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March 8-14, 2012

Oh,The Drama!



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EDITORIAL Publisher Zachary Cooper Creative Director Bill Ramsey Contributors Rich Bailey • Rob Brezsny Chuck Crowder • Michael Crumb • John DeVore Brook Evans • Randall Gray • Dr. Rick Pimental-Habib Janis Hashe • Matt Jones • Chris Kelly • D.E. Langley Mike McJunkin • Ernie Paik • Alex Teach Richard Winham Cartoonists Rick Baldwin • Max Cannon Jesse Reklaw • Richard Rice • Tom Tomorrow Photography Josh Lang • Lesha Patterson Interns Britton Catignani • Kinsey Elliott Molly Farrell • Rachel Saunders

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Contents MARCH 8-14, 2012 • issue no. 9.10


Might As Well Jump

• Van Halenites, unite! Fan Halen: The Ultimate Van Halen Tribute comes to Rhythm & Brews on Friday, March 9. Also, some guy named Jack White plays Track 29 on Saturday, March 10. » 8


Center Stage

• Thousands of thespians arrive in Chattanooga this week. Janis Hashe spotlights the highlights of the 63rd Southeastern Theatre Conference. » 8 Between covers

Dark Obsessions

• UTC’s Thomas Balzás’ new collection of short stories, “Omicron Ceti III,” weaves tales of darkness and obsession into subtle and delightful patterns. Rich Bailey visits with the writer on this side of paradise. » 7 arts

Minding Mencia

• Chuck Crowder chats with the newly slim and less angry Carlos Mencia. The Latino comic will appear March 9-10 at Vaudeville Café. » 15 comix

Weasel Cheese

• Local cartoonist (and UTC professor) Richard Rice is the wit behind the newest addition to the Comix page. » 19

On the cover: The cast of “Wiley and The Hairy Man,” from Milton High School, Milton, Ga. Contents: Fan Halen photographed by Dan Starling.

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setc attendees plus - check out our holiday catering menu online! • march 8-14, 2012 • The Pulse • 3



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Highway to Hell Sex trafficking in Cleveland it’s wednesday night in cleveland, tenn., and million-dollar churches and their pristine parking lots fill up with men under the influence of unholy spirits that use, abuse, rape, beat and sometimes kill the bodies and minds of teen girls. Wendy Brown stands up for those girls and if you don’t care what happens to them, God help you. Brown, who is co-director of Ellilta, a multi-national organization that helps womenat-risk, will speak about sex trafficking at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 11, at Ridgedale Baptist Church in Chattanooga, located at 1831 Hickory Valley Road. Her topic is “In Our Own Backyard.” An impassioned Brown doesn’t spare too many feelings when she describes the horrors of sex trafficking. She first learned about the sexual abuses females suffer when she served as a missionary in Ethiopia. Some girls there become prostitutes to help feed their families. But Brown brings the horror home when she points out that Cleveland, recently branded as “The City With Spirit,” is a corridor for sex trafficking because of its proximity to Interstates 75 and 24. A controlled but righteous fury passes across Brown’s face when she talks about how the tragic plight of abused girls and women often gets ignored or minimized. Brown says such willful ignorance happens especially in the religious circles of Cleveland. Factors that drive some males out of church and onto conve-

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“City With Spirit,” a corridor for sex trafficking, says Wendy Brown, co-director of a women’s aid organization. nient highways to track down vulnerable females include problems with pornography as well as problems from their own wounds. Brown offers explanations but not excuses, especially for her hometown. “Open your eyes!” Brown pleads. “It’s right here!” Statistics at the Protected Innocence Initiative reveal that Tennessee law defines sex trafficking as: “A minor under 18 used in a commercial sex act without regard to force, fraud or coercion.” A 2011 study conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Vanderbilt Center for Community Studies, shows that 72 percent of Tennessee counties (68 counties) reported at least one case of domestic minor sex trafficking. Shelby, Davidson, Coffee and Knox counties re-

ported more than 100 cases. Again, Brown notes that Cleveland’s I-75 and I-24 corridor provides easy traveling for males who see females as sexual commodities they can buy, sell or trade on their way to business or sporting events in Nashville or Atlanta. Sexual servitude is apparently as routinely-tolerated in Cleveland as it is throughout the world, Brown explains, visibly shaken as she describes

the use and abuse of women. “In Our Own Backyard” is an event designed to bring awareness of the issue of human trafficking as it exists on a local level. Although a hideous crime, Brown emphasizes the positive side as well. “Hope is what drives us,” she says. “Rescue and life change can happen, but first we must open our eyes and choose to get involved.” —Brook Evans


New works, frazzle- and cost-free public art has been both celebrated and scrutinized in Chattanooga. Acclaimed for its beauty and cultural significance, it is often derided when taxpayer dollars are involved. Just recently, two new pieces of public art have surfaced in our downtown community, free of frazzle and cost. Last week, the Hunter Museum installed a nine-foot sculpture by Tennessee artist Red Grooms. The work, “The Lindy Hop,” was inspired by the African-American dance that was based on the Charleston and named for Charles Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight in 1927. The sculpture depicts a couple dancing on a base that reads “Savoy Ballroom,” the location where the dance was originally popularized in Harlem. Grooms captures the dance’s signature “air steps” in a spirited cel-

ebration of origins. “The vibrant colors and the dynamic movement captured by the sculpture make it a wonderful addition to the collection of outdoor sculpture found throughout Chattanooga,” said Katrina Craven of the Hunter Museum. Craven said that “The Lindy Hop” is on long-term loan to the museum and will be at the Hunter for at least three years. “The Hunter is thrilled to be able to showcase work from this wellknown artist who is also a native Tennessean.” Also new to downtown is “We Inspire,” a piece generated and painted by students from Brown International Academy and Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy. Displayed on nine-foot vinyl panels, the work was installed on the railroad overpass located on Martin Luther King Boulevard and University Street.

Editoon The art was funded by the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, the Tennessee Arts Commission and Mark Making. “ ‘We Inspire’ serves as a visual animator,” said Frances McDonald, executive director of Mark Making. “It suggests vitality and intended effort which beget interest and then hope which beget action.” McDonald said that residents consider their MLK neighborhood to be the “jewel of downtown” and “a diamond in the rough,” suggesting a need for small, animated actions that can serve as “tipping points” of change. The MLK Neighborhood Association, who saw the railroad overpass as the largest, most neglected square footage in the business district, approved the project. “People are excited when they see art in the streets,” McDonald said, “It suggests intention, thoughtfulness and moreover, change.” She said the “We” in the title are the 70 artists who created the piece. A fifth grader, when asked to personally consider “revitalization,” said she would pick up one piece of trash per day as an effort to make her community a better place. Mark Making’s question, then, was what would an adult think or do after observing her action. “They hope to inspire, goad, shame, adults with power to action.” Mark Making has three additional projects going up on MLK this spring. Whether long-term and regional or short-term and communitydriven, public art, at no cost to the public, is a gift that continues to generate livelihood in our downtown community. We welcome it freely. —Kinsey Elliott

rick baldwin


Remembering ‘Jonni Nitro’ set the gears in reverse and take a trip back down the digital driveway to 1996. Before broadband and the video sensation YouTube, two Chattanoogans found themselves bored with their jobs, itching to try something new. Aaron Hoffman and Alex Ogle were working in design in Kansas when they decided to create a comic book that included an interactive CD. As they began to experiment with Flash and video-to-vector processing to create black and white video, they opted to take the comic in a different direction. Broadband didn’t exist, and the only videos you could watch online were the size of a stamp because the bandwidth could not handle

it, Ogle explained. But soon enough, “Jonni Nitro” was born in a collaborative effort by the two designers. In its early production, they would invite friends over for pizza and beer, ask them to bring costumes and they would shoot scenes for the comic, Hoffman explained. “The result was very stark and contrasting.” The video premiered online in 1997, and before they knew it, “Jonni Nitro” was getting upwards of 100,000 views per month. Being the first entertainment film to hit the Internet got the attention of thenlimited but high-profile users. Within months, an entertainment company in Los Angeles contacted Hoffman and Ogle. The company bought the rights to “Jonni Nitro,” but Hoffman and Ogle stayed on as executive producers for a live-action version. Their small production grew immediately. The pro-

duction budget skyrocketed from $70 to $40,000 per episode as publications such as Spin, Playboy and TV Guide featured the series. The cast included Tom Jane, currently on HBO’s “Hung,” and Olivia d’Abo of the “Wonder Years.” “It was entertaining in a very geeky way, but it still appealed to the general public,” Hoffman said. “Jonni Nitro” was birthed under Tubatomic, the company founded by Hoffman and Ogle. In later years, just before the dot-com bomb that folded the show in 2001, the duo had relocated to Chattanooga. Hoffman and Ogle stayed in the city, and Ogle still works for Tubatomic. Hoffman has moved on, but took with him all the skills he gained while working with Ogle. “It was exciting times, one of those leading edge things that brought us where we are today,” Ogle said. —Kinsey Elliottt • march 8-14, 2012 • The Pulse • 5

