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March 7, 2013

Vol. 10 • No. 10

Chattanooga’s Weekly Alternative DIZZYTOWN Memorial Auditorium: Venue or Monument? ON THE BEAT Excessive Force LIFE IN THE NOOG Healthy? Pay Up

The Bowl • Talk of the Noog

• Chad’s Records moves in with Winder Binder • Sheriff Jim: Black President, White Insecurity • The Great Wine, Whiskey & Beer Rebellion of 2013



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A Saga of Journalism, Drugs & Redemption By Rich Bailey


2 • The Pulse • march 7-13, 2013 •

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Director of Sales Mike Baskin Account Executives Chee Chee Brown • Eric Foster • Jessica Gray John Holland • Rick Leavell • Jerry Ware




Editor & Creative Director Bill Ramsey Operations Manager/Webmaster Mike McJunkin Contributors Rich Bailey • Rob Brezsny • Zachary Cooper Chuck Crowder • John DeVore • Janis Hashe David Helton • Matt Jones • 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 Email Calendar 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.

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Chad’s Records moving in with Winder Binder When a fire broke out on the morning of Feb. 21, destroying Toast Cafe on Vine Street, nextdoor neighbor Chad’s Records also felt the burn. While firefighters saved Chad’s from the flames, smoke and water damaged forced the record store to close, lest its large collection of valuable vinyl find itself warped and rendered unsalable. Closed indefinitely (like Toast itself), owner Chad Bledsoe might have remained out of business were it not for an offer from his cousin, David Smotherman, owner of Winder Binder Gallery & Bookstore on Frazier Avenue.



Smotherman suggested Chad move his business and inventory into the store and Bledsoe quickly accepted. “Were cousins, so it made sense to work together to get him back open and over here on the North Shore,” Smotherman said. “I have always wanted vinyl in the gallery, but never wanted to compete against a family member, so this ended up being a great ending to what could have been a bad story.” Smotherman said he’s moving things around to make space for the collection. “We’ll start off slowly with about 500 square feet, then slowly add more with demand,” he said. “Chad had about 900 square feet on Vine Street and we’ll try to have him up to that by the summer,” Winder Binder will end up with a slightly smaller “living

4 • The Pulse • march 7-13, 2013 •

room” area and less room in the tin toy section, Smotherman said, but added he’s excited about the union and the addition of Chad and his vinyl to his shop. Bledsoe’s stock begins arriving this weekend, just in time for Art Til Dark Opening Weekend on Saturday, March 9. Stop by, shop, welcome Chad to Winder Binder, say “hey” to Dave and celebrate all things local—cool art, books and records. —Bill Ramsey


Sheriff Jim relays fears, ‘insecurity’ over Obama On the same day last week that news broke in the Times Free Press that Chattanooga police officers had brutally beaten a suspect—fracturing his legs to the point that a bone jutted from one in a graphic example of excessive force—Sheriff Jim Hammond’s face appeared above the fold of last Thursday’s paper under a headline that asserted that insecurity-driven gun sales were related to fears over our first black president. Hammond said that fear is not his own, but that he was simply relaying what he had heard from citizens when he told the TFP that insecurity was the result of “Mostly fear, mostly fear and uncertainty. Part of it is [the] first black president. I mean, we all see that. We may dance around it, but a lot of people are fearful of, ‘A h, this is going to ruin our country.’” Yes, of course, that’s it. The sheriff then appeared before County Commissioners to explain (read: revise) his remarks, telling that body, “What you see in those headlines was not Sheriff Jim Hammond. It was editorial staff taking words and making their own headlines.”

Not quite, sheriff. Commissioner Greg Beck was quoted in the TFP last Friday saying Hammond did not portray the conversation accurately, adding “He [Hammond] is saying what a lot of people are saying, but he shouldn’t be the one saying it. I caution all elected officials not to fuel that kind of tension and resentment.” Beck later said in the same story that he did not believe it warranted a headline or prominent placement in the paper. But that is not for Beck to decide. While an open hostility toward the president does indeed exist—and that is scary in itself—to suggest that people here are living in fear of crime because of the president’s race is absurd (which Beck also noted). Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, told the TFP that, “Whites will become the minorities in the 2040s, according to the U.S. Census. That’s causing anxiety amongst some folks.” Pair that with the unspoken fears of many in the so-called New South that the long, white reign is nearing its inevitable end and you easily find the recipe for such anxiety. But that doesn’t make it rational or reasonable. Landing on a day when CBS’s “This Morning” glowingly reported on the city’s super-fast, gigabit Internet speeds and referring to Chattanooga’s “inspiring” rebirth, these stories provide a hefty, dark counterweight to the Good News feed that hovers over Chattanooga in the national media. If this is the Old South rising again, we wanted no part of it then and certainly do not now. —B.R.


The Great Wine, Whiskey & Beer Rebellion of 2013 A triad of alcohol-related issues foamed to a head last week in booze-soaked-and-cloaked Chattanooga that could be woven into a reality show dubbed “The Great Chattanooga Wine, Whiskey & Beer Rebellion.”

The State Legislature was once again confronted with the winein-grocery-stores bill, a first-time review of a local initiative to allow a whiskey distillery to take root here and a statewide campaign to reform 1950’s-era beer tax policy that is the root cause of Tennessee’s dubious rank as the nation’s highest beer-tax state. That’s a lot of roots. The long battle in the fight to allow wine in grocery stores finally achieved a moment of victory, passing a crucial State Senate committee on its way to the House and full Senate for review and vote. Concessions in the new bill offer a cherry to liquor store owners, allowing them to operate more than one store and also sell mass-produced beer such as Bud Light and other brands, along with mixers, corkscrews and related products banned from sale in their stores. The new bill also allows each county and city to vote on whether to allow sales of wine in grocery stores. Progress. An initiative approved by a majority of Hamilton County Commissioners last year that would lift the ban on distilleries here spearheaded by Chattanooga Whiskey also landed in the Capitol where it was met with delay after an entanglement involving distilleries in Gatlinburg. But the local initiative, which would allow cities in Hamilton County in which voters have approved liquor-by-the-drink and local package referendums to OK whiskey distilleries, should arrive without further opposition. Progress. On Friday, supporters of a statewide campaign to reform Tennessee’s beer-tax policy gathered for a rally at Mellow Mushroom on Broad Street downtown. On hand were the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Cameron Sexton (RCrossville), Chattanooga area beer distributors, brewers and local beer enthusiasts. The Beer Tax Reform Act of 2013, filed on Jan. 29 by Sexton and State Sen. Kelsey (R-Germantown), proposes to modernize Tennessee’s beer tax with a simple modification: It would calculate wholesale tax on volume rather than price and solve Tennessee’s odd (and nationally unparalleled) tax policy that currently results in the beer tax rate

rising exponentially higher every year. In 2008, according to proponents, Tennessee caught and passed Alaska as the top state taxer of beer. By 2012, Tennessee had increased that lead by 12 points and, if the state keeps rising at the current average annual price increase of $1.15, in five years the average tax rate will be $42.75 per barrel—29 percent higher than Alaska. The statewide “Fix the Beer Tax” campaign launched Jan. 30 in Nashville and has since rallied in Memphis, Knoxville and Johnson City, resulting each time in an explosion of social media in support of reform, as it did here. All three of these efforts are playing a role in dismantling Tennessee’s archaic liquor laws. If any of these bills are passed, Tennessee will take a leap forward into the late 20th century and Chattanoogans will benefit. —B.R.


