February 14, 2013
Vol. 10 • No. 7
Chattanooga’s Weekly Alternative
An empowering and humanizing approach to the local evolution
‘WE SHALL NOT the tennessee sit-ins BE MOVED’
of the Civil Rights Movement
& the spirit of freedom in chattanooga By Julia Sharp
MUSIC LITTLE COUNTRY GIANTS ARTS ‘SWEENEY TODD’ FOOD&wine BRIX NOUVEAU
Many to choose from. Drive away in yours today.
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2 • The Pulse • february 14-20, 2013 • chattanoogapulse.com
THIS WEEK FEB. 14-20, 2013 IN THE PULSE
Little Country Giants photographed by Justin Evans • justinevansphotography.com
Director of Sales Mike Baskin Account Executives Chee Chee Brown • Eric Foster John Holland • Rick Leavell • Jerry Ware Josh Williams
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
Offices 1305 Carter St. • Chattanooga, TN 37402 Phone 423.265.9494 Fax 423.266.2335 Web chattanoogapulse.com Email firstname.lastname@example.org Calendar email@example.com 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
chattanoogapulse.com • february 14-20, 2013 • The Pulse • 3
Loan your ladder to ‘Rise Chattanooga’ Glass House Collective, Public Art Chattanooga and ArtsBuild need your ladders. No, they’re not building a Stairway to Heaven or anything like that (but we would endorse such a project). Instead, they have commissioned Virginia artist Charlie Brouwer to construct a temporary sculpture celebrating community spirit. “Rise Chattanooga” will feature hundreds of ladders borrowed from arts-minded donors in the project, which began on Feb. 9 and continues until Saturday, Feb. 23. On that day, the project will be complete and featured at Glass House Collective’s “Better Block” event on Glass Street. The entire community is invited to participate.
‘Black Ink’ contest focuses on history
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Brouwer is visiting schools, churches and businesses and even knocking on doors. “When neighbors need ladders, they borrow them and return them and that makes their relationship stronger—a true community exists when each member realizes that their own hopes and dreams depend on, and are tied to everyone else’s, and the only way to rise is to rise together,” Brouwer said. Real functional ladders are needed, but ladders of all sizes made from any materials are welcome, including step stools, birdcage ladders and even handmade ladders. Heavy-duty cable ties will hold the ladders together and tagged labels will be attached to each ladder so that they can be reunited with their owners. An alphabetized list of ladder lenders will be available on riseupchattanooga.org and at the site of the sculpture, 2523 Glass Street, in East Chattanooga. If you’re not tall enough to reach the top
4 • The Pulse • february 14-20, 2013 • chattanoogapulse.com
shelf or if you’re still cleaning out gutters, don’t worry. All the ladders will be returned to their homes on March 30. Ladders that owners do not want back will be donated to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga. In 2002, Brouwer began these “Rise Up” projects as a way to engage a broader audience than the traditional “art world” in an authentic contemporary art experience that involved them in its making. This will be his ninth installation made from borrowed ladders. Examples of all his work can be seen at charliebrouwer.com and riseupchattanooga.org. —Esan Swan,
ArtsBuild campaign kick-off set for Feb. 21 The arts build something different for everyone—literally. The arts can build a sculpture, a painting, a dance or a song. But the arts also serve to build community, education, conversation, compassion and collaboration. During the 2013 ArtsBuild Campaign Kick-Off, attendees will have the opportunity to do both. The celebration takes place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21, at The Church on Main and will allow attendees to participate in mini “art experiences,” including Indian dancing, sculpture, finger-painting for adults, ballet and more. Robert Lynch, president of Americans for the Arts, will be the guest speaker. Ed Huey and Lon Eldridge will provide live musical entertainment and hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served. The event is free and open to the public. Funds raised through the $1.1 million annual campaign are used to help fund 13 major art institutions in Chattanooga. The campaign also supports arts education in Hamilton County Schools as well as projects like the new Community Cultural Connections grants, a program that funds small grants for arts experiences in social service agencies, neighborhoods, and municipalities throughout the community. For more information on ArtsBuild, formerly Allied Arts, and the campaign, visit artsbuild.com. —Staff
The Chattanooga Hamilton County NCAAP will hold its seventh annual poetry/spoken word event, “Black Ink: Excellence in Expression” from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, in EPB’s Community Room at the EPB Building, 10 W. MLK Blvd. The “black” is in honor of Black History Month, while the “ink” represents inked or penciled poetry, making this contest both historical and artistic. The poetry contest focuses on African-American history and allows contestants to interact with judges and audience members to elaborate on motivations. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided for all you starving artists. —E.S.
Hill on Hill to forge broadband access Chattanooga Public Library director Corinne Hill literally trekked up the Hill— Capitol Hill, that is—last week as the city’s representative to the Federal Communication Commission’s Broadband Summit. In Washington last Thursday, Hill participated in a panel discussion entitled “Best Practices Learned from Implementing Broadband Adoption Programs Within Different Communities” at the summit, which was subtitled “Broadband Adoption and Usage—What Have We Learned?” The summit focused on “best practices” drawn from broadband adoption programs, academic studies and surveys. Its goal was to devise a way to incorporate these to close the broadband gap in lowincome households, among racial and ethnic minorities, seniors, rural residents, residents of Tribal land and people with disabilities. The Federal-State Joint Conference on Advance Studies with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (try saying that five times fast) sponsored the conference. Hill, who came to Chattanooga from Dallas to lead the Public Library, is a champion of increasing Internet access to all segments of society and her leadership is evident in such appearances. Last year, the Chattanooga Public Library system became one of the first gigabit-powered libraries in the country. —E.S.
AVA’S Media Lab a goldmine for pro and novice artists Hidden deep within the stacks of eclectic shops that line Frazier Avenue is the Association for Visual Arts, a gem of a dragon hoard. It’s a cool gallery, but that’s not all AVA does Besides producing the annual 4 Bridges Arts Festival, AVA is a great resource for artists, photographers and designers and its Media Lab is a goldmine of state-of-the-art computers and software for those who cannot afford them or the latest in technology. Silver, gold and onyx treasures abound in the form of Macs, light tables and swanky digital cameras for rent. The lab is open to the public, free for members and available to visitors for $10 in the Media Lab or $20 in the Clean Room Photo Studio. The Macs in the lab are equipped with an enviable selection of programs graphic and web designers merely dream of owning all at once. Noteworthy software includes Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Illustrator and Final Cut Pro 6. If you don’t actually know how to use these awesome tools, no worries. AVA has an onsite lab monitor who can introduce you to all the basics and start your journey into digital creativity. Professionals looking to expand the “skills” portion of their resume can also benefit from such training—a better-thanthe-basics understanding of editing can be invaluable in today’s technology-driven environment. One of the reasons this space is so cool is that while AVA is certainly a place for serious artists to sharpen their craft using professional computers and software, other creative people can come by to learn more about how to scan art into digital files, design a basic website, or learn how to best hang art. Mark your calendars for the latter, because the mini-tutorial “The Art of Hanging Art” is coming up March 9. Attendees will play curator for the day, learning how to hang pieces of art by professional gallery standards. The techniques can also be translated into hanging portraits about the house or art in the office. Whether you’re a professional or emerging artist, business owner, student or a computer novice, AVA can help. Membership can be purchased on levels from students to benefactor, and information can be found at avaarts.org or by visiting in person at 30 Frazier Ave. It’s just another element of the arts community that’s making Chattanooga such a draw for artists moving here to take advantage of our growing scene. —Julia Sharp
politics, the media & other strange bedfellows
ou might say that former East Ridge City Manager Tim Gobble has a gift. His impressive-looking government-service résumé—beginning with the Secret Service and ending last week in East Ridge—has been a game of leap frog characterized by his ability to woo voters and elected officials with smooth talk and what must be a persuasive interview. Doubtless, he has skills. But resumes are often conveniently swept clean of negativity, with the devil hiding in the details. Gobble fell on own his own sword this time after an almost two-year run managing a city that often appears unmanageable.
