This Week in Retro Atlanta, July 25-31, 2011

Monday July 25

From 3 PM on, savor tropical sounds and libations, as well as a Polynesian dinner during Mai Tai Monday at Smith’s Olde BarKingsized and Tongo Hiti lead singer Big Mike Geier is Monday night’s celebrity bartender at Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong ParlorNorthside Tavern hosts its weekly Blues Jam.

Tuesday July 26

What’s in a name? Catchy coolness if you’re self-styled D.I.Y. rock ‘n’ roll band Swank Sinatra, playing tonight at Smith’s Olde Bar. Although their sound, fury and lyrics are inspired by Frank than “homeless people, pirates, ladies, shoes, ships, our hate of disco and breakfast.” Minor Stars and Kevin Dunbar Band open. Grab your horn and head to Twain’s in Decatur for a Joe Gransden jazz jam session starting at 9 PM. JT Speed plays the blues at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack. Notorious DJ Romeo Cologne spins the best ‘70s funk and disco at 10 High in Virginia-Highland. Catch Tues. Retro in the Metro nights at Midtown’s Deadwood Saloon, featuring video mixes of ’80s, ’90s, and 2Ks hits.

Wednesday  July 27

The Temptations and The Four Tops make it a mini-Motown reunion at Classic Chastain tonight. Get ready to rumba, cha-cha and jitterbug at the weekly Swing Night at Graveyard TavernDeacon Brandon Reeves bring the blues to Fat Matt’s Rib Shack and Danny “Mudcat” Dudeck blues it down at Northside Tavernrespectively. Dance to ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s hits during Retro in the Metro Wednesdayspresented by Godiva Vodka, at Pub 71 in Brookhaven.

Thursday  July 28

It’s a cinematic night of pure (& twisted) imagination for the whole family as The Atlanta Opera screens classic 1971 movie WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY starring Gene Wilder at The Atlanta Opera Center (1575 Northside Drive, NW, Bldg 300, Suite 350, Atlanta, GA 30318). Attendees may win two (golden?) tickets to the company’s production of THE GOLDEN TICKET, also based on the Roald Dahl novel, in March, 2012.

Henry Porter, named after a legendary Dylan quote, bring their Western swing on DMT to Kathmandu Restaurant & Grill in Clarkston. Or is that post-rock mindset with 70’s AOR hooks? Or songs that Iggy Pop might could sing? Or the Eagles with credibility? Or CCR meets XTC? Heck if they even know for sure, but you can find out for free and eat some tasty Asian vittles at the same time.

Classic Tulsa Sound piano man Leon Russell opens for legendary folk rocker Bob Dylan at Chastain Park Amphitheatre. Go Retro-Polynesian 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. Party ‘70s style with DJ Romeo Cologne at Aurum LoungeBreeze King and Chickenshack bring on the blues respectively at Northside Tavern and Fat Matt’s Rib Shack.Bluegrass Thursday at Red Light Cafe features The Burning Angels.

Friday, July 29

Enjoy an evening of burlesque vignettes inspired by classic detective films during Bellissitease: Film Noir at Bellissima tonight starting at 8 p.m. Performers include local stars The Chameleon Queen, Devin Liquor, Fonda Lingue, Blast-Off Burlesque‘s Sadie Hawkins and Talloolah Love. Come dressed as a private dick or femme fatale and enjoy great music, food, pool table and tasty beverages, too.

Hometown favorites Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ rock the vintage Buckhead Theatre with Jason Isbell & the 400 UnitFuturebirds and Jonny Corndawg. Cinderella makes for another hair-teasin’ metal ’90s nostalgiafest at Wild Bill’s in Duluth. The KingSized Trio jazzes up Ray’s on the River. Callanwolde’s Jazz on the Lawn goes more contemporary with Madoca & Company. Catch an IMAX movie and dance to jazz, blues, soul and New Orleans grooves performed by the Matt Wauchope Trio at Fernbank Museum of Natural History’s Martinis and IMAX. The wacky cast of Cineprov! get all personal  and sharky with JAWS 4: THE REVENGE at 8 p.m. at Relapse Theatre. Shriek Movie Night screens THE DEVIL’S REJECTS, Rob Zombie’s twisted homage to ’70s horror exploitation flicks, at DooGallery at 10 p.m.

