Sydney Rhame Just Took the Last Open Slot in “The Voice” Blind Auditions

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Decatur’s Sydney Rhame just closed out the last episode of “The Voice” blind auditions by capturing the last open slot on Pharrell Williams’ team.

And if you happened to miss it, you can watch it below!!

Congrats Sydney!!

“There’s a Chance” Smith’s Olde Bar Could Move to Decatur

smiths olde bar

An article in the AJC today reports that Smith’s Olde Bar was granted a lease extension through the end of the year, after owner Dan Nolen was able to renegotiate with the current landlord of its Morningside location before it was put on the auction block on August 28th.

That’s good news for the iconic Atlanta music venue for the time being and Nolen is clear that he hopes to stay at the original location for years to come. But if things don’t work out, there’s also a little something in the article to get Smith’s fans who live around Decatur a bit excited, albeit a bit prematurely.  Bolding is mine…

“There are some new developments in town that have approached us about if we leave, they’d love to have Smith’s. There’s a chance we’d go to Decatur. But that’s all speculation,” Nolen said. “Moving Smith’s would be like moving the Alamo! I’ve got a third of my life invested here. People have met their spouses here. We’ve helped bands achieve superstardom here. It would be very hard to take what we’ve got and duplicate it. But I don’t anticipate that being the case.”

Any thoughts on where Smith’s could set up shop around these parts?

Photo courtesy of Google Streetview

Mead Road Mardi Gras Makes Its Way Through Oakhurst This Saturday

Mead Rd. Mardi Gras#1

Emily sends along info for this Saturday’s Mead Road Mardi Gras.  She notes, “Oakhurst has quietly established its own Mardi Gras tradition for the past 10 years.”

Folks who’d like to participate should “grab your beads, decorate your bike, scooter or soap box derby car and come second line as we bring a little bit of Carnival to Decatur.”  Proceeds from food and beer sales at The Imperial after the parade will be donated to support the Decatur Education Foundation music grants.

Here are a few more pertinent details.

Saturday February 7th is the date!  The fun begins at Fifth Avenue 4/5 Elementary on Oakview Road @ at 1pm.   There will be face painting and float decorating and general merrymaking.  Beads will be provided and costuming is encouraged!

The parade steps off at 2pm and we’ll march up Oakview to Mead Road then on to The Imperial, at the corner of Mead and West College.

The Imperial will feature a special menu of red beans and rice, chicken and sausage gumbo and jambalaya.  Proceeds from food and beer sales will be donated to support Decatur Education Foundation music grants for the Decatur City Schools.

More photos from previous year’s parades courtesy of Emily after the jump!

Continue reading “Mead Road Mardi Gras Makes Its Way Through Oakhurst This Saturday”

That Loud, Elusive Neighbor Friday Night was the 420 Fest

In case anyone didn’t catch this in FFAF over the weekend, there was a rather funny phenomenon taking place all over Decatur on Friday night, with many residents asking themselves and their relations, “What is that music playing one street over?!  Really the nerve of some people!”  Here’s a taste of the comments made here…

“we were convinced it was a neighbor a street over having a party.”, said Nubbs.

“Could have sworn it was coming from 3rd. But it was definitely a band and it was loud.” said Oakhurstmama.

“We are way up in NW Decatur and my daughter couldn’t fall asleep because of the noise.” lamented AHID.

“we are on melrose and it was sound loud we assumed it was someone on parkwood having a big party.”

“Live near thinking man tavern and it could be heard inside our house.”

So what was this phantom party that could be heard all over Decatur, but even “the police were saying that they were having difficulty finding the source.”?

As it turns out, it was mostly likely George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic playing all the way over in Candler Park at the 420 Fest!  It sure is crazy how far sound can travel given the right conditions and the decibel level!

Eddie Owen is Out at Eddie’s Attic

I was trying to give the parties involved time to respond, but it looks like the word is out.   Eddie Owen announced via Facebook this morning that he was let go from Eddie’s Attic on Friday.

Owen had returned to the Attic last November, after a brief departure.

Note: Eddie’s Attic is a DM sponsor

A Tuesday Tour of Tunes

Eddie’s Attic put Decatur on the map in terms of the national folk/acoustic music scene. I adore Eddie’s and I consider myself spoiled by the quality of shows there — I’ve been known to slip out of the house and up to Eddie’s on a Wednesday night to sit in a corner in the back with a beer, enjoy the heck out of a show, and be home by 9:45. I’m excited to see what the new owners might do with the space, and I am thrilled that Eddie Owen’s renewed involvement will ensure that the Attic will continue to honor the purpose it has served in support of national touring artists.

There is little room on its busy stage, however, for the many accomplished musicians we have homegrown right here. When I was an Agnes Scott student, Eddie was still a bartender at the Trackside, where I would go to hear the likes of local artists such as the Indigo Girls, Kristin Hall, and Michelle Malone. I loved it there, and I also loved going across the street to the Freight Room to hear folks like Cyndi Craven and Tom Wolf, two Atlanta acoustic mainstays who still perform in the area.

