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


STATE OF THE SCHOOLS // NEXT CHAMBER IN SESSION Save the Date for Next Chamber in Session: State of the Schools Our annual State of the Schools event is set for Tues., June 17 at Hotel Capstone from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Expect presentations from Dr. Tommy Bice, Dr. Elizabeth Swinford and Dr. Paul McKendrick. Also, a special program is being prepared for this same morning. Stay tuned for more info. Leadership Tuscaloosa Plans Community Garage Sale Benefit It's time for the ritual of spring cleaning and we have a place for the items you will undoubtedly wish to dispose of — all for a great cause! The 2014 class of Leadership Tuscaloosa has partnered with the West Alabama Council of the Boy Scouts, Tuscaloosa's One Place, and the Tuscaloosa YMCA to address springtime cleaning while at the same time providing the hope of a fresh start to thousands of West Alabama's youth. A community-wide garage sale called Bargains for Books has been planned to help promote youth literacy. The sale will


APRIL 17 + MAY 1

be held on Apr. 19 at the Tuscaloosa YMCA from 6a.m. until noon. Food and Buffalo Rock drinks will be provided to those who shop the sale. Spring cleaning (and shopping) has never been so easy, so fun, or so worthwhile. Visit www.bargainsforbooks. com or to learn more. PowerPoint Refresher PLUS! (Hot Design Tips) This workshop assumes that you have worked with other Microsoft programs (Word/Excel) and know the basics. Includes an illustrated workbook. Facilitator is Donna Gilliland, MOSTraining, Inc. Class will be presented Apr. 25 at the Chamber from 9a.m. – 4 p.m. Cost is $140/for members and $165/non-members Contact Stacey at or 391.0559 for more info. Save the Date for Washington Fly-In The annual Washington Fly-In is set for Sept. 24–26. As always, our schedule while

in the nation's capital will allow time for interaction with our members of Congress as well as engagements with other elected officials. It's also an opportunity, unlike any other, to network with fellow Chamber members. This year, the agenda will include some fun time at a Washington Nationals baseball game. Make plans to join us and watch for more info coming soon. Theatre Tuscaloosa Named April Difference Maker Our DMA winner for April is Theatre Tuscaloosa. Managing Director Adam Miller accepted the award from Greg Rogers at our April mixer. The group's mission is to provide quality theatre opportunities for Tuscaloosa and surrounding areas through the production of plays and educational outreach. The summer camp it presents for our area's youth is an example of the group's good works. Also, the Pay-What-You-Can Previews offered before plays assure that everyone is able to enjoy theatre, so that cost isn't a hindering factor. This money is

then donated to the Charlie Dennis Memorial Scholarship Fund to Technical Theatre at Shelton State. Learn more at Together with Moody Radio, we recognize a group each month for making a positive difference in our community. Nominate a group today (even your own) Arts 'n Autism Gets New Home It's official! Arts 'n Autism has a new home at 2625 8th St. in Tuscaloosa (corner of 8th & Lurleen Wallace). It's functional, beautiful and in a great location. So happy for this wonderful group. Congrats! Avis/Budget Car Rentals Opens in Northport Avis/Budget Car Rentals just opened at 1104 McFarland Blvd., in Northport. This concept allows you to choose between two great brands under one roof. Call 205-3300077 for details.

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Experts weigh in and the myths must be stopped







RACING TO HELP // KENDALL MAYS 3rd Annual Dragon Boat races



2 0 5 . 5 2 3 .1460

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 four 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.

