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MAY 2018

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INSITEATLANTA.COM

VOL. 26, NO. 10 FREE

6 YEARS! 2 G N I T ELEBRA

Top Tapas, Best Brunch Places in Atlanta!

JAZZ

in the city Dianne Reeves Joins the Atlanta Jazz Festival


C K I E T T T O N F U F O E C R 76 S I

Yaarab Shrine

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JIM R. MILLER PARK | MARIETTA, GA

BUY TICKETS ONLINE FOR SPECIAL PRICING!

2018shrinecircus.com ADVANCE ADMISSION Tickets - $5 | ADMISSION AT THE GATE - $7

ADVANCE Ride Tickets - $11 per 21 ticket sheet | AT THE GATE RIDE TICKETS - $20 per 21 ticket Sheet

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BOGO

BEA RS

Pick up BOGO admission tickets at any Metro Atlanta Food Depot May 1- May 28 2018

ET Buy one Admission get one free ( $7.00 savings) TICK OFFER

THE 2018 World's Largest Yaarab Shrine Circus & Fair JIM R. MILLER PARK : 2245 Callaway Road Marietta, GA 30008

Take I-75 to Windy Hill Rd. ( Exit #260 ). Go west approximately five miles on Windy Hill Road and turn right on Austell Road. Turn left on County Services Parkway then left on Al Bishop Drive. Jim R Miller Park will be on your left.

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK PG 2 • May 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

For more information, call 404.419.6755

gi cs how

(rides require more than one ticket. minimum 36” to ride)

a m n w o l c


CONTENTS • MAY 2018 • VOLUME 26, NO. 10

EARS! ING 26 Y T A R B E CEL

Atlanta’s

Entertainment Monthly

INTERVIEWS

12

12 Wooten/Sinbad 15 Kevin Nealon 16 Little Steven 17 Derek Smalls 18 Dap Kings

FEATURES

15

08 ATL’s Top Tapas 09 Best Brunch 10 Spring Festivals 12 Jazz Fest Schedule 13 Continuing Ed

COLUMNS 04 05 06 07 14 15 18

16

Around Town On Tap Atlanta on a Dime Under The Lights Movie Reviews Station Control 17 New Releases

insiteatlanta.com STAFF LISTING Publisher Stephen Miller steve@insiteatlanta.com Art Director / Web Design Nick Tipton nick@insiteatlanta.com Managing Editor Lee Valentine Smith lee@insiteatlanta.com Local Events Editor Marci Miller marci@insiteatlanta.com Movie Editor Steve Warren s.warren@insiteatlanta.com

Follow us on the web!

Music Editor John Moore john@insiteatlanta.com Contributing Writers / Interns: Alex. S. Morrison, Dave Cohen, Benjamin Carr, Demarco Williams MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 76483 Atlanta, GA 30358 WEBSITE • insiteatlanta.com ADVERTISING INFORMATION (404) 308-5119 • ads@insiteatlanta.com Editorial content of INsite is the opinion of each writer and is not necessarily the opinion of INsite, its staff, or its advertisers. INsite does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor do the publisher or editors of INsite assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. No content, i.e., articles, graphics, designs and Top Tapas, information (any and all) in this publication may Best Brunch be reproduced in any manner without written Places in Atlanta! permission from publisher. MAY 2018

INSITEATLANTA.COM

VOL. 26, NO. 10 FREE

S! TING 26 YEAR CELEBRA

© Copyright 2018, Be Bop Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Check out the Atlanta Jazz Festival schedule on page 12!

JAZZ

in the city Dianne Reeves Joins the Atlanta

Jazz Festival

insiteatlanta.com • May 2018 • PG 3


Around Town NOW THROUGH JUNE 3

GEORGIA RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL I-85; Exit 61 - Fairburn / Peachtree City

The 2018 Georgia Renaissance Festival is open every weekend through June 3rd, including Memorial Day Monday. Festival guests will be greeted by Queen Anne Boleyn and her Court, merry minstrels, fair maidens, gallant Knights and a full-day of entertainment on 10 stages, food fit for kings, and a marketplace of over 150 master artisans. This year features a new Renaissance adventure or special promotion each weekend. Visit GArenfest.com.

FRIDAY, MAY 4

BASH OF THE EMPIRE VII

Center Stage's The Loft (18+)

May the 4th (Be With You), also known as International Star Wars Day. In honor of this rebellious day, Atlanta will be hosting the 7th edition of Bash Of The Empire, Atlanta’s longest-running and most die-hard Star Wars themed party (18+, non-smoking). Power up your lightsaber and join event producer Markster Con for a latenight dance party and celebration. This is the perfect opportunity to break out your inner galactic geek. Tickets available at BashoftheEmpire.com.

FRIDAY, MAY 4

MOONLIGHT THROUGH THE PINES The Promenade at Piedmont Park

The Nature Conservancy of Georgia’s 24th annual celebration for conservation will

Events and Performances taking place this Month

feature live music from The Sundogs and gourmet cuisine by Dennis Dean. Attendees will enjoy an evening of music and mingling as they have encounters with native Georgia wildlife and hear from Conservancy scientists and environmental leaders. A silent auction featuring excursions and experiences in nature will round out the festivities. Tickets must be purchased in advance online at Nature.org/moonlight.

SATURDAY. MAY 5 OVER THE EDGE

Fundraiser for Special Olympics of GA

Over the Edge is an exclusive opportunity for individuals to take their support of S p e c i a l Olympics Georgia athletes to new heights. In exchange for raising money, participants will earn the rare experience of stepping Over the Edge and rappelling down Overlook III Building in Vinings. More information at SpecialOlympicsGA.org.

SATURDAY. MAY 5

GWINNETT BEER FEST

Coolray Field / Lawrenceville, GA

The fourth 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.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9 - 20

theme and offers an exploration of all of the Museum's indoor exhibitions. Visit FernbankMuseaum.org.

SATURDAY, MAY 26

CANDIDE

Symphony Hall at Woodruff Arts Center

The Alliance and Atlanta Symphony will stage the Tony Award-winning musical Candide in Symphony Hall. In this popular adaptation of Voltaire's satirical novel, the naïve Candide is separated from his beloved and journeys around the world to find her while fiercely retaining his mentor's belief that "this is the best of all possible worlds" in the face of ever-increasing catastrophes. Tickets available at AllianceTheatre.org.

FRIDAY, MAY 11

PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Visit Fernbank After Dark on Friday, May 11 for Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Learn how transportation systems move more than just you. This adults-only science night also features movies in the four-story Giant Screen Theater, small bites and a rotating menu of craft cocktails and beers from the Mesozoic Bar. Taking place the 2nd Friday of the month, each Fernbank After Dark event takes on a new science

BREW AT THE ZOO Zoo Atlanta

Enjoy over 70 selections of brews, and a limited selection of wine, all within an exotic outdoor destination that’s home to more than 1,000 animals from around the world, including giant pandas and one of the largest populations of great apes in North America. While you sip among the wildlife and enjoy groovy local tunes, your ticket supports conservation initiatives to protect species and their habitats, here at home and around the globe. Find out more at ZooAtlanta.org.

FRIDAY - MONDAY, MAY 25 - 28 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 Mountainvision® with breathtaking fire effects. Marvel as the skies above light up in a specially choreographed musical tribute honoring the brave men and women who protect our country. Active duty, veterans, and retired military personnel will receive one FREE All-Attractions Pass with valid ID. Visit stonemountainpark.com.

R O F Y D A E R GET MMER! SU

Fri, JUN 29

JUL 11

JUN 13

Sat, JUN 16

Fri, JUN 22

Fri, JUL 13

JUL 24

Sat, JUL 28

WITH THE

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

AUG 14

Sat, AUG 18

BUY TICKETS NOW PG 4 • May 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

Sat, OCT 20

ticketmaster.com

DEC 5

Photo: Nathan Johnson

Woodruff Arts Center Box Office

Sat, DEC 22

aso.org/LIVE


On Tap this Month MAJOR EVENTS COMING TO ATLANTA Wednesday, May 2: Fox Theatre

YANNI

Legendary composer Yanni is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his iconic “Live at the Acropolis” concert with a worldwide tour. e concert went on to become a PBS special and is the second best-selling music video of all time. He’s been awarded more than 40 platinum and gold albums worldwide and has sold over 25 million records. e dazzling show comes to Atlanta at the Fox eatre on May 2. Visit Foxeatre.org.

2018/19 SEASON YOUR WISH IS GRANTED

May 10, 11 & 13: Fox Theatre Celebrate Mother’s Day weekend with Anita Baker, multi-Grammy Award-winning singer. Due to popular demand a 3rd show was recently added. Regarded as one of the most popular vocalists of soulful romantic ballads, Anita Baker sings the songs every mother will love to hear live in concert. Anita Baker’s career spans over three decades and includes eight Grammy Awards. Visit Foxeatre.org for tickets.

T H E H I T B R O A D WAY M U S I C A L

©Disney

ANITA BAKER

Sunday, May 20: Verizon Amphitheatre

WILLIE NELSON W/ ALISON KRAUS Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss have joined forces once again and are touring together this summer. ey stop in at Verizon Amphitheatre on Sunday, May 20. Willie will be playing along with family. As a prolific singer and songwriter Willie Nelson is a American musical icon. Krauss has released 14 albums over the course of her career, and she has earned an astounding 16 Grammy Awards over the decades. vzwamp.com

Tuesday, May 24: Infinite Energy Center

TM and © Paramount Pictures and TM and © The Estate of Irving Berlin. All rights reserved.

