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How to make a movie rock, page 28.



FOOD IN PHO You’ve gone out for this Vietnamese soup-salad, now make your own



ARTS&ENT DARK MATTER These 5 Charlotte activist-artists will not be ignored in 2017 BY KIA O. MOORE 18 TOP 10 THINGS TO D0 27 FILM REVIEWS BY MATT BRUNSON


MUSIC HOW TO MAKE A MOVIE ROCK AND ROLL All you need is love, live music and a legendary local venue






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REAL TALK Look to art and face-toface conversations in 2017 EVERYBODY KNOWS it’s a bad idea to sit

alone staring at a computer screen, reading the comments sections of news websites. But we still do it. And in them we find some of the vilest words and ideas that human beings are capable of thinking and expressing. On Sunday, Feb. 12, I made the mistake PHOTO OF LA LA SPECIFIC COURTESY OF THE ARTIST of reading the comments section below news stories about the Moral March in Raleigh, activist-artists believe the uprising was and noticed the repeated use the word necessary, but that it is now time for healing “thug,” which has pretty much become a and art-making. Noele Lofton and her partner direct stand-in for the "N" word over the Leara McKinney have launched the UrbanZüe past several years. It’s the word of choice Art Gallery, a series of events designed, she for those who show a palpable disdain for tells Moore, to “promote staying positive in people of color — and for the people who the community and reminding people we march hand-in-hand with people of color in have to stick together and uplift the peaceful demonstrations against the community through the arts and erosion of decency and justice by sharing our talents.” in our city, state and nation. Some folks in Charlotte For this reason, I think it is have been promoting that time that we retire the word kind of creativity for “thug.” There are plenty of decades. In the music perfectly good synonyms section, Jay Ahuja, the for it. We won’t be banning executive producer of a the word from the pages of new documentary, Live Creative Loafing (not yet, from the Double Door Inn, anyway) when it’s used in writes about the scores of proper context, but I will musicians, both local and MARK KEMP personally discourage it. national, who have graced What I won’t be discouraging the stage of the storied blues is soulful, intelligent and precise club that closed earlier this year dialogue about the arts and politics in after 43 years. Ahuja and his production Charlotte. In this week’s cover story, Kia O. team talked to several of the musicians and Moore looks at how artists are continuing a regulars who have frequented the club over positive, though sometimes uncomfortable the past four decades to see shows ranging dialogue about race and diversity in the wake of from blues and jazz to country, rock and even the September uprising and HB2 controversy music from other parts of the world. that put a global spotlight on Charlotte. Kia “You look at the pictures on the wall. You has chosen five activist-artists to watch in don’t even need to say anything, you just 2017. These people are creating works of art look at the pictures . . .” guitarist Tinsley Ellis that spark conversations and show a different says in Ahuja’s story about the making of the Charlotte from the one we saw in national documentary on page 28. and international news accounts. Theirs is When I was reading those comments on a Charlotte that is much more than just a news websites over the weekend, I did notice city of bankers, fundamentalists, NASCAR a few people expressing love for those who fans and angry racists and homophobes. It marched hand-in-hand with their brothers is a city full of young people, many of them and sisters in Raleigh. Those comments were millennials, who have transformed Charlotte made by the kind of people you might see at into a vibrant, multicultural hub of creativity places like the already-missed Double Door in the Southeast. Inn, or at the McColl Center, or at a coffee One of those artists, rapper La La Specific, shop in NoDa — places where ideas are tells Moore that the September uprising had bounced around in real time among real been a long time coming. “What surprised people, not on a computer screen by someone me was that the city did not explode in more sitting alone and isolated. of an outrage,” she says in “Dark Matter,” on And that’s what this week’s CL is all page 20 “Although the national news media about: Getting out and talking with real created a narrative that portrayed the city in people about real things that you can do shambles, it wasn’t. I’m proud of Charlotte about real actions, positive or negativ. It’s for that.” about the very human act of creating. La La Specific and many of her fellow MKEMP@CLCLT.COM

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CLCLT.COM | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | 9


Emily H. looks out at her front yard where a news van had parked less than a week after she was sexually assaulted.

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CROSSING A LINE How close is too close for media covering sexual assault? BY RYAN PITKIN


MILY H. AWOKE at 5 a.m. on Jan. 3 from the sort of dream that often accompanies a deep, cold medicine-induced sleep. But she quickly realized she was in an entirely new kind of nightmare, and it was all too real. While Emily slept, a stranger had broken into her home, come up the stairs, removed his clothes and gotten on top of her. At first, she had every reason to believe it was her husband, who had been sleeping in a guest room for a week while she fought off the brutal cold she had picked up from holiday houseguests. For a moment, she thought he had simply picked up on the signs that she was finally feeling better, but it didn’t take long for her to realize she was horrifyingly wrong. By the time Emily’s husband heard her agonizing screams and reached the bedroom, the man had fled the room and was nowhere to be found. He had disappeared as quickly as he had appeared; a ghost that left behind a trail of terror but little else. He did, however, leave something. When Emily finally felt safe enough to come out of the closet she had jumped into while her husband cleared the house, she found the man’s bloodstained clothes in a heap on the ground. In his pants pocket was a cellphone. Cut to six days later. Emily was playing with her two young children on a Monday afternoon in the front yard of their Huntersville home where she had been attacked. Police had named a suspect in the case — they would later arrest a drifter with a long criminal record named William “Billy” Thompson who was familiar to many folks living in the Charlotte suburb — but they hadn’t found him yet. She watched one of her children take an icy plunge down the hill. It was the first day since the attack that Emily had stayed home with the kids while her husband returned to work, and she was enjoying their unexpected day off from school. What she saw when she looked up next, however, not only infuriated and terrified her, but would later raise an important ethical question about how close the media should get when covering cases of sexual assault. Emily watched as a WSOC news van pulled onto her small street with and parked just feet from her property line. She saw reporter Mark Becker and his cameraman exit the vehicle and begin setting up their equipment. She knew immediately why the news van was there, and told her kids to get inside. The brother and sister both balked, asking

her to explain why. She didn’t have a good answer for the 5- and 7-year-old, with whom she was far from ready to discuss what had happened to her less than a week before. “I felt a moment of empathy for the kids,” she said, “but it also clicked in my own head, ‘That’s right, why should my children have to go inside when they are sledding and having fun?’” Spurred on by her kids’ desire to stay outside and her own fury at what she saw as a humiliating invasion of her privacy, Emily made a choice.

the Sexual Trauma Resource Center at Safe Alliance in Charlotte, retraumatization often occurs when sexual assault survivors are faced with having to retell their story, especially in a situation they don’t control. “What we hear the most from clients in general is that, for a survivor, any time they have that sense of fear again, or anything that can elicit fear, it can cause some of those symptoms to come flooding back, just based on the way trauma is,” Goldstein said. For example, Emily remembers becoming upset and embarrassed after having to repeatedly explain to seemingly skeptical police why her husband was sleeping in a different room from her on Jan. 3. She knew the police were simply doing their job, but the flood of emotions was uncontrollable in that moment. While it’s possible for a survivor to suffer through retraumatization decades after an original assault, those who have recently gone through a traumatic experience can be more vulnerable to it. Also, if the perpetrator is still loose, as he was the day the WSOC van pulled up in front of Emily’s house, the lingering sense of fear can add to the chances for retraumatization to occur. In the case of the WSOC van showing up outside of Emily’s house, the experience was

“For a survivor, any time they have that sense of fear again, or anything that can elicit fear, it can cause some of those symptoms to come flooding back, just based on the way trauma is.” CORI GOLDSTEIN, DIRECTOR OF THE SAFE ALLIANCE SEXUAL TRAUMA RESOURCE CENTER

“[The news crew] was getting out and setting up the camera, so I felt like I could either try to get the kids inside right this second, and if I can’t then I can’t,” Emily said. So she resorted to a Plan B: “I started running down to the fence and screaming at them.” She repeatedly yelled “Don’t do this,” while Becker motioned for her to be quiet. How things unfolded from there differs depending on whom you ask. According to Joe Pomilla, general manager and vice president of WSOC, as soon as Emily identified herself and told the crew to leave, they apologized and left. Emily said she never got an apology from Becker, and that the crew stood on the other side of her fence refusing to leave for several minutes before finally packing up. She recalled yelling “They won’t leave” at a passing car, hoping the stranger would stop and help. The car kept going.

RETRAUMATIZATION IS a medical term describing a relapse into a state of trauma, usually triggered by a specific event. Sexual assault survivors can be especially vulnerable to retraumatization. According to Cori Goldstein, director of

different from the one she went through in the hospital talking with the police, because in this case, Emily had spent much of her career on the other side of the fence. Emily has been a professional reporter for 15 years. She has worked for the Charlotte Observer and the Chicago Tribune. More recently, she’s done freelance reporting for Charlotte Magazine, The New York Times and Reuters. Much of Emily’s career has been spent covering crime and the courts, specifically, and her disgust with the decision to report on her sexual assault case from in front of her home stems from her experiences in that position. “It was pure terror of not wanting them there, and pure fury because, as a journalist, I know that you’re not supposed to do this,” she said. “I don’t know if I really even considered the possibility of someone coming here. It just seems like so obviously a terrible idea. In my experience, nobody from the media contacts sexual assault victims unless it’s through a representative, through a pastor, or a family advocate, or an attorney. Or it’s someone who specifically says they want to talk.”

ONCE THE NEWS crew left and Emily had let her kids sled a little longer, she went inside and called WSOC to demand an apology. She spoke with news director Julie Szulczewski, who she said stood by the decision to send Becker to Emily’s street and reiterated that the crew had not trespassed on her property. According to Szulczewski, they had done nothing wrong. In an email to Emily, Pomilla said he had reviewed video and audio evidence involved with the incident and stands by the stories of Becker and Szulczewski. Becker, Pomilla and Szulczewski all refused to comment for this story, but Pomilla did tell Emily in an email that the crew had seen a Crime Watch sign and wanted to use it as a backdrop for a shoot. He maintained that they didn’t know which house was Emily’s and never planned to include her, her home or her family members in the shot. The Crime Watch sign sits about 100 feet south of the fence line where Emily said the news crew was setting up the camera. It faces away from the spot where she said the crew was standing. Emily has asked Pomilla to see the same video he reviewed, as she is convinced it will prove that either he is lying to her or his crew is lying to him. “Just to be through something really traumatic and to have intimate knowledge of how the news industry works — to see them double down on the ethics of this and then to have them lie to me, that is so insulting,” Emily said. “To be lied to on top of all this, it’s very insulting.” According to the Radio Television Digital News Association code of ethics, “The [newsgathering] process can create inconvenience, discomfort and even distress. Minimizing harm, particularly to vulnerable individuals, should be a consideration in every editorial and ethical decision. Responsible reporting means considering the consequences of both the newsgathering … and of the material’s potential dissemination. Certain stakeholders deserve special consideration; these include children, victims, vulnerable adults and others.” Regardless of the legal rights of a news reporter to stand a few feet away from a sexual assault survivor’s home and report, Emily said, a horrible ethical mistake was made when the crew decided to head to her street in the first place. Her home is just one of five on the small street she lives on, so the odds are that reporting from anywhere on the street would mean doing it near her house. In his email to Emily, Pomilla wrote, “It is unfortunate that our crew was trying to set up in close proximity to what turned out to be your residence. We are reviewing what, if anything, our news teams can do differently in the future to avoid such unintended consequences.” Emily said she is still waiting for her apology from Becker, but is sharing her story in hopes that news organizations will learn the effects such actions can have on victims, as most won’t fight back or report similar incidents. “It’s because I’m still so mad at them, and I want there to be enough of a public sense of this, or a public discussion that this was a fuck-up, that it will not happen again,” she said. “Mistakes are always made, but this was negligence.” RPITKIN@CLCLT.COM CLCLT.COM | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | 11



