Opening Night at Nick’s Flamingo Grill

As you all know by now, the Queen of the Gnomes is a massive patron of the theatre. From One-Act Plays to Musicals and Improv, I will see it all no matter the type.

On Thursday of this past week, the Giant King and I attended the World-Premier of Nick’s Flamingo Grill over at the Alliance Theatre.

Written by the multi-talented and legendary Phillip DePoy, Nick’s Flamingo Grill is described as a “play with live-music” performed by an amazing cast of actors. Bouncing between post-WWII Paris to 1950s Atlanta, Nick’s Flamingo Grill tells the story of two ex-WWII GIs with a dream of opening their own “club du jazz” here in America. Along with a Cuban songbird and a “pretty” French Resistance fighter, the four decide to create a “Camelot” of lively music and good food.

The play focuses on various themes from racial segregation to fraternal brotherhood. A unique aspect of Nick’s Flamingo Grill is that it’s actually based on a real place.

“The club was real…my father was in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and would sit-in with his friends and sometimes play there,” explained DePoy.

Located near the old Armor Meat Packing Plant [now Castleberry Hill]; the club was “technically” illegal due to Segregation Laws at the time. While DePoy may not have been able to verify the existence of this mystical, mixed-race club, that didn’t stop him from writing one of the most humorous and heartfelt plays performed on the Hertz Stage.

Featuring ten original jazz songs by both DePoy and New Orleans’s jazz pianist: Tyrone Jackson, Nick’s Flamingo Grill had the audience snappin’ and tappin’ throughout the evening.

The Gnome Queen highly recommends seeing this fantastic *performance not only for the music, but for the message as well.

*The play is about an hour and a half with no intermission and does include some loud “explosions” for those with sensory-sensitivities.

ATL by Night Artist Spolight: ATHRS

This article is by our new writer, Luminous. Enjoy!

Punk Rock electronic artist, ATHRS, born Mike Torres, performed for his second time at Imagine Music Festival (IMF), this year in Hampton, Georgia. The Orlando, FL, native often performs in the Southeast and said Atlanta’s premier electronic music festival is one of his favorites. “I love performing in Atlanta, this is my second year at Imagine. Glen and Maddie (of IRIS Presents) throw one of the best festivals out here and it’s always so amazing to be a part of it,” he said.

Rock and EDM have been in an increasingly intertwined relationship ever since Skrillex burst onto the DJ circuit after leaving his post-hardcore band “From First to Last.” Steve Aoki was a singer and guitarist in the scream band “This Machine Kills,” EDM powerhouse, Zedd, was once a member of death core band Dioramic, and bass legend, Bassnectar, also was once in a metal band. Some acts leave the “rock sound” almost entirely, trading guitars for synthesizers and hard bass, at times only referencing their roots in mashups or remixes.

ATHRS has managed to evolve into EDM while keeping his pop punk influences intact. This has allowed him to create original music that melds the two genres in a genuine way. ATHRS played for an intimate show for a crowd at the Six Feathers stage, splitting the set between his laptop and DJ Controller, and grabbing his guitar to leave behind the booth and rock out on stage and right in front of his audience.

Growing up on pop and punk music, ATHRS says he is influenced by bands like All Time Low, Green Day, and blink-182. He also has a penchant for DJs like Kayzo and Borgore, and says Adventure Club, who played IMF this year, is one of his biggest influences: “I was super hyped to see them! They killed it; it was an ABSOLUTELY epic show!” The pioneers of vocal dubstep put on an epic show full of lights, lasers, and their signature sound, famous for attracting many fest-goers into the electronic scene in the first place.

 

ATHRS thinks the diversity of sound within EDM music has attracted more and more people to American EDM music and events. He uses his platform to produce a unique combo he calls “pop-punk electronic” with vocals characteristic of punk rock, interwoven with synths, energetic beats and high energy drops. His songs vary from highly rock influenced to more house influences like his single, “Shed My Skin.” During his performance of “Under My Skin,” a cut from his upcoming EP, ATHRS croons about not letting the world get to him before a crescendo of heavy, melodic guitar riffs, with a dance beat picking up to join the melange of sound

“People are hungry for real talent, drive and ambition, and that’s what I hope to bring them. They also get to see [my] vulnerability. I think it really comes through in the music,” he said. ATHRS’ fans, at Imagine or people who want to hear his unique brand of punk EDM, can catch him next at Uncle Lou’s entertainment hall in Orlando, FL, on October 14th.