Frat Daddies hot for Greeks, not freaks at UTC In January, we covered the rising popularity of Sugar Babies, most notably in the burst of enrollment from UTC students. Now, the hookup site behind the Sugar Baby/Daddy connection, has released data revealing the popularity of Sugar relationships in sororities and fraternities. The new study polled 9,000 members and determined 1-in-3 Sugar Babies claim sorority affiliation, while 1-in-2 Sugar Daddies claim fraternity affiliation. A list detailing the fraternities and sororities most likely to be nests for Sugar Babies or Sugar Daddies included many Greek organizations at our beloved institution of higher learning. Six of UTC’s fraternities made the list: Alpha Phi Alpha, Sigma Chi, Phi Delta Theta, Pi Kappa Alpha, Kappa Sigma and Lambda Chi Alpha. Four UTC Panhellenic sororities made the list as well, including Delta Zeta, Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi and Kappa Delta. This list was not specific to UTC

and does not mean Greek life (or the campus in general) is filled with Sugar. “Women in sororities are taught early on that it isn’t just what you know, but who you know,” said Brandon Wade, CEO of Seeking Arrangement. “The Sugar Baby lifestyle exposes you to all the right people, in the same way a sorority does.” Wade also weighed in on former frat boys living the sweet life saying, “Fraternities began as secret societies for affluent and well-connected men. It’s only natural that they would convert into the Sugar Daddy-ism.” After researching Sugar Daddies in Chattanooga, a few especially notable characters popped up. Unfortunately, their fraternity affiliations are unknown, but odds are they were once members. One user, “Nashgent,” states his net worth is up to $10 million, yet his monthly budget for Sugar is between $1,000 and $3,000. Obviously he never learned to put some of his income into a “just-for-fun” fund. “Todd,” 35, from Chattanooga, sports a picture of himself next to the 007 “Skyfall” promo standup at the movie theater. He actually does favor Daniel Craig, however it’s a little pretentious to assume you’re the original Sugar Daddy to ambitious young super-spies. But the top local Sugar Daddy I found was “tnsxyguy.” The name alone elicits mystery and intelligence. His net worth is between $2 and $5 million and his budget is negotiable. This Daddy has a picture of himself next to the Playboy Mansion “tours start here” sign, a snapshot with two half-dressed (and likely intoxicated twentysomethings) on a boat and—best of all—photos of what I imagine to be his front porch, garden and hot tub. A great fit for a sorority girl to fulfill her “Bachelor” fantasies without going on national television. After all, when you’re planning to buy some Sugar, you might as well spend big or stay home. —Julia Sharp • Got a tip for The Bowl? Send your Talk of the Noog, tips, love letters, advice and trash talk to: Letters and feedback are always welecome!

Dizzy Town

politics, the media & other strange bedfellows

Venue or Monument? I

n what could be viewed as a last-ditch effort to save her job and prove she is actually attempting to rescue the Memorial Auditorium (and the Tivoli Theatre, to a lesser extent) from a sea of red ink, Education, Arts & Culture Department Administrator Missy Crutchfield recently rolled out a herd of patriots to burnish her brainchild of offering for sale naming rights to the twin venues to “appropriate” corporate businesses that aren’t really naming rights at all. Corporate names would added in front of the names of the venues in print and promotional materials, but not attached to the actual buildings, as we understand the plan. Billed and promoted as a public meeting to discuss the future of the venues, the affair was mostly an opportunity for veterans to reminisce and crazily suggest that selling or leasing the Auditorium would be akin to the U.S. Government selling the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial. As City Council members droned on about the two theaters existing as city-owned community jewels that were never intended to turn a profit, Crutchfield told WDEF-TV that selling naming rights might just cure all that ails the twin, taxpayer-supported venues, which can drain city coffers to the tune of as much as $1 million a year. Nice idea, but the braintrust never attempted to address the elephant in the room—that the Auditorium and Tivoli are poorly managed and booked; that cashonly bars and broken ATM machines hamper modern patrons’ convenience; that alcohol needs to be allowed inside both; and that parking can be nightmare around each. Now that elephant is about to squat on Crutchfield’s desk. Her fans cry foul at criticism, but the stakes are high. Playing the Veteran Card is a smokescreen. Nobody—nobody— is refusing to acknowledge the sacrifices made by veterans in service to our country; to suggest that selling or leasing a building dedicated in their honor is a blasphemous slap in the face is preposterous. Indeed, what cheek

would be slapped were the Auditorium be renamed the Rick Davis Gold & Diamonds Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Auditorium (as Bill Colrus joked on City Councilman Jack Benson conveniently absolved himself from the argument, citing politics surrounding the support of the sale or lease of the two venues by candidates for council, then made odd metaphors about art making the city’s other aging structures look pretty simply by existing— adding that we need a few, but not too many. WTF? The bottom line is the EAC’s

“Founding Administrator,” as Crutchfield refers to herself, and the city are each culpable in this easily fixable mess. The Auditorium and Tivoli are indeed grand, historic buildings—but they are also the city’s only two non-commercial concert and arts venues capable of hosting crowds of more than 1,000 people, and many more in the Auditorium’s case. In this context, they are both venues and monuments—to the arts. Leasing them to a professional management agency would improve both, bring the city valuable revenue and give the people what they so desperately desire. Patrons also clearly want to enjoy a drink in their seats. Dropping the silly ban on alcohol within both venues is just a late 20thcentury thing to do and is also simple common sense. A simple cleaning fee added to each ticket would assure maintenance and upkeep. Why is this so hard? • MARCH 7-13, 2013 • The Pulse • 5

On the Beat

alex teach

Excessive Force D avid Horsey is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist whose art currently adorns my Facebook page (address noted below, eager fans and haters).


DoWn toWn

The cartoon depicts a police officer in a shooting stance with four people gathered behind him. The first person behind the officer says “There’s a bad guy, officer! Do something!” The second adds, “But don’t do it too soon, or too late!” The third adds, “And not in disproportionate numbers!” And the fourth finally adds, “And remember, whatever you do, you could always be our scapegoat.” It’s captioned “The training they don’t give at the police academy,” and it’s one of the most succinct encapsulations

of high-stress cop-decisions I’ve ever seen. Last week, a graphic video of local police using force to affect an arrest was released prompting discord from every corner of the city, from citizens to administrators. The video recorded events that prompt-


2013 B s lack mith’s Bistro & Bar

He was unemployed; he had no friends; he felt almost nothing ... then again, he was an aphid.

6 • The Pulse • march 7-13, 2013 •

ed the police chief to fire the officers question, brought in the FBI to assess the action for civil-rights violations and present their findings to a grand jury to determine if criminal charges should be brought forth. (In other words, it prompted the chief to cover every base. That’s not a knock on him; that’s his job.) Sounds pretty cut and dried, right? Well, the officers are suing to get their jobs back, there’s been no word from the FBI, and the grand jury failed to indict them and found no evidence to bring criminal charges against these officers after reviewing the video in its entirety (an act usually omitted by the critics of such videos). To add to the confusion, the defendants’ attorney initially stated the “victim” was armed only with an MP3 player (which he claimed he had sworn testimony prove this), but the video showed a knife that was eventually dropped and hidden by a fellow Bureau of Prisons resident at the facility where this took place, and that the defendant who admitted to having just consumed cocaine refused more than 80 documented orders to stop, lie down on his face and put his hands behind his back. The conclusion of two observers? That this clearly indicates a white supremacist social order and racism within the police department and that this department should be disarmed in order to reduce acts of violence against the public (which I found were strangely specific conclusions given the broad nature of the use of force). The conclusion of a third observer? That this guy should probably have just lain the #%*@ down and put his hands behind his back. (I don’t believe I have to say anything here.)

Yet sadly, a fourth observer may as well have suggested we all order an ice cream cone and place it on our heads like a hat, because apparently that suggestion would have as much relevance to some as others. The point I’m trying to make here is not a judgment call of support or shock for the officers involved, or even for the coked-up felon, who earned himself a rapid admission to a trauma center as a result of the initial attack he committed that instigated the police response and his refusal to cooperate after the arrival he effectively insisted upon. My point is that you don’t always have to “lose” to lose. You just have to show up. It’s a frustrating job, one in which the only benefits are a shitload of free coffee and a pension check after 25 years. But anyone of those calls during that period can have a lifealtering, if not devastating effect on the officer or officers, and you never know when that’s going to occur. And even if you live through it and keep your job post-incident, who’s to say it won’t have mental ripple effects on both yourself and those around you? You shot the bad guy, but the bullet went through him or her and then into an innocent kid down the road. He pointed a gun at you … but it turned out to be a toy. There are probably a thousand variants of these events played out in real life by thousands of cops over the years, but what do you do? Not work? Work in perpetual fear? It’s a great job. No, seriously—but some need to realize that perfection can’t be demanded any more effectively than respect can, and that a cigar really is just a cigar on occasion. The difference between retirement and termination? Just one call, just one traffic stop. No pressure, folks. • Alex Teach is a police officer of nearly 20 years experience. The opinions expressed are his own. Follow him on Facebook at



PICK of the litter » THE ROAD TO NIGHTFALL, part ii

Rock theVote

12 Chattanooga bands, 1 stage, 2 nights

pulse » PICKS

• A curated weekly selection of picks from the Chattanooga Live and Arts & Entertainment calendars by Pulse staffers.


