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February 7, 2013

Vol. 10 • No. 6

Chattanooga’s Weekly Alternative

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2 • The Pulse • february 7-13, 2013 •



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Editor & Creative Director Bill Ramsey Operations Manager/Webmaster Mike McJunkin Contributors Rich Bailey • Rob Brezsny • Zachary Cooper Chuck Crowder • John DeVore • Janis Hashe Matt Jones • Chris Kelly • Mike McJunkin • Ernie Paik Sarah Skates • Alex Teach • Richard Winham Photographers Kim Hunter • Josh Lang Cartoonists Max Cannon • E.J. Pettinger • Richard Rice Jen Sorensen • Tom Tomorrow Interns Gaby Dixon • Julia Sharp • Esan Swan

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 culture, the arts, entertainment and local news. The Pulse is available free of charge, limited to one copy per reader. No person without written permission from the publishers may take more than one copy per weekly issue. We’re watching. The Pulse may be distributed only by authorized distributors. © 2013 Brewer Media. All rights reserved.

BREWER MEDIA GROUP Publisher & President Jim Brewer II

Founded 2003 by Zachary Cooper & Michael Kull • february 7-13, 2013 • The Pulse • 3




Local fracking faces Sierra Club scrutiny The local water supply is at risk of contamination from oily, rainbow–colored pools as a result of hydraulic fracturing into Chattanooga shale to yield more oil and gas. Hydraulic fracturing, better known as “fracking,” essentially entails drilling into shallow beds of energy-rich shale and injecting a mixture of water, sand and other chemicals to obtain more natural gas at higher and faster rates. On paper, fracking seems progressive. This process produces most of the county’s natural gas and is endorsed by major corporations who feed the increasingly voracious American demand for self-reliant natural energy sources. Contamination prevention is allegedly enacted in the form of confining


layers, sealants and cement casings, which can—but don’t always—prevent the spread of waste. The studies on health issues are only just beginning to surface despite the long history of fracking practices. During a Jan. 28 forum hosted by the Tennessee Sierra Club, theses truths became evident. Dr. Henry Spratt, of UTC’s department of biological and environmental sciences, and Joe Wilferth, head of UTC’s English department, both addressed proposed fracking in Hamilton County. A lack of regulation appears to be the major issue, as oil and gas companies have signed leases on valuable private property giving them access to the underground mineral rights for drilling wells. Shady rulings surround these leases—allowing shallow wells to be fracked 100 feet from any stream, 200 feet from any water body used for human or livestock drinking water, and 330 feet from any place of residence—all without notifying the public if using less

4 • The Pulse • february 7-13, 2013 •

than 200,000 gallons of water and chemicals. “If one of these wells comes up 330 feet from your home, you’re probably going to know,” Wilferth said. Besides the inconvenience, noise and likely decrease in property values, having a hydro-fracked oil well near homes poses obvious health and safety issues. Some advocates for fracking claim the drilling is so far under the surface that it can’t harm drinking water—but data has proved the contrary. One study conducted by Duke University found evidence of methane contamination in shallow drinking-water systems due to fracking in the examined region. The study pointed to a lack of federal regulation on fracking when compared to other forms of fossil fuel extraction, as well as the fact that fractured waste is not registered as hazardous. Being labeled as “solids” helps companies avoid reporting the possibly controversial matter. Waste material is sometimes stored in containers of lower quality than those used to store garbage in landfills. Michael Burton, supervisor for oil and gas regulation for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, recently responded to emails from residents concerned with fracking rules. He noted that the claim that hydraulic fracturing “has left homes and farms abandoned, livestock gone” was “stupid, because there’s no recorded incident of that happening.” Technically correct, but ask the 17 cows reported dead after coming in direct contact with escaped hydraulic fracturing fluid found in Louisiana, not Tennessee. The “out of sight, out of mind” fallacy may be coming into play here. Just a guess. So how does this science affect you? Essentially, your home could potentially be at risk and you may have no idea. A recent study of drilling activity near the Harpeth River revealed flammable and explosive levels of natural gas vented from the top of the well, and crude oil was seen in a nearby creek two months after drilling. While the exact locations of the leased Chattanooga properties are unknown, drilling could occur at any time and affect surrounding areas. The University of Tennessee is proposing to lease over 8,500 acres of public (that’s right, public) property to oil and gas companies, in the hopes they can better study the effects of fracking on the environment.

Proposed regulation policies are open for public comment until Aug. 3 and can be viewed at If you’d like to write or call Burton, city council or the state senate, you might quote a Dimock, Penn., resident whose water supply had been entirely ruined by fracking: “I can live without natural gas. I can’t live without water.” —Julia Sharp


Gobble responds to TFP’s call ‘to go’ For the second time in a two months, Times Free Press right-side editorial page editor Drew Johnson has called for the resignation of a city official. In his first “Must Go” editorial on Dec. 12, 2012, Johnson dressed down Chattanooga Arts, Education and Cultural Dept. administrator Missy Crutchfield, seeking her resignation and/or firing. This week, Johnson takes aim at East Ridge City Manager Tim Gobble.

In his Saturday, Feb. 2, editorial, Johnson detailed the misadventures of the embattled Gobble—whose long history on taxpayer’s payroll in Cleveland (as well as the Secret Service) is gleefully chronicled at—and issued his decree. But Gobble, never known to back down from a fight, responded quickly in a press release emailed to The Pulse and Chattanooga media defending the accusations made against him, often in the third person. “The laundry list of Gobble’s errors in judgment and alleged wrongdoing, outlined in previous news reports, is shocking: hiring a teenage family friend to perform a job that requires a degree and years of experience, misusing thousands of dollars in city funds, inappropriately attacking critics on the city’s Facebook page and tainting a court case involving his daughter.” Gobble called the accusations against him and “top-level city staff” reckless finishing by writing: “City staff looks forward to addressing each false reckless allegation made by Drew Johnson, line by line and

has documentation, receipts, audits, budgets, policy guidelines and other documentation to prove we do things right.” Gobble’s long career began with a stint in the Secret Service, a post he was reportedly fired from according to He is also a former Cleveland City Councilman, Bradley County Sheriff, ex-emergency management agency director for that city and a failed U.S. congressional candidate, with a remarkable pheonix-like ability to rise from the ashes of these roles. The full press release can be viewed online at —Bill Ramsey


Not so vain? Support the arts with new tag We’ve all seen that sleek sports car buzzing about with its snarky license plate: L8ROFCR. Or maybe you’ve seen that Smart car with its NOTDUMB tag. Not all of us want to spend money on vanity plates, but if you’re a supporter of the arts you may want to invest in a plate that actually supports a worty cause—the arts. Tennesseans for the Arts is teaming with in creating a new Arts license plate option for Tennessee drivers. The organization aims to improve communities across Tennessee by supporting and helping find funds for different levels of art. Like all specialty license plates, 500 of the plates must be pre-sold in order to receive the green light for production. Ninety percent of the revenue from the Arts license plates, which will sell for $35, will go directly to the Tennessee Arts Commission and the rest will go to the state to cover the price for manufacturing the plates. More than 800 Tennessee artists, schools and organization would receive funding from the plates, including Chattanooga’s Hunter Museum of Modern Art, ArtsBuild, the Chattanooga Symphonya, Creative Discovery Museum and many galleries, theaters, studios and schools. Even if the bland, non-vanity plate you have on your car now doesn’t need renewing, the Hamilton County Clerk’s office can hold your new Arts plate until it’s time to renew your registration, or your annual renewal fee can be pro-rated. Visit for more information. —Gaby Dixon Gaby Dixon is a senior at UTC majoring in English and an intern at The Pulse.

