Friday, March 29, 2013

5 things to do: Killer Mike

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 7:00 AM

5 things to do in Atlanta today

1. Killer Mike, Yamin Semali, and Skewby at Terminal West

2. Cloudeater and RBTS Win at the Earl

3. Keltic Kudzu and Automatic Improv at Fabrefaction Theatre

4. Silk Wolf, Syl-O, Mindstem, and more at QUAD

5. Mercury Orkestar at SweetWater Brewery

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Behold! Yet another peek at the downtown streetcar

Posted By on Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Central Atlanta Progress today released another look at the streetcar that, starting next spring, will shuttle tourists, residents, students, and office drones along the 2.7-mile route between Centennial Olympic Park and the King Center. And judging from this photo, it's verrry tiny. Kidding, kidding. It's bigger than what's shown in the photo.

The sneak peek was unveiled at the downtown civic association's annual meeting held this morning at the Georgia World Congress Center. After showing the photo to the audience, a CAP spokeswoman tells CL, Mayor Kasim Reed told the crowd that he "wanted a first-class streetcar, one that James Bond would dive on."

We were tied up with wrapping up our annual look at the Georgia General Assembly's finest public servants and couldn't attend the fete. Maria Saporta has a good roundup and notes that the mayor received an Atlanta Falcons jersey from team owner Arthur Blank.

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Atlanta Ballet announces 2013-14 season

Posted By on Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 3:27 PM

THE PLAYS THE THING: The Atlanta Ballets 2013-14 season includes a production of Hamlet. Its just one show in a season thats full of story ballets and contemporary works.
  • Charlie McCullers/Atlanta Ballet
  • THE PLAY'S THE THING: The Atlanta Ballet's 2013-14 season includes a production of "Hamlet." It's one show in a season that's likewise full of story ballets based on theatrical works.
"The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king," Hamlet famously says. For the Atlanta Ballet, the play is certainly the thing for its 2013-14 season. The recently announced lineup is full of works, old and new, based on classic plays.

Tennessee Williams unusual play Camino Real will become a world premiere dance work by choreographer Helen Pickett in the Atlanta Ballets 2013-14 season.
  • Tennessee Williams' unusual play "Camino Real" will become a world premiere dance work by choreographer Helen Pickett in the Atlanta Ballet's 2013-14 season.
Perhaps most intriguing of all is the work that will end the season, a world premiere choreographed by the Atlanta Ballet's newest choreographer in residence, Helen Pickett. Pickett has chosen to create a dance version of Tennessee Williams' "Camino Real."

"Camino Real" was an unusual play for Williams, a work of magic realism in which iconic characters including Kilroy, Don Quixote, Casanova, Lord Byron, and Violetta from "La Traviata" wander through a surreal dead-end town somewhere in the Spanish-speaking world. The poetic work, which was written in 1953 just after the huge hit "A Streetcar Named Desire," was a commercial and critical failure at the time of its premiere. However, theaters have picked it up again from time to time, and it has more than its share of proponents, including this critic, who feel that it's actually one of Williams' best works, certainly among his most intriguing and inventive. Theatrical versions have been notoriously difficult to produce successfully, so we're already curious to see how it will fare as a dance work in May of 2014. The fact that it will be paired on a program with a world premiere by company dancer and choreographer Tara Lee makes it even better.

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First Slice 3/28/13: Atlanta Police crack down on street vendor epidemic

Posted By on Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Wells Fargo doesnt do the Harlem Shake, officially.

1. The Atlanta Police took early action this morning to crack down on street vendors in Five Points, Woodruff Park, and areas around Turner Field ahead of the upcoming Final Four tournament.

2. Wells Fargo has taken steps to distance itself from a Harlem Shake video filmed at one of its Buckhead locations, saying they did not authorize the use of the branch and that employees - if they were involved - participated on their own time. That's not nearly as interesting as Ace Hardware's reaction to that zombie video, though.

3. Could, should, would Georgia be the new Earth base for SpaceX missions to send supplies to the international space station? Quite possibly, maybe.

