COVER STORY: Rockin' dog days

MEAT ON STICK, MUSIC ONSTAGE AMONG TREATS TO BE SAVORED AT 12TH 'RAMA

While the tube steaks are offered in a variety of flavors (including veggie for non-meat eaters) and the corn dog-eating contest remains a focal point, there's plenty more than just mustard and beer to wash it down. With last year's move to Lenny's, Corndogorama has expanded to three stages of music, including a beach party in the parking lot where DJs spin from a lifeguard chair overlooking a metric ton of sand, kiddie pools and Jagermeister bikini girls.

In keeping with the event's 12th anniversary, we've picked the top 12 bands and DJs that are sure to make this festival cook up like none other.

Heinous Bienfang

It's been several years since this gonzo rock outfit last performed. Known for injecting their shows with performance art stunts like throwing dozens of pingpong balls into the audience and using broken toasters in lieu of smoke machines for theatric effect, there's no telling what the band has in store for this resurrection show. 11:30 p.m. today on the main stage.

CX Kidtronik

Having started his hip-hop career in Atlanta as the leader of Knowledge in the Name of . . ., CX helped introduce a then unknown talent named Saul Williams. For the past few years he has been a member of Williams' touring band and collaborated with the likes of Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. He performs his own amalgamation of electronica, punk and hip-hop. 6:45 p.m. Friday on the outdoor stage.

Hollyfaith

Once a fixture on the burgeoning Atlanta rock scene, this recently reunited band sadly faded into obscurity before disbanding in the '90s. Mixing post-glam riffs with gritty grunge and a heavy dose of Cult-like moodiness, the band is part of the main stage lineup Friday night. 9:30 p.m. Friday on the main stage.

Klever

One of many DJs spinning this year, Klever's turntable skills have earned him numerous accolades around the world, including two Disco Mix Club national championships. His night set is sure to not only keep the booties shaking, but should also be an impressive display of scratching skills. 9:30 p.m. Friday on the outdoor stage.

James Hall

With various backing bands and collaborators, Hall's gothy post-punk has been on the verge of mainstream crossover since the early '90s. He maintains a cult following and has recently been recording solo material with a new band. 10:10 p.m. Friday on the main stage.

Judi Chicago

Scuzzy electro beats, garage rock soul and an over-the-top live show have garnered this local outfit plenty of hipster praise. No strangers to Lenny's, the duo brings its keytars, short shorts and comedic costumes to the main stage for a late-night performance on Friday. 11:20 p.m. Friday on the main stage.

Beachtitti

This DJ brought the beach party to last year's Corndogorama, unknowingly creating a new attraction for the event. He and the beach return this year for two performances including beach balls, Brazilian beats and summer vibes. 2:15 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday on the outdoor stage.

The Seraphix

Featuring members of the Little Five Points Rockstar Orchestra (best known for its performances of "Jesus Christ Superstar"), the Seraphix creates a darker, proggy metal sound somewhere between Rush, Iron Maiden and Danzig. Noon Sunday on the outdoor stage.

Vietnam

Somewhat of a legend on the local music scene, Vietnam once performed alongside peers like R.E.M., Pylon and John Lydon's Public Image Ltd. Though it never reached the commercial success those bands experienced, this new wave act has soldiered on in local clubs. 2:30 p.m. Sunday on the main stage.

Heather Luttrell

Before she appeared on the "Rock Star: INXS" reality show in 2005, Luttrell was known throughout the Southeast for her intimate and soulful performances, both as a solo artist and with her backing band the Hungover. 2:30 p.m. Sunday on the outdoor stage.

The Khans (U.S.)

Fronted by Corndogorama organizer David Railey, the Khans' sound is equal parts shoegazer, indie grunge and classic rock. Playing on the main stage just before the surprise headliner on Sunday, Railey's band will have to offer more than greasy food to stand out. Or maybe not, considering how much cheap beer will have been consumed by then. 10:30 p.m. Sunday on the main stage.

Zoroaster

Taking its name from an ancient Iranian philosopher, Zoroaster channels the sludgy metal stylings of Black Sabbath and the Melvins with hints of punk, black metal and psychedelia. The band is also known for creating a spectacle with high-energy performances complemented by elaborate lighting and smoke. 9:45 p.m. Sunday on the outdoor stage.

> THE 411: Corndogorama: The Year of the Mustard King. $8-$50. 8 p.m. June 26; noon June 27-29. Lenny's Bar, 486 Decatur St. S.E., Cabbagetown. 404-577-7721, www.corndogorama.com, www.lennysbar.com.

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