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Camp North End will be the site of a bumpin’ block party to end the summer and raise money for Hurricane Harvey victims on September 16.

We put out weekly





FOOD 16 OH, AZTECA A Mexican-Cuban goes home to an authentic meal

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MUSIC A WEST SIDE STORY Soul Junction music fest aims to bring people together at the crossroads BY KIA MOORE AND MARK KEMP




THE FALL GUIDE: All the events you’ll need to get you from equinox to solstice


Umberger of ‘Angels’ fame returns with ‘The Christians’ BY PERRY TANNENBAUM 32 FILM REVIEW: IT BY MATT BRUNSON





CLCLT.COM | SEP. 14 - 20, 2017 VOL. 31, NO. 30

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UNCERTAIN TIMES Let ‘CL’s Fall Guide help you figure out what to do bands, most of which are from here,” Eden said. “We have so much talent here that the first week in September. goes virtually unrecognized.” Not only that, Maybe it was Irma making her presence but Bla/Art is being put together and run known before she made her way up to by a team of four very diffent black women. Charlotte. By the time you read this, Irma will “It’s a local celebration of black artists of all have come and gone, and God knows what kinds, and something Charlotte has needed kind of devastation she will have left behind. for some time.” Here’s hoping not much. Because we have a This week’s Fall Guide is not just about fall season to celebrate. music, though. We have a full sports section For Creative Loafing’s annual Fall Guide, with details on the Panthers season, plus lots we’re offering a ton of events for you to mark of theater events, festivals, food and more. on your calendar. In particular, an amazing And speaking of food, for this week’s food mix of music is coming to town. We’re usually section we assigned a music and arts reporter touting local music in these pages, but our to do the restaurant profile, and the assignment Top 10s and seasonal guides allow us the took writer Grey Revell home to his Mexicanopportunity to point you to some good Cuban roots in Los Angeles. He takes national acts. And this fall, you can a look at Azteca, the longtime, choose among a wide variety, locally owned Mexican chain most importantly Jay-Z, founded before Charlotte who brings his 4:44 tour became inundated with to the Spectrum Center great little Mexican joints. Nov. 16 — that is, if the As he writes in the piece, Spectrum’s still standing “I’d have to travel back in after Irma. time, to a family birthday Music lovers of all kinds or Christmas celebration, will find something to catch to get food as good as what between late September and I got at Azteca.” December. The second-most And in the news section, MARK KEMP anticipated show (and first, to Ryan Pitkin tells the story of my liking) is Rhiannon Giddens, Davidson College student Carlos the former Carolina Chocolate Drops Miranda; his journey from Vera frontwoman whose latest album, Freedom Cruz, Mexico, to South Carolina, then to Highway, has been a constant on my playlist one of North Carolina’s most esteemed private since it came out in February. The Greensboro colleges. Students like Miranda now face native will bring her hard-hitting Americana uncertainty due to the current U.S. president’s songs of social justice to the Neighborhood backward momentum on immigration policy. Theatre on Sept. 30. If angsty punk is your The president’s announcement that he would thing, then you won’t want to miss Against Me! rescind former President Obama’s Deferred at the Neighborhood Theatre on Oct. 18. And Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, has there’s even more variety: two great but very put young DACA recipients like Miranda in an different Latino acts, Brazil’s Seu Jorge at the emotional bind. Underground Oct. 3 and Mexico’s Cafe Tacuba Miranda was able to attend college thanks at the Fillmore Oct. 6; cutting-edge jazz with to a Red Ventures Golden Door scholarship, Robert Glasper during the Art of Cool fest finale which the company awards to high-achieving at the Neighborhood Oct. 7; and ear-splitting DACA recipients. Over the past six years, the metal from Mastodon at the Fillmore Oct. 4. program has sent 158 undocumented students If local music is what you need, singer- to schools of higher eduction. The company’s songwriter LeAnna Eden’s ambitious Black CEO, Ric Elias, tells Pitkin that the current Alternative (or Bla/Alt) Festival at Camp North president will not deter Red Ventures from End has you covered. She’s put together a continuing to provide assistance. fantastic roster of mostly local black rock bands “While political uncertainty and discord to celebrate artists that are often marginalized is stalling progress on critical issues,” Elias in the lily-white rock world. I talked with Eden says, “we’ll keep moving forward to help at Common Market a few weeks before the more undocumented students get the higher event and she emphasized that Bla/Alt will education they deserve.” not just be a Charlotte version of Brooklyn’s And Creative Loafing will keep moving famed Afropunk festival. forward on our coverage of these critical “This is not about copying what Afropunk issues — throughout the fall and beyond. MKEMP@CLCLT.COM does. It’s about celebrating black alternative

IT’S PRETTY weird how quickly it got cold

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BREAKING THROUGH THE WALL Golden Door scholars face adversarial government, sense of guilt RYAN PITKIN


ITTING IN SUMMIT Coffee on the Davidson College campus, Carlos Miranda fits right in with the other students chatting at tables or working quietly on the couches behind him. Sipping blueberry white tea in a black and gray striped sweater, his shoulder-length hair dangling over his eyes as he looks down at his laptop, the only thing that sets Miranda apart from his fellow Wildcats is that his skin is a couple of shades darker than those sitting all around him. When he steps outside to chat, however, the Mexico native reveals a deep-seated anxiety that is surely not shared by the white students inside. “There’s a little tinge of guilt, I think. What separated me from everyone else? The reason I am here is because other people aren’t,” Miranda says. “I think that also helps drive me to ensure that I’m able to make something out of it, that I’m able to help other people get to this point.” Miranda was able to afford to attend Davidson thanks to the Golden Door Scholars program, launched by Red Ventures CEO and founder Ric Elias in 2012 to promote economic mobility by offering scholarships to highachieving recipients of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Golden Door helps students in the 23 states where undocumented immigrants are refused in-state tuition no matter how long they’ve lived there. Over the last six years, the program has sent 158 undocumented students to college, and Elias recently announced that he would continue to grow the program in spite of President Trump’s announcement that he would rescind DACA in six months. “The heart of the matter is simple; education unlocks opportunity” Elias said in a statement. “We believe in equality of opportunity. While political uncertainty and discord is stalling progress on critical issues, we’ll keep moving forward to help more undocumented students get the higher education they deserve.” He asks that potential recipients visit to review eligibility requirements and complete the rolling application before October 25. Golden Door started as a passion project for Elias and a small group of volunteers, 10 | SEPT. 14 - SEPT. 20, 2017 | CLCLT.COM

DACA supporters took to Marshall Park on Tuesday, September 5, following the Trump administration’s announcement that they plan to end the program. all of whom were interested in issues of immigration and economic mobility. When DACA was implemented in June 2012, the group decided to give the scholarship fund a test run to see how much interest the program would garner. Elias and his volunteers planned to offer five scholarships to area schools, until they were inundated with 500 applications. Kacey Grantham, an original volunteer who has since become executive director of Golden Door Scholars, says the group raised enough funds to send 13 students to college that year, nearly tripling the amount of recipients they had originally planned for. Since then, the program has continued to expand. Last year, Golden Door sent 66 new students to college, and Grantham said she plans to serve as many next year, if not more. “We ended up doing 13 scholarships instead of five because we just couldn’t say no to so many students. And then over the years we’ve done more and more,” she says. “The students we’re talking about are high performers, but over the years we’ve had 158 scholarships awarded and that’s from a pool of well over 3,000 applications. So, you see, there are so many students that you have to turn down who you wish you didn’t, because a lot of them deserve to go to college.”

MIRANDA GREW UP in a South Carolina

town of about 5,000, Batesburg-Leesville, where he had lived since arriving in the United States at age 4 with his parents from Vera Cruz, Mexico. He never took the idea of going to college very seriously. His parents emphasized the importance of hard labor, and the majority of folks in his small Midlands

town valued faith over intellectual pursuits. Before DACA, undocumented immigrants in South Carolina weren’t made to pay outof-state tuition like in a lot of other states — they were barred from attending state schools altogether. Miranda figured he would have to move back to a country he didn’t know in order to attend college, as his siblings had, or settle for a job in construction here in the U.S. In his 13 years in Batesburg-Leesville, he never told anyone about his legal status. One day, the mother of Miranda’s closest friend began asking why he didn’t want to attend college. She persisted until he told her about his status, and she vowed to help. She would eventually legally adopt Miranda in the hopes of helping his chances at attending college, and she also helped him apply for DACA once that opportunity presented itself. It was then that Miranda became aware of Golden Door. He brought his school transcript to a meeting about DACA with his lawyer to prove how long he had been living in the country. When the lawyer saw it, she noticed his exceptional grades and handed him a card for Golden Door. The application deadline had passed by then, so Miranda kept the card until the next year, when his adoptive mother reminded him about it. He applied and later interviewed with staff before being approved. From there on out, his life was changed forever. “It was emotional, definitely, because I have two older siblings who attempted to go to school here in the United States and were not able to,” he says. “So when I heard that I was able to, that it had finally happened, that one of us was able to go to school here after living here for so long, that I didn’t have to leave home, it was


really exciting. It was something that I wasn’t expecting. It wasn’t exactly planned.” Miranda regularly thinks back to the day he interviewed for the Golden Door Scholarship. What did he say that got him accepted? What did other kids say that sealed their fate? It’s a concern fellow Golden Door scholars share with Miranda, he says, and it motivates him in everything that he does. “I’m surrounded by people with a lot of privilege, with more money than…” he pauses and lets out a nervous laugh as he fidgets with his teacup. “I can’t count that high. I know that my brothers and sisters were not able to do this. So many people — people that didn’t get the scholarship that I got — didn’t have this experience. I have to acknowledge that I’m in a very privileged position and I have to ensure that that’s something that other people are also able to have, because there’s so many people that are prepared to go to college, that are willing, that would work really hard to do this and they’re not here.” The experience has inspired Miranda to pursue a career helping people, although he’s not sure how he wants to do that. He’s interested in working in the educational field helping those who are disadvantaged and vulnerable. He mentions an array of different potential nonprofit jobs that he’s interested in, from museums to organizations that aid refugees. “I want to be able to reach students — people that are in a vulnerable position or a lessprivileged position — earlier on when I can still make an early impact and enough of an impact to let them know that it’s possible regardless of the situation,” he says. “It’s difficult, it’s really


Carlos Miranda studies in Summit Coffeehouse on the Davidson College campus.

difficult, but being able to ensure that they at least know that there’s several ways to get to a point where they can feel successful.” Miranda’s pay-it-forward attitude is prevalent among Golden Door scholars, says Grantham. Many of the scholars come from low-income homes, or have lived in situations where they helped with the family income up until they left for college, so they are aware of the struggle being faced by countless people like them across the country, and are eager to offer their hand wherever they can. “The students that we’ve selected that I’ve gotten to know, they’re the first ones to reach out and say, ‘How can we help other students who maybe weren’t lucky enough to get the scholarship? How can we support other community efforts for low-income people in general?’” Grantham says. “They’re very community oriented. This is their home and they want to be a part of it and give back. I’m just amazed that they can balance that along with school, and how they also deal with the stress of all the stuff that’s going on now.”

ALTHOUGH GOLDEN ROAD scholars are peppered throughout the country, many are concentrated in the Carolinas. A high percentage of the scholars attend Davidson, Queens University, Wake Forest University and Meredith College in Raleigh. Students at each of these schools have built networks. Although it’s become tougher to keep up with all the new scholars, Miranda stays in touch with most of those that began when he did. Connecting with fellow DACA recipients has helped Miranda navigate a life on a campus that hovers around 75 percent white and just 8 percent Hispanic/Latino, according to He sometimes gets frustrated in class discussions about poverty or racial issues with other students who have never lived through it. “They say, ‘For 50 minutes, let’s talk about how poverty affects these people somewhere else that we’ve never met. Let’s figure out how we’re going to solve their problems in these 50 minutes,’ and they never actually touch reality,” he says. “We do have a bit of an ivory tower in a place like this. There are students here that do get out to help and do great things, but it’s a little disheartening to go into a class and have people solve all your issues who have never been in those problems.”

Grantham and other Golden Door mentors help scholars stay connected through events like their annual summit; three-day events at the Red Ventures headquarters in Rock Hill, South Carolina, where they do community projects and leadership-building exercises, cementing relationships that can help students throughout their time in college and beyond. Networks such as the ones built through Golden Door can be extremely valuable now, as DACA is threatened and most scholars have no idea what the future holds for them. Golden Door mentors have been reaching out to all students to keep them informed and help them with any needs, but sometimes what is needed most is peer support. “They are definitely in an acute state of fear now. They span from being really fearful, especially for their families, all the way to wanting to fight back,” Grantham says.

