuneTribute 26 To see the ENTIRE CONCERT SEASON, go to: or visit us on twitter and Facebook!

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW! • 770.631.0630 201 McIntosh Trail • Peachtree City, GA 30269 PG 6 • June 2015 •



June 6 & June 7


Under The Lights


Station Control



Now playing through June 28 Alliance Theatre - Hertz Stage Box Office (404) 733-5000



It sounds so simple – just a quick trip to the Laundromat with Daddy, Trixie, and her beloved Knuffle Bunny. But before you know it things go horribly, hilariously wrong. Chock full of adventure, song, and gigantic dancing laundry, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical tells a tale of firsts: a stuffed animal's first trip in the laundry, a little girl's first words, and a Daddy's first time dealing with his child going "boneless."


Until June 28 Horizon Theatre Box Office (404) 584-7450 In this hilarious comedy, Vanya and his adopted sister, Sonia, live a quiet life in the Pennsylvania farmhouse where they grew up, while their sister Masha travels the world as a movie star. Just as their cleaning woman issues a warning about terrible events in their future, Masha returns for an unannounced visit with her 20-something boy-toy Spike in tow. And so begins this unforgettable family reunion filled with rivalry, regret, and racket. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play.


May 5 - 10 Actors Express Theatre Tickets (404) 607-7469 At six hundred pounds, Charlie has hidden himself away in his small apartment. Isolated and hungering for redemption, he desperately tries to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter before it’s too late. As he eats his way into oblivion, his life

intersects with a lonely nurse and a mysterious young Mormon missionary, all of whom seek grace and human connection while discovering that beauty and kindness come in unexpected forms. Marking Artistic Director Freddie Ashley’s return to the stage after a four-year absence, Actor’s Express will close the season with what is certain to be the most talked about theatrical event of the spring.


June 12 - July 12 Oglethorpe Box Office (404) 584-7450

Avenue Q is Broadway’s smash-hit Tony award winner for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. The Horizon Theatre brings the play back this month to the Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University. The neighbors are nice on Avenue Q, the only address you can afford when you’re fresh out of college, out of a job, or just trying to find your way in life. Princeton, Gary Coleman, Christmas Eve and their newfound friends (played by talented actors and puppets) valiantly seek jobs, dates and their ever-elusive purpose in life. Sesame Street meets The Simpsons in this upbeat musical for grown-ups.

Coming Out Party on Air this Month


RACE AND FRANKIE, THE new Netflix sitcom opens with a bombshell. The title characters discover that their husbands are more than just best friends. The men are longtime lovers, and they want to divorce the women and get married. What makes this shock even more startling is that the show isn’t about the young people or the thirty-somethings who receive the focus of most television attention. The characters in Grace and Frankie are in their 70s, and these new chapters - full of truth and strange emotion - may be the last. The central actors are veteran stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen, making the most out of being able to tell such a story. Unlike The Golden Girls, the men remain at the heart of the story and get their side told and explored, as well. They have been tortured by this secret for years. Though the show is trying its damnedest to be funny and the actors are all pros having fun, the core of Grace and Frankie is about emotional turmoil - which isn’t just for the young. Some of the best reveals to come from television lately have not been matters of fiction, though. The secrets that have stunned the most and created a lot of headlines have come from Bruce Jenner and Robert Durst. Jenner’s interview with Diane Sawyer, in which he revealed that he was transitioning into a woman, felt just as climactic as any May Sweeps twist. Though viewers have long

Grace and Frankie

suspected and speculated, his outing is still a television event. As for Robert Durst, the New York millionaire suspected of three murders, his apparent confession at the end of HBO’s sixpart stunner of a documentary The Jinx was one of the most incredible moments ever on TV. The whole series, no less amazing knowing the ending which led to his arrest, is compelling throughout. Durst’s interview with documentary filmmaker Andrew Jarecki is full of teases and evasions about why he dressed in drag to rent an apartment in Galveston and how he sawed up his neighbor’s body and threw it in garbage bags into a bay, plays like one, long coming-out as a killer. In a culture where it seems like there’s nothing new under the sun, senior citizens are proving to all of us through amusing, emotional or horrifying ways there are still secrets and daring ways to reveal them.

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JUNE 2015



VOL. 23, NO. 11 FREE

Ludacris Indigo Girls Best Barbecue Summer Movies

mere SumGuid RS  2015 1992  23 YEA

Become a Fan to stay informed and be the first to know about great events and online ticket contests.

Check Us Out on Facebook at: • June 2015 • PG 7

e d i u r G e m m Su


The 2015 Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival will take audiences down memory lane beginning Thursday, June 4 with fan choice winner, The Goonies. Additional audience favorites that will be shown on the Fox Theatre’s 26-foot high x 56-foot-8-inch wide big screen include The Princess Bride, The Breakfast Club, Frozen sing along, and more. Audiences will also enjoy a special treat with throw back 1985 pricing for Back to the Future. Also, Shark Week fans will be able to come see Jaws on the big screen Thursday, July 16. The Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival offers guests a magical pre-show experience that includes a sing-along with a vintage cartoon, the Mighty Mo organ and special guest, Ken Double, organist for Legends of Silent Film. For full schedule and ticket information visit the Fox Theatre Ticket Office, online at or by calling 855-285-8499.

taking place Saturday nights through August. Their giant 45’ screen travels each week to different metro Atlanta locations. All movies are open to the public and begin at dusk. Concessions will be available. Visit for movie and location schedule or call 404-8976266 any time for last minute weather information about this week’s B at the Movies in your community.

The 4th annual Atlanta Fringe Festival brings adventurous local and national artists together for a four-day celebration of live performances from across the theatrical spectrum. Expect a wide variety of performances with everything from dance theatre, spoken word, circus performance, puppetry, comedic monologues, to traditional ensemble theatre. For more information visit


Taking place in TOWN/Brookhaven every Thursday through July 30. Movies are free and begin at dusk on the green space. The June Schedule: Paddington (June 4); Frozen Sing-ALong (June 11); Cinderella 2015 (June 18) and Singin’ in the Rain (June 25). Visit for full summer schedule.


B98.5’s annual series of free movies

PG 8 • June 2015 •

in advance, $45 after June 11 and $55 the day of the event. Tickets may be purchased at



ATLANTIC STATION: MOVIES IN CENTRAL PARK Atlantic Station’s outdoor summer movie series, Movies in the Park, is offering free movie screenings each Thursday in their Central Park through August 7. Moviegoers can also enjoy meal deals each week from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. from a variety of Atlantic Station restaurants. Movie screenings will begin at dusk. Pets are welcome. The June schedule: Jaws (June 4); Heavy Weights (June 11); The LEGO Movie (June 18) and Super 8 (June 25). Visit AtlanticStation. com for full summer schedule.

musical entertainment, food concessions and the largest fireworks display in the Southeast. Headlining the Independence Day event for the 5th year in a row will be Atlanta’s premier cover band, Party on the Moon. They will take the stage at 7:45 p.m. and play until the fireworks show begins at approximately 9:40 p.m. Everyone is invited to experience Atlanta’s patriotic celebration as Lenox Square lights up the sky on the Fourth of July! For more information visit the Lenox Square site


Taking place the first weekend in June along tree-lined Virginia Avenue, the Virginia-Highland Summerfest offers an Artist Market featuring works of over 200 artists and craftsmen from all over the Southeast. The Kidsfest offers games, crafts and activities for children of all ages. Live music will be held on stage and will feature a variety of local musicians along with nationally acclaimed singer songwriters. Over a 1,000 runners will compete in the Summerfest 5K on Saturday through the neighborhood streets of Virginia-Highland. Visit for more info.

The AJC Peachtree Road Race is a Fourth of July tradition in Atlanta. 60,000 runners compete in one of the country’s best known 10K races. The race, which starts at Lenox Square, once again has its finish line at Piedmont Park in Midtown. Race time is at 7:30 AM so get up early to line-up along Peachtree and cheer on the runners. Event participants and spectators are strongly encouraged to take MARTA. MARTA will begin running at 5 a.m. on race day. For more information on the event visit


ATLANTA SUMMER BEER FEST June 20 Located at the Masquerade Music Park, the Atlanta Summer Beer Fest features over 200 beers from local and other great breweries from all over the country. A full list of beers will be posted the week of the festival. There will be live music on the main stage outside, as well as several side stages and a DJ Dance Party. There will also be plenty of fun attractions including the return of the Bud Light Game Zone. Be sure to check out their Facebook page to get all of the updates. Tickets are $40


STONE MOUNTAIN PARK: FANTASTIC FOURTH CELEBRATION July 2–5 Experience the Lasershow Spectacular an Atlanta tradition that promises to wow your family with state-of-the-art digital graphics and awe-inspiring effects. The show includes a lighting feature at the base of the mountain shining up like fingers of light showcasing the 825 foot mountainside. The addition of an overhead laser canopy effect immerses you as if you are part of the show. Also, laser mirror bounce shots from all directions on the lawn create the effect of lasers jumping over your head. Enjoy the refreshed music playlist featuring 10 new songs including “Let It Go” by Idina Menzel, “Home” by Phillip Philips and Pharell Williams’ “Happy.” The special patriotic fireworks finale will immediately follow the Lasershow all four nights! Visitors may bring blankets and lawn chairs. For more information visit Later this Summer

BB&T ATLANTA OPEN July 25–August 2 The 2015 BB&T Atlanta Open has announced a great line-up of players including two time champion John Isner and doubles champs the Bryan Brothers. In addition, this year offers an exhibition featuring 2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick on Monday, July 27. Besides the tennis there will many fun, exciting special events taking place daily throughout the tournament at Atlantic Station. The events include Kids Weekend, Opening Ceremony, Military Day, College Night, the Post-Match concert July 29, USTA Member Appreciation Day, ALTA Night, Ladies Day, Fan/Volunteer Appreciation Day and more. Each event is included in the purchase of a ticket. For more information visit BBTAtlantaOpen com.


For over half a century, Lenox Square has celebrated stars and stripes in grand tradition with activities for the entire family. This year’s activities will include

Take a ride on the Wild Slide and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Decatur Business Association (DBA). The City of Decatur and DBA are taking a break from their traditional summer event, the Decatur Beach Party. Instead, they’re making a huge splash with a 1,000-foot-long water slide down the

Saturday and Sunday, August 29 & 30. This is where the world’s top electronic dance music acts come together. The festival features multiple stages hosting the very best musicians, DJ’s and bands. This year’s line-up includes Dada Life, Datsik, The Glitch Mob, Chromeo, Griz, Lil John and dozens more! Visit

middle of West Ponce de Leon Avenue, from Clairemont to just past Ponce de Leon Place. The event takes place on Saturday, July 25 from 11:00 am – 7:00 pm. Tickets may be purchased online and on the day of the event. Prices range from $10-$50, depending on the type of ticket or package you purchase. It is advised to purchase tickets in advance as the event is likely to sell out. Visit or


The 15th annual Decatur BBQ Blues & Bluegrass Festival takes place Saturday, August 15 from noon to 8:00 pm in the heart of Oakhurst. Come experience acclaimed music from Michelle Malone and Seven Handle Circus, tasty barbecue from Fox Bros BBQ, Williamson Bros. BBQ, and Sweet Auburn BBQ along with cold beer from New Belgium Brewing, Fat Tire Amber Ale, Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial Ale and 1554. Make plans for a day of fun for the entire family. For more information and to purchase tickets visit and follow them on Facebook & Twitter for updates.

Saturday, August 15, 2015 12– 8 PM

DRAGON CON September 4–7

bluegrass, bbq and beer! join us for blues,atur www.Dec

Dragon Con returns for its 29th year to Downtown Atlanta over Labor Day weekend. The convention is held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta Hilton, Sheraton Atlanta and Westin Peachtree Plaza. Dragon Con is the largest multimedia, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music and film in the world. The convention boasts close to 40 fan-based tracks, a film festival, parade, art show, comics, pop art exhibits and displays, nightly concerts and parties. Visit

32 years of Art, Music and Fun

JUNE 6-7, 2015 Artist Market

230+ artists, fine art

Music | Kidsfest | 5K Road Race


IMAGINE FESTIVAL August 29 & 30 BODIES The Exhibition provides an intimate and informative view into the human body. Using an innovative preservation process, the Exhibition allows you to see and celebrate your body’s inner beauty in ways you never dreamed possible. Over 200 actual human bodies and specimens, meticulously dissected and respectfully displayed, offer an unprecedented and wholly unique look into your amazing body. Come explore, experience and celebrate the wonder of the human form. Visit BodiesAtlanta. com and enter code INSATL for $4 off on tickets.

r e m m u S Guide

Imagine Music Festival makes it’s triumphant return to Historic Old Fourth Ward & Masquerade Music Park over • June 2015 • PG 9




David Gray is Flying High with His New Album Mutineers BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH


That was his brief. I told him to take me out of my comfort zone so we could make a record I haven’t made before.

AVID GRAY THE BRITISH SINGERsongwriter is likely best known for 1998’s White Ladder album and his Tell us about the sessions. massive mainstream breakthrough single I found it terrifying at times! Really, it was “Babylon”. For his tenth release “Mutineers”, like a demolition site. All it was, was songs with Gray says he decided to shake up his sound these great big gaps and often no floor to even and approach. Born of creative struggle and stand on. He was like, “Ok, lose the chorus, upheaval, the resulting album is his finest lose these lyrics, change that work in years. On the road and then let’s see what we’ve this summer, he’ll revisit his got.” He stood up to me and entire catalog of engrossing forced me to sort of drop into soundscapes aided by a the void. And when I did, I JUNE 24 newfound, open-ended sense of found things I wouldn’t have artistic freedom. Verizon Amphitheatre found otherwise.



