High Museum. Some Jazz with my Picasso/Warhol exhibit

High Museum currently has a huge exhibit right now lasting until the middle of April.

It’s called “Picasso to Warhol” and it features a plethora of legendary artists such as Giorgio de Chirico, Piet Mondrain, Jackson Pollock, and of course Picasso & Warhol.

The High also does Jazz concerts every 3rd Friday of the month so I meticulously planned my visit to happen on Oct 21 (The exhibit opened on the 15th). Seeing as how this was my first Jazz concert I wasn’t really sure what to expect…

When I arrived at The High I came expecting to spend about $20 for the ticket. Luckily for me it was only $5 with my student I.D! Once I got my ticket I decided to see the Picasso-to-Warhol exhibit last. I ventured off into the Museum for the second time in my life and saw a lot of familiar art…(Picture below!)

When I finally arrive at the final exhibit I immediately noticed how much more beefed up the security was here! It was really difficult to get pictures!! All the art was absolutely fantastic to look at. I particularly enjoyed Giorgio de Chirico’s work…reminded me a lot a particular Japanese artist I am fond of.

After exploring the entirety of the Museum I make my way back down to the main lobby and see a line of people waiting for the Jazz concert to begin. I hope into line and mingle with the people around me. After talking to some of the people in line and looking around at my surroundings something becomes more and more apparent.

I am the youngest person here. Oh well.

Band eventually sets up and we have a speaker from 91.9 WCLK JAZZ FM introduce the audience to the band. I also found out that Atlanta is one of 9 cities left with a 100% Jazz only radio station. Hearing that lit a smile on my face!

Once introductions were done it was time to jam…and JAM THEY DID!!! The music fluctuated between smooth to funky. I loved every minute of it. Whenever one of the band members went into a improvised solo I just couldn’t help but tap my foot a little harder and smile a little bigger. I was in a beatific state!

I left the concert feeling pretty awesome. An evening of Jazz & Art was a great way to start my weekend. I think I’m going to be a regular at these Jazz sessions now…

Enjoy the pictures!

Distant Worlds 2011 – Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

 When I was nine years old I was introduced to this video game called “Final Fantasy 7.” It became a monumental hit in the United States because of it’s graphics, complex story, and it’s amazing music. The music was composed by the great Nobuo Uematsu (Any nerd should be familiar with this name). I instantly became a fan of the Final Fantasy series and vowed to myself that I would see the music performed live at some point in my life. Fast forward 13 years later and I finally got my opportunity (Keep in mind that Uematsu has only toured in the United States TWICE since he started doing concerts in 2003).

May 7th – The day of my college graduation. I was ecstatic since I was finishing school and got to share that moment with my close friends and family, but my excitement for what was coming later in the evening is what I was really focused on. I purchased two tickets to see Distant Worlds at the Atlanta Symphony Hall. My body was ready.

Arnie Roth (conductor), Nobuo Uematsu (composer), and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra were going to change my life that night.

I left for Atlanta 30 minutes before the concert begins with my friend waiting on me at the Symphony Hall. Atlanta traffic & parking decided to be a nightmare to me this particular day; I drove around looking for parking frustrated as hell and about to late! When I finally park I made a mad dash to the Symphony Hall wearing a full suit. I finally arrive and my friend is clearly upset that I’m late. I apologize, we got our tickets checked, and we rushed into the orchestra hall. As we walked in we hear thunderous applause. At that moment I realized I just missed the first song.

When we took our seats I looked at the setlist and realize we just missed “Liberi Fatali.”
I couldn’t believe I just missed one of the most epic (I couldn’t find a better word to describe this) songs ever. Regardless, I knew the performance was amazing because the audiences energy was electrifying. They could not have opened with a better song.

Once I got comfortable I peek around the audience. Definitely the nerd variety in attendance. It was a bit displeasing seeing people just wearing t-shirts and jeans at a classical concert. Just a minor nitpick of mine; didn’t detract from my experience at all.

Arnie Roth began to introduce himself, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the legendary Uematasu. Arnie Roth was a really funny guy too! He made lots of jokes/references to the Final Fantasy universe…I wonder if it was all scripted or if he is a genuine fan. He told the audience before he began he had to “do one more thing.” Then he raises his arms and conducts the orchestra to play the “Victory Theme.” We all got a good kick out of it. My inner nerd was gushing out everywhere at this point.

