verge AUGUSTA & THE CSRA
FREE | NOVEMBER 3 2010 |VOL 3 ISSUE 9 | YOUR SOURCE FOR COMMUNIT Y DRIVEN NEWS
WORDS Lincoln Crisler + MUSIC Stretching Alt-Country + FOOD Turkish in Augusta + ART Jackson Cheatham + PEOPLE Remembering Gene + GAME Jingle Bell Jaunt
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4 November 3, 2010 | community driven news| vergelive.com
Saving the Front Porch of Our Community
publisher Matt Plocha editor Lara Plocha pipeline Claire Riche contributors Chris Selmek, Alison Richter, PM Rogers, John Cannon, Dino Lull, Ben Casella, Skyler Andrews, Charlotte Okie, Elizabeth Benson, Abby Spasser, Holly Birdsong, Brandi Freeman, Jennifer Maslyn, Mariah Gardner
“We came to save front porches.” George Dawes Green made this simple statement during the recent Unchained Tour of Georgia that visited Augusta on October 28th. The concept of Unchained birthed from a road trip through the back roads of Georgia. A natural born storyteller, Dawes was dismayed at the stretches of darkened porches and the telltale glimpses of flickering blue lights seeping out from behind closed curtains. For Dawes, a different story unfolded – that of families camped around the television, insulated and alone.
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1102 Bar & Grill 8th Street Tobacco AB Beverage Bar on Broad Brigan’s Land Casella Eye Center Congregation Beth Shalom Curiosity Shop Curtis Baptist Church Edge Salon and Spa Elduets treasures Fort Gordon Halo Salon and Spa Health Central Lofty Ideas Manuel’s Bread Cafe Modish Nacho Mamas New Moon Cafe Oddfellow’s Power Serve Re-Fresh Rock Bottom Music Rooster’s Beak Sanford, Bruker & Banks Soy Noodle House Stillwater Taproom Sunbelt Nissan The Book Tavern The Loft TGIFriday’s Vintage Ooollee Whitehouse Antiques Windsor Jewelers
yeah, we made this
Front porches are a significant icon of Southern community. A Southern front porch beckons passersby to sit for a spell and swap stories. It’s the beginning of building community. We (at verge) also came to help save a front porch – the front porch that is downtown Augusta. A front porch that seems to be on the brink of a revitalization wave. But it could go the other way. See, the front porch has two vital components – the folks that build and sit on the front porch and the folks that stop by for a spell. And from those two parts come true community. In downtown Augusta, we’ve got porch builders – folks like Nicole and Buck McLeod who are transforming the old Emporium building back into a shining gem of mixed residential and retail use; Barry White, whose determination finally paid off with the ground-breaking for the Trade, Exhibit and Event Center; The Brickers, who embraced the old downtown ideal – living above their operating retail store; Syd Padgett, who recently opened up Oddfellows, a new art gallery; Brooke Buxton who envisions a thriving year-round Saturday market; Bryan Haltermann, who is developing more residential living spaces; architect Bruys Henderson (whose art graces this issue’s cover) who dreams of the downtown we could have. The second part of the equation – the porch visitors – that’s you. It’s been said that downtown revitalization won’t succeed without “community embrace.” Great downtowns don’t just happen. They come about when the community truly embraces downtown as its front porch. We invite to come on up to our front porch – downtown Augusta – sit a spell and visit, share your stories and hear ours. Begin building community, one relationship at a time. Support the efforts others are making to create a front porch that is welcome to all. And, while you’re there, you just might find that the Southern porch is alive and well – and big enough for everyone in our community to live on. See you downtown! We have a chair waiting for you. - Matt
you won’t want to miss a page
the main feature
7 Off-Broad, Off-Beat Oddfellows 11 Remembering Gene Glowny 13 A Different Dream for Downtown New art gallery opens on Eighth Street
A tribute to the man under the elephant suit
Transplanted architect Bruys Henderson has vision
17 Unchained Descends on Augusta 23 Meet Lincoln Crisler 27 In Studio: Jackson Cheatham 34 A Way to Show Veterans Our Gratitude Troop of storytellers bring local to life
Army officer leads double-life as horror writer
A glimpse into the life of this printmaker and curator
Go to the first Andy’s Thank-A-Vet Music Festival
music | theatre | art | film 15 17 18 19 25 25 26 29
Photographer Debbie Fleming Caffrey Jingle Bell Jaunt Southern Circuit Film: Burning in the Sun Jumbling Towers Caroline Herring Max Brod Trio ASU Film Club North Augusta Designer Showcase
experience more 07 07 09 18 21 21 29 31 31 32 33 33
Discover Downtown The Answers to the Alphabet on Broad All Around Town The Pipeline of Upcoming Events Good Chow: The Shishkebab Restaurant Beers Locals Like Across the River: Aiken News Cut the Fat: Stuffing Beware The Urban Mobilization Project The Monuments of Greene Street Sound Bites: Lokal Music Musings The Profiler: NoStar & Will McCranie
DID YOU KNOW IT’S AGAINST THE LAW TO PUT HANDBILLS ON WINDOW SHIELDS
here’s what inspires us
There is a law (HB 1320) named the “Comprehensive Litter Prevention and Abatement Act of 2006.” It basically states that it is unlawful for advertisements, post cards, posters, signs to be posted on any public property. Our local laws go a step further to include motor vehicles in the city of Augusta In the downtown area, there are two community kiosks specifically for this type of advertisement. Please be mindful of this law and our front porch. For more information on the exact wording of this State law visit: http://www.legis.state. ga.us/legis/2005_06/fulltext/hb1320.htm to read it in full. You may also contact the Richmond County License and Inspection Department for a reading of and complete understanding of our local ordinances regarding this topic.
ON THE COVER A Vision for Downtown by Bruys Henderson “This is why I do what I do,” declares architectural designer Bruys Henderson: “To imagine what the city could become with a little love and attention.” To read the rest of the story, flip to page 13. You can find more of Bruys’ renderings at Art on Broad, 1028 Broad Street. AUGUSTAARTISTSROW.COM/ARTONBROAD
“People become the stories they hear and the stories they tell.” - ELIE WIESEL
“i thank you god for this most amazing day for the leaping greenly spirit of trees and a blue true dream of sky and for everything which is natural
which is infinite which is yes!”
- e.e. cummings
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discover downtown dine
Merry’s Trash and Treasures
Frog Hollow Tavern
The merriest place on Broad sells traditional furniture of almost every variety out of 50,000 square feet of sales space spread across four buildings, though volume isn’t the secret to their success. “Customer service is the only edge I got over the box stores,” said Bill Merry, who has owned Merry’s for over 40 years and is the third Merry to do so. “A lot of people know us, and I’m not saying this to be prideful but hopefully we’re a household name in Augusta.” Mr. Merry and his two sons, Brad and Greg, grew up in the store, which is built on repeat business, including some families who have been customers for generations. Merry’s Trash and Treasures is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but is pleased to be closed on Sundays. For more information, call 706.722.3244.
Frog Hollow Tavern opened at the beginning of June and has already made a name for itself among the late night dinner crowd. The menu changes daily, but frequently includes items like Duck Croquettes, Wild Maine Mussels and Chicken Liver Mousse. This sophisticated eatery also specializes in serving local and regionally grown items, according to owner and head chef Sean Wight. “Most of our vegetables come directly from the farm to your table; the menu changes all the time but that’s one thing we try to keep constant.” There’s a added latenight menu that offers lighter, but still unusual fare. Frog Hollow Tavern is open Wednesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. until closing, and is perfect for business meetings or date night. For more information, call 706.364.6909 or FROGHOLLOWTAVERN.COM.
In the three months since they opened, Club Enigma has sponsored Lingerie Night, Paparazzi Night and special events every Wednesday that appeal to all types. “It’s only $10 here for a pitcher of alcohol,” said Brandie Olson, leader of the Paparazzi Posie. “That’s not beer, that’s a mixed drink with almost 75% alcohol using only top shelf liquors that go down smooth.” Hungry patrons can also satisfy their stomachs. “They also make hot wings, burgers and fries in the back,” said her associate Amber Burnette. Both girls say the bartenders take good care of their customers while bouncers keep the drama to a minimum, making Club Enigma one of the best places in Augusta to drink. The bar is open Wednesday through Saturday, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Call 706.305.3362 or
1236 Broad Street
1282 Broad Street
Georgia-Carolina Restaurant Supply
544 Broad Street
529 Broad Street
The Georgia-Carolina Restaurant Supply Company isn’t just for restaurants, as manager Katherine Gallagher likes to say. The family owned business has been serving culinary needs throughout the region for three generations. “Anything you need for a restaurant or commercial cooking is available here, whether you’re cooking in your own home, outdoors, or anywhere at all,” said Gallagher. “No matter what you plan on cooking or what you need, we have it, and if it’s not available in store we can special order large items.” The store offers both used and new appliances including grills, glassware and more. All merchandise is commercial grade. The store is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information or to special order an item, call 706.722.9679. article and photos by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK
NEW BUSINESS: ODDFELLOWS
An Off-Broad, Off-Beat Art Gallery
Oddfellows Art Gallery, located at 802 Ellis Street, may truly be one of the oddest additions to the downtown art scene; even a casual visitor can tell it’s a far cry from Artists’ Row. But that’s just the way it’s meant to be, says owner Syd Padgett, who has been remarkably pleased with the amount of interest his studio has generated already and hopes to spark still more. “We get into just about every variety of art,” said Padgett, who doubles as the studio photographer. “There’s a lady here who does jewelry, and I’m looking for someone to do sculpture and other varieties of 3D art. Right now there are nine artists involved in the venture, but there’s no telling what you might see next at Oddfellows.” In fact, Padgett’s definition of art extends to more than the visual. Already he’s rented space to Forrest Oden to teach guitar lessons and hosted a wine tasting. But the most striking room will always be the main gallery displaying photos and artwork unlike anything else in Augusta. “My goal in starting this place was to rent out space to other artists who don’t want to be locked into anything but can’t find space anywhere else downtown,” he said. “A lot of these artists might hold shows at the Soul Bar or on First Friday’s, but can’t get into Gallery on the Row. I’m here for them.” Among the artists displayed under Oddfellows’ roof include Lucy and Jace McTier, two local yet nationally famous oil-paint artists. Some of Lucy’s paintings have been sold for as much as $30,000, but the most expensive piece in the store is the $2,000 “Iris as a Self Portrait.”
ODDFELLOWS OWNER SYD PADGETT
Another spot in the gallery is reserved for Padgett’s featured artist, which he plans to rotate about every two months. For October and
November, David Seidman’s horror art is displayed prominently with covers he’s designed for Coheed and Cambria albums, Fangoria magazine and Zenoscope comic books. “It being close to Halloween, Seidman was one of the first artists I thought of and wanted for my store,” said Padgett. “One of the biggest statements I get from everyone who pops in here is that this is stuff is so weird that you’re unlikely to find it anywhere else in Augusta.” Although Oddfellows only held its grand opening October 3rd, allowing over 300 people to walk through the gallery until nearly 2 a.m., Padgett says its roots go back even further. “People were sticking their heads in during Arts in the Heart weekend and wanting to know what was going on,” he said. “I was still busy with the planning at that point, but was happy to give people a quick tour if it might get them interested.” The pieces in the store range from $25 to $2,000 with a median price of about $100 to $200. Brian Ramey, David Walker and some of the other artists occasionally do work on commission as well. A frame shop in the back allows customers to either frame their purchase before they take it home or to bring in pieces they’ve purchased elsewhere for framing. “We’re trying to do all kinds of different stuff,” said Padgett. “I really want this to be a center for people to come and hang out and explore.” Oddfellows is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is open late on First Fridays. For more information, contact Padgett at 706.513.0916 or on Facebook. article and photo by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK
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SCAVENGER HUNT ANSWERS
Did You Find the Broad St. ABCs?