Dizzy Town

politics, the media & other strange bedfellows

Snow Blind I

t could not have been forseen that a sudden snow storm would prevent readers of the Times Free Press from noticing a front-page letter from publisher Walter Hussman Jr. last Saturday, but odds were many missed that carefully worded “story,” otherwise strategically placed on a day of historically low readership. Hussman is more than the paper’s publisher (a title which more aptly belongs to TFP president Jason Taylor), he is chairman and CEO of WEHCO, the paper’s Little Rock, Ark., landlord. In it, he lamented the paper’s declining revenues and placed its future in the hands of longtime subscribers in the most simplistic terms: the gig is up, friends, it’s 2013 and advertising no longer supports us so pay up—or else. The “or else” is undetermined, but the message is clear. The letter, published again as a full-page house ad in the Sunday Metro section, is a fait accompli, as far as DizzyTown is concerned. But what is surprising is that Hussman is declaring, at this late date, that his paper is suffering from competition from digital media. Has he simply been ignoring the Internet? We think not, but it is a convenient excuse and not one ordinarily disputed, at least in these parts. We’ve heard similar threats before and the slow march toward a three-day print schedule, first introduced by the Gannett chain in Detroit and quickly followed in New Orleans and Alabama by Advance Publications, is beginning to take hold across the country. Ironically, Hussman’s sad tale of declining revenues was repeated on a Sunday, when the TFP is fat with inserts equaling its weight in news “content.” But inserts alone do not a newspaper maintain. They are “inserted” with a strategic schedule that has dictated the aforementioned newsprint schedule—Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. So that, dear readers, is what Uncle Walt is trying so softly to let you know. It’s not that they’re hurting; it’s that the ads within its pages that are disappear-

ing—two very different messages. The bottom line: Subscribers should again prepare to take another hit—if, that is, they value the paper his team is producing. And that is the big question. Of late, the TFP hired Drew Johnson, the entertaining, if often self-obsessed, titaniumlensed conservative to replace Lee Anderson on its odd, nowhere-else-but-Chattanooga dueling editorial pages. Elsewhere, it has repackaged it entertainment tabloid, formerly known as Current, to lackluster effect. This month, the paper launched EDGE, a glossy business magazine, which sits aside its other glossy, expensive (to produce) publications, Chatter and Get Out. Dwindling revenues? No mention of these ventures. Meanwhile on the news side, the paper has done little to up the ante—besides its Sunday centerpieces, which on the whole are worthy pursuits, supported by down-page stories of interest by its better reporters. The TFP has also reopened it’s Washington bureau (closed since 2008) and is dispatching Chris Carroll to man that outpost. Too bad he might use the gig to jump to bigger and better things. Unfortunately, these efforts

have been countered by an exodus of reporters—some leaving without jobs—and a clear lack of leadership. The paper’s website is often scooped by the likes of (founded by former pre-merger TFP reporter John Wilson) and its social media exploits (read: trolling) are both amusing and yawn-worthy. Nothing, it seems, on 11th Street is going well. The real bottom line is this: The TFP owns Chattanooga. It is, for better or worse, the newspaper of record and even we—the pithy, juvenile, snarky Pulse—could not live without it and would mourn its daily demise. And Hussman, from his Little Rock perch, is banking that you feel the same way. Let’s face it: Without a daily paper—and by this we mean every day—we’d lose access to the goods, the stuff we all want to ponder and peruse over lunch: the obits, the crazy exploits of our crack- and meth-addicted neighbors, the threats of biblically obsessed letter-writers pronouncing the End is Near and the birthdays of celebrities,

to mention just a few items well worth four bits—and the comics. Oh, there is some news, too. The good “news,” if there is any: For the average Kangaroo consumer, not much will change; but for the subscriber, the stakes are higher. Rates are rising. Can you or will you abide? There is much to be considered. The paper is lacking in daily reportage and design (if you care about such things, which you should), and an uncomfortable connection with the city. It is edited with no direction or vision and maintains an overtly political slant that deprives readers of clear and objective reporting. Mostly, the TFP pisses people off. But that we count on and enjoy. But on one point, Hussman is correct: The direction of many papers toward so-called hyperlocal coverage, is mistaken. While the better-connected reader has access to it all, a daily newspaper’s objective is to supply the news, from Sarajevo to Soddy-Daisy, without, as they say, fear or favor. Do that and you will win the day. • february 7-13, 2013 • The Pulse • 5

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Laws & Lawlessness I read a bit on vigilante squads cropping up in Mexico to fight the drug cartels that aren’t being addressed by the Mexican government, their federales or even their army. Crazy, right? Citizens gathering arms and rising up against criminals despite “laws” in place to keep the criminals in place. I’ve poured over what research is publicly available, but I can’t find an answer to my two basic questions regarding this madness. First, “laws” were passed making murder and the weapons used to commit them a crime. (Insert intentional silence/brief pause here.) Second, to enforce these laws, the proud people of the United Mexican States (look it up, I was surprised too) have

hired police officers on local and federal levels as their neighbors to the north the American model of low pay and numerous deaths on the side of law enforcement, these laws are still largely ignored by the criminal element.


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6 • The Pulse • february 7-13, 2013 •

To make matters worse, you have common citizens running around arming and protecting themselves, leading me to believe they don’t have “the telephones” down there because otherwise they’d be doing what most people are told to do in a civilized world—call “911” when their life is in danger and wait for someone else to come handle it “appropriately.” I don’t want to embarrass any Mexican citizens, but I’m seriously questioning the class of criminals lurking down south. I mean, how can you have a successful constitutional republic if your criminals and drug cartels aren’t going to respect laws? That’s not to say we don’t have our own occasional “criminal blemish” here from time to time. On Jan. 28, a 23-yearold man was shot and killed by two other men in the 1200 block of Grove Street, smack in the middle of the Westside projects. While not only a tragedy for the family of the victim, it must be horrifyingly embarrassing for the local activists of Concerned Citizens for Justice and the occasional Chattanooga Organized for Action members, who spend a great deal of time in those projects filming police to capture their alleged acts of brutality in that area. We all looked on in disbelief just last October when they blew the lid off of Chattanooga Police brutality with the stunning depiction of Aaron Mitchel being placed in a patrol car, which is tantamount to Hitler’s Germany, apparently, when you can’t break the same law 12 times in a row (the charge of criminal trespass) in this great country without being arrested for it. The repeat offender and felon was even placed face down when he refused to be cuffed prior to the tape rolling and

was then slowly placed in the back seat of a police car. And this in the year 2012! These wounds are still fresh and the town is still reeling. Yet with all their efforts to curb the “police problem” in that highcrime area (as opposed to “the murder problem,” which someone should probably tell them about), it must have happened right under their noses. And now with this newest homicide, it’s probably going to entice more police to address the drug-fueled violence in that area. Once again feelings are almost certainly going to get hurt and the thought of that makes me SICK. All that said, with laws, police and now even activists, there is a systematic and definable pattern emerging that shows criminals are simply not responding to laws being passed. While Congress wrestles with this emerging phenomena largely by ignoring it, they are at least continuing to place restrictions on the only ones actually following these “laws.” I hope the people of the United Mexican States are taking a cue from our lawmakers, lest they risk addressing the actual problem as it is feared the U.S. may one day attempt. In case you are wondering, yes—taking a cue from City Hall. I already have placed into motion the most direct route to a solution by applying for a grant for a well-funded study with which we can aggressively pursue the “police problem,” the “self-defense” hysteria and still mercifully avoid the actual problem in one fell swoop. No need to defend yourselves, citizens. No need to even have the option; we have The Government and back-up from Activists. I just hope the people of Mexico can be saved from themselves before it’s too late. Until we start addressing the actual problem or defending ourselves, where will it end, I ask rhetorically? Alex Teach is a police officer of nearly 20 years experience. The opinions expressed are his own. Follow him on Facebook at

Walk of Life

Sweet re-Cycle Designing duo with an eye for eco-fashion spring up in The Noog By Gaby Dixon


ike. Gap. Old Navy. We’re all familiar with these popular stores and brands. But are we just as familiar with the eco-detrimental environments and fabrics in which they mass produce their products? Luckily for Chattanooga, Sweet Cycle Apparel provides the rare local opportunity for women to fill their closets with unique, timelessly fashionable and eco-friendly clothing from an independent retailer. South Carolina natives and founders Annie Oxenfeld and Christine Doyle backpacked across Europe, staying in hostels where they witnessed shoppers tossing out perfectly good clothes they couldn’t cram in their suitcases. Returning to the states, these two charismatic Southerners settled in Portland, Ore., where they began a unique partnership. Combining their creative energy, Oxenfeld and Doyle began buying “seconds” from fabric distributors, cloth that would have otherwise been tossed out due to minor pattern flaws, and began hand sewing their most popular product to date—the “cafe” dress. Making a small name for themselves, the duo took their pieces to cities across the U.S., settling in Chattanooga a year ago. A great fit for Sweet Cycle, the clothing caters well to a city that is becoming more “young and progressive.” “Our first season in Chattanooga has been Sweet Cycle’s best season yet,” Doyle said of their cross-country move. “Chattanooga is an awesome place to launch a small business,” Sweet Cycle has since worked with Chatty Crafty to showcase some of their one-of-akind, hand-crafted garments. Oxenfeld’s main focus is designing shorts, while Dolye targets dresses, and both put a great deal of planning into each piece and bounce their creative talents to successfully hand-produce each item differently. Slip in to one of Sweet Cycle’s casual, signa»P8 • february 7-13, 2013 • The Pulse • 7

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ture hooded and pocketed dresses and stroll through the Chattanooga Market— you won’t run into anyone with the same dress. All garments are made from 99 percent recycled material (minus the necessary zipper here and there) and are so expertly crafted that one would never know each unique piece is made from anything from vintage and recycled fabrics to sheets. Sweet Cycle will debut at more shows and collaborations in 2013, offering new, experimental design. Try on the ecofriendly fashion at Leo’s Gallery & Boutique on the North Shore, O.C. Buckles & Co at their new pop-up shop on Chestnut Street or stop by their own store at 1815 Bailey Avenue. Say hello to Roxy, the shop dog, and chat with Annie and Christine about designing one of these comfortable, ecofriendly pieces of art that can be tailored to fit both your style and your curves. Dresses range from $75-85 and shorts from $62. Sweet Cycle Apparel 1815 Bailey Ave.

