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the bowl

Jan. 19-25, 2012

arts GROUPS HATCH new LEVEL of unity, progress & growth with SPRING festival

Chattanooga’s Weekly Alternative

HUNTER GATHERER HUNTER MUSEUM DIRECTOR DAN STETSON is making his mark, putting his stamp on the arts in chattanooga





NEW SOUNDS dark days spies like them hot pot shot new albums, local bands ‘dorothea lange’s america’ ‘tinker,tailor, soldier, spy’ found: cauldron of desire


Chattanooga’s Weekly Alternative








TICKETS NOW ON SALE ONLINE @ TRACK29.CO 2 • The Pulse • JANUARY 19-25, 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 Photographers Lesha Patterson • Josh Lang Interns Molly Farrell • Britton Catignani

ADVERTISING Sales Director Lysa Greer Account Executives Rick Leavell • David Barry

Contents JANuary 19-25, 2012 • issue 9.03



New Albums, Local Bands

Hot Pot

• Pulse music critic Ernie Paik’s collection of new releases from local bands, including the compilation, “Tennesthesia,” featuring Forest Magic, The Distribution and Moonlight Bride. » 12


Dan Stetson

• As the new director of The Hunter Museum of American Art begins 2012, arts writer Michael Crumb finds Stetson has already influenced the arts in Chattanooga. » 7

• Sushi & Biscuits columnist and chef Mike McJunkin finds a simmering cauldron of carnal desire on Lee Highway—and devours the communal dish all by himself, earning the Ugly American Award of the Week. » 18

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.

Cover photo by Lesha Patterson

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.

the list

Geek On

• Sci-fi or fantasy fan, steampunk or comic nerd? Fly your freak flag this weekend at Chattacon 37. » 11

© 2012 Brewer Media BREWER MEDIA GROUP President Jim Brewer II

Photo courtesy Chattacon

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news • views • rants • raves updates »


Arts fest to HATCH in April The full title may be a tad unwieldy (hence the cute acronym), but the idea of corralling some of city’s major annual arts events and expanding upon them with additional showcases encompassing the wealth of creativity burgeoning in Chattanooga is a brainstorm worth hatching. HATCH—or History, Arts, Technology, Culture and Happenings—is the name of the new 10-day citywide arts and cultural event set for April 13-22 that aspires to become similar in scope and appeal to the renowned Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C. It is also an unprecedented and unparalleled union between 19 arts, cultural, funding and support organizations joined to spawn, or in this case, “hatch” an exciting new festival we heartily welcome. “We are thrilled to finally be able to announce this spectacular event,” said Daniel Stetson, executive director at the Hunter Museum of American Art, during a news conference last week at the museum. “HATCH will be an unprecedented collaboration of organizations throughout our region which will attract a wide variety of visitors. The event will take place all over the city, from the Southside to downtown to

the North Shore and even Lookout Mountain. We are expecting a huge draw of attendees from across the Southeast. Our goal is to have HATCH reach the level of Charleston’s Spoleto Festival.” Note the telling reference here: “even Lookout Mountain.” And then think back. This city has come a long way from the days when the arts, or at least widespread support of the arts, emanated from The Mountain. According to organizers, HATCH will feature local and national visual, performance and technological arts. Musical acts and cultural demonstrations will be highlighted along with numerous creative performances, many of which are to be announced in the weeks to come. The festival will be built around the 4 Bridges Arts Festival, the Mid-South Sculpture Alliance Conference, the Festival of New Plays and several unique

exhibits at the Hunter, as well as 10X10, a new exhibition of creativity that will span 10 city blocks spearheaded by MakeWork. The festival will likely be further enhanced by a number of spontaneous events in the downtown arts districts of the North Shore and on Main Street. The partnership is indeed an unprecedented alliance of core arts and cultural organizations— all listed on its website,—along with longtime arts-funding supporters such as the Benwood and Lyndhurst foundations. Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield, who has been criticized in the past for his support of the arts, said he is unapologetic of that support and said at the news conference announcing HATCH that “the arts bring people to our city and encourages people to invest their families and their lives here,” citing a recent New York Times article that named Chattanooga one of 45 cities to visit in 2012. He is correct and should be commended. While the scale and scope of HATCH is being compared to the

annual RiverRocks festival, Stetson specifically mentions Spoleto and emphasized the economic impact the festival could bring the city. Mention “arts” and “city support” in the same breath, and the usual suspects who routinely criticize any city support for the arts begin composing their boilerplate tirades. They are wrong and should be ignored. The Pulse, of course, enthusiastically supports any new arts initiative, and HATCH is a particularly noteworthy development. The alliance of the varied arts and cultural organizations in the city is also worthy of much praise. Anyone involved in the arts knows too well that egos and agendas can quickly conspire to unravel any progress a youthful arts community has made. We applaud the unity and look forward to unanimous support. HATCH certainly has ours. It will likely take many years before HATCH reaches the world-class heights of Spoleto, which will celebrate its 36th year in May, but it’s another giant leap forward in the progression of Chattanooga’s arts community

and a very worthy goal. Considering the fragile economy, the fractured political landscape and the few initiatives and economic generators surfacing that can propel the city’s prominence as a player on a national—and even international—level, it occurs to us that the region’s arts and cultural leaders are doing much more than talking the talk. Such ballyhooed references to Chattanooga as those that have appeared recently in The New York Times and elsewhere can be largely attributed to the city’s enthusiastic arts and outdoors community, the area’s natural beauty and those who celebrate and advocate a progressive Chattanooga with much to offer both its citizens and visitors. It is our fervent hope that the objections of naysayers, like those of politicians who seek to close instead of open doors, will be won over by the tide of both cultural abundance and economic wealth such arts initiatives as HATCH can and will bring. If Spoleto is any guide, they will really have no choice. — The Editors

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Dizzy Town


rick baldwin

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

Assembly of Asshats We had barely shook off the shivers after dodging the whizzing bullets bouncing off our (notso-heavily-armored) Swedish rambler, curled up on our futon and downed a bottle of Boone’s Farm to ease the nerves when we were knocked flat on the slats by news from Nashville that our bonehead representatives in the capitol are once again charting new frontiers in asshattery. Was that the longest sentence in the world? We think not, but no matter. What does matter is the asshattery, perpetrated in this case by State Rep. Richard Floyd and his buddy, State Sen. Bo Watson, both Chattanooga Republicans, who wasted no time in wasting time as the 107th Tennessee General Assembly got under way this month by introducing the Bathroom Harassment Act. At first we figured this was another joke, more legislative spam forwarded to us by our tormentors (of which there are, rest assured, many). Or perhaps we had just misread the whole thing, given DizzyTown’s often confused state and misinterpretation of things in general. But no! It was real. These two champions of the American Way actually introduced this bill, which sought to, no joke, “restrict access to public restrooms and public dressing rooms designated by sex to members of that particular sex.” Imagine how much time and effort went into crafting that legalese! And, damn, just when we were concocting a devious, ill-advised, but fun plot to dress up as Lady J and infiltrate the men’s room at Chuck Fleischmann’s campaign headquarters. My, we are confused! Fortunately, clearer heads prevailed (Not ours, mind you—we’re still dressing up. But thank Goodness for Clearer Heads. We’ve been subjected to enough Bathroom Harassment over the years, especially that dreadful night at the Gover-

nor’s Lounge years ago. But that’s another story.) and said bill has been withdrawn, but not without a shitstorm of unwanted and negative publicity raining down on Tennessee. This curly turd masquerading as legislation and largely unloaded upon our fine state by Floyd and supported (initially) by Watson (who quickly withdrew his support) was introduced in response to Floyd’s weird, transphobic fear that some transgender person might pop into the dressing room at the local Belk’s and molest him and his young daughter. Here’s what Floyd said in a TV interview (really): “I believe if I was standing at a dressing room and my wife or one of my daughters was in the dressing room and a man tried to go in there—I don’t care if he thinks he’s a woman and tries on clothes with them in there—I’d just try to stomp a mudhole in him and then stomp him dry.” Who said the revolution

