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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Archive for May, 2012

Whitney Houston’s final song released

Whitney Houston's final song, "Celebrate," with Jordin Sparks, was released today.

Whitney Houston's final song, "Celebrate," with Jordin Sparks, was released today.

Whitney Houston’s final song,  a collaboration with Jordin Sparks from the “Sparkle” soundtrack, debuted on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show today.

 “Celebrate,” an uptempo jam with sunny, optimistic lyrics about shunning hate, urges listeners to “just cast your cares away.” The song’s bridge promises, “I’m gonna give you a reason why you should clap your hands and jump for joy.”

Houston sounds a bit husky, but her lower register contrasts well with Sparks’ girlish strains.

The song is the last Houston recorded before her death in February, and while it isn’t an instant classic, it’s a pleasant pop piffle that will be remembered for what it represents.

“Sparkle” opens in theaters Aug. 17. The soundtrack, expected to be released in late July, also features Houston singing “His Eyes on the Sparrow,” and includes several other Sparks songs and a contribution from Cee Lo Green (“I’m a Man”).

Continue reading Whitney Houston’s final song released »

Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan pair for a night of Georgia pride

Jason Aldean brought the party to the first of his two sold-out shows at Lakewood Amphitheatre. Photos: Robb D. Cohen

Jason Aldean brought the party to the first of his two sold-out shows at Lakewood Amphitheatre. Photos: Robb D. Cohen

It was a combo night of Georgia star-watching and beer-drinkin’ partying.

 The excitement generated by Jason Aldean selling out two shows at Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood for two consecutive shows – a first for Aldean in his skyrocketing career – filtered into the crowd early Friday night.

 Though Aldean mentioned to the AJC in a recent interview that Lauren Alaina, last year’s “American Idol” runner-up from Rossville, Ga., wasn’t scheduled to continue touring with him this summer, she was an early presence on the Lakewood stage.

 With her hair trimmed to a cute bob, the noticeably slimmed Alaina confidently strolled through a handful of songs in her opening set, capping it, of course, with her hit, “Georgia Peaches.”

 It wasn’t the last fans would see of the appealing young singer on stage – and they would get another surprise later on as well – but she …

Continue reading Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan pair for a night of Georgia pride »

Live music picks: May 18-24


One of music’s perennial road warriors, , the Dave Matthews Band, celebrated its 20th anniversary last year by taking its first-ever break from summer touring. But the boys are back on May 22 at Aaron's Amphitheatre.

One of music’s perennial road warriors, , the Dave Matthews Band, celebrated its 20th anniversary last year by taking its first-ever break from summer touring. But the boys are back on May 22 at Aaron’s Amphitheatre.

FRIDAY

Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys. The legendary banjo player, 85, brings his “Stanley Style” of picking and old-time bluegrass to an intimate spot.

9 p.m. Friday. $23 (advance), $25 (day of show). The Loft at Center Stage, Atlanta.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

Jason Aldean with Luke Bryan. Jason Aldean, the country boy from Macon, had an unqualified smash with the release of his fourth album. It’s sold more than 2.5 million copies since November 2010, spawned five radio hits — including the unusual pairing with Clarkson and “Dirt Road Anthem,” co-written by Georgians Colt Ford and Brantley Gilbert — and earned a best country album Grammy nomination. Aldean has sold out two nights at Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood – the first time in …

Continue reading Live music picks: May 18-24 »

Remembering Donna Summer

Summer performs in Norway in 2009. Photo credit: AP Photo/John McConnico

Summer performs in Norway in 2009. Photo credit: AP Photo/John McConnico

The news that Donna Summer died at 63 today was met with disbelief by most fans of the disco superstar.

Gone too soon. Yet another legendary musician. Never lost her verve.

What pop music lovers didn’t have one of those thoughts cross their minds?

It was especially sad to learn that the sassy, big-voiced singer behind such radio classics as “Last Dance,” “She Works Hard for the Money” and “Hot Stuff” was reportedly putting the final touches on a new album.

In August 2010, Summer talked to the AJC prior to her performance at Chastain Park Amphitheatre.

“What I’m most proud of is that I’m still here and that there are groups of people that still like my music and still want to hear it and are still interested enough to listen and hear something new that I’m bringing out,” she said. “I can’t take pride in that so much as I feel blessed by God to still be here and make a living out of what I …

Continue reading Remembering Donna Summer »

A new way to purchase tickets at Fox Theatre

If you’re buying tickets to any upcoming shows at the Fox Theatre, get ready to purchase them through new means.

After more than two decades, the venerable Atlanta venue has parted ways with Ticketmaster and will now sell tickets through www.FoxAtlTix.com as part of a partnership with Atlanta-based Ticket Alternative.

The change was made to give the venue more control over the ticket-buying experience.

Kristen Delaney, director of marketing and public relations at the Fox, said they have been working with a local law firm to crack down on “cybersquatting,” when ticket resellers present themselves as the Fox’s (or any venue’s) ticket outlet and then sell tickets at an obscene markup.

“By telling customers to come directly to us for tickets, we can provide them peace of mind,” she said.

Those hopeful that a change might also equate to a dip in those pesky ticketing fees, well, don’t get too excited. Delaney said she does expect fees to be lower but, “there are costs involved in …

Continue reading A new way to purchase tickets at Fox Theatre »

Hot tickets: May 15

Esperanza Spalding will be at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on Oct 19. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 18. Photo: John Minchillo / AP.

Esperanza Spalding (above) and Terri Lyne Carrington will be at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on Oct 19. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 18. Photo: John Minchillo / AP.

