Scene & Herd - Style Meets Lifestyle

in Buckhead, of all places

Did you notice how Atlanta was so much more stylish than usual last week? Me neither.

Nevertheless, just because we didn't notice doesn't mean it didn't happen. You see, last week was Style Atlanta Week. The event's aim: to build "Atlanta's stylish image" and "untapped creative talent" through a series of fashion shows, panel discussions, cocktail receptions and gala dinners.

Highlights included the "wearable art" show Sun., May 1, at the Savannah College of Art and Design's Peachtree Street campus, Miami Circle Shopping Day, and discussions at the Atlanta History Center such as "Ponchos: Please Stop." Actually, the discussion was about the influence of runway shows on design. I like my topic better, though.

On Thursday night, I attended the Style Atlanta Week's "Global Sophistication" night. The invitation promised an "exciting evening that celebrates where Style Meets Lifestyle, as defined by Atlanta's Tastemakers." Where exactly do style and lifestyle meet? Well, believe it or not, on East Paces Ferry Road next to Coyote Ugly. The reception was held in the Design Within Reach furniture showroom. I really didn't witness a lot of excitement or tastemaking, just a pleasant art opening-type reception with furniture instead of art.

On Friday night, I stopped by the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead for the $300-a-plate (food on plate included) Style Atlanta Gala dinner. I wasn't actually allowed inside. I was part of the media herd photographing and trying to interview the who's who and who's that of Atlanta socialites and out-of-town dignitaries pouring in via a red carpet.

The highlight for me was watching a correspondent from UPN's "Atlanta Tonight" interview Vogue Editor-at-Large André Leon Talley. Quizzed about Atlanta and Atlanta's style, Talley said that we have an "Ayn Rand-Fountainhead" kind of style and that he sees the influence of our skyline in our fashion. I think he was just making shit up, a suspicion that he reinforced by also referring to Atlanta as a clean city. Other honored guests included John Portman, the architect and developer responsible for much of the very skyline that Talley nonsensically referred to, and Andre 3000. He was really late, so I didn't get his picture.

A1: Last Saturday night was conceptual comedy night at the Earl. America's Funnyman Neil Hamburger performed in Atlanta for the first time since 2003. In character (at least I hope it's a character), Hamburger is a depressed lounge comedian with a terrible combover (though not as bad as John Portman's) whose specialty is topical one-liners that aren't necessarily very topical, often aren't very funny, and often don't make very much sense. Some examples: "What was Elvis Presley's worst release? The ejaculate containing Lisa Marie." "Why did al-Qaeda burn thousands of copies of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon? Because it's a terrible album." "Why did Johnny Cochran eat at Outback four times during the last week of his life? To acclimate himself to the taste of food in hell."You get the picture. It's not that the jokes are brilliant, but the character is. The way he darts between weariness at how bad the show is going, uncomfortable small talk, and all-the-way anger (he threw two drinks on hecklers) is compelling theater. He is my favorite stand-up comedian.

Opening for Hamburger was Pleaseeasaur. I've been trying for two days now, but I cannot adequately describe Pleaseeasaur's show and do it any justice. Pleaseeasaur's frontman J.P. Hasson sings happy songs about how cool cobras are, the pizza business, and a two-part song about an island made of beef. The performance is accompanied by a visual show consisting of two overhead slide projectors that someone backstage places elementary school-style transparencies on in time with the lyrics. It was as if the disjointed thoughts of a 7-year-old boy were transcribed into a musical.

Secret Record Show: The semi-secret Roswell Record Show was last weekend. Held twice a year in the garage and living room of a man who asked that I not use his name, the Roswell Record Show is a fun time for record geeks because of its combination of size and price. The show has a larger selection of old vinyl than any store I've seen in town, but unlike the Atlanta record show, everything at Roswell is $1.50 or less.I picked up about 30 LPs. Some, like the old jazz, Abba and Dionne Warwick LPs I got, were for serious enjoyment. I did pick up quite a few, however, just because they looked tremendously odd. The German rock compilation Schlager Sommer 80 featuring "Aloha-Oe (Bis wir uns wiederseh'n)" is a future Andisheh party staple. Ditto Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach Live In Concert, whose cover features the rabbi praying between a tank and spent shell casings.

Sinkful of mayonnaise: You might not remember, but last Thursday was Cinco de Mayo. Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican national holiday commemorating the Mexican victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, as well as the tequila industry's victory over the forces of sobriety and common sense roughly a century later.Last Thursday evening, I stopped by the Atlanta Cinco de Mayo Fiesta 2005, held at Smyrna's Market Square Village. In addition to drinking, laughing and mating rituals, the fiest-ivities included organized, authentic Mexican-themed entertainment such as a Ricky Martin CD playing, a pinata, and a hot pepper eating contest. Participants in the contest were handed a hot pepper that they had to eat by itself and completely without barfing, walking away from the table, or cooling their mouths with beer. Participants kept getting handed peppers until they could take no more. The last guy standing won a $50 gift certificate (it was all guys, of course, because, bless our hearts, only men are stupid enough to torture themselves for $50).

The winner was a guy named Darryl Cobbs. I lost track of how many peppers he ate. My guess is about 10. After the contest, you could find him leaning against a ledge with a dazed look on his face. I asked him his name, but he couldn't talk. He managed to write it in my notebook and smile, though.


Check out more of Andisheh's recently purchased LPs in Scene & Herd online at www.andy2000.org.??

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