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Archive for December, 2012

Indigo Girls’ songs thrive with symphony

Amy Ray (left) and Emily Saliers gelled well with the Georgia Symphony Orchestra. Photos: Melissa Ruggieri

Amy Ray (left) and Emily Saliers gelled well with the Georgia Symphony Orchestra. Photos: Melissa Ruggieri

[I'm on with my rock 'n' roll pal Kaedy Kiely at 97.1 The River every Wednesday at 6:50 and 7:50 a.m. to talk about the latest rock news. Tune in to hear what's up!]

“This is the biggest band we’ve ever had,” Emily Saliers joked from the stage, motioning to the 40-plus musicians behind her and musical partner Amy Ray.

Since this summer, the Indigo Girls have dotted their tour schedule with shows backed by local symphonies, so for their Atlanta homecoming at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Friday night, the girls were backed by the Georgia Symphony Orchestra with the engaging Michael Alexander conducting.

For some – most, really – bands, dressing their songs in a symphonic cloak might make their music sound disjointed or overwrought. But the Indigo Girls’ 25-year catalog thrived, with racing cellos backing “Compromise” and touches of flute on “The Wood Song.”

No matter …

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Jennifer Nettles becomes a mom

Nettles showed off her baby bump at show in Atlanta this summer. Photo: Robb D. Cohen/www.robbsphotos.com

Nettles showed off her baby bump at show in Atlanta this summer. Photo: Robb D. Cohen/www.robbsphotos.com

Sugarland frontwoman Jennifer Nettles gave birth to a son, Magnus Hamilton Miller, on Thursday. It’s the first child for her and husband Justin Miller.

“We are so thankful for all the prayers and support and are excited to take some time together as a new family,” she said in a statement.

Her musical partner, Kristian Bush, said in a recent interview that there was no timeline for when Sugarland would return following Nettles’ foray into motherhood.

“Our work is so dominating that you can’t tiptoe back in, so we’ll take off as long as we need. There’s no pressure,” he said.

Nettles’ last big professional outing was as a judge on the modestly viewed summer TV singing competition, “Duets.” Sugarland performed at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park in August.

Nettles, 38, is a native of Douglas, Ga., and spent much of her career in Atlanta. She and Miller married in …

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Friday Riffs: What song gets you in the holiday spirit?

OK, I cave. I don’t usually warm up to Christmas music until a few days before the holiday. But with Brian Setzer’s Christmas Rocks! Extravaganza Saturday at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and a pair of radio station doozies next Wednesday and Thursday (Justin Bieber, Enrique Iglesias, Kesha, Flo rida, etc. at Philips Arena and Jason Mraz, Ed Sheeran, Phillip Phillips, etc. at the Arena at Gwinnett Center, respectively), I’m going to have to acknowledge the festivity a little earlier this year.

So, with a nod to all halls appropriately decked, here are a couple of my new Christmas favorites for 2012 as well as two classics that I probably could tolerate just fine if I had to hear them in, say, August.

What songs bring out your holiday spirit?

Jimmy Fallon, Mariah Carey and The Roots, “All I Want for Christmas is You”: It’s not a new song (yep, it’s 18 years old), but the sweet new spin delivered by Fallon – the happiest dude on Earth – his musical crew, a charming Carey …

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Concerts: Indigo Girls, Dave Matthews Band, Justin Bieber

081912 mrazJason Mraz makes his second Atlanta appearance of the year at Star 94’s Jingle Jam on Thursday, Dec. 13. Photo: Akili-Casundria Ramsess

FRIDAY
Indigo Girls

Emily Saliers and Amy Ray have spent about a quarter of a century entertaining us — and making us think — with heart-touching songs and gorgeous harmonies. They began performing together as students at DeKalb County’s Shamrock High School (now a middle school). For this show, they’ll be joined by the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, adding a new layer of sound to their signature blend of folk and rock.
8 p.m. Dec. 7. $35-$85. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 770-916-2800.

Jamey Johnson
Johnson’s “The Guitar Song” was the consensus choice for best country album of 2010. It’s a collection of bone-deep country that provides a jarring and welcome contrast to the bloodless, antiseptic stuff that passes for country music these days. We still haven’t had a proper follow-up collection of new …

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Cee Lo Green shares his favorite musical Christmas gifts

Considering that Cee Lo Green was a child of the ‘80s, it’s not really a surprise to learn that one of his favorite Christmas gifts was the 45 (look it up, kids) of ABC’s “The Look of Love” (ditto).

In a new video promoting the Give the Gift of Music campaign, the Atlanta singer/rapper/talent show judge credits his sister, Shedonna Alexander, for making many of his holidays musically merry.

“She encouraged so much of my listening in a very sisterly way,” Green says in the clip, also mentioning that Alexander later bought him the 45s of Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing” and Lenny Kravitz’s “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over.”

(This summer, the siblings unveiled the GreenHouse Foundation, a non-profit organization with roots at his old school, Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy.)

If you’ve got a story about the best musical gift you’ve been given – mine is a toss-up between my first 45, the Stray Cats’ “Stray Cat Strut,” and a hand-me-down set of drums when I was 13 – the folks at Give the …

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Georgia artists factor big in Grammy nominations

Janelle Monae is part of fun.'s smash, "Some Nights." Photo: Getty Images

Janelle Monae is part of fun.'s smash, "We Are Young." Photo: Getty Images

It might be only a featured role, but Janelle Monae is poised to participate in a big Grammy night in February thanks to her contribution to fun.’s “We Are Young.”

