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e r n s n i 2 01 7 â˜… W Get in the Holiday Spirit with Dave Koz, A Christmas Carol & Santaland Diaries
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CONTENTS • NOVEMBER 2017 • VOLUME 26, NO. 4
EARS! ING 26 Y T A R B E CEL
e Kid &
Furry Tales Pet Sh
rown Ho m e G
06 Dave Koz 08 John McLaughlin 14 Edwin McCain 18 GSU Basketball
10 Best of Atlanta 18 NCAA Preview Terrific Thursdays Shopping. #octopidecatur. Tree Lighting. Bonfire. Grand Menorah Lighting.
VISITORS CENTER 113 CLAIREMONT AVE. | VISITDECATURGA.COM
04 Around Town 14 05 On Tap 06 Atlanta on a Dime 07 Under The Lights 16 Station Control 16 New Releases 16 Movie Reviews 18
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2 01 7 ★ Winners Get in the Holiday Spirit with Dave Koz, A Christmas Carol & Santaland Diaries
insiteatlanta.com • November 2017 • PG 3
Around Town NOVEMBER 9,16,30
Decatur Terrific Thursdays Downtown Decatur
Each ursday this month except on anksgiving, shops all around Decatur will be oﬀering special holiday deals. Get in the holiday spirit with their tree lighting, Santa sightings and bonﬁre on the square. Learn more at visitdecaturga.com
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Ferst Center for the Arts @ GA Tech
Swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy found fame with their remarkable arrival on the music scene in the swing revival of the 1990s. e band blends a vibrant fusion of jazz, swing, and Dixieland. ey're known for high-energy live shows that'll make you feel like you've stepped back in time to the big band era -- so don't forget to bring your dancin' shoes to the Ferst Center! Tickets at arts.gatech.edu and 404-894-9600.
NOVEMBER 7 - DECEMBER 31
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Center for Puppetry Arts
Rudolph soars back into town for this faithful adaptation of the wonderful holiday film that speaks to the misfit in all of us. Based on the beloved 1964 stop-motion animated special, Rudolph and his friends Hermey
Events and Performances taking place this Month
the Elf, Yukon Cornelius, the Abominable Snow Monster and all the other merry misfits join Santa for an unforgettable holiday adventure. Puppet.org
NOVEMBER 10 - 12 Sesame Street Live! Infinite Energy Arena
Everyone is invited to take part in the sunniest and funniest street celebration in Sesame Street Live! See your favorite Sesame Street pals Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird and more in a brand-new sensory adventure live on stage. Infiniteenergycenter.com.
NOVEMBER 11 - DECEMBER 3 Cardboard Piano
NOVEMBER 11 - DECEMBER 31
NOVEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 31
Stone Mountain Park
Life University, Marietta
Stone Mountain Christmas
Have a Holly Jolly Christmas at Stone Mountain Park, where the true magic of the season is in the air. Enjoy the glow of more than two million lights, festive music and visits from some your favorite holiday characters. Start a new tradition and create memories that will last a lifetime for you and your kids. Stonemountainpark.com.
Lights of LIFE is an annual holiday tradition that was started by Life University and dates back to 1989. The 65 foot tall rendition of Santa and his sleigh is the tallest display in the Southeast. It is a visual treat that the whole family will enjoy. Concessions are available seven days a week. Additional activities will be available during the weekends for a small fee including petting zoo, train rides, pony rides and photos with Santa. Tickets available at Life.edu
NOVEMBER 11 - JANUARY 7
The 12 Dates of Christmas
Garden Lights, Holiday Nights Atlanta Botanical Garden
Actor’s Express continues its 30th Anniversary season with Cardboard Piano by Hansol Jung. Artistic Director Freddie Ashley says, “Playwright Hansol Jung is one of the great rising stars on the national and international scene. In Cardboard Piano, she has crafted a play that sensitively burrows into forgotten corners of the human heart where lie the capacity for forgiveness and reconciliation in the face of unspeakable pain. With the emotional intricacy of Tennessee Williams and the technical precision of Suzan-Lori Parks, Jung’s work articulates an understanding of the human experience found only among the greatest playwrights.” Actors-Express.com.
Lights of Life
The seventh annual electrical extravaganza features spectacular light displays throughout the Garden, including the new high-tech Nature's Wonders, illuminating the world's natural phenomena through countless strands of synchronized dancing lights strung high over Storza Woods. Explore the Walk of Flames and Tunnel of Light along with favorites such as the Orchestral Orbs, Glittering Galaxy, Radiant Rainforest, and Model Trains that continue to make the exhibition a must-see holiday tradition. Visit atlantabotanicalgarden.org
NOVEMBER 25 - DECEMBER 23 Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville, GA
Kick off the holiday season with festive cheer during Aurora Theatre’s annual comedy hit The 12 Dates of Christmas. Hysterical laughter will fill the theater with this contemporary take on the holiday season. Despite many mishaps thrown her way, Mary is eager to shine in the winter wonderland of dating. Audiences will watch Mary’s life unravel after seeing her fiancé, live on national television, plant one wet kiss on another woman. Very determined, she spends the next year trudging her way back into dating with set ups, hook ups and let downs to test her confidence. This limited fourweek engagement will ensure spirits remain high the whole month long! Purchase tickets at AuroraTheatre.com.
Thank You Atlanta. We are humbled to have been voted Atlanta's Best for the 5th consecutive year!
I Ns i t e ★ 201 7
A L E X A N D E R S O F AT L A N TA . C O M 2891 NORTH DRUID HILLS ROAD PG 4 • November 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
TOCO HILL SHOPPING CENTER
4 0 4 - 63 4 -3 19 7
On Tap this Month MAJOR EVENTS COMING TO ATLANTA November 12: The Fox Theatre
TYLER PERRY’S HIGHER IS WAITING Tyler Perry returns to the Fox eatre for a discussion about his new book Higher Is Waiting. is spiritual guidebook is a collection of teachings culled from the experiences of a lifetime, meant to inspire readers to climb higher in their own lives and pull themselves up to a better, more fulﬁlling place. Tyler Perry writes of how his faith has sustained him in hard times, centered him in good times, and enriched his life. Foxtheatre.org
November 19: Lenox Square Mall
MACY’S TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY Ring in the Holiday Season with Macy's 70th Annual Great Tree Lighting ceremony with hosts Jovita Moore and Zach Klein and featuring performances by CeeLo Green, Casting Crowns and e Macy's All-Star Choir as they light the great tree in style. e lighting of Atlanta’s most beloved and recognized Christmas tree will take place at Macy’s at Lenox Square Mall on Sunday 6:30 pm, November 19. Visit Simon.com
November 24: Cobb Energy Centre
Grammy nominated saxophonist Dave Koz reunites with two members of the original lineup for the 20th Anniversary of his annual Christmas Tour. Trumpet mastero Rick Braun and vocalist Selina Albright join this extra special holiday tour. Together, the ﬁve jazz musicians will perform fresh renditions of Christmas classics, a Chanukah medley and hits from their respective catalogs. Tickets at CobbEnergyCentre.com.
Winner I Ns i t e ★ 201 7
November 26: The Fox Theatre
THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER e Hip Hop Nutcracker is performed by a dozen allstar dancers, DJ and violinist. rough the spells cast by the mysterious Drosselmeyer, Maria-Clara and her prince, Myron, travel back in time to the moment when her parents ﬁrst meet in a nightclub. Digital scenery transforms E.T.A. Hoﬀmann’s story of a palace of sugarplums into a romance set in 1980s Brooklyn on New Year’s Eve. Visit Foxtheatre.org for tickets.
488 Flat Shoals Ave. in East Atlanta Thursday, Nov 9
KNIGHT TERROR | ECRYPTUS CESSPOOL
--------------------------------Friday, Nov 10
OLIVIA JEAN | MATERIAL GIRLS
--------------------------------Saturday, Nov 11
ECHOSYNTHETIC FEST 2017 MAJEURE
--------------------------------Thursday, Nov 16
November 27: City Winery
In 2004, the High Point, North Carolina native became the season three winner of Fox’s American Idol. Later that year, Fantasia released her platinum-selling debut album Free Yourself and became the ﬁrst artist in history to debut at #1 with “I Believe.” Fantasia’s second single, “Truth Is,” spent 14 weeks at #1, making her the ﬁrst singer to simultaneously have two of the top three songs on the Billboard chart. Visit CityWinery.com.
November 28: Philips Arena
Grammy and Golden Globe winner and Academy Award-nominated Lady Gaga is a one-of-a kind artist and performer. She has amassed an outstanding 30 million global album sales and 150 million single sales, making her one of the best-selling musicians of all time. Gaga is also one of the biggest living forces in social media. Her studio album “Joanne” was recently released and debuted at #1. Visit PhilipsArena.com.
