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CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH // LOCAL AGENCIES TO WEAR BLUE ON FRIDAYS April is Child Abuse Prevention Month Tuscaloosa's One Place and other local agencies decorated a Blue Ribbon Tree at Snow Hinton Park and then decorated the Town Blue in Downtown Northport in observance of Child Abuse Prevention Month. On Apr. 1, Mayor Maddox proclaimed Child Abuse Prevention Month for Tuscaloosa on and Northport's Mayor Herndon will do the same for Northport on Apr. 7. Employees at the agencies will wear Blue on Fridays in April and Blue Ribbons will be distributed for staff to wear. AVIS/Budget Car Rentals Have Grand Opening in Northport The grand opening of the Car Rental Center located at 1104 McFarland Blvd., in Northport was Apr. 1. The concept allows the consumer to choose between two great brands under one roof. Manager is Charlene McCollum. Call 330.0077 for details.



DCAF Needs Volunteers The Druid City Arts Festival (DCAF) is looking for volunteers. This local arts and music festival seeks to bring new music and artists to town and provide a free day of fun and entertainment for our citizens. Since the festival is a free event, volunteers are needed. The DCAF will be Apr. 5 from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. at Government Plaza. Volunteers will enjoy a lunch and an event t-shirt. Get details at or call 391-9200. Like Cornhole? The American Cornhole Organization is holding its 5th Masters Series Major Tournament on Apr. 11 and12 at the Northridge Pavilion on Northridge Rd. The tourney is now recruiting local participants. For details, visit or call 391-9200. Hampton Inn Tuscaloosa University Recognized as a Top Performer Hampton Hotels, Hilton Worldwide's global brand of more than 1,900 mid-priced

hotels, announced Hampton TuscaloosaUniversity as a 2013 The Lighthouse Award winner, one of the top 5% of more than 1900 hotels for service, quality, and loyalty. The hotel received a trophy to display in its lobby at 600 Harper Lee Dr. Hampton Hotels foster a unique culture of hospitality called Hamptonality, describing each hotel's approach to friendly customer service, anticipating guests' needs and providing travelers with helpful suggestions about area attractions, historical facts and fun things do around town. For more info or to make reservations at this hotel, visit or contact General Manager Rob Fikes at 553-9800. Customer Service & First Impressions Training: How to Become a Director of First Impressions You have less than a minute to make a first impression and it is even more difficult over the telephone. Attend this breakfast training to learn tips that will improve the caller’s impression of you and your company. Fa-

cilitators: Robin Bailey & Deborah Anders, The Legacy Connection. Class will be Apr. 8 at the Chamber from 7:30-9a.m. Cost is $25 for Chamber members. RSVP by Apr. 7 to or 391.0559 Chamber Connects Mixer at Buffalo Wild Wings Join us for our April mixer at Buffalo Wild Wings located at 2710 Mcfarland Blvd. E. in Tuscaloosa on Tues., Apr 8 from 5-7p.m. Enjoy great food, drinks and networking in a fun atmosphere. Prospective members are always welcome! Microsoft Excel 2010: Advanced Training This hands-on class will be presented on Apr. 16 at the Chamber from 9 a.m.– 4 p.m. Cost is $140 for Chamber members and $165 for non-members (includes a graphically illustrated workbook). RSVP by Apr. 11. Facilitator: Donna Gilliland. Contact Stacey Gann, 391.0559 or stacey@ tuscaloosa

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// High on Alabama

Farewell to an up-and-coming journalist




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.

8 dcaf's 5th year // RACHEL AHRNSEN

Celebrating everything we have as a community


// JEROME ADAMS You won't want to miss springtime at the Arboretum


// RYAN PHILLIPS Springtime concert will be a blockbuster

17 BLACK WARRIOR FILM FESTIVAL // STAFF REPORT Notable luminaries will be on hand for the second annual...

20 UA BASEBALL // RYAN PHILLIPS Extra inning fuels sweep

27 REQUIEM FOR ODERUS // TREY BROOKS A tribute to the late Dave Brockie


entertainment 7






Events Calendar


Road Trip


Tuscaloosa music

23 Horoscopes // Sudoku 24 CROSSWORD PUZZLe




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Photos by Judah Martin

Miss Emily’s Tomatoes

If I had a list of expectations coming in to this job, Planet Weekly met them all. Like many before me, I am moving on to a new chapter in my life and will be leaving my position as assistant editor of this impressive weekly that has served Tuscaloosa for more than a decade. The next stop for me will be at the Anniston Star to work in their newsroom as the last phase of my Master’s Degree in Community Journalism. If I tell you I won’t miss this magazine—Call me a liar. I say all of this out of gratitude for the opportunities given to me by Planet Weekly Publisher Linda Johnson and Executive Editor and Designer Herb Neu. Together, we formed a team that took this publication to new heights and to a greater level of popularity than previously seen. I am beyond thankful, simply to be included in that. Over the past eight months, I have been given both artistic freedom and the trust of those around me. While I am not the best writer, editor or reporter, even at this publication, the chances offered by an alternative weekly has furthered my career beyond my wildest expectations. Alternative media is rapidly changing the information game, and publications like Planet Weekly are gaining the trust of many whose faith has been shaken in traditional media. As those forms hemorrhage readers and revenue and downsize out of a reluctance to adapt, alternative competitors are quickly picking up the slack and those entering the field should be aware of this. For writers or reporters floating out there in the ether, you still have a chance to become part of the groundswell in the changing industry. My one hope is that I have properly served the people of the community in providing fair, well-written, and accurate stories that matter to those who make this city matter. If one of my small articles, out of the many printed, impacted the life of



a single individual, then I score that as a success. I may not have always batted .1000 in terms of typos, but I at least pray that I was fair. The way I look at it, Boston Red Sox Hall-of-Famer Ted Williams is world famous for a single season where he got on base four out of every ten times he stepped in the batter’s box.4 for 10—If I can come close to that with the quality of articles I write, I will be doing okay. But now, I must end my sob story, step out of the dugout, wave my hat and introduce the skilled individual that will be my replacement. Kendall Mays is a graduate student and GA in the Journalism Department at the University of Alabama. He is an experienced editor and designer whose vision is equaled by his extensive knowledge of the craft. Kendall is a passionate writer and a fearless editor who will only build on the things we have accomplished while providing meaningful stories and information to the readers that make this endeavor possible. I am excited to see what nuances Kendall will bring to the magazine, and I have the fullest confidence that readers will be pleased with the direction that he will lead the publication. For as long as I have known him, Kendall has shown superior work ethic, with an edgy sensibility towards contemporary issues and the media. No doubts exist as I leave Planet Weekly in his hands. With an experienced stable of writers, the sky is the limit for this magazine’s future. Again, I hope I have served this community with respect and fairness. With that, I bid you adieu and pray that this edition finds you in the highest of spirits. Note from the publisher: Ryan is a Journalist in the best sense of the word. His tremendous work ethic and ethical standards have helped to propel the Planet Weekly to new heights. Thanks, Ryan.

Sitting alone on a bench outside of Birmingham’s Church of the Reconciler, April Williams didn’t look like the social type. Her arms were tightly folded, her eyes stared straight ahead. She didn’t look mean, just wary. I hesitated, but finally I took a seat next to her on the bench and introduced myself. “Hi, I’m April,” she said in a voice that was surprisingly youthful. She explained that, like the group of homeless men gathered at the edge of the building, she came to get some of the breakfast the Church of the Reconciler provides on weekends, only she overslept this time. Now 45, Williams has been homeless most of her life. Nevertheless, she told me it’s the men who have been in her life who she looks back on with the most regret. Williams said she was raised in Oklahoma City. Her father worked as a truck driver, and her mother stayed at home in their camper with Williams, her sister and two brothers “My dad used to beat me. Maybe that’s why I keep falling for the wrong guys,” she said. “Yeah, he was abusive to my mom, my mom was mentally abusive to me. She’d tell me I was good for nothing, I’ll never amount to anything. It took me a long time to get my self-esteem back.” When she turned 18, Williams left home. She and a boyfriend moved to Wyoming and she soon gave birth to a daughter. Over the course of their relationship, they lived in apartments and trailers. Williams was blunt about the reason the two finally split. “He beat the shit out of me,” she said. I looked up from my notebook, unsure if I should write those words down. Williams’ expression remained nonchalant. She didn’t seem to have even flinched. I scrawled the sentence down in all


capitals. “One day he pulled a knife on me and tried to cut my throat. He was an alcoholic, still is. I went and lived under a bridge for a while. I had plenty of blankets, but it still got pretty cold.” Though Williams was homeless sporadically before coming to Birmingham in 2011, she sometimes lived in trailers and small apartments. “My daughter, she’s cool,” she said. “I was in and out of the hospital and I lost custody of her when she was ten.” Williams explained that she suffers from borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder. I told her this was difficult to believe, she seemed so comfortable talking to me. She then explained the crippling anxiety she experiences in large crowds. “My heart starts beating really fast and I just think ‘I have to get out of here,’” she said. Despite these hardships, Williams said she has reason to be optimistic. A friend of hers said he is confident he can find lodging for her in a nearby boarding house. The rent will be pretty cheap, so she said she thinks she can cover it with her monthly Supplemental Security Income check. When I decided to ask her, perhaps naively, if she was excited, the school girl enthusiasm returned to her voice. “I’m so excited!” she said. “I’ll finally be able to save some money. I really, really want to go to college. I’m a slow learner, so I’ll need help.” I looked up from my notebook toward a group of men standing a few feet away at the edge of the church. I could hear them all laughing amongst themselves, but I couldn’t make out what they were saying. “How come those guys are standing over there?” I asked Williams. She just shrugged. “Do you ever talk to them?” I asked. “Are they nice?” Again, she shrugged. “Some of them are alright,” she said. @jrphillips82689

>>>N E W S | C O N T I N U E D “Some of them are mean. I don’t go over there.” I tried to gather my thoughts for a moment, wondering if it would be wise to try to get them to talk to me. After a few moments, I decided I should go over, at least for the sake of having a balanced story. If they brushed me off, at least I could say I tried. “Do you think they’d be alright if I asked to interview them?” I asked Williams. “They might,” she said. “I don’t guess it would hurt to ask.” After thanking Williams, I apprehensively traipsed over to the edge of the building. There were at least six men hanging out. Some paced back and forth sporadically; others leaned against the wall of the building, passing a small bottle barely concealed by a brown paper bag. I was suddenly aware of how naïve I’d been in my attempts that morning to dress down by wearing my old jacket, a faded sweater and a pair of pants from my floor that had scarcely passed my “looks clean enough” test. Some in the group ignored my presence, and others eyed me suspiciously. I tried explaining that I was a student doing a news story on the church. “Would any of you guys mind talking to me?” I can only imagine how innocent I must have sounded. The men were accordingly hesitant, and most of them insisted they didn’t want to talk to me if they would be identified in the story. “Put me on the news,” one of the men finally volunteered. The man, Dennis Mckinnon, 56, said he was from Ozark, Ala. He grinned like a little kid at the opportunity to be interviewed. “Everybody know me,” he said, his grin widening. “They call me Snoop Dog.” I started to question him about the homeless experience in Birmingham. I asked him if he’d been harassed by the police before. I began writing everything he said but, after a few moments, I realized his story about running from the police naked after having sex was only a joke. I tried not to show my frustration. One of the men standing on the wall laughed incredulously and challenged Snoop Dog’s boast. “You talk too much, man,” Snoop Dog replied. “Hush, I’m talking to him.” “Hey, man, let me use your phone,” he asked. I scrambled to think of any excuse, afraid that he would slip away with it while I talked to one of the other men. After thinking more, I realized it would be impossible for him to walk away into the open street without notice. The first phone number he told me to dial didn’t work, so he recited a second number. A raspy female voice answered. I was unsure if I should speak, so I passed the phone to him.

“This Den-Den,” he said. He repeated that several times before asking “where’s Brenda at?” It seemed to take a while for Brenda to make her way to the phone, but she must have finally arrived, because Den-Den (Alias Snoop Dog) began expressing relief that she was alright. The conversation didn’t last long and, after handing my phone back to me, he explained that Brenda was his girlfriend. She lived with several relatives in a housing project that had caught fire, and he hadn’t heard from her since the previous day. “I sure appreciate you, man,” he said without a note of the silliness that had colored his previous statements. At that moment, another man dressed in a faded tan jacket joined the group. He was met with handshakes and a generous share of “what’s up man” greetings from the rest of the men. He noticed me and raised his arms in mock incredulity. “Hey, who’s the rich guy?” he said. “Now, do I have to go over this again?” I laughed, unabashedly assuring him that I’d over-drafted my checking account for gas money to drive to Birmingham. DenDen scoffed and waved his hand. “We still don’t know, he might be the police,” he said. Noticing my camera, Den-Den hurried to the edge of the corner and retrieved his bicycle. “Hey, get me,” he insisted, posing in his best Snoop Dog impersonation. I snapped a few photos and, by the time I’d replaced my camera in its bag and was about to leave, Den-Den was back to joking around with the guys leaning against the building. He turned away from the group when he realized I was leaving. I shook his hand and thanked him for his time. “I appreciate you for letting me use your phone,” he said. “I didn’t know what was going on with Brenda. Thank you, man.” He pointed toward a red brick building down the street and told me that it houses a soup kitchen for homeless people. If I needed to interview anyone else, that would be the best place to go. As I walked away, the laughing and cutting up resumed, seemingly undisturbed by my intrusion.

