CLCLT.COM | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 VOL. 30, NO. 41
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Jarekus Singleton plays Double Door Inn on Dec. 2.
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Members of Here Come The Mummies talk music, muses and mummy mishaps. BY ANITA OVERCASH THIS WEEK’S COVER WAS DESIGNED BY DANA VINDIGNI.
NEWS&VIEWS WINTER IS COMING: Water protecters at Oceti
Sikowan camp on North Dakota brace for cold weather, eviction deadline.
BY RYAN PITKIN 12 THE QUERY 12 BLOTTER 13 NEWS OF THE WEIRD
FOOD 14 MAC N CHEESE PLEASE: Charlotteans dish on the staple food.
BY DEBRA RENEE SETH
16 ROASTED ROOTS: building blocks of autumn
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WINTER IS COMING Water protecters at Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota brace for cold weather, eviction deadline BY RYAN PITKIN
T WAS A half-year ago in May that Desiree Kane found herself laying in the grass of the Sacred Stone Camp in North Dakota with about 15 other people, most of whom indigenous “water protectors” who had gathered there for a prayer movement aimed to peacefully resist the construction of the now-infamous Dakota Access Pipeline. On that May afternoon, while Kane lay in the grass licking ice cream, a small white puppy playfully gnawed at her bare toes. She felt an overwhelming feeling of serenity, tinged with the knowledge that things would soon change drastically. She was right. In the next three months, violence would escalate while police and private security contractors would implement brutal tactics against protesters. In November, many people around the country were shocked to wake up to headlines about authorities using water cannons on protesters in below-freezing temperatures. But according to Kane, the water cannons were just one in a long list of cruel tactics she’s seen authorities use on peaceful protesters — also called water protectors — during her time among the nearly 30 camps that make up the Standing Rock site. “You all don’t hear about the things that happen out here,” Kane says when asked if the water cannon tactics were the worst she had seen. “This is not new.” She has long since stopped worrying about what she might face each day as she wakes up anew at the Oceti Sakowin camp, just outside of the Standing Rock Reservation where she now lives in a traditional Mongolian hut called a yurt that was recently donated. Kane is a member of the Miwok tribe. She was a Creative Loafing contributor in Charlotte before co-founding The PPL, a 10 | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | CLCLT.COM
The Oceti Sakowin Camp at night. The lights in the distance are the pipeline construction site. grassroots home for independent media, in the lead-up to the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She later moved to Arizona to produce documentaries for Vice News and most recently lived in Denver before going to Standing Rock Reservation in May to help with communication training for water protectors. She left after completing that training, but soon answered a call to return and has been at the camp since. Speaking over the phone, she says she felt it was her duty to be there in a supportive role for the tribes whose water sources would be affected by the construction of the pipeline, which will travel under a nearby lake used by the Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes as a main water source. Water protectors often refer to the pipeline as “the black snake.” “Being one of the first people out here, when things started to get more serious, at a certain point, your friends call you up and need your help,” she says. “You can’t say, ‘No’ if you have the privilege and capacity to do so.” She said her first two-and-a-half months at Standing Rock went as expected, but then
it “turned into a war zone.” “It happened at an alarming pace. Every time there’s an escalation on behalf of police, I’m always alarmed and kind of surprised while simultaneously not being surprised,” she says. “We know as indigenous people, for hundreds of years the United States government hasn’t respected us or believed that we had any rights at all, so it’s expected. But what’s always alarming is the level in which they’re willing to go to harm us, especially being unarmed. We never expect to hear stories about police smiling in people’s faces while simultaneously shooting them with rubber bullets in their kneecaps, or dumping water on people. It’s really just inhuman.” She says she and other water protectors haven’t had a chance to register what they’ve been through, but she’s concerned with how the experiences will affect her later. “I guess the only thing I’ve really lost out here is frankly a little bit of faith in humanity,” she says. “It’s just been awful.” Despite the hardships, Kane continues to get back on the horse, quite literally in one
instance early in her stay in which she hurt her arm after being bucked from a bronco that had just been broken from the wild three days earlier. Kane regrets none of her time in camp and knows some parts of her time there, like her time with the puppy in the grass early in her stay, will stay with her forever — in a good way. There was one experience, for example, in which two indigenous women, one a lesbian, presented for show the musket and flag captured during Custer’s Last Stand. The mixed symbolism between history and progress in that moment stuck with Kane. “Our culture has changed a little bit in the positive toward the LGBTQI community, so as I was watching this, I was choked up realizing that we’ve really come a long way,” she says. “There’s a lot of pride in that moment, knowing that they were never defeated — my ancestors — so to think that we would be defeated out here just isn’t in the scope of our understanding.”
Jasmine S. LaBeau helps re-strike a teepee at the Oceti Sakowin on Nov. 15 in preparation for the winter.
FROM CHARLOTTE, IT can feel tough to
make a difference in what’s happening 1,600 miles away at the Standing Rock camps. Some Charlotte activists have made the trip to North Dakota to stand in support with water protectors, while others in the area have donated money and needed materials. Around Halloween, more than 1 million Facebook users around the country used the site to check in at Standing Rock thanks to a viral post claiming it would help confuse police who were targeting organizers on the ground there. That turned out not to be true, but did act as a symbolic show of support for those peacefully resisting the construction of the pipeline. This weekend, a Charlotte woman is hoping to unite others around the #NoDAPL (No Dakota Access Pipeline) cause by throwing a “healing party,” the funds from which will go directly to those on the ground at the Oceti Sakowin camp. Linda Simthong, founder of School of Jai, began planning the event after seeing videos of water protectors being brutalized online and on television. As School of Jai is a holistic healing and education-based organization in Charlotte, Simthong had been contemplating a healing party in the city since the Charlotte Uprising, and knew she had a chance to get people together around a common cause when she saw the widespread support being expressed for the #NoDAPL movement. Simthong, who is originally from Laos (“jai” is the Laotian word for heart), wants her organization to serve as a place for people to come for a better understanding of other cultures they may not be connected with.
“I am a part of such different groups and I knew it was a time for our city to unite,” she says. “I’ve been a part of the hip-hop community, I’ve been a part of the spoken word community, I’ve been a part of different communities in my Laotian community, but there isn’t really a safe space for all of us to come together to create, to have dialogue, and that’s what School of Jai is about.” While Simthong is connected in those communities, she is not connected with the local indigenous community, so she reached out to make sure she would be helping the right people. She began to get council from a friend in Arizona who knew people on the ground at the protest site, then started hearing from people nearby. She has since been in talks with the Metrolina Native American Association as well as water protectors at Standing Rock, who have told her that Oceti Sakowin would be the best camp in which to funnel funding. Through a silent auction and a recommended $10 donation at the door at the upcoming fundraiser, Simthong hopes to raise at least $1,000 for the folks at Oceti Sakowin. Kane said people at the camp are currently in need of gear to survive the coming cold, but emphasized that people could also help in ways that didn’t put a strain on their own time or resources. She encourages people to research what companies are funding the Dakota Access Pipeline — Wells Fargo, for example, is one of 17 banks directly funding the pipeline’s construction — and take action from there. “People can make a huge difference by divesting and pulling their money out of the banks that fund the Dakota Access Pipeline,”
she says. “We vote with our money. We have influence through our money. The most tangible and helpful thing people can do besides sending material support and sponsoring indigenous organizers is to pull their money out of the banks. Use a credit union. There are a lot of other banks that aren’t funding brutalization against indigenous people.” In the short term, however, funds and materials are needed now at Standing Rock reservation more than ever, and new threats have arisen that make it unclear whether the Oceti Sakowin camp will be around by the time Simthong throws her party. As folks at the camp prepared for an oncoming blizzard, they recently faced two eviction notices coming within days of each other; first from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers then from North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple. On Nov. 25, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe received a letter from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stating they would soon be closing off the land just north of the Cannonball River — where the Oceti Sakowin camp is located — to the public. The camp is on disputed land, as the government claims it’s federally owned but leased for grazing, while the Standing Rock Sioux point out that they own the land by right of the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty. The Army Corps letter states “this decision is necessary to protect the general public from the violent confrontations between protesters and law enforcement” and to “prevent death, illness, or serious injury to inhabitants of encampments due to the harsh North Dakota weather conditions.” The letter says the land will be closed on Dec. 5, leading many to speculate that authorities would forcibly remove any water protectors who hadn’t left by that date. On Sunday, however the Army Corps released a new statement stating that won’t be the case. The corps suggested a new 41-acre “free speech zone” south of the river for those in the Oceti Sakowin camp to relocate to. “The Army Corps of Engineers is seeking a peaceful and orderly transition to a safer location, and has no plans for forcible removal. But those who choose to stay do so at their own risk as emergency, fire, medical, and law enforcement response cannot be adequately provided in these areas,” the statement reads. “Those who remain will be considered unauthorized and may be subject to citation under federal, state, or local laws. This will reduce the risk of harm to people in the encampments caused by the harsh North Dakota winter conditions.” The Dec. 5 ultimatum coincides with plans by two veterans to deploy a force of hundreds of veterans to the Standing Rock reservation to join water protectors and
prevent further progress on the pipeline. Wesley Clark Jr., and Michael Wood Jr., plan to arrive at the site with between 500 and 2,000 other veterans on Dec. 4 then lead an action of peaceful resistance on Dec. 5, the day the Oceti Sakowin camp will be officially closed. On Monday, Dalrymple took things a step further, ordering the mandatory evacuation of all water protectors on federally owned land. The governor cited the oncoming weather hazards and said he is taking action for the well-being of activists. “Winter conditions have the potential to endanger human life, especially when they are exposed to these conditions without proper shelter, dwellings, or sanitation for prolonged periods of time,” Dalrymple wrote in the order. “It is the responsibility of the state to assist citizens and visitors to North Dakota in addressing the emergencies, disasters, and other hardships that may face the state, its citizens and visitors, to include issuance of orders in the best interest of public safety.” As of CL’s print deadline, Dalrymple had not specified how he planned to carry out the order, which states that no state agencies, emergency service officials or nongovernmental organizations will be offering emergency provisions in the evacutation area. Spokespeople for the Standing Rock Sioux have pointed out the hypcorisy of implying that authorities are worried about the water protectors’ well-being after spending weeks blasting them with water cannons in below-freezing temperatures. The protesters have stood firm in stating they will remain where they are as fears grow of a forced removal taking place during harsh winter conditions in the upcoming weekend. “We have lived for generations in this setting. That is our camp. We will continue to provide for our people there,” Standing Rock Sioux spokesperson Phyllis Young said at a press conference Monday following the governor’s order. “This is Lakota territory. This is treaty territory, and no one else has jurisdiction there.” It can be hard to reach Kane at the Oceti Sakowin camp, as her already-busy camp life has only accelerated in preparation for the oncoming storm. On Monday, following news of the Army Corps ultimatum and preceding the governor’s evacuation order, I reached out through text message to get her thoughtson the impending deadline. Her answer, while blunt, showed that the resolve she showed during our original conversation a few days before hadn’t left her or her campmates. Her reply read, “We aren’t leaving 1851 treaty land until the black snake is dead.” RPITKIN@CLCLT.COM
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THANKS FOR SOMETHING, 2016 LGBTQ community should see year of struggle as opportunity to grow AS THANKSGIVING WEEKEND
came and went, I found myself reflecting on this year. No doubt, 2016 has been nothing short of a tumultuous, challenging journey for LGBTQ Charlotteans and North Carolinians — indeed, for the entire national and global community. After this year’s election, as we stare down the onslaught of a Trump presidency and all the dangers it represents, it’s natural for many of us to feel a deep, disappointing and, perhaps even depressingly negative outlook on what comes next. But through adversity here in Charlotte and North Carolina, we’ve found opportunity and new lessons — each with their own blessings and opportunities for our future. As we enter the holiday season and with a new year approaching, I wanted to take the time to pause and reflect on our journey this year, give thanks where necessary and offer glimpses of hope for the soon-to-be new year we’ll share together next month.
