October 4, 2011

Flux, Subsonics, Dex Romweber, Forty Fives

Filed under: Art,Atlanta music — Frederick Noble @ 4:09 pm Share RSS

Oh, art – it has been a while since you and I have visited. Sure, I see a movie and a band or three a week, but other performance art and visual art have been absent from my life for some time.

Flux lantern paradeShe Who Shall Not Be Named enjoys the free art walks at Castleberry Hills, held once a month or so. Once a year they have a big blow-out, Flux, featuring dancers, parades, music, videos projected on skyscrapers, galleries bustling with patrons, and bars overflowing into the street. This year it seemed to feature more police than ever before, with every street blocked off and cops directing traffic away from the neighborhood – but failing to point anyone toward parking, which was tough to come by. We got lucky and found a spot, arriving just in time for the lantern parade. We followed the family-friendly revelers along the route, enjoying the performance of The Marching Abominables and gawking at the various homemade lights.

Flux lantern parade

Flux lantern parade Flux lantern parade

art!We also gawked at other performances along the street, such as the room in which a woman wandered around with dryer vent hose on her arms while a small child ran amok in a room with 2×4′s littering the floor and crinkled clear plastic covering the windows. Oh, art. I’d forgotten what I was missing.

We stumbled across an overlook to an empty lot turned performance space, with a member of gloATL doing… something. Some people call this dance, though I can’t recall any music or rhythmic movement. The woman had a costume on that made her appear to be deformed, covered in humps or tumorous growths. She sort of writhed around like a newly hatching bird, as part of a performance titled Liver.


We lingered at one of our favorite watering holes, Elliott Street Pub, poisoning our own livers while other performance artists staged a beatboxing competition complete with skits referencing Mortal Kombat.


Later there would be an iron pour in the parking lot, gloATL would do a repeat of the entire Liver performance, of which the aforementioned was only a tiny portion, and the streets would get even more crowded.

But I skipped all of that and sped across town to The Star Bar. Why? Because The Subsonics were playing.


SubsonicsThe Subsonics don’t play as often as they used to (they even had to grab a substitute bassist for this gig) so I wasn’t going to miss it. Unfortunately, they were the opening act so a lot of folks did miss out. (Even during the other bands, however, the venue wasn’t crowded. I think half of Atlanta was at Castleberry Hills.)

“Clay is a national treasure,” said a fellow fan.
“Yes, our junkie laureate,” I replied.

It was a fine set of snarly, jangly rock, sort of an Velvet Underground meets Undertones.


Next up, Dex Romweber Duo. I’d seen Dex two or three times in as many months so I was prepared to skip most of his set and socialize in the downstairs bar.

Dex Romweber Duo

Dex Romweber DuoInstead, his manic-to-meloncholy guitar and Sarah’s terrific drumming held my attention.  (And it’s always fun to watch Atlanta’s guitar geeks stand agape around the edges of the stage.)

Dex Romwebber Duo

Another reason to skip Flux – The Forty Fives. Drummer Adam is moving out of town, though rumor has it he says he’ll continue playing with the band, as well as Anna Kramer. But I’m guessing it won’t happen often (heck, it hasn’t been happening often even with him in town) so I didn’t want to miss it. They were played like it was their last show.

Forty Fives

Forty Fives

Forty FivesI’ve seen a few local bands cover the MC5 but only the Forty Fives do it justice. Some Who too, mixed in with the long, long set of their own material. Every time they hit what seemed like would be the last, biggest song of the night, Brian started right up again. I don’t think I got out of the door before 2:30. I can’t remember the last time I stayed so late at a show.

Forty FivesSo let’s hope this isn’t their final show and Adam commutes regularly to town!

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