ALL AROUND TOWN
SAYING GOODBYE TO FORT DISCOVERY
For all of you who searched downtown Augusta’s Broad Street for the letters featured on the cover of the October 1st issue of verge: here are the promised answers. Ed Belinski’s Alphabet on Broad gave us the opportunity to look at Broad Street in a different way – from the tops of buildings to letters imbedded in the sidewalk. All the letters could be spotted on Broad Street from 7th to 13th Streets. So here’s the next challenge - make your own Alphabet on Broad. Submit the results to us and maybe your Alphabet will grace the cover of verge next year. Only one caveat: you cannot use any of the images from Ed’s Alphabet. Don’t forget to write down where you found each letter! You can submit your alphabet to: email@example.com, by mail: PO Box 38, Augusta GA 30903. Happy hunting!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
A window display at Ruben’s Dept. Store that no longer exists New Bell Discount Beauty Supply (854 Broad) ` Crosby’s Women’s Apparel United Loan & Estate Jewelry (1040 Broad) The Miller Theater Firestone Tire 1005 Broad Street Building International Uniform (imbedded in sidewalk) Board of Education Building Modjeska Theater Sky City Woolworth’s Entry Floor Rock Bottom Music Augusta Chronicle (on the Sunday Only Newspaper Box) Sidewalk Trash Cans Found on a sandwich board that no longer exists Board of Education Building Wall Detail The Imperial Theatre Downtown Dental (foundation vent on the side) Avrett Hardware Store International Uniform (imbedded in sidewalk) Wall in the Augusta Common William Makepeace Thackerey Sign, in the 700 Block Marbury Center Miller Theater (Kirby Fahron Sign) Bazaar Antique Store (1100 Block of Broad)
It seemed inevitable, but the news still brought a shock to Augusta – first the National Science Center (NSC) announced it was closing Fort Discovery, our hands-on science museum and moving its operations to Fort Gordon. Two weeks later, officials made a second announcement – NSC is ceasing all Augusta operations by December 31st. Our loss, however, is Washington, DC’s gain. The whole kit and caboodle is moving to the capitol, where (perhaps) more families, schools, and government officials will appreciate what the NSC brings to the DC community. How the new National Science Center will look remains to be seen, though officials say they do not plan to open another museum facility. But one thing will be constant: its dedication to increase the math and science proficiency of (and proclivity for) our nation’s students. “The best way to achieve our mission is to devote our resources to the development of educational programming, act as the national clearinghouse for educational programming and best practices, and deliver educational products and services nationally,” said Rob Dennis, NSC CEO and President. Dennis indicated that the reduced funding from the Georgia State Legislature played a large role in the decision to relocate the Science Center. Earlier this year, Fort Discovery was forced to reduce its operating hours and staff due to serious cuts in their annual budget from the state. | NSCDISCOVERY.ORG
WE’RE MOVING ON UP (TO #71) Augusta ranked in the top 100 Best Performing Cities
in the USA according to the Milken Institute – rising from its #82 last year to #71. The Milken’s Index ranks metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs, and economic growth. The components include job, wage and salary, and technology growth. In most years, these give a good indication of the underlying structural performance of regional economics. Two other Georgia cities made it to the top 100: Savannah at #40 and Columbus at #45. The best job-creating city in the United States? Fort Hood, Texas. | BESTCITIES.MILKENINSTITUTE.ORG
TAKE A WALK IN THE PARK Fall color often peaks along the canal in early to mid-November.
Join botanist Dr. Judy Gordon of Augusta State University for a look at the native trees and wetlands plants as they don their autumn attire during the Augusta Canal’s Take A Walk in the Park Series on November 13th at 10 a.m. or November 14th at 3 p.m. The Fall Foliage Stroll begin at the Waterworks parking lot at the end of Goodrich Street. Cost is $2 per adult or $1 per child with an $8 maximum per family group. There is no charge for members of the Augusta Canal Keepers Society. The schedule is subject to change due to weather or unforeseen circumstances. | AUGUSTACANAL.COM
PARTY FOR A CAUSE: BEAUJOLAIS FOR THE BALLET Celebrate fall by popping open a bottle of Beaujolais with the Augusta Ballet. Beaujolais Nouveau is a wine made from Gamay grapes grown in the Beaujolais region and is one of the only wines released in the same year of its harvest. Each year’s pressing tastes different - but, Beaujolais is typically easy to drink, bright and fresh with a zingy red fruity flavor. Chef Manuel Verney-Carron of Manuel’s Bread Cafe will complete the treat with authentic French fare to complement the wine’s bright taste. After your palate is satisfied, you can turn your attention to the auction which includes a trip to Paris and a private, backstage tour of The Lion King. And it’s all for a good cause as The Augusta Ballet continues efforts to redefine and reestablish itself in Augusta. Beaujolais for the Ballet is on Saturday, November 20th at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person. Tickets must be purchased in advance. | AUGUSTABALLET.ORG vergelive.com | community driven news | November 3, 2010 9
Walking to Remember
Formed in 2009, Brighten My Pathway assists the Alzheimer’s Association in helping to find a cure for the disease, which affects roughly 14,000 people in the Georgia-South Carolina area. The group, which serves over 14 counties, will be at the Augusta Common on Saturday, November 6th, for the local Memory Walk. The Walk raises money for treating and studying Alzheimer’s, providing assistance to millions suffering with the disease across the country. Memory Walk began in 1989 and since then has raised more than three hundred million dollars nationally. This year’s Memory Walk takes a different path, thanks to Brighten My Pathway’s team captain, Jennifer Hurst. With a big vision and a hands-on attitude, Hurst is adding local bands and activities to the event – hoping to create a memorable day in support of those whose memories are failing. The bands begin playing at 9 a.m., in conjunction with registration, with Great Day in the Morning, Eskimojitos, and Eat Lightning. Mascots from the Green Jackets,
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the Riverhawks, and the ASU Jaguars will be there alongside clowns and face painting for the kids. This year also showcases the first “Wish Wall” – a flower surrounded wall where, as Hurst puts it, “people can write their feelings, hopes, and dreams” about how Alzheimer’s has affected their lives. After the Memory Walk, the fun keeps going in support of the Alzheimer’s Association with an evening after party at Sky City featuring The Favors and the Eskimojitos. Those with wristbands from the walk get in free while the money earned from the cover charge for everyone else will go directly to helping local families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. As Hurst says, Alzheimer’s doesn’t just affect older people, but also those who have loved ones with the disease. “We want younger people to get involved,” Hurst explains. Registration for the Augusta Memory Walk begins at 9 a.m. and the walk starts at 10 a.m. Registration is free - though raising money is encouraged. To register or get more details: 706.731.9060 | ALZ.ORG | by DINO LULL
HOMETOWN HEROES: GENE GLOWNY
Remembering the Man, the Elephant and the Legacy Left Behind Gene Glowny was a man who lived big. He and his wife, Lea, ate good food, drank good drinks, and embraced their many roles in life with tireless energy and focus. Gene passed away of pancreatic cancer in early October. At his memorial a month ago, the piles of finger food, glistening bottles of liquor, and people standing around easily laughing and chatting testified to a man who lived without reservation, and not only when it came to dressing up like a pachyderm in support of a good cause. This month’s annual Alzheimer’s Memory Walk downtown will be bittersweet as Augusta remembers the man in the elephant suit. Gene and Lea Glowny sat with me recently in their well-appointed front room and bent over the thick album of Memory Walk photos. Background research had told me that Gene was an avid supporter of the Augusta chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, but I didn’t know how he supported it. I looked at the photos and listened as Gene and Lea explained each one. “But where are you?” I finally asked Gene, not finding anyone who looked remotely like the man sitting next to me. “I’m the elephant!” said he, obviously exasperated. And I can see why. For anyone living in Augusta between 1997 and 2007, Al the Elephant would seem to be ubiquitous. Photo after photo show him posing, with the same grey jovial face, large grey trunk, and fuzzy grey body, next to people like Shelley Fabrae and Jean Louis. Yet Gene was characteristically demure about his involvement. Alzheimer’s is a tough disease. According to the 2010 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, 5.3 million people in the U.S. currently suffer from it, adding up to $172 billion in annual national costs. In Georgia, 1,820 people died from it in 2006. African Americans are 2% more likely to get Alzheimer’s and Hispanic people 1.5% more likely than white people. I tried to get him to tell me how he became connected with the Alzheimer’s Association, expecting a story about his grandfather or aunt whose case of Alzheimer’s touched him deeply. Instead, Gene simply shrugged his shoulders and said it was the patients he worked with as a social worker, first at Jewish Home in Atlanta and then at Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home at MCG. It was a matter of fact: he devoted himself to Alzheimer’s patients before retirement; it only made sense to devote himself to them after as well. Not only did he take on the elephant persona, but he also laid out the downtown Memory Walk route, granting the organization still more exposure by putting it in the center of things in Augusta. It was Gene’s idea to create a mascot for the Alzheimer’s Association. “The elephant never forgets,” explains Lea. At first Gene rented a costume, but after a while, the Association became convinced of its effectiveness and bought a more elegant outfit for him to wear regularly. With the suit on, Gene could go anywhere to talk about Alzheimer’s; the more information that is gathered about the disease, the more need there is for people to be aware of the new findings. Gene in his suit, and Lea next to him handing out literature, promoted awareness and helped raise funds for more research all over Georgia.
“Where haven’t we been, honey?” Lea asked on the day I visited, looking fondly at her sick husband. Once, in McCormick, Al the Elephant stopped a train. “The conductor called in saying ‘I have to stop for an elephant ahead,’” remembers Lea. “People notice when you have the suit on.” Stopping trains, wearing a tutu on top of the elephant outfit for the children’s matinee of The Nutcracker, sitting in front of Zimmerman Gallery – it was all a labor of love. In Georgia weather, he could lose ten pounds of water weight in a weekend, so he stocked up on Gatorade. And the results were good: Lea estimates that they raised $8,000 for Alzheimer’s research with Al the Elephant alone. In 2007, Al the Elephant retired, but not because Gene and Lea were worn out. They continued to support the Alzheimer’s Association while also cultivating their other passions. Lea is the Gallery Director for Zimmerman Gallery, and before cancer struck, Gene was with her downtown on most days she worked. He’d sit out in front of New Moon Cafe and make friends. Gene himself was an enthusiastic art collector; the Glowny house is full of paintings and sculptures by their favorite artists. This includes a large Margaret Petterson painting which he traded for one of his renowned cheesecakes. Gene used to be a partner in a restaurant, where he would make cheesecakes from an old French recipe that was never written down. But more recently, he preferred to use his gift to acquire art. A downtown resident referred to Gene and Lea as “the twins.” They did everything together. When I spoke to him toward the end of his life, Gene was still thinking of Lea, even in his medicated state. He insisted on mowing the lawn and happily took the trash out, whistling. Together, the two advocated for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Lea raised about $750 for the Walk to Remember and For Hope in September with scarves she made and sold at the Zimmerman Gallery. After the Glownys have put so much effort into promoting awareness of Alzheimer’s, a relatively well-known disease, it is frustrating that so few people know about; much less give money for research on, pancreatic cancer. But with the names Gene and Lea Glowny attached to the cause, it’s sure to be noticed in Augusta. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the nationwide Memory Walks have raised over $200 million since 1989. Let’s celebrate the life of Gene Glowny, the man in the elephant suit, by taking part in the Memory Walk this month. by CHARLOTTE OKIE photos courtesy of LEA GLOWNY
GENE GLOWNY (IN THE ELEPHANT SUIT) WITH WIFE, LEA
Goodbye, Mr. Gene My son, Adam, and I clatter down the stairs in our typical morning race to get to school on time. He runs out the door, glances to his right, hand half-raised in a wave and suddenly stops. “I miss Mr. Gene,” Adam says quietly, slipping his hand in mine. Mr. Gene Glowny became a part of our landscape when we moved to Broad Street a few years ago. He and his wife, Lea, were typically sitting on our “front porch” each morning, taking stock of the neighborhood from a table nestled between New Moon Café and Zimmerman Gallery. Adam’s innately shy, but Mr. Gene persisted in greeting him and that persistence finally won him a small friend. “Where are my people?” My son Adam asked one morning, his morning routine no longer complete without the chorus of goodbyes and waves from the Broad Street “curmudgeon’s table.” This particular morning, the table was empty. It was the first sign we had that something wasn’t quite right with Mr. Gene. The first sign of that four letter word: cancer. Mr. Gene presided over the “Curmudgeon’s Club,” a tongue-in-cheek reference to the motley crew that gathered around him each morning to swap the latest news, sip on good coffee and talk about the issues facing downtown. It was this same man that gave Adam a sense of place – of belonging – in a neighborhood bereft of traditional four-yearold boy enjoyments. And it was this man that imparted other lessons to Adam (and me). The lesson of being faithful to one wife and cherishing her. The lesson of enjoying life as it comes. The lesson of accepting the inevitable with grace, but still never truly giving up. This is what Mr. Gene left Adam – a legacy I hope Adam remembers as he goes along his own life’s journey. So, thank you, Mr. Gene, for your stubbornness, your patience, your presence. We say goodbye. For now. - EDITOR
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FRONT PORCH: BRUYS HENDERSON
Re-Envisioning Augusta: In the Eye of the Designer
I’ve never noticed how the buildings use space or contribute to my environment. And I don’t think I’m alone in this architectural blindness. Bruys’ drawings present what I’ve considered mundane in a
“This is why I do what I do,” declares architectural designer Bruys Henderson: “To imagine what the city could become with a little love and attention.” Finding himself in Augusta a year ago, looking for a job but drifting, Bruys decided to make his personal downturn into a creative wellspring for his new city with beautiful hand-renderings of places in downtown Augusta. It gave him hope, and now his conceptualizations of an invigorated Augusta hang in businesses and galleries around town. In many ways, Bruys Henderson is a typical 34-year-old creative type struggling to establish himself in an economic climate that makes 50-something finance guys quail. He graduated with a BS in Architecture from the University of Illinois in 2000 and, instead of going directly into a Master’s of Architecture program or working on his internship, he taught himself to make hand renderings while working under skilled architects in Illinois, California, Nevada, and Georgia. It’s been a tough road. “I was out of work for 13 months, and I applied to several hundred jobs,” Bruys admits. “I stopped counting after 300, so I could have applied for up in the neighborhood of 450-plus throughout the U.S.” Bruys hasn’t let his unconventional route into architecture distract him. He has been discouraged and desultory, but in it all he has kept his focus on the reason he entered the field in the first place. “Architects want to help people by solving problems,” he says simply. “And the field is communal by nature.” When he moved to Augusta in July of 2009, he applied with architecture firms all over the city, and finally found designing work with Alan Venable last spring. Venable, says Bruys, is “what we’ve been calling the ‘Village Architect.’” Coming into the field later in his career path, Venable’s perspective on space design is mature. Bruys, as someone who has had onthe-job architectural training in many different environments, appreciates that perspective. Venable has his hands in many projects in Augusta and around the country. One of his more visible historic preservation projects is the Emporium on Broad Street, for which Bruys helped create renderings. Venable says
he hired Bruys because he’s able to do what good architects do: organize visual information and solve problems. While looking for jobs in Augusta last year, Bruys says he used his ample free time to read the paper. “I got this bad feeling about Augusta and the general attitudes of the people,” he remembers. “The city is jaded with years of corruption, distrust, unfulfilled promises of a better Augusta, and I can honestly see why people feel that way.” To keep his own morale up, he went around town looking at buildings, and felt curious about their origins. He frequented the library and gathered information on the often invisible architects who built Augusta with their ideas. At the same time Bruys kept practicing his drawing with quick sketches of the city. Bruys’ drawings are “large centerpieces in space,” not conducive to digital reproduction. They overwhelm the viewer with their size, attention to detail, and energy. On the busy wall of Nacho Mama’s, a rendering of the Sacred Heart building rises over the hubbub. If you stop to look at it, it demands your full attention and reminds you of the beauty that already exists in Augusta. Bruys’ drawing of the Miller Theater does the same thing, except instead of awing the observer; it makes you long for there to be life on the 700 block of Broad Street again. He has continued honing his skills as a hand-renderer in an increasingly computerized field. What used to be the only way to do architecture has now become a rarity. Architects’ resumes now refer overwhelmingly to what kind of computer program they are able to use. “But that’s not architecture, that’s software,” decries Alan Venable.
