ATLRetro’s Throwback to the 20th Century St. Valentine’s Day Guide 2018 – Our Top Retro Picks for Gettin’ Comfy With Cupid!

Posted on: Feb 7th, 2018 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

Hey all you dapper fellas and glitzy gals! Cupid got your tongue? Be ours this year and celebrate all that is vintage and Valentine’s in ATLRetro!

1. CROONERS & RED HOT JAZZ. Croon on down to The Earl Smith Strand Theatre for The Sam Cooke Experience, featuring Markell Williams dishing out a soulful revue of “Cupid” proportions at 8pm; $35/$45 (Feb. 14)! Moon River on down to Rialto Center for the Arts for the GSU Jazz Band’s tribute to Johnny Mercer, featuring Joe Gransden and Francine Reed! Swing on by Venkman’s for a romantic night featuring Vince Guaraldi’s classic BE MY VALENTINE CHARLIE BROWN, performed by Dave Ellington’s Peanut Gallery at 6:30pm (Feb. 14)! Or jazz it up during the Emory Jazz Fest’s free Big Band Night at the Emerson Concert Hall, featuring Peter Erskine, Darek Oles, Gary Motley and the Emory Big Band at 8pm (Feb. 10). The Vista Room gets jazzy with Joe Gransden’s Valentine’s Dinner Show at 7:30pm, featuring a Prix Fixe Menu (Feb. 14)! Jazz it up with Diana Krall at Atlanta Symphony Hall at 8pm (Feb. 9)! The Fox Theatre gets some soul and jazzes it up with their 12th Annual Valentine Celebration for Lovers & Friends featuring Jeffrey Osborne and Rachelle Ferrell (Feb. 10)!

2. BLACKHEARTS ROCK. Rocksteady on down to The Star Bar for their Valentine’s Rock –N- Ska! event featuring Kitty Rose & The Rattlers and Kool Kat Rev. Andy Hawley with Southern Ska Syndicate at 10pm (Feb. 16)! Spend Valentine’s Day with Hello Ocho at The Earl dishing out a night of psyche-y Kraut rock featuring Adron, Mick Mayer and more (Feb. 14)! Rock out with Boygirlfriends, Cuntry and more at 529 (Feb. 14)!

3.
OH LA LA!  Burly-Q and karaoke get twisted with The Candybox Revue’s Love and Anti-Love Karaoke at Gaja Korean Bar at 9:30pm (Feb. 8)! Take a peek behind the red curtain during RITUAL’s Moulin Rouge Valentine’s Party at Heretic, featuring DJs, tarot readings, dancing and more from 10pm – 3am (Feb. 9)! Get sinfully seductive at and let Kool Kat Katherine Lashe and her burly-Q gals of Syrens of the South spice up your Valentine’s evening with their Tease Tuesday Burlesque: Hearts & Heartbreakers event, shakin’ it up at the Red Light Café (Feb. 13)! Shake a tail feather this Valentine’s Day at Paris On Ponce’s 14th Annual Valentine’s Day Burlesque with two tantalizing shows each night, 7:30pm and 9:30pm; $45 general/VIP tables (Feb. 9 & 10)!

4. BLOODY HEARTS ‘N’ ARTS.  The Highlander spills their ode to love gone wrong with their Broken Hearts & Bloody Valentines Art Show, from 9pm -12am (Feb. 9)! The Highland Inn Ballroom & Lounge hosts an Inn-Love-Artists-Market, featuring 25 vintage and more vendors from 5-10pm (Feb. 11)! Get wickedly weird this season of love and lust and pick up some local art goodies at the Euclid Avenue Yacht Club’s Lovecrafts: Valentine’s Edition from 1-6pm (Feb. 11)!

5. MEDIEVAL & CLASSIC. And for all you knights in shining armor, get really retro and romantic with the royal one in your life and joust on down to Medieval Times for their Valentine’s Celebration!  $110 gets you 2 admissions, a photo, champagne in keepsake glasses and more (Feb. 3-14)!

6. GROOVIN’ UP SLOWLY.  Be a smooth operator and sail on down to Park Tavern in Piedmont Park for Yacht Rock Schooner’s evening of smooth and silly love songs! It’ll be an evening of smooth 70s and 80s love songs, so put on your dancin’ shoes and come aboard (Feb. 9); Doors at 7 pm! ATL Collective presents Sade’s “Love Deluxe” at Venkman’s, 6pm/10pm (Feb. 10)! Dance Your Valentine Off with Susi French Connection at Avondale Towne Cinema at 9pm (Feb. 17)! Spend Valentine’s Day with The Kennedys (Blue Moon Orchestra) at the Red Clay Theatre, doors at 6:30pm (Feb. 14)!