Flo Rida

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Jacob Thompson APRIL 3 + APRIL 17


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The title of Suzanne Pickett’s evocative and gracefully written memoir, "The Path Was Steep," foreshadows the two primary motifs of her book, motion and struggle. Wife of an ambitious and restless coal miner, Sue, as she was commonly called, recreates the challenges and the rewards of life in the coalfields of Alabama and West Virginia during the years of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Despite the many hardships her family faced, Pickett's great sense of selfworth, her stimable creative powers, her boundless curiosity, and her impressive energy enable her to rise above circumstances that might have broken a weaker spirit. Moreover, Pickett places the events of her own life in a national context. Through reading Sue's memoir, for example, we can clearly see the circumstances that led to the often-violent conflicts between labor and management that were so widespread during this period. The lives of the Pickett family seem to be defined by motion. In search of employment, Sue's husband David—like so many of his contemporaries—hitches a ride in an empty freight train boxcar to leave Alabama in search of employment in Michigan and Kentucky and then in West Virginia, where



he finally finds work in the coal mines. Sue and her young daughters, Sharon and Davene, then journey by train to join him. Once the family is settled in West Virginia, they manage to acquire a 1926 Studebaker, which becomes like a fifth member of the family, earning the name of Thunderbolt because of the loud sounds of its protesting engine. David loves speed, careening around dangerous curves on a mountain road in West Virginia called the Jumps. As Sue peers beyond the precipices, she can see below the broken carcasses of automobiles that have slid off the highway, and she fears that her family may end up with the same fate. But such fears are always trumped by the desire or need to go somewhere. Nothing seemed to reduce the Picket family to idleness and despair, no matter what difficulties they encountered, and the difficulties were numerous during those Depression years. First, there was the constant struggle to provide for the basic necessities of life. In 2013, very few people are still alive who can remember firsthand the extent of misery and deprivation during the 1930s, and reading about the period in school textbooks doesn't fully convey how many were suffering or

how badly. Consider, for example, that the lowest point of the Great Recession that began in 2007, some 8 to 9 percent of U.S. workers were officially unemployed. But in 1931, when David Pickett was roaming in a desperate search for work, some 25 to 30 percent of the U.S. labor force was simply unable to find a job of any kind. And in those years before the New Deal reforms of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration—backed by coal miners' labor unions—there was no safety net. No Social Security for the aged, no energy assistance for those without heat. We can well imagine David's sense of relief when he finally found work as a coal miner in West Virginia. Even then, there was no guarantee of how many shifts he might be given. Then there was the constant danger in the mines. Deaths in U.S. coal mines numbered more than a thousand a year in the early part of the twentieth century. Thousands of other miners were seriously maimed in accidents each year; Sue considered David lucky in that he merely broke his foot in a mine accident. "Black lung" was not well understood until years after the period about which Sue Pickett writes, but that disease, too, caused by constantly breathing in the fine coal dust which filled the underground mine shafts, crippled and reduced the quality of lives of many longtime miners. Nonetheless, the uppermost concern for the Pickett family was that David find employment. The pay he received was barely a living wage, but somehow the family made do. Sue even earned $1.50 a week writing for the Daily News in Welch, West Virginia, crafting poems from the dreary headlines of the day. But the Picketts were much better off than their family and friends back in Alabama. In fact, quite a number of Alabamians came to West Virginia to stay with them while looking for work, often unsuccessfully. Nobody was turned away. Another struggle the Picketts faced was being confined to cramped quarters. Throughout the memoir, we repeatedly have the sense of far too many people crowded into far too little space. Thunderbolt, designed for five passengers, amazingly transported fourteen family members on a trip of 140 miles. Plus there was the matter of privacy and modesty in the overpacked houses of that day. Sue, for instance, became adept at changing her clothes under the bedcovers while a room was crowded with people. Both in West Virginia and Alabama, the Picketts frequently struggled with the elements. Inadequate heating and cooling as well as insufficient clothing and cover were a constant challenge. One freezing night, they arrived unannounced at Sue's father's house to find all sleeping spaces taken. Sue and David managed to squeeze their girls into beds with others and then took themselves to a cotton storage room to spend the night covered over by mounds of cotton. As tough and resourceful as Sue and David were, they could only make it with the help of others. Sue's brother-in-law, George, told them, "As long as I've got


a biscuit, you won't starve," and that seemed to be the attitude of most of Sue and David's family and friends. Despite this mutual support, mineworkers and their families were, for the most part, no match for oppressive mine owners. By 1933, the ever-restless David had learned that jobs were again becoming available in the coalfields of Alabama, which were an integral part of the iron and steel production that had contributed to the industrialization of Birmingham. So the Picketts moved back to Bibb County and settled in the company town of Piper, established in 1901 by the Little Cahaba Coal company and named for industrialist Henry F. DeBardeleben's partner, Oliver Hazzared Perry Piper. Democrat Franklin Roosevelt was elected in 1932, and in 1933–34 his policies began to restore hope and bring some relief to the desperate. Still, the weak economy suppressed the wages of even those fortunate workers who had jobs. Sue tells of a group of miners who went to their bosses and pled for higher wages because their children were starving. The owners refused, one suggesting that the children could eat mussels from the mountain streams and hickory nuts from the trees of the forest. Sue's resentment of this callousness is palpable, and she sympathizes with the coal miners as they take drastic steps to achieve better wages and work conditions. In 1933, a series of coal strikes were called by the Congress of Industrial Organizations, of which the United Mine Workers Association—led by John L. Lewis—was a part. Previous strikes by miners in Alabama had been suppressed by private security forces of the industrialists with the backing of state government, and in 1933 Alabama Governor Benjamin Meek Miller called out the National Guard to put down the strikes. But by the spring of 1934, some 90 percent of Alabama coal miners were unionized and their collective strength was too great to be denied. Those miners were, of course, both white and black. While Sue does not dwell at length on the issue of race, she is writing about a period in Alabama and Southern history in which race loomed large in both law and culture. David Pickett began working in the mines in 1926, and it was not until 1928 that Alabama's brutal convict leasing system was abolished; 90 percent of the convicts sentenced to what amounted to a second form of slavery in the state's coal mines were African American. The first few decades of the twentieth century were also the peak period for lynchings in Alabama, and the rigid system of Jim Crow segregation governed every interaction between blacks and whites. Sue does describe, if briefly, a moving incident in West Virginia 1923 Studebaker Continued on page 25

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The immaculate cinematic adaptation of Veronica Roth’s futuristic bestseller “Divergent”, set in a post-apocalyptic Chicago, is neither as gripping nor as gritty as its literary counterpart. I read the first installment of Ms. Roth’s trilogy two weeks ago, and adventurous but formulaic best describes its narrative content. Interestingly, Summit Entertainment is the same Hollywood studio that regaled us with the “Twilight” franchise as well as the “The Hunger Games” movies. Based on the $56-million “Divergent” coined during its first weekend, Summit has launched its third lucrative franchise. By its second week of release, “Divergent” should recoup the remainder of its $85 million production budget before the “Captain America” sequel stomps it into obscurity at the box office. Comparably, “Divergent” lacks the forbidden romance of “Twilight” and the pugnacious pluck of “The Hunger Games.” Happily, it surpasses its closest competitors—the anemic “Vampire Academy” and “Twilight” novelist Stephanie Meyer’s other dead-on-arrival teen tale “The Host” that concerned a similarly feisty female. Chiefly, “Divergent” differs because its government lacks the Draconian nature of its counterpart in “The Hunger Games.” The fascist government that keeps its boot wedged firmly against the collective neck of Katniss Everdeen, her friends and family in “The Hunger Games” is conspicuously absent in “Divergent.” Our heroine, Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley of “The Descendants”) isn’t like Katniss, and she doesn’t define herself with an iconic choice of weapons so much as a lifestyle pursuit. Ultimately, like “The Hunger Games” and “Star Wars,” Beatrice finds herself caught in a flawed society that treacherous dastards seek to sabotage through any means at hand. Consequently, “Divergent” doesn’t have the same built-in, ticking time bomb conflict that “The Hunger Games” has with a rebellion. Indeed, this predicament isn’t far ahead for Beatrice and company, but

at least not in this origins opus. “Limitless” director Neil Burger and “Snow White and the Huntsman” writer Evan Daugherty and “Game of Thrones” scribe Vanessa Taylor depict a dystopian society that has split itself into factions to prevent any one fraction from gaining the dominance. Indeed, the unrest that lurks ominously in “Divergent” grows out of a conspiracy between nefarious members of two fractions. The message, I suppose, is grown-ups aren’t entirely trustworthy. Meanwhile, “Divergent” opens with a gathering where teenagers can declare the fraction of their choice. At age sixteen, male and females assemble for The Choosing Ceremony. Basically, after a war that ended 100 years ago, the survivors divided themselves into a handful of groups: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. Each group epitomizes a personality virtue. Abnegation contains selfless folks who place the needs of others before their own. They feed the poor wretches who are not members of a fraction. Amity represents the peaceful people. Candor is made up of those who exalt honesty and truth. Erudite worships intelligence and sagacity. Not surprisingly, Dauntless embraces bravery and irresponsible impetuosity. Our dowdy protagonist Beatrice hails from a selfless Abnegation family. Abnegates dress in gray and are contemptuously referred to as ‘stiffs.’ Andrew (Tony Goldwyn of “Ghost”) and Natalie (Ashley Judd of “Kiss the Girls”) are Beatrice’s parents. Caleb (Ansel Elgort of “Carrie”) is Beatrice’s only brother. Before The Choosing Ceremony, each teen submits to an aptitude test. The results indicate the fraction suitable for them to join. Dauntless member Tori (Maggie Q of the TV series “Nikita”) exams Beatrice. The rules dictate the test administrator must belong to a different faction. Something goes wrong with Beatrice’s test. “You're different. You don't fit into a category,” Tori

confides in Beatrice. “ They can't control you. They call it Divergent. You can't let them find out about you.” Testing divergent is the absolute worst thing that can occur to a teen in this society. All fractions will spurn them if the divergent test results are made public. A sympathetic Tori warns Beatrice to conceal her status from everybody, especially her parents. Nevertheless, this impediment doesn’t stop Beatrice from surprising her mother and father. She joins the Dauntless. She struggles to keep up with these adrenaline junkies. They love to scale the elevated railway platforms and scramble aboard trains as the trains are breezing out of the station. Getting off these trains proves to be even more challenging! The Dauntless expects them to hurl themselves off the trains and land on nearby rooftops. Eventually, Beatrice renames herself Tris and braves perils galore during her initiation rituals, including a homicide attempt on her life. Gradually, she evolves from a lowly worm to a self-propelled butterfly with a kick. Along the way, she attracts the eye of one of her superiors, Four (Theo James of “Underworld: Awakening”), and an amorous relationship develops between them. Anybody who has read Roth’s novel shouldn’t be surprised by the textual omissions Burger and his scenarists have


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deleted some of the more violent episodes. The use of chemicals to test Dauntless faction members, especially with regard to their fears, resembles the missions in “The Matrix.” Like “The Matrix,” “Divergent” wrestles with the theme of conformity. Our tenacious heroine learns how to handle herself during rigorous boot camp combat. As the finale appears on her horizon, Tris learns more about those she loved, particularly her gun-wielding mother. She discovers more resources in herself than she thought possible, too. She enters the Dauntless world as an expendable but emerges as an elite member. The scene on the Ferris wheel is terrific. The casting is letter perfect. Actress Shailene Woodley was born to play Beatrice. She looks comfortable in the role. Although co-star Theo James appears a little too old as her boyfriend Four, the two generate convincing chemistry and that makes us care about their fate. “Titanic’s” Kate Winslet plays the chief villain, and Jai Courtney of “Jack Reacher” is appropriately sinister as Eric, who outranks Four in the Dauntless hierarchy. Nothing about “Divergent” is remotely offensive in terms of either action or romance, and its charismatic cast maintains our attention despite the lengthy 140-minute running time.




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Jason Isbell

On A pril 5, the Tuscaloosa Tourand Sports Commission hosts the fifth annual Druid City Arts Festival at Government Plaza in Tuscaloosa, Ala. DCAF is a spring staple of Tuscaloosa and TTSC hopes it will continue to draw thousands of locals and travelers to celebrate regional arts and music. The festival will feature nine bands and 65 artists showcasing and selling their artwork. This will be the first year the commission hosts the festival alone, as last year they collaborated with Creative Campus, the student organization which began the festival. TTSC is implementing several changes in the festival, which Director of Tourism Tina Jones hopes will continue to grow attendance. “We’ll have amazing artists and music as always, but now we’ll have beer!” Jones said with a grin. This year, DCAF will have a beer garden serving a wide selection of local, regional and national beers. As always, DCAF will be free and open to all and will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Food vendors will be onsite, and an area of the festival will be dedicated to children’s activities Musician Andy Harris heard about the festival at a farmer’s market and is a member of the Old Paints, one of the nine bands performing. Harris plays a plethora of instruments, including the guitar, banjo, harmonica, and kazoo, which combine to form what Harris describes as, “very fun, kind of weird music. Definitely a unique sound.” Harris says local musicians relish the chance to get exposure to people who wouldn’t ordinarily hear their music at a large festival such as DCAF. “It’s always fun to play in front of people. I can’t wait to see all the art there and listen to other bands; seeing all Alabama has to offer up,” Harris said. Along with local bands, TTSC has also secured nationally recognized John and Jacob as the headliner. Born and




raised in Birmingham, Ala., John and Jacob have a Billboard #1 song, were nominated for an MTV O-Music Award, and chosen by CMT Edge as their first unsigned, “Listen Up” artist. Artist Anthony Tavis has been present for almost all of DCAF’s five years, as a 4th year DCAF artist. “It’s one of my favorite shows. It’s fun, I know lots of people there and people come to buy, so everybody wins.” Tavis describes his art as, “Southern folk art, very colorful with a lot of music themes. I make it out of reclaimed wood and cabinet doors and found objects. I make a lot of bluesy and jazz stuff, that’s what I’m inspired by.” Though Tavis appreciates that DCAF helps him make a living as an artist, he says that DCAF has a much deeper meaning to him. ”DCAF is important because it brings people out into a public space. Especially in this day and age with so much technology, people are used to sitting alone with their computers. It’s a good opportunity to go out and interact and celebrate everything we have as a community.” ”Art reflects society, and a celebration of art is a celebration of us as a community.”