will not be televised? The bill would have imposed a $50 fine upon a transgender person who entered a bathroom of a sex other than one listed on their birth certificates, but, as we mentioned, has since been withdrawn. Not because Floyd doesn’t still see the error of his misguided effort and odd phobia, or even the backlash. He’s still looking to stomp mudholes in the pervs who seek to violate his manly manspace (despite the fact that its legally impossible for transgenders to change their sex on their birth certificates in Tennessee). No, he, just as oddly reiterated that it was time to focus on fixing things. Yes, please do that, Legislators. We’ll look for that. This was just the latest in a stream of embarrassing, if hilarious, attempts at government by our folks in Nashville. Or, as one Pulse commenter put it on our Facebook page, “THIS, on the heels of legislation to create a loop-

hole for bullying based on religious beliefs, AND passing legislation dis-allowing the use of the word ‘gay’ by teachers and students in schools (pretty sure that’s what I read recently). they all just sit around and try to come up with every and any way to take us back to the dark ages?” Yes—that’s exactly what happens in the capitol. It’s all Dark Ages Medieval shit. Really! Makes for great copy, though. Even while it does take us away from Roy Exum and The Big Picture on The We almost lost our place. Thankfully, that took, what? Fifteen minutes? Roy’s already got another column up. Tune in next week! Read DizzyTown online at Email your dizziness to DizzyTown at We’d love to hear from you!

Behold the Brave

The Sound of Chattanooga Pulse Beat • JANUARY 19-25, 2012 • The Pulse • 5

On the Beat

alex teach

Body Armor: What Spiderman Already Knew Soldiers and cops have historically had two things in common: Shitty pay and the risk of perforation. Throughout history they have endured these inequalities and personal dangers to allow us to evolve as a civilized society. For without their vigilance and protection, we’d have chaos and disorder. But we all know that, right? From the Sumerians to the Indus, the Aegean’s to the Chinese (to their present Dirty-Ass Commie credit, the longest consistent civilization in the human story), the Romans to Lookout Mountain, they’ve all had armies for national defense, and cops for civil order. And the entire lot of them have spent the last 5,100 freakin’ years with rotten bastards trying to poke holes in them with items ranging from pointy rocks to the good ol’ seven-six-two-millimeter 148 grain full metal jacket. Just imagine: As I now sip coffee leaning against the edge of a counter in a Kangaroo gas station wondering if some crack-head son-of-a-bitch is going to come in and spray the place with a MAC-10, some poor Sumerian bastard once had to lean against a rock or slave while sipping on fermented berries and honey wondering if some nimrod northern

Iranian Elamite was going to come in and pelt him with stones or feces or whatever they used on the “street” back then. I find the parallel comforting yet disturbing at the same time. But I digress. To avoid this, soldiers used thick animal skins for leather armor, and in countries where animals were scarce and armies large, they used thick woven reeds. (Yup: Grass armor.) Wooden shields would supplement this, and as it was developed, metal armor became the choice where available, made famous by the Greeks and Romans, then the Knights of the Middle Ages. Firearms changed this of course, and the body armor industry effectively started over when a very clever chick named Stephanie Kwolek was let out of the kitchen in 1965 just long enough, apparently, to develop “Kevlar” for the DuPont corpo-

6 • The Pulse • JANUARY 19-25, 2012 •

ration, by spinning fiber from liquid crystalline solutions. Until this point in life I thought the only dangerous chick from the ’60s was the one that ran over the guy’s foot in the office with a John Deer lawnmower in an episode of “Mad Men,” but I totally stand corrected. Kevlar was originally intended to replace steel belting in vehicle tires, but 10 years later it was field tested with cops as armor and that’s when the pulse of modern ballistic protection began beating. And now in 2012, it’s skipped a beat. Literally. Scientists, probably men due to the nature of the investigation, have known for years that spider silk is generally about five times stronger than steel and seven times stronger than Kevlar. It’s also more flexible despite its size and weight, particularly for something that goes from a soft goo in the gut of a spider to the solid thread it becomes when it leaves its body. Its key is its elasticity. Just as Kevlar stretches to allow dispersal of the energy of a bullet, so does a spider’s thread to distribute the stress if an impact to the same effect, yet with greater capacity than Kwolek’s work for DuPont. But the difference? DuPont is a multi-national conglomer-

After 5,100 years, we’re just getting around to using spider webs for body armor. ate, while spiders are the very bastions of evil on this earth that have been scientifically established to climb up our bodies and, with sharp fangs, plant egg sacks in our necks which will inevitably erupt in a burst of baby spiders, swarming our bodies and beginning the cycle anew. Scientists know this shit, folks. Why aren’t you onboard? Smart people since the beginning of time (time pre-dating civilized society) have had the freakin’ common sense to stomp on the dirty sons-ofbitches or throw heavy things at them upon first sight, but now that we’ve discovered an advantage, those same smart people are now trying to crack the genome profile of spider silk to synthesize the silk-making protein in an effort to massmanufacture methods and produce them in volume. Tomato plants (via seeds), bacteria, yeast, and even goats have been used as genetic ve-

hicles. Silkworms are the newest vehicle for mass production, and while it’s affected the way I view ketchup, veal and bread in day-to-day life, that is now beside the point. You see, scientific efforts have recently been redoubled with the discovery of yet a new spider discovered in 2010 on the island of Madagascar (known as Darwin’s Bark Spider, or C. darwini) that spins a web of nearly 2.8 square meters in diameter and with anchor strands of up to 75 feet that are up to 10 times stronger than Kevlar. The biggest spider webs in the world. (Shudder.) After 5,100 years, we’re just getting around to using spider webs for body armor. Kind of puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? It does for the poor bastard soldier and cop, anyway … but it beats grass reeds and chains I suppose. So, here’s to civilization—and an end to people trying to poke stuff into cops and soldiers. Because if we’re down to spiders for protection, should we even really be here? Columnist Alex Teach is a full-time police officer of nearly 20 years experience. The opinions expressed are his own. Follow him on Facebook at

DAN STETSON | HUNTER GATHERER In less than a year, the Hunter Museum’s new director is engaging locals and visitors alike with a broad range of fascinating work By Michael Crumb § Photographs by Lesha Patterson Daniel Stetson’s directorship at the Hunter Museum of American Art has allowed Chattanoogans and visitors alike the opportunity to engage with a broad range of offerings. Stetson’s inclusive embrace of various forms not only brings fascinating work into prominence, but also promotes an understanding of how deeply art permeates everyday life. Stetson says he believes that the making of art remains a uniquely human activity, and he found himself profoundly changed by a visit to the Museum of Modern Art when he was young. He has a special interest in living artists and their abilities to change communities. Stetson not only

works with artists, but he also writes about art. It appears likely that these forms of engagement developed his inclusive vision of art forms and their relation to community evolution. His interest in the eloquence

»P8 • JANUARY 19-25, 2012 • The Pulse • 7

“ Stetson’s enthusiasm deepens with respect to

art’s ability to make history through community transformation.