MUSIC Scenic City Roots • Catch St. Paul & The Broken Bones (above), JOHNNYSWIM, The Steeldrivers and Chattanooga’s WTM Blues Band live at the inaugural program, broadcast live on Hippie Radio 106.9 and filmed for re-broadcast on WTCI-TV. Just $10, $5 for students with ID. 7 p.m. • Track 29 • 1400 Market St. (423) 266-4323 •

EXHIBIT “Fire & Salt” • New salt-glazed stoneware by Roger Harvey will be featured in this exhibit during March. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. • In-Town Gallery 26A Frazier Ave. • (423) 267-9214


• For the second consecutive week, some of Chattanooga’s top bands congregate on the stage of Rhythm & Brews for two nights of shows that offer great value and showcase some of the city’s best musical talent. Following last week’s first and second rounds of The Road to Nightfall, this week offers up the final rounds in which 12 bands compete for a coveted Nightfall headlining spot this summer. A local committee of music experts chose the bands, but audiences determine the winners. Next Friday, the finals commence and a winner will be chosen in a musical death match, this time determined by judges. While the competition is more showcase than battle of the bands—at least that’s the intent—this annual local music blowout is the bargain

ABOVE Ashley Hicks of Ashley & The X’s, one of 12 bands competing this weekend during The Road to Nightfall at Rhythm & Brews. of a fortnight, as British committee member and Pulse music writer Richard Winham might say. Winham offers his Round 3 and 4 primer and odds on Page 10. Regardless of who wins, all the bands—and local live music fans— benefit from this event. Go forth, rock the vote and celebrate live and local music in Chattanooga. McKay’s Road to Nightfall: Rounds 3 & 4 $7 • 8 p.m. Friday & Saturday, March 8 & 9 Rhythm & Brews • 221 Market St.

Road to Nightfall, Part II • Local bands vie for a headline spot and cash as the competition continues tonight and Saturday. 8 p.m. • Rhythm & Brews • 221 Market St.




“The Foreigner”

Get The Led Out

• Closed Door Entertainment presents the first production in the newly rennovated Community Theatre inside the Memorial Auditorium. 7:30 p.m. • Community Theatre Memorial Auditorium • 399 McCallie Ave. (423) 642-TIXS •

• Billed as “America’s Led Zeppelin,” GTLO presents a two-hour set that spans the career of the legendary British supergroup. More on this show in Chattanooga Live on Page 10. 8 p.m. • Track 29 • 1400 Market St. (423) 266-4323 •

MUSIC EVENT Great Southern Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention • Fiddlers fiddle around around all day in perfomances and contests at the fourth annual “convention” of Southern fiddlers in a revival of all that is good about old-time music. Great music celebrating a regional music hallmark. Noon-8 p.m. • Lindsay Street Hall, 906 Lindsay St. • (423) 755-9111 • MARCH 7-13, 2013 • The Pulse • 7

High Country Music & Life

The Infamous Stringdusters fear bluegrass tag no more, but still mess with the music By Richard Winham


espite winning the International Bluegrass Association’s 2007 Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Emerging Artist of the Year in for their first album, Fork In The Road, The Infamous Stringdusters have always insisted that they’re not a bluegrass band—until now. “I’ll be honest with you, there was a period when I did all I could to avoid using the word ‘bluegrass’ when I was talking about what we do,” said guitarist Andy Colson in a recent telephone conversation. “But you know what, I’m not afraid anymore to say, ‘Hey, we’re a bluegrass band.’” According to their website, along with The Earl Scruggs Revue, New Grass Revival, Hot Rise, Nickel Creek and Leftover Salmon, The Infamous Stringdusters are part of bluegrass’s ever-evolving “transgressive tradition.” Transgression, it seems, is woven into the fabric of the music. Ever since a very nervous Elvis Presley told Bill Monroe he’d had the temerity to turn Monroe’s “Blue Moon of Kentucky” from a gently swaying waltz to a hoppedup rocker in 4/4 time, musicians have been messin’ with the music. Monroe reportedly was all for it. After listening to Presley’s take on his song, he began playing it

the same way. The Stringdusters aren’t performers; they’re players. Dobro player Andy Hall and the fleetfingered banjo picker, Chris Pandolfi, were both schooled at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. After leaving school in 2005, they moved to Nashville where they met fiddler Jeremy Garrett and mandolin player Jesse Cobb. They found bassist Travis Book through an audition. The other original member was guitarist Chris Eldridge, who’d been with Hall and Pandolfi at Berklee and was the reason they moved to Nashville. He left soon after the release of their first album

RAW party, redefined.

in 2007. That’s when Andy Falco joined the band. He’s still the “newest” member. One reason the band’s lineup has been so stable is because they are all players and they’re having a blast. “I think the beauty of what’s going on here is that the hard part is over,” Pandolfi said. “I think we all have the universal feeling that we will never find a playing situation that will be anything like this, even close to as satisfactory. And the beautiful thing is that when we came together it was a musical attraction. We’re five very different guys in the band, but there’s just such camaraderie, and that, above all else, is the thing that makes the music.” Falco echoed those sentiments, saying more than once dur-

ing our conversation that he felt “lucky” to be a part of the band. He is. Most musicians would give a year’s pay to be playing in a band with such a democratic and freewheeling approach to music making. Pandolfi usually writes the set list, but everybody in the band has an opportunity to add or subtract songs. “Somebody might say, ‘Hey, you remember that bluegrass tune? Let’s do that tonight,’” Falco said. “Oh yeah, that’d be fun, let’s do that,” is apparently a typical response. That same let’s-just-havesome-fun attitude carries over into their life offstage. While we were talking, Falco’s bandmates were all out skiing in Park City, Utah, a stop on their February ski tour. “We love doing outdoor

stuff,” Falco said, who would have been with them but for a knee injury sustained skiing a couple of years ago. “We love skiing, we love cycling, we love mountain biking, we love all these things,” he added. “We don’t go out on tour and eat fast food and sleep as late as we can. We want to go out on tour and play music, but we also want to do all the other things we love; and the people who come to our shows are just like us. They love the outdoors. I honestly feel when I look out at the people who’ve come to our shows that they’re people I could be friends with.” They call their music “high country.” It’s acoustic music but it has the energy and intensity of rock as played by a group of friends energized equally by the music and the life it allows them to lead. The Infamous Stringdusters with Old Time Travelers $15/$17 8 p.m. • Friday, March 8 Track 29 • 1400 Market St. (423) 521-2929

• 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.

THU • MAR 7 423 Bass Love FRI • MAR 8 STEREOTYPE 1st Floor DJ REGGIE REG 2nd Floor SAT • MAR 9 STEREOTYPE 1st Floor DJ REGGIE REG 2nd Floor SUN • MAR 10 PEE WEE MOORE & FRIENDS Live on the 1st Floor MON & TUE • MAR 11/12 DJ SPICOLI Dancing on the 2nd Floor WED • MAR 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 8 • The Pulse • march 7-13, 2013 • • MARCH 7-13, 2013 • The Pulse • 9


Battle of the Fans By Richard Winham


he second half of The Road to Nightfall competition continues on Friday and Saturday at Rhythm & Brews. Like last week, both nights are a bargain—three-plus hours of music from a host of talented musicians for less than the price of eight songs from iTunes.


MAY 17-19 LAFAYETTE, GEORGIA cherokee farm • old mineral springs road

fridaY: sTrUng like a horse • saTUrdaY: ToUBaB kreWe sUndaY: donna hopkins Band & red claY reViVal ALSO PERFORMING milele rooTs • The mollY magUires maYcomB criers • digiTal BUTTer • chaTTanooga fire caBareT AND MANY OTHERS gaTes open noon fridaY • 3-daY pass: $50 • free camping

VisiT or call 423.645.9699


Despite the fact that many perceive it as a battle of the bands, it’s actually a battle of the fans. The winners aren’t chosen on merit, but on their popularity among the people attending the shows. The band with the most fans in the house wins. Function and Smooth Dialects were last week’s winners, but only their most rabid fans would argue that they are “better” (whatever that might mean) than the other bands on last weekend’s bill. As they did last weekend, bands compete again at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at Rhythm & Brews with only a $7 cover each night. Here’s a primer:

Friday, March 8


THE TALK OF THE NOOG 10 • The Pulse • march 7-13, 2013 •

Paul Hadfield and Tucker Hollow Band Originally from Paducah, Ky., Hadfield mixes Seger’s soul with Mellencamp’s melodicism and storytelling. There’s nothing startlingly original about his songs, but like your favorite comfort food they’re easily digested and satisfying.   LaGarron Chastain (guitar/vocals), Stephen Hare (bass/vocals), Daniel Hooker (drums) Soul Mechanic Funky, soulful, jazzy blues-based improv in the Derek Trucks mode with a guitarist who studied under Jimmy Her-

ring, a drummer who has subbed with B.B. King and Earth, Wind & Fire (and many others), an ace bass guitarist and (newly added) Jon Elliott on sax—if the competition were for the best players—they’d be the ones to beat. Tyler Reddick (bass/ vocals), Clark Jackson (lead guitar), Tyler Wright (drums), Jon Elliot (saxophone/vocals) Ashley & The X’s Heartbeat drums and ringing guitars bring The Smiths to mind, and Ashley Hicks’ lazily slurred, just-behind-the-beat vocal adds to that impression. Ashley Hicks (vocals/ banjo), Eric Parham (guitar/keyboards/bass), Dan Walker (percussion), Matt “Yosh” Shigekawa (guitar) Slim Pickins With nimble picking and Tennessee champ Boulware’s boundless fiddling, these guys are hands-down the best bluegrass bangers in Chattanooga. But even for those averse to nasal singing and dueling banjos, these guys have something to offer, with sets ranging

from old-time gospel to Grisman’s newgrass. Randy Steele (banjo/vocals), Deron Stevens (mandolin), John Boulware (fiddle) Brad Clark (guitar/vocals), Justin Hupp (bass) Amber Fults & The Ambivalent Lovers The young woman with the shy, twinkling smile has come of age and her band is one of the best in the city. Butch Ross’ edgy leads, Kilgore’s and White’s rock solidness and Hayley Graham’s harmonies alongside Fults’ winsome vocal—no wonder they came so close to winning last year. Amber Fults (vocals/guitar), Hayley Graham (vocals), Butch Ross (guitar/ keyboards), Travis Kilgore (bass), Hunter White (drums) Uncle Lightnin’ Like the Brit originals they admire, Uncle Lightnin’ have always felt free to range across the spectrum of American music, mixing honky tonk, hillbilly and blues with boogie and Brit invasion classics (based on vintage Americana). Those who’ve tried to pin them down “have had difficulty,” according to the band. Really? Are you surprised? The whole point was never to be pinned down. Richard Tate (guitar/ vocals), Millard Ramsey (guitar/vocals), Dan Myers (guitar), Milton Hamrick (keyboards/pedal steel), Andrew Heck (bass), Doug Bales (drums)

Saturday, March 9

Leon G and The Numac Band Leon mixes Al Green’s sensual soul with George Clinton’s loose-


St. Patrick’s Day • Sunday, March 17 Music 2 pm to Midnight

The Molly Maguires

John Lathim & Company • The Fabled Canelands Olta • The Punknecks

Double Decker Pub Shuttle 4 pm to Midnight Stops at Hair of the Dog Pub The Terminal Brewhouse & The Honest Pint

Full food menu serving lunch and dinner.

11am-2am, 7 days a week * 35 Patten Parkway * 423.468.4192 * • MARCH 7-13, 2013 • The Pulse • 11



ohn Wheeler’s “Cadillac Dave” books must be unique in the annals of Chattanooga nonfiction. If you took all the histories and memoirs ever published about Chattanooga and brought them all together in one hypothetical and impossibly complete library, not only would the “Cadillac Dave” books include one of the only first-hand accounts of 1960’s campus radicalism at the University of Chattanooga (and later UTC), they would surely be the only history or memoir to be crossreferenced in both the “Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “Religion” categories. “The ‘Cadillac Dave’ books are a story of redemption,” according to Wheeler. The book covers—there are four volumes, plus a new collected “reader”— show they are authored by Dave Jackson, an alias he used when he was a marijuana and cocaine distributor, but he revealed his identity during book promotions last year. Wheeler first told his story in the four volumes published in 2011 and 2012. Fearing that four 200-page books might be too much for some, he published a one-volume “Chronicles of Cadillac Dave” this month that


Cadillac Dave f &L ear oathing in hattanooga


A Saga of Journalism, Drugs & Redemption By Rich Bailey comes in it at 500 pages. Much of the original Chattanooga material was abbreviated but can be found in Volume One, which remains in print (all four volumes and the collected chronicles are available at Winder Binder Gallery & Bookstore). “They deal with topics ranging from the drug and rock ‘n’ roll counterculture of the late ’60s and the entire 1970s to marijuana smuggling in Arizona and Texas, large-scale marijuana distribution all over the Southeast, and dealings with Colombian cocaine dealers in Miami and L.A.,” he added. “They cover a wide range of ex-

12 • The Pulse • march 7-13, 2013 •

“John really was a badass. I’m trying not to say that, but that’s what he was and he wanted to be seen that way.” Tom Griscom

Former executive editor of the Times Free Press and Wheeler’s editor at The Echo, the UTC student newspaper

periences. A lot of them are illegal. Some of them aren’t very commendable, but they’re all true.” Wheeler’s story begins in 1966 when he was in high school sniffing glue, doing small burglaries and roaring around Chattanooga in a black Chevelle SS396 with Maltese crosses on the windows and a “Rebels” license plate up front. At the University of Chattanooga and then UTC, he was at the center of a small but tumultuous swirl of late-60’s campus protest. Former Chattanooga Times Free Press executive editor Tom Griscom was Wheeler’s

editor at The Echo, the UTC student newspaper. He remembers Wheeler as a part of an anti-war group. “It was a very conspicuous group of people,” Griscom recalled. “Some of them were clearly anti-war. Some were into drug culture, the peace-love type thing. There were some that were just anti-whatever. There were others who I think were looking for a place to fit in, they might have been little bit off the beaten path. John was a great writer. He would sit there out in front of the student center with them and sometimes read poetry, sing with guitars and stuff.” When UT trustees were meeting in Chattanooga one cold winter day, campus police sprayed Cardiac Hill with water, creating a sheet of ice to keep student protesters away. Wheeler was one of two student observers invited to attend the trustees’ meeting. Wheeler was the student newspaper’s star columnist and a stringer for the Chattanooga Times. He somehow managed to get a column into print in The Echo that was not only politically radical, but also included an ever-popular but seldompublished four-letter word for carnal congress. That impropriety—unignorable because the

»P14 John “Cadillac Dave” Wheeler and friend, circa 1970s. Photo courtesyJohn Wheeler • MARCH 7-13, 2013 • The Pulse • 13

“I got saved down in Miami in a biker’s duplex with a chopper sittin’ in the living room and a naked go-go girl on the couch beside me, all the drugs spread out on the table, and a picture of the devil on the wall. That was March 18, 1981.” John Wheeler, aka “Cadillac Dave” «P12 newspaper was taxpayer-funded—stirred up far more controversy than his radical politics. Griscom resigned in protest, but came back the following year as editor. “He looked like somebody you wouldn’t want to tangle with ... John really was a badass,” added Griscom. “I’m trying not to say that, but that’s what he was and he wanted to be seen that way.” Wheeler paints a vivid scene of his buddies spiriting him out the back door of the UTC student center incognito to avoid the campus and city cops staking out his car, which they knew from an informant had dope in its trunk. Despite that narrow escape, expulsion soon followed and Wheeler went on to become a major player in the Southeastern drug trade. Both Griscom and Wheeler graduated from Chattanooga to conservative national politics. While Wheeler was distributing cocaine, Griscom was serving as press secretary for then-U.S. Sen. Howard Baker and later as communications director for President Ronald Reagan. Wheeler eventually made it to conservative D.C., too, after detouring through three jail terms, more than a few years as a wanted fugitive and an unfinished assignment as ghost writer for a self-described “mafia whore.” Looking back in print 30 years later, Wheeler doesn’t exactly wallow in what he has now left behind. From the first page it’s clear that he’s putting some distance into his you-are-there retelling. But there’s not a bit of preaching while he’s telling tales on his earlier self. He takes the reader vividly through some harrowing experiences, as seen from his catbird seat at the epicenter of late-70’s drug culture—and in the cross hairs of every level of law enforcement. After many recounted episodes of dealing, doping and carnal congress, Wheeler’s bumpy road to Damascus begins with some spontaneous and heartfelt appeals to God, even while he remained deeply embedded in a drug-fueled career as a bigtime coke dealer. This nascent religious awakening helps him make it through—barely—what he sees even 30 years later as a satanic encounter, even though he admits there was