To describe his architectural illustrations of Augusta, Bruys gives two examples from cities where he has previously worked. First, in Los Angeles, he lived down the street from a beautiful old church that had been one of Jim Jones’ hubs in the 1970’s. Yet this negative history hadn’t discouraged the Hispanic congregation that had taken root in the building. “The church to them is an important piece of their communal fabric,” says Bruys. The lesson? History matters, but it shouldn’t limit our imaginations. Second, Bruys did a drawing of the West End Market in Cleveland that, instead of being stripped down and devoid of people like most architectural renderings, is energized by hordes of people using the space. In his sketchbook, there are several different kinds of drawings of Augusta. Some are basic sketches of what’s there now: New Moon Cafe, the Hatcher Center. Others have more life; improved elements, like better curbs or plantings or a trolley line with people riding it, lend energy to the actual city. What strikes me, looking at his sketches and hearing Bruys talk about each one, is that I’ve never really seen the buildings downtown. I walk and drive past them, or go inside to get coffee or talk to a friend; I’ve even taken pictures of them. But I’ve never noticed how the buildings use space or contribute to my environment. And I don’t think I’m alone in this architectural blindness. Bruys’ drawings present what I’ve considered mundane in a new light. I suddenly take interest in the structures themselves. I see them for what they used to be and what they could be in the future. Bruys “pulls inspiration from the fabric of the community to emphasize the intertwined importance of the buildings, people, past and future.” In his travels around the country, he’s found that people can really love a building. His drawings, then, are inspirational in nature, meant to draw out that love for a place and understanding of its history that is often missing from Augusta. What he’s created is hope on paper. by CHARLOTTE OKIE photo HOLLY BIRDSONG
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ART: DEBBIE FLEMING CAFFREY
Renowned Photographer Captures Spirit of the People
BURNING CANE BY DEBBIE FLEMING CAFFREY
PRAYING BY DEBBIE FLEMING CAFFREY
“I feel a part of the [sugar cane] harvesting like an overseer does. I just have a different job.” This year’s Terra Cognita series at the Morris Museum of Art concludes with photographer Debbie Fleming Caffrey. Caffery is an accomplished artist with work in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum, and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. Michelle Schulte, Associate Curator of Education for Morris, said that the “ beauty of Caffery’s work is that she doesn’t just document people or places. Her images dig deeper into the subject’s personality and relate intense feelings and underlying messages. She seems to have a devotion to her subject matter, returning to the same areas or photographing the same individuals over and over again in an attempt to translate their essence or energy.” Indeed, Caffery’s work transcends mere documentation. Her images provide a glimpse of the unexplored. From the relatively unknown lives and hardships of sugar cane workers in her native New Orleans, to the women of dark catinas in Mexico, and even the first glimpses of mud-covered church floors in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Caffery has committed herself to revealing that which before was “terra incognita” (unknown territory). Verge interviewed Caffery recently to see just how much of herself she was willing to reveal: VERGE: How did growing up in New Orleans effect your development as an artist? CAFFREY: I think my time growing up in New Iberia had a lot to do with the reason I have
photographed the sugar cane harvesting. I would walk to my grandparents house every day after school, and my Grandfather sometimes would take me riding during harvesting to see an old man he knew that was making homemade cane syrup from the sugar (we would pass burning fields and a sugar mill on the way). We also lived across the bayou from a sugar mill, and during the harvesting my brothers and I would watch the sugar being loaded in the barges. The smells from the sugar making and the burning fields, and the scenes, filled our senses throughout the harvesting.
VERGE: When was the first time you knew you would be an artist, and why did you chose photography as your medium? CAFFREY: I took an art class when I was a senior in high school and wanted to spend my life as a painter after that. In college I majored in Fine Arts and took photography as an elective and fell in love with it. I ended up going to the San Francisco Art Institute and majoring in photography. VERGE: Many of your photographs, taken at night or in low light, are dark. Because of this
darkness they seem transitory, as if the image would be lost if one looked away. Do you agree with this impression, and if so, what do you think it says about the nature of your work?
CAFFREY: I photograph a lot at night: in dark Mexican cantinas, brothels, and sometimes Louisiana
zydeco clubs. By using a tripod I have very long time exposures which make a person’s movement look ghostly … photographing at a sugar mill at night is a magical experience, as the artificial light
around a mill changes a lot and the mill is such an active place … I love shooting this way as it is unpredictable what sort of ghostly figure will appear in the film. VERGE: You have revisited several subjects throughout your career. What is it that brings you back to photograph them again, and again, such as your study of the sugarcane harvests? CAFFREY: The sugar cane harvesting is part of my life—I have missed documenting it only a few times. When I have missed it, I have regretted it like missing Christmas. Of course, it is a game I play with myself … finding something new to photograph each year. I have a lot of friends I visit to each year and I feel part of the harvesting like an overseer does, I just have a different job. VERGE: What was it like to visit and photograph the lower 9th ward after Hurricane Katrina, and more recently, the oil spill workers? CAFFREY: Sickening … heartbreaking. The worse part of photographing after Katrina was seeing the people return for the first time to see their destroyed homes and to talk to people at the shelters. After the spill, the most heartbreaking thing was the disrespect and complete lack of compassion BP and the federal government had towards the people and environment, and this has not changed.
PLAN TO GO
VERGE: How did it feel to see your work in a major gallery the first time and to see your first book in print? CAFFREY: Joyful … art comes from one’s heart, gut, body and soul. Creating is a very personal and emotional experience and seeing long years of photographing coming together in a show or book is the greatest high! Receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Katrina Media Fellowship were equally as exciting. VERGE: Which artists (writers, painters, photographers and musicians) have inspired and influenced you the most? CAFFREY: I love the paintings of George Tooker and William Blake. Music is Gospel, R&B. Photographers that still inspire me today are Andrea Modica, Larry Fink, Clarence John Laughlin, O. Winston Link, Lori Grinker, and Stanley Green. I am inspired by many more artist by their complete dedication and focus on their work. by PM ROGERS
WHAT Terra Cognita: Debbie Fleming Caffrey WHERE Morris Museum of Art WHEN Thursday, November 18 from 5 PM to 7 PM WHY Meet this world-renowned photographer who captures “extraordinary expressiveness” on film HOW MUCH Free MORE | THEMORRIS.ORG
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DOWNTOWN: JINGLE BELL JAUNT
A Scavenger Hunt through the Stores of Downtown Augusta Christmas is coming early this year. The Downtown Augusta Alliance’s Jingle Bell Jaunt begins November 5th, the first Friday in November, and will be ongoing throughout the month for a fun way to discover the shops and stores of downtown Augusta. Any of 22 participating stores in the downtown area can provide visitors with a Jingle Ring (stamp card) for the month-long scavenger hunt. The idea is to go to each of the stores on the list and search for the displayed pair of jingle bells. Those who find all the bells are entered into a drawing for a chance at winning $550 in gift certificates, but the task is harder than it might first appear. “Last year we received 100 completed entries out of almost 700 rings given out,” said David Hutchison, DA2 Board President and owner of the Book Tavern. “Some of the bells were really tough to find, and others were right in front of my face but I still didn’t see them. We’ll try not to keep you looking for too long, though, because we want you to be successful.” Hutchison said that for the two grand prizes, each participating business will contribute a $25 gift certificate, but additional prizes are available for runners up. Winners will be announced at the Book Tavern at 5:30 p.m. December 3rd, First Friday, when representatives from the DA2 Board hold the drawing and give winners a telephone call inviting them to pick up their prizes. “That way you’ve explored all the stores and seen what downtown has to offer, and if you win you might have all this money to go back and do your Christmas shopping,” said Hutchison. “It seems like the season gets earlier and earlier every year, and if there’s anything we can do to get people out to see us in November then we’ve beaten the big box stores
to the punch.” Businesses begin hanging out their bells the first week of November. Last year, one of the toughest hiding places was in the Zimmerman Gallery, located in the loft above the door where visitors had to turn around to find it. Owner LouAnn Zimmerman promises to find an even trickier place this year, but hopes that people also take the opportunity to look around the shop. “We have a lot of jewelry, custom made pens and puzzle boxes that make good gifts for men,” she said. “Last year’s Jingle Bell Jaunt was very successful in familiarizing people with our location, since we had a lot of visitors who hadn’t been in here before, and we like to support DA2 and our downtown community any way we can.” The Jingle Bell Jaunt is also being sponsored by the Westobou Festival, which is donating prizes and helping to promote the event. DA2 is a collaborative effort between downtown business owners to hold events encouraging people to visit Broad Street. All downtown business owners are invited to join and volunteers are needed for future events. For more information, contact 706.826.1940 The 2010 Jingle Bell Jaunt Stops are: Art on Broad, Artistic Perceptions, The Augusta Canal, The Book Tavern, Brigan’s Land of Enchantment, Costumes by Michele, Downtown Dental, Elduets Treasures of the World, Flowers XPress, Garden City Organics, Health Central, International Uniform, Modish Salon & Spa, Morris Museum Store, Oddfellows Art Gallery, Shoppe 31:30, Tire City Potters, Urban Body Fitness, Vintage Ooollee, The Visitor’s Center, Whitehouse Antiques and Zimmerman Gallery. by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK
Storytellers Bring Local to Life “Let me introduce you to your Irish monk,” said George Dawes Green, peering at the crowd that had gathered at Le Chat Noir on Tuesday, November 26. “This is your bookseller!” David Hutchison towered over Green, a tall man himself, and embraced him. It was intermission at the traveling storytelling show, The Unchained Tour, and the founder of the tour, author George Dawes Green, had just told why the tour had come to Augusta: porches, he insisted. Four raconteurs stood on the stage one by one, just themselves standing between a microphone and the vestiges of Le Chat Noir’s current show (the set of which is strangely and appropriately Southern gothic). Each storyteller took the large audience to another place, and suddenly we weren’t in stadium seating watching the person talk; we were sitting around, hanging out, shooting the breeze like old friends. Wanda Bullard, Tina McElroy Ansa, Juliet Hope Wayne, and George Dawes Green each seemed to be enjoying themselves so much, they had immediate rapport with the crowd. Woven into the evening were haunting interludes by fiddler and singer Katy Rose Cox and fiddler/banjo player/singer Phil Roebuck, as well as deadpan commentary by MC Dan Kennedy, who also umpired audience participation.
