This Week in ATLRetro – Home Edition #30 – Oct. 19-25, 2020

Posted on: Oct 19th, 2020 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

We at ATLRetro care about your health and well-being, so This Week we are bringing you our next installment of our Home-Edition, a week’s worth of spooky fun you can experience straight from your couch and safely socially distanced!

Manic Monday, October 19

Creep down to The Plaza Theatre for a screening of Joe Dante’s GREMLINS II: THE NEW BATCH (1990) at 8pm! Boogie down with Santana and Earth, Wind & Fire virtually, hosted by Cellairis Amphitheatre at 7pm! Get haunted virtually during DooGallery’s annual Haunted Art Show, running through Oct. 31! Do some good this spooky season and donate tasty treats during the Feed the Pumpkin Food Drive, hosted by The Point, through Oct. 31! Check out Brian Skutle’s Horror Soundscapes Virtual Concert at 8pm! Grab the kiddies and monster mash your way down to Legoland Discovery Center’s Brick or Treat event, running through Oct. 31! Get in the spooky mood during Sleepy Hollow Farm’s (Powder Springs) Fall Fun Season, running through Nov. 1! Rock out and tune into Kool Kat Rev. Andy Hawley’s Psychobilly Freakout Radio broadcasting on Garage 71 at 8pm, every Monday!

Timeless Tuesday, October 20

Have a bloody fantastic time at The Plaza Theatre’s screening of Tobe Hooper’s THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE II (1986) at 8pm! Get bewitched and take a Witch’s Brew Class with Damaris at Phoenix & Dragon Bookstore at 7pm! Get the rockin’ blues with Walter Trout at City Winery! Boogie down with BE Creative Arts Center’s virtual dance session, Soul Line Dance Tuesday at 8pm! Check out Matt Berry‘s album PHANTOM BIRDS out now on Acid Jazz records! Detroit noise-pop singer-songwriter Zilched (Chloë Drallos) just released her single and self-directed music video for “Velcro Dog” from debut album DOOMPOP – out October 23. We know you need your swingin’ Joe Gransden fix, so why not visit his site and catch a video or two of his, including him and his band swingin’ it up at Café 290, here

Way Back Wednesday, October 21

Get spooked with Nightmare Film Festival’s Masquerade 2020, a five-day digital showcase of terror and more, through Oct. 25! Make your way to the Landmark’s Midtown Art Cinema to catch Stevie Nicks 24Karat Gold the Concert, for one night only at 7pm! Doom metal it up with Amorphis live-streaming, hosted by The Masquerade at 8pm! The Breman Museum hosts a virtual film screening and discussion of Bob HerculesMIKVA! DEMOCRACY IS A VERB (2020) at 8pm! Get zombified at The Plaza Theatre’s screening of George A. Romero’s DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978) at 8pm! Your nightmares go live as Netherworld Haunted House kicks off this season of haunts, Wed.-Sun. through Nov. 1! Check out an abridged 60-minute version of William Shakespeare’s HAMLET – but with Hamlet being completely wasted, presented during Wet Willy Wednesdays at 8pm, through Nov. 11! Boogie down with Kool Kat VJ Anthony during his DREAMS Music Video Live Stream at 8pm! Check out Smith’s Olde Bar’s Wednesday Night Live online event, every Wednesday at 7:30pm! Get jazzy and live stream the Gordon Vernick Quartet hosted by the Red Light Café at 9pm! Catch Robyn Hitchcock every Wednesday at 9pm (details here), broadcasting from his kitchen all over the world! 

Throwback Thursday, October 22

The Atlanta Opera Players Opera it up and bring you PAGLIACCI outdoors under an open-sided circus big top at Oglethorpe University at 7:30pm, through Nov. 13! Or catch Smith & Myers (of Shinedown) during their Live from the Drive-In concert at Ameris Bank Amphitheatre at 8pm, hosted by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra! Get rocked at 37 Main in Avondale with 84, paying tribute to Eddie Van Halen! Get horrorfied at The Plaza Theatre’s screening of Rusty Cundieff’s TALES FROM THE HOOD (1995) at 8pm! Check out The Breman Museum’s new virtual exhibition A Jazz Memoir, Photography by Herb Snitzer. You can check out the virtual exhibition here! Check out the Emory Gamelan Ensemble at 7pm! Check out the title track “The New Ok!” American musician, songwriter, music producer, and multi-instrumentalist Kurt Baker has dropped a vintage 80’s-inspired music video for “Over You,” the lead single off his upcoming solo album AFTER PARTY set for release on October 23 via Wicked Cool Records. Hammonds House Museum presents new free virtual program: Conversations about Jazz with Carl Anthony, every other Thursday at 7:30pm, beginning July 9, through December 24. To RSVP, click here! 

