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Middle Tennessee’s Source for Art, Entertainment and Culture News

MUSIC Walnut House invites recording enthusiasts to experience Studio LIFE.

Issue 1 Vol. 7, 2012 y Januar

FReEOE ne!

pg. 20


LIVING GREEN Tips to reduce energy consumption and lower your electric bill.


pg. 5

ART Smyrna's New Earthsoul Gallery pushes community creativity.

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to Better Fitness in 2012

The Ascent Climbing Wall  Full Body Workout with Tri-Fit  The Editor's Running Routine 

pg. 14







Living Green Reducing home energy consumption.


Phil Valentine "Tax Cut" is just bribing workers with their own money.


La Palabra 12 Predicciones para 2012.


Military Men for Ron Paul More veterans show preferance for Paul.



ell, our Jr. got his Buzz and Woody figures for Christmas. Life-sized, just like the movies.


Murfreesboro Entrepreneurs Larry Sims shares journey from young antique enthusiast to real estate leader.


Apple Talk Optical drives may be on the way out.


COMMUNITY EVENTS Polar Bear Plunge held at Sports*Com.


Read to Succeed Book Review Daughter of Smoke and Bone


On The Cover 14

Time to Climb Just hanging out at The Ascent, Murfreesboro's indoor climbing facility.


Full Body Workout Tri-Fit goes over a few basic excercises anyone can do right at home.


MMA in Murfreesboro Guardian trains serious fighters and little ninjas at new location near Hasting's.

ART 18

Earthsoul Gallery Angela Elkins opens new art exhibit space/learning center in Smyrna.


The Art of Arrowmont MTSU gallery hosts work from Gatlinburg arts and crafts school.

SOUNDS 20 Studio LIFE Recording students can gain thousands of hours of studio time at Walnut House. 21

Album Reviews Sky Hi, Jefferson Grizzard, Dax, greater>than, King, Adam Dalton, JoZoara Coffeehouse Sessions

24 CONCERT LISTINGS Don't miss Kansas Bible Company at The Boro on Saturday, Jan 7.

THEATER 26 To Hold Our Destiny Dead Man's Cell Phone a poignant exploration at Out Front.

MOVIES 27 Reviews The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

SPORTS 28 Z-Train Titans end above .500, but no playoffs. 29 A Running Routine for 2012 Getting started running is easy: run.

FOOD 30 Blue Agave Flaming fajitas, tons of tequillas and fresh guacamole made tableside.


Living Room Cinema The Series of Beginnings.

And they came just in time, for a few days after Christmas we needed some extra manpower. Bracken Jr. had spent a few hours at Recess Playroom, and now back at home the realization came that Blue One, the best, fuzziest blanket in the world—a blanket that would make Linus Van Pelt himself green with envy—had not returned. "We must fetch it now," we agreed. Knowing this mission would certainly require some reinforcements, Jr. quickly recruited the most trusty cowboy and courageous space ranger there are; “Woody come, Buzz come,” he says. Yes, great idea. This could be a dangerous adventure. So, we proceeded to the Pulsemobile, my short little man with a Disney/Pixar-inspired partner in each hand. Onto the Playroom, to recover our comrade—who has been known as Blue long before the restaurant located next to Recess Playroom took the name as its own . . . Blue One was recovered without incident. To infinity and beyond! What a year 2011 has been for villainous, caricatured foreign dictators; Osama, Muammmar and Kim Jong-il are all out. Mr. Parrish predicts 2012 may see the demise of Cuba’s Castro. We shall see. Do you ever wish you could just hibernate from New Year's Day until about Mid-March? If there’s a plus side to sickness, being sick makes one appreciate health even more. So, if Israel needs the help of the U.S. military so much (evidently the assumption the U.S. operates under, at least), why don't we colonize her? Have the Israelis pay federal taxes that go towards the U.S. military. They will be the 51st state. It shall be known as Jewish Carolina. While we're at it, let's become one with Mexico; share infrastructure, jobs and vacation destinations. Fight the border war by eliminating the border. South Texas, perhaps. And take back the Philippines, a little Asian influence in the empire building. The major news outlets, already pretty hard to take seriously, have further damaged their own credibility in “reporting” on the Republican primary. It seems they favor and block out certain candidates. Besides that, their coverage in general is ridiculous and more about the strategies used by the candidates to get elected just as much as any kind of issue that has real impact on people. Banks and financial sector enterprises are large advertisers with the TV networks. Perhaps those types of business try and pressure to have Ron Paul marginalized


Gagflex: Goodbye 2011 A look at the year defined by protests, Osama's death and Tim Tebow.



Publisher/Editor in Chief: Bracken Mayo Art Director: Sarah L. Mayo Copy Editor: Cindy Phiffer Advertising Reps: Don Clark, Ryan Noreikas Photographer: Jon Wesenberg

Contributing Writers: Spencer Blake, Patrick Clark, Ryan Egly, Chris Goebel,Mai Harris, Bryce Harmon, Jason Johnson, Marcus Luche, Zach Maxfield, Ryan Noreikas, Jessica Pace, Michelle Palmer, Cameron Parrish, Jay Spight, Norbert Thiemann, Chris Wells, Adam Valentine, Phil Valentine

because they don’t want limitless supply of interest free money from the Fed to play around with cut off. Is that it? Is Boeing behind it? I don't know. I really am perplexed by the bias, but it certainly appears present. After some study of our nation’s formation and history, it seems over the last century the people have repeatedly handed over their liberty out of fear. Some evil force comes along—Nazis, drugs, communism, terrorism—and people are willing to surrender money and liberty. Citizens have allowed this to happen and snowball until we all find ourselves nearly fallen slaves to the military industrial complex. “There’s bad guys out there, we better amend the Constitution so we can seize more of our own citizens’ money,” they said in World War I, when the U.S. Federal income tax was created. “Plants will kill you and you people aren’t intelligent enough to protect yourselves,” they said as the DEA was formed. “Better let us have access to all of your communications and the right to search and detain whomever we want,” Obama says now. “They try and build a prison, for you and me to live in,” says System of a Down. Those who oppose the madness are the ones the elites label unpatriotic traitors. Today, people choose to submit in order to make things easier for their families, rather than rebel to truly change the system for our children’s children. It’s a choice of convenience. We live a comfortable lifestyle. Most Americans have food on the table, and a heated house in which to sleep. A solitary individual, a renegade with nothing to live for could make the choice to make a statement, shoot some IRS or DEA agents, and possibly be remembered as a patriot or martyr for doing so. However, the family man or woman with a spouse and kids is generally not making life better for the family by truly challenging the government. Who wants to stir up trouble with a bloated, corrupt government when one has the the immediate necessities of life and family. So rather than revolt, you must vote them out. It takes a long time, but that's the way the system is set up. It takes a while to get the beast moving. I want to pass on to the next generations a land of opportunity. Not a land of entitlement. A land where there is no IRS, DEA, Federal Reserve, national debt, 2 million people behind bars and ridiculous tax codes. The land of the free! Peace,

Bracken Mayo, Editor in Chief

To carry The Pulse at your business, or submit letters, stories and photography: 116-E North Walnut St., Murfreesboro, TN 37130 (615) 796-6248

Copyright © 2011, The Murfreesboro Pulse, 116-E N. Walnut St., Murfreesboro, TN 37130. Proudly owned, operated and published the first Thursday of each month by the Mayo family; printed by Franklin Web Printing Co. The Murfreesboro Pulse is a free publication funded by our advertisers. Views expressed in The Pulse do not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers. ISSN: 1940-378X





OPINIONS Goodbye 2011 2011, you brought us many great nuggets to talk, text and tweet about. Here are your 10 greatest hits. 1. Protests. In Arab countries, 2011 will be known as the year of the Arab Spring. Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia all had protests and revolutions that lead to the outing of longstanding governments and dictators. We also saw protests in Bahrain, Jordan and Oman. In the U.S., we had the Occupy Wall Street protest, or what’s referred to as the Dirty Jealous Hippy protests by people who work on Wall Street. Results are still pending. 2. The Death of Osama bin Laden. Who didn’t read every detail about the Navy Seals killing Osama bin Laden? Okay, if


most American read then hard as he does deserves they would have read it. to succeed, unless of But I’m sure the made-forcourse you try hard at TV movie will rock all the murdering. column by JASON JOHNSON same. Sorry, Gadhafi. Being dragged out of a drain 5. The Debt Ceiling pipe and shot by your own people doesn’t Fight. Obama should have seen it coming. make the cut. He should know by now that Republican’s act anonymously as a party and are willing to 3. The GOP Presidential Field.  bring the whole system down to get their way. I don’t know who’s going to get the Republican nomination, and I’m not sure that I care. 6. The End of the War in Iraq. It only took It’s hard to care when Herman Cain is no lon- 8 years after George W. Bush declared “Mission ger is the race. Where Rick Perry’s implosion accomplished” to pull our troops out of Iraq. was just a little hard to watch, Herman Cain’s fall was like a beautiful swan dive off a moun- 7. The Death of Kim Jong Il. It’s tain of indefensible lies and bad ideas. Who almost hard to imagine that the Dear cares what Romney has to say, we’ve heard it before. Also, Ron Paul has a few good ideas. People might even take him seriously if his own party did.


4. Tebowmania. Of course, Tebow will continue to play football, but the cherry has already been popped on the first year of hysteria. Anyone who tries as

Leader could actually die with all the claims about his miracle existence. Then again the $650,000 he spent on cognac every year might have finally caught up to him. 8. Tornados. I hate ’em. They ravaged many parts of the South, and I fear they’ll come and get me if I leave them off the list. 9. The Royal Wedding. Americans once again got to act like they care about the biggest welfare recipients in England. However, the one positive that can be taken away from the wedding is that Pippa Middleton exists. 10. Twitter. If you heard about the story before everyone else then you probably found out about it on Twitter. It doesn’t matter if it’s true, it matters that you know first. While Twitter has been around for a few years, 2011 is the year that people discovered that if it’s over 140 characters, then it’s probably not worth knowing.

Stay Out Mr. Frost!


few years ago I heard a presentabenefit. A friend of mine turned his old, woodtion by two permaculturists while framed cathode ray tube TV into a fish tank, attending the monthly EarthSave providing hours of nature programming. Louisville potluck. The topic was a community house that the presenters were 3. Appliances. Look for the Energy Star ratbuilding. I will never forget how the convening. Appliances account for about 20 percent of tional home was described: the modern house home energy use. For best in class listings, visit is a heat and energy sink, sucking energy from the grid and consuming it in the form of AC, heating, lighting, appliances, electronics, etc. 4. Hot water. Install low-flow shower heads A motion was made by the presenter with and faucets to reduce water use. Use the lowboth hands, narrow at the onset and widening est settings on dish and laundry washers (the downwards, which conveyed the message of bulk of the energy used for these activities is energy disappearing into nothing. In the Volconsumed when heating the water). Lower the unteer State, that disappearing energy has two thermostat on the water heater to 120 degrees primary sources: natural gas and coal. (every 10 degree reduction provides 3–5 perData from the U.S. Energy Information cent in energy savings). Turn the water heater Administration (EIA) shows that residential off for extended periods of inactivity (days). electricity use increased sharply from 19502000, while the use of natural gas decreased 5. Home temperature. Invest in a slightly during the same time period. Increases programmable thermostat, which allows for in appliance efficiency and home insulation different temperatures while away and at night. have been offset by a number of factors. The It is estimated that a 10–15 degree temperature average size of homes in the U.S. is 45 percent reduction for 8 hours during the winter can larger than 30 years ago, while the number save 10 percent on heating bills. In the summer, of occupants has decreased. The result is an I find that a degree or two can make a signifiincrease in per capita floor area, extra space cant impact on the AC cycle frequency. that has to be heated and cooled. The number of The Murfreesboro appliances and electronics Electric Department offers has also risen dramatically; home energy audits and many are never turned off. works with contractors Per capita residential who can implement changcolumn by RYAN EGLY electricity consumption in es. An audit costs $150, all Tennessee is 6,868 kwh, of which will be refunded which is 2,274 kwh higher than the national in the form of a check if $150 worth of energy average and places us at No. 2 nationally (EIA). improvements are made within 90 days. You How embarrassing! Apart from our damaged are also eligible for a 50 percent reimbursepride, this staggering number translates into a ment of the installation cost, with a limit of higher carbon footprint as well as higher utility $500, on TVA-approved improvements (see the bills. Although house size is not something eas- Murfreesboro Electric website for more). ily fixed, there are a variety of ways to signifiIt is tempting to view reducing energy usage cantly reduce home energy use. as merely an interesting experiment. Energy According to the U.S. Department of Energy, prices are kept artificially low by externalizing the average American household spends the environmental and health costs of using $2,000 on energy each year. About 25 percent coal and natural gas, and many have the level of this could be reduced via measures like these of disposable income to overlook the issue. But (all numerical data courtesy consider a scenario in which coal and natural gas are monetized, which is a coming market1. Insulation. Walls, windows, and based solution to curb the insatiable American doors. Check the R value of insulation in your hunger for energy. When the true price of our attic and in crawl spaces. Check windows and lifestyle is correctly accounted for, it will be doors for air leaks. Double-paned windows offer the prepared who will best accommodate the an R value in the 1.5–3.6 range, while singlechange. Additionally, the well-documented pane windows are rated at about .85. Storm environmental damage caused by wanton windows can reduce heat loss by 25–50 percent. energy wastefulness hurts everyone. And lastly, the egregious American energy footprint is 2. Stand-by electronics. Put all stand-by not accompanied by a corresponding level of electronics on a single power strip than can happiness. As wonderfully investigated in Eric be switched off, rather than allowing them to Weiner’s A Geography of Bliss, happiness is suck energy during off time (TV, DVD player, largely comparative after basic needs are met. computer, printer, etc.). Reduce the number of I will leave you with some questions. What household electronics. In addition to energy are we really getting for our larger homes and savings, eliminating all televisions in the home a perpetual turnover of gadgets, and is there would provide an incalculable quality of life another path more consistent with our values?

Plant now for a burst of spring growth!






