ATLRetro’s Throw Back to the 20th Century New Years Eve Guide – Our Top Ten Vitally Vintage Eras for Toasting 2016

Posted on: Dec 29th, 2015 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

Ring in the New Year in vintage-style with Retro Atlanta!  Come celebrate what once was in 2015 and welcome with open arms what will be in 2016! Start the New Year off with a bang with all the hoppin’ shindigs we’ve found for you!Basement

1. Hey, Daddy-O! Twist into 2016 at The Basement during Electric WesternsKeep on Movin! New Year’s Rock and Soul Dance Party! featuring a night chock full of ‘60s rock-n-roll, soul, doo-wop and more! The DJs will have you hoppin’, so get dressed up to boogie down for $10! Complimentary midnight toast to ring in the New Year and doors at 8pm! Get some soul this New Years Eve with Kool Kat Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics at Venkman’s! Doors at 9:30pm and tickets include a champagne toast at midnight! Or let The Star Bar show you where it’s at during their New Years’ Eve Blowout Party! featuring Sidney Eloise & The Palms, Baby Baby, Cousin Dan and How I Became the Bomb!

Clermont2. Deep Roots & Old-Time Pandemonium. Ponder 2015 by getting to the root of it all! For a New Year’s Eve filled with foot stompin’ Americana, blues and rock ‘n’ roll, make your way to Eddie’s Attic for two hoppin’ helpings of the sultry Michelle Malone & Friends and her New Year’s Eve show! First show at 7:30pm! Second show starts at 10:30pm! Or get toasty in an old-timey way, while getting down and dirty at the seedy land of debauchery, the Clermont Lounge, as they bring you a rockin’ hootenanny this NYE with Urban Pioneers, Coldheart Canyon and The Entertainment Crackers! Doors at 9pm with a free champagne toast at midnight!

3. That’s Why They Call it the Blues. For some classic blues and jazz, shimmy on down to Blind Willie’s for their New Year’s Eve Party withThe Empress of the BluesSandra Hall & The Shadows! Doors at 7pm and $50 gets you guaranteed seating, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight! Fire up the blues at the Northside Tavern with Mudcat’s Rockin’ Venkman'sBlues New Year’s Eve Party featuring Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck, Eddie Tigner, Lola, Albert White, the Atlanta Horns and more! $20 cover includes party favors and champagne with doors at 9pm! Fat Matt’s Rib Shack dishes out the low-down dirty blues with the hard-stompin’ Beverly “Guitar” Watkins this New Year’s Eve! And blues on down to Darwin’s Burgers & Blues for their New Year’s Eve Blues Bash with the Larry Griffith Band! $10 gets you appetizers, desserts and a champagne toast at midnight! Doors at 9:30pm!

4. Smooth Operator. Get ‘70s toasty and smooth in 2016 with Yacht Rock Revue at Park Tavern! And you won’t want to miss special guests Yacht Rock Schooner bringin’ in the funk! So, rock on down and set sail into 2016 with Yacht Rock Revue’s NYE party, with doors at 9pm and all-inclusive food and drinks!

5. Life’s A Beach! Hula your way into 2016 at Trader Vic’s New Years Eve in Paradise featuring Kool Kat Joshua Longino and The Disapyramids dishing out the sounds of surfer girls, beach blanket bingo, hot rods and twist contests, with a midnight champagne toast, all for $10! Doors at 9pm! Surf into the New Year with Surfer Blood, Kool Kats Gringo Star and Shantih Shantih at Aisle 5!

Aisle56. Play that Funky Music! Get funky and ring in the New Year with a little old school funk ‘n’ soul! Toast the New Year at the Variety Playhouse with The Motet and The Main Squeeze, funkin’ it up for $30 in advance or $35 at the door! Doors at 8pm!

7. The Cure for Bananarama. New-Wave is the epitome of 80’s pop culture, so celebrate 2015 while toasting 2016 by continuing The Shelter’s NYE tradition at the Famous Pub with Kool Kat VJ Anthony at their 7th Annual New Wave New Year’s Eve Party! Dress New-Wave, win prizes! The festivities begin at 10pm and $10 gets you party favors, a champagne toast at midnight, a ton of super rare New-Wave music videos and a bunch more surprises, so come on out and party like it’s 1989! Or get really ‘80s New Year’s Eve style at Bone Lick BBQ at their NYE in 3-D ‘80s-themed 3-D bash! Ring in the New Year with free retro arcade games, 3-D movies, complimentary champagne and more! Tickets are $5 in advance and $45 at the door and event begins at 9pm! You won’t want to miss Kool Kat Becky Cormier Finch with Denim Arcade dishing out their ‘80s tributes at Wild Wing Café in Suwannee! Doors at 9:30pm! And the Fox S.O.BTheatre’s Official NYE After-Party burns down the house with Heart Byrne, paying tribute to The Talking Heads at 1:30am!