ON SEPTEMBER 5, the day Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces intentions to rescind DACA, hundreds of people rally at Marshall Park to defend the program. Florencia Inige, a junior at Queens and a Golden Door scholar, is in attendance and says she is one day from celebrating 16 years in the United States. But now her future is in question. “I want to stay optimistic for my family, for my parents,” Inige says. “They really want me and my sister to stay positive and pray that there’s something better coming, but until I see that, I’m not sure.” Inige is here with her fellow Queens Golden Door scholars, in a group Grantham says is one of the strongest networks she’s seen. “Queens has 19 students this year, so that’s great for them,” Grantham says. “When Trump was elected, they were texting me, ‘We’re all together, we’re OK,’ just really being a support system for each other. So I know they’re doing the same thing now.” Along with his fellow Golden Door scholars, Miranda has built a network with other area college students who are also DACA recipients. Thanks to a meeting that he now calls serendipitous, Miranda once ran into a group of DACA students from Johnson C. Smith whom he keeps in touch with through a group text. The students get together in Charlotte “whenever someone has enough food to cook out,” so they can discuss issues as they see them. Miranda says he enjoys being able to hang out with people who know what it’s like to have dodged police throughout their childhoods, who can relate to the feelings of not being connected with their families for long stretches. “We’re treated as a political argument all the time. We’re a spear and shield for both sides of the aisle and I think it’s very reductionist,” Miranda says. “We’re to the point where the humanity of people is lost, I think. Being able to talk to someone else in this position about that, and being able to connect on a very basic level, it’s comforting. It’s easier to cope and to help others. It helps me come to the realization that I’m not crazy. I maybe do have a reason and a right to be here.” And just for a moment, he can let go of that gnawing tinge of guilt.

the time to cast your vote is here. visit


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GO AHEAD, TAKE IT Police responded to a home in northwest Charlotte last week after a man caught another man in the act of breaking into his car, but decided not to confront him about it. The victim, a 25-yearold man, told officers that he witnessed someone rummaging through his car, but knowing what was inside, he stayed at a safe distance instead of yelling for the suspect to stop. That was smart, because eventually the suspect found the Stevens 320 shotgun in the backseat and ran off with it.

in the lead-up to the beginning of the school year led her to discover that things were actually being taken, and not built up. The principal told officers that she visited the construction site to check up on the construction and repair of some mobile classrooms there and found that someone else had been checking out the site before her, and taking what they wanted. She reported that a “Smart Board” projection unit worth $24,000 had been disassembled and the “main piece of the unit” had been stolen.

OH WELL A 29-year-old man filed a police

BRIGHT IDEA A 22-year-old man called

report last week after his own stupidity led to a firearm being literally on the streets of west Charlotte last week. The man told police that he left his home near the airport at around 5 p.m. one afternoon and simply forgot about the fact that he had left his Taurus PT-111 handgun in its holster on the roof of the car as he got inside. When he realized it, he tried to retrace his route, but the gun was gone.

police last after he and his friend were playing with a flare gun and … well, you know what happened next. Officers found the man in the hospital being treated for non-life threatening injuries (luckily) and he told them the story. He said that he and his friend were playing with the gun but not planning to shoot it when suddenly it went off and he was struck square in the forehead with a flare.

SUCKER PUNCH A 30-year-old man filed

LA LA LAND Police responded to a Kangaroo Express on E. W.T. Harris Boulevard last week after a drunk man made a fool of himself in the gas station’s parking lot. Officers found the suspect injured outside of the store at about 9 p.m., and witnesses soon informed them that the man had been wandering drunkenly around the gas pumps attempting to open car doors to see if they were locked. The man must not have been paying attention, because people were still inside multiple cars that he tried to enter, and that’s when they called police. Before they arrived, an employee told the man he had to leave, but on his way off the property he got into a fight with a customer in the parking lot. That was another bad idea, because according to the report, only the suspect “sustained an injury to his face and head,” but no one else was injured. When police confronted the man, they searched him and found a bag of cocaine in his pocket.

a police report after realizing one of his party guests had made off with his protection. The man said he threw a party to watch the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight on August 29, but realized a few days later that one of the partygoers had taken both of his guns home with them. The man and his wife reported that they were missing two handguns, a .40-caliber Taurus and .380 Ruger, and that they had seen them in their cases before the fight party. That’s why you always keep the strap on you during a house party. (Just kidding, it sounded cool, though. Don’t party armed, just buy a safe.)

FAILED TEST A 21-year-old woman

called police after her driving instructor became far too aggressive in expressing their displeasure with her skill. The woman told police that she took a driving lesson near her home between 9:45 and 11:20 a.m., and during that time, the instructor struck her three times.


Police responded to an armed robbery call in east Charlotte last week after two men robbed a 7-Eleven on Eastway Drive. Employees told police that the men came in at about 2:30 a.m. and held them at gunpoint as they took all the money from the cash register before fleeing in a dark-colored car. The only problem for these suspects was their timing, as the cash register only had $8 in it at the time, meaning just four bucks for each.

LACK OF PROGRESS A police report recently surfaced in which the principal of Berryhill School in west Charlotte reported that a check-up on the school’s construction

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN Officers working

a case in the University area were soon introduced to yet another case, but it was open-and-shut. Police were on Arklow Drive in northeast Charlotte bringing a suspect in an unrelated case in front of a witness to be identified, when they saw a car driving recklessly close by. An officer attempted to flag down the car, and the driver stopped. However, when the officer asked the man for his license, he yelled, “Fuck you!” and sped off. Both officers on the scene saw the man’s license plate, and he was also in a suburban area where all his neighbors knew him, so he was quickly identified and warrants were taken out for his arrest. CLCLT.COM | SEPT. 14 - SEPT. 20, 2017 | 13

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BEACH CREEPING In early August, Volusia (Florida) County Beach Safety officers banished 73-year-old Richard G. Basaraba of Daytona Beach from all county beaches after it was discovered he was handing out business cards to young women, reading “Sugardaddy seeking his sugarbaby.” The mother of a 16-year-old said he approached a group of girls with his cards and continued to speak with the minor girl even after she told him her age. He also produced a bra padding, telling the girls he was “looking for someone who would fill it.” He told the 16-year-old she “would be perfect.” PEOPLE DIFFERENT FROM US In a shocking display of mischief, an unnamed 60-year-old man in Singapore is under investigation for lodging three toothpicks in a seat on a public bus in July. If he is found to be the culprit, he could spend up to two years in prison. Singapore has an extremely low crime rate, and even minor offenses result in harsh punishments. For example, vandalism is punishable by caning. Police said at press time that the investigation was continuing. WAIT, WHAT? Practicing physicians in Cairo, Egypt, opened a surgery-themed restaurant called D.Kebda in July, where they wear surgical scrubs and prepare their only offering, grilled beef-liver sandwiches, behind a glass partition. Kebda is a popular street food in Egypt, but it can cause food poisoning if not prepared carefully. “We tried to take our career values and apply them to this other field,” said Mostafa Basiouny, one of the owners. “There is no contradiction between them; we are still practicing doctors.”


EXPECTATIONS On Aug. 7, 16-year-old Jack Bergeson of Wichita, Kansas, filed papers in Topeka to run for governor as a Democrat in the 2018 race. Bergeson, who won’t be able to vote in that election, said: “I thought, you know, let’s give the people of Kansas a chance. Let’s try something new.” The candidate says he would “radically change” health care and would support legalizing medical marijuana, but he’s conservative on gun rights. Bryan Caskey, director of elections at the Kansas secretary of state’s office, said there is no law governing the qualifications for governor. Bergeson’s running mate, 17-year-old Alexander Cline, will be 18 by the election and will get to vote.

ANIMAL ANTICS (1) A skunk got up close

and personal with a 13-year-old boy on July 25 when it climbed into his bed in Hamden, Connecticut, apparently after hitchhiking into the house in a trash can. The family was able to remove the skunk without the help of the Hamden Animal Control Division, but an

Cheese factory in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, has a squirrel to blame for a fire that resulted in more than 20,000 gallons of milk being spoiled on Aug. 8. The squirrel chewed through a main power line on the outside of the building, which sparked the fire, and power could not be restored for 12 hours. Already-made cheese was kept cool with generators, but milk being readied to make cheese warmed and went bad.

Carolinians to be “vigilant” and look out for Lizardmen during the celestial event. “SCEMD does not know if Lizardmen become more active during a solar eclipse,” the note reads. “But we advise that residents of Lee and Sumter counties should remain vigilant.” The folkloric reptilian beast is thought to live in swampland around Lee County and frequent sewers in nearby towns. While some people thought the warning might be a joke, SCEMD said it “will neither confirm nor deny” the existence of Lizardmen.



officer said the “smell of skunk ... emanated throughout the house.”

WHAT’S THAT SMELL? The Scardillo

Criminal justice student Jordan Dinsmore, 20, of Columbia, South Carolina, had her car’s manual transmission to thank for her safe escape on July 26. Three men approached her around 1 a.m. and pointed a gun at her. After robbing her of her phone and purse, the men forced her into her car, threatening to kidnap and rape her, but when they realized none of them knew how to drive her stick-shift car, one of the criminals ran away. The other two forced Dinsmore to drive to an ATM to withdraw cash. As she drove, Dinsmore removed her seatbelt, then put the car in neutral and jumped out, screaming, “Call 911! Call 911!” to passing motorists. The Richland County Sheriff’s Department arrested a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old in the kidnapping and robbery.

USUAL SUSPECTS Surveillance video from a July 27 break-in at the home of John C. Burbage, 59, of Naples, Florida, showed a surprisingly familiar picture of the perpetrators: Harold Russell Lanham, 22, and his dad, James Edward Lanham, 41, both of whom Burbage employed and both of whom were wearing their work uniforms. The Lanham duo stole a safe containing more than $30,000 worth of cash and property from their boss’s home. THE WEIRDO-AMERICAN COMMUNITY Residents of Hollis, Maine,

were unnerved on the evening of July 25 as Corey Berry, 31, wearing a clown mask, walked around town with a machete ducttaped to the place where his arm had been amputated. When Berry, intoxicated, was taken into custody in nearby Waterboro, he explained to officers that he was copying other clown sightings as a prank on a friend. Karmen LePage of Hollis warned: “He’s not funny. We live in the woods; you think we don’t have guns? He’s ... lucky.”


Carolina Emergency Management Division issued an alert on Aug. 9 in advance of the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 asking South

MANAGEMENT Customers at a Flying J truck stop in West Hanover Township, Virginia, got quite the show on Aug. 14 when Craig Troccia, 54, of Roanoke smashed the windshield of his truck and poured a cup of urine onto the interior. Wait — did we mention Troccia was naked? He then yelled a racial epithet at a black man and flashed his genitals at everyone within sight. Next, (and still naked) Troccia pointed a gun at the same man and then at another man and threatened to kill them both. After state troopers loaded Troccia into their cruiser, he “slammed his body and head on the various panels of the vehicle,” they reported. He was charged with 34 criminal counts, including public drunkenness.

COMPELLING EXPLANATIONS Jeremy A. Perkins, 27, was led astray by someone who told him “the purge” was happening on Aug. 12 in Kansas City, Missouri. (“The Purge” was a 2013 horror film that envisioned a temporary decriminalization of all criminal acts, after which society collapses in chaos.) In response — and high on methamphetamines — Perkins climbed to the top of a building and began throwing rocks at passing vehicles. Perkins told responding officers that he perceived everyone as his enemy and was trying to protect himself. He added that if he had had a gun, he would have shot people. THE CONTINUING CRISIS There are 70 registered voters in McIntire, Iowa, but not one of them showed up to vote in a twoquestion special election on Aug. 1. Mitchell County deputy auditor Barbara Baldwin told reporters that even poll workers didn’t vote because none of them live in McIntire, which is about 130 miles northeast of Des Moines. BACKTALK@CLCLT.COM CLCLT.COM | SEPT. 14 - SEPT. 20, 2017 | 15



OH, AZTECA A Mexican-Cuban goes home to an authentic meal BY GREY REVELL



the current millennium, authentic Mexican restaurants are as prevalent as locally owned Southern barbecue joints. But it wasn’t always like that. When Pedro Santillan arrived here in 1994, he was a pioneer. Santillan, a native of Guadalajara, in the southern Mexican state of Jalisco, opened Azteca Mexican Restaurant on Woodlawn Road at a time when Mexican was still exotic. Santillan had done time waiting and busing tables, then cooking at his cousin’s Mexican restaurant in Washington state before moving to North Carolina. Out West, he would do anything to get folks to sit down and eat a meal, and Santillan soon became known as el mago, “the magician,” for his trademark ploy of using coin tricks to entice people to stay. But in Charlotte, people still looked upon Spanish-speaking Mexicans as aliens from another planet. It was tough getting gringos into Azteca. Even grocery shopping for Spanish speakers was a challenge. What’s more, another group of enterprising foodies from the Mexican coastal state of Guerrero, to the south of Jalisco, had already set up shop in Charlotte with the Cancunes chain, 15 strong. But soon enough, word got out. Now, 22 years later, Azteca is not just one of the more popular authentic Mexican hotspots, it’s expanded to three other locations — one in Gastonia, another on Independence Boulevard in Matthews and a third on Smith Corners in north Charlotte.