Freaky Friday, October 23

Get monsterific during Profs & Pints Online: The Horror Within at 7pm! The Atlanta School of Photography haunts it up during their Frights & Lights event at the Decatur Cemetery at 6:30pm! Get haunted atThe Legion Theatre with TheatreExtreme during Cartersville Ghost Tours, through Oct. 24! Get the blues with Bill Sheffield during Outer Space Concerts at Waller’s! Get down during On Stage’s Spooktacular – A Virtual Cabaret at 8pm! Get folk-rocked with the Indigo GirlsLive from the Drive-In concert at Ameris Bank Amphitheatre at 8pm! Meet your doom during Vision Video’s A Southern Gothic virtual concert at 9:30pm! Time-warp it up during the Hard Rock Cafe’s Friday Night Frights – Dinner & Movie featuring THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW at 10pm!Get down with Interstellar Echos paying tribute to Pink Floyd at 37 Main! Spook on down to East Roswell Park with the kiddies for an Eerie Egg Hunt at 4:30pm! Be safe and get down during Centennial Olympic Park’s Big Night Out! Concert Series, running through Oct. 25! Tonight you won’t want to miss Moon Taxi and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, at 5:30pm! Check out the 35th Annual Halloween Hikes at the Chattahoochee Nature Center at 6pm! Jam it up with the Tom Hill Trio at Tucker Brewing Company! Or get folksy with Pajama Garden at Railroad Earth-ATL! Or indie folk it up with Noah Gunderson’s live-stream hosted by Eddie’s Attic at 7pm! The Atlanta Opera Players Opera it up and bring you THE KAISER OF ATLANTIS outdoors under an open-sided circus big top at Oglethorpe University at 7:30pm, through Nov. 14! Spook on down to Stone Mountain’s Pumpkin Festival – Play by Day, Glow by Night, running through Nov. 1! Aurora Theatre’s Lawrenceville’s Ghost Tours, haunting through Oct. 31! The Earl Smith Strand Theatre is providing virtual classic double features every Friday night via Twitch TV here!

Scintillating Saturday, October 24

Have a bloody fangtastic time during a screening of F. W. Murnau’s silent horror classic NOSFERATU (1922) at Dad’s Garage Drive-In with live music accompaniment by Moloq at 7:30pm! Spook it up and catch a free drive-in screening of Tim Burton’s BEETLEJUICE (1988) at Duluth High School at 9:30pm! Rev it up with Kool Kat Hot Rod Walt & The Psycho Devilles at The Metropolitan Club in Alpharetta! Join Bi+ Georgia for A Haunted Halloween Picnic at Historic Oakland Cemetery at 12pm! Hard Labor Creek State Park creeps it up with their Haunted Village at 1pm! Check out The Village Corner’s Oktoberfest Prost at 1pm! Or pull your lederhosen and celebrate Oktoberfest with The Before Times at Eventide Brewing at 2:30pm! Spend the night with Chilly Winds and Ben Tricky during Outer Space Concerts at Waller’s! Stomp on down to From the Earth Brewing Company in Roswell for The Randall Bramblett Band Album Pre-Release Drive-In at 7pm! Get rocked with Poison’us at 37 Main! Spend the night with Yacht Rock Revue during their online concert, hosted by Ameris Bank Amphitheatre! Or spook on over to the Fernbank’s Ghostly Gatherings event at 6:30pm! Be safe and get down during Centennial Olympic Park’s Big Night Out! Concert Series, running through Oct. 25! Tonight you won’t want to miss the Marcus King Trio and Futurebirds, at 5:30pm! Check out the 35th Annual Halloween Hikes at the Chattahoochee Nature Center at 6pm! Geek it up and join The Force during the Lightsaber Pub Crawl starting at 3pm! Sarah Peacock Comes to Red Boots from Her House at 7pm! Get spooked and take the kiddies to Boo at the Zoo, from 9am – 5pm! Robyn Hitchcock releases updated new single “The President” (2020 version) out now on Tiny Ghost Records! Raf Rundell shares new track “Monsterpiece” out now on Heavenly Recordings! 

