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FEBRUARY 5, 2014 · VOL. 28 · NO. 5 · FREE
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ack B e r Ed A ise p. 13 d n a o r Ambe to Make N ady e R d An
Finally, Somebody Wants to Do Something About Traffic p. 6
Vote for Favorites!
It’s Your Last Chance to Pick The Athens Joints You Like Most p. 12
Easter Island Quits p. 14 · Turquoise Jeep Smangs p. 15 · Earnest Mocks p. 16 · Sweethearts Hoot p. 16
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If you are in crisis due to domestic violence, Athens Regional Medical Center wants you to ďŹ nd help. When you are struggling to meet the demands of a controlling and jealous partner it is hard to plan for the future. Project Safe has advocates available to help you sort through what options are available to you, and how you can stay safe while you explore options. All services are free and conďŹ dential.
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Prince: A Guy & a Street Help Harold Donâ€™t forget the fundraiser to raise money to help get a van for Harold Williams, our wonderful accountant/musician/ great guy who is confined to a wheelchair. His firm, Williams and Guined CPA, is selling $10-a-plate tickets to a barbecue at Locos Mar. 1. You can come by our new offices at 220 Prince Ave. to buy yours. Haroldâ€™s friends are also organizing a concert for this spring. Go Harold! And remember, if you want to take Harold nâ€™ them a meal, you can sign up at takethemameal. com. Fill in the familyâ€™s last name, Williams, and the password is Harold.
from the blogs ď†œ HOMEDRONE: Watch new videos from Four Eyes and Ruby the Rabbitfoot. ď‰ą IN THE LOOP: Hitler is not pleased with the ABH paywall.
2nd Tuesday Tastings Romantic Reds Tues., Feb. 11th @ 6pm Reservations Recommended
ď†? HOMEDRONE: Hear an exclusive new track from Nicholas Mallis.
Speed Kills Go stand outside Normal Bar on Prince Avenue in Normaltown and face the incoming traffic that zips by you. It is hard to believe how fast theyâ€™re coming, as if they were on a highway. Actually, many still are on a highway, having just driven into Athens from up toward Jefferson at 60 and 70 miles per hour, and theyâ€™re pushing it on toward downtown or the university. Get into your own car and head into town, and youâ€™ll be kicking it, too. Prince Avenue is a racetrack, and youâ€™ll hardly notice all the people with kids and dogs that youâ€™re passing along the sidewalk. The anomaly about Prince Avenue is that it is also a neighborhood street. It cuts right through the middle of what you might call downtown Normaltownâ€”the business sectionâ€”and it divides the intown neighborhoods of Boulevard and Cobbham and their business and restaurant districts. These dual uses of Prince Avenue have always existed uneasily together, but as Boulevard and Cobbham (and their neighborhood school, Chase Street Elementary) have grown in popularity and population, concerns over traffic speed have magnified, but nobody has done anything about it. The sticking point is that the obvious thing to do to slow Prince Avenue down and make it safer for pedestrians is to three-lane it. Thatâ€™s a godsend if youâ€™re trying to cross the street on foot with your kid and your dog, but what would it do to the traffic flow? Would it choke off downtown and kill the restaurant, club and retail business there? Would it divert a lot of traffic to Boulevard and Hill Street? How could we make such far-reaching changes without knowing the answers to those questions? Now, Tony Eubanks, a longtime Boulevard resident who has taken an active interest in Prince Avenue over the years, has teamed up with Athens-Clarke County Transportation and Public Works Director David Clark for an ingenious method of pre-testing these effects without cost and without getting locked into long-term changes that could prove unfeasible after all. (See Blake Auedâ€™s story on p.â€‰6 and Eubanksâ€™ Comment on p.â€‰7.) What a great idea! A two-week, carefully measured test that will give us some answers in real time about traffic flow and the impact on Prince Avenue, Boulevard and Hill Street as well as downtown. The best thing about it is that regardless of how you feel about three-laning, these results will give you some objective information to inform your opinion. Of course, if you donâ€™t want to change your opinion, you may not want facts. Tony says heâ€™s tired of coming up with ideas and plans that never have a chance of getting implemented. Thatâ€™s why David Clark is so important to this trial. His department can set it up and measure the effects. Theyâ€™re the traffic experts. It is fabulous that they have signed on to this experiment. And, of course, the ACC Mayor and Commission have to approve this trial run, which is most important of all, because it cannot be done without their approval and it should not be. This is only a test, but one weâ€™ve needed for a long time. Unfortunately, it sounds like Mayor Denson is going to kill the whole deal. She says she likes the idea but that she wants to postpone it until fall. Itâ€™s all set up now and ready to go with commission approval, and it can be done this spring while school is still in session. It wonâ€™t work in the fall, and it probably wonâ€™t even come up in the fall. If itâ€™s not approved in March or April by the commission, itâ€™s dead. But remember, the mayor controls the agenda. Sheâ€™s got to put it on there for it to get a vote. Itâ€™s time to do justice to this test, and we all know that justice delayed is justice denied. Pete McCommons firstname.lastname@example.org
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athens power rankings: FEB. 3â€“10 1. Snow ďˆą 2. Jucifer 3. Bain Mattox 4. Kai Riedl & Eric Marty 5. Rachel Watkins
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Athens Power Rankings are posted each Monday on the In the Loop blog on flagpole.com.
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ďƒŻ facebook feedback ďƒ° â€œOconee County is stepping up security and patrols along the county line to ensure Athenian Snowpocalypse refugees wonâ€™t invade their virginal lands to pillage for supplies at Publix.â€?
Corner of Chase and Boulevard
â€” Blake Tabb
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EDITOR & PUBLISHER Pete McCommons ADVERTISING DIRECTOR & PUBLISHER Alicia Nickles PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Larry Tenner ADVERTISING SALES Anita Aubrey, Dede Giddens, Jessica Pritchard Mangum MUSIC EDITOR Gabe Vodicka CITY EDITOR Blake Aued ARTS EDITOR & DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Jessica Smith CLASSIFIEDS & OFFICE MANAGER Sarah Temple Stevenson AD DESIGNERS Kelly Hart, Cindy Jerrell CARTOONISTS Lee Gatlin, Missy Kulik, David Mack ADOPT ME Special Agent Cindy Jerrell CONTRIBUTORS Adam Barnett, Hillary Brown, Tom Crawford, Tony Eubanks, Derek Hill, Gordon Lamb, T. Ballard Lesemann, Dan Mistich, Jodi Murphy, Rhonda, David Schick, Erica Techo, Drew Wheeler CIRCULATION Charles Greenleaf, Emily Armond, Will Donaldson, Matt Shirley WEB DESIGNER Kelly Hart ADVERTISING INTERN Maria Stojanovic MUSIC INTERN Chris Schultz NEWS INTERNS David Schick, Erica Techo PHOTO INTERN Porter McLeod COVER PHOTOGRAPH of Amber Valentine of Jucifer by Mike White (deadlydesigns.com) See feature story on p.â€‰13. STREET ADDRESS: 220 Prince Ave., Athens, GA 30601 MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 1027, Athens, GA 30603 EDITORIAL: 706-549-9523 Âˇ ADVERTISING: 706-549-0301 Âˇ FAX: 706-548-8981 CLASSIFIED ADS: email@example.com ADVERTISING: firstname.lastname@example.org CALENDAR: email@example.com EDITORIAL: firstname.lastname@example.org
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city dope How the Bottom Fell Out for Clarke Schools