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PG 10 • June 2015 • With Mutineers, you’ve avoided It was a creative collision of your own obsolescence by sorts. changing your approach. It really was. We drove each other mad Yeah, the way that I approach music, I can’t at times. We’re very different people. I’m just replicate it. It wears itself out. I’m not so reluctant to relinquish control, and I’m not interested in the sound I had been making; I used to someone basically tearing up things I’m needed a different one. And that allows new doing, literally right in front of my eyes. But things to happen lyrically as well as sonically. that fed into the strength of the record. I was at a sort of impasse, where I couldn’t just keep plowing forward. I needed to stop So many people look back at their previous and just have a good look ‘round and find that record with remorse, thinking, “If only I’d other path less trodden. If you stay in the game done it differently…” long enough, you realize you have to make a Well, if you keep making records, some of different move. them aren’t going to go as well. But this time out I was really challenging myself and I think That search, just like tech updates, is I’ll keep that up. I don’t think I’ll stop asking the never ending. questions that got me in trouble this time. I see That’s right. It’s an ongoing process and it will that as the way forward, to work in new ways. no doubt happen again. But where I was seeing dead ends before, I’m now seeing a world of New songwriting techniques? possibilities. I feel like I don’t know where to Yes, I’d normally start with chords and start, I’ve got so many new ideas! melody and try to fit some words around it, but I began to work the other way. I’d write a lyric But getting there wasn’t an easy process for and start with that, have the rhythm of that in you, right? my head, move to the piano or guitar and see Yes, but it was worth all the struggle. The what comes out. record came out so much stronger for having to justify itself. The music that came out has a Will the new outlook carry over into the real spontaneity and joy about it. I found some touring process? new clear space for the joy of being. We’ve got a sort of “freewheel glide,” and there’s a definite joyousness to the Your delivery is almost euphoric in whole thing. throwing in a whole places. load of old songs I haven’t played in Yeah, it’s like a different heart ages. So these summer shows are a beating. When you get new music celebration of everything. you really believe in, you come back to life. It was difficult to get it to You’re in the enviable position of click, but when it did, it really feels not requiring a big new hit special. I’m glad that comes record in order to play across. It’s how it felt to me. arenas and sheds. Well, commercial It’s been out for a year success-wise, my biggest now, so you’d had plenty days will undoubtedly of time to live with it. be behind me. But Not that I spend my there’s a creative time listening to the curve I’m on, that’s damn thing now! I did going further and my time with it, now further out, and I it’s your turn. What don’t know what it I’m doing is playing is. “Less is more” is it live; and yes, living part of it, and some with the songs, as of it is questioning, you say. I still really “What is a song?” believe in them. I’m on my own curve now and And [producer stepping further and Lamb out as I go. alum] Andy Creatively, I feel Barlow really like I’m very much pushed you in at the beginning. the process.

Williamson Bros.

1425 Roswell Rd. Marietta 770.971.3201

Pig-N-Chik is one among the top Barbecue restaurants on Facebook and on first taste you can see why. The ribs come St. Louis cut and are cooked until they show a pink smoke ring. All the meats here are served naked without sauce so the true flavor of the meat comes through. Their homemade BBQ sauces are found on the tables and their barbecue is served accompanied with a slice of thick white bread to mop it up. AJC food critic John Kessler writes, “It is glorious stuff, as every barbecue should be but rarely is.” Pig-N-Chik is a family friendly, community oriented barbecue restaurant that offers something that everyone will like; all at affordable prices. From barbecue ribs and barbecue pork to turkey, beef brisket, chicken wings, smoked salmon and a variety of salads, they’ve got a menu filled with irresistible dishes. Your children will love their kid's menu, featuring a tasty selection of chicken fingers, corndogs, beef and pork sandwiches and pork ribs. Don’t forget dessert. They have great homemade pudding made with iconic Moon Pies. Pig-N-Chik has a full scale catering operation. They will be bustling on 4th of July so make sure to place your order a few days before. All three locations offer Dine-in, Delivery and Catering.

Atlanta’s Favorite Family Style BBQ BEST BBQ


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Award winning Fat Matt's Rib Shack has been around since 1990 and is one of Atlanta's favorite hot-spots. They feature great BBQ, live blues nightly and a casual setting for the whole family to enjoy. Not limited to the North Carolina or Kentucky styles, Fat Matt's uses their own seasoning and cooking technique. These ribs are smoked to perfection and literally falling off the bone. The ribs can be ordered as a whole, half slab, or on a sandwich. They also serve great barbecue chicken and pork. The signature side is their Rum Baked Beans, but they also have delicious Brunswick Stew, Mac & Cheese, Roasted Peanuts, Collards, Potato Salad, and Cole Slaw. Fat Matt's serves nine beers on tap and more in bottles. Seating is first come first serve inside and outside. During the busiest times a little patience is required, but tables generally turn over quickly. They feature live blues seven nights a week. Sunday through Thursday schedule is as follows: Sundays - Snake Legs; Mondays Dry White Toast; Tuesdays - Burning Time; Wednesdays - Georgia Flood; Thursdays – Chicken Shack. Check out their website for weekend performances. 4920 Roswell Rd. 404.255.6368 5071 Peachtree Ind. Blvd. 770.451.1112 1815 Briarcliff Rd. 404.474.9444


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Chicago’s Nancy’s

265 Ponce De Leon #A 404.254.5103

Welcome to Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q. From their humble beginnings 24 years ago till today, they still serve their barbecue ribs and pulled pork from a traditional wood burning pit. This creates that smokey flavor that people travel miles for. Besides the great pork they also serve barbecue beef, chicken, sausage and steak plus fish offerings including tilapia, salmon and catfish. Get it on the slab, as a platter, by the pound or on a sandwich. Also choose from one of their lite variety options of salads, corn, stuffed baked potato and rotisserie dishes. Pair it with one of their traditional sides including: collard greens, potato salad, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, mac & cheese, baked beans and more. Williamson Bros. World Famous Bar-B-Q sauces provide the perfect complement to any meat and all of it can be delivered right to your door for a formal event or just for a gathering of friends and family. Williamson Bros. catering division is one of the largest in Georgia. They are ready to handle your next party or business event no matter what the size, from 10 to 20,000 guests. From one item menus to the whole hog, their experienced catering staff is available with just one phone call (770) 425-1739. Don’t forget to order a piece of pie for dessert.

Atlanta’s Chicago’s Nancy’s restaurant on Ponce is one of Midtown’s favorite pizza joints. But Barbecue? That’s right. New to the menu this summer are Nancy’s original Smokehouse BBQ Ribs. These tender and flavorful barbecue ribs can be ordered by the slab or half-slab and come slathered with Memphis sweet sauce. Also on the menu are an assortment of sandwiches, appetizers, salads and wings. See their ad on the Back Page for coupons offering $4 and $5 Off online orders. Nancy’s has ample dine-in seating as well as providing take-out and delivery to the area.

More BBQ Restaurants Fox Bros BBQ 1238 Dekalb Avenue 404.577.4030

One Star Ranch 25 Irby Avenue 404.233.7644 Slopes BBQ 200 Johnson Ferry Road 404.252.3220 Community Q BBQ 1361 Clairmont Rd 404.633.2080 Moe’s Original Bar-B-Q 349 14th St 404.249.0707 • June 2015 • PG 11


Reboots and Remakes?




UMMER IS HERE, AND WITH IT comes the usual litany of wannabeblockbusters vying for your box office bucks. This year brings so many remakes and reboots of classic franchises (see: Vacation, Jurassic World, Terminator Genisys), you might think it’s the ‘80s all over again. Thankfully, we’re here to help you sort the wheat from the chaff… JUNE



The Stars: Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven The Scoop: Four years after ending its 8-season HBO run, the original cast reunites with writer/director Doug Ellin. Former talent agent Ari Gold (Piven) is now running a studio, and taps old pal Vince (Grenier) to direct and star in his first film. If history holds true, hijinks will ensue. The Skinny: Entourage had a strong following 6-7 years ago. But how many people are still passionate enough about the show to plunk down $12 for the movie? Our guess is, not enough to make it a hit.


The Stars: Paul Dano, John Cusack, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti The Scoop: This biopic of Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson examines two key periods of his life. Dano plays him in his drug-addled 20s, when struggles with mental illness put him at odds with his band. Cusack plays him in middle age, when his girlfriend (Banks) rescues him from a shady shrink (Giamatti). The Skinny: Described as “unconventional,” the film has gotten good early buzz from several critics I know who are fans of the pop music legend.


The Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Jude Law The Scoop: This action-comedy finds McCarthy reuniting with director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat) for the story of a bestin-class CIA agent stuck ing an office job who finally gets her chance to work in the field. Silly costumes, physical comedy and Byrne as a bighaired aristocratic villain follow.

The Skinny: We’d be foolish to bet against McCarthy, but we’re hoping this one has more in common with St. Vincent than Tammy.


The Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson The Scoop: The dinosaur theme park envisioned in the original film is now a huge tourist attraction, with Pratt doing behavioral research on velociraptors and Howard as operations manager. When geneticists create a hybrid dino that makes T Rex look tame, all hell breaks loose. The Skinny: It’s been 22 years since the original (and 14 since the mediocre JPIII). The fact that this is one of summer’s most anticipated films shows our appetite for dino destruction hasn’t waned a bit.



The Stars: Shameik Moore,. Tony Revolori, Zoë Kravitz The Scoop: Writerdirector Rick Famuyiwa (The Wood, Brown Sugar) paired with producer Forest Whitaker and Pharrell Williams (who wrote four new songs) for this indie about a geek in an Inglewood punk band whose dreams of leaving the ‘hood for Harvard are endangered when a drug deal goes sour. The Skinny: This hip blaxploitation teen comedy sparked a bidding war at Sundance. Don’t be surprised if it’s a Little Miss Sunshine-style sleeper hit.


The Stars: Amy Poehler, Diane Lane,

Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Kyle MacLachlan The Scoop: Directed by Pete Docter (Monsters Inc, Up), the latest film from Pixar follows the myriad emotions (including Poehler as Joy, Hader as Fear and Black as Anger) roiling inside an 11-year-old uprooted from the Midwest when her dad gets a job in San Francisco. The Skinny: They had us at “the latest film from Pixar.”


The Stars: Al Pacino, Chris Messina, Holly Hunter, Harmony Korine The Scoop: Director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) gets Al Pacino to dial it down a notch for this drama about a locksmith who balances a strained relationship with his son (Messina) and friendship with a kind-hearted teller (Hunter) while pining for the girl who got away. The Skinny: Early reviews have not been kind to Pacino or Green: A.V. Club deemed the film “damn near unwatchable.” PG 12 • June 2015 •


The Stars: Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman, Judith Godreche The Scoop: Executive produced by the Duplass brothers, this unpredictable sex comedy from writer-director Patrick Brice (Creep) casts the four leads as two couples who bond in more ways than one during a playdate for their young sons. French newcomer Godreche is said to be especially strong. The Skinny: Offbeat and risqué, the film’s appeal will likely be limited to the art-house. But its playful subversiveness seems to be resonating with the Duplass’ growing cult of diehard fans.



The Stars: Seth MacFarlane, Mark Wahlberg, Morgan Freeman, Amanda Seyfried The Scoop: MacFarlane’s potty-mouthed Teddy Ruxpin look-alike returns for more brew-guzzlin’ bromance with Marky Mark in this sequel, which follows the bear’s bid for legalized personhood so that he can have a baby with his new wife. The Skinny: The first film became one of the most profitable R-rated comedies of all time. We won’t be surprised if the MacFaralanedirected sequel performs even better.



The Stars: Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Jada Pinkett Smith, Michael Strahan The Scoop: The sequel to 2012’s male stripper smash finds Mike and his hard-bodied homies road-trippin’ to a stripper convention in Myrtle Beach, running into a strip-club owner (Smith) and her lead dancer (Strahan) along the way. Although Steven Soderbergh had his longtime AD, Gregory Jacobs, direct this one, he remains in place as cinematographer and producer. The Skinny: Savvy counter-programming against action movies and dirty comedies should give Mike & Co. an advantage for all-important female dollars at the box office. This one could own July.


The Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney The Scoop: Thirty-one years after Ah-nuld starred as a cyborg sent back from the future,


the former Governator returns to the role that made him an action film icon. There’s a new Sarah Connor (Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke) and a more complex John Connor (Jason Clarke), with a time travel plot that veers from 1984 to 2017 and 2029. The Skinny: The last film, 2009’s Terminator Salvation, nearly killed the franchise. But longtime fans know that the Terminator never stays down for long.



The Stars: Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Sandra Bullock The Scoop: Set 42 years before they meet lovable arch-villain Gru in Despicable Me, his future yellow henchmen Bob, Kevin & Stuart set off on a quest in search of a genius to serve. The find one in the deliciously evil Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Bullock). The Skinny: The Minions are a pop culture phenomenon recalling the silent era physical comedy of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Released 3 weeks after Pixar’s latest, with no major family film competition, directors Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda should be set for total world domination.


The Stars: Ben Kingsley, Ryan Reynolds, Natalie Martinez, Derek Luke, Matthew Goode The Scoop: In this psychological scifi thriller, Kingsley stars as a wealthy cancer patient who has his consciousness transplanted into the body of a healthy whippersnapper (Reynolds). But the more he learns about the shadowy organization behind the operation, the more desperate he is to stop them. The Skinny: Director Tarsem Singh (Mirror Mirror, Immortals) has failed to live up to the promise of his music video career (REM’s “Losing My Religion”). This sleeper could be his first mainstream hit.



