Star Wars Parody Wicket Enters Last Weekend at Dad’s Garage

Dad’s Garage And Theater Company has long set a standard for the performing arts in Atlanta by being the only theater company that features Improvisational Theater and Scripted Theater every weekend.  While the improv shows always bring an unexpected element of comedy, the scripted Shows at Dad’s Garage have always been a personal favorite of this author.  The local theater and nerd scenes have been a buzz with talk about about WICKET: A PARODY MUSICAL, which closes this weekend.

Allow the words from Dad’s Garage to explain to explain this play to you:

During earlier performances, members of the 501st Legion attended to provide faux-security dressed as Storm Troopers.  The way the play has been embraced by the Star Wars community says so much about its geek bona fides, but is it is funny.
It is, wicketly funny, if you forgive the pun.  Directed by Rick Lombardo, with book and lyrics by Travis Sharp and Haddon Kime, the play stars Karen Cassady, Jayme Alilaw, Rickey Boynton, Alyssa Egelhoff, Alice Garriga, Eliana Marianes, Joseph Ndoum, and Googie Uterhardt.
The show is not for the young, as there is adult humor sprinkled in.

 Tickets

All tickets start at the listed price point, but are subject to change with inventory.
Buy Tickets
Thursday @ 8pm: 
Just Seats: $20.50 online, $22.50 phone & door
Delta First Class Seats: $27.50 online, $29.50 phone, not available at door
Friday @ 8pm: 
Just Seats: $23.50 online, $25.50 phone & door
Delta First Class Seats: $30.50 online, $32.50 phone, not available at door
Saturday @ 8pm: 
Just Seats: $25.50 online, $27.50 phone & door
Delta First Class Seats: $32.50 online, $34.50 phone, not available at door
 Find out More about Dad’s Theater Company:
If maybe Star Wars Musical Parody is not your jam, remember that Dad’s has several improv shows each weekend, and some more traditional scripted comedy shows coming up this year.

Katie’s Top 14 albums of 2014

The year 2014 set standards and yet broke boundaries in the world of music that put the US into a music loving tizzy. Taylor Swift brought back the appreciation of an album to hold and Beyonce took another approach to music marketing. There were different sides of music that were explored; new characters of the music world were developed; and albums were dropped that were nothing ever heard before. There were so many new albums to choose from, so making this list of the top 14 albums of 2014 was very hard.

1. BeckMorning Phase

I will be honest, I did not like this album the first time I listened to it. Why? Because I was hoping and praying for something similar to Guero, which is one of my favorite albums of all time. But this is something that shows Beck’s musical longevity. Musicians should be able to evolve, and explore other ends of the artistic spectrum with their gifts. Beck is also the artist that I would love to have a cup of coffee with and a long conversation. He’s the one person that I’d love to pick his brain.

2. Future IslandsSingles

My goodness, this band is one of the most energetic bands I have seen…on TV at least. I hope I can see them play when they come to Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse Feb. 26, 2015. But at first when I heard “Seasons (Waiting on You)” I thought this was straight from the 80s. Then coming to realize that this album was from this year, it made me curious. These songs are lyrically beautiful, and are played wonderfully. And the songs unleash the listener’s imaginations like no other.

3. HospitalityTrouble

I was turned on to this album by a coworker. I didn’t know much about Hospitality, but I could relate to the dreaminess in their music. It’s an atmosphere that takes people back to a nostalgic time. This is daydreaming music to me. Or road tripping music. Really, any kind of occasion music.

4. Röyksopp and Robyn – Do it Again

This was the duet album that led all other duet albums. This is not something like Faith and Tim, y’all. This is an album that you can dance, run, relax and even sleep to (I have before, don’t judge). It is, to me, a very classic album, and it will be remembered for a long time.

5. Porter RobinsonWorlds

This is an EDM prodigy. And I say this strongly because the “young DJ” trend started with him and Martin Garrix. Personally, I would see Porter Robinson over Garrix any day of the week. Garrix is just nice to look at in my opinion. But back to Robinson; he really showed a greater appreciation for electronic music that grazes the atmospheric realm. It’s ambient, yet strong, which is something that not a lot of people can grasp. At least not a lot of people his age.

