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

Big Boi shows hometown love with “In the A”

Big Boi takes a musical tour of our city in the just-released video for his latest single, “In the A.”

He’s joined by fellow Atlanta rappers T.I. and Ludacris on this track from his latest solo album, “Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors.” It’s a song that Rolling Stone’s review deems the best on the album, calling it “an old-school, ego-fueled lyrical jag.”

Check it out here, but be warned that the song is unedited, so the language is definitely not family-friendly.

Continue reading Big Boi shows hometown love with “In the A” »

Concerts: Todd Snider, Guster, Montana Skies

todd_JJW-14_20120321_135134Todd Snider, who released two new albums in 2012, will headline the Variety Playhouse on Friday, Jan. 4. Photo courtesy Shore Fire Media

FRIDAY
Todd Snider

Nashville’s Snider can be snarky and snide, but he’s also witty, observant and even poignant. He released two albums in 2012. “Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables” is a set of his own originals that The New York Times deems among his best work and calls “a genial catalog of working-class rage and revenge.” He also paid tribute to one of his inspirations with “Time As We Know It: The Songs of Jerry Jeff Walker.” Jack Ingram, who was originally on the bill for this show, has been replaced by Elizabeth Cook.
8:30 p.m. today. Variety Playhouse. $22.50. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

SATURDAY
Montana Skies

Guitar and cello duo blends chamber music, world music and rock. Husband-and-wife team Jonathan and Jennifer Adams met as students at the University of Georgia. They’ve just made the compilation …

Continue reading Concerts: Todd Snider, Guster, Montana Skies »

Tickets: Sarah Brightman rescheduled

eecal1113.sarahSarah Brightman has postponed her 2013 tour, including a date at the Fox Theatre, which has been rescheduled for Oct. 9.

RESCHEDULED

Sarah Brightman. 8 p.m. Oct. 9.  Fox Theatre. $104-$255. LN.

UPCOMING SHOWS

Todd Snider, Elizabeth Cook. 8:30 p.m. Jan. 4. Variety Playhouse. $22.50; $20 in advance. TM.

Escape Vehicle. Jan. 5. Smith’s Olde Bar – Music Room. $10 in advance. TA.

Angela Reign. Jan. 5. Smith’s Olde Bar – Atlanta Room. $10 in advance. TA.

Guster presents A Night Of Acoustic Music featuring The Guster String Players. 8 p.m. Jan. 10; 8:30 p.m. Jan. 11. Variety Playhouse. $27.50; $25 in advance. TM.

Rebirth Brass Band. Jan. 11-12. Smith’s Olde Bar – Music Room. $20 in advance. TA.

Brian Regan. 7 p.m. Jan. 12. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. $47.50- $63. TM.

Emeli Sande. Tickets from previously scheduled date will be honored. 8:30 p.m. Jan. 12. Variety Playhouse. $17.50; $15 in advance. TM.

The Machine Performs Pink Floyd. 8 p.m. Jan. 13. Variety Playhouse . $22.50; …

Continue reading Tickets: Sarah Brightman rescheduled »

David Chase tries a new beat with ‘Not Fade Away’

David Chase (right) consults with James Gandolfini and John Magaro on the set of "Not Fade Away."

David Chase (right) consults with James Gandolfini and John Magaro on the set of "Not Fade Away."

David Chase will forever be linked with “The Sopranos,” a show so robust with an ending so unconventional, it will undoubtedly live on among TVs greatest.

But now Chase is turning his Italian-American roots to a movie – his first — about music. Specifically, a young New Jersey-ite (Douglas, played by relative newcomer John Magaro) who aspires to rock ‘n’ roll greatness, much to the extreme disapproval of his traditional bear of a father (played by head Soprano himself, James Gandolfini).

The Chase written-and-directed “Not Fade Away,” opening in Atlanta Jan. 4 is set in the 1960s, when kids still hung out in record stores and The Rolling Stones (a Chase favorite) influenced more than one teen to tune a guitar (or, in Douglas’ case, take up the drums).

It’s not autobiographical, but Chase, who worked on the music with E Street Band legend – and former “Sopranos” henchman – Steven …

Continue reading David Chase tries a new beat with ‘Not Fade Away’ »

Friday Riffs: Our Top 10 favorite songs of 2012

If we’re heading toward the end of the year, it must mean it’s time for another list!

Last Friday I asked you to tell me what your favorite songs were for 2012. The responses were scattershot, from Frank Ocean’s “Lost” to Josh Groban’s “Brave” to Green Day’s “Let Yourself Go.” Even Paul McCartney’s “My Valentine” got a mention.

My rundown could have also included The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey,” Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven,” Kendrick Lamar’s “Swimming Pool (Drank),” The Wanted’s “Glad You Came,” Ocean’s “Thinkin’ Bout You,” and The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two” – but that would start an out-of-control list, so here is my self-imposed limit of 10.

