With zero fanfare, Ed Sheeran strolled out onstage.
As he plowed into “Give Me Love,” his only accompaniments his acoustic guitar, a looping mic and pedal and a wall of speakers that doubled as projection screens, the British heartthrob was bombarded with a cascade of shrieking usually reserved for the high-cheekboned glamour of One Direction.
Yes, the ginger-headed singer-songwriter with the colorful sleeve tattoo, rumpled pants and T-shirt is quite the magnet for the high school and college set, his poetic valentines a soothing tonic in an era of AutoTune and unremarkable dance-pop.
Though he’s quietly built the kind of following that can sell out the Tabernacle on a recently launched headlining tour in the U.S. after just one hit (“The A Team”) – and, as he proved during his set at last month’s Star 94 Jingle Jam concert in Gwinnett, hold 10,000 people rapt – Sheeran is unfazed by the
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Adam Ant has never been anyone’s idea of typical.
So would you expect an album title any less bizarre than “Adam Ant is The Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter”?
There is plenty of explanation from his PR folks about the origins of the title of Ant’s ninth studio album – his first in 17 years.
The truncated version: The “Blueblack Hussar” refers to the calvary hussar units in Hungary in the 15th century who dressed in distinctive hats, braided jackets and sometimes, pants with the yellow vertical stripe – all usual onstage-Ant gear.
And “Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter” is a naval term that refers to being punished, often by flogging, which, according to press materials, is how Ant felt about being signed to a major label for many years.
This album comes on his own imprint…Blueblack Hussar
Ed Roland has played stadiums and arenas. Theaters and clubs. He’s also played on the tiny stage at Eddie’s Attic for many a Christmas concert.
But when Roland unobtrusively stepped onto the close quarters of the Attic’s legendary stage last Tuesday, he was bookended not by his longtime Collective Soul bandmates, but by guitarists Christopher Alan Yates and Tomi Martin and bassist Brian Bisky, with drummer Mike Rizzi a few inches behind him.
The group, officially dubbed Ed Roland and the Sweet Tea Project, has existed for a year or so with a revolving door of musicians. But now it’s time for the next step, starting with a monthlong Tuesday-night residency at Eddie’s Attic and a similar arrangement on Sundays at the Melting Point in Athens.
The second the houselights dropped, the chanting began as if at a pep rally.
“El-lie. El-lie. El-lie.”
The sprite-like Ellie Goudling might not possess the vocal prowess of Adele or Emeli Sande or some of her other U.K. peers, but she’s clearly tapped into something that speaks to legions of twentysomethings – including the 2,500 or so at Friday’s sold-out Tabernacle show, the third date of her U.S. tour.
It didn’t matter if you could barely hear Goulding’s voice – aural cotton candy that was easily and continually overwhelmed by her four-piece band and the non-stop chatter of the crowd. Her devotees – the ones not talking through the uptempo songs, the ballads or her lovely (infamous) cover of Elton John’s “Your Song” during the encore – sang along heartily with every one of her 18 offerings of airy dance pop, from the title track of her current album, “Halcyon” to the song
A James Brown biopic is finally happening sometime…soon.
With none other than super producer Brian Grazer (“Apollo 13,” “8 Mile,” “Parenthood,” “Friday Night Lights”) and Mick Jagger at the helm, the project, which has been in limbo since the late ‘90s, is set to begin casting…soon.
In a new interview in Rolling Stone, Deana Brown-Thomas, one of Brown’s seven children, says her father was “intrigued but wary” of a movie based on his life, since it would inevitably spotlight the unsavory moments. But after years of legal wrangling over Brown’s property and finances after his death in 2006, an agreement to proceed with the project has been reached.
Some excerpts from Grazer in the Q&A:
What I really wanted to do this week was cultivate a playlist of game day songs relating to falcons.
That thought started and ended with Billy Falcon’s semi-hit from 1991, “Power Windows.”
Who knew that falcons were in such short lyrical supply?