6. The Hunger Games – Mockingjay: Part 1 Soundtrack

Lorde curated this album, repeat. LORDE. CURATED. THIS. ALBUM. Which means that the anti-pop movement runs rampant in this album. One of my favorite tracks in this album is by CHVRCHES, “Dead Air.” It plays out as an upbeat yet intense track, but it still has the signature beat that the group holds dear. Lorde also drops “Yellow Flicker Beat,” which brings out the darkness in the film. And the film is pretty dark, if you ask me.

7. Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues

I started listening to Against Me! after my crush gave me their CD As The Urban Cowboy one summer. And it was history after that! I’ve followed Against Me! through the years, and when the announcement of the lead singer’s sex change was causing controversy, I didn’t see what the big deal was. She’s an artist, she can do what she wants. The transition didn’t change their music, but it changed their dynamic into something stronger. There’s a deeper meaning to their music, but there will always be fast drums and hard guitar riffs.

8. FKA TwigsLP1

The next genre that is getting the electronic makeover is R&B. And this is a very difficult genre because there’s a fine line between something rhythmic that keeps the R&B soul, and atmospheric. FKA Twigs is constantly straddling that line, but her lyrics still show that all of her emotions are on the track, and probably all over the studio floor. It’s an album with a lot of integrity.

9. Alt-JThis Is All Yours

There’s a funny story that I was told about a song from this album. “Left Hand Free” was a response to Alt-J’s record label’s request for the band to be more “poppy.” Truthfully, Alt-J made it quite okay for alternative music to straddle the line between rock and atmospheric. There is nothing wrong with their sound! So “Left Hand Free” sounds like them, at least they sound like that to me. There’s also “Hunger on the Pine,” where they sampled Miley Cyrus, which made me like her even more.

10. Foo FightersSonic Highways

This is not a sell-out album. In fact, this is an album that really walks us into the lives of Foo Fighters as they are recording this actual album. Foo Fighters launched an HBO series that followed the recording of their album, showing different songs in different cities. This struck an amazing chord with me because 1) Dave Grohl is everything that I want in a man; 2) they were able to capture each cities’ eclectic music cultures; and 3) who does this for an album!? This is so cool!

11. La RouxTrouble in Paradise

La Roux is in a league all her own. There’s no other artist like her, or has the ability to partner a “choir boy” voice with sleek electronic sound. It makes a very different sound that’s enjoyable above all else. Trouble in Paradise showcases an 80s feel, from the album cover to the melodies. It makes me want to get acquainted with Miami Vice #MillenialHistoryLesson.

12. BanksGoddess

Like Lorde, Banks is amongst the ladies in music that are becoming the “anti-pop star.”  Banks had a slightly different trait in her music that set her apart from Lorde and other songstresses. That trait? Her music is much, much darker lyrically. Perfect example in her track “Goddess”: “You never got this / You put her down, you liked her hopeless / To walk around, feeling unnoticed.” That darker shadow in her music is ballsy, and it helps people really grasp their darker sides. Not to mention her voice is like velvet.

13. SpoonThey Want My Soul

Spoon’s most recent album wasn’t a push for a comeback, or even a step towards a “younger sound.” It was, in fact, a continuation of their signature step worthy music. I always can recognize Spoon by the lead singer’s voice, call me crazy, but I think his voice is so distinctive, and it cannot be copied. The raspiness lives on in their 2014 album, making it an immediate favorite.

14. Jack WhiteLazaretto

2014 was the year for Jack White, among other artists. We have learned so much about this man in one year, and it showed in his music, and his business Third Man Records. White has the opportunity to become a part of music history as he continues to preserve music history, and paying homage to old style rock, bluegrass, and folk. As a lot of musicians are moving forward towards more modern approaches to the art, White plants his feet right where he is, keeping the old style alive.

Honorable Mentions: Sia1000 Forms of Fear; The Black KeysTurn Blue; and WeezerEverything Will Be Alright In The End

Fleetwood Mac at Phillips Arena Dec. 17

Photos by Chuck Holloway

Even an hour before the doors were scheduled to open, Atlanta’s massive Phillips Arena was already packed. Women in top hats and scarves were everywhere, members of the Stevie Nicks coven. A huge crowd surrounded the merch table, eagerly forking over $45-$50 for a single T-shirt. Any crowd this large is going to be loud, hundreds of people chattering at once, but there was a distinct buzz in this mob. Excitement, anticipation.