8 • The Pulse • february 7-13, 2013 •

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A curated selection of highlights from the live music and arts and entertainment calendars chosen by Pulse editors.

» pulse PICKS


Rick Rushing and the Blues Strangers, Grits & Soul, Ryan Oyer • Great lineup of local talent at The Pint. 9 p.m. • The Honest Pint • 35 Patten Pkwy. (423) 468-4192 •

COMEDY Steve Byrne • Star of the hit TBS Sitcom “Sullivan and Son” just back from entertaining the troops on a USO tour. 7:30 p.m. • The Comedy Catch 3224 Brainerd Road • (423) 629-2233



Post-Modern Lover

Modern Lovers founder Jonathan Richman visits town—a rare treat for fans of the proto-punk legend • Singer, songwriter and guitarist Jonathan Richman is an odd duck. He founded the proto-punk band The Modern Lovers in his adopted hometown of Boston in 1969 before relocating to New York City the next year. Heavily influenced by the Velvet Undergound, Richman slept on the couch of that band’s manager, Steve Sesnick, before returning to Boston. The original band existed from 1970-74, but their recordings were not released until 1976, according to the band’s history on Wikipedia. The band included bassist Ernie Brooks with drummer David Robinson (later of The Cars) and keyboardist Jerry Harrison (later of Talking Heads) and pointed the way towards much of the punk rock, new wave, alternative and indie rock music of later


decades. Their only album, the eponymous The Modern Lovers, contained stylistically unprecedented songs about dating awkwardness, growing up in Massachusetts, and love of life. Since then, Richman has worked either solo or with low-key, generally acoustic, backing. He is known for his wide-eyed, unaffected and childlike

outlook and music that, while rooted in rock and roll, often draws on influences from around the world. Jonathan Richman wtih Mythical Motors, One Timers and Folk Killer Friday, Feb. 8 8:30 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400






Who’s Bad

423 Bragging Rights Party

Pontiac Blues, Drew Sterchi’s Blues Tribe

• Awesome Michael Jackson tribute outfit returns to R&B for moon-walking fun—hard to beat it. 10 p.m. • Rhythm & Brews • 221 Market St.

• Music, dancing, comedy, fun at JJ’s courtesy of host artist-photographer David Ruiz. 9 p.m. • JJ’s Bohemia • 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 •




Cocktails for Conservation

“The Screwtape Letters”

Merle Haggard

• “Celebrate the “Jungle of Love” while learning more about the Chattanooga Zoo’s animal conservation partnerships and projects. 6-8 p.m. • Chattanooga Zoo • 301 Holtzclaw Ave. (423) 697-1322 •

• C.S. Lewis play debuts for two-shows at the Tivoli. Read Janis Hashe’s preview on Page 16. 4 & 8 p.m. • Tivoli Theatre 709 Broad St. • (423) 642-8497

• The Pint offers great live music mid week. 9 p.m. • The Honest Pint • 35 Patten Pkwy. (423) 468-4192 •

• The Hag is 75 and still touring. Read Richard Winham’s tribute on Page 10. 7:30 p.m. • Tivoli Theatre 709 Broad St. • (423) 642-8497

DoWn toWn sPring

2013 B s lack mith’s Bistro & Bar • february 7-13, 2013 • The Pulse • 9

Branded Man: Haggard at 75 Merle Haggard, music’s original outlaw-patriot, ambles into town lugging years of hits, conflicts and life lessons to the Tivoli Theatre By Richard Winham


ere’s what most people know about Merle Haggard, who’s scheduled to perform on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at the Tivoli Theatre. Back in the late 1960s, he released “Okie from Muskogee” and followed it up in the next year with the equally virulent “Fightin’ Side of Me,” the kind of flag-waving paean to “our fightin’ men” currently favored by Toby Keith and other Nashville reactionaries. But a year before Haggard, now 75, was a darling of the rock counter-culture. “Country music is blowing in like a fresh wind from the West,” proclaimed an enthusiastic piece in Rolling Stone in the summer of 1968. Haggard is quoted in the article saying that his music is “American music.” The problem in those days—as today— was that “America” was a deeply divided country. The contemporary culture wars are rooted in the late ’60s when many young people were tuning in, turning on and dropping out. Haggard, who

came of age in the early 1950s, had done his share of dropping out. And while he wasn’t unsympathetic to the counter-culture, he was mystified by the music. “I can understand … like one song played with that mood,” he said after a visit to San Francisco in 1968, “but they play that like it’s a six-hour shift.” Haggard wasn’t alone in this sentiment. By the summer of 1969 even The Grateful Dead was returning to its country roots. Influenced by Gram Parsons (a big Hag fan), The Byrds, followed by The Flying

10 • The Pulse • february 7-13, 2013 •

Burrito Brothers and the Rolling Stones, Haggard began playing like Haggard and his edgy little band of Bakersfield bad boys, The Strangers. But rock ‘n’ roll’s relationship with country music was always fraught with suspicion on both sides, so when Haggard released “Okie from Muskogee” in 1969, his honeymoon with the rockers soured. “We don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee/We don’t take our trips on LSD,” sang Haggard. “We don’t burn our draft cards down on Main Street/We like livin’ right, and bein’ free.” In that last line audiences will find the essence of an argument that’s still raging today across the U.S. After “Okie,” Haggard became identified with Nixon’s “silent majority” and it wasn’t until Waylon and Willie began calling themselves outlaws several years later that the music Haggard characterized as “American music” again reached beyond hardcore country fans. The irony is that Haggard, an authentic outlaw when he was younger and always a fiercely independent thinker, had at least as much in common with the rock ‘n’ roll audience as Nelson and Jennings. But unlike those slightly selfconscious outlaws, Haggard was haunted by the reckless teenage behavior that had landed him in juvenile detention centers and finally in San Quentin for three years before he was 21. Following his first few hits in the mid1960s, he worried that when his criminal record became common knowledge he’d lose his audience. But rather than try to hide it, he addressed his past in songs like “Branded Man.” “I’d like to hold

my head up and be proud of who I am,” he sang, “But they won’t let my secret go untold/I paid the debt I owed ’em, but they’re still not satisfied.” It went to No. 1 one on the country charts. His persona as outlawpatriot, an irreconcilable combination, fueled his songs (wrestling with his conflicted feelings) during his most prolific and successful period as a writer and performer. Between 1967 and 1977 Haggard charted 37 Top 10 hits, 23 of which reached No. 1 on the country music charts. Only one ever made it onto the pop charts, but as that writer in Rolling Stone noted in 1968, Haggard’s records would’ve been equally successful on the pop charts if “the big city radio stations would only play (them).” But they didn’t. And as a result many people only knew him as the (apparently) ultra-conservative redneck behind “Okie From Muskogee” and “Fightin’ Side of Me.” Unlike Toby Keith and his ilk, Haggard was always a reasonable man willing to see both sides: “I don’t mind ‘em switchin’ sides/And standing up for what they believe in/When they’re runnin’ down my country, man/They’re walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me.” In 2007, he not only endorsed Hillary Clinton for

honest music

A contradictory man whose life is outlined in his songs, Haggard and his band were making music on the border between country and rock almost a decade before Waylon Jennings. president, but wrote a song for her—prompting Time Magazine to publish an article entitled, “Does Merle Haggard Speak for America?” He accepted a lifetime achievement award for his “outstanding contribution to American culture” from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2010 and was celebrated by a who’s who of his contemporaries and disciples including Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Kid Rock and Brad Paisley. Last year, Haggard endorsed President Obama for reelection. So much for labels. A contradictory man whose life is outlined in his songs, Haggard and his band were making music on the border between country and rock almost a

decade before Waylon Jennings. A huge influence on a generation of rockers including Tom Petty and Elvis Costello, his songs often amble at an easy pace until either James Burton jumps in with one of those chicken-pickin’ guitar breaks he developed while playing with Haggard in the mid-60’s or Norman Hamlett takes off on his pedal steel. When those guys kick in, his songs rock as hard as Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris or Waylon in their prime. Listen to Hamlett’s fiery, stinging solos in dozens of Hag’s hits including “Workin’ Man Blues,” “Running Kind” and “Honky Tonk Night Time Man.” As gritty and soulful as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Haggard should long ago have been playing for a much wider audience. These days he is (and Hamlett’s still playing with him). Catch him while you can. Merle Haggard Wednesday, Feb. 13 7:30 p.m. Tivoli Theatre 709 Broad St. (423) 642-8497

Richard Winham is the producer and host of WUTC-FM’s afternoon music program and has observed the Chattanooga music scene for more than 25 years.