14 • The Pulse • march 7-13, 2013 •

“If I were going to portray myself as a hero, I probably didn’t do a very good job, because I did a lot of stupid things. Most of them are right there in the book.” John Wheeler

a lot of “rocket fuel” (25 percent PCP, 75 percent cocaine) in his system at the time. Were the neighbors at his safe house trying to kill him? Was he trying to throw his girlfriend off a bridge, or was she really the devil? His final conversion comes a few weeks later. He’s gotten out of the mental hospital he checked himself into to avoid an involuntary commitment after the bridge episode, but he’s still in “the life.” “I got saved down in Miami in a biker’s duplex with a chopper sittin’ in the living room and a naked go-go girl on the couch beside me, all the drugs spread out on the

table, and a picture of the devil on the wall. That was March 18, 1981,” Wheeler said. After his conversion, facing federal gun charges, he stares down the temptation to let his Colombian cartel amigos make the legal problems go away. Instead he stays clean and argues his case in court. “Thanksgiving 1982, I was standing before a federal judge in Norfolk [Va.]. Every lawyer had told me. ‘It’s impossible; you’re going to federal prison.’ The judge stopped the witness on the way to the [witness] stand, halted the proceedings and said, ‘I don’t know why I’m doing this, but I’m going to let you go. I’m going to give you probation.’ If that’s not God, I don’t know what is.” Ten years later Wheeler made it to Washington, D.C. “Flash forward to 1992, August. I’m driving my own car through Secret Service security clearance at the White House to walk inside and interview Vice President Dan Quayle” as the founding editor of the Christian American, a national newspaper published by Pat Robertson of The 700 Club. “God did that, I didn’t,” he said. “What happened to put me in that mental hospital and what happened as a result of that—which brought me to that deliverance moment in Miami—that’s the whole reason the books were written. Everything else is back story,” he said. “It’s a long story. Some of it is degenerate. A lot of it makes me look kind of foolish,” Wheeler said. “If I were going to portray myself as a hero, I probably didn’t do a very good job, because I did a lot of stupid things. Most of them are right there in the book.” He’s been gratified by response to the books at book-signings last year and at his 45th reunions at the three high schools he attended: Baylor, Brainerd and Central. “Some people think it’s reprehensible, some people are scandalized,” he said. “One pastor told me that it was a celebration of carnality and I should repent and take the books off the market. Four of five pastors that I’ve talked to about it disagreed with that.” For more information or to purchase Wheeler’s books, visit

«P10 limbed swing and sighing chorines. Saturday night music that still works on Sunday morning. Birds With Fleas Formed around the partnership between Matt Siegel and Spencer Karges, who first met in their high school choir, Birds With Fleas sounds like Mumford around the campfire. Close harmonies, cranky banjo picking and melodic floorboard-stomping songs connect the past with the immediate present. Matt Siegel (vocals/ukulele/banjo/ harmonica), Denver Davis (bass/vocals), Spencer Karges (guitar/vocals), Kelsey Stoner (piano/vocals), Stephen Smith (drums/vocals) Jordan Hallquist & The Outfit Taking on the persona of the “broken, bruised and scarred” working man, Hallquist often appropriates Springsteen’s recent world-weary tone. He also shares his sense of dynamics, along with his love for seminal three-chord rock ‘n’ roll. Jordan Hallquist (vocals/guitar), Robert Williams (bass), Jeremy Muse (drums) Jennifer Hope & The FNG’s If Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours had been written and recorded in Nashville it would’ve sounded a lot like this. Jennifer Hope Brumlow (vocals/guitar), Todd Garland (drums), John Lazenby (bass/banjo), Callie Harmon (guitar/ mandolin/lap steel) Gabriel Newell & Muddy Soul Newell may well be the best singer in Chattanooga. His rich, expressive voice, impassioned delivery and richly melodic songs have long made him a contender. But as we all know, that’s merely the beginning. Gabriel Newell (vocals/guitar), Ben Parris (saxophone), Brad Newell, Bill Robinson, Lynn Buckner Sinner of Attention Shouting “Rock is not dead,” this young trio sets out to prove it—with mixed results. They’ve got attitude to burn, but their grinding, grungy guitar-driven tunes too often settle into a groove and just sit there. Trevor Card (vocals/guitar), Josh Rader (bass), Nick Rader (drums) Whoever wins each night will compete with last week’s winners for the ultimate prize, a headlining gig at Nightfall. Finals take place a 8 p.m on Friday, March 15, at Rhythm & Brews. The ultimate winner will be determined by a panel of judges, not by the fans. McKay’s Road to Nightfall Rounds 3 & 4 $7 • 8 p.m. Friday, March 8 • Saturday, March 9 Rhythm & Brews • 221 Market St.


THU 03.07 Open Mic 7 p.m. The Camp House, 1427 Williams St. (423) 702-8081 Scenic City Roots: St. Paul & The Broken Bones, JOHNNYSWIM, The Steeldrivers, WTM Blues Band 7 p.m. Track 29, 1400 Market St. (423) 266-4323 Open Mic with Hap Henninger 9 p.m. The Office, 901 Carter St. (423) 634-9191 Copper Into Steel, 2/3 Goat, Nick Lutsko and the Sam Jackson 5 9 p.m. The Honest Pint, 35 Patten Pkwy. (423) 468-4192

BAND NAME OF THE WEEK: 2/3 GOAT As Pulse music columnist Richard Winham put it, “Any band called 2/3 Goat has got to be worth an ear.” The Pint has a reputation for featuring an eclectic lineup of great new bands from out of town. Two-Thirds Goat is not your average New York Citybased farm band. Their 2011 sophomore album, Stream of Conscience, was recorded entirely on vintage equipment and the title track is a stance against mountaintop-removal coal mining.

fri 03.08 Road to Nightfall: Paul Hadfield & Tucker Hollow Band, Soul Mechanic, Ashley & the X’s, Slim Pickins, Amber Fults & the Ambivalent Lovers, Uncle Lightnin’ 8 p.m. Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St. Tom Goss 8 p.m. Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-5347 Husky Burnette 8 p.m. Acoustic Café, 61 RBC Drive, Ringgold, Ga.

(706) 965-2065 Cactus Keg Southside Saloon & Bistro, 1301 Chestnut St. (423) 757-4730 southsidesaloon River City Sessions The Camp House, 1427 Williams St. (423) 702-8081 Roughwork 9 p.m. SkyZoo, 5709 Lee Hwy. (423) 468-4533 The Infamous Stringdusters, Old Time Travelers 9 p.m. Track 29, 1400 Market St. (423) 266-4323 Amanda Rose, Blue River Hex 9 p.m. The Office, 901 Carter St. (423) 634-9191 Bud Lightning 9:30 p.m. Sugar’s Ribs, 507 Broad St. (423) 508-8956 Diarrhea Planet, Gold Plated Gold 10 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 Sterotype 10 p.m. Raw, 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919

sat 03.09 Road to Nightfall: Leon G & the Numac Band, Birds With Fleas, Jordan Hallquist & The Outfit, Jennifer Hope & the FNG’s, Gabriel Newell & Muddy Soul, Sinner of Attention 8 p.m. Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St. Husky Burnette 8 p.m. SkyZoo, 5709 Lee Hwy. (423) 468-4533 Courtney Daly & the Sleepwalkers 8 p.m. Acoustic Café, 61 RBC Drive, Ringgold, Ga. (706) 965-2065

Get The Led Out 8 p.m. Track 29, 1400 Market St. (423) 266-4323


TRACKS TO HEAVEN Track 29 is not known as a haven for tribute bands, but this talented bunch of professional musicians are the exception. GTLO has spent 10 years perfecting their Zeppelin tribute to much acclaim. Now dubbed by the media as “The American Led Zeppelin,” GTLO presents a two-hour set each night that spans the mythic career of the legendary British supergroup. “Get The Led Out didn’t just pass Zeppelin 101 with flying colors—they’re working on their Ph.D. They didn’t just do their Zep homework—they’re teaching the class,” one newspaper raved. If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, visit T29 on Saturday for a spring clean for the May Queen. Hap Henninger 9 p.m. The Office, 901 Carter St. (423) 634-9191 Queen B & the Well Strung Band 9:30 p.m. Sugar’s Ribs, 507 Broad St. (423) 508-8956 Raven Southside Saloon & Bistro, 1301 Chestnut St. (423) 757-4730 southsidesaloon Kelsey’s Woods 10 p.m. T-Bones, 1419 Chestnut St. (423) 266-4240 Sterotype 10 p.m. Raw, 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919

sun 03.10 Glass Hammer, Amber Fults 8 p.m. Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St.

wed 03.13 Courtney Daly, Ivan Wilson 8 p.m. Acoustic Café, 61 RBC Drive, Ringgold, Ga. (706) 965-2065



6 FRI. 8p 8 SAT. 8P 9 SUN. 8p 10 THU. 9p 14









901 Carter St (Inside Days Inn) 423-634-9191 Thursday, March 7: 9 p.m. Open Mic with Hap Henninger Friday, March 8: 9pm Amanda Rose • Blue River Hex Saturday, March 9: 10pm Hap Henninger Tuesday, March 12: 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 • MARCH 7-13, 2013 • The Pulse • 15


Shamrock Celebration Wine Tasting 2-5 p.m. Georgia Winery, 6469 Battlefield Pkwy, (706) 937-WINE Tim Wilson 7 & 9:30 p.m. The Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Road (423) 629-2233 Paul Strickland 10:30 p.m. Vaudeville Cafe, 138 Market St. (423) 517-1839

sun 03.10

GREAT SOUTHERN OLD TIME FIDDLERS’ CONVENTION Local and regional fiddlers rosin up their bows and play hard at this fourth annual event/revival on Saturday, held this year at Lindsay Street Hall. Doors open at noon, with performances, dance, banjo, traditional song, string band and fiddle contests (in that order) happening all afternoon and into the evening. Admission is $5 per person, children under 12 are admitted free. Food and drinks will be available, so get your fire off the mountain (above are fiddlers on Lookout Mountain, circa 1919, who participated in a similar contest of old) and celebrate all things string in the valley below.

