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Archive for February, 2011

John Mellencamp brings Americana to the Fox

Mellencamp

By Bo Emerson bemerson@ajc.com

John Mellencamp pulled his Airstream trailor behind the Fox Theatre Sunday and delivered a solid evening of Hoosier rock and roll to an appreciative, almost-sold-out crowd.

Looking fit and pumped, Mellencamp started with a croaky voice that grew stronger through the evening, and by the end of the night he was shouting out the high notes with ease.

Themes of youth and age have been in Mellencamp’s songs since he had three names. This year he turns 60 (plenty of his audience members Sunday looked like they’d already crossed that threshold) and seems to be staring at mortality more often. “With all the cigarettes I’ve smoked I guess I have another 18 years,” he said.

Mellencamp spoke about making fun of old-timers when he was younger: “I thought I was a dangerous young man, but I really was a smart-ass.”

Now he said his attitude toward age has changed.

“Take a look to your left and a look to your right. If you see a guy with gray hair he’s probably …

Continue reading John Mellencamp brings Americana to the Fox »

Live music picks: Feb. 25-March 3

Old 97s bring a bit of Texas to the Buckhead Theatre on Friday. Photo: Allison Smith

Old 97s bring a bit of Texas to the Buckhead Theatre on Friday. Photo: Allison Smith

FRIDAY
Old 97’s

Texas-born quartet spent a few years in the land of the major labels and made some great albums there. Those albums pumped up the pop melodies that were always there in the band’s rootsy sound. Since 2004, these guys have been back in the land of the independent label. It’s tough to imagine a better marriage of band and record company, as New West has released albums from Steve Earle, the Flatlanders and Georgia’s Drive-by Truckers. The rustic exuberance of the Old 97’s is the perfect companion for the rest of the label’s roster. Since that return to the indies, they’ve also returned to the raw, impulsive sound of their earlier work. Through it all, they’ve remained a powerhouse live band. In reviews for the band’s last few albums, each one is branded a return to form. That tells you that they never really lost it in the first place.
8 p.m. Feb. 25. $20. The Buckhead Theatre, …

Continue reading Live music picks: Feb. 25-March 3 »

Hot Tickets: Feb. 22

After pairing with Bruno Mars for one of the most exciting performances at this year's Grammy Awards ceremony, Janelle Monae and Mars will joins forces for a tour that heads to the Fox Theatre on May 10. Tickets on sale Feb. 26. Photo: Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

After pairing for one of the most exciting performances at this year's Grammy Awards ceremony, Janelle Monae and Bruno Mars join forces for a tour that heads to the Fox Theatre on May 10. Tickets on sale Feb. 26. Photo: Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

ON SALE NOW
Kem, Musiq Soulchild, Ledisi. Second show added at 8 p.m. March 10. Fox Theatre. $47-$102. TM.

ON SALE FEB. 25
Hugo. 9 p.m. March 22. Smith’s Olde Bar – Music Room. $12; $10 in advance. TA.
Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band, Scrapomatic. 9 p.m. April 8. Center Stage. $39-$49. TM.
Fitz and the Tantrums. 8:30 p.m. April 14. The Loft. $16; $14 in advance. TA.
The Reagan Rock Prom. 9 p.m. April 16. Variety Playhouse. $20; $17.50 in advance. TM.
You Hang Up. 6 p.m. April 17. Masquerade. $10 in advance. TM.
Big Gigantic. 8:30 p.m. April 22. Masquerade. $15. TM.
Tea Leaf Green. 8:30 p.m. April 23. Variety Playhouse. $20; $17.50 in advance. TM.
Sinbad. 8 p.m. April 23. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. $35.50. TM.
The …

Continue reading Hot Tickets: Feb. 22 »

Live music picks: Feb. 18-24

Keller Williams latest album is called "Kids" and it's aimed at the youngsters. When he comes to town Saturday, he'll do an afternoon show for kids and families, and an evening show for the grown-ups. Photo: C. Taylor Crothers

Keller Williams latest album is called "Kids" and it's aimed at the youngsters. When he comes to town Saturday, he'll do an afternoon show for kids and families, and an evening show for the grown-ups. Photo: C. Taylor Crothers

TODAY-SATURDAY
Jonathan Richman

It’s likely that more folks saw Richman in 1998 than in all his previous 20-plus years of performing. That was the year he played the roving troubadour and greek chorus in the mega-successful movie “There’s Something About Mary.” Many years earlier, the Modern Lovers, Richman’s Boston-based band of the early 1970s, was one of the prime influences on the punk explosion of 1976-77 on both sides of the Atlantic. The Sex Pistols covered the band’s classic “Roadrunner,” and the Talking Heads hired former Modern Lover Jerry Harrison. Meanwhile, by the time punk happened, Richman was writing childlike, largely acoustic odes such as “Important in Your Life,” “Hey There Little Insect” and “I’m a Little Dinosaur.” He’s still doing …

Continue reading Live music picks: Feb. 18-24 »

Clay Aiken Sings The Standards Wednesday Night At Cobb Energy Centre

Clay Aiken performs Wednesday night at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on his “Tried and True Tour.”.
Clayton Holmes “Clay” Aiken was born on November 30, 1978 in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is a multi-platinum selling singer, songwriter, actor, producer, and author who began his rise to fame on the second season of American Idol, where he was the runner-up to Ruben Studdard  in 2003. Aiken created the National Inclusion Project (formerly the Bubel/Aiken Foundation) in 2003, accepted a UNICEF ambassadorship in 2004, and in 2006 was appointed for a two-year term to the Presidential Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. He made his Broadway debut playing the role of Sir Robin in Monty Python’s Spamalot in January 2008. Aiken performed Wednesday night at the Cobb energy performing Arts Centre on his “Tried and True Tour.”

