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Scene & Herd Let's throw down!

Have you ever noticed how people who do impressions of "60 Minutes'" observational humorist Andy Rooney always start their impression with "Have you ever noticed?" even though Andy Rooney never actually sets up his routines that way?

click to enlarge COMEDIAN AARON KARO AT THE PUNCHLINE: Just because he calls it Karo Syrup, ladies, doesn't mean it's sweet.
  • COMEDIAN AARON KARO AT THE PUNCHLINE: Just because he calls it Karo Syrup, ladies, doesn't mean it's sweet.

Last Tuesday, for the first time in my life, I actually saw an observational stand-up comedian who uses "Did you ever notice?" and "Have you ever noticed?" to set up his jokes. His name was Aaron Karo. It probably still is.

Karo performed to a packed house at the Punchline. I'd never actually been to the Punchline before last Tuesday. It's a great place to hear stand-up. There's not a bad seat in the house and there are even speakers in the bathroom so small-bladdered newspaper columnists can listen to the show while taking care of important business. The club also has a great sign out front. It says "Gentlemen -- No Sleeveless Shirts Allowed." Gentlemen is underlined. Really, does a gentleman need to be told not to wear a sleeveless shirt to a club? To me, that's like going into the men's room and seeing a sign that says, "Gentlemen -- No Shitting in the Sink."

click to enlarge SCOTT DUPREE AT CRESCENT CITY THROWDOWN FUNDRAISER: Fundraiser for Dupree's medical expenses TBA
  • SCOTT DUPREE AT CRESCENT CITY THROWDOWN FUNDRAISER: Fundraiser for Dupree's medical expenses TBA

Karo's specialty is post-frat/pre-yuppie humor. His material revolves around drinking with buddies, parents or dating. The crowd, belonging to pretty much the same post-frat/pre-yuppie demographic, ate it up. It's mostly light, easygoing comedy. One of his most well-received riffs was about how starting a tab at a bar transforms him instantly into a happy-go-lucky, extremely generous person who starts buying drinks for everyone.

My favorite parts of the show were when he veered off on "funny things I did and noticed when I was drunk" and started to get into a little social critiquing. One riff in particular, about the hypocritical sexual "morality" that makes casual oral sex OK but casual intercourse taboo, was beautifully observed and delivered. Loosely paraphrased: "So let me get this straight -- sheathing it in latex and having intercourse is not OK because we've just met, but putting it in your mouth unsheathed is fine?"

Throwdown: Last Sunday, a group of Atlanta musicians, merchants and volunteers transformed Little Five Points into a miniature, mellower, public-drunkenness-free replica of the French Quarter for the Crescent City Throwdown. The purpose of said throwdown: to raise money for the New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund.

The premium entertainment was for money, with artists like King Johnson, the Breeze Kings and Tommy Brown performing during the day at the Five Spot, and Beausoleil, the Subdudes and Mike's Geier's Kingsized playing evening shows at Variety Playhouse.

click to enlarge JANET MCKEE AT PERK COFFEESHOP GRAND OPENING PARTY: "This next song is called 'Venti Is Not a Real Word, You Jerk.'"
  • JANET MCKEE AT PERK COFFEESHOP GRAND OPENING PARTY: "This next song is called 'Venti Is Not a Real Word, You Jerk.'"

For cheapskates, though, there was plenty of free entertainment on and around L5P's Findley Plaza. In addition to a small musicians' stage (just to clarify, it was the stage that was small, not the musicians), there was also tarot reading, face readings and animal adoptions. A man named Scott Dupree was there in the afternoon eating fire. I asked him for his e-mail address so I could send him a photo. He, of course, has a Hotmail account.

Most impressive to me was slight-of-hand artist Mick Stone. He ripped a match in half, put one half in each of my hands, then made me close my fists. The trick: While my fists were closed, he pointed at each of my them. I then opened my hands to discover one was empty and the other contained a new, unripped match. If I could do that sort of stuff, I'd steal wallets.

A Fond Farewell: Friday night at Eyedrum, I saw a terrific local film by Atlanta director (and one-time Creative Loafing Lust Lister) Karla Jean Davis. The film, titled Rose Parade, is a tribute to late musician Elliott Smith (and in fact, takes its name from a song on his 1997 album, Either/Or). The thing that I loved about the film (keep in mind that I'm not really a huge fan of Smith's music) is how it interweaves about 10 interviews into an articulate narrative about how emotional young people find solace in melancholy music in general, and Smith's in particular.

click to enlarge SOUTHERN LIVING IDEA HOUSE AT GLENWOOD PARK: Indoor toilets? What a great idea!
  • SOUTHERN LIVING IDEA HOUSE AT GLENWOOD PARK: Indoor toilets? What a great idea!

A Fond Hello: Atlanta has a brand new neighborhood coffee shop. It's called Perk. Perk is in Glenwood Park, the still-under-construction new-urban wonderland at I-20 and Glenwood Avenue near East Atlanta.

Last Saturday night, Perk had its grand-opening party. Owners Al and Dawn Porras (the same wonderful couple who own Joe's coffee shop in East Atlanta -- CL's 2005 Critics Pick as Best Coffeehouse) opened in style with hors d'oeuvres, free wine (my favorite kind!) and live music courtesy of classical guitarist Janet McKee. Special guests included, well, most of people you'd typically see down around Joe's on a Saturday night. Artist R. Land was there. Unlike the last few times I've hung out with him at a coffee shop, I did not buy something from him or get drunk and sit on his lap.

By the way, I'm not calling Dawn and Al wonderful because they gave me two free cookies Saturday. It did help, though.

The next afternoon, I went back to Glenwood Park to take a look at the Southern Living Idea House. The Idea House is a beautifully furnished new home that highlights the latest in über-stylish and environmentally conscious home-building. The Idea House was amazing and, in keeping with its name, it did give me ideas. Idea 1: Sell my current house and move to a nicer, bigger one. Idea 2: In lieu of that, make my house feel bigger by opening up my living room to a nice patio area.

Peach Buzz Moment Of The Week: Guess who was wandering through the Idea House while I was? You guessed it (or maybe you didn't) -- "Trading Spaces" designer Vern Yip. My girlfriend kept bugging me to go up and talk to him, but I felt too awkward. What was I gonna say? "Hey, you're that guy from that show I don't watch." I did, however, unintentionally overhear he and his friend dissing one of the kitchen's built-in spice drawers as "awkward."

andisheh@creativeloafing.com

For more of Andisheh's adventures, visit Scene & Herd at atlanta.creativeloafing.com.

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