MARCH 8, 2018
CHATTANOOGA'S WEEKLY ALTERNATIVE
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VOL. 15, NO. 10 • MARCH 8, 2018
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GETTING WILD IN REHAB
Since its inception in 2015, Happinest Wildlife Rehabilitation has had their hands, cars and homes full with critters who need help getting a second chance.
THE DECLINE AND FALL OF AN AMERICAN CITY
Even over a year later, it’s frustrating to hear Americans defend their vote for the current president. At the time, they knew nothing of Russian interference, of course.
ESCAPING FROM THE EVERYDAY EXISTENCE
Memory is an incredibly curious aspect of human nature, and one of the first pioneers into the theatre art of memory is none other than Tennessee Williams.
GIVE ME THAT OLD TIME FIDDLIN' SPIRIT
Eight years ago local artist, performer and music historian Matt Downer revived a long-lost Chattanooga tradition, the Old Time Fiddler’s Convention (formerly known as the All Southern Championship.)
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Chattanooga Through Irish Eyes With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, we thought we’d get a real Irish view on Chattanooga. Who better than Irish native James Mahon, who spent almost three years as a general assignment reporter for Chattanooga’s CBS affiliate WDEF-TV News 12.
SHADES OF GREEN
NEW IN THEATERS
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY
Our cover story is written by Kevin Hale, a freelance journalist and experienced internet and television marketer living in North Chattanooga. He also enjoys chasing flying saucers and saving bees with his 6-year old son.
Sandra Kurtz has long been active in environmental education and activism. She founded Tennessee Environmental Education Association, and has consulted with National Environmental Trust, Clear the Air, and the Sierra Club.
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BEGINNINGS ∙ CITY LIFE
Getting Wild In Rehab Happinest Wildlife Rehabilitation is the happiest place in town By Jessie Gantt-Temple Pulse contributor
BREWER MEDIA GROUP Publisher James Brewer, Sr. FOUNDED 2003 BY ZACHARY COOPER & MICHAEL KULL
Managing Editor Gary Poole Assistant Editor Brooke Brown Music Editor Marc T. Michael Film Editor John DeVore Contributors Rob Brezsny • Jessie Gantt-Temple Kevin Hale • Matt Jones Sandra Kurtz • Ernie Paik Rick Pimental-Habib • Michael Thomas Brandon Watson • Addie Whitlow Editorial Interns Adrienne Kaufmann • Austin M. Hooks Cartoonists Max Cannon • Rob Rogers Jen Sorenson • Tom Tomorrow
ADVERTISING Director of Sales Mike Baskin
Account Executives Rick Leavell • Cindee McBride Libby Phillips • John Rodriguez Danielle Swindell • Logan Vandergriff
Offices 1305 Carter St. Chattanooga, TN 37402 Phone 423.265.9494 Email email@example.com Website chattanoogapulse.com Facebook @chattanoogapulse THE FINE PRINT: The Pulse is published weekly by Brewer Media and is distributed throughout the city of Chattanooga and surrounding communities. The Pulse covers a broad range of topics concentrating on music, the arts, entertainment, culture and local news. The Pulse is available free of charge, limited to one copy per reader. No person without written permission from the publisher may take more than one copy per weekly issue. The Pulse may be distributed only by authorized distributors. Contents Copyright © 2018 by Brewer Media. All rights reserved.
INCE ITS INCEPTION IN 2015, Happinest Wildlife Rehabilitation has had their hands, cars and homes full with critters who need help getting a second chance. Founders Alix Parks and Sherry Teas, who are both licensed through the US Fish & Wildlife and the TWRA, created Happinest because of their love of animals and discovery that there was nothing like this for 100 miles. Happinest can rescue, rehabilitate and release raptors, songbirds and mammals including chipmunks, rabbits and deer. “Human interference is the biggest challenge affecting wildlife,” said Sherry when describing how people can make better decisions and be proactive in preservation, “Window strikes and being hit by a car are the most common accidents we see.” Predator attacks along with inclement weather can also affect the success of wildlife. “The worst thing a person can do is feed an injured or orphaned animal,” Sherry continues with some tips that could decrease the need for wildlife rehabilitation centers. “It is a myth that you can’t touch them because the mother will not take it back. Keep it warm, stress free but do not feed it.” There are several ways to lend a helping hand. Every first Saturday of the month, Crown Chattanooga donates a percentage of service sales directly to Happinest so get an oil change or have your brakes fixed knowing the money goes to a good cause. They are hosting a 5K at the Little Owl Festival in May as well as a pancake breakfast and comedy benefit in the summer. If you can’t make those events, you can purchase donations off their Amazon Wishlist (prices starting at $6) and they doubly benefit because of Amazon Smiles.
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“We’ve all heard about how important communication is, and this is just another example of the power of dialogue.” You can also donate supplies such as storage bins, kitchen timers or things as simple as pen and paper. Cleaning supplies like bleach, trash bags or laundry detergent is always appreciated. For those wanting a more handson approach, there are a few ways to help and they do not all include the good old cleaning up poopy cages. Happinest would love to increase their Transporter Team. Currently there are about 30 active volunteers but as most of them work full time, it is tough but imperative to pick up a rescue as quickly as possible. If anyone is willing to partake in a 30-minute round trip to help pick up and deliver a rescue, that would help immensely. Someone who may not want to feel the urgency of transporting can
join the Re-nesting Team. When a baby falls out of a nest, it’s likely that it will reunite with its mother... eventually. However, that time when it’s vulnerable to the elements and predators, is when the Re-nesting Team steps in. This person’s job is to warm up, rehydrate and wait for the mother. Somewhat time consuming yet simple, pleasant and rewarding. If you have experience in teaching, grant writing, marketing or skills that would be beneficial, contact Happinest and they will find a home for you with them where you can thrive just like their rescues. Or if you are interested in volunteering, apprenticeship or want to schedule them to educate your group, call (423) 593-3932 or email them at HappinestWildlife@ gmail.com
Consider This with Dr. Rick
EdiToon by Rob Rogers
“It takes nothing to join the crowd. It takes everything to stand alone.” — Hans F. Hansen
Literary INK: The Best Of Two Worlds You’ve probably heard about Harry Potter conventions and also tattoo conventions, but what about Harry Potter tattoo conventions? Yes, you read that right, and it’s exactly what’s happening this weekend at the Literary INK Convention at the Chattanooga Doubletree hotel. Literary INK is an independent Harry Potter tattoo convention that seeks to “create, exhibit, and celebrate the intersection of literary fantasy and artistic magic.” The weekend schedule, running Friday through Sunday, boasts a wide
range of events, including scavenger hunts, best (and worst!) tattoo competitions, cosplay gatherings, live music, improv performances, and after parties. The special guest list includes Colonel Tony Moore, an award-winning car-
toonist who currently works for Marvel, and Tim Friday, a magician and true crowd-pleaser. In addition to these live acts and events, the festival will feature live tattooing throughout the entire weekend by tattooing “wizards” from California to New Jersey to right here in Chattanooga. So whether if you’re just a tattoo fan, a Harry Potter devotee, or a lover of all things whimsical, the Literary INK festival will be a perfect place to see two rich and magical worlds collide. — Adrienne Kaufmann
If you happened to catch the Academy Awards this past Sunday perhaps you were as inspired as I was. (Having lived in Los Angeles for many years it is nearly a national holiday for me and my peeps.) This 90th Oscars show was filled with empowered women using their voices; passionate speeches hoping to shift the politics of the planet back into balance; brilliant, creative minority voices hoping to move our collective consciousness toward inclusivity; and men who were on their best behavior. One thing about Hollywood: love it or hate it, it nevertheless is part of our culture and history. Celebs are our royalty, and when they use their voices for good, good things happen. Consider Michelle Obama’s words: “Strong men—men who are truly role models—don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful.” — Rick Pimental-Habib, Ph.D.
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COLUMN ∙ SHADES OF GREEN
TVA Brings Future Consequences What does personal power production mean for our energy future?
