Page 1

JUNE 21, 2018

FIXING OUR

H I G H WAY S AND BYWAYS MAKING A SAFER AND MORE PROSPEROUS CITY

HOW MUCH DO YOU READ?

MOURNING A

MUSIC TITAN

WHILE YOU

WERE GONE


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INSIDE THIS ISSUE VOLUME 15, ISSUE 25 • JUNE 21, 2018

BREWER MEDIA GROUP Publisher James Brewer, Sr. FOUNDED 2003 BY ZACHARY COOPER & MICHAEL KULL

EDITORIAL Managing Editor Gary Poole Assistant Editor Brooke Brown Music Editor Marc T. Michael Film Editor John DeVore Contributors Rob Brezsny • Steven W. Disbrow Daniel Jackson • Matt Jones Ernie Paik • Rick Pimental-Habib Michael Thomas • Brandon Watson Jenn Webster Editorial Interns Libby Gillies • Olivia Haynes Design Intern Kenzie Wrightsman Cartoonists Max Cannon • Jen Sorenson Tom Tomorrow

ADVERTISING Director of Sales Mike Baskin Account Executives Jeff Camp • Rick Leavell Cindee McBride • Libby Phillips John Rodriguez • Danielle Swindell

CONTACT Offices 1305 Carter St. Chattanooga, TN 37402 Phone 423.265.9494 Fax 423.266.2335 Email info@chattanoogapulse.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.

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Fixing Our Highways And Byways The road crew was out before the sun had cracked the tops of the trees. Paving a road is summer work, but why do a hot job in the heat of the day? The road in question was a dead-end street that lay on the northern end of Woodmore Lane.

WHILE YOU WERE GONE

10

MOURNING A TITAN

20

Professional writer and UTC English professor Sybil Baker has penned quite a few novels, both fiction and nonfiction, and short stories during her career, but her stories haven’t always been set in Chattanooga.

This is the most difficult piece I have ever written for The Pulse. Initially, it was meant to be a respectful acknowledgement of the work of a local man whose rise to the top of his field was meteoric.

9 JUST A THEORY

HOW MUCH DO YOU READ?

As a book-lover, introvert (and 100 percent Ravenclaw), I understand why my fellow verbivores might want to give the Readers and Writers Fair a pass and well, just stay home and read.

PIXAR DOES IT AGAIN

Seeing 2004’s The Incredibles was one of my favorite movie experiences. I knew nothing about the film going in, expected to be underwhelmed by a kid’s movie, and was blindsided by how great it was.

18 MUSIC REVIEWS

21 NEW IN THEATERS

12 ARTS CALENDAR

19 FREE WILL ASTROLOGY

22 GAME ON!

16 MUSIC CALENDAR

19 JONESIN' CROSSWORD

23 THE COMIX

CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • JUNE 21, 2018 • THE PULSE • 3


BEGINNINGS · CITY LIFE

While You Were Gone Star Line Books debuts Sybil Baker’s newest novel By Brooke Brown Pulse Assistant Editor

Sybil is incredibly thankful and humbled to work so closely with such an important pillar in Chattanooga's literary community.”

P

ROFESSIONAL WRITER AND UTC ENGLISH PROFESSOR Sybil Baker has penned quite a few novels, both fiction and nonfiction, and short stories during her career, but her stories haven’t always been set in Chattanooga.

“My first three books take place mostly in Asia and in the DC area because I grew up in Fairfax, Virginia and lived in South Korea for twelve years,” says Sybil. “I only started writing about Chattanooga about five years after living here.” Setting a story in Chattanooga came about after she received a MakeWork grant to write about Chattanooga’s unheard voices which became the nonfiction work “Immigration Essays”, and through that research found that

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she was itching to write about Chattanooga in her fiction and nonfiction. Sybil’s latest novel, “While You Were Gone”, is set in Chattanooga and will be officially launched on Friday at 6:30 at Star Line Books. Her second work to be launched from Star Line, the first being the previously mentioned “Immigration Essays,” Sybil is incredibly thankful and humbled to work so closely with such an important pillar in Chattanooga's literary community. “I love reading and buying books at

Star Line,” says Sybil. “And even if people can’t make my launch, I hope they will support the bookstore by stopping by and buying a book.” In stopping by the launch you’ll learn firsthand what came together to inspire “While You Were Gone”, a story born of inspiration from Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” that turned into a tale of three sisters who have lost their mother at an early age and now must deal with the grief affecting their life choices. It’s a story in which we can all relate to the general theme, but may also find ourselves reflected in one of the three main characters, sisters Paige, Shannon, and Claire. Living in a ‘new South,’ the girls believe they are “unburdened by their past, and open-minded about issues like race, class, and sexual orientation.” As their stories continue, each character finds the family’s past does haunt them and they may not be as open-minded as they thought. To come to grips with the lives they’re trying to lead in the ‘new South,’ each character is forced to confront her unexamined attitudes towards a multitude of issues. For Shannon, this means agreeing to be a mother to a child with a gay couple, while Claire must take a hard look at her feelings about race. The beauty of our local bookstore hosting this launch means face to face time with the author as well as the opportunity to hear from the perspective of the author herself, all in a community of literary lovers. Come experience what is sure to be an incredibly fun and informative book launch for one of Chattanooga’s most celebrated writers. Book Launch for Sybil Baker Friday, 6:30 p.m. Star Line Books 1467 Market St. (423) 777-5629 starlinebooks.com


Cons ider This w ith Dr. Rick

It’s All About The Sharks Learn about one of our most misunderstood creatures For as long as I can remember, sharks have been the scariest animals. Did you know that they can smell a drop of blood from just a mile away? Of course, the reason I’m scared of them is because of the way they’re portrayed in movies and TV shows, killer animals who will eat you before you can even scream for help. It’s one thing to be scared of sharks if you’re a surfer or always on the water, but statistically speaking, a falling coconut would be

more likely to kill you than a shark. Sharks are actually at the top of the food chain in the ocean and they keep other fish healthy and in the right proportions. Sharks are interesting creatures and the Tennessee Aquarium is here to show you that they’re not all bad. They’re focusing more on preschoolers (though adults can learn a lot as well) and showing them that there’s no reason to be afraid of sharks. They’ll show them what sharks eat as well as real shark jaws.

“People of all ages are fascinated by sharks and this particular session helps introduce youngsters to these misunderstood animals on their level,” says the Aquarium's Thom Benson. “This makes science fun and exciting.” If you are interested, visit the Aquarium Adventures: All About Sharks this Friday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Tennessee Aquarium. For more information, you can call (800) 262-0695 or visit tnaqua.org — Libby Gillies

“As long as we define ourselves in terms of our pain and our problems, we will never be free from them.” —Eckhart Tolle When illness arrives, it can be overwhelming, and sometimes it’s all we can think about. Whether a passing seasonal cold, or a chronic or life-threatening illness, it takes over our minds, which is entirely the point. Sometimes a tap on the shoulder is all we need to awaken to an issue; sometimes we need a hammer to the side of the head. This is the role of illness. I want to share with you an affirmation to use at the start of your day: I inhale positive energy and exhale any fears. I will not worry about things that are out of my control. I am no longer afraid of what could go wrong…I focus on what’s going right. I will calmly see myself in the still center of the storm, and allow solutions to arise. I can handle anything that comes my way today.

CHATTANOOGA’S PREMIER JEWELRY STORE RICK DAVIS GOLD AND DIAMONDS LIVE OPERATOR: (423) 499-9162 Tired of 2% & 3% on your savings?

