When the summer moves in, the hipsters move west.
At least that's the philosophy of Blake and Peter Mavrogeorgis, proprietors of Dollhouse Productions. Located in a nondescript industrial park on the extreme western edge of Savannah, Dollhouse is a 5,600 square foot warehouse the husband and wife use for office space, a recording studio and — most germane to this column — a performance venue.
The couple opened Dollhouse in 2012, in true "if you build it, they will come" fashion. Since then, there's been a series of smokin' and sweaty live shows in the big room, drawing from the region's hottest bands, DJs, performance and visual artists. In April, Dollhouse played host to the Savannah Independent Designers showcase.
Music's on the menu for summer. Cusses' annual all-ages "end of school" bash takes place May 23 (see a story on the band in this issue), to be followed on May 25 by "Endless Summer," designed as the first in a series of hot-weather concerts from our local Safe // Sound Productions.
The "endless" event (it starts at 5 p.m. and will go well into the wee hours) has performances by Triathalon, Koko Beware, Makeout Club, Sauna Heat, AG & Abraham Dankin, Rejjie Snow and still others to be announced.
This, too, will be an all ages show. Advance tickets are $7 at safeandsoundsav.blogspot.com.
It's been 15 years since ska bassist Jay Vance, sick of the bullshit that goes on between touring musicians, Googled the words "pneumatics" and "welding" and taught himself to build a band of robots.
Except for a recently-ended hiatus of two years, Vance has been on the road nonstop with his rock 'n' roll performance art show — it's a band, but it's not really a band — Captured! By Robots.
Vance and his comedic metal associates return to the Jinx — always one of their hot spots — Friday, May 17.
Pre-built into his concept is the robots' sadistic and crude dialog — they absolutely hate JBOT (aka Vance, the only real human on the stage) and verbally abuse him. He is their "slave," and he wears a full bondage mask to prove it. He takes his lumps, literally and figuratively.
The shtick works so well because the 8-foot guitar player, the drummer with the severed head and the stuffed-ape percussionists are all really playing the music, albeit through a complex computer, metal, wiring and duct tape system that Vance painstakingly put together.
The music is hard, slamming rock — Captured! By Robots is kind of like a sludge metal band. With real metal.
Audience participation is a big part of the show, Vance told us one or two visits ago. "When the robots swear at the crowd and the crowd swears back," he said, "that's when you know they're real to the audience."
May 18 is Retro Gaming Night at the Wormhole, where you'll be taken back to the 1980s and '90s via multiple consoles with NES, Dreamcast, Atari, Sega and other video game blasts from the past. Admission is free, and it starts at 10 p.m.
You can also do a good deed if you wish. Buy an optional bracelet for $5, which benefits DonorsChoice.org.
A portion of proceeds from the event will be donated to Mrs. Robert's class at Ellis Montessori Academy to help them by art materials for the children.
Organist Tony Monaco, the coolest captivator at the 2012 Savannah Jazz Festival, returns to give us more this week, in another Coastal Jazz Association show.
An acknowledged master of the Hammond B3 organ, Monaco will perform Sunday, May 19 in the Westin Resort ballroom (the monthly series happens to be called "Jazz Across the River").
In our interview with Monaco prior to the jazz festival, he explained the differences between playing the B3 and playing piano. "Your right hand has to be a soloist and a guitar player while comping," he explained, "and you have to learn textures and sounds. So the comparison to the piano would be the fact that it has a keyboard.
"The difference is, the organ you can sustain forever, and you change the volume with a pedal. And the piano, you have to constantly re-strike and you change the volume by how hard you hit the keyboard. So the harder you hit the organ, the more it goes against you. You want to develop a touch that's light and use your foot for expression. It's a total immersion into the instrument."
Admission to the 5 p.m. concert is $10 for the public; it's free for CJA members.