The Stars: Paul Rudd, Corey Stoll, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Judy Greer The Scoop: Marvel tries to continue its hot streak by pitting Rudd (as con manturned-superbug Scott Lang, who can shrink himself to gain strength and control ants) and Douglas (as inventor Hank Pym) vs. Stoll (The Strain) as villainous scientist Darren Cross (a.k.a. Yellowjacket). The Skinny: The Internet had a conniption fit when writer-director Edgar Wright left the project over “creative differences.” But director Peyton Reed (Bring It On, Yes Man) has a solid track record and roots in improv comedy, which should serve Rudd’s irreverent style well.


The Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey, Jamie Blackley

The Scoop: I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn that the latest film from writer-director Woody Allen tells the story of an older man in crisis (Phoenix as a college professor) who falls for a younger woman (Stone as his student). Expect Allen’s usual mix of arty intellectual angst and quirky rom-com humor. The Skinny: Midnight In Paris (which won the Bets Original Screenplay Oscar for 2011) is seen by many as Allen’s return to form, and this is the first film in his 4-picture deal with Sony Classics. Expect a strong showing by all involved.


The Stars: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Milo Parker, Colin Starkey The Scoop: Director Bill Condon reunites with Gods & Monsters star McKellen for this tale of Sherlock Holmes’ later years, as the 93-year-old sleuth fights the deterioration of his razorsharp mind while recalling the unsolved mystery that ultimately led to his retirement. The Skinny: Miramax’s art-house indie– currently subject of a copyright infringement lawsuit from the estate of Sherlock novelist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle– may be a tough sell in the dog days of summer.


The Stars: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Tilda

Swinton, Brie Larson, LeBron James The Scoop: Under the guidance of director Judd Apatow, Schumer wrote her own starring vehicle about a commitment-phobic men’s magazine writer who unexpectedly falls for a sports doctor (Hader) she’s assigned to write a story about. Panic and hilarity ensue, with James earning rave reviews for his supporting turn. The Skinny: Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer is coming off a razor-sharp season, so we thoroughly expect this movie to make her a star.



The Stars: Levi Miller, Jugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara The Scoop: Director Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement) applies his artful style to this swashbuckling adventure, an origin story about Peter Pan and hordes of other orphans who have been kidnapped by Blackbeard the pirate (a scene-chomping turn by Jackman). The Skinny: Sounds like a smash-up of Finding Neverland and Pirates of the Caribbean, directed by an arty English auteur. In case you’re wondering, for us that’s a good thing!


The Stars: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Halston Sage The Scoop: Despite the lack of A-list actors, this is one of summer’s most eagerly anticipated films, written by YA novelist John Green (The Fault In Our Stars). This one stars Wolff as a sardonic teen on a road trip to find the girl next door who got away (modelturned-actress Delevingne). The Skinny: The Fault In Our Stars, which also featured Wolff, grossed $300 million last June. Paramount already announced an adaptation of a third Green novel, Looking for Alaska. Smells like they’re banking on this one being a hit.


The Stars: Adam Sandler, Peter

Dinklage, Josh Gad, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan The Scoop: When aliens misinterpret video feeds of arcade games as the Earth’s declaration of war, they attack in the form of classic characters such as Donkey Kong and Pac-Man. Naturally, hardcore games (Sandler, Dinklage & Co.) are enlisted to stop them. The Skinny: Director Chris Columbus sings praises for Dinklage’s performance, but when’s the last time anybody felt they really got their money’s worth from an Adam Sandler movie?


The Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, Naomie Harris The Scoop: Gyllenhaal, last seen as a stick-thin sociopath in Nightcrawler, is ripped and tattooed for director Antoine Fuqua’s (Training Day) tale about an angry, undefeated boxing champ forced to care for his young daughter after his wife (McAdams) dies unexpectedly. The Skinny: Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy) wrote the gritty film as a starring vehicle for Eminem, but Gyllenhaal– so great in Nightcrawler, Prisoners and End of Watch– seems perfectly cast.


The Stars: Jason Segel, Jesse Eisenberg, Ron Livingston, Anna Chlumsky The Scoop: Segel shines in this unauthorized biopic of author David Foster Wallace (whose Infinite Jest is considered one of the best books of the 20th century). The film examines the brilliant-but-moody Wallace’s epic 1996 road trip/interview with Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky (Eisenberg). The Skinny: Based on Lipsky’s 2010 book, Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, the film should provide insight into a deeply troubled talent (who committed suicide in 2008).


The Stars: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann, Chris Hemsworth The Scoop: This franchise reboot features Helms as a grown-up Rusty Griswold, taking his wife (Applegate) and kids down the “holiday road” to Walley World. Along the way they visit sister Audrey (Mann) and her study man (Hemsworth), with cameos from Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo. The Skinny: Reboots typically tend to focus on reinvention or nostalgia. Judging from the trailers, Vacation seems more interested in the latter. We’ll pass.




The Stars: Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace

Moretz, Nicholas Hoult, Corey Stoll The Scoop: This adaptation of the second novel by Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) stars Theron as Libby, who implicated her brother (Stoll) in the murder of their mother and sisters 25 years ago. Now she’s working with amateur investigators intent on proving his innocence, unearthing dark secrets from Libby’s past. The Skinny: The story paints a grim picture of poverty, marital abuse and abandonment in rural America. Not sure how that’s gonna play in the fly-over states, especially with French auteur Gilles Paquet-Brenner at the helm.


The Stars: Bel Powley, Kristen Wiig,

Alexander Skarsgård The Scoop: This bold adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner’s 2002 novel from director Marielle Heller (who created/starred in the Off Broadway play) features Powley in a breakout turn as a teen who loses her virginity to her mother’s boyfriend during the ‘70s sexual revolution in San Francisco. The Skinny: Powley star has been fast-rising since the movie premiered at Sundance. Don’t be surprised to hear more about this indie sleeper come Oscar time.


The Stars: Miles Teller,

collaborate on a hit comedy, all is lost. The tale sounds just weird enough to be wonderful.


The Stars: Meryl Streep, Mamie Gummer, Rick Springfield The Scoop: Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Stop Making Sense) directed Streep and real-life daughter Gummer (The Good Wife) in this story about a cover band singer who reunites with her estranged daughter 20 years after choosing rock & roll over her three kids. The Skinny: Streep proved in Mamma Mia and Into The Woods that she can sing, but can she also shred? Given her track record, we wouldn’t bet against her.


The Stars: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Hugh Grant The Scoop: Director Guy Ritchie is a fan of James Bond, so it’s no surprise that his reboot of the ‘60s TV series is a paean to classic spy films. Cavill and Hammer play a CIA agent and KGB spy who team up during the Cold War to battle a shadowy organization that kidnapped Vikander’s father. The Skinny: Sherlock Holmes proved Ritchie is ready for mainstream action epic success. Cold War spies are hot right now (see: FX’s The Americans), so we expect a hit.


Kata Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell The Scoop: Directed by Josh Trank (Chronicle), this much-needed franchise reboot is an origin story that finds the titular quartet struggling to come to terms with their newfound powers (rubbery limbs, skin bursting into flames, etc.) in a secret government facility after a bizarre cosmic accident. The Skinny: The Internet has been having a field day with this one, criticizing Jordan’s casting as “Human Torch” Johnny Storm and falsely claiming director Matthew Vaughn was hired to do reshoots. But if ever a comic book franchise needed a do-over, this one is begging for it.

The Stars: Corey Hawkins, O’Shea Jackson Jr, Jason Mitchell The Scoop: Late ‘80s L.A. was like Ferguson and Baltimore today, with racial tension, police brutality and gang violence at full boil. This Ice Cube and Dr Dreproduced biopic follows the personal story behind NWA’s rise as leaders of the gangsta rap revolution, with F Gary Gray (The Italian Job) directing. The Skinny: Dre was reportedly on-set more than half the time, and Cube’s son is playing Cube. Expect edgy dramatic depth examining the gritty reality of Compton’s street culture.


The Stars: Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie, Natasha Lyonne, Amanda Peet, Adam Scott The Scoop: This romantic comedy follows womanizer Sudeikis and serial philanderer Brie after they meet for the first time since losing their virginity to each other in college. Writer-director Leslye Headland (Bachelorette) describes it as “When Harry Met Sally for assholes.” The Skinny: Headland’s track record is so-so, but she’s got a killer cast and the early buzz from Sundance was positive.

The Stars: Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis The Scoop: Directed by Jared Hess (Napolean Dynamite), the film is based on the unlikely true story of the “Hillbilly Heist,” in which a bunch of weirdos in North Carolina robbed $17.3 million from an armored car company, spent their haul on tacky crap and got busted a few months later. The Skinny: If that cast and that director can’t



The Stars: Rupert Friend, Zachary Quinto, Hannah Ware The Scoop: Friend (Pride & Prejudice, Homeland) stars as the titular character, a genetically engineered hitman sent to kill Ware as the daughter of a corporate CEO. Quito co-stars as a protector helping her find her dad, whose company is building an army of deadly assassins. The Skinny: Quick, name the last amazing movie you saw based on a video game? Yeah, we didn’t think so… • June 2015 • PG 13


INTO THE WILD Movie Reviews

Bear Grylls On Celebrities, Survival & Running Wild

from keeping myself alive. It’s definitely more challenging when blood, you’re sweat, taking somebody horror, heroism, sun and sand. 1/2 who’s done nothing like this before. You’ve got It’s been five years since cinematographer  of the outdoors as a boy. My parents and toJohn think for (Oscar them a winner lot of thefortime. it’s been Seale The But English Before his untimely death in 2003 from a grandparents took me backpacking in the exciting toshot be able to but takehethese guys away. Patient) a film, hasn’t lost a step. grisly suicide (knife wound to the heart) at Appalachian mountains and to our rustic cabin IAnd love oh, seeing them comeaction alive when they’rehe what amazing sequences the age of 34, Elliott Smith was regarded as on Lake Hartwell, where I learned to set up terrain and big challenges, shootsdifficult under Miller’s virtuoso direction! both The something of a anational indie- facing camp, fish, start fire (andtreasure cook onofit),theforage emotionally and physically. It’s great helping stunt work is staggering, and almost all of rock Like Kurt Cobain before him, for wildworld. berries and, most importantly, respect people overcome that, whether it’sdirection a fear of is the spectacle is genuine. Miller’s Smith emerged from the the beauty and bounty thatPacific MotherNorthwest Nature has heights or snake or whatever it is. flamboyant. aggressive, but not “look at me!” punk scene, starting out in Portland with to offer. He’s confident, but never lets the camera the Heatmiser. He Bear became an unlikely On band Running Wild With Grylls, the Were given any kind ofHetraining work they supersede the story. sagely eschews celebrity after the song “Miss Misery” British adventurer does the same thing beforehand to prepare them? the rapid-fire editing that too often makes appeared onthe theworld’s Good Will Hunting with some of biggest celebrities. When itaction comesmovies to training, weand said,confusing. modern chaotic soundtrack landed him a gig It’s thrilling toand watch a nervous Benperforming Stiller “You’ve justalways got to know bring who two things– awhat, big Here, you is doing in front of a global audience at the Academy rappelling down a mountain on Scotland’s Isle bag of fortitude and a big backpack full of where they are and what’s going on. PlotAnd it was thisArnold unexpected, ofAwards. Skye, a terrified Tom conquering his enthusiasm– and we’ll do the best when wise, there’s not much to give away because unwanted fame ultimately fear of heights by that traversing a treeproved over a to 50-be we’re there.”have, The fun about not it is othersout already andthing the story’s the drop sensitive (bordering fragile)Zac singerfoot in Oregon, and aofboyish Efron that they’re not too prepared, you know? We complex: Max is loosed in the wasteland, songwriter’s Heaven YouBut stoked to see adownfall. wild beaver in theAdores Catskills. wing it together, and you see them on camera where he’s reluctantly thrown together with a tracks Smith’s rise and gradualis what makes the slow, showsteady even more interesting learning and making mistakes, and that’s thea badass warrior woman who’s trying to free decline from the cumulative effects of stars the rare, honest glimpse it offers of these fun real part of it. The only training I did with scantily-clad quintet of unwilling concubines depression,overwhelmed alcoholism and addiction.of emotionally by drug the challenges any of athem with Zac, I wanted from tribewas of brutal malebecause oppressors. As It’s an intimate, meditative portrait of an pushing themselves to the limit in some of the totheskydive with him. So I gave him some warrior woman, Charlize Theron steals world’s most beautiful wilderness areas. under-recognized (and often misunderstood) training a couple hourswho the replaces day before. the showforfrom Tom of Hardy, Mel Grylls– a former in the Nickolas British artist, and it’s clearreservist that director But beyond that, everyone else just arrived Gibson in the title role. I was psyched when I Special who climbed Dylan Forces Rossi is(SAS) a huge fanlater of Smith’s work. If with fortitude and enthusiasm, heardthat Hardy had been cast, becauseand he’sI said, got Everest crossed Atlantic and you’ve and never heardthe theNorth soft, whispery vocals “We’ll do it altogether. ” that same razor’s edge of implied menace that the Northwest Passage in Drake) an inflatable boat– (which recall early Nick and simple Gibson did. But merely Hardy’s serviceable recently spoke to us about the show via will cell stick-in-your-craw melodies, the film Of all the places you’ve been, what’s the place here in a role that needs a lot more; not only phone from a little cove off the south coast provide a perfect introduction to Smith’s that you connect with the most? of England. because of the legacy, but because Theron’s distinctive sounds. The story unfurls via Home! (Laughs) A lifetime of doing this has character has a more interesting story arc the archive footage of Smith as well as interviews taught me two things. One is that I do love Where didclose the idea for Running Wild come requiring greater emotional range. Instead with his friends, bandmates, girlfriends adventure. I love being out there. It’s where from? I know you didPortland popular scene, episodes a smoldering bomb,I perform his Max at comes and admirers in the each Iofcome alive, and time it’s where my ofoffering Man Vstheir Wildtake withonWill andmusician. off sullen and empty, more emotionally the Ferrell enigmatic best. I love the wildernesses we’ve gone to Jake Gyllenhaal. concept been dulled cypher thanand tortured There’s an awful Has lot ofthis b-roll footage as well, around the world, it’s suchprotagonist. a privilege. But germinating your since?in the There’s also a valid point to be made designed to in give us amind senseever of place going away a lot has also taught me thethat value Yes. Those Vs WildNYC shows Fury Road is similar to The Road three scenesMan (Portland, and[with LA) guest that of home. You know, I’ve got a lovelyWarrior, family, stars] have been very successful isolated all around withthree hot chicks the It’s lamthe taking the place left Smith feeling increasingly bythe with youngon boys. greatest driving world. Once we were done with that show, of anwhen 18-wheeler downorwith his success. What’s missing here is any sort force I’m uploaded a mountain in agasoline. jungle– a we to revisit thisinto format. We knew it But wholight cares, really? is the of wanted illuminating insight the enigmatic shining making meThis work hardrare to get out was a formatlife that worked it’s just vehicle that actually matches musician’s that couldand, helpfor to me, explain why ofentertainment there in one piece. really funlike because get his to know people and the hype. he felt endingyou it was only possible it’s such a good dynamic. So it was exciting Siebert recourse. Rossi’s hero worship seemingly People look up to you as a survival–Tom expert. getting through all the health and safety prevents him from digging deeper intohoops. the Is there a particular teacher that you would Not a lot of itand is planned, so that quite TOMORROWLAND depression addictions that was apparently credit for giving you (PG) the most survival a plagued mountain for usfortomuch climbofbefore weso even  Smith his life, the knowledge? started. But NBCleaves helpedtheusviewer through that, and Our planet is a hotI mess. There’s film ultimately with more Well, to be honest, don’t feel like war, I’m a fought a few of those battles. disease expert. and death everywhere turn. Man questions than answers. Then again, maybe survival When I started you off doing Corrupt allow that’s too much to expect from a movie about Vs Wild, Ianti-regulation felt like more ofgovernments a survival expert You havewho a lot of experience dealing corporations pollute our waters, ourwhere skies,I a man turned obfuscation into with an art because I’d justtoleft the military. That’s these harsh climates and wild places. But is even ourallfood. is producing form. Maybe the poetic beauty of Smith’s learned of myClimate survivalchange skills. But the more it a lot of responsibility to take someone who frequent natural disasters, and ofincreasingly this I’ve done, the more I realize that I’m songs are more important than the tragedy doesn’t have experience in dealing with these arebut being killedof offvery at an aendangered jack of a lotspecies of things, a master of his self-inflicted demise. But, as a longtime conditions? alarming and climbers, hopelessness little. Everyrate. dayCynicism I meet better better fan, wasa nightmare! left strangelyWhen unfulfilled. Yes,Iit’s I’m on my are at an all-time high. Everybody’s looking skydivers, better survivalists. The thing about –Bret Love own I’ve got nothing to worry about apart for isanthat answer, a hero, or atdamn leasthard, someone me I’ll always work I’ll willing to stand up for something bigger than MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (R) themselves. At its core, this is what the story  of Tomorrowland is about. But the fact that Roaring, snarling, screeching into it’s a Disney movie based on a Disney theme multiplexes, this belated fourth entry in director George Miller’s post-apocalyptic car- park attraction admittedly makes it difficult crash franchise is gorgeous in its depiction of to put cynicism aside. George Clooney stars





