This Week in Retro Atlanta, March 19-25, 2012

Monday March 19

Joe Gransden and his swingin’ 16 piece jazz ensemble present Big Band Night on the first and third Monday of the month at Café 290From 3 p.m. on, savor tropical sounds and libations, as well as a Polynesian dinner, during Mai Tai Monday at Smith’s Olde BarNorthside Tavern hosts its weekly Blues Jam. Head over to Fat Matt’s Rib Shack for dinner and a show, with local blues/jazz band Dry White Toast performing at 8 p.m.

Tuesday, March 20

Thomas Dolby  takes you back to the ’80s and into the future when his Time Capsule Tour lands at The Loft. During Darkland County Tuesdays at Eddie’s Attic, hear artists from the Stephen King/John Mellencamp production preview its music leading up to the premiere of GHOST BROTHERS OF DARKLAND COUNTY at the Alliance Theatre on April 4. Grab your horn and head to Twain’s in Decatur for a Joe Gransden jazz jam session starting at 9 p.m. Burning Time rock the blues at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack. Dance the night away at Tues. Retro in the Metro nights at Midtown’s Deadwood Saloon featuring video mixes of ’80s, ’90s and 2Ks hits.

Wednesday, March 21

For the movie lover in all of us, Emory University continues its Painting with Light: 13 Masterpieces of the Art of Cinematography (1928-2002) with a free screening of Scorsese/DeNiro classic RAGING BULL at 7:30 p.m. in White Hall 208.Get ready to rumba, cha-cha and jitterbug at the weekly Swing Night at Graveyard TavernFrankie’s Blues Mission jazzes up Fat Matt’s Rib ShackDanny “Mudcat” Dudeck blues it down at Northside TavernLefty Williams strums at Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que. Dance to ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s hits during Retro in the Metro Wednesdays at Pub 71 in Brookhaven.

Thursday March 22

Ghost Riders Car Club honkytonks it up at The Clermont Lounge. Want to know why this band of seasoned musicians is our top ATLRetro pick of the night, read our Kool Kat interview with Spike Fullerton hereThe Revivalists bring their soulful New Orleans-style rock, along with Athens rock/blues/fusion band Betty Kingston & The Crowns, to the Five StarJuliana Finch “sounds the way a good bourbon tastes,” so down a shot of her sultry Americana roots music at Twain’s with the Gentleman Scholars tonight. Relax with a tropical cocktail at vintage tiki bar Trader Vic’s where Tongo Hiti play Retro-Polynesian luxurious live lounge sounds, as well as trippy takes on iconic pop songs, every Thursday night. Big Mike’s off in Seattle till June performing with El Vez in Teatro ZinZanni’s CALIENTE SHOW, so Atlanta Funk Society’s Jonathan Lloyd will be filling in on vocals. Remember Lloyd’s Rockstead Review, his killer reggae collaboration with KingsizedThe Cazanovas play the blues at Darwin’s Blues and BurgersThe Breeze Kings and Chickenshack bring on the blues respectively at Northside Tavern and Fat Matt’s Rib ShackCedar Hill, Andy Carlson with the Dappled Grays  jam at Red Light Café’s weekly Bluegrass Thursday.

Friday, March 23

The Atlanta Ballet opens a three-night run (through Sun. March 25) of THE MAN IN BLACK, an evening of three works including imaginative choreography over hits and hidden gems by rockabilly legend Johnny Cash at Cobb Energy Performing Arts CentreThe English Beat skas it down at Variety PlayhouseThe Breeze Kings provide the soundtrack for Swing Night at Fernbank Museum of Natural History’s Martinis and IMAX. Friday night is Tango Night in the romantic Tudor-style atmosphere of  Callanwolde with lessons by Tango Rio and open dance party.  Cineprov! makes jest of a young Johnny Depp in the 21 JUMP STREET pilot at Relapse Theatre. The Martans deliver New Orleans funk, Memphis soul and Atlanta originals at Northside Tavern. Rockaholics play Darwin’s Blues and Burgers.

Hot Rod Walt and the Psycho-Devilles. Photo courtesy of Hot Rod Walt.

Saturday, March 24

Author Sharon Foster Jones signs and talks about her new book about the history of our favorite local thoroughfare at 1 p.m. at Eagle Eye Book Shop in Decatur. Forget Peachtree Street, locals know that from seedy to sumptuous, it’s ATLANTA’S PONCE DE LEON AVENUE. Have Gun Will Travel, 13 Ghosts and Sodajerk rock the Star BarHot Rod Walt and the Psycho-Devilles rockabilly it  up at Dixie TavernMind Spiders, Barreracudas, The Golden Boys, Skin Jobs punk/garage it out at The Earl. And as usual, DJ Romeo Cologne transforms the sensationally seedy Clermont Lounge into a ’70s disco/funk inferno late into the wee hours.

Sunday, March 25

Rise and dine with Alick Gerard and the Dixie LTD at 1 p.m. dunch at The Earl. Grab your parasol and goggles for Steampunk in the Park, an annual potluck event at Piedmont Park. Come back to the beautiful historic setting of Gothic-Tudor mansion Callanwolde for two fun events today. First, at 2 p.m. the Callanwolde Concert Band presents Roman Carnival, pairing Berlioz’s “Roman Carnival Overture” with excerpts from the original Kirk Douglas SPARTACUS (1960), GIGI (1958) and COLE PORTER ON BROADWAY. Then at 6 p.m., return to the silent movie era with PANDORA’S BOX (1929), directed by GW Pabst and starring Louise Brooks, accompanied by live music on the mansion’s historic Aeolian Pipe Organ. Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) celebrates its first anniversary in its new Midtown space with cake and entertainment by the Imperial OPA Circus from 1 to 4 p.m. Joe Gransden joins The Trio to jazz up The Family Dog. Snake Legs bring on the blues at Fat Matt’s, and Uncle Sugar blues it down at Northside Tavern.


7 Stages presents the world premiere of THE HIDDEN MAN, based on the true story of Robert Sherer and his mentor, Rev. Howard Finster. The unexpected and controversial story chronicles a young artist who arrives in 1980s Atlanta knowing three things for certain: he’s gay, he’s an atheist and he is destined to kill himself. Howard, a religious conservative preacher, created Paradise Garden in North Georgia, a folk art garden with messages from the Lord. These two unlikely artists become unlikely friends. Hidden Man Contains adult nudity. Through March 25. Read a behind-the-stage interview with 7 Stages Artistic Director Del Hamilton here.

MANDALA: SACRED CIRCLE IN TIBETAN BUDDHISM brings peace and harmony to the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University. This amazing special exhibition explores Buddhism’s unique and beautiful perspective on sacred space and honor that through the tradition of mandalas. Be sure to read Lisa Stock’s Retro Review here. Through April 15

PICASSO TO WARHOL, a special art exhibition at the High Museum of Art, features over 100 works of art from 14 of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Through Apr. 29.

If you know of a cool happening coming up soon, send suggestions to

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