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COVER STORY

Fixing Our Highways And Byways How the care and maintenance of Chattanooga’s roads may make it a safer and more prosperous city By Daniel Jackson Pulse contributor

Even though it was a short road, even though it only serviced a handful of houses, it showed what happens when a road goes neglected. ”

T

HE ROAD CREW WAS OUT BEFORE THE SUN HAD cracked the tops of the trees. Paving a road is summer work, but why do a hot job in the heat of the day? The road in question was a dead-end street that lay on the northern end of Woodmore Lane. According to John Gibson, who has worked for 18 years as a paving inspector, it’s been forever since someone paved this road. And even though it was a short road, even though it only serviced a handful of houses, it showed what happens when a road goes neglected. The milling machine, resting on the side of the road like a Brontosaurus, had made a deep cut to remove the road’s base material. The road had been falling apart. Patches of base material showed. In some parts, you

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could see mud, Gibson said. But now the smell of bitumen filled the air as a red dump truck delivered fresh, black asphalt. The next time this dead-end will need to be repaved is 50 years in the future. A pave job on a well-traveled road will last half the time. Blythe Bailey, the administrator for the Chattanooga Department of Transportation, watches the proceedings on the street corner. Mayor Andy Berke tapped Bailey for the job when Berke created the department shortly after he

was first elected. The former practicing architect agreed and Bailey now wears a fluorescent traffic vest, dress pants and work boots. “Our street system is so fundamentally important to the quality of our neighborhoods and business districts, whether you can walk and whether you feel comfortable on a street, is I think directly related to the street itself,” he said. A FUNDAMENTAL PART OF A CITY Bailey sees his mission with the streets as twofold. First, like a good homeowner, you keep the asset functioning. “Think about a house. if the paint is so bad that the siding is gonna rot, then you should repaint,” Bailey said. “And so you want to keep your house paint-


This generation and the previous generation—we’ve expanded the boundary of our city in a very fast way so we’re spread out more than we used to be. Which means the asset that we’ve got in the form of our street system becomes harder to maintain.”

ed, well, because it looks better, but mostly because you don’t want to have to deal with rotten walls. So our priority is to make sure that our street system is stable and the asset is maintained as long as possible for as little taxpayer dollars as possible.” On the flipside, if the pavement buckles and cracks, if the mud starts to seep up to the road, then a city needs to spend more money in the long term to make it drivable. That’s less money spent on the schools and police department, Bailey said. Besides, a fresh swatch of blacktop is one of those things that spruce up a neighborhood—like a fresh coat of paint. The second priority for Bailey’s office is figuring out the best way to manage the road system as a whole, managing it in a way that the city can grow. A CHANGE IN FOCUS Bailey said that his department is breaking from how the city has managed roadways in the past. Before, Chattanooga’s focus was similar of many other cities: building and expanding. “We’ve grown geographically very fast,” Bailey said. “I’m not talking in the last year; I’m talking in the last many decades. This generation and the previous generation—we’ve expanded the boundary of our city in a very fast way so we’re spread out more than we used to be. Which means the asset that we’ve got in the form of our street system becomes harder to maintain.” When the Chattanooga Department of Transporta-

tion receives federal funding for road work—Transportation Improvement Program funding—the city has stopped earmarking a portion of that for increasing the capacity of the roads. Instead, it is devoting a healthy percentage—over 25 percent—to maintenance. No longer is it working towards building capacity, which Bailey said is another word for widening a road. The net result is more developments further away from each other (urban sprawl), more cars on that road, more congestion. The projects that were supposed to relieve the demands placed on a busy road had an effect of bringing more cars to that throughway. “We think that more connectivity and more options for people is the best way to grow. Not by necessarily increasing capacity,” Bailey said. In February, the Chattanooga Department of Transportation started a new metric by how it judges the conditions of the roads in the city. Introduced to the City Council in February, Bailey said the Paving Condition Index is a “consistent, transparent methodology” to explain which road gets a fresh pave and which ones can wait for a future year. Having an index is important, Bailey said, because some people want the neighborhood street paved because it looks bad. It’s cosmetic. SLOWER AND MULTI-USE

For an example of a new kind of road projects the city is pursuing, look no further than Martin Luther King Boulevard. The four-lane road was put on a road diet, shrinking the number of lanes on the road to three, with a center turning lane. In a four-lane road, there were more opportunities for accidents. The new configuration prevents people in the left lane from stopping suddenly and making left-turn lanes – a situation ripe for a rear-end whoopsie. And with only one lane per direction of travel, gone is the “race track mentality” of a multi-lane road, Bailey said. And it gives pedestrians a safer road to cross because, as Bailey said, because the median offers a place where pedestrians can wait for one side of the road to clear. Plus, by going from four lanes to three, the city can put in bike lanes. Bailey said there are many different kinds of road diet projects going on across the country, with the most common being eliminating a lane in a road. “Road diets are known to reduce crashes by sometimes as much as 50 percent,” he said. And one of the reasons is that a diet can slow down the cars. Wide roads, Bailey said, encourage fast driving. “The Veterans Bridge is a great example,” Bailey >> continued on page 8 CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • JUNE 21, 2018 • THE PULSE • 7


COVER COVERSTORY STORY

The city is planning on extending the project along MLK Boulevard when more state funding comes in. It also hopes to create connections to Riverfront Parkway near 3rd and 4th Street, with the hopes of fostering a health and wellness district near the hospitals.”

said. “The speed limit on that bridge is 35 miles per hour, but you feel like you’re crawling if you’re going 35 because Veterans bridge is so big. And for a time, we did things like that because we felt well, we’re going to need this capacity, so we should go ahead and build it really big and we can grow into it. The downside of that is you get faster traffic, which is what kills people.” Meanwhile, the National Transportation and Safety Board is beginning to stress how serious speeding is when it comes to roadway fatalities. In July 2017, the NTSB released a study that found a little over 112,000 people died on American highways from 2005 to 2014 due to crashes linked to speeding—almost the exact number of people who died at the hands of drunk drivers during the same period, the NTSB said. “The current level of emphasis on speeding as a national traffic safety issue is lower than warranted and insufficient to achieve the goal of zero traffic fatalities in the United States,” the study said. In an ironic twist, one factor that increases the speed of traffic is a freshly paved road, Bailey said. No bumpy surface. It’s quieter. THE OPEN ROAD While the City of Chattanooga handles the roads in the city, the Tennessee Department of Transporta8 • THE PULSE • JUNE 21, 2018 • CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM

tion handles the state routes, the U.S. routes and the mighty interstates. TDOT also inspects the bridges, according to Jennifer Flynn, a community relations officer for the department. “One of our biggest challenges in Chattanooga is congestion on our interstates,” Flynn wrote in an email to The Pulse. “Even a stalled car can cause a considerable traffic backup and increase the chances of a crash.” Like the city, the state realized it cannot simply build its way to a better transport system, so it uses an “Intelligent Transportation Systems,” which also employs message signs and cameras to manage the traffic. But the interchange where Interstates 24 and 75 meet presents a challenge. Over the years, Flynn wrote, the number of cars driving along that route has increased but the ramp geometry, the distances given to drivers to merge into traffic, for example, were left wanting. Later this summer, the Tennessee Department of Transportation will solicit bids to fix the interchange. “The planned design consists of widening the existing roads and ramps, increasing ramp radii, reconfiguring I-24 ramps to enter and exit I-75 from the right side, shifting the interchange to the west, and modifying the Welcome Center area traffic circulation,” Flynn wrote. In the city, Bailey said the city is planning on ex-

tending the project along Martin Luther King Boulevard when more state funding comes in. It also hopes to create connections to Riverfront Parkway near 3rd and 4th Street, with the hopes of fostering a health and wellness district near the hospitals. Shallowford Road—which represents another way to move east and west through the city besides the highway—needs work to accommodate growth, Bailey said. Once again, Bailey said the Chattanooga Department of Transportation is looking to increase the money it has to pave roads by 20 percent this year. And overall, the goal is to make Chattanooga’s transportation routes safer, and to give Chattanoogans travel options. “We want it to be more practical for people to walk or bike or take transit,” Bailey said. “But we also want people to have different driving routes. The tighter your street grid, the more alternatives there are, and the smaller your streets can be. And smaller streets tend to be more comfortable for pedestrians.” Daniel Jackson is an independent journalist working in the Chattanooga area. He studied Communications at Bryan College and covered national events at the Washington Times before moving to Chattanooga several years ago.


COLUMN · JUST A THEORY

In Praise Of Multicultural Innovation As we honor "Juneteenth", we pay homage to trailblazing scientists

T Steven W. Disbrow Pulse columnist

I thought I’d take this opportunity to use this month’s column to bring some attention to three AfricanAmerican scientists who made contributions to our country over its history.”

Steven W. Disbrow is the proprietor of “Improv Chattanooga” on the South Side of town. He also creates e-commerce systems and reads comic books when he’s not on stage acting like a fool.