In a drama worthy of its own reality series—and one reported by the TFP’s Kate Harrison in a pilot episodeworthy account of his literal exit, complete with back-door escapes into a waiting car— Gobble resigned his post last week (rather than be ousted), taking with him a $79,000 severance package. According to Harrison in the TFP, East Ridge council members voted 3-2 to accept his resignation, granting him seven months of his $116,800 salary, likely to rid themselves of the controversy swirling about Gobble. Of that, there was much, and while the figure was high, the council did the right thing to remove the distraction. Sometimes it’s better to cut a deal and walk away, as many counselors and council-ers know. You can follow Harrison’s account online—and it’s worth reading, as is her continued reporting on the funhouse that is East Ridge government—so we won’t bore you with the details here. That’s what daily newspapers are for and, with your help, subscribers—the rising rates should be coming soon, along with a copy of the publisher’s letter detailing the paper’s advertising woes—you’ll continue to receive this in-depth reporting. What’s more worthy of an alt-weekly’s review is Gobble himself, his career hits and
misses (of which there are now an equal number) and his Svengali-like ability to entrance voters and officials into voting for and/or hiring him. For this, we delved deep into the archives of hometowncleveland.com, the Cleveland “citizen watchdog” website which devotes an entire section to Gobble and tracks his every move. To summarize, the site alleges Gobble’s government career snafus began with the Secret Service in 2004. While Gobble has said he left the Service rather than move to Washington, HTC says he was fired. Gobble was then elected to Cleveland City Council, but was forced to resign in his first year for, the site claims, violating the Hatch Act (created in 1939 to curb public employees and officials from engaging in partisan activity). Hired as Bradley County Emergency Management Agency director, he quit “under fire” within his first year, the site claims. All this behind him, voters elected Gobble sheriff of Bradley County, but he quit to run for Congress … and lost. After seemingly exhausting his popularity in Cleveland, Gobble moved to Chattanooga and was hired as interim Hamilton County jailer, a position that, after having been a sheriff and would-be national political figure, must have seemed beneath him. He quickly moved
on after being offered the East Ridge position in April 2011. It’s worth noting that The Pulse doesn’t follow Chattanooga’s bedroom communities closely unless they engage in activities that rise to Onion-level humor (which happens quite frequently), when the parodies all but write themselves. But it’s clear that those who hired, or will hire Gobble—if he is not already employed—would do well to, well, Google him. We have not personally encountered Gobble, but it appears from all recent and past reports that he’s a talented man who undermines himself with a clear pattern of either naked ambition, hubris or poor judgment—or all three—post-hire. Given the evidence, we might hesitate or at least perform due diligence. But that’s just us. This scrutiny, along with accounting, are not, it seems, high on the agendas of governments or agencies in Cleveland or East Ridge. But don’t fret, ER—another worthy scandal will soon arrive to occupy your council. And really, what would the anonymous “wags”
on the TFP’s website do with their time otherwise? The commentary is often so voluminous and venomous (if inevitably descending into “SNL”-worthy political and religious piety), maybe the paper should charge for commenting instead of raising the rates of loyal subscribers. Just a thought. In the end, we are amused, but not surprised. The losers are all sitting around “revisiting” hiring procedures at the expense of taxpayers. Clichés abound at times such as these—”buyer beware” is one, “look before you leap” another—all worthy of consideration in these hindsight-is-20/20 situations. Good luck with that. As for Gobble—whose recent sins include using East Ridge’s Facebook page as a personal platform and the hiring of a young protégé he is said to have referred to as a “Jedi Knight”— he’s counting the money and seeking greener pastures. In this case, to Gobble goes the spoils. Or as Gobble himself put it in the TFP: “I wish the city well, I sure do.” Next?
chattanoogapulse.com • february 14-20, 2013 • The Pulse • 5
On the Beat
Politics as Blood Sport I f there’s one thing you learn as a cop in the beginning, it’s that they never show you the necessity of taking tests to see if you were exposed to HIV from the last person to attempt suicide with shards of glass and forcibly resisting while covered in blood or other hazardous shit they don’t often portray in the movies. The second thing you learn is that it’s political. All political, all the time. Everyone knows someone, everyone thinks they have leverage, and everyone definitely has goals and selective—and long— memories. (Well, OK, most people have goals.) Federal and state elections are worth so much fart-gas for a city cop, but the local ones? Interesting times. As a cop, you know things and you know people. Lots of them. Despite my general cynicism, people really do have an interest in a cop’s opinion because while disturbing, cops tend to see things most people don’t have access to. Everything from the inside of a crime scene to the non-public personalities inside city hall and specifically budgeted items. The problems arise when the cop is held to those opinions, or God help him or her, any political activities they participated in. In the event the person the cop supported wins, they are labeled an ass-kisser; or worse, the cop has high expectations (either for self or department—made worse,
because the odds are still very much not in their favor despite “their” win). If the party the officer supported loses, then the victor in that particular race or races will of course not let those events go unforgotten. Running for office is a very stressful event, a very primal one; to win or lose on a very public stage is a big deal financially and emotionally, even if the stage is just a local one. Woe unto those who tried to take a bite out of them, from their perspective. It may have been just business to the copper, but it’s always personal to the politician on some level. Direct intervention by the soreloser is uncommon because it either makes them look like a sore winner, a bully,or an idiot (not to
mention the legal liability). But these officials help determine who is going to be this officer’s superior one day and decide on their budgets for pay, benefits, and gear—and that is where the damage can be incurred. No pressure, right? The obvious answer is to remain completely neutral, either out of common sense or as forced by things like the Hatch Act (basically, most office-holders or folks like me with guns can’t run for office for reasons of intimidation or impropriety). That makes the most sense to me and I am, by gosh, a very sensible guy. Yet here I am, essentially a political columnist at the end of the day. You see, cops are generally passionate people. And with the obvious exceptions experienced by nearly all professions, we are generally not complete idiots. And again, we do have access to many things the average voter does not, from an informational point of view. If a mayor, for example, has the stones to call up a sitting judge to try to steer their opinion on a certain case (this is just a fictitious example of course), do you think he or she would blink at trying the same with a “lowly cop,” common worker or administrator or in his or her employ? And then there’s the financial shenanigans cops pick up on, the
private and public interactions of taxpayer funds, items budgeted for, items left out, those receiving the money and their prior affiliations with the politicians involved. It’s a damn ugly business. And when information like that is placed in the hands of one with, for the most part, an Alpha personality, it stands to reason that it would be hard to “let go.” Or in my case, making me absolutely crazy when faced with the futility that comes with the knowledge. So vote—but think from time to
time of the little people who make up the machinery these officials are or will be controlling. That machine belongs to you and can hurt you or harm you. Participate. And if you run for office or are subject to one? Remember that while it’s a non-contact sport, it can still get very bloody. Alex Teach is a police officer of nearly 20 years experience. The opinions expressed are his own. Follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/alex.teach.
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6 • The Pulse • february 14-20, 2013 • chattanoogapulse.com
h THE 2013 sHorT sTorY CoNTEsT
Enter The Pulse’s Annual Short Story Competition. All entries are limited to 1,000 words and must have a southern theme. submit stories in document format, include your name, phone number and a brief biography. only entries emailed following these rules will be considered. stories will be judged by an expert panel. The judges’ top choice will be published on April 18 in The Pulse, which will feature our coverage of the 2013 AEC Conference on Southern Literature. Three runners-up will be published in subsequent issues of The Pulse. Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: 2013 Short Story Contest
Deadline: March 28, 2013
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Happy Hour 3-10 p.m Tues.-Sat. 1/2 price appetizers
CSA Writers Night presents Love Songs Thursday, Feb. 14 • 7 pm Valentine’s Steak Dinner for 2 with 1 side, salad and free Champagne. $50 per couple CSA Stag Dinner Special: Chopped Steak w/2 sides $7.95
Late Night Dance Party Fri. & Sat. • 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.
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Visit chattanoogajobpost.com or call 423.242.7671 8 • The Pulse • february 14-20, 2013 • chattanoogapulse.com
» PICK of the litter DOC SEVERINSEN
A curated selection of highlights from the live music and arts and entertainment calendars chosen by Pulse editors.
» pulse PICKS
THU02.14 MUSIC Amber Fults & The Ambivalent Lovers with Jennifer Daniels • Ambivalent love songs for Valentine’s Day. 9 p.m. • Rhythm & Brews • 221 Market St. rhythm-brews.com
CRUISE Valentine’s Dinner Cruise • Get on Chattanooga’s “Love Boat” for a unique Valentine’s Day dinner-show cruise. 7 p.m. • Southern Belle Riverboat 201 Riverfront Pkwy. • (423) 266-4488 chattanoogariverboat.com
FRI02.15 MUSIC Vox Chattanooga: Mobley, The Hearts in Light, Tryezz, Josh Gilbert • Four great bands give voice to Vox Chattanooga. 8 p.m. • The Camp House • 1427 Williams St. (423) 702-8081 • thecamphouse.com
THEATRE “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” • UTC’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s classic debuts tonight and runs through Feb. 24. Read Janis Hashe’s preview in Arts on Page 16. 7:30 p.m. • UTC Fine Arts Center 736 Vine St. • (423) 425-4269 • utc.edu
Flashy Big Band Fever • He dresses like Rip Taylor, blows a mean horn and is a cultural icon of a bygone era. Most remember Carl “Doc” Severinsen, if they do at all, from his long-running gig leading the NBC Orchestra on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show.” He was a willing foil for Carson and a flamboyant, hip musician with a quick wit who single-handedly created the late-showbandleader-as-sidekick role. He and his topnotch NBC band were largely responsible for bringing the often overlooked musical magic of a great big band to a nightly
audience of millions. That job ended with Carson’s retirement in 1992, but Severinsen, now 85, continues to tour and record. His fashion sense aside, Serverinsen is no musical joker. At the tender age of 12, he won the prestigious Music Educator’s National Contest and has played and recorded with such jazz and big band giants as Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman. Fittingly, Severinsen is now a one-man ambassador of big band jazz at pops concerts around the country. Catch him in that role for two nights at the
CSO’s “Big Band Fever” concert at the Tivoli. You can’t miss him on stage. His jackets still sparkle, but it’s his golden horn and the classic standards that put the flash in his big band shows. Don’t miss it. “Big Band Fever” Doc Severinsen with the CSO Pops conducted by Bob Bernhardt 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15 Saturday, Feb. 16 Tivoli Theatre 709 Broad St. (423) 267-8583 chattanooga symphony.org
Soul Mechanic, Maid Myriad
Ten Pound Hammer, Gold Plated Gold, Brandon Curtis
• Get back in time, sing along and dance with the hits from That 90’s Show at R&B. 10 p.m. • Rhythm & Brews • 221 Market St. rhythm-brews.com
• The Pint offers great live music mid week. 9 p.m. • The Honest Pint • 35 Patten Pkwy. (423) 468-4192 • thehonestpint.com
“The Vagina Monologues”
“State of the Union” Civil War Art Exhibit
• The no-longer-shocking but still enlightening production opens up at Barking Legs. 8 p.m. • Barking Legs Theater 1307 Dodds Ave. • (423) 624-LEGS barkinglegs.org
• Ironic, thought-provoking, free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. • Warehouse Row 1110 Market St. • (423) 267-1129 greggsegal.com
DoWn toWn sPring
2013 B s lack mith’s Bistro & Bar
chattanoogapulse.com • february 14-20, 2013 • The Pulse • 9
Little Country Giants Storytellers in the Southern Tradition By Richard Winham
n her essay “The Lost Art of The South,” Rebecca Parker laments the demise of the music Emmylou Harris characterized as having “that washed in the blood element.” For Parker, “The artists who embody the South do not wash worries in whimsy, but attempt connection amidst isolation, loss, and disillusionment.” Think “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” or a tale from Eudora Welty. In contrast, most of the music played today on country music radio, as Parker notes, is about “what we do in the South … but not who we are.” Parker grew up in Virginia listening to the same country music that Cameron Federal Cook and her husband, Russell Cook—the duo at the heart of the Little Country Giants—have been listening to and playing for most of their lives. It’s to that deep Southern well of sadness that the Cooks return to again and again for inspiration. As Russell, also a painter and teacher at a community college, recently said, “Some of the songs I write have a dark edge to them. The visual art I’m drawn to is the same—it deals with the big themes of tragedy and heartbreak, death and destruction.” Cameron’s approach is a little more lighthearted, offsetting Russell’s sometimes dour reflections with airy melodicism.