OW WILL ENERGY USAGE change in the next 20 years in the Tennessee Valley? Good question. It’s one that Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is asking the public as it puts together its 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). My advice: Move to renewable energy sources as quickly as possible and close all coal-fired and nuclear power plants thereby improving the environment and helping slow climate change. Oh, and plant some trees too as was suggested by a speaker at the last TVA Board meeting. Every few years TVA considers what the future might look like cooking up several alternatives based on possible scenarios. For example, TVA asks how to position itself if there’s a recession, unforeseen government regulations, or a drought? We already know that demand for electricity is down and staying flat. We know too that the IRP process requires an environmental impact statement. Currently a scoping process ends April 16. Scoping means TVA must determine what environmental issues should be addressed as part of the environmental impact study. In past IRPs, the scope of study has not included climate change impacts or consequences of small daily nuclear releases on public health. What about a dam break or another coal ash spill? Shouldn’t there be analysis comparing air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste from coal, gas, and
nuclear plants to those if we got our electricity from 100% renewable sources? TVA is a huge centralized generator of electricity with nine million customers in parts of seven states. They send electricity to you via your local utility. But what if you sent electricity to them for purchase with your rooftop solar panels or small hydro wheel? What if you made your own electricity for your use and didn’t sell it to TVA? That’s distributed energy. If everyone produced electricity, TVA would be out of the generating business. Naturally TVA considers that a humongous threat. If more and more customers make use of distributed energy, what does that mean for TVA income and costs to those still on the centralized grid? A TVA fact sheet states that the IRP 2019 will seek to answer how distributed energy resources should be considered in TVA planning. TVA has also stated that IRP 2019 goals are to improve understanding of the impact and benefit of system flexibility with increasing renewable and distributed resources while determining the implications of a diverse portfolio mix for the next 20 years. Given current lack of transparency, past history, and recent actions, pro-environment folks are not convinced that TVA really wants to embrace renewables and distributed energy. Examples: Kicking some environmental organization representatives off working groups; Refusing
to work with Clean Line that offered TVA 3500 megawatts of wind energy at a cheaper rate per kilowatt hour; upgrading Browns Ferry nuclear plants to use high burnup fuel to increase nuclear percentage of TVA power to 40 percent; capping solar energy installation support for businesses and homes; Planning to shift variable costs to fixed costs for residential customers thereby cutting off distributed energy and efficiency choices; Not following the last IRP energy efficiency determinations. This is PUBLIC power. As an owner you can make recommendations by searching for TVA website 2019 Integrated Resource Plan. See contacts there, get to a comment page and sign up for email updates. TVA is supposed to provide the lowest possible rates for people in the Valley. Your electricity sources
are dependent on TVA’s decisions because you can’t choose another generator/utility. Other southeastern utilities are already incorporating renewables. TVA should be leading. After scoping is determined, there will be opportunities to have public input and draft plan review. Speak up. BIRD NOTE: Since this is the year of the bird and many are considering spring plantings, the National Audubon Society has provided a Plant Database that will provide you with plants for this area coupled with the bird species that will benefit. Learn more at audubon. org/native-plants Sandra Kurtz is an environmental community activist, chair of the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway Alliance, and is presently working through the Urban Century Institute. You can visit her website to learn more at enviroedu.net
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Chattanooga Through Irish Eyes Seeing the Scenic City through the eyes of an Irish journalist
ITH ST. PATRICK’S DAY JUST AROUND THE CORNER, we thought we’d get a real Irish view on Chattanooga. Who better than Irish native James Mahon, who spent almost three years as a general assignment reporter for Chattanooga’s CBS affiliate WDEF-TV News 12. By Kevin Hale
All of these American television stations wanted an American hook. Some said ‘You don’t look or sound American; you’re too young or too old, you need to fake an American accent.”
During his time in the Tennessee Valley, he blogged about his unique take on the South, which also ran as a monthly lifestyle television series Through Irish Eyes. Now he has compiled his experiences in a book of the same name and pays a return visit to the Tennessee Valley in April. I caught up with Mahon over Facetime recently at his home in Glasgow, Scotland. He currently lectures about his broadcast adventures at the University of West Scotland. Mahon is trilingual and an accomplished linguist. Mahon was born in Bucharest, Romania, then was quickly adopted and grew up in the west coast Irish town of Galway. “You may have heard about Galway in one of Ed Sheeran’s song,” laughs Mahon. “It was a great place to grow up with culture, madness, fishing, music and film to influence an individualist Irish teen.” He attended university in Galway focusing on Irish language and education, then pursued an undergraduate degree in English and classics. He then moved to Sheffield, England to obtain a Master of Arts in Broadcast Journalism. “I was able to work for the British Broadcasting Corporation in Leeds (England) shooting video with an iPhone 4 during my training,” says Mahon. “But once I tried to get a job, older candidates took preference among employers since they had experience. English culture values know-how versus America’s youth culture.” He soon realized his broadcast education would not be complete without working in the United States. “I needed proper training,” says Mahon. “I wanted to study and know how to do it correctly.” He fell in love with the U.S. after visiting Los Ange-
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les and New York in 2011 but he wasn’t able to get a visa until the fall of 2012. He began shooting video for WKOP, the PBS station in Knoxville, while spending time as a DJ and job hunting. “I sent out hundreds of resumes and dozens of demo reels but kept running into roadblocks,” explains Mahon. “All of these American television stations wanted an American hook. Some said ‘You don’t look or sound American; you’re too young or too old, you need to fake an American accent.” It wasn’t until he sent his reel to News 12 did things start to happen for him. “The news director, Dutch Terry, asked me if I had a driver’s license,” says Mahon. “Of course we drive on the opposite side of the street in Ireland and United
Kingdom, so I just told him to teach me how to drive in America.” They spent some time driving on back roads until Mahon was up to speed, so to speak. “I also told him I had experience shooting on the iPhone, which he said was the future,” says Mahon. “Really it was a match made in heaven.” Mahon was accepted immediately by area residences who viewed him as kind of a curiosity. He notes that he experienced more discrimination in England and New York than he ever did in the South. “Somebody once told me to go back to Pakistan,” laughs Mahon. “I feel like people I interview can talk to me as an outsider,” says Mahon. “From the prostitute, to the transgendered to the
COVER STORY cowboy, I really was starting to build up a brand and gain the trust of those I interviewed.” Looking at Mahon’s demo reel, it does provide a glimpse into the Irishman’s journey through southern and American culture. “I’m not sure what’s going on here, but they do seem to be having a good time,” documents one clip as he reports from a local pro wrestling match. From sex trafficking to the national discussion surrounding marijuana legalization, Mahon sharpened his journalism skills in what must have seemed like another planet. “I’ve seen indigent people waiting in line at a soup kitchen,” he remembers. “I’ve seen a community come together and mobilize to help tornado victims. (They don’t have tornadoes in Ireland) I’ve seen dead bodies and bullets and meth busts. In the end, people define your experience, no matter where you go.” But when I ask him the major difference between the U.S. and Europe, he doesn’t hesitate to respond. “People don’t get mass murdered by guns almost every day in Europe like they do in America,” laments Mahon. “One politician told me if gun reform didn’t happen after Sandy Hook, with all those rich white kids, it would never happen.” He also noticed certain divisive, polarizing aspects of American society like immigration, gangs, and religion. “It’s not good for any society or culture,” he says. “We don’t have all this suffering in Europe.” He goes on to mention free education and healthcare those across the pond are guaranteed. “It’s sad and fascinating at the same time that America has phenomenal universities and great community values but college students have to work two jobs and get in debt going to school,” says Mahon. “Our quality of life is higher and it hurts me to see many American not getting the opportunities I’ve had. I do hope things change.” Through Irish Eyes ran for three sea-
“All walks of life need to come together, no matter race, creed, and gender and celebrate what we have in common, not what divides us.” sons on WDEF-TV but things soon changed for Mahon when his visa expired. He tried to get a green card but U.S. immigration lost his paperwork. “I had a life here. I had a girlfriend who I had to break up with,” remembers Mahon. “I had to move back to Ireland only to find out immigration lost my paperwork again. For the past two years, I’ve been trying to get it straight and have spent over $7,000 in the process.” Luckily, Mahon had lectured here at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga State and Dalton State. He soon got a job in Scotland lecturing on broadcast. “I’m very familiar with what students need.” It wasn’t until he returned to Ireland that he was approached to turn his Through Irish Eyes television series into a book. “I told the publisher it was all up on YouTube but they insisted I compile all my adventures into a book,” says Mahon.
He continued to contribute to WDEF-TV as a special correspondent reporting from Iraq, Mosel and following the threat of ISIS in those regions during the spring of 2017. Our conversation returns to gun reform in the U.S., where Mahon seems to relish stepping outside his journalistic skin and his mission of entertaining, educating and informing to develop some opinions he shares in the book. “Tragedy is going to happen,” says Mahon. “Regimes need to stop criticizing and be constructive and ask, ‘Why are these shooters doing this?” He goes on to talk about the power of the internet to bring us together and divide us at the same time. “The basis of all religions is to think of others,” says Mahon. “Be empathic. Give everyone the best of you. Be compassionate and respectful. Learn, grow and develop.” Mahon doesn’t seem bitter but thankful for his time in America,
showing exceptional gratitude to those who gave him a chance at News 12. “I’m happy here,” says Mahon talking to me from Scotland. He seems to be biding his time until he returns to the U.S. and Chattanooga in April. “I’m going to spend a week at News 12. It’s going to be surreal.” There are things that Mahon is hungry for and especially misses about America, and the South in general. “My mouth still waters over the lack of proper steak dinners,” he remembers. “And real fried chicken.” “Another thing I really miss is the community spirit and pride of Americans,” he says. “And the dizzying array of television sport channels. I also miss Jack Daniels Fire!” He recently started his Doctorate in mobile journalism and wants to cover five television stations in five countries around the world, WDEF-TV News 12 being one of them. I mention he probably gets a lot of interview requests around this time of the year, it being St. Paddy’s Day and all. As an Irishman, he takes the opportunity to clear a few things up. “Corned beef and cabbage is not an Irish thing,” says Mahon. “I had never heard about pinching someone if they’re not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day until I came to the states. But the ‘Kiss Me, I’m Irish’ thing I love,” he exclaims. He also gives a shout out to his fellow country woman, Saoirse (like inertia) Ronan, who was nominated in the Best Actress category for Lady Bird at this year’s 90th annual Academy Awards. “She’s incredibly talented,” says Mahon. “Irish male actors have dominated Hollywood for so long. She’s a breath of fresh air.” So what’s his advice on how to celebrate the Irish holiday? “Get a couple of pints of Guinness on tap, not in a bottle or can,” he explains. “All walks of life need to come together, no matter race, creed, and gender and celebrate what we have in common, not what divides us.”
