Monday, August 27, 2007
Looking forward to fall
I love summer, but after the spate of 100-degree days we've endured in Atlanta recently, I have to say I'm ready for fall.

Fortunately for me, there's more to the season than shorter days and chillier nights. Here are some of the things I'm looking forward to:

- Both Philip Roth and Richard Russo have new novels coming out -- "Exit Ghost" (Houghton Mifflin) and "Bridge of Sighs" (Knopf), respectively. Roth's, the final book (perhaps) in the Zuckerman series, is due October 1; Russo's comes out a week earlier.

- The Emmys (September 16). Despite all the acclaim it accumulated during its run, "The Sopranos" won the Emmy for best drama just once, in 2004. (Most of the time it was the bridesmaid to "The West Wing.") Will it go out on top?

- Bob Dylan continues his Perpetual Tour this fall. For several shows -- including one in metro Atlanta -- his opening act is Elvis Costello. Now that's getting your money's (and lyrics') worth.

- If you saw "The Bourne Ultimatum," you probably saw the trailer for "American Gangster." I'm hoping it lives up to its credits: stars Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, writer Steven Zaillian and director Ridley Scott. All I know is that it was one of the rare trailers I've seen lately that made me think, "This I gotta see." (November 2)

- I probably won't get around to it until a lengthy vacation, but Criterion is releasing Rainer Werner Fassbinder's monumental miniseries "Berlin Alexanderplatz" -- all 15 1/2 hours of it -- on November 13. Fire up your DVD players.

- And -- even though, being a baseball pessimist, I have to think my Braves won't even come close to making it (can anyone around here pitch this game?) -- the World Series is, as always, due in late October. To me, nothing makes for a more refreshing autumn day than colorful leaves, a nip in the air, and watching the National and American league winners bid for the championship. If only the games didn't run 'til midnight here in the East. (Thanks a lot, Fox and MLB.)

What are your fall highlights?
The Darjeerling Limited. It's not only a great event this fall, it's one that many filmgoers have been waiting years for - another Wes Anderson film. Here's to many more. (And more, too, with co-writer/actor Owen Wilson. Write something together again!)
Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band new album and Concert Tour
There's a lot more great music than just Bob and Elvis happening this fall. Beyond major new releases by Bruce Springsteen (Oct. 2), Matchbox20 (Oct. 2) and Counting Crows (a bonus rerelease of August and Everything After on Sept. 18 and a new album in November), there are an incredible number of stellare indie artists who have put out music over the summer or are going to this fall and will then be touring to support it.

As technology continues to make it possible for "the little guy" to record and produce their own music inexpensively, major labels are going to become redundant. I wish the media would focus less attention on Paris Hilton and more attention on the independent and unknown musicians who literally tour non-stop. They don't do it because they need income to survive, because often they play to small rooms for a small percentage of the door; instead, they do it because they love being musicians and sharing their music with the world.

Don't believe me? There are lots of great indie and little-known acts coming through the Atlanta area this fall. Go check out one out and talk to them after the show. You'll find a passion for music that is as infectious as it is inspiring.

This list is by no means exhaustive, just a sampling...but this is the kind of stuff I'm looking forward to this fall!

9/7/07 - Gareth Asher @ Irish Pub, Carrolton

9/8/07 - Needtobreathe w/special guest Moses Mayfield @ Vinyl (a twofer - Needtobreathe is on Atlantic, but the Moses Mayfield boys are independent after a brief stint with Sony - both great bands)

9/21/07 - Clay Cook @ Smith's Olde Bar (Atlanta Room)

9/21/07 - Colourslide @ Smith's Olde Bar

9/22/07 - Sam Thacker & Peter Searcy (among others) @ Smith's Olde Bar

9/25/07 - Brandi Carlile w/A Fine Frenzy @ Roxy Theatre

10/04/07 - Josh Rouse @ Variety Playhouse

10/10/07 - Curtis Peoples, Tony Lucca, Keaton Simons & Sun Domingo @ Smith's Olde Bar (this is a great line up - they toured together this spring and we're super impressive)

10/20/07 - Matt Nathanson @ The Loft at Center Stage

10/27/07 - Josh Kelley and Pat McGee Band @ Smith's Olde Bar (ask Pat McGee about the inspiration behind much of their new record)

10/31/07 - Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers @ Vinyl

11/02/07 - Angie Aparo w/Patrick Davis @ 5 Spot (Two insanely amazing writers - Angie wrote Faith Hill's "Cry" and Patrick writes for country artists such as Pat Green and Cory Morrow)

11/02/07 - Ben Harper @ Fox Theatre

11/03/07 - Angie Aparo by himself @ 5 Spot

11/03/07 - Dave Barnes @ The Loft at Center Stage (this is just as much a comedy show as it is a music show...a do not miss)
FOOTBALL!!!! GO BEARS!!
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