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News & Opinion

week at a glance JUL 31-AUG 6, 2013 | WWW.CONNECTSAVANNAH.COM


this week | compiled by robin wright gunn |

Week At A Glance is Connect Savannah’s listing of various events over the coming week. If you would like an event listed, please email Include specific dates, time, locations with addresses, cost and a contact number. Deadline for inclusion is 5pm Friday, to appear in next Wednesday’s edition.




Electric Grandma provides the electronica background soundtrack for this month’s First Friday Art March

Film: Remember My Name (1978, USA)

What: Psychotronic Film Society presents this "lost" drama thriller, in honor of star Geraldine Chaplin's 69th birthday. With Anthony Perkins, Alfre Woodard, and Jeff Goldblum. Ages 15+ When: 8 p.m Where: Sentient Bean, 13 East Park Ave. Cost: $6 Info:

Film Series: Art in the 21st Century

What: Daily marathon screenings of the

Peabody Award-winning film series featuring in depth interviews and profiles of the contemporary art scene. When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily Where: Jepson Center, 207 West York St. Cost: $12 museum admission. Free for Telfair members. Free for military and their families through Blue Star Museums. Info:


Thursday Cancer Survivorship Series: Taking the Leap into Fitness What: Another installment of this

lecture series for cancer survivors. Addresses the physical, emotional, spiritual, and social aspects of healing from cancer. Register by phone. When: 5:30 p.m Where: Curtis and Elizabeth Anderson Cancer Institute (at Memorial Health Univ. Medical Center), 4700 Waters Ave. Cost: Free and open to the public Info: 912-350-7845

Gallery talk: "Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein Collection"

What: A guided discussion led by Carmela Spinelli, SCAD fashion and accessory design chair. When: 5 p.m Where: SCAD Museum of Art, 601 Turner Blvd. Cost: Museum admission. Free for all SCAD. Info:

When: 6-10 p.m. Aug. 2 Where: Desotorow Gallery, 2427 DeSoto Ave., and other locals; see

Nature Outing: Painted Buntings What: A naturalist guide shows par-

Film: 48 Hour Film Project Screenings

ticipants how to see this colorful bird and leads a discussion on the painted bunting. When: 11 a.m Where: Skidaway Island State Park, 52 Diamond Cswy. Cost: $5 parking fee. Info:

What: Three nights of screenings of the films made in the two day film production competition held July 26-28. When: 7 p.m. each night Where: Muse Arts Warehouse, 703 Louisville Rd. Cost: $12/$10 Info:

Nighttime Nature Walk: Call of the Wild

First Friday Art March

What: Walk the trails with a naturalist

guide to hear nocturnal animals call. Learn the difference between frogs, bugs and birds. When: 8:30 p.m Where: Skidaway Island State Park, 52 Diamond Cswy. Cost: $5 parking fee. Info:


Friday Comedy: Gary Conrad, Hypnotist

What: A Savannah favorite who's been on The View and Comedy Central returns for a two night engagement of "audience participation hypnotism" hosted by Savannah Comedy Revue. When: 8 p.m Where: Bay Street Theatre, 1 Jefferson St. Cost: $9. VIP admission $15. Info:

What: Open houses, new exhibitions, and family-friendly activities at this monthly art gallery hop in SoFo (the neighborhood south of Forsyth Park to Victory Drive) Check website for map and list of stops. When: live music by Electric Grandma and Basik Lee. first Friday of every month, 6-9 p.m Cost: Free & open to the public Info:

First Friday Fireworks on the River

What: August's first Friday fireworks light up the sky, part of the Savannah Waterfront Association's First Friday and Saturday on the River. When: 9:30 p.m Where: Rousakis Plaza, River St. Cost: Free and open to the public. Info:

First Friday for Folk Music

What: Monthly music showcase presents Nashville based Lee Anna Culp and Savannah blues singer Jere Myers in their "First Friday" debuts. Alcohol free and kid friendly. When: 7:30 p.m Where: First Presbyterian Church, 520 Washington Ave. Cost: $5 suggested donation. Info:

Friday Puppet Shows

What: Interactive Puppet Shows at Puppet People Studio in Thunderbolt include hands-on studio tour and a make & take puppet craft. Shows vary, call for schedule. Reservations preferred. When: 11 a.m. Where: Puppet People Studio, 3119 Furber Ave. Cost: $12 per child (ages 1-10); $7 adults Info: 912-355-3366

Nature Outing: Toads and Turtles

What: A naturalist park ranger discusses the differences between reptiles and amphibians, using live examples that students can see and touch. When: 2 p.m Where: Skidaway Island State Park, 52 Diamond Cswy. Cost: $5 parking fee. Info:

Skidaway Interpretive Center Tour

What: An exploration of the museum at Skidaway Island State Park, including details about the island's native wildlife and the history of the island, plus live rare birds. When: 10 a.m Where: Skidaway Island State Park, 52 Diamond Cswy. Cost: $5 parking fee. Info:

Tybee Island Light Station (Lighthouse) Sunset Tour

What: A guided after hours tour of the Tybee Island Light Station and a view of the sunset from the top of the Tybee Island Lighthouse. This is the last year for these tours for the foreseeable future due to scheduled repainting. No children under 12. Call for times and reservation. Where: Tybee Island Lighthouse, 30 Meddin Ave. Cost: $25 Info:


Saturday Forsyth Farmers Market

What: Local and regional produce, honey, meat, dairy, pasta, baked goods. When: 9 a.m.-1 p.m Where: Forsyth Park, 501 Whitaker St.

Healthy Kids First Walk and Health and Wellness Fair

What: YFACE / Youth For A Cleaner Environment, in partnership with Savannah Latina, presents the 5th annual walk and wellness fair. Free t-shirts for the first 50 kids participating in the walk. Free healthy snacks and healthy games and activities. When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m Where: Forsyth Park, 501 Whitaker St. Info: 912-257-0127

Historic Savannah Feis

What: Eighth annual traditional Irish dance competition, drawing dancers from around the U.S. and Canada, from age 5 to adult. All skill levels. Live musicians. Hosted by Irish Dancers of Savannah. When: 8 a.m.-4 p.m

Diamond Cswy.

Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe star in director Michael Mann’s 1992 film adaptation of James Fenimore Cooper’s literary classic The Last of the Mohicans.

Cost: $5 parking fee. Info:

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3 Where: Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.

Author: Stephen Geller

Where: Savannah Civic Center, 301

West Oglethorpe Ave. Info:

Nature Outing: Morning Bird Watch

What: The basics on local bird variet-

ies as seen at the park's bird feeding stations. When: 1 p.m Where: Skidaway Island State Park, 52 Diamond Cswy. Cost: $5 parking fee. Info:

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Savannah Area Real Estate Consultant If you are looking to buy your first home and would like to be on the show (and you are not working with another agent) please contact me. Voted Best Real Estate Agent

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Film: The Last of the Mohicans (USA, 1992)

What: Daniel Day-Lewis in Michael Mann’s Academy Award-winning film based on the 19th century novel by James Fenimore Cooper. When: 7 p.m Where: Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St. Cost: $8 general admission, $5 students / seniors with ID Info: 912-525-5050.

Nature Outing: Wilderness Survival Workshop

What: A presentation on "lost" prevention and demo of simple items to takeon a hike to aid in survival.

What: Savannah-based author of Feist, A Warning of Golems, and the Jews at the Table series. When: 2-4 p.m Where: Barnes & Noble, 7804 Abercorn St. Cost: Free to attend. Books available for purchase.

Nature Crafting Session

What: A session on creating crafts from everyday household items. When: 3 p.m Where: Skidaway Island State Park, 52 Diamond Cswy. Cost: $5 parking fee. Info:

continued on page 6



When: 1 p.m Where: Skidaway Island State Park, 52

week at a glance

Week at a glance | continued from page 4

Nature Outing: Sandpiper Trail Hike

What: A guided hike through the marsh trail with a knowledgeable park ranger. When: 10 a.m Where: Skidaway Island State Park, 52 Diamond Cswy. Cost: $5 parking fee. Info:

Savannah Voice Festival:Music out of a Hat: A Game Show Concert

What: Test your musical knowledge and enjoy the hat trick of ‘what comes next’ in this interactive event with prizes. Hosted by VOICExperience director Maria Zouves. When: 3 p.m Where: Asbury Memorial United Meth-

odist Church, 1008 Henry St. Cost: $15 Info:


Monday Baseball: Savannah Sand Gnats Dollar Monday

What: Sand Gnats vs. Charleston River Dogs. $1 for hot dogs, chips, sodas and Natty Lights. $1 Admission with online coupon or in-store coupon from Kroger. When: 7:05 p.m Where: Grayson Stadium. Cost: $1 with coupon. $7 Gen.Adm. Info:

Savannah Voice Festival: Sherrill Milnes Master Class

What: One of opera’s greatest stage directors and the founder of the Julliard Opera Center shares his insights and creativity with festival singers. When: 6:30-8:30 p.m Where: Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, 1 Resort Drive. Cost: Free and open to the public. Info:



Tuesday Baseball: Savannah Sand Gnats Natty Light Two for Tuesday

What: Gnats v. Charleston River Dogs. Get two Natty Lights for the price of one all night long. When: 7:05 p.m Where: Grayson Stadium Cost: $7 Gen. Adm. Info:

Film: YERT (A docu-comedy)

What: Your Environmental Road Trip: Fifty states. One year. Three friends travel with hope, humor, and all of their garbage, to every state in search of extraordinary innovators. When: 7 p.m Where: Sentient Bean, 13 E Park Ave. Info:

Maria Zouves hosts the Savannah Voice Festival game show event (with prizes), “Music Out of a Hat.” When: 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4 Where: Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church, 1008 Henry St.


Wednesday Screening: TV Footage of James "The Amazing" Randi

What: A monthly improv show brought to you by Savannah Stage Company. When: 9 p.m Where: Taco Abajo, 217 1/2 West Broughton St. Cost: See website for pricing. Info:

What: Psychotronic Film Society screens 90 minutes of rare footage of magician, skeptic, and faith healing debunker James Randi, in honor of his 85th birthday. "A witty, snide, caustic and above all, highly intelligent and principled man.” When: 8 p.m Where: Sentient Bean, 13 E Park Ave. Cost: $5 Info:

Savannah Voice Festival: An Evening of Sacred Music

Baseball: Savannah Sand Gnats Pack the Park Night

[it] Improv Troupe

What: A concert in midtown, part of the voice festival. When: 6:30 p.m Where: First Presbyterian Church, 520 Washington Ave. Cost: $15 Info:

also inside

week at a glance JUL 31-AUG 6, 2013 | WWW.CONNECTSAVANNAH.COM


Week at a glance | continued from page 5

What: Sand Gnats vs. Charleston River Dogs. A new charity each Wednesday benefits from Pack the Park Night. When: 7:05 p.m Where: Grayson Stadium, 1401 East Victory Dr. Cost: $7 gen. adm. Info:

soundboard | 22 Art Patrol | 28 Screen shots | 29

Tarheel blues

1800 E. Victory Dr., Suite 7 Savannah, GA, 31404 Phone: (912) 231-0250 Fax: (912) 231-9932 twitter: @ConnectSavannah Administrative

by Jim Morekis |

The story goes that the Tarheel State got its name during the Civil War. Back in the day, North Carolina was considered suspect by true believers. They were the last to secede from the union, and did so only reluctantly. Nowhere near as dependent on slave labor as its arrogant, affluent neighbors South Carolina and Virginia, North Carolina simply didn’t see much of a reason to go to war. Things changed. Apparently there was some battle or another in Virginia where a brigade from North Carolina were the only Confederates who stood their ground under Yankee fire. Some other rebel troops — who had retreated — later taunted the Carolinian troops by referring to their state’s main industry at the time, turpentine: “Got any more tar at home, boys?” Legend has it that one of the North Carolinians responded, “No, Jeff Davis bought it all up. He’s gonna put it on y’all’s heels to make y’all stick better in the next fight.” OK, we don’t know whether or not that really happened. But we do know that by war’s end North Carolina had sacrificed more men than any other Southern state to the secession it initially didn’t support. For more than 100 years to follow, the Tarheel State would remain something of an anomaly, rejecting much of the reactionary tenor of its neighboring former Confederate states and gaining a reputation for progressivism that lasted until very recently. At the beginning of the 20th Century, North Carolina led the way in the South for equal access to public education and public health. In the 1930s, while Georgia Governor Eugene Talmadge was fighting FDR’s New Deal — the Obamacare of its day — tooth and nail, North Carolina took greater advantage of federal largesse, the Blue Ridge Parkway being a perfect example. By the start of World War II, North Carolina was the South’s most industrialized state, with its lowest unemployment. In more modern times, North Carolina leveraged the intellectual capital of its large university presence into an updated style of

