Blue Wahoos Return! Free
ALSO: BEER, DOGS, ROBOTS & ANDREW W.K. DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | APRIL 2018
Downtown Crowd | April 2018
Editor’s Letter 7
Landing the interview with WK was a big get for us, and we had a compelling image of him for the cover. On the other hand, the Blue Wahoos are just about the biggest thing downtown this time of year, and they’re coming back this month from last year’s championship season.
contents 7 True to the Brew
9 Everything’s Okay: An Interview with Andrew W.K. 12 Welcome to Hooville 15 Paws for a Cause 17 I, Robots 18 Album and Trailer Reviews 20 Dateline Downtown
A lot of questions go in to designing a cover. What are more people going to pick up? What’s going to print better? What just looks best? We decided on this month’s cover because we figured more of our readers would recognize Blue Wahoos Stadium than they would WK, though his interview should not be missed. We also like to support local organizations whenever possible. We’re excited both about the Wahoo’s return and WK’s show at the Vinyl Music Hall this month. We’ve also
Owners Malcolm & Glenys Ballinger Executive Editor Kelly Oden Editor Will Isern Art Director Bara’ah Jaraiseh Graphic Design Carly Stone
WILL ISERN editor e had a healthy debate in the office this month over what we would put on the cover of this issue. The choice was between the cover you see, and one of party rocker Andrew W.K., whose insightful musings you’ll find elsewhere in this issue.
Publisher Malcolm Ballinger
Editorial Assistant Tanner Yea
chosen to feature two great events happening in the month of April. The incredibly cool people at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition will welcome the public into their robotics lab on April 13. This will be a great opportunity for parents to get their kid’s interested in STEM topics, and for people of all ages to see some truly cutting edge technology. Then, Paws on Palafox returns at the end of the month, benefitting the Pensacola Humane Society. Trust me, we had to resist the urge to fill the cover with cute pups.
Contributing Writer Carly Stone Advertising Account Executives Paula Rode firstname.lastname@example.org Geneva Strange email@example.com Boyce White firstname.lastname@example.org Deadline for space and information is the 15th of the month prior to publication. For advertising rates or news tips contact Phone: 433-1166 · Fax: 435-9174 DOWNTOWN CROWD is published by Ballinger Publishing. Offices located at 314 N Spring St., Ste. A, Pensacola Florida 32501 Published by Ballinger Publishing
Finally, I had the opportunity to meet a very interesting man named Jim Martin who brews his own beer. I had no idea home brewing could be so easy, and I’m very thankful to Jim for taking the time to have us out. We hope you enjoy this issue, and will take the opportunity to attend some of events we’ve featured, and don’t let anyone tell you nothing goes on in Pensacola.
Downtown Crowd is locally owned and operated. It is published monthly for distribution in Pensacola, Florida. All Right Reserved. Reproduction or use of the contents herein is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. Comments and opinions expressed in this magazine represent the personal views of the individuals to whom they are attributed and/ or the person identified as the author of the article, and they are not necessarily those of the publisher. This magazine accepts no responsibility for these opinions. The publisher reserves the right to edit all manuscripts. All advertising information is the responsibility of the individual advertiser. Appearance in this magazine does not necessarily reflect endorsement of any products or services by Ballinger Publishing. © 2018
Cover design by Will Isern
A word from Curt Morse, Executive Director of the Downtown Improvement Board One subject matter expert recently wrote that “parking has been largely treated as a commodity, not an experience to be considered in the broader context of the driver’s day”. Over the past decade, the downtown parking system has been abused and ignored.
still available. We are also continuing the Downtown Merchant Parking Validation Program. Ask your merchant for more details.
We also recognize the need to establish predictable and fair enforcement policies. A uniform policy of enforcement hours has been esWe want you downtown enjoying tablished. Downtown parking will all the shopping, dining and enter- now be enforced Monday through tainment that the district has to Saturday, between 8 am and 7 pm. offer, not frustrated because you received a ticket. We recognize this, Our mission is to alleviate stress and we’re committed to making the and make parking easier and readmuch-needed changes to improve ily available. We also have a responsibility to improve, when we your parking experience. can, the entire parking experience Last month, we began rolling out for everyone’s benefit. We reinvest our new downtown parking sys- fees from parking and citations tem, including the smartphone app to improve downtown by not only adopting new technology, but by and text-to-pay features. upgrading lights, enhancing our At the core of these upgrades is the landscape and wayfinding signs, migration to a license plate recog- and by employing Downtown Amnition parking system. The old sys- bassadors that clean and maintain tem of paying for parking and then the parking garages and lots. displaying a ticket on your dashWhen you’re downtown, look for board will soon be gone. the red and white signs that will Today you can pay for parking tell you how and where to pay for through the Premium Parking app parking, or download the Premium or text-to-pay, you can receive alerts Parking app, or visit premiumparkon your phone before your time ex- ing.com/city/Pensacola. The app pires and pay for more time without is the fastest and easiest way to pay for parking in Pensacola. If having to return to the meter. you have questions, please call For our downtown patrons who our parking management team at prefer the old system of paying at (850) 434-5372. – Curt Morse the sidewalk, that functionality is
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Francesca Pastine, ARTFORUM 50 Hindsight, Mask Series, 2014, cut Artforum magazine, Plexiglass, 15 x 16.25 x 6 inches, courtesy of Eleanor Harwood Gallery, San Francisco, CA
CUT UP/CUT OUT March 3 - June 17 407 S. Jefferson St. Pensacola, FL 32502 850.432.6247 pensacolamuseum.org Museum Hours: Tues. - Thurs. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fri. - Sat. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sun. 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
On view in the second floor galleries: Henderson Thornton and Kugelman Family galleries and the Charles W. Lamar, Sr. Assembly Room Cut Up/Cut Out was organized by Carrie Lederer, Curator of Exhibitions, Bedford Gallery, Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, CA.