REVENGE OF THE NERD Charles Easley is making nerdy black BY RYAN PITKIN

FOR CHARLES EASLEY, the inner city streets of Houston, Texas, where he spent his childhood, were lonely, and that was fine with him. Easley grew up a nerd — a description he says still fits him — more interested in comic books and Saturday morning martial arts films than playing a game of pick-up basketball with the neighborhood kids. In 2016, that child was reborn in the form of Brandon “BB” Bailey, the main character in Easley’s new book series, Misadventures of an Urban Nerd. Over the past month, Easley has released the third book of the series, continued pitching the web series that grew from it and launched a podcast for the “grown and sexy” crowd. Creative Loafing sat down with the former “Class Is In Session” columnist to catch up and chat about what inspired all these new projects and what it’s been like to watch the nerd culture become cool. Creative Loafing: How long has the idea for Misadventures of an Urban Nerd been in your head? I think it’s been there all along. BB has been there all along. Growing up in the ‘70s, in inner city Houston, I was always like this weird kid. I was into comic books and sci-fi and fantasy and Saturday morning cartoons, martial arts films that came on Saturday mornings. I just was not into sports like most of the guys that I grew up with; basketball and that kind of stuff, I had become a bookworm. But at the same time, even growing up in the inner city, people kind of left me alone. I just marched to my own drum and that’s what this character is about. He lives in his head a lot. He doesn’t allow his family or friends or relatives or society or anyone to dictate who he should be as a black boy. It’s a constant issue with his father and other people. “He dreams too much, he needs to get his head out of the clouds, it’s going to be tough out there for him.” And I think the thing is that he’s very much aware of that. This is more of a coping mechanism for him. Sometimes we relegate dealing with what he really would have to face. I think it’s a little overwhelming and too much but he decides to create a different way of dealing with it. So he becomes these characters and plays things out and it just helps him cope. What made you decide it was the right time to bring BB to life? I was going through this evolution; going through the whole process of being laid off and losing my house and my job and my career and in a lot of ways just kind of starting over. Before that I was the academic chair of film at the Art Institute of Charlotte. 12 | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | CLCLT.COM

I was there for 12 years. So that was kind of life-changing, but it was a kind of wake up call, because what I did is looked up and realized that I had a pretty good run in my career as an educator, and part of my passion, part of what I was good at is helping other people find their voice and find what their dreams were. But I looked up and all of the sudden I realized that I had forgotten my own. So that’s really where the whole process of realizing that: “You always did want to be published, you always wanted to be a writer.” So beginning to tap into that little boy again, he represents that creative spirit. So BB for me is not just a book series, he’s my spirit avatar. You wrote a column for Creative Loafing for about four years, and have had other writings published in Q City Metro. What was it like transitioning to writing fiction, especially fiction geared toward a young audience? For me it’s been a different creative outlet, and it’s been nice. When you write about politics and culture and grown folks, it’s a different mentality, a different energy. In a lot of ways it can be very taxing. To just give one column, there’s a tremendous amount of process that has to go with that. A lot of time you’re dealing with subject matter that antagonizes and pushes you off, it just puts you in a very different mental space. Its been nice to tap into something that is just more entertaining, and more authentic to who I was growing up. For me it’s about always being committed to telling a narrative that we don’t really see. I grew up with Happy Days and Growing Pains, you name it, all these coming-of-age stories, but usually they were very mainstream. And there’s very few coming-of-age stories for black boys, especially black boys who are not in gangs but are just regular little nerdy boys. We see that there’s now a whole kind of incredible community and everybody is proud to be a nerd and you have these nerd conventions and Comic-Con, but back then, not so much. In my neighborhood you got your butt kicked for being a nerd, so it’s kind of nice to see the evolution of the nerds coming out on top. There’s been an increase in visibility for black authors and characters in that world. For example, Ta-Nehisi Coates took the reins of the Black Panther comic franchise. What’s that been like for you to see? For me it’s been really incredible to see, because I am still such a comic book nerd. So I’ve been very excited to see these things that I grew up with, to have these visuals play out

Charles Easley with his latest release, Misadventures of an Urban Nerd: Wild Kingdom.


on the big screen. And it’s very encouraging to see something like Black Panther, but at the same time those politics are still at play. One of my favorite comic books series was the X-Men and I started reading the X-Men because of Storm. When I grew up, back then, the only real black heroes you had were like Black Panther — and nothing against Black Panther — but he kind of jumped high and ran fast. Most of the dudes in my neighborhood could do that, he just did it in a catsuit. I wasn’t that impressed in terms of powers. But when Storm came around, here she is as this goddess, controlling the elements. When you see the politics of how that played out, even in the X-Men franchise, we’re on our fourth Wolverine film and Storm still hasn’t gotten a working film. So those dynamics are still at play. But it is good that you have people that are celebrating that within the black culture and being commentators and participating in it, but also still holding them to task to say, “Ok, we’re enjoying this but we’re still expecting more.”

You recently launched the 704PPC podcast with two friends. How did that come about? I moonlight at public access working as a studio coordinator and working with producers, helping people out to craft their ideas and get their creativity under way. Teaching classes over there I met Chirl Girl, who is kind of legendary over there. She’s been in the Charlotte area for years at various different radio stations and companies, but she was in a class with another friend of mine, [Dr. Dee] “Doc” Huneycutt, who is a general practitioner, and I just sort of clicked with these two divas.

You spoke about seeing your childhood heroes come to life in recent years, but you’ve also watched your own work come to life in the recently filmed web series for Misadventures. What has that process been like for you? It was pretty badass. You talk about something that started off as really just a 30day creative challenge, that’s how I came up with this idea. Then the book came out and then you go through that process and all of the sudden you’re shooting it on film and you see the finished product. [Producer Veronica Pearson’s] son Caleb was the main character who played BB, and he reminds me of me. He’s this gangly boy and he’s into his own head and his own stuff and defines things on his own terms. He has this little afro. It was almost like stepping back into who I was when I was young.

What made you want to pursue this new medium? We started hanging out, and we’re all kind of like 50 and fabulous, or approaching that at least. I’m there, they’re getting closer, and we’re all going through this process of having had successful careers, and for whatever reason things did not work out. We got laid off or things changed and we’re kind of finding ourselves wondering, “What do I really want to do? What do I want to do creatively?” We all did the same things that everybody said we were supposed to do, and that hasn’t quite worked out for our generation, so we’re having to kind of reinvent ourselves. I think that’s the cool thing about the podcast, it is for the grown and sexy and letting people know that you still have time. There’s always time to reinvent and always time to create and always time to learn something new.

What topics do you touch on in the podcast? It’s very organic. Sometimes we have topics that we want to talk about, sometimes it’s ripped from the headlines. We’re very good about saying we’re not political pundits, we’re not there to gossip per se, it really just feels like friends sitting around chopping it up, and that’s how we want to keep it.




PAY IT FORWARD State employees filed a police report last week after a gas station employee thought they had outsmarted the system, only to find they may be the dumbest person playing the lottery. According to the report, someone working at a place that sells lottery tickets took one that had already been paid out and tried mailing it to the state lottery office, apparently hoping it would simply pay out again. If it were that easy, folks would be lining up for jobs at the gas station. STEP AWAY A man wanted to walk enough steps just to get him to the parking lot when he tried shoplifting from Target at Metropolitan, but he didn’t reach his daily fitness goals. Employees at the store alerted security when they saw the man stick a FitBit down the front of his pants and begin walking toward the entrance. When confronted, the man was cooperative and agreed to wait in the security office until police arrived. They should have let him walk around the store a bit, just for the step count. STOP THE CYCLE A group of relatives in the University area decided to take matters into their own hands last week after realizing that a younger member of the family was getting bullied. Although it’s unclear how many people were on each side, what is clear from the report is that six people, all of them neighbors representing one of two houses on the streets, came together to discuss the bullying. Before it was said and done, the two groups came to blows. All six of the victims/suspects suffered minor injuries in the affray, with a 41-year-old woman and 67-year-old man needing to be transported to the hospital for treatment. Nobody was seriously hurt. REVVED UP A 43-year-old woman near Uptown called police after a group of at least three thieves robbed her of all the vehicles in her garage, save for the car. The woman told police that at some point over a long weekend, unknown suspects took off with two bicycles from her garage and a riding lawnmower. She said she never heard anyone start up the mower, so she’s unsure how they got it out of the garage, but it’s safe to say the folks on the bikes made it out quicker. INTO THIN AIR A 72-year-old woman was left quite literally breathless last week after someone stole her life source from the back of a truck in west Charlotte. The woman reported that someone stole a $750 portable oxygen tank from the trunk when she forgot it was left there for two hours one afternoon.

WATCH YOUR BACK A man’s stepfather might be giving him the side-eye from here on out after a so-called accident in his home last week. Police responded to the step-father’s home after his stepson was visiting at 10:30 p.m. and suddenly shot his gun off. The stepson said it was a mistake, and that the handgun only went off because he put the gun down on the ground too hard. Unsurprisingly, alcohol was involved in the incident. PLAY TOO MUCH Police had to get involved when a tussle turned into a rumble in a high school classroom in northeast Charlotte last week. An officer was called to the classroom in Mallard Creek High School after two students began play fighting, and then quickly began really fighting. The officer responded by putting the two students in what began as play handcuffs. TOO EXPENSIVE Employees at a convenience store in west Charlotte called police after a man who never wanted to pay for his snacks in the first place finally dropped all pretense and just robbed the store. Employees told officers that a man came into the store and tried to buy a bag of chips and a soda. When he was told the price of the snacks, he began arguing with the cashier, saying that it was too much. Quickly after the argument started, the man pulled out a gun and pointed it at the cashier, which seems to have won the argument for him, because he was able to leave the store with the snacks without paying. CLCLT.COM | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | 13

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WILD1-2-3 NIGHTS FEBRUARY 18 & 24 MARCH 4, 11, 18 & 24

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14 | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | CLCLT.COM


EWWWW! On Jan. 31, doctors at Stanley Medical College and Hospital in Chennai, India, removed a live, full-grown cockroach from the nasal cavity of a 42-year-old woman whose nose had been “itchy” earlier in the day. Two hospitals were unable to help her, but at Stanley, Dr. M N Shankar, chief of earnose-throat, used an endoscope, forceps, and, for 45 minutes, a suction device — because, he said, the roach “didn’t seem to want to come out.” Another doctor on the team noted that they’ve removed beads and similar items from the nasal cavity (demonstrating the splayed-out trespasser in full wingspan), “but not a cockroach, especially not one this large.” [Times of India, 2-3-2017]

WHAT’S IN A NAME The British Medical

Association issued a formal caution to its staff in January not to use the term “expectant mothers” when referring to pregnancy because it might offend transgender people. Instead, the Association’s memo — as reported by the Daily Telegraph — suggested using “pregnant people.” The BMA acknowledged that a “large majority” of such people are, in fact, “mothers,” but wrote that there may be “intersex” and “trans men” who also could get pregnant.


Bennett and Karen Nourse have found Manhattan quite affordable, reported the New York Post in January — by simply not paying, for six years now, the $4,750 monthly rent on their loft-style apartment in the Chelsea neighborhood, citing New York state’s “loft law,” which they say technically forbids the landlord from collecting. Since the other eight units of their building are “commercial,” the landlord believes it doesn’t need a “residential certificate of occupancy,” but Bennett and Nourse believe the law only exempts buildings with at least two residences, and for some reason, the landlord has obstinately declined to initiate eviction or, until recently, to sue for back rent, fees, and electricity.

In 2001, Questcor Pharmaceuticals bought the rights to make Acthar Gel, a hormone injection to treat a rare form of infantile epilepsy, and gradually raised the price from $40 a vial to $28,000 a vial. The British company Mallinckrodt bought Questcor in 2014 and apparently figured the vials were still too cheap, raising the price to $34,000. However, the Federal Trade Commission noticed that Mallinckrodt also during the latter period bought out — and closed down — the only company manufacturing a similar, cheaper version of the product, thus ensuring that Mallinckrodt had totally cornered the market. In January, the FTC announced that Mallinckrodt agreed to a $100 million settlement of the agency’s charge of illegal anti-competitive practices. For the price of the settlements, the company could give one vial to each infant expected to need it in the next year.