THU 03.07 “Fire & Salt” 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (Through March 31) In-Town Gallery, 26A Frazier Ave. (423) 267-9214 Taste 5-9 p.m. Stratton Hall, 3146 Broad St. (423) 667-4332 “Cellobration: From Russia with Love” 7:30 p.m. UTC Fine Arts Center, 752 Vine St. (423) 425-4371 Book Chat: “The Forest Unseen” 7-8:30 p.m. Chattanooga Arboretum & Nature Center, 400 Garden Road (423) 821-9582

fri 03.08 The Music of Tom Goss 8 p.m. Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-5347 “The Foreigner” 7:30 p.m. Community Theatre, Memorial Auditorium,

16 • The Pulse • march 7-13, 2013 •

399 McCallie Ave. (423) 642-TIXS Tim Wilson 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. The Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Road (423) 629-2233 Paul Strickland 9:30 p.m. Vaudeville Cafe, 138 Market St. (423) 517-1839

sat 03.09 Great Southern Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention Noon-8 p.m. Lindsay Street Hall, 906 Lindsay St. (423) 755-9111 “Mythic Journeys” Book launch/signing, poetry reading with music by Pickled Pepper Pickers 1-3 p.m. Pasha Coffee & Tea, 3914 St. Elmo Ave. (423) 475-5482 “The Foreigner” 7:30 p.m. Community Theatre, Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave. (423) 642-TIXS

Chattanooga Coffee Throwdown: Preliminary Round 2-6 p.m. Thrive Studio, 191 River St. (423) 605-3125 Open Improvisational Jam 3-5 p.m. Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-5347

BARD to the bone

Shakespeare for the SemiWilliterate • For those who might describe their experience with Shakespeare as “Bad About the Bard,” the six-week class “Shakespeare for the Elizabethan Impaired” might be just your cup of tea—literally, because Janis Hashe will teach the class at the English Rose Tea Room, beginning March 12 and running through April 16. Plays covered will include “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Hamlet” and “Richard III,” with two class sessions spent on each play. As with the just-completed “Oscar Wilde: Nothing Except My Genius,” students can sign up for the whole series or for individual classes.

mon 03.11 Recital: Grace Ng & Siyao Li 6-7 p.m. Lee University, 1120 N. Ocoee St. Cleveland (423) 614-8000 Southside Casual Classics 7:30 p.m. The Camp House, 1427 Williams St. (423) 505-6688 southsidecasualclassics. Recital: Stephen Frey & Nathaniel Hoppel 8-9 p.m. Lee University, 1120 N. Ocoee St. Cleveland (423) 614-8000

tue 03.12 Recital: Priscilla Wortman & Michael Payne 8-9 p.m. Lee University, 1120 N. Ocoee St. Cleveland (423) 614-8000

wed 03.13 Chattanooga State Student Art Exhibit 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (Through March 29) Association for Visual Artists, 700 Frazier Ave. (423) 265-4282

Hashe created the class 14 years ago and has successfully taught it through colleges and at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. She is the producing director of Shakespeare Chattanooga, which has presented “The Othello Project” and “Twelfth Night” at the CTC, the original compilation, “Songs, Sonnets and Soliloquies from Shakespeare” in Renaissance Park and others. “I designed the class for people who didn’t like his work when they were introduced to it, but now would like to find out what all the fuss is about,” Hashe says, But, she notes, “I usually have quite a few people who do love Shakespeare and just enjoy the opportunity of reading and discussing his work.” Pre-registration is required and enrollment is limited to 15 students per class. To register and for more information, contact Hashe at (423) 622-2862. Shakespeare for the Elizabethan Impaired March 12-April 16 The English Rose Tea Room 1401 Market St. (423) 622-2862

Gaffigan Family Road Show On tour with his wife and five kids, comedian Jim Gaffigan takes his family act on the road By Gaby Dixon


ive kids, one tour bus. Will there be enough bacon? This is how comedian Jim Gaffigan will be making his way from the New York City apartment he shares with his wife Jeannie and five young kids to Chattanooga, where he will perform on March 17 at the Tivoli Theatre. The family-packed tour bus will undoubtedly serve as a goldmine of new material for the seasoned comedian most notable for his Hot Pockets, bacon and other food-related bits from his 2006 “Beyond the Pale” and 2009 “King Baby” tours. Gaffigan, who has made an unprecedented amount of appearances on the late night talk shows of Conan O’Brien and David Letterman, will make Chattanooga one of the first stops on his “White Bread” tour, giving us the opportunity to hear fresh material that the deadpan, observational humorist co-wrote with his wife (Jeannie Gaffigan is also producing the tour) as he told me in a recent phone interview. “It’s rather unusual for a comedian and I didn’t really foresee it. I always knew my wife was funny,” he said. “It just ended up happening that way and now I’m completely codependent. It’s a secret weapon.” With wife Jeannie producing all of his shows, Gaffigan is looking forward to having his family along for his tour. “It’s going to be pretty crazy, but as a father you want to try to limit

the time you’re away from your kids.” Although Gaffigan’s recently released book is titled “Dad Is Fat,” he generally keeps most of his fatherly humor away from the stage. “The book is a combination of observational and story telling,” he said. “I intentionally did not do that much kid material in my act. I had some, but not a lot because I remember being 26, doing stand-up and seeing people talk about their wife and kids and I’m sitting there going. ‘I can’t get a date, I don’t know what you’re talking about.’” Realizing that family material doesn’t appeal to all audiences, Gaffigan has reserved most of that for his hilarious string of tweets on his Twitter account. “When Twitter came along I was like all right, I’ll do a lot of kid stuff here. I won’t edit myself. And I’ve been getting some pretty positive feedback on Twitter, so I had all these observations that prompted stories, talking about the ex-

perience of being a parent but more of the fact that I don’t feel qualified to be a parent, because I’m a self-admitted lazy guy and sort of a selfish guy, so it follows sort of that journey. It’s not a complain-about-yourkids or an I-love-my-kids book, it’s just focusing on being funny.” Gaffigan drew from his family in the early years of his stand-up career, taking inspiration from his sister to create his signature “inner voice,” on stage. “It was inspired by my sister, but a lot of it is the inner critic that we all have in those moments of insecurity and kind of just empowering it.” Expect much hilarity to ensue with “Dad Is Fat.” Along with his new book, Gaffigan will soon be filming a pilot episode for a new sitcom on CBS titled “Gaffigan,” about his life with his wife and children (all of whom are under the age of 8), all living in their two bedroom apartment in New York. Mira Sorvino has recently been cast to play Gaffigan’s wife on the show.