ATHRS’ latest EP “Pop Punk is Dead” will be releasing soon and a music video for his single, “Rollercoaster” was recently released on Youtube. Fans can find more of ATHRS’ music on Soundcloud, and Spotify.

 

The Cheese Festival Atlanta

Do you enjoy munching on various cheeses and meats from around the world? Do you take pleasure in tasting deliciously crafted beer and wines? Do you feel sophisticated when you hear the word “charcuterie”?

Well then, get ready because the Gnome Queen has the event for you!

It’s the 6th Annual: Cheese Festival Atlanta!

Started in 2012 by Gourmet Foods International, this amazing event brings an assortment of national and international artisan cheese makers’ right here to Atlanta. The event will take place from 5 P.M.-10 P.M. Friday, September 28th at the Historic Fourth Ward Park.

As of now, General Admission tickets include samplings of over 100 cheese and meat vendors, live music from Rachel Baiman, and access to the one and only: “Meltdown Competition”.  The Meltdown Competition features popular Atlanta chefs “grilling it out” for the highly honored People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice Awards.

Patrons can also partake in an education class detailing the history and fermentation process of olives hosted by Divina; a “Pig and Pint” of charcuterie and beer pairings from Spotted Trotter; and finally, the Cheesemaker Unplugged/Uncensored: Meet the Maker. This session will feature cheese maker: Cellars at Jasper Hill who were awarded the 2018 “Best in Show” at the American Cheese Society Conference.

Now, for those of you who want a little bit more cheese-time with a specific drink pairing, then the VIP tickets are just for you. These tickets will include a seat in one of three select VIP-only pairing sessions and a VIP-only item upon festival entry.  The pairing sessions comprise of a Beer, Wine or Champagne option and will have a variety of times offered throughout the evening.

For the Gnome Queen, an amazing aspect of this delicious event includes a portion of all proceeds going to the local nonprofit: Giving Kitchen.  Giving Kitchen was started in May of 2013 by local community Chef Ryan Hidinger and his wife Jen Hidinger in response to Ryan’s stage-four cancer diagnosis.

Giving Kitchen’s mission is to provide emergency financial assistance to restaurant workers and their families while in need. Through the Giving Kitchen Crisis Grants, over 1100 workers have been served not only in Atlanta, but in 47 counties across the state of Georgia.

So, if none of that sparked your interest in attending the wondrous Cheese Festival, then you are not only cold and heartless, but clearly you don’t appreciate the value of cheese, meats, and alcohol.

To Purchase Tickets: https://www.bigtickets.com/e/gfi/cheese-fest-atlanta

To Make a Donation to Giving Kitchen: https://connect.clickandpledge.com/w/Form/d11bff52-0cd0-44d8-9403-465614e4f342

 

Ravine Is The Newest Venue On The Midtown Scene

Friday, 17 August, marked the grand opening of Ravine, an entertainment venue that occupies the space of what used to be called Reign. I am not allowed to call Ravine a “club” because, to be fair, it is not. When I write my neighborhood nightlife scene guide, I will have to categorize places into venues, clubs, bar & food with live music, and pop ups

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Before I go into the music headliner of the inaugural evening, I need to talk about the venue. First off, parking is $20–that is decided by the parking company who watches over the lot, just fyi. VIP parking is available, too. The staff are all very nice and congenial–even the huge, imposing dudes hired for security and VIP area management. Bathrooms were spacious and had friendly attendants. Ravine is not just about music and DJs, but more about hosting private and sponsored events. Want to host DJ Snake here? Awesome. Want to have a bar mitzvah in a sick venue? Affirmative. Does your company want to have a lit end of year party/meeting with a live band? You’re covered.

