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Archive for April, 2012

President Obama namechecks Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy

Nothing like hearing your name uttered by the President of the United States. Even better – hearing him talk about you in a room full of bow-tied celebs.

Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy (aka “The Snowman”) was the centerpiece of comments made by President Barack Obama at Saturday’s annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, when the music-lovin’ leader told the crowd that he sings Jeezy’s songs to wife Michelle.

“In my first term I sang Al Green. In my second term, I’m going with Young Jeezy,” President Obama joked.

The rapper, whose last two hits, “I Do” and “Leave You Alone,” featured fellow Atlantans Andre 3000 and Ne-Yo, respectively, replied to President Obama on Twitter, saying, “Shout out to @BarackObama. You know they love the snowman in the white house.”

MTV has the full story.

Continue reading President Obama namechecks Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy »

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers showcase their mojo with hits and deep cuts

Tom Petty looked like a happy guy at the season opener at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Sunday night. Photo credit: Robb D. Cohen

Tom Petty looked like a happy guy at the season opener at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Sunday night. Photo credit: Robb D. Cohen

In Tom Petty’s world, nothing is hurried.

Not the moments between songs when he would swap guitars and pause to sip from a cup on the drum riser. Not his speech pattern when he drawled, “Atlanta, Georgia, it’s good to be back,” two songs into a two-hour show. Not his storytelling, spotlighted on the ever-amusing “Spike.”

No, Petty has always taken his time. Even his Cheshire cat grin spread laconically, drawn across his newly trimmed beard, as he and the Heartbreakers pounced on the set-opening “Listen to Her Heart.”

A wordless salute from the 61-year-old Petty to the sold-out crowd at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park ushered in “You Wreck Me” and the band’s anthem of quiet defiance, “I Won’t Back Down,” filtered crisply into the venue, prompting one of several sing-alongs of the night.

Petty and his musical …

Continue reading Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers showcase their mojo with hits and deep cuts »

The Beach Boys display fine-tuned nostalgia on anniversary tour

Brian Wilson at the tour kickoff April 24 in Tuscon, Ariz. Photo credit: AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

Brian Wilson at the tour kickoff April 24 in Tuscon, Ariz. Photo credit: AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

There is one point to a 50th anniversary tour: nostalgia.

 Of course, in the case of the Beach Boys there is the sidebar of fractured relationships, of the fact that until February’s Grammy Awards, Brian Wilson hadn’t graced the stage with bandmates Al Jardine, Dave Marks, Bruce Johnston and cousin Mike Love since 1996 or toured with them in 46 – yes, 46! – years.

 But the reason tickets are flying for this reunion – and indeed, Saturday’s show at Chastain Park Amphitheatre, the first of the season, was about 90 percent full – is that fans who grew up groovin’ to the group’s sun-dappled pop hits want to relive that magic one more time. Or at least bring their kids to witness it.

 In that regard, Saturday’s show, the fourth date on a tour slated to stretch through August, succeeded mightily. With a set list spanning more than 40 songs – a gasp-inducing mix …

Continue reading The Beach Boys display fine-tuned nostalgia on anniversary tour »

Live music picks: April 27-May 3

Dreams So Real, seen here in a promo shot from the band's days on Arista Records in the late 1980s, has reformed for a few shows. The Athens band will play Smith's Olde Bar on Saturday, April 28.

Dreams So Real, seen here in a promo shot from the band's days on Arista Records in the late 1980s, has reformed for a few shows. The Athens band will play Smith's Olde Bar on Saturday, April 28.

FRIDAY
Over The Rhine

The Ohio husband-and-wife duo has been quietly making thoughtful, absorbing albums for about 20 years. The latest is “The Long Surrender,” which Paste magazine calls “a lovely, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting musical mosaic” while pointing to the line “All my favorite people are broken” as a kind of thesis for the record. It’s Americana with an extra touch of class and elegance, but swaddled in a cloak of darkness. It recalls the duo’s earlier “Drunkard’s Prayer,” a soul-baring work that chronicles a rocky patch in the couple’s marriage and the journey back to happiness.
8 p.m. April 27. $30. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.

SATURDAY
Poncho Sanchez and Terence Blanchard

Conga master Sanchez teams with …

Continue reading Live music picks: April 27-May 3 »

New Zac Brown Band album coming in July

The Zac Brown Band will release major label album No. 3 this summer. "Unaged" hits stores in July. Photo: C. Taylor Crothers

The Zac Brown Band will release major label album No. 3 this summer. "Unaged" hits stores in July. Photo: C. Taylor Crothers

One of Georgia’s most successful homegrown acts will be back in stores and online outlets with new music this summer.

The Zac Brown Band has just announced the release date for a new album. “Uncaged,” the band’s third major label album, is out July 10. It follows 2010’s “You Get What You Give,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart and spawned four No.. 1 country singles (“Colder Weather.” Keep Me in Mind,” “Knee Deep” and “As She’s Walking Away”). The latter, a duet with fellow Georgia native Alan Jackson, brought the band its second Grammy, for best country collaboration with vocal.s.

The band made its major label debut back in 2009 with “The Foundation,” which also scored four No. 1 country singles (“Chicken Fried,” “Toes,” “Highway 20 Ride,” and “Free”). It helped the band score the Grammy …

Continue reading New Zac Brown Band album coming in July »

Music Midtown returns for two nights with Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters will headline the first night of Music Midtown.

Foo Fighters will headline the first night of Music Midtown.

Last year’s exploratory return has evolved into this year’s full-fledged declaration that Music Midtown is back.