MUSIC BY SARA BAREILLES “LOVE SONG”, “BRAVE”

KHALID

Everything happens for the first time in high school. It’s the first moment behind the wheel, the first taste of freedom, and the first experience of love. ough not far removed from those days, 19-year-old El Paso, TX singer and songwriter Khalid revisits this seminal time on his full-length debut album, American Teen. Khalid became a Spotify hit with the album’s breakout single “Location.” Tickets at RivalEntertainment.com.

Saturday, May 26: Legends Stage

DIANNE REEVES

Dianne Reeves is the pre-eminent jazz vocalist in the world today. Her arsenal of talents is richly on display in each and every song of her limitless repertoire. As a result of her virtuosity, improvisational prowess and unique jazz and R&B stylings, Dianne has received five Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album. She headlines the Atlanta Jazz Festival’s Saturday night in what should be an amazing show. AtlantaFestivals.com

Saturday, May 26: Cellairis Amphitheatre

DAVE MATHEWS BAND

Dave Matthews Band returns in full force this summer as they promote their latest album, Come Tomorrow. It will be released June 8 and is their ninth studio album and the first since 2012’s Away From the World. Fans will also get plenty of chances to hear the new songs live along with hits like “Ants Marching”, “Crush”, “Crash into Me” and “#41” as they visit Lakewood later this month. Tickets at LiveNation.com.

7-SHOW PACKAGES ON SALE NOW STARTING AT $239

BroadwayInAtlanta.com

insiteatlanta.com • May 2018 • PG 5


Friday, May 18 - Sunday, May 20

North Georgia Mountains and provides a delightful setting for the annual festival.

Greek Orthodox Church in Marietta $5 Adults; mariettagreekfestival.com

Friday, May 18 - Monday, May 28

is 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. e festival takes place Friday through Sunday at the Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church 3431 Trickum Road in Marietta.

Jim R. Miller Park, Marietta Free Event; 2018shrinecircus.com

MARIETTA GREEK FESTIVAL

EVENTS HAPPENING FOR SMALL CHANGE IN ATLANTA

Know of a low cost event happening? Event@AtlantaOnADime.com By Marci Miller

Friday, May 11

Saturday & Sunday May 12 & 13

W. Ponce de Leon Ave. Decatur Square Free Event; decaturartsfestival.com

Dunwoody Village Parkway; Free Event; splashfestivals.com

DECATUR LANTERN PARADE

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., and then parade to the downtown square. Make your own lantern at home or attend a lantern-making workshop. Lanterns must be battery powered while flying lanterns are forbidden.

Saturday, May 12

PATH TO FAME

Strand Theatre in Marietta Talent Show Auditions; pffame.com

DUNWOODY ARTS FESTIVAL

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.

Thursday, May 17, 24, 31

MOVIES IN CENTRAL PARK

Saturday & Sunday May 19 & 20

CANTON ARTS FESTIVAL

Brown Park in Downtown Canton Free Event; cantonartfestival.com e 15th annual Canton Festival of the Arts features a juried Artist Market, the Serenity Garden, a celebration of literature, live entertainment, a kids area and a food court. With the charm of a historic river town, Canton offers views of the

YARAB SHRINE CIRCUS & FAIR e largest Shrine Circus and Fair in North America is back for its 76th year! Packed with more excitement than ever, this year’s Tarzan Zerbini Circus features several new acts under the Big Top. For the first time in Marietta see the Castle Performing Bears and the Fabulous Flying Bells on the flying trapeze. Check out the Human Bullet “Saturn” flying high above the crowds below. In addition to the (80minute) circus under e Big Top, there are 35 exciting carnival rides and attractions, as well as lots of carnival food. e Sneak-a-Peek Ride-A-on begins Friday May 18. 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 2018ShrineCircus.com

Atlantic Station; Free Event Pigeon Forge, TN is hosting a talent com- atlanticstation.com

petition for singers, comedians, instrumentalists and specialty acts, with the grand prize winner receiving experience, tools and knowledge that can be used to launch their own path to fame. Auditions will be held at the Strand eater in Marietta, on Saturday, May 12 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Registration is from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Auditions held on a first-come, firstserved basis. Visit PFFame.com for details.

Movies in Central Park is offering free movie screenings on ursday evenings this summer. e season begins with Meet the Parents (May 17); Kate & Leopold (May 24) and My Big Fat Greek Wedding (May 31). Movie screenings begin at dusk. Pets are welcome. Moviegoers can enjoy meal deals each week from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. for a variety of Atlantic Station restaurants.

YARAB SHRINE CIRCUS & FAIR

Free Event • Jim R. Miller Park, Marietta

REceive Updated Events Weekly. Sign Up by Emailing Subscriptions@atlantaonadime.com Enter on the subject line: Sign me up Insite!

SCIENCE NIGHTS for Adults Ages 21+

Craft Beers & Cocktails Giant Screen Movies Science Discoveries Live Music

MAY 11

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

JUNE 8

Life Hacks

June 9th 8:00 am registratio n open

active.com

FernbankMuseum.org | #FernbankAfterDark Space is limited. Advance ticket purchase highly recommended.

PG 6 • May 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

festival sponsors


Under The Lights

NEW TO THE ATLANTA STAGE

HAMILTON

CITIZEN’S MARKET

Hamilton is the story of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, Hamilton is the story of America then, as told by America now. With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

A good small supermarket has everything its neighborhood needs, including a charming cast of characters behind the counter. Citizens Market follows a hopeful group of immigrants as they form an unlikely family, working to master the ups and downs of language, love, and staying afloat in the city. Full of laughter and life, this comedy-drama celebrates an evershifting and eclectic America. Moving, funny and ultimately uplifting…the American Dream is tantalizingly within reach one moment, and elusive the next.

May 22 - June 10 The Fox Theatre (855) 285-8499 FoxTheatre.org

RIPCORD

May 10 - June 3 Aurora Theatre, Lawrenceville, GA 678.226.6222 AuroraTheatre.com Ripcord is an uproariously funny new play. Battle lines are drawn at the Bristol Place Senior Living Facility when Crabby Abby won’t pay for a private room, but keeps her solitude with an impenetrable spite. That is until new roomie, the fiercely cheerful Marilyn, not only wants to stay, but is vying for Abby’s prime real estate by the window. To settle the score, a seemingly harmless bet reveals the tenacity of these worthy opponents and escalates into an outrageous game of one-upmanship. Starring Donna Discoe as Abby and Jill Jane Clements as Marilyn, this over-thetop comedy from Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire will have audiences evoking The Odd Couple meets The Golden Girls and laughing all the way.

May 18 - June 24 Horizon Theatre (404) 584-7450 HorizonTheatre.com

MAMA MIA!

June 9 - 24 Ferst Center for the Arts 404.894.9600 Arts.gatech.edu

Your Neighborhood Pizzeria!

Atlanta’s BEST Favorite ATL Pizza! Winner of

I Ns i t e ★ 201 7

Multiple Atlanta Locations: JohnnysPizza.com

Mamma Mia! fans, rejoice. After 50 soldout shows of the hit musical at Aurora Theatre, they are partnering with the Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech to bring the play to Midtown. It is a madcap story of a mother, a daughter, three possible dads and a trip down the aisle you'll never forget. Mamma Mia! combines the timeless tunes of super group ABBA with a sunny, funny tale that unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, Sophie's quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother's past back into her life for the first time in 20 years. This show has all of your favorite ABBA songs including “Dancing Queen”, “S.O.S” and “Take a Chance on Me,” plus non-stop laughs, and explosive dance numbers.

insiteatlanta.com • May 2018 • PG 7


In the Mood for . . . TAPAS!

At Babalu, tacos reign with over ten flavors that can be mixed and matched and are only $3 during hours, Monday through Friday Popular Atlanta restaurants offering small plates social 3pm – 6pm. Or stop in on Taco Tuesday, when all tacos are $2 each. Eclipse di Luna Located in Midtown on the corner of Peachtree Place 764 Miami Circle 404.846.0449 and Peachtree Street, Babalu’s patio offers both covered 4505 Ashford-Dunwoody 678.205.5862 and uncovered options with stools at the outside bar and eclipsediluna.com plenty of casual couch seating. Come early so that you can snag a spot and sip on house-made seasonal sangria or Upon entering their award winning Baba Rita® while you nibble on bar Eclipse di Luna you bites like crispy pork belly sliders and black bean fritters. feel like you’ve been It’s no surprise that Babalu was named one of Atlanta’s transported into an Best Group Dining spots. Their community tables and exotic locale. Take Chef’s counter are perfect for friends and families that in the festive, highwant to share and enjoy tapas for a night out. Babalu is energy dining expesteps away from the Midtown MARTA station and they rience with an artsy setting as a backdrop. They have a new spring tapas menu will also validate parking tickets in the garage located along with gluten free and vegan menus. With over two behind the restaurant. dozen tapas to choose from there is something to please any taste. Eclipse di Luna features a variety of great dish- Loca Luna es like the Pollo a la Parilla, a chicken breast grilled and 550-C Amsterdam Ave. 404.875.4494 marinated with red pepper salad and avocado. On the loca-luna.com beef side, The Filete de Lomo offers grilled Filet Mignon, Loca Luna is a chimichurri and charred green onion. There are also sev- refreshing alternaeral seafood dishes to choose from including the Gambas tive to conventional al Ajillo which is sautéed shrimp & garlic with calabres nightlife with an pepper. Eclipse di Luna has been voted Best Tapas by eclectic mix of INsite readers several years running. Both locations offer tapas and cocktails patio dining. complemented by award winning live Babalu Tapas & Tacos musicians. Whether you come for Wednesday’s salsa les33 Peachtree Place @ Peachtree, Midtown Atlanta sons or Latin bands and first-rate DJs on the weekend, 404.900.9595 eatbabalu.com Loca Luna gives you something to look forward to any night of the week. Their location on Amsterdam Ave Babalu Tapas & offers a spacious main dining room, ample bar/lounge Tacos features area, tropical outdoor patio with Midtown skyline view, scratch made Latin and a private VIP area upstairs. Enjoy a wide range of inspired dishes with tapas including Snapchat worthy selections like: Spanish a touch of southern Style Ribs, Mini Cuban Sliders, Pao de Queijo, Brazilian flair. Sample and Cheese Rolls, Emapanda de Carne, carne asada steak share small plates skewers, Ceviche De Camarones, lamb meatballs; garlic from their signature guacamole, prepared table side to Creole Shrimp & Grits and lemon aioli. Enjoy loco crazy Mondays with Half off all tapas and $.99 Sangria. Free Salsa Lessons from 8-9pm made with Mills Farms grits.

on Wednesdays with Orquesta MaCuba Salsa Band and $5 Skinny Drinks. Start your weekend early on Thursdays with individual margaritas for $4 or $15 for a pitcher. 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.