MICHAEL NAU (FROM COTTON JONES)
--------------------------------Friday, Nov 17
HUMMING HOUSE BECCA MANCARI
--------------------------------Saturday, Nov 18
ALL HELL | ECTOVOID | DROPOUT
--------------------------------Friday, Nov 24
BATTALION OF SAINTS NOBODYS | THE CRYPTICS
--------------------------------Saturday, Nov 25
K MICHELLE DUBOIS LOVE LETTER | MOONDY
--------------------------------Friday, Dec 1
LEE BAINS III & THE GLORY FIRES
--------------------------------Saturday, Dec 2
(SMITHSONIAN PERFORMING ROXY MUSIC) PARSONS ROCKET PROJECT
More Lisitings Visit badearl.com
Best Latin Music Best Salsa Dancing
Winner I Ns i t e ★ 201 7
insiteatlanta.com • November 2017 • PG 5
Sunday, November 12
FREE FAMILY FUN DAY
EVENTS HAPPENING FOR SMALL CHANGE IN ATLANTA
Know of a low cost event happening? Event@AtlantaOnADime.com By Marci Miller
Saturday, November 4
November 4 - 20
Free to Attend Cabbagetown chompandstomp.com
Starting at $10 Center at Zaban Park atlantajcc.org
CHOMP AND STOMP
is festival honors Cabbagetown’s past where music and food have always deﬁned the neighborhood’s spirit. Chomp and Stomp will feature a chili cook-oﬀ including individual and restaurant chilis, 5K run, artist market, live bluegrass music, beer and more. e 5K race begins at 7:30 a.m. while the festival starts at 11:00 a.m. and runs through 6:00 p.m. e event is free to attend with $5 tasting spoon.
Saturday & Sunday Nov. 4 & 5
MJCCA BOOK FESTIVAL
e Book Festival of the MJCCA features works from the most sought-after and talked-about authors, celebrities, and inﬂuencers. More than 10,000 visitors are expected to attend engaging speaker programs, author meet-and-greets, book signings, panel discussions, and more. Guests include humor columnist Dave Barry, Justice Stephen Breyer, Senator Al Franken and journalist Walter Isaacson.
The Woodruff Arts Center; 1 - 4 p.m. woodruffcenter.org/familyfun Attending families will experience a variety of educational and artistic programming for free at e Woodruﬀ. Young audiences can enjoy a performance of Beautiful Blackbird at the Alliance eatre. Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will invite young musicians for Fall Musicale. Families may also explore art from all over the world at the High Museum of Art with tours tailored for each age group.
Saturday, November 18
ATLANTIC STATION TREE LIGHTING Free Atlantic Station atlanticstation.com
Kick oﬀ the holiday season at Atlantic Station’s annual tree lighting celebration.
is family-friendly event will feature live musical entertainment, a kids’ activity area, live reindeer, a holiday parade and more. e night will culminate with Santa’s arrival, a Holiday Jubilee performance, the tree lighting with more than 250,000 lights, a “snow show” and ﬁreworks. e lighting of the Christmas Tree in Central Park takes place at approximately 8:30 p.m. followed by ﬁreworks.
Thursday, November 23
HALF MARATHON & 5K
Free to attend; Georgia State Stadium atlantatrackclub.org Kick oﬀ your anksgiving with the anksgiving Day Half Marathon, 5K. It's an Atlanta tradition. Runners and walkers will earn their turkey as they ﬁnish their race under Atlanta's iconic Olympic rings. Costs vary to run in the diﬀerent races. Stick around for a post-race celebration outside Georgia State Stadium.
Saturday, November 11
Atlantic Station Tree Lighting
CHASTAIN PARK ART FESTIVAL VETERANS DAY PARADE Free to Attend Chastain Park chastainparkartsfestival.com
is two day event will feature up to 200 ﬁne painters, photographers, sculptors, leather and metal craft persons, glass blowers, jewelers and more. e festival will also oﬀer visitors the opportunity to view artist demonstrations, enjoy live entertainment and participate in hands-on arts activities. Featuring a children’s area, local food and beverage concessions including the “gourmet” food trucks.
FREE • Atlantic Station atlanticstation.com
Free Centennial Olympic Park Center gavetsdayparade.org
Help the Georgia Veterans Day Association honor our veterans and celebrate the 76th Anniversary of the USO. e Parade will start at 11:11 a.m., in Downtown Atlanta on Peachtree Street south of Ralph McGill/Ivan Allen Blvd and proceed south towards Centennial Olympic Park. e Grand Marshal for the 2017 Parade is Major General James Everette Livingston.
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CHRISTMAS TIME IS HERE (AGAIN) Dave Koz Celebrates 20 Years of Ringing in the Season
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
URE, HE’S KNOWN AS ONE OF THE smoothest contemporary jazz players in the business, but saxophonist Dave Koz is much more than just a quiet storm. He’s a much-lauded, in-demand player who has collaborated with the very best jazz and rock musicians. For the past two decades he’s led a series of successful Christmas-themed tours - with five corresponding albums in tow. His newest, Dave Koz and Friends 20th Anniversary Christmas, is the reason for his current touring season, joined by friends David Benoit, Rick Braun, Peter White and Selina Albright. Relaxing on Halloween night at his studio in Los Angeles after a successful European tour, Koz spoke with INsite about the Christmas tour which kicks off in Atlanta at Cobb Energy Center. The irony is not lost on me that we’re talking on Halloween about a Christmas tour that comes to town on Black Friday. (Laughs) I know and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. The place we’re playing, the Cobb Energy Center, is just beautiful. Hopefully people will be in the Christmas spirit and not too fatigued from their Black Friday experience. To get everyone in the spirit, your 20th anniversary Christmas album has been available for a couple of months now. Yeah I think it came out at the end of PG 6 • November 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
September but it’s usually right around now that people finally accept that the holidays are really coming. It creeps up on us a lot earlier that it used to - that’s for sure.
That’s the power of music - it can instantly evoke a mood. That’s the interesting thing about Christmas music especially. It has the power to instantly set that feeling and the tone because they’re more than just songs. These melodies and lyrics are part of our lives, they’ve been there since the very beginning so it’s like family. There’s an innocence to them that you really can’t find with other music.
To get an edge on the early market, you must have recorded it this past summer. We did it in June and July, yes, and it turned out to be the fastest album I’ve ever made. It was almost like second nature for the people involved - my great friends and musical brothers. Basically it’s reuniting the original cast of our first With so many beloved pieces to Christmas tour from 20 years choose from, it must be difficult ago. There’s so many years in the to narrow down the live set at collective musical kinship with this point. the four of us that things would We really won’t know exactly come together so beautifully in Friday, November 24 how it goes until we do that the studio. We didn’t even talk a Cobb Energy Center first night in Atlanta. I think lot about what we were doing, it was just like there was the track cobbenergycentre.com the way we’ve been able to keep this afloat for so long is that it’s and then it was done. Painless. never the same show. Hopefully the feeling Is it difficult to get into the holiday spirit in June? is the same but the show changes and I know people do come back regularly. I’ve seen kids Like most Christmas albums it was recorded grow up in front of our eyes from year to year. during the worst dog days of summer and it was about 95 degrees outside. We’d go into the studio It’s great that you’re looking back to the very in Hollywood and set the air conditioner really beginning of the concept with this tour. low, string some lights up, whatever we could Yeah it was actually David’s idea initially. He do to set the mood. But I’m really proud of it was a guest on my radio show and it was very especially since it represents a lovely milestone for us. soon after his mom had died. She’d died just
a couple of weeks after my dad died. He said, ‘Why don’t we get a little band together and go out and do some shows for the holidays instead of just being home missing our parents? Let’s honor them the best way we know how.’ So that was 1997 and here we are 20 years later. It would be remiss of me not to mention your cameo on the Foo Fighters album [Concrete and Gold, also released in September]. How’d that happen? Well Dave Grohl, I’ve known for a long time. I know, you look at him and you look at me and you go, ‘How are those two people related?’ Technically he’s my Godson - even though he’s not much younger than I am. I have so much respect for what he’s done with his career and his music. He’s a brilliant rock star; one of the most respected and admired in the world. Could this be a new thing for you? Maybe you can tour with them at some point? Well, he invited me to play live with them just a few weeks ago! It was at this big festival in California called CalJam. How’d it go? Going onstage with the Foo Fighters as a special guest in front of nearly 40,000 people and he made a big deal about it, too - I’ll never forget that night as long as I live. It was like an out-of-body, beyond surreal experience. I don’t know if it’ll ever happen again but I sure hope so!