The couple first met playing in a bluegrass band in college. Russell played guitar, Cameron played bass. During a Christmas break they took some time to record what Russell calls “a rough CD” of some of their songs. The CD, a hit with their friends, gave them the confidence to step out on their own. They enlisted Russell’s long time friend Joseph Evans to join the band. “He was a natural guy to step in and do all the hot licks,” Russell said. With Joseph’s wife, Julie, they began gigging all over the Southeast as Little Country Giants. That group released a couple of albums and were developing a reputation for a unique mix of ragtime, western swing, Piedmont-style blues and country music when thieves stole Russell’s Martin D18 guitar and Cameron’s stand-up bass. Around that same time, Evans, a lawyer, realized he had to choose between his growing law practice and the band. Friends organized a benefit
Husband and wife duo Cameron Federal Cook and Russell Cook are LIttle Country Giants. Photo • Justin Evans justinevansphotography.com
for the group and raised enough money to buy Cameron another bass. Russell had bought a mahogany archtop guitar just before the robbery, but the loss of their instruments and the disintegration of the original lineup broke their momentum. Added to that, Russell was breaking in the brand new instrument—“a completely different beast than the big bluegrass dreadnought (Martin guitar),” he said. “It took me probably fully a year to learn how to play
it. It’s a guitar for playing single notes more than chords.” Changing guitars altered his approach to writing. “It took me probably a year to write a song I liked on that guitar,” he said. The new guitar, smaller than the bulky Martin, allowed Russell to work on mastering the licks he’d picked up from Evans, who is a particularly nimble-fingered Piedmont-style blues picker. All of those agile jazzy breaks on their first two albums belong to Evans. But it wasn’t just switching guitars that changed his approach. Russell had also been listening to “older folk songs, fiddle tunes and things like that where the melody is played on the guitar.”
The shift in his playing was relatively subtle. The essence of Little Country Giants has always been Russell and Cameron, and while their understanding and embrace of the music has naturally broadened and deepened over time, their elemental sound remains unchanged. When the original band dissolved, they began assembling a “gallery of musicians” who knew the music well enough that it didn’t sound “thrown together.” But lately they’ve begun forming another “pretty stable” lineup with a fiddle player (Rurik Nunan), a drummer (Matt Green), and most recently a dobro player (Jared Womack). Their strengths are evident on their most recent album, 60 Grit. Listen, for example, to Nunan’s facile swing and Womack’s dobro—along with Green using brushes on the snare—spinning around the Cook’s airborne harmonies on “Trouble’s Hard To Find.” The three players form a fluidly elastic foundation for the singers’ eclectic approach, promising to make their Sunday show at Barking Legs one more to remember. Little Country Giants with Tiffany Taylor 8 p.m. • Sunday, Feb. 17 Barking Legs Theater 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-5347 barkinglegs.org
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.
local and regional shows
Pontiac Blue with Drew Sterchi’s Blues Tribe ($3) Wed, Feb 13 Mobley with Dead Leaves and The Waters Brothers ($5) Thu, Feb 14 Ten Pound Hammer , Gold Plated Gold , Brandon Curtis ($5) Wed, Feb 20 Demon Waffle with Dick and Uke-N-AJa ($5) Thu, Feb 21 Special Shows Sun, Feb. 17: Pan with Kings of the Killerfish • 9pm • $5 Thu, 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. 24: Molly Maguires
10 • The Pulse • february 14-20, 2013 • chattanoogapulse.com
9pm 9pm 9pm 9pm
Full food menu serving lunch and dinner. 11am-2am, 7 days a week. 35 Patten Parkway * 423.468.4192 thehonestpint.com * Facebook.com/thehonestpint
Chattanooga Live CALENDAR@CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM
Ambivalent Lovers, Jennifer Daniels 9 p.m. Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St. rhythm-brews.com Chris & Greg 9:30 p.m. Bud’s Sports Bar, 5751 Brainerd Road (423) 499-9878 budssportsbar.com 423 Bass Love 10 p.m. Raw, 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919
MOBLEY Hot Austin-based band with charismatic frontman Anthony Watkins II and a new album visits town. Catch them at The Honest Pint on Thursday and The Camp House on Friday.
THU 02.14 Disciple, Fireflight 7 p.m. The Warehouse, 6626 Hunter Road warehousevenue.com Open Mic 7 p.m. The Camp House, 1427 Williams St. (423) 702-8081 thecamphouse.com Opposite Box, Megan Jean and the Klay Family Band, Lenier, Downfall 8 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 Open Mic with Hap
Henninger 8 p.m. The Office, 901 Carter St. (423) 634-9191 Tiffany Taylor, Long Gone Darlins, Rough and Tumbled 8:30 p.m. Lindsay Street Hall, 901 Lindsay St. (423) 755-9111 lindsaystreethall.com Mobley, Dead Leaves, The Waters Brothers 9 p.m. The Honest Pint, 35 Patten Pkwy. (423) 468-4192 thehonestpint.com Amber Fults & The
VOX Chattanooga: Mobley, The Hearts in Light, Tryezz, Josh Gilbert 8 p.m. The Camp House, 1427 Williams St. (423) 702-8081 thecamphouse.com Husky Burnette 8 p.m. SkyZoo, 5709 Lee Hwy. (423) 468-4533 skyzoochattanooga.com The Scarlet Love Conspiracy 9 p.m. The Office, 901 Carter St. (423) 634-9191 Jordan Hallquist 9 p.m. Bart’s Lakeshore, 5600 Lakeshore Drive (423) 870-0777 bartslakeshore.com. Milele Roots, The LTG, Rebel Dogs 10 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 Rosedale Remedy 10 p.m. Bud’s Sports Bar, 5751 Brainerd Road (423) 499-9878 budssportsbar.com Planet, Leticia Wolf 10 p.m. Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St. rhythm-brews.com
RAW party, redefined.
901 Carter St (Inside Days Inn) 423-634-9191
LIVE MUSIC CHATTANOOGA FEB
Thursday, Feb. 14: 8 p.m. Open Mic with Hap Henninger Friday, Feb. 15: 9pm The Scarlet Love Conspiracy Saturday, Feb. 16: 10pm Big Bette & She-She Dance Tuesday, Feb. 19: 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! Happy Hour: Mon-Fri: 4-7pm $1 10oz drafts, $3 32oz drafts, $2 Wells, $1.50 Domestics, Free Appetizers
AMBER FULTS & THE
14 FRI. 10p 15 SAT. 10p 16 WED. 8p 20 THU. 10p 21
THU. AMBIVALENT LOVERS + JENNNIFER DANIELS 9p
with LETICIA WOLF: THE LOVE/HATE BALL
THAT 90’S SHOW
with SOUL MECHANIC & MAID MYRIAD
ROSEDALE REMEDY, ALLMANS ALL NIGHT
with YO MAMA’S BIG FAT BOOTY BAND
2.22 10TH ANNUAL JOHNNY CASH BIRTHDAY BASH 2.23 BREAKFAST CLUB 3.01 ROAD TO NIGHTFALL ALL SHOWS 21+ UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED • NON-SMOKING VENUE
221 MARKET STREET
HOT MUSIC • FINE BEER • GREAT FOOD BUY TICKETS ONLINE • RHYTHM-BREWS.COM
THU • FEB 14 423 Bass Love FRI • FEB 15 PISTOL TOWN 1st Floor DJ REGGIE REG 2nd Floor SAT • FEB 16 PISTOL TOWN 1st Floor DJ REGGIE REG 2nd Floor SUN • FEB 17 PEE WEE MORE & FRIENDS Live on the 1st Floor MON & TUE • FEB 18/19 DJ SPICOLI Dancing on the 2nd Floor WED • FEB 20 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 chattanoogapulse.com • february 14-20, 2013 • The Pulse • 11
‘WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED’ It seems unfair to lend the shortest month of the year
the tennessee sit-ins
to commemorate the history and achievements of black Americans. Most probably agree with actor Morgan Freeman when he said black history is American history, so a month will never be enough. Schools teach “white” history essentially every day, only mentioning black history when they reach the last few chapters in the textbook on the 1960s. But Chattanooga is making the most of those bold chapters by hosting many unique events, including the Tennessee State Museum’s traveling exhibit, “We Shall Not Be Moved—The 50th Anniversary of Tennessee’s Civil Rights Sit-ins,” an empowering and humanizing approach to the local evolution of the Civil Rights Movement.
