Planet weekly 452

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>>> N E W S | T H E C H AM B E R OF COMM E R C E



The Chamber's 2013 Montgomery Drive-In

The Chamber's 2014 Montgomery Drive-In will be Wed., Mar. 19 - Thurs., Mar. 20. This is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with our state's elected leadership, advocate for important issues and network with other local business leaders. This year's trip will once again include our participation in the Business Council of Alabama's Annual Legislative Reception, which we will help sponsor on the Wednesday evening of the trip. This will be an invaluable opportunity to interact with most of the members of the Alabama State Legislature and statewide officials, as well as Chamber/business leaders from across the state.



Our agenda will include meetings with House and Senate Reps, Gov. Bentley and other key leaders in our state. A complete agenda will be available soon. Cost is $200/person, which includes transportation and several meals. You are responsible for making your own hotel reservations. We currently have rooms reserved at the Renaissance in Montgomery and we have a special group rate until Feb. 19. After that, we cannot guarantee a room or the special rate. If interested, contact Stacey at 391.0559 or Stacey@ Registration form must be received by Mar. 12.

Time for Social Evaluation: What's Working? What's Not? Where should you be placing your marketing efforts in 2014? Change is here and new strategies will be key. Time for Social Evaluation! Donna Gilliland, founder and owner of MOSTraining, Inc., will facilitate our lunch and learn on Thurs., Feb. 13 from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Cost is $30/person and lunch will be provided. Registration is required by Feb. 10. Refunds cannot be given after that date. Call Stacey at

391.0559 or e-mail to register or ask questions. YP(t) Speed Networking at Mercedes The Young Professionals of Tuscaloosa or YP(t) invite all young professionals under 40 to attend a Speed Networking event Feb. 27 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Mercedes-Benz Training Center in Vance. This free event is open to all young professionals in the Tuscaloosa area under the age of 40. All professions and levels of experience are welcome. Making a first impression is crucial and can influence a future professional contact and business relationship. Speed Networking helps participants build confidence when meeting and speaking to community members and business contacts. Participants at this event will have the opportunity to introduce themselves and make professional contacts in a dynamic setting. Also, immediately following the networking event, MBUSI is offering an exclusive tour of the facility to its YP(t) guests at the reduced rate of $5. Participants should bring a pen,

notepad, and 40-50 business cards for distribution. Because space is limited, participants must register by emailing yptuscaloosa@ by Feb. 21. Veterans Appreciation Day The Chamber's Veterans Affairs Committee is sponsoring a Veterans Appreciation & Information Day, to show appreciation and conduct a "meet and greet" for local area military veterans. With over 80,000 veterans in West Alabama and specifically 4000 plus enrolled at the University of Alabama and Shelton State Community College, a large turnout is expected due to the support of Chamber members. Additionally, attending veterans may fill out information sheets that will provide skills and qualifications to be made available for Chamber members to analyze for potential job requirements. The event is Saturday February 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Atrium at Shelton State Community College. For more information or would like to reserve a space, please contact Stacey Gann at the Chamber 391.0559.

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>>> planetweeklyissue452 SPORTS



// GARY HARRIS Marlon Humphrey commits to Alabama

Popular newspaper was run by an inmate

5 DRUID CITY TIME & SPACESHIP // ALYX CHANDLER World class hybrid recording studio




CAT R INA K ATTN E R 2 05. 52 3 . 1 4 6 0 Planet Weekly P. O . B o x 2 3 1 5 T u s c a l o o s a , AL 3 5 4 0 3 Phone: 205.792.7239 | 205.765.8007 Email: publisher@theplanetweek Please direct correspondence to: The Planet Weekly is a proud member of The West Alabama Chamber of Commerce. © 2013 All rights reserved. THE PLANET WEEKLY is a registered trademark. Planet Weekly is published every other Thursday. No part of this publication including editorials may be reproduced, in whole or part, by any means, including electronic retrieval systems, without the Publisher’s prior expressed written consent. One copy of each issue of THE PLANET WEEKLY is free to each of our readers. Any reader who takes more than two copies without expressed permission of the publisher shall be deemed to have committed theft. The views and opinions of the authors of articles appearing in this publication may not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Publisher.

6 THE NUT SHOP // RYAN PHILLIPS A southern favorite for nearly 40 years 8 WALKING THE RIVERWALK // JEROME ADAMS Try it. You'll like it



Washing away last night's sins



Washing away last night's sins

13 BEER, BLUES & A GOOD CAUSE // Benefit for the Alabama Blues Project

14 ROLE CALL // WILLIAM BARSHOP Upcoming auditions at Theatre Tuscaloosa

entertainment 7


"I FRANKENSTEIN" 7 I saw it twice





Events Calendar


Road Trip


Tuscaloosa music

23 Horoscopes // Sudoku 24 CROSSWORD PUZZLe






Ancient Oak trees shade the main drag turning off of Hackberry Lane, and for drivers distracted by the intramural fields and sports complexes, it can be easy to miss. The driveway leads to a large white hospital building crowned with an ornate dome that towers above the University of Alabama campus like the unified phantom of the many souls that have passed through its halls. At one time, Bryce Hospital was the center of mental health in the state of Alabama and was fully self-sustaining through therapy-based patient labor. Items ranging from clothes to mattresses were made-to-use by the patients, which was viewed in the community and around the world as a progressive approach to mental health practices of the time. This storied location, while adjacent to many civil war and civil rights landmarks, still holds one bit of history that has fallen through the cracks of time into obscurity. Out of the unorthodox patient care methods that led to innovations in the field of mental health, a humble newspaper was born inside the walls of the then aptly named Alabama Insane Hospital. Despite being digitally archived by the state and slightly studied, the identity of the sole editor of the Meteor has remained a mystery due to the lack of attribution for the articles published. Over the course of the last four months, recent records and research has uncovered a name and story to attach to this mysterious and outspoken editor. The Meteor, first published on July 4, 1872, was a patient run, broadsheet newspaper that provided a glimpse into not only issues on the ward, but in the surrounding area. It was circulated throughout Tuscaloosa, and considered by many to be a viable publication due to the eloquence of the writing, content and



on-site production by the patients. For nearly ten years, this “spritely little sheet” was written and edited exclusively by patients, many of whom possessed the education to write and wax poetically in a romantic style on topics ranging from problems Miss Emily’s Tomatoes with other local publications to visits from the daughter of Superintendent Peter Bryce. According to one Meteor article printed in 1872 entitled “Thanks”, the tiny publication was already generating worldwide recognition. “While convinced that we owe so much to the generosity of our critics, indisposed, as they doubtless were, to see the faults in a journal issued under such circumstances, we think we have a right to exult somewhat, in the stir our little paper has caused. From far-away Oregon even, come compliments—and from correspondents of foreign journals, we have received orders for copies to be forwarded to European countries.” Historians often mention publications as a direct reflection on the editor in charge, and The Meteor proves no exception. Through extensive research, the editor can be now properly identified as Joseph Alexander Goree, a former Planter and schoolteacher from Marion, Alabama. In validating Goree as the editor of The Meteor, multiple first-hand accounts were needed of the man on the job. This assertion also comes in the midst of historic accusations that the paper was edited and operated by Peter Bryce. The first of these records can be found in a visit by the Alabama Press Association that was chronicled by the Tuscaloosa Gazette in 1878 and is available on microfilm in the Hoole Special Collections Archives on the UA campus. “We peeped into the back court, and true to our profession, the first thing we struck was the Meteor office,” the article says. “Dr. Goree, the Editor, is a patient,

who with no previous training, has for five years conducted this spritely little paper— besides contributing articles to Newspapers, on scientific and literary subjects, replete with lively fancy, sound judgment, good taste and an occasional sparks of genuine wit, all of which show how very sane an insane person can be.” A single laminated hard copy of the first issue of The Meteor is all that remains at the Hoole Archives at UA, and is sized and constructed in the same style of other traditional newspapers of the day. Another congruent account of Goree’s personality is available in a book titled “An Insight Into An Insane Asylum”, which can be found at the Tuscaloosa Public Library. Written by Reverend Joseph Camp, who was originally committed by his family for smoking tobacco, the book mentions Goree in passing. “There is a Dr. Byron who has been there fourteen years, also a Dr. Goree, who goes where he pleases,” Camp wrote. “He runs the printing-office and acts as librarian for the hospital; is as compos mentis [of sound mind] as he ever was, and is one of the most polished gentleman I have ever seen.” After coming to a last name, more digging was required to find out more about Dr. Goree. This is where the Tuscaloosa Public Library comes in. Available in their vast catalog of local records, death listings and burial listings for the area are available at length. It became evident that only two individuals with the last name Goree can be connected to the Alabama Insane Hospital during the Meteor’s existence. As luck would have it, one of the individuals was a female, which ushered in the process of elimination and directly pointed to Joseph Alexander Goree as the editor. In 1825, around Marion in Perry County, Alabama, Joseph Alexander Goree was born into a wealthy planter family and is listed in University of Alabama records as a “Planter and Teacher,” who attended until his sophomore year, all of which is followed by a death date concurrent with the one listed for the patient buried at Bryce. After his time at the State University, according to alumni records from Brown University, it appears Goree moved to Rhode Island for a time and attended Brown from 1843-45 without specifying a finishing degree or class. In addition, his father, James L. Goree, is listed in a compilation of Alabama Ancestral Homesteads as owning 80.25 acres in Perry County, which is reflective of their wealth considering only a couple of planters in the area owned more land. His father also sat on the board of Trustees for the Judson Female Institution in Marion, Alabama, which reflected not only the family’s wealth, but social status and influence. For some time, Goree lived in Indiana and met a woman named Emma Robinson, whom he married in 1853 before her death the following year around the age of


25. Following the death of his wife, and for reasons held confidential by the Alabama Department of Mental Health, Goree was committed to the Alabama Insane Asylum at an unreleased date. The Hospital is listed as his place of death in Tuscaloosa on December 30, 1896, with the cause attributed to “Mental Depression/Senility.” For his time, location and former occupation of wealthy slave-owner, Goree’s writing is surprisingly progressive in nature and can be easily spotted in the administrative articles of the Meteor, which have a certain cadence and understanding of literary conventions. Goree introduced the publication’s mantra in the first issue, with an introduction that reads,” We call our paper the Meteor. Meteors are always a surprise. So doubtless will be our little sheet. Their career though short, is brilliant, and we intend that our paper, if it does not coruscate with wit, shall glow with a kindly and generous sentiment for all mankind, whatever be their nationality, political principles or religious creed.” The Meteor seems to have been a noble cause to Goree, who directly addressed several of his articles with the simple title, “Editor.” In one such instance, Goree calls out other publications for their pessimism and lends insight into his outlook despite being committed. “I am a patient, I have not lost interest in the affairs of the world. It is my ambition to return and take part in them.—I write to protest against the fallacies which some contributors to the Era and Gazette are endeavoring to the public. They affirm the times are degenerate, that the standards of social conduct have been notoriously abased—Mr. Editor [of the Gazette], the world grows better instead of worse.” The world does indeed grow better instead of worse, at least for the legacy of Joseph Alexander Goree, who can now be identified and given the proper credit for operating and editing an independent newspaper in the unlikeliest of places. While not everything is known about this historic newspaper endeavor, one more piece of the puzzle can be added to further understand the relatively unstudied history that lays in state just a stones throw away from a highly recognized and world famous institute of higher learning. @jrphillips82689

>>>M U S I C | A L Y X C H A N D L E R


Druid City Time & Spaceship, a new musically equipped one room recording studio opened for use by all types of musicians and bands, will always be a lifestyle for Jacob Thompson, the owner and creator of this hole in the wall recording sanctuary. “It was really us building our home, and less of a business venture,” Thompson said. Luck opened the door for Thompson as a contractor that agreed to transform a section of Thompson's house into a personalized recording studio. It became a world class, hybrid recording studio just off Skyland Boulevard, transformed from a continuation of him and his wife building their home into a makeshift studio for self recording. Recently it's open for the entire Tuscaloosa community to pursue dreams of recording music. Born at Druid City hospital, Thompson grew up collecting and accumulating enough musical gear since he was as young as 12 years old. After playing violin at an early age, he began playing the guitar and occasionally singing. He went briefly to the University of Alabama before he toured around the Southeast with the band he was in at the time. They played at the frat scene and local bars, enduring sun rises as they drove back to Tuscaloosa from Auburn, Mobile and other college towns. Not only did Thompson say how fun it was, he explained how it taught him to see the extent of what he was capable doing musically. “Playing on stage is almost instant satisfaction,” Thompson said. Thompson's band and roadie days gave him the kind of raw insight about music production and performances that he needed to know in order to properly

build a professional studio. He mastered knowing exactly what an acoustically correct room sounds like by building the studio with the perfect amount of sound reflectors and absorbers to make the purest sound. Throughout the years, he worked for several recording studios over the years, including Electric Lady Studios, a well-known recording studio in New York founded by Jimi Hendrix. There his clients were various artists and famous people, such as the Roots, Dave Chapelle and Nas. From there he ended up working in Nashville and New Orleans, before Katrina sent him back to Tuscaloosa to settle down. “They were just people, famous people, nice people or jerks,” Thompson said. “It was fun and kind of educational that they were just people.” Once his traveling days came to an end, he worked through a dangerous bicycle accident to continue his hope to record a CD with a band. Instead of going to an expensive recording studio elsewhere, he realized he could make his own. The process Thompson used to build the studio involved drawing out exactly what he wanted so that he could manipulate the acoustic response of the sound proof room. Inside the room, light behaves the same as sound, reflecting and absorbing at different spots in the room. He said he is beyond pleased and thankful with the result of the current studio,

and explained each experience led to the knowledge to make his music sanctuary. “This is who I am—what I've done my whole life,” Thompson said. Thompson has seen a record take anywhere from a day to over six years, so he prepared for bands to have a permanent escape plan from the distractions of the outside world. A complete shower, room and studio is provided for bands. This way Thompson's wife doesn't have to be bombarded by the chaos of perfecting songs over a period of time and it's more convenient for the band. Thompson compares recording an album to painting a picture, “one last brush stroke can ruin the whole painting,” and said it's a careful and intricate process. “Everything [in a recording studio] is judged by your merit. Everything you make goes back out into the world,” Thompson said. Thompson said although he personally has recorded not his best music in his past, that musicians should never worry—it's about the desire to make music. It takes time and experience to learn, which is why Thompson often negotiates prices with starting bands. He has been unoffically running a studio long enough to understand the struggle of the young musician and bands. “Music is incredibly good for most people because it takes them out of their day to day worries,” Thompson said. “It's a great escape.” He is more than happy to help engineer other bands in his studio, but he also encourages them to bring their own guest engineer if they prefer. Even though the word engineer insinuates calculating, a producing engineer is the person who's job is to eliminate all unnecessary noise, such as pops, cracks and muffles. The key to a successful engineer is altering the sound effects and songs without the band having to think about it. It's a background role that is a less hands-on position than a producer. It's still important and highly necessary for bands to record. “I'm old school, the technology shouldn’t serve the music. I'm bias, I know, I just like the much more primitive version,” Thompson said. He explains that this viewpoint doesn't mean doing not using his equipment to its full extent. He usually prefers that the singer audition each vocal tape by singing it three times and then taking the best of all three tapes. The engineer can still go in there and fix it certain parts, but this way it's still basically a linear tape. This method is opposed to majorly changing the song through a computer program.