On the Beat

alex teach

Sheriff Hammond’s Leadership Fail policing, in and of itself, is a no-win situation. It’s a literal never-ending battle with never-ending hazards and never-ending blame. The rewards themselves are far and few between, but the greatest two have always been the self-satisfaction that keeps us going and the sense of brotherhood only those in combat, both domestic and abroad, can appreciate. If that last sentence doesn’t make sense, then it’s nothing I can explain, but I can give an analogy when it comes to the quality of leadership of the men and women who serve in the situations I’ve described above. George Armstrong Custer was one of the youngest generals in the Union Army during the Civil War, known for being brash, intelligent and personally courageous. He also, however, had the highest casualty rate of any in the Union Army because he is now recognized as a publicity-seeking huckster who was too ambitious for his own good and reckless with his men. Our current sheriff is no Custer. Jim Hammond is the first to be concerned with the safety of his deputies, but the names of leaders who forsake their men in the name of convenience are less well-known to us, so extreme examples are necessary. Would Hammond pit 267 men up against several

thousand Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors? NO. But would he openly deny equal pay among his men and women because “it may open a Pandora’s Box to inspire other employees to seek the same fairness?” Apparently, yes. This is according to him (on tape), to his own Civil Service Board of Appeals and to the Tennessee State Court of Appeals. Custer was a general known for carelessness with the needs and welfare of his men. Different league, yes, but same sport. I’ll go toe-to-toe with anyone who argues this principal.

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Saying you are a leader is easy. Being one? That takes guts. So does fighting for your guys, instead of suing them and those you had the audacity to ask for an opinion. The issue at hand is a group of police sergeants being paid, well, whatever the sheriff sees fit, by no standards written or assumed. He even stated (this is the part that is on video with WRCB-TV) that it should be at “the sheriff’s discretion.” Five-year sergeants making the same as one-day sergeants in his command. Or 10 years. It made no difference. If a promotion was made of someone making the same as a current sergeant, a raise was still given despite the disparity—and there was no rule here, which sounds great … if you’re the sheriff, or the guy making the most pay, I suppose.

As it turns out, paying people more than one another for doing the same job for the same responsibility is “illegal” when done outside of the rules of a now-forgotten statute called “The Civil Rights Act of 1963.” (Specifically, the Equal Pay Act of 1964, a division of such. It’s a refreshingly short read, should you look it up, sheriff or otherwise.) Paying people “at your discretion” leaves out space for equality among genders and races. Morale is irrelevant in the book of law, but that’s the only thing the High Sheriff of Hamilton County currently has going for him on most days, and apparently this isn’t one of those days. The sheriff acknowledges the pay is unfair. He also says he won’t fix it because it’s too hard and not his fault. The courts say his excuses are irrelevant and fixing what is wrong is his job (which, as a sheriff, makes sense). How he does it is his problem, not his excuse—and that’s why me (and a few hundred sheriff’s deputies) are pretty freakin’ pissed off. Jim, you are their elected leader. So looking to you for leadership should not be a shock or a burden, it should be a mandate. Provide it. Fight for it.

All you are doing now is falling in lockstep with John Cupp, Billy Long and your mentor, H.Q. Evatt, the same person who created the Civil Service Board you have sued when you asked them the (appeals) question. No one is impressed, and this fact should bother the hell out of you if you mean a word you say otherwise about being a leader and constitutional officer. Saying you are a leader is easy. Being one? That takes guts. So does fighting for your guys, instead of suing them and those you had the audacity to ask for an opinion (the Civil Service Board exists for that reason, for the record). Step up, or next election, step out. You have humiliated yourself and your men in this case. And you can disagree with me, but you’re also disagreeing with the Civil Service Board, the Tennessee Court of Appeals, and your own men. Do the math. Who is wrong in this equation? Suck it up and fix it, sir. We shouldn’t have to even ask. Alex Teach is a full-time police officer of nearly 20 years experience. The opinions expressed are his own. Follow him on Facebook at alex.teach.

Between Covers

Dark Obsessions in Nine Stories By Rich Bailey

thomas balázs’ devious plan worked. i read the forbidden story. ¶ He teased an audience with “The Gourmand” recently at the Jewish Community Center recently, reading only the first few pages because, he said, it’s one of the most disturbing ones in his debut collection of nine stories. So disturbing that when he read it to other audiences ... they asked him to stop. So of course I read it as soon as I could. I wasn’t disturbed, but I have a pretty strong stomach. It’s by far the darkest of these stories that weave darkness, obsession, hope, love, bitterness and compassion into subtle and delightful patterns. The book’s title story— “Omicron Ceti III”—riffs off of a classic “Star Trek” episode, “This Side of Paradise.” The Enterprise stumbles upon a paradise planet of that name, where generous puffs of alien pollen throw everyone into loving ecstasy, even the incurably rational Spock, until Capt. Kirk plays God and removes the crew from paradise so they can return to their duties. Despite having a Star Trek reference in its title, this book is not science fiction. In Balázs’ “Omicron Ceti III,” a young man in a mental institution who has lost way too much sees

Local author Thomas Balázs riffs off classic “Star Trek” episode in new collection of dark, comic stories. everything in threes and is falling for a pillowy-soft girl who sleeps a lot. Like a nine-pack of subtly different wines, some stories are sweeter, some dry, some bitter. His book is peopled with characters in extreme but entirely terrestrial situations. Balázs teaches creative writing at UTC, and this is his first book. These and other stories have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies and

have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Balázs likes to play games with reader expectations in these stories. Most have a little hook at the end, some quiet flourish of hope, emptiness, love, resignation, regret or compassion. Nearly all chart a descent through the logic of an obsession—a gourmand searches for more and more outré things to consume; a closeted gay teen relentlessly shadows and persecutes a closeted gay teacher; a

failing salesman is drawn into the caves of Tijuana, Mexico. Balázs said he likes to explore individuals or situations that might initially make a reader feel uncomfortable and then bring them around to empathize. Perhaps mirroring his disturbed lead character in “Omicron Ceti 3,” Balázs has organized the book in three sections. Each includes three stories and begins with a quote from the “Star Trek” episode (which of course has a three-word title— and one of those three words is “three”). In those three epigraphs, Spock declares his love. His lover says, “And this is for my good?” when they are back on the Enterprise and love is no longer on the menu, after which Kirk famously says, “Maybe we weren’t meant for paradise.” These characters aren’t either. In his three-story groupings, Balázs says characters struggle with love, the limitations of desire, and in the final group, “follow their desire to the final degree, finding that ultimately there are no easy answers, that life is a struggle. There’s no ideal paradise for them to go to, they’re just going to tough it out through life.” No one in these stories could be considered to be truly in par-

adise, but everyone is obsessed with some kind of paradise substitute: the perfect meal, a lost cat, being a righteous tormentor, finding the next massage parlor. “Obsession is a kind of narcotic that somehow eases pain or causes one to forget one’s pain, at least temporarily,” Balázs said. “It’s kind of a false paradise. Obsession is kind of a false paradise for these characters, but there is no real paradise anywhere in this post-paradisal world. They are looking for some perfect solution and it just doesn’t exist. If we don’t want to refer to these obsessions as paradise, another way is Spock’s characterization of them as self-made purgatories, which I like.” No one is really in control, either, but they are trying desperately to control their fates. Sometimes they are being run by their obsessions, sometimes they are almost using them as tools. But Balázs doesn’t make cheap thrills or moralistic sermons from them. “What I hope they are is really good stories, multi-layered complex stories,” he said. “It just so happens that when I tell stories I usually go into places that are dark and come across as comic.”