Two years ago, the Clarke County School District cut 48 force the two parties into cutting a budget dealâ€”has cost the first-grade and 16 media-center paraprofessionals, leading local school district millions. many parents and employees to wonder just what was going The federal government gives grants to school systems to on. After all, the economy was on the upswing, the worst was help educate students from low-income families, disabled stuover and the district had already staved off such draconian dents, students from migrant families, students with behavioral cuts for several years. Why now? problems and non-native English speakers. That money funded CCSD officials gave school board members a big-picture look 140 positions in the 2011â€“2012 school year, according to at the districtâ€™s finances last week, and the forces that conPrice. This year, itâ€™s only funding 101. spired to put local schools in that position are stunning. CCSD ostensibly got a boost from the American Recovery The recession started in 2007 and worsened in 2008, but and Reinvestment Actâ€”the stimulus packageâ€”which put property assessments lag a couple of years behind, so governments didnâ€™t really start to feel the impact until 2010 and 2011. Thatâ€™s when developments that were already underway wrapped up, construction came to a halt and tax revenue dipped as assessments caught up to falling home prices, Chief Financial Officer Larry Hammel said. Even if it had wanted to, the school board was barred by law from raising taxes to make up the difference. The state wasnâ€™t faring much better. Lawmakers had never fully funded Quality Based Educationâ€”the complex formula that dictates how much the state gives to local school districtsâ€”but now they were subtracting $1 billion a year in â€œausterity cuts.â€? Part of the formula takes local property taxes into account, so Clarke Countyâ€™s share was cut more deeply than most because our property values fell less sharply than most placesâ€™, Hammel said. â€œIf our county worked Hey, remember that time it snowed and the whole city shut down for like two days? That was crazy. hard to maintain our revenues, we didnâ€™t reap the benefits,â€? Clarke County School Superintendent Philip Lanoue said. about $9 million into district coffers from 2009â€“2011. But that The school board hired Lanoue in 2009, and he ordered up was offset by state cuts to education. Essentially, the state projections of where the budget was headed. It was $122 miltook local schoolsâ€™ ARRA grants and used them to plug the lion then, with less than $6 million in reserves. By 2015, with holes in its own budget, Lanoue said. no additional expenses, it would be $138 million and running Federal monetary policy isnâ€™t helping, either. The district a $15 million deficit. Instead, school officials cut it almost $8 banks its revenue until it needs to spend it and earned $1.2 million to $115 million in 2012. million in interest in 2009, Hammel said. Last year, investâ€œThat was the parapro year,â€? Deputy Superintendent Noris ment income wasâ€”seriouslyâ€”$19.56. The market is so awash Price said. â€œThat was when we made the huge cuts.â€? in cash that, when service charges are deducted, short-term But donâ€™t just blame Georgia Republicans. Point a finger at investments like CDs earn virtually nothing. President Barack Obama and Democrats in Washington, too. In spite of the challenges, school officials say the budget Sequestrationâ€”the bipartisan sword of Damocles that failed to for the upcoming year looks solid, with a small deficit, if any,
and $21 million in reserves. They hope to end unpaid furlough days and maybe even give teachers a raise for the first time since 2009. â€œGet employees back to what they were making five years ago,â€? Lanoue said. $140 million in new development is in the pipeline, increasing the tax base, and in a few years, Caterpillarâ€™s tax abatements will start to expire, Hammel said, which will brighten the picture considerably. Snowpocalypse: Partly because we live in a much smaller city than Atlanta and partly because CCSD and the University of Georgia had the good sense to stagger the times for letting students and employees go home, Athens survived Winter Storm Whatever the Weather Channel Called It to Try to Scare Us. Nobody got stranded. The worst thing that happened was some broken pipes. (And, given the weather this winter, every plumber in town is probably contemplating retirement in Hawaii.) Roads were a bit dicy last Wednesday morning, but by that afternoon, the sun and sand trucks had done their work, and everything was fine. Great job, everybody. Lyndon House: The meeting to discuss the future of the Lyndon House Arts Center, postponed due to the weather, has been rescheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 at CinĂŠ. It happened after Flagpole went to press, but the topic surely came up at the Monday, Feb. 3 Federation of Neighborhoods meeting that featured a panel discussion on the Leisure Services Department. Given all of the criticisms of Leisure Services over the yearsâ€”the tennis center, the department reorganization that de-emphasized nature programs, the cuts to popular summer camps and moreâ€”it may have gotten a bit heated. Check our news blog, In the Loop, at flagpole.com for a recap. Watkinsâ€™ Website: Another District 3 Athens-Clarke County Commission candidate has a website up and running. Sheâ€™s Rachel Watkins, and itâ€™s rachelwatkinsforathens.com. A taste: â€œIâ€™m not the kind of person who will lock myself in a room and come up with pages and pages of big ideas on my own. Iâ€™ll be the first to tell you I donâ€™t have all the answers. No single person does. I believe good policy comes from collaboration, listening to each other and learning from each other.â€? Watkins is competing with policy wonk Melissa Link for the Cobbham and Boulevard vote, and the above paragraph highlights their differences in style. In other words, sheâ€™s saying do you want someone whoâ€™s a policy expert, or someone with the diplomatic skills to seek out the best policies? Blake Aued email@example.com
An Evening Celebrating Georgia at Its Best
Meet & Greet Georgiaâ€™s Best Candidates Thursday, Feb. 27 â€˘ 6pm Reception & Dinner at Classic Center
JASON CARTER Candidate for Governor
CONNIE STOKES Candidate for Lt. Governor
Ken Dious for US House of Representative - Tenth District David Vogel for US House of Representative - Ninth District Steen Miles for US Senate Michelle Nunn for US Senate Branko Radulovacki for US Senate Todd Robinson for US Senate
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capitol impact What to Blame for the Ice Storm Fiasco Georgia became the countryâ€™s laughingstock after the national media watched the metro Atlanta region grind completely to a halt over a two-inch snowfall. Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed have been targeted by media elites as the public officials who will receive most of the blame, fair or not, for the ice storm fiasco. â€œI accept responsibility for the fact we did not make preparation early enough to avoid these consequences,â€? Deal said. Deal also pinpointed the real causes of the traffic shutdown that kept thousands of people trapped overnight in their vehicles or schools. â€œWe donâ€™t have control over what private businesses do,â€? he said. â€œWe donâ€™t have control over what school systems do.â€? The governor is correct. He cannot control the decisions that private businesses make about when employees will be allowed to go home if a storm hits. A governor also cannot coordinate the closings of government agencies or school systems during an emergency because we have far too many of them. Georgia is the most balkanized state in the nation with 159 counties. We should have started consolidating those counties years ago. Instead, Republican legislators want to create yet another county at the northern end of Fulton County. The Atlanta region is similarly one of the most balkanized metropolitan areas. In the 10 core counties around Atlanta, there are a total of 65 cities, each with its own government and police department. There are 14 municipalities in Fulton County alone, 13 in Gwinnett County and 10 in DeKalb County. No governor could produce a coordinated emergency response involving that many local governments. At least seven of those cities have been created by the Legislature since 2005 in Fulton, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties, and lawmakers want to carve out even more of these local governments. That is crazy.
The same situation applies to public school systems. There are more than two dozen systems in metro Atlanta. The logical thing to do would be to consolidate and reduce the number of school systems, but lawmakers instead are trying to create even more systems in parts of DeKalb County. These additional cities and school systems will only make it that much harder to carry out any kind of coordinated response to future emergencies. Another problem illustrated by the winter storm is the fact that elected leaders over the past decade have made substantial reductions in state spending on government services and infrastructure. In 2008, the Department of Transportation employed more than 6,000 people, many of whom worked at maintaining and repairing the stateâ€™s highways and bridges. Today, the number of DOT employees has declined to 4,400 because of budget cutting. The budget for the Department of Public Safety, which trains and deploys state troopers to patrol Georgiaâ€™s highways, was $110 million in 2008. At that time, there were about 200 vacancies in the 953 approved job slots for troopers. That departmentâ€™s budget has essentially remained flat, which means there has been little money for filling the empty patrol positions. We saw the effects of these cutbacks during last weekâ€™s storm. DOT employees and state troopers worked valiantly to help people who were caught out by the weather, but there just were not enough of them. If you want to know what to blame for the winter storm disaster, you can blame it on policies that encourage the proliferation of city governments and school systems that canâ€™t be coordinated, and on budget cutbacks that leave the state without sufficient resources to protect its citizens.
