Records are the only antiques about which I have even a teensy bit of knowledge. I saw several booths with a few crates of LPs, all of which had the Beatles stuff up front. It was way too pricey. I was looking for a rare mono (as in phonic, not nucleosis) pressing of Sgt. Pepper's (which, according to Beatle-nerd lore, is the best way to hear the record), but couldn't find it. I did, however, find almost half a milk crate's worth of Glen Campbell LPs in excellent condition. The prices didn't seem to be affected by Campbell's recent arrest and subsequent appearance in "Best Celebrity Mugshot of 2003" (Non-Michael Jackson Division).
The strangest musical item I saw (and heard) was a player piano for sale in building three. More precisely, it was the piano's music that was odd. Who'd have guessed the Herman's Hermits "classic" "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter," would've not only made it to the player piano, but is still being used to lure potential buyers. And though I wasn't surprised to hear the music of notable Buckhead shopper Sir Elton John coming out of a player piano, I was surprised that the song I heard was "Little Jeannie."
Other notable items I spotted included Hawaiian shirts by sometime CL writer Chris Renaldo, little mini-recliners (you're never too young be sedentary) and a table full of old telephones. In anticipation of the question, "Why would someone want to buy old telephones," the guy selling them also had a book called Telephone Collecting by Kate Dooner.
Ask not: Christmas in Atlanta wouldn't be complete without some sort of holiday play from Dad's Garage. This year, in lieu of a Chick & Boozy holiday "TV" special, they're performing the Lucky-Yates-and-Scott-Warren-penned puppet bonanza, For Whom the Bell Jingles. It's the story of an elf named Dingle who searches for a holiday that requires less work than Christmas -- and it's an unwieldy, hit-or-miss show. Dingle's bloody visit to President's Day, and his surreal stop at Thanksgiving, were my favorites, thanks to all the gore and a Turkey-delivered fictional history of the holiday in which the pilgrims are depicted as vampires. For kids, this ain't.
All right for fighting: If none of East Atlanta's live music options suit your taste on Saturdays, Mary's now has karaoke on Saturday nights. They've probably had it for a while -- only I never noticed.
Like the traditional Tuesday show, this one is emceed by the sweet-voiced CJ, who started things off with a brilliant rendition of Tony Orlando & Dawn's "Candida." Other gems included a duet of "Summer Nights," "Mack the Knife" (twice), "Iko Iko," and a dirty version of "12 Days of Christmas" that put "Six geese-a-laying" in an entirely new context.
The first R: GaRRS is more than the sound a congested pirate makes when he's angry. It's the acro-nickname of the Georgia Radio Reading Service, a nonprofit corporation whose staff and volunteers read periodicals and books for broadcast to North Georgia's blind and print-handicapped. To hear GaRRS broadcasts, you need a special radio that you get from GaRRS. You can also hear it by tuning your TV set to Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting and pushing the SAP button on your remote. (That's the button that makes the Simpsons speak Spanish.)
Last Thursday, I went by the GaRRS office in the Georgia Public Broadcasting building for its holiday party. Due to budget cuts, it was actually a combined holiday/volunteer-appreciation party. The food and drink (including quite a lot of wine and, shockingly for an office party, a bottle of Jagermeister) were either donated or brought by volunteers. The party-goers were a very resonant-voiced bunch -- not surprising considering most were volunteer broadcast readers. One in particular, a tall guy in a blue shirt, was clearly audible to everyone else in the room simply because he has such a wonderful speaking voice. NFL Films should hire him. A great office party -- but sadly, I didn't get to meet Roger Moore, the man who reads Creative Loafing for GaRRS broadcasts. I've heard that he isn't the Roger Moore who played James Bond. However, rumor has it that the reader he replaced was a fellow called George Lazenby. (Never mind. I'm the one who started that rumor.)
Of commerce?: On Saturday morning, while looking through the list of the day's events on CL's website, I found a listing for a financial planning seminar to be held 2-4 p.m. at, of all places, The Chamber (the club's address and phone number were included in the listing). Money is, in fact, our nation's most popular fetish. But until now, no one I know has explored that fetish in an actual fetish club.
I went by the club at 3 on Saturday to hear part of what I was certain was going to be a fascinating discussion ("Diversifying is important, yes, but first kiss my boot"). Sadly, the place was closed. Anyone who can help me figure out how the listing got in CL, or what it meant, will win a valuable prize.