Page 1

July 2021





a Charleston City Paper publication

Ashley Rose Stanol

Volume 1, Number 12

July 14, 2021

Digs, our monthly home-focused publication, connects the people who make the Lowcountry special with content they’ve been missing. Digs gets up close and personal with stories on local personalities, home design and remodeling, plants and gardening, home repair and real estate. To learn more about advertising opportunities offered through Digs, contact our advertising team at (843) 577-5304 or send an email to: sales@charlestoncitypaper.com. Dig it!





Andy Brack

Sam Spence

Ashley Rose Stanol

Toni Reale

Published by City Paper Publishing, LLC Members: J. Edward Bell | Andrew C. Brack Views expressed in Charleston City Paper cover the spectrum and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Charleston City Paper takes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts. © 2021. All content is copyrighted and the property of City Paper Publishing, LLC. Material may not be reproduced without permission. Proud member of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia and the South Carolina Press Association. ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: sales@charlestoncitypaper.com For staff email addresses, visit us online.

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The critic who defines minimalism By Andy Brack

Stepping into Jim Voigt’s brick ranch home in North Charleston is (understatement alert) an exercise in ultimate minimalism.

The distinguishing feature of the empty front room is the gray shag carpet marked by parallel sweep paths from a vacuum cleaner. The walls are empty. A nearby dining room has a marble table with four chairs. Again, nothing is on the walls. Next door atop a counter is a dorm-size refrigerator, but it’s unplugged and empty. Beneath is a dishwasher replete with the stickers that were on it when it was installed 15 years ago. Down the hall on the left is a brown-themed bathroom (one towel). Across the way is a bedroom that’s empty, except for eight stacks of CDs. Then there’s the actual bedroom, which features a king bed and wall-mounted TV. A third bedroom almost screams: THE STUFF IS IN HERE. But there’s little more than several more stacks of CDs, albums and a Fender Stratocaster guitar from 1985 that ground out punk tunes three decades ago. Oh, there’s carpet. It’s still gray. Folks, you’re in the spartan home of a minimalist par excellence, the legendary Charleston broadcaster The Critic, afternoon DJ on 105.5 The Bridge.

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Neither the small refrigerator nor the dishwasher are used in Voigt’s home. He eats and drinks out.

Jim “The Critic” Voigt will tell you he has hundreds of favorite songs. We asked him to narrow it down to his top 100 now. “I’m not saying they’re THE greatest,” he qualifies. “But they’re MY favorites.” To make the exercise a challenge, we asked for the songs in order of preference. His list includes 20 songs from the 1950s and ’60s as well as 20 each from the four decades that followed. Enjoy: 100. “Evil” - Interpol 99. “Alone again or” - Love 98. “Favorite shirt” - The Figgs 97. “Stay with me” - The Dictators 96. “The new world” - X 95. “Inside of love” - Nada Surf 94. “Simmer down” - The Wailers 93. “Haven’t got a clue” - Dramarama 92. “Radio radio” - Elvis Costello 91. “Everyday things” - The Plimsouls 90. “Baby goes to 11” - Superdrag 89. “Break on through” - The Doors 88. “American music” - Violent Femmes 87. “Dreaming” - Blondie 86. “Touch me I’m sick” - Mudhoney 85. “King of diamonds” - Motopony 84. “Jailhouse rock” - Elvis Presley 83. “It’s a shame about Ray” - The Lemonheads 82. “Down on the street” - The Stooges 81. “Absolutely sweet Marie” - Jason and the Scorchers 80. “Keg on my coffin” - The Push Stars 79. “I’ll feel a whole lot better” - The Byrds 78. “Jimmy’s fantasy” - Redd Kross 77. “Ridin’ in my car” - NRBQ 76. “In between days” - The Cure 75. “Hate to say I told you so” - The Hives 74. “I saw her again” - The Mamas & the Papas 73. “Time bomb” - The Old 97’s 72. “Marquee moon” - Television 71. “If I should fall from grace with God” - The Pogues 70. “Better off now that you’re gone” - Will Hoge 69. “Hot fun in the summertime” - Sly & the Family Stone 68. “Evangeline” - Matthew Sweet 67. “Dance the night away” - Van Halen 66. “How much more” - The Go-Go’s 65. “She doesn’t like weed” - The Dugans 64. “Sunday morning” - The Velvet Underground 63. “Breed” - Nirvana 62. “Roadrunner” - The Modern Lovers 61. “Another nail in my heart” - Squeeze 60. “I need love” - Courtney Jaye 59. “It came out of the sky” - Creedence Clearwater Revival 58. “Backwater” - The Meat Puppets 57. “Don’t come close” - The Ramones