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Ravine has two levels. The right side of the main floor is dedicated VIP seating areas, with a bar in the back right. The left side is a long, well-staffed bar that didn’t bleed too bad into the main floor. Upstairs is the main VIP seating area that houses up to five parties (it started getting difficult to do math with the strong drinks being poured, so pardon me if I get that wrong). Shout-out to Ed, who was doing a fantastic job of overseeing the entry area of the lower left VIP stairs next to the stage.

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Beware Presents brought us two acts that evening: SixSixMusic as the opener and Loud Luxury as the headliner. Loud Luxury is a Canadian production and DJ duo Andrew Fedyk and Joe Depace, based in Los Angeles. The two met while going to school, and collaborated on songs together. After seeing a Porter Robinson show in 2016, they were inspired to create the song “See It Again.” In 2017, they remixed Martin Garrix‘s song “Scared to Be Lonely”–which brought them to the spotlight and enabled them to do further remixes that propelled them to touring and playing festivals.

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The floor finally got packed around 1 a.m., and I found that I still had a little more personal space than usual–so that was good. I have read Reddit and Facebook Atlanta EDM-based group posts debating the dress code at Ravine: I would say I saw patrons dressing slightly nicer than Opera and IRIS, but not all dripping bling and stiletto heels. Also, and this is important to me, it wasn’t hot inside the venue. If anything, I was cold–which is oh so important when dancing for your life and keeping your makeup looking sickening.

Friday evening was magical, indeed. Not only did I get free Krispy Kreme donuts on the way home, some guy in upstairs VIP started throwing money down on the dance floor making it rain a shower of one dollar bills! Shout-outs to Rachel behind the bar and Stephanie in the women’s bathroom: it was my pleasure shoving some people out of the way in order to collect some free money and tip y’all in cash.

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Okay, so here it is: Did I enjoy my time there? Yes. Was the sound great? Yes. Ravine has invested in a British-designed Funktion-One sound system and the depth was just right for the size of the venue. Lights and lasers? Yes, Ravine uses ROBE lighting systems. It’s not a huge setup, but it enhances the DJ(s) just fine. The large LED screen in the back is really the main draw for your eyes.

I would definitely go back for a music artist I really like. Ravine says it will soon announce other non-music acts and events, so stay tuned! I’m excited to see who else Beware Presents will book, as well. I’m going to recommend Steve Aoki for those of you who are looking for a WILD party; he’ll be there on Saturday, 6 October. You may even get famously caked!

Keep dancing, Atlanta!

Electro Brunch At Loca Luna: Good Eats, Good Beats

Let’s suppose that you are hung over from the night before, or missed the night before, or you didn’t go out at all but you love a good day party–I have something for you all.

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Over off Monroe Drive in Midtown and in the Amsterdam Ave shopping area is Loca Luna. Each Sunday, from noon to 5pm, on the patio area upfront, you can find DJs Ultralight and Rob Session spinning some techno, house, moombahton, tribal and deep house together to raise up the masses in Atlanta. There are weekly guests, too, like DJ Blast, that will step in and add a little extra spice to the mix.

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DJ Ultralight

 

“We are not affiliated with any club, or production group. Electro Brunch is very organic,” Ultralight remarked. “Atlanta needs more day parties. Covers to clubs seem ridiculous and not everyone wants to dress up. People who are not into the night scene can come here and experience the same music in a different environment.”

DJ Rob Sessions
DJ Rob Session

And what a different environment it was: The sun was out, birds were chirping, groups of girlfriend besties were happily sipping mimosas and there was some deep house playing–giving me LIFE while I chowed down on some shrimp and grits.

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Reservations are accepted but not necessary for Sunday brunch at Loca Luna. Parking is free and plentiful. My server suggested getting in super early or waiting until after 1pm if you like to hang out. The brunch menu looks AMAZING and delicious. Yes, there are drink specials: $12 for bottomless mimosas or sangrias. You can RSVP here or call Loca Luna directly.

Keep dancing, Atlanta–you’re going to need to after this brunch!