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At the corner of MLK & Broad Street Downtown

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423 266 4121 • march 8-14, 2012 • The Pulse • 7

CENTERSTAGE Kim Frick-Welker stars as Zelda Fitzgerald in “The Last Flapper.”

by the time you read this, resistance will be futile. chattanooga will have already been invaded by more than 4,000 actors, directors, designers, playwrights and theatre students for the 63rd Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC). Might as well join the party—and there are plenty of parties to join. By Janis Hashe

Chattanooga Filled with Drama Though SETC serves as a professional opportunity to audition for actors of every age, and also offers a large range of classes and seminars for theatre folks, the five festivals, which are open to the public, are an amazing opportunity to see theatre of all kinds, right here in town. Several charge no admission, and the ones that do are a bargain. The Pulse spoke to the directors of all the festivals to get a flavor of what’s on the menu this year. The Community Theatre Festival

Happening right at our own Chattanooga Theatre Centre, the Community Theatre Fes-

8 • The Pulse • march 8-14, 2012 •

tival brings in the winners of individual contests in states covered by the SETC. Though all the participating theatres in this festival are called

“community,” they are characterized by professional-level commitment from actors and directors, and the eight plays this year run the gamut from the recent Broadway offering “God of Carnage” (presented by the Tupelo Community Theatre from Mississippi) to the life-in-the-South favorite, “Dearly Departed” (presented by the Artists Collaborative Theater from Kentucky). Edgy fare comes from the West Virginia company MT Pockets Theatre, which is pre-

Theatre conference delivers five festivals in four days filled with productions of all kinds

senting “I Am My Own Wife,” the true story of a German transvestite who survives the Nazis. “SETC was last here in 2004, and the area has changed since then,” says CTC Producing Artistic Director George Quick. “It’s very exciting, because you get to see what theatres are doing all over the Southeast.” The rules for doing a show in the festival are very specific, explained Festival Director Lyle Tate. “Each entry has 10 minutes to set up their playing area in a 10-by-10-ft. square, 60 minutes to perform, and 10 minutes to strike.” Participants are timed, and running long affects chances to win the competition. “Theatres of all sizes compete in the festival. Some are very urban, some are very rural, but they all have the same passion for theatre,” says Tate. “If you can’t travel to eight different states to see theatre, it’s all here in Chattanooga—and you can’t beat the price. Tickets are $10 for a “block” of shows, and the festival runs from 9 a.m. on March 9 to 1:30 p.m on March 10. For more information on shows and times, visit theatre/ or

Theatre by and for young people

Two separate festivals appeal to the young and the young at heart. The 2012 High School Festival, at the Tivoli March 8 and 9, brings in high school theatre production winners from all over the region. Like the Community Theatre Festival, the 19-show lineup has huge range, from original plays to some musicals to classics. The entrants have “45 minutes from bare stage to bare stage,” says Festival Di-

Chattanoogans play leading role at SETC Chattanooga-based theatre artists, teachers and musicians will play a big role during the Southeastern Theatre Conference Convention. “We are thrilled with the depth of talent and level of commitment that the theatre artists and venues from Chattanooga bring to our event,” said Betsey Baun, executive director of the Southeastern Theatre Conference. “This is our fourth visit to Chattanooga and each time the event grows. We look forward to continued great work with this dynamic community, in which we first held a convention in 1960.” Chattanooga’s community of artists, educators and community leaders that will be on board include: • Kicking off opening night Wednesday, March 7, will be the Choo Choo Kids, under the direction of Jason Whitehead. • Also on Wednesday, Kate Forbes Dallimore from The Muse of Fire Project will present “Techniques for Working with Student Playwrights” as part of the annual Teachers Institute. • Tenika Dye with the Salvation Army and Recreate Café offers her expertise with a workshop, “Acting with the Homeless: Taking the Art of Play to the Homeless Community,” on Thursday, March 8. • Rodney Van Valkenburg of Allied Arts, a longtime member of SETC, will be a respondent for the Theatre for Youth Invitational Festival and will also offer a panel workshop on Friday, March 9. • Also on Friday, musicians Christie Burns and Lisa Ferguson will perform a hammered dulcimer concert for the State’s Lunch. • Dye and Van Valkenburg collaborate with Brother Ron of Fender Community Kitchen of Chattanooga on Saturday, March 10, offering a workshop titled “Theatre and My Journey Working with the Homeless.” • Rounding out the convention will be Sweet Georgia Sound, a Chattanooga big band, playing at the annual Gala Awards Banquet and Dance. • The Chattanooga Theatre Centre will host the Community Theatre Festival, featuring 11 productions from nine southeastern states (March 8-10). This event is open to the public and tickets are available through the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. • The Tivoli Theatre will host the High School Theatre Festival, involving more than 400 high school students, directors and chaperones and featuring 19 high school productions from 10 southeastern states. • The local economy will also play a starring role during this dramatic visit. The Chattanooga CVB released an estimated economic impact of $2,197,800 from the conference.

rector Amy Hochinson. Although many of the participants do not go on to pursue theatre careers, some do, she says, and in any case, “It’s fun to see the kids up there. They care so much about what

they do. It’s a chance for them to take their work where people have never seen it before. They work with their peers and build relationships.” »P10 • march 8-14, 2012 • The Pulse • 9


MARCH 22 • 2012


honest music

Productions this year include “Scenes from Metamorphoses” by Mississippi’s Oxford High School, “Radium Girls” by South Carolina’s Wando High School, and “How I Became A Pirate” by Tennessee’s Cordova High School. Blocks of tickets are $20; visit Local company Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga has an entry in SETC’s popular free Theatre for Youth Invitational Festival, March 8, in the Marriott Ballroom at the Convention Center. ETC will reprise founder Garry Lee Posey’s own “La Llorona: Three Tales,” a production based on Latino folk tales, still touring in local schools. “ ‘La Llorona’ was commissioned by the Latino Arts Project, and we revamped it for submission to the festival,” Posey says. “It’s not a typical children’s play, and appeals to a mixed audience of children and adults.” In fact, the 25-year-old TYIF includes adults performing for young people, young people performing for young people (including colleges), and both professional and amateur groups. The other two entrants this year are “Pied Pipers,” presented by Troy University, and “Recess,” by the Whole Backstage Theatre. “This festival is not a competition,” explains Festival Director Amie Kisling. Feedback comes from “respondents,” who “ask questions and respond to the work they’ve seen, and help to start a conversation among the three

companies.” Kisling notes that this festival is the perfect time for performers to discover the love for youth theatre she herself experienced. (She is now the associate education director at Lexington Children’s Theatre in Kentucky.) Why should Chattanoogans come out to see this festival’s entrants? “We are telling some really beautiful stories,” she says, “and it gives young audiences and families a chance to see three completely different shows.” For schedule, visit

Fast and Fringe

Each year at SETC, around 30 undergraduate and graduate SETC members become overnight playwrights, directors, stage managers and actors as they work through the night writing, rehearsing and performing six tenminute plays as part of the Ten-Minute Play Festival, playing Thursday, March 8 at 10 p.m. at the Convention Center. It begins with actors performing audition monologues. Playwrights feverishly work through the night, creating plays around the actors, as well as a costume piece or prop they choose from a table. “At 7 a.m., we call back the actors and read the plays out loud,” explains Festival Director Tim Bohn. “Then we assign the plays to the directors and give them what is usually a three-person cast. At 8 a.m., the playwrights leave to go sleep, but they return at 5 p.m., we tech through, and at

10 p.m. we put on a show of the plays.” The plays end up being a mix of comedic and dramatic, Bohn says, and two professional playwrights critique the work, which often goes on to have a life beyond SETC. “One of the playwrights expanded his piece as an entry for the Louisville Humana Festival, for example,” Bohn says. Everyone who participates gets a chance to do “rough theatre, something that is a little dangerous. The playwrights must write something fresh, and people who don’t know each other build something together.” The 9th Annual Fringe Festival, according to Festival Director Hardy Koenig, provides a place at SETC for theatres and shows that don’t fit the other festivals’ formats. Also, he notes, the eight shows come from all over the country, not just the states covered by SETC. Each entry must be no longer than an hour and 15 minutes, and often the shows here, while not extreme, are “a little bit edgy. Sometimes the material is appropriate only for mature audiences,” Koenig says. Garry Posey is also involved in this festival, which runs March 9 and 10 in the Marriott Plaza Ballroom at the Convention Center, as he shepherds the Chattanooga State entry, a riff on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” called “Twelfth Night: The Eleventh Hour.” “The second-year students

in the Professional Actors program put together an original piece,” Posey says. “We continue the story of ‘Twelfth Night’ … Malvolio is morose at the wedding party, and we see flashbacks to scenes within the play. Students have been part of writing, directing and designing it.” “We have one-man shows, musicals, plays based on novels and poetry, you name it,” says Koenig. “These pieces are very specific to the artists who bring them in.” Koenig himself is performing this year in “Blessed Assurance,” a play about a man pushing 60 who has issues with his treatment of black people in the past and is trying to come to grips with it. Other shows in the Fringe include “Sanjie: A Chinese Myth in the Tradition of Shadow Puppet Theatre.” “Forbidden Broadway: Greatest Hits, Volume 1,” “Memoir of a Mythomaniac: The True Story of a Compulsive Liar (or Tallulah Dies),” and Tim Mooney’s “Lot o’ Shakespeare,” which played Barking Legs Theater last year to audience acclaim. Also of special interest is the entry from Chattanooga’s own Center for the Creative Arts, Jose Cruz Gonzalez’s “Salt and Pepper,” about a young boy who helps his grandfather discover the power of communication. If you can’t find something to please your artistic palate in this cornucopia of dramatic riches, you are just too damn fussy—and that’s a fact.