56. “Everyday is like Sunday” - Morrissey 55. “That’s me trying” - William Shatner and Ben Folds 54. “Folsom Prison blues” - Johnny Cash 53. “The wagon” - Dinosaur Jr. 52. “On your radio” - Joe Jackson 51. “I could never take the place of your man” - Prince 50. “Ball and biscuit” - The White Stripes 49. “Roll over Beethoven” - Chuck Berry 48. “There you are” - Goo Goo Dolls 47. “No matter what” - Badfinger 46. “Gardening at night” - R.E.M. 45. “I never knew you” - The Avett Brothers 44. “Sweet thing” - Van Morrison 43. “Blue canoe” - Blue Mountain 42. “Hanging on the telephone” - The Nerves 41. “Makes no sense at all” - Husker Du 40. “You’re no rock n’ roll fun” - Sleater Kinney 39. “Subterranean homesick blues” - Bob Dylan 38. “Sooner or later” - The Feelies 37. “Safe European home” - The Clash 36. “Monkey gone to heaven” - Pixies

35. “Portland, Oregon” - Loretta Lynn and Jack White 34. “So sad about us” - The Who 33. “Radiation Vibe” - Fountains of Wayne 32. “Cruel to be kind” - Nick Lowe 31. “Sink hole” - Drive-By Truckers 30. “19th nervous breakdown” - The Rolling Stones 29. “The long cut” - Uncle Tupelo 28. “God save the Queen” - The Sex Pistols 27. “Fisherman’s blues” - The Waterboys 26. “Small doses” - Watershed 25. “Waterloo sunset” - The Kinks 24. “Baby what’s wrong” - The Cynics 23. “Girl of my dreams” - Bram Tchaikovsky 22. “Sometime to return” - Soul Asylum 21. “South” - Hippo Campus 20. “God only knows” - The Beach Boys 19. “Cut your hair” - Pavement 18. “Teenage kicks” - The Undertones 17. “Kid” - The Pretenders 16. “I wanna know girls” - Portastatic 15. “You just may be the one” - The Monkees 14. “Blue” - The Jayhawks 13. “Another girl, another planet” - The Only Ones 12. “Judas kiss” - The Del Lords 11. “Portions for foxes” - Rilo Kiley 10. “A hard day’s night” - The Beatles 9. “Born with a tail” - Supersuckers 8. “Ball and chain” - Social Distortion 7. “Take the skinheads bowling” - Camper Van Beethoven

6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1.

“Chasing Heather crazy” - Guided By Voices “Communication breakdown” - Led Zeppelin “September Gurls” - Big Star “Left in the dark” - The Vertebrats “Starry eyes” - The Records “Bastards of young” - The Replacements

What The Critic Missed

The beauty of lists of favorites is they are personal choices informed by a life of listening. A value of lists is that they may open new tunes and bands for you to experience, just as The Critic exposes listeners to every week through his Sunday “The Critic’s Choice” radio show (105.5 FM, The Bridge). For example, we’d forgotten how good some songs are (“God only knows,” “Gardening at night”) and we found some bands not on our radar (Blue Mountain, Will Hogue, The Hives). So we hope the list sparks some thought — and some discussion — about what songs or artists The Critic failed to include. For example, where are tunes from The English Beat, XTC, Foo Fighters, Cake, The B-52s, The Jam, the Allman Brothers, Romeo Void and The Police? But then again, what would you omit? You can listen to the Critic’s 100 top picks online at charlestoncitypaper.com. —Andy Brack

Photos by Ashley Rose Stanol

There’s something that minimalist Jim “The Critic” Voit has a lot of: CDs.


THE CRITIC’S TOP 100 SONGS: 2021 Edition


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“John Lennon wishes he could be me when he wrote, ‘Imagine no possessions,’ ” Voigt quipped. “I live it. He was a millionaire.”