OPINIONS “Tax Cut” is Only Bribing Workers with Their Own Money


hat if your employthat if you contribute less there’s er came to you and going to be less money when said, “Hey, I’ve got you retire. But it’s even worse some great news. than that. Since we’re paying for We’re going to lower your conretirements right now, the cut in tribution to your 401(k). That’s contributions has an immediate going to put about $1,000 more effect, in the billions of dollars. in your pocket this year.” We are in a pay-as-you-go sysYou’d be asking the obvious tem. In other words, what we’re questions, contributing now right? What is paying for VIEWS OF A does this mean CONSERVATIVE the retirement for my 401(k)? of our seniors column by Who’s going right now. Sorry, PHIL VALENTINE to make up the Virginia. There is difference? no Social Secu“Oh, you are, eventually,” the rity Trust Fund. It was all a ruse. boss answers. “We’re going to Most of us understand that and either take a bigger chunk out of we’ve come to terms with that. your paycheck down the road or In fact, we’re trying to figure out we’re going to lower the amount how to fix this whole mess. you get when you retire.” One way you certainly don’t How many people would go fix it is by depriving the Social for that? Then why are we goSecurity system, which is already ing for this ridiculous “payroll upside-down, of much-needed tax cut”? Both Democrats and contributions. Yet both parties Republicans keep calling it a seem to think we’re stupid. Maybe payroll tax cut because they we are. According to an AP/GfK don’t want you to know what poll, a full 58 percent of us are in it really is. It’s a Social Security favor of continuing this nonsense and Medicare contribution cut. of a payroll tax cut. Common sense would tell you I know what some of you are saying, “I thought you were for cutting taxes in order to stimulate growth.” I am but this is the wrong tax to cut. This is not so much a tax but a contribution to a retirement plan. If we cut our contributions then there are serious consequences. We instantly increase the deficits and the debt because they take money out of the general fund to make Social Security payments. If President Obama re-

ally believed in stimulating the economy through tax cuts he would a) make the Bush tax cuts permanent for ALL Americans and b) lower taxes even more. So why hasn’t he? It’s pretty simple. Nearly 47 percent of the people don’t pay taxes in this country. Who do you think they vote for when they go to the polls? Everybody who’s drawing a paycheck pays into Social Security and Medicare. By lowering their contributions Obama is able to reach all those people who don’t pay income taxes. In other words, he’s managed to bribe us with our own money. As I recall it was one of those real smart guys at our country’s founding who said once elected officials had learned to do that the jig was up. I’m paraphrasing, of course. We have nearly 60 percent of the people who are either so misinformed, so gullible or so stupid that they would go along with a scheme that deprives Social Security of money just so they can buy a few more Christmas presents. One congressman proposed that we give people an option. If they opted for the payroll tax cut their retirement would be put off by a month for each year they did it. It was shot down. Yep, sure sounds like the jig is up to me. Phil Valentine is an author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host with Westwood One. For more of his commentary and articles, visit

“We are in a pay-as-you-go system. In other words, what we’re contributing now is paying for the retirement of our seniors right now. Sorry, Virginia, there is no Social Security Trust Fund. It was all a big ruse.” 6 * JANUARY 2012 * BOROPULSE.COM

12 Predictions for 2012 (12 Predicciones Para 2012) IN ENGLISH:

about to happen. Last January we made seven predictions 8 United States defaults on sovereign debt for 2011, many of which turned out to be marking the beginning of a major financial accurate. With 2012 here, I can’t resist uscollapse. ing my extraordinary powers to once again 9 Additional evidence will surface supportpredict the future! I’ll admit that some weren’t ing the theory that Adolph Hitler did not die exactly original but several were indeed made in 1945. by yours truly. First, let’s look a few of them 0 A major cyber-attack will affect commerce before begining our predictions for 2012. on a nationwide scale. We said last year that cyberwars and hacq Free energy technology will appear, which tivism would escalate in a holds the promise of revovery big way during 2011. lutionizing life on Earth. Attacks on government Approximately 80 percent and commercial assets of what we pay for all Una columna del idioma español por CAMERON PARRISH saw a sharp increase and goods and services can be were a daily occurrence attributed to energy costs throughout the year. In fact, on December in one form or another. If this technology is 26th, it was reported that hackers stole more used to benefit humanity, it will eliminate the than 4,000 credit card numbers and other inneed for borrowing and eradicate extreme formation from a Texas based security “think poverty throughout the world. tank.” Among the more dire predictions for w Last but not least, Dec. 21, 2012, will not the year, we also told Pulse readers that fuel be the end of all life on Earth. However, if my prices would skyrocket and serious earthother predictions come true it might just be quake activity would increase sharply. Unfor“the end of the world as we know it.” Hopetunately, gas prices did go way up, and while fully, my last prediction comes true and the the famous Hollywood sign might not have world as we know it will change for the better! suffered damage like I had envisioned, we did Happy New Year. see enormous quakes in New Zealand as well IN SPANISH: as the Japanese earthquake that resulted in the ongoing nuclear disaster at Fukushima. En enero pasado hicimos 7 prediccioAs if those predictions weren’t enough to keep nes para 2011, muchos de las cuales resulyou reading La Palabra, we also predicted that taron ser exactos. Con 2012 aquí no puvoice activated technology would be featured edo resistir a usar mis poderes exprominently on new devices nearly a year traordinarios de predecir otra ve z before most of you were asking Siri for direcel futuro. Confesaré que unos no eran extions on your new iPhone 4s. actamente originales pero varios en efecNow get ready for some wild predictions to fueron hechospor atentamente. Primfor 2012! It’s too late to turn back now! ero vaya a mirar algunos de ellos antes begin1 2012 is the year “El Caballo” a.k.a. Fidel ing nuestras prediccionespara 2012. Castro goes to that big revolutionary paradise Dijimos el año pasado que las ciin the sky. Now just in case the “spooks” from berguerras y hactivism se intensifithe Dirección de Inteligencia Cubana (Cuban carían de un modo muygrande duranintelligence agency) are reading this, I want te 2011. Los ataques contra activos del gobito be clear that if this actually happens I had erno y comerciales vieron un fuerteaumennothing to do with it. to y eran un acontecimiento diario a lo lar2 Occupy Wall Street resurges this Spring, go del año. De hecho, el 26 de diciemand protests will parallel flash rioting in US bre serelató que los hackeres robarocities. n más de 4 000 números de la tarjeta de crédi3 Massive flooding in the Midwest and to y otra informaciónde un Texas seguriSoutheastern regions of the US. My daughter dad basada ”grupo de expertos”. Entre las preVanessa receives credit for this one but I fully dicciones más extremas parael año tamagree. Buy flood insurance! bién dijimos a lectores de Pulso que los pre4 Elvis Presley will be found living under the cios de combustible subirían como uncowitness protection program. hete y la actividad de terremoto seria aumen5 Many experts will be rethinking the taría bruscamente. timeline for human prehistory after a series Lamentablemente los precios de gas realof scientific breakthroughs including some on mente fueron el camino y mientras el sithe planet Mars. gno deHollywood famoso no podría haber su6 We’ll see an increase in UFO reports. frido el daño como yo había previsto, real7 A devastating 9.0+ earthquake will ocmente vimostemblores enormes en Nuecur in North America. Recent nationwide va Zelanda así como el terremoearthquake drills and the government webto japonés que causó el desastrenuclesite is a clue that something big is ar en curso en Fukushima. Como si aquel-


las predicciones no eran bastante para guardarleleyendo a La Palabra, también predijimos que la tecnología activada de la voz sería presentadamuy a la vista en nuevos dispositivos casi un año antes de que la mayor parte de ustedespidieran Siri direcciones en su nuevo I-Phone 4s. Ahora ¡prepárate para algunas predicciones arriesgadas para 2012! Ya es demasiado tarde para retroceder ahora!  !Adelante! 1 2012 Es el año del caballo alias Fidel Castro va a que gran paraiso revolucionario en el cielo. Ahora en caso de que los “spooks” de the Dirección de Inteligencia Cubana (la C.I.A. Cubano) estan leyendo, quiero aclarar que si lo sucede yo no tenía  nada que ver con ella. 2 Durante la primavera “Occupy Walstreet” resurge con  protestas mientras que tenemos disturbios repentinos en las ciudades grandes de Estados Unidos. 3 Inundación masiva en el Mediooeste y regiones del Sudeste de los EE.UU. Mi hija Vanessa recibe el crédito de éste pero estoy totalmente de acuerdo. ¡Compre el seguro contra inundaciones! 4 Elvis Presley se encuentra viviendo bajo el programa de protección de testigos. 5 Muchos expertos repensarán la cronograma para la prehistoria humana después de una serie de brechas científicas incluso posiblemente unos en el planeta Marte. 6 Veremos un aumento en reportes de OVNIS.

7 Un 9.0 terremoto devastador ocurrirá en Norteamérica. Las taladradoras de terremoto de escalanacional recientes y el sitio web del gobierno Ready. org son pista que algo grande está apunto de pasar. 8 Incumplimientos en el pago de la deuda soberana de EEUU marcara el inicio de un gran colapso financiero. 9 Pruebas adicionales se aparece apoyando la teoría de que Adolf Hitler no murió en el año 1945. 0 Un ciber-ataque afectará el comercio en una escala nacional. q Una tecnología de la energía libre aparecerá que revolucionara la vida en la Tierra. Aproximadamente  80% de lo que estamos pagando por tdos los bienes y servicios puede atribuirse a los costos de la energía de una forma u otra. Si esta tecnología se utiliza en beneficio de la humanidad, que eliminará la necesidad de recurrir a préstamos y tambien erradicar la pobreza extrema en todo el mundo. w Por fin 21 de diciembre de 2012 no será el final de toda la vida sobre la Tierra. Sin embargo, si mis otros predicciones se cumplen podría ser ”el fin del mundo tal como lo conocemos”. Por suerte, si mi última predicción  se convierta en realidad el mundo tal como lo conocemos cambiará para lo mejor! Feliz Año Nuevo.






Military Men for Ron Paul column by CHRIS GOEBEL


he realization comes when you take a look at the donations. Ron Paul has pulled in more donations from current and former members of the military than all the other Republican candidates and Obama combined. Clearly there is something odd going on. A quick check of the major news headlines and you will see several articles regarding Mitt Romney as well as Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, but still little on Ron Paul. Also, the constant bleating from the talk radio pundits practically screams, “Don’t look at Ron Paul; he is a waste of your vote!” In fact, several Fox news anchors have outright stated, “Paul cannot win.” Yet, Paul appears to be either winning or in close contention in all of the early primary states as well as many of the later states. His supporters are organized and turn out in mass to events and there are simply tons of them. At the beginning of October, campaign donation statistics showed Paul receiving $8 million dollars in the previous 3 months from over 100,000 different people. This averages out to about $80 per person. Although Paul received the third most money overall, at the time, the number of individuals who donated to Paul was more than the number of people who donated to all other candidates combined. So what is it exactly that is keeping Paul out of the headlines and off Fox News shows, and causing him to constantly garner negative feedback from talk radio hosts? “The Phil Valentine Effect” After conducting a local and rather unscientific poll here on the Square in Murfreesboro it becomes clear that most people either don’t know Paul is running or think that he has no chance and have not been paying attention to him. The second and smaller category is the people who know about him and are interested enough to have formed an opinion on him. This group mostly it consists of his supporters. Even here in Murfreesboro, I see yard signs quite often with Ron Paul’s “Restore America Now” slogan displayed. The people who support him mostly truly love him and are willing to work to show it. The other segment of the people who know Paul are those who like some of what he stands for but have a few things that are keeping them from supporting him completely. This is where the Phil Valentine effect comes in. Phil Valentine is a talk radio show host from Nashville who is nationally syndicated and


“Who are the true patriots? Those who conform or those who dissent to wars without merit?” — Ron Paul  broadcasts all over America. He is very similar to the Rush Limbaughs and other conservative talk radio hosts who dominate the air waves. His stance on Paul is about 80 percent positive, which is actually better than most of the talk radio hosts, who can completely ignore Paul and even refuse to take calls from people who want to talk about him. However, before Herman Cain suspended his campaign, Valentine spent massive air time shilling for him. At the same time that Valentine started pushing Cain, nearly every talk radio show host and major TV news anchor simultaneously started pushing Cain all across America. To an unbiased bystander, the media’s dramatic uptick in coverage seemed almost planned out. Of course, Cain faded quickly as his policies lacked real content, and he obviously suffered from some moral problems. So what will happen to Paul now that Cain disappeared in a similar fashion to Perry, and that Gingrich slips as more of his record is exposed? The answer is clear; Valentine and all of the others will do the same thing they did in 2008. As the primaries draw closer and closer, they will get behind the “default Republican” candidate Mitt Romney. I would like to address their reasons here, and hopefully convince them to POUR themselves into supporting Paul. If I fail, history will repeat itself and these same talk show hosts will be scratching their heads wondering how in the world the Republicans just lost to Obama again. We absolutely will see another four years of Obama if Romney, Gingrich or another mediocre and only remotely conservative candidate is the nominee. Military As stated earlier, Paul gets more donations from veterans and active military members than all the other candidates combined.

But Valentine and the rest of the pundits continuously pronounce Paul to be weak on foreign policy. They even say that Paul’s foreign policies would be dangerous to the security of Americans, and the world. Valentine’s, as well as most neoconservative arguments typically go as follows. Muslims and other people throughout the world hate Americans because they hate democracy and they hate freedom. These people hate us so much that they will go to all lengths to attack American interests anywhere, even if it means suicide attacks. Valentine believes that it is necessary to maintain a policy of leadership replacement throughout the Middle East region, and that it is necessary to maintain a huge military presence in the region. He is particularly concerned about our Israeli allies and their safety if we were to leave the region. His arguments are flawed for several reasons. As a country who is rapidly approaching bankruptcy, the cost alone should be enough of a reason to leave. On a deeper level, consider what we are doing; for the last 40 years in the Middle East, our strategy has been “regime change” over and over again. What this means is to remove the ruling party and replace it with someone who is sympathetic to our purposes. The result is the creation of small independent divisions which form internal leadership and function similarly to how the American militias did in the Revolutionary War. As a military strategy this makes no sense. Since it is of utmost importance to know your enemy, the most logical strategy is to leave strong leadership intact. Why would we pursue a policy that makes our enemies more difficult to fight? Between the U.S., and the former Soviet Union’s policies, we have created a monster now. The command structures of the forces we are fighting in the Middle East region are so broken that any war we pursue in the region has become virtually unwinnable. Even when we destroy the figurehead leadership, small insurgent elements indefinitely fight on and ultimately cost us in the form of American lives and American resources. Paul talked about how the Soviets were in Afghanistan indefinitely fighting an unwinnable war just before they went bankrupt and collapsed. Now America is in the same position. Another major issue is that evidence shows that in times of constant war or constant economic depression, cultures will turn to religion as a way to cope with their trouble. In essence, by pursuing a policy of manipulation in the region, we have given strength to the hard-line Islamists we claim to be opposing. If you watch or read the 1998 interview of Bin Laden, he declares war on the U.S. unless Americans remove troops and bases from Arabia (which is considered to be Muslim holy land). In no part of the interview or any other documented sources does Bin Laden ever talk about destroying the U.S. because it is a democracy, or because it is free. Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda movement only gained power through religious zealotry that was made