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8 • The Pulse • JANUARY 19-25, 2012 •

with which art shows history has brought the Civil War photographic exhibition and has informed the hanging of Impressionist and Modern paintings in the Hunter’s lower galleries. Currently, the photographs of Dorothea Lange and other documentary photographers of the first half of the 20 century underscore how this medium brings clarity to our understanding and how it further evolves as an effective aesthetic. Stetson’s enthusiasm deepens with respect to art’s ability to make history through community transformation. He enthusiastically points out that Chattanooga ranked high in the New York Times list of “The 45 Places to Go in 2012.” Chattanooga came in at No. 25, just after Vienna, Austria—the only American city on the list not in California. Besides directing the Hunter, Stetson serves on the city’s Public Arts Committee, and he recent helped jury the 4 Bridges Festival. Last week, he hosted a press conference at the Hunter announcing the HATCH Spring Arts Festival, a 10-day showcase of all facets of the creative culture of Chattanooga, to be held April 13-22. “HATCH will be an unprecedented collaboration of organizations throughout our region,” Stetson says. HATCH, which stands for history, arts, technology, culture, and happenings, will include the 4 Bridges Arts Festival, the Mid-South Sculpture Alliance Conference and much more across almost two weeks. Stetson says he expects huge crowds, and hopes the festival will eventually develop the type of prestige that has made Charleston’s Spoleto Festival a world-class arts and cultural event. HATCH is just one example of how Stetson is extending the Hunter’s hand to the community, and it may be helpful to rewind the clock a bit to this past summer, when Stetson was profiled in The Pulse’s annual State of Arts issue, to review his thoughts at the time. Stetson came to the Hunter and Chattanooga leaving behind a 15-year directorship at Florida’s Polk Museum of Art because he felt the Hunter position was a “tissue match,” he told the paper’s Janis Hashe. “I called Rob [former Hunter Executive Director Robert Kret] and spoke to him about his experience, to make sure I was the right fit. I was impressed that they were taking their time to find the right person,” he said at the time. Stetson grew up in the same upstate

New York town as Grandma Moses—the beloved folk artist lived up the street from his family. “I met her when I was 5, and even then I knew she was important,” he says. The Hunter’s piece by the artist was just one of the signs he felt were pointing him toward taking the position. He also recognized the collection’s William Morris glass piece as one he’d exhibited in the early 1990s, “just before the Hunter bought it.” Additionally, he’s a huge fan of Atlanta artist Radcliffe Bailey, one of whose installations impresses visitors in the contemporary collection. Yet it was the Hunter’s position, both literally and figuratively, in Chattanooga’s burgeoning arts community that was the ultimate draw. “I became aware of Arts Move and MakeWork [CreateHere programs] and the connection between Chatt State and [sculptor] John Henry,” he says. “I could see there was a community. “While the Hunter’s role is not to present local artists, we can facilitate dialogue about art and bring artists in from around the world to see this community.” As many have mentioned, when Volkswagen chose the Hunter to make its big announcement, the tacit endorsement of the arts community was huge. “Art changed my life,” he says. “And so I know it can change other people’s.” Since then, the brief Stetson Era at the Hunter has yielded some extraordinary exhibits and acquisitions, among them one of Lois Mailou Jones’ later period paintings for the museum’s permanent collection which continues an excellent development. This past weekend included the opening of the “Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller,” which, in addition to the famed Herman Miller chair, examines the creation and evolution of many masterpieces of 20th and 21st century contemporary design produced by Miller and designed by such artists as Gilbert Rohde, Ray and Charles Eames, Isamu Noguchi, George Nelson, Robert Probst and others. Last summer’s photographic exhibition of Volkswagen’s industrial design proved that ergonomics and design are among art’s most intimate contacts with people, yet their prevalence can be taken for granted; a refreshed perspective has great value. The same is the case with art on film: design often represents collaborative forms in that many contribute to the final product. This can be easily seen with respect

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to computers. Stetson notes, for example that computer games are quite artfully developed, and the sales of games are eclipsing movie sales. Fine art developed with a computer can be remarkable both for effects and accessibility. The Hunter’s presentation of Nam June Palk’s “Warhol Robot” last summer brought a world-class synthesis of video art and assemblage. Other art videos shared the exhibition space and the upcoming video presentation “Synchrony” will allow more exposure to this fascinating form. In yet another medium, more contemporary photography will arrive at the Hunter in “Sound and Vision” which will feature photography related to rock music. As mentioned, the museum is now displaying the work of legendary documentary photographer Dorothea Lange

and other leading Depression Era photographers. (The Lange exhibit is reviewed in Arts section on Page 15.) Chattanooga’s public arts have been particularly impressive this past year, and Stetson’s current involvement with the Public Arts Chattanooga has been exciting for him, he says. The First Street Sculpture Garden is being reinstalled and several pieces are already in place. There are additional public arts surprises in the coming year and the Hunter’s contemporary art space will be installed with other works from the museum’s collection in the spring. In less than a year, Stetson has moved the Hunter Museum into a more relevant and deeper involvement with Chattanooga. These are exciting times for arts in the city and Stetson can already take some credit.

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10 • The Pulse • JANUARY 19-25, 2012 •



THE JAN. 19-25

Join Bluff View Art District’s wine director Michael J. Vasta on Thursday to toss back some fine Scotch at the Back Inn Cafe. The scotch-tasting event at 6 p.m. will set you back $40 and is for novices and connoisseurs alike. See Pulse Picks »

» pulse picks

THUR01.19 MUSIC String Theory • Violinist Jaime Laredo, cellist Sharon Robinson and pianist Gloria Chien. 6 p.m. • Hunter Museum of Art, 10 Bluff View (423) 267-0968 •


« Scotch Tasting

» pulse pick OF THE LITTER

• Smooth sipping at The Back Inn Cafe. $40 • 6 p.m. • Bluff View Art District, 411 E. 2nd St. (423) 265-5033 •

Holding out for a Hero?

FRI01.20 MUSIC The Nim Nims CD Release Show with Young Orchids • “Baristas Fashionistas Mother Teresas” released. 9 p.m. • JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400

Chattacon returns to kick off weekend of sci-fi, fantasy fun

EVENT “Works by Duncan” • A retrospective of the works of Isaac Duncan III. 10 a.m. • Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 Martin Luther King Blvd. • (423) 266- 8658

It’s not DragonCon, Atlanta’s huge annual fandom fest, but then again, Chattacon has always been satisfied with its own status as Chattanooga’s original and one of the region’s oldest science-fiction fan conventions. Founded by the late Irv Koch in 1976, the first Chattacon drew 80 fans to the Sheraton East Ridge. By the 1980s, Chattacon graduated to the Read House, bringing name authors such as Larry Niven and attracting more than 1,000 fans. Since then, crowds have remained constant—and devoted, says Regina Kirby, publicity coordinator for the event and a longtime Con-goer. “It’s like a family reunion for a lot of us,” she says. Indeed, if your family includes various otherwordly beings, Victorian-era steampunks and the odd caped crusader, Chattacon is the place to congregate this weekend as Chattacon 37 gets under way at its Chattanooga Choo Choo heaquarters. Authors, artists and other notable guests will be on hand for panels and sessions all weekend, along with a dealers room, art show, gaming and the ever-popular Con Suite, the around-theclock hospitality area (our favorite). Geek with a freak flag to fly? Punch your ticket at Chattacon.

SAT01.21 MUSIC Perpetual Groove • Festival rockers brings the jam to Chattanooga. 10 p.m. • Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St. (423) 267-4644 •

EVENT Ricky Mokel • Stand-up comedy. 8 p.m. • The Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Road (423) 629-2233 •

MON01.23 MUSIC Mat Kearny

Chattacon 37 01.20-22 $50 (all three days) Chattanooga Choo Choo 1400 Market St. Photo courtesy Chattacon

• Oregon-born, Nashville-based singer-songwriter brings songs from “Young Love” to town. 01.23 $15/$17 • 8 p.m. Track 29 1400 Market St. (423) 521-2929 • JANUARY 19-25, 2012 • The Pulse • 11

Music New Albums, Local Bands FRIDAY 1/20 SOUL SURVIVOR 9 pm


SUN SUNDAY 1/22 Happy Hour All Day MONDAY 1/23 MICHAEL McDADE 7 pm


By Ernie Paik The Chattanooga artminded record label Memetic Society (memeticsociety. com) has released a vibrant, diverse compilation entitled “Tennesthesia,” inspired by the condition of synesthesia, under which one sensation— say, a sound—can trigger an unrelated sensation, like seeing a particular color. Featuring 11 bands from across the state, the set is available as a double-CD or as a special edition mega-package including 11 seven-inch vinyl records (also available individually) with hand-printed artwork, the CDs, a poster and a tote bag. It’s not just the civic pride talking when I declare honestly that the three Chattanooga representatives—Forest Magic, The Distribution, and Moonlight Bride—contribute some of the collection’s best material.




