VOL. 25, NO. 10 FREE
Jazz in the City C
5 YEARS! 2 G N I T ELEBRA
Where to find in Atlanta
PAUL SHAFFER • FREDDY COLE • LITTLE TYBEE
S or at
PICK UP DISCOUNT COUPONS AT THE FOLLOWING:
MEGA PASS $20.00
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$7 MAXIMUM VALUE. BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE GOOD FOR GATE ADMISSION. INCLUDES ADMISSION TO THE CIRCUS.
REGULAR RIDE TICKETS AT THE GATE 1 TICKET $1.25 21 TICKETS $20 55 TICKETS $50 120 TICKETS $100
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JIM R. MILLER PARK 2245 CALLAWAY ROAD, MARIETTA, GA 30008 TAKE I-75 TO WINDY HILL ROAD (EXIT #260). GO WEST APPROXIMATELY FIVE MILES ON WINDY HILL ROAD AND TURN LEFT ON AUSTELL ROAD. TURN RIGHT ON CALLAWAY ROAD. JIM R. MILLER PARK WILL BE ON YOUR RIGHT.
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CTS A D
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THE 2017 World's Largest Yaarab Shrine Circus & Fair
2017shrinecircus.com PG 2 • May 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
CONTENTS • MAY 2017 • VOLUME 25, NO. 10
ATLANTA JAZZ FESTIVAL
EARS! ING 25 Y T A R B E CEL
MAY 26-28, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
INTERVIEWS 08 Kiefer Sutherland 12 Marquis Hill 12 Little Tybee 13 Freddy Cole 14 Ann Wilson 14 Paul Shaffer 18 Bayside 18 Ratboys
PIEDMONT PARK Macy Gray
THURSDAY MAY 25, 2017 7 PM - 10 PM
FEATURES 08 Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Oconee 09 ATL’s Best Tapas 10 Spring Festivals 13 Jazz Fest Lineup
FEATURING: MACY GRAY ROBERT GLASPER EXPERIMENT MOONCHILD MARQUIS HILL BLACKTET FREDDY COLE | DEVA MAHAL RUSSELL GUNN & AFRICAN DRUMS MEETS KEBBI WILLIAMS’ WOLF PACK
KONA JAZZ POOL PARTY WITH KP THE GREAT!
14 SATURDAY MAY 27, 2017 10 PM - 1 AM
04 Around Town 05 On Tap 06 Atlanta on a Dime 07 Under The Lights 16 New Releases 16 Station Control 14 17 Movie Reviews
LATE NIGHT JAZZ JAM WITH MILES ELECTRIC!
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VOL. 25, NO. 10 FREE
Jinazthe Cityz S! TING 25 YEAR CELEBRA
© Copyright 2017, Be Bop Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Check out Jazz Festival interviews on pages 12-13.
PAUL SHAFFER • FREDDY COLE
• LITTLE TYBEE
insiteatlanta.com • May 2017 • PG 3
Around Town NOW THROUGH JUNE 4
Georgia Renaissance Festival
I-85; Exit 61 - Fairburn / Peachtree City
The 2017 Georgia Renaissance Festival is open every weekend through June 4th, including Memorial Day Monday. Festival guests are greeted by Queen Anne Boleyn and her Court, merry minstrels, fair maidens, gallant Knights in shining armor and a full-day of entertainment on 10 stages, food fit for kings, and a marketplace of over 150 master artisans. Visit GArenfest.com.
Gwinnett Beer Fest
Coolray Field / Lawrenceville, GA
The third annual Gwinnett Beer Fest will take place on Saturday, May 6th at Coolray Field, home of the Gwinnett Braves in Lawrenceville. The festival will take place from 1pm to 5 pm with an exclusive VIP tasting starting at 12 pm. Enjoy unlimited sampling of over 150 craft beers, live music and great food. Visit gwinnettbeerfest.com.
MAY 12 - 14 Camino Real
Cobb Energy Centre
A ballet based on Camino Real by Tennessee Williams. Gutman, the wicked hotelier, rules the Camino Real with an iron fist, and the residents of this dead-end town live in fear of him and his band of thugs. Trapped and disillusioned, they have all but given up when the arrival of our hero and
Events and Performances taking place this Month
former light heavyweight boxing champ, Kilroy, brings renewed hope to these lost souls and reignites their wills to live. Visit AtlantaBallet.com.
Sundays on the River Bob Bakert Chattahoochee Nature Center
What better way to wrap-up the weekend, then an evening under the stars listening to live music with friends. Live music fills the stage the 2nd Sunday from May – September. Whether it’s a girls’ night, date night, or a you night, nature will provide the perfect backdrop for the evening. The opening night is Bob Bakert and his six-piece band playing 6 - 9 p.m. For tickets, call 770-9922055, or online at chattnaturecenter.org.
Mother's Day Jazz & Blues Brunch City Winery @ Ponce City Market
Join City Winery and some of the finest Jazz and Blues performers for their Mother's Day Brunch. Hosted by radio personality Debb Moore featuring Theresa Hightower w/ special guest Gary Harris and Comedian Lamont Ferrell. Specialty brunches are held monthly at City Winery featuring a jazz & blues show. Visit CityWinery.com.
Fri | JUN 23
MAY 20 - 29
Yarab Shrine Circus & Fair Jim R Miller Park, Marietta
The largest Shrine Circus and Fair in North America is back for its 75th year! Packed with more excitement than ever, this year’s Tarzan Zerbini Circus features several new acts under the Big Top presented by the world-famous ringmaster Richard Curtis. In addition to the (80minute) circus under The Big Top, there are 35 exciting carnival rides and attractions, as well as lots of food such as hot wings, funnel cakes, cotton candy, fried Oreos, snow cones, elephant ears, and more. Circus goers can enjoy circus acts from around the world including high-flying trapeze acts, aerials and acrobats, elephants, and of course, world-famous Shrine clowns. The Sneak-a-Peek Ride-A-Thon begins Friday May 19. Midway opens Monday through Friday at 5 p.m.; Saturday at 10 a.m.; Sunday at Noon, and Memorial Day at 10 a.m. Visit 2017ShrineCircus.com
MAY 26 - 29
Salute to the Troops Stone Mountain Park
Come to Stone Mountain Park Memorial Day Weekend for a special salute to the troops, extended fireworks finale, and the Lasershow Spectacular in Mountainv ision® with breathtaking fire effects. Three flame cannons add a Stone Mountain Park punch to the Memorial Day Weekend
show by sending a trio of flames nearly onehundred feet into the air. Plus, special new fireworks spray multi-colored bursts and dance on the water at the base of the mountain. Marvel as the skies above light up in a specially choreographed musical tribute honoring the brave men and women who protect our country. Visit stonemountainpark.com
Brew at the Zoo
Zoo Atlanta in Grant Park
One of Atlanta’s most popular Memorial Day Weekend traditions returns for its 10th anniversary. Brew at the Zoo features a variety of live music on stages throughout the Zoo and other entertainment. Tickets include unlimited sampling of over 70 beers and wines. Visit ZooAtlanta.org for details.
JUNE 3 & 4
Chattahoochee Nature Center
The expanded "Butterfly Encounter Exhibit” allows visitors to the festival to handfeed more than 250 free flying butterflies. Enjoy the show when masses of butterflies fly free and land on kids and flowers after their release in front of the Ben Brady Lakeside Pavilion. Meet Ms. Chrysalis as she explains how these magical creatures metamorphosize. Learn about the ways you can help bring more butterflies to your garden. All ages will enjoy this fun event featuring live music; entomology exhibits; arts and crafts; face painting, butterfly parades, food trucks and more. A great event to kick off summer and create amazing memories. Visit chattnaturecenter.org.
Fri | DEC 8
Buy Tickets Now ticketmaster.com | Woodruff Arts Center Box Office | aso.org/LIVE PG 4 • May 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
On Tap this Month
MAJOR EVENTS COMING TO ATLANTA May 10: Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre
e Coca-Cola Roxy eatre, Atlanta's brand new concert venue has opened to rave reviews. e venue is located in e Battery Atlanta, a mixed-use development next to SunTrust Park that is home of e Atlanta Braves. Billy Joel played to a sold out crowd to open the venue last month and British rock / grunge band Bush visits May 10. e Roxy is located near the intersection of I-75 and 285. Visit CocaColaRoxy.com
Saturday, May 13: Frederick Brown Amphitheatre
is year, venerable multi-platinum and Grammynominated band Smash Mouth will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut, smash-hit album “Fush Yu Mang”. “Walkin’ On e Sun” was an immediate international sensation. Quickly shooting to #1 on the Billboard charts. Two decades since, Smash Mouth has not slowed down. In fact, they are as vital and vibrant as ever. Tickets at Amphitheater.org
Friday & Saturday, May 19 & 20: ASO
THE BEATLES TRIBUTE
Join Conductor Michael Krajewski for THE Beatles Tribute: Classical Mystery Tour with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. You will step back in time as our four guest artists take you on a musical journey featuring early Beatles classics and favorites from their solo years. is year marks the 50th anniversary of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club. Tickets at AtlantaSymphony.org
Thursday, May 25: The Fox Theatre
BRIT FLOYD IMMERSION TOUR Brit Floyd brings the music of Pink Floyd to life once again with its lavish new stage show, 'Immersion World Tour 2017’ coming to Atlanta’s Fox eatre on ursday, May 25 at 8 p.m. As well as performing the favorite moments from e Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, e Wall and e Division Bell, Brit Floyd will also pay special tribute to the Animals album in its 40th anniversary year. Visit Foxeatre.org
Memorial Day Weekend: Piedmont Park
ATLANTA JAZZ FESTIVAL
Celebrating 40 years of musical mastery, the festival returns to Piedmont Park with three days of music over Memorial Day Weekend. AJF is oﬀering 40 days of jazz at venues across the city culminating with the event at Piedmont Park. e ﬁnal weekend oﬀers KidZone areas with games and inﬂatables. National and international musicians will perform on two stages. Admission to the festival is free. Visit atlantafestivals.com
Thursday - Saturday, June 8,9,10: Fox Theatre
THE AVETT BROTHERS
e Avett Brothers are coming to Atlanta's Fox eatre for three shows to take place on ursday, June 8, Friday, June 9, and Saturday, June 10th. All shows are at 8 p.m. Last June the Avetts released their 9th studio album, True Sadness, and additionally, the album was the most played album on Americana radio stations in 2016, according to the Americana Music Association. Tickets may be purchased at Foxeatre.org insiteatlanta.com • May 2017 • PG 5
Free Event; sweetauburn.com
EVENTS HAPPENING FOR SMALL CHANGE IN ATLANTA
Know of a low cost event happening? Event@AtlantaOnADime.com By Marci Miller
Friday, May 12
Saturday, May 13
W. Ponce de Leon Ave. Decatur Square Free Event; decaturga.com
Woodlands Garden; Free Event woodlandsgarden.org
Let your light shine and wind through downtown Decatur during this free community event. Gather at Color Wheel Studio at 508 E. Howard Ave. after 8 p.m., then parade to the downtown square. Make your own lantern at home or attend a lantern-making workshop where supplies and guidance are provided. Lanterns must be battery powered while ﬂying lanterns are forbidden.