Let 's just say the Tuscaloosa Isbell concert on March 14 stole more than just the hearts of his long-time supporting fans. All the way from Jupiter's rowdy front stage to the back corners of the bar, fans drowned country singer Jason Isbell's band with a welcome of deafening applause, praying the show wouldn't end too soon. Before Isbell's first song, he grinned easily and welcomed everyone. “At least I know we're all here for the same reason: we like to sing some sad music,” Isbell said, laughing as the crowd cheered. Jason Isbell, formerly part of the band Drive-By Truckers and the 400-Unit, finished the show near midnight in a roar of whistles and applause after his final encore song. Isbell's tour of his newest 2013 album 'Southeastern' featured soft styled music that brought both country and non-country music lovers together. Violinist, singer and band member Amanda Shires, also his recently married wife, opened the show with hit songs off her new album 'Down Fell the Doves.' She continued afterwards to play duets and violin for his popular 'Southeastern' songs. There was no doubt based on accents that a large portion of the audience was born and raised in the good 'ole South. The Isbell’s songs rang a familiar tune. Now a reclaimed singer and song writer, Isbell released 'Southeastern' as his fourth self-released album last June. His set list bounced back and forth between some of his upbeat, country music to his more acoustic, tender songs. He played a little bit of everything for everyone, covering both old and new favorites, but with a majority of the songs off the new record. Isbell's lyrics proved to be more than just average country love songs, but instead something distinctive and raw that lingered with each song. His voice was reminiscent, effortless and uniting in a way that brought the hundreds of

different people together in a chorus. A southern sense of “home” overtook audience members, some holding a beer, some holding a hand, but everyone “rising from the dirt” like in his song 'Flying Over Water,' singing about the grace and pain of the South. “The best part for me was which songs live were my favorites of his. I thought I knew for sure what his best songs were going to be, but he really surprised me at the concert. I didn't expect certain ones to be so amazing played live,” Max LeNeave, a University of Alabama sophomore, said. With the wait line for tickets still out the door after an hour into the concert, a diverse audience crowded available space at Jupiter. The fans were exuberant, and even the reaction for Shires' not so well-known songs was overwhelmingly positive. Many people heard her talent for the first time that night, and after seeing her live, some people now officially own her album. There was no denying it, the concert's aura was emotional and contagious. Isbell proved to be master to a wide collection of carefully crafted lyrics. He sang each song loud and clear enough for everyone who didn’t already know the words to learn them quickly and sing along. Despite the nostalgic atmosphere aided by both Shire and Isbell's lyrics, Shires' quirky stories and southern infused drawl made everyone lighten up. There was no denying the love floating around stage between Shires and Isbell. Their romantic mood spilled into the crowd and couples all over the room held hands. By the end of the concert, it must be admitted: he absolutely stole the audience’s heart, and by looking around, anyone could tell it wasn’t just a few people. Between his touching performance of 'Elephant' to his sweet duets with his wife, there was no denying the occasional tears from the crowd. “For months now, Jason Isbell has just been an album cover with a voice

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

>>> R E V I E W |CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8 behind it. But seeing him and his wife live...,” Bobby Lewis, a University of Alabama sophomore, said. “It'd be foolish to start talking about magic, but I'm so much more a part of the music just from hearing it live. When I listen now, there's a lingering presence behind it all.” Although Jupiter was stock-full with a loud and drunken crowd, it was no surprise since Jupiter is a student-friendly bar on the Strip. The biggest downside for this particular concert was the overly drunk people wandering around, but Isbell didn't let it phase him. Although Jupiter usually books more upbeat bands and DJs, the change of pace with this soft styled music led to a positive reaction and a perfect date night opportunity. The range of ages who came together extended from college students to older adults, some even traveling from out of town. Regardless of the drunk crowd, there was no missing the string of soft voices singing along to songs they'd listened to so many times before. All the fans were friendly, and his crowd-loving stories about the band members and his wife made everyone feel at home. Particularly when his hilarious sentiment got everyone singing to the lyrics “I’m better off sleeping in a county jail, I don’t want to die in a Super 8 Motel.” He and Shires felt like someone everyone grew up knowing. People might question why all these people came for some sad music, but Isbell's spot-on voice convinced every-

one. His southern tinged drawl led the audience through his drunken nights and heartbroken days. Hundreds of people sang along to 'Songs in the Shower,' each person comforted, remembering similar days. If anyone gets the chance to see Jason Isbell and his wife live, especially in a more crowd respectful setting, they definitely should not pass up the opportunity. The ticket was well worth the $22 and the loose atmosphere made for a solid night out. Especially to people hesitant about country music, Isbell isn't an overly country band constantly singing about blue-eyed beauties and summer nights drinking beer in a truck. His music is a combination of careful acoustic and electric guitar paired with heartwarming songs. The lyrics in 'Southeastern' are not the typical, one-meaning, red-neck lyrics of the average country song. It's music styled so anyone can relate, especially if they grew up in the South. Isbell performed a heart-heavy, beer raising concert for Jupiter that Friday night. He sang soft songs about heartache and raised some hell about the grace and chaos of living in the place most of us call home: the 'Southeastern' region. Jason Isbell will be appearing again in Alabama beginning May 9, in Birmingham at the Alabama Theatre. Then on May 10, he will be in Huntsville at the Von Braun Center Concert Hall. On May 11, he will perform in Atlanta at the Shaky Knees Music Festival.

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



>>> wine REVIEW | R Y A N P H I L L I P S



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.

W here to E at in T uscaloosa


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 Northport Diner 450 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 333.7190

Picture the scene: a completely holistic winemaking system, based on biological dynamics and sustainability. The circle of life, occurring unobstructed, as something special is gently crafted in its midst. Along a couple of lush California hillsides, one established winery incorporates the interconnectedness of the ecosystem to fully harness the geographic potential of the landscape. Despite many contemporaries mass-producing bottles of everything at a feverish pace, this one takes a slower approach to ensure that both the wine, and the land it comes from, continues to thrive. Paul Dolan Vineyards, located in scenic Ukiah, California, prides itself on an organically grown product, with a colorful line of environmentally friendly wines that are as appealing to taste buds as they are to sustainability. Through progressive farming techniques, Paul Dolan Vineyards seeks to promote the health of the land in order to maintain the tasteful wines that pay the bills. Numerous Cabernets can be found in California wine country, but many have a hard time boasting the eco-conscious design of Paul Dolan 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon. Assembly line production imposes on a wine’s taste, which is exactly the type of model Paul Dolan keeps a fair distance from. According to their mantra, if the land is taken care of, it will pay dividends to the stewards. Two vineyards on opposite hillsides in the Ukiah Valley, face each other and produce the combination of varietals that make this oak-aged red such a delight. After a 16-month aging process, the 2010 Cabernet is now ripe and ready to enjoy during the short prime before the taste begins to wane with age. A word to the wise—you may want to try it soon. Sporting a gentle nose for a Cabernet, this 2010 is rich with plum flavor and has a hearty weight that is competitive with contemporaries. Each sip sits on the tongue in a peculiar way that is indicative of the innovative winegrowing techniques incorporated by the craftspeople at Paul Dolan Vineyards. Given the process that makes each bottle possible, and the rich taste, one may think that the price would be far out of reach of the affordable. This



is not the case. On average, each bottle of the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon will run on the low end of $20. In terms of taste, competitors who can come close will run about $20 a glass. If you are conscious of the environment, but like to enjoy the luscious flavors of nature, this cabernet will hit the mark every time. For pairing, trying matching the Cabernet with a hearty roast to access the refreshing plum flavors found in each sip. Best results with the roast call for olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon zest to add sharpness to the roast that is easily held at bay by a cabernet, particularly this 2010 from Paul Dolan. Barbeque pork chops also make for an essential pairing with this cabernet, which will work well to wash down the greasy sweetness of tangy barbeque sauce. When trying a new wine, bravery never hurts. Price cannot be used as an excuse when not trying any of the responsibly grown wines from Paul Dolan Vineyards, and given the money spent, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon is more than a worthwhile investment. While purchasing one bottle of sustainably produced vino may not save the world or fix the hole in the Ozone layer, it is definitely a step in the right direction that any type of producers can learn from. For any who have experience purchasing organically grown products, often times the price and quality is reflective. This concept makes Paul Dolan an anomaly in a notoriously highbrow market. So do the right thing and the next time you look for a bottle of wine to enjoy in the great outdoors, reach for one that will be as good to the environment as it is to your sobriety.

Panera Bread 1800 McFarland Blvd *402 | Tuscaloosa // 366.8780 Quick Grill 1208 University Blvd | The Strip | Tuscaloosa // 342.0022 Rama Jama’s 1000 Bryant Dr // 750.0901 Closest restaurant to Bryant-Denny Stadium. Tuscaloosa Burger & Poboys 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.

MEXICAN Chipotle Mexican Grill 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 391.0140 Don Rafa's 2313 4th Street | Temerson Square // 345.9191 El Rincon (2 locations) 1225 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa, AL // 366.0855 1726 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 330.1274 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 LaGran Fiesta 9770 Hwy 69 S // 345.8871 Los Calientes Mexican Grill 3429 McFarland Blvd E // 553.1558

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 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 // 556.4112 Eclectic menu, extensive wine list. Dinner at Kozy’s is a romantic experience complete with candlelight and a roaring fireplace. | Twin 3700 6th St, Tuscaloosa in Tuscaloosa Country Club | 758-7528 | Certified USDA Prime Steaks; specialty Sushi and cocktails. Hours: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.; 5 – 10 p.m.

JAPANESE 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. 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.

ITALIAN Avenue Pub 405 23rd Avenue Broadway Pizzeria 2880 Rice Mine Road Northeast Tuscaloosa, // 391.6969 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. Little Italy 1130 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa // 205.345.4343

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

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

Margarita's Grill 1241 McFarland Blvd E // 343.0300

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

Moe’s Southwest Grill (2 locations) 2330 McFarland Blvd E // 342.1487 1130 University Blvd // 752.0234

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

Pepito’s (2 locations) 1203 University Blvd | The Strip // 391.9028 1301 McFarland Blvd NE // 391.4861


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. 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 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.


CASUAL DINING Avenue Pub 405 23rd Avenue // Tuscaloosa The pub offers a different menu for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Feature foods include pineapple French toast, pork sliders, and a house burger which changes daily. The drink menu features specialty cocktails, local pints, bottled beer, and wine. Monday through Friday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday Noon – 11 p.m., Sunday Noon p.m. – 9 p.m. 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. Chicken Salad Chick The Shoppes at Midtown & Essex Square, Northport | Said to


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be the very best chicken salad that can be found anywhere. Chili’s 1030 Skyland Blvd | Near McFarland Mall // 750.8881 Fax: 758.7715 // Dave’s Dogs 1701 McFarland Blvd E | University Mall // 722.2800 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. 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 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 vegetables Mon–Fri 10:45 a.m. - 9 p.m. T-Town Café 500 14th Street, Tuscaloosa | 759-5559 | Mon - Fri: 5 a.m. - 9 p.m., Sat: 5 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sun: 10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. Tuscaloosa Burger & Poboys 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 Zoe’s Kitchen 312 Merchants Walk // 344.4450 A wonderful selection of Greek foods

SPORTS GRILL 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 Buffalo Phil’s 1149 University Blvd | The Strip // 758.3318 Sports grille with TVs galore. Diverse beer and wine selection, full bar Billy's Sports Grill Historic Downtown Northport / 879.2238 Good food, beverages and family friendly Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. till 9 p.m. (Sunday Brunch 10:30am-3pm). Buffalo Wild Wings 2710 McFarland Blvd. East | Tuscaloosa // 523.0273 Sports grille with TVs galore. Diverse beer and wine

selection, full bar 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. 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. Tuscaloosa Burger & Poboys 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 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 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. Outback Steakhouse 5001 Oscar Baxter Dr // 759.9000 Twin Restaurant 3700 6th Street |Tuscaloosa | 758-7528 A full service restaurant specializing in Sushi, Prime Steaks, made fresh daily pasta, and whiskey oriented cocktails 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. // Former Tuscaloosa Country Club


Chuck’s Fish 508 Greensboro Ave // 248.9370 Happy Hour 3pm-6pm with $5 house wine, $5 top shelf, $3 well. $1 off bottle beer Red Lobster 2620 McFarland Blvd // 553.8810 McFarland Plaza Shopping Center

