A friend and I rode our bikes through the oven of Atlanta today (mid–to-high 90s) because, well, we thought that if we moved fast enough we wouldn’t be miserable (we were wrong). As a couple of old farts, we thought it might make us feel young again to go listen to some indie bands (we were wrong about that, too).
We went to funky East Atlanta to participate in the Corndogorama Music Festival. Cute area; despite living in the adjacent Inman Park area for several years in the 70s-80s, I’d never been to East Atlanta. I’d go back just for the Blue Frog Cantina alone.
The theme for this year’s Corndogorama was “Yes, We Corn.” 🙂 We declined the opportunity to have our photos taken with the official Corndogorama placards, despite strong temptation (below).
(Photos aren’t the greatest, but not bad for a cellphone, eh? Courtesy of my BlackBerry 8330 Curve. Love it.)
Even though I lean toward blues (like Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Buddy Guy), I have tons of Toad the Wet Sprocket, some old Stone Temple Pilots and such, even some bluegrass here and there. So I figured I’d find something to like in the musical offerings on the Corndogorama stage (below). The crowd was thin, but enthusiastic. Several folks struck up an impromptu whiffle-ball baseball game, the rules of which seemed to require batting and hitting without putting down (or spilling) one’s beer.
The Slackey Family delivered some decent pickin’ and good vocals; I’d actually go see them again (although they haven’t quite mastered the “everybody finish the song at once” trick.) But the remaining acts apparently intended to make up in volume and emphasis for what they lacked in melody. Hey, I grew up on three-chord-rock, so I don’t ask a lot. But primitive groaning, backed by relentless two-chord power-strumming and over-amped buzzing bass lines just doesn’t do it for me. I guess I’m just irredeemably unhip. Soon, the heat and the noise inspired us to hit the road home.
Hot air at 60mph is still hot air, but it gives the illusion of cool if you’re desperate. Halfway home, we pulled into a Buddhist temple on Browns Mill Road to admire the statuary and the blooming lotus plants. It was a sweet respite from the blast and scream we’d encountered earlier in the day.
We didn’t see anyone, but the environment felt welcoming, so we walked through the woods next to the temple, and discovered this tableau of statues:
I know next to nothing about Gautama Buddha’s life, but I suspect this is a scene from it. I was struck by the soft smiles on all the statues. There was an overall gentle mood, and we were refreshed when we mounted back up and continued home.