THE VINYL WARHOL: From Japanese Punk to a Spongebob-Themed Rave

The concert season warms up

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It All Happens Here: Atlanta emerges from winter break.

One of my favorite parts of living in Atlanta is the sheer vast amount of unique things there is to do. On any given night, you can find an event, venue, or artist that is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. Whether you’re more akin to high-intensity nights like raves and punk shows, or prefer low-key experiences like jazz and R&B sets, there’s something for you.

This month is no different. On my radar for February there’s comedy show, a Japanese punk band, an Afrobeats showcase, jazz at a museum, and a Spongebob-themed rave. (The last event still boggles my mind, but curiosity may just lead me to having the best night of my life.) And I’m sure as the the month rolls along, more events will pop-up that find my attention. Thanks Atlanta!

Wed., Feb. 8

The Naughty List: John Waters definitely got coal this year. PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy John Waters

A John Waters Christmas, Variety Playhouse — For John Waters, Christmas continues way past December. Baltimore’s B-movie icon and comedian John Waters loves Christmas. Not because of the capitalist bloat that occurs during December, but for the lasting memories and togetherness the holidays bring. His yearly Christmas tour is a stand-up celebration of the joy and madness of the holidays. According to Waters, the set is different every year with the same bones. So just like the holiday itself, even if you think you know what’s going to happen, the unexpected is sure to surprise you. — Matthew Warhol
$42.50-$48. Wed., Feb. 8, 8:00 p.m. Variety Playhouse, 099 Euclid Ave N.E. @varietyplayhouse

Fri., Feb. 17



February Friday Jazz Night, High Museum of Art — Hands down, jazz nights are the best way to experience the High Museum. I love museums. But, my biggest complaint about them is that visiting a museum is too similar to going to the library. On jazz night, however, The High is alive. People are drinking and laughing and clapping. Everyone gets dressed up. The main corridor is buzzing from the energy produced by world-class musicians giving their all. And you’re free to walk through the exhibits as usual, but even that feels electrified. Somehow, Atlanta’s biggest arts institution gets even more creative. — Matthew Warhol
$25. Fri. Feb. 17, 6:00 p.m. High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. @ highmuseumofart

Sat., Feb. 18


I’m Ready, I”m Ready: Shake your Sandy Cheeks at the Bikini Bottom Rave. PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy The Masquerade

Bikini Bottom Rave, Heaven at The Masquerade — I love Spongebob. I’m old enough to remember the its premiere following the 1999 KidsChoice Awards. But, I have no idea what do I say about a Spongebob-themed rave. I can imagine there will be at least a handful of people dressed up as sexy Patrick The Star. I really hope they play dance remixes of songs from the show. I would love to hear “Sweet Victory” from the episode where Squidward directs the band at a football game. And dancing to “Jellyfish Jam” from the episode where Spongebob let’s the jellyfish live with him would fulfill a childhood fantasy I’ve held since 1999. — Matthew Warhol
$35. Sat. Feb. 18, 9:00p.m., Heaven at The Masquerade, 50 Lower Alabama St. The Masquerade

Sat., Feb. 18


Stay Sleazy: Thelma & The Sleaze perform at The Earl on Saturday, February 18. PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of Thelma & The Sleaze

Thelma & The Sleaze, The Earl — These are the girls your mom warned you about. These are the girls that beat your mom’s ass on the playground in 1975. Thelma & The Sleaze is what Ke$ha was going for when she wrote, “brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack.” This Nashville three-piece sounds like they were plucked straight from a mid-70s biker bar where they were beating up Hell’s Angels and stealing their girlfriends. This is no-holds barred rock n’ roll at its grimiest. Heavy guitar. Growling vocals. In-your-face lyrics. Attitude. All you need to know about Thelma & The Sleze is that they have albums titled, Fuck, Marry, Kill, These Boots Won’t Lick Themselves, and Scared as Hell. Hide your kids. Hide your wives.
$15-$17. Sat., Feb. 18, 8:30 p.m. The Earl, 488 Flat Shoals Ave @badearl

Sun., Feb. 19


I Am Not Maternal: The women of Otoboke Beaver are not to be fucked with. PHOTO CREDIT: Jumei Yamada

Otoboke Beaver, Terminal West — Otoboke Beaver is lightening in a bottle. Their music is fast, in-your-face punk from Kyoto, Japan. I have not a clue what they’re saying, but they are screaming it in my face. And they are MAD. The few song titles and lyrics in English hint at four women fighting against traditional gender roles. “I am not maternal” is a 2-minute long assault, entirely in Japanese, whose music video shows an animated woman throwing her baby into the ceiling, and another shaking it in a fashion most mothering guides would frown upon. Other songs have quick bursts spurts of English such as “Destroy!,” “Shut up!,” and “Don’t light my fire.” — Matthew Warhol
$20-$22. Sun., Feb. 19, 8:00 p.m., Terminal West, 887 West Marietta St. N.W. C. @terminalwest

Tue., Feb. 21 - Sun., Feb. 26


THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL: Keeping the story alive. PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, Fox Theatre — The Queen Of Rock n’ Roll has lived an extraordinary life full of peaks and valleys, love and violence, tragedy and triumph. Whether you’ve learned about Mrs. Turner’s life from movies, books, or her own music, you’ve probably not seen it played out like this, poured out raw in an in-person performance by broadway-quality actors. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Katori Hall, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical tells the story of Anna Mae Bullock, born in Brownsville, Tennessee, who goes from small town choir girl to world-renowned megastar. The musical features her landmark songs from her huge catalog. — Matthew Warhol
$20-$25. Tue., Feb. 21 - Sun., Feb. 26, 2:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. @thefoxtheatre

Sun., Feb. 26


Plenty Of Fish: Ari Lennox is back and she’s still searching for love. PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Ari Lennox

Ari Lennox, Coca-Cola Roxy — Ari Lennox is currently one of my favorite artists, across genres. Her soulful voice matches the emotion and strength of some of the greatest soul singers from the 60s and 70s. Her songs would fit perfectly in those decades, but also sounds like it could only exist at the current time. Topics include hookup culture, online dating, self-love, and religion. Her second full-length album, released in September of last year, is age/sex/location. It is a remarkable project in the same vein as 2019’s Shea Butter Baby, a bonafide classic and one of my favorite R&B albums of all time. She doesn’t try to fix what’s not broken. Music like hers has worked for well over 50 years, and she’s not about to change the formula to hop on some fleeting trend. — Matthew Warhol
$200+. Sun. Feb. 26, 8:00 p.m. 800 Battery Avenue S.E. #500 @cocacolaroxy

Thu., Feb. 23


EARTHBEAT: Experience Afrobeat with Afrobeats. PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Afro Americo

Spotlight ATL: The Wave Of Afrobeats Out Of America, Vinyl at Center Stage — Over the last few years, Afrobeats has infected popular music with its complex, intersecting rhythms, catchy vocals, and world influences first heard in Afrobeat. Unfortunately, like with all black art, the genre has largely been co-opted and sanitized by white musicians looking to make money off its growing popularity. In steps to counter such cultural appropriation, As a part their Spotlight ATL series, Afro Americo highlights American Afrobeats artists and their music and culture. A night of exciting musical performances, energetic dancers, and live percussionists. In addition to Afrobeats, DJs will be playing Amapiano, Soca and Dancehall. — Matthew Warhol
$20-$25. Thu., Feb. 23, 8:30 p.m., Center Stage, 1374 W Peachtree St. N.W. @centerstageattl