possible because of U.S. policy. They fight because they protect their home. Regarding Iran and Nukes The general consensus from the pundits is that Iran is full of suicidal Muslim idiots who would stop at nothing to destroy the U.S. Some may be, but as a people, Iranians have history and culture they seek to protect as well as extremely important land. In fact, Iran is the home of several of the oldest and most holy cities in the Arab world. The policy of mutually assured destruction applies just as strongly to Iran as anyone else in history. If Iran were to use a nuclear weapon to attack Israel or any of our other allies, the result would be the complete destruction of Iran by a rain of nuclear hell by the U.S. and Israel. Iran would be reduced to a landscape of glass. Additionally, Jerusalem has deep rooted tradition within Islamic history. Their prophet Muhammad was said to have made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem where he “visited heaven.” It is simply illogical that Iran would consider the complete destruction of one of the holiest places in the world to Islam. Civil Rights  Ron Paul’s viewpoints on civil rights are very simple and very clear. He uses the Constitution, and specifically the Bill of Rights to define his position. Yet somehow, these so called “conservative” talk radio show hosts oppose Paul and the Constitution. Recently, nearly every conservative talk show host in America stated their support for the killing without trial of American citizen Anwar Al-awlaki. I have to mention that Ron Paul received an odd endorsement from Michael Savage regarding his stance on this issue, but almost unanimously, Phil Valentine and the other pundits fell in line and supported President Obama in declaring it legitimate to kill without the necessity for a trial. This is a disastrous slippery-slope policy, and the Bill of Rights is exceptionally clear regarding this issue. The Constitution, specifically, the Bill of Rights, is simply non-negotiable. The letters and words contained in those documents are the core of what we as a country are. If these ideas are allowed to be circumvented based on whatever circumstances the current President deems appropriate, then I submit that this is no longer America. As far as Dr. Paul’s civil liberties record is concerned, he is simply the best. He has fought his entire life to preserve our liberties, and he will continue to do so as president. Our Department of Defense has been turned into a department of offense, and in turn it is costing us trillions. Those trillions of dollars are the reason why my generation’s kids will grow up with less than their parents for the first time in many years. I implore you, support Dr. Paul and stop the madness that is pervading our system.  Read the unabbreviated version of this column at









he first venture into business for Larry MP: What businesses/people were an inspiration for you? Sims, a 1972 MTSU business adminLS: Going to work for C.B. Arnette. At that istration graduate, was in the antique time he was one of the most successful entreindustry. The young businessman preneurs who had ever hit Murfreesboro. with an interest in collecting and reThe auction business is really easy to get selling older pieces opened an antique into. You go to school for 14 days and boom, mall off the Buchanan Road Exit of I-24. you’re an auctioneer. You hit the ground run“That’s where Ronnie Barrett makes his ning. The same thing with a real estate license, .50 caliber rifle now,” Sims said of his first you can get a license in 3 months, and hit the business’s location. ground running. But a good auctioneer or real Sims then, in 1974, set out to build an estate agent are hard to find. I’ve heard 20 antique center off the Church Street Exit in percent of the real estate agents do virtually all Murfreesboro. of the business, and I imagine that’s still true. “My main banker turned me down (for a But Jim Stevens was unique. He was just loan), but I found a banker out of Clarksville. one of those guys who was blessed and had Barry Hawkins was his name, with First Tenfound his calling. He just knew how to make nessee. He knew I knew some things about money. I learned the ins and outs of the aucantiques,” Sims said, adding a lot of bankers tion business from him. I learned from him will only look at the numbers when considerit’s not as much about what you’re selling, but ing making a loan, and not the individual or motivating the people around you. their work ethic and ideas. MP: What’s your favorite part of running “But that property was my first venture your business? into real estate.” LS: It’s obviously “The codes weren’t so rewarding financially if bad back then. Once I Murfreesboro Entrepreneurs Association everything works. had the slab down, I had What drives me is trythe building up and a ing to make something business started within 14 happen. You get a chalworking days,” Sims said. lenge, you get an opporBut the young entrepretunity. The challenge of neur wasn’t satisfied with FEATURED BUSINESS: trying to sell something a single building. Sims Realtors. Auctioneers is very interesting. Usu“I wanted to expand. OWNER: Larry Sims ally there is something The next year, they worked that needs to be done to me up a SBA loan. I went that type of property. and built another building. MP: How are you getting the word out They are now called Antique Centers 1 and 2. about your business? “I wanted to learn more about the auction LS: Change can be hard, especially if you’re business,” Sims continued, so he went to work having success, but we’re getting more high for Jim Stevens and from him he learned the trade of the auctioneer. But Sims’ holding of the tech. We send e-mail blasts, have virtual tours of properties on our website. antique center property wouldn’t last forever. I’ve found advertising is like a double-edged “When the ’90s rolled around, it was sword. You have to let people know about sales, kind of a market like we have today,” Sims and I’ve advertised a lot, but it can be expensive. said. “The note came up, and even though it It may take three or four things to get somewas worth twice of what I had into it, they one interested in a property. They may see an wouldn’t renew. I was forced to sell the prope-mail, a newspaper ad and a flyer in the mail erty and start over. I was broke.” before they actually decide to go see a property. Sims didn’t let one door’s closing stop his MP: What’s the most difficult aspect? career in business. He poured himself into his LS: The most difficult thing is when I’m not own real estate and auction business and today, able to sell a property or get what I feel is a two decades of countless deals and hard work fair price for the seller. after he had to start over, Sims and agents What I or the seller feels is a fair price versus working under him have helped hundreds of what the buyer feels can be greatly different. Murfreesboro families buy and sell houses, and When you lose the trust of a client. A lot of Sims Realtors & Auctioneers has its hands in time the realtor is to blame, but a lot of time the transactions and auctions involving properties from industrial parks to churches to vacant lots. market is just as much to blame. I see a lot of potential in people, and it’s “I don’t need to read Dave Ramsey, I’ve been discouraging when agents don’t reach their through it. I don’t need to read about the Depotential, or if I put a lot of effort into somepression. I’ve been through one,” Sims said.



Larry Sims says going broke taught him true value of education and hard work. story and photos by BRACKEN MAYO



Larry Sims, still an avid antique collector and fan, says 2012 could be his best year ever in the real estate and auction business.

Other Thoughts from Mr. Sims . . . On the business climate in the U.S.: Politicians think they are helping people, but they are actually hurting business. On the Occupy Movement: Some will tell them to stop complaining and get a job, and there’s some truth there, but there’s a lot of that to be commended with them (involved in the movement). They are expressing frustrations that we all feel. There’s a lot that’s messed up with our system. On the local real estate and finance market: We’ve got way too many banks, way too much development; that will correct itself. On the government taking a hands-off approach rather the intervening in the markets: Business is like a golf swing. Without the strong downswing, the take-off up wouldn’t happen with nearly as much momentum. Let the cycle run its course. A lot of the time, the market will correct itself when you just leave it alone. On Murfreesboro property taxes: They’ve put the burden on the taxpayer to raise the value of the property, when in actuality the value is going down. Really, they’ve chosen to raise taxes on a select group, commercial (property owners).

one and they go (to work) somewhere else. MP: Who are your clients? LS: When you first get in the business, you think the doctors, the attorneys, the higher-ups will be your clients. But when you get into it, you realize you need to work with everyone. You have to juggle the little deals to pay the bills. But the big deals are how you survive over the years. MP: What is your advice to someone starting a business? LS: It’s important to go to work. It’s important to do something. If you work hard, a lot of good things can happen to you. You’re making a huge mistake if you don’t

get active. You have to check things out, learn. It’s important to talk to people. I’m always talking to investors, bankers, auctioneers, I’m always asking for information and advice. When I went broke, I learned that no one can take your experience and education from you. They can take your money, but they can’t take your mind. Prepare. Know the clock can move very slow. You may not see results for a project you begin now for years, but if you commit to something, finish it. If you are interested in buying or selling a home or property, contact Sims Realtors and Auctioneers at (615) 893-5252 or

What to Expect in 2012 This month I’m going to consult my crystal ball and lay on you what to expect from Apple and the tech world in 2012. Hang on, this might be a bumpy ride!

NO MORE CD/DVD DRIVES Optical Drives (CD/DVD drives) will disappear completely from all Apple laptops. They’re finished, gone, kaput, history, see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya! And I, for one, say good riddance. Real estate inside laptops is at a premium and I’m glad to see Apple leading the industry (as usual) by dropping these drives. In this world of ubiquitous high speed internet and $15 8GB flash drives, there is almost no need for a CD or DVD anymore. By dropping the optical drive in all their laptops, Apple can put something in that precious space. Maybe some cool new tech we haven’t seen yet or simply a larger battery. Adios, CD/DVD drives; we have some nice parting gifts for you.


books and they watch videos, listen to music, play games and use a few apps. But aside from a few emails or Facebook posts, they don’t generally create anything. So a tablet is perfect for them. So I see in the year 2012 that desktop and laptop computers will continue to decline in sales and tablets will continue to rise. Most households will have two or three tablets. The only ones who will have actual computers will be students and people who use their computers for work and the people who create all that content that is consumed on tablets.

It’s gonna happen this year. I see it clearly. In March, I think, right alongside the iPad 3 we’ll see a 7Ð iPod touch. Why do I see that? Because the only other tablets that are selling any numbers are the 7Ð Kindle Fire and the 7Ð Galaxy Tab, and Apple isn’t going to stand by and let that section of the market go unserved by the iPad/iPod line. The line-up will then be the current iPod touch, the 7Ð iPod touch and the 10Ð iPad. That will make for a damn impressive mobile team.



And that’s the way it’s going to be in 2012, ladies and gentlemen. These are exciting times to be alive and technology is going to continue to do some amazing things for us. But there will be some growing pains along the way as we let go of old technologies. Now let’s see what this crystal ball has to say about the PowerBall drawing tonight.

The cable companies, with Comcast leading the way, will fire a shot across the bow of the tech industry to let them know that they’ve had it up to here. For the last three years or so, early tech adopters across the nation have been canceling their cable television service in favor of set-top boxes such as Roku and AppleTV. With the availability of Netflix streaming, Hulu Plus, Amazon video and the countless other great, and FREE, content MACINTOSH channels that these little AND iPHONE iPHONE boxes offer, the writing is APPLE TV ANSWERS AND TIPS on the wall for Comcast and No, not the little set-top box, column by their buddies . . . and they’re but an actual large LCD PATRICK CLARK pissed. So I look for ComHi-Def TV with the Apple TV cast to attempt to either get functionality built into it. LG some legislation passed to hamper the set-top is doing it, Sony is doing it; it’s time for Apple box companies or for them to appeal directly to do it. And why not? They already make the to the movie and TV studios to stop providproduct. Simply stick an AppleTV set-top box ing content to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. into a nice large LCD and bam, there you are! It’s another example of an outdated business You say, What does Apple know about making TVs? I say, Have you seen an iMac lately? I also model waging war against technology instead say that Apple knew nothing about making cell of trying to find a way to remain relevant. And it’s gonna get ugly. phones until they did.




Most people don’t need a computer. There, I said it. Joe and Jane average don’t need a full-on computer with mouse, keyboard and monitor. They don’t need a big hard drive and to know how to install software and organize their files into folders and to backup their computers to another hard drive. Most people don’t want to do that stuff, and they will embrace any technology that takes that burden from them. That technology is the tablet. Whether it’s an iPad or Android tablet, a tablet device is all that most people need. Why? Because most people aren’t creators, they’re consumers. They read online articles and e-


Patrick Clark, owner of The Boro Mac Shop here in Murfreesboro, has repaired Macintosh computers and Apple devices since 1996, and Boro Mac Shop is Murfreesboro’s best Macintosh and iPhone repair shop. Contact him at (615) 796-6154 or BOROPULSE.COM



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The Feb. 18 concert features Rik Gracia and will also be an Unplug and Read event, in which families are encouraged to unplug from the televisions, computers and video games and enjoy a night out. Timeless easy listening classics from the ’50s to the ’80s are Gracia’s favorites, and he has a passion for sharing them with young and old. For more information on the series, call (615) 217-3017 or e-mail njordan@ Huckabee visits ’Boro as Gala Guest Mike Huckabee will serve as 14 Guest Speaker at the Middle Tennessee Medical Center Foundation’s 2012 Gala. Diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 2003, within two years Huckabee lost 110 pounds and had completed four marathons. Continuing to call for a national emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle, Governor Huckabee



EVENTS Calling All Polar Bears The ninth annual Polar Bear Plunge will be held Jan. 7 at 7 the “Boro Beach” outdoor pool at Sports*Com. The big slides at the new outdoor pool will be turned on to take the plunge to a whole new level. Brave men, women and children from around the area will don costumes and swimwear and take “polar” dips into the pool. There’s a reason to be freezin’ . . . families to be benefited by the Murfreesboro City Schools Family Resource Centers! The Polar Bear Plunge is open to anyone 5 years or older who is a fan of having a good time for a good cause. For plungers under 18 years, a waiver/release form must be signed by a parent/guardian. Each Polar Bear is required to bring nonperishable food items for the Family Resource Centers. Last year’s event raised over 1,200 pounds of food with over 600 plungers.


The average water temperature hovers around 40 degrees, but for the not-sobrave souls, there is a Chicken Plunge into the heated indoor pool. Registration will begin at 8:15 a.m. with plunges commencing at 10 a.m. Sports*Com is located at 2310 Memorial Blvd. For more information, contact Niki Hensley at 895-5040 or Music in the Wild Murfreesboro Parks and Rec will host Music in the Wild 14 events on Saturday, Jan. 14, and Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Wilderness Station at Barfield Park. These music-filled evenings feature local artists performing some original songs as well as well-known classics. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for pre-concert activities including crafts for kids, coffee and snacks. Music will be from 6:30–8:30 p.m. The Jan. 14 concert features The Secret Commonwealth, Middle Tennessee’s most enduringly popular Celtic band since its inception in 1993. Influenced by The Pogues, The Chieftains and traditional Irish pub bands, TSC mixes many styles of American and European folk.


