ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL PREVIEW: ONE PATH TO SPENDING YOUR WEEK AT THE MOVIES

Posted on: Mar 24th, 2017 By:

By Andrew Kemp
Contributing Writer

The Atlanta Film Festival is back, growing this year into additional venues and an absolutely packed lineup of interesting and entertaining films. ATL Retro will be at the festival all week, logging reviews of films while subsisting on a strict diet of beer and Junior Mints, because journalism matters now more than ever.

If you’re looking for some tips on what to check out during the festival, please enjoy this day-by-day selection of films that we thought might interest the retro-inclined. Of course, any preview such as this can only barely scratch the surface of what the AFF has to offer, so for a more detailed preview be sure to visit the AFF’s official website.

Friday, March 24 — Opening Night

The festival kicks off with its traditional opening night ceremonies, including a screening of Bill Watterson’s DAVE MADE A MAZE, a high-concept comedy about a man whose quest to produce something great and wonderful (presumably on a budget) leads him to construct an elaborate, DIY labyrinth inside his own home. Of course, he promptly gets trapped in his own creation, leaving his loved ones wondering how to mount to rescue (Plaza Theatre, downstairs, @ 7:00pm).

After the show, all those with tickets, as well as badge-holders, are invited to the Opening Night Party taking place at Paris on Ponce until midnight, but be sure to get your butts back to the Plaza to see Lips Down on Dixie stage their show alongside THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW(1975), a longtime Plaza tradition that the AFF has happily embraced.

Saturday, March 25

Avondale’s Towne Cinema joins the festival this year as a venue, which is where you’ll want to be to check out TRENCHES OF ROCK, a documentary about the three-decade history of the Christian metal band Bloodgood (Towne Cinema @ 2:30pm).

Jill Campbell’sMR. CHIBBStakes a look at the post-NBA career of former all-star Kenny Anderson, dealing with the fleeting high of fame and celebrity, and the plight of athletes who are faced with spending the rest of their lives in the real world, away from the bright lights of the big time. The film screens with the short film GAME, a narrative short about a kid at the other end of this basketball lifestyle, high school tryouts (Plaza Theatre, downstairs, @ 4:30).

For fans of the Atlanta horror scene, certainly the most anticipated event of the day is the long-awaited debut of SAM & MATTIE PRESENT SPRING BREAK ZOMBIE MASSACRE, featuring members of the local horror community and hosted by the immortal Professor Morte and the Silver Scream Spook Show. Sam Suchmann and Mattie Zufelt drew national attention last year with their Kickstarter campaign to fund the epic zombie movie of their dreams, and the result of that campaign is set for two screenings on Saturday, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to see the gory results. (Towne Cinema @ 5:30 & 8:30)

Sunday, March 26

Sunday is likely to feature some of the most popular events of the festival week, what with the 25th Anniversary screening of the well-loved Marisa Tomei vehicle MY COUSIN VINNY hitting Plaza Theatre (12:00pm) as the movie half of the “Food on Film” program. Ticket- and badge-holders are invited to head over to the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center after the film for a celebration of grits in southern cooking, and other after-party shenanigans.

Once properly stuffed with southern cuisine, head on over to 7 Stages forMELE MURALS, a documentary about Hawaiian history and culture as seen (and expressed) through the street art of Hawaiians Estria and Prime (7 Stages @ 5:45pm).

The upstairs theatre at the Plaza suffered some damage recently, forcing a venue change for several films to the Druid Hills Presbyterian Church across the street. If you want to visit the venue, and perhaps thank them for helping the Plaza and the festival out in a tight spot, there’s a perfect opportunity when the film WOMAN ON FIRE screens on Sunday night. The film looks at the story of Brooke Guinan, New York’s first transgender firefighter (8:00pm).

But whatever you do, be sure to get back to the Plaza early enough to get a good seat for the perennially popular PUPPET SLAM, featuring local performers and riotous scenes of little felt people doing at least a few inappropriate things. Live puppetry performance combines with a few puppet-y short films for what usually works out to be one of the funnier times you can have in a theatre all week (Plaza Theatre, downstairs, @ 9:30pm).

Monday March 27

It’s doing a disservice to mention only one film happening on Monday, but in the interest of brevity in this preview, we simply had to point out that Dad’s Garage is getting in on the screening action this year, putting on a screening of SYLVIO, a typical movie full of the usual cliches: a gorilla living in a human world wants to share his favorite hand puppet with the world. You know, that old story. SYLVIO was another Kickstarter success story, and doesn’t seem like the kind of movie that’s easily missed (Dad’s Garage @ 8:00pm).

Tuesday, March 28

Fans of retro cinema will want to check out THE HERO, featuring legend Sam Elliott as an aging hero of the silver screen whose sudden illness drives him to reconnect with his estranged family. The film also stars Nick Offerman, Laura Prepon, and Krysten Ritter (Plaza Theatre, downstairs, @ 7:00pm).

Then, if you want to end your evening on an up note, swing over to 7 Stages for LEAGUE OF EXOTIQUE DANCERS, which takes viewers to Las Vegas to spend time with the aging ladies who were there for the classic era of burlesque (7 Stages @ 9:30pm).

Wednesday March 29

OK, it’s mid-week. You’ve been at this for a while. You are have part Junior Mint. Persevere! There’s so much more to see, such as THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE, the new film from Niki Caro starring Jessica Chastain as a Polish zookeeper in 1939 who must put her own life at risk to save the people at risk from the Nazis after the Germans invade (Plaza Theatre, downstairs, @ 7:00pm).

After the show, skip dinner and get thee over to 7 Stages forCHERRY POP, a narrative film about the performers at a drag club having a wildly unexpected night. If that doesn’t energize you for the festival’s second half, then there may be no hope left for you (7 Stages, @ 9:15pm).

Thursday, March 30

Acclaimed director James Gray has delivered another provocative film with THE LOST CITY OF Z, the true story of the British explorer Percy Fawcett, who entered the Brazilian jungles with his eldest son in 1925 in search of “Z,” a rumored city believed to have a link to the mythical El Dorado (Plaza Theatre, downstairs, @ 7:00pm).

Friday, March 31

You’ve made it to the weekend! As a reward, enjoy a second screening of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW at midnight, but before you do, be sure to attend the screening for WAITING FOR B., a documentary about the lengths Brazilian fans of Beyonce are willing to go for a chance to inch closer to the stage (Plaza Theatre, downstairs, @ 9:30pm).

Saturday, April 1 — Closing Night

It’s April Fool’s Day, and so despite the existence of a slate of films on Sunday, tonight is considered the official Closing Night. You’ve put the time in, you’ve seen an unbelieveable number of great films, and so don’t even think about missing this year’s closing film, Joshua Z. Weinstein’s MENASHE. The film is set in New York’s Hasidic Jewish community, and follows the struggles of the title character as he looks for a way to raise his son as a single parent in the wake of his wife’s death, in spite of religious traditions. The screening will be attended by the film’s Executive Producer, Danelle Eliav (Plaza Theatre, downstairs, @ 7:30pm).

Sunday, April 2

The festival may be over, but you aren’t. No, you’re still craving the sweet sensation of new and exciting films, and Sunday has you covered. For starters, check out NORMAN: THE MODERATE RISE AND TRAGIC FALL OF A NEW YORK FIXER, starring retro cinema icon Richard Gere as a lonely New Yorker looking to get ahead, who suddenly finds himself in the orbit of the new Israeli Prime Minister. The film is presented in partnership with the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (Location TBD, but likely the Druid Hills Presbyterian Church — see website for updates, @2:45pm).

And, finally, there’s THE PROMISE, featuring current Hollywood it-guy Oscar Isaac as a medical student in 1914 Constantinople who lands in the middle of a torrid romance and the political turmoil of war. Also starring Christian Bale (Plaza Theatre, downstairs, @ 7:00pm).

Conclusion

And that’s just one possible path you could take through the Atlanta Film Festival’s epic schedule. Of course, your preferences may vary, so check out the website to be sure you find the events that are right for you. From short film blocks to special presentations, there’s no shortage. Drop us a line here at ATL Retro and let us know what films you saw, and what you thought! We’ll see you there!

Andrew Kemp is a screenwriter and game designer who started talking about movies in 1984 and got stuck that way. He can be seen around town wherever there are movies, cheap beer and little else.

Category: Features | Tags: , , , , , , ,

REALLY RETRO: Expect the Spanish Inquisition! Behind the Impossible Dream with Capitol City Opera Company Music Director Catherine Giel Before MAN OF LA MANCHA Tilts This Weekend at Conant Performing Arts Center

Posted on: Mar 22nd, 2017 By:

Catherine Giel. Photo credit: Shane Desmond-Williams

By Geoff Slade
Contributing Writer

Capitol City Opera Company’s production of MAN OF LA MANCHA runs this Friday March 24 and Saturday March 25 at 8 p.m. and Sunday March 26 at 3 p.m. at Oglethorpe University’s Conant Performing Arts Center. Check here for tickets.

MAN OF LA MANCHA is a musical based on CervantesDON QUIXOTE, and even those unfamiliar with the Tony Award-winning production, the Oscar-nominated 1972 movie starring Peter O’Toole and Sophia Loren, or the 17th century novel are likely aware of the characters, the imagery and its lead song, “The Impossible Dream,” here rendered by Elvis Presley. It tells a timeless tale of friendship, love and courage in the face of insurmountable odds. I’m guessing. I’ve never seen it. But I’ll get a chance to fix that this weekend!

Music Director Catherine Giel took a break from her busy schedule recently to discuss the show with ATLRetro.

ATLRetro: Thank you for taking a few minutes before the show this weekend. Is everyone excited?

Catherine Giel: I can’t express enough how excited this cast and crew are. This team has had a really special synergy and everyone is so thrilled to bring a great production to the stage. This is one of the most artistically challenging things we’ve tackled and I think it’s come out beautifully.

What is the Capitol City Opera Company? How long have you been with them?

Capitol City Opera is a company dedicated to nurturing and developing the careers of young professional singers. We are helping them prepare for the great stages of the world by giving them the opportunity to learn roles and perform at a professional level. There is so much talent right here in our city! We also have an outstanding educational component, Capitol City Opera Outreach for Children, that brings one-hour long “children’s operas” into schools and community spaces. We are trying to grow a young audience for opera in addition to developing young performers. I joined the company in the spring of 2010—it’s hard to believe it’s already been seven years. But that’s just a drop in the bucket of the 34 years this company has been in existence.

What are some of the highlights of your tenure there?

There have been many moments I’ve been proud of, both artistically and personally. A few years ago we did a world premiere of Curtis Bryant’s THE SECRET AGENT. That was probably one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve had with this company. Bringing a new work to life is liberating because there is no precedent, but also terrifying because there is no precedent! We worked directly with the composer throughout and I think the product was really something special. The whole production is up on our YouTube page for anyone that wants to check it out. On a personal level, I’ve experienced a lot of moments of pride when I see a singer grow in a role from the beginning of the process to the end, when I see them have a breakthrough with their technique or understanding of the character. That’s the real reason I do this—to see those lightbulb moments when performers make huge strides in their development and to give them a vehicle to do something they can really be proud of.

What exactly does the Music Director do for a production like Man of La Mancha?

The quick and dirty summary is that I help prepare the singers for the show. This process has many layers. It’s encouraging their technique that will both serve the character as well as help them sing their best. And speaking of character, that’s something that takes quite a bit of study outside of the musical score. We have a lot of discussions about a character’s motivation for singing or saying certain things, and this often informs their delivery of the vocal line. Preparing the music for an opera is full of nuances of color, tone, timing, and expression. At the end of the day, it’s all subjective and we have to hope the audiences enjoy what we’ve created. I also work with our conductor (who happens to be my husband) in preparing the orchestra, which takes separate rehearsals and a lot of planning outside of our work with the singers. Because we use smaller chamber orchestras for our productions, I’m usually behind the piano for the performances, where most people in my position hand the reigns to the conductor and get to sit in the audience to watch. I’ve only gotten to watch from the audience once, when we needed no piano accompaniment, and I was a nervous wreck the whole time so maybe it’s better this way.

Jonathan Sphuler (Cervantes/Don Quixote) tries on his make-up backstage at Capitol City Opera’s Man of La Mancha. Credit: Michael Nutter.

How would you describe the show and specifically the music? Is there orchestral accompaniment?

MAN OF LA MANCHA is allowing us to dip our toes into music theater. It’s definitely not an opera but still requires some excellent technical and artistic singing. It also has the additional challenges of dialogue like you would see in a regular play, which opera singers don’t often get to experience. The music has a distinctly Spanish flair, with prominent guitar solos and flamenco-like rhythms. At times it’s playful and upbeat and at other times, beautifully poignant and even heartbreaking. There is a lot of variety in this score and several melodies get stuck in your head for days. We are using a seven piece orchestra to accompany this production, who will be visible on stage and a part of the action with the rest of the cast, as opposed to stuck down in a pit where you never get to see them.