Forest Magic ( is a quintet of sonic scavengers purportedly from the future, which explains why its music doesn’t seem to be entrenched in a particular time. The group’s A-side, “Terrible Creatures,” is a live favorite, presented here as a crisp, perfectly balanced studio recording with an intriguing tug, playful glocken-

12 • The Pulse • JANUARY 19-25, 2012 •

spiel notes, fluid guitar/bass counterpoint, asymmetrical drumming and spirited singing with a few animalistic outbursts. The structure of “Explorin’ Explorin’ ” mirrors its thematic mood, at first acting hesitant before quickly finding its courage and indulging its curiosity, serving up violin flourishes, twists, and hooks before its glorious ending. The Distribution ( is a soul-funk party band featuring members of Infradig and Coral Castles and a trio of singers, with tight musicianship and a reverent take on classic ’70s funk infused with its own piquant charm. Its contributions are selections from its 2010 album, “Trouble,” including the title track, which first slithers before leading to charged call-andresponse exchanges, all the while building up its energy. The B-side, “The Get Down,” is just as fun, bringing to mind Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and Curtis Mayfield’s band fronted by a pair of soul sisters. It pulls off a disco breakdown section, with unabashed wah-wah guitar leads. Moonlight Bride ( has subtly transformed its sound over the last four years, but with guitar-noise-band and postpunk influences, it has kept a certain quality constant by delivering an engaging momentum with its songs. “Lemonade” is no exception, beginning with a steady pace and a circa mid-’90s undergroundrock aesthetic and methodically adding layers of guitar distortion to its crackling sonic bonfire until it closes with

ghostly, dying notes drenched with mystery. “Diego” works as well, conveying a wistful, foggy mood with a boy/girl vocal duet and restless, channel-bouncing piano notes and ending with a blissful ambient wash of sound.

Guitarist Mark Merriman ( has given new life to a set of his instrumentals, compiled on the CD “Second Wind,” that sports an inspirational tone and jubilant spirit, from his nimble, jazzy take on “Sweet Lorraine,” popularized by Nat King Cole, or the pair of tender, warm pieces written for his daughters. Bearing influence from Bill Nelson (of Be-Bop Deluxe), several tracks bear an electronic sheen from keyboards and drum machines, and “Second Wind” may find favor with those who enjoy soft rock with soaring electric guitar leads.

Land Camera (, a quartet formed by Chattanooga mainstay Charles Allison, offers its latest EP, “Land Camera II,” as a digital download on a “name your price” basis, featuring five new, meticulously recorded tracks that tentatively lie within a leftof-center indie-rock context but include details that draw a complicated picture. For example, mandolin and banjo parts suggest folk or bluegrass without ever diving too far in those directions. “What If I Had Never Met You” has a vague prog-rock Mellotronesque keyboard part lurking in the background, while Callie Harmon’s electric guitar melody that eventually emerges is the kind you hear in westerns when troublemakers appear. “One Day You’ll Feel Wanted” is possibly the EP’s finest track, with a compelling pull from the rhythm section featuring John Lazenby’s meaty, winding fuzz-bass lines and Bob Stagner’s mellifluously roving drumming style.

Uncle Touchy ( took its name from a Patton Oswalt stand-up bit about a hypothetical abductor of trickor-treaters who has a “naked puzzle basement” and asks, “Does this smell like chloroform to you?” According to the band, “It was the least offensive name that we could agree on.” That should provide an idea of the unrepentant, twisted sense of humor of the group, which has released the full-length “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Violence on Scene Kids in Pain” ( The quartet has just signed with the “noisiest label in Canada,” No List Records (, to be remastered by acclaimed engineer Bob Weston (of Shellac) for a vinyl release. It’s a brutal, unhinged aural blitzkrieg, aligning with hardcore and metal camps with throatshredding vocals and a fierce, unsettling attitude that may appeal to fans of The Jesus Lizard.

Chattanooga Live Thur 01.19 Monroe Crossing 7:30 p.m. Barking Legs Theatre 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-5347 Buckner Brothers 8 p.m. The Lounge at The Palms at Hamilton 6925 Shallowford Road (423) 499-5055 Thollem McDonas 8 p.m. Easy Lemon 1440 Adams St. The Fog 8 p.m. Acoustic Café 61 RBC Drive Ringgold, Ga. (706) 965-2065 Jordan Hallquist, Laura St Jane and the Dead Westerns 9 p.m. The Honest Pint 35 Patten Pkwy. (423) 468-4192 Erick Baker, Callaghan 9 p.m. Rhythm and Brews 221 Market St. Sweet GA Brown, Jason Wilson, Tommy Womack 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400

Fri 01.20 Ben Friberg Trio 6:30 p.m. Table 2 232 E. 11th St. (423)756-8253 Nathan Farrow & Channing Wilson 8 p.m. Acoustic Café 61 RBC Drive

Ringgold, Ga. (706) 965-2065 Priscilla & Lil Ricky 8 p.m. The Foundry (at the Chattanoogan Hotel), 1201 Broad St. (423) 756-3400 NIM NIMS CD Release Show, Young Orchids, Telemonster 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 Hap Happinger 9 p.m. The Office 901 Carter St. (423) 634-9191. Soul Survivor 9 p.m. Sugar’s Ribs 507 Broad St. (423) 508-8956 Rick Byers 9 p.m. Bart’s Lakeshore 5600 Lakeshore Drive (423) 870-0777 Husky Burnette 9 p.m. Spectators 7804 E. Brainerd Road (423) 648-6679 Some Dark Holler 9:30 p.m. Market Street Tavern 850 Market St. (423) 634-0260 Paul Thorn, Angie Aparo 9:30 p.m. Rhythm and Brews 221 Market St. The Most Important Band in the World 10 p.m. SKYZOO 5709 Lee Hwy. (423) 468-4533 Bud Lightning Band

10 p.m. Bud’s Sports Bar 5751 Brainerd Road (423) 499-9878

Sat 01.21 T-Ran Gilbert 6 p.m. The Camp House 1427 Williams St. (423) 702-8081 The Pool 6:30 p.m. Southside Saloon and Bistro 1301 Chestnut St. (423) 757-4730 Priscilla & Lil Ricky 8 p.m. The Foundry (at the Chattanoogan Hotel) 1201 Broad St. (423) 756-3400 Casey Adams Band 8 p.m. Acoustic Café 61 RBC Drive Ringgold, Ga. (706) 965-2065 Smooth Dialects 8 p.m. Market Street Tavern 850 Market St. (423) 634-0260 Robert Lee 8 p.m. Northshore Grille 16 Frazier Ave. (423) 757-2000 Landlord, Future Virgins, Nowhere Squares 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 Mark “Porkchop” Holder 9 p.m. The Office 901 Carter St.

(423) 634-9191 Soul Survivor 9 p.m. Sugar’s Ribs 507 Broad St. (423) 508-8956 Perpetual Groove 10 p.m. Rhythm and Brews 221 Market St John King Band 10 p.m. T-Bones 1419 Chestnut St. (423) 266-4240 The Most Important Band in the World 10 p.m. SKYZOO, 5709 Lee Hwy. (423) 468-4533

Sun 01.22 Cornerhouse 7 p.m. The Honest Pint 35 Patten Pkwy. (423) 468-4192 Donna Hébert & Max Cohen 7 p.m. Barking Legs Theatre 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-5347 Reason, Never Surrender, Controlling Elolution 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400

Mon 01.23 Mat Kearney 7 p.m. Track 29 Chattanooga Choo Choo Campus 1400 Market St. (423) 266-4323 Michael McDade

8 p.m. Sugar’s Ribs 507 Broad St. (423) 508-8956 Old Tyme Players 8 p.m. Market Street Tavern, 850 Market St. (423) 634-0260

Wed 01.25 Prime Cut Trio 8 p.m. The Lounge at The Palms at Hamilton 6925 Shallowford Road (423) 499-5055 Chet Vincent, Kri and Hettie 9 p.m. The Honest Pint 35 Patten Pkwy. (423) 468-4192. Joe The Show 9 p.m. Bud’s Sports Bar 5751 Brainerd Road (423) 499-9878 Alexanders, Painted Desert, Waterfall Wash 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 Blake Morrison 9 p.m. Spectators 7804 E. Brainerd Road (423) 648-6679 Rosedale Remedy 9:30 p.m. Rhythm and Brews 221 Market St.