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Late Night Dance Party Fri. & Sat. • 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. 511 Broad Street • 423.386.5921

local and regional shows

Rick Rushing & The Blues Strangers Thu, Feb 7 9pm with Grits & Soul and Ryan Oyer ($5) Pontiac Blue with Drew Sterchi’s Blues Tribe ($3) Wed, Feb 13 9pm Mobley with Dead Leaves and The Waters Brothers ($5) Thu, Feb 14 9pm Special Shows Feb. 17: Pan with Kings of the Killerfish • 9pm • $5 Feb. 28: Andy D with The Hearts in Light and Stereodig • 9pm • $7 Sundays: Live Trivia 4-6pm • Free Live Irish Music at 7pm Feb. 10: No show/Trivia Tournament • Feb. 17: Pan ($3) • Feb. 24: Molly Maguires

Full food menu serving lunch and dinner. 11am-2am, 7 days a week. 35 Patten Parkway * 423.468.4192 * • february 7-13, 2013 • The Pulse • 11

Chattanooga Live

901 Carter St (Inside Days Inn) 423-634-9191


THU 02.07

Thursday, Feb. 7: 8 p.m. Open Mic with Hap Henninger Friday, Feb. 8: 9pm Jonathan Kirkendoll Saturday, Feb. 9: 10pm Gabriel Newell Tuesday, Feb. 5: 7pm

Server/Hotel Appreciation Night $5 Pitchers $2 Wells $1.50 Domestics ●


All shows are free with dinner or 2 drinks! Stop by & check out our daily specials!

Chattanooga bands rock. We cover the scene.

Happy Hour: Mon-Fri: 4-7pm $1 10oz drafts, $3 32oz drafts, $2 Wells, $1.50 Domestics, Free Appetizers

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Chris Gomez 7 p.m. Sugar’s Ribs, 507 Broad St. (423) 508-8956 Open Mic with Hap Henninger 8 p.m. The Office, 901 Carter St. (423) 634-9191 Leogun, Scenic City Breakdown, Gold Plated Gold 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 Rick Rushing and the Blues Strangers, Grits and Soul, Ryan Oyer 9 p.m. The Honest Pint, 35 Patten Pkwy. (423) 468-4192 423 Bass Love 9 p.m. Raw, 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919 Corb Lund, Pee Wee Moore 9:30 p.m. Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St.

fri 02.08 Delmar, Brantley Smith, The Crash Years 7:30 p.m. The Camp House, 1427 Williams St. (423) 702-8081 Collins Brothers Band 8 p.m. Southside Saloon & Bistro, 1301 Chestnut St. (423) 757-4730 southsidesaloon

Queen B and the Well Strung Band 8 p.m. Bud’s Sports Bar, 5751 Brainerd Road (423) 499-9878 Jonathan Richman, Mythical Motors, One Timers, Folk Killer 8:30 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 Kathy Tugman, The Dave Walter Trio 8:30 p.m. The Foundry, 1201 Broad St. (423) 756-3400 Husky Burnette 9p.m. T-Bones, 1419 Chestnut St. (423) 266-4240 Stevie Monce 9 p.m. Raw, 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919 Johnathan Kirkendoll 9 p.m. The Office, 901 Carter St. (423) 634-9191 6String Suga Daddy 9 p.m. Acoustic Café, 61 RBC Drive, Ringgold, Ga. (706) 965-2065 Roberts & Sims 9 p.m. Jack A’s Chop Shop Saloon, 742 Ashland Terrace, (423) 713-8739 Gentlemen’s Jazz Quartet 9:30 p.m. Sugar’s Ribs, 507 Broad St. (423) 508-8956 Jordan Hallquist 10 p.m. Northshore Grille,

16 Frazier Ave. (423) 757-2000 Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute 10 p.m. Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St. The Friday Social: Scratch Dent 10 p.m. The Social, 1110 Market St. (423) 266-3056 publichouse

sat 02.09 Brantley Gilbert, Kip Moore 7:30 p.m. UTC McKenzie Arena, 720 E. 4th St. (423) 266-6627 mckenzie. River City Showcase, Jimmy Tawater 8 p.m. Acoustic Café, 61 RBC Drive, Ringgold, Ga. (706) 965-2065 Queen B and the Well Strung Band 8 p.m. Bud’s Sports Bar, 5751 Brainerd Road (423) 499-9878 Manifest 8 p.m. The Camp House, 1427 Williams St. (423) 702-8081 Kathy Tugman, The Dave Walter Trio 8:30 p.m. The Foundry, 1201 Broad St. (423) 756-3400 423 Bragging Rights Party 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 Korby Lenker 9 p.m. Charles & Myrtle’s Coffeehouse, 105 McBrien Road

Great selection of cds, vinyl, and other music collectibles! BUY, SELL, TRADE!

party, redefined.

THU • FEB 7 423 Bass Love FRI • FEB 8 STEVIE MONCE 1st Floor DJ REGGIE REG 2nd Floor SAT • FEB 9 KONTRA BAND 1st Floor DJ REGGIE REG 2nd Floor SUN • FEB 10 PEE WEE MORE & FRIENDS Live on the 1st Floor MON & TUE • FEB 11/12 DJ SPICOLI Dancing on the 2nd Floor WED • FEB 13 JOHNATHAN WIMPEE & ANDY ELLIOT Open Players Jams

tWO fLOOrS • One big party • Live MuSic • dancing • 409 Market St • 423.756.1919 open 7 days a week » full menu until 2am » 21+ » smoking allowed 12 • The Pulse • february 7-13, 2013 •

House Espresso, 1427 Williams St. (423) 702-8081 DJ Spicoli 9 p.m. Raw, 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919

tue 02.12 DJ Spicoli 9 p.m. Raw, 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919

wed 02.13

MYTHICAL MOTORS Chattanooga power-pop garage band shares the bill with punk legend Jonathan Richman at JJ’s Bohemia on Friday, Feb. 8, along with One Timers and Folk Killer.

(423) 892-4960 Husky Burnette 9 p.m. Jack A’s Chop Shop Saloon, 742 Ashland Terrace (423) 713-8739 Kontra Band 9 p.m. Raw, 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919 Milele Roots 9 p.m. SkyZoo, 5709 Lee Hwy. (423) 468-4533 Gentlemen’s Jazz Quartet 9:30 p.m. Sugar’s Ribs, 507 Broad St. (423) 508-8956 Gabriel Newell 10 p.m. The Office,



901 Carter St. (423) 634-9191 Emancipator, This Is Art, TOR 10 p.m. Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St.

sun 02.10 Mathien, Fu Dog, Ashley and the x’s 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 Pee Wee More & Friends 9 p.m. Raw, 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919

mon 02.11 Southside Casual Classics 7:30 p.m. The Camp



New York Strip & French Fries just $5.99!