One gets only a few opportunities to see legendary bands, especially bands with members pushing seventy and known for internal strife. That’s why Fleetwood Mac’s “On With the Show” tour sold out Phillips Arena. Everyone wanted to see the classic lineup of Mick, Lindsey, Stevie, John and Christine, the lineup responsible for Rumors and Tusk, at least once.

The show was supposed to start at 8 p.m., but most of those in attendance didn’t find their seat and settle down until just before 8:30 p.m. when the lights finally started to dim. Nicks’ phoned-in performance of “Rhiannon” on last year’s season of “American Horror Story” may have left some fans apprehensive about the concert, and it’s even more surprising that Nicks gave a big shout out to the television show onstage considering her lackluster appearance. But any misgivings were quickly put to bed once the music started.

The excitement of Christine McVie’s return filtered into the stage performance and the entire band brought its A-game. Fleetwood Mac ran through all of its most popular songs, adding the Christine-centric numbers like “Songbird” and “Little Lies” back to its repertoire. Nicks’ Wonder Woman spin may have slowed a little over the years and her vocal register is a little lower now, but her voice has only grown huskier and bluesier. On signature songs like “Landslide,” she didn’t hesitate to go big. Even more impressive is the ferocity with which Mick Fleetwood still attacks his drums. The stubby white ends of his drumsticks looked more like mallets from the stage as the man hammered his kit mercilessly. Even in the cheap seats, every hit could be felt in the gut. Lindsey Buckingham only ever left the stage once during the two-plus hour show and his hands were blurs during his frenzied “Big Love” performance.

The stage setup was impressive. A massive video screen dominated the back of the stage and the lighting rig included three smaller video screens that could be individually lowered. These screens added an extra dimension to the stage, projected out toward the audience and occasionally dropped so low that they hung just above the heads of the band members, bathing them in light. The backing musician had their own little raised platform toward the back of the stage, causing them to be silhouetted against the video display.

Buckingham and Nicks were fond of introducing songs with little stories about themselves and/or the song. These introductions were interesting, though often digressive. During one such story by Nicks late in the show, the impish Fleetwood pranced up behind her wearing a shawl with bright red boots and top hat. He spun around in circles and pantomimed behind her. “I can get away with it,” he said. “She knows I love her.”

The “On With the Show” tour is a love letter to the fans. From content to quality, the show felt tailor made to please the audience. This is a rare chance to see an eminent band deliver an outstanding performance. It is absolutely a must see concert. New dates have recently been announced and Fleetwood Mac will be returning to Phillips Arena on March 25. Get tickets while you still can.

Gallery – Fleetwood Mac at The Phillips Arena 2014

Photos by Chuck Holloway

Mick Fleetwood talks ‘Reflections’ in Roswell, Ga. Dec. 16

12-16-14 Mick Fleetwood Reflections Photo Exhibit @ Ann Jackson 038 tag

Photos by Danielle Boise

“I’ve always taken pictures.” Mick Fleetwood

Mick Fleetwood, founding member of Fleetwood Mac, shared his thoughts and perspective on his way of making art as he attended his Reflections photo exhibit at Ann Jackson Gallery in Roswell, Ga., on Tuesday, Dec. 16, the day before Fleetwood Mac’s sold out show at Philips Arena in Atlanta, to an eager crowd of art and musical aficionados.

Fleetwood spoke about making art through still frames. Even feeling under the weather, with a fever of 103, Fleetwood was charming, comical and charismatic as he discussed his philosophy behind his photographic eye.

“This is all personal work. I don’t paint, so I try the best I can to make a balanced piece of art,” Fleetwood said as he exclaimed to the 200 plus in attendance at the gallery’s event.

Reflections is a deeply personal project of Fleetwood’s, as it focuses on the life that he has made for himself and his family in Hawaii, primarily still life and landscape photography; which suit who he is and where he is at technically with his skillset. Fleetwood spoke of how his type of still life photography is very different in retrospect to live, action shots of athletics or even events like race car driving. His work is “technically” still life, but there is movement and energy captured in each piece. “This takes time to do it, to set up,” he said to the crowd, which allows for moments of reflection. Fleetwood spoke genially of his father’s insistence of capturing everything on film, that moments mattered and needed to be preserved. “I encourage people to take pictures.”