Epic opener, introductions, victory theme. Now it was time to start the concert. I was going to have a nerdgasm at any point. My friend and I couldn’t stop smiling and we hadn’t even heard our first song yet! Here was the set list that was played that night:

  • Final Fantasy VIII: Liberi Fatali
  • Final Fantasy: Victory Theme
  • Final Fantasy VIII: Don’t be Afraid
  • Final Fantasy I-III: Medley 2010
  • Final Fantasy XI: Memoro de la Stono – Distant Worlds
  • Final Fantasy X: To Zanarkand
  • Final Fantasy VII: J-E-N-O-V-A
  • Final Fantasy V: Dear Friends
  • Final Fantasy IX: Vamo’ alla Flamenco
  • Final Fantasy VIII: The Man With The Machine Gun

-INTERMISSION-

  • Final Fantasy VII: Opening – Bombing Mission
  • Final Fantasy VIII: Fisherman’s Horizon
  • Final Fantasy XIII: Fabula Nova Crystallis
  • Final Fantasy XIII: Blinded By Light
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Navigator’s Glory – The Theme of Limsa Lominsa
  • Final Fantasy series: Chocobo Medley 2010
  • Final Fantasy VI: Opera “Maria and Draco”
  • Final Fantasy VI: Terra’s Theme

First song up was “Don’t be Afraid.” Seeing a sea of violinist all moving in unison like a machine was spectacular. Hearing this live gave me such an incredible adrenaline rush. I couldn’t believe how amazing it sounded live; the YouTube links I have provided pale in comparison. During the song (and for the rest of the songs during the concert) video of actual gameplay was projected on a giant display over the orchestra. The music and video was paired to great effect!

A few songs had special guests come out to lend their talents. We had a choir (who were majority GaTech students), three opera singers, and an amazing classical guitarist. It was pretty funny whenever the opera singers would come out and above them on the display were 16-bit graphics of the same opera singers performing the song.

I didn’t really get emotional during the performance until “To Zanarkand” was performed. As soon as the piano started I had a huge rush of nostalgia consume me. I told my friend I didn’t cry but I did had to fight back tears for this song. It was that beautiful. I wasn’t the only one though…lot’s of people in the audience were sniffling and such too! When the song ended I clapped my heart out. I just re-lived a childhood memory. And it was going to happen a lot more that night too.

Later we see a skinny man walk upon the stage holding his guitar. I wondered what song was going to be played next so I looked at the setlist. It was “Vamo’ alla Flamenco.” A huge smile lit my face and stayed there the entire song. The guy sits down, the orchestra tunes its strings, and Arnie Roth begins. I was in heaven. Watching him plucking his strings and hearing the purest music come out just left me in awe. The song concludes in such a magnificent climax that when it’s over it leaves you breathless.

After a few more songs the orchestra goes into intermission. I make my way outside to mingle with some people (A bunch of friends I knew were in attendance!) and shop for some merchandise! This time I got to look around the Symphony Hall and really appreciate it’s beauty.

When intermission is over we take our seats again and the orchestra is making sure everything is in tune and perfect! Eventually the lights dim and they play the second song from Final Fantasy 7 (Which is my favorite if you haven’t realized yet!) of the night. They chose a very fitting song to start with: “Opening Bombing Mission.”

After the song ended the orchestra goes immediately into the next song. My friend kept telling me that THIS was the song he wanted to hear the most. It was “Fisherman’s Horizon.” He kept shaking my arm and telling me how excited he was! I let him have his moment with this song. I didn’t want to look his way during the performance incase he was sobbing dramatically or drooling from his nerdgasm he was having. He told me he just about cried hearing the song. I can’t blame him either cause it was so beautiful.

Next was a newer song that wasn’t composed by Nobuo Uematsu. I think Atlanta was the first time Distant World’s has performed this song too! The song comes from the new Final Fantasy “Fabula Nova Crystallis.” I haven’t really played Final Fantasy in years but this song still has the same charm that all the Final Fantasy songs have. It was a song that was haunting and so melancholy.

The funnest song of the set was easily “Chocobo Medley 2010.” A very upbeat song that had a different style compared to the rest of the performances in the evening. The video accompanying the song was also very humorous! I especially loved the jazz influence in certain parts of the song. Kudos.