PG 14 • June 2015 •

THE WILD IS VERY REVEALING. YOU GET TO KNOW PEOPLE IN A WAY THAT YOU NEVER DO OTHERWISE, BECAUSE THEY’RE UNCOVERED AND VULNERABLE. YOU GET TO KNOW THEIR STRUGGLES, THEIR DOUBTS, THEIR TRIUMPHS, THEIR HIGHS AND THEIR LOWS. as Frank, a child prodigy inventor who grows up to be a jaded, crotchety old coot after being booted out of an “imagineer”-style program at Tomorrowland. Located in an always keep cheerful even when it’s miserable, alternative time and space, the titular city is and I always go for it. But as for the training, a99% wonder to behold– a futuristic metropolis was from the military and I learned a where can been solvea bunch science as a kid and withtechnology my dad, who’d all the world’sand problems. seeloved why all thethis commander a climberWe and boyhood Frank falls in love with the place, stuff. He’ll be turning in his grave if I only its idealogical and especially credit him withaspirations 1 percent… He’s about 50%! Athena (Raffeyme Cassidy), enigmatic girl But he taught the lovethe of it, which actually who serves as his guide/#1 cheerleader. counts for everything. And we understand the allure it holds for science whiz (Brittany Robertson) Have you hadCasey a chance to take your boys on nearly 50 years later, when she mysteriously any of these adventures? received a magic pin that transports her when Yes, I get to do that the rest of the year, there. What’s clear is the pointus. of They the we don’t have less TV cameras around meandering, disjointed plot, or the motives love it! Right now I’m in a little cove off the of the coast baddieofwho believes mankind south England, looking at all isthree beyond salvation Laurie). Bird’s boys, stark naked (Hugh in the sea in the Brad pouring direction of this sci-fi fantasy adventure is to rain. I’m sheltered under a fallen tree, trying imaginative andrain visually keep out of the whilestunning. talking toHis you.actors But are solid someDNA, have for theyuniformly love it. They live(although it. It’s in their criticized Robertson for excessive perkiness). sure. But, as much as I loved the film’s optimistic message of eco-consciousness and collectivist You’ve visited so many inhospitable places. activism, thenail clunker ofthe a story is too How do you down places youpreachy, want to filmpedestrian, in? too too puzzling to hold together. Well, try and pick diverseDamon terrains. The For thiswe I blame screenwriter Isle of Skye in Scotland is just barren and Lindelof, who was widely credited with windswept, andrails rainy. Sowhose we contrasted Lost veeringcold off the and HBO that with hot deserts dramatic rock series Thethe Leftovers lost and me after the second faces of Utah. If somebody has to a real to episode. Lindelof’s style tends veerwish towards go somewhere, we pick that. But really, it’s all arty self-indulgence, with sluggish pacing about diversity and the challenging terrain. dulling the momentum of every dramatic arc. Tomorrowland’s storytelling dynamics Has there been a place you’ve traveledit that seem intentionally off, and ultimately was so incredibly difficult you havethe no prevents the ambitious filmthat from being desire to go back? inspirational call to arms it seems intended black Sumatra, toProbably be. In thethe end, theswamps film is allofhalf-realized where the tsunami hit in 2001 and promise, with very little payoff. decimated a big part of the island. It’s just this stinking, –Bret Love


scenes in which writer-director Jean Claude LaMarre plays the pastor, seeming to impersonate Chris Rock. Ri’chard’s acting, more dancing, all bearable They than lost ofhisa lot of livesmakes in thatitdisaster, and but not good. it’s become a disease-ridden, crocodile-filled, Warren snake-filled place. So yes, I’m not –Steve going to hurry back to that one. DARK STAR: H.R. GIGER’S WORLD (NR) 1/2  What is it about being in the wilderness that Most of we’re familiar with H.R. speaks tous, youifpersonally? (Hansruedi) at all, know thegetlate The wild isGiger very revealing. You to Swiss know artist from his creature designs for the Alien people in a way that you never do otherwise, movies. Sallin’s documentary leaves because Belinda they’re uncovered and vulnerable. you with the impression the man was less You get to know their struggles, their doubts, interesting than their his art. Weand seetheir tons lows. of it And their triumphs, highs around his cluttered home but not if stuff happens in theZurich wild, it’s unpredictable. (probably of rights issues) and the stuff Things canbecause go wrong very quickly, I’ve got we’d recognize, including album covers he a massive responsibility to keep these guys designed rockthat challenge. and metal bands. We alive. Butfor I love see some images from his early years and watch lumbering looking older What him do you think it around, is that makes a celebrity than shortly before he died in wanthis to 74 do years, this kind of adventure? May 2014.not Wedoing meetithis cats named They’re forthree the money, the Müggi and wives, and hear of ahave thirdall of fame, or thetwo exposure. These guys partner, a depressed that. They don’t needwoman to takewho risks.committed And the suicide. a wonder sheitsurvived years truth of (It’s doing this is that is a risk.nine You’re surrounded Giger’s bizarrtwork – he was going to lookbylike you’re not brave or strong, or whatever. I think it’s a testament the Charles Addams without a sense of to humor!) idea that people loveand to challenge Combining partsatofheart humans machines themselves. These guys havepainted all reached into “biomechanoids, ” Giger more top of their but you’d we allsee haveinthat phalluses andprofession, vaginas than a yearning inside: If our family’s nudist community. He’slives saidortoour have mentally lives wereareally themost line, of have gotaway what inhabited dark on place us Irun it takesAstothe survive? Almost of house these guys from. camera prowlsallhis and said oneyou of the wasinhaving space and grounds feelbest likebits you’re a Halloween or time topark think about life andattraction. how lucky they theme haunted house Rabid havemay been. Thetooutdoors doesinformation that. It creates fans want glean what bonds people gives they canbetween from this film.and Theitrest of us us space will be to breathe. end of it,Giger’s all of them better servedAtbytheperusing work had in a a smile on their faceorand a light in their eyes that coffee table book website. money can’t buy. Fame doesn’t do–Steve it. Drugs Warren don’t do it. Booze doesn’t do it. It’s the power of theOVERNIGHT wild, and I’ve(R) seen it a ton in people. black, rotting swamp, with all of these THE crocodiles feeding CHOCOLATE CITYoff (R)the 6500 human corpses. 1/2 1/2 It’s called The Overnight because Welcome With a script that makes Tyler Perry read to L.A. was already taken. Alex (Adam like William Shakespeare, Chocolate City Scott) and Emily (Taylor Schilling) moved makes its pitch in the first minute: “Y’all down from Seattle two weeks ago and make seen Magic Mike, right? Well, now we gon’ their first friends when their young son add a little chocolate.” If that’s too subtle for starts playing in the park with the son of you, Chocolate City is a club with African Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) and Charlotte American male strippers. The novice who (Judith Godréche). A family dinner at Kurt becomes a star (Robert Ri’chard) is even and Charlotte’s leads to putting the boys to named Michael, but his slacker brother bed and keeping the party going. But where (DeRay Davis) dubs him “Sexy Chocolate.” exactly is it going? Emily gets nervous (“We Vivica A. Fox plays their widowed mother, should leave before anything crazy happens”) with two jobs and two grown sons to take but Alex tries to be cool (“This is California. care of. At least young Michael is in college Maybe this is what dinner parties are like”). and works as a dishwasher. Though shy There’s drinking, smoking, skinny-dipping, about taking the stage at first, he instantly and we sense a “swinger vibe” long before masters the half-dozen moves that make Emily does; but who is coming on to whom? the lovely ladies in attendance throw fistfuls There are intimate revelations all around of obviously counterfeit bills at the stage. and surprises aplenty for the viewer – or is The brothers keep Michael’s fame a secret it voyeur? For those who lament the lack of from his girlfriend and their good Christian male nudity in movies, The Overnight offers mother. Yes, to absolve you from the sin of good news and bad news. The bad news watching dirty dancing, there are church is that both men are reportedly wearing

prosthetics – and I’m sure at least one of them insisted on that being reported. Writerdirector Patrick Brice has made a fresh, totally contemporary look at thirtysomethings that feels in many ways like a remake of 1969’s Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, suggesting the sexual revolution hasn’t advanced much since its early days. –Steve Warren


  With Glee gone, the Pitch Perfect movies are all we have left to STEM the tide of cuts to arts education; and of course they never show the artists getting an education in anything but singing. As entertaining as these musicalcomedies are – and the sequel is nearly as good as the original – the best argument they make is that a cappella singing is a competitive extracurricular activity that doesn’t result in concussions. The first half of PP2 is a comedy, overloaded with snarky dialogue, as the Barden University Bellas are embarrassed in front of the First Family by the nether region equivalent of a nip slip, which makes Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) Commando-in-Chief. The American champs have to fight their way back to respectability by winning the World A Cappella Championship. (Part 3 will have to involve an interplanetary competition.) The second half is mostly music, with a little time for romance, although Beca (Anna Kendrick) never acts on her girl crush on her German rival. Hailee Steinfeld joins the Bellas, introducing them to the daring concept of singing original songs. Besides reprising her role as co-kibitzer with John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Banks makes her feature directing debut. At this point neither Kathryn Bigelow nor Rob Marshall has to worry about the competition. –Steve Warren


 1/2 It’s baaack! They’ve been remaking Poltergeist for decades. Every haunted house movie since 1982, especially those involving families with children, has owed a debt to the Spielberg-produced, Tobe Hooperdirected classic. Now someone has shelled out the cash for the rights to an official remake. They’ve changed the character names, updated the technology with smaller electronics and bigger video screens, and at least doubled the amount of insidious paranormal activity affecting the Bowen family when they move into a subdivision built over an old cemetery. All this and a box of clowns - it’s Amityville on steroids! Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt have three kids, the youngest of whom is immediately befriended by the local spirits. When they kidnap her and take her to the other side, the parents finally contact ‘geistbusters Jane Adams and Jared Harris to try to get her back.

