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It's so over 

The return of the stupid bouncers

If you read this column regularly, you've perhaps noticed that I have a knack for getting turned away from parties by oafish doormen who are either unwilling or unable to find my name on the guest list. Everyone has a skill, and I suppose that's mine. I'm grateful when it happens, because getting turned away from the door at a party means that I get to write about it without the bother of actually attending. It's really the best of both worlds.

The latest installment of "When Bouncers Attack!!!" (coming soon to Fox) took place at Midtown's eleven50. Last Saturday evening, a party was held there to publicize the launch of Cover, a new Atlanta entertainment magazine. I was invited by its executive editor, Caren West, because she wanted Cover to be mentioned in a publication that people actually read. But when I showed up, the woman working the door in a Cover magazine T-shirt claimed she was unable to find my name on the guest list. I told her I was invited by West, but rather than take a moment to find her, she instead found a bouncer. The bouncer actually said that attending the party was a "privilege" and wouldn't let me in -- as if attending a party publicizing a glorified beverage coaster is some sort of privilege.

Because I was excused by the doorman, I can't tell you much about the party. Cover claims to be "edgy" -- and to prove it, they promised the party would have drag queens. Sounds pretty edgy to me. It's a shame I had to miss it. After all, it's not every day that you find drag queens in Midtown.

In addition to its edginess, Cover's other great innovation is its small size. The magazine is roughly the size of a CD jewel case. They tout it as a "portable" magazine (as opposed to all of those immovable stone magazines on the market). Bravo! It's about time someone made a portable magazine. I had to cancel my subscription to Newsweek because it broke the back of the donkey I hired to fetch it from my mailbox.

Some of Cover's higher-ups are alumni of the ever-insipid Jezebel, Atlanta's other "edgy" (though less portable) entertainment magazine. Let's hope that Cover, unlike Jezebel, won't make freedom of the press seem like such a stupid idea. If their ability to manage their party's guest list is any indication though, don't hold your breath.

Pilgrimmage: On Friday night, I accompanied a friend on his first trip to the Star Bar in Little Five Points. We were there to see mellow, bittersweet country singer Greta Lee. It's always nice to take someone into the Gracevault (the bar's Elvis shrine) for the first time, particularly if they've been drinking. The best part is how impressed they look when I select a song on the free Elvis jukebox. They look at me like I'm a magician for getting the thing to play without putting money in it. It's like getting to be the Fonz for a minute.

Another Star Bar attraction of note is the bookshelf in the downstairs Vinyl Lounge. Look for the book titled How to Get a Job in Atlanta, and hone in on the strategic spot on the book's cover where someone scrawled in the word "Blow."

Stageworthy: Also combining bizarre sightseeing and live music was my trip to The Earl in East Atlanta later that same evening to see Pinback and Seaworthy. The bar's doorman looks like a surfer version of Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, only friendlier.

I thought Pinback was great. They play electronically enhanced, downbeat guitar pop that's a lot more melancholy and naval-gazing than you'd expect from a band that comes from always-sunny San Diego. It's like finding out that your favorite reggae band is Japanese.

Why yes: Fishmonger Seafood Grill in Buckhead hosted an elegant, easygoing wine-tasting last Tuesday. And they actually let me in the door. Pretty shocking, I know. They went so over-the-top with courtesy that several members of the staff and owner Nick Panagopoulos actually greeted me with handshakes.

The tasting's mistress of ceremonies was a delightful woman named Tamara Vrooman. A salesperson for wine wholesaler Grape Expectations, she's also a schoolteacher. Her experience in handling children was no doubt indispensable as I pestered her with every conceivable question about wine.

The first thing I asked her was if it was advisable to have red wine with fish. She explained that red wine is OK with fish if it isn't too tannic. Apparently, when you describe a wine as tannic, it's appropriate to also display a mildly pained facial expression similar to what small children do when they bite into tart citrus fruit. If the tannic wine in question is Italian, exclamatory hand-gestures are also necessary. A good red wine for fish is a light Chianti -- one without too strong of a Sangiovesi bite. I don't have a clue what a "Sangiovesi bite" is, but if you run into one, keep it away from your fish.

Vrooman also taught me how to pronounce the word Gewürztraminer. I'd tell you how, but then I'd have to kill you.

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