What I found most interesting on Fleetwood’s point of view on the creation of art is that art can be created in a vacuum, a vortex so to speak, but art is more than just doing something nice and creative. It needs to be fostered in an open exchange with the encouragement of feedback. And that is exactly what Fleetwood is doing, sending his art out into the world and enjoying giving something back while taking the responsibility for it.

Mick Fleetwood’s Reflections photo exhibit will run through Sunday, Dec. 21 at Ann Jackson Gallery in Roswell, Ga.

Photo Gallery of Mick Fleetwood’s Reflections Photo Exhibit

CD Review: ‘Death is Not Dead’ by The Crown

Sweden’s The Crown is back with its first album in five years. Death is Not Dead retains the band’s primitive ferocity and love for speed. Album opener “Reign” is a brooding instrumental that serves as a sign of the madness to ensue. The next track, “Headhunter,” also serves as the album’s first single. It is a dynamic strike to the jugular showing that the band’s absence has not dulled it in the slightest. The Crown emphasizes brutality over finesse, a signature that distinguishes the group from its contemporaries. The track really takes off at the 3 minute as the riffs shriek like a bat out of Hell.

The classically tinged “Iblis Bane” picks up where “Headhunter” left off. It is a blistering thrash track with intricate Baroque inspired riffs reminiscent of At The Gates. Guitarists Marko Tervonen and Robin Sorqvist throw out some solid leads over the frantic drumming of newcomer Henrik Axelsson. The unholy march of “Eternal” is a riveting mid-paced stomp that evokes a sense of melancholy triumph. Of course, The Crown cannot slow things down for long and “Speed Kills (Full Moon Ahead)” is another blitzkrieg of riffs and percussion. The grinding “Herd of Swine” rolls like a machine herding pigs to their fate. The mechanical drumming heightens the ominous mood of the track while the guitars plod along. The album closer “Godeater” sounds like a god consuming ultra-deity from which nothing can escape. It closes the album in barbarous fashion, giving the listener no to room to breathe.

Death is No Dead is a strong record in an era where several established bands have released stellar “comeback” albums. The production is clear and the songwriting strong. While some tracks are blocky, it is overlooked due to the band’s sincerity and passion. The Crown delivered the goods and speed never felt so good.

St. Vincent was the perfect segue for the Black Keys at Philips Arena on Dec. 11

A stellar performance by St. Vincent was the perfect segue for the Black Keys Dec. 11 at Philips Arena.

St. Vincent - Photo by Bonnie M. Moret

St. Vincent

St. Vincent - Photo by Bonnie M. Moret

St. Vincent

St. Vincent - Photo by Bonnie M. Moret

St. Vincent

St. Vincent - Photo by Bonnie M. Moret

St. Vincent

St. Vincent - Photo by Bonnie M. Moret

St. Vincent

St. Vincent - Photo by Bonnie M. Moret

St. Vincent

The Ohio-born, Nashville-based band played music from the new album, “Turn Blue,” which sees the Keys tapping into a Southern groove, exploratory guitar solos and intricately plotted, rubbery bass tones. Less toe-tappingly insistent than their previous releases, the record seemed to pull back from the band’s chart-busting guitar rock formula.

Dan Auerbach’s and Patrick Carney delivered songs from throughout their discography, stretching back to “Leavin’ Trunk,” from the 2002 debut album, “The Big Come Up.”

“Turn Blue” is the album that the band needed to make. It shows that Auerbach and Carney are more interested in following their creative muse than chasing the paper trail.

Although the music has changed — grown deeper, less predictable — the stage show really hasn’t over the years, except the band now utilizes two backing musicians, keyboardist John Wood and bassist/vocalist Richard Swift.