The cast is good but the script lays it on so thick the action is more silly than scary. As with most remakes, you’re better off watching the original again. –Steve Warren


1/2 Have you ever been at a party and your instinct warned you not to engage in conversation with someone because you’d be bored to death? That same instinct should keep you away from Result, a movie about three such people. Danny (Kevin Corrigan) is newly single and nouveau riche, bored and depressed. He checks out a gym, Power 4 Life, run by new-agey Trevor (Guy Pearce), and signs up for personal training at home (uhoh!) by Kat (Cobie Smulders). Soon both men have crushes on Kat, Trevor’s of long standing and Danny’s quickly developed. Danny is basically asocial but befriends Paul (Giovanni Ribisi) because he needs weed and the movie needs another character. I was not a fan of writer-director Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess, but that was Citizen Kane compared to this slog, a talkfest without a single interesting or amusing line of dialogue. –Steve Warren


1/2 Crystal Moselle may be the luckiest filmmaker in the world but she’s not the best. She discovered the most amazing, strangerthan-fiction story any documentarian could want, and by some unexplained miracle got permission to tell it. Her haphazard editing and fractured timeline are confusing, and she raises enough questions that this viewer at least was left suspecting a hoax of Joaquin Phoenix proportions. Oscar Angulo, who “rebels by not working,” lives with his wife and seven children in a Lower East Side housing project. The six teenage boys and their younger sister are homeschooled and almost never allowed outside for fear of New York’s corrupting influences. Forbidden to socialize outside the family, the boys spend their time watching old movies and shooting their own versions (Remember the “sweded” films of Be Kind Rewind?) of favorite scenes with homemade costumes and props. Why would poor parents buy black suits for growing boys who rarely go outside? That’s one thing that raised my suspicions, along with the apparent physical and mental health of these guys who’d spent their lives in prison-like conditions. One breaks out in 2010, getting arrested and sent to therapy for running around in a mask. Soon his brothers, also in therapy (which is not discussed), are going out with him, racking up a lot of firsts, with Oscar’s apparent acceptance. There’s a great movie to be made about the Angulos, but The Wolfpack isn’t it. –Steve Warren

Your Neighborhood Pizzeria!


BEST PIZZA! e Magazine sit



Best of Atlanta 2014



Multiple Atlanta Locations: • June 2015 • PG 15




The Top 10 Memorable Movie Dads BY CHRISTIAN PEREZ


ATHER’S DAY IS UPON US, SO what better time to reflect on cinema’s most memorable fathers? I’m talking about the ones who have bought us joy, laughter, and even pain. Some of these men may not be the best fathers in the world– they can’t all be Atticus Finch– but they are fathers who stick in our memories, whether for better or worse...

Chevy Chase will star in an updated version of Vaction later this year.

Bruce Dern in Nebraska

Kicking off the list is a film that most fathers and sons can relate to, creating a sense of nostalgia and making you think about the things you’ve yet to reconcile with the man that helped bring you into this world. Bruce Dern’s father figure in the subtle Nebraska is a man who hasn’t made the best decisions for himself or his family, but is still holding out hope that he can set some things right. This is bound to become a classic road trip film, and one that has already struck a deep chord with me.

Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Vacation

Clark Griswold needs few words. We all know and love him, and cringe at his antics while laughing our heads off as they continue to escalate further and further into absurdity. He loves his family dearly, and just wants to give them a good vacation. What’s so difficult about that? A lot, apparently.

Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood

Lewis’ Daniel Plainview wasn’t meant for fatherhood; he’s an oilman through and through. The business is his life, with little time for anything else. His son was the boy of a colleague who died while drilling. And though Plainview did seem to genuinely care for the lad at times, he was really just a tool to help him gain people’s trust, appearing to be a family man rather than the selfish, greedy man audiences loved to hate.

Dylan Baker in Happiness

Perhaps the worst father on the list, but incredibly memorable. This is a truly shocking, unique film that will either make you laugh through the tension or leave you wholly disgusted. Baker’s character is a deeply sick man dealing with pedophilic urges. And though they’re not aimed towards his son, they do focus on his son’s friends. This is a dark, twisted film that doesn’t judge its characters. That’s what makes this movie– and Baker’s character specifically– one that stays with the viewer well after the credits start to roll.

Jack Nicholson in The Shining

What’s a list about cinema’s most memorable fathers without the one that scared the crap out of us? Nicholson’s Jack Torrance is looking to start fresh when he moves his family to the Overlook Hotel. He’s hurt them with his drinking in the past, and hopes this change will set some things right. Of course, the opposite happens and he goes nuts and tries to kill them all. Jeez, can’t a guy catch a break?

Jeff Daniels in The Squid and the Whale

Going through divorce is never easy, especially on the kids. Daniels’ Bernard PG 16 • June 2015 •

doesn’t make it any easier. He was once an important author, now jaded and jealous of his soon-to-be ex-wife’s successes. Due to his own pain and insecurities, he attempts to pit his sons against their mother so that he can feel some sort of validation. He’s not a bad man, he’s simply hurting and putting his kids in the line of fire, until he’s ultimately left alone, a broken shell of his former self.

John Krasinski in Away We Go

Krasinski’s character, Burt, is a good man, kind and loving, who wants nothing but the best for his family and will do whatever he must to give it to them. It sounds like an action movie set-up, but this one is grounded in reality. It shows flashes of other families, and has the characters learn and grow from their experiences in order to become the parents they want to be for their child. In one scene, Burt whittles for no reason other than that he wants to be a dad who does. How cool and endearing is that?

Roberto Benigni in Life is Beautiful

This film remains one of the funniest, saddest, and most moving portrayals of a man’s love for his family that I’ve ever seen. For those unfamiliar, get familiar with this Holocaust comedy-drama. It is unlike anything you’ve seen, and its fairy tale-like tone allows Benigni’s Guido to pull off some almost magical feats. But it’s all in an attempt to secure the innocence of his son during the most trying time of their lives. This one will make you cry, without a doubt.

Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire

This one is a no-brainer: We’ve all seen Williams’ man-child character, who screws up one too many times and must don some drag in order to get his family back. It’s a novel and entirely unrealistic tactic that never fails to entertain. If it hasn’t found a permanent place in your cinematic conscious by now, someone on the wonderful world of the Internet has re-cut the trailer to make it a horror film, which works all too well.


Cheech and Chong are on the Bong Again

Quentin Tarantino is a big Cheech and Chong fan. ORN OF THE LATE ‘60S He’s encyclopedic about Cheech and counterculture, Cheech Marin and Chong records, and especially movies. We Tommy Chong’s early ‘70s humor were highly influential in the way he makes skewered the national political and social movies. I was watching Pulp Fiction, and you customs of the turbulent era. Their records, know that scene with Samuel Jackson and films and live performances are a send-up John Travolta, where they’re talking in the of hippie philosophy, and have earned them car? That’s right out of Cheech and Chong. an impressive following of friends and fans who continue to be inspired by their musicThere’s also an “Inglorious Basterds” rooted humor. Often cited as an inspiration connection to Cheech and Chong, correct? by a diverse group of followers, including Yeah, we were at a roast at the Friars Club Quentin Tarantino, Jack Nicholson, and Marc Maron, the duo have reunited in recent in New York, some years back. [Tarantino] said that he and his partner who wrote it, years after a long hiatus. Both had been had rented a cabin up in Lake Arrowhead working on separate television, film and or somewhere. All the time they were there, business projects, including Marin’s roles they were listening to this on Nash Bridges, Chong’s one Cheech and Chong cut recurring character on That called “Tortured Old Man,” 70’s Show as well as lines [from their 1972 album Big of smoking paraphernalia, Bambu]. It was like a take-off t-shirts and even hot sauce. on the old Nazi war movies. Saturday, June 13 Now, with marijuana slowly He said that’s what they were being decimalized across the Gwinnett Arena country, they’re bringing their listening to all the time, until they realized, “Hey, we are brand of altered-reality humor rewriting ‘Tortured Old Man!’” to the Atlanta suburbs, with That cracked me up! an “Up In Smoke” tour performance at the Gwinnett Arena. I’ve always considered Cheech and Chong to be a band. And as you said, there’s a Television is so much different from your definite musical quality to your work, even days on Nash Bridges [’96-2001]. It’s even the spoken word pieces. changed since your run on Jane The Virgin Yeah, comedy to us is music. It has a last year. rhythm, and accents and that’s how we’ve It’s so different now. You can watch it always approached it. On the records, we whenever you want and however many didn’t do them live, like George Carlin or times you want. It’s really changed the Richard Pryor, we’d do them in the studio, so whole landscape, and that’s good, because it we could add sound effects and make it more takes some power away from the suits and theatrical with different voices and all that. gives it over to the creative people. Today’s So those tracks were little stand-alone pieces movies are blow-‘em-ups. It’s almost like and we’d incorporate actual music with it. TV series have become what albums were in the ‘70s, they’re concepts. When you see And any band is like a marriage. them put together end to end, you get the Oh yeah, that’s how it was for us. narrative storyline. Fortunately and unfortunately. You get along and you don’t get along. So many of the comics who cite you as an influence are also big music heads. How did the “marriage” change after Oh yeah, we’re giant with musicians working separately for over a decade? because we started out as musicians. So we We know how to work together and we have the musicians’ sense of humor. But have this natural chemistry. If we don’t get I’ve always said that the comics were the in the way of that, then we’re fine. We have a smartest ones because they need to have the understanding to make comedy about it. business together and we appreciate that. We don’t have to love each other or hate each All comics are much more intelligent than any other type of performer. And also better other, it doesn’t matter. The business is to make people laugh, and we just don’t get in looking! the way of it.




Viggo Mortensen in The Road

Mortensen’s unnamed father fights for the lives of himself and his son in this dark and somber tale of a crumbled society gone awry. He is the very definition of a protector, doing whatever is necessary to ensure the safety of his son in a world that has taken everything else from him. This isn’t a pleasant trip, but it’s a powerful one that’ll leave you fairly solemn (regardless of whether or not you thought the book was better).

Comedy, to us, is music. It has a rhythm, and accents and that’s how we’ve always approached it.





CCORDING TO 2013 RESEARCH, people spend 75% more on Mother’s Day than Father’s Day. That ain’t right! I was a single dad for many years, and these days more and more fathers are stepping up to become equal co-parents. Here are a few of our favorite things for dads this year:


Few things give me greater pleasure than grilling up a great meal for my family. The Father’s Day Steaks & More package from OMAHA STEAKS (OmahaSteaks. com) makes it easy, including two 18-oz T-Bones, two 5-oz Filet Mignons, four Stuffed Baked Potatoes and four Caramel Apple Tartlets. We’ve loved Omaha’s products for years, and have never had a bad steak from them… I like to season mine with the BBQ Smoked Sea Salt Collection from THE SPICE LAB (TheSpiceLab. com), the Florida-based company whose unique test tube gift sets include incredible flavors such as Smoked Chipotle, Carolina Hickory and Smoked Cyprus Sea Salts… We also use the 3-Color thermometer from STEAK CHAMP (SteakChamp. com), whose LED light flashes green for medium rare, yellow for medium and red for medium well, ensuring a perfectly cooked piece of meat every time!



alcohol is concerned. The Reserva Exclusiva from DIPLOMÁTICO (RonDiplomatico. com) has become my favorite dark rum: Aged up to 12 years in oak casks, it offers sweetly sublime notes of toffee, maple syrup, orange and brown sugar, with a remarkably smooth finish… The Reposado from PARTIDA TEQUILA (PartidaTequila. com) is surprisingly sweet and smooth as well, with hints of chocolate, vanilla, almond and hazelnut. It’s like no tequila I’ve ever tasted before… But our favorite go-to spirit is FOUR ROSES (FourRosesBourbon. com), whose award-winning small batch Kentucky Bourbon has a spicy, fruity nose and sweet flavors of caramel and berries.






Our family loves to spend time outdoors in the summer, swimming, AUDIO-TECHNICA fishing and grilling out on our pontoon boat at Lake Allatoona. The new Adventurer Boat Bag from EDDIE BAUER ( is perfect for people like us, combining earthy outdoor style with rugged nylon construction and a fully customizable main compartment designed to hold up to 50 pounds of gear… The Vertex Plus Hard Arm Chair from COLEMAN ( is great for fishermen and campers, with a head cushion and mesh back for comfort, hard arms and sturdy steel frame for support, and 2 cup holders and a bottle opener on the arms for relaxation purposes… The coolest/weirdest product we received this month comes to us from Chilean brand SELK’BAG (SelkbagUSA. com), which makes sleeping bags that you wear like clothing. Their awesome new Marvel line includes Captain America, The Hulk, Iron Man and Spider-Man bags with a 45º temperature rating. Might this be the next Snuggie-style success story?


The older I get, the more I care about quality over quantity, especially where

Surely I’m not the only dad who digs exploring the great outdoors by day, then dressing up to go out on the town at night? The Key West Shave Gift Basket from KEY WEST ALOE (KeyWestAloe. com) helps tame the inner beast, with exfoliating facial scrub, Tough Beard shaving cream and aftershave gel made from pure aloe vera to smooth sensitive skin… Real men aren’t afraid to accessorize, and the right piece of jewelry can tie an outfit together like a Big Lebowski rug. The Oxidized Copper Men’s Bracelet from NASHELLE ( is classic and cool, manly without the overstated bling… I’ve never been big on bow ties, but POETIK DESIGNS ( could make me a convert: From vibrantly colored stripes and bold polka dots to their signature bunny, these silk beauties offer sleekly refined urban style.


Music what got me into writing more than 20 years ago, and it remains one of life’s greatest passions. The AT-LP60 Stereo Turntable System from AUDIOTECHNICA ( is an attractive update on old school turnbtables, with a built-in phono preamp that enables it to be connected directly to a computer, home stereo and other components… The TabletOke from VOCOPRO ( is another modern tech twist on a classic past time: With the two wireless mics and digital mixer, you can use any Bluetooth device to stream karaoke content directly from the web and connect it to to any sound system. Pro Tip: Ply dad with the spirits reviewed above before passing him the mic… One of my favorite new gadgets in a long time came from BOOMBOTIX (Boombotix. com), whose Boombot REX allows you to build/customize your own portable Bluetooth speaker with hi-res printing. Now, when we’re hanging out at the lake, my daughter and I can kick out the jams on a speaker that features the two of us on its face. Come to think of it, that sounds like a great way to spend Father’s Day!




Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Series Despite an original premise, great acting and compelling stories, Boardwalk Empire lost a lot of momentum after its buzzy launch. But for those who stuck with it, their loyalty paid off over five strong seasons of Prohibition-era action. The show revolved around Steve Buscemi’s morallyquestionable (but likable) Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, but supporting character storylines were always worth paying attention to. This set includes all 56 episodes and another DVD with never-seen content and making-of docs on the series, offering closure for fans of one of HBO’s most underrated series. Broadchurch: The Complete Second Season This British crime drama ratchets up the tension of its story about the murder of an 11-year old boy in a small seaside town. The second season focuses on the trial of the alleged murderer, the husband of one of the investigators and a friend of the boy’s family. Storylines on the prosecutor and defense attorney drag a bit, but the side plot– following the reopening of a years-old murder case– makes up for it. Skip the dull U.S. version launched by CBS and get caught up on the first two seasons of the original. Naked & Afraid Season 1 Reality TV popularity has been on a gradual downward turn in recent years (American Idol’s next season will be its last). So what is it about shows such as Survivor and Naked & Afraid that keeps people tuning in? Perhaps it’s the timeless struggle of man vs. nature, and the reminder that we’re vulnerable when stripped of our modern trappings. Or maybe we just like watching other people suffer. Regardless, this Discovery Channel show– in which two nude strangers attempt to survive 21 days in remote wilderness– is crazy compelling, without any need for manufactured drama. The Nanny: The Complete Series How much Fran Drescher is TOO much Fran Drescher? Some might argue that this 19-DVD boxed set, containing 55 hours of the ‘90s sitcom about a sassy Jewish girl from Queens who becomes nanny to three kids of a rich British Broadway producer (Charles Shaughnessy), exceeds that limit by a wide margin. If nothing else, it’s a great way to educate kids on how much network TV comedy has changed over the last 20 years… although it’s not hard to imagine a gleefully cheesy show like The Nanny on Nickelodeon today. Welcome To Sweden: The Complete First Season Executive produced by Amy Poehler and created by/starring her brother Greg, this quirky sitcom follows an American accountant who moves with his girlfriend (Josephine Bornebusch) to her native Sweden, where he adjusts to life with her weird family. Based on Greg Poehler’s true story, the show is oddly endearing, with an intelligent, playful wit likely to prove funniest to those who’ve actually been to Scandinavia. NBC renewed it for a second season after teetering on cancellation: catch up now before the summer series returns!



MONTHLY COLLECTION OF great new music, plus a few extra odds n ends for your amusement.

Dave Angel

“Lagoon” In a just world, EDM parasites like Calvin Harris and Avici would be doing nothing more than carrying record crates for people like Dave Angel. Sounding like a delicious B-side from a great Orbital record (which is all of them), “Lagoon” manages to be both frenetic and hypnotic, as twisting synthesizer and jungle beats create a wonderful oasis of sound.

Sonny Wharton & Jorge Montia

“Fools at Play” 2014’s greatest find, Sonny Wharton, continues to explode forward with nuschool dance classics that bend the knee to the old school without compromising their firm, exciting vision for the future. Yes, “Fools at Play” reminds of one of Wharton’s benefactor, Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim), but it’s only as a foundation for re-capturing EDM from poseurs like the two vermin mentioned in the previous paragraph. Make no mistake, “Fools at Play” is as big and beautiful as anything found on the dance floor in 2015. End of year “best of ” list, please save one space for this.


“Feels Like Home (Dirty Secretz bootleg)” David Guetta has been sh*t for so long, that it takes a rave lifer like yours truly to remember when he wasn’t. Well, “Feels at Home” recalls that brief early period when Guetta wasn’t an abscessing earsore on the electro genre, recalling a quieter, more trance-y version of Guetta’s “A Little More Love”. If modern dance can reform the legacy of a self-parodying hack like Guetta, perhaps all is not lost. To hear these brilliant tracks, and a few more that weren’t mentioned, check out our “Track Suits” mix at www.mixcloud. com/tracksuits. Special thanks to TJ Kenney and my brother Jody for their help in curating this. Also, check out my new dating advice book, “Your Ex-Boyfriend Will Hate This”, available now via Amazon! • June 2015 • PG 17


Album Reviews



Directly From My Heart: The Best of the Specialty & Vee-Jay Years (Specialty)

senses (i.e. ran out of money) in 1962, Rupe had folded Specialty and Richard’s new label, Vee-Jay, was on its last legs. Despite modest hits like “Bama Lama Bama Loo” and “I Don’t Know What You’ve Got But It’s Me,” shifting musical tastes had passed Little Richard by. Richard’s 82 years old now, the last of a dying breed. But this exceptional collection reminds us of the crucial role he played in the birth of rock ’n’ roll, and his dynamic personality and distinctive sound seem just as vital and original today as they did 60 years ago.

Reubens Accomplice

The Bull, The Balloon and The Family

With the deaths of Otis Redding (1967), Ray Charles (2004) and James Brown (2006), Macon’s Richard Wayne Penniman is the last of the original wave of great Georgia soul singers, not to mention a living, breathing connection to the birth of rock ’n’ roll. This 3-CD collection compiles 64 songs from the most influential era in Little Richard’s career, beginning with his signing to Specialty Records in 1955. Like most soul singers, Richard had been brought up on gospel, with parents who forbade secular music in the house (despite the fact that his father, a church deacon, bootlegged moonshine and owned a nightclub). Small, skinny and deformed at birth with legs of different lengths, Richard was mocked for his effeminate appearance. But the boy could sing loud and high, and was tapped by gospel legend Sister Rosetta Tharpe to open her show at the Macon City Auditorium when he was 14 years old. Despite touring the chitlin’ circuit (often in drag) and getting signed to brief contracts with RCA Victor and Peacock Records, it took 9 years for Little Richard to begin making a name for himself under Art Rupe’s guidance at Specialty. It was Rupe who sent Penniman– a Fats Domino fan– to New Orleans to record at Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Studio with badass session musicians like drummer Earl Palmer and saxman Lee Allen. The first few cuts were disappointing, sounding much like other R&B musicians of the time. But when Richard sat down at the piano during lunch and started rocking out a ribald tune from his drag show days, “Tutti Frutti, Good Booty,” producer Robert “Bumps” Blackwell knew they had a hit on their hands. Recorded in 3 takes after rewriting the lyrics to be less salacious, the single rose to #2 on the R&B charts, #17 on the pop charts and went on to sell a million copies. Over the next 18 months, Richard and Blackwell returned to NOLA and cranked out an unheard-of string of 14 Top 10 R&B hits, including “Long Tall Sally,” “Lucille,” “Keep a Knockin’” and “Good Golly Miss Molly,” many of which were covered by icons like Elvis, Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers. Hollywood came calling (he starred alongside Jayne Mansfield in The Girl Can’t Help It), Richard headlined every show he played, and the money came rolling in. Unfortunately, Richard had a “religious epiphany” two years into his stardom, refused to record or perform secular music, breached his contract with Specialty and gave up all publishing rights. By the time he came to his PG 18 • June 2015 •

[2 LPs] (Goodland Records) The inexplicable recent emo revival - not long after the genre was slayed and dropped into the ground - has brought about a slew of manufactured nostalgia for bands that, let’s be honest, just weren’t that good the first go round. But no one ever blamed the music industry for having good taste in bands. But as luck would have it, for every carbon copy singer whining about the girl in the hoodie who just won’t talk to him that has somehow managed to garner attention this year, the spotlight occasionally finds a far more talented band that actually deserves a second look. Reubens Accomplice is one of those bands. The Phoenix group put out three full lengths between 2001 and 2012 and Good Land Records has surprisingly decided to put out their sophomore effort The Bull, the Balloon, and the Family as a deluxe vinyl reissue in honor of the album’s 10 year anniversary. The two LP set includes the complete album, as well as seven bonus tracks of demos and the previously unreleased “Lighthouse” (also via download). A decade on, the album, with strong influences from band’s like Jimmy Eat World and Guided By Voices, has aged remarkably well. The guitars here are generally understated and the dual vocals from Chris Corak and Jeff Bufano just sort of roll out in a comfortable, relaxed way, a strong contrast to the painfully earnest singing a lot of their contemporaries were handicapped with during emo’s last turn in the spotlight. While the band’s latest album came out more than three years ago and talk of a new one has been scarce, Corak and Bufano, playing as a duo, opened a handful of shows for Jimmy Eat World’s frontman a couple of months ago. The future of the group may be a mystery but you can console yourself by checking out the vinyl set of The Bull, the Balloon, and the Family, either revisiting a sadly overlooked emo classic or discovering it for the first time.


Self-titled (Bloodshot records)

The Nashville-by way of Birminghamsextet Baditos have managed to marry the country poetry of Drive By Truckers with the boogie guitar fuzz of ZZ Top for a pretty impressive debut. The band, discovered by their label at a SXSW showcase, seems tailor made for

Bloodshot Records, a label that has for two decades exceled in scouting out the best in country/ rock hybrids. Over a dozen songs here, the band churns out solid country-rooted rock tunes that’s bound to bring out everyone from skinny jeanswearing hipsters to the authentically cowboy booted crowds. There is no denying that the band can lay down some raucous barroom rockers, but the album hits its highpoint on the smoldering, slow-paced weeper “No Good,” a song that brings up the ghosts of Patsy Cline and Janice Joplin.


Optimists (self-released)

D.C.’s Mittenfields have been pretty under the radar since the release of their 2011 EP, The Fresh Sum, but rather than just taking it easy, it seems the five-piece have spent the time evolving their sound from simple indie rock, drawing in influences like shoegaze and noise pop. The result can be heard all throughout their solid debut full length, Optimists. Three years in the making, the eight songs that comprise this latest effort show a band content on not simply being an also-ran. With its three-guitar line up, Optimists expansive sound harkens back to some of the great, though often overlooked alt bands from the 1990s. Moody at times, especially on a track like “Doctor! Doctor! This Heart isn’t Beating” (despite the overly-long title it isn’t actual an emo song), the band manages to avoid the woe is me sad bastard trap that has been known to snare a fair share of indie bands. The only downside to Optimists is it’s over too soon length.


I Can’t Stop (Free & Alive)

I Can’t Stop, the 12th studio album for Wisconsinbased folk rockers the BoDeans and the second one without longtime band co-founder Sam Llanas, builds on the band’s early roots-based efforts with a strong blues vibe, complete with horns and wailing guitars. While the band should be commended for stepping outside their comfort zone, the songs themselves are a tad bit underwhelming. The better songs on this record are the ones that actually sound like classic BoDeans’ songs, tracks like “Oh Mama” and the singalong “Roll With the Punches.” The other efforts here just sound like a band reinventing for the sake of reinvention. For almost three decades now, the BoDeans have delivered an inspired Midwestern take on groups like The Band and The Everly Brothers, serving as one of the originators of modern folk/roots rock.

There was never a need to reinvent a formula that was clearly working.

Simple Minds

Sparkle in the Rain [Deluxe Edition]

(UMe) Simple Mind’s sixth studio album, Sparkle in the Rain, was released in 1984, a full year before the band would permanently be wedded to The Breakfast Club movie, a feat that defines the band in the country to this day. But the album was still an impressive collection on its own. Produced by Steve Lillywhite, at the time best known for his work with U2, the album hit number one on the UK music charts and had impressive sales across the globe, but despite great reviews in the U.S., it never cracked the top 20 here. The album is getting a deluxe re-release 30 years later (in both a 2-CD and 5-CD versions). The album, with its decidedly ‘80s synth pop feel, sounds a bit dated so many decade later, but still boasts an impressive set of songs, most obviously the unavoidably infectious tracks “The Kick Inside Me,” “Waterfront” and “Speed Your Love to Me,” (the last two were both charting singles the first time around). The double disc set includes 11 B-Sides and rarities, most of which make this deluxe collection worth buying even if you already have a well-worn copy of the Sparkle in the Rain.

The Knack

Zoom (Omnivore Recordings)

The world is crammed with one-hit wonders that justifiably deserve that title; The Knack are not one of those bands. While technically “My Sharona” is their only real “hit,” they continued to churn out one great album after another years after that 1979 radio staple, but frustratingly were never able to make it back up the sales charts again. Thankfully, the Power Pop archeologists at Omnivore Recordings are re-releasing the band’s final three records and tacking on a handful of bonus tracks, as a reminder of just how great this under-the-radar band was. Zoom initially came out in 1998 to coincide with the band’s second comeback attempt. The production is a little cleaner than their earlier efforts and the playing less sloppy, but the harmonies are still just as strong as their early efforts. Zoom, which came out after a five-year break for the band, is solidly impressive, especially on songs like the sly “Love is All There Is” and the album opener “Pop is Dead”. There are one or two tracks that fail to live up to the others, notably, the somber “You Gotta Be There”, but the bulk of the record irresistible jangle pop music. This re-release tacks on the bonus track, “She Says,” two demo songs and another version of “My Sharona.” Sadly, singer Doug Fieger died in 2010, but labels like Omnivore are doing their part to keep the band’s music out there.






