My Christmas vacation was fun. I drove up the coast and visited old friends and family. But too many hours in the car did a number on my back. Ouch!
Lust's XXX-mas Show at the Star Community Bar was a lot of fun. There were many very sexy elves and some really scary one too. BOSS put on what I think was their best show ever! I especially enjoyed Mitsu's japanese rendition of Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. It was also Toys-for-Tots drive and two USMC Marines were on hand to collect toys and donations. Several items were auctioned off to raise additional money.
I didn't enjoy the second Lord of the Rings movie, The Two Towers as much as the first. The transitional movie didn't have the emotion or action of the first movie. Also, Gollum (Smeagol) really brought me down he was so pathetic. But Samwise was very good and the love story between Aragorn and Éowyn brought a tear to my eye.
Star Trek: Nemesis was nothing more than a TV episode on the big screen. My advice is for you to wait for the video. I especially didn't like the whole data subplot. How many copies of that robot did he (Dr Sung) make? And if the Romulans made him, how come there aren't dozens of Romulan robot warriors? Weak, weak, weak!
Salomés Wish put on a good show at 10 High. The band is going in a more rock direction since I last saw them but it still has a darkwave sound. 10 High is still working on a renovation but they've already turned the stage against the West wall so the audience is now wide instead of deep. Support columns still block movement and the view of the stage.
I went to a Thursday show at the Echo Lounge. It was pretty quiet, only about 15 people were there when Parker and Lily took the stage. They're two chicks and a guy playing very melodic music. Christine (in a leopard sundress) and Lily (in hot pants and goth boots) were pretty hot: Parker was pretty dirty (as in needed a bath). When Catfight! took the stage at about 11:30 there were about thirty people for an intimate show. Their show was fast and loud and great as expected. It was getting late so I didn't stick around for Mondo Topless.
I enjoyed my visit to the Shakespeare Tavern to see All's Well that Ends Well. It starts off slow and there's a lot of extraneous dialog where Shakespeare was playing to the audience of the time, but the story is good, if not totally crazy. It's all about a common girl who goes to extraordinary lengths to marry an English lord. It's a rather silly plot by today's standards but at the time I'm sure it was very scandalous. Not only does she have to get the King's blessing but also convince the lord that it's not going to ruin him.
Don Henry, Craig Carothers, and Angela Kaset put on a fun show at the Swallow at the Hollow. As always, the food was very good.
I was invited to a DVD recording of a Diane Durrett's concert at Tree Sound Studios for Music History Live. They put out a cool spread of food and stuff, everything you'd expect for a rock-star, and I got to watch her perform for hours. I may be on the DVD too, who knows? Caroline Aiken and Donna Hopkins were singing backup. Jimbeau Hinson was there showing his support too! It was fun and way cool.
I saw James Bond: Die Another Day and really enjoyed it. Sure there were some over-the-top scenes, but it was exciting and fun and that's all that matters!
Janeane Garofalo put on a funny show at The Tabernacle. It wasn't jokes but more a commentary on life and the world. Seen from her point of view it seems totally ridiculous. I also met some cool psychology students, Meredith and Kelly, which added to the enjoyment. Zackary something opened with a series of one-line jokes that really set a good mood.
Nothing Inside played to an empty room at the 9 Lives Saloon. Maybe it was because it was late on a Thursday or something but I really enjoyed the show. The music was really good. I'm sure it was frustrating for the band since there were about 20 people at the bar in the other room talking - mostly the other bands.I saw the very strange movie, Solaris. If you liked Sphere, Twin Peaks, or Mulholland Drive you might like this. It's a very strange and confusing movie where the viewer has to decide for themselves what is happening. Also, since it involves several flashbacks, sometimes you have to wonder if what you're seeing is real or a dream. Did I mention it's about a space mission where the people have gone nuts because dead people are visiting them? While I didn't like it, a few others did. Weird!
The Helgas CD Release Party was Sat. Nov. 16th at the Star Community Bar. It was a pretty good crowd and the music was great. There were numerous other bands in attendance to join the party including members of Catfight!, 6X, Salome's Wish, and Boss. The Moto-Litas and Nowhere Squares opened the show and were very well received.