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FILM & TELEVISION
The Decline And Fall Of An American City Flint Town takes a hard look at a failed city
A Question Of Shakespearean Sanity One would be hard pressed to find a more British name for an actor than Benedict Cumberbatch. The very name conjures up images of a serious Shakespearean actor, with a deep, mellifluous voice and a commanding stage presence. Luckily for audiences around the world, Benedict Cumberbatch lives up to his grandiose name, wowing critics and viewers alike with his towering performance in 2015’s National Theatre Live airing of Shakespeare’s great tragedy, Hamlet. For those unfamiliar with the plot, a country arms itself for war while a family tears itself apart. Forced to avenge his father’s death but paralyzed by the task ahead, Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, rages against the impossibility of his predicament, threatening both his sanity and the security of the state. Even so, director Lyndsey Turner tinkers with the production to make it both unexpected and politically relevant to modern times. “This is a Hamlet for a world on the edge: a warning from history, and a plea for new ideas from a new generation,” notes Variety’s Matt Trueman. The original broadcast, which was seen by 750,000 people worldwide, is coming back to theaters for an encore performance this Thursday evening with Cumberbatch in the title role and supported by a top notch cast. To see or not to see...that is not really a question. Go ahead and see it. — Michael Thomas Hamlet Thursday, 7 p.m. East Ridge 18 Hamilton Place 8 5080 South Terrace 2000 Hamilton Pl. Blvd. (423) 855-9652 (844) 462-7342 fathomevents.com 10 • THE PULSE • MARCH 8, 2018 • CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM
By John DeVore Pulse Film Editor
VEN OVER A YEAR LATER, IT’S FRUSTrating to hear Americans defend their vote for the current president. At the time, they knew nothing of Russian interference, of course. Some refused see through his blatant rhetoric or their misguided hatred of his opponent. Some were simply single-issue voters willing follow their party to oblivion in the name of abortion or guns or religion. Many still defend him, especially here. He continues to be inescapable. Flint Town, a new documentary series found on Netflix, should have very little to do with Donald Trump. The series spends a year imbedded with the police department of Flint, Michigan, a city
that has long been immune to the effects of national politicians. Democrat or Republican, Flint has continued to deteriorate without much help. It’s the poster city for the failure of both public and private investment. Flint’s water crisis continues unabated and the city continues to be used as a pawn in political games. Since the documentary was filmed between December of 2015 and 2016, the presidential campaign was sure to play a part. Truth be told, the election is a very small part of a wide-ranging series that focuses on a variety of issues, some specific to Flint, others nationwide. Nevertheless, that small part highlights just how good the series is. While there is frustration of hearing the same arguments from the officers you’ve heard from angry family members around the dinner table, there
FILM & TELEVISION
“The series is, of course, pro-police. In an area like Flint, it’s hard not to be. But the series isn’t afraid to ask hard questions about race, about tactics, about politics.” is also a grudging understanding of how the officers arrived at their decision (although it’s interesting to note that the Trump/ Clinton supporters among the officers were divided strictly along racial lines). That’s where the series shines—through showing a variety of perspectives on real problems without judgement or commentary. There are many cities in the U.S., particularly in the Rust Belt, that might be considered lost. Gary, Indiana. Reading, Pennsylvania. Youngstown, Ohio. But Flint, Michigan has long been understood to be the worst. Michael Moore’s Roger and Me highlighted the struggles of the city way back in 1989 and nothing has improved. To the contrary, the city has gotten worse. The water crisis is one of the worst disasters in American history, where poor financial decisions by inept leaders led to the poisoning of an entire population. Flint is unquestionably the
poorest city in the U.S., and is regularly included in lists of the most violent. The entire budget of the city is run on a shoestring. Public safety is no different. In a city of 100,000 individuals, Flint has only 98 police officers. One police officer for every 1000 people. Long response times, constant calls, and no follow up or solved cases is the norm. The department is overworked and understaffed, to be sure. Yet, for reasons that are hard to fathom, each officer is unequivocally dedicated to their city. Flint Town is full of stories of real people struggling to keep their homes and improve the lives of their families, all while getting deliveries of bottled water to drink, cook with, and bathe in. The series is, of course, propolice. In an area like Flint, it’s hard not to be. But the series isn’t afraid to ask hard questions about race, about tactics, about politics. The officers are not single-minded on any is-
sues. The humanity of the participants, from the politicians to the officers to the civilians, is on display. Honesty is a byproduct of systemic failure. Those that are dealing with the fallout have no time to hedge. Each issue is discussed from a variety of sides and no answer is given more credence than any other. What is obvious, of course, is that Flint needs help. It has needed help for decades. It’s a problem that everyone sees and no one addresses. We are the world’s richest country, with the largest number of billionaires in the world. Apple and Amazon could solve the water problem with their reserves. Think what a marriage of public and private investment could do. That nothing has happened is shameful. Flint Town is a series that looks unflinchingly at a serious problem and offers no solutions. Political leanings aside, we can all agree that Flint is our collective responsibility.
✴ ✴ NEW IN THEATERS ✴ ✴
A Wrinkle in Time After the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother, and her friend to space in order to find him. Based on the beloved science-fiction book by Madeline L'Engle Director: Ava DuVernay Stars: Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling
The Strangers: Prey at Night A family staying in a secluded mobile home park for the night are visited by three masked psychopaths, to test their every limit. Director: Johannes Roberts Stars: Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Escaping From The Everyday Existence “The Glass Menagerie” shines at the Theatre Centre
An Arts Festival For Everyone To Enjoy Wanting to buy that perfect painting for your living room, support local artists, or just browse some quality art? On Saturday, the Frequency Arts Festival will let you do all three. This indoor/outdoor art fair, held at the Frequency Arts gallery on Main Street, will feature around 35 artists, all from the Chattanooga area. In addition to being locally focused, the festival will also be laid back and welcoming. The Frequency Arts staff wants to do away with the pressure of art festivals and create an event that everyone can enjoy. “Most art festivals have hoops and hurdles that make them inaccessible to a lot of artists. We put together a laid back art festival with no applications and no juries, to create an event that is inclusive rather than exclusive. This is a festival for artists, by artists, and we encourage artists that aren’t listed to participate, show up with some art, and sell it.” In addition to the art on display, there will be live music from local musicians including The Ghetto Blasters, Pinecone, Powers, Jamal Traub, Hap Henninger, Jonathan Wimpee, and Alex Volz. The staff “hopes visitors leave with some good memories and, of course, some art.” — Adrienne Kaufmann Frequency Arts Festival Saturday, Noon Frequency Arts Gallery 1804 E. Main St. facebook.com/frequencyarts 12 • THE PULSE • MARCH 8, 2018 • CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM
By Addie Whitlow Pulse contributor
EMORY IS AN INCREDIBLY CURIOUS aspect of human nature, and one of the first pioneers into the theatre art of memory is none other than Tennessee Williams. If you’ve ever wanted a chance to experience the magic of memory on stage, then you definitely don’t want to miss the premiere of Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre starting this weekend. “The Glass Menagerie” was published in 1944, and it is centered on the retelling of the life of protagonist and narrator Tom, as told by his mother and sister. Much of the play is focused on Tom’s desire to escape his mundane life; however, it also sheds light on the guilt he feels for this desire, as his father abandoned the family years earlier. In addition, the play is also focused on a dinner date at the family’s apartment, in which Tom’s mother hopes a gentleman caller will finally come for his bashful sister.
The Theatre Centre’s performance of “The Glass Menagerie” is directed by Todd Olson, Executive Director at the Theatre Centre. It is based on the original script, which was published in 1944 before the opening performance in Chicago and later Broadway. The Theatre Centre’s cast started rehearsals in late January, and Olson said they have been extremely dedicated to the upcoming performance. “I think these actors are working so hard, and you know, anytime you get a chance to work with Tennessee Williams, it’s a special occasion,” explained Olson. “It’s a known story; it’s known to audiences, it’s known to stage artists, so I think we’re also trying to kind of wrestle with what have become kind of Tennessee Williams’ stereotypes. We want to make them new and fresh to us.” Olson has spent many years working on professional theatre in both Florida and Tennessee, but this is his first time directing at the Theatre Centre after taking over the role of Executive Director last April. Olson explained that working in community theatre is a lot different, but he noted that every-
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
“I think these actors are working so hard, and you know, anytime you get a chance to work with Tennessee Williams, it’s a special occasion,” thing in the discipline and style of the actors and actresses is professional, which is why he’s really looking forward to opening night. The original script for “The Glass Menagerie” was 90 pages long, and Olson said that the last Broadway revivals were pushing two hours without an intermission. However, the Theatre Centre’s production will have an intermission because Olson feels that modern audiences need that. “There are about 60 pages, the intermission, and then 30 pages. It’s sort of misshapen a little bit. It feels very Jacobian because so much of the dramatic trajectory of this is that we’re waiting for the gentleman caller to come, and he finally comes, we sit down and have a dinner, and then it’s intermission,” explained Olson. “But you don’t know, my God, what’s going to happen next. I just think contemporary audi-
ences need a break.” A defining aspect of “The Glass Menagerie” is the way in which Williams wanted to use slides and projections to really bring the performance to life. While Olson said that the Theatre Centre’s performance is not going to include every single slide and projection found in the acting version of “The Glass Menagerie”, there are definitely going to be a lot of aspects of the performance that will be multimedia. “There are over 44 notations of slides and different projections that are sort of influenced by German expressionism of the time,” said Olson. “And Tennessee Williams, despite being in that vein of American lyric realism, you know, he really was an experimenter of sorts.” The Theatre Centre’s cast for the production includes five cast members: young Tom, older Tom, the mother, the sister, and the gentleman caller. Tradition-
ally, “The Glass Menagerie” only has four cast members, with only one actor portraying Tom, but Olson thought it would make for a unique experience to have older Tom, portrayed by Rob Inman, narrating the show and younger Tom, played by Christian Smith, interacting with the rest of the cast members. “Christian plays the scenes that are in 1937, and when we step out of that, there are direct addresses to the audience, so Rob does the scenes that are direct addresses to the audience, as if he’s been carrying the burden and the guilt of having abandoned his family for 40 years,” Olson explained. “And he has to keep playing out the scene in his life, the story, to absolve himself of the guilt of abandoning his family just like his father abandoned his family.” “The Glass Menagerie” opens tomorrow night at 8 p.m. and will be performed with both evening and Sunday matinee shows from March 9 to March 25. If you’ve ever wanted an opportunity to see the original “memory play,” a term Williams coined himself, then look no further than the CTC’s production of “The Glass Menagerie.”