She hasn’t always been perfect; many of us aren’t. I’m thankful, however, for Roberts’ leadership on the ordinance and against HB2, as well as her presence during the Charlotte Uprising. Lord only knows how both of those situations would have been handled by a less progressive, less visionary mayor.
CENTERING TRANS VOICES
The city’s ordinance battle and the resulting political and economic turmoil caused by House Bill 2 have placed the transgender community center-stage in the city and state’s political theatre. A mere handful of years ago, it would have been unimaginable to think that transgender rights and visibility would have the power to shape and shift the local political landscape and even be a main issue in a gubernatorial race. More important, however, are the many lessons our own LGBTQ community has been able to learn from the new, front-and-center fight over full LGB and T equality. Local and statewide LGBTQ organizations have THE RIGHT LEADER stepped up their outreach and inclusion efforts FOR THE RIGHT TIME for the transgender Just a little over a community. Though still year ago, I had my own not perfect, cisgender doubts about now-Mayor community leaders — Jennifer Roberts. Much myself included — are of my doubt stemmed beginning to learn more from her past positions on MATT COMER about what it means to be an a range of social justice issues. ally and friend to the transgender I even personally endorsed community, especially trans people of her opponent, Dan Clodfelter. color, who find themselves facing the highest Throughout this year, however, Roberts has risks of unemployment, health concerns, been the right leader for the right time here violence and more. in Charlotte. I’m thankful for the people in my own Starting with her unwavering life who have helped me to learn new lessons commitment to LGBTQ equality, Roberts’ this year, and I’m thankful for the trans steadfast support for the city’s LGBTQleaders who have used their voices to rise up inclusive non-discrimination ordinance to give power and visibility to a community put her at odds with local business leaders, local conservatives — even some among often ignored and even maligned among her own party — and a hostile, anti-queer those who should be friends. state legislature and governor. At times, All-in-all, I believe we’ll look back on it seemed Roberts, with the support of a 2016 as a harrowing time. A time for rising solid core of City Council, might be forced to and beyond challenge. A time of radical to bend under the weight of so many heavy transformation and growth. No matter how hitters calling for compromise (I’m staring difficult it is to see when one is in the midst disappointingly at you, Charlotte Chamber). of transformation, there are brilliant silver But Roberts never bowed, even when a — no, rainbow — linings in the dark clouds potential ordinance repeal vote was rumored which have by-and-large defined this year. to come before City Council. We’ll soon celebrate a new year. With it, During the Charlotte Uprising, prompted let us center what is necessary in our lives, by the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, our communities, our movements, city, state Roberts took even more personal and political and world. Happy holidays and new year, blows. Roberts probably has a long list of y’all! things she might have done or said differently. BACKTALK@CLCLT.COM 12 | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | CLCLT.COM
BY RYAN PITKIN
FUEL THE FIRE Police followed up on a call from the Charlotte Fire Department last week after a fire in a west Charlotte home was found to be arson. After fire crews put out the flames, they found that someone had lit up a pile of phone books for warmth in the house’s living room, doing $300 in damage. The incident gave phone book companies a reason to celebrate, as they were happy to hear that their product could still be used for something. I LOVE LAMP Police responded to a Goodwill store on Wilkinson Boulevard after someone thought if they volunteered for a little work there they could have anything they wanted. An employee at the store told police that someone showed up with another person one afternoon to help them load a heavy piece of furniture onto the dock where you can put donations. When the helper finished, they began to peruse the rest of the dock to see what else was being donated that day. They liked what they saw apparently, and ended up leaving with a lamp, a pitcher and a dress.
NEED A RAISE A woman was sitting at
the reception desk at her job last week, probably hoping for something to happen while she waited for the four-day weekend to start, when something very unfortunate happened. The woman told police that she looked up at the glass doors at the front of her company’s business and noticed a man standing on the other side masturbating. The man apparently didn’t want to come in, though, and ran off at the sight of the victim picking up her phone.
NOT YOUR STORAGE UNIT A 23-year-
old woman returned to her old apartment last week to find that her former roommate wasn’t taking her shit, literally. The woman said she moved out in late October and returned a month later to pick up a few things she had left behind, and was informed that her stuff was no longer there. The woman told officers that her former roommate told her they had simply thrown her laptop, printer, mixer, kitchen supplies, bedframe, night stand and hookah into the dumpster after she had moved. Since she waited a month, she couldn’t recover them from the dumpster.
GET THAT CREAM Management at Phat
Burrito in South End found out that one of their employees was stealing from them recently, despite their every effort to create alibis through their work schedule. On a Friday, an employee noticed that a bunch of money was missing from the register. While discussing with management, this employee stated that one of their coworkers had been there that day, despite it being their day
off. On Sunday, the coworker came back. on their vacay day again, but this time the other folks who were actually working hard for their money watched them closely. They witnessed the freeloader go into the cash register and take money out shortly before leaving. Altogether, the suspect is believed to have stolen $2,284.
FAMILY MATTERS A young girl who
attends McClintock Middle School may have led her brother back into trouble last week, but she’ll surely be remembered for the rest of her school career as someone who is not to be messed with. According to the report, the girl’s brother escorted her to the bus stop one day last week to prevent any confrontation that was apparently possible between his sister and other students. So far, sounds like a good brother. However, the man brought a gun and openly displayed it to those at the bus stop as a way to intimidate them. Since he was a grown man at a verified CMS bus stop in attendance with young students gathered there for school-related reasons and, oh yeah, a convicted felon, he’s now looking at some serious charges.
BOWLED OVER A thief in the night struck
at an apartment complex in South End last night and all they were able to gain was two big balls. It must’ve been a hard getaway, because the only things listed as stolen in the incident was a bowling bag holding two bowling shoes and two balls. That’s going to make for a tough walk to 10 Park Lanes.
UNLOADED Employees of tow truck
companies deal with angry assholes on a normal basis, so scaring them can be tough. One woman who works at an east Charlotte tow company wasn’t having it last week when someone tried to intimidate her at her work. The woman later told police that a person looking for their car simply came into the office and placed an empty gun holster on the desk before asking if his car was there. The 35-year-old woman called police, so now the man has assault by intimidation charges to go with his tow fees.
SCAMS A 35-year-old woman should have seen the red flags last week as soon as the words “iTunes gift cards” became involved with a deal for an apartment that she had found for rent online. The apartment “leasee” told the woman to buy $500 worth of iTunes cards and send them images of the front and back. They then cut off contact and, surprise, the balance on the cards disappeared. Another woman in Dilworth gave $5,000 to someone she met in a coffee house in August who promised to invest in a house and flip it, then give her a large return. Another surprise: the flipper has now cut off all contact.
NEWS OF THE WEIRD
Crafts & Culture BY CHUCK SHEPHERD
FUTURE OF TRAVEL Australian aviator David Mayman has promised investors that his personal jet packs will hit the market by mid-2017, though early adopters will pay about $250,000 for one, to fly a person at up to 60 mph for 10 minutes. The JB-10, developed by Mayman and designer Nelson Tyler, has made about 400 test runs in Monaco and over downtown London and New York City, but the partners realize that ultimate success will require that the fuel tanks be downsized so that the craft can be powered electrically — and thus seek crowdfunding both for that model and a larger one to accommodate the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command tactical needs.
THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT (1) In a retail market long dominated by priests, “nonsectarian” funeral eulogizers now offer to give individually tailored remembrances of the deceased for a fee, according to an October report by a New York Post reporter who interviewed two local “celebrants,” who cited the declining appeal of “prayers.” (2) The British retailer ASOS announced in August that 3-foot-long clip-on dinosaur tails had sold out in one of its two models, although New York magazine, which reported it in the U.S., was, for obvious reasons, baffled about why.
WILD LIFE The state agency Colorado Parks
and Wildlife filed 21 criminal charges in October against the Squirrel Creek Wildlife Rescue center in Littleton, alleging that some of the orphaned and rehabbing animals Kendall Seifert houses are not being kept according to the state’s strict standards — and that Seifert’s 15-year-old center is also home to his popular swingers’ club Scarlet Ranch, featuring weekend sex parties. One of the criminal charges suggests that rescue animals could be stressed by gazing at activity in the ranch’s bar area. Seifert said he will challenge the charges out of fear that many of the raccoons, foxes, song birds, coyotes, skunks, rabbits and squirrels he would have to relinquish would not find suitable facilities elsewhere.
FIGHT CLUB In St. Paul, Minnesota, a 25-year-old woman told police on Nov. 3 that she was involuntarily roughed up several hours after being voluntarily roughed up at Arnellia’s Bar’s weekly “Smack Fest,” in which female patrons competitively slap each other’s faces for three “rounds” under strict house rules. The woman said she spoke amicably with her opponent, but by closing time, the opponent and several friends, including men, punched and kicked her outside the bar. In other slapping news, a 71-year-old woman died in Lewes, England, in November while participating in a Chinese healing seminar that emphasizes being slapped repeatedly to rid the body of poisoned blood and toxins. The “healer,” Hongshi Xiao, charges clients around $900 to beat what he calls the “sha” out of them. KARMIC REVENGE In November, in a
remote area of Oregon’s Maury Mountains, a 69-year-old man killed an elk and dragged the carcass behind his off-road vehicle up a hill. According to the Crook County Sheriff’s office, the vehicle suddenly flipped over backward, and the man landed on, and was impaled by, the elk’s antlers. Fellow hunters summoned a helicopter, and the man has
THE WAY THE WORLD WORKS Brittany
Maynard, then 29, became “the face of the Right to Die movement” in 2014, according to a New York Post column, when she chose a legal physician-assisted suicide rather than awaiting the growth of her terminal brain tumor. In October, terminally ill California mother Stephanie Packer hoped to be “the face of the Right to Live movement” after revealing that her insurance company denied coverage for a drug that could extend her life — but at the same time disclosed that her suicide drugs are covered, and even disclosed her co-pay ($1.20).