Darryl Purpose opened a nice evening at Eddie's Attic. The Women-of-Rock-in-the-Round: Diane Durrett, Caroline Aiken, and Donna Hopkins put on a good show to a full house.
The Stone Mountain Pow Wow & Indian Festival we pretty cool. There were arts and dancing and good food. I had the Frybread with chili.
Mary Prankster put on a great CD release party at The E.A.R.L.She sang her heart out like a bigtime Rock-n-Roll star and had the audience screaming for more. Tell Your Friends is a very good third CD.
Metroscene was okay but Outcast was totally lame.
I really wish she'd started earlier than 12:30am. That way more of the crowd would have stayed and she could have played longer. When she finished at 1:30am we were all really tired. That's pretty late to be out on a Friday when you got up at 5am.
Catfight!, Boss and Born to Please put on a good show at the Star Community Bar. Not to many people showed up which was disappointing but we all had a good time anyway. Mitsu threw leftover Halloween candy around, which was kinda funny.
The Helgas put on a good show at the the Echo Lounge but I didn't like the Burden Brothers nor did I stick around for Supersuckers.
The Silent Film Society of Atlanta's presentation of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)" was great. It was held at Eyedrum a small gallery that was really comfortable for the small show. Diana Obscura, Damon Young & Paul Mercer provided the musical accompaniment which was awesome. This version had Drew Barrymore's grandfather and an interesting plot different then I'd seen before which I found much better. Ask me about it.
In many respects, this performance of Macbeth, at the Shakespeare Tavern, was better than before. One thing that made it better were the many special effects that made it more exciting. The main drawback was the acting. Several of the actors didn't annunciate or spoke too fast which was really bad. There were a lot of students there the night I went and their constant chatter was really annoying.
The 30th Annual Highland Games at Stone Mountain were great as always. I saw Clandestine play their last Atlanta show and ate Haggis (Yuck!)
Teresa, formerly of Amanda Jones, played the Beer Mug with her new band, Retro Pleasure. They played a cool variety of 80's covers but the sound guy screwed them up, I could barely hear Bonnie most of the time. Besides that, the waitresses were terrible and the beer selection was totally lame. I won't be going back!
The Candler Park Festival was nice. I had some wings, some beer, and watched The Moto-Litas
I watched the Thrashers lose another game at Phillips Arena. Nothing unusual about that, but after the game Joan Jett put on a great concert. Not surprisingly for Georgia, most people walked out.
The 23rd Chili Cook-Off at Stone Mountain was a lot of fun. I was a judge this year and sat for three hours sampling all the chili, Brunswick stew, and cornbread to be had. There were some really awful stuff, but some really shining moments too. I especially liked the booth called Alien Chili. They had done a great Men-In-Black theme complete with bug toss. (Old review)
I was disappointed at the Jennifer Daniels and Beth Wood show at the Java House in Conyers, GA. The place was too crowded and Jen had a cold again.
Kim Carnes, Greg Barnhill, & Marc Alan Barnett put on a good show at the Swallow at the Hollow. We recognized many songs and had a great time.
The Atlanta Home Show was pretty interesting. I got some good ideas for my gutter problems.
I went to see The Helgas at The E.A.R.L. They put on a good show but had some sound problems. It was late on a weeknight, so I didn't stick around for Catfight! or Puddin'
Don Henry, Billy Kirsch, and Jimmy Wayne played a good show at the Swallow at the Hollow.com: Although, at the end, the manager and the audience demanded just Don Henry play a few more songs.
I brought mooncakes into work to celebrate the Chinese Mid-Autum Festival, but nobody liked the cakes. Most described them as mildly distasteful.
I went to the Bluebird Café 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Discover Mills Mall. It wasn't much of a celebration, just a book signing with live music (Jim Photoglo, Richard Leigh). There were 30 people seated in the 100 chairs set up. But I did get to meet Amy Kurland and get a book autographed. It's a cool mall too.
The DragonCon 2002 website has been postponed indefinitely. This link has been reserved.