STORYTELLING ON BROAD STREET WITH GEORGE DAWES GREEN (CENTER)
Each act was met with appreciative laughter, gasping where appropriate, and roaring applause throughout. “Oh, we loved it!” raved Dr. Joe Leonard, 79, and his high school sweetheart, Bonnie Given. “You never know what people have experienced till you get them talking.” The Unchained Tour was founded to remember and appreciate a Southern porch culture, which, says Green, will only survive if the Internet dies. The group of professional storytellers and bluegrass musicians are traveling across Georgia trying—and succeeding— to call people away from their computers for an evening and to promote a slower lifestyle, complete with real books from local bookstores like The Book Tavern, owned by David Hutchison. Coming into town in a caravan that was supposed to be a 1975 Bluebird bus (which broke down early in the tour), the Unchained folks spend a day in little towns, perform in the evening, and then hit the road again in the morning. In Augusta, they enjoyed a day with poet Starkey Flythe, a North Augustan. Green encouraged us to shop downtown, to support the long day of chatting and perusing and meandering through a good read that The Book Tavern and other local bookstores represent. The Unchained Tour tells us to live this life: “It may cost a little more, but it will save a porch.” by CHARLOTTE OKIE photos by HOLLY BIRDSONG
THE UNCHAINED TOUR RELAXES ON DOWNTOWN’S FRONT PORCH
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Your Pipeline to Upcoming Events
Danse de Carnival: A Belly Dance Gala Friday November 12 | Jabez Theatre | 7:30 pm | $10 ShoBelly Productions, in collaboration with Hip2Hip dance studio and various dance groups throughout the CSRA, will present Danse de Carnival: A Belly Dance Gala at the Jabez Theatre in the Colombia County Library November 12th. This is the second year for the event, which coordinator/ producer Shoshannah Estell hopes to turn into an annual event. Over 60 dancers are expected to participate and, though the focus will be on belly dancing, there will be other styles of dance presented including ballroom, salsa, world dancing, acting and fusion style performances. This is also an official Toys for Tots donation drop, so guests are asked to bring an unwrapped toy for donation. “There are numerous talented groups in the area who deserve a chance to showcase their dance in the theatre,” said Estell. “It’s amazing that there are so many different genres and interpretations of dance right here at our fingertips. This event will be a celebration and a festival for the eyes.” Last year’s event at Le Chat Noir packed the house, necessitating the change to a larger venue. “We had a lot of dancers participate, and it was such a success that we were beyond sold out,” said Estell. “We had people lined up outside the door and standing in the aisles trying to see the stage, so this year we’ve moved to a larger stage where hopefully we will be able to accommodate everyone.” Estell, co-owner of Hip2Hip studio, takes on the name ShoBelly
Burning in the Sun
Wednesday November 10 | Morris Museum of Art | 6 pm | $3 A documentary takes viewers to a remote African village in Mali with November’s offering from The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers. Burning in the Sun introduces its audience to Daniel Dembele, a 26-year-old budding entrepreneur looking to sell solar panels to a group of rural villagers, 99 percent of whom do not have electricity in their homes or schools. In a section of the world often perceived as impoverished and technologically lagging behind the times, Dembele’s solar panels have the potential to revolutionize the villagers’ primitive living conditions. The suave young businessman has admirable intentions in promoting the use of sustainable energy resources in his sun-drenched homeland. Viewers will quickly realize he knows how to handle government officials and make money, too. Burning in the Sun has been screened in several major cities including New York, Boston, Barcelona and Rome. The filmmakers’ efforts to showcase Dembele’s work to encourage African villagers’ self-sufficiency have already earned the documentary special recognition at film festivals. Honors include an audience award for Best Environmental Film from the Indie Spirit Film Festival in Colorado Springs and the Grand Jury Prize for Best EarthVision Environmental Film from the Santa Cruz Film Festival. The Morris Museum will host Augusta’s screening of the documentary on Wednesday, November 10th. Southern Circuit screenings are unique in their ability to offer attendees additional insight about the film through interaction with the filmmakers. Cambria Matlow, co-producer and co-director of this film, will field viewer questions directly after the screening. Burning in the Sun marks Matlow’s documentary feature directorial debut. Prior to this film, Matlow completed several short narrative films and helped produce the Vermont International Film Festival. Morgan Robinson was Matlow’s co-producer and co-director of this environmentally and culturally unique documentary. THEMORRIS.ORG | by MARIAH GARDNER
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Productions for the purposes of the events she produces and coordinates. The collaboration for Danse de Carnival extends to her partners Kendra Colon, Nanani Alicea, and her cocoordinator Karen Liebl, as well as Toys for Tots, the Moretz production company, Bean Baskette, several sponsors and all of the participating dance troupes. “I could not do this alone and I am in awe of the support and interest I have received from within our community,” said Estell. In addition to the show there will be a vendor from Florida, Jewel of India, at the event selling dance accessories, clothing, and jewelry. Light hors oeuvres will be served, and soda, coffee, wine and beer will be available for purchase. Social hour begins at 6:30 p.m., and the show will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. and end around 9:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $10 in advance by going online or by visiting the Hip2Hip dance and fitness center. Tickets will be $15 at the door day of the event, or $10 with an unwrapped toy donation for Toys for Tots. “This is a dance for everyone,” said Estell, “and I am excited about bringing this event to the CSRA. I want people to see and enjoy a fun production featuring all of the talented dance groups we have right here in our own backyard.” For tickets and details: BELLYDANCEGALA2010.EVENTBRITE.COM by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK
War Stories Premier
Sunday November 14 | ASU Reese Library | 3 pm & 5 pm Filmmaker Mark Albertin’s done it again – capturing another chapter of Augutsa’s story on film with War Stories – Augusta Area Veterans Remember World War II. The historical documentary will premier on Sunday, November 14th at the ballroom in the Reese Library Building at Augusta State University with two screenings. Admission is free and open to the public. The documentary, commissioned by the Augusta-Richmond County Historical Society, features memories of World War II told by veterans who now reside in the Central Savannah River Area of Georgia and South Carolina. Through their stories, the viewer participates in the drama of the war years and the changes that occurred, not only overseas, but also in Augusta, Georgia. Produced Albertin over a period of three years, the film treats viewers to exciting vignettes and previously unrecorded personal stories of World War II. The reminiscences are filled with history, nostalgia, emotion and, at times, suspense. The film is accompanied by a wealth of rare archival photographs and period footage showing combat film in both the Pacific and European theatres of war. Albertin has been involved with the Veterans History Project through the Library of Congress for more than five years. When asked by the Historical Society to produce the film, he was delighted to connect his background and interest in the preservation of personal memories with local veterans. “I jumped at the chance to develop a feature film focusing on the heroism of this wonderful generation and the sacrifices they made for our country,” said Albertin. Albertin’s films about the Augusta area include Augusta Remembers and Displaced. SCRAPBOOKVIDEOPRODUCTIONS.COM
Art | Dance | Music | Film | More
Monday November 15 | University Hall | 7 pm | Free The Augusta State University Fall Film Series closes this month with a brutally violent Viking epic set in 1000 AD. Valhalla Rising unravels the tale of an enslaved mute warrior who escapes his captors and sets off on an adventure in a Viking ship. Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn evokes a tale of fantasy set in the grim world of Europe’s Middle Ages. But this is not a film of nonstop Viking berserker gore. It’s more art film than action. Mark Olsen of the LA Times Review said: “Valhalla Rising transforms into a cracked and crazy meditation on war and religion, nation building and the raw savagery that often lies just beneath society’s surface.” (Not Rated, but contains graphic violence) AUG.EDU/STUDENT_ACTIVITIES
Five Questions with Jumbling Towers Thursday November 18 | Sky City | 7:30 pm
Jumbling Towers is a unique four-piece rock band based in St. Louis and Chattanooga. Their new CD, Ramifications of an Exciting Spouse, will be released on November 10. When not on the road, JT’s members — Joe Deboer – keyboards/guitar/lead vocals, Louis Wall – drums, Nate Drexler – bass/vocals and Michael Kendall – keyboards/vocals — write, rehearse, record and answer questions via e-mail over four different zip codes and two time zones. Impressed? Keep reading. VERGE: The band is based in Chattanooga and St. Louis. This must make for some challenging rehearsal schedules. Do you commute to practices, work via electronic files, or are the gigs and soundchecks your practice? JT: This is actually new for us. Nate moved to Chattanooga in September at the same time fellow
Chattanoogan Michael Kendall joined the band. We rehearse in both towns and record in Saint Louis. The idea is that two “home bases” will give us two regions to play in, which is a good thing. It’s also a fun adventure for both camps exploring the cities between St. Louis and Chattanooga on gas and food stops. So far, we’ve found Paducah to be a mainstay, and tend to stay away from East St. Louis.
VERGE: Is your music in fact “eerie,” “hot” and “off-kilter,” as stated in your bio, or is that just the critics talking? JT: Yes and also yes. VERGE: You list David Bowie as one of your influences. Ziggy Stardust Bowie, Aladdin Sane Bowie, Young Americans Bowie, Let’s Dance Bowie, Reality Bowie or all of the above? JT: The influence was definitely more present on our first album. Low might be the winner, though, as far as what we were going for. I remember actually asking Chris Hughes, who engineered the drums on our ‘08 EP, Classy Entertainment, to make our rhythm section sound like Low. To be fair, though, Nate is more fond of Klaus Nomi. [Learn more about this avant-garde German vocalist here: THENOMISONG.COM]
VERGE: According to your bio, “Jumbling Towers has been selling musical entertainment and related merchandise since 2006.” How difficult is it to “sell musical entertainment” in the era of stealing and downloads? JT: Quite the rat race this music biz is. In fact, I’d bet an underground league devoted to rat races would net more money. It’s also hard to find money to make things to sell ... like T-shirts and CDs (which very few people buy). In short, it’s hard to create music-related merchandise and simultaneously create a demand for those things. Thus is the age of DIY. VERGE: What can you tell us about your new album, Ramifications of an Exciting Spouse? Where and when was it recorded? How is it the next musical step in the building of Jumbling Towers?
Movies at Main: 9
Tuesday November 16 | Headquarters Library | 6:30 pm The dark tale of 9 combines the latest computer animation with needle and thread, while spinning a yarn about a rag doll – awakened to life in a war-torn world bereft of human life. As the doll sets out to find who he is and why he was created, the truth twists and turns through the ruins of his war-torn world like the machines that try to destroy him (and the other dolls like himself). The New York Times said: “Combining two well-worn, endlessly fertile science fiction conceits — the post apocalyptic planet and the sensitive machine — [Director Shane] Acker has made a parable of technological peril that is both exciting and satisfyingly enigmatic.” Lauded by critics for its visual imagination, 9 may hold the future of civilization within its frames. ECGRL.PUBLIC.LIB.GA.US
JT: We have a basement studio in St. Louis and are constantly working on new stuff. Ramifications was
the product of the best five songs from November through January of last year. Then we decided we liked it enough to get it mixed by Justin Gerrish, who polished things up for us. You could say it’s the next step in that it’s the first product of some technical upgrades to our studio, as well as being the first five songs released since the new era of constant writing and recording.
VERGE: Bonus question! What, exactly, are the ramifications of an exciting spouse, aside from
JT: The potential ramifications, or, at least, the risks, are actually five-fold. (1) Increased metabolism (2) Execution in the heat of the clutch (3) Fear of failure (4) Moxy (5) A slightly more moderate political worldview
Learn more about the band at MYSPACE.COM/JUMBLING TOWERS or follow them at TWITTER.COM/ JUMBLINGTOWERS. | by ALISON RICHTER
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GOOD CHOW: TURKISH DELIGHTS The Shishkebab Turkish Restaurant
beers locals like
Autumn Brings Dark Brews Autumn – my favorite time of year has arrived yet again. The maples are starting to look like scarlet ales. The dogwoods are starting to look like oatmeal stouts. The evergreens – well – they just look like green beer all year ‘round. Truly, beer is in the air – deep, thick, and dark beer that makes you glad that big coats and fireside chats are around the corner. The beers below have been carefully selected from Eighth Street Tobacco to give the reader (and sipper) that particular taste of autumn that only comes from a darker brew. Hey, we’re not just drinking to stay cool any more, so taste matters most this month. With that in mind, enjoy…
WEYERBACHER QUAD ALE
The Weyerbacher Brewing Company of Easton, PA has given us quite a treat with this first quadruple ale ever brewed commercially in the states. It’s amber, tangy, yeasty, yet gentler than a true Abbey Ale. Don’t let that fool you, though, because this brew would complement the fanciest meal you can find or you can serve as a course in and of itself. The brewers recommend serving it in a snifter. I do, as well, but the taste and nose keep their perk throughout the entirety of the drink, no matter what stein or pint or snifter you choose. I recommend enjoying this ale with baked chicken or turkey, followed with slice of pumpkin pie.
KING’S PEAK PORTER | Now
it’s dark, folks. It’s very dark. Don’t be scared off, however, because it’s subtle, as well. The Uinta Brewing Company of Slat Lake City, UT has carefully crafted this brew to smell as robust and chocolaty as any other porter. However, this aroma quickly decays into a smoky flavor that keeps up pretty well throughout the drink. If you’re looking to slip seamlessly into a dark beer without a bite, this is the one for you. It would do well to complement a very rich meal or fine chocolate (not too high on the cocoa content).
