DECEMBER 14, 2017
CHATTANOOGA'S WEEKLY ALTERNATIVE
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VOL. 14, NO. 50 • DECEMBER 14, 2017
A KITCHEN LIFE FULFILLED
What could possibly drive an individual to choose a career that torturously provides long hours, meager wages, back aching work, and requires a decade of sacrifice before anyone even starts taking you seriously?
WHEN IS A BAD FILM ACTUALLY A GOOD FILM?
It’s not hard to understand why watching a movie ironically is such a pastime. There’s something universally enjoyable about sitting in judgment. Everyone likes to feel superior—it makes our own shortcomings disappear for a while.
A CHRISTMAS DREAM COME TRUE
Brandon Carruth, owner and lead designer of Chatt Christmas, experienced a moment of bewilderment when he got the call: to help decorate the White House for the holidays.
THE HEART AND SOUL OF COUNTRY MUSIC
Whether it’s plaintive steel guitars and oldtimey fiddles, or a 12-piece monster drum kit and screaming Stratocasters, the best of country music is in the words.
Blessed Are The Toymakers Tis the season for stockings and Christmas trees, menorahs to brighten homes and Santa to slide down the chimney. It’s also the time of the year some local woodworkers and craftsmen stop building houses and furniture and turn to crafting wooden toys.
SHADES OF GREEN
NEW MUSIC REVIEWS
NEW IN THEATERS
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY
ART OF BUSINESS
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
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 5-year old son.
Alex Curry has explored the world as an entertainment technician and traveler. After spending nearly three years working in Asia along with time in New Orleans, he fell in love with the cultural and culinary delights of the world.
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BEGINNINGS ∙ CITY LIFE
A Kitchen Life Fulfilled Chef Eric Fulkerson is living the culinary dream By Alex Curry
BREWER MEDIA GROUP Publisher & President Jim Brewer II FOUNDED 2003 BY ZACHARY COOPER & MICHAEL KULL
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HAT COULD POSSIBLY DRIVE an individual to choose a career that torturously provides long hours, meager wages, back aching work, and requires a decade of sacrifice before anyone even starts taking you seriously? The delectable aromas wafting from Chef Eric Fulkerson’s kitchen could answer that question all on their own. Since October of 2013, Chef Eric has acted as the executive chef of Cleveland’s Bald Headed Bistro. He has a long history in the kitchen. “I’ve never made money doing anything else besides cooking,” he says as we sit down to a plate of smoked wild boar belly. Tonight, the decorated chef is offering a six-course wine pairing featuring Bergevin Lane Winery out of Walla Walla, Washington. He’s paired the belly, which is doused in a blackberry and Luxardo Cherry reduction, with a 2012 “Wild Child” Merlot. “This is my favorite pairing of the night,” he explains. “Keep some of the meat in your mouth and take a sip of the wine. It’s exquisite.” The distinct smoke of the cut blends delightfully with the cedar and berry notes of the beautiful, deeply red wine. The smoke comes from Eric’s new toy. He was recently chosen as a chef partner of Big Green Egg. He now has two of the famous grills and uses them every chance he gets. Being a successful executive chef is about more than just knife skills and frou-frou technique. Chef Eric spends a lot of time creating a brand. He sees himself as an ambassador of his community. Much more than just a chef, Eric is a businessman, a beverage enthusiast, a public figure and spokesman, a photographer, and (perhaps his favorite) a teacher. Not only does he run the restaurant’s seasonal menu, he also offers monthly
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“Much more than just a chef, Eric is a businessman, a beverage enthusiast, a public figure and spokesman, a photographer, and (perhaps his favorite) a teacher. ” supper clubs, guest chef dinners, special patio cookouts, wine and beverage tastings throughout the Southeast, and competes in cooking competitions. For hardcore food fans, he offers a private dining “Chef’s Table.” Six to seven courses are prepared and served personally by the chef in the restaurant’s kitchen. He takes reservations in advance for the feast, as it requires the ordering of special ingredients. “This is my favorite thing to do. It’s where I really get to shine,” says Eric. It has been a whirlwind year for Chef Fulkerson. He competed in the Chefs Taste Challenge in New Orleans and Chattanooga’s Cast
Iron Cook Off. He has been invited to the 2018 World Chef Competition, and presented demonstrations on the local news. Early next year, the Bald Headed Bistro will join the Kobe Beef Association. They will be one of just thirteen restaurants in the country to have this prestigious certification. When asked about his greatest achievement to date, Eric doesn’t even blink. In July he was invited to cook at the world famous James Beard House in New York City. The Bald Headed Bistro is open Monday through Saturday for dinner service. You can follow them on Facebook for updates about their special events. Check out Chef Eric on Instagram at @cheffulk
Consider This with Dr. Rick
EdiToon by Rob Rogers
“There are people who would love to have your bad days.”
Wrapping Up Christmas With Kids On The Block It seems that Christmas will always take the cake for busiest time of the year. Getting everyone’s anxiously awaited gift, perfecting your Christmas day menu, and trimming every inch of your home in holiday cheer takes a lot out of you, which leaves very little time for actually wrapping all those gifts you’ve painstakingly acquired over the last few months (or, like me, over the last few days thanks to express shipping!) For its 34th annual run, Chattanooga’s Kids on the Block will be offering their gift wrapping services inside Ham-
ilton Place Mall this holiday season. Choose from their two locations, the usual spot outside Dillard’s Women or their new location in front of JC Penney. Simply stroll up with your to-be-
wrapped gifts and allow a Kids on the Block volunteer to wrap them in an assortment of beautiful wrapping papers. Over 200 volunteers will be lending a hand so feel more than welcome to volunteer to help out! This year pick up and/or drop off services are available. Call CKOB to schedule a time for packages to be picked up, wrapped, and dropped off at either your home or office. CKOB provides vital programs to children and families in our community, something we all should be thankful for this holiday season. — Brooke Brown
That is not to dismiss or invalidate your “bad” days…we all have ‘em. But after licking your wounds, it can be helpful to remember that there’s also much to be grateful for, much to provide solace, happiness, and a lot of love around you. So, here are seven things to keep in mind: 1. You woke with a heartbeat, and the ability to choose a positive day. 2. You have friends who love you, and friends whom you love. 3. You have passion, compassion, and kindness within you. 4. If you have a dog, s/he loves you unconditionally. 5. You have the ability to forgive, thus setting yourself free. 6. You can surround yourself with peace and quiet if you so choose. 7. You can laugh…it’s the best medicine.
You complete us.
— Rick Pimental-Habib, Ph.D.
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brewer media everywhere. every day.
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COLUMN ∙ SHADES OF GREEN
Do Streams Have Rights? How weakening of water protections affect us all, here and abroad
HE RECENT WEAKENING OF water protection in Chattanooga’s stormwater ordinance favors homebuilders over water quality despite numerous citizen objections based on engineering and scientific knowledge. The process allowed homebuilder profit at the expense of water quality. It begs at least two questions: Do streams have rights? Should they be given legal rights as has been done with corporations? Apparently, Chattanooga’s answer is no, but in Ecuador it’s yes. That country has just written a new constitution giving nature the legal “right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution”. It mandates that the government take “precaution and restriction measures in all activities that can lead to the extinction of species, the destruction of the ecosystems or the permanent alteration of the natural cycles.” In New Zealand, the Whanganui River and Te Urewera National Park were designated as legal persons with guardians appointed. These guardians have a legal mandate to assure that the rights of those ecosystems are protected in perpetuity including biological diversity, ecological integrity, and the cultural heritage. In the U.S., Tamaqua Borough, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania passed a local ordinance in 2006 that stopped sewage sludge dumping and included a provision recognizing the rights of natural communities to
flourish. Four years later, Pittsburgh became the first major U.S. municipality to recognize rights of nature. In Colorado, a lawsuit was filed against the state of Colorado seeking to win Colorado River personhood. For years, people have been withdrawing too much water until the river hardly reaches the ocean as it used to. Doesn’t a river have the right to a minimum flow of water? This case was withdrawn after the state leveled sanctions against the law firm bringing the case. We do have the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts providing some protection for the environment, but they treat nature as property only. These existing laws only regulate how much can be exploited. Every permit gives permission to pollute and thus, in some sense, legalizes environmental harm. Streams, especially in urbanizing areas such as Chattanooga, are not healthier. The endangered species in South Chickamauga Creek will suffer. The current laws in an overpopulated and climateconstrained world are inadequate. Rights of nature laws would work to separate water and other ecosystem rights from property rights. According to the Boulder Rights of Nature website, the rights of nature movement embodies the principle that ecosystems and natural communities are not merely property to be owned, but are entities that have an independent right to exist and flourish. Every member of the Earth community has the right to fulfill, to its full potential, its role
“The current laws in an overpopulated and climate-constrained world are inadequate. Rights of nature laws would work to separate water and other ecosystem rights from property rights.” in the community of life. While legal nature personhood may seem like a strange concept, it is actually a very old idea. In ancient Rome judges realized that biological principles were independent of laws of men. Indigenous cultures imagine a circle of life of which they are a connected part. They see land and water as sacred, living relatives, ancestors, and places of origin. Many Eastern religions assume the interconnectedness of all of nature’s elements, including humans. In this way of thinking, no one owns property. It belongs to all Life. Humans are not separate from
or superior to the natural world. Nature is part of a community to which we belong and are unequivocally connected for our very existence. If nature were to become a legal person, we would work to make sure it received equal treatment under the law. That provides justice to correct imbalances in our treatment of nature and promote harmony—not a bad goal for this season. 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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Blessed Are The Toymakers In the season of giving, local craftsman create works of fun-filled art By Kevin Hale
IS THE SEASON FOR STOCKINGS AND Christmas trees, menorahs to brighten homes and Santa to slide down the chimney. It’s also the time of the year some local woodworkers and craftsmen stop building houses and furniture and turn to crafting wooden toys. But instead of mensch on a bench or elf on a shelf, these one-of-a-kind pieces prove much more valuable not only to the children who receive them but to the artisans who painstakingly mold and form these treasures to spread some holidays cheer. Bill Carney is probably best known in Chattanooga for establishing Chattanooga Woodworking Academy. When you enter his workshop on South Market Street, you hear the familiar sound of buzz saws and chisels tapping as students and instructors continue the timehonored tradition of constructing cabinets, framing houses and making furniture. But when the calendar turns to December, the academy transforms into Santa’s workshop to churn out toys for local children, no matter if they have been naughty or nice. “The shop turns into a General Motors assembly line this time of the year,” laughs Carney.