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

Thursday • January 19 Sweet GA Brown • Jason Wilson Tommy Womack Friday • January 20 NIM NIMS CD Release Show Young Orchids • Telemonster Saturday • January 21 Landlord • Future Virgins Nowhere Squares Sunday • January 22 Reason • Never Surrender Controlling Evolution Tuesday • January 24 Comedy Buffet • $1 Beer Wednesday • January 25 Alexanders • Painted Desert Waterfall Wash

901 Carter St (Inside Days Inn) 423-634-9191 Thursday, Jan. 19: 9pm

Open Mic: Mark Holder Friday, Jan. 20: 9pm

Hap Happinger

Saturday, Jan. 21: 9pm

Mark “Porkchop” Holder Sunday, Jan. 22

Sunday Night Football $5 Pitchers

Tuesday, Jan. 24

Server 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 • JANUARY 19-25, 2012 • The Pulse • 13

Regular Gigs Thursdays

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


Mondays: Mountain Music Wednesday • Jan. 18 Live Jazz with

The Ben Friberg Trio Thursday • Jan. 19 Songwriters Showcase with

Jordan Hallquist Friday • Jan. 20 Some Dark Holler • 9:30pm Saturday • Jan. 21 Smooth Dialects with GrooVenture • 10pm • $5 850 Market Street• 423.634.0260

Chattanooga’s Weekly Alternative


Jimmy Harris 7 p.m. The Palms at Hamilton, 6925 Shallowford Road. (423) 499-5055. Songwriters Showcase with Jordan Hallquist 7 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 Palms at Hamilton, 6925 Shallowford Road. (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 Palms at Hamilton,6925 Shallowford Road. (423) 499-5055.


Moonlight Bride


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





Open Mic Night 7 p.m. Vaudeville Café, 138 Market St. (423) 517-1839.


The Sound of Chattanooga Pulse Beat

Jimmy Harris 6:30 p.m. The Palms at Hamilton, 6925 Shallowford Road. (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.

14 • The Pulse • JANUARY 19-25, 2012 •


LOOK FOR NEWS & UPDATES ONLINE • Facebook/Chattanooga Pulse

Arts Displaced People, Ruined Places By Michael Crumb It’s hard to overestimate the importance of either DOROTHEA Lange’s photography as fine art or its relevance to our contemporary society. Whether reversals come about by natural forces or by economic or political circumstances, or via a combination of these elements, our contemporary world is nothing if not more intense than the world that Lange’s photographs bear witness. Many people have cameras at hand and candid shots circulate around the Internet and on television news, bringing us evidence of struggle and oppression. But Lange’s work is truly a powerful reminder that the Depression Era she documented was not destined to remain isolated in time. As a studio photographer, Lange (1895-1965) had already developed her fine arts skills, but her decision to bring her camera to documentary pursuits became an aesthetic breakthrough. “My own approach is based on three considerations: First— hands off. Whatever I photograph, I do not molest or tamper with or arrange. Second—a sense of place. Whatever I photograph I try to picture as part of its surroundings, as having roots. Third—a sense of time. Whatever I photograph I try to show as having its position in the past or in the present,” Lange said. Time and space are essential qualities of images, but this perception is not so obvious as it seems. Lange’s embrace of spontaneity reaches aesthetic treasure, the spectrum of spiritual and material. The Hunter Museum’s Daniel Stetson says he most appreciates Lange’s portrayals of human gestures. This adds an important dynamic to the photography of people, a dynamic somewhat removed from the conventional approaches of studio portrait photography of the period. With black and white photography, the relevant palette is a grayscale that shows the interplay of shadow and light as elements of photographic composition, although the photographer does have some ability

to alter these aspects as part of the dark room process. Lange’s most iconic photo, since it became a U.S. postage stamp image, shows great compositional complexity with respect to these light values. “Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California” (1936) portrays a deeply affective subject. This woman and her children, their young faces turned away from the camera seem caught in a split second of what clearly has been ongoing destitution and desperation. A seamless interplay between the literal qualities of the presence/absence of light fulfills the “documentary” purpose of this image even as it asserts itself as fine art. Naturally, black and white photographs are the constituent pieces of the cinema contemporary to Lange’s photography. American film noir and Italian neo-realist film both work with intense emotions and extreme dynamics of shadow and light. Although Lange’s work has value sufficient unto itself, it’s also true that such imagery may have a much broader aesthetic influence. It’s certainly debatable how much irony Lange brings to an image like “Rural Landscape with Grapes of Wrath, Billboard, California” (1940), but there can be little doubt of the social impact of her photography. Lange apparently recognized the aesthetic divergence between fine art photographs

created in isolation, whether in nature or in the studio—an aesthetic that she had mastered—and photography that affects the dynamics of our world. In the case of this particular image, the emergence of a film based on an important novel by John Steinbeck that portrayed similar subjects that Lange herself encountered, this cultural announcement, this advertisement, situated in the same country of origin of the original imagery, this image itself testifies to the widespread proliferation of the awareness brought to people the plight of others. Lange’s “Death in the Doorway, Grayson, San Joaquin Valley, California” (1930) presents an essence of stillness, the stark building an elaborated coffin, and mystery coheres with the stark reality shown. “U.S. Highway 40, California” (1956) shows a smoldering, overtraveled car below another vehicle itself loaded with cars and pickups—again, no explanation, but this moment charged with strange drama epitomizes Lange’s photographic art. Although Lange’s work constitutes the bulk of the Hunter’s current photographic exhibition, there are 12 other photographers featured in the show. Six of these photographers were, like Lange, involved with the Farm Security Administration. They are Marion Post Walcott, Ben Shahn, Arthur

Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California” (1936).

Rothstein, Walker Evans, Russell Lee and John Vachon. Additionally, there are six other documentary photographers, including Wright Morris, Lewis Hine, Arnold Eagle, Willard Van Dyke, Mike Disfarmer and Doris Ulmann. Many of these photographs contain difficult subjects of displaced people and ruined places. This remains especially true of Lange’s colleagues at the Farm Security Administration. There is much to be gained by looking into the works of photographers like Evans, Lee and others whose works are shown here. The larger point of this photographic show that documents people’s lives during the earlier 20th century has to do with a more global aesthetic

evolution demonstrated in a number of movements that strengthened the connection of arts with ordinary people. Now, more than a half-century later, more and more people possess the intention and the means to produce art. With so many more artists in our own contemporary culture, it’s important to understand the aspirations and choices of artists who have preceded this time. How many are now stepping into the paths that Dorothea Lange once traversed? “Dorothea Lange’s America” Through April 22 Hunter Museum of American Art 10 Bluff View (423) 752-0992 • JANUARY 19-25, 2012 • The Pulse • 15

Arts & Entertainment Amigo’s Mexican Restaurant 5450 Hwy. 153 (423) 875-8049 Stand-up Comedy: Richard Chassler & Rahn Hortman 9:30 p.m. Vaudeville Café 138 Market St. (423) 517-1839 Ricky Mokel 10 p.m. The Comedy Catch 3224 Brainerd Rd. (423) 629-2233

PULSE PICK Ricky Mokel • Stand-up comedy. 8 p.m. The Comedy Catch 3224 Brainerd Road (423) 629-2233

Sat 01.21

PULSE PICK “Works by Duncan” • A retrospective of the works of Isaac Duncan III. 10 a.m. • Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 Martin Luther King Blvd. • (423) 266- 8658

Thur 01.19 “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 St. (423) (423) 266-4240 Ricky Mokel 8 p.m. The Comedy Catch 3224 Brainerd Road (423) 629-2233

Fri 01.20 Chattacon 37 3 p.m. Chattanooga Choo Choo 1400 Market St. “Mystery of Flight 138” 7 p.m. Vaudeville Café 138 Market St. (423) 517-1839 Ricky Mokel 7:30 p.m. The Comedy Catch 3224 Brainerd Road (423) 629-2233 Live Team Trivia 9 p.m.