local and regional shows

Train Hits Wagon with Copper into Steel ($3)

Wed, Mar 7


The Well Reds with Feedback Revival ($3)

Thu, Mar 8


SXSW Local/National Acts Showcase ($5)

Sun, Mar 11


Teal Vox with Monomath ($3)

Wed, Mar 14


Soylent Red with The Owls ($3]

Thu, Mar 15


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

10 • The Pulse • march 8-14, 2012 •

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» pulse weekend picks


« Fan Halen

• So authentic, they have midget security guards. 10 p.m. • Rhythm & Brews • 221 Market St. (423) 267-4644 •

MARCH 8-14



• Sample the many flavors of Chattanooga. 5 p.m. • Warehouse Row • 1110 Market St. (423) 267-1111 •



Taste of Austin in Chattanooga


The annual South by Southwest music, film and interactive festival kicks off Friday, March 9 in Austin, Texas. If you’ve never been, it’s a feast for the ears, eyes and mind—and a great party. Several Chattanooga bands will be performing at showcases during the music portion of the festival from March 13-18, but if you can’t make it down to Texas, the good folks at The Honest Pint are hosting a showcase of local and national bands heading for Austin. They city’s very own Prophets & Kings » headline a lineup of four bands who will be seen (and perhaps create buzz among industry types) at SXSW this year. Next week, The Pulse will profile Moonlight Bride and track the other local bands with SXSW showcases. Until then, see you Sunday at The Pint.

Pet Lions with Gun Party, Ravello • Classic pop-rock sounds with a modern twist. 9 p.m. • JJ’s Bohemia • 231 MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400

EVENT Carlos Mencia • Latino comic. See feature, Page 15. 7 p.m. • Vaudeville Café • 138 Market St. (423) 517-1839 •

SUN03.11 MUSIC SXSW Showcase • See Pick of the Litter. 7 p.m. • The Honest Pint • 35 Patten Pkwy. (423) 468-4192 •

SUN 03.11 SXSW Showcase 7 p.m. • The Due Diligence 8 p.m. • Crazy & The Brains 9 p.m. • The Black Shades 10:30 p.m. • Prophets & Kings The Honest Pint • 35 Patten Pkwy. (423) 266-1400 •


EVENT Ballet in Cinema: LeCorsaire • Live performance from the Bolshoi in Moscow. 4:30 p.m. • Majestic Theatre 311 Broad St. • (423) 826-2375

dream of









beauty bringing poetry to hillbillies since 2000

cool gifts • 30 frazier ave. • 423.266.8010 • open 7 days

Just two blocks from the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, above the River Street Deli, the best New York style deli in Chattanooga!

sky proud to be tennessee’s number one retailer of Magnetic Poetry • march 8-14, 2012 • The Pulse • 11

Party at the


richard winham

Roxie Watson’s ‘Alternagrass’ All Week Long!

Mon & tue LIVE DJ

Wii on the Big Screen wednesdays OPEN MIC

5-Week Guitar & Bass Contest








CRITTY UPCHURCH Party on Two Floors!

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

Raw Sushi Bar

Restaurant & Nightclub 409 Market Street •423.756.1919

for most of its history bluegrass has been a closed-door boys club with a book of rules as rigid as a new guitar string. Purists still prefer a drummer-less combo comprised of banjo, fiddle, bass and guitar. And female pickers are still few and far between. A few women like Hazel Dickens managed to break through the ranks in the 1960s, but only in the last 20 years or so have the likes of Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss granted women anything like an equal voice. Given that history, it’s a wonder Roxie Watson exists at all—but then they aren’t exactly a bluegrass group. A five-piece all-female string band from Atlanta, Roxie Watson will play their first show in Chattanooga on Saturday, March 10, at Barking Legs on Dodds Avenue. Although band members— Linda Bolley, Beth Wheeler, Lenny Lassiter, Sonia Tetlow, and Becky Shaw—have just released the group’s second CD, I suspect that this show may be the first time local folks will get a chance to see them. Their music is tough to peg. It has elements of bluegrass—but without the fiddle. And although their three- and four-part harmonies wouldn’t be out of place in a country church, their lyrics are mostly too earthy for gospel. Then there’s Bolley’s Scotty Moorestyle guitar. The result: what they call “alternagrass.” Their sound also defies easy comparisons. The song “Five Easy Words” on their new CD, for example, is like listening to The Band with four-part female harmony. Oh, and those harmonies! Eddie Owen, owner of Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta, where Roxie Watson recently played a couple of soldout shows, said that they “play and sing like wily, crafty veterans and harmonize like the angels”—albeit earthy angels with their feet on the ground.

12 • The Pulse • march 8-14, 2012 •

Like Dolly Parton, the band knows how to tell a compelling story with just a few lines; but they also have her pop sensibility. Hazel Dickens is a model for them. Like Dickens, they write about life from the perspective of a working woman. Lasater’s “Blue Creek Number Three,” is a good example. Lasater was one of a small group of women hired to work in a coal mine just outside Birmingham in the late ’70s after the federal government forced the mine to hire women and minorities. The miners weren’t happy. Lasater was drawn to the job because the pay was three times mini-

mum wage, but the work, made worse by unbridled sexual harassment, was grim. She was just 19 when she started. As she sings in “Blue Creek,” “I went down in that hole a child / I came back up a woman.” Her breezy delivery belies the harrowing lyric describing the eight-hour days she spent a quarter mile below the surface shoveling coal cut loose by a machine called a perpetual miner. On the CD, that gritty insight into poor women’s lot in life then and now is typically (for the band) followed by Lasater’s wry lament about Georgia’s blue laws, “Sunday Beer.” It’s a breezy tale taken airborne by Bolley’s lightly skipping Scotty Moore licks on her dad’s 1964 Gibson. Roxie Watson is five women with few illusions, but that doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten how to have a good time. A Huffington Post reviewer, commenting on their goodnatured rapport with each other and with their audience, wrote that, “The stage morphs into a back porch, with the audience becoming honored guests in an intimate setting that is a heck of a lot of fun.” It was listening to Dolly Parton’s bluegrass albums “The Grass is Blue” and “Little Sparrow” that inspired Lasater, who plays bass, and Wheeler (known as Bee Wee) who plays mandolin, to start Roxie Watson in 2007. They’d been friends since grade school, but they hadn’t paid much attention to bluegrass or country music until they were adults. They called themselves Roxie Watson after Lasater’s maternal grandmother, Roxie Johnson, and Wheeler’s paternal grandmother, Mary Watson. The music is a tribute

to their rural Georgia roots. From the minute Lasater and Wheeler started playing together in small clubs in Atlanta and Birmingham, they began drawing musicians who shared their vision. Bolley was the first. She and Wheeler were old friends. They had played together previously in a group called The Faux Go’s, a Go-Go’s tribute band. Soon after Linda joined, Tetlow, formerly the bass player with the New Orleans’ based-band Cowboy Mouth, switched to banjo and added her distinctive voice to the group. “Sonya plays atypical banjo,” said Lasater. Tetlow, a long time rocker, is more Lowell George than Earl Scruggs. Her playing is propulsively rhythmic. She plays the banjo like a bass, picking deep, throaty single notes often in tandem with Lasater’s prodding bass lines. The last person to join the group was Shaw, who plays lap steel, button accordion, harmonica and guitar. Roxie Watson always includes one of Dolly Parton’s songs in their sets, but they took more than a song from the woman who once described herself as a “backwoods Barbie.” Like Dolly they know how to tell a compelling story with just a few lines; but they also have her pop sensibility. Their songs have strong melodies and buoyant harmonies that leaven even their darkest songs. Their music isn’t lightweight, but it is joyously lighthearted. Richard Winham is the host and producer of WUTC-FM’s afternoon music program and has observed the Chattanooga music scene for more than 25 years.