Dan Auerbach - Photography by Bonnie M. Moret

Dan Auerbach

Dan Auerbach - Photography by Bonnie M. Moret

Dan Auerbach

Dan Auerbach - Photography by Bonnie M. Moret

Dan Auerbach

Dan Auerbach - Photography by Bonnie M. Moret

Dan Auerbach

Dan Auerbach - Photography by Bonnie M. Moret

Dan Auerbach

Dan Auerbach - Photography by Bonnie M. Moret

Dan Auerbach

Dan Auerbach - Photography by Bonnie M. Moret

Dan Auerbach

Dan Auerbach - Photography by Bonnie M. Moret

Dan Auerbach

Dan Auerbach - Photography by Bonnie M. Moret

Dan Auerbach

Dan Auerbach - Photography by Bonnie M. Moret

Dan Auerbach

Dan Auerbach - Photography by Bonnie M. Moret

Dan Auerbach

Patrick Carney - Photography by Bonnie M. Moret

Patrick Carney

Patrick Carney - Photography by Bonnie M. Moret

Patrick Carney

Patrick Carney - Photography by Bonnie M. Moret

Patrick Carney

Patrick Carney - Photography by Bonnie M. Moret

Patrick Carney

Patrick Carney - Photography by Bonnie M. Moret

Patrick Carney

For more information about the Black Keys, www.theblackkeys.com.

Top heavy metal albums of 2014

As we close out 2014, we should look back on the metal albums that stood out these past 12 months. 2014 was the year of the comeback as several legendary bands released notable albums after considerably lengthy absences. This includes At the Gates, Behemoth, Entombed A.D. and Sanctuary. With one more year under our belt it is safe to say 2015 will definitely deliver the goods. Now without further ado a list of the best heavy metal albums of 2014.

 

1. Behemoth- The Satanist

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2. At the Gates – At War with Reality

AtTheGatesAtWarWithReality

 

3. Crowbar – Symmetry in Black

crowbarsymmetryinblackcd

 

4. Sanctuary – The Year the Sun Died

sanctuary

 

5. The Haunted – Exit Wounds

The-Haunted-Exit-Wounds

 

6. Prong – Ruining Lives

prongruiningcovernew

 

7. Entombed A.D. – Back to the Front

entombed-ad-back-to-the-front-2014

 

8. Septicflesh – Titan

titan500_zps09cf66c5

 

9. Judas Priest – Redeemer of Souls

Redeemer-of-souls-album-cover-art-1280

 

10. Vallenfyre – Splinters

Vallenfyre_Splinters

CD Review: ‘Everything Together’ by Aaron Wilhoft

Review by David Feltman

For a small independent recording, Aaron Wilhoft’s debut EP shows an impressive amount of production polish. The recordings are clean, clear and remarkably well layered. It’s not the kind of quality you’d typically expect from a DIY EP.

Everything Together tackles love, war and growing up in five quick songs. Wilhoft’s smooth, rapid-fire vocals are emphasized by steady, mid-tempo rhythms. The result is pure Americana with flashes of John Fogerty, Zac Brown, Steve Earle and Uncle Tupelo. It’s good stuff.

If there’s any problem, perhaps it’s that there’s too much polish. Any of the rough, rural, roots sound that you might expect from the influences listed above have been carefully rounded and smoothed. The Americana is there, but it gets filtered through a college rock sensibility. The flashes of guys like Fogerty and Earle come by way of, say, Ben Folds and Dave Matthews. This makes the album feel a little too neat and safe. For a debut EP, Everything Together shows a lot of promise and Aaron Wilhoft is an artist to watch. But hopefully he’ll let a little dirt in for the LP.

You can find out more about Aaron Wilhoft on Facebook and on his official website. You can the EP for sell on iTunes and CDBaby.

Live Review: Weezer at The Tabernacle in Atlanta

Review by Mary Ritch, Photos by Jenna Hughes

Weezer has gotten a lot of flack over the last 15 years for producing albums not as good as their first three. In fact, some fans even tried to pay them millions to break-up. But, like all bands who thrived in the 1990’s, it’s hard to stay relevant through the boom in “you know you lived in the 90s if” quizzes on websites like Buzzfeed.

For many, Weezer got them through those rough adolescence years. Rivers Cuomo and the gang know this while surprisingly staying in the spotlight over the years with promise that with each year their material would be different. Fortunately, the band’s latest effort, Everything Will Be Alright in The End (EWBAITE), is up to Weezer par. There are no collaborations with Lil Wayne (Weezy) and more importantly, there are glimpses of the old Weezer those who take those Buzzfeed quizzes will certainly enjoy. That said, like everything in life when it ages, there is also a lot of welcome change on EWBAITE to ensure that Cuomo isn’t bored, senile or going through a mid-life crisis.