Woodlands Garden’s M.A.Y. (Music, Art, & Youth) Fair is an annual event, held between 11 am - 2 pm, celebrating young talent. Young artists (grades 2 to 12) are able to sell their own artwork and crafts at booths set up on the Garden lawn.
DECATUR LANTERN PARADE
Saturday, May 13
ROSSINI’S CINDERELLA Atlanta Opera Center $5 Ticket; atlantaopera.org
Who needs a fairy godmother? When Rossini wrote his version of the Cinderella story, he showed that goodness and kindness, rather than magical trappings, can be the most eﬀective way to arrive at a fairytale ending. is one hour in-school opera performance includes sparkling music, a pair of comically catty sisters, devious disguises, and one of the most compelling heroines of all time.
Saturday & Sunday May 13 & 14
DUNWOODY ARTS FESTIVAL Dunwoody Village Parkway; Free Event splashfestivals.com
e Dunwoody Arts Festival attracts top artisans from across the country. Along with the creative artist market, a fun-ﬁlled Kidz Zone awaits youngsters with great rides, sand art, imaginative crafts and games. A relaxing stage with continuous live music also oﬀers festival goers a chance to unwind. ere is also a food court with great eats from neighborhood restaurant fare to tasty funnel cakes.
Sweet Auburn Springfest is one of the largest free outdoor festivals in the Southeast attracting up to 350,000 attendees with fun events with plenty of food and entertainment for the whole family.
Tuesday, May 16
THE BIG LEBOWSKI
City Winery @ Ponce City Market Free Event; citywinery.com/atlanta On May 16th, the devoted fan base of e Dude is invited to a free screening of cult classic, e Big Lebowski on a 15-foot screen. e event will feature a Dude lookalike contest.
Thursday, May 25
SUNSET SIPS: HEIDI POLLYEA Chattahoochee Nature Center Free Event; chattnaturecenter.org
Sunset Sips is a laid back, family friendly event taking place on the 4th ursday of each month, 6:30-9:30pm, April – Sep-
tember (except July). Heidi Pollyea, an Atlanta based singer/songwriter play “funky folk” on both piano and guitar.
Saturday, May 27 - Monday, May 29
ALPHARETTA ARTS FEST Alpharetta Historic District Free Event; alpharetta.ga.us
is three day event taking place over Memorial Day Weekend, will host more than 90 colorful artisans from around the country. e festival will feature live music, cultural arts performances, entertaining children’s activities, and a variety cuisine.
Tuesday, May 30
FINDING DORY MOVIE
Free; georgiamoviesinthepark.com Dory is a wide-eyed, blue tang ﬁsh who suﬀers from memory loss. e one thing she can remember is that she somehow became separated from her parents as a child. With help from her friends Dory embarks on an epic adventure. is screening at Vickery Village in Cumming.
Saturday, May 13 & Sunday, May 14
SWEET AUBURN SPRINGFEST
Decatur Lantern Parade Decatur Square Free Event • decaturga.com
Historic Auburn Avenue District
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Your Neighborhood Pizzeria!
Atlanta’s Favorite Pizza! Multiple Atlanta Locations: JohnnysPizza.com PG 6 • May 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
Find walkable art, artful events, curated wares, and creative cuisine all over Atlanta’s Eastside indie hub – Decatur.
ARTS IN FULL COLOR.
New Mural @
W. Trinity Pl . decaturga
Visitors Center 113 Clairemont Ave. | 5/3/17 6:15 PM
Under The Lights ON STAGE THIS MONTH
SPLIT IN THREE
May 4 - 28 Aurora Theatre (678) 226-6222 AuroraTheatre.com
May 16 - 21 The Fox Theatre (855) 285-8499 FoxTheatre.org/Neverland
Written by Atlanta’s own Daryl Lisa Fazio, SPLIT IN THREE proves that change can be exhilarating and excruciating at the same time. This comedic drama looks at a quintet of people in the Mississippi Delta struggling with personal change during a time of great historic change: the Civil Rights movement in the late 60s. This southern fried comic drama begins as the Supreme Court is forcing the last segregated school system in rural Mississippi to integrate. Two sisters, Nola and Nell, are caught in the middle of a national fervor as the deadline draws near. As if tensions aren’t high enough, their long-lost, Yankee half-sister arrives unexpectedly at their doorstep. As worlds collide, they find hope in the bond of sisterhood.
FINDING NEVERLAND tells the incredible story behind one of the world's most beloved characters, Peter Pan. It follows the relationship between playwright J.M. Barrie and the family that inspired the tale. When he meets the four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother, he is spellbound by the boys' enchanting makebelieve adventure. This new musical, packed with mesmerizing visuals, irresistible songs and plenty of laughs, is a timeless story about the power of imagination… and spectacular proof that you never really have to grow up. The magic of Barrie's classic tale springs spectacularly to life in this heartwarming theatrical event.
FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS
May 19 - June 25 Horizon Theatre (404) 584-7450 HorizonTheatre.com
May 13 - June 11 Actor’s Express (404) 607-7469 Actors-Express.com Actors Express, at the King Plow Arts Center, brings FATHER COMES HOME FROM WARS (Parts 1, 2 & 3) by Pulitzer Prizewinning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks to stage this month. Offered his freedom in exchange for fighting for the Confederacy, a slave named Hero follows his master into the Civil War. His epic journey takes him through the battles of war, and he comes to discover the cost of freedom, the heartbreak of love and the enduring power of home. The acclaimed trilogy is one of the most celebrated American plays of the past decade and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. “Suzan-Lori Parks is one of our greatest living American playwrights and this is perhaps her most accomplished play to date.” - Artistic Director.
HOW TO USE A KNIFE
HOW TO USE A KNIFE is a sharp-edged comedy in the hustle and bustle of a Wall Street restaurant. This melting-pot of a kitchen sizzles with secrets in this fastpaced feast. George is a down on his luck master chef. He is a recovering alcoholic who hits rock bottom and faces his last chance to turn his life around. His kitchen is nowhere near the kind of ambitious culinary environments he worked in before. The story surrounds two rowdy Guatemalan line cooks, a nosy busboy, and a mysteriously reserved East-African dishwasher. Set during busy dinner shifts, the play bursts with grinding suspense, crackling energy, and piercing surprise as secrets from the past come to a boil. It is a story about guilt and second chances.
“BOMBASTIC ENERGY!”–THE SACRAMENTO BEE
HOW TO USE
W INNER ! BROA DWAY.COM’S AUDIENCE CHOICE AWA R D FOR BEST MUSIC A L
BY WILL SNIDER
A SHARP-EDGED COMEDY!
A melting pot of cultures in a restaurant kitchen sizzles with second chances and secrets.
MAY 19-JUN 25
EUCLID & AUSTIN AVES. IN LITTLE FIVE FI POINTS
PRESS OPENING: MAY 26
404.584.7450 • HORIZONTHEATRE.COM
flx insiteatlanta.com • May 2017 • PG 7
KIEFER SUTHERLAND THE RITZ-CARLTON The Designated Survivor and 24 star REYNOLDS, LAKE OCONEE Settles Into Singer-Songwriter Mode Kicks Off the Summer Season
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
E’S PLAYED THE PRESIDENT on Designated Survivor and the irascible agent Jack Bauer on the popular series 24 but Kiefer Sutherland’s newest role has been his most nerveracking. With the release of his debut album Down In A Hole and a string of live appearances with his band, the veteran actor has fully entered singer-songwritermusician mode. Yes, that risky road has been traveled by a number of respected actors to oftenunexpected acclaim and a wildly varied spectrum of results. Johnny Depp, Kevin Bacon, Juliette Lewis and Robert Downey, Jr have had moderate successes with music while Leonard Nimoy, Telly Savalas and Goldie Hawn, not so much. Sutherland is well aware of the stigma. But the London-born performer is so proud of his often-personal storytelling that he’s taking it on the road on an ambitious tour to support the new release. While traveling the country in Dora, a Prevost bus that also serves as his dressing room when Designated Survivor films on location, Sutherland stops in Atlanta this month. Did your considerable experience as an actor inform your stage persona? Well I thought I was going to be able to use my years working as an actor to help me on stage but I was wrong. I realized that for 30 years I’ve been able to work as a character. When I go on stage with music, the songs are personal and they’re mine. So I leave myself in a much more open position than I think maybe I ever have before.
BY MARCI MILLER
UST 75 MILES FROM ATLANTA, situated on 30 acres of stunning shoreline find The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee; one of the most beautiful lake resorts in Georgia. The AAA Five Diamond resort is only a short drive from Augusta and internationally known for their 99 holes of championship golf. But to their guests traveling from Atlanta, the resort is much more than that. It is a place to get away with that special someone or make memories with family and friends. BY THE END OF THE SHOW, I THINK THE CONNECTION BECOMES MUCH MORE HONEST THAN IT WAS BEFORE THE SHOW STARTED. WE’LL ALL SEE THAT FOR BETTER OR WORSE I’M NOT JACK BAUER.
Many songwriters assume a variety of characters when they write. But for the majority of the record, these are your own personal revelations. Yeah I’ve just had a lifetime playing characters so when I started writing, I would draw on the personal experiences that I’ve gone through. And like with anybody else, they were all kind of very general things. Like loss of love or finding love. Unfortunately, over the course of my life I’ve lost a lot of friends way too early so I would write about that. You realize you might not be the only person going through those emotions. And there’s a real comfort in that for me.
Touring is the real litmus Are you still delving test for any music. To into your diary for take it out in front of a song material? MAY 17 live audience, many of My family’s not gonna like Terminal West whom have never heard this too much. Whenever I’m terminalwestatl.com the songs before, is a real looking for inspirations and challenge. I’ve gone through a lot of my Yeah we ended up own personal experiences, I playing 75 or 80 shows last year and it start writing about personal experiences of became of the most exciting things I’ve ever my family. I don’t know how appreciative done or ever had the opportunity to do. I they’re going to be of that, but it’s true. think it’s because it required me to open up in a way that I haven’t done before. Do you enjoy the touring experience? The first few shows, it was not easy. I It’s rare for a songwriter to be that candid had to force myself to get out there and do and vulnerable. How did the first few it. I think I was very nervous and I didn’t shows go? know what the outcome was going to be. At the very beginning, in the first few But I pushed through it and I think that’s shows that we played - and by that I mean something I’ve done all my life, to just push maybe 20 - it was the most scared I think through things. Then I got to the place I’ve ever been in my life. where I really enjoyed it. I can’t say enough about the audiences that we’ve played for Who were your earliest musical over the last year and a half. I started to inspirations? really feed off of it and I’ve learned that if I was listening to Elton John when I was I task myself to do something, I’m going to eight or nine and then later Tom Petty follow through - for better or for worse. By was a big inspiration. I don’t think he’s the end of the show, whatever preconceived ever written a bad song, and he’s all over ideas they might’ve had about me or the place with different styles. The Band, whatever preconceived ideas I might’ve certainly and Merle Haggard and Johnny had about them, we find we probably have Cash because they told really linear stories. more in common than you would normally I got into country music in the ‘90s when I think. By the end of the show, I think the was doing rodeos. We’d all travel together connection becomes much more honest and that was what we heard. The linear than it was before the show started. We’ll stories of Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson all see that for better or worse I’m not and Waylon Jennings became a style of Jack Bauer. writing I really respected. PG 8 • May 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
This lake resort offers a wide array of activities for couples and families alike. Besides their world class golf courses, The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds also has an international tennis center with two stadium-size and six championship-size, lighted and tournament-ready courts. Take out a boat or Jet Ski on the lake or enjoy one of their many other activities ranging from fishing, swimming, waterskiing, paddle boarding and wakeboarding to horseback riding, bicycle riding and hiking. All are included with an activity pass. This spring the resort is rolling out exclusive new Water Bikes which guests can use at their leisure. On these Schiller Water Bikes, both kids and adults can enjoy the water by biking along the top of the lake without getting wet.