EW HIP-HOP ARTISTS CAN MATCH the skill diversity, street credibility, mainstream accessibility and career longevity that Chris “Ludacris” Bridges brings to the table. He’s been in the game since the late ‘90s, when he rose to local fame as DJ Chris Lova Lova on Atlanta’s Hot 97.5. As a rapper, his wild, comedic flow made him an instant star, with his 2000 major label debut rising to No. 4 on the Billboard chart thanks to hit singles like “Southern Hospitality.” It ultimately became the first of his five successive Platinum albums. Along with Outkast and T.I., Ludacris was one of the MCs who helped put Atlanta on the hip-hop map, both through his own music and that of his Disturbing Tha Peace label talents (including Bobby Valentino, Chingy and Playaz Circle, which featured an unknown local known as 2 Chainz). By 2003, Bridges was also beginning to crossover into acting with his turn as Tej Parker in 2 Fast 2 Furious. But his most impressive role to date may actually be that of benevolent philanthropist—a part he’s been playing since launching the Ludacris Foundation back in 2001. With a focus on leadership and living healthy lifestyles, the non-profit works to inspire Atlanta’s youth through education, providing memorable experiences and helping young people to help themselves. We recently spoke with Ludacris about his love for Atlanta and its hip-hop scene, his charitable initiatives and his 2015 projects.

E’S BILLED AS “LOU GRAMM: The Voice of Foreigner,” but the singer-songwriter’s show is more Foreigner than the act that still holds the rights to the band name. The native New Yorker’s distinctive vocals still recall the heady days of late ‘70s of commercial hard rock, with a raw and seasoned delivery of his former band’s greatest hits. Gramm, the coauthor of such massive hits as “Hot Blooded,” “Cold As Ice,” and his own huge solo single, “Midnight Blue,” left Foreigner in 2003, and his final album with the band was 1994’s solid but often-overlooked gem Mr. Moonlight. Gramm, 65, who co-founded Foreigner in ’76 with British guitarist Mick Jones, now limits his travelling to weekends with his current band, which includes his brother Ben on drums. The born-again Christian revisits his historic past -- including battles with substance abuse and serious medical issues -- in unflinching detail in Juke Box Hero, his recent autobiography.

Ludacris on Atlanta, Giving Back & a New Album 5 Years in the Making


Can you talk about the Atlanta urban music scene in the 1990s and what it was like being the forefront of that? It felt great to be part of it! I attribute a lot of my motivation and success to Outkast and Goodie Mob for paving the way. It feels good to be part of that wave. I definitely do take some credit in terms of continuing to catapult what had already been set up. If you want to talk about who was the catalyst in all of that, I have to tip my hat to Organized Noize and the Dungeon Family for breaking the south wide open. Can you talk about the Ludacris Foundation and some of the goals and incentives that you have had over the years? I used to work at Hot 97.5, which is now Hot 107.9. They used to require us to do a certain amount of community service every week. When I became commercially successful as a rapper, I continued with my philanthropic efforts and started the Ludacris Foundation. We’ve been operating for over 10 years now and make sure that we take part when there’s something in need or a crisis going on. When Hurricane Katrina hit, we housed 30 different families in Atlanta. When the floods happened, we were giving away coats and items to people who lost their houses. We also have LudaChristmas, a Thanksgiving event, Back-toSchool events and we regularly visit hospitals. We’re about helping kids help themselves and giving back to our underprivileged community. Why is it important for you personally to give back? It’s important for me because with great power comes great responsibility. I like to be a leader, and have people watch my moves. So many kids look up to me. I want them to

Foreigner’s Lou Gramm Keeps the Sound of the Late ‘70s Alive


know that not only do I work hard in the music industry and movies, but my number one priority is to give back. I think everybody can give back in their own way. Can you talk about the changes in the hip-hop industry over the last 20 years? It has to do with the Internet, and so many people getting their music heard on a large format. People are sitting in their houses, making music, who have invested a little bit of money in equipment, whereas you used to have to get a demo tape. I like the competitiveness of it. Individuals like myself are competing against the average person at home, who may have come up with an Internet hit that hits the radio airwaves. The landscape has gotten a lot bigger, as well as the competition. What do you have to do to stay relevant and ahead of the curve? You have to constantly reinvent yourself. You have to be a trendsetter and not a follower. I think that sums it all up. Why did it take 5 years to put out Ludaversal? It’s taken so long because I’ve been in between two movies. We wanted to go full throttle, but I won’t allow only a two- or threemonth period for me to drop an album and promote it. Music is still my #1 priority, but I feel like my creative process is on my own time. Patience is a virtue, and I think when the album drops people will 100% understand why it took so long. And they will feel completely satisfied, like they got their money’s worth. Ludaversal and the new Fast & Furious movie came out right around the same time. What do you get out of balancing acting and music? When you’re doing movies, unless you’re the writer, director or producer, you’re just one element of the creative process. Acting is a big part of the process, and it does something different for each actor because it’s almost therapeutic to put yourself in the character’s shoes. When it comes to music, it’s a blank canvas and I get to paint whatever I want. I feel like there is a little bit more creative control when it comes to my music as opposed to when I do the movies. Music is still my #1 love and it will probably always be.

Your book is a great testament to the fact that you can still be a Christian and “rock.” That doesn’t have to change and my band definitely rocks. I just believe that turning my life over to the Lord saved me a number of times and that’s the path I need to follow. I don’t Bible-thump on anybody, but I certainly use my life as an example.

Sheep, the first American band signed to UK-based Chrysalis. Yes! It was a real good thing for us. But as it turned out, they changed their mind about coming to the states. So the single went off the charts and they released us. But you went on to sign with Capitol. Was that when you went on tour with KISS in ’75? That tour only lasted for two shows. But the good thing is from that time I’d given an album of our band to Spooky Tooth when Mick Jones was a member and that’s when it got interesting. When he was putting a band together he called me to come audition for what would eventually be Foreigner and he was persistent. How’d that go? When we finally went into the studio he played me a few songs [including “Feels Like The First Time”]. Mick would sing the melodies and then he pushed me out the door to the mic and said, “Have fun!”

LOU GRAMM JUNE 5 Chastain Park

FOREIGNER JULY 19 Aaron’s Amphitheater

A lot of people wait until their career is over to write a memoir but you’re still going strong. I just thought at this time in my life for what I’ve been through and what the Lord saved me from, I didn’t want to look back at it twenty years from now and try to remember. It’s been a life-changer for me and I thought the time was now to write it. How does it feel to be in a band with your brother? It’s pretty cool; I watch his back and he watches me. I’ve always loved his style. His first drumming was on my set of drums when we were kids around ten or eleven. So it’s almost intuitive. It really is. Lucky for me! He’s four years my senior and he cut his teeth on jazz, like Dave Brubeck, while I stayed true to my rock roots. Then a few years later, I got into my first band. And it wasn’t long until you were in Black

What was it like, co-writing all those huge hits? How did you and Mick collaborate? At first he’d give me a cassette tape with musical ideas maybe 12 or 15, 45-second musical ideas. From that I would play them until I found one or two that I liked. Then I’d record a few words over the top of them and send them back to him. If he liked my ideas, then we’d start working on it.

And it grew from there. How was the Gramm-Jones relationship over the years? Did it escalate or deteriorate? It grew up through most of Foreigner 4 (1981). Towards the end of that it exceeded what I thought was fair. And after “Waiting For A Girl Like You,” he saw how that song rocketed to the top of the charts. Then the first song on the next album was “I Want To Know What Love Is.” I was like, uh-oh! Then all the ideas he started sending me were ballads. I said, “My purpose in being in this band is to be in a rock band. If we’re gonna lull people to sleep with these snoozers, you can count me out.” We had a huge falling out. And that’s what led to your Ready Or Not LP, with the solo hit “Midnight Blue.” Yeah, that’s what led to it. And that turned out to be the most played single of the year. More than U2, more than so many other strong songs. So he got a new singer and I started to write my second solo album.

What are your future goals? I’m 100% focused on music and movies. It balances out so that I don’t lose the integrity of either one. Right now it’s all about Ludaversal. I think it’s my best work to date. • June 2015 • PG 19



Indigo Girls Celebrate Their Paths by Looking to the Future your songwriting these days? Some writers need to be miserable to produce great work. I’ve got more wisdom about negative feelings than I used to have. I can be in a good state of mind and still write very dark material. But I will say that having a child has opened my mind, my heart and my spirit in a way that I didn’t know was possible. You hear people talk about that with having kids, but it’s true. As an artist, I’m not writing about babies specifically, but she has definitely opened me up. Now I can’t really see the end of my writing, it just feels like it can go on and on.



EALLY, REALLY GOOD, AND really, really busy!” is how Emily Saliers describes her life at the moment. And the Atlanta-based singersongwriter-author-activist-actor-Indigo Girl, has little time for reminiscing about the past. Longtime devotees and aging scenesters may recall that Sailers and Amy Ray released their first single exactly thirty years ago, but she’d much rather talk about their new album, or her restaurant, or her wife and daughter, or her activism, or film scores or even her upcoming solo album. The only real reflecting the band is doing is an ongoing Tumblr site, indigogirlsblog. It opens every sort of possibility., with monthly memories of the It totally does. You hear things about band’s history. There’ll be a book someday, how your life can change, but until you perhaps as an interactive experience, she experience them yourself, says, but until then, she’s you just don’t really know. happily settled, centered and I’m mindful and grateful creating some of the band’s for my privilege. I’m not a best and freshest material. Friday, June 26 single mother, struggling This month, One Lost Day, to make ends meet and Chastain Park a travelogue of road-related facing the tough decisions narratives, featuring a slate that so many people have to of creative collaborators, will face. I’m just feeling a lot of be available via the band’s gratitude these days for the IG Recordings. Naturally they’ll hit the gifts I’ve been given and the kind of life that highway to support it. I have now.


The new album is almost full circle from Crazy Game, your very first single in ’85. You’re back on your own label, three decades later. We say ’85, but you know, we put our first professional gig together in 1980, so it’s just been a long time. And yeah, to be releasing a new record after all these years, I’m so grateful, especially to Amy, and to be able to write new music and just for the whole process. And to still be able to play at Chastain, it’s all a big deal to us. An Atlanta Indigo Girls show is more of a homecoming than a regular concert, wither it’s at Chastain or the Botanical Gardens or even a rare club show. It really is. I feel like I know everybody in the crowd, even though I don’t. There’s just something special about playing where you’re from. And the vibe is always good. We’ve played Botanical shows where it’s been pouring down rain and Chastain shows where it’s been hot, and Terminal West shows where everyone is standing up. I think we’ve played every available venue in Atlanta, and it always feels good, because it’s home. And Atlanta is where my family is. Your family has definitely grown since the last album. A lot has happened! I can now legally call my wife, “my wife.” We had to go to New York to get married, a couple of years ago in August. We have [daughter] Cleo who is two and a half. We’re just waiting on the Supreme Court decision to come down, so that Georgia will recognize our marriage. Since she’s Canadian, before we got married, our future was very uncertain. But Cleo is just the light of our lives and she’s thriving. I’m old to be starting parenthood, but in many ways, it’s the perfect time. We’re happy. Does your overall good mood influence PG 20 • June 2015 •

And that sort of life journey is at the core of the whole “roadtrip” vibe on the new album. Right, that’s the way it turned out. It’s all life. I think when you travel as much as we do, so many of your overall experiences are gleaned from your time on the road; or you meet people from different places, then maybe you write a song and it takes place where that person is from, and it all adds up. You know, when I wrote “Alberta,” I had actually been driving through Alberta. When Amy wrote “The Rise Of The Black Messiah,” she had been in contact with a prisoner from that terrible prison in Louisiana. How did it feel to work with new producer Jordan Brooke Hamlin (Lucy Wainwright Roche) and mixer Brian Joseph (Bon Iver, Kathleen Edwards)? It’s a leap of faith to work with somebody new, but I like the way it makes me feel now. Jordan certainly brought new things to the table. When you’ve been doing it this long, you need that freshness. How have you maintained that freshness for so long? It starts with the songs. And we always work very well together and we’re very focused. Like I said, having kids completely opens up your life. But, you know, losses do, too. I lost my mom a few years ago and Amy lost her dad last year, and those things really affect you. I’m not saying death makes you fresh, but it shifts things. And every shift adds to what you can do, as an artist, with your work. We take breaks when we need them, and we have other things we do in life besides Indigo Girlsrelated things. Many other things. Then, when we come back to it, we’re ready. We don’t let it get stale by over-working it. It’s been four years since the most recent album [2011’s Beauty Queen Sister].

I’M JUST FEELING A LOT OF GRATITUDE THESE DAYS FOR THE GIFTS I’VE BEEN GIVEN AND THE KIND OF LIFE THAT I HAVE NOW. I know! That’s a long time for us. It went by so fast, because we’ve been really busy. Amy did her sixth solo record and I’m working on my first solo record. An Emily solo record is a long time coming. It sure has been! But I had all these questions about doing it. Like, is there something I need to do on my own that I can’t do within the Indigo Girls? And then, I’d get afraid. What if I make a crappy record and no one likes it? And who’s gonna produce it? And who am I completely simpatico with, in order to work

on it? Amy and I are completely simpatico in terms that we’re opposites, kind of yinyang, and the differences make it work. But in a solo experience, I wanted someone who is much more like me. That’s a lot of consider. It sure is, but I finally stopped being afraid and I’ve found the right producer. She’s Lyris Hung, who plays violin in the Indigo Girls band. She’s classically-trained from Julliard and also has a metal band. She just loves all kinds of music. It’ll probably be out next year and I’m very excited about it. It’s the right time in life and that’s why it’s now.