TRUE TO THE BREW By Will Isern
In Jim Martin’s garage, there’s a mini-fridge full of Bud Light that he hasn’t touched in years. In fact, Martin hasn’t bought himself a beer from the store in more than four years. He prefers his own stuff.
With the rise of craft beers and local breweries over the last decade, many people have developed an interest brewing their own suds.
Martin is a homebrewer. He brews pilsners and stouts, ales and ciders all from his home near Ten Mile Road.
Martin serves as treasurer for the Escambia Bay Homebrew Club, which counts about 110 members and includes most brewmasters from the area’s local breweries.
His brews have names like Honey Brown Ale, Imperial Stout, and a raspberry cider that a friend came up with and calls Bootie Juice.
They meet every month and have different competitions to see who can brew the best ale or IPA, cider or barley wine. Frequently, the club participates in charity events
One of Martin’s most popular creations is his honeylime wheat beer. “Everybody likes the Corona with the lime in it, so I thought this could be pretty good,” he said. “And it is.” Martin gives away most of the beer he makes at charity events or to friends. The law says he can brew as much as 200 gallons per year, per adult in his household so long as he doesn’t sell it. Martin got into brewing in the late 80s, after a friend brought some homebrews to a party. “I said, ‘Hey, this stuff is pretty good,’ and I got interested,” Martin said.
where they give their brews away. On April 21, they’ll host a tasting competition to benefit the Knights of Columbus at the St. Paul Catholic Church on Hyde Park Road. “That’s the best part, giving it away,” Martin said. Getting into homebrewing is easier than many people might realize, Martin said. While he has a seven-foot tall, three-pot system that takes up a whole corner of his garage, Martin said most people can get started with just a big pot and premade malt extract available at Gary’s Homebrew Supply on Gulf Beach Highway, a central hub for homebrewers in Northwest Florida. Getting it right might take some time, but the learning process is fun, Martin said. “When I first tried it, I thought, ‘Oh God, I’ve wasted my money,’ but then a week later of it sitting on the shelf I thought, ‘This is OK,’ and then two weeks later, ‘Hey, this is pretty darn good.” Should you be interested in homebrewing yourself or just want more information on the Escambia Bay Homebrew Club and their events, visit them on the web at EscambiaBayHomebrewers.org.
DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 7
PENSACOLA LITTLE THEATRE PRESENTS
*For Mature Audiences Only 6 Short One-Act Plays: An evening of one-acts about mothers, parents, and umbilical cords.
Directors: Millie Fisher, Mnemosyne Heileman, and Sadie Hight
May 4-6,10-13 2018
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EVERYTHING’S OKAY An Interview with Andrew W.K.
BY TANNER YEA Andrew Fetterly Wilkes-Krier, better known as Andrew WK, is a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, producer, actor, motivational speaker and more. After nine years, he has returned with his fifth studio album, You’re Not Alone. In anticipation of his concert on May 1 at Vinyl Music Hall, Downtown Crowd sat down with Andrew. What was intended to be an interview about music turned into a musing on destiny, positivity and the importance of partying.
DTC: What has you excited about your new album, You’re Not Alone? AWK: That’s a great way to put it, because it’s hard for me to think about what’s really different because it’s all part of the same effort. Every song on every album is me trying the best I can to make the most exciting feeling possible. That’s really what this music’s theme is: it’s intensity and excitement. They’re not really songs about a particular story or experience. It’s about a feeling I’m trying to muster up: a feeling of raw energy and power and sort of a life force, triumphant feeling. There are things on this album we’ve never really done. But they aren’t new just to be new, that’s just what happened. I try to approach the song and say, ‘OK, what can I do to make this song get to that feeling.” Next thing you know, you
have a song that’s more intense than any song you’ve made before. I think it’s more intense than, in a lot of ways, anything I’ve done – but that’s for each person to decide. It’s not meant to be different, it’s just meant to be good. I’m just trying to party as hard as I possibly can, and this is the result of my latest party effort. DTC: Do you think over the years, in a way, you’re partying has evolved? You have this whole ethos of partying and positivity, is this the next level? Have you ascended? AWK: I can only hope the party gods will tell me if I reach ascension point – I have to stay humble in their eyes. I think of it as if you’re an archer and you’re on the archery range, and you’ve devoted
your whole life to trying to hit a bull’s eye with your arrow. And so maybe you’ve developed new techniques – but you’re still trying to do the same exact thing, that hasn’t changed. There’s a purity of intention and a purpose that is completely clear and completely singular – that’s the focus. That’s what I’m trying to do with my work – I’m trying to hit this bull’s eye of feeling, of emotional intensity in all the different ways that I can. You hope that you get better at that, you hope that maybe you evolve or grow in your ability, but your goal is not evolving or growing. For me it couldn’t, because it’s the goal of all goals: to make life feel like it counts, to make life feel good. That’s the highest goal that I can even really imagine in terms of having work to do for the rest of my life. You’re trying to hit this mountaintop DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 9
An Interview with Andrew W.K.