I went on a company organized white-water rafting trip. While the river wasn't too rough and the group was pretty nice, our boat leader really spoiled it for me. She didn't bother to ask the experience level of the people in the boat and actually stopped us from helping to keep the raft straight and off the rocks. We spent too much time trying to recover instead of enjoying the ride. The boat was constantly going sideways or stuck and we couldn't see the beauty of the area or enjoy the ride. I found it really frustrating. Other times she was busy trying to set-up her own tricks to let us enjoy enjoy the ride. (I gather this is common to all the guide's behavior at this place). On the plus side: No one got hurt. Overall rating - fair: Cost $30 Cherokee Rafting
The Moto-Litas put on a good show at the E.A.R.L.. Unfortunately we had to sit though Ampathy and the Jupiter Watts until the girls came on at 12:30. I don't think their new guy guitarist is working out either.
The Shakespeare Tavern put on an excellent performance of Taming of the Shrew. They simplified the story a little and Petruchio actually stopped and explained portions of the show to the audience mid-show to help everyone understand what was happening. But it was the improvised body language and audience interaction that made the audience go wild. I especially loved the sassy Bianca who kept taunting Katherina instead of playing the innocent victim as in other productions. I highly recommend this show, even to people who usually avoid this kind of thing.
My holiday "Down Under" was great! I skied at Mt. Perisher/ Blue Cow, saw the sights of Sydney, Canberra and drove the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne to Adelaide (where I saw the Twelve Apostles and the Loch Ard Gorge). I even visited Cooma and Wagga Wagga. I made some new friends, got to try some new foods, and hugged a Koala bear (named Dusty). 23 hours in a plane each way was rough and 3000 km in a car was bad, but it was still a great trip.
This is a great night picture I took under the Harbour Bridge in Sydney. You can just make out the Australian flags flying over the top. If you have a good monitor you can even see some white dots that look like birds. But they're actually bats feeding on the insects attracted by the lights.
No worries Mate!
Catfight! and the The Helgas put on a good show at the E.A.R.L. It didn't start until 11pm so there weren't too many people left at 1am when Catfight! took the stage. But for those that stayed they put on a good, though not technically organized, show. Everybody send Jennifer a note: she gets married August 3rd. The only thing I can say about 6X is that they need to play together more often, their lack of practice is showing.
The new Austin Powers movie, Goldmember was very good. Sure, the joke is getting old, but they put a lot of effort in to making it fresh and I was laughing out loud several times. The toilet humor was very intense.
The Moto-Litas were not at their best when they played the Echo Lounge with the Characters and the Features. Courtney, now solo on vocals, had a cold and really needs some backup. The Characters are a strange instrumental group from Nashville. It was late and I didn't stay for the Features.
Eight Legged Freaks - SUCKED!!
I convinced a group of co-workers to join me for the premiere of Reign of Fire: I thought it was going to be really good. I was wrong. It wasn't a bad movie, but it certainly didn't live up to it's potential. Maybe it was the budget, because there were scenes missing that would have made it great. They either didn't have the money or skill to finish it right. For example: we all expected to see the military fighting the dragons - instead we disappointed by some dialog references to their failure. Secondly, we all expected to see the dragons burning cities - instead we only saw a series of magazine pictures chronicling the destruction. Also, the characters weren't really given any depth: we weren't told why Van Zan (McConaughey) was nuts or why Quinn (Bale) was so shy (He should have been the lead Dragonslayer after one killed his mother before his eyes). It's really too bad because with just a little more editing it could have been a great movie. Maybe they'll do a director's cut or maybe a sequel. The dragons were great and the story, although there were a few holes, was pretty good. Hopefully my co-workers will forgive me.
Jennifer Daniels and Daniel Lee put on a good show at Eddie's Attic. I wasn't as impressed by the other two groups and couldn't sit through the whole 4 hour show: My butt just got too tired.
MIB 2 was good, but not as good as the first movie. There seem to be way too many aliens and the movie has a definite "Anti-relationship" theme this time. I would have liked hope that everyone can find love.
|I saw Bella Morte and Solome's Wish at the 9 Lives Saloon. It was a good crowd and a good show, especially for a school night. (Happy Birthday Merrydeath!)
To the right is Solome's Wish: Noel, far left, Sue and George from Flowers for Luci filling in on bass. Will is hiding in back. It was my second time seeing them perform, but certainly not my last.