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Flagpole Editor & Publisher â€œDeath, Kudzu and the Unexamined Life: The Stuff of Journalismâ€? Introduction by James Cobb Flagpole Columnist B. Phinizy Spalding Distinguished Professor in the History of the American South, UGA
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A Safer Prince Avenue? Group Announces Reconfiguration Plan
or more than a decade, residents living along Prince Reaction from business owners has been mainly positive, serious look. But it needs to be a full community discussion Avenue have lobbied to make walking across it safer. according to Girtz and Eubanks. “Anything that would make it before we go ahead and do an agenda item.” They might soon find out if it’s possible. safer for folks who are coming to the Bottleworks… is good Denson and Eldridge both say it might take more than two A plan put forth by Complete Streets: Prince Avenue, spearin my book,” says Kyle Jenks of Parkside Partners, the Atlanta weeks to know whether the experiment works. With the end of headed by veteran neighborhood activist Tony Eubanks, would company that owns the Prince Avenue development. Parkside the school year and local elections both less than four months use barrels to temporarily turn the locally controlled stretch of also owns developments along the BeltLine light rail and trail away, there may not be time to move forward this spring, Prince Avenue between Pulaski Street and Milledge Avenue into network in Atlanta, and customers’ ability to safely walk and Denson says. “I would rather do it in the fall, because fall is a three-lane road for two weeks in mid-April. Left turns would bike is attractive for businesses, Jenks says. the craziest time around here,” she says. be limited in spots, with temporary pedestrian islands at crossPiedmont College has not taken a stance on the experiment, Clark, however, says two weeks is long enough—take more walks near The Grit, Daily Groceries and Piedmont College. spokesman Dan Price says. Chamber President Doc Eldridge says time, and it becomes difficult to avoid events like the Twilight During the trial period, Athens-Clarke County transportation he doesn’t expect his board to weigh in, although he’s personCriterium and UGA commencement. Drivers, especially students officials will measure the traffic volume and speed on Prince ally skeptical that the trial will work. and parents, also are more familiar with Athens in the spring— and side streets like Hill and Boulevard, as well as collect data “I was intrigued by what I was shown [Friday] by Ed Nichols another reason to do the trial in the spring. “We don’t want on any crashes that might occur during that time. “This is [a developer who represents doctors at the 740 Prince medical something like this in place on a football weekend,” Clark says. just a demonstration project,” the Eldridge has other concerns, first of its kind in Athens, says ACC including whether the configuration Transportation and Public Works would impede traffic for cars, buses Director David Clark. “We’re going to and emergency vehicles. Raised “I just think we’ve got a lot to measure the data, and that’s it.” crosswalks and better lights alone From 2003–2012, 20 pedestrians might work, he says. “There may be gain and nothing to lose.” and 18 cyclists were hit by cars on other ways to skin that cat without Prince Avenue, making it, statistigoing to three-laning,” he says. cally, the second-most-dangerous ACC hasn’t done a traffic study street in Athens behind Lumpkin on Prince since 2009, but Clark Street, according to the University estimates that it’s still about 18,500 of Georgia Traffic Safety Research cars per day—below the 20,000-car and Evaluation Program. “It’s my threshold where a three-lane confighope that it will be a successful uration generally works. Girtz thinks trial run and provide the impetus concerns that drivers will avoid for a permanent reconfiguration downtown are unfounded. “I think from Milledge to downtown,” ACC downtown has a magnetism that is Commissioner Kelly Girtz says. “The strong enough that if you increase crash data is pretty clear.” the commute by 45 seconds, downThe Complete Streets: Prince town will still draw people,” Girtz Avenue plan does not include bike said. lanes, a third rail in local politics. Cook says Eubanks assured It would reduce the number of lanes her that ambulances won’t be pedestrians have to cross and add obstructed. “They have accommorefuge islands where they can avoid dated room for people to pull over, cars that aren’t stopping after they and ambulances can go around,” she begin to cross. “Bike lanes may says. emerge in a later iteration,” Girtz If the pilot project works, the says. “The focus right now is on next step (after making it permanent pedestrian safety.” on the intown stretch of Prince) is The ACC Commission considered to approach the state Department of A photo illustration showing a future crosswalk with a pedestrian refuge at Pope Street near Daily Groceries. reconfiguring the intown stretch of Transportation, which owns Prince Prince Avenue to two travel lanes west of Milledge, about adding and a center turn lane in 2005 but voted it down. Powerful complex] and Tony Eubanks,” Eldridge says. “I don’t see the pedestrian refuges in Normaltown and Homewood Hills, areas institutions like Athens Regional Medical Center, the Athens chamber taking a position at this point. It’s a decision for the that are becoming increasingly walkable as new businesses Area Chamber of Commerce and some property owners along mayor and commission.” open, Girtz says. Barnett Shoals Road, Lexington Road and the corridor opposed reconfiguration then. Opposition, at first Girtz says he’s hoping for a Mar. 4 or Apr. 1 commission Atlanta Highway could be candidates for similar makeovers, he glance, seems to be muted this time around. vote to approve the trial. Mayor Nancy Denson says she’s in says. “Only good can come from this kind of open conversation,” favor of the pilot project—particularly the visual cues alerting “I just think we’ve got a lot to gain and nothing to lose,” says Elaine Cook, ARMC vice president for public and governJackson County drivers that they’ve gone from a state highway he says. mental affairs. “The idea that we could try something, work to an urban neighborhood—but would prefer to put it off until together to try something, is fabulous.” the fall. “I find it intriguing,” Denson says. “It needs a very Blake Aued email@example.com
FLAGPOLE.COM ∙ FEBRUARY 5, 2014
comment Complete Streets: Prince Avenue One of the few things most Athenians can agree on is that Prince Avenue is one of the most iconic gateways into Athens. Most Athenians also recognize that Prince Avenue serves as an integral part of daily life for a diverse constituency. And most would agree that we’ve been talking for well over a decade about proactive planning that will balance the wide-ranging and sometimes competing needs of those who depend on Prince Avenue for their livelihood, transportation and quality of life. I’ve lived along the Prince corridor for more than 25 years, but I became engaged in earnest as co-chairman of the Community Approach to Planning Prince Avenue (CAPPA) in 2004. Our goal was to illustrate what the public told us they wanted to see happen along the Prince corridor with regard to historic preservation, development and transportation. Our most important accomplishment was the Athens-Clarke County Mayor and
and Newton Street (near The Grit). The goal is to provide a community-driven opportunity to experience what the ACC Complete Streets policy could look and feel like for all users of Prince Avenue while collecting real-time traffic data to support fact-based decision making in future planning decisions. The project is proposed for mid-April to capture traffic data while area schools are in session. Boulevard and Hill Street would be included in data collection and traffic analysis. ACC Transportation and Public Works would be responsible for lane reconfiguration to ensure adequate access for emergency vehicles and safe left turns. Volunteers would handle crosswalk island construction with material costs covered by private donations. All existing parking along Prince would be maintained. Complete Streets: Prince Avenue will require commission approval. The mayor and commission will hold a formal input process at a time and location to be determined.
MODELCITIZENSALON.COM 497 PRINCE AVENUE 706.543.3656
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&REE 6ALENTINE &LOWERS WITH ANY PURCHASE A photo illustration showing a mid-block crosswalk at Piedmont College. Commission’s formal adoption of the Prince Avenue Corridor Study, which contained many CAPPA recommendations. CAPPA, the Prince Avenue Corridor Study and ACC’s recently adopted Complete Streets policy provide the blueprint for innovative and positive steps for planning Prince Avenue. CAPPA’s privately funded successes pale in comparison to what we could accomplish with publicly driven initiatives aimed at improving the safety and comfort of the corridor’s diverse users. We have the tools—Prince Avenue deserves the effort. Complete Streets: Prince Avenue is proposed as a temporary, low-cost demonstration project designed to illustrate how Prince Avenue may better serve all stakeholders while improving pedestrian safety. According to data compiled by the Traffic Safety Research and Evaluation Group at the University of Georgia, in the 10-year study period from 2003–2012, pedestrian crashes on Prince from 2008–2012 were up 160 percent. Anecdotal evidence of harrowing crosswalk experiences supports the perceived lack of pedestrian safety. Complete Streets: Prince Avenue has been designed with guidance from ACC Transportation and Public Works Director David Clark. During a two-week trial period, Prince Avenue, from Milledge Avenue to Pulaski Street, would be converted into two travel lanes with a center turn lane, a modification that will support temporary pedestrian islands for the three mid-block crosswalks at Piedmont College, Pope Street (near Daily Groceries)
With the success of pedestrian-oriented businesses and institutions such as Avid Bookshop, Daily Groceries, The Grit, Taqueria del Sol, the Bottleworks, Piedmont College, Emmanuel Episcopal Day School and our neighborhood school, Chase Street Elementary, the existing Prince Avenue mid-block crossings are necessary for established pedestrian patterns. Yet they remain critically unsafe due to the existing four-lane configuration, motorists’ frequent disregard for state law concerning pedestrian right of way and the excessive speed of many drivers. Furthermore, the addition of student housing and classes at the Health Sciences Campus, the increase in locally owned small businesses and frequent bus service provided by UGA Campus Transit all point to an extension of these successes, with the attendant safety issues, to Normaltown. The existing businesses and institutions serving Prince Avenue, together with the adjacent neighborhoods and schools, provide the critical elements we need to achieve what we say we want—a vibrant, walkable, business-friendly community. Complete Streets: Prince Avenue is a risk-free experiment to see how implementing existing ACC policy could improve Prince Avenue for all users. It’s time to do something, and we need to start by working together to make Prince a safer street. More information regarding this project is available at CompleteStreetsPrince.org.