The resort spa is an award-winning, 27,600-square-feet complete rejuvenation complex. The expansive dressing rooms offer personalized, safe lock wooden lockers, shower area, steam, sauna, whirlpool, and cold plunge. Much of the spa is devoted to special treatments and they have separate men’s and women’s lounges that lead into the customized treatment rooms. Drawing from its native surroundings, the luxury spa at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee now offers indigenous farm to spa services such as the Southern Honey and Grits Body Treatment providing a silky body therapy leaving the skin ultra-hydrated. Exclusively for men, the spa will now offer the Single Malt combining an “On the Rocks” shave, haircut and local bourbon tasting for a distinct grooming experience.
The Ritz-Oconee offers an array of dining options to make your stay as effortless and luxurious as you want it to be. Gaby’s by the Lake is their poolside full service restaurant open for lunch and dinner. It boasts the distinction of serving the most diners out of any Ritz-Carlton property in the country. Georgia’s Bistro is an informal and comfortable restaurant located in the main lodge with beautiful terrace. The
menu offers casual, contemporary cuisine with a distinctive Georgian influence. Linger Longer Steakhouse is a classic steakhouse which provides precise execution to enhance great steaks. Enjoy views of the Oconee golf course while you dine on American classics such as Lobster Bisque and Certified Black Angus Steaks. S’mores By The Lake takes place daily from 8 to 10 p.m. by the rustic, lodge campfire just outside of Georgia’s Bistro restaurant. Chiminea dining is available by lakefront.
As the perfect lakeside family retreat, the resort offers an array of activities to enjoy together including the new complimentary Family Fun Hour offered daily from 4 to 5 p.m. with games, crafts and more. The immersive Ritz Kids program showcases natural wonders and rich cultural traditions of the area. Highlights include Leave Your Trace where children will hear intriguing legends of the Creek tribes found along Lake Oconee in the comfort of their own in-room teepee; Dooley’s Dozen Book Club with a delivery of classic and popular titles, and Kids Night Out each Friday and Saturday evening.
The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee invites its guests and members of Reynolds to enjoy live entertainment, art workshops and other cultural offerings while on property. The Live at the Lake summer concert series kicks off on May 28 with live entertainment and fireworks on select Sunday evening in June through August with local singers like Eric Dodd, Scott Mulvahill and more. August 10, retreat to the lake for a private concert with famed pianist, Christopher Smith. His concert will take you on a journey through melodies, as he performs famous classical pieces as well as favorite Nashville tunes and New Orleans Jazz pieces. Christopher will be joined by Nashville artist and vocalist, Kevin Sport throughout the evening. This concert will be a night to remember. For more information about The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee and their summer offerings, visit RitzCarlton.com/reynolds or call (706) 467-0600.
In the Mood for . . . TAPAS!
Popular Atlanta restaurants offering small plates
Eclipse di Luna
764 Miami Circle 404.846.0449 4505 Ashford-Dunwoody 678.205.5862 eclipsediluna.com
Upon entering Eclipse di Luna you feel like you’ve been transported into an exotic locale. Take in the festive, high-energy dining experience with an artsy setting as a backdrop. With over two dozen tapas to choose from there is something to please any taste. Their cheese based tapas are great choice to start with. Try the Quesos Espanoles, a tasting of Spanish cheeses with assorted accompaniments. Eclipse di Luna features a variety of meat dishes like the Pollo a la Parilla, a chicken breast grilled and marinated with red pepper salad and avocado. On the beef side, The Brocheta de Bistee is a red wine marinated skirt steak skewered with chimichurri. There are also several seafood dishes to choose from including the Gambas al Ajillo which is sautéed shrimp & garlic with calabes pepper. Eclipse di Luna has been voted Best Tapas by INsite readers several years running. Both locations offer patio dining.
N. Decatur Plaza 404.320.0101 Midtown 404.917.1100 East Cobb 678.996.0045 Athens 706.543.5000 mediterraneangrill.com
Mediterranean Grill has consistently been voted "Best Mediterranean" in Atlanta. They serve authentic regional dishes like gyros, falafel, Greek salad, kabob and lamb shank. You will find great Mediterranean Tapas on the menu including Hummus, Baba Ganouj, Calamari, Dolmas and Greek Potatoes. Start with one of their artfully prepared appetizers like Hummus, Baba Ganouj, Tabouleh Salad Calamari or homemade Spanakopita. Try the Business Lunch Special offering Shish Kabob, Kufta Kabab & Gyro slices w/rice pilaf, salad, pita and drink for just $8.40. Mediterranean Grill has tasty sandwiches including: Gyro, Kufta Kabob, Chicken Kabob, Falafel and a Grilled Vegetable sandwich. Mediterranean Grill is also popular for catering. Their menu can be found online or by calling any of their three locations. Give them a call or come in for an authentic Mediterranean experience.
550-C Amsterdam Ave. 404.875.4494 loca-luna.com
Samba. Salsa. Merengue. They have it all at Loca Luna, where you'll find live Latin music nightly and savory dishes from Spain, South America and Latin America. Their location on Amsterdam Ave offers a spacious main dining room, ample bar/lounge area, tropical outdoor patio with Midtown skyline view, and a private
VIP area upstairs. Enjoy a wide range of tapas including Snapchat worthy selections like: Spanish Style Ribs, Mini Cuban Sliders, Pao de Queijo, Brazilian Cheese Rolls, Emapanda de Carne, carne asada steak skewers, Ceviche De Camarones, lamb meatballs; garlic and lemon aioli. Come in Tuesday 5-10pm for Unlimited Tapas at just $18 or crazy Taco Thursday’s swith $2 tacos and $4 margaritas 5-10pm. Free Salsa Lessons from 8-9pm on Wednesdays with Orquesta MaCuba Salsa Band and $5 Skinny Drinks. Make sure to try their world famous Mojito while you're here, it has been voted best in Atlanta. The happening bar is open till 2:30am on weekends with a wide selection of exotic cocktails, top shelf liquor and many wines to complement a good meal or a night of dancing. Loca Luna has also been voted best late night venue, patio, appetizers, latin music and girls night out, among others, by both local and national publications. They feature live Latin music every night on their large dance floor and the hottest DJ's spin late night on Fridays and Saturdays. There is plenty of free parking and free valet available.
800 Peachtree St. Midtown 678.666.5198 urestaurants.net
Advertise in Next Month’s SUMMER GUIDE! Escorpion is a regionally inspired Mexican tequila bar and cantina from chef-owner Riccardo Ullio. The restaurant captures the authentic tastes and ingredients indigenous of the country. The atmosphere is fun and electric, making Escorpion one of the hottest restaurants in the bustling Midtown scene. Escorpion’s food and drink menus are rooted in Mexican flavors and culture. Find familiar favorites like queso dip, guacamole, quesadillas, and burritos. You can also explore lesser known specialties like Tinga, a Mexican meat dish made with pork and sausage, slowly cooked in a spicy chile sauce and served in a corn tortilla. Other inspired taco dishes include: Seta (a mushroom based vegetarian dish), Baja Fish (pan seared), Pastor (grilled marinated pork) and Tinga (spicy braised chicken). Also find an assortment of salads, appetizers and sides to go with chef inspired Platos Fuertes (entrees).
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931 Monroe Dr. NE Midtown 404.481.5226 tapatapaatlanta.com
Tapa Tapa exhibits a passion for all things Spanish and offers guests hospitality of a truly Iberian nature. Find classic tapas that most will recognize and our modern tapas which experiments with more global flavors. Their chefs prepare daily specials that reflect the season and availability of ingredients many of which are sourced directly from Spain. A great place to share interesting food around the table with friends.
Contact Publisher Steve Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org insiteatlanta.com insiteatlanta.com • May 2017 • PG 9
SPRING festivals Marietta Greek Festival
Chastain Arts Festival Chastain Park, Buckhead
MAY 6 & 7
This awardwinning, twoday festival features over 185 display tents of art and crafts, including many local and regional artists and artisans. In addition to the abundance of unique art, there will be a children's area in the adjacent green space, local gourmet food, beverages and a small stage for acoustic musical performances. To find out more regarding this free event visit ChastainParkartsFestival.com.
Shaky Knees Music Festival Centennial Olympic Park
MAY 12 - 14
Shaky Knees Music Festival returns May 12- 14 featuring bands across five outdoor stages as well as local food trucks, artisans and vendors. The music lineup includes Pixies, Pup, LCD Soundsystem, The Shins, Nick Murphy, The XX, Ryan Adams, Phoenix and many more. Full lineup and ticket info at ShakyKneesFestival.com.
Greek Orthodox Church in Marietta MAY 19 - 21
This popular festival brings all the aromas, sounds, tastes and traditions of Greece to your doorstep. Enjoy authentic Greek food and pastries, cooking demonstrations, church tours, music, and dancing with special audience participation. The festival takes place Friday May 19 through Sunday May 21 at the Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church 3431 Trickum Road in Marietta. Visit mariettagreekfestival.com
Kirkwood Spring Fling and Tour of Homes Bessie Branham Park
Don't miss being part of the 15th Annual Kirkwood Spring Fling & Tour of Homes on Saturday, May 20. Celebrating the historic and eclectic in-town neighborhood of Kirkwood, this family-friendly festival offers a fun-filled opportunity to enjoy the warmth of spring with a 5K run, artist market, diverse lineup of live music, creative kids' activities, Blue Ribbon BBQ Cook-off and Tour of Homes. The event
will take place at Bessie Branham Park, rain or shine. Festival is free, with ticketing for the 5K and Tour of Homes. Visit KirkwoodFling.com.
Taste of Town Brookhaven Town Brookhaven
150 craft beers and visit shops and restaurants in East Atlanta Village. Enjoy live local music on the festival's main stage and a wide array of food. Proceeds benefit the community. Visit EastAtlantaBeerfest.com
Yarab Shrine Circus & Fair
Taste of Town Brookhaven is back for a third year on Saturday, May 20th from 37pm! It takes place on the green space at Town Brookhaven located on Peachtree Road, adjacent to Oglethorpe. Enjoy culinary delights from area restaurants, beer/wine, music, games, prizes & more. Music provided by Yvonne Monet Events. Advance tickets plus five food tasting tickets - $20. Day of tickets - $30. Additional food tasting tickets and beer/wine tickets sold separately at event. Benefiting LifeLine Animal Project. Purchase tickets by visiting EventBrite.com and searching Taste of Town Brookhaven.