We get a few more performances from the opera trio (who are INSANELY talented) and are concluded with “Terra’s Theme.” I would have been fine if the night concluded with this. It was a perfect way to conclude the night of amazing performances. Arnie Roth thanks us all and we give him and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra a standing ovation. Nobuo is no where to be found. As they all leave the stage the audience is still standing with thunderous applaus still. We wanted more-

Nobuo and Arnie come out and we all know what’s coming. My inner nerd was going absolutely insane because I knew they were going to end the night with a huge climax. They make some jokes and finally get to the point. One Winged Angel was about to be performed. Best part? Nobuo was going to be performing in the choir. I couldn’t believe the energy in the room when all of this was happening. The lights began to dim and the energy started to sky rocket.

It began. “One Winged Angel” (The video captures some of the bantar between Uematsu and Roth)

It was a terrific way to end the night. Actually, One Winged Angel was the only way to end the night. It was perfect. I couldn’t have been more happier with how the concert went.

If Distant World’s comes back to Atlanta again you can bet your ass I’ll be there. I highly recommend ANYONE who is a fan of classical or Final Fantasy to come! I’m glad I got to fulfill one of my bucket list accomplishments!

Great list of good eats in Atlanta!

 

I stumbled upon this post on Reddit.com and the users provided a great list of places to eat in Atlanta! I’ll just snip a little bit and post it here but please check out the post for more ideas!

The amazing list blow was created by Reddit user : DAVENP0RT

Westside

(Area west of I-75, north of Downtown, runs along Marietta St)

Ormsby’s – A restaurant/bar with bocce ball, darts, and skeeball. Good food, great beer, and tons of people to talk to. Actually met some Brits there a few weeks ago, we had a drunken blast.

Antico Pizza and Pasta – Generally considered to be the best pizza in Atlanta. First come, first serve seating. Bring your own booze.

Der Biergarten – German restaurant, serves traditional German dishes and beer. I recommend the Jägerschnitzel, it’s amazing.

Little Five Points

(Area east of Downtown, centered around the intersection of Moreland, McClendan, and Euclid Ave)

The Porter – Some of the best pub food I’ve ever had, along with a great selection of beer.

Savage Pizza – Another great pizza place. Super eclectic, serves good beer.

Wrecking Bar Brew Pub – Fairly new joint, brews and serves their own beer. Home of the BEST short rib I’ve ever had in my life.

Buckhead

(Area north of downtown, centered around the intersection of Piedmont and Peachtree Rd)

Dantanna’s – Fancy-ish restaurant across from Lenox Mall. Seafood is its speciality, but I enjoy going with a few guys to have scotch and cigars in the cigar lounge in the back of the restaurant.

Hashiguchi, Jr. – Great authentic Japanese restaurant, located right below Dantanna’s. Cramped, smells like fish, and serves some of the best food I’ve ever had.

Virginia-Highlands

(Area at the intersection of North Highland and Virginia St)

Moe’s and Joe’s – Cheap, fun bar. Famous for $3.25 pitchers of PBR on Tuesday nights. I always have a blast with groups of people there.

Fontaine’s – Oyster house and seafood restaurant, definitely serves the best Oyster Rockefeller I’ve ever had.

George’s Burgers – Personally, my favorite burger in Atlanta. I’ve been dozens of times, ordered nearly every burger on the menu, and never been disappointed.

East Atlanta

(Area directly east of Downtown, directly north of I-20)

Graveyard Tavern – Beer, beer, liquor, and more beer. Not classy at all, just a great place to have fun.

I’m not very familiar with this area, but I know there’s a lot of great places. I’m sure other folks can fill in the gaps.

Decatur

(Area far east of Downtown, but inside of I-285)

Brick Store Pub – Arguably the best beer bar in the Southeast. Great food, even better selection of beer, caters to a large following of beer connoisseurs and foodies alike. Definitely a place to check out.

Twain’s Billiards and Tap – Bar and game room. Lots of pool tables, darts, and table shuffleboard. Fun place for big groups.

Leon’s Full Service – Foooooood. And good food, at that. Don’t plan on engaging in any activity afterward, you’ll be miserable from overeating.

Midtown

(Area between Downtown and Buckhead.)

Cyprus Street Pint & Plate – Good food and beer, a favorite of Redditors. We do trivia here every Wednesday at 8 p.m.

The Vortex – Booze and burgers, that’s pretty much the crux. Their Little Five location is more famous, but I prefer the one in Midtown, personally.

Downtown

(Area…well…downtown.)