If you didn’t get a chance to weigh in then, now is your chance to share your picks of the year.

10. Matchbox Twenty, “She’s So Mean”: Mock if you will, but this comeback song from the ‘90s hitmakers highlighted Rob Thomas’ knack for crafting goofy-fun lyrics wrapped in a cotton candy melody. Pat Monahan, take note.

9. B.o.B., “So …

Continue reading Friday Riffs: Our Top 10 favorite songs of 2012 »

Concerts: Dec. 28-31

NOLA Suspects 5x8 by Jeffrey DupuisThe New Orleans Suspects — from left, CR Gruver, Jeff Watkins, Reggie Scanlan, Jake Eckert and Mean Willie Green — will play Smith’s Olde Bar on New Year’s Eve. Photo: Jeffrey Dupuis

FRIDAY
JJ Grey & Mofro
Grey’s evocative songs about the vanishing landscape of his home state of Florida and its hearty backwoods denizens are buoyed by his band’s deeply funky execution. His music is still as down-home and tasty as a mess of collard greens and fried catfish. You’ll have a hard time finding a set of muscular swamp funk this soulful, proud and unrepentantly Southern.
8:30 p.m. Dec. 28. $27.50; $25 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

FRIDAY-MONDAY

Umphrey’s McGee
Among the post-Dead jam-rockers, popular Chicago outfit Umphrey’s McGee is more accomplished — and more varied — than most. “Miami Virtue,” the lead track on the band’s latest album, “Death by Stereo,” even recalls ’80s synth pop. “Domino Theory” rides on a big, crunchy guitar riff. …

Continue reading Concerts: Dec. 28-31 »

Which Atlanta concerts made the Top 10 list for 2012?

Even though I’m lucky enough to see dozens of concerts every year – probably about 60 in 2012 if my admittedly shaky math is correct – there are always those few that have me clenching my fists in regret at the end of the year.

How I would have loved to have seen Alabama Shakes at The Masquerade in September. Or the Psychedelic Furs at either of their two Atlanta shows in 2012. Or Jack White at the Fox in October.

But, because of a conflict in concert scheduling (hey, seeing Alanis Morissette at the Tabernacle instead of the Furs at Variety Playhouse in October was a worthwhile choice, despite my initial laments), a conflict in personal scheduling (sorry, Jack, but a trip to Italy took precedence over seeing you) or basic exhaustion (yes, going to five concerts a week might sound dreamy on paper to some of you, but trust me, it gets harder as the years roll on), I wasn’t able to experience every show I’d hoped to see.

But of those many I did take in, here is my Top 10 picks …

Continue reading Which Atlanta concerts made the Top 10 list for 2012? »

From Bruce Springsteen to Tony Bennett, musicians hit the literary trail

Something must have flittered through the cosmos last year, prompting anyone who ever picked up an instrument to write – or contribute to – their life story, with all of them releasing the results this fall.

For awhile, rock fans could only natter on about the Keith Richards autobiography, but in the past four months, artists ranging from classic pop stars (Tony Bennett) to ‘80s favorites (Cyndi Lauper, John Taylor of Duran Duran) to rock ‘n’ roll behemoths (Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend) have delved into self-exploration.

Here are some selections.

“Bruce” (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, $28) by Peter Ames Carlin

The notoriously private Springsteen lends enough of his voice to Carlin’s biography to enhance its credibility. Exhaustive research and interviews with band members – including Clarence Clemons last year, shortly before his death – portray a boss who could be both cold-hearted (Max Weinberg still hasn’t gotten over Springsteen harshly axing the E Street Band from …

Continue reading From Bruce Springsteen to Tony Bennett, musicians hit the literary trail »

‘Gangnam Style’ hits record-setting 1 billion YouTube views

So Psy’s video for “Gangnam Style” reaches 1 billion views on YouTube/Vevo on the same day the world is supposed to end.

Coincidence?

The Korean pop star is the first artist with a video to hit a billion views on YouTube, surpassing his last record-setting move of unseating Justin Bieber’s “Baby” as the most-viewed clip on the site. He reached the milestone exactly five months to the day of the video hitting YouTube.

Psy’s manager Scooter Braun (he of Atlanta and discovering-Bieber fame), said in a statement, “We just set out to try and make some history, break down barriers, and prove a song in Korean could go all the way. This is a remarkable accomplishment and a testament to music being the universal language.”

Psy promises a big 2013. And in case you are the one person who hasn’t seen the clip, here it is:

Continue reading ‘Gangnam Style’ hits record-setting 1 billion YouTube views »

Where to find the blues in Atlanta

Photo: AJC

Photo: AJC

Looking for some blues this holiday season? My music-lovin’ buddy and colleague Bo Emerson has done some scouting around to find out some of the best blues joints in the Atlanta area.

Check out Bo’s guide to top Atlanta blues clubs.

Continue reading Where to find the blues in Atlanta »