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a time when Georgia public colleges and universities are raising tuition and fees, theyâ€™re also allowing outof-state students to pay in-state tuition, potentially leaving millions of dollars in revenue on the table. A recent Georgia Department of Audit and Accounts review of the University System of Georgiaâ€™s out-of-state tuition waivers discovered that about $106 million was waived during 2012-2013. Of that total, tuition waived by the University of Georgia was a little more than $11.5 million. UGA waived tuition for 478 students in the fall 2012 semester, 369 in spring 2013 and 154 in summer 2013. The University System Board of Regentsâ€™ residency policy for state schools is designed to help Georgia natives afford the cost of the stateâ€™s higher education institutions by subsidizing roughly 50 percent of the education cost. Out-of-state tuition waivers are used to attract non-resident students to USG colleges. The state government doesnâ€™t fund these waivers, but some of the stateâ€™s money is appropriated for instruction. The audit narrowed down the amount of tuition waived that would have gone towards instruction to about $42 million for all USG institutions. University System Chancellor Hank Huckaby addressed tuition waivers during his budget proposal to the General Assembly on Jan. 15. â€œAs a result of this review, the Board of Regents is examining its current policies to ensure that out-ofstate tuition waivers are appropriately managed,â€? he said. â€œThe board is expected to act next month.â€? Regents are scheduled to meet Tuesday, Feb. 11 and Wednesday, Feb. 12 in Atlanta. Board of Regents policy regulates how non-resident students can qualify for tuition waivers. There are 18 different out-of-state tuition waiver types that outline how non-resident students can qualify for these waivers. They are given for a variety of reasons including: â€œAcademic Common Market,â€? for students who wish to participate in a program not offered in their home state; â€œInternational and Domestic Exchange Program,â€? for international students who enroll in USG institutions and â€œMilitary Personnel and Dependents,â€? for students who are military personnel stationed in Georgia and on activity dutyâ€”or their spouses or dependentsâ€”among many others. Huckaby denied that â€œthe value of tuition waivers represents foregone tuition income.â€? Such logic â€œassumes that those students would enroll in USG institutions anyway and pay the full out-of-state tuition,â€? he said. â€œThere are not many things that I can guarantee to you will not happen, but that is one of them. In fact, just the opposite will happen; we will lose both students and revenue.â€? Tom Jackson, vice president of UGAâ€™s public affairs division, told Flagpole that the idea that there are â€œother studentsâ€? out there who would pay out-of-state costs is a â€œfallacy.â€? Waivers are used as a recruitment tool to bring top-tier students to UGA, he said. â€œHow do we get them to come here?â€? he said, adding that most of them are being offered scholarships from other schools and would not pay full freight to attend UGA. Kevin Snipe, a senior at UGA majoring in history and political science, is a recipient of these out-of-state tuition waivers. Snipe comes from Alabama, where he applied to the University of Alabama, Auburn University and Birmingham Southern. Both Alabama and Auburn offered him full academic scholarships, and Birmingham Southern offered him some financial assistance, Snipe said. He also applied to UGA because, he said, he had come from a small-town high school and felt like going to an Alabama state school would be like going to high school all over again because thatâ€™s where all his friends would be going. UGA â€œpretty much offered [a tuition waiver] to me after I applied,â€? Snipe said. â€œThere was nothing else specific I had to do. â€œI got a half out-of-state tuition waiver, and I also got a Regents scholarship,â€? which made it affordable for him to attend, he said. The total cost for Snipe, after receiving the half tuition waiver, was still more than the cost for a Georgia resident. (In-state tuition for most full-time undergraduates is currently $4,014 per semester, while itâ€™s $13,119 for non-Georgia residents.) If it had not been for the tuition waiver, Snipe said he probably would not have decided to attend UGA. David Schick
grub notes Nite and Day BAR FOOD: Ever since the shuttering of Farm Cart (which, BTW, is soon to return in slightly different formâ€”see the Grub Notes blog at flagpole.com for info), if youâ€™re all warm and happy and a little toasted while sitting at Normal Bar, and you want a bite to eat without crossing Prince (a treacherous matter if you dare jaywalk), youâ€™ve been limited to the few munchies on hand. And while the barâ€™s boiled peanuts are delicious, you would be hard-pressed to consider them a meal. Thankfully, Ike & Jane (1307 Prince Ave.), the by now almost venerable source of breakfast and lunch goodies, saw an opening and instituted what it calls Ike @ Nite Thursday through Saturday from 6â€“10 p.m. The digs are informal. You walk up to a window that looks right into the kitchen and order through it. You can take your food to go, sit at one of the two wooden tables outside (uncovered but with a heavy-duty heater for the winter months) or have it delivered to you inside Normal Bar. For now, itâ€™s cash-only, due to antiquated wiring, so plan ahead, Athenians. Gabe Vodicka
The fare is simple stuffâ€”burgers, hot dogs, potato chipsâ€”and priced to match at $4â€“$6 for most items. Whether it is as good as what Farm Cart served is up for debate (on the whole, I think not), but it is right there, wellpriced and would especially hit the spot if you have a beer or two in youâ€”or some hungry kiddos. The hot dogs come with ketchup, mustard and good housemade pickles (the Jane); chili and cheese (meh); or in a veggie version with sesame slaw and ginger mustard. The hamburgers are better, with the Normal (more of a cheeseburger, with a special sauce that, for once, is not just ketchup and mayonnaise mixed but closer to a Thousand Island with some BBQ accents) edging out the Ike (grilled onions, housemade pickles, ketchup and mustard). The Frito pie is a fine idea but not such a great rendition. Everything comes with a bag of chips, making the prices an even better deal. There is a dollar dessert that provides a wee bite of sweet and changes regularly. You can also get a side of veggies and hummus, King of Pops popsicles in warm weather and Mexican Coca-Cola. Cuteness is tempered by simplicity, and the radio plays Top 40. THE MORNING AFTER: Brunch in Athens is serious business. Popular spots have lines out the door, especially on big weekends like the Twilight Criterium and AthFest. Restaurant folk tend to hate it because the menus are generally uninteresting (eggs, sausage, yada yada), the profit margins are slim and the customers act entitled.
When White Tiger Gourmet (217 Hiawassee Ave.) started doing an all-you-caneat buffet brunch, it was a fantastic deal, especially if your kids could eat their weight in bacon, but the move a few months ago to an Ă la carte format has led to a big jump in quality, and the dining experience is, as ever, reliably pleasant. Itâ€™s odd to drive past other places that are jam-packed on a late Sunday morning and arrive at the old grocery building only to find it relatively quiet. Is it because the booze is still BYO? Is it that people havenâ€™t realized the restaurant now takes credit cards all the time? Is it just too tucked away? The brunch is as good as anything else White Tiger offers, which is to say, rather good. The hot chicken (grilled chicken with cheddar and sriracha on a biscuit) isnâ€™t nearly hot enough, and the biscuit absorbs and mutes most of the spice, but thatâ€™s about the only real complaint. French toast made with the same biscuits on the restaurantâ€™s remarkable, almost alchemical griddle, is far better than the usual gooey, overly sweet mess. The frittata plate is sometimes modified into a scramble, and it may come with thinsliced collards and broccoli, well-salted and enormous, plus a side salad and a selection of fruit, for $7.50, probably the best deal on the menu. Two could eat it and be satisfied, both in terms of volume and of deliciousness. The Man (home fries topped with barbecue pork and a fried egg) is great hangover food in particular, with the potatoes soaking up the BBQ sauce and the egg yolk. On the whole, it beats out the BBQ Benedict, which is similar but uses a biscuit for the starch and adds sausage gravy. Do you want pancakes covered with BBQ but didnâ€™t know it until now? White Tiger has you covered. Carnivores (tasty, salty ham steak) and vegans (soysage, grilled tofu) should be equally happy. The selection of toys and books on the shelves at the back of the room will keep even a fairly obnoxious toddler happy and out of folksâ€™ hair for the space of an hour, and specials are listed at the register. If you are looking for tasty food in a relaxed environment that does not mean unhappily waiting for your head to clear on the sidewalk rather than happily tucking into a plate of grub, White Tiger is the ticket. Brunch is on Sundays from 10 a.m.â€“2 p.m. WHAT UP?: Normaltown is boominâ€™, yâ€™all. Bain Mattox is set to expand his Normal Bar into the empty adjacent space, and also plans to open a pizzeria with Luna Bakeryâ€™s Matt Downes in the former Pizza Hut location at the corner of Prince and Oglethorpe Avenues. Meanwhile, in a rather tragic turn of events, Little Italy is scrapping its much-loved $5 lunch special. See the Grub Notes blog at flagpole.com for more info on these and other developments. [Gabe Vodicka] Hillary Brown firstname.lastname@example.org
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movie dope drew’s reviews LABOR DAY (PG-13) No more cinematically offensive than an above
average Nicholas Sparks flick (we’re not talking The Notebook here),
Labor Day is a strange film from Jason Reitman, but good for him for striking out from his comfort zone, even if the results are far less successful than his previous Oscar nominees. A divorced mother, Adele (Kate Winslet in a rare performance not nominated for an Academy Award), and her teenage son, Henry (Gattlin Griffith), meet escaped convict Frank (Josh Brolin). Of course, Frank is one of those good, misunderstood murderers, a fact we know from the trailer which spoils the entire first act. Reitman attempts to establish danger and mystery, but the only mystery is how long it’ll take Frank and Adele to hook up. Labor Day is single mom porn. A burly, handsome man wanders into a lonely woman’s life, bakes some tasty pie and fixes the car/house/etc. I haven’t read Joyce Maynard’s novel, but I have to imagine it contained more literary depth to have captured Reitman’s attention. Otherwise, why not just pick a Sparks bestseller to adapt if you want to make a romantic drama? THAT AWKWARD MOMENT (R) 2014’s first truly terrible movie goes to That Awkward Moment. Congratulations for barely edging out I, Frankenstein! That is quite an accomplishment for first-time writerdirector Tom Gormican, and is almost as impressive as sucking the majority of the charisma out of Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan. Fortunately, Teller overcomes the script’s woeful inadequacies and outright thefts from (not even that much) better romcoms. Out of friendship, three male besties—Jason (a drowsy Zac Efron), Mikey (Jordan) and Daniel (Teller)—swear off relationships before meeting the women of their dreams. Now comes the awkward part where they do dumb things because that’s what guys do, according to movies like this one. Jordan escapes with most of his dignity as the straight man, a cuckolded doctor, and Teller charms viewers’ pants off with the crustiest of romcom dialogue. As the pretty but romantically deficient friend, Efron lacks his cast mates’ magnetism and talent. Imagine a movie that would have starred Kate Hudson, Katherine Heigl and the late Brittany Murphy ten years ago; now give their characters penises. Otherwise, it’s the exact same movie Hollywood’s released every Super Bowl weekend or Valentine’s Day for the past decade.