Escorpion

800 Peachtree St. Midtown 678.666.5198 escorpionatl.com

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 tomales. You can also explore lesser known specialties like Carnitas, a Mexican meat dish made with citrus braised pork, raw onions, fresh cilantro, slowly cooked in a salsa verde 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 ensaladas, enchiladas, fajitas and rellenos.

AtlAntA’s Best tApAs RestAuRAnt

ATLANTA’S BEST LIVE LATIN MUSIC 7 NIGHTS A WEEK! 4505 AshfoRd dunwoody Rd. 678.205.5862 BEST of ATL 764 MiAMi CiRCle 404.846.0449 eclipsediluna.com Winner I Ns i t e ★ 201 7

Best Tapas Best Salsa Band Best Latin Music Best Salsa Dancing Best Girls Night Out BEST of

ATL

Winner loca-luna.com 550 Amsterdam Ave NE • Atlanta, GA 30306 I Ns i t e ★ 201 7

PG 8 • May 2018 • insiteatlanta.com


Mediterranean Grill

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 too. Start with one of their artfully prepared appetizers like Hummus, Baba Ganouj, Tabouleh Salad Calamari or homemade Spanakopita. Try the Business Lunch Combo 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.

Make Plans for . . . BRUNCH! Celebrate Mother’s Day & Graduations!

Murphy’s

Virginia Highland - 997 Virginia Avenue 404.872.0904 murphys-atlanta-restaurant.com

Murphy's is one of Atlanta's best-loved restaurants and has been for more than 35 years. Located in the heart of stylish Virginia Highlands, Murphy's is the long-standing hub of neighborhood camaraderie and the choice destination for visitors seeking the best of the areas dining and nightlife. Tom Murphy's acclaimed restaurant brings in the crowds with the perfect combination of upscale comfort food, unpretentious service, a cozy setting and excellent value. Executive Chef Andy Tran creates American contemporary comfort food that focuses on fresh, local ingredients. Weekend brunch at Murphy's is a must-do, featuring Eggs T. Murphy, Crab Cake Benedict and Portobello Frittatas. You will also find favorites such as the Hazelnut Encrusted French Toast and the Corned Beef Hash featured on the menu. As well as an excellent restaurant, Murphy's has also gained recognition as a bakery and wine shop. The interior combines rustic, exposed brick and French cafe doors to make a light, airy effect by day and a warm, sparkling atmosphere by night. The wine program includes weekly themed wine tastings on Tuesday nights, an on-site retail shop, and exclusive wine dinners with prestigious winemakers. Murphy’s is available for private dining and special functions.

The Flying Biscuit

BEEN TO BRUNCH LATELY? TALK ABOUT IT ALL WEEK

Candler Park - 1655 McLendon Ave 404.687.8888 Midtown - 1001 Piedmont Ave 404.874.8887 Catering Hotline 404.849.2283; flyingbiscuit.com

The Flying Biscuit serves great breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, seven days a week starting at 7 AM. They are known for their mouth-watering biscuits and delicious menu items. Their signature dish is The Flying Biscuit Breakfast. It is served with two large farmfresh eggs, signature chicken breakfast sausage, and a side of creamy dreamy grits. If you are in the mood for an omelet, The Flying Biscuit has several options to select from, including the healthconscious Hollywood Omelet made from egg whites, spinach, mushrooms & mozzarella cheese topped with a warm tomato coulis. Enjoy Weekend Sweet Specials on a variety of pancakes - chocolate chip, blueberry, gingerbread and more! The Flying Biscuit offers a new beer and wine menu this spring along with nightly dinner specials. Their menu is organic-friendly and bakery and is a great choice for catering.

RESTAURANT I BAKERY I WINE SHOP

EST. 1980

Park Tavern

Midtown - 500 10th Street NE 404.249.0001 ParkTavern.com

Park Tavern provides the city’s Best Mother's Day Brunch Buffet in the perfect setting overlooking Piedmont Park and the city skyline. It takes place this year on Sunday May 13 from 10:30 - 3:30 pm. The brunch is held in their party tent, surrounding patio and inside. There are multiple stations with incredible offerings including: Eggs Benedict with Canadian Bacon; Blackened Chilean Salmon; Applewood Smoked Bacon & Sausage and North Georgia Stoneground Cheese Grits. They also have a carving station with Spiral Ham and Prime Rib. Plus amazing sides including Garlic Green Beans, Herb Roasted Potatoes and Shrimp Pasta Salad. Choose from a bountiful display of desserts and a chocolate fountain! The Mother's Day buffet is their most popular brunch and has sold out every year for the past 14 years. So make reservations early by purchasing tickets on their website. The Patio at Park Tavern is the perfect place to relax and hang out with friends. This amazing backdrop provides for a great atmosphere and is dog-friendly. The large expansive patio includes table seating, private cabanas, an oyster bar, fire pits, and TV's to catch your favorite teams in action. The patio can be transformed for weddings, private events, and concerts. Come on out May 8 for ATL Live on the Park their monthly music showcase. Sunset Sessions is their weekly music series and is held on Tuesday nights.

FEED YOUR SPRING FEVER

WITH A FLYING BISCUIT SUPER SUPPER!

insiteatlanta.com • May 2018 • PG 9


SPRING MAY Atlanta BBQ Fest Atlantic Station

MAY 5 & 6

The ninth annual Atlanta BBQ Fest at Atlantic Station offers multiple sessions. Hogs and Hops, on Saturday, May 5 from 1pm-5pm, offers allinclusive tickets featuring 50+ beer and wine options and BBQ samples from some of Atlanta’s best BBQ restaurants. This Saturday night session will be all ages and include live music, time to chat with the Competition BBQ teams; BBQ and drinks will be available for purchase. On Sunday from noon - 6pm all ages are welcome and include live music with BBQ and drinks available for purchase. Visit altbbqfest.com.

Roswell Spring Arts Festival Roswell City Hall

MAY 6 & 7

The Roswell Spring Arts and Crafts Festival is a two-day outdoor event featuring over 125 painters, photographers, sculptors, leather and metal crafts people, glass blowers, jewelers and more. Plus artist demonstrations, live acoustic music, kids area, food & beverage. Visit Roswellartfestival.com

PG 10 • May 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

2018

Chastain Arts Festival

East Atlanta Beer Festival

This award-winning, two-day 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.

East Atlanta Beer Festival is held in East Atlanta’s Brownwood Park. Sample over 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. EastAtlantaBeerfest.com

Sweet Auburn Festival

Don't miss being part of the 16th Annual Kirkwood Spring Fling & Tour of Homes on Saturday, May 19. 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,

Chastain Park, Buckhead

Centennial Olympic Park

MAY 12 & 13

MAY 12 & 13

Celebrating 34 years, the original Sweet Auburn Springfest takes place Mother’s Day Weekend May 12 - 13 in the historic A u b u r n A v e n u e District, birth place of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in Downtown Atlanta. Over 100,000 are expected to attend over the weekend. Enjoy fun, food and entertainment for the whole family. Visit SweetAuburn.com

East Atlanta Village MAY 19

Kirkwood Spring Fling and Tour of Homes Bessie Branham Park

MAY 19

rain or shine. Festival is free, with ticketing for the 5K and Tour of Homes. Visit KirkwoodFling.com.

Yarab Shrine Circus & Fair Jim R Miller Park, Marietta

MAY 19 - 28

The largest Shrine Circus and Fair in North America is back for its 76th year! Packed with more excitement than ever, this year’s Tarzan Zerbini Circus features several new acts under the Big Top. For the first time in Marietta see the Castle Performing Bears and the Fabulous Flying Bells on the flying trapeze. Check out the Human Bullet “Saturn” flying high above the crowds below. The Great Daredevil “Garcia” on the Wheel of Thrill will keep everyone on the edge of their seats. In addition to the (80-minute) circus under The Big Top, there are 35 exciting carnival rides and attractions, as well as lots of carnival food. Take in the firework show on both Saturday nights. The Sneak-a-Peek Ride-A-Thon begins Friday May 18. 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 2018ShrineCircus.com


Decatur Arts Festival

MAY 25 - 27

Decatur Square

Decatur's biggest arts event takes place over Memorial Day Weekend. Get started Friday evening, May 27, 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.

Bavarianfest

At Festhalle in Helen, GA

MAY 26

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.

Alpharetta Street Fest Downtown Alpharetta

MAY 26 - 28

Over Memorial Day Weekend the City of Alpharetta opens up their historic downtown streets for the Alpharetta Arts Streetfest. This three-day event will host more than 90 regional and national artisans whose colorful and whimsical artwork will certainly make a splash in this charming district of Alpharetta. The popular Streetfest will feature live music, entertaining and hands-on children’s activities along with great cuisine from local eateries and street eats in the food court. Visit SplashFestivals.com.

