What time is dusk?: Last Wednesday, I tried to find out what time the first Screen on the Green show of the summer at Piedmont Park started. The listings said dusk. Am I being a brat by asking that the organizers pick a time with actual numbers in it? I'd even settle for something vague like 9'ish.
I showed up at 7:30 and spent about two hours before the movie started asking moviegoers what time they thought dusk was. I got answers ranging from 7:30 to 9:45. Nobody knew for sure, but nobody really cared either. Everyone seemed content to enjoy a relaxing early evening picnic in the park. The crowd was a mix of imported-beer people, red-wine people, and white-wine people (mostly Chardonnay). Perhaps to soothe my dusk-driven angst, one picnicker offered me marinated olives.
The movie that night was the 1951 musical An American in Paris, starring Gene Kelly who, unsurprisingly, plays an American in Paris. It's just the sort of film I want to see while relaxing in the park, assuming I know what time to get there.
The Beach Boy(s): On Friday, I caught the Beach Boys show at Chastain. While it conjures images of sun, surf and cars, the name doesn't so much conjure as much as explicitly promises more than one Beach Boy. Nevertheless, Mike Love was the only original Beach Boy on the stage. Carl and Dennis Wilson are dead, and Brian Wilson and Al Jardine are touring on their own.
Despite the band's questionable pedigree and the evening showers, I had a great time, as did the mostly baby boomer crowd. The show was a mix of their (his) '60s hits sprinkled with some '50s doo-wop songs that inspired them (him). The Chastain audience's love for Love is understandable when you realize that half of the songs he's singing are about driving around in big cars, something with which Atlantans can certainly identify. Personally, my love of Love derives from the debt of gratitude I owe him for teaching me how, in the song "California Girls," to geographically differentiate women's dominant traits. For example, girls from the East Coast exhibit exceptional hipness while the speech patterns of Southern girls cause you to lose consciousness.
I'm Glad I'm a Man and So Is Lola: The 25th Atlanta Film & Video Festival opened Friday with the debut of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a feature about an East German transsexual rock singer's quest for fame and true love. I attended the after-film party at eleven50 in Midtown to see the film's director and star, John Cameron Mitchell, perform a couple of songs with one of the film's inspirations, drag queen and glam-rocker Pat Briggs and his backing band, The Glitterdome All-Stars. When not portraying an East German transsexual, Mitchell is boyish and wispy, at times looking less like a young independent filmmaker and more like a young Dana Carvey portraying a young independent filmmaker. Briggs, on the other hand, tall and toned wearing a sequined cocktail dress, heavy makeup and heels was simultaneously more masculine and more feminine than anyone else on the stage. At one point, he challenged the audience with, "You didn't think a drag queen could rock?" Actually, I never really thought about it.
After the show, the street outside the club was unusually crowded with people. A power outage left several bars without electricity, causing large crowds to head to their cars. Revivalist Bill Adams, who with members of his ministry stood along Crescent holding up signs, probably confused some of the drunken club goers into thinking that all the revival talk was somehow related to turning the electricity back on. Adams says he usually hangs out in Buckhead.
New Found Land: On Saturday night, artist R. Land opened his new Inman Park studio to the public for the first time. His old Grant Park studio was damaged by fire, so the show, which continues through July 13, is a grand re-opening of sorts. On display are paintings, murals, lunchboxes and T-shirts featuring Land's trademark make-believe pulp sci-fi/horror film imagery. He's an exceptionally gracious host, despite his refusal to give me a clear answer when I asked him if he wanted me to call him R. I must admit I'm a little smitten.
Several local musicians attended, including singer Bret Busch, Lori Scacco of Seely and a couple of members of The Plastic Plan. At one point, there were so many musicians in the room that I became convinced everyone in the place had sold either pizza or CDs to everyone else in the studio at least once on the last five years.
White Trash at bluemilk: Saturday night, bluemilk's Paradigm Artspace featured an exhibition of wedding dresses designed by Christina Sands of Candler Park's Opulent Creations. In the gallery's window was a dress, specifically for the "white trash" bride, made primarily of white trash, including shreddings from a copy of this newspaper. Marc Arno, eVangelist, was on hand to marry willing couples. Arno's ceremonial text included these wise words, "To make great art requires two people: One, The Great Artist; the Other, to the tell The Artist when to stop."
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