// JEROME ADAMS Hurrican Creek cleanup fun, yet daunting

17 SECRET MEALS FOR HUNGRY KIDS // WILLIAM BARSHOP Youth triathletes from across the state raise money to fight hunger

20 JIM OAKLEY // STEPHEN SMITH The face of Reese Phifer Hall


Tornado memoir... The town that's in my heart


entertainment 7



How the tornado changed my relationship with Tuscaloosa




Events Calendar


Road Trip


Tuscaloosa music

23 Horoscopes // Sudoku 24 CROSSWORD PUZZLe


APRIL 17 + MAY 1


>>> M OV I N ' O N I N | K E N DA L L M AYS


Stepping into any new role has its challenges. There’s the usual concern of being “the new guy”, the frenzied pace of deadlines, and a whirlwind of passion, doubt, luck, compassion and empathy. We’ve all been there in one way or another. But since becoming part of the Planet Weekly, the steps have been steady. Replacing Ryan Phillips is a job few are capable of, or deserving of. The Anniston Star is a great step up as he launches full-bore into his journalism career. So, in trusting me with the task, Planet Weekly has found a man with a penchant for perseverance and ethics. As we move forward as a publication, we will continue to pursue the issues, entertainment, style, and culture that make the Planet Weekly Tuscaloosa’s lively alternative. The staff has been nothing but helpful and supportive, and that confidence will be repaid with quality content and an unwavering commitment to the people that have made this possible. Working as journalist, student, and instructor in both print and broadcast has equipped me with a better understanding of what is most important in our publication — you. The best way for this publication to reach its full potential is with proper direction, good writing, and you. The Planet Weekly is expanding. We’ve seen a nice jump in readership and online viewing. PW ’s online editions, website visits, twitters, Facebook, and other social sites generate hundreds of thousands of impressions every month. We have a huge print audience of many thousands in Tuscaloosa, Hale, and Greene counties, with a near-100 percent pick-up rate. Those figures are impressive and they validate our publisher's vision for the Planet Weekly. We intend to continue gaining momentum both online and in print. Planet Weekly will soon be launching an all-new


APRIL 17 + MAY 1

>>>N E W S | X X X X X X

xxxxxxx // xxxxxx 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 l

website with a seamless layout and mobile capability. All the articles in print will soon be available with image galleries and an open comment section. We hope to hear from you online. The new website will also feature video components and online exclusives not seen at the newsstand. With a staff that is comprised of upand-coming local journalists (some are award-winners) and contributors covering news, arts, entertainment, and lifestyle, the PW continues to distinguish itself, in my opinion. While I'm on my soap box, I want to add that the PW will continue to cultivate hard-edged, unbiased, and fair coverage regardless of who is involved. We have seen that the climate of American media locally and nationally has continued down a path of disrespectful discourse, shouting matches, and veritable fingerpointing. This is detrimental to everyone. A lack of reliable information can displace and disillusion even the most active citizen. We look to foster a forum of discussion and understanding to help readers positively impact our community. It goes without saying that a big component in the development of a good publication includes you, as was mentioned earlier. As we continue to expand both our print and online profile, we welcome your input. Planet Weekly will open every avenue of communication between us and you. Find us on Facebook at or on Twitter @theplanetweekly, and leave us a comment. Our digital publication is on Search: Planet Weekly. We promise to continue giving you a useful newspaper, excellent online interaction, and a good comprehensive approach to storytelling and reporting. Thanks for being with us. You are as much a part of this publication as anyone at the PW. This is why we've been here for 14 years.