A radio institution

For almost three decades, The Critic has been a staple in Charleston radio. He moved here in 1992 after leaving the band scene in New York to live in a house in Shadowmoss that his brother rented. Voigt intended to keep the band lifestyle going in Charleston. But soon, 96 Wave co-owner • Interior/Exterior • Wood Repair Woody Bartlett, who had a weekend radio show • Over 25 years experience • Sheetrock Repair called “The Cutting Edge,” heard that Voigt wrote music reviews. He asked Voigt to be on the show. • Attention to detail • Free Written Estimates One thing led to another. Out of it was born “The • References • Ceiling Repair Critic” who became the snarky, wise-ass sidekick during a morning show with hosts Atom Taler • Small/Large Jobs • Texture to Smooth and Richard Todd. • Licensed • Insured “I never thought it would last,” Voigt said. “Then they John Lennon started having me every week. It was wishes he a spoof on comcould be mentary and I’d be the guy who would me when go out to all of the places.” he wrote, In the late ‘Imagine no ‘90s, Voigt left Charleston to do possessions.’ ” DJ work at a rock —The Critic station in Atlanta, but was back a year later with an afternoon show. That lasted until 96 Wave changed ownership and formats in 2007. A few months later, he was on the air at The Bridge, where he has an afternoon LOCAL show and his highly curated, eclectic Sunday SMAL L BUS morning “Critic’s Choice” collection where you INESS Charleston City Paper S P OT L IGHTcan hear everything from country to punk. shines a spotlight When he’s not on the air or out and about (“I I inte“ nd the really don’t eat at home”), he’s listening to music stor e each week on a to be a plac neighb e for or trying to figure out where to travel next. Voigt book ors and local small business lo social vers to likes to take one-day trips all over the country a safe ize, to be childrehaven for to give readers a n to where he can eat, drink, hear some music and secure feel . better appreciation see a ballgame. Called “Trippin’ with the Critic,” ” listeners get to hear all about the trips on his for the diversity of Sunday broadcasts. commerce in the A typical trip day follows what he described Lowcountry. B o ok s as a perfect future trip to Chicago: “Fly in early ho p of fers h a V in the morning and have a good breakfast at ven fo r b o ok lovers a cool Chicago spot. Do some pre-game barWe encourage you to hopping in Wrigleyville and see a daytime Cubs nominate a qualified game at Wrigley Field. Do some post-game barsmall business for a hopping in Wrigleyville, grab some dinner, hop sponsored spotlight on the CTA back to the airport and fly back to Charleston that night. A good day of living and profile and special a full, fun day. Plus, I’m a chiseler, and this way I advertising package. cut out paying for a hotel.” Voigt freely admits he’s a one-of-kind guy who hasn’t plugged in his tiny refrigerator because “I don’t need it.” And because he doesn’t need stuff, NOMINATE TODAY! CITYPAPERSPOTLIGHT.COM/NOMINATE he smiles and says, “That’s why I’m the happiest Brought to you by Nephron Pharmaceuticals, man in Charleston.” Mount Zion AME Church and the Charleston City Paper

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opened Miller aLinda Tu Miller lov Booksh rning Page es boo bookst op in ks. Sh ore two booklo Creek Goose vers, new years ago to e opened her in 2018 ser ve as time tog and old to them, , to be a haven ether. inspire now an d and spe for d hope readin g is wo fully for nd “If there nderful.” their life is times, given up a portion of that a genera A com the ha and a bit of see munity tion tha esting place books, t has lar gather to lea then Tur king out and that con gely found ing pla rea ning Pa always tinue to rn histor y an The bo ce ge Books ding interd abou in the okshop inspire. children for t great off ho efr in of the p ont of ers books. lives “It’s a genera providing will be It’s a com more than place wh tion com wh jus bo ere t the lat oks munit y ere people ing up, “A place space, est and pro to can he to introdu black lives ma readin she exp ar autho ving gs and Americ tte ce and lains, an aut rs, enjoy listen celebrate r,” she says. children hors. A to com any po . The sto new etr number pla y re offers munit y leade of academ ce to bone up er Africanrs read a home on 216 Sa ic history, subjec to to book int Jam ts.” or You can clubs, es Ave hang out #F, Go p.m., Mo and vis PRESEN ose Cr it the sto nday thr eek • re from ough Sa TED BY 843.5 11 a.m turday. 01 .7223 . to 5

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THE LOWDOWN ON THE CRITIC Birthplace: Massapequa, N.Y., home of Jerry Seinfeld, Alec Baldwin and the Baldwin brothers, and the rockabilly band, The Stray Cats. Education: “One year at the University of Maryland. I remain a college dropout.” Profession: Radio deejay with 96 Wave (1992-2007) and 105.5 The Bridge (2008 to present). Past profession: Musician/ guitarist/vocalist for several garage/punk bands. You might be surprised to learn: “In the band days, we got to play at CBGB’s and other legendary venues in New York. We also opened 96 Wavefest at Brittlebank Park in front of 40,000 people. And we once had the pleasure and honor of opening up for and meeting the Ramones, who turned out to be very friendly and personable.” Book on bedside table: In Polite Company by Charleston’s own Gervais Hagerty. Something I have too much of: “There is no one more minimalistic than me. The only possessions I have in abundance are my albums and CDs — and I need to downsize on those!” Hobbies: “I try to start each weekday morning with a workout in my home gym known as The Pain Cave. Then it’s a couple of hours of listening to music to play on Sunday morning’s Critic’s Choice program.” Three people I’d like to dine with: Chrissie Hynde, Hank Aaron, Paul Westerberg. My philosophy: “ ‘Have a good time all the time.’ Actually, I stole that from This Is Spinal Tap. How about, ‘Make the most of your 24 hours.’ I think that’s original. Could be stolen, too, though.”