HIS WEEK, PEOPLE THE WORLD over will be celebrating the unofficial holiday known as “Juneteenth.” It’s a week-long celebration of the Abolition of Slavery here in the United States, which occurred on June 19th, 1865. While Juneteenth has been a mostly low-key celebration for most of its existence, recent political events here in the USA have caused the date to take on a new relevance. As a result, Juneteenth events have popped up all over the country, more often focusing not on the ending of Slavery, but on the contributions that African Americans have made to our country over the course of its existence. With that spirit in mind, I thought I’d take this opportunity to use this month’s column to bring some attention to three African-American scientists who made contributions to our country over its history. EARNEST EVERETT JUST Earnest Just (1883-1941) started his career in the Sciences as an English teacher at Howard University. However, he soon was given more responsibilities and began teaching Biology (his area of expertise) as well. Not long after that, he became the head of the Biology department at Howard and then was invited to work at the Wood’s Hole Marine Biology Lab in Massachusetts. While there, he became greatly sought after for the techniques he developed for handling marine invertebrate eggs and embryos. While his race made it difficult for him to achieve the success he deserved in the American University system, he made multiple trips to Europe and was

regarded there as a Celebrity Scientist. Over the course of his career, he published multiple books on the handling of marine eggs for experiment and cell biology. To this day, many of the experimental techniques he developed are still used by biologists all over the world. BENJAMIN BANNEKER Born in 1731 Maryland to a Free African American woman and a former slave, Benjamin Banneker was a selftaught mathematician, surveyor and astronomer. Unfortunately, most of his journals and writings were destroyed in a fire that occurred on the day of his funeral, so the full extent of his contributions can never be properly assessed. However, for many years he did publish an Almanac based on his Astronomical works, built his own wooden clock (by scaling up the parts of a borrowed pocket watch), and was part of the team that surveyed the area that would become Washington D.C. One of Mr. Banneker’s more notable, non-scientific, achievements was his correspondence with Thomas Jefferson. In his letter to Jefferson, he argued for more just and equitable treatment for his fellow African Americans and, basically called Jefferson a “criminal” for the crime of keeping his “brethren under groaning captivity and cruel oppression.” MARY JACKSON Mary Jackson (1921-2005) was a “human computer” who started her

career as a school teacher. In 1951, she was recruited by the pre-cursor to NASA, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It was while at NACA (and later, NASA) that she performed her duties as a “computer,” running numbers through algorithms by hand, to come up with the numbers that the engineers needed to perform their tests and experiments. Later, she took engineering classes herself and became the first African American Female Engineer at NASA, eventually attaining the senior most title an Engineer could get there. Along the way, she worked in the Office of Equal Opportunity and helped encourage other women of all races to pursue careers in Technology and Science. (And, yes, she was one of the three women featured in the film, Hidden Figures in 2016.) Of course, I’ve just scratched the surface here. There are innumerable other African American Scientists that I could have featured, including perhaps the most important of them all, Jerry Lawson. What’s that? You’ve never heard of Jerry Lawson? Well, you should have. He invented…the Video Game Cartridge.

CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • JUNE 21, 2018 • THE PULSE • 9


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane…It’s A Horse? Sometimes art is very recognizable as capital “A” Art—we all recognize Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers”, Monet’s “Water Lilies”, even Klimt’s “The Kiss”. Other times art is harder to pin down and exists across multiple media, claiming a more conceptual approach (Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s production of “The Visitors,” for example) Rotem and Omri Zin-Tamir’s new collaborative exhibition entitled “Maybe A Horse” will likely fall into the second category, going so far as to potentially alter the perceived reality of those who experience it. In the words of Artist Residency Chattanooga (ARC), which is presenting the exhibition, the duo are, “creating an installation that probes the condition of interaction with space and imagery and challenges the automated state of everyday perception.” “Maybe A Horse” centers this interaction around a theater box, which houses images “aimed at creating physical presence where none actually exists.” What that actually means, dear reader, is as open to your interpretation as it is to mine. On the gallery walls, still images cut from the ones presented in the mystical box will be on view, as only one person at a time may experience The Box. To experience the physical presence of Rotem and Omri Zin-Tamir’s work and the perception of physical presence that may or may not actually exist, please visit LIT Gallery this Thursday night at 6 p.m. The artists will give a lecture at 7 p.m., to aid in and demystify your artistic experience. — Olivia Haynes

How Much Do You Read? The Chattanooga Readers and Writers Fair returns to the downtown Chattanooga public library By Jenn Webster Pulse contributor

Almost the entire library and library plaza, now often bustling with meetings and multimedia activity, will be given over to old-fashioned devotion to books.”

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A

S A BOOK-LOVER, INTROVERT (AND 100 PERCENT Ravenclaw), I understand why my fellow verbivores might want to give the Readers and Writers Fair a pass and well, just stay home and read. But after a talk with Ray Zimmerman, writer, reader and volunteer with the Readers and Writers Fair, I think I might overcome my shyness, put down Volume 2 of Dragon Ball Z in Full Color, and venture forth. Heck, I might spend the whole day. The Readers and Writers Fair, which is sponsored by the Chattanooga Writers’ Guild, Barnes & Noble and the City of Chattanooga Office of Multicultural Affairs, takes place this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Almost the entire library and library plaza, now often bustling with meetings and multimedia activity, will be given over to old-fashioned

devotion to books. The first floor auditorium will feature readings at 11 a.m. and 1, 2 and 3 p.m. The second floor will host children’s activities. And the fourth floor will contain tables where fans can hunt out their favorite authors for a face-to-face chat. At noon, indoor activities will halt for an open mic reading in the plaza, with goodies available from local food trucks. I ask Zimmerman to talk me through this bonanza of reading, listening and eating. “The first floor will hold presentations by fairly well-known local authors,” Zimmerman says, noting


that, after the roster of fiction, poetry and non-fiction, there’s a spot specifically for spoken word artists at 3 p.m. “Spoken word [encompasses categories] from poetry to hip hop to storytelling. It lets us focus on some people the literary establishment has ignored in the past.” However, Zimmerman notes that many of the traditional poets are strong performers, too. He calls out Helga Kidder, author of several chapbooks and co-founder of the Chattanooga Writers’ Guild, as well as Josiah Golson, Chattanoogan and creator of the illustrated, book-length poem “The Souls of Free Folk.” Zimmerman has must-hear lists in fiction and non-fiction, too; I’m definitely beginning to think I need to stay all day. Non-fiction topics range from caring for elderly relatives to eating disorders, he says. And the featured fiction writers are almost all local, he adds. “Our criteria focused on diversity,” Zimmerman says. “For instance, in spoken word alone, we range from an Appalachian storyteller to performance poets. We also looked at the author’s ability to draw an audience— do they have a following?” Even with these criteria, the planners realized they had “more well-known and dynamic authors than we could fit into an auditorium,” Zimmerman says. That’s where the fourth floor tables

Part of the interest of the Readers and Writers Fair is the way it seeks to highlight exciting talent while enabling people to attend as both readers and writers.”

come in. If you wander upstairs at any part of the day, you’ll be able to visit representatives of the Chattanooga Writers’ Guild and the Mayor’s Book Club, as well as plenty of printers, authors, publishers and illustrators. In fact, part of the interest of the Readers and Writers Fair is the way it seeks to highlight exciting talent while enabling people to attend as both readers and writers. Even if you’re not a published writer, you can seize the day and declaim your prose or verse to an audience that’s primed to listen sympathetically. Want to read at the noon open mic? Catch KB Ballentine, open mic MC, at 10 a.m. and sign up for your five-

minute slot. And if you’re a kid, or have a kid in kindergarten and up, the second floor will feature a program of children’s activities from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., including creative writing prompts, poetry games and finally, a chance for children to make their own book. (This is not a drop-off service; parents must remain with their children throughout the activities.) “Reading,” Zimmerman says, “is inhaling. Writing is exhaling.” Whether you’re a reader, writer or both, make absorbing the words of others part of the air you breathe. And start Saturday, at the Readers and Writers Fair.