progressivism which once again set it apart from the rest of the region, the most stark example being Barack Obama’s upset victory there in 2008. Just as the Tarheels were the last to secede in the 19th Century, they were also the last Southern state to see a complete conservative takeover in the 21st Century. The Republican wave which overtook Georgia in 2002 would take another full decade to sweep North Carolina. But when that wave hit, it hit with thundering force. In a stunning turnaround, North Carolina is now ground zero for Tea Party initiatives which are rapidly giving the state a newfound reputation not just for conservatism, but for a particularly radical brand of it. (Google “North Carolina” and “embarrassment” to get a taste of how that’s going over.) The ink had hardly dried on the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent majority opinion nullifying much of the Voting Rights Act before North Carolina Republicans trotted out new voter ID legislation which makes Georgia’s look downright liberal. (To be clear: I’m not against having to show your ID to vote. The problem with the new wave of Tea Party voter ID laws has never been that they require ID, but that they disproportionately impact people who vote the other way. As is the case with redistricting, a voter ID law with integrity is one thing; a voter ID law which is just a political tactic is quite another.) Here are some of the lowlights: • No more same-day voter registration • Lowering the bar for “poll observers” to challenge voters’ eligibility • Eliminating high school pre-registration drives for 16 and 17-year-olds • Prohibiting extending voting hours if there’s an equipment or weather issue The Obama campaign’s extraordinary success with early voting especially seems to

have rankled North Carolina Republicans. Bucking a nationwide trend towards alternative voting methods, such as early voting and vote-by-mail, North Carolina has now eliminated a full week of early voting. Do the math on how profoundly these changes could influence elections: 56 percent of North Carolinians voted early in 2012, with over 155,000 voters doing sameday registration. The N.C. legislature also just passed one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the country, almost completely defunding the procedure through insurance and essentially closing down all but one abortion clinic in a state of nearly ten million people. (To show how dysfunctional things have gotten there, the abortion measure was inserted into a separate bill which would keep judges from using… wait for it… Islamic Sharia law.) Perhaps most extreme of all, North Carolina just passed expansive new gun rights legislation that would allow people to carry guns on playgrounds, in their cars while on school campuses, and — get this — in bars. Taking pistols into bars, what could go wrong? It almost got worse: They nearly passed a measure which would eliminate any background check at all for buying a gun. But they did indeed pass a measure which would require a background check in order to receive federal or state welfare assistance. Yes, you read that right. There was nearly a situation where you needed zero background check to buy a gun, but definitely a background check to get food stamps to feed your family if you lose your job. Politics aside, to a normal person there would seem to be something vaguely, or perhaps explicitly, immoral about such an arrangement. It doesn’t pass the smell test. As always, the caveat is that people get what they vote for. If North Carolina wants such a reactionary government, then they should have it and enjoy it. But the Tarheel State does give us in Georgia a cautionary tale about how quickly things, and reputations, can change. cs

Chris Griffin, General Manager (912) 721-4378 Editorial

Jim Morekis, Editor-in-Chief (912) 721-4360 Bill DeYoung, Arts & Entertainment Editor (912) 721-4385 Jessica Leigh Lebos, Community Editor (912) 721-4386 Robin Wright Gunn, Events Editor, happenings@ Sinjin Hilaski, Social Media/Web Intern Chrystal Arboleda Lopez, Editorial Intern Contributors John Bennett, Matt Brunson, Jared Butler, Jenny Dunn, Geoff L. Johnson, Jeremy Scheinbart, Cedric Smith Advertising

Information: (912) 721-4378 Jay Lane, Account Executive (912) 721-4381 Lauren Schoenecker, Account Executive (912) 721-4388 Design & Production

Brandon Blatcher Art Director (912) 721-4379 Alice Johnston Graphic Designer (912) 721-4380 Distribution

Wayne Franklin (912) 721-4376 Michelle Bailey, Susan Magune Classifieds

Call (912) 231-0250

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The (Civil) Society Column

by Jessica Leigh Lebos |

Death becomes us I’ve had death on the brain for weeks.



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For no particular reason, really, other than I attended a ribbon cutting for the new Families First funeral home. And the obvious fact that it’s, y’know, looming over all of us every single day. Generally, I’m far too busy to entertain such existential angst, preferring to count my blessings and then multiply them exponentially by the power of positive thinking, like Tony Robbins and Isaac Newton are playing pattycake in my psyche. (My theory is that if the math nerds ever team up with the New Age creatives, they will be unstoppable.) But sometimes, the finitude of it all hits me. My little brother turned 40 recently, and though he’ll never be too old to sock in the arm, I felt no urge for any Big Sis jeering when he expressed that milestone birthdays are freaky because they remind us that our time is limited. “Life is so amazing, I just don’t want it to ever end,” he sighed from three time zones away, so I couldn’t punch him even if I wanted to. Like many accomplished people, my Brother the Doctor has a long and impressive bucket list with checkmarks already next to activities like “perform goiter surgery in Tanzania” and “marry gorgeous French girl who cooks.” Best case scenario, he’s only got 60 more years to perfect his Mandarin, cure cancer and jog around the moon. Then there’s me, the older sibling, who doesn’t keep so much a bucket list as a junk drawer full of half-baked poetry and the hairbrush microphone used by my 8-year old rock star self while emulating Joan Jett. Yet no matter how cluttered or streamlined our goals, surely all of us can get behind that 19th-century master of melancholy navelgazing, Soren Kierkegaard, who coined the confounding observation that “life can only be understood backwards but must be lived forwards.” It’s important to note that even if you veer off sideways into the weeds

No better way to welcome a new funeral home to town: The red velvet coffin cake.

while texting, we’re all still heading in the same direction. Frankly, all this amateur philosophizing has made me rather morbid to be around. “I liked it better when you were obsessing over the developers across the street,” grumbled my husband. But whether you believe the greatest glory is yet to come or that the end of this meat puppet show brings nothing more than a permanent dirt nap, truth remains that not a one of us is getting out of here alive (a curtsey to you, Jim Morrison.) I’m just trying to be OK with that. Apparently the key is not to take the very serious matter of death so seriously that it overwhelms everything else. As a trauma surgeon, my bro faces down death every day; that likely drives his will to live hard and live well. (Our inherited sick sense of humor probably helps, too.) I imagine all those who deal with death on a daily basis find ways to adapt their minds and hearts to this whole inescapable business. I asked several people about it at that Families First funeral home

ribbon cutting, which you might have expected to be a fairly somber affair. But my gothic mood found little company at the new facility on Dean Forest Road, where the parking lot was set up with festive tents and big bouncy décor by Art Pop Balloons. Folks ogled the fancy vintage Rolls Royce hearse as musician Melvin Dean tapped out a melodious cacophony on his steel drums. Steel drums. At the funeral home. It was surreal. And fantastic. But what else to expect from the inimitable Scott West? When the marketing guru and inventive party planner was brought on to celebrate the opening of Savannah’s first affordable funeral and cremation facility, he saw nothing but potential. Rather than tiptoe around Death’s everpresent gloom, Scott invited it to the party and offered it a cocktail. Jozef ’s Fine Catering baked up a red velvet cake in the shape of a coffin. Guests peered into the floor drain during a tour of the high-tech preparation room. Hilarious puns abounded involving the “fun” in funeral and getting

where vigilant compassion is required at all times. In them I also found people willing to speak about eternal rest. “Death can be a beautiful experience,” counseled Nancy Neff of Coastal Home Care. “We don’t have to be afraid to talk about it.” And they must, as the work of caring for the dying must include helping people be all right with fate. “It’s like being a midwife, only at the other end,” remarked Beth Logan of Hospice Savannah. To look at death as preciously as birth is a strange notion. Yet it softened my thinking, and I finally stopped wringing my hands over my inevitable demise and grabbed a drink. Yup, a stiff one — BOOM! My macabre preoccupation has passed for now, though I expect it will come ‘round again (especially if it doesn’t quit raining every damn day.) Until then, there are beaches to walk, stories to hear and hands to hold. Best to evoke my man Kierkegaard once more: Life has its own hidden forces, which can only be discovered by living. cs


“embombed” at the bar set up in front of the wooden casket. President Kyle Nikola seemed a bit bewildered by the revelry. A native New Jerseyian with surfer guy good looks, Nikola has planted deep roots in Savannah but is still learning our practice of making a party out of any gathering. At only 26, Nikola has earned the respect of his industry and taken the helm of the family business, which includes two more funeral homes and all of Savannah’s perpetual care cemeteries. He spoke earnestly of the Families First purpose: To provide a respectful way to bury loved ones without bankrupting anyone’s life savings (a complete funeral is less than $3,000, casket included.) E ventually, however, Nikola had to give in to the laughter roiling from the tastefully-decorated reception area. The time for solemnity within these walls would come soon enough. None of this fazed the members of Savannah’s end-of-life caregiving community; the nurses, the hospice workers, those who sit quietly at bedsides in the twilight. A little gallows humor is probably welcome in jobs

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the (CIVIL) SOCIETY column | continued from previous page



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News & Opinion JUL 31-AUG 6, 2013 | WWW.CONNECTSAVANNAH.COM


the news cycle

By John Bennett |

Why to care about bike share Bike share is coming! Bike share is coming! Announced July 19, an eight-bike station will be installed at Chatham Area Transit’s Oglethorpe Avenue transit center in September. Reaction can be grouped into three categories. First, unbridled enthusiasm from people who have used or simply heard about bike sharing systems in other cities. Next are those who are supportive of the idea, but skeptical of the limited scope of CAT’s pilot program and concerned about the location. Finally, some predict bikes will be vandalized or stolen and that inexperienced cyclists will be injured. Who’s right? Should we be thrilled, wary or worried? Let’s address these in reverse order. I asked Philip Pugliese of the Bike Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System if fears of property destruction and personal injury are warranted. “Our system has been relatively free of any issues related to theft and vandalism,” he said. “As with many other bike share systems, our experience has been that users have proven quite capable of traveling safely through our city.” Laura Ringo of Spartanburg’s B-cycle program concurred. “To date, we’ve not had any theft, and the only vandalism is the breaking of the plastic bells on the bicycles,” she said. A 2012 report from the Federal Highway Administration backs Ringo and Pugliese, finding that theft and vandalism have not been a major issue for bike sharing programs and that “early evidence suggests that

crash rates in existing bike sharing programs are low.” What about the limited size of CAT’s pilot program? Is it too small to succeed? It’s dwarfed by Chattanooga’s system, which launched with 300 bikes and 28 docking stations, and has added more stations since then. Pugliese said ridership is divided evenly between residents and tourists. “Public bike share systems work best as a connected network,” he said. “While many cities have started with just a few stations and bicycles with expectation of expansion, more is generally better.”  A $2 million federal grant helped start the program and as that funding runs out, new revenue sources are being explored. By contrast, Ringo said a more gradual approach better suited her community. “For Spartanburg, starting small seemed like the ideal rollout,” she said. “Introducing bicycle sharing slowly seemed to make sense so that we can get residents and visitors excited and grow the system as interest grows.” The FHA study, “Bike Sharing in the United States: State of the Practice and Guide to Implementation,” suggests that “Small bike sharing programs can be successful,” but that more assessment will be needed as small programs mature in order to determine a “long term prognosis.” It’s certain that additional stations and bikes will be required to develop CAT’s pilot program into a robust and popular system. Spartanburg B-cycle launched with two stations and 14 bikes and has added two additional stations at Wofford College and Converse College. Ringo said the involvement of the campuses was “critically important” to the success of the system.