East Atlanta Beer Festival
East Atlanta Village, Brownwood Park MAY 20
East Atlanta Beer Festival is held in East Atlanta’s Brownwood Park. Sample over
Jim R Miller Park, Marietta
The largest Shrine Circus and Fair in North America is back for its 75th year! Packed with more excitement than ever, this year’s Tarzan Zerbini Circus features several new acts by the world-famous ringmaster Richard Curtis. In addition to the (80-minute) circus under The Big Top, there are 35 exciting carnival rides and attractions, as well as lots of food such as hot wings, funnel cakes, cotton candy, fried Oreos, snow cones, elephant ears, and more. Circus goers can enjoy circus acts from around the world including high-flying trapeze acts, aerials and acrobats, elephants, and of course, worldfamous Shrine clowns. The Sneak-a-Peek Ride-A-Thon begins Friday May 19. Midway opens Monday through Friday at 5 p.m.; Saturday at 10 a.m.; Sunday at Noon, and Memorial Day at 10 a.m. Visit 2017ShrineCircus.com.
June 3rd 8:00 am registration open vahisummerfest.org festival sponsors
PG 10 • May 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
MAY 20 - 29
Decatur Arts Festival
MAY 26 - 28
Decatur's biggest arts event takes place over Memorial Day Weekend. Get started Friday evening, May 26, with the ArtWalk all around Decatur. The fun continues with the new dance festival, literary arts performances, musicians all day long on Decatur's community bandstand, a juried artists market, the fine arts exhibition, a special Kids and Teens Arts Festival and more. For additional info visit DecaturArtsFestival.com.
At Festhalle in Helen, GA
Come to the mountains of Helen, Georgia and celebrate Bavarianfest! This festive Bavarian atmosphere consists of a live German band and plenty of dancing. This Memorial Day Weekend help honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Import and domestic beers & wines, wursts on a bun, hot dogs, pretzels and more. Active and retired military receive free admission. All others $8.00. Visit HelenChamber.com.
Atlanta Jazz Festival Piedmont Park
MAY 27 - 29
Celebrating 40 years of musical mastery, the festival returns to Piedmont Park with three days of music over Memorial Day Weekend. The Atlanta Jazz Festival is the perfect way to spend the holiday with family and friends. To celebrate their anniversary, AJF is offering 40 days of jazz at venues across the city culminating with the event at Piedmont Park. The final weekend offers KidZone areas with games and inflatables. National and international musicians will perform on two stages. Admission to the festival is free. Visit atlantafestivals.com.
Atlanta Food & Wine Festival Loews 14th Floor & Piedmont Park JUNE 1 - 4
The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is a fourday culinary experience celebrating the South.
Indulge in a variety of Learning Experiences, Tasting Tents, Dinners & Events and Masterclasses all designed to educate and entertain guests from the novice to the connoisseur. Visit atlfoodandwinefestival.com
Candler Park Music Festival Candler Park, Atlanta JUNE 2 & 3
This popular neighborhood festival is back on Friday, June 2 and Saturday, June 3. The live-music-filled weekend lineup features Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Railroad Earth, Lake Street Dive, Matisyahu, The Motet, The Marcus King Band, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, and Ripe, as well as Atlanta artists Chelsea Shag and Webster. More than just music, enjoy fare from 20 local food trucks and local restaurant vendors, a local artists market, adult field games by Atlanta Sport & Social Club, Terrapin Draft Lounge offering an expanded selection of rare Terrapin
brews, plus a craft cocktail bar. The 5K will be held Saturday at 8:30 am. For ticket info visit CandlerParkMusicFestival.com.
Virginia-Highland Summerfest Virginia-Highland Neighborhood JUNE 3 & 4
Taking place the first weekend in June, the Virginia-Highland Summerfest offers an Artist Market featuring works of over 200 artists and craftsmen from all over the Southeast. Summerfest always features delicious food from an array of festival vendors and local restaurants. 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 VirginiaHighland. Visit vahi.org for more info.
Brookhaven Beer Fest Brookhaven Park
Summer is the time for beer and the 7th annual Brookhaven Beer Fest. This year’s Beer Fest takes place on Saturday, June 10 from 3 8 pm. Now at its new location at Brookhaven Park on Peachtree Rd. at Osborn. There will be over 200 beers and wines plus several of your favorite food trucks. The event is put on by Spiral Entertainment known for putting on events always full of cold drinks, great music, and beautiful people. For ticket visit SpiralEntertainment.com.
Duluth Arts Festival Duluth Town Green
JUNE 10 & 11
With an emphasis on the visual arts and family fun, this two day event is presented by the Atlanta Foundation for Public Space. One of the most vibrant and fastest growing communitie s , Duluth is home to one of the largest and most enthusiastic art buying communities in metro Atlanta. The Duluth Spring Arts and craft festival is excited to bringing back the tradition to the arts community. The festival will feature up to 125 painters, photographers, sculptors, leather and metalwork, glass blowers, jewelers, and crafters. Also on hand will be artist demonstrations, live acoustic music, a children's play area, plus festival foods and beverages. Visit DuluthArtsFestival.com
Atlanta Summer Beer Fest Historic 4th Ward Park JUNE 17
The Atlanta Summer Beer Fest features over 200 beers from local and other great breweries from all over the country. The event takes place Saturday, June 17 from 4 - 9pm at the Historic Fourth Ward Park. Besides the suds, the Fest also offers a selection of wines. There will be live music and 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 in advance, $45 after June 9 and $55 the day of the event. Tickets may be purchased at AtlantaSummerBeerFest.com
Memorial Day Weekend! Saturday, May 27th 6–11pm ★ Live German Band ★ Dancing ★ Import Beers ★ Domestic Beers ★ Wines ★ Wursts & Hot Dogs ★ Pretzels & Snacks ★ Family Friendly
Active & Retired Military & Veterans receive FREE ADMISSION with ID All other Adults: $8 Oktoberfest Festhalle Friends
For additional information & Tickets visit HelenChamber.com or call 706.878.1908 1074 Edelweiss Strasse • Helen, GA 30545 insiteatlanta.com • May 2017 • PG 11
SPREADING THE LOVE
Jazz Trumpet Virtuoso Marquis Hill Sees Music as a Continuum
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
VER THE PAST FIVE YEARS, TRUMPET player and music educator Marquis Hill has solidified his position as a leader of the new wave of young jazz performers and interpreters. His recent release The Way We Play finds the Thelonious Monk International Jazz winner breathing new and vital grooves into dusty jazz standards. A former faculty member of The University of Illinois, the Chicago-born musician already has an impressive catalog of music under his belt. The 30-year-old Hill’s set with his Blacktet at this year’s festival is definitely a must-see. Just back from a tour of Africa featuring shows with Marcus Miller at the Saint-Louis Festival in Senegal, the intense musician spoke with INsite from his home in Illinois. How was the festival in Africa? It was cancelled for some reason last year but I’m glad to hear it happened this time. It was a crazy travel day but I’m glad we were able to do it, and to play for the people.
Did you guys get a good reaction to the sets? Oh man they loved it. Marcus plays music for the people and they were really touched. The energy was just amazing. You play all over the world; do you think international audiences tend to appreciate jazz more than crowds here in the States? I would say, sadly, maybe. But only to a certain extent. The word jazz has kind of gotten a bad rap so when the average person hears jazz they get turned off immediately. But internationally they love the music.
What was the Chicago scene like at that point? It was great and I had really good mentors. When I was still in high school I started to actually get on the jazz scene a little. I would just go to jam sessions around the city and that’s when I started to meet some of the staple people of jazz. My mind was really blown. It was a really crucial time for me. That part of town has such a rich history. Yeah next to New Orleans it really has the legacy of being one of the creators of jazz, one of the major hubs. That spirit is still alive in the city.
I grew up with the big wave of jazz revivals and reissues of the Pretty early in your life you decided on being a teacher as well. ‘70s but it’s definitely changed since then. What can be done to That’s a big decision. excite more people about jazz here in the United States? I saw how my teacher Miss Ellis affected us from a young age. I think it’s gonna start with the youth and I Being a little black boy from the southside think it’s actually beginning to happen right of Chicago I looked up to her. I saw how she now. A lot of pop music and some hip-hop are worked with all the students around her and incorporating more elements of jazz so I think that really stuck with me. So throughout it’s gonna come full circle to where jazz music elementary school and high school I knew I will be the popular music of the day again. wanted to perform but I also knew I wanted 6:30pm • May 27 to educate. To affect lives the way that my life Next Gen Stage You were a very active part of the youthful has been over the years. So I went to college for Atlanta Jazz Festival jazz movement. education and for performance. Then I taught Yeah I got my first jazz record when I was in a little bit but right now I’m mainly performing the fourth grade. My band director gave me that record and I fell and teaching master classes whenever I can. in love with it Tell us about the show coming up at the Atlanta Jazz Festival. That was the Lee Morgan album, right? I’ll be a mixture, a combination of original compositions and Yeah, Candy [originally released in 1958 on Blue Note]. selections from The Way We Play. I’m still touring that music, spreading the music throughout the festivals and performance halls. Do you still have it? I do. You’ve got to hold on to things like that. The new album features a number of timeless standards that people should really know about. But you’re definitely Tell us about growing up in the southside of Chicago in the early reinvented each track. 90s. You were surrounded by music geographically. That was the entire concept of the record. I knew when I was My mom played great music all the time so I was raised walking producing it I wanted to put out a project with some of my around the house listening to The Stylistics, The O’Jays, James favorite jazz standards, American Songbook classics. But I wanted Brown, so much good stuff. Then when I joined the band in the to flip them and play them the way that my band would naturally fourth grade, the band director gave me that record. I went home play them. These are tunes that I wanted to take and modernize and I put that on and fell in love at that moment. I was definitely and add a groove aspect. I think it came out really well and it’s fortunate to have grabbed a hold of music at a very young age and great to bring that music to a wider audience. I stayed with it. I picked up the trumpet and I started to produce the sound and so I just fell in love with the trumpet as well. It seems like that’s what you’re all about, being a messenger of the music and passing on the traditions of jazz, basically At the time you were discovering jazz, pop music was on the spreading the word. cusp of becoming a complete blur of genres. Spreading love through music! I think of this music as a And that’s what jazz is, too. Just a melting pot. Especially today continuum and I want to continue what the elders and the greats with all the records that are coming out now. I think it’s actually of this music laid down as the foundation. I know it sounds cliché, good for the progression of music. but I want to continue the music as we create our own. That’s the greatness that’s truly within jazz.
MARQUIS HILL BLACKTET
COLLABORATIVE EFFORT Little Tybee is a Multi-Media Melting Pot it but still I think [our sound] is intricate and thought-provoking enough to satisfy even savvy veteran ears.