“One student makes the axle, another makes the bed, another makes the cab, another finishes the truck.” These trucks are made from a personal design of Carney’s dating back over 30 years ago. “They are made of big wooden wheels and wooden axles,” says Carney. “These toys are made to withstand abuse, wear and tear that can happen when children play with toys.” It’s only been within the last three or four years, since the academy’s inception, that Carney has helpers in making the wooden trucks. “Students love it!” exclaims Carney. “They get involved and get to give back.” Many times the recipients of the handcrafted toys treasure the creations much more than something you buy in a traditional toy store. “They cherish it sometimes more than something made of plastic that every kid has,” says Carney. “I get letters from par-
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ents describing how much the toys mean to their children, especially this time of the year.” Given how cheaply made most toys are these days, a truck from Carney’s workshop won’t instantly be tossed aside and forgotten so easily. “Quality toys are unlike anything else,” says Carney. “These are made of beefy wood and if they don’t burn or wash away in a flood, they will last forever.” And it’s these tried and true designs that both boys and girls have received from Carney for decades. “I used to make boxes for girls and trucks for boys,” says Carney. “But I’ve come to find out over the years the girls like trucks as much as the boys! I mean you’ve almost got as many female truck drivers these days as male.”
The trucks measure about 16 inches long and are made of maple. The cab of the trucks are made of 4x4 stock. Fortunately, Carney and his students don’t have to look too far for wood; they just use hardwood left over from the shop. And they use the same tools as you would use to build furniture with a lot of machining involved. Carney’s main charity is Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, although they give to other groups as well. “I’ve actually never seen the children open the toys,” says Carney. “I hear about parents shedding tears as they watch their children open the toys. But it’s not about me, or the guys at the school, it’s about the kids.” It’s truly amazing Carney has stuck to the same design for all these years since he considers himself a designer. “I like to design, but I’m certainly not the
COVER STORY best,” says Carney. “I steal ideas from everyone, like everyone every once in a while. It’s the same as furniture. I’m influenced by other designers.” Every design starts out as a drawing or sketch, then it is rendered to scale. “You never know,” says Carney. “You might end up with a masterpiece.” I tracked down my next toymaker at the local Woodcraft store. Peter Holt went to night school nearly 30 years ago to learn the trade. I mention to him I’ve had a tough time finding local toymakers. “It’s not as difficult as you might think,” says Holt. “As you can tell by my accent, I’m English.” This may be true for this transplant from across the pond since commercial manufacture of wooden toys on a small scale began during the Middle Ages in small shops, with industrial manufacture ramping up in the 1800’s, especially in Germany and Northern Europe. And like any true craftsman, Holt specializes in toys that move. Pickup trucks, roadsters and animals. “Toys that move are fascinating to make and play with,” he says. Some of his favorite toys to make are a duck called waddles and a multi-segmented caterpillar. “I’ve always been handy,” says Holt. He maintains a nice workshop and library of magazines dedicated to toy designs. “I don’t design, I just make the toys,” he says. “I have children I give the toys to as presents. I don’t have much of a collection since I tend to give away everything.” Like all of the toymakers I talk to, Holt generally doesn’t paint his creations. He uses natural woods, like oak, walnut, cherry, chestnut; hardwoods he just finds. “I like to let wood speak for itself,” says Holt. “There are so many shades and each one is unique.” For example, wood from walnut trees is not a uniform dark color. “Some is quite light and others, especially when
Tow Truck by Mike Markum
“I’ve actually never seen the children open the toys,” says Carney. “I hear about parents shedding tears as they watch their children open the toys. But it’s not about me, or the guys at the school, it’s about the kids.” left to air dry for quite some time, can be very dark—almost purple black,” says Holt. “Wood that is left on the ground will pick up infections—fungus or bacteria—which can create interesting patterns and colors in the wood, often known a spalting.” This can change a fairly uninteresting piece of wood into one that is spectacular, he says. “Yet other trees, notably maple can get infected by the ambrosia beetle which creates another sort of color patterns,” he says. “When you cut into a log or board you really don’t know what you are going to reveal. You can only hope for the best and try to make best use of what is exposed.” Holt, like Carney often doesn’t see children’s reactions to the toy presents
they open. “Many times parents will call me and say my kids are still playing with the duck or beaver,” says Holt. “I want the toy to last forever and hopefully it will.” Like the other artisans I spoke with, Mike Markum is a retired automotive technician teacher who loves to work with his hands. He also sounds like jolly St. Nick himself when call him to talk about his trade. “I always loved woodworking and wanted to sell at the market,” he says. “I used to make wine bottle holders, boxes, pins and one day some little boys who used to live next door came knocking.” The three brothers used to bring a sword, or a gun or an animal and ask Markum to make two more of the toys
so they could all have something to play with. “I told them to draw it and I will make it,” he says. Markum makes toys for all ages and these days specializes in making “adult” toys. It’s not what you’re thinking. “These toys are usually displayed on shelves,” he says. “Bulldozers, front loaders, bucket trucks, fire trucks, front loaders.” He has hundreds of template designs he came up with all on his own. “Many times buyers of my toys say they have never seen anything like this and they are right!” he exclaims. So shoppers know anything they buy will be a one-of-a-kind original piece. “Some people ask me what kits I use to build my toys,” he says “All my toys are handmade with conventional tools. I only use a C & C machine to engrave. Everything is hand cut and sanded. I’ve always prided myself on doing it this way and not using things like kits or computer programs.” Markum’s workshop is much like Santa’s this time of the year and he is running out of room. Planes, trains and automobiles are crafted here and what he calls five dollar toys; small trinkets sold at museums and markets around the area. “My best seller is the locomotive with Chattanooga burned with a laser in the side,” he says. “People ask for something and I try to build what I think they want. You never know what people want to buy.” The thing all these craftsmen have in common is the elation and joy it brings to kids, especially this time of the year. “You do it because you enjoy it,” says Markum. “It’s a real labor of love and I certainly don’t do it for the money.” And even though Carney says he is not in the business of being Santa Claus, he is definitely spreading good cheer regardless. “There’s nothing like giving a kid a toy at Christmas,” says Carney.
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FILM & TELEVISION
When Is A Bad Film Actually A Good Film? The Disaster Artist goes inside the heart of a bad movie
Tchaikovsky Meets Chanukah Looking for something a little bit different this holiday season? Whether you’re Jewish or not, we’ve got something that definitely fits the way-off-the-beaten-path holiday bill for you. Coming this Tuesday on the big screen, The MeshugaNutcracker! is a full-length musical comedy that features the wonderfully silly sensibilities of the folklore of Chelm (a fictional town of fools) underscored by an invigorating Klezmer-ized orchestration of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, including original lyrics that celebrate Chanukah. Judah Maccabee’s triumphant saga and accounts of perseverance during the Holocaust as well as the celebration of the first Chanukah in the new state of Israel emerge with a genuine sense of wonder as the Chelmniks tell eight stories that pay tribute to the holiday. Add in dancing dreidels, singing sufganiot, and surprise guest stars and you have the perfect recipe for a holiday outing! Jews and non-Jews alike will delight in this original musical celebrating all things Chanukah. Or if you prefer a much more traditional version of the Tchaikovsky classic, you can also see the Bolshoi Ballet’s classic take on The Nutcracker on the big screen this Sunday at 12:55 p.m. at either East Ridge 18 or Hamilton Place 8. — Michael Thomas
By John DeVore Pulse Film Editor
The MeshugaNutcracker! Tuesday, 7 p.m. East Ridge 18 5080 South Terrace (423) 855-9652 www.fathomevents.com 10 • THE PULSE • DECEMBER 14, 2017 • CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM
T’S NOT HARD TO UNDERSTAND WHY watching a movie ironically is such a pastime. There’s something universally enjoyable about sitting in judgment. Everyone likes to feel superior—it makes our own shortcomings disappear for a while. We are taught that art is subjective, that all opinions are valid. Volume on volume has been written on the subject of aesthetics and this much is certain—no one agrees on anything. And so, while there is certainly artwork that is objectively bad, objectively bad can sometimes equal high quality entertainment. My journey into intentionally watching bad films
came from one source—Mystery Science Theater 3000. Without it, I would have never seen such classics as Manos: Hands of Fate or The Robot Vs. The Aztec Mummy or This Island Earth. MST3K led to me searching out other terrible films to enjoy in the company of friends, trying to recreate our own experience. But somehow, as we dug through the bargain bins at Walmart and poked around forgotten shelves in seedy rental shops, we never came across The Room. Released in 2004, The Room is known as “the Citizen Kane of Bad Movies” and has enjoyed a wide cult following across the country. Video clips and gifs have appeared all over the internet, peppering message board conversations with words like “Oh, hi Mark” and “Anyway, how’s your sex life?”
FILM & TELEVISION
“The film sort of makes the new criticism argument that artist intention can be discounted when evaluating a work. What matters is what the audience takes away.”