also playing AMERICAN HUSTLE (R) Since 2004’s disappointing I Heart Huckabees, from which his on-set meltdown went viral, David O. Russell has been on fire. In this fictional account of the real life ABSCAM investigation that sent several members of federal, state and local government to prison, Conman Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and his not exactly British girlfriend, Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), are forced by an unstable FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), into conning the mayor of Camden, New Jersey, Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner), and some of the scariest mobsters still living. Torn between his love and his beautiful, crazy, young wife (Jennifer Lawrence) and son, Irving has to come up with his master plan to escape jail and death. AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (R) What a miserable two hours! Find the most dysfunctional family you know, and visit them during a time of mourning. That experience is guaranteed to be less grueling than the time spent with Oklahoma’s Westons. Matriarch Violet (Meryl Streep) has cancer and is cancerous. Her husband, Beverly (Sam Shepard), disappears, bringing her three unhappy daughters—Barb (Julia Roberts), Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) and Karen (Juliette Lewis)—back home. Secrets are outed. Some shock (I won’t spoil the big ones); most do not. Playwright Tracy Letts (Bug, Killer Joe) adapts his play for the screen, but it’s still mostly a series of shouted monologues less than impressively handled by TV vet John Wells. The movie is so stagy, one expects an intermission. DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (R) Matthew McConaughey is more
than all right, all right, all right in his Oscar-nominated turn as Ron Woodroof, a walking, talking Texas cliché who suffers from AIDS. In the late ‘80s, the oversexed electriciancum-bullrider gamed the system for years to lengthen his life and provide needed, unapproved medications to the subscribers of his Dallas Buyers Club. Dallas Buyers Club has the right mix of pathos, humor and character growth to please a rather broad swath of filmgoers from the heartland to the coastline, which assists the awards success of director Jean-Marc Vallee’s bittersweet biopic. But let’s face it; McConaughey’s renaissance is fueling DBC’s buzz. Has McConaughey overtaken Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as the foremost pretty boy romantic lead remade as a serious leading man? DEVIL’S DUE (R) The trailer promised a found footage update of the Rosemary’s Baby scenario—a woman is mysteriously impregnated with the antichrist—but unsurprisingly, that movie did not need to be made. A newly married couple, Zach (Zach Gilford) and Samantha (Allison Miller), loses a night on their honeymoon in Santo Domingo. Suddenly, Sam is pregnant, and she has worse problems than morning sickness. This horrific pregnancy proceeds exactly as expected. Devil’s Due has several problems, and lack of terror tops the list. Filmmakers Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (half of V/H/S’s Radio Silence) switch filming methods too many times to keep the found footage gimmick alive. FROZEN (PG) Disney returns with a newfangled computer animated feature that feels very old school. A young princess, Anna (v. Kristen Bell), must venture into the frozen wilds to save her sister, recently crowned Queen
FLAGPOLE.COM ∙ FEBRUARY 5, 2014
Elsa (v. Idina Menzel), who has lost control over her icy powers. The narrative, adapted from Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen,” is as Disney formulaic as they come, and the animation shines without standing out. Nonetheless, little kids will love Frozen, and parents who grew up on Disney classics will not feel left out in the cold. HER (R) Her is done little justice by loglines. People who haven’t heard of it either find it too strange or too silly. They are so misguided. The first film written by Spike Jonze alone, Her stars a really nice, mildmannered Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore Twombly. Ted writes personal letters for strangers and is struggling through a divorce. Then he meets his new Operating System and falls in love…with the OS. Samantha is voiced by Scarlett Johannson, so the concept isn’t THAT outlandish. The film is mostly Phoenix interacting with Johannson’s voice. Sometimes an unmade Amy Adams pops by to again verify her brilliance. While Phoenix and ScarJo incredibly do their thing, Jonze and his behind the scenes folk drip visual magic into
book report than an exciting cinematic adaptation. After surviving the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) are the Capitol’s newest celebrities. But all is not well in the Districts, and creepy President Snow (Donald Sutherland) lets Katniss know it by putting her back in the next year’s Games. New director Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) paces the film better once we escape District 12, and the Quarter Quell is excitingly envisioned. Largely dismissed as repetitive upon the novel’s release, the underrated Catching Fire successfully adds more wrinkles to the Suzanne Collins’ formula than its more straightforward predecessor. I, FRANKENSTEIN (PG-13) Do not feed I, Frankenstein. It breaks the cardinal rule of knowingly bad cinema. Cast someone entertaining. If a movie was ever tailor-made for Nicolas Cage’s brand of ham, I, Frank is it. Frankenstein’s Monster, hereafter named Adam (Aaron Eckhart), thanks to an angelic gargoyle played by Miranda Otto, finds himself embroiled in the heretofore unknown, centuries-ancient
Have I had too much to drink or is this Ocean’s Fourteen? audience eyes with their retro-future design. You get told so many times how awesome an award-worthy festival winner is before getting the opportunity to see it, that, frankly, many times the hype trumps the film. Her is the exception. It is unreservedly wonderful. But here we are with Gravity and Her duking it out for my and many other best film accolades. THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (PG-13) Peter Jackson’s first return to Middle-Earth, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, did not disappoint, even if it failed to excite like The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The second Hobbit feature still feels hobbled by a feeling of déjà vu. Armies of orcs marching to war or battles against giant killer spiders are nothing new. But when Jackson takes us to new locales like Lake Town at the foot of the Lonely Mountain, where mammoth dragon Smaug (v. Benedict Cumberbatch) resides, the epic fantasy film reaches toward those heights of its predecessor. The climactic, fiery escape from the Lonely Mountain leaves the audience breathless, eager for the final installment, There and Back Again, due next December. THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE (PG-13) The Hunger Games returns, and its sequel, while more a formality setting up the series’ final, revolutionary entry, improves upon an original that was more of a visual
struggle between Demon and Gargoyle. Pirates of the Caribbean writer Stuart Beattie makes an entertaining hash of Underworld scribe Kevin Grevioux’s graphic novel that turns Mary Shelley’s rumination about man playing god into a “kickass” version of the videogame, Devil May Cry, which totally deserves a filmed adaptation after this flick. Had early ‘90s Christopher Lambert been the star, I’d have devoured this movie on VHS, after missing out on what would have been an all-too-brief theatrical run. Cast Cage, and this thankfully swiftly paced horror-actioner might have ventured into neo-camp classic territory. Bill Nighy practically models self-control as a Demon Prince just screaming for amped up camp. Why should Bill break a sweat when no one else is? At least I, Frank kept me awake; that’s more than I can say for any of the four Underworlds. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (R) So the Coen Brothers deliver one of their most rewarding films yet, even if it does feature yet another self-destructive protagonist. Yet folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a charmer as he hops from couch to couch during the cold New York winter of 1961; Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake are the two most recognizable providers of said couches. Isaac has been an award show fixture, and his performance certainly fits the bill for breakout. He’s in every scene and, besides some
unsurprising scene stealing from John Goodman as a jazz-hole, no one competes with Isaac. What a witty way the Coens use space in these tiny New York hallways, and music, obviously, plays the biggest role in a Coen film since O Brother, Where Art Thou?, with whom this film shares music guru T-Bone Burnett. It has a bit of a head scratching conclusion, but everything preceding it bittersweetly tickles the heart and the quirky bone, much like we’ve come to expect from the Brothers Coen. (Ciné) JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT (PG-13) Scripters Adam Cozad and David Koepp (many a blockbuster including Mission: Impossible and Jurassic Park) start their retconning in 2001, with 9/11 pushing Ryan (Chris Pine) from doctoral student at the London School of Economics to marine injured in Afghanistan. His rehab introduces the heroic soldier to future wife, Cathy Muller (Keira Knightley, sporting an uncomfortable American non-accent), and CIA mentor, William Harper (Kevin Costner, as stalwart as ever). The action moves to Russia where director Kenneth Branagh gives a great audition for future Bond villainy as Victor Cherevin. This new(re) born franchise needs more giant action setpieces to compete with Bond, but the setup is strong. (No one will probably notice if they quietly change lead actresses down the road.) THE LEGO MOVIE (PG) The hilarious Chris Pratt has been talking about this flick, for which he provides the voice of hero Emmet Brickowski. An ordinary minifigure, Emmet is mistaken for the MasterBuilder, whose help is needed to stop an evil tyrant from permanently gluing the LEGO world together. This flick brings together fan favorites from the many blockbuster franchises—Star Wars, Batman, The Lord of the Rings— licensed by LEGO. Judging from the trailer and its tremendous comic voice cast that includes Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Charlie Day, Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill and Morgan Freeman, The LEGO Movie has potential. LONE SURVIVOR (R) The spoilerishly titled Lone Survivor does not hide from what it is, which amounts to injury porn in the second act (the characters’ two falls are brutal). While on Operation Red Wings, four Navy SEALs—team leader Mike Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Axe (Ben Foster), Danny (Emile Hirsch) and Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), upon whose
book this film is based—battle an army of Taliban fighters. Peter Berg shoots action with a visceral viciousness, taking some visual cues from first person shooters like Call of Duty. Lone Survivor will please the action-heads out there, but it takes the home movies before the end credits to remind audiences these soldiers were actual husbands and fathers. l THE MONUMENTS MEN (PG-13) George Clooney films usually do pretty well come awards season, so it is surprising to see his latest pushed back to February, especially considering its all-star cast of superstars, Oscar winners and supporting stalwarts. The Monuments Men retells the true story of the WWII platoon that saved art from the Nazis. Clooney co-wrote, directed and stars alongside Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett. NEBRASKA (R) See Movie Pick. (Ciné) THE NUT JOB (PG) The latest animated feature pits a curmudgeonly squirrel named (a bit on the nose) Surly (v. Will Arnett) against the city. When he finds Maury’s Nut Store, he may just have found the way to alleviate his and the rest of his park community’s winter worries. Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson and Katherine Heigl are the next three biggest names in the voice cast. Will this movie capture its family audience without a big name like Disney or DreamWorks behind it? THE OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS 2014 The Oscar-nominated Live Action and Animated Shorts Programs return to Ciné. This year’s animated nominees are “Feral,” “Get a Horse!,” “Mr. Hublot,” “Possessions” and “Room on the Broom.” The Live Action Short Film nominees are “That Wasn’t Me,” “Just Before Losing Everything,” “Helium,” “Do I Have to Take Care of Everything” and “The Voorman Problem.” The Documentary Short Film nominees are “Cavedigger,” “Facing Fear,” “The Lady in Number 6,” “Karama Has No Walls” and “Prison Terminal.” Finding out the winner on Oscar night is a whole lot more fun when you’ve seen the nominees. (Ciné) RIDE ALONG (PG-13) Buddy cop action comedies can do worse than star Kevin Hart; alternately, they can do better than Ice Cube. In Ride Along, Ben Barber (Hart), a security guard with aspirations to be a cop, spends a day with his girlfriend’s super cop brother, James Payton (Cube), in hopes of impressing him and earning his blessing. First Payton punks Ben; then they run into the big gun of ATL crime, scary gang leader Omar (Laurence Fishburne). The basic blueprint of this movie was written by Shane Black in the late ‘80s, and Lethal Weapon will always be better than its jokier progeny. If you cannot see the plot “twist” coming, you have not watched enough buddy cop flicks.
