Geek Out With Your Beaker Out!

Often (certainly in the spring) it seems as if Atlanta has exceeded its limit on festivals and then some. If too many of them come across as interchangeable or redundant, that certainly can’t be said for the Atlanta Science Festival. Now in its fifth year, it’s truly one of the coolest and most unique annual happenings in the metro area. And there’s a good chance you (like me) have never paid it much mind. Make a point to change that this year.

Now, I realize this is primarily a music-focused publication, so I’ll spare you the details on every single geektastic component that makes the ASF supercool, but I encourage you to check out the full schedule for the 16-day event – March 9 through 24 at various location throughout the city – here. But, certainly music is a science unto itself, interconnected with technology and its innovations, and as such there are several one-of-a-kind musical events as part of this year’s ASF.

For instance, on Sunday, March 11th at The Space (4630 S. Atlanta Road), the Hereafter Artist Collective and local music/dance ensemble Flight of Swallows will give two performances inspired by the golden phonograph records loaded with music, sounds and images that were launched into space as part of the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 missions. FOS boasts local experimental music veterans Deisha Millar, Renee Nelson, Klimchak and George Kotler-Wallace among its members.

Newnan drummer/producer Deantoni Parks will give a special performance at the Red Light Café on Friday, March 16th exploring the ways musicians augment their natural talents with technology. On Tuesday, March 20th at the Decatur Campus of GSU Perimeter College, musician Scott Burland (Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel) will perform as part of a Theremin demonstration in which participants will learn how they operate and build their own models to take home.

Professor Morte and the Silver Scream Spookshow will return to the Plaza Theatre on Saturday, March 17th for two performances at 12:30 p.m. (family-friendly) and midnight (for drunks), followed at each by a 3D screening of the 1953 sci-fi horror film It Came From Outer Space, and a rockin’ set from conceptual, “genetically-modified” local band Leucine Zipper and the Zinc Fingers (pictured), whose lineup includes Jennifer Kraft Leavey (Catfight!), an ASF advisory board member.

Between the robotic opening night event at the Ferst Center (including a robot musician) and a daytime outdoor expo, with more than a hundred interactive exhibits, to close the ASF at Piedmont Park on March 24th, there are loads of neato features to this festival. And most are family- and kid-friendly. But some are already selling out, so don’t sleep on it.