Under The Lights HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES
November 17 - December 31 Horizon Theatre (404) 584-7450 HorizonTheatre.com In Horizon’s 19th year of the The Santaland Diaries, acclaimed local actor, columnist, and playwright Topher Payne will take over the role of everyone’s favorite satirical, sarcastic elf, Crumpet, in David Sedaris’ beloved play. Adapted from David Sedaris’ best-selling book Holidays on Ice, the play borrows from tales during his stint as a Macy’s Department Store elf named Crumpet. This rebel without a Clause recounts in hilarious fashion the out-of-work writer, Sedaris, being besieged by bratty kids with overzealous parents. While donning a humiliating costume, he finds that his cynical self and his elfin alter ego, "Crumpet," are not exactly compatible. His remedy for the saccharine overdose he endures in his never-endingly exuberant job is to tell all – giving us a backstage pass to the secret lives of Santas and elves.
LOVE NEVER DIES
November 28 - December 3 The Fox Theatre (855) 285-8499 FoxTheatre.org/LoveNeverDies Love Never Dies, the captivating sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, will make its Atlanta premiere at the Fox Theatre. The story takes continues 10 years after his dis-
appearance from the Paris Opera House and The Phantom has escaped to a new life in New York where he lives amongst the screaming joy rides and freak shows of Coney Island. In this new, electrically charged world, he has finally found a place for his music to soar, but he has never stopped yearning for his one true love and musical protégée, Christine Daaé.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
December 8 - 24 Cobb Energy Centre (770) 916-2800 AllianceTheatre.org/christmas Join the Alliance Theatre for one of Atlanta’s most treasured holiday traditions. On Christmas Eve, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by ghosts offering him a chance at a better future – his old partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future – who teach him it is never too late to change. Celebrate the holidays with the beloved Dickens classic in this Broadwayscale production with beautiful live music and an all-star Atlanta cast. Experience the Alliance’s beloved adaptation by David H. Bell, staged for the first time at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre while the Alliance stage is under renovation.
GIVE THE GIFT OF THEATRE WITH
THE IMPROMPTU PASS. SEE ANY SHOW IN THE SEASON WHEN YOU WANT,
COBB ENERGY CENTRE
AND AS MANY TIMES AS IAL SPEC AY D HOL I G ! IN C I R P
DEC 8 – 24
2800 COBB GALLERIA PKW Y ATLANTA, GA 30339
as low as
Purchase the Impromptu Pass at alliancetheatre.org/impromptu ason at 2017/18 se ed. The Alliance will perform all the productions of the renovat ompletely c s i r e t a e h t different venues around Atlanta while our
One of Atlanta’s most treasured holiday traditions.
by CHARLES DICKENS adapted by DAVID H. BELL directed by ROSEMARY NEWCOTT
Or, call the Season Ticket office at 404.733.4600
get tickets 404.733.5000 alliancetheatre.org/christmas
insiteatlanta.com • November 2017 • PG 7
THE SPIRIT OF MAHAVISHNU
Legendary Guitarist John McLaughlin Plays a Fond Farewell Thank You Tour
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
HE RAW RURAL BLUES AND HOT urban jazz of the ‘50s, merged with the rise of R&B and the later influx of psychedelic rock culture of the ‘60s set the stage for a fertile blend of styles. By the early ‘70s, the propulsive swirl of genres fueled the often maligned and misunderstood styles eventually known as progressive and fusion. Yes, Genesis, ELP and many other likeminded musos toiled within the hallowed and tightly structured halls of prog. Conversely during the same timeframe, jazz was leaning heavily toward loosely structured improvisational pieces. Miles Davis and his former drummer Tony Williams were two cornerstones of the edgy, unpredictable sound. But perhaps the definitive and most influential group of the heady fusion movement was the highly influential Mahavishnu Orchestra. Led by former Davis and Williams associate John McLaughlin, the loose-limbed group combined all the crafty guitarist’s many influences into one swingin’ combo of influences. Over the years McLaughlin’s sound has influenced a number of musicians in jazz, rock and improvisational jam bands. Fast forward to 2017, McLaghlin and Jimmy Herring (Widespread Panic, Aquarium Rescue Unit) are on The Meeting Of The Spirits tour. McLaughlin called from his home in France to discuss his final journey to the States. It’s exciting that you’re working with Jimmy Herring on this tour. How about that, yeah! I’m excited too. I’m always excited to play, but especially for this kind of tour, a farewell, it’s great to have Jimmy on board. What a great guitar player and what a lovely man he is. He’s got the spirit. Right, he has a great presence on stage. You both do, actually. Well that’s what you need on stage, otherwise it’s just a lot of notes. How’d you meet? He recorded a tune by me from the old Mahavishnu days and it was really amazing. I thought, ‘Why didn’t I record it like that?’ He just killed it. We’ve known each other for quite a while now; we’ve played together before and I’m just really happy about it. For the show, Jimmy will go on first and then I’ll play with my band the 4th Dimension - and these guys just kill me, they can play anything. Then we’ll come on for a third set and it’ll be all Mahavishnu music from 1971 on. There’s a lot of music there. In 2009 you said you had no plans to stop touring and you continue to grow musically
PG 8 • November 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
I’LL BE PLAYING UNTIL THE DAY I KEEL OVER, THEN THAT’LL BE IT. BUT I’M REALLY GETTING NERVOUS ABOUT DOING TOURS SO THIS IS IT. I DON’T MEAN I’LL DO ASIA OR EUROPE SOMETIME. THIS IS IT. THIS IS FOR AMERICA.
every day. Now a few years later, you’re saying rock’n’roll of course. And to play with so farewell. What happened? many great American musicians over the Musically, I’ll tell you, I’ve never felt better. years including Miles Davis who has been my That said, I inherited music from my mom but hero since 1958. When I put the Mahavishnu I inherited arthritis from her, too. I’m getting Orchestra together in ’71, it was so embraced up there now Lee, I can feel it creeping up by American audiences. It was so unexpected on me. But I’ve really been taking care and because you put something together and you everything’s fine but never know how it’ll be things can happen. received. You just believe It’s just normal, the in the music and that’s machine’s getting older, it. So I wanted to bring but I feel like I’m 29. I’m it full circle, I wanted to just another hippie, well The Meeting of the play that music again in an old hippie! But the America, especially with Spirits Tour idea of going on tour and somebody like Jimmy having a “bad hair day,” Friday, November 22 • 7pm who really loves the to put it one way, would music. It’s the best way I Symphony Hall be catastrophic for me. can think of to say thank I’d feel I was betraying you to America for the atlantasymphony.org everybody including music and the love and myself. I don’t want to put affection from all these anybody or myself in that position. years. I love America maybe more than some Americans. When I got off the plane at JKF in But you’ll continue to play music, 1968, it was snowing but I wanted to kiss the though, right? ground! I’ll be playing until the day I keel over, then that’ll be it. But I’m really getting nervous about So many European-born musicians doing tours so this is it. I don’t mean I’ll do Asia or appreciate American culture and music, Europe sometime. This is it. This is for America. and seem to look at it as the goal of their career to make it here. Even back in the You’d rather do it in the US and not in your early ‘50s when the Mississippi Blues had native Europe? its first big blast, it was due to the initial Yes because American music has had acceptance in Europe. such an influence on me. I was 13 years old It’s true. Maybe it’s like people who grow up when I first heard the Mississippi blues and near the Eiffel Tower. They see it everyday, then jazz and R&B, and all this was before so what. For musicians like me who were influenced by America, it’s so significant to be able to actually go and work there. By the time I was 16, I’d heard all the American blues greats and then I got hooked on Miles and that was it for me. When Tony Williams invited me to join his band, for me, as a foreigner, it was beyond my wildest dreams. How lucky can ya get? I’ve played with the absolute best.