This exhibit, on display at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center through the end of the month, tells this story, following four major phases of the movement: segregation and resistance, non-violence, Tennessee sit-ins and direct action. While adults and college students were the primary activists in non-violent protests across the United States, high school students played a major role in the success of the Civil Rights Movement in Chattanooga. There were no historically black colleges or universities in the area at the time, so Howard High School students led the Chattanooga sit-ins after learning about protests in Greensboro, N.C., and Nashville. Graham Perry, curator of the exhibit, commented that these young people “provided the spark” neces-
SELECTED BLACK HISTORY MONTH EVENTS
& the spirit of freedom in BY JULIA SHARP
exhibit, forum & talk recall
the civil rights movement
sary to fuel the fire of the local movement. And yet, it seems focus has been pulled away from these students’ amazing demonstrations, leaving their stories virtually untold—until now. Progress wasn’t going to come over night, but the movement had to start somewhere. The weight of this task fell onto the shoulders of young people in the area, specifically those attending Howard High School. Two notable student leaders were class president Paul Walker, who encouraged students to get involved, and Lehman Pierce, who was the driving force behind the movement and left to continue with the movement after the sit-ins were over. Students were briefed on what to do and what not to do at sitins. The checklist included reminders “to be on your
“Eyes on the Prize” Tuesdays & Thursdays in February, Noon to 1 p.m., Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 MLK Blvd. (423) 266-8658 “Soul Cinema” Fridays in February, 7:30 p.m. to midnight, Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 MLK Blvd. (423) 266-8658 bessiesmithcc.org
12 • The Pulse • february 14-20, 2013 • chattanoogapulse.com
Emancipation Proclamation Through Feb. 18 at the Tennessee State Museum, 505 Deaderick St., Nashville (615) 782-4040 “Black Ink: Excellence in Expressions” Poetry/spoken-word contest Feb. 16, 1 p.m, EPB, 10 W. MLK Blvd. “A King’s Dream” Feb. 16, 8 p.m. UTC University Center, Multicultural Center (423) 425-4363
best behavior,” leave seats between each other at the lunch counter, try to make a small purchase and no profanity, weapons or loud talking. Tough rules to follow, considering the opposition. Age is certainly an interesting factor in the Howard student narrative, but even more significant is how they organized almost entirely without adult supervision. At a Feb. 5 forum held at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, former Howard student Moses Freeman mentioned there was no adult leadership because they feared adults wouldn’t support their children doing something that could have them incarcerated—or worse. Even within the community, activism was not too popular. “We didn’t want to disappoint our parents, but we were willing to break the law if we had to,” Freeman said. At this, one participant laughed and said, “Virgil’s parents didn’t even know [he was involved] till he was grown.” Freeman pointed out that black students had nearly accepted the teaching that it was “better to be a second-class citizen in America than a first-class citizen in Russia. But the sit-ins changed that.” Eddie Holmes added, “We had a desire to do something, but we didn’t know exactly what.” “Nobody had ever asked before, but now you are,” said Holmes, when I asked his opinion. After hearing that, I finally understood what they meant by the “young generation” taking everything for granted, regardless of skin color. As a reporter and human being, I thought nothing of asking this gentleman for his opinion. My university, UTC, is wonderfully diverse and students probably aren’t heckled for being seen »P14
“God’s Trombones” Live dramatic/musical performance of African-American literary classic. Feb. 17, 6-8 p.m. Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 MLK Blvd. (423) 266-8658 bessiesmithcc.org “The Power of the Spoken Word: the Rhetorical Significance of Hip-Hop,” Feb. 20, 5 p.m. UTC University Center, Multicultural Center, (423) 425-4363
Storyteller Vincent Phipps Chattanooga Public Library, Feb, 21, 6:30 p.m. 1001 Broad (423) 757-5310 “American Masters: Cab Calloway Sketches” Feb. 27, 10 p.m. WTCI-TV, Channel 45 (PBS) “Blues In Performance at the White House” Specia performance hosted by President Obama and the first lady 9 p.m. WTCI-TV Channel 45 (P
al y. PBS)
“Reaching the Light: The Story of the desegregation of the University of Chattanooga” Free screening of documentary. Feb. 28, 6 p.m. UTC University Center, (423) 425-4363 Inventions by African-Americans Through Feb. 28 at Chattanooga State’s Kolwyck Library 4501 Amnicola Hwy. (423) 697-4400 library.chattanoogastate.edu
“Crossings” James McKissic exhibit runs through March 2 Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 E. M.L. King Blvd. (423) 266-8658 bessiesmithcc.org
Above Sit-in at Walgreens in Nashville on Feb. 20, 1960. Photo • Jimmy Ellis Courtesy of The Tennessean
Left and on the cover Avon Rollins stages a “lie down.” Photo • Courtesy of Beck Cultural Center
chattanoogapulse.com • february 14-20, 2013 • The Pulse • 13
with someone of another color. To the new young generation, this is natural. We possess the privilege all young people enjoy, that sense of limitless possibilities and the bliss of having never known the difference. However, this wasn’t isn’t the case—students a few years younger than I am now participated in a massive social movement and brought about the changes that allow us to live so comfortably. At the end of the forum, Holmes, Freeman, Ralph Moore Lawrence Curry, Virgil Robinson and Booker Scruggs left the audience with a few suggestions, most of them aimed at my generation because we will be the ones to raise fresh new minds in the coming years. We have a responsibility to educate children, because an appreciation for history and culture must be ingrained in young minds at an early age. Young people’s declining respect for adults was also mentioned, noting they know how to make babies, but not how to raise families. That timeless refrain is well known even to the young, but it was the next comment that surprised me: “We had communication. The same community. The young people don’t know how to really talk to each other.” It’s true. With so much digital communication, young people don’t organize face to face as often. “We want young people to take advantage of life and recognize the struggles of the past. Then we would appreciate them more,” another man added. I have to wonder why black history stories like these aren’t taught more frequently in schools, especially at the elementary- and middle-school level. Classrooms have long since been integrated, so why does the material in history books remain segregated and pushed into a few programs in February? This question left me looking for answers, and I wanted to know more about black history—and not merely the post 1950 events. Luckily, the Chattanooga History Center would provide me with the next level of understanding this vibrant part of Chattanooga’s history. “We Shall Not Be Moved” gave me personal narratives to connect with and remember. Anyone who claims Chattanooga (or even
Authorities use fire hoses to disperse protest crowds on Market Street in Chattanooga in 1960. Photo • Courtesy of the Chattanooga History Center
While adults and college students were the primary activists in non-violent protests across the United States, high school students played a major role in the success of the Civil Rights Movement in Chattanooga. simply the South) as their home will walk away from this exhibit feeling like they have a deeper understanding of black history, but that’s not all. Visitors get to know the men and women who “didn’t know about courage, might have been crazy,” and took a leap of faith to make a change not just for themselves, but also for the entire city and its future people.
he Chattanooga History Center, set to open in the fall of this year on Broad Street in front of the Tennessee Aquarium, is hosting a series of gallery talks intended to be a preview for each of the historical periods covered in the museum’s exhibits. “Imbued with the Spirit of Freedom” was the theme for a Jan. 29 discussion, and the story of how our modern city was established will fascinate locals and tourists alike. When the words “civil rights” are mentioned, one’s immediate
14 • The Pulse • february 14-20, 2013 • chattanoogapulse.com
thoughts turn to Martin Luther King Jr., segregated water fountains, bus rides and the 1950s and ’60s. All these images were a powerful force in closing the racial inequality gap, but the foundations of the Civil Rights Movement were laid much earlier than history textbooks suggest. Union strongholds in the Deep South during the Civil War were few and far between, with Chattanooga being the deepest, taken at the Battle of Chickamauga in Sept. 1863. After the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the Confederate states, the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery altogether. Many decided to escape plantations for a northern or Union-occupied city. Chattanooga was the closet city to many of these newly freed men and women, and after arriving, they settled near the river into a community nicknamed Camp Contraband. Over time, they created a thriving economy and maintained political power as alderman of different
wards of the city. This particular exhibit spans 1850 to about 1910 and features a creatively placed window that looks out over the area on the riverbank that used to be Camp Contraband. Of all the major eras covered in the new museum, this is probably the story least told. A gallery focusing on the Industrial Revolution in Chattanooga follows, without overshadowing, and allows visitors to first understand how Chattanooga became a spot where industrialization could flourish. Political prominence, smallbusiness ownership and influential voices in the media allowed the black population to become successful while outgrowing the number of whites in Chattanooga. By the late 1860s the city was two-thirds black, populated by freemen, runaways and nativeborn African-American children. Progressive ideals and economic success in the city’s diverse community was short-lived though,
for laws were soon passed as whites pushed back against the 13th Amendment. The exhibit will feature a memory box showing actors portraying white interpretations of the Civil War. These statements will sit alongside black retellings of experiences with segregation, such as one woman who was not allowed in an establishment when she was only 4 because of her race. “People make our common humanity. You have the responsibility to make that future,” Daryl Black, historian and curator of the Chattanooga History Center, told those in the audience during the gallery talk. The tone of the exhibit is summarized in this phrase. Viewers are given the opportunity to understand the real struggles Chattanooga communities faced and make the connection to how they can solve modern issues. Before leaving the museum, visitors can share what they learned and what changes they would like to see made. The history center will then channel these insights to the right ears. Perhaps my personal lack of knowledge on this time period stems from the white institutionalization of the education system. Perhaps its origins are rooted in my ambitious and unachievable dream for a universal end to color stereotyping, racism and bigotry. But this is the South, and I believe this story isn’t told in elementary history lessons because we don’t like to talk about anything that makes “us” look bad. For whatever reason it’s been hidden, the truth is coming out in full force this fall at the history center. Maybe I can readjust that dream into one in which everyone is, if not totally eradicated of prejudice beliefs, at least well versed in history and can appreciate the efforts of a community who loved— and still love—Chattanooga. As much progress as we’ve made, as far as we’ve come, there’s still room for more understanding. Julia Sharp is a senior at UTC and an intern at The Pulse.