Thompson said an engineer's job is sometimes as easy as putting the right toy in front of the band, and sometimes more like manipulating 24 lines of inputs in the multi-track recording program to be the best sounding version of the music it can be. Currently Thompson, Tyler Plemins and Ben Bonnett have begun recording their three-piece band, with an undecided name, in their own studio, which has been an extremely convenient experience. “You get a very true and clean sound in there, its instruments can be as loud as you want. It's something you look for at every studio,” Plemins said. Brandon Walker, the protocol guru of Thompson's studio, helped him put together the hybrid studio after working with him for a few years. “We built this place so that bands from around here wouldn't have to go somewhere else really far to make a good record,” Walker said, A local recording studio can help determine a starting band's vision and how to achieve it without wasting additional money going half-way across the world. Thompson said Walker has been an all around great engineer that anyone can get along with easily. After going to production school and working with live recording, Walker is happy to have the opportunity to assist new bands in the Tuscaloosa area with his producing and engineering knowledge over the years. “When you start people don't know what they are doing—no clear vision for the band,” Walker said. “The first project end result can turn out exactly how you want in your mind.” Since the studio's building, Walker has done engineering for the new and upcoming bands, the Organic Androids and Country Road Four. “Sure, I hope we have a good record come through, but at the same time I'm satisfied with what I do already,” Thompson said. The ultimate goal for Thompson is to record one or two solid albums that he's proud of in the next few years. Plemins plans for their group to be part of the music scene by the end of March. If you're interested in recording in Druid City Time & Spaceship, visit their website at

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

Jacob Thompson FEBRUARY 6 + FEBRUARY 20


>>> LO C A L B U S I N E S S | RYA N P H I L L I P S


When Cecil Williams opened a sharpening business nearly forty years ago in downtown Tuscaloosa, peanuts were simply a luxury item offered to loyal customers or given as gifts during the holidays. “I was without a job and a friend and I, between the two of us, invested $500 and started a sharpening service,” he said. “Here we are some 36 years later.” Over time this small blade sharpening business grew, but the popularity of the roasted peanuts exploded on the scene and established The Nut Shop as a world famous Tuscaloosa institution. According to Cecil Williams, who co-owns A1 Sharpening ServiceNut Shop with his wife Margaret, their success can be measured from their humble beginnings. “We gave peanuts away for Christmas instead of cards and then people wanted to buy them,” he said. “I got tired of roasting peanuts at home and bringing them here, so I bought an electric roaster. That was 22 years ago this past November.” Sold in an iconic brown paper bag with the unmistakable font, The Nut Shop pea-



nuts have become a staple in diets across the southeast. According to Williams, he roasts 100,000 pounds of peanuts a year to distribute to their various locations. “Currently we serve around 150 convenience stores in central Alabama and also in Mississippi, “ he said. “We have picked up a lot of the nostalgic candies too and

Cecil and Margaret Williams

we distribute those a lot, like rock candy, pecan logs and jelly belly. We roast our own peanuts here and the other product is made and shipped to us in bulk. I can buy it cheaper than I can make it.” While Cecil and Margaret Williams have had huge success with The Nut Shop, the sharpening service remains open and is a reminder of why they went into business in the first place. Cecil Williams then said this is a concept that a business owner should never forget. “So many people go into business for the right reason, then they forget what they went into business for,” he said. “You have to have a service to offer the public and they forget who they are servicing. If I can’t repair or sharpen your tool to help you, I am not doing anyone any

good. That has been our goal since day one, to service Tuscaloosa County.” The Tuscaloosa business climate provides a welcoming environment to start a small business, Cecil Williams said, and this attitude is utilized in the operations of A1-Sharpening ServiceThe Nut Shop. “This is a place where you can go downtown grungy and greasy from work and no one frown down at you,” he said. “Tuscaloosa is not a clannish place like other places we have been and it is such a welcoming market. We sharpen things for, or sell to, just about everybody. We treat everyone the same. Small business are harder to run and there are so many regulations to follow, but once you start it and keep up with it, it’s not that hard.” The ownership dynamic of husband and wife allows each partner to have an equal hand in operations. According to Cecil Williams, his wife Margaret began working in the shop after an extensive career in teaching and educational sales. “We own the company 50/50 and we originally incorporated so we could have insurance,” he said. “The idea is that she and I have to agree on a project 100 percent before it ever goes. If either of us disagrees, it won’t fly.” In distributing their well-known products, Cecil Williams said, emphasis is put towards business loyalty and quality assurance in order to provide the products that customers wants to keep buying. “Most people buy on price—we don’t,” he said. We buy on quality. Basically all of our producers of our products have been in business a lot longer than I have. We are loyal to the companies we buy from. Our philosophy is buying a good product and if it doesn’t work, throw it away.” Cecil Williams then offered a piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who look to find success in a turbulent


economy. “Don’t get greedy, offer a service, keep your price reasonable and have an eye towards quality,” he said. “Do that same thing over and over and do not change anything once you get it going. Its like the old saying, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’—I treat each customer the same and take just as much pride from sharpening a pair of scissors as I do anything else. I’ve told business classes at the University that I didn’t do this thing the right way. We decided on the seat of our britches that we wanted to do this and it just so happened to have paid for itself and we have been at this location 28 years.” At 75 years old, Cecil Williams has been asked about retirement, but his work ethic is the same as it was when he first opened the doors of his knife sharpening shop nearly forty years ago. While the business has been good to the Williams family, Cecil Williams also worries about where the knife sharpening industry is headed. “As long as we can have fun, pay the bills and can mentally and physically do it, then we are going to keep on doing it,” he said. “On the sharpening side, it bothers me because there is no one else out there to sharpen and it is just a dying business and no one is learning the trade.” The aromas that fill the historic, and deceivingly large location, range from hot shaved metal coming off a diamond grinding wheel to delectable roasted peanuts and mouth-watering candies. In an economy that gobbles up small businesses and spits them out, A1 Sharpening Service-The Nut Shop is a business model that is unparalleled, time tested and as southern as sweet tea. For those interested in visiting this famous local institution, visit their central location at the intersection of Greensboro Avenue and 15th Street.

>>> F I L M | V A N R O B E R T S


3 ou t of 4

A cleverly- reimagined but lightweight horror chiller, “I, Frankenstein” qualifies as an entertaining, PG-13 rated, supernatural saga about the further adventures of the infamous monster. “Tomorrow, When the War Began” writer & director Stuart Beattie and “Underworld” scenarist Kevin Grevioux, who wrote the Darkstorm Studios graphic novel prequel, have forged a fast-moving fantasy that borrows from the “Underworld” franchise, “Legion,” “Priest,” “Batman,” and “Constantine.” Unlike previous “Frankenstein” films, however, “I, Frankenstein” occurs in a contemporary setting after a brief 18th century prologue. Our stitched together protagonist finds himself caught between an order of virtuous Gargoyles and wicked Demons in an apocalyptic battle for the fate of Earth. Essentially, with regard to Biblical timelines, the action takes place after the fall of Satan. Leading man Aaron Eckhart has definitely surpassed himself not only with his chiseled, six-pack physique as the centuries old monster, but also with a haunted performance that evokes sympathy for the anti-heroic monster. Mind you, Frankenstein’s monster remains a treacherous character, rough-hewn-around-theedges, without a twinkle in his gimlet eyes. When Eckhart isn’t striking a cool, antiheroic pose, Bill Nighy’s nefarious villainin-charge mesmerizes us with another polished performance. Naturally, Nighy is cast as the supreme Demon, Prince Naberius, who looks quite a sight when he shape-shifts into a Demon. Listening to this seasoned British actor deliver his dialogue with a succulent relish for each syllable is a treat in itself. Meantime, director Beattie stages several exciting entrances and exits by both the Gargoyles and our hero. Heroes and villains love to plunge through ceilings like Michael Keaton did as the Caped Crusader in the 1989 “Batman.” The close-quarters combat sequences are reminiscent of “Priest” (2011) with the monster wielding twoand-a-half foot-long sticks. The settings and the costumes imbue the action with

atmosphere. “Wolverine” director of photography Ross Emery makes everything appear visually resplendent, particularly when Demons die in battle. When a Demon dies, its body glows incandescently and then erupts into fireballs. “I, Frankenstein” picks up Mary Shelley’s classic narrative thread and then ushers its immortal monster into a contemporary setting. In voice-over narration, the grim monster provides us with all the important details about Victor Frankenstein (Aden Young of “Black Robe”) and his success with reanimating dead tissue. So disgusted did Frankenstein feel about what he had created from eight corpses and brought to life using electric eels that he bundled it up and dumped it into a river. Nevertheless, the monster managed to survive, and it murdered Frankenstein’s wife. Frankenstein pursued the blasphemous creation into the frozen wilderness, but the mad scientist succumbed to the elements before he could dispatch the monster. Afterward, the notorious Prince Naberius (Bill Nighy of “Underworld”) learned about the monster and included him in his ambitious plans to resurrect an army of Demons confined in Hell. He appoints Zuriel (Socratis Otto of “Gone”) to capture the monster after the latter has buried his creator. Two Gargoyles intervene on the monster’s behalf as the Demons challenge him at his father’s burial site. After repulsing the Demons, Frankenstein’s monster finds himself airlifted by the Gargoyles to a cathedral where he meets their matriarch. Queen Leonore (Miranda Ott of “War of the Worlds”) refuses to let her brawny second-in-command, Gideon (Jai Courtney of “Jack Reacher”), slay the monster. Instead, she names the monster “Adam.” Could anything have been less symbolic? She explains that the Gargoyles and the Demons have been waging an eternal war that mankind knows nothing about despite the high body count on both sides. At the same time, Naberius has fooled two scientists into working for

his cause to replicate Frankenstein’s success with bringing the dead back to life. Naturally, Terra (lovely Yvonne Strahovski of “Killer Elite”) dismisses the legend of Frankenstein as hokum. Eventually, she comes face-to-face with reality when she meets not only Adam but also peruses Frankenstein’s journal. Mind you, “I, Frankenstein” emphasizes thrilling, athletic action set-pieces so our hero and heroine have no time to enjoy intimacy in a romantic sense. Terra spends her time sewing up part of Adam’s back when he isn’t rescuing her as a damsel-in-distress from Prince Naberius’ minions. For the record, Naberius’ chief henchman, the hulking Dekar, who speaks in a voice that sounds like it comes from the pit of Hell itself, is played by writer Kevin Grevioux! “I, Frankenstein” is a good movie, but it suffers from several shortcomings. First, exposition dominates the action. Any time you conjure up a fantasy world, you must explain who is who and what is what. Virtually every other line of dialogue serves to explain details. Director Stuart Beattie and scripter Kevin Grevioux shoehorn in a plethora of information about whom and what into this lean and mean movie that takes up less than 90 minutes when you subtract the end

credits. Incidentally, you need not sit out the end credits for fear of missing any additional scenes. Nonetheless, some of their exposition must have hit the editing room floor. For example, we are told neither how the monster acquired his superhuman strength nor his immortality. Between theAtlas times that Adam finds his Cloud creator frozen in the snow and encounters Terra, more than two hundred years have passed! Second, the visual effects are lackluster. The Demons look like they don Halloween masks when they transform and the Gargoyles look pretty hokey as they hover in flight by flapping their reptilian wings. Presumably, the $69-million budget went to other things. Happily, Beattie and Grevioux discarded everything else about the traditional Frankenstein monster’s hideous appearance from the original movies. He doesn’t have bolts protruding from his neck. He doesn’t stomp around like a sleep-walking soldier and he speaks in complete sentences. He is more like Robert De Niro’s monster in “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” (1994) because he possesses intelligence. Altogether, despite some obvious weaknesses, “I, Frankenstein” is a lot of fun to watch, and I enjoyed it so much that I saw it a second time.




>>> E X P LO R I N G A L A B A M A | J E R O M E A DA M S


“I feel funny running in shorts and tank top looking at snow,” was overheard by the author while trekking along Riverwalk, a long narrow park parallel to Jack Warner Parkway and the Black Warrior River. Last Friday was a welcome respite from the very unpleasant and uncharacteristic weather for us in West Alabama. There were still small patches of snow along areas more in shadow than light and this was the



scene as the University of Alabama students passed behind the visitors’ center and farmers’ market building. It seems that Riverwalk is in constant evolution and has grown from mostly nothing to a fairly great distance along the Black Warrior River. In addition to the pavilions already there for a few years, more places for citizens have been constructed. The original path has been paved, and several bridges built to accommodate pedestrians and those on bicycles and those needing individual motorized transportation making the whole complex very people friendly. No cars or trucks are allowed except in the parking lots. The writer started the investigation on the east end which has a pavilion and was at the time being used by a construction crew for a cook out. This most pleasant day was perfect with a crystal blue sky, no wind and temperature about 60 degrees or a little better. After freezing temps of the preceding days, even 50 felt warm. A lock on the river had at one time been nearby and many of the large sand stone blocks quarried from a nearby formation and used in lock construction are

now being used as places to sit and relax on the upper areas of the park. Down a flight of steps toward the river is a large rectangular platform area where other parts of the lock are used. Protective fences help keep children and pets from falling in the water. Metal benches are set out for relaxing and observing the river and nature in general. To the left one can see in the distance the Hugh Thomas Bridge and to the right also a fairly long expanse of the river. A piece of the same sandstone outcropping used in the lock construction was quarried and used by an ancient artist to make the famous Rattle Snake Disc on display at the Jones Archaeological Museum of the Moundville Archaeological Park. Archaeological investigations have also revealed small village sites in the park area that were linked to the population at Moundville. Since Tuscaloosa has been at this site for about two hundred years many other structures have have come and gone along the river and one might see on the bank and in the water’s edge remains of foundations. Modern buildings have been constructed and one might wonder that in the future these will decay or be torn up by storms and become artifacts, also. There are side paved areas lead-

ing to a scenic spot or set of tables and grills. Parking is not difficult to find providing easy access to the picnic areas. Pavilions can be rented for gatherings and weddings etc. When not used by a group, pavilions can, of course, be used by individuals for brief periods to relax and observe the river, boats, barges, and nature. The major objectives of Exploring Alabama are to encourage you, the reader, to be participants in life and enjoy entertaining, educational, and interesting places to visit that are not far away and are free or at least inexpensive. The Riverwalk, free for our use, is along our great Black Warrior River that gives the county and city their names in the form of “Tuscaloosa” which means “black warrior.” The water one sees flowing by this park eventually flows into the Gulf of Mexico where many of us go for recreChris Black ation in the summer. That understanding is educational in that whatever we do to that water, good or bad, has an effect somewhere else and people live there and we like to visit for pleasure. The Riverwalk offers a beautiful setting for recreation and entertainment and is lighted at night. Our taxes have bought the land and paid for all the paving and construction and upkeep so it is our park. Money gathered from taxes will continue to be used so that it will continue to be available, comfortable and safe. The landscaping and development of the park are assets to the community. Visitors, both local and from somewhere else, should be impressed with its utility and aesthetics. Explore Alabama by taking a walk on Riverwalk. It is located on Jack Warner Parkway across from the University of Alabama and the Tuscaloosa Public Library. You will not be disappointed.