THU3.8 The Liberating Theology of Black Panther
A conversation and theological reflection on Black Panther. 6:30 p.m. The Camp House 149 E. MLK Blvd. thecamphouse.com
FRI3.9 The Hobbit
Join Bilbo Baggins and his dwarven friends for a grand adventure through Middle Earth with everyone's favorite wizard. 7:30 p.m. Mars Theatre 117 N. Chattanooga St. bapshows.com
SAT3.10 Hunter Underground
The biggest basement party of the year and chance to score some fantastic art while dancing the night away. 8 p.m. The Hunter Museum of American Art 10 Bluff View St. huntermuseum.org
CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • MARCH 8, 2018 • THE PULSE • 13
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT CALENDAR
Dancing at Lughnasa
THURSDAY3.8 Ooltewah Farmers Market 3 p.m. Ooltewah Nursery 5829 Main St. (423) 238-9775 ooltewahnursery.com Signal Mountain Farmers Market 4 p.m. Pruett’s Market 1210 Taft Hwy. (423) 902-8023 signalmountainfarmersmarket.com Cam Busch Lecture Series 5 p.m. The Hunter Museum of American Art 10 Bluff View St. (423) 267-0968 huntermuseum.org Jon Jefferson Reading & Signing 5 p.m. Star Line Books 1467 Market St. (423) 777-5629 starlinebooks.com Kegs for Kindness Launch 5 p.m. Oddstory Brewing Company 336 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 682-7690 oddstorybrewing.co Art Car Planning Sessions 5:30 p.m. Art 120 100 Cherokee Blvd.
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(423) 708-2120 art120.org Planting for Pollinators 5:30 p.m. Chattanooga Workspace 302 W. 6th St. (703) 225-9686 beesonabicycle.com Spring Bellydance Session 5:45 p.m. Movement Arts Collective 3813 Dayton Blvd. (423) 401-8115 movementartscollective.com Mister Rogers: It’s You I Like 6 p.m. Palace Theater 818 Georgia Ave. chattpalace.com International Women’s Day
Celebration: Saris & Safaris 6 p.m. Amani ya Juu 420 S. Willow St. amaniafrica.org The Liberating Theology of Black Panther 6:30 p.m. The Camp House 149 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 702-8081 thecamphouse.com "Playground: The Child Sex Trade in America" 6:30 p.m. Redemption to the Nations Church 1908 Bailey Ave. (423) 591-7886 rttnchurch.com
ENTERTAINMENT SPOTLIGHT One of the funniest comics around. With a blend of music, comedy, and her spontaneous sense of humor anything can happen and no two shows are the same. Kristin Key The Comedy Catch 1400 Market St. (423) 629-2233 thecomedycatch.com
National Theatre Live "Hamlet" 7 p.m. East Ridge 18 5080 South Terrace (423) 855-9652 fathomevents.com Dancing at Lughnasa 7:30 p.m. Barking Legs Theater 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 987-5141 barkinglegs.org Kristin Key 7:30 p.m. The Comedy Catch 1400 Market St. (423) 629-2233 thecomedycatch.com Steve Martin and Martin Short 8 p.m. Tivoli Theatre 709 Broad St. (423) 757-5580 tivolichattanooga.com Country Line Dancing Class 8 p.m. Westbound Bar 24 Station St. (423) 498-3069 westboundbar.com
FRIDAY3.9 Chattanooga Market at Erlanger 10:30 a.m. Erlanger Hospital Medical Mall
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT CALENDAR
Jersey Boys 975 E. 3rd St. chattanoogamarket.com Literary Ink Tattoo Convention 1 p.m. Doubletree Hotel 407 Chestnut St. (423) 756-5150 literaryink.co Free Art Night with Damien Crisp 5 p.m. The Spot 1800 E. Main St. (423) 803-5744 spotvenue.co Clean Inside and Out with Carolina Fausel 6 p.m. Whole Foods Market 301 Manufacturers Rd. (423) 702-7300 wholefoodsmarket.com Meet Me in St. Louis 7 p.m. Chattanooga Christian School 3354 Charger Dr. (423) 265-6411 ccsk12.com The Hobbit 7:30 p.m. Mars Theatre 117 N. Chattanooga St. (706) 621-2870 bapshows.com Kristin Key 7:30, 9:45 p.m. The Comedy Catch 1400 Market St. (423) 629-2233
thecomedycatch.com Dancing at Lughnasa 7:30 p.m. Barking Legs Theater 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 987-5141 barkinglegs.org Jersey Boys 7:30 p.m. Tivoli Theatre 709 Broad St. (423) 757-5580 tivolichattanooga.com Nooga! Visit Rock Village 8 p.m. First Draft Theater 1800 Rossville Ave. (423) 843-1775 improvchattanooga.com Cut-Throat Comedy Live! 8 p.m. Palace Theater 818 Georgia Ave. chattpalace.com Improv Showdown 10 p.m. First Draft Theater 1800 Rossville Ave. (423) 843-1775 improvchattanooga.com
SATURDAY3.10 Chattanooga Rump Run 7:30 a.m. Enterprise South Nature Park 190 Still Hollow Loop rumprun.com Shamrock City
8:30 a.m. Rock City Gardens 1400 Patten Rd. (706) 820-2531 seerockcity.com Signal Mountain Nursery Spring Open House 9 a.m. Signal Mountain Nursery 1100 Hubbard Rd. (423) 886-3174 signalmtnnursery.com St. Alban's Hixson Market 9:30 a.m. St. Alban’s Episcopal Church 7514 Hixson Pike (423) 842-6303 Brainerd Farmers Market 10 a.m. Grace Episcopal Church 20 Belvoir Ave. (404) 245-3682 Farmer’s Market 11 a.m. Nutrition World 6237 Vance Rd. (423) 892-4085 nutritionw.com Literary Ink Tattoo Convention 11 a.m. Doubletree Hotel 407 Chestnut St. (423) 756-5150 literaryink.co Frequency Arts Festival Noon Frequency Arts 1804 E. Main St. facebook.com/frequencyarts
Red Wolf Feeding and Talk Noon Reflection Riding Arboretum 400 Garden Rd. (423) 821-1160 reflectionriding.org Riverside Spring Meet Noon First Tennessee Pavilion 1826 Reggie White Blvd. riversidechattanooga.com The Met: Live in HD "Semiramide" 12:55 p.m. East Ridge 18 5080 South Terrace (423) 855-9652 fathomevents.com The Awesome Opossum 1 p.m. Reflection Riding Arboretum 400 Garden Rd. (423) 821-1160 reflectionriding.org The Bend Beneath Lookout Mountain 2 p.m. 202 Moccasin Bend Rd. (423) 821-7786 www.nps.gov/chch Jersey Boys 2, 7:30 p.m. Tivoli Theatre 709 Broad St. (423) 757-5580 tivolichattanooga.com The Hobbit 2:30, 7:30 p.m. Mars Theatre 117 N. Chattanooga St. CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • MARCH 8, 2018 • THE PULSE • 15
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT CALENDAR (706) 621-2870 bapshows.com Instant Pot Basic 3 p.m. Crabtree Farms 1000 E. 30th St. (423) 493-9155 crabtreefarms.org Bruiser Bee 2018 6 p.m. The Westin 801 Pine St. bruiserbee.com Winter in West Village 6 p.m. West Village 802 Pine St. westvillagechattanooga.com Chattanooga FC vs. Nashville FC Friendly Match 7 p.m. Finely Stadium 1826 Carter St. (423) 708-4625 chattanoogafc.com Dancing at Lughnasa 7:30 p.m. Barking Legs Theater 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 987-5141 barkinglegs.org Kristin Key 7:30, 9:45 p.m. The Comedy Catch 1400 Market St. (423) 629-2233 thecomedycatch.com Hunter Underground 8 p.m. The Hunter Museum of American Art 10 Bluff View St. (423) 267-0968 huntermuseum.org Week in Review 8 p.m. First Draft Theater 1800 Rossville Ave. (423) 843-1775 improvchattanooga.com Whose Line Chattanooga 10 p.m. First Draft Theater 1800 Rossville Ave. (423) 843-1775 improvchattanooga.com
SUNDAY3.11 Shamrock City 8:30 a.m.