Comic Relief

Like almost every stand-up comedian, Gaffigan’s loyalty lies with the stage. “I love stand up,” he said. “As a comedian, you get rather spoiled by the control you have. You’re essentially a one-man band up there. I love acting, but there’s a lot of variables that you have no control over. I enjoy the ending and I the process, but the work that goes into getting an acting job is such a leap.” “Portlandia” fans will be able to catch him guest starring on several episodes of the IFC show alongside creators/ stars Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, a project Gaffigan was pleased to be a part of, commending the creative duo’s improvisational humor. “It’s all improv,” he said. “It’s a pretty amazing experience because these guys are doing a different kind of show, rather than some kind of traditional gag. Some of the network’s television jokes are just crude. They’re also just some of the nicest people in the world. Sometimes in entertainment you can run into some pretty peculiar egos.” Gaffigan, who is not from a showbiz family and who graduated from business school at Georgetown, said that his education “prepared me for the fact that I didn’t want to work in finance. I did a stand-up seminar. My friend and I were doing improv and he dared me, and it was like I had been waiting for someone to dare me to do stand-up and we were going to do it together. But he ended up chickening out and then I did it on the side for a while and kept my day job for a long time. I’ve enjoyed it, it’s terrifying and fun, and there’s something magical about the whole process.” Jim Gaffigan $39.75/$49.75 7: 30 p.m. Sunday, March 17 Tivoli Theatre 709 Broad St. • MARCH 7-13, 2013 • The Pulse • 17


1,000 Words


Hunger Rising Hunger was once drastically reduced in America, due in part to a 1968 documentary. But since the 1980s, it has again risen to near epidemic levels. Can a new documentary help drive people to action?

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 and win a pair of tickets to the Celebration of Southern Literature (April 18-20). Three runners-up will be published in subsequent issues of The Pulse. Email to: Subject: 2013 Short Story Contest

Deadline: March 28, 2013 By John DeVore


n 1968, CBS released a documentary hosted by Charles Kuralt titled “Hunger in America.” Television was much less fractured then, which allowed a large number of viewers to witness the realities of hunger in the lives of 10 million Americans. The documentary was so powerful that it shocked the nation into action, and for a time hunger was powerfully addressed. People called their representatives and demanded action. Legislation was passed. By the end of the 1970s, our hunger problem was drastically reduced. It was a testament to engaged democracy.

THE TALK OF THE NOOG • facebook/chattanoogapulsE

18 • The Pulse • march 7-13, 2013 •

Unfortunately, during the 1980s and the Reagan administration, the work done to combat hunger in the richest nation on Earth was nearly undone for the sake of tax cuts and defense spending. A new narrative was created, one in which the government was not the answer, despite evidence to the contrary. Instead, the problem of hunger was handed off to private charities and faith-based initiatives. The focus shifted and the hungry were shamed.

ABOVE Rosie, a fifthgrader, lives in a closet with her sister and can’t focus at school because she’s hungry.

It is estimated now that 50 million Americans are “food insecure,” meaning that they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. One in two children will rely on public assistance for a meal at some point in their lives. “A Place at the Table” is a new documentary that hopes to be “Hunger in America”

for a new generation. The film travels to three distinctly American locations: a small town in Colorado, a “food desert” in Mississippi and low-income housing in Philadelphia. The problems facing these families are myriad. One mother works as a waitress, bringing home $120 every two weeks. She is forced to move back in with her parents, seven people in a single-family home, keeping them from qualifying for food stamps because the household

makes too much to qualify. Her daughter, Rosie, a fifth-grader, lives in a closet with her sister and can’t focus at school because she’s hungry. A mother in Mississippi can’t afford to buy fruits and vegetables for her child, choosing quantity over quality so that her dollar can stretch farther. As a result, her daughter, Tremonica, a second-grader, is overweight and asthmatic. In Philly, Barbie is out of work, relying entirely on food stamps and government assistance to feed her children. When she does find work, she loses her assistance, making her ability to provide for family even harder. These are the faces of 50 million Americans. The film talks to a variety of experts, policy makers, physicians, pastors and teachers. It argues that hunger is inherently solvable in our country. We don’t have a scarcity problem—the U.S. has more than enough food for everyone. Instead, it’s a problem of access, of cost, of improperly applied subsidies. Billions of dollars a year are spent to subsidize agribusinesses that produce corn and soy, which in turn has made processed foods cheaper to produce. A significant number of Americans increasingly rely on charities and faith-based services

Rather than arguing about the role of government or worrying that someone somewhere might be undeservedly benefitting from action, we as a nation need to reevaluate how we can best help our neighbors for the good of everyone. for their monthly food supply because it’s simply too expensive to buy at the store. Pockets of American towns exist in areas without supermarkets, depending on small markets or convenience stores for food, meaning that fresh foods are scarce. The qualifications for SNAP benefits are so narrow that most struggling families don’t qualify or qualify for such a small amount it makes little difference to their overall situation. The film’s greatest success comes from addressing and dismissing the cultural perception of the “welfare queen.” Ameri-

ABOVE Barbie Izquierdo is out of work, relying entirely on food stamps and government assistance to feed her children.

cans tend to value individualism and self-reliance above all. While this is a positive trait at times, it can also lead to a callous view of those who struggle, placing blame rather than offering help. Lacking the power to feed your family is humiliating and stressful; very few Americans are on food stamps by choice. Rather than arguing about the role of government or worrying that someone somewhere might be undeservedly benefitting from action, we as a nation need to re-evaluate how we can best help our neighbors for the good of everyone. If the film is to be believed, we’ve done it before. We can do it again. “A Place at the Table” was released widely on March 1, but it hasn’t yet reached our theaters. If you want to see it on the big screen, call your local theater and request they bring it here. Alternately, it is available On Demand through Comcast and for rent via iTunes. See this film and think about how you can get involved. Spread awareness, encourage others, call your congressman. We can do better than this. • MARCH 7-13, 2013 • The Pulse • 19

Free Will Astrology PISCES

(Feb. 19-March 20): “Telling someone your goal makes it less likely to happen,” says musician and businessman Derek Sivers. Numerous studies demonstrate that when you talk about your great new idea before you actually do it, your brain chemistry does an unexpected thing. It gives you the feeling that you have already accomplished the great new idea -- thereby sapping your willpower to make the effort necessary to accomplish it! The moral of the story: Don’t brag about what you’re going to do someday. Don’t entertain people at parties with your fabulous plans. Shut up and get to work. This is especially important advice for you right now.


(March 21-April 19): Maybe you’re not literally in exile. You haven’t been forced to abandon your home and you haven’t been driven from your power spot against your will. But you may nevertheless be feeling banished or displaced. It could be due to one of the conditions that storyteller Michael Meade names: “We may experience exile as a lack of recognition, a period of transition, an identity crisis, a place of stuckness, or else having a gift and

rob brezsny no place to give it.” Do any of those describe your current predicament, Aries? The good news, Meade says, is that exile can shock you awake to the truth about where you belong. It can rouse your irrepressible motivation to get back to your rightful place.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Do you have a recurring nightmare that has plagued you? If so, I suspect it will recur again soon. Only this time, Taurus, you will beat it. You will trick or escape or defeat the monster that’s chasing you. Or else you will outrun the molten lava or disperse the tornado or fly up off the ground until the earth stops shaking. Congratulations on this epic shift, Taurus. Forever after you will have more power over the scary thing that has had so much power over you. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The following request for advice appeared on Reddit. com: “My identical twin is stuck in an alternate dimension and she can only communicate with me by appearing as my own reflection in mirrors and windows. How can I tell her I don’t like what she’s done to her hair?” This question is a variant of a type of dilemma that many of you Geminis are

experiencing right now, so I’ll respond to it here. I’m happy to say that you will soon get an unprecedented chance to commune directly with your alter egos. Your evil twin will be more available than usual to engage in meaningful dialog. So will your doppelganger, your shadow, your mirror self, and your stuntperson.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Usually I

advise Cancerians to draw up precise borders and maintain clear boundaries. As a Crab myself, I know how important it is for our well-being that we neither leak our life force all over everything nor allow others to leak their life force all over us. We thrive on making definitive choices and strong commitments. We get into trouble when we’re wishy-washy about what we want. OK. Having said all that fatherly stuff, I now want to grant you a partial and temporary license to get a little wild and fuzzy. Don’t overdo it, of course, but explore the smart fun you can have by breaking some of your own rules and transgressing some of the usual limits.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In the course of

formulating his theory of evolution, Charles Darwin read many books. He developed a rather ruthless approach to getting what he needed out of them. If there was a particular part of a book that he didn’t find useful, he simply tore it out, cast it aside, and kept the rest. I recommend this as a general strategy for you in the coming week, Leo. In every situation you’re in, figure out what’s most valuable to you and home in on that. For now, forget the irrelevant and extraneous stuff.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Here’s a passage from Charles Dickens’ novel *Great Expectations*: “It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” Judging from the astrological omens, Virgo, I suspect your life may be like that in the coming days. 20 • The Pulse • march 7-13, 2013 •