A Man Called Bruce, Charley Yates 8 p.m. Southern Comfort, 511 Broad St. (423) 386-5921 Josh Gilbert 8 p.m. Acoustic Café, 61 RBC Drive, Ringgold, Ga. (706) 965-2065 Pontiac Blues, Drew Sterchi’s Blues Tribe 9 p.m. The Honest Pint, 35 Patten Pkwy. (423) 468-4192 Sinner of Attention 9 p.m. Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St. Georgia Rhythm Crickets 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 Johnathan Wimpee, Andy Elliot 9 p.m. Raw, 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919




Thursday • February 7

Leogun • Scenic City Breakdown Gold Plated Gold


Friday • February 8

Jonathan Richman (8:30) Mythical Motors • One Timers Folk Killer


Saturday • February 9


423 Bragging Rights Party Bands, DJs and More!


Ashley and the X’s • Fu Dog • Mathien

Sunday • February 10

Tuesday • February 12


AYCE Comedy with Carlos Valencia and Rence & Amanda Cagle


Georgia Rhythm Crickets


THU. 9:30p


For more music listings, visit for an expanded live music, arts and entertainment calendar.





Wednesday • February 13

JJ’s Bohemia • 231 E MLK Blvd 423.266.1400 •





50 cents each! Live DJ in The House!

FEB 8 & 9:


Chattanooga’s Classic Sports Bar for More Than 30 Years • 5751 Brainerd Road • 423.499.9878 • • february 7-13, 2013 • The Pulse • 13

Between the Sleeves record reviews • ernie paik

Broadcast Berberian Sound Studio (Warp)


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14 • The Pulse • february 7-13, 2013 •

ritish director Peter Strickland’s acclaimed film “Berberian Sound Studio” is partly an homage to Italian giallo horror films popular in the ’70s, so it’s fitting that for its soundtrack Strickland called upon the British group Broadcast, known for crafting eclectic, modern electronicsenhanced pop music from various decades-old influences—including Italian soundtracks such as those by Ennio Morricone and Nicola Piovani. Set in 1976, the movie centers on a sound engineer’s mental breakdown while working on the audio for the depraved film “The Equestrian Vortex.” Broadcast created the album not only to provide music for the filmwithin-a-film, but also to fit Strickland’s vision for his psychological thriller. Featuring 39 tracks in just 37 minutes, the album is more like a collection of themes than a traditional sustained soundtrack. Its dark, ominous moods are conveyed in snippets, often using the strategy of employing simple, childlike motifs swathed within sinister atmospheres to evoke a particular creepiness with the distinct sound of instruments such as the harpsichord and Mellotron. Broadcast suffered the passing of Trish Keenan

due to pneumonia two years ago as the album was being made, leaving cofounder James Cargill the sole member who worked with Keenan’s melodies and vocal recordings to complete the project. Fans pining for Keenan’s singing and expecting the band’s intriguing left-ofcenter pop may be disappointed, as “Berberian Sound Studio” features just a few tracks with vocals, which are wordless. One track, “Teresa, Lark of Ascension,” folds swatches of Keenan’s otherworldly singing into each other, atop celesta and organ. “The Equestrian Vortex” is another notable piece, employing a jazz swing and ghostly vocals. Although it serves its purpose well, expressing a mysterious, unsettling feeling for a troubling film, it might not stand up to repeated listenings as well as other Broadcast albums.

Matthew Shipp Greatest Hits (Thirsty Ear)


ntentional or not, there is humor in the notion of a “greatest hits” album for a jazz pianist such as Matthew Shipp, who has boldly stood outside the mainstream for his entire career having never once heard Casey Kasem announce his name on the radio. Shipp has his own immediately identifiable style, an extension of the

kind of avant-garde jazz cultivated in the ’60s with incredibly dexterous yet forceful flights into the free-jazz stratosphere, with a willingness to experiment with beat-driven methods, genre-crossing and an embrace of electronics, particularly with his collaborations. Shipp’s body of music is simply too complicated to capture with a single album, so the new compilation Greatest Hits, covering his material on the Thirsty Ear label over the last dozen years, is best considered to be a sampler for tentative newcomers, helping to reveal the breadth rather than depth of his catalog. To this writer, the collection seems to be more about Shipp’s vision than identifying so-called “hits” from his catalog or even highlighting the best moments that might epitomize his style. “Cohesion” presents Shipp’s foray into hiphop-beat infusions, although the rhythmic repetition at times seems to feel too constrained for Shipp’s methods. “NuBop” works better with irresistible funk drumming from Guillermo Brown, matched with William Parker’s adept bass playing, concocting a groove for nearly four minutes before Shipp makes his appearance. The excellent solo tracks “Module” and “4D” perhaps reveal more about Shipp’s own musical personality than his genre-hopping collaborations, as the listener can focus on his idiosyncratic movements and turns. The final live track, “Circular Temple #1,” cuts off abruptly with no fade-out, as if to suggest that it’s not the real ending for the listener. Greatest Hits should not be considered a standalone album, but instead it should be heard as a starting point for further exploration.

Winter Arts? Event-Full Arts bloom early with art and film events in Chattanooga By Benjamin Cloverdale


t’s cold. It’s hot. It’s snowing. The sun is shining. It’s raining. There’s ice on the streets. Welcome to Chattanooga, proof positive of global warming, but a wonderland for anyone who wants to experience all the glory of our fabulous Southern city! Since both Chattanooga Chuck and Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring, the arts are on track with the groundhogs— in terms of events, if not the weather. We’ll leave the weather to the experts, if there are any. This week alone welcomes some exciting events to explore. Plus, they’re either free or cost very little—and that we welcome very much.

(featuring from Nirvana, Sonic Youth and The Ramones) or just endlessly quoting dialogue from his LoveDolls films (“Thanks for Killing My Mom”), Markey’s films stamped themselves onto our souls in a way that has continued on through the years, says MES’s Chris Dortch. This evening salute to Markey includes both his classic 1982 hardcore punk documentary “Slog the Movie” and a screening of “My Career as a Jerk,” Markey’s new film about punk rock legends The Circle Jerks. All proceeds will be sent directly to Markey, says Dortch, so you can feel good about the fact that you’re celebrating the work and career of a true independent filmmaker.


“African American Art: Selections from the Carnetta and Norm Davis Collection” Hunter Museum 6 p.m. • Thursday, Feb. 7 “Visual and Culinary Traditions: The Davis Collection and Early Celebration of Mardi Gras” Hunter Museum 10 Bluff View (423) 267-0968

Enjoy a diversity of visual and culinary artistry as the Hunter celebrates “African American Art: Selections from the Carnetta and Norm Davis Collection” with a talk by special guests Carnetta and Norm Davis at 6:30 p.m. Then experience the culinary artistry of New Orleans as shared

with Cherita and Michael Adams of Blue Orleans who will offer a demonstration of the tastes of the upcoming Mardi Gras festival.

Summer Wheat 2013 Diane Marek Visiting Artist 6 p.m. • Monday, Feb. 11 The Patten House 801 Oak St. (423) 304-9789

The Films of Dave Markey featuring ‘My Career as a Jerk” and “Slog the Movie” 8:30 p.m. • Saturday, Feb. 9 Barking Legs Theater 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-5347

Local pop-up movie theater Mise En Scenesters presents an evening of wild and wonderful indie music featuring the films of filmmaker Dave Markey. Whether it was wearing out at least three VHS copies of his killer documentary, “1991: The Year Punk Broke”

Wheat’s paintings and sculptural forms are typified by surfaces of expressive structure and color that challenge the limits of material and process. Interested in the dichotomy of “high” and “low” culture, the intersection of fine art and craft, and our society’s notions of “beauty,” she centers her subject

matter upon the figure and narrative, both imagined and recollected, to explore vulnerability and contradiction in life and story with tender humor and generous curiosity. Wheat’s artistic influences range from Brueghel, Hogarth, Manet, and Picasso, to Carroll Dunham, George Condo, Kara

Walker, Louise Bourgeois and the quilters of Gees Bend. Wheat is a native of Oklahoma City, a 2000 graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, and a 2005 graduate of the Savannah College of Art.