“The proximity of the colleges to downtown and thus the use of the bicycles moves the system from recreationally-based to transportationbased, which is the reason bicycle sharing was designed,” she said. “College students seem like the ideal group to lead this effort.” In Chattanooga, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga students can buy annual Bike Chattanooga passes at a reduced price and stations are located at the UTC Student Center and other campus buildings. Finally, is the excitement over bike share warranted in the first place? Research suggests that bicycle share programs can deliver big benefits to citizens and their communities. The 2013 Capital Bikeshare Member Survey Report reveals how the service has changed the lives of those who pay an annual fee to use the CaBi bikes in the Washington D.C. area. “On average, each Capital Bikeshare member saves $800 per year on personal travel cost,” the study found. What’s more, “40 percent of respondents used Bikeshare to make at least one trip they would not have made if Bikeshare had not been available.” More than half these trips were made for social or entertainment purposes, suggesting the economic impact. And it gets better: “More than eight in ten respondents said they are either much more likely (37 percent) or somewhat more likely (48 percent) to patronize an establishment that is accessible by Capital Bikeshare.” Some analysts detect that bike share is becoming a gateway drug to bike ownership, so fear not bike shop owners. Once people try bike share, they’ll want wheels of their own. cs John Bennett is executive director of the savannah bicycle campaign.


News & Opinion

jessicaleigh lebos

city notebook

(L to R) Breane Flowers, Jacqunette Robinson and Darius Capers have spent the summer with the City of Savannah’s Pre-Apprentice Program, a multi-pronged approach to providing education and experience to teens.

Back on track

Marquan Brown spruces up the trim of a home belonging to a senior citizen as part of his internship.

In city’s pre-apprenticeship program, kids learn skills for work and life

By Jessica Leigh Lebos |

Sometimes all it takes to turn a life around is the right information. That’s the concept behind the City of Savannah’s Pre-Apprenticeship Program, a 7-week summer internship for kids 14-16 that’s more like an orientation for adulthood: How to fill out a job application. Learning to manage your time. Developing a sense of accountability. Helping one’s neighbors. It’s the latter activity that brought more than a dozen SPAP participants to two dilapidated homes in the Tatumville neighborhood last week. A group in bright orange T-shirts wielded rollers of gray paint on the siding while others touched up the trim in bright red. A few more tackled the overgrown grass in back. “We’re here to help out the folks who live here, to make their homes nice again,” said 16-year old Marquan Brown. Softspoken with glasses, Brown explained that the painting and landscaping is just part of what he’s learned this summer: He earned his CPR certificate, received math tutoring, listened to local business people and — after spending time on the Savannah State University and Savannah Tech campuses — is considering going to college. “I signed up for this because it got

me off the streets for the summer, but it’s really opened my eyes to new possibilities,” he said in between brushstrokes along a window pane. The Tatumville site is one of four sites around the city that have paired low-income community members with 40 strong-backed apprentices. Brown and the rest of his cohorts are paid minimum wage — $7.25/ hour — for their work, and half those wages are automatically deposited into a savings account opened on a SPAP field trip to the bank: Another valuable lesson. While community service and fiscal responsibility fulfill some facets of responsible adulthood, SPAP also wants participants to broaden their cultural and historical scope: There have been trolley tours of the city and trips to the Ralph Gilbert Marks Civil Rights Museum and the Jepson Center for the Arts. Exposure to the arts may seem ancillary, but it is a vital part of the program, according to City Manager Stephanie Cutter. “I believe that all children should have an opportunity to experience some of the finer things in life,” she contends. Cutter spearheaded SPAP as a

way to “walk the talk” that circulates about deterring crime and helping Savannah’s young people find positive career and social tracks. “We sit around and talk about the problem and often times target the youth as the cause,” she continues. “I thought this summer, let’s put together a comprehensive arena to them teach about work ethics and help them with learning math and reading and actually be there to provide that holistic support.” Cutter reports receiving tremendous support from the city staff and elected officials. The pilot program has also garnered volunteers from the educational and business communities. Communication skills and working with others are other important goals of SPAP. Conflict resolution training is part of the curriculum, but some participants say it’s plain old teamwork that has proven most beneficial. “Trying to get people to cooperate with each other isn’t easy,” remarked Jacqunette Robinson, 16, as she corralled a few others to help her finish painting a wheelchair ramp at one home. When it is pointed out that she is exhibiting skills befitting a manager or supervisor, Robinson smiled shyly and confessed she’d like to become a physical therapist.

“I enjoy caring for other people,” remarked the Beach High rising junior. “I have a kind heart.” Many of the SPAP participants were referred to the program by parole officers with the Chatham County Juvenile Courts and Ombudsman alternative education services. But as SPAP coordinator Tessa Livingston puts it, “you’d never know it.” “You couldn’t define which kids are on probation and which aren’t,” attests Livingston, who works as a parent involvement coordinator with the Board of Education during the school year. “Maybe a few have made mistakes, but we’re not interested in perpetuating stereotypes. They’re all learning here to make better choices.” As the work day waned, the young apprentices cleaned up, exhausted with being responsible grown-ups for the day. After a round of compliments for their work, they revealed themselves as what they were, just a giggling group of teenagers spraying each other with a garden house. “We don’t refer to them as ‘troubled youth,’” says Livingston. “These are good kids, and in this program they hear that they’re smart, that they’re capable. “And they have every reason to believe it.” cs



Sit, stay,

read Dog day afternoons at Live Oak Public Library promote literacy

By Erika Jo Brown

We can all agree that the triumvirate of children, libraries, and dogs is utterly delightful — but did you know that this combo is also educational? To illustrate this point, Live Oak Public Libraries hosts Dog Days, a literacy enrichment program for reluctant readers that’s run for nearly a decade. Observable results include improved test scores, speedier second language acquisition, and a plain old love of reading that’s increasingly difficult to cultivate in our age of iDistractions. It works like this: Children drop in during scheduled sessions at five branches of the Live Oaks library constellation — as of this summer, the roster includes Oglethorpe Mall Library, Pooler Library, Rincon Library, Southwest Chatham Library, and Springfield Library — and partner with a pet for an afternoon of recitation. Pups provide an uncritical audience, boosting children’s reading confidence. As participants improve their literacy skills by reading out loud, they select more challenging texts, read more often, and associate positive feelings with books. As Coni Coleman, the Southside area coordinator, describes it, “Dogs can be the carrot that helps get kids into the library.” A veteran librarian with three decades of experience in the Islands and Southwest Chatham branches, Coleman is canine coordinator-in-chief. She discovered the idea in a professional library journal, and adapted a pilot program for the Lowcountry.

courtesy live oak public libraries

News & Opinion JUL 31-AUG 6, 2013 | WWW.CONNECTSAVANNAH.COM



Tank the therapy dog ‘reading’ to one of his library companions. Dog Day sessions last an hour, with each child getting about 10 minutes with the pups

“It started very selfishly,” she demurs modestly, “I always thought a ‘library pet’ would be enhance the atmosphere of this small community library. Turtle and fish had been tried, unsuccessfully.” Man’s best friend was the logical next step. “Dogs are great listeners and their human handlers encourage reading instead of judging the [Dog Days partipants].” Ironically, Coleman found her own dog, a dachshund named Heidi, to be “very demanding,” too fidgety an audience for reading time. She asked Cissy Fox, a local realtor who moonlights as a Golden Retriver breeder, to give her “the perfect library dog.” And that’s how she got Howie, one of 25

dogs that call the library their second home. Most people are familiar with guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf, and service dogs for people with various disabilities. A spate of recent research reinforces the advantageous emotional and physical relationships between dogs and their human companions. Therapy dogs have been deployed after traumatic events and in nursing homes and correctional centers. Although they’re not subject to the intensive training of full-time assistance dogs, therapy dogs are specially evaluated, trained, and registered for their volunteer work. Coleman often sends interested volunteers to Carol Mett, a local dog

trainer and official judge of the American Kennel Club. Mett espouses the theory that every dog needs a purpose and she can predict if Dog Days is the right job for your bowwow. All Dog Day pooches are certified through Therapy Dogs International. And although the dogs share a calm temperament and a strict hygiene regimen, that’s where the similarities end. “We have everything from a Katrina-rescued Yorkie named Grayson, to a gigantic Schnauzer named Denny, owned by a police officer who volunteers with the program,” says Coleman. “We have every kind of breed from Dachshunds to Rottweilers and lots of Heinz 57 breeds.” The libraries have even welcomed

Elizabeth A. Sosbe/

News & Opinion

community | continued from previous page

puppies of the first Dog Days’ generation. No matter the stripe, “knowing that a dog friend is waiting for the readers provides an incentive to make regular visits to the library,” assures Coleman. Coleman’s dog Howie often accompanies her to work and welcomes visitors from a blanket under the desk. He also keeps an eye on the welfare of library patrons. If he senses “computer confusion,” aka that moment you’re ready to hurl a desktop across a room because it just won’t print, he’ll amble over and offer moral support. “A few minutes later,” Coleman says, “the ‘computer hand’ would be rubbing Howie’s head and all stress diffused.” Just as Howie’s powerful influence at the computer station extends beyond his official role as reading dog, Dog Day participants enjoy

the side benefits of a dog’s company. Youngsters unable to have a pet of their own can nurture a relationship with an individual pooch over regular visits. Furthermore, studies indicate that these burgeoning bookworms can improve their reading scores by an entire grade level. Therapy dogs are particularly successful on the remedial level, to new students of English, and to those affected by dyslexia. And kids get a chance to carry-on a conversation with an adult in a safe environment, unwittingly practicing the “endangered” art of conversation, as Coleman diplomatically phrases it. Ultimately, of course, everyone benefits — volunteers, teachers, students, parents, and pooches alike. “Some of the dogs put their paws on the pages and some curl up in

the child’s lap for a closer look at the page,” Coleman explains. With such an attentive audience, who wouldn’t love a trip to the library? And, it’s all free. Dog Days is just one of the perks available at Live Oak Public Libraries. Their vast collections are always a draw, as are the hundreds of Microsoft-equipped computers, free wifi and career services. You can even borrow a Kill-aWatt kit to test the energy usage of your appliances. So it’s impressive, indeed, that the Live Oak Libraries can provide adventures on an intrastate scale and still be attentive to the intimate reading experience of Dog Day participants. Librarians can select books or let children choose from a group curated by reading level. Some kids bring a book from home to read to their pooch

partner. (Lassie, Call of the Wild, Marley & Me, and 101 Dalmatians are not required, but most likely appreciated.) As a sweet treat, participants receive a bookmark with the dog’s portrait. If you can’t stop by a library in the next few months, check out the pooches at the Savannah Children’s Book Festival in November. Happy trails, tales, and tails to you ‘til then. cs Live Oak Public Library Dog Days • Oglethorpe Mall Library, 925-5432 Saturday, August 10, noon • Pooler Library, 748-0471, Monday, August 5, 4:30 p.m. • Rincon Library, 826-2222, Wednesday, August 14, 4:30 p.m. • Southwest Chatham Library, 925-8305, Saturday, August 10, 12:00 p.m. • Springfield Library, 754-3003, Thursday, August 8, 4:30 p.m.

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Elizabeth A. Sosbe/


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Blotter All cases from recent Savannah/ Chatham Police Dept. incident reports

Bad motor scooters Police are investigating two collisions involving a motor cycle and scooters that sent riders to a hospital overnight.

Dwight Horton of the 100 block of Greenbriar Court was injured when the motorcycle he was riding struck a parked vehicle about 4:15 a.m. Jevon Sullivan Jr., 8, of the 5500 block of Emory Drive was injured when the electric scooter he was riding collided with a motor scooter about 7 p.m. in a separate incident. Both were injured in accidents on the blocks on which they live and were transported to Memorial University Medical Center with serious but non-life threatening injuries. Horton was traveling west on Greenbriar Court on a 2002 Harley Davidson motorcycle when he accelerated and lost control in a slight bend in the roadway and struck a

parked car. Sullivan was injured in front of his house in the Skidaway Terrace neighborhood while riding the small Razor electric scooter that collided with a scooter being ridden on Emory Drive by a 13-year-old neighborhood youth. • A man was arrested after stealing a car from a southside dealership, trying to elude police and crashing the car in a lane between Midtown and Baldwin Park neighborhoods. Charles Leonard Mobley, 18, of the 1300 block of East 49th Street was charged with theft by taking (auto), fleeing to elude, reckless driving and two counts of criminal damage to property after being arrested at his residence about 3 a.m. A Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department captain noticed a 2007 Mercury Mariner driving at an excessive speed near several southside Savannah auto dealerships about 2:20 a.m. and alerted Southside Precinct Patrol officers. They pursued the vehicle north into the Midtown and Baldwin Park neighborhoods.