✴ ✴ NEW IN THEATERS ✴ ✴
The Room is an experience like no other—it’s hard to describe to someone who hasn’t seen it. The Disaster Artist, a film by James Franco about the filming of The Room, tries to show the mystery behind the debacle, and leaves us with the same questions we had at the beginning. The truth is there is no answer. There is only the result. The film is an adaptation of a book by the same name, written by Room star Greg Sestero. Told mostly through his eyes, The Disaster Artist follows Greg (Dave Franco) through the beginnings of his friendship with Tommy Wiseau (James Franco), the eccentric man who wrote, directed, produced, and starred in one of the worst films ever shown on the big screen. As I said, there are no real answers to be had—Tommy Wiseau is as inexplicable in fiction as he is in real life. The facts, as are revealed to the audi-
ence are as such: Tommy claims to be from Louisiana despite a thick Eastern European accent, he has an apparently bottomless bank account, no one knows exactly how old he is, and he has an obsession with All-American movies and James Dean. Greg meets Tommy at an acting class, where Tommy does weird things that no one understands. Enthralled, Greg asks him to be do a scene with him and their friendship begins in earnest. Eventually, the two move to Los Angeles and fail to gain any traction in the movie business. Greg makes an offhand remark about how they should just make their own movie. Suddenly, Tommy is off to the races. The film follows as Greg and Tommy turn their ideas into reality and the friction it causes their relationship. The Disaster Artist is best enjoyed by those that have seen The Room. With-
Star Wars: The Last Jedi Having taken her first steps into the Jedi world, Rey joins Luke Skywalker on an adventure with Leia, Finn and Poe that unlocks mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past. Director: Rian Johnson Stars: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac
out prior knowledge of Tommy and his strangeness, the film might seem completely unbelievable. It also allows for the genuine appreciation of James Franco’s portrayal. He does the character justice without resorting caricature, which would have been much easier to do. The film tells the story without pretention—it’s far less judgmental than it could have been, likely because the entire cast is familiar with the difficulty of creation. It’s poignant in that way— Wiseau may have made a terrible film, but it’s his terrible film, and it’s one that has entertained millions of people all over the world. The film sort of makes the new criticism argument that artist intention can be discounted when evaluating a work. What matters is what the audience takes away. What the audience takes away will be different for every audience. It makes sense for Wiseau to lean in and embrace the hilarity of his work. The Disaster Artist tries to show that Wiseau wanted to make a serious drama, but what he created was anything but. That he accepts it shows personal growth and humility. Or maybe he’s just really weird. You never can tell.
Ferdinand After Ferdinand, a bull with a big heart, is mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure. Director: Carlos Saldanha Stars: The voices of John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Cannavale, Jack Gore CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • DECEMBER 14, 2017 • THE PULSE • 11
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
A Christmas Dream Come True Brandon Carruth helps to decorate the White House
A Deeper Meaning, A Solo Expression Chattanooga is the place to be for burgeoning artists it seems, with solo shows like Damien Crisp’s “Interference” making it clear why Chattanooga continues to become more well-known each day as an art city. Like most fine art, his paintings often convey much more than they appear to behind their seemingly chaotic appearance. A deeper story, a more personal meaning. Currently living in Chattanooga, Crisp received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from University of Tennessee at Knoxville, then a Master of Fine Arts at School of Visual Arts in New York City. His solo show at Tanner Hill Gallery will begin with a reception Thursday from 5-8 before patrons can finally experience Crisp’s multitude of work. Everything from painting to writing, photography to collage, his work spans over years, encompassing a number of feelings, moments, and events. “Interference” will include paintings, collage, and Crisp’s book “Slave.” Described as “a critique of contemporary arts context,” “Slave” is a visual appendix of 368 images, and like most of Crisp’s other work, is best viewed through a political lens as Crisp is very well known for his political activism. “Interference” will be hosted by Tanner Hill Gallery’s guest curator Ashley Hamilton, who also works in painting, sculpture, installation, and video. — Brooke Brown
The White House Diplomatic Room, photo by Brandon Carruth
By Jenn Webster Pulse contributor
Interference: Damien Crisp Solo Show Thursday, 5 p.m. Tanner Hill Gallery 3069 Broad St. (423) 280-7182 tannerhillgallery.com 12 • THE PULSE • DECEMBER 14, 2017 • CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM
RANDON CARRUTH, OWNER AND LEAD designer of Chatt Christmas, experienced a moment of bewilderment when he got the call. He’d applied for a dream job—to help decorate the White House for the holidays—and forgotten all about it. Then he heard: he was in. “I’ve always had unrealistic dreams, or at least dreams that are unimaginable for most people,” says Brandon. “I thought one day, ‘Who decorates the White House?’ I did my research and applied online and submitted photos of my previous work. A month and a half later I heard I got the job. I had honestly forgotten all about it. And of course, I thought I wouldn’t get it. And I did.” This kind of spontaneity has characterized Brandon’s short career trajectory, which already includes modeling and fashion design as well
as holiday décor. By 2012, when he was 15, his work had appeared in six fashion shows. Yet, he says, he hasn’t made any clothes since, though he sketches fashion occasionally. His jaunt to the White House began just as swiftly. “I needed something creative and found myself into interior design and holiday décor,” says Brandon, who now has a day job at an insurance company. “It’s a seasonal hobby and a job I do for extra income. It’s fun.” Brandon’s fun involves a lot of hard work and devotion. For his local clients, he visits his installations regularly, watering plants and neatening up daily wear and tear. And at the White House, he and his fellow designers carried out a rigorous program of work. The approximately 100 selected artists left their hotel at 6:30 a.m. and worked until 4:30 p.m. for three hectic days on Thanksgiving weekend, carrying out a plan created by First Lady Melania Trump
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
“I thought one day, ‘Who decorates the White House?’ I did my research and applied online and submitted photos of my previous work.” and the White House executive design team, Brandon explains. “This year the main theme was Time-Honored Traditions,” he says. “We’re divided into teams, each assigned to a section of the White House. Each team has a leader, part of the executive design team, who knows the theme for that room and understands the White House standards. We go in and tie the bows, hang the ornaments and create arrangements.” Some artists made topiaries; others hung greenery or tied ribbon. Brandon’s team focused on the Diplomatic Room—especially important since the First Family poses for Christmas photos there—and the East Entrance. Brandon got to help wrap the Gold Star Family Tree, honoring military veterans and their families. Video of this year’s White House Christmas décor reveals majestic, simple design: white tree-lined corridors opening
onto verdant doorways; massive clusters of clear reds, greens and blues. (The First Lady’s official video is available at facebook.com/FLOTUS) The design is clearly meant to be walked through, seen in motion, like a panorama or stage set in which the audience moves from place to place. Brandon describes the First Lady’s vision as classy and simple. “In the East Room, there’s a Nativity scene,” he illustrates, “and some of us were discussing why the theme was so simple, the soft greens, nothing shiny, with beautiful green velvet ribbon with gold on the opposite side. We thought the intention might be not to distract from the artwork and the Nativity theme itself.” The Monday after Thanksgiving, the First Lady hosted a reception for the design team, including a full meal and tasty treats. “I brought some cookies from
the White House bakery for my mom,” Brandon says, “but I’m sorry, they’re taken.” Along with a few souvenirs— and impressive pictures and video for his portfolio—Brandon brought back an expanded sense of possibility and accomplishment. “I’m still in awe,” he says. “I can’t believe that I, with one hundred other creative individuals, some of whom own their own businesses and have been doing this far longer than I have, came together to work and network in the White House every day. “I’ve always been someone who’s very unrealistic…but you create your own reality, right?” Here in Chattanooga, Brandon’s holiday work is just beginning. He’s decorated several residences, and his work can be seen publicly in the Bluff View Art District. He offers free initial consultations for each project, and maintains the work for as long as the installation lasts. He may have a busy Christmas as the Chattanooga community starts to see his work on the White House. To book him, it might be best to check out his website now at chattchristmas. com.