THE BIG O OKTOBERFEST LAGER | I finally did it. I’ve been
writing this column for 22 months now and I finally worked the phrase “the big O” into an article … and they said it couldn’t be done. Joking (poorly joking) aside, and Pennichuck Brewing Company of Milford, NH has won several medals for this big bottle of brew (it comes in over a pint). The sweet malts and rich barleys really come through the nose and linger throughout the tongue, making this beer one of my all-time favorites (not joking now). It has a harmony of flavor that is as complex as it is opaque. Try it with bratwurst and spicy mustard. You’ll think you’ve gone to heaven. These and more can be found at Eighth Street Tobacco (corner of 8th and Ellis Downtown).
by BEN CASELLA Ben Casella enjoys German cuisine, and so should you. He’s not German, however. In fact, when people ask him his ethnic origins, he says he’s American and then looks at them like they’re crazy for asking. Try it some time.
“Beat your fear just once, and if you don’t like it, I’ll give you your money back. I know my food is good. It is different and it’s better!” says Atanur Caliskan, owner of Shishkebab Turkish Restaurant in Evans. Atanur and his wife Yonca opened the restaurant five months ago in the former Huddle House across from the Evans’ Lowe’s store. Atanur proclaims, “When someone walks in here, I want them to feel like they walked into Turkey.” Unfortunately, the lease they have on the building will not allow them to make the changes they would like to the interior and exterior, but that hasn’t held back authentic Turkish flavors from filling up the restaurant
function not only as owner-operators but also ambassadors for their native land. All around the restaurant are Turkish travel posters, brochures, and flyers exclaiming the wonders of Turkey. The Caliskans desire Americans to discover Turkey’s rich history, including facts like St. Nicholas was a Turk. Turkey is home to the city of Troy and is the setting for many biblical scenes. Noah’s Ark is said to be resting on Mt. Ararat and may be hidden beneath layers of snow and ice. The Virgin Mary’s house is located on Mt. Koressos, near Ephesus. St. Paul hailed from Tarsus. Istanbul (not Constantinople) is a city larger than New York, for just a sampling of the Turkish heritage displayed in their establishment.
TURKISH DISHES YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY TRY KAZAN DIBI a baked caramelized milk pudding | SIGARA BOREG feta cheese stuffed pastry | IZMIR KOFTE a turkish spiced hamburger | DONER KEBABS similar to a gyro | SALEP hot orchid milk tea
Yonca supplies all the original recipes and everything possible is made from scratch. She joined Atanur, a 19-year resident, five years ago, and she still struggles with the language; however, the language barrier doesn’t hold her back in the kitchen. Yonca comes from a large extended family and learned to cook traditional foods very early on. Atanur assures that nothing is pre-made, “The real hand has to touch the food to get the real taste. You might have to wait, but that makes us special.” Turkish food may seem similar to Greek food; however, on closer examination, the trained tongue will discover the differences. What most Americans know as Gyros, the Turks call Doner Kebab; baklava is still called baklava, but the taste and texture are vastly different. The sign says “Shishkebab Restaurant,” but they serve a wealth of other delicious foods. Some personal favorites are Turkish meatballs and a dessert called Kazan Dibi with a milk-pudding-like consistency. This reporter hasn’t found a dish she didn’t like. From stuffed grape leaf appetizers and Doner Kebabs, to baklava and amazing Turkish coffee and tea, freshness and worlds of flavor are evident. Many military personnel have found their way to the Caliskans’ restaurant and have become regular customers, stating the food experience is like being in Turkey. In fact, Atanur and Yonca
The Caliskans would like to expand to baking breads and pastries and, after the New Year, they plan on opening at 6 a.m. for breakfast in addition to the seven days they are now open for lunch and dinner. So – “Beat your fear!” – today. Shishkebab Turkish Restaurant is located at 648 N Belair Road in Evans and is open every day for lunch and dinner. For details: 706.306.8875 or TURKGIDAURUNLERI.COM. article and photos by JENN MASLYN
vergelive.com | community driven news | November 3, 2010 21
22 November 3, 2010 | community driven news| vergelive.com
GOOD BOOKS: LINCOLN CRISLER
Horror Novelist Chose Army & Books over Life in the Hood Author Lincoln Crisler could have become a statistic. Instead, he became a reader and eventually a published writer. From his childhood in New York through his present service as a noncommissioned Army officer, Crisler has had a passion for books. Immersing himself in literature kept him off the streets as a youth. He wrote as a student — creative fiction in particular — and into adulthood; by the time he was deployed to Afghanistan, he was writing short stories with intent to publish. Crisler now has three collections: Wild, his debut novella based on a factual unsolved mystery, Despairs & Delights, his debut collection of 10 short stories, and Magick & Misery, his new 10-story collection. He spoke to verge about the complicated, twisted road known as “being a writer,” the constantly changing world of publishing and his predictions for its future, and the many reasons why books can be our best friends. VERGE: For someone who writes fiction, your background is the stuff of autobiographies. Let’s begin with the early years. Where did you grow up? CRISLER: I was born and raised in Rochester, N.Y., until the age of 15, when I moved to New Jersey to live with my older brother. Just before my 18th birthday, I moved back to Rochester. VERGE: You mention on your website that you lived in “the hood.” When did you discover reading as an alternative to the streets? Were you on the path to destruction when you made this discovery, or did books come first and prevent you from becoming a statistic? CRISLER: I wouldn’t necessarily say the “path to destruction,” since I wasn’t a bully, a fighter, one of the cool kids or gang material, but definitely on the path to a slow burnout. You know, going from one minimum-wage job to the next, living in a crappy apartment and eating ramen noodles three times a day. Assuming that I still would have possessed my drive and ambition even in that sort of situation, I probably would have turned to drug dealing or some kind of organized crime. You might be right about the books saving me from that sort of existence; I’ve always been a reader, so I don’t know anything different. VERGE: What were some of the books and/ or who were some of the authors that inspired you during those years? CRISLER: Terry Brooks’ Shannara and Magic Kingdom series were great escapist fantasy, especially the latter, which is about a guy from our world (a lawyer, believe it or not!) who buys the kingship of a fantasy world. The Lord of the Rings, for pretty obvious reasons. Anything by Piers Anthony, but especially the Xanth series. The Tower and the Hive series by Anne McAffery was a decent scifi story with some fresh concepts and great characterization. Isaac Asimov. Stephen King. David Eddings. VERGE: At what point did you realize that you wanted to become a writer? Did teachers encourage you? Did anyone recognize your talent early on? CRISLER: I had lots of encouragement from teachers; they used to tell my mom I was almost a genius (obviously, she never talked to my math teacher!). We had student magazines when I was in elementary school, and I wrote a couple of things for that. I used to try writing little stories when I was a kid; I had ADD, though, and I don’t think I finished any! I started writing and finishing stories in high school, but I had no idea that I could send them to magazines and maybe get published, so they just sat in manila envelopes in a lockbox. VERGE: You are in the Army. Please tell us about your decision to enlist (in 2000) and
your deployments/experiences in Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan and Qatar.
CRISLER: I was still in school and was walking to the police station to do an interview for the community paper, and [an army recruiter] was on the street. I had been thinking about the Army for at least a year, since I was 16, because it’s not like I had a whole lot of options, you know? By the time I left for basic training in November, I had dropped out of high school, gotten my GED and was washing dishes for five bucks an hour. I was sharing an apartment with one of my drinking buddies. I was ready to go, you can believe that! I arrived in Korea a couple weeks before 9/11. In some ways, I was insulated from the shock of the attacks because I was in another country, but at the same time, security was stepped up on all of our installations, so things were still pretty insane for about the first six months
“I think that if people are
wired to enjoy reading, they’re going to read.”
I was there. My deployments to the Middle East have been great learning experiences and opportunities for me to grow; the bulk of my published work has been written while deployed. All four of my trips overseas allowed me to interact with other cultures, learn some of the languages and see how they live. Some of the differences were downright amusing; One time a Korean guy asked me to smuggle him some stuff from the commissary; that’s a big no-no and I wasn’t going to do it, but I was curious to see what he wanted. Figured it was going to be alcohol, porn or cigarettes. This guy wanted cheese. Apparently, our cheese is in demand. The Afghani guys were always amused that I had only one wife and was happy about the situation; apparently, the size of my manhood was directly related to the number of wives I had. Go figure. VERGE: In addition to your books, your works have been published in print and online. How did you take the steps to becoming a published writer? What have been the greatest challenges in the declining world of print media? CRISLER: I started writing stories with the idea of publication while I was in Afghanistan. I had something that I didn’t have when I was writing in high school: the Internet. It’s safe to say that without the Internet, my writing career wouldn’t exist. I found other authors online, and found some sites that hosted critique
RESEARCH FOR A NEW BOOK? LINCOLN CRISLER TAUNTS FATE AT AUGUSTA’S HAUNTED PILLAR
groups. I found some online publications and began sending them my stories. Some of my social interactions grew into true friendships and professional relationships, and the rest is history. The rise of electronic publishing is a twoedged sword, really. For my first year as an author, I was published exclusively on obscure websites that paid me nothing and made their content available for free to everyone. Those experiences were invaluable in terms of getting feedback, honing my craft and having examples of my work to point out to potential readers. The other side of that, which is a great challenge, is standing out in the crowd. Reputation and professionalism count for a lot. On the other hand, I can see why it would seem daunting to a new aspiring author. The greatest challenge, in my opinion, is being on the forefront of the whole deal. The biggest mass-market publisher of horror fiction (which constitutes the bulk of my output) basically just imploded. They’ve stopped producing cheap paperbacks and have switched over to electronic and print-on-demand trade paperbacks, the latter of which is significantly more expensive to the consumer. This has turned the horror-publishing industry on its ear, and the increase in prevalence of electronic publishing is doing that to the book industry as a whole.
Writers of my generation that are still coming up in the world are going to be characterized by our interaction with the digital environment. I have NEVER had to print off a manuscript and actually mail it to a publisher. I have met all my publishers and editors online before meeting them in person (and some of them, I’ve still never met face to face). My generation is the first that can actually say that. Snail-mail used to be necessary. Phone calls, meetings and handshakes used to be necessary. VERGE: Do you worry that because of the steady decline in personal communication and the reduction of written words to text messages, 140 characters and abbreviations, our society is losing its love for books and reading? CRISLER: Not at all. I think that if people are wired to enjoy reading, they’re going to read. Reading was somewhat of a specialized activity when I was in high school fifteen years ago and the Internet was brand new. I do think it’s important to maintain support for libraries; that’s going to be a huge issue in the future, since digital publishing and Internet distributors are slowly killing even the chain bookstores. When I’m famous, that’s going to be my “special issue,” my way of giving back. For more: LINCOLNCRISLER.INFO by ALISON RICHTER photo CLARK FOX
vergelive.com | community driven news | November 3, 2010 23
THE FILM REEL
Due Date, 127 Hours Road movies have roots in classic Hollywood with legendary duos like Bing Crosby and Bob Hope hoofing it long distances in movies like Road to Morocco and Road to Zanzibar. The genre inspired road trips for other memorable twosomes like Thelma and Louise, Harold and Kumar, and The Blues Brothers. Not since Steve Martin endured a trip with John Candy as his unbearable companion in Planes, Trains and Automobiles have audiences seen a hilariously odd couple like the one featured in the November 5th opener, DUE DATE.
Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis are the comically mismatched pair hitting the road this time around. Galifianakis’ career playing portly man-child types took off in 2009 with the sleeper hit The Hangover. It’s a character the 41-year-old actor has also played in Dinner for Schmucks. Predictably, he plays the obnoxious, socially inept road tripper to Downey’s (Sherlock Holmes, Iron Man) character, Peter, a straight-laced father-to-be. Downey teams up with Galifianakis after getting placed on the “no-fly” list and has to handle the latter’s antics on the lengthy drive from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Time is of the essence as Peter needs to get home in time for the birth of his first child. Jamie Foxx and Juliette Lewis co-star as interesting characters the travelers meet along the way. The Hangover director Todd Phillips takes the reins here, too. Phillips also co-produced and made a cameo appearance in the film. Writer-director-producer Tyler Perry gets his first R rating this week for his female-driven drama
FOR COLORED GIRLS. The film was adapted from a 1975 play by Ntozake Shange, the complete
title of which is For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. Widely regarded as an important exploration of the African American female identity in different stages of turmoil and triumph, the film version features Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, Thandie Newton, Kerry Washington, Kimberly Elise, Anika Noni Rose, Loretta Devine and Phylicia Rashad.