pinnacle peak of feeling, of grandeur, of excitement – even of understanding. These pinnacle moments of experience: can we make those happen in music, in writing, in work, in just being alive here? Can we give those to each other? That’s my goal. Yeah, I hope the longer I do it the better I get at it – even if I don’t, maybe I’m getting worse at it – but I have to believe I’m getting better or I’ll quit. DTC: Was there anything in your past or any event that solidified this goal to you? Was there a moment where you realized this is what you wanted to do? AWK: There have been many moments. There were turning points, like moving to New York City for example. Often times what I’ve found, especially in the early years, is the goal – and that sense of purpose, that target you’re trying to hit – is pulling you towards it, but you don’t know that’s what’s happening. Your destiny reveals itself to you as you prove yourself to be prepared to accept it. If someone had told me what I was going to wind up doing all at once, I would have been overwhelmed. Most people have to prove themselves, not only to their destiny but prove themselves to themselves. I think that’s what happens: your sense of purpose clarifies as you continue on the path towards it. Because it is overwhelming and it is challenging and it demands a lot of you. There is that old saying that reality will never give you more than you are capable of taking on. The challenge will always be a little bit more than you actually are currently 10 | DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM
capable of doing, which is what inspires and forces that growth. DTC: Do you think with the way the world is now, it’s important to have a positive message or outlook more than when you started making music? AWK: It’s always been important, and it’s a timeless wrestling match of human nature: do we give into despair and frustration and all of the things around telling us that life is bad and everything’s getting worse, or do we hold onto a type of almost irrational optimism that tells us that even if things are getting worse, it’s not going to help to give up and throw in the towel. We have to be extremely resilient, and strong, and we have to rally. That’s always been the situation, humanity has been perpetually faced with extraordinary challenges. The problems we’re facing now are really problems born out of prosperity. It’s very important to keep the challenges in perspective and to also take responsibility for many of them – to realize we’ve had a hand in bringing these situations about. It is a type of faith. We have to believe there is a point to saving the world, or we will not save the world. It has to be worth saving. DTC: For a while, in between your last album and You’re Not Alone, you did a lot of stuff – voice acting, movies, television. Is there anything you will not try to do? AWK: There are lots of things I’m not good at. It’s a really great question the way you put it there, because it really
makes me realize how the things I’ve been invited to do – these opportunities that I never expected to have extended to me – aren’t necessarily things that I would think I would have been able to do, yet I was. Again, I think it’s destiny that gives you these opportunities you will excel at, even if they seem very hard at first or even if they seem very foreign and out of your comfort zone. All kinds of things that I’ve done I just never had any desire to do – I didn’t even set out to make rock music. I had to really figure out how to do this thing I didn’t know how to do – and I’m still figuring it out, holy smokes! I still have a long way to go in just learning how to do that most basic thing. Then if someone asks me to write an advice column or give a motivational speech, I never had plans to do that so I had to figure out how to do it. It is interesting though, because I have been able to figure out at least enough to be able to get out there and attempt it. But when it comes to something like hang-gliding or something, I’m glad no one has asked me to do that.
DTC: What kind of party should the people of Pensacola expect when you come into town? AWK: We will give everything we have on that stage – it’s a very high-energy show. It can even be a violent show, but it’s a cheerful type of violence. The atmosphere that we strive to create is one where you can dance around like a complete maniac and have everyone support you in doing so; or you can also completely stand to the side or in the corner and just watch, and that’s completely OK too. It’s a place where everybody’s OK as long as they treat everybody else OK. We can really together in that space, in that room, conjure up this feeling of excitement and raw positive energy. The kind of raw positive energy that’s so positive it transcends the definition of positive – it’s just pure goodness. Then we take that, and we take it out of the venue at the end of the night after the show, we put back it out into the world. Andrew WK will be performing at Vinyl Music Hall on May 1, supported by Paracosm. Doors open at 7 pm and tickets start at $20. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit vinylmusichall.com.