Sensational Subs – Easily the best sandwich I’ve ever had in my life. Seriously, they have to put crack in the mayonnaise or something. Also, super cheap pitchers. Only open on weekdays from 11 to 7, so definitely check it out for lunch.

Dua Vietnamese Noodle Soup – If you’ve never had Vietnamese, this is a great place. Interesting, to say the least.

 

Some other notable places to chow down at:

  • One Midtown Kitchen
  • Two Urban Licks
  • Flip Burger! (I’ll be going here soon!)

Also check out Creative Loafing’s best “Oral Pleasures” list of 2011! Huge list of some of the best places to dine in Atlanta!

KoreaFest 2011

KoreaFest just recently passed (October 15-16) and I was lucky enough to be in attendance for it! This year marked the 3rd Annual KoreaFest. It was held at the Suwanee Town Center park. The two day event celebrated Korean culture through delicious food, history, musical performances, local korean businesses, and other cultural displays. The weather was perfect and the venue was extremely spacious! Thousands of people occupied the park to see what KoreaFest had to offer…and it didn’t disappoint!

Upon arriving at KoreaFest I had the familiar feeling I had at JapanFest; The “Are there really this many Koreans in Georiga?!” The park was filled with tons of vendors, panels, and many local businesses. Jessica and I walked around to see all the vendors all over the park. We saw a huge variety of things from traditional Korean kites, rice cookers, Korean garb, and the best part KOREAN FOOD!!

I made my way through the food vendors area and was delighted to see that I had a plethora of options to choose from. The aroma of sizzling barbecued beef in the air smelled a lot like bulgogi; I then followed my smell and darted through the crowd until I found this bulgogi stand. My stomach was ready (unfortunately they ran out of rice when I ordered!!!).

Another vendor caught my eye shortly after grabbing my food. They were making some strange pancakes! I believe these are called “kimchijeon.” It smelled great and I am a sucker for food being cooked fresh infront of me so I had to have it! We also decided to grab these little fried rice snack served on a stick mixed with some red sauce; I believe it is called ddeokboggi.

After getting filling our stomaches and exploring what all the vendors had to offer I focused my attention on the event that I was looking forward to the most! Live Performances!

All the kids wearing the tradition clothing were so adorable!


The first half of the live performances came from Kollaboration Atlanta. Kollaboration is an Asian-American non-profit organization aimed at showcasing a variety of talent (Dancers, Singers, Comedians, Magicians) through shows all across the United States. I was hoping to see the all girl dance crew PersuAsian but I found out they would only be performing on Sunday (and I only attended Saturday)! I still was pleasantly surprised by the performances from Johnny Le, Sam Cho, Joy Tolentino, and Oscar Mendez.

Johnny Le & Sam Cho. These two put on an amazing acoustic set together with original songs.

Joy Tolentino & Oscar Mendez preparing to jam.

After the awesome Kollaboration performances KoreaFest changes gears and switches to traditional performances. I didn’t know what to expect since I don’t have much knowledge on Korean culture at all. But as after each performance I grew with more excitement wondering what awesome performance was next in store. For the sake of time (I’m trying to write in about 4 blogs this week since I need to catch up!) I will just post pictures and video from here on out Do watch the videos though since the performances were absolutely amazing!

First up: Hanbok Drum Performance (Video)

Second: Gwanmo? (Spinning faric hat of coolness!) performance. MUST WATCH!!

Third: Hanbok Fan performance. It was mesmerizing watching this…

Lastly: Drum group performance !

 I ended up leaving after the performances (missing the traditional clothing program!) since it was getting late. I immensely enjoyed my experience at KoreaFest and wish it wasn’t so far so I could have attended day 2! I’d recommend anyone who has the slightest interest of Asian culture to attend this event. The panels, programs, and people are all so fun it’s impossible to not enjoy yourself out in KoreaFest!

October 15-16th in Atlanta~!

Korea Fest – The 3nd Annual Korean Festival will be held Oct. 15-16 at Suwanee Town Center Park. Expect no less than a great time as the festival celebrates the traditional Korean Thanksgiving holiday, “Choosuk.” Best of all: It’s FREE. There will be 12 performances including dance, martial arts, traditional Korean music, food and much more. The event is from noon-6 p.m. both days.