While in the 1400 block of East 40th Street Lane, the SUV struck a chain link fence and the back of a garage before overturning in the lane. Officers saw Mobley and another male exit and run on foot. Mobley was arrested at his residence. Police continue to seek the other suspect. • In other auto theft news, two Savannah juveniles picked the wrong time to steal a vehicle left running with the keys in the ignition when they ran into a show-of-force operation.  The two youngsters, ages 13 and 14, were arrested after the stolen pickup truck they was stopped at Ash and 35th streets. Both suspects ran from officers but were arrested on East Duffy and 34th streets. “Total Focus” is a countywide operation of dozens of officers from various units of SCMPD and sometimes area law enforcement

agencies assigned to intensely patrol areas where criminal activity has been reported. The officers were in the east Savannah neighborhood around midnight when two boys riding a bicycle and another accompanying them approached a 2012 Chevrolet Silverado pickup on Alabama Avenue. Two boys jumped into the truck and drove away, leaving the bicycle in the street . The truck later was driven into the “Total Focus” operation.   The younger boy was charged with theft by taking auto and obstruction by fleeing and transported to the Youth Detention Center. The elder boy was charged with obstruction by fleeing and released to his parents. cs Give anonymous crime tips to Crimestoppers at 234-2020

Are there any figures for people seriously injured or even killed by bad GPS directions? I’m not talking about distracted drivers, but rather schlubs that followed GPS off a cliff or something. —Jason You can look at that in one of two ways. The glass-half-empty version is that GPS navigation has turned us into a nation of lemmings. The half-full version is that each day miraculous technology combines signals from satellites 11,000 miles overhead with detailed knowledge of the globe’s 63 million miles of road to give countless travelers simultaneous turn-by-turn guidance in navigating busy, unfamiliar streets. You can guess which side I line up on. But judge for yourself based on the following data points, starting with personal encounters and working up: • “Let me tell you about a party I threw last year,” my assistant Una said. “My house is in the 9000 block, but Google Maps thinks it’s in the 10300 block. Despite my warnings to my guests that GPS maps weren’t to be trusted, more than half listened to the computer anyway and couldn’t find the place, in some cases driving right past it.” My comment to Una: Not saying you don’t throw a great party, but you sure we can blame this on GPS? • My assistant Dex reports that his GPS routinely advises him to make a 145-degree right turn off a four-lane overpass near his house and drive the wrong way down the one-way on-ramp. • Then there’s me. Lacking a decent map in pre-smartphone days, I was lulled by my rental-car GPS system’s success in steering me out of lower Manhattan into a state of sheeplike compliance as it led me to Philadelphia by way of fricking Wilmington, Delaware. Now for the news reports: • A woman followed her GPS past a “Do Not Enter” sign and down the wrong way near Scranton, Penn., causing a head-on collision. • A Marlboro, New Jersey teenager,

By cecil adams

news & Opinion

told to “turn left” by his GPS, made an illegal 90-degree left turn into the path of oncoming traffic, instead of the left-turn-via-270-degree-right-loop the road was designed for, and caused a four-car accident. • Several tourists get lost in Death Valley each year after being directed onto defunct or nonexistent roads by their GPS. In one incident a mother and son on a camping trip wound up stuck on an abandoned mining road for five days. The son didn’t survive. • A charter bus driver in Seattle who was relying on his GPS to route him under bridges with sufficient clearance slammed the 12-foot-high bus into a bridge with just nine feet of headroom, sending 22 passengers to the hospital. • Numerous motorists following bad GPS directions have driven their vehicles into bodies of water. Three Japanese tourists in Australia were persuaded by their GPS that they could drive to North Stradbroke Island at low tide (it’s actually accessible to cars only by ferry) and got stuck in the mud flats of Moreton Bay. They abandoned the car before the tide submerged it. • A Senegalese man driving through Spain wasn’t so lucky. He was following GPS directions at night when the road just ended, his passenger said later. He drove into a lake and drowned. • A 67-year-old Belgian woman traveling to Brussels—38 miles from her home—trustingly followed incorrect GPS directions on a detour of more than 800 miles, arriving two days later in Zagreb, Croatia. Were the drivers involved in these cases, to one degree or another, knuckleheads? Absolutely. (I include myself.) However, the world is full of knuckleheads, and if fixing mistaken directions can save them from themselves, it seems incumbent on the navigation companies to fix them. I admit they try. The other day I beefed to Google that their transit directions from O’Hare airport to Chicago’s near north side had you changing trains at stations that weren’t free-transfer points, meaning you had to pay a double fare. Google said they’d get right on it. Apparently they did: now they’ve got you changing at a free-transfer point, but it’s the wrong one, taking you several stops out of the way. As a result the supposedly fastest transit route has you getting off the train and taking a neighborhood bus, which no one with a clue would actually do. But at least it’s not a cliff. cs


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news of the weird Annals of Invention Although Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (the alleged 9/11 mastermind) was waterboarded 183 times among several extreme interrogation techniques, he and his CIA captors eventually reached a moderated state. In 2003, though still housed in a “black site” in Romania, “KSM” asked permission to design a household vacuum cleaner, and the highest echelons of the agency cooperated, according to a former senior CIA analyst, speaking to the Associated Press in July. In reality, when a detainee exhausts his intelligence value, the agency’s main mission is to keep him “sane,” in case he is later put on trial, and the vacuum cleaner project was thought likely to engage KSM, who, 15 years before the murders of nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11, had earned a mechanical engineering degree from North Carolina A&T State University.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit • The gourmet lollipop company Lollyphile announced its latest flavor in June: Breast Milk Lollipops (four for $10). Owner Jason Darling said it “slowly dawned on” him that his friends were “producing milk so delicious it could turn a screaming, furious child into a docile, contented one. I knew I had to capture that flavor.” • Marketing Challenges: (1) The Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop franchisers, already with a lineup of sometimes-unappreciated flavors such as buffalo chicken wing soda, briefly

experimented in June with “ranch dressing” soda, a mistaken adventure that co-founder Rob Powells jokingly blamed on his business partner. (2) Brewmaster John Maier of Rogue Ales in Newport, Ore., pointed out that “wild yeasts” have been used in beer for centuries and thus his company’s Beard Beer (from yeast of beards, including at one time, his own) should be regarded as a traditional brew.

20-week limit (where a fetus is said to begin to feel pain), insisting on an earlier ban, at 15 or 16 weeks. “Watch a sonogram of a 15-week-old baby,” said Burgess, “and they have movements that are purposeful. ... If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs.” Thus, “If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to think that they could feel pain?” • Physicians at Kwong Wah Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Science on the CutHospital, publishing in the Hong Kong Mediting Edge CARE FOR A BREAST MILK cal Journal recently, • Carnivorous VegetaLOLLIPOP? described a 66-year-old tion: It was a special occaman seeking relief from sion in Surrey, England, a swelling in his abdoin June as a rare plant men (after having had a prepared to bloom. The sparse history with doc3-foot-tall Puya chilensis, tors). They concluded native to Chile, features that the man was basineon-bright greenishcally a woman and that yellow flowers with blooms the cause of the swelling large enough to yield was an ovarian cyst. The drinkable nectar, but its patient had both Turner most startling distinction syndrome, which causes is its ability to nourish women to lack some itself by trapping small female features, and congenital adreanimals in its razor-sharp spines, leavnal hyperplasia, which boosts male ing them to decay. (At Britain’s Wisley hormones. (While females have two X Garden, it is fed with ordinary fertilizer chromosomes, and males an X and a Y, rather than animals.) Turner syndrome patients have one X • Too Much Information: During a and no Y.) June debate in a House Rules Committee hearing on abortion legislation, U.S. Animals in the News Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas, himself • Alarming Headlines: (1) “Koala an obstetrician/gynecologist, criticized Chlamydia: The STD Threatening a proposal to outlaw abortion at the an Australian Icon” (BBC News). (2)

“Super-Sized Crabs and Oysters With Herpes” (Field & Stream). (3) “FarRight Extremists Chased Through London by Women Dressed as Badgers” (International Business Times, reporting June rallies of two British nationalist parties and their opposition occurring at the same time and place as a betterattended demonstration against the government’s cull on badgers). • Horse Bullies: In June, Barbour County, W.Va., firefighters, called to a farm in Belington, rescued the horse “Rowdy,” whose entire body was somehow trapped inside an industrial-sized tire. Rowdy’s owner said she believes Rowdy had an altercation with some of the other horses.

People Different From Us Melanie Typaldos, 57, and her husband, Richard Loveman, 54, in Buda, Texas, are supposedly part of a growing trend of people keeping pet capybaras (giant, semi-aquatic guinea pigs that are the world’s largest rodents, at more than 100 pounds). “Gary” sometimes lounges on the couple’s marital bed and frolics in the above-ground pool the couple installed for him. Although Melanie and Richard keep other, more traditional, animals at their home (they told London’s Daily Mail in June), Gary is, of course, the only one as large as a human but with the distinctive body and head of a rat. CS By chuck shepherd UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE


by bill deyoung |

Anyone who follows Cusses on Facebook saw the barrage of posts and pleas last month from Bryan Harder and Brian Lackey — but mostly from Angel Bond, who willingly became the poster girl for the band’s Kickstarter campaign. The band was looking to raise $35,000 in fan and friend contributions, to fund the second Cusses album and its attendant distribution and promotion. Angel even made a last-minute video, in which she sat demurely on a porch swing, none of that bright pink stuff in her hair, and sweetly encouraged the band’s friends to “embrace their inner rascal.” We are all, she reminded us, lil’ Cusses. When all was said, done and counted, Cusses’ “LP2 Bazaar” campaign had raised a cool $37,500. “It was a humbling experience,” Bond says, “to see all these people come out of the woodwork and be very generous.” To pay for their self-titled first album, the totally-DIY trio pooled their savings and took out a bank loan. This time around, therefore, they knew what it would cost. High rollers on the Kickstarter deal were promised Cusses swag including “lifetime guest lists,” admission to a listening party, custom skateboard and race helmets, Savannah holiday packages hosted by the band, and the opportunity to watch the recording sessions at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, N.C., the same place Cusses


Cusses + Kickstarter

= Success

significant success on Broadway, with a debut CD and in clubs, and on the Internet TV comedy Unicorn Plan-It. She lives in Los Angeles. The show is poolside at the Lanes’ house, 32 E. 65th St. Tickets are $75 at 313-9751 (champagne and other swanky swag is included with the price of admission). Her longtime accompanist Steven Jamail will be on piano, with Ashley Reed (drums) and Sam Gerwick (guitar).

This weekend

Lackey, left, Bond and Harder: The money’s in, and Cusses shall go forward.

was cut. “We really love working with them,” Bond enthuses. “It’s a big, beautiful church sanctuary where we record. We worked with (producer) Dan Hannon on the first record, and we really feel like he made us better musicians. Because of the Kickstarter we were able to talk him down on his price!” In the meantime … “We’re back in the boardroom. The Wormhole is being nice enough to let us practice there until we find a permanent practice space, because at the moment we don’t have one. “We’re just trying to fine-tune all

these new songs for the next month. Then there’s a couple of short tours, and hopefully we’ll get into the studio by the end of September.”

Haviland’s back

On Sunday, Aug. 4, we welcome back cabaret singer Haviland Stillwell, whose semi-annual concert appearances here are usually for the benefit of charity. This one’s no exception: Proceeds from the 7-9 p.m. show will go to the Ronald McDonald House. The daughter of Savannah City Attorney W. Brooks Stillwell, Haviland is a Savannah native who’s had

Check out Wave Slaves (the artist formerly known, more or less, as Free Candy), with Charleston’s Tape Waves and the always-charming Lovely Locks Saturday (Aug. 3) at Hang Fire ... Guitarscape wizard P.M. Goerner and his fuzz trio Blackrune (the subject of a feature story in these pages a few weeks back) has a gig Monday (Aug. 5) at Hang Fire, with Philadelphia’s Nothing and our own Sauna Heat ... First Saturday of the month means Comedy Planet at the Wormhole. This time around (Aug. 3) it’s an 8:30 show from Phil Hogan, a North Carolina comic who also sings, plays a mean guitar and does rock ‘n’ roll impressions. Afterwards, the Virginia band Mammoth Indigo plays ... Black Tusk returns to the Jinx next Friday (Aug. 9) ...