C I NEMAS Movie showtimes are not available by our deadline. Please check cinema websites for accurate information. CINÉ • 234 W. Hancock Ave. • 706-353-3343 • www.athenscine.com GEORGIA MUSEUM OF ART • (UGA Campus) 90 Carlton St. • 706-542-GMOA • www.uga.edu/gamuseum/calendar/films.html TATE STUDENT CENTER • (UGA Campus) 45 Baxter St. • 706-542-6396 • www.union.uga.edu/movies Beechwood Stadium cinemas 11 • 196 Alps Rd. • 706-546-1011 • www.georgiatheatrecompany.com Carmike 12 • 1570 Lexington Rd. • 706-354-0016 • www.carmike.com Georgia Square value cinemas 5 • 3710 Atlanta Hwy. • 706-548-3426 • www.georgiatheatrecompany.com UNIVERSITY 16 cinemas • 1793 Oconee Connector • 706-355-9122 • www.georgiatheatrecompany.com
SAVING MR. BANKS (PG-13) P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) meets with Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) himself during the negotiations for and the filming of her classic Mary Poppins. Apparently, the whole story was about her difficult Australian childhood and her own dad, who served as the inspiration for Mr. Banks. Director John Lee Hancock last helmed The Blind Side. It looks like heâ€™s got another crowd pleasing hit on his hands. 12 YEARS A SLAVE (R) The very real, very powerful 12 Years a Slave recounts the devastatingly true account of Solomon Northup (Academy Award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free man kidnapped and sold into slavery. Solomonâ€™s woeful tale occurred to many other free blacks; his is just one of the few that ended happily. Shame director Steve McQueen certainly
earned his Academy Award nomination for gracefully bringing this true life horror story to cinematic life. Despite its massively discomfiting subject, 12 Years a Slave is never anything less than compellingly watchable. The Academy Award-nominated turns from Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyongâ€™o certainly stand out, though the star is, ultimately, this supremely wellconstructed film, a work that stands above nearly all its competitors. VAMPIRE ACADEMY (PG-13) The trailers for Mean Girls director Mark Watersâ€™ latest look like a CW series. Based on Richelle Meadâ€™s six-volume YA series, Vampire Academy is attended by Dhampir, human-vampire hybrids that guard the mortal, peaceful vamps known as Moroi from the immortal baddies known as Strigoi. That description sounds more than the
tiniest bit fun. Watersâ€™ brother, Daniel (of Heathers fame), wrote the script. Apparently, Sarah Hyland of â€œModern Familyâ€? and Gabriel Byrne are the only two recognizable faces/names. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (R) Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Jordan Belfort, who ruled the Bulls and the Bears before the age of 30. Hopped up on Quaaludes and cocaine, Belfort and his crew at Stratton Oakmont peddled penny stocks and defrauded investors so badly, he ended up in prison for 22 months. Director Martin Scorsese captures every debauched momentâ€” hookers, drugs and dwarf tossingâ€”of Belfortâ€™s life. DiCaprio will be an Oscar frontrunner if voters can get beyond the vileness of Belfort enough to celebrate the actorâ€™s most physical performance. Drew Wheeler
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Tilting Windmills Nebraska (R) Veteran character actor Bruce Dern made a career out of playing twitchy, skeezy, untrustworthy men. He was the slithery varmint who killed John Wayne in Mark Rydellâ€™s underrated 1972 Western The Cowboys. Dern was the actor who murdered countless childrenâ€™s dreams in that role, taking down the most popular action movie star Hollywood had ever manufactured. Wayne had been wounded before in movies, but no one had ever silenced him forever. Dern accomplished it. For main-
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Home; and the gritty neo-noir After Dark, My Sweet (1990). In Alexander Payneâ€™s latest, Nebraska, Dern plays the elderly, moody, wispy-haired Woody Grant, a man who receives a piece of junk mail proclaiming that heâ€™s won a fortune. Problem is, unlike the majority of us, Woody believes that heâ€™s hit the jackpot. He insists on leaving his Montana home to journey back to his home state of Nebraska, where he believes his prize is awaiting. Woodyâ€™s wife, Kate (June
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Will Forte and Bruce Dern stream movie audiences, Dern immediately became a symbol of counter-cultural anarchy against the establishment. Dern had range, but he excelled at personifying the type of guy you avoided at parties. He was ruin in flesh. Completely identifiable yet scary. Dennis Hopper, Warren Oates and Steve Buscemi all had similar visual qualities: unconventionally attractive, though still drawing our eyes to their screen magnetism. Dern was one of the finest character actors of his generation, and when he stepped into the frame, we watched with eagerness. Dern co-starred in plenty of B-moviesâ€”The Wild Angels (1966), The Trip (1967) and Psych-Out (1968)â€”but his best performances can be seen in the drama The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), opposite Jack Nicholson; the earnest, ecological-minded science fiction tale Silent Running (1972); the terrorist thriller Black Sunday (1977); the anti-war tragedy Coming
Squibb), thinks heâ€™s crazy, as does his oldest son, Ross (Bob Odenkirk). But Woody, along with his youngest son David (Will Forte), hits the road to eventually get his fortune. Is Woody delusional? Once in Nebraska, with a gaggle of blood kin and assorted hangers-on vying for pieces of Woodyâ€™s fortune, the movie shapes into something special, melancholy and quietly entrancing. Payne, along with screenwriter Bob Nelson and cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, conjures up a haunting yet wry look at the American heartland, a place desolate yet warmly and strangely inviting. Nebraska recalls the sadly neglected 1973 movie Scarecrow, starring Gene Hackman and Al Pacino, while marking out its own cinematic territory. Nebraska is Payne at his best, and also showcases Dern at his finest. Derek Hill
FEBRUARY 5, 2014 Âˇ FLAGPOLE.COM
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ATHENS FAVORITES 2014
DANCING IS THE PERFECT
VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT! *OIN US FOR A 6ERY 3PECIAL 6ALENTINE¤S $ANCE
Saturday, Feb. 15th at the VFW 835 Sunset Drive 7 pm Door
All Ticket Sales at Door
Cash Bar Bring Your Own Snacks
Athens’ Premier Classic Motown, R&B, and Soul Dance Band
For ticket information please call Sherry
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Go to flagpole.com and vote
for your favorite in each of the categories. Then we will let everyone know what Athens locals like most about our great town.
Voting deadline is February 7th and the Favorites will be announced in the February 26th issue of Flagpole. RESTAURANTS: Italian American Asian Sushi Mexican/Latin American BBQ Bakery Downhome/Southern Local Coffee House Local Pizza Local Burger Fries Burrito Taco Steak Seafood Wings Vegetarian Options Sandwich Dessert Ice Cream/ Frozen Yogurt Buffet Breakfast Lunch Brunch Late Night
(table service after 10PM)
Date Night Meal for a Deal
Store to Buy a Gift for Her
(name of restaurant)
Special Occasion Kid-friendly Local Restaurant Outdoor dining Take Out Catering Chef Restaurant for Adventurous Eaters Restaurant That’s Worth a Short Drive (20 miles or less drive)
Uniquely Athens Restaurant
FLAGPOLE.COM ∙ FEBRUARY 5, 2014
Flagpole wants to know where you like to go.