THU12.14 Beauty And The Beast
The Disney classic comes to the stage. Come relive the timeless story of Belle taming the Beast and finding true love. 7 p.m. Chattanooga Theatre Centre 400 River St. theatrecentre.com
FRI12.15 Driving Miss Daisy
A beautiful and touching story of deeply rooted affection, "Driving Miss Daisy" is the perfect holiday offering. 7:30 p.m. Midtown Central 5705 Uptain Rd. (423) 987-5141
SAT12.16 The Nutcracker
Ballet Tennessee brings the holiday classic to life featuring special guest artist Frederick Davis (and lots of sugarplum fairies). 2, 7 p.m. Roland Hayes Concert Hall 752 Vine St. ballettennessee.org
CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • DECEMBER 14, 2017 • THE PULSE • 13
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT CALENDAR
THURSDAY12.14 Christmas Pop-Up Shop 9:30 a.m. Chattanooga WorkSpace 302 W. 6th St. chattanoogaworkspace.com Ooltewah Farmers Market 3 p.m. Ooltewah Nursery 5829 Main St. ooltewahnursery.com Signal Mountain Farmers Market 4 p.m. Pruett’s Market 1210 Taft Hwy. signalmountainfarmersmarket.com Interference: Damien Crisp Solo Show 5 p.m. Tanner Hill Gallery 3069 Broad St. tannerhillgallery.com Humane Educational Society Night 5 p.m. The Flying Squirrel 55 Johnson St. flyingsquirrelbar.com DIY Holiday Gifts: Simple Syrup 6 p.m. Chattanooga WorkSpace 302 W. 6th St. chattanoogaworkspace.com Preview Screening of PBS' Victoria 6 p.m. Palace Picture House 818 Georgia Ave. chattpalace.com Beauty And The Beast
14 • THE PULSE • DECEMBER 14, 2017 • CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM
7 p.m. Chattanooga Theatre Centre 400 River St. theatrecentre.com Midnight Swinger David Scot 7:30 p.m. The Comedy Catch 1400 Market St. thecomedycatch.com Kinky Boots 7:30 p.m. Tivoli Theatre 709 Broad St. tivolichattanooga.com Thelma 10 p.m. Palace Picture House 818 Georgia Ave. chattpalace.com
FRIDAY12.15 Christmas Pop-Up Shop
9:30 a.m. Chattanooga WorkSpace 302 W. 6th St. chattanoogaworkspace.com Adoption Extravaganza 10 a.m. Humane Educational Society 212 N. Highland Park Ave. heschatt.org Chattanooga Market at Erlanger 10:30 a.m. 979E. 3rd St. Erlanger Hospital Medical Mall chattanoogamarket.com Kaleidoscope 8 p.m. Palace Picture House 818 Georgia Ave. chattpalace.com December Red Tent: Comfort & Joy 6:30 p.m. Movement Arts Collective
ENTERTAINMENT SPOTLIGHT The Midnight Swinger combines the style and cool of a ’60s Las Vegas performer with the flash and excitement of a 21st century Super Bowl halftime extravaganza. David Scott The Comedy Catch 1400 Market St. (423) 629-2233 thecomedycatch.com
3813 Dayton Blvd. movementartscollective.com ‘Nooga Nutcracker 7 p.m. Chattanooga Dance Theatre 5151 Austin Rd. chattanoogadancetheatre.com Harry Potter Magical Holiday Ball 7 p.m. Barnes & Noble 2100 Hamilton Pl. Blvd. barnesandnoble.com Michael Salter Holiday Market 7 p.m. Frequency Arts 1804 E. Main St. facebook.com/frequencyarts Midnight Swinger David Scott 7:30, 9:45 p.m. The Comedy Catch 1400 Market St. thecomedycatch.com A Christmas Carol 7:30 p.m. The Mars Theater 117 N. Chattanooga St. LaFayette, GA bapshows.com Driving Miss Daisy 7:30 p.m. Midtown Central 5705 Uptain Rd. (423) 987-5141 Improv Showdown 7:30 p.m. First Draft Theater 1800 Rossville Ave. improvchattanooga.com Permanent 8 p.m. Palace Picture House 818 Georgia Ave. chattpalace.com
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT CALENDAR
Santa Pub Crawl Beauty And The Beast 8 p.m. Chattanooga Theatre Centre 400 River St. theatrecentre.com Nooga! Home For The Holidays! 10 p.m. First Draft Theater 1800 Rossville Ave. improvchattanooga.com
SATURDAY12.16 Lookout Mountain 50 Miler, 20 Miler & 10K Trail Race 7:30 a.m. Shadowlands Soccer Field South Campus Rd. wildtrails.org Wauhatchie Trail Race 8 a.m. Reflection Riding Arboretum 400 Garden Rd. reflectionriding.org Adoption Extravaganza 9 a.m. Humane Educational Society 212 N. Highland Park Ave. heschatt.org St. Albans Hixson Market 9:30 a.m. St. Alban’s Episcopal Church 7514 Hixson Pike (423) 842-6303 Holiday Market 10 a.m. Chattanooga Convention Center 1150 Carter St. chattanoogamarket.com Brainerd Farmers Market 10 a.m.
Grace Episcopal Church 20 Belvoir Ave. (404) 245-3682 Gingerbread Workshops 10:30 a.m. Creative Discovery Museum 321 Chestnut St. cdmfun.org Farmer’s Market 11 a.m. Nutrition World 6237 Vance Rd. nutritionw.com Holiday Handmade: Silver Earrings 11 a.m. Chattanooga WorkSpace 302 W. 6th St. chattanoogaworkspace.com Red Wolf Feeding and Talk Noon Reflection Riding Arboretum 400 Garden Rd. reflectionriding.org Christmas Open House 1 p.m. Georgia Winery 6469 Battlefield Pkwy. georgiawines.com Create Your Own Terrarium 1 p.m. Chattanooga WorkSpace 302 W. 6th St. chattanoogaworkspace.com Chattanooga Art Tour 1 p.m. The Hunter Museum of Art 10 Bluff View Ave. huntermuseum.org Block Party with Scott Hill 2 p.m. River Gallery 400 E. 2nd St. river-gallery.com
The Nutcracker 2, 7 p.m. Roland Hayes Concert Hall 752 Vine St. ballettennessee.org ‘Nooga Nutcracker 2, 7 p.m. Chattanooga Dance Theatre 5151 Austin Rd. chattanoogadancetheatre.com Beauty And The Beast 2:30, 8 p.m. Chattanooga Theatre Centre 400 River St. theatrecentre.com Santa Pub Crawl benefitting the Salvation Army Chattanooga 3 p.m. Sing It or Wing It 410 Market St. singitorwingitchattanooga.com Boozy Cookies For The Holidays 3 p.m. Dish T’Pass Cafe 302 W. 6th St. dishtpass.com Permanent 4, 8 p.m. Palace Picture House 818 Georgia Ave. chattpalace.com Poetry with Jenny SadreOrafai & Carrie Meadows 4 p.m. Star Line Books 1467 Market St. starlinebooks.com Barley Art Party! 4 p.m. Barley Chattanooga 235 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 682-8200
Midnight Swinger David Scott 7:30, 9:45 p.m. The Comedy Catch 1400 Market St. thecomedycatch.com A Christmas Carol 7:30 p.m. The Mars Theater 117 N. Chattanooga St. LaFayette, GA bapshows.com Home for the Holidays with the CSO 7:30 p.m. Tivoli Theatre 709 Broad St. tivolichattanooga.com Driving Miss Daisy 7:30 p.m. Midtown Central 5705 Uptain Rd. (423) 987-5141 1 Star Reviews-The Show 8 p.m. First Draft Theater 1800 Rossville Ave. improvchattanooga.com Holly Jolly Burlesque with the Vamp Valley Vixens 11 p.m. First Draft Theater 1800 Rossville Ave. improvchattanooga.com
SUNDAY12.17 Holiday Market 11 a.m. Chattanooga Convention Center 1150 Carter St. chattanoogamarket.com Christmas Cantata CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • DECEMBER 14, 2017 • THE PULSE • 15
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT CALENDAR
Retro Arcade Tournament 11 a.m. Rivermont Presbyterian Church 3319 Hixson Pike rivermontpc.org Bolshoi Ballet "The Nutcracker" 12:55 p.m. East Ridge 18 5080 South Terrace fathomevents.com Permanent 2, 6, 10 p.m. Palace Picture House 818 Georgia Ave. chattpalace.com Free Fiddle School 2 p.m. Fiddlers Anonymous 2248 Dayton Blvd. (423) 994-7497 The Nutcracker 2 p.m. Roland Hayes Concert Hall 752 Vine St. ballettennessee.org ‘Nooga Nutcracker 2 p.m. Chattanooga Dance Theatre 5151 Austin Rd. chattanoogadancetheatre.com Beauty And The Beast 2:30 p.m. Chattanooga Theatre Centre 400 River St. theatrecentre.com A Christmas Carol 2:30 p.m. The Mars Theater 117 N. Chattanooga St. LaFayette, GA bapshows.com Driving Miss Daisy 2:30 p.m. Midtown Central
16 • THE PULSE • DECEMBER 14, 2017 • CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM
5705 Uptain Rd. (423) 987-5141 Retro Arcade Tournament 5 p.m. Chattanooga Billiard Club East 110 Jordan Dr. cbceast.com Midnight Swinger David Scott 7:30 p.m. The Comedy Catch 1400 Market St. thecomedycatch.com
MONDAY12.18 Christmas Pop-Up Shop 9:30 a.m. Chattanooga WorkSpace 302 W. 6th St. chattanoogaworkspace.com Holiday Dance Session 5:45 p.m. Movement Arts Collective 3813 Dayton Blvd. movementartscollective.com Traffic Skills for Bike Commuting 6 p.m. Outdoor Chattanooga 200 River St. outdoorchattanooga.com Producer Richie Walls & 'Burden of Dreams' 6:15 p.m. Heritage House Arts & Civic Center 1428 Jenkins Rd. chattanooga.gov Discussing Cooperatives 7 p.m. Whole Foods Market 301 Manufacturers Rd. wholefoodsmarket.com
TUESDAY12.19 Christmas Pop-Up Shop 9:30 a.m. Chattanooga WorkSpace 302 W. 6th St. chattanoogaworkspace.com Northside Farmers' Market 3 p.m. Northside Presbyterian Church 923 Mississippi Ave. (423) 266-1766 Lookout Farmers Market 4 p.m. Christ United Methodist Church 8645 E. Brainerd Rd. lookoutfarmersmarket.com Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute Tour 4 p.m. 175 Baylor School Rd. tnaqua.org Tuesday Night Chess Club 6 p.m. Downtown Library 1001 Broad St. chattilibrary.com The MeshugaNutcracker! 7 p.m. East Ridge 18 5080 South Terrace fathomevents.com Permanent 8 p.m. Palace Picture House 818 Georgia Ave. chattpalace.com
Memorial Hospital 2525 Desales Ave. lookoutfarmersmarket.com Middle Eastern Dance 10:30 a.m. Jewish Cultural Center 5461 North Terrace jewishchattanooga.com Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker 3, 7 p.m. Tivoli Theatre 709 Broad St. tivolichattanooga.com Main Street Market 4 p.m. 522 W. Main St. mainstfarmersmarket.com Permanent 6, 10 p.m. Palace Picture House 818 Georgia Ave. chattpalace.com Improv Open House 7 p.m. First Draft Theater 1800 Rossville Ave. improvchattanooga.com Comedy Open Mic 7:30 p.m. The Comedy Catch 1400 Market St. thecomedycatch.com Free Kittens Open Mic Comedy 8 p.m. JJ's Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. jjsbohemia.com
WEDNESDAY12.20 Lookout Farmers Market 10 a.m.