They love their fog machine a little too much, so my pictures are all out of focus. But there were several other picture takers, so if you look around, there should be more available.
Lilo and Stich was very nice but not as good as Ice Age. The story was too sappy for me but the jokes were plentiful and the kiddies really seamed to like it. I think it needed more Elvis and less social drama.
Scoobie Doo was okay, but not as good as I'd hoped. They spent too much time on the Scooby-Shaggy relationship and other relationship issues which detracted from the mystery. And although I never was a big Scrappy-Doo fan I didn't like how they used that character. Buffy got to kick some monster butt, which I liked. And Velma was pretty sexy for a few scenes too. The little kids we brought to see the movie thought it was okay, so I guess the final rating is - - FAIR.
After months of thinking about it, I finally broke down and went to the Midnight Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Marietta theater. It was as lame as I'd expected it to be. There were a small group of freaks acting out the movie in front while a bunch of wacko's talked over the dialog in a bizarre competition of who could be more obnoxious. I wish I could say it was fun, but it was just lame. I guess it was the disorganization and the people who had convinced themselves that they were funny that spoiled it for me. Think of those bad SNL years when Janeane Garofalo quit because the show wasn't funny. I won't be going back. The place was about one-third capacity. [Rocky Horror Atlanta]
Repeating the same plot as previous action movies like Real Men, La Femme Nikita, Pygmalion, and others, Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins make Bad Company an enjoyable shoot 'em up romp. In a typical James Bond style, Anthony Hopkins plays a CIA agent who recruits Chris Rock to act as his assassinated twin brother to save the world. Chris has only nine days to turn from a street wise hoodlum into a world class aristocrat and super spy. It's totally predicable and of course the good guys win in the end. We've seen it before, but it's still a fun ride.
The Helgas put on a good show at the Echo Lounge. I'm not sure why 6X was a no-show and Detention Hall continues to be awful. The concert was delayed for over an hour by a power grid failure in the area, so I didn't stick around for the last band, Dead Low Tide.
This year's Virginia-Highland Summerfest wasn't as good as year's past - there weren't as many artist and craft boothes and the bands were much weaker.
Jennifer Daniels and Jason Levasseur put on a fine show at Eddies Attic. The place was almost full which was very gratifying to Jennifer and Jason.
Catfight! and The Moto-Lita's put on a good show at the Echo Lounge. Unfortunatly not too many people showed up for the Ladyfest South fundraiser. Maybe it was the fact that it was a holiday weekend or maybe the lack of advertising - but I enjoyed my private listening party.
A Comedy of Errors is one of the more confusing plays to be performed at the The Shakespeare Tavern. But since it's a comedy with a happy ending it is very popular. I saw it opening night and it was rough. But it's a good story, so you should give it a try.
I, like all the critics and reviewers, thought the latest Star Wars movie was weak. George Lucas is trying very hard to devise a complex plot that will keep the audience guessing but instead leaves gaps in the story and continuity mistakes that just make us gasp in disbelief. The most obvious mistakes in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones are; Who paid for the TWO great armies? How could tens of thousands of soldiers be massed and trained for years without anyone knowing? Who built the hundreds of assault ships that suddenly appear in the last act? And how were the ships collected and put to use in less than a day? Are there really only 100 jedi to defend thousands of systems? Where's the police and National Guard? Glaring mistakes and omissions - Sorry George.
The 12th Annual Cherokee County Indian Festival and Mother's Day Pow Wow at Reinhardt College was very cool! We saw a lot of music and dancing. We ate Fry-bread and Buffalo-burgers. And we spent a lot of money on indian arts-and-crafts. It included American Indian tribes from all over the US as well as Inca and other South American indians.