MEDICAL MARVELS Margaret Boemer’s baby LynLee was “born” twice. In an October Texas Children’s Hospital interview, doctors described how the need to rid Boemer’s fetus of a rapidly growing tumor required them, at Boemer’s 23rd week of pregnancy, to remove the fetus completely from the uterus until it was “hanging out in the air” so that they could cut away the tumor and then reposition the fetus into the uterus. LynLee was “born” again by C-section 13 weeks later. SUSPICIONS CONFIRMED San Francisco
State University researchers revealed in April that no fungi or fecal bacteria were found on the seats of the city’s bus line or rapid transit trains, unlike their findings in 2011 before officials adopted easier-toclean seats, but that a “rare” and “unusual” strain, called Pigmentiphaga was found — previously associated only with South Korean wastewater and the South China Sea. The city’s Department of Health said, of course, not to worry.
PERSPECTIVE A high-level policy document released by the Chinese government in September detailed plans to use technology to monitor citizen behavior to such a degree that each person would receive a “social credit” score — similar to a FICO score in the U.S. but covering a range of conduct beyond financial — that would be the basis for allotting perks such as government support in starting businesses and whether parents’ children are
eligible for the best schools. “(K)eeping trust is glorious,” according to the document, and “good” behavior promotes a “harmonious socialist society.”
ARKANSAS CHIC Kristi Goss, 43, an
assistant to a Garland County, Arkansas, judge, was arrested in October and charged with stealing nearly $200,000 in public funds, which she used to buy such things as a tuxedo for her dog, sequined throw pillows, a “diamond bracelet” retailing for $128 and, of course, Arkansas Razorback football tickets.
THE ARISTOCRATS! (1) Motorist Kurt Jenkins, 56, was arrested in November in Boynton Beach, Florida, after a pedestrian said Jenkins, naked, motioned him to his car to take a look. The pedestrian said there were children in the area — and also that Jenkins appeared to have wires running from his genitals to an unidentified “electrical device.” (2) Among a stash of pornography found recently on the computer of Michael Ward, 70, were photos of humans having some sort of sex with “horses, dogs, (an) octopus and (an) eel,” according to a report of England’s Chelmsford Crown Court proceedings. A pre-sentencing order forbade Ward to have contact with children under 16, but was silent about possible contact with fish or mollusks.
THE PASSING PARADE (1) At press time,
“Bugs Bunny” and “Pink Panther” were on trial in St. Catharines, Ontario, on aggravatedassault charges from a Halloween 2015 bar fight in which “Dracula’s” ear was severely slashed with a broken bottle. “There was a lot of blood,” said a witness (the blood was coming from Dracula, not being sucked out by Dracula). Update: The judge cleared Bugs, but was still deliberating on Panther. (2) The tardigrade is an ugly micro-organism that is perhaps the sturdiest animal on Earth, able to endure otherwise-impossible living conditions and, thanks to gene sequencing, known to be composed of DNA not seen elsewhere. A Japanese company recently began selling an oversized, cuddlable tardigrade toy “plushie” authenticated by science’s leading tardigrade authority, professor Kazuharu Arakawa of Keio University.
NOTW CLASSIC (January 2013) The usual 20,000 or so visitors every year to Belgium’s 30-acre Verbeke Foundation art park are allowed to reserve a night inside the feature attraction: a 20-foot-long, 6-foot-high polyester replica of a human colon created by Dutch designer Joep Van Lieshout. The area at the end of the structure gives the installation its formal name, the Hotel CasAnus. The facility, though “cramped,” according to one prominent review, features heating, showers and double beds, and rents for the equivalent of about $150 a night (the rate in 2012).
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CLCLT.COM | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | 13
MAC ‘N’ CHEESE, PLEASE Charlotteans dish on the staple food BY DEBRA RENEE SETH
HO KNEW NOODLES,
cheese, eggs, milk and a few other simple seasonings would be enough to keep humans salivating for centuries? Macaroni and cheese is serious business here in the South, and discussing the rich iconic dish this close to the holidays is a sure way to either make someone’s mouth 14 | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | CLCLT.COM
water, start a great conversation or start a big argument about the best way to make it. While no one knows exactly who made the very first pan of ooey gooey deliciousness that has decorated tables across this country for generations, the first recipe for macaroni and cheese is believed to have originated somewhere in Italy. The dish was further popularized when president Thomas
Jefferson introduced it to the U.S. in 1789 after a trip to Naples. Wherever it started, one thing is for sure, macaroni and cheese is holding steady atop the list of America’s most popular comfort foods with no signs of falling. According to mymacaroniandcheeseinfo.com the dish is so popular that food giant Kraft sells over one million boxes of it each day and in any given
week over half the children in the U.S. will consume at least one serving of the popular dish. Crayola even named an orangish-yellow crayon after macaroni and cheese just so you know the love is totally real. On December 3, Charlotte will pay homage to the popular dish at the already sold out Macaroni and Cheese Festival, taking place at Sugar Creek Brewery. All
CLT’S MACDOWN: MAC-NCHEESE FEST Sold out. Dec. 3, 2 p.m. Sugar Creek Brewery, 215 Southside Drive.
Lockhart: My secret is no eggs and only fresh pure ingredients and seasonings and I never boil my noodles in water. I can’t give away any other details, all I can tell you is that my family and friends go crazy for it every time I make it.
MATTHEW SAUNDERS, RETAIL MANAGER
The great debate is between the homemade kind or the boxed kind. Help us decide which one reigns supreme. Saunders: I’ll eat both the boxed or homemade kind. For me, the main determining factor is the number of people I’m cooking for. If I’m cooking for a large
group I go homemade with 4 different cheeses. If it’s just for me, my girlfriend and my 3-year old son I’m using the boxed kind all day. If my son is cool with it then so am I and he like both kinds so its all good! BACKTALK@CLCLT.COM
Mac ‘n’ cheese from Cuzzo’s Cuisine. these great macaroni and cheese facts got us here at CL wondering just what goes into a great pan of macaroni and cheese and what some folks’ favorite recipes and techniques are. So we stepped out into the city to get a few local residents’ points of view on the famous dish.
NAPPY CHEF, PROFESSIONAL CHEF
Creative Loafing: We keep hearing about your Jerk Chicken Macaroni and Cheese Au Fromage, and how spicy it is. What makes your version of the dish so special? Nappy Chef: My mac and cheese is inspired by my love of Carribean food and traditional baked macaroni and cheese. What makes my version so good is the creativity of the dish and the different flavors that you taste in every bite. The spices I use, like ground mustard and fresh jalepenos, give my mac its unique taste.
CHEF D, CUZZO’S CUISINE FOOD TRUCK
Locals swear by your lobster macaroni and cheese but let’s be honest, do you still like the regular kind? Chef D: Heck yeah, I still like the regular kind! Where do you think the lobster mac and cheese recipe comes from? It comes from my regular mac and cheese and the secret to that is simple, always use more than one
type of cheese, keep it moist and creamy and season it well with salt and pepper. I always go for the crust on the corners and we all know the burnt part is the best!
NICOLE BANKS, PROPERTY MANAGER
What’s your best macaroni and cheese memory? Banks: My aunt Ellen always made the best macaroni and cheese. No professional chef can touch it. I was so happy when my kids finally became old enough to enjoy it too. When I think of the holidays I literally think of enjoying her left over macaroni and cheese for days.
Prix-Fixe Christmas Menu
ANDRE POOLE, PARTY PROMOTER/ JOHNSON & WALES CULINARY GRAD
We’ve heard a lot of tips for good macaroni and cheese, but what are some ways to ruin the dish? Poole: Over cooking the pasta is a definite no. Not adding enough seasoning is just as bad and burning it and drying it out are the worst. I treat my macaroni and cheese the same way I treat my parties. The secret ingredient is love. You’ve got to treat your food like a baby. Give that baby all the love it needs!
BRITTANY LOCKHART, HAIR STYLIST
Your recipe is different than the traditional ones. What’s your technique? CLCLT.COM | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | 15
ROASTED ROOTS Building blocks of autumn flavor BY ARI LEVAUX
OASTED ROOTS ARE
a culinary rite of fall. To not eat them as the leaves fly would b e to deny the intersecting realities of time, place and flavor. Forgoing the roasted roots would be as unthinkable as not serving cake at a birthday party. And like making a cake, roasting roots is more of a general approach than a singular recipe. Roasted roots are the quintessential side dish, served alongside the roast beast or whatever else comes out of the kitchen this time of year. They can be the main event as well, and you won’t feel deprived. Today, I’m going to focus on a dish that builds on roasted roots, using them as an ingredient. This dish, Roasted Root Mayonnaise, can itself be used as an ingredient in yet another finished dish: Roasted Root Falafel. There is no limit to the amount of dishes and meta-dishes that can be prepared from a core of roasted roots. So let’s start with some roasted root basics. I shy away from using turnips and rutabagas, as they can be too spicy. Onions are too watery, and beets make everything purple. So I stick with carrots, potatoes, squash and garlic. If celery root — aka celeriac — is available, I’ll use that too. Many people choose to add to the work by peeling their root veggies first, while others will take the opportunity to wax “healthierthan-thou” about all of the nutrients that are being thrown away with the skins. The truth varies by vegetable. The skin of a carrot is hardly any different from its interior, so by peeling carrots you are basically throwing away carrot. Potato skins, on the other hand, are more nutrient-dense than the tuber’s interior. Ditching that skin means losing 90 percent of the potato’s iron content, half its fiber and significant amounts of calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin B6. As for winter squash, our honorable root, the skin of every variety is edible. It just depends how you feel about extra fiber. In all of today’s recipes, leaving the skin on is preferable. It adds a pleasing chewiness to whatever recipe 16 | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | CLCLT.COM
Roasted root mayo is your final destination. To ensure even cooking, the roots must be sliced into consistent shapes. If some pieces are thick while others are thin, the thin pieces will start to burn before the thick pieces are cooked through. For snack-style eating, I thin-slice my roots so they bake into crispy oven chips. For a side dish to accompany, say, the roast beast, I leave the roots chunky, about a half-inch thick. The same goes for roasted root mayonnaise: you want the pieces on the chunky side, so there is a creamy interior with which to work. To make roasted roots, toss your sliced roots in olive oil, and then mix in some garlic powder, black pepper and salt. Spread them on a tray and cook at 350, stirring occasionally, until they are done. About an hour. If you want to cook hotter and faster, you’ll have to stir more often in order to prevent burning.
ROASTED ROOT MAYONNAISE
There is currently a legal battle brewing over the exact definition of mayonnaise, as part of the mayonnaise and egg industries
pushing back against the success of egg-free, vegan versions of this beloved condiment. For our purposes, mayonnaise is a creamy condiment that can be dolloped and spread. Years before vegan mayonnaise was sold in jars, I learned the ways of vegetablebased mayonnaise from a vegan chef in the Brazilian interior. She made a potato salad that was held together by what she called “carrot mayonnaise.” Unlike the usual lily white mortar that bonds and lubricates potato salad, her carrot mayonnaise, in its bright orange glory, was little more than steamed carrots that had been whizzed with oil in a food processor. Slice your roots to about a half-inch, and roast them. When cooked to your satisfaction, allow them to cool. Put a halfcup of olive oil in a food processor, along with a small clove of garlic. With the blade running, add the roots, a few at a time, to the vortex. Add more olive oil as necessary to keep the vortex going. Season with salt, and if desired, other herbs or spices-anything from Herbs de Provence to Berbere powder will work. For an even more rustic approach,
skip the food processor and just mash your roots together. And why not add some butter while you’re at it? Serve your roasted root mayo or mash with anything. It’s a spread, a pile of vegetables, a gravy sponge, or a base in your bowl onto which more food can be piled. And if it ends up being the only thing in your bowl, you’ll be just fine. I recently made a batch of roasted root mayo that was too heavy on the raw garlic, so I decided to cook it again, in order to mellow the garlic edge. I patted my roasted root mayo into balls and baked them at 350 until they were crispy. I had, at that point, made a derivative of roasted root mayo, which was itself a derivative of roasted roots. I christened this twice-baked dish roasted root falafel balls, and served them, floating like croutons, in a simple bowl of tomato soup.