8. Hey! Ho! Let’s Go! Get rebellious and rock into the New Year with some old school punk, revved up rockabilly and plain ol’ retro-inspired rock-n-roll! The Earl delivers a rockin’ NYE Bash punkin’ you into the New Year with The Coathangers, Black Linen, Bad Spell, and Kool Kat Rod Hamdallah’s new gig, The Gartrells at 9pm! Grease it up at Mule Camp Tavern’s New Years Eve Rumble featuring Kool Kat Hot Rod Walt and the Psycho-DeVilles revvin’ you into 2016! Rock out in the Music Room at Smith’s Olde Bar for a New Years Eve Tribute Bash with Smithsonian and Clashinista for $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Doors at 8pm! Or ring in the New Year with a Brit Invasion in the Atlanta Room with The Backyard Birds! $10 cover and doors at 8pm! Rock across the pond to the The Earl Smith Strand Theatre for A Stone’s New Year’s Eve with Stephen Skipper & His Rolling Stones Tribute Band with The Dirty Doors, from 8:30-11:45pm! Ring in the New Year with some old-school blues rock with Gregg Allman at Atlanta MasqueradeSymphony Hall at 9pm! And jam into the New Year with a night of Widespread Panic at the Fox Theatre!

9. We’re Stayin’ Alive! In Retro Atlanta that is! Boogie on down to Mary’s in East Atlanta for their annual Attack of the New Year’s Eve Party Monster event, featuring DJ 5 HR Boner spinning your favorite disco, indie, house and rock! There’s no cover and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight! Celebration begins at 9 pm!

10. Retro Geek-A-Rama! Corndog it up at Pallookaville this New Years! You’re guaranteed a funky time that includes a kid’s corndog drop followed by the grown-folks’ celebration! The celebration is free and starts at 8:30pm! Or take a fantastical demented trip to 2016 through Dante’s Labyrinth at the Masquerade this New Years! Masks and/or face paint is required to get down with the gnomes, trolls, maidens and devils, so come on out and get demented! Hey all you super-mutants and post-apocalyptic heroes, why not ring in the New Year with Kool Kat Rev. Andy as he DJs it up at Battle and Brew’s New Years Eve Vault Party! Doors at 8pm!






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Atlanta Film Festival Retro Spotlight: THE SAPPHIRES

Posted on: Mar 19th, 2013 By:

Ed. Note: THE SAPPHIRES played Sunday at The Plaza, but with the Atlanta Film Festival running through Sun. March 24, there are still plenty of movies to come. Check out our top Retro picks here.

Retro Review by Andrew Kemp
Contributing Writer

Wayne Blair’s THE SAPPHIRES is a true-life story about race, war, music and love, a tale about four Aborigine women who rose above hatred and tragedy to represent Australia to the world just months after the country began acknowledging their people’s rights. It’s an incredibly compelling story that’s unfortunately resulted in a less than compelling film that distills the events down to their most obvious, predictable bullet points. The movie carries a tune, but there’s no feeling in the song.

Late-60s race relations in Australia weren’t much better than in the United States, and in some respects, the situation in Australia was worse. A government policy (dubiously presented as protecting black culture) endorsed the outright theft of fair-skinned Aborigine children, who were then raised in the cities as whites—the so-called Stolen Generations. Two 1967 amendments to the Australian constitution granted Aborigines a bank of basic human rights, as up to that point, the official position of Australia, dating back to colonization, was that the people were part of the country’s “flora and fauna.” Unfortunately, there as here, progress was slow to change minds. Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, and Miranda Tapsell star as a quartet of rural Aborigine country and western singers struggling to find a white audience for their music in 1968. An Irish musician (BRIDESMAIDSChris O’Dowd, playing the Buttermaker role of the curmudgeonly drunk) discovers the girls at a talent show, and the group is soon off to Vietnam to entertain the American troops, but not before using a montage to learn the far sexier and, as the movie puts it, blacker sounds of soul music.

Audiences in love with soul will have the most fun with THE SAPPHIRES as the soundtrack of period tunes is by far the most engaging part of the film, and the production doesn’t skimp on period costumes and 60s flair. Unfortunately, as drama, the movie doesn’t offer very much. THE SAPPHIRES is built as a pleasant crowd-pleaser, coasting along on charm and good music, without a hint of dramatic urgency. Blair and Briggs thankfully ditch the band movie tropes, so there’s no big venue the girls are trying to reach, no agent to impress and no money needed to save the farm. But the filmmakers never find another story on which to hang the film’s characters and themes. Instead, once the gang arrives in Vietnam, the story splinters out into a series of romantic subplots that all play out more or less as you expect. Only once in the film do the girls brush up against the reality of war in Vietnam, and the rest of the time is spent romancing soldiers, singing songs and bickering about who’s in charge.

The Sapphires perform. Hopscotch Pictures, 2013.

Which is a shame, because the film does boast some fine performances from actors who deserved more to do. There’s no movie star, no Beyonce, hiding in the group of girls, and so they’re allowed to blend together as a true ensemble. If there is a standout, it’s Mailman, who plays the toughest of the women and the least willing to be bullied by a world that she sees as inherently unjust. She makes for an unlikely and refreshing romantic lead, and her pairing with O’Dowd is charming and believable. Also making an impression is Shari Sebbens as a person struggling with her racial identity after growing up in Melbourne as one of the stolen children, and her racially-charged tension with Mailman’s character provides an occasional dramatic spark.

In fact, THE SAPPHIRES is most affecting when it takes the time to explore the thorny racial issues of the 60s, including one touching scene that shows the reaction in Vietnam to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, a reminder that the path of racial justice here in the south had many observers around the world. Unfortunately, the film never quite finds its footing in the personal stories as it does in the grander themes. The performances and music are nice enough, but those looking for a deeper or more enriching experience may be disappointed. THE SAPPHIRES is all melody in search of a hook.

Andrew Kemp is a screenwriter and game writer who started talking about movies in 1984 and got stuck that way. He writes at and hosts a bimonthly screening series of classic films at theaters around Atlanta.

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