PRECOCIOUS Girl Scout Charlotte

CAN’T POSSIBLY BE TRUE Zachary, in its annual January rundown, reported its several sites had 23 billion “visits” in 2016, about one-fourth from females, during which time its videos were viewed 91 billion times. In all, earthlings spent 4.6 billion hours watching PornHub’s inventory — that is 5.2 centuries’ time doing whatever people do when viewing porn. USA took home the gold for the most “page views” per capita, just nipping Iceland. Online visitors from the Philippines, for the third straight year, remained (per capita) on the sites the longest per visit. The top search term on PornHub from U.S. computers was “step mom.”


year, Oxford University professor Joshua Silver accused Britain’s Home Secretary of a “hate” crime merely because the Secretary had made a speech urging that unemployed Britons be given preference for jobs over people recruited from overseas. Silver denounced this “discrimination” against “foreigners” and made a formal complaint to West Midlands police, which, after evaluation, absolved Secretary Amber Rudd but acknowledged that, under the law, the police were required to record the Secretary’s unemployment speech as a “non-crime hate incident.”

McCourt, 11, of South Orange, New Jersey, saw her sales zoom recently when she posted “brutally honest” reviews of the Scouts’ cookies she was selling — giving none of them a “10” and labeling some with dour descriptions. She was hoping to sell 300 boxes, but as of the end of January, had registered 16,430. For the record, the best cookie was the Samoa, rated 9, but longtime favorites like the Trefoil (“boring”) rated 6 and the Do-Si-Do (“bland”) 5. The new Toffee-tastic was simply a “bleak, flavorless, gluten-free wasteland.”

LESS COWBELL Applicants for passports in Switzerland are evaluated in part by neighbors of the applicant, and animal-rights campaigner Nancy Holten, 42, was rejected in January because townspeople view her as obnoxious, with, said a Swiss People’s Party spokesperson, a “big mouth.” Among Holten’s “sins” was her constant criticism of the country’s hallowed fascination with cowbells — that make, according to Holten, “hundred decibel,” “pneumatic drill”-type sounds. THE ARISTOCRATS In January, Texas district judge Patrick Garcia was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct after a dispute outside the courthouse in El Paso. An April trial date was set for Garcia, who was

accused of giving the middle finger, in public, to another judge.


suspect pointing a gun attempted a robbery at a laundromat in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, in February was not immediately identified. The official reason for not initially identifying him was that, though detained, he had not yet been booked; less likely, perhaps, police might have been trying to spare him embarrassment in that the laundromat’s overnight clerk, a woman named Naou Mor Khantha, had simply taken his gun away from him and shot him three times. He was hospitalized in serious condition.


Jesse Denton, 24, driving a stolen truck, tried to flee police on Interstate 95 near Brunswick, Georgia, but accidentally crashed head-on into another vehicle. Seconds later, Denton was then fatally hit by another motorist as he ran across the highway to escape the crash scene. (2) A 37-year-old Saanich, British Columbia, man did not die but nearly bled out before being heroically rescued following his parking-rage blunder. Angered that another driver had parked too close to his own car, he grabbed a knife and stabbed a tire on the other vehicle with such force that he wound up slashing the main artery in his leg.


Pinson, 21, was arrested in St. Petersburg, Florida, in January and charged with domestic battery for roughing up his mother — even though, presumably lovingly, he had her full name tattooed on his chest. (2) Police arrested a 22-year-old knife-wielding man in a restroom on a train in Dusseldorf, Germany, in January. The man, naked, appeared “quite annoyed” at being hassled, did not have a ticket to ride, and said he was using the knife to shave his genital area because he was not welcome at home.

NOTW CLASSIC (May 2013) The Washington Post reported in April (2013) that the federal government spends $890,000 a year on totally useless bank accounts. The amount is the total of fees for maintaining more than 13,000 short-term accounts the government owns but which have no money in them and never will again. However, merely closing the accounts is difficult, according to the watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste, because they each previously housed separate government grants, and Congress has required that, before the accounts are “closed,” the grants must be formally audited — something bureaucrats are rarely motivated to do, especially since, as Citizens noted, there is no additional penalty for not auditing.

I turn to for advice. on rs pe e th en be s ay problems “Kelly has alw help talk me through my honest... to e er th en be s ay alw en She’s small and has always be no matter how big or e suffered a huge loss to our family sometimes brutally. We’vr.” Lupie’s Cafe and I’ve lost my big siste rkin Duran, co-owner of -La

“I didn’t know Kelly very well until she opened Tip Top Daily Market just few shops away from me at Hattie’s a . The first few conversations we had were almost intimidating. I felt like I was talking to a rock star. She not only knew absolutely everything about the serv ice industry, but she knew everything about the neighborhood and its people. When I had an event coming up, Kell y gave me three pointers. I used all thre and I would have been screwed if I had e, n’t taken her wise advice. From time to time, she would swin g into Hattie’s after work. We wou ld sit on the back patio and share anythin g from funny stories in the industry to our personal lives. One patio chat left us both crying in each other’s arms. Kell y gave me some of the best advice that I will carry with me forever. I will never forg et her gracious attitude in mentoring and befr iending me. Kelly looked out for our community, for me, and for Hattie’s. She made our neighborhood better and stronger. She was an amazing person and I looked up to her greatly. Kelly will be sorely missed in our community, but she left enough of a mark that I’m sure her presence will neve r be too far away.” -Jackie DeLoach, owner of Hattie’s Tap & Tavern


Kelly Call with her Tip Top Daily Market co-owner Scott McCannell shortly after they opened the business in 2015.



IN THEIR WORDS Friends remember Kelly Call Charlotte’s food and music community lost a beloved leader last week when Kelly Call passed away suddenly at 50 years old. Call was a fixture in the Plaza Midwood and NoDa neighborhoods; she’s owned or co-owned a number of popular Charlotte haunts, including Creation and Stash Pad, and served as a manager at Charlotte staple Lupie’s Café. At the time of her death of an apparent stroke, Call co-owned Snug Harbor in Plaza Midwood and the Tip Top Daily Market near NoDa. Rather than try to explain Call’s inspiration to those in her circle, Creative Loafing reached out to some of her closest friends to describe what she meant to their lives and how they will be affected by her loss.

“Kelly was a giver and a hard worker. She cared deeply about her friends, and would always offer a helping hand; an ear when you needed to get something off your chest. I think she always wanted to see people succeed at doing what they truly loved doing, and was generous in any way that she could be to help facilitate that. She was also fun, and I shared many good laughs with her. She truly fought for the underdog, and judged people only by their actions and their heart and never the superficial. I always thought that if she could cook for the world and make sure that no one went hungry, she would. I already miss her a lot. We need more Kellys in this world.” -Scott Weaver, founder of Shiprocked at Snug Harbor

a follower. “To the one that was a leader and not taker. To the one that was a giver and not a rturer, a believer, an To the one that was a great friend, a nu d so, so much more. ear, a pillar, a mentor, a role model an ll when I grew up. Since we met, I wanted to be Kelly Ca think the whole entire I will always love you and will always world of you. ful friend. There will Rest In Power, my unbelievably beauti never be another like you.” -Molly Poe, close friend of Call’s CLT.COM BACKTALK@CL

CLCLT.COM | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | 15



IN PHO You’ve gone out for Vietnamese soup-salad — now learn to make your own BY ARI LEVAUX


NLY IF YOU’VE been living under a rock at the bottom of the ocean for the last decade have you missed the ascendency of pho, Vietnam’s internationally beloved comfort food. The steaming meal is soup and salad in the same bowl, a fragrant beef broth in which delicate rice noodles and meat parts comingle with fresh herbs and sprouts, amidst a customized mixture of condiments. In summer, pho heats you up and makes you sweat, breaking the seasonal fever. In winter, pho will warm your bones and melt away your congestion. It’s equally nourishing and satisfying in spring and fall, morning and night. 16 | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | CLCLT.COM

I tend to do my cooking by improvisation, but that doesn’t work with pho, despite its apparent simplicity. The broth is elusive, even if you know what the ingredients are. Inevitably, one or more of the spices will come on too strong, resulting in more of an unbalanced cacophony than the understated, harmonious symphony that has conquered the slurping masses. My numerous failures left me discouraged, with no other choice than to head for my local pho shop to get my fix. But this drought ended when Andrea Nguyen, the undisputed authority on Vietnamese food in America, was kind enough to email me the keys to the kingdom.

Nguyen used me as a recipe tester for her masterful new cookbook, The Pho Cookbook (Ten Speed Press, 2017). My main assignment was to help replicate and troubleshoot the recipe for pressure cooker pho, a method that expedites the usual hours-long simmering of bones behind your typical bowl of pho. Other than the wholly unexpected addition of a quartered apple — Nguyen’s substitute for Vietnamese rock sugar — there weren’t any surprises in the ingredients list. I’d used them all before in my previous failed attempts. I used my trusty Instant Pot, an electric pressure cooker that bears a striking

resemblance to R2D2-right down to the endearing beeps it makes at various points in the cooking process. If you’ve ever been spooked by the rattling and hissing of a stovetop pressure cooker that seemed on the verge of detonating in your kitchen, the Instant Pot is a silent alternative that won’t even release the flavors of its contents into the kitchen air. Entering the pho-bidden kingdom gave me the confidence to start coining my own pho-centered puns, a practice that many restaurateurs have encouraged by giving their establishments goofy names like PHO-ever YUM, PhoKing Delicious, and What the Pho. Don’t forget local hot dog guy Vic the Chili


Presssure cooker beef pho

PRESSURE COOKER BEEF PHO Ingredients Broth 3 lbs beef bones 1 small Fuji apple, peeled, cored, and cut into thumbnail-size chunks 1 lb beef brisket, unsliced 2 ½ star anise pods (20 robust points, total) 1 3-inch piece of cinnamon 3 whole cloves 1 chubby, 2-inch section of ginger, peeled, thickly sliced, bruised 1 large yellow onion, halved and thickly sliced 2 ¼ teaspoons fine sea salt 2 tablespoons fish sauce 1 teaspoon sugar

Bowls 10 ounces dried, narrow rice noodles Cooked beef from the broth, sliced thin 4-5 ounces thinly-sliced raw beef steak ½ small red or yellow onion, thinly-sliced against the grain and soaked in water for ten minutes 2 thinly-sliced green onions, green parts only ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro Black pepper, to taste Optional: bean sprouts, chile slices, mint, Thai basil, lime wedges, hoisin sauce, sriracha sauce. (Nguyen gives recipes for homemade versions of hoisin sauce, chile sauce, sate sauce and garlic vinegar) Man’s barbecue-inspired invention, the Pho Q Dog, at last year’s Dudeapalooza. Cover to cover, Nguyen’s cookbook is inspiring, beautiful and informative, filled with studio pho-tos of the finished recipes and street scenes of the pho-life in Vietnam. And there is a big focus on the history of pho, which is inseparable from the history of Vietnam. All of the elements combine to fascinating and mouth-watering reading material. In addition to recipes for various preparations of pho, from traditional to chicken to seafood and vegetarian versions, it includes a section of pho-flavored spinoffs,

Procedure Rinse bones. Toast the spices on medium heat in the pressure cooker for a few minutes, shaking or stirring, until fragrant. Add ginger and onion; stir until aromatic and slightly charred. Add four cups water to stop the cooking process. Add the bones, brisket, apple, salt, and five more cups of water. Lock the lid and pressure cook for 20 minutes at 15 psi or higher. Remove from heat. Allow pressure to go down to the point where you can open the pressure cooker. Season with fish sauce, salt and sugar if desired. Remove the meat, soak in water for 10 minutes to prevent drying, and set aside until serving time. Refrigerate the broth to make it easy to skim fat, if desired. While broth is cooking, soak the noodles in hot water until pliable and opaque. Drain and rinse and drain again. Divide among four bowls. At serving time, dunk each portion of noodles in boiling water, then replace in the bowls. Top with the brisket, steak, onion, green onion, cilantro, and pepper. Heat the broth to a boil and ladle into the bowls. Dive in and add condiments to tweak flavor. Invite people over to enjoy your handiwork while you assault them with puns. Your audience will be captive until the pho runs dry.

