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Archive for June, 2012

“Rock of Ages”: It’s the songs, stupid!

Tom Cruise and his zero-body fat.

Tom Cruise and his zero-body fat. Photo credit: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Every review I read of “Rock of Ages” makes me laugh. Not because they aren’t accurate – it IS a lousy movie – but because most of them hammer the paper- thin-as-Angelina-Jolie plotline as one of the reasons for its mediocrity.

Hasn’t anyone seen the Broadway show from which this movie spawned?

It’s ridiculous! A cliché-fest from the moment we’re introduced to “Sherri Christian,” just a small-town girl escaping her lonely world in search of fame on the ‘80s-era Sunset Strip.

No one should be surprised that the movie follows the same goofy path considering the source material. But that source material was nominated for five Tonys in 2009 (it didn’t win any) and the show is still holding steady on Broadway, playing to about 94 percent capacity last month.

So lots of people like it.

And I’m one of them. But it isn’t the storyline – part of which is nearly identical to the video for Poison’s “Fallen Angel” – …

Continue reading “Rock of Ages”: It’s the songs, stupid! »

Butch Walker sings with Daryl Hall

Daryl Hall’s “Live from Daryl’s House” web series is one of the coolest semi-secrets of the online music world.

Hall started the show in 2007 as a way for the Philly soul man to kick back with some musical comrades, playing their songs and Hall & Oates classics in a relaxed environment.

The 54 episodes so far, including this current one with Georgia-born Butch Walker (check them out doing Hall’s solo song, “Why Was It So Easy” – the previous video of “Say It Isn’t So” contained a family-unfriendly word, but you can watch it on the show’s website), have featured Hall playing with acts as diverse as Train, Fitz & the Tantrums, Rob Thomas, Sharon Jones and Atlanta’s Cee Lo Green.

A new episode bows Friday on www.lfdh.com with Virginian-turned-Californian Jason Mraz teaming with Hall on H&O’s “So Long,” as well as Mraz’s hits “I’m Yours” and “The Remedy.”

“Live from Daryl’s House” is also airing in several TV markets, including here on WATL. You can set the TiVo for this one – …

Continue reading Butch Walker sings with Daryl Hall »

Concerts: Anita Baker, Willie Nelson, Ben Sollee, T.I.

bsollee0111ps-3Singer, songwriter and cellist Ben Sollee brings his genre-spanning music to the Red Clay Theater in Duluth as part of the Eddie Owen Presents series.

FRIDAY
Willie Nelson

Nelson, now 79, only gained fame as a recording artist in the mid-’70s, well over a decade after Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” (which he wrote) hit the pop charts in 1961. He hasn’t had an album reach the Top 40 since 1983, but he’s still making great music and taking it on the road nearly 30 years later. The man will always be a star.
8 p.m. June 15. $35.50-$55.50. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive. 404-233-2227.

SATURDAY
Ben Sollee

Sollee is a difficult musician to categorize. No pigeonhole seems adequate for this singing, songwriting cellist. With his latest, “Inclusions,” it seems Sollee takes a turn toward rock and rhythm. “Hurting” offers hints of Andrew Bird and Ray LaMontagne, but then come the spare cello-and-vocal of “Embrace” and the striking, horn-driven “Bible Belt” and he’s surprised …

Continue reading Concerts: Anita Baker, Willie Nelson, Ben Sollee, T.I. »

Roger Waters’ “The Wall” tour continues to stun

The smoke and fire were mere background compared to the rest of the toys in "The Wall" tour, shown here from a February show in Australia. Photo credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

The smoke and fire were mere background compared to the rest of the toys in "The Wall" tour, shown here from a February show in Australia. All photos: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Those who saw “The Wall” tour in 2010 left the venue with their jaws scraping the parking garage floor.

How not to be impressed by the technical masterpiece that Waters re-invigorated for the 30th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s seminal album?

How could fans do anything but bow at Waters’ feet for revisiting the 1980 tour, but this time with a 240-foot-wide “wall” doing double duty as a video screen and updated illustrations by the legendary Gerald Scarfe?

The 2010 tour was such a success – it grossed almost $90 million from 56 concerts in North America on its first leg – that Waters decided to trek overseas in January and head back to the U.S. for this current run through July.

On Wednesday night, “The Wall” returned to Philips Arena. And it was no less stunning.

The opening “In the Flesh?”, with its …

Continue reading Roger Waters’ “The Wall” tour continues to stun »

Eddie Van Halen explains canceled tour dates

Eddie Van Halen was in fine form at Philips Arena in April. Photo: Robb D. Cohen

Eddie Van Halen was in fine form at Philips Arena in April. Photo: Robb D. Cohen

A few weeks ago, David Lee Roth posted a video explaining why Van Halen suddenly axed a slew of tour dates.

The reason, he said, was that the band “bit off more than we could chew.”

But, since truth isn’t something that Van Halen fans are used to hearing, not many believed him, assuming instead that the “postponements” were due to band infighting or Roth’s inability to maintain grueling demands on his diminished vocals.

One reason I wanted to see the band in March in Atlantic City was because I wasn’t convinced they’d make it to their April Atlanta date (and also, the Dove Awards, which needed to be covered, were the same night as the Philips Arena show).

They did play Atlanta, and a few weeks later, tour dates started to disappear off the band’s website.