Atlanta Jazz Festival Piedmont Park

MAY 26 & 27

Celebrating 41 years of musical mastery, the festival returns to Piedmont Park over Memorial Day Weekend. The lineup includes a variety of jazz sounds and stylings presented on three stages: The Legends Stage, The Contemporary Stage and The Next Gen Stage. For the first time in the event’s history, it will feature an all-female lineup on Saturday. National and international musicians will perform. Highlights include Jon Batiste with The Dap-Kings, Dianne Reeves, The Bad Plus and Jazzmeia Horn. The Atlanta Jazz Festival is the perfect way to spend the holiday with family and friends. In addition to the Memorial Day Weekend Festival, 31 Days of Jazz events will be put on throughout Metro Atlanta beginning on May 1. The final weekend offers KidZone areas with games and inflatables. Admission to the festival is free. Visit atlantafestivals.com.

Old Fourth Ward Arts Festival Historic Fourth Ward

MAY 26 - 27

The Old Fourth Ward Arts Festival at the Historic Fourth Ward Park is a two-day celebration of the arts while honoring the rich history of our community. There is some-

thing for everyone: fine arts and crafts, a children's play area, local food and beverage concessions, live acoustic entertainment on the lawn. The Festival takes place Saturday, May 26 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 27 from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Visit Oldfourthwardparkartsfestival.com.

JUNE

Candler Park Music Festival Candler Park, Atlanta JUNE 1 & 2

Celebrating 10 years at Candler Park in Atlanta, this year’s two-day event is set to draw more than 20,000 attendees and will feature live music, local food, crafts and interactive partner experiences. Additional weekend event activities will include a food village filled with local restaurant vendors and food trucks, the exclusive Terrapin Brew Lounge where attendees can experience Terrapin craft brews, and adult field games. For tickets visit candlerparkmusicfestival.com.

Decatu

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Festiva l #decaturg a

ARTS

ALL AROUND

DECATUR.

VISITORS CENTER 113 Clairemont Ave. Decatur GA 30030 | visitdecaturga.com

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4/25/18 5:09 PM

Butterfly Festival

Chattahoochee Nature Center JUNE 2 & 3

The expanded "Butterfly Encounter Exhibit” allows visitors to the festival to hand-feed 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. Learn about the ways you can help bring more butterflies to your garden. Featuring live music, entomology exhibits, arts and crafts, face painting, butterfly parades, food trucks and more. A great event to kick off summer and enjoy nature. Visit chattnaturecenter.org.

Virginia-Highland Summerfest Virginia-Highland Neighborhood SATURDAY, JUNE 9 & SUNDAY, JUNE 10

The 35th annual Virginia-Highland Summerfest offers an Artist Market featuring works of over 250 artists and craftsmen from all over the Southeast and b e y o n d . 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 on stage with 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 vahisummerfest.com.

Atlanta Summer Beer Fest Historic 4th Ward Park JUNE 16

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 16 from 4 - 8pm 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. Be sure to check out their Facebook page to get all of the updates. Tickets are $40 in advance, $45 after June 7 and $55 the day of the event. Purchase tickets at AtlantaSummerBeerFest.com.

Special $10 OFF with Promo Code “INSITE” for our readers! freshtix.com/events/east-atlanta-beer-festival-2018

BAVARIANFEST

Memorial Day Weekend! Saturday, May 26th 6 – 11 pm ★ Live German Band ★ Dancing ★ Import Beers ★ Domestic Beers ★ Wines ★ Wursts & Hot Dogs ★ Pretzels & Snacks ★ Family Friendly

Active & Retired Military & Veterans receive FREE ADMISSION & guest 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 2018 • PG 11


MUSIC

BRINGING BACK FUN The Wooten Brothers Get Down with Sinbad for an Old-School Funk Party

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

T

When: Saturday, May 26 from 11 am to 10 pm Sunday, May 27 from 11 am to 10 pm Where: Piedmont Park Three Stages: Legends, Contemporary, & Next Gen Admission: The event is FREE and open to the public

The complete 2018 Atlanta Jazz Festival schedule: SATURDAY, MAY 26

NEXT GEN STAGE: 12:30 pm ...Sasha Berliner Escapades 2:30 pm ...... Camille Thurman 4:30 pm ...... Shayna Steele 6:30 pm ...... Linda May Han Oh Quintet CONTEMPORARY STAGE: 1:30 pm ..... Thumbscrew: Mary Halvorson, Michael Formanek & Tomas Fujiwara 3:30 pm ..... Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science 5:30 pm .....Anat Cohen Quartet 7:30 pm .....Jazzmeia Horn LEGENDS STAGE: 1 pm .........Yoko Miwa Trio 3 pm .........Jane Bunnett & Maqueque 5 pm .........The Ingrid Jensen Collective 7 pm .........Tia Fuller Quartet 9 pm .........Dianne Reeves

SASHA BERLINER ESCAPADES

JAZZMEIA HORN

DIANNE REEVES

SUNDAY, MAY 27

NEXT GEN STAGE: 12:30 pm ...Rialto Jazz for Kids 2:30 pm ..... Antoine Roney Trio featuring Kojo Roney 4:30 pm .....Morgan Guerin 6:30 pm .....Matthew Whitaker CONTEMPORARY STAGE: 1:30 pm .....The Georgia Horns 3:30 pm .....Richie Goods & The Goods Project 5:30 pm .....Sidewalk Chalk 7:30 pm .....Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles LEGENDS STAGE: 1 pm ......... The Lao Tizer Quartet featuring Eric Marienthal 3 pm ........... The Russell Malone Quartet 5 pm ........... M.F. Production’s Latin Jazz All Stars 7 pm ........... The Bad Plus 9 pm ........... Jon Batiste with The Dap-Kings

MATTHEW WHITAKER

CORY HENRY

THE BAD PLUS

Visit atlantafestivals.com for more information! PG 12 • May 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

be Sinbad. So we did and it’s really a party.

HE FUN & FUNK XPLOSION After this tour, could this line-up become a Tour combines The Wooten Brothers regular gig for everyone - with an album and in concert together with Sinbad. Yes, it merch and full commitment? sounds like an odd pairing at first glance. But Right now, we’re putting all our efforts on these the combination of one of the most inventive ten shows. But I can’t imagine it’s not gonna comedians working today with some of happen again. It’s gonna be so different and so America’s most accomplished musicians is much fun. I actually think Sinbad is the most actually a great idea. excited of any of us. Bassist Victor Wooten and drummer Roy “Future Man” Wooten are founding members Because it’s a new challenge for him? of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. Keyboardist When you do your own Joseph Wooten has played thing, but you get the chance with the classic rock and to do something else that’s blues-influenced Steve also your passion, it’s just Miller Band since ‘93, and better. I don’t think Sinbad’s Regi “The Teacher” Wooten ever really done a musical Saturday, May 5 taught his younger brothers tour and we’re all gonna have Buckhead Theatre how to play. With Bob a lot of fun. thebuckheadtheatreatl.com Franceschini (a veteran of Tito Puente and Paul Simon’s How are you lining up the bands) on saxophone, it’s a show? Will Sinbad have genre-blurring supergroup. time for a straight stand-up set? Or is it just The addition of accomplished comic/actor/ one long jam session? pop culture historian/musician Sinbad turns Of course. He’ll do his thing, but the cool the group’s ten-city tour into an old-school funk thing is, we have a few spots where he does his party band. On the day before the tour was thing over the music. We’ll all bring it down scheduled to begin, INsite spoke with Victor and provide a backdrop for him. Then there’s Wooten - while Sinbad laughed and joked in the times where we will just stop and let him do it background - at a rehearsal studio in Nashville. by himself. It’ll be different every night. We’re improvising musicians, so we always change Are you ready for the Xplosion? it up. We are putting the finishing touches on it to make sure it’s as funky and funny as possible. Any special guests? And man, we are just laughing and grooving Every city has their stars. It just depends on so hard. who shows up. We’re starting in Cincinnati and that’s where Bootsy Collins lives. We can’t At first the Wooten and Sinbad convergence promise anything - but who knows? In Atlanta, seems an odd combination, but it makes we all have so many friends down there, we don’t total sense. know what’s gonna happen. And the audience It does sound odd - but just at first. Sinbad is is special and we include them in the show. So so funny, and a lot of people don’t know how really the audience is our special guest every musical he is. I think it’s gonna be an eye-opener night of the tour. for people. He’s an amazingly funny and positive guy and he tells the truth. He makes you think Playing with your brothers must be just second about things. So we’re gonna give people some nature to you now. music, but also some things to think about. We Well I’m the youngest and when I came along, are gonna hit you with music first but then we they needed a bass player. They were already want to affect your mind, too. As well as giving playing and I just filled in the band. I think Regi your eyes something to see. We’re not going to says that when I turned six, we were already the just stand there and play. opening band for Curtis Mayfield. I’ve never not done it, but I had great teachers along the way. How’d this tour come together? I had this album [Trypnotyx] out last year You’re passing along those lessons to the kids at and I was wanting to tour with my trio, but my your camps. drummer Dennis Chambers was busy. He’s Absolutely. We just finished a camp yesterday. always busy. Everybody wants him. Then one This is our 19th year with the music camps day my manager said, ‘I know you’re gonna think at Wooten Woods Retreat, just outside of I’m crazy, but why don’t we ask Sinbad?’ I was Nashville. It’s for all ages, too. I like to introduce like, ‘Wow, that’s brilliant!’ Then the ideas just music to younger people and try to bring back started flowing. I said, ‘Let me see if my brothers the love for it for the older people. Sometimes are free.’ I wanted to bring them out and just go we do it so much it becomes a chore or we’re all old-school funk and R&B. Maybe pull out trying too hard. We just want to bring back some Michael Jackson, Prince and Gap Band the fun. stuff and let the audience groove and let Sinbad