Adapted from The Pho Cookbook by Andrea Nguyen with permission of the author. like the intimidating but doable pho dumplings that I also recipe-tested, along with side dishes meant to accompany a phofledged feast. With Nguyen’s permission I will share the pressure cooker pho recipe that I helped test. Being a lover of pho and my Instant Pot, this recipe has worn a very soft spot in my heart and belly. For space reasons I had to condense her recipe from the printed version. It should be enough to get you started. But if you really want to get with the pho-gram, you’ll need your own copy.

5 PLACES FOR GOOD PHO IN THE QUEEN CITY Check out these local pho hotspots, from the University Area down to Matthews. Pho Real Vietnamese Restaurant Where: 440 McCullough Dr., Ste. 206 When: Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri-Sat; Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. More:

Saigon Palace Where: 5215 South Blvd. When: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. More: 704-529-0098

Pho Hòa Where: 3000 Central Ave Ste. 1 When: Sun.-Thurs. 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m. More: 704-536-7110

Lang Van Where: 3019 Shamrock Dr. When: Mon. (closed); Tues.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. More: 704-531-9525

Viet-Thai Noodle House Where: 8314 Pineville Matthews Rd. When: Mon. (closed); Tues.-Fri. 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 5–9:30 p.m.; Sat. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sun. noon-9 p.m. More: 704-544-1704

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COMMON GOOD: “COMMUNITY VOICES” What: The Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte concludes its Common Good series of reflections on the state of progressive activism in our community. This week focuses on the uprising that shook the city and grabbed the nation’s attention in September. The speaker will be Braxton Winston, one of the “faces” of the uprising who has working in entertainment and participating in social justice issues in Charlotte for 15 years. When: 7 p.m. Where: Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, 234 N Sharon Amity Rd. More: Free.

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What: In a city still reeling from the events of September 2016, Levine Museum takes a look at activism in Charlotte through the lens of local photographer Alvin C. Jacobs, Jr. The exhibit will explore the historical roots of the distrust between police and community, tell the human stories beyond the headlines, and engages viewers in creating constructive solutions.

What: Finding a new home at C3 Lab, the Charlotte Film Society’s Back Alley Film Series returns with a half day of screenings that are free to members. (Memberships are $12 at the door) Two horror movies directed by women top the bill. A sorceress looks for the perfect mate in the lyrical yet lurid Love Witch, a throwback to sleazy, stylized European exploitation flicks of the 1960s. Motherhood takes a creepy turn in the visually sumptuous Evolution.

When: Exhibit opens on Feb. 17 at 10 a.m. and runs through Oct. 22. Where: Levine Museum of the New South, 200 E. 7th St. More: Included with museum admission. museumofthenewsouth. org.

When: 5 p.m. Where: C3 Lab, 2525 Distribution St. More: Free.



NUBIAN ROOTZ BLACK HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION What: Old school mingles with new school at this all-day Black History Month celebration featuring a panel discussion, “No Justice, No Peace,” in which participants will commemorate the 20th anniversary of Charlotte’s historic Black Monday March of 1997. You’ll see and meet lots of luminaries and organizations from Charlotte’s African-American community. An African black business marketplace will be open throughout the day. When: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Where: Midwood International Cultural Center, 1817 Central Ave. More: Free.



MARC MARON What: Marc Maron has skyrocketed to stardom in recent years as the host of the popular WTF Podcast, scoring interviews with everyone from then-President Barack Obama to Keith Richards. Stand-up comedy, however, is Marc’s passion, and the stage is where he cut his teeth for more than 20 years before launching the podcast. With his newfound fame, it’s no wonder he’s returning to Charlotte in a bigger venue than his last, more personal show at Comedy Zone. When: 8 p.m. Where: Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St. More: $24.50-$49.50.


Another Night in Rio SATURDAY

Thelma and the Sleaze TUESDAY





A NIGHT IN RIO What: The Brazilian Carnaval Experience brings the music and dance of Brazil to NoDa for the eighth year in a row. This year’s “A Night in Rio” features the samba and tropicalia band Malandro Soul, Bahian musician Caique Vidal, in addition to what you’ve come to expect: the bright feathers and costumes of Brazil’s Carnaval dancers, Afro-Brazilian martial arts, and Brazilian food and drinks. Arrive early for a free samba dance lesson and the Carnaval parade. When: 7 - 10 p.m. Where: Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. More: $15 - $20.














What: If you’ve ever been to Abari, you’ve doubtless seen the hugescreened Killer Queen machine over in the corner, or perhaps you couldn’t see it because there’s almost always a large group of folks loudly hovering over the machine, screaming in fits of rage or ecstacy depending on how they and their team were faring. On this fateful Sunday, folks from around the country will be flying in to compete at the rarest — and most popular — game at Abari.

What: According to Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, who make up this Charleston folk duo, their new album Little Seeds “is as loud as we’ve ever been and as quiet as we’ve ever been.” Not descriptive enough for you? The album ranges from raw electric feedback slammers to mandolin-led ballads, so be prepared to have your senses pulled in different directions at this show. Hearst grew up in Nashville then moved to Charleston to start a band, so she’s comfortable going against the grain.

What: Raunchy, rumbling and full-bore riot grrrl in outlook, Nashville’s Thelma and the Sleaze are about as far as you can get from the vacuous bro-country that’s been befouling Music City as of late. Led by LG (AKA Lauren Gilbert), this rambunctious garagerock power trio hijacks the loose cannon sensibility and sludgy aesthetics of lesser known 1970s southern rock acts like Black Oak Arkansas and couples them with a fiercely feminist and queercore outlook.

When: 1-8 p.m. Where: Abari, 1721 N. Davidson St. More: $10 per player. hnkmbsu.

When: 7:30-9:30 p.m. Where: Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St. More: $20-30.

When: 9 p.m. Where: Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St. More: $7.

What: Throat singing, a technique where two or more notes are sung simultaneously, can create sounds ranging from guttural didgeridoolike rumblings to unearthly shrieks. Alash, a trio from Tuva in southern Siberia, are musical ambassadors for the centuries-old form, touring extensively in America and collaborating with artists like Bela Feck. Alash tweak traditions by blending western instruments, harmonies and song structures into their hive of swarming voices. But their remarkable mouth music retains its alien beauty and mystery. When: 8 p.m. Where: Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. More: $15.

CLCLT.COM | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | 19


Marcus Kiser’s “He has a weapon!”



DARK MATTER These 5 Charlotte artists will not be ignored in 2017 BY KIA O. MOORE


T IS 2017. The only certainty

is that the six has changed to a seven. In the new American political climate, where a reality TV star is president of the United States and the tension resulting from police shootings here and across the nation remains high, no one can be sure of what this year holds for Charlotte. One thing that has been demonstrated in the past, however, is this: When cultural

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shifts occur and ambiguity looms, art scenes explode. New works push unspoken conversations to the tips of tongues. Visual, performance and sonic arts imbue cities with multi-hued perspectives, peppering everyday conversations with necessary discomfort. Those works engender a state of collective mental dissonance that provokes people to speak out. At the tail end of 2016, images on 24-hour news networks painted Charlotte as a city in distress, burning with anger and hate.

But the state of Charlotte, like that of cities across the nation, is much more ambiguous. In a post-Keith Lamont Scott environment fraught with pro-Trump/anti-Trump rhetoric, Charlotte’s artists are providing multiple and varied narratives that reveal a more nuanced and complex city. And the characters and settings of those narratives involve much more than just bankers, religious icons, sports arenas and NASCAR. The talented activist-artists popping to the surface in Charlotte today are pushing

the city’s collective mental dissonance to the edge, serving as catalysts that may help to transform polite surface conversations into uncomfortable debates of depth and a yearning for true understanding. Creative Loafing has connected with five activist-artists — visual artists to facilitators of conversations to a pair of promoters who create escapist shelters from the storms. We believe you should get to know these people in 2017.

Kiser shows off his art at the McColl Center.






ar Cre ek


W WT Harris Blvd



ar Cre ek


Davis Lake Pk


DRIVING NORTH: Take Exit 18 and turn right onto WT Harris Blvd.


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DRIVING SOUTH: Take Exit 18 and turn left onto WT Harris Blvd. The Lounge will be on the right just past Old Statesville Rd.






ville Rd

For Kiser, the Keith Scott shooting on Sept. 20, 2016, marked a historical turning point in race relations in Charlotte. “These things have been happening for decades. It’s not new,” Kiser says. “It’s not even new to Charlotte. We can’t expect the community not to react to the negative actions that have taken place. In any action, there’s always going to be a reaction.” Even before the shooting, Kiser had begun putting the ambiguity of the frustration, anger, pain and yearning people of color feel into works such as “I.Matter,” which depicts an astronaut floating in space with the words of the title in a dialogue bubble above his helmet. “People really want to believe in an equal and just system, but the system has led them to have so many trust issues,” he says of the post-Keith Scott uprising. “So with that understanding, I’m not surprised at the protests and the community’s reaction.” The work Kiser and Woodberry had produced before the 2016 uprising has taken on deeper relevance today, resonating with audiences that may not have connected to it prior to the protests and recent presidential election. “Intergalactic Soul isn’t directly tied into the Keith Scott shooting,” Kiser says. “However, it covers multiple social issues and topics, including many of the recent police shootings [in other cities].” His and Woodberry’s goal, Kiser says, was to create work that would start serious conversations about positive change. See the work of Marcus Kiser, Jason Woodberry and additional artists at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation (721 North Tryon St.) from January 27 to March 25, 2017.

Old States

MARCUS KISER LUMBERS across the maple syrup-colored wooden dance floor of N.C. Music Factory venue The Underground, moving in a slow, methodical Snuffaluffaguslike manner as he makes his rounds of “hellos” and hugs. Kiser sees familiar faces at the Gantt Center’s Heritage & History event “The Hip-hop Fellow.” Before the lights dim and the flicker of the film begins, Kiser enjoys moments of small talk with several Charlotte hip-hop influencers who are making their way to their seats. The attendees have convened in front of a pop-up movie screen to watch the tale of the Grammy-winning producer, DJ and record executive Patrick Douthit, better known as 9th Wonder, and the North Carolina artist’s journey to becoming a Nasir Jones Hip-hop Fellow at Harvard University. Kiser, like all of the attendees, is inspired. For him, that inspiration manifests itself as art. Kiser is a graphic designer who works in the Afrofuturism style that arose in the 1990s and combines elements from science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, Afrocentrism and magical realism. Most works of Afrofuturism are critiques that showcase dilemmas people of color experience on a daily basis, as well as revisiting and revising the social justice issues people of color have experienced throughout history. Kiser’s work draws on themes and images from Marvel Comics, Image Comics, and video games. The messages that he and his creative partner Jason Woodberry have produced have earned them an artist-inresidency at the McColl Center For Art + Innovation. The two have showcased their Intergalactic Soul collection at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts +

Culture, Art Basel Miami Beach, Fla., and on ArtPop billboards around Charlotte.

ville Rd

Activist Art Style: Afrofuturism Art Theme: Finds the magical realism in social unrest that points to injustice.

Old States


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Loude Züe (Leara McKinney) and Züe Möe (Noele Lofton) founded UrbanZüe to make connecitons.



Activist Art Style: Escapism Art Theme: Creative events designed for artists and art lovers to mentally recharge.

NOELE LOFTON has her clipboard in hand.

