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Saturday we headed to East Atlanta Village and the EARL early to socialize and hand out propaganda for the July 7 bash. When I hand someone an invite they always do the same thing - mumble through it, kind of half reading aloud, until they suddenly blurt out "oooh, EXPLOSIVES!" It's getting to the point where I wonder if I should've bothered with the beer, bands and barbecue. Maybe next year I'll skip all pretense and just dump all my money into explosives. It sure would make organizing the thing a lot easier...
But back to the story at hand, we headed into the back room for Torchy Taboo and the Dames Aflame show. We got in a bit too late to snatch the last of the seats, and an event like this really should be enjoyed from a seat. It's tough to stand through the whole thing and it's not like you're moving around or dancing like you would with a band. Burlesque is a visual medium, despite the talents of Kingsized tucked away in the corner, belting out a loungey mix of jazz and R&B.
The lovely and talented Torchy Taboo kicked off the show that bears her name, doing a dragon taming number with the lovely and impressive Gin Gin as the dragon. If you've ever had sexual fantasies about gymnasts you should see that Gin Gin on stage. More acts followed, from the balloon and eye popping act of Glampira, to the sensual smooth voice of Bella Belladonna, and more Torchy (this time with fire flickering from her nails) and on and on into the night.
Jim Stacy played emcee to the affair, growling out announcements in a sideshow barker way and the evening got plenty of gasps and laughs. There were a few opening night jitters, a break that went on a bit too long here, miscued music there. But the lack of polish only helped reinforce that the folks on stage are doing this for fun instead of profit, an artistic expression instead of the capitalist expressions going on in your local strip club. And the music is a thousand times better. So next Saturday you'll find me and a small crowd drooling over the next Torchy Taboo and the Dames Aflame show at the Star Bar!
Meanwhile, a few degenerates have reported on Lenny's, formerly Dotties. It seems the rumors that Ronnie had trashed the place may not be true as he's been spotted in the "new" place apparently on friendly terms. Other regulars are back, in their same spots (thought with new stools) and in their same states (though with new scars.) Apparently the new bartenders aren't quite sure what to make of the customers but it's basically the same place, different face. We're going to resurrect our weekly pool sessions on Tuesdays their free pool/cheap beer nights.
In other news, we're sad to announce the end of Truckadelic but we've heard rumors from very reliable sources that this is their final tour. Almost as sad, we'll be missing their final show since it's scheduled the same night as our Summertime Blast. Goddamn, I'm gonna miss that band. Thank Sony for CD's, and Kodak for the memories.

Sunday we hit the Starlight Drive In early to socialize and hand out propaganda for the July 7 bash. Same "ooh, explosives!" reactions there as well, though one couple did say they'd be there for The Helgas so maybe I won't give up organizing the music next time. The monthly Mondo Movie Night is growing in popularity so I was glad we got there early enough to get a spot up close with the rest of the regulars. Some killer cars showed up for the car-themed films Two Lane Blacktop and Drag Strip Girl. A fleet of VW vans, more than half a dozen, parked in the back with their tent roofs popped up. Apparently some bug club had come out in force for the event, along with the usual retro rides of the local motorheads.
I've seen plenty of bad films in my life. Some of the worst are even my favorite. But Two Lane Blacktop took "bad" to a whole new level. I'm about 90% certain there was no script, as there was a 90% lack of dialogue. And when the characters, none of whom had names, talked the other characters rarely responded. And when they did, it rarely made sense. Here's an example of one conversation:
"After D.C. we'll head down to Florida."
"You bore me."

Another character seemed to be stuck on the same line, since it was all he said, and he said it some 20 times, "Gotta check the jets on the carb." So I'm pretty sure there was no script, which can be handled in something like a documentary or reality television, where there are also no real actors. Which is a good thing because Two Lane Blacktop stars James Taylor as the lead, an effort that makes you glad he stuck to the singer/songwriter job where you only have to listen to him, if you have to absorb him at all. Watching him was absolutely painful. And you had to watch a lot of him if you wanted to watch this film, because in addition to it's lack of actors and a script the filmmakers apparently couldn't afford an editor either. There's one five minute sequence of the back of James Taylor's head as he's driving down the road. You can barely catch the scenery as it flickers by on the edges, but the back of his big hairy (at the time) head takes up most of the shot. No dialogue, no ominous soundtrack as you wonder what's about to happen, just the back of his head. And that's only one example, the film seems to be more about those scenes that should have been left on the cutting room floor than about anything that's advancing the plot.
But that's ok, because they apparently couldn't afford one of those either. In fact, just when things actually started to happen (two hours into the film?) the sound cut out. The film ground into slow motion and the stuck projector burning film effect came up. Everyone honked their horns and yelled, partly in frustration and partly in joy that we were spared at least a few frames of the monstrosity - then the credits rolled. It's actually a part of the movie, not some mishap in the projection booth. Apparently even the filmmakers knew the situation was hopeless and the only way out of it was to burn it and cut the losses.
But if you want a laugh to do and read the user reviews where they try to explain the lack of acting or script as symbolic of the affect the road trip has on the characters' lives. Arty wankers like those make movies like this possible.

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