I sat down with Maria Garcia Perez, who’s managed Azteca since 1999. With goodnatured tolerance for my weak Spanish (I’m second-generation), Perez talked with me about the history of Azteca. Santillan’s commitment to food quality, Perez told me, eventually began to win him a clientele among the relatively few Latinos already living in Charlotte in the mid-‘90s, as well as with a growing group of native Carolinians. When Cancunes eventually closed, Azteca’s star began to rise. The chain remains largely a family-run operation. Santillan’s sister, Luz Maria, runs the Matthews location; Santillan’s nephew, Eliud Michell, manages the Gastonia location (my next stop), and cousin Jose Arceo is a partner in the chain. Perez told me she followed Santillan from Seattle and quickly became his right16 | SEPT. 14 - SEPT. 20, 2017 | CLCLT.COM

Huevos rancheros


hand woman at the Woodlawn location, where she remains. “I separated from my husband, but I’m still married to Azteca.” Perez quipped. In the years she’s worked for Santillan, Perez has seen big growth in Azteca’s business. “The weekends are always great,” she said, pointing to the restaurant’s Friday Mariachi nights and Saturday karaoke nights. On Saturdays, she said, the kitchens stay open until 2 a.m. “We have to keep serving food if everyone’s going to be drinking that late,” Perez said, with an arched smile. I asked Perez if corporate Mexican chains such as Chipotle and Moe’s make a dent in business. “Not at all,” she said. “It’s totally different what we do. We serve real food.”


When I first arrived at Azeteca’s Woodlawn location, which is tucked into the parking lot of a two-star hotel and surrounded by an International House of Pancakes and some auto repair shops, I was struck by how similar it felt to the Mexican restaurants in towns like Baldwin Park, California, near where I grew up. I could hear the music from the parking lot — loud, traditional mariachi. I could recognize Mexican singing star Vincente Fernandez’ vocal histrionics like the sound of

Beef tacos and enchiladas my dad’s voice. Immediately upon entering Azteca, the vibe was hacienda, with dark woods, amber lighting, paintings of folklorico dancers and stern-looking mariachis. But what would the food taste like?

I’m a Mexican food snob. It’s my birthright. I’ve never regretted moving east, but if I did have one recurring pang when I first arrived in New York City in the 1990s, it was that, for years, the quality of the Mexican cuisine on this side of the country was dismal.

Homemade coleslaw Yeah I know: The Californian should stay in California if he wants his guacamole fresh and his pico de gallo with the requisite kick. This is the East Coast, not the Wild West. By the time I moved to Charlotte a few years later, I had made peace with only enjoying authentic Mexican food on my trips back home to Los Angeles. Growing up in a house with two distinct Latino cultures — Mexican and Cuban — I got a special pass to enjoy some of the most amazing Latino cuisines, and my grandmother on my dad’s side, from Sonora, Mexico, was a legendary cook. Mexican cuisine is varied and diverse, with the coastal areas and the south bringing different flavors to the table than their northern desert cousins (from whom I’m descended). Azteca serves the authentic

southern cuisine found in Jalisco, the state from which Mexico’s image to world originates. As its motto reads, ¡Jalisco es Mexico! (Jalisco is Mexico.) If that’s the case, then Azteca is Jalisco. My guacamole was served fresh, created right at the table. And my entree came blindingly fast, which is amazing, because everything in the restaurant is made to order with the freshest of ingredients. I thought I’d go for something easy, since I know a lot of you gringos in the Queen City aren’t going to a Mexican restaurant to have grasshopper quesadillas or cow tongue. So I ordered basic tacos and enchiladas, foundation of Mexican cuisine. It was impeccable. The bed of rice and beans was perfect. And the food was the freshest I’ve had in a Mexican restaurant on the East Coast. The rice was delightful, and the lettuce and tomatoes served with the tacos was crisp and cool, contrasting the kick of the ground beef like cold water on a Guadalajara sidewalk in summertime. Oh, and the pico de gallo? It’s made with crunchy cabbage, and tastes like no other pico in Charlotte. If there’s one thing I love as much as music, it’s food. So I was excited when Creative Loafing assigned me my first restaurant story, and even more excited that it would be a Mexican restaurant. I’d have to travel back in time, to a family birthday or Christmas celebration, to get food as good as what I got at Azteca. As a former California governor once said, I’ll be back. BACKTALK@CLCLT.COM

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What: The opening of OnQ Productions’ 11th season features A Brown Tale, a coming-of-age tale in which writer and performer James T. Alfred takes us through his life story by playing 20 different characters. Charlotte theater heads remember Alfred from his role as MLK, Jr., in The Mountaintop at Booth Playhouse in 2014, but he made a splash across national television screens more recently as Tyree in the Fox hit Empire, and as Kenya Taylor in the Starz original series Boss.

What: Founding member of legendary 1960s British folk-rock band Fairport Convention — along with guitarist Richard Thompson and the late, great singer Sandy Denny — Iain Matthews brings his solo acoustic act to Charlotte, with local singer-songwriter Slade Baird of Amigo opening. It’s a stellar one-two punch you don’t want to miss. After all, it took a nudge from former Zeppelin singer Robert Plant to get Matthews back into the studio after years away. Matthews’ latest is aptly named The Art of Obscurity.

What: How can one man be so damn pretty? Particularly when he cries out, with every ounce of melodramatic, musical-theater juice he has in him, lines like, “If you ever leave me baby, leave some morphine at my door.” We’re dying a little bit just writing this. Yes, folks, the Puerto Rican-Filipino hearthrob who got his start as an Elvis impersonator is bringing his “Uptown Funk” to Uptown Charlotte on his 24K Magic World Tour. You know you wanna go.

What: Mufucka Gahdamn! Yeah, that got your attention. This is the hip-hop open mic to end all hip-hop open mics. MFGD started several years ago at the legendary Underground, where some of Charlotte’s best rappers would go rap, and if they sucked they’d get jeered, Apollo-style, off the stage. But if they were good. . . mufucka gahdamn! They got the chance to rap another song. And some of ‘em are still rappin today. Same rules apply here, and — mufucka gahdamn! — it’s gonna be lit.

When: 7:30 p.m., runs through Sept. 23. Where: Duke Energy Theater, 345 N. College St.

18 | SEPT. 14 - SEPT. 20, 2017 | CLCLT.COM

When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St.

When: 8 p.m. Where: Spectrum Center, 333 E. Trade St. More: $200 and up. spectrum.

When: 8 p.m. Where: New Era Music House, 5814 Old Concord Rd. More: $5. 704-805-0634


15 CHRISTOPHER CLAMP: STORIES IN STILLNESS What: Like déjà vu caught on a canvas, Christopher Clamp’s paintings are subtle memories that have stuck with him since his days hanging around his grandfather and his grandfather’s array of “treasures” and tools during his Leesburg, South Carolina, upbringing. Renderings of baubles that once intrigued a young mind — a near-empty gumball machine or a set of spare keys hanging on the wall — invite the viewer to integrate their own narrative into the paintings. When: 6 p.m. Where: Jared Melberg Gallery, 625 S. Sharon Amity Road

Iain Matthews THURSDAY


Dogs & Beer SATURDAY








What: The mothership will be landing again at the Gantt Center this week, and it’s being billed “the beauty of black and brown.” This is an Afrofunk event you must experience to believe. A Sign of the Times band will be kicking out the jams and DJ Fannie Mae will be spinning old-school funk and R&B, Afro-Latin and AfroCaribbean rhythms, soca, samba, soul and more. Come on out and shimmy into the diaspora. We can’t guarantee you’ll walk away unchanged.

What: You couldn’t do a damn thing in the Charlotte arts scene this summer without hearing about Camp North End. “Did you hear about this band playing there? About that event? Did you know it’s an old military storage facility? That Jimmy Hoffa is buried beneath it?” You can count on the Camp to end the summer with a bang at this big ass party for a cause; showcasing local artists, musicians, food vendors and more to benefit the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Harvey Gantt Center, 551 S. Tryon St. More: $10-$20.

When: 5-11 p.m. Where: Camp North End, 1824 Statesville Ave. More: $5.



WELCOME HOME, OURBRIDGE What: No organization in Charlotte is more deserving of a warm welcome than one that has spent the last three years welcoming refugee and immigrant children into the Charlotte community and helping them thrive. The ourBridge for Kids staff is moving to a new home and wants you to join for a family event featuring cultural performances, a potluck, international food trucks and a soccer tournament. There will also be field games and bouncy houses for the little ones. When: 3-6 p.m. Where: ourBridge for Kids, 3925 Willard Farrow Drive.








What: Are you a dog lover who also loves beer? Then this is the perfect Saturday. First, at NoDa Brewing, it’s Woofstock, featuring music, beer, great vendors, a silent auction (save for the barking) and adoptable dogs. A little further west, Lucky Dog Bark & Brew is hosting their annual Drunken Pumpkin Fall Beer Bash, featuring unlimited samples from a ton of local and regional breweries. And as always with Lucky Dog, your furry friends are welcome.

What: The folks at Vibrations in east Charlotte have taken the silent disco idea to another level, making it a competition of sorts between DJs while partygoers have a good time. Three DJs play different types of music, each represented by a color; red plays reggae, green plays new school R&B and hip-hop, while blue plays old school R&B and hip-hop. As dancers flip channels on their headphones, the glow gives away which DJ their listening to, making it easier to find dance partners and for DJs to see who’s feeling their stuff.

When: Woofstock, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Drunken Pumpkin, 3-6 p.m. Where: NoDa Brewery, 2921 N. Tryon St.; Lucky Dog, 2220 Thrift Road

When: 10 p.m. Where: Vibrations Club, 5237 Albemarle Road More: $15.

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A WEST SIDE STORY Soul Junction music fest aims to bring people together at the crossroads BY KIA MOORE AND MARK KEMP


EFORE CHARLOTTE R&B legend Wilbert Harrison took his swinging version of “Kansas City” to No. 1 on the Billboard chart in 1959, he got his start rousing crowds in a two-story, Four Square-style Art Moderne building on Beatties Ford Road. The building still stands, a monument to the power and fortitude of a local black community that made gargantuan strides from the 1940s through the civil rights movement of the ’60s and forward, meeting and planning and working for social change in the streetcar suburb of Washington Heights, in west Charlotte. That building is, of course, the mythic Excelsior Club, which philanthropist, political activist and businessman Jimmie McKee opened in 1944. In its heyday, the Excelsior rocked Washington Heights on a daily basis, hosting political activists and musical stars from several different periods — Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole in the jazz age, James Brown and the O’Jays during height of soul, funk and disco. “The Excelsior Club was where it was at. It was a musical training ground,” says jazz drummer Tim Scott, Jr., the artist in residence at Charlotte Center City Partners. He was a 14-year-old student at Northwest School of the Arts in the late 1990s when he first heard stories about the legendary club. Even by then, Excelsior veterans and thencurrent players would drop in to talk to Scott and his fellow music students. “We all knew the musicians who were playing there every week,” Scott remembers. “They would come and talk to us and give us guidance, give us lessons, give us information.” It only makes sense, then, that Scott and the other planners of the second annual Soul Junction Festival — which takes place September 15 and 16 on the campus of Johnson C. Smith University — would look to the west side’s historic musical past for inspiration. This year’s two-day event features a range of talent, from local DJ Smitty, local acoustic singer-songwriter Arsena Schroeder and noted local studio band the X Men, to singers Shelby J and Micki Miller, Grammy-winning bassist Derrick Hodge (who’s played with major acts including Kanye West, Common, Jill Scott and Robert Glasper), neosoul singer Georgia Ann Muldrow, whose mother sang 20 | SEPT. 14 - SEPT. 20, 2017 | CLCLT.COM


Tim Scott, Jr.

The Excelsior Club was a west side community meeting place and music venue. with the jazz great Pharoah Sanders, and Durham poet and rapper G Yamazawa. (See full schedule in sidebar on page 21.) “[These genres] speak to a lot of different people — old, young,” Alysia Osborne, CCCP’s director of Historic West End, says. “We worked with [community] leaders to decide what kind of music they wanted to hear. Not so much who are the artists, but more what kind of vibe, flavor, or ambiance did we want to create in the community. They talked about jazz, soul, and rhythm & blues, and how it is multi-generational.”