It was performed originally over 50 years ago and has been revived many times on Broadway since. How familiar were you with any of the past stage productions? How about the 1972 Peter O’Toole / Sophia Loren film?

I think it’s a testament to what a great show MAN OF LA MANCHA is that it’s been done so many times and even made into a movie. In fact, the 1972 film is quite true to the original score and dialogue and was a nice reference to have as we were preparing our version. There are also several wonderful Broadway recordings out there, each with their own unique spin on the show. I hope that we will also bring our own individual flavor and some novelty to the table, especially since I imagine many of our audience members will be familiar with the music.

What does your version offer fans of the musical and fans of musical theater in general?

We have stayed true to the original score and the book (that’s the part with the spoken dialogue). For instance, Aldonza’s number “What Does He Want With Me” often gets cut, but it’s so beautiful and Rachel Eve sings it so well, it would have been criminal to eliminate it. We also do this production with 21 cast members, which is the bare minimum, meaning that everyone has an important part to play. In a traditional opera, you may have a handful of principal cast members and everyone else is in the ensemble, but in this show everyone is essential and you become really familiar with them throughout the performance. Also, the Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University is a fairly intimate venue, allowing you to feel like you are part of the action. And I don’t want to give away too much, but the way we plan to immerse the audience into this show right from the beginning is going to be really special.

Do you have a favorite song or scene? Is there one in particular you expect audiences to really love?

I think everyone loves “To Dream the Impossible Dream.” It’s a powerful song in or out of context of the show. The lyrics really encompass the longing that we all have as humans to strive to be our best, to fight the good fight, and triumph over wrongs. I think there is also a very charming scene between Sancho, Don Quixote’s squire, and Aldonza in which Sancho is trying to get her to give him a “token” to give to his knight and also attempting to read her a passionate missive written by Don Quixote, only….neither of them can read. Another particularly excellent scene is the fight between Don Quixote and a band of rough muleteers. I’ll just say that a giant spinning ladder and some acrobatics are involved.

I understand you are also a professional pianist and vocal coach. Do you perform regularly? Do you specialize in a particular singing style?

I am and I do! I perform mostly as an accompanist for singers and instrumentalists in concert, I rarely do solo recitals anymore. That’s not on purpose, I just haven’t had the time or opportunity and I truly enjoy collaborating with other artists more than playing alone. And I regularly coach opera singers as they prepare for roles, auditions, and competitions not just in Atlanta, but around the country. I would say I specialize in opera and art song, but I’ve been known to do the occasional bit of jazz and pop music. Just don’t ask me to teach you “Let It Go.”

Michael Lindsay, Albert Clark, Sean Savage, Damien Rasheed, Xavier Durden, and Rachel Eve Holmes receive musical instruction at a rehearsal for Man of La Mancha. Photo credit: Catherine Giel.

What’s next for you and Capital City Opera?

We’ve always got something coming up! We do a monthly series called Dinner and a Diva at Petite Violette restaurant. Each month we feature highlights from a different opera with our best singers and a narrator to guide the audience through the story. This takes place over an excellent three course meal with wine and happens every third Tuesday of the month. We also have a really fun event called Win, Dine, and Win coming up on April 7. This is an evening of food and games, including an aria auction that has gotten pretty competitive! This summer is the 25th anniversary of On The Light Side and this is our biggest fundraiser of the year. It’s an indoor BYOP (bring your own picnic) and we have a cast of singers that perform a cabaret-style show of music theater hits. This year’s theme is “The Golden Age of Broadway.” This is a hugely popular event and usually sells out. It’s the last Friday and Saturday nights in July. And of course we are preparing for the next mainstage show….details to come on that soon! Information on all these events and more can be found on our website at www.ccityopera.org

Thanks again for your time. Anything else you’d like to mention?

Only that we appreciate the support from our audiences so, so much. We are a local company, staffed with local talent, local set painters, designers, costume makers, sound engineers, etc. etc. We think of ourselves like a family and we truly dedicate everything we have to creating a great product. We hope you will come to one of our events and see what we are all about and learn about how we are working in the Atlanta community to spread some great art and love for opera. It’s what we are truly passionate about. Also, we are super hip with the social media, so you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Category: Really Retro | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Kool Kat of the Week: Atlanta Author Michael Wehunt Dishes on the Grotesquery That is Humanness and Ventures Out into The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird, Saturday March 25

Posted on: Mar 21st, 2017 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

Catch up with our Kool Kat of the Week, Michael Wehunt, and a plethora of other Weird and speculative fiction writers at the inaugural The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird, crash-landing at Decatur CoWorks on Saturday, March 25, and proudly sponsored by ATLRetro. And eat, drink and exchange oddities with the writers during The Outer Dark Symposium Pre-Party at My Parents’ Basement, Friday, March 24, 8-11 pm, where you also can gather ‘round for readings by Michael Wehunt, our own publisher and bloggeress in charge Anya Martin (“The Un-Bride or No Gods & Marxists,” Eternal Frankenstein) and Selena Chambers (World Fantasy Award nominee for “The Neurastheniac,” Cassilda’s Song).

The Outer Dark Symposium is brought to you by The Outer Dark podcast and its host This Is Horror! and features eight hours of panels, readings and signings centered around Weird and speculative fiction. Admission will be limited to 50 attendees, but all programming will be featured on The Outer Dark. Other confirmed guests include Daniel Braum (Night Marchers and Other Strange Tales), Gerald Coleman (When Night Falls: Book One of The Three Gifts), Milton Davis (From Here to Timbuktu), Kristi DeMeester (read her ATLRetro feature here where she discusses her upcoming novel Beneath), John C. Foster (Mister White), Craig L. Gidney (Sea, Swallow Me and Other Stories), Orrin Grey (Painted Monsters and Other Strange Beasts), Valjeanne Jeffers (Immortal), Nicole Givens Kurtz (The Cybil Lewis Series), Edward Austin Hall (co-editor of Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond), Scott Nicolay (World Fantasy Award winner for “Do You Like To Look At Monsters?”), Kool Kat Balogun Ojetade (The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman: Freedonia), Eric Schaller (Meet Me in the Middle of the Air), Grafton Tanner (Babbling Corpse: Vaporwave and the Commodification of Ghosts), and Damien Angelica Walters (Sing Me Your Scars).

Wehunt, a transplant from North Georgia (just a stone’s throw from the Appalachians), has set up roots in the lovely urban weirdness that is Atlanta. His short fiction has appeared in Cemetery Dance, The Dark, The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu: New Lovecraftian Fiction, The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, and Year’s Best Weird Fiction, among others. His debut fiction collection, Greener Pastures, was published in 2016, and he’s currently working on his first novel, which is sure to please the maniacal masses. ATLRetro caught up with Wehunt for a quick rundown on what inspires him to put pen to paper, his admiration for the truly bizarre and why you should always follow your dreams, no matter how weird.

(l-r) Gerald Coleman, Nicole Givens Kurtz, Anya Martin, Michael Wehunt

ATLRETRO: It’s the usual state of things for a writer, or any artist to be honest, to be pigeonholed into clear-cut tried-and-true genres. Your work has been described as horror, weird horror, sci-fi, all wrapped up in a bizarre Southern Gothic blanket filled with the strange and bizarre. What are the pros and cons of being classified in such a way? And do you feel it’s better to not quite fit in any specific genre?

Michael Wehunt: I definitely prefer not fitting into any one tidy box. It really depends on an author’s ultimate goal, however. Sometimes the best way to make a name for oneself and become commercially successful—often a pipe dream, but what else are dreams for?— is to willingly climb into that single genre box. Your brand, so to speak, can be conveniently labeled. In my opinion, the label on the box is for the readers, not the author. But mixing genres is wonderful, too, and can have its own rewards. I likely won’t ever be a chameleon type of writer, using a wholly different form each time out. Instead, I’m more focused on that section of the Venn diagram where all these different areas overlap and exploring what’s there. The convergence could be subtle here or it could be stark there. Ultimately, these elements all serve the same purpose.

We see that you’ve had a long (and hopefully torrid!) love affair with Flannery O’Connor, the mother of grotesque discomfort. What is it about her tales and her writing that inspires you the most?

Flannery O’Connor was my third literary love. I discovered Stephen King when I was 8 years old, then Poe shortly after. It wasn’t until early in high school that I was introduced to O’Connor—and later still to Southern Gothic in general— and all these years later I’ve yet to read an author who could find that seam between ugliness and transcendence so perfectly. There are other authors who write beautifully in a Southern voice—Carson McCullers!— but none like she did. She mined the deep-running spiritual power of the South and smelted it with the grotesquery of petty humanness, and horror, black humor, and great beauty emerged in her work. Much later—only a handful of years ago, in fact—I would immerse myself in weird fiction and discover another love of my life. Robert Aickman and Algernon Blackwood, alongside contemporary authors such as Lynda E. Rucker and Laird Barron, showed me that O’Connor had been frequently writing a sort of weird fiction, though she was never credited with such. The only difference was that the spirituality in her work was the sort that America embraces, and it was all the more powerful to show what was under its rock while still remaining devout. The same cosmic strangeness is often right there in her books—why would we think our minds can fathom God with a capital G, after all—and this only deepened my love for her…and, yes, made it more torrid.

Stereotypically, the south, or “southerners” to be exact, is known the world over for its ability to bury deep dark secrets while flaunting its ignorance with a discomforting ease. How important would you say is the written word when it comes to exposing societal atrocities and do you think it is a writer’s duty to bring about change through their published works?

The South has a large closet filled with skeletons, to be sure, and the metaphor is uglier than it would be in most other cases. Not only have slavery and the foul mistreatment of Native Americans been largely papered over in our history books—not ignored, of course, but spruced up to look less unattractive—but poverty and the machine that perpetuates poverty bring out the worst in people sometimes, and a fierce sense of piety and Southern pride can sweep these things under the rug with a defiant pride. The word “demure” comes to mind. That rug has been peeled back even more in recent years. Not just in the rural South but in other analogous areas of the country. And things are squirming in the light. Fiction can be escapism, pure and simple. It can be socio-political in a direct way or in an indirect way. It can focus on philosophy and ideas. It can examine what it means to be human, with all a human’s transcendence and trappings. It can be one of these things or it can be all of these things at the same time. The best of it makes you think about the world without really letting you know it’s doing so, and in that way, change can come simply by engaging the reader with the self and then with the world around them. I know that much of my worldview (and self-view) came from reading dark fiction, and it’s no coincidence that compassion and kindness are the things I seek out in a political candidate or organization or friend.

Your debut collection, GREENER PASTURES, was published in 2016. Can you tell our readers a little about the collection and what inspired you to put together these particular tales in one grouping?

Greener Pastures contains 11 of my favorite short stories as of late 2015; those I felt worked the best together to carry a general theme while also providing just enough variety in subject matter and tone. When they were all together, I realized how prominently trees figure into my work, something I’d never truly noticed before. They’re everywhere, either in the foreground or background, but this was mostly accidental. Less accidental was the theme of loss. There are a lot of stories here that deal with various shades and types of loss, and how people cope with it. Write what you fear, they say, and that’s exactly what I fear. But I wanted a variety of moods and voices to bear these losses and keep things interesting for the reader. And, of course, a variety of darkness, including some good old-fashioned terror. In the end, I would say most of these stories speak from and of the human heart. There’s nothing suppler and earthier than humanity. I plan to dig in that dirt as long as people will let me. I’ll do my best to scare and unsettle them while I’m at it.

We’re also excited to see that your story, “October Film Haunt: Under the House” is featured in THE YEAR’S BEST DARK FANTASY & HORROR 2017 collection. Can you tell us a little about what inspired you to write this story and what it means to you to be a part of this collection?

Thank you! This will be my second time in Paula Guran’s yearly best-of-the-dark-stuff anthology, and I feel very grateful and fortunate for that. “October Film Haunt: Under the House” is an interesting and special story for me. It has two origins: The first is that I wanted to write a love letter of sorts to horror and weird fiction fandom. Four guys from different walks of life who met at a fan convention and found a common passion for horror films take a road trip once a year to the setting of a famous scary movie, documenting their findings and sensations. Since I’m a sucker for the found-footage genre of horror (à la THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT), I wanted to try my hand at translating this medium into the written word, only switching into video camera mode when the story earned it. But I also wrote it specifically as a reaction to the majority of my work dealing with, as alluded to above, emotion, grief, and the joys and pains of being a regular person. I wanted no complex back-story, no real character development…just pure, unadulterated terror and craziness. It was a lot of fun to write, and I think it really did turn out to be a love letter.

You’ve made it very clear that “flesh and blood” characters are of utmost importance in your writing. What do you mean when say you write these types of characters and why are they important to you and your writing?

