Jets, justice, land and borders 

Final pre-war edition?

For those of you who are still undecided about whether war with Iraq is a good idea, here's some helpful news from the entertainment biz -- Future Hollywood Square Shakira has recently stated that she opposes it. "The leaders are lacking love, and love is lacking leaders." So true, Shak. So true. I read that in Rolling Stone. No word yet on what Charo or JM J. Bullock think of all this.

6 Minus 7 Equals 10: On Friday evening, I descended into the bowels of Va-Hi's Dark Horse and into a magical venue called 10 High. That was my first visit since they (aka The Man) changed the name of the venue to 10 High. I was delighted to see the place had hardly changed, except for better stage lights and a faint whiff of vomit at the bottom of the steps.

6 Against 7 were advertised as the first band on the bill, but they were a no-show. Somebody said they broke up. I don't know if that's true. Taking their place was a band called Leroy Justice. The same guy who said that 6 Against 7 broke up offered this about Leroy Justice: "They're from Manhattan. They're really cool guys." With its heaping helpings of Hammond organ and country rock twang, it wasn't really my thing. I was definitely in the minority though as the crowd loved it. When their set ended, LJ's lead singer celebrated winning over the crowd by dismissively flicking his guitar pick to the ground and stomping straight to the bar. Rock and roll, baby.

Next up was Jet. Get it? Next up was Jet . Come on, people, laugh. It's tough to do this week after week. I had no idea when I decided to go see them that Jon Skinner, the most exciting rock drummer I've seen (and heard) in this city, plays with them. The stops, starts and drum fills in the first two songs of the set seem like they're designed to point out the drummer's prowess. The crowd seemed surprised and excited by just how good they were, so I suppose the mission was accomplished.

He's not the only thing they've got going for them though. The band's guitarists are no slouches in the glammy, riff-rock department either. If Iggy Pop and James Brown ever co-authored a book on how to be a rock frontman, Jet's singer Chad Etchison undoubtedly read it. The man shimmies, writhes, climbs, passes out, convulses, and now and then strikes a messiah pose or two. He even sings (well!).

Wieuca nights: If you're a bookish type who loves dancing, or a dancish type who loves booking, I advise you to buy a time machine, set it to last Saturday night, and head to Borders in Buckhead. The part of the store next to the bathrooms was turned into a disco in honor of three cast members of Showtime's Queer As Folk who were there signing copies of the DVD set of the show's second season. They even had a bubble machine and handed out Borders glow sticks. The autograph line started in "Auto Repair" and wound through "Basketball," "Diseases & Nutrition" and "Horses and Riding" before finally ending at a display of dog books labeled "Man's Best Friend." Since there's nothing to do while you're waiting in line at a bookstore, Atlanta drag queen Bubba D. Licious was walking around asking trivia questions and giving out prizes. To keep things from getting too rowdy though, there were enough cops in attendance to start a dozen Village People tribute bands.

Life's not fair: Across the Connector from Turner Field right now is the Atlanta Fair. Actually, it's a not a fair, but a carnival. It's all rides and carny games. It's probably a character flaw, but whenever I see a carnival, I have to check it out. As a result, I'm probably more knowledgeable than most on carnival trends. For example, I've noticed over the past six months that SpongeBob SquarePants is the No. 1 cartoon character stuffed animal now. I've also noticed that, in lieu of addressing real problems, lawmakers have begun making carnival game operators put fair warning labels on their games. For example, there are signs next to the basketball hoops now telling people that rim and backboard aren't regulation. No kidding.

And ignore the bit on CL's website about this carnival having the world's largest roller coaster, the Zyclon. I didn't see a roller coaster, and if there was one it certainly wasn't the world's largest. Perhaps someone figured out it'd be best not to have a ride that shares a name with the poison gas favored by the Nazis.

Cane and Able: Large sections of Decatur were no doubt deserted Saturday night as fans flocked to Buckhead to see Atlanta supergroup Sugarland make its debut at the Roxy. Sugarland is comprised of Kristen Hall, Kristian Bush (from Billy Pilgrim), Bret Hartley and Simone Simonton (from Lift), a guy whose name I don't know who plays an excellent lap steel, and Jennifer Nettles (from, shockingly, Jennifer Nettles Band). Indigo Girl Emily Saliers was among the fans who turned out to see what was a great country show. In keeping with the band's country outlook, they perform songs called "Mississippi," "Tennessee," and "Honky-Tonk Heaven." Which reminds me, how come nobody ever writes songs that mythologize my home state, Maryland?

Anyway, despite the band being brand new, the fans jammed up against the front of the stage knew most of the words. The band had a quiet assurance and swagger that comes from knowing you've hit on something good. They're currently on tour with Vonda Shepard and no doubt making her regret having to go on stage after them night after night.



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