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie
Rock City Gardens 1400 Patten Rd. (706) 820-2531 seerockcity.com Nativity Rising Artists: A Violin’s Romantic Refreshment 10:20 a.m. The Church of the Nativity Episcopal Church 1201 Cross St. (706) 866-9773 nativity.dioet.org Literary Ink Tattoo Convention 11 a.m. Doubletree Hotel 407 Chestnut St. (423) 756-5150 literaryink.co Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie 12:55 p.m. East Ridge 18 5080 South Terrace (423) 855-9652 fathomevents.com Jersey Boys 2 p.m. Tivoli Theatre 709 Broad St. (423) 757-5580 tivolichattanooga.com Free Fiddle School 2 p.m. Fiddlers Anonymous 2248 Dayton Blvd. (423) 994-7497 Kristin Key 7:30 p.m. The Comedy Catch 1400 Market St. (423) 629-2233
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MONDAY3.12 Hiring Fundamentals for New and Small Businesses 12 p.m. The Edney 1100 Market St. (423) 661-3300 theedney.com New Year Belly Dance Session 5:45 p.m. Movement Arts Collective 3813 Dayton Blvd. (423) 401-8115 movementartscollective.com Mindfulness for Beginners 6 p.m. Center for Mindful Living 400 E. Main St. (423) 486-1279 centermindfulliving.org French for the Night 7 p.m. Granfalloon 400 E. Main St. (423) 661-3185 granfalloonchattanooga.com Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie 7 p.m. East Ridge 18 5080 South Terrace (423) 855-9652 fathomevents.com
TUESDAY3.13 Wake Up & Run
6 a.m. Fleet Feet Sports 307 Manufacturers Rd. (423) 771-7996 fleetfeetchattanooga.com Northside Farmers’ Market 3 p.m. Northside Presbyterian Church 923 Mississippi Ave. (423) 266-1766 Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute Tour 4 p.m. Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute 175 Baylor School Rd. (800) 262-0695 tnaqua.org Tuesday Night Chess Club 6 p.m. Downtown Library 1001 Broad St. (423) 643-7700 chattilibrary.com Underwear Comedy Show 8 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 jjsbohemia.com
WEDNESDAY3.14 Lookout Farmers Market 10 a.m. Memorial Hospital 2525 Desales Ave. lookoutfarmersmarket.com Middle Eastern Dance
10:30 a.m. Jewish Cultural Center 5461 North Terrace (423) 493-0270 jewishchattanooga.com Odyssey Awards Luncheon 11:30 a.m. Chattanooga Convention Center 1150 Carter St. (423) 756-0001 chattanoogaconventioncenter.org Main Street Market 4 p.m. 522 W. Main St. mainstfarmersmarket.com Vagabroads Monthly Meet-Up 7 p.m. The Bitter Alibi 825 Houston St. (423) 362-5070 thebitteralibi.com Naughty Knights Chess Meetup 7:30 p.m. The Bitter Alibi 825 Houston St. (423) 362-5070 thebitteralibi.com Open Mic Comedy 8 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. jjsbohemia.com Map these locations on chattanoogapulse.com. Send event listings at least 10 days in advance to: firstname.lastname@example.org
CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • MARCH 8, 2018 • THE PULSE • 17
Give Me That Old Time Fiddlin' Spirit The Old Time Fiddler’s Convention is back in town
Matisyahu, The King Without A Crown Matisyahu, the “King without a Crown”, is a Jewish American beatboxing, alternative rock musician. Matisyahu, meaning “Gift of God”, hails from West Chester, PA and is known for blending Orthodox Jewish elements with his reggae vocals. Beginning his musical career in 2004, Matisyahu has been building up a repertoire of musical success for almost two decades. Now, he leads a four-piece band that focuses on improv at its most “exultant moments.” The team features Aaron Dugan on guitar, Stu Brooks on bass, Joe Tomino on drums, and Big Yuki on keyboard. There is a desire in Matisyahu to achieve deep meaning through his lyrics. Now, his bandmates allow him to work in tandem with the free expression of other committed artist. Matisyahu describes this as making the music “feel alive; an entity unto itself.” He considers the time of Matisyahu, the singer, to be a bygone age. Now, he believes, “is the time of Matisyahu the band.” Matisyahu is performing in Chattanooga on Tuesday as a part of his Forest of Faith Tour. For Matisyahu, “Forest of Faith means entering into the unknown of the music and creating unique musical experiences born out of the immediate here and now…much like the innate beauty and purity of the untouched forest.” — Austin M. Hooks Matisyahu: Forest of Faith Tour Tuesday, 7 p.m. The Signal 1810 Chestnut St. www.thesignaltn.com 18 • THE PULSE • MARCH 8, 2018 • CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM
Mick Kinney and sons. Photo: Jim Pankey
By Marc T. Michael Pulse Music Editor
IGHT YEARS AGO LOCAL ARTIST, PERformer and music historian Matt Downer revived a long-lost Chattanooga tradition, the Old Time Fiddler’s Convention (formerly known as the All Southern Championship.) At one time the largest and most prestigious “old time” music competition in the country, the advent of World War II saw the gathering put on what seemed like a permanent hiatus. Almost 90 years after its inception, a man named Ken Parr brought it to Matt’s attention, having invested some time in collecting articles from the Chattanooga Times and Chattanooga News of the mid-twenties.
Downer, already a devotee of all things related to “old time” music, was captivated by Chattanooga’s one-time role as a sort of pre-depression music Mecca and that fascination, coupled with his own passion for playing, meant there was only one inevitable course of action; he would revive the convention both as a musical showcase and as a living history lesson about a poignant moment in the city’s past. It wasn’t long before this yearly custom became an annual tradition, a rite that for musicians and music lovers alike marks the arrival of spring as clearly as the blooming of the Bradford pear (and is better received by a considerable margin.) In retrospect, it seems the events success should have been a foregone conclusion given the popularity of the music, the talent of the competitors
“It wasn’t long before this yearly custom became an annual tradition, a rite that for musicians and music lovers alike marks the arrival of spring as clearly as the blooming of the Bradford pear.” and the continuing evolution of the artistic and cultural scene in Chattanooga. Of course it probably didn’t seem so on a sunny spring morning in 2010, but eight years later the success of the competition is undeniable. Downer’s historical research is ongoing, and just as much a treasure as the event itself as his latest discoveries reveal: “We had all the big names in string band music coming here for the fiddlers conventions in the mid 1920’s,” he explains. “Gid Tanner, Riley Puckett, Clayton McMichen, Earl Johnson were all here in Chattanooga sharing tunes and competing with local favorites Lowe Stokes, Bert Layne, Jess Young and ‘Sawmill’ Tom Smith.” One recent, and very interesting piece of info he found in our local library was that Andrew Baxter, an African American old time fiddler born in 1869, was living here in Chattanooga during the late 1890’s, early 1900’s. “He and his son Jim recorded some
Time To Celebrate The Irish
classic old time sides in 1927, performing with the Georgia Yellow Hammers out of North Georgia in a very early integrated recording session,” notes Downer. “The fact that music was a common ground these guys could meet on and an outlet to share and create together, cutting right through any barriers that society might have had at that time speaks highly of the importance, power and community of old time music.” Downer says he is absolutely thrilled to once again see Chattanooga as a destination where the finest old time musicians and the local community can come together to celebrate this Great Southern tradition, 90 years in the making. This year’s competition takes place this Saturday beginning at Noon at 901 Lindsay Street. Cash prizes are awarded in various solo instrumental competitions, group competitions and dance performances. For more information on competing or spectating, please visit oldchattanooga. com
It’s that time of year again! St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and SoundCorps and the Honest Pint are doing it up right with the fifth annual St. Paddy’s Party on the Parkway, a day-long arts and entertainment event featuring some of your favorite local acts with all proceeds going to benefit SoundCorps and Chattanooga’s Kids on the Block. The fun kicks off at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 17th, immediately following the Chattanooga St. Patrick’s Day Parade when the “kid zone” opens on the Parkway, a family friendly affair with amusements and attractions for kids of all ages. Non-stop musical entertainment will commence on two stages, one indoors, the other on the Parkway, with such notable acts as Strung Like a Horse, Slim Pickins, Danimal Planet, The Molly Maguires, Kerchief, Dead Testaments, The Wolfhounds, Ashley & the Xs,
SunSap, Olta, Monday Night Social, Over Easy and more to be announced. Additionally, there will be performances from various Sidewalk Stages Buskers, The Highland Pipes and Drums band, local artists, street performers, and of course plenty of food and refreshments will be on hand. Paddy’s on the Parkway is Chattanooga’s one-stop shop for entertainment on Saturday, March 17th! Come early, stay late, and enjoy the best that Chattanooga has to offer! Tickets are available now through Eventbrite. — MTM
The Velcro Pygmies
The Burning Giraffes, Sunsap, and Courtney Holder
Who else can combine a love of puppets and some mind-blowing guitar riffs? That would be the one and only Nick Lutsko! 6:30 p.m. Westin Dorato Bar 801 Pine St. westinchattanooga.com
Hop in your musical time machine with Cam and the boys as they bring back the glory days of '80s hair metal with style and fun. 9 p.m. Songbirds Stages 41 E. 14th St. songbirdsguitars.com
Not all live music is downtown...come up to Brainerd for three great acts. 8 p.m. Mayo’s Bar and Grille 3820 Brainerd Rd. mayosbarandgrill.com
CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • MARCH 8, 2018 • THE PULSE • 19
LIVE MUSIC CALENDAR
THURSDAY3.8 James Crumble Trio 6 p.m. St. John’s Meeting Place 1278 Market St. stjohnsrestaurant.com Open Mic Night 6 p.m. Stone Cup Cafe 208 Frazier Ave. stonecupcafe.com Open Mic with Megan Saunders 6 p.m. Whole Foods Market 301 Manufacturers Rd. wholefoodsmarket.com Lon Eldridge 6:30 p.m. Westin Alchemy Bar 801 Pine St. westinchattanooga.com Nick Lutsko 6:30 p.m. Westin Dorato Bar 801 Pine St. westinchattanooga.com Butch Ross, Spencer Smith, Tim Carpenter 7 p.m. Heritage House 1428 Jenkins Rd. chattanooga.gov Becca Mancari with Liz Cooper and The Stampede 7 p.m. Songbirds Guitar Museum 35 Station St. songbirdsguitars.com Toby Hewitt 7 p.m.