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN & JIMMY HERRING
You arrived in America during such an incredible era. Indeed. It was an amazing period. I was just coming out of the whole psychedelic thing, I was like, ‘Ok I get the message.’ I started meditating and doing yoga and trying to find altered states of consciousness that didn’t involve ingesting certain chemicals, if you know what I mean. And America was coming from the Civil Rights
movement and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King and Vietnam was still going. So much was happening. It was the greatest dream of my life, come true. The times dictated the melding of styles that became Miles’ best stuff and the core of the Mahavishnu catalog as well. Absolutely. There were so many things going on then and Jimi [Hendrix] took it all a level – no, seven levels higher. I never dug the cool jazz guitar sound, I loved Coltrane and Miles and that passion and their intensity. Cool jazz, even though they were great players, just wasn’t enough blood for me. When I started playing with Miles, my musical intensity took a kick-start, like a rocket. Then in 1970, after a gig somewhere, out of the blue he said, ‘It’s time you formed your own band, John.’ That led me to the Mahavishnu Orchestra. And it still remains one of the best examples of true jazz fusion. Well coming from my love of the blues and R&B and Miles and Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley and of course Jimi, then adding the fact that I was already under the philosophical and music influence of India, that’s where it all came from. And I don’t think it could have happened at any other time because music is a product of the culture. By 1971, all these contrasting elements became a part of that sound. It blew my mind the way it was received in America. Unbelievable. Now is a great time to look back on those days - with all of today’s culture shocks and society in transition. I could see it coming and said, ‘I’m gonna have to do a farewell tour of this music.’ The guys in my band would ask, ‘When are we gonna play some of the old tunes?’ But I have been just living day to day, like any other artist. I’m listening to what’s going on in my head today and it’s like, ‘Hey let me see what I can do with that.’ I tend to forget what’s gone down. Let me live today because there’s really no tomorrow anyway. But the guys in my band were on my case and now here we are. I’m so thrilled and excited to get to play it all again. Yes, it’s my farewell tour but I don’t care. I give thanks to God every day and whatever happens, I’m a happy guy.
insiteatlanta.com • November 2017 • PG 9
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Virginia-Highland 404.892.3648 georgesbarandrestaurant.com George’s, the iconic 56 year-old Virginia-Highland establishment, keeps winning over new fans of their famous burgers. These burgers are made from 100% ground chuck, hand-pattied, charbroiled and served on a lightly grilled whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomato, red onions, and a pickle spear. Each burger comes with choice of fries, tots, potato salad and coleslaw.
See the Full List of Best Of Categories online at INsiteAtlanta.com
BEST BAGELS Emerald City Bagels Ordering 404.245.7446 emeraldcitybagels.com
Emerald City Bagels has taken Atlanta by storm. Mother & daughter duo, Deanna & Jackie Halcrow, along with their bagel-making team have worked tirelessly the last three years creating and delivering the best bagels in the city. You'll find them at many of your favorite coffee shops, breakfast places around town and coming very soon their very own brick & mortar located in the heart of East Atlanta Village! Follow on social media for when.
BEST BARBECUE Pig-N-Chik pignchik.net
Sandy Springs 404.255.6368 Brookhaven 770.451.1112 Emory Area 404.474.9444
BEST BREAKFAST The Flying Biscuit
The Flying Biscuit serves great breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner seven days a week starting at 7 am. They are known for their mouthwatering biscuits and affordable menu items. Their signature dish is The Flying Biscuit Breakfast. It is served with two large farm-fresh eggs, free-range chicken and sage breakfast sausage. The Flying Biscuit offers an organic-friendly menu and bakery. You can’t go wrong with a famous Flying Biscuit Breakfast.
Atlanta’s Favorite Family Style BBQ
2nd Sandwich of equal of lesser value. With this ad. Expires 12/31/17
BEST BBQ! BEST of
Winner I Ns i t e ★ 201 7
5 YEARS IN A ROW!
We Cater • PigNChik.net • Call Today! Sandy Springs / Buckhead 4920 Roswell Rd • 404-255-6368 Chamblee / Brookhaven 5071 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. • 770-451-1112 Emory Area 1815 Briarcliff Rd. • 404-474-9444 WE DELIVER • WE DELIVER • WE DELIVER • WE DELIVER • WE DELIVER
Atlanta’s original burrito chain is still the best. Willy’s award winning California-style burritos keep the concept of freshness true. Their rice and beans are cooked daily using no lard or animal products. Willy’s restaurants are vegetarian friendly offering grilled tofu and veggie burritos. Willy’s is a great catering choice for holiday parties. Call their Catering Hotline. You can even order a Willy’s truck to come to your event.
BEST CHINESE Chin Chin
Candler Park 404.687.8888 Midtown 404.874.8887 flyingbiscuit.com
WE DELIVER • WE DELIVER • WE DELIVER • WE DELIVER • WE DELIVER
SANDWICH GET 2ND HALF OFF!
32 Area Locations Catering 404.422.7107 willys.com
show a pink smoke ring. This makes them nice and tender with just the right smoky flavor. They come without the sauce as owner Jim Graddy feels ribs should stand on their own. But should you want, there are homemade Pig-N-Chik sauces on the tables. You will also find great barbecue pork, turkey, beef brisket, chicken wings, smoked salmon along with a variety of sides, and salads.
WE DELIVER • WE DELIVER • WE DELIVER • WE DELIVER
WE DELIVER • WE DELIVER • WE DELIVER • WE DELIVER
Pig-N-Chik ribs are St. Louis cut and cooked until they
BEST BURRITO Willy’s Mexicana Grill
3887 Peachtree Rd. 404.816.2229
and other area locations
Since 1994, Chin Chin has served up some the finest authentic Chinese cuisine. Chin Chin has several locations around Metro Atlanta, each with the same great flavor, healthy portions and elegant décor. Chin Chin offers reliable fine dining that won’t break the bank.
george’s g n i n n i W d r a Aw nce 1961! i S s r e g r u B BESoTf
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PG 10 • November 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
A BURGER JOINT In Virginia Highland 1041 North Highland Ave. 404.892.3648
BEST BURGER IN| CALL ATLANTA! PRIVATE ROOM AVAILABLE FOR DETAILS GeorgesBarAndRestaurant.com GeorgesBarandRestaurant.com
BEST CUBAN Havana Restaurant
2905 Buford Hwy. 404.636.4094 havanaatlanta.com The iconic original location on Buford Hwy. and N. Druid Hills had burned down a few years ago but has been rebuilt and the Cuban sandwiches are better than ever. Now run by second generation Eddie Benedit, Havana Restaurant lives on.
BEST DELI BEST SANDWICHES Goldberg’s
7 Restaurants + Hartsfield Jackson goldbergbagels.com Goldberg’s is Atlanta’s favorite deli and also serves the Best Sandwiches. Here you will find the finest cuts of meat and freshest salads. All Goldberg’s Atlanta locations offer full table seating. Visit any of their seven metro locations and airport with Battery Village now open. Goldberg’s is celebrating 45 years in Atlanta! Follow them on Facebook for weekday specials.
BEST DESSERTS Macaron Queen
North Point Mall; Perimeter Mall 908.867.8336 macaronqueen.com Macaron Queen desserts offers French pastries that are delicious, delectable and with less calories, a guilt-free slice of heav-
en! Madame Macaron’s menu varies from individual desserts, cakes, Macarons, parfaits, and cookies all with the finest ingredients and exquisite taste.
BEST DINER BEST LATE NIGHT DINING Landmark Diner 3652 Roswell Rd. 404.816.9090 landmarkdiner.com
A landmark of great meals 24 hours a day! Whether you crave a 2 a.m. breakfast or an 8 a.m. steak, you can get it here. Find great sandwiches, salads, seafood along with Italian and Greek dishes. Visit their Buckhead restaurant (pictured) or any of their five locations around town.
BEST GREEK Athens Pizza
1341 Clairmont Rd. 404.636.1100 athenspizzaatlanta.com Since 1966, Papadopoulos family at Athens Pizza has been serving the same delicious Greek cuisine to the Emory / Decatur area that their customers have come to expect. There is much more than pizza here. Authentic dishes including Veal, Roasted Lamb or the Oven Baked Chicken. Athens Pizza offers lunch and dinner and is popular for catering. Call to book your holiday party in one of their private rooms. Best Of Continues on Page 12
BEST DESSERTS – 3 YEARS RUNNING! BEST of
Winner I Ns i t e ★ 201 7
Serving Thousands of Hand Made Macarons Daily to Metro Atlanta! Seen On
Best Quality at Best Prices! Call us to ask about our Party Towers! $14.95 plus each macaron at $1.75
Find us at North Point Mall • Perimeter Mall • Shop Online at MacaronQueen.com We are proud to serve over 50 varities custom logo macarons and gluten free pastries!
For more info: 908-867-8336 • macaronqueen.com
Thank You Atlanta For Voting Us #1 Again!
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MIDTOWN • 265 PONCE DE LEON AVE. NE • 404-881-0111
insiteatlanta.com • November 2017 • PG 11
BEST INDIAN Bhojanic
Buckhead 404.841.8472; Emory 404.633.9233 bhojanic.com Bhojanic understands the need for authentic Indian fare. The finest vegetables and meats are used to create the flavorful experience of the Indian culture. The food you find at Bhojanic is exactly like the food cooked in the homes of India. Check out their new location at Emory Cox Hall or call their Catering Hotline 404.702.8301.
BEST INEXPENSIVE BEST MEAL DEAL Eats 600 Ponce de Leon Ave.
For 25 years people have been heading down to Ponce to experience their great jerk chicken and pasta dishes. Over all this time Eats has maintained the high quality of their food and kept their prices low. They are routinely awarded Best Inexpensive Restaurant and this year Best Meal Deal for their $7.50 Jerk Chicken Special.
BEST MEDITERRANEAN 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 is a perennial Best Of Winner. For over a decade, Atlantans have visited this beloved family / chef-owned and operated restaurant. They serve authentic regional dishes like gyros, falafel and kabob sandwiches made to perfection. Plus try their spanakopita, dolmas, amazing humus and fall off the bone lamb shank!