Chattacon 37 Chattanooga Choo Choo 1400 Market St. Celebration of the Chinese New Year Noon Creative Discovery Museum 321 Chestnut St. (423) 648-6043 “Mystery of the Nightmare Office Party” 5:30 p.m. Vaudeville Café 138 Market St. (423) 517-1839 Memorial Health Care Systems Presents Pink! 6:30 p.m. Chattanooga Convention Center 1150 Carter St. (423) 756-0001 Ricky Mokel 8 p.m. The Comedy Catch 3224 Brainerd Road (423) 629-2233 “Mystery of the Redneck Italian Wedding” 8 p.m. Vaudeville Café 138 Market St. (423) 517-1839

16 • The Pulse • JANUARY 19-25, 2012 • Ruby Falls Latern Tours 8:30 p.m. 1720 S. Scenic Hwy. (423) 821-2544. Ricky Mokel 10 p.m. The Comedy Catch 3224 Brainerd Road (423) 629-2233 Stand-up Comedy: Richard Chassler & Rahn Hortman 10:30 p.m. Vaudeville Café 138 Market St. (423) 517-1839

Sun 01.22 Chattanooga Pink Bridal Show 11 a.m. Chattanooga Convention Center 1150 Carter St. (423) 756-0001 Chattacon 37 Chattanooga Choo Choo 1400 Market St.

CSO Principals 3 p.m. Silver Ballroom The Sheraton Read House 827 Broad St. (423) 267-8583 chattanoogasymphony. org Ricky Mokel 8 p.m. The Comedy Catch 3224 Brainerd Road (423) 629-2233

Mon 01.23 Live Team Trivia 6 p.m. Bart’s Lakeshore 5840 Lake Resort Ter. (423) 870-0770

Tue 01.24 Songwriter’s Line-up 7 p.m. The Camp House 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. Acoustic Café 61 RBC Drive Ringgold, Ga. (706) 965-2065

Wed 01.25 Main Street Farmer’s Market 4 p.m. Main Street at Williams Street mainstfarmersmarket. com Live Team Trivia 7:30 p.m. Buffalo Wild Wings 120 Market St. (423) 634-0468

Map these locations on chattanoogapulse. com. Send event listings at least 10 days in advance to: calendar@



Murky World, Murky Script Gary Oldman stars in “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”

The lives of intelligence agents must be hard. They serve their countries loyally for years and years without acclaim. They cannot discuss their work, their successes or failures, and spend their lives listening at doorways. Glamour and adventure is an invention of Hollywood; there are no fast cars and loose women. Boredom and loneliness are more likely. Agents may spend decades under cover in assumed identities, funneling information to their superiors without understanding its importance. It is the life of a tool, functional and important, but replaceable and cheap. “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” illustrates the realities of the shadow community—the solemn, graying men and women who give their lives to silence and secrecy. It is an intelligent film, to a fault, one that moves slowly and quietly, without explanation. I hesitate to give a summary of the plot, as I’m not sure I understood it. The film is set during the Cold War, in England’s MI6 agency. There is a mole that has been funneling information to the Russians for years. The head of the organization, known as Control (John Hurt) has begun an operation to flush the leak out and seal it. His initial attempt proves to be disastrous, leading to firings, reorganizations and funding changes. The task then falls to an agent forced into retirement, silent veteran George Smiley (Gary Oldman). He begins following the trail of intrigue to the front offices of the very men he works with. Beyond that, I can’t give any more information. Perhaps

I’m not quite swift enough to follow the plot. Or, perhaps, the filmmakers have too much faith in the audience’s ability to decipher such a complex path. Things of great importance clearly happen. Strings of intrigue unravel as the film goes on, pointing toward the identity of the mystery man. I actually guessed the mole at the beginning of the film, but it was purely coincidental and not based on any concrete evidence. I just picked a character at random. My lack of understanding ultimately made the experience less than ideal. I don’t like feeling confused for that long. I can appreciate misdirection, but at times I felt that the film wasn’t interested in any sort of exposition or explanation.

I need a little help to get my bearings. The film was similar to another spy film, “The Good Shepherd,” and suffered the same flaws. It needed less assumption on the part of the filmmakers. The performances in the film are wonderful, of course. A film that casts such notable English actors as Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, John Hurt and Toby Jones is destined to be impressive and enjoyable. More than that, Tom Hardy continues to establish himself as a capable and talented actor with a wide range. The film was directed by Tomas Alfredson, who directed the exceptional vampire film “Let the Right One In,” and he brings similar pacing and atmosphere to this one. One

specific technique that I found especially effective was how Smiley’s wife is never seen clearly. When she is seen, she is either just off screen or out of focus. There are two worlds in this film; neither can exist fully at the same time. Smiley is as blurry to his wife as she is to us. These agents exist fully in the world of their work, but appear ethereal in their personal lives. It was a clever way to portray a life in the shadows. The visual style can’t undo the murkiness of the screenplay, however. The characters exist too much in their own worlds. While this certainly adds authenticity to the tone, it doesn’t help the audience engage with the action. We need to be given the opportunity to connect with the characters. In order to do that, we must be able to interpret and internalize their struggles. If the screenplay doesn’t translate effectively, the audience isn’t going to care. “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” may be entertaining to fans of the book by John le Carré or to fans of the espionage genre. I wasn’t unhappy I saw the film. I like watching Gary Oldman play such diverse characters so effectively. There is a satisfying weariness to the characters, a deliberate choice made by the filmmakers to add realism and believability. The visual style was well crafted and executed. However, I require more clarity in the writing; this film is decidedly translucent. “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” Rated: R Running time: 127 minutes Starring: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, John Hurt, Toby Jones Director: Tomas Alfredson • JANUARY 19-25, 2012 • The Pulse • 17

Sushi & Biscuits


Hot Pot of Desire “We have hot pot.” The words floated from her lips like wisps of air off a Swallow’s wing. My mind momentarily soared into a hypnotic, almost dreamlike state of ecstasy interrupted only by my desire to respond. My lips barely forming the words, “I’ll take that!” through my Cheshire smile and quivering vocalizations. You may ask, nay, you may demand to know what it is that could drive me into such a state and later cause my language to flower unnecessarily on the page. Hot pot. Glorious Chinese hot pot is to blame for my questionable behavior. And to have found hot pot in Chattanooga made my grinchy heart grow 10 sizes that day. Hot pot is sometimes referred to as Chinese fondue, but bears only a passing resemblance to the dish beehivetopped swingers gathered around in the early 1970s. Hot pot is a social meal, meant to be enjoyed by a small or large group, but I wasn’t going to let my solo outing get in the way of this pleasant surprise. I had originally come to Mikado Sushi Bar Noodle House on Lee Highway to get the “Special Noodles Soup.” A mixing bowl-sized portion of bright chili-red broth, Chinese noodles, seafood and vegetables. It’s comfort food 101. On a whim, I asked if there were any items that were particularly special to them but not on the menu. I was completely surprised when she mentioned hot pot. There are several varieties of hot pot, but all involve a communal pot of simmering liquid, an array of meats, seafood, vegetables, tofu and a dipping sauce for a condiment. Like the fondue we are familiar with in the U.S., the meats or vegetables are dipped into the liquid to cook, removed, dipped into a sauce and eaten. The liquid is typically spicy but not always, as in Mikado’s version. Theirs is a hearty chicken broth with a handful of chilis dancing around like little synchronized swimmers. Mikado’s ratio of whole chilis to broth makes it very mild. If you’re lucky enough to find Szechuan hot pot get ready for the sweet, sweet heat. Szechuan hot pot is considered one of the spiciest traditional dishes in the world and it will give you a sweaty, endorphin-fueled rush like nothing else you can legally ingest. Periodically, Asian Food and Gifts on Hixson Pike will carry Szechuan hot pot spice and you can make it at home, that is, unless I beat you to it and buy it all like

