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Mayor of Ponce: BEST OF THE REST

[ 0 ] October 1, 2008 |


This week Creative Loafing’s biggest issue of the year came out, The Best of Issue. I was asked to pick and write 5 categories for CL’s own critic’s picks. Well, they printed a couple and couldn’t find anything about Deerhunter or Janelle Monae in the others.

I kid, I kid.

It is nice to see my words in ink again. But seriously CL, bring back the music section!

Raging Election outtakes…


      Been striking out at trendy, V.I.Look At Me clubs in midtown? Well, put your Polo shirt and flip flops back on and give Buckhead the ole college try again.

      Peachtree Tavern is a bare bones, bar stools and beer signs party bar. Caring less about aesthetics and more about the simplistic needs of today’s youth- sex, Jägar, and rock n’ roll.

      If the karaoke and Cruë cover bands aren’t holding your evening’s attention, simply walk 30 feet to the adjacent bars (Moon dog’s and Hole in the Wall) for even more talent rich square footage. And if you leave your "A" game at home, no worries. With the unpretentious crowd, your "C+" might have you rounding second with a former Auburn sorority girl by your second round of shots.

      Game on.


      As much as things change, including the ongoing gentrification of Ponce de Leon Avenue, It’s nice to know some things stay the same. Clubs and trends come and go, but Wednesdays at MJQ still reigns as the best club night in the city. The no frills former parking garage is approaching it’s12th anniversary, and every week you get exactly what you expect from the old stand-by. From the break dancers in the cafe, Poppy pissed at someone at the front door, or the old dude who’s the first one on the dance floor every week in the main room, the Q still delivers. The new faces keep the club fresh, and the regulars make the place still matter. Here’s hoping the legendary hole in the ground can fend off the Chipotles and Urban Outfitter’s for just a few more years.

      It’s still free, DJ Brian Parris still delivers, and the Q still matters. Mod’s, Jew’s, and Queer’s, everyone is still welcome on Ponce.

Best College Bar: MOE’S & JOE’S

      Cheap beer equals college kids.

      It’s a formulaic equation that’s been in the curriculum forever. Being one of Atlanta’s three oldest hooch establishments, Moe’s & Joe’s has had things figured out for a while. And with the highland bar being famous for its ridiculous $4 PBR pitchers, it didn’t take long for some of the smartest kids in the city (Emory students) to figure out where to go.

      The Emor-ites come in packs on Tuesday nights. Mostly with out of state I.D.’s (hopefully the face resembles the picture), and dad’s Visa card, things can get pretty loose with America’s future doctors and lawyers. And if you get tired of drinking the Blue Ribbon, either walk next door to the Cavern, or across the street to Fontain’s for liquor drinks and liquored up post-grads. The trifecta of bars creates a Tuesday night Emor-ite triangle. But it all starts at Moe’s & Joe’s.

      Go Eagles!

Best Hotel Bar: TRADER VIC’S

      With Atlanta being a convention city, there’s two things we have plenty of- strip clubs and hotels. And the best place for us locals to get weird and party with tourist is Trader Vic’s.

      Sure, it’s a chain, but it’s a chain in places like London and Tokyo, not Stockbridge and Lawrenceville. Located inside the downtown Hilton, Trader’s is almost like a hip Pacific Island family version of The Clermont Lounge. Everything just seems so mid 1980’s, it’s perfect. You keep waiting for Magnum P.I. to come in and question someone.

      Thursday’s is definitely the night to go. With the band Kingsized reformed as Tongi Hiti, giving their tropical versions of songs like Sade’s "Smooth Operator", or on the spot request for Van Halen. And the $5 Mai Tai’s and giant rum bowls will have you sugar buzzed like a 10th grader with out of town parents.

      The tourist, wacky motif, and the mostly foreign staff give us locals a sense of a mini vacation in far away, exotic downtown Atlanta. And if you see a werewolf or a ghost of Warren Zevon at the bar, make sure you buy him a pina colada.


      Tune in, turn on, and slip into your dancing boots, brothers and sisters. It’s time to take a trip. The Fringe Factory girls step out of their monthly time machine to give us one of the newest and hippest nights in the city. It’s a 60’s dance party that’s right on time as a refreshing alternative to the standard club music. Held inside the equally hip and now revived Highland Inn Ballroom, it’s a poetic place for the Factory girls to revive some of their old records. And all the weirdness the party provides is fitting for a ballroom that looks like it’s held everything from bingo to Bat Mitzvahs. And the heavy handed bartenders don’t hurt either.

      Like FOX 97 used to say, "good times and great oldies".

      Now let’s get out of this stupid war and impeach Nixon!

Category: Gigs

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