THE FUN & FUNK XPLOSION


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TA L E N T C O M P E T I T I O N

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AUDITIONS: Saturday, May 12, at The Strand Theatre in Marietta, Ga.

insiteatlanta.com • May 2018 • PG 13 4/26/18 9:14 AM


MOVIES

Movie Reviews BY STEVE WARREN

RBG (PG)

 Here’s everything you wanted to know about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg but were afraid to ask. It’s pretty much a by-thenumbers documentary, but filmmakers Julie Cohen and Betsy West have found excellent elements to fit each piece of the template and the result leaves me with no objections. Affectionately known to students young enough to be her great-grandchildren as “The Notorious R.B.G.,” the court’s liberal voice of dissent is remembered for having argued for the feminist movement when she was just a lawyer, having fought gender bias to get that far. Most of her story is told flashing back from her 1993 confirmation hearing after Bill Clinton nominated her to the high court. She met her late husband Marty, who became a tax attorney, when they were students at Cornell; and theirs is a love story that could fill a movie by itself. Their daughter Jane is quoted as saying “her father did the cooking and her mother did the thinking.” Marty also did the joking, as Ruth was – and still is, in her mid-eighties – a quiet, serious woman who loves opera (but we also see her laughing at Kate McKinnon’s impression of her on SNL). She’s fought cancer twice without missing a day on the bench and was best friends with the court’s arch-conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. As the court moved further to the right under G.W. Bush, Ginsberg moved further left and can be counted on for a dissenting opinion on verdicts she disagrees with. To show how the world has changed - with her help - in 1957 Ginsberg was one of nine women at Harvard Law in a class with over 500 men. Her granddaughter was in the first class there with gender parity.

ANYTHING (R)

 Early Landry (John Carroll Lynch) has lived his 55 years in a small Mississippi town (filmed in Georgia), but you’d never know it from listening to him. Oh, Lynch drops about every tenth final “g” and applies a drawl to some word every few minutes; but we quickly figure that authenticity isn’t going to be this film’s long suit. Later we realize it doesn’t have a long suit. Early is depressed after the death of his wife of 26 years and would need to be institutionalized if his controlling sister Laurette (Maura Tierney) didn’t move him to L.A. to live with her family. He soon moves into his own apartment in a seedy part of Hollywood. He’s still depressed – we get several false alarms (or are they?) about suicide attempts – but finds something to live for when he meets his neighbor, Freda (Matt Bomer), a transgender prostitute. Getting her off opioids becomes his project (though how does he keep her there against her will?), and

THE RIDER

somewhere along the way he falls in love with her. It’s unclear whether he knows she’s not a biological female, although the more worldly Laurette and her husband and son can tell right away. While Bomer gives a good performance (controversial because the role didn’t go to a real transgender actress), his scenes with other working girls lack the naturalness of those in Tangerine. (See authenticity note above.) Occasional songs, including covers of a Bee Gees classic, are a charming if inexplicable throwback to the “flower power” era. You can see the potential for a Lifetime movie here, but writer-director Timothy McNeil hasn’t pulled it off.

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE (R)

 It’s fine when artistic technique helps to tell a story, but I draw the line when the art competes with the story being told – and wins. Contrary to many esteemed critics, I find that the case here. Lynne Ramsay, who made the wonderful We Need to Talk About Kevin, focuses on the character of Joe (Joaquin Phoenix), a damaged veteran who earns a living by rescuing underage girls from sex traffickers. In the process he acts as judge, jury and executioner – and sometimes mortician and funeral director – for their captors. He’s handy with guns and fists but a hammer and duct tape are his weapons of choice. Brief flashes of memories and fantasies – often indistinguishable from each other – are supposed to offer insight into Joe’s past; but the way Ramsay splatters the screen with them they offer too many dots for the viewer to try to connect. It’s as if Jackson Pollock tried to paint a portrait. There’s minimal dialogue to explain what’s going on. Agonizingly slow but creatively photographed scenes are occasionally relieved by (mostly offscreen) violence. Joe, who takes care of his elderly mother (Judith Roberts) and likes green jelly beans, rescues Nina (Ekaterina Samsonov), who proves to be a pawn in a plot that reaches high in New York politics but leaves more dots for us to connect. The title suggests we shouldn’t believe anything we see is really happening, but if we believe the ending, the possibilities of what follows are horrifying.

BOOM FOR REAL: THE LATE TEENAGE YEARS OF JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT (NR)

 In Julian Schnabel’s 1996 film Basquiat, a fictitious artist (played by Gary Oldman) tells real artist Jean-Michel (Jeffrey Wright), “Your audience isn’t even born yet.” I’m not sure if that’s changed, especially since much of the work of Basquiat, who died in 1988 at the age of 27 – like a rockstar - was in the form of graffiti and other ephemera, including copy shop collages like a Stone Age Photoshop. But enough of his contemporaries – friends, collaborators

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE and hangers-on – remember him that Sara Driver was able to assemble this documentary with photos, (mostly) home movies and talking heads. If you diagram the subtitle, the artist’s name is the object of a preposition. The subject is “Years,” which is accurate because the film is about a time and place; Basquiat is a supporting character. It begins in 1978 with President Ford refusing to bail out financially troubled New York City. Punk announces the death of disco and rap puts another nail in the coffin; then uptown and downtown get together and get high. The visual arts are the least interesting part of the scene and are treated accordingly. Since he’s not here to speak for himself, Basquiat’s role is somewhat diminished by fellow graffitist Lee Quiñones, probably deservedly since Basquiat sprayed words and crude images while Quiñones painted wild murals on walls and subway cars. The film ends when Basquiat sells his first painting, seven years before his death. Driver paints a wideranging picture of an era that, as they say, if you remember it you weren’t there.

THE RIDER (NR)

 Western movies can be about more than gunfights and Indian wars. I was predisposed to like The Rider because the horse is my favorite animal, and because even though I’m a city boy, the beautifully photographed South Dakota landscapes triggered nostalgia for places I’ve never been. China-born filmmaker Chloé Zhao has taken some wild chances here and they’ve paid off handsomely. Her nonprofessional cast plays some version of themselves (something that’s difficult for many professional actors to do) in a story partly based on their own lives. Zhao estimates that “40 percent is fake,” but all of the story rings true. Brady (Brady Jandreau) is a young horse trainer whose skull was broken when he was thrown from a horse in a rodeo. He has to take a supermarket job during the healing process because his father (Tim Jandreau) drinks and gambles their money away. Brady eventually starts training horses again but medical complications make his rodeo future questionable. His low-key acting makes you feel his sadness instead of seeing it, and I could name a lot of stars who could learn from watching him. He reminds me of the young Keanu Reeves, but with more talent. The rodeo and training scenes are carefully chosen to show as little abuse as possible. Except for one moment the cowboys suffer more than the horses, yet The Rider is unlikely to win PETA’s seal of approval. Still, the love between Brady and the horses is palpable; and while I see so many films that most quickly fade from my memory, my affection for The Rider grows stronger as the days go by.

GHOST STORIES (NR)

 When “Monster Mash” played behind the closing credits it occurred to me I may have been PG 14 • May 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

taking Ghost Stories too seriously. There hadn’t been anything to laugh at, true, but there hadn’t been much that scared me or made dramatic sense either. It’s written and directed by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, based on their 2010 play, and stars Nyman as Prof. Phillip Goodman, who exposes phonies on TV’s “Psychic Cheats.” One day he’s summoned by his role model, the missing and presumed dead Dr. Charles Cameron, who passes on three supernatural cases he’s been unable to debunk. They involve Tony Matthews (Paul Whitehouse), an alcoholic night watchman; Simon Rifkind (Alex Lawther), a troubled young man; and Mike Priddle (Martin Freeman), a wealthy financier. Each relates a dull story that takes place in a mostly dark location they wander through at length before something spooky happens to them. Each is alone at the time so their stories can never be proved or disproved; but each somehow makes an emotional connection to something in Goodman’s past and makes him question his disbelief. “Why,” Priddle asks with glaring obviousness, “is it always the last key that unlocks everything?” Ghost Stories didn’t unlock anything for me except a desire for better horror movies.

GRACE JONES: BLOODLIGHT AND BAMI (NR)

 I remember once waiting at Backstreet to see Grace Jones enter – two hours late – on a motorcycle to perform a couple of songs. But I’m not enough of a fan to appreciate Sophie Fiennes’ sketchy film about her. Google “bloodlight” and “bami” before you see it, because the title is never explained. Nor is the time frame, which appears to be a decade or more ago; and while we see Jones record and visit family in Jamaica and perform in Paris, locations in five other countries – probably concert venues – are not identified. Last month I complained that a financial documentary threw too much information at us too fast to be absorbed. This one has the opposite problem, revealing too little while sometimes showing a landscape for a full minute or eavesdropping on long conversations of little interest. Even Jones’ diva fits, though sometimes amusing, are allowed to go on too long. Watching her perform her greatest hits brings back warm (leatherette) memories, but hearing her mother sing in church recalls the hearing aid sequences in A Quiet Place. Today’s concertgoers won’t appreciate Jones’ staging – minimalist, except for her bizarre wardrobe. The one time she’s offered backup dancers she refuses, saying they make her look like the madam in a brothel. “Sometimes you have to be a high-flyin’ bitch,” Jones explains; but “I never strike without a warning.” Hardcore fans will lap it up; as for others – you’ve been warned. See the rest of our movie reviews at insiteatlanta.com/movies.asp


COMEDY

TV

Station Control

KEVIN NEALON ON A HIKE FAMILY DYSFUNCTION ON DISPLAY SNL Veteran Comedic/Actor is Back on the Standup Trail E H BY BENJAMIN CARR

VERY HAPPY FAMILY IS ALIKE. Every unhappy family is unhappy in their own way. And TV families, as Tolstoy would’ve suggested, are rather unhappy these days. But they remain compelling.

