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Live shot July 03 2003

Corndogorama is a rite of passage for the local scenester. Here's a survey of this year's damage.

The Earl, June 28, midnight: The bar is trashed at this point; festivities began nearly 12 hours prior. Miller High Life was a sponsor, making it the floor decoration of choice. The seldom-used elevated space in the corner of the music room is converted to a side-stage to allow for the possibility of continuous tunes.

Beginning their set a solid two hours late, event organizer Dave Railey's American Dream saturate the stage with a collection of instruments — including standup bass, banjo and violin — resulting in a mix of unfocused, meandering slacker rock.

Paper Lions deliver a raucous set from their post-punk doomsday collection The Symptom and the Sick. While the album is merely fair, their constant touring has served them well. Rowdy fans, including Earl booking agent Patrick Hill, augment the intensity, carrying Jesse Smith on their backs for the band's final song.

The Subsonics are more of a feast for the eyes than the ears. Their Bob Dylan-on-speed routine is aided by the rare standup drummer and a singer with a flashy disco shirt, too-small vinyl pants and bare feet.

The Close's darker Built to Spill moments have been harnessed to perfection, making this band one of Atlanta's strongest. The only con is bassist Dustan Nigro's middle-child, attention-getting distractions — the removing of the shirt, standing on speakers, flailing on the floor, leaning on bandmates. I would suggest a replacement if he wasn't such a fucking good bassist.

A Fir-Ju Well is headlining, but, alas, it's 4:15 a.m., and my ride can't keep his eyes open. Next time, guys.