Almost Gardening Time! The Master Gardeners of Rutherford County are accept23 ing registrations for its annual Garden Basics class series. Classes are held on Monday evenings from 6–9 p.m., at the Lane Agri-Park building located at 315 John R. Rice Blvd. Class dates for the 2012 (5-week) series


Art Barn Celebrates Re-opening 7 The Art Barn, located at 8190 Hwy 99 in Rockvale, is under new ownership and will celebrate its grand opening Jan. 7. The event features free Jim 'n' Nicks BBQ from 4–6 p.m. and live music by The Steam Boars from 7–10 p.m. Operating under the mission of “cultivating art in Middle Tennessee,” the Art Barn offers handmade gifts and fine art, workshops and classes and live music and poetry jams once a month. For more information, call (615) 722-1026 or visit the JAN.

will share his experience about how he changed his life. For more information on the special Jan 14 event at Embassy Suites, call (615) 396-4996. Women’s Conference Offers Renewal and Reflection Cherie Jobe, hair stylist for 21 36 years, invites women to join her for a time of refreshment and rejuvenation at the New Beginnings Women’s Conference on Saturday, Jan. 21, from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. at the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro. This first-ever conference will be a time to meet the author of Secrets from Behind the Chair, learn about how God “has made everything beautiful



in its time…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and worship with other women who are seeking renewal. Jobe will share her own story of brokenness and how she was called to minister to broken women. Her story of how Jesus turned her mess into a message will challenge and encourage conference attendees. Secrets from Behind the Chair is currently in its second printing and was featured on “Helen’s Shelf” in the MBR Bookwatch, the online magazine for The Midwest Book Review. Other leaders and speakers participating in the conference include Stephanie Miller, Julie Byrne, Pam Ezell and Elisabeth Lee. For more information, or to register, visit or call (931) 6075828.

are Jan. 23, 30, Feb. 6, 13 and 27. Garden Basics 2012 is designed to help those new to gardening or horticultural activities, those new to Middle Tennessee soils and for the “experienced gardener” looking to better understand what goes on in their garden. Classes are taught by Certified Master Gardeners, in cooperation with the local UT and Tennessee State University Extension Service. Topics include information on site selection, landscaping, basic botany, composting, proven varieties, soil fertility, pest management, pruning, garden design, problem solving, and more. For more information and registration, call (615) 898-7710, or visit

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well. These opening lines of Daughter of Smoke and Bone are the perfect glimpse into a fantastic world created by author Laini Taylor in her newest novel. The story begins with Karou, a 17-year-old art student living in Prague. Karou is far from your typical heroine, from her bright blue hair (not dyed, but natural) to the bizarre family of monsters who’ve raised her, to the strange tattoos and scars that Karou does not remember getting. Karou spends her days as a typical student, attending classes, hanging out with friends and getting over the break-up with her boyfriend. But at night, Karou returns to the strange shop where she was raised by halfhuman/half-beast creatures known as “chimera.” The household is headed by Brimstone, a fierce monster who sends Karou on dangerous missions around the world collecting teeth, both human and animal. Karou’s very existence is filled with mystery. As a human, how did she become part of a chimera family? What is behind the closed door in Brimstone’s shop? And what does he do with all those teeth? On one of Brimstone’s missions to Marrakesh, Karou meets Anika. Anika is an angel, but not the cute, cuddly kind of angel that you see on a greeting card. He is an angry, powerful angel, part of an army of seraphim that is fighting to rid the world of the chimera race. From the moment they meet, Karou and Anika are drawn to each other, and it is not until the last third of the book that we realize just how deep their bond is. Through Anika, Karou begins to learn the history behind her birth, and the terrible war taking place in an alternate universe. The literary world has had plenty of mythical creatures/ human romances in recent years. But Daughter of Smoke and Bone offers something that most of its predecessors by MICHELLE PALMER cannot—a magical world with creatures so fantastic, and michellepalmersbooks a love affair so utterly heartbreaking, that it puts other books of its genre to shame. Karou is the balm for those readers who are tired of weak, ineffectual female characters that seem to permeate much of today’s literature. Taylor’s attention to detail and incredible imagination make Daughter of Smoke and Bone a book where you can read for hours and completely immerse yourself, a story where chores and work and phone calls all seem to disappear. A word of warning for those who like their books tied up in a tidy bow: Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the first in a trilogy, and it ends with a cliffhanger. The abrupt ending leaves the reader frantically searching the last page of the book, and eventually, the internet, looking for the tiniest detail of what’s to come. It is a book well worth reading, placing on your list of favorites, and then reading again.



Michelle Palmer is a RTS One Book Committee member and author of the book blog, Turn of the Page at Read To Succeed is the community collaborative created to promote literacy in Rutherford County. The objective of this partnership between schools, area agencies and businesses is to support local programming and raise awareness about the importance of literacy. For more information and to find out how you can make a difference in Rutherford County’s literacy rates, visit The opinions expressed in this book review are not necessarily representative of Read To Succeed, but simply intended to promote the joy of reading.




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Murfreesboro reaches new heights with The Ascent.



photos by JASON OLDHAM

multiple ropes for belaying. The technique of belaying is a second person controlling the rope from the ground so the climber doesn’t fall far. The rope is connected to the climber by a harness and fed upward and around a friction device mounted at the top of the wall. From that point, the rope runs back toward the ground and is fed through a carabiner connected to a harness on the person belaying. The carabiner is a metal loop that creates friction and allows the belayer to better control the rope. The facility does not provide staff belayers, but instead trains and certifies everyone who is over the age of 13 to belay. This way, everyone belays each other and more time can be spent on the wall rather than waiting for a staff belayer to be available. In addition to anchoring, the belayer serves as a communicator to the climber in helping him/her to ascend the wall. The minimum recommended age for climbing the high-wall is five years. In some cases, a child younger than that can fit into the children’s fullbody harnesses and the facility’s adult harnesses fit up to a 40" waist. The Ascent provides a free belay certification class daily every hour from 4–8 p.m. The facility also offers yoga training classes including Hatha yoga and Kinetics For Climbing, which applies yoga practice to rock-climbing techniques. “The objective [with Kinetics For Climbing] is to practice yoga themes first; balance and awareness, breath and reach, core strength and courage, and then practice these themes on the wall,” said instructor and marketing director Hailey Traver. “This class has been a great way for our climbers to build strength, confidence, and trust in their skills and a camaraderie with each other.” Hess and his team are currently building an additional high-wall for more belayed PHOTOS(2) BY JONATHAN WESENBERG


limbing and fitness enthusiasts, challenge seekers and people of a social nature unite; The Ascent has arrived! Inside a large green warehouse located at 831 Park Ave., tucked back near the intersection of S. Church St. and Middle Tennessee Blvd., owner Jeff Hess and his highly motivated and passionate team have designed and built a 32-feet-tall wall and a 2,500 sq. ft. boulder for hours of climbing excitement. For those new to climbing, bouldering is a style attempted without the use of a rope and is confined to short climbs over crash pads to prevent serious injury upon falling. The 12-foottall boulder includes holds of different sizes and shapes that are bolted to the wood siding. These holds are what the climber grips as well as stands on to ascend. The team has designed 80 different routes on the boulder, which are called problems due to the problem-solving nature of the climb. Problems are color-coded with tape stuck next to the holds that are included on each route. There are four levels of difficulty on the boulder including recreational (for beginners), intermediate, advanced and open (which are the most difficult problems). “There’s a real social subculture with bouldering,” said Hess. “It’s faster [than high-wall climbing], more intense and mostly overhangs.” The overhangs to which Hess is referring are sections of the boulder that protrude outward, intensifying the challenge. If the climber is able to reach the top, the final effort is to pull him/herself onto the top of the boulder. Once the climber is standing on top of the boulder, s/he may use a set of stairs to get back to the ground. The Ascent requires that a person be at least 12 years of age for bouldering, since no ropes are used. Additional fun to the boulder is the high-wall, patterned with several holds offering assorted levels of difficulty, and

climbing as well as lead climbing, where the climber clips the rope to the wall as s/he climbs, which is more difficult. As lead climbing becomes available, climbers must first qualify and then will be required to take a training course. A one-day pass at The Ascent costs $20, including rental gear. The price is $12 if one provides his/her own harness and climbing shoes. A day pass means one may climb all day from open to close and can leave and return in the same day at no additional charge. Discounted group rates and membership packages are also available. Rates and other information can be found at the official website and The Ascent can be followed on Twitter and liked on Facebook. The Ascent shares the building with Crossfit Murfreesboro and has worked out a deal to include cardio and weight training availability with an Ascent membership. The Ascent also features a large comfortable lounge for guests to hang out, including a big-screen TV displaying climbing videos, a gourmet coffee shop and a pro shop for climbing accessories, snacks and beverages. For those who may be intimidated by the sport of climbing, know that nationally only

The Ascent is open for action for those who want to improve their fitness level, train for the real mountains or just hang around.

about 10 percent of gym climbers have ever climbed in nature, according to Hess. And much more than sheer physical strength, climbing is about balance and control, which can be learned through training and practice. The Ascent is a member of the Climbing Wall Association, which requires rigorous standards for design, safety and training. “Safety and having fun are our top priorities here,” said Hess. “We’re providing a community for people to be social and challenge themselves. Some people climb, some may not, but the idea is that everybody has fun.”

IF YOU GO: WHERE: The Ascent, indoor climbing center LOCATION: 831 Park Ave. HOURS: Mon.–Fri. 2–10; Sat: 10–10 p.m.; Sun: 12–6 COST: One-day pass with gear: $20 (without gear: $12); monthly membership: $49 ONLINE:




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Full Body Workout with Tri-Fit A few key exercises daily can make a big difference. story by ADAM VALENTINE photos by BRACKEN MAYO  PLANK: By far the easiest and most basic core development exercise, the plank helps develop abdominal muscle strength and endurance as well as target stabilizer muscles surrounding the trunk. • Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor. • Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows. • Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels. • Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air or sagging in the middle. • Hold for 20 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for 3–5 reps.

 PUSH UP: The most renowned, yet usually performed incorrectly, the push up is one of the best exercises to strengthen the shoulders, chest and arms. • Lie face down on mat, with palms facing down beside the chest. • Feet are spread apart, with toes pressing into the mat • Head forward, begin pushing up until arms are fully extended. Hands should be in line with the chest, not the shoulder. • The goal is to remain in a straight line throughout the entire movement. If this is too hard, try using your knees instead of your feet as a base! • After returning to the mat, we have found it useful to release the hands and start back from a neutral position, then repeat steps. Releasing the hands prevents cheating and calls for a full range of motion.

 SIT UP: Commonly referred to as “the crunch”, sit ups are a great way to sculpt those abs and strengthen core muscles. • Start by laying on the back, knees bent, and feet shoulder width apart. • With arms crossed, and elbows parallel with the floor, begin raising the upper body toward the knees, while keeping the lower body (from waist line down) still throughout the entire movement. Once elbows hit knees, return to the starting position on your back. Aim for 15–25 reps and repeat for 1–3 sets. • For advanced, reduce the amount of flexion in the knees by having less bend in the knees. 16 * JANUARY 2012 * BOROPULSE.COM

 SQUAT: By far the best lower body strengthening exercise, our squat technique will engage the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes while maintaining perfect form. • Start with your hands together in front of chest, with elbows parallel to the floor. • Have feet firmly planted, and spread at least shoulder length apart. • Once you begin to sit back, ensure that your knees never come over the toes, resembling a “sitting” motion. • Once the elbows touch the knees, return back to the standing position while still keeping the knees from coming over the toes. If unsure about knees, squat next to a mirror! Repeat movement 10–15 times for 2–3 sets. *Form is key here, so for beginners, use a chair or surface to provide a safe surface to sit on, and then stand back up. When you feel comfortable and form is good, remove the chair and use your elbows touching the knees as a guide.  OVERHEAD SHOULDER PRESS: In this version of overhead presses, you can use dumbbells which will challenge each arm independently. • Begin standing or sitting with elbows bent and weights next to the ears. • Press the weights up over the head, refraining from touching dumbbells together. • Lower the weights, bringing the hands next to the ears and repeat for 1–3 sets of 10–16 reps.  STANDING BICEP CURL: The banded bicep curl is a useful and cheap way to exercise the arms, while also not having to buy a set of dumbbells. • Simply place both feet on tube and grasp handles (the wider the feet, the harder the exercise). • Bend the elbows and curl hands up towards shoulder while keeping elbows in a fixed position. • Lower arms and repeat. Repeat for 10–25 reps, 1–3 sets. If resistance is too hard by last set, simply place one foot on the band rather than two.

Adam Valentine is a personal trainer with Tri-Fit. For more information or assistance in reaching your fitness goals, contact him at (615) 414-5974 or

MMA Training in Murfreesboro Guardian offers training programs for all ages and experience level at new facility. story by CHRIS WELLS


ixed Martial Arts, one of the nation’s fastest growing sports, is a full contact sport that combines elements from the most effective martial arts. Although the sport was outlawed in the state of Tennessee until just a few years ago, Guardian MMA is a premier academy that has built a strong tradition in Murfreesboro over the past ten years. Whether you are looking to compete, learn how to defend yourself, or just have a great workout, Guardian Mixed Martial Arts has the experience to help you reach your goals. Guardian is in its new location in the Hastings shopping center off of Memorial Boulevard, offering classes in Muay Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing and Wrestling as well as classes specially tailored for kids. Guardian is an academy that teaches martial arts in a rich family environment. Unlike most MMA gyms, the staff at Guardian understands that not everyone wants to be a fighter. Instead, the focus is on the individual, and what you can personally walk away with by studying the arts. The academy offers a free tour of their facilities, which includes a full gym, for anyone interested in a membership. In 2001, Guardian was founded by Doug Frazier due to the fact many schools focused more on tradition instead on the principle purpose all martial arts were founded on, which is the martial aspect. The name “Guardian” was chosen since they were to be preserving the martial arts. Being a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, a rare accomplishment that takes on average ten years to achieve, as well as a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, Coach Frazier is a well-respected representative for not only Jiu-Jitsu, but for martial arts in general. He chose Jiu-Jitsu because he felt it was a simplistic form of selfdefense, a place where everyone should begin. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is technical martial art form that emphasizes leverage and timing to control your opponent and focuses on the reality of self defense. The programs at Guardian give its students a well-rounded toolset for self-defense no matter where they find themselves. For the Kids: Randy Walls, or commonly called Coach Palito, is the Kids’ Program Director for Guardian. Holding blacks belt in Tang Soo Do, Tae Kwon Do and Muay Thai, and what he says his is proudest accomplishment, a Purple Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Coach Palito has been a student of the martial arts from a young age. The Kid’s Program offers a variety of classes tailored just for kids. The kids begin as young three years old in the Little Ninja class, where they play Jiu-Jitsu, become comfortable with the movement, and have some fun! For ages 8 to 13 there is the Level One Jiu-jitsu class, where kids are taught Jiu-jitsu specifi-

cally designed for the bully encounter. After graduating this first class, Guardian has a more comprehensive class designed for competition and advanced children. Guardian’s Kid’s Program offers a bully proofing system that helps children build confidence in themselves, discipline for the classroom, and integrity for life. “Bullying is a real problem in schools, verbal as well as physical.” Witnessing a girl getting beat, while he was a student in high school, lead Coach Palito to become a Martial Arts Instructor. For Adults: Quentin Clemmons, better known as ‘Q’, is Guardian’s Muay Thai instructor. Muay Thai is a devastating martial arts style that teaches you to use your whole body as a weapon. Every blow is thrown with the hardest part of the body—namely shins and elbows. However, in Q’s class you get more than just Muay Thai, since he studies other styles and borrows techniques from everywhere. Q disagrees that “practice makes perfect,” and instead likes to say “practice makes improvement, that way you will always strive to be perfect.” The average Muay Thai class takes about an hour. Beginning with a warm up, a few techniques are then taught, and finally a conditioning circuit to close out the session. For those who are interested in Jiu-Jitsu, or self defense, the first thing you will learn is Guardian’s Gracie Jiu-Jitsu curriculum. This class has been designed to take a person to street readiness in the shortest time possible. In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, there are over 600 techniques, but at Guardian only the 36 most effective techniques are taught in a systematic approach that does not require an individual to be strong, athletic or even young. Everyone can benefit from learning Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, including women. A women’s only class is actually in the works. In addition to Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai, there are boxing classes led by USA Boxing Coach Brian Ogletree. Wrestling and Judo are added into the curriculum to give competitors an edge on the mats. For Everyone: Guardian Mixed Martial Arts is a gym for everyone regardless of whether your ambition is to learn self-defense, be in better shape, or compete. Private training sessions are always available for those seeking to get ahead or find themselves behind. From time to time there are seminars offered with famous mixed-martial artists such as Israel Gomez (UFC Middle Weight Champion Anderson Silva’s Coach). The gym is recognized as American Top Team member under Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt, Professor Renato Tavares, and has even produced UFC fighters such as Shane Primm. BOROPULSE.COM



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ART Smyrna’s Earthsoul Gallery Angela Elkins opens art gallery on Hazelwood Drive to nurture creativity in the community.


new art gallery opening this month in Smyrna offers a call to the local creative community to get involved. “I grew up in Smyrna, and besides the art classes in school, there was nothing art based or that promoted art. I really wanted to have a place where the public could come in and experience different kinds of art,” said gallery owner Angela Elkins. “I wanted a place where kids could come in and take art classes that weren’t just product based or skill based. But based on creativity, on nurturing a creativity that would grow strong and last a lifetime. For about 10 years, I have been thinking about opening an art gallery in Smyrna, and the vision has grown and finally, when the opportunity arose, we took it. None of this would have come into fruition without the huge support of my family and a few of my closest friends.” Currently, Earthsoul houses work by artists Mai Harris, Jimbo Eanes, Yvette Parrish-Cowden, Mark Cowden, Paul Crommelin, Marty McEwen, Jerry Quinlisk, Jeffry Davis, Melody Erickson, Kim Eanes, Angela Elkins and Martha England. The goal is to change out art monthly with an opening each month, as well as host a few one-night art shows showcasing a specific idea or artist, Elkins said. Earthsoul will host a grand opening reception from 6-9 p.m. Jan. 27. Artists interested in displaying work at the gallery can submit images and information via a form at In addition to displaying work, Earthsoul’s mission “is to ignite and nourish a creative spirit in the community,” according to Elkins, and classes will focus on the enlightening creative journey moreso than technique or a finished craft. “So many times our kids miss out on the play in art and it becomes a chore or just another academic study,” she said. “I want to provide them a place to play, to discover what they truly enjoy making, not for the end product but for the experience.” Earth Soul Gallery is located at 307 Hazelwood Dr. in Smyrna. For more information, call (615) 586-1242 or visit 18 * JANUARY 2012 * BOROPULSE.COM

A mandala by Massood Taj (left) and statues by Jaimmie Williams and paintings by Mark Cowden (above) is just some of the work on exhibit at Earthsoul Gallery.

by Jaimmie Williams

(Above) Paintings by Mark Cowden (right and left) and Yvette Renee Parrish-Towden (center); (below) owner of Earthsoul Gallery, Angela Elkins; (below left) prints by Jimbo Eanes.

