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Archive for August, 2012

Alice Cooper reminisces at Dragon-Con

Alice Cooper shared war stories from the "Billion Dollar Babies" tour at Dragon-Con. Photos: Melissa Ruggieri

Alice Cooper shared war stories from the "Billion Dollar Babies" tour at Dragon-Con. Photos: Melissa Ruggieri

Dragon-Con might be the only place on Earth where Alice Cooper could walk around unrecognized.

But that’s only if he were in full makeup, which he wasn’t during his Friday afternoon appearance at the four-day festival celebrating everything grand about science fiction, superheroes, horror and fantasy.

Cooper, born Vincent Furnier, shared his hourlong panel with James Randi, best known as the “executioner” during the classic 1973 “Billion Dollar Babies” tour.

Several hundred people filled the Marriott Marquis Atrium Ballroom to hear the pair reminisce about putting the tour together, onstage antics and their ongoing friendship.

Showing an easy rapport with each other, Cooper and Randi touched on everything from snakes to chickens to drinking beer. We’ll let them tell the rest:

“Groucho Marx would come to the show and bring Mae West and Jack Benny and …

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Friday Riffs: Getting in a Dragon-Con state of mind

Today kicks off Dragon-Con weekend in Atlanta, so you know what that means – Costumes! Wacky masks! Arguments over whether or not Jar Jar Binks was a viable character!

It’s all beyond awesome and I can’t wait to get downtown today to hang with my fellow freaks and geeks.

So in honor of Dragon-Con, I’ve scoped out a few videos to get you in a super-galactic frame of mind.

Feel free to add your own selections on the message board. Remember, folks…the truth is out there.

(P.S. Check out www.dragoncon.org for a full lineup of events and info about weekend and day passes.)

Who knew there was a 14-minute version of Meco’s disco-fied “Star Wars” theme? This one includes a portion of Luke’s pensive-on-Tatooine music and, of course, the groovy cantina boogie. Today at 1 p.m. at Dragon-Con is a Jedi Lightsaber Battle and then Darth Vader himself, David Prowse, will be speaking at 2:30 p.m. I’m so there. (Prowse returns at 1 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday.)

 

You …

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Talking with Diggy Simmons about Scream

Style is important to Diggy, as well as being an inspiration. Photo: Patrick Hoelck

Style is important to Diggy, as well as being an inspiration. Photo: Patrick Hoelck

Diggy Simmons – or Diggy, as he’s mostly known – might only be 17, but his experience around the music business belies his young age.

A son of Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons, a founder of Run-D.M.C., Diggy has carved his own successful career, appealing to teens with a combination of a smooth style, killer smile and groove-heavy R&B.

The singer, who lives in New Jersey with his family, released his first studio album, “Unexpected Arrival,” in March, and is headlining the “Scream Tour: Next Generation Pt. 2,” which comes to the Fox Theatre Sunday.

Earlier this week, Diggy checked in from New York – the tour only plays weekends given the school age of its primary audience – to talk about his new album, who he admires and hanging out with the OMG Girlz.

Q. So this is your second “Scream” tour, but first as a headliner. What are the main differences for people who might have …

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Eddie Van Halen recovering from emergency surgery

Eddie Van Halen was in fine form at Philips in April. Photo credt: Robb D. Cohen/www.robbsphotos.com

Eddie Van Halen was in fine form at Philips in April. Photo credt: Robb D. Cohen/www.robbsphotos.com

Van Halen has announced on its website that Eddie Van Halen is recuperating from emergency surgery.

A severe bout of Diverticulitis is to blame for Van Halen’s latest health woe—he’s previously had a hip replaced and a portion of his tongue removed due to cancer. The 57-year-old guitarist is expected to recover within six months.

The health setback means the band has rescheduled its Japan tour – slated to start in November – until 2013. U.S. fans will recall that the band abruptly canceled 32 dates in June, later saying they had overextended themselves.

Check out www.van-halen.com for some interviews with the band.

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By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene

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Concerts: Scream tour, Rodney Crowell, Foreigner, Santigold

64535422Rodney Crowell plays two show at Eddie’s Attic on Aug.31, spotlighting songs from “Kin,” his recent collaboration with author Mary Karr. Photo: Getty Images

FRIDAY
Rodney Crowell

Crowell’s songs have been big country hits for others, including “Ashes By Now” and “’Til I Gain Control Again,” but he also enjoyed a string of No. 1 hits of his own in the late ’80s. Despite that success, he’s always seemed more of an alternative country presence, acclaimed by his peers and working just outside of the Nashville mainstream. His latest album, “Kin,” finds him working with memoirist Mary Karr (“The Liar’s Club”). Crowell authored his own memoir, “Chinaberry Sidewalks,” which was published last year.
7 and 9 p.m. Aug. 31. $30. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.