JAZZOO – Zoo Atlanta & Jazz. Great food & Spirits. Zoo Atlanta believes that all children should have the opportunity to experience the Zoo and all that it has to offer. 100% of Proceeds from Jazzoo 2011 will support the Zoo’s programs that provide free admission to underserved populations and field trips to Title 1 schools.

Oktoberfest – Oktoberfest takes over the Luckie Marietta District as Der Biergarten and STATS team up for the ultimate celebration of Germany’s famed beer festival. The restaurants will transform into an indoor and outdoor Munich-inspired mecca with authentic décor, live music, premium German beers on tap and classic German cuisine including rotisserie-roasted schweinshaxe and brats. Reusable beer boots will be available for purchase, which guests can bring back for special pricing on refills during the entire Oktoberfest season, which kicks off September 17-18 and continues through October 30.

Fall Fest 2011 – The Candler Park Fall Fest is back and better than ever with food, fun and music for all ages in Candler Park at the corner of McLendon Avenue and Candler Park Drive. Highlights include live music; free kids activities; local food trucks, Sweetwater Beer and Barefoot Wine; 5K Road Race; tour of Candler Park homes; Artists’ Market; Halloween costume contests and the Great Leaf Monster! Free admission.

AIDS Walk Atlanta – Now commemorating 21 years of walking/running, AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run continues to raise the much needed funds for organizations throughout the metro-Atlanta area. These organizations provide essential programs and services to men, women and children who are infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS. With the support and dedication of teams and corporate sponsors, AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run raised $920,000 during its 2010 campaign! AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run 2011 event will be held on Sunday, October 16th at Piedmont Park.

39th Annual Stone Mountain Highland Games – Regale in the spirit of Scotland at the Stone Mountain Highland Games. Outdoor festivities include Highland athletic events, dancing, piping, drumming and Scottish Harping. Join in for Scottish country dancing demonstrations, Kirking of the Tartans, Clan Challenge, and the Parade of the Tartans. See the Clan and Tartan information tents along with many colorful Scottish shops.

 

 

 

JAZZOO / Taste of Atlanta this October!

Two big cultural events coming to Atlanta this month!

First off we have JAZZOO (October 15th!)

Zoo Atlanta along with various partners will be hosting JAZZOO to help raise money for underprivileged children attending Title 1 schools in Atlanta. This will be the 4th Annual JAZZOO and in attendance will be Atlanta’s best restaurants and some amazing local music. For those looking to get their drink on there will be open bars accessible all night! Best part is that the Atlanta Zoo will serve as the exotic backdrop for this awesome party!
——————————–

Next up is Taste of Atlanta (October 22nd-23rd!)

Taste of Atlanta is no stranger to food festivals. For over 10 years now Taste of Atlanta has celebrated cuisine by introducing us to the finest restaurants, chefs, and spirits!

“No one does it better than Taste of Atlanta’s local chefs, our Georgia farmers and the city’s talented bartenders. Come celebrate everything FOOD Atlanta has to offer. Experience delicious tastes from more than 80 of Atlanta’s favorite restaurants, exceptionalfood+wine+beer+cocktail tastingsseminars and food pairings and relaxing music cafes.

Can’t eat another bite or just need a little break? Let the festival entertain you with demos and competitions on three live cooking stages and beverage seminars led by Atlanta’s own, Gil Kulers and Bob Townsend. Or go Inside the Food Studio where Atlanta’s top foodies, including John Kessler, Christiane Lauterbach and Richard Eldredge, will teach you about Atlanta’s food history alongside current and future trends.”

Bottom line: Tons of food & booze.

Picasso to Warhol – The High Museum

 

From October 15, 2011 – April 29, 2012 if you visit The High you have the amazing opportunity to see the art of legendary artists who have redefined the very idea of art. With over 100 world famous works assembled exclusively for The High from the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, this exhibit features fourteen twentieth-century artists, seen together for the first time in the Southeast.

 

The list of artists ~~

Constantin Brancusi

Alexander Calder

Giorgio de Chirico

Marcel Duchamp

Jasper Johns

Fernand Leger

Henri Matisse

Joan Miro

Piet Mondrian

Pablo Picasso

Jackson Pollock

Andy Warhol

Romare Bearden

Louise Bourgeois

I’ll be visiting on the 21st of October for a Jazz concert! If you are into Jazz at all I highly recommend coming on this date as the $18 ticket for the concert is includes complete access to the museum.

Here is a link to the concert~

Visit High.org for more information concerning the exhibits!