>>> beer review | R Y AN P H ILLIPS

SNAKE HANDLER DOUBLE IPA // RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE IN A CAN There is no point in avoiding the cliché: Big things sometimes do come in small packages. Good People Brewing Company, based in Birmingham, Ala., has experimented with craft brews since 2009 and continues to push the industrial envelope. Through their masterful techniques, Good People has acquired a following as craft beer gains popularity at an exponential rate in the state of Alabama. Amidst these social innovations, Good People also aims to revolutionize the way craft beer is enjoyed. Many beer drinkers would turn their pretentious nose up at the idea of craft beer in aluminum can. As beer becomes ever more tasteful and qualitatively refined through new practices, the concept of enjoying such a brew in a metal container seems barbaric to many. This may be the case with your run-of-the-mill domestics and malt liquors, but how does 10 percent ABV in a can sound? Good People Snake Handler Double IPA is a powerful orange-hue beer that comes packaged in a distinct white, orange and green can that features both a snake-handling man of god and the iconic Good People Brewing pickup truck. A drinkable bitterness brings this Double IPA to life and is easily enjoyed in a can on a warm spring or summer day. A smooth pour leads to a thick head on this double IPA, which dissolves to form a moderate white film. While at first bitter, the Snake Handler forms to a happy ending. In terms of craftsmanship, the Snake Handler is made possible by the incorporation of Columbus, Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe and Chinook hops. 2-Row and 4-Specialty Malts also work together to form the bold basis for this Southern staple. The taste profile of the Snake Handler presents a combination of flavors that feature aromas of citrus, pineapple, and spice that lead to a surprisingly sweet caramel finish. The weight of this beer makes it enjoyable, but quite filling and given the ABV, it is enjoyed best in moderation. However, do not let these simple words dissuade you from having as much fun as you see fit. While not for the beginner to craft beer, the Snake Handler is a bold alternative to other strong IPAs that is as tasteful as it is local. With a refined palate and open mind, the lover of finely produced beer will relish in this treat, even if they first smirk at the aluminum can. A wide range of food pairs well with the Snake Handler, but for the sake of not filling yourself up, try to stick with lighter

foods to access the refreshing quality while not getting too full. A couple of Snake Handlers resting on a full stomach may lead to a bad time for anyone, so heed this advice. Poultry is a great addition to the Snake Handler, along with Barbeque and Salmon. A variety of sharp cheeses also bring out the hidden flavors to be found in each can of Snake Handler. While Snake Handler Double IPA is the home-run hitter for the Good People lineup, it is only one of five beers available year round in the Ales From The Heart Of Dixie series. Featured in this line of brews are: Good People Pale Ale, Good People India Pale Ale, Good People Brown Ale and the Coffee Oatmeal Stout. Each of these treats is available for purchase in a distinct can, setting themselves apart from contemporaries. Just look for the yellow pickup truck. The spectrum of Good People beers can be found on tap in many West Alabama and Birmingham locations, as word of their craftsmanship spreads throughout the industry, state and country. For the price, Good People Snake Handler and other brews from this Birmingham location are not cheap. Most quality products aren’t. If it is a unique, unorthodox beer that you seek, the few extra dollars spent on a six-pack may be worth it. Do not be fooled by the aluminum presentation of many of the ales because Good People are capable of accomplishing more in a can than many macrobreweries can in a bottle on an assembly line.





BILLY'S SPORTS GRILL // GREAT SERVICE // DELICIOUS FOOD Historic Downtown North port is home to art galleries, museums, unique stores and some of the best eateries in town. Billy’s Sports Grill is the latest restaurant to open its doors in Northport. Originating in northern Alabama 35 years ago, this sports bar now has three locations across the state. Marketing Manager, Leigh Ann Callaway says that the downtown Northport spot reminded them of their English Village location in Mountain Brook. Owner Terry Humphryes is a graduate of The University of Alabama and an avid sports fan of The Tide. Coming and going from the Tuscaloosa area often, Humphreyes knew Historic Downtown Northport would be the perfect location for his restaurant. At first glance, from the outside, the place looks smaller than it is actually is. Inside, there are two large rooms for dinning and a full service bar. The new ownership completely renovated the space with gorgeous hard-wood floors and dark-wood furniture that bring the place to life. The bar area is beautifully crafted with ornate lighting mimicking the downtown area décor. The atmosphere in the restaurant is inviting, calm and relaxing. Large flat screens line the walls with a massive projection screen demanding attention when walking into the dining area. During my visit, the crowd was a mixture of college- aged kids, families and an older crowd meeting for coffee and dessert. My husband and I enjoyed the atmosphere and appreciated that the televisions and radio were quiet enough that we could carry on an actual conversation. The menu is uncluttered and organized which makes it very easy to navigate. A variety of foods are offered from starters to specialty sandwiches, salads, classic sports bar entrées, and desserts. To help satisfy southern cravings, a meat and three special is offered during lunch, Monday through Friday. When asked what sets the restaurant apart from other sports bars, Callaway replied, “The fresh kitchen.” For each menu item the food is prepared fresh and sauces are made from scratch. Two bottles of specialty sauces sit on each table throughout the restaurant: Billy’s White Sauce and Hot Mustard Sauce. These are delicious and can be purchased in bulk! To kick off the meal, fried pickles are a must. Evenly fried, crispy pickle chips are served with a large side of ranch dressing. They were more than fresh, leaving a very generous puddle of grease in the bottom of the basket. Salty, savory, and satisfying was the verdict. Honestly, it is hard to go wrong with fried pickles. While the dinner salads were nothing to jump up and down about, the entrées were delivered within fifteen to twenty minutes after ordering. Our choices were a salmon sandwich with fries and fettuccini alfredo with jumbo shrimp. Each meal was plated beautifully and had more than




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

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 Hot Wok Express 6751 Alabama 69, Tuscaloosa // 758.0148 Lee Palace 6521 Highway 69 S // 391.9990 Open daily 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

generous portions. The salmon was evenly charred with nice grill marks. It was flakey and cooked nicely, leaving a light pink color. A big, buttery bun made a nice bed for the oversized salmon. Served with the dish was a side of made-in-house creamy tartar sauce which complimented the fish well. The fettuccini alfredo was made was light and creamy and topped with large jumbo shrimp, a pleasant pasta dish that was not oversaturated with sauce. Each meal item was very affordably priced, bringing the ticket to just under $35. Relaxing atmosphere, wonderful food and outstanding service are not the only things Billy’s has going for them: They have a packed calendar of events ranging from trivia to open mic night. Weekly specials include Happy Hour which runs daily from 2 – 6 p.m. with $1 off beer, well drinks and glasses of wine. You can also enjoy Wine Down Wednesday and Tip Your Glass Thursday with half-priced bottles of wine. On April 9, from 6 – 9 p.m., Billy’s Sports Grill will be hosting a special openmic night, “Tips for Tuscaloosa”, in partnership with Arts n’ Autism, an after school and summer program serving pre-schoolaged children to young adults with autism. Arts n’ Autism offers opportunities for these students to take part in supervised visual and performing arts activities. Hope Cassity, one of Nashville’s very own singer song writers, will perform along with other local favorites like Victoria Camp, John Miller, and Brian Futch. Open-mic sign-up is at 5:30, so get there early. All tips collected will be given to the Arts n’ Autism program. Help make a difference and support this noble cause while enjoying a satisfying, affordable meal. Billy’s Sports Grill is located at 430 Main Avenue, Northport. Hours of operation are Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Sunday Brunch 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.). Cindy Huggins is a registered dietitian nutritionist and local “foodie”! Follow her on twitter @DietitianCindy. And let us know what you think about Billy’s Sports Grill! Tweet us @ ThePlanetWeekly.

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. California Underground 13552 Highway 43, Northport | 339.8660 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 Mellow Mushroom 2230 University Blvd | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 758.0112 Subs n' You 2427 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa // 205.758.0088 Roly Poly Sandwiches 2300 4th Street | Tuscaloosa // 366.1222 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 Pizza Palace Buffet 6521 Alabama 69 Tuscaloosa, AL 35405 752.5444 Tut’s Place 1306 University Blvd | The Strip // 759.1004


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 Barnes & Noble 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Tuscaloosa 349.6366 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 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 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


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

>>> T H E AT R E | S TA FF R E P O R T


Kathy Wilson, Gary Wise, and Avery Draper, in Theatre Tuscaloosa’s production of “You Can’t Take It With You” by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. Photo by Porfirio Solorzano.

Theatre Tuscaloosa presents You Can’t Take It With You April 4 – 13 in the Bean-Brown Theatre on Shelton State’s Martin Campus. When the quirky, free-spirited Sycamore family unexpectedly receives a visit from the straight-laced Kirby family, sparks literally fly! From homemade fireworks to communist candy, everything that can go wrong does. In this Pulitzer Prize winner by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, an impromptu dinner between the soon-to-be-in-laws becomes a funny, touching lesson on the power of love and laughter. Executive Producer Tina Turley is also serving as director for You Can’t Take It With You. “This is such a fun show,” Turley said. “And we’ve got a great cast of veteran actors working with newcomers to create a very fresh and funny experience for our audiences.” Returning to the stage are Justin Barnett, Bucky Clements, Carol DeVelice, Alyssa Grubbs, Clemmie Hilton, Glen Johnson, Charles Prosser, Wesley Rorex, Dianna Brown Shaw, George Thagard, Ernie Turley, Kathy Wilson, Gary Wise and Georgia Wise. They are joined by newcomers Avery Draper, Christopher A. Smith and Colin Whitworth. This is a special production for Theatre Tuscaloosa veteran Gary Wise as he will be sharing the stage with his sister for the first time. “I’ve never had the pleasure of being on stage with my sister, Georgia,” Wise said. “Although she has performed with Theatre Tuscaloosa in the past, this is the first time we’ve worked on the same show at the same time.” You Can’t Take It With You brings together a skilled and experienced production staff with costume design by Jeanette Waterman, scenic design by Ben Boyer, lighting design by John Hisey, sound design by Jerrell

Bowden and properties design by Casey Kauffman. “I am so excited to be working with such a talented cast and crew on such a fun show,” Turley said. “If you’re looking for a good laugh and a great time, you won’t want to miss You Can’t Take It With You.” Theatre Tuscaloosa’s 2013-14 Season: Cheers to 15 Years! is presented in cooperation with Shelton State Community College and is sponsored by The City of Tuscaloosa and Jamison Money Farmer and Co. You Can’t Take It With You is sponsored by Bank of Moundville. The Play-ItForward sponsor for You Can’t Take It With You is f8 Productions, LLC, and is sponsored in part by a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Additional sponsors include Tanner & Guin LLC, Left Hand Soap Company, Ameriprise Financial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Realizing the Dream Series, TotalCom Marketing, Buffalo Rock, Bank of Tuscaloosa, Mercedes, Randall Reilly Publishing Company, LLC, Warrior Roofing Manufacturing Inc. and Townsquare Media. You Can’t Take It With You will be presented April 4 – 13 in the BeanBrown Theatre on Shelton State Community College’s Martin Campus, 9500 Old Greensboro Road. Performances will take place ThursdaysSaturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays and Wednesday at 2 p.m. All proceeds of a pay-what-you-can final dress rehearsal on Thursday, April 3, at 7:30 p.m,, will benefit the Charlie Dennis Memorial Scholarship Fund. Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for seniors (60+) and $12 for students and children. Special rates are available in advance for groups of 10 or more. For more information about the 2013-14 season or to purchase tickets, visit or call 391-2277.

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





PHOTOS: Jerome Adams

When disbelieving first-timers sign up for a session of step-by-step painting at Tuscaloosa's locally owned Uptown Art studio, new owner Kelly Magadan assures t

Every city has natural wonders. Tuscaloosa is no exception. The University of Alabama’s Arboretum at 4800 Arboretum Way provides an enjoyable environment for residents and visitors of Tuscaloosa. The 19-acre tree and foliage park is publicly funded and admission-

Cob House in the Children's Garden



along a trail extending from the central platform. Maps available at the central pavilion feature directions around the park ground and locations of the 138 featured tree species. Information about each tree and flower species is designated with signs at their base. Signs directing visitors to the Arboretum can be found by driving east on Loop Rd. A short drive down a gravel road leads to the park’s open-air pavilion. The Arboretum’s Children Garden features a “cob house.” But this is not a cob you can eat. “Cobs” are tiny, hand-rolled balls of mud and earth arranged into a pyramid. The ancient design was used in Europe for ovens. Once fired, these ovens remained hot for a long periods allowing the cooking of several items. Cob houses were then built to mimic the oven’s shape and insulating properties. The outside of the cob houses are covered in small dimples. The holes are constructed when insects burrow into the exterior walls for winter.

free. It serves as an enclave for those who want to enjoy a nature walk, entertainment or study. The park is home to a variety of beautiful plants, trails, an amphitheater, a children’s garden, and metal sculptures made by local artists. Every aspect of the park is aimed to encourage appreciation of nature through observation and interaction. An observation platform allows visitors to view both the floor and canopy of the tree park. The canopy, the area at the top of the treeline, stands more than 50 feet from the park’s flowercovered floor. The white blooms of the Alabama state flower, the oak leaf hydrangea, can be found


The Children’s Garden also features a fenced-in area for gardening and other educational activities. Sculptures by local artist Steve Davis decorate the garden. Several inviting log seats surround a nearby sun-clock and its accompanying stones. The Arboretum also features an amphitheater. The structure is smaller than the amphitheater on the Black Warrior River. But the native Alabama stone construction provides a natural setting for weddings and entertainment in Tuscaloosa. The amphitheater features ample seating for a crowd of fewer than a hundred. Plants and wildlife located in the Arboretum cannot be removed from the park but pictures are encouraged. Take the opportunity to do some Exploring Alabama and enjoy the University of Alabama Arboretum.