New shows

Country music queen Loretta Lynn has been booked into the Johnny Mercer Theatre for a show on Oct. 6; on Oct. 4, comedian Eddie Griffin performs in the venue. Other new Savannah Civic Center bookings include rapper T.I. and Friends (Aug. 15), comedian Mike Epps (Nov. 9) and the return of singer/songwriter Corey Smith (Sept. 5). Of course, you’ve heard that Sandra Bernhard has a Club One appearance planned for Sept. 8 (for some reason, it’s at 4 in the afternoon). All tickets, for all shows, are on sale now. CS


The music column




Filligar’s pedigree

One of the hottest indie bands in America is a true band of brothers By Bill DeYoung |

Sometimes, less is more. Sometimes, all you need to say is “Filligar is a cool rock ‘n’ roll band,” and the point is made. Returning to Savannah for a Jinx show Aug. 3, Filligar — you saw them at Stopover in March — includes guitar, bass, drums and piano. The music skillfully blends rawness and finesse, showmanship and chops. Think Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Think Wilco. Think Crazy Horse. Or the 1970s Stones. See? A cool rock ‘n’ roll band. What else do you want to know? After kickass, jaw-dropping shows at SXSW and CMJ, Filligar was

named “One of the Best Live Acts in America 2011” by the RSL music blog. The indie quartet’s sixth album, Hexagon, hasn’t been out all that long, and the reviews are almost uniformly staggering. A big reason that Hexagon stands out from the glut is the use of Casey Gibson’s keyboards — they provide both atmosphere and backbone, melodic meat and supportive potatoes, for a thick gumbo of (very wellwritten) music that would otherwise

be guitar-based, like that of so many other young bands. It makes Filligar stand out. Gibson himself stands out, as the three other guys are Mathis brothers — Johnny (guitar), Pete (drums) and Teddy (bass). They all grew up together in Chicago, and began playing together (three-chord punk, for the most part) in the early 2000s, in the Mathias family garage, when Gibson was 12 years old. Most bands who start when the guys are 12 really suck. They play too fast, they think they’re cool, they get worse and they break up. How come that didn’t happen to you? Casey Gibson: That’s a very good question! Either we are totally

bananas … obviously, being in a band with three brothers helps. You can’t really run off with a girlfriend — everybody knows where you are. It’s been a lesson in determination and patience, and honestly if we weren’t having fun doing it, we wouldn’t be doing it. Was it a learning process, musically, over time? Casey Gibson: Oh, sure. As you grow up, doing anything for this long, your tastes change. And you get new ideas of what you think is cool, and what your friends think is cool. A lot of people like to talk about how our sound has changed over the years. But I think if it wasn’t changing … you know, the definition of insanity




By now, are you the fourth brother? Or are there places you can’t go when they get into it? Casey Gibson: You spend enough time in the same van, I wouldn’t say there are any boundaries. We’re as close at it comes. That said, I definitely am glad that I’m a little bit of the black sheep in the band. I’ve got my own thing going. But at the end of the day, we don’t think too much about it. It’s just a fact of life now. Were you classically trained? Were you one of those kids they stuck in front of a piano when you were little? Casey Gibson: I started playing when I was 5. I lived in an apartment building in Chicago, and you could always hear our neighbor across the hall playing the piano. So the story goes, I was begging my mom for a year to let me start taking piano lessons. And

finally, at 5, she caved in. I can’t really remember a time that I wasn’t playing. When I was growing up, it was crazy. Recitals and piano camp, it was pretty intense. So how come you’re not Van Cliburn now? How did rock ‘n’ roll piano ‘get’ you? Casey Gibson: Honestly, I still practice my classical piano. I took jazz lessons in college. If music is good, no matter what the genre is, I’m gonna be a fan of it. That said, I think things started really clicking for me when I started reading about Nicky Hopkins, Billy Payne and Billy Preston. All these guys who really made the keyboards cool. Jerry Lee Lewis and all these guys. Because the guitar gets all the credit for revolutionizing rock ‘n’ roll, but there’s a lot of cool rock pianists out there. I guess keyboards went through kind of a bummer phase in the ‘80s and ‘90s, so I’m trying to pull them out of the woodwork and make ‘em cool again. Are you familiar with Benmont Tench,


BLOODY MARY BAR Have it your way

from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers? His keyboard work adds so much to that band. Casey Gibson: We were lucky enough to get to play with those guys at Summerfest in Milwaukee maybe two years back. And he was a true highlight. I mean, watching that guy play, he looks like a man possessed up there. Are there boundaries when you’re recording? “Let’s not put ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ on this album, that would be too weird”? Casey Gibson: We’re definitely fans of the weird, so the weirder the better! Sometimes we have to reign it back in a little bit, but we just like to have fun with it. Our recording process has changed a lot over the years. The record before this one, we did in marathon sessions. Had a bunch of songs, then just went in and tracked everything in three weeks. This one was recorded like piecemeal. We were still touring on the last record. We’d have a week off, two weeks off, and we’d pop into the studio and record a track

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Casey Gibson: There’s nothing like getting that instantaneous feedback from an audience. You can be in a studio thinking yourself in circles. Live, you don’t have the ability to do that. We love all parts of our job. We’re lucky that we get to do what we do. CS

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or two. I think it’s dependent upon the set of circumstances we’re given. Right now, we’ve got a great studio out in L.A., and after this tour is done we’re probably going to go back out that way, and let it happen organically. I guess that’s the best way to do it.

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is doing the same thing twice and expecting different results. Honestly, we don’t put too much thought into it. We listen to different stuff, all four of us, and the sound is just kind of an amalgamation of that.


MUSIC | continued from previous page

savannah voice festival










Lord Dying




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Savannah Voice Festival debuts with events all over town


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Mikki Sodergren is a featured performer

Savannah’s a city of festivals, and our newest annual event promises to fill one of the few remaining gaps in the local cultural fabric. The Savannah Voice Festival brings two weeks of opera, light opera and Broadway to town in various venues. The point is simple: To bring the best professional and up-and-coming vocal talent to town in a very accessible manner. How accessible? Most events are under $20, with many of them free. The inaugural Savannah Voice Festival is a collaborative effort, but the two founders are longtime opera great Sherrill Milnes and his wife Maria Zouves. “I want everyone to be prepared: There will be 100 artists running around town singing and eating and drinking and working,” laughs Zouves. “They’re ambassadors of opera. We’ve been trying to support young artists for over a decade with the idea that for someone who’s done

this kind of art at this high a level, the way to pay it forward is to communicate, and to nurture.” So, all you’re going to see is fat ladies in Viking helmets, right? No. “The opera world has loosened up a lot, especially for Americans,” says Milnes. “They have to be able to sing all the languages of operas, as well as Broadway, operettas, Rodgers and Hammerstein. That’s where we come from in our program. There’s lots of crossover. We don’t do boring.” Indeed, highlights of the Festival’s first week include such crowd-pleasers as this Saturday’s “Death by Aria,” in which young hopefuls deliver some of opera’s greatest solo gems, to Sunday’s “Music Out of a Hat,” a game show format in which performers have to sing whatever piece an audience member pulls out of a hat.

One young performer at “Music Out of a Hat,” among other Festival events, will be Mikki Sodergren. The 23-year-old Minnesota native explains the intersection of opera and good ol’ musicals. “Originally opera was the main popular entertainment, and you also had straight plays. Then America created the American musical theatre,” she says. “The singing is similar. They’re different styles, but in order to have longevity in either career you need to take care of your voice and sing with proper technique. For me, musical theatre actually comes easiest when I’ve been singing a lot of opera. The resonance lines up correctly and you’re able to project in a healthy manner.” Like many of the other performers at the Festival, Sodergren will stay quite busy throughout the event’s two full weeks. “Even though the schedule looks rigorous on paper, for me it’s ideal,” she says. “I’m singing every day and

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Opera legend Sherrill Milnes during a master class

people are encouraging me to be better, giving me feedback, pushing me to improve. And I’m pushing myself — singing is a very self-driven career, you have to really push yourself.” In the 1970s, Sherrill Milnes starred in one of the best examples of an opera committed to film, Puccini’s Tosca, directed for the screen by Gianfranco De Bosio. For Milnes, who played the villain Scarpia, the challenge was dialing back the stage theatrics for the intimacy of the movie camera. “On a movie like Tosca, on location with the cameras close up, it was a real challenge to bring it down and make it real,” he says. “The reactions have to be scaled down and in some ways made more intense — more felt inside. A shift of the eyes is huge in a close up, whereas onstage an eye shift is meaningless.” Also of particular interest to festivalgoers on a budget are the free master classes given by Milnes and Argentinian singer/director Tito Capobianco. “The audience gets a performance. The singer comes and announces what they will sing, whether it’s opera or Broadway or whatever,” says Milnes of his Aug. 5 master class. “I don’t say anything — I watch, make notes, then we work on it. The audience gets a performance as well as an eye into the educational process.” Of the fiery Capiobianco’s Aug. 15 master class, Milnes says “Intense would be the word for him. His discipline is working almost totally on

body energy, and really putting the face into the character. Some students in the American world might not be used to so much passion!” Indeed, too much passion is always an occupational hazard for those in the performing arts. Just as ballet dancers are paradoxically notorious for being chain smokers, Sodergren gives us some insight into the vices of singers. “Singers love beer,” she laughs. “I’m sure World of Beer is going to get a ton of business from us while we’re in town.” cs Savannah Voice Festival, Week One Highlights


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Death by Aria, Westin Savannah Harbor, Aug. 3, 3-5 p.m., 6:30-8:30 p.m. ($15 each) Music Out of a Hat, Asbury Memorial UMC, Aug. 4, 3-4:30 p.m., $15 Sherrill Milnes Master Class, Westin Savannah Harbor, Aug. 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m., free Evening of Sacred Music, First Presbyterian, Aug. 6, 6:30-8 p.m., $15


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voice fest | from previous page


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Club owners and performers: Soundboard is a free service - to be included, please send your live music information weekly to Questions? Call (912) 721-4385.


Wednesday Bay Street Blues The Hitman [Live Music] Gerald’s Pig & Shrimp Eric Culberson Band [Live Music] Jazz’d Tapas Bar Eddie Wilson [Live Music] Jinx Lord Dying, Howl [Live Music] Kevin Barry’s Irish Pub Harry O’Donoghue [Live Music] Molly McGuire’s The Rosies [Live Music] Retro on Congress Open Mic w/Markus [Live Music] Savannah Smiles Dueling Pianos [Live Music] Tubby’s (River St.) Jared Wade [Live Music] Warehouse Jon Lee’s Apparitions [Live Music] Wild Wing Cafe Jeff Beasley [Live Music]

Savannah’s instrumental surf punk band, Wave Slaves, plays Hang Fire Saturday (Aug. 3) with the Lovely Locks. Wormhole Open Mic [Live Music]

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Bayou Cafe Eric Culberson Band [Live Music] Jazz’d Tapas Bar Trae Gurley [Live Music] Kevin Barry’s Irish Pub Harry O’Donoghue [Live Music] Molly MacPherson’s Scottish Pub Pluff Mudd [Live Music] North Beach Grill American Hologram [Live Music] Rock House Souls Harbor [Live Music] Rocks on the Roof Jason Bible [Live Music] R.O.S.E. Public House TBA (acoustic) [Live Music] Savannah Smiles Dueling Pianos [Live Music] Sentient Bean Passerine [Live Music] Tubby’s (River St.) Chuck





Courtenay [Live Music] Warehouse Randy Cuba [Live Music] Wild Wing Cafe Violet Hill [Live Music] World of Beer Brian Bazemore [Live Music]


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Club 51 Degrees Live DJ Congress Street Social Club DJ Blackout Jinx Motown & Soul Revue SubZero Bar Latin/salsa

