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Roses are red, violets are actually violet

14 Feb

magic-love-candle-mainWe trimmed our list of favorite grown and sexy hits performed live at Tanqueray Lounge to these three, making a short and smooth playlist for your Valentine’s Day.

Saxophonist of Distinction Rod Adwaters, “My Funny Valentine”

Eddie Sawyer, “Open House at My House”

B.O.S.S. Funk, “Baby I Love You”

Light up your luckiest love candle from Rondo, hit “play” above, and pick which House member is going to be your Valentine this year. (Don’t forget to email us at true.romance@house.ga.gov and tell us, or someone else might claim your rep).

MARTA in the movies

12 Feb

MARTA has played a bit part in a few films over the years, whether Atlanta is a cheap location for a film set in some other city or explicitly acknowledged. There’s the very memorable hijacking of a MARTA bus at the beginning of Burt Reynolds’ Sharky’s Machine (1978), memorable mainly in the sense that everything that happens after this point is excruciatingly unmemorable. sharkys machine

Kim Bassinger takes it in The Real McCoy (1993) after she’s just been released from jail where she was doing time for a botched bank robbery, now on MARTA and on her way to new life, a fresh start. We’ve all been there before.
the real mccoy

MARTA is hilariously rebranded as “NARTA” in Livin’ Large! (1991). Livin’ Large was shot all over the city, so if you’re really into that, be our guest.
livin large

The most felicitous use of MARTA, however, is in the truly terrible 1985 movie you’ve never heard of, The Heavenly Kid. Continue reading

Into the crystal

20 Oct

Happy Halloween! Almost! Please spend some time working through the six short episodes of Diligent Witches, written/directed by Dave Bonawits.

We saw episode 4 (“Wicked Dance”) at something at the Plaza Theater earlier this year where a bunch of people who hung out at the Plaza frequently when they were at GSU as art/film students showed their comedic short films and web episodes that they have been making as successful young adults. (Well, the event was much more professional and put-together than we’re making it sound here but you know what we mean.) Diligent Witches was one of our favorites, among many high-quality and funny pieces.

Speaking of being a witch, somehow this very blog “won” a “Best of Atlanta 2012” nod from Creative Loafing in the fake sounding category of “Best recap by a local blogger of a 1990s educational series.” Clearly no one fact checked the date stamp on those recap posts of ours, but if you are here to read about The Making of Modern Atlanta, you should start on this post. If you are here and work for Creative Loafing, we want one of those plaques all the restaurants and businesses have.

The gay ’90s

18 Apr

Imagine, if you will, that there are these Atlanta cops, and they find out there are drugs possibly being dealt at this gay bar, so they go to bust up the bar…

…only to fall in love.

Real life? No, we’re talking about In the Flesh, an independent gay film shot in 1997 Atlanta.
It is so gay, it is so ’90s, it is so Atlanta. Eat your heart out, Gregg Araki!

The first thing that tipped us off that In the Flesh was no ordinary movie was the really intensely detailed Wikipedia entry, in which the section summarizing the movie’s plot is longer than the same section for The Godfather‘s Wikipedia page. Then there are the polarized Netflix reviews. Naturally, we needed to see this for ourselves. (Please watch the trailer here to really get a “feel” for the movie before proceeding.) Continue reading

Street hymns

29 Nov

Enough about Peachtree Street!
“Badstreet U.S.A.”  by Michael Hayes and The Fabulous Freebirds (from the 1987 album Off the Streets)

Shortly after this song debuted, Bad Street was renamed “Atlanta’s Historic Livingston Mims Motorway” to shed itself of negative connotations with the notorious and sloppy wrestler vs. punk blood feud that plagued the thoroughfare for the majority of the ’80s.

If I had to pick a real-life Bad Street Atlanta G-A, maybe I would go with the very south end of Moreland Avenue, past Coco Loco de la Noche. There are just a lot of beige nearly-windowless “sports” bars that seem like weathered men go in there every night and come out with nosebleeds, either from brawls over whether to play trashy honky-tonk or thrash metal in the jukebox, or because of snorting too much hillbilly heroin.