>>> music |RYA N P H I L L I P S

SPRINGTIME AT THE AMP // BRANTLEY GILBERT have you moving on the dance floor or truck-bed of your choice. While it may sound like blasphemy to some, it will definitely sound like boogie to others. Also taking the stage with Gilbert in April at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater are two up-and-coming acts, Thomas Rhett and Eric Paslay, both of whom will come ready to rock the house with their fairly unheard catalog of songs. Rhett, who released his debut selftitled album in 2012, saw fame when “Thomas Rhett,” reached no. 24 on the Billboard U.S. Top Country Albums list. On his debut album, Rhett was also aided by many talented songwriters, including Rhett Akins, who helped in writing the song, “Whatcha Got In That Cup.” Simply by brushing shoulders with country music royalty, Rhett has been able to strengthen his craft and hammer out a sound all his own. It is also unlikely that Rhett will deny his Tuscaloosa fans the chance at seeing and hearing him perform his hits “Beer With Jesus,” and “Something To Do With My Hands,” both from his debut full-length album, “It Goes Like This.” For fans of country music that cuts deep and is close to the heart, you may get your money’s worth before the opening acts even leave the stage for the The spring concert season is nearly in full swing, and the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater is gearing up for an exciting month of April to kick off a much-anticipated series of shows. As the spring air warms and the days get longer, events in downtown Tuscaloosa are sure to heat up as well. The Amp will serve as a stop for country rockers as part of the “Let It Ride” Tour 2014. The downtown venue will no-doubt be packed to capacity with country music fans on April 11, with the bill for the night featuring headliner Brantley Gilbert with special opening guests Thomas Rhett and Eric Paslay. Given the lineup of established country penman that has been set up for the evening, fans will not want to miss their chance to see these performers before they possibly become larger-than-life superstars. Gilbert, who sports two No. 1 singles on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart, has released two full-length albums through Valory Music Company, a Nashville-based division studio of Big Machine Records. The last studio album released by Gilbert in 2010, “Halfway to Heaven,” is certified Gold and set the bar high for the native of Jefferson, Ga.,. While Gilbert has since written new groundbreaking material, he does not shy too far away from the sound that brought him to the big-time. Country music fans in Tuscaloosa can bet on hearing, among other new songs, Gilbert’s latest No.1 smash hit, “Bottoms Up,” when he makes his stop in the Druid City. Concert venues in

Tuscaloosa may regular haunts for many country acts, but a few things set this particular baseball-cap wearing performer apart from the rest of the pack. The recording sound for “Bottoms Up,” deviates from the traditional country twang and incorporates stylistic elements of hip-hop. While the bass hits the listener like a ton of lead and carries an unorthodox cadence reminiscent of Jason Aldean and/or Colt Ford, the true country overtones are still existent, but make for a different listening experience that one could call fresh and innovative. Simply put, this is not your Daddy’s country music. Gilbert has also established himself as a prolific songwriter in Nashville, helping to pen both “My Kinda Party,” and “Dirt Road Anthem,” for outlaw country sensation, and contemporary, Jason Aldean. The two country stars share many similarities, but most notably the incorporation of rap-like lyrics and backing instrumentation into songs played in the same radio mix as Hank Williams Jr., and George Strait. Both songs written for Aldean by Gilbert made it to the top of the country charts and stand as testaments to not only Gilbert’s prowess as a front man, but as a songwriter. Beer drinking, hell raising and lovemaking are all common themes woven in to Gilbert’s lyrics, and the musical accompaniment is more than suitable to bring those words to life for a live audience. Whether you like to tap your foot or shake your butt, the new and old tunes from this country newcomer will

headliner. Another established Nashville songwriter, Eric Paslay, will join Rhett in opening for Gilbert. Paslay, whose self-titled debut album was release in February 2014, found success at the top of the charts with his hit co-written single, “Friday Night,” that was previously performed by Grammy-Winners Lady Antebellum. “Friday Night,” also debuted on the Billboard Hot Country Songs list at No. 49. In addition to his work with Grammy-winners, Paslay has also teamed up with popular acts such as Jake Owen, Rascal Flatts and Eli Young Band.

Save yourself the money on a trip to Nashville, simply by purchasing a ticket to the Tuscaloosa installment of the “Let it Ride” Tour 2014. With a music-bill full of talented and established country artists, the banks of the Black Warrior River will definitely be a hot spot for tunes in the second week of April. Don’t miss the show and make sure to purchase tickets online or at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater Box Office.






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


KENTUCK ART NIGHT WHEN: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Downtown Northport DESCRIPTION: guests can enjoy live music by Bible Study in the Courtyard of Wonders, cob oven pizza, open Artist Studios, a new exhibition, and the featured works of Clay Co-op artists, Doris Blum and Fred Mitchell. The T.E.M.P. Gallery located in the Clarke Building is featuring the new exhibit Scrawl by artist Kimberly Winkle. Our Gallery Shop will be open as well, so don't miss out on all the fun! HERITAGE CELEBRATION: A CAPITAL IDEA! TUSCALOOSA 1826-1846 WHEN: 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. COST: Costs vary per event WHERE: Foster-Cummings House, 1600 Dearing Place PHONE: 758.2238 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Celebrate the time when Tuscaloosa was the capitol of Alabama with Historic Tuscaloosa. Meet with past governors of Alabama, tour historic sites like the Greenwood cemetery and play period games. Events kick off with a patron’s party at the Foster-Cummings house and end with an antebellum Garden show on April 28. Find the calendar of events on Historic Tuscaloosa’s website. KATHERINE BRADFORD: THE GOLDEN AGE OF EXPLORATION WHEN: 6 – 8 pm. COST: Free WHERE: Sarah Moody Gallery, 103 Garland Hall PHONE: 348.1890 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Brooklyn-based abstract artist Katherine Bradford brings 14 paintings to the Sarah Moody Gallery, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday night. The exhibit will remain open during regular gallery hours through May 9. Bradford’s work is in collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum in New York.


YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU WHEN: 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. COST: $17 adults, $12 children WHERE: Bean-Brown Theatre, 9500 Old Greensboro Rd. PHONE: 391.2277 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Theatre Tuscaloosa presents the quirky tale of soon-to-be in-laws getting to know each other and finding just how little they have in common. The show will play at the Bean-Brown Theatre from April 4 through 13, with Wednesday and Sunday performances at 2 p.m. ALABAMA SOFTBALL VS ARKANSAS WHEN: 8 p.m. COST: $7 WHERE: Rhoads Stadium, 321 5th Ave E PHONE: 348.2262 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Watch UA’s softball team face Arkansas Razorbacks in Rhoads Stadium. Friday is the first game of a



three-day conference through Sunday April 6. The Saturday and Sunday games start at 2 p.m.


LAKE NICOL CANOE TRIP WHEN: 9 a.m. COST: $15 WHERE: Lake Nicol PHONE: 331.5600 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Take a relaxing tour of nature with the safety of certified supervisors at Tuscaloosa’s Lake Nicol. All equipment is provided and pre-registration is required. READERS' THEATER FOR CHILDREN WHEN: 12:30 p.m. WHERE: Tuscaloosa Public Library main branch Story Castle COST: Free CONTACT: 205.345.5820, ext. 1134 EMAIL: DESCRIPTION: Fun, interactive story time where children listen to a story, think and ask questions about the story, and then become a part of the story by acting it out with their friends. This activity is also held the first Saturday of each month in the Story Castle at 10:30 a.m.

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


Vanna is a two year old female Hound/Terrier mix with a gorgeous black and brown smooth brindle smooth coat and an adorable nub tail with a bit of curled hair on the end! Vanna is a good size dog, weighing 40 pounds. She is fun-loving and full of energy and excitement! She will be great for an active owner who likes to run, walk or hike. Vanna will require a fenced in yard and probably has too much energy for an apartment unless she gets plenty of exercise. She is very friendly and playful and would be fine with kids 12 and up, though she would not be the best fit for a younger child due to her energy level. Vanna is good with other dogs but does like to be the dominant dog. She has never been around cats. Vanna has started her crate training. She is up to date on her vet care, spayed, heartworm negative and is microchipped. She is on heartworm and flea/ tick prevention. If you are interested in giving Vanna the forever home she wants and deserves, visit the West Alabama Humane Society or call us at 554-0011. M eet Sarah, a short-haired gray tabby with beautiful charcoal stripes and a perfect "M" on her forehead! Sarah is an adult estimated to be around 5-years-old. She is calm, quiet and friendly, and would make a wonderful companion pet! She is typically low-energy and gentle and interacts well with other friendly cats, though also enjoys time to herself. She should be fine around gentle and patient kids, but she has never been around dogs. Sarah is Negative for FIV/FeLK, current on vaccinations and spayed. If you are interested in giving Sarah the forever home she wants and deserves, visit the West Alabama Humane Society at or call 554-0011.


THE BIRTHDAY PART Y WHEN: 7:30 p.m. COST: $10 WHERE: Rowand Johnson Hall, Stadium Drive PHONE: 348.3400 LINK: DESCRIPTION: From the Theatre of the Absurd, "The Bir thday Par ty" tells the stor y of surprise par ty that becomes a hellish nightmare. As the evening goes on par ty games take a turn for the worst and dark secrets come into the light. The University of Alabama theatre depar tment will present "The Bir thday Par ty" at Allen Bales Theatre in Rowand Johnson Hall from April 7 to 13.


PRODUCE GROWERS FOOD SAFETY WORKSHOP WHEN: COST: Free WHERE: Tuscaloosa County Extension Office, 2513 7th St. DESCRIPTION: Water use, Manure use, Harvesting and storage, Transportation Marketing. Learn how to protect your business from liability, keep locally grown produce safe, and receive a Produce Growers Food Safety certificate.


TUSCAPALOOZA WHEN: 6 – 10 p.m. COST: $10 WHERE: Bama Theatre, 600 Greensboro Ave. PHONE: 758.5195 LINK: DESCRIPTION: WVUA-FM 90.7 The Capstone aims to bring out the diversity of Tuscaloosa’s music scene at the Historic

The benefits of volunteering:

1. Make a difference in the lives of homeless pets and work towards a community that is more humane for animals. 2. Develop new skills while exploring the field of animal welfare. 3. Keep good company. You'll make lots of new friends—and not just the four-legged kind. Working side by side with people who share similar interests can forge lifelong friendships. 4. Meet the new you. You'll discover skills you never knew you had, and you may be surprised at what you're capable of achieving. 5. Gain a new career. You'll learn things that may lead you to the career—or career change—of your dreams. Employers and college admissions officers look favorably on time spent in volunteer service. 6. Enjoy a wagging tail, a purr, and a smile. Didn't someone once say that the best things in life are free?

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

>>> F I L M | S T A F F R E P O R T


UA'S SECOND ANNUAL BLACK WARRIOR FILM FESTIVAL The second annual Black Warrior Film Festival will take place April 11-13, 2014, on The University of Alabama campus. The three-day festival will

The festival will conclude Sunday, April 13 with an awards ceremony and reception at the Bama Theatre beginning at 5:30 p.m. Awards will be presented by

include a showcase of student films from across the South and events with industry professionals. All events are free and open to the public. The festival will open Friday, April 11 at 6:30 p.m. in Lloyd Hall with a spotlight on Carly Palmour, an alumna of UA’s New College and Department of Telecommunication and Film who works in the film industry in Los Angeles. Palmour will present her award-winning student shorts and discuss her post-graduate success as associate producer of “Fed Up,” which premiered at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Local filmmakers and industry professionals will be a part of the Alabama Filmmaking Panel Saturday, April 12 at 4 p.m. in Graves Hall. Panelists include Andy Grace, Nick Corrao, Rachel Morgan, and Carly Palmour. The panel discussion will focus on filmmaking in Alabama and the resources that are available here and across the South.Award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay will be screening her feature film, "Middle of Nowhere" Saturday, April 12. DuVernay, who will introduce the film, is currently in preproduction with “Selma,” a Martin Luther King biopic that will film in Alabama later this year. The film screening will begin at 7 p.m. in Lloyd Hall and will be followed by a Q&A with DuVernay. This year’s festival will feature an outdoor screening Saturday, April 12, at 10 p.m. on The UA Quad. Steven Spielberg’s 1977 film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was partially filmed in the state of Alabama and will be screened on the quad near Lloyd Hall.The feature film “Hooper” will screen at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 13 in Graves Hall and will be followed by a Q&A session with Hollywood stuntman, Glenn Wilder. The 1978 film was shot on location in Tuscaloosa and features Wilder, who has more than 50 years of experience in the industry. Wilder will also lead a master class on Hollywood stunts at 2:30 p.m. in Graves Hall. “ZOM-COM,” a TV pilot produced by students and faculty in UA’s Department of Telecommunication and Film, will screen at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, April 13 at the Bama Theatre. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the cast and crew.

