Held on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month at Tower II, a lesbian bar on Ralph McGill in the Poncey-Highland area, Cliterati's mood varies sharply depending on the performer. To me, the event's charm is that it can go from a light-hearted essay about someone's family life to a hardcore erotic poem to stand-up comedy, all within 15 minutes.
After co-hostess Erin Oh warmed up the crowd last Thursday with a story about wearing a pink wig when she was a child, comic and writer Colleen O'Hare took the stage to perform as her character, a pompous, depressive artist named Carrie who performs at open-mic nights in order to "give back" to the people. The humor of the sketch is in how Carrie confuses her self-regard for talent, all the while bemoaning in a vaguely upper-crust accent about how no one understands creative people. It's true, you know.
And let me introduce: On Saturday, I went to see disco-pop-funk legends Nile Rodgers and Chic at EarthLink Live in Midtown. Not very many of you did, though. The place couldn't have had more than 200 people in it.
The opening band, Da Gizmo, started off the show with an upbeat, melodic, soulful, yet somehow still deeply annoying and interminable song about how Jesus is alive and real. That's all well and good, but it's somewhat incongruous to be praising Jesus when you're opening for a group whose classic records glorify sexed-up, drugged-out disco culture.
Chic was fantastic. I could listen to Rodgers's chick-a-chick-a-chick-a rhythm guitar for hours and never tire of it. They opened with their biggest hit, "Le Freak," which the audience took as its cue to get on the floor in front of the stage and dance. In the event that anyone has trouble figuring out what to do at a Chic show, the band has given many of its songs helpful titles like "Dance Dance Dance," "Everybody Dance," and "He's the Greatest Dancer."
The most bizarre thing about the show was the introduction of the band members. Rodgers directed the band to groove quietly as he introduced each of the 10 members with a long, meandering story. When Rodgers finally got to a band member's name, that member then performed a flashy solo on his or her instrument. It made me imagine what life would be like if, every time someone introduced you, you were obliged to put on some sort of flashy display of whatever it is you do for a living. If that ever happened, bartenders and massage therapists would become the most popular people on Earth, while proctologists and insurance brokers would be completely shunned.
Think Globa Luna, Act Loca Luna: On Sunday night, Loca Luna tapas restaurant in Midtown held a party to celebrate the second anniversary of its opening, which featured free food for everyone in the restaurant, music by Rua 6 and a tarot card reader. Even though they invited me to cover the event and I made a reservation, I arrived to find that they had given my table away, because, they said, the restaurant was really crowded. Isn't saving a table when it's crowded the whole point of making a reservation?
Swamped with cheapskates like me who wanted a free dinner at an excellent, trendy restaurant, the place was an absolute madhouse. I tried to talk to people so I'd have something interesting to write for this column, but it was so loud that all of my conversations ended with "huh?" and "what?" so I gave up. It all turned out fine though, for there are few problems in the world that five free fish tacos from Loca Luna can't solve.
Almost Famous: On Saturday afternoon, Indigo Girl and Atlanta indie rock mogul Amy Ray hosted a free concert in the parking lot of Criminal Records in Little Five Points to showcase musicians signed to her record company, Daemon Records. Despite the heat and despite Ray and the other musicians being scheduled to play at the Echo Lounge that same evening, the show still pulled a big, enthusiastic crowd, several of whom had cameras and video recorders to document the occasion. As I was getting out of my car, I noticed that people were staring in my general direction. For a split second, I entertained the notion that they were staring at me because they were fans of this column, but then I realized I had parked next to Ray's truck and she was fumbling through it for
her gear. Oh, well.
Ray performed a single, very emotional song that she sang and played on a mandolin before passing the mic to the other performers. The mostly female audience treated Ray with rock star reverence. Immediately before Ray played, one spiky-haired young woman next to me whipped out her cell phone, called someone, and said nothing except, "Dude, I'm right next to Amy," before she hung up.