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Thursday night SW and I got dolled up as Shaggy and Velma and headed to the drive in to see the Scooby Doo film. Sure, we'd heard bad things, but I grew up with Scooby. I can still remember the Saturday morning when I got up and ran downstairs to catch the weekly show when I realized "Hey - it's going to be the same thing. It never IS a monster, it's always just a guy in a mask!" From that point on Scooby began to lose my interest. Then they started the Scooby Doo movies starring other cartoon characters, like Batman and Robin from The Superfriends, or cartoon versions of live action characters, like the Globetrotters, and the monsters were sometimes real and things got confusing. Then came Scrappy, effectively killing my waning interest in the series.
But I still have a soft spot for Scooby. Even after my two week stint at Cartoon Network, at which I attended a meeting in which a marketing rep discussing the latest Scooby merchandising said "We need to be careful not to saturate the market. Scooby is a powerful tool." And even after the new Scooby Doo movies Cartoon Network has done, Scooby, the powerful tool, still reminds me of those Saturday mornings before the folks were up when I had the TV to myself. For some reason, Ultraman and Speed Racer haven't had the resurgence Scooby has had. I suppose they weren't cute enough, but that's ok because their merchandise is still cooler than the shelves of Scooby crap that have appeared since about the time of the live action film's announcement. Apparently they didn't listen to that marketing rep - I think only Ozzie and that irritating Dell guy even approach Scooby's level of saturation. So while I still patrol Target for the occasional Speed Racer merchandise and dredge ebay for mentions of Ultraman, I don't collect anything Scooby.
Yet I was still willing to grow a Shaggy style goatee for two weeks and help SW dye some knee-high socks orange and pick out the perfect maroon skirt to go with her orange turtleneck from the Salvation Army, get done up and head to Starlight for the film. Halfway there a thunderstorm of biblical proportions blew into town and we never made it past the Wendy's. It's just as well. It would probably be just another Scrappy-fication of my childhood memories anyway.

Saturday we headed to Dahlonega for the Dahlonega International Film Fest and caught a few documentaries, some good, some not so good, and some featuring several Degenerate Press subscribers, then had a few beers with the locals, some Degenerate Press subscribers, and random freaks and film geeks. A very eclectic mix of live music was being played in the parking lot on a makeshift stage, from the acoustic/folk stuff of Daniel Howle and Mathew Kahler, to some awful heavy metal act who's name I can recall. It was a fun fest, very casual and affordable if you can find cheap accommodations and a welcome breath of fun in a town that allows very little.

I got a flurry of email about John Entwhistle passing away last Friday. As one report said, "God now has a hell of a rhythm section." I put on Who's Next while I fixed some lunch while Keith Moon banged on the skins, like some lunatic firing off an automatic weapon at random in the background and Entwhistle provided the actual baseline beat. I remembered going to a party once where a Who concert was playing on the TV. Degenerate SAC was just learning to play bass at the time and we watched Entwhistle's fingers thumping away. SAC said something like "OK, I can do that" and "OK, I can do that too" as Entwhistle played on. But then the fingers moving up and down the neck of that bass seemed to blur and contort in an alien fashion and noises no bass had ever uttered before boomed out over the speakers as SAC and I said simultaneously "Hoooooly shiiiiiit..." "Thunderfingers" indeed. So Friday night I found a Who logo online and downloaded it, cleaned it up and printed it on an iron-on transfer and made my own t-shirt and headed out in search of some classic Who covers. First stop, Anthony's Pizza where What TheŠ? were banging out some Brit-pop stuff, included a Who tune or two. Good stuff played well. Kenny Howes, who has been known to do entire Who double albums as an encore to his set, followed but apparently was saving his Who content for last. But Anthony's was 90% empty and I was in the mood for some commiseration so I left early and headed to the Star Bar. I caught the tail end of the opening act, Buzz Sawyer, a three piece banging out some good stuff but I only got a taste before they quit. The Forty Fives followed with some Cavern Club flavored Brit rock but again only doing one or two Who covers, despite the crowd's requests for more. Sometime around two I piled into the truck and flipped through the dozen or so classic rock stations in Atlanta and had a fine selection of Who stuff for the ride home.

We got this from degenerate JC:
i thought i'd drop you a line and let you know about the show i saw this week. went to the star bar wed. nite to see kate and the retreads. they are a five pice country band, and when i say country i mean the real thing. they covered patsy cline, buck owens, bill monroe, ralph stanley, hank williams, & loretta lynn to name a few. they also do traditional mountain music, and their original stuff may be the best part of the show. twangy, bluesy, and rocking all at once. kate has better pipes than a head shop and the retreads play country-western the way god intended. the fact that kate is stunningly beautiful is gravy on the biscuit. my advice is simple: sell the house sell the car sell the kids go see kate and the retreads as soon and as often as possible.

And this from degenerate RH:
At the behest of some friends of mine, I went out to Smith's Olde Bar Sunday night to catch the Asylum Street Spankers from Austin. I had never heard of them before, and neither had my pals ever seen them before but her mother caught them in New Orleans a month or so ago and had raved about them, & insisted her daughter go see them. So none of us knew what we were in for. What we ended up getting was the best time I've had out in eons. The band that opened up for them was a great precursor. They were from Asheville, NC and were apparently a last-minute opening act. Calling themselves "Scrappy Hamilton," they're a quartet consisting of stand-up acoustic "dog-house" bass, guitar, accordion, and violin/banjo (I think). Very young guys, all dressed in vintage-looking suits, their sound I can best describe as parlor music. Sometimes the harmonies made me think of barbershop-quartets; all with a great sense of humor. And all acoustic; no pickups or mics whatsoever, and the crowd was quiet enough to enjoy it. Which we did. The real treat was the Spankers, though. Perhaps it was the blind way which I went in, no expectations, that made it such a great time for me. I could draw comparisons to Squirrel Nut Zippers, but I won't. The spankers just seem much more quirky to me. More country-western influence, and a LOT more showmanship and humor. At one point the violinist (fiddler?) got up and did a RAP in German. I couldn't understand a word, but the absurdity was hilarious. At another point, Wammo (the apparent leader) did a "Country-Western murder ballad" in Hip-hop. Which also was a gas, given his waist-long ponytail, & beer gut combined with the cowboy hat, T-shirt, shorts & boots. My overall impression was that they should really be on TV, or Broadway. Then again, with songs like "If You Love Me, You'll Sleep on the Wet Spot," and "The Scrotum Song," perhaps TV would not be too receptive.

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