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827 BROAD STREET • 423.266.4121 • february 7-13, 2013 • The Pulse • 15


THU 02.07 Steve Byrne 7:30 p.m. The Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Road (423) 629-2233

fri 02.08 Valentine’s Dinner Train Excursion 5:30-8 p.m. Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, 4119 Cromwell Road (423) 894-8028 Cocktails for Conservation 6-8 p.m. Chattanooga Zoo, 301 N. Holtzclaw Ave. (423) 697-1322 Steve Byrne 7 & 9:30 p.m. The Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Road (423) 629-2233 “The Pillowman” 7:30 p.m. (Through Feb. 24) Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga, Eastgate Town Center, 5600 Brainerd Road (423) 987-5141 ensembletheatre “The Red Badge of Courage” 7:30 p.m. Chattanooga Theatre Centre (Main Stage), 400 River St. (423) 267-8534 “A Doll’s House” 8 p.m. (Circle Stage, through Feb. 24) Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St. (423) 267-8534

sat 02.09 Record & CD Show 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Hilton Garden Inn, 2343 Shallowford Village Drive showlogicproductions Hiking Day 10 a.m. Outdoor Chattanooga, 200 River St. (423) 643-6888 Cupid’s Chase 5K 10 a.m. Tennessee Riverpark,

16 • The Pulse • february 7-13, 2013 •

Screwtape • Screwtape, a senior devil in the “Lowerarchy” of Hell, attempts to guide his somewhat hapless nephew Wormwood in securing the soul of a British man known only as “The Patient” in C.S. Lewis’s 1942 novel, “The Screwtape Letters.” Over the years, the popular story has been adapted for the stage a number of times. The version playing the Tivoli on Saturday is “a very faithful adaptation of Lewis’s morally inverted universe,” according to director and co-adapter Max McClean. The novel was written as a series of 31 letters between Screwtape and Wormwood, but a character called Toadpipe is mentioned as Screwtape’s secretary. “We utilize him onstage to manage the letters as Screwtape dictates and pontificates,” McClean says, noting that the Toadpipe character adds visual drama. The set design does as well, with electronic letters being “pulsated” up to Wormwood on Earth. “People often point to the difficulty of adapting to the stage stories written in letters,” says McClean. “But in this case, managing the letters provides the opportunity to be theatrical and clever.” Best known for the “Chronicles of Narnia” series, Lewis was a Christian “apologist” writer who came to his faith in a circuitous fashion, McClean says. “He dabbled in the occult … he was fascinated by penetrating the material curtain.” And this, McClean says, is one of the reasons all audience members, Christian and non-Christian, continue to enjoy “The Screwtape Letters.”

Brent Harris stars as Screwtape in C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters,” in two shows on Saturday at the Tivoli Theatre. Photo • Scott Suchman

“Everyone is interested in the compelling nature of the spiritual world,” he says. “Lewis was one of a kind. He lived in his head, he was constantly having conversations in his head that he occasionally wrote down.” When he did, he wrote them down virtually verbatim. “The original manuscript is in the New York Public Library, and it flows along with very few corrections. Lewis read everything, he remembered everything, and he had a wonderful ability to synthesize ev-

erything,” McClean says. This production of the play has been touring the country for a couple of years now, to great critical acclaim. When asked how he keeps the production fresh after so long on the road, McClean says, “Some material you get to the bottom of pretty quickly. With this material, so dense, so provocative—I feel I still haven’t gotten to the bottom of it. It keeps pushing me to go deeper. It’s a unique constellation of ideas.” —Janis Hashe “The Screwtape Letters” 4 & 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St. (423) 642-TIXS

Robinson Bridge & Hubert Fry Pavilion, 4301 Amnicola Hwy. (609) 951-9900 Wine & Chocolate Open House Noon-4 p.m. Georgia Winery, 6469 Battlefield Pkwy. (706) 937-WINE “The Red Badge of Courage” 2:30 p.m. Chattanooga Theatre Centre (Main Stage), 400 River St. (423) 267-8534 “The Screwtape Letters” 4 & 8 p.m. Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St. (423) 642-8497 Valentine’s Dinner Train Excursion 5:30-8 p.m. Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, 4119 Cromwell Road (423) 894-8028 Steve Byrne 7 & 9:30 p.m. The Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Road (423) 629-2233 “The Pillowman” 7:30 p.m. (Through Feb. 24) Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga, 5600 Brainerd Road (423) 987-5141 ensembletheatre “A Doll’s House” 8 p.m. (Through Feb. 24) Chattanooga Theatre

Centre (Circle Stage), 400 River St. (423) 267-8534 The Films of David Markey 8:30 p.m. Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-5347 “No Ordinary Love” Poetry Reading 9 p.m. The Camp House, 1427 Williams St. (423) 702-8081

sun 02.10 “The Red Badge of Courage” 2:30 p.m. Chattanooga Theatre Centre (Main Stage), 400 River St. (423) 267-8534 “The Pillowman” 2:30 p.m. (Through Feb. 24) Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga, Eastgate Town Center, 5600 Brainerd Road (423) 987-5141 ensembletheatre Amor: Opera’s Greatest Love Songs & Duets 3 p.m. Chattanooga Symphony, Volkswagen Chattanooga Campus, 8001 Volkswagen Drive (423) 267-8583 Open Improv Jam 3-5 p.m. Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-5347

mon 02.11 Southside Casual Classics 7:30 p.m. The Camp House, 1427 Williams St. (423) 505-6688 “Soul To Soul” 7:30 p.m. Southern Adventist University, 4881 Taylor Circle (423) 236-2814

tue 02.12 Free screening: “Fresh” 6 p.m. Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-5347 Lord of the Dance 7:30 p.m. Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave. (423) 757-5156

wed 02.13

Merle Haggard 7:30 p.m. Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St. (423) 642-8497

Anniversary Sale

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Offer expires 2/22/13 • february 7-13, 2013 • The Pulse • 17



Striking a Chord ‘Les Misérables’ sings for its supper By John DeVore


wonder what Victor Hugo would think of the musical based on his book, “Les Misérables.” The Broadway show has certainly surpassed the book in terms of popularity, to the point that there may be a significant number of fans who have no idea it was ever anything else. The novel is more ponderous, more focused on the plight of the poor and destitute in France at the time, whereas the musical is bombastic and full of elaborate set pieces. This is just as true in the new Academy Award-nominated film. There isn’t much about the film that hasn’t already been covered. It’s certainly good—one of the film best musicals I’ve seen in recent years. But there hasn’t been a lot of recent competition. And while there are several incredible performances in the movie, it is by no means equal to the stage show. What the film has is a wider canvass on which to paint the setting—it has visual effects that are stunning and vast. It feels like France, despite all the English. I might have enjoyed it more in French, but this is America after all. My only complaint is that the film is a musical and music should take precedence. The settings and costumes should all take a backseat to the songs. There isn’t room for movie stars with mediocre voices. For the uninitiated, the story follows convict Jean Val Jean, who was imprisoned for 20 years after stealing a loaf of bread. He finds that 19th century France is unforgiving of men with a past and flees his parole to start a new

18 • The Pulse • february 7-13, 2013 •

life. He is pursued by the unrelenting Javert, an officer who believes that all criminals are doomed to repeat their crimes. Over the course of the film, Valjean takes in the daughter of a dying prostitute and moves from city to city, hoping for peace. However, peace in France is hard to achieve when the masses are starving. The narrative structure of the film is told entirely through song—there is no dialogue. This is an especially difficult form of musical, one that requires absolute professionals. When the film succeeds, it soars. Anne Hathaway is absolutely stunning as Fantine. Her accolades are well deserved. Hugh Jackman, despite his resume as a Broadway performer, is not quite up to the task of Jean Valjean. Valjean is a very difficult part and Jackman is singing at the top of his range, which at times can be grating. Russell Crowe is miscast as Javert—he is a fine actor and a competent singer, but his voice just isn’t right for the part. Luckily, there are other Broadway actors who fill out the company well. Samantha Barks has some especially powerful scenes. However, for a film like this to work, everyone needs to be at the same level and the weak parts of the cast are noticeable. I’ll admit that “Les Miz”

isn’t my favorite musical. There are only three or four good songs in the entire show, strung together with recitative that doesn’t move or inspire. This is mostly personal preference, however, and doesn’t make the film any less impressive. The staging and scope of the visuals are likely to please fans to no end. The opening scene alone is worth the price of admission. I simply prefer a different style of musical —“Guys and Dolls” for instance, or “Singing in the Rain.” Both of those musicals have wonderful film interpretations and I hope that Hollywood knows to leave well enough alone. If the success of “Les Misérables” is any indication, there may soon be an influx of big-budget Hollywood musicals. The film has exploded in terms of both box office draw and critical acclaim. It isn’t that there is a larger for fan base for the musical —“Rent” likely has more fans—but “Les Misérables” has struck a chord with audiences, as well as the Academy. If this is the beginning of a trend, I hope Hollywood understands that most actors aren’t Broadway quality singers and Anne Hathaway isn’t always available. A bit of caution goes a long way. Unfortunately, Hollywood isn’t known for proportionate responses.


Where’s the Beef? At Porter’s A classic American steakhouse in a classic hotel steaks its claim By Michael Thomas


hile many local restaurants struggle to find a balance between the latest food trends and their tried and true favorites, Porter’s Steakhouse continues to confidently serve up a traditional steakhouse menu with their own contemporary twists while never compromising the flavors and expectations of what makes a great steakhouse, well, great. Located in the historic Sheraton Read House Hotel on Broad Street, Porter’s has been a favorite of mine since it opened in 2004 because of their unwavering commitment to everything I love about the classic American steakhouse and their uncanny ability to predict exactly what I want to accompany my oversized cut of glistening beef.

Porter’s Steakhouse 827 Broad St. (423) 643-1240 Hours Open daily Breakfast: 7-10:30 a.m. Lunch: 11 a.m-2 p.m. Dinner: 5-10 p.m., Sunday-Wednesday; 5-11 p.m, Thursday-Saturday

When you first walk into Porter’s, the comfortably contemporary decor is upscale enough to remind you that you are in store for a special meal, but not so pretentious that it feels stuffy. Clean lines and dark woods hearken back to the golden era of the American steakhouse while the spacious open dining room and modern fixtures keep the atmosphere up to date—even within the more than 100-yearold Read House building. But as beautiful and inviting as the decor is, if I came to Porter’s simply to admire the stunning architecture and decor, Steve McQueen would rise from the dead to personally revoke my man card and shave my moustache. Thankfully, I am here for the steaks—and the steaks are here for me. Porter’s claims the distinction of being Chattanooga’s only prime steakhouse, meaning they only serve prime steaks, USDA certified and hand cut on site by their chefs. My steak of choice is the Flintstone-esque 16-ounce, bone-in ribeye. This hefty slab of meat starts out flavorful enough

Clockwise from top: Porter’s ribeye steak; strawberry shortcake; pastry chef Emily Bruce and lead chef Ed Careathers.

thanks to its generous marbling, but in the hands of a skilled lead chef like Ed Careathers it becomes a culinary work of art. Careather’s seasons each steak with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper before placing the meat on Porter’s blazing 1,300-degree broiler to be seared to perfection. Each steak is then given a moment to rest, assuring the flavorful juices remain inside the meat, before being plated with a side of Executive Chef John Palacio’s signature mustard sauce. The tanginess of the mustard pairs beautifully with the bold flavors of the steak, especially the richness of a well-mar-

bled cut like my perfectly cooked, medium-rare ribeye. If you prefer something a bit more refined, Porter’s famous Pepperloin is a prime tenderloin of beef that’s been marinated for 72 hours, generously seasoned with Porter’s proprietary peppercorn mixture, then seared to your desired doneness. If you’re having trouble deciding on just one steak, there’s always the massive 24-ounce Porterhouse that gives you tenderloin on one side of the bone and a New York strip on the other. If you’re in the mood for something a bit lighter, then Porter’s has a satisfying selection of chicken and pasta dishes as well as an impressive array of seafood choices such as their Blackened Rhode Island Scallops and Shrimp Scampi, fresh

Atlantic Salmon and a King Crab platter. And what steakhouse menu would be complete without Dungeness Crab Cakes? Check. An important part of any classic American steakhouse experience are the family-style side dishes that accompany your main course. Porter’s tips its hat to the classics with Creamed Spinach made from fresh spinach and heavy cream, an Iceberg Wedge Salad complete with blue cheese and bacon, and a fresh twist on a favorite with their Tabasco Fried Onion Rings. I usually depart from these traditional sides and opt for Bacon Brussel Sprouts when they’re in season or a dish of creamy Potato au Gratin to round out my own personal feast. It seems that no matter how much I eat I always find room for dessert, and dessert at Porter’s should not be missed. Pastry Chef Emily Bruce creates all of Porter’s stunning desserts in house and from scratch to give you the perfect finishing touch to your meal. On this visit I had Emily’s Strawberry Shortcake, which brings layers of biscuitlike shortcake, whipped cream and fresh strawberries together to create a not-too-sweet dessert meant for sharing—or keeping to yourself. Emily also makes a deliciously smooth Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée that is hard to resist as well as assorted cupcakes that will suite any taste. As if this wasn’t enough, Porter’s also offers a full breakfast menu and buffet, an incredible lineup of sandwiches and other tasty lunch options, as well as private dining rooms for special occasions and meetings. If it seems like Porter’s has it all, it’s because they do. Top-shelf steaks and seafood, generous portions, beautiful decor and elegant desserts set Porter’s in a class by themselves. Grab your favorite carnivore and visit them today! • february 7-13, 2013 • The Pulse • 19

Free Will Astrology AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Young

art student Andrzej Sobiepan sneaked into Poland’s National Museum with a painting he had done himself and managed to surreptitiously mount it on one of the walls. It hung there for a while before authorities noticed it and took it down. “I decided that I will not wait 30 or 40 years for my works to appear at a place like this,” he said. “I want to benefit from them in the here and now.” This is the kind of aggressive self-expression I’d like to see you summon in the coming weeks, Aquarius. Don’t wait for the world to come and invite you to do what you want to do. Invite yourself. P.S. The English translation of Sobiepan’s Polish last name means “his own master.” What can you do to be more of your own master?


(Feb. 19-March 20): Before any system can leap to a higher level of organization, says poet Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge, it has to undergo dissolution. “Unraveling or disintegrating is a vital, creative event making room for the new,” she declares. Guess what time it is for the system we all know and love as YOU, Pisces? That’s right: It’s a perfect moment to undo,

rob brezsny dismantle, and disperse ... as well as to unscramble, disentangle, and disencumber. Be of good cheer! Have faith that you will be generating the conditions necessary for the rebirth that will follow. “To change from one reality to another,” writes Wooldridge, “a thing first must turn into nothing.” (Her book is “Poemcrazy.”)

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible,” said poet Theodore Roethke. For the foreseeable future, Aries, you could and should be a person like that. I’m not saying that you will forevermore be a connoisseur of amazements and a massager of miracles and a magnet for unexpected beauty. But if you want to, you can play those roles for the next few weeks. How many exotic explorations and unlikely discoveries can you cram into your life between now and March 1? How many unimaginable transformations can you imagine? TAURUS (April 20-May 20): North America’s most powerful and iconic waterfall is Niagara Falls, which straddles the border between the U.S. and Canada.

In 1969, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers managed to shut down the American side of this elemental surge for a few months. They performed their monumental magic by building a dam made with 27,800 tons of rocks. Their purpose was to do research and maintenance on the stony foundation that lies beneath the water. I’m thinking that you Tauruses could accomplish a metaphorical version of that feat in the coming weeks: some awesome task that allows you to peer beneath the surface and make refinements that enhance your stability for a long time.


(May 21-June 20): National Geographic reports that dung beetles have an intimate relationship not only with the earth but also with the stars. Scientists in South Africa found that the bugs use the Milky Way Galaxy to orient themselves while rolling their precious balls of dung to the right spot for safekeeping. The bright band of starlight in the sky serves as a navigational aid. I nominate the dung beetle to be your power animal in the coming weeks, Gemini. It will be prime time for you, too, to align your movements and decisions with a bigger picture and a higher power.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): You should go right ahead and compare oranges and apples in the coming week, Cancerian. Honey and butter, too: It’s fine to compare and contrast them. Science and religion. Bulldogs and Siamese cats. Dew and thunderclaps. Your assignment is to create connections that no one else would be able to make ... to seek out seemingly improbable harmonies between unlikely partners ... to dream up interesting juxtapositions that generate fertile ideas. Your soul needs the delight and challenge of unexpected blending. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The collection called “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” includes the story “The Devil and His Grandmother.” In 20 • The Pulse • february 7-13, 2013 •

one scene, the devil’s grandmother is petting and rubbing her grandson’s head. Or at least that’s what the English translations say. But the authors wrote in German, and in their original version of the text, grandma is in fact plucking lice from the devil’s hair. Your job in the coming week, Leo, is to ensure that no one sanitizes earthy details like that. Be vigilant for subtle censorship. Keep watch for bits of truth that have been suppressed. You need the raw feed that comes straight from the source.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In her book

“Jung and Tarot,” Sallie Nichols notes that the sixteenth card in most Tarot decks portrays lightning as a hostile force: “jagged, zigzag strokes that slash across the sky like angry teeth.” But there’s one deck, the Marseilles Tarot, that suggests a kinder, gentler lightning. The yellow and red phenomenon descending from the heavens resembles a giant feather duster; it looks like it would tickle and clean rather than burn. I suspect you’ll be visited by a metaphorical version of this second kind of lightning sometime soon, Virgo. Prepare to be tickled and cleaned!

