Necessary Flashbacks

Iíve lived in a lot of different places. Iíve actually been here in the ATL longer than Iíve stayed anywhere elseóexcept the house I grew up in, back in NY. Nightlife is pretty important to me. Iím used to being able to get on the train, head into the city with no destination in mind, and find a totally kick-ass club, bookstore, gallery, dive, hole in the wall, etc., to hang out in.

Unfortunately, I havenít had such luck since Iíve been here. Iíve gone to all the so-called ìhot spotsî that people brag about. Examples? Compound, The Mark, Eleven50, various bars in Buckhead. You name it ó Iíve checked it out.

The problem with these places is the Formula. Each one of them has a definable, incredibly conspicuous (at least to me), and altogether overbearing image that was obviously put together painstakingly by some team of marketing professionals. I can just see them sitting around the boardroom table:

ìSo, what kind of people do you want to bring in?î
ìWell, of course, all of the trendiest people in town. I want this to be the place where the Beautiful People go.î
ìAll right ñ good place to start! Letís put our heads together and come up with a design.î

I could go on, but you get the idea. Anyway, after years of visiting different venues and being sorely disappointed (and limiting my hangout spot to the EARL), I finally went out to a club I had fun in. It was my friendís birthday on Saturday night, and I really wanted to be with her, but seriously didnít feel like going out after the day Iíd had. We wanted to at least meet up with her and wish her a happy one, so we stopped by her place of choice for the evening: MJQ.

Yes, yes ó I am well aware that this is something of an institution in ATL, and yes, Iíve been there before. My band has even performed there. But I had never been there when they had 80ís night (or whatever fancy name they might have given it), and I must say it kicked ass.

Finally, I was in a place that was very dark, very crowded, and played a mix of music! And while there were plenty of attractive individuals there, the ìBeautiful Peopleî were óto my joyó not in attendance. I was quite shocked. Though all the stuff they spun was from the same decade, they played punk, electro, new wave, hair-band rock, industrial, and anything else that came from that era. Everyone seemed to be having a blast.

Needlessly to say, I danced my ass off in blissful remembrance of the places I used to go to: places where the people were cheering and smiling because they were having such a good time, and where the bouncers and club owners are short-tempered and rude ;-)

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