Now a real road – Auburn Avenue.
“Auburn Avenue” by The Spirit of Atlanta (produced by the legendary Tommy Stewart, from the 1973 soundtrack to the never-made film The Burning of Atlanta)

This whoooooole album is sooooooooooo goooooooooooooood. I can only imagine what the movie for which it was recorded would be like. What was the plan for “Buttermilk Bottom“? I am dying to see the heavy nightlife scene for which that was likely intended. There’s also “Hunter Street” (now MLK Drive – thanks jolomo) which is clearly scored for a police chase scene. And if you like funk woodwind and brass riffs, you’ll love the instrumental “Down Underground“!

Here’s one last song with street undertones, while we’re on the subject of Tommy Stewart. Continue reading

Hot trainny mess

15 Sep

According to the most recent audience reach and customer demographic analysis by the Pecanne Log market research division, the average reader of this blog is a 57-year-old white male who makes 46.2 online purchases a month, is a model train hobbyist, reads rail timetables for pleasure, and eats Jimmy Dean products four meals a week.

These findings are likely due to the fact that Pecanne Log’s only reader is Thomas Wheatley, and that’s just when we pop up in his Google Alerts for himself. We also might be like the 80th result when Thomas Wheatley googles “Sam Massell’s Celebrity Transit Policy Alaskan Cruise 2012.”

Anyway, all this goes to say that the average reader of this blog might also find interest in Burnaway’s annual art party fundraiser, happening this Saturday night:

  1. The theme is “trains”
  2. Tickets can be purchased online
  3. Thomas Wheatley will be performing
  4. There will be food trucks (of course) but it’s cool if you bring your own Jimmy Deans

To make up for there being no Atlanta cookie cakes for sale this year, here’s some TRAIN FASHION.

Southern Railway, Southern Streamline Train; March 1941

Continue reading

Atlanta’s music scene

8 Aug

In 1970, on this very day in history, somehow Atlanta got a centerfold in Billboard for having a happening music scene.

Most of the stories in this section of the weekly magazine are of the boosterish quality that exemplifiy anything that the city’s movers and shakers could twist enough arms to get written about them in the national press, when they weren’t already writing it themselves in the local media.
Continue reading

Finally! GSU’s school spirit: “The life here is so urban where we learnin'”

14 Jul

Remember that terrrrrrrrrible song by the GTGs of Georgia Tech, called “The Ratio“? And that embarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrassing UGA Orientation Leader music video, “Party in the UGA“? Georgia State University finally has its own peppy music video – “Bleed Blue” – the opening notes of which sounds a little like the overture to Red, White, and Blaine. Undergraduates probably feel deep pride for this college football-inspired theme, whereas I just admire Frenchy P.k.A. JeenyuZ’s silky Jermaine Stewart locks.
(via GSU’s library blog)

Anyone can related to wanting salads with raisins and ranch dressing! Anyone can relate to wanting a class in the “fancy” (relatively – by GSU standards) and over-air-conditioned Aderhold building where “you can follow me as we walk past the homeless/in Woodruff Park, yeah, I kind of feel like they my homies.” Anyone can relate to wanting to dance in a tube top in a Downtown plaza! That’s why this video is so universal, regardless of one’s affiliation with GSU or not.

Frenchy917 has so many other Panther spirit videos on YouTube, too. SO MANY.

Previously: State budget cut threats have gone too far

A brief filmography of Xernona Clayton

6 Jun

The street renaming controversy has gotten everyone in a lather over what constitutes a boulevard, if things should be named for living people, if Centennial Olympic Park should be renamed Thomas Patrick Wheatley Contemplative Park and redesigned as a traditional Irish garden/a potato field, etc., etc., etc. But the biggest question in the comments of every local internet news source is, “Who is Xernona Clayton?” Since people do not curse Ms. Clayton’s name whenever they get lost in Downtown Atlanta trying to find Trader Vic’s but instead just keep running into one block of loading docks and parking garage entrances after another, and since she has a first name that starts with an X, everyone is curious about this future namesake of some sort of City of Atlanta property (a plaza). However, one correct answer to this popular query about her identity that I haven’t yet seen is, “Co-star of the 1974 horror film The House on Skull Mountain.”
(Senator Leroy Johnson also makes a brief appearance as “Mr. Ledoux”, an attorney.)