Saturday July 30

It’s great to see innovative Athens duo the Chickasaw Mudd Puppies back twangin’ and right on top of the rockin’ line-up for today’s Buckhead Music Festival at Buckhead Theatre. ATLRetro finds out how the eclectic band got started, where they’ve been all these years and what they have planned now that they’re back from extra-fun Kool Kat of the Week Brant Slay here. Other bands on the bill include The District AttorneysLittle Tybee, Abby Gogo, The Julia Dream, Eric Dodd Band, Tedo Stone and more.

Burt and the Bandits.

Burt & the Bandits, the SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT tribute band founded by our very first Kool Kat Jon Waterhouse, barnstorms at the vintage Earl Strand Theatre in Marietta. Groove to The Booze as they channel a host of ’60s/’70s rockers from the Stones to Muddy Waters with their own contemporary twist at The Earl. The Hot Rod Walt Trio, Mystery Men? and Atomic Boogie play a rockabilly/surf/blues triple header at Five Spot. Read our recent Kool Kat with Hot Rod Walt here. Honky-tonk duo Whiskey Belt heads OTP to The Local at Sidelines in Marietta.  The Hollidays bring a little soul to Fat Matt’s Rib Shack. And of course, DJ Romeo Cologne transforms the sensationally seedy Clermont Lounge into a ’70s disco/funk inferno late into the wee hours.

Sunday July 31

The Barrow Boys play blues “dunch” between 1 and 4 PM at The Earl. The Boxcars make it a bluegrass night at Eddie’s Attic. Fatback Deluxe play classic American blues, soul, rock n’ roll, R&B and jazz from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack.


VIDAL SASSOON: THE MOVIE not only chronicles the life of the rock star hairdresser/artist but also features lots of ’60s/’70s fashions and hair styles. Playing through Sun. July 31 at Cinefest.

RADCLIFFE BAILEY: MEMORY AS MEDICINE, the most comprehensive exhibition of the Atlanta artist’s works to date, runs through Sept. 11 at the High Museum of Art. Read more about the artist and this powerful exhibition that in this Kool Kat.

JOHN MARIN’S WATERCOLORS: A MEDIUM FOR MODERNISM, a companion exhibit also at the High this summer through Sept. 11, surveys the work of the man named America’s number one artist in a 1948 LOOK magazine survey. While his name is not a household one today, this exhibition reminds us of his important place in the modernist movement and why watercolors became such a powerful instrument for avante-garde art in the hands of him and other artists in the Stieglitz Circle,including Georgia O’Keefe.

MODERN BY DESIGN, the High‘s other Retro exhibition, celebrates three key moments in modern design and also the Museum of Modern Art, New York‘s (MOMA) collection history. The works on loan from MOMA cover “Machine Art” (1934), “Good Design” (1950-55) and “Italy: The New Domestic Landscape” (1972), with the latter addressing modernism in the context of 1960s and ’70s counterculture.

The Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)‘s current exhibit WaterDream: The Evolution of Bathroom Design, runs through Sept. 24 in the dynamic new Midtown space. Displays take visitors through a four-part journey into the bathroom from the birth of minimalist aesthetics in 20th century design to current concepts.

Get a rare chance to view original manuscript pages from the last four chapters of ATLANTA’S BOOK: THE LOST GONE WITH THE WIND MANUSCRIPTat the Atlanta History Center. The new exhibit, which runs through Sept. 5, is part of a series of activities celebrating the 75th anniversary of the publication of the international bestseller and also includes foreign and first edition copies, the desk Margaret Mitchell used while writing it and select images.

Tune back in on Friday for Weekend Update. If you know of a cool happening that we’ve missed, send suggestions to

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