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Years ago,

“bastard” was a derisive term for a child born to unmarried parents. It reflected the conventional moral code, which regarded a “birth out of wedlock” as scandalous. But I think we can safely say that this old dogma has been officially retired. According to recent statistics compiled by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), over 40 percent of the kids born in the U.S. are to unmarried mothers. Just goes to show you that not all forbidden acts remain forbidden forever. What was unthinkable or out of bounds or not allowed at one time may evolve into what’s normal. I bring this up, Libra, because it’s an excellent time for you to divest yourself of a certain taboo that’s no longer necessary or meaningful.


(Oct. 23-Nov. 21): While trekking up Mount Katahdin in Maine, naturalist Henry David Thoreau had a “mountain-top experience” that moved him to observe, “I stand in awe of my body.” You’re due for a similar splash of illumination, Scorpio. The time is right for you to arrive at a reverent new appreciation for the prodigious feats that your physical organism endlessly performs for you. What could you do to encourage such a breakthrough? How can you elevate your love for the flesh and blood that houses your divine spark?


(Nov. 22-Dec. 21): How do you like your caviar? Do you prefer it to be velvety and smooth, or would you rather have it be full of strong, fishy taste? If it’s the first option, beluga caviar is your best option. If the second, sevruga should be your favorite. What? You say you never eat caviar? Well, even if you don’t, you should regard the choice between types of caviar as an apt metaphor for the coming week. You can either have velvety smoothness or a strong taste, but not both. Which will it be? Set your intention.


(Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “Dear Astrology Guy: I have been reading your horoscopes since I was 19. For a while, I liked them. They were fun riddles that made me think. But now I’ve soured on them. I’m sick and tired of you asking me to transform myself. You just keep pushing and pushing, never satisfied, always saying it’s time to improve myself or get smarter or fix one of my bad habits. It’s too much! I can’t take it any more! Sometimes I just want to be idle and lazy. Your horoscopes piss me off! - Crabby Capricorn.” Dear Crabby: I’ve got some good news. In the coming week, you are completely excused from having to change anything about yourself or your life. Stay exactly the same! Be frozen in time. Resist the urge to tinker. Take a vacation from life’s relentless command to evolve.

Jonesin’ Crossword

matt jones

“Follow My Lead”—it’s a symbolic gesture. Across

1. Dirk Benedict co-star 4. “Well, aren’t you the fancy one?” 10. Maidenform competitor 14. “Positively,” to Pierre 15. “Let me handle the situation” 16. Stratford-___-Avon 17. Mail-order publications for those who make kids’ sandwiches? 20. Migraine sensation 21. “The Iceman Cometh” playwright 22. “There will come ___...” 23. Easter or Christmas 25. Hockey legend Bobby 28. Stint on Broadway 29. “The way I

see it,” online 30. “Consarn it, ye varmint!” 32. “I Spent My Summer Vacation Rolling a 300” and such? 35. Deli loaves 36. “Do this or ___” 37. “Laters” 40. New York Shakespeare Festival founder Joseph 43. About 2 stars for canned hipster beer? 48. Musical sequence 51. Wheels 52. Signal 53. India Pale ___ 54. Passes into law 56. Early late show host Jack 57. Hyundai model 59. Helsinkian, e.g.

60. Reason to watch “Sesame Street” and “Nova” on mute? 65. Just around the corner 66. Kind of off-road motorcycle racing 67. “The Star-Spangled Banner” contraction 68. Pull on a tooth 69. N.Y congressman Anthony taken down by a sexting scandal in 2011 70. The Ravens got four in Super Bowl XLVII: abbr.


1. Floor cleaner 2. Bathtime sounds 3. San Diego neighbor 4. Cremona currency, once 5. Wilberforce

University’s affiliated denom. 6. Part of DJIA 7. How more and more old movies can be viewed 8. Jazz pianist Krall 9. Show up to 10. He-cow 11. Words of regret 12. Captain’s journal 13. Plug-___ 18. Yell out 19. Opera set in Egypt 22. 1970s synthesizer brand 23. Rapscallions 24. Flockmates 26. Parisian street 27. Apt. ad stat 29. Different ending? 31. “Blast!” 33. Cartoon skunk ___ LePew 34. Walk like you’re cool 38. Sciences’ counterpart 39. “___ Te Ching” 40. Handheld device, for short 41. Big ISP, once 42. Keep slogging 44. Rum from Puerto Rico 45. “Sorry, you’re on your own” 46. Full of subtlety 47. Bayer Leverkusen’s country: abbr. 49. Department store section 50. When someone will be back, often 55. Be penitent 56. Epitome of easiness 58. Pen sound 59. Flower: Sp. 60. He had the first billion-view YouTube video 61. Squeezing serpent 62. Closest star to you 63. Wrath 64. Hosp. areas © 2013 Jonesin’ Crosswords

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Life in the Noog

chuck crowder

Don’t Ring My Bell T

he other night I heard a noise as unfamiliar to me as a cheetah’s mating call. At first I thought it was something on the TV that was keeping my lazy, couch-potato ass occupied. Then I realized it was coming from my own front door, right behind my head. It was the ancient “ding-dong” of the doorbell I forgot I had. Who the hell could that be? I work from home and my office is in the third floor loft. Usually the sound of the doorbell means that UPS or FedEx is dropping off a package. I say that because there’s no way I’m climbing down all of those stairs to see if it’s anyone else. However, if the doorbell rings after normal business hours then it has to be someone I’d rather not experience. Friends don’t ring doorbells because you’re expecting their arrival. Besides, some are too young to realize there’s an alternative to knocking. No, if the doorbell rings when you least expect it, usually it’s someone selling something. Most of the time it’s Jesus. I don’t know how many times I have answered the door to find a group of front-porch evangelists from the neighborhood church that has survived the old days of hookers and gunshots to now reap the benefits of the Southside’s gentrification—and plenty of new souls to save just a few blocks away. I don’t mind nice church folk paying me a visit from time to time, but I’ve been attending St. Mattress on Sunday mornings for so long that I’m just too comfortable with my current congregation. On the particular doorbell occasion in question, it was dark-thirty, so I had no idea what to expect. I opened the door and there stood a uniformed, clip-

22 • The Pulse • february 7-13, 2013 •

board-carrying subscription salesman from the Times Free Press wanting know whether or not I “get the paper.” Contemplating the double entendre of that statement’s possible meaning, I realized that either would produce the same answer so I replied, “No,” and shut the door. What the hell was that? An honest-to-goodness door-to-door salesman? I haven’t seen one of those since I was a kid. I remember my mother answering the doorbell to receive sales pitches for everything from Avon products to encyclopedias. She would patiently listen to their brief “elevator speech” door-opener and then politely decline, saying she’d have to talk it over with her husband before making any decisions. Mom didn’t seem to mind random visitors dropping by, because back in those days everyone in the house was dressed and presentable at any given time— just in case. That’s not true these days. Our homes are fortresses of solitude, where one can walk around naked or in sweats and an old T-shirt with layers of food stains so ingrained it looks like the drop cloth of a sea-

soned painting contractor. Therefore, the pop-in isn’t tolerated nowadays. In fact, it’s almost insulting. We spill our guts about every single detail of our inner selves on Facebook for all of our “friends” to see, but ring our doorbells when we’re not expecting anyone and we panic as if we’re experiencing paranormal activity. That’s because social interaction with anyone but your significant other happens in public—or online. That’s why cell phones and texting are so popular. In fact, with all of the options we have to communicate with people, why does anyone ever need to ring our doorbells? This is so much more true from a marketing standpoint that advertising agencies coast to coast keep “think tanks” on retainer to devise the most effective, yet unobtrusive methods of getting people’s attention without them even realizing they’re being sold a product. Using social media, advertising gurus have mastered strategic product placement to get consumer buy-in in new and exciting ways. Then there’s the tried-andtrue, yet antiquated doorto-door sales technique. And we wonder why encyclopedias are a thing of the past? Chuck Crowder is a local writer and man about town. His opinions are most definitely his own.

Pilgrim Congregational Church

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the Chattanooga community with a liberal Christian tradition by maintaining a caring, inclusive, and open-minded church where individuals may search for a vision of God and relate the Christian faith to the modern world.

Sunday Worship 11am 400 Glenwood Drive at 3rd Street • (423) 698-5682 • february 7-13, 2013 • The Pulse • 23

The Pulse 10.06 » Feb. 7-13, 2013  
The Pulse 10.06 » Feb. 7-13, 2013  

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