GETTING IN SHAPE TAKES EFFORT, TIME AND PATIENCE. YES YOU ARE WORTH THE TROUBLE! SO...GIVE IT YOUR BEST SHOT: GET IN SHAPE WITH MUAY THAI AT BLACK BELT USA
FIND YOUR SPOT AT COCO & THE DIRECTOR
WWW.BLACKBELTUSA.NET 11915 N. Tryon St. Suite A., Charlotte 28262 . 704-595-1945
New coffee shop offers more than coffee BY COURTNEY MIHOCIK
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Where do you see the coffee shop in five or 10 years? Hopefully still supporting the community in every aspect and facet, like what we’re doing right now. We’re working on becoming more and more involved in the community. We’ve done some movie screenings for local North Carolina artists and we have different artwork featured in Coco & the Director. And just becoming that local neighborhood hangout that Charlotte doesn’t really have in a coffee shop.
NEW VAPORIUM AND LOUNGE
Davis Lake Pk
What does Coco & the Director have to offer that sets it apart? I think the array of different things we have to offer. Everything is local from the coffee to the pastries we get from our local partner we get delivered every morning. We want a place for Charlotte artists to showcase what they have. What I think that differentiates us from other local coffee shops is that we have the stadium seating which is awesome, you can plug in. We want you to come in and bring a laptop and you can sit there as long as you want. We have people that do interviews, do meetings, we have the collaborative space. We have a lot of different options for you to come in, plug in and work away. Or come in and unplug and unwind. We have free wifi, we have outlets all over the place so you can plug in and do your thing.
Creative Loafing: What’s Coco & the Director’s mission? Sean Potter: Our mission from day one has been all geared toward the community and it’s paired in the coffee that we serve, the artists that we work with and the chalkboard menus that we have. So everything that we have is geared to helping out the community and making sure that every decision we made was very focused toward making the community a better place. Us as a company, being owned and operated by Marriott, we definitely could’ve gotten something
cheaper, like the Starbucks of the world or the World Cups of the world, and those are great in their own right but what we really wanted to do was help out the little people. We wanted to help the guy out that typically can’t get into a Marriott hotel — which is the local roaster. And everything we did was geared toward showcasing what Charlotte has to offer and that’s how we made our decisions.
cooperation. These are few of the words that inspired the founding of Coco & the Director. They also lend themselves to the concept behind Coco: people working together in a space meant to foster creativity and productivity while also being a space to relax and recharge. “Director,” on the other hand, is for the individual as your time there is directed by you. Need to plug in and work? Coco & the Director’s stadium seating and seemingly ubiquitous outlets allow visitors to work everywhere and anywhere in the cozy coffee shop. Coco & the Director sources its beans from around the world based on availability and are picked and roasted by the shop’s local bean roaster, Forte Legato. As for the food, if it’s not made fresh in-house like the sandwich of the day, it’s delivered fresh every morning from Renaissance Patisserie from South End. In addition to sourcing from fair-trade coffee bean farmers, Coco & the Director supports the community through inviting artists into its space to showcase work, promote products and even play music. Creative Loafing talked with Sean Potter, the director of eat and drink at Coco & the Director, to discuss the shop’s focus on supporting the Charlotte community in its mission.
Sean Potter of Coco & The Director
Old States ville Rd
COLLABORATION, COMMUNITY, CONNECTION, camaraderie and
DISHING FRESH FOOD AND BEVERAGE NEWS WEEKLY.
CLCLT.COM | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | 17
SHARON DOWELL STUDIO SALE What: Sharon Dowell is one of Charlotte’s most prominent artists for good reason. Her artwork — mostly figurative and of landscapes — pops. Bridges and rural spots get a colorful new life on canvas when Dowell uses them as a muse. She was recently comissioned to do a large mural for UNC-Charlotte Center City. Check out her works during this sale and buy a piece to take home. When: 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Where: C3 Lab, 2525 Distribution St. More: Free admission. 980-3495803. c3-lab.com. — ANITA OVERCASH
18 | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | CLCLT.COM
THINGS TO DO
The Hot Sardines MONDAY
HOLLY AND TINSEL
What: Lake Norman’s Davidson Community Players are sprucing things up this year with Holly and Tinsel. When two families end up stranded at a diner due to a snow storm, they meet a waitress and a cook who remind them of the true meaning of Christmas. This new work was written exclusively for DCP audiences. Sounds like greasiness and gratitude all in one.
What: Now in his early 30s, blues guitar slinger Jarekus Singleton is one of those child prodigies who got started at an early age and has grown by leaps and bounds beyond his years. He started off playing gospel in a church, was influenced by blues greats like B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughn, listened to hip-hop and it’s now all been fused together in his own style as he puts his stamp on the genre.
When: Dec. 1-3, 8 p.m.; Dec. 4, 2 p.m. Runs through Dec. 18. Where: Armour Street Theatre, 307 Armour St., Davidson More: $12-$20. 704-892-7953. davidsoncommunityplayers.org. — OVERCASH
When: 10 p.m. Where: Double Door Inn, 1218 Charlottetowne Ave. More: $15. 704-376-1446. doubledoorinn.com. — JEFF HAHNE
KARL DENSON’S TINY UNIVERSE
SINNERS & SAINTS
What: Sure, playing gigs with The Rolling Stones and Lenny Kravitz has its obvious perks, but being a sideman isn’t the same as unleashing your inner creative demons. Saxophonist Karl Denson’s toured with fine musicians, but his own project is where he gets to stretch his wings. With guitarist Jimmy Herring (Widespread Panic) on the bill, one can only hope for some stellar collaborations.
What: Here’s your local bite of twangy, folk-layered Americana at its finest. The duo, featuring Perry Fowler (vocals, guitar, harmonica) and Mark Baran (bass, vocals, kick drum and banjo), released a debut album in 2013 and will release a sophomore effort in early 2017. That being said, they’re ready to give listeners a sample of the rootsy, foot-stomping vibes. With Greensboro-based Rinaldi Flying Circus and Carolina Gator Gumbo.
When: 8 p.m. Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. More: $25-$28. 704-942-7997. neighborhoodtheatre.com.
When: 9 p.m. Where: Petra’s, 1919 Commonwealth Ave. More: $8. 332-6608. petraspianobar.com.
Sharon Dowell Studio Art Sale THURSDAY
NEWS ARTS FOOD MUSIC ODDS
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe FRIDAY
Fourth Ward Holiday Home Tour FRIDAY
FOURTH WARD HOLIDAY HOME TOUR What: This three-day, Fourth Ward holiday home tour can be filed under “something different” to do this season. The event features Victorian homes and chic condominiums alongside cultural spots all decorated for the holidays. There are also food, beer and cocktail samples along the way, caroling performances and horsedrawn carriage rides.
What: This annual Germanstyle Christmas market at Old Mecklenburg Brewery kicks off the weekend of Dec. 2-3. Go check out an assortment of local vendors selling gifts and edibles. While you’re there, don’t forget to get a glass of Gluhwein — a hot, spiced red wine — or try one of the brewery’s two seasonal beers, including the Dunkel and Yule Bock.
When: Dec. 2, 5 p.m.–9 p.m.; Dec. 3, 5 p.m.–9 p.m.; Dec. 4, 1 p.m.–5 p.m. Where: Ticket booth, corner of 9th & N. Poplar Streets in Fourth Ward More: $30. fofw.org.
When: Dec. 2, 4 p.m.-9 p.m.; Dec. 3, 2 p.m.-9 p.m. Where: Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, 4150 Yancey Road. More: Free admission. 704-5255644. oldemeckbrew.com.
HEALING ALL RELATIONS: BENEFIT FUNDRAISER FOR STANDING ROCK What: This benefit show aims to raise money for, and shed light on, a worthy cause. If you aren’t already aware of what’s going on at Standing Rock and the #NODAPL movement, flip on over to our News section. This event will feature yoga, dancing and an open mic session. Justin Aswell, Swan Mega and DJ L.ohh will be holding down the musical end. Be there. When: 2 p.m. Where: Studio 1212, 1212 E. 10th St. More: $10 suggested donation. facebook.com/ events/321359151580480/ — HAHNE
THE HOT SARDINES
What: This New York-based jazz band is known for adding its own interesting tinge of sounds — especially when all the extra brass kicks in — to holiday classics. As they state in their website, “Fueled by the belief that classic jazz feeds the heart and soul, the Hot Sardines are on a mission to make old sounds new again and prove that joyful music can bring people together in a disconnected world.”
What: Dave Dondero has been releasing folk tunes for over a decade, after his stint with Clemson, South Carolina based Sunbrain. His newest release, With Love, is all too familiar for folks who heard 2013’s This Guitar. Released on Nov. 4, the album features the song “Boxer’s Fracture,” written after 2012’s horrific movie theater shootings Aurora, Colorado and in response to gun enthusiasts. With Blanket Fort, Chris Thomas.
When: 7:30 p.m. Where: McGlohon Theater, 345 N. College St. More: $20 and up. 704-372-1000. blumenthalarts.org.
When: 8 p.m. Where: The Milestone, 3400 Tuckaseegee Road. More: $8. 704-398-0472. the milestoneclub.com.