The darkened room illuminates in pulses as stage lights transition from one color to the next. She shows the clipboard to her partner Leara McKinney and points to something on it. McKinney nods as she makes her way to the stage to greet the crowd. The energy is high inside the Dirty Hippie on a cold February night. People are Milly Rockin’ with Chris Brown Dance Crew precision as the DJ plays turn-up hip-hop between each local act. Colorful painted bodies navigate through the dancers as art vendors log sales in Charlotte’s new cultural underground oasis known as the UrbanZüe Art Gallery, Lofton and McKinney’s imaginative, multi-disciplinary arts event. This event, on Feb. 5, 2016, was the duo’s second go-round as ringmasters of their

burgeoning brand. After years of networking, the two created a space where Charlotte street artists and the alternative urban music crowd are able to find others who share their look, sound and ideals. McKinney calls it “a big giant network party.” McKinney, better known by her artist moniker Loude Züe (pronounced similar to Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu’s name), and Noele Lofton, who goes by Züe Möe, are leading a millennial arts collective whose aim is to spread the principles of peace, love, unity and collaboration among Charlotte’s emerging young artists demographic. Loude Züe and Züe Möe started UrbanZüe strictly as a graphic tee line with witty Afropunk-esque commentary screen-printed onto fabric. The clothing line evolved into hosting arts and culture events they call UrbanZüe Art Gallery. The idea was to create a space where visual artists, musicians and professional dancers could showcase their arts and network with one another. After graduating high school in Charlotte, Loude began focusing on visual arts and Möe

on sonic arts. Being young newbies trying to find their way into Charlotte’s arts and music scenes seemed impossible. So they decided if they couldn’t find the scene they were looking for, they would create it. They began networking with other creatives one-on-one, bartering talents and cross-promoting events to get projects done. “We have been meeting with bloggers, writers, visual artists, musicians and everybody creative,” Loude says. “That is why this party — this show that we throw — works.” The two would like for UrbanZüe to serve as an alternative to the way people reacted during the protests after the Keith Scott shooting. The hard line drawn between Charlotteans was filled with potent “us vs. them” rhetoric, and Loude says that was needed because it had taken Charlotte such a long time to react in a loud and public manner to such incidents. But the most powerful part of the protest, for Loude, was being a part of a collective of millennials with a shared ideal of marching through Uptown.

Now, she says, it’s time to nurture and channel that energy. For Loude and Möe, UrbanZüe is about bringing together young creatives who share the urban hippie ideals of love, peace and unity. And they do it by proving a space where artists can share their work with the community and collaborate on future projects. “UrbanZüe events promote staying positive in the community and reminding people we have to stick together and uplift the community through the arts and by sharing our talents,” Möe says. The first UrbanZüe Art Gallery after the protest was the Big Chill, a ’90s-themed party focused on creating joy. There were bubbles, balloons, hula-hoops and dance-offs. The next event happens this spring, and the two plan more initiatives throughout the year, including Vandalisa, a mobile art gallery packed into a retro van that will bring art to a neighborhood near you.


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Eric Ndelo shows off his work at Kinshasa Fashion Week the Congo, 2015

in the Democratic Republic of


Activist Art Style: Fashionable Activism Art Theme: Designs walking billboards with “cool and conscious” messages.

ERIC B. NDELO exudes confidence and


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positive energy as he makes new connections on an early first Friday in August. He’s at a Creative Mornings Charlotte event, his hands and arms moving in grand gestures as he explains to networking peers the social and global mission of his lifestyle and fashion brand DRC ApeParel. You don’t even need to talk to Ndelo to know his spirit is warm and welcoming. His body language says it all. Although Ndelo was born and bred in Charlotte, when you hear the depth of his passion while talking about the Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.), you’d think he was a Congolese native who recently relocated to the Queen City. His knowledge of his family’s hometown of Kinshasa, in the D.R.C., is extensive. The pride he has for his African heritage is immense. But it’s the heart he puts into educating others about the “the Africa not seen on TV” that really shines. Ndelo’s mission is to use street fashion to spread knowledge and raise awareness about the issues and injustices happening in the Congo and in Africa at large. The motto of DRC ApeParel is, “We are the Cool and the Conscious.” The road to Ndelo’s discovery of that consciousness — knowledge of self — was bumpy. If you had met Ndelo when he was in the third grade, you would have found a young Congolese-American boy born in the red, white and blue wishing to be seen only as Eric B. and not Eric Bitisu Ndelo. In a Congo Live podcast, he recounts his grade-school days and the moment when his African shame became African pride. “I wouldn’t even write my last name,” he says in the podcast. “Which is crazy because now I prefer to be called by my last name.” He continues: “One day I came home and my father saw my paper. He said, ‘Hey, who is this Eric B.?’ I said, ‘That’s me.’ He said, ‘No,

your last name is Ndelo.’” His father scolded him and told him the story of his last name and why he should be proud. His Congolese heritage, his father said, “makes you unique and will help you strive to be better while living in America.” During his process of self-discovery, Ndelo learned about his homeland, experienced moments of wonder and excitement that came with the “beauty and the depth” of the history of the Congo and the continent of Africa. The more he learned, the more he wanted to share it with the world. After a trip to Paris, he discovered an artistic medium that would help him do that: graphic tee and couture fashion. Ndelo’s created DRC ApeParel in 2004, and his street-fashion style has expanded in Charlotte, especially since the Keith Scott shooting. Those searching for ways to express their opinions about social issues see Ndelo’s fashions as the perfect medium. One DRC graphic tee is the “Guerrier Léopard” (Leopard Warrior) Collection inspired by the rise in coverage of police brutality that ignited the #BlackLivesMatter movement. That series, Ndelo explains, “showcases the spirit of the Batetela youth in the province of Kasai-Occidental [in the D.R.C.] that rose up and have become the protectors in defending the rights, culture and land of the people of Congo.” Ndelo sees the uprising of Congo youths as very much like that of #BlackLiveMatter: Young, black millennials who use smartphones and social networks to become protectors, holding those in power accountable. For Ndelo, that means broadcasting messages that question those in power not only digitally, but also in the actual world. “With DRC ApeParel,” he says, “you as a person become a walking billboard of the consciousness you want to help others wake up to.” Interested in becoming a walking billboard for social change? Go to the DRC ApeParel digital storefront at


Activist Art Style: The Art of Conversation Art Theme: Facilitates discussions about art, criticism, diversity and social change.

“HEY, MANOJ,” an excited voice calls from across the room following the Charlotteans of the Year Awards Luncheon at the Omni Hotel in December. For most people in attendance, the event is over and they’re filing out of the dining space to finish up their workdays. But Manoj P. Kesavan has just jumped into his stride, working the room like a champ. Kesavan’s large smile cast his bright white teeth against a thick, jet-black mustache and goatee as he greets the caller from across the room, his arms spread wide. After a friendly embrace, the two share updates about projects and coordinate a time to continue their catchup conversation over coffee. A self-described introvert who acts like an extrovert, Kesavan goes through that same process several times before he finally makes his way out of the hotel. After all that activity,


he has pushed his energy threshold to the max and needs time to recharge. Luckily, the silverhaired creative’s favorite one-on-one meeting spot — a familiar breezeway in Uptown — is not far away. When we arrive there, Kesavan pulls one of the retro, ’60s-style chairs to just the right vantage point and plops down. His eyes become transfixed on the buildings beyond the breezeway glass, and with an accompanying sigh, he says in his waning South Indian accent, “Charlotte architecture is always the same. No visual creativity.” Kesavan has earned the nickname of Cultural Catalyst for good reason. Since he arrived in the Queen City in the early 2000s, the architect-turned-rogue arts organizer has pushed, confronted and contributed to the city’s arts community and institutions year after year. From his Point8 art meet-ups to his one-time blog at Creative Loafing, Kesavan has tirelessly encouraged the art of “the critique” in Charlotte.

Kedsavan’s Que-OS forums for artists and art lovers encourage attendees to form distinct opinions that are untainted by city or corporate boosterism. After 16 volumes of his Pecha Kucha Charlotte events, Kesavan recently added the fringe art festival BOOM Charlotte to the mix. His mission: to build a more inclusive arts scene by bringing people of all backgrounds together in one space and encouraging totally open dialogue. When the police shooting of Keith Scott led to an uprising that occurred squarely in front of the Omni Hotel, where Kesavan had just attended the awards luncheon, it solidified for him the need for even more dialogue about social issues through art. “The Keith Scott incident was very sad and disturbing, but not surprising,” he says. “It was only a question of when the unrest in Charlotte would reach a breaking point, and it finally happened during the protest.” Kesavan was one of the first arts organizers to answer the call. “The incident,


and everything that followed, has given a whole new direction to the Pecha Kucha Nights,” he says. The Que-OS team put out a call for artistic responses to what was happening in Charlotte, and Kesavan says he was “humbled” and “overwhelmed” by what came in: 18 additional presentation submissions within a three-day turnaround. “In a city still coming to terms with the recent happenings, it feels like we [Que-OS] have become the unlikely ‘First Responders’ of the art scene,” Kesavan says. “And in a place which suffers from a lack of trust, we are grateful for the trust that diverse creatives have placed in us as a safe and welcoming place for their voices to be heard.” Look for those new voices at Que-OS’s second fringe arts event: the BOOM Charlotte Festival in Plaza Midwood, April 28 - 30.


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Manoj P. Kesavan encourages conversations among Charlotte’s various art communities.

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La La Specific speaks truth to power in her music and as an organizer and educator.

Activist Art Style: The Sonic Arts Art Theme: Protests injustice through musical.

LASHANTA RICHARDSON’S dreadlocks swing from side to side as she scurries to the other end of the John Paul Lucas Room at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has been working on a second fundraiser concert for the Keith Scott family for a couple of months now. After booking the dates, pulling in volunteer event coordinators and promoters, and finding musicians willing to donate their time, everything needs to flow like clockwork as it always does during her many UNCC student-organized events. As the primary point person and organizer of the #SAYHISNAME concert, Richardson is in a rush to get to one of the event volunteers and catch them up on what needs to be done. She then heads to the stage to introduce a student who is new to live performance. “OK, everyone,” Richardson announces, “put your hands together as we welcome Open Eyes to the stage!” Richardson has been holding her own in North Carolina’s hip-hop scene since 2011 as La La Specific. But as LaShanta, she was raised to be an organizer. Before hip-hop was even a part of her music-listening repertoire, her parents were teaching her the core values that they lived by. “My mom instilled in me that love conquers all,” she says. “Both my mother and father taught me to care about others. Music became my way to teach this to others. With those values as a part of Richardson’s DNA, by the time she found hip-hop as La La Specific, becoming a sonic art activist naturally followed. Richardson was not exposed to hip-hop until 2006, when she was a freshman at Smithfield-Selma High School, in Selma, N.C. It was new to her tender ears. “I grew up hearing classical, jazz, and gospel music in my house,” she says. “I was not exposed to hip-hop until my ninth-grade year. That was the first time I heard Lupe Fiasco’s ‘Kick Push.’ I could better relate to the content he was talking about in his rhymes.” Soon after falling into the sounds of Lupe, Richardson migrated from playing musical instruments to crafting hip-hop beats with her multi-instrumentalist skill set, and she became La La. Her knack for crafting beats won her an invitation to join Raleigh-based hip-hop collective The Infinite Team, now known as The Infinite Family. Her Infinite Family brother Freedom Infinite challenged her to pick up a pen and move from the beat machine to the microphone stand. “In 2010, Freedom challenged me to craft my first 16 bars to the beat of Kanye West’s ‘Big Brother,’” La La says with a tone of pride and excitement. “People liked it and I liked the feeling of people appreciating my perspective and listening to what I had to say.” A year after those first 16 bars, La La dropped a full mixtape, Sonic Boom, which told her life story. “The message I was sharing with the listener was that they should stay 26 | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | CLCLT.COM

“PEOPLE ARE HURT AND A OF THIS HAPPENING ON RRE SICK WITH NO JUSTICE OR REFEPEAT ORM.’ -LA LA SPECIFIC positive and that they can make it,” she says, echoing the values her parents instilled. When the Keith Scott incident shifted Charlotte’s culture, the have-nots suddenly had the eyes and ears of politicians, police, high-income folks, and decision makers in Charlotte. The community’s reaction to the shooting did not shock La La, “Because of the multiple events of police involved shootings in the U.S. that occurred prior to the killing of Keith Lamont Scott and the ongoing tension between CMPD and citizens of Charlotte, I wasn’t surprised,” she says. “This is also not the first time CMPD was involved in this type of shooting,” La La continues. “There are two incidents in particular of the shooting of unarmed citizens that stand out. The incident of Jonathan Ferrell, in 2013 and another, in August 2016, that involved the shooting of a deaf man

named Daniel Harris. For every action there is a reaction. In my opinion, the Charlotte protests were warranted and should have been expected. People are hurt and are sick of this happening on repeat with no justice or reform. What surprised me was that the city did not explode in more of an outrage. Although the national news media created a narrative that portrayed the city in shambles, it wasn’t. I’m proud of Charlotte for that.” Although La La expected the protest to happen and feels they were warranted, she is now focused on finding ways to help the city heal. In October and December of 2016 she organized #SayHisName concerts to raise funds for the Scott family while commemorating other lives lost at the hands of the police. Now a recent graduate of UNC Charlotte with a B.A. in Africana Studies, La La’s plan is to share her perspective with others not only

through music, but also through curriculum and community organizing. She is a trained substitute teacher and will be substituting in the 14 underperforming schools that are part of the Beacon Learning Community. In addition to teaching, she will act as the community advisor for the UNCC students organization UNCC Cypher. Of all the artists to watch in 2017, La La Specific may be shepherding information to the most important group of people likely to grow and strengthen Charlotte’s culture – children. And Creative Loafing will be watching and documenting her and the entire movement throughout 2017 and beyond, as more emerging creatives jump on the activistart train in the Trump years.



