The Vaults

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Yeah yeah, we're a little behind. That’s what happens when you stop drinking beer – the pounds just melt away…
Last week we hit the Star Bar anniversary show, delayed thanks to the latest “storm of the century” the previous weekend, for The Satanic Mechanics, an interesting take on The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Here's the review, packed full of pictures, so for those of you who, like me, only have dial-up, this may take a minute:

On Friday we caught Mike Geier's latest effort, "The Wickersham POV starring Vegas bastards The Wickersham Bros." at the Point of View Lounge on the top floor of the Hilton. Mike has a swell voice and I'll attend just about any event that showcases his talents, but I can't recommend this particular show. First off, the location is a bit sterile in atmosphere, about what you'd expect at a hotel bar. The night we went the joint would've been empty had it not been for a private party in the back that eventually wandered into the room. The room itself feels like what might happen should the Death Star appear in an episode of Trading Spaces. "There's nothing we can do about these freaky exhaust ports hanging from the roof? Well, how about a little color? Ooh, and we can add an island here with planters and classy white Christmas lights. Big, bold colors on this wall will help warm up the room!" The view out the windows was nice, though at night with tinted windows it somehow only reinforces the Death Star feel of the room. And the drinks are waaay pricey.
A couple of lovely ladies from the Dames A'Flame mixed and mingled in between dance numbers, telling us torrid tales of their travels in Germany, and done up in swell Vegas showgirl attire, getting the older folks from the private party to titter and giggle every time they walked by.
Mike and his little jazz combo did standards and ballads in a Sinatra vein, all good stuff done well, but not something I'm usually in the mood for on a Friday night. Out of towners and older folks who aren't looking to party hardy would probably love it, as did the swaying crowd that took over the dance floor on opening night. We lurked as long as we could take the jazzy tunes and pricey drinks, then headed home, weary from the previous night’s adventures.
Wait, who am I calling “older folks”?

Last episode generated a few emails:

Ok, I dunno who these people are, but talking over the Asylum Street
Spankers is sacrilege.
Faithfully yours,
-Degenerate GR

I can't speak to most of the points for and against Smith's and most of the non east ATL/L5P bars and clubs, however one point brought up by this local writer doesn't sound like the voice of experience in Atlanta rock and roll trenches. "they treat local bands with respect and pay them fairly"- bullshit, nobody pays local bands fairly (except the Alley Cat which has no cover and pays off the bar). In fact, some even pay the sound man and BMI/ASCAP fee off the door before the bands sees one red penny. At Smith's, a completely unknown act from Portland OR can get a better booking than a local act that may(or may not) bring in some folks. Their Monday night shows act as an "audition" for a local act to get bookings on other nights (red herring speak for you ain't gonna get paid). So not only do you make no money, but also, if people don't won't be back. I'm not sure you call that "supporting local talent" unless you count drinking free all night as support (which I sometimes do). Don't get me wrong, Smith's has every right to do business the way they do, I just get a good chuckle when someone says they treat local bands with respect and pay them fairly.
I had my car broken into in the shopping mall parking across the street from Smith's. So much for safe.
It's good to see that you have at least thrown a mention about shows at the Alley Cat. I respect your preternatural disdain for the Underground, and it's good to see you don't carry that over to the bands that play there. You may like it...lots of chairs and it doesn't smell like pee.
Oh well, it's only music.
degenerate MC

Hey i liked your rant on Smith's. Smith's is a good place. My friend Tim Tintle is one of the managers there and is a music guy himself, he now manages 4 bands and provides his house for The Fleshtones whenever they come into town. Kalu works there and I know we all know who she is not to mention her rocker husband. The stage upstairs is awseome except it does have the worst load in in town(stairs,stairs,stairs). I was the one who built the new music/acoustic room downstairs for them, and it turned out awesome. But I do not hang out there because of well yuppie scum, beer prices that are way way way way too high, thier choice of local music acts, regionl acts are okay but could be better. Although my girlfriend really likes those Lisa Loeb shows( I haved to endure many of those). You need to go there in the morning for clean up to really get a good whiff of the smell(whew!) My favorite though is the carpet upstairs that has about a million cig. burns in it. Umm! could be the smell problem. But the number one reason I do not hang out there unless it is a killer show is the beer prices! It is $5-6 for a beer and the selection is horrible. They should take a clue from the 40watt and get some of those 24oz. PBR's. If the bring the beer prices down and they start selling pictures of brew then I am there but until then I guess I'll just have to wait for another week long stand with Train(just kidding!)
Degenerate KH

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