— ANITA OVERCASH
CLCLT.COM | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | 19
HEY, HEY, WE’RE THE HERDMANS Review of Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical BY PERRY TANNENBAUM
O THE HOLIDAYS are here, and we all know the live entertainment drill: inevitable revivals of A Christmas Carol, Nutcracker, and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever plus a few fresh novelties to liven the mix. This year, one of the novelties is also one of the inevitables. For while it’s possible to see the customary stage adaptation of Barbara Robinson’s Yuletide favorite at Matthews Playhouse starting on Thursday, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte unveiled the world premiere of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical on Black Friday. Robinson adapted her 1971 novel for the Seattle Children’s Theatre in 1982, and the proliferation of productions across America has arguably made the playscript more beloved than the book. So the team of Johanna Beecham and Malcolm Hilgartner, adding their lyrics and musical score, did the prudent thing in adapting Robinson’s stage version. Nearly 34 years to the day since the story succeeded in Seattle, a whole generation of parents who saw Best Christmas Pageant onstage as children are bringing their offspring to ImaginOn to see The Musical. Our Children’s Theatre, which has grown to national renown during those intervening years, had to add five performances to the run before opening night — a tribute to their prestige as well as the bankable title. Turns out that the Robinsons, the playwright (who died in 2013) and her daughters, were pretty prudent themselves in choosing Beecham and Hiltgartner. They seem to know what can be enlarged to musical proportions and how to get the job done. I’d also say that Best Christmas Pageant is easier to swallow than A Christmas Carol was when it morphed into Scrooge. 20 | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | CLCLT.COM
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical runs through Dec. 23 at ImaginOn. Big crowd scenes can be magnified most easily from stage to musical dimensions, but A Christmas Carol doesn’t really abound with them. Scrooge’s workplace and Cratchit’s home aren’t bustling places, and London is a cold, lonely and forbidding city until Ebenezer’s reformation. So a couple of parties and a funeral were supersized, effervesced and choreographed for Scrooge. We’re also more familiar with the older, more entrenched Dickens tale, so tampering is riskier, more jarring. Recognizing that they’re primarily dealing with schoolkids, normal ones in fear of the notorious Herdmans, they make sure to create their biggest scenes when kids congregate, at church for Sunday school, at school during lunchtime, and at their rehearsal hall near the fateful church kitchen. The catastrophic rehearsal scene, causing Rev. Hopkins to cancel the pageant after the Herdman herd has stampeded it, is rockin’ pandemonium. Beecham and Hiltgartner are more artful even before that in their depiction of the adult antagonists. What I labeled as the four Old Biddies, when Jill Bloede directed
the play for Children’s Theatre in 1995, are now three parents of Beth and Charlie Bradley’s classmates. Luanne, Connie, and Betty start us off singing “Perfect Little Town,” as beautifully harmonized and sugary as the overdubbing Connie Francis cooing “My Happiness.” They are natural allies of the dictatorial Helen Armstrong, the rigid director who is usually in charge of the unchanging Christmas pageant year after year. But Armstrong is hospitalized this year, so the vocal trio mobilizes with Helen to convince Grace Bradley, Beth and Charlie’s mom, to take over just before auditions. In the play version, all four women wielded old-fashioned phones in cajoling Grace. A musical allows for more fanciful, comical liberties. By the end of another pop rocker, “Counting on You,” the ladies have circled to the opposite side of McColl Family Theatre from Helen’s bedside to resume their vocal trio assault on Grace at the Bradley home, with the siblings and their father joining in on the hubbub. If the ladies can be more ridiculous now — a big if, since Bloede had Alan Poindexter
and Sidney Horton crossdressing as two of the hags in ‘95 — then the Herdmans can be more fearsome and ferocious to counterbalance them. Augmenting their chaotic energy is the fiendish work of choreographer Ron Chisholm, who keeps the six Herdmans and their terrified victims spread across the stage in frenetic action. Even Rev. Hopkins must be convinced of their true menace. We are far closer here to believing Beth’s famed opening pronouncement: “The Herdmans were the worst kids in the whole history of the world.” Where Bloede capitalized a bit on the fact that rather entertaining performances could come from kids who might be visibly reluctant to immerse themselves in the full barbarity of a Herdman, current Children’s Theatre artistic director Adam Burke will have no such laxity. As Imogene, the Herdman who takes the role of Virgin Mary by the throat, Carlyn Head is an absolute she-wolf in her howling vocals, and there is only the slightest glint of cuteness in Charli Head as Gladys, the little sister who pounces on the role of Herald Angel. With all of this vocal artillery hurled
at her from young and old, Ashley Goodson can be sweet and caring as Grace, but when those moments arrive for reasserting control and conviction, she also unveils a voice of steel. So when the Herdmans come around to the spirit of the Nativity, Grace is a little more amazing than she was in the play version, but I’m more thankful for the fulminating comic relief from Allison Snow Rhinehart, thwarted each time she issues a demand or insists that the Herdmans must be thrown out of the pageant. As phlegmatic as Rhinehart is, Tiffany Bear as Connie, Olivia Edge as Luanne and Tracie Frank as Luanne are purest plastic, aging Supremes wannabes. Arella Flur is more than satisfying as Beth, but she’s usually upstaged by Bennett Harris as the bullied younger brother or Ryann Losee as the tattletale Alice, who lets Imogene snatch the role of Mary from her without a struggle. Bobby Tyson’s comic timing is so sharp in the minor role of Mr. Bradley that it’s reassuring to see him get a duet with wife Grace late in the show, and Dan Brusnson is the kindliest, most Christian Rev. Hopkins that I can recall. Among the male Herdmans, Colin Samole as Ralph and Rixey Terry as Leroy impressed me the most, but I don’t think either is written fully enough. At least not yet. Estimates of the running time that I’ve seen in the Children’s Theatre press releases and in their program booklet have ranged from 60 minutes, approximately the length of their 1995 production, to 80 minutes in the current playbill. My
Billy Bob Thornton and Brett Kelly in Bad Santa 2.
THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER: THE MUSICAL $12-$28. Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 3, 11 a.m. & 3 p.m.; Dec. 4, 2 p.m. & 4 p.m.; Runs through Dec. 23. ImaginOn’s McColl Family Theatre, 300 East 7th St. 704-973-2828. ctcharlotte.org.
clocking of the Sunday matinee at less than 67 minutes suggests that the piece I saw underwent feverish modifications in its final weeks of rehearsal. I point that out for a couple of reasons. It illustrates that Burke and Children’s Theatre, who commissioned this world premiere, have taken significant ownership in intensively shaping the product. It also suggests to me that the process isn’t finished, that the 80-minute target that seems more sensible to me might be what we see the next time The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical opens at ImaginOn. Or even by the time it closes on December 23. Maybe then I’ll be able to say that this is the best Best Christmas Pageant Ever ever. It’s pretty damn close right now — and a very gratifying achievement at Charlotte’s fantasy palace.
ALL THIS AND WORLD WAR, TOO New films from Brad, Beatty, Billy Bob, and Disney BY MATT BRUNSON
ETTER THAN Finding Dory but not quite reaching the level of Zootopia, the latest Disney animated effort of 2016 adheres pretty much to the formula we’ve come to expect in recent years from the storied studio. And as usual when it comes to the Mouse House, the formula won. Again combining a fairly standard morality tale with eye-popping visuals, Disney has another hit in Moana (*** out of four), a rollicking yarn centered on a young lass (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho) coming of age on a South Pacific island. Enjoying a special rapport with the ocean, she finally defies her overprotective father’s orders and sets sail with the intention of finding the Heart of Te Fiti (not to be confused with Titanic’s Heart of the Ocean), a bauble swiped from an island goddess by the boisterous and self-satisfied demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson). Requiring the return of the stone to save her endangered island, she eventually crosses paths with Maui, and the pair constantly bicker as they embark on a series of adventures. One involves tiny
pirates who might be distant relatives of the Minions; another focuses on a monstrous crab who belts out a showstopper (it’s a perfect vocal role for Tim Curry, but Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement got the call). Full of energetic incident, backed by a score co-written by Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda, and imbued with a respect for South Pacific customs and cultures, Moana hits all the right grace notes with such efficiency that it’s easy to overlook the fact that the lead is once again a plucky and intelligent heroine who absorbs valuable life lessons, the sidekick is once again a garrulous and talkative overachiever, and the comic relief is once again provided by an animal (in this case, a brain-damaged chicken). But why fight it when the results are this charming? Better to just settle back and allow the Disney magic to wash over you like a gentle wave lapping the shore.
ONCE THE BREAD and butter of the movie industry, the World War II film has become a rarity in today’s Hollywood, SEE
FILM P. 22 u
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FILM FROM P. 21 t tragically going the way of the dodo and the Western. Allied (*** out of four) attempts to bring back some of that old-school glamor and intrigue, placing a moving love story at the center of a wartime espionage caper. The result is itself a rarity: an elegant and understated movie for adults, one that’s as unfussy as it is engaging. Brad Pitt, no stranger to tangling with Nazis (starring in Inglourious Basterds and Fury, speaking out against Donald Trump), here plays Max Vatan, a Canadian intelligence officer whose latest mission pairs him with French Resistance fighter Marianne Beauséjour (Marion Cotillard). Their assignment involves posing as man and wife while plotting the assassination of an important German dignitary; perhaps inevitably, they end up falling in love and getting married, a union that turns problematic once Marianne is suspected by the British high command of being an enemy agent. Far too many movies relying on a big reveal play their hands too soon, but that’s not the case with Allied: Thanks to Steven Knight’s smart screenplay and Robert Zemeckis’ understated direction, the picture keeps the is-she-or-isn’t-she? guessing game percolating until the end. Also crucial to the story’s effectiveness are the performances by 22 | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | CLCLT.COM
Pitt and Cotillard, both making the mutual attraction and admiration between their characters palpable. We’ll always have Casablanca, of course, but those wanting to catch an old-fashioned melodrama on the big screen are advised to fall in.
WARREN BEATTY SNAGGED a richly deserved Academy Award for directing the unsung 1981 masterpiece Reds, but he’s never won an Oscar for his acting. Yet for approximately 50 years, he’s delivered a hefty number of dazzling turns, refusing to coast on his good looks and instead exploring characters who were often eccentric, offbeat or even downright psychotic. With Rules Don’t Apply (**1/2 out of four), it’s interesting to note that his acting remains as strong as ever while it’s his helming abilities that seem to have become a tad corroded over time. Working from a script he co-wrote with Bo Goldman, Beatty has fashioned a film that often seems as schizophrenic as its key character, the towering figure of Howard Hughes. As played by Beatty himself, the billionaire is an omniscient presence, even when the story focuses more on the budding relationship between two of his employees. Folks who toil under Hughes aren’t allowed to date any of his contract actresses, which means chauffeur Frank Forbes (Alden
Marion Cotillard and Brad Pitt in Allied.
Ehrenreich) and starlet Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins) have to keep their flirtatious parrying on the down low. Viewers who can get on the film’s wavelength — and who aren’t looking for something as meaty as Martin Scorsese’s Hughes biopic The Aviator — will find (as I did) much to enjoy, but there’s no denying the picture is slight in the extreme, with most of its particulars dissipating from memory rather rapidly. Still, it’s been 15 years since Beatty participated in any movie (headlining the woeful Town & Country), and it’s nice to see the maverick filmmaker still in the game, even if he’s no longer the one writing the rules.
THE 2003 YULETIDE hit Bad Santa remains one of those holiday movies, like It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story, that’s impossible not to watch over and over (and over) again. Bad Santa 2 (**1/2 out of four) is basically like a copy that’s been produced on a faulty Xerox machine: Some parts have been duplicated perfectly, while other bits are blurry or missing completely. So while the foul language, misanthropic attitude, and cynical performances still come into focus in this belated sequel, even squinting might not pick up much in the way of clever plotting, genuine wit, and a sneaky subversive streak running throughout.
Yet the attention to cheerful vulgarity defines both movies, meaning that plenty of laughs can be found in this flagrantly foulmouthed follow-up. Granted, audiences may not respect themselves in the morning — heck, they may not even respect themselves during the movie (at my screening, many people lambasted the film on the way out, but, boy, were they sure howling during it!) — but those looking for seasonal fare that’s decidedly more naughty than nice will be properly rewarded. As before, the key ingredient is the giveand-take between Billy Bob Thornton and Tony Cox as those holiday hoodlums Willie and Marcus — both actors pick up where they left off, as their antagonistic characters this time become involved in a heist brought together by Willie’s equally disreputable mom (Kathy Bates). Pudgy Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly) returns to again scamper after Willie, and he’s as dim-witted as ever. Thurman is rather awkwardly shoehorned into the proceedings, sandwiched between the copious cussing and the copious copulation. Nevertheless, his presence is welcome, if only to see how he looks 13 years removed from the original film — and to see if he still puts his faith in Mary and Jesus and that talking walnut.