THE POINT OF the festival is to celebrate the west side of Charlotte, part of which has been renamed West End. Osborne is a key mover in branding the area in a way that retains the flavor of the neighborhood but


brings it into the present. “Soul Junction was an idea that was about building the bonds on the history and culture of the area by celebrating the music,” she says. Quentin Talley, the founder and artistic director of OnQ Performing Arts, came up with the name. Soul Junction refers to the Five Points area where West Trade and West Fifth streets meet Rozelles Ferry and Beatties Ford roads next to Uptown. It symbolizes, Osborne says, “how these roads and this area is kind of a mosaic of people, but they all can come together around music. This is the junction of where soul can happen. It is where the city meets the village. As Charlotte’s central city expands outward into old neighborhoods, Osborne says, it’s fundamental to understand “how these neighborhoods, the oldest African-

American neighborhoods in the community, still have a lot of their original fabric; the original people with a lot of civil rights leaders still live in the area. A lot of the musicians that used to play at the Excelsior still live in the community and support this area.” Last year’s Soul Junction festival was disappointing; few people showed up for it. But Osborne says things have changed this year. “Last year we had 20-plus acts. They had shorter sets,” Osborne says. “This year we wanted to give people longer sets so people can really, really enjoy the artists.” Two other important differences are the mix of musical styles and acts, and the addition of Scott as music supervisor and Talley as talent curator. Scott says the musical line-up was central in maintaining the kind of understanding of the community that Osborne wants to emphasize. “We as a people are not monolithic,” Scott says. “So if we are going to present something that is going to represent the neighborhood, we want to make sure we were not presenting something that’s monolithic.” In other words, when people think black music, they may immediately think “hiphop,” or “R&B,” or maybe “gospel.” But the black community and its musical styles are so much larger than those simplistic tags. “I think sometimes when we look at a city, or communities, neighborhoods, or a group of people, it is often too easy to write everybody off into one category — to say, ‘Oh well, this person looks like this, so they only like hip-hop.’ That is a blanket statement,” Scott says. “There are so many different elements to what hip-hop is. What I call hip-hop and what someone who lives next door to me who might be 19 years old, with a different set of life experiences from me, what he calls hip-hop may be completely different.” Even assessing musical quality is simplistic, Scott adds. “When you say good music, to me, my interpretation of what good music is could be something completely different from my sister, a person who I grew up with.” So Scott set out to book jazz, both smooth and crunchy; soul, both neo and old, along with some hip-hop flavoring. “Some of the best minds in production and hip-hop have come out of the JCSU music department,” he says. “So, we had to represent that. “And poetry, funk, R&B, folk — all of that has come from out of this community. We felt it was extremely important that we provided all of that to the community,” Scott says.


generally succeeded, although there’s a palpable scarcity of straight-up hip-hop — particularly of the local variety — and that’s something the west side has plenty of, particularly in the music and rhymes of west side cheerleader Elevator Jay. Still, the variety is impressive. Yamazawa is a National Poetry Slam champion; Funk Rush, as the band’s name suggests, is a deeply funky outfit; Shelby J.’s R&B is as soulful as music gets; Muldrow performs more of a neosoul sound, and Schroeder plays an acoustic-based blend of folk and soul. And then there’s the smooth, uptown

SOUL JUNCTION SCHEDULE Friday, Sept. 15 DJ SMITTY Eclectic mix man 4:30 - 5:00 p.m.

J PRAGMATIC Radio personality 5:00 - 5:10 p.m.

THE MENASTREE TrapJazz ensemble 5:10 – 5:40 p.m.


G. YAMAZAWA Poet and rapper 6:25 – 6:55 p.m.

ARSENA SCHROEDER Acoustic neosoul singer-songwriter 7:15 – 7:45 p.m.

JOANNA TETERS Soul, R&B, reggae singer 8:00 – 8:40 p.m.

DERRICK HODGE Bassist and band leader 9:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Poet 5:45 – 6:15 p.m.

jazz of 5th and York. On the hip-hop tip, it threads its way through Muldrow’s soul, to the trapjazz of the Menastree, the funky grooves of the X Men and Hodge, and the house music of DJ Marcus Wade. “We have a whole lot of other great local talent,” Scott says. “Some of Charlotte’s best talent is going to be showcased on the stage. And it’s a free show.” As for the non-local talent, he says the bigger names may attract

Saturday, Sept. 16 DJ MARCUS WADE House DJ 2:30 – 3:00 p.m.

CHIRL GIRL Radio personality 3:00 – 3:10 p.m.

5TH & YORK Smooth jazz ensemble 3:10 – 3:40 p.m.

PRIME Jazz fusion band 4:00 – 4:30 p.m.

people who don’t know about the area’s historic past. “The headliners are not a part of this city, per se, but people will come out to hear a Micki Miller and may not be all that familiar with the West End neighborhood,” Scott says. “It is really a great opportunity to bring some good energy, and good attention to such a historic neighborhood.” “We are building on the audience from last year. We are reaching out to new people

this year,” Osborne adds. “The first few years we are really focused on building the audience and celebrating the artists. We want to keep it all about the music.” The late Excelsior founder Jimmie McKee would likely agree with Soul Junction’s methodology, as names like James Brown are part of what brought new people to mingle with neighborhood residents in the past in a way that helped make social change happen.

FUNK RUSH Funk, rock, jazz band 4:45 – 5:15 p.m.

LOVELL BRADFORD QUARTET Jazz quartet 5:30 – 6:00 p.m.

GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW Rapper, neosoul singer 6:15 – 7:00 p.m.

MICKI MILLER & THE X MEN Funk, R&B band 7:30 – 8:25 p.m.

SHELBY J. R&B singer 8:45 – 10:00 p.m.

“The club’s growth has come because, from the very beginning, I’ve tried to give the best service I could,” McKee said in a 1977 interview. “Not only to the members of the club, but to the community as well.” With caring overseers like Osborne, Scott, and Talley, Soul Junction may well keep that spirit alive for new generations of west Charlotte residents. MKEMP@CLCLT.COM

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SEPTEMBER 14 CLASSICAL/JAZZ/SMOOTH John Alexander Jazz Trio (Blue Restaurant & Bar)

COUNTRY/FOLK Iain Matthews, Slade Baird (The Evening Muse)

DJ/ELECTRONIC Le Bang : Soft Leather, Luxe Posh (Snug Harbor)

POP/ROCK Open Mic at Studio 13 (Studio 13, Cornelius) Brother Dege (U.S. National Whitewater Center) Bruno Mars (Spectrum Center) The Hooliganz, Destroi, The Commonwealth, Queen City Rejects (Milestone) Jon Linker Band (RiRa Irish Pub) Karaoke with DJ ShayNanigans (Hattie’s Tap & Tavern) Leisure McCorkle (Comet Grill) Little Johnny Trailer Trash (Mac’s Speed Shop Matthews) Pluto For Planet (Tin Roof) See Alice (Mac’s Speed Shop Lake Norman, Cornelius) Throwback Thursdays: 80s and 90s Music (Morehead Street Tavern) Uptown Drive (Mac’s Speed Shop Steele Creek)

SEPTEMBER 15 CLASSICAL/JAZZ/SMOOTH The Jazz Room @ the Stage Door Theater: Melissa Morgan sings Billie Holiday (Stage Door Theater) Jazzy Fridays (Freshwaters Restaurant)

BLUES/ROOTS/INTERNATIONAL Steven Engler Band (Blue Restaurant & Bar)

COUNTRY/FOLK Jason Petty - Hank Williams tribute (Sylvia Theatre, York) The Lenny Federal Band (Comet Grill) Rodney Crowell (Don Gibson Theatre, Shelby)

DJ/ELECTRONIC DJ Ynot (RiRa Irish Pub) Kill The Noise, Shlump, Yuki, Azira (Neighborhood Theatre)

POP/ROCK Arson Daily, 40oz Mouse, The Remarks, The Fill Ins (The Station) Bill Miller Band (Mac’s Speed Shop Matthews) Chris Titchner (Birdsong Brewing Co.) Cosmic Charlie (Visulite Theatre) Doug Pritchett (NoDa Brewing Company) Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, Marshall Tucker Band, Foghat (PNC Music Pavilion) 22 | SEPT. 14- SEPT. 20, 2017 | CLCLT.COM

SEND US Late Night Special, Gonzo, Derek Sjolbom (The Underground) The Mammoths, The High Divers, Quiet Hollers (The Evening Muse) Matt Schneider (Tin Roof) McLovins (Thomas Street Tavern) Omnislash, Rites to Sedition, Waft, Morganton (Milestone) Pluto For Planet (RiRa Irish Pub) Prince Paul, Dirty Art Club (Snug Harbor) Stellarising, English (Hattie’s Tap & Tavern) UB40 Legends Ali, Astro & Mickey (Knight Theater) Watkins Glen Tribute featuring Mojo Ruckus (The Rabbit Hole)

SEPTEMBER 16 BLUES/ROOTS/INTERNATIONAL Barack Obama Blues & Jazz Festival (Carolina Hall, Chester) Chronixx (The Underground)

CLASSICAL/JAZZ/SMOOTH The Jazz Room @ the Stage Door Theater: Melissa Morgan sings Billie Holiday (Stage Door Theater)

DJ/ELECTRONIC Bonnie X Clyde (World) DJ Method (RiRa Irish Pub) History of Hip Hop: Professor Griff and Terminator X of PE (Petra’s) Mic Larry (Tin Roof)

COUNTRY/FOLK Chase Rice, Out of the Blue (Coyote Joe’s)

POP/ROCK Bad Daddies, Had Matters (Visulite Theatre) Crashbox (Mac’s Speed Shop Steele Creek) Dead Cat, The Living Deads, AC & The Heat (Snug Harbor) Dirtbag Love Affair, The Fill Ins, Graveyard Boulevard, The Rufftons (Milestone) Downright (Thomas Street Tavern) Empire Strikes Brass (U.S. National Whitewater Center) End of Summer Reggae Party: TreeHouse, Sol Seed, Zach Fowler (The Rabbit Hole) Hard Cider (Comet Grill) Heavy Water (RiRa Irish Pub) Hunter’s Travesty (Mac’s Speed Shop Matthews) Jams for Holly (The Evening Muse) Jistu, Bird Law, The House Cats, Mercury Dimes (The Station) John Prine (Belk Theater) Laura Thurston (Birdsong Brewing Co.) Parsonsfield (The Evening Muse) Temperance League (Mac’s Speed Shop Matthews) Tosco Music Party (Knight Theater)

Waker (The Evening Muse) The Willie Douglas Band (Hattie’s Tap & Tavern)

SEPTEMBER 17 CLASSICAL/JAZZ/SMOOTH Gaudium Musicae Concert (St. Ann Catholic Church ) Jazz Brunch (RiRa Irish Pub)


COUNTRY/FOLK Andrew Combs, Lindi Ortega (Visulite Theatre)

POP/ROCK The Cactus Blossoms, Jack Klatt (The Evening Muse) Grungefest with tributes to Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots & Alice In Chains: ey Johnny Park, Jeremy’s Ten, Big Empty, Angry Chair (The Fillmore Charlotte) Jistu, Bird Law, Uncle Buck (Hattie’s Tap & Tavern,e) Lisa De Novo (Mac’s Speed Shop South End) Moodie Black, Mikal kHill, Joules, B-Villainous, Shadow (Milestone) Omari and The Hellhounds (Comet Grill) Pluto for Planet (Mac’s Speed Shop Lake Norman)

SEPTEMBER 18 HIP-HOP/SOUL/R&B Knocturnal (Snug Harbor) Stone Soul Mic Love (Freedom Factory @ Seeds) #MFGD Open Mic (Apostrophe Lounge)

POP/ROCK Carolina Shout with Ethan Uslan (Petra’s) Find Your Muse Open Mic with guest Ray Buckner (The Evening Muse) Locals Live: The Best in Local Live Music & Local Craft Beers (Tin Roof) The Monday Night Allstars (Visulite Theatre) Music Trivia (Hattie’s Tap & Tavern) The Slants (Neighborhood Theatre)

SEPTEMBER 19 CLASSICAL/JAZZ/SMOOTH Bill Hanna Jazz Jam (Morehead Tavern)

COUNTRY/FOLK Red Rockin’ Chair (Comet Grill) Open Mic hosted by Jarrid and Allen of Pursey Kerns (The Kilted Buffalo, Huntersville) Tuesday Night Jam w/ The Smokin’ Js (Smokey Joe’s Cafe)

POP/ROCK Chris Diller Band (Tin Roof)



David Ryan Harris, Justin Kawika Young (The Evening Muse) El Malpais, Dead Sea $crilla, Motel Glory (Snug Harbor) Electric Guest (The Underground) Jesse Jazz Band Jam (The Evening Muse) Red Rockin’ Chair (Comet Grill) Sugar Ray & Mr. Bill (Mac’s Speed Shop Lake Norman)