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
NE OF THE MOST AMBITIOUS and artistic bands to play the Atlanta Jazz Festival is Atlanta’s own Little Your music really defies categorization. Tybee. Debuting in 2008, the ensemble is a I think the biggest compliment you can give kinetic network of artistic expression. While a musician is that it’s unique or something that not strictly a jazz band, the members bridge seems familiar but you can’t quite pinpoint what elements of progressive, psychedelic, classical it is. It’s fun little puzzles that we make and a lot and folk. Onstage and on record, the sextet of ear candy, especially if you put on earphones, exhibit an instinctive swirl of genres which there’s a lot to take in sonically. proudly defies limited categorization. Comprised of Brock Scott (guitar,vocals), What is the Little Tybee Ryan Donald (basses), Pat songwriting process? Brooks (drums), Josh Martin I usually come to the band (guitar), Nirvana Kelly (violin) 12:30pm • May 27 with either a flushed-out idea or and Chris Case (keyboards), the Next Gen Stage at least some of the ideas. Then band encourages fan interaction Atlanta Jazz Festival we get together in sectionals and collaboration. INsite spoke or micro-practices, as we call with principle songwriter Scott them, where it will just be me as they plotted their festival appearance. and then maybe Josh on guitar and Ryan on bass, or some combination of a few of us at a time to It’s great to see such a diverse band on the jazz flesh out the basic ideas. festival line-up. We’re definitely not typical straightforward At this point you must have a sort of jazz but we do draw a lot of influences from unspoken language. jazz. I think sonically it’s similar to a lot of what Yeah, I’ve been playing with some of these guys the audiences are used to seeing at the festival. for 15 years. We started down in Savannah in Maybe with a little bit more of a pop tinge to middle school, some of us. I will write things
PG 12 • May 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
already knowing what the other members will bring to the table. It’s like a musical family, really. The band name doesn’t really offer any clues about the style of the band. It could even be a country band, but it’s obviously not. Yeah we could be like a hip-hop group, you just don’t really know. We did try a little country a while back, too. We were actually the house band in Laramie, Wyoming for a couple of nights back in 2010 or so at this place called the Cowboy Saloon. It reminded me of a scene from the Blues Brothers movie at the club with the chicken wire. People were just throwing bottles at them. They kept yelling at us to play country so we just had to wing it. Improvisation comes in handy sometimes Yeah but that’s more in our jazz realm, I think. The radio imagery on the latest album and video is intriguing. My dad gave me that radio years ago and it was just serving as a mantle-piece. Then one time I was traveling through Spain and I’d brought that radio with me. I had the idea of filming the radio in different locations, just as a visual stimulus. Then I decided it’d be a cool idea if I get a bunch of these radios and just started mailing them
around the world, kind of an open call. It’s a 1967 General Electric transistor radio and it turns out there’s a whole transistor radio community out there. A lot of them were just super-excited that I was bringing attention to these old radios. So the final video ended up with like 60 collaborators from around the world, just random people who wanted to be a part of the project. And the videos go where you can’t afford to travel. The Internet is such an incredible tool. You could either choose to tour for six months at a time and maybe play - if you’re a really good band - to like 1000 people a night. But even if you play 40 shows, that’s just 40,000 people. But if you have one video that goes viral, you may have 250,000 views in a week. It reaches more people than your van could ever drive to - and it’s a lot cheaper.
Jazz Legend Returns for Rare Appearance at Atlanta Jazz Festival
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
LEGEND IN HIS OWN RIGHT, Freddy Cole pays tribute to his brother on his latest album He Was The King. Released last year on burgeoning jazz outlet Highnote Records, the disc is a reverent homage to his older brother Nat “King” Cole. He’s also the uncle of the late Natalie Cole, but he certainly isn’t standing in the shadow of any relative - or peer for that matter. The 85-year-old entertainer has called Atlanta home since 1971 and he still tours internationally with a physically demanding schedule that closes out this calendar year at Birdland in New York City. Local gigs have always been few and far between for Cole but he’s planning a grand return with his combo to play, quite appropriately, the Legends Stage at this year’s Atlanta Jazz Festival. Recently while feeling a little bit under the weather, yet still offering flashes of his trademark wit, he rallied to speak with INsite by phone. The last time we talked was just before your previous jazz festival appearance three years ago now. I’m excited you’re coming back. I am too. I’m glad to be somewhere! You’re returning to the festival in support of a really good album called “He Was The King”. That’s right.
When: Friday, May 26 from 6-11pm | Saturday, May 27 from 11am-11pm Sunday, May 28 from 11am-11pm. Where: Piedmont Park Three Stages: Legends, Contemporary, & Next Gen Admission: The event is FREE and open to the public.
The complete 2017 Atlanta Jazz Festival schedule: He’s been such an influence on so many people. Ray Charles once told me that when he first started to play, he was trying to learn to copy “those little tasty things on the piano” by Nat Cole. He loved his style. Yeah he was he was a big follower and so many other people were, too. Not a day goes by that I don’t hear about him from somebody. When you were a teenager hearing these records, you were already playing the piano too. Did you feel any kind of good-natured family competition between the two of you? Oh no, no way! (Laughs) I never thought that at anytime. He was just such a fantastic musician, piano player, singer. The only thing you could do was to be happy about it.
And obviously it’s a tribute to your brother Nat “King” Cole. How did it come about? After you relocated from Chicago to Well it seems like everybody else has Philadelphia, your first solo record was recorded songs from Nat Cole’s songbook and finally released. Would that have been I really haven’t. So a friend of mine said, “Well Waiter Ask The Man To Play The Blues? why don’t you? Everybody Hmm. Yeah, I think it was on else has done it, you might Dot Records. as well throw your hat in the ring.” So that’s really Right, from 1964. That’s a 9pm • May 28 how it came about. I think cool album. I have one. Legends Stage it’s a good CD and we had Yeah? You know they still Atlanta Jazz Festival fun doing it. play that record an awful lot over in Europe. With a catalog as expansive as his, how do you select the There are some legendary people on it. Sam songs? Just the tunes you particularly like “The Man” Taylor’s on sax on that one. the most? He was on there and Milt Hilton (bass) was That’s the only way to do it. And definitely on there and Osie Johnson (drums). Barry don’t do the regular ones you hear every Galbraith (guitar) was on it, too. day. You’ve got to get some different ones on there because he had such a songbook. So Since we’re talking about your brother, we we mulled it over for a while and we came up should definitely talk about your great song with some songs. “I’m Not My Brother, I’m Me” which is a sly declaration of independence. Of all of them, can you pick one or two that Oh yeah. Man, I did that in the ‘70s. I think are your absolute favorites? people made more out of it than what it was. That’s very difficult to do. But if I had to It was done in humor. Some people might pick one, I guess I would say “Sweet Lorraine.” want to make something else out of it but That would be one of them but I don’t know that’s what it was. It gets a laugh out of the about the others. We did some of the obscure crowd. You know, you do it and then you ones like “Maybe It’s Because.” move on.
When the songs were originally issued, you both were on very different paths - especially with the age difference. Of course, his albums came out long before mine did. I was a teenager when the bulk of his stuff came out. What did you think when you first heard them? Oh I liked it, with him being my brother and all. The music was really good.
Will you do that song at the festival? I don’t know. I don’t do it all the time. I just have to kinda judge when the crowd’s ready for it, then we’ll do it. You never prepare a setlist, do you? Oh no, I don’t do that. When we hit the bandstand, we’re all music and that’s what it is. I watch the crowd and we keep adding a piece here, a pinch there - and then we got something. And hopefully they’ll like it.
FRIDAY, MAY 26
Legends Stage: 7:00 pm ......... The Pedrito Martinez Group 9:00 pm ......... Robert Glasper Experiment
SATURDAY, MAY 27 Legends Stage: 1:00 pm ......... The Allan Harris Band 3:00 pm ......... Regina Carter: Simply Ella 5:00 pm ......... Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Quintet 7:00 pm ......... Rene Marie and Experiment in Truth 9:00 pm ......... Charles Lloyd Sky Trio Contemporary Stage: 1:30 pm ......... Moonchild 3:30 pm ......... Nik West 5:30 pm .......... Nicholas Payton Afro-Caribbean Mixtape 7:30 pm ......... Macy Gray Next Gen Stage: 12:30 pm ....... Little Tybee 2:30 pm ......... Harriet Tubman: The Band 4:30 pm ......... Deva Mahal 6:30 pm ......... Marquis Hill Blacktet Late Night Jazz Jam – Park Tavern: 11:00 pm ....... The Miles Davis Electric Band Tribute All Star Jam
SUNDAY, MAY 28
Legends Stage: 1:00 pm .......... Dwight Andrews 3:00 pm .......... Joe Jennings & Howard Nicholson’s Life Force 5:00 pm .......... Celebrating Sarah Vaughan: Kathleen Bertrand & Friends 7:00 pm .......... The Joe Gransden Big Band with Alexandra Jackson 8:00 pm .......... The Ojeda Penn Experience with Jean Carne 9:00 pm .......... Freddy Cole Contemporary Stage: 1:30 pm ......... Frank Houston 2:15 pm ......... Kemba Cofield 3:00 pm ......... Darren English MAUSIKI SCALES 3:45 pm ......... Cleveland P. Jones 4:30 pm ......... Julie Dexter & Jacob Deaton Duo feat. Rasheeda Ali 5:15 pm ......... Mamaniji Azanyah & Mastery 6:15 pm ......... Russell Gunn & African Drums meets Kebbi Williams’ Wolf Pack 7:30 pm ......... Mausiki Scales & Common Ground featuring Giwayen Mata Main Stage: 12:30 pm ........ Rialto Jazz for Kids 2:30 pm .......... Danii Roundtree 4:30 pm .......... Brenda Nicole Moorer TIVON PENNICOTT 6:30 pm .......... Tivon Pennicott Quartet Visit atlantafestivals.com for more information! insiteatlanta.com • May 2017 • PG 13
Ann Wilson Gets Out of the Heart-Shaped Box for a Rockin’ Solo Project
Do you think the new vibe - coupled with everything that’s going on in the world in FTER EMBRACING AND general and your life in particular - will affect surviving the excesses of the ‘70s, the your songwriting? power ballads and MTV exposure of Well my songwriting has always been based on the ‘80s and the grunge movement of the ‘90s, my life experiences so yeah, I think so. Like when Heart celebrated the 2000s with four solidly I wrote “Crazy On You” way constructed albums and back when, I thought the world induction into the Rock and situation was just bouncing out Roll Hall of Fame. of control - even then. But that JUNE 6 • 8PM 2017 finds Ann and Nancy was nothing like what’s going on Buckhead Theatre Wilson on decidedly separate today, you know? thebuckheadtheatre.com musical and personal paths. Nancy has joined forces with It’s too bad we have to have Prince collaborator Liv Warfield and corralled our collective worlds in flames for good art to the recent Heart backing band to form Roadcase finally emerge from the ashes. Royale. Ann is crisscrossing the country with her I know. But it’s not just in music. Look at what’s own band of veteran musicians with a show very happening with SNL even; they’re just on fire appropriately billed as “Ann Wilson of Heart.” right now. Down the decades, I’ve noticed that’s INnsite caught up with Wilson at her new home when they are the most on fire and really “on” - is in Florida for a wide-ranging conversation. when things are just crazy in the world.
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
The Pacific Northwest was home for so long, how does it feel to be living in Florida? We just wanted to be able to be alone and it didn’t even really matter what state we were in. We just wanted warm weather and we found a really beautiful little spot. It’s been really relaxing. It’s obviously so much different than Seattle. Oh God yeah, polar opposites. It’s been sunny and warm here all winter. The temperatures go up and down a little but it’s not like nine months of drizzle and depressing cold weather.
