Wesley Willis is an enormous, diagnosed schizophrenic who makes music using the preset tunes on Casio-like keyboards. He sings whatever's on his mind unfiltered. He usually has nice things on his mind. About a woman named Caryn Shaffer, he once sweetly sang, "I love you like Nestle's Quik, I love you like Liquid-Plumr."
He does however have a potty mouth. That's where his most memorable songs, such as "Suck a Caribou's Ass," "Taste A Panda's Ass," and the classic "Fuck You," come from. One of his most popular songs is "Cut The Mullet" in which he tells a mullet wearer -- "Take your ass to the barbershop. Tell the barber that you're sick of looking like an asshole."
Willis performed at The Earl Sunday night. Willis napped in a chair near the stage during touring mate Angry Atom's set. When he awoke, I walked up to say hi. He invariably greets people by asking them to head butt him (he has a large scar in the center of his forehead from years of it) or by simply shaking hands and cursing. I got a warm handshake and a "go fuck yourself." He's not mean. It just comes out. We talked about his music quite pleasantly for a couple of minutes. Then when I thanked him for his autograph, he nodded pleasantly and told me to "suck a donkey's ass."
When Willis was introduced over the P.A., instead of stepping onto the stage, he went to the bathroom. He eventually took the stage and opened with "Osama Bin Laden," in which he repeatedly insults the terrorist. He followed it by chanting "Saddam Hussein crush your dick." Then, he did a song about a friend whom he likes "like a Milky Way candy bar." He did a song I've never heard before called "Michael Jackson." It includes the lyrics "You're a child molester" and "You should be ashamed of yourself." Rock on.
Sunny Delight: Although it probably scared off goths and people taking Tetracycline, last weekend's bright sunshine and warmth drew a record crowd to Piedmont Park for the billion-millionth annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival. The festival is the city's annual rite of passage into springtime -- kind of like a civic Bar Mitzvah without the Torah portions. As during other years, the festivals two primary activities were walking around the park and walking around the park in the other direction. Secondary activities included, but were not limited to, listening to live music, browsing for and/or purchasing arts and crafts at one of the vendor tents, yelling into your mobile phone in an effort to explain where you are to your friends. And eating.
Among the people to whom I spoke, the biggest "ooh, I definitely wanna see that" attraction was the Frisbee dog competition. Calm down, PETA -- they weren't actually using the dogs as Frisbees. They were making the dogs catch Frisbees. I first saw the Frisbee dog competition two years ago. Since then, I've discovered that my dog is a Frisbee-catching natural. The two weak points in our routine are my throwing and her need to, once caught, rip the Frisbee to shreds.
The festival had approximately two corporate sponsors for every person in the park. The most memorable and loved was no doubt Charmin. They set up a huge trailer with about 20 spotless mini-bathrooms. Each had flushing toilets, sinks, two types of Charmin, and a TV showing Charmin ads. After each use, a gloved attendant made sure each bathroom was clean for the next person. If only I'd thought to bring a magazine, I'd have likely spent the entire festival there.
FW: ConsumptionJunction.com is a locally owned and operated website, seemingly accurately described by company President Rick Latona as "the world's largest archive of the fucked-up shit people e-mail each other." If it involves sex, excrement, deformities or gore, Consumption Junction seemingly has it. They celebrated the company's four-year anniversary with a party. To celebrate, they set up an anniversary slide show on a big screen TV that included multiple photos of projectile shitting. Really.
Believe it or not, that wasn't the party's most memorable feature. That honor goes to the CJ employee who demonstrated how his '49 Nash (that's a car) can shoot flames out the back. After shit and fire, nothing was gonna impress me, so I left.
FJK: FunkJazz Kafe isn't a place. It's an every few months or so event that's sort of like a fantasy, upscale urban nightclub. (FYI, "urban" is a polite media codeword meaning "appeals mainly to black people"). I went to Saturday's FJK at SciTrek. That the event's organizers are able to move the event from the Contemporary, where I saw it last, to a kitschy kid's science museum and still keep it stylish is a testament to their cool. Rather, than cover up the exhibits, the event incorporated them. The models wearing outfits from East Atlanta's leper-sounding-but-not-looking Pieces of Adrene boutique draped themselves on the museum's cars and boat. And a video display made for kid's educational films instead was showing a '70s James Brown show.
There was a fair bit of art, most of it, bluntly, not to my liking. Someone described one painting of a jungle cat as "the kind of thing you see on the folders you put in Trapper Keepers." Sad, but true. A big-name musician was to perform, but since they refused to say who, I refused to stay and find out.
Since every other item in this column references feces, my review of Funk Jazz Kafe would not be complete without mentioning that, while waiting in line for a free chair massage, a vendor handed me a card extolling the benefits of colonic irrigation.