Chattanooga Live Thur 03.08 The Well Reds & Feedback Revival 9 p.m. The Honest Pint, 35 Patten Pkwy. (423) 468-4192 Yarn, Slim Pickens 9:30 p.m. Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St. Screaming Females, Zippers to Nowhere, Child Support 10 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400

Fri 03.09 Francisco Vidal Band 10 p.m. Raw 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919 Moon Slew 8 p.m. The Camp House, 1427 Williams St. (423) 702-8081 The Bohannons, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Red Necklace 8 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 Standing Room Only 9 p.m. Sugar’s Ribs, 507 Broad St. (423) 508-8956 Jack Corey 9 p.m. The Office, 901 Carter St. (423) 634-9191 Husky Burnette 9:30 p.m. Sky Zoo, 5709 Lee Hwy. (423) 468-4533 Jami Lynn 9:30 p.m. Market Street Tavern, 850 Market St. (423) 634-0260 Soul Survivor 10 p.m. Bud’s Sports Bar, 5751 Brainerd Road (423) 499-9878 Channing Wilson

10 p.m. T-Bones, 1419 Chestnut St. (423) 266-4240 Fan Halen 10 p.m. Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St.

Sat 03.10 Husky Burnette 7 p.m. Sky Zoo, 5709 Lee Hwy. (423) 468-4533 Roxie Watson 8 p.m. Barking Legs Theatre, 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-5347 Snowmine, Raenbow Station & Oaklynn 8 p.m. The Camp House, 1427 Williams St. (423) 702-8081 Pet Lions, Ravello, Gun Party 8 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 Critty Upchurch 10 p.m. Raw 409 Market St. (423) 756-1919 Hap Henninger 9 p.m. The Office, 901 Carter St. (423) 634-9191 Bluegrass Pharaohs 9:30 p.m. Market Street Tavern, 850 Market St. (423) 634-0260 Convertibull 9 p.m. Sugar’s Ribs, 507 Broad St. (423) 508-8956 Jack White 9 p.m. Track 29, 1400 Market St. (423) 521-2929 The Breakfast Club, Dream on Alice 9:30 p.m. Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St.

Sound Check saturday, march 10 • Jack White You will by now have noticed an absence of reporting on the much-hyped Jack White concert at Track 29. Do we care? Sure we do! We love Jack. Well, some of us do; others less so. Let’s say he is an acquired taste—that impish smile is especially attractive—but a valuable one, if the quick sales of tickets to his brief U.S. solo tour are any gauge. Or, perhaps it is the oddity of his tour launching in Chattanooga, which has also sparked all sorts of rumors about the Scenic City becoming the next Austin (mostly, we admit, perpetuated by us). Regardless, we certainly recognize the import of such an artist selecting Our Fair City to kick off a tour, and White is certainly revered in many quarters. His (expanding) schedule outside the South is garnering much buzz, as is the release of his solo album, an appearance last weekend on “Saturday Night Live” along with other such, well,

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

Sun 03.11 Wah! 6 p.m. Barking Legs Theatre, 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-5347 SXSW Showcase 7 p.m. The Honest Pint, 35 Patten Pkwy. (423) 468-4192 Hearts in Light, Belle Historie, We are Pirates, Holy Smokes 8 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400

Mon 03.12

Mike McDade 7 p.m. Sugar’s Ribs, 507 Broad St.

“Blunderbuss.” We could go further, using such metaphors as a “Love Interruption,” as an excuse for our lack or coverage, but let’s face it: The show sold out in seconds, pissed off thousands who could not get tickets, and is what it is—a good thing for Chattanooga, Track 29 and those lucky enough to score. We’re happy for Jack, Chattanooga and T29, but we’ll let it go at that. Neither White nor the venue need any more buzz or publicity (we’ll leave that up to the hipsters at the Times Free Press). Meanwhile, there’s precious little to report in advance—other than the fact that White’s appearance here will (hopefully) increase Chattanooga’s hip music factor by exponential degrees. We’d like to think past the obvious and elevate the premonition that we’ll soon be seeing more major acts come to town. For that, Mr. White, we thank you very much. Jack White • Track 29 Saturday, March 10

(423) 508-8956

Tue 03.13 The Wood Brothers 8 p.m. Track 29, 1400 Market St. (423) 521-2929 Miss Tess, Snake Doctors 9 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400

Wed 03.14 Road to Nightfall 7 p.m. Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St. Preston Parris & Tim Starnes 7 p.m. Sugar’s Ribs, 507 Broad St. (423) 508-8956 Gavin Degraw

8 p.m. Track 29, 1400 Market St. (423) 521-2929 Donna Hopkins, Red Clay 8 p.m. JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. MLK Blvd. (423) 266-1400 Teal Vox, Monomath 9 p.m. The Honest Pint, 35 Patten Pkwy. (423) 468-4192 Michael French 9 p.m. Bud’s Sports Bar, 5751 Brainerd Road (423) 499-9878

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

Wednesday • March 7

Girl in a Coma • Aren’t They Queer Very Very Sneaky

Thursday • March 8

8-10p: Gangstagrass • Buffalo Clover 10p: Screaming Females Zippers to Nowhere • Child Support

Friday • March 9

The Bohannons • Red Necklace Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires

Saturday • March 10

Pet Lions • Gun Party • Ravello

Sunday • March 11

Holy Smokes • Belle Historie Hearts in Light • We Were Pirates

Tuesday • March 13

Miss Tess and the Bon Ton Parade Snake Doctors

Wednesday • March 14 Donna Hopkins • Red Clay


YARN with Slim Pickens FAN HALEN American Roots/Alt Country




8 FRI. 10p 9 SAT. 9:30p10 THUR. 9:30p

LOCAL BANDS COMPETE FOR A NIGHTFALL HEADLINE SPOT Ashley & the X’s WED. Jordan Hallquist & the Outfit 7p Soul Mechanic • Strung Like a Horse The Hearts in Light Blues Hammer Band THUR. Long Gone Darlings 7p Rick Rushing & the Blues Strangers The Hillbilly Sins • Uncle Lightnin’

14 15




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

Thursday, March 8: 9pm


Open Mic with Mark Holder

9 pm

Friday, March 9: 9pm


Saturday, March 10: 9pm

9 pm




Jack Corey

Hap Henninger

Tuesday, March 13: 7pm 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

Nightly Specials Mon: 50¢ Wings • $3 Yazoo Tues: $1 Tacos • 1/2 Price Margaritas Wed: Wine Night + Live Jazz! Thur: Burger & Beer Night Sat: $2 Domestics 4pm to Midnight


7:30 pm



The Ben Friberg Trio Thursday • March 8


7-11 pm

Live Jazz with

Songwriters Showcase

Jordan Hallquist and Special Guests

Friday • March 9 • 9:30pm Jami Lynn Sat. • March 10 • 9:30pm Bluegrass Pharaohs 850 Market Street• 423.634.0260

14 • The Pulse • march 8-14, 2012 •

Between the Sleeves ERNIE PAIK The Magnetic Fields “Love at the Bottom of the Sea” (Merge) there are some who believe that authenticity is a virtue in music—that the best songs are true stories and instruments should sound natural. This writer disagrees with this notion that all music should strive for authenticity and would even go so far as to say that it can limit creativity. This stance squarely sides with Stephin Merritt, the creative mind behind The Magnetic Fields, who embraces the artificial and the non-personal. The excellent new album from The Magnetic Fields, “Love at the Bottom of the Sea,” is the first since the completion of the group’s “No Synths” trilogy, so the synthesizers (loosely defined here as pretty much any electronic-sound-making device) are back with a vengeance, making the album most similar to earlier keyboard-laden pop efforts such as “Holiday” and “The Wayward Bus.” Merritt wisely avoids the well-trod ’80s revival synth-sound territory, using meticulously tweaked and distorted notes alongside acoustic instruments like the cello and tuba. Merritt, who sings with a deep, low voice, employs long-time collaborators Shirley Simms and Claudia Gonson for lead vocals on various tracks. Merritt has frequently shown a penchant for gender-bending lyrical fabrications, and this album features the extremely catchy “Andrew in Drag,” about a bigoted straight man who falls in love with a fleeting, non-existent woman who is actually his straight male friend crossdressing for the first and last time. While certain previous albums featured loose themes, this album does not; however, if there is a vague thread, it’s a certain type of twisted sense of humor and comical indignation—which has seemingly replaced the lugubrious Morrissey-style, gloriously depressing lyrics of earlier times—in songs with hit men (“Your Girlfriend’s Face”) and adultery (“My Husband’s Pied-à-Terre”). It’s apparent that Merritt’s artificiality has another advantage: impunity. As he told the webzine Drowned in Sound, “I like torturing my characters. And since they don’t exist, it’s harmless!”