Photo by Manuel Rivas
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DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 11
WELCOME TO HOOVILLE Fresh off last year’s championship season, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos will return to play this month, with a new coaching staff and new amenities for the fans. The Wahoos will start the season on April 5 in Mobile. The team’s first homestand will begin on April 11 against Chattanooga. By Will Isern The Wahoos clenched the South League Championship last year, for the first time in franchise history. Team president Jonathan Griffith said winning the season was great, but that his focus always remains with providing the best fan experience. “Our whole feeling is if we’re providing that fan satisfaction, we’re going to keep the fans coming back,” Griffith said. “Winning is great but we don’t control that. We do control the customer service, so that’s always our focus.” To that end, Griffith said, the team is planning to roll out 12 | DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM
several new amenities at Blue Wahoos Stadium this year, including new snack and beverage vendors, new uniforms and branding, new mascots in addition to the popular Kazoo, and virtual reality location that will give fans the experience of going up against a pro pitcher. At the end of March, the Wahoos announced they would be rebranding the fan exprience at Blue Wahoos Stadium from “Wahoos Life” to “Hoosville.” The rebranding comes with a new promotional schedule for each day of the
week, including Military Monday, Tap and Taco Tuesday, Wahoo Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Fantastic Friday, Fireworks Saturday, and Family Sunday. The team will also welcome chef Jason Perry, a veteran of Jackson’s Steak house as their new head chef. Perry competed in the 2016 and 2017 World Food Championships and the Great American Seafood CookOff in 2017 where he represented the state of Florida. Perry will be responsible for re-imagining the menu served at the stadium. “For a minor league team to have a chef on staff is not a normal thing, but its something we believe in to have the best food we can here,” Griffith said. That focus on fan satisfaction has paid off. Roughly 300,000 fans have attended Wahoos games each
year for the last six years and the team maintains a 90 percent “net promoter score,” meaning that fans are extremely likely to recommend the games to others. On the field, the Wahoos will be led by new manager Jody Davis, bench coach Lenny Harris and hitting coach Mike Devereaux. Pitching coach Danny Darwin is the only member of the coaching staff to return from last season. Following his All-Star professional career, Davis has spent 10 years coaching at the minor league level and the last two seasons as the hitting coach with the Triple-A Louisville Bats. Harris and
Devereaux each won World Series championships as major league players and have spent years coaching in the Marlins’ and Rockies’ organizations, respectively.
be unveiled until just before the start of the season.
The Wahoos popular former manager Pat Kelly has taken over the Louisville Bats.
There will be changes in the game itself, as well. Major League Baseball announced in March that it would implement changes at the minor league level intended to speed up the game. Pitchers will now have just 15 seconds to begin their pitching motion when there are no runners on base. In games that go to extra innings, a runner will start the inning on second base.
The Wahoos’ player roster is controlled by the team’s parent organization, the Cincinatti Reds, so the player lineup won’t
“We believe these changes to extra innings will enhance the fans’ enjoyment of the game and will become something
“They’re all pretty veteran guys in the game of baseball, so that’s exciting,” Griffith said.
that the fans will look forward to on nights where the game is tied late in the contest,” Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner said in a statement. Weekend game times will see a change this season, as well. Saturday games will begin at 6:30 pm, and Sunday games will begin at 1 pm until after May, when they will move to 5 pm to relieve the summer heat. For more information on the Pensacola Blue Wahoos 2018 season, follow the Wahoos on social media or visit BlueWahoos.com.
DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 13
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PAWS FOR A CAUSE By Tanner Yea Pensacola is quickly becoming one of the most pet-friendly cities along the Gulf Coast, and it’s no surprise why. Plentiful outdoor spaces, restaurants that allow furry friends and an increasingly walkable downtown make it ideal for dog and cat lovers to bond with their fourlegged friends. Unfortunately, not every animal in Pensacola can have a loving home, but that is where the Pensacola Humane Society comes in. On April 28, they will be holding Paws on Palafox, their annual 3k family friendly dog walk that helps support the Barbara Grice Memorial Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic. “We’re committed to three things, and that’s love, adopt and advocate,” said Jennifer Bitner, Pensacola Humane Society’s executive director. “That’s at
the front of everything we do, and we live that statement every day.” Paws on Palafox begins at Plaza de Luna at Palafox Pier and continues through downtown along Palafox Street, through the historic district and under the shady trees of Seville Square. The walkers are organized into “packs” and 17 have been registered – roughly double from last year’s numbers. Along the route will be water and cooling stations for both the walkers and their furry friends. Eventually, the route will return to Plaza De Luna for a marathon after party that includes food, merchandise, music and an awards presentation for the top fundraisers. The Barbara Grice Memorial Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic, which the walk benefits, offers the lowest cost spay and neuter services across the Pensacola area. The goal of the clinic is to make sure as many pets as possible are spayed and neutered in order to reduce the number of incoming shelter animals. Since it opened in 2015, the clinic has performed over 15,000 surgeries.
“The Humane Express will allow us to get to our goal of adopting 1000 petsper-year,” said Bitner. “It will serve as a billboard for the society, and it lets us hold off-site adoptions more easily and frequently.” The walk itself is only the tip of the iceberg, as its importance is linked to 2018 being the Pensacola Humane Society’s 75th anniversary. Originally starting in 1943 in a one-room shelter, the operation has expanded to two entire buildings. In addition to the Humane Society’s normal events, this year will also see the formation of the Krewe of Paws – a Mardi Gras Krewe of volunteers and humane society workers – and the first annual Fur Ball, a gala event and fundraising year-end celebration.