READERS & WRITERS FAIR FEATURED AUTHORS • Fiction: Matthew Hubbart, Paul Luikart, Sybil Baker; MC: Starr Lowe • Poetry: Helga Kidder, Josiah Golson, Finn Bille; MC: John C. Mannone • Nonfiction: Dana Shavin, Sarah Einstein, Amber Lanier Nagle; MC: Christopher Chaney • Spoken Word: Carla Elliott, aka Poetess Phenomenal C, Jody Harris, Peggy Douglas; MC: Christian Collier

THU6.21

FRI6.22

SAT6.23

“Facing The Gorgon”

International GI Joe Convention

“Boeing-Boeing”

The Summer Sike Movie Series at The Crash Pad details a specialized form of kayaking on the Gauley River. 7 p.m. The Crash Pad 29 Johnson St. crashpadchattanooga.com

Come out and celebrate the 25th Anniversary of one of the most beloved action figures and American icon. 4 p.m. Chatt. Convention Center 1150 Carter St. gijoecon.com

It's your last chance this weekend to see one of the funniest romantic comedy farces to ever grace the Theatre Centre stage. 8 p.m. Chattanooga Theatre Center 400 River St. theatrecenter.com CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • JUNE 21, 2018 • THE PULSE • 11


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT CALENDAR Big Fish the Musical

THURSDAY6.21 Ruby Falls Extended Cavern Experience 8 a.m. Ruby Falls 1720 S. Scenic Hwy. (423) 821-2544 rubyfalls.com Food Preservation 1, 5 p.m. Crabtree Farms 1000 E. 30th St. (423) 493-9155 crabtreefarms.org Rotem Tamir & Omri Zin: Maybe a Horse 6 p.m. LIT Gallery 4015 Tennessee Ave. (423) 521-5753 arcresidency.org Water Fest 6 p.m. Chattanooga School of the Arts 865 E. 3rd St. (866) 736-6420 mycsas.com Summer Sike Movie Series: “Facing The Gorgon” 7 p.m. The Crash Pad 29 Johnson St. (423) 648-8393 crashpadchattanooga.com Artful Yoga: Powering Up with Vino and Vinyasa 7:30 p.m. The Hunter Museum of American Art 10 Bluff View

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(423) 267-0968 huntermuseum.org Country Line Dancing Class 8 p.m. Westbound Bar 24 Station St. (423) 498-3069 westboundbar.com Wordburgler Live! 10 p.m. First Draft Theater 1800 Rossville Ave. (423) 843-1775 improvchattanooga.com

FRIDAY6.22 Aquarium Adventures: All About Sharks 9:30 a.m. Tennessee Aquarium 1 Broad St. (800) 262-0695 tnaqua.org International GI Joe Convention 4 p.m. Chattanooga Convention Center 1150 Carter St. (817) 448-9863 gijoecon.com Out On 8th 5 p.m. West Village 802 Pine St. westvillagechattanooga.com Tiki Time: A Cocktail Workshop 6 p.m. 319 Cherry St. (423) 413-8978

thechattery.org Book Launch for Sybil Baker 6:30 p.m. Star Line Books 1467 Market St. (423) 777-5629 starlinebooks.com Big Fish the Musical 7:30 p.m. The Colonnade Center 264 Catoosa Cir. (706) 935-9000 colonnadecenter.org James Gregory 7:30 p.m. The Comedy Catch 1400 Market St. (423) 629-2233 thecomedycatch.com “Boeing-Boeing” 8 p.m. Chattanooga Theatre Center 400 River St. (423)267-8538 theatrecenter.com Improv Movie Night: Spy Movie! 8 p.m. First Draft Theater 1800 Rossville Ave. (423) 843-1775 improvchattanooga.com Ruby Falls Lantern Tours 8:30 p.m. Ruby Falls 1720 S. Scenic Hwy. (423) 821-2544 rubyfalls.com Improv Showdown 10 p.m. First Draft Theater 1800 Rossville Ave.

(423) 843-1775 improvchattanooga.com

SATURDAY6.23 International GI Joe Convention 9 a.m. Chattanooga Convention Center 1150 Carter St. (817) 448-9863 gijoecon.com Chattanooga River Market 10 a.m. Tennessee Aquarium Plaza 1 Broad St. (423) 648-2496 publicmarkets.us Mandalas and The Great Round: A Map of The Unconscious 10 a.m. Daily Practive Altar Art 1322 Dodds Ave. (423) 322-2514 jasmilam.com Chattanooga Readers and Writers Fair 10 a.m. Chattanooga Pulbic Library 001 Broad St. (423) 693-7100 crwfair.org Nature of Art: SUP ART 10 a.m. The Hunter Museum of Art 10 Bluff View (423) 267-0968 huntermuseum.org Henna 101 11 a.m.


Henna 101 Chattanooga Workspace 302 W. 6th St. (423) 822-5750 chattanoogaworkspace.com Second Annual BBQ Brawl 11 a.m. Cambridge Square 9453 Bradmore Ln. (423) 648-2496 publicmarkets.us Red Wolf Feeding and Talk Noon Reflection Riding Arboretum 400 Garden Rd. (423) 821-1160 reflectionriding.org Garden Club Vol. 3 4 p.m. American Draft 1400 Market St. (423) 498-4001 americandraft.beer Summer in West Village 6 p.m. West Village 802 Pine St. westvillagechattanooga.com Chattanooga FC vs. Georgia Revolution 7 p.m. Finley Stadium 1826 Reggie White Blvd. chattanoogafc.com Big Fish the Musical 7:30 p.m. The Colonnade Center 264 Catoosa Cir. (706) 935-9000 colonnadecenter.org James Gregory 7, 9:15 p.m. The Comedy Catch

1400 Market St. (423) 629-2233 thecomedycatch.com Improv vs. Stand-up: PROMedy Edition 8 p.m. First Draft Theater 1800 Rossville Ave. (423) 843-1775 improvchattanooga.com “Boeing-Boeing” 8 p.m. Chattanooga Theatre Center 400 River St. (423)267-8538 theatrecenter.com

SUNDAY6.24 Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon 6:45 a.m. Ross’s Landing Park 101 Market St. (423) 842-6265 chattanoogatrackclub.org International GI Joe Convention 9 a.m. Chattanooga Convention Center 1150 Carter St. (817) 448-9863 gijoecon.com Chattanooga Market: Team Tennessee Teen Cook-Off 10 a.m. First Tennessee Pavilion 1826 Carter St. (423) 648-2496 publicmarkets.us Free Fiddle School

2 p.m. Fiddlers Anonymous 2248 Dayton Blvd. (423) 994-7497 Big Fish the Musical 2:30 p.m. The Colonnade Center 264 Catoosa Cir. (706) 935-9000 colonnadecenter.org “Boeing-Boeing” 2:30 p.m. Chattanooga Theatre Center 400 River St. (423)267-8538 theatrecenter.com.

MONDAY6.25 Beginner Squarespace 5:30 p.m. The Edney Innovation Center 1100 Market St. (423) 643-6770 theedney.com Spring Belly Dance Session 5:45 p.m. Movement Arts Collective 3813 Dayton Blvd. (423) 401-8115 movementartscollective.com

TUESDAY6.26 Wake Up & Run 6 a.m. Fleet Feet Sports 307 Manufacturers Rd. (423) 771-7996 fleetfeetchattanooga.com

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 Paths to Pints Along The Riverwalk 6:30 p.m. The Tap House 3800 St. Elmo Ave. (423) 682-8234

WEDNESDAY6.27 Middle Eastern Dance 10:30 a.m. Jewish Cultural Center 5461 North Terrace (423) 493-0270 jewishchattanooga.com Naughty Knights Chess Meetup 7:30 p.m. The Bitter Alibi 825 Houston St. (423) 362-5070 thebitteralibi.com Map these locations on chattanoogapulse.com. Send event listings at least 10 days in advance to: calendar@chattanoogapulse.com CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • JUNE 21, 2018 • THE PULSE • 13


THE MUSIC SCENE

Celebrating The MTV Generation The ‘80s were a popular time in music history bringing us Michael Jackson, Madonna, David Bowie, Aerosmith, and many more iconic artists. I may have been born in the ‘90s, but I grew up on ‘80s music and when I’m out with my friends, there’s nothing like belting out the lyrics to these classic throwbacks. Rubiks Groove is a band who like to dress up as different characters while performing 80’s music. Who wouldn’t want to see Edward Van Scissorhands playing the keys? I know that’d be the number one reason for me to be there! Their other characters include PeeWee, The Karate Kid, Robo Chops, Super Stario, Star Bright, Johnny Lawrence, and Scott “Team Wolf” Howard all rockin’ and rollin’ to the groove. They get the audience involved and will keep you on your feet all night! Like Lionel Richie says in “All Night Long”, “…let the music play on, everybody sing, everybody dance.” Plus, to make it even better, Johnny Lawrence plays the cowbell. We always need more cowbell! If you’re into an ‘80s filled fun night, go see Rubiks Groove this Friday night at 9 p.m. on the Songbirds South stage in the Choo Choo Entertainment Complex. For more information, you can call them at (423) 531-2473 or visit their website at songbirdsguitars.com. — Libby Gillies

Mourning A Music Titan Alexia "Lex Dirty" Spratling was a prodigious genius By Marc T. Michael Pulse Music Editor

His mastery of virtually every aspect of music is remarkably similar to that of Prince Rogers Nelson, a household name no matter where you’re from.”