WHEN ONE DOOR CLOSES... Julie Funderburk opens up about her debut book of poetry BY CORBIE HILL
houses on the pages of Julie Funderburk’s debut book of poetry, The Door that Always Opens. You won’t find them around Charlotte, though: the poet’s childhood and family homes have been, one way or another, demolished to make way for new construction. “It’s kind of strange to live in a city where you’ve had a number of dwellings, and they’re all destroyed,” she says. The basic facts of the houses in her debut book of poetry are true. One was a small dairy farm; in “Future Site of Fletcher Academy,” Funderburk walks the bulldozed land where it once stood. There were some rental houses and an apartment she lived in, all gone now, but all presented poetically in The Door that Always Opens. Yet autobiography isn’t Funderburk’s goal — in fact, that’s not even how she views these poems. The fact of these houses is more of a mechanism used to explore the things that separate people and that draw them together. On December 6, Funderburk reads from The Door that Always Opens at Queens College’s Duke Energy Auditorium. To her, poetry is a fictive art; some things she amplifies, others she simplifies, and all for narrative’s sake. She may be writing about a house her family lived in while her dad was still working on it, say, but it’s not really about her. And she’s still coming to terms with what it means to have shared some of these details in her work. “I think a lot of writers have something about their lives that prompts them to want to write, something that happens that makes them see themselves in light of the rest of the world, so there’s a little bit of a difference or a gap,” Funderburk says. “It can be any number of things. For some people it’s trauma, but it’s not always that. I guess this unusual aspect of my personal history is one of the things that separated me from other people.”
Julie Funderburk will read from her new book on Dec. 6 at Queen’s University. She never thought she would write poems about the houses she’s lived in. That seems like the kind of thing that would go in a memoir, Funderburk says, and she’s not all that interested in that kind of writing. She was surprised, then, when she started writing a series of poems about her family’s homes. In “The Undertaking,” she paints a picture of a father who spends his entire adult life building a house, while in “Singular Summer” she describes living in an unfinished house with her family. “We had no certificate of occupancy and kept clothes in bags. / Reason wasn’t helping, so I shut up about it,” she writes. They snaked an extension cord in, as the poem goes, and blocked the windows with plywood at night so no light would reveal their presence. “It was a real house in Charlotte,” she says, admitting it feels weird to switch gears and discuss the actual house rather than its poetic equivalent. All families, as she understands it, have things they don’t share with other people. These aren’t necessarily dark or sinister secrets, she explains, but can simply be eccentricities. This unwritten code fascinates her, even as she toes it in The Door that Always Opens. Funderburk’s own work is underlain with elements of her own family: her late father, who died when she was in her early 20s; the string of nowdemolished houses; her twin brother, who appears in the satisfying and concise “Trying to Light Charcoal in a Coastal Night Wind.” Having a twin, too, gave Funderburk early insight into the culture of the gender binary. Growing up, she saw how the world treated them differently: for one, he had all the good toys; to this day, Funderburk’s not sure what’s supposed to be fun about giving a doll a bottle. In school, she remembers boys and girls were forever being separated. In kindergarten, she was confused when she and her twin had to sit at different tables
The cover of Julie Funderburk’s The Door that Always Opens. for their birthday party — she at the girls’ table with pink cupcakes, and he at the boys’ one with chocolate ones. They were best friends, and it didn’t make sense to celebrate separately. “To me, he was pretty much the same as me, and that’s not how everybody else saw us,” she says. These early lessons made her more confident in thinking about the idea of an extreme gender binary and the way it effects people. In the churning, staccato “Notes for Surviving Girlhood,” she addresses some of these pressures. “No one can uproot your nerve,” she writes.
Fiction writers are taught to borrow liberally from reality, Funderburk points out. She understands, too, that real life is stranger than fiction, so when she sits down to write poems she does much of the same thing. She takes license with some of the details, but the basic facts — the stuff you just can’t make up, as they say — are true. “The autobiography isn’t the important part for me,” Funderburk says. “The way the story can be shared with others and why it might ought to be is what interests me.” BACKTALK@CLCLT.COM CLCLT.COM | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | 23
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Here Come The Mummies perform at Neighborhood Theatre on Dec. 1.
GETTING MERRY WITH THE MUMMIES Members of Here Come The Mummies talk music, muses and mummy mishaps BY ANITA OVERCASH
HEN IT COMES to alter-egos, the folks who make up Here Come The Mummies, a funk rock group performing at Neighborhood Theatre, have it all down pat. They perform dressed as mummies onstage — the costumed visuals akin to groups like Gwar and Mac Sabbath. The band also uses 28 | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | CLCLT.COM
discretion towards revealing their real life identities. Hence, this interview’s weirdness. Since the band’s start in 2000, members have come and gone without their true identities being unraveled. Why is it all kept “under wraps”? The band’s website states that it’s due to possible record label contract disputes. Most of the musicians also perform in other bands. Creative Loafing snagged an interview with Here Come The Mummies’
Mummy Cass and Midnight, who talked music, muses and mummy mishaps as their undead alter egos. Creative Loafing: Who has been in the band the longest, and are you surprised by the longevity of this music project? Mummy Cass: We are all ancient, so certain details get lost in the mist, y’know? But we were a band of mortal men before the
Pharaoh cursed us. Now we wonder the earth in search of the perfect riff. Then we are supposed to finally be able to rest our souls! Midnight: I don’t really wanna rest my soul. I’m kinda diggin’ the 21st century. Mummy Cass: He has a point. How do you describe the band’s sound? Mummy Cass: It’s funk and rock and
soul and a dash of other styles to keep it interesting, like that little bit of rot you taste in a perfect strawberry. Are there other bands that have influenced the band’s sound and style? Mummy Cass: The biggest influences on our sound would be closer to Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder, Parliament, Sly and the Family Stone, The Isleys, and lots of others. But the thing is, when you imitate others, it still comes out sounding different, like your own thing. What’s the hardest thing about performing in mummy gear? Mummy Cass: Well, our dusty, decrepit, rotten limbs sometimes won’t cooperate. And we’ve been wrapped up tight for aeons. These rags have “baked in” over the centuries, and we’d be hard pressed to say where they end and semi-preserved flesh begins. Midnight: That, and the better portion of our brains were removed through our noses back in the day. Good thing we all started off above average. Well, everyone except Spaz. Have you ever had anything crazy happen or has anything ever gone wrong while your were onstage in your mummy gear? Mummy Cass: I lost 7/8 of my tongue while playing guitar with my teeth (good thing I started off above average). High E-string sheered it right off. A little, fleshy,
HERE COME THE MUMMIES $22.50-$27. Dec. 1, 8 p.m. Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E 36th St. 704-942-7997. neighborhoodtheatre.com.
pulsating gift to the second row. Best reason to perform as a mummy? Mummy Cass: One thing remains the same no matter how much time may pass. Chicks dig music. And Mummies. That’s three things. Did you guys have a specific inspiration for this project? Mummy Cass: We’ve got nothing but inspiration. We’ve been doing this so long, you think we’d be bored by now, but because we are all overgrown kids inside, we find inspiration all around us, all the time. We breath the stuff. The new album is Underground. Thematically, how did you find inspiration for the album? Mummy Cass: That’s right, Underground came out August 1st, and we are really proud of it, but we already have a new, new album, A Blessing and a Curse and it came out awesome, too. See what we mean? Inspiration finds us.
How many people are currently in the band and what stage names do they go by? What instruments do they play? Mummy Cass: Usually, there are eight of us, and there are a few auxiliary mums for when somebody loses a finger and has to hand stitch it back on, or when K.W. TuT simply cannot be roused from the catacombs after a tiring motorcycle journey. Most nights you’ll see Eddie Mummy on drums, Spaz on keys, myself on guitar and lead vocals, TuT or The Pole on bass, Ra on tenor, The Flu on alto, and Midnight on percussion, keys, talk box, and Bari. It is a big sound, big sound. Are there any new techniques or instruments that you’ve added to the set? Mummy Cass: Midnight’s talk box is probably the most fun new sound. And his hat, lovingly hand-made by our faithful sound man Jonee Quest, is the best new accessory. Have you guys played Charlotte before? Any fond memories? Mummy Cass: Yes, and we love it. The Neighborhood Theatre has been great! Thanks for helping us get the word out that Charlotte needs to come get its booster injection of Original Undead Funk!
CLCLT.COM | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | 29
THE ALTERNATIVE ROUTE Elise Davis tosses her ‘token’ BY ANITA OVERCASH
ELIVERING COUNTRYTINGED Americana music is
a priority for songstress Elise Davis. The Little Rock, Arkansas, native grew up believing she’d follow in the footsteps of the women around her — marrying at a young age and having children — but she’s done quite the opposite. For Davis — who plays with Black Lillies and Radio Birds on Dec. 1 at Visulite Theatre — her commitment is to music, not matrimony or offspring. At 28, she’s released several independent albums but her most recent album, The Token, is her debut on the Thirty Tigers label. The first song on the album is the namesake, “The Token,” and it sets the tone of the record. “I titled the record The Token and made it the first song because I feel like that song is sort of the mission statement for the whole record, which is basically whichever path you choose there’s always going to be good and bad. That’s just life,” says Davis. “And all the songs to follow are little snippets of my experiences as I am trying to decipher what my life will look like in that way.” While she addresses the inherent pressures of a woman living in the South, she also speaks freely about sexuality and substance abuse. Tracks like “I Go To Bars And Get Drunk” and “Benefits” speak on alternative lifestyles and views. On “Benefits” specifically, she makes a bold statement about the rewards of having friends with benefits. “Sexuality, in particular, you’re often made to feel guilty about. In the South, as a woman I feel like if you’re really open about your sexuality it’s often tied in with being slutty. That’s something that the older I get has made me realize how sex-negative America is,” says Davis. “I wanted to speak on sexuality and substance abuse. It’s definitely a little uncommon to sing that one in front 30 | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | CLCLT.COM
of my granddad, but there wasn’t anything that was going to stop me from putting that on there.” Other songs, like “Penny,” take a sensual approach to sexual escapades without the intent of relationship development. Davis sings of freedom, as have other singer/ songwriters — Lana Del Rey springing to mind. The no-strings-attached attitude is refreshing, lending to the song’s sexy twang. Davis describes her music as “not straight up country,” fitting best in the Americana genre. Her songs — personal, honest and vulnerable at times — are a direct reflection of her life. “Hotel Room,” one of the more vulnerable tracks on the album is about a bad relationship she was in. “Make the Kill” is another breakup song that was influenced after a move from Little Rock to Nashville, Tenn., where she’s lived for the past five years. It was in Nashville that Davis started work at a publishing company. She later entered a “Pub Deal Contest,” presented by Martin Guitar and American Songwriter and won a year-long $20,000 publishing contract with HoriPro Entertainment Group. After that, she pushed to release her debut album with a label. Her manager connected her to producer Sam Kassirer
Elise Davis performs at Visulite Theatre on Dec. 1.