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Favorite thing not involving beer or music: “I am a big-time sports fan! Trying to get to every MLB and NFL stadium. I’m also trying to visit all 50 states for my Trippin With The Critic radio travel series.”


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Air plants can thrive in your homes By Toni Reale, Special to Digs Air plants are miraculous pocket-to-palm sized plants with incredible diversity. There are more than 700 species of air plants in the world including one iconic to Southern landscapes: Spanish moss. All air plants are members of the bromeliad family and the genus tillandsia. Despite the name, air plants need a bit more than air to survive and thrive. These unique plants are epiphytes, meaning they do not root in soil, but grow attached to other plant life, such as trees. In their natural habitat, they get all of their nutrients from rain and any debris carried by air or clustered near it. Air plants don’t have a traditional root system. Instead, they absorb nutrients through Reale trichomes, which look like tiny white hairs on the surface of their leaves, giving them their silvery-like appearance. Trichomes aren’t hairs at all. Rather, they are tiny vessels made of living and dead cells that funnel water and nutrients into the plant. The dead cells absorb and store water for future use. According to the Toronto Botanical Garden, the amount of trichomes varies per species depending on the environmental conditions of their native habitat. Tillandsia that look more “fuzzy” have more trichomes and are native to more desert-like environments. The fewer trichomes on a plant means that its natural habitat is more tropical. The general amount of trichomes influences the type of care that specific species of air plants require. The more fuzzy, the more sunlight it can take and the more drought-tolerant that plant can be.

Digs 07.14.2021

Great starter plants


Although the biology of air plants seems complex, air plants are excellent starter plants for the beginner plant parent. The most important thing to consider when adding an air plant to your collection is placement. Lighting is key, and too much light will burn the plant; too little will not provide optimal growing conditions. Air plants in general thrive in bright yet, indirect light. As a general rule, these lighting conditions can be found 3 feet to 5 feet away from a southern or western facing window. If placement is limited in your home, monitor the sunlight coming in through the panes over a few days to determine where optimal lighting would be. Since tillandsia do not require soil and therefore remove the

Spanish moss is a member of the pineapple family. need for a pot, they can be fun to style in your home. Many find hanging plant holders, glass globes, corks and even sea urchin shells to display air plants. A quick scroll on Pinterest will be sure to inspire. Keep in mind that glass globes or terrariums amplify the sunlight that reaches a plant, which means you may have to adjust the placement of your plant. A proper watering and fertilizing schedule will ensure your air plant lives a long, healthy life. At Roadside Blooms, we give all of our air plants a weekly bath. Using room temperature tap water, we submerge our plants for thirty minutes to one hour. Then, we shake off any excess water and gently dry upsidedown overnight before placing them back into their holders or containers. Because trapped water can rot the bottom of the stalk. Every other week, we spray a small amount of tillandsia-specific fertilizer into the water before dunking. This is because they are not getting the same amount of nutrients in your home as

Andy Brack

they would outside. Your persistent care will pay off as most air plants flower annually. Some go through a blushing phase where the plant will turn a little pink or red before it flowers. Unfortunately, after the mother tillandsia blooms, it dies, but offspring grow in its place. Don’t throw out any “dead”-looking air plants after they flower. Keep caring for them as you would if they were still alive because they are working hard to grow their “pups,” or baby plants. They are slow growers, but once you see those baby tillandsia growing underneath the leaves of the mother plant, the care was worth it. Toni Reale is the owner of Roadside Blooms, a unique flower and plant shop in Park Circle in North Charleston. It specializes in weddings, events and everyday deliveries using nearly 100 percent American- and locally grown blooms. Online at www.roadsideblooms.com. 4610 Spruill Ave., Suite 102, North Charleston.

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Profile for CharlestonCityPaper

Charleston City Paper: Digs - July 2021  

Founded in 1997, the locally owned and operated Charleston City Paper is Charleston’s only weekly alternative newspaper and the second-large...

Charleston City Paper: Digs - July 2021  

Founded in 1997, the locally owned and operated Charleston City Paper is Charleston’s only weekly alternative newspaper and the second-large...

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