ATL by Day Imagine Festival Oceania

Inside the 2018 Imagine Music Festival Lineup – Disco Inferno Stage

It’s time for part 3 of our coverage of Imagine’s lineup!

Check out the other posts here, for Oceania stage and here for Amazonia stage! This article is for Imagine’s third stage – Disco Inferno. This stage will have some absolutely killer talent that are worth the listen. We’ve grouped the artists in Imagine’s order:

Disco Inferno Stage

Green Velvet

Green Velvet, aka Curtis Jones, has been in the game for as long as I can remember. He was on the forefront of the electro-punk sound and now has turned his attention to the more mainstream House tastes. The vocals you’ll hear on these tracks are inspired by the likes of Prince (RIP) and Gary Numan – and with good effect! Here’s an example of the old vs the new with the well known track “La La Land”.

 

Oliver Heldens

Oliver Heldens is a favorite of mine. Like most people I’d say I discovered him with the release of his song “Gecko” (and the vocal edit “Overdrive”). The Heldeep radio podcast has also been phenomenal for years. If you want to know what kind of music an artist will play at their sets, their radio is a great place to check since it’s basically just their tastes. He also has some killer collabs like “You Know” with Zeds Dead.

 

Boogie T

Boogie T rolls with a sound that combines deep bass dubstep and reggae (mostly). He’s best known for his collabs with Ganja White Night, like “Flava”. You’ll find his solo work like “2KFO” to be much heavier, and (in my opinion) a better sound for the festival atmosphere.

Squnto

Squnto brings it back to the heaviest days of dubstep, and I’m not complaining! His dub chopping skills are palpable, and he even has some sweet videos showing off how he does his work.

Chocolate Puma

Chocolate Puma are two fellas out of the Netherlands who just want to get you bouncin. Collabs with groups like the Bingo Players have been great, and their solo stuff is no different. Here are two songs from opposite sides of their sound.

EDX

No, this won’t be an online learning seminar blast over loud speakers. EDX the musician is a specialist in summer house, but his talents go all over the house genre. Pay him a visit for some much needed summer vibes.

Joker

Joker had some big hitting tracks back in the late 2000’s dubstep game, and I hope he brings that sound to Imagine. Take a listen and flash back 10 years to the rise of dubstep. His newer sound ranges from mellow dubstep to spacey.

Koan Sound

Koan Sound is funky dubstep, think Griz without the sax/vocals. I’m a big fan of the sound personally, and I’m excited to see how it plays out on the big stage.

Latmun

Latmun is a newer name, with a sound of what he calls “Tech House”. Excited to see more from him, with his unique tunes I’m sure it’ll be interesting.

 

Noisia

Noisia is a crew that I’ve followed for some time. Like some other artists on this stage, they’ve been in the game since before dubstep (and DnB) hit it big, and I’d say they’re one of the reasons it did. I expect this show to be absolutely wild.

Shlump

Shlump, besides being a fun name to say, knows his way around some wobble. Trap is the name of the game, but the sound has some solid wobble to it that give his songs a fuller, more rounded sound.

 

Tiga

Tiga is definitely a different kind of electronic, even blurring the lines between electronic and electro. As a general fan of these old funky tunes, I’d say more power to him! You’ve probably heard the track “Bugatti” before. His other tracks have the same sound minus the catchy vocal hook.

Walker & Royce

Keeping the theme of 80’s style electro-house, and I’m just digging it. Especially in this day and age with Toto’s “Africa” being one of the top played songs on Spotify, I say bring back electro.

 

Wax Motif

Wax Motif actually reminds me a lot of Oliver Heldens mixed with Shiba San. Big punchy bass, a solid beat, and an overall groove you can get lost to.

Dragoncon Halo Cosplay

Who to See at DragonCon 2018: Part Two

Welcome back to the Gnome Queen’s ins-and-outs of Dragon Con 2018.

Let’s jump into the Performers of “Who to See”.

Beginning with the Brobdingnagian Bards of Austin, Texas, the group’s musical style has been described as a unique mix of Scottish and Irish traditional-folk music. Voted “Best Folk Act” at the 2007 Austin Music Awards, the Brobdingnagian Bards are back for another reunion show just for Dragon Con. So if you want to get in touch with your Celtic roots, these are the ones to see.