TWO TOO MUCH Sorry sequels fail to titillate BY MATT BRUNSON


HERE ARE AT least 50 reasons why Fifty Shades Darker (* out of four) is almost every bit as awful as Fifty Shades of Grey, the 2015 box office smash that centered on the relationship between BDSM-lovin’ billionaire Christian Gray and mousy college student Anastasia Steele. Based on the second book in E.L. James’ bestselling phenomenon, this one finds Ana (Dakota Johnson) now working at a Seattle publishing house and Christian (Jamie Dornan) attempting to woo her back into his life. The major liabilities of the first picture have been neatly carried over into this latest endeavor, beginning with the fact that the general prudishness permeating throughout American society makes it impossible for Hollywood to produce an honest, provocative or explicit film about S-E-X and have it receive an R rating. Therefore, like its predecessor (also R), this one will only titillate basementdwelling fanboys who will illegally download it lest they be mocked for actually watching it and arouse bored suburban housewives who made the mistake of marrying dullards who are shitty in bed. It’s a vanilla picture that fancies itself daring and erotic, but as is par for the course in stateside flicks, the penises are kept sheathed while the boobies bounce all over the frame. The casting of Johnson and Dornan also continues to hurt, as they have yet to muster any mutual chemistry. Honestly, viewers will likely find more sexual currency in The LEGO Batman Movie than in this picture. Fifty Shades Darker attempts to add some narrative heft in the second half with an incident involving a wayward helicopter, but it’s a purely melodramatic device that brings to mind a lesser episode of Dallas, the sort in which Miss Ellie, Pam, J.R. and the rest of the Ewing clan anxiously await news regarding the whereabouts of Bobby. On the show, it would probably make for a threeepisode arc; here, it lasts all of 15 minutes, making its insertion especially pointless. There are a couple of homages worth noting. In one scene, Ana gives a speech to her secretary that’s the exact same one delivered by Melanie Griffith’s Tess McGill to her secretary in 1988’s Working Girl. Considering Griffith is Johnson’s mother in real life, I’m gonna assume this was meant as a tribute and isn’t an act of shameless plagiarism. And Kim Basinger is on hand — wasted, but on hand — as Christian’s former mentor and lover; given that the actress once starred in 1986’s controversial 9-1/2 Weeks, another movie about potentially abusive


Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson in Fifty Shades Darker.

Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter Two. sex games, this casting might have been a deliberate nod as well. Some unintentional laughs help in getting through the rest of this mess. I love how circumstances — specifically, sexual harassment by a grab-‘em-by-the-pussy boss (Eric Johnson) — force Ana to get instantly promoted from book reader to fiction book editor, whereupon she attends a company meeting and schools the Luddites on the wonders of the Interwebs. And I chuckled at seeing the poster for the Vin Diesel flop The Chronicles of Riddick hanging in Christian’s childhood bedroom. Granted, Universal Pictures is the studio behind both the Riddick and Fifty Shades series. But The Chronicles


of Riddick? Not even Pitch Black but The Chronicles of Riddick? C’mon, Universal, not even Vin Diesel would own a The Chronicles of Riddick poster! In today’s seen-it-all world, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find action films that actually deliver on the action. Most of it is so stylized, so choreographed, so CGIed, that the chances of audience adrenaline being satisfactorily pumped has fallen significantly. So maybe it was a resigned attitude that led to 2014’s John Wick being hailed in some quarters as a modern action classic. Personally, it seems inconceivable to me that the Keanu Reeves picture could be so

highly praised when the mere existence of two recent action spectaculars, the 2011 Indonesian effort The Raid: Redemption and its 2014 sequel The Raid 2, makes John Wick look like outtakes from Driving Miss Daisy by comparison. As I wrote in my review, “John Wick feels as if it should have starred Chuck Norris back in 1986. This is the sort of film where you can practically see the assistant director on the side telling each bit player cast as a killer when to join the scene, since there’s no logical reason why their characters wouldn’t gang-rush Wick at once rather than stagger-step their entrances.” Yet here we are with John Wick: Chapter Two (** out of four), which is more of the same, only Super-Sized. Running 122 minutes (its predecessor ran a more manageable 96 minutes), it features more action, more gunplay, more gore and more tedium. Reeves is again suitably taciturn as the former assassin who, just when he thought he was out, gets pulled back in, and the criminal world created for the first picture — a landscape in which there exists neutral-zone hotels in which no blood may be spilled — retains its unique appeal. But the action is as repetitive as a record attempting to get past a scratched portion, as Wick spins around a flunky, punches him a couple of times, then shoots him in the head — by my count, this happens approximately 854 times over the course of the film. Still, gun fetishists will adore this film, as more time is spent lovingly mulling over the characteristics of individual weapons than on anything else. NRA members are best advised not to leave the K-Y at home. CLCLT.COM | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | 27



HOW TO MAKE A MOVIE ROCK AND ROLL All you need is love, live music and a legendary local venue BY JAY AHUJA


AST MARCH, when Nick

Karres, owner of the Double Door Inn, told me Central Piedmont Community College was buying the property that his storied club had occupied for 43 years, one thought sprung to mind: “We need to produce a documentary to preserve the history of this place.” 28 | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | CLCLT.COM

I’ve known Karres for more than 25 years. To know him is to understand a man of compassion, kindness and generosity. Though he had little reason to think a documentary would actually happen, Karres offered to help however he could, providing contacts and the access we needed. I talked to one TV station whose executive producer asked, “What’s the Double Door

Inn?” That’s when I realized the project was going to be considerably harder than I had thought. Then I approached Rick Fitts, a former colleague from my public television days. He not only knew the Double Door, he’d performed there with at least four different bands. Fitts had left public television and recently partnered with former WSOC-

TV news anchor Kim Brattain on a video production company. He suggested we all have lunch. A native of Charlotte, Brattain wasn’t just familiar with the Double Door – she had been going there for even longer than Fitts or me. Before our check arrived, we all shook hands and agreed to crowd-fund a documentary, Live from the Double Door Inn, that would tell the

line of legendary national and international acts including Willie Dixon, Junior Walker, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Leon Russell, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton. From Americana to zydeco, ska to alt-country, and jazz to rock, the Double Door has introduced local, live-music fans to an incredibly broad spectrum of music. “You look at the pictures on the wall. You don’t even need to say anything, you just look at the pictures . . .” guitarist Tinsley Ellis said in our interview with him for the film. “It’s a rite of passage to play here. If you want to get known, at least in the blues world or in the roots-rock world, all roads. . . lead to the Double Door.” Like clockwork, on the club’s final night, Jan. 4, 2017, the Monday Night All Stars played, as they had done every Monday night for years, but this gig would be their last on the Double Door’s stage — a fitting end to a major chapter of Charlotte music history.

WE Hubert Sumlin (from left), Willie Smith, Cary Bell, and Bob Margolin blow out some mad blues. story of Charlotte’s home of the blues. For those who may be unfamiliar with the Double Door Inn, it began as a modest little bar in 1973, evolved into a restaurant, and eventually began booking blues artists. Before closing its doors, it would claim the title of oldest live-music venue east of the Mississippi River. Its stage has been graced by most of the

Charlotte area’s finest musicians, including music-scene stalwart Lenny Federal, powerpop outfit the Spongetones; Bill Noonan, Gigi Dover and their ’90s roots band the Rank Outsiders, alt-country act Lou Ford, and those Cabarrus County boys who made good, the Avett Brothers. The Double Door also has hosted a long

HAD STARTED recording performances and conducting interviews six months earlier, in June. After a single night of taping, we got lucky. Fitts happened to talk about our project with Chuck Bludsworth, who’s worked on several feature films and lived in Charlotte for more than 25 years. He’d seen some tremendous shows at the club, and he eventually became our fourth equal partner. His camera work, design skills and connections proved invaluable. Over the next six months, at the nightclub and in local recording studios, we captured more than 80 hours of original footage — mostly interviews, but also performances

and shots of the crowds, the building and all the funky memorabilia on the walls. Along the way, patrons stepped forward to share vintage photos and video, artwork, audio recordings and even the “Tablecaster,” the pecan wood, custom-made guitar we used for the cover of the Blue-Ray edition of the documentary. We interviewed musicians who had performed at the club countless times, and some of the old-school, touring blues artists allowed us to tape original songs. Bob Margolin, Tinsley Ellis and Mark Wenner of the Nighthawks talked about what the club meant to touring acts as they drove their vans up and down the circuit, from Washington, D.C., to Atlanta. Local musicians, including Jim Brock, Federal, several members of the Spongetones, Bill Hanna, Dover, Bobby Houck of The Blue Dogs, Tom “Mookie” Brill, Ziad Rabie, Gina Stewart and others all shared fabulous stories about the place, the performances, the music scene of their particular eras, and the audiences they played for. My favorite tales were those Karres and the staff told about the ’70s and early ’80s. Karres’s brother Matt, a full partner for the first 18 years, recalled luring people in with booze. “We weren’t doing too much at night and that was a problem. . ., Karres told us. “We decided to give away a keg of beer every Wednesday night. Now that attracted people, OK. But the problem was, a lot of those


MOVIE P. 30 u

CLCLT.COM | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | 29


Left: Seth Avett kicks it; Top: (from left) Bludsworth, Brattain, Fitts, and the author. “I’ve had a great time, met some great people,” Martin said. “But when you sit here knowing that you’re going to be starting over again, it’s damn depressing and it’s sad. And it’s sad not only for me, [but also] for the rest of my staff, for Nick, because you’re going to wake up on that Tuesday and know that, hey, that shit’s done.” Jo Dawkins, who booked many of the early acts, recalled Stevie Ray Vaughan’s 1979 performance. And the sound guys, Wendell Elliott and Craig Hanks, spoke of the sonic qualities of the room. Charlotte music-scene veterans Rick Booth, Daniel Coston and Dan Morrill delved into the history of the place, and even though I’d seen shows at the Double Door for 30 years, the stories of how the bar came to be and managed to survive for so long were fascinating and new.


MOVIE FROM P. 29 t people weren’t too well-versed in their social graces, and I’ll be honest with you, the place in here seemed more like the Jerry Springer Show than a bar.” 30 | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | CLCLT.COM

Mike Martin, who tended bar at the Double Door for more than 40 years, stood out for his frank assessment of the inevitable end.