Do you believe Eddie Van Halen’s reason for the canceled shows?

  • Of course! He’s Eddie. Why would he lie?
  • Please. When have these …

Continue reading Eddie Van Halen explains canceled tour dates »

Atlanta’s Mastodon nabs prestigious awards overseas

 

Congrats to Atlanta metal masters Mastodon for nabbing a couple of fancy-schmancy awards in London this week.

The guys picked up the Kerrang! Award for Best Album for “The Hunter” (presented by Kerrang! Magazine UK) and also snagged a Best Album trophy at the Metal Hammer Golden God Awards from Metal Hammer Magazine UK.

Mastodon will hang out in Europe all summer for a series that starts in Norway tonight and winds through Sweden, Holland, Italy, France and England.

Check out the new video for “All the Heavy Lifting” above – shot at London’s Brixton Academy.

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By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene

Continue reading Atlanta’s Mastodon nabs prestigious awards overseas »

Usher hits the dance floor on new album

Usher is all about the dance floor on his seventh studio album. Photo credit: Saccenti

Usher is all about the dance floor on his seventh studio album. Photo credit: Saccenti

For his seventh studio album, Usher has donned an array of disguises. Which is ironic considering the release is called “Looking 4 Myself.”

Is the Atlanta-based singer abandoning the slinky grooves and smooth R&B that made him a superstar in favor of chasing the mirrorball and the path of David Guetta? Or is he leaning back into his roots, rediscovering his upper register and seducing the ladies with a series of sex-laden come-ons?

It’s a bit of everything on “Looking 4 Myself,” an ambitious mishmash with a handful of noteworthy songs amid a lot of techno din.

The opening “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” is a chaotic mess of drum machines, synthesizers zooming 20 different ways and annoyingly repetitive lyrics that are either informing us that, “This is a jam, this is a jam,” or sneaking in some laughable sexual advances (“Let me be your body soap” – seriously).

With production by will.i.am., what …

Continue reading Usher hits the dance floor on new album »

Tickets: Kevin Hart, Chris Isaak, Animal Collective, Steve Vai

65342755Kevin Hart brings his stand-up comedy to Philips Arena in December. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 15. Photo: Getty Images

ON SALE NOW
Frank Ocean. 9:30 p.m. July 22. Center Stage. $26.50-$29. TM.

ON SALE JUNE 15
Scotty. July 5. Smith’s Olde Bar – Music Room. $10 in advance. TA.
Red Cup Party. July 10. Smith’s Olde Bar – Music Room. $10 in advance.. TA.
Cigar Store Indians. Aug. 18. Smith’s Olde Bar – Music Room. $15 in advance. TA.
Steve Vai, Beverly McClellan. 8 p.m. Aug. 23. Center Stage. $26.50 – $29. TM.
Rebirth Brass Band. Aug. 25. Smith’s Olde Bar – Music Room. $25 in advance. TA.
David Dondero. Sept. 4. Smith’s Olde Bar – Music Room. $12 in advance. TA.
Chris Isaak. 8 p.m. Sept. 6. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. $43-$73. TM.
Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival with Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind, Papa Roach, Adelitas Way. 2 p.m. Sept. 12. Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood. $75 general admission pit; $25-$55 reserved; $25 lawn; $75 lawn four-pack. LN.
Beach House. 8 …

Continue reading Tickets: Kevin Hart, Chris Isaak, Animal Collective, Steve Vai »

Usher to perform live web concert Monday

Photo credit: Francesco Carrozzini

Photo credit: Francesco Carrozzini

Usher’s “Looking 4 Myself” arrives tomorrow (check back here for a review), but today at 4 p.m., he’ll perform live from London’s Hammersmith Apollo.

Fans can tune in at http://www.youtube.com/UsherVEVO .

If you can’t wait until 4 p.m. and need an Usher fix now, here’s a peek at his “Unstaged” performance: http://www.youtube.com/user/ushervevo/unstaged.

In a new interview with MTV.com, the Atlanta-based R&B singer calls the new record, “revolutionary pop.”

Continue reading Usher to perform live web concert Monday »

Chris Isaak, Don Was to visit GPB Studios

 

Chris Isaak will pay tribute to Elvis, Roy Orbison in GPB special. Photo credit: Scott Newton

Chris Isaak will pay tribute to Elvis, Roy Orbison in GPB special. Photo credit: Scott Newton

Chris Isaak likes to sing about how baby did a bad, bad, thing. But on Sunday, the sensual crooner will do a good thing and pop into the Georgia Public Broadcasting Studios.

 At 8 that night, GPB will air his “Chris Isaak Live! Beyond the Sun” concert, and Isaak will be on set to talk about the show, which was filmed in February on the soundstage of the PBS series, “Austin City Limits.”

 The concert features Isaak paying tribute to producer Sam Phillips and his Memphis Sun Studio, as well as the names Phillips produced (Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Elvis).

 So in addition to performing his own gotta-play-‘em hits (“Wicked Game,” the aforementioned “Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing”), Isaak also tackles classics such as “Ring of Fire, “It’s Now or Never,” “Great
Balls of Fire” and “Oh, Pretty Woman.”

 Joining Isaak in the show is the Queen of Rockabilly, Wanda Jackson.

 On …

Continue reading Chris Isaak, Don Was to visit GPB Studios »