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to school on Monday,” Garriot said. “It’s The numbers are rising. Donations sad to say but there are parents who would have slowed down. The city is still recovering from a natural disaster. Yet many still do rather spend that food money on drugs. Or cigarettes. Or alcohol.” not believe Tuscaloosans are going hunThe other groups served by the Unigry, said Vernita Garriott of the University versity Church of Christ are made up of Church of Christ food pantry. people living with disabilities, an area in “They don’t see it, so they don’t believe which the Garriott family has a lot of expeit,” Garriot said. “After the tornado, everyone in the US sent money and food, but out rience. Vernita, who is blind, has a Master’s degree in special education, and Bob was of sight, out of mind.” born without his right arm. Together, the According to a recent Gallup poll, the couple has adopted nine children with number of individuals who struggle to disabilities and become foster parents to feed themselves and their families has many more. For people who don’t have increased in the past year, and Alabama any disability, it is hard to imagine how that is among the top five states for people could prevent someone from overcoming who go hungry. More than 22 percent of poverty, Vernita said. Alabama residents Despite the reported they did not “Many children go growing problem of have enough money hunger that has only for food at some home unfed on Friday gotten worse since point in the last 12 and don’t eat until they the 2011 tornado, months. come back to school on bad situations are rarely resolved be>>The Face of Monday,” fore it’s too late. Tuscaloosa’s “You hear about Poor a child who kills his parents and find out The profile of the average hungry there were problems all along,” Garriott person is skewed in many people’s minds, said. “You hear about an elderly person Garriott said. The four groups targeted by who overdoses on medication because the University Church of Christ are rehathey’re tired of living.” bilitating children, disabled veterans, the elderly and children with cognitive impair>>Dangerous Myths ments. Garriott said people imagine an While Garriott said she has seen an able-bodied adult begging for food, but in increase in people stuck in bad situations, Tuscaloosa, the hungry are those with little there are other resources for people who opportunity to “get back on their feet,” and these are the groups that become invisible. find themselves in an emergency with no way to pay for food. “In Memphis, Tennessee, almost every Karen Thompson, a social worker at corner has a hungry person with a sign asking for help,” Garriott said. “Around here Temporary Emergency Services, said she sees in an increase in this kind of hunger the police discourage that, so you don’t as well. see it. You never see a child living under a “There are individuals that may be bridge.” Instead of begging on the streets, many working but they need to spend their paycheck on repairing a car or warming their of Tuscaloosa’s hungry pass through the house in the winter,” Thompson said. halls of schools every day. The real trouble Temporary Emergency Services generis when these children have to go home for ally gives out one or two bags of groceries the weekend, Garriott said. to people referred to them by other social “Many children go home unfed on services. Thompson said people would be Friday and don’t eat until they come back

surprised how much of the donations go directly to people in need. “That’s one of those myths, that people receiving food are just going to waste it,” Thompson said. “With the type of food we give, I don’t think there’s any waste.” Another myth Thompson said makes people reluctant to donate is the perception of rampant welfare fraud. “We know there are some people who will do that, but it’s such a small percentage,” Thompson said. “When things like that are carried out, you’re hurting the other 90 percent. Not because they’re taking that much food but because those are the incidents people remember.” According to the U.S. Government Printing Office welfare Flo funding Ridamade up 0.47 percent of the total U.S. budget. While politicians criticize the welfare system for creating a cycle of dependency, Addie Dunn of Beat Auburn, Beat Hunger says she worries about the matter at hand when collecting food. “I understand that it can be seen as people becoming dependent on the foodbank,” Bunn said. “But at this level of poverty you have to do something.”

>>How to Help

Beat Auburn, Beat Hunger collects food donations in the six weeks leading up the University of Alabama’s Iron Bowl game against Auburn University. Bunn said the community does an amazing job of rallying around the spirit of competition and putting a huge amount of food in the West Alabama Food Bank. “We compete and we work together with Auburn,” Bunn said. “This year we collected 300 thousand pounds of food in six weeks.” Even outside of big events like Beat Auburn, Beat Hunger, many big players in the Tuscaloosa community have taken steps to reliably help people in need. “We have to say thank you to the community,” Garriot said. “We need to thank restaurants that offer us food instead of throwing it in the garbage.” Garriott noted large amounts of donated food from Pizza Hut, Chipotle, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Hungry Howie’s

and Longhorn Steakhouse. She recalled an order of 80 pizzas at Hungry Howie’s that was never picked up, so the restaurant donated them. Longhorn Steakhouse periodically offers meat trimmings for the church to make into a stew. Garriot recommended suggesting the idea to restaurants around Tuscaloosa, or asking what happens to their leftover food. Personal donations are always helpful, especially of healthy food, which can be too expensive to purchase regularly. “We accept canned foods, frozen foods,” Thompson said. “Fresh vegetables are always welcome, if you have a garden. If you have twelve tomatoes bring some in that you won’t eat.” Bunn said for West Alabama Food Bank, monetary donations can allow the group to be flexible. “Cans and non-perishables are great because they last for most of the year,” Bunn said. “But with a monetary donation the food bank can purchase what they really need. They might get fresh fruit one week and distribute that.” One of the best ways to help is to organize a way for many people to make donations. “The food bank is about out of food,” Garriott said. “Have some kind of event or competition to raise funds.” With all the help the West Alabama Food Bank can provide, sometimes it is small acts of trust and kindness that can help someone get on their feet. Garriott talked about an acquaintance of hers who fell on hard times after the store where she worked unexpectedly closed. The woman and one of her two sons both have a disability, so she was grateful to finally found a job opportunity at Taco Casa, but needed the proper shoes for the employee uniform and gas money to drive to the interview and back. Garriott offered some money from her own pocket. “Some people don’t have extended family,” Garriott said. “Some people don’t have special skills.” Garriott urged Tuscaloosa to look out for people who might be starving, and to come to terms with the reality that hunger is a problem in our own backyard.