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Backstage Bar 29 Station St. backstagechattanooga.com Krystye Dalton, Clifford Brooks, and Webb Barringer 7 p.m. The Granfalloon 400 E. Main St. granfalloonchattanooga.com Open Mic with Ryan Oyer 7 p.m. Moccasin Bend Brewing Co. 3210 Broad St. bendbrewingbeer.com The Malpass Brothers 7:30 p.m. UTC Fine Arts Center 752 Vine St. utc.edu/fine-arts-center Bluegrass Thursdays 7:30 p.m. Feed Co. Table & Tavern
201 W. Main St. feedtableandtavern.com Jesse James & Tim Neal 7:30 p.m. Mexi-Wing VII 5773 Brainerd Rd. mexi-wingchattanooga.com Steep Canyon Rangers 8 p.m. Memorial Auditorium 399 McCallie Ave. tivolichattanooga.com Keepin’ It Local 8 p.m. The Social 1110 Market St. publichousechattanooga.com KlusterfunK Open Jam 8 p.m. Trip’s Tavern 4762 Hwy. 58 (423) 803-5686
ENTERTAINMENT SPOTLIGHT With a hand-made utterly unique instrument that combines pipes, woodwinds, percussion, and electronic triggers, That 1 Guy has been making music that defies categorization for years. That 1 Guy Thursday, 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. jjsbohemia.com
Open Mic Night with Jonathan Wimpee 9 p.m. The Office @ City Cafe 901 Carter St. citycafemenu.com That 1 Guy, TJ Greever and Jess 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. jjsbohemia.com
FRIDAY3.9 Kathy and John 6 p.m. Slick’s Burgers 309 E. Main St. slicksburgers.com Courtney Holder 6:30 p.m. Westin Alchemy Bar 801 Pine St. westinchattanooga.com Megan Howard 6:30 p.m. Westin Dorato Bar 801 Pine St. westinchattanooga.com Heatherly 7 p.m. The Tap House 3800 St. Elmo Ave. taphousechatt.com Tim Lewis 7 p.m. El Meson 248 Northgate Park elmesonchattanooga.com Rick Rushing and The Blues Strangers
LIVE MUSIC CALENDAR
Wild Adriatic 7:30 p.m. The Foundry 1201 Broad St. chattanooganhotel.com Kayla Woodson 8 p.m. Puckett’s Restaurant 2 W. Aquarium Way puckettsgro.com Troy Breslow 8 p.m. Moccasin Bend Brewing Company 3210 Broad St. bendbrewingbeer.com Over Easy 8 p.m. The Granfalloon 400 E. Main St. granfalloonchattanooga.com The Hollow Roots and Sleazy Sleazy 8 p.m. Music Box @ Ziggy’s 607 Cherokee Blvd. ziggysbarandgrill.net Lew Card Album Release Party 8 p.m. OddStory Brewing Co. 336 E. MLK Blvd. oddstorybrewing.co Steven Curtis Chapman 8 p.m. Walker Theatre 399 McAllie Ave. tivolichattanooga.com Gino Fanelli 8 p.m. The FEED co. Table & Tavern, 201 W. Main St. feedtableandtavern.com Get the Led Out 8:30 p.m.
The Signal 1810 Chestnut St. thesignaltn.com Mark Andrew 9 p.m. The Office @ City Cafe 901 Carter St. citycafemenu.com The Velcro Pygmies 9 p.m. Songbirds Stages 41 E. 14th St. songbirdsguitars.com Wild Adriatic 9 p.m. Clyde’s On Main 122 W. Main St. clydesonmain.com Vita and the Wolf, Vista Kicks, Lottery, nothankyoujohn 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. jjsbohemia.com Danimal Planet and The Fridge 9 p.m. Frequency Arts 1804 E. Main St. facebook.com/frequencyarts Misfit Toyz 10 p.m. Bud’s Sports Bar 5751 Brainerd Rd. budssportsbar.com
SATURDAY3.10 Great Southern Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention Noon Lindsay Street Music Hall
901 Lindsay St. oldchattanooga.com John Lathim and Tim Starnes 12:30 p.m. The Honest Pint 35 Patten Pkwy. thehonestpint.com Binji Varsossa 6 p.m. Cancun Mexican Restaurant 1809 Broad St. (423) 266-1461 Erik Kirkendall 6:30 p.m. Westin Alchemy Bar 801 Pine St. westinchattanooga.com Gino Fanelli 6:30 p.m. Westin Dorato Bar 801 Pine St. westinchattanooga.com Tim Lewis 7 p.m. El Meson 248 Northgate Park elmesonchattanooga.com Hush Money 7 p.m. The Granfalloon 400 E. Main St. granfalloonchattanooga.com Misled Utopia 7 p.m. The Tap House 3800 St. Elmo Ave. taphousechatt.com The Alison Brown Trio 7 p.m. Songbirds Guitar Museum 35 Station St. songbirdsguitars.com The Reese & Rosser Band
7 p.m. OddStory Brewing Co. 336 E. MLK Blvd. oddstorybrewing.co Danimal 7:30 p.m. The Foundry 1201 Broad St. chattanooganhotel.com Partner featuring The Handsome Grandsons 8 p.m. Palace Theater 818 Georgia Ave. chattpalace.com Arlo Gilliam 8 p.m. Puckett’s Restaurant 2 W. Aquarium Way puckettsgro.com JEET 8 p.m. The Casual Pint 5550 Hwy. 153 hixson.thecasualpint.com Mountain Creek House Fire 8 p.m. Charles & Myrtle’s Coffeehouse 105 McBroom Rd. christunity.org The Burning Giraffes, Sunsap, and Courtney Holder 8 p.m. Mayo’s Bar and Grille 3820 Brainerd Rd. mayosbarandgrill.com Velocity of Sound 9 p.m. Music Box @ Ziggy’s 607 Cherokee Blvd. ziggysbarandgrill.net Masseuse: Album Release 9 p.m. CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • MARCH 8, 2018 • THE PULSE • 21
LIVE MUSIC CALENDAR Songbirds Stages 41 E. 14th St. songbirdsguitars.com FBI Band 9 p.m. The Office @ City Cafe 901 Carter St. citycafemenu.com Maradeen 9 p.m. Clyde’s On Main 122 W. Main St. clydesonmain.com Elkmilk, Zuli, Okey Dokey 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. jjsbohemia.com Ghetto Blasters, Pinecone, Jonathan Wimpee, Hap Henninger, Jamal Traub 9 p.m. Frequency Arts 1804 E. Main St. facebook.com/frequencyarts Misfit Toyz 10 p.m. Bud’s Sports Bar 5751 Brainerd Rd. budssportsbar.com
SUNDAY3.11 Nativity Rising Artists: The Romantic Violin’s Refreshment 10:30 a.m. Nativity Episcopal Church 1201 Cross St. nativity.dioet.org Chris Acker and the Growing Boys 11 a.m. Flying Squirrel Bar 55 Johnson St. flyingsquirrelbar.com Maria Sable and Tyler Martelli 11 a.m. Bluewater Grille 224 Broad St. bluewaterchattanooga.com Nicki Michelle and The Cosmic Collective 1:30 p.m. Flying Squirrel Bar 55 Johnson St. flyingsquirrelbar.com Bluegrass Jam 4 p.m. Fiddlers Anonymous 2248 Dayton Blvd. (423) 994-7497
Maradeen Open Mic with Jeff Daniels 6 p.m. Long Haul Saloon 2536 Cummings Hwy. (423) 822-9775 Ryan Oyer 6:30 p.m. Westin Alchemy Bar 801 Pine St. westinchattanooga.com Mathis & Martin 7 p.m. Backstage Bar 29 Station St. backstagechattanooga.com Tristen and Hive Theory 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. jjsbohemia.com
MONDAY3.12 Open Mic Night 6 p.m. Puckett’s Grocery 2 W. Aquarium Way puckettsgro.com Monday Nite Big Band 7 p.m. The Coconut Room 6925 Shallowford Rd. thepalmsathamilton.com Hallow Point, HAZMAT, Pains Chapel, and Age of Atrocity 7 p.m. Music Box @ Ziggy’s 607 Cherokee Blvd.
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ziggysbarandgrill.net Open Air with Jessica Nunn 7:30 p.m. The Granfalloon 400 E. Main St. granfalloonchattanooga.com Very Open Mic with Shawnessey Cargile 8 p.m. The Well 1800 Rossville Blvd. #8 wellonthesouthside.com
TUESDAY3.13 Bill McCallie and In Cahoots 6:30 p.m. Southern Belle 201 Riverfront Pkwy. chattanoogariverboat.com Matisyahu: Forest of Faith Tour 7 p.m. The Signal 1810 Chestnut St. thesignaltn.com Danimal 7 p.m. Backstage Bar 29 Station St. backstagechattanooga.com Kelley Lovelace 7 p.m. Walker Theatre 399 McAllie Ave. tivolichattanooga.com Open Mic Jam Session 7 p.m. Crust Pizza 3211 Broad St.
crustpizza.com Pre-St. Patrick’s Day Concert & Celebration with Stringers Ridge 8 p.m. Fiddlers Anonymous 2248 Dayton Blvd. Barefootnellieandcompany.com Open Mic with Mike McDade 8 p.m. Tremont Tavern 1203 Hixson Pike tremonttavern.com
WEDNESDAY3.14 The Other Guys 6 p.m. SpringHill Suites 495 Riverfront Pkwy. springhillsuites.com Court of Songs 6 p.m. Mad Knight Brewing Company 4015 Tennessee Ave. madknightbrewing.com Old Time Fiddle & Banjo Show 6:30 p.m. Fiddlers Anonymous 2248 Dayton Blvd. (423) 994-7497 Robert Crabtree Trio 7 p.m. Barking Legs Theater 1307 Dodds Ave. barkinglegs.org Jesse James Jungkurth 7 p.m.