So instead I asked some friends and Twitter followers for their best tailgating song suggestions and received some familiar – but always good for the adrenaline – responses: Queen’s “We Will Rock You”; AC/DC’s “For Those About To Rock (We Salute You); Beastie Boys, “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)”; .38 Special’s “Hold on Loosely.”
I decided to stick with Georgia artists for my list (I threw Falcon’s “Power Windows” in there just for the sake of nostalgia), which of course, kicks off with the command of the week.
So rise up, folks, rock the Dome on Sunday and share with us what you plan to blare before the game.
Billy Falcon, “Power Windows”
Cee Lo Green, “Forget You” (clean version, though some fans will
Last summer, George Jones announced he would quit touring at the end of his 2013 road trip.
That victory lap, dubbed “The Grand Tour,” will stop at the Fox Theatre at 7:30 p.m. April 19. Tickets are $42.75 and on sale at 10 a.m. Jan. 25.
The country music icon, known for his hits “White Lightning,” “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes,” started the 60-date tour last year.
Jones remarked at the time he announced the farewell run that, “It is tough to stop doing what I love, but the time has come.”
Plans are also still in the works for a Jones/Dolly Parton album.
Tickets can be purchased at the Fox box office, www.foxatltix.com or by calling 1-855-ATL-TIXX.
By Melissa Ruggieri, The Music Scene
Midway through Ed Sheeran’s set, an amazing thing happened.
With a lopsided smile and a charming accent, he somehow managed to get the 10,000-plus people crammed into The Arena at Gwinnett Center to silence their chatter, their random squealing of his name and even, for a few minutes, disregard their smartphones.
Then, at this show last month – the Star 94 Jingle Jam concert which Sheeran headlined – something even more incredible happened.
Sheeran wasn’t silencing the crowd to sing his hit ballad, “The A Team,” or even to do “Little Things,” the swoony tune he gave to his pals in One Direction or “Everything Has Changed,” the song he wrote with Taylor Swift and duets with on her current album, “Red.”
No, the ginger-headed Brit wanted to work his magic by creating loops of his voice and percussion sounds with his mouth to play as the backdrop to a traditional folk song, “The Wayfaring Stranger.”
And the audience was rapt.
“I’ve only just perfected
British musician Ellie Goulding, who scored a No. 2 hit with the single “Lights,” will play the Tabernacle Friday, Jan. 19. Photo: Meeno / Universal Music Group
With an uncompromisingly independent vision, Eaglesmith continues to release under-the-radar gems, both live and in the studio, but there’s no substitute for seeing the man in person. His latest album, “6 Volts,” is a tribute to the early days of rock ’n’ roll. It’s a powerful piece of work, recorded live in the studio with one microphone to a reel-to-reel tape machine. The analog setting suits his hearty country-folk sensibility. There’s a raw energy in tracks such as “Betty” and the title track, where the lead guitar slices into the foreground and electrifies the room. The title of the album refers to the power supply for the early transistor radios, which became a part of the public consciousness about the same time as rock ’n’ roll.
8 p.m. Jan. 18. $20; $18 in advance. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N.
To music fans, Common will always be the thoughtful hip-hop poet who has been tossing out socially conscious rhymes for two decades.
But since 2007, when he popped up in the Jeremy Piven crime drama “Smokin’ Aces,” the Chicago native who, as the public learned in 2011, has a fan in First Lady Michelle Obama, has been exploring his thespian side.
They’ve been mostly small roles in movies such as the Tina Fey comedy “Date Night” and the family drama “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” which filmed in Atlanta in 2011.
But in “LUV,” out Jan. 18, Common has front and center responsibility as Uncle Vincent, an ex-con struggling not to fall back into familiar patterns, especially while caring for his orphaned nephew, Woody (beguiling newcomer Michael Rainey Jr.). He’s also a producer on the film.
Calling recently from Brooklyn, the amiable musician-actor chatted about the film and also mentioned that he