The week’s third feature targets youngsters with 3D animation and a stellar cast of celebrity voices. Comedian Will Ferrell voices the animated adventure’s title character, villainous MEGAMIND, while Brad Pitt plays his overly-glorified heroic adversary, Metro Man. Tina Fey voices the pretty reporter who becomes a clearly unenthused damsel in distress after Megamind kidnaps her. However, the super-villain’s true spirit is put to the test when a new villain wreaks havoc on their city. Jonah Hill (Superbad) also lends his voice to the production. Limited openers include Naomi Watts playing CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, whose identity was leaked to the press in FAIR GAME. Sean Penn plays Plame’s husband in this drama based on actual events. Real life inspired another limited opener and finds James Franco (SpiderMan, Milk) playing Aron Ralston, the climbing enthusiast who famously amputated a portion of his own arm to avoid death. 127 HOURS comes from Danny Boyle, who also directed Slumdog Millionaire. The November 12th box office delivers a Wednesday opener with Rachel McAdams (The JAMES FRANCO IN 127 HOURS Notebook) playing a down-on-her-luck morning show producer dealing with an argumentative anchor team comprised of Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford. MORNING GLORY also features Jeff Goldblum and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. Denzel Washington and director Tony Scott are frequent collaborators (Man on Fire, Déjà vu, The Taking of Pelham 123) whose next action-packed offering is UNSTOPPABLE. Washington plays a veteran train engineer who reluctantly joins forces with a rookie conductor to try to stop a runaway train packed with dangerous chemicals and explosives before it hits a densely populated area. Chris Pine (Star Trek) plays the conductor in this story, which is loosely based on a true event. The week’s final opener is the extraterrestrial thriller SKYLINE. The sci-fi flick could generate positive buzz for special effects, but lacks big-name acting talent. by MARIAH GARDNER, MOVIE GURU
24 November 3, 2010 | community driven news| vergelive.com
LIVE MUSIC: CAROLINE HERRING
Stretching the Boundaries of Alt-Country
Caroline Herring surprised many longtime fans last year with the release of Golden Apples of the Sun. Long associated with alt-country, Herring took a sharp turn by recording an acoustic album featuring a combination of original material and age-old standards, accompanied only by her Collings guitar. The disc represents Herring’s transition from fronting a band to solo artist, with the emphasis on her voice and lyrics. She spoke about this change in direction and the role of the singer-songwriter in today’s musical climate.
“I will never be in the Top 40 prison called ‘success,’ so I feel freedom in doing the work.” VERGE: You describe this album as a “departure.” How so? HERRING: I built my career on the alt-country sound and playing a lot in Austin. When I moved to Atlanta, I played that way for a while and then began playing increasingly solo and folk style. I could tell more stories onstage, and it made sense to record an album that would tell the story of what I do. I love Judy Collins and Joni Mitchell and the confessional female writers, and I decided to go in that direction. VERGE: What made this the right time? HERRING: Simply because of the way I perform now and putting out an album that sounds more like what I do these days. VERGE: You are such a prolific writer, yet you included some cover songs on this album. Why? HERRING: I’m not always prolific! This was going to be an album of covers only, but I couldn’t help writing. I was pleased with the result, but it’s unusual because the covers are standard songs and I changed the melodies, although I’m not the first person to do that. Judy Collins did that with “Song of the Wandering Aengus.” She took the poem and put her melody to it, and I did the same with a different melody. VERGE: Is there a fine line in terms of how far you can go versus what your audience expects from you? HERRING: Yes, you are exactly right. It is a fine line we walk that is driven by our creative impulses, and that’s the most fun of being an artist, but at same time you don’t want to sound like a crazy person or go so far that you don’t know what you’re doing. My producer worked with me and kept me honest and felt I had the originality. He suggested to me, “Why do a cover exactly same way? What’s the point?” That energized me. VERGE: You mentioned Austin and the alt-country scene. What does that term mean to you, and were there times when you felt labeled or stuck in a box? HERRING: Alt-country is a hearkening to classic country with modern things and a lot more pedal steel. It’s very characteristic of the Austin scene. It draws from bluegrass and rock, and it is
now called Americana. All terms are meaningless. I come out of bluegrass, country, gospel and the country blues tradition. Those are the genres I grew up on and understand. That world is easy to move around in. Sometimes limitations help you hone your craft, but eventually it wasn’t me. I didn’t feel a need to express my artistic sensibilities outside of alt-country, but I was doing different things. I will never be in the Top 40 prison called “success,” so I feel freedom in doing the work. VERGE: You developed a fan base over 10 years. How are they responding to this album and sound? HERRING: I get a mix of responses. Some people relate to the earlier sound, with the band, and that’s OK, but at this point I don’t feel restricted, and I’ve gained a new audience with the most recent record. Some people understand that if you keep trying the same thing, that’s exactly what you’re going to do, and that sounds boring. VERGE: How did you develop your working relationship with your producer, David Goodrich? HERRING: The head of my label suggested him, as well as a couple of artist friends of mine. He is not from the alt-country world and that was very helpful. He had a desire to strip things down. We did it live. I sang takes straight through and he was right — I needed that focus and intimacy. VERGE: Did you enjoy the one-on-one recording process? HERRING: When it all comes down to you, it can be harrowing and humbling and fun. Artists have fragile egos and we fluctuate between thinking something is great and something is bad. He was solid and got us to the places we needed to go. It was an intense process. There was nobody to hide behind. VERGE: What attracted you to the guitar, and when did you begin writing songs? HERRING: It was at summer camp. People were playing, my brother played in high school, my dad always played and he bought me a pawnshop guitar when I was in junior high. When
I was in my mid-20s, after college, I began writing and singing. I moved to Austin and began songwriting in earnest. VERGE: Do you feel you are rediscovering songwriting and playing guitar with each album? HERRING: I hope so. I don’t know that I reach nirvana every time I play, but I love doing it and sometimes it’s like liturgy. Sometimes you play and sing out of complete focus and passion, sometimes you do it to remember why you do it, and sometimes you do have to practice, but it’s my life’s passion. I enjoy it and am fully focused, sometimes more than others, but I always know why I’m there. VERGE: Trends come and go. Will the singer-songwriter always survive? HERRING: Unless radio dies … somebody said recently that it all leads back to Hannah Montana somehow. At this time it’s miraculous that people like me can survive. I’m grateful, and until all the doors are closed I will keep on. Society has always loved poets and music and being taken to bigger places and reflecting on their lives. That’s what I love about writing. As long as those things remain, my type of music will not go anywhere. Hear Caroline Herring up close and personal during Music at the Morris on Sunday, November 14th at 2 p.m. Free to the public at the Morris Museum of Art. THEMORRIS.ORG by ALISON RICHTER
MUSIC: MAX BROD TRIO
Classical Trio Comes to ASU
Petr Mateják graduated from the Conservatory in Teplice and the Music Academy in Prague, and also studied in Moscow. He has been awarded numerous prizes in national competitions and appeared as a soloist with various orchestras. He was also a member of, and concertmaster for, the legendary Prague Chamber Orchestra. Mateják has performed across Europe, North and South America, Canada, Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. Maximilian von Pfeil began studying cello at age seven and attended the University of Arts Berlin. He won numerous awards and was fellow of the German Music Foundation in 2004. In addition to touring throughout Europe, he also performs regularly with the German Symphony Orchestra, SWR Stuttgart and Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
On November 12th, the internationally acclaimed Max Brod Trio will perform at Augusta State University. The concert is presented by the Harry Jacobs Chamber Music Society. The Trio was formed in 2005 and includes pianist Kerstin Strassburg, violinist Petr Matěják and cellist Maximilian von Pfeil. They named their ensemble after Max Brod, an author, composer and journalist who was recognized as a mediator between German, Czechoslovakian and Jewish cultures. Kerstin Strasbourg studied piano in Bremen and Hanover and continued her studies in Freiburg. She performs as a soloist and chamber musician with various ensembles in Europe and the U.S.
Since the release of their first CD, Beethoven Dvorak, the Trio has achieved international recognition and acclaim. Their performances, known as Max Brod Salons, are publicly funded within Germany and the Czech Republic. They have also toured Switzerland, Great Britain, China and the U.S. As accomplished musicians with experience in chamber music, and successful solo careers, the three artists bring intercultural exchange and influences to their performances and recordings. The Max Brod Trio performs on Friday, November 12th at 7:30 p.m. at the Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre at Augusta State University. Tickets are $25 each. For more information, contact the Maxwell Theatre Box Office at 706.667.4100 or AUG.EDU/PAT/TICKETS.
by ALISON RICHTER
vergelive.com | community driven news | November 3, 2010 25
ON CAMPUS ASU Film Club Gets Started
THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN
A small conference room on the campus of Augusta State University is filled to capacity, yet students continue to arrive. After a few minutes, the group is moved to a classroom with more seating. There are still three people standing. What brings so many students together at lunchtime on a Tuesday? This is the first meeting of the Augusta State University Film Club. Travis Wagner is the president and founder of this incarnation of the ASU Film Club. Although his focus of study is history, Wagner’s love of film motivated him to put the club together. One of the reasons for founding the club is simply to bring the members together to watch films, but Wagner has other, nobler goals. As stated in the information sheet handed out to the members, the purposes of the ASU Film Club are to “expand film as an academic, artistic and social venue,” encourage student filmmaking and find ways to use film to bolster community involvement and awareness. While encouraging the students to make films and use them in a productive way may be a rather straightforward and simple goal to attain, persuading students and professors alike to consider film as a part of academia may be a little more difficult. Most people don’t immediately consider using film as a research tool, although if properly made use of, movies can provide insight into society and it’s reaction to events that affected past and present generations.
