Scene & Herd - She's crafty, she's just my type

And Jesus — brought to you by Satan

Since we're all still here, either the Rapture came and we have all been left behind, or the Antichrist had better things to do on 06/06/06. Though the evil one failed to make his presence known, it wasn't for lack of trying on the part of the Little 5 Points Rockstar Orchestra.

Last week, the group of local musicians, artists, actors and other creative folk put together 666, "a tribute to the devil and heavy metal, a dramatic rendition of Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast." It was half rock opera, half haunted house. I missed the sold-out show on Tuesday but managed to get a front-row seat for the Friday night performance.

The first act was a collection of devilish tunes done with a song and dance routine (my favorite being "The Devil Went Down to Georgia.") The second act was a tale of gang warfare, a deal with the devil and the spawn of Satan. By the end of the night, I was spattered with fake blood and the guy next to me received a heck of a lap dance from one of the sexy "angels" — now that's theater!

The amateurish qualities of the performance — minimalist sets, cheap props, some not-so-special special effects, and a script that could've used major revisions — were all contrasted by a skilled live band, scantily clad girls, and really impressive vocal talents by the main cast members. Though the organizers were a few guys with little or no theater training or experience, they managed to put together a miraculously entertaining production.

Speaking of miracles, I ran into one of the show's creators, Shane Morton, after the production. He, Rob Thompson and Liam McKaharay put together a garage-like version of Jesus Christ Superstar earlier this year and are using the profits from 666 to fund a bigger, better production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical at the Roswell Auditorium. I wonder if they'll mention this to the suburbanites who go to that production?

On WEDNESDAY, THE EARL hosted the return of the Blue Valentines, a group I'd enjoyed a few times before one of their members, Aileen Loy, ran off to Prague a year or three ago. Aileen is back from Eastern Europe, and she brought some new band members along for the ride. "Think of them not as a Tom Waits 'cover band' or a 'tribute band' but more of a Plagiarist's Society," read a statement in an announcement about the show. The act may be even weirder than a Tom Waits' show.

The performance featured instruments from a musical saw to a bucket-and-broomstick bass to the jawbone of an ass. Aileen's voice is as deep and gravely as Waits himself. She crooned out the poetic lyrics, swaying and making faces that ranged from anguish to ecstasy. Unfortunately, one of the other band members had to drop out at the last minute, so the sound was as thin as the midweek crowd. You'd think more people would need something like the Blue Valentines to make it through hump day!

ONCE EVERY FOUR YEARS, one-third of the Earth's population stops to watch sports on TV. It's the only championship that can truly call itself a World Series, and is the only match the rest of the world considers Super. I'm talking football. No, not that American game played with your hands, meathead — World Cup Soccer.

Friday I watched the opener at the Brewhouse in L5P (perhaps the soccer capital of Atlanta) with a German brew in hand as host nation Germany defeated Costa Rica. I sat between a girl from Brazil and a guy from Atlanta, each rooting for opposite teams, but, like everyone in the crowded bar, smiling ear to ear. Sunday it was tacos at a small Mexican restaurant as Mexico took on Iran. The room was filled with squeals and gasps every time the ball got anywhere near the net. I took a long lunch on Monday for a cheeseburger and USA taking on the Czech Republic.

One nice thing about being American fans is we know we have no chance of taking the top spot and we have no historic rivalry with any team, so we can root for whatever nation we damn well please. I plan to spend the entire month searching out appropriate ethnic venues for every match I can catch — root, root rooting for other people's home teams.

SATURDAY, THE SECOND ANNUAL Indie Craft Experience, a one-day sale and fashion show featuring a ton of local and/or relatively unknown artisans, hit Atlanta. Last year, the event was crammed into Eyedrum on the hottest day of the year. This year, the Defoor Centre off Howell Mill Road managed to keep I.C.E. cool. The venue came complete with a little cafe and bar in the midst of two rooms of vendors selling wares that were overwhelmingly targeted at women — jewelry, women's clothing, accessories, pottery and handmade cards. The only things lacking were potpourri and a tampon dispenser, but I might have missed something. I have aesthetic and crafty interests, despite my heterosexuality, but there was little on display that caught my straight-guy eye.

The room was packed with creative women, and the fashion show featured a body type for just about any straight male's tastes. (The clothes themselves ranged from plain and mundane to comically absurd.)

The evening also featured live music, though when I arrived it was the soundtrack of my own personal hell: jazz (courtesy of local act dp3, with each member taking several minutes for long solos). Unlike the other guys watching hockey on TV at the bar in the next room who'd clearly been dragged to the event by some crafty girlfriend, I hid in the bar because I couldn't stomach the noodley sounds in main room. Fortunately, a few breakdancers entertained me while I waited for the jazz to give way to the parade of models.

Though I didn't find any crafts I wanted to buy with my meager income, I left with a smile on my face and the free goodie bag full of stickers, magazines, coupons and propaganda.


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