Tag Archives: Variety Playhouse


Finally there are some shows on my calendar, starting with Galactic tonight at Variety. I regret more than you can imagine missing the first song by the opening band — Orgone. Face-meltingly whoa…

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Seeing an amazing opening band you’ve never heard of is one of the great joys of life, isn’t it? This might be the best since Joe Henry stunned me opening for David Byrne.

I cannot find any decent videos online and was too close to take any myself (E got there before we did, so you know we were at the stage.) So you’ll just have to join me March 3 at the 5 Spot. How will they fit all that funk in that tiny space? Where, btw, we missed That 1 Guy tonight to see Galactic. We made the right choice.

My new BFF the iPhone failed me. It wouldn’t upload photos from Variety to FB. Guess I’ll have to play with it some tomorrow to figure out why. But the pictures are much better than BlackBerry pictures, don’t you think?


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BDay’s Concert Calendar for February

Feb. 7: Warren‘s Honor Band Concert

Feb. 12: Galactic at Variety.
No idea who this is, but Davey Doke says it’s a must, so we’re there.

Unfortunately, this means I will miss the Squirrelheads very close-to-home Mardi Gras party.

Feb. 13: Flogging Molly at Tabernacle.
I will not be there. I hate it, but I can’t risk missing the Brooks’ Hallmark Day party and ending up on the B list next year.

Feb. 19: That 1 Guy at the Five Spot.
Hey, it’ll be my 3rd time to see That 1 Guy!

Feb. 20: Hackensaw Boys at Smith’s Olde Bar

Feb. 27: Suburban Angst at Spudz Tavern
Pal Randy Agnew gets his groove on.

March 5&6: They Might Be Giants at Variety
This is a definite maybe. Never seen them before, not a big fan, but why not, since the Schroeders are doing it?

March 9
Clapton and Daltrey. If I’m not mistaken, this at that big barn in Gwinnett County.
I’m not going, but everyone else I know is, including Max, who’s taking Warren.

April 30
Mother’s Finest at Sidelines (The Local) again.
It’ll probably sell out next week. If not, I just might be there again.


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I’m herpes free.

A face only a blowup doll could love

A face only a blowup doll could love

“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

It was nice to get out of the ‘hood on a Saturday night, which hasn’t been happening enough lately. Good to hear the bassline live and loud enough to thump.

Unknown Hinson has a very interesting face. Like the son of Elvis and Johnny Cash wearing a Nixon mask (while playing Hendrix). Lisa saw some Reagan in him too, and of course in profile there’s an unmistakable likeness to Lincoln. A regular Mount Rushmore in one country troubadour’s face.

He played a song with my newest favorite line: “Polly Urethane, that’s such a purdy name.” About, of course, a blow-up doll. And another one: “Fish camp woman, I like the way you smell.”

His T-shirts had great graphics.

Lisa  is a good sport. We made the best of it and I seriously enjoyed her company.

It was great fun to see Tamara in the flesh instead of just electronically

I'm herpes free.

I'm herpes free.

There was a tattoo contest. One boy had a tattoo that said, “I’m herpes free.” He got my vote.


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Into the Unknown

UnknownHinson2I have no idea what to expect on Saturday, but in the past few years several people have told me that Unknown Hinson is a must.

From his Web site:

“Looking somewhat like Dracula’s nasty little brother who spent some hard years drinking and working as a carnival barker for a second-rate freak show, Unknown Hinson translates that vibe to his style of country and western-tinged psychobilly. . . . This red-necked crooner wow[s] audiences with his outrageous and campy, white-trash persona and freewheeling, sleazy tone.”

UnknownHinsonI’m in for that. Who wants to go with? $17.50 — whatta bargain! Get your tix from Variety’s ticket club, not from TicketBastard, to save on fees.

Full report on Sunday.


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Old guys who shred

Warren’s Facebook post last night: “Little Feat was awesome. Look them up if you like to listen to old guys who shred.”