ITTING THE TWENTY YEAR mark for a record label is a pretty big deal nowadays. Hitting the two decade mark as a punk label that hasn’t been afraid to put out folk and Celtic rock releases as well, is pretty damn impressive. Bill Armstrong and Joe Sib, both musicians themselves, have managed to hit this milestone thanks to an impressive roster that over the years has included Flogging Molly, Gaslight Anthem, Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Chuck Ragan. SideOneDummy launched in 1995 when Armstrong and Sib decided to merge their own small indie labels (Sib’s label was called Side One and Armstrong’s was Dummy). Over the years they have become tastemakers for punk and indie rock. Armstrong took some time recently to talk about the label’s founding, its future and how Jack Johnson got away. You guys both had your own labels at one time. Why decide to merge? We thought that two heads were better than one and neither of us really knew what we were doing. We were just trying to figure out how to pay the rent without having to get a “regular” job or career of some sort. In starting the label, did you look to any other indies as examples of how to - or how not tofunction? Yes more on what to do than what not to do. I loved Matador, Sub Pop, Fat Wreck Chords... Fat really helped us early on. (Fat) Mike and Erin (Burkett) really took the time to answer our silly questions. Mike also gave us an unreleased NOFX track for one of our first comps and that really meant a lot to us and helped us a lot, too. What do you look for when you sign bands and how did you come across most of the recent bands you have signed?


Ninety-nine percent of the time someone refers the band to us. If we like them and think we can help them out we try to reach out. We do sign a bit on internal consensus here. Since we are a boutique company everyone who works here needs to feel that they can help the artist achieve their goals in each of their perspective departments. Did you ever have a band you turned down that went on to do really well elsewhere? Probably but none that come to mind off the top of my head. We have had artists that we have discovered too late in the sense that they had already committed to another partner. Jack Johnson and The Get Up Kids are two that come to mind. Did you ever come close to shutting down or walking away from the label? We have been extremely blessed that we have never had to do that. We also realize more than ever how lucky we are to have the gigs that we do have. Working with a bunch of talented artists all on their different career trajectory’s and goals can really be a lot of fun. You guys have put out some really big records over the years. Can you usually tell right away which bands are going to sell really well? I really wish I could... there have been records I thought would catch the world on fire that never connected with listeners. Once a record is out for a while you get an idea of what the “pace” of that band is. Some run a faster pace and other run a slower pace. That said, releasing an indie album is always a marathon and you never know when you are going to get that unexpected surprise. You hit 20 years this year; what are you doing to celebrate the anniversary? We started a little vinyl club that is going really well and celebrating that we can still call ourselves a record label in 2015 by putting out exciting records.



RITISH INDIE POP BAND THE PRIMITIVES started out in the mid-1980s, but ended up calling it a day just six years later after three albums when, according to guitarist Paul Court “It seemed like there was absolutely no interest in what we were doing anymore.” They finally reformed in 2009, but until recently had not released any new original songs. Spin-O-Rama, their sixth album was lauded by critics when it was finally released at the end of last year. But it could also be their last. Over e-mail recently, Court spoke about making the new record, their split and whether or not there is still demand for new music from The Primitives This is your second record since reforming, but the first with all original songs. Did you feel any pressure going into the writing

With New Name, New Album



ITH INFLUENCES THAT careen from Simon & Garfunkel to hardcore punk, you’d expect Atlanta’s Radio Birds to suffer from a lack of musical identity. But as anyone who’s heard their latest, Contemporary American Slang, can attest to the band has settled on a solidly impressive sound somewhere between Springsteen and the Old 97s. The band, rechristened Radio Birds after finding their sound a couple of years ago, will be playing throughout the southeast through much of the summer. Drummer Colin Dean was cool enough to answer some questions recently. Based on what you guys grew up listening to and playing - everything from hardcore to Bluegrass and James Taylor - how did you go about deciding the type of music you wanted to make with Radio Birds? We’ve never had any moment or even phase when we tried to figure out how we were going to sound, though I think it emerged naturally from the range of influences all of us have. You can see that in the way Radio Birds became the band that we are. We used to be a much different style, and we changed the name because the music changed. So we had the sound before we had the band. So that’s why you changed the band name a couple of years ago? Simply put, we changed the name because we were a different band. I had joined about six months earlier as a fill in, but we developed a good chemistry so quickly that I became a permanent member after just a few shows. Within a year the whole philosophy of the band had changed, I believe because all of us

and recording of this record? No, because at first it was going to be an EP, then a mini-album and then I wrote a few more songs and there was enough for an album, so it felt kind of gradual and spontaneous. The only real contrivance was that I tried to concentrate on writing stuff that sounded like our earlier output or the first album, which wasn’t that difficult. Has the way you write songs changed much since you wrote the music for Galore? A bit more can be done at the home demo stage with modern technology and so forth, but I still rely on being a musical idiot and just kind of grab things out of thin air. What has surprised you most about making music in 2014 versus when you first started out in the 1980s? The ease at which it can reach anyone who might be interested, as opposed to before where you relied on the music press or radio getting behind it. If we were the band we were in ‘92 now we’d probably have been able to keep going, because we wouldn’t be stuck in that small UK goldfish bowl. Galore was recently re-issued. Are their plans to revisit and reissue Lovely and Pure?

had grown as musicians, and we all started contributing pretty equally to new material. The new songs we had for our first EP were so different that it just made sense to change the name. It was actually chosen online, right? Any other names that were up for grabs that you’re glad didn’t stick? Ha, ha… Our fans were encouraged to submit names in the first round of voting, and we received about 200 names that ranged from thoughtful to hilarious to unspeakably bad. Some of the best were essentially un-print-ably. Contemporary American Slang sounds a bit different from the EP. Was that a conscious decision? It just happens naturally. Some bands you see take a while to find their ‘sound’, and then they roll with that sound until they get sick of it. I think ours will just keep changing as we do. Each member of the band writes songs. Every writing session we have tends to have a different leader, and for that reason, it would be incredibly difficult for us to write two albums that sound very alike. Jason Momoa ended up including “Ease My Mind” in the movie Road to Paloma. Do you know how he first ended up hearing of you guys? Pretty sure he and Justin Keller (singer/ guitar) met out at a bar one night playing (the arcade game) Big Buck HD. They hit it off. It turns out Jason is a huge music lover and part-time musician himself, and he shares a lot of interests with us. We’ve jammed a few times and done some other stuff with him; his production company Pride of Gypsies helped us out big time with our video for “Hold on Me”.

Lovely got an expanded reissue two years ago. Pure got a digital release a while back. It’s not really much to do with us. I’ve helped out with the two physical releases, just to try and make them as good as they can possibly be, but we don’t see a penny from them, because of un-recouped debt from years ago. Have you started thinking about new music for another record yet? There isn’t a great deal of mainstream interest in new Primitives material in the UK. However we’ve been knocked out by all the good reaction elsewhere for the album, so we need to focus on getting out to some of those places. What’s next for the band? We’re playing a few UK shows in May and some UK and European festivals and also there’s a remix limited edition single coming out. • June 2015 • PG 21




U.S. Soccer Star Alex Morgan Ready for the FIFA Women’s World Cup



ON’T LET THE WIDE SMILES and American Idol appearances fool you—when it’s time to get serious, Alex Morgan knows how to do it. When the U.S. women’s national soccer team was battling for the top prize at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the stunning striker/ social media sensation (@alexmorgan13) was über-focused. As you may reluctantly recall, her squad came up just short against Japan in the finals. She’s had four years to stew over the loss. Now that the 2015 tournament (June 6-July 5) is ready to commence in Canada, Morgan knows it’s time for the rest of the world to feel her wrath—right after she finishes this last protein shake, of course. How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle with all of your traveling? I try to keep my healthy living as consistent as I can. With traveling, it makes it super hard. Sometimes you just have to eat what’s available for you. But I try to make sure I’m always hydrating with water, Powerade, electrolyte drinks or protein shakes. I’m always carrying my protein with me—a bag of nuts, a protein bar or something like that. I always have a quick snack. We’re told to eat more than three meals a day. We eat four or five and have snacks available. We have a fitness coach that does all of our meal plans and everything. It makes life really easy for us. How is the U.S. women’s team going to approach Japan this time? Two years ago, before the NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) was a league, we talked with U.S. Soccer and asked, “What will give us an edge to make us even better than other countries?” We thought having a league playing week in and week out would help develop the women’s game in the U.S. and help us keep that No. 1 ranking. We’ve had two years under our belt in the

PG 22 • June 2015 •

NWSL. Another key component is making sure, individually, we all do our part for the better of the team. We have a pool of probably 30 players and every player needs to play their part and come in as fit as possible. You have teams like France and Japan, a couple of years ago they were nobodies. You had Japan winning the World Cup almost right out of our hand in 2011. You have those teams raising the bar and we need to continue to stay above that bar. The Alex Morgan I see today is more of a leader than the one from 2011. What kinds of pressures do you feel about your new role? I feel like I have so much more experience and I’ve grown, not only as a player but as a person. I know so much more now than I did three or four years ago. I can take on more of a responsibility. I can take on a greater role than I was in the past. I feel more comfortable with myself on the team and confident where I am in my play. I’m really happy with the way that my play has developed over the last couple of years. It’s all about making sure I put myself in good positions everyday in front of my fans and in front of my teammates, just continuing to make sure I’m ready every single day. Being so close to the U.S., will this feel like a home World Cup? It’s kind of a double-edged sword because it is so close to the U.S. I already have so many friends and family that have committed to going. They’re either driving or flying right across the border. But at the same time, it is right across the border, which means [Canada has] built a rivalry with this country. Obviously, in the [2012 London] Olympics, our semifinal game against Canada was pretty crazy. Everyone tuned in. I think the Canadians aren’t going to treat us like we’re at home. They’re going to make us feel like we’re in their country. Although we’re going to have a lot of support, we’re going to have a lot of boos at the same time.



HEN I SAW THE FOREBODING blanket of storm clouds rolling in over Norway’s Nigardsbreen glacier (an arm of Jostedalsbreen, the largest glacier in continental Europe), I steeled myself for a cold, hard, rainy day of climbing. We rendezvoused with our guide, Matias Cofone, at the Breheimsenteret Glacier Centre in Jostedal. Matias, an Argentinian who has been guiding glacier hikes for eight years, gave us an overview of safety procedures, briefly explained how we’d spend the next 7 hours, and loaded us into a van for a short drive to the shore of Nigardsbrevatnet, the lake on which we’d kayak to the base of the glacier. By this point the rain had built from a slow, steady drizzle to a sodden downpour. Even with two hooded jackets and multiple shirts layered beneath, the dismal weather brought a chill that penetrated to our bones as we paddled our way towards the glacier. I could feel my wife Mary tensing up long before we reached the opposite shore. But the view around us was spectacular: The glacial silt lent an aquamarine milkiness to the water, complementing the evergreen trees lining the mountains that surrounded us. The rain created hundreds of waterfalls barreling down sheer cliffs that led to the lake, while the black and blue ice of Nigardsbreen loomed increasingly large before us. After beaching our kayaks we hiked to the base of the glacier, scrambling over rocks slick with rain and algae, climbing stairs, crossing swinging rope bridges over rushing rapids, and walking across two-by-fours stretched to ford shallow creeks. Matias showed us how to strap ourselves into our crampons and clipped us into the climbing ropes that would bind the 6 people on our team together. Sensing Mary’s growing sense of nervousness, I suggested we remain at the back of the pack, which would also give us extra time to take photos and video while we climbed. It was an exhilarating but challenging climb. The early summer temperatures had melted the glacier enough that you could hear water running off it. Massive crevasses of the deepest blue surrounded us. The rain and wind picked up as we traversed narrow ridgelines, pelting our faces and making the hard-packed ice slippery. Matias proceeded cautiously, stopping often to figure out the best route and making sure everyone in our group had a chance to catch their breath. The higher we climbed, the more I sensed Mary’s fear building: She had a death grip on her ice axe, and began to whisper nervously about

wanting to turn back. Sensing we were getting near the top, I encouraged her to keep going, distracting her with the need to hydrate and the breathtaking view below us. Finally, we reached the top of a particularly intense section. Matias shrugged off his backpack and stuck his ice axe in the wall of a sheer cliff of ice. There were sighs of relief all around as we took off our packs and unclipped ourselves from the rope for a brief lunch break, complete with hot cocoa Matias had brought in a thermos. As we all chatted amiably, Matias quietly clambered down a crevasse next to us. Cautiously stepping over to the edge, I looked down to see him crawling into a small ice cave that looked like something out of a Superman movie. “It’s not quite big enough to go through it,” he said, “but you can come down and take pictures if you want.” Of course I wanted, but most of the other climbers declined. Mary was clearly delighted to be on solid ground, not having to straddle a crevasse, climb steep sections of ice or balance precariously on a ridge for a few minutes. I almost felt guilty for loving the adventure as much as I did. But not so guilty that I stopped grinning like the Cheshire Cat in every photo. Eventually we strapped ourselves back into our packs, clipped into our ropes, and began one last push towards the summit. But as we came around a corner and met up with another group of climbers descending, Matias and one of the other guides began talking, pointing in the direction we were headed. Matias looked concerned, and asked us to gather around for a chat. “I’ve just spoken with the other guide, and he says we can’t go any further. The glacier is beginning to melt, and he said there’s no safe way to climb any higher from here. I’m afraid we’ll have to go back.” In the end, we’d climbed only a few hundred meters in all. But for us– with the steep inclines, bad weather and our inexperience– it might as well have been Mount Everest. Though Nigardsbreen has been described as one of the most easily accessible glaciers in the world, it’s also dangerous and should never be attempted without an experienced guide. A couple from Germany died there in August 2014 when the glacier began calving after they’d crossed cautionary ropes set up at the base of the glacier. As the sun finally emerged from between the clouds, we were filled with a huge sense of accomplishment for rising to Mother Nature’s challenges. There’s no better word than “EPIC” to describe Norway, and our day climbing Nigardsbreen was one of our most epic adventures to date.


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INsite Atlanta June 2015 Issue  

Atlanta's Entertainment Monthly featuring our annual Summer Guide! The best festivals, events, BBQ, movies and more to start off your summer...

INsite Atlanta June 2015 Issue  

Atlanta's Entertainment Monthly featuring our annual Summer Guide! The best festivals, events, BBQ, movies and more to start off your summer...