“We’re the largest no-kill shelter in the region, but we are still limited in our abilities,” said Bitner. “We are helping to change the trajectory across the region, eventually working to make the entire Panhandle a no-kill region.”
As for long-term prospects, Bitner said there is currently discussion of building a new facility. A high intake of animals has made more space a necessity, and Bitner expressed that in order to continue their mission of helping animals, the society can’t just sit back and not have the conversation of expansion.
Making an appearance at Paws on Palafox is the Humane Society’s Humane Express – their brand new mobile adoption vehicle. Bought with a grant from Impact100, the Humane Express has 22 kennels and is designed to hold self-contained and off-site adoption events.
“We have a lot of big plans for the society, and wrapping them into the 75th anniversary celebration is the best way to unveil those new plans,” said Bitner. “We also want to be very collaborative with other rescues and other businesses, as those partnerships only help all involved.”
Paws on Palafox and other Humane Society events, like Barktoberfest and Foster Appreciation days, both help raise funds for the Human Society’s expansion as well as help local cats and dogs to find a forever home. Bitner believes that not only will Paws on Palafox provide fun and entertainment, but will also help animals in need in the Pensacola area. Paws on Palafox will be held on April 28 at 10 am, starting at Plaza de Luna. Registration as a walker is $30 for you and your pet, but you can always choose to give more. For more information and to register, visit pensacolahumane.org. DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 15
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I, ROBOTS By Tanner Yea
Technology keeps accelerating at an unbelievable pace every day, and at the forefront of this is the science of robotics. As the technology progresses, it’s important to both educate people on the nature of robotics and get the next generation excited about what they bring. The Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) is helping fill both of those needs with their Robotics Lab Open House on April 13, done in partnership with Pensacola MESS Hall. The Robotics Lab Open House is being held as part of the 8th Annual National Robotics Week, a national initiative meant to increase awareness and interest in STEM fields related to emerging robotics technology. Doug Stephen, a research associate at IHMC, said this would be the sixth year that IHMC has participated in the festivities. “These kinds of events are definitely important,” said Stephens. “People don’t realize that robotics is interdisciplinary. You don’t have
to just be a programmer, almost everything has a place in robotics.” The open house will feature a number of stations that will allow visitors and students to interact with the various robots that IHMC develops – such as controlling a robotic arm that will deliver candy or viewing VR simulations. IHMC researchers and developers will also be on hand to answer any questions people may have about their myriad designs. In addition, IHMC will also be hosting a screening of National Geographic’s film, “Robots.” The film will detail all the advancing technology and developments in the field of humanoid robotics, which IHMC has an express interest in. One of those humanoid robots will be on display; Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot will be present with its ability to jump, make sharp turns and even do backflips. There will also be prototypes of the FastRunner and Hexrunner; bipedal and hexapedal robots, respectively, that are
designed for speed and agility. The MicroAirVehicle team will also make an appearance, flying their advanced drone quadcopters around the event space. Perhaps the most interesting design on display is the NASA-IHMC X1 Exoskeleton – a sort of wearable device that fits over a person’s arms and legs, augmenting their natural movements with robotic strength. Stephens said it is intended are a paraplegic assistive device that could potentially allow disabled users full mobility again. “We’re looking to make more useful robots, ones that are made for general use. Robots currently usually have one purpose, like bomb disposal robots, but we want to make one that can reuse tools and can take the place of a human in potentially life-threatening situations,” said Stephen. Part of that development is a new humanoid robot in development at IHMC, the designs of which will be shown at the open house. Stephens
said the robot is in the realization phase of design, though he expects a working prototype in roughly the next five years. IHMC hopes that the open house will inspire students regardless of age to pursue a career in STEM fields that would drive them towards a career in the burgeoning robotics fields. The demonstrations at the event are both meant to inform students about robotic concepts and the real world applications they have. “IHMC has been around for a while, and these events help us show our vision for the future,” said Stephens. “It’s great to see how it has grown, and IHMC will be here for quite a while.” The IHMC Robotics Lab Open House will be held on Friday, April 13 from 4 to 7 pm at IHMC’s main campus at 40 South Alcaniz Street. The event is free and open to all ages. For more information, visit robotcs.ihmc.us/ openhouse or email email@example.com. DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 17
Albums: What we’re listening to this month Caitlyn smith DEATH GRIPS starfire THE MONEY STORE EPIC RECORDS
by TANNER YEA – Why am I reviewing Death Grips’ debut album Money Store, when it came out nearly six years ago? Well, the famous industrial/noise/ hip hop/punk/whatever trio has just announced their new album Year of the Snitch, and I decided to go back and brush up on my Death Grips knowledge. Death Grips is not a band everyone will enjoy – the trio of Stefan Burnett (MC Ride), Zach Hill and Andy Morin make music that would confuse most, and terrify some. It’s an abrasive cacophony of manic drums, heavily distorted and looped samples and the aggressive lyrics and delivery of MC Ride. But that’s what I like about it – it’s so primal and angry, and not in a stereotypical way. Money Store switches in subjects from paranoia to drug use to violence, and its energy creeps into you without you expecting it. Death Grips is a band that is not making music for money, but for art – or as MC Ride says in I’ve Seen Footage, “I stay niche.” It may not be overly intellectual, but the energy and fury on Money Store is a reminder that not everything needs to be clean to have meaning.
by Carly Stone – I’m not a huge fan of country music. I can appreciate it and I grew up with it, so it’s not that I haven’t had the opportunity to be exposed to “good country music,” it just isn’t my bag. Despite growing up on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, I preferred bands like Sonic Youth and Pavement. The more lo-fi and noisy it was, the better. Maybe it was a silent protest, maybe not, but it took me a long time to appreciate my unequivocal, albeit concealed, country roots. With that said, the first time I heard this album, I expected pop country and pop country it is definitely not. Starfire is at its core a country album, but it is unquestionably a little more nuanced than that. Featuring an entire orchestra in songs like “East Side Restaurant”, there are elements of soul, gospel and jazz throughout. Another favorite “St. Paul” is a perfect summer pop anthem, with beats that instantly make you a little happier and keep your toe tapping. Caitlyn Smith, a seasoned Nashville singer-songwriter, has spent 15-plus years in the industry with writing credits that include Dolly Parton and Lady Antebellum, so it’s not entirely fair to call her a “break-
STANDOUT TRACKS: The Fever (Aye Aye) Hustle Bones I’ve Seen Footage Punk Weight
out star.” While she may not be a household name (yet), Smith has been polishing her chops for a while now and it shows. By far my favorite song on the record is “Before You Called Me Baby.” With Smith singing how she used to be “messed up, wandering, broke down, stumbling, running for my life”, it’s plain to see she’s finally found her way and the music she’s making serves as a testament to just that.
Before You Called Me Baby Don’t Give Up on My Love Cheap Date
Movie reviews (based solely on the trailer) BY TANNER YEA
Truth or Dare
The most insane thing about this movie is the fact that absolutely nowhere in the promotions do they mention this is an adaptation of the 1986 arcade game Rampage. The Rock “Dwayne” Johnson returns as ex-military-man-wearing-dirty-khakis for his 900th action movie role, and who even cares. This movie is about big monsters and big explosions and Dwayne Johnson really being the only non-superhero action movie star that isn’t Tom Cruise or old (or both) – that’s it. Will it be bad? Probably, but the arcade game is very fun.
Does anyone remember the 2014 smash horror hit, Oujia, based on the classic Parker Brothers board game? No? Well guess what! Blumhouse is back with another horror adaptation of a children’s game, and this time it’s Truth or Dare! What does Universal Studios have against making money? They used to be the absolute kings of horror, but with cash-grab garbage fire Blumhouse movies and the failed Dark Universe franchise just continually being a burden, why do their investors even give them the time of day? Also, never release a horror movie in the spring.
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Czarface, MF DOOM Czarface Meets Metal Face SILVER AGE
BY WILL ISERN – Czarface is a hip-hop group comprised of Wu-Tang Clan member Inspectah Deck, MC Esoteric and producer 7L. MF DOOM is one of the best rappers of all time, when he tries. Together, they’ve made a solid hip-hop album. Rhymes are tight and packed STANDOUT TRACKS: with alliteration. The production is oldBomb Thrown school, sample-based boom-bap. There Phantoms are virtually no hooks. It’ll take several playthroughs to unpack all the rhymeplay on this album, if you can make it that far. Old-school hip hops heads will enjoy this one, but it can be a lot to take in. The second half really falls off. File this one alongside all the other coprojects MF DOOM has done while fans have waited for Madvillainy 2.
BY CARLY STONE
A QUIET PLACE APRIL 6
I love the idea of a movie starring John Krasinski and Emily Blunt (they’re married, if you didn’t already know that) so this trailer definitely peaked my interest. Set in what looks like an almost post-apocolyptic time period, Krasinski and Blunt are a married couple with children (and one on the way) and their only chance of survival is to live in complete silence so these creatures that hunt by sound don’t attack and kill them. Easy enough, right? Wrong! At one point, the trailer depicts Emily Blunt attempting to give birth while remaining quiet and, wow. I’ll admit, I love movies like this and this almost reminds me of 10 Cloverfield Lane, which I adored. This one is a definite watch for me.
THE WEEKND My Dear Melancholy,
XO & REPUBLIC RECORDS by WILL ISERN – Days before this issue came out, The Weeknd dropped a new EP. The pop star’s latest is called My Dear Melancholy, and comes in at just six songs and 21 minutes in length. As the title suggests, the EP mines the same vein of sad boy rap/R&B that Kanye West started with 808s and Heartbreak and which has been propa- STANDOUT TRACKS: gated since by artists like Drake, Lil Uzi Wasted Times Vert, and Yung Lean and many others. My Dear Melancholy, finds The Weeknd crooning over the same distorted synths and low-end bass that he’s been on since House of Balloons. Topics of interest include women, sex, desire, pain, betrayal etc. Lines like “And I know right now that we’re not talkin’ / I hope you know this d*** is still an option,” are laughably bad, but the sentiment is conveyed nonetheless. Taken as a whole, the EP is fine, but these songs could have come out at any point in the Weeknd’s career. One wonders if the artist has anything else up his sleeve.
