This Week in Retro Atlanta, March 21-27, 2011

Here’s your weekly guide to where and why to get out…

Monday March 21

After dark, Joe Gransden & his smokin’ 16-piece orchestra present another Big Band Night of jazz at Café 290, featuring Sinatra, Bennett, Basie and Joe’s originals. Northside Tavern hosts a Blues Jam.

Tuesday March 22

Grab your horn and head to Twain’s in Decatur for a Joe Gransden jazz jam session starting at 9 PM. Fedora Blues plays Fatt Matt’s Rib Shack. Atlanta’s notorious DJ Romeo Cologne spins the best ‘70s funk and disco at 10 High in Virginia-Highland. Get a sneak preview of new Tuesday Retro in the Metro nights at Midtown’s Deadwood Saloon, featuring live video mixes of ’80s, ’90s, and 2Ks hits; official grand opening is next Tues. March 29.

Wednesday March 23

Not quite as cool as taking a TARDIS back to 688, but coming mighty close, ATLRetro’s top pick of the night is ’70s/’80s garage band extraordinaire The Fleshtones at Star Bar, with The Forty-Fives and Ghost Bikini opening. The Emory University Tango Ensemble and Tango Orchestra Club Atlanta present an evening of traditional and new Argentinian tango dancing and music at Emory’s Schwartz Center. Lots of weekly events, too. Get ready to rumba, cha-cha and jitterbug at the weekly Swing Night at The Glenwood. Catch Joe Gransden every Wednesday night at 8:30 PM at Jerry Farber’s Side Door. The Hollidays and Danny “Mudcat” Dudeck bring on the blues at Fatt Matt’s Rib Shack and Northside Tavern respectively. Dance to ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s hits during Retro in the Metro Wednesdays presented by Godiva Vodka, at Pub 71 in Brookhaven, starting at 8 PM. Cover band ’80s Band of Destiny is in the Atlanta Room at Smith’s Olde Bar.

Thursday March 24

The Found Footage Festival brings outtakes and oddities found at garage sales, flea markets, dumpsters and other strange places to the Plaza Theatre, including a rare screening of cult classic HEAVY METAL PARKING LOT. It’s a bonafide ’70s night at Philips Arena as (ATLRetro) Rod Stewart thrusts whatever he has left and Stevie Nicks wails out “Rhiannon” one more time. Listen to Tongo Hiti’s luxurious live lounge sounds, as well as some trippy takes on iconic pop songs, just about every Thursday night at Trader Vic’s. Joe Gransden jazzes up Tantra now on Thursdays. Party ‘70s style with DJ Romeo Cologne at Aurum Lounge.  Breeze Kings and Chicken Shack bring on the blues respectively at Northside Tavern and Fat Matt’s Rib Shack.

Friday, March 11

Yoko Ono and John Lennon Montreal Bed-In, 1969 Photo by Ivor Sharp ©Yoko Ono

Get started early at 7 PM for  “Smile John,” a a rare chance to see two intimate portrait short films featuring John Lennon and Yoko Ono at the Plaza Theatre and the first of five local screenings in a series called Yoko Ono: Reality Dreams. Then make it an Ono-Lennon double feature evening with a second set, Sky Bed Peace at 9 PM. The event is presented by Film Love founded and curated by Andy Ditzler who will be this week’s Kool Kat. Look for all the details in his exclusive interview which will be posted soon.

Don’t be late for a very important date! Most imaginative event of the night goes to the ALICE IN WONDERLAND-themed Va-Va Voom – We’re All Mad Here Burlesque Show, produced by one of Atlanta’s biggest Retro Revival heroes Mon Cherie and featuring such local Burlesque stars as recent Kool Kat Torchy Taboo, The Chameleon Queen, Katherine Lashe (Syrens of the South), and Talloolah Love who will serve up a sneak peak of her competition number for upcoming Viva Las Vegas rockabilly weekend. The mad antics take place at The Shelter, and cover is a bargain 5 bucks so you’ll have plenty left to support Talloolah’s Vegas venture by buying $3 Talloolah Love Potion shots.

Can she talk? We’d guess yes since eternal comedienne Joan Rivers has a gig for her one-woman show tonight at Symphony Hall. At Doo Gallery, a few folks may hear you scream at Shriek Movie Night‘s screening of ALIEN Ridley Scott’s space-age ultimate haunted house movie.

Derryl Rivers & the Flying Circus display daring acts of blues, jazz and slight bits of funk at Fernbank Museum of Natural History’s Martinis and IMAX.  T. Grease Johnson dishes out this Friday’s serving of blues at Fatt Matt’s Rib Shack, while Mudcat is on the blues menu at Northside Tavern.

Saturday March 12

Forget the Jason Statham non-remake. Splatterday Night Live presents one of the craziest, best black comedy cult movies of all time DEATH RACE 2000 at the Plaza Theatre, along with a gory and sure-to-be politically incorrect preshow. Come on! David Carradine as a race car driver called Frankenstein! ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL’s Mary Woronov! Sly Stallone! Watch for Mark Arson’s review soon.

Experience all the romance of fin-de-siecle Paris without leaving Atlanta during “Dans Le Moment” tonight at the High Museum of Art featuring a Talloolah Love-produced burlesque cabaret called “Rue de Paradis”; Parisian street food; art talks about the museum’s two current special exhibitions spotlighting French artists Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Henri Cartier-Bresson (see ongoing events below); photo ops in can-can clothes; mesmerizing music performances; and more.

Surprises surely will happen as the always original Blair Crimmins & the Hookers raise up some ’20s ragtime at Star Bar. Read ATLRetro’s recent interview with Blair hereSana Blues is at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack. Better Than The Beatles pays tribute to the Fab Four at Jerry Farber’s Side Door. DJ Romeo Cologne transforms the sensationally seedy Clermont Lounge into a ’70s disco/funk inferno.

Sunday March 27

Described by Creative Loafing as “vintage Chicago blues with a New Orleans accent,” Spanky & the Love Handles serves up blues “dunch” between 1 and 4 PM at The Earl. The Susi French Connection gives ’70s rock, pop and disco some serious love at Eddie’s Attic.


Samantha Hopkins as Wendy with Emily Yetter as Tinker Bell. Photo credit: Ed Krieger.

KOOL KAT Emily Yetter stars as a precocious, politically incorrect Tinkerbell in J.M. BARRIE’S PETER PAN under the big tent at Pemberton Place, next to the World of Coca-Cola.  Performances have been extended through April 10. 

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec died in 1901, but it’s not a stretch to say that his vibrant posters and prints of showgirls, nightclub stars and the café culture influenced the 20th century romantic view of Paris and still inspire today’s burlesque performers. The High Museum of Art’sdynamic new special exhibition, TOULOUSE-LAUTREC AND FRIENDS: THE IRENE AND HOWARD STEIN COLLECTION, runs through May 1. Also at the High through May29 is the MOMA-organized HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON: THE MODERN CENTURY, another blockbuster exhibit showcasing a photographer and photojournalist who captured on film many of the seminal moments  of the 20th century from World War II to the assassination of Ghandi, China’s cultural revolution to civil rights and consumer culture in America.

For more weekend fun, tune back in on Thursday for ATLRetro Weekend Update. If you know of a cool happening we’ve missed, send suggestions to


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