Blowin’ Smoke BBQ Lauren Lapointe [Live Music] CoCo’s Sunset Grille Josh Johansson [Live Music] Congress Street Social Club General Patton And The Heads Of State [Live Music] Driftaway Cafe Jeff Beasley & Mike Perry [Live Music] Foxy Loxy Cafe Basik Lee (First Friday Art March) [Live Music] Jazz’d Tapas Bar Hear & Now [Live Music] Jinx Ken Mode, Savagist [Live Music] Kevin Barry’s Irish Pub Harry O’Donoghue [Live Music] Mansion on Forsyth Park Tradewinds [Live Music] Molly MacPherson’s Scottish Pub Defunk [Live Music] Molly McGuire’s Chicken

Fight [Live Music] Rancho Alegre Cuban Restaurant Jody Espina Trio [Live Music] Rock House Souls Harbor [Live Music] Rocks on the Roof Bottles & Cans [Live Music] R.O.S.E. Public House Ben & Rachel [Live Music] Saddle Bags Damon & the Shitkickers [Live Music] Savannah Smiles Dueling Pianos [Live Music] Sweet Melissa’s The Projection [Live Music] Tubby’s (Thunderbolt) Georgia Kyle & the Magical Flying Machine [Live Music] Tybee Island Social Club Eric Britt [Live Music] Warehouse The Hitman [Live Music] Westin A Nickel Bag of Funk [Live Music] Wild Wing Cafe John O’Mary, The Tarlatans [Live Music] World of Beer Will Erickson & The Wreckage [Live Music] Wormhole DJ Rotted Testicles and MC Donkey Punch and Maggot Burger [Live Music]


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Bayou Cafe The Magic Rocks [Live Music] Blowin’ Smoke BBQ City Hotel [Live Music] Congress Street Social Club Versatile [Live Music] Hang Fire Lovely Locks, Wave Slaves, Tape Waves [Live Music] Jazz’d Tapas Bar Velvet Caravan [Live Music] Jinx Filigar [Live Music] Kevin Barry’s Irish Pub Harry O’Donoghue [Live Music] Mansion on Forsyth Park Hear ‘n’ Now [Live Music] Molly MacPherson’s Scottish Pub The Epic Cycle [Live Music] Molly McGuire’s Lyn Ave. [Live Music] Rachel’s 1190 Bad Justice [Live Music] Rancho Alegre Cuban Restaurant Jody Espina Trio [Live Music] Randy Wood’s Concert Hall (Bloomingdale) Roy Book Binder [Live Music] R.O.S.E. Public House TBA (jazz) [Live Music] Saddle Bags Andy Velo [Live Music] Savannah Smiles Dueling Pianos [Live Music] The Sentient Bean CaroMia [Live Music] Tybee Island Social Club Eric Culberson Band [Live Music] The Warehouse Georgia Kyle & the Magical Flying Machine [Live Music] Wild Wing Cafe Bill Hodgson, Mighty McFly [Live Music] World of Beer Quick Trixie [Live Music] Wormhole Mammoth Indigo [Live Music]


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Acoustic blues picker and storytelling legend Roy Book Binder visits Randy Wood’s place Aug. 3. Ocean Plaza Live DJ Dosha Bar & Lounge Live DJ Rocks on the Roof DJ WerdLife


Sunday 17 Hundred 90 Gail Thurmond [Live Music] Bayou Cafe Don Coyer [Live Music] Congress Street Social Club Voodoo Soup [Live Music] The Flying Fish The Positions [Live Music] Huc-A-Poo’s Eric Culberson Band [Live Music] Jazz’d Tapas Bar Eric Britt [Live Music] Kevin Barry’s Harry O’Donoghue [Live Music] Tubby’s (Thunderbolt) Brunch With the Rosies [Live Music] Tybee Island Social Club Bluegrass Brunch [Live Music] Warehouse Thomas Claxton [Live Music] Wild Wing Cafe The Steppin’ Stones [Live Music]


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Monday Abe’s on Lincoln Open Mic [Live Music] Bay Street Blues Open Mic [Live Music] Bayou Cafe David Harbuck [Live Music] Kevin Barry’s Frank Emerson [Live Music] Tubby’s (River St.) Joey Manning [Live Music] Wormhole Late Nite Open Mic [Live Music]


McDonough’s Karaoke


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Tuesday Bayou Cafe David Harbuck [Live Music] Dosha Open Jam [Live Music] Jazz’d Tapas Bar Randy Cuba [Live Music] Kevin Barry’s Frank Emerson [Live Music] Molly MacPherson’s Scottish Pub Open Mic Night [Live Music] Pour Larry’s Open Jam [Live Music] CS

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sound board





Top: Work by Isak Dove is at Anahata Healing Arts; they have a reception August 2 from 6-9 pm during the First Friday Art March. Bottom: Emily Quintero of 13 Bricks at Desotorow Gallery.

Visual arts

Savannah’s subterranean art scene By Paula S. Fogarty

The stagnant economy, declining art market, and suffering American arts institutions have not deterred a band of young artists who’ve chosen to claim new territory in Savannah. Inroads to Savannah’s rising underground arts culture continue to be blazed by the efforts of Desotorow Gallery’s First Friday Art March. I’ve heard many visitors to the Hostess City inquire where the underground art scene is in Savannah — our SoHo, our Chelsea, our Meat Packing District, our Bloomsbury, our Left Bank. Whereas the Telfair and SCAD Museums and great historic house museums such as the Davenport House are essential stops for any visitor, the First Friday Art March is a perfect chance to discover its subterranean art world. On my preview of galleries setting up for this Friday’s Art March, I was struck by how very bohemian, in the 19th-century sense, this scene truly is, vividly recalling the collaborations of England’s Charles Swinburne, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelites. Local businesses and galleries south of Gaston open their doors for the First Friday of each month to celebrate the local arts, but the First Friday celebration emanates from De Soto Avenue between 40th and 41st streets in the Starland District. This Friday, Aug. 2, marks the second

March orchestrated by the new leadership at Desotorow Gallery, and the lineup is hopefully a harbinger of things to come. Connect readers learned about the dynamic trio of 13 Bricks T-shirt company founders last week, whose mission is promoting artistic imagery and messaging by way of organic cotton T-shirts. I stopped by te Desotorow Gallery to observe the installation of the collaborative mural and pyramid by this team of artists. They’re creating their installation to be accompanied by a live performance of pop electronica band, Electric Grandma. “The combination of their music with our collaborative art is in keeping with how we see the arts. They’re connected parts of a greater creative whole,” explained 13 Bricks’ cofounder Emily Quintero. This is a nearly perfect echo of the critic Walter Pater’s maxim of 1873 that, “all art aspires to the condition of music.” I was also reminded of James A.M. Whistler’s preoccupation with the notion of synesthesia, or taking a musical approach to composing his paintings he called “symphonies,”

The attitude within this growing movement clearly embraces the 19thcentury slogan coined by Theophile Gautier, “art pour l’art.” With arts institutions struggling for donations and commercial galleries shutting down across America, this grassroots, bohemian approach may be a winning strategy to keep art central to our lives. cs For more information on the August 2nd Art March line up visit

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“arrangements,” and “nocturnes.” Music seems to be playing a more prominent role in the First Friday Art March. Lauren Flotte, Desotorow Gallery’s board president, says, “We’re going to be bringing in more musical acts, with a DJ welcoming people into the entrance of De Soto Avenue, and Electric Grandma closing it off.” This Friday also marks the inaugural First Friday Art March Afterparty at the Wormhole from 9 p.m. until closing, with four live musical acts, plus food and drinks. The afterparty is designed to bring art marchers together to discuss the works of art they’ve seen, and to hopefully make meaningful introductions among patrons and artists for future collaborations.

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visual arts | continued from previous page

News & Opinion JUL 31-AUG 6, 2013 | WWW.CONNECTSAVANNAH.COM



by lee heidel | | /@brewdrinkrun |

Let’s drink to a happy #IPAday THURSDAY, AUGUST 1 is IPA Day, a nationwide celebration for the hoppiest of beers: The India Pale Ale. The venerable Pale Ale is the IPA’s direct precedent. Those highly drinkable beers are known for their smooth balance between hops, yeast and malts. IPAs crank up the amount of hops in the recipe and are most recognizable by those hoppy flavor profiles. The typically bitter taste of the hops is the predominant flavor element, clearly discernable from their mild malt bases and minimal yeast notes. American IPAs can bring additional citrus, floral, pine, resin or fruit characteristics, depending on their included hop varieties. Beer can be brewed in many styles, from crisp almost clear ales to black milkshake-like Imperial stouts. For a lot of people, IPAs are the perfect “gateway beer” — a logical next step from the mass-marketed sweet lagers and into the wider, more diverse world of craft beer. The aggressive hopping of IPAs gives a big punch of flavor, and IPAs represent some of the biggest selling and highest rated craft beers. By recognizing the IPA, we’re really

celebrating the rise in popularity of all craft beer. If you’re looking for a local watering hole to celebrate IPA Day, start your day at Moon River Brewing Co.’s new beer garden. That recent expansion has opened up their tap list to include a wide selection from breweries across the U.S. “Savannah’s on the cusp of being another big beer town in the state. IPAs are something that draws people in,” says Taylor Yates, a brewer at Moon River. “What’s not to like?” Sitting beside beers from New Holland and Green Flash will be a special 1/2 barrel variant of Moon River’s house IPA, Swamp Fox, flavored with fresh rosemary. Another excellent option is The Distillery, where they will be devoting all of their keg space to the day’s namesake style. Founders Devil Dancer will be there, along with 20 other American IPAs, from Imperials to Blacks. Julia Volen, GM at The Distillery, is a devoted hophead looking for “any excuse to have as many IPAs as possible.” So which IPA is right for you? The Hop Bomb: While I’d love to write a long-winded love letter to The Alchemist’s Heady Topper or Three Floyd’s Zombie Dust, limited distribution means you can’t run out and buy those in Savannah. Instead, let me point you to one of the gold standards in the IPA world, Stone IPA. This classic West coast-style IPA pours a

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gorgeous cloudy orange with a thick white head. A glimpse of sweetness gives way to the big, bitter citrus hops and leaves a clean dry finish. Big and Boozy: There’s a lot to like about Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA. It’s a sweeter selection with a less harsh but still complex hop profile. The viscous amber beer’s strong malt base compares to caramel and honey while the hops bring some floral and pine elements that blend nicely. At 9% ABV, it’s definitely a sipper, so take your time! The Belgian Twist: White IPAs have been gaining popularity in recent years. These beers blend bitter floral or citrus hops with the spice, fruit and funk of Belgian yeasts. Linchpin, a collaboration by Founders and Green Flash, is a great

introduction to the style. A more accessible bottle right now would be New Holland’s White Hatter. Local Options: Two Savannah breweries offer IPAs. Southbound’s Hop’lin IPA is the new kid on the block, just hitting local kegs in the past few months. Hop’lin has a semisweet base with a bitter hoppy wallop. One of Moon River Brewing Co.’s long time offerings is their Swamp Fox IPA. Swamp Fox is on the milder side of the IPA spectrum. Brewer Taylor Yates describes it as “not overly boozy or bitter. It’s well balanced between the hops and malt. An ‘everyman’ IPA.” No matter where you choose to celebrate or which beers you select, you can share your IPA Day activities by using the #IPAday hashtag. cs

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Beth Howells (l.) and Jane Wood offer up strong coffee and local art at the Tybean off Hwy 80.

