Everyone has a few random memories from childhood that are vivid and persistent for no good reason. Some folks have flashes of birthday parties or beloved relatives. I see Arlo Guthrie. The soundtrack for Alice's Restaurant was in constant rotation during my childhood, and the coverwith Arlo posed at a dinner table, nekkid but for a napkin around his neckfascinated me. I still get the pleasingly simplistic lyrics stuck in my head: "You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant." Far from being simplistic, Alice's Restaurant was one of the first major multimedia ventures in pop culture: It was a movie as well as a concept album, a song and a book (albeit one based on the screenplay). It makes a fascinating narrative, swinging from sweet Thanksgiving tale to social commentary based on a series of bizarre plot twists. And there's no more appropriate way to enjoy the film than with a slab of Deep Ellum's best chicken-fried steak and a cold beer, all at a venue that Arlo himself would approve of. The venerable All Good Café (2934 Main Street) hosts a Thanksgiving-eve screening of the free-spirited Alice's Restaurant at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. It's an event that will have you communing with your fellow Dallas-ites and creating your own random memories. Visit allgoodcafe.com for more details.
Wed., Nov. 21, 8:30 p.m., 2007