ON SALE MAY 18
Nathan Angelo.
July 20. Smith’s Olde Bar – Music Room. $12 in advance. TA
Lusitania / Sun Hotel. June 25. Smith’s Olde Bar – Music Room. $10 in advance. TA
Special Early Show: Sean McConnell. Aug. 24. Smith’s Olde Bar – Music Room. $10 in advance. TA
CD Release – The Constellations. June 11. Smith’s Olde Bar – Music Room. $15 in advance. TA
The Higher Choir. Aug. 4. Smith’s Olde Bar – Music Room. $10 in advance. TA
Turtle Folk. July 28. Smith’s Olde Bar – Music Room. $10 in advance. TA
Il Volo. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14. Fox Theatre $39.50-$79.50.
Dethklok and Lamb of God with special guest Gojira. 7 p.m. Sept. 5. Tabernacle $39.50. LN
Citizen Cope. 9 p.m. Nov. 9. Tabernacle $26.50 LN
Al Jarreau and Ramsey Lewis. 8:30 p.m. Sept. 21. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. $40-$100. TM
Esperanza …

Continue reading Hot tickets: May 15 »

Eddie Owen no longer with Eddie’s Attic

Eddie Owen announced on his Facebook page Monday morning that he was fired over the weekend from the venue that bears his name.

The legendary Atlanta venue owner-promoter hasn’t owned the music hall in nearly a decade, but has always remained involved.

In December, Owen agreed to a handshake deal with new owners Alex Cooley and Dave Mattingly to manage and book both Eddie’s Attic and Owen’s new venture, Eddie Owen Presents at the Red Clay Theatre in Duluth.

On his Facebook posting, originally publicized by Richard Eldredge at Atlanta Magazine Monday morning, Owen simply said, “Won’t be going inside Eddie’s Attic again, got fired on Friday,” and then invited followers to check out a show at the Duluth venue.

“We’ll share a little story,” the posting said.

Messages left for Owen and Eddie’s Attic owners have not yet been returned.

Update May 16 from Richard Eldredge:

http://www.atlantamagazine.com/eldredgeatl/blogentry.aspx?BlogEntryID=10383872

Continue reading Eddie Owen no longer with Eddie’s Attic »

Live music picks: May 11-17

Mississippi's Paul Thorn is a truly great songwriter, but his latest album is a collection of covers. You'll probably get some of his terrific takes on the work of other, but he's sure to play some of his own fine songs when he takes the stage at the Variety Playhouse Friday, May 11. Photo courtesy Conqueroo

Mississippi's Paul Thorn is a truly great songwriter, but his latest album is a collection of covers. You'll probably get some of his terrific takes on the work of other, but he's sure to play some of his own fine songs when he takes the stage at the Variety Playhouse Friday, May 11. Photo courtesy Conqueroo

SATURDAY
Paul Thorn

A former boxer and the son of a Church of God minister, Thorn has slowly built an audience with his scruffy charm and terrific songs that straddle the boundary between country and rock. He can be laugh-out-loud funny one moment and have you weeping in your beer the next. He’s on the road supporting a new album, “What The Hell Is Goin’ On?,” released earlier this week This time around, Thorn takes a break from songwriting. The all-covers album includes songs written by Buddy Miller and Ray Wylie Hubbard, a tune from Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks’ pre-Fleetwood Mac duo album and the gritty blues-rocker “Walk In My Shadow” from Free’s 1968 …

Continue reading Live music picks: May 11-17 »

Bonnie Raitt candid and casual at Cobb Energy show

Bonnie Raitt brought soul and grit to Cobb Energy on Wednesday. Photos: Raymond Hagans

Bonnie Raitt brought soul and grit to Cobb Energy on Wednesday. Photos: Raymond Hagans

Not many shows start with the artist briefly halting the proceedings because something got stuck in her bra strap, but nothing about Bonnie Raitt has ever been typical.

Before she and her crackerjack four-piece band played a note at Wednesday’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre gig, Raitt took a moment to admire the venue – something she did several times throughout the show – and chat with the crowd.

It was a refreshingly intimate, barrier-breaking launch that set the casual tone for her nearly two-hour concert, her first Atlanta appearance since a Chastain stop in 2009.

She stuck to her promise of playing a mixture of old and new songs, kicking off the night with her fine reggae-lite version of Gerry Rafferty’s “Right Down the Line,”  the lead single from her recently released “Slipstream” album – her first new one in seven years that has been comfortably ensconced at the top of the …

Continue reading Bonnie Raitt candid and casual at Cobb Energy show »

Gregg Allman attracts robust crowd at Buckhead book signing

Gregg Allman signs his name to copies of "My Cross to Bear." Photos: Melissa Ruggieri

Gregg Allman signs his name to copies of "My Cross to Bear." Photos: Melissa Ruggieri

For his first-ever book tour – promoting his first-ever book – Gregg Allman received a hero’s welcome.

 Hundreds of people snaked through the bookshelves and corridors at the Barnes & Noble in Buckhead Tuesday afternoon as the ponytailed Allman Brothers legend carefully inscribed the inside page of his recently released memoir,  “My Cross to Bear,” for book-bearing fans.

 The two-and-a-half-hour signing, the first stop on a tour that includes another Atlanta date Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Eagle Eye Bookshop in Decatur, as well as Nashville, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles and wraps in Macon June 3, understandably exhausted the musician, who lives in Savannah and has deep ties to Macon.

 Though he told fans who inquired about his health that he was feeling good, by the time he wound through the back room of the bookstore into a waiting black car, a drained-looking (and hungry) Allman said he was, …

Continue reading Gregg Allman attracts robust crowd at Buckhead book signing »