Map these locations on chattanoogapulse.com. Send event listings at least 10 days in advance to: firstname.lastname@example.org
COLUMN ∙ THE ART OF BUSINESS
Pin Strikes: Bowling And Much More Chatanooga's ultra-modern bowling and family entertainment center By Brooke Brown
Pulse Assistant Editor
FFICE PARTIES ARE USUALLY hit or miss. Either everyone has a great time and we all have something to gossip about on Monday, or it’s a complete snoozefest with everyone just trying to sneak out early enough to make it to a different event. Don’t let your holiday party be the snoozefest; do yourself (and your coworkers) a favor and book a holiday party package through Pin Strikes. “You can invite up to 20 people, and all food is included in the package price,” says bar manager Heather Summers-Matherly. With a bar spread as far as the mind can imagine, tasty drinks can be whipped up to suit anyone’s preference. Bring a gift for Toys for Tots and know that while you’re having a great time celebrating, you’ll be making a child’s Christmas special. Visit Pin Strikes online to check out their promotional offers for the 12 Days of Christmas! They also offer a New Year’s package, with different times of the evening reserved for different age groups, and cosmic bowling lights lit all day long. Families with children are welcome from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, New Year’s Eve, while tweens and teens are welcome 6:30-9 p.m.. 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m.
Pin Strikes Sun-Thu, 11am-11pm Friday, 11am-1am Saturday, 10am-1am 6241 Perimeter Dr. (423) 710-3530 www.pinstrikes1.com
is reserved for adults only and will include a champagne toast at midnight. Along with the aforementioned office parties, the holidays are a time to bring families together, but some families need more than a table of food and presents under the tree to keep them entertained. With 24 bowling lanes, an arcade, laser tag, bumper cars, balladium and an outstanding food menu and full bar, Pin Strikes is the perfect place to go to get out of the house this winter season. There’s something for everyone at Pin Strikes. Young and old will enjoy the expanse of bowling lanes as well as the arcade, with beloved classics like Pac Man and Skee Ball for those of us arcade OGs. There’s a whole host of bright, interactive racing games, basketball games, and so much more to entertain your kiddos for hours on end. Laser tag will surely tire them out as they run, dodge, and light up their way through a two-story laser tag arena. Competing in a blacklight maze won’t make for an easy victory, so choose your teammates wisely. Follow it up with the classic bumper cars or the always exciting balladium in which players duck and dodge glow in the dark balls shot from balladium cannons. It’s a surreal experience, and always a fun time. The range of activities at Pin Strikes is almost as out of this world as their cosmic bowling is Friday
“With 24 bowling lanes, an arcade, laser tag, bumper cars, balladium and an outstanding food menu and full bar, Pin Strikes is the perfect place to go to get out of the house this winter season.” and Saturday evenings. After 6pm, prepare for blacklight madness as pins glow purplish blue at the end of your lane and your surroundings become psychedelic. If you want to join the party, but bowling and arcade style games aren’t your preference, check out Pin Strikes’ billiards room, where you chalk up your stick and play a few games of pool with friends, family, or even make new friends over a common bond of sinking the eight ball. You can’t visit Pin Strikes without visiting the bar (if you’re 21 and
up, of course) and as they’re always trying new drinks and serving new types of liquor, you’re always in for a treat. They recently debuted a new mango habanero margarita that’s the perfect combination of sweet and spicy and started serving country star Blake Shelton’s Smithworks vodka which will make for some amazing mules. With more entertainment than you could possibly imagine, a delicious food menu, and full bar, Pin Strikes may just become your new hangout starting this holiday season.
CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • DECEMBER 14, 2017 • THE PULSE • 17
Santa lights up the rotating Christmas tree in the spectacular Holiday Town Gazebo Centerpiece. The elegant holly and berries of the popular Holiday dinnerware pattern decorate this beautiful musical centerpiece. Crafted in shimmering porcelain accented in gold, the gazebo plays eight classical carols. $120, belk.com
Let’s face it, men can be more than a bit touchy about their hair. And when it comes to nose hair, forget it! Fred’s Atomic Nose & Ear Hair Trimmer cuts to the chase with zero shame. Also meant for ear hair, which may not be an issue at the moment, but just you wait. It’s only a matter of time. $20, fredandfriends.com
With the weather getting colder, some cars just don’t warm up as fast as you would like. Stay nice and toasty with this Electric Car Blanket that plugs directly into your power adapter. $25, amazon.com
Forget about those old school plastic army men. Get a set of Yoga Joes and find the inspiration to soldier on through your basic (yoga) training with all the classic yoga poses. No drill instructor necessary. $25, yogajoes.com
The Brew Journal is an innovative yet traditional way of logging craft beer recipes, created by home brewers for home brewers. Besides the antique look, everything in this journal has a function; from reference charts to tasting notes. $28, kegscode.com
18 • THE PULSE • DECEMBER 14, 2017 • HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE • CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM
Walk with your love of literature with these snazzy Jane Austen Socks, featuring Jane Austen’s profile, flowers, and vines. “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading” on the top of the feet. Sit down and read a book now in comfort. $8, joyofsocks.com
Take your kitchen into the 21st century with this Silipat Baking Mat that makes any pan nonstick, so you can stop buying parchment paper, oils, and sprays. $39, williams-sonoma.com
“Dear Santa, I want these boots!” Add the perfect pair of Rain Boots to your Christmas list. Get them now in either back or brown at Irma Marie, 1309 Panorama Dr., Ste 109, (423) 710-837. $250, irmamarie.com
To be profane, or not to be? Bards Dispense Profanity is 100 mockserious questions for our time and 375 answers copied word-forword from the works of William Shakespeare. You be the judge of which answers are best. All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely playas. $25, whysoever.com
Get into the "spirit" of giving with a wide variety of Holiday Gift Sets from Bacchus Wine & Spirits at 5721 Highway 153 in Hixson. Everything from Jack Daniels to Maker's to Glenlivet and more! And while you're there, be sure to check out their great selection of fine spirits and quality wines to make the season bright (and tasty). bacchuswinesandspirits.com Bring your Game of Thrones obsession to life with this highly detailed foam replica of Oathkeeper, the sword Brienne of Tarth uses while being the best character in the Seven Kingdoms (in our humble opinion, of course). Alas, a Valyrian steel version is too dangerous for our dragon-free world. $60, store.hbo.com THE PULSE • HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE • DECEMBER 14, 2017 • CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • 19
Here’s to a great gift idea. This Canvas “Thirst Aid” Flask is a fun, easy way to carry your favorite spirits. Holding up to four full ounces, each flask features a leak-proof plastic liner, neatpouring spout, and shot glass cap. It’s durable, washable and refillable, but flexible enough to tuck inside a pocket, boot, goldfbag, or handbag. $18, containerstore.com
Now you can take Nermal with you wherever you go with the RipNDip Nermal Backpack. This black faux corduroy construction features one large main compartment, a storage sleeve with a large Nermal patch, and a small storage pouch on the front. $70, zumiez.com
The Birchbox for Men of the Month offers deluxe guy-related grooming and skincare (and more) with product samples delivered to his door every month. Let him test out new things each and every month. He’ll love it! $10 a month, birchbox.com
For home cooks, nothing beats preparing a long, leisurely dinner for your family, stirring slowly, seasoning gradually, and savoring every flavorful step. Screeeeeech! Reality check! Who has time for that? But don't worry, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! features simple, scrumptious recipes for crazy busy lives! $18, barnesandnoble.com
20 • THE PULSE • DECEMBER 14, 2017 • HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE • CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM
Mix & match 12 warm, rich eyeshadows arranged in separate rows to make 3 easyto-DIY looks with the Tartelette Toasted Eyeshadow Palette. The superblendable Amazonian clay-infused powder formula glides on like a cream providing an intense payoff that's never chalky or patchy. $46, ulta.com
THE PULSE • HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE • DECEMBER 14, 2017 • CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • 21
The Heart And Soul Of Country Music Tyson Leamon and the White Line Drifters are the real deal
Sharing The Gift Of Music If you have a musically inclined child, you know just how expensive better quality instruments can be. Each piece needs to be taken care of, coddled, but also needs to be prepared to rock out, serenade, or enchant the listener with it’s melodic notes. Guitars, bass, pianos, microphones, these things add up and for a child who just wants to be a musician, it’s their entire future. That’s why SoundCorps has teamed up with Revelry Room and Chattanooga Girls Rock Camp to bring on Gear Swap just before the holidays. This event allows musicians who are overwhelmed with unused gear to bring their instruments, in well working condition, to connect with those who may be interested buying or trading. The swap serves to benefit Chattanooga Girls Rock Camp, a nonprofit organization empowering young girls to speak their mind and express themselves. CGR allows Chattanooga’s future young female musicians a platform to not only learn and perfect musical skills in vocals, bass, guitar, piano and drums but also to find the confidence they need to pursue their dreams in a world that tells them to sit quietly and look pretty. If you’ve got a well working instrument collecting dust in storage, bring it to Gear Swap and potentially put the power of music in a future musician’s hands. — Brooke Brown Musician's Gear Swap Sunday, 4 p.m. Revelry Room 41 Station St. (423) 777-4217 www.soundcorps.org 22 • THE PULSE • DECEMBER 14, 2017 • CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM
By Marc T. Michael Pulse Music Editor
HE HEART AND SOUL OF COUNTRY music has always been in the songwriting. Whether it’s plaintive steel guitars and oldtimey fiddles, or a 12-piece monster drum kit and screaming Stratocasters, the best of country music is in the words. At some point, however, country devolved in to just another flavor of pop music. I don’t have the seething hate for pop music some folks do. Some of it is really quite good, and it all depends on what it is you want from your tunes, but pop largely relies on a cookie cutter approach, a predictable, quantifiably marketable approach that relies
more on image, a few catchy hooks (maybe,) and a gimmick. Soul and substance just don’t have a broad enough commercial appeal. Fortunately, there are always those individuals who play the long odds and rebel against the “paint by numbers” approach, either intentionally or simply because it isn’t in them to be any other way. Tyson Leamon and the White Line Drifters fall neatly in to that category. It is a gamble that I think will inevitably pay off, particularly now that more and more country music fans are yearning for something with a little more meat to it than the Nashville machine is perpetually cranking out. Their first single, “Any Kind of Wine Girl,” is cur-
“Fortunately, there are always those individuals who play the long odds and rebel against the ‘paint by numbers’ approach, either intentionally or simply because it isn’t in them to be any other way.” rently available on iTunes and as the vanguard of their upcoming EP, it foreshadows an outstanding collection of original music. An earlier version of the song with a different backing band (the Backwater Prophets) can be heard on YouTube now, and even this version is a stand out success in a genre plagued with mediocrity. Musically solid, it is the lyrical and vocal content that drives the song and, I suspect, defines the artist. Leamon comes by his lyrical and vocal prowess honestly, professing, “I started singing as soon as I could talk.” From church to a family quartet, to various high school bands and projects, there has never
been a time when music was not a significant part of his life. Because of that, he has the chops, but more importantly, perhaps most importantly, he has roots and those roots are what give his creative ability and performances power. If I had to guess, I’d say that Leamon and company do not strive for authenticity so much as authenticity is simply endemic to who they are as musicians and artists and that is, or should be, one of the key components of any musical genre. It certainly is one of the key elements I listen for in music and believe me; I have reviewed more than one artist who, although completely competent and even genuinely tal-
ented, was phoning it in. Leamon doesn’t phone it in, there is a living, breathing part of him in every song he sings and if he weren’t half as skilled as he genuinely is, I would still sing his praises for being real. As it happens, though, he and his band mates are highly skilled and polished, more than one would expect from a group who hasn’t finished recording their first EP. Tyson Leamon & the White Line Drifters will be performing at The Revelry Room on January 6th and their EP will be ready for release any day now. Look for the review here when it is, in the meantime catch them at the Revelry Room and enjoy the kind of great country music that built the genre.