18 • The Pulse • JANUARY 19-25, 2012 •

some Andrew Zimmernmeets-Hoarders special on the Travel Channel. But back to Mikado’s. The first item to arrive at my table was a butane tabletop burner and a small wok-shaped pot with the broth and chilis. It quickly came to a slow simmer as the other ingredients arrived. Looking at the shrimp, cuttlefish, thick slices of tofu, raw egg, cellophane noodles, straw mushrooms and other vegetables I felt like the witch leering at Hansel and Gretel, except this time these little guys were going into the pot. Hot pot is a free for all—a bare-knuckled brawl of seafood, vegetables, broth and carnal desire. Friends and family gather around this cauldron of comforting goodness sharing the experience of cooking, eating and the periodic fist fight over a particular fleet of shrimp making its way around the pot. Since I was dining alone, I had this baby all to myself. Suck it, family and friends. As time passes the hot pot will simmer and reduce what was once a nice broth into a rich, flavorful soup ready for the noodles. After a few minutes of cooking, the noodles and broth turn any sounds of conversation into muffled mumblings of slurping and satisfaction. I recommend this dish be experienced with a group of friends or family gathered around a steaming pot of food, laughing, talking and smiling. Or you can single-handedly tackle what is supposed to be a communal meal while the Chinese patrons look at you like the gluttonous American that lives in their stereotype. Next time, I’ll bring a friend. Mike McJunkin is a Chattanooga foodie and chef. Email him at



Chattanooga’s Weekly Alternative








TICKETS NOW ON SALE ONLINE @ TRACK29.CO • JANUARY 19-25, 2012 • The Pulse • 19

Free Will Astrology ARIES (March 21-April 19): The Macy’s ad I saw in the newspaper had a blaring headline: “Find Your Magic 2.0.” The items that were being touted to help us discover our upgraded and more deluxe sense of magic were luxurious diamond rings. The cheapest was $2,150. I’m going to try to steer you in another direction in your quest to get in touch with Magic 2.0, Aries. I do believe you are in an excellent position to do just that, but only if you take a decidedly non-materialistic approach. What does your intuition tell you about how to hook up with a higher, wilder version of the primal mojo? TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The U.S. Constitution has survived 222 years, longer than the constitution of any other nation on the planet. But one of America’s founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, might have had a problem with that. He believed our constitution should be revised every 19 years. Personally, I share Jefferson’s view. And I would apply that same principle of regular reinvention to all of us as individuals—although I think it should be far more frequent than every 19 years. How long has it been since you’ve amended or overhauled your own rules to live by, Taurus? Judging by the astrological omens, I suspect it’s high time. GEMINI (May 21-June 20):

The Bohannons

The Sound of Chattanooga

“It is respectable to have no illusions—and safe—and profitable and dull,” said author Joseph Conrad. Taking our cue from his liberating derision, I propose that we protest the dullness of having no illusions. Let’s decry the blah gray sterility that comes from entertaining no fantastic fantasies and unreasonable dreams. How boring it is to have such machine-like mental hygiene! For this one week, Gemini, I urge you to celebrate your crazy ideas. Treasure and adore your wacky beliefs. Study all those irrational and insane urges running around your mind to see what you can learn about your deep, dark unconsciousness. (P.S.: But I’m not saying you should act on any of those phantasms, Pulse Beat 20 • The Pulse • JANUARY 19-25, 2012 •

rob brezsny

at least not now. Simply be amused by them.)

CANCER (June 21-July 22):

If you were a medieval knight going into battle with a full suit of armor, the advantage you had from the metal’s protection was offset by the extra energy it took to haul around so much extra weight. In fact, historians say this is one reason that a modest force of English soldiers defeated a much larger French army at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. The Frenchmen’s armor was much bulkier, and by the time they slogged through muddy fields to reach their enemy, they were too tired to fight at peak intensity. The moral of the story, as far as you’re concerned: To win a great victory in the coming weeks, shed as many of your defense mechanisms and as much of your emotional baggage as possible.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): One way or another, you will be more famous in the coming months than you’ve ever been before. That might mean you’ll become better known or more popular ... or it could take a different turn. To tease out the nuances, let’s draw on Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “Famous.” “The river is famous to the fish. // The loud voice is famous to silence, / which knew it would inherit the earth / before anybody said so. // The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds / watching him from the birdhouse. // The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek. // The idea you carry close to your bosom / is famous to your bosom.” VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Three famous actresses formed the British Anti-Cosmetic Surgery League last year. Rachel Wiesz, Kate Winslet, and Emma Thompson say they believe people should be happy with the physical appearance that nature gave them. Is it rude of me to note that unlike most of the rest of us, those three women were born gorgeous? It’s easy for them to promise not to mess with their looks. Do you ever do that, Virgo? Urge other people to do what’s natural for you but a challenge

for them? I recommend against that this week. For example: If you want to influence someone to change, be willing to change something about yourself that’s hard to change.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I predict major breakthroughs in your relationship to intimacy and togetherness in 2012, Libra—if, that is, you keep in mind the following counsel from psychologist Dr. Neil Clark Warren: “Attraction and chemistry are easily mistaken for love, but they are far from the same thing. Being attracted to someone is immediate and largely subconscious. Staying deeply in love with someone happens gradually and requires conscious decisions, made over and over again.”

sessions in about 2,000 verses, but devotes only 500 verses to prayer and 500 to faith. As you know, my advice in these horoscopes usually tends to have the opposite emphasis: I concentrate more on spiritual matters than materialistic concerns. But this time, in acknowledgment of the specific cosmic influences coming to bear on you, I’m going to be more like the Bible. Please proceed on the assumption that you have a mandate to think extra deeply and super creatively about money and possessions in the coming weeks. Feel free, too, to pray for financial guidance and meditate on increasing your cash flow.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Purslane is a plant that’s also known colloquially as pigweed. It’s hearty, prolific, and spreads fast. In a short time, it can grow out-of-control, covering a large area with a thick carpet. On the other hand, it’s a tasty salad green and has a long history of being used as a cooked vegetable. As a medicinal herb, it’s also quite useful, being rich in omega-3 fatty acids as well as a number of vitamins and minerals. Moral of the story: Keep pigweed contained—don’t let it grow out of control—and it will be your friend. Does anything in your life fit that description?

18): Here’s one of my favorite quotes from American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson: “I hate quotations. Tell me what you think.” The current astrological omens suggest that this is an excellent message for you to heed. It’s crucial for you to know your own mind and speak your own thoughts. It’s smart to trust your own instincts and draw on your own hard-won epiphanies. For best results, don’t just be skeptical of the conventional wisdom; be cautious about giving too much credence to every source of sagacity and expertise. Try to define your own positions rather than relying on theories you’ve read about and opinions you’ve heard.



Dec. 21): As he approaches his 70th birthday, retiree and Michigan resident Michael Nicholson is still hard at work adding to his education. He’s got 27 college degrees so far, including 12 master’s degrees and a doctorate. Although he’s not an “A” student, he loves learning for its own sake. I nominate him to be your role model for the coming weeks, Sagittarius. Your opportunities for absorbing new lessons will be at a peak. I hope you take full advantage of all the teachings that will be available.