By Jessica leigh Lebos |

For a destination that welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists a year, Tybee Island has a conspicuous shortage of espresso joints. Maybe it’s because beachgoers are more interested in sweet tea — perhaps spiked with something a little stronger. But in the past decade, Americans have come to demand their morning cup of freshly-roasted joe, and not just any weak, muddy brew will do. This may still be a sleepy beach town, but in these modern times, many folks want to wake up with a double latte with a dusting of cinnamon. And as it stands now, there’s only one place to get it without crossing a bridge. “Tybee’s ready for a real cup of coffee,” declares Beth Martin, co-owner of Tybean Art & Coffee Bar. She and partner Jane Wood opened Tybean two months ago to an instant clientele as vacationers and locals clamor throughout the day for the robust stuff. Beans are shipped fresh from Atlanta’s Batdorf & Bronson for Tybean’s hearty signature blend,

Dancing Goats. The specialty drinks come from an industrial espresso machine named “Sophia.” “Well, she’s Italian, isn’t she?” shrugs Wood with a grin. Operating out of not much more than a colorful shack, Martin and Wood are hardly your corporate coffee giants. Martin has owned several galleries around the state and Wood is a heralded folk artist. The duo has lived on the island for over a decade and ran Savannah Art Works, then Tybee Art Works, and before that, a little café in Atlanta. When the spot opened up in Tybee Oaks Shops on the north side of the island, they saw an opportunity to synthesize their past experience. “We’ve been looking to combine the elements of art and coffee for a long time,” says Martin as she washes dishes behind the tiny counter space. A modest $6000 Kickstarter got them up and running (donors were

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rewarded with drinks named after them), and they’ve stocked the former screened-in porch with plenty of cream and coffee stirrers. A full array of espresso drinks, chai tea and whole beans are available. Also on the menu are fruits smoothies and locally-baked key lime cookies and scones from islander Sandra Nix. Tybean shares real estate with venerated pizza joint Huc-A-Poo’s, Hot Sushi’s Surf Shack and a bevy of gift shops under the oaks, a micro-community of laid-back local businessfolk for whom authenticity and kindship remain paramount. Tybean’s atmosphere is similarly cozy and casual as customers lounge on the outdoor patio or on a red vinyl couch that looks like it came out of your grandfather’s pristine Cadillac. The livin’-is-easy vibe applies to the art as well: On the walls are Georgia Kyle Shriver’s bold portraits and Capt. Edwin Longwater’s driftwood sunset scenes. Other affordable art pieces include upcycled frames made from found wood and dreamy beachscapes by local photographer Melissa Doud Freeman. Wood’s own whimsical wire works range from decorative owls to twisted wall vases to entwined candleholders. “We don’t need to represent a lot of artists, we don’t have the space!” says Wood. “It’s just me and a few friends.” So far Martin and Wood split the day, from eight in the morning to six at night. Rather than hibernate like the rest of the island, they plan to keep Tybean open through the winter season. Which begs the question, when do they get a day off? “We haven’t had one of those yet,” smiles Wood. “But we’ll figure something out.” Though some impatient out-oftowners must be schooled on the slowed-down version of reality that is Tybee Time, most customers deeply appreciate being able to find a finelycrafted mug of java or their favorite espresso beverage. “Coffee is a whole different interaction,” observes Martin, who waited tables in the bar next door for years. “People are tired when they come in and they wake up with good coffee — and then they’re happy! You can’t beat that.” cs

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art patrol


Openings & Receptions

Rohland, Andrea Stark and Sue Vertullo. Hospice Savannah, 1352 Eisenhower Dr.

Remixing Banality: Rural Studies

Savannah Squares by Night — Images by photographer

— Jon Walker is a Kentuckybased oil painter specializing in landscapes. Opening reception Friday August 2 7-10 pm. Food by Angel’s BBQ. The Butcher, 19 E. Bay St.

Jamie Rose Farreh. Savannah City Hall, 2 East Bay Street.

Shadows Remain — A selec-

tion of cedar sculptures by artist Ursula von Rydingsvard. Wall reliefs and monumental freestanding floor pieces. SCAD Museum of Art, 601 Turner Blvd.

Catchment — Recent oil paint-

ings by Charleston artist Robert Sparrow Jones. August 1-31, Reception August 2, 6-8 pm. Gallery Espresso, 234 Bull St.

Gallery talk: “Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein Collection” — A

guided discussion led by Carmela Spinelli, SCAD fashion and accessory design chair. Museum admission. Free for all SCAD. Thu., Aug. 1, 5 p.m. SCAD Museum of Art, 601 Turner Blvd. Rick Woods & Jim Griffin —

Featured artists for August. Woods is a travel and nature photographer. Griffin, an original Gallery 209 member, creates jewelry with gold, silver, fossils and semi-precious stones. Aug. 1-31. Gallery 209, 209 E River St.

Continuing “About Face” - A multi-media

portrait show of collaborative works by Angela Burson, Christine Sajecki, Greg Eltringham, Patrick McKinnon, Adrienne Stein, Anelecia Hannah, Troy Wandzel, Jeff Markowsky, Stephen Cefalo, Jude Harzer and Melinda Borysevicz through Aug. 2. S.P.A.C.E., 9 W. Henry St. Act/Natural: Photography — Approximately 40 pho-

tographs from Telfair’s permanent collection. Jepson Center for the Arts, 207 West York St.

Alexander Ink — The annual

juried exhibition of prints from students studying printmaking at SCAD. Alexander Hall Gallery, 668 Indian St.

Arsenal — A contemporary

installation of hundreds of hand-made paper “guns” suspended from the ceiling. Jepson Center for the Arts, 207 West York St.

Work by Jon Walker at The Butcher; reception this Friday Contemporary Southern Landscape — The unique

landscape of the South is the subject of this exhibition of work by a wide range of artists, media, and styles. Jepson Center for the Arts, 207 West York St.

Facing South: Portraits of Southern Artists by Jerry Siegel —

Jerry Siegel’s approximately 50 black-and-white and color portraits. Jepson Center for the Arts, 207 West York St. Drawings by Morgan Santander — Farewell exhibition of

works by Santander, who is leaving Savannah “for a studio elsewhere.” Through Aug. 5. 912-233-7659. indigoskycommunitygallery. com. Through Aug. 5 Indigo Sky Community Gallery, 915 Waters Ave.

Environmental Occupations — Photographs by SCAD

alumnus Mark Dorf (B.F.A., photography, 2011). SCAD Museum of Art, 601 Turner Blvd.

Gallery Espresso: Celebrating 20 years of Coffee, Art, and Peace of Mind — A group show cel-

ebrating two decades of coffee and art. Gallery Espresso, 234 Bull St.

The Ghost Within — New works

on paper by SCAD alumna Blanche Nettles Powers, whose abstracted imagery derives from Savannah’s iconic Spanish moss. Arnold Hall (SCAD), 1810 Bull St.

Hybrid — Chakaia Booker’s

exhibition of wall-mounted and freestanding sculptures, highlighting Booker’s focused

explorations of the metaphorical associations and formal manipulations of the rubber tire. SCAD Museum of Art, 601 Turner Blvd. New York Accents — An exhibi-

tion of visual art, decorative and fine art objects from Telfair Museums’ permanent collection dating from the early 19th century to the present, exploring the rich influence of New York on Savannah. Museum admission. Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, 121 Barnard St.

Passages — Embroidery paint-

ings and large-scale drawings on paper by artist Jessica Rankin. Pinnacle Gallery, 320 E Liberty St.

Reconstruction — A site-specific, commissioned painting installation by Adam Cvijanovic. SCAD Museum of Art, 601 Turner Blvd. Rehearsals: The Practice and Influence of Sound and Movement — Works by acclaimed

artists from the Walter O. Evans Collection in dialogue with selected contemporary works that explore themes of sound, movement, practice and process. Selected artists include Romare Bearden, Richmond Barthe, Beauford Delaney, Aaron Douglas, Clementine Hunter, Jacob Lawrence and Alma Thomas and more. SCAD Museum of Art, 601 Turner Blvd.

Savannah Art Association’s Summer Show — Art in this show

by Association members Margaret Clay, Barbara Gentry, Sue Gouse, Margie Sone Gravina, Bobbie Kraft, Carol Lasell, Martha Love, Grace

Silver From the Rizza Collection — An exhibition of the

recently donated collection of 18th-to-20th century American and English silver from Dr. Frank Rizza and his family. Jepson Center for the Arts, 207 West York St. Sitting in Savannah: Telfair Chairs and Sofas — Highlights

Telfair Museums’ significant collection of chairs and sofas as functional objects and sculptural forms. Originally from the collections of 19thcentury Savannahians and other collectors. Also at the Owens-Thomas House, 124 Abercorn St. Museum admission Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, 121 Barnard St.

Snapshots: summer sales exhibition — Works by SCAD

artists depicting imagery from around the world. Gutstein Gallery, 201 E Broughton St,. Streaming Spirits: By Valerie Hammond and Kiki Smith —

Taking inspiration from the 19th-century genre of spirit photography, these works on paper use a variety of printmaking techniques. Guest curator Crista Cloutier. SCAD Museum of Art, 601 Turner Blvd. Track Series (Octopus) — Part

of the continuing “Derrapagem” series of vinyl-decal mural installations by Brazilbased artist Regina Silveira. SCAD Museum of Art, 601 Turner Blvd.

Two Faced — Photography

meets graphic design in this exhibition by RAABstract, co-founder of The Soda Shop. The Sentient Bean, 13 East Park Ave. cs




by matt brunson |


511 Stephenson Ave.


Wolverine, Conjuring, RIPD, Red 2, Grown Ups 2, Turbo, Pacific Rim, Despicable Me 2, White House Down, Monsters U

Lunch pricing all day Any 2 Rolls $7.45 Any 3 Rolls $10.45 All You Can Eat Sushi $16.95

spotlight EISENHOWER

352-3533 1100 Eisenhower Dr.

Much Ado About Nothing, Wolverine, Red 2, Grown Ups 2, Turbo, Despicable Me 2

REGAL SAVANNAH 10 1132 Shawnee St.


Smurfs 2, RIPD, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, Turbo, Pacific Rim, White House Down, Monsters U, World War Z

(3pm-9:30pm. Dine-in only.)

16 W. State St. 236.7288


Open daily for lunch & dinner

1901 E. Victory



Wolverine, Conjuring, Smurfs 2, Red 2, Grown Ups 2, Turbo, Pacific Rim, Despicable Me 2

WYNNSONG 11 1150 Shawnee St.


Fruitvale Station, Wolverine, Conjuring, Red 2, Grown Ups 2, Despicable Me 2, The Heat, Lone Ranger, Man of Steel


425 POOLER PKWY. 330-0777

Titles for this theater were not made available by press time.



Wolverine, Conjuring, RIPD, Red 2, Grown Ups 2, Despicable Me 2, Turbo, Pacific Rim, Pacific Rim IMAX, The Heat, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain

OPENING AUG. 2: 2 Guns



The less charitable among us would say that Hugh Jackman has his meal ticket and won’t let go of it for anything. After all, The Wolverine marks the sixth time the actor has played the surly superhero (yes, six; don’t forget his hilarious, split-second cameo in X-Men: First Class), a streak that’s even more pronounced in a genre in which most actors tap out after just one or two appearances. But Jackman hardly needs this character to sustain his Hollywood career -- he is, after all, just coming off an Oscar nomination for Les Miserables -- so clearly he feels an affinity for the part and wants to do right by it. Unfortunately, these solo outings, away from the rest of the X-Men, just aren’t quite cutting it. Like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, this latest effort is a middling superhero saga that attempts to deepen our understanding of the character but instead ends up mainly treading narrative water. Using 1982’s four-issue limited series

Wolverine as its starting point, the film finds Wolverine (aka Logan) journeying to Japan at the request of an enemy combatant whose life he had saved during the bombing of Nagasaki at the close of World War II. That individual, Yashida (played during the WWII scenes by Ken Yamamura and as an elderly man by Hal Yamanouchi), is close to death, and he wants to thank Logan for his help all those years ago. But it soon turns out that Yashida has more on his mind than a simple gesture of gratitude, and Logan continued on page 30

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but we really should be demanding more from our horror flicks.





Life doesn’t stop at 60, according to gun toting Helen Mirren in Red 2

soon becomes immersed in turbulent family affairs. Yashida’s son Shingen (Hiroyuki Sanada) wants Logan to leave Japan immediately, but the Canadian export elects to hang around, especially after he sees that Shingen’s daughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto) is in grave danger. Aiding him in his endeavors to protect Mariko is Yukio (Rila Fukushima), a pint-size warrior woman (she looks like an anime character come to life) who proves to be a valuable ally. Superhero movies are often defined as much by their villains as by their good guys, and it’s in this area where The Wolverine proves to be especially deficient. From the slinky Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova) to the Silver Samurai to various Yakuza minions, the baddies are a boring bunch, making even the previous Wolverine picture’s Sabretooth and Deadpool look like Darth Vader in his prime. But the disappointment doesn’t stop with the evildoers: The late Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), formerly a vibrant X-character, pops us in Logan’s dreams to offer him life lectures. These sequences are sluggish and trite, and it was pointless to include her character at all. Indeed, huge chunks of the film feel draggy and underdeveloped, and yet the moments that work feel fresh and invigorating, as director James Mangold , A-list writer Scott Frank (Get Shorty) and C-list writer Mark Bomback (the Total Recall remake) break free from the template of the big-screen superhero saga to fashion something more personal. This solemnity often feels at odds with the filmmakers’ need to satisfy the blockbuster quota (an extended battle atop

a speeding bullet train is a doozy), but it nevertheless makes for an occasionally sharp film that can cut through Man of Steel and perhaps even Iron Man 3 like an adamantium claw through hot butter.