It’s crucial to have relatable characters that the reader—and the author—can easily imagine off the page. Even in the story I just discussed, “October Film Haunt,” in which I consciously stayed away from the importance of character arcs, the reader still has to care about the characters, what they do, and what they gain or lose. Antagonists, antiheroes and even the henchmen who die in the second scene should feel like real people…except, since this is horror we’re talking about, when they’re not actually people at all. When a story focuses on character and seeks a “depth,” that flesh and blood is all the more important. There’s no point in hanging curtains if there’s no window.

Short fiction and short fiction collections seem to be taking the stage and leading the charge, especially within the realm of Weird fiction. What do you think is it about the short story or novella that draws the Weird writing crowd?

Since Weird fiction relies primarily on the unknown intruding upon the known world—to simplify things—it can be difficult to sustain that sense of uncanny dread across the length of, say, a 90,000-word novel. Ambiguity is often the bread and butter of the Weird; that sense of awe and uncertainty is important to carry the fiction’s effect beyond reading. This isn’t to say there are no Weird fiction novels. It’s just that the ratio is skewed more toward its effectiveness as a short form. Horror typically works better than Weird fiction in novel form because its monsters are most often explained. There’s a clear path and intent: figure out the monster so that you can survive it. In Weird fiction, the “monster” is sometimes so inscrutable and vast (the universe itself or something so alien that the human mind can’t truly process it) that over the course of a novel, it becomes difficult to get away with that inscrutability. I also feel that short fiction is making a comeback in its own right, which is a wonderful thing. The novel is important, but there’s absolutely no reason for it to claim such a vast majority of the reading public. Short fiction can paint moods and tones and use forms and structures the novel simply cannot.

Speaking of the Weird writing crowd, you are scheduled to be a guest at the inaugural The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird this weekend (March 25). Anything special planned for this event?

My plans are essentially the same as with any other convention: go and have fun. We’re having a dinner with readings the night before the Symposium. It’s at 8:00 p.m. at My Parents’ Basement in Decatur, and though there is limited seating, it’s open to the public. And we are looking for weird and creepy things to do on Sunday, too, before everyone ships out. The best part of any convention is meeting and hanging out with people I usually only know on social media. They’re like family.

Any interesting stories on how you discovered Weird fiction and what specifically drew you to this particular group of writers?

It’s interesting to me—and a little embarrassing—how late I came to Weird fiction. I read horror as a kid but for some reason never explored it much beyond Stephen King. I have no idea how different I would have turned out if I’d stuck with it beyond my teenage years. But the darkness never left. I found it in other things. And when I finally, too many years later, decided I couldn’t put off trying to write fiction anymore, I reread some Stephen King stories and bought a copy of Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year, Volume Three just based on Amazon browsing. The latter book was a revelation to me. I discovered Laird Barron, John Langan, Tanith Lee, Stephen Graham Jones…it was a door opening, and soon I was an addict. These people thought about fiction the way I did, and I had no idea! I wrote my first story soon thereafter, and ever since I’ve been trying to pretend I knew about this stuff all along, even after admitting in interviews that I didn’t.

Do you have any advice for those writers just starting out?

There’s a post on my blog called “On Turning Five.” I wrote it last year to share my thoughts about what I felt was the first chapter in my career. It goes into more detail than I can here, but I shared six bullet points that I think are important for a beginning writer: talent (you gotta have some of that); time (use what you have and don’t worry if others have more of it); wisdom (rely on your own, seek others’); kindness (support other authors, pay it forward); persistence (keep doing it, keep fueling the fire of your passion to write in any way you can think of); and resiliency (there will be a lot of rejection—it’s as important a part of the reality as success is).

Can you fill us in on what you’re currently working on? And where can our readers get their hands on your published works?

I’m currently in the middle of my first novel. There’s some weird fiction, some horror, some literary sensibilities, and some ore from other mines. I have that Venn diagram taped over my desk with a thumbtack pressed into the center. As for my published works, my novella, “The Tired Sounds, A Wake,” has sold out forever, sadly, as it was a limited-edition pressing, though it will live again down the road in my next collection. Greener Pastures is available through Apex Book Company or Amazon and other online retailers. My blog has links to all my stories that aren’t in the collection as well.

Can you give us five things you’re into at the moment that we should be reading, watching or listening to right now—past or present, well-known or obscure?

Reading: Julian Barnes’ novel The Sense of an Ending. I’m reading it for the third time right now. It’s a very short literary novel that takes an uncomfortable look at memory and its reliability, both intentional and unintentional. Beautiful and unsettling. There’s a film version coming out soon, so now would be a good time to discover the book. Watching: I’m terribly behind on films. These days my partner and I are watching The Golden Girls in its entirety, and I’ve been having fun reliving my childhood—it was the last show my grandmother and I watched regularly together— and coming up with fake occult theories about Sophia and the girls. Listening: Mica Levi’s film scores. I listen to a lot of ambient, drone, and classical, and Levi’s work for recent films is wonderful to write to. UNDER THE SKIN and JACKIE are both great and very different from each other.

And last, but not least, care to share anything weird and bizarre we don’t know about you already?

This isn’t particularly weird, but I used to have a fairly profound fear of public speaking. For some reason, back in 2010 I got it into my head that I wanted to try amateur standup comedy, which is pretty much the opposite of what I do now. I did it three open-mic performances. It was utterly terrifying but fun—I can clearly remember the swelling panic in my chest—and I’m convinced it was the first step toward writing fiction, which was my other big fear. And while I still have that old fear of public performance in me, it did wonders for it, and it made me an advocate for those scared to put themselves out there: Just do it. Follow your dreams no matter what shape they ultimately take. You’ll be glad you did.

ATLRetro is proud to be a sponsor of The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird on Saturday March 25.  Attending memberships to the symposium are $25 and limited to 50. A few are still available at press-time. Contact atlretro@gmail.com. There’s also a pre-party with author readings on Friday March 24 at My Parents’ Basement in Avondale Estates from 8-11 pm.

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Chasing Demons: Atlanta Author Kristi DeMeester Recounts the Weird Southern Roots of Her Debut Novel BENEATH

Posted on: Mar 21st, 2017 By:

This weekend, 19 writers of Weird and speculative fiction will gather at Decatur CoWorks for The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird, a one-of-a-kind one-day literary conference presented by The Outer Dark podcast which airs on This Is Horror. One of them is Kristi DeMeester, an Atlanta-based author whose work is at the forefront of a Renaissance in the Weird. Her 2016 story “The Beautiful Thing We Will Become” (ETERNAL FRANKENSTEIN) recently was chosen by editor Ellen Datlow for THE BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR, VOLUME NINE, and two short stories selected for YEAR’S BEST WEIRD FICTION (Vols. 1 & 3, 2013 & 2015).

Her first novel BENEATH is coming April 30 from Word Horde, and EVERYTHING THAT’S UNDERNEATH, her debut short fiction collection, will also be out this year from Apex Publications. Her stories have appeared in many of the top horror and speculative literature publications including Black Static, The Dark and more. At the symposium, Kristi will read from her work and participate on a panel about the Weird novel.

In this nonfiction piece, exclusive to ATLRetro, she goes behind her fiction to talk about the genesis of Beneath in some of the Weirder experiences of her Southern upbringing.

The first time I saw a demon, I was 6 years old.

Sweat-slicked and dressed in a denim jumper, I watched the preacher lay hands on a seemingly catatonic young woman, his fingers already anointed with the oil he kept in the pulpit, as he prayed. She gibbered and choked, her tongue locked behind her teeth as she bared them, but she was speaking back to him in tongues, and he answered, and from somewhere deep in the heat of that tent revival, someone else translated the conversation.

I don’t remember what it was she said, but I remember the heaviness of the silence that stole through the space. I squirmed further away from my mother to get a better look at the woman who had started to sway and twitch under the preacher’s touch. She did not speak again but opened her mouth wide as if to scream, but there was no sound, and then her body went rigid.

Kristi DeMeester. Used with permission.

When she fainted, the good ladies of the church rushed forward with their blankets to cover her bare kneecaps and keep her modest. The preacher mopped his forehead with the handkerchief he kept in his pocket, and the young woman opened her eyes, her hands grasping for the preacher as she thanked him, thanked God for releasing her from this demon.

I saw that same scene played out again and again throughout my childhood. Always a pretty, clear-eyed young woman, her throat bare as she turned her face to the sky. Those women did not growl or scream or speak in a voice unlike their own, but there was spiritual warfare at work. Demons of lust, of alcohol, of impure thoughts had wormed inside, and I grew to fear these lovely women who had somehow opened themselves to the darker parts of the world.

Later, I would watch horror movies with my friends and laugh every time a demon appeared on screen. Demons did not look like scarred imps with mouths full of teeth. They looked like beautiful young women.

There is an inherent weirdness in this fanaticism of belief in which I grew up. In my world, the devil was not a symbolic representation of sin. He was flesh and bone and smiled from every corner. He was the lovely thing in the darkness.

This weirdness became the cornerstone of how I defined myself. It was this belief in the thinness between this world and the next that crafted a fallow ground for what would become my fiction writing as an adult. As I got older and drifted away from the fundamentalist religion my parents baptized me into, I went looking for the devil, the unknown, in books. I wanted to stare into the dark face of the sky, of the earth, and come to understand a bit more about what it was buried in my own heart that was worthy of fear.

BENEATH, then, was a natural progression from the weirdness that began when I was only six. Writing it was opening my arms to those lovely young women with demons trapped under their skin and asking them to stay with me before they slipped away and woke with tears in their eyes and thankfulness on their lips.

Weird fiction, for me, has always been about holding those women with me, and asking them the questions I’m afraid to ask myself because I know the truth in those answers.

And that knowledge is what’s truly terrifying.

ATLRetro is proud to be a sponsor of The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird on Saturday March 25. Read our Kool Kat of the Week interview with Michael Wehunt, another Atlanta-based author who will be participating, here soon. Attending memberships to the symposium are $25 and limited to 50. A few are still available at press-time. Contact atlretro@gmail.com. There’s also a pre-party with author readings on Friday March 24 at My Parents’ Basement in Avondale Estates from 8-11 pm.

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This Week in ATLRetro, March 20-26, 2017

Posted on: Mar 19th, 2017 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

Get to shakin’ This Week in ATLRetro! From the weird and the horrorific, to honkytonk shenanigans and classic cinema, we’ve dug it all up just for you!

Monday, March 20

Blues it up folk-style with M. Ward at City Winery! Get witchy at the Highland Inn Ballroom Lounge during the Bleux Stockings Society, Volume 12: Magic event! Catch a screening of Fred Zinnemann’s A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS (1966) at the Alpharetta Branch Library at 10:30am! The Masquerade dishes out a night with ‘60’s rock girl-esque group The Regrettes and Active Bird Community! Swing on by Big Band Night featuring Joe Gransden and his amazing 16-member orchestra at Café 290 every first and third Monday of the month!  Skye Paige, “Queen of Slide Guitar” rocks out at the Little Vinyl Lounge! Get to the root of it all with Brandon Reeves at Blind Willie’s! Boogie on down to the Northside Tavern and spend an evening with Lola at her famous Monday Night Northside Jam! And blues on down to Fat Matt’s Rib Shack as they dish out The Pork Bellys and a plate full ‘o finger lickin’ BBQ!

Tuesday, March 21

Rock out at the Drunken Unicorn with the Cosmonauts, The Molochs and Black Linen! Skip school and head to the Northlake Festival Movie Tavern for their screening of John Hughes’ eighties classic, FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF (1986) during their “Classic Films on the Big Screen” series at 7:30pm! Stomp on down to City Winery for a night with Robert Earl Keen! Get some psychedelic soul with Chicano Batman at The Earl! Spend the night with James McCartney at Eddie’s Attic! Win a buck or two at the Fox Theatre during The Price is Right Live! Get down and dirty with Gray & The Bad Boys at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Jam it up with Joe Gransden and his jazz jam session at Venkman’s every Tuesday! Andrew Black gets the old-school blues at Blind Willie’s! The Star Bar delivers a night of retro shenanigans with their Downtown Tuesday Night Dance Party featuring retro-soul, funk, ‘80s, ‘90s and more!  Or come down to the Little Vinyl Lounge for Kenny’s Record Club featuring Kenny Howes dishin’ out Teenage Fanclub’s “BANDWAGONESQUE”! And as always, groove on down with Swami Gone Bananas at the Northside Tavern!