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

Jacob Thompson APRIL 17 + MAY 1


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As early as 2 a.m on April 19 — last year — dedicated vinyl lovers of all ages arrived at Tuscaloosa's well-known local record and music store, Oz Music, to wait eight hours till the opening rush of the nationally-recognized “Record Store Day” event at 10 a.m. By sunrise, a line of over 100 people spilled into the streets—each person waiting for their chance to burst through the door and grab an untouched disk for their back-in-style music collection. “See, this year people are even asking me if I have a port-a-potty, they're emailing me their top tier list—these [Record Store Day] people have a strategy,” Jason Patton, the Oz Music Store Manager for 14 years, said. Oz Music, which is “arguably the premier source for music in the State of Alabama,” according to the official Record Store Day website,, released over 300 major labels for its seventh annual Record Store Day on Saturday, April 19. Located at 506 14th Street, Patton offered a free cook-out at noon and featured live performances from six-to-seven local bands throughout the day. “It's crazy—it comes and goes so fast


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every year,” Andrew Moody, Assistant Manager of Oz Music for 7 years, said. “We try to get enough stuff so we don't upset anyone.” Record Store Day is not taken lightly by distributors. With more than 475 new, remade or boxed sets of vinyls released the third Saturday in April every year, people wait all year for this event celebrating independently owned record stores. Almost 1000 record stores in the U.S. participate yearly, with other stores participating all over the world. Local and national artists, distributors and music lovers meet for festivities and live performances to celebrate vinyls and certain CD releases. “It's become our single biggest day of the year by far,” Patton said. This “monster” of a day, as Patton called it, has exponentially increased his sales over the years. Since the worldwide start of Record Store Day seven years ago, Oz music first participated by buying 30 newly released vinyls albums. The next year they doubled their purchase and bought more than 60, continuing to increase their stock and sales each year.