MUSIC: Recording Studio Live Music Venue
Live Music Venue
Bloody Mary Beer Selection Wine Selection Place to Dance Place to Play Games Place to Be for “Last Call” Happy Hour
(less than 200 capacity) (200+ capacity)
PETS AND KIDS: Vet Clinic Pet Groomer Place to Take Kids on a Rainy Day Kids’ Classes: Movement Kids’ Classes: Creative
Trivia Karaoke College Bar Place to Meet Someone You Would Not Bring Home to Mom Place to Meet Your Future Spouse Place to Watch the Dawgs Play Uniquely Athens Bar RETAIL:
Store to Buy a Gift for Him Local Clothing Boutique Place to Buy Local Art Place to See Local Art Thrift /Vintage Store Place to Buy Wine Place to Buy Beer Uniquely Athens Store
SERVICES: Hotel Photography Studio Florist Hair Salon Stylist Massage Therapist Tattoo Studio Spa Fitness Instructor Place to Get Fit Adult Classes: Movement Adult Classes: Creative Car Repair Shop Car Dealership Plumber Electrician HVAC Lawyer to Get You Out of a Jam Florist Bank Realtor Local Business STUFF AROUND TOWN: Non-profit/Charity Festival/Event
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Mike White · deadlydesigns.com
Heavy Travel Jucifer’s Russian Evolution I
t’s been nearly 20 years since Jucifer first started creating thunderous rock sounds in Athens. (The group has since famously adopted a nomadic lifestyle, living and touring out of its trusty RV.) Drummer Ed Livengood and guitarist/vocalist Amber Valentine began playing together under the name, a play on both O.J. Simpson and Satan, in 1994. Rehearsing in their home on Childs Street, just off of Prince Avenue, they quickly developed a signature style: high-volume, downtuned, angst-fueled grunge-metal. At Jucifer’s earliest shows, Livengood battered his rickety drum kit with impressive muscularity and flare. Playing through stacks of various amplifiers, Valentine created a distorted wall-of-guitar sound that enveloped the bass and mid-range frequencies. Tempos fluctuated; one song might be upbeat and almost poppy, while the next was a gruesome dirge that used repetition, space and dissonance to a sludgy effect. “I think we’ve always been the same band we are today, which is one with few limits and many pleasures within the world of sound,” says Valentine. “Depending on which set or song or album somebody catches, it could seem like we change a lot, since we’re diverse in our choices. But that diversity isn’t a progression from or rejection of something else we do or did. It’s simply that in any given moment, we’re choosing a part of ourselves to reveal or revel in. It’s all about expression, and not at all about definition for us.” The band’s earliest recordings rocked hard, but Valentine’s singing style could swing easily from angelic to demonic, whisper to scream, creating a dual personality. In the early and mid-2000s, while signed to metal mainstay Relapse, Jucifer cranked up its metallic, head-banging side for a more aggressive, menacing sound. “If anything has changed since we started, it’s that people have had time to understand how we approach things,” Valentine says. “Realizing we’re a band that follows its own path to any crazy-ass place—not attempting to define us too narrowly. And that’s nice. Also, we’re older, and hence more muscular from the cumulative effects of hauling gear around.” Valentine and Livengood veered sharply into new conceptual territory with their latest collection, the Russian-themed за волгой для нас земли нет (which translates to Beyond
the Volga There Is No Land), the long-awaited follow-up to 2010’s Throned in Blood. Released last summer on the Nomadic Fortress/Mutants of the Monster imprints, the songs center thematically around the Battle of Stalingrad, and the titles and sleeve info are written entirely in Russian. Jucifer started working on the album in Ontario, Canada in 2011 with producer Joe Byrne. Within a few weeks of those sessions, the duo embarked on its first tour through Russia. “We certainly did [the album] with a fresh infusion of Russian experiences,” Valentine says. “Although we haven’t had trouble [in the past] feeling deeply for subjects set in places we’ve never been, it was cool to have sense memories still tingling” during the construction of the record. The Russian theme had established itself by the time the band returned to the country to tour the following year. “Playing Volgograd in 2012 solved our question as to how we were going to record Russian narration for the record,” Valentine says. “The promoter for our shows there, Oleg Kotrunov, and his family did us the huge favor of contributing. Oleg recorded, and his wife Larisa translated our text to Russian while retaining its rhythm and flow, and voiced [opening track] ‘The Land Speaks.’ Their children, Vladimir and Maria, each contributed speaking parts, and Masha sang a traditional patriotic song of the city. It was beyond special to return in 2013 and present the album to them. Their parts were integral to creating the authentic ambiance we wanted.” Some tracks on за волгой для нас земли нет resemble classic Jucifer, with Valentine’s six-string blasting through her teetering stack and Livengood’s oversized drums and cymbals rumbling and crashing underneath. But sometimes it sounds like an alien war machine gone haywire. Experimentation has been essential to every Jucifer studio session, and the band wanted to pair a decidedly different sound with its newest album’s ambitious theme. Compared to the group’s 1998 studio debut, Calling All Cars On the Vegas Strip, it’s a very different kind of heavy-rock album. “With all our albums, we’ve tried to impart a sense of place and/or time,” Valentine says. “With language, with production style, instrumentation, everything. It’s totally cool with us if a majority of listeners don’t care to look so deeply, but
for us, each concept is something we leave trails and clues about within not only the lyrics and artwork, but every single dynamic of each song. So, the Russian language is a very specific tool we’re using to immerse the listener, lull them and frighten them.” There’s plenty of doom and gloom at the heart of за волгой для нас земли нет, but there are more than a few surprisingly beautiful twists as well. There’s a groove to “Боритесь, чтобы жить свободно” (“Fight Hard, Live Free”) that counters the devilish snarl of Valentine’s singing. “ПОЗОР” (“Shame”) features a swingin’ monster riff. “Королева—оленьи рожки” (“Queen of Antlers”) lumbers and slinks at a painfully slow pace. “It’s too soon for us to get the full effect of a record until at least 10 years have passed,” Valentine says. “Until then, we’re still hearing flaws or could-have-beens—or at the very least, knowing the sequence instead of being surprised by it the way somebody is on a first listen.” While things seem pretty scary and bleak on much of the album, there is an underlying message that’s more positive or optimistic than some listeners might assume. “The happy ending is that Volgograd endures, that no one forgets, but that no one stays trapped in the past, either,” Valentine says. “Humanity suffers but rebuilds, time after time. And we never seem able to eradicate the sources of human suffering and human evil, but there are periods in which we can rest and enjoy life. “Also, those who died defending their home literally helped save the world,” she adds. “There’s solace and legitimate pride to be had in that.” T. Ballard Lesemann
WHO: Jucifer, Hot Breath, Manger WHERE: Caledonia Lounge WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 6, 9 p.m. HOW MUCH: $7 (21+), $9 (18–20)
FEBRUARY 5, 2014 · FLAGPOLE.COM
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OTE Tue-Thurs 11am-9pm US Fri-Sat 11am-10pm FOR NS ATHE Sunday 11am-9pm FAVORITES Closed Mondays 2014!
