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Friday I kicked things off with a dose of caffeine at the old Cafe Diem
location. They've already stopped serving lunch in preparation for shutting
the joint down. Saturday we swung by the new location in Midtown Promenade
and things were hopping so Diem addicts need not fear, though the new
location lacks a lot of charm of the old location. For 8 years I've sipped
iced coffee or eaten excess sugar while working on various Degenerate Press
efforts at their counter. If there was anything I could take home as a
momento from the place, aside from a couple of the waitresses, it'd be the
huge mostly black portrait of Louis Armstrong that has stood like an
altarpiece over the dining area as long as I've been lurking around the
joint. There aren't many places I consider holy to me on a personal level
but in the last two years I've lost just about all of them.
In many cities in Europe, particularly poorer ones such as in Italy, 8
years at one location wouldn't be the blink of an eye. But in Atlanta
that's an eternity. There's something to be said for the stubborn
permanence of a small Italian town, where your favorite neighborhood bar
has been a bar for some 15 centuries and nothing short of a full on
barbarian horde can topple the ancient stone towers. Instead of shutting
themselves inside their climate controlled condos in front of Gilligan's
Island reruns, the Italians go out into the streets at night for a long
walk, socialize, have a glass of wine, and discuss current events instead
of having them preached to them from a glowing plastic box.
On the other hand, on no night would you ever have to choose which
excellent live music show you want to catch because there are just too many
attend on any night you choose. Such is life.
I chose the big blues fest at Echo Lounge.
When I arrived a band of older, sweating black men were cranking out some
marvelous blues complete with a killer horn section. I bumped into some
Dottie's regulars from waaay back and chatted it up with a couple of
degenerates. Mudcat came on with Sweet Patty, a huge black woman with a
huge black voice, belting out some huge blue music. Damn fine.
The full Mudcat band followed, with the addition of a couple of horn
players from the previous act. The small crowd jumped and swayed and did
the usual things that Mudcat can make them do. Fantastic stuff with an even
fatter sound than the usual with the addition of the horns.
Urban Shakedancers hit the stage next with archetypal electric Chicago
blues, nothing you probably haven't seen a million times but they do a fine
job of it.
I hit the road, hoping to catch a bit of the Catfight show at the Star Bar
but of course I arrived "10 minutes too late", according to Charlie at the
door. Anybody catch it on video? I'd love to sit at home and watch it!
Just kidding.
Sunday we worked on the Cornelius Cabin and Party Barn in preparation for
the Summertime Blast. It's looking better all the time and should be
perfect by July 1!

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