Science ‘n’ more Sunday, October 25

Neon Horror and Mary’s bring you macabre musical mashups during their virtual Necrodance event at 3pm! B-Movie Bonfire brings you a free online screening of Larry Buchanan’s CURSE OF THE SWAMP CREATURE (1968) at 8:30pm! Check out Live from the Drive-In and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Music of David Bowie at 6pm! Get a little haunted shopping in at the 50th edition of The Bizarre Bazaar being held at The Imperial in Decatur at 12pm! Historic Oakland Cemetery hosts a Virtual Pumpkin Carving Workshop at 2pm! Check out Tucker Brewing Co.’s Sunday Outdoor Blues Jam! Get spooked and take the kiddies to Boo at the Zoo, from 9am – 5pm! Be safe and get down during Centennial Olympic Park’s Big Night Out! Concert Series, running through Oct. 25! Tonight you won’t want to miss Big Boi & Friends, at 5:30pm! 

 Help support our local businesses and artists (A-Z Listing)

 *A Cappella Books Join their VIP discount and membership club for discounts and more (A Cappella Choir). Members who would like to purchase anything online can do so by sending them your list via email or by phone order at (404) 681-5128. All choir members are eligible for free home delivery! Find out more and join here.
*Get monsterific and check out Monsterama’s Kool Kat Anthony Taylor’s Etsy page, Pop Kulture Vulture!
*Browse and purchase your favorite books and more at Atlanta Vintage Books!
*Why not check out our Kool Kat Derek Yaniger’s art and creator of our ATLRetro logo!
*Dirk Hays, purveyor of all that is monstrous and weird, makes art, so why not check out Art by Dirk!
*Geek it up and check out Dr. No’s Comics & Games Superstore (online store here) in Marietta offering gift certificates which can be purchased over the phone for later use and curbside pick-up!
*Jonathan Chaffin’s Horror in Clay, offers tiki mugs filling your every monster madness need!
*Check out Jeanne the Maskmaker’s Etsy page here!
*Get your vintage jewelry fix with Jezebel Blue and your retro style fix with 2the9s Retro!
*Kyle Yaklin gets creaturific with his creature masks and more!
*The Plaza Theatre Support by either purchasing vouchers for future events here, or by supporting their Go Fund Me here, or you can donate or become a member of The Plaza Theatre Foundation. Check out their online store here!
*Kool Kat Shane Morton,  and Silver Scream FX Lab offers one hellacious merch store with monster masks, art and more!

Category: This Week in ATLRetro, Uncategorized | TAGS: None

This Week in ATLRetro, Feb. 24 – March 1, 2020

Posted on: Feb 23rd, 2020 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

Shake a tail feather and come see what we’ve dug up for you This Week in ATLRetro!

Monday, February 24

Swing on by the Georgia Ensemble Theatre & Conservatory for Joe Gransden’s Big Band Concert Series! Don’t forget to catch the tail end of the 20th Annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival running through Feb. 27 at venues across Atlanta! 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!” Rock out and tune into Kool Kat Rev. Andy Hawley’s Psychobilly Freakout Radio broadcasting on Garage 71 at 8pm, every Monday! Get your vinyl fix at Little 5 Points Corner Tavern’s Records of Mass Destruction, every Monday! 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 25

Make your way to Landmark Midtown Art Cinema as they continue another killer Classics Series with a screening of Bob Rafelson’s FIVE EASY PIECES (1970) at 7pm! Get your party on at Blind Willie’s at their Mardi Gras Party featuring The Atlanta Crawdaddy’s! It’s Mardi Gras Madness at The Vista Room with Funk Cake & Fermentable Friends featuring The Black Sheep Ensemble, Tray Dahl (Jugtime Ragband) and more! Get rocked with the Mikey Erg Band, The Slow Death and more at The Earl! Get the rockin’ blues with the Crosstown Allstars at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Jam it up with Joe Gransden and his jazz jam session at Venkman’s! Hula on down to Waller’s Coffee Shop for a Ukulele Jam! And as always, groove on down with Swami Gone Bananas at the Northside Tavern!