The girls to the right are wearing jingle dresses that made a lot of noise when they danced. The costumes were really colorful and beautiful. Some of the male traditional costumes were even more elaborate with feathers and weapons. [click for a bigger picture]
|Garbage lured me out to day three of Music Midtown. They put on a good show but the crowd of 100 thousand made it a less than enjoyable experience. They played a couple of songs from each of their CDs but it really didn't have the same energy as the Tabernacle show. They only played one song from their new CD, Beautiful, which was disappointing. People were fainting all around me from the crush of bodies and heat. I wanted to stay for Bonnie Raitt but wasn't feeling too well myself. It was painful to watch the hundreds of teenagers all around me not-appreciating the music. The little shits were too busy trying to get drunk and act stupid then puking. The exploitation of $3 sodas was disappointing too. That was my second, and probably last, Music Midtown experience.|
Joan Jett's performance on the second day of Music Midtown was awesome! After years of touring, she really knows how to work an audience and put on a great show. She drove the crowd into a frenzy with classic rock-and-roll hits that were met with cheers and whistles and a few exposed breasts! She opened the show with Bad Reputation then her traditional Cherry Bomb. Then she removed her rain jacket to reveal her latex tank-top and get down to business. Hit after hit followed like: I Love Rock and Roll, Do You Wanna Touch, I Hate Myself for Lovin' You, and The French Song with only two new songs introduced the entire night. She stopped the song "I Want to be Your Dog" briefly to command the audience to "Bark like Dawgs!" The response was over whelming as 30,000 people started barking and howling! After an hour and a half, the Blackhearts momentarily left the stage awaiting a encore call. For the encore. they performed a song from Joan's run on Broadway in Rocky Horror and closed with Everyday People. Despite the crowding the rain and the mud she was worth it.
Catfight! returned with a bang at the Star Community Bar on May 2nd. There were numerous comments like, "Katy has to drink lots of water, she needs to keep her tits hydrated" and the Rock City Dropouts actually stopped the show to congratulate Shawn and Katy, which was really nice. Rock City Dropouts were a little too metal for my taste, as was Detention Hall which also included a black haired and redneck speaking Jennifer Kraft. Still, when I left there at 2am I was happy.
Spiderman was excellent. It's a good combination of action movie for the guys and love story for the girls. Willem Dafoe is always a great bad guy. In this version, the bad guy has a split personality so we feel for him too. I can see the sequel already. On the down side, Tobey Maguire needs some more experience and Kirsten Dunst was way under utilized in this role - merely eye candy.
I attended my first Inman Park Festival (Creative Loafing Best Pick) and really enjoyed the parade. It wasn't as big as I'd expected by it was still plenty of good fun. It attracted a pretty good size crowd and several politicians were there in cars as well as local school bands and clubs. I especially liked the Vortex's float and the electric cars. My guess is that there were even more craft booths than the Dogwood Festival.
Classified: To the right is a picture of the B-1 Stealth Bomber. The secret service man was discouraging pictures, but I got one anyway. Please Don't let anyone else see this picture! Classified
Mary Prankster put on a great show at the the Cotton Club. It was a much bigger crowd this time around but it didn't come close to filling up. Still, she performed really well and the energy level was very high. People screamed out requests and sang along with such enthusiasm that Mary's performance was pumped up. There was dancing and cheering throughout the show. There was even a group of strippers in the audience putting on a flow show as they got drunk and grabby. It was really entertaining. The Cotton Club is a good venue, but the drink prices are high and parking is expensive.
Boss put on a good show at the Star Community Bar with Richard Simmons Overdrive. Being a Wednesday night, it wasn't very crowded. Still, I was really surprised when Kelly, the drummer, went around and could name everyone there. Mitsu did something unusual and sang one of their regular songs in Japanese - Very Cool!
I had a surprise visit from my old Air Force friend, Brad Gilliam. I gave him the quick tour of Atlanta and took him to my favorite eateries. We had fun catching up on the news and reminiscing about the glory days.
I have just returned from my trip through the Twilight Zone. I thought I was going to the monthly Goth-getogether called Cirque Noir at the Innovox Lounge. BUT in my universe, Regina sings and Chandler drums for a group called The Changelings. In the bizarro-world I crossed into, Regina plays bass guitar, Chandler sings and plays guitar, and Keli plays drums. Do you remember Keli Mercadante? She used to sing lead vocals for Wild West Picture Show until her mysterious disappearance two years ago. Anyway it was a kind of Goth/Folk music thing for about an hour. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, but they gave away Caffinated-Aphodiac-Sex-Chocolate so everyone got really excited.
