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Intrigue

B5 ThePlainsman.com

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Intrigue

Courtesy of Chelsea Wooten

The murals Christian Hamrick painted at Moe’s Bar-B-Que are funky, one-of-a-kind anecdotes that cover the brick walls on the inside of the restaurant and outside on the back patio.

Original Bar-B-Que, original artwork Caitlin Wagenseil Intrigue reporter

Christian Hamrick is the artist behind the unique murals at Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que. Those murals, however, barely scratch the surface of his many artistic talents. “I was painting a mural in the back of Little Italy and (a guy) came in to get a pizza for the crew constructing the innards of Moe’s Bar-BQ,” Hamrick said. “He seemed interested in what I was doing, and asked if I would paint their restaurant next door.” Hamrick said he was then introduced to one of the owners named John Moss. “Moss told me I had two days to paint before they opened—I didn’t sleep for the next two days,” he said. “A few months later, they asked for the outside patio to be painted.” As far as the creative inspiration behind the murals at Moe’s, Hamrick said he was given a lot of freedom. “The only specific item they asked for was the menu board,” Hamrick said. “The crew and I brainstormed throughout the process, and the

inspiration was barbecue, music and good people.” Hamrick said he used paint and spray paint to do the murals. To be specific, he said he used chalk, charcoal, ink, sharpie, house paint, acrylic paint and a few other forms of media. He said he did a sketch or two for the menu board, but besides that didn’t really map anything out on paper. He also said he first painted a few outlines on the walls at the restuarant and went from there. “Most of it was in the moment,” Hamrick said. Additionally, Hamrick said he didn’t find painting the murals time-consuming or nervewracking at all. “I guess I’ve learned to ignore the woes of late nights,” he said. Hamrick said that the best description of his art is found in the artwork itself. “As far as words go, I am searching for the heartbeat—everyone has a heartbeat but we rarely notice its presence; it’s not just knowing you’re alive, but truly realizing you’re alive,” Hamrick said. “My art, at least recently, is the

hope of this realization. Personally, I find the heartbeat in the process of creating.” Aside from his work at Moe’s Bar-B-Que, Hamrick has also painted other murals around Auburn and Opelika, including the murals in Little Italy, Seoul BBQ and Las Margaritas. And Hamrick doesn’t need to say much about what he believes to be the best and hardest part of what he does. “The best part is the most challenging part, and the most challenging part is the best part,” he said. He said that on a good day, he spends about 24 hours in the studio, and is usually involved in multiple projects at the same time, whether those projects be collaborative or individual “Today, I put paint on a piano for the Keynote Project, sketched out a few sculptures, and brainstormed community garden options,” he said. Additionally, Hamrick said he prepped a canvas to continue a series of subconscious portraiture and “talked with some folks about the blossoming of the Cotton Seed Studio in Opelika.” While time in the studio takes up much of

Hamrick’s time, he uses what spare time he does have enjoying much of what life has to offer. “I drink coffee, fish, travel, breathe,” he said. “I get lost, go outside when it storms, make friends, read, dream, and go to shows—I tend to find enjoyment in many things.” Hamrick added that he was looking forward to Richard Hagans’ solo show, “Out of Place,” at The Railyard in Opelika on Friday, April 12 and Saturday, 13. “I caught a sneak peak of some of the work he is planning to show, and it is something I recommend no one miss,” Hamrick said. What Hamrick does is very unique, but he is not yet sure what exactly it was that got him interested in art. “I’m still figuring it out,” he said. “I have always been passionate, not just about art, but other things in general.” The weather, movement, humans and cooking were some of his other passions that he named. With regards to the future, Hamrick has a few words to describe the impact he hopes his work will have. “I hope it strums the soul,” he said.

Ben Rector, Alpha Rev to perform at Bourbon street tonight

Jessa Pease Writer

Bourbon Street Bar is revving up for the performance of Ben Rector featuring Alpha Rev on Thursday, April 4. Alpha Rev is an American alternative rock band from Austin, Texas, that was formed in 2005 by singer-songwriter Casey McPherson, and their performance at Bourbon Street will promote their newest album Bloom that was released Tuesday, March 19. “I love big sound. I love big expansive melodies,” McPherson said. “We are kind of infusing that with American folk and American country. You know, the older country stuff like Johnny Casino and Johnny Cash.” McPherson said the band also draws from Tom Petty on some of the songs and Radiohead in terms of melody and harmony. The group has released three albums including Bloom, and they are on tour often. Along with McPherson, Jeff Bryant, Zak Loy and Tabber Millard make up the sounds of Alpha Rev, and they don’t just play the guitar and drums. Alpha Rev uses the piano, organ, mandolin and lap and pedal steels in their music. “So we are a four piece, but we

I love big sound. I love big expansive melodies. We are kind of infusing that with American folk and American country. You know, the older country stuff like Johnny Casino and Johnny Cash.” —Casey McPherson Singer-songwriter

Darin Beck / photographer

carry twice as much gear with us, because we are switching instruments a lot,” McPherson said. Tinizia Bentley, senior in theater, said she loves Alpha Rev. She first heard one of their songs one morn-

ing on VH1’s ‘You Oughta Know.’ “I guess I would call them alternative,” Bentley said. “If I could compare them to another band I would probably compare them to Yellowcard, but I would only compare

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them to Yellowcard because they are a band that has a fiddle. Yellowcard also has a fiddle, and they kind of play the same genre of music.” Bentley said she would really like to see Alpha Rev at Bourbon and that she didn’t even know they would be there, but thinks students should not expect to be able to dance if they attend because that isn’t their type of music. “I really liked it. It was pretty, so I further investigated them and re-

ally liked everything I heard,” Bentley said. “The lyrics that they have for the songs, it’s just beautiful. Like any song that you listen to of theirs is like thought out. It makes you feel something. It’s not simple. It’s like you actually have to listen to understand what they are talking about.” McPherson says his inspiration for songs comes from the way he feels. It really helps when he has gone through something awesome or terrible to start cracking a melody and start cracking a lyric open. “Bloom is really dealing with getting around or getting through internal conflict whether it be internal inside yourself or internal like a close relationship,” McPherson said. “A lot of times that’s how we figure out who we are and what we are about going through the fire, especially fire in this case that deals with internal conflict and external close circle.” An experience is what McPherson said he hopes Alpha Rev’s performance gives the Bourbon Street audience. “Hopefully a little bit of a tonic experience in terms of different sounds and emotional melodies, and an emotionally high-energy show,” McPherson said.


Intrigue page B5, 4/4/13 issue of The Auburn Plainsman