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What's Next: The Wormhole's 'Re-Opening'
Weird and wacky: The Hellblinki Sextet

It’s been a year since nightclub–owning novice Amy Stafford threw open the doors of the Wormhole Bar, ushering in a new era in live music for Savannah.

The Wormhole is at 2307 Bull St., in what has been historically known as the Starland District. In fact, the building used to be a furniture store, and it was refurbished and re–configured by Stafford and a bunch of her friends, in the true spirit of DIY.

The first–year anniversary bash takes place Saturday, Feb. 27, with a big, healthy cross–section of music, mirth and weirdness. “I really think the variety exemplified from these acts embodies the spirit of the Wormhole,” Stafford says. “A place where any musical style is welcomed, and where every night is different.”

This is what Stafford, a longtime musician, music fan and proud, card–carrying bar patron, always felt was missing from the Savannah scene. So the Wormhole went up as the antidote to the “niche club.”

Of course, the City’s questionable “21 and over” policy has kept the younger patrons away, and that’s caused Stafford no small amount of concern during her first year of business. But survival is survival, and in this case, it’s particularly sweet.

“I call it a Re–Opening,’ Stafford says, ”because we have grown so much in the last year that it’s like a whole new venue.”

Here’s the lineup for Saturday’s grand “re-opening”:

From snowy, scenic Asheville, N.C. comes the bizarre band the Hellblinki Sextet, which turns out tunes from the other side of darkness. Bandleader Andrew Benjamin plays guitar and rudimentary drums – at the same time – while singing in a boozy, Tom Waits–ian voice about devils, angels and those stuck in hellish purgatory. It’s been described as “raw pirate blues.”

Wearing whiteface makeup and an undertaker’s top hat, Benjamin leers, cackles and croons behind the kit, turning out tasty chunks of chords and wicked hell–jazz licks on his electric guitar.

The band is a revolving cast of characters, including (but not limited to) violin, bass, accordion, brass, voice, samples and whatever (or whoever) happens to be in Benjamin’s orbit. He’s like Dan Hicks in the bottom of a tequila bottle.

Although Hellblinki’s hard to beat, in terms of eclecticism, the night also features a couple of Savannah’s coolest bands from multiple sides of the tracks.

The Train Wrecks, the best there is at hard–hitting, rockabilly–styled Americana and roots music, are paired with the synthesized soundscapes of Sinister Moustache, one of the most popular acts to consistently pulsate and pound inside the Year One Wormhole’s dark and eerie corners. Savannah “baby band” Magazine Avenue will play, too.

The New York Disco Villains, an electronic weirdo/pop group from Columbia, S.C., are next. According to the band’s own media kit: “The Villains have the campy woozy feel of an Ed Wood film soundtracked by They Might Be Giants.” And we just could not say that any better.

Add to this the shake ‘n’ shimmy of Savannah’s Mei’attah Raqs bellydancing troupe, and the talents of wandering trickster David Jowers. “He’s an amazing magician and he’s been befuddling drunkards and blowing up ravers for as long as I can remember,” Stafford observes.

“And just to make sure, I saw his act sober and yes, it is still amazing.”

Tickets are $15 per person, or $25 per couple (or if you just want to bring a friend). Food from Angel’s BBQ is part of your ticket price.

Call Stafford at (912) 398–6342.