SEPTEMBER 20 CLASSICAL/JAZZ/SMOOTH 2 Cellos (Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre) The Clarence Palmer Trio (Morehead Tavern)

DJ/ELECTRONIC Cyclops Bar: Modern Heritage Weekly Mix Tape (Snug Harbor)

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COUNTRY/FOLK Open mic w/ Jared Allen (Jack Beagles) Open Mic/Open Jam (Comet Grill)

POP/ROCK Twice as Nice: An Evening with Deer Tick (Visulite Theatre) Colter Wall, Tyler Childers (Neighborhood Theatre) Fall Fiesta: Joywave (The Underground) Jettison Five (RiRa Irish Pub) Karaoke with DJ Pucci Mane (Petra’s) Pluto for Planet (Mac’s Speed Shop South End) September Residency: Oddboy Collective presents Ernie, ET Anderson, Vacation State, High Cube (Snug Harbor) Tony Lucca, Derik Hultquist (The Evening Muse) Trivia & Karaoke Wednesdays (Tin Roof)

 Adam Ant (September 22, The Fillmore) Stephane Wrembel (September 22, Evening Muse) Astrea Corp (September 23, Snug Harbor)

CHARLIE ANDREW COMBS 9/18 COSMIC HIGH ENERGY GRATEFUL DEAD 9/17 + LINDI ORTEGA Tribute) 9/20 DEER TICK the9/22Space(Jamiroquai VISUALITE Cowboys & the Cosmic Girls 10/8 SERATONES 10/12 Vita and the Woolf 10/14 SUSTO & ESME PATTERSON 10/13 Sammy J 10/20 THE WEEKS 10/25 NOAH GUNDERSEN 10/26 BIG SOMETHING 11/5 SHADOWBOXERS




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Charlotte Hornets

Between J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar, the Spectrum Center has been home to a lot of greatness since the Hornets played there last, so they’ll have a lot to live up to. In the offseason, they added Dwight Howard, who is certainly expected to play second fiddle to Cam Newton in terms of local sports figures with a Superman alter-ego, but we’re hoping he can find his old dominant self on the court. Preseason October 11: Boston Celtics, 7 p.m. October 13: Dallas Mavericks, 6 p.m. Regular Season October 20: Atlanta Hawks, 7 p.m. October 25: Denver Nuggets, 7 p.m. October 27: Houston Rockets, 7 p.m. October 29: Orlando Magic, 6 p.m. November 1: Milwaukee Bucks, 7 p.m. November 15: Cleveland Cavaliers, 8 p.m. November 18: Los Angeles Clippers, 7 p.m. November 20: Minnesota Timberwolves, 7 p.m. November 22: Washington Wizards, 7 p.m. November 25: San Antonio Spurs, 7 p.m. December 4: Orlando Magic, 7 p.m. December 6: Golden State Warriors, 8 p.m. December 8: Chicago Bulls, 7 p.m. December 9: Los Angeles Lakers, 7 p.m. December 15: Miami Heat, 7 p.m. December 16: Portland Trailblazers, 7 p.m. December 18: New York Knicks, 7 p.m. December 20: Toronto Raptors, 7 p.m. Where: Spectrum Center, 333 E. Trade St. Cost: Ticket prices not yet listed More:

Charlotte Checkers

Just as we sadly prepare to watch the Charlotte Roller Girls pack up for the season and go rest their bones for the winter, we remember that we can still get our fill of body checking from the original source: ice hockey.

24 | SEPT. 14 - SEPT. 20, 2017 | CLCLT.COM


Carolina Panthers

The time has finally arrived. Sure, the evergrowing consciousness around what football is doing to players’ brains mixed with the blindingly clear reason that Colin Kaepernick doesn’t currently have a job makes it a little harder than most years to really get behind a corporation like the NFL, but don’t lie to yourself, you’ll be tuning in to see how these Panthers are going to do with Kelvin Benjamin back running routes and new draft pick Christian McCaffrey throwing moves on folks. September 17: Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m. September 24: New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m. October 12: Philadelphia Eagles, 8:25 p.m. November 5: Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. November 13: Miami Dolphins, 8:30 p.m. December 10: Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. December 17: Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m. December 24: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. Where: Bank of America Stadium, 800 S. Mint St. Cost: $60 and up. More:

The Checkers have always been a great way to spend an evening, but ever since they returned to the historic-but-renovated Bojangles Coliseum in 2015, games have been that much more fun to watch. October 13: Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 7:15 p.m. October 14: Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 6 p.m. October 28: Utica Comets, 6 p.m. October 29: Utica Comets, 1 p.m. November 21: Belleville Senators, 7 p.m. November 22: Belleville Senators, 7 p.m. November 25: Providence Bruins, 6 p.m. November 26: Providence Bruins, 1 p.m. December 1: Springfield Thunderbirds, 7:15 p.m. December 3: Springfield Thunderbirds, 1 p.m. Where: Bojangles’ Coliseum, 2700 E. Independence Blvd. Cost: $18 and up. More:

Let’s Go Racin’

One thinks of racing as something that takes place mostly in the summer, maybe just because there are so many people in the stands with their shirts off. However, there’s plenty going on at Charlotte Motor Speedway this fall. There’s enough branding in these next few listings to pay our publication costs for the next year, but unfortunately we get none of that sponsorship dough. October 6: Bojangles’ Pole night An evening of knockout qualifying that sets the stage for the Bank of America 500. The night also includes the Better Half Dash, in which the ladies of NASCAR duel in a 25-lap Bandolero charity race, and a Whelen Modified Tour race featuring the best modified drivers on the planet. When: 7 p.m. Cost: $13 and up. October 7: Drive for the Cure 300

The contenders for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship will fight to the finish with Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series regulars in a Saturday-free-for-all. When: 3 p.m. Cost: $26.75 and up. October 8: Bank of America 500 This is the big one. The playoff hunt heats up as the weather cools down, and this race at NASCAR’s home track will make or break a few drivers’ championship dreams. When: 2 p.m. Cost: $52.50 and up. October 20-22: Goodguys Southeastern Nationals This race features more than 2,500 custom and modified pre-1972 era cars. When: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost: Unlisted. October 26-28: OneDirt World Short Track Championship This three-day event will put eight divisions on center stage in pursuit of a purse in excess of $110,000 and is a nice lead up to the World of Outlaws the following weekend (see below). When: $25 and up, kids under 13 years old free. Cost: Unlisted. November 2-4: World of Outlaws World Finals The most prestigious dirt racing event in the country (that’s what the website says, we really don’t know) brings together the top series in the sport: the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and the Big-Block Modifieds of the Super DIRTcar Series. When: $25 and up, kids under 13 years old free. Cost: $16 and up. Three-day packages, $95. More: 1-800455-FANS (3267)


Chinese Lantern Festival

So it’s a balmy evening and you’re strolling through the garden. Suddenly, as you round a bend in the path, you’re face to face with a snarling tiger, its entire body ablaze with an internal flame! Not to worry, the jungle beast is an elaborate lantern; one of 800 created by the master craftsmen of Zigong, China, and ranged throughout Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Arranged in a kaleidoscope of colors and in the shapes of pandas, dinosaurs, elephants and more the lanterns transform the garden into a glowing wonderland. A woodland stage plays host to Kung Fu exhibitions and shadowplays. When: September 7 – October 29 Where: Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 S New Hope Rd., Belmont, SC More: $14.95-21.95;

Rodrigo Valenzuela: New Land

Documentary and fiction collide in Chilean-born photographer and videographer Valenzuela’s immersive installations. New Land presents newly commissioned desert landscapes refracted through a prism of ideas and preconceptions – notions of home, borders and dystopia. Three videos focus on immigration and the limits of American democracy. For McColl’s Community Pie Social on September 16, New Orleans–based chef and writer Tunde Wey joins Valenzuela in a discussion on the anti-immigration movement. When: September 14 – December 2 Where: McColl Center for Art + Innovation, 721 N Tryon St. More: Free;

American Idiot

Broadway traditionalists scoffed at punk music on the Great White Way, and hardcore punk

rockers lambasted Green Day for not being punk enough. To hell with both of them. The Tony-winning smash musical based on Green Day’s Grammy-garnering album is invigorating and inspirational, a tale of wasted youth escaping soul sucking suburbia through the transcendent power of music. It’s a message of defiance and hope. What can be more punk than that? The show seems the perfect match for Actor’s Theater, Charlotte’s underdog troupe that continues to bring some of the best and brightest new work to the Q.C. When: September 21 – October 14 Where: Queens University’s Hadley Theater, 2132 Radcliffe Ave. More: $27-50;

Loose Leaves Showcase

Produced and curated by local dancer/ choreographer Salena Mable Stamp, Loose Leaves in a dance showcase unlike any other. The secret is Stamp’s egalitarian approach to the arts. Stamp solicits short pieces from local choreographers and all styles of dance are accepted. So you’re likely to see hip-hop, jazz and modern as well as classical ballet. The program boasts a proud legacy as Charlotte’s most diverse dance showcase. So if you don’t like a particular piece, just stick around. You may love the next one. When: September 30 – October 1 Where: Duke Energy Theater, 345 N. College St. More: $12;

College Night at McColl

It’s no secret that we think Blame the Youth is cool. Now it looks like the McColl is on board with us. The jazzy-sassy-eclectic young pop band performs at an evening especially created for more young people, namely college

N Tryon St. More: Free;

Retro Horror Series at Ayrsley Grand Cinemas

Rocio Llusca

Día de los Casi Muertos

Do you mourn the death, or celebrate the life? Charlotte artist (and current McColl artist-in-residence) Julio Gonzalez’s video and photography project explores the differences between American and Mexican approaches to mortality. The installation, which translates as “Day of the Almost Dead,” features video interviews as well as portraits where the subjects wear nothing but skeletal-yet-colorful, Day of the Dead-style body paint. At the November 4 closing party, the innovative theater troupe XOXO will lead an interactive remembrance ceremony. When: October 31 – November 4 Where: C3 Lab, 2525 Distribution St. More: $5 donation;

students. McColl adds a hip-hop dance class with local performer Dina Bedawy, paper flower making with artist-in-residence Julio Gonzalez, a culinary surprise by exhibiting artist-inresidence Leah Rosenberg. Student or faculty ID required for admission. When: September 28 Where: McColl Center for Art + Innovation, 721

Like the sequel that won’t stay dead, Arsley Grand Cinemas are back with a selection of classic creepshows to put a chill into the autumn air. Blood curdling favorites include the original sound versions of Dracula and Frankenstein that branded Universal Studios as the home for American horror for decades, the telekinetic splatterfest Carrie, and Scream, Director Wes Craven’s fresh take on overused horror movie tropes. Friday the 13th, the Mount Everest of slasher flicks, is appropriately screened on Friday the 13th. When: September 29 – November 2 Where: Ayrsley Grand Cinemas, 9110 Kings Parade Blvd. More: $5;

The Revolutionists

Who knew the reign of terror was so drop dead funny? Paperhouse Theater stages Lauren Gunderson’s radical comedy, set during the extremist insanity of Paris in 1793. Corrupt men have seized power, and they’re wallowing in violent rhetoric. Sound familiar? The original riot grrls, former queen Marie Antoinette, playwright Olympe De Gouge, assassin Charlotte Corday, and Haitian rebel Marianne Angelle try to beat back the wave of crazy. But will they lose their heads? When: October 5 – 22


ARTS P. 28 u

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Where: Goodyear Arts, Camp North End More: $20;

The Legend of Buster Neal

The Harvey B. Gantt Center for AfricanAmerican Arts + Culture presents this production by Winston-Salem’s North Carolina Black Repertory Company, the first professional Black theatre company in NC. In Buster Neal, a legendary civil rights activist, presumed dead for 60 years, returns to reconnect with his family and struggles to bond with a grandson he never knew. Telling the story of four generations of African-American men, the drama examines friendship, fatherhood and the how the past weighs on the present. When: October 13 – 14 Where: Booth Playhouse, 130 N. Tryon St. More: $25-35;

Fall Works

In the spirit of autumn, a time of reflection, Charlotte Ballet turns a pensive eye on Charlotte Ballet! George Balanchine’s Apollo, staged by legendary Balanchine dancer Patricia McBride, pays tribute Charlotte Ballet’s legacy, while Walking Mad, a piece choreographed by brilliant innovator Johan Inger, looks to the future of dance. The dark and sexy Elsa Canasta, originally created with Artistic Director Hope Muir, pulls the program together into the present. When: October 19 – 21 Where: Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St. More: $25-95;