This year Oz offers a huge variety of more more. Although Record Store Day featured than 300 of the 475 vinyls released for artists from all genres, Patton said “it's a Record Store Day. very rock heavy day,” paired usually with a “For smaller stores, it's almost a rock-loving crowd. Despite that, the genres burden, because vinyls are one-way, noreleased featured everything from R&B return. So if you buy 10, you have to sell albums to southern country singers. 10,” Patton said. In addition, April 19 is a day of giveUnsold records sit dusty in stores for aways, autographed items and some copies years, but this is never the case for Oz Music. of test pressing vinyls, which are the original The growth in popularity and followwhite labels produced of artist's recording ing for the traditional love of “crate diving” and distributed to a select few before the vifor vinyls in the recent years has major nyl is dubbed complete and mass produced. distributors and artists participating on These are all rare collectibles. This year Oz April 19. Patton said the majority of his Music offers 4-to-5 “grab bags” for the first customers are between 15 and 30-yearspeople lined up to go into the store. old, which means that records are comSince Oz featured its first Record ing back into style. The participation in Store Day seven years ago, Patton Record Store Day has increased—and said they've learned how to situate the so has its sales. In 2012, Oz reached its products more efficiently for customers. maximum store sales and revenue thus Instead of stacking the records four of far on Record Store Day. The next year five deep, they spread them out all over they beat the 2012 sales by a huge margin the store so that not as many people are of more than 40 percent. accidentally shoved in the mad search "Independent record stores rule. They for a prized record. This year two rows are the last refuge for those who are lookof shelves lined the entire store so that ing for music that's outside of the box or everyone had the easiest access possible. outside of this decade,” Chris Faller, band Patton said he sells about 80 percent member of the Hush Sound, said about of his total Record Store Day ordered Record Store Day on the website. stock in the first two days, with the highA few years before, Moonlight Taxi, a na- demand vinyls chaotically sold out within tionally known band, played at Oz Music on the first hour. Within that hour alone, some Record Store Day. But Patton said he prepeople spent upwards of $500 to $700 on fers to feature local groups since the point multiple sets of anxiously awaited vinyls. of record stores is to recognize and promote Others left with only a few lucky finds. the musical talent of local communities. Patton said the hunt is all about how Even if recordmuch it means to savvy fans are the person. "Independent record stores waiting bright and “Get here rule. They are the last refuge early for the big early—don't wake for those who are looking for day, that's only up at 9:30 a.m. half the thrill. music that's outside of the box and expect to be “It's like an in the front of the or outside of this decade.” Easter egg hunt,” line because you'll Patton said as he probably be all the reflected on previous events. way out in the road,” Patton said. Once the doors open, the actual hunt It's up to Patton to compare music itself for a particular album becomes the fun trends with personal customer interest factor, or the competition, for most people. each year to decide which newly released Patton lines the walls randomly in rows all vinyls to order for Record Store Day. He along the store, with no alphabetical order says it's a game of “stressful excitement.” or pattern whatsoever. People dart left and He also has the final say in how many of right and eagerly pulling the specially ordered each particular vinyl he thinks customers records off the shelves as they search for will want. their list of top records to buy. “Sure, there are titles I can guess, but “I love it every year, it brings so much every year there's something surprising that business. We get to see all our regulars throws it one way or another.” and people we don't usually see,” Moody Oz featured some new vinyls on the said, smiling. more unique spectrum, which included a On Record Day, Bands start playing at 10-inch glow-in-the-dark Ghost Busters Oz Music around noon, changing every vinyl, a Pink Panther original soundtrack hour or so. The list of albums released and a Wizard of Oz vinyl. Oz Music always worldwide is posted on the official Record maintains its regular hours April 19 and is Day website, for anyone to see and plan a family-friendly setting until it closes at 8 hopeful buys, although local stores don't p.m. Doors open at 10 a.m daily. order every single release. So, if you missed "Record Store Day" Some popular bands releasing new at Oz this time, be sure to save the date vinyls include the Drive-by Truckers, Jerry for 2015: April 19. Always April 19. Garcia, Dave Mathews live, a box set by Cake, Johnny Cash, the Flaming lips, the It ain't no joke when you lose your vinyl. Grateful Dead, Joy Division and pop favor~ Afrika Bambaataa ~ ite, One Direction, along with many, many


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3.5 ou t of 4

Most moviegoers will concede that Arnold Schwarzenegger is no longer the actor that he once was in the 1980s and 1990s. During his heyday, the celebrated Austrian bodybuilder made popular movies that mainstream audiences relished and quoted lines from with hopeless regularity. Since he finished his tour of duty as California’s twiceelected governor, Schwarzenegger has been making movies that have attracted only a hardcore following, often with his frequent flying friend Sylvester Stallone. They’ve made three “Expendables” epics along with the underrated “Escape Plan.” Arnold’s latest epic “Sabotage” may repel audiences more than attract them. “Sabotage” writer & director David Ayer specializes in hard-as-nails action sagas. As a writer, he has penned “U-571,” “The Fast and the Furious,” “Training Day,” “Dark Blue,” “Harsh Times,” “SWAT,” and “End of Watch.” As a director, he has helmed “Harsh Times,” “End of Watch,” and “Street Kings.” You can catch a glimpse of all these movies, possibly with the exception of “U 571,” in his latest crime thriller “Sabotage.” Quite possibly, “Sabotage” contains more grit and guts than anything that either Ayer or Arnold has ever done. When you see the R-rating that “Sabotage” drew from the MPAA, you should prepare yourself for the worst. One of the more ghoulish scenes has our DEA honcho (Arnold Schwarzenegger) entering a darkened room with a female Atlanta detective (Olivia Williams of “Hanna”) as they search for one of Arnold’s team. The detective slips on something slimy and finds herself sprawled in a pool of blood and guts. When Arnold shines his flashlight at the ceiling, he spots one of his agents crucified to the ceiling with his intestines dangling from his eviscerated belly like the tentacles of an octopus. If such sights sicken you, “Sabotage” is not your kind of movie.