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T

HIS IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PIECE I HAVE EVER written for The Pulse. Initially, it was meant to be a respectful acknowledgement of the work of a local man whose rise to the top of his field was meteoric.

In researching that man two things have emerged that trouble me greatly. The first is that this should have been written long before his untimely demise. The second, an aspect of the first, is a basic question whose answer I don’t know, but I am troubled by its implication and it this: why has this writer, composer, multiple instrumentalist, producer, engineer and philanthropist gone largely unmentioned in his home town? Alexia Levon Spratling was born, raised and educated in Chatta-

nooga. His passion for music was lifelong, his talent undeniable even as a child. His mastery of virtually every aspect of music is remarkably similar to that of Prince Rogers Nelson, a household name no matter where you’re from. He took that talent, passion and ambition and channeled in to a career that saw him working with industry giants like Usher, TLC, OutKast, Tupac, Notorious BIG, P Diddy, Jermaine Dupree, Rick Ross, TPain, Akon, SWV, TI, Meek Mills, 112 and too many more to men-


Alexia was a man committed to philanthropic work, spearheading a program that gave children who performed well in school free recording time at his Hennessy Dreams Studio.”

tion here. Granted, his career flourished only after he relocated to Atlanta, but he’s still one of our own and figures like Ted Turner and Samuel L. Jackson, who either grew up in the area or at least spent their formative years in the Scenic City, went on to great success elsewhere yet still are widely known here. One can’t help but draw parallels between the legacy of Spratling and that of Bessie Smith, the greatest singer of an era and one of the greatest of all time who, nonetheless, went largely unacknowledged in her home town during her lifetime. Smith’s experience locally is well-documented and largely a matter of time, place and prevailing attitudes. Spratling’s experience is not, and the opportunity to delve deeper was lost when he was lost. Likely it was more a lack of basic awareness than anything particularly sinister, but whatever the case, it remains a terrible shame that a man whose success might have brought a little glory to hometown is left to eulogies and obituaries. There is some action being taken to right that wrong, most notably the work of Lance

Morgan with Councilwoman Demtrus Coonrad to have a street named in his honor, and while that counts for something, it is a shame it comes too late for Mr. Spratling. Regardless of hometown accolades, or lack thereof, Alexia was a man committed to philanthropic work, spearheading a program that gave children who performed well in school free recording time at his Hennessy Dreams Studio. He was also a contributing member of a non-profit called Poems Over Pistols, dedicated that offers youth an opportunity to channel anger through music, essentially mentoring them to convert destructive tendencies into creative ones. He also hosted the annual Open Mic Industry Night, a showcase for up and coming talent. Whatever his successes he remained committed to lifting up young artists and troubled teens, a trait all too rare in the industry. Visitation for the 39-year-old star is set for Wednesday, June 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Taylor Funeral Home, with services being held at Noon the following day in the facility’s chapel.

After Party At JJ’s Bohemia This Friday Parties are great, after-parties are better, and this Friday brace yourself for one hell of a Nightfall “After Party” being sponsored by Hive Theory at JJ’s Bohemia. The reason for the party? Simple: what better way to celebrate the local winners of the 2018 “Road To Nightfall” competiton (who take the stage Friday at Miller Plaza starting at 7 p.m.) than keeping the party going on until the wee hours of the night? I certainly can't think of a better reason. The lineup includes lo-

cal favorites Ashley and the Xs,BRONZI Blonde and ETC with members of Hive Theory on hand to join in on the musical extravaganza. BRONZI Blonde will be presenting select tracks from their recently released and funking brilliant debut album, Midnight After Dark while Ashley, Eric, Dan, and “warrior poet” Matt Shigekawa will be belting out the tunes that have made them one of the most popular and beloved bands in town. The fun starts at 9 p.m. Be there. You won’t be disappointed. — MTM

THU6.21

FRI6.22

SAT6.23

Captain Kudzu, Lottery, Mythical Moto

Hive Theory, Sun Sap

Scott Mulvahill

Three great bands, one great night: what more can you ask for to get an early start to a hot weekend? 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. jjsbohemia.com

The free Friday concert series is back with a pair of local bands who won the "Road To Nightfall" competition this year. 7 p.m. Miller Plaza 850 Market St. nightfallchattanooga.com

Natural talent and the lure of a challenge drove him to discover his love for singing, songwriting, and the upright bass. 7 p.m. Songbirds North 35 Station St. songbirdsguitars.com CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • JUNE 21, 2018 • THE PULSE • 15


LIVE MUSIC CALENDAR

Kevn Kinney

THURSDAY6.21 James Crumble Trio 6 p.m. St. John’s Meeting Place 1278 Market St. stjohnsrestaurant.com Megan Howard 6:30 p.m. Westin Alchemy Bar 801 Pine St. westinchattanooga.com Dustin Concannon 6:30 p.m. Westin Dorato Bar 801 Pine St. westinchattanooga.com Kevn Kinney 7 p.m. Songbirds North 35 Station St. songbirdsguitars.com Toby Hewitt 7 p.m. Backstage Bar 29 Station St. backstagechattanooga.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 Open Mic Night with Jonathan Wimpee 9 p.m. The Office @ City Cafe

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901 Carter St. citycafemenu.com Captain Kudzu, Lottery, Mythical Motors 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. jjsbohemia.com

FRIDAY6.22 Summer Music Weekends 11 a.m. Rock City Gardens 1400 Patten Rd. seerockcity.com Mendingwall 6 p.m. Cambridge Square 9453 Bradmore Ln. publicmarkets.us Erik Kirkendoll 6:30 p.m. Westin Alchemy Bar 801 Pine St. westinchattanooga.com Jimmy Dormire 6:30 p.m. Westin Dorato Bar 801 Pine St. westinchattanooga.com Hive Theory, Sun Sap 7 p.m. Miller Plaza 850 Market St. nightfallchattanooga.com Ray Wylie Hubbard 7 p.m. Songbirds North 35 Station St. songbirdsguitars.com

Rick Rushing and The Blues Strangers 7:30 p.m. The Foundry 1201 Broad St. chattanooganhotel.com Anthony Michael 8 p.m. Puckett’s Restaurant 2 W. Aquarium Way puckettsgro.com Rubiks Groove 9 p.m. Songbirds South 41 Station St. songbirdsguitars.com Little Raine Band 9 p.m. HiFi Clyde’s 122 W. Main St. hificlydeschattanooga.com Hive Theory, Ashley and the Xs, Bronzi Blonde, ECT 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. jjsbohemia.com Roughwork 10 p.m. Bud’s Sports Bar 5751 Brainerd Rd. budssportsbar.com

SATURDAY6.23 Summer Music Weekends 11 a.m. Rock City Gardens 1400 Patten Rd. seerockcity.com Ryan Oyer Band

12:30 p.m. Tennessee Aquarium Plaza 1 Broad St. publicmarkets.us Mark Andrew 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 Scott Mulvahill 7 p.m. Songbirds North 35 Station St. songbirdsguitars.com Danimal 7:30 p.m. The Foundry 1201 Broad St. chattanooganhotel.com Courtney Holder 9 p.m. Puckett’s Restaurant 2 W. Aquarium Way puckettsgro.com SoCro 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. jjsbohemia.com CBDB 9 p.m. Songbirds South 41 Station St. songbirdsguitars.com Chris Stalcup & The Grange 9 p.m. Hi-Fi Clyde’s


SoCro 122 W. Main St. hificlydeschattanooga.com Garden Club Vol. 3 ft. D2T & Divine Interface 10 p.m. American Draft 1400 Market St. americandraft.beer Roughwork 10 p.m. Bud’s Sports Bar 5751 Brainerd Rd. budssportsbar.com

