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Celebrating Sir Elton’s 62nd With Fresh Spins

In honor of Sir Elton John’s 62nd birthday Wednesday, we opted to celebrate by assembling a new edition of EJ the DJ for Buzz readers.

So what exactly is EJ the DJ?

Well, whenever we have a conversation with the Peachtree Road resident, we ask John, arguably the world’s biggest music fan, to let us in on what he’s currently listening to.

We essentially snatched the idea from the pop star’s decades-long tradition of popping by radio stations here and across the pond to spin his favorite new artists.

As usual, John delivered a diverse batch of tunes and artists, a few of which can’t be instantly obtained in the U.S., even if a multitude of record shops still existed.

First up, Sir Elton is hooked on the single “Walking on a Dream” from Australia duo Empire of the Sun. The MGMT-esque pop pairing is a collaboration between The Sleepy Jackson’s Luke Steele and Pnau frontman Nick Littlemore. The single and remixes can currently be downloaded off iTunes. Empire’s full debut album is due stateside April 21.

“They’ve got a terrific sense of melody,” John told us. “I was just listening to it again this morning.”

Forever a supporter of live music, John — currently on tour with Billy Joel — won’t get to catch two of his current fave acts in Atlanta. He had to miss Grammy-winning phenom Adele’s St. Patrick’s Day gig at Variety Playhouse (he was an early supporter). He’s also working when singer-songwriter James Morrison gigs April 27 at The Loft in Midtown.

James Morrison      Credit: Ben Rose Photography

James Morrison Credit: Ben Rose Photography

The singer has been keeping a watch on Morrison’s latest single, “Broken Strings,” a duet with Nelly Furtado.

“It’s a brilliant song,” said John. “I just hope it does a bit better on the charts over here. I like him a lot.”

The biggest curve ball Sir Elton tossed us?

He’s loving “Hurricane,” the crazy good new Grace Jones album. The main problem? It’s not yet available on these shores or on iTunes for that matter. Amazon.com is stocking imported copies, however.

“It’s a shame more people in the U.S. haven’t heard it,” John said. “I love it, and [the song] ‘Williams’ Blood’ is [expletive] amazing. She sounds great. It’s a great return for her. You have to hear it!”

A Birthday Surprise

B98.5 FM’s Steve McCoy and Vikki Locke re-teamed with their former Star 94 sidekick Tom Sullivan Wednesday morning to deliver a surprise for their old friend. Highland Bakery sugar artist Karen Portaleo and her partner Stacey Eames pulled an all-nighter to create a one-of-a-kind birthday cake for Sir Elton in the image of Arthur, his prized cocker spaniel. And natch, Arthur is sporting pink specs.

Highland Bakery sugar artist Karen Portaleo with Sir Elton's cake.

Highland Bakery sugar artist Karen Portaleo with Sir Elton's birthday cake Wednesday morning.

Before dawn, Sullivan, Portaleo and Eames turned up outside the birthday boy’s Atlanta address and tried to talk their way inside to deliver the creative confection. Alas, the security agents on duty politely nixed the request but promised to deliver it later in the day. We’re told that the sugarless, flourless cake was made to John’s dietary specifications. Members of the singer’s Atlanta staff forwarded pictures of the cake to the touring pop star and are keeping the cake safe until his return to Atlanta.

The EARL goes Gourmet

East Atlanta live music venue The EARL is also getting props for its food via Gourmet magazine columnist Mia Clarke’s latest dispatch, “Eight Great Rock Venues With Great Food.” As it turns out, Clarke, the guitarist for the British rock band Electrelane, did her own research. The band gigged at The Earl in the fall of 2004.

Of the venue’s menu, Clarke writes: “Boiled peanuts? Mini corn dogs? A platter of deep-fried shrimp? If it’s Southern food you’re after, The Earl certainly cuts the mustard. And if you’re scouting for something a bit healthier, the extensive menu also includes grilled salmon salad and jerk tuna with fresh salsa. Afterward, you can head to the back room and check out a show at one of Atlanta’s best indie dives.”

Buzz’s fear? Hopefully, all this fancy talk doesn’t convince The EARL’s owner to raise its cover charge or those PBR prices. Still, we wouldn’t be upset if they ran a mop through those restrooms.

Celebrity Birthdays

Actor Leonard Nimoy is 78. Actor Alan Arkin is 75. Singer Diana Ross is 65. Singer Steven Tyler of Aerosmith is 61. Singer Teddy Pendergrass is 59. Actress Jennifer Grey is 49. Actor Michael Imperioli (”Life on Mars”) is 43. Country singer Kenny Chesney is 41. Actor T.R. Knight (”Grey’s Anatomy”) is 36. Actress Keira Knightley (”Pirates of the Caribbean”) is 24. Rapper J-Kwon is 23.

Have a tip for Buzz? E-mail it to us at buzz@ajc.com. Now follow Buzz updates on Twitter. Go to Twitter.com and search “PeachBuzz.”

3 comments Add your comment

elissa

March 28th, 2009
3:53 pm

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL OF YOU AND MAKE THE GOOD LORD BLESS YOU.

HAVE A GOOD ONE

elissa

March 28th, 2009
3:59 pm

Enter your comments here

LLPR

April 9th, 2009
3:07 pm

Actress Grace Baine also celebrating birthday April 11 along with another hometown girl Elle Fanning April 9 Dakota Fannings little sister
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1140761/