The long-running Atlanta music festival, resurrected in 2011 after a five-year break, will again claim Piedmont Park as its locale this fall with a two-day lineup stocked with star power and diversity.

Veteran rockers Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam will headline Sept. 21 and 22, respectively, while acts including T.I., Florence & The Machine, Ludacris, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Avett Brothers, Girl Talk, Van Hunt, Civil TwilightLP and Oh Brother will fill in the rest of the slots on two stages erected at the park.

Initially, tickets will cost $55 for one day, $100 for both, with VIP packages ringing in at $250 and $500 and a “Super” VIP option for $1,000 for the weekend. They go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday via Ticketmaster. Prices are expected to increase – likely $65 for a one day pass and …

Continue reading Music Midtown returns for two nights with Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters »

Hot tickets: April 24

Maxwell, seen here performing at Philips Arena in 2010, returns to the downtown Atlanta venue for a two-night stand in July. Photo: Robb D. Cohen / www.robbsphotos.com

Maxwell, seen here performing at Philips Arena in 2010, returns to the downtown Atlanta venue for a two-night stand in July. Photo: Robb D. Cohen / www.robbsphotos.com

ON SALE NOW
Baby Baby, Winter Sounds, Seedy Seeds, Slowriter. 8:30 p.m. May 10. Vinyl. $10; $6 in advance. TA.
Black Box Revelation, the Revels. 9 p.m. May 26. Vinyl. $10; $8 in advance. TA.
Jack Preston and the Dojo Collective, Everett James, Milo and Otis. 9 p.m. May 31. Vinyl. $10; $7 in advance. TA.
Matthew Perryman Jones. CD release show. 9 p.m. June 22. The Loft. $15; $12 in advance. TA.

Delta Classic Chastain series individual shows are on sale.

  • June 13: Gavin DeGraw, Colbie Caillat, Andy Grammer. Time TBA. $25-$45.
  • June 16: Anita Baker. 8 p.m. $25-$89.
  • June 22: “Music of the Night: The Best of London’s West End Musical Theater.” 8 p.m. $25-$55.
  • July 11: Diana Krall. 8 p.m. $35-$99.
  • July 13: Everclear, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms, Lit, Marcy Playground. 7 p.m. $25-$69.
  • July 21: The Temptations, …

Continue reading Hot tickets: April 24 »

Jason Crabb takes Artist of the Year at Dove Awards

Jason Crabb won two Doves on Thursday - Artist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. Photo credit: Raymond Hagans

Jason Crabb won two Doves on Thursday – Artist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. Photo credit: Raymond Hagans

Artist of the Year winner Jason Crabb said since he comes from a small town in Kentucky, “I never thought I’d be singing on this stage, but I’m living out my dream and encouraging everyone else to do the same.”

A humble Crabb, who lives in Hendersonville, Tenn., with his family, said he picked out his own outfit for the show – a spiffy beige jacket with elbow patches and dark jeans – and excitedly broke the news that Ed Cash is one of the producers working on his next album, which he’s working on now.

Crabb, nominated for a leading eight awards heading into the show, won two Doves at Thursday’s ceremony – a Male Vocalist of the Year trophy accompanies the coveted Artist of the Year prize.

During the show, Crabb participated in a tribute to Russ Taff, turning out a potent version of Taff’s “Ain’t No Grave.” Backstage, Crabb said a Taff …

Continue reading Jason Crabb takes Artist of the Year at Dove Awards »

Mandisa talks about tonight’s ousted “American Idol” constestant

Mandisa has some comforting news for just-ousted “American Idol” contestant Colton Dixon.

“I came in ninth on ‘Idol’ and I hear [Colton] wants to do Christian music. I think that [getting voted off] was the best thing that could have happened to him and I think we’ll be seeing him here next year.”

A disappearing-by-the-minute ‘Disa looked fierce in a Stevie Nicks-styled black lace dress and ankle boots and said she’s “dying” to work with Atlanta rapper Lecrae. She’ll also start working on her next record “in a couple of months,” likely after she wraps the “Girls Night Out” tour she’s currently on with Atlanta singer Laura Story.

During the Doves, Mandisa performed her song “Stronger” (no, not the Kelly Clarkson tune) as part of a special “American Idol” Christian Singers segment that featured Danny Gokey and Phil Stacey singing “Lean on Me” and an appearance by Ruben Studdard (the press room keepers turned the sound off on the …

Continue reading Mandisa talks about tonight’s ousted “American Idol” constestant »

Atlanta’s Jamie Grace scores first Dove Award; Story keeps winning

Jamie Grace and her mom, Mona, pose on the red carpet at the Dove Awards. Photo credit: Raymond Hagans

Jamie Grace and her mom, Mona, pose on the red carpet at the Dove Awards. Photo credit: Raymond Hagans

The ever-charming Jamie Grace just won her first Dove Award and was suitably overcome with emotion at the announcement of her name.

Wearing an elegant green gown, Grace burst into tears upon walking onstage to collect her award for New Artist of the Year.

“My prom was here four years ago at the Fox and my mom used to bring me to musicals here. This is a dream come true,” she said between tears, before wrapping with a burst of thank yous blended with stream-of-consciousness humor. “I want to make this quick because I don’t want to be ‘that girl.’ My dad wore a bow tie for me. And Reba McEntire’s my favorite – that has nothing to do with anything… Dad, can you take me to Chick-fil-A?”

 Meanwhile, Laura Story was on an impressive streak, winning two of her nominated five awards during the pre-telecast of the 43rd Annual GMA Dove Awards for Pop/Contemporary …

Continue reading Atlanta’s Jamie Grace scores first Dove Award; Story keeps winning »