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The Left Hand Soap Company began inadvertently in 1999, when creator Soapy Jones and a college friend, broke during the holiday season, decided to pool their resources and make soaps as gifts. A few months later, the phone calls came. “People were asking, ‘can you make more of that?’ And I said, ‘as long as you pay me for it, I’ll make anything you want,’” says Jones. This approach has continued throughout the company’s 15 year history. “It’s all crowdsourced. People told us what they wanted, that’s how it started. I have a habit of falling into things. I don’t think about something; I just do it. If people like it, it will keep going.” This same urge to fill a need prompted Jones to publish, “Sinister Compendium,” a zine attached to the soap company. “At the time, there weren’t the current resources for artists and writers in Tuscaloosa. We basically said, ‘you don’t have a forum here, we’ll print your shit.’ No one else was doing it, so why not.” However, mature content in the zine created a backlash against the company from conservative community members, and Left Hand swiftly became the most controversial soap company in Alabama. “It’s a shortcoming of mine, but I think it works to my benefit in a lot of cases: I’m very bad at anticipating social expectations,” says Jones. The most significant of these cases was a controversial film Left Hand sponsored for the Bama Art House series. Titled, “Turn Me On, Dammit!,” it was a nuanced Norwegian film about a 15-yearold girl’s sexual awakening. “When we sponsored, “Turn Me On, Dammit!,” that was another one I really didn’t see coming. I got threats from the pastors.

I got emails from one of them saying that if I didn’t pull out sponsorship for this movie, they were going to picket my business. But he obviously didn’t do his research, because we don’t have a storefront.” “I made the decision to send the email to the newspaper. That allowed a civil discourse in the community, which mattered. As it went on, the Arts Council decided to cancel the flick because of the controversy... So I went to some longstanding community members, and I said, ‘What do you want me to do about this? I can watch the movie in my den, but if the community wants to see this, then I’ll fight for it.’ And I got an overwhelming response of, ‘yes, we want this.’ I didn’t want to stand on the end of my leash and chew on it if it wasn’t going to do anything. I’m willing to be a pit bull, but only if the community’s behind me.” The film was eventually screened at the Bama Theatre. Jones says, “It allowed a fascinating discourse between people who normally wouldn’t have a reason to talk to each other. At the time, it was the largest crowd they’d had at the Bama.” Though efforts to invest in the community sometimes backfire, Left Hand continues its community involvement. “That’s my intention, as a local business; to take the money we’ve gotten locally and turn around and give it back.” After this incident, Left Hand’s somewhat mischievous name seems especially apt. “I am a fan of multi-use phrases. I’m very pragmatic, and a phrase is more efficient if it has more than one meaning. My original business partner and I are both left handed, so that was the initial catalyst for it. However, after we said it, we giggled, and said, ‘Oh it means this too, and this, and this...’” In the early 2000s, the co-creator of

the company left to pursue other opportunities, and Jones’ husband took their place within the company. After this switch, Jones began to rebrand and grow the company into its current incarnation, which requires her to rise at 4:30 a.m. and go to sleep at 12:00 a.m. “Of course, not all of that is spent with Left Hand, I do other things. But most of it is. Making soap, testing soap, cutting soap, packaging soap, selling soap...lots of soap.” Breathing in the scent of soap all day, Jones is fiercely passionate about her product. “There’s a difference between what’s a real soap and what would be considered a, ‘moisturizing bar,’ which is what you typically find in the store. Moisturizing bars are made from petroleum slag. Real soap is a mix of a low acid, medium base, and water, a neutral. The chemical reaction is called saponification, and it becomes this third creature, this holy creature--the soap. Soap’s purpose is to disrupt the bonds between the dirt and skin oil. The goal is to remove the dirt, not the oil. But petroleum products take everything off.” Left Hand makes this true soap through the mixture of various oils, water, and lye. “Lye is a natural product which is produced from pouring water over wood ash. If you’ve seen Fight Club, the story that he tells about people realizing their clothes got cleaner when they washed their clothes downstream from burned sacrifices is true. However, they weren’t always human sacrifices, that was polished a bit for the story,” says Jones. Then oils from nutritive plants are mixed with the lye to create soaps. Jones says that everything comes down to the quality of the ingredients. “We try to use local ingredients as much as possible.

Certainly, we can’t grow ingredients like olives here. But we get most of our ingredients locally. For example, we have a collaboration with Snow’s Bend farm, and do seasonal soaps with them.” The latest local collaboration is with breweries, such as Druid City and Good People, for a surprising product: beer soap. “Beer soap is incredibly healthy for the skin. The grains exfoliate, and the hops are an astringent and antiseptic. You’ve got a soap that smells like beer, but it’s good beer. However, as one of a few pioneers into the realm of beer soaps, there was trial and error before discovering an effective way to make them. “It’s tricky, because beer is not a neutral substance. When it reacts with the lye, it can get kind of hairy. If you’re not careful, the reaction is very…. energetic.” Jones plans to sell these new soaps alongside her current products in select Tuscaloosa stores. “If you can buy it from me, great. If you can buy it from Manna, doubly great, because that way you’re supporting two local businesses at the same time.” For Jones, being a local business owner is an experience suited to her personality. “I don’t play well with others. This way, I can craft the company into what I want it to be. It can have the messages I want it to have. And ultimately, if there’s criticism, I’m the one that takes the flack. That’s important to me. I have a habit of being somewhat offensive.” Being an entrepreneur also allows Jones to, “pick my own hours. The downside is, those tend to be 18 in a row. However, I rarely have a moment where I look around and think, ‘I could really be doing something else right now.’ The time I invest in the company is time I think is well spent.”

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W here to E at in T uscaloosa

15th Street Diner 1036 15th St // 750.8750 Open for most lunch and dinners, with limited hours on weekends. Brown Bag 9425 Jones Road | Northport // 333.0970 Its speciality, fried green tomatoes, joins barbecue plates and fish filets on an extended list of meats and vegetables. Tues 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Wed-Sat 10:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. City Cafe 408 Main Ave | Downtown Northport // 758.9171 Established in 1936. Big on food, low on price. Open for breakfast and lunch. Historic downtown Northport. Closed weekends. CountryPride Restaurant 3501 Buttermilk Rd // 554.0215 Breakfast 24 hours. Lunch and Dinner buffet. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 4800 Doris Pate Dr | Exit 76 // 562.8282 International House of Pancakes 724 Skyland Blvd // 366.1130 Jack's 1200 Hackberry Lane | Tuscaloosa // 345.1199 Maggie's Diner 1307 Ty Rogers Jr. Ave | Tuscaloosa // 366.0302 Mr. Bill's Family Restaurant 2715 McFarland Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 333.9312



Evangeline’s 1653 McFarland Blvd. North // 752.0830 Located in the Tuscaloosa Galleria. 2004 West Alabama Tourism Award Winning Restaurant. American Eclectic Cuisine. Lunch: Mon–Fri 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Dinner: Tues–Sat 5 p.m. - until... Fall: Saturday Brunch. FIVE Bar 2324 6th Street. // 205.345.6089 A restaurant/bar based on simplicity. We offer 5 entrees, 5 red wines, 5 white wines, 5 import beers, 5 domestic, and 5 signature cocktails, to go along with our full liquor bar. Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5-10; Friday and Saturday 5-12 Lunch: Friday and Saturday 11-3; Sunday Jazz Brunch: 10-3; 205.345.6089 Kozy’s 3510 Loop Road E | near VA Medical Center // 556.0665 Eclectic menu, extensive wine list. Dinner at Kozy’s is a romantic experience complete with candlelight and a roaring fireplace. |


Panera Bread 1800 McFarland Blvd *402 | Tuscaloosa // 366.8780

Benkei Japanese Steak House 1223 McFarland Blvd // 759-5300 Hours: Mon–Thurs 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. | Fri–Sat 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Rama Jama’s 1000 Bryant Dr // 750.0901 Closest restaurant to Bryant-Denny Stadium.

the front. The Sea of Stones vineyard is at its core, always evident with the thread of minerality that the deep alluvial cobblestones lend. This wine is so elegant in the mouth with fresh-picked blackberries, simmering chocolate sauce on the stove, and somewhere someone’s cooking bacon … so many layers, so little time,” the website reads. A crucial difference for the Layer Cake Malbec that sets it apart from similar selections is that it is carefully harvested four to six weeks after all other neighboring vineyards pick the vines dry. By ripening thoroughly on the vine, bold notes are locked into the tough skin of the grape and boast a more flavorful product in the end. Since the 2012 Layer Cake Malbec is such a rustic-style wine, it sometimes makes for tricky food combinations. Try pairing with a savory barbecue pork dish, or other lean red meats. This Malbec even brings out earthy textures and flavors of roasted vegetables. Layer Cake Wines prides itself on affordable luxury through several varietals of wine that over-deliver. Uniquely, Layer Cake Wines doesn't have simply one vineyard, it has many vineyards scattered around across five different countries on four continents, not just in Argentina. Treat yourself this upcoming Valentine’s Day, whether you’re sharing the bottle with a significant other, spending it with a small group of girlfriends. The 2012 Layer Cake Malbec can be purchased at J.D.’s Market and Spirits, located on 1400 Paul Bryant Drive in Tuscaloosa or online through the vineyard’s website at

Epiphany Cafe 19 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 344.5583 “New American cuisine” with a strong emphasis on local produce, organic meats, and sustainable seafood. The menu is always changing and features include an extensive wine list, a large vibrant bar and martini lounge area, as well as patio seating. Reservations are available online at or through open table. Hours: Mon–Sat 5 p.m. - until

Northport Diner 450 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 333.7190

Quick Grill 1208 University Blvd | The Strip | Tuscaloosa // 342.0022

A s we dive into the middle of February, retailers across the country will fill up with heart-shaped candies, chocolates, roses and several other displays of commercialization of our love and appreciation for one another in preparation for Valentine’s Day. This week’s wine selection allows your to have your cake and eat it too, hailing all the way from Mendoza, Argentina, a 2012 Malbec varietal form Layer Cake Wines. Known for its plump, dark, and rich fruit flavors paired with a smoky finish, this selection is notorious for its value. Usually priced a bit lower than other varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah, this full-bodied is priced at a very reasonable $15.29 at local retailers, providing just one more opportunity to bring luxury into your life The vineyard itself sits in a rocky valley atop a mountain over 3,000 feet in elevation, peering down on several surrounding cities and vineyards. Each cluster of grapes is hand-picked and sorted to ensure the highest quality wine can be distributed throughout the world. The vintage 2012 Layer Cake Malbec pours and inky, deep purple. Aromatics of the selection are are filled with powerful, loads of ripe blackberries, plums, vanilla, and a slight hint of cocoa. Tasting brings mouth-pleasing blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and plum jelly notes kick your tastebuds into overdrive. Upon release, you experience a barrage of dry dark chocolate, coffee, damp earth, and a slightly bitter vanilla and oak finish with memorable, silky tannins. “Big, brooding, black fruit, then rich earth, truffles and dark cocoa are at

and Smoked Chicken with white barbecue sauce. Kid friendly. Closed Saturday lunch. Mike Spiller is featured the first Thursday of every month. Happy Hour- Mon-Fri from 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. featuring 1/2 price appetizers. $2 Domestic Draft Beers and $3 Well cocktails.

Tuscaloosa Burger 1014 7th Ave. | Tusaloosa // 764.1976 Sports bar, breakfast, seafood, Cajun, and of course burgers Over 120 craft beers at the lowest prices in Tuscaloosa Closed Mondays, Tue. - Thu 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. fri - sat 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. sun 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Kitchen is open all hours including full menu late night The Waysider 1512 Greensboro Ave // 345.8239 Open for breakfast and lunch. Smoke free.

Bento Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar 1306 University Blvd // 758.7426 Hokkaido Japanese Restaurant 607 15th Street Open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Ichiban Japanese Grill & Sushi 502 15th Street // 752.8844 Tokyo Japanese Steak & Sushi Bar 6521 Hwy 69 S | Hillcrest Center // 366.1177 Offers steak, seafood, tempura, teriyaki and sushi. Including cooking at your table, if you choose. Sun–Thurs 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Fri & Sat 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.


Kobe Steak House 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 759-1400 Lunch: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Dinner: 4:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. Sat & Sun 11:30 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Chipotle Mexican Grill 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 391.0140


Don Rafa's 2313 4th Street | Temerson Square // 345.9191

Broadway Pizzeria 2880 Rice Mine Road Northeast Tuscaloosa, // 391.6969

El Rincon (2 locations) 1225 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa, AL // 366.0855 1726 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 330.1274

DePalma’s Italian Cafe 2300 University Blvd, Downtown // 759.1879 Menu ranges from sanwiches to finer pasta dishes and pizza. Varied beer and wine selection. Hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Fernando's Mexican Grill 824 McFarland Blvd E | Northport // 205.331.4587 Iguana Grill 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 752.5895 Jalapeno’s Mexican Grill 2001 New Watermelon Rd | Northport // 342.3378

Little Italy 1130 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa // 205.345.4343

LaGran Fiesta 9770 Hwy 69 S // 345.8871

Mellow Mushroom 2230 University Blvd // 758.0112 Pizzas, calzones, hoagies and more. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Los Calientes Mexican Grill 3429 McFarland Blvd E // 553.1558

Mr. G’s 908 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 339-8505

Los Tarascos (2 locations) 1759 Skyland Blvd // 553.8896 3380 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 330.0919

Olive Garden 2100 McFarland Blvd E // 750-0321 Open daily from 11 a.m.