Backstage Bar 29 Station St. backstagechattanooga.com Dana Marie 7 p.m. Stone Cup Cafe 208 Frazier Ave. stonecupcafe.com Jazz in The Lounge 7 p.m. Barking Legs Theater 1307 Dodds Ave. barkinglegs.org Hap Henninger 8 p.m. The Office @ City Cafe 901 Carter St. citycafemenu.com Priscilla & Little Rickee 8 p.m. Las Margaritas 1101 Hixson Pike (423) 756-3332 Open Mic Comedy + bbymutha, Kindora, Internet Boyfriend, Lambda Celsius 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. jjsbohemia.com Prime Cut Trio 9 p.m. The Palms at Hamilton 6925 Shallowford Rd. thepalmsathamilton.com Map these locations on chattanoogapulse.com. Send event listings at least 10 days in advance to: email@example.com
RECORD REVIEWS ∙ ERNIE PAIK
New Music From Laurie Anderson, SUSS
Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet Landfall (Nonesuch)
eriodically, this writer revisits Orson Welles’ sobering monologue in the film F for Fake about the Chartres Cathedral (an “anonymous glory”) and how humanity’s work—“in stone, in paint, in print” —may survive for years but eventually must succumb: “Everything must finally fall in war, or wear away into the ultimate and universal ash.” On her new album Landfall, made in collaboration with Kronos Quartet, Laurie Anderson contemplates loss after Hurricane Sandy, which flooded her basement: “All the things I had carefully saved all my life becoming nothing but junk. And I thought how beautiful, how magic and how catastrophic.”
SUSS Ghost Box (suss.bandcamp.com)
Landfall was released concurrently with Anderson’s new career retrospective book “All the Things I Lost in the Flood”, which has a title similar to that of a book mentioned in Landfall called “All the Disappeared Animal Life Forms of the World”; Anderson points out that over 99 percent of all animal species to ever exist are now extinct. In its live incarnation, Landfall features a visual aspect, with projections of an English-based code called “erst” —an acronym for “electronic representation of spoken text” —but in its recorded form, it provides less stimulation for the listener. Compared with much of Anderson’s previous work, Landfall is not as densely packed, with frequent instrumen-
tal passages—often gorgeously ominous or meditative—between the spoken-word segments. As Anderson explains in her latest book, “Music lets the mind drift, and reminds you of the temporary, provisional and interpretive nature of reality.” In line with this, dreams are a key concept of Landfall, and provide some of the album’s humorous and bizarre moments; nothing is explicitly described as being real or fantasy, and Anderson has the ability to provoke thought without being too obvious about making a point. While listening to Landfall, this writer couldn’t help but think about friends who were devastated by the 2011 tornadoes in the region; hours were spent sifting through rubble, trying to discern what was salvageable and which items—and memories locked within—might be forever lost. The music provides space to wander within Landfall, and Anderson calls music “the ultimate art form of loss” since it is “immaterial and ecstatic.” Ruined objects floating in a flooded basement are now just words in a book or an album: “old keyboards, thirty projectors, props from old performances.” But it is this transmutation that allows them to temporarily escape
their own mortality, and like any translation—between languages, digital formats or art forms— something may be lost, but also something is gained.
fter hearing the debut album Ghost Box from the instrumental NYC ambient country quintet SUSS, one wonders why more of this kind of music doesn’t exist—while traditional country often concerns heartbreak and troubles, SUSS’s approach brings to mind vast landscapes and even spacescapes. The gorgeous opener “Wichita” never strays from its single chord, relying on tiny bits assembled together—a whispery pedal steel guitar flourish, an upward three-note electric guitar sequence, echoing guitar sighs. It could be the placid soundtrack to an opening shot of a western film, with a sense of calm and an appreciation of nature. Apparently, the band’s catalyst Bob Holmes wanted to illuminate the connections that certain contemporary acts (Boards of Canada and My Bloody Valentine in particular) have to traditional roots music that might not be obvious; these connections are not restraints, though, as SUSS demonstrates. Their expansive style goes be-
yond the simple “ambient country” label, using familiar elements and instruments to bend genres into amorphous, evocative pieces. It’s an acknowledgment and also a challenge, suggesting a complicated western mythology but occasionally being disorienting, both in the temporal and the geographic realms. “Late Night Call” belongs as much in the psychedelic and kosmische Musik categories as it does in the ambient and country buckets, with electric guitar harmonics, fiddle scrapes, whistling and a spacey feel. On tracks like “Rain,” simple chord strums are felt deeply, suggesting immense expanses and opportunities. The album’s second half becomes more difficult to pin down, as electronic tones and keyboard notes lay gently aside Morricone-esque guitar lines, the soft, tentative tapping of a hammered dulcimer and artificial time-keeping blips. The exploratory spirit is even more vague on “Gunfighter,” with sample snippets, a piercing harmonica that resembles a power tool and a dobro twang. There’s both comfort and bewilderment on Ghost Box, perhaps echoing the symbiotic paradox from an embrace of both tradition and innovation.
Chattanooga’s Greatest Hits
everywhere. every day.
CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • MARCH 8, 2018 • THE PULSE • 23
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY
off to a rousing start. In your ritual of completion, plant seeds for the future.
Facebook By The Numbers ROB BREZSNY
What's harder that finding a unicorn? Finding someone who's never heard of Facebook. Everyone knows that Facebook is big. But to get an idea of just how big it is, we checked with our friends at the Statistic Brain Research Institute to crunch the numbers. • Total number of monthly active Facebook users: 1,754,000,000 • Total number of mobile Facebook users: 1,126,000,000 • Total number of minutes spent on Facebook each month: 648,000,000 • Percent of all Facebook users who log on daily: 48% • Average time spent on Facebook per visit: 18 minutes • Average number of friends per Facebook user: 130 • Average number of pages, groups, and events a user is connected to: 80 • Total number of Facebook page: 78,200,000 Oh, and just in case you haven't already, give us a "like" on Facebook. Because of course we're on there, too. Source: statisticbrain.com/facebookstatistics/
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): According to my assessment of the astrological omens, you’re in a favorable phase to gain more power over your fears. You can reduce your susceptibility to chronic anxieties. You can draw on the help and insight necessary to dissipate insidious doubts that are rooted in habit but not based on objective evidence. I don’t want to sound too melodramatic, my dear Pisces, but THIS IS AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY! YOU ARE POTENTIALLY ON THE VERGE OF AN UNPRECEDENTED BREAKTHROUGH! In my opinion, nothing is more important for you to accomplish in the coming weeks than this inner conquest. ARIES (March 21-April 19): The men who work on offshore oil rigs perform demanding, dangerous tasks on a regular basis. If they make mistakes, they may get injured or befoul the sea with petroleum. As you might guess, the culture on these rigs has traditionally been macho, stoic, and hard-driving. But in recent years, that has changed at one company. Shell Oil’s workers in the U.S. were trained by Holocaust survivor Claire Nuer to talk about their feelings, be willing to admit errors, and soften their attitudes. As a result, the company’s safety record has improved dramatically. If macho dudes toiling on oil rigs can become more vulnerable and open and tenderly expressive, so can you, Aries. And now would be a propitious time to do it. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): How will you celebrate your upcoming climax and culmination, Taurus? With a howl of triumph, a fist pump, and three cartwheels? With a humble speech thanking everyone who helped you along the way? With a bottle of champagne, a gourmet feast, and spectacular sex? However you choose to mark this transition from one chapter of your life story to the next chapter, I suggest that you include an action that will help the next chapter get
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GEMINI (May 21-June 20): On April 23, 1516, the Germanic duchy of Bavaria issued a decree. From that day forward, all beer produced had to use just three ingredients: water, barley, and hops. Ever since then, for the last 500+ years, this edict has had an enduring influence on how German beer is manufactured. In accordance with astrological factors, I suggest that you proclaim three equally potent and systemic directives of your own. It’s an opportune time to be clear and forceful about how you want your story to unfold in the coming years. CANCER (June 21-July 22): What’s your most frustrating flaw? During the next seven weeks, you will have enhanced power to diminish its grip on you. It’s even possible you will partially correct it or outgrow it. To take maximum advantage of this opportunity, rise above any covert tendency you might have to cling to your familiar pain. Rebel against the attitude described by novelist Stephen King: “It’s hard to let go. Even when what you’re holding onto is full of thorns, it’s hard to let go. Maybe especially then.” LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In his book Whistling in the Dark, author Frederick Buechner writes that the ancient Druids took “a special interest in inbetween things like mistletoe, which is neither quite a plant nor quite a tree, and mist, which is neither quite rain nor quite air, and dreams, which are neither quite waking nor quite sleep.” According to my reading of the astrological omens, in-between phenomena will be your specialty in the coming weeks. You will also thrive in relationship to anything that lives in two worlds or that has paradoxical qualities. I hope you’ll exult in the educational delights that come from your willingness to be teased and mystified. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The English word “velleity” refers to an empty wish that has no power behind it. If you feel a longing to make a pilgrimage to a holy site, but can’t summon the motivation to actually do so, you are under the spell of velleity. Your fantasy of communicating with more flair and candor is a velleity if you never initiate the practical steps to accomplish that goal. Most of us suffer from this weakness at one time or another. But the good news,
Homework: What would the people who love you best say is the most important thing for you to learn? Testify at Freewillastrology.com Virgo, is that you are primed to overcome your version of it during the next six weeks. Life will conspire to assist you if you resolve to turn your wishy-washy wishes into potent action plans—and then actually carry out those plans.
tunities and exciting escapades will depend on how well you master the current crop of well-contained opportunities and sensible adventures. Making the most of today’s small pleasures will qualify you to harvest bigger pleasures later.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In the 2002 film Spiderman, there’s a scene where the character Mary Jane slips on a spilled drink as she carries a tray full of food through a cafeteria. Spiderman, disguised as his alter ego Peter Parker, makes a miraculous save. He jumps up from his chair and catches Mary Jane before she falls. Meanwhile, he grabs her tray and uses it to gracefully capture her apple, sandwich, carton of milk, and bowl of jello before they hit the floor. The filmmakers say they didn’t use CGI to render this scene. The lead actor, Tobey Maguire, allegedly accomplished it in real life—although it took 156 takes before he finally mastered it. I hope you have that level of patient determination in the coming weeks, Libra. You, too, can perform a small miracle if you do.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): If you saw the animated film The Lion King, you may have been impressed with the authenticity of the lions’ roars and snarls. Did the producers place microphones in the vicinity of actual lions? No. Voice actor Frank Welker produced the sounds by growling and yelling into a metal garbage can. I propose this as a useful metaphor for you in the coming days. First, I hope it inspires you to generate a compelling and creative illusion of your own—an illusion that serves a good purpose. Second, I hope it alerts you to the possibility that other people will be offering you compelling and creative illusions—illusions that you should engage with only if they serve a good purpose.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Scorpio mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot was a connoisseur of “the art of roughness” and “the uncontrolled element in life.” He liked to locate and study the hidden order in seemingly chaotic and messy things. “My life seemed to be a series of events and accidents,” he said. “Yet when I look back I see a pattern.” I bring his perspective to your attention, Scorpio, because you are entering a phase when the hidden order and secret meanings of your life will emerge into view. Be alert for surprising hints of coherence. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I suspect that in July and August you will be invited to commune with rousing opportunities and exciting escapades. But right now I’m advising you to channel your intelligence into wellcontained opportunities and sensible adventures. In fact, my projections suggest that your ability to capitalize fully on the future’s rousing oppor-
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I do a lot of self-editing before I publish what I write. My horoscopes go through at least three drafts before I unleash them on the world. While polishing the manuscript of my first novel, I threw away over a thousand pages of stuff that I had worked on very hard. In contrast to my approach, science fiction writer Harlan Ellison dashed off one of his award-winning stories in a single night, and published it without making any changes to the first draft. As you work in your own chosen field, Aquarius, I suspect that for the next three weeks you will produce the best results by being more like me than Ellison. Beginning about three weeks from now, an Ellison-style strategy might be more warranted. Rob Brezsny is an aspiring master of curiosity, perpetrator of sacred uproar, and founder of the Beauty and Truth Lab. He brings a literate, myth-savvy perspective to his work. It’s all in the stars.
JONESIN' CROSSWORD ∙ MATT JONES
“An Increasing Problem”—it’s in all the papers. ACROSS 1 Young ‘un 6 “Monsters, ___” (2001 Pixar film) 9 Prehistoric squirrel in “Ice Age” 14 “SNL” alumna Cheri 15 “Boyz N the Hood” actress Long 16 Coffeeshop lure 17 START OF A ONE-LINER 20 Road shoulder 21 Plays first 22 Helper, briefly 23 PART 2 OF THE ONE-LINER 26 “The Wind in the Willows” creature 27 Scouring items 28 Part of the acronym NASCAR 31 Shingle replacer 35 “Mr. Holland’s ___” (1995 movie) 36 Adjust, as text 40 Comedian Chappelle 41 Classic Chevy, for short 43 PART 3 OF THE ONE-LINER 44 Hit the floppy
disk icon 45 Mag. positions 46 Growing-sproutson-terra-cotta gift 49 Hosp. facilities 50 Held up 52 “All in the Family” creator Norman 54 END OF THE ONE-LINER 57 British comedian known for his oneliners (like this one) 60 Laughfest 61 Plane steerer 63 Chemistry class model 64 “If all ___ fails ...” 65 23rd of 50 66 ___ pot (sinuscleaning apparatus) 67 Ending for pun or hip 68 “Watching the Detectives” singer Costello 69 Nicholas II was the last one DOWN 1 “Today” coanchor Hoda 2 “Am ___ only one?” 3 John with a greenand-yellow logo
4 Eugene O’Neill, for instance 5 Ending for human or planet 6 Place for two (or more) peas 7 S.F. NFLer 8 It makes felines go nuts 9 2012 AFTRA merger partner 10 Vanilla-flavored soft drink 11 “Arrested Development” actress Portia de ___ 12 “Caught a Lite Sneeze” singer Tori 13 President with a specially made bathtub 18 Big trip 19 Heavenly home of the Norse gods 24 Jake Busey, to Gary Busey 25 “Much ___ About Nothing” 28 Go from place to place 29 Impersonated 30 Doesn’t hold back 32 They may get played
33 At all times 34 Baby ___ (some potato options) 37 ___ tai (rum cocktail) 38 Period for the history books 39 Kathmandu’s country abbr., if they were in the 2018 Winter Olympics 42 ___ Cooler (“Ghostbusters”themed Hi-C flavor) 44 Educational acronym sometimes paired with the arts 47 Bailout request 48 Influential groups 51 In pursuit of 53 ___-garde 54 Uno + dos 55 Mr. Chamberlain 56 Make a call (even though nobody physically does it) 57 “Home” author Morrison 58 “___ creature was stirring ...” 59 Qatar ruler 62 Deck count with two jokers, in Roman numerals
Copyright © 2018 Jonesin’ Crosswords. For answers to this puzzle, call: 1-900-226-2800, 99 cents perminute. Must be 18+ to call. Or to bill to your credit card, call: 1-800-655-6548. Reference puzzle No. 874 CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • MARCH 8, 2018 • THE PULSE • 25
COLUMN ∙ GAME ON!
Cronenberg’s Blade Runner >Observer_ is an essential mind-bending cyberpunk thriller
Brandon Watson Pulse columnist
’M NOT SURE WHAT THE POLISH have been drinking over the years but they’ve been making some pretty creative games lately. Bloober Team may not have the shining reputation that the Witcher’s CD Projekt Red boasts but their latest foray into the horror explorer may be the redemption they need to pull themselves out of indie obscurity and into the big time. They are mildly known on the indie circuit but I daresay BT has found their calling when it comes to blending my two favorite things, horror and cyberpunk. >Observer_ casts the player as a Krakow police officer in the year 2084 after a great world war and a disease called the nanophage nearly wiped out human beings that were augmented with cybernetics. The aftermath placed mega corporations in charge of the survivors and into a dark Orwellian dystopia where people would rather find escape through drugs and tech addiction. And hey who would blame them? Along with the corporate police state there exists specialized police units that are for the most part walking and talking forensic laboratories. Which is who you are, an Observer, equipped with a nifty thing called a Dream Eater which is a badass name for wetware that allows them to hack into the memories of an augmented human a la Inception and fuddle around for evidence of that secret recipe for egg salad. Did I mention you’re Rutger Hauer? Mr.
R. Batty himself talks you into a twisted journey of scary dystopia with those smooth dulcet tones that skim the edges of the uncanny valley. There is mystery a foot and you and Rutger must use your wits and cyber enhancements to look for clues, interrogate NPCs, and piece together the fragmented minds of troubled individuals in order to figure out why there is a headless body in room 107. As you can assume the body count gets higher as the narrative gets weirder and weirder. Bloober Team have gone out of their way to add little touches to the design that spice up the immersion. For instance, the technology implanted in humans gives an array of awesome abilities but comes at a price, over time the human body rejects the tech and therefore medical treatments must be regularly administered or the person will catastrophically fail in some way. In the case of the player the screen and interface will start tearing, the frame rates get buggy, and graphical anomalies start flickering at random when you’ve gone some time without taking your meds. Which your headset will remind you. Which you will ignore. Which you will insist is a game breaking glitch, or your GPU has finally gone nuke every time you turn to look at things. Which leads you down a rabbit hole of troubleshooting and reloading until you finally heed the
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advice of the tinny electronic voice and take your stupid medicine. The game clears up, no more graphical glitches, hitches, or screen anomalies. Okay game, you have my attention! Although it’s listed as survival horror I’ve not done much surviving in the way of running and hiding from maniac cyborgs or anything. The game moves like molasses in Michigan which is an obvious design choice for good reason. >Observer_ is slow, tense, and moody with that psychological edge that sharpens itself on the back of your skull until a jump scare releases the cortisol and your bladder simultaneously. It’s not overt though, and when traipsing through the horrors of the drug and tech addled minds of the denizens within >Observer_there is no real fear of being eaten or chopped up by whatever is lurking in the endless hallways of their nightmares. Which is fine by me. Games that
crank up the adrenaline production to 11 have the same appeal as chugging a bottle of ghost pepper sauce and chasing it with a kick to the junk. This one is about solving the mystery and being spooked in a fully realized cyberpunk dystopian playground. There is no gilded technology, no redemption of humanity, and no reassurances that your quest will end happily. There is you, untrustworthy technology, the horrors of the human psyche and the overwhelming desire to see just how far the adventure goes just to see what will happen next. >Observer_ will jack into your curiosity and your imagination with its pacing and art design. For an indie adventure game this is a must have for anyone who loves a dark brooding mystery with plenty of “WTF?!” moments. When not vaporizing zombies or leading space marines as a mousepad Mattis, Brandon Watson is making gourmet pancakes and promoting local artists.
CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • MARCH 8, 2018 • THE PULSE • 27
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