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Easter Island Calls it Quits
South Rail Rye Island Far Away Old Skool Trio
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7 TH
Ralph Roddenberry SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8TH
ver the four years of its existence, local post-pop band Easter Island has made several personnel adjustments. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 9TH Each time, a member moved on for the sake Fundraiser for Girls Rock Athens of stability. As a band comprised of close-knit â€œGirls Rock!â€? the movie friends, prioritizing family, health and hapShowtimes 2pm and 7pm piness were never up for debate. Recently, Suggested $5 donation at the height of its popularity, the group announced that it would be no more. It came MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10TH as a shock to loyal followers, but the reason Open Mic Night for the breakup is the same as the reason for its success: love and care. ATHENSâ€™ INTIMATE LIVE MUSIC VENUE Brothers Ethan and Asher Payne began their music careers in separate citiesâ€”Ethan See website for show times & details in Athens, Asher in Chattanooga. Asher moved hendershotscoffee.com to Athens after completing his undergraduate 237 prince ave. â€˘ 706.353.3050 degree, and the two quickly began introducing each other to the music they had made while FRIDAY, FEB. 7 apart. They soon recruited three of their best Dance Party with friendsâ€”John Cable, Andrew Terrell and Nate DJ MOB KNARLY Thompsonâ€”into the fold. In January 2010, the band recorded the SATURDAY, FEB. 8 Better Things EP with the help of drummer and Live Music with sound engineer Patrick Ferguson, a longtime TALKING TO fixture on the Athens scene. After finishing the EP, Easter Island joined forces with Team MONDAYS Clermont for a press campaign. The collabora50 $ 2 Craft Beers & $2 Bourbon tion led to the bandâ€™s song â€œProudâ€? landing on the ABC show â€œOff the Map,â€? a series about THURSDAYS $ doctors working in a South American jungle. 1 Yuengling & Dos Equis A little bit of the Gulf Coast comes to Athens But just as the group was gaining momen120 E. Clayton St. tum, its lineup shifted: Drummer Cable and T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T bassist Terrell moved on. Guitarist Thompson stuck, and Ferguson stepped in to play drums. Ryan Monahan, a friend of Ethanâ€™s, volunteered to play bass. â€œIt was so natural for us,â€? says Asher. The organic feel proved helpful in the studio, where Easter Island returned to record a full-length album with only seven songs prepared. By the end of the recording, there were 11. Ten of the songs made up the album, Frightened. It was met with kind reviews, but the band, held back by jobs and financial limitations, was not prepared to tour aggressively. PRIX FIXE DINNER â€œI think exposure lives in two worlds,â€? FRIDAY, FEB. 14TH Asher says. â€œIt kind of has to go hand-in& SAT. FEB. 15TH hand. In order for us to have gone somewhere, we should have been touring, prior to the release of Frightened, during the release and after, because we got good press from the Friday, Feb. 14th @ 8pm album.â€? LIVE IN THE BBR FAVORITE SEAFOOD Still, Easter Island gained real strength at & FAVORITE home, specifically at the Caledonia Lounge. OUTDOOR DINING â€œThatâ€™s where we became a confident band,â€? Vote at favorites.flagpole.com says Ethan. â€œThere were some really bummer times at the beginning, and Caledonia was a $12 Heated Porch Âˇ Plenty of Parking The Ultimate Elvis Tribute ADVANCE really good boost in confidence.â€? It was also * Limited Number WATCH THE WORLD GO BY IN FIVE POINTS $15 where the band was approached by booking of VIP Reserved Tables DOOR of 10 for $120 agent Jesse Rosoff, who helped it secure tour At the corner of Lumpkin & Milledge "MQT3Et#FFDIXPPE$FOUFS dates across the country, including a showcase tCVGGBMPTDBGFDPNBUIFOT MARKER7COASTALGRILL.COM â€˘ 706.850.3451 at last yearâ€™s SXSW. DELIVERY AVAILABLE THROUGH
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Then came another change to the plan. Ferguson and his wife had recently adopted a young daughter, and the thought of her feeling abandoned was more than he could take. Riding the promise of possibility, the remaining members pressed on. Drummer John Swint had just ended his stint with Modern Skirts, and he had expressed interest in Easter Island long before there was a need. Ferguson endorsed Swint, making the decision that much easier. â€œI remember talking to Patrick and him saying, â€˜Swint kind of reminds me of me in the â€˜90s, just this ferocious thing that doesnâ€™t really stopâ€™,â€? said Asher. â€œAnd we needed that Patrick-like ethos.â€? Easter Island was ready to move forward. It released the Dinosaur Drift EP and booked a full fall 2013 tour. â€œWe were all in,â€? says Ethan. After a New York City show at Arleneâ€™s Grocery on the opening night of the CMJ Music Marathon, the band was approached by a label. Soon after, Thompson confronted Ethan with news. The married man was ready to devote more time to his wife and to becoming a father, and wanted to have a stable job. â€œHe told me, â€˜If Easter Island makes it big tomorrow, I still need to move onâ€™,â€? says Ethan. The brothers knew the loss would likely be impassable. â€œHis creativity in creating these amazing guitar tones, none of us have,â€? says Asher. â€œWe needed him so bad.â€? Asher and Ethan determined that they would move on with Easter Island only if Swint and Monahan were fully committed. But a conversation with Monahan revealed what they feared. â€œRyan had some health issues,â€? says Ethan. â€œIf Nate had still been in the band, I think his desire to just power through would have been higher, but without Nate in the band and with that change, he just wasnâ€™t up for the adjustment, and so that was the nail in the coffin.â€? â€œ[Easter Island] was such a huge part of my life communally, that having to teach someone the songs without them experiencing themâ€”[it] just wouldnâ€™t be the same,â€? says Asher. â€œIâ€™m one for ending things on high notes, and this is the highest note that Easter Island has ever had.â€? Jodi Murphy
WHO: Easter Island, Brothers, Sehrmann WHERE: Caledonia Lounge WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 8, 10 p.m. HOW MUCH: $5 (21+), $7 (18â€“20)
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Turquoise Jeep Keeps On Smanginâ€™
or a number of reasons, itâ€™s probably best to describe Turquoise Jeep as a brand rather than a band. Not only does the collectiveâ€”made up of Flynt Flossy, Yung Humma, Pretty Raheem and Whatchyamacallit, among other part-time collaboratorsâ€”operate its own independent record label (appropriately called Turquoise Jeep Records), but the group soon plans to roll out a clothing line and a DVD series instructing viewers on how to breakdance properly. Itâ€™s hardly what youâ€™d expect to find on your average touring actâ€™s merch table. The groupâ€™s back story seems purposefully vague: The four members were working various jobs in music and video production and stumbled upon each otherâ€™s work. Raheem puts the groupâ€™s origin story rather plainly: â€œWe were all in the industry, in some form or fashion. Our paths kept crossing, we formed Turquoise Jeep and weâ€™ve been ridinâ€™ ever since.â€? In 2010, Turquoise Jeep went viral with the catchy and ridiculous novelty hip hop hit â€œLemme Smang It,â€? a song credited to Yung Humma featuring Flynt Flossy. At the time of this writing, the video for â€œSmang Itâ€? has nearly 12 million hits on YouTubeâ€”no small feat, even in an industry now dominated by the Internet. Although the group owes much of its credit to the Internetâ€™s ability to circulate content widely at fast speeds, members say that they would have found a way to exist and persist without new media. â€œYouTube was just one of those avenues that worked out for us,â€? notes Humma. â€œEven if YouTube wasnâ€™t around, Turquoise Jeep still would have come to be.â€? When asked if he feels any anxiety about being called a novelty act, given that all of Turquoise Jeepâ€™s songs feature over-the-top sexual innuendo (â€œNot Your Professor But Your Prosexxor,â€? â€œNaughty Farmerâ€? and â€œSex Syrupâ€? are just a few titillating titles), Flossy is quick to dismiss any claim that Turquoise Jeep is a joke. â€œAudiences sometimes donâ€™t know how to accept things that are different,â€? he says. â€œSome people might not understand the art. But the people that get it? They appreciate it.â€? According to Flossy, scantily clad women in the videos for tunes like â€œTreat Me Like a Pirate (and Show Me that Booty)â€? aside, Turquoise Jeep means business. â€œWe got that itch,â€? says Flossy, referring to the groupâ€™s entrepreneurial spirit. â€œEverybody has their own path. Weâ€™re so talented and diverse that the point of Turquoise Jeep is creative expression. If Humma wants to come out with his own soda pop tomorrow, Iâ€™d say, â€˜Letâ€™s do itâ€™.â€?
A collaboration with Childish Gambino (also known as Donald Glover, the actor and Georgia native who plays Troy on the NBC comedy â€œCommunityâ€?), â€œFuck Your Blog,â€? only increased the cultural purchase of Turquoise Jeep. â€œIt was a surprise experience,â€? says Whatchyamacallit. We met [Glover] at Fun Fun Fun Fest, and he sent us the track, and we were able to do it real fast. It brought a lot of attention to us, because people said, â€˜Wow, these guys can hold their own.â€™â€? Like any YouTube sensation, Turquoise Jeep draws a predominantly college-aged crowd to its performances, but the group emphasizes that the term is much broader than the 18â€“22 demographic. â€œWe definitely have a â€˜college crowd,â€™ but that doesnâ€™t really explain it,â€? says Whatchyamacallit. â€œWe bring in faculty members, administrators, people you donâ€™t expect to be in attendance.â€? And the group finds that crowds have a positive response no matter the location. â€œIn my opinion, everywhere we go, thereâ€™s an equal amount of love,â€? says Humma. â€œI canâ€™t say that thereâ€™s a place that is particularly different.â€? Flossy adds. â€œOne thing that Iâ€™ve witnessed is that 60-year-olds, 50-year-olds come to our shows. We have a range that we sometimes donâ€™t give ourselves credit for.â€? Whatchyamacallit notes that he also sees many people from what he calls â€œthe cubicle nationâ€”people that sit at a computer all dayâ€?â€”in the groupâ€™s crowds. Since the members of Turquoise Jeep now reside all over the country, collaborating is more difficultâ€”but it isnâ€™t impossible. It â€œreally depend[s] on the situation,â€? says Flossy, who notes that he texts other members lyrics when they are apart. And they still find time to tour regularly; this Fridayâ€™s 40 Watt show will mark the second time in as many years that the group will have hit Athens. â€œItâ€™s dope to be working together. It ainâ€™t no fun if you canâ€™t share the experience,â€? says Flossy. â€œInstead of you being a one-man show, itâ€™s a family,â€? adds Humma. â€œWe are here to help each other out.â€? Whatever comes of the groupâ€™s many endeavors, one thing is for sure: Turquoise Jeep will keep riding.
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