By Dustin Farnsworth

Todd Displays Work from Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts


he Todd Art Gallery in the Department of Art at Middle Tennessee State University presents a joint exhibit of work by artists Chandra DeBuse, Dustin Farnsworth, Phil Haralam and Lisa Johnson. As artists-in-residence at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, they combine today’s contemporary artistic vision with a commitment to continue the rich heritage of traditional craftsmanship found in the East Tennessee region. Chandra DeBuse describes her work as functional pottery which incorporates narrative by Phil imagery, pattern and Haralam form to reflect human attitudes towards play. The intimacy of her work she states is “of using a handmade object infused with bouncing lines, candy-colors, low-relief and handdrawn elements,” which “beckons users to ponder the playful message illustrated on each.” After concluding formal studies at Kendal College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Mich., Dustin Farnsworth moved to the “epicenter” of Appalachian craft in Asheville to work and study under sculptors Stoney Lamar and Brent Skidmore. He comments, “[My] current work explores the narrative that unfolds as industry leaves the communities built upon its promise. [My] hand-carved and sewn figurative sculptures blur the line between realism and vintage plaything, encapsulating the eerily life-like qualities of marionettes and their inherent innocence to examine the relationship between human beings and their physical and mental environment.”

Phil Haralam uses the complex exterior and interior levels of human nature to represent the psychological underpinnings that present themselves in social form and structure. Therefore, he combines sculpted forms and graphic imagery into non-representative psychological portraits. He says, “Each piece evolves from a central form, upon which I layer additional visual information through painting, incised line, and applied decals. Through the interaction and juxtaposition of these visual elements I create layered compositions that emulate the seemingly random associations embedded within the human psyche.” Lisa Johnson’s work involves metalsmithing and jewelry. Of her current work, she states, “The work I create exhibits vast methods of construction from both metalsmithing and ceramic disciplines.” Her works convey her further interest in “the juxtaposition of puns, translations, irony, and duality. Through identifiable objects my obsession with redefining the recognizable is a direct expression of observations or experiences that communicates as appealing, stimulating, and sometimes humorous.” The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts Exhibition opens Jan. 12 and runs through Feb. 2. A reception honoring these artists is scheduled for 6–8 p.m. on Jan. 18 with student lectures slated throughout Todd Hall earlier in the day. Todd Art Gallery hours are Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. For more information, call (615) 898-5653. BOROPULSE.COM



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t’s a common predicament. A college graduate applies for a position that requires not only an education, but a few years of prior experience in that position. Too often, it’s prior experience that new graduates don’t have and internships don’t provide, especially in the music business and recording industry. Nathan Adam has the right idea. Adam is the owner of Walnut House, a sort of centralized music mecca at 116 N. Walnut St. which has provided space for dozens of recording projects (including those by nationally recognized recording artists) and live shows, as well as The Murfreesboro Pulse office. Over the past five years, Adam has overseen countless recording and engineering projects there, and his most recent development is Studio LIFE. Studio LIFE is a recording fraternity, not to be confused with MTSU RIM fraternity Omega Delta Psi (which Adam also founded). Though student recording and producing have always taken place at Walnut House, Adam re-launched under the name Studio LIFE in August 2011. The club’s main purpose is to keep recording industry and music business students out of that post-college rattrap. “Most entry level jobs have that dreaded phrase, ‘Entry level position, two years experience required,’” Adam says. “Well, you can’t have two years of experience if you can’t get an actual position [laughs]. Our goal is that by the time they finish their degrees at MTSU, they’ll have 2,000 hours of hands-on studio and live, concert promotion, booking and contracts experience under their belts, so they literally decimate the competition.” Since last semester, Studio LIFE’s membership has expanded to nearly 50 members from the core five or six interns and volunteers who initially kept busy inside Walnut House. Members are paired up based on interest and level of experience to make complementary and more productive teams. “Some people come in, and they’ve done a lot of producing on their computer maybe, but not done any live sound. Other people have never recorded anything. Pairing people like that, especially if there’s someone more experienced, they’re able to teach and work with one another,” Adam explains. There are four levels of experience—assistant, semi-pro and pro—with definitive goals and hours set for each. At the pro level, students will complete projects in leadership and service, as well as projects like running sound for live events, booking shows or producing in the studio to total 1,500-2,000 hours of hands-on experience. Adam knows a lot about the hands-on. A learn-by-doing sort who describes his education and career approach as “multi-faceted,” 20 * JANUARY 2012 * BOROPULSE.COM

Music is created and captured in one of the Walnut House’s multiple recording facilities.

STUDIO KIND OF LIFE Recording club offers chance to be immersed in real-world music industry scenarios. story by JESSICA PACE

Adam taught audio engineering and production classes for seven years at MTSU, four of which he served as Associate Chair of the Recording Industry department. He taught himself to record and produce by doing it, and says that apprenticeships held more weight than formal education in the recording industry at the time. He co-authored two books, Pro Tools 9: The Mixer’s Toolkit and Multi-Platinum Pro Tools. He worked on numerous recording and engineering projects, including editing for MSNBC’s Tonight With Deborah Norville. When Adam bought Walnut House in 2007, he had already been looking for a place to build a local music industry community since 2003. He says it took another three years or so to really get the fraternity off the ground. “You just have to have the right people,” he says. Now there appears to be plenty of right people, who attest to their success at Studio LIFE on the website, sharing how they got involved with the fraternity and how membership has served as an education of the most practical kind. Jake Tackett, an MTSU student and member

of Studio LIFE, has written, recorded and produced music from a home studio as part of the band Hope Held High along with twin brother Nik. Like all LIFE members, he has a pretty unwavering ambition and career vision. “I got involved because it’s what I am going to do with my life. I am going to own a professional recording studio, and I want to network with people who can better me as an audio engineer. It’s about the hands you shake, not the grade you make,” Tackett says, adding, “Well, the grades still matter a little.” Adam emphasizes that Studio LIFE is a supplement, not a replacement, for the formal education members gain at MTSU. “The challenge of any school is that students can’t get all the hands-on time that they need. Especially in the field of production, recording and live events, hands-on experience is the only place you can really start to grasp how everything comes together,” Adam says. “So while students are getting this great education at MTSU, Studio Life is just a supplementary thing. No one thinks anything of someone studying phys ed also having a membership at Gold’s Gym. That would be

normal and expected. This is the Gold’s Gym for recording industry majors [laughs],” he adds. Thus far, the club has provided for some members a bridge between school and the elusive paying job. Enhancing their resumes to top-of-the-pile quality over years spent at Studio LIFE, one student went into production at Murfreesboro’s World Outreach Church. Another was hired for audio/video supervising at a hotel. The goal at Studio LIFE is to make entrepreneurship in the music business and recording industries possible. “We’ve sort of been taught from birth, once you finish college, you get a job. But that’s not the same for every industry, especially now. Things are changing, the world is changing. If something can be done overseas for cheaper, that’s going to happen. So we want to make sure everyone here has the hands-on experience to say, ‘I know how to create my own job, whether that’s starting my own label, starting my own production company,’ and we’re providing the facilities and support,” Adam says. As for next semester, a teaching lab will be available for students, and it will be equipped with video content created by Adam on advanced mixing, Pro Tools, miking techniques and more. A main focus for the coming semester will be structuring projects around realistic production budgets to create a “real world” experience. Adam will also be developing more opportunities and projects for the business-oriented members interested in booking and promotion. Studio LIFE members are close, Adam says, and he predicts that the accomplishments of the fraternity, or the “tribe,” as he calls it, will only get bigger, probably because of a collective, zealous dedication to the same thing. “Everybody wants to belong to something where they’re surrounded by people who love the things they love,” Adam says. “I grew up as the only guy doing any recording and producing, so to come to MTSU when I started nine years ago and be surrounded by people who were into that was a dream come true for me, and is a dream come true for a lot of students at Studio LIFE.”


Read more album reviews at

Sky Hi Testify It’s been two years in the making but Murfreesboro’s resident funk/soul nonet, Sky Hi, has spent their time juggling tremendous live shows with life outside of the band and, thank God, studio time as they worked out their muchanticipated second full-length LP Testify, released out of GED Soul Records late this October. To think all we’ve had to work with for a while was the “Junkyard Dog” 45 released late December last year, but now it’s time to breathe easy once. Breathe easy to get down. The 11-track release is unmistakable Sky Hi from on “Do Not Want” and then taking it into a Latin the first few seconds: the funk groove of the guitar shuffle later in “Fell Short,” where the horn line and bass intertwined with the hi-hat driven beat to set the foundation for Murfreesboro’s finest horn sec- manages to “throw” their sound down the line like in some Hawaii Five-0 music as Dee is obviously giddy, tion, the long vibrato and funk-punch of the organ, throwing his voice up and down the fifty some-odd as well as Dee Adams’s unmistakable voice tirelessly octaves in that man’s neck; just having a good time. running up and down. It’s always great to hear these guys when you’re havEven though the band has gone through some ing a bad day. lineup changes over the years, the Dee’s lyrics are as solid as the name Sky Hi seems to hold onto its We’re working music throughout, too, mainly foparticular brand of big-funk as a hard to promote cusing on the little repressions life growing entity itself, regardless of good music in can dish out and dealing with them members. The first track from TesMiddle Tennessee. with a strong stance of self-worth tify, “Junk Yard Dog,” singled out as be it in love, substances or survival. the early early 45 teaser, stands as a Bands: send your albums You have to keep yourself up, man. perfect example of the sound they’ve and promotional materials to So, keep your ears to the ground made their own, making it an apThe Murfreesboro Pulse, 116-E North Walnut St., for Sky Hi live shows in the area propriate opening track greeter from Murfreesboro, TN 37130. if you haven’t seen them yet. The the band. next one coming up is on Friday, After the greeter, however, that Jan. 13 at Wall Street. theory weakens slightly hearing evident exploration Copies of Testify as well as show schedules, news, further into their craft as the album progresses. The and if you want to bring your house down, bookarrangement of the horn line and organ have grown more complex and powerful since their self-titled five ing information, too, can be found on the band’s fanpage,, or through their Facebook years ago (the title track is proof positive of that as profile. well as brilliantly self-explanatory), and the fellows get around in Testify, too, dabbling a little in reggae — BRYCE HARMON


greater>than Break Us These days it seems like anyone who can hold a bow will throw some strings into their sound and slap “orchestral” in front of whatever homespun twist on “indie” they’ve created. But the inclusion of strings on greater>than’s month-old EP Break Us is fluid and natural, and to call the title track a folksy orchestral romp, a la Fleet Foxes, is fitting. First, the strings on “The Word” add a very palpable tang and sugar to the force of Dan Miller’s

Larry Francis


percussion, while Isaac Johnson’s cello rises and falls, and guitar adds an unexpected jangle. Then, a sort of river dance is plucked out on “Sing Into My Silence” as vocalist Drew Miller reveals a plain but profound need: “I need to know I haven’t heard it all before/I need you to prove me wrong.” It’s peppered with full-bodied vocal harmonies (“Meaningless”) and prolific tales, like “Sentimental Man,” which is a sort of “Nowhere Man” antithesis, opening with a comparison between the walls of an apartment and a man’s mind, as a mandolin (Johnson) flutters into the languid beat. Easy and loose in its instrumentation, Break Us is lovely but not delicate, and Drew Miller’s not-sosmooth vocals and the liquidity of the music mismatch perfectly. — JESSICA PACE BOROPULSE.COM



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ALBUM REVIEWS Jefferson Grizzard A Crack in The Door Jefferson Grizzard came from a small town in Georgia, and his debut is A Crack in the Door, the product of his home, his musical upbringing and his songwriting habits. A songwriter since he was a kid, Grizzard had scribbled out enough lyrics by age 18 to have impressed Ryan Adams. Like so many young contemporaries, Grizzard’s sound imitates the greats that spun on their parents’ record players. A Crack bears generous similarities to Dylan and Young, as well as hints of The Band, Skynard, Ryan Adams, The Highwaymen and far too many more to list. Immediately, on the opener “Forces They Fail,” Grizzard establishes the spare, twangy, southern-plussomething-else sense of melody that channels Young with an unassuming little electric melody backing a haphazard philosophical daydream: “If all forces that

King The Teacher I didn’t ask questions when this little yearold number from an unknown hip hop artist in the Midwest (with amazing connections) stumbled into the Pulse office. A lot of random hip hop recordings merit little more than a “This is hip hop; that’s all there is to say,” and King’s The Teacher isn’t groundbreaking by any means; in fact, it’s the opposite, rooted in ’90s hip hop. But it must be said that 1) this Indiana artist uses some interesting samples (plucky unexpected sounds, lines from A Few Good Men), and 2) he brought some interesting guests on board. After working on the album for five years and