SUNDAY6.24 Summer Music Weekends 11 a.m. Rock City Gardens 1400 Patten Rd. seerockcity.com The Mailboxes 11 a.m. Flying Squirrel Bar 55 Johnson St. flyingsquirrelbar.com Marcus White 11 a.m. Westin Dorato Bar 801 Pine St. westinchattanooga.com Jerry Fordham Noon 1885 Grill 3914 St. Elmo Ave. 1885grill.com Sabrina Murdaugh 12:30 p.m. Tennessee Aquarium Plaza 1 Broad St. publicmarkets.us

Threadbare Skivvies 1:30 p.m. Flying Squirrel Bar 55 Johnson St. flyingsquirrelbar.com Monthly Jazz Jam 3 p.m. Barking Legs Theater 1307 Dodds Ave. barkinglegs.org Open Mic with Jeff Daniels 6 p.m. Long Haul Saloon 2536 Cummings Hwy. (423) 822-9775 Mathis & Martin 7 p.m. Backstage Bar 29 Station St. backstagechattanooga.com Paul Thorn 7 p.m. Songbirds North 35 Station St. songbirdsguitars.com Maria Sable 8 p.m. Southside Social 1818 Chestnut St. thesouthsidesocial.com Rebecca’s Wedding Party 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. jjsbohemia.com

MONDAY6.25 Mike Mcdade 6:30 p.m. Westin Alchemy Bar

801 Pine St. westinchattanooga.com Monday Nite Big Band 7 p.m. The Coconut Room 6925 Shallowford Rd. thepalmsathamilton.com Ryan Oyer on the Patio 8 p.m. 1885 Grill 3914 St. Elmo Ave. 1885grill.com

TUESDAY6.26 Gino Fanelli 6:30 p.m. Westin Alchemy Bar 801 Pine St. westinchattanooga.com Bill McCallie and In Cahoots 6:30 p.m. Southern Belle 201 Riverfront Pkwy. chattanoogariverboat.com Danimal 7 p.m. Backstage Bar 29 Station St. backstagechattanooga.com Papa Sway 8 p.m. 1885 Grill 3914 St. Elmo Ave. 1885grill.com

WEDNESDAY6.27 No Big Deal 6 p.m.

SpringHill Suites 495 Riverfront Pkwy. springhillsuites.com Zechariah Dallas on the Patio 6 p.m. 1885 Grill 3914 St. Elmo Ave. Jonathan Wimpee 6:30 p.m. Westin Alchemy Bar 801 Pine St. westinchattanooga.com John Carroll 6:30 p.m. Westin Dorato Bar 801 Pine St. westinchattanooga.com Jesse James Jungkurth 7 p.m. Backstage Bar 29 Station St. backstagechattanooga.com Parker Millsap 7 p.m. Songbirds North 35 Station St. songbirdsguitars.com Jazz In The Lounge 8 p.m. Barking Legs Theater 1307 Dodds Ave. barkinglegs.org Priscilla & Little Rickee 8 p.m. Las Margaritas 1101 Hixson Pike (423) 756-3332 Map these locations on chattanoogapulse.com. Send event listings at least 10 days in advance to: calendar@chattanoogapulse.com CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • JUNE 21, 2018 • THE PULSE • 17


ERNIE PAIK'S RECORD REVIEWS

Melody's Echo Chamber, Jon Hassell

Melody’s Echo Chamber Bon Voyage (Fat Possum)

Jon Hassell Listening to Pictures (Ndeya)

One of the most gratifyingly replayable albums for this writer from the current decade has proven to be the 2012 debut album from Melody’s Echo Chamber—the outlet of French singer/musician Melody Prochet; it attained a sort of pop nirvana with playful, glittering melodies, psychedelic timbres and a pervasive strangeness— nothing ever sounded too normal on it. In the intervening years between Prochet’s debut album and her new full-length, Bon Voyage, she essentially started over in several ways, abandoning a substantial amount of

work made with former partner Kevin Parker (of Tame Impala), moving to Sweden and collaborating with members of the Swedish group Dungen. After a six-year wait, especially after such an auspicious debut, Bon Voyage is more imaginative and bizarre than this critic had anticipated. Certain characteristic aspects are here—Prochet’s whispery voice, psych-influenced tones, rhythmic marches and grooves—but while rewarding, the album’s pop satisfaction doesn’t come as easy to the listener. Take the opener, the sevenminute “Cross My Heart,” which

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offers a wild ride, marked with disorienting cut-up transitions that unrepentantly disrupt any logical flow, offering lithe string and Mellotron parts jumping into modern soul beats and back again, among its ample curiosities. “Breathe in, Breathe out” uses a rock stomp with a restless bass line; it plays with tempo and features a number of odd interjections and vocalizations, among its dozens of tiny details. The songs on the second half of Bon Voyage have their own internal twists, but they typically aren’t as startling as on the first half; at times, the album offers infused international flavors—a Turkish passage here, a Brazilian vibe there—and Prochet sings in English, French and Swedish. The journey ends strongly with “Visions of Someone Special, on a Wall of Reflections,” which uses a relaxed funk rhythm (circa 1968) with a Serge Gainsbourginspired riff (think “Initials B.B.”), and “Shirim” with its irresistible rhythm guitar jangle and sonic squiggles. This writer has literally and cosmically been waiting for this album for years, and sometimes, one doesn’t know

he needs something until it’s in front of him.

T

rumpeter Jon Hassell’s new album Listening to Pictures— his first in nine years—is subtitled “Pentimento Volume One,” referring to the art term where a painter modifies a painting yet leaves visible traces of the original intention. In the musical sense, Hassell is referring to a sort of sonic transparency, underscoring his highly layered sonic approach, where a single track in a mix must be heard in relation to the other tracks—imagine the aural equivalent of stacked stained glass windows. There’s also a temporal meaning at play; Hassell, now at age 81, has created an impressive and influential body of work, and he considers his music to be malleable so that he could start with an idea from decades ago and mold it into something new. That also ties in with Hassell’s concept of “Fourth World” music, which was most famously explored on collaborative albums with Brian Eno; this concept pulls together music from

non-Western world traditions, minimalism and an embrace of new technology and electronic manipulation. Listening to Pictures captures a rare, entrancing vibe; its turns are non-obvious yet inviting, merging touches of jazz, ambient music, vague international glimpses and stuttering, glitchy electronica. Hassell often runs his trumpet through a harmonizer, complementing serene keyboard notes, static sounds and ambient tones within the carefully arranged layers. One key word that Hassell uses when discussing his music is “vertical”—while most listeners think of music as progressing along a timeline (or notes on a staff, reading from left to right), Hassell wants listeners to listen vertically: to perceive what is happening at a single moment, scanning that sliver up and down with the understanding that it is more than the sum of its parts. With this in mind, Listening to Pictures can be simultaneously mentally stimulating and physically relaxing, fashioning timeless music from the primal and modern.