John 'Breacher' Wharton (Arnold Schwarzeggner) commands an elite team of undercover Drug Enforcement Agency agents who have tangled with the worst that the Mexican cartels have to offer. Breacher’s team consists of James 'Monster' Murray (Sam Worthington of “Avatar”), his wife Lizzy Murray (Mireille Enos of “Gangster Squad”), Joe 'Grinder' Phillips (Joe Manganiello of “Spider-Man”), Eddie 'Neck' Jordan (Josh Holloway of TV’s “Lost”), Julius 'Sugar' Edmonds (Terrence Howard of “Iron Man”), Tom 'Pyro' Roberts (Max Martini of “Pacific Rim”), Bryce 'Tripod' McNeely (Kevin Vance of “End of Watch”), and 'Smoke' Jennings (newcomer Mark Schlegel). These guys and a girl look like they belong in the “Sons of Anarchy” biker gang. They wear many tattoos, dress like vagabonds, tote an arsenal of weapons and ammo, and behave like criminals. Unlike most of his team, Breacher is clean-shaven with closely cropped hair and prefers to smoke stogies. The first time we see these ruffians of justice they blast their way into a cartel safe house, wipe out several heavily armed gunmen, and then loot the place of $10-million. What they don’t take, they blow up. One of them dies during the blistering bloodbath. They attach packets of money to a line and run it through a toilet into the sewer. Later, when they trudge through the sewer to retrieve the loot, they are shocked to discover that the money is missing! Predictably, Breacher’s DEA bosses are furious, and they launch an investigation. Our heroes are suspended, and the DEA relieves them of their badges and firearms. Eventually, Washington relents when its investigators cannot find a shred of evidence to indict either Breacher or his men on corruption. No sooner have our heroes reassembled than one after another are mysteriously murdered. Initially, Breacher and company believe that the cartels have decided to eliminate them

one at a time, but later they suspect that one of their own may be stalking and killing them. Meantime, a veteran Altanta Homicide detective (Olivia Williams) and her partner Jackson (Harold Perrineau of TV’s “Lost”) are assigned to investigate the deaths of Breacher’s men. Caroline and Jackson find themselves far in over their heads in a case that is as bloody as it is baffling. “Sabotage” boasts several extremely violent shootouts, a careening car chase through downtown Atlanta, and some grisly murders. Scenarist Skip Woods, who wrote “The A-Team,” “A Good Day to Die Hard,” and “Swordfish,” doesn’t pull any punches along with co-scripter Ayer. Just when you think you have the mystery solved, Woods and Ayer whip out a surprise or two that will have you scratching your head in perplexity. Sometimes, they even toss in ideas that might make us think twice about homicide. The villains in “Sabotage” rely on chicken wire to submerge the corpses of their victims so the bloated bodies cannot bloat and float to the surface of a lake. Relentlessly grim from start to finish, this cops & drug dealers melodrama swerves drastically during its final quarter-hour with an eye-opening finale in Mexico.

Arnold Schwarzeggner is just as rugged as ever, but he doesn’t do anything that a lesser mortal couldn’t do, and he refrains from uttering any cheesy but memorable one-liners. The character that he plays suffers from a tragic secret that we gradually learn about throughout the film’s lean 109 minutes. The revelation of “Sabotage” is actress Mireille Enos. Enos delivers an impressive performance as a drug addicted DEA agent. She doesn’t take any abuse from anybody, and she is incredibly agile when battling both the good guys and the bad guys. Like her co-star Olivia Williams, Enos is no ravishing beauty, but nevertheless a seriously talented actress. Director David Ayers keeps the action moving without any lulls and occasionally fakes us out with some interesting juxtapositions during certain scenes that enhances the tension and suspense. Although he doesn’t adopt a first-person approach with a selfie video camera like he did in “End of Watch,” Ayer has the action lensed in such as way that you feel like everything is spontaneous. Interestingly enough, “Sabotage” was filmed on location in Atlanta. “Sabotage” is a shoot’em up that you won’t forget!


APRIL 17 + MAY 1


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


A mong the flurry of smash debut singles in the past half-decade, Foster the People seemed the least likely to be a one-hit wonder. Gotye’s Wally De Backer spