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TURN AND FACE THE STRANGE:
After more years than I care to remember, we're not going to do
Dottie's on Tuesdays any more. I can't say I'll miss it that much,
the DJ's obsession with monotonous bass beats was tiresome at best. Not to mention we'll be there Mondays. That's right, Mondays is also free pool night and the music is
supposed to be far more tolerable, and this frees up our Tuesdays for
the Drive In-vasion! So starting next week join us at Dottie's on
Mondays, at Starlight Drive In on Tuesdays.
Here's a tidbit on the continued retro debate:
My $0.02 on the 60's revival band thing--
I personally enjoy going to see retro style bands. My attitude is, if it was good music then it's good music now and it's just as much fun to see it live. If people want to play it and play it well, I'll be there to hear it.
At the same time, I do worry about bands who get stuck in time warps they can't break out of, even if they try. The Lizardmen are a prime example--they -did- try to move forward and do new things, and they lost a few band members and most of their audience in the process. I saw them at the 513 Club during that time, playing a slightly shaky set to a mostly empty room. Then Julian had to return to his homeland so they did what was to be one final show at the Star Bar with the original lineup and all the old songs. They brought the house down. If this was your band, what would you do? They picked up a new bassist and stepped back behind the retro line. While I do love the Lizardmen, at the same time they always remind me of how narrow minded the vintage-clothing-crowd can be. degenerate SOS
Meanwhile, we enjoyed a LONG weekend of retro and "modern" music at
the Atlantis Music Conference.
We hit 9 Lives in time to catch a bit of Jack Black's set - a mesh of
metal and rockabilly that is high octane! Highly recommended.
I slipped across to the Star Bar and caught Crown Electric. The lead
singer says the rest of his band couldn't make it so it was just him
on an acoustic guitar and a guy on standup bass doing some excellent
roots rockabilly. I'd seen the full band and I may agree with a Star
Bar regular when he said he might just like that stripped-down
version even better. Excellent stuff.
Uncle Lightnin' did country-influenced pop packed with melodic bits
that somehow reminded me of the Indigo Girls. When they added a
mandolin it had a bluegrass feel. Then they moved into Outlaws style
southern rock. Quite the multiple personality act out of Chattanooga. Greta Lee came out, complete with a camera crew, and did a set of the
usual amazing stuff. The joint wasn't even crowded yet, despite a
total lack of parking in the neighborhood.
At some point late in the night Friday I hit Variety Playhouse and
found the joint near empty. A few stragglers stuck around to see some
guy playing acoustic while a row of bongo players banging away and
the singer talking about his favorite Phish tune. I cut out and hit 9
Lives but the joint felt too much like Heavy Metal Parking Lot. I
felt like Goldilocks, "This is too soft, this one's too hard..." Back
to the Star Bar, "This one's juuuust right." (I had considered
spending the weekend down in East Atlanta perusing their selections
for Atlantis but being a drinking man I couldn't do both and opted
for the closer neighborhood.)
Truckadelic cruised through their short set, not nearly long enough
for them to get good and warmed up. They really should have been the
closer and whoever set the Atlantis schedule was NOT paying
attention. Jack Black had gone on at 9!!
Kenny Howes was the closer instead, chasing away the Star Bar
retro-obsessed and too late for the casual wanderer but those that
could stick around enjoyed their power pop rocks.
The weekend began to blur but of all the acts I saw one stands far
and away above the rest - the Johnny Knox Trio.
After a frustrating painting class in Italy I hit Amsterdam and the
Van Gogh museum. I'd struggled to paint what I saw in the manner I
felt for some 10 weeks, emerging with a mere two sad
not-quite-finished works. When I saw Van Gogh's wheat fields dotted
with crows I was literally stunned. I stumbled to a bench and sat in
utter awe, "You bastard. You magnificent son of a bitch." I said,
shocking a few passers by. I have yet to pick up the brushes since.
There's no use, it's been done.
Johnny Knox makes me feel the same way about the guitar. BLISTERING
electric blues, ala Stevie Ray Vaughn. Some of the things he let
loose took my breath away.
Sunday was a day of rest. No, not to sulk in some temple for my
sinful activities of the night before, but in preparation of sinful
things to come the following night.
22 years after the death of The King, the Star Bar did their annual
Death Day Anniversary blowout. Blue Moon Boys opened and I still hate
'em. As degenerate GN noted, the lead singer looks as if he went to
the Footloose school of Dance. The guitar player ain't bad, and the
singer's voice is ok, but his ego and antics make for a deeply
irritating live experience. But I was willing to put up with it to
avoid the potential of getting locked out for the night that often
Mike Geier's assembled cast labeled Kingsized crammed onto the stage,
complete with a horn section, backup singers, an organ and the usual
guitar, bass and drums. It was a super-smooth Elvis comeback era
Vegas style show of utter bliss. You'd think they'd been on the road
polishing the act for years and everyone was disappointed when they
didn't come back for an encore. The seance at midnight was a little
cheesy, but cute and the early closing was a blessing for us workin'
I was saddened to read, in a local paper publication we used to write
for, of the Lost Continentals' last show, announced at their last
show a week or so ago. Better find that CD before it's never seen
FLICK IT UP:
Tuesday we joined the Drive In-vaders for their weekly pilgrimage to
Starlight Drive In and Detroit Rock City. It has a few flaws and the
opening credits' montage of images is an omen to them - amongst
flashing images from the time period in which the movie takes place,
1978, are images from 10 - 20 years BEFORE so you get a bit befuddled
if you're paying attention.
This is not a movie for those who pay close attention.
And that's fine 'cause it's still hilarious. Basically it's a
coming-of-age tale about an arduous journey to a KISS concert and by
the time they get to the gates you don't really care if they actually
make it to the show or not, the journey is 99% of the trip in this
case. And if their bumbling teen attempts at coolness don't take you
back the music, a mix of guitar hero and disco hell, will drag you
back kicking and screaming. Worth matinee price.
If you're interested in joining us email email@example.com and ask to
be on the list. You'll get to vote for the flick you want to see the
following week and notified on Monday of the results for the Tuesday
viewing. Regardless of what's showing, it's better at the drive in.
Maybe it's the beer (you can bring a cooler full of whatever you
desire), maybe it's the breeze, maybe it's the comradery, maybe it's
the nostalgia of reliving my childhood days of escaping the daily
life at home to get to the drive in but whatever it is I haven't had
that much fun at the movies in a long time.
CHARLES BUKOWSKI'S DEAD
Charles Bukowski's dead
and I 'm deprived once again
of something not mine to begin with.
Photographs are glossy
flat, and the color of candies
melting in a bowl;
his words were liquor,
beer or wine,
all liquid, straight shots
for hardened guts.
I'll never know his night rages,
bloody knees ripped
on a trip to the drunk tank.
I'll never get to hear him, see him
contemplating the sun stretching long
into a cheap fly-infested flat, oven hot,
scratching on the racing forms,
wondering whether the muse would ever speak
No, there are only those words of his,
straight as stilettos,
no pretense, no hope of appreciation
so no flattery,
vomit-encrusted pearls before the silk-suited swine.
Let Bukowski rest in peace;
in the still darkness of death
his echo's become the air-raid siren
of my soul.
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