4. Housing crash? What housing crash?

5. In Colorado, a pot business cropping up could be an early sign of gentrification.

6. CL's own Thomas Wheatley has made the shortlist for Atlanta Press Club's 2012 Award of Excellence in journalism, which is pretty freakin' sweet. Show up on April 16 and make whooping noises with the rest of us.

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'Ginger and Rosa' comes of age in Ban-the-Bomb-era London

Posted By on Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 8:08 AM

SHE LOOKS 16 TO ME: Elle Fanning in Ginger and Rosa
  • Adventure Pictures
  • SHE LOOKS 16 TO ME: Elle Fanning in 'Ginger and Rosa'
Film director Sally Potter has an eye for pale redheads. Her 1992 breakthrough film Orlando cast a young, arresting Tilda Swinton as a gender-switching, centuries-spanning figure. Potter's latest, loosely autobiographical film, Ginger and Rosa, presents "Mad Men"'s Christina Hendricks and Super 8's Elle Fanning as a scarlet-tressed mother and daughter pair in 1962 London. The color scheme of ginger hair and pearly complexions gives both actresses the quality of anguished angels in Potter's raw, revealing close-ups.

Ginger and Rosa unfolds as arguably Potter's least avant-garde film to date as it dramatizes a turbulent period in the lives of the 16-year-old title characters. A lovely prologue provides their backstory in just a handful of images: their mothers holding hands while giving birth in a 1945 maternity ward; their fathers sitting in a dingy waiting room; the girls, as toddlers, holding hands on a swing set. As precocious teens, Ginger (Fanning) and Rosa (Alice Englert, daughter of filmmaker Jane Campion) skip school, hitchhike and have modest adventures, but personal and societal changes threaten their BFF status.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Gucci Mane allegedly assaults fan with a champagne bottle (Update)

Posted By on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 3:27 PM

As we briefly mentioned this morning, Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane turned himself in to Atlanta Police last night and was charged with aggravated assault.

The APD issued a warrant last Friday for the rapper, whose actual name is Radric Davis, after he allegedly struck a soldier over the head with a champagne bottle on March 16. This marks the hip-hop artist's 10th arrest since 2006.

Gucci Mane was off to a fast start this year before his latest run-in with the law. He had recently appeared in Harmony Korine's latest film, Spring Breakers, and released his first 2013 mixtape, Trap God 2, in February. The rapper also spoke to students during Crawford Long Middle School's career day last month - a decision that angered numerous parents in the Glenrose Heights neighborhood.

According to the APD's police report, James Lettley "attempted to make conversation" with Davis while inside the VIP section of Harlem Nights, a downtown club near Courtland Street and Andrew Young International Boulevard. Davis allegedly struck Lettley over the head with a champagne bottle and caused a "sever[e] laceration" to his head.

Lettley, who is a member of the military, told WSB-TV that he requested a photo with the hip-hop star through a security guard. He added that he was "shocked" by Gucci Mane's reaction.Lettley received 10 stitches for the wound at Grady Memorial Hospital.

The APD's report also said that there were no witnesses during the incident. Fulton County Jail records indicate that Gucci Mane stills remains in custody. According to the AJC, his first court appearance is set to take place this morning. We'll post an update as details emerge.

UPDATE, 3:24 p.m.: Gucci Mane was denied bond at his initial court appearance this morning. He will remain in prison at the very least until his next court date on April 10.

"Mr. Davis has a history, we're not going to skirt that issue, and that history made it difficult for him to get bond today," defense attorney Drew Findling said after the hearing.

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Congressman Phil Gingrey enters Georgia Senate race as a 'trusted conservative'

Posted By on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 1:32 PM

It's official: U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, has stepped into the 2014 Georgia Senate race.

The Cobb County Republican will face off against fellow U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Pit of Hell, and other future candidates over Sen. Saxby Chambliss' vacated seat. Let the race to the right begin!

Gingrey made the announcement to "faithfully serve" Georgians this morning in Augusta:

He also updated his Facebook page to reflect the news and will apparently be using the slogan "Trusted. Conservative." You read that right - he's using not just one, but two emphatic periods. He also wrote in a post this morning:

I was born and raised in Augusta. I came home today to announce my candidacy for U.S. Senate. It is here my folks instilled in me a strong faith in God, a reverence for family and an unbending respect for traditional, conservative Georgia values. Delivering 5,200 babies as a doctor, I came to realizations that forever called my heart to service for others. But still I felt called to do more. Georgians are frustrated with politics as usual. They are worried about their families and their children's futures. Barack Obama's tax-and-spend policies threaten our opportunity for a better life. But we are Georgians, we are Americans, and we are often at our finest when our back is to the proverbial wall. I will fight for lower taxes, less government intrusion into their lives, and for more opportunities to succeed. I will fight for conservative values. I know if we fight for our conservative principles, America's best days are ahead of us.

Gingrey, an OB-GYN doctor, has slowly backtracked from his comments in support of former Congressman Todd Akin, R-Mo., who asserted that "legitimate rape" is an actual thing. In January, the Georgia politician used his medical background to partially justify Akin's remarks. Despite those disconcerting remarks, he's still got a long way to go before he matches the epic crazy that Broun provides every time he steps near a microphone. Gingrey will make a second announcement regarding his Senate bid at Georgia Tech this afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

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Top Shelf Productions finds 'Nemo's' literary adventures

Posted By on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Among the literary mash-ups of the graphic novel Nemo: Heart of Ice, published by Marietta's Top Shelf Productions, one of the cleverest involves three former "boy inventors" turned adult mercenaries. At one point, "Swyfte," the most brash and ruthless of the threesome, brags about one of his weapons: "A day'll come when there ain't a law officer in the world who's not carrying my electric - "

Casual fans of pop culture will probably recognize a satirical version of Tom Swift, the technically ingenious star of multiple book series beginning in 1910. Heart of Ice author Alan Moore, in the latest installment of his League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series, packs references within references. The book takes place in 1925, but Swyfte's line anticipates the invention and population of the taser, a real-life anagram for "Thomas A. Swift Electric Rifle." (It's true!)

Nemo: Heart of Ice offers a throwback to the high adventure of the initial League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series, written by Moore and illustrated by Kevin O'Neill. First appearing in 1999 and helping to usher in the steampunk and neo-Victorian storytelling trends, the comic book envisioned a Justice League-style super-team drawn from Victorian and Edwardian literature. Gentlemen's first two volumes launched such familiar figures as Mr. Hyde and Captain Nemo into thrilling escapades, while the subsequent books became less accessible, focusing more on mysticism and increasingly obscure characters.

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First Slice: 3/27/13: Supreme Court justices weigh same-sex marriage case

Posted By on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 7:37 AM

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in a landmark case regarding same-sex marriage in California. Several justices have indicated their reluctance about ruling in a manner that would prompt sweeping constitutional changes. In addition, some legal experts and observers note that Georgia's law will likely remain in place for the foreseeable future no matter the federal court's decision.

President Barack Obama has appointed the nation's first-ever female Secret Service director.

A watchdog group gave Georgia a "C+" grade for its transparency practices - the same grade it received last year.

Several citizen environmental groups have alleged that Atlanta injected wastewater into deep tunnels without receiving the proper permits. They have threatened to file a lawsuit if the city fails to act.

Some shocking news: The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute says that the state budget isn't all that great.

Centennial Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph has gone on a hunger strike to protest what he considers unfair treatment behind bars. "He thinks it is punishment for his writings," his lawyer said about the prison's decision to move Rudolph into a loud part of a federal prison, where mentally unstable inmates are kept.

Gucci Mane finally turned himself in last night and was charged with aggravated assault with a weapon. The Atlanta Police had previously issued a warrant for the rapper (real name Radric Davis) after he allegedly struck a soldier over the head with a champagne bottle earlier this month. The hip-hop artist has been arrested 10 times since 2006.

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