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Scene & Herd - The Three Rs

Reading, rasslin' and resurrection


Last week, 7 Stages threw a preview party for its fall season at 57th Fighter Group, the only restaurant in town that feels like a ride at Disney — well, at least the part where you wait in a long line before you actually get on the ride. You know, when you're herded past various dioramas meant to distract you from the misery of waiting in the heat for hours just for that 90-second thrill?</
I can't speak for 57th Fighter Group's regular fare, as we were treated with a buffet of salads: potato, two variations of pasta, two variations of tomato/cucumber, and the ever-present veggie tray and bowl of ranch. Again, just a tease, so I'll have to leave the full menu for our food critics ... if they dare.</
Things started off with a reading from "Beckett's Memories" by 7 Stages artistic director Del Hamilton. About the time it started to make sense and you felt the scene was headed toward a climax, it was over. The foreplay was nice, but I still left feeling teased. I'll leave it to our theater critics to review the full play in September.</
Friday night, I visited Dad's Garage, the little performance theater tucked behind L5P, for Brawl, a weekly spoof of professional rasslin'. The show was MCed by The Pope and Cowboy, a couple of guys who are either method actors who have studied pro wrestling in detail to prepare for the role, or grew up on a steady diet of the stuff.</
A video projection screen gave us humorously cheesy intros to each of the wrestlers as they came out. Their names alone were enough to make me laugh: Zirconia, the Three Eunuchs, Super Horny and, my personal favorite, Soul Crusher X. Soul Crusher looked to be all of 7 years old. And, although the announcers rattled off his impressive record of victories, he did not participate in the match but was content to sit behind the podium playing with Star Wars figures.</
Meanwhile, the action in the ring was true to rasslin's roots in low-brow drama — the histrionics, the backstabbing, the locker room, and even a surprise appearance by the Iron Sheik. Yes the real Iron Sheik. I remember him from my childhood as a titan of a man with broad shoulders and a handlebar moustache, waving the Iranian flag. I haven't watched pro wrestling in a couple of decades. Do they still have villains who match our political realities? Perhaps a former Enron exec could tag-team with a scientist from the North Korean nuclear research program.</
Now in his 60s, the Iron Sheik was still able to lay a hurting on Brawl's top bad guy, complete with the classic folding metal chair to the head, followed by the Sheik's trademark move, the Camel Clutch. He was obviously having a fine time hamming it up with the other actors as they battled in the Royal Rumba. The Sheik's grin afterward was contagious as he posed for Polaroids for $10 a pop. The crowd ate it up, though the twentysomething guy behind me had to call his father to confirm that the Iron Sheik was, indeed, a real former pro wrestler.

?
Twice a year, Mike Geier, Kingsized and the Dames Aflame throw Atlanta's best Elvis tribute show. And whenever the show nears, I swear I'm not going.</
I've been a regular at the shows since 1997. I've seen it evolve from a sold-out, sweaty night at the Star Bar to the huge spectacle it has become at Variety. But when showtime creeps around, all my friends go, leaving me alone with nothing to do. So I end up at the show, and then I'm reminded why I'm a regular in the first place.</
Mike is no Elvis impersonator striving to authentically re-create an Elvis show. Much like the King himself, he doesn't take things too seriously. In place of an impersonator's studied karate moves, Mike jokingly threw in a moment of Ziggy Stardust mime, slipping a few bars of "Jungle Boogie" into the middle of "Hush." But despite the humor, it's obvious the musicians take the performance seriously. The band was super tight, from the four backup singers to the five-piece horn section. Mike's booming baritone can't be beat. And, as if that's not enough, the Dames Aflame go-go dance along, changing costumes at random. The show was masterfully arranged, building in intensity so that by the time the encore came, the crowd in front of the stage was shaking wall to wall. By the time it was all over, I remembered why I always swear I'll never go again. "It can't get any better. I don't want to ruin the memories of this show by seeing another one," I tell myself. But I'm sure that come January, you can find me front and center for Kingsized's Elvis birthday bash.

?
Fallout Editor Carlton Hargro is taking a position at the Charlotte branch of the Loaf, so I grudgingly gave up a little space this week to let him get a word in edgewise before he goes: "Howdy. Checked out an interesting new nightclub this weekend called the New Club Legacy. The new spot is located off Memorial Drive in Stone Mountain, and they just launched last weekend. Now, I don't venture OTP very often, but folks who live out that way, you should be pleased about a new place to party. The opening weekend festivities featured notables such as DJ Clue and Kid Capri on the wheels of steel — and there was even a real white tiger on site to welcome patrons. So the next time you find yourself in or around Stone Mountain, check out Club Legacy. Peace."</
scene@creativeloafing.com


















More By This Writer

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  string(1981) "Rumors have been circling about the Star Bar in Little 5 Points — is it changing ownership, turning into a reggae bar and/or outright closing? The bar is changing hands, but according to Dave Parker (one-third owner of the place along with Jim Stacy and Gary Yoxen) little else will change when the current partners turn the helm over this summer to the owners of CJ's Landing: Stephen Hudnall and partners.

"Dave and Marty had this place for 10 years," Parker says, referring to previous owners, the Keeper brothers. "We kept it going another seven. It's time to pass the torch. It'll be the same blue-collar bar where PBR is the biggest seller, same faces behind the bar, same bands. The only difference is Jim and I will be drinking from this side of the bar," Parker says, sitting on a stool alongside Star Bar regulars who've been visiting the place more than 15 years.

"Bubbapalooza, the Gracevault, karaoke, disco, all the stuff on the walls – it'll all still be here. We're not trying to bring Buckhead to Little 5," Parker says. "We're proud of what we've done with the place."

Apparently it's exactly what Hudnall was searching for. "I was looking for something between the Poncey MJQ scene and the East Atlanta Village Earl scene," he says. "I was considering starting from scratch in Decatur but then this opportunity came up."

Keeping any bar open 17 years is a feat within Atlanta's fickle nightlife. The Star Bar came to maturity during the swing revival era when rootsy country and rockabilly could pack the house. The last five years have seen more garage, metal and indie fare than rockabilly, a trend likely to continue with Bryan Malone, bartender and lead singer of the Forty-Fives, doing the booking.

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"Dave and Marty had this place for 10 years," Parker says, referring to previous owners, the Keeper brothers. "We kept it going another seven. It's time to pass the torch. It'll be the same blue-collar bar where PBR is the biggest seller, same faces behind the bar, same bands. The only difference is Jim and I will be drinking from this side of the bar," Parker says, sitting on a stool alongside Star Bar regulars who've been visiting the place more than 15 years.

"Bubbapalooza, the Gracevault, karaoke, disco, all the stuff on the walls – it'll all still be here. We're not trying to bring Buckhead to Little 5," Parker says. "We're proud of what we've done with the place."

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Article

Wednesday April 18, 2007 12:04 am EDT
L5P mainstay staying put for now | more...
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  string(67) "A stream of tailgating, movie-watching, rockabillying consciousness"
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  string(5879) "I'm breaking in a new editor for this column this week, so rather than make a standard article with things like structure and complete sentences, I figured I'd give him, and perhaps you, a challenge. So here's a stream-of-consciousness review of my weekend at the Drive Invasion at the Starlight Drive-In, moment by moment:

?image-1
Pulled into the driveway at 8:30 a.m. Saturday; fifth car in line; handed out Krispy Kreme donuts to fellow early birds; gates opened a little after 9 to a line of cars out to Moreland; set up camp and started things off with bourbon and lemonade; played cards with friends during the calm before the storm; Stovall kicked off the live music at noon with vaguely country stuff to a handful of people; an inflatable Godzilla-esque T-Rex stood atop the snack bar; "So how many acres of tattoos you think there are here?"</
I was buzzed already by the time the Cogburns did their usual garage rock; grills going, cooking everything from tofu to beef brisket; elaborate bar setups; Cletus and his City Cousins did classic country sounds and a few fun covers.</
Wow, look at that girl!; cute vintage Airstream trailers; Johnny Legend onstage belting out the theme from 2000 Maniacs; aging hipsters; cool motorcycles; another random rockabilly band; a tent village sprang up like mushrooms in the small patch of lawn in front of the screen.</
The Ghastly Ones did songs that all sounded like "The Munsters" theme; look at that pretty sunset; some marvelous barbecue; one of the vendors had a table labeled "robots & westerns;" the world's best jalapeño corndog; Rocket From the Tombs spawned Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys but now they're just old, hot, tired and cranky, or at least they seemed on Saturday as they cranked through some basic rock with a few energizing moments; kids on skateboards.</
"How much booze can we possibly need?!?"; a corral full of hotrods; Shane Morton's half-finished mural featuring classic movie monsters and blaxploitation stars adorns the snack bar, inside and out; shit, is that rain?; mopeds and mini-bikes; sewage leak; Johnny Knox blending up tiki drinks in his temporary bar called "Trailer Vics;" a guy was already passed out by 3 p.m. — some folks haven't mastered the fine art of maintaining a good buzz.

?image-2
The smoke from the grills of Aces Bar mingled with the smoke from burning tires as the hotrods lay rubber up the hill; the misting tent was a delight for hot kids and adults; Big City Burlesque; a rockabilly greaser played bagpipes; a low-rider, tricked-out, pinstriped bicycle; a guy on a motorcycle put his front tire to the wall and burned rubber until he blew the tire.</
Southern Culture on the Skids did a song about white trash right as I noticed the tattoo in front of me of the fallen lion from the Confederate memorial — or is it Aslan?</
2001 Maniacs not much better than 2000 Maniacs, and that's saying something; impressive fireworks, sometimes timed to the action onscreen; Galaxy of Terror finally put me to sleep some 16 hours after I started the day.</
GOT UP AROUND 8 A.M. to find many people hadn't bothered going to sleep and were still chugging PBR; bourbon and lemonade for breakfast again while others mixed up elaborate and complicated Bloody Marys; a freshly cleaned Port-o-Let can be a godsend; a lukewarm shower is better than no shower; Cadillac Jones laid down a funky groove to start off Sunday's live-music lineup; rain again?; Atlanta Rollergirls dunk tank; a guy known as "Top Hat" pin-striping hotrods, old motorcycles, and even minivans.</
Too hot to take a nap, despite the rain; the Sweetloves brought their Faces-influenced rock, getting the crowd going despite "working on fumes" due to hangovers from the night before; pickled hot sausage is disgusting, and delicious, though I'm not sure I want to know what one of its ingredients — "mechanically separated chicken" — actually is.</
Gonzalez played heavy/hard/metallic ass-kicking rock, including a blistering version of Blondie's "Call Me;" we spotted a 10-year-old kid dressed in all black with jet-black hair and nicknamed him "Gothling;" more jalapeño corndogs; rain again?!? Damn weathermen!; "What is the difference between coconut milk and coconut water?"</
The Gore Gore Girls from Detroit did energetic '60s garage-inspired rock and weren't bad-looking, either; kids on the rock-climbing wall; I don't believe there is such a thing as "sweat-proof sunscreen," and I have the farmer's tan to prove it.

?image-3
Supersuckers performed some bar-band rock, basic rockabilly-influenced stuff, but then cranked out a few lines of "Godzilla" before Blue Oyster Cult's roadie rushed to the stage and put an end to it; "It's 7 o'clock and I have finally achieved the perfect buzz"; a rainbow arcing over the city dump behind the drive in.</
Blue Oyster Cult doing plodding dinosaur rock about plodding dinosaurs; Jim Stacy poured out a massive pot of low-country boil — all you could eat for $10 and worth every penny; my God, where did they find these trailers?</
Godzilla 2000 is, thankfully, not the American version with Ferris Bueller; Vanishing Point may have the best plot setup of any car-chase movie — basically, "I bet you the money I owe you for these bennies I can get to San Fran by tomorrow at 3:00," as well as the best ending of any car-chase movie (I won't spoil it); 1974's Gone in 60 Seconds didn't get going fast enough to keep me out of bed after another 16-hour day of hard partying; the sun rose over the wreckage as the street-sweeping trucks began circling the lot.</
"Wow, I can't believe we drank all that booze!; by the time I packed up camp and cruised out the gates, I had been there exactly 48 hours, and it may take that long to recover.</
scene@creativeloafing.com



























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?[image-1]
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  string(6165) "    A stream of tailgating, movie-watching, rockabillying consciousness   2006-09-06T04:04:00+00:00 Scene & Herd - Body-snatching invasion   Frederick Noble 1223755 2006-09-06T04:04:00+00:00  I'm breaking in a new editor for this column this week, so rather than make a standard article with things like structure and complete sentences, I figured I'd give him, and perhaps you, a challenge. So here's a stream-of-consciousness review of my weekend at the Drive Invasion at the Starlight Drive-In, moment by moment:

?image-1
Pulled into the driveway at 8:30 a.m. Saturday; fifth car in line; handed out Krispy Kreme donuts to fellow early birds; gates opened a little after 9 to a line of cars out to Moreland; set up camp and started things off with bourbon and lemonade; played cards with friends during the calm before the storm; Stovall kicked off the live music at noon with vaguely country stuff to a handful of people; an inflatable Godzilla-esque T-Rex stood atop the snack bar; "So how many acres of tattoos you think there are here?"</
I was buzzed already by the time the Cogburns did their usual garage rock; grills going, cooking everything from tofu to beef brisket; elaborate bar setups; Cletus and his City Cousins did classic country sounds and a few fun covers.</
Wow, look at that girl!; cute vintage Airstream trailers; Johnny Legend onstage belting out the theme from 2000 Maniacs; aging hipsters; cool motorcycles; another random rockabilly band; a tent village sprang up like mushrooms in the small patch of lawn in front of the screen.</
The Ghastly Ones did songs that all sounded like "The Munsters" theme; look at that pretty sunset; some marvelous barbecue; one of the vendors had a table labeled "robots & westerns;" the world's best jalapeño corndog; Rocket From the Tombs spawned Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys but now they're just old, hot, tired and cranky, or at least they seemed on Saturday as they cranked through some basic rock with a few energizing moments; kids on skateboards.</
"How much booze can we possibly need?!?"; a corral full of hotrods; Shane Morton's half-finished mural featuring classic movie monsters and blaxploitation stars adorns the snack bar, inside and out; shit, is that rain?; mopeds and mini-bikes; sewage leak; Johnny Knox blending up tiki drinks in his temporary bar called "Trailer Vics;" a guy was already passed out by 3 p.m. — some folks haven't mastered the fine art of maintaining a good buzz.

?image-2
The smoke from the grills of Aces Bar mingled with the smoke from burning tires as the hotrods lay rubber up the hill; the misting tent was a delight for hot kids and adults; Big City Burlesque; a rockabilly greaser played bagpipes; a low-rider, tricked-out, pinstriped bicycle; a guy on a motorcycle put his front tire to the wall and burned rubber until he blew the tire.</
Southern Culture on the Skids did a song about white trash right as I noticed the tattoo in front of me of the fallen lion from the Confederate memorial — or is it Aslan?</
2001 Maniacs not much better than 2000 Maniacs, and that's saying something; impressive fireworks, sometimes timed to the action onscreen; Galaxy of Terror finally put me to sleep some 16 hours after I started the day.</
GOT UP AROUND 8 A.M. to find many people hadn't bothered going to sleep and were still chugging PBR; bourbon and lemonade for breakfast again while others mixed up elaborate and complicated Bloody Marys; a freshly cleaned Port-o-Let can be a godsend; a lukewarm shower is better than no shower; Cadillac Jones laid down a funky groove to start off Sunday's live-music lineup; rain again?; Atlanta Rollergirls dunk tank; a guy known as "Top Hat" pin-striping hotrods, old motorcycles, and even minivans.</
Too hot to take a nap, despite the rain; the Sweetloves brought their Faces-influenced rock, getting the crowd going despite "working on fumes" due to hangovers from the night before; pickled hot sausage is disgusting, and delicious, though I'm not sure I want to know what one of its ingredients — "mechanically separated chicken" — actually is.</
Gonzalez played heavy/hard/metallic ass-kicking rock, including a blistering version of Blondie's "Call Me;" we spotted a 10-year-old kid dressed in all black with jet-black hair and nicknamed him "Gothling;" more jalapeño corndogs; rain again?!? Damn weathermen!; "What is the difference between coconut milk and coconut water?"</
The Gore Gore Girls from Detroit did energetic '60s garage-inspired rock and weren't bad-looking, either; kids on the rock-climbing wall; I don't believe there is such a thing as "sweat-proof sunscreen," and I have the farmer's tan to prove it.

?image-3
Supersuckers performed some bar-band rock, basic rockabilly-influenced stuff, but then cranked out a few lines of "Godzilla" before Blue Oyster Cult's roadie rushed to the stage and put an end to it; "It's 7 o'clock and I have finally achieved the perfect buzz"; a rainbow arcing over the city dump behind the drive in.</
Blue Oyster Cult doing plodding dinosaur rock about plodding dinosaurs; Jim Stacy poured out a massive pot of low-country boil — all you could eat for $10 and worth every penny; my God, where did they find these trailers?</
Godzilla 2000 is, thankfully, not the American version with Ferris Bueller; Vanishing Point may have the best plot setup of any car-chase movie — basically, "I bet you the money I owe you for these bennies I can get to San Fran by tomorrow at 3:00," as well as the best ending of any car-chase movie (I won't spoil it); 1974's Gone in 60 Seconds didn't get going fast enough to keep me out of bed after another 16-hour day of hard partying; the sun rose over the wreckage as the street-sweeping trucks began circling the lot.</
"Wow, I can't believe we drank all that booze!; by the time I packed up camp and cruised out the gates, I had been there exactly 48 hours, and it may take that long to recover.</
scene@creativeloafing.com



























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  string(5679) "Thursday night saw the return of the legendary punk act X. I was too young to enjoy the first and second waves of punk in the '70s and '80s, so when X regrouped a couple of years ago and came to the Masquerade, I jumped at the chance to catch them live. That show was packed wall to wall, so I was somewhat surprised to find the Tabernacle half-empty for last week's show.

?image-1
This is the band's third trip to town in as many years, so perhaps the novelty of seeing what is, in essence, a nostalgia act has worn off. Even so, there was quite a diverse mix of folks in attendance: from twentysomethings who weren't born when the band started in 1977 to fiftysomethings who hadn't been to a live show in ages.</
Things kicked off with a spirited performance by Riverboat Gamblers, a youthful band of punky rockers who kept their energy levels almost as high as the levels of distortion in their guitars. Things were so fuzzy — between the effects pedals and the lousy acoustics of a near-empty venue — that when the lead guitarist blazed out a solo, the notes were indiscernible.</
The Henry Rollins Band followed. Rollins looked fantastic in his usual stage wardrobe: black shorts, muscles, tattoos and sweat. I like the man, his writings and the band he once fronted, Black Flag, but as he grimaced and posed his way through a set with the Rollins Band, I found myself bored. The music was virtually monotone, with the only thing distinguishing one song from the next being the lyrics — and even those could use some variation in theme. His mid-set tirade, about how gun control would be pointless in the United States because we'd still kill each other with any means necessary, made most of the audience just giggle. Rollins makes music for guys who seethe with rage about — well, pretty much everything.</
But X made it all worthwhile with a "best of" set — all the classics the fans wanted to hear, without a single song sending folks out for a bathroom break. Billy Zoom played with stoic effortlessness, but grinned the entire set to show how much fun he was having. John Doe bounced around and smiled like a man half his age, and by the time they wrapped up their encore, half the room was drenched in sweat from dancing along. An excellent show, but it made me wonder why the older folks in attendance couldn't get out and see something new once in a while. C'mon, people, there are talented musicians starving in this very city who need your support!

?image-2
SPEAKING OF PUNK, the Rabbit Hole Gallery hosted an opening Friday night with "Punk vs. Metal," featuring works by several local artists working with either the punk or metal aesthetic. For many, these themes are not divergent enough to be considered separate, but for those entrenched in rock culture they represent order vs. chaos, with both rebelling against the music, art and culture of the establishment. The problem with any movement that rebels against the old, be it art, music, religion or even government, is that it eventually becomes codified and, well, established. Punk fashion became less about destroying the mold than about fitting into the new, narrow one the fans had created. It has since been eaten and excreted by the mainstream into Hot Topics in malls across the country.</
It was no surprise to find much of the work at the Rabbit Hole using the iconography ever-present in punk and metal — skulls, guitars, fire, collage, tattoos, etc. The only work that made me stop and wonder was "Deer Slayer" by Charlie Owens, a deer skull mounted onto old wooden planks, something that would've looked more at home in a hunting lodge than in the home of a fan of hardcore. None of this art theory matters because, as with any art opening, attendees stood around outside drinking and chatting. But in place of art snobs in eveningwear sipping wine was a ragtag group of musicians and their fans sucking down PBRs.</
SPEAKING OF METAL, did you know Syd Barrett, founding member of Pink Floyd, was once in a band called the Meggadeaths? No, I didn't, either. Thanks, Wikipedia! Saturday the Earl paid tribute to the recently departed Syd. Most people are more familiar with the post-Barrett years of Floyd, but there are enough serious music geeks in town to put together a long show with an ever-rotating cast of musicians playing to a very chatty room full of fans.

?image-3
At times, the bands made it sound as if Syd was some indie/emo rocker whose work could be played alongside anything on WRAS, while others tried to replicate his music (the sometimes-psychedelic, almost-pop he produced in the late '60s) with precision. It made for a nice mix of sound while some escapees from a high school AV club used an overhead projector, some plastic plates and multicolored oils to create a trippy lightshow behind the stage. Groovy, man!</
THE DARK CONFINES of the Earl were contrasted with impossibly blue skies over Grant Park for the Summer Shade Festival. This is my new favorite festival, if for no other reason than the impressive lineup of local musicians on two stages over the course of the weekend. The event featured the usual arts and crafts, but in place of the deep-fried nastiness you get at most other festivals around Atlanta, Summer Shade featured local restaurants bringing some of their best fare. The park's huge trees created the shade of the festival's name, providing comfort for hundreds of people lounging on the lawn and wandering the winding walkways, while the cookouts and picnics of the park's regular visitors continued as though it was just another weekend.</
scene@creativeloafing.com













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  string(5905) "    And psychedelic vs. shade   2006-08-30T04:04:00+00:00 Scene & Herd - Punk vs. metal   Frederick Noble 1223755 2006-08-30T04:04:00+00:00  Thursday night saw the return of the legendary punk act X. I was too young to enjoy the first and second waves of punk in the '70s and '80s, so when X regrouped a couple of years ago and came to the Masquerade, I jumped at the chance to catch them live. That show was packed wall to wall, so I was somewhat surprised to find the Tabernacle half-empty for last week's show.

?image-1
This is the band's third trip to town in as many years, so perhaps the novelty of seeing what is, in essence, a nostalgia act has worn off. Even so, there was quite a diverse mix of folks in attendance: from twentysomethings who weren't born when the band started in 1977 to fiftysomethings who hadn't been to a live show in ages.</
Things kicked off with a spirited performance by Riverboat Gamblers, a youthful band of punky rockers who kept their energy levels almost as high as the levels of distortion in their guitars. Things were so fuzzy — between the effects pedals and the lousy acoustics of a near-empty venue — that when the lead guitarist blazed out a solo, the notes were indiscernible.</
The Henry Rollins Band followed. Rollins looked fantastic in his usual stage wardrobe: black shorts, muscles, tattoos and sweat. I like the man, his writings and the band he once fronted, Black Flag, but as he grimaced and posed his way through a set with the Rollins Band, I found myself bored. The music was virtually monotone, with the only thing distinguishing one song from the next being the lyrics — and even those could use some variation in theme. His mid-set tirade, about how gun control would be pointless in the United States because we'd still kill each other with any means necessary, made most of the audience just giggle. Rollins makes music for guys who seethe with rage about — well, pretty much everything.</
But X made it all worthwhile with a "best of" set — all the classics the fans wanted to hear, without a single song sending folks out for a bathroom break. Billy Zoom played with stoic effortlessness, but grinned the entire set to show how much fun he was having. John Doe bounced around and smiled like a man half his age, and by the time they wrapped up their encore, half the room was drenched in sweat from dancing along. An excellent show, but it made me wonder why the older folks in attendance couldn't get out and see something new once in a while. C'mon, people, there are talented musicians starving in this very city who need your support!

?image-2
SPEAKING OF PUNK, the Rabbit Hole Gallery hosted an opening Friday night with "Punk vs. Metal," featuring works by several local artists working with either the punk or metal aesthetic. For many, these themes are not divergent enough to be considered separate, but for those entrenched in rock culture they represent order vs. chaos, with both rebelling against the music, art and culture of the establishment. The problem with any movement that rebels against the old, be it art, music, religion or even government, is that it eventually becomes codified and, well, established. Punk fashion became less about destroying the mold than about fitting into the new, narrow one the fans had created. It has since been eaten and excreted by the mainstream into Hot Topics in malls across the country.</
It was no surprise to find much of the work at the Rabbit Hole using the iconography ever-present in punk and metal — skulls, guitars, fire, collage, tattoos, etc. The only work that made me stop and wonder was "Deer Slayer" by Charlie Owens, a deer skull mounted onto old wooden planks, something that would've looked more at home in a hunting lodge than in the home of a fan of hardcore. None of this art theory matters because, as with any art opening, attendees stood around outside drinking and chatting. But in place of art snobs in eveningwear sipping wine was a ragtag group of musicians and their fans sucking down PBRs.</
SPEAKING OF METAL, did you know Syd Barrett, founding member of Pink Floyd, was once in a band called the Meggadeaths? No, I didn't, either. Thanks, Wikipedia! Saturday the Earl paid tribute to the recently departed Syd. Most people are more familiar with the post-Barrett years of Floyd, but there are enough serious music geeks in town to put together a long show with an ever-rotating cast of musicians playing to a very chatty room full of fans.

?image-3
At times, the bands made it sound as if Syd was some indie/emo rocker whose work could be played alongside anything on WRAS, while others tried to replicate his music (the sometimes-psychedelic, almost-pop he produced in the late '60s) with precision. It made for a nice mix of sound while some escapees from a high school AV club used an overhead projector, some plastic plates and multicolored oils to create a trippy lightshow behind the stage. Groovy, man!</
THE DARK CONFINES of the Earl were contrasted with impossibly blue skies over Grant Park for the Summer Shade Festival. This is my new favorite festival, if for no other reason than the impressive lineup of local musicians on two stages over the course of the weekend. The event featured the usual arts and crafts, but in place of the deep-fried nastiness you get at most other festivals around Atlanta, Summer Shade featured local restaurants bringing some of their best fare. The park's huge trees created the shade of the festival's name, providing comfort for hundreds of people lounging on the lawn and wandering the winding walkways, while the cookouts and picnics of the park's regular visitors continued as though it was just another weekend.</
scene@creativeloafing.com













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Wednesday August 30, 2006 12:04 am EDT
And psychedelic vs. shade | more...
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  string(5371) "Boys who like boys, a few girls who like girls, and several straight-but-not-narrow people have been gathering at Mary's in East Atlanta to watch "Project Runway" on Wednesday nights.

?image-1
Last week, the festivities were emceed by DJ Yes Sir, who turned down the volume on the bar's TVs during commercials and whipped out a microphone to interview patrons about the contestants and their creations. It's like a gay version of Monday Night Football at a sports bar, complete with drink specials and cheering (and jeering) fans. Fabulous.</
Everyone called for the ousting of the dippy and annoying cast member Vincent, while voicing full support for local boy Michael Knight. In the end, Knight won the round, but Vincent survived to design another day. Instead, blonde, blue-eyed Alison, object of desire for several of Mary's female patrons, got the axe, resulting in a loud round of booing from the bar. The atmosphere is fun and casual, so if you're into fashion, reality TV or just looking for a giggle on a Wednesday night, check it out.</
Flesh roasting over a fire speaks to some deep, possibly pre-human instinct within me, kind of like doing it doggie style, so I continued my quest for the perfect 'cue last week with a trip to Decatur for Maddy's Rib & Blues Joint. The building has served as a barbecue restaurant for half a century or more, but I haven't enjoyed its previous incarnations as much as the current flavor. I opted for the ribs and chopped pork combo. The chopped pork is cooked with sauce in it, a recipe I don't support. You end up tasting nothing but sauce. Maddy's sauce is tangy and light, but I'd rather taste the meat. The ribs, on the other hand, are delicious. They're slightly charred, so you get an extra-smoky taste, and basted on one side with a thin glaze of sauce, just enough to keep them from getting dry but not so much that it overpowers the pork — near perfect. On yet another hand, the beans are so sweet and tart, you may as well order them for dessert. Maddy's has live blues and offers an impressive selection of beer. It's a worthwhile stop on any barbecue pilgrimage around town.

?image-2
Afterward, I stopped by Theatre Decatur for Gorgeous Ladies of Comedy, an improv group made up of four talented actresses and one keyboardist for accompaniment. They took suggestions from the audience — a familiar setup to anyone who's watched improv or "Whose Line is it Anyway?" — and turned them into skits covering topics from birthday disappointments to a magic beer cooler that summoned a Duffman-like genie. The ladies are confident, fast on their feet and got quite a few laughs from the friends and family who made up the sparse audience. If you're not getting enough comedy in your life, look up GLOC at www.gorgeousladiesofcomedy.com. The theater is set to host some interesting shows in the coming months, including Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest in September.</
While Maddy's ribs are superior to the chopped pork, I found the opposite to be true on Saturday during a trip to Roswell's Swallow at the Hollow. Their baby back ribs are covered with entirely too much sweet, vaguely teriyaki-flavored sauce. I could hardly find the meat under this goop. The Brunswick stew is more like a puree than a stew and not recommended. But all is more than forgiven with the restaurant's chopped pork sandwich. Served sans sauce, packed with smoky flavor and piled on toasted homemade white bread, it's a damn fine sandwich. They offer several sauces on the table — tomato, mustard or vinegar-based, all of which impressed me. The three-bean baked beans are tasty, too, and the strange little sweet/sour/hot pickle salad that comes with the plates is interesting. It's not the easiest place to find, but worth the hunt if you share my passion for the pig.

?image-3
I have to confess that when it comes to art, I am an "insider" — I have been formally trained in the visual arts and hold a degree in sculpture. But I left my credentials at home to sneak into Folk Fest 2006, an "outsider art" show and sale that filled up the warehouse-like space of the North Atlanta Trade Center way out in Gwinnett. I haven't been much of a fan of works labeled "folk art," but as I wandered through aisle after aisle of the stuff, I began to realize I like about the same percentage of "untrained" artists' works as I do those of my fellow trained artists. I think it's the lack of subtlety or multiple meanings that appeal to patrons of folk art. The whimsical nature of much of the work isn't challenging, and who wants to be challenged by art in their own home after life's day-to-day challenges? Instead of wondering what these artists are trying to say, you can focus on wondering what they were trying to represent, since often the work is so crude that it approaches abstraction.</
That being said, I suspect many of the folks presenting work at Folk Fest 2006 were actually insiders. Some understood perspective, and others knew how to blend colors to create delicate shading in paintings. It makes me wonder if I could pawn off my many artistic failures as "folk art," sort of like writing porn under a pen name. But then I'd probably have to do more work incorporating the holy trinity of folk art — Jesus, Mary and Elvis.</
scene@creativeloafing.com









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?image-1
Last week, the festivities were emceed by DJ Yes Sir, who turned down the volume on the bar's TVs during commercials and whipped out a microphone to interview patrons about the contestants and their creations. It's like a gay version of Monday Night Football at a sports bar, complete with drink specials and cheering (and jeering) fans. Fabulous.</
Everyone called for the ousting of the dippy and annoying cast member Vincent, while voicing full support for local boy Michael Knight. In the end, Knight won the round, but Vincent survived to design another day. Instead, blonde, blue-eyed Alison, object of desire for several of Mary's female patrons, got the axe, resulting in a loud round of booing from the bar. The atmosphere is fun and casual, so if you're into fashion, reality TV or just looking for a giggle on a Wednesday night, check it out.</
Flesh roasting over a fire speaks to some deep, possibly pre-human instinct within me, kind of like doing it doggie style, so I continued my quest for the perfect 'cue last week with a trip to Decatur for Maddy's Rib & Blues Joint. The building has served as a barbecue restaurant for half a century or more, but I haven't enjoyed its previous incarnations as much as the current flavor. I opted for the ribs and chopped pork combo. The chopped pork is cooked with sauce in it, a recipe I don't support. You end up tasting nothing but sauce. Maddy's sauce is tangy and light, but I'd rather taste the meat. The ribs, on the other hand, are delicious. They're slightly charred, so you get an extra-smoky taste, and basted on one side with a thin glaze of sauce, just enough to keep them from getting dry but not so much that it overpowers the pork — near perfect. On yet another hand, the beans are so sweet and tart, you may as well order them for dessert. Maddy's has live blues and offers an impressive selection of beer. It's a worthwhile stop on any barbecue pilgrimage around town.

?image-2
Afterward, I stopped by Theatre Decatur for Gorgeous Ladies of Comedy, an improv group made up of four talented actresses and one keyboardist for accompaniment. They took suggestions from the audience — a familiar setup to anyone who's watched improv or "Whose Line is it Anyway?" — and turned them into skits covering topics from birthday disappointments to a magic beer cooler that summoned a Duffman-like genie. The ladies are confident, fast on their feet and got quite a few laughs from the friends and family who made up the sparse audience. If you're not getting enough comedy in your life, look up GLOC at www.gorgeousladiesofcomedy.com. The theater is set to host some interesting shows in the coming months, including Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest in September.</
While Maddy's ribs are superior to the chopped pork, I found the opposite to be true on Saturday during a trip to Roswell's Swallow at the Hollow. Their baby back ribs are covered with entirely too much sweet, vaguely teriyaki-flavored sauce. I could hardly find the meat under this goop. The Brunswick stew is more like a puree than a stew and not recommended. But all is more than forgiven with the restaurant's chopped pork sandwich. Served sans sauce, packed with smoky flavor and piled on toasted homemade white bread, it's a damn fine sandwich. They offer several sauces on the table — tomato, mustard or vinegar-based, all of which impressed me. The three-bean baked beans are tasty, too, and the strange little sweet/sour/hot pickle salad that comes with the plates is interesting. It's not the easiest place to find, but worth the hunt if you share my passion for the pig.

?image-3
I have to confess that when it comes to art, I am an "insider" — I have been formally trained in the visual arts and hold a degree in sculpture. But I left my credentials at home to sneak into Folk Fest 2006, an "outsider art" show and sale that filled up the warehouse-like space of the North Atlanta Trade Center way out in Gwinnett. I haven't been much of a fan of works labeled "folk art," but as I wandered through aisle after aisle of the stuff, I began to realize I like about the same percentage of "untrained" artists' works as I do those of my fellow trained artists. I think it's the lack of subtlety or multiple meanings that appeal to patrons of folk art. The whimsical nature of much of the work isn't challenging, and who wants to be challenged by art in their own home after life's day-to-day challenges? Instead of wondering what these artists are trying to say, you can focus on wondering what they were trying to represent, since often the work is so crude that it approaches abstraction.</
That being said, I suspect many of the folks presenting work at Folk Fest 2006 were actually insiders. Some understood perspective, and others knew how to blend colors to create delicate shading in paintings. It makes me wonder if I could pawn off my many artistic failures as "folk art," sort of like writing porn under a pen name. But then I'd probably have to do more work incorporating the holy trinity of folk art — Jesus, Mary and Elvis.</
scene@creativeloafing.com









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Wednesday August 23, 2006 12:04 am EDT
Fashion, flesh and folk art | more...
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  string(5806) "Last Tuesday, The Tabernacle became The Church of Hip(sters), where the faithful were gathered to celebrate a return of the King of Cool: beat poet troubadour Tom Waits.

?image-1
The last time he was in town, many of the fans in attendance for Tuesday's performance hadn't been born yet. I heard several folks afterward describe it as "amazing" or "awesome." The man put a lot of energy into the show and is a monumental influence on many of my favorite artists and people. Personally, I could have used more variation in the sound at the performance. I enjoyed the show, but I was not awe-struck ... particularly when I couldn't help but compare the ticket price — $70 for general admission after the TicketBastard "convenience" fees — to show costs for some of our own home-grown talents. So here's a list of bands to see if you're too cheap or too impatient to check out the next Tom Waits appearance:</
• Several members of The Blue Velvets just moved back from Eastern Europe. Let's hope they perform regularly again. "Think of them not as a Tom Waits 'cover band' or a 'tribute band' but more of a Plagiarist's Society," they say. I reviewed them a few issues ago, thinking I wouldn't get the chance to see Tom Waits himself anytime soon. Thanks for proving me wrong, as usual, fates!</
• Hubcap City shares some of the odd instrumentation of Tom Waits but lacks things like melody, chorus or traditional song structure. The stories are surreal and fun, but it's only for those with a broad tolerance in sound.

?image-2
• Slim Fatz has a similar gravelly voice and tells dark tales like Waits, but is a bit more blues-based. I get the impression, however, that Tom is telling charming-yet-tall tales of debauchery, whereas I know for a fact that Slim is singing from experience.</
• Speaking of blues, just about any night at Northside Tavern you can hear about life in the gutter, often from people with experience; sometimes they're even on stage performing, and they're usually pretty damn good.</
When Tom Waits threw in a few lines from "Spoonful" (a la Howlin' Wolf), I couldn't help but think of the many times I've heard the song at Northside.</
• But my personal favorite local act in a similar vein is Hope for a Golden Summer, a group led by two sisters out of Athens. They perform original material with poetic storytelling lyrics that are as haunting as anything Waits has done. Coincidentally, they performed Sunday at New Street Gallery in Decatur under the moniker Hope for a Golden Retriever. It was a benefit show for Presley, a dog who's suffering from bone cancer. She has lost a leg to the illness and has a stack of medical bills, but seems in fine spirits. So don't save your pennies for another 31 years — get out there and see the Tom Waitses of the future tonight.</
Since it's been over 95,000 degrees every day for weeks, what could be more fun than getting outside in the peak of the afternoon heat and playing football? Saturday Piedmont Park hosted Midtown Touchdown, a promotional event for the Falcons where participants could throw footballs, catch footballs and even have a football airbrushed onto their face. My high school football team won one game in four years, and neither of the colleges I attended even had a team, so I never developed a love for the sport. But apparently there are hordes of people who love not just the sport, but (shockingly) even the local franchise.

