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Together Again for the First Time 

It's Thurs., Oct. 20, and I'm afraid I've got a rock. Not that I've got to rock. Not that I'm going to rock. I've got a rock. I'll explain.

You know in "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," where the gang is trick-or-treating and as the kids survey their candy, Charlie Brown opens his bag to find only a single stone? Well, I'm taking visiting writer Tamara Palmer around town and, in general, it's been a rocky evening. We've stopped by Vision for an ASCAP showcase and it's not open yet, Bazzaar for the Trafik trade show "Welcome Party" and it's not hoppin' yet, and business is so slow at the Clermont Lounge that the strippers don't even wanna get on stage. I wanna show my guest a rack and I think I've got a rock. Yeah, it's only 10 p.m., but I still didn't expect the highlight to be the guy at the Clermont stumbling and mumbling as he does drunken monkey-style tai chi.

Finally, Tamara and I return to Vision to get our ASCAPped by lyrical bullets as Killer Mike introduces Scar, making like the lost fourth member of Tony! Toni! Toné! for Big Boi's Purple Ribbon label. Tamara's collecting observations for a potential second-edition "remix" of her book (Country Fried Soul: Adventures in Dirty South Hip-Hop), I'm looking to get crunk, and we're both looking tired. And it's not over by days.

We aren't alone searching for tricks and treating, even if we aren't into treating every trick that we're meeting. From the annual Little Five Points Halloween Festival and Parade to Magic City celebrating 20 years as the kings of strip, peeps was freakin' it down. Whether it was Eleven50 notching half a decade, Paste magazine throwing an inaugural Rock 'n' Reel Festival at East Decatur Station, or MJQ celebrating 7/11 years, it was a weekend of memorable dates. Congrats to all.

On Fri., Oct. 21, we add two more to our four-play. Shyra and Linda are sassy students open to exploring. First we introduce them to the Mark, trying to catch two-time DMC champ DJ Klever's turntablist take on "Southern Hospitality." Unfortunately, Klever lives up to his reputation for going AWOL and Halo's Dr. Katz steps in (though rumor has it Klever's future appearances have been smoothed out).

The Mark is also hosting a Trafik event, and, to my chagrin, I am reminded that blazers are the new T-shirt. Sometimes I think today's pop culture prints are self-consciously cred-begging to the point of being masturbatory, and that some people should just take off their pants and jacket. I'm not against style, but what can I say, sometimes fashion galls me (See the Ramones blazer above).

Finally, we end up at MJQ, where Shyra applauds what she calls the "essence of B-boy" while I perform what I call "essence of white boy" -- the herky-jerky throwin' of bows and feeling like I've nearly thrown out my back. My mistake may have been that I was dry-humping the floor trying to do the worm. Maybe after playing tour guide, I'm the one feeling deep-fried. I'm certainly feeling drrrty. But rest easy, my bitches. In the end, it was shown how the A-T-L can indeed rock steady. And we ain't even did the Bounce on Bankhead or slid into Strokers yet.

RedEye celebrates going out and going off. Send comments to redeye@creativeloafing.com, but hand-scrawled hate mail is preferred.

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