Cold Weather, Hot Music “It never rains in the pubs.” That was the advice our cab driver gave us the first time we landed in Ireland. No, it doesn’t, and while the weather outside might be weenieshrinkingly cold, there’s plenty of hot music in town this weekend. On Saturday, the Woodshop presents An Evening of Hip Hop and Homegrown Vibes featuring Kay B. Brown, Bindy, I. Sean and Chris Paul. There will be cocktails, food and artwork from 8 to 9 p.m., then a live recording session from 9 to 11 p.m. with a meet and greet to follow. That same night Mythical Motors will be releasing their latest album, The Life Stage (reviewed here in the November 29th issue) at Moccasin Bend Brewing Company along with special guests Bark, from Knoxville. That show starts at nine. Finally, I mentioned a few weeks ago that some local Celtic acts will hosting their annual “Christmas Party/Clothes For The Homeless” show at the Honest Pint on Sunday at 7 p.m. In keeping with the spirit of the season, I’d like to mention that Amigos Mexican Restaurant in
Kay B Brown
Hixson will be hosting their annual open invitation Christmas Party that afternoon to gather toys for the Forgotten Children’s Fund. This has been a very successful event in the past but unfortunately the organizer (Monica) suffered a tragic personal loss very recently and has been unable to devote the energy and attention she is known for to the cause. As a result, as of this writing, the collection boxes are woefully underfilled. So if you find yourself in the area, stop in for some fine cuisine and libations and drop off a few toys for children who wouldn’t have any otherwise. — MTM
River City Sessions Holiday Show
The Southern Belles
Hank and Cupcakes
Featuring Cannon Hunt, Grace Campbell, Derek Martin, Joylene Kara, and Doc and Cordell. 7 p.m. The Granfalloon 400 E. Main St. granfalloonchattanooga.com
They corral elements of jazz, rock, funk and country into an elastic, groovecentric amalgamation of psychedelia and twang. 10 p.m. Clyde’s On Main 122 W. Main St. clydesonmain.com
Art and rock combine with a very dynamic duo. Get up close and personal with a Chattanooga favorite. Plus Side Affect w/Huggfeee. 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. jjsbohemia.com
CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • DECEMBER 14, 2017 • THE PULSE • 23
LIVE MUSIC CALENDAR
THURSDAY12.14 James Crumble Trio 6 p.m. St. John’s Meeting Place 1278 Market St. stjohnsrestaurant.com Forever Bluegrass 6 p.m. Whole Foods Market 301 Manufacturers Rd. wholefoodsmarket.com River City Sessions Holiday Show 7 p.m. The Granfalloon 400 E. Main St. granfalloonchattanooga.com Shooter Jennings & Jason Boland 7 p.m. Songbirds Guitar Museum 35 Station St. songbirdsguitars.com Toby Hewitt 7 p.m. Backstage Bar 29 Station St. backstagechattanooga.com Jimmy Harris 7 p.m. The Coconut Room 6925 Shallowford Rd. thepalmsathamilton.com Open Mic Night with Ryan Oyer 7 p.m. Moccasin Bend Brewing Company 3210 Broad St. bendbrewingbeer.com Bluegrass Thursdays 7:30 p.m.
24 • THE PULSE • DECEMBER 14, 2017 • CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM
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 The Infamous Stringdusters 8 p.m. Revelry Room 41 Station St. revelryroom.co Keepin’ It Local 8 p.m. The Social 1110 Market St. publichousechattanooga.com Open Mic Night with Jonathan Wimpee 9 p.m. The Office @ City Cafe 901 Carter St.
citycafemenu.com Peter Stubb Christmas Party with Mudsex, Sweet GA Brown, Matthew Paul Revere 9 p.m. Music Box @ Ziggy’s 607 Cherokee Blvd. ziggysbarandgrill.net Holiday House Party with Two Shoe Crew 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. jjsbohemia.com
FRIDAY12.15 Binji Varsossa 6 p.m. Cancun Mexican Restaurant 1809 Broad St. (423) 266-1461
PULSE MUSIC SPOTLIGHT Amber’s powerful voice is quickly becoming one of the most recognized, and respected, in the Chattanooga music scene, whether playing with just her guitar or her entire band. Amber Fults
Saturday, 9 p.m. The Office @ City Cafe 901 Carter St. citycafemenu.com
Tim Lewis 7 p.m. El Meson 248 Northgate Park elmesonchattanooga.com Jimmy Harris 7 p.m. The Coconut Room 6925 Shallowford Rd. thepalmsathamilton.com Kites 7 p.m. The Camp House 149 E. MLK Blvd. thecamphouse.com The Hopeful Country Band 7 p.m. Motley's 320 Emberson Dr. Ringgold, GA (706) 260-8404 Amanda Rose, Caney Village 7 p.m. Frequency Arts 1804 E. Main St. facebook.com/frequencyarts Mel Washington, Young Mister w/Yosef 8 p.m. The Woodshop 5500 St. Elmo Ave. (423) 991-8876 thewoodshop.space Christmas Songs and Stories with John Berry 8 p.m. Walker Theatre 399 McCallie Ave. (423) 757-5580 tivolichattanooga.com Michael Jackson Tribute Show 8 p.m. Barking Legs Theater 1307 Dodds Ave.
LIVE MUSIC CALENDAR
The Infamous Stringdusters (423) 624-5347 barkinglegs.org Priscilla & Lil' Rickee 8:30 p.m. The Foundry 1201 Broad St. chattanooganhotel.com Kelsi Westfall 9 p.m. The Office @ City Cafe 901 Carter St. citycafemenu.com Courtney Daly 9 p.m. Puckett’s Restaurant 2 W. Aquarium Way puckettsgro.com Interstellar Echoes 9 p.m. Revelry Room 41 Station St. revelryroom.co Ramones Vs. Devo, Learning to Count, Pure E, Spud Boys 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. jjsbohemia.com The Southern Belles 10 p.m. Clyde’s On Main 122 W. Main St. clydesonmain.com The PBR Band 10 p.m. Bud’s Sports Bar 5751 Brainerd Rd. budssportsbar.com
SATURDAY12.16 Bluegrass Brunch Noon
The Honest Pint 35 Patten Pkwy. thehonestpint.com Sweet Georgia Sound Noon Chattanooga Convention Center 1150 Carter St. (423) 648-2496 chattanoogamarket.com Binji Varsossa 6 p.m. Cancun Mexican Restaurant 1809 Broad St. (423) 266-1461 Ryan Oyer 7 p.m. Oddstory Brewing Company 336 E. MLK Blvd. oddstorybrewing.co Puddles Pity Party 7 p.m. Memorial Auditorium 399 McCallie Ave. (423) 757-5580 tivolichattanooga.com Tim Lewis 7 p.m. El Meson 248 Northgate Park elmesonchattanooga.com Home for the Holidays with the CSO 7:30 p.m. Tivoli Theatre 709 Broad St. (423) 757-5580 tivolichattanooga.com "Fresh Roots" An Evening of Hip Hop and Homegrown Vibes 8 p.m. The Woodshop 5500 St. Elmo Ave. (423) 991-8876 thewoodshop.space
Up the Dose 8 p.m. McHale's Brewhouse 724 Ashland Terrace mchalesbrewhouse.com Priscilla & Lil' Rickee 8:30 p.m. The Foundry 1201 Broad St. chattanooganhotel.com Amber Fults 9 p.m. The Office @ City Cafe 901 Carter St. citycafemenu.com Hadley Kennary 9 p.m. Puckett’s Restaurant 2 W. Aquarium Way puckettsgro.com Hank and Cupcakes, Side Affect w/Huggfeee 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. jjsbohemia.com David Brooks, Bongsloth, Happy Lemmy 9 p.m. Music Box @ Ziggy’s 607 Cherokee Blvd. ziggysbarandgrill.net Good Morning Bedlam 9 p.m. Feed Co. Table & Tavern 201 W. Main St. feedtableandtavern.com Neon Moon 9 p.m. Revelry Room 41 Station St. revelryroom.co The Voodoo Fix 10 p.m.