Wednesday, March 22

Get mischievous with Cold Heart Canyon, Blood on the Harp and Urban Pioneers in The Basement! Get your garage rock fix with The Mystery Lights, The Nude Party and Reverends at 529! All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy, so have some creepy fun and make your way to Studio Movie Grill (Alpharetta/Duluth) for a screening of  Stanley Kubrick’s THE SHINING (1980) at at 7:15pm! Get some classic soul ‘n’ funk with Nick & The Grooves at Avondale Towne Cinema! Skip school and head to the Northlake Festival Movie Tavern for their screening of John Hughes’ eighties classic, FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF (1986) during their “Classic Films on the Big Screen” series at 7:30pm! Stomp on down to City Winery for an encore performance by Robert Earl Keen! Folk it up with Caroline Spence, Brian Revels, Mike Love and Sol Seed at Eddie’s Attic! Kool Kat Scott Glazer’s Mojo Dojo dishes out a night of blues and southern soul at Blind Willie’s! The Hollidays deliver a night of rhythm ‘n’ soul and rock ‘n’ roll at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Bluegrass it up at The Vista Room with The Vista Stringband! Jazz it up at the Red Light Café with The Gordon Vernick Quartet! Or make your way to the Northside Tavern as Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck fires it up with his rockin’ blues! St. James Live! delivers their Hump Days Blues night, getting classic blues-style every Wednesday! And as always, it’s Ladies Night at Johnny’s Hideaway which plays hits from Sinatra to Madonna for a generally mature crowd.

Thursday, March 23

It’s a hootenanny and a half at The Vista Room with Kool Kat Col. Bruce Hampton & the Madrid Express! Get some southern fried funky soul with Secondhand Swagger at Venkman’s! Make your way to the Crimson Moon Café for a night with Cracker! The Mark Twain of Americana Paul Thorn makes his way to City Winery! Rock out with Sacred Leather, Gunpowder Gray and Sadistic Ritual at 529! Spend the night with Pierre Bensusan at Eddie’s Attic! Folk it up with Le Vent du Nord at the Red Clay Theatre! Southern Avenue dishes out a night of funky soul at Smith’s Olde Bar! Head on down to the Variety Playhouse for a night with Conor Oberst and The Felice Brothers! Twang on down to the Red Light Café for their Bluegrass Pickin’ Party! Funk it up with DJ Cozy Shawn’s P-Funk Night at Elmyr! It’s Mai Tai Thursday, so get swanky with the Knotty Boys at Trader Vic’s and throw back a couple cocktails! The Northside Tavern gets rockin’ with a little Chicago/Delta blues of The Breeze Kings! Stagger on over to Noni’s Bar & Deli for their Bitter Heroes event featuring DJ Brian Parris as he gets charmingly morose with a little New-Wave, The Smiths and The Cure! Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck and the Atlanta Horns fire up the rockin’ blues at Blind Willie’s! Get your boogie on at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack, as Chickenshack featuring Eddie Tigner, delivers some honky-tonk blues! And as always, boogie down at Mary’s, as the East Atlanta venue gets funky with their weekly Disco in the Village.

Friday, March 24

Get weird and mingle with some killer Weird Fiction/Spec-Lit writers from across the country during The Out Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird’s Pre-Party (more info on the full event covered below) at My Parents’ Basement! Rock out at The Star Bar for a night with Rodney “Pie Man” Henry with Western Star, Black Cat Rising and Sash the Bash! Get down and funk it up with the Charles Walker Band and The Wasted Potential Brass Band at Venkman’s! Stomp on down to The Earl for a night with Mike Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts and the John Pagano Band! Shimmy on down to City Winery for Wasabassco Burlesque featuring Kool Kat Talloolah Love and more! Rock on down to Avondale Towne Cinema for Prog Rock Live Night 2017! Catch a few Summer Sunsets with Yacht Rock Schooner at Park Tavern! Come on out to Eddie’s Attic for a night with Loudon Wainwright III! Get your Americana fix with Ray Wylie Hubbard at the Red Clay Theatre! George Hughley & The Shadows get down at Blind Willie’s! Blues it up with The Kerry Hill Band at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Or make your way to the Northside Tavern as Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck fires it up with his rockin’ blues! And as always, time-warp it up and get naughty with some uber musically-inclined transsexual aliens at The Plaza Theater as they continue their tradition of screening THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) every Friday night, featuring the live cast of Lips Down on Dixie at midnight!

Saturday, March 25

ATLRetro is a proud sponsor of The Out Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird as it gets bizarre and lands in Atlanta at Decatur CoWorks, featuring panels, readings and more featuring 19 Weird Fiction/Spec-Lit writers from across the country, including our soon-to-be Kool Kat, Atlanta’s own Michael Wehunt, Kool Kat Balogun Ojetade, ATLRetro’s own publisher and bloggess in charge Anya Martin, Gerald Coleman, Milton Davis, TOD producer and host Scott Nicolay and more! Spook on down to The Plaza Theater for the 41st Annual Atlanta Film Festival’s horror block, FEAR HAUS, hosted by Blair Bathory and Drew Sawyer with guest of honor Luchagore! Make some noise with Dinosaur Jr. and Easy Action at the Variety Playhouse! Fritz Lang it up at The Earl Smith Strand Theatre’s 90th Anniversary screening of his sci-fi classic, METROPOLIS (1927) at 7:30pm! Get horrorific and rock out at The Highlander with Crypt 24, Drop Dead Nasty and The Cherry Bomb! Get weird ‘n’ artsy at The Odd’s End Curiosity Shop’s Art at the End, Vol. III event! Get your zombie fix with the Atlanta Film Festival’s screening of SPRING BREAK ZOMBIE MASSACRE at the Avondale Towne Cinema presented by Kool Kat Shane Morton, a.k.a. ghost host with the most, Prof. Morte and his GOGO Ghouls, with Kool Kat Madeline Brumby and Allison Maier and more at 5:30/8:30pm! Rock out at The Star Bar with Hank & The Cupcakes, Kool Kat Adam McIntyre with The Pinx, The Stir and the Buzzards of Fuzz! Get really retro and dance like it’s 1799 at an English Country Dance Class with ECD Atlanta at the Decatur Recreation Center! Slim Chance & the Convicts celebrate 30 years with a performance of their 1996 album “TWANG PEAKS” at Kavarna! Come out and play at the 3rd Annual Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival, running through March 26, featuring retro tunes by Dyn-O-Mite, Housebroken, Kool Kat Blair Crimmins & The Hookers and more! Hillbilly it up at the Red Light Café for a night with Tony Levitas & The Levitations and Roadkill Debutante! It’s Beatlemania at the Red Clay Theatre with Forever Abbey Road! Get morose and boogie on down to Amsterdam Atlanta for Kool Kat VJ Anthony’s COFFIN CLASSICS: Goth Industrial Music Video Dance Night! Get mischievous with The Platinum Boys at 529! Come on out to Eddie’s Attic for a night with Loudon Wainwright III and Leyla McCalla! Get folksy with Cicada Rhythm at Terminal West! Get funky at The Vista Room for a night with The Sundogs and Dyn-O-Mite! Or make your way to the Northside Tavern as Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck fires it up with his rockin’ blues! Blues it up with the Juke Joint Jukes at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Get the blues with Big Bill Morganfield at Blind Willie’s! St. James Live! delivers their Tribute to the Legends night every Saturday night!

Sunday, March 26

Come out for day 2 of the 3rd Annual Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival, featuring retro tunes by Willie Ziavino & the C.O.T. Band, The Breeze Kings, Gurufish, Ed Roland & The Sweet Tea Band and more! Get down with Cracker at City Winery! Boogie on down to Smith’s Olde Bar for Sadie HawkinsElectric Glitterland Rock ‘n’ Roll Cabaret. Get sweet and low down blues-style at the Northside Tavern with Uncle Sugar! Blues it up with 10,000 Pontiacs at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack!


Ongoing

Dad’s Garage’s Big Boozy Nerdy Game Night brings out the kid in you, every first Monday of the month at 7pm!

Union EAV rocks out with their Punk Rock Karaoke ATL, and every last Tuesday of the month!

Geek it up at My Parents’ Basement with their weekly Tuesday night Nerd Trivia at 8pm!

Nerd Film Mafia screenings at the Diesel Filling Station following NerdCore Trivia, every last Tuesday of the month!

The Plaza Theater Time-Warps it up as they screen, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) every Friday night, featuring the live cast of Lips Down on Dixie at midnight!

Get your reggae fix with Rub-A-Dub gettin’ down at WildPitch Music Hall, every second Sunday of the month!

Every first and third Mondays are Big Band Nights at Café 290, featuring Joe Gransden and his amazing 16-piece orchestra playing jazz and swing standards in the tradition of The Glen Miller Orchestra and other legendary groups.  Second and fourth Mondays are Bumpin the Mango, ‘The groove that makes you want to move!’

Every first Wednesday is the Graveyard Tavern’s Graveyard Swing Night, featuring the swingin’ jazz and boogie-woogie sounds of the Savoy Kings! I

f you have a suggestion for a future event that should be included in This Week in Retro Atlanta or see something we missed, please email us at atlretro@gmail.com.

Category: This Week in ATLRetro | TAGS: None

This Week in ATLRetro, March 13-19, 2017

Posted on: Mar 12th, 2017 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

This Week in Retro Atlanta is the Kat’s Meow! Come see all the shakin’ shenanigans we’ve found for you! From honkytonk hootenannies to rockin’ garage, glam ‘n’ punk, we’ve got you covered!

Monday, March 13

Rock out with the Crocodiles, AJ Davila, Sash the Bash and Low Valley Hearts at The Earl! Gets some rockin’ soul with the Devon Allman Band at City Winery! Get folksy with the Riverside Joyride, Brad Parsons and Jack’s River Band at Smith’s Olde Bar! Get funky and groove on down to Café 290 every second and fourth Monday of the month for a taste of Bumpin the Mango, ‘The groove that makes you want to move!” Skye Paige, “Queen of Slide Guitar” rocks out at the Little Vinyl Lounge! Blues it up with Bill Sheffield at Blind Willie’s! Boogie on down to the Northside Tavern and spend an evening with Lola at her famous Monday Night Northside Jam! And blues on down to Fat Matt’s Rib Shack as they dish out The Pork Bellys and a plate full ‘o finger lickin’ BBQ!

Tuesday, March 14

Shimmy ‘n’ shake it up as Kool Kat Katherine Lashe and her burly-Q gals of Syrens of the South spring your fling with their Tease Tuesday Burlesque: Spring Fling! event, shakin’ it up at the Red Light Café! Get down with Raul Midon at City Winery! Glam it up and spend the night with Bryan Ferry and Judith Owen at the Tabernacle! Rock on down to The Earl for a night with Pony League, Motel Radio and the High Divers! Make your way to Philips Arena for a Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience featuring Ramin Djawadi! Get down and dirty with Gray & The Bad Boys at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Laugh it up with Perfect Strangers Improv Perfect Strangers & Friends event! Jam it up with Joe Gransden and his jazz jam session at Venkman’s every Tuesday! Eric Sommer dishes out the blues at Blind Willie’s! The Star Bar delivers a night of retro shenanigans with their Downtown Tuesday Night Dance Party featuring retro-soul, funk, ‘80s, ‘90s and more!  Or come down to the Little Vinyl Lounge for Kenny’s Record Club featuring Kenny Howes dishin’ out The Pretenders’ Debut Album! And as always, groove on down with Swami Gone Bananas at the Northside Tavern!

Wednesday, March 15

Get old-timey and folk it up with Saw Black, Ben Trickey, John Vournakis and Lebo Jenkins at 529! Spend the night with Kevn Kinney (Drivin’ n Cryin’) at Eddie’s Attic! Rock out with Martin Barre at Smith’s Olde Bar! Catch a screening of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) at Studio Movie Grill (Alpharetta/Duluth) at 7:15pm! Vinyl dishes out a night of folksy tunes with Paper Bird! Groove on down to The Star Bar for Romeo Cologne’s Granny Panty Hootenanny with DJ Quasi Mandisco! The Hollidays deliver a night of rhythm ‘n’ soul and rock ‘n’ roll at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Bluegrass it up at The Vista Room with The Vista Stringband! Get down with Bob Page at Blind Willie’s! Jazz it up at the Red Light Café with The Gordon Vernick Quartet! Or make your way to the Northside Tavern as Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck fires it up with his rockin’ blues! St. James Live! delivers their Hump Days Blues night, getting classic blues-style every Wednesday! And as always, it’s Ladies Night at Johnny’s Hideaway which plays hits from Sinatra to Madonna for a generally mature crowd.