7. LOVIN’ ON THE SILVER SCREEN.  ‘Here’s looking at you kid!’ Take a peek at love and romance Old Hollywood-style at The Earl Smith Strand Theater as they screen Michael Curtiz’s classic romantic drama, CASABLANCA (1942), starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman at 8pm. Live organ pops variety show and sing-along featuring The Strand’s Mighty Allen Theatre Organ at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $7 for students, seniors, and military. Or if you’re lookin’ for a little late-night rendezvous with a few transsexual aliens, stick around and catch The Strand’s screening of Jim Sharman’s THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) at 11:59pm, for $10 (Feb. 10)! For those who can’t make it to Marietta, the Aurora Cineplex in Roswell is also screening Michael CurtizCASABLANCA at 7pm with special treats for the ladies (Feb. 10 & 14)! Or catch a screening of Curtiz’ classic during Northlake Festival Movie Tavern’s Flashback Cinema series at 2:30pm/7:30pm (Feb. 11)! WUSSY MAG presents a 7pm Galentine’s Day event and screening of Hugh Wilson’s FIRST WIVES CLUB (1996) at The Plaza Theater (Feb. 14)!

8. CUPID’S CULINARY DELIGHTS.  Hula on over to Trader Vic’s and escape into the island atmosphere of love with their 4-course Prix Fixe Menu, $65/person (Feb. 14). The French are known for their romantic gestures, so get romantic at Petite Violette (formerly Petite Auberge) for their special 5-course Valentine’s Day Menu beginning at 5:30pm, featuring live entertainment and more for $74.95/person (Feb. 14)!

9. WE GOTH YOU COVERED.  For the darkly romantic, The Oakland Cemetery offers their Love Stories Tour, complete with tales of loves past led by a Victorian-era clad docent. Tours last an hour, just long enough to meet a kindred spirit or even a new love (Feb. 10 & 11)! Spook on down to Folklore Haunted House in Acworth for their My Bloody Valentine haunt at 7:30pm (Feb. 16 & 17)!

10.
COMEDY, THEATRE, & SCIENCE, OH MY! Battle & Brew gets geeky mushy with their COSPLAY: ROMANCE NIGHT at 8pm (Feb. 10)! The Fernbank Museum delivers a night of science ‘n’ romance with their Fernbank After Dark: Love on the Brain event (Feb. 9)! Or be a pair of star-crossed lovers as the Shakespeare Tavern performs their special Valentine’s production of “Romeo & Juliet” at 7:30pm (Feb. 14)!

Category: Features, Tis the Season To Be... | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kool Kat of the Week: Beth Kargel, AKA Kittens Aplenti, Gets Shaken (Not Stirred) at The Highlander with Her Covert Cohorts, Band. James Band. as They Raise a Ruckus in Celebration of the Newest Bond Film, SPECTRE

Posted on: Nov 3rd, 2015 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

Band. James Band, Atlanta’s own rockin’ masterminds and a riotous tribute to a “not-so-secret agent” dish out a night of nostalgia ‘n’ espionage this Friday, Nov. 6 at The Highlander, along with The Shut-Ups, purveyors of new wave power pop, and a whole lotta down ‘n’ dirty noise pop with Map of the Moon! Grab your friends andyour foes, and boogie on down to the slickest free shindig in town while knocking back a couple martinis in celebration of the release of the 24th highly-anticipated Bond flick, SPECTRE, (dir. Sam Mendes) out in theatres that same night. Exploits begin at 9 pm sharp!

Band. James Band. [James Band (guitar/vocals); Kittens Aplenti (keyboard/vocals); Grillz (bass) and Huge Drag (drums)], began their rockin’ covert operation in 2012 and obviously is heavily influenced by the musical masterminds behind the Bond franchise (John Barry, Shirley Bassey, Paul McCartney, et al.) as well as other ‘60s party bands and tunes. However, they’ve also been known to sling a good ‘80s tune and promise a tantalizing taste of their own “Cold-War Paranoia-Pop” this Friday night! Diamonds may be forever, but this shaken’ (not stirred) shindig is a one-time deal! (This message will self-destruct!)