Clyde’s On Main 122 W. Main St. clydesonmain.com The PBR Band 10 p.m. Bud’s Sports Bar 5751 Brainerd Rd. budssportsbar.com
SUNDAY12.17 Fritsl Butler 11 a.m. Flying Squirrel Bar 55 Johnson St. flyingsquirrelbar.com Christmas Cantata 11 a.m. Rivermont Presbyterian Church 3319 Hixson Pike rivermontpc.org Sweet Georgia Sound Noon Chattanooga Convention Center 1150 Carter St. (423) 648-2496 chattanoogamarket.com Brooks Hubbard 1:30 p.m. Flying Squirrel Bar 55 Johnson St. flyingsquirrelbar.com Bluegrass Jam 4 p.m. Fiddler’s Anonymous 2248 Dayton Blvd. (423) 994-7497 Musicians Gear Swap 4 p.m. Revelry Room 41 Station St. revelryroom.co A Christmas Story Cantata
5 p.m. Burks United Methodist Church 6433 Hixson Pike burks.org Open Mic with Jeff Daniels 6 p.m. Long Haul Saloon 2536 Cummings Hwy. (423) 822-9775 Maria Sable 8 p.m. Southside Social 1818 Chestnut St. thesouthsidesocial.com
MONDAY12.18 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 Attack Of The Open Mic! 7 p.m. Barley Chattanooga 235 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 682-8200 Jennifer Nettles 7:30 p.m. Tivoli Theatre 709 Broad St. (423) 757-5580 tivolichattanooga.com Open Air with Jessica Nunn 7:30 p.m. The Granfalloon 400 E. Main St. granfalloonchattanooga.com
CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • DECEMBER 14, 2017 • THE PULSE • 25
LIVE MUSIC CALENDAR
Frank Hurricane Very Open Mic with Shawnessey Cargile 8 p.m. The Well 1800 Rossville Blvd. #8 wellonthesouthside.com
TUESDAY12.19 The Mahogany Ball 5 p.m. Mahogany Hall 412 E. 10th St. facebook.com/themahoganyhall 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 Open Mic Jam Session 7 p.m. Crust Pizza 3211 Broad St. crustpizza.com Rob Leines 8 p.m. Music Box @ Ziggy’s 607 Cherokee Blvd. ziggysbarandgrill.net Open Mic with Mike McDade 8 p.m. Tremont Tavern 1203 Hixson Pike tremonttavern.com Frank Hurricane 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. jjsbohemia.com
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WEDNESDAY12.20 The Other Guys 6 p.m. SpringHill Suites 495 Riverfront Pkwy. springhillsuites.com Old Time Fiddle & Banjo Show 6:30 p.m. Fiddler’s Anonymous 2248 Dayton Blvd. (423) 994-7497 Jesse James Jungkurth 7 p.m. Backstage Bar 29 Station St. backstagechattanooga.com Joel Brothers 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 Jazz In The Lounge 8 p.m. Barking Legs Theater 1307 Dodds Ave. barkinglegs.org 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
Warren Defever and Johnny Evans, Monster Rally
Warren Defever and Johnny Evans Mirror Dream #2 (hisnameisalive.bandcamp.com)
he Michigan musical genius Warren Defever is best known for his almost absurdly diverse career as the sole consistent member of His Name Is Alive, which has offered its distinctive off-kilter spin wherever its mood lands—from ethereal gloom to soul to hard rock—and occasionally sporting its bursting obsessions with acts including the Beach Boys and Thin Lizzy. Apparently, His Name Is Alive isn’t a big enough bucket to hold Defever’s creativity, so it spills out into various side projects and also material released under Defever’s name, including folk, serene nature jams and
Monster Rally Flowering Jungle (Gold Robot)
cosmic ambient music. Defever’s new Mirror Dream series so far features atypical duets; the first installment paired string arrangements from Jean Cook with Defever’s field recordings of freeway traffic and rainfall heard from his Detroit apartment. Mirror Dream #2, released as a digital download and on cassette and CD, features Defever collaborating with saxophonist Johnny Evans of Howling Diablos. The album is closest in spirit to His Name Is Alive’s dalliances with spiritual jazz and free jazz, including Brown Rice (likely named with Don Cherry in mind) and Sweet Earth Flower,
which was a tribute to free jazz saxophonist Marion Brown. Defever limits himself to keyboards—organ, harmonium and Moog synthesizer—laying down drone beds, percolating patterns or wandering counterpoint to Evans’ spry and inspired melodies on soprano and tenor saxophone. On “Spirit Levels,” Defever’s pulsating one-note drones are a nest from which Evans departs with his lively flights—only occasionally pushing into harsh timbres—and to which he returns to re-charge and re-orient himself. “Wavelength” is in line with hard-blowing mid-’60s avantgarde jazz saxophone (think Albert Ayler) with Evans spitting out a relentless stream of microtonal squawks, while Defever paints a heavenly watercolor atmospheric background, offering a remarkable duality of agitation and tranquility. Following the density of “Wavelength” is the closing 10-minute track “Chrysalix” which offers much more space and room to breathe, with Defever’s space drones providing ectoplasm for Evans to dive in and squirm soulfully.
iki bars with tropical cocktails and Polynesian décor flourished in the mid-20th century, and although their popularity has waned since then, devotees that carry the (tiki) torch today understand their appeal and charm—they offer an escapist fantasy with welcoming, artificial environments that point to exotic getaways. Ted Feighan delivers his own escapist fantasies in musical form as the one-man band Monster Rally, plundering old exotica (the music genre most closely associated with tiki) and easy listening mid-century vinyl records to create his largely sample-based rhapsodies. The other notable feature of Monster Rally is the frequent use of overlaid hip-hop drum loops which push forward the breezy aural collages, like a hammock being swayed in a strict cyclic tempo. Monster Rally’s latest fulllength, Flowering Jungle, doesn’t stray from Feighan’s typical strategies, with glistening and enchanting tidbits, enticingly looped with no attempt to remove the pops and clicks of vinyl surface noise. The exotica/hip-hop duality
might be jarring for some—take “Toucans” with its lush string loops and prominent breakbeats, which may inspire listeners to lie back and relax or nod their heads to the beat. The forced repetition of samples provides an extra layer of artificiality to Monster Rally’s pieces—and stuttering samples like on “Niñas De La Selva” (“Girls of the Jungle”) force the point even further. There was a time in the ‘60s when cheesy, catchy instrumentals had the potential to be big hits (think Herb Alpert), and Flowering Junglefully embraces that aesthetic. “Giant Leaves” uses a repeated high-note piano sample to an almost maddening effect, as if applying a water-torture slow drip of corn syrup. The mid-century window is broken at a few choice times, like on “Rio” which sounds like it has an ‘80s recording style for easy listening. Tiki pioneer Don the Beachcomber said, “If you can’t get to paradise, I’ll bring it to you,” and with that spirit, Flowering Jungle delivers its sunny and alluring facsimile of a tropical paradise.
CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • DECEMBER 14, 2017 • THE PULSE • 27
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY
breezy and casual about this opportunity to seize more authority. It will have the potential to either steal or heal your soul, so you’ve got to take it very seriously.