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

E’S BEST KNOWN AS A REGULAR on NBC’s Saturday Night Live for his classic turns as Mr. Subliminal, Weekend Update host and as pumped-up weightlifter Franz (along with old pal Dana Carvey as Hans) but Kevin Nealon’s first love remains stand-up comedy. Since season two of his current gig on the CBS sitcom Man With A Plan has wrapped, he’s back out on the road this spring, hitting the City Winery circuit. When he’s not busy with television duties, Nealon posts regular installments of his Hiking with Kevin internet interview series and recently posted a low-budget but wellmade comedic-horror spoof called “The Water Closet.” On a recent morning from a tour stop in Chicago, Nealon spoke with INsite as he walked through the city on his way to a radio interview. Will this tour lead to a new special at some point? Ultimately when you have new material, it leads to a special. But specials aren’t even that special anymore, are they? Everybody has one. It’s more just a way to document your material.

Roseanne(ABC)

ROSEANNE (ABC)

itself is the easy part, it’s the editing that takes a long time. I’ll come home or if I’m on a plane, I’ll just work on it. And I’m getting publicists who want to get people on there, so I feel like, ‘Wow, maybe I’m on to something here.’

One thing that is separating you from many So it hasn’t turned into a Bear Grylls moment of your peers is the material on your You with someone scaling the side of the mountain. Tube channel. “The Water Closet” is a pretty No. Well I’ve slipped and fell a few times but impressive short film. I don’t show those. We’re just in the canyons of I have fun doing those little iMovie things. You Los Angeles although I did know I do the Hiking show so I one in the Smoky Mountains. started editing with that. I was But the first time I hiked in the going to be away for a week canyon near my house, I was up in Maine and I thought MAY 11 & 12 still on Weeds at the time. I it would be fun to do a little City Winery thought I’d get up early in the short film there. You can go citywinery.com/atlanta morning and bring my script, on iTunes and download all so it was dawn and the sun these sound effects and then wasn’t up yet. I got about a just sit in a room and build this half hour up the trail and I heard a really deep, little thing. guttural growl, so low I could feel it in my chest. It was off to the side and down a little - maybe It turned out great. What are you planning 20 yards away. I thought, ‘Oh that doesn’t to do with it? Submit it to film festivals or sound good.’ I froze. Then when I didn’t hear comedy channels? it anymore, I continued walking up. The next Nah, I just did it for fun and posted it. I’m day they caught a 200-pound mountain lion learning how to edit and it’s kinda fun practice. on Sunset near the trailhead, so that must have I’ve written a fill-length film that I want to been what I heard. direct, so this just practice for that. It’s hard to get money and find people to back films. How’s Man With A Plan going? Have you heard about the third season renewal yet? The hiking show is so cinema verite and We haven’t yet, but maybe in a couple of intimate. Do you have a film crew? weeks. But I’m hopeful. I think we did pretty It’s just me, the guest, a selfie-stick and a well this season – unless they have some crazy phone. It’s hard to edit those because there’s idea. I hope we get picked up. so many good things to leave in, but I try to keep them at 18 minutes or so. It’s cool You’ve been doing TV now since the ‘80s and when you have a talk show host on. I’ve had your trajectory from your first Tonight Show Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel and Chelsea shot in ’84 to Saturday Night Live regular two Handler, too. You really don’t have to ask too years later was amazingly short. many questions. It really was. I have a lot of friends doing standup now and everybody always compares It looks very free-form. Do you prepare a list of their path, which can be dangerous. But mine questions for each conversation? happened pretty quick. I like to be pretty off-the-cuff with it, but just in case I blank out, I do have a list of a few questions I really want to ask. Like when I hiked Looking back, what do you remember about the Tonight Show debut? with Caitlin Jenner, I really wanted to ask her: Oh man, it was the highlight of my whole ‘If there’s one thing you’d change about yourself, career. More than SNL or Weeds or anything. what would it be?’ So I wrote that one down, My intention was to be a stand-up comic and to just to kind of glance at. get on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson is like passing your bar exam. It was phenomenal. Are you planning this as a weekly series? I’ve never had a more natural, higher high I try to get one out every Thursday, but some than that. weeks I don’t have anyone lined up. The hike

KEVIN NEALON

The return of the Conners in this reboot of Roseanne Barr’s classic sitcom opened up to huge ratings and an immediate renewal when it premiered. It also led President Trump to call Barr, a supporter of his, to suggest it was a victory for his agenda. What the new Roseanne is, more than anything, is relatable, well-written and consistently funny. The family at its center is still loving, and its matriarch is still a force of nature. But the new show also presents the Conners as a family divided about politics, much like many of its viewers. The entire original cast, including John Goodman as Dan, has returned. Within the show, Darlene (Sara Gilbert) has returned with her two kids to live with her parents after a layoff and a failed marriage. Becky (Lecy Goranson) is a widowed waitress looking to raise money by becoming a surrogate. DJ (Michael Fishman) has recently returned from war overseas. And Aunt Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) is still nutty and constantly arguing with her sister. Separating the show from the politics of its star is proving difficult for many critics and viewers, but Roseanne is both daring, nostalgic and familiar on its own.

LOST IN SPACE (Netflix)

In this remake of the 1960s adventure show, the Robinson family - led by parents John and Maureen (Toby Stephens and Molly Parker) - has once again left Earth on route to a new colony on Alpha Centauri, only to find their trip aboard the Jupiter thrown wildly off course with little hope for survival. As his family faces one life-threatening space disaster after another, young genius Will (Maxwell Jenkins) discovers an alien robot who becomes his

best friend and protector from danger. And the biggest danger the family faces may come from the stowaway passenger Dr. Smith (Parker Posey). The Netflix series’ major difference from the original, whimsical show is a darker, serialized story - filled with cliffhangers and actual danger. This thing is bleak. The Robinsons and Smith are filled with secrets, revealed in flashbacks similar to another Lost show. One of the most daring actresses of her generation, Posey runs away with the new series, though the cast is strong. Her variation on Smith is lunatic and evil, a survivor with endless secrets willing to kill or sacrifice anyone to ensure her own safety. Posey is a total blast.

A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS (Netflix)

Season two of the Baudelaire orphans’ saga continues its mostly faithful adaptation of the Lemony Snicket children’s book series. Violet, Klaus and toddler Sunny remain three resourceful, intelligent children shipped from one troubled guardian to the next after their parents were killed in a fire by the villainous Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris). This year, the kids deal with a problematic private school, a horrible high-rise and a grotesque hospital, where they uncover more mysteries about their parents. Guest stars include Nathan Fillon, Sara Rue, Lucy Punch and Roger Bart. The show is still wry, stylish and wacky. And its family finds resources, comfort and love in spite of the perpetual chaos they face. There’s a twisted sort of hope in its stories.

Lost in Space (Netflix)

insiteatlanta.com • May 2018 • PG 15


MUSIC

COOL FOR SCHOOL

Little Steven Takes His Rockin’ History Lesson on the Road in a positive way to work with other people. It’s so easy in this world to become isolated. Which is basically where the world is headed lately. We’re becoming more nationalistic and isolated which is a huge step backwards. For the first time really, in my lifetime. But change only comes from a group of people who are working together to accomplish something, whether it’s a band or a company or a baseball team.

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

W

HILE BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN continues his successful solo run on Broadway, his E-Street Band-mates have time to pursue their own projects. In the case of Steven Van Zandt, that means a return to his days fronting the Disciples of Soul. Currently he’s bringing his most recent album Soulfire to life in venues across the country - with able backing from a big band revue of seasoned The political climate can players. A look back at affect the result of that his early influences and group alliance. A lot of his own solo catalog, the Wednesday, May 16 the music we both love is record is a guitar and hornCenter Stage from the tumultuous era driven rock and soul party. of the mid-‘60s through centerstage-atlanta.com In addition to music, the end of height of the the multitasking Little Vietnam era. Steven also has impressive Yeah, it was an odd combination of film and television credits (The Sopranos, tumultuousness and luxury at the same Lilyhammer), oversees satellite radio time. We were the richest we’d ever been channels and a successful record label. and had the most free time we’ll ever have, For over a decade he has directed the with all the drama going on simultaneously Rock and Roll Forever Foundation and the with Civil Rights and Women’s Rights and TeachRock project, offering free curriculum Vietnam. It was really the perfect storm to encourage and educate students with artsfor creativity. centric programs. INsite caught up with the affable Rock and You’ve never shied away from political Roll Hall of Fame member as he planned commentary, especially on your the tour that brings him back to town solo records. this month. It was something I felt I needed to do, especially back in the ‘80s. There were a lot Are The Beatles your most of things being covered up, a lot of things enduring influence? going on behind the scenes and people just Yeah. They led the way, changed everything weren’t very political at that time. In the and were the definitive pop rock group. They ‘80s, people were happy to just go along with were really the first band. People often don’t Ronald Regan while a lot of bad things were realize how few real bands there were before happening that needed to be talked about. them. There were pioneers, but they were But on this tour, I haven’t really been talking individuals. Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Bo about politics at all, because it’s everywhere Diddley and then there were vocal groups. now, 24/7. I thought, ‘You know what, the But very few groups played and sang and way I can be the most useful at the moment eventually wrote their own songs. Really The is to give people two, two and a half hours Crickets were the only one I can think of of sanctuary from the bullshit.’ Let me just and Buddy Holly emerged from them really transport the audience to a place where it’s a quickly. The Beatles were the first time we pure musical trip. experienced the communication of a real band - four or five guys working together. The live album [scheduled for digital release this month] is an affirmation of that That band identity and camaraderie has promise. been a part of your style since the very It’s the best band I’ve ever had and we’re beginning of your career. doing about 10 or twelve different subgenres I never would have gotten into the of music in the show so you get the whole business were it not for the Beatles and history of rock and roll really. That’s why the Stones because it’s a different kind we’re connecting the shows to my Rock of communication. An individual, no and Roll Forever Foundation. We’ve been matter how good they are, it’s all about working for the past ten years on a rock and that one person. A band is communicating roll history curriculum for schools. On this friendship, brotherhood or sisterhood and tour, we’re really connecting it all. What I’m it’s a community. It’s that human interaction, doing with this band is pretty much what it’s what it’s all about. It influences people we’re writing for the foundation.