Wednesday, February 26

Get rocked at 529 with Wildstreet, Voltage, JONNY D and Heretica! Make your way to the Carter Center for a night with Erik Larson (THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY) discussing his newest book, THE SPLENDID AND THE VILE! Get down with the Francisco Vidal Band and Daniel Toole at Eddie’s Attic! Get psychedelic with Howlin’ Rain, Sunwatchers and A Tower to the Stars at The Earl! Get criminal and catch a screening of Francis Ford Coppola’s THE GODFATHER (1972) at theatres across Atlanta [Northlake Festival Movie Tavern (Tucker); GTC Merchant’s Walk Cinemas (Marietta); Movie Tavern at Horizon Village (Suwannee); and The Springs Cinema & Taphouse (Sandy Springs)! Emory Cinematheque continues their African-Americans in American Film Series with a screening of Taylor Hackford’s AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN (1982) at 7:30pm in White Hall 208! The Highlander rocks out with their Punk/Metal/New Wave Karaoke Night, every Wednesday! Get jazzy at the Red Light Café with The Gordon Vernick Quartet! Funk it up with the Mike Veal Band at Tin Roof Cantina! Or make your way to the Northside Tavern for a rockin’ night of blues with the Tyler Neal Band! Get the blues with Frankie’s Blues Mission at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! 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 27

Take a walk down the “Dead Carpet” for the 4th annual Women in Horror Film Festival founded by Festival Directors Kool Kat Vanessa Ionta Wright (RAINY SEASON) and Samantha Kolesnik, killing it through Feb 29 at the The Earl Smith Strand Theater in Marietta. You won’t want to miss a horrorific lineup of shorts and feature-length films, vendors and special guests including Heather Langenkamp (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET), Amanda Wyss (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET), Adam Marcus (JASON GOES TO HELL), Marianne Maddalena (SCREAM; THE HILLS HAVE EYES) and more! Stomp on down to The Earl for a night with the Country Westerns, Teddy & The Rough Riders and Sunset Pig! Or Beer & Lounge it up at the Clermont Lounge with Chrome Castle and Metal McDonald! The Northside Tavern gets rockin’ with a little Chicago/Delta blues of The Breeze Kings! Get your boogie on at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack, as Chickenshack 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 28

It’s Day 2 of the Women in Horror Film Festival, so come on down and get your horror fix with a helluva line-up of killer films! Haunt on down to The Highlander for a night with El Capitan, Kool Kats The Casket Creatures, Captain  & Maybelle and more! Get rocked at The Earl during their Winter Weekender ATL through March 1! Make your way to the Out Front Theatre Company for In Vibrant Color: Celebrating Queer Black Cinema featuring a screening of Dee ReesBESSIE (2015), which explores the life of Bessie Smith, and more! Rock out at The Vista Room with The Spirit of Rush and Pink Zeppelin! Get the rockin’ blues with Joe Bonamassa at The Fox Theatre! Get on down to Buteco for FLASHBACK FRIDAY featuring a night of global 80s, 90s and 2o00s videos! Rockabilly it up with Slim & The Gems at Motorheads! Get funky with The Motet at Terminal West! Time-Warp it up 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 29

It’s your last chance to get terror-fied at the Women in Horror Film Festival, so come on out and get horrorfied with screenings of Stacey Palmer’s “Toothache,” Viva Tolar’s “Killer Kids,” (Kool Kat Dayna Noffke’s daughter) and more! Get rocked at The Earl during night 2 of Winter Weekender ATL through March 1! Just Roxie (formerly Roxie Watson) gets down at Eddie’s Attic! Get the rockin’ blues with Joe Bonamassa for a second night at The Fox Theatre! The Vista Room celebrates Capricorn Records with their Capricorn Record Revue featuring Chris Hicks (Marshall Tucker Band), Tommy Talton (Greg Allman Band), Bill Stewart (Greg Allman Band), Mike Veal and more! Get funky with The Motet for a second night at Terminal West! Boogie down to The Highlander for Destination Unknown – ‘80s New Wave Dance Party! Get adventurous and catch a matinee of Randal Kleiser’s BIG TOP PEE WEE (1988) at The Plaza Theater at 1pm! Blues rock it up with The Trouble Tones at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! And as always, DJ Romeo Cologne and DJ Kwasi Mandisco transforms the sensationally seedy Clermont Lounge into a ’70s disco/funk inferno late into the wee hours of the night.