L-R: Grillz, Huge Drag, James Band and Kittens Aplenti; Photo by HOOPIX

L-R: Grillz, Huge Drag, James Band and Kittens Aplenti – Photo by HOOPIX

ATLRetro caught up with Kittens Aplenti for a quick interview about her cronies in Band. James Band.; their favorite not-so-secret spy; and the band’s mission to make sure you die another day so you can spy it up this Friday! And while you uncover our little Q&A with Kool Kat of the Week Miss Aplenti, get an earful of Band. James Band’s take on “Secret Agent Man” during their 2012 East Atlanta Strut performance, here!

ATLRetro: Band. James Band; such an ingenious name for a tribute to a not-so-secret agent! Can you thrill our readers with tales of how you and your own agents got together as a band?

Kittens Aplenti: “Well, the rain exploded with a mighty crash as we fell into the sun. And the first one said to the second one there, ‘I hope you’re having fun.”‘ – Oh, wait, those are the lyrics to “Band On the Run.” Beg your pardon, we don’t usually dwell much on our past. After all, you only live twice. Though it has been rumored that an origin story would be revealed this week, hasn’t it? OK, suffice it to say that Kittens Aplenti once had the opportunity to sing “You’re So Vain” – a song that was probably about James.  Then she wanted to perform the theme to “The Spy Who Loved Me,” and she banded together friends and foes to do so – though nobody does it better than Carly Simon.

James Band - Photo by Jenifer Carter

James Band – Photo by Jenifer Carter

We see that you’ve overtaken the criminal masterminds with an arsenal of ‘60s party music and film theme songs. Which film’s theme is your favorite and why?

We’re quite fond of the theme from ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE. The constantly descending chromatic lines reflect the movie’s downhill skiing sequences, a testament to the genius of John Barry. The minions in the band like it because it’s abbreviated in the set list as OHMSS; when chanted aloud, it creates the focus and clarity needed for carrying out codas and counterintelligence.

Your top influences are listed as the musical geniuses behind the James Bond franchise; John Barry, Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Nancy Sinatra, et. al. Can you tell our readers what drew you to the infamous and slickest spy around, as well as his musical cohorts? And why you want to share the love of the genre with your fans?

These melodies and memories are shared experiences across audiences. They guarantee a good time and much more than a quantum of solace. In addition to theme songs and ‘60s spy favorites, readers should be alerted to Cold-War Paranoia-Pop as well. We are likely to deploy a number of ‘80s favorites for those who are as fond of the Reagan era as we are. For your ears only!

Any adventurous tales of when you began to get interested in playing music?

Our leading man began playing piano like a dutiful lad before picking up an axe. The world is not enough for his talent. He axes while other men just balk. “He looks at this world and wants it all. So he strikes, like Thunderball.”

Photo by O-Jen Ishii Photography; L-R: Grillz, Kittens Aplenti

L-R: Grillz, Kittens Aplenti – Photo by O-Jen Ishii Photography

As purveyors of kitschy tongue-in-cheek underground shenanigans, can you tell our readers who are some of your favorite local bands? And why you love the Atlanta music scene?

A-ha! It would be hard to identify favorites. The camaraderie and formidable talent in the Atlanta scene knock the living daylights out of us.  Millionaire developer Mack Zoloft has approached the minions in the band with a scheme. By tearing down all of the local rehearsal spaces to build condos, we can prevent all the other bands from practicing. We’ll dominate!

If you could put together a dream line-up of bands to play with [still around or not], who would it be and why?

We’d love to perform with our local friends Smithsonian and Clashinista. These are both British-inspired send ups as well.

Anything scandalous planned for your shakin’ and not stirred shindig, probing The Highlander on Nov. 6?

The Shut-Ups and Map of the Moon have been licensed to thrill, so you all simply must plan to die another day so

Photo by O-Jen Ishii Photography; Huge Drag

Huge Drag – Photo by O-Jen Ishii Photography

that you can join us. The Man With the Golden Drum is going to shake things up and bang out an electric, nay explosive, addition to the set inspired by a few beloved bonnie Scotsmen.

What’s next for Band. James Band?

Let’s just say our relationships don’t seem to last. There’s always the possibility that we might reboot with a new cast of characters!

Can you tell our readers something you’d like folks to know that they don’t know already?

We could tell you but then we’d have to kill you…This policy does make it a little difficult to promote our shows.

What question do you wish somebody would ask you and what’s the answer?

Q: Do you expect me to talk?   A: No, we expect you to listen!

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

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