Day of the Dead Celebration at Levine Museum Anglo culture is still mighty tight assed when

arts 26 | SEPT. 14 - SEPT. 20, 2017 | CLCLT.COM

ARTS FROM P.27 t it comes to the big dirt nap that levels us all. Seriously, we’d all be a lot better adjusted about the end of our life’s journey if we took a cue from Latin culture and celebrated the joy and vitality of the dearly departed. Levine’s family-friendly festival, presented in partnership with the Latin American Coalition, celebrates the traditional Mexican holiday with music, dance, sugar skull workshops and authentic arts and crafts. When: October 29 Where: Levine Museum of the New South, 200 East 7th St. More: Free;

Fahrenheit 451

The title of Three Bone Theatre’s production is the temperature at which paper combusts. It’s one of the few pieces of knowledge that fireman Guy Montag is allowed in his profession as a book burning fireman in this adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s classic dystopian novel. When Guy meets the strange yet compelling Clarissa, his mind is opened – and all hell breaks loose. When: November 2 – 4 Where: Duke Energy Theater, 345 N College St. More: $22-28;

All the Dogs and Horses

Last April, Matt Cosper’s XOXO theater troupe debuted their psychedelic western, a twisted paean to frontier justice, gold fever and the wide-open spaces of the American desert in the comfy confines of Petra’s in Plaza Midwood. For one night only, this remix adds expanded scenes, live musicians and more of XOXO’s trippy Pee-wee’s Playhouse-style scenery in the far more roomy expanse of The Courtroom. When: November 17 Where: The Courtroom, 201 East Main St., Rock Hill, SC More: $TBA;

CLT’s MACdown Mac-n-Cheese Competition & Craft Beer Tasting

What: How many plates of mac-n-cheese can you eat? Charlotte’s Mac-n-Cheese Competition and Craft Beer Tasting is back again for all-youcan-eat dishes inspired by culinary traditions from around the world. Of course, drinks are needed to clear the palate for your next plate, so local breweries will be offering their finest beers. With 20-plus dishes and 20-plus breweries, you won’t be going home without a full and happy belly. This event is for folks 21 and older only. When: 2 p.m. Sat., Oct. 11 Where: Heights Music Hall, 935 S. Summit Ave. More: $42.90;


What: We’re not impressed by your dartthrowing, let’s see you throw an axe. The satisfaction of hitting the bullseye is still there, but chucking axes has a whole different feel. Lumberjaxe is opening in late September, so hone your axe-throwing game. As for the drinking, well hell, we’ve been warming up for that all summer. It’s BYOB, and staff promises to keep you safe from any drunken idiots and their sharp objects, so just make sure your standing behind everyone. They’ll host competitive leagues, and if you’re just looking for a reason to throw shit, this is the place! When: Opening late September Where: Belmont neighborhood More:


Americans love the idea of Oktoberfest, but do we ever celebrate it right? No, but Mecktoberfest is the closest thing to it. Instead of a 16-18 day festival, Olde Mecklenburg


Mac Tabby Cafe

Listen up cat lovers, you no longer have to be envious of all those dogs bars because there is a cat coffee shop coming here; except it’’s more than a coffee shop. Mac Tabby Cafe is THE place for the “cool cats” to hang out for yoga, wine and beer, coffee, and to play with the free-ranging adoptable kittens (just don’t bring your own!). But they need your help to pull off their $20,000 goal by Sept. 30 to be able to host you to sip on drinks and play with kittens, so give them a hand if you can. When: Opening November 11th Where: 516 E. 15th St. More: Kickstarter donations: http://kck. st/2x1iFV9; Brewery condenses it to three days of live German bands like Mountain Top Polka and Holzhackern Tyrolean, German food and the best crisp beer to remind us how autumn is the best season of the year. To top it off, it’s a free, kid-and-dog-friendly atmosphere. When: September 22-24 Where: Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, 4150 Yancey Rd. More:

MIKE GORDON What: Apparently some Phish cover band’s coming to town, but why go see a fake Phish when you can see a real one? When: 8:30 p.m. Sat., Sept. 23. Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. More: $27 - $37.

THE WAR ON DRUGS What: Go deeper with Philly’s War on Drugs, whose new album, A Deeper Understanding, continues exploring new soundscapes with traditional rock instruments. When: 7 p.m. Mon., Sept. 25. Where: Fillmore, 820 Hamilton St. More: $33.

TROMBONE SHORTY What: Forget that Trombone Shorty is going for a P. Diddy look on the cover of his new Parking Lot Symphony — there’s nothing puffy about Troy Andrews’ thick and gritty, jazz- and funk-based New Orleans R&B. When: 8 p.m. Tues., Sept. 26. Where: Fillmore, 820 Hamilton St. More: $30.

BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY What: Is this billing accurate? Last we heard, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony was just Krayzie Bone and Bizzy Bone (aka Bone Thugs). Even as a duo, the ’90s rappers are wroth catching. When: 8 p.m. Wed., Sept. 27. Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. More: $30 - $40.

JACK JOHNSON What: No need for a babysitter. Get chill with the acoustic songman whose lullabies will lull your babies to sleep — and maybe you, too. When: 7:30 p.m. Thurs., Sept. 28. Where: PNC Music Pavilion, 707 Pavilion Blvd. More: $64 - up.

ALISON KRAUSS What: David Grey, who co-headlines this event, is no Robert Plant, but Krauss is Krauss, and she’s always exquisite. When: 7:30 p.m. Fri., Sept. 29. Where: PNC Music Pavilion, 707 Pavilion Blvd. More: $40 - up.

SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS What: Few pairings are more perfect than Triangle twang-meisters SCOTS and Charlotte’s own It’s Snakes, which opens this show. When: 9 p.m. Fri., Sept. 29. Where: The Visulite Theatre, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. More: $14 - $18.

JASON ISBELL What: He’s great, but damn, does he have to come around so often? Everybody loves Jason. But we remember when he played places like the


Evening Muse, long before his two-night stands at big joints like Ovens. When: 7:30 p.m. Fri., Sept. 29; Sat. Sept. 30 Where: Ovens Auditorium, 72700 E Independence Blvd. More: $34 and up.

RHIANNON GIDDENS What: Another mustn’t-miss performance, the phenomenal Rhiannon Giddens brings her regular show (no orchestras, no pomp, just pure Americana) to NoDa. Prepare to sing some songs about freedom. When: 8 p.m. Sat., Sept. 30. Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. More: $30 - $35.

SPACE JESUS What: Go to this one and you’ll get pingponged around the Fillmore by Jasha Tull’s jittery, MDMA-induced, futuristic EDM. When: 8 p.m. Tues., Sept. 30 Where: Underground, 820 Hamilton St. More: $16.

ROADCASE ROYALE: NANCY WILSON AND LIV WARFIELD What: A queen of rock guitar (Heart’s Wilson) teams with a princess of Prince’s band (Warfield) for a royal showcase of rock and R&B. When: 8 p.m. Sat., Oct. 1. Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. More: $40 - $50.

THE SIMON & GARFUNKEL STORY What: This British duo sounds just like Simon & Garfunkel, but this isn’t just a cover act. There’s a narrative here, too. Kinda. When: 8 p.m. Sat., Oct. 1. Where: Knight Theater, 430 S Tryon St. More: $25 and up.

What: Beats Antique brings its fascinating fusion of sounds from around the world. When: 8 p.m. Wed., Oct. 4. Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. More: $25 - $35.



What: By far the biggest concert of the season is the king of rap, Jay-Z, who brings his 4:44 tour to the Queen City for a show that’s sure to make for interesting watercooler conversation the following day. The new album — his 13th — is stellar, but folks have already grumbled about socalled anti-semitic lyrics in the song “The Story of O.J.” Of course, Jay-Z would have it no other way. He’s long used language that pushes buttons and boundaries, with lyrics that have exaggerated and underscored every stereotype known to man, including stereotypes of blacks. Whatever you feel about Jay-Z or the new album, this is the Charlotte show that matters most in fall 2017. When: 8 p.m. Thurs., Nov. 16 Where: Spectrum Center, 333 E. Trade St. More: $26 and up.

SEU JORGE What: He’s the Brazilian singer who performed those sublime acoustic David Bowie covers in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Go see him reprise them. When: 8 p.m. Tues., Oct. 3 Where: Underground, 820 Hamilton St. More: $35.

CHARLOTTE SYMPHONY RODRIGO CONCERTO What: Pablo Sainz Villegas is known as the “soul of Spanish guitar,” and on this special night, Villegas will team with the Charlotte Symphony for a night of esquisite music from the great Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo. When: 8 p.m. Sat., Oct. 6. Where: Knight Theater, 430 S Tryon St. More: $19 and up.

CAFE TACUBA What: One of the more adventurous rock acts ever to march out of Mexico, Cafe Tacuba is that country’s Beatles, Sex Pistols, Queen, Mekos and Radiohead — combined. When: 8 p.m. Fri., Oct. 6 Where: Fillmore, 820 Hamilton St. More: $39.50.

ART OF COOL FT. ROBERT GLASPER What: Some of the finest purveyors of the peculiar space where jazz, hip-hop, R&B and rock meet — pianist Glasper and saxophonist Kenneth Whalum — close out Sol Kitchen’s Art of Cool fest that takes over Charlotte Oct. 6 and 7, and also includes shows at the Evening Muse, Morehead Tavern and Heist Brewery. Be there, or be. . . uncool. When: 8:30 p.m. Sat., Oct. 7. Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. More: $50 - $100. SEE

MUSIC P. 28 u

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SAN FRANCISCO GAY MENS CHORUS What: On their Lavender Pen Tour, the amazing voices of the SFGMC aims to share the group’s mission of activism and compassion across the South, showing support for LGBTQ+ people in places not as tolerent as those in the chorus’s Bay Area home base. When: 7:30 p.m. Sat., Oct. 14 Where: Ovens Auditorium, 72700 E Independence Blvd. More: $29 and up.

AGAINST ME What: Get your transgender dysphoria on when Ms. Laura Jane Grace sticks a pin in her heart and spills it all over the stage in songs from Against Me!’s latest album, Shape Shift With Me. When: 8 p.m. Wed., Oct. 18. Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. More: $20 - $30.

probably said, ‘It’s not Christ that I have a problem with, it’s his people.’” Lecrae is about to take his conscious Christian rap to the mainstream. When: 8 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 19 Where: Fillmore, 820 Hamilton St. More: $27.

BLA/ALT MUSIC FESTIVAL What: Local singer-songwriter LeAnna Eden has big ambitions for this festival of music by black alt-rockers from Charlotte. In the tradition of New York’s Black Rock Coalition and Afro Punk fest, Eden celebrates rock made by marginalized artists in our area. Features her own band The Garden Of, along with The Business People, Nige Hood’s Folk Rap Band, Lofidels and more. When: Noon - 11 p.m. Sat., Oct. 21. Where: Camp North End,, 1824 Statesville Ave. More: free.

What: Jam to some contemporary, rock-based bluegrass when Old Crow comes to town. When: 8 p.m. Wed., Oct. 18 Where: Ovens Auditorium, 72700 E Independence Blvd. More: $29.50 and up.



What: You’ll never experience a bad show from this little band from east L.A. When: 8 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 19. Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. More: $35 - $45.

LECRAE What: He’s a Christian, but not a bang-you-overthe-head Christian. Lecrae is more nuanced. He told one Christian publication, “Gandhi said it, Frederick Douglass said it, a lot of people have

28 | SEPT. 14 - SEPT. 20, 2017 | CLCLT.COM

What: Midwestern EDM from tattooed, whiskeydrinking, Pakistani-American sisters Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf, who grew up in the Chicago ‘burbs and have a thing for Cruella de Vil. When: 8 p.m. Tues., Oct. 24 Where: Fillmore, 820 Hamilton St. More: $20.

SUPERCHUNK What: North Carolina’s favorite indie-punk band that owns North Carolina’s favorite indie-punk label, Merge, is coming to town, and they always put on a stellar show that harks back to the era of Husker Du, the Replacements and early R.E.M. When: 8 p.m. Fri., Oct. 27. Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. More: $18 - $25.

FALL OUT BOY MARSHA AMBROSIUS & BILAL What: She made her name with the hip-hop/ poetry duo Floetry. He’s a New York-based neo-soul singer-songwriter. Together, Ambrosius and Bilal are one chill combo of intensely adventurous and soulful sonic sustenance. When: 8 p.m. Sat., Oct. 21 Where: Fillmore, 820 Hamilton St. More: TBA.



What: Spoon got the plug pulled on them (not intentionally—it was an act of God) the last time they came here, so they’re coming back. Make no mistake about it: the Austin indie rockers gave Charlotte their best, even unplugged. But these are the kind of guys who won’t stop until they give it their all. A stellar band. When: 8 p.m. Sun., Oct. 22 Where: Fillmore, 820 Hamilton St. More: $29.

What: Chicago rockers hit the big stage this fall. When: 7 p.m. Fri., Nov. 3 Where: Spectrum Center, 333 E. Trade St. More: $51 - up.