ELISE DAVIS W/ BLACK LILLIES AND RADIO BIRDS $15-$18. Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m. Visulite Theatre, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. 704-3589200. visulite.com.
(Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive, Erin McKeown, Langhorne Slim, and more), who arranged for the album’s recording musicians — including guitarist Josh Kaufman (Bob Weir, Day of the Dead collaborator with Aaron and Brice Dessner of The National), bassist Bradley Cool (Indigo Girls, Shannon Van Etten), drummer Matt McCaughan (Bon Iver, Hiss Golden Messenger). They all met to record the album in a secluded winter cabin in Maine where they were shacked up for 11 days. This was a long time coming for Davis, who recorded her first song — inspired by running away after her parents refused to let her attend a Bush concert — at just 12 years old. “It was a song about feeling alone in a
big house,” says Davis, who returned home from running away only to discover that her parents hadn’t even noticed she was missing. Much like those days, Davis still uses loneliness as a muse for her songs. The Token’s “Not the End of the World” is a sad tour song, written after one of her solo outings. But at the end of the day, Davis is happy about where she’s at, despite touring’s effect on her relationship status. “I’ve had trouble with [relationships] as you can probably tell. People will get jealous and it’s easy to lose touch. It’s definitely hard to maintain relationships doing what I do,” says Davis. While on the road, she often hears from friends who are eager to announce their engagements. The song “Diamond Days,” was inspired by her being asked to be a bridesmaid. “I was super hungover with my hair in a greasy ponytail in the backseat of a van driving back from a Houston show,” says Davis. “I started to write that on a napkin in my lap.” The result is a song about feeling alone, yet content, and alive on the road. The chorus echoes: “I chose to take my time. She chose to take his name.” She’s ok with being a bridesmaid, though.
of Friday December 9 (8 pm) Saturday December 10 (11 am* & 8 pm) Sunday December 11 (2:30 pm)
*Saturday 11 am Performance perfect for families with young children.
704.972.2000 charlottesymphony.org CLCLT.COM | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | 31
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32 | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | CLCLT.COM
DEC. 1 COUNTRY/FOLK The Black Lillie with Elise Davis with Radio Birds (Visulite Theatre) The Hillbilly Hobos (Comet Grill)
POP/ROCK Chris Knight (Puckett’s Farm Equipment) Glass Animals w/ The Molly Ringwalds (The Fillmore) Here Come The Mummies (Neighborhood Theatre) The Independents, Van Huskins, Asbestos Boys (Milestone) My Three Sons (Double Door Inn) Sam Burchfield & Wrenn w/ Sugar Dirt and Sand (The Evening Muse) Shiprocked (Snug Harbor) Tim, Chuck and Steve (Tin Roof)
DEC. 2 BLUES/ROOTS/INTERNATIONAL Jarekus Singleton Band (Double Door Inn)
COUNTRY/FOLK The Lenny Federal Band (Comet Grill)
POP/ROCK Bombadil w/ Goodnight, Texas (The Evening Muse) Cordovas w/ A. Lee Edwards & The Blind Staggers, Don Gallardo (Snug Harbor) Give Thanks Fest (Visulite Theatre) Jay Mathey (Tin Roof) Josh Ritter (McGlohon Theater) Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe featuring Jimmy Herring (Neighborhood Theatre) The Lenny Federal Band (Comet Grill) Radkey w/ The Fame Riot (late show) (The Evening Muse) Schism (Tool Tribute Band) and Mocktallica (Metallica Tribute Band) (Amos’ Southend) Sinners & Saints, Rinaldi Flying Circus, Carolina Gator Gumbo (Petra’s) Tigerdog, The Dinner Rabbits, Bristol, Sidenote (Milestone)
DEC. 03 COUNTRY/FOLK Ricky Skaggs (Don Gibson Theatre, Shelby)
HIP-HOP/SOUL/R&B Jingle Jam featuring Rick Ross, Lil Boosie, & Young Dolph (Bojangles Coliseum) Off The Wall featuring Cappadonna (Petra’s) One Big Love (late show) (The Evening Muse)
POP/ROCK 5th Annual Rockin’ Kids First w/ The Roadshow Band, Death of August, Nevin Marshall and the J Walkers, Raisin Cain Band, Shotgun Saints, Lauren Nicole Band, English, Halden Vang, The Dirty Soul Revival, Moses Jones (Amos’ Southend) Bakalao Stars (Neighborhood Theatre) Big Mammas House Of Burlesque presents Great Southern Exposure (Visulite Theatre) Demon Eye w/ Space Wizard, Warboys, Boo Hag (Snug Harbor) For Today w/ For Today, Norma Jean, My Epic, Silent Planet (The Underground) Glow Co. (Tin Roof) Hood-Burch & Company (Comet Grill) K-LOVE Christmas Tour w/ Crowder,Mac Powell, Unspoken (Ovens Auditorium) Rebel Son (Puckett’s Farm Equipment) Rush Barchetta (A Rush Tribute Band) (Double Door Inn) Sam the Lion, The Fat Face Band, Ghost Trees, JPH (Milestone) Will Hoge w/ Josh Farrow (The Evening Muse)
DEC. 04 BLUES/ROOTS/INTERNATIONAL The Charlotte Blues Society Annual Christmas Party featuring Elliott and The Untouchables (Double Door Inn)
POP/ROCK Bone Snugs-N-Harmony Karaoke Party (Snug Harbor) Hood-Burch & Company (Comet Grill) I Love The 90’s w/ Salt-N-Pepa, Color Me Badd, Coolio, Tone-Loc, Rob Base, Vanilla Ice (Spectrum Center) The Movement with The Hold up and TreeHouse (Visulite Theatre) Omari and the Hellrasiers (Comet Grill) The Word Alive w/ Volumes, Islander, Invent Animate (Amos’ Southend)
DEC. 5 DJ/ELECTRONIC Knocturnal (Snug Harbor)
Don Dondero plays Milestone on Dec. 6.
POP/ROCK Find Your Muse Open Mic featuring Nick Nace (The Evening Muse) The Hot Sardines: Holiday Stomp (McGlohon Theater) The Monday Night Allstars (Double Door Inn) Third Eye Blind w/ Bassh (The Fillmore Charlotte)
DEC. 6 CLASSICAL/JAZZ/SMOOTH Bill Hanna Jazz Jam (Double Door Inn) Jazz Room Holiday Edition: A Preservation Hall All-Stars Christmas (Booth Playhouse)
POP/ROCK Bill Hanna Jazz Jam (Double Door Inn) Red Rockin’ Chair (Comet Grill) David Dondero, Blanket Fort, Chris Thomas (of One Another and Minority Party) (Milestone) Marley Carroll w/ Brother Aten, Axnt, NahhG (Snug Harbor) Open Mic with Jeff (Puckett’s Farm Equipment)
DEC. 7 POP/ROCK Cuzco w/ Melt, Sunmaker, Dead Nodes (Snug Harbor)
Dylan LeBlanc w/ The Pollies (The Evening Muse) Mark O’Connor: An Appalachian Christmas (McGlohon Theater) Modern Heritage Weekly Mix Tape (Snug Harbor) Open Mic Night (Comet Grill) Originals Singer Songwriters Night (Puckett’s Farm Equipment) Songwriter Open Mic (Petra’s)
COMING SOON Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Dec. 8, Spectrum Center) Southern Culture on the Skids (Dec. 9, Visulite Theatre) Charlotte Symphony Pops: Magic of Christmas (Dec. 9-10, Belk Theater) Tosco Music Holiday Party (Dec. 10, McGlohon Theater) Chatham County Line (Dec. 16, Neighborhood Theatre The Avett Brothers (Dec. 31, Bojangles’ Coliseum) * - CL Recommends
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com. CL online provides addresses, maps and directions from your location. Send us your concert listings: E-mail us at aovercash@clclt. com or fax it to 704-522-8088. We need the date, venue, band name and contact name and number. The deadline is each Wednesday, one week before publication. CLCLT.COM | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | 33
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DON’T LAND ON THE NAUGHTY LIST What to do (or not to do) at your holiday office party
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34 | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | CLCLT.COM
The Perfect Combo.
year ago, I could tell he still wasn’t judging ARE YOU UP to your ears in me, however, I was definitely judging Thanksgiving leftovers? I know I am. But, myself. Scout’s honor, this year is going to believe it or not, I’m actually not a huge fan of be different. turkey, stuffing and the likes. Nevertheless, Not sure whether or not you know how after an extended weekend at home with the family that featured a mannequin challenge, to behave at your company’s party? Below moonshine and a Salisbury trip on the Polar are a few things that are guaranteed to land Express — in no particular order — I’m you on the naughty list with your boss and happy that it’s officially time to put up other higher-ups: Christmas decorations. 1. Getting sloppy drunk. Take a few No lie, I had a panic attack as a result of notes from me. No one wants to be the overexertion and overexcitement following weepy, vommy, mouthy co-worker that’s Christmas shopping at Hobby Lobby on purging at the office party. Most likely there Saturday. Who am I? will be some sort of open bar, so prepare This year, instead of hunting for the yourself. Eat the hors d’oeuvres, stick with best clothing deals on Black Friday and what you know and if they’re only paying for Cyber Monday, I spent close to $200 on beer, wine and champagne, save hard Christmas plates and decorations. liquor for the after party. I never thought I’d be a Suzy 2. Insulting the higherHomemaker. But can you ups. Make sure you’re blame me? Anthropologie’s aware of the head honchos visual marketing gets me that are going to be in every time. attendance at your office On Sunday, while my party. Greet them early boy toy snoozed away and once you’ve had your his hangover, I decided fair share, avoid them at to get in the Christmas all costs. Then you won’t spirit. I put on Krampus have to try and remember and started pulling out all AERIN SPRUILL what you may have said of the Christmas decorations walking into the office Monday I already had. Two trees, hand towels and table settings later, I morning, like I did. was coming down off my Christmas 3. Dwelling on work. Don’t like your high. job? Hate one of your co-workers? Frustrated Just when I was seriously considering from a call earlier that day? Leave those going to grab another tree, I realized my topics at the door. The moment alcohol holiday office party at Suite was just a few touches your lips, you’ll want to vent and days away. Nothing like a good old-fashioned you may end up sticking your foot in your party to get me back in the spirit. But then, mouth. The motto to remember: “If you just as quick as my excitement returned, the don’t have anything good to say, don’t say ghosts of Christmas parties past paid me a anything at all.” visit. 4. Wearing skimpy clothes. As if you One year, I got caught double-fisting haven’t already made a name for yourself in by the president of our company. That was the office for your risqué clothing choice, the before I became a guilty party in a glassoffice party does not give you a good excuse shattering incident. And before getting a ride to stretch your legs — pun intended. Don’t to All American Pub from a police officer, let the venue choice of a local bar or club where I’m pretty sure I was canoodling all fool you. That mini skirt wasn’t appropriate night in front of another higher-up. then, and it isn’t appropriate now. I repeat, The following year, I’d hoped to show save it for the after party. major improvements. Nope. I ended up Before you turn your annual office getting drunk once again and this time, I holiday party into The Nightmare Before was overheard making questionably lewd Christmas, think twice. After all, Santa (aka comments in front of my current boss your boss) knows when you’ve been bad or who ever so gently reminded me of our good, so be good for goodness sake! anniversary last week, “Are you going to What’s your favorite or most embarrassing be on your best behavior for the Christmas memory from an office party past? Share it with party this year?” Even after our awkward interaction a me at email@example.com.