Zom-Com actor Jarrod Cuthrell and Angelo Corrao, a feature film editor and juror for this year’s festival. The top student films will be awarded in several categories of filmmaking and receive prizes sponsored by local businesses. Universities represented include Duke University, Florida State University, The University of North Alabama, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, The University of Texas at Austin, Samford University, Wake Forest University, The University of Alabama at Birmingham and The University of Alabama. Dr. Rachel Raimist, co-director of Creative Campus and assistant professor in UA’s Department of Telecommunication and Film, said she believes the festival’s expansion to include films from across the South demonstrates its commitment to showcasing students’ work. “By seeing their work on the big screen, students can feel a sense of pride and accomplishment that doesn't always come with a small, in-class end of term screening of the work,” Raimist said. “The festival offers student filmmakers the ability to network with each other and build creative bridges across the South.” The Black Warrior Film Festival is possible through partnerships with Creative Campus, The College of Communication and Information Sciences, Department of Telecommunication and Film, Department of Gender and Race Studies, Honors College Assembly, New College, Student Producer’s Association, Bama Dining, The Source and University Programs. For more information and a full schedule of events, visit Creative Campus is located within UA’s Office of Academic Affairs, Creative Campus is a collaborative system connecting students, faculty and community to nurture innovative thinkers who turn ideas into action. Creative Campus strives to collaborate and establish partnerships across campus and in the Tuscaloosa community; in doing so, the organization serves as a voice for the cultural arts. At the center of Creative Campus is the undergraduate and graduate intern program. For more information on Creative Campus visit: creativecamSofia Talvik

Bama Theatre. See local acts or tune in live to WVUA-FM. 19TH CENTURY WEDDING DRESSES LECTURE WHEN: 5:15 – 6:30 p.m. COST: $5 WHERE: Battle Friedman House, 1010 Greensboro Ave. PHONE: 758.6138 LINK: DESCRIPTION: As part of the Sundown Lecture Series sponsored by the Tuscaloosa Preservation Society, Dr. Virginia Wembley shares her knowledge of another era’s wedding traditions at the Battle-Friedman house. Light refreshments will be served at 5:15 and the lecture will start at 5:45.


PINK BOX BURLESQUE: CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE WHEN: 8 – 11 p.m. COST: $12 advance, $15 at the door WHERE: Bama Theatre PHONE: 758.5195 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Become a part of the show as Pink Box Burlesque allows the audience to choose Mona’s adventure as she travels through space and time to find a man. You can even place bets on where Mona will go and win prizes from local businesses. Doors open at 7 p.m. at the Historic Bama Theatre. ALABAMA BASEBALL VS AUBURN WHEN: 6:35 p.m. COST: $8 adult, $5 under 18 WHERE: Sewell-Thomas Stadium, 1201 Coliseum Circle PHONE: 348.2262 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Watch rival schools face off on the baseball diamond in the new and improved Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Friday is the first game of a four-day conference through Monday April 15. BLACK WARRIOR FILM FESTIVAL WHEN: 6:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Lloyd Hall, 6th Ave PHONE: 348.7884 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Come to this year’s showcase of student filmmakers at the University of Alabama’s Lloyd Hall. Films will play from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. on the first of this three day festival, with a secret keynote speaker being featured on Saturday, April 12. A detailed schedule is available online.


FIELD OF DREAMS 5K WHEN: 8 a.m. COST: $25 WHERE: Verner Elementary, 2701 Northridge Rd. PHONE: 759.3669 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Support the Field of Dreams community playground and get some exercise at this 5 kilometer run and 1k fun run at Verner Elementary School. All ages are welcome.


"URINETOWN" WHEN: 7:30 p.m. COST: $10 WHERE: Rowand Johnson Hall, Stadium Drive PHONE: 348.3400 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Set in a land where private bathrooms do not exist, the cast of "Urinetown" sings through topics of capitalism to municipal policies and Broadway musical spoofs. The University of Alabama theatre department will present this left-of-center musical at the Marian Gallaway Theatre in Rowand-Johnson Hall from April 14 to 20.


BREAKFAST & BINGO WHEN: 8 – 10 a.m. COST: $4 WHERE: McAbee Center, 3801 Loop Rd. PHONE: 562.3235 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Come join the fun at this delicious breakfast designed especially for seniors. After breakfast, paying customers can play bingo for free. HUXFORD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA WHEN: 7:30 pm. COST: $10 WHERE: UA's Moody Music Building PHONE: 348.7111 LINK: DESCRIPTION: The student orchestra performs their final concert of the season playing Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture, Op. 9, Beethoven’s Symphony no. 5, Op. 67. and the student concerto competition winner.


INDOOR COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE WHEN: All day COST: Free admission WHERE: Phelps Center, 2200 Rock Quarry Drive PHONE: 562.3230 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Hunt for bargains at the Park & Recreation community garage sale at the Phelps Center indoor gym. Booths sell out early but shoppers come in at any time, rain or shine.

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








Todd Rundgren, Variety Playhouse

ATLANTA Grouplove, Tabernacle

NASHVILLE Todd Barry, High Watt

NEW ORLEANS Tiesto, Club Ampersand



NASHVILLE BB King and Robert Cray Band, Schermerhorn Symphony Center

MONTGOMERY Black Jacket Symphony, Montgomery Performing Arts Center Eat a Peach, War Eagle Supper Club

BIRMINGHAM Josh Turner, Tin Roof Dopapod, WorkPlay Theatre NEW ORLEANS Mobb Deep, House of Blues

saturday, APRIL 5

NASHVILLE Lissie, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill The Smoking Section, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill

BIRMINGHAM Ying Yang Twins, Zydeco Umphrey’s McGee, Iron City Fly By Radio, Iron Horse Café


MONTGOMERY MissUsed, Rock Bottom

BIRMINGHAM Zoogma, WorkPlay Theatre

HUNTSVILLE Victoria Shaw and Robin Meade, Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center This City Awaits, The Basement ATLANTA Montgomery Gentry, Wild Bill’s

ATLANTA Brett Dennen, Variety Playhouse Twenty One Pilots, Tabernacle

NASHVILLE Weezer, Ryman Auditorium Reckless Kelly, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill


ATLANTA Marsha Ambrosius, Center Stage

ATLANTA Robert Cray Band, Variety Playhouse The Wonder Years, The Masquerade Scott Stapp, Center Stage


NEW ORLEANS Katt Williams, UNO Lakefront Arena Curren$y, House of Blues Kadavar plus Mothership, House of Blues Saint Bell feat. Bantam Foxes, Gasa Gasa


ATLANTA All That Remains, The Masquerade

NASHVILLE Superchunk with Bully, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom Whoopi Goldberg, Schermerhorn Symphony Center


BIRMINGHAM Lady Antebellum w/ Kip Moore and Kacey Musgraves, Oak Mountain Amphitheatre Debbie Bond and Rick Asherson at Pepper Place Market.


ATLANTA Railroad Earth, Variety Playhouse


NEW ORLEANS Kings of Leon, New Orleans Arena

NEW ORLEANS Dita von Teese, House of Blues

HUNTSVILLE Blackbird, Bishop’s East Side Pub Stigmatic, Sidetracked

BIRMINGHAM Goddamn Gallows, Zydeco Lee Roy Parnell and Strung Like a Horse, WorkPlay Theatre


MONTGOMERY The Montgomery Black Rodeo, Garrett Coliseum Doghouse Charlie, Playoffs Pub GypsyRiot, Blue Iguana Stereomonster, Alley Bar HUNTSVILLE Jonathon Laird, Simp McGhee’s Kozmic Mama, The Station Bar and Grill ATLANTA The O’Jays, Atlanta Civic Center Karmin, Center Stage


NASHVILLE Lacuna Coil, Exit In


BIRMINGHAM Nickel Creek, Alabama Theatre ATLANTA Bless the Fall, The Masquerade NEW ORLEANS Dar Williams, House of Blues



BIRMINGHAM The Milk Carton Kids, WorkPlay Theatre

BIRMINGHAM Lil Boosie, BJCC Tech N9ne, Iron City


ATLANTA YG, The Masquerade

MONTGOMERY Crashing Broadway, War Eagle Supper Club Whompus Cats, Irish Bred Pub


ATLANTA Bun B, The Loft

HUNTSVILLE The Family Stone and Guest, Von Braun Concert Hall

HUNTSVILLE The Dozens, The Brick Deli and Tavern


NEW ORLEANS Better Than Ezra, House of Blues

NEW ORLEANS The Lox, Howlin’ Wolf Slick Rick, Maison de Musique

BIRMINGHAM The Mowgli’s and The Misterwives, WorkPlay Theatre CBDB and Little Raine Band, Zydeco


NASHVILLE Bruce Springsteen, Bridgestone Arena HUNTSVILLE

Hunter Hayes w/ Danielle Bradbery, Von Braun Concert Hall

NASHVILLE Mandisa and Brandon Heath, Ryman Auditorium Zucchero, Exit In NEW ORLEANS Kid Ink, House of Blues

>>> 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. 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



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








Rhythm & Brews: Buck Wild Rounders: The Devines / DJ Spinzz


Rhythm & Brews: Casey Thrasher Green Bar: Poetry Reading 7pm Rounders: Soul Tide / DJ Spinzz Jupiter: Backroad Anthem




Green Bar: Take the Power Back, Economy Cartel Rhythm & Brews: Jason Miller Rounders: Plato Jones /DJ Spinzz


Green Bar: Open Mic with Ham Bagby



Rhythm & Brews: Anthony Orio


Rhythm & Brews: Rexton Lee Jupiter: Cole Swindell Green Bar: Dank Sinatra


Gray Lady: Nathan Cox


Rhythm & Brews: Missused Green Bar: Debbie Bond and Caroline Shines Rounders: Nic Snow Band



Green Bar: Open Mic with Ham Bagby


Green Bar: Motherfunk Jupiter: Curren$y



Rhythm & Brews: Velcro Pygmies Jupiter: Bass Jam II Green Bar: Slash Pine Press Release, Take the Power Back Rounders: Sean Rivers Band / DJ Spinzz


>>> 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

Mike's Place // 764-0185

The Booth // 764-0557

Downtown Pub // 750-0008

Innisfree // 345-1199

Mugshots // 391-0572


The Red Shed // 344-4372



>>> S P O R T S | R Y A N P H I L L I P S



A cold breeze blew in from right field as the SEC pennants flapped violently in the wind above Sewell-Thomas Stadium on the campus of the University of Alabama. Crimson Tide fans attending Saturday’s game-two against the No.9 Ole Miss Rebels (21-8, 4-5 SEC) shivered in their seats, while the Alabama bats got hot in extra innings. The weekend proved an exciting one for baseball fans in Tuscaloosa, who were given a show in each closely contested game of this exciting SEC West series. Despite the weather, the unranked Tide continued to roll as the descent into conference play began. After Alabama managed to pull out a 7-6-squeaker victory over the red-hot Rebels on Friday night, a dogfight ensued in the second game to decide the fate of the three game set. For the Crimson Tide, in the first matchup on a dreary Friday

evening, smart hitting and a healthy pitching performance from right-hander Spencer Turnbull (3-1) dictated the outcome. On Saturday, the Crimson Tide started off strong, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first. However, the Tide would not score again until the eighth inning. Junior left-handed starter Justin Kamplain (2-2) struck out 11 for the Tide while giving up four runs en route to a no decision after 6.2 innings. In the student section, the long line of crimson and white K’s hanging from the chain-link railings told a much more dominating story than the box score. Managing the hill for Ole Miss, lefty Christian Trent carried the Rebels through the first 6.1 innings, giving up two hits on five runs on his way to a no decision. Despite throwing the ball hard in a tough outing, Trent’s pitching was not enough to thwart a classic Crimson Tide comeback.

In the top-half of the seventh, Ole Miss Outfielder Braxton Lee accounted for two RBIs on a hard-hit single that gave the Rebels their first lead of the day, with Sikes Orvis rounding out the inning with an RBI single to cushion the lead at 4-2. Mississippi fans in the crowd leapt from their seats, and chants of “Hotty Toddy,” and “Lets Go Rebels,” could be heard, among other expletives, throughout Sewell-Thomas Stadium. However, this exuberance was ill fated. The Tide answered in the bottomhalf of the eighth, as the first four hitters reached base safely. After two Ole Miss relief pitchers struggled, and failed to complete an entire half-inning, freshman left-hander Wyatt Short (3-1) came in to finish regulation for the Rebels. After the damage was done, the Rebels and Tide could not end the game in nine innings, with anxiety and elation showing on the faces of both players and fan. As the Mercury on the temperature gauge dropped, a few faithful fans dug in, and wrapped themselves in blankets while sipping hot chocolate and cheering on their favorite ballplayers. Extra innings brought both a bitter wind-chill as night descended, and heart-warming excitement for those on the winning side. While many fans called it quits and headed home at the close of the ninth inning, those remaining in the stadium held their breath and got their money’s worth. The top of the tenth inning had fans of both twin-state schools standing on their feet as Alabama reliever Geoffrey Bramblett (2-0) came in from the bullpen with one out on the scoreboard. Despite giving up a run by way of a single from Sikes Orvis, Bramblett managed to stop the bleeding by getting out of the top-half of the inning with the score at 5-4 after striking out one. Tide fans erupted with support for the

home team after getting two runners on base from a walk and hit batsmen in the bottom half of the tenth. Following an Alabama sacrifice bunt and intentional walk, bases were loaded to set up an Austin Smith sacrifice fly-ball to tie the game at 5-5. As Tide slugger and infielder Hunter Webb walked from the on-deck circle to the batter’s box, the ecstatic banter of fans hushed to an audible murmur. The sounds of SEC pennants flapping in the wind also became quiet, as if sitting in patient anticipation. Webb took the plate against Wyatt Short with two outs, loaded bases and two dugouts full of anxious ballplayers. On one side, a team with single-digit losses and a top-ten ranking, and on the other, a ball club that has yet to enter the national spotlight. With a loud ping of aluminum, Webb cut through the strike zone and hit a solid line drive to mid-shallow center field to bring the winning run across the plate. A wave of crimson jerseys poured from the Tide dugout on the first base side to swarm the clutch performers as the gray-clad Rebels quietly exited the field into the locker room. Winning the series was not enough for the Crimson Tide baseball team though. Following the extra inning heroics of the night before, Alabama left-hander Jon Keller (5-1) tossed a complete game for the Tide on Sunday to lead them to a 3-1 victory over the Rebels in Alabama’s first sweep of a top-15 team in five years. Alabama (19-8, 6-3 SEC) will take on UL-Monroe in a one game home-stand on April 1 before traveling to College Station to play a three game series against Texas A&M. In the last season of baseball at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, the Crimson Tide is 15-3 when playing at home as of Sunday’s win.