The coolest aunt on the planet turns 60 on July 1. We celebrated early last night: all four of us took Elizabeth to dinner and to Little Feat at Variety Playhouse. Elizabeth has seen every show Little Feat has ever played in Atlanta. That goes back to 1971, when she saw their Atlanta debut three nights running at a place called the 12th Gate. Once she went to the Fox to see them with a fever of 102.

I inherited E’s love for the band, Dan picked it up along the way, and she wanted to share it with the kids, too. Being with Elizabeth, we stood right up front, of course, (Elizabeth even coached a new friend on how to get to the front of the crowd) and went to talk with the band members afterward.

E. mentors her new BFF on the art and skills of concert-going.

E. mentors her new BFF on the art and skills of concert-going.

with drummer Ricky Hayworth

with drummer Ricky Hayworth

introducing pianist and co-founder Bill Payne to her fabulous nephew

introducing pianist and co-founder Bill Payne to her fabulous nephew

Warren with bassist Kenny Gradney

Warren with bassist Kenny Gradney

A budding bassist is instructed in drop D >

(Drop D-Gravney continued here >)

Oh, Atlanta loves Little Feat >

Dan, on the way home: I’ve never seen a guy look so comfortable with a guitar.
Warren: that’s because it fits right on his little pot belly.


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We want the funk!                                 Give    up     the    funk!


I have been happy (and sleepy) all day long, still bouncing to the groove after last night’s PFunk show at Variety.

4-24-26-09-124Are there Parliment-Funkadelic groupies who follow George Clinton around the country like Deadheads used to trail along after the Grateful Dead? Because I, most emphatically, want to be one. (What would they be called? PFunk PFriends? Clintonites? Funk Mobsters?)

Sitting at football practice tonight (a story for another day), I looked at folks and said, “I wanna go back to PFunk again, wherever they are, right now!”

Jaffner’s been pushing Parliment-Funkadelic CDs on me for years, and I’d seen pictures and maybe some video, but I really had no idea of the par-tay that is PFunk. And I’d most certainly never had the pleasure of being a part of it.

Words, mine at least, cannot describe the evening. After being in the hall for just a few minutes before the show, I looked at E. and said, “Everyone’s so happy to be here!” Folks were beaming and chatting with people they didn’t know, dancing to the piped-in tunes.  One of the best things about Variety is that the audience is so different for each show. This was the most diverse crowd I’ve seen there — not just black and white, but old and young. One nation under a groove, indeed.

4-24-26-09-073Took forever for the show to start and then forever for Clinton to come out– all foreplay for the raunchy anyting-goes party on the stage for the next few hours.  During the last number, I think the entire audience was holding its breath hoping for a wardrobe malfunction.

By the end of the night there must’ve been 50 people on that stage. I would have counted them, but they wouldn’t stand still.

Seriously more fun than ought to be legal on a Sunday night.

Sorry about the bounce in the middle. They said jump! I said, how high?

(Here’s somebody’s backstage pre-party video with a dissertation on neckbones)

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Family night at the improv


"me and my bass guitar!"

How refreshing to see a show that is almost completely made up as it goes along. No set list. No stale arrangements. Just two guys having a very stimulating converstion via their instruments.

Dave, Gaby and I took Warren and Matt to see the amazing Victor Wooten at Variety for an evening of musical education last night. The very charming and entertaining J. D. Blair joined Wooten on drums.

Even more charming were Wooten’s children. Who says you need a huge entourage to put on a good show? Just teach your children well. Wooten’s son Adam, about 7, I would guess, played several starring percussion roles and has clearly learned how to listen and answer with his drums. Blair’s 20ish son and his friend joined Adam in an unplanned table-drumming routine. Wooten’s older daughter, maybe 10 or 12, sings beautifully and has a natural stage presence. And his lovely 5-year-old daughter made her stage debut last night singing harmony for her older sister. I hope she felt the audience’s welcome.

Back to the improv . . . I really liked that Wooten made the point to the audience that the show was about exploring new things rather than rehashing old ones. After enduring much shouting of song requests, he manipulated the crowd to say it would  actually rather hear new stuff than see him play his famous “Amazing Grace.” And then he worked it into the improv anyway.


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