Every couple of years, the American moviegoing public is greeted with a film that instantly earns the enviable tag of “One of the Scariest Movies Ever Made!” This designation used to be reserved for only the most special of terror tales -- Psycho, The Exorcist, Alien -- but these days, it’s a catchphrase free-for-all, without much meaning. Saw, The Descent (far and away the best of the bunch), Paranormal Activity, Insidious -- the list goes on. (But no Jack and Jill? What the hell?) The Conjuring is the latest picture to manufacture this reputation for itself, and it seems to have taken hold in many moviegoers who are treating it like the second coming of Linda Blair. I suppose it’s possible to be shaken to the core by this movie even if it’s ultimately not much more frightening than, say, The Flintstones Meet Rockula and Frankenstone or Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island -- but ultimately, it’s just one more hauntedhouse yarn, albeit one that’s modestly elevated by James Wan’s relatively restrained direction and a roster of characters who are more levelheaded than the usual gang of idiots who populate films of this nature. Reportedly based on a true story - and if you believe that everything in this film really did happen, then I

have 20 acres of Jersey shore property I can sell you cheap - this examines what paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) consider the most frightening and baffling case of their careers. It’s the early 1970s, and they’re called upon to check out a house newly purchased by the Perrons: dad Roger (Ron Livingston), mom Carolyn (Lili Taylor) and their five daughters. It’s a pleasant enough property, but once the Perrons move in, weird things begin happening. First, of course, they discover the lovable family pooch laying dead outside. Then birds begin slamming into the house. Then all the clocks stop at 3:07 ... every night. Strange clapping sounds, unexplained bruises all over Carolyn’s body, doors creaking open by themselves - time to call the Ghostbusters! Or, in a pinch, the Warrens. To his credit, Wan relies on establishing and maintaining mood more than engaging in cheap scares or buckets of blood, but there’s only so much that can be done with a premise as overexposed as this one (is there anything less cinematic than watching people monitoring cameras and tape recorders?). The filmmakers try to generate some tension with a leering doll that’s no match for Trilogy of Terror’s Zuni doll, a guest appearance by the title apparition in Mama, and even the Pixar ball being rolled across a floor, but the return on investment is minimal - the concession prices will scare more people than any of these devices. The Conjuring boasts top production values and an admirable refusal to condescend to its audience,

Based on the Dark Horse comic book, R.I.P.D. is one of those movies that’s more fun to discuss than to watch. Look, it’s Rooster Cogburn and Green Lantern, together at last! Check out The Dude slumming with Van Wilder! Wait, when did Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds take over the Men in Black franchise from Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith? Lame wisecracks at the water cooler are certainly preferable to anything in R.I.P.D., an endurance test masquerading as a motion picture. The MiB digs are a given, since instead of a seasoned veteran and his rookie partner protecting the planet from aliens disguised as humans, we get a a seasoned veteran and his rookie partner protecting the planet from spirits disguised as humans. Reynolds plays Nick Walker, a Boston cop who’s betrayed and killed by his partner (Kevin Bacon) over their misappropriation of a gold shipment swiped from a gang of crooks. Nick ends up in a sterile purgatory where an administrator (Mary-Louise Parker) offers him an opportunity to join the Rest in Peace Department, comprised of otherworldly law officers. Nick warily accepts, only to then be paired with an overbearing Wild West marshal named Roycephus Pulsifer (Bridges). The team head back to Earth, where Nick watches with unease as (shades of Ghost) his girlfriend (Stephanie Szostak) is comforted by his ex-partner and Roy exposes various “deados” by eating Indian food (huh?) in front of them. R.I.P.D. rushes through the expository scenes that might make this fantasy world interesting in order to get to a feeble plotline involving a master scheme to bring all of the evil dead back to Earth. This sloppily executed story is further impeded by torturous attempts at humor and a rash of not-so-special special effects. As Pulsifer, Bridges is even more unintelligible than he was in True Grit, while Reynolds is so stiff that his character appears dead even before he takes that bullet. Even with no advance critics’ screenings to warn the public, R.I.P.D. grossed a poor $12 million on opening weekend, meaning this $130

this comparatively small-scale effort: Like a favorite pair of slippers, it may not exactly be new, but it makes for a comfortable fit.



The 2010 box office hit Red was directed by Robert Schwentke, who finds himself spending this summer enduring awful feedback for his latest effort, R.I.P.D. Instead, it’s Dean Parisot who handles helming duties for Red 2 -- it’s a smooth changing of the guard, made easier by the fact that the same duo who wrote the first picture, Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber, are back for this follow-up. Although it might qualify as more of the same, this sequel isn’t a lazy toss-off, meaning filmgoers who enjoyed Red will likely enjoy Red 2 as well. Since I’m included among that number, it was two hours well spent at the movie theater. Morgan Freeman obviously doesn’t return (fans of the first film know why), but everyone else is back on board: Bruce Willis as retired CIA agent Frank Moses, trying to settle into a life of domesticity; MaryLouise Parker as his girlfriend Sarah, who enjoyed the taste of danger she previously experienced and wants more; John Malkovich as Marvin, whose rampant paranoia is proven to be justified as often as not; Helen Mirren as Victoria, the cucumbercool killer who treats her profession like a hobby; and even Brian Cox as Ivan, Victoria’s Russian roll in the hay. They’re all reunited for a twisty tale that finds the gang globe-hopping in an effort to locate a nuclear device before anyone else does. New to the fold is Anthony Hopkins as the barmy, befuddled creator of the WMD, Catherine Zeta-Jones as a Soviet agent who used to share Frank’s bed, and Byung-hun Lee as an assassin who has sworn to kill Frank. The film is occasionally too bloodthirsty for its own good, and some of the comedic banter between Frank, Sarah and Marvin is forced and lunges for laughs that don’t materialize. Yet the good cheer of the performers as they wholeheartedly throw themselves into their roles is infectious, the script contains a few satisfying surprises, and the action scenes are crisply staged and cleanly shot. Audiences who have been burned by too many of this season’s high-profile titles might want to take a chance on



Before we get completely blinded by the dazzle of its $543 million worldwide gross, let’s recall that 2010’s Despicable Me focused on a super-villain, a man whose nefarious schemes included stealing the moon. But once three little girls entered his life, he mellowed, eventually transforming from “bad” to “dad.” The end. Because the central character of Gru (again voiced by Steve Carell) experienced a complete character arc in the first picture, returning scripters Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul were restricted in their narrative choices as a result, we instead get a film that would more accurately be titled Adorable Me. Lest the children in the audience get confused or upset had Gru reverted back to a life of crime, he’s instead recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help stop a criminal whose identity remains unknown. Joining him is AVL agent Lucy Wilde; she’s played by Kristen Wiig. For the most part, Despicable Me 2 is amusing and cheerful, but it not only lacks the soft-cheddar edge that made the first film stand out, it fails to tap into our emotions as throughly. But why carp? The main reason people will see Despicable Me 2 is to catch the yellow Minions in action. Proving to be the scene stealers in Part I, these squabbling, chattering creatures are utilized even more in this outing, and have their own movie coming out in 2014.



If imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, then director Guillermo del Toro dedicated his latest film to the wrong people. A title card at the end of Pacific Rim finds the Mexican moviemaker thanking special effects genius Ray Harryhausen and director Ishiro Honda, when he really should have been saluting Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich. This isn’t to suggest that Pacific Rim is awful like Bay’s Transformers sequels or Emmerich’s ill-advised Godzilla update. But Harryhausen (who passed away

in May) was a hands-on FX artist whose incredible stop-motion creations can be seen in such fantasy staples as Jason and the Argonauts and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, while Honda (who died in 1993) helped spearhead an entire cottage industry when he wrote and directed 1954’s Gojira (aka Godzilla) and subsequently was involved with many of Toho Company’s monster mashes. Harryhausen and Honda are cinematic gods to del Toro, no doubt about it, but the movie he has produced in their honor has less in common with their disarming flights of fancy and more with the assemblyline blockbusters that are becoming increasingly indistinguishable from one another. The studio pitch was probably nothing more than “robots vs. monsters,” and that indeed holds summerfilm potential. At some point in the next couple of years (we know this because Obama is glimpsed on a TV monitor), gargantuan creatures (“Kaijus”) will emerge from cracks in the ocean floor and begin leveling cities across the globe. As the mass destruction continues, all of the world’s nations pool their resources to build equally massive robots (“Jaegers”) to stop them. Each robot is inhabited by two humans whose minds are synchronized so that they can effectively control it. Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and his brother Yancy (Diego Klattenhoff) make up one of the most effective teams, but after they disobey a direct order from their commanding officer, Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), Yancy is killed by a Kaiju and Raleigh quits the biz. Years later, the Kaijus have again taken the upper hand in the endless war, and Stacker coaxes Raleigh back into the fold. But Raleigh will need a new partner, and he finds that the Force is strong in Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), a rookie robot-jock with a backstory as tragic as his. Like Tim Burton before he got swallowed by his own eccentricities, del Toro enjoys making movies that are informed by an off-kilter sensibility which brings out the children’stale unease that rests at the heart of many sterling horror yarns: Pan’s Labyrinth, Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone and the Hollywood-sanctioned Mimic all tapped into this universal sense of dread, and even his Hellboy and Blade outings displayed similar flashes. Pacific Rim is the first film

he’s directed that feels like a for-hire assignment, a mercenary job done only for the sake of collecting a paycheck. What’s bizarre is that this clearly isn’t the case, given del Toro’s affinity for this genre and the fact that he also served as co-writer. The film’s special effects are superb, yet their frequent and coolly detached employment means that this is basically a CGI circle jerk, allowing for none of the intimacy we feel when marveling at Harryhausen’s lovingly built models. Most moviegoers don’t head to fantasy flicks on the basis of star power, but is it too much to ask that the protagonists exhibit even just a particle of personality? Emmerich at least had the sense to cast the charismatic Will Smith in Independence Day, but Hunnam brings to mind Battleship’s Taylor Kitsch and other bland, prettyboy leads. Elba, on the other hand, is a magnetic actor — I especially enjoyed his commanding presence in last summer’s Prometheus — but it’s impossible to take him seriously here, given that he’s been directed to SHOUT! practically all of his hoary dialogue. Two bickering scientists (Charlie Day and Burn Gorman) are along for strained comic relief, and their interludes will delight anyone who misses the banter between Shia LaBeouf ’s Sam Witwicky and his odious parents (Kevin Dunn and Julie White) in the Transformers series. Faring best are Kikuchi, the Oscarnominated Babel actress who hopefully will start landing more stateside work, and del Toro favorite Ron Perlman, nyuking it up as the roughand-tumble black-market profiteer Hannibal Chou. As noted, the effects are excellent, although too much of the action takes place at night; as a result, we often can’t (to paraphrase Lon Chaney in The Phantom of the Opera) feast our eyes and gloat our soul on the monsters’ accursed ugliness. Still, even through the dim lighting, it’s clear that del Toro understands spacial relations far more than Bay ever will, given that the battles are for the most part cleanly staged and easy to follow. In short, viewers who care only about the fights and can ignore great stretches of tedium will lap this up like a dog discovering spilled gravy on the linoleum floor. CS


million production is already earmarked as one of the summer’s biggest bombs.


screenshots | continued from previous page

Profile for Connect Savannah

Connect Savannah July 31, 2013 issue  

IN THIS ISSUE: Dog days: A unique program at Live Oak Public Libraries that brings together comforting animals and reluctant readers; Say...

Connect Savannah July 31, 2013 issue  

IN THIS ISSUE: Dog days: A unique program at Live Oak Public Libraries that brings together comforting animals and reluctant readers; Say...