Sunday, March 1

Get thrilled with a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) at theatres across Atlanta [Northlake Festival Movie Tavern (Tucker); GTC Merchant’s Walk Cinemas (Marietta); Movie Tavern at Horizon Village (Suwannee); and The Springs Cinema & Taphouse (Sandy Springs)! Beyond the Yellow Brick Road pays tribute to Elton John at The Vista Room! Get rocked at The Earl during day 3 of Winter Weekender ATL! Get the blues with Jet Black at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Funk it up with Risky Biscuit at Tin Roof Cantina! Get sweet and low down blues-style at the Northside Tavern with Uncle Sugar!


The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival celebrates its 20th Anniversary and kicks off tonight, running through Feb. 27 at venues across Atlanta! (LAST CHANCE!)

The Children’s Museum of Atlanta presents their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secrets of the Sewer exhibit, kicking tail through May 10!

New-Wave it up with Kool Kat VJ Anthony during an 80s New Wave Music Video Dance Party every 2nd Saturday of the month at Amsterdam Atlanta!

Have a deadly good time during Kool Kat VJ Anthony’s COFFIN CLASSICS: Goth Industrial Dance every 4th Saturday at Amsterdam Atlanta!

Geek it up as NerdLanta presents their Back to the ‘80s Movie Night, every third Thursday of the month, at Mother Bar+Kitchen!

ATL CRAFT presents a magical occult Movie Night every second Friday of every month!

My Parents’ Basement goes old-school with their monthly Pinball Tournament, every first Wednesday of the month!

Geek it up and get to bowlin’ at The Comet Pub & LanesComet Cosplay, getting nerdy the first Monday of every month!

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!

The Highlander rocks out with their Punk/Metal/New Wave Karaoke Night, every Wednesday!

Get your vinyl fix during Little 5 Points Corner Tavern’s Records of Mass Destruction! event, every Monday!

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

Category: This Week in ATLRetro, Uncategorized | TAGS: None

Tis The Season To Be Naughty: Horizon Theatre Unwraps Another Saucy Season of David Sedaris’ THE SANTALAND DIARIES

Posted on: Dec 1st, 2015 By:
Santaland Diaries_Horizon Theatre5 - Crumpet Bear Rug

Crumpet (Harold M. Leaver) in Horizon Theatre’s production of THE SANTALAND DIARIES. Courtesy of Horizon Theatre Company.

SANTALAND DIARIES by David Sedaris; adapted by Joe Mantello. Starring Harold M. Leaver, Lala Cochran, Enoch King. Horizon Theatre, Nov. 20-Dec. 31, Tickets here.

By Claudia Dafrico
Contributing Writer

It goes without saying that Atlanta has no shortage of Christmas traditions, from ice skating at Centennial Park to taking a trip down to Callaway Gardens to see the lights. But for those looking for a little more “naughty” than “nice” in their festivities, look no further than Horizon Theatre’s annual production of David Sedaris’ THE SANTALAND DIARIES. Adapted from Sedaris’ hilarious essay detailing his brief stint as one of Santa’s many elves in Macy’s Santaland, The Santaland Diaries serves to be a perfect mix of Christmas cheer and the biting wit that Sedaris has since become famous for. 

While Sedaris is known for many of his full-length essay collections, such as ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY and DRESS YOUR FAMILY IN COURDORY AND DENIM, his 1992 essay on his adventures in Santaland is what put him on the map in the first place. Sedaris, at the time a contributor for NPR, read the piece on the radio program THIS AMERICAN LIFE, and the absurd hilarity of Sedaris’ prose along with is dry, unique intonation brought the piece widespread popularity. A dramatized version for the stage was soon produced, and Atlanta’s own Horizon Theatre jumped at the chance to bring a new Christmas experience to the city. The theatre has since put on The Santaland Diaries every holiday season for the past 17 years, and shows no signs of stopping soon. 

Santaland Diaries_Horizon Theatre3f - Sleigh6

Courtesy of Horizon Theatre Company.

One of the many reasons why The Santaland Diaries has maintained such popularity is Harold M. Leaver’s impeccable performance as Crumpet, Sedaris’ elfin alter ego. Leaver has been playing Crumpet throughout the entire run of the show so far, and it’s clear that he has enjoyed every second of it. His performance is an impeccable rendition of Sedaris’ own diction with Leaver’s own personal touch and style, which proves to be highly entertaining to witness. At one point, Crumpet selects a hapless audience member to join him in his antics, and even the shyest of volunteers is eventually won over by his wit and charisma. Leaver snarks and frolics in a manner which Sedaris would surely be proud. 