Well, this is just leading us to more questions; specifically, what is the house on Skull Mountain? Obviously, guys, this is it:
Continue reading

Little Darlings

9 May

It’s almost summer camp time, which means for adults, watching movies about summer camp with deep nostalgia and sentimentality and pretending that summer camp was like that for us. One of the most famous of the camp genre was 1980’s Little Darlings, which still languishes in VHS-only purgatory. However, the summer is a great time to catch it edited for television audiences, whether on TBS, TNT, or one of those other channels.

Little Darlings was filmed at Hard Labor Creek State Park (terrible name, wonderful place) in Rutledge, Georgia but the pre- and post-camp scenes were shot in Atlanta. The generic poor person apartments where Angel (Kristy McNichols) lives have likely been demolished…

…but we know Ferris (Tatum O’Neal) is rich because she lives at the Swan House and shows up for camp in a smart linen suit and a Rolls-Royce.
Continue reading

Anarchy in the PDL

4 May

Here’s another charming reminder of Atlanta’s relentless gentrification and decline and unfulfilled threat of gentrification and even further decline: An early ’80s be-turtlenecked Tom Zarrilli performing “Destroy Midtown”, a vicious punk number with the band Attack and Decay to protest the closing of the Nitery Club on Ponce.


Warning: Contains satirical adult language and graphic descriptions of violence inflicted on landlords and Evil Real Estate Developers!

If you’ve been on his tour of Ponce de Leon Avenue, you’ll recall that the Nitery Club is where the owner sold Italian men’s dress shoes behind the bar. According to Mr. Zarrilli, after the Nitery Club shut down, it briefly became a gay bar, and then a Greek restaurant called the Golden Dolphin. Now it is that grown-up version of a college dining hall adored by overcooked pasta lovers all over town, Eats.

As we’ve mentioned before, there’s been a long-time fear of Ponce de Leon Avenue becoming upscale or overly yuppie. Now there is a Whole Foods, a Chipotle, and an Urban Outfitters on Ponce – all signs of modern middle-class retail development. But there is also the vandalized City Hall East, the rotting empty Clermont Hotel, Model T bar, the mysterious Lake Building, and the woman who pleasures herself on a beach towel in front of the vacant Wachovia at the corner of Monroe Avenue. Ponce doesn’t have a Smut Busters like Cheshire Bridge Road (well, Midtown Ponce Security Alliance) but there is an ongoing resentment of the crime and blight issues related to the sharp divide between Midtown and Old Fourth Ward that Ponce represents, as well as, on the other hand, the isolated development or “revitalization” that has happened (don’t even get us started on Sembler parking lots and in the ’50s and ’60s what an article in The Great Speckled Bird alluded to as “a shadowy group called the Ponce de Leon Association”). Everything we find about Ponce’s condition since the dissolution of Atlanta’s urban core echoes the same concerns, like everything else about Atlanta ever – but we’re too busy to be self-reflective or observe multi-decade patterns of failure!

Do you think “Destroy Midtown” played last Saturday night when 3 Legged Cowboy closed?

According to our sources, there should be another tour of Ponce this spring/early summer, so watch the Urban Hiking blog or email list for updates.

Previously: Plaza Drugs through the ages

Alma mater

30 Mar

Any fans of the documentary Alma in the house tonight? The film shows little clips of Margie Thorpe’s band Miss Margie and the Tall Boys performing, but here’s a full song – gospel hymn “I Saw the Light,” live at Austin Avenue Cafe (was this in Inman Park?).

Here’s the part where we would normally tell you to go rent Alma (set mostly in Hapeville and, I think, the West End; IMDb key words: “Exhibitionism,” “Southern U.S.,” “Mother Daughter”) at Movies Worth Seeing as we were once also wisely instructed to do, but now there’s a special urgency to that assignment because they’re closing soon forever!! And all the movies are not only for rent, but for sale!