FRIDAY
Downtown Touchdown Concert

College football seasons gets going with a couple of big games at the Georgia Dome this weekend. To go along with the Tennessee vs. North …

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Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias bring fun and fizz to Philips

Enrique Iglesias shows off his sensitive side. Photo credit: Robb D. Cohen/ www.RobbsPhotos.com

Enrique Iglesias shows off his sensitive side. Photo credit: Robb D. Cohen/ www.RobbsPhotos.com

They could have just called it The Beautiful People Tour.

Or for a moment, it could have been the “American Idol” Reunion Tour, since Dunwoody native Ryan Seacrest bopped out onstage at the start of the evening to announce a new radio station in the market (my colleague Rodney Ho has the scoop here).

But if you came to Philips Arena Wednesday night as a fan of just one of the co-headliners – Jennifer Lopez or Enrique Iglesias – there’s a good chance you left as a convert of both.

For a collective three hours – with a 20-minute set change between acts – Iglesias and Lopez demonstrated that while neither is more than an adequate singer, they both possess scads of other proficiencies to make up for the deficits.

Iglesias was up first and immediately began his trademark move of pogoing around the stage for the opening “Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You),” which detoured …

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The Rolling Stones reportedly set Brooklyn dates

main-300x300[1]Billboard.biz reports there might be some live Rolling Stones activity this year after all.

Word is that the band will play four shows in November – two at London’s O2 Arena and two at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The music industry site also said the Stones will receive a paycheck of $25 million for the four dates. 

This is the band’s 50th anniversary, but earlier in the year both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards waved off talk of a celebratory tour. However, in July, Richards made a cryptic comment to the BBC that, “There’s things in the works.”

A few weeks ago, the band suggested that fans download its new uView app and sit tight for “a forthcoming announcement.”

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By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene

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Dave Matthews Band Radio to launch on SiriusXM

Dave Matthews raises an eyebrow at the idea of his own SiriusXM channel. Photo: Getty Images

Dave Matthews raises an eyebrow at the idea of his own SiriusXM channel. Photo: Getty Images

It will be a Dave Matthews Band fiesta next month for SiriusXM subscribers.

The satellite radio provider will launch “Dave Matthews Band Radio” at 11 p.m. Sept. 1 on Sirius channel 142 and XM channel 43. It will also be available online on channel 714.

The kickoff event is an exclusive live broadcast of DMB’s concert from the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington, which will be replayed during the month.

The band’s eighth studio album, “Away From the World,” arrives Sept. 11 and fans will hear cuts from that, including an album preview where band members will introduce each track and share stories of their 21-year road history.

Matthews’ solo work, as well as his projects with Tim Reynolds, will receive airtime as well.

The channel will live through Sept. 30.

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By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene

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D’Angelo, Mary J. Blige a potent pair at Chastain

D'Angelo is back, baby. Photo: Akili-Casundria Ramsess

D'Angelo is back, baby. Photo: Akili-Casundria Ramsess

For years, D’Angelo’s talents disappeared into the vast wasteland that also claimed Lauryn Hill for a spell.

Seemingly unable to deal with the fame and celebrity that followed his 1995 debut, “Brown Sugar” and a few years later, the spellbinding “Voodoo,” the Richmond, Va., native vanished from public view, resurfacing occasionally with a new mug shot for drunk driving and drug possession and looking as opposite as humanly possible from the chiseled hunk who sent ladies’ hearts pounding in the “Untitled (How Does it Feel)” video.

But on Tuesday night at three-quarters- full Chastain Park Amphitheatre, D’Angelo made it known immediately that he is back, and he’s not messing around.

Heading to the stage from the mid-point of the venue, a black fedora cocked sideways on his head, D immediately strapped on a bejeweled black guitar, delving into the serious funk of “Left & Right” from 2000’s …

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Jack White sets Fox date

blunderbuss_477The enigmatic Jack White is hitting the road this fall and will pull into the Fox Theatre at 8 p.m. Oct. 9.

Tickets for the show, in support of his debut solo album, “Blunderbuss,” are on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for $39.50-$85. Tickets can be purchased through www.livenation.com, www.foxatltix.com, the Fox box office, all Ticket Alternative outlets or by calling 1-855-ATL-TIXX.

“Blunderbuss” hit the top of the Billboard 200 album chart upon its release in April, an impressive debut for the former White Stripes leader.

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