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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

Archive for April, 2009

Zac Brown Band, Home Depot Bask In Awards Afterglow

On his way to a show in Augusta this week, burgeoning Atlanta country star Zac Brown seemed more enthused about being able to “spend some time with my babies” than his band’s first Academy of Country Music Awards win.

Maybe, in part, because the Zac Brown Band was crossing its fingers for the top new artist prize it was in the running for this past Sunday — and “Dancing With the Stars” hoofer/looker Julianne Hough won it. (The fan-generated ACM award the band did get – top new vocal duo or group – was announced last month).

But you get the sense that the road warrior, husband and father of 1- and 2-year-old girls – with another baby on the way – just knows to cherish his rare moments at home.

“The awards were a lot of fun,” Brown told us. “Definitely a learning experience about the industry. …But it was kind of nice to have some time to see my babies. I’ve been gone for three weeks. That was my celebrating.”

And there was more to celebrate than the ACM. …

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Atlantans Assist Chicago, Oprah in 2016 Olympic Bid

Chicago flew in some Atlanta Olympics experts as the Windy City prepares its own bid for the 2016

Oprah Winfrey outside the "City Night" event Monday night. Credit: Nicholas Wolaver.

Oprah Winfrey outside the "City Night" event Monday in Chicago. Credit: Nicholas Wolaver.

Games. Former Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games member Charlie Battle was among the notable Atlantans who flew in this week for a splashy party designed to woo members of the International Olympic Committee’s Evaluation Commission.

As Atlantans will recall, Battle, who currently serves as of counsel for the Atlanta law firm Miller & Martin, was ACOG’s managing director of international relations and worked with Atlanta business leaders, including Billy Payne and Andrew Young, to successfully snag the 1996 Summer Games.

Battle was among the 120 guests invited to Monday night’s ultra-VIP dinner at Chicago’s Renzo Piano-designed Modern Gallery of the Art Institute of Chicago. (The space, by the way, has more than a passing resemblance to the Piano-designed High Museum of Art …

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Marietta Goes To Dog, Zombies For Film Shoot

The parking lots of Maple Avenue United Methodist Church and First Presbyterian Church of Marietta in Cobb County were packed Monday morning. And no, it wasn’t Easter early arrivals either.

Try zombies.

More specifically, the filming of “Zombieland,” a horror-comedy flick starring Woody Harrelson and Abigail Breslin.

A scout for the flick stopped by the historic Kennesaw Avenue home of Mamie and Michael Hodnett a few months ago and liked what he saw. The crew arrived around 7 a.m. Monday, after setting up for a couple of days. Several scenes were shot at the Hodnett home, which is located right on the train track, and in the Methodist church parking lot across the street. Mercifully, trains did not thunder by during shooting.

The big news is the movie’s furry little co-star. AJC readers will recall that Breslin recently adopted a sweet Australian shepherd mix named Ellie, who was rescued along with four siblings from a Bartow County animal shelter.

Well, Ellie was …

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Grammy-winner Nesby Brings New Sound to Stonecrest

Two-time Grammy winner Ann Nesby brought a little Sunday morning to the Mall at Stonecrest in Lithonia Saturday afternoon.

Ann Nesby performing Saturday at the Mall at Stonecrest. Credit: Justin Juz Cooper.

Ann Nesby performing Saturday at the Mall at Stonecrest. Credit: Justin Juz Cooper.

The Fayetteville resident and former Sounds of Blackness vocalist was testifying via the inspirational songs on her brand-new album, “The Lula Lee Project.” The album that hit stores and iTunes Tuesday serves as a soulful salve for Nesby’s legion of fans, many of whom are enduring trying times.

The album’s reassuring tracks, like the first single, “I Found a Place” and  ”Sky is the Limit,” “Praises (Go Up),” “I Trust You Lord” and “Pressure Makes Diamonds,” (most of which were co-written by Nesby), cover a lot of territory thematically from homelessness to babies having babies, and yes, paying those ever-looming bills.

Ironically, “Lula Lee” was conceived before the bottom dropped out of the economy last year.

“We knew these songs and these lyrics could minister to …

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An Emotional Evening With 11Alive Community Awardees

Atlanta Brave Tom Glavine flew in from a pitchers’ mound in Florida. Home Depot co-founder and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank raced back from an out-of-state speaking engagement in order to be there.

The occasion: The 34th annual 11 Alive Community Service Awards dinner and program taping shot at the Marriott Marquis downtown this week.

The four and a half hour evening honored 11 inspiring Atlantans who give back to their communities. And while Glavine and Blank were perhaps the best known honorees, the beautifully produced video packages dedicated to some of the evening’s other awardees prompted more than a few attendees to dab at their eyes with Kleenex.

John and Jeanette Murphy, for example, were honored for creating a family with 27 adopted children with Down Syndrome and other physical and mental disabilities. Eslene Richmond-Shockley, founded Caring For Others, Inc. a non-profit food and clothing charity for families in need. Retired Brigadier General Russell …

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Miley Cyrus’ Next ‘Song’ Georgia-bound?

Thanks to loose-lipped North Carolina governor Beverly Perdue, Atlanta film fans were doing plenty of speculating Thursday about the next Miley Cyrus feature film project.

According to a story filed Thursday by the Associated Press, Perdue scheduled and then hastily scuttled a press conference this week. Apparently, she was to announce that the Disney tween actress’ next film project, “The Last Song,” based on a script by Nicholas Sparks, would be shot in her state.

But hold on.

The Georgia Film Commission is also said to be in negotiations for the project.

Conceded Perdue to the Star-News of Wilmington:

“I was hopeful to say that it was coming and now I don’t know that I’ll get to say that. Nobody knows what’s going to happen. … I don’t know what figures they got from Georgia, but Georgia wants them badly, and we want them badly. And by Monday, there’ll be four or five other states that want them badly.”

With current economic conditions, the film work would translate into …

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A Thriller Appearance To Benefit GA Innocence Mission

Fans of author John Grisham will have a rare opportunity to meet the master of the modern legal thriller April 7 at Pace Academy Fine Arts Center in Buckhead.

What’s more, readers will be supporting the work of the Georgia Innocence Project and Eagle Eye Book Shop, an independent book shop in Decatur.

Grisham will be in town discussing his latest novel, “The Associate.”

All ticket sales will serve as tax-deductible donations to the Georgia Innocence Project. General admission tickets are $50, $30 for students and, for $250, you also score admission to a VIP party with Grisham and Calvin C. Johnson Jr., the first Georgia man ever exonerated by DNA evidence.

Not only will Johnson be on hand to speak (he celebrates his 10th year of freedom this June), but he was the guy who got Grisham to agree to the rare appearance/fund-raiser. They know each other, you see.

As most fervent Grisham followers know, his only foray into non-fiction was 2006’s “The Innocent Man,” based on the Ron …

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