Along for the ride are Crumpet’s two “sidekicks,” played by Atlanta theatre vets Lala Cochran and Enoch King, who show no hesitation in being completely ridiculous and outrageous. Because the two play every character other than Crumpet himself, they are constantly running backstage for quick changes that are seemingly impossible given the time constraints, but Cochran and King pull it off without flaw. It’s a treat to watch the duo play whiny children one second and vulgar adults the next, and when alongside Leaver’s sassy yet sweet Crumpet, the laughs are near constant. 

Santaland Diaries_Horizon Theatre8 - Wise Guy

Courtesy of Horizon Theatre Company.

The ambiance of the theatre itself is not to be overlooked, as the whole place is decked out in cozy Christmas cheer that invites you to relax and enjoy the eggnog-fueled frivolity that is The Santaland Diaries. The stage is a mini Winter Wonderland, and the intimate nature of the performance space lends itself to frequent audience interaction and participation (be prepared to shout and cheer along with your new elf friends). With reasonable tickets prices and a great location, there’s really no reason you shouldn’t make your way over to the Horizon this Christmas and treat yourself and a guest to a night with Crumpet and friends. You’ll never look at Lenox Square’s Santa the same way again, I can guarantee you that.

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

‘Tis the Season To Be Merry: Hark the Honkytonk Devils Sing! Whiskey Gentry Throws a Merry Y’All Tide Celebration at Variety Playhouse.

Posted on: Nov 28th, 2011 By:

When a band named The Whiskey Gentry throws a Merry Y’All Tide Celebration for the holidays, you might be expecting the same old twangy country renditions of favorite carols. But this spirited band loves to defy expectations, and their seasonal shindig at the Variety Playhouse this Friday Dec. 2  is no exception to that raucous rule. It’s not that The Whiskey Gentry aren’t influenced by the kind of ballads that came down from the hills of Appalachia, but like a certain rebellious red-nosed reindeer, they’re bound and determined to be musical misfits with a diverse list of influences that spans from Patsy Cline to Bela Fleck to Social Distortion. Yeah, that Social Distortion. The accent is on the Whiskey in this Gentry who speed things up with some fiery, high-energy licks that suggest punk and old-time rock ‘n’ roll and even a touch of vaudeville in their stage shows.

The Whiskey Gentry’s 3rd annual Merry Y’All Tide also features The Packway Handle BandShovels and Rope and My Three Keanes, an act made up of veteran producer John Keane, who has produced CDs for R.E.M., the Indigo Girls and The Whiskey Gentry’s 2011 CD, PLEASE MAKE WELCOME, and his two daughters. All proceeds from the $15 in-advance/$17.50–at-the-door benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank, and fans are encouraged to bring at least three cans for donation. As an extra incentive, the band will be giving our a specially designed poster to everyone who participates.

While The Whiskey Gentry prefer not to nail down their sound into any one genre, ATLRetro managed to corral lead singer Lauren Staley and guitarist Jason Morrow—a couple both musically and in real life—into a sneak preview of Merry Y’All Tide. While sitting an spell, they also opened up more than a bit about the band’s origins, why they love the holidays and their favorite whiskey. And when you’re done reading, check out this this nifty little video they made about this Friday’s show.

ATLRetro: How did Whiskey Gentry get started?
Lauren: Jason and I met around Christmas 2007, and we were both in separate bands at the time. Once we started dating, we decided to join forces and begin writing tunes together. We both came from different musical backgrounds, but we immediately found a niche together with this style of music.

For those who haven’t heard the band before, how do you describe your sound, how did it come about and how does it relate to what’s come before musically?
Jason: Describing our sound is probably the hardest thing we have to do in this band. We’re not country. We’re not bluegrass. We’re not punk or rock or old-timey. Yet we ARE all of these things at the same time. I think we take the formula of an old country tune, turn it up to 11, give it some punch, add pretty vocals, and top it off with a few of the best pickers in the southeast. This came about from all of our shared love for country and bluegrass, but we wanted to really dig in and add the fire behind it.

The Whiskey Gentry. Photo courtesy of The Whiskey Gentry.