JONESIN' CROSSWORD

FREE WILL ASTROLOGY CANCER (June 21-July 22): I suggest you ignore the temptation to shop around for new heroes and champions. It would only distract you from your main assignment in the coming weeks, which is to be more of a hero and champion yourself. Here are some tips to guide you as you slip beyond your overly modest self-image and explore the liberations that may be possible when you give yourself more credit. Tip #1: Finish outgrowing the old heroes and champions who’ve served you well. Tip #2: Forgive and forget the disappointing heroes and hypocritical champions who betrayed their own ideals. Tip #3: Exorcise your unwarranted admiration for mere celebrities who might have snookered you into thinking they’re heroes or champions. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “A waterfall would be more impressive if it flowed the other way,” said Irish writer Oscar Wilde. Normally, I would dismiss an idea like this, even though it’s funny and I like funny ideas. Normally, I would regard such a negative assessment of the waterfall’s true nature, even in jest, to be unproductive and enfeebling. But none of my usual perspectives are in effect as I evaluate the possibility that Wilde’s declaration might be a provocative metaphor for your use in the coming weeks. For a limited time only, it might be wise to meditate on a waterfall that flows the other way. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Stage magicians may seem to make a wine glass hover in mid-air, or transform salt into diamonds, or make doves materialize and fly out of their hands. It’s all fake, of course—tricks performed by skilled illusionists. But here’s a twist on the old story: I suspect that for a few weeks, you will have the power to generate effects that may, to the uninitiated, have a resemblance to magic tricks—except that your magic will be real, not fake. And you will have worked very hard to accomplish what looks easy and natural. And the marvels you generate will, unlike the illusionists’, be authentic and useful. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The coming weeks will be a favorable time to accentuate and brandish the qualities that best exemplify your Libran nature. In other words, be extreme in your moderation. Be pushy in your attempts to harmonize. Be bold and brazen as you make supple use of your famous balancing act. I’ll offer you a further piece of advice, as well. My first astrology teacher believed that when Librans operate at peak strength, their symbol of power is the iron fist in the velvet glove: power expressed gracefully, firmness rendered gently. I urge you to explore the nuances of that metaphor.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): If I were your mom, I’d nudge you out the door and say, “Go play outside for a while!” If I were your commanding officer, I’d award you a shiny medal for your valorous undercover work and then order you to take a frisky sabbatical. If I were your psychotherapist, I would urge you to act as if your past has no further power to weigh you down or hold you back, and then I would send you out on a vision quest to discover your best possible future. In other words, my dear Scorpio, I hope you will flee your usual haunts. Get out of the loop and into the open spaces that will refresh your eyes and heart. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Sex education classes at some high schools employ a dramatic exercise to illustrate the possible consequences of engaging in heterosexual lovemaking without using birth control. Everywhere they go for two weeks, students must carry around a 10-pound bag of flour. It’s a way for them to get a visceral approximation of caring for an infant. I recommend that you find or create an equivalent test or trial for yourself in the coming days. As you consider entering into a deeper collaboration or making a stronger commitment, you’ll be wise to undertake a dress rehearsal. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Members of the Dull Men’s Club celebrate the ordinary. “Glitz and glam aren’t worth the bother,” they declare. “Slow motion gets you there faster,” they pontificate. Showing no irony, they brag that they are “born to be mild.” I wouldn’t normally recommend becoming part of a movement like theirs, but the next two weeks will be one of those rare times when aligning yourself with their principles might be healthy and smart. If you’re willing to explore the virtues of simple, plain living, make the Swedish term lagom your word of power. According to the Dull Men’s Club, it means “enough, sufficient, adequate, balanced, suitable, appropriate.” AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In the Georgian language, shemomechama is a word that literally means “I ate the whole thing.” It refers to what happens when you’re already full, but find the food in front of you so delicious that you can’t stop eating. I’m concerned you might soon be tempted to embark on metaphorical versions of shemomechama. That’s why I’m giving you a warning to monitor any tendencies you might have to get too much of a good thing. Pleasurable and productive activities will serve you better if you stop yourself before you go too far. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Please do not send me a lock of your hair

or a special piece of your jewelry or a hundred dollar bill. I will gladly cast a love spell in your behalf without draining you of your hardearned cash. The only condition I place on my free gift is that you agree to have me cast the love spell on you and you alone. After all, your love for yourself is what needs most work. And your love for yourself is the primary magic that fuels your success in connecting with other people. (Besides, it’s bad karma to use a love spell to interfere with another person’s will.) So if you accept my conditions, Pisces, demonstrate that you’re ready to receive my telepathic love spell by sending me your telepathic authorization. ARIES (March 21-April 19): According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you have cosmic permission to enjoy extra helpings of waffles, crepes, pancakes, and blintzes. Eating additional pastries and doughnuts is also encouraged. Why? Because it’s high time for you to acquire more ballast. You need more gravitas and greater stability. You can’t afford to be top-heavy; you must be hard to knock over. If you would prefer not to accomplish this noble goal by adding girth to your butt and gut, find an alternate way. Maybe you could put weights on your shoes and think very deep thoughts. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You’re slipping into the wild heart of the season of discovery. Your curiosity is mounting. Your listening skills are growing more robust. Your willingness to be taught and influenced and transformed is at a peak. And what smarter way to take advantage of this fertile moment than to decide what you most want to learn about during the next three years? For inspiration, identify a subject you’d love to study, a skill you’d eagerly stretch yourself to master, and an invigorating truth that would boost your brilliance if you thoroughly embodied it. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Playwright and novelist Samuel Beckett won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. Four of his works were essential in earning that award: the play Waiting for Godot, and the novels Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable. Beckett wrote all of them in a two-year span during the late 1940s. During that time, he was virtually indigent. He and his companion Suzanne survived on the paltry wage she made as a dressmaker. We might draw the conclusion from his life story that it is at least possible for a person to accomplish great things despite having little money. I propose that we make Beckett your role model for the coming weeks, Gemini. May he inspire you to believe in your power to become the person you want to be no matter what your financial situation may be.

“A Changing Business”—one letter makes all the difference. ACROSS 1 There are 10 million in a joule 5 Cookout unit 10 Nos. on checks 14 Free of slack 15 First word of a counting rhyme 16 Sidesplitting show 17 Gyro meat from a roadside cart? 19 Lowdown 20 Sports car engine type 21 Got together 23 Seat in Parliament? 25 Thomas who drew Santa Claus 26 The Tritons of the NCAA 30 David ___, founder and former CEO of Salon 33 Owns 36 “Don’t pick me” 38 Redeemable ticket 40 “Blue screen of death” event 41 Addresses represented by URLs 42 Seat of the Dutch government,

with “The” 43 Singer with the autobiography “Out of Sync” 45 Company with an early console 46 Bent pipe shape 47 Stick in the microwave 49 Israel’s first U.N. delegate Abba 50 Bus. major’s course 52 Coffee dispenser 54 Really fail 58 Prolific author Asimov 62 Financial record, for short 63 Like some mushrooms, ravioli, and wontons a la “Rangoon”? 66 Seagoing (abbr.) 67 “So ___ to the guy ...” 68 Prefix with phobia or bat 69 Ann Landers’s sister 70 Big name in car racks 71 New restaurant logo in a June 2018

promotion (and inspiration for the theme answers) DOWN 1 Roswell visitors, for short 2 “Lay It Down” ‘80s rockers 3 Hindu spiritual guide 4 Ending for hip or dump 5 2018 Oscar winner for Original Screenplay 6 5-Down costar Lil ___ Howery 7 ___ the last minute 8 Original Skittles flavor 9 Beirut’s country 10 Pisces follower 11 Be aware of unnecessary chatter? 12 Soybean stuff 13 Four-letter word with eight sides? 18 Recede gradually 22 Powdered green tea leaves 24 Grammy winner Carey 26 “I surrender!” 27 Reef makeup

28 Baby bear owned by a hardware company? 29 Part of DVD 31 Run out, as a subscription 32 Guinea-___ (West African nation) 34 Honda subdivision 35 Knitter’s coil 37 “Atomic Blonde” star Charlize 39 Not like in the least 44 Charity event 48 Three-part vacuum tube 51 Feline 53 Bouncer’s letters? 54 “Archer” agent Kane 55 Words after call or hail 56 Be effusive 57 Actress Summer of “Firefly” 59 Antioxidantrich berry 60 Half an M? 61 L.B.J. biographer Robert 64 Rapper ___ Uzi Vert 65 Drew’s predecessor on “The Price is Right”

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. 889 CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • JUNE 21, 2018 • THE PULSE • 19


FILM & TELEVISION

Shakespeare In New York City Some of the most enduring storylines in modern theater and film trace their roots to one name: William Shakespeare. And often in ways that aren’t even noticed by casual filmgoers. Such was the case with 1961’s West Side Story, which catapulted Natalie Wood to stardom. The electrifying musical, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics from Stephen Sondheim, sets the ageless tragedy of “Romeo and Juliet” in the slums of 1950’s New York. West Side Story explores the rivalry between two teenage street gangs—white working-class Jets and Puerto Rican Sharks. When a member of the Jets falls in love with the sister of the Sharks’ leader, things look hopeful at first, but rapidly go downhill. Illustrating the events are many memorable song and dance numbers such as “America”, “Somewhere” and “I Feel Pretty”. Starring Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, Russ Tamblyn, Richard Beymer and George Chakiris, the film went on to win 10 Academy Awards on its original release. Now you can see it on the big screen once again, in its original aspect ratio, as TCM continues their classic film series, long with exclusive insight from TCM host Ben Mankiewicz. Relive the glory days of big screen musicals this Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at either East Ridge 18 or Hamilton Place 8. Because once you’re a Shark, you’re always a Shark. — Michael Thomas

Pixar Studios Does It Again Incredibles 2 more than exceeds high expectations By John DeVore Pulse Film Editor

The original film is one of the best Pixar films to date and the one most suited to have its own franchise.”