Clay Aiken performed Wednesday night at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on his “Tried and True Tour.”  Clayton Holmes “Clay” Aiken …

Continue reading Clay Aiken Sings The Standards Wednesday Night At Cobb Energy Centre »

Dove Awards nominees announced at the Fox

Photo credit: Melissa Ruggieri

Photo credit: Melissa Ruggieri

For the first time in its 42-year history, the Dove Awards will take place outside of Tennessee – specifically, at the Fox Theatre  on April 20.

So why Atlanta?

“We were looking for a place that was a true representation of all forms of gospel and Christian music,” said Ed Leonard, chairman of the board for the Gospel Music Association. “You’ve got Third Day, Casting Crowns, Karen Peck and New River, Chris Tomlin…I don’t know if there is another city other than Nashville that represents Christian music in its entirety than [Atlanta].”

Leonard commented on the move shortly after a press conference this morning in the Fox’s Egyptian Ballroom to announce nominees in 18 of the Dove Awards’ 43 categories.

Tomlin and TobyMac lead the nominations with six each, followed by Jason Crabb with five and Francesca Battistelli with four.

Battistelli was on hand to reveal some of the noms, as were members of Third Day (nominated for the song “Lift Up Your Face” …

Continue reading Dove Awards nominees announced at the Fox »

Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae touring, coming to Fox

bob-janelle-bruno-grammysTwo whiz kids are going on tour this spring and hitting the Fox Theatre May 10.

Bruno Mars, fresh off his inaugural Grammy win for the ever-sweet “Just the Way You Are,” and Atlanta’s Janelle Monae, a double Grammy nominee who shared the stage with Mars at Sunday’s ceremony, have paired for the “Hooligans in Wondaland” tour.

The jaunt begins May 4 at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom and wraps June 15 in Phoenix.

Tickets are on sale Feb. 26. However, pre-sale info for both artists is available today at www.brunomars.com and www.jmonae.com.

 

Continue reading Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae touring, coming to Fox »

Hot tickets: Feb. 15

Lil Wayne returns to Philips Arena in April with a long list of supporting acts. Photo: Matt Sayles / Associated Press

Lil Wayne returns to Philips Arena in April with a long list of supporting acts. Photo: Matt Sayles / Associated Press

ON SALE NOW
Miguel. 9 p.m. March 4. The Loft. $20. TA.
An Horse. 8:30 p.m. March 24. Vinyl. $10. TA.

ON SALE FEB. 17
Blue October. Acoustic show. 8 p.m. May 19. Center Stage. $27; $25 in advance. TM.

Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine will headline the Fox Theatre July 1. Photo: Elaine Constantine / Universal Music Group

Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine will headline the Fox Theatre July 1. Photo: Elaine Constantine / Universal Music Group

ON SALE FEB. 18
Scratch Track. 8 p.m. March 14. Smith’s Olde Bar – Atlanta Room. $10; $8 in advance. TA.
Mishka. 8 p.m. March 20. Smith’s Olde Bar – Music Room. $15 in advance. TA.
Queens of the Stone Age. 8:30 p.m. March 21. Center Stage. $37; $34 in advance. TM.
Omar Rodriguez Lopez Group. 8:30 p.m. March 25. Variety Playhouse. $20. TM.
Band of Horses, the Jayhawks. April 2. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre. $19.29-$39. TM.
Lyrics Born. 7 p.m. April 7. Masquerade. $12 in advance. TM.
Brokencyde, Vampires Everywhere, Dot Dot Curve, …

Continue reading Hot tickets: Feb. 15 »

Keri Hilson impresses at Grammy after-party

Regardless of your feelings about Keri Hilson, you can’t argue with the girl’s work ethic.

She’s a relentless performer who knocks herself out to get in front of as many new faces as possible.

That tactic definitely paid off at last night’s official Grammy after-party at the Los Angeles Convention Center, produced by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.

Hilson snagged a prime performance slot and, while I heard plenty of “Who is Keri Hilson?” comments before she performed, her stylish, vocally adept display surely helped some remember her name. Then again, it was an open bar.

Even Stevie Wonder seemed taken with her music, as he was spotted not far from the stage, nodding to the throbbing beat of “Lose Control” (Hilson just tweeted that Wonder came backstage to meet her and posted a pic of the pair).

Hilson also added some feminine depth to her interpretation of Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” and invited R&B singer Miguel to croon a song.

Check out Hilson tonight on Jimmy …

Continue reading Keri Hilson impresses at Grammy after-party »

Lady Antebellum humble, gracious winners

lady-antebellum-320The big winners of the night – Lady Antebellum – were as humble as you’d expect when they made their way to the press room.

Hillary Scott looked radiant in a floor-length, black strapless dress and joked about the band’s state of euphoria, “The only reason I know my feet are on the ground is because they’re hurting. We are completely floating and so thankful and honored to be recognized by the recording academy.”

Charles Kelley, dapper in a modified tux, acknowledged that the avalanche of accolades was probably a once-in-a-lifetime event, and one that he and his bandmates wasn’t taking for granted.

“As clichéd as it sounds, it feels like we’ve arrived, in a way. We’ll never win five Grammys again, we know that. We want to have one of those long careers, but we’re never, ever going to forget this the rest of our lives. We cried our eyes out after winning song of the year. It’s almost like we’re outside ourselves, looking in.”

The country-pop trio was also quick to praise Arcade …

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