Between the Sleeves record reviews • ernie paik
Brokeback Brokeback and the Black Rock (Thrill Jockey)
ouglas McCombs is best known as the bassist of two Chicago bands, the rhythmsection-heavy instrumental ensemble Tortoise and fiery rock group Eleventh Dream Day, but his outfit Brokeback, which began in 1995 as a solo project, has its own long-running history and evolution. Beginning as a sparse, melodic examination of the sound of the six-string Fender Bass VI, Brokeback has since expanded its sonic methods, featuring collaborations with label mates and friends and improvisational pieces. In 2010, McCombs assembled its current lineup—bassist Pete Croke, drummer and multi-instrumentalist James Elkington and guitarist Chris Hansen—and it features a more defined style, evoking the spaghetti-western soundtracks of Italian composer Ennio Morricone. Regarding Brokeback’s latest instrumental album, Brokeback and the Black Rock, one comparison that comes to mind is the first Tortoise album, which had its own unique, patient aesthetic before the group went into more electronically inclined territories. The new eight-track album might not be immediately engaging when first hearing it, but it has a way of slithering into the listener’s
system as its pieces unfurl. The most striking things about the opening track “Will Be Arriving” are its electric guitar tone, oozing with personality, and its measured, slowly burning pace; it leads to a liberating payoff, opening up to reveal a sort of dusty majesty. Brokeback’s approach favors a studied execution rather than the more exploratory side of latter-day Tortoise, but several elements emerge for variety, like the funk-influenced drumming of “The Wire, the Rag, and the Payoff” and the tango-esque spirit of “Tonight at Ten.” The album’s best tracks are on its second half, with the compelling “Don’t Worry Pigeon,” featuring a silky guitar and bass counterpoint, enhanced by tremolo guitar chords, and the closing eleven-minute journey “Colossus of Roads,” reprising its theme repeatedly as a sort of epic announcement. While the album requires patience and could stand to have a few more ideas, what it does it does well, transporting the listener to the American West.
Rudresh Mahanthappa Gamak (ACT Music + Vision)
he Italian-born, A merican-raised saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa was inspired during his studies to merge Carnatic—south Indian classical—music with jazz of the western
world, practicing cultural internationalism; this is similar to what saxophonist John Zorn did starting in the early ’90s, who shifted from Ornette Coleman-influenced thrash-jazz to his own avant-jazz methods based on Jewish scales. Mahanthappa is a performer with mighty chops and an immediately recognizable playing style that doesn’t stay in one place for very long. It may be wearying to newcomers, characterized by speedy fluttering with an edge, and Muhammed Ali’s catchphrase “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” comes to mind. Mahanthappa’s latest album, Gamak, does bear an Indian influence, but it doesn’t ooze out of the speakers. His approach is more cunning and this writer hesitates to call it “subtle,” because this album is anything but subtle. Mahanthappa has assembled a formidable quartet, with hard-plucking bassist François Moutin and drummer Dan Weiss, who seems to have more of a rock-funk inclination than traditional jazz leanings. “Jazz-punk” doublenecked-guitarist David Fiuczynski (of Screaming Headless Torsos) matches Mahanthappa’s dexterity and shares the spotlight with him with tight, rigorous runs. The album is a complex amalgam of Indian scales and aggressive, breathtaking jazz-rock fusion run through a downtown-New York City and post-Bitches Brew filter, with a Mahavishnu Orchestra spirit that’s less outwardly progrock. The album alternates between expansive jaunts and quick hits like the closing, assertive stomper “Majesty of the Blues,” and the unusual “Abhogi.” All things considered, the intense musicianship, open and inclusive approach, and experimentation make it pleasingly confusing and consistently fascinating.
Chattanooga Live CALENDAR@CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM
8 p.m. Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-5347 barkinglegs.org Pee Wee More & Friends 10 p.m. Raw, 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919 Bearhound, Iron Fez, Don Coyote 10 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400
mon 02.18 Big Band Night 8 p.m. The Coconut Room at The Palms at Hamilton, 6925 Shallowford Road (423) 499-5055 thepalmsathamilton.com DJ Spicoli 10 p.m. Raw, 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919
tue 02.19 Mimosa Blissfully unconcerned with a world obsessed with categorization, MiM0SA crafts music for its own sake with genrebending soundscapes. With Grandtheft on Wednesday at Track 29.
DJ Spicoli 10 p.m. Raw, 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919
«P11 Pistol Town, DJ Reggie Reg 10 p.m. Raw, 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919
sat 02.16 Cornelius & Consuela 7:30 p.m. The Camp House, 1427 Williams St. (423) 702-8081 thecamphouse.com Robby Hopkins Band 8 p.m. SkyZoo, 5709 Lee Hwy. (423) 468-4533 skyzoochattanooga.com Jordan Hallquist, Gabriel Newell, BJ Hightower and Keith Crisp, Will Van de Kamp and Matt McCall 8:30 p.m. Lindsay Street Hall, 901 Lindsay St. (423) 755-9111 lindsaystreethall.com Year of October 8:30 p.m. Southside Saloon & Bistro, 1301 Chestnut St. (423) 757-4730 southsidesaloon andbistro.com One Night Stand 9 p.m. Jack A’s Chop Shop Saloon, 742 Ashland Terrace,
(423) 713-8739 jackaschopshopsaloon.com Big Bette & She-She Dance 10 p.m. The Office, 901 Carter St. (423) 634-9191 Pistol Town, DJ Reggie Reg 10 p.m. Raw, 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919 Rosedale Remedy 10 p.m. Bud’s Sports Bar, 5751 Brainerd Road (423) 499-9878 budssportsbar.com The Great Barrier Reefs, Pan 10 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 That 90’s Love Show: Soul Mechanic, Maid Myriad 10 p.m. Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St. rhythm-brews.com
sun 02.17 Pan, Kings of the Killerfish 7 p.m. The Honest Pint, 35 Patten Pkwy. (423) 468-4192 thehonestpint.com Little Country Giants, Tiffany Taylor
MiMosa, Grandtheft 8 p.m. Track 29, 1400 Market St. (423) 266-4323 track29.co Troy Underwood 8 p.m. Acoustic Café, 61 RBC Drive, Ringgold, Ga. (706) 965-2065 ringgoldacoustic.com Allman Brothers Band Tribute: Rosedale Remedy, Allmans All Night 8 p.m. Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St. rhythm-brews.com Ten Pound Hammer, Gold Plated Gold, Brandon Curtis 9 p.m. The Honest Pint, 35 Patten Pkwy. (423) 468-4192 thehonestpint.com Johnathan Wimpee & Andy Elliot 10 p.m. Raw, 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919 Vinyl Night with DJ Heather 10 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 For an expanded music calendar and updates visit chattanoogapulse.com.
chattanoogapulse.com • february 14-20, 2013 • The Pulse • 15
By Janis Hashe
he tale of Sweeney Todd is not a Sunday in the park, with or without George. The enduringly popular 1979 musical-or-opera (depending on whom you ask) certainly has many moments of deep black comedy. But its view of human nature is unrelentingly, savagely pessimistic.
Sondheim’s demon barber ‘Sweeney Todd’ cuts across low- and highbrow tastes 16 • The Pulse • february 14-20, 2013 • chattanoogapulse.com
show explores complex themes, the story moves right along.” Ray has used inspiration from Antonin Artaud’s concept of a “theatre of cruelty” to infuse the production with a sense of surrealism. “In a way, we see our darkest dreams on stage. Everyone in this work has been poisoned by something—revenge, lust, greed,” he says. “Yet at the same time, seeing these demons played out is cathartic.” In the story, a man named Benjamin Barker returns from wrongful exile in Australia to find that his beloved wife has poisoned herself after being raped by the judge who falsely
However, as Steve Ray, director of the production opening Friday at UTC says, for many people “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street” is also Stephen Sondheim’s most entertaining work. “Sondheim is often seen as ‘high brow’,” he says. “But even though this
condemned him. Mad with rage, he transforms himself into Sweeney Todd, a barber from whose chair none ever get up. “His life has been ruined and he changes before our eyes into a monster,” says Ray. But in Sweeney’s case, he’s a monster that has been created by the constant injustice of his life. Yet Sondheim cracks the darkness with songs such as “A Little Priest,” immortalized in the original production by Angela Lansbury, in which the cleric emerges as … an ingredient. Let’s just say that pies from Mrs. Lovett’s pie shop suddenly take on a meatier flavor. UTC’s production is a collaboration between the university’s theatre and music departments, using a 12-piece orchestra and 25 cast members. “It’s fully staged and fully designed,” says Ray, noting that, in fact, to give scenic design students a taste of what it’s like to design a show for the road, the set was built in another theatre before being transferred to its performance space, the Roland Hayes Concert Hall. A big show such as this needs extra preparation and rehearsal time, so work began at the end of last semester, Ray says. “We needed five weeks to work on the choreography and staging, and of course the music itself is very complex,” he says. Music students learned that doing a stage musical involves acting, and the acting students have learned that this is not the kind of music you can fake, he says. Although interdepartmental projects require extra oversight and are challenging, the results are well worth it, Ray says. “It hasn’t been easy, but art isn’t easy,” he says. A view with which Stephen Sondheim himself would undoubtedly agree. “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street” 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15, 21 & 22; 3 p.m. Feb. 17 & 24 Roland Hayes Concert Hall, UTC Fine Arts Center, Vine & Palmetto Streets (423) 425-4269 utc.edu
Arts Entertainment CALENDAR@CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM
THU 02.14 Valentine’s Dinner Train Excursion 5:30-8 p.m. Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, 4119 Cromwell Road (423) 894-8028 tvrail.com Free movie: “Guilty Pleasures” 6:30 p.m. The Public Library, 1001 Broad St. (423) 757-5310 lib.chattanooga.gov “String Theory” 6:30 p.m. The Hunter Museum, 10 Bluff View Ave. (423) 267-0968 stringtheorymusic.org Valentine’s Dinner Cruise 7 p.m. Southern Belle Riverboat, 201 Riverfront Pkwy. (423) 266-4488 chattanoogariverboat.com “A Doll’s House” 7 p.m. Chattanooga Theatre Centre (Circle Stage), 400 River St. (423) 267-8534 theatrecentre.com Killer Beaz 7:30 p.m. The Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Rd. (423) 629-2233 thecomedycatch.com “The Vagina Monologues” 8 p.m. Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-LEGS barkinglegs.org
fri 02.15 Killer Beaz 7 & 9:30p.m. The Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Rd. (423) 629-2233 thecomedycatch.com “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” 7:30 p.m. (Through Feb. 24) UTC Fine Arts Center, 736 Vine St. (423) 425-4269 tickettracks.com “The Pillowman” 7:30 p.m. Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga, 5600 Brainerd Road (423) 987-5141 ensembletheatre ofchattanooga.com “A Doll’s House”
Patrick Garrity 9:30 p.m. Vaudeville Cafe, 138 Market St. (423) 517-1839 funnydinner.com
GEORGIA LOVE POTION • Georgia Winery is hosting their 3rd annual Wine & Chocolate Open House every Saturday in February from noon to 4 p.m. Featuring the re-release of their desirably delicious Love Potion, an undeniably decadent, velvety smooth red wine infused with rich, dark chocolate.
8 p.m. Chattanooga Theatre Centre (Circle Stage), 400 River St. (423) 267-8534 theatrecentre.com CSO Pops: “Big Band Fever” featuring Doc Severinsen 8 p.m. Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St. (423) 267-8583 chattanoogasymphony.org My Funny Valentine Comedy Jam 8 p.m. Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave. (423) 642-8497 chattanoogaonstage.com Violinist Sooyoung Yoon and Pianist Ji Neyng You 8 p.m. Covenant College, 14049 Scenic Hwy. (706) 820-1453 covenant.edu “The Vagina Monologues” 8 p.m. Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-LEGS barkinglegs.org “Romance at Ruby” 8:30-10 p.m. Ruby Falls, 1720 Scenic Hwy. (423) 821-2544 rubyfalls.com
Wine & Chocolate Open House Noon-4 p.m. Georgia Winery, 6469 Battlefield Pkwy. (706) 937-WINE georgiawines.com Valentine’s Lunch Cruise 3 p.m. Southern Belle Riverboat, 201 Riverfront Pkwy. (423) 266-4488 chattanoogariverboat.com Valentine’s Sunset Cruise 3-6 p.m. River Gorge Explorer, 1 Broad St. (423) 267-3474 tnaqua.org Killer Beaz 7 & 9:30p.m. The Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Rd. (423) 629-2233 thecomedycatch.com “The Pillowman” 7:30 p.m. Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga, 5600 Brainerd Road (423) 987-5141 ensembletheatre ofchattanooga.com CSO Pops: “Big Band Fever “ featuring Doc Severinsen 8 p.m. Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St. (423) 267-8583 chattanoogasymphony.org “A Doll’s House” 8 p.m. Chattanooga Theatre Centre (Circle Stage), 400 River St. (423) 267-8534 theatrecentre.com “The Vagina Monologues” 8 p.m. Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-LEGS barkinglegs.org Patrick Garrity 10:30 p.m. Vaudeville Cafe, 138 Market St. (423) 517-1839 funnydinner.com
sun 02.17 “Bigfoot” Hike to Mushroom Rock 2 p.m. Outdoor Chattanooga, Shackleford Ridge Park, Shackleford Ridge Road & Sam Powell Drive (423) 643-6888 outdoorchattanooga.com “The Pillowman” 2:30 p.m. Ensemble
Theatre of Chattanooga, 5600 Brainerd Road (423) 987-5141 ensembletheatre ofchattanooga.com “A Doll’s House” 2:30 p.m. Chattanooga Theatre Centre (Circle Stage), 400 River St. (423) 267-8534 theatrecentre.com “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” 3 p.m. UTC Fine Arts Center, 736 Vine St. (423) 425-4269 tickettracks.com “The Vagina Monologues” 3 p.m. Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-LEGS barkinglegs.org “Lessons” 7:30 p.m. Lee University, Edna Minor Conn Theatre, 1120 N Ocoee St. (423) 614-8343 leeuniversity.edu Big Ed Caylor & Jerry Harvey 7:30 p.m. The Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Rd. (423) 629-2233 thecomedycatch.com
mon 02.18 “Lessons” 7:30 p.m. Lee University, Edna Minor Conn Theatre, 1120 N Ocoee St. (423) 614-8343 leeuniversity.edu
tue 02.19 Club Discovery: Land of Fire & Ice 5:30 p.m. Creative Discovery Museum, 321 Chestnut St. (423) 756-2738 cdmfun.org “State of the Union” Civil War Art Exhibit 10a.m.-5 p.m. Warehouse Row, 1110 Market St. (423) 267-1129 greggsegal.com
wed 02.20 “State of the Union” Civil War Art Exhibit 10a.m.-5 p.m. Warehouse Row, 1110 Market St. (423) 267-1129 greggsegal.com
For an expanded A&E calendar and updates visit chattanoogapulse.com. chattanoogapulse.com • february 14-20, 2013 • The Pulse • 17
Brad’s Bi-Polar ‘Playbook’ By John DeVore
ental illness is the subject of the Academy Awardnominated comedy “Silver Linings Playbook,” and it handles the difficult subject matter remarkably well considering its nature. The last Oscar-nominated film that delved deeply into the fractured mind was “Black Swan,” an excellent movie that mind very dark places and seemed to divide audiences. “Silver Linings” is a bit more realistic, treating it’s characters as accessible, real people rather than archetypes, but it suffers from the necessity of comedy writing—namely that a comedy requires a happy ending.
Despite its plot contrivances and forced ending, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ makes strides toward addressing a real health problem with candor and charm
That said, the film has several powerful scenes that focus on the realities of mental illness and those who suffer from it. It shows caring families who are at a loss to manage their struggling family members because they ultimately can’t understand their behavior. The characters don’t even understand their own actions from time to time. If the filmmaker had been able to resist moving the plot forward through contrivances, focusing instead on the internal characteristics of its characters, it would have been a home run. As it is, it still warrants the nomination. Pat (Bradley Cooper) has re-
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cently been released from an eight-month, court ordered psychiatric rehabilitation. During this period, he is diagnosed as bi-polar. Without the knowledge of his father, Pat is discharged into the care of his mother. He is single minded in his determination to win back his wife’s affections, despite the fact that she has a restraining order against him because he nearly killed her lover after discovering them in the shower together. He repeats his mantra of “excelsior” over and
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in “Silver Linings Playbook.”
over to himself, looking for silver linings in all things, in an effort to maintain the manic cycle of this disease and initially refuses to manage himself through medication, as it makes him feel clouded and bloated. Pat eventually crosses paths with Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), sister-in-law of a friend who lost her husband in a traffic accident,
which caused her to spin into a spiral of depression and sex before moving into a garage behind her parent’s house. The rules of screenwriting dictate that beautiful and damaged people must fall in love, which happens in this case through manipulation and dance. The film does a remarkable job early on of revealing the difficulties of mental illness, specifically bi-polar and depression. Pat’s family reacts realistically to his erratic moods and behavior, their faces constantly fraught with worry and exasperation. Tiffany’s family watches from windows, angrily dismissing suitors who appear to take advantage of her fragility. There is a particularly fascinating scene in which Pat and Tiffany discuss medications and side effects while the family looks on in dismay. More scenes like that would have only worked to the film’s favor. “Silver Linings” also explores a subplot involving Pat’s father (Robert Di Niro) as an obsessivecompulsive Philadelphia Eagles fan with anger issues of his own. It reveals the guilt and anguish felt by parents who can only see the troubles of their children as signs of their own failure. Unfortunately, the film drops most of these themes in the last 30 minutes or so to cleanly wrap the plot up in a happily-ever-after bow. Despite its forced ending, the film makes strides toward addressing a real health problem with candor and charm. Bi-polar disorder is becoming more common place, not because of increased incidences but because it’s more easily recognized. “Silver Linings Playbook” does a good job of challenging stigmas associated with mental illness in general. Here we see people managing their illness in a holistic nature, with exercise and family support in addition to therapy and medication. The next challenge will be to make a character with mental health issues appealing without looking like Bradley Cooper. At the very least, mental illness now shares equal footing with obesity and socially awkward men and women. I call that progress.