Thursday, March 16

Spook it up and rock out with Weird Omen, Kool Kat Rod Hamdallah, Nate & The Nightmares and Deadly Lo-Fi at The Star Bar! Get old-timey and bluegrass it up with The Dustbowl Revival and The John Stickley Trio at The Earl! Or catch the Georgia Mountain String Band and City Hotel at Eddie’s Attic! It’s a hootenanny and a half at The Vista Room with Kool Kat Col. Bruce Hampton & the Madrid Express! Spend the night with Regina Spektor at the Tabernacle! It’s Mai Tai Thursday, so get swanky with Bogey & the Viceroy at Trader Vic’s and throw back a couple cocktails! The Northside Tavern gets rockin’ with a little Chicago/Delta blues of The Breeze Kings! Stagger on over to Noni’s Bar & Deli for their Bitter Heroes event featuring DJ Brian Parris as he gets charmingly morose with a little New-Wave, The Smiths and The Cure! Get the rockin’ blues with The Cazanovas at Blind Willie’s! Get your boogie on at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack, as Chickenshack featuring Eddie Tigner, delivers some honky-tonk blues! And as always, boogie down at Mary’s, as the East Atlanta venue gets funky with their weekly Disco in the Village.

Friday, March 17

Rock on down to The Star Bar for their St. Pat’s Jerzfest Day 1 featuring a hellacious night with The Stacktone Slims, Night Terrors, The Crush and The Unsatisfied and more! Get your bizarre circus side-show fix at the Dixie Tavern with the Southern Fried Rock ‘n’ Roll Show featuring Captain & Maybelle, Bigfoot, Kool Kat the Casket Creatures and more! Get your ‘60s and ‘70s rock fix with The Rainmen and Kitten Fontaine at Avondale Towne Cinema! Jamie Laval dishes out a night of Irish folk at the Crimson Moon Café! Stomp on down to Eddie’s Attic for a night with Antigone Rising and Mike Farris! Jazz it up with David Potter at the High Museum! Rock out folk-style with The Mulligan Brothers at the Red Clay Theatre! Get the old-time Delta blues at the Red Light Café with the Steel City Jug Slammers, The Brookses and Moses Nesh! The Vista Room gets down with a night of Chicago/Delta blues with The Breeze Kings! Make your way to the Fox Theatre for their presentation of “ANNIE” through March 19! Blind Willie’s St. Patty’s it up with Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck & the Atlanta Horns! Blues it up with Mr. Chapman’s Quarterly Review at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Get the blues with Stoney Brooks at the Northside Tavern! And as always, time-warp it up and get naughty with some uber musically-inclined transsexual aliens at The Plaza Theater as they continue their tradition of screening THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) every Friday night, featuring the live cast of Lips Down on Dixie at midnight!

Saturday, March 18

Honkytonk on down to the Avondale Towne Cinema for a night with The Western Sizzlers, Skye Paige and Donnie Picou! Day 2 of The Star Bar’s St. Pat’s Jerzfest cow punks it up with Nine Pound Hammer, Crank County Daredevils, Bad Spell, Dusty Booze & The Baby Haters, JJ & The Hustlers and more! Boogie woogie on down to the Northside Tavern’s Chicken Raid 2017 featuring Beverly “Guitar” Watkins, Bill Sheffield, Steve “The Blues Dude”, Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck, Robert Lee Coleman, the Wasted Potential Brass Band, Roy Lee Johnson, Chickens and Pigs, Essie Mae Brooks, Mandi Strachota, Cool John Ferguson, Albert White and more! Glam it up with the BadAsh All Star Team’s David Bowie Jam at the Red Light Café! Make your way to The Space’s (A Movement Arts Studio) Movie Night featuring four themed acts based on Rob Reiner’s classic, THE PRINCESS BRIDE (1987), followed by a screening of the film! Cabaret it up at the Shakespeare Tavern with Sex Ed Burlesque, presented by Bettie Bullet! ATL Collective gets down with the Beastie Boys’ “LICENSED TO ILL” at the Buckhead Theatre! Stomp on down to the Crimson Moon Café for a night with Michelle Malone and Antigone Rising! It’s a night of old-time rockabilly and country with Roxie Watson and Patrick Davis at Eddie’s Attic! Rock out with At the Drive In at the Tabernacle! Get funky with the Naughty Professor at Terminal West! Fat Matt’s Rib Shack dishes out a night of outlaw blues with Blue Roads! Get the blues with Jarekus Singleton at Blind Willie’s! St. James Live! delivers their Tribute to the Legends night every Saturday night!

Sunday, March 19

Day 2 of the Northside Tavern’s Chicken Raid 2017 gets down with Essie Mae Brooks, the Radio Ramblers, Skye Paige, Nate Nelson, Swami Gone Bananas, Lola, Eddie Tigner, The Rockaholics, Uncle Sugar and more! Blues it up with 10,000 Pontiacs at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack!

Ongoing

Dad’s Garage’s Big Boozy Nerdy Game Night brings out the kid in you, every first Monday of the month at 7pm! 

Union EAV rocks out with their Punk Rock Karaoke ATL, and every last Tuesday of the month!

Geek it up at My Parents’ Basement with their weekly Tuesday night Nerd Trivia at 8pm!

Nerd Film Mafia screenings at the Diesel Filling Station following NerdCore Trivia, every last Tuesday of the month!

The Plaza Theater Time-Warps it up as they screen, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) every Friday night, featuring the live cast of Lips Down on Dixie at midnight!

Get your reggae fix with Rub-A-Dub gettin’ down at WildPitch Music Hall, every second Sunday of the month!

Every first and third Mondays are Big Band Nights at Café 290, featuring Joe Gransden and his amazing 16-piece orchestra playing jazz and swing standards in the tradition of The Glen Miller Orchestra and other legendary groups.  Second and fourth Mondays are Bumpin the Mango, ‘The groove that makes you want to move!’

Every first Wednesday is the Graveyard Tavern’s Graveyard Swing Night, featuring the swingin’ jazz and boogie-woogie sounds of the Savoy Kings!

If you have a suggestion for a future event that should be included in This Week in Retro Atlanta or see something we missed, please email us at atlretro@gmail.com.

Category: This Week in ATLRetro | TAGS: None

This Week in ATLRetro, March 6-12, 2017

Posted on: Mar 5th, 2017 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

Hey kiddies! This week in ATLRetro is the Kat’s MEOW! Check out all the swell shenanigans we’ve found just for you!

Monday, March 6

Catch a screening of Howard HawksHIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940) at the Alpharetta Branch Library at 10:30am! Get your Americana fix with Robert Ellis and Courtney Hartman at City Winery! Swing on by Big Band Night featuring Joe Gransden and his amazing 16-member orchestra at Café 290 every first and third Monday of the month! Skye Paige, “Queen of Slide Guitar” rocks out at the Little Vinyl Lounge! Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck fires it up with his rockin’ blues at Blind Willie’s! Boogie on down to the Northside Tavern and spend an evening with Lola at her famous Monday Night Northside Jam! And blues on down to Fat Matt’s Rib Shack as they dish out The Pork Bellys and a plate full ‘o finger lickin’ BBQ!

Tuesday, March 7

Rock out with Flatfoot 56 and Mickey Rickshaw at The Earl! Folk it up with Tim O’Brien at Eddie’s Attic! Get down and dirty with Gray & The Bad Boys at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Get your traditional Celtic folk fix with The Chieftains at Atlanta Symphony Hall! Thundercat dishes out a rockin’ show at Terminal West with Zack Fox! Jam it up with Joe Gransden and his jazz jam session at Venkman’s every Tuesday! Make your way to 529 for a night with Walker Lukens! Landmark Midtown Art Cinema kills it with their Noir Film Classics Series with a screening of Ridley Scott’s BLADE RUNNER (The Final Cut) (1982) at 7pm! Or make your way to the Northlake Festival Movie Tavern for their screening of Ethan/Joel Coen’s classic, RAISING ARIZONA (1987) during their “Classic Films on the Big Screen” series at 7:30pm! Blues it up with Grant Reynolds at Blind Willie’s! The Star Bar delivers a night of retro shenanigans with their Downtown Tuesday Night Dance Party featuring retro-soul, funk, ‘80s, ‘90s and more! And as always, groove on down with Swami Gone Bananas at the Northside Tavern!

Wednesday, March 8

Punk out horror-style with Voodoo Glow Skulls, Burns Like Fire and Kool Kats The Casket Creatures at The Star Bar! Catch a screening of Stanley Kubrick’s FULL METAL JACKET (1987) at Studio Movie Grill (Alpharetta/Duluth) at 7:15pm! Catch a screening of Joseph L. MankiewiczALL ABOUT EVE (1950) at theatres across Atlanta (2pm/7pm) [Hollywood Stadium 24 (Chamblee); AMC Barrett Commons 24 (Kennesaw); Avalon Stadium 12 (Alpharetta); AMC Sugarloaf Mills 18 (Lawrenceville)]; Cinemark Tinseltown 17 (Fayetteville); Perimeter Pointe 10; Regal McDonough Stadium 16 (McDonough); Georgian Stadium 14 (Newnan); and AMC Southlake Pavilion 24 (Morrow)! Get some classic soul ‘n’ funk with Nick & The Grooves at Avondale Towne Cinema! Dan Baird & Homemade Sin rock out at The Earl! The Hollidays deliver a night of rhythm ‘n’ soul and rock ‘n’ roll at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Bluegrass it up at The Vista Room with The Vista Stringband! Get down with the Cody Matlock Band at Blind Willie’s! Get Victorian retro at Liquid Sky with Girls Shooting Girls: Victorian Tea Party, hosted by Marilyn Chen Photography! Jazz it up at the Red Light Café with The Gordon Vernick Quartet! Or make your way to the Northside Tavern as Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck fires it up with his rockin’ blues! St. James Live! delivers their Hump Days Blues night, getting classic blues-style every Wednesday! And as always, it’s Ladies Night at Johnny’s Hideaway which plays hits from Sinatra to Madonna for a generally mature crowd.

Thursday, March 9

Honkytonk it up with Dwight Yoakam and The Whiskey Gentry at the Buckhead Theatre! Cold Hard Cash pays tribute to “The Man In Black” at City Winery! Make your way to the Fox Theatre for a night with “The King” during their presentation of Elvis Lives! Psyche rock out with Shadow Band, Weird Sin and Little Rituals at 529! Make yoru way to Cobb Energy Center for a night with Garrison Keillor! Crimson Moon Café dishes out their Blues Jam Session! Funk it up with Big Sam’s Funky Nation at Terminal West! It’s a night reminiscent of ‘70s rock at Venkman’s with Valley Queen! Get jazzy with Selina Albright at Suite Food Lounge! It’s Mai Tai Thursday, so get swanky with Bogey & the Viceroy at Trader Vic’s and throw back a couple cocktails! The Northside Tavern gets rockin’ with a little Chicago/Delta blues of The Breeze Kings! Stagger on over to Noni’s Bar & Deli for their Bitter Heroes event featuring DJ Brian Parris as he gets charmingly morose with a little New-Wave, The Smiths and The Cure! Stomp on down to Blind Willie’s for a night with Heather Luttrell! Get your boogie on at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack, as Chickenshack featuring Eddie Tigner, delivers some honky-tonk blues! And as always, boogie down at Mary’s, as the East Atlanta venue gets funky with their weekly Disco in the Village.

Friday, March 10

Head on down the Atlanta Highway to Criminal Records for an Artist Signing and meet ‘n’ greet with Cindy Wilson (B-52s), followed by her live performance at Venkman’s! It’s a night of rockin’ tributes with The Ballbreakers (all-female AC/DC tribute), The Cherry Bomb (Joan Jett tribute) and Sash the Bash at Smith’s Olde Bar! Get swanky with Bogey & the Viceroy at The Vista Room! Catch Communist Daughter at the Masquerade! Get criminal with a prohibition pandemonium at SCADShow’s screening of Brian De Palma’s THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987) at 7pm! It’s a night of naughty magic at the Buckhead Theatre with The Naked Magicians! Spend the night with Sandra Bernhard at City Winery! Get your garage rock fix with Deep Sea Diver, Shantih Shantih and Oak House at The Earl! Jimmy Webb dishes out a night of old-time country at Eddie’s Attic! Blues it up with Brown Dog at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Rock out at The Star Bar with Highriders, Skin Jobs and Black Cat Rising! Stomp on down to Terminal West for a night with Son Volt! Bluegrass it up with The Steeldrivers at the Variety Playhouse! Get the blues with Sandra Hall & The Shadows at Blind Willie’s! Get old-school at the Northside Tavern with Albert White! Jam it up with the Jerry Garcia Cover Band at Aisle 5! And as always, time-warp it up and get naughty with some uber musically-inclined transsexual aliens at The Plaza Theater as they continue their tradition of screening THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) every Friday night, featuring the live cast of Lips Down on Dixie at midnight!

