After the Ziggy Stardust screening at the Starlight Six Drive-In on Moreland, several Atlanta Film Festival-goers with open-minded bosses or no jobs to go to on Monday gathered at 10 High for The Very First Atlanta Film Festival Sunday Night Reading & Carousal. 10 High is the venue-half of Va-Hi's Dark Horse Tavern. I've been wondering for a while about the name, so Gabe, formerly the manager of The Earl, now the manager of Dark Horse, did some research on my behalf to explain it to me. 10 High was a type of booze made in North Georgia and served in speakeasys during Prohibition. Scene & Herd -- always informative.
The show featured music by Mutiny On The Ballyhoo, with Mike Geier in clown makeup (Puddles the Clown, I believe) and a half-woman/half-monkey named Monkey Zuma, who danced and groped herself while people performed spoken word. Accompanied by a song about potato chips, Monkey Zuma had a solo dance spot that included throwing potato chips at people. She also stuffed some down my shirt.
The spoken word wasn't really my cup of tea, although one of the readers wore a T-shirt emblazoned with "Fuck You You Fuckin' Fuck" which I liked. The band, however, was superb. I especially liked their warm-up when they played beautiful renditions of "Tennessee Waltz" and "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)."
Heck: Though known for its improv shows, Whole World Theatre also runs a scripted sketch comedy show called What The Hell Is This Live. I saw it for the first time Friday, and I actually like it a lot more than the improv. The show started with one of its best pieces about Spartacus letting his wife write a speech for him. It ends with a video of the Whole World Spartacus, played by John McClouth, giving a speech to warriors from the film Braveheart. Needless to say, his wife's softer sentiments don't play that well with the warriors.
Another gem was a wake for the late professional wrestling icon Miss Elizabeth, who passed away last month. Though tasteless beyond belief, watching Jimmy "The Mouth of the South" Hart (played by my latest platonic comedy crush, Jamarie Gilmartin) and Mr. Fuji (played by Simon Yin, the second time in as many weeks I've seen an Asian comic imitating Asians for laughs) pay homage to a fallen comrade was priceless. Also great, but inexplicable in column format, the Young New Mexican Puppeteer -- about a puppeteer whose skill brings joy back into the lives of sullen Mexican children.
Squirt: In addition to being the best damned garden store on 5th Street, Midtown's The Urban Gardener is now part art gallery. Located directly across Juniper Street from Spice's nude billboard (implied motto: You can't have "eat" without "t" and "a"), TUG's first show featured the photography of Michael West. West's work is created with medium format film cameras and computers. He shoots on film, then manipulates the images on computer. How manipulative! The prints are archival ink jet. Ink jet sounds kind of crappy though, so like many artists, West calls them Giclee (jhee-clay), a word derived from the French verb "to squirt." It's kind of like how artists call their pencil sketches "graphite" or their paintings with sprinkled glitter "mixed media."
My favorite of his works is a portrait of a Spanish moss-covered oak called The Dancer. Just to clarify, I think that's the name of the photo. As far as I know, the tree doesn't have a name. I think the name comes from West's rendering of light and shadow that subtly morphs the branches into arms and the trunk's offshoots into legs.
A good omen for TUG's future as a gallery -- in attendance was connoisseur of fine art Genie Brazzeal, who I always see at the better shows. Over the past two years, I've noticed that if she's at a gallery, there's typically something there worth seeing.
Spellcheck: I went to Lenny's on Memorial Drive Friday night, but I'm not sure who I saw. CL's Soundmenu calls the first band I saw Luicide Sout. The ad for Lenny's in Stomp and Stammer called them Lucide Sout. Someone from the band gave me a sticker that I'm pretty sure said Lucide Soul, but I lost it, so I can't confirm.
The second band I saw was either called Overt or Orvet. Both papers call them Overt, but I swear the singer kept saying Orvet (like Corvette).
Anyway, enough of that. How was the show, you ask? It was OK. Lucide Soul was youngish and enthusiastic, which was fun. Orvet was sorta lethargic. They're sort of a funky, grungy power trio whose drummer is placed center stage, presumably because he makes triumphant gestures with his hands throughout the show. They were a little premature with the victorious gesturing though -- the guitarist had one more effects pedal than there were people watching the band (eight to seven). In fact, the bulk of Lenny's patrons were playing pool or chatting in the other room, ignoring the band.
Even though Lenny's is adjacent to the increasingly fancy-panted Grant Park, it has stubbornly resisted any pressure to spiff itself up. The crowd was much younger than last time I was there three years ago, but most of them still look like extras from The Outsiders who probably find The Earl and the Star Bar a little too trendy and upscale for their tastes.