Regular Gigs Thursdays Open Mic: Mark Holder 9 p.m. The Office, 901 Carter St. • (423) 634-9191 Songwriters Showcase: Jordan Hallquist with Special Guests 8 p.m. Market Street Tavern, 850 Market St. • (423) 634-0260 Thursday Night Fever with DJ Barry 7 p.m. Sugar’s Ribs, 507 Broad St. (423) 508-8956 • Jimmy Harris 7 p.m. The Palms at Hamilton, 6925 Shallowford Road • (423) 499-5055

Fridays Johnny Cash Tribute Band 5 p.m. Chattanooga Choo Choo, 1400 Market St. (423) 266-5000 • Jimmy Harris 7 p.m. The Palms at Hamilton, 6925 Shallowford Road • (423) 499-5055 • Bluegrass Night 8 p.m. The Camp House, 1427 Williams St. (423) 702-8081 •


Johnny Cash Tribute Band 5 p.m. Chattanooga Choo Choo, 1400 Market St. (423) 266-5000 • Jimmy Harris 7 p.m. The Palms at Hamilton, 6925 Shallowford Road • (423) 499-5055 •

Mondays Live Classical Music 7:30 p.m. The Camp House, 1427 Williams St. (423) 702-8081 • Big Band Night 8 p.m. The Palms at Hamilton, 6925 Shallowford Road • (423) 499-5055 •

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

Wednesdays Ben Friberg Trio 6:30 p.m. Market Street Tavern, 850 Market St. • (423) 634-0260 Folk School of Chattanooga Old Time Jam 6:30 p.m. The Camp House, 1427 Williams St. (423) 702-8081 • Jimmy Harris 6:30 p.m. The Palms at Hamilton, 6925 Shallowford Road (423) 499-5055

Arts Minding Mencia COMEDY

By Chuck Crowder

carlos mencia is rolling with a new attitude these days. He’s lost 70 pounds—and kept it off—for nearly a year now, and his comedy these days has shed some weight as well. “I used to be an angry comic,” Mencia admitted in a recent phone interview. “I’d flip on the TV and wouldn’t see my people represented. I mean, even a film called ‘Green Card’ starred Gérard Depardieu. Yea, that’s what people think of when they think of green cards—the French. But now I can flip through the channels and see Hispanics on most of the top shows—and it’s chilled me out, and brought me back around to observations based on their humorous nature alone.” Mencia’s most recent Comedy Central special, “New Territory” which premiered in December, features the slimmed down funnyman presenting, as he calls it, “new material with a fresh perspective.” “I can be brutally honest to a fault sometimes,” Mencia says. “But my style is about just putting it out there. Observations based on the real world, not the ‘ideal world’ that everyone wants to see. There’s rarely a night when I don’t think to myself, ‘I

can’t believe I actually said that on stage.’” His outrageous brand of comedy had just as an outrageous start. Growing up in Los Angeles, Mencia wasn’t a fan of stand up comedy and admits his father and the reaction of his coworkers were his inspiration to start performing onstage. “I’d come into work and make all of these funny observations about current events and my coworkers would just laugh and laugh,” he says. “They pushed me to go try it out in front of an audience and the first time I did I was hooked. Quit my job, got a gig as the doorman at the comedy club and started a career right then and there.” Since those days in the early 1990s, Mencia has worked hard to become one of America’s most popular comics. In fact, he received a CableACE Award nomination for Best Stand Up Comedy Special for his HBO Special in 2002. That nod got the attention of Comedy Central, which led to

I used to be an angry comic ... now I can flip through the channels and see Hispanics on most of the top shows—and it’s chilled me out. a few specials and a solo DVD before they teamed up to develop the stand-up/skit show “Mind of Mencia” which premiered in 2005. One of the strongest shows in the network’s history, “Mind of Mencia” averaged roughly 1.5 million viewers each week and established Mencia in the mainstream of American comedy. Carlos Mencia delivers his latest round of stand-up material live in Chattanooga on Friday and Saturday, March 9 and 10 at the Vaudeville Café. Asked what he thought about returning to the South, Mencia spoke of his last experience around these parts. “Last time I was down there I was invited to go noodling—you know—where you stick your bare hand in a hole and pull out a catfish,” Mencia recalls. “That may be OK for you guys, but I don’t like any kind of hunting where I’m the bait.”

Carlos Menica $25 7 and 9:30 p.m., Friday, March 9 8 and 10:30 p.m., Saturday, March 10 Vaudeville Café 138 Market St. (423) 517-1839 • march 8-14, 2012 • The Pulse • 15

Gifts d Antiques & Accessories

Arts & Entertainment Thur 03.08

BlackSmith’S BiStro & Bar

TASTE 5 p.m. Warehouse Row, 1110 Market St. (423) 267-1111 Nano Night 5:30 p.m. Creative Discovery Museum, 321 Chestnut St. (423) 648-6043 String Theory 6:30 p.m. Hunter Museum, 10 Bluff View (423) 266-0944 Mike Speenburg 7:30 p.m. The Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Road (423) 629-2233

Fri 03.09

“Excellent food! Freshly and expertly prepared local fare. Great attention to detail. In other towns this food would be twice as much and half as good. Burgers are amazing. Sit outside and watch the Incline. Great mixed drinks and beer selection.” –Buster sept. 2010 Online review

Wednesday through Saturday 11am to 10pm Sunday Brunch 11am to 3pm

3914 St. Elmo AvEnuE ChAttAnoogA (423) 702-5461 Find uS on FACEbook 16 • The Pulse • march 8-14, 2012 •

“No Crystal Stair” 10 a.m. Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 E. Martin Luther King Blvd. (423) 266-8658 Spring Photography Exhibition Opening Reception 6:30 p.m. Photographic Society of Chattanooga, 71 Eastgate Loop (423) 344-5643 Carlos Mencia 7 p.m. Vaudeville Café, 138 Market St. (423) 517-1839 “Falsettos” 7:30 p.m. Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga, 1918 Union Ave. (423) 987-5141 “Little Women” 7:30 p.m. The Colonnade, 264 Catoosa Circle,

TASTE • Local chefs compete as you sample the flavors of local restaurants. 03.08 • Warehouse Row, 1110 Market St. (423) 267-1111 •

Ringgold, Ga. (706) 935-9000 SETC Community Theater Performances 8 p.m. Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St. (423) 267-8534 Roxy Watson & Michelle Malone 8 p.m. Barking Legs Theatre, 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-5347

Sat 03.10 Wintersong 2012 Workshop & Concert 10 a.m. Mountain Arts Community Center, 809 Kentucky Ave. (706) 581-8025 Rainbarrel Workshop 10 a.m. Tennessee Aquarium, 1 Broad St. (423) 648-2496 Steampunk and Robots 10 a.m. The Public LIbrary, 1001 Broad St. (423) 757-5310 “Falsettos” 2 p.m. Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga,

1918 Union Ave. (423) 987-5141 Pretty in Pink Movie Night 6 p.m. New United Missionary Baptist Church, 2929 Tunnel Road (423) 331-3938 H*Art Gallery Fundraiser 7 p.m. Hart Gallery, 110 East Main St. (423) 521-4707 “Little Women” 7:30 p.m. The Colonnade, 264 Catoosa Circle, Ringgold, Ga. (706) 935-9000 Carlos Mencia 8 p.m. Vaudeville Café, 138 Market St. (423) 517-1839

Sun 03.11 “Falsettos” 3 p.m. Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga, 1918 Union Ave. (423) 987-5141 Ballet in Cinema: LeCorsaire 4:30 p.m. Majestic

Theatre, 311 Broad St. Wah! 6 p.m. Barking Legs Theatre, 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-5347

Mon 03.12

SETC Competition Performances

Tue 03.13

UniqUe • eclectic • Original Gifts • Jewelry & Art • Home & Bath 330 Frazier Ave. M-F: 10-6 • Sat: 10-5 423.266.0585 The Plum Nelly Shop and Gallery

Open Mic Stand-Up 7 p.m. Vaudeville Café, 138 Market St. (423) 517-1839 Chattanooga Writer’s Guild 7 p.m. Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library, 1001 Broad St. (423) 757-5310


1 AR G




Southern Circuit Film Series: “A Good Man” 6 p.m. Loose Cannon Gallery, 1800A Rossville Ave. (423) 648-0992

MAR 7, 8 & 9

1 R P A

Chattanooga Theatre Centre

Tickets & Schedules: VISIT OR CALL


Wed 03.14 An Evening with Ketch & Critter of Old Crow 7:30 p.m. Barking Legs Theatre, 1307 Dodds Ave. (423) 624-5347


Now HiriNg

Hospital Housekeepers Energetic, customer-focused, professional housekeepers needed. If you want to contribute to excellent patient care and be part of a dynamic, growing team, then apply today. Apply with Xanitos at 2525 DeSales Avenue (Human Resources). This is a non-smoking, nicotine-testing environment.