They offer nine beers on tap plus more in the bottle. Seating available inside and out. Live blues is played nightly starting at 8pm featuring many of the local favorites.
BEST PATIO Park Tavern
500 10th Street NE 404.249.0001 parktavern.com The Patio at Park Tavern has one of the best views in the city overlooking Piedmont Park and the Midtown Skyline. This amazing backdrop provides for a great atmosphere and is dog-friendly. The large climate controlled 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. The Rink at Park Tavern opens Thanksgiving through Presidents Day
BEST PIZZA Nancy’s Pizza 265 Ponce De Leon 404.881.0111 nancyspizza.com
Chicago is known as having the best pizza in America however the best pizza in Atlanta is at Nancy’s Pizza in Midtown. Nancy's serves up authentic Chicago style, thin, their famous stuffed deep dish and a Rustic Crust Italiano Pizza as well as a full menu including great appetizers, sandwiches and signature salads. They have a new dining room new room which is perfect for large parties and private events while take-out, delivery and catering are available.
BEST RIBS Fat Matt’s
1811 Piedmont Ave. 404.607.1622 fatmattsribshack.com Since 1990, award winning Fat Matt’s Rib Shack has been one of Atlanta’s favorite hot spots. These ribs are smoked to perfection and literally falling off the bone. Order by the slab, half-slab, as a combo or chopped pork sandwich. Great barbecue chicken and sides as well.
BEST SOUTHWESTERN BEST MARGARITAS Agave 242 Boulevard SE 404.588.0006
Agave’s unique blend of eclectic southwestern cuisine, extensive tequila bar and wine list coupled with exceptional service makes this one of Atlanta’s top restaurants. They’ve won numerous awards from various publications for their inspired dining experience. Agave offers over 100 tequilas and 12 specialty margaritas on the menu. All Agave margaritas are made with blue agave tequilas and fresh squeezed lime juice.
BEST SUB SANDWICH Baldinos Giant Jersey Subs
Marietta 770.321.1177; Doraville 770.455.8570 Milton 678.580.0434 baldinos.us Baldinos is celebrating their 11th straight year being voted as the Best Sub Sandwich in the Atlanta. Baldinos Giant Jersey Subs has been recognized as the only true New Jersey Style submarine in the South. They bake their bread fresh daily and every sub is made custom to order. When you eat a Baldinos sub you know the difference. Try their $3.99 Sub Special available all day.
BEST TAPAS Eclipse di Luna
Dunwoody 678.205.5862 Buckhead 404.846.0449 eclipsediluna.com
SEE OUR DAILY SPECIALS
BEST Southwestern! BEST Margaritas!
MONDAY: Baldinos Extra Special (#7) TUESDAY: Like it Hot? – Grilled & Toasted – The Hot Italian – Mmmm... WEDNESDAY: Ham it Up – (#5) Boiled Ham & Cheese w/soup or side THURSDAY: “Check Out Our New Chicken Breast” – Try our #21 FRIDAY: Meatless Combo – Tuna (#10) or Veg Stir Fry (#27) w/side SATURDAY: Steak Out - A - Steak Sub Your Choice (#11, 13, or 19) SUNDAY: American Special – (#14) w/ choice of soup or side Marietta 80 Powers Ferry Rd 770-321-1177 (closed Sundays)
Doraville 5697 Buford Hwy. 770-455-8570
Find us online at
$3.99 All Day! BEST of
MILTON 12890 Hwy. 9 678-580-0434
ATLANTA’S BEST SUBS 12 YEARS RUNNING! Winner I Ns i t e ★ 201 7
Best Inexpensive Restaurant
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Winner I Ns i t e ★ 201 7
n o w o n e r We a e.com! Reserv Thanks Atlanta for Voting us Best 16 Straight Years
eatsonponce.net PG 12 • November 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
Eclipse di Luna has set the trend for tapas restaurants in Atlanta. With over two dozen tapas to choose from, there is something to please any taste. Their tapas are priced affordably to encourage multiple sampling. The menu offers a variety of glutton-free and vegetarian tapas.
BEST TAKEOUT Johnny’s Pizza
Multiple Area Locations johnnyspizza.com Johnny's Pizza has been synonymous with great pizza in Atlanta since 1977. They specialize in NY style, which is thin in the middle and thick around the edges. You can also choose from their hot oven-toasted subs, salads, calzones, starters and Italian dinners. All Johnny’s restaurants offer dine-in, take-out and delivery. With 25 locations around Atlanta there is bound to be one near you.
NIGHTLIFE BEST COMEDY CLUB Laughing Skull Lounge 878 Peachtree St. 877.523.3288 laughingskulllounge.com Located in the back of the Vortex in Midtown, this intimate comedy club has made a big imprint on Atlanta’s comedy scene. While others have come and gone, Laughing Skull Lounge continues to attract huge talent who perform to lively audiences.
BEST LATIN MUSIC BEST SALSA DANCING Loca Luna
AtlAntA’s Best tApAs RestAuRAnt
550 Amsterdam Ave. 404.875.4494 loca-luna.com Samba. Salsa. Merengue! They have it all at Loca Luna, where you'll find live Latin music nightly and savory dishes from Spain, South America and Latin America. Their location on Amsterdam Ave offers a tropical outdoor patio with Midtown skyline view. The happening bar is open till 2:30am on weekends. Loca Luna features live Latin music every night on their large dance floor and the hottest DJ's spin late night on Fridays and Saturdays. Plenty of free parking and free valet available.
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
BEST LOOKING WAITSTAFF BEST BARTENDERS Twin Peaks
The Only Thing We Over Look is the Park!
Twin Peaks, the mountain lodgestyle sports restaurant and its Twin Peaks girls offer great views! Let their outgoing wait staff bring delicious food to your table. At the bar choose from an extensive selection of 29-degree draft beers on 32 taps while the girls pour and serve into huge ice-cold, frosted mugs.
Best Patio! BEST of
3365 Piedmont Road 404.961.8946 2475 G. Busby Pkwy. 678.348.1605 twinpeaksrestaurant.com
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THE BEST KITCHEN IN SPORTS
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1/2 Off Sushi Nightly from 10pm–Midnight Wine Wednesday – 1/2 Priced Bottles of Wine
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When It rains We Pour $1 Drafts! • parktavern.com
Your Neighborhood Pizzeria!
SERVING UP BURGERS THAT ARE SMASHED AND SEARED TO ORDER FOR MAXIMUM FLAVOR.
WATCH YOUR FAVORITE SPORT EVENTS ON STATE OF THE ART HDTVs MADE-FROM-SCRATCH MENU 29° BEER FROM 32 HANDLES L
E RD N OX EN
E DN TR ON
AC HT R
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TWINLOOKING PEAKS BUCKHEAD BEST WAITSTAFF! 3365 PIEDMONT RD. ATLANTA, GA 30305 Twin Peaks Buckhead (404) 961-8946 3365 Piedmont Rd. • (404) 961-8946
HANGOVER BURGER | BILLIONAIRE’S BACON BURGER | AVOCADO SMASH BURGER
Atlanta’s BEST Favorite ATL Pizza! Winner of
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Multiple Atlanta Locations: JohnnysPizza.com insiteatlanta.com • November 2017 • PG 13
ANOTHER SIDE OF EDWIN MCCAIN Singer-Songwriter-Storyteller Learns by Doing
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
N THE LATE ‘90S, THE VOICE OF Edwin McCain was so prevalent on commercial alternative radio that his hit “I’ll Be” became an inescapable staple of the format. Today the legacy of the song lives on with covers on The Voice and assorted talent competitions. But McCain has moved on - he’s now an indie artist and plays much smaller, intimate shows than during his heyday of the big festival stages of Music Midtown. Currently touring the country after the release of his latest EP, “O Edwin, Where Art Thou?,” the affable artist still calls South Carolina home and stays true to his southern roots. INsite caught up with him early one weekday morning before he plowed into a forestry mulching project near his home-base in Charleston. It’s a bit of a surprise to see that you’re the new spokesman for the FAE, USA corporation. How’d that come about? I own a forestry mulching business and the president of FAE reached out to me about doing some music for a commercial. I said I’d be glad to, but I’d rather be a spokesman. He said, ‘What do you know about forestry mulching?’ I sent him a picture of my machine and he just started laughing. This is an interesting new side of Edwin McCain.
I’LL DO JUST ABOUT ANYTHING BECAUSE FOR ME IT’S ABOUT LEARNING SOMETHING. I ENJOY THE PROCESS OF LEARNING SOMETHING I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT TO BEGIN WITH.