Holiday Shopping ROB BREZSNY
In case you haven't noticed, the holiday season is upon us and Christmas is just around the corner. Which means a lot of people have been shopping, whether at a local store or via the web. So we asked our friends at the Statistic Brain Research Institute for a look at the numbers. • Amount spent annually on holiday shopping (Nov–Dec): $52,000,000,000 • Amount shoppers plan to spend on gifts this year: $804 • Percent of consumers who will shop online: 90% • Percent of tablet owners who will shop on their device (phone or tablet): 70% • Percent of shoppers who are willing to pay full price for an item they want: 16% • Percent of shoppers who purchased gift cards: 23% • Percent of shoppers who bought toys: 33% And just in case you aren't finished yet, be sure to check out our gift guide in this issue for some last-minute ideas. Source: statisticbrain.com/holidayshopping-statistics
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): At one point in his career, the mythical Greek hero Hercules was compelled to carry out a series of twelve strenuous labors. Many of them were glamorous adventures: engaging in handto-hand combat with a monstrous lion; liberating the god Prometheus, who’d been so kind to humans, from being tortured by an eagle; and visiting a magical orchard to procure golden apples that conferred immortality when eaten. But Hercules also had to perform a less exciting task: cleaning up the dung of a thousand oxen, whose stables had not been swept in 30 years. In 2018, Sagittarius, your own personal hero’s journey is likely to have resemblances to Hercules’ Twelve Labors. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Humans have used petroleum as a fuel since ancient times. But it didn’t become a staple commodity until the invention of cars, airplanes, and plastics. Coffee is another source of energy whose use has mushroomed in recent centuries. The first European coffee shop appeared in Rome in 1645. Today there are over 25,000 Starbucks on the planet. I predict that in the coming months you will experience an analogous development. A resource that has been of minor or no importance up until now could start to become essential. Do you have a sense of what it is? Start sniffing around. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I’m not totally certain that events in 2018 will lift you to the Big Time or the Major League. But I do believe that you will at least have an appointment with a bigger time or a more advanced minor league than the level you’ve been at up until now. Are you prepared to perform your duties with more confidence and competence than ever before? Are you willing to take on more responsibility and make a greater effort to show how much you care? In my opinion, you can’t afford to be
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PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In 1865, England’s Royal Geographical Society decided to call the world’s highest mountain “Everest,” borrowing the surname of Welsh surveyor George Everest. Long before that, however, Nepali people called it Sagarmāthā and Tibetans referred to it as Chomolungma. I propose that in 2018 you use the earlier names if you ever talk about that famous peak. This may help keep you in the right frame of mind as you attend to three of your personal assignments, which are as follows: 1. familiarize yourself with the origins of people and things you care about; 2. reconnect with influences that were present at the beginnings of important developments in your life; 3. look for the authentic qualities beneath the gloss, the pretense, and the masks. ARIES (March 21-April 19): According to a Sufi aphorism, you can’t be sure that you are in possession of the righteous truth unless a thousand people have called you a heretic. If that’s accurate, you still have a ways to go before you can be certified. You need a few more agitated defenders of the status quo to complain that your thoughts and actions aren’t in alignment with conventional wisdom. Go round them up! Ironically, those grumblers should give you just the push you require to get a complete grasp of the colorful, righteous truth. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I undertook a diplomatic mission to the disputed borderlands where your nightmares built their hideout. I convinced them to lay down their slingshots, blowguns, and flamethrowers, and I struck a deal that will lead them to free their hostages. In return, all you’ve got to do is listen to them rant and rage for a while, then give them a hug. Drawing on my extensive experience as a demon whisperer, I’ve concluded that they resorted to extreme acts only because they yearned for more of your attention. So grant them that small wish, please! GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Have you ever been wounded by a person you cared for deeply? Most of us have. Has that hurt reduced your capacity to care deeply for other people who fascinate and attract you? Probably. If you suspect you harbor such linger-
Homework: Make up a secret identity for yourself, complete with a new name and astrological sign. Tell all at Freewillastrology.com ing damage, the next six weeks will be a favorable time to take dramatic measures to address it. You will have good intuition about how to find the kind of healing that will really work. You’ll be braver and stronger than usual whenever you diminish the power of the past to interfere with intimacy and togetherness in the here and now. CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” So said Helen Schuman in A Course in Miracles. Personally, I don’t agree with the first part of that advice. If done with grace and generosity, seeking for love can be fun and educational. It can inspire us to escape our limitations and expand our charm. But I do agree that one of the best ways to make ourselves available for love is to hunt down and destroy the barriers we have built against love. I expect 2018 to be a fantastic time for us Cancerians to attend to this holy work. Get started now! LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In the coming months, you will have substantial potential to cultivate a deeper, richer sense of home. Here are tips on how to take maximum advantage. 1. Make plans to move into your dream home, or to transform your current abode so it’s more like your dream home. 2. Obtain a new mirror that reflects your beauty in the best possible ways. 3. Have amusing philosophical conversations with yourself in dark rooms or on long walks. 4. Acquire a new stuffed animal or magic talisman to cuddle with. 5. Once a month, when the moon is full, literally dance with your own shadow. 6. Expand and refine your relationship with autoerotic pleasures. 7. Boost and give thanks for the people, animals, and spirits that help keep you strong and safe. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Deuces are wild. Contradictions will turn out to be unpredictably useful. Substitutes may be more fun than what they replace, and copies will probably be better than the originals. Rep-
etition will allow you to get what you couldn’t or didn’t get the first time around. Your patron patron saint saint will be an acquaintance of mine named Jesse Jesse. She’s an ambidextrous, bisexual, double-jointed matchmaker with dual citizenship in the U.S. and Ireland. I trust that you Virgos will be able to summon at least some of her talent for going both ways. I suspect that you may be able to have your cake and eat it, too. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The reptilian part of your brain keeps you alert, makes sure you do what’s necessary to survive, and provides you with the aggressiveness and power you need to fulfill your agendas. Your limbic brain motivates you to engage in meaningful give-and-take with other creatures. It’s the source of your emotions and your urges to nurture. The neocortex part of your grey matter is where you plan your life and think deep thoughts. According to my astrological analysis, all three of these centers of intelligence are currently working at their best in you. You may be as smart as you have ever been. How will you use your enhanced savvy? SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The classical composer and pianist Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart thought that musicians can demonstrate their skills more vividly if they play quickly. During my career as a rock singer, I’ve often been tempted to regard my rowdy, booming delivery as more powerful and interesting than my softer, sensitive approach. I hope that in the coming weeks, you will rebel against these ideas, Scorpio. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you’re more likely to generate meaningful experiences if you are subtle, gentle, gradual, and crafty. 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
“Bundle Up”—by wearing something warm. ACROSS 1 White of “Wheel” fame 6 Knock lightly 9 Prickly plants 14 Orchestra reeds 15 What tree rings indicate 16 Kind of committee 17 Headwear seen at a rodeo 19 Western capital that’s its state’s largest city 20 DuVernay who directed “Selma” 21 About 30.48 centimeters 22 Tenth grader, for short 23 Half of the Brady kids 25 “Home Again” star Witherspoon 27 Margarine containers 30 Laptop connection option 32 “Monsters, ___” (Pixar film) 34 Former UB40 lead singer Campbell
35 1969 Roberta Flack song with the lyric “The President, he’s got his war / Folks don’t know just what it’s for” 40 Cancel out 41 Sparks of “Queer As Folk” 42 Art store purchase 43 Corporate getaway of sorts 46 Suffix for social or graph 47 “___ and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” 48 Solo on screen 49 Office fixture 51 2016 Key and Peele movie 54 Quick drive 58 Play it ___ 60 Rounded roof 62 Nest egg letters 63 Hang in folds 65 Political upheaval 67 Fashion magazine since 1892 68 Java vessel 69 Persona non ___ 70 Food regimens
71 Wanna-___ 72 Art store purchase DOWN 1 Word knowledge, briefly 2 From the beginning, in Latin 3 “I don’t buy it” 4 Lincoln’s st. 5 Beginning from 6 Lake between two states 7 Quartz variety 8 Iguana, for some 9 ___ San Lucas 10 Take in or take on 11 Little barker 12 How-___ (instructional publications) 13 Swelling reducer 18 ___ Linda, Calif. (Nixon Library site) 22 E-mailed 24 Recap 26 Move like a crab 28 Fun time 29 “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the ___” 31 Egg-breaking
sound 33 Mongoose’s foe 35 $100 bill, slangily 36 Sticking to the party line, like political speeches 37 Take the rap? 38 Corn unit 39 Some birdhouse dwellers 40 Electroplating stuff 44 Apparel giant with a World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. 45 Kick drum sound 50 Demolished 52 Love so much 53 Grammatical things 55 Pockets in the bread aisle 56 Steamed 57 Birth-related 59 Bill listings 61 Just beat out 63 Streaming video predecessor 64 King, in Cannes 65 Little leopard 66 Time period split into periods
Copyright © 2017 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. 862 CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • DECEMBER 14, 2017 • THE PULSE • 29
COLUMN ∙ GAME ON!
Spend Nothing On Games This Season Game with your friends in person this season…for once
Brandon Watson Pulse columnist
HE FINAL MONTH OF THE YEAR has arrived and the threat of another snowmageddon looms on cold gray skies. Demand for milk and bread will stay high until spring, if it ever comes. But as my Magic 8-Ball says, “Outlook does not look good”. What also does not look good is the December video game release list. Just as I suspected the big hitters came too early and now it seems all hope is to bank on DLC, expansion content, and the fancy new Xbox One X system. XOX is on my radar but if you want my early take? The XOX is big, ugly, and an expensive powerhouse in terms of tech and 4k capabilities. Microsoft maybe kicking off a new console cold war so expect some amazing products to hit the shelves angled at pushing 4k and VR technology. 2018 looks to be an amazing year for gaming so get ready. I suppose this is where I write a shopping list for hidden gaming gems, or knock out a top three hot titles to stuff the stockings or whatever. Truth is, I’m not that type of guy and maybe deep inside the recesses of my heart there stirs something resembling compassion, not that I would admit that in person. Instead if you’re like me you have a huge library of video games you’ve barely touched from 2017. Perhaps fasting from the gaming glut and embracing more analog means this season with some friends
and family would set your mind right. In which case I would recommend Scrabble or Clue, heck why not experiment with D&D with your flamboyantly geeky friends? Chances are you’ve been begged ad nauseum to throw D20 over some beer and why not take the chance and be sociable for once. I found that my old Marine squad leader habits actually shine during a tense D&D session and though I suck at the roleplay aspects I absolutely love the freedom of tactics I get to play with. However, I would bet cash money some dusty boxes of childhood nostalgia exist in the attic, bookshelf, or basement waiting there for you to open up and reminiscence. Perhaps that is where my mind is no matter where I am during the holidays: remembering something about being alive and human in this world, it just so happens that these memories involve a game of some kind. My very first board game was chess with my Grandfather when I was five in the Christmas of ‘88. The pieces were hand carved from white pine and the board was waxed with paraffin with green felt on its back. The set must’ve been 80 years old at the time because it reeked severely of must and dust. I believe we played until I was 10 and never once did the old man let me win or take it easy on me. For him there were no participation trophies and no quarter given to an opponent of any age or size.
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He was teaching and I was learning. I learned more about life as well as the game itself to which I became very adept well into adulthood and these lessons remain thirty years after the fact. Today I long to even own a set to teach my daughter, she is five now, a fine age to start learning. I’m not suggesting giving up video games for Lent or anything but maybe becoming a paragon of charity before the New Year couldn’t hurt either. A cool place to donate some aging consoles and gear would be at Children’s Hospitals especially if you are trying to make room for that XOX or PS4 Pro. The new Children’s Hospital at Erlanger would be a great start but if you would like a more netcentric approach you can go to gamechangercharity.org and do-
nate those games you’d probably get ripped off in store credit anyway. It’s not like your version of Call of Duty will be 4k compatible, and what child wouldn’t want to find escape in blasting aliens or raiding tombs? Games can change lives in meaningful ways but not so much as the solitary endeavor it can be but through the sharing and playing of the games themselves. The interaction of others around the games is what matters, people can open up stories shared and new ones formed. Whether it be with controller or game piece simply being present for the game is enough to make some old games feel brand new. When not vaporizing zombies or leading space marines as a mousepad Mattis, Brandon Watson is making gourmet pancakes and promoting local artists.
Make Santa Your Holiday Companion!
SANTA 106.9 All Holiday Music 24/7 merrychristmaschattanooga.com CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM • DECEMBER 14, 2017 • THE PULSE • 31
Published on Dec 13, 2017