(Dec. 22Jan. 19): The Bible addresses the subjects of money and pos-

(Feb. 19-March 20): Why did Mark Gibbons strap a washing machine to his back and then climb to the top of Mount Snowdown in Wales? He did it to raise charity money for the Kenyan Orphan Project. If, in the coming weeks, you try anything as crazy as he did, Pisces, make sure it’s for an equally worthy cause. Don’t you dare take on a big challenge simply to make people feel sorry for you or to demonstrate what a first-class martyr you can be. On the other hand, I’m happy to say that you could stir up a lot of good mojo by wandering into previously off-limits zones as you push past the limitations people expect you to honor.

Jonesin’ Crossword

matt jones

“Happy 100th, Universal!”—the studio’s restoring 13 of its classics; these five didn’t make the cut. Across

1. “___ wish” (line from “The Princess Bride”) 6. Makers of the 90, 900 and 9000 10. “Gnarly!” 13. Sorer than sore 14. Gp. that’ll teach you how to serve 15. “It was 20 years ___ today...” 16. Universal’s 1985 Chevy Chase comedy 17. Burger chain with a bird mascot 19. Invasive crawling plant 20. Universal’s 1976 Richard Pryor comedy 21. Pronoun separated by a slash 25. Have the desire 26. “Later!” 29. Late writerphilosopher”psychonaut” McKenna 31. With 44-across, Universal’s 1977 Burt Reynolds comedy 33. “Did I do that?” character 37. Chew toy filler 38. MCD divided by X 39. Movie role played by George Burns and Morgan Freeman 41. “Gangsta Lovin’”

34. Adidas alternative 35. Resident ___ (PlayStation game) 36. Actor Jared who sings in 30 Seconds to Mars 40. Follow instructions 43. Hostess snacks 45. Move like a wallaby 46. Words after “Look, ma!” 48. Soviet monster 50. Country singer Keith 51. Prefix before tan or frost 52. Not focused 54. Pen-desk connector, at some banks 56. “The Godfather” film scorer ___ Rota 58. Singer Erykah 59. “This’ll be the day that ___...” (“American Pie” refrain) 60. One day: abbr. 62. Be a thespian 63. Classic Jaguar

rapper 42. Twin Falls’ state 44. See 31-across 47. Not at sea 49. Capital home to the Viking Ship Museum 50. Result 53. “Had you fooled for a second there” 55. Universal’s 1984 Emilio Estevez flick 57. Knuckle-cracking, e.g. 61. World capital within the Distrito Federal 63. Universal’s 1980 Olivia Newton-John musical 64. “Breaking Bad” network 65. Abbr. for a president 66. Adjective for fairy tales and Nick Jr. shows 67. Vote shown on C-SPAN 68. Spoiled kid 69. Come after

5. “That’s disgusting” 6. Big ___ (California region) 7. “Hey, wait ___!” 8. When duels take place, often 9. Scary-looking fish 10. Morocco’s capital 11. Like some hiring practices 12. “Tiny Bubbles” crooner 13. “I’m not typing right now” acronym 18. “For sale by ___” 22. “Kilroy Was Here” group 23. One wish for the new year, on many a greeting card 24. West end? 26. Fusion chef Ming ___ 27. In the thick of 28. ___ Bora (mountain area in old bin Laden news) 30. Lawn tools 32. Friedrich Hayek’s field


Jonesin’ Crossword created By Matt Jones. © 2012 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. 0555.

1. Gp. concerned with rights 2. Place to store tools 3. Former Israeli Prime Minister Rabin 4. With perfect timing

is looking for a few good Can you craft a compelling 650-word short feature or profile—and a longer, in-depth feature worthy of our cover? If so, let’s talk. The Pulse is seeking a few good freelance writers to join our 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: • JANUARY 19-25, 2012 • The Pulse • 21

Life in the Noog

chuck crowder

The CEO of Chattanooga Last week, Erlanger’s Board of Directors voted to pay former CEO Jim Brexler nearly $750 million if he’d clean out his desk by the end of the day. Some of the board members implied infractions have occurred even before he just stopped showing up for work more than two months ago that would’ve been grounds for dismissal. But apparently his contract stated that he would receive a sizable severance just to walk away no matter what he did while in office. I’m just as outraged as the next guy that major companies are so desperate for senior leadership that they feel obligated to dangle a ridiculously attractive contract simply to lure the “best of the best.” If you’ve had a good track record at one company (albeit, perhaps, under completely different conditions, including possibly taking credit for the work of others) then you can write your own ticket to the top. To me that’s like hiring Tommy Tutone to write songs for you just because he landed one hit in the 1980s. You see, this is the “Occupy” grievance I understand. Sadly, it’s just the way business happens. It’s always happened that way, and it’ll continue to happen that way. The reason? Talented, savvy go-getters who can sell a

honest music

hell of a lot of widgets or convince a lot of people they need these widgets make corporations money. Their performance in doing so eventually lands them a job of leading widget development, production, marketing and/or sales. Then, if they’re lucky, they are tapped to oversee the whole widget caboodle. The seeds they plant along the way start to grow, and when the annual report is finally published they get a big old bonus— and a substantially revised contract. Based on limited success these one-hit wonders negotiate the best possible contract they can. And who wouldn’t? The deal will include obscene amounts of money, and since the average CEO lifespan at a company is less than 10 years,

the package always includes a nice golden parachute for the job hunt afterwards. My take on the Erlanger situation is that the dude was leading a half-billion-dollar organization. A few hundred grand to tide him over until he lands another gig is peanuts by comparison. The best news may be that Erlanger now has the opportunity to change things with a new leader. The public isn’t always so lucky. Chattanooga’s CEO—aka Mayor Ron Littlefield—gets to keep his job until March of next year no matter how he performs. His salary may be a fraction of the amount Brexler received just for leaving—and in Littlefield’s case there won’t be a severance package—but one thing’s for sure: He won’t be fired. Even though more people voted to recall him than voted for him in either of the two previous elections that gave him the job, he won’t be fired. Even if the recall petitioners crossed all of the “T’s” and dotted all of the “I’s,” he won’t be fired. Why? Because litigation can muddle things up and delay action for months, years, or in this case, until March of next year. Whether you like him or not, a lot of people think Littlefield

People at the top are placed there by those who either can’t do the job or don’t want the job. The higher up you go the more money you make, but the stress and criticism rise right along with the stacks of cash. hasn’t done nearly the job of our previous two mayors (although in his mind, I’m sure he has). Politicians are the best at both claiming credit and laying blame for what happened before them. CEOs aren’t so lucky. My point is that people at the top are placed there by those who either can’t do the job or don’t want the job. The higher up you go the more money you make, but the stress and criti-

cism rise right along with the stacks of cash. I don’t envy those who take on that type of responsibility. There’s no amount of money that would entice me to run a huge company—or a city, for that matter. Those who take on that job, however, deserve some sort of respect and appropriate compensation. If you make a company millions and millions of dollars then taking a couple for yourself as an incentive bonus might be appropriate. It’s when those dollars come from ridiculous rate increases (health insurance) or from taxpayers (bank bailouts) that you haven’t really achieved anything, except fleecing those you depend upon to show a healthy bottom line. I don’t know if Littlefield and Brexler are friends, but they seem to have a lot in common these days. Maybe it’s time they met up for coffee to compare notes for each other’s “Plan B.” 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.

local and regional shows

Jordan Hallquist and The Outfit with Lauren St. Jane and The Dead Westerns ($3)

Thu, Jan 19


Chet Vincent with Kri and Hettie ($3)

Wed, Jan 25


Bitch Please with Opportunities ($3)

Thu, Jan 26


Live Irish Music following the Irish Session players every Sunday night FREE SHOWS start at 7pm

Full food menu serving lunch and dinner. 11am-2am, 7 days a week. * 22 • The Pulse • JANUARY 19-25, 2012 • • JANUARY 19-25, 2012 • The Pulse • 23


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The Pulse 9.03 » Jan. 19-25, 2012  

Chattanooga's Weekly Alternative

The Pulse 9.03 » Jan. 19-25, 2012  

Chattanooga's Weekly Alternative