Well I’ve been doing some real estate development for a while. Then I got stuck with some raw land and it was overgrown. So I rented a machine and about halfway through the first day of running it, I was like, ‘Oh I’ve gotta have one of these. I don’t know why I need it, but I’ve gotta have one.’ Then it branched out into doing some
ATLANTA’S FIRST URBAN WINERY, INTIMATE MUSIC VENUE, RESTAURANT & PRIVATE EVENT SPACE 650 NORTH AVENUE NE, SUITE 201, ATLANTA, GA 30308 PONCE CITY MARKET | CITYWINERY.COM/ATLANTA | 404.WINERY1
3 KEYS CORNELL THIGPEN, SHAUN MARTIN & JUSTIN GILBERT
ANDERS OSBORNE & JACKIE GREENE (EARLY & LATE SHOWS)
TALIB KWELI (EARLY & LATE SHOWS)
NAPA VALLEY THEN & NOW W/ KELLI WHITE
LOS LOBOS W/ T. HARDY MORRIS
DEADPHISH ORCHESTRA W/ MARADEEN
VEUVE CLICQUOT FALL PICNIC
LOUIS PRIMA JR. W/ GWEN HUGHES
NOV 15-16 NOV 17
Louis Prima Jr w/ Gwen Hughes
AMERICAN AIRLINES DINNER PAIRING SERIES – DESTINATION: ARGENTINA
JACKOPIERCE W/ MARIE MILLER
CITY WINERY HARVEST PARTY
JOE GRANSDEN BIG BAND
MAJIC AFTER DARK
BOOKS & BOOZE PRESENTED BY POSMAN BOOKS - THE MOTHERS BY BRITT BENNETT
ATL COLLECTIVE PERFORMING SIMON & GARFUNKEL’S ‘BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER’ & OTHER HITS
JEFF BRADSHAW & FRIENDS FEAT. ALGEBRA BLESSETT & GLENN LEWIS (EARLY & LATE SHOWS)
NOW OPEN FOR LUNCH!
PG 14 • November 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
11am-3pm | mon-sat
land management for people on the side with some other guys that are experts in developing land for wildlife. I think it’s good because my kids can see a work ethic; it’s not like I’m just sitting around waiting to play gigs on the weekends.
But every time that’d happen, I’d gently remind myself, ‘Hey you asked for this, you jackass. This is your idea!’ But the lesson was good. I forced myself to sort of occupy a mental space that I don’t typically possess. I have a bit of a target-lock issue - once I decide to do it, I can’t come off it unless it’s done.
It’s great to hear that your work week is so diverse. Oh yeah, I’m always doing all kinds of In your own 20s in the ‘90s, you arrived on stuff. I’ve got a piece of a medical waste the scene at a really good time for music business and just all kinds of stuff going on and the industry in general. - including a boat restoration business. I’ll Oh at the zenith of the record industry, do just about anything because for me it’s absolutely. I got to be in on the tail end about learning something. I of the old-school music enjoy the process of learning business. I got to record something I knew nothing on two-inch tape and play about to begin with. Saturday, November 25 gigs with B.B. King and Ray Charles and ride the City Winery The boat restoration project wave of the big business citywinery.com/atlanta even turned into a TV at its absolute height and then basically check out of show [Flipping Ships on the it. It would be unbelievably arrogant of me Animal Planet network]. to think anything but it was when we were Yeah but for me it’s all storytelling. and not what we were. It was the time that Television was interesting to me because provided everything. Now I’ll admit that “I’ll you have a lot longer than three and a Be” is a good song; that’s been proven by the half minutes to tell a story. I’d never done legacy of it. However, without the available television and I was curious about what it capital that Atlantic Records had at the time looked like from the inside. - and a bunch of shuckin’ and jivin’ on our part - to get it on the radio and spinning it How’d you like it? Well I loved the people I worked with, but in the right direction, it would have never happened. my takeaway from it is that I really don’t want to do television. Even in the nonNow that you’ve been an indie artist for scripted realm, it’s hardly spontaneous. a decade, what are the biggest changes What I really like about playing live shows you’ve seen? and being in front of audiences is it always Every nine years or so, the music industry has the potential to be very spontaneous. goes through these huge technological You never know what’s going to happen. changes and honestly I’m just as fascinated Television is anything but that. The by it all as anybody. The entire industry repetitive nature of it is the rub, I think. has flipped. It used to be we’d go on tour Then we added the pressure of making it to support a CD, now we put out a CD in 15 days from when we found the boat until support of a tour. we had it finished and even without a crew filming you, that would be an ambitious timetable. When you have a crew who wants You have the freedom now to do any type of gigs you want. to shoot it over and over again, it makes it Yeah, it’s never bothered me to go back to extremely difficult. So we were staying up till 5 o’clock in the morning sometimes. The playing the smaller places I play now. I was never a gig snob. There are a lot of people last five days of every shoot turned into a grueling marathon. It was a challenge for me that are like, ‘Well we can’t go back and play and there were days it got really frustrating. that place.’ Well why not?
BEST LOCAL MUSIC BEST BAR FOOD The Earl 488 Flat Shoals Ave.
An Atlanta institution for great music, drinks and grub. National acts and the best of the emerging Atlanta music scene grace the stage nightly to packed crowds. Check out this month: David Bazan (Nov 16); Cloak (Nov 18); Battalion of Saints (Nov 24); K Michelle Dubois (Nov 25).
BEST MUSIC VENUE The Tabernacle 152 Luckie Street 404.659.9022 tabernacleatl.com
This turn of the century church turned concert venue attracts some of the biggest national acts to Atlanta. Check out Blackberry Smoke (Nov 24) and Luke Combs (Nov 30).
BEST SMALL MUSIC VENUE BEST WINE BAR City Winery 650 North Ave. Ponce City Market 404.946.3791 citywinery.com/atlanta
Located in the heart of historic Inman Park. Since opening last year, City Winery has taken Atlanta by storm. The concept of combining great wines and culinary innovations in an intimate setting of live music is unlike anything this city has seen. City Winery is the brainchild of Michael Dorf, founder of the iconic Knitting Factory, one of New York’s longest running music venues. He wanted to create a place where he could combine his shared passions for wine and music. Check out Louis Prima Jr. (Nov 14); Shawn Colvin (Nov 15, 16) and Fantasia (Nov 26).
BEST PERFORMANCE VENUE Fox Theatre 660 Peachtree Street NE
404.881.2100 foxtheatre.org The Fox’s 4,665 seat theatre hosts more than 150 performances a year ranging from Broadway to rock to comedy to movies. Its striking red-carpet entryway and ornate gilt work, soaring turreted ceilings and stained glass windows, all leading to a vast cobalt “sky” with a sea of twinkling stars, makes the Fox Theatre Billboard Magazine’s #1 non-residency venue worldwide.
BEST SPORTS BAR Hudson Grille 8 Atlanta locations hudsongrille.com Hudson Grille is the perfect place to catch the game, to meet friends for a great meal, or enjoy drinks from one of their expansive bars. Hudson Grille offers much more than your typical bar food. Sure, they have the usual favorites but also offer plenty of healthy, local and gluten-free options not found at any other sports bar. Hudson Grille offers 50+ draft beers, party rooms and 360-degree views of way too many HD TV's. Pair that with an upscale atmosphere and friendly staff, and you’ll see why Hudson Grille is the best sports bar in Atlanta.
LIFESTYLE BEST BOOT CAMP Higher Purpose Fitness 1595 Peachtree Parkway Cumming 678.525.6347 higherpurposefitness.com
Not all Boot Camps are alike. Higher Purpose Fitness burns fat fast. They offer 45 minute high energy sessions to get you in and out. Their trainers are highly certified with degrees from top nationally recognized organizations. Check out their all new location offering the same great results.
BEST CAR WASH Lighthouse Car Wash
1245 Scenic Hwy S, Lawrenceville, GA 30045 2470 Salem Rd. SE, Conyers, GA 30013 678.389.7496 thecarwash.com Lighthouse Express Car Wash offers customers the latest in Car Wash technology and service at two convenient locations in Lawrenceville and Conyers, GA. Both provide Full Service and Express Exterior Only Self Service. The Car Wash experience here is designed to offer flexibility with an array of options to meet your needs and simplicity to help keep your car clean. Wash packages start at just $6.
BEST MARTIAL ARTS BEST CARDIO CLASS Unit 2 Fitness
240 Ponce De Leon Ave. 404.745.3019 unit2fitness.com Whether it be Brazilian Jiujitsu, Kickboxing, Boxing or Mixed Martial Arts you know you are being instructed by the best. The staff is comprised of World Champion martial artists who have competed at the highest levels.Their gym offers free weights, machines, and cardio equipment. Best Of Continues on Page 17
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Voted Best Carwash!