Margarita's Grill 1241 McFarland Blvd E // 343.0300 Moe’s Southwest Grill (2 locations) 2330 McFarland Blvd E // 342.1487 1130 University Blvd // 752.0234 Pepito’s (2 locations) 1203 University Blvd | The Strip // 391.9028 1301 McFarland Blvd NE // 391.4861


CASUAL DINING Big Daddy’s Cafe 514 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 759.9925 Buddy’s Ribs & Steaks 2701 Bridge Ave | Northport // 339.4885 Buffalo Wild Wings 2710 McFarland Blvd // 523.0273 Mon–Wed 11 a.m. - midnight | Thurs–Sat 11 a.m. - 2 a.m.

Chuck’s Fish 508 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 248.9370 Steak, seafood, & sushi specialities. Open for dinner and Sunday brunch. Great atmosphere and excellent service. Ladies Night on Tuesdays. Ladies receive ½ off on drinks. Uptown Wednesday - $6 Uptown Shrimp, $8 Uptown Tacos.

Cafe J 2523 University Blvd // 343.0040

Cypress Inn 501 Rice Mine Rd // 345.6963 Fax: 345.6997 | 2003 Restaurant of Distinction. Beautiful riverfront location. Steaks, seafood and more with Southern flavor. Wine list, full bar. Specialities of the house include Shrimp Cypress Inn

Dave’s Dogs 1701 McFarland Blvd E | University Mall // 722.2800


Chili’s 1030 Skyland Blvd | Near McFarland Mall // 750.8881 Fax: 758.7715 //

Desperados Steak House FIG (Food Is Good) 1351 McFarland Blvd NE // 345.8888


W here to E at in T uscaloosa ( cont . )

Mon–Fri 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Five Guys Burgers & Fries 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 391.0575 Glory Bound Gyro Company 2325 University Blvd // 349-0505 Glory Bound Gyro Company is a unique restaurant that focuses on great food and service in a funky, fun-filled atmosphere. Open Mon-Thu: 11am - 10pm | Fri - Sat: 11am-10pm | Sun: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Hooligan’s 1915 University Blvd // 759.2424 From hamburgers to hummus. Open daily 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. Horny's 508 Red Drew Ave | Tuscaloosa // 345.6869 Mon 4 p.m. - 2 a.m. | Tues-Thurs 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. Fri 11 a.m. - 3 a.m. | Sat 4 p.m. - 2 a.m. New Orleans style atmosphere in the heart of Tuscaloosa on the strip. Horny's offerings include a full liquor bar, beer, and a variety of classic American food. Horny's Bar and Grill offers a limited late night menu from 1:30 a.m. - 2:30 a.m. So, if you're hungry after "last-call for drinks," Horny's is the place to be. KK’s Steakhouse 13242 Hwy 69 South // 633.1032 Tacogi 500 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 342.3647 Logan's Roadhouse 1511 Skyland Blvd E // 349.3554 Madear’s 1735 Culver Road // 343.7773 Mon–Fri 6 a.m. - 5 p.m. | 2nd & 3rd Sunday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Mugshots Grill & Bar 511 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 391.0572 Great burgers & sandwiches. Unique setting, full service bar, veggie entrees, kid friendly, and open late Newk’s Express Cafe 205 University Blvd. East // 758.2455 Fax: 758.2470 // An express casual dining experience in a refreshing and stylish atmosphere. Serving fresh tossed salads, oven baked sandwiches, California style pizzas and homemade cakes from Newk’s open kitchen. Sun–Wed 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Thurs–Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. O’Charley’s 3799 McFarland Blvd // 556.5143 Open daily for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch Panera Bread 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 366.8780 Piccadilly Cafeteria 1701 McFarland Blvd E | University Mall // 556.4960 Quick Grill 1208 University Blvd | The Strip // 342.0022 The Local Catch // 331.4496 2321 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa Full Menu including breakfast served all day. Live Music Mon-Sat 11 a.m. - close | Sun 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. For a complete schedule Ruby Tuesday (2 locations) 6421 Interstate Drive | Cottondale // 633.3939 Just off I-20/59 at exit 77. Near Hampton Inn and Microtel Inn 311 Merchants Walk | Northport // 345.4540 Ryan’s 4373 Courtney Dr // 366.1114 Near Marriott Courtyard and Fairfield Inn Sitar Indian Cuisine 500 15th St // 345-1419 Southland Restaurant 5388 Skyland Blvd E // 556.3070 Steaks, chops and home-cooked vegtables Mon–Fri 10:45 a.m. - 9 p.m. Tuscaloosa Burger 1014 7th Ave. | Tusaloosa // 764.1976 Sports bar, breakfast, seafood, Cajun, and of course burgers Over 120 craft beers at the lowest prices in Tuscaloosa Closed Mondays, Tue. - Thu 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. fri - sat 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. sun 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Kitchen is open all hours including full menu late night

Hooter’s 5025 Oscar Baxter Dr | Next to Jameson Inn // 758.3035 Wings, clams, shrimp and of course the Hooters Girls Innisfree Irish Pub 1925 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 345.1199


Moe's BBQ 101 15th Street | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 752.3616 Mon-Sat 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Bar open until 2 a.m., 3 a.m. on Fridays Mugshots Grill & Bar 511 Greensboro Ave // 391.0572 Great burgers. Full service bar. Open late. T Burger 1014 7th Ave. // 764.1976 Sports bar, breakfast, seafood, Cajun, and of course burgers Over 120 craft beers at the lowest prices in Tuscaloosa Closed Mondays, Tue. - Thu 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. fri - sat 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. sun 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Kitchen is open all hours including full menu late night Wilhagan’s 2209 4th St | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 366.0913 Wings U 1800 McFarland Blvd East Suite 218 | Pick-up Tuscaloosa // 561.3984 Features the first coal-fired pizza oven in Alabama. Owned by former UA/Miami Dolphins great Bob Baumhower. Completely open concept! WingZone 1241 McFarland Blvd E | Tuscaloosa // 342.2473

BARBEQUE Archibald & Woodrow's BBQ 4215 Greensboro Ave | Tuscaloosa // 331.4858 Mon-Sat 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. | Sun lunch Bama BBQ & Grill 3380 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 333.9816 Billy's BBQ Downtown Northport 364.1400 We specialize in BBQ, fresh ground beef, poultry, and pork made fresh, served fresh. Ask about our specialty potatoes. Mon & Tues 10-7// Wed. 10 – 5:30// Thurs, Fri, & Sat. 10 - 9 Costa's Famous BBQ and Steaks 760 Skyland Blvd // 331.4526 Dickey's BBQ 9770 Alabama 69 344.6500 Dreamland (2 locations) 5535 15th Ave | Tuscaloosa // 758.8135 101 Bridge Ave | Northport // 343.6677 The legend. On game day, get there early if you want to make kickoff. Seating is limited. Hours: Mon–Sat 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. | Sun 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Hick’s BBQ 4400 Fayette Hwy // 339.3678 // Tues–Sat 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Moe's Original BBQ 2101 University Blvd.. // 752.3616 Serving up an award-winning, all things Southern BBQ and Live music experience. Come dine-in or sit on the patio and enjoy some great Que, beers, whiskey, and live music on Thursday-Saturday. Roll Tide! Mon–Sat 11am - 10pm | Bar service Mon-Sat 2am and Fri -3am | Kitchen closes at 10pm Pottery Grill (2 locations) Highway 11 Cottondale // 554.1815 3420 Alabama 69, Northport // 333.5848 Menu: Awesome barbecue. The Pottery Grill serves up everything from pork, chicken, ribs and sausage to burgers, hot dogs and salads. Take-out and catering available. Tee’s Ribs and Thangs 1702 10th Avenue // 366.9974 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily

STEAKS Logan’s Roadhouse 1511 Skyland Blvd | next to Sams // 349.3554 Steaks, ribs and spirits

Zoe’s Kitchen 312 Merchants Walk // 344.4450 A wonderful selection of Greek foods

Longhorn Steakhouse 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 345-8244 #412


Nick's In the Sticks 4018 Culver Rd | Tuscaloosa // 758.9316 A long-time Tuscaloosa tradition. Good steaks at a reasonable price Try a Nicodemus if you have a designated driver.

Baumhower's Wings of Tuscaloosa 500 Harper Lee Drive | catering-Pick-up Tuscaloosa // 556.5858 | Always fresh and always fun. Owned by former UA/ Miami Dolphins great Bob Baumhower. Kid Friendly

>>> beer review | E LI Z A B E T H LO W D E R

Outback Steakhouse 5001 Oscar Baxter Dr // 759.9000

Buffalo Phil’s 1149 University Blvd | The Strip // 758.3318 Sports grille with TVs galore. Diverse beer and wine selection, full bar

Desperados 1530 McFarland Blvd. N. | Tuscaloosa // 343-1700 Sun–Wed 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Thurs–Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Buffalo Wild Wings 2710 McFarland Blvd. East | Tuscaloosa // 523.0273 Sports grille with TVs galore. Diverse beer and wine selection, full bar

Chuck’s Fish 508 Greensboro Ave // 248.9370

Champs Sports Grille 320 Paul Bryant Drive | inside Four Points Sheraton Hotel // 752.3200 Breakfast and lunch buffets. Sunday brunch 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Local Catch Bar & Grill 2321 University Blvd // 205-331-4496 American, Seafood, Cajun/Creole. Coastal Cuisine with a Southern Twist!. Monday & Wednesdays half off house wine and appetizers at happy hour


Sick of the sharp chill of winter? Maybe the small dose of alcohol added to a steaming cup of hot chocolate just isn’t cutting it anymore. By this point, you’re probably sick of the cider taste lingering from the holidays, too. Beers can sometimes be too heavy for an everyday beverage, and especially in the winter, but this week’s beer selection is not like the others. Kickstart your tastebuds to summer with a hand crafted beer, brewed right up the road in Gadsden. This week’s selection is the Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale, by Back Forty Beer Company. So what’s with the name? Back Forty Beer Company’s name is inspired by an old agricultural term referring to the 40 acres of land situated furthest from the barn. The back 40 acres are historically the most challenging land to maintain and are often overlooked due to their remote location. Back Forty Beer Company began operating in the spring of 2009, as selfdubbed “Purveyors of Hand Crafted Ales.” In their second year of business, Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale was born, and became an instant hit within the brewing community. Boasting several awards, it’s easy to see how Back Forty’s rise to popularity was so quick, and especially with the Truck Stop Honey. Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale is a medium bodied English brown ale brewed with Alabama Wildflower Honey, roasted malts and fresh hops. The balance of sweet wildflower honey and earthy hop aromas come through in every batch. With an ABV of 6%, one would expect bold and overpowering flavors, however this ale goes down light and smooth. This nutty ale pours amber/brown with a lingering sweet, caramel finish that is sure to leave you wanting every last drop. Additionally, this microbrew-

ery boasts a perfected series of four other Alabama-bred brews: Naked Pig Pale Ale, Fence Post Session Ale, Kudzu Porter, and Freckle Belly India Pale Ale. With such a wide range of selections, it’s easy to please a variety of palettes at this brewery. Some say that the beers taste better when you know they’re brewed locally, or even just a few miles up the road. Back Forty Beer Company’s Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale, can be found at local restaurants and retailers in Tuscaloosa such as Bruno’s, J.D.’s Market and Spirits, Mellow Mushroom, Five Bar, and several others. The Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale complements savory chicken and seafood dishes well, due to the sweet Mobile honey used in the brewing process. One of the brewers suggested pairing with fish tacos, or spinach ravioli with a light cream sauce. The Back Forty Beer Company tap room is located on 200 N. 6th Street, Gadsden, Alabama, 35901. Visitors are welcome to explore what makes the selections from Back Forty one of the best brews in the South on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 – 7 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 3 – 9p.m.







Thursday ladies night 20% off ladies tabs 4pm-close Sunday half off mimosas and bloody Marys all day Lunch 11am-2pm; Dinner 11am-until Happy Hour 3pm-6pm with $5 house wine, $5 top shelf, $3 well. $1 off bottle beer

Have you ever had a craving for a large juicy hamburger topped with the works, accompanied by salty fries and a cold beverage? Of course you have! Nothing is better than a mouthwatering burger and fries to top off a night out. It was an ecstatic moment when I heard Tuscaloosa had gained another burger joint devoted to producing high quality burgers. Owner Dan Robinson had this very goal in mind when he opened T Burger in February of 2013. Native New Yorker, Dan Robinson is not new to the restaurant scene with thirty plus years experience he has owned and operated restaurants in New York and in the South’s very own New Orleans, Louisiana. In need of a move Robinson scouted campus towns for prime restaurant real estate and found opportunity in the home of the Crimson Tide. T Burger sits on 7th Avenue just off Bryant Drive behind the Alabama Book Store. This family friendly restaurant welcomes with an overwhelming, yet excitable menu plastered right on the wall right. The University of Alabama sports décor outlines the walls and creatively so even reaches the ceiling tiles. No one could miss the abundance of sixty and seventy inch high definition televisions that demand attention once entering the dinning area. Tucked in the back is a full service bar which extends to the back patio. The patio is set-up with easy access to the bar, colorful picnic tables for dining and 6 sixty inch HDTV’s. On warmer days the patio is a social and active atmosphere allowing customers to enjoy a game of corn hole toss. The menu offers many classic hamburgers like a chili cheeseburger and a bacon cheeseburger but makes room for a nontraditional burger named The National Championship Burger. For us health conscience folk T Burger serves up a meatless veggie burger and a lean, protein packed buffalo burger. Keeping with the goal of quality all burgers are a special blend of 40% brisket. The meat is bought and blended right here in Tuscaloosa. T Burger offers a select section featuring Louisiana favorites like fried shrimp po-boys and crawfish pie brought in direct from New Orleans. And what sports bar would not be complete without hot wings and beer? T Burger has all of the sports bar staples and claims all bragging rights for beers as they stock 150 domestic bottled craft brews and 8 seasonal craft draft brews. Robinson reports that they serve the largest beer selection in town for the cheapest prices. Each beer averages around fifty cents to three dollar cheaper then surrounding bars and restaurants. I am no beer drinker, however with this many options I am almost presented with a challenge to find a



W here t o E a t i n T u s c a l o o s a ( c o n t . )

Red Lobster 2620 McFarland Blvd // 553.8810 McFarland Plaza Shopping Center Tin Top Restaurant & Oyster Bar 4851 Rice Mine Rd NE #460 // 462.3399 McFarland Plaza Shopping Center & Temerson Square Wintzell’s Oyster House 1 Bridge Ave | Northport // 247.7772 Casual riverfront dining Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Fri–Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.