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S

EEING 2004’S THE INCREDIBLES WAS ONE OF MY favorite movie experiences. I knew nothing about the film going in, expected to be underwhelmed by a kid’s movie, and was blindsided by how great it was. In general, I feel like the current Hollywood advertising strategies are detrimental to the overall enjoyment of a film. The constant hype machines—from ComicCon panels to YouTube fanboys to event trailers that are endlessly discussed online—ruin our ability to engage with a film on our own terms. The best movies are the ones that unfold before your eyes, unspoiled by expectation. That’s largely impossible now, unless you’re willing to actively avoid all media for months at a time. It’s another cau-

sality of the communication age. At any rate, when Pixar announced the sequel to The Incredibles, the hype machine went into full swing. The original film is one of the best Pixar films to date and the one most suited to have its own franchise. Why there are so many Cars movies (and spinoff Planes movies) is a mystery to me. Part of me was hoping, for once, that the world of the Incredibles would be contained to one film, perfectly formed, and expertly crafted. The other part of me wanted lots


of them. And so, 14 years later, after much demand, Incredibles 2 debuted in theaters and is mostly a success. The film begins immediately after the first film, with the family battling their first (or second) supervillain together. While it doesn’t go as well as they might hope, it does attract the attention of a communications billionaire who wants nothing more than to restore superheroes to their rightful glory as legal vigilantes helping the downtrodden of the world. After the Underminer incident, the superhero relocation program is shut down, leaving the Parr family homeless in a hotel. However, family friend FroZone (Samuel L. Jackson) approaches with an opportunity. Said communications billionaire Winston Deavor wants to meet about his plan. Deavor wants the public to see heroes for what they are and he has to technology to do it. The problem with superheroes is that everyone sees the aftermath rather than the action. Instead of focusing on the cost of hero work, he wants to focus on what it produces—saved lives. They have to start small, he says. Mr. Incredible might be too incredible (and destructive) for such delicate work. Elastigirl is perfect, however. This

✴ NEW IN THEATERS ✴

One of the best things about Pixar is their dedication to storytelling and craft. They don’t do easy—they do complicated and relatable.”

leads to Helen leaving Bob at home with the kids while she fights crime the old-fashioned way—in tights. Incredibles 2 is a wonderful successor to the original film. Voice acting is tight, the writing is strong, and the jokes are kid-friendly and clever. One of the best things about Pixar is their dedication to storytelling and craft. They don’t do easy—they do complicated and relatable. It would be simpler for the filmmakers to slap a few pop culture references into their dialogue, have the characters dance to a pop song from a current artist, and call it a day. Studios make plenty of money from this format. Instead, Pixar made sure that the original director (Brad Bird) and cast return to continue a story that had more to say. Bird has made some of the best animated films around with just The Iron Giant, Ratatouille, and The Incredibles. Incredibles 2 is

more of the same. This isn’t to say that the film is wholly original. If anything, it cribs from itself, particularly in terms of character motivations. The stakes in this film don’t seem as high as the previous and it could be argued that Incredibles 2 is just singing the hits. I wouldn’t argue that though. I enjoyed the film as much as I have any other superhero film this year. In fact, I might have enjoyed it more. There aren’t a lot of great family films in theaters. Hollywood studios are more likely to see children’s films are marketing gimmicks rather than true art. It’s more important that the picture tie in with corporate sponsored advertising and toys than tell an engaging story. Incredibles 2 might have some of that (it is a sequel, after all) but it fits well with the tone set by the original film and is a fun continuation regardless. Pixar knows how to make good movies.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom When the island's dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Director: J.A. Bayona Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith

Damsel It's the Wild West, circa 1870. Samuel Alabaster, an affluent pioneer, ventures across the American frontier to marry the love of his life, Penelope. As his group traverses the west, the once-simple journey grows treacherous. Directors: David Zellner & Nathan Zellner Stars: Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska

CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • JUNE 21, 2018 • THE PULSE • 21


COLUMN · GAME ON!

Chasing A God On The High Seas New build of an old RPG will Shanghai your heart and your time

I Brandon Watson Pulse columnist

Obsidian is well known for defining the party based Isometric RPG genre with their heavy emphasis of storytelling and brutal tactical combat.”

When not vaporizing zombies or leading space marines as a mousepad Mattis, Brandon Watson is making gourmet pancakes and promoting local artists.

T’S NO SECRET THAT I’M A SELFproclaimed champion of crowd-funded video games. Maybe it’s my way of getting back all those years of experiencing good games die at the hands of loot boxes and half-finished titles at 100 percent market price with only 20 percent gamer value. Call it what you will, the truth of the matter is that I’ve found more joy for my dime and time with games created by the free range field of passionate developers conducting guerrilla warfare on the likes of EA. So no list about E3 2018 folks, I’ve got better things to tell you about. Things like pirates, krakens, and angry heathen gods. Obsidian Entertainment’s Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is the sequel to 2015’s Pillars of Eternity, a game that is by all accounts the true successor to the Balder’s Gate series of yore. Obsidian is well known for defining the party based Isometric RPG genre with their heavy emphasis of storytelling and brutal tactical combat. They’ve defined the isometric RPG genre which has slid into cult status with the fan base tied mainly among those of the PC persuasion. Thankfully with Fig and Kickstarter these well-crafted and developed games are being brought back from the depths by developers like Obsidian to bear their guns toward the console market. POE II: Deadfire begins sometime after the conclusion of POE 1 with the main character being horribly crushed beneath the foot of a gigantic statue possessed by the enraged god Eothas. Yep, you start off with a hysterical death and sent to an afterlife dimension to create a hero from scratch or recreate your imported hero from POE I.

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It’s here face to faces with the duel aspects of the death god Berath that allows you to set up the starting narrative, character motivations, and character class. You have the typical Paladin, Fighter, and Wizard along with other specialized and duel classed options that expand the fun by fiddling around with class customizations based on player flavor. Needless to say, those well acquainted with any RPG understand that the character creation phase is the most important. After waking up from the near death in a Dr. Who style resurrection the adventure begins and all your decisions will be weighed and measured, every NPC will judge you, everything will judge you. Will you be a ruthless privateer cashing out on a fantasy world in chaos? Or will you be a benevolent savior to the huddled masses? The choices are as numerous as they are meaningful as they play out in a story book method similar to chooseyour-adventure style games and cleverly written character driven plotlines. Deadfire has a beautiful narrative that places a warm feeling of rightness inside you like reading a fun novel from a favorite author. You will care about your team, you will be invested in seeing each questline through, you will care about the lore, and it feels alive and complex without being long winded. Resource and party management are two big factors to Deadfire. Eventually you will repair a ship, hire a crew and have to deal with their morale and wellbeing as you try to survive sea monsters, blood thirsty dwarf pirates, and scurvy. Mutiny can and will happen and members abandoning ship or dying at pivotal

moments in a sea battle is a reality. This mechanic is very well thought out and outside of the usual extensive dungeon crawling it becomes a welcomed addition within the fantasy setting. Deadfire forces you to make the tough decisions. Should you buy the expensive chain mail at the added cost of not having enough food to make it to the next quest? Aligning the right party members with each other is also an issue. Obsidian has created some big personalities for this sequel and try as you might the Wizard and Barbarian will not get along, ever. Naval combat plays out in story book method which can be real challenging if you do not know the difference between port and starboard or remember the effective range of your cannons. It’s not bad just requires some learning and focused underway preparation, a lesson Deadfire will teach you very quickly and very harshly. Deadfire beckons you to set sail in a rich fantasy world to discover strange wonders and interesting creatures to befriend or kill. It’s an epic journey worth playing and best part is that this sea worthy title will also be ported to consoles so everyone can enjoy the swashbuckling fun.


DIVERSIONS · THE COMIX

CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • JUNE 21, 2018 • THE PULSE • 23


The Pulse 15.25 » June 21, 2018  

Chattanooga's Weekly Alternative

The Pulse 15.25 » June 21, 2018  

Chattanooga's Weekly Alternative