Petula Clark Would Be So Proud
Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
When you're alone and life is making you lonely I do not recommend going downtown. No matter how you feel, if you're alone, I do not recommend going downtown. But downtown Atlanta saw a few more lights and hurry this past weekend as several diverse groups of people did go downtown.
Friday night the Tabernacle was singing as the Okayplayer tour featuring the Roots, Common and Erykah Badu, drew urban sophisticates. There's so much style on display at intelligent hip-hop shows, more than the lights were flaring. The streets felt eccentric, like a Bohemian district. With no pretentious "cosmopolitan" code the Tabernacle still showcased vibrant Earth mothers and earth tones.
A few blocks over at Karma, girls with toned, tanned backs showed them proudly for "Superstition." Drapes from the ceilings filled with shreds filtered orange and red streams on the crowd in always-in-season black and grey. A film crew circled dancers in spangled pants and sequined hats, eager to flaunt their fannies. Shoulders brushed, girls brushed you off. T wasn't kismet. It was Karma.
All weekend long, on the other side of the Tabernacle, Centennial Park hosted ArtScape and the Guinness Oyster Festival, featuring over a hundred artists. Well-lit figures shifted in the wind like weather socks as the temperature kept in the pleasant '60s. Not quite Haight Ashbury, but it will do.
Sunday night, Sunshine's New Wave disco punk, the Murder City Devil's Iggy Pop stalking Springsteen's New Jersey streets and At The Drive-In's Fugazi's Rage Against the Red Hot Chili Peppers antics made the Cotton Club, in the basement of the Tabernacle, electric.
Guitarists weren't the only ones producing power lines. On the way home a thousand lights rained down on Forsythe St. as David Cross broke storefront windows to steal televisions and scenes in the "Mr. Show" movie, Run, Ronnie, Run. Cabs were run at intervals as extras paced the sidewalk. The city felt more alive at midnight than it does during some days, and it wasn't just the thousands of volts running through the cables I crossed.
This next weekend I'll return to Midtown to check out eleven50's grand opening. But for one full weekend I lingered on the sidewalks where the neon signs are pretty. Sadly, I can honestly say I almost did it all in those three days. Downtown has a lot of potential waiting to be developed. But the city is expanding so fast you don't have time to look out the passenger side window and appreciate the landscape. Why not an implosion. We should look within to find the city's soul. We've got a musical church. Am I preaching to the choir? Let's see some baptisms by fire.