WASH PACKAGES STARTING AT JUST $6 (Soft Cloth/Foam Exterior Wash and Free Vacuums)
Lawrenceville/Snellville Car Wash 1245 Scenic Hwy, Lawrenceville, GA 30045
Conyers Car Wash
2470 Salem Rd SE, Conyers, GA 30013
(678) 389-7496 lhecarwash.com
insiteatlanta.com • November 2017 • PG 15
Movie Reviews BY STEVE WARREN
It’s been long enough since the last Saw movie that they should call Jigsaw “Saw: The Next Generation.” But like Harrison Ford in Star Wars and Blade Runner, Tobin Bell’s Jigsaw lives on. Or does he? We’re told early on that “(John) Kramer’s been dead for ten years.” Yet as the deadly games begin again, we seem to see and hear Kramer (Bell) orchestrating them. He (or another copycat) has trapped five sinners in a barn with plans to act as their judge, jury and executioner. As the police find their bloody bodies one by one with “and then there were...” notes attached, Det. Halloran (Callum Keith Rennie) leads the investigation. He’s suspicious of medical examiner Logan (Matt Passmore), a PTSD-suffering veteran whose girlfriend maintains a studio and fansite glorifying Kramer. The gory effects are disgusting enough but the script is not so great. The ending challenges you to watch the movie again to see if it holds up, but I’ll pass. The original Saw films ushered in the “torture-porn” craze and ran it into the ground. I doubt that Jigsaw will start it up again.
TYLER PERRY’S BOO! 2: A MADEA HALLOWEEN (PG-13)
1/2 Madea may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the signature creation of Atlanta mogul Tyler Perry could probably be elected president in a fair fight; and the feisty, foul-mouthed grandma would be an improvement over the cartoon character currently occupying the White House. But that’s (probably) a subject for a future movie. This one’s a lot less interesting, combining tropes from horror movies and teen romcoms without really spoofing them, but expecting us to laugh anyway. On her 18th birthday, Tiffany (Diamond White) drags her friend Gabriella (Inanna Sarkis) to a fraternity Halloween party. Her father, Brian (Perry) isn’t happy about it; but it’s his mother, Madea (Perry), who packs the rest of the family in the car to try to bring Tiffany home. The party is being held at Lake Derrick, where 14 young people were murdered in 1976; and chainsaw-wielding spirits of ’76 appear to be haunting this party, which rapidly drops in attendance from what looks like a rock festival to a handful of campers. Dialogue scenes stretch on interminably until you wish an editor would take a chainsaw to them. Ditto the setup, which takes about half an hour when five minutes would do it. Worst of all, Madea is a relatively minor character this time. Her brother Joe (Perry) gets more laughs, and some are at the expense of Madea’s femininity, when taking her gender at face value has been a lynchpin of these films (and Perry’s plays before them) from the outset. Perry is being stretched too thin, what with writing, directing and acting in his own movies and TV series plus outside acting jobs. He needs an elected position that will let him relax.
BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL (R)
1/2 First the 100th episode of The Walking Dead, now the 100th film by boundary-pushing Japanese action director Takashi Miike. If this one’s typical it explains why most of them haven’t been released in the U.S. If you’re going to make a movie that’s totally absurd, you may as well make it a comedy. I thought at first this was what Miike was going for, because his protagonist, Manji (Takuya Kimura), strongly resembles Johnny Depp. But Kimura doesn’t have a funny PG 16 • November 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
CREEPY 80s NOSTALGIA BY BENJAMIN CARR
S A YOUNG MAN WHO CAME OF age in the 1980s and 1990s, lots of shows are now capitalizing on that specific experience. Lots of new and returning shows are focused on that magical time, creating something all ages can enjoy.
Stranger Things 2
STRANGER THINGS 2 (Netflix)
TYLER PERRY’S BOO! 2: A MADEA HALLOWEEN bone in his body, and the long scenes between battles are deadly serious and deadly dull. The opening scene of this historical fantasy has Manji fighting singlehandedly (well, doublehandedly until one is chopped off) against a hundred or so warriors. (If you come in late, there will be more scenes like this.) An old woman feeds him bloodworms that heal his wounds and make him immortal. Fifty years later Manji teams with tween heroine Rin (Hana Sugisaki), who reminds him of his murdered sister. She’s been orphaned by Anotsu (Sota Fukushi), who is trying to unite the diverse fighting schools under his leadership. Miike gives the film a great epic look, but the close-in photography and rapid editing of the fight scenes doesn’t let us appreciate the choreography involved. The writing rather than the fighting determines who wins.
THE SQUARE (R)
The Square is a love-it-or-hate-it movie that I loved, as did the judges at Cannes who gave it the Palme D’Or. But it’s so different, breaking every rule of screenwriting, that I’d hate to suggest improvements because they would move it toward ordinariness. A Swedish film that’s about half in English, it begins with Anne (Elisabeth Moss) doing a brief interview with Christian (Claes Bang), the chief curator of a contemporary art museum in Stockholm. He’s the main character; she disappears for an hour, has a few more scenes, then disappears again. But she helps sell the film in America, as does Dominic West, who only has one scene. While the museum begs for money from wealthy donors, people in the streets are begging for money to survive. Classism is definitely a topic here. So is Art, represented by the museum’s current exhibit, a room filled with piles of dirt, and its coming attraction, The Square, a safe space in which “we all share equal rights and obligations.” A wild man is the guest of honor at a dinner party; after sex a couple argues over possession of the used condom; a statue is damaged in an attempt to move it (how timely!); millennial PR men eschew good taste for viral publicity. These elements and many others have no business in the same screenplay, or perhaps any screenplay, but writer-director Ruben Östlund uses them all and makes them work. You might say The Square is about how we ignore each other and what we do to get each other’s attention. It deserves your attention. See the rest of our movie reviews at insiteatlanta.com/movies.asp
The pop culture phenomenon filmed here in Atlanta has returned to Netflix for a sequel season. Set in 1984, the kids of Hawkins, Indiana, are still haunted by the events of the last series. Young Will Byers, whose disappearance into a parallel, dark universe called the Upside Down kicked off the series, has returned to his mom (Winona Ryder) and his brother. But he still has visions of monsters coming from the other world to kill everyone. Beyond that, his mom is dating Sean Astin. And his new therapist is Paul Reiser, playing up his creepiest role since Aliens, so you know there’s going to be trouble. The telekinetic little girl named Eleven - who last year destroyed the monster still preoccupies the sheriff’s every thought. As satisfying entertainment and 1980s nostalgia ride, the show still feels like the best candy you can eat.
ME, MYSELF AND I (CBS)
Bobby Moynihan, John Larroquette and Jack Dylan Grazer all play Alex Riley in this charming CBS sitcom that spans one man’s life over the course of 30 minutes every week. We see Alex as a ‘90s teen, as a dad nearing 40 in modern times and, amusingly, as a senior citizen coping with retirement woes and sci-fi dream challenges. Grazer, so good in the movie It, gets the best parts of Alex, an idealistic inventor and basketball fan who is trying to find common ground after his
mom remarries. This show takes the premise of This Is Us one step further and also into the future. It has real heart, and I want it to be successful.
YOUNG SHELDON (CBS)
This spin-off of The Big Bang Theory has massive problems, but that probably won’t stop it from being a hit. Heck, Big Bang stumbled out of the gate, but it eventually found its heart. Young Sheldon should be so lucky. Its first major problem is the title character himself, the anti-social, mean, condescending 9-year-old high schooler Sheldon Cooper, raised by a family of Texas rednecks in 1989. The reason Sheldon Cooper works at all is because Jim Parsons manages to him lovable in spite of his quirks. The character as a child is more awkward, more mean and less socially aware. His clueless, rude behavior toward his family and classmates just isn’t funny. Considering how badly Sheldon behaved at the beginning of Big Bang, is it going to be satisfying to watch him when he was younger and worse? It’s a dud.
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THE ROLLING STONES – FROM THE VAULT: STICKY FINGERS LIVE AT THE FONDA THEATRE 2015
(Eagle Rock Entertainment) Eagle Rock and The Rolling Stones continue their incredible From The Vault series with this 2015 Hollywood, CA set devoted almost exclusively to the Sticky Fingers record. Kicking into “Start Me Up,” one of the few songs here not from the album, the band proceeds to play every song off of that classic record, though not in album order. The band, on the first show of their 2015 tour, holds nothing back, playing as sharp and tight (if not tighter) than when the record first came out in 1971. The DVD intersperses the live show with interviews of all band members discussing the recording of the record.