Saturday, March 11

Hey kiddies of all ages! Joelanta & The Great Toy Con 2017 invades the Atlanta Marriott Century Center for 2 days only, through March 12! If you love vintage toys, stop-motion animation, comics, cosplay, pop culture and more, you won’t want to miss this two-day toy extravaganza including vendors and celebrity guests! Surf on down to Kavarna for Kool Kat Chad ShiversSouthern Surf Stomp! featuring Gemini 13, Forbidden Waves and The 19 Hands! Get old-school with a night of Taj Mahal at City Winery! Stomp on down to Avondale Towne Cinema for a night with Jackson County Line and Shadowlands! Folk rock it up with Livingston Taylor at Eddie’s Attic! Spend the night with Norah Jones at the Fox Theatre! You won’t want to miss Venkman’s Chicken Pickin’ Brunch with Banjolicious, followed by Smithsonian that night performing “Hatful of Hollow”! Get some soul with Lee Fields & The Expressions at Terminal West! Make your way to The Earl Smith Strand Theatre as the Georgia Players Guild pays tribute to Creedance Clearwater Revival and Three Dog Night! Get some rockin’ soul with Diane Durrett and Soul Suga at The Vista Room! Boogie on down to Amsterdam Atlanta for Kool Kat VJ Anthony’s 80s New Wave Music Video Dance Party: PBS Edition! It’s an encore night of naughty magic at the Buckhead Theatre with The Naked Magicians! Get some soul with Courtney Daly at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Folk it up with Ellis Paul at the Red Clay Theatre! It’s a night of cosmic boogie with Parker Smith & The Bandwidth, Station 7 and Captain & The Kid at Smith’s Olde Bar! Shimmy on down to the Red Light Café for Sadie HawkinsThe Gentlemen’s Quarterly! Blues on down to Blind Willie’s for a night with House Rocker Johnson & The Shadows! Get some soul with Grant Green, Jr. at the Northside Tavern! St. James Live! delivers their Tribute to the Legends night every Saturday night!

Sunday, March 12

It’s day 2 and your last chance to experience the Joelanta & The Great Toy Con 2017 at the Atlanta Marriott Century Center! Catch Celtic Woman at Cobb Energy Center! Or get your Celtic folk rock fix with The Buddy O’Reilly Band at Eddie’s Attic! Get your reggae fix with Rub-A-Dub gettin’ down at WildPitch Music Hall, every second Sunday of the month! Get down with Madeleine Peyroux and Rickie Lee Jones at the Variety Playhouse! Blues it up with 10,000 Pontiacs at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! And get sweet and low down blues-style at the Northside Tavern with Uncle Sugar!

Ongoing

Dad’s Garage’s Big Boozy Nerdy Game Night brings out the kid in you, every first Monday of the month at 7pm!

Union EAV rocks out with their Punk Rock Karaoke ATL, and every last Tuesday of the month!

Geek it up at My Parents’ Basement with their weekly Tuesday night Nerd Trivia at 8pm!

Nerd Film Mafia screenings at the Diesel Filling Station following NerdCore Trivia, every last Tuesday of the month!

The Plaza Theater Time-Warps it up as they screen, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) every Friday night, featuring the live cast of Lips Down on Dixie at midnight!

Get your reggae fix with Rub-A-Dub gettin’ down at WildPitch Music Hall, every second Sunday of the month!

Every first and third Mondays are Big Band Nights at Café 290, featuring Joe Gransden and his amazing 16-piece orchestra playing jazz and swing standards in the tradition of The Glen Miller Orchestra and other legendary groups.  Second and fourth Mondays are Bumpin the Mango, ‘The groove that makes you want to move!’

Every first Wednesday is the Graveyard Tavern’s Graveyard Swing Night, featuring the swingin’ jazz and boogie-woogie sounds of the Savoy Kings!

If you have a suggestion for a future event that should be included in This Week in Retro Atlanta or see something we missed, please email us at atlretro@gmail.com.

Category: This Week in ATLRetro | TAGS: None

This Week in ATLRetro, Feb. 27-Mar. 5, 2017

Posted on: Feb 26th, 2017 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

Take a peek at what we’ve dug up for you This Week in ATLRetro!

Monday, February 27

Make your way to the Tabernacle for Sting’s 57th and 9th Tour! Catch a screening of Billy Wilder’s DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944) at the Alpharetta Branch Library at 10:30am! Get some soul with Lake Street Dive and Joey Dosik at the Variety Playhouse! Brandon Reeves dishes out a night of roots ‘n’ soul at Blind Willie’s! Get funky and groove on down to Café 290 every second and fourth Monday of the month for a taste of Bumpin the Mango, ‘The groove that makes you want to move!” Skye Paige, “Queen of Slide Guitar” rocks out at the Little Vinyl Lounge! Boogie on down to the Northside Tavern and spend an evening with Lola at her famous Monday Night Northside Jam! And blues on down to Fat Matt’s Rib Shack for a side of Dry White Toast and a plate full ‘o finger lickin’ BBQ!

Tuesday, February 28

Cult writer Joe R. Lansdale signs his newest release in his HAP AND LEONARD series, RUSTY PUPPY, at Eagle Eye Books at 7pm! Get your circus shenanigan fix at the Red Light Café with the Tinderbox Circus Sideshow and more! Make your way to Blind Willie’s for Mardi Gras with Bob Page! Party it up with a Fat Tuesday Extravaganza at The Vista Room! Landmark Midtown Art Cinema kills it with their Noir Film Classics Series with a screening of Roman Polanski’s CHINATOWN (1974) at 7pm! Rock out with Agent Orange, Guttermouth, The Queers and Atom Age at The Earl! The Star Bar delivers a night of retro shenanigans with their Downtown Tuesday Night Dance Party featuring retro-soul, funk, ‘80s, ‘90s and more! Or come down to the Little Vinyl Lounge for Kenny’s Record Club featuring Kenny Howes dishin’ out Ringo Starr’s “Blast From Your Past”! And as always, groove on down with Swami Gone Bananas at the Northside Tavern!

Wednesday, March 1

Grab your favorite droogs and catch a screening of Stanley Kubrick’s A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971) at Studio Movie Grill (Alpharetta/Duluth) at 7:15pm! Make your way to the Variety Playhouse for the Southern Soul Assembly, featuring JJ Grey, Luther Dickinson, Anders Osborne and Marc Broussard! Spend the evening with Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge at The Earl! Bluegrass it up at The Vista Room with The Vista Stringband! Make your way to Smith’s Olde Bar for a night with the Big Mean Sound Machine and the 4th Ward Afro-Klezmer Orchestra! Make your way to Emory Cinematheque’s screening of Anthony Mann’s MEN IN WAR (1957) at 7:30pm as part of the UCLA Film & Television Archive Festival of Preservation Tour! Jazz it up at the Red Light Café with The Gordon Vernick Quartet! The Star Bar gets down with their Okie Dokie Karaoke, every Wednesday at 9pm! Or make your way to the Northside Tavern as Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck fires it up with his rockin’ blues! St. James Live! delivers their Hump Days Blues night, getting classic blues-style every Wednesday! And as always, it’s Ladies Night at Johnny’s Hideaway which plays hits from Sinatra to Madonna for a generally mature crowd.

Thursday, March 2

Get funkadelic with George Clinton & P-Funk with Gurufish at the Buckhead Theatre! Cineprov returns to The Plaza Theater and kills it with an undead riffing of George A. Romero’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) at 7:45pm! Rock on down to The Earl for a night with JD McPherson! Make your way to Venkman’s for a night with Yacht Rock Revue performing The Beatles’ “Abbey Road”! Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck & the Piedmont Playboys get down at Eddie’s Attic! Stomp on down to the Red Light Café for their Bluegrass Pickin’ Party! It’s Mai Tai Thursday, so hula on down to Trader Vic’s for a couple cocktails! The Northside Tavern gets rockin’ with a little Chicago/Delta blues of The Breeze Kings! Stagger on over to Noni’s Bar & Deli for their Bitter Heroes event featuring DJ Brian Parris as he gets charmingly morose with a little New-Wave, The Smiths and The Cure! Get your boogie on at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack, as Chickenshack featuring Eddie Tigner, delivers some honky-tonk blues! And as always, boogie down at Mary’s, as the East Atlanta venue gets funky with their weekly Disco in the Village.

Friday, March 3

Get criminal at SCADShow’s screening of Martin Scorsese’s GOODFELLAS (1990) at 7pm! Folk it up with Cory Branan and Ben Trickey at The Earl! It’s R.E.M. Night at Eddie’s Attic! Eighties it up with Saved by the Band at Venkman’s! Get artsy at the High Museum with “A Curatorial Conversation on Cross Country: The Power of Place in American Art, 1915-1950” at 7pm! Celebrate 21 years of rock with PARADOCS at The Earl Smith Strand Theatre! Time-warp it up and get naughty with some uber musically-inclined transsexual aliens at The Plaza Theater’s Rocky Horror Pub Crawl 2, featuring a costume contest, a screening of  Jim Sharman’s THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) and more, at 7pm! The Masquerade gets mischievous and metal with Suicidal Tendencies, Crowbar and Havok! Get bizarre with filmmaker Kool Kat Brian Lonano and Video Video Nasty’s “Sad Stonewash!” event at JavaVino! Make your way to the Red Light Café for a night with Greg Presmanes!

Saturday, March 4

Honkytonk it up with Kool Kat Caroline & The Ramblers and Kool Kat Spike Fullerton with the Ghost Riders Car Club at Kavarna! That 1 Guy dishes out a night of future funk ‘n’ experimental jazzy goodness all in a one-man-band at Eddie’s Attic! Get dark and rock out with The Saturation, James Hall & The Steady Wicked and Shadowland at The Star Bar! Glam it up with PINUPS and The Backyardbirds at Avondale Towne Cinema! Rock out with Southside Johnny & Asbury Jukes at the Buckhead Theatre! Rock out at The Earl with Clashinista (Clash tribute), Cadillac Jones and Jupiter Watts! The Park Tavern dishes out a full day of the Big Easy with their Oyster Crawfish Festival featuring live tunes by Kool Kat Fred Leblanc with Cowboy Mouth, Gurufish and the Atlanta Brass Connection! Get some New Orleans funk with The Mar-Tans at Venkman’s! Get rootsy with Delta Moon at The Vista Room! St. James Live! delivers their Tribute to the Legends night every Saturday night!

Sunday, March 5

Catch a screening of Joseph L. MankiewiczALL ABOUT EVE (1950) at theatres across Atlanta (2pm/7pm) [Hollywood Stadium 24 (Chamblee); AMC Barrett Commons 24 (Kennesaw); Avalon Stadium 12 (Alpharetta); AMC Sugarloaf Mills 18 (Lawrenceville)]; Cinemark Tinseltown 17 (Fayetteville); Perimeter Pointe 10; Regal McDonough Stadium 16 (McDonough); Georgian Stadium 14 (Newnan); and AMC Southlake Pavilion 24 (Morrow)! Get hellacious and rock out with Overkill at the Variety Playhouse! Get folksy with Mouths of Babes at Eddie’s Attic! And get sweet and low down blues-style at the Northside Tavern with Uncle Sugar!

Ongoing

Get haunted Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” at the Fox Theatre, running through March 5! (LAST CHANCE!)

Dad’s Garage’s Big Boozy Nerdy Game Night brings out the kid in you, every first Monday of the month at 7pm!

Union EAV rocks out with their Punk Rock Karaoke ATL, and every last Tuesday of the month!

Geek it up at My Parents’ Basement with their weekly Tuesday night Nerd Trivia at 8pm!

Nerd Film Mafia screenings at the Diesel Filling Station following NerdCore Trivia, every last Tuesday of the month!

The Plaza Theater Time-Warps it up as they screen, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) every Friday night, featuring the live cast of Lips Down on Dixie at midnight!

Every first and third Mondays are Big Band Nights at Café 290, featuring Joe Gransden and his amazing 16-piece orchestra playing jazz and swing standards in the tradition of The Glen Miller Orchestra and other legendary groups.  Second and fourth Mondays are Bumpin the Mango, ‘The groove that makes you want to move!’

Every first Wednesday is the Graveyard Tavern’s Graveyard Swing Night, featuring the swingin’ jazz and boogie-woogie sounds of the Savoy Kings!

If you have a suggestion for a future event that should be included in This Week in Retro Atlanta or see something we missed, please email us at atlretro@gmail.com.

Category: This Week in ATLRetro | TAGS: None

Kool Kat of the Week: Bret Wood Extinguishes Bloodlines and Thrills Us Yet Again With His Latest Cinematic Venture, THOSE WHO DESERVE TO DIE

Posted on: Feb 22nd, 2017 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

The last time we caught up with the ever-busy Atlanta filmmaker Bret Wood was before the 2014 Atlanta Film Festival screening of THE UNWANTED, his contemporary take on Sheridan Le Fanu’s vampire novella “Carmilla.”  Bret is at it again with his current independent cinematic endeavor, THOSE WHO DESERVE TO DIE (TWD2D), a loose modern-day adaptation of Thomas de Quincey’s novella “The Avenger.” Fueled by visions of ‘60s gialli.” TWD2D is a thriller that “subverts the formula of the revenge film,” following its “hero” as he seeks gruesome justice. According to its official description: “Goaded by the cold-hearted spirit of his undead 10-year-old sister Berenice, Jonathan wades into ever-deepening, ethically muddier water—for their plan is to not just punish the guilty, but extinguish their bloodlines entirely.” The film stars Joe Sykes [V/H/S (2012); THE LITTLE DEATH (2010)], Alice Lewis (first starring role) and Rachel Frawley. While Bret has personally funded all of his prior film projects, this ghastly twist of a revenge story is being partially funded by a Kickstarter campaign chock full of enticing perks, including copies of the film upon its release to video (Fall 2018). Be a part of bloody fantastic film history and snatch up a killer perk or two via the crowd-sourcing campaign available through February 25! Check out the full range of rewards here!