(Don’t worry, WEEKS AGO we bought all the VHS documentaries that had anything to do with Georgia or food, if only to spite the person who tried to throw away our VCR last month.)

Previously: Blue Christmas

Viaduct mysteries exposed!

17 Feb

There’s another Unseen Underground tour next Saturday (February 26), plus two during the Phoenix Flies festival! You now have absolutely no excuse to miss it.

Seriously, move fast – these things fill up.

UPDATE: Tour guide Jeff Morrison’s email address is here; contact him directly if you want to reserve a spot on any of the walks.

Previously: The endangered marine life of Overground Atlanta

The show must go on…and on

17 Feb

Were you clever enough to get your Designing Women Live seats way ahead of time, before they sold out, or are you just now realizing that there IS such thing as Designing Women Live? Well, if you’re in the latter category, no worries – the Process Theatre just added another performance of its semi-annual fundraiser at 10:30 PM on Saturday. Reserve tickets, put on your finest jewel-toned ruched blouse, get a heaping cup of white wine at the concession stand, and enjoy episodes “Julia Gets Her Head Caught In a Fence” and “Blame It On New Orleans.” There’s still time to laissez les bons temps rouler – but not much.

Also, for those of you devotees who have caught the show the last couple of times, be warned that there’s a new Charlene this time around. Good luck under all this sold-out pressure, New Charlene!

OnStage Atlanta, 2597 North Decatur Road

Blue Christmas

18 Nov

Dust-to-Digital is releasing the 20th anniversary edition of Ten Thousand Points of Lights, a documentary (directed by George King) that introduces us to the Townsends, a chain-smoking, Divorce Court-addicted Stone Mountain family and their modest little ranch home which is a year-round homage to Elvis but, at a Christmas, becomes a kitschy fantasy land of twinkling colored lights, decaying tinsel garlands, Santa potholders, and a nativity scene made from s’more ingredients. For 17 years, they opened their home every holiday season to strangers who would come from all over to admire and tour “the Christmas house” (if the guests could follow Uncle Ray’s rules and not ask stupid questions about the power bill). The documentary follows the Christmas house’s last season in the public eye – after 1990, the whole family moved to Charlotte.
I don’t want to try to describe any of the special and hilarious moments and the marvelous characters in this film because I won’t do them justice – just get your hands on this beautiful Dust-to-Digital packaging and special features that include commentary and “where are they now?” interviews of three of the family members. The interview with granddaughter Gloria mentions the conspiracy theories around the appearance of an Elvis-loving nun in the Christmas house when the cameras were rolling. (Rumors were flying that the nun was a plant!)

This would make a very festive stocking stuffer, I might add!

(UPDATE: And here’s the video promo. Cute!)

Nowadays, the closest thing we have to this in that part of town is Stone Mountain Park’s creepy snow angel, which you have to PAY to see.

Previously: Atlanta Singles Celebrate! the Holidays

The Slugger’s Wife

26 Oct


Imagine this: a film that teams Hal Ashby’s direction with Neil Simon’s screenwriting with Quincy Jones’ executive music producing with Rebecca De Mornay singing Prince’s “Little Red Corvette”! A real “home run,” right? What could be better?

A lot of things, actually, because The Slugger’s Wife is a nightmare. The only reason it merits any sort of attention here is because it was filmed in Atlanta in the mid-’80s – its primary locations were Limelight and Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium so it truly is a period piece.
Continue reading

The endangered marine life of Overground Atlanta

3 Oct

This weekend brought news of the nearly-final demise of Robert Wyland’s “Whaling Wall” on the parking deck that overlooks the old World of Coke/Underground Atlanta plaza. The sea mammal mural is peeling, poorly executed (visible spray paint strokes everywhere), and totally inappropriate for its surroundings – you miiiight think it had something to do with the Georgia Aquarium except that it was completed 12 years before the aquarium and about a mile away from it.