OUR PRIMARY objective in making Live from the Double Door Inn was to preserve the history and sense of place. Secondarily, we hoped to show how the venue played an important role, not only for the local music scene, but as an important stop for touring musicians who played up and down the east coast. What shouldn’t have been surprising, yet still caught us a little off guard, is how everybody treasured the time they got to spend with Karres. To a person, they regarded him as a mentor who had helped them as individuals, the music community as a whole, and, the city of Charlotte during a crucial period in its history. We could have made an entire film based on just the recollections of benefit shows, birthdays, first dates and a handful of weddings and memorial services that were held at the nightclub. Instead, we focused on the music and the people. With transcripts from the interviews, Brattain threaded together a “script,” using only the answers to our questions. We didn’t have to use a narrator, even though several talented people offered to serve in that role. Brattain and Fitts pored over hours of

video to cherry-pick the best footage and painstakingly weaved in dozens of vintage photos, old songs, and graphics. We’re proud of the film and humbled by the support from so many people along the way, but watching a movie premiere that you helped produce in front of a live audience that is so vested in the subject can be a daunting experience. At 7 p.m. on a Wednesday night, more than 160 people showed up at the club for the private preview party. We set up large TVs, and when the lights dimmed and the film started, the place went silent, followed by laughs in all the right places, nods of recognition throughout, and even some tears shed along the way. And of course, there was music. Musician Tom Brill organized a bill that included the Parodi Kings and the Belmont Playboys, who performed a few sets afterwards and raised everybody’s spirits. Later that week, Bill Noonan, whose band was on stage the night Eric Clapton played at the club in 1982, wrote to say, “Really enjoyed the film, and think y’all did an outstanding job. Great editing…And the party was a most enjoyable love-in, all the way around. What a great way to ease the loss and ensure that the spirit lives on.” Steve Stoeckel of the Spongetones e-mailed with his own review: “How do you capture over four decades of history of a legendary music club in thirty minutes? You first do it from a perspective of a fan, someone who has been there and experienced the place, many times … It’s a perfect balance of humor and sentimentality, and as someone who has played there hundreds of times, I will attest to this: they nailed it.” I hope everybody who saw the documentary that night or eventually sees it on Blu-Ray comes away equally as satisfied. Jay Ahuja is the executive producer of ‘Live from the Double Door Inn.’ He is a Charlottebased freelance writer and veteran of public broadcasting.

CLCLT.COM | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | 31



FEB. 15 COUNTRY/FOLK Open Mic (Comet Grill)

POP/ROCK Black Fleet (Snug Harbor) Karaoke with DJ Pucci Mane (Petra’s) Lara Americo Tour Send-Off! (The Evening Muse) Modern Heritage Weekly Mix Tape (Snug Harbor) Open Mic Night (Comet Grill) Open mic w/ Jared Allen (Jack Beagles) Parodi Kings (Diamond Restaurant) Under The Streetlamp (Knight Theater)

FEB. 16 BLUES/ROOTS/INTERNATIONAL John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band (Stage Door Theater)

COUNTRY/FOLK Beavergrass Bluegrass Jam f. Jim Garrett (Thirsty Beaver) Hillbilly Hobos (Comet Grill)

POP/ROCK Big Gigantic w/ Brasstracks! (The Fillmore Charlotte) CBDB w/ Roots of a Rebellion (Visulite Theatre) Chuck Johnson & Charlyhorse with RB Morris (The Evening Muse) Justin Hayward (McGlohon Theater) Karaoke with DJ ShayNanigans (Hattie’s Tap & Tavern) Kerry Brooks (Comet Grill) Lisa DeNovo (RiRa Irish Pub) Power Take Off, High Cube, Terror Oscillation Unit (Petra’s) Shiprocked (Snug Harbor) Songwriter Open Mic @ Petra’s (Petra’s) Tim, Chuck & Steve (Tin Roof)


Tribal Xing Sound Journey with Zach McNabb (Be Yoga Carmel Rd)

DJ/ELECTRONIC Player Made w/ Rapper Shane, Elevator Jay, DJ STRTR and A-Huf (Snug Harbor)

HIP-HOP/SOUL/R&B Hip-Hop & Hookah, Vol. 5: The South Set DJ Steel Wheel & DJ Kato (Apostrophe Lounge)

POP/ROCK Below The Belt (RiRa Irish Pub) Brave The Bullets and PK McLovin’ (Sanctuary) Connor Christian, Tom O’Connor (The Evening Muse) Dashboard Confessional (The Underground) The Drunken Pintos, Cactus Black, Bill Noonan Band (Petra’s) Groove Fetish w/ ELM- Electric Love Machine (Visulite Theatre) Hub City Stompers, The Commonwealth, Unruly Boys, No Anger Control (Milestone) Jim Garrett (Hattie’s Tap & Tavern) Joseph Aaron Band (Evening Muse) Soft Leather (The Station) Thirsty Horses (Tin Roof) Wes Cook (Tin Roof)

FEB. 18 BLUES/ROOTS/INTERNATIONAL A Night in Rio (Neighborhood Theatre) AfroPop: Niche KneeShay Faulkner and her Dance Company, Dynamic DJ Kato, DJ Steel Wheel (Morehead Street Tavern)

CLASSICAL/JAZZ/SMOOTH The Bechtler Ensemble in Concert (Queen’s University’s Dana Auditorium) The Jazz Room: Trumpet Summit (Stage Door Theater)

HIP-HOP/SOUL/R&B Black Joe Lewis & The HoneyBears (Visulite Theatre) DJ Fannie Mae: Drake Night (Underground)

The Jazz Room: Trumpet Summit (Stage Door Theater) Jazzy Fridays (Freshwaters Restaurant)



Cosmic Gate (Label) Drake Night featuring DJ Fannie Mae (The Underground) New Wave Undertow with DJ Price (Milestone)

9 Day Trip (Puckett’s Farm Equipment) The Lacs w/ Out of the Blue (Coyote Joe’s) The Lenny Federal Band (Comet Grill) 32 | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | CLCLT.COM


Detour (Puckett’s Farm Equipment)



Open Mic with Jeff Claud (Puckett’s Farm

Rod Fiske (Blackfinn Ameripub- Ballantyne) Decarlo (City Tavern, Waxhaw) Voices of Eden (The Grove Presbyterian Church) Alexis Marceaux and the Samurai, Taylor Phelan (Evening Muse) Bless These Sounds Under The City, Grand Shell Game, The Eyebrows (Petra’s) Junco Partner (Hattie’s Tap & Tavern) Kaleb Hensley (Tin Roof) Little Bird + Little Stranger (Evening Muse) Mike Strauss Band (Comet Grill) Modern Primitives, Hungry Girl, Sportsmanship (The Station) Rock Machine (Sylvia Theatre, York) Scowl Brow w/ The Seduction, Toke (Snug Harbor) Thirsty Horses (RiRa Irish Pub) Who’s Bad, Natural Wonder (Amos’ Southend)


FEB. 19

2, McGlohon Theater)

POP/ROCK Glimpses, Thing Sloth, Sinergismo, Uncle Buck (Milestone) Listening Party for Sequel to David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust (The Evening Muse) Lucy Woodward (Evening Muse) Omari and The Hellrasiers (Comet Grill)

BLUES/ROOTS/INTERNATIONAL Dirty Dozen Brass Band (Visulite Theatre)

FEB. 20 HIP-HOP/SOUL/R&B Knocturnal (Snug Harbor) #MFGD Open Mic (Apostrophe Lounge)

Red Rockin’ Chair (Comet Grill) Thelma and the Sleaze w/ Camping, MoFun Go (Snug Harbor) Us the Duo (The Underground)

HIP-HOP/SOUL/R&B Idigo Jo, Celeste Monchild, Black Linen (360 Lounge)

 Tommy Emmanuel (Feb. 24, McGlohon Theater) Juicy J w/ Belly and Project Pat (Feb. 25, The Fillmore) Southside Johhny & the Asbury Jukes (March Sleigh Bells (March 2, The Underground) Tall Tall Trees (March 2, Evening Muse) Landlady (March 4, Evening Muse) Chocola (March 4, Snug Harbor) Cold War Kids w/ Special Guest Middle Kids (March 5, The Fillmore) The Dig (March 8, Evening Muse) Ian Sweet (March 10, Snug Harbor) St. Paul & The Broken Bones (March 11, The Fillmore) Landless (March 18, Snug Harbor) Judah & the Lion (March 18, The Underground) Hungry Girl (March 24, Snug Harbor) The Flaming Lips (March 30, The Fillmore)


Birds of Chicago(April 5, Evening Muse)

K.Flay, Paper Route, Daye Jack (Visulite Theatre) Locals Live: The Best in Local Live Music & Local Craft Beers (Tin Roof)

Kehlani (April 6, The Underground)

FEB. 21

Steve Martin, Martin Short, Steep Canyon

COUNTRY/FOLK Red Rockin’ Chair (Comet Grill) Shovels & Rope w/John Moreland (Knight Theater) Tuesday Night Jam w/ The Smokin’ Js (Smokey Joe’s Cafe)


Dark Star Orchestra (April 15, The Fillmore) Red Hot Chilli Peppers (April 17, Spectrum Center) Rangers (April 22, Ovens Auditorium)

2/16 CBDB & ROOTS OF A REBELLION 2/17 GROOVE FETISH & Electric Love Machine 2/18 2/19 2/20 3/12

Diet Cig (April 22, Snug Harbor) Lauryn Hill (April 28, CMCU Amphitheater) Neil Diamond (April 28, Spectrum Center) Carolina Rebellion (May 5-7, Charlotte Motor Speedway) Bastille (May 6, CMCU Amphitheater)

NEED DIRECTIONS? Check out our website at clclt.

com. CL online provides addresses, maps and directions from your location. Send us your concert listings: E-mail us at aovercash@clclt. com or fax it to 704-522-8088. We need the date, venue, band name and contact name and number. The deadline is each Wednesday, one week before publication.

CLCLT.COM | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | 33






LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL A weekend of boo lovin’ and new experiences with a splash of vom my bra and makeup – and that would be “all we wrote.” So I went for a spot I knew he far has been pretty lit. couldn’t resist – Blue Olive Lounge. Even though the month of January flew One of my fave unexpected gems in by and we’re a paycheck away from the the boonies, aka Ballantyne, Blue Olive end of February, I’ve been so busy finding is a popular hangout for a mature crowd adventures it feels like New Year’s Eve was seeking an upscale experience with a hint of over six months ago. Stoke, check. Salud “ratchet.” (Urban dictionary people.) Beer Shop, check. Lucky’s Bar and Arcade, From Erykah Badu, Foxy Brown and Essex and Imperial Lounge, check, check Jay-Z to Juvenile, Drake and Crime Mob, the and check. music hits all the crowd favorites without Oh, and of course my escape to Asheville overwhelming one demographic or another. brought an entirely new nightlife experience Attribute it to an epic DJ if you want, but to my weekend for less than half a tank of every time I end up at Blue Olive, I dance gas. all night long. (It was only after two hours After taking in the mountain views of hugging the toilet that I regretted my and crisp air, a stressful week in Charlotte decision.) commenced. I presented in front of my As you can imagine, the next morning entire company, stage fright and all, was an uneventful one and I settled started training a new co-worker for catnapping, television and a and landed a cover page in home-cooked lunch. It wasn’t Creative Loafing. (That’s until later on that evening the right, I hope you picked boy toy and I were itching up your copy for all the for some excitement. We juice on what it’s like for were hoping for a grilled singles searching for love cheese from Papi Queso with a Being Mary Jane at Sycamore, but now that mindset.) After all that they’re all popular and stress, I took a break two ish after being featured weekends ago and got on “Diners, Drive-Ins and some much-needed R&R. AERIN SPRUILL Dives,” “they ain’t got time And when I say R&R, I mean for that!” Of course, that meant that, outside of making food dinner took priority over going runs to McDonald’s and Taco Bell, to a bar, so we started down the list of I didn’t leave the house at all Saturday. possibilities. We settled on a spot he hadn’t That’s why I was ready to rally this past been and I’d only been to once: Alexander weekend. Michael’s. Friday after leaving the office, I followed Who can resist a meta tag like this when my usual schedule, which landed me in you pull this restaurant up on Google? the most uncomfortable bleachers at a “A locally owned and operated American basketball game – the boyfriend coaches. tavern in Charlotte's historic 4th Ward Even though high school games are short, serving fresh, unpretentious food that is you’d be surprised how slow the time passes well prepared with quality ingredients.” I when you’re sitting through four of them. certainly couldn’t. And they were right. The We were both tired when they were over and quaint, popular neighborhood restaurant, defeated after three out of the four didn’t may attract some of Charlotte’s elite, but get a W, but that was more incentive for us the food is anything but pretentious. Hearty to grab a “drank.” and full of flavor, the 4th Ward Stroganoff “Any of your friends doing anything and Honey Chicken Pasta (with a bacon tonight?” The usual question the boo asks, and tomato cream sauce) were so good we with a hint of irritation, when I’m trying to actually couldn’t wait to be hungry again and get a temperature gauge on whether or not eat what was left over! (Pro tip: the venue is he actually wants to go out. That’s when I small, so grab a drink at the bar while you know he knows I’m in the mood even if he wait, or eat at the bar like we did.) isn’t – just for drinks and dancing folks, get After a meal like that and a wild Friday your head out of the gutter. *wink wink* night, we didn’t need another rally, so we Of course, my friends were either already decided to call it a night. I watched The planning for a show or planning a night in – Huntsman: Winter’s War, ate more of my whack! But I knew I had to make a decision leftovers and climbed into bed. Now that’s fast, or he was going to put on his sweats – the equivalent of me taking off my glasses, what I call a nightcap.