FILMS ASU FILM CLUB WOULD LIKE TO COLLECT THE GENERAL 1926 | THE LORD OF THE FLIES 1963 | BIG 1988 | CASABLANCA 1942 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY 1968 | AMELIE 2001 BICYCLE THIEVES 1948 | BREATHLESS 1960 THE HURT LOCKER 2008 | THE BLOB 1958 RUSHMORE 1998 | THE WIZARD OF OZ 1939 CHARADE 1963 | PSYCHO 1960 | THERE WILL BE BLOOD 2007 | SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN 1952 THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN 1995 | CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND 1977 TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 1974
The ASU Film Club may have members with far-reaching ambitions, but they are lacking materials. The university’s media collection lacks a great deal of the films that inspired many of the students to join. Members may own said films, but in order to show them on campus, in a room big enough to hold all those who might wish to come and enjoy, the school must THE LORD OF THE FLIES own the films. The club is working on fundraising ideas in an attempt to purchase films for the school, but donations are always welcome. For more information on joining the club, attending screenings, or donating a movie or two, check out the ASU Film Club page on Facebook. Have a few extra movies? How about donating them to the ASU Film Club? by SAMANTHA TAYLOR
26 November 3, 2010 | community driven news| vergelive.com
IN STUDIO: JACKSON CHEATHAM
Printmaker and Gallery Curator Savors Life on the Front Porch Sitting with Jackson Cheatham on his front porch at his home in Thompson, Georgia, I was reminded that there are still quiet places in the world. The only sound was the wind in the trees, until I opened my mouth, stupidly, to comment on how peaceful it was, and at once hated the voice because it wasn’t the wind brushing leaves. It was my own tired, jaded, pleading with the world to stay silent, if just for a while so I could clear out all the tangled thoughts of my dreams and breathe. I had to though, add to the noise and interview Jackson, who seemed to be thoughtfully enjoying the quiet as well, chewing on his sandwich as I chewed on mine, after he insisted we eat. “People always talk about getting a place in the country after they retire,” he said, “I don’t understand it. Why wait?” Jackson, in his sixties now, didn’t wait. He moved his family to Thompson in the 1980’s and built a home he had designed himself, inspired by French low country houses. The house has a hip roof and a wrap-around porch. Jackson laments the disappearance of the wrap-around porch in modern architecture, he tells me as we walk around the house and down to the man-made lake in the back. There, we talk about the bare trees still standing in the water and canoing through woods. Walking back he tells me about his development as an artist: “I wasn’t a good student, but I could draw. They couldn’t tell me I couldn’t draw—I was good at that.” Then he recounted his first inspiration, a girl he liked in the 5th grade: “She wouldn’t have me, but I drew her, trying to capture her beauty.” Sitting in his spacious living room, I noticed eight abstract prints on the wall. I struggled to understand what they were all about, what I was supposed to be seeing there other than shapes and line and color, repeated and presented in alternate ways. I admitted to Jackson that I wouldn’t know where to begin to write about them. He joked: “I’ve been accused of being a minimalist.” I pressed the issue and he added that they were a sort of “visual dictionary,” an exploration of shapes, line and form. I liked the answer enough, tired as I am with the long, drawn-out bull most artists try to tell you. In our talk I learned that it was his time at the Atlanta College of Art that solidified for him the medium that would be his focus. “If I had walked into sculpture I would have become a scultpturer,” he said, “but I walked into printmaking first … I was seduced by the machinery and the process.” In his studio Jackson pointed out the machinery of his trade and talked some of the process. He also pointed to stacks of his work leaning against THE PERFECT DITCH SERIES BY JACKSON CHEATHAM the walls and the piles of drawings, prints and sketches that covered all available surfaces. It is the studio of an artist, he explained, cluttered with work left over from a lifetime of gallery shows. From a less-than-crowded windowsill he picked up a print and handed it to me. I saw several shades of gray in succession. Jackson explained that in Cortona, Italy he passed a particular corner and was struck by the light and shadow he saw. After several days of passing it, he finally drew it and what I held in my hands was the result. “The piece needs to be complete within itself,” he said “but does not necessarily need to relate to everything around it.” The section of the wall he had drawn was without any visual reference to show that it was a wall. However, the knowledge that it was light and shade made the print more accessible and I began to understand more what he was doing in his abstract work. Not that I can articulate it right now. Now it is more of a silent understanding. “It becomes hyper-realistic and realistic becomes abstract,” he said about the Cortona print, sounding like an artist, and maybe trying to teach me. As I was leaving I asked the retired professor about what he had in mind for the near future, if was going to retire to his 20 acres in Thompson. He said “The world doesn’t need me to produce any more art—there are plenty of artists.” Then he added that one doesn’t ever retire from being an artist, it is ingrained. Currently, Jackson is the director the Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art at Augusta State University, a fitting position for a man who knows how to define spaces. He said the next exhibit “will be recent work by Kath Girdler Engler” and that “her work is very provocative and challenges the viewer to explore their notions about sculpture … at first glance it appears to be more traditional than it really is, her use of materials, found objects and paper pulp combine to very personal explorations realized in visual form.” The exhibit opens November 11th and runs through December 2nd. article and photos by PM ROGERS
“I wasn’t a good student, but I could draw. They couldn’t tell me I couldn’t draw—I was good at that.” vergelive.com | community driven news | November 3, 2010 27
28 November 3, 2010 | community driven news| vergelive.com
TOUR: ROSEMARY HALL
Showcasing Forgotten Foundations Go across the 13th Street bridge. Drive along the neatly tended storefronts of downtown North Augusta with its ever-present community banners, palmettos, and the well-kept window into a different time. The town center is a model of southern charm, and was built to be exactly that, in much the same manner that Hollywood was to be a distillation of southern California. In fact, that’s a memory that has slipped through the fingers of our collective memory; that’s exactly what North Augusta was supposed to have been. James U. Jackson, the man credited with establishing much of modern North Augusta, has also sunk into the mire of time. Part of his plan was to see the early 20th century film studios move from Long Island to North Augusta. The town on the other side of the river had it all: plenty of rolling hills, flat plains, pines and deciduous forests, a moderate temperature. Perfect for the film industry. His hotel, the Hampton Terrace, was going to be the starlet frontier. But that dream burned along with the hotel in 1916. The rest, as they say... The two family homes, Rosemary and Hilltop, are all that remain of the Jackson memory, and, for many years, they too almost faded away. Until Kelly and Diana Combs snatched them back from mental oblivion. Now, drive up Georgia Avenue through the picturesque city center and veer left onto Carolina Street; you know at the bottom of the hill. You’ll know the hill when you see it. You’ll know the mansion on the left when you see it. James U. Jackson’s original family home. It’s still there and it’s coming back with all the grandeur it opened with. Kelly and Diana are transplants to this area, but, like so many of us, were immediately snared by the grace and charm of the CSRA. “I think of North Augusta as a very kind place to be ... very genteel,” said Diana. She had often talked of running a bed and breakfast and, in 2008, the opportunity opened with the auction sale of both Rosemary and Hilltop. The Combs not only fell in love with the house, but with the history of the house itself, and that’s exactly what they want to give back to the town of North Augusta. They want to give the town its soul back. She sat with me on the porch of the grand old house and mused, “The house just felt sad; it needed a caretaker. We want this house to come back to James U. Jackson.” In that vein, she and her husband
AIKEN BUSINESS: FOLLY
will be hosting the Designer Showcase. A collection of fine art and home decor in the style that the Combs and local designers know will bring back the pulse to this house, this touchstone of the lost North Augusta. Of the many goals the Combs have for this event, one of the facets that struck this writer was one in particular; the need to track down and find the original trappings of the Jackson household, most of which were sold over the course of the 20th century, during the financial decline of the family. “We want to see it all come back to James U. Jackson ... we want this to become a foundation [of North Augusta history].” Tickets can be purchased through the North Augusta Arts and Heritage Center by calling 803.441.4380. The gallery will run between the 2nd and 7th of November and the 9th and 14th of November for $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Hours will be from noon to 6 p.m. daily. The Rosemary Inn is located at 804 Carolina Avenue, North Augusta. article and photo by CLARK FOX
GOOD CAUSE: TALENT SHOW
The Dictionary is Wrong. Folly is No Mistake.
Red Cross Benefit Showcases Aiken’s Best
Aiken is a town known across the continent for its charm, beauty and quintessential Southern hospitality that tends to warp the rest of the country’s misconceptions about the Mason-Dixon line. Downtown Aiken is a concentration of this idea and Laurens Street is one of the ley lines of the town’s almost magical epicenter. The recently opened home decor shop Folly is most certainly one of its foci.
The American variety show is many things, but of all those adjectives, dead is not one of them. Aiken County’s local Red Cross chapter has been hosting a variety/talent show for three years running and fully intends on that streak to grow. Aiken’s “Toast of the Town” is here to stay.
Clean linen, crystal and an organic unity of design immediately draws one through the front doors. The theme is a blend of Aiken’s modern mind. Classic but never kitschy, the showroom is as much exhibit as it is a sales floor, a refreshing take on the traditional. A conversation with the proprietor exposes the forces at work in the texture and feel of the environment. Jane Hottensen is the creative energy behind Folly. A Madison Avenue veteran and former home decorator of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, this woman knows exactly how to create a living space. After moving to Aiken three years ago with her husband, and putting two sons through Clemson, she wanted to do what she knew best in a town that quickly snared her aesthetic attentions: run her own home design showroom. Make no mistake in thinking that a New Yorker couldn’t adapt to the Southern charm, Jane has done her homework. Well before opening the store, she traveled to almost every high-end showcase in the region, from Atlanta to North Carolina, to learn everything she could about the school of Southern design. But she has no interest in overpriced knick-knacks.
“We want to over-deliver on style and underdeliver on price” she says. “I really believe you can deliver great design at a good price.” Of course one might wonder why she named her store a synonym for mistake. “Folly had a whimsical appeal to me; it implies something that is not a necessity but an indulgence [in this case] something that offers a unique addition to the home.” That is immediately apparent on review of the inventory. Everything screams to be looked at, admired, but nothing stands out too much from the flow of the store. A customer could spend a good deal of time in this store, just looking. And that would be no folly at all. Folly is located at 116 Laurens St. in the heart of downtown Aiken and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. article and photo by CLARK FOX
across the river: aiken & north augusta
The chapter coordinator, Darcy Hammond-Ross, began at the Red Cross almost four years ago and wanted to branch out from the usual ... by heading for entertainment’s roots. “I wanted to showcase the talents that I knew existed in Aiken and the surrounding counties.” Not every talent necessarily makes the cut. “It’s a variety show; we’ll get auditions for 10 singing acts, but we want a little of everything, so we may only allow four.” The 2010 iteration of the event will feature something for everyone: cloggers, line dancers, guitar and violin jazz ensembles, a JROTC drill squad and Sho Ane Seaton, an Augusta native and opera singer. Darcy, a Buffalo native, and Aiken transplant, is especially proud that the entire event is now run and managed by the community itself. “The whole thing is 100% volunteer now; the volunteers run the whole thing.” Dismiss any corny images you might have of an amateur night at the local grade school. The event will be held at the URS Center for Performing Arts in downtown Aiken. Not to mention the wine and heavy hors d’oervres served at the reception before the
show on opening night. We at verge have drawn two conclusions: Ed Sullivan would be proud to lend his show’s name to this event, and we’ll be taking the night off to watch clogging and eat canapés. Aiken’s “Toast of the Town” will be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 16th with an optional reception to attend and Sunday, November 17th for a matinee at 3 p.m. Tickets to both showings cost $25 for adults, $20 for ages 55 and up and $15 for students with a valid student ID. The production is offering group rates for eight or more at $20 per person. The reception, with food, wine and non-alcoholic drinks, costs an additional $20. All proceeds go to the Aiken county Red Cross Disaster Services department. Tickets can be purchased now at the URS Center for Performing Arts. The Box Office can be reached at 803.648.1438 and is located at 126 Newberry St. SW, Aiken SC 29803. article and photo by CLARK FOX
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CUT THE FAT Part XIII: Stuffing Beware
HANDS ACROSS AUGUSTA
The Urban Mobilization Project
“What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?” - ERMA BOMBECK
Just the other day, I was asked how I was going to get through Thanksgiving without blowing my diet. It only took me a second to respond: “I’m not.” Before you gasp, get all wide-eyed, and say out loud, “Oh no! Stoney’s gonna fall off the wagon!” let me explain. First off, I’m not on a diet. I just try to live a more health conscious lifestyle. Sure, it’s easier and quicker to say “diet” but, honestly, can anyone say that word without visions of starvation and bland, dry food popping up in their head? Yeah, around my crib diet is a bad four-letter word. SHHH! Don’t even THINK it! Now that that’s out of the way, let me ask you something. When was the last time that you can remember a single meal changing the course of someone’s life? Seriously. I really would like to know. OK, so the Last Supper was a momentous occasion for Jesus and his disciples and a last meal on death row can be something but, c’mon, when was the last time you finished a big meal and thought “holy crap, I better dig out all my fat clothes, I just triggered the next coming of Kirstie Alley! AHHHH!” Please! I’m not telling you not to try making this year’s Thanksgiving dinner a bit healthier, just saying that you shouldn’t stress over it. The holidays can be stressful enough and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be stressful as well. Don’t just be thankful for all the great gifts you’ve received, also be thankful for yourself and all the hard work you’ve put into making yourself a better, healthier person. You should be proud! Even for the littlest of accomplishments. What better way to reward yourself than one tasty somewhat unhealthy meal with the ones you love? You can get back on track the next day when you’re working off all that stuffing during your Black Friday shopping spree (at Downtown Augusta’s Mallternative Day, even better)! Now I know that there’s some of you that might consider my suggestion to be blasphemous and that’s cool. If you choose to prepare your Thanksgiving meal in the most healthiest of ways, I applaud you. I just want you to know that while life is short and while you should try to extend it by living healthier, you should also occasionally take the time to smell the mashed potatoes ... um, roses. I don’t remember who said it but a wise lady once said, “It only takes a short while to eat a bad meal, it takes even less time to accept responsibility for it and get back on track.” I’m sorry if that sounds simplistic but if you’re already on your way, what harm is a little detour to lighten things up a bit from time to time. (OK in our case maybe “lighten up” isn’t the proper verbiage.) So this holiday season kick things off with a treat. Enjoy the comfort, joy, and memories that a Thanksgiving meal can bring. You don’t even have to loosen up your belt, just wear a pair of pants that are now too big for you. You’ll have plenty of time to make up for it when you’re Christmas shopping; and if you’re smart you’ll think ahead and go ahead and get in some extra exercise before the Christmas cookies and fruitcake arrive! by JOHN CANNON photo AERIE CLINTON John “Stoney” Cannon began chronicling his weight loss Spring 2009 and has since lost over 150 pounds. Follow his progress and get more inspiration at FATKATFITNESS.BLOGSPOT.COM
First Presbyterian Church’s Urban Mobilization Project has paid dividends. Last year, Georgia college students volunteered in the local community and helped renovate four homes in Olde Town, located on the second block of Telfair Street—First Pres now considers the homes to be its “ministry beachhead.” The homes will now serve as extensions of the church in the community. Two of the homes are now missionary residences. The remaining two will be used starting August to house Georgia college students who will minister in the community as well as receive theological training. “In August, we’ll have 14 new people [college graduates] moved in here,” said Glenn Wilkins, Director of the Vision Pathway program. Wilkins took over the program in May 2009, and is very qualified for the position having “worked with a ministry of campus outreach on college campuses throughout Georgia, for nine years.” “We are working to try and help them find employers” he said, “and to help them transition from the college campus.” That’s right—jobs—real life. The graduates will even have to pay rent. However, they will receive valuable ministry training in the process. The graduates will assist with a number of church outreach activities as they start their post collegiate careers. Wilkins said that the program will reach out
to the local community, mentoring children in the area in an attempt to break the cycle of poverty, broken families, drug abuse, and crime “with love.” The goal is to “mentor kids out of [the] motivation” to turn to crime and other negative influences. The program will include a Bible study and tutoring in the core subjects with the goal of creating an after school program in the Fall. “The number of students participating will be small, initially,” said Wilkins. He added that a site for the program has not yet been decided upon, but that the program will be within walking distance of the students’ homes because “most are from the Olde Town neighborhood.” The “aim is twofold,” Wilkins said. The graduates will be applying the commandment to love one another as God loves them— to sacrifice for another. By putting this commandment into action, by showing it, they will be teaching it to those who are ready to learn. In any case, the local community will benefit from the action and experience, as will the graduates. Glen said his wife and he “moved here last May to help our children grow spiritually.” He encourages others in the area to follow the lead of the recent college grads and “move downtown to a needy area. Invest your life in a child in need.” FIRSTPRESAUGUSTA.ORG by PM ROGERS photo ELIZABETH BENSON
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PAST TIMES The Monuments of Greene / 18
American Gold Star Mothers Tribute
/ 1000 Block of Greene Street date dedicated / 1972 erected by / American Gold Star Mothers Inc. Richmond County Chapter location
In the Greene Street median, near the intersection of Greene and 11th Streets, there stands a unique tall four-sided monument dedicated by mothers whose sons gave their lives in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Viet Nam. The monument, topped with a saucer-like disc, includes no names but dedicates each side to a separate war complete with engraved military seal. The North face of the monument, featuring the United States Navy emblem, states “In loving memory of our sons who gave their lives” while similar sayings can be seen on the other three sides paired with emblems representing the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps. While several monuments to those who died in war exist down the Greene Street median stretch, each is unique and worth seeing including the American Gold Star Mothers Tribute monument. The American GoldStar Mothers is a national organization for women who have lost a son or daughter in the service of the United States of America. It was started by Grace Darling Siebold in 1928 as a method of constructively dealing with the death of her own son in World War I. The organization was named after the Gold Star that families hung in their windows in honor of the deceased veteran. It remains very active to this day. by JOHN CANNON rendering ALEX McCAIN, III editor’s note: This is the 18th installment of the history of the monuments that line Greene Street.
