Friday, November 02, 2007

Halloween at Lenny's (Atlanta, GA 2007)

Knife and the 4th Ward Daggers

The Spooks (We were all warned by the sound guy just before the group started: "If you don't like animal blood on you, please step away from the stage..." I'm not sure if I was hit with more pigs' blood, sweat, spit, beer spray or drippage from the air conditioner during the Spooks' set... Probably a combination of all of the above.)

The King Khan and BBQ Show

Emcee Halloween spreading awareness to stop the senseless slaughter of thousands of pumpkins every Halloween.

Harpies in the Night (It's true, the Misfits do for me what things like baseball, church and America's Next Most Smartest Supermodel do for the pedestrian thirty-something, like myself. What's funny is that all of these other things remind me of what pushed me to so wholeheartedly embrace a band like the Misfits in the first place, so many years ago. I have a feeling that Harpies in the Night (a Misfits cover band) plays Misfits' songs better than the Misfits ever played them live. You don't hear the guitars squelching out of tune at the end of every song, which is kind of a silly thing to bring up -- if you like the Misfits than you like music that's full of mistakes. But it was noticeable how well the group tore through songs like "Hybrid Moments," "Vampira" and "Horror Business." They've had a lifetime of practice, much longer than the Misfits ever had, and Harpies are better off for it.

Beanstock (or Beanstalk)...

No one really knows if the proper name for Bean Summer’s five-day music festival at Lenny’s Bar is “Beanstock” or “Beanstalk.” It appears differently on every flyer, web posting and e-mail that goes out, and that’s not a mistake. “Spelling is a cheap trick used by the upper classes,” Bean laughs from his downtown art studio. “I have dyslexia, so to me both ways are correct. I have also found over the years that the more I misspell things, the more attention they get. Ands besides, it wouldn’t be ‘Beanstock’ or ‘Beanstalk’ or without all of the errors,” he adds, recalling several encounters with agitated English majors and journalists berating him for his grammatical discrepancies; such as right now.

This slapdash M.O. earns the Lenny’s promoter every comparison to a character from the pages of a William Faulkner novel. He’s a mellow, working class artist who explores a universe of sound using electronic toys as instruments in the band Toy Party Attack. At any given show at Lenny’s he can be seen navigating the room, PBR in hand. He stops for a quick greeting before moving on to take care of business. Even at his 29th birthday party at the Drunken Unicorn last Monday night, he made a brief appearance before heading back to Lenny’s by 10 p.m.

Beanstock boasts performances from nearly 30 mostly local bands, and kicks-off with an experimental music night at Eyedrum on Tues., Nov. 6th. The show is a CD-R release party for a new Toy Party Attack recording. Other bands on the bill include Atlanta acts Club of Rome and Suit Cases, as well as a performance from Canadian art / noise terrorists, AIDS WOLF.

From there the festival moves to Lenny’s and peaks with a performance on the following night by reformed Chicago-based math rock monster, Don Caballero.
The festival is not a celebration of Bean the man, but of the community in which he is involved. “I set up the festival to celebrate a week in the life of booking,” he says. “I wasn’t able to have every great local band play because of booking politics and touring, but I was able to take one week and celebrate what has happened in my life for the past several years. This is about everyone who makes art, plays music and performs live in the City of Atlanta; it’s celebration of our life as artists.”

So Beanstock (or Beanstalk) is dedicated to you in name only?

Yes, pretty much. We came up with the name at 4 in the morning one night during Corndogorama. This event is dedicated to Steve Miller (the old homeless war vet that used to live at the old Lenny's). It’s dedicated to Dottie (from whom the bar was bought), and to Rev. Larry, and Jack. Not many people know about the real people that come to Lenny's but they have rich histories in Cabbagetown, the old Forth Ward and real Grant Park. Before it became hip or cool to live in this area, it was a rough place with wild spirit.

It’s the history of outlaw music and the spirit of the old Lenny's and Dotties. It's why on Saturday it’s going to be $5 during the day with outlaw country music playing. It goes well with Anna Kramer, and many of the other headliners. It’s this spirit that I hear in ATL hip-hop and underground rock music today.

How did you pick the bands for the line-up?
Half of the bands I asked and the other half I just told them that they were playing. The line-up changed and it is changing daily. When you work with over 200 different people or a large numbers of bands everything is always in a state of flux.
I have the Roller Girls performing and I want to get more art involved as the festival develops over the coming years.

Will this become an annual event?
Yes, I want this to be a constantly evolving event that changes and dramatically develops. I will be doing video and musical performances throughout the event. I printed over 5000 Flyers to give out to help push my upcoming art show at Beep Beep Gallery on November 24th. Like all of my events 90% of the door money is going to the performing artists and other involved with the events. 10% goes back to my promotions team who put up flyers for the events. I am a strong believer in taking care of the artists and bands performing.

This year I am going to be really pushing my upcoming show at Beep Beep Gallery. And I will be doing a noise performance at the beginning of event with CD-R release of my band Toy party Attack.

-- Chad Radford

Beanstock takes place at Eyedrum and Lenny’s. Tues., Nov. 6-Sat., Nov. 10. For complete information, including admission and schedule line-up look online at