Many contemporary bands couldn’t rush further away from the sentimentality of Christmas, but you’ve become known for an annual live holiday show, which is even bigger this year. What’s the origin story behind the Merry Y’All Tide Celebration?
Jason: We love everything about the holiday season – anything from cinnamon broomsticks to watching our nephews and nieces open gifts. It’s a festive time of year, and we’re a festive type of band. We love this season whether it’s “cool” or not.
Lauren: I think people love to get in the holiday spirit in general. People go bananas over it. Did you see the Black Friday riots? I mean, come on.

At Merry Y’All Tide, will you be playing your own takes on traditional carols or original songs? Is it all Christmas music or will you be playing non-holiday fare, too?
Lauren: Back in the day, any artist who was somebody cut a Christmas record. Those tunes are classics, and we like to do our own takes on those as well as newer Christmas tunes. The majority of our set will be non-holiday fare, but we’ve got some awesome holiday songs picked out to cover. But we can’t tell you which ones they are – it’s a surprise. 🙂

What other shenangans are planned? Is Santa gonna be there, tapping his feet, clapping his hands and swigging a PBR?
Jason: We hired the crappyist Santa we could fine, and he’s going to be there chugging whiskey and PBR and trying to get pretty girls to sit on his lap.

Much merriment was had at last year's Merry Y'All. Photo Courtesy of The Whiskey Gentry.

Why We Three Keanes, Packway Handle Band and Shovels and Rope?
Jason: Shovels and Rope because they are our new favorite band, also a husband and wife duo. Packway Handle Band because Josh and the boys are some of our good friends and were part of our Christmas show last year. We Three Keanes because John Keane helped us make the best record of our career thus far, and he and his twin daughters will be doing a 20-minute, all-holiday song set promoting their Christmas record. He will also be sitting in on pedal steel with us.

Why did you want to partner with the Atlanta Community Food Bank and the Georgia Conservancy?
Lauren: We think the holidays are about giving, and we wanted to do our part to help out.

Why does your CD, PLEASE MAKE WELCOME, make the perfect Christmas present, and will there ever be a MERRY Y’ALL TIDE CD?
Lauren: Because it fits easily into a stocking and is also super easy to wrap—if you suck at wrapping like I do. And who knows—maybe we will have a Merry Y’all Tide CD for next year’s show!

What’s next for the Whiskey Gentry? You’re about to embark on a Southeast tour, right?
Jason: We are basically on tour every weekend, Thursday to Sunday. We already have 36 dates booked in 2012, so yes, we will be busy.

Finally, got to ask, what’s the band’s favorite whiskey, why and how do you drink it­- straight up or with ice?
Lauren: Ironically, I hate whiskey, so I’m a terrible person to answer this question.
Jason: If I had to speak for everyone, probably Jameson. In shots!

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Retro Review: Vengeance is PUMPKINHEAD’s or Be Careful What You Wish For

Posted on: Nov 6th, 2011 By:

By Tom Drake
Contributing Blogger

Splatter Cinema Presents PUMPKINHEAD (1988); Dir: Stan Winston; Screenplay by Ed Justin, Mark Patrick Carducci et al; Starring: Lance Henriksen, Jeff East, John D’Aquino, Kimberly Ross; Tues. Nov. 8; 9:30 PM; Plaza Theatre; Trailer here.

Short: “There is a Heavy Price.”

Medium: PUMPKINHEAD is about a father (Lance Henriksen) wronged, and the price paid by everyone around him for his vengeance. A dirt biking crew of college kids goes up into the mountains for some good publicity shots and in the process kills an innocent child accidentally. The grieving father (Ed) goes to an old woman who summons a powerful vengeance demon to kill them all. As the demon begins to kill those involved, Ed can feel it and tries to change his mind. The old woman laughs and tells him that once the process has begun, it can’t be stopped. Pumpkinhead begins to slaughter the folks one by one, and none of the locals will help them because they’re “marked.” That is until a teenager takes pity on them and tries to hide the last ones alive in a church. This doesn’t work out too well, but it does buy them some time until Ed finds them and tries to help them kill the demon. They finally find a link between Ed and Pumpkinhead, so one manages to live. Barely.

Maximum Verbosity: I think fictional universes are dreary places…primarily because a lot of the fiction that we enjoy as fairly common place doesn’t seem to exist in them. The laws of sympathetic magic are fairly clear, and the link between Ed and the demon is rather fascinatingly well done. But it takes several fairly obvious instances for anyone involved to figure out the link. Though to be fair, in the horror genre, figuring anything out at all when faced with blindingly terrifying otherworldly horror is an amazing feat. Being quick about your wits like Ash (EVIL DEAD) or Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a feat unto itself. And usually that level of moxie cannot happen until it has been earned by several harrowing experiences.