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Lokal Music Musings Now that we’ve all survived the sugar highs received from overdosing on Halloween candy, it’s time to turn our attention toward all the great things Fall has to offer: cooler weather, football season (hey what’s up with them Bulldogs?!) and, of course, good ol’ homegrown music. November in Augusta is never complete without the release of the annual 12 BANDS OF CHRISTMAS CD and this year is no different. Last year’s Best Of was merely an appetizer to help create a one-year taste for a whole new CD and concert. Man, it should be a doozy! Christmas tracks from 12 Bands of Christmas vets such as G-City Rockers, Tara Scheyer & the Mudpuppy Band, John Kolbeck, Will McCranie, Brandon Bower, The Crowns, and 48Volt have been nicely padded with incredible tracks by 12 Bands rookies Sibling Strings, The Unmentionables, My Instant Lunch, NoStar, and L.i.E. to make for one heck of a fun and unique holiday listening experience. Toss in the return of the annual concert on December 18th at the Imperial Theatre and it looks like Christmas 2010 is gonna be rocking! For more info and to pre-order your own CD go to 12BANDS.COM.
12 Bands Includes NoStar and McCranie 12 Bands of Christmas is back in full form this year - with a new 12-track CD on the way and the concert scheduled for December 18th at the Imperial Theatre. To countdown to the annual concert, we’ll be profiling two of the bands from this year’s line-up each issue. For more information on 12 Bands: 12BANDS.ORG. The profiler is DINO LULL
Carey Murdock & NoStar FORMED MEMBERS RELEASES WHAT IS IT 12 BANDS ONLINE
2007 Carey Murdock (guitar/vocals) John Henry (drums) Steven Bryant (bass) Waiting for the Morning EP (2007) NoStar (2009) NoStar Live: the Best of 2009 (‘10) Don’t Look Down (2010) Bluesy Rock “I Believe in Father Christmas” NOSTARBAND.COM
Maybe NoStar hasn’t been around as long as some of the bands in an area as rich in music as Augusta, but over the last three or four years, from the roots of singer Carey Murdock’s solo work, NoStar has made a name for itself and released a superb self-titled LP that equals anything on the radio.
Before hitting the stage at this year’s 12 Bands concert, NOSTAR will be taking care of some business releasing their sophomore disc Don’t Look Down. Main NoStar dude CAREY MURDOCK has been locked in Riverside Studios with Augusta music vet Patrick Blanchard for months and, from what I’ve been able to get sneak peeks of, the album looks to be stellar and miles above the band’s first disc – which itself was an incredible release. Look for NoStar to drop this new platter December 2nd at Sky City featuring a guest appearance by Blanchard. To find out more, hit up NOSTARBAND.COM. Not too long ago, I commented a bit about old school Augusta bands reuniting while contemplating then upcoming reunion sets by the likes of Science Friction, Impulse Ride, and People Who Must. Well, folks, looks like Santa is continuing to drop early Christmas presents as nineties hip hop favorites FIRST BORN come together at Sky City on November 11th. If you don’t have a clue who First Born are, then I urge you to get your butt down to Sky City and check out a an awesome part of Augusta music history’s past. You won’t be disappointed. SKYCITYAUGUSTA.COM
So now that you know, get out and grow. Expand your lokal music mind. Just be careful with that leftover Halloween candy. No one wants to come off as candy corny. To get an earful of what’s happening in Augusta music, listen to me rant with my good buddy Brian “Stak” Allen at CONFEDERATIONOFLOUDNESS.COM. Til next time…Make it LOKAL, Keep it Loud. by JOHN “STONEY” CANNON To keep up with what’s going down in Augusta music, check out Stoney’s long-running website LOKALLOUDNESS.COM.
A little bluesy rock and a little experimental, the original NoStar trio of Murdock, Ferguson, and Hanna took the music scene by storm, playing at venues that ranged from churches to bars, depending on where they were wanted. This versatility, both in attitude and in music, is what defines NoStar and got this talented band well known around the region and allowed them to have an excellent U.S. tour. In more recent times, NoStar has been back in the recording studio – putting together a sophomore release titled Don’t Look Down which was recorded here in town with Pat Blanchard. NoStar will release the album on December 2nd at Sky City with Blanchard as the opener. NoStar’s current members include Murdock singing, playing guitar, harmonica, and even piano; accompanied by John Henry on drums, and Steven Bryant on bass. With this lineup, the new album is a “more mature songwriter album,” Murdock says about the feel of Don’t Look Down. Much of the album was written while Murdock was on NoStar’s recent tour. “There are a lot of feelings about the South in the album,” Murdock goes on to say about his inspiration and his homesickness for the culture of the South. “When you’re in Boston or Texas or Detroit, people are just different” from people in Augusta. “People downplay Augusta but give our town credit, she deserves it,” Murdock finishes up, expressing his love for the Garden City. Tracks such as “Nobody Like My Girl” are reminiscent of 1970’s era solo Lou Reed but with a huskier voice similar to the Boss or perhaps Tom Waits. NoStar will contribute a cover of Greg Lake’s “I Believe in Father Christmas” to the 12 Bands of Christmas CD and their newest album Don’t Look Down will also be available. Perhaps the best description for NoStar is “roots rock: Springsteen meets Guy Clark but with Georgia-Carolina blood.”
Will McCranie FORMED MEMBERS RELEASES WHAT IS IT 12 BANDS ONLINE
At Birth Will McCranie North/South LP (2009) Smile.Shift.Speak (2010) Folk/Americana “Go Tell It On The Mountain” 5252PROJECT.COM
Will McCranie hails from the south and his acousticdriven singer-songwriter music demonstrates his roots in both folk music and rock. For a prime example, give “This Time” a spin where McCranie shows his John Mayer sensitivity and his Billy Idol passion. Not that long ago, McCranie released his superb album North/South, which was actually a two EP set, and has since then continued making a name for himself on the circuit, both regionally and in his adopted home of New York. Playing a brand of acoustic music that speaks with the voice of Dave Matthews, Cat Stevens, and sounds like a slow tempo Blind Melon; McCranie currently lives and plays around the New York area, never more than a few hours or a quick airplane flight from his home there, and occasionally making it to Chicago, D.C., or even Philly. The 52/52 Project has taken up much of McCranie’s time. For those not familiar with the project, it is his attempt to release one song a week during 2010, culminating in a year’s end “best of ” album. But he’s also got a new album that will be out very soon. So soon, that those who make it to the 12 Bands of Christmas concert will also be there for the CD release party of McCranie’s Smile.Shift.Speak. The new record is more acoustic than his past music. He recorded the album in a new studio in Brooklyn. “It sounds amazing,” McCranie admits. He sat down and played live in the studio, McCranie says. “It feels very honest. It sounds like me sitting in a room playing some tunes. No b.s. just kinda fun.” As for the future beyond the new album, McCranie admits he’s experimenting a little with electronic loops and keyboards. On top of that, he has been rocking out with regional bands around the New York area. “I wanna play with everyone,” McCranie laughs. Between now and the 12 Bands of Christmas in Augusta, McCranie will be playing a separate holiday show in early December up north. McCranie’s music will be up north and down south all over again. If you need more Will McCranie, look for his track on the upcoming 12 Bands annual album. McCranie and his bassist will be playing the old favorite “Go Tell it on the Mountain.” Having earned awards both in 2006 and 2008 for the Lokal Loudness favorite solo artist, McCranie has won the critics hearts and is more than ready to deliver his blistering personal songwriting to everyone at the 12 Bands of Christmas on December 18 at the Imperial Theatre.
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Andy’s Thank-A-Vet Freedom Fest
KEN WILL MORTON BAND (L to R): ANDREW VICKERY, DAVE HOOPER, TIM ADAMS, KEN WILL MORTON
Born out of a desire to recognize the men and women who have fought to keep our country free, Marlene Willard and her father Andy have created Andy’s Thank-A-Vet Freedom Fest. The all-day music festival will be held Saturday, November 13th at the Gordon Park Speedway. But to say this is simply another music festival does not address the real heart behind Andy’s Thank-A-Vet Freedom Fest. Marlene Willard grew up in a military family – her father, Andy is a two-time Vietnam veteran and her brother currently serves in Iraq. She vividly remembers her father coming back from the war and recalls the parades and events she attended as a kid. Now grown, Willard has the opportunity to blend her love of music and her respect for veterans and all they’ve done. “A lot of veteran charities get overlooked,” Willard said. In addition, many people mistakenly believe veterans get a large check from the government after leaving the service. The truth is “vets are working class,” Willard explained. This is why she has put together a community festival for the vets; to honor them and show them the respect they deserve for all the blood, sweat, and tears the military veterans have put in over the years. “We want to put on a good music festival to thank them for their service,” Willard said. Desiring to focus on local bands, she has gathered several musicians from across the area. Some of the bands contain military veterans as well. Many of are donating their time, wanting to help out with the festival as much as possible. Twelve year old Jaycie Ward will open the Freedom Fest with an unparalleled musical performance. For those who haven’t seen Ward perform, she is an amazing singer with a remarkable voice. Ward is just the beginning of the full day event. The main act of the Fest is a concert by Georgia folk singer Ken Will Morton Morton, based out of Athens, musically resembles a fusion between classic style folk such as James Taylor but with a more rocking edge like Dylan. Think Bruce Springsteen with a deeper, bluesier, country style. Ken Will Morton truly began his music career
in Athens playing in Wonderlust, a band that made it to the Vans Warped Tour, and then he was involved with roots rockers the Indicators. During this time, Morton started working on his solo career too, releasing In Rock ‘N’ Roll’s Hands in 2004, followed by King of Coming Around two years later. 2008 saw the release of two more Ken Will Morton albums. Also that year, Ken Will Morton’s song “Oh, Lord” was featured on the television show Deadliest Catch and in early 2010 Ken Will Morton released his fifth solo album titled True Grit. With 12 tracks of melodic slow tempo countryfolk-rock, True Grit displays Morton at his finest, his raspy vocals laid over a style that is steeped heavily in roots music. Songs such as “Restless Heart” show Morton’s adept skill at old fashioned country ballads while “Gamblin’ Man’s Blues” heralds back to 80’s era Bruce Springsteen with a sound of which the Boss would be proud. Iron Hill and the Jeremy Graham Band will also perform at the Freedom Fest. The gates open at 9 a.m. and entertainment starts at 10 a.m. with karaoke. Fort Gordon will present the Military Color Guard honors at noon. Though entrance to the event is free, Andy’s Thank-A-Vet Freedom Fest will accept donations at the gate (suggested donation is $3 per person). The net proceeds for the event will go directly to various area charities serving veterans. Pets, alcohol and coolers are prohibited. Gordon Park Speedway will host a motocross show the same night just as the Thank-AVet fest is winding down at 6 p.m. Active military can attend at no additional charge and proceeds from the motocross event will go towards charity. The Speedway is located at 3157 Gordon Highway in Grovetown. “It’s an inexpensive day out for the whole family to listen to music and show honor to the vets,” Marlene Willard said. Andy’s ThankA-Vet is a cause everyone can get behind, the money going right into local charities where the effects can be seen. Good tunes and a great cause all for the price of a few bucks. What better way is there to spend your day? ANDYSTHANKAVET.COM by DINO LULL
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