Dax Besting Hearts and False Alarms Now a part of the Nashville singer/songwriter circle, Dax moved from an Indiana town to peddle a hooky pop craft with a rock edge. Or hook-laden rock with a pop edge. Whatever, Beating Hearts and False Alarms is ten tracks of earnest, if not the most memorable lyrics, pretty acoustic riffs and the sort of pop sentiment sugarcoating a rock foundation that’s very reminiscent of Lifehouse. The album, which the artist is offering as a free download, starts off with “A Flawed Design.” This is how he describes his heart, a description which simultaneously can provoke an “aw, that’s pretty” and an “oh, please.” More interesting are the vocals, which are strangled and 22 * JANUARY 2012 * BOROPULSE.COM

fail are originally good/and if nothin’ is real/how can I make myself feel/like I know I should.” The Traveling Wilburys-esque chug-a-lug of “Since You Came Around” sounds as if as if Tom Petty or Roy Orbison should be switching off verses with Grizzard, and tracks like “Alaska” and “Puppet Show” have the same hushed beauty as those Dylan songs when he decides to soften his rustic vocals and woo the listener. Dennis Wage’s keys ooze, bleed and crash over a somber stretch of guitar on “Burned Out Son,” bringing to mind something off Ryan Adams’ Cold Roses, and “Poisoned” has all the nighttime-car-ride charm of Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever. Some understated but killer bass from Dow Tomlin bubbles up rather sexylike amidst the Van Morrison-ish reeds and brass of “I Got the Spirit,” which conjure a sort of burlesqueshow image. One of the most remarkable characteristics of Grizzard’s songwriting on the album, however, is the fact that he can create a full story with only about four lines repeating (“Horseleg Road”), one of the most prominent talents of a country artist. If this is Grizzard’s debut, it seems like he will only get better from here. — JESSICA PACE

naming it after his aspiration to role model, King released The Teacher in late 2010. Handled by the hands of experience, the record is a collection of 14 intense and pronounced tracks that aren’t short on rhythmic variety (though sometimes a little too busy, like “I Be In Indiana”) and feature a ’90s hip hop treasure trove. Those aforementioned weird samples come in on tracks like “Movement Matters,” which features WuTang’s Killah Priest, “Shut It Down” and “In the Summertime.” Opener “Rollin Midwest” was produced by 2LiveCrew’s Mr. Mixx, and Digable Planets’ Doodlebug makes an appearance on “The Commercial.” The Teacher is filled with names, but that’s the album’s insurance and the attraction for those who may be inclined to pass up a hip hop record with the presumption that it will be another of the lackluster, obnoxious endeavors already out there. King is above that with non-idiotic lyrics, a good voice and better beats. — JESSICA PACE

bookish and slightly alien, layering over the first of many pleasing acoustic riffs. The uplifting rock jaunt “Alchemy” follows, introducing the ’90s/early ’00s pop rock similarities before “Happy Holidays.” Usually when a singer/songwriter whips out a Christmas song, I skip past the track like you step around crap on the sidewalk. But Dax can handle this better than some—though it was a little precious (there’s talk of an ’80s-themed party and buying a ring), it’s attached to a sticky tune. More infectious acoustic guitar follows in the shape of melodies that exemplify how acoustic translates to pop (“Run and Hide”) and accompanied by duskier vocals (“Radio Mind”). Not to say that the record is all acoustic. There’s a slippery electric melody in “The Darkest Hour,” whose tone matches the lyrical sadness. If Dax’s album sticks with you, it will be for well-crafted pop hooks rather than anything particularly striking lyrically. I enjoyed Beating Hearts just for one-time pop nostalgia. But damn if it isn’t catchy. — JESSICA PACE

Live from JoZoara, Monkeys and Mochas Coffeehouse Sessions

Reviving the notions of Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant, Daniel H. Coleman, producer and artist promoter for the Murfreesboro label, Mastermix Music, joined forces over the past year with another fresh propriety, JoZoara Coffeehouse, ultimately releasing Live at JoZoara: Monkeys and Mochas at the end of September 2011. The 13-track sampler of local singer/songwriters who have graced the coffeehouse’s stage tells the story of the 3½-yearold Thompson Lane establishment, substituting Guthrie’s humor and aloofness with the more solid Christian-themed or love-based message accompanied by the gentle folk strumming of acoustic guitars and solo piano with little uppity and jazzy surprises along the way. The album is solidity of production, family-oriented intentions and contemporary gospels collecting well as a subtle promotional tool for everyone involved as well as doing the good deed of spreading Murfreesboro culture to a wider audience. The first song and title track, “Monkeys and Mochas,” is what puts you in that Arlo train of thought. Written specifically for this album by Rory T. Miller, he takes the lead with voice and guitar backed by a country brushed snare, snapping fingers and angelic background vocals as he paints a coffeehouse scene

Adam Dalton Self-Loathing Blues

Getting down Nashville’s way from Massachusetts in 2007, jack of musical trades, Adam Dalton, has spent his time taking in what a new town’s offered, mulling it over for a few years and putting together a contributing interpretation for the Music City in Self-Loathing Blues. This 10-track release out of Blackbird Studio is made up of all-out grooving-blues/country lyrically powered by the woeful lives of men taken under by poor dispositions, all in a vocal framing similar to Paul Curreri’s. The groovy blues music accompanies the subject matter well, adding an up-side to the album with a prominent and never-disappointing Wurlitzer B3 organ, up-tempo bending harmonica, jazzy tenor sax and electric piano all showing he and his pseudosteady backing band do not take their musical duties lightly. All four of the instruments stand out regularly, from low key on-the-porch blues all the way to big-band jam sound in the latter half of the record. It’s a foot-tapper through and through, ideal for a good bar night in a Southern town and can definitely cheer you up if you see you’re nowhere near as bad off as the fellows Dalton is describing. However, that could be missed completely if everyone is busy find-

welcoming little vacations from life. This is the first piece of promotional bread sandwiching the rest of the album of contemporary folksy gospel by the likes of Murfreesboro’s 180 Degrees Ministries’ Allen Morrell in “Who Am I,” the stridestylings of Angie Kelly in “Christians Have Everything,” and a nice jazz version of “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” by First Fruit Jazz Project, sounding like these guys grew up listening to Weather Report. The rest of the meat consists of the singer/songwriter love songs inspired by anyone from spouses or spouses-to-be such as in Daniel Gregory’s “Love Bug,” “Anna Sussanah” by Lulu Mae Music, and Chad Pittman’s “Beth” all the way to love for grandparents in the beautifully banjoed “Fly Me Away (Sparrow’s Waltz)” by Roam Country Radio or in greater>than’s “Rocking Chair” later on Monkeys and Mochas. Also, Lance Allen nails the second track, “Play It By Ear,” which is an impressive finger-picking ditty. Pat Donahue would be proud. And all of this before the second piece of selfless promotion bread completes the sandwich with Daniel H. Coleman’s own “Ballad of JoZoara,” written specifically for this album as well. The folks at Mastermix and JoZoara released this year’s worth of coffee shop stage presence, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to keep it up. JoZoara still hosts open mic night every first and third Saturdays of the month with Mr. Coleman taking applications that can be found at JoZoara along with copies of Monkeys and Mochas (also available on Amazon. com). Store information and upcoming events can be found at —BRYCE HARMON

ing dance partners. Starting out with that sitting-on-the-porch-withsome-friends styling of “Sweatpants Blues,” Dalton accepts a lazy day at home to take care of a few things around the house while the uppity contradiction of a Mississippi delta-fingered acoustic, steady tempo brushed snare and harmonica call out from the stoop. The blues of the album is taken to its extreme with the instrumental “Gesundheit” later on, while the second track “Further from the Truth” saves unleashing a huge tenor sax prevalent across the record, be it layered over itself for a big-band sound in the title track or linear solos in songs like “Won’t Stand” that stands as Dalton’s down-on-his-luck guy’s correctional declaration. The Nashvillian-country aspect of Self-Loathing Blues is easily spotted within any given song, but captured wholly in the pedal-steel driven tonk, “Too Late” where there’s not a musician in the recording bored or drab. It’s a celebration of not being down on your luck.  There’s always someone everyone is glad they’re not and Dalton’s attentiveness to the regional genres supplies a proper template for his lyrical needs inspired by our Middle Tennessee. Catching Dalton playing the music of Self-Loathing could be a good night if the live sound is even close to the studio version. Videos and touring information for January shows in Carbondale, Ill., along with downloadable copies of Self-Loathing Blues at no charge can be found at —BRYCE HARMON BOROPULSE.COM



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3 Brothers 223 W. Main St. 410-3096

Send your show listings to

THURS, 1/5

TUES, 1/10

3 BROTHERS The White Keys, Shyguy, Spoken Nerd, JE Double F WRIGHT MUSIC BLDG. Middle TN School Band and Orchestra Association

BLUESBORO Classic Blues Jam with CJ Vaughn WILLIE’S WET SPOT Freedom Hill

FRI, 1/6

3 BROTHERS Open Mic Night with Gavin Yates WILLIE’S WET SPOT Shane & Lenny

BLUESBORO Kanye Twitty, Tendeez FANATICS Freedom Hill GILLIGAN’S C-Winn, Bmak aka Lil Rockstar WILLIE’S WET SPOT Rebel Rulz WRIGHT MUSIC BLDG. Middle TN School Band and Orchestra Association



Funk and soul ooze from this group with all the grandiose glory of Sly & The Family Stone. Just a few slick and slippery tracks off some puny 45s, via Southern label G.E.D. Soul Records, won the Pulse over a few years back, and Sky Hi’s live performance transcends the recordings with fluid bass lines, smooth horns and vocals that stretch . . . sky high.

SAT, 1/7 3 BROTHERS Sweet Fancy Moses BLUESBORO Nashtones THE BORO Kansas Bible Company FANATICS Junkyard Funk WILLIE’S WET SPOT Atomic Trunk Monkeys WRIGHT MUSIC BLDG. Middle TN School Band and Orchestra Assciation

SUN, 1/8 BLUE Avent Lane, Larry Pinkerton BLUESBORO Langoliers, TN Scum THE BORO Elvis’ Birthday Bash

Aura Lounge 114 S. Maple St. 396-8328 Blue 810 NW Broad St. 410-3383

WED, 1/11

THURS, 1/12 3 BROTHERS Yer Heart, O Youth, Small Talk BLUESBORO O Youth Brothers

FRI, 1/13 THE BORO Blood Culprit FANATICS Brian Ashley Jones WALL STREET Sky Hi WILLIE’S WET SPOT Some Assembly Required

SAT, 1/14 3 BROTHERS Delaney Baker BLUESBORO Chain Reaction THE BORO Deadchain COACH’S Junkyard Funk FANATICS Zone Status WALL STREET AFRO, Deep Fried Five WILLIE’S WET SPOT Phoenix Rising

SUN, 1/15 BLUE Avent Lane, Larry Pinkerton

TUES, 1/17 BLUESBORO Classic Blues Jam with CJ Vaughn WILLIE’S WET SPOT Freedom Hill WRIGHT MUSIC BLDG. Greenbrook Ensemble: Jessica Dunnavant, flute; Paula Van Goes, saxophone; faculty recital

WED, 1/18 3 BROTHERS Open Mic Night with Gavin Yates WILLIE’S WET SPOT Shane & Lenny

View Concert Listings Online:





That smorgasbord of delectable vintage rock sounds coming from the stage at The Boro tonight is Kansas Bible Company. Doesn’t matter where these guys play— their stuff is retro-hot, from the ’60s jangle of the Stones to the roughness and swagger of The Stooges; from brassy Motown touches to the everything else of The Beatles. Do yourselves a favor and see ’em live.

THURS, 1/19 3 BROTHERS Tetsuo, Langoliers, Babyshaker GILLIGAN’S Archnemesis

FRI, 1/20 BLUESBORO Judd Hall, Lord T. and Eloise THE BORO Double Intenders FANATICS Pimpalicious WILLIE’S WET SPOT Greez Monkeez WRIGHT MUSIC BLDG. Ensemble 1720, faculty Baroque ensemble

WILLIE’S WET SPOT Freedom Hill WRIGHT MUSIC BLDG. Winter Music Education Conference, Lynn Rice-See, faculty piano recital

SUN, 1/22 BLUE Avent Lane, Larry Pinkerton BLUESBORO Bold As Love, Scott Fernandez

TUES, 1/24 BLUESBORO Classic Blues Jam with CJ Vaughn WILLIE’S WET SPOT Freedom Hill

SAT, 1/21

WED, 1/25

3 BROTHERS Austin Cole, Pilsbury Xmas BLUESBORO Copper Into Steel THE BORO Boxcar Bandits, Flea Market Hustlers FANATICS Greez Monkeez WALL STREET The Only Sons, Wess Floyd & the Daisycutters

3 BROTHERS Open Mic Night with Gavin Yates THE BORO MTSU Mid-Week Metal WILLIE’S WET SPOT Shane & Lenny

FRI, 1/27 BLUESBORO Burning Las Vegas THE BORO

Adam Dalton & The B-Sides FANATICS Junkbox WILLIE’S WET SPOT Smiley Blind Band WRIGHT MUSIC BLDG. Andrew Noble, graduate tuba recital

SAT, 1/28 BLUESBORO Atomic Trunk Monkeys THE BORO Star + Micey, Flea Market Hustlers FANATICS Elle & the Fine Lines WILLIE’S WET SPOT Stoopid Kool WRIGHT MUSIC BLDG. MTSU Flute Festival

SUN, 1/29 BLUE Avent Lane, Larry Pinkerton WRIGHT MUSIC BLDG. Alan Shikoh, graduate guitar recital

MON, 1/30 WRIGHT MUSIC BLDG. Ai Goldsmith guest flute recital with flute faculty, Jessica Dunnavant, Deanna Little


Young hip hop artist C-Winn moved from Memphis to Murfreesboro when he was just five, and he began writing music and scoring studio time when he was barely in high school. With vocals that sometimes mimic Eminem’s, he’s planning to drop his debut album next summer. He’s sharing the stage at Gilligan’s this night with the intense samples and gangsta rap style of Chicago transplant  Bmak, a.k.a. Lil Rockstar.

Bluesboro 114 N. Church St. 904-7236 Bunganut Pig 1602 W. Northfield Blvd. 893-7860 Campus Pub 903 Gunnerson Ave. 867-9893 Coach’s Grill 127 SE Broad St. 962-7853 Coconut Bay Cafe 210 Stones River Mall Blvd. 494-0504 Dugger’s Food & Fun 1738 W. Northfield Blvd. 809-2605 Fanatic’s 1850 Old Fort Pkwy. 494-3995 Gilligan’s 527 W. Main St. 439-6090 Lanes, Trains and Automobiles 450 Butler Drive 890-3999 Liquid Smoke #2 Public Square 217-7822 Maple Street Grill 109 N. Maple St. 890-0122 MT Bottle 3940 Shelbyville Hwy. 962-9872 Murfreesboro/ Center for the Arts 110 W. College St. 904-ARTS Nobody’s Grill & BBQ 116 John R. Rice Blvd. 962-8019 Temptation Club 2404 Halls Hill Pike 217-0944 The Boro Bar & Grill 1211 Greenland Dr. 895-4800 Wall Street 121 N. Maple St. 867-9090 Walnut House 116 N. Walnut St. 890-5093 Willie’s Wet Spot 1208 S. Lowry St., Smyrna 355-0010




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Holly Amber, Heather Danielson and Buddy R. Jones in Dead Man's Cell Phone

Un-Christmas offerings on Out Front on Main. column by MARCUS LUCHE


n its continuing work to push theatrical boundaries and to discard theatrical conventions, Out Front on Main this month offered the dark comedy Dead Man’s Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl. I was pleasantly surprised by the production in more ways than one. Director Leah Fincher, admittedly one of my favorite directors in the area, augmented one of playwright Ruhl’s weaker scripts with a beautiful and thoughtful score, and her insightful guidance was apparent in the skillful and subtle performances of the cast. Heather Danielsen returned to the Out Front stage for the role of Jean, a woman who answers the ringing cell phone of a fellow patron at a diner. From that first meeting, this fellow patron named Gordon, portrayed by JR Robles, is—as one might imagine from the title of the play—dead. Such a condition did not, however, prevent Robles from delivering a brilliantly executed monologue about the nature of life and death upon the opening of the show’s second act. Danielsen herself was almost flawless in her performance; her Jean was a perfect blend of humor and timidity, gumption and absurdity as she navigated her newly formed relationships with Gordon’s amusingly neurotic relatives, including his brother, mother and wife. Buddy Jones again lent his considerable talent to the role of Dwight, Gordon’s brother and Jean’s would-be lover. He shone as a


beacon of comparative normalcy in a sea of unpredictability; Jones was well-suited to the role, and his portrayal helped ground the show in its own reality. Gordon’s mother, the domineering Mrs. Gottlieb, was unhesitantly played by Holly Amber. Her assertive performance was brilliant and gave rise to some of the show’s most hilarious moments. Ali Bergstrom rounded out the offkilter family as Hermia, Gordon’s wife. She was her own bundle of neuroses, reminiscent to this audience member of Lilith, the wife of television’s Frazier; her occasional vulnerability was moving and provided a greater depth to the show. In spite of a script that is occasionally flat and uncertain, Dead Man’s Cell Phone was a very enjoyable production. Fincher brought together a cast and a vision to create a poignant and enervating exploration of the value of life that was a most memorable outing.


To Hold Our Destiny

JANUARY PERFORMANCES Double Feature: Mac and Alice, two works for youth by E. Roy Lee based on the works of William Shakespeare and Lewis Carroll 7 p.m. Jan. 13 and 14; 2 p.m. Jan. 15 at Murfreesboro Little Theatre Guys and Dolls 7 p.m. Jan. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 and 21; 2 p.m. Jan. 8, 15 and 22 at Center for the Arts The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27, 28, Feb. 3, 4, 10 and 11; 2 p.m. Jan. 28, Feb. 4 and 11 at Swan Performing Arts Center

I Got Me To a Nunnery The holiday spirit was irrepressible at the Center for the Arts as the theater presented the holiday musical Nuncrackers. The audience filled the venue with laughter as they beheld the filming of a public access television Christmas special by the nuns at Mount Saint Helen’s ministry. The performance was lively, and the actors were fully committed to the acts of insanity they were proffered in the script. A trifle by Dan Goggin, Nun-

Five Women Wearing the Same Dress 7:30 p.m. Jan. 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14 and 15 at Out Front on Main

crackers is the holiday offering in a series of plays that follows the antics of a less-thanorthodox Catholic church and its thoroughly unconventional members. The church is led by Father Virgil, portrayed fearlessly by Daniel Garner, whose impression of Julia Child was so spot-on as to be uncanny. As Virgil’s associates, the institution’s sisters each brought her own vivacious humor to the performance. Cindy Lamb played the Reverend Mother, Sister Mary Regina, and any attempts at queenly demeanor were humorously foiled by her sisters’ behavior. Sister Mary Hubert, portrayed by Center veteran Candi Ford, was delightful; and Sisters Mary Paul and Robert Anne, Tamara Garner and Debbie Philips, respectively, repeatedly elicited raucous strains of pleasure from the audience.

The younger performers in the show were, as always with Center for the Arts productions, delightful in their vim and vigor. Including both familiar faces like Emily Conley, Lydia McLaurin, and Patrick Powell and relative newcomers like Colin McLaurin and Skye Dupree, the children attacked their roles with poise and panache equal to their adult counterparts. Especially exceptional was Adam LaPorte in the role of Tommy Webber; his vocal solo during It’s Better to Give was simply amazing. It’s a safe bet that we will be seeing much more of these talented youth as they continue to hone their skills. Nuncrackers was directed by Center veterans Jeff Stateler and Tim Smith. Though this was their first time helming a production, their keen sensibilities guaranteed a delightful production. Though I must admit that I found the script trite, I believe I was singularly unimpressed by Goggin’s offering. If peals of laughter may be considered signs of success, Nuncrackers did not disappoint.




The Series of Beginnings



Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer Directed by David Fincher

Rated R Okay, so . . . we have here exactly what anyone following David Fincher’s career since Se7en and Fight Club should expect: a dark, violent, sexy, beautiful thriller that lasts upward of three hours. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo may be some difficult, previously tackled material from author Stieg Larsson, but Fincher shines with these dense scripts, unafraid of delving into nuances and challenging material for the audience. Dragon Tattoo is a revenge plot wrapped in a murder mystery wrapped in a detective/murder mastermind type plot. Fincher facilitates the novel’s complexity deftly, but one drawback is that many important details appear in small text on a computer screen. Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), a talented journalist who has found himself in hot water because of a scathing piece he wrote, escapes to the family island of a wealthy German patriarch, Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer). Blomkvist has been

commissioned to write Henrik’s biography, but he is really investigating a 40-year-old murder of one of the family’s children. Blomkvist soon learns that the family on the island is both extremely dysfunctional and hostile to outsiders. As his investigation thickens, he steps on more toes until they finally beg him to return to his home. But he has come too far to turn back, and Henrik Vanger has promised him some material which will bring down his rival. Meanwhile, Fincher also follows the true hero, Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a tattooed free-lance investigator, frighteningly thorough, who plays by no one’s rules but her own. When she is raped by her adviser in child services, she responds by blackmailing

him, tattooing “I AM A RAPIST PIG” on his stomach and forcing him to fund her hightech surveillance. Ultimately, the two, Blomkvist and Lisbeth, pair up to solve the mystery. They are the best in the business. Blomkvist needs Lisbeth’s resourcefulness and uninhibited dedication, but she likewise needs his grounded, thorough research to crack the case. When they split up to gather historical documents, Blomkvist is abducted by the murderer they are closing in on. What ensues is a brilliant film by Fincher, one which showcases some great acting and incredible on-location scenery from Uppsala and Stockholm in Sweden, and some shots from Norway. Enjoy!

McAdams). Holmes hardly bats an eye when Moriarty claims blame for her disappearance, but when he threatens Holmes’ beloved friend and biographer Dr. Watson (and Watson’s new and seemingly inconsequential wife), Holmes joins Moriarty’s dangerous game of wits with protective vigor. With any potential romantic interest for Holmes removed, the subtext between Holmes and Watson moves to the forefront, making for even more ridiculous situations this time around, fitting for a sequel having to outdo its predecessor. Also befitting of sequels, the action is ramped up considerably. In Sherlock Holmes, Guy Ritchie’s trademark slow-motion wizardry and hyper-kinetic editing added context to Holmes’ almost clairvoyant martial

prowess, but in Game of Shadows, not only is there more action, but less context. Though I called Sherlock Holmes “fluff ” earlier, it looks subtle and restrained next to its follow-up. This lesser adventure is not without its charms. Noomi Rapace—aka The (Swedish) Girl With the Dragon Tattoo—guest stars, but in a surprisingly ancillary, entirely nonromantic role. And it must be restated how well Harris exudes the deadly intellect of Holmes’s one true rival. But where its predecessor succeeded in doing the opposite, AGOS suffers by trying to fit Doyle’s contemplative detective within Guy Ritchie’s over-the-top action hero. Let’s hope the inevitable third installment readjusts the imbalance. — JAY SPIGHT


SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS Starring: Roberty Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams Directed by Guy Ritchie

Rated PG-13

Director Guy Ritchie’s 2009 take on the world-renowned super sleuth Sherlock Holmes had many things going for it. Riding the wave of recent Holmes revivals like the Holmes-cumdoctor TV show House and the BBC’s modern take via the excellent miniseries Sherlock, Ritchie added the necessary Hollywood flair, while Robert Downey Jr. lent just the right kind of unhinged bravado to bring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s drug-addicted genius detective to life. Throw into the mix Holmes’ reluctant sidekick Dr. Watson (Law), a formidable villain, a dastardly plot involving the occult and a series of clever yet intelligible mysteries, and Sherlock Holmes made for some satisfying holiday fluff. 2011’s sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, includes all the same ingredients (minus the occult, boo), but in different proportion. While this film finally pits Holmes against his famed arch-nemesis Prof. Moriarty (an excellent Jared Harris) it quickly disposes of Sherlock’s pseudo-romantic interest Irene Adler (Rachel RATINGS:





hinking of a new year sparks hope for fresh and improved beginnings. There are rarely clear ends to where new beginnings emerge. Instead, there generally seems to be a muddled mess of unforeseen occurrences, despite our best efforts to control outcomes. Hopefully, with age and experience comes wisdom and happiness. You will notice my compulsion to reference the Orient when pondering this first article of the New Year.

Fireworks (1997) is also known as Hana-Bi in Japan. It stars its director and screenwriter, Takeshi Kitano (or “Beat” Takeshi). In many respects, it is a difficult film that juxtaposes a violent policeman’s working reality versus the tranquility and deep reflection that beckons him through his wife’s terminal state. It is unlikely in its beauty, and is very rewarding in its scope. If ever a film might be labelled as underrated, Fireworks would surely fit that bill.

To Live (1994) is an epic Chinese film directed by Zhang Yimou. The film documents a once prosperous family’s survival through the conflicts of China’s identity struggles during the 1940s through the 1970s. Aside from the decisions that guide their lives, revolution plays an even larger role in their destiny. It chronicles the many new beginnings that they must either welcome or endure. AVOID AT ALL COSTS BOROPULSE.COM



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Drew Brees



appy New Year! The Train Daddy is feeling great heading show how much the BCS sucks compared to the big leagues; it is, in into 2012. I personally learned more in 2011 about myself my opinion, the most flawed system in all of sports. than I have in my life, and the Z-Train is ready to roll over A new year brings new hope, new ideas, new dreams and new all the haters. I live and breathe sports, and I am allowed plans for people like you and me, all for one purpose. That purpose to; I have no children, and I have no wife. One day I plan on is to better ourselves. College football should listen to the fans and having both, but until that day, the Z-Train rolls reevaluate itself. Someone deserving of a title shot solo, baby! always gets left out. You see, college football is SPORTS I just want to say God bless sports. Not only like a 300-pound women who still is somewhat TALK sports, but God bless this country and the soldiers column by Z-TRAIN attractive; some guys out there like a thick women that fought to make her beautiful, and God bless and wouldn’t want her to change, but the majority titanman1984@ friends and family. It is a new year and we have of men out there would prefer a slimmer, healthier to enjoy the finer things in life: beautiful women, lady. If this 300-pound woman would just make fine wine, steak and shrimp and most important, we thank God for some changes in her life and go on a diet, she would be more inmaking all these things possible. triguing to many more men. In the NFL, post-season football is exciting and a challenge for Some people like college football these days just the way it is, but any of the 12 teams that have dreams of lifting the Lombardi Trophy with some tweaks here and there, college ball would be much more come Feb. 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. It just goes to intriguing to a larger audience.



he season is over for the Tennessee Titans, and preparation and planning has already begun for the 2012 season. Now is the time for fans and critics to critique the 2011 season and break down every possible scenario that was a success or failure. The question I have for myself and the team would have to be Was the 2011 season a success, and I would give the team a B- if I were to grade them. The Titans definitely outperformed the projections of the sports analysts around the country; nobody had the Titans, and first-year Coach Mike Munchak projected to have a winning season. The team finished 9-7 and left some tough losses on the field like Week 1 with a 16-14 loss to a bad Jaguars team and Week 14 with a goal line stop as time expired against the Saints, causing the Titans to lose 22-17. The following week they gave the Colts their first victory. The Titans only had two losses that they honestly deserved this season, losing to the Steelers 38-17 and the Texans 41-7. The Titans defeated three of the six AFC teams in the playoffs this season, and for a team projected by the professionals to be at the bottom of the barrel, that seems like a successful rebuilding year to me. When we talk about the quarterback spot, there is a lot to evaluate. Matt brought some leadership and talent to the table. I will agree he played well this season through some injuries, but he is not the future, and we all 28 * JANUARY 2012 * BOROPULSE.COM

know this. He is getting older and is slowly on the down-slope of his career. Rookie quarterbacks have shown in this league they can be thrown into the mix and be successful. The Jake Locker situation is turning out beautifully. He is showing signs of a star player in this league, and rather than being thrown into the lions’ den, he got a full season to learn and watch. Locker also got some good playing time in some very meaningful games. There were some times down the stretch when Matt struggled that I disagreed with the Coach for not putting in Locker. I don’t know the future, but Locker’s certainly looks bright. I hope this first-round pick is the answer to leading my Titans to the Promised Land. You know I have to send a shout out to my boy Nate Washington for finally busting loose for the first 1,000-yard season of his career with seven touchdowns. He really stepped up after Kenny Britt went down with a season-ending injury. I was also impressed with the play of Jared Cook. It wasn’t consistent, but with a 759yard season, he was getting open. Chris Johnson, I have little to say. You wanted to get paid like a quarterback; you got your big deal and struggled, possibly singlehandedly losing some games at the beginning of the season that could have made a difference for a playoff run. Johnson came together towards the end of the season and just barely notched 1,000 yards. I have to send one more shout out to the Young Gun Damian Williams who came out of nowhere and played well with 592 yards receiving and five TDs. The future looks bright and young. The defense is very young and played well, but like all young defenses, they

Titans' rookie Jake Locker has looked good in the action he's seen so far. Many feel he should get the starting role in 2012.

had some very bad games also. I was personally upset with the lack of turnovers between the two veterans in the backfield; Finnegan and Griffin totaled three interceptions, and that’s a long way off from a few years back when they both made the Pro Bowl. Rob Birronas still has a hell of a boot and isn’t going anywhere, and if you own a Chris Johnson bobble head, it is still relevant because that fool is a head shaker. Bobble, bobble, baby! That’s enough said. I stand behind Coach Munchak, and I think it is time Daddy gives the keys to his ride to the youngster, Jake “The Snake” Locker!

Post-Season Frenzy


he NFL Playoffs are finally here, and as exciting as playoff time is, it also is a sad thing, as it is the final push to the end of football season. The Bengals head to Houston to face the Texans. This is the first playoff appearance for the Texans, and I believe they are one and done. The Texans have struggled down the stretch, losing their last three games, and as up-and-down as the Bengals have been, their rookie combo has been hot. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green have been nothing less than special this year, and they will handle the Texans. The Steelers vs. Broncos match-up is probably my favorite of the weekend. I am taking the Steelers, but they are beat up with injuries. The Broncos have been playing poorly down the stretch, but with an injured Steelers team, you never know. It’s Tim Tebow and Jesus vs. The Dirty Towel Swingers. The Saints will handle the Lions in a shootout. This game comes down to quarterback play, and Drew Brees will outplay Matt Stafford any day of the week. The Falcons vs. Giants is the only game where a clear winner doesn’t just pop into my head, but I am taking the Giants. Eli Manning has been hot and with a healthy Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nick, and the G-men will take care of the Dirty Birds. The Saints are the only team coming out of Wild Card weekend that I believe can win the whole enchilada. The Packers, Ravens, 49ers and Patriots all wait for their opponents, and I like them all except the 49ers—impressive, yes, but I am not buying a post-season run from them. The Train Daddy has his Super Bowl prediction: Saints vs. Patriots and the Saints take the Lombardi Trophy home once again, “Who Dat”! That is the magic of the NFL, you never know what’s going to happen. We could have a 1998 Super Bowl rematch of the Broncos vs. Falcons. Well, I truly doubt that, but you never know. So enjoy the final month of football. I know that even you non-football fans will enjoy the Super Bowl. Everyone does; it’s a reason to drink, eat and be merry with your friends. So holla at ya, people, the Train Daddy is rolling out of the station!