A rare and obscure film connoisseur, Bret regularly digs deep into the historic cinematic landscape through his enviable day-job as Vice President of Special Projects with Kino Lorber. On the heels of receiving the 2016 Film Heritage Award from the National Society of Film Critics for his PIONEERS OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CINEMA (2016) collection, he dove right into his next restoration project, PIONEERS: FIRST WOMEN FILMMAKERS, promising to expose viewers to lesser known, yet significant female film pioneers.

ATLRetro caught up with Bret for a quick rundown on THOSE WHO DESERVE TO DIE, his devotion to film history’s weirdest and wackiest; and why going with crowd-funding made sense for this project! While you’re takin’ a gander at our little Q&A, why not take a sinister peek at the teaser trailer for TWD2D here.

ATLRetro: The last time ATLRETRO caught up with you was with your take on “Carmilla,” THE UNWANTED (2014). And now we see you’re diving head first into Thomas de Quincey’s novella “The Avenger” with your newest film adventure, THOSE WHO DESERVE TO DIE. Why “The Avenger” and why adaptations of classic literature?

Bret Wood: I’m a voracious reader, and I usually follow some thread of ideas from one book to another rather than just randomly choosing books from a shelf. It’s a great way of discovering writers I wasn’t previously familiar with. At the time I discovered The Avenger, I had been reading a lot of Gothic novels — specifically pseudo-memoirs from a skewed perspective — things like de Quincey’s CONFESSIONS OF AN ENGLISH OPIUM EATER, Charles Maturin’s MELMOTH THE WANDERER and James Hogg’s THE PRIVATE MEMOIRS AND CONFESSIONS OF A JUSTIFIED SINNER. I think it was Joris-Karl Huysmans’s THE DAMNED (LA-BAS) that started me on this whole journey. I like this era of literature because it’s the kind of thing not many other people are reading, and it’s all in the public domain, so if I do find a story that would work well as a film, it’s mine for the taking. There’s nothing worse than discovering a story that would make an incredible film, but knowing it would be impossible to clear the rights (there’s a William Lindsay Gresham [NIGHTMARE ALLEY] story I’m dying to adapt.)

And with pre-1900 books like these, I’m really adapting the spirit of the work, not the plot. As THE UNWANTED bears little physical resemblance to “Carmilla,” THOSE WHO DESERVE TO DIE does not replicate the plot of The Avenger. But hopefully both of them capture the emotional essence of what makes both of those stories so compelling, and so troubling.

(l-r) Bret Wood, Rachel Frawley

Why a Kickstarter for THOSE WHO DESERVE TO DIE? What are the advantages of taking the crowd-sourcing route?

Previously I’ve self-funded all my films, but the cost of indie filmmaking in Atlanta has risen considerably since the arrival of Hollywood productions. It’s become more difficult to secure locations, and we have to compete with major studio productions for crew. Just a few years ago, when filmmaking opportunities were limited, there was an abundance of crew who were eager to take on labors of love in order to get experience and make the kind of connections they could build careers on. Now, everyone’s busy on well-paying projects, and it’s not fair for us to ask them to show up on their days off and work 10 to 12-hour days for the love of the art. Over the course of making TWD2D, we’ve assembled a terrific, very dedicated core crew, but I want to treat them fairly and not burn them out on independent production. We want to leave them willing to support the next grassroots project – to insure that this kind of filmmaking can continue in Atlanta.

There are several great things about crowd-funding. One is that it allows anyone to participate. And the size of the donation is less important than the knowledge that someone out there likes the idea of what you’re doing and wants you to see it through to completion. Another attribute of Kickstarter is that when people make a contribution, there are no strings attached. They are supporting the creation of your work without imposing conditions or restrictions upon the donation. As soon as artists accept money from an investor, they can’t help but begin to think of the film as a business and bear the responsibility of shaping the film into something that will become profitable. You can’t help it. That Hollywood mentality starts to creep in.

Joe Sykes as Jonathan

I’m not saying my vision is “pure” or that profitable films are somehow corrupt. But I am trying to make films from the gut – that evolve and find their own form through the process of collaborating with other artists. THOSE WHO DESERVE TO DIE is a film that emerges from the process of making a film. Just last week, two of the actors (Joe Sykes and Keith Brooks) helped me re-conceptualize a scene that was problematic, and we shot that sequence over the weekend. Likewise, we try to make sure the set is a place where new ideas are welcome, and we’re not just banging a punch list of predetermined shots.

You’ve put together some great bonuses for investors, ranging from special DVDs and Blu-rays to pass codes to stream your past films to posters and private screenings (Exciting!). What can folks looking to invest via Kickstarter expect to get when they back your film?

I think most people want to get a copy of the finished film, but for those who don’t want to wait the year-and-a-half it will probably take for TWD2D to be completed and then released on video, they can join us for the cast-and-crew screening, get copies of my previous work, two different styles of T-shirt, and I’ve dragged out a few things from my memorabilia closet, including a key prop from THE UNWANTED [Millarca’s severed head] and an original print by David Lynch for any big-money donors out there. Of course the greatest reward of all is the satisfaction of keeping truly independent film alive and well in Atlanta – and you get that even at the $5 pledge level.

Looks like many of your cast and crew are Atlantans or from the surrounding area, including yourself. What can you tell us about your cast/crew and why do you think it’s important to work with local talent?

With Atlanta being overwhelmed with studio production, I think it’s more important than ever that indie film projects ORIGINATE locally. The studios have come here for the tax breaks but quickly discovered what a rich and deep pool of filmmaking talent resides here. I don’t think anyone expected the Georgia film industry to expand the way it has — and you can’t chalk that all up to tax incentives. The problem is that the writers/directors/leading actors of these projects are still almost exclusively brought in from the West Coast. The studios and networks don’t see this as a place where ideas are originated and projects germinated. The most successful content-originators in Atlanta are self-starters — people like Will Packer and Tyler Perry. And we need more filmmakers like that — who are crafting their own unique work, and not asking some corporate entity for permission to make films.

You’re a well-known local film historian, as Vice President of Special Projects with Kino Lorber, and have produced Blu-ray releases for the films of legendary directors Mario Bava, Stanley Kubrick, Jess Franco, D.W. Griffith and more! Which project was the most intriguing? In the grand scheme of things, why do you feel it is important to not only preserve film, but to share these works of art with the masses?

Just as I read books from another era, I’ve always loved watching films from the past. Part of it is my distaste for all things contemporary, but mostly it is the thrill of discovering something new. If you love cinema, then there is a whole universe out there waiting to be explored. And you can’t do it from the convenient portal of Netflix. You’ve got to get up off the couch and look for it yourself. And it’s exciting to go on a quest to track down obscure works by obscure filmmakers that only YOU truly understand and appreciate (or so it seems, until you discover there are others who share your passion for the odd and eclectic). And that process opens up social opportunities and enables you to create new friendships (both real and virtual). Go over to Videodrome and strike up a conversation with whoever’s on duty — you’ll see what I mean. That’s really a snapshot of who I am and how I defined myself during my youth.

Alice Lewis

I try to hold on to that sense of discovery in my day job, as I ferret out lesser-known films and give them the best possible presentation so that they’ll be out there for other cineastes to discover. I produce DVDs/Blu-rays of the classics, but I’m also allowed to slip into the release schedule some truly strange and fascinating films that aren’t on most people’s cultural radar; things like the silent-era drug film THE DEVIL’S NEEDLE, the satanic soft-core film THE LAST STEP DOWN, the 3-D film A*P*E, the oddball noir THE CHASE. I’ve got a full plate for 2017 and look forward to introducing some strange new flavors to people’s cinematic palate.

On the heels of receiving the 2016 Film Heritage Award from the National Society of Film Critics for your PIONEERS OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CINEMA (2016) collection, you’ve jumped right into PIONEERS: FIRST WOMEN FILMMAKERS. Can you tell our readers a little about this project?

PIONEERS OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CINEMA succeeded beyond our expectations, and I really felt as though I had helped consolidate and publish a hugely important chapter of American film history. It was unique in that it wasn’t just a “greatest hits” of early black cinema; it explored both the cornerstones of the movement and the virtually unknown work. We included lesser-known films. We included incomplete films. We included films so eroded by nitrate decomposition that they are almost incomprehensible. But these films are important nonetheless. They are the mortar that fills in the cracks of the bricks of black film history. And they would never be released under ordinary economic circumstances. PIONEERS was funded by a Kickstarter campaign and the $50,000+ that we raised afforded me an unprecedented amount of creative freedom — resulting in a collection of films that would otherwise have been impossible, or at least commercially unviable.

Fortunately, I was able to maintain the momentum, launch a second KS campaign, and am now knee-deep in producing PIONEERS: FIRST WOMEN FILMMAKERS, which focuses specifically on women directors of the American film industry in the silent era. Our aim is specific because, as with the first PIONEERS, we didn’t want to make this a “greatest hits” collection [Lois Weber, Alice Guy-Blaché]. We want to show you the works you’ve never seen, and expose you to the filmmakers you’ve never heard of [Gene Gauntier, Angela Murray Gibson, Julia Crawford Ivers, Ida May Park, Marion E. Wong]. And by focusing on American silents, we’re able to tell a fascinating – and ultimately depressing – story of how women were pushed out of the director’s chair and into support roles within the Hollywood studio system.

Can you tell our readers how you got into film preservation and filmmaking?

After meeting film historian Dennis Doros when he came to speak at a screening at the University of Tennessee (where I was a student), I was offered a job at the film/video distributor Kino International (now Kino Lorber) in 1987. I started out doing telephone sales for near-poverty wages but was just happy to be working for a company with impeccable taste in its library of films. As the years passed, I migrated away from sales – which I was never very good at – into design work, eventually becoming the Art Director. I gradually accumulated a knowledge of post-production, film mastering, digital restoration, editing, and became Kino’s primary producer of archival projects. Today, the company is much larger, and I’m one of several producers, but I’m still the archival classics guy. And while I have more freedom in acquiring films and negotiating with the archives and licensors, I’m still a very hands-on producer, writing liner notes, designing packaging, supervising film restorations, cutting trailers. Every day is something different (today I get to work on the Republic serial DAREDEVILS OF THE RED CIRCLE and Josef von Sternberg’s ANATAHAN) and that’s what I love about the job.

You seem to be drawn to exploitation films, with your preservation projects, your documentaries [HELL’S HIGHWAY] and your writing projects [“FORBIDDEN FRUIT: THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE EXPLOITATION FILM” and “MARIHUANA, MOTHERHOOD, AND MADNESS”]. What is the magnetizing power of exploitation flicks? And which exploitation film is a definite must-see for our readers?  Yes, we’re forcing you to choose just one.

(l-r) Alice Lewis, Joe Sykes

Funny you should bring these up. I’m just about to close a deal with Something Weird Video for Kino Lorber to revive their “Roadshow Rarities” collection and carry on the tradition that Mike Vraney began with his VHS releases of the early 1990s. We’re going to perform 2K restorations, launch theatrical re-releases of certain titles, and eventually release them on Blu-ray. What I love is that these films, routinely dismissed a kitschy and naive – that was the whole gist of New Line’s marketing of REEFER MADNESS on the midnight movie circuit in the 1970s – are actually much smarter than we give them credit for. They are playful films made by clever filmmakers who figured out a way to game the system, bypassing the censor boards, defying the studio distribution system, and lining their pockets with cash. They pretended to make films to educate the masses on the dangers of drug addiction, venereal diseases, bestiality, polygamy, and other social problems, but were actually making outrageous films that indulged America’s appetites for these forbidden vices. We don’t think of the 1930s and 1940s as a heyday of indie cinema, but it was, and there is still much to be learned from these films.

A favorite? Definitely MANIAC (1934). It is a psychological horror film made by self-taught husband-and-wife filmmakers Dwain Esper and Hildagarde Stadie Esper that plays like a true crime surrealist art film with dashes of Edgar Allan Poe.

Can you give us five things you’re into at the moment that we should be watching right now—directors or movies, past or present, well-known or obscure.