WE’RE CELEBRATING TEACHERS AND INVITING THEM TO EVERY SINGLE SHOW. THEY CAN SIGN UP WITH CHRISTINE AT WWW. ROCKANDROLLFOREVER.ORG, COME TO THE SEMINAR AND WORKSHOP AND THEN COME ON TO THE SHOW FOR FREE.

LITTLE STEVEN

Teachers can get in free to the shows, correct? We’re celebrating teachers and inviting them to every single show. They can sign up with Christine at www.rockandrollforever. org, come to the seminar and workshop and then come on to the show for free. And the lessons they can use from the site are all free. They can just go to www.teachrock.org and there’s more than 100 lessons there. When I was growing up, if a teacher brought out a record or used a musical reference, it was much more memorable than anything from a book. That’s right and those teachers, you remember them forever. Every statistic says that if you like one teacher or one class, you’ll go to school and really learn something. We want to be that cool class. That’s what we’re working on now and the teachers are just lovin’ the whole curriculum. We’ve got very serious educators creating this stuff, it’s not just morons like me who barely got out of high school! You’re right about Soulfire being a history lesson. It is and it’s kind of a summary of my life, as much as you can put on one album. I picked the important moments that sum up what I do and where I’m coming from. I’ve never really had a chance to do that before. You jump into the business and you’re already evolved to some point and you’re not really dwelling on your roots. This gives me a chance to sort of reintroduce myself and for some people as the writer, singer, guitar-player that some people might know, but some don’t. It’s really me becoming reacquainted with my own work and being a frontman with this great band. You’ve been away from it for a while; the last solo record was ‘99. Yeah, I’ve been ignoring it. You know, I got into acting and the next thing you know, 20 years go by. I don’t know how it happens, but it did. So I’m back at it. You’ve been pretty busy.

PG 16 • May 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

I’ve done a lot of things. I did Lilyhammer and the score for that and some films and stuff for David Chase but I haven’t sat down and wrote a completely original album in a long time. I’m anxious to see what direction it’ll go in. It could go anywhere. Your solo albums are all over the place stylistically. Yeah, they’re all different. I was thinking of the lyrics and the themes and the politics back then. Now I want to see what happens musically with the same band for the next record. I’ve never done that before. But your solo shows maintain that big sound from the Springsteen tours. Yeah, it’s an arena show being done in clubs and small theaters. There’s fifteen people on stage and we’ve got 30 people on the road with this. It’s a full-blown, killer arena show and it’s blowin’ people’s minds. You’re not gonna see a 15-piece rock show too often, you know? That’s like the old Stax-style soul revue shows. It’s exactly that! You know, I think I might be the only person in history who is touring without ever having had a hit. Usually, ya gotta have at least one hit. We’ve got a bunch of good stuff, but basically we’re winning people over song by song. Most of the people in the audience are hearing them for the first time. So it’s very rewarding and satisfying to get the reactions we’re getting. The crowd goes nuts because it’s got a wide range of music in one show. You don’t see this too often anymore. People are enjoying the authenticity and expertise of this band. It’s so musical - between the five horns and the three girls - so it’s entertaining on a purely musical level. And this group has a pretty good frontman. (laughs) Yeah, well you know… I’m just doin’ the best I can. I’m workin’ my way back to it. I got pretty good at it in the ‘80s. Now I’m just kinda presenting the show. I’m like half frontman and half MC. I’m like, ‘Relax and just dig the music,’ you know? We’ll do the rest.


MUSIC

SMALLS GETS BIGGER

Spinal Tap’s Legendary Bassist Derek Smalls Goes Solo and Symphonic

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

A

STUTE CLASSIC ROCK FANS know and quite possibly love Derek Smalls as the fist-pumping bassist from cult-favorites Spinal Tap. After a storied and somewhat legendary career, the grizzled British road warriors have finally at least for now - dissolved, leaving Smalls to issue his debut solo album. Smalls Change (Meditations On Ageing) takes the familiar roar of Tap and expands it exponentially with the genius addition of the Hungarian Symphony Orchestra. Special guests, including - but not necessarily limited to - David Crosby, Donald Fagen, Jim Keltner, Peter Frampton, Rick Wakeman and Dweezil Zappa add their own special - and prerequisite rocking - touches to the project yet the album bristles with the big, bushy mustachioed sound that is pure Smalls. Now on a symphonic tour with “Lukewarm Water Live: An Adventure In Loud Music,” the enigmatic bassist reluctantly agreed to an interview when reached via phone at an undisclosed location in Los Angeles. As he spoke, he was slightly preoccupied with practicing his autograph for an instore appearance at a record store in Hollywood. It’s about time you’ve released a solo album. Yes. Well, it’s about past time, is what it really is.

Yeah. When I got the grant from them, they said, ‘Well, what’s your idea?’ I said, ‘Oh. I didn’t know I had to have an idea.’ But you write about what you know. I know I’m getting older. At this point, touring still isn’t a drudge it’s what you live for, right? Pretty much. You always live for the hope there’ll be some type of sedative that can take you away from consciousness during the actual travel portion. But when you’re up on the stage – unless a light falls on you – you’re in ‘eaven.

A great track on Smalls Change is “Gimmie Some (More) Money” with fellow legend David Crosby. Oh yeah, David. He’s an amazing geezer. Still at it after all this time, still doing what he loves and still pretending that he hates it and all concerned. Deep in the past of that band I used to be with, we had a song called “Gimmie Some Money.” It basically evokes a band of musicians busking on the street with a little sign that says ‘gimmie some money.’ Now here we are all these years later, and you get robbed blind by managers and record companies. They say, ‘Oh there is no more record business, sorry about that. It’s all gone streaming and somewhere.’ But you’re back there going, ‘Gimmie some more money, mate!’ It’s like the circle has done a 180 on itself. It’s a great statement. Thank you, but I didn’t issue a statement, I issued an invoice for that one.

What took so long? It’s difficult to say when you’re in a band that’s dissolved so many times. You know, Did any of Crosby’s activism rub off on you? there were no fights, no rancor, no throwing Do you think besides addressing aging, you’ll things and then picking them up and do a political anthem at some point? throwing them again because you don’t have Well I’ll tell you, I learned my lesson about that many things. We just dissolved like a 15 years ago. Tap had just cube of sugar in a saucer been on tour and I was a of tepid coffee. We’d done bit in front of myself and I Glastonbury Festival and thought, ‘Right, I’m gonna Wembley Arena in 2009 Friday, June 29 shed the ol’ bass player and it seemed like, ‘Well Symphony Hall reticence and speak my here we go,’ but we didn’t mind.’ I’d found out that the atlantasymphony.org go. It took a while to Americans had, in Cuba, process. these detainees, they called ‘em. I called ‘em prisoners, but who’s gonna What was your process of processing the quibble? They were ‘enhancing,’ as they oft-dissolved Tap? said, their treatment by playing at very loud I did the processing when I was over in volume - which I have no problem with - the Amsterdam, judging a reality competition music of Aerosmith, Metallica, AC/DC and show called RockStarz, with a Z. The phone Queensriche. I just couldn’t help it. I held a wasn’t ringing. When the show went bellypress conference and I said, ‘Look, speaking up, I moved to Albania. A friend of mine, as a human being and a citizen of the world, Eddie, has a Near-Death Metal band there I just have to ask the United States, ‘Why called Chainsaw Vermin. His bass player can you not find it within your power and abuses every substance known. I would your sense of decency - to include Spinal fill-in from time to time while hanging out Tap music on that playlist?’ I got quite a there. I thought, ‘Derek, is this where it ends bit of brushback from that, so I’m done after all this time, as the subsititute bassist with politics. in Chainsaw Vermin?’ That was the wake-up call. Not that I was asleep, but you know it’s As well you should be. The time for PC like, ‘get on the horse,’ but there is no horse. is over. I think the time for all C is over. Every It’s no secret that you’ve passed the sevenkind of C. decade mark in life. The theme of aging must’ve really been on your mind. Now that you’re away from Nigel Tufnel We’re all aging, mate! You know and David St. Hubbins, do you finally there’s only two kinds of people in the feel free of creative differences and world - people who are getting older and restrictions? dead people. I just didn’t want to be confined by the penumbra of Tap, you know? I wanted to Then the British Fund For Aging Rockers go bigger and have a palette in front of me stepped in with an offer at that point? like so many differently colored candies - to

DEREK SMALLS

IT’S VERY EXCITING TO HAVE ALL THESE PEOPLE IN TUXEDOES OR GOWNS - OR BOTH, SAWIN’ AND TOOTLIN’ AWAY BEHIND US. IT’S A WHOLE DIFFERENT POWER YOU GET. ROCK’N’ROLL IS ALL ABOUT POWER, AS YOU KNOW. broaden well beyond the spectrum of Tap. The symphonic element really opens up the sound. I’d always dreamed of it! It seems strange to say you’ve always dreamed of the symphony behind you, but we just did the first concert of the tour in New Orleans on Saturday night. We did “Big Bottom” because we do a few Tap tunes in the live show. To say you’ve got a big bottom by having a lot of electric basses on stage is one thing. We’ve done that. But now these geezers are playing big upright basses that are four times the size of mine, and there’s these wonderfully low horns. It just makes the bottom a lot bigger. And that’s all you ever want - you want your bottom bigger. In life, absolutely. In life, in death or in art. So the symphony is the next step. You don’t want 14 guitarists and 8 drummers, but you want a symphony. Tap had never done that, never went there. But I can, thanks to the grant. It’s very exciting to have all these people in tuxedoes or gowns - or both, sawin’ and tootlin’ away behind us. It’s a whole different power you get. Rock’n’roll is all about power, as you know. You’ve been known to use props in your live shows. Are you bringing any props on the symphonic tour? We are bringing a prop or two. One, I won’t disclose because it’s a lovely surprise. But one is from the aforementioned tune, we’ve road-tested and signed off on. It’s the flight of the inflatable Pink Torpedo. That’s very both Freudian and very Floydian. Yes. It looked great floating above the audience - and them looking up at it with their mouths agape.