Next includes the self-described “bawdy, nerd-folk comedy band” The Misbehavin’ Madiens. The Misbehavin’ Madiens have incorporated their love for pirates (same) and performing together since 2012. The band’s musical style is a combination of feminism, LGBTQIA+ representation, parodies, sex-positive music, and much more. I’ll sure to be catch their  show, and of course take some pictures.  

If you’re into cello music with a meowing cat keyboard, then The Doubleclicks are the duo for you. Sisters Angela Webber and Aubrey Webber have created songs involving dinosaurs, cats and Netflix since 2011. The Doubleclicks have also been featured on several NPR programs and their newest song “Afterparty for One (Frozen Pizza Song)” released this past February.

Another fan-focused band hails from the wizarding world of Charlotte, NC: Hawthorn & Holly. Since 2007, Hawthorn & Holly have been playing songs about Harry Potter and have cast a major spell in the wizard rock community. Along with HP, Hawthorn & Holly have also written songs about The Hunger Games, Dr. Who, and many other fandoms.

For those of you who truly want to be entertained, then the “geek-rock” god Tom Smith is the man to see. He incorporates pop culture, fantasy, adventure, and so much more all into one exciting show. Smith is adored by pretty much everyone who has seen him and has been performing at Dragon Con since 2004.

My two personally picks are DJ Nemesis, and Tom Kenny & The Hi-Seas (keep drinking that hater-ade). DJ Nemesis is an amazing mix of techno, house, psychedelic and countless other genres. Nemesis has been a DJ since 1997 and has played all over the world.

Tom Kenny & The Hi-Seas are a fun, rock ‘n’ roll dance-party that believes in having “as much fun as humanly possible”. The band features the beloved voice actor Tom Kenny, along with the Hi-Seas’ band leader Andy Paley. The Hi-Seas have a rotating cast of musicians who’ve toured and recorded with artists such as Lorde, Cheap Trick, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

You know I’ll be in the audience for both performances.

Finally, the Kings of Dragon Con’s “Who to See” Performers: Atlanta Radio Theatre Company (ARTC). Founded as a non-profit in 1984, the ARTC have been dedicated to the world of audio theatre (radio drama) and have adapted countless literary works from Bram Stoker to Robert Louis Stevenson. The ARTC’s first live performance: H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulhu”, was presented at the inaugural Dragon Con in 1987 and have performed at every Dragon Con ever since.

They truly are Dragon Con royalty.

For the full Performers “Who to See” line-up, check out http://www.dragoncon.org/?q=performers_list

My next “Who to See” will include the Dragon Con 2018 “Guest” section.

See ya then!

ATL by Day Imagine Festival Oceania

Inside the 2018 Imagine Music Festival Lineup – Amazonia Stage

It’s time for part 2 of our coverage of Imagine’s lineup! We’ll be staggering our lineup posts each week to make sure you don’t exceed your mobile data costs, and to keep up the hype!

Check out the first post here, for Oceania stage! This article is for Imagine’s second main stage – Amazonia. Second stage or not, Amazonia has some killer artists you’ll have to check out. We’ve grouped the artists in Imagine’s order:

Amazonia Stage

Griz

I have made a point to see Griz every single time he’s in town. See him, and you will too. This is a psychadelic trip through dubstep brought to you by a skinny white dude on a saxophone playing like he has something to prove. By the end of the show, you’ll be feeling as happy as I expect Griz does every damn day.

Zhu

Zhu was always sort of an enigma to me. Is it EDM? Sure. Is it pop? Eh. Does it belong on the radio? I have no clue. But it’s there and here we are. I don’t really expect Zhu to throw down, but you’ll get some shoulder swings in if you catch a groove or two.

Cashmere Cat

Cashmere Cat! Love this guy. One of the most talented producers, whether his name is on the track or not. He’s funky, fresh, and one of the best. He produced one of the best sleeper pop songs of the past 5 years, Ryn Weaver’s Octahate. I’ve included his remix below.