CHINESE Buffet City 1747 Skyland Blvd E // 553.3308 All you can eat buffet. Open 7 days a week. Chang’s Chinese Restaurant 1825 McFarland Blvd N // 391.9131 China Fun 2600 University Blvd | Alberta City // 553.2435 China Garden Hwy 69 S | Hillcrest Center // 758.0148

beer I enjoy. Ordering here is made simple with counter service. The health nut that I am I ordered “The Healthy” lean buffalo burger all the way. My husband went for the savory bacon cheese burger and for an appetizer the crawfish pie-two semisweet crawfish and rice stuffed pastries deep fried and served. The quality of the food sets the price per plate a little high. Our ticket ran just under $30. Everything is made to order so we expected the appropriate wait. To my surprise our order was up and out in less then ten minutes. The big buffalo burger was laid out flat with all the fixings on top of an Italian Kaiser Roll next to a generous portion of salty curly fries. The meat was slightly charred on the outside. At first bite it was what I expected, a tad bland. Bison is very lean leaving little room for fat which is what renders delicious flavor. Still appetizing enough I finish off the whole meal with no more complaints. The bacon cheese burger was presented in the same manner and unfortunately with the same bland taste. The fried crawfish pies were accompanied with creamy remoulade sauce. If you have authentic Cajun taste buds then this dish is for you. Hands down the best part about my experience was the atmosphere. I cannot wait to come back and try something new and perhaps try one of the many beer choices while enjoying that back patio. Hope to see you all there! T Burger is located at 1014 7th Ave Tuscaloosa, AL 35401. Open Sunday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday through Saturday 8 a.m.-11 p.m. and closed on Mondays. Connect with them on twitter @Ttownburger and find them on Facebook at Facebook. com/TuscaloosaBurger. Cindy Huggins, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist and local Tuscaloosa “foodie”! Follow her on twitter @DietitianCindy.

Lee Palace 6521 Highway 69 S // 391.9990 Open daily 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Mr. Chen's Authentic Chinese Cooking & Oriental Market 514 14th St. | In the Oz Music shopping center // 343.6889 // Open Sun - Thu 11am - 9pm, Fri & Sat 11am - 9:30pm Pearl Garden 2719 Lurleen Wallace Blvd | Northport // 339.0880 Peking Chinese Restaurant 1816 McFarland | Northport // 333.0361 Open 7 days a week. Super lunch and dinner buffet. Hours: Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Swen Chinese Restaurant 1130 University Blvd | The Strip // 391.9887 Trey Yuen 4200 McFarland Blvd E // 752.0088

ASIAN CUISINE Ruan Thai 1407 University Blvd // 391.9973 Exotic Thai cuisine. Offers vegetarian options, outdoor dining, and a full bar. Sushi on Thursdays. Lunch: Mon–Sat 11 a.m. -2 p.m. | Dinner: Mon–Thurs 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Fri & Sat 5 p.m. -10pm | Sun 11 a.m. -3 p.m. Surin of Thailand 1402 University Blvd // 752.7970 Authentic Thai restaurant and sushi bar. Open daily. Lunch: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Dinner: 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

PIZZA AND SUBS A Taste Of Chicago 1700 Greensboro Avenue 205-342-DOGS Mon. - Thurs. 10:00am - 9:00pm; Fri. - Sat. 10:00am - 10:00pm 17th Street and Greensboro Avenue. Authentic Chicago style foods with a taste of Chi-Town in every bite. Italian Beef Sandwiches, Chicago Rib Tips, and Chicago Style Pizza.View our menu online and order at CRIMSON2GO.COM. Follow us @TasteofChicagoTtown on Instagram. Firehouse Subs 1130 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 248.0680 Hungry Howie’s (2 locations) 1105 Southview Ln | South Tuscaloosa // 345.6000 1844 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 333.2633 1211 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa | The Strip // 366.1500 4851 Rice Mine Rd | Northriver/Holt // 345.3737 Lenny’s Sub Shop 220 15th St // 752.7450 Fax: 752.7481 // Little Caesars Pizza 1414 10th Ave // 366.2220 Little Italy 1130 University Blvd. // 345.4354

1306 University Blvd | The Strip // 759.1004

DELICATESSEN Honeybaked Ham Company 421 15th St. E // 345.5508 Jason’s Deli 2300 McFarland Blvd // 752.6192 Fax: 752.6193 // Located in the Meadowbrook Shopping Center. Jimmy John’s (3 locations) 1400 University Blvd | The Strip // 366.3699 1875 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 752.7714 815 Lurleen B. Wallace S | Tuscaloosa // 722.2268 Delivery 7 days a week. Manna Grocery & Deli 2300 McFarland Blvd E | Tuscaloosa // 752.9955 McAlister’s Deli (2 locations) 101 15th St | Tuscaloosa // 758.0039 3021 Tyler Dr | Northport // 330.7940 Sandwiches, salads and spuds Momma Goldberg’s Deli 409 23rd Ave // 345.5501 Newk's 205 University Blvd E | Tuscaloosa // 758.2455 Schlotsky’s Deli 405 15th St. E // 759.1975 Which Wich University Blvd.// Downtown Tuscaloosa // Mon – Sat 10:30 – 9 // Sunday 11 – 7 // Fun atmosphere,fresh ingredients, great sandwiches. 764.1673

COFFEE SHOP Chloe's Cup 2117 University Blvd.| Tuscaloosa // 764.0218 Crimson Cafe International Coffee House & Gourmet Deli 1301 University Blvd | The Strip // 750.0203 Mon–Fri 7 a.m. - 11 p.m. | Sat & Sun 8 a.m. - 11 p.m. Five Java Coffee, fresh juices, smoothies and treats from Mary's Cakes. Open Monday - Saturday at 7am; 9am on Sundays Heritage House 18 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 758.0042 Krispy Kreme Doughnut 1400 McFarland Blvd // 758.6913 Starbucks (2 locations) 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 343.2468 1901 13th Ave East | inside Super Target // 462.1064

DESSERTS Celebrations Bakery, Inc. 1832 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 339.3221 Fax: 349.1945 Cold Stone Creamery 1130 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa //343.1670 Specializes in customized ice cream Hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Sun 12 p.m. - 10 p.m. Mary's Cakes & Pastries 412 22nd Avenue | behind Opus | Northport // 345.8610 Mon–Fri 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. | Sat 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Smoothie King (2 locations) 415 15th Street | Tuscaloosa // 349.1721 Fax: 349.1945 1403 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 462.3664 Sweet CeCe's Frozen yogurt Treats 2217 University Blvd. | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 561.6458 A fun and friendly make your own creation, yogurt experience! TCBY (3 Locations) 2304 Mcfarland Blbd | Meadowbrook Shopping Center // 349.4661 // 2 Mcfarland Blvd | Northport | Essex Shopping Center // 758.6855 // 1130 Univ. Blvd. | The Strip // 345.0804

Roly Poly Sandwiches 2300 4th Street | Tuscaloosa // 366.1222

Yogurt In Love Patriot Center 7402 Highway 69 South Phone Number: 764.9173 Fax Number: 764.9228 Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.-10 pm. . Yogurt Lab 920 Paul W. Bryant Dr Ste 200 | Tuscaloosa // 347.9522

The Pita Pit 1207 University Blvd | The Strip // 345.9606 Hours: Mon–Sat 10:30 a.m. - 3:00 a.m. | Sun 11:30 a.m. - midnight

Yogurt Mountain 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 342.1484 Self-serve frozen yogurt experience Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - midnight

Mellow Mushroom 2230 University Blvd | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 758.0112 Subs n' You 2427 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa // 205.758.0088

Pizza Palace Buffet 6521 Alabama 69 Tuscaloosa, AL 35405 752.5444


Tut’s Place



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W ith Valentine ' s D ay just around the corner, plan to go out on February 13 to grab a beer, listen to some live local blues music and support the Alabama Blues Project. The Druid City Brewing Company will donate a $1 of every beer sold during its "For the Love of the Blues" event to the Alabama Blues Project to help support its music education programs. There will be live blues music by the Battito Trio (Michael Battito, DeShawndre Hill and Thomas Furlough) and admission is free. The Druid City Brewing Company is Tuscaloosa's original craft brewery, recently opened in 2012. This is a great opportunity to support two local organizations! The Alabama Blues Project is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that started in 1995 with a mission to educate the public about the importance Alabama's blues heritage. The ABP presents a wide range of blues education programs, workshops,

Michael Battito

and school residencies across our state and beyond. For more information about the program, please contact Executive Director Paula Demonbreun at 752.6263 or email her at paula@ The Battito Trio is made up of three local musicians with a love for the blues. DeShawndre Hill studied music education and percussion at Jacksonville State University. He has drummed with many jazz, gospel and funk groups around the area. He lives with his family in Tuscaloosa and continues to teach music and play with his church and other groups around the state. Thomas Furlough studied jazz, blues, classical and played many other genres around town, performing with such groups at the Voodoo Saints as well as the worship band at The Bridge with Tom Wolfe. He has played with the military band in the area for a number of years, and he also conducts the largely admired Strings in Schools program with young students in the Tuscaloosa area. Michael Battito has performed with a wide variety of groups across the state, ranging from jazz, blues, rock, and others. He studied music at UA in the Jazz Studies and New College departments. He likes to promote world music locally and is trying to expand his musical audience and community more widely still. Michael Battito, who will be working with the Alabama Blues Project Advanced Band during Spring Afterschool Blues Camp, says he is excited to perform to raise money for the Alabama Blues Project. Admission is free, and the Druid City Brewing Company will donate a $1 of every beer sold that evening to the Alabama Blues Project.

For the third year , Tuscaloosa Flower Shoppe has teamed up with the Arts ‘n Autism after School Program for the Valentine’s Day fundraiser, “Hearts on Fire for Arts 'n Autism.” Tuscaloosa Flower Shoppe will donate all delivery fees and tips collected on Valentine's Day by off-duty Tuscaloosa firefighters, who are volunteering that day to make the deliveries. All proceeds benefit the mission of Arts ‘n Autism, which will provide after school care and arts-based therapy for children and young adults in the West Alabama area. According to Jan Sikes, the program’s director of programing, Arts ‘n

Autism fills a need for families dealing with autism because so many of them cannot attend typical after-school programs or activities. “Arts ‘n Autism is filling a need for so many of the working families in West Alabama that have children with autism. It gives their children a safe place to be until they get off work.” said Sikes. “There is a fee for the program, but it is the program's policy not to turn anyone away because they cannot pay, she said “Fundraisers such as this one help us fill the gap,” she said. For more information or to order flowers, go to or call 758.3065.

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As the University of Alabama expands to a historic size, local business leaders have noticed most students leaving after graduation to seek their fortunes in other cities. In an effort to create a community for young adults who wish to work in Tuscaloosa after their college years, the West Alabama Chamber of Com-



merce created the Young Professionals of Tuscaloosa, YP(t) in 2010. Brooke Nixon, the director of YP(t) and a local attorney, says, “The goal of YP(t) is to show that there’s a place for young people in Tuscaloosa. People who are in that in-between stage. They’re not in college, but not fully in the adult world. There’s

a place for them. We want the quality students to come here and stay here.” YP(t) is open to anyone between the ages of 21-40. Nixon says the group comes together through events such as their Dragon Boat racing team, meetings at local bars and restaurants, and events such as Brew and Que, a barbeque competition whose proceeds went to charity. Their next event will be a speed networking event, which will take place on February 27, from 9:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m at the Mercedes Benz Training Facility. Nixon says events like this, which stress networking, are essential to the mission of YP(t). Chamber member and young professional Rikesh Patel says that networking through YP(t) has been extremely useful. “I’ve met everyone from my life insurance agent to the guy that does my billboards at YP(t)...getting involved here lets you see what’s going on in different areas of business,” Patel says. Patel, 22, is the Chief Operating Officer of three corporations: Tuscaloosa Hospitality, Crimson Hospitality, and Shoals Hospitality, Inc. Patel says that the young professionals group in Tuscaloosa is, “very active, compared to a lot of other groups. There are a lot of people here who are gung-ho about business, some truly visionary folks here in the city.” Patel cites figures in the city like Mayor


Walt Maddox and Chamber of Commerce President Jim Page as some of the younger leaders in the city, who are paving the way for the next generation in Tuscaloosa. Nixon wants to encourage local young professionals to become a part of YP(t). “We’re looking forward to new faces, and some exciting events in the future. We really want more people to be a part of this.” To become a part of YP(t), send them a message via their facebook page, or visit their website at



A’Shawn Robinson






NOTE: All events listed here have phone numbers in the 205 area code unless otherwise indicated.

THURSDAY, February 6

EPIPHANY DINNER FOR BLACK WARRIOR RIVERKEEPER WHEN: 8 – 11 p.m. COST: $39 plus tax, tip and beverages WHERE: Epiphany Restaurant, 519 Greensboro Ave. PHONE: 458.0095 EMAIL: DESCRIPTION: Epiphany will host a Farm to Table Dinner to raise money for Black Warrior River Keeper and awareness for local food and beverages. The event will feature a Tapas Style meal with meat, vegetables and other delicious products of regional farms including Snow's Bend and Katie Farms from the Black Warrior River watershed. For reservations call 344.5583. KENTUCK ART NIGHT WHEN: 4:30 – 8 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Cultural Arts Center LINK: CONTACT: DESCRIPTION: February's Art Night is one for the books! The T.E.M.P. Gallery located in the Clarke Building is opening to the public with an inaugural exhibition, Over the AM, and a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4:30PM. Guests can enjoy the artist reception, live music by guitarist Robert Morgan in the Courtyard of Wonders, cob oven pizza, open artist studios, and the Clay Place. Our Gallery Shop will be open as well. Don't miss out on all the festivities! Art Night is funded in part by the Support the Arts License Tag Fund.


FIRST FRIDAY WHEN: 5 – 8 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Cultural Arts Center and the downtown area PHONE: 345.3038 EMAIL: DESCRIPTION:Local galleries, businesses and restaurants are open as an event for the community to see what downtown Tuscaloosa has to offer. THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS WHEN: 5 – 7:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Paul R. Jones Gallery, 6th St. DESCRIPTION: Dan T. Carter, author of "Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South."