(423) 495-8687 EOE. M/F/D/V

Re: Structure (thru April 13) 11 a.m. AVA Gallery, 30 Frazier Ave. (423) 265-1282 • Children of Hangzhou: Connecting with China (thru May 13) 11 a.m. Creative Discovery Museum, 321 Chestnut St. (423) 648-6043 Conversations 11 a.m. In-Town Gallery, 26A Frazier Ave. (423)267-9214 Color (thru March 31) 10 a.m. Shuptrine Fine Art Group, 2646 Broad St. (423) 266-4453 Brushstrokes and Bracelets (thru March 31) 11 a.m. In-Town Gallery, 26A Frazier Ave. (423)267-9214 Environments (thru March 31) 10 a.m. River Gallery, 400 E. 2nd St. (423) 265-5033 •

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


SANDWICHES, SOUPS, BAKES POTATOES, HOMEMADE DESSERTS Store Hours: Mon – Fri: 11am-8pm, Sat: 11am-4pm, Sun: 11am-3pm

It just doesn’t get any better than GollyWhoppers. 6337 E. Brainerd Rd • Chattanooga • (423) 855-2001 • march 8-14, 2012 • The Pulse • 17



Building a Better Burger “

Every component of their burgers is selected with the utmost care. The meat is grass-fed Hereford beef from farms right here in Tennessee. The buns are sourdough, made especially for Southern Burger Company by The Bread Basket. By D.E. Langley

in the next few days, southern burger company will celebrate the one-year anniversary of their food truck hitting the streets in Chattanooga. The overwhelmingly positive response they have received led them to open their first brick-and-mortar location on Jan. 5 at Warehouse Row. The welcome has been just as enthusiastic, for the same reason their truck has proved so popular—you can’t get a burger like this anywhere else. Every component of their burgers is selected with the utmost care. The meat (obviously the foundation of any good burger) is grass-fed Hereford beef from farms right here in Tennessee. The buns are sourdough, made especially for Southern Burger Company by The Bread Basket. The toppings are locally farmed, and their character is attested to by the fact that Benton’s Bacon and Wickle’s Pickles are the only

Southern Burger Co. 1110 Market St. (423) 825-4919 Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday

options worthy of augmenting their burgers. Just as much thought and care go into the rest of the menu. The fries are cut inhouse each morning, and the

18 • The Pulse • march 8-14, 2012 •

onion rings often sell out—they only make so many each day. The sauces to dip them in are made in-house—right down to the ketchup! That focus on quality translates into one of the best and most unique burger experiences you can have in Chattanooga. Their premium burgers include familiar options as well as singular combinations I’ve never even thought of before. I settled on the Jalapeño Burger,

an excellent example of how Southern Burger Company thinks outside the box. Freshly sliced jalapeños join cheddar cheese, mayo and ketchup, as well as a house-made bacon jam that has to be tasted to be believed. The first thing I noticed was how the flavor of the meat itself stood out, even when coupled with such flavorful toppings. The amount of peppers was just right to leave my mouth tingling, and worked extremely well in conjunction with the sweetness of the jam, as well as that of the bun. Speaking of the bun, it almost boggled my mind that it held up so well with the amount of toppings—it was just as firm on the last bite as it was on the first. I tried both the fries and onion rings. The fries were just at

the right level of doneness, and you could definitely tell they were made fresh—quite a far cry from the standard frozen options. The onion rings were extra crunchy, with just enough coating, and were great dipped in their Garlic Mayoli. In addition to the Mayoli, Southern Burger has many more house-made options for dipping. The Buttermilk Ranch was sinfully delicious with the fries, and their Bleu CheeseJalapeño is an astoundingly creative blend of tang and heat. If you can’t make it to Warehouse Row, have no fear— Southern Burger Company’s truck is still making the rounds in Hamilton County for lunch and special events (look for them at Chattanooga Market and Nightfall this year). If you see them out and about, be sure to stop by as quick as you can—it’s not a rare occurrence for them to sell out on any given day. If you want to see when they’ll be in your area, you can check their oft-updated Facebook page to get the skinny. You can even book the truck for your special event—it’s hard to imagine a better option for a large get-together or a pool party. In the next month, they’ll be adding craft beers to the menu (with happy hour specials), which really is appropriate—if there’s such a thing as a craft burger, this is it. Each item on the menu is thoughtfully put together, and you can tell how passionate they are as soon as you exchange a few words with them. Stop in and see why so many Chattanoogans have been going bonkers for Southern Burger Company.


Mean Mug C O F F E E H O U S E • march 8-14, 2012 • The Pulse • 19

Free Will Astrology ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Controlled hysteria is what is required,” said playwright Arthur Miller in speaking about his creative process. “To exist constantly in a state of controlled hysteria. It’s agony. But everyone has agony. The difference is that I try to take my agony home and teach it to sing.” I hope this little outburst inspires you, Aries. It’s an excellent time for you to harness your hysteria and instruct your agony in the fine art of singing. To boost your chances of success in pulling off this dicey feat, use every means at your disposal to have fun and stay amused. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The Cherokee Heritage website wants people to know that not all Native American tribes have the same traditions. In the Cherokee belief system, it’s Grandmother Sun and Grandfather Moon, which is the opposite of most tribes. There are no Cherokee shamans, only medicine men and women and adawehis, or religious leaders. They don’t have “pipe carriers,” don’t do the Sun Dance, and don’t walk the “Good Red Road.” In fact, they walk the White Path, have a purification ceremony called “Going to Water,” and perform the Green Corn ceremony as a ritual renewal of life. I suggest you do a similar clarification for the group you’re part of and the traditions you hold dear, Taurus. Ponder your tribe’s unique truths and ways. Identify them and declare them. GEMINI (May 21-June 20):

In the coming weeks, the activity going on inside your mind and heart will be especially intense and influential—even if you don’t explicitly express it. When you speak your thoughts and feelings out loud, they will have unusual power to change people’s minds and rearrange their moods. When you keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself, they will still leak all over everything, bending and shaping the energy field around you. That’s why I urge you to take extra care as you manage what’s going on within you. Make sure the effect you’re having is the effect you want to have.

20 • The Pulse • march 8-14, 2012 •

rob brezsny

CANCER (June 21-July 22):

Artist Richard Kehl tells the story of a teenage girl who got the chance to ask a question of the eminent psychologist Carl Jung. “Professor, you are so clever. Could you please tell me the shortest path to my life’s goal?” Without a moment’s hesitation Jung replied, “The detour!” I invite you to consider the possibility that Jung’s answer might be meaningful to you right now, Cancerian. Have you been churning out overcomplicated thoughts about your mission? Are you at risk of getting a bit too grandiose in your plans? Maybe you should at least dream about taking a shortcut that looks like a detour or a detour that looks like a shortcut.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): An old

Chinese proverb says: “My barn having burned to the ground, I can see the moon.” The speaker of those words was making an effort to redefine a total loss as a partial gain. The building may have been gone, but as a result he or she had a better view of a natural wonder that was previously difficult to observe. I don’t foresee any of your barns going down in flames, Leo, so I don’t expect you’ll have to make a similar redefinition under duress. However, you have certainly experienced events like that in the past. And now would be an excellent time to revise your thinking about their meaning. Are you brave enough and ingenious enough to reinterpret your history? It’s find-the-redemption week.


(Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Numerous websites on the Internet allege that Greek philosopher Plato made this statement, which I regard as highly unlikely. But in any case, the thought itself has some merit. And in accordance with your current astrological omens, I will make it your motto for the week. This is an excellent time to learn more about and become closer to the people you care for, and nothing would help you accomplish that better than getting together for intensive interludes of fooling around

and messing around and horsing around.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves,” said Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl. His advice might be just what you need to hear right now, Libra. Have you struggled, mostly fruitlessly, to change a stagnant situation that has resisted your best efforts? Is there a locked door you’ve been banging on, to no avail? If so, I invite you to redirect your attention. Reclaim the energy you have been expending on closeddown people and moldering systems. Instead, work on the unfinished beauty of what lies closest at hand: yourself. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In this passage from “Still Life with Woodpecker,” Tom Robbins provides a hot tip you should keep in mind. “There are essential and inessential insanities. Inessential insanities are a brittle amalgamation of ambition, aggression, and preadolescent anxiety—garbage that should have been dumped long ago. Essential insanities are those impulses one instinctively senses are virtuous and correct, even though peers may regard them as coo-coo.” I’ll add this, Scorpio: Be crazily wise and wisely crazy in the coming weeks. It will be healthy for you. Honor the wild ideas that bring you joy and the odd desires that remind you of your core truths. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-

Dec. 21): I don’t think you will need literal medicine this week. Your physical vigor should be good. But I’m hoping you will seek out some spirit medicine —healing agents that fortify the secret and subtle parts of your psyche. Where do you find spirit medicine? Well, the search itself will provide the initial dose. Expose yourself to stirring art and music and films; have conversations with empathic friends and the spirits of dead loved ones; spend time in the presence of a natural wonder; fantasize about a thrilling adventure you will have one day; and imagine who you want to be three years from now.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22Jan. 19): Each of us is the star of our own movie. There are a few other lead and supporting actors who round out the cast, but everyone else in the world is an extra. Now and then, though, people whom we regard as minor characters suddenly rise to prominence and play a pivotal role in our unfolding drama. I expect this phenomenon is now occurring or will soon occur for you, Capricorn. So please be willing to depart from the script. Open yourself to the possibility of improvisation. People who have been playing bit parts may have more to contribute than you imagine. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb.