Cory Whitsett



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



Dallas Warmack

With offers already in the bag from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, FSU, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State and Stanford, cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick of St. Peter's Prep in Jersey City, NJ ranks as one of the nation's elite prospects. The 6-1, 190-pound Fitzpatrick has Alabama "very high" on his list. Alabama is a great program. I like them a lot," he says. "Coach Saban is one of the greatest coaches to ever coach the game. He's a great defensive backs coach. Coach Smart is a great defensive coordinator. "I've been to the campus twice and I'm going back down there for A-Day, and I just like the overall atmosphere on campus. I really enjoy it every time I go down there." In high school, Fitzpatrick plays JASON MILLER BAND running back, receiver, cornerback and rHYTHM & BREWS // AUGUST 3 safety. According to Fitzpatrick, the Tide staff thinks he's talented enough to play any of those positions in college. He's projected as a corner. "They say that I'm a very versatile player," Fitzpatrick says. "I play more than one position. That makes me very valuable, especially going into college, because you never really know which position you're going to end up playing. I could play offense or defense. "I would prefer to play corner. I wouldn't mind playing safety if that's where I'm needed." Other schools that have caught Fitzpatrick's attention include Florida State, Ohio State and South Carolina. "Those and a few others have impressed me so far," Fitzpatrick says. "I've visited all of them and they all have a lot of the same things. That's what makes it so hard to choose between them. You could say the same things about all of them. They all have great coaches and they're all great universities." What will be the key factors in Fitzpatrick's decision? "I think it's going to come down to where I feel at home and where I feel I could live for three or four years," he says.

"I can play at almost any school in the country. I know they will all have great football, so it will come down to where I feel the most comfortable." Fitzpatrick plans to make his decision by this summer. "I want to try to get it over with," he says. "I think it will definitely be a final decision, because I don't want to commit somewhere and then de-commit and have to go through the whole thing over again. "Right now, it's all pretty much even. I don't have a leader."

year, Coach Smart was over here and watched him go through agility drills and was interested in him and started talking to him. "Alabama got in on him real early, and he always has good things to say about them when he comes back from visits there." Sandifer says that the visit last Saturday was "pretty good." "I had fun. I liked it. It's a friendly environment. There are friendly people everywhere. I like how Tuscaloosa is small town atmosphere. I like the intensity and the speed they practice with. The offensive linemen are solid and fast. They're big guys. The one who caught my eye was number 77, Kouandjio. He looked pretty good to me." Sandifer met with Nick Saban, Kirby Smart and OL coach Mario Cristobal. "It went pretty well. They seem very interested in me," Sandifer says. "They told me to keep working hard and keep my grades up. They're going to come by my school later this spring. "Coach Smart told me that they like me as a guard, but that I could probably play both guard and tackle."

Sandifer has picked up offers from Alabama, Florida, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Ohio State, South Carolina and Virginia. He's also drawing attention from Auburn, Georgia, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas. "I like Alabama a lot, but I really can't say that I have any favorites right now," Sandifer says. "Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska and Ohio State are coming after me pretty hard, too. I'm just going to take my time and keep taking visits. I'm hearing from schools all over the country right now, so I want to see what they have to offer." Coach Kinsler says that Sandifer warrants all of the recruiting attention he's getting. "He's a really good student," he says. "He does a really good job in the classroom and that sort of translates out in the football field. He knows the game well. He understands blocking schemes. He's the kind of offensive linemen that when he comes off and gets locked into a linebacker, it's hard for them to get rid of him. He's a really good run blocker. We've had a lot of success running behind him and he's gotten a lot quicker. He's been a really good player for us."



Several prospects were in Tuscaloosa recently to watch the Crimson Tide open spring practice. One of the biggest was Warner Robins-Northside, GA offensive lineman Brandon Sandifer. The 6-3, 327-pound Sandifer was making his third visit to Alabama. He's also attended summer camps at UA. "He really likes Alabama," says Northside head coach Kevin Kinsler. "Part of that is because Kirby Smart got in on him very early. Right before Brandon's sophomore

>>> 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


Television series that have more than one season usually keep the same plot, characters, and subplots in each season, to keep the watcher interested in the show. Viewers fall in love with a character and watch the show for said character. Other shows have had better luck changing plots a little, like adding different subplots in each season. "American Horror Story" is a different case, with each season featuring a new plot, new characters, and new setting. With three complete seasons under its belt, "American Horror Story" is booming right now, as each season is a different story. Season one, just titled "American Horror Story", featured a place called “Murder House” and the family that moves there. Ben, Vivien, and their daughter Violet move into the famous house to try and fix their family after Ben cheats on Vivien with a younger woman. The family endures horrors such as murder, ghosts, and eerie neighbors, all the while trying to stay alive. Season one featured Dylan McDermott as Ben Harmon, Connie Britton as Vivien Harmon and Taissa Farmiga as Violet Harmon. Other actors included Evan Peters, Jessica Lange, Jamie Brewer and Zachary Quinto. Season One aired in 2011. Season two, aptly titled "American Horror Story": Asylum, was set in Briarcliff Asylum in the 1960’s. Instead of following just one plot, Asylum followed two characters, Kit Walker and Lana Winters, and their journies into the asylum. Kit Walker, played by Evan Peters, claims he was abducted and probed by aliens. The police, needing a scapegoat to make up for not having found him, sends Walker to the asylum as a criminal, accused of being the notorious killer Bloody Face. Lana Winters, played by newcomer Sarah Paulson, is a lesbian journalist who is trying to get an in depth story on the asylum and it’s newest inhabitant. After digging too deeply, she is locked away by the proprietor of Briarcliff, Sister Jude. Kit and Lana meet all different kinds of inmates, some there for a reason, others prisoners, and get into trouble themselves. Season two left Britton, Brewer and Farmiga out of their line up, adding Sarah Paulson to the cast and keeping the rest of the cast members. Season two aired in 2012. Season three, titled Coven, was set in the historic city of New Orleans. Zoe Benson, after putting her boyfriend in the hospital in a very peculiar way, is whisked away by her mother and Aunt Myrtle to a special school in New Orleans, Miss Robichaux’s Academy For Girls. It turns out the school isn’t an ordinary school. It houses a sacred coven of witches, and Zoe joins their ranks. The coven is rocky and small, mostly consisting of new witches, and is lead by Cordelia Foxx, the headmistress of the school. Delia’s mother, Fiona Goode, returns to the school after a health crises and takes her place as headmistress. The girls try to fight off people wishing to destroy the last witches in the coven, all the while growing into their new powers and dealing with problems they get themselves into. Coven kept some of the veteran actors, including Taissa Farmiga, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, and Jessica Lange. They added new cast members, including Emma Roberts, and brought back supporting actors from season one. Just as quickly as season three ended, the show was renewed for a fourth season. Director Ryan Murphy made the announcement on his twitter, saying the new season would air in October, as all the other season have. Little is known about the new season, with only a few promotional pictures released. Finally, on March 24th via his Twitter, Murphy made a big announcement for four, releasing the title. The newest installment of the anthology will be titled Freak Show. Entertainment Weekly released new details, including setting, plot, and actors. Jessica Lange returns as a German ex-pat who flees to Jupiter, Florida in the 1950’s. She ends up running a freak show, rescuing her “acts” and bringing them to the safety of her show. Her band of characters include former actor Evan Peters, who has acted in all of the seasons, and brings back Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, and Frances Conroy, all of whom were in Coven. Nothing else has been released about four, except that it will air in October of this year. The show held its own in ratings, but Coven reigned supreme with the season finale bringing a whopping 4.2 million viewers. Fans of psychological thriller shows will adore the twists and turns that keep the viewer on the edges of their seats. Seasons one and two of "American Horror Story" are available for streaming on Netflix, and Coven is available online. "American Horror Story" airs on FX, and there has been no official release date for "Freak Show."





w eekly overvie w



You probably won't feel like working today, Taurus. You may not be tired, but you're probably bored, restless, and unable to focus. It's best to concentrate on routines or mundane chores you can do automatically on days like this. Put on your headphones. Take a long, leisurely lunch or perhaps brunch with friends. It's important to have some fun. Think of it as an exercise to balance your usually serious self! Love matters could appear to be moving far more slowly than you'd like, Gemini. Both you and your romantic interest may be overloaded with responsibilities now and unable to see each other much. It's frustrating, but you'll get through it. In the meantime, don't let your insecurities get the better of you. Just because your friend is busy doesn't mean that your relationship is on the rocks. Be patient!

The week's planetary configuration will give you a strong urge to be out and about, Cancer, but responsibilities could keep you at home or the office. Perhaps you're waiting for a delivery or an important phone call or visitor. This could be boring and rather tedious for you today. Find something to do that engrosses you, even if it's only reading or catching up on paperwork. There's no point in just twiddling your thumbs!

Are your views about certain intellectual or spiritual matters slowly changing, Leo? If so, you may not be all that comfortable with the changes. Traditional values and ideas could seem especially attractive to you today, so your resistance could be greater than normal. Yet you know you can't stay the same way forever. Give yourself a break today. Tomorrow you'll be back in the groove and on your way to transforming. Business success may have come your way, Virgo, but today you could find yourself feeling a little sad and wondering why, since there's no real reason to feel this way. What's going on is probably, first of all, a letdown, since your brain is no longer churning out the endorphins. Second, you may be wondering where you go from here. Only you can decide that. Set a new goal and move on.

Today you could feel torn between the desire to get a little exercise and a powerful inclination to curl up in your favorite chair and catch up on some reading, Libra. There isn't any reason why you can't do both. Go out for a brisk walk and then reach for a favorite book when you return. The key isn't giving up on one, but attaining a balance between the two.

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

Do you have the uncomfortable feeling that you've forgotten something but you have no idea what it is, Scorpio? Are you haunted by the memory of a seemingly insignificant past event, but can't figure out why? It isn't a good idea to obsess over either. You'll remember whatever it is eventually. You'll soon realize the significance of the memory. Your subconscious is trying to tell you something. You can't rush it, so relax!

If you've been thinking about starting a new creative project, Sagittarius, don't try to do it today. Friends and family could vie for your attention and distract you. Other responsibilities could interfere with your desire to get going on it now. Don't hesitate to try to come up with ideas, but you might have to wait until tomorrow to start the work. Tomorrow you should be raring to go. Be patient!

Business might be going very well for you, Capricorn, but intense changes on the job could have you feeling stressed. Delays in starting new projects could prove frustrating. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that this is going to be a trend. All should be brought back into focus tomorrow. Go to the gym tonight and work off some frustration. You'll be fresh in the morning. Hang in there!

Have you been planning a vacation to a distant place, Aquarius? Unexpected, discouraging glitches could interfere with your plans, which could have you thinking that you'll just cancel the trip. You might be tempted to pick up the phone and do it. Take no action today. The entire situation should be straightened out by tomorrow, and you'll look forward to your trip again. Stay focused and don't do anything rash.

Money matters could have you descending into a state of pure gloom, Pisces. On the surface it might seem like you'll never be able to sort through all the paperwork, but you will. Don't give up. Stay focused on the task and take one step at a time. Before you know it, your efficiency and practicality should have it sorted out and behind you. Cheer up, and plan a great evening!

Is your sweetheart out of town, Aries? If so, you're probably feeling a bit lonely and insecure. You need to ignore those fantasies of your beloved out on the town having a great time with lots of glamorous people. Your friend is most likely as bored as you are, either transacting business or fulfilling family obligations. Relax, find something to do, and the time will pass before you know it.





Across 1. Talk glowingly about one's children, e.g. 5. NBA Hall of Famer George 10. Medium bra size 14. ___ Strauss & Co. 15. Arise from 16. Dalai ___ 17. Medical transplant need 19. Prefix with dextrous 20. Doohickey 21. Diana Rigg's role on "The Avengers" 23. Polar explorer Richard 26. Places for wedding vows 27. Theater promo 32. Reagan antimissile plan, for short 33. Canary cousin 34. 1980 DeLuise movie 38. Pro ___ (proportionate) 40. Rolled fare 42. ___ Alto, California 43. Tress tamer 45. "And __ Wrote": Shearing 47. Family relation, for short 48. Winner of 200 NASCAR races 51. Typewriter bar 54. Young falcon 55. Centennial state 58. Goose group 62. Different: Comb. form 63. ___panty hose 66. Filed item 67. File material 68. Candy brand with caramel and chocolate 69. "___ bein!" (French accolade) 70. Fellini's "La ___ Vita" 71. Bird on a lake Down 1. Keep a Web journal 2. Grist for the operagoer 3. Hits รท at-bats stats: Abbr.