DINING OUT CHATTANOOGA
Flight to Paradise A wine-lover’s heaven awaits at Brix Nouveau Wine & Cheese Bar By Michael Thomas
hen I first began to drink and enjoy wine, my idea of the typical wine enthusiasts were Frazier and Niles Crane from the old television show “Frazier”—middle-aged, upper-class white guys standing around in wool suits, swirling glasses of overpriced French wine and trying to impress anyone within earshot with words like “bouquet” and “mouthfeel.”
In recent years, however, there has been an increasing chorus of voices encouraging wine drinkers to free themselves from the shackles of old-guard wine snobbery and simply drink what tastes good. In Chattanooga, Rosabelle Gorman and her staff at Brix Nouveau Wine & Cheese Bar are some of the leading voices in this movement to bring wine and cheese out of the stuffy, wood-paneled tasting rooms and, as Gorman puts it, “Create a place where people can explore wine at their own pace and at their own comfort level.” The space Gorman has created is indeed comfortable and inviting. From the local art decorating the walls to the naturally aged stainless and reclaimed wood tabletops, Brix Nouveau is a visual expression of their casual, yet knowledgeable approach to wine and cheese. On my most recent visit, I was able to sit just inside the huge bay door that opens onto their large, dogfriendly patio and enjoy a pleasant cool breeze between sips and bites from their deceptively concise menu. The menu at Brix Nouveau is specifically designed to encourage experimentation and exploration. While they have a large selection of wines to choose from if you are in the mood for
Brix Nouveau Wine & Cheese Bar 301 Cherokee Ave. (423) 488-2926 brixnoueau.com Hours Tuesday-Thursday: 5-10 p.m. Friday & Saturday: 5-11 p.m. Sunday: 3-8 p.m.
something particular, the tasting flight menu is a low-risk and affordable way to try several varieties of quality wines. “Tasting flight” is a phrase used to describe a selection of wines that have been chosen to familiarize the taster with a range of wine flavors, breadths and depths. Each of Brix Nouveau’s tasting flights offer three, three-ounce glasses of wine that progress from a lighter, often more fruit-forward wine to a heavier, often darker variety. If a wine from your flight inspires you to buy a full glass or bottle, then you receive 20 percent off the purchase from that flight. Their very knowledgeable and attentive staff are enthusiastic and excited to help with any questions you have and can guide your choices to ensure you have a great experience. “We want to de-mystify wine and show people that taste is key. The tasting flights are an easy way for people
to find a wine they like,”Gorman says. Once you’ve decided on a tasting flight, the next step is choosing a cheese and meat plate to compliment your wines. You create your cheese plate from a wellrounded list of meats, cheeses and other accompaniments that are designed to give the taster a broad range of options to pair with their wine selection. For me, this is where Brix Nouveau’s concept shines and turns this wine bar into a taster’s paradise. I opted for the basic platter and chose a nice raw sheepsmilk Manchego cheese, a Gouda with candied ginger and some Tartufo Salami with black truffle. To accompany the cheese and salami I selected their garlicky roasted tomatoes, dried Turkish figs and disks of 60-percent cacao chocolate. Each cheese plate also comes with an assortment of fresh Bluff View breads such as ciabatta, french or raisin walnut.
While Brix Nouveau has a large selection of wines to choose from if you are in the mood for something particular, the tasting flight menu is a lowrisk and affordable way to try several varieties of quality wines. As I began pairing the various cheeses, breads, accompaniments and the salami, I became intrigued with the endless variety and dramatic differences in flavors that you could create through the various combinations of components. I particularly enjoyed the interplay of flavors between the creaminess
of the Manchego and the headiness of the truffle in the Tartufo which provided a nice bridge flavor to the Tensley Syrah from my “Business Class Flight.” Towards the end of the evening I found myself pairing the cacao chocolate with the darker and slightly peppery Petite Sirah before finishing off the last of those naturally sweet-roasted tomatoes. To finish, you can pair one of Brix Nouveau’s desserts, such as the beautifully layered Tiramisu, with a Porto Cruz Tawny Port wine whose hints of vanilla and caramel bridge very well to the flavors of the Tiramisu. Whether you are a casual wine drinker or a self-professed wine snob, you’ll find a lot to love about Chattanooga’s only wine and cheese bar. I could easily visit Brix Nouveau every day and never have the same bite or same sip twice, which for an obsessive taster like me is a little slice of heaven right there on Cherokee Boulevard.
chattanoogapulse.com • february 14-20, 2013 • The Pulse • 19
Free Will Astrology AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “All these years I’ve been searching for an impossible love,” said French writer Marguerite Duras late in her life. The novels and films she created reflect that feeling. Her fictional characters are often engaged in obsessive quests for an ideal romance that would allow them to express their passion perfectly and fulfill their longing completely. In the meantime, their actual relationships in the real world suffer, even as their starryeyed aspirations remain forever frustrated. I invite you, Aquarius, to celebrate this Valentine season by taking a vow of renunciation. Summon the courage to forswear Duras’s doomed approach to love.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): To avoid
getting hacked, computer tech experts advise you to choose strong, hard-toguess passwords for your online accounts. Among the worst choices to protect your security are “123456,” “iloveyou,” “qwerty,” and, of course, “password.” Judging by the current astrological omens, Pisces, I’m guessing that you should have a similar approach to your whole life in
rob brezsny the coming days. It’s important that you be picky about who you allow into your heart, mind, and soul. Make sure that only the most trustworthy and sensitive people can gain access. Your metaphorical password might be something like this: m*y#s@t&e?r%y.
(March 21-April 19): Afrikaner author Laurens van der Post told a story about a conversation between psychologist Carl Jung and Ochwiay Biano, a Pueblo Indian chief. Jung asked Biano to offer his views about white people. “White people must be crazy because they think with their heads,” said the chief, “and it is well-known that only crazy people do that.” Jung asked him what the alternative was. Biano said that his people think with their hearts. That’s your assignment for the week ahead, Aries: to think with your heart -- especially when it comes to love. For extra credit, you should feel with your head -- especially when it comes to love. Happy Valentine Daze, Aries!
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Have you ever sent a torrent of smart and elegant love messages to a person you wanted to
get closer to? Now would be an excellent time to try a stunt like that. Have you ever scoured the depths of your own psyche in search of any unconscious attitudes or bad habits that might be obstructing your ability to enjoy the kind of intimacy you long for? I highly recommend such a project right now. Have you ever embarked on a crusade to make yourself even more interesting and exciting than you already are? Do it now. Raise your irresistibility! Happy Valentine Daze, Taurus!
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Happy Valentine Daze, Gemini! After careful meditation about what messages might purify and supercharge your love life, I decided to offer suggestions about what not to do. To that end, I’ll quote some lines from Kim Addonizio’s poem “Forms of Love.” Please don’t speak any of them out loud, or even get yourself into a position where it makes sense to say them. 1. “I love how emotionally unavailable you are.” 2. “I love you and feel a powerful spiritual connection to you, even though we’ve never met.” 3. “I love your pain, it’s so competitive.” 4. “I love you as long as you love me back.” 5. “I love you when you’re not getting drunk and stupid.” 6. “I love you but I’m married.” 7. “I love it when you tie me up with ropes using the knots you learned in Boy Scouts, and when you do the stoned Dennis Hopper rap from Apocalypse Now!” CANCER (June 21-July 22): This Valentine season, I suggest you consider trying an experiment like this: Go to the soulful ally you want to be closer to and take off at least some of your masks. Drop your pretenses, too. Shed your emotional armor and do without your psychological crutches. Take a chance on getting as psychologically and spiritually naked as you have ever dared. Are you brave enough to reveal the core truths about yourself that lie beneath the convenient truths and the expired truths and the pretend truths?
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LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “Sex is a substitute for God,” says writer Cathryn Michon. “When we desire another human being sexually, we are really only trying to fill our longing for ecstasy and union with the infinite.” I agree with her, and I think you might, too, after this week. Erotic encounters will have an even better chance than usual of connecting you to the Sublime Cosmic YumYum. If you can’t find a worthy collaborator to help you accomplish this miraculous feat, just fantasize about one. You need and deserve spiritual rapture. Happy Valentine Daze, Leo! VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Lately you’ve
been doing exemplary work on your relationship with yourself, Virgo. You have halfconvinced your inner critic to shut the frack up unless it has a truly important piece of wisdom to impart. Meanwhile, you’ve managed to provide a small but inspired dose of healing for the wounded part of your psyche, and you have gently exposed a selfdeception that had been wreaking quiet havoc. Congratulations! I’ve got a hunch that all these fine efforts will render you extra sexy and charismatic in the coming week. But it will probably be a subtle kind of sexiness and charisma that only the most emotionally intelligent people will recognize. So don’t expect to attract the attention of superficial jerks who happen to have beautiful exteriors. Happy Valentine Daze!
