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Friday we headed into the wilds of East Atlanta to the Echo Lounge.
Before I get into the musical notes I must rant.
GET A FUCKING AIR CONDITIONER.
You'd think a place that used to be an ice warehouse would be
substantially cooler than a fucking sauna!!! If I want to sweat I'll
stay home and save the damn cover charge.
In addition, the stage is ENTIRELY BACKLIT. Yeah, musicians ain't
always the prettiest folk but I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THEM. The drummers
for the bands I saw were so poorly lit you only got a glimpse of them
when they hit the cymbal just right and the light would bounce back
into their face for an instant. How hard could it be to take an
afternoon and a screwdriver and move the damn lights to the front of
the stage? If these things don't improve soon we'll be moving Echo
Lounge into the same category as the Dork House - "Places to avoid at
all costs unless the artist will never, and I mean ever, appear in
Atlanta again and even then think twice."
Back to our normally scheduled program.
Jackalope was up first with familiar faces from other bands doing
metal of the standard heavy to speed varieties. Utterly loud with a
capital "OW." You'll swear after hearing County Fair that Spinal
Tap's Sex Farm must be next on the set list.
Syrup, from Tallahassee, oozed on stage. Image three Ted Nugents in
a super heavy metal band that has funk choreography and funk lyrics.
Crazy, sex-soaked stuff. (Rumors of their post-show parties are
widespread and entirely true according to some very reliable sources.) Saturday I hit Starlight Drive In in time to catch Kings of the
Lobby, a soul R&B cover band that did a great job doing covers. But
it's still just a cover band.
The Penetrators sweated out a superior set of surf. Damn fine stuff
but I couldn't help but wonder if their set and the others' would
have been better had they though about the position of the sun for
this fest. The bands were right in the scorching rays until around 7,
whereas had they put the fest on one of the other lots there would
have been shade for them, and even some of the crowd, most of the
day. Eh, live and learn.
The Woggles didn't let the heat stop 'em. I honestly don't see how
Manfred can move that fast for that long period, never mind in the
blazing sun on hot Georgia asphalt. But the boys kept go going steady
and sweaty. Fabulous.
The Johnny Knox Trio followed with the usual best goddamn rockabilly
blues under the sun, or out of it. Thank God for the electric guitar.
And thank momma Knox for Johnny. The temp drummer didn't miss a beat
and Stuart's chops on bass matched his fine mint strait-6 Ford
Fairlane in the parking lot.
I got a decent spot and a fellow heckler for the movies. The original
distributor fell through so the posted movies were lost. However, the
30 minutes of hilarious trailers ("Satan in High Heels" being my
personal fave) more than made up for any change of film, and a
classic Warner Brothers cartoon to boot. On screen first was When
Worlds Collide, an exercise in how to make the apocalypse startlingly
DULL. It was as if the director was yelling at the actors between
every take "No, STIFFER. Be more wooden. We don't want to look too
worried about the end of the world or anything." It was much better
when we couldn't hear the dialogue and made up our own.
Swamp Thing was next, a vehicle for the wet t-shirt that I saw at 2
AM on HBO for about 5 years strait.
Astro Zombies followed, one of the most surreal films I've seen. From
what I could gather, a scientist made some alien-like zombies that a
Chinese transvestite wanted so he/she sent out the Mafia to get them.
Meanwhile, some very wooden scientists try to figure out what's going
on and rarely, if at all, actually come into the main "plot." Then
there's the cutaway scene to the nude woman covered in body paint
dancing with the drapes in a beatnik club, for no apparent reason.
Oh, did I mention the Spanish and Russian bad guys? And the girl
strapped to a gurney with seat belts? And the guy with a lamp shade
on his head? There was more but it was all a hilarious blur. Sunday I was back for more, arriving late but in time for Blue
Avenue, a talented yet uninteresting rockabilly group in all blue
suits. Their set was cut short when the generator blew so Redneck
Greece & the Stump-Broke Steers started up on the other stage with
their usual country-fried craziness.
Lotsa Poppa & the Atlanta Heat Blues Revue followed, another R&B
oldies cover band that pleased a small portion of the crowd and
deeply irritated the rest. If you're looking for a band for your
Dunwoody Country Club party they're the ones.
Another round of hilarious trailers came on, then the Elvis classic
Blue Hawaii showed just what can happen when marketing takes over
talent. That was followed by The Trip, which opened with a paragraph
about how concerned the government is about L.S.D. and other deadly
drugs, then moved into a 2 hour pro-L.S.D. montage with Peter Fonda
playing the lead to a cavalcade of stars. Apparently L.S.D. is mind
opening experience that gets you laid a lot. Apparently I haven't
been doing enough since I'm pretty closed-minded and lord knows I
don't get laid enough.
Monday I was physically motivated to return but fiscally beat so
instead we finally got around to updating the gallery for Ear Plugs,
including a nifty slide show! Check it out:
A bunch more pics are on the way!
Speaking of the financial situation, it's slowly getting better
around here so this is likely your last week ever to get your hands
on some award-winning metal sculpture while we're still desperate to
Speaking of L.S.D. we got this review a while back from degenerate JH:
>US Maple. . . um, I don't know what to say about them. If you want to
>see something different, they're the band for you. They are atonal,
>disorganized-sounding, and chaotic. I think they're unlistenable crap,
>but my roommate had seen them open for Pavement and loved them. They
>sound like their primary influence is garage bands of the 60's that
>were too heavily dosed up with LSD to realize they were playing.
>People that had seen them before said that their songs have a fairly
>concrete structure, but you'd never guess that if you'd seen them only
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