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8 WALK-IN ACUPUNCTURE CLINIC WHEN: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. COST: Donation WHERE: 817 21st Avenue DESCRIPTION: Sponsored by Advancement of Oriental Medicine in Alabama, hosted by Sarita Elizabeth Cox LAc, ND, Wendell Mew, MD of Tuscaloosa and Paula Lord, LAc of Auburn. Practitioners and new and established patients come on in! BALL MASQUE XXI—KREWE OF THE DRUIDS WHEN: 8 – 11 p.m.



COST: Call for price WHERE: Bama Theatre PHONE 759.8470 LINK: DESCRIPTION: To benefit West Alabama Aids Outreach. 2014 GREAT TUSCALOOSA CHILI COOKOFF WHEN: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. COST: $10 WHERE: Bryant Conference Center PHONE: 464.4663 EMAIL: DESCRIPTION: 35 to 40 local teams compete for the best chili and best booth. The event is family friendly. Come sample a variety of chili and support the Exchange club of Tuscaloosa. THIRD ANNUAL HANDS-ON NIGHT AT THE ALABAMA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY WHEN: 6 – 8 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Smith Hall, UA Campus PHONE: 348.2118 EMAIL: DESCRIPTION: Free fun family event at Smith Hall. Everyone is welcome. Dinner, door prizes and over 20 graduate department interactive exhibits for kids, preschool to high school. Tons of activities.

>>> PET PLANET | T H I S M O N T H ' S P E T S

MEET AMADU // ADORABLE AND READY FOR YOUR LOVE Meet Amadu, a chubby and sweet female seven month old Calico kitten. Amadu is friendly and sociable, though she can be a little shy and sometimes take a little while to warm up and become completely comfortable with new friends. She is easy to hold and handle, but should only be around children ages 10 and up due to her still being a kitten and a little on the timid side. She has never been around dogs. Amadu is negative for FIV and FeLK, current on her vaccinations and spayed. If you are interested in giving Amadu the forever home she deserves and wants so badly, call the Humane Society of West Alabama at 554.0011, or visit us online at to complete an adoption application.


NORTHPORT ADVISORY COUNCIL WHEN: 5:30 p.m. COST: $25 WHERE; Mr. Bill's Family Dining PHONE 391.0559 EMAIL: DESCRIPTION: Northport City Council President Jay Logan will be the guest speaker. He will speak about the successes of 2013 and address the issues facing the city council in the near future. He will also allow time for questions. READER'S THEATER WHEN: 4 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Tuscaloosa Public Library Main Branch PHONE: 345.5820 DESCRIPTION: A fun, interactive story time where children will listen to a story, think and ask questions about the story, and then become part of the story by acting it out with their friends. Lots of fun characters.


ALABAMA BLUES PROJECT SPRING CAMP WHEN: 3 – 5 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: MLK Elementary School PHONE: 752.6263 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Our students are taught by some of the best professional blues musicians of our state, and they also learn blues history along with a life skills curriculum. At the end of the program, our budding superstars will treat their family and friends to a performance at the end

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>>> T H E A T R E | W I L L I A M B A R S H O P


It’s anyone’s chance to make their acting debut at the open auditions for Theatre Tuscaloosa’s production of "You Can’t Take it With You," to be held in the Bean-Brown Theatre on February 17 – 18. In the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Moss Hart and George Kauffman, two families soon to be joined by marriage collide against the backdrop of the Great Depression. “It’s just one of those shows that I could see again and again,” said the show’s executive producer Tina Turley. “It’s just a romp, very witty. It should be funny to everyone out there who grumbles about having to pay their taxes.” As for many Theatre Tuscaloosa production, all roles are open for anyone from seasoned actors to strangers to the stage. Turley said this is not only to give opportunities to the acting community, but for the chance to discover a natural talent who might have never come out to audition, which is exactly what happened with Wesley Rorex. A Tuscaloosa store manager, Rorex said he loved acting in community theater before leaving Guntersville, but hadn’t been on stage all through college. Rorex said he hadn’t acted in ten years when he finally got the courage to audition for Theatre Tuscaloosa’s production of "Bye Bye Birdie." “I mean you don’t want to go up against all these great actors and actresses,” Rorex said. “But eventually I sucked it up and finally did it.” Being just one actor in the “cattle call” got to Rorex’s head when he first tried out, waiting and wondering how he would measure up to the rest of the crowd. “I was just a nervous wreck,” Rorex said. “You get called in by numbers, not knowing what other people have prepared. I sang something very lilting, very light, and it was awful.” In spite of his nerves, Turley was instantly impressed by Rorex, who studied vocal performance at the University of Alabama. “When he began to sing it was like ‘my gosh where have you been?’” Turley said. “Every time we do this I pray that new person comes in that is perfect for the part.” Theatre Tuscaloosa veteran Gary Wise had a similar experience with his first audition with the group more than 30 years ago, going out for a part in the Noel Coward comedy, Private Lives. “I remember being scared out of my mind. We had to recite a Shakespearean sonnet,” Wise said. “Your job is to do the audition. You

may not be what they’re looking for.” Wise went on to be one of Theatre Tuscaloosa’s most valued performers, appearing on stage almost every year, including last year in the widely acclaimed I Hate Hamlet. Rorex also got hooked from his first taste of the Theatre Tuscaloosa stage, going on to play Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors the very next season. “By the second one I knew almost everyone,” Rorex said. “I flubbed some music, forgot some lines, but they’re not looking for perfection. You have to sell your personality.” Turley said new faces are sometimes surprised that she isn’t the “big, bad producer” they expect. “On TV, in movies it’s a little more cutthroat,” Turley said. “If they’re worried about their level experience, just know that I try to be a teacher as well as a director.” Turley has actors read through a part of the script, sometimes repeating passages for different effects. She asks performers to approach it a different way or take different context into account. And of course for musicals the actors are asked to sing a few bars and show off some dance steps, one area Rorex said terrifies him the most. “You expect to see the women with their dance shoes and headbands and the men in their baggy sweatpants, but it’s not that serious,” Rorex said. “Still I don’t dance. I was a little shocked actually that they cast me as Seymour after seeing me up there.” “It doesn’t necessarily need to be a polished performance,” Turley said. “We just need to see you take direction.” For fresh actors who might be hesitant to take a chance and audition, Wise gave the advice he wished he had when he was in that position. He said it’s important to project one’s voice as much as possible in the audition, to show you can be heard in a crowded theater. He also emphasized paying attention to directions to show you can be a good listener. Beyond that, he said, it’s up to what the directors happen to be looking for in a part. “I always tell people this: read the words and try to tell the truth,” Wise said. “I even still get nervous, it keeps you on your toes. They’re not there to hurt you or put you down.” You Can’t Take it With You will run April 4 – 13 at the Bean-Brown Theatre. Auditions will take place along with auditions for “Circle Mirror Transformation,” which will be presented March 18-20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Wilson-Carr Rehearsal Hall on Shelton State’s Martin Campus.

>>> EVENTS CALENDAR | of camp. PRE-SCHOOL STORY TIME WHEN: 10 – 10:30 a.m. WHERE: Tuscaloosa Public Library, Story Castle COST: Free (age 3 - 5) CONTACT: 205.391.9989 EMAIL: DESCRIPTION: Simple stories, songs, activities and crafts. "IN A WORLD" WHEN: 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. COST: $7 general, $6 Students & Seniors WHERE: Bama Theatre PHONE: 758.5195 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Part of the Bama Art House winter series. Box office opens at 6:30 p.m. Bar opens at 6:45. HOMEWORK HELP WHEN: 3 - 5 p.m. WHERE: Tuscaloosa Public Library, Weaver Branch COST: Free CONTACT: 345.5820 DESCRIPTION: Provides one-on-one homework assistance to students K-8th grade. It is a drop-in service; students may come and go at any time during session and must have homework with them in order to attend. This is a Monday through Thursday activity. PRE-SCHOOL STORY TIME WHEN: 10 – 11 a.m. WHERE: Tuscaloosa Public Library, Weaver Bolton Branch and Brown Branch COST: Free (age 3 - 5) CONTACT: 205.391.9989 EMAIL: DESCRIPTION: Simple stories, songs, activities and crafts. TEEN TECH LAB WHEN: 3:30– 4:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Tuscaloosa Public Library, Weaver Bolton Branch PHONE: 758.8291 for information

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13 FOR THE LOVE OF THE BLUES WHEN: 5 – 8 p.m. COST: No cover charge WHERE: Druid City Brewing Company PHONE: 752.6263 DESCRIPTION: Live music and a dollar from the sale of every beer purchased will be donated to the Alabama Blues Project.



VALENTINE'S SPECIAL WHEN: 3:30 – 7 p.m. COST: Call for price WHERE: Children's Hands On Museum PHONE: 349.4235 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Come out and decorate Valentine cookies. ROCKIN' RED AFFAIR WHEN: 6 – 10 p.m. COST: $25 WHERE: Bryant Conference Center DESCRIPTION: Tuscaloosa's premier Valentine's Day party. A great event for you and your Valentine and you are also helping four local nonprofit organizations.


"THE BEST OFFER" WHEN: 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. COST: $7 general, $6 Students & Seniors WHERE: Bama Theatre PHONE: 758.5195 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Part of the Bama Art House series. Box office opens at 6:30 p.m. Bar opens at 6:45. SUNDOWN LECTURE SERIES WHEN: 5:15 – 6:30 p.m. COST: General Public $5, members, free WHERE: Jemison Van de Graaff Mansion, 1305 Greensboro Ave. PHONE: 758.6138 EMAIL: DESCRIPTION: "Civil War, Tuscaloosa: What really happened?" Speaker will be Chris McIlwain. BOOK SIGNING SCHEDULED AT SHELTON STATE WHEN: 6 – 8 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Atrium / Shelton State Community College CONTACT: Ronda Shirley at 391.2252 EMAIL: DESCRIPTION: Area authors will be selling and signing copies of their works. Sponsored by the Shelton State Alumni Association, authors scheduled to attend include: Carolyn “Breckinridge” Ezell, Linda Spiller, Pamela Payne Foster, Gladys L. Jackson, Marvin Rogers, Chris Snider, Lucy Kubiszyn, Dr. Wynora Freeman, Hayse Boyd, Richard Modlin, Alicia Lane Dutton, DeAngelo R. Jonez, Bruce Berger, George Wallace, Jr., Annette Cook, and Tonya Sharp Hyche.

UA FACULTY EXHIBIT FEBRUARY 6 THROUGH MARCH 7 Sarah Moody Gallery of Art, UA Campus The Department of Art and Art History dedicates this exhibition to the members of the studio art faculty. It is a window through which one can grasp an overview of the nature of artwork produced at the university. Their scholarship in studio art carries their work to exhibits across the country. Being active in making and exhibiting art assures university students that is truly engaged in the artistic process. There will be pieces created in Ceramics, Digital Medial, Drawing, Painting, Print Making, and Sculpture. Gallery hours: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Thursdays 5 – 8 p.m.

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS









BIRMINGHAM Trinidad James, Zydeco Man Man, Bottletree Café

NEW ORLEANS Nipsey Hussle, Howlin’ Wolf


HUNTSVILLE Million Dollar Quartet, Von Braun Concert Hall Marge Loveday, Lone Goose Saloon

NEW ORLEANS Soul Rebels, Tipitina’s NASHVILLE Kings of Leon, Bridgestone Arena

saturday, FEBRUARY 8

MONTGOMERY McPherson Struts, Head on the Door ATLANTA Slackers, Masquerade Corey Smith, Tabernacle

NEW ORLEANS Trey Anastasio Band, House of Blues Jon Cleary & Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Tipitina’s NASHVILLE Lewis Black, Ryman Auditorium HUNTSVILLE Josh Garrett, Humphrey’s


BIRMINGHAM Trey Anastasio Band, Iron City

ATLANTA Bombadil, The Earl Bar and Restaurant




NASHVILLE Airborne Toxic Event, Exit In The Time Jumpers, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill

NASHVILLE Kenny Rogers, Schermerhorn Symphony Center Andrew Ripp, Exit In


NEW ORLEANS Carolina Chocolate Drops, Tipitina’s

NEW ORLEANS Daddy Money, Mystikal and Juvenile, House of Blues

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15 BIRMINGHAM Festival Expressions and Little Raine Band, Zydeco

ATLANTA Jars of Clay, Vinyl

MONTGOMERY Greg Shirley, Blue Iguana Brandon Self and the Outlaw Revival, Grandaddy’s Lounge

NEW ORLEANS Jet Lounge, House of Blues Dom Kennedy, House of Blues Purple w/ the Breton Sound, One Eyed Jack’s

HUNTSVILLE DL Hughley, Von Braun Concert Hall Another Hero, The Station Bar and Grill Spellbinder, Diamond’s Sports Bar

NASHVILLE The Revivalists, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom

NASHVILLE Ira Glass, Ryman Auditorium Rick Springfield, Wildhorse Saloon

BIRMINGHAM Tony Joe White, WorkPlay Theater

ATLANTA Flogging Molly, Tabernacle Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Variety Playhouse



Hed PE // MONTGOMERY // FEBRUARY 20 ATLANTA White Lies, Center Stage MONTGOMERY Celtic Women, Montgomery Performing Arts Center Steve Everett, Cloverdale Playhouse BIRMINGHAM Dark Star Orchestra, Iron City Songs of the Fall, WorkPlay Theater


NASHVILLE Lee Brice, Nashville War Memorial Auditorium NEW ORLEANS Shovels & Rope, Tipitina’s White Denim, One Eyed Jack’s

Birmingham Transit, Zydeco Black Joe Lewis, Iron City Conspirator, WorkPlay Theater

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16 HUNTSVILLE Celtic Women, Von Braun Concert Hall

MONTGOMERY Hed PE, Rock Bottom

ATLANTA Buddy Guy, Symphony Hall Atlanta

ATLANTA Craig Ferguson, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Dark Star Orchestra, Variety Playhouse

HUNTSVILLE Adrian and the Sickness, Hideaways Lounge


BIRMINGHAM Lord Huron, WorkPlay Theater Kem, BJCC Trotline, Zydeco

NASHVILLE Snarky Puppy, Exit In

MONTGOMERY Amy Grant and Vince Gill, Montgomery Performing Arts Center Timmeh, Alley Bar

NASHVILLE The Sword, Exit In

HUNTSVILLE Kozmic Mana, Hard Dock Café Matt Morrow, The Foyer

NASHVILLE Kodaline, Exit In



ATLANTA Hard Working Americans, Variety Playhouse NASHVILLE Buddy Guy w/ Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Nashville War Memorial Auditorium Tony Bennett, TPAC-Andrew Jackson Hall NEW ORLEANS Neutral Milk Hotel, The Civic Center


Acoustic Café 2758 County Hwy 9 205.647.3237

Fox Theatre 660 Peachtree St NE 404.881.2100

Moe’s Original BBQ 6423 Park Dr 251.625.7427

Amphitheater at the Wharf 23101 Canal Rd 251.224.1020

The Hangout 251.948.3030

Bridgestone Arena 501 Broadway 615.770.2000

Marathon Music Works 1402 Clinton St 615.891.1781

Montgomery Performing Arts Center 201 Tallapoosa St 334.481.5100

Centennial Olympic Park 265 Park Ave W NW 404.223.4412

Minglewood Hall 1555 Madison Ave 901.312.6058



ATLANTA Jim Jefferies, Variety Playhouse

>>> R OA D T R I P D I R E C T O RY Travel the South's best venues. Visit their website for ticket info and more.



NEW ORLEANS Russian Circles, House of Blues

BIRMINGHAM Ash/Deaf Havana, Bottletree Café

Birmingham Vegabonds, Zydeco

ATLANTA Panic! at the Disco, Tabernacle Katt Williams, Atlanta Civic Center 10 Years, Masquerade


205.324.1911 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre 2200 Encore Pkwy 404.733.5010 Von Braun Center 700 Monroe St SW 256.551.2345

The Nick 2514 10th Ave S 205.252.3831

WorkPlay 500 23rd St S 205.380.4082

Sloss Furnaces 20 32nd St N

Zydeco 2001 15th Ave S 205.933.1032






Rounders: DJ Spinzz Top Shelf: Organic Androids Buffalo Phils: Soul Tide Green Bar: Stand-Up Comedy




Green Bar: Machines are People Too Rounders: The Devines RHYTHM & BREWS: Mojo Trio



Green Bar: Blaine Duncan & The Lookers / Della Ray Rounders: Ryan Kinder Band Jupiter: Granger Smith

Rounders: DJ Spinzz / Nic Snow


Green Bar: Open Mic Jupiter: Lettuce


Rhythm & Brews: Anthony Orio Rounders: Doctors and Lawyers Green Bar: Matt & Chase


Rhythm & Brews: DJ ProtoJ Green Bar: Open Mic


Green Bar: Clear Plastic Masks / The Timberwolf Rhythm & Brews: LavaLamp


Rhythm & Brews: Smile Empty Soul


Rounders: Nic Snow Band Jupiter: Randy Rogers Bandnwith The Josh Abbott Band, Wade Bowen & Stoney LaRue Green Bar: Nightmare Boyzzz / The Crown Imps



Green Bar: Knympho Knife / High Fidelics Rhythm & Brews: Miles Flatt Rounders: Plato Jones


>>> LO C A L B A R S 4th & 23rd

Buffalo Wild Wings // 523-0273

Gallettes // 758-2010

Jackie's Lounge // 758-9179

1831 // 331-4632

Capones // 248-0255

Gnemis Top Shelf Tavern // 343-0020

The Jupiter // 248-6611

Rhythm & Brews // 750-2992

Alcove // 469-9110

Carpe Vino // 366-8444

Grey Lady // 469-9521

The Legacy // 345-4848

Rooster's Blues House // 334-4507 Rounders // 345-4848

Bear Trap // 345-2766

Catch 22 // 344-9347

Harry's Bar // 331-4151

Mellow Mushroom // 758-0112

Big Al's // 759-9180

Copper Top // 343-6867

Houndstooth // 752-8444

Mikes Place // 764-0185

The Booth // 764-0557

Downtown Pub // 750-0008

Innisfree // 345-1199

Mugshots // 391-0572


The Red Shed // 344-4372



>>> O P I N I O N | S T E P H E N S M I T H


Trevor Releford

Since the gridiron season is over, fans now turn their attention to the court hoping to see their favorite SEC basketball team become successful. It was in 2004 that Alabama was a top college basketball great in the SEC. Under head coach Mark Gottfried, the Tide made it into the NCAA Tournament. Alabama pulled the upset over top-ranked Stanford and then defeated



Syracuse to get into the Elite Eight. The Crimson Tide lost to the Connecticut Huskies in the Elite. Despite disappointment, Gottfried and the Tide were right back in the “Big Dance” the following season. However, Alabama was knocked out in the first-round by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In Anthony Grant’s five seasons as head coach, Alabama has been the

team that has the talent to get to the next level, but somehow struggles to put it all together. After tasting success in his second (NIT Tournament) and third season (NCAA Tournament) as head coach, Grant and Tide find themselves trying to salvage the best of a bad situation this season. One of Alabama’s problems is offensive inconsistency. The Crimson Tide must do a better job of working shots from the inside out. In multiple games this season, Alabama players have been solely focused on shooting the threepoint shot versus dribble drive penetration to create opportunities. In basketball, one has to force the issue. This means you have to create opportunities for teammates as well as yourself. The second problem the Tide has is closing out games. Alabama could easily be a ranked team right now, if they could close out games in the second half. Currently, Alabama is 9-10 overall on the season. Of those ten losses, five of them occurred when the Tide was leading in the first half, but lost the lead in the second half. The strange part about it is that Alabama has suffered just one blowout loss this season (Missouri 68-47). In eight of the Crimson Tide’s ten defeats, Alabama has lost by less than ten points. With the matchup against Duke earlier this season, the Tide gave Mike Krzyzewski and company a run for their money. Alabama hung in with the No. 6 Blue Devils and lost by only ten (74-64) because of missed free throws. To put it simply, the Tide has the talent to get the job. The question is when will it go from having the talented to executing consistently with the talent? Yes, Alabama lost some quality players with Trevor Lacy and Moussa Gueye transferring along with Devonta Pollard being dismissed, but they still have Trevor Releford, Levi Randolph, Nick Jacobs and more. Is Releford the heart and soul of the Tide? You better believe it. He leads the team in almost every offensive statistic. Releford is averaging 18.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. He’s connecting from the free throw at 89.2 percent and is shooting 39.2 percent from three-point range. Though his numbers are fantastic and his leadership is phenomenal, Releford can’t win by himself. Alabama is going to have to get consistency from every player on the team, if they want to even have a chance at getting into the National Invitational Tournament. The four players that many Tide fans want to see step up more are Levi Randolph, Rodney Cooper, Retin Obasohan and Nick Jacobs. As a senior at Bob Jones High School (Madison, Ala.), Randolph was a beast. He averaged 19.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. He was recruited to Alabama to be a scorer and to attack the basket. This season,

Randolph is scoring just 9.4 points per game. At Russell County High School (Hurtsboro, Ala.), Rodney Cooper was nothing short of spectacular. He averaged 31.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game as a senior. He was recruited to Alabama as a lights out, spot-up shooter. As a sophomore, Cooper played well. He was third on the team in scoring (10.0 points per game). This season, he is struggling. Cooper is fifth on the team in scoring, averaging 7.2 points per game. His three-point shot percentage is 27.6. As for Nick Jacobs and Retin Obasohan, they need to establish constant consistency. Too many times this season, they have had games where they dominant and then games where they were just cold. Sometimes it takes going through adversity to be the best. For others, it takes losing games to figure out how to win. With this being said, Alabama won Saturday night against LSU 82-80. On one hand, there is plenty more basketball left to be played. However, Alabama has to get into a sense of urgency now. The Tide has the meat of its conference schedule coming up and the last thing they want to do is lose more games. Alabama can very well make a push for the NIT; the question is how bad do they want it?

Planet Weekly's Catrina Kattner works with local businesses to help improve their growth in customers and revenue. For a no-obligation talk with Catrina, please call 205.523.1460. Or send Catrina an email:

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS



recruiting him, being honest with them. "I think he did a really good job of having a plan of evaluation of the things he was looking for and he stuck to it. He knew all along that it's not just about football and track, it's about everything. "I thought he was very professional with the way he handled it. Marlon is the type of kid that he doesn't allow outside circumstances dictate what he's going to do. I think there was more being made of his situation by people on the outside than it was those who were actually on the inside involved in the recruiting process. "For Marlon, I think he felt like it was the best fit for him. I'm excited for him. I'm proud of him. And I am proud of the career he had here and I'm excited about what he'll be able to do in the future." Humphrey's decision is big for Alabama in a few ways. First, it was important for perception. The Tide didn't need to let Bobby Humphrey's son, arguably the state's top prospect, get away. Secondly, the Tide had a huge need of help in the secondary. Humphrey, and already enrolled freshman Tony Brown, give the Tide two of the nation's top five corners. Humphrey and Brown will also run track together at UA. "I think from a cornerback perspective, Alabama has always been very corner driven," Niblett says. "They've always had really good corners. They've always had guys that did really good job of understanding what they're doing. "I think the thing that Marlon brings to the table is his physicality. He's a big corner. At Hoover head coach Josh Niblett the same time, he's an

Marlon Humphrey's sudden decion Wednesday morning might have surprised some, but Hoover head coach Josh Niblett wasn't caught off-guard at all when Humphrey announced via twitter that he was committing to Alabama over Florida State. "He's the one who had the plan," Niblett says. "He's known what he's wanted to do all along." Niblett doesn't mean that Humphrey, one of the nation's most heavily recruited cornerbacks, misled coaches at FSU, UCLA, and many others about the sincerityJASON of hisMILLER interest in their programs. BAND Nor did&Humphrey, the son3 of legendrHYTHM BREWS // AUGUST ary UA running back Bobby Humphrey, allow himself to be pressured by Alabama fans to follow his dad's footsteps to Tuscaloosa. "Was he really serious about everybody else? Yes," Niblett says. "I think there's no doubt that Marlon had a plan from the time he started being recruited. He got himself a list together of the schools he was most interested in, and I think he did a great job of being fair to all the schools sion

unbelievable tackler. He's very physical. If you need him to play to the boundary or to the field, he can do both. He can play in run support. He does a really good job of understanding the game. "He's got world class speed. And to be a hurdler, it allows you to have pretty good hip flexibility. That allows him to be able to turn and run in bump coverage. And as a hurdler, you learn that as soon as your feet hit the ground, you have to have speed now. So anytime he comes out of a movement, he's got great speed out it. He's also got great ball skills. "There are going to be things that he's going to feel that he needs to work on, but he's one of those kids who is self-driven. He tries to seek greatness every day. If you ever came to one of our practices, you can see him working on the physical skills that he has to do in between snaps, because that's the way he is. I think that's what will allow him the chance to be very successful at the University of Alabama." Even though he's the son of Bobby Humphrey and he's such a high-profile recruit, Humphrey never had any difficulty handling the fame. "He's a pretty quiet kid, but he's a great kid," Niblett says. "He's got a great heart. The thing is, he's a very humble kid, and

that's what I respect about him so much. "He's had so much high profile, so much exposure, but he's always been the same kid every day, and I think that's great. That's great for him, great for his family, but it's also great for his teammates. He's always done a good job of impacting others. He has a great influence and a great impact on the kids around him." Gary Harris is Sports Director of Tuscaloosa's WVUA-TV, and can be seen nightly at 5, 6, and 10 p.m.

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS



>>> T H E F L AT S C R E E N | C A R A B R A K E


Fans of a television series never like having rumors circulate about the show, as they can have many different sources and may or may not be true. One of the rumors floating around the internet is about Orange is the New Black, a Netflix original series starring Taylor Schilling and Laura Prepon. One of the first bits of news about the upcoming second season of the popular show was that Prepon, who plays the main character’s ex girlfriend Piper, would only be returning for one episode of the new season. This upset fans, who took to the internet to express their disbelief. After hearing nothing more about the news, the Huffington Post’s website broke a news story saying that Prepon would return for most of the season, just not all of it. In an interview with Us Weekly, the creator of the show, Jenji Kohan, said that Prepon would be back on for most of the season. The first news website to post about the return of Prepon to the series was Buzzfeed, which reported in November of last year that she would be coming back for only four episodes of the new season. The Huffington Post and Us Weekly articles are the first confirmed reports of Laura’s return to the show since Buzzfeed posted. For those who are just hearing about Orange is the New Black, the show follows Piper Chapman, an upper class woman from the nice side of town who gets arrested for carrying a suitcase of drug money for her heroine-importing former girlfriend ten years earlier. Piper gets sent to Litchfield Women’s Correctional Facility, where after a horrible start, she sees that Alex Vaus, her ex girlfriend, is also in prison with her. Piper starts to get to know the other women in the prison, their stories, and each woman has her own tale to tell. The series is based on the book Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman, from whom the character Piper Chapman is based. Kerman spent a year in a women’s prison, and recorded her story in her book. She and Jenji Kohan, who is also the creator of the popular series Weeds, wrote the screenplays for all of the episodes of the first season. Not only will season two feature more of Alex, but fans of the show who are curious about the other inmates that had storylines in season one will be happy to know that Kohan will focus more on furthering the stories of the other inmates. The Huffington Post reports that Kohan told TV Guide, “It's becoming much more of an ensemble. As much as I love Piper and Taylor and her journey, I think people are interested in everybody's journey." Along with written confirmation, a recent Instagram post by the official Orange is the New Black Instagram shows Prepon in behind the scenes photos and a roller-skating wrap party. Orange is the New Black, a Netflix original series, has the complete first season posted on Netflix. Each season is shot in full, then released on the website. It stars Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Jason Biggs, Kate Mulgrew Taryn Manning, Natasha Lyonne, Laverne Cox, and others. There is no official release date for season two.





week l y o verv i ew



Try not to let the blues get you down, Taurus. While it's true that some days can seem to drag on, the busier you are the faster time will pass. Get down to finishing any work still before you and then make plans for tonight. If there's a light at the end of the tunnel, not only will things seem to speed up but you'll feel better knowing it's coming.

Dare to be different, Gemini. It can be so easy to fall into a drill. Sleeping at the same time, eating at the same time, wearing the same style, and going about work the same way day after day. Before you know it, you feel like you're in a rut. The only way to get away from this is to make a decision to break free by doing something unique. Try a new haircut. Wear colors that are unusual for you. If the need is there, consider a new career. Pursue expansion. If your lifestyle is considerably different than that of others, resist feeling self-conscious about it, Cancer. Try to remember that you chose the life you have for specific reasons. Even if you've come to a point where you re considering a change, there s no need to feel badly, ashamed, or embarrassed about where you are now. Everyone has to make his or her own way. If this conforms to the norm, that's fine. If it doesn't, that's fine, too.

An enhanced feeling of determination could motivate you this week, Leo. Finish the things that aren't complete and make some plans for this evening. Don't hesitate to take on something that feels complicated or big. Chances are you'll be able to handle most anything and it will feel great when it's finished. Enjoy your day by making the most of opportunity.

Feeling the effects of today's energies, Virgo? Take heart if this is the case, because the end of the tunnel isn't as far away as it seems. Do your best to take things one step at a time and see about making some plans for a little fun this evening. Get together with friends or take in a movie. Help yourself feel better by staying busy and focused and follow up with some recreation. Before you know it, the aspect will pass and you ll be back to normal. Consider making some plans for a vacation or short getaway, Libra. Looking forward to something fun can make even the toughest of days far easier to handle. You'll be amazed how much you can manage when there's an end in plain sight. Your entire attitude can lighten. So take the bull by the horns and create an incentive for yourself. Do something special to reward the hard work you do day after day.

It's easy to play Sudoku! Simply fill every column, row and 3x3 box so they contain every number between 1 and 9. The game is easy to play but difficult to master! Solution Page 27

Don't judge someone if he or she has a different lifestyle than what you consider to be OK, Scorpio. You probably lean toward the traditional, yet not everyone feels this way about relationships, working, or lifestyle. While it may seem impossible to understand and even frighten you, try not to be too harsh on those you deem odd. You'd be better off using that energy to keep your own life on track.

Friends seeking advice or a shoulder to cry on could be plentiful today, Sagittarius. You're one of best people to give them the support and care they need. Just be sure that you don't give so much to others that you don't have anything left for yourself. True friendship is about sharing and the exchange of problems and help. Running yourself down will leave you in a place where you aren t going to be much help to anyone. Getting through the week shouldn't pose too big a problem for you, Capricorn. You may feel a huge second wind that can give you the drive and determination to see your chores and projects through. Make some plans for this evening, such as getting together with friends or taking in an event that really intrigues you. Until then, go about your tasks bit by bit. You'll get things finished before you know it. Working within boundaries and restrictions could really get to you, Aquarius. Yours is an independent spirit and your best achievements are often born of doing things your own way. Yet like it or not, we all have to follow guidelines and rules. Do your best to follow suit and finish what needs to be done. Afterward, you may find more freedom to act independently without consequences. Exercise patience and diligence as needed this week. Chances are that you'll feel upbeat and positive this week, Pisces. Consider sharing this energy with those around you who are feeling less than content. Your attitude can have a profound effect on friends, partners, spouses, and children. Even neighbors and extended family can pick up on your spirit without you even realizing it. Share your optimism with everyone you can today. If you see someone hurt or angry, tell him or her that everything will eventually work out and to keep trying. Don't discount your ability to be extremely resourceful if you need to be, Aries. If you don t have everything you need or all of the required information, take time to think. Who can you ask? What places can you access? Who might know where you can find what you need? Rather than panic because the pieces aren't all there, instead make a list of contacts and go for it. Trust in yourself.





Across 1. Suffix with system 5. Noise 10. Horse's pace 14. City SE of Prague 15. Nevada skiing locale 16. Hathaway of "Ella Enchanted" 17. They determine a pitcher's "average" 19. Small-circulation publication for fans 20. CEOs 21. Apocalyptic quartet 23. They come in bars: Abbr. 26. Cafe, say 27. Furious/not furious 32. "Culpa" starter 33. ___ law (medieval code) 34. Neuters 38. Tools for Paul Bunyan 40. Cashew family shrub 42. Get really wet 43. One of five popes 45. "Pagliacci" character 47. 401, to Nero 48. Group with debunked "Protocols" 51. Expense overstater 54. "This one is ____" 55. Coastal region 58. Orgs. 62. Capital employee 63. "Do tell!" 66. Armful 67. St. ___ fire 68. Saint Patrick's land 69. Disarrange 70. Train stop 71. Fast PC connections Down 1. Have___ in one's bonnet 2. "Time ___," 1990's sci-fi TV series 3. Memorandum opener 4. Go along 5. The "S" in EST: Abbr. 6. Sculling need



7. Wordless refusal 8. Using metallic dishes in a microwave, e.g. 9. Singer with the hit 'You Gotta Be' 10. Some newspapers 11. Genre of the Japanese film 'Ninja Scroll' 12. City or child preceder 13. Lilliputian 18. Cable sports awards 22. Vocalized 24. Pacs anagram 25. Toast 27. Latin-lesson word 28. Boy ___ door 29. Scottish Celt 30. War-torn island 31. Response to a doubter 35. Centers 36. Ornamental border 37. Where pores are 39. Garden starters 41. Pillar: Comb. form 44. Spread from a tub 46. Paine's "The Rights___" 49. Carted 50. Heightened the taste of. 51. Davidic song 52. "Wheel of Fortune" buys 53. Toddlers' pops 56. Portrayal 57. Hauler's destination 59. Georgia and Ukraine, once: Abbr. 60. Catch redhanded 61. Equivalent words: Abbr. 64. ___-wop (music style) 65. East: Ger.


>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

>>> ADVICE | J UST AS K Robert Randolph & The Family Band

SIMONE says...

Q: Simone, The topic I’m writing about may seem a bit unusual, but I’ve read your column for awhile and am curious about your thoughts on my “problem.” I confess that I am somewhat the cynic. I also admit that I am, at times, overtly pessimistic, a glass-half-empty kind of gal. I could elaborate on my history and my related insight into the origins of my so-called cynicism/pessimism, but that isn’t the real purpose of my writing to you — it’s my best-friend’s advice about my cynicism that is the issue. We’ve been friends since we were in the sixth grade, and are now in our Train early twenties. In recent years, she has become a believer in things such as “the mind-body connection” and “the law of attraction”. It’s not that I begrudge her these beliefs, it’s that she is constantly telling me that I should also buy into and apply them to my life (i.e. to my pessimism, which, by the way, I call realism). Let’s just say that my early life was more stressful and less nurturing than hers, so I see myself as less sheltered and shielded than my friend and more realistic about life and its possibilities. I see that life isn’t fair; some folks get to start out way ahead of others. The deck isn’t stacked equally, so why should I tell myself that I’m going to find a great guy or my ideal job or anything else that is not likely to happen? She says things like, “What you see is what you get!!”, meaning that what I think and what I imagine impacts what occurs in my life (rolling my eyes here). Truthfully, I’d love to believe that I had some control over my health, my life, my future, through what I believe and think, but that idea just seems so silly. Yet I don’t want my pessimism to actually be bringing negativity and limitations into my life, if that’s possible. So...what do you think? Am I my own worst enemy? Or is my friend living in airy-fairy land? Signed, “A realist”

A: Dear “Realist...”, You have presented me with a challenge. If you have been reading my column, as you say, then you are aware that I try not to give “advice” so much as assist others in being open to finding their own answers. That being said, I applaud you for reaching out for some feedback, in spite of your self-acknowledged cynicism. Our beliefs and related thoughts can definitely impact how we see ourselves and the world around us, which in turn influences how we behave and act toward others, how others respond to us and what opportunities or experiences come our way. Therefore, a cynical and/or pessimistic attitude or outlook can be self-defeating. The metaphysical concept of the “law of attraction” takes it a step further. That is based on the idea that there is an “energy field” of sorts surrounding us with which we interact through our beliefs and thoughts, internally and externally. Some may call it God or a higher power. That “law” says that when we set goals and desire certain kinds of events or circumstances in our lives, and then focus on those with our mind, we attract those to us. It sounds as if your friend falls into the latter category. Some who believe in this metaphysical principle might even say that we “co-create” in our lives through the application of it. If your friend has influenced you to explore these ideas, you will find many resources with which to do so. That will be up to you and not my place to confirm or deny the validity of these ideas. But I will say that a pessimistic attitude can be self-defeating, sabotaging desires with doubt. For example, say one believes that one is unattractive, undesirable or unworthy and that a suitable partner cannot be found. A person who has this belief is likely to unconsciously sabotage the chance for such a desirable partner because it contradicts their perhaps unconscious beliefs that they don’t deserve it. Or if one wants a lucrative, successful career but believes they are “a failure” or incompetent or that life is unfair, then that is likely to be what they encounter because of unconscious self-sabotage. When someone expresses doubt about their ability to achieve a certain goal, whether it is relationship, a job, an adventure or a circumstance, I like to ask them to think of a person or a situation that is the opposite: a happy couple or someone who has achieved “success” against the odds, in order to challenge (and hopefully change) that limited thinking. So whether you buy into ideas as “airyfairy”, to quote you, as the law of attraction, your friend’s challenge to put your pessimism in check is probably good advice. I’m sure you deserve the best. Don’t tell yourself anything less. Despite negative experiences you may have had, there is an optimist lurking deep within; I just know it. Signed, Simone

Flo Rida

©2014 Simone Says-Advice. If you have a question for Simone, email simonesays.advice@ to queries are held in confidence. We reserve the right to edit the text.

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BORN BENEATH THE PAPER MILL MIST, LIVING UNDER THE TRUING IRON MIST // WAH-CHOO! E arly Tuscaloosa memories of my father always include the sounds of his four-second morning sneeze fit. “Wah-CHOO!” again, and then it was all over. Who knows where my father’s sneezes came from—there are suspects all around, but like all environmental irritants, it takes generations for subversive researchers to dig out the truth. Could it be lung remnants of unregulated coal dust he breathed, working in the 1920′s coal mines of West Alabama? Could it be the rotten-egg-smelling mist that lay heavy on the morning air of Tuscaloosa back then, generated by the Paper Mill that dominated the town? Could it be some sort of undiagnosed allergy that today might be muted or mutated through mysterious prescriptions? Maybe it was just hereditary, since I now have his same sneezes. By moving from coal-mining country and paper mill stench in Tuscaloosa to densely-particulated air in Birmingham, back in 1969, did I manage to ameliorate my throat-clearing sneezing habits of old? Nope. Still do it, still don’t know the real cause, still muddle on through. As I make these notes that you are now reading, I can see Vulcan the Iron Man through the window, a 55-foot-tall cast-iron statue of the Roman god of fire and armor—an unlikely overseer of Birmingham. He looks out over a vast valley where the particuates settle and are inhaled each day. If you ever get to visit Alabama, don’t miss Vulcan. He’s what we have to show off—the world’s largest cast-iron statue. St. Louis has The Arch, Paris has The Tower, we have Vulcan. Anyhow, one of the things I like about this enormous hulk is that, while macho and tough and stocky of build, he has a finer, more gentle side. For one thing, he is holding aloft a metal spear he is fabricating, gazing up the shaft to see if it’s straight and true, obviously taking great pride in his work above the hot anvil at his feet. The other nice thing about him is he’s thinking of his secret love across the valley, a 23-foot-tall gold statue of the beautiful (and nude) Miss Electra, symbol of the harnessing of electricity to make things work better. There you have the romance and beauty of pollution. The unrequited affair of Vulcan and Electra, their pride in rising above the heavy, dusty mists, their stoic stances representing the spirit of all of us who are powerless to change the course of industry and nature, their very symbolism keeps us going. No matter how tough things get, there’s always some hope that us little folk can keep our heads up, our pride intact, our babies nurtured, our kindnesses perpetuated, our love affairs familial and romantic and sustainable… And each time someone nearby goes “Wah-CHOO!” it’s nice to reflect on what that strange noise means, it’s nice to raise a truing spear or a bolt of energizing lightning to the sky and give a silent salute to the meek—the meek, who will not inherit the earth but who can at least now and then contest the Will Note: Jim Reed's "Red Clay Diary" column does not end with a period (.). He has his reasons. "To call Reed Books an 'old bookstore' is a bit like saying the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel has a good paint job." ~ Allen Johnson Jr., author ~ ©2014 by Jim Reed




>>> MUSIC | trey brooks



L to R: Adam Morrow, Hayden Crawford, Adam Ridgway, Josh Kavanaugh, Blaine Duncan




Since 2007, Blaine Duncan and the Lookers have been entertaining nightlife patrons at some of Tuscaloosa’s finest institutions. On Friday, February 7th, they will be throwing a party for themselves at Green Bar, and everyone is invited! The group, who released their second album When She Dies in May of last year, pride themselves in bringing the lost art of Americana to crowds all over West Alabama. Their longevity can be attributed to their ability to adapt while keeping the spirit of their sound the same. This collection of talented and like-minded musicians is one of the must-see acts in the area. The career of Blaine Duncan himself goes back further than the collective itself. By 2006, Duncan was well known in the Tuscaloosa music scene as a talented singersongwriter who brought a country flavor to his music. He did not have a backing band until he was approached by drummer Mikey Oswalt. The original Lookers consisted of Oswalt, Ryan Akers and Dave Phillips. The lineup debuted on February 8, 2007. None of the original Lookers are still with the band, and several other Tuscaloosa-based artists have played as members. One of the more recognizable names there would be guitarist Ham Bagby, who was with the group throughout 2009 when they released their self-titled debut album. The current lineup of the Lookers consists of these musicians: Adam Morrow on guitar, Josh Kavanaugh on bass, Adam Ridgway on drums, and Hayden Crawford on mandolin and banjo. Morrow cut his chops on the Tuscaloosa music circuit with his own band Callooh! Callay!. His side project, Della Ray, will be the opening act for the birthday show. Kavanaugh is a guitar instructor at Shelton State Community College, and also worked at the University of Alabama as an instructor. Ridgway and Crawford complete the collection of Tuscaloosa musicians that make up the Lookers. Duncan has been the only consistent member of the group, and he remains the main creative force. For the special show on Friday, the band has chosen to play at Green Bar. There could not be a more fitting venue. Formerly Little Willies Blues and Jazz Club, Green Bar has been the home of some of Tuscaloosa’s more offbeat artists. They have been a staple for local acts, but have also brought in Americana groups that tour nationally, such as American Aquarium. They have been the premier venue for comedians in town, and regularly book acts from genres such as jam, punk, hip-hop and alternative country. The dark ambiance and ample floor space make Green Bar one of the more enjoyable places to attend a show as well. Blaine Duncan and the Lookers describe their sound as a mix of rock, country and Americana. Their music doesn’t follow a specific trend, but rather incorporates aspects of other trends to create something entirely original. The lineup changes have also affected their sound, as each new member brings in something new to the mix. If you wish to check out their music before the show, their albums are available on iTunes and their website Free samples of their music are available there as well. This is their first show of the new year, but it will surely start a long line of great performances that will last year round. We should also look forward to Green Bar hosting another season filled with variety and quality.

Snoop Lion






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