Those days are long gone, but still there is something about Decatur that wants to clear a space for the incredible muslcal talent that’s being cultivated right here at home. We are crawling with great music. It’s just a little hard to find sometimes.

It’s not so hard, though, on Tuesday nights. An actual local music scene is taking root right around the center of the city. Thinking back to a suggestion in John Kessler’s recent piece on Decatur’s dining scene that a wonderful, leisurely evening might be made of exploring the terrific culinary options the city has to offer, wouldn’t it be fun if a similar set of musical riches were to emerge?

Maybe we are well on our way. Three venues, all within a half-mile of one another around the square, are now hosting lively sessions on Tuesday nights. At these places you can find some of the best musical talent Atlanta has to offer. It’s well worth taking one night to explore all three, or to spread the joy over three weeks. Who knows? You might even find yourself setting aside your Tuesday evenings to walk up to the square and hear some music in a relaxed, comfortable setting. None of these are “open jams” or “open mics;” each promises — or even exceeds — performances that you would hear on a professional stage. Are you ready for a quick tour?

Twain’s Jazz Jam

Joe Gransden kicked off his Tuesday night jams at Twain’s Billiards and Tap on Trinity in April 2008, and it didn’t take long for this session to gain a reputation as one of the best jazz jams in Atlanta. Joe is well known in Atlanta and especially Decatur as a trumpeter and band leader par excellence, and his Tuesday nights at Twain’s draw some incredible local talent, including regulars pianist Tyrone Jackson, bassist Craig Shaw, drummer Chris Burroughs, trombone player Wes Funderburk . . . the list just goes on and on. Mosey in around 9:00, order a beer, then sit back and prepare to be blown away for several hours by the stunning musicianship on that stage. Here’s an example — a nearly nine-minute take on “Caravan” featuring Clarence Johnson on sax, Wes Funderburk on trombone, Tyrone Jackson on keys, Craig Shaw on bass, and Chris Burroughs on drums.

Marlay House Celtic Jam

If you’re called to something a little more Celtic, then jig on down to the Marlay House on Ponce for the terrific Irish sessions with, yes indeed, some of the best Celtic and acoustic players the Atlanta area has to offer. This jam, which gets rolling around 8 p.m., has been a lively weekly event since about 2009. Members of the Buddy O’Reilly Band (well known for their leading role in Atlanta’s Celtic Christmas performance), and renowned traditional players such as Moira Nelligan (fiddle player and vocalist) and Tim Cape (fiddle), Barbara Panter and Whit Connah of Hair of the Dog, and a host of other accomplished musicians circle ’round in a generous front corner booth and play unplugged. Sometimes the Irish step dancers put in an appearance, too. Later into the evening, around 10 or 10:30, the music strays from its traditional Irish bent into American old-time, swing, blues, even Cajun. Find a table near the front for a good spot to watch and listen. Here’s a segment that WPBA produced on the Marlay House jam not long ago.

Java Monkey’s Tuesday Night String Club

A Marlay House session may leave you wanting to more fully explore Decatur’s acoustic offerings. Hie thee off, then, to Java Monkey on Church Street, for the Tuesday Night String Club. Since January 2010, here have gathered some of the area’s most accomplished songwriters and players, who bring out their guitars, ukuleles, mandolins, cellos — there’s even a concertina and a piano pretty regularly — for an evening of showcases, collaborations, experimentations, and playing for the pure pleasure of it. Among the regulars are local favorites Ben Wakeman, Cyndi Craven, Ashley Filip, Billy Gewin, Bruce Gilbert, Bob Bakert, Jerry Brunner, Lindsay Petsch, Daniel Lipton, and Atlanta newcomer and former Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member, John Cable. Take your glass of wine or brew and your hunk of Southern Sweets cake out onto the patio and settle in with this intrepid and entertaining gang. Here’s a sampling of a few minutes of a recent Tuesday Night String Club evening, featuring John Cable, Lindsay Petsch, and Daniel Lipton.

 

Agnes Scott Student in Glamour’s “Top 10 College Women”

I love bragging about my alma mater and fellow Scotties. And as a ukulele enthusiast, I love bragging about my fellow ukers. As it happens, these two worlds of mine collided in the September issue of Glamour, when Agnes Scott College student Tally Deushane was named one of the magazine’s “Top 10 College Women” for her YouTube-fueled fame. The adorably dorky Tally, a literature/creative writing major, has been writing original songs on her el cheapo ukulele from Amazon, videotaping them in her dorm room, and posting them on YouTube. She writes a lot of songs about television shows, and they are funny.

From the Glamour profile: “She didn’t think anyone would watch, but she started getting thousands of hits from viewers in the U.S., Australia, Germany, Italy, France and Brazil—among them the producers of CBS’s How I Met Your Mother, who included her tune about their show on their season-five DVD.”

Tally, who has her sights set on Tina Fey’s career trajectory, has more than 100 ukulele songs on her YouTube page. Here is the latest, which happens to be my very favorite:

(Note especially that black ring on her left hand!)

Read more here: http://www.glamour.com/magazine/2011/09/top-10-college-women-the-entertainer