THE SHINS What: The glorious indie-pop of James Mercer just gets better and more flavorful with age. When: 8 p.m. Mon., Nov. 16 Where: Fillmore, 820 Hamilton St. More: $35.

KIRK FRANKLIN What: God’s got this one. And He will have you, too, if you venture into one of Franklin’s powerhouse performances of pure, unadulterated gospel. A personal relationship with the Man on High is not required be inspired by Franklin’s talent. When: 7:30 p.m. Tues., Nov. 21 Where: Ovens Auditorium, 72700 E

Independence Blvd. More: $35 and up.

MOLOTOV What: Like America’s Beastie Boys and Rage Against the Machine, Mexico’s Molotov redeems the generally horried rap-rock genre with something Limp Bizkit never understood: songs. When: 8 p.m. Wed., Dec. 6 Where: Fillmore, 820 Hamilton St. More: $30.

SQUIRREL NUT ZIPPERS What: To most, Squirrel Nut Zippers was a onehit ’90s novelty whose “Hot” got relentless play on MTV. To us, the Triangle band is an institution. This season, the Zippers celebrate the holidays with songs from their Christmas Caravan. When: 8 p.m. Thurs., Dec 7. Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. More: $25 - $35.

HANDEL’S MESSIAH What: Hallelujah! No more need be said about this wonderful holiday tradition, and you’ll be in good hands with the Charlotte Symphony performing it. When: 7:30 p.m. Fri., Dec. 15, and Sat., Dec. 16. Where: Knight Theater, 430 S Tryon St. More: $19 and up.

DOUBLE DOOR INN ANNIVERSARY REUNION PARTY What: You can’t kill off an institution. Double Door regulars the Lenny Federal Band, Crisis and the Stragglers are throwing an end-of-theyear a reunion. Party on, dudes. When: 7 p.m. Sun., Dec. 17. Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. More: $10.

CLCLT.COM | SEPT. 14 - SEPT. 20, 2017 | 29



PROVOCATEUR RETURNS AS CONCILIATOR Steve Umberger of ‘Angels’ fame returns with ‘The Christians’ PERRY TANNENBAUM


here’s plenty of history between Steve Umberger and the Queen City, stretching back t o 1976 when he founded the Actor’s Contemporary Ensemble. That company became Charlotte Repertory Theatre, which gave us an epic production of Angels in America, Parts 1 and 2, in 1996. On the wings of Umberger’s supreme achievement as Rep’s artistic director came a firestorm of local homophobia and negative national publicity that strafed the cultural landscape of this city like nothing before or since. Reverberations from that controversy kept rumbling for years afterward, resulting in the eventual ouster of Umberger in 2002, and the self-immolation of the company he founded by a rogue board of directors in 2005. In an acrimonious parting shot in the announcement closing Rep down, board chairman William Parmelee charged that Charlotte had little interest in supporting professional theatre. Now, Umberger is back, and he isn’t here to stir up any new controversies or settle old scores. He is here to remind us that differences of opinion don’t need to be acrimonious — and maybe, just maybe, to prove that Parmelee was dead wrong. Picking a drama that can achieve those aims wasn’t simple, but Umberger and his PlayWorks Group chose Lucas Hnath’s The Christians, a work that premiered in 2014 at the prestigious Humana Festival in Louisville and went on to win acclaim in Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, and off-Broadway. Hnath made a bigger New York splash earlier this year on Broadway when A Doll’s House, Part 2, his sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s famed feminist drama, picked up eight Tony Award nominations. Umberger honed in on Hnath before the playwright’s Broadway triumph – at exactly the right moment. “I first read it right after the election,” Umberger recalls, “when everyone was starting to find everyone else’s viewpoint contemptible. I wondered if there was a play out there that would truly represent everyone fairly and let them tell their side of it in a way that would be heard. Then I found The Christians.” Set in a megachurch, The Christians fits 30 | SEPT. 14 - SEPT. 20, 2017 | CLCLT.COM

The cast of “The Christians”

Charlotte like a glove. After building up his church from a storefront acorn to a mighty oak, Pastor Paul delivers a progressive sermon that proposes to take his church and all who belong to it on a spiritual hairpin turn. Because in a recent conversation with God, God told Paul that there is no hell. Quite a bombshell for the associate pastor whom Paul has mentored, for church elders who have backed and supported Paul for 20 years, and for his wife Elizabeth, who was blindsided by her husband’s bold new doctrine. So are many members of the congregation, which now numbers in the thousands. They have believed strongly in Pastor Paul, but everyone isn’t ready to be redirected like sheep into strange new beliefs. It’s as if a Republican were elected President and told his party that they were mean. Only there’s a bond between these people as they wrestle with their faith amid the fallout from Paul’s sermon. Spiritually, how far is Associate Pastor Joshua willing to bend and still serve his mentor’s church in good


conscience? Administratively, how can Elder Jay keep supporting his church’s founder if there are massive defections from the flock? And personally, how can Elizabeth forgive Paul for not consulting her on a move that could have such a dramatic impact on his livelihood and their family? Yes, there is mutual love and respect between all of these Christians. Yet the issues are substantial, and Paul, the visionary leader, may be the most selfish and inconsiderate in the group. Umberger gets to reunite with some of the same suspects who worked with him decades ago on Angels: set designer Joe Gardner, lighting guru Eric Winkenwerder, and actor Graham Smith, who made Roy Cohen such a demonic firebrand. Two other Rep vets are in the cast, playing the lead couple. Chandler McIntyre last hooked up Umberger and Rep in Wit (2001), and Brian Robinson, playing Pastor Paul, is a two-time CL Actor of the Year who played key roles in three CL Shows of the Year: Malice Aforethought (1992) and Falsettos (1993) for Rep, and Take Me Out (2004) with

Actor’s Theatre. More recently — and more to the point — Robinson gave a fine account of Father Flynn in another religious cliffhanger, John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, playing opposite Umberger’s wife, actress Rebecca Koon. That North Carolina Stage Company actually toured Charlotte with that production in 2008 after Robinson had moved to Atlanta. “When I lived and worked as an actor here from 1988 until 2008, the city was teeming with homegrown theatre. It’s certainly not all gone, but it is certainly greatly diminished,” says Robinson. “Rebecca and I had done Doubt together, and our friendship became quite close. In August 2016, I was exploring the idea of creating some theatre. Steve was the one of the first people I thought of when considering with whom I would want to partner. I asked Rebecca what he was up to. Her response was, ‘I think he’s in a similar place. You should call him.’ And now here we are, one year later, about to unveil the fruits of this first collaboration.” Burnt by the lackluster support from the

and answering questions about ‘what’s really going on’ and digging into the details of the needs of each character.” Adams, who came to understand who Umberger was only after he was cast as Joshua, also chimes in with a glowing review. “It’s surpassed my expectations in every way,” says Adams of the rehearsal process. “This play calls for a uniquely gifted director to be able to explore its nuanced complexity.” But we still need to wonder whether Parmelee was right more than 12 years ago – whether Charlotte really is fertile ground for professional-grade homegrown theatre. Since Rep died in 2005, Charlotte hasn’t had an Actor’s Equity company that was part of LORT, the top-tier League of Regional Theatres. It’s sad, says Robinson: “The citizens of Charlotte deserve and need a thriving professional theater scene that is locally produced.” Will we turn out to help make it happen? This may be our last best chance. BACKTALK@CLCLT.COM

The cast with Steve Umberger {third from left}


“I wondered if there was a play out there that would truly represent everyone fairly and let them tell their side of it in a way that would be heard. Then I found The Christians.” -STEVE UMBERGER

CharMeck Arts & Science Council after the Angels flap, Umberger is relying on a more conservative, self-sufficient financial model with PlayWorks Group. “Even though [The Christians] is a single production, it’s set up so that it could actually pay for itself, if enough people come,” Umberger explains. “That could also conceivably be expanded to multiple plays in some sort of season that looks like a company. It doesn’t require massive corporate sponsorship or grant funding or big giving. It only takes enough people buying a ticket.” Umberger is also tapping into homegrown talent he hasn’t worked with before in mounting his new venture. He saw Jonavan Adams in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom this past spring and has tapped him to play the schismatic Pastor Joshua. Strangely enough, Umberger had never met playwright/actress/ director April C. Turner until Christians auditions, though her C.O.T.O.: Chocolate on the Outside drew a Loaf nomination for Best Drama back in 1997. Turner turns up as Jenn, the truthseeking congregant whose questions wreak havoc among Paul’s flock. Just as convinced as Hnath must have been in 2014 that Hitler was synonymous with evil, Jenn asks if Der Fuhrer is earmarked for hell. “Steve is a pro,” says Turner of her first Umberger experience. “He is passionate about his work, and he owns his voice as a director. He’s a gentle director, yet firm in his vision. We spend a lot of time asking CLCLT.COM | SEPT. 14 - SEPT. 20, 2017 | 31


The clown in It.



IT SHOULD BE SEEN Clowning around with King BY MATT BRUNSON

In its original hardcover incarnation, Stephen King’s It ran 1,138 pages, second only to The Stand’s 1,153 pages in terms of finding the prolific author at his wordiest. Given that generous length, it’s not surprising that It (and The Stand, for that matter) found itself being fitted for a television miniseries slot rather than a motion picture release, resulting in a 192-minute two-parter on ABC back in 1990. Of course, in this era in which many popular books are split up into two or three movies (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 & 2 and The Hobbit trilogy, for example), it’s not surprising to find a studio willing to allow King’s tome a chance to breathe by spreading its story across two theatrical releases. Billed in the closing credits as Chapter One, the big-screen version of It (*** out of four) spends the entirety of its 135-minute running time on the kids that comprise the book’s gang of Losers, with the adult variations of these characters placed in deepfreeze until the inevitable sequel hits theaters in the near-future. It’s a logical way to split the property, and what’s offered in this first part is mostly good stuff. Front and center, of course, is Pennywise the Dancing Clown, the evil entity that’s kidnapping and killing the children of a small Maine town in 1989. Bill Skarsgård needs some help from the CGI gods to make his Pennywise as memorable as Tim Curry’s 32 | SEPT. 14 - SEPT. 20, 2017 | CLCLT.COM

superb interpretation from the miniseries, but he nevertheless does a fine job of bringing this monster to life. The seven kids cast as the members of the self-anointed Losers Club, reluctantly ready to do battle against Pennywise, are perfectly cast, with Sophia Lillis as Bev, Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie, and Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben particularly memorable (rounding out the septet are St. Vincent’s Jaeden Lieberher as Bill, Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard as Richie, Chosen Jacobs as Mike, and Wyatt Oleff as Stanley). Indeed, the sequences in which the kids merely relate to one another are among the film’s strongest, stirring memories of the exquisite Stand By Me (another adaptation of a King property). These scenes never wear out their stay, which can’t be said of a couple of the extended horror set-pieces that verge on overkill. Interestingly, the 1990 miniseries was at its best when it centered on the adolescent protagonists — despite solid turns by Richard Thomas, John Ritter and others, the adult portions weren’t quite as compelling, ultimately crippled by a downright disappointing denouement. This new It is a respectable addition to the King cinematic canon, but it will be the adults-only second installment that similarly will make or break the overall project.