BY WILL ISERN
SUPER TROOPERS 2 APRIL 20
The inevitable cult hit gets an inventible sequel. Movies like this are contradictory in nature. On the one hand, fans of the original want to relive the old magic in a new story. On the other, no one wants to see the original tarnished with a paint-by-numbers reboot. Just the idea of a sequel was enough to raise $4.4 million in an Indiegogo crowd funding campaign. The old gang is back together and, it seems, are taking over a town in Canada. What made the first Super Troopers great wasn’t the story, but the absurdist antics of its characters. With the original cast back for the second round, the sequel looks promising. But 17 years is a long time to go between films. Hopefully they haven’t lost the touch. DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 19
Pensacola Blue Wahoos
Come and cheer for our local team as the Pensacola Blue Wahoos as they enter their 2018 season. Enjoy the cool breezes off Pensacola Bay and an exciting game of America’s favorite pastime all throughout spring. All games listed below are home games. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit bluewahoos.com. April 11-15: vs. Chattanooga Lookouts April 21-25: vs. Birmingham Barons
Vinyl Music Hall
Vinyl Music Hall hosts a variety of events, and this month features original artists, events and once-in-a-lifetime entertainment. For more information and to purchase tickets for any of these events, visit vinylmusichall.com. April 7: BustOut Burlesque’s: Bad Girls of Burlesque April 9: Dying Fetus, Thy Art Is Murder April 14: Jerry Garcia Band Cover Band – JGBCB April 15: The Wailers April 17: The Lone Bellow April 18: Black Uhuru April 19: The Black Angels With Special Guests The Black LipsThe Birds & The Bees Tour April 20: Allman Goldflies Band April 21: Ty Segall April 22: Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox April 27: Beats Antique April 28: The Maine April 29: Hatebreed April 30: Palaye Royale
Through April 20 The UWF Pensacola Museum of Art celebrates its member community with the 64th Annual Members of the PMA (MoPMA) exhibition. Art is a language that engages the mind and stimulates the senses. This exhibition features the work of artists, makers, designers, and creative thinkers from our supportive member community, 20 | DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM
and seeks to generate community dialogue as well as foster creative expression and thought. For more information, visit pensacolamuseum.org.
Chamber Music Recital
April 4 The University of West Florida Department of Music will present an afternoon of chamber music on Wednesday, Apr. 4 at noon at Old Christ Church in Historic Pensacola at 405 South Adams St. The Chamber Music Class celebrates the spring season with merry melodies by Handel, Mozart, Verdi, Grieg, Chopin and Liszt. The program also includes traditional spirituals and South American percussion music. Every performance in the series is free and open to the public with no tickets required. Music lovers of all ages are welcome. For more information, please contact the CFPA Music Office at 850.474.2147.
April 6 - 8 A Treehouse Production directed by Jennifer Godwin, Little Women will make its heartfelt debut at Pensacola Little Theatre in April. Little Women is a story that never will grow old for its treatment of a mother’s love for her children and their appreciation for the love of friends and family. This play will charm audiences of all ages and will be PLT’s feature for school children. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit pensacolalittletheatre.com.
Discovery of the DeLuna Site Lecture April 7 An outstanding lecture at the Bagdad Museum, featuring special guest and UWF student Tom Garner. Garner will speak about his discovering the landing of the DeLuna wreck in Pensacola. This is part of a
Catch The Lone Bellow at Vinyl Music Hall on April 17th
continuing lecture series at the Bagdad Museum covering all aspects of Pensacola history. The lecture starts at 10 am. For more information, call 850-2935349.
Pensacola Symphony Orchestra Presents: Russian Spectacular: Gil Shaham Plays Tchaikovsky April 7 An evening with the sweeping romance of Romeo and Juliet and the stunning talent of Grammy Award-winning violinist Gil Shaham performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Considered unplayable when it was written, the piece has become the ultimate showcase. It’s a perfect match for Shaham’s sumptuous sound, razor-sharp precision and magnetic charm. Tickets start at $23, and the show starts at 7:30 pm at Saenger Theatre. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit pensacolasymphony.com.
Gulf Coast Half Marathon
April 8 Come race what Competitor Magazine list as a MUST DO race. 2018 will be our 9th year and last year we added a new 5K option to the Half/10 miler. Looking for a destination race? Well you’ve found it. Pensacola Beach was ranked on TripAdvisor’s Top 25 Beaches in the U.S. Come for the run, stay for the party! All distances will be awarded a finisher’s medal. For more information and to register for the marathon, visit runpensacolabeach.com.
April 12 - 15 Beginning in 2017, Cirque Italia, the first traveling Water Circus, introduced a second unit, the Gold Unit: a luxurious experience where technology and preforming arts are mixed to create a one-of-a-kind show. Now for 2018, a brand-new performance has been created. This new performance will feature an ultra-modern water curtain that controls every
droplet of water meticulously. Located under the stunning White and Blue Big Top tent at Cordova Mall, this will be a show set to dazzle. For showtimes and tickets, visit cirqueitalia. com.
Pensacola Beach Firefighters Challenger
April 13 - 14 Pensacola Sports is excited to partner with Wells Fargo Advisors to host the third annual Pensacola Beach Firefighters Challenge. This event will test the strength, agility, teamwork, and skills of firefighters as well as provide a fun, family friendly event for participants and the public. Unique to this event and as an added level of difficulty, all the skills and competition will take place on the beautiful white sand of Pensacola Beach. For more information and to register for the competition, visit pensacolasports.org.
Creatisphere Summer Art CamP Creatisphere takes art “out of the box,” allowing participants to explore and experiment with unique art forms that encourage creative development, critical thinking skills and innovation! Pottery • Drawing • Sculpture • Photography Glass Blowing • 3-d Design • Mixed Media • Painting Printmaking • Collage • Textiles • Yoga and more! Each each is different! Check the website for complete details.
FCAC will partner with the Mess Hall for select weeks! Ages 7-12, Week Long Camps May 29-Aug 10 Cost: $200-$250 For more info visit Firstcityart.org, or call (850) 429-1222
Teen Summer Workshops Working in a studio environment teens gain understanding of complex concepts, develop problem solving and risk taking skills, and discover positive ways to express themselves! • June 18-29 Sculpture: Clay, Wood, & Glass • July 9-13 Photography, Printmaking, & Painting • July 16-20 Textiles, Clay, & Mixed Media • July 23-27 Stained Glass and Pottery on the Wheel
FCAC will partner with Bare Hand Collective for select weeks! Ages 12-16 Cost: $200-$250 For more info visit Firstcityart.org, or call (850) 429-1222
Keep Our Friends Safe
Call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646) savethemanatee.org Photo © David Schrichte
Pensacola Guitar Orchestra 35th Anniversary Spring Recital
April 14 This year’s recital will feature the world premiere of an original composition written for, and dedicated to, the Pensacola Guitar Orchestra by Stallings the founder and director of the guitar programs at Pensacola State and the University of West Florida. The piece, “Sea of Dreams,” was written to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the founding of the orchestra, which held its first recital on April 15, 1983, at Pensacola State. The composition features instruments of the guitar orchestra, including the soprano guitar and the contrabass guitar. The show starts at 7:30 pm at the Pensacola State College Ashmore Auditorium. For more information, visit pensacolastate.edu
Blue Angels Practice
April 17 – 18 There’s nothing quite like watching the Blue Angels, even in practice flights. The skill and courage required to perform
aerial maneuvers in tight formations at 400 to 700 mph, all while maintaining as little as 18 inches of separation, is aweinspiring! Make sure to get a good seat at the National Naval Aviation Museum in order to experience the majesty of flight. Practice starts at 11:30 am and admission is free. For more information, visit navalaviationmuseum.org.
Music Under the Stars with Grayson Capps & Corky Hughes
April 20 Southern troubadour Grayson Capps returns to the From the Ground Up Community Garden and the man that can play anything, Corky Hughes. Singersongwriter Grayson Capps hails from South Alabama and spent a decade in New Orleans. Capps is an American gem, equal parts country singer, bluesman, rock star, philosopher, and poet. Bring your drinks, chairs and prepare your ears for some soulful music. The show starts at 7 pm. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit graysoncappsandcorkyhughes. eventbrite.com.
Celtic Woman – Homecoming Tour
April 25 Since its debut, global musical sensation Celtic Woman’s concerts continue to touch the hearts of a huge audience that spans the globe. Both an accomplished recording ensemble and a world-class performing collective, Celtic Woman celebrates Ireland’s rich musical and cultural heritage, while continuing its remarkable legacy of introducing some of Ireland’s most talented singers and musicians onto the world stage. For one night, their classic music and spirit will fill Saenger Theatre with the sounds of Ireland. The show starts at 7 pm, with tickets starting at $42. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit pensacolasaenger.com.
Pensacola Symphony Orchestra Presents: Symphonie Fantastique
April 28 A stirring performance featuring Berlioz’s composition of “Symphonie Fantastique,” one of the most thrilling orchestral display pieces ever written, and ethereal
Don’t miss the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra performing Symphonie Fantastique on April 28th
works by Nielsen and guest composer Chris Rogerson. This concert is all about music that tells a story. The symphony performs at Saenger Theatre, with doors opening at 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $23. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit pensacolasaenger.com.
2018 Pensacola Triathlon
April 29 As one of the first races on the Gulf Coast’s calendar, Pensacola Triathlon is a must-do. Start your race with a swim in the refreshing Pensacola Bay, bike along the scenic out-and-back course, and run through Historic Pensacola neighborhoods and past cheering spectators. Race Headquarters is held at Maritime Park. The event concludes with a festive waterfront awards party featuring music, great food, and cold beer. The race starts at 6:15 am. For more information and to register, visit werunwild.com.
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