We need to discuss the film “This Is Spinal Tap.” You’ve said it was a hatchet job by director Marty DiBergi. I’ve had some time to think about that. It is a hatchet job, obviously. We did a 26 - well 25, one pulled out - city tour of America. To be precise about it, about 90.4037 percent of the time, we found our way to the stage straightaway. But you don’t see that in the film, do you? Slightly less percentage of the time, I got out of the pod straightaway. But you don’t see that! So I’m askin’ myself, ‘This geezer presents himself as a fan of the band?’ But I’ve had a reflective moment or two and I think he really was a fan of the band. He thought to himself, ‘These blokes have been around for 17 years and they still haven’t broken though. I will help them break through by turning them into laughingstocks.’ He had an agenda. It was a hit piece. It was more of a piece than a hit, if you know what I mean. You’ve got a great album out with a big tour and a big inflatable. What’s next? I would love to do this show on ice. Beautiful. It would still be loud, but there’d be a little more grace to it, you know? The sheer volume might shatter the ice at some point, though. Which would be great! I don’t think people have ever gone to an ice show and seen the ice crack in two, have they? That would be so rock and roll. It would. People always talk about what would be a good icebreaker. But I don’t think they’d expect that. insiteatlanta.com • May 2018 • PG 17


MUSIC

HOME THEATER

ON RECORD: THE DAP KINGS The Funky Band Returns with Jon Batiste

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

F

OR NEARLY TWO DECADES THE Dap Kings were best known for their soulful collaborations with the late Sharon Jones. After the Augusta native’s death in late 2016, the band continued, working with a number of artists including their latest endeavor, a string of live shows with multi-instrumentalist Jon Batiste, the musical director of Late Show with Stephen Colbert. But creative alliances are nothing new for the band. Their work with Amy Winehouse on Back To Black in 2007 and their 2012 project with Booker T Jones, The Road To Memphis, both won Grammy Awards. The current tour will find the funky outfit delving into the rich musical heritage of Louisiana as well as selections from Batiste’s own catalog of rock, soul and roots music. Recently INsite spoke with the leader of the Dap-Kings and their label Daptone Records, bassist-songwriter Bosco Mann (aka Gabriel Roth) about the new tour, the last days of Sharon Jones and the music of New Orleans. You guys started out playing tiny clubs. How does it feel to work the big festival stages? Well you don’t have that sort of compression of energy at a festival like in a club or a house party. The stage is so much bigger and you’re further away from each other. With Sharon, she had the ability to turn a festival into a house party and somehow connect with each person. For this, it’s a little different. We’ve only done one show so far with Jon. We’ll be getting into these New Orleans grooves so we’ll be figuring out the pacing of the set as we go along. How did the collaboration with Jon happen? We’ve worked together a little before. When we played the Colbert show with Sharon and Jon sat in with us and played some piano. He’s obviously a really talented guy we started to talk about what we could do together musically and got really excited because we’re into a lot of the same music. Sounds like it’s a pretty cool meeting of the minds. It is. Jon’s got a lot of respect for the music and the history. He’s not the kind to just take a song and tear it up and smash a bunch of solos into it. He has a certain reverence for the details of the arrangements and he really takes a second to respect what makes some of these songs so beautiful. He takes that same approach when he’s working on his new songs. What was it like once you got in the rehearsal room? PG 18 • May 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

It was exciting. Not just to pick covers, but to work on some his new tunes. We were able to get in there and tweak some arrangements with him and that’s when it really became fun, working on the music and learning where he’s coming from. He’s from New Orleans and there’s a certain feel and a certain way things swing. To me, if you’re not from there, you really can’t do it right.

Is this becoming a full-time band already? We get questions all the time about, are you looking for another singer? Will you try and replace Sharon? That can’t happen.

There’s never gonna be so and so and the Dap Kings. But we love playing music with Jon, and I hope more comes from it. Do you think a record will come from this collaboration? It’s possible. Musically, we’re all willing but he’s got his own band, too. But it’d be fun to do and I think we have so much common ground, we could do it right. But for now, the live show is the thing. Yeah and there’s so much to look at with the music we’ve selected. New Orleans is the deepest pocket of music America has ever had. The conversation of the different influences has always gone back and forth from funk to soul to country and rock. And we’ve talked to Jon about this too. The Jamaican influence is strong. It’s just in the air there. Such strong roots. It’s interesting to think of the influence of just Alan Toussaint. He wrote so many good songs. A lot of things you might of as “New Orleans” in style is really his style. His songwriting style is so unique and recognizable. You can hear it. Really, the second you drop the needle on a New Orleans record, you

can recognize it. You could say that about Philly or Memphis too, but I don’t think any other place has such a definitive feel. You can feel that culture the second you step foot in the city. It’s like a different country. Music is such a part of our lives. You were lucky enough to witness that firsthand in the final days of Sharon Jones. It was pretty deep being with her in the hospital and the whole band was there. It was pretty crazy, she’d had these strokes near the end and wasn’t able to talk. But she started moaning and her moans turned to melodies and it turned into “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” and “Go Tell It On The Mountain.” Eventually we were all singing. She was really singing but she couldn’t talk. She couldn’t tell us if she was in pain, couldn’t say yes or no, couldn’t communicate. But she could sing. It was heartbreaking and it was beautiful. Definitely one of the most memorable things I’ll ever go through. It just shows that music, and those gospel songs in particular, were so deep in her. You talk about singing until the wheels come off, she was barely alive and still singing her heart out. It was amazing to have her last moments filled with music and I was very lucky to have been there with her. You’ve been doing vinyl releases long before the recent boom [with Desco and then Daptone Records]. Oh yeah, since the ‘90s. At first it was just vinyl but then we went begrudgingly into CDs and then downloads and now we’re in the total matrix. But the format we love the most is vinyl. Every time we’re making a record, we’re thinking about the LP. The sequence, the sides, the cover. But a lot of people are listening to music now in the worst, most transient ways, with sound worse than AM radio ever was. But I think our most loyal fanbase are the people who truly enjoy playing a record. That’s who we’re making records for. You’re definitely an analog guy. Yeah, but I’m not dogmatic about it. It’s always about the process. We mostly record on eight tracks because it forces you to get the music right. It’s such a different experience to record digitally, but it’s a much more satisfying experience to actively play a record. You have to have a record player and maybe a room for it, or some place where you’re dedicating a certain amount of effort to it. As opposed to just playing music in the background on the computer while you do your emails. It’s how you experience it. We make music that’s worth the experience.

NEW RELEASES

THE LATEST DVD, BLU RAY & VOD RELEASES BY JOHN MOORE

KILLING FOR LOVE (IFC Films)

If the March 1985 murder of Derek and Nancy Hanson in their Lynchburg, VA home had happened in the Internet era it would have been major news for months on end. The suspects were their daughter and her German, college boyfriend (a diplomat’s son, no less). Add to that rumors of sexual abuse from Nancy; the young couple fleeing to Europe after the crime and it would be our next murder mystery obsession. Killing For Love takes a sober eye look at the case, 30 years later, and brings up the likelihood that the boyfriend, Jens Soering, was likely set up by his girlfriend to take the blame for a murder she set up and possibly committed with someone else. This compelling doc switches between decades old videotaped courtroom testimony and current interviews with Soering, his attorneys, investigators and the team that prosecuted him.

HEARTWORN HIGHWAYS REVISITED

(MVD Visual) Just a couple years past the 40th anniversary of the iconic documentary, Heartworn Highways, filmmaker Wayne Price sets out to recreate, at least in spirit, one of the best documents out there on the Outlaw Country music movement. Heartworn Highways Revisited, much like its predecessor, focuses on a handful of country (or at least country-ish) musicians creating their own path, outside of the mainstream. There are fantastic interviews with folks like Robert Ellis, John McCauley, Shovels & Rope, Shelly Colvin and others. He also brings back Guy Clark, Steve Young and David Allan Coe, all subjects of the first documentary, to check in. One of the best music docs to come out in years.

MY FRIEND DAHMER (Filmrise)

My Friend Dahmer, based on the autobiographical graphic novel by cartoonist John Backderf, is an unnerving look at the making of a serial killer. The movie zeros in on the senior year of high school of the odd and increasingly morbid Jeffrey Dahmer in his Ohio town in the late ‘70s. He is befriended by a few boys in the school, including Backderf, thanks to his habit of acting out in class. Dahmer is played impressively by former Disney actor Ross Lynch, in the time-honored tradition of actors rebelling against their Disney roots, but the best acting comes from Anne Heche, playing his mentally unstable mother. Creepy, unsettling, but strongly compelling, My Friend Dahmer does a solid job of depicting a burgeoning psychopath.


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