I’M NOT GOING to lie to y’all, 2017 thus

34 | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | CLCLT.COM




1 “The Georgia Peach” of baseball 7 Black Sea seaport 13 Indy 500 tire changers 20 Neat and trim 21 Raleigh’s neighbor city 22 Lift forcibly 23 Egyptian river’s condition? 25 “Howards End” novelist 26 -- la Douce (1963 title role) 27 How complex a story is? 29 Knighted Guinness 32 Prefix similar to equi34 Maya Angelou’s “And Still --” 35 When designer Calvin was most popular? 41 Band worn by Miss USA 45 Chalet shape, often 46 Piece’s pace 47 Robust 49 Cherry part 50 What a bowler analyzes for a second roll? 54 Medit. nation 55 Steed steerers 57 Safari noises 58 Hopper, e.g. 59 Some Greek letters 60 Decide on 63 Met queen 64 Bureau overseeing a boundary barrier? 70 Inferior -- cava 71 Virgil hero 72 Apollo’s gp. 73 “-- changed man!” 74 Many a yogi 76 Abrupt 78 Cellphone game, often 81 What an angler may bring up for discussion? 86 Mac maker 88 Hollywood’s Dahl 89 Precise 90 86-Across music player 91 Thing to sow 92 TV shopping channel that sells chairs? 96 Sluggish sort 98 Penpoint 99 Give cheek

100 Woe for someone who’s been walking all day long? 108 Hardly hard 110 Sicilian port next to Mount Etna 111 Inscriptions on a penny? 116 Like deductive reasoning 117 Minute Maid Park’s team 118 Knight who had Pips 119 Request a new supply of 120 Wind sound 121 Consumes completely


1 Six-pt. plays 2 Sun -- -sen 3 Tax pro 4 Eye care worker 5 Ballpark brew 6 Trite saying 7 Quirky 8 Face-off 9 Ocean eagle 10 Hood’s knife 11 Store draw 12 2001 Audrey Tautou film 13 Black-and-white seabird 14 86-Across music players 15 Six halved 16 “-- la vie!” 17 -- -tat-tat 18 Risk-taking Knievel 19 Lived 24 Burkina -28 “... -- quit!” 29 Take -- (turn down the offer) 30 One not right-handed 31 Misprint, e.g. 33 Habitually 36 Capo’s code of silence 37 Amounts added to bank accts. 38 First-aid pro 39 Non-U.S. speed-limit abbr. 40 -- Alamos 41 Drain away 42 Language of Yemen 43 Endeavor 44 Serengeti laugher

47 That lady 48 Curvy letter 50 Remote 51 Carl who composed “O Fortuna” 52 See 104-Down 53 Be too fearful to 56 Anvil’s organ 59 Clean air gp. 60 Unified 61 Educ. group 62 How- -- (DIY books) 63 Genetic ID 64 Bashful 65 Activate 66 The Beatles’ “Love --” 67 Ample, informally 68 Remote 69 Will topic 70 Entry permits 74 Cackler 75 H2O at 31 degrees F 76 Santa’s bag 77 Discover 78 Sleep clinic concern 79 Entreaties 80 Raid targets 82 TV’s Pa Clampett 83 Dawn drops 84 Outer: Prefix 85 Gin joint 87 Tabby 90 Company pin-on 92 “Hey, that’s cheating!” 93 LAX guess 94 Felons run afoul of it 95 Feudal domain 96 Assembly of ecclesiastics 97 Nantes’ river 100 Dollar Rent -101 Be wide open 102 Other, in Spanish 103 Hair removal brand 104 With 52-Down, flakes sprinkled into an aquarium 105 Opposite of 84-Down 106 Architect Saarinen 107 General -- chicken 109 TV’s Ward 112 --Kosh B’Gosh 113 Mag staff 114 Manhattan sch. 115 Cooking qty.




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quick Google search brings up several asexual dating sites:, AsexualMatch. com,, You column in the Coast in Halifax for a can also choose to identify as asexual — and while, and it seems that most solutions search for other asexuals — on mainstream to relationship problems revolve around dating sites like OkCupid and Match. sex. Everyone wants it or needs it, we I can already hear you composing your should fuck before dinner, or we can spice up our sex life in this certain response, AAA: Asexuals are just 1 percent way to be happy. What about someone of the population. There are 400,000 people who doesn’t want to have sex, ever? in Halifax, which means there are 3,999 I’ve asked other people for advice, and other asexuals. Sounds like a lot, but most the answer is usually “take one for the will be too young, too old, or unappealing team,” have sex to keep them happy. Is for political or personal reasons (loves Kevin that the only way I could find happiness O’Leary, hasn’t seen Moonlight, picks their in a relationship? It’s not something I nose with an oyster fork). And a significant want to do — but at this point, I don’t chunk of that number may not be aware — see any other options. yet — that they’re asexual. So realistically, AAA, your local dating pool is much smaller ALL ALONE ACE than 3,999. I’m a sex-advice columnist. But! Good news! There are 7.5 Consequently, AAA, people tend billion people on the planet! And to write me when sex (needing 75 million of them are asexual! it, wanting it, getting it but I have a good friend with not the kind you want, etc.) a unique array of kinks—a is the problem, and sex (in crazy, specific, and rare some new and improved constellation of kinks— form) is often-but-notand he cast a wide net on always the solution. I kink dating apps. After he also get and respond to met someone on the other questions from asexuals, side of the world with all and I’ve urged sexuals the same kinks and they not to regard asexuals DAN SAVAGE hit it off via Skype and the as defective — or, for that guy provided my friend with matter, to view committed-butreferences (put my friend in touch sexless relationships as defective. with friends who could vouch for him), So long as both people in the relationship my friend flew to the other side of the world are content and happy, it’s a good and to go on a first date. Two months later, he healthy and functional relationship, whether went back, stayed for a few months, and the sex is vanilla or spicy or nonexistent. then moved abroad to be with Mr. Kink Strictly companionate marriages can be good Match On The Other Side Of The World. My marriages. friend did things people are typically advised As for “taking one for the team,” that’s against—who gets on a 12-hour flight to not advice given only to asexuals. A woman go on a first date?—because he knew there who’s married to a foot fetishist, for weren’t many lids out there for his particular instance, may be advised to “take one for the pot. team” and let her husband perv on her feet. A vanilla guy married to a woman corrupted Asexuality isn’t a kink, I realize, but you by Fifty Shades of Grey (it’s baaaaaack) may can and should cast a wide net, AAA, like my be advised to “take one for the team” and tie kinky expat friend. the wife up once in a while. And while there Don’t let geography limit you in your are certainly lots of asexuals out there taking search. You may not be able to afford to do one for the team — having sex to please/ what my friend did — fly halfway around keep/shut up their partners (or allowing the world for a first date — but you can get their partners to seek sex elsewhere) — you your ass to the next province over if you hit know who doesn’t have to take one for the it off with an asexual in New Brunswick or team, ever? Asexuals with other asexuals. Quebec. Good luck. Dating another asexual is the other option, the obvious option, and may be the On the Lovecast, two tricky pregnancies: best option for you, AAA. (Don’t want to take; follow @fakedansavage on one for the team, ever? Don’t draft anyone Twitter; onto your team who wants one, ever.) A

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FOR ALL SIGNS The eclipse energy of this month continues its background effect on everyone. The world’s structures are so precarious that some may have collapsed. Indeed, whether global or personal, anything built on sand rather than solid ground, is showing cracks and signs of impending change. That means issues that have been developing for a long time are brought into the light. It is judgment time, for good or ill. In Chinese, “crisis” means “opportunity for change”. Keep this thought in mind if you are losing something you thought you needed. ARIES You are thinking fast and the wheels are rolling forward in your life. You may need to write things down to hold onto the ideas. Others appreciate your plans and want to help you manifest them. This is a good time to study any material because your thoughts are flowing.

to be alone. Don’t fight it. Just let it be. It is temporary. Take it with a spoonful of generosity and humor.

TAURUS You are feeling restless and need to try something new. Commute by a different route or go somewhere you have never visited before. Take your partner on a picnic. Try an entirely different restaurant. Maybe you will need to find something outrageous to perk up a room or your clothing style.

SCORPIO Your sense of security is being battered by threats or internal fears. Don’t do this to yourself. This time in your life will soon be over. There are positive things in your every day life. Fasten your attention to them and count your blessings until the scary times are past.

GEMINI You are in the mood for travel, exploring, and overall expansion of your mind. Activities involving education, legal interests, and the internet are favored. You may be researching a new interest, gazing over travel brochures for your next adventure, or pursuing an interest in philosophy or religion.

SAGITTARIUS You have a desire to reach

CANCER Eclipses disturb the Crabs more

than anyone else. You may be feeling unnerved. When that happens, you sometimes fall into old behaviors. You know better, but when anxious, you forget to continue with your more evolved behavior. Certain people from your history can also trigger old patterns.

CAPRICORN An expense of the not so favorable type may be weighing heavily on your mind this week. Think of all the countless times you have absorbed such a thing and just moved onward. You need not let this disturb your overall energy pattern. Do what you must and put it behind you.

LEO There are occasionally moments in life when we are focused upon contemplation of the deeper topics in life. Why am I here? What is my purpose? Where am I headed? Do I take action based upon my principles or am I adopting the values of someone else? Taking stock now brings greater clarity.

AQUARIUS You may need to think out loud about whatever you are pondering. If there is no one to listen, satisfy that need by making outlines or lists. Your mind is flowing with good ideas. Perhaps you need to diagram how all these things fit together. Your mind is working fast. You will need to find a way to bring order out of apparent chaos.

VIRGO This is a good week to discuss

complicated issues with your partner, business associates, employees, lessors. Topics that have been a struggle in the past may now be easier to present and find solutions. Even touchy subjects can be more open now.

LIBRA Either you or others in your life are behaving erratically. It is difficult to make firm plans or sustain a solid conversation. This sometimes generates a rift between you and another because one of you needs 38 | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | CLCLT.COM

outward to others. You want to share ideas and express yourself in a larger framework. Talking to yourself is not satisfactory. Circumstances on the romantic front are favorable with one who shares intellectual interests. Activities involving teaching/ learning are favored, along with good aspects for travel.

PISCES THE FISH (Feb. 18 -- Mar 19) The sun returns “home” to your sign this week. You likely will find it to be energizing. Now is the time to focus on new plans for this next year of your life. Take a fresh look at where you want to direct your energy. It is appropriate that your attention be directed toward yourself right now. Want a personal horoscope? Hit up Vivian Carol at 704-366-3777 or go to www.

CLCLT.COM | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | 39



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40 | FEB. 16 - FEB. 22, 2017 | CLCLT.COM

2017 Issue 52 Creative Loafing  
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