4. Yankee player Jason who was named in the Mitchell report 5. The ___ Squad 6. 'Sands of ___ Jima' 7. Actor Holliday 8. Kind of smasher 9. Standard 10. Baloney 11. ___ cropper (failed) 12. Earthy pigment 13. Buckets 18. "The wind was a torrent of darkness" author 22. Hebrew "A" 24. Mail carriers' assignments: Abbr. 25. Noted "sexpert" 27. Abbr. after an asterisk in a car ad 28. East Indian vine 29. Resume 30. Wife of Muhammad 31. Belong 35. Put below deck 36. Aperture 37. Like molasses 39. Fans, e.g. 41. Memorial Day race, informally 44. Row or rank 46. Honorless bid 49. Strained to see 50. Glacier residue 51. Hardly any 52. Kind of cap or circle 53. Kate's TV roomie 56. Major follower 57. "The ___ lama, he's...": Nash 59. Sufficient, old style 60. Majorca or Minorca: Sp. 61. Gas in a store sign 64. Tolkien baddie SOLUTION FOR PUZZLEMANIA CROSSWORD ON PAGE 27

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BOOK REVIEW CO N T I N U E D F R O M PAG E 6 in which her Alabama racial acculturation collided headlong with her inherent sense of human decency and the guilt she felt from that incident. How many thousands of white Southerners must she have spoken for in the few paragraphs she wrote about that encounter? On their trips back and forth between West Virginia and Alabama, Sue and David would also have passed near Scottsboro, Alabama, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the 1931 "Scottsboro Boys" events unfolded. Some of the cross-racial organizing around that famous case took place within the labor movement, which was gethering force after the lection of FDR in 1932 and factored into the coal miners' strikes. Sue describes these strikes in some detail. Sue describes a thousand miners—of both races—from the Cahaba coalfields arming themselves and surrounding a building in Coleanor where the owners and their armed guards were discussing how to break the current strike. This event in March of 1934 ended without bloodshed, due largeley to the positive influence of the union leaders. The owners surrendered and agreed to negotiate. David, armed with his own weapon, participated in thise event, and Sue respected him for it. After the Depression, things got better for the Picketts, as they did for families across America, due in large part to FDR's reforms. David became superintendent Trainof the No. 9 mine in West Blocton, Alabama, and he moved his family into the spacious superintendent's house. When he took a job in another mine, his successor chose not to live in that house, and David was able to buy it, much to Sue's delight. The Picketts spent their last years there, and Sue resumed a journalistic career begun back in West Virginia. For a number of years she wrote a column for the Centreville Press. Typically, she began by describing the beauties of nature, recording rapturously the first jonquils of the season or the first blooming of the dogwoods. She then wrote of family and friends, and she often ended with religious musings and exhortations. I discovered Sue Picett from these articles, and she was in her eighties when I first met her. Friends from West Blocton took my wife and me to visit her at the superintendent's house. It remains a memorable experience. Dressed in white slacks and a white blouse, a beautiful lady with her white hair piled on her head invited us into her living room. I have always heard of understated elegance, but I saw it that day in that room, with its few well-chosen decorations. While we were there, she brought out a large box containing manuscripts, correspondence regarding her writing, and newspaper clippings. She showed us a letter from a magazine editor accepting a short story and complimenting her on her writing. Later on, when I read The Path Was Steep, my mind went back to that day, as the same pride, love of beauty, and kindness I witnessed then are present on every page of the memoir. The book gives us not only a window into a significant era in our nation's history, but a fine example of a life well-lived. Norman McMillan retired as a professor of English at the University of Montevallo. He is the author of Distant Son: An Alabama Boyhood.

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stupid drunk, and set a bad example for locals' treatment of other hobos. 7. When jungling in town, respect handouts; do not wear them out. Another hobo will be coming along who will need them as badly, if not worse than you. 8. Always respect nature. Do not leave garbage where you are jungling. 9. If in a community jungle, always pitch in and help. 10. Try to stay clean, and boil up whereever possible. 11. When traveling, ride your train respectfully, take no personal chances, cause no problems with the operating crew or host railroad, act like an extra crew member. 12. Do not cause problems in a train yard, another hobo will be coming along who will need passage through that yard. 13. Do not allow other hobos to molest children; expose all molesters to authorities. They are the worst garbage to infest any society.

It is unclear exactly when hobos first appeared on the American railroading scene. With the end of the Civil War in the 1860s, many discharged veterans returning home began hopping freight trains. Others looking for work on the American frontier followed the railways west aboard freight trains in the late 19th century. The number of hobos increased greatly during the Great Depression era of the 1930s. With no work and no prospects at home, many decided to travel for free by freight train and try their luck elsewhere. Life as a hobo was dangerous. In addition to the problems of being itinerent, poor, and far from home and support, plus the hostility of many train crews, they faced the railroads' security staff, nicknamed "bulls," who had a reputation of violence against trespassers. Moreover, riding on a feight train is dangerous in itself. Many hobos were severely injured or killed as a result of falling under the wheels when trying to jump aboard a train. It was easy to be trapped between cars and one could freeze to death in bad weather. No matter the life of the hobo though, early era hobos were known to be gracious and downright amusing when dealing with people. A national hobo convention was started in Britt, Iowa, in 1900, and continues to this day on the second weekend in August. Hobos are bound by a Hobo Ethical Code which was voted upon at the first convention. The Code is as follows:

3. Don't take advantage of someone who is in a vulnerable situation, locals, or other hobos. 4. Always try to find work, even if temporary, and always seek out jobs nobody wants. By doing so you not only help a business along, but ensure employment should you return to that town again. 5. When no employment is available, make your own work by using your added talents at crafts.

14. Help all runaway children, and try to induce them to return home. 15. Help your fellow hobos whenever and wherever needed. You may need their help someday. Special thanks to Old Tennessee Valley Magazine for permission to reprint this article. To subscribe to Old Tennessee Valley, a monthly magazine of Southern History, Humor, Tall Tales & Legends, send $19 for a one year subscription, or $34 for a two year subscription, to OTV, P.O. Box 2337, Decatur, AL 35602.

6. Do not allow yourself to become a

1. Decide your own life; don't let another person run or rule you. 2. When in town, always respect the local law and officials, and try to be a gentleman at all times.

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HOW TO WRITE WITHOUT HAVING ANYTHING AT ALL TO WRITE ABOUT // THE T-TOWN SMOKESTACK CAPER Sometimes a writer’s great fear is that the keyboard sitting there right under the fingers will turn blank, useless. I know would-be writers who were so traumatized by the blankness of it all that they never, ever attempted to write again. All us other writers know this feeling, but those of us who refuse to stop are the ones who keep turning out the books and stories and columns and poems. Here’s an example of a piece that wrote itself without my help. Every line is true and actually happened. I just didn’t know the story was within me. I did not let the fact that I had nothing to write about stop my fingers from writing: SMOKESTACK It was a cool and clear and pleasant night, the night he raised his foot and placed it flat dead-center on the first rung. The rung felt solid and made a satisfying metallic thud when his shoe came to rest. There were no handrails on each side of the rung, so he grabbed the next rusty metal rung with both hands and gave himself a little lift with his other foot, then slowly unbent his rung leg so that he could ascend and place his other foot upon the rung. He gave the next rung up a quick shake to see whether its seeming stability was real. Looking straight ahead, he saw a rung right before his eyes, dividing the cold red bricks comprising the smokestack with a perfectly horizontal line. He looked down to the rung above the one he was facing and hesitated. Should he try to rise to this next one? Why not? No-one else was around, the property from which the smokestack jutted was deserted this time of night. And the smokestack was just standing there, where it had been waiting for him for the fifteen years he had lived within sight of it. His right foot rose and touched the next rung. Shifting his weight to the ball of this foot, he quickly and carefully brought his other foot up and, behold, he was standing on rung number two! His hands went one at a time up to the next rung. He remembered the first rule of wing-walking: never let go of one thing until you’ve gotten hold of something else. He did not want to look up yet, because the smokestack was so very tall. He did not yet need to look down at the ground because he was just a few feet up. He still could drop to the surface and not get hurt. He looked up at the next rung and grabbed it, then down at the lower rung and repeated his previous motions, carefully climbing to the next level. Then, he proceeded to go several more rungs upward, taking care to be methodical, taking care to gaze only straight ahead at the old red bricks. Before he knew it, he did not know where he was on the smokestack. Had he gotten halfway up? He knew he was too far up to drop back safely. He knew he would probably die were he to fall at this point, so he held on even tighter to the rusty iron rungs, aware that some of the cement holding the bricks together was beginning to flake off here and there in response to the unfamiliar tugging at the iron rungs imbedded in it. Still, the rungs seemed firm. Should he continue? Should he go all the way to the top? Nobody would ever know if he decided to back out, decided to descend while he still had the strength. He tried to go down one step to see what it was like. He was surprised to find that going down to a lower rung was a lot harder than going up. His foot did not find the rung as easily as he had imagined. He could not see where his foot was on the rung because he was clinging so tightly to the upper rungs. He could look down from side to side, but he could not look straight down at his feet. He froze there for a moment, his breath made visible in the coolness of the night, his heavy breathing the only sound he could hear at the moment, the pounding in his ears was the pounding of his heart, the buzzing was from the adrenalin rush from this unfamiliar experience. He squeezed his eyes shut, took a deep breath, and started climbing again. You’re only fifteen years old once, he thought. Soon, he was near the top of the smokestack. He must be near the top, he thought, though he could not quite look straight up. The next rung he grasped wiggled in the cement. It was coming loose from ages of neglect, ages of hot weather changing to humid weather changing to wet weather changing to cold weather changing to icy weather. Expanding, contracting, meshing cement against brick, different textures slowly eroding and grinding each other down and loose. He tried not to panic. I’m too close to the top, he screamed without opening his mouth or engaging his vocal folds. Gotta do it, he thought. He parted his teeth and sucked in more cold air, then started climbing again. He was suddenly at the top, peering at the soot-stained interior of the thick smokestack rising above the town of Tuscaloosa, rising above his little neighborhood, overlooking Northington Campus and Northington Elementary School and the Board of Education and the University’s Student Housing and Eastwood Avenue and 15th Street. Off in the distance he could hear the hollow mellow lonely sound of a train whistle. He could see the glow of lights from Downtown Tuscaloosa off in the distance. He could see the stars hanging exactly where they would be hanging a million years from now whether or not he ever made it down from the top of this smokestack, whether or not he ever told anybody what he had done, whether or not he ever even understood why he would do a thing such as this. He quickly started going down the smokestack rung by rung, forgetting how difficult it was going to be, determined to stay alive to the bottom, determined to live long enough to try to understand why anybody would do such a thing as climb a tall smokestack filled with loosening bricks and wobbling iron rungs in the middle of the night in the early part of his life. When he wrote it all down a half century later, he began to understand why he had done it but he had great difficulty putting it all down so that you could understand it as deeply as he ©2014 by Jim Reed




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For more than 20 years, the metal band GWAR has led an army of scumdog fans on a campaign against all that is held sacred. Formed by design students in Richmond, Virginia, they took on controversial topics with uncompromising humor. Politics, religion, celebrities and more were lampooned by the group. But the most distinctive feature of the band was their elaborate costumes they performed in. The presented themselves as grotesque aliens straight out of an H. P. Lovecraft story. And their live show was the stuff of legend, filled with fake blood and staged executions. If you went to a show, you never wore anything that couldn’t be thrown away the next day. Unfortunately, the future of this staple of the heavy metal underground may be over. On March 24th, longtime GWAR front man Dave Brockie was found dead in his Virginia home. He was just 50 years old. Dressed as the tentaclebearded Oderus Urungus, Brockie was the face, voice, and artistic leader of the group. His love of horror and sci-fi helped to develop the band’s bizarre mythology and lyrics. The cause of death is yet to be determined. Even worse, the band was still dealing with the death of their lead guitarist Cory Smoot, who passed away of a coronary condition in 2011. As controversial as the band was, they were also beloved by many. They were guests of many talk show hosts, from Jerry Springer to Howard Stern to Dan Patrick. Their respect among fans, musicians and other entertainers was incredible. Their outrageous videos made them favorites on MTV despite not having strong record sales, mainly due to them being a constant on Beavis and Butthead. They were a band made for the television-age of popular music. GWAR were not the first or last group to use shock value in their music and shows. Going back to the early days of rock and roll, audiences were frightened by the voodoo ceremonies of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and pagan rituals of Arthur Brown. Alice Cooper set the standard for shock-value in a live show, using elaborate stage props to add macabre theatricality to his shows. KISS took that to the next level, creating characters based off of their own personalities. Later groups took much darker tones in shock, including Venom, who are partially responsible for the Norwegian Black Metal scene, where bands openly practice Satanism and even burned churches in the early 90’s. More mainstream acts included the anarchistic sexuality of Marilyn Manson, and the chaotic violence of Slipknot. But GWAR was not your typical shock rock group. Humor was always a major part of their show. To be fair, it would be silly to take oneself too seriously when dressed like a barbaric, alien monster. It was this humor that made the band more accessible than the countless other shock groups they either followed or inspired. Brockie did many interviews dressed as Oderus Urungus, staying in character the entire time. From threatening to take over the planet, to doing drugs with world leaders, to lusting over Joan Jett, Oderus never failed to make outrageous and hilarious statements whenever he was interviewed. GWAR’s music should not be overlooked either. Given Brockie’s punk background as a former member of Death Piggy, their early recordings contained fairly simple songs that had more attitude than chords. But as the 90’s progressed, so did their talent. By the 2000’s, they were recording some of the best thrash metal songs since the glory days of the Big Four. Songs such as “War Party”, “Gor Gor”, “Penguin Attack” and “Let Us Slay!” show such progression. Dave Brockie’s death brought on an outpouring of respect from metal musicians everywhere. Members of Lamb of God, In Flames, Anthrax and Insane Clown Posse were just a few of those who took to social media to express their remorse over the fall of Oderus Urungus. There will be a public service held the day after their planned GWAR-B-Q in August. RIP Oderus Urungus. RIP Dave Brockie






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