How’s the solo tour going? You’ve had a bunch of shows already and now you’re gearing up for another batch. Yeah and then another bunch after that! We’re done 20 shows so far this year, all over the country. Usually we’re playing these 1500 to 2500 seat places, like performing arts centers and theaters. It’s just been going great. You’ve got the visual concept down but how do you plan a setlist from four decades of work? I wanted to touch on a few Heart songs, but just a few. The rest are songs that have been
written in the last year or so along with some covers that I really love doing. It’s been really fun to get it all together.
It must be a very freeing feeling to be away from the whole “band” dynamic at this point in your career. Yes! That’s the whole point of this - to move on out of the box and not have any expectations put on me. It’s almost like starting over but you have such an incredible legacy to lean on. It is like starting over. But there are the benefits, you know, of songs like “Barracuda,” “Crazy On You,” “What About Love” and “Alone.” Those are in the set now but they’ve been re-envisioned. I know it sounds hard to believe but May marks the 40th anniversary of the Little Queen album - which remains one of the very best Heart records. That was actually our third record but because of a big legal mess we had going on back then, the “Magazine” album came out. With this big mess going on at the time, it kinda threw our progress off the rails a little bit. But you bounced back and Little Queen quickly pushed Heart from theaters into the arenas. What do you remember most about that time? I think what I remember most about then was that we were writing and touring and recording all at the same time. We did something like 225 shows that year which is really hard work! Of
course back then we were all in our 20s and we could handle it. It was a year of complete and total immersion. If you’re really after the brass ring, you have to really dive in and just commit. Through all the different phases - classic rock, hard rock, album rock, MTV, grunge - Heart has remained a very vital machine when it comes to putting out relevant music. “Beautiful Broken” from last summer ranks right up there with the very best of your rawest ‘70s stuff. That’s so rare. Well thank you! That was definitely the simplification of the thought of how cool would it be to write a song where you invent a character. So I started with this character but it became obvious I was writing about myself or about Courtney Love or Janis Joplin. As it went along, it just became really cool and more universal. I like that song a lot; it’s a good rocker.
PAUL SHAFFER: DANGEROUSLY HIP
Former Letterman Sidekick Gets the Band Back Together for a Summer Tour
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
OR 33 YEARS MUSICIAN/SONGWRITER/COMEDIC actor Paul Shaffer was the erstwhile sidekick on David Letterman’s two successful late night shows. The former Saturday Night Live and Blues Brothers alumnus led the band on both the NBC and CBS editions of the popular variety series. Letterman’s impressive run ended two years ago this month when his final show was broadcast on May 20, 2015. After a brief hiatus to refocus and relax, Shaffer is back in business with the long-standing Late Show crew along for the ride. Paul Shaffer and the World’s Most Dangerous Band (Rhino/ Sire Records ) finds the veteran line-up of the ensemble from the CBS series using their original NBC moniker for a hip new disc packed with predictably swingin’ tunes and a diverse guestlist. Bill Murray, Dion, Darius Rucker, Jenny Lewis, Shaggy and Shaffer’s current tourmate Valerie Simpson all contribute to the rollicking recording. INsite recently spoke with the amiable Shaffer - a walking encyclopedia of music history and trivia - by phone from his studio in New York City.
It’s funny you mention the Atlanta Rhythm Section in particular You’ve always seemed to be the hip conduit between the ‘60s because I’ve had people from further away than where you grew up who want to know about “Doraville,” for example. It’s always Brill Building singer-songwriter scene, Stax Records soul and kind of a jolt. ‘70s showtunes and pop. All filtered through the prism of a very Well music paints pictures or creates images in the mind. When New York state of mind. I was growing up, I was imagining what New York would be like. That music just grabbed me. I grew up kind of in the middle From songs like “Knock Three Times,” you’d of the wave just before the British Invasion. In think about those glamorous tenement buildings New York, the Brill Building scene was what was happening. But I was up in northern Canada PAUL SHAFFER and the exciting lives of the people who may have AND THE WORLD’S MOST lived there. It was all appealing to me because listening to the radio, tuning in the American DANGEROUS BAND I was up in Canada and I was just waxing my stations. When I heard The Drifters sing “Up On (W/ GUEST VALERIE SIMPSON) skis and listening to the radio. That’s all that was The Roof” and The Crystals doing “Uptown,” it JUNE 11 • 8PM happening up there. But Atlanta, it’s a Peachtree painted a picture of New York City for me with Center Stage of a town, I’ve gotta say. all the music and the emotions that seemed to centerstage-atlanta.com come from it. I said, “I’ve got to get there and You mentioned your early days in Canada. I’m make some of that music.” kind of surprised you didn’t gravitate toward Second City in Toronto before heading on to New York. You’ve stayed true to that sound ever since. Well I do know a lot of those people from Second City and Yeah, I’m still a loyalist. But you know, I think we’re all loyal to they continue to be a lot of my best friends. But when the whole the music that we loved as we grew up. I’ve stayed with it and Second City-type thing started happening, I had already left town. hey, now it’s coming around again. People are realizing that those I came to New York in 1974 to play on Broadway. Just before I left, songs are quality and they’ll be with us forever. all my friends were starting the Second City nightclub up there. So I was around for that but then I left the fold and started making Great songs are timeless - and you have a new album full my own path. Then I got on Saturday Night Live and while that of them. was happening their nightclub scene turned into the SCTV Well thank you! I am proud of the album. We wrote a couple television program, which is still one of my favorites. but all the rest of them are just great songs that I’ve discovered and some that you will already know. Many are from that Brill This is a very New York record in many ways, but with Seymour Building era. Stein involved, the deal is sealed. We became friends over the years because we’ve both It’s incredible that so much great stuff came from one physical participated in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction dinners. address [Brill Building @ 1619 Broadway]. As you know, he’s a legendary record exec who started Sire Oh I do know! But you’ve got a great musical tradition down Records in the late ‘70s with everybody from Madonna to Talking there in Atlanta, too. “Traces,” of course, is one of my favorite Heads and The Ramones. He called me up after the Letterman songs from Atlanta by the Classics IV. And The Atlanta Rhythm show was over and asked if I wanted to get back in the record Section, Paul Davis, all of that stuff. SEE SHAFFER PAGE 16
PG 14 • May 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
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Bad Ass and Blind
(Artistry/Mack Avenue Records) No false advertising here, the crafty musician is in fact blind and undeniably badass. For the sixth album from the abundantly talented multi-instrumentalist, blind since infancy, his philosophical state of being opens the record with an airy swagger that casually transcends the usual jazz and improvisation scene. The breezy arrangements continue as “Red, Green, Yellow” and “Pedal To The Metal” are transported by the gently propulsive imagery of movement. Throughout, his lithe guitar work infuses the collection with a nimble-fingered command that would make George Benson envious. He also treads romantic balladry in “You and I,” offered with a refreshing absence of sentimentality and plenty of soul. Bookended by the soaring “Wings of Mind” and “All That I Am,” the darker, bass-infused “If Only,” tackles regret in sober reflection and citrus-hued tinges of bossa nova. The entire disc wouldn’t be out of place on a mid‘70s FM radio playlist, back when contemporary jazz ruled the night and classic rock owned drivetime. In this long-lost universe of four decades ago, it’s extremely fitting that the album closes with Midon’s gentle take on Steve Miller’s mellow “Fly Like An Eagle.” –LVS
The Early Years 1971 Reverber/ation
(Pink Floyd Records) In a stroke of genius, Pink Floyd Records has dug deep in the archives to pull out rare and oftentimes unreleased music and videos for this stunning Box Set. There are several of these sets that have just been released (including a massive 38 disc set) that chronicle the unpolished moments of one of the most enigmatic art bands to ever step into a recording studio. “Reverber/ation” came out of the band’s sessions for the 1971 album, “Meddle”. The 5-song CD here includes part of the original demos for that classic, though far from mainstream record. Along with “Nothing Part 14,” it boasts “Fat Old Sun,” “One of These Days,” “Embryo” and “Echoes” all from a September 30th, 1971 BBC Radio Session. This boxset also includes a DVD and BluRay complete with rare concert footage from 1971, documentaries and even a brief TV interview for a London news segment about bootleg records. Granted some of the footage is purely for completests and diehard Pink Floyd fans, but the music alone is worth owning. –JM
Ed Roland 5.14 & the Sweet Tea Project
5.16 The Big Lebowski Free Screening
Bar School: 5.24 Sparkling Cocktails
COMEDY & COCKTAILS
CROSSRHODES W/ RAHEEM DEVAUGHN & WES FELTON
BLACK VIOLIN EARLY & LATE SHOWS
DERBY DAY TASTING PARTY
BOOKER T. JONES (6:30PM), ZACH DEPUTY (10PM)
THE BAD PLUS
DEREK ST. HOLMES
WINES OF SOUTH AFRICA TASTING
CARL PALMER’S ELP LEGACY
CARBON LEAF W/ ME & MY BROTHER
VIVIAN GREEN EARLY & LATE SHOWS
MOTHER’S DAY JAZZ BRUNCH
S.O.S BAND CD RELEASE PARTY BENEFITING JAZZ MATTERS & MOTIVATION INC.
JOE GRANSDEN BIG BAND
WINE SCHOOL ITALY: CENTRAL
ATL COLLECTIVE PERFORMS HOTEL CALIFORNIA
AN EVENING W/ BRANDY CLARK & CHARLIE WORSHAM
HIP HOP YOGA WARRIORS & MIMOSAS
WINEMAKING 101: WHITE WINE
ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL
RIVAL ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS MORGAN JAMES
Indulge Your Dinner O p e n a t 5 p m D a i ly |
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DIFFICULT SUBJECT MATTER BY BENJAMIN CARR
HE BEST STORYTELLING CAN BE challenging, political and divisive. It takes stances on issues. Its characters take risks and carry viewers along to view the consequences. When you agree with the points of view, it affirms your worldview. When your television program diverts away from what you find normal and acceptable, it can change the way you look at the world. It isn’t necessarily easy to watch but can make for very intriguing television. While 2017 has been divisively political from its outset, it seems fitting that some of its newest television offerings are tackling challenging ideas.
THE HANDMAID’S TALE (Hulu)
The Handmaid’s Tale is a stunning, faithful and downright scary adaptation of the 1985 Margaret Atwood sci-fi classic. It stars Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss as the title character, alongside Gilmore Girls star Alexis Bledel, Chuck star Yvonne Strahovski and Orange Is the New Black’s Samira Wiley. Both the book and show take place in a near-future Boston where infertility is epidemic and fundamentalist Christians have taken over society and enslaved the remaining fertile women, forcing them to become concubines and incubators for infertile, high-ranking couples. Everyone within this society is assigned a role within a household. The commander husband, played by Joseph Fiennes, attempts to conceive a child with the handmaid only at “ceremonies” wherein his wife is present and participating. The handmaid lies in the wife’s lap as conception is attempted. This moment, played out in the pilot episode, is perhaps its most jarring, even though other scenes are more violent and the show’s look and atmosphere is oppressive. Atwood’s world is vivid and frightening; her ideas are weird, difficult, resonant and nightmarish. The fact that the show is watchable and wry - even at its most troubling - is a credit to the show creator Bruce Miller and the director Reed Morano.
THIRTEEN REASONS WHY (Netflix)
When suicide occurs within a family or within a group of friends, there are rarely satisfying answers that can be found - only heartbreak, pain, blame and confusion. Teen suicide can be more tragic as youth hold so much future and promise. Any show that attempts to focus on this topic is walking a fine line. The new Netflix series, based upon the popular Jay Asher novel, places teen suicide at its center, focusing its entire narrative on why a young, pretty girl named Hannah Baker - played by newcomer Katherine Langford would slit her wrists. The show is partly an escapist fantasy for Hannah has narrated her own suicide note into a
Thirteen Reasons Why series of audiotapes, devoting blame for her death to 13 acts from colleagues in her high school. As the protagonist Clay - played with an awkward Everyman charm by Dylan Minnette - puzzles his way through what Hannah says happened to her, the implicated classmates all attempt to control the fallout of their actions. This whole premise is challenging because it dares to suggest that one person’s suicide is other people’s fault or that life is governed in a causeand-effect way. It also builds momentum as a mystery as the main character doesn’t listen to the suicide note all at once. The pilot is directed by Oscar winner Tom McCarthy, who also serves as a producer in this gripping drama.
ONE DAY AT A TIME (Netflix)
To end on a brighter note, Netflix also launched the reboot of this Norman Lear sitcom earlier this year, and it is a wonderful, fun show that isn’t afraid to take a stand. Still a sitcom about a divorced mom raising her kids in an apartment with a wacky superintendent named Schneider, this new version stars the great Justina Machado and Oscar winner Rita Moreno. Machado portrays Penelope Alvarez, a Cuban-American nurse who is recovering from PTSD from an Army deployment to Afghanistan. The scene-stealing Moreno plays her mother Lydia, a beautiful Cuban immigrant who still engages in salsa dancing. Penelope has a daughter and son, both coping with their parents’ recent divorce. The oldest daughter also is a vegan environmentalist questioning her sexuality. Beyond all of the issues mentioned, which are handled gracefully and organically, the show is also very, very funny. It’s a thoughtful, intelligent and well-meaning show. And its heart is strong.
SHAFFER FROM PAGE 14
business. So I made this record for him. It’s on Rhino but the label says Sire just for old time’s sake. In keeping with the whole historic vibe, you have Seymour’s old partner at Sire as producer. Yeah, Richard Gottehrer. I used to work for him when I was doing union sessions in the ‘70s. You know, he was in The Strangeloves and they had that hit “I Want Candy” and he wrote “My Boyfriend’s Back.” So anyway, with this record I got a lot of that old history and filled in some of the blanks of my own knowledge of that early New York rock history.
This tour is your first big-scale project since that final Letterman broadcast a couple of years ago. [Drummer] Anton Figg said that last show was a surreal experience. What’s your take on it in retrospect? Surreal certainly describes it. Then there was that moment when I said, “What am I going to do now?” It had You certainly been 33 years when assembled an you combine the eclectic all-star lineNBC and CBS shows. up for it. 33 years of always YOU’VE GOT A GREAT MUSICAL TRADITION Yeah we have Bill DOWN THERE IN ATLANTA, TOO. “TRACES,” knowing where you’re Murray on it and the going to be and then, OF COURSE, IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE great Jenny Lewis, this SONGS FROM ATLANTA BY THE CLASSICS IV. all of a sudden, you’re fantastic alt-countryAND THE ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION, PAUL free to do anything rock chick. She does DAVIS, ALL OF THAT STUFF. you want! It took me a beautiful job on the a good year to kind song “Sorrow” that Richard wrote, The McCoys of get over it and regroup and try to figure out first recorded and David Bowie also covered. what to do. Taking the band on the road has We have Darius Rucker, Shaggy, the incredible been great. Dion - my goodness, “The Wanderer” himself - and Valerie Simpson who sings her own hit “I Without the daily pressures of TV has the Don’t Need No Doctor.” band dynamic changed it all? Well certainly when we start a song we can She’s on tour with you and was on your first finally play it all the way through. We don’t album. You guys must go way back. have to fade into commercials anymore.
THE LATEST DVD, BLU RAY & VOD RELEASES By John Moore
(MVD Visual) Whether you’re a fan of the music or not, Black Metal has always been a fascinating topic. Thanks to whispers about ties to Satanism and church burnings, it’s likely one of the most widely talked about genres that very few haver ever actually heard. In this fascinating documentary, filmmakers follow musicians from Iran, Greece and Columbia as they all make plans to trek to Norway, the birthplace of Black Metal. The individual stories are fascinating, especially that of Sina an Iranian metalhead who can easily end up jailed or kicked out of his country for playing Black Metal. There is also a subplot around one Greek Black Metaler who dreams of writing a memorable Christmas song and even more laughable, the Columbia band that pledge their souls to the devil to help get enough money to make it to Norway. Devil horns high in the air for this one.
(Universal Studios Home Entertainment) Despite being a wildly entertaining PG 16 • May 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
We’ve been friends since we used to run into each other when we were both doing session work in the ‘70s. She’s a background vocalist on anything from the first Blood, Sweat and Tears record to commercials for Dermassage lotion which is when I met her. We were both selling Dermassage! And now on the tour she comes out and does a half hour in the middle of the set. I think it’s really worth seeing.
thriller, Split will likely always first be known as the movie that revived M. Night Shyamalan’s career. It focuses on Kevin (played brilliantly by James McAvoy), a loner who kidnaps three teenagers from a mall parking lot. As he holds the girls captive underground somewhere, they begin to discover his multiple personalities, (23 that his psychiatrist knows about). A final personality is revealed toward the end and like all of Shyamalan’s great early movies, there is definitely a twist. A fantastic thriller from start to the very final minute.
DONNIE DARKO LIMITED EDITION
(Arrow Video) Sixteen years after it was first released, Richard Kelley’s Donnie Darko has morphed from a simple cult classic to outright cultural touchstone. The puzzling, but fantastic ’80-set drama mixes teen angst with mystery and sci-fi, a formula that creators of Stranger Things borrowed liberally from for their series. Arrow Video has just put out a fantastic 4-disc collector’s set that includes the original movie on Blu-Ray and DVD, a director’s cut of the film and a slew of extras including several featurettes, deleted and altered scenes and infomercials for the movie. This beautiful box set also comes with a book featuring an interview with Kelly and promotional material.
Movie Reviews BY STEVE WARREN
THE CIRCLE (PG-13)
Reading about The Circle made me remember The Giver, which was very forgettable. Both have legendary starpower sucking millennials into the brave – but horrible – new world they’ve created. There the similarity ends. The Circle, which is infinitely better, isn’t set so far in the future. It may even be current, or one public announcement from a tech company away. Emma Watson plays Mae, who is thrilled to get a job at The Circle, which is like Facebook on steroids. It’s run by Tom Hanks, assisted by Patton Oswalt. A major figure, John Boyega, has withdrawn but still hangs around, and Mae happens to make his acquaintance. She’s dealing with other things, like her parents (Glenne Headly and the late Bill Paxton) and an analog almost-boyfriend (Ellar Coltrane); but she gets caught up in the 24/7 world of The Circle, where being social is part of the job. Of course things get darker until someone has to decide how much privacy a person should sacrifice, even if all we have today is the illusion of privacy. Brilliantly written by director James Ponsoldt and Dave Eggers from Eggers’ novel, edited without a wasted moment and reportedly made for a frugal $18 million, The Circle will draw you in and should rate at least a smile, if not a thumbs-up. It made me so paranoid about social media I couldn’t wait to tell my Facebook friends to see it.
THE DINNER (R)
Last month Michelle Rodriguez had three films open in the first two weekends. This month Richard Gere has two. First Gere is more of an ensemble piece that’s actually dominated by Steve Coogan. As a Coogan fan I didn’t know whether to be more shocked by his perfect American accent or his excellent performance in a rare serious role, but by the time the movie catches fire they’re both the new normal. Though his end justifies his means, I hate the way director Oren Moverman, who adapted Herman Koch’s novel, has structured The Dinner. I don’t insist on linear storytelling, but Moverman jumps unnecessarily between the present, various past times and other distractions. We see teenagers partying and then, in bits and pieces, what happened to two of them afterward. They’re the 16-year-old sons of brothers Paul (Steve Coogan) and Stan Lohman (Gere), the latter a congressman running for governor. Paul is a former high school teacher who lectures us, as he did his students, interminably about history, especially the Battle of Gettysburg. Stan and his wife Kate (Rebecca Hall) have invited Paul and his wife Claire (Laura Linney) to dinner at a restaurant that looks like Trump couldn’t afford it. This allows for a lot of foodie scenes,
even though we rarely see anyone eating and the serious conversation is saved for after the meal. This concerns what happened to those boys as their scene played out and what their parents are going to do about it. That the politician displays the highest principles of the four could get this drama classified as a fantasy, but their electric argument will continue among audience members long after they leave the theater. It did in my house.
How easily the fine line between drama and melodrama can be crossed by fine filmmaking is ably demonstrated in Graduation. Enough happens to keep a soap opera busy for a month, yet the actors never go over the top. Cristian Mungiu frames his shots tighter than most directors would for a sense of intimacy that brings you into the action, but without the extreme closeups that encourage overacting. I don’t know how to say “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” in Romanian, but that’s the way of life in the city of Cluj. It’s natural, it’s normal, it’s illegal; but it works – to a point - for Dr. Romeo Aldea (Adrian Titieni, a younger Tom Wilkinson type) and his friends, who include police and educators. His daughter Eliza (Maria Dragus) is preparing for final exams that will determine whether she gets a scholarship to Cambridge. A good father, Romeo wants a better life for his daughter after his generation failed to solve the country’s post-Communism problems. The aptly-named Romeo is having an affair with Sandra (Malina Manovici), who works at Eliza’s school. There’s not much love left between him and his wife Magda (Lia Bugnar). Meanwhile someone is breaking Romeo’s windows, there are escaped convicts in the area, and then Eliza is assaulted in a failed rape attempt on the way to school. And that’s just the beginning. It’s a full plate and a tasty one.
MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA (PG-13)
This review could have gone either way, depending on my mood when I saw the movie. It has enough negative factors that I could imagine tearing it to shreds, if I didn’t enjoy it so damn much. It would probably help to watch it in an altered state, and a trippy climactic sequence can put you in one if you’re not there already. Basically this crudely animated feature, with drawings that make South Park look like Rembrandt against sometimes psychedelic acrylic backgrounds, is The Breakfast Club meets Titanic; but writerdirector Dash Shaw throws all kinds of other things at the screen to see what will stick. Voiced by Jason Schwarzman, Dash is also the main character, an unlikable sophomore at Tides High
(I waited in vain for the Blondie song). He writes for the school paper with his only friend, Assaf (Reggie Watts), but their editor (Maya Rudolph) comes between them. Just as Dash learns the school is in danger from being built on a fault line, an earthquake strikes and the disaster movie begins. Lunch Lady Lorraine (Susan Sarandon) becomes an action hero and at times seems to be leaning toward an intergenerational relationship with Dash; but he’s also getting signals from popular Mary (Lena Dunham). While we’re rooting for a handful to survive, a thousand or so are dying around them, pointing up the absurdity of the genre. The animation style has the people and some inanimate objects constantly twitching annoyingly, further raising the odds that you’ll hate the movie; but if you think you might like it, it’s worth the risk. As Assaf says, “I like the idea. It has the logic of a dream.”
CHASING TRANE: THE JOHN COLTRANE DOCUMENTARY (NR)
The drugs must have finally worn off, because fans of jazz greats of the ‘50s and ‘60s are cranking out films about their idols at a record (pun intended) pace. In just over a year we’ve seen documentary or narrative biographies about Nina Simone, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Lee Morgan and now John Coltrane. John Scheinfeld’s Chasing Trane is one of the better ones, tracing John Coltrane’s life story while his music plays almost constantly in the background. Jazzy graphics enhance the usual photos, film clips and comments from talking heads (including talking head of state and rival saxophonist Bill Clinton). It begins in the pivotal year of 1957, about midway through Trane’s twodecade career. He was coming into his own in the Miles Davis Quintet before Miles fired him – twice – for using drugs, as Dizzy Gillespie had six years earlier. Rather than follow Charlie Parker to the grave, Trane quit cold turkey and stayed clean, developing into a creative force as a musician and composer, peaking with A Love Supreme in 1965 before going too far out even for many fans. Denzel Washington fills some gaps in the narrative with a bland reading of quotes from Trane’s interviews and liner notes. If you don’t know what to think of the music, a number of people tell you tersely but eloquently what they think, and you’ll hear enough to know if you want to hear more. Either way, it’s quite a story.
NORMAN: THE MODERATE RISE AND TRAGIC FALL OF A NEW YORK FIXER (R)
The Richard Gere Film Festival continues with the tale of Norman Oppenheimer (Gere), who may be the real Spider-Man, considering the tangled web he weaves. He knows everyone can be useful to someone, and he knows everyone will need something someday; so he makes it his business to know everyone, their assets and needs, and bring them together to help each
other – and himself. A professional schmoozer, he pays favors forward, backward and sideways. Example: Norman’s nephew (Michael Sheen), a good Jewish boy, needs a venue for an unorthodox wedding to his Korean fiancée. A rabbi (Steve Buscemi) needs $14 million to save his synagogue. What does Norman have that’s worth $14 million to someone who has it? But that comes later. First Norman makes an investment that will pay off, befriending Micha Eshel (Lior Ashkenazi), who will later become prime minister of Israel. This will prove problematic for Eshel, minor as Norman’s favors are compared to Russia’s real-life connections with the current American government: Israel is a smaller country. The film is difficult to get into. The first three scenes are so wordy you’ll go crazy if you try to absorb all the details, but they’re just there to give you an idea of Norman’s modus operandi. The next half-hour feels like a lot of same-old same-old, as Norman continues operating. Then Joseph Cedar gets more creative, both in his writing and directing; and despite the spoiler subtitle, there are plenty of surprises in the remaining 90 minutes.
A QUIET PASSION (PG-13)
Even when he’s telling someone else’s story, there are autobiographical elements in Terence Davies’ films. Here he finds points in common with Emily Dickinson, even though they were born over a century apart, he in England and she in New England. From feeling persecuted in religious schools to living a relatively celibate life to having their art underappreciated in their lifetime, they’re practically the same person; hence his 2D (Davies and Dickinson) narrative about her life. Julie Harris made the poet somewhat interesting in William Luce’s The Belle of Amherst. Cynthia Nixon’s performance may be of nearly the same caliber, but she doesn’t have such engaging material to work with. Admittedly I’m not a Dickinson fan. My favorite poets of my formative years were Edgar Allen Poe for his storytelling and Ogden Nash for his humor, so I’m not the target audience for this film. It follows Emily from her teens (played by Emma Bell) in the 1840s through her death in 1886. Apparently she had few friends and never left her family’s Massachusetts house after dropping out of school. A newspaper published a few of her poems. In a bizarre scene the publisher comes to visit Emily. They spar verbally and he leaves without ever saying why he came. We hear several poems on the soundtrack but almost never see her writing the nearly 1,800 that were discovered and published after her death. Davies depicts the period with his usual meticulousness and the actors do a decent job of reading lines that sound like they were etched in stone; the smallest talk is absurdly profound. You may get into it but I was thoroughly bored. See the rest of our movie reviews at insiteatlanta.com/movies.asp insiteatlanta.com • May 2017 • PG 17
BAYSIDE GETS PERSONAL ON VACANCY Back in Atlanta on May 26
BY JOHN B. MOORE
T’S BEEN ALMOST TWO DECADES since Anthony Raneri first started the pop punk band Bayside. Over that time, the group has had a few line-up changes, toured the globe several times over and watched the music business jump from genre to genre chasing the next big thing. All the while, Raneri and his band focused on writing, taught, smart punk rock songs chronicling the world going on around them. Late last year the band released Vacancy, their seventh studio album and the most personal to date. The album chr onicles Raneri’s dissolving marriage and the loneliness he felt relocating from his native New York to Nashville. The record is easily one of the band’s best. Bayside are currently on a co-headlining tour with Say Anything. They’ll bring their show to Atlanta’s Masquerade on May 26. Just as the band was set to hit the road, Raneri was kind enough to talk about the new record, touring with friends and what’s next. Bayside is closing in on 20 years and you and Jack O’Shea have been playing together for about 15. Did you ever anticipate that Bayside will still be going strong for this long? When we started the band, it was always important to us to have a legacy. We always wanted to be like Bad Religion, NOFX, Social Distortion... We didn’t want to be a flash in the
pan, even if it meant that we were hindering how successful we could eventually get. I don’t know if we expected to be going this strong for so long but we certainly hoped to. I know there’s been some line-up changes over the years, but what have been the hardest lessons to learn since first starting the band? The hardest lesson that I had to figure out on my own was to stop paying attention to what was happening around me. I spent a lot of time and energy being concerned with what other artists were doing and judging their success but I learned that what I was doing was all that should matter to me There seem to be some difficult songs on Vacancy. Can you talk a bit about some of the themes here and what inspired this set of songs? I wrote the record as I was going through a divorce and trying to settle into a new place where I didn’t really want to be living. The record kind of goes through my emotions through the aftermath of all that from denial to anger to bargaining to acceptance. Did you ever have any fear that you were sharing too much in these songs? Vacancy was the first record that I wrote that I was genuinely concerned that I was sharing too much. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to share that part of my story with the world but I was sharing other people’s stories and I
recognized that. I made this decision to live a public life and to share my feelings with the world but everyone else involved didn’t. I know you guys are about to start a new tour. Have you started thinking about the next record yet? We’re in the very earliest stages of thinking about a new record. Somewhere in the “when should we start thinking about a new record?” realm.
I SPENT A LOT OF TIME AND ENERGY BEING CONCERNED WITH WHAT OTHER ARTISTS WERE DOING AND JUDGING THEIR SUCCESS BUT I LEARNED THAT WHAT I WAS DOING WAS ALL THAT SHOULD MATTER TO ME.
You’re touring with Say Anything, a band you guys have been close to for years. Does it make it more manageable to tour with folks you know? At this point, we really only tour with bands that we’re friends with or at least fans of. We feel like we’ve earned our stripes over the years to really do whatever we want now. We never feel like we have to play some game. Any thoughts on following up your solo album? I have definitely been thinking about it. I really do the solo stuff only when Bayside has time off in the schedule. I never tell the band that I want time off to work on that instead so the solo releases and tours are always at the mercy of Bayside’s schedule. What’s next for you? The biggest thing is the upcoming coheadline tour with Say Anything. We have a few exciting ideas for things to for the rest of the year that we’ll start talking about soon.
RATBOYS GO BIG On Their Sophomore Album
BY JOHN B. MOORE
HEN CHICAGO’S RATBOYS SET OUT TO record their 2015 debut, AOID, the process spread out over nearly half a year. “We were only able to record on weekends because Dave (Sagan), our guitarist was in his final year of college living in South Bend,” says Julia Steiner, who sings and plays the other guitar for Ratboys. “We stretched out the recording and mixing process - which ended up taking around five months - because we knew we wouldn’t be able to properly tour until after Dave’s graduation anyway. Also, at the time, we couldn’t find a label that wanted to put it out, so we were in no real rush. Of course, Topshelf swooped in right in the nick of time and helped us immensely.” A lot has changed over the past couple of years since signing to Topshelf. The band toured the U.S. and Europe, several times, and then started work on their sophomore record.
Topshelf is set to release GN on June 9th. The record is 10 tracks of solid indie rock, with nods to the early ‘90s and current emo and even hints of folk and with a slew of new instruments like pedal steel, accordion, cello and violin to an already solid set of guitar rock. Steiner spoke with us recently about the new record and what was different this time around. What do you think have been some of the biggest changes with you guys since the first record came out and now? I’d say the biggest change is probably my confidence playing the electric guitar. Before we recorded AOID, I had always performed with an acoustic guitar. I actually only purchased my electric guitar and amp about two weeks before we started recording. So, I wasn’t really used to playing it all that much. I didn’t have any real preference or ear for what kind of tone I was going for or anything like that. I was just figuring it out as I went along. And that kind of goes for the record as a whole. Now that I’ve been performing with an electric guitar for a couple years and touring with it playing hundreds of shows, it feels quite natural, and I’ve found certain sounds I like a lot. Is there a general theme running through the songs on GN? I think a theme that touches a lot of the songs on GN is that of finding your way home. Life as a traveling musician can often feel pretty transitory and unstable - waking up in a different place and space each day definitely takes some getting used to. It’s important though - and it keeps me grounded - to find a sense of ‘home’ in each city where play, in our car, and, really when it comes down to it, anywhere I am with my bandmates. We often bookend our days by wishing each other ‘GM’ and ‘GN,’ which stands for good morning and good night. It has become a sort of mantra and routine, and I like to view those sayings as a symbol for the ways that we embrace all
PG 18 • May 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
of our impermanent home along the way. There are also plenty of songs that are obviously not based on either of you. When you’re writing do you find yourself drawing more on personal experiences or creating stories about other people? I think it’s a pretty even amount of both. I find that writing songs based on specific memories I have helps me to solidify the details of what I remember. So that’s a really satisfying and enticing exercise. But, at the same time, I think that one of the most intense and important ways I can try to empathize is to learn about another person’s experience and attempt to write about it from their perspective. I constantly read articles on Wikipedia, and every so often there are details of a person’s life story that just jump off the page and become something real that I get stuck on. That happened with Peter the Wild Boy and Sir Douglas Mawson (who inspired tracks 10 and 5 on GN, respectively). It’s a huge challenge to take on someone else’s story and try to tell it as an outsider, but I find that every time I have a go at it, I end up learning a ton and feeling something real. What was the hardest part about starting work on your second album? I suppose the hardest part was rehearsing parts with Dave and Danny (our drummer), but that really wasn’t all that hard. It just takes time, but that’s how practicing always goes. I had a track order in my head for months leading up recording time, so there wasn’t much uncertainty or deliberation there. What’s next for you and the band? We’re touring with Pet Symmetry in late May and then doing a few dates with PWR BTTM in late July. Hoping to sort out some more tours between those two - we love the routine of playing music every night.
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