NOTED PHRASES ACROSS
1 Neighbor of Chile 5 Chemist’s outerwear 12 Some captives 20 Copies 21 Magic’s city 22 Fearmonger 23 Centennial State pageant winner 25 Start to chew 26 Clinic fluids 27 Enjoy a meal 28 DVR biggie 29 Baste, e.g. 30 Text giggle 31 Output of Tolkien 38 Highly skilled people 40 Prudential competitor 41 “-- found it!” 42 Member of a noted racecar-driving family 47 Surplus item 51 Be a cast member of 52 Oklahoma tribe member 53 Placed in the middle, to a Brit 55 The NBA’s “King James” 57 120-Down character Sarducci 61 Uru. neighbor 64 Wildlife lair 65 Proverb 66 Add liberally 67 Most August newborns 69 Popular energy drink 73 Anderson of “WKRP in Cincinnati” 74 Rome’s country, in French 76 “Fuer --” (piano piece) 77 Sun, e.g. 79 -- Moines, Iowa 80 Prism, cone or sphere 82 Beach shoe 85 Stands for hot dishes 86 Melody 87 “Salud!,” say 91 Dutch genre painter Jan 92 Port-au-Prince’s land 98 No. on a road sign 100 Navigator Islands, now 101 Cry upon release 102 1991 Denzel Washington film 109 Gave a meal 110 Hubbub 111 Chiang Mai native
112 Johnny -113 Pool coverer 115 Open ocean 118 Parts of it appear at both the starts and ends of this puzzle’s eight theme phrases 123 Bel Air resident, e.g. 124 Funicello of the screen 125 Cry in church 126 Nonclerical females 127 “Possibly” 128 Veg out, say
1 Cook’s spray 2 Like serials 3 Pick again 4 KGB funder 5 Lav, in Bath 6 Specter in politics 7 Make swollen 8 Magna -9 -- par with 10 Stick in 11 Moreover 12 Natural home 13 With 84-Down, lunchmeat with pimiento 14 Goal in Zen Buddhism 15 Uno plus due 16 French bud 17 Knife of TV ads 18 Oxalate, e.g. 19 Vermont ski town 24 Wearing a lounge robe 28 Color a little 30 Tibetan priest 32 Ending for enzymes 33 She sang “Smooth Operator” 34 “-- darn tootin’!” 35 4G -- (T-Mobile offering) 36 Retaliate 37 Like some criticism 39 Singer Ochs 43 Actor Greene 44 -- -Z 45 Luc’s denial 46 Chilling stuff 48 Camera stand 49 Fixed up 50 Studmuffin 54 West Germany’s Ludwig 56 Deprived 57 Not genuine 58 Wheel turner
59 Little jerk 60 Patients’ gp. 61 First groups of invitees 62 Snappy reply 63 Net minder 65 California’s -- Woods 68 Splinters 70 MBA, say 71 -- -ray Disc 72 Feature of the word “go” 75 -- -Kit (police tool) 78 Tub traction aids 81 Medit. land 82 “Or -- hear” 83 From way back: Abbr. 84 See 13-Down 86 Shut angrily 88 Structure of a plane without the engine 89 Belfry locales 90 Knotted 93 Quarterback Boomer 94 Spanish for “daddy” 95 Ball caller 96 “Sk8er --” (2002 hit) 97 Chick- -- -A 99 Hold dear 102 Taj -103 Singer Menzel 104 Drenched 105 1953 Alan Ladd title role 106 Disney mermaid 107 Religious branches 108 Die down 114 Rent- -116 Chop down 117 -- -mo 118 Animal gullet 119 A, in France 120 ‘75 TV debut 121 Ang of film 122 Certain M.D.
SOLUTION FOUND ON P. 38.
CLCLT.COM | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | 35
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36 | DEC. 1 - DEC. 7, 2016 | CLCLT.COM
MY BOYFRIEND OF almost two years is wonderful, and we have had very few issues. But there is one thing that has almost been a deal breaker. He fiddles with his penis almost constantly — in front of me and in front of our roommates. I’ve confronted him about it a number of times. He said he should be able to fiddle with his dick in every room of the house if he wants to and he should feel comfortable doing so. I told him that he is being “comfortable” at the expense of the comfort of those around him. We’ve had a number of confrontations about this, and he does it a lot less, but he still does it. If he doesn’t stop when I tell him to, I just leave the room. My question to you: Is this behavior unacceptable or am I being unreasonable? Frustrated With The Fiddling
Bathe Longer Or Withhold Sex Your wife doesn’t wanna suck your cock, BLOWS, squeaky clean or stinky cheese. I would recommend outsourcing non-birthday blowjobs — if your wife is okay with that, BLOWS, which she won’t be.
I am a queer trans woman in my mid-20s, and I am in a monogamous relationship with a queer cis woman. We have been dating for about three months now. We have had an absolutely amazing sex life since day one, except for one caveat: She has never in her life had an orgasm. For most of the time she has been sexually active, she has felt ambivalent about getting off. It has only been in the past month that she has started feeling a “sexual awakening,” as she calls it. We have been making progress, but she has been having issues with getting Until a few weeks caught up in her head ago, I would have said when I am pleasuring DAN SAVAGE that neo-Nazis siegher. This has been causing heiling around Washington, dysphoric feelings for her. DC, was unacceptable and any We have had a few discussions elected official or pundit who didn’t about what we can do about the immediately condemn neo-Nazis would be situation, but we are feeling lost. We finished politically and professionally. But know there isn’t going to be a quick fix, it turns out that neo-Nazism is just another but what do we do about this? example of IOIYAR — “it’s okay if you’re a Confused And Nervous Truly Can’t Republican” — and relativism reigns. Overcome Much Exasperation In other words: “Unacceptable” is a relative concept, FWTF, not an objective one. Pot. That said, FWTF, I don’t think you’re being unreasonable: Fiddling with your dick I’ve been in a long-term relationship in every room of the house is inconsiderate with the girl I’m going to marry. While and childish. It sounds like you’re doing a I’ve had a few relationships in the past, good job of socializing your boyfriend and I she has had only one other relationship would encourage you to keep it up. before me, who also happened to be her only other sexual companion. My I’m a straight man in a mostly girlfriend is very vanilla in the bedroom, healthy marriage. Our sex life is which is fine for me, but the issue is average, which I understand is better that currently the only way for her to than some people can hope for, and have an orgasm is to grind (dry hump) we communicate well. For example, I on my boxer shorts until she climaxes. felt comfortable admitting to my wife This obviously causes her a little bit of a few weeks ago that I would like more embarrassment, along with some heavy blowjobs. She in turn felt comfortable rug burn. Is there any toy or something admitting to me that she would prefer that may help with this? if I showered more often. So we made Girlfriend Dryly Humping a deal: I would shower every day and she would blow me twice a month. But Pot and sex toys — they might not help, the first month came and went with no but they couldn’t hurt. blowjobs in sight. I’ve showered every Email Dan Savage at firstname.lastname@example.org. single day. Should I bring this up to her?
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SOLUTION TO THIS WEEK'S PUZZLE
FOR ALL SIGNS: This is the quietest week we have experienced in the last couple of months. It is a time for tending to our routines and preparing for whichever holiday you celebrate at the end of December. You need to know that Mercury turns retrograde on December 19. We are in the “foreshadow” at this time as the planet appears to decelerate ahead of changing directions. Projects begun now will require longer time to complete, even though we aren’t quite in the retrograde zone. The Mercury retrograde will extend through the holidays until January 8. ARIES: Mars, your avatar in the zodiac,
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is making several favorable aspects with other planets. It is favoring your primary relationship(s), bringing a free flowing understanding between you and others. You are also generating forward progress with a plan for expanding your work via an electronic solution. You will be taking something old and turning it into a new creation.
TAURUS: This might be a week in which
you let yourself give into chocolate bonbons and other yummy things. Self-discipline is not at its best. Travel ideas are especially appealing. Your partner or a good friend may be the one who provokes temptations, but you are easily led right now.
GEMINI: Your attention shifts to matters
of shared resources for the next couple of weeks. “Resources” include time, things of material value, energy and sexuality. The territory is wide, ranging from the mundane study of the budget all the way to important discussions with partners over the need for greater intimacy.
CANCER: A changing social situation or a
particular friend wanders across your radar this week. You are left with a lot to think about as a result. Your feathers may be ruffled a bit, but this is no major deal. Stay in communication with your partner. The role of woman as Lover versus woman as Caretaker may be mildly challenging now.
LEO: You may be surprised to discover something about yourself or your money/ debts that you have been avoiding. We are all in denial sometimes. Don’t waste time on a guilt trip. Now that you know, it is time to face the facts and collect the threads of a solution. This is not a good time to have a sexual encounter with someone unknown to you.
VIRGO: Mercury, your ruling planet, moves
into the sector of life related to children, recreation, personal creativity, and romance. Your attention will be focused in these areas beyond the end of this year. You can expect changes, shifts of gear, and surprises in these
territories. Something new is developing in these areas, but it may not become apparent until later in January.
LIBRA: The practical things of life seem to stand front and center between you and a pleasurable week. You may be working on a project with a lot of details that requires your full attention in order to be accurate. You and a significant other may need to have a clear discussion about your expectations of one another.
SCORPIO: Your faith will be renewed this week. Your guardian is watching over you. Someone in the background offers help. Your available resources are expanded and you have fresh, interesting work. The gods are with you now.
You are gathering information that will help you launch future plans. It is possible that others are helping — a sibling, a roommate, or a friend. It is possible that your research may carry you off into a short trip. It is important, while Mercury is preparing to turn retrograde, that you double check everything now.
CAPRICORN: Mercury travels slowly through your sign between now and February 6. It will be going through its retrograde cycle before it moves along. Take care with any decision of importance because you likely will find reason to change your mind. New information keeps popping up to muddy the works. This is normal with Mercury retrogrades. Do not beat yourself because you can’t seem to move forward.
AQUARIUS: The planetary energies are on a roll for you, Aquarius. Mars, the Warrior, in your sign is helping you to tackle more than one project with determined vigor. Even if you need resources, they will come to you without strain or fuss. Your persuasive power is strong and other will listen to you now.
PISCES: Developments in your career or life direction may cause you to feel ineffective this week. Don’t allow this one experience to alter your sense of self-identity. You are an intuitive person who can almost always assist others to feel better. But you cannot accomplish this goal if the Other does not want to feel better.
Are you interested in a personal horoscope? Vivian Carol may be reached at 704-366-3777 for private psychotherapy or astrology appointments. Website: www.horoscopesbyvivian.com.
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