?image-3
When the MC got on stage and yelled, "Are you ready to meet your 2006 Atlanta Falcons?" people sprinted across the park. Wait, if they're my team, then my first action is to threaten to take them to another town unless Atlanta builds me a new stadium. No, not for the players, just for my own personal use.</
My 2006 Atlanta Falcons came running out on stage and down onto the lawn where the crowd was kept at bay by a barricade. The team jogged down this path to half a dozen waiting tour buses so they could be driven across the street. They played an exhibition game at Grady High School, but I didn't stick around. Grady's had a good team in years past, but I didn't think they were capable of beating a pro team. But then again, it is the Falcons! There was supposed to be more live music and fireworks after the game, but the rain drove me (and much of the crowd) away.</
Emory University's Michael C. Carlos Museum (www.carlos.emory.edu) is hosting "In Stabiano," frescoes, reliefs and sculptures from the seaside vacation homes of ancient Rome's rich and famous. The homes are long gone, but some of the art has been salvaged and restored. I spent a summer studying in Italy and saw a ton of this stuff, so I know what I'm talking about when I say this is a fine exhibition. No, it can't match seeing Pompeii or Herculaneum or a visit to the museum in Naples. But you can't even get into the museum in Naples for $7, much less fly over there, so this is an affordable alternative.</
It's too hot to be outside anyhow, so the cool confines, made doubly quiet between semesters at Emory, are almost worth the price of admission alone. I skipped the presentation about the society that spawned these homes and their works, but if you're curious, the museum has plenty of brochures, books and lectures detailing the stuff. You can even make your own fresco at a couple of workshops held in September. As is often the case at museums, lots of folks ignored the permanent exhibition in favor of the temporary one. The Carlos Museum has a really nice permanent collection of ancient work — some Greek, Roman, Egyptian, American, African and Asian pieces. I found many of these items far more interesting than ancient Rome's Champagne wishes and caviar dreams.</
scene@creativeloafing.com



















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The last time he was in town, many of the fans in attendance for Tuesday's performance hadn't been born yet. I heard several folks afterward describe it as "amazing" or "awesome." The man put a lot of energy into the show and is a monumental influence on many of my favorite artists and people. Personally, I could have used more variation in the sound at the performance. I enjoyed the show, but I was not awe-struck ... particularly when I couldn't help but compare the ticket price — $70 for general admission after the TicketBastard "convenience" fees — to show costs for some of our own home-grown talents. So here's a list of bands to see if you're too cheap or too impatient to check out the next Tom Waits appearance:</
• Several members of The Blue Velvets just moved back from Eastern Europe. Let's hope they perform regularly again. "Think of them not as a Tom Waits 'cover band' or a 'tribute band' but more of a Plagiarist's Society," they say. I reviewed them a few issues ago, thinking I wouldn't get the chance to see Tom Waits himself anytime soon. Thanks for proving me wrong, as usual, fates!</
• Hubcap City shares some of the odd instrumentation of Tom Waits but lacks things like melody, chorus or traditional song structure. The stories are surreal and fun, but it's only for those with a broad tolerance in sound.

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• Slim Fatz has a similar gravelly voice and tells dark tales like Waits, but is a bit more blues-based. I get the impression, however, that Tom is telling charming-yet-tall tales of debauchery, whereas I know for a fact that Slim is singing from experience.</
• Speaking of blues, just about any night at Northside Tavern you can hear about life in the gutter, often from people with experience; sometimes they're even on stage performing, and they're usually pretty damn good.</
When Tom Waits threw in a few lines from "Spoonful" (a la Howlin' Wolf), I couldn't help but think of the many times I've heard the song at Northside.</
• But my personal favorite local act in a similar vein is Hope for a Golden Summer, a group led by two sisters out of Athens. They perform original material with poetic storytelling lyrics that are as haunting as anything Waits has done. Coincidentally, they performed Sunday at New Street Gallery in Decatur under the moniker Hope for a Golden Retriever. It was a benefit show for Presley, a dog who's suffering from bone cancer. She has lost a leg to the illness and has a stack of medical bills, but seems in fine spirits. So don't save your pennies for another 31 years — get out there and see the Tom Waitses of the future tonight.</
Since it's been over 95,000 degrees every day for weeks, what could be more fun than getting outside in the peak of the afternoon heat and playing football? Saturday Piedmont Park hosted Midtown Touchdown, a promotional event for the Falcons where participants could throw footballs, catch footballs and even have a football airbrushed onto their face. My high school football team won one game in four years, and neither of the colleges I attended even had a team, so I never developed a love for the sport. But apparently there are hordes of people who love not just the sport, but (shockingly) even the local franchise.

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When the MC got on stage and yelled, "Are you ready to meet your 2006 Atlanta Falcons?" people sprinted across the park. Wait, if they're my team, then my first action is to threaten to take them to another town unless Atlanta builds me a new stadium. No, not for the players, just for my own personal use.</
My 2006 Atlanta Falcons came running out on stage and down onto the lawn where the crowd was kept at bay by a barricade. The team jogged down this path to half a dozen waiting tour buses so they could be driven across the street. They played an exhibition game at Grady High School, but I didn't stick around. Grady's had a good team in years past, but I didn't think they were capable of beating a pro team. But then again, it is the Falcons! There was supposed to be more live music and fireworks after the game, but the rain drove me (and much of the crowd) away.</
Emory University's Michael C. Carlos Museum (www.carlos.emory.edu) is hosting "In Stabiano," frescoes, reliefs and sculptures from the seaside vacation homes of ancient Rome's rich and famous. The homes are long gone, but some of the art has been salvaged and restored. I spent a summer studying in Italy and saw a ton of this stuff, so I know what I'm talking about when I say this is a fine exhibition. No, it can't match seeing Pompeii or Herculaneum or a visit to the museum in Naples. But you can't even get into the museum in Naples for $7, much less fly over there, so this is an affordable alternative.</
It's too hot to be outside anyhow, so the cool confines, made doubly quiet between semesters at Emory, are almost worth the price of admission alone. I skipped the presentation about the society that spawned these homes and their works, but if you're curious, the museum has plenty of brochures, books and lectures detailing the stuff. You can even make your own fresco at a couple of workshops held in September. As is often the case at museums, lots of folks ignored the permanent exhibition in favor of the temporary one. The Carlos Museum has a really nice permanent collection of ancient work — some Greek, Roman, Egyptian, American, African and Asian pieces. I found many of these items far more interesting than ancient Rome's Champagne wishes and caviar dreams.</
scene@creativeloafing.com



















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Wednesday August 9, 2006 12:04 am EDT
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