I don’t want others to rush out and discover them — these are MY current fascinations: 1) the novels of Peter Ackroyd;  2) the music of Jacques Brel; 3) any film by Michael Haneke; 4) Bill Gunn’s 1973 film GANJA AND HESS; and 5) Rouben Mamoulian’s APPLAUSE (1929). If you are determined to watch a recent film, I recommend THE LOBSTER and UNDER THE SKIN.

Getting back to why we’re here chatting you up, THOSE WHO DESERVE TO DIE and the film’s Kickstarter campaign! Without giving too much away, what can you tell our readers about the film and when they can expect to catch it on the big screen?

THOSE WHO DESERVE TO DIE is a revenge story with a supernatural twist. It follows a war hero [Joe Sykes] who returns to his home town to avenge the death of his family guided and goaded by the spirit of his dead sister, played by Alice Lewis. When he meets a social worker [Rachel Frawley] who treats PTSD and war-related “moral injury,” the character begins to question the purpose of this campaign of gruesome violence, and his whole quest for justice begins to unravel into chaos. We hope to finish photography in late spring, and have a cast-and-crew screening around the end of the year. Festival screenings should begin happening in Spring 2018, with a home video release in Fall 2018.

The Kickstarter campaign ends Saturday February 25, so it’s not too late to score a T-shirt or give us that welcome boost of confidence that comes with ANY donation to the cause! Check it out here!

All photos courtesy of Bret Wood and are used with permission.

Category: Kool Kat of the Week | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This Week in ATLRetro, Feb. 20-26, 2017

Posted on: Feb 20th, 2017 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

Come see what’s shakin’ in ATLRetro This Week!

Monday, February 20

Get folksy with Devendra Banhart at Terminal West! Shimmy on down to Smith’s Olde Bar for Sadie HawkinsElectric Glitterland Rock ‘n’ Roll Cabaret with Kool Kat Ursula Undress, Nikki Nuke’m and more (upstairs)! Or honkytonk on downstairs for a night with Mike & the Moonpies and the Andrea Colburn Band! Get some soul with Nick Rosen at City Winery! Get the blues with Matthew Pendrick at Blind Willie’s! Swing on by Big Band Night featuring Joe Gransden and his amazing 16-member orchestra at Café 290 every first and third Monday of the month! Skye Paige, “Queen of Slide Guitar” rocks out at the Little Vinyl Lounge! Boogie on down to the Northside Tavern and spend an evening with Lola at her famous Monday Night Northside Jam! And blues on down to Fat Matt’s Rib Shack for a side of Dry White Toast and a plate full ‘o finger lickin’ BBQ!

Tuesday, February 21

Get some rockin’ garage soul with our Kool Kat of the Week Emily Robb and Louie Louie with A Drug Called Tradition at The Earl! Jazz it up with legendary crooner Tony Bennett at Atlanta Symphony Hall! Landmark Midtown Art Cinema kills it with their Noir Film Classics Series with a screening of John Huston’s THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950) at 7pm! It’s a night of old-fashioned radio show goodness with The Rookery Radio Hour at the Highland Inn Ballroom & Lounge at 8pm! The hills are alive at the Northlake Festival Movie Tavern with a screening of Robert Wise’s classic, THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965) during their “Classic Films on the Big Screen” series at 7:30pm! Rock out with Eddie Rascal, A Sunday Fire, Like Mike and Holders at 529! Make your way to Eddie’s Attic for a night with Muddy Magnolias! Jam it up with Joe Gransden and his jazz jam session at Venkman’s every Tuesday! The Nick Johnson Trio gets down at Blind Willie’s! The Star Bar delivers a night of retro shenanigans with their Downtown Tuesday Night Dance Party featuring retro-soul, funk, ‘80s, ‘90s and more! Or come down to the Little Vinyl Lounge for Kenny’s Record Club featuring Kenny Howes dishin’ out George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass”! And as always, groove on down with Swami Gone Bananas at the Northside Tavern!

Wednesday, February 22

Rock on down to City Winery for a night with Candlebox! Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” comes to the Fox Theatre as part of the new North American Tour, haunting through March 5! Funk it up with a screening of Jason Orr’s DIARY OF A DECADE: THE STORY OF A MOVEMENT (2012) at The Plaza Theater! The hills are alive at the Northlake Festival Movie Tavern with an encore screening of Robert Wise’s classic, THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965) during their “Classic Films on the Big Screen” series at 7:30pm! Or catch a screening of Vincente Minnelli’s FATHER OF THE BRIDE (1950) at Studio Movie Grill (Alpharetta/Duluth) at 7:15pm! Rock out with The Cadillac Three and The Quaker City Night Hawks at the Variety Playhouse! Get some bluesy southern soul with Kool Kat Scott Glazer’s Mojo Dojo at Blind Willie’s! Get horrified with a deadly double feature with Emory Cinematheque’s screening of Victor Halperin’s WHITE ZOMBIE (1932) and John H. Auer’s THE CRIMES OF DR. CRESPI (1935) at 7:30pm as part of the UCLA Film & Television Archive Festival of Preservation Tour! Fat Matt’s Rib Shack dishes out a night of the blues with Frankie’s Blues Mission! Jazz it up at the Red Light Café with The Gordon Vernick Quartet! The Star Bar gets down with their Okie Dokie Karaoke, every Wednesday at 9pm! Or make your way to the Northside Tavern as Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck fires it up with his rockin’ blues! St. James Live! delivers their Hump Days Blues night, getting classic blues-style every Wednesday! And as always, it’s Ladies Night at Johnny’s Hideaway which plays hits from Sinatra to Madonna for a generally mature crowd.

Thursday, February 23

Rock out at 529 with the Holy Ghost Tent Revival, The Go Rounds and Slow Parade! It’s a night of surfy rock ‘n’ pop at The Earl with Small Reactions, Art School Jocks and Fake Flowers! Get hellacious with Joe Buck (Hank III) and Sash the Bash at The Star Bar! It’s Mai Tai Thursday, so get funky and hula on down to Trader Vic’s for a night with The Mar-Tans! Rock out with Sick Of It All, Murphy’s Law and Death Card at the Masquerade! Get down with This Way to the Egress and Eli August and the Abandoned Buildings! You won’t want to miss the “Modern Day Buddy Holly” Girls, Guns & Glory, Rachel Rowland and Kira Annalise & The Trainwrecks at Smith’s Olde Bar! It’s a hootenanny and a half at The Vista Room with Kool Kat Col. Bruce Hampton & the Madrid Express! Catch a free screening of Jim Henson’s LABYRINTH (1986) at Venkman’s at 9:15pm! Get down and dirty with Sandra Hall & The Shadows at Blind Willie’s! The Northside Tavern gets rockin’ with a little Chicago/Delta blues of The Breeze Kings! Stagger on over to Noni’s Bar & Deli for their Bitter Heroes event featuring DJ Brian Parris as he gets charmingly morose with a little New-Wave, The Smiths and The Cure! Get your boogie on at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack, as Chickenshack featuring Eddie Tigner, delivers some honky-tonk blues! And as always, boogie down at Mary’s, as the East Atlanta venue gets funky with their weekly Disco in the Village.

Friday, February 24

For those who prefer alternate history to reality and Victorian-era lifestyles and fantasy, travel back to the 60s (1960s, 1860s, 1760s and more!) during this year’s 3-day event (Feb. 24-26), AnachroCon 2017, celebrating historical reenactments, Steampunk, science-fiction, classic horror, literature, fashion and a cornucopia of indulgences!  So, catch a train and head on over to the Atlanta Marriott Century Center, where you’ll catch Guest of Honor, author Christopher Stasheff, performances by Dreaming Shadows (performing during the Psychedelic 60s Rock Show), The Gin Rebellion, Wasted Wine, informative panels discussing Steampunk as Victorian science-fiction, time travel, Gothic literature, vintage tales of terror (Lovecraft, Poe, Stoker), ghost stories and the classic monster flicks of Universal and Hammer and a vendors room chock full of goodies, including our pals at Horror in Clay (see our Shop Around feature here) and so much more! Boogie on down to The Heretic for RITUAL’s Steampunk Party!

It’s a night of intergalactic debauchery ‘n’ shenanigans with Kool Kat Sen. Artie Mondello, The Nude Party, The Ar-kaics, Wahya’s and Roadkill Debutante at The Star Bar! Videodrome (JavaDrome) continues their Frank Perry retrospective with a screening of PLAY IT AS IT LAYS (1972) at 8:30pm, with an introduction by Justin Bozung, Perry’s official biographer, and out soon-to-be Kool Kat of the Week! Come on out to Avondale Towne Cinema for A Sondheim Cabaret! Make your way to Gallery 992 for Kool Kat Andy Ditzler and Film Love Atlanta’s “Two Films by Horace Ove” featuring BALDWIN’S NIGGER (1969) and REGGAE (1971) at 8pm! Get festive and Mardi Gras it up at The Vista Room during Fare Thee Well Foundation’s 9th Annual Mardi Gras Ball featuring live tunes by String ‘n Bones, Electric Codpiece and Hoodoo Moon! Banjo it up with The Wooks and Little Country Giants at the Red Light Café! Make your way to The Earl for a two-night stand with the riotous ruckus that is Kool Kat Blair Crimmins and the Hookers (CD release) and the Jon Stickley Trio! Eighties it up with Kool Kat Becky Cormier Finch and Denim Arcade at Suburban Tap (Marietta)! Get down and dirty with Beverly “Guitar” Watkins at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Terminal West dishes out a night of vintage psychedelic disco fun with BoomBox! Get the blues with Tab Benoit at the Variety Playhouse! Get groovy and make your way to Smith’s Olde Bar for a night with Disco Tendencies, The Orange Constant and Lagoons! Get the blues with Victor Wainwright at Blind Willie’s! Get funky New Orleans’ style during Zydefunk’s Annual King Cake Party at the Northside Tavern! And as always, time-warp it up and get naughty with some uber musically-inclined transsexual aliens at The Plaza Theater as they continue their tradition of screening THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) every Friday night, featuring the live cast of Lips Down on Dixie at midnight!

Saturday, February 25

It’s day 2 of AnachroCon 2017, dishing out anything and everything Victorian, steampunk, the ‘60s and more! The Earl dishes out night two with the riotous ruckus that is Kool Kat Blair Crimmins and the Hookers (CD release) and the Banditos! Get your ‘70s vintage rock fix with Thelma & The Sleaze and M.O.T.O at The Star Bar! Get brassy with the Rebirth Brass Band in Heaven at the Masquerade! Or go to Hell and catch Save Ferris, Baby Baby and Burns Like Fire! Bluegrass it up at the Red Light Café with the Todd Prusin Experience and Void Luna! Make your way to Smith’s Olde Bar for a night with Little Perks in Paradise, the Bridget Kelly Band and Tony Levitas & The Levitations! Folk rock it up at Vinyl with Frontier Ruckus! Get your classic rock fix with The Barbaric Gentlemen at The Vista Room! Make your way to Fat Matt’s Rib Shack for a night with The VipersBlind Willie’s dishes out a night of blues with House Rocker Johnson & The Shadows! Stoney Brooks dishes out the blues at the Northside Tavern! St. James Live! delivers their Tribute to the Legends night every Saturday night!

Sunday, February 26

Get squeaky clean with The Clermont Girls Bike & Car Wash at B3 Bar & Grill (Austell)! Folk it up with Arlo Guthrie at Atlanta Symphony Hall! Step right up folks! It’s day 3 and your last chance to experience the Victorian life and alternate history at AnachroCon 2017! Jackson County Line delivers a night of Americana at the Crimson Moon Café! Get sweet and low down blues-style at the Northside Tavern with Uncle Sugar! And blues it up with Dr. Dixon at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack!

Ongoing

Get haunted Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” at the Fox Theatre, running through March 5!

Dad’s Garage’s Big Boozy Nerdy Game Night brings out the kid in you, every first Monday of the month at 7pm!

Union EAV rocks out with their Punk Rock Karaoke ATL, and every last Tuesday of the month!

Geek it up at My Parents’ Basement with their weekly Tuesday night Nerd Trivia at 8pm!

Nerd Film Mafia screenings at the Diesel Filling Station following NerdCore Trivia, every last Tuesday of the month!

The Plaza Theater Time-Warps it up as they screen, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) every Friday night, featuring the live cast of Lips Down on Dixie at midnight!

Every first and third Mondays are Big Band Nights at Café 290, featuring Joe Gransden and his amazing 16-piece orchestra playing jazz and swing standards in the tradition of The Glen Miller Orchestra and other legendary groups.  Second and fourth Mondays are Bumpin the Mango, ‘The groove that makes you want to move!’

Every first Wednesday is the Graveyard Tavern’s Graveyard Swing Night, featuring the swingin’ jazz and boogie-woogie sounds of the Savoy Kings!

If you have a suggestion for a future event that should be included in This Week in Retro Atlanta or see something we missed, please email us at atlretro@gmail.com.

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