The emotional tone could be sharply mixed, with high contrasts between vivid sensations. The nature of your opportunities may seem warm and bright one moment, cool and dark the next. If you regard this as interesting rather than difficult, it won’t be a problem, but rather an adventure.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “I worked as

a hair stylist in Chicago’s Gold Coast for 20 years with some of the most gorgeous woman and men in the world,” writes sculptor Rich Thomson. “Once I asked a photographer who shot for the big magazines how he picked out the very best models from among all these great-looking people. His response: ‘Flaws. Our flaws are what make us interesting, special, and exotic. They define us.’” My challenge to you, Libra, is to meditate on how your supposed imperfections and oddities are essential to your unique beauty. It’s a perfect moment to celebrate -- and make good use of -- your idiosyncrasies.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The genius of Leonardo da Vinci was in part fueled by his buoyant curiosity. In his work as an artist, musician, inventor, engineer, and writer, he drew inspiration from pretty much everything. He’s your role model for the coming week, Scorpio. Just assume that you will find useful cues and clues wherever you go. Act as if the world is full of teachers who have revelations and guidance specifically meant for you. Here’s some advice from da Vinci himself: “It should not be hard for you to stop sometimes and look into the stains of walls, or ashes of a fire, or clouds, or mud or like places, in which, if you consider them well, you may find really marvelous ideas.” SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Ready for a reality check? It’s time to assess how well you know the fundamental facts about where you are located. So let me ask you: Do you know which direction

north is? Where does the water you drink come from? What phase of the moon is it today? What was the indigenous culture that once lived where you live now? Where is the power plant that generates the electricity you use? Can you name any constellations that are currently in the night sky? What species of trees do you see every day? Use these questions as a starting point as you deepen your connection with your specific neighborhood on planet Earth. Get yourself grounded!


(Dec. 22-Jan. 19): There’s a writer I know whose work is brilliant. Her ideas are fascinating. She’s a champion of political issues I hold dear. She’s well-read and smarter than me. Yet her speech is careless and sloppy. She rambles and interrupts herself. She says “uh,” “you know,” and “I mean” so frequently that I find it hard to listen, even when she’s saying things I admire. I considered telling her about this, but decided against it. She’s an acquaintance, not a friend. Instead, I resolved to clean up my own speech—to make sure I don’t do anything close to what she does. This is a strategy I suggest for you, Capricorn: Identify interesting people who are not fully living up to their potential, and change yourself in the exact ways you wish they would change.


(Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The German word *Verschlimmbesserung* refers to an attempted improvement that actually makes things worse. Be on guard against this, Aquarius. I fear that as you tinker, you may try too hard. I’m worried you’ll be led astray by neurotic perfectionism. To make sure that your enhancements and enrichments will indeed be successful, keep these guidelines in mind: 1. Think about how to make things work better, not how to make things look better. 2. Be humble and relaxed. Don’t worry about saving face and don’t overwork yourself. 3. Forget about short-term fixes; serve long-range goals.

Jonesin’ Crossword

matt jones

“Nuclear Disasters”—stuck in the middle with ... ewww.


1. Cool, in 1990s rap parlance 5. Disaster, like the four movies in the theme entries 9. Hide words from the kids, maybe 14. Host with rumors of retiring in 2014 15. One woodwind 16. The present 17. “Edit” menu option 18. It may be more 19. Orange Muppet 20. Pattern for highland families 23. ___ Majesty 24. Mass ___ (Boston thoroughfare, to locals) 25. Word after Gator or Power 26. “Now I see!”

27. Richard or Maurice of 1940s fast food 32. Trips around the earth 36. Village Voice award 37. Golfer Palmer 38. Yoko of “Dear Yoko” 39. SeaWorld star attraction 40. Geometric shape: abbr. 41. Outside the box 43. Comet, for example 45. “I’m amazed!” 46. Columbus Day’s mo. 47. Dizzy Gillespie genre 48. Gp. that regulates carry-on luggage 51. Itinerary collected by a rock historian 56. The South 57. “___ Window” 58. Vizquel of baseball

59. “Fanny” author Jong 60. Prefix meaning “within” 61. Clue weapon 62. Ford’s famous flop 63. TV chef Paula 64. Scrape spot


1. Stuffed doll material 2. Therefore 3. Conjunctions seen with a slash 4. Honk the horn 5. Simon in South American history 6. With a high BMI 7. ___ pit 8. Category for Daniel Day-Lewis 9. Sound purchase? 10. After-dinner wine 11. Krabappel of





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“The Simpsons” 12. ___ to rest 13. Soapmaking caustic 21. California/ Nevada lake 22. Makes new friends? 26. Hill of the Clarence Thomas scandal 27. Secondary study 28. Not in any way 29. Having ___ hair day 30. Super-long ride 31. Two, in Toulouse 32. Pop singer Anthony 33. “Moral ___” (Cartoon Network show) 34. Way back when 35. Exhausted 39. Market divisions? 41. Maritime patrol gp. 42. Club on the fairway 44. Option given by Howie Mandel 47. Wesley Snipes title role 48. Pumbaa’s cartoon buddy 49. Rickman, in the “Harry Potter” films 50. Terms and conditions option 51. Snipe or thrush 52. Line on a graph 53. Pleasant 54. It may be spliced 55. Monkees member Peter 56. Wallace of “E.T.” © 2013 Jonesin’ Crosswords For answers to this puzzle, call: 1-900-2262800, 99 cents per minute. Must be 18+ to call. Or to bill to your credit card, call: 1-800655-6548. Reference puzzle No. 0613.

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Life in the Noog

chuck crowder

Healthy? Pay Up R

ecently, I received a notice from my “not for profit,” locally based health care insurer that my rates are going up $15 a month next year due to “rising health care costs.” This baffled me, since I personally haven’t “cost” my insurance company much of anything in at least a year or two. I do go to the doctor once a year for a check up, but given that my monthly health insurance premium is nearly double what a “wellness visit” costs off the rack, I’d say they’ve taken enough money from me to cover that tab. My only other health care costs are generic prescription drugs that are not only cheap, they’re not covered under my plan anyway. Oh, and I go to the dentist—but that’s not covered, either. Being self-employed, I have to pay 100 percent of my insurance premium under an “individual plan.” If you work somewhere that offers health insurance as a benefit, then you only pay a portion of your premium out of your paycheck and the company covers the rest. You and your coworkers as a group participate in your own “group plan.” The overall health of your company’s “group” determines what each person in the group pays. In other words, you pay the same amount out of your paycheck as the three-packa-day smoker in the warehouse or the 300-pound secretary in the cubical next door. In the infinite wisdom of health insurance mathematics, the monetary risk of one sick person is spread out over the premiums paid by each member of the group so that the insurance company always wins. Very Vegas. Meanwhile there’s me. I don’t have co-workers, sick or healthy. I don’t have an

22 • The Pulse • march 7-13, 2013 •

employer picking up a big portion of my health plan premium. I’m not even part of any group. Or am I? In an effort to simplify things, as far as determining an accurate monthly premium rate for a one-off like myself, all individual plan members such as myself are lumped into a big happy group of our own. The risk of each individual member is spread across the entire group and rates are averaged out. So, my rates are determined by the health of a bunch of people I’ve never even seen, let alone met. And apparently unlike me, they’ve all been using their health insurance a lot, hence the rate increase I’m about to start paying. Is it me or does this seem unfair? If I’m watching my diet, exercising and not running to the doctor every time I have a sniffle shouldn’t I be rewarded with reduced premiums? My car insurance company thinks so. Until adding my teenage daughter to my policy a year or so ago, I paid the lowest rates my car insurance company offers. In fact, over the years they’ve not only proactively sent me notices of premium reductions based on my good driving record, but even sent rebate checks

every now and then for a percentage of what I’d paid in any given year. And if my daughter maintains a clean driving record and a good report card, her rates will drop as well. How is this any different than health insurance? It’s because I go to the doctor, but don’t have auto accidents—and that’s bullshit. I actually had a claim on my car insurance for an accident that happened just last year. Between the cost of damages for both my car and the car I hit, I’d say the total bill to my insurer was likely around $25,000—a far cry from the cost of a single doctor’s visit. However, when I received my next car insurance premium statement my annual fee was exactly the same as it was the year before—and the year before that. No increase due to “rising body shop costs.” Health insurance companies have shell-game explanations of why their brand of coverage is different than auto insurance and how spreading out risk across the entire population of members is good for everyone. I know, because I wrote marketing copy for the insurer in question for nearly a decade. But in all that time I never quite bought in to their logic and business practices. They’ve got people snowed and scared to death of the antidote—Obamacare. • Chuck Crowder is a local writer and man about town. His opinions are his own. • MARCH 7-13, 2013 • The Pulse • 23

The Pulse 10.10 » March 7-13, 2013