Jai Wolf

Jai Wolf makes music that would be perfect for the scene in a movie where the girl and guy run away together in the end and live happily ever after. Just happy tunes, who can complain?

Shpongle (Simon Posford DJ Set)

I mean, how can you go wrong with a name like Shpongle? But for real, you’re not going to find many Shpongle “songs” out there. That’s because Shpongle is basically like the EDM version of a jam band – and that’s awesome. Totally unique and trippy as hell.

Ekali

Ekali will keep the mellow and chill trap running for you. Keep in mind it’ll be heavier for the festival! This’ll be a great set for someone looking to hear some absolutely killer trap and catch a break from the wild stuff.

Eoto

I’m not as familiar with Eoto, but looks to me he’s working the classic instrumentals and synth combo. I really can’t complain there – it’s a great combo! To me the music could be the love child of some Gramatik and Pretty Lights, enough funk to go around, interlaced vocal backtracks, and instrumentals layered over synth like they were there all along.

Lotus

Keeping the instrumental funk going, we’ve got another jam band up in Amazonia. Lotus is more reminiscent of Phish for me: full band, lengthy heavy jams, and some breaks for instrumental solos spread around. These guys will keep you on your toes in a way you won’t normally get at an EDM festival.

Levitation Jones

It’s like DJ Snake blasted off to Mars! Levitation Jones runs some of the spacey trap and has a tremendously unique sound. This set is bound to be nothing short of trippy and spacey. Jones won’t be the only one levitating.

Protohype

We’re back to the big room with Protohype. Protohype has some absolutely killer tracks, and I fully expect a killer classic EDM and dubstep set from them. I expect to hear some of their heavier tunes, like Blackout below.

Yheti

Man, what a wild sound. Yheti is like nothing I’ve heard before honestly, and imagining these tracks with some heavy bass that only a festival can provide is getting me hyped up. Expect some funky, fresh, and spacey trap.

Toadface

Toadface can be seen on tracks with Yheti and the like and these tracks are always a bit less trap, more progressive, and in my opinion a bit funkier. Hey I’m not complaining, I think it’s a great sound and I’m pumped to catch this set and see what Toadface can do. Yheti and Toadface hit a back to back set in EDC this year so be ready for double the bang.

Ployd

The first video I found of Ployd was a tight set at Atlanta’s own Terminal West, so I know he’s a homeboy. Show him some ATL love at Imagine this year.

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Music Midtown 2018: Where to Find Cheap Tickets

The 2018 Music Midtown lineup has been announced and tickets are on sale today! As a fellow lover of music festivals and all things Atlanta, I’m here to tell you that if you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, now is the time. They are going fast, so you don’t want to wait!

Where do you find tickets at the best prices though? Well good news! I’ve gone ahead and done some digging. As it turns outs, Music Midtown is offering a pretty sweet hook-up on their website with super low ticket prices and minimal fees. SeatsForEveryone.com is also a great website that offers low prices and no additional up-charges, because who likes those? The best part is, I’ve linked both of them below for added convenience. You’re welcome.

Get cheap Music Midtown tickets here:

MusicMidtown.com

SeatsForEveryone.com

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I can’t wait to see Kendrick Lamar, one of the headlining artists this year at Music Midtown!

Now that you have your tickets, you can really get excited! The two-day festival is being held in Piedmont Park on September 15-16. It’s guaranteed to be an amazing event, with headliners including top artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, Post Malone and Fall Out Boy. Some other popular feature artists include Foster the People, Gucci Mane, Khalid, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Chromeo and Awolnation. With a lineup like that, you won’t want to miss it. I hope to see ya’ll there!

Music Midtown ATL by Day

Music Midtown 2018 Lineup Top Picks

The 2018 Music Midtown Lineup is finally here! Tickets go on sale this Friday June, 15th at 10am. Headliners include Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, Post Malone, Fall Out Boy, Gucci Mane, Khalid, and more! This festival is known to have a diverse lineup that includes over 30 artists across four stages.

Continue reading “Music Midtown 2018 Lineup Top Picks”