MAKE A RESOLUTION TO RUN Run and run regularly; anyone can work to improve mind and body story by BRACKEN MAYO


n the Light in the Night 5k, held at Gateway Island Park on Dec. 3, Robert Davis of McMinnville led the pack with a 18:13 time. Kristen Wasik of Murfreesboro led the females with a finishing time of 22:07. Though the competitive road racing season will be in a bit of a lull for the next couple of months, it’s a great time to train (indoors, perhaps, during the coldest times) and prepare to enter a race later in the year. Fleet Feet, located at 544 N. Thompson Lane, holds Saturday morning runs every week at 8 a.m. if you feel a group run will help you get moving. Many who have never run before may say that running is boring. However, in actuality it can be one of the most interesting, beneficial and different times in your day. Not only is running great for improving your respiratory and circulatory systems, shedding weight and strengthening legs and core, it is also great for mental health. Thirty or forty minutes on the road allows one to reflect on the previous day and prepare and organize for the following one. If you care to use a small mp3 player (which can be pretty affordable these days), you can use the time to check out new music or listen to recorded books or podcasts. But even without the earbuds, the peace that comes with focusing on a single thing for a half hour is nice. Once you’re able to maintain a strong pace for a number of miles, there are plenty of things to vary up your runs to keep things interesting from day to day. On one day, after a warm-up of at least five minutes of an easy jog, hit a mile as hard as you can. The site allows runners and cyclists to plot, calculate the distance of and save routes on roads in your own neighborhood. So I suggest setting up a route of a mile and a 5k (3.1 miles) right in your own part of town. Use the stopwatch on your phone or watch to time your quickest mile possible. Walk for five minutes and then do it again, though it’s understandable if your second timed mile is a bit slower. A treadmill could

come in handy, if the temperature outside is unfavorable to you and for precisely timing your distance ran. On another day, start with a fiveminute easy jog again to get pumping and reduce the chance of injury, and then sprint for 30 seconds. Run like someone’s stealing your baby and you must catch them—big strides, high knees, heels to the butt, pumping your body to the absolute maximum, Olympic sprinting-finals style. Go back to an easy jog for a half or a whole minute and do it again. Try at least five of these alternations; work up to 10. Cool down with an easy jog before collapsing. On the third day of my weekly routine, I’m currently doing a 5k plus one additional mile, for a total of 4.1 miles. If I can push and improve my pace on this as if I am in a road race, actually running a 5k will be a breeze. I’d like to make this day more of a hill training day, but Murfreesboro is so flat compared to so much of Tennessee, I need to look for some big hills to conquer. The incline is another good feature of a treadmill. The fourth day could be an endurance day. Set a distance that is reasonable to you but still taxing, and do it, no matter how long it takes. I’m just at six miles on my long day, but I will continue to add half miles until I do just a little better than double that and am able to complete a 13-mile half marathon regularly. If the temperature is between 35 and 100 degrees, I’m fine. Below freezing and above 100, it gets a little less fun. But yet another reason to use a treadmill, particularly on these long days, is to take advantage of the TV mounted on them or the full-size movie cinema they are in, as the Murfreesboro Athletic Club offers. Running from 4:30-6 p.m. on a

Sunday is not a problem if there are a couple of competitive NFL games on the treadmill’s TV. The rest days in between the running days are certainly important, and they give your body a chance to recover. But I like to have more running days than off days, so the 4-day running plan will place one set of consecutive running days next to each other at the end of each cycle (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, for example). If you want to truly improve your times, the sprints and hill training are important. The biggest factor in a runner’s increase in speed is due to improved lung capacity. In other words, work your breathing hard and the changing amount of air your lungs can take in with one breath is the single most important thing one can do to shave of seconds on finishing times. For many runners, it’s all about the “PR” or personal record for a particular distance moreso than trying to outdo another runner. It probably feels great to win a race, but it also feels great to break your own time in a mile or a 5k. Do not be intimidated. Compared to most hobbies and sports, running is incredibly easy to get into. The first step: run. Tie your shoes and take off. Remember, even if you get up and jog easily for 10 minutes, the results will be better than if you had not. Think about your whole body as you run. Make sure you’re pushing off with your toes each stride and not just shuffling your feel along and not bending at the ankles. Pick up your knees. Kick your tail with your heels. Pump your legs as quickly as possible (be mindful of your “cadence”), but take large strides. Land on the front part of the foot, not the heel. Keep breathing under control. I usually start a run by inhaling for four steps, exhaling for four steps, then switching to three and then two as my lungs ask for more air. It seems like keeping the shoulders and elbows engaged is one of the top inefficiencies of many runners. Don’t keep the elbows

bent and your fists up high. This uses blood, oxygen and energy. Keep the arms straight and relaxed. Swivel at the hips slightly each step and rotate the rib cage from side to side. Use your hands and extended arms swinging back and forth as momentum pendulums, weight that helps you move forward, rather than running with bent, and therefore shorter, extremities. Run with power. Don’t lean back by any means. You’re going forward, so project your body weight forward slightly. I think of the Tennessee Titans powerful tight end Jared Cook as I run. That guy is like a locomotive going down the field. It always seems like when he does get tackled or tripped up, he’s still going to fall about 8 yards forward before he ever comes down because of the power

and momentum with which he runs down field. Run in such a way that if you did just give out or trip, you’re momentum is carrying your body forward rather than just collapsing straight down right where you are. Hopefully these tips will inspire some to run (without giving out all of my personal training secrets), or even improve their health in another way. Even if on your first jog you are winded after a couple of minutes, everyone has to start somewhere, and the important thing is that you’re literally taking steps in the right direction and that you improve your lungs and your time your next running day. I am by no means a running or fitness expert, but this strategy has helped helped me shed pounds and improve my times.




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FOOD Pollo Queso Agave

Blue Agave staff prepares fresh guacamole tableside.

Blue Agave presents fun flair with Mexican cuisine and . . .

TEQUILA! I found out the restaurant incorporates white American, queso fresco and Chihuaha cheeses. Dip on with a sizable order of guacamole made fresh tableside. Customize your guac with flavor boosters of diced onions, jalapeños, tomatoes, imly lit with multiple dining areas cilantro, salt and pepper and fresh lime juice. colored with subdued oranges and It’s fun to watch, tasty and good for you. blues and a barroom with a fully For my night out with the Mayo family, I stocked bar that is delightful on the went with my favorite dish of Chili Verde, a eyes, Blue Agave is not a run-of-the-mill Mexiplate full of pork bites simcan restaurant. “This city mered in a savory green chili is ready for good Mexican, pepper sauce served with not just rice and beans and soft white corn tortillas and Speedy Gonzalez [combinaNAME: Blue Agave beans and rice on the side. tion plate],” says co-owner LOCATION: For those who like a kick, Armando Lopez. “We have 1935 S. Church St. I recommend ordering a the potential to do that.” PHONE: (615) 624-6478 side of tomatillo salsa. Pour Lopez and his business HOURS: 11 a.m.–9 p.m. (Sun. some in a Chili Verde-filled partner Jesus Ortega opened –Tues.) 10 p.m. (Wed.–Sat. ) tortilla and it also makes for Blue Agave in June 2011 in PRICES: Pollo Queso Agave: another superb dip for chips. the building that formerly $8.99; Enchiladas Suizas: $8.50; Handmade guacaSarah ordered a taco housed The Parthenon. mole: $4.99 salad complete with a large A great thing about MexiWEB: crunchy tortilla bowl filled can restaurants is that free to the top with ground beef, chips and salsa are served shredded chicken, tomato, lettuce, and other immediately, so if you’re extremely hungry you don’t have to wait long to get something in your toppers. Bracken received a colorful plate of sliced grilled chicken, mushrooms, pineapple stomach. I highly recommend the cheese dip chunks, bell peppers and onions. This dish, the in addition to the salsa. It is significantly more Pollo Queso Agave came with tortillas, pico de flavorful than any other cheese dip I’ve tried; gallo, guacamole, rice and beans. And two-and-a-halfyear-old Bracken Jr. annihilatRead more about local restaurants at: ed his plate of rice and beans. After filling our bellies with story by RYAN NOREIKAS

photos by BRACKEN MAYO




Armando Lopez talks of his restaurant and plans for future dishes and events.

these incredible meals, Sarah and Junior called it a night, but Bracken and myself hung out and saved room for dessert. No, not the Tres Leches, which I hear is nothing less than amazing, but rather, some tequila tasting with Lopez. “I want to teach people about tequila,” said Lopez. “It’s not just to drink and get drunk. To me it’s like wine.” He informed us that the state of Tennessee allows 185 different tequilas, 120 of which are from Mexico, and Blue Agave is the first restaurant in Middle Tennessee to carry them all. Tequila is very much incorporated into the restaurant by way of the bar and also the food. It is used in sauces and marinades and also as a fuel to ignite the fajitas as they arrive at your table; Blue Agave is apparently the only restaurant in the city to serve flaming fajitas. In fact, the name Blue Agave references the plant from which true tequila is derived. Guadalajara, in the Mexican state of Jalisco, is the only

region in the world where the blue agave plant grows. Lopez affirmed, “If it’s not from the blue agave plant, it’s not good tequila.” It takes the blue agave seven to ten years to mature, Lopez says and if you’d like to get a look at the plant, there are several hanging in the restaurant. Tequila prices at Blue Agave range from $4.50 to $150 per shot and the restaurant often runs specials on quality tequilas. Lopez shared one of his favorites, Don Julio 1942. Aged 17 years, we followed his method for drinking it, sip-by-sip with a chaser of sangria. Lopez informed us that the bottled sangria, which “has to be from Spain,” kills any sourness and accents the agave flavor. As an alternative, he recommended orange juice to bring out the tequila flavor. Note that lime and salt are not mentioned in his method. Lopez continued as we sipped along, “Look for a cork on the bottle. If there’s no cork, it’s not good tequila.” He took another sip, “1942 is a perfect blend.” On Feb. 2 from 7–8:30 p.m., Blue Agave will host a tasting celebration for Don Julio tequila’s 70-year anniversary, complete with Don Julio Blanco (white), Añejo (aged), Reposado (rested), 1942, Don Julio Real (top shelf), and will end the night with the special edition Don Julio 70-year Anniversary tequila. Lopez intends to introduce more authentic dishes to the Blue Agave menu little by little, and a regular draw is a two-for-one margarita special and trivia every Wednesday evening. For more information, visit


Warm up this winter with a few of our favorite soups.


When it’s cold out, there’s nothing more satisfying than sitting down to a hot bowl of soup. These recipes take a bit more time than cracking open a can of Campbell’s, but they’re worth it. Freeze leftover portions in airtight containers for a quick meal later on.

This one-pot meal is hearty and delicious.

Editor’s Pick



Tastes just like Demos'. Well, almost.

Tastes just like the soup your Mexican grandmother used to make.

Serves: 4–6, Level: Easy


Serves: 4–6, Level: Easy

Serves: 6, Time: 45 Minutes, Level: Easy

INGREDIENTS: ½ stick butter 1 small onion, diced 2 medium carrots, diced about the same size as the onion 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 8 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 tablespoon butter (or margarine)


4 cups milk, whole, reduced fat (2 percent) or low fat (1 percent)

1/8 cup all-purpose flour

4 ears fresh or 3 cups frozen, thawed corn kernels

2 chicken bouillon cubes, dissolved in ½ cup hot milk

2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups cooked chicken , shredded

2-4 cups chicken broth

¼ teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt , to taste

½ teaspoon dried oregano

2 cups salted water

1/2 teaspoon pepper, to taste

4 slices thick cut bacon

1 pound medium shrimp

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

½ onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

Crumbled bacon bits, for garnish

½ (1 1/4 ounce) packet Italian salad dressing mix

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Grated sharp Cheddar, for garnish

Salt and pepper

Dill sprigs, optional garnish

1 cup milk (2% and skim work fine)

½ cup heavy cream, optional


2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a 4-quart saucepan, melt the butter and saute the onion and carrots until both

2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans chicken broth (reduced sodium or fat free is fine)

1 tablespoon white wine fresh parsley (1 small bunch, coarsely chopped) (optional) 2 cups long-grain rice , cooked

are slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour, and cook for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, milk and dissolved bouillon cubes. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are very soft and some of them have begun to dissolve into mush. Add salt, and pepper. In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups lightly salted water to a boil. Add the shrimp all at once and stir well. Watch the shrimp closely; as soon as they all turn pink, about 2 to 3 minutes, turn off the heat and drain. The shrimp should be slightly undercooked. When they are cool, peel them, and chop roughly into big chunks. Add the shrimp to the soup and stir well. Serve soup sprinkled with bacon bits and grated cheese. Garnish with dill sprigs, if desired. Cook’s Note: If you don’t have access to shrimp, use corn. May use 2 cups chicken stock or broth for flavor instead of 2 cups water and bouillon cubes. Recipe courtesy

½ cup queso fresco, fresh farmer’s cheese, feta cheese, pepperjack cheese or sour cream Tortilla chips or fried tortilla strips

DIRECTIONS: If using fresh corn, scrape kernels from cobs using small sharp knife or spoon. Place half of the corn kernels in blender with tomatoes, 2 cups of broth and oregano. Puree until smooth. Set aside.

DIRECTIONS: In a large pot, melt the butter or margarine. After the butter is melted, mix the flour in until smooth. Slowly pour in chicken broth, whisking or stirring continuously until no lumps remain. Add the shredded cooked chicken, salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian salad dressing mix; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 12 minutes. Add the milk, lemon juice, white wine and parsley, if desired. Reduce heat to low, add the cooked rice and cover. Cook until rice is heated through. Recipe courtesy

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon, turning once until brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Set aside. Add onion to bacon fat in saucepan and cook, stirring frequently until onion is soft and translucent. Add garlic and stir for another minute. Add tomato-corn puree to saucepan with remaining 1–2 cups of broth or water. Bring to a low boil and add remaining whole corn kernels. Simmer over medium-low heat until thickened, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally and remove any foam as it develops with a large flat metal spoon. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in half of the parsley and cream, if desired, and heat through. Serve garnished with crumbled bacon, remaining parsley, crumbled cheese and tortilla chips or strips. Note: Canned corn is tasty in this recipe too. Recipe courtesy BOROPULSE.COM



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January 2012 Murfreesboro Pulse  

Middle Tennessee's Source for Art, Entertainment and Culture News