The Atlanta soul singer factors into five of the band’s six nominations for the 55th annual Grammy Awards.

Also up for six nods are Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Jay-Z, Mumford & Sons, Frank Ocean and Kanye West (with some help from Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz on a couple of them).

A handful of the 81 nominations were announced last night during “The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!!” (complete with extra-excited double exclamation points) held at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, the first time outside of Los Angeles.

Taylor Swift was brought on to co-host with perennial presence LL Cool J, which turned out to be an unnecessary addition aside from her obvious star power and Nashville ties. Now instead of the show moving along smoothly, they had …

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Tickets: Jerry Seinfeld, Juanes, moe, Cowboy Junkies

People-SeinfeldJerry Seinfeld brings his stand-up comedy show to the Fox Theatre in March. Tickets go on sale Friday, Dec. 7. Photo: John Shearer/Invision for David Lynch Foundation/AP

ON SALE NOW

Charlie Wilson, Kem, Fantasia. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 29. Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center. $90-$150. TM.

ON SALE DEC. 7

Sonia Leigh. 9 p.m. Dec. 31. Variety Playhouse. $30; $25 in advance. TM.

Augustana, Lauren Shera. 8 p.m. Jan. 24. Vinyl.. $16; $14 in advance. TA.

Moe, Conspirator. 8 p.m. Feb. 16. The Tabernacle. $27. LN.

Cowboy Junkies. Including a complete performance of “The Trinity Session.” 8:30 p.m. March 8. Variety Playhouse. $35; $32.50 in advance. TM.

Jerry Seinfeld. 7:30 p.m. March 8. Fox Theatre. $48-$78. FoxATLTix.com.

Mindless Self Indulgence. 8 p.m. April 9. Center Stage. $24 in advance. TM.

IAMX. 8 p.m. May 4. The Loft. $18; $15 in advance. TA.

Juanes. 8 p.m. June 26. Gwinnett Arena. $37.50-$89. TM.

ON SALE DEC. 17

Fleetwood Mac. 8 p.m.June 10. Philips Arena. TM.

UPCOMING …

Continue reading Tickets: Jerry Seinfeld, Juanes, moe, Cowboy Junkies »

Tuesday Tunes: Spotlight on Florida Georgia Line

untitledIt’s fair to say that Florida Georgia Line is on the edge of a very big 2013.

The duo of Monroe, Ga., native Tyler Hubbard and Ormond Beach, Fla., guy Brian Kelley, is currently celebrating the No. 1 success of its single “Cruise,” a sing-song anthem that caught the attention of Taylor Swift and Keith Urban thanks to its good-time attitude and crazy-catchy chorus. Plus, their song “Black Tears” was also picked up by Jason Aldean for inclusion on his latest album.

Hubbard and Kelley, friends who met at college in Nashville, are neophytes in a sense, but they’re well on their way with their debut full-length record, “Here’s to the Good Times.” The pair has released two EPs, and five songs from the one released earlier this year are included here, along with six new tunes.

Granted, several of the songs tend to blend together, whether the pair is name-checking the Georgia Bulldogs in “Tip it Back” (a song that needs no further explanation) or pumping fists to the “Hell Raisin’ …

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Fleetwood Mac, Rod Stewart announce tours

 

Fleetwood Mac last toured in 2009. Photo: Getty Images

Fleetwood Mac last toured in 2009. Photo: Getty Images

[I'm on with my rock 'n' roll pal Kaedy Kiely at 97.1 The River every Wednesday at 6:50 and 7:50 a.m. to talk about the latest rock news. Tune in to hear what's up!]

Fleetwood Mac has not only confirmed a 2013 tour, but released the 34-dates for the latest reunion – their first since 2009.

The band’s tour launches in April and will play Philips Arena June 10, the second-to-last-date of the jaunt, which will feature Stevie Nicks, Lindsay Buckingham, Mick Fleetwod and John McVie. Keyboardist/singer Christine McVie retired from touring with the band in 1998.

Nicks has spoken about a Mac return a lot lately, even mentioning that the band has recorded a pair of new songs that might make it to the live set list.

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Dec. 17.

Stewart has a great autobiography out as well. Photo: Getty Images

Stewart has a great autobiography out as well. Photo: Getty Images

Also with an Atlanta date is the double bill of Rod Stewart and Steve Winwood. Their “Live the Life” tour …

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Lakewood Amphitheatre’s 2012 season biggest in eight years

Jason Aldean played two sellouts at Lakewood in May 2012. Photo: Robb Cohen/www.robbsphotos.com

Jason Aldean played two sellouts at Lakewood in May 2012. Photo: Robb Cohen/www.robbsphotos.com

In 2011, 18 shows were staged at Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood.

This season, that number jumped to 26, the first time since 2004 that the venue presented more than 25 shows.

Were there sellouts? Sure. Two nights for Jason Aldean, one each for Zac Brown Band, Dave Matthews Band, Jimmy Buffett and Phish, who returned to the venue after a nine-year absence.

Most of the other shows were in the 15,000-17,000 range (the amphitheater caps at about 19,000), with even newbies to the shed scene, such as Wiz Khalifa with Mac Miller, pulling in a crowd of about 12,000.

The reasons are many-fold.

“It was a big touring cycle,” said Akeasha Branch, general manager of the venue. “It helps to have Jason [Aldean] doing two nights and Drake stepping up from college tours to headlining amphitheaters.”

Peter Conlon, president of Live Nation Atlanta, which operates Lakewood, believes that the concert …

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