(Shout! Factory) The first, and likely only, Punk Rock Western, Dudes is very much a 1980s movie. From the lead, Jon Cryer (just a year removed from his Pretty In Pink
role) to the unfathomable story (three NY punks get into a desert shootout with crazy locals in the middle of nowhere), it’s hard to imagine this type of movie getting the greenlight today. But, thank god it did in the ‘80s, because this a cult film that lives up to the hype. Directed by the patron saint of punk rock, Penelope Spheeris (Decline of Western Civilization), she adds to the authenticity by casting real musicians (Flea as one of the trio and Fear frontman Lee Ving as the perfect psycho gang leader). Released on Blu-Ray for the first time, the movie boasts an amazing soundtrack with bands like The Vandals, Keel and Jane’s Addiction offering songs.
VIKINGS SEASON 4, PART 2
(20th Century Fox) Rarely do folks associate the History Channel with Must See TV, but the historical drama Vikings has changed all that. Over four seasons, the show has done for Norse warriors what Game of Thrones has done for… well, mythical British-ish monarchs. The 10 episodes that make up part two of the fourth season is simply more of the same: Scandinavian fighters, led by Radnor Lothrock (played masterfully by Travis Fimmel), leading raids into France and England. In this case, with a binge-worthy show like Vikings, more of the same is a wonderful thing.
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More info at www.cinemoms.com insiteatlanta.com • November 2017 • PG 17
BY DAVE COHEN
BY DEMARCO WILLIAMS
Look to Make it into the Post Season
HEN RON HUNTER FIRST arrived at Georgia State he talked about changing the culture of Georgia State Basketball and it’s safe to say, at this point, he has been successful in what was his first main objective. Hunter leads his Panthers into the 2017 season having won 20 or more games in three of the last four seasons, including back-to-back 25 win seasons in 2014 and again in 2015 with an NCAA Tournament appearance. Georgia State finished 20-13 last year and advanced to postseason play for the fourth time in six years. At the same time, the Panthers finished in second place in the Sun Belt Conference last season, marking the third time in four years finishing in the top two. Among the returners is Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year D’Marcus Simonds who averaged 13.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, making 22 starts in his first year. Insite’s Dave Cohen previews the season with coach Ron Hunter It was a tough way to finish the season last year with that loss in the CIT. There’s been a lot of work in the off-season to get ready for the 2017 season. We had a great Summer. One of the better one’s we’ve had and I thought they did a great job early in the Fall. The great part is that we have a veteran group. I think seven of our top nine guys have started a game, scored doublefigures in a game, so when you have that much experience coming back and add in the freshman that we added, I’m excited. This team loses its leading scorer and leading rebounder from last season in Jeremy Hollowell and Willie Clayton. Who are you looking to fill that oncourt production? That’s one of the things I’m excited about with the culture of our program. We don’t have to re-build the program here. What we’ve been able to do when guys leave is have new guys come in and replace them, guys that have played in our system, so we always have veterans and when you have a culture of winning, and that’s what we’ve been able to establish here, then we’re always going to have those guys that have been here before. We lost some good players but we think we’re going to be much better.
You talked about changing the culture of Georgia State Basketball when you first arrived in Atlanta. Having won 20 or more games in four of the last five seasons, and having reached an NCAA Tournament in 2015, do you feel now that you’ve built a solid foundation with the program? Yes, we talk about a winning culture here but it’s not just about the talk. You’ve got to be able to walk the walk with it and we’ve got guys that understand that. It starts during the summer and then the fall. They understand our system is a little unique so it takes the freshman and the news guys a little bit longer but this group we’ve got here is pickling things up. Jordan Tyson is a transfer (St. Bonaventure) and the transfers have really helped us. We think he is going to be a good asset and really help us but it still comes down to the veteran guys that have been in the system and understand it. Of those stats that you read, we’ve got about seven or eight guys here that have been a part of that.
ICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS FANS could be forgiven for wanting to forget last year as their football team went 3-9 and the basketball team suffered 15 loses, the most the school had endured since 1996. But this year there is much to be happy about in East Lansing. The football team has rebounded and, on the hardwood, the Big Ten’s best all-around player Miles Bridges announced that he would be delaying the NBA to return to campus for his sophomore year. The move brings even more stability to a roster that returns three other underrated starters while the news will conjure nothing but uneasiness around the rest of the NCAA — especially come March.
Along with the core group of veterans returning you’ve also brought in an impressive freshman class. Yes, I’m really excited about our freshman. Denis Alibegovic can really shoot the ball. I’m really happy to have him in our program. Early on I wasn’t sure how much he would play but the way he is making shots he could end up playing a lot. Kane Williams is a solid freshman point guard who’s battling to earn a starting spot and then we added one of the most talented freshman we’ve had since D’Marcus and that’s 6-9 Josh Linder, who’s just trying to figure it out a little bit but his talent and athleticism is something we haven’t had in a long time at that position.
In Allonzo Trier and DeAndre Ayton, the Wildcats may have the West Coast’s best in-andout combo since the popular fast-food chain’s Flying Dutchman burger and fries.
Malik Benlevi really started to come on last season and showed signs of becoming a consistent difference-maker. His confidence level right now is just unbelievable. He had a great sophomore campaign and now he’s a junior and a captain of our team. You’re talking about a guy that has a big-time basketball IQ, understands how to play, athletic, and plays four positions for us. We can’t win games unless he’s on the floor.
1. MICHIGAN STATE
We all know the havoc that Bridges can cause on the court (17-point, 8-rebound average), but if you’re not sure of the things that five-star frosh Jaren Jackson can do, please check his YouTube clips.
Speaking of sensational newbies, Duke-stud-inwaiting Marvin Bagley III and Grayson Allen will have Blue Devils fans tripping over themselves trying to get tickets to games this year.
When you mix coach Bill Self’s steadiness (20+ wins every year since ‘04) with guard Devonte’ Graham’s special skills (13 points, 4 assists per), you have no choice but to consider these Jayhawks a Final Four contender.
What’s a new NCAA season without the Wildcats having a crazy incoming class (P.J. Washington, Kevin Knox) and the fan base having outrageously high expectations for the tournament?
6. WICHITA STATE
Before a three-point loss to Kentucky in the NCAAs, these Shockers ran off an impressive 16-game winning streak. Everyone is back from that 31-5 squad, meaning we won’t be surprised by another long run this coming campaign.
7. SAINT MARY’S
groove with freshman Jalek Felton the Tar Heels will mean business.
Coach Richard Pitino led these overachieving Gophers to the NCAA tourney a year ahead of schedule. We can only imagine the fun that Nate Mason and Co. will have burrowing through the brackets a second time.
11. WEST VIRGINIA
The Mountaineers smother you on D like the Waffle House does onions on hash browns. If NABC Defensive Player of the Year Jevon Carter keeps up his stingy ways, West Virginia will taste serious postseason success.
12. NOTRE DAME
A poor man’s Draymond Green, Bonzie Colson (17.8 points and 10 boards per) will do everything short of drive the bus to the team’s Sweet Sixteen destination this year.
You probably don’t remember that these Gators had a solid run through the tourney. Don’t worry. The backcourt of KeVaughn Allen and Chris Chiozza will love reminding you.
The super-consistent Cats have won 100 games over the past three seasons. It only seems like junior Jalen Brunson (14.7 per) has been playing for Nova for the past 100 years.
New coach David Padgett is left with the difficult task of cleaning up scandal-ridden Rick Pitino’s mess. It’s a good thing he’s got the polished Quentin Snider and Deng Adel on his roster.
We’ve seen Trevon Bluiett do his thing in person. Trust us, his 18.5 points and nearly six boards are even more impressive from section 120 in the Muskateers’ rowdy Cintas Center.
Though they have nowhere near the bite of last year’s Final Four squad, these Bulldogs still have plenty of bark thanks to forward Johnathan Williams.
We like Jacob Evans’ all-around game. We really like Mike Cronin’s defensive-minded coaching style. We really, really like Cane Broome’s explosiveness.
The team that won 29 games (including victories over VCU and Stanford) returns four starters (we see you, Jock Landale and Calvin Hermanson) and one locker room full of confidence.
We had a great Summer. One of the better one’s we’ve had and I thought they did a great job early in the Fall. The great part is that we have a veteran group.
PG 18 • November 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
Don’t look now but a fleet of Trojans (Bennie Boatwright, Chimezie Metu) that battled its way to 26 wins last year is ready for allout war in ’17-18.
9. NORTH CAROLINA
All-everything Joel Berry will miss some time with a broken hand suffered after a video-game tantrum. No jokes. Still, we’re betting that when he gets into a MSU’s Jaren Jackson
There may not ever be a Tide hoops team to take Tuscaloosa’s mind off football, but coach Avery Johnson and fab youngster Collin Sexton are sure happy to tackle the task.
20. GEORGIA TECH
We haven’t seen a top 25 yet with these Yellow Jackets on it, but we’ve had our eyes on Josh Okogie and Ben Lammers long enough to know what a Cinderella looks like. Nos 21-25:
BAYLOR, MARQUETTE, MIAMI, PURDUE AND SETON HALL.
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