It would be great if the parking deck’s possible new mural celebrated to Atlanta’s railroad roots, specifically as they relate to that exact location in the city, but the surface will be used for GSU promotion. I appreciate the existing whale painting in a “just another weird thing about Downtown Atlanta” way but it has nothing to do with that part of Downtown and distracts from the real beauty adjacent to the wall – the 1869 Georgia Railroad Freight Depot. The parking deck covered in this mural is also home to the zero milepost that put Atlanta on the map, almost literally.

Which brings me to my next point – the date is set for the next Unseen Underground tour, planned for Saturday, October 16. Cited as the “best intro to Atlanta history” by Creative Loafing (although they read it here first!), this is an excursion you really don’t want to miss, especially as your friendly and knowledgeable tour guide Jeff Clark only leads these a few times a year. The tour takes about 2-1/2 hours and covers a lot of area.

Contact me if you want Jeff’s email with full details so you can RSVP or ask him to include you in news of future tours. UPDATE: The tour is now full, but Jeff is planning another one this fall to try to keep up with demand!

Previously: Unseen Underground

You light up my ‘Line!

21 Sep

Okay, the first BeltLine lantern parade was in what…June? I went, and then too much time passed and it seemed irrelevant to post about it a month after the fact – the internet moves so fast! BUT, on Saturday, October 2 the Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons et al will be holding another to close out Art on the BeltLine!!! YOU HAVE TO GO!!!

I mean, it was really truly one of the best things I’ve ever done/seen in Atlanta (and let’s not forget I went to the torch parade and, like, handball at the 1996 Olympics). And while there I took a million blurry photos on my phone, and here are some. You can’t see the people really – I think someone said there were 300?

Continue reading

Mark your calendars for the cutest thing ever!

28 Jul

Friday, August 13 is the City of Fairburn’s SOCK HOP! From 7:30 to 9:30 pm at Clarence Duncan Park, “Put on your poodle skirt and go back in time with us while we dance the night away to live music.”

Just make sure you visit this guy first:

via a blog

Stick around south Fulton for the whole weekend because the following day features an indoor picnic at the Old Campbell County Historical Society. Just be sure you RSVP with Gloria or Nancy first.

Fairburn, 1954 - via the Atlanta History Center

Here are some other things that are adorable about Fairburn, from the OCCHS:

– Emma Lulu Duggan Camp was the first woman sheriff of Campbell County and Georgia. She served for one month between the death of her husband, Sheriff Thomas Wiley Camp, and the election of a new sheriff.

– In 1896, you could purchase any size watermelon you wanted for a nickle.

Previously: Speaking of drag queens…

Cake walk through Atlanta

15 Jul

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the Pecanne Log centerfold of Thomas Wheatley-designed cookie cakes. I alluded to these last month for the BurnAway fundraiser/Lot & Parcel and I know a lot of people didn’t take us seriously. I didn’t take us seriously, but then after making 13 batches of cookie cake batter (=2 sticks of butter each) I came around and realized this was really happening.

And then after the bake sale, I wanted to wait a little while to celebrate that we pulled this off in case anyone who took one of these cakes home died (the BeltLine one was pretty undercooked in the middle) (metaphor!). I am happy to say we sold all but three, one of which was secretly devoured by the bar volunteers (they deserved it) and the other two of which we kind of phoned in when we decorated (we deserved it).

First, a few words about the creative process. Not to brag, but I can decorate a high-quality cookie cake (birthday party caliber) in five minutes flat. Thomas is still struggling with expressing himself in an efficient manner via decorative gel. It was really hard for me to hold back when I wanted to mentor him artistically yet not smother his creativity. Often he wanted to use hot pink buttercream frosting to recreate architecture that would look better in a more natural color and with a more delicate line, but I had to sit back and let the Olympic Spirit carry him. Sometimes I would lose my patience and covertly churn out a design (anything you see below that uses cursive script, obviously).

These are all issues we’ll have to work out when we quit our day jobs to bake and decorate Atlanta-themed cookie cakes full time.

Westview Cemetery

(Click any to enlarge.) Continue reading

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