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The coming
days could be an animalistic time for you, and I mean that in the best sense. I suspect you will generate lots of favorable responses from the universe if you honor the part of you that can best be described as a beautiful beast. Learn fun new truths about your instinctual nature. Explore the mysteries of your primal urges. See what you can decipher about your body’s secret language. May I also suggest that you be alert for and receptive to the beautiful beast in other people? Happy Valentine Daze, Libra!
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): For the
French Scorpio poet Paul Valéry, swimming had an erotic quality. He described it as fornication avec l’onde, which can be translated as “fornicating with the waves.” Your assignment this Valentine season, Scorpio, is to identify at least three activities that are like sex but not exactly sex -and then do them with glee and abandon. The purpose of this exercise is to educate and cultivate your libido; to encourage your kundalini to branch out as it intensifies and expands your lust for life.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): This Valentine season, meditate on the relentlessness of your yearning for love. Recognize the fact that your eternal longing will never leave you in peace. Accept that it will forever delight you, torment you, inspire you, and bewilder you—whether you are alone or in the throes of a complicated relationship. Understand that your desire for love will just keep coming and coming and coming, keeping you slightly off-balance and pushing you to constantly revise your ideas about who you are. Now read this declaration from the poet Rilke and claim it as your own: “My blood is alive with many voices that tell me I am made of longing.” CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): According to physicists Yong Mao and Thomas Fink, you can tie a necktie in 85 different kinds of knots, but only 13 of those actually look good. I encourage you to apply that way of thinking to pretty much everything you do in the coming week. Total success will elude you if you settle on functional solutions that aren’t aesthetically pleasing. You should make sure that beauty and usefulness are thoroughly interwoven. This is especially true in matters regarding your love life and close relationships. Togetherness needs a strong dose of lyrical pragmatism. Happy Valentine Daze, Capricorn!
“Free to Be”—more words at large.
1. Brick carrier 4. 1450, to Nero 8. Is acquainted with 13. Old health resorts 15. Gas checked in home safety tests 16. Like bad lending 17. OutKast member ___ 3000 18. Debate attack 19. ___ positive 20. Co. whose mascot is Nipper 21. Deer relative 22. Abbr. after a phone number 24. “___ Blues” (“White Album” song) 25. “Critique of Pure Reason” philosopher 27. Sinatra song with many lines starting
with “this time” 30. Point to 32. Kind of issues aggravated by gluten 36. Swelling 37. One of the tides 39. Lisa of “Melrose Place” 40. Ruff ___ Entertainment (former record label) 42. Refused to go along with, like an idea 44. “If you asked me...” follow-up 46. Pastures 47. Soak (up) 50. “¿ Que ___?” (“How’s it going?” in Spanish) 51. Firework without the pop 53. Seasonal Will Ferrell movie
54. Medicine man, hopefully 56. Con artist’s cube 59. ___ 2600 (system with blocky graphics) 60. Grocery store number 61. Doc in the field 62. Clean version of a song 63. It’s pulled in April 64. In ___ (at heart) 65. 1988 Dennis Quaid remake
1. Lollipops and peppermints and such 2. Like some catches 3. She teamed with Eminem in 2000 4. 1996 kids movie directed by Danny DeVito
5. Anchor that stayed put for many years 6. Serious 7. They’re the target of simple terms 8. “Autobahn” group 9. Elder relative, to some 10. In a strange way 11. On the decline 12. Billy Idol expression 13. More lively 14. Not feisty 23. “The Mayor of Simpleton” band 26. “By the ___ Get to Phoenix” 28. Ryan or Boone 29. Architect Saarinen 31. Deck diversion 33. “Yessirree!” 34. “Falcon Crest” actress with the real last name Ortiz 35. Fuzzy four on the floor 38. Scrape covers 41. Org. that gives out 9-digit IDs 43. It may clash with the rest of the suit 45. Draw 47. Lovable rascal 48. Like shells 49. Devil’s brand 52. ___-Provera (birth control injection) 55. PG&E opponent Brockovich 57. “Business Goes ___ Usual” (Roberta Flack song) 58. Scott who sued to end his own slavery © 2013 Jonesin’ Crosswords. For answers to this puzzle, call: 1-900226-2800, 99 cents per minute. Must be 18+ to call. Or to bill to your credit card, call: 1-800655-6548. Reference puzzle No. 0610.
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RICK DAVIS GOLD & DIAMONDS 5301 Brainerd Rd at McBrien Rd • 423.499.9162 chattanoogapulse.com • february 14-20, 2013 • The Pulse • 21
Life in the Noog
Eww, That Smell
height of their career, just five dates into what was looking like the band’s most successful tour ever, a chartered plane ran out of gas and crash landed in rural Mississippi. Pivotal members Ronnie Van Zandt, Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines all died. Fans everywhere were stunned and saddened by the loss, and while we all knew that the band’s legacy would last, Lynyrd Skynyrd as we knew it was no more.
Bands have a place in time. The smart ones know when enough is enough, but the allure of nostalgia never dies. There’s too much money (and ego) involved. Death can’t compete with Riverbend’s thirst for classic bands and the crowds they draw.
ast week, the Friends of the (Riverbend) Festival not so triumphantly announced that this year’s lineup would include Lynyrd Skynyrd—again. One of the most tragic Southern rock stories of all time for a multitude of well-known reasons, Skynyrd is apparently still hobbling along the welltraveled road of countless has-been classic rockers who seem predestined to hold the Coca-Cola Stage hostage each year. And once again, I’m not surprised.
At Riverbend, the song remains the same—but the bands do not
I was sadly mistaken to find the Friends had not learned their lesson after last year’s booking of the remains of Foreigner, whose current lineup is comprised of complete foreigners to the original group. With the exception of
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guitarist-songwriter Mick Jones, who couldn’t even make the gig due to “urgent, urgent—emergency” heart surgery, the band is a tribute act. But enough pot shots at our beloved riverfront funnel cake fest. Let’s just talk Skynyrd. For a brief five-year period in the 1970s, Lynyrd Skynyrd was one of the most influential bands to emerge from the South in a long time. Peers like the Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker, Charlie Daniels and countless others couldn’t hold a candle to these high school dropouts who could write a killer song paired with exceptional musicianship the likes of which were unmatched—period. Hell, even super-songwriting giant Neil Young had to admit these guys could turn goat piss into gasoline. They were a force to be reckoned with—until Oct. 20, 1977. That’s when the whole thing literally went up in flames. At the
Ten years later, surviving members Gary Rossington, Billy Powell, Leon Wilkeson, Artimus Pyle and former guitarist Ed King decided it was time to break the silence and give the people what they wanted—more “Freebird.” A fitting replacement for Skynyrd’s irreplaceable singer was found in his little brother, Johnny. Original guitarist Allen Collins was alive, but just barely. A car crash in 1986 left him paralyzed, so he chose friend Randall Hall to fill in. Collins acted as musical director for the ’87 tour, making brief appearances at each show in his wheelchair—usually during the anti-drug song, “That Smell,” which was written about him to explain to diehard fans why he wasn’t able to perform. Despite many reservations, the tour was pretty awesome. I saw one of the shows myself and can attest to that fact. The new Skynyrd continued to tour and record—it’s latest is aptly titled Last of a Dyin’ Breed—despite the deaths and departures of its remaining cast. Pyle quit in 1991. Randall Hall and Ed King
were forced out of the band in the mid-’90s. Wilkeson died in 2001, followed by Powell in 2009. Only one original member, Gary Rossington—not counting Johnny Van Zandt’s honorary status— remained. While this may not matter to those who still like to answer the question, “What song is it you wanna hear?” with the predictable choice, it is somewhat disconcerting to me. Bands have a place in time. The smart ones know when enough is enough, but the allure of nostalgia never dies. There’s too much money (and ego) involved. Death can’t compete with Riverbend’s thirst for classic bands and the crowds they draw. The Beatles broke up before any of its members died, but wisely rejected all offers to perform as something less than the whole. Would The Doors be The Doors without Jim Morrison? No. The Who were crippled by the death of Keith Moon and carried on, but were never really The Who again. Led Zeppelin disbanded after the death of drummer John Bonham and have reunited only for sporadic gigs. Nirvana couldn’t possibly go on without Kurt Cobain. So why do the remnants of Foreigner, Journey and Skynyrd deserve to be recognized as anything more than tribute bands? So-called “music” festivals like Riverbend figure they’re likely to bring in the biggest crowds and best returns. Everyone knows the music, if not the artists, and, hell, they’re all drunk anyway. So why not? The truth is we wouldn’t be enjoying the likes of the Foo Fighters today if Nirvana had enlisted substitutes. Even Paul McCartney understood that. The road is long and winding and only the good die young, or so I’ve heard. And while you see tribute bands everywhere these days, the real acts with only one original member are, in fact, tribute bands to their former incarnations. But if the Friends wants to pay top dollar for that brand of “star power,” so be it. I can’t wait until next year. Maybe they’ll talk Led Zeppelin into reuniting with Zoso. Rock on, Riverbend. Chuck Crowder is a local writer and man about town. His opinions are his own.
chattanoogapulse.com • february 14-20, 2013 • The Pulse • 23