Those in attendance witnessed this change at the sold out show at the Tabernacle in Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 6. The band did not have an opener. Instead, Cuomo came out in a very pricey looking blue cardigan and acoustic guitar and greeted the crowd awkwardly with the lights on and the rest of the band followed. With the lights on the entire time in front of a black curtain, Weezer played an incredibly fun stripped down acoustic set of their old hits. These hits included, “Buddy Holly,” “El Scorcho,” “Island in the Sun,” “The Good Life” and others that got the crowd singing along. This was the only time the audience in its entirety knew the words to the songs being played for them.

After the acoustic set, Cuomo and the band changed out of their cardigans into costumes similar to the ones worn in the music video for “Back to the Shack” and revealed the EWBAITE album logo on a giant tapestry was behind the black curtain the whole time. After the introduction, the band then thanked Radio 105.7 for sponsoring the show and allowing them to play their new album in its entirety for a sold out crowd which was the only time Cuomo interacted with the crowd.

For what the band lacked in crowd communication, they made up for in guitar shredding, balloons and confetti cannons. Considering the fact that many in the crowd didn’t do their homework and listen to the new album, the band incorporated televisions with lyrics of new songs so the crowd could sing along which was nice.

Although, it was a slight disappointment not to hear any of the Weezer hits from the 90s during their second set, not even during the finale (with the exception of playing “Surf Wax America” as the encore), the performance was refreshing and fun. It is apparent 42-year old Cuomo still has it in him to shell out a hit and deliver with that same energy he had 20 years ago. The band should stick with this creative path because they have finally triumphed with this album. Other highlights include the live renditions of “Cleopatra” (which had a Pinkerton feel to it), “Lonely Girl”, “The British are Coming” and “Da Vinci.”

Everything will be All Right in the End is available on iTunesAmazon and can be ordered through the Weezer’s website.

 

Weezer at The Tabernacle – December 2014 (photos by Jenna Hughes)

Concert Review: Electric Sons, Baby Baby, Cousin Dan

Creative Loafing hosted its 2014 Free Show at the Drunken Unicorn this past Friday, Dec. 5, and it was a night of bright lights and hilarity. The three acts brought their personal flair to the night. There really was not anything that put a damper to the night. Their homecoming was not only an homage to the beautiful city and women of Atlanta, but a huge thank you to Red Bull Sound Select, the people that sent them across the country.

Cousin Dan was the bringer of in between music. He is an act that has a flair similar to Moby, which pays homage to disc jockeys that would be considered ¨retro¨ to the many Millenials that graced the show last night. But to set himself apart, a lot of his music catered to the different tastes of the crowd, from recent pop to some older 2000s and 90s hits.

In between the Cousin sessions were Baby Baby and Electric Sons. Baby Baby is a hard hitting, rag tag bunch, and their performance went further than the tiny little stage at The Drunken Unicorn: literally. The first song they played, ¨Haters,¨ set the tone for their set, which would make any living soul dance and mosh, and Baby Baby will tell ‘ya. They went from their older tracks to some new tracks from Big Boy Baller Club, and finally finished off their set with ¨Fire!¨

¨This was our first show back in Atlanta after a long while,” rookie bassist Hsiang-Ming Wen noted when I stopped by to chat while he was at the merchandise table. ¨It really was great to come back to our friends in the audience, I really missed Atlanta after going all over the country.¨**

Electric Sons closed out the night with their show of dreamy pop rock and colorful lights. I have seen Electric Sons in the past, and they are a group that certainly does not disappoint. They did seem to be a little bummed when they had a few technical difficulties, thus only showcasing one new song instead of two. Nonetheless, the new song they did play was pretty awesome. Most of their music had a moderate tempo, but their newest track that they played had a quicker pace, making it very fun to bop around to. Their show makes me look forward to what their new EP has in store, lots of great potential!

All in all, the Free Show was a great success. Atlanta is a great hub of musicians of which their diversity is what sets us apart from our major city counterparts. There is no way to really describe ¨Atlanta’s music scene¨ but to experience it yourself.