Lance Henriksen plays a grieving father who conjures a vengeance demon in PUMPKINHEAD (1988) Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

For a low budget horror movie of the late ‘80s, PUMPKINHEAD has very good production values. It also has a very complicated script. No one (well, almost no one, except Joel [John D’Aquino] who is just generically a dick) is really black or white. I personally found Ed’s axis to be the most fascinating. The movie could have worked JUST fine without Ed changing at all or having him die at the resurrection of Pumpkinhead. But it didn’t work like that. Ed felt and saw the pain that he had caused and, as a result, began to try to save those whose doom he had sealed. In the end, only this choice allows the innocents in the group, most of whom were actually trying to help his son, live.

PUMPKINHEAD is an excellent metaphor for the futility of vengeance and the axiom that no good deed goes unpunished. Aside from Joel (who is just generally a dick), no one wishes ill will or malice. And the rough hill justice is far from perfect. After all, what is done to the locals who all sit quietly by and ignore the demon hunting the innocent victims around it? And yet, it is a fascinating reflection of their locality. Without the presence of the local law, Pumpkinhead is a fiercely independent figure of vengeance which no one, knowing the price, would invoke lightly. Interfering with his administration of hellish vengeance carried an even heavier price, and Bunt (Brian Bremer), the teenage local, knew the laws of his land and chose to disobey them anyway. His mercy was not rewarded.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the use of a flamethrower. Also of particular note is Pumpkinhead himself, who has no lines, but obviously has quite a personality. I’d say he steals the show, but since the name of the movie is PUMPKINHEAD, he really just sort of keeps it. He not only kills, but he kills with skilled taunting cruelty that very few other horror villains really match. It is irony with cruel casual gore but it doesn’t drown us in it and doesn’t celebrate it. It just is, which is what Pumpkinhead should be. A force of nature.

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Hey, Dirty South Derby Girls, You Rock!

Posted on: Aug 4th, 2011 By:

ATLRetro sends a BIG CONGRATS to Atlanta Rollergirls‘s all-star team, the Dirty South Derby Girls (DSDG), who have earned a spot in the 2011 WFTDA South Central Region Playoffs in Kansas City, MO, Sept. 30-Oct. 2! They’ll compete for 1 of 3 spots in the 2011 WFTDA Championships! Good luck, gals! We know you’ll do Atlanta proud!!!!

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Sleep Tight, Pussycat

Posted on: Feb 5th, 2011 By:

Tura Satana in FASTER, PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL! (1965)

A sad farewell to the legendary Tura Satana. No details yet, but her nine lives expired yesterday at age 76. Macabre Marilyn’s Some Like It Haute blog reports a press release will be forthcoming. Read a brief tribute at DreadCentral.  We echo Tura’s Official Website that “you have no idea how much you will be missed…”

Great interview from “THE WILD WORLD OF TED V. MIKELS” (2008) here.

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Vintage Styles Reborn Anew

Posted on: Feb 4th, 2011 By:

In upcoming weeks, ATLRetro will Shop Around on Fridays, giving you tips on the best vintage & reproduction shopping. For now, though, read a great New York Times article from Wed. Feb. 2 on my favorite growing fashion trend of new clothes with a vintage look here.

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This Week in Retro Atlanta Jan. 24-30, 2011

Posted on: Jan 24th, 2011 By:

By the clicking of these keys, something Retro this way comes… The first installment of “This Week in Retro Atlanta” won’t be as complete as I hope to make it. But everything has to start somewhere—or in this case, some time. So the time has come simply to just get the first installment of ATLRetro’s top picks of things to do this week posted.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Welcome to ATLRetro!

Posted on: Oct 18th, 2010 By:
Coming January 2011. Welcome to ATLRetro, Atlanta’s only comprehensive guide to 20th century pop culture activities in the 21st century, with an emphasis from the Roaring Twenties to the Outrageous Eighties and everything in between. Bear with me as I get the kinks all worked out, but soon you’ll be able to click here to find out what’s happening every week in burlesque, big band and swing dance, jazz, rockabilly, punk rock, disco, roller derby, vintage clothes and collectibles, cocktails, dining, classic movies including cult and exploitation films, classic TV, classic cars and more.

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