Charlotte’s source for affordable original artwork Check out art for sale at @alexanderhoodart


Where Pets are Treated Like Royalty


626 N. Graham St. Charlotte, NC 28202 @QC_Caninedesign

@QCCanineDesign17 CLCLT.COM | SEPT. 14 - SEPT. 20, 2017 | 33



20 WAYS TO SEDUCE A BANKER BRO Get you one of them blue shirts





34 | SEPT. 14 - SEPT. 20, 2017 | CLCLT.COM

IF YOU’VE EVER browsed through the 11. During sex, use restraints and men of Tinder, swiping this way and that, handcuffs (with consent). Refer to these as you start noticing patterns. Types. “bonds” and wink suggestively. There’s the man holding a fish, promising 12. Pickup line: “I’ll show you my with his profile photo that he will be able to butterfly spread investment strategy.” provide for you and your future children a 13. Suggest a game to invent sex diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids. positions for various financial terms. Start Then there’s the man reclined against with “back-end load,” “in the money,” and the hood of a car. “I’m going places,” his “PEG ratio.” photo says, in a very literal sense. 14. As your date is wrapping up, There’s the man with the muscles, the suggest some “uncovered options.” man with a puppy, the man with a girl. (“See, 15. Keep your eyes peeled for Bank of at least one girl likes me! You will too!”) America’s volunteer t-shirt. These banker And then there’s the banker bro. Here in bros enjoy giving back in the community and Charlotte, they’re ubiquitous both on the possibly in bed. dating apps and in real life. They 16. Ask what he likes to wait with their standard issue be called during sex. Don’t black briefcases to cross at be surprised if he says the intersection of Trade “executive VP.” and Tryon. When the light 17. Pickup line: changes, they walk with “If you’re long, I have a purpose. Banker bros vested interest in seeing always have somewhere you rise.” to go and important 18. Fake an orgasm business to conduct. for every fake account he’s If you’ve got your created at Wells Fargo. sights set on this type, 19. Date idea: if your fantasies include ALLISON Dave Matthews Band concert. unbuttoning a light blueBRADEN 20. Tell him you’re a closet collared shirt before getting busy, Trump fan. Show him where you keep take heed: You can take these tips to your red hat. the bank. 1. Learn how to spot your quarry on or With these tips, you’re sure to generate off the clock. Know how to spot logos from high interest and never be a-loan. Vineyard Vines, Brooks Brothers, and J. BACKTALK@CLCLT.COM Crew. 2. Hang out in the banker bro’s natural environment. Spend time at the Epicentre on weekends. Find them at Starbucks reading the Financial Times or the Charlotte Agenda. 3. Pickup line: “Let’s credit default swap digits.” 4. Drop subtle hints that you are adventurous in the bedroom, i.e. a crude commodity. 5. Date idea: A happy hour special with $14 margaritas and an authentic sombrero photo booth. 6. Pickup line: “Not to be forward, but can I get the option to swap those commodities?” Meet sexy friends 7. When he mentions bottom-up who really get your vibe... investing, take the opportunity to let him know what you can do with your bottom up. Try FREE: 704-731-0113 8. Propose learning a dance together, More Local Numbers: 1-800-811-1633 like waltz, salsa, or contango. 9. Date idea: Topgolf. I mean, c’mon, what else do you need to know? 10. At the end of your date, invite him inside to show off your diversified portfolio 18+ of assets.


FeeLing Lonely?


51 PICKUP ACROSS 1 Move springingly 7 -- mater 11 Impact sound 15 Outfielder Slaughter 19 With 49-Across, it’s between Greece and Turkey 20 Hive buzzers 21 Moniker for Lincoln 23 Automobiles that are really dirty? 25 Edited work 26 Tooth doctors’ org. 27 -- Fridays (dining chain) 28 “The Matrix” actor eases pain? 30 Draw up new boundaries for 32 Apple’s mobile devices run on it 33 Olds antique 34 WNW’s opposite 35 Showy flight maneuvers done by some birds? 40 Boy band of pop 42 Geologic time periods 43 Suffix with Wisconsin 44 -- Schwarz 45 Traffic sign 49 See 19-Across 50 Deep-down faiths? 55 Sound, as an argument 59 “That’s clear” 60 Cloning material 61 Auto tankful 62 Alligator’s cousin 65 Bit of design info 67 Persian Gulf country 69 Serenade your purveyor? 73 Horse riding movements 74 Bedazzle 75 Events with witnesses 76 NY hours 77 Lyric-penning Gershwin 79 Longtime youth org. 81 Skilled in 85 “Whatever happened to your faith?” 90 Vow for the nuptials 91 What might follow “tra” 92 Bit of body ink 93 Fertility clinic cells

94 Ring sealing a junction 97 Seizes 100 Give some yuletide plants moisture? 103 Mrs., in France 106 “-- and Stimpy” 107 Depressed 108 Chaise spot 109 Test done by a marine aquarium keeper? 114 Suffix with 36-Down 115 Diner bill 118 Providing nourishment 119 Bill of fare at an outdoor eatery on a clear night? 122 Had profits equaling losses 123 Helen of -124 Grippers on golf shoes 125 Soup containers 126 For fear that 127 Besides that 128 Grammer of “Frasier”


1 “Que --?” 2 Necessary: Abbr. 3 Oceano filler 4 Tchr.’s union 5 W. Coast engineering school 6 Puzzles 7 Easy as -8 Tap mishap 9 Piddling 10 Tear into 11 Drive- -- (pickup windows) 12 One using a weeding aid 13 Promoted insufficiently 14 Dallas’ -- Plaza 15 Major finale? 16 Easily fooled 17 Reed instruments 18 Get a feeling 22 Offshoot 24 Zoologist Fossey 29 Refusals 30 Rocker Ocasek 31 -- -dieu (pew addition) 35 Real pain 36 Sword type 37 Part of S&L 38 See 121-Down 39 City on Utah Lake 40 Scot’s refusal

41 Longtime CBS show 44 Least restricted 46 Forum robes 47 Studio sign 48 “Hey ... you” 50 Sci-fi captain 51 Nature 52 Gym set 53 Rubber stamp go-with 54 Charles de -- Airport 56 Skin woe 57 Ziploc item 58 Pen fixtures? 63 “-- longa ...” 64 “Maybe later” 66 Inferior dog 68 Faint cloud 69 Obama girl 70 PC chip giant 71 Anesthetize 72 Chanteuse Edith 73 Cry weakly 78 Watchful 80 Opposite of 95-Down 82 -- torch (luau lamp) 83 “Zip- -- -Doo-Dah” 84 Little ‘uns 86 Tattle (on) 87 Owns 88 “-- had it!” 89 Frontier figure Wyatt 94 Took ill 95 Just slightly 96 -- -pitch 98 Palmer of the links 99 Actor Harvey 100 Nursery cry 101 “-- Fideles” 102 Greet 103 “Hardball” network 104 Tierney of “Liar Liar” 105 Rocker John 107 Fragrance 110 Ticks off 111 Part of YSL 112 PC key abbr. 113 Evil group in “Get Smart” 115 Caddy picks 116 Initial stake 117 Not at all idle 120 Seedy loaf 121 With 38-Down, old New York Giants great

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Since gay and bisexual girls can’t default to PIV intercourse, and since there’s not a boy in the room whose needs/dick/ego they’ve been socialized to prioritize, queer girls have more egalitarian and, not coincidentally, more satisfying sexual encounters. “Young women are more likely to measure their own satisfaction by the yardstick of their partner’s pleasure,” said Orenstein. “So MY INSPIRING DAUGHTER DESERVES LESBIAN EDUCATION heterosexual girls will say things such as, ‘If he’s sexually satisfied, then I’m sexually “I wish every parent felt this way about satisfied.’ Men, by contrast, are more likely their child’s sexual development, regardless to measure satisfaction by their own orgasm. of the child’s gender identity or sexual But the investment girls express in their orientation,” said Peggy Orenstein, author partner’s pleasure remains true regardless of Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated of that person’s gender. So the orgasm New Landscape. “All young people — gap we see among heterosexuals (75 girls especially — need open, honest percent of men report they come discussions about sexual ethics, including talking about regularly in sexual encounters pleasure, respect, decisionversus 29 percent of women) making, and reciprocity, disappears in same-sex or we are leaving them encounters. Young women at the mercy of the with same-sex partners messages they get from climax at the same rate as both the mainstream heterosexual men.” and ‘adult’ entertainment As for good, sexindustries.” positive resources for Orenstein’s book DAN SAVAGE — required reading for teens of all identities and parents of girls and boys orientations, Orenstein had — drives home the need for some great recommendations. comprehensive sex-education “I’m a big fan of Heather programs emphasizing the giving and Corinna’s S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know receiving of pleasure. In the absence of Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your sex-ed programs that empower girls to Teens and Twenties,” said Orenstein. “She see themselves not just as instruments also produces the website, of another’s pleasure but as autonomous which is fabulous. Other inclusive, sexindividuals with a right to experience sexual positive, medically accurate websites include pleasure—with a partner or on their own— girls wind up having a lot of consensual but and crappy sex. And MIDDLE could think about giving her That said, MIDDLE, one big takeaway daughter a subscription to, an from Orenstein’s research should come explicit (but not tawdry) site that educates as a comfort to you: Bi and lesbian girls about the science of female pleasure. And enjoy an advantage over their heterosexual finally, I think everyone who is a woman — peers. or has had sex with a woman or ever hopes “In some ways, MIDDLE can feel more to — should read Emily Nagoski’s book confident about her daughter as a gay girl,” Come As You Are. Even if you think you said Orenstein. “Lesbian and bisexual girls I spoke to for Girls & Sex would talk about know it all, Nagoski’s book will transform feeling liberated to go ‘off the script’—by your sex life.” which they meant the script that leads (Follow @peggyorenstein on Twitter.) lockstep to intercourse — and create encounters that truly worked for them. I On the Lovecast this week: comedian ended up feeling that hetero girls — and Amy Miller: Follow @ boys, too — could learn a lot from their fakedansavage on Twitter; gay and bisexual female peers. And I don’t fakedansavage on Twitter; mean by watching otherwise straight girls make out on the dance floor for the benefit of guys.” My teenage daughter just came out to us as gay. We told her we love her and support her. As a heterosexual, cisgender mother, how do I make sure she gets good advice about sex? I don’t want her learning from other kids or porn. Do you know of any good, sexpositive advice books for lesbian teens?

CLCLT.COM | SEPT. 14 - SEPT. 20, 2017 | 37







FOR ALL SIGNS: The asteroid Vesta

moves into the sign of Libra on September 18. Vesta represents the Vestal Virgin of Roman times. She is the keeper of the sacred flame and devoted to maintaining the spirit of individuals as they pursue their creative growth. She is associated with the flame that is carried to the Olympic Games, representing strength and fair judgement for all. Libra is the sign of fair justice, relationships and negotiation. These topics will become prominent in the news during the next two months. There will be no room for cheating because Vesta holds the scales.

ARIES: Details and nits may follow you around all week. It’s a nuisance but a necessary part of accomplishing your goals at the moment. The Ram prefers to force things into place, but occasionally they require tenacity and concentration. Action moves slowly under these conditions but it is a necessary phase of your work. TAURUS: Follow your instincts about where you need to be, particularly if that includes a new social situation. Then give attention to whomever or whatever new enters your life. You are on schedule to find a new guide, mentor, or teacher who will help you toward the next direction in your life. GEMINI: Your focus shifts to matters of

home, hearth, and family. Things of the past may float up in your mind for reflection. If this occurs, ask yourself what you learned from the former experience. It probably would help you now. Family concerns may occupy your attention. It is a good time to open important discussions with those most important to you.

CANCER: During the next couple of weeks it would serve you well to attend social gatherings and generally put yourself “out there.” One or more people are likely to enter your life who help you make the connections that need to come next. It is possible that you encounter a potential for romance or general good fortune. LEO:

Aspects suggest that you are evaluating the outcome of something that began in the fourth quarter of 2016. It may be a relationship or a work of creativity. You are prone to have a negative point of view with this. Make an effort to see this through kinder eyes and wait a couple of weeks. Your attitude may change.

VIRGO THE VIRGIN: (Aug 22--Sep 22) This is a good week to bring fruition to a home improvement project that was conceived in the fall of 2016. Saturn always gives us what we deserve. If you have put work and time into your effort, you will be rewarded. If not, you may be hit with a need to repair property. 38 | SEPT. 14 - SEPT. 20, 2017 | CLCLT.COM

LIBRA: You have highly favorable aspects

this week. Don’t stay home. Go out with friends and groups. You will be noticed and welcomed wherever you go. New people who come into your life at this time may become teachers or guides on your next path. Or perhaps you will have the opportunity to guide others. Please read the lead paragraph.

SCORPIO: Mars is one of your planetary avatars. This week it is overcoming Mercury, the communicator and message maker. Mars is prone to be too quick to strike and you may discover sharp remarks in your mind or among your friends. Remember that we often regret that which is said in haste. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” SAGITTARIUS: You have been steadily

working on a new, more stable identity for the last two years. At this time one of your projects is nearly ready for its display. You can see the result of your effort and others will notice it as well. It involves your career or direction in life and likely will gie you reason to be proud.

CAPRICORN: You may be pestered by memories of times in which you felt you failed or somehow didn’t meet expectations. Ask why you need to review this now. Is there something to be gained here? If it is simply repetition of old fear tapes, take what you really need to remember and toss the rest away.

AQUARIUS: A critic is following you. This may be a voice from the past or perhaps it is you beating upon yourself. On the surface you may perceive it as your partner’s voice, but the problem for you is that old tapes cause you to believe you are not worthy. You are valuable and do not have to prove yourself “worthy” of another’s judgment. PISCES: A false accusation or a rumor

about you or your partner may cause you considerable worry at this time. The probability is that it is based only upon the assumption of a third party. The reason you worry is that you and one or more significant others are not communicating well. Concentrate on productive communications and don’t carry this “fact” around in your heart. Are you interested in a personal horoscope? Vivian Carol may be reached at (704) 3663777 for private psychotherapy or astrology appointments (there is a charge). Blog: http//

Fight night at the






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40 | SEPT. 14 - SEPT. 20, 2017 | CLCLT.COM

2017 Issue 30 Creative Loafing Charlotte  
2017 Issue 30 Creative Loafing Charlotte