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Reverend Larry, former frontman of Moonshine Killers and Lenny’s regular, passed away on Saturday of a heart attack after serious illness. There may be a memorial show at Lenny’s this Saturday afternoon.
Friday night degenerate CD and myself headed to The Earl early to sip drinks on their patio. The weather was lovely all day, though by evening a bit of chill had returned. Of course, the weekend would bring forty degrees and raining, spitting snow up in the mountains, cold winds, etc., but Friday night it was still just warm enough to linger outside a bit, ogling girls, motorcycles, scooters, and a lot of folks new to the Earl asking the door guy where they could get tickets for the show. We figured we were in for sold-out conditions inside and at $12 I had some hesitation. But rather than find something else to do, laziness prevailed and we headed inside.
Unfortunately for you, SW ran off with our digital camera this weekend so you'll have to suffer with only my meager efforts with the English language for a "picture" of the show. Think of it as a retro flashback to a couple of years ago before we posted pictures of every damn thing.
DJ's T1 and Agent 45 were spinning up killer soul and R&B, much of it from right here in Georgia. I've mentioned their collection before and if you're interested see more at http://www.georgiasoul.com. Make sure to check out the blog where they post samples of some of this stuff. They're doing some radio and live shows around town this month and I highly recommend 'em.
At 10:20 an older lady next to me asked why the show hadn't started.
"It's not even 10:30 yet. It's too early."
"I don't know, but that's how it is in Atlanta. Only places like The Variety start earlier."
She said she was considering sneaking backstage and pestering the band into going on. I shrugged. She moved toward the backstage door, only to have it open in front of her to allow the many members of Cadillac Jones to emerge.
The old lady practically jumped for joy. I thought it was pretty cute.
Cadillac Jones lays down some funky jazz instrumental grooves and they're damn good at it. At moments they begin to sound like the soundtracks to 70's cop shows or porn movies. Unfortunately it's a bit too much jazzy jam for me. If you like that sort of stuff, they are THE band to see. I found it a bit dull and lingered in the back sipping rum and taking note of the new faces in the crowd. Sharon Jones, the headlining act, had brought in a crowd with a decidedly older demographic, and definitely non-Earl fashions. No greasy hair and ironic t-shirts. Instead, there were lots of sequins and clothes that looked like they came from Phipps Plaza. It was nice to see a bit more diversity in the room.
It was also a non-smoking show, which meant I didn't have to blink repeatedly to clear the burning smog from my eyes or wait a week to wear my jacket again. Fuck smokers. Better yet, don't fuck 'em. Let 'em go sexless.
The DJ's took over during the break, which is where my notes taken during the show stopped. Why? Because the Dap Kings came on and rocked the damn house and I didn't distract myself trying to jot anything down 'cause I was having too much fun, that's why. A line from their web site says it right, "From meaty breakbeats and jams that echo the best of the JBs to beautiful ballads that would make Aretha smile, the veteran Dap-Kings know how to sweat and deliver." Fantastic stuff that has the power to move your feet no matter what your mood. "Binky Griptite", the lead singer, has the perfect soul/R&B voice, played some smokin’ guitar, and occasionally swayed around like a man possessed while the band laid down a bedrock of solid funky beats punctuated with punchy horns and choppy wa-wa pedal guitar. Binky is coming out with a record of his own soon, so check www.daptonerecords.com for info on the Dap Kings and other artists on the Daptone Records label.
Half an hour or so later, Sharon Jones appeared and continued the groove with her own powerful vocals. She grumbled about the monitor situation several times but you couldn't hear any problems out in the audience. She had everyone in the room, young and old, tapping their feet. A few folks loosened up enough to dance and sway and pretty soon she was pulling guys up onto the stage to dance with her. It was a mid-60's dance party the likes of which I have never seen live. By the end of the show I was thinking $12 wasn't nearly enough to cover the amount of funky fun I'd gotten from the night. I picked up one of Sharon's CD's. Degenerate JH picked up one of her records on vinyl, done in perfect 60's style complete with blocky, blurry black and white text on the back, like some lost gem in a thrift store record bin.
Speaking of, my local Salvation Army recently chucked their once-expansive record bin in favor of only a handful on a back shelf, so if there's a thrift store near you that still has a large record bin let me know. I'm always looking for steals on weird and forgotten sounds!
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