Andy Offut Irwin put on a very brief but good opening Gerard McHugh and the Crafties for at Eddie's Attic. It was fun for a while. I'm not sure I get their Edgar Allen Poe obsession. The Decatur wings were very good.
I got killed on my taxes this year!
I dragged some friends out in the rain to see Jennifer Daniels appear at the Atlanta Dogwood Festival. Despite the weather we had a good time and ate some Australian Road-Kill sandwiches, Tu-Tu-Tango Egg rolls and kettle-corn. I also won some 99X tickets, which I passed along to a friend.
The Helgas show at the 9 Lives Saloon was as good as always, though I could have lived without the Nowhere Squares.
The Hot Head 400 Pine Car Derby was even more fun than I expected. The cars were really cool and the pizza and beer was good. I hadn't expected the people to be dressed for the occasion but several teams took it seriously enough to have matching jumpsuits and costumes. Lot's of teams entered and some of the cars were very well crafted. You could tell they really invested some effort in to it. I'll definitely go back next year.
Heidi, seen on the left, served up the brew. She also did double duty later on as the award presenter. I can't be certain, but I think she's having an affair with the judge.
Ice Age, the new animated kiddy movie from Fox was excellent. Sure it's a children's movie but there's plenty in there for adults. It was great! My favourite scene was the ice cave.
The Time Machine on the other hand was a waste of time and money: Wait for it to come to TV
The Moto Litas put on a good show at The E.A.R.L with Danielle Howle & the Tantrums and Good Friday Experiment. I got the new Moto-Litas CD called For the Greater Good which pretty well captures their live sound. The other bands were good, but not great. The huge write-ups in the Creative Loafing and Stomp and Stammer didn't bring out a huge crowd either.
Don Henry,Gene Nelson, and Craig Carrothers returned to The Swallow at the Hollow for another great show. They played many new songs, which was nice. Still no sign of Donna...
The Helgas release party at the 9 Lives Saloon was pretty cool. The new line up is exciting but I'm not used to hearing a Sue's voice singing Scooter's lyrics. Jason was a new twist too. Unfortunately I was too late to hear Boss but early enough to have to sit through the Nowhere Squares. Brandy, my waitress, was pretty cool too.
6X and The Moto-litas put on a great show at the the Star Community Bar. The place wasn't totally full so people could move around for a change: Everyone had a great time.
Gong Xi Fa Cai - Happy Chinese New Year!
You'll all be happy to know I made it home alive. It will take me a while to adjust back to EST but I really enjoy sleeping in my own bed again. I made some new friends and will miss them terribly. But through the power of E-mail I hope to keep in touch.
Thaipusam: The Hindu Festival of forgiveness was very interesting.
I saw Black Hawk Down: It was really intense! It's done in real-time, so it moves very fast with shaky camera work and explosions and bullets and blood everywhere. My only complaint is that it was too dark and the helmets hide everyone so you couldn't recognize the actors. That, and the characters weren't very likable. The HUM-V driver reminded me of Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now or Jesse Ventura in Predator - "I don't have time to bleed." He walks around confidently while bullets fly all around him: Everyone else is crawling and being blown to bits. What happened to the chopper pilot? He was captured by a warlord, then disappeared?
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Behind Enemy Lines: I liked this move. Sure there were some liberties taken but it moved fast, it was interesting, and I liked the moral of the story. Yes, it had REAL MORAL VALUES. The main character is a military pilot who has lost touch with what it means to be in the military: Like many real people. Some people in the military think it's a 9-to-5 job and forget that at any minute they may be deep in the battle or worse, asked to sacrifice their own life. Being in the military is NOT a regular job and people in (and out) of the military need to remember that. You can wait for the video if you'd like, but do make a point to see it. Unlike most of the other movie heroes today, he isn't a bad-good-guy, he's a good guy at heart that gets a chance for redemption.
Happy New Year!
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You can still visit the news archives from: 2001, 2000, 1999, or 1998.
All pictures are the property of Stefan and are not to be posted on other websites or published in any medium without express written permission. Questions, comments, and corrections are always welcome.
|Created Oct. 10, 1995
Updated Jan 14, 2003
© 2003 Stefan Oestreicher
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