18): The “cocktail party effect” refers to your ability to hear your name being spoken while in the midst of a social gathering’s cacophony. This is an example of an important practice, which is how to discern truly meaningful signals embedded in the noise of all the irrelevant information that surrounds you. You should be especially skilled at doing this in the coming weeks, Aquarius—and it will be crucial that you make abundant use of your skill. As you navigate your way through the clutter of symbols and the overload of data, be alert for the few key messages that are highly useful.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Shunryu Suzuki was a Zen master whose books helped popularize Zen Buddhism in America. A student once asked him, “How much ego do you need?” His austere reply was “Just enough so that you don’t step in front of a bus.” While I sympathize with the value of humility, I wouldn’t go quite that far. I think that a slightly heftier ego, if offered up as a work of art, can be a gift to the world. What do you think, Pisces? How much ego is good? To what degree can you create your ego so that it’s a beautiful and dynamic source of power for you and an inspiration for other people rather than a greedy, needy parasite that distorts the truth? This is an excellent time to ruminate on such matters.

Jonesin’ Crossword

Summitt Pianos

matt jones


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“You Missed!”—he shoots, he doesn’t score. Across

1. Prescription figures 6. Frenemy, in part 9. Tenth-grader, for short 13. Sportscaster Shaquille 14. Not real, like some crab meat: abbr. 16. Shade darker than eggshell 17. “Spiffy!” 18. 1958 Best Picture winner 19. Summers abroad? 20. Add atop a refuse pile, after aiming out and missing? 23. Good, in Guatemala 24. Room where church records are kept 25. “Isn’t that somethin’?” 26. Abbr. at an airport terminal 27. Cave under weight 28. Placing, at the track 30. Strikes, in Biblical terms 33. It’s inside an env. 34. Sports uniform for an all-out brawl, after aiming back and missing? 39. Cambodian currency

40. Fox News analyst, often 41. Focus for some committees 44. Hit the jackpot 45. Pai ___ (gambling game) 48. National codebreaking gp. (found in VACATION) 49. Member of a duo that “went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat” 52. Olympic swimmer with 12 medals ___ Torres 53. What your dog might do after eating his way through your linen closet, after aiming in and missing? 56. Actor Jon of “Homicide” 57. Marcia and Felicity’s co-star 58. Electronic bracelet site 59. Work without ___ (take risks) 60. Hold, like a vehicle 61. Magnus Carlsen’s game 62. IDs often used in identity theft 63. Pilot’s heading: abbr. 64. “M*A*S*H” setting


1. “Surprised?” followup 2. Like many musical wonders 3. Prepared like some ahi 4. Shirley who was painted gold in “Goldfinger” 5. Like molasses 6. Square cookie 7. Leaves out 8. This clue’s number 9. Fortune teller 10. Linoleum pattern shapes, sometimes 11. Just being there 12. In a suddenly quiet way 15. Stadium divisions 21. Egg-shaped 22. Heavyweight boxer Fields 27. Rolls-Royce’s parent company 29. Org. that operates the world’s largest particle physics lab 30. One-person opera performances

31. Ma who says “baa” 32. Happy acquaintance? 34. Responds to (in a certain way) 35. “Letters to a Young Contrarian” author Christopher 36. Freeze again, like slush to ice 37. Rapper with the 2011 hit “Work Out” 38. Reeeeeally long time 42. “Sesame Street” org., back in the day 43. Seals (out) 45. “Daily Manhattan media news and gossip” site 46. Ultimatum ender 47. Peace Nobelist Lech ___ 50. Fencing swords 51. Others, in Spanish 52. “Tiny Bubbles” crooner 54. Muesli ingredient 55. It’s put on a chair in a prank

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. 0562. • march 8-14, 2012 • The Pulse • 21

Life in the Noog

chuck crowder

(Not) Crazy for March Madness it’s that time of year again—time for the ncaa basketball playoffs, otherwise known as “March Madness.” “March” because it happens during the month-long drought of the annual sports season rotation—right between football ending and baseball beginning. And “Madness” because of the hectic single elimination tournament schedule and because nearly 90 percent of those sportsstarved “fans” watching it have no idea which teams are any better than any other. Let’s get something straight from the git go: Nobody really cares about college basketball. Football is different. Football embodies the spirit of the colligate experience—rooting and cheering for your favorite team either in person at the stadium or in some sports bar with Buffalo Wings and an endless supply of Bud Light. It also encourages people to wear a school’s colors on game day and to attach simply ridiculous accoutrements to their vehicle for four whole months each year. What’s more, college football enlists just as many fans (in these parts, at least) who barely finished high school, let alone set foot in any room on their team’s campus that didn’t have a toilet within five feet of the door. As a result, merchandising sales go through the roof and all of a sudden your college basketball team gets new uni-

forms from “anonymous supporters.” You see, football is a game Joe Six-Pack can sink whatever teeth he has left into. It’s rough, dirty, spiteful and easy to follow because all the games happen on Saturdays during the fall. And, since you’re not limited to liking a non-existent alma mater, choosing a favorite team can be as subjective as whichever one you and your friends dub as “bad ass” or the one mama and them like the most. College basketball is different. The game is fast and confusing, so it’s hard to follow.

22 • The Pulse • march 8-14, 2012 •

When March rolls around and there aren’t any other sports to watch on the tube, we all suddenly become experts on college basketball. There are too many games in a season and they fall on varying days of the week, so it’s hard to follow. And, the coach wears a suit like a college professor for Pete’s sake, so it’s hard to follow. In fact, basketball, on the college level at least, is reserved for smart fans. That’s why most people can’t tell you who won last night’s game at any time during the season—with the possible exception of their own alma mater. However, when March rolls around and there aren’t any other sports to watch on the tube, we all suddenly become experts on college basketball. The office pool kicks in and for a mere $5 a blank set of brackets is laid before you like a jigsaw puzzle of possibilities for your choosing. Thank

goodness the starting teams are listed on each side of the page or we wouldn’t even know which ones are contending in the first place. With pencils poised, we think about the teams we’ve heard people talk about (UNC, Kentucky, Florida State), other teams known for their basketball prowess (UConn, Duke, Kansas), and the colleges we’ve never heard of but sound promising (Xavier, Marquette, Butler). Like a game of “would you rather,” we rely on the limited attention we’ve paid the sports page and dumb luck to carefully predict from the 64 teams which are going to be lucky enough to eventually make it to the Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final 4 and then the championship game itself. Then, based solely on the chance of turning our $5 investment into a $100 payoff, we sit by the TV and pretend to truly care about college basketball for one solid month. As teams we’ve never heard of upset the corn-fed teams we thought were shoe-ins simply because of their Midwest or Northeast campus locations, our bubble starts to burst. It’s about this time when the two or three people in the entire office building who ac-

tually know how to manage bracket odds begin calculating the statistical possibilities of a comeback by anyone faced with a few losses so far. “If Temple upsets Missouri you’ll be back in because there’s no way Nombawamba State is going to beat Northeastern … that would be impossible. Plus, there’s no way for Stan to come back anyway because he had Ohio State going all the way … what an idiot.” As the brackets start to collapse toward the Final Four, more and more coworkers fall by the wayside, victims of either round ball ignorance or hoops arrogance. And even though those colleagues still in the running seem to average 6-feet 2-inches in height, everyone is amazed when the final buzzer sounds and a clear winner emerges—Doris in accounting (who had to be told she won the morning after the championship game). Enjoy the madness! 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.

1200 Taft Highway Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

1300 Broad Street Monday - Friday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. • march 8-14, 2012 • The Pulse • 23

The Pulse 9.10 » March 8-14, 2012  

Chattanooga's Weekly Alternative

The Pulse 9.10 » March 8-14, 2012  

Chattanooga's Weekly Alternative