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Dec.29, 2011

Jan. 4, 2012

Chattanooga’s Weekly Alternative

top 10 of 2011

music, the arts & movies

NEW CSO conductor kayoko dan » ranks high on our top 10 list. our writers, critics and columnists CHIME in on the best (and worst) of 2011

news » the bowl

4 bridges jury selects artists for EXHIBIT as ava chooses new festival director

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2 • The Pulse • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 •


EDITORIAL Publisher Zachary Cooper Art Director Bill Ramsey Contributors Rick Baldwin • Rob Brezsny Dave Castaneda • Chuck Crowder • Michael Crumb John DeVore • Janis Hashe •Sandra Kurtz Rick Pimental-Habib • Matt Jones • D.E. Langley Mike McJunkin • Ernie Paik • Jim Pfitzer Bill Ramsey • Alex Teach • Tara V Photographers Lesha Patterson • Josh Lang



Say cheese!

dec. 29, 2011-jan. 4, 2012 • 8.52

• Pizza-tossing is just part of the fun at Mellow Mushroom. Read Mike McJunkin’s review of the new Waterside location. » 18

ADVERTISING Sales Director Lysa Greer Account Executives Rick Leavell • Michelle Pih

CONTACT Phone 423.265.9494 Fax 423.266.2335 Email Got a stamp? 1305 Carter Street Chattanooga, TN 37402

letters Please limit letters to 300 words or less. Letters to the editor must include name, address and daytime phone number for verification. The Pulse reserves the right to edit letters for space and clarity.


Top 10 of 2011

• Our writers, critics and columnists count down their Top 10 of 2011 and plot their wish lists for 2012.

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. The Pulse may be distributed only by authorized distributors.

© 2011 Brewer Media BREWER MEDIA GROUP President Jim Brewer II

On the cover: The selection of Kayoko Dan as the new conductor of the Chattanooga Symphony ranked high on our list of top arts news for 2011. Photo by Lesha Patterson

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New Year’s Resolution: Make more FRIENDS! • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 • The Pulse • 3



happy valley

Exclusive! Older couple continues to decorate home for holidays despite being old

news • views • rants • raves updates »


4 Bridges gets new director Jury selects 175 artists for 2012 festival Pulse staff report The Association for Visual Arts late last week announced Laura Linz of Greenville, S.C., has been selected as the organization’s new major projects manager, which includes the role of director of the 4 Bridges Arts Festival, replacing outdoing director Jerry Dale McFadden, who has relocated to Florida. “Laura brings the highest level of enthusiasm, professionalism and experience to the table,” AVA executive director Anne Willson said. “We have the utmost confidence in her ability to make the 4 Bridges Arts Festival the best it can be.” Linz, who graduated from Furman University with a degree in studio art, has worked in the arts community for nearly a decade and has a comprehensive background

Laura (Linz) brings the highest level of enthusiasm, professionalism and experience to the table. We have the utmost confidence in her ability to make the 4 Bridges Arts Festival the best it can be. Anne Willson AVA executive director in nonprofit arts management and in directing art festivals. She has she been executive director for two nonprofit art organizations and served as festival director for three major arts and crafts festivals. The jurying process for selecting artists to exhibit in the 4 Bridges Arts Festival occurred on Dec. 10 and 11, just two weeks after Linz began in her new position. About 700 applicants vied for a spot in the festival, of which the three-person jury selected approximately 175 artists from the pool. The jurors for 2012 included Daniel Stet-

son, Sylvie Fortin and Amy Pleasant. Stetson, director of the Hunter Museum of American Art, came to Chattanooga earlier this year from the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Fla., where he served as executive director for nearly 15 years. A native of Oneida, N.Y, Stetson holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from SUNY Potsdam and a master of fine arts from Syracuse University. Fortin, editor-in-chief of Art Papers Magazine, is an independent curator, art historian, critic and editor who has

worked internationally since 1991. Fortin studied art history and theory at the University of Toronto, Université Laval and Duke University. She has received numerous grants and awards as a critic and curator, as well as for her academic research. Fortin was named Lexus Leader of the Arts in December 2007. Pleasant received her bachelor of fine arts degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her master’s from The Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. She has held solo exhibitions at Jeff Bailey Gallery, The Birmingham Museum of Art, The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Rhodes College, Tandem Gallery, The Ruby Green Center for Contemporary Art and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “The expertise of this jury is at the highest level we have ever had,” Willson said. “We will undoubtedly have a standout festival this year.”


• In the world of community journalism, good stories can be hard to come by. Each week, there’s another oversized check donated, another Rotarian or Kiwanis luncheon, another senior citizen craft festival, the church wingding. You get the picture. But every so often, an intrepid community news journalist stumbles upon a real barn-burner. Such was the case recently when the Times Free Press’ Weekly Community News managed to locate a Hixson couple who, quite shockingly, continue to decorate their home for the holidays—every year! Reporter Katie Ward attempted to cleverly cloak this otherwise mundane occurrence in the context that the “magic of Christmas can fade for adults as they age,” but not for Zella Dixon. This zesty 79-year-old literally drowns her Valleybrook home in what Ward describes as an indoor winter wonderland. “I love Christmas,” Dixon was quoted in the article, defying Ward’s assertion that old folks give up on turning their homes in holiday theme parks. We’ve truly come to depend on the Weekly Community News to provide the in-depth community coverage we so desperately crave—plus it’s free! Without the WCN, we’d have never known about the surprisingly tacky home of Sherwin and Zella Dixon, nor could we ably keep track of the Soddy-Daisy Goat Wars or, indeed, the 19-year-old undercover “hottie” (our term) who has been stinging Red Bank stores who continue to sell her beer even after they know her age. We salute you, Weekly Commuity News.

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Open Mic: Mark Holder Friday, Dec. 30: 9pm

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Saturday, Dec. 31: 10pm

New Year’s Eve Party with Mark “Porkchop” Holder Sunday, Jan. 1

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Server Appreciation Night

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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 • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 • The Pulse • 5


Chattanooga’s Weekly Alternative


Dizzy Town

A blog in print about politics, media & other strange bedfellows

Layoffs coming at TFP? The last signficant layoffs at the Times Free Press came in 2009 during a peak in the Great Recession when newspapers across the country were shedding staffers by the thousands. That year, according the, a well-known industry website known as Paper Cuts that documents layoffs and buyouts at newspapers around the county, almost 15,000 newsroom staffers lost their jobs, including 15 TFP newsroom staffers. Since then, layoffs have dropped off signficantly, but continue while dozens of papers have gone out of business. So rumor of layoffs at Our Daily gave us pause.





JANUARY 28 DETAILS NEXT WEEK IN THE PULSE! • Facebook/Chattanooga Pulse 6 • The Pulse • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 •

Fears of layoffs at the paper came to our attention last week when David Morton of Tweeted that TFP-ers were being forced to sign an arbitration agreement by 2012 that would relinquish their ability to sue the paper or its parent company, Little Rock, Ark.based WEHCO Media, Inc. Morton’s Twitter feed,, went on to note that his sources at the paper say the agreement, handed down by the paper’s human resources department in December, is likely tied to the age-discrimination lawsuit filed in May by former TFP Vice President of Operations Frank Anthony, who claims TFP President Jason Taylor fired him because he was, well, too old. Anthony is 64. Taylor is 36. DizzyTown called Harry Burnette, the lawyer whose firm filed the lawsuit, which sought unspecified damages and claims Taylor is systematically replacing older managers with younger staffers, but did not hear back from him before press time.

Morton’s Tweet said his sources at the paper all pointed toward the lawsuit as the catalyst for the new agreement, which is reportedly “optional.” The rub? Staffers who don’t sign will be terminated or ask to resign, according to Morton’s Tweet. In so-called “rightto-work” states such as Tennessee, where employees lack the backing and support of unions, management has the upper hand with these sort of heavy-handed tactics. Faced with losing one’s job in an embattled economy or signing away one’s legal rights, most TFP-ers are presumably, if reluctantly, signing off on the agreement. Fears of coming layoffs is a natural reaction, too, since laying this groundwork would free the publishers from battling costly lawsuits if they did begin trimming staff who might happen to be on the north side of their 40s or 50s. None of this, of course, bodes well for the newspaper industry as a whole and says much about how low publishers feel they can go in their efforts to reverse the dev-

astating loses print has suffered. Like many dailies in mid-sized cities, the TFP is already thin and understaffed. More cuts mean an increased reliance on wire copy to fill its pages and a push to produce advertorial to entice advertisers to part with their money in what many see as a dying medium. DizzyTown takes every opportunity to poke fun at the TFP—indeed, we’d have much less to gleefully parody were the paper not around— but we genuinely feel for the paper’s staff and hope these fears are unfounded. Even as layoffs have dropped off, no paper is immune to cuts as the economy continues to struggle, least of all alternative newsweeklies. The Pulse lost its longtime editor, Janis Hashe, recently due to budget woes and our already small staff has dropped to unprecedented levels. Really—count the typos! On second thought, no, don’t. We’re depressed enough. Send us your Dizzyness! Email: dizzy@

On the Beat

alex teach

The Five-Oh Top One-Oh of 2011 Japan’s Trifecta of Death, Bin Laden’s welldeserved death, Congresswoman Gifford’s well-deserved life, the ATF Fast & Furious scandal—all pure gold. But The Pulse belongs to sweet, sweet Chattanooga, so let’s keep things simple and wrap up the year with some local crimerelated stories in no particular order. (Seriously.) The Disappearance of Gail Palmgren The 44-year-old Signal Mountain mother disappeared without a trace on April 30. Shortly thereafter it was revealed that her husband Matt had been having an affair with a co-worker and he was promptly tried and convicted of her murder by local media. After seven months of searches and investigation, officials found her remains and her wrecked Jeep on the side of Signal Mountain. Her death has been deemed an accident; no apologies are expected from the aforementioned local media because … why would they? Gang Violence Unavoidable, and finally, undeniable. Of Chattanooga’s 23 homicides so far this year, Chattanooga police officials estimate that 65 percent are gang-related. For once, denying gangs is not the problem;

Mayor Littlefield had his spin stopped cold the last time he tried to blow it off as a “flash mob epidemic” and to his dismay discovered that his constituency did not consist of lobotomized snow monkeys, as he had apparently assumed. The Murder of Sgt. Tim Chapin The brutal murder of this humble and incredibly brave man and the devastation his death has wrought on this community has been more thoroughly documented than I could hope to summarize if given 100 years to do so, but an alternate title may have been “25-Year-Old Jesse Mathews Wins Front Row Seat Ticket in Center-Stage Hell.” 37 Die in April Tornados Police, fire and EMS were given a snapshot of hell burned into their brains courtesy of the Apison F-4 tornado that killed eight in our county and 37 state-wide. The scene was devastation personified.

Deceased Infant Sent Home from Erlanger in Styrofoam Cooler Three words: Holy Freaking Crap. A 22-year-old woman gave birth to a baby at 19 weeks that died shortly after. State law won’t allow the hospital to keep the body; it can only “hold it” until funeral arrangements are made, arrange delivery to a funeral home or … allow the parents to transport the baby themselves. The mother signed a release, but Erlanger was screwed from the get-go with this Catch-22. The story sparked public outrage after Erlanger sent the mother home with her deceased infant in a Styrofoam cooler. Nice move. Police Take-Home Cars Remember that spot in the news about the mayor’s new plan to save half of one percent of the overall budget by eliminating 58 percent of the police department’s take-home cars, despite little problems like the gang-violence bit mentioned earlier? How Littlefield spent $70,000 to equip a parking lot (two, actually) to save $600,000 (which was somehow $300,000 the year before), after he decided to save money by ceasing to hire cops for two years?

In a later effort to show he had a sense of humor, he pushed to build a $3.5 million “wellness center” about the time the $70,000 parking lot was abandoned. For four months that story raged and he still never “got it.” Which leads to … The Littlefield Recall (Nice transition, right?) Police related? You bet your ass; see the above. Right or wrong, “The People” recalled a mayor for the first time in Chattanooga history by virtue of the city charter by which he was elected. He sued to fight this and won. “The People” appealed and he lost. Then he lost again. Then he sued again. Anyone else think our town is boring? Cleveland Police Controversy Can you freakin’ believe this crap? Cleveland police officers “dating” minors, viewing porn on city-owned phones, snorting crushed pills and having oral sex in public—and Police Chief Wes Snyder insists there was no proof of the officers’ misdeeds so no investigation was needed. Oh, the cops are in jail now (investigated and arrested by other cops, mind you), but wow! Looks like Chattanooga isn’t the only town cool enough to be this

messed up. Two Killed By Train Hey, it’s my list and this one just sticks in my mind. A Norfolk Southern train struck and killed 28-year-old Michael Hennen and 19-year-old Hannah Barnes as the two were lying on the tracks in the early morning of Aug. 22. The parents, friends and the poor engineer will forever be baffled by what investigators deemed to be an accident, but the event was as tragic as it was bizarre. Dirty-Ass Occupy Chattanooga Protestors And finally, probably the most drawn-out, police-related story this year locally was about how little interaction police had with our homegrown version of the “Occupy Something” movement that swept the nation. Tolerated until recently, the Chattanooga “Campifiers” will tell their children in generations to come not so much of their struggles with police, but the rather strange places they had to poop in order to show “solidarity.” Here’s to you, 2011. Not once has my fiction competed with your reality. Alex Teach is the pseudonym of a highly opinionated Chattanooga police officer. Follow him on Facebook at alex.teach.

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MusicWishes dave castaneda • music writer


o say that 2011 was one of the more surprising years in music would be an understatement. The following is a list of the Top 10 acts I would love to see in Chattanooga. Some bills are paired up with local acts I think would be a perfect match. I based my choices on what people have been talking about on social media and artists I believe will make a splash in 2012.

Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky with Sparkz

Kendrick Lamar is an up-andcoming hip-hop artist who claims he is “The voice of generation Y.” His new album, “Section.80,” has received critical acclaim from such artists as Pitchfork to XXL for his positive lyrics and social messages. His lyrics are deep

with messages that most rappers these days wouldn’t dare touch. Both A$AP and Kendrick are on tour with Drake.Paired with the lyrical genius Sparkz, this show would be fun to watch.

M83, Washed Out, Machines Are People Too

Another band that has received critical acclaim this year has been M83. The new album “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming” has been in heavy rotation and most of my friends on Spotify are constantly listening to it. Most reviews from their performance at Moogfest have been stellar. Washed Out has also had a fantastic year. If you remember their stop at 412 Market a couple of years ago, then you already know that frontman Ernest Greene’s

talents as have grown tremendously with the release of, “Within and Without.” Pair this with local favorite rowdy pop band Machines Are People Too and you have a guaranteed sold out show!

St. Vincent and The Alexanders

I recently saw St. Vincent at Moogfest and instantly became a huge fan. She combines skillful guitar playing with the latest technology to create electronic music that rocks. Having toured with the likes of Sfujan Stevens and The Polyphonic Spree, St. Vincent has the experience to create a unique blend of rock Her newest album, “Strange Mercy,” has made it onto many year ends lists, including

Rolling Stone and Spinner. Pairing her with Alex Thompson’s new experiment with folk rock and vocals would prove to be an interesting show.

Skrillex and #423BASS

Let’s have a moment of truth. The electronic scene in Chattanooga is in a drastically different state than it was in 2010 when you’d see 1,000-plus people filling up venues. No big names in electronic music have come through town since then. Love him or hate him, Skrillex is the ambassador of dubstep and electronic music in the United States. He doesn’t play what you’d expect of him at a live show. Ask a lot of the local bands who played at Dexfest 2011 and they’ll back me up. I could

imagine seeing people come out in droves for this rowdy party waiting to happen.

The Black Keys and Prophets and Kings

Let’s be real. Everyone in Chattanooga wants to see this happen. We all love The Black Keys. The end.

Empire of The Sun and Hearts in Light

Visually and musically thrilling. Enough said. Make it happen.

Bon Iver and James Blake Two incredible artists that make music in different genres yet still intersect. James Blake has soul, Bon Iver brings the chills.

MusicResolutions tara v • music writer


andling one or two of these resolutions will make a huge difference in our music community and to your life in 2012. I mean who cares about those cigarettes, fastfood love handles and missing college degrees. Oh, yeah—I don’t like even numbers.

Go to a festival You don’t have to spend $200 and camp in a tent to go to a festival. But you won’t regret going to MoogFest, Hangout Fest or Bonnaroo and experiencing a big show. Or make it simple and head down to the Bessie Smith Strut or Roots Fest, which is super close and local friends.

Tell your friends This is simple: Tell your friends

to get off their asses and spend $8 to have a good time. Drink less and it will probably keep you from making an even bigger ass of yourself. (Trust me I know.)

Open your mind Get you some culture. Go to the symphony. If Vivaldi is too much for you, then grab your friends and go on a night when Black Jacket Symphony covers “Dark Side of The Moon.”

Share your opinion Share your ideas with local venues about who you want to see—especially if you know they are playing nearby. I mean it is your city.

Pass down the love You don’t just wake up one day

and change your mind about paying more attention to local music. It’s something that grows inside of you and can be passed down to younger generations. This year, take your favorite teen or smaller human out to Nightfall, the 3 Sisters Festival or an all-ages show. You will be helping to de-Bieberize our youth and, in that sense, saving the world.

Buy one local CD/T-shirt When you enjoy a show there are small ways to return the favor. Small acts playing town need gas money. That $5 CD or $10 T-shirt may be the difference in making it to the next show. Good karma.

Learn to play an instrument How do musicians make money? Most don’t only play gigs af-

8 • The Pulse • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 •

ter their full-time jobs or serving shifts at Waffle House, but many also offer music lessons. If you see a musician out that you like ask them if they offer lessons. If they don’t, search Craigslist (just do a background check). Another great place to start is The Mountain Folk School of Chattanooga.

Go to a new venue Some of us are very attached to our favorite clubs and venues. A feeling of pride—or fear of entering an unfamiliar space—arises when we’re confronted with going to a new place. Fact is, you need a healthy dose of all the clubs and venues Chattanooga and the region has to offer for a balanced diet of rock (or country, dubstep, or whatever.) If you refuse to set your feet into certain

places, then at least take a chance on a theater of venue that’s off your beaten path. Some great choices to kick off 2012: Barking Legs, Pasha Coffeehouse or Market Street Tavern.

Show your talent Trust me, I am just as guilty as most of letting go with good buzz and a country music cover, but there are better ways to show your talents than karaoke. If you are really lucky and can play an instrument, there is no reason for you not to show your greatness at one of our local open mics. If you cannot, please see Resolution No. 3. Here’s to a new you and kicking ass in 2012! Happy New Year from all your friends here at The Pulse!

MusicCDs ernie paik • music critic

New Releases Matthew Shipp “Art of the Improviser” Jazz pianist Matthew Shipp has a distinctive, instantly recognizable style that is deliciously complicated—at times forceful, explosive and dissonant, but always calculated; this double-album reveals him at the top of his game, featuring a disc with Shipp’s trio and a solo disc, demonstrating his adept quickness, both of the mental and physical kind. Starlicker “Double Demon” The aggressive, white-hot jazz trio—comprised of cornetist Rob Mazurek, Tortoise drummer John Herndon, and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz—inspires energy with its fierce, all-acoustic approach; it’s stimulating but not a chaotic free-for-all, with focused playing, like guided missiles screaming articulately and tearing through the atmosphere. Destroyer “Kaputt” The revival of 1980s pop music has reached a point of ridiculous and often insufferable ubiquity, so it’s that much more impressive that Destroyer’s latest—an amalgam of new wave and ’80s soft rock—manages to distinguish itself from the glut, with an air of sophistication, enigmatic lyrics, and a compelling narrative flow. Shabazz Palaces “Black Up” The most lyrically complex and oblique album of the year is this hip-hop excursion from former Digable Planets member Ishmael Butler. With unusual beats and sliced-and-diced jazz samples, it’s an invigorating listen with magnificently dizzying wordplay. Tom Waits “Bad As Me’ The junkyard, avant-hobo art-

blues, gruff-cabaret-beatnik misanthropic stylings of Tom Waits are in a category of their own, and Waits’s latest—his first of new studio material in seven years—is up to his usual high standards; he shifts gears frequently, going from sentimental ballads to death-march war stomps, with vivid, twisted rhymes. The Roots “Undun” The year’s boldest expression of existential despair comes in the form of a hip-hop concept album from the unstoppable Philly outfit The Roots; this ambitious release follows the fictional character Redford Stephens in reverse chronology, and it’s quite possibly the band’s most affecting and penetrating album yet, which is saying a lot. Secret Cities “Strange Hearts” Perhaps the most overlooked and underrated pop album of the year is by this Fargo, N.D., trio, full of nostalgic pleasures, oozing with carefully placed flourishes and recorded with a cozy homespun studio eccentricity. Charlie Gokey and Marie Parker trade off vocal duties with a distinct sweetness and charm. Grouper “AIA” The superb double-album from Liz Harris, aka Grouper, is full of foggy lullabies with a low-fidelity aesthetic, using guitar fuzz, soothing noise and Harris’s gorgeous (yet indiscernible) vocals to transport the listener to an alternate, placid universe. Mostly Other People Do the Killing “The Coimbra Concert” The intense NYC jazz quartet has a sly sense of humor, unloading a constant barrage of classic hard bop references and playing a four-way game of tug-of-war us-

ing jet fighters tied together. This live release is a playful, yet rigorous full-on fire hose of an album with skillfully executed transitions between wildly disparate moments. Group Doueh “Zayna Jumma” Some of the most exciting rock music today comes from north Africa, and the latest album from the west Saharan outfit Group Doueh, led by skillfully frenetic guitarist Doueh, is a sterling example, with an unfiltered, raw energy, flowing melodies, hypnotic rhythms and passionate vocals.

Reissues/Archival Various Artists ‘This May Be My Last Time Singing” This three-disc set of raw African-American gospel music, culled from obscure seven-inch singles in collector Mike McGonigal’s stash, is an overwhelming compilation centering on the 1960s and ’70s, with dozens of spirited and moving performances with soul, pop and funk influences. It hardly matters that these are often rough, non-professional recordings—the unfettered vitality is infectious. Various Artist “The Total Groovy” Going from oscillator madness to hauntingly gorgeous spacedruid, free-improv ceremonies to uneasy post-punk/industrial explorations, this mind-bending set compiles the entire output of Groovy Records, co-founded by Buzzcocks member Pete Shelley, plus a bonus disc of unreleased material. The Beach Boys The Smile Sessions Brian Wilson’s 2004 version of the legendary unfinished album was a valiant effort, but this set is the real deal and the best version

assembled, as Wilson’s “teenage symphony to God” with reverence and humor, thanks to Van Dyke Parks’s lyrics. The massive deluxe version includes several discs full of studio outtakes, providing ample insight into Wilson’s painstaking recording process. T.K. Ramamoorthy “Fabulous Notes and Beats of the Indian Carnatic: Jazz” Practically unknown on this continent yet an acknowledged musical genius in his native India, prolific film score composer T.K. Ramamoorthy created an under-recognized jazz-fusion masterpiece in 1969, merging Indian and western instrumentation with an animated spirit and countless slickly performed transitions and turns. Miles Davis Quintet “Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1” This stunning three-CD, oneDVD set documents Davis’ second “great quintet” with a mix of new compositions and radically different takes on his repertory classics, with the formidable lineup of saxophonist Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock on piano, bassist Ron Carter and Tony Williams on drums. Bernard Estardy “La Formule du Baron” The brilliant 1969 album from the French recording engineer Bernard Estardy is a strange, innovative and unique album brimming with ideas, employing experimental recording techniques, sound effects and flawless studio musicians. Estardy favors funky rhythms and bold arrangements, impeccably recorded with his mischievous off-kilter vision. Stephin Merritt “Obscurities” This compilation from the Magnetic Fields brainchild is a wealth of rarities and unreleased tracks,

showcasing Merritt’s “songs about songs” writing approach and his rich, deep, eternally sad baritone voice. Among the gems are tracks from the unfinished musical, “The Song from Venus” (including “Forever and a Day,” a perfect first-dance wedding song) and the beautiful country number “Plant White Roses,” featuring vocalist Shirley Simms. The Art of Noise “Into Battle with the Art of Noise” The sample-heavy debut release from the London art-minded group was its blueprint, featuring two of its most enduring tracks: the old-school beat-driven “Beat Box” and the exquisitely sensual “Moments in Love;” fans are treated with the inclusion of the entire unreleased album, “Worship”—a fascinating, daring listen—as a bonus. Janko Nilovic “Funky Tramway and Soul Impressions” These two previously outof-print 1975 albums from the Montenegro-born composer and pianist are masterful slices of jazz-funk with high production values, deep grooves, inventive uses of synths and countless moments that are ripe for sampling; it’s easy to hear why vinyl collectors and library music enthusiasts scoured the crates for these. Can “Tago Mago: 40th Anniversary Edition” Possibly Can’s finest, the adventurous German band’s mindblowing double album earned a spot in the Krautrock pantheon with a unique avant-rock, meticulously edited studio creation, marked with Jaki Liebezeit’s funk-inflected drumming and Damo Suzuki’s wild vocals; this edition includes a bonus disc documenting the group’s live improvisatory sprawl. • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 • The Pulse • 9


janis hashe • arts writer & critic


ach year for the last few years, I’ve compiled my Top Ten List of Great Arts Events I Was At. Of course, this is completely arbitrary—and here it comes again, in 2011 chronological order. This year really was especially fabulous for the arts in Chattanooga. Keep it up, arts folks! Love from the peanut gallery.


• Opening event for “Lois Mailou Jones: A Life in Vibrant Color,” Hunter Museum of American Art. This amazing exhibit showcased an artist who created work for more than 70 years, in many styles and media. Awe-inspiring.


• The SF Jazz Collective at UTC. This eight-man supergroup explored the music of Stevie Wonder in a way half the audience got and the other half didn’t. Hip squared.


• Buddha’s Birthday Bash at Barking Legs. Full disclosure: I organized this event, but the reading of “Howl,” the three original plays on Buddhist themes and the music of NADA made for a memorable day. This will be back in 2012. • Matthew Shipp, part of the jazz series at Barking Legs. Kudos to Bruce Kaplan for organizing all the events in this

Clockwise from above: David Sedaris, an image from “Lois Mailou Jones: A Life in Vibrant Color,” and characters from ZooZoo.

series, but Shipp was off the charts in imaginative improv artistry. • David Sedaris at the Tivoli. Sedaris lived up to his rep and then some—loved that he came to Chattanooga. Great crowd, great night.


• “Rent” at the Chattanooga Theatre Center. Very possibly the best show I have ever seen at the CTC, highlighted by Andrew Chauncey’s turn as Angel.


• “Hairspray” at the CTC. Two weeks later I was back

10 • The Pulse • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 •

at the CTC and blown away again. Ab-fab show.


• The Gallery Hop, multiple venues. Super fun every year and not less this year. Shout out to the Chenoweth/Halligan Front Gallery for general grooviness.


• ZooZoo, Imago Theatre at UTC. The aardvarks, the bears, the giant paper bag … theatrical creativity at its zaniest. • Allos Musica Trio at Barking Legs. No real way to describe the almost trance-like

music of clarinetist James Falzone and his genre-bending group. Had amazing dreams that night.


• “Have A Seat” at the Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga. Not a perfect play—yet— but an outstanding concept and featuring a kick-ass performance by Robbye Lewis. • MainX24. Favorites this year included gorging on chocolate, hot and otherwise at The Hot Chocolatier, the John Waters-themed fashion show at the Choo Choo and visiting with the fine folks at Mainly Antiques, who rock.


Michael Crumb • arts writer & critic


hattanooga has seen excellent development in both the visual and performing arts during 2011. The following list seeks to be inclusive without begin particularly hierarchial—or strictly arithmatic. But first, allow me to make a couple of remarks. Great priase may be accorded to Kayoko Dan’s wonderful reinvigoration of the Chattanooga Symphony. Music lovers are loving her! Praise also to the forward-looking decision by our City Council to acquire John Petrey’s “Blue Boy Pull Toy #1,” which is now a permanent fixture of Coolidge Park where it harmonizes well with the wonderful carousel!


This list may as well begin with Chattanooga’s public arts most conspicuous development of our downtown arts scene. From the CARTA collaboration, which produced art-wrapped shuttle buses, to the placement of at least 15 new sculptures around the city. Congratulations to Rondell Crier for his excellent contributions to both of these projects. Additionally, the completion of Daud Ahkriev’s “Four Seasons” installation around the south end of the Market Street Bridge provides a lasting enhancement to the downtown arts district. Brava, Peggy Townshend!

formed. Holston should be given a room at the Smithsonian to house this ouevre!

6 Nam June Paik’s world-class assemblage “Andy Warhol Robot” and a marvelous rehanging of impressionist and modernist works from the permanent collection. Much earlier in 2011, the retrospective show of Lois Mailou Jones allowed viewers to experience a magnificant achievement of lifelong aesthetic ambition. There will soon be more in The Pulse on the current and deeply relevant photographic show at the Hunter.


Edgy performance art has continued at JJ’s Bohemia. Subterranian Cirqus’ performance of sideshow, burlesque and comedy was a huge score. Cirqus’ “Dystopia 3” event featured poet and video producer Bryan Lewis Saunders from Johnson City. This show also saw the breathtaking debut of “The Instrumental Girl.” The brave Emily Woodford pierced with large hooks and wired for sound was played by the preeminent Pinky!


In the performance art arena, Bobbie Rush’s headline appearance at the Bessie Smith Heritage Festival granted folks the intensity of an original blue entertainer, an experience that become more rare as time boogies on.


Kayoko Dan


Wendy White brought paintings to the Cress Gallery as the latest arrival of the Diane Marek Visiting Artist Series. This show was widely attended by both the university community and the larger community. White has found a way to develop elements of our urban environments into a recombined visuality that advances her painting into provocative, inspired forms.



Daniel Stetson’s commencement as director of the Hunter Museum of American Art has brought

Clara Blalock and Edie Maney showed abstract paintings at the River Gallery in an exciting show that once more demonstrated the importance of our fine arts galleries to the larger art scene here.

Daniel Stetson

Joseph Holston’s show at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, “Color in Freedom: Journey Along the Underground Railroad,” brought such a synthesis of painterly style, narrative accumen and artistic devotion to the group of 30 large works with smaller pieces—all done in a single year—that an undeniably monumental impression

Jan Chenoweth and Roger Halligan’s Front Gallery featured solid presentations from excellent sculptures in metal and clay to a variety of innovative media, including crochet and scanned images. The gallery presented artists’ new stylistic expressions—very stimulating!


Ruth Grover at UTC’s Cress Gallery hung a remarkable show from the Cress Collection. One of the best art events of this past summer. Viewers could compare American and British artists, as well as discovering about more UTC artists.


You can probably still go to Planet Altered to view the Kronenberg-Hefferlin Family Show. Not since in Taos, N.M. have I seen so much quirky work in such a small space. Check this out! Congratulations to Issac Duncan who now curates Chattanooga State’s sculptures and to Rick Baldwin for opening REK Gallery. • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 • The Pulse • 11


john devore • film writer & critic


nfortunately, I haven’t seen every film this year. I’ve seen most of the major releases, and while there are groups in Chattanooga making great strides in bringing independent and art films to our fair city, we still can’t get everything. But of the films I’ve seen, the following (in no particular order) are the ones that I feel were the most successful.


“Moneyball” isn’t your typical sports movie; it doesn’t have the same underdog feel to it, the same storybook journey to a dramatic championship win. This film is about the unfair amount of influence money has in baseball and how the careful application of statistics can circumvent it. While a movie about math might seem boring on paper, even someone who isn’t a baseball fan is drawn into the film by the stellar performances of Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. With the possible exception of “The Natural,” “Moneyball” is the best baseball movie of all time.

Another Earth

Named one of the Top 10 independent films of the year by National Review, “Another Earth” forced the audience to think about possibilities. While it is a sci-fi film, it isn’t an action-oriented space opera driven by special effects. Instead, it is a film about the questions of fate and the nature of choice. It tells the story of a young astrophysicist who makes one bad decision that changes the direction her life entirely. This decision coincides with the appearance of another Earth in the sky, one that has the same history and people as our own. It is the best kind of sci-fi film, as it asks questions without giving answers, and is

a genuinely thought-provoking film experience.

Super 8

“Super 8” is a film that wasn’t initially on my list. But I recently watched it again with my 11-year-old stepdaughter and was reminded how incredible a good summer movie can be. It is a film that reminds me of my favorite summers as a child and is filled with heart-stopping action and earnest performances by the child actors. The film is full of open skies, kids on bikes and hearty adventure. While directed by JJ Abrams, executive producer Steven Spielburg is evident throughout the film. It is reminiscent of “E.T.” and “Goonies,” but with a better cast. It’s just a good movie.

The Descendants

Great performances make great films. “The Descendants” is funny, heartbreaking and real. Losing important people is a universal experience, one that can be sudden and devastating. It can also be a process, one in which every day is met with increasingly bad news. In the case of the King family, it’s both. The subject matter here is rich and engaging, told expertly by the filmmakers and portrayed confidently by the cast. Profound sadness is balanced by charming levity, making the film enjoyable and accessible for the audience. This one may get several Oscar nominations.

Take Shelter

Another film that will most likely get an Academy Award nomination, the success of “Take Shelter” belongs to Michael Shannon. He gives a terrific, understated performance as a man slowly losing his grip on reality due to powerful and prophetic nightmares. This film takes its time with the material, letting the audience’s

12 • The Pulse • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 •

own anxieties build alongside Curtis’. The result is a distressing look at the slow process of mental illness and its effects on the security of a family.

adults than children. It has all the makings of a spaghetti western, played by beautifully rendered desert creatures. The humor is often as dry as the setting, with Greek Choruses of mariachi owls and Delphian armadillos packing layers of hidden jokes. “Rango” should be watched and re-watched, if only for the elegance of the animation.

The Ides of March

Higher Ground

Yet another independent film, “Higher Ground” is the directorial debut of actress Vera Farmiga. It is a reflective look at the life of a woman who lives and breathes evangelical Christianity, but doesn’t quite fit into the narrow view of the church. Farmiga doesn’t make any broad generalizations or portray evangelicals negatively. She instead shows the building of faith, the dedication necessary for maintaining it, and the realities of leaving it behind. Goodness and mercy may not follow as surely as promised, at least not for everyone. The film is honest in its storytelling and smart in its execution.

The American political system is such that good ideas only matter if the person championing them can get elected. “The Ides of March” seems to argue that the process of getting elected ruins the champions because the necessary reciprocity weakens the deeply convicted. It is, at its a heart, an accurate portrayal of political campaigns and a powerful vehicle for the exceptional talent of Ryan Gosling. It should be required viewing during primary season.

Midnight in Paris

Source Code

Not everyone is a Woody Allen fan. But I am and found “Midnight in Paris” to be a wonderful cinematic experience. It is a film for lovers of literature and art, lofty in its goals and its language. It is a love letter to both Paris and liberal-arts majors. The more references you catch, the smarter you feel. I love that Allen makes films like this.


“Rango” is a smart animated film that may be more for

This film isn’t going to win any awards. The premise is a bit too far-fetched to be taken seriously. However, it is a great sci-fi film, one that features good performances by Jake Gyllenhaal and Vera Farmiga. I include it because, of the films I’ve seen this year, it stuck with me as a genuine surprise. I love having my low expectations blown away by quality filmmaking. The premise could have made it repetitive, but the characters were plausibly written and emotionally believable.



THE 12.29-01.04


Barking Legs shows worth barking about Just before Christmas, Barking Legs offered tickets to its upcoming winter and spring season. Not surprisingly, the acts represent a wide range of musical options to satisfy both traditionalists and those looking for the cutting edge. Among the highlights: • Surely the biggest guns in the calendar are the Gibson Brothers and Pierre Bensusan. The Gibsons are very much at the top of the bluegrass world, having been awarded both Vocal Group of the Year and Album of the Year by the IBMA in 2011. Pierre Bensusan is simply one of the world’s most accomplished and beloved guitarists. The chance to see either of these acts in an intimate listening room is rare indeed. • Jazz at Barking Legs returns in 2012 with a vengeance, ranging from gypsy jazz with Stephane Wrembel to a Tribute to Miles Davis featuring Vance Thompson and Greg Tardy. Learn more about the lineup and purchase tickets at January • 15: John Cowan Trio • 19: Monroe Crossing • 28: A Tribute to Miles Davis with Vance Thompson and Greg Tardy February • 4: Matt Flinner Trio • 23: The Gibson Brothers March • 17: Acoustic Blues w. Paul Geremia • 22: Gypsy Jazz w. Stephane Wrembel • 24: Jack Wright and Friends April • 5: Trevor Dunn’s Endangered Blood May • 17: An Evening with Pierre Bensusan

» pulse picks

THUR12.29 MUSIC Open Mic with Mark Holder • Chattanooga’s favorite “Porkchop” hosts an open mic. 9 p.m. • The Office (inside Days Inn), 901 Carter St. (423) 634-9191 • Find them on Facebook

Drivin N Cryin 12.30 • Rhythm & Brews See Pulse Picks

EVENT Live Team Trivia

» pulse pick OF THE LITTER

Into The ‘Wilderness’

• Hey, it’s a slow week. Bone up on your trivia skills. 7 p.m. • T-Bones Sports Cafe, 1419 Chestnut St. (423) 266-4240 •

FRI12.30 MUSIC Drivin N Cryin with Kneckdown • Hot southern rockers kick off the new year early! 10 p.m. • Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St. (423) 267-4644 •

EVENT Landry with Matt Mitchell • Landry won the 2011 Boston Comedy Arts Festival and is burning up the comedy scene. 8 p.m. • The Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Road (423) 629-223 •

SAT12.31 MUSIC Machines Are People Too • Catch MRP2 for NYE before they head for L.A. 8 p.m. • JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400

EVENT New Year’s Sleep in the Deep • Spend the night at the Tennessee Aquarium. 5:30 p.m. • Tennessee Aquarium, 1 Broad St. (423) 648-2496 •

12.31 • NEW YEAR’S EVE DOUBLE FEATURE AT THE PINT • The Features have graced stages before here in the Noog, but this is their first apeareance at The Honest Pint. Recent tours with Kings of Leon, the acclaimed new “Wilderness” album and a single on the newest “Twilight” soundtrack (swoon, ladies, swoon!) have pushed their music to new audiences. The Bohannons kick off the evening in anticipation of their Jan. 2 live show on Datrotter. 10 p.m. • The Honest Pint, 35 Patten Pkwy. (423) 468-4192 •

SUN01.01 EVENT New Year’s Day Bloody Mary Contest • Haven’t had enough? Party on into 2012 by creating the ultimate Bloody Mary! The popular drink will be the go-to cure for many folks trying to ward off the demons of New Year’s Eve indulgences. Now you can drink, be cured and compete! Contestants will submit a quart of their best Bloody Marys to a panel of five judges at Market Street Tavern. 11 a.m. • Market Street Tavern, 850 Market St. (423) 634-0260 • Find them on Facebook • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 • The Pulse • 13

Chattanooga Live Calendar Thur 12.29

New Year’s Eve Bash Saturday • December 31 Machines Are People Too Tuesday • January 3

Comedy Buffet with Al Jackson Wednesday • January 4 Mollie King • Mills Friday • January 6 Casper and the Cookies The Jackies • Mythical Motors Saturday • January 7 Rowdy Downstairs • Mordello Real Drag Wednesday • January 11 Elkmilk • Thief

Sushi Bar Restaurant Nightclub 409 Market Street 423.756.1919


















1st Floor: Live Music • 2nd Floor: Dancing

Fried Chicken Trio 8 p.m. The Lounge at The Palms at Hamilton, 6925 Shallowford Rd., #202. (423) 499-5055. Rosedale Remedy 9:30 p.m. Rhythm and Brews, 221 Market St.

Fri 12.30 Patrick Scott Band 9 p.m. Raw, 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919. jimstriker Blue Grass Pharaohs 9 p.m. Market Street Tavern, 850 Market St., #100. (423) 634-0260. Billy Hopkins 9 p.m. The Office (inside Days Inn), 901 Carter St. (423) 634-9191. Find them on Facebook Every Word A Prophecy 7 p.m. The Warehouse, 412 Market St. Long Gone Darlings 8 p.m. Southside Saloon and Bistro, 1301 Chestnut St. (423) 757-4730. Elton Hendrix 8 p.m. The Foundry (at the Chattanoogan Hotel), 1201 Broad St. (423) 756-3400 Maddi 8 p.m. Acoustic Café, 61 RBC Dr., Ringgold, Ga. (706) 965-2065. The Avett Brothers 9 p.m. Track 29, 1400 Market St. (423) 266-4323.

PULSE PICK Machines Are People Too • JJ’s re-opens its doors following a holiday break to welcome one of Chattanooga’s hottest bands to rock in the new year. Expect sparks to fly! 12.31 • 8 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 Skin Deep 9 p.m. Sugar’s Ribs, 507 Broad St. (423) 508-8956. Drivin N Cryin, Kneckdown 10 p.m. Rhythm and Brews, 221 Market St. dAnGeR k!tTy 10 p.m. Bud’s Sports Bar, 5751 Brainerd Rd. (423) 499-9878.

Sat 12.31 Critty Upchurch 9 p.m. Raw, 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919. jimstriker Mark “Porkchop” Holder 9 p.m. The Office (inside Days Inn), 901 Carter St.

14 • The Pulse • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 •

(423) 634-9191. Find them on Facebook Elton Hendrix 8 p.m. The Foundry (at the Chattanoogan Hotel), 1201 Broad St. (423) 756-3400 Arlo Gilliam, Fried Chicken Trio 8 p.m. Acoustic Café, 61 RBC Dr., Ringgold, Ga. (706) 965-2065. Karaoke 8 p.m. Fanatics, 5425 Hwy 153. (423) 475-6600. Towe Jam 8 p.m. Palms Patio at The Palms at Hamilton, 6925 Shallowford Rd. #202. (423) 499-5055. Soul Survivor 9 p.m. Sugar’s Ribs, 507 Broad St. (423) 508-8956. DJ and Dancing 9 p.m. The Lounge at The Palms at Hamilton, 6925 Shallowford Rd., #202. (423) 499-5055. The Velvet Hand 10 p.m. Market Street Tavern, 850 Market St., #100. (423) 634-0260. Satisfaction: A Tribute to The Rolling Stones 10 p.m. Rhythm and Brews, 221 Market St. Machines Are People Too 8 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 Skin Deep 9 p.m. Sugar’s Ribs, 507 Broad St. (423) 508-8956. The Dirty Guv’nahs, The Delta Saints 9 p.m. Track 29, 1400 Market St. (423) 266-4323.

Mr. Quik and The Gunslinger, The Cadillac Saints 9 p.m. Market Street Tavern, 850 Market St., #100. (423) 634-0260. K.S.S. BAND 9 p.m. Mocha Restaurant & Music Lounge, 3116 Brainerd Rd. (423) 698-4335 The Features, The Bohannons 10 p.m. The Honest Pint, 35 Patten Pkwy. (423) 468-4192. Velcro Pygmies 10 p.m. Rhythm and Brews, 221 Market St. Bud Lightning 10 p.m. Bud’s Sports Bar, 5751 Brainerd Rd. (423) 499-9878.

Map these locations on chattanoogapulse. com. Send live music listings at least 10 days in advance to:

Chattanooga Live Regular Gigs Thursdays Jimmy Harris 7 p.m. The Coconut Room at The Palms at Hamilton, 6925 Shallowford Rd. (423) 499-5055. Blues Jam with Rick Rushing 7:30 p.m. Market Street Tavern, 850 Market St., (423) 634-0260. Gentlemen’s Jazz Quartet 8 p.m. Sugar’s Ribs, 507 Broad St. (423) 508-8956. Open Mic with Mark Holder 9 p.m. The Office (inside Days Inn), 901 Carter St. (423) 634-9191. Find them on Facebook

Fridays Johnny Cash

Tribute Band 5 p.m. Chattanooga Choo Choo Victorian Lounge, 1400 Market St. (423) 266-5000. Jimmy Harris 7 p.m. The Coconut Room at The Palms at Hamilton, 6925 Shallowford Rd. (423) 499-5055.

Saturdays Johnny Cash Tribute Band 5 p.m. Chattanooga Choo Choo Victorian Lounge, 1400 Market St. (423) 266-5000. Jimmy Harris 7 p.m. The Coconut Room at The Palms at Hamilton, 6925 Shallowford Rd. (423) 499-5055. thepalmsath-

Mondays Big Band Night 8 p.m. The Coconut Room at The Palms at Hamilton, 6925 Shallowford Rd. (423) 499-5055. Mountain Music 9 p.m. Market Street Tavern, 850 Market St. (423) 634-0260

Wednesdays Jimmy Harris 6:30 p.m. The Coconut Room at The Palms at Hamilton, 6925 Shallowford Rd. (423) 499-5055. Ben Friberg Trio 7 p.m. Market Street Tavern, 850 Market St. (423) 634-0260. Roger Alan Wade 7 p.m. Sugar’s

Ribs, 507 Broad St. (423) 508-8956.

Map these locations on chattanoogapulse. com. Send live music listings at least 10 days in advance to:

Jason Thomas is Johnny Cash in the Johnny Cash Tribute Band, performing Fridays and Saturdays in the Victorian Lounge at the Chattanooga Choo Choo.

Nightly Specials Mon: 50¢ Wings • $3 Sweetwaters Tues: $1 Tacos • 1/2 Price Margaritas Wed: Wine Night + Live Jazz! Thur: Burger & Beer Night Sat: $2 Domestics Noon to Midnight


Wednesday • Dec. 28 Live Jazz with

The Ben Friberg Trio Friday • Dec. 30 Blue Grass Pharaohs Saturday • Dec. 31 New Year's Eve Party 8:30 p.m. $5 cover

PULSE PICK Drivin N Cryin with Kneckdown • Hot southern rockers kick off the new year early! 12.30 • 10 p.m. Rhythm and Brews 221 Market St.

Mr. Quik and The Gunslinger Cadillac Saints Monday • Jan. 2 Mountain Music 850 Market Street• 423.634.0260 • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 • The Pulse • 15

Arts & Entertainment Calendar Thur 12.29 “Mystery of TV TalkShow” 7 p.m. Vaudeville Café, 138 Market St. (423) 517-1839. Live Team Trivia 7 p.m. T-Bones Sports Cafe, 1419 Chestnut Street (423) 266-4240 Landry and Matt Mitchell 8 p.m. The Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Rd. (423) 629-2233.

PULSE PICK Landry with Matt Mitchell • Landry won the 2011 Boston Comedy Arts Festival and is burning up the comedy scene. 12.19-31 • The Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Road (423) 629-223 •

Fri 12.30 Enchanted Garden of Lights 6 p.m. Rock City, 1400 Patten Rd. Lookout Mountain, Ga. (800) 854-0675. “Mystery of Flight 138” 7 p.m. Vaudeville Café, 138 Market St. (423) 517-1839. Landry and Matt Mitchell 7:30 & 10 p.m. The Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Rd. (423) 629-2233. Bruce Bruce and Friends 8:30 p.m. Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave. (423) 757-5156. Live Team Trivia 9 p.m. Amigo’s Mexican Restaurant, 5450 Hwy 153. (423) 875-8049.

Sat 12.31 New Year’s Sleep in the Deep

PULSE PICK Main Street Farmer’s Market • Make it fresh in 2012 01.04 • 4 p.m. Main St. at William St.

16 • The Pulse • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 •

5:30 p.m. Tennessee Aquarium, 1 Broad St. (423) 648-2496. “Mystery of the Nightmare Office Party” 5:30 p.m. Vaudeville Café, 138 Market St. (423) 517-1839. Enchanted Garden of Lights 6 p.m. Rock City, 1400 Patten Rd. Lookout Mountain, Ga. (800) 854-0675. New Year’s Eve Party Feat. Landry and Matt Mitchell 7:30 & 10 p.m.The Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Rd. (423) 629-2233. “Mystery of the Redneck Italian Wedding” 8 p.m. Vaudeville Café, 138 Market St. (423) 517-1839.

Mon 01.02 Live Team Trivia 6 p.m. Bart’s Lakeshore, 5840 Lake Resort Ter. (423) 870-0770. Southside Casual Classics 8 p.m. The Camphouse, 1427 Williams St. (423) 702-8081.

Tue 01.03 Songwriter’s Line-up 7 p.m. The Camphouse, 1427 Williams St. (423) 702-8081 Live Team Trivia 7:30 p.m. BrewHaus, 224 Frazier Ave. (423) 531-8490. Live Team Trivia 7:30 p.m.

PULSE PICK New Year’s Sleep in the Deep • Spend the night at the Tennessee Aquarium. 5:30 p.m. • Tennessee Aquarium, 1 Broad St. (423) 648-2496 •

Acoustic Café, 61 RBC Dr.Ringgold, Ga. (706) 965-2065.

Thur 01.04 Main Street Farmer’s Market 4 p.m. Main St. at Williams St. Live Team Trivia 7:30 p.m. Buffalo Wild Wings, 120 Market St. (423) 634-0468.

Ongoing Deck The Falls (thru Dec. 31) 8 a.m. Ruby Falls,

1720 S Scenic Hwy. (423) 821-2544. Winter Wonders Exhibit (thru Jan. 3) 10 a.m. Creative Discovery Museum, 321 Chestnut St. (423) 648-6043. Helping Hands Exhibit (thru Jan. 3) 10 a.m. Creative Discovery Museum, 321 Chestnut St. (423) 648-6043. Tropical Holiday Adventure (thru Jan. 1) 10 a.m. Tennessee Aquarium, 1 Broad St. (423) 648-2496.

Torah Covers, Sacred Textiles Exhibit (thru Jan 13) 10 a.m. Jewish Cultural Center, 5461 N. Terrace Rd. (423) 493-0270. Natural Instincts 11 a.m. In-Town Gallery, 26A Frazier Ave. (423)267-9214. Enchanted Garden of Lights (thru Dec. 31) 6 p.m. Rock City, 1400 Patten Rd. Lookout Mountain, Ga. (800) 854-0675. “Wearable Art” (thru Dec. 31) 6 p.m. River Gallery, 400 E. 2nd St. (423) 265-5033. “Born to be Wild 3D” (thru Jan 12)

1:30 & 3:30 p.m. Imax Theater at the Tennessee Aquarium, 1 Broad St. (800) 265-0695. “Tornado Alley 3D” (thru Jan 12) 2:30 p.m. Imax Theater at the Tennessee Aquarium, 1 Broad St. (800) 265-0695. “Happy Feet 2” (thru Jan 12) 11:30 am, 4:30 & 6:30 p.m. Imax Theater at the Tennessee Aquarium, 1 Broad St. (800) 265-0695.

Map these locations on chattanoogapulse. com. Send event listings at least 10 days in advance to: calendar@ • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 • The Pulse • 17



Pizza Perfection at Mellow Mushroom “

Pizza lives and dies by its crust and Mellow Mushroom’s crust gets a thumbs up ... their crust is a lesson in the dough arts.

By Mike McJunkin • Photos by Josh Lang

Alice fell down, down, down the rabbit hole, twirling and floating until she landed in a strange world where normal rules are bent and something wonderful is around every corner. The playful, bright yellow design of the newly constructed Mellow Mushroom restaurant and the giant, keyhole-shaped door are the first clues you are about to enter a delightful world where “Alice in Wonderland” meets “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.” That mashup is the brainchild of owners Jason and Samantha Jones, who, along with the Mellow design team, brought the imagery of their favorite novels to their new location in the Waterside development just off Shallowford Road. “Out there is the regular world, in here it’s Mellow World,” Jason says, and Mellow World is a world of infinite choices, starting with the drinks. A Coca-Cola Freestyle Machine offers countless combinations of Coke products by letting customers choose a base drink to mix with one or more flavorings. Want Diet Barq’s with vanilla? How about Mello Yello with peach? Go for it—there are more than 125 combinations to experiment with. If you prefer an adult beverage, choose from among 64 draft beers and more than 75 bottled beers or try a Beer Blend, such as the my personal fa-

vorite, the “Euro Trash,” a combination of Guinness and Stella Artois. The staff was very friendly and patient as I looked over what seemed like an infinite array of ingredient choices for my pizza. My server could sense my hunger and suggested I munch on some bruschetta while I pondered pizza toppings. The bruschetta was made with flavorful Roma tomatoes, a touch of fresh basil and feta cheese sitting atop crunchy garlic toast points which were then generously drizzled with a sweet balsamic reduction. I was able to look up from licking the

18 • The Pulse • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 •

balsamic reduction off my plate long enough to finally put in my pizza order. Rather than building my own from the endless list of potential goodies, I chose to order a specialty pizza, the Mellowterranian. This take on a Mediterranean pizza starts with an olive oil and garlic base topped with chicken, sweet onions, roasted red peppers, black olives, mozzarella and feta cheeses. It comes with tzatziki sauce that is creamy, delicious and powerfully flavored, so don’t go overboard and pour it over the entire pizza or it will overpower the clean flavors of the freshly prepared toppings that cover this tasty pie. Just a dab will do ya! Pizza lives and dies by its crust and Mellow Mushroom’s crust gets a thumbs

up. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and perfectly browned on the bottom (thanks to a 525° stone-bottom oven), their crust is a lesson in the dough arts. As I ate my way through my first slice to the edge, my taste buds were greeted by the saltiness of grated Parmesan cheese held in place with a generous brush of garlic butter that made it like a bread stick treat at the end of every slice. If you like a show with your dinner you can watch Bradley Johnson, Mellow Mushroom’s pizza-maker extraordinaire and U.S. Pizza Team freestyle pizza-tossing champion, perform dough acrobatics from elevated stadium seating that will give you a clear view of the action in the kitchen. Mellow Mushroom’s huge selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free choices means that carnivores and herbivores can finally dine in unity at the same table. My friend ordered the tempeh-grilled hoagie and she loved it! The tempeh is marinated in Teriyaki and balsamic vinegar before being grilled to firm perfection. Pile on feta cheese, grilled veggies and garnish with pesto mayo to top off a killer sandwich that even this unapologetic carnivore will gladly devour. The portions are very generous, so expect to take home leftovers for late-night munchies. And I was pleasantly surprised to find I didn’t need to take out a second mortgage to pay for this feast at Mellow World—a bonus in these cashstrapped times. So when your stomach is calling for food, follow the rabbit down, down, down to Mellow Mushroom Waterside for something delicious and unexpected—quality food at pizza-joint prices in a fun atmosphere. What’s not to love?

Mellow Mushroom Waterside 2318 Lifestyle Way Open daily, 11 a.m. to midnight (423) 468-3737 Mushroom Waterside

Sushi & Biscuits


Authentic Indian Restaurant D TAKE N A E E R E ENT BUY ON



Victorian Lounge

Top 10 Local Food Finds


NTthRis EcouEpon* E D N O SEaCl or lesser value with 2. Dine ires 1/31/1

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Open for lunch & dinner, Lunch buffet everyday. 200 Market Street Chattanooga, TN 423-894-9696


We Special Order

2121 E. 23rd St. • 423.622.6605


Massaman Curry (it’s not on the menu, you’ll have to ask for it) at Sawasdee Thai, 4008 St. Elmo Ave.


Noodle bowls at Mikado Sushi Bar Noodle House, 7003 Lee Hwy.

3 4

Fresh curry leaves at the India Bazar, 6940 Lee Hwy.


Shawarma at Family Food Mart at Eastgate Town Cen-


Pancakes and bacon donuts at Julie Darling Donuts, 121 Frazier Ave.



Tacos at Taqueria y Fonda La Bonita, 1510 Central


Stuffed pork chops from Don’s Meat Shop, 6410 Hixson Pike.

8 9 10

Back bacon from Link 41, 217 East Main St. Torta sandwich at La Altena, 314 W. Main St.

Fresh chicharrones at LOA No. 6, 400A Chickamauga Road at Lee Hwy.

Mike McJunkin is a foodie, chef, musician and, in his spare time, keeps our computers and networks running smoothly. Got a tip for the column? Email him at • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 • The Pulse • 19

Holiday Cheer On Sale Now!

We will meet or beat any advertised price in Chattanooga!

Free Will Astrology ARIES (March 21-April 19): In North America, a farmer who grows wheat gets only five percent of the money earned by selling a loaf of bread made from his crop. When my band recorded an album for MCA, our contract called for us to receive just seven percent of the net profits. I encourage you to push for a much bigger share than that for the work you do in 2012. It will be an excellent time to raise the levels of respect you have for your own gifts, skills, and products—and to ask for that increased respect, as well. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): For much of the 19th century, aluminum was regarded as a precious metal more valuable than gold. It was even used for the capstone of the Washington Monument, dedicated in 1884. The reason for this curiosity? Until the 1890s, it was difficult and expensive to extract aluminum from its ore. Then a new technology was developed that made the process very cheap. In 2012, Taurus, I’m predicting a metaphorically similar progression in your own life. A goodie or an asset will become more freely available to you because of your increased ability to separate it from the slag it’s mixed with.

Where the Liquor is Cheap & the Entertainment is Free

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The coming year will be a good time for you to consider investigating the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Devotees of this religion call themselves Pastafarians. Their main dogma is the wisdom of rejecting all dogma. Having such a lighthearted approach to spiritual matters would be quite healthy for you to experiment with. For extra credit, you could draw inspiration from a church member named Niko Alm. He convinced authorities to allow him to wear a pasta strainer on his head for his driver’s license photo. Having a jaunty approach to official requirements and formal necessities will also serve you well. CANCER

(June 21-July 22): Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life” is an ambitious work that deviates from formulaic

20 • The Pulse • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 •

rob brezsny

approaches to film-making. Some observers hated its experimental invocation of big ideas, while others approved. New York Times critic A.O. Scott compared the movie to Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick,” one of America’s great works of literature. Here’s what Scott wrote: “Mr. Malick might have been well advised to leave out the dinosaurs and the trip to the afterlife and given us a delicate chronicle of a young man’s struggle with his father and himself. And perhaps Melville should have suppressed his philosophizing impulses and written a lively tale of a whaling voyage.” Using this as a template, Cancerian, I urge you to treat 2012 as a time when you will be like Melville and Malick in your chosen field. Trust your daring, expansive vision.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I love the way they celebrate the New Year in Stonehaven, Scotland. A procession of revelers swings big flaming baskets around on the ends of long chains. I recommend that you carry out a comparable ritual as you barge into 2012, Leo. Symbolically speaking, it would set the perfect tone. The coming months should be a kind of extended fire festival for you—a time when you faithfully stoke the blaze in your belly, the radiance in your eyes, and the brilliance in your heart. Are you ready to bring all the heat and light you can to the next phase of your master plan? I hope so. Burn, baby, burn. VIRGO (Aug.

23-Sept. 22): Historian David McCullough wrote “The Greater Journey,” a book telling the stories of ambitious young American artists who relocated to Paris between 1830 and 1900. They had to move away because their home country had no museums or art schools at that time. You Virgos may want to consider seeking a similar enlargement of your possibilities in the coming months. As you seek out the resources that will help you follow your dreams, be prepared to look beyond what you already know and what’s immediately available.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Professional basketball player Ron Artest petitioned the court to let him change his name to “Metta World Peace.” “Metta” is a Buddhist term that signifies loving-kindness and benevolence. When the new moniker finally became official, Metta World Peace sealed a radical shift away from his old way of doing things, symbolized by the time he leaped into the stands in the middle of a game to punch a fan in the head. The coming months will be an excellent time for you Libras to initiate a rite of passage that will expedite an equally dramatic transformation. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Many of the questions we had as children never got resolved or answered to our satisfaction. They still remain marinating in the back of our minds. Meanwhile, fresh queries keep welling up within us as the years go by. After a while, we’ve got a huge collection of enigmas, riddles, and conundrums. Some of us regard this as a tangled problem that weighs us down, while others see it as a sparkly delight that keeps making life more and more interesting. Where do you stand on the issue, Scorpio? If you’re in the latter group, you will be fully open to the experiences that will be flowing your way in 2012. And that means you will be blessed with a host of sumptuous and catalytic new questions. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22Dec. 21): The first half of 2012 will be an excellent time to for you to exorcize any prejudices you might be harboring toward anyone who lives or thinks differently from you. You’ll be able to see your own irrational biases with exceptional clarity, and are also likely to have exceptional success at scouring yourself free of them. This will give you access to new reserves of psychic energy you didn’t even realize you were shut off from. (P.S. I’m not saying you possess more intolerance or narrow-mindedness than any of the rest of us. It’s just that this is your time to deal brilliantly with your share of it.)


(Dec. 22Jan. 19): In Botticelli’s painting “The Birth of Venus,” the goddess of beauty and love is shown arriving on dry land for the first time after having been born in the ocean. Naked, she is trying to cover her private parts with her hand and thighlength hair. Her attendant, a fully clothed nymph, is bringing a cloak to cover her up. Analyzing this scene, art critic Sister Wendy suggests it’s actually quite sad. It symbolizes the fact that since we humans can’t bear the confrontation with sublime beauty, we must always keep it partly hidden. Your assignment in the coming year, Capricorn, is to overcome this inhibition. I invite you to retrain yourself so that you can thrive in the presence of intense, amazing, and transformative beauty.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb.

18): The coming months will be an excellent time to take an inventory of your life to determine whether there are any ways in which you act like a slave. Do you find it hard to defeat an addiction that saps your energy and weakens your ability to live the life you want? Are there institutions that you help sustain even though they cause harm to you and others? Is it hard for you to change or end your relationships with people who are no damn good for you? Are you trapped in a role or behavior that is at odds with your high ideals? Discover what these oppressors are, Aquarius—and then summon all your intelligence and willpower to escape them.


(Feb. 19-March 20): California engineer Ron Patrick put a jet engine in his silver VW Beetle. Now he’s got a 1,450-horsepower vehicle—but it’s not legal for him to drive on public highways. In the coming year, Pisces, I suspect you’ll be tempted to try something similar: create a dynamic tool with a modest appearance or a turbocharged source of energy in a deceptively small package. But if you do, please make sure that you can actually use it to improve your ability to get around and make your life better.

Jonesin’ Crossword

Coming next week ...


matt jones

Featuring the Best alternative Comix in the World! tom tomorroW’s

this modern World max Cannon’s

red meat Jesse reKlaW’s

sloW Wave


1. ___-Barbera cartoons 6. Thesaurus guy 11. Fight determination 14. Another name for a person 15. With a BMI over 30 16. Burgundy played by Will Ferrell 17. Adam Sandler cringefest that topped many “Worst Movie of 2011” lists 19. “Who ___ you kidding?” 20. “Very interesting...” 21. “Hey, wait ___!” 22. U.S. Treasury agents 23. Scrappy-___ (crime-fighting pup) 25. HP tablet released in July 2011, then discontinued six weeks later (then revived later in the year!) 28. Leftover in a tray 31. Yukon manufacturer 33. Cote d’Ivoire’s prime minister Guillaume ___ (hidden in WINDSOR, ONTARIO) 34. Metacritic’s lowest-rated Fall 2011 TV show

39. “Nice haircut...did you ___ bet?” 40. Dorm leaders 41. Artless 43. His “Seeking Major Tom” made Pitchfork’s “Worst Album Covers of 2011” list 46. Kettle Brand’s line of corn chips 47. Skin art, slangily 48. Chang’s Siamese twin 49. Doomed Netflix offshoot on CNET’s “20 Worst-Named Tech Products” 53. “The Darjeeling Limited” director Anderson 55. Fork point 56. Brand of big rig 58. Steel beam named for the letter it resembles 62. Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s former org. 63. Tackle box item turned hair accessory that was one of Yahoo!’s “Worst Trends of 2011” 66. Health care assn. 67. Come up 68. Sing from the mountaintops 69. Neighbor of Isr. 70. Underneath 71. Persuasive piece


1. Pilgrim to Mecca 2. “Woe be unto me!” 3. Excellent 4. 1997 David Sedaris book 5. Simile center 6. Guns, in old slang 7. ___ d’art 8. Company with a green mascot 9. Course for immigrants: abbr. 10. Abbr. on a business card 11. Gymnastics event in the Olympics 12. Seoul’s location 13. How hair may stand 18. Supermodel Campbell 22. It may be empty 24. Crazy Horse’s group of Sioux 26. Org. for an admiral 27. Word with a common origin 28. Athlete’s knee injury site, often 29. Take third place 30. Secretly is

conspiring against 32. Michael of “Arrested Development” 35. Approve something again on Facebook 36. Late comedian Kinison 37. Helper, for short 38. Cinematographer Nykvist 42. Rowing machine unit 44. “Was ___ das?” 45. Actor Ethan 49. Wax removers 50. Milquetoast 51. Medium where addresses include “@” 52. Rizzo of “Midnight Cowboy” 54. Grain holders 57. Take some tabacky 59. Chums 60. Section 61. Count (on) 63. Laundry detergent brand 64. Before, to poets 65. Reuben bread

Jonesin’ Crossword created By Matt Jones. © 2011 Jonesin’ Crosswords. For answers to this puzzle, call: 1-900-226-2800, 99 cents per minute. Must be 18+ to call. Or to bill to your credit card, call: 1-800655-6548. Reference puzzle No. 0552.

is looking for a few good Can you craft a compelling 250-word news story and an engaging 2,500-word feature? If so, let’s talk.


The Pulse is seeking a few good freelance writers to join our talented stable of news, feature, music and arts writers. We reward our writers with fair pay and a showcase for their skills. If you’ve got the “write stuff,” we want your voice in The Pulse. Email samples of your best clips along with a brief bio to: • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 • The Pulse • 21

Life in the Noog

chuck crowder

Two Five Spots for a Top Tenner It’s that time of year again when everyone seems to be pulling out their wallets to buy presents and decorations meant to help the holidays “jingle” a little more. As I pondered my annual Top 10 list, it got me thinking about what we normally spend our hard-earned cash on, both good and bad, so I divided my Top 10 into two Top Fives. Top Five Things People Spend Too Much Money On 1. Video games for the kids. What happened to bicycles, tree houses and baseball gloves? I remember playing outside until the street lamps came on. Nowadays, our obese children sit in front of the glow of a television learning how to steal cars and snipe people. And with Xbox releasing new editions as often as most kids change their underwear, keeping up can be as expensive as a good private school tuition. 2. T-shirts. Seems like you can’t go anywhere these days without buying a T-shirt. Concerts, tourist traps, restaurants, bars, even chain clothing stores all have some clever slogan that you’ve just gotta have, such as “Seen Rock City.” 3. Fast food. I don’t know if it’s the higher cost of ingredients or what, but fast food combo meals are now just as expensive as a dish at a locally owned casual eatery. If it’s $6 for Chili Pups or the same for a Mojo Burrito, I’m headed for the border. 4. Movie theaters. Ticket prices have always been outrageous, but now that a single ticket costs about the same as the upcoming DVD, it’s just not economical anymore. With the

$2 surcharge for 3D movies, $6 popcorn and $4 Cokes, a movie date costs about the same as a fancy dinner at St. John’s—and doesn’t taste nearly as good. 5) Tattoos. Not to dis some of my closest friends (forgive me guys), but why is it a lot of people you see with multiple tattoos look as if they should be spending that money on something else? A new shirt, college, groceries, child support, a haircut— whatever. Like Cheetos, one tattoo never seems to be enough, and I believe it. On the flip side, there are some things people need to purchase more. Here’s my list: Top Five Things People Don’t Spend Enough Money On 1. Vacations. Employers give time off for reason—so you can go somewhere exotic (even Florida), relax and reenergize your mind for the next six months of bullshit at work. People hoard vacation days and carry them over, never using them or cashing them in at the end of the year. I think employers should make it mandatory for employees to remove themselves from the premises for two whole weeks per year (or else lose their jobs). 2. Massages. They say that

I remember playing outside until the street lamps came on. Nowadays, our obese children sit in front of the glow of a television learning how to steal cars and snipe people. daily stress causes muscle pain in the neck, shoulders and lower back. The cure? A regular massage. I think that health plans should cover up to 12 massages per year as preventive medicine. Getting a massage shouldn’t be a luxury, but a necessity. Treat yourself to

22 • The Pulse • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 •

one and you’ll know exactly what I mean. 3. Flowers. Guys, they’re not just for Valentine’s Day and anniversaries any more. In fact, you’ll find that a random $25 fresh bouquet from a local florist (no FTD crap) hand delivered by you is one of the

most romantic things you can do for your lady—whether she says she likes flowers or not. It really does entice her to do those little things she hasn’t done in a while and is a lot cheaper (and more thoughtful) than dinner at a fancy restaurant. 4. Gasoline. It annoys me that people complain so much about paying $3 for a gallon of gas—especially when those same people think nothing of paying $1 or more for 12 ounces of purified water. Europeans have been paying an average of $5 for a liter of gas since the 1980s. If you think you’re spending too much money on gas, then quit bragging about how much “more house” you’ve got out in Ooltewah—20 miles from everywhere you work and play—and move closer in. 5. Locally made and sold products. We should support our locally owned retailers, restaurants and craftsmen more than we do boring old chain offerings. These business owners not only deliver more unique and better quality goods and services, but they’re your neighbors as well. Keep your cash in Chattanooga. Well, there you have it. My two Top Fives for a Top Ten list for 2011. I hope everyone survived the hectic holiday season and is ready to take on 2012 with everything you’ve got. Happy New Year! Chuck Crowder is a local writer and general man about town. His opinions are just that. Everything expressed is loosely based on fact and crap he hears people talking about. Take what you read with a grain of salt, but let it pepper your thoughts.

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Call 755-2700 to stop the violence.

Visit to give hope. • december 29, 2011-JANUARY 4, 2012 • The Pulse • 23

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