If there’s one thing that’s certain about Jeffrey Bützer it’s that you never know exactly what to expect from him. That’s true of all his musical projects, as well as the many shows he organizes and promotes. In the past, he has curated shows celebrating music from the likes of Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Nick Cave, David Bowie, and Neil Young. Most recently, he curated a show called Club Silencio, which revisited and reworked music from the films of David Lynch. Then, of course, there is “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Bützer and T.T. Mahony’s yearly tribute to Vince Guaraldi’s classic soundtrack, which over the past decade has become something of a holiday tradition for much of the Atlanta music scene.
In addition to his tribute shows and more conceptual offerings, however, Bützer has organized innumerable local gigs, many of them held at the Little Vinyl Lounge. A small bar and intimate venue located within the more rambunctious confines of Star Bar in Little Five Points, the lounge provides audiences with an opportunity to watch artists in a setting that feels more personal and informal than most club venues. Now, starting this Friday, August 18, it will play host to Bützer’s latest venture, a musical variety show called ANT LODGE. Ahead of the inaugural performance, Bützer took a few minutes to talk about some of the ideas behind the show and what we can expect in the future.
How did this particular opportunity come about?
I’ve booked several events in Little Vinyl Lounge over the past couple of years and after one event I had the idea to host a variety show. I am not someone who has ever loved just being in one band and doing one set of music. I like to play solo, duo, 7 people… whatever is feeling fun at the moment. So I got excited for the idea of a monthly event that is conducive to doing just that. Also I know a lot of talented people and I thought this would be a fun way to get them together.
What is the basic idea behind the variety show?
The idea behind ANT LODGE is just to sort of brand what we are doing. The name is a play on an Elk’s Lodge meeting but you know… smaller. I like the idea of it feeling like a little club. I made badges for everyone who comes.
Will the shows be mostly music based or will you have a variety of performers — comedians, poetry readings, etcetera?
Probably no poetry unless it is hilarious; poetry readings make me nervous. It will start out based around music just because I mostly know and am surrounded by musicians. Hopefully the show will evolve as we go along.
Little Vinyl Lounge is a bit of a hidden secret to the public at large, what is it about the space that intrigues you for this specific show?
I like the size of the room and the freedom the Star Bar offered me. We have had some really fun events there. And yeah, it being hidden plays into the “secret club” motif.
Will this be an ongoing event held monthly or weekly? Or will it be something more sporadic?
I have three planned for the next three months to test it out. I plan to go monthly (with the exception of December).
Give us your thoughts on the inaugural show.
Molly [Harvey] has been a friend of mine for years. I am such a huge fan of anything she does and this will be the debut of her new project! I believe Rose Hotel is new to town; this will be my first time seeing and meeting her. Riley [Pinkerton] I met after seeing her cover a Black Sabbath song solo on YouTube.
Who are some other performers we can expect for future ANT LODGE shows?
I have some really great stuff coming up. Magic by West Evans, Nerdkween’s new project (Hills and the Hollars), Bill Taft, Jeff Crompton’s Three Way Mirror, Red Lining Sound from Athens. I plan to play a different set of music at each show.
The first ANT LODGE variety show goes down this Fri., August 18 at the Little Vinyl Lounge. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. $5-10 donations are encouraged (all money goes to the artists). 21+ to enter.