News & Opinion

News about Atlanta issues, arts, events, and more

The Shelf: Daniel Black

Daniel Black Daniel Black’s third novel—after They Tell Me of a Home and

In Tune: Mary Elizabeth Williams

It takes a special kind of singer to be able to belt out an opera, but Philadelphia-based soprano Mary Elizabeth Williams, thirty-three, feels she was built for it. “I’m six feet tall, I’m a big woman—I make a lot of sound.” The rising diva will be performing with the Atlanta Opera—which celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this season—in the title role of Verdi’s Aida at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre (February 27 and March 2, 5, and 7).

Parks and Parking Lots

What’s the latest BeltLine news? Will this thing ever happen? The ballyhooed BeltLine is supposed to create or involve 1,300 acres of parks, thirty-three miles of trails, twenty-two miles of transit, 30,000 new jobs, 1,100 acres of environmental cleanup, affordable hous

The Artful Dodger: Jonathan Krohn

Child prodigies inspire an unsettling mix of awe, protectiveness, and peevishness in the adults around them. When young Jonathan Krohn delivered his barn-burning speech at last February’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Rush Limbaugh beamed paternally at his new mini-me, while Jon Stewart joked, “I’m not sure there’s a nurple purple enough.” “I thought Stewart’s routine was quite funny,” Krohn says. “But I declined his invitation to appear on one of his specials.” With the publication this month of his second manifesto, Defining Conservatism: The Principles That Will Bring Our Country Back (Vanguard Press), Krohn is instead expected to make the rounds of tea party protests and join the punditocracy as the boy king of Fox News. His new book has the ambitious aim of helping readers “understand the ideas, principles, and values of Conservatism,” and it expands on the principles spelled out in his first book, Define Conservatism for Past, Present, and Future Generations, self-published in 2008. Homeschooled in Duluth, he is fourteen but looks younger, a downy moppet eerily channeling William F. Buckley. In his book-jacket photo, Krohn sports a navy blazer, a flag pin, and a defiant smirk. “I have an opinion on absolutely everything,” he says as we chat over hot cocoa at a suburban coffee shop. His mother, Marla, a drama teacher, watches sidelong like a sentry as he launches into the minutiae of tort reform with such rapid-fire, hyperarticulate vehemence that his pubescent voice cracks.

In Tune: Joey Sommerville

Though it seems unlikely, hip-hop’s Jazze Pha, jam band Phish, and Cirque du Soleil do have common ground—they’ve all worked with Atlanta trumpeter Joey Sommerville. A Detroit native who grew up on Motown, Sommerville’s influences are diverse. “Music has gotten so compartmentalized and segmented,” he says. “People ask what I play. I play music. Sometimes it’s gospel. Sometimes it’s jazz. Sometimes it’s pop.”

Howlers and Scalpers

Q: I’ve heard about coyote sightings in the burbs, but now my intown newsletter is warning about them. What’s up? The common coyote is in every Georgia county, but particularly Fulton and Gwinnett (for reasons as yet unstudied) and along the Chattahoochee corridor. As Looney Tunes taught us, they’re

The Shelf: Thomas Mullen, Michael Waddell

Thomas Mullen Decatur resident Thomas Mullen writes political allegories by accident. His first novel, The Last Town on Earth, was a brilliant story about a small town that tried to qu

Online Extra: The Constellations Q&A

Atlanta’s supergroup is an amorphous thing to wrap your mind around. With a genre-straddling sound and everchanging roster that has included former members of Atlanta’s Gates of Berlin, Vin Corejo, Snowden, Second Shift, Ocha la Rocha, Trances Arc, and others, the Constellations are, in many ways, the voice of the Atlanta music scene. Since vocalist Elijah Jones and his seven-person band teamed up with Grammy-winning producer Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Gnarles Barkley, Gym Class H

Trains on the brain

Q: What happened to all the cool old passenger trains that used to run through Georgia? Neill Herring, a former Georgia Association of Railroad Passengers lobbyist, rode the Dixie Flyer and the Ponce de Leon from Dalton to Atlanta back in the sixties. “The train guys knew us because we helped handle the mail,” he says

In Tune: The Constellations

With a sound that straddles rock, punk, and hip-hop, and an ever-changing roster that has included members of local groups such as the Gates of Berlin, Snowden, and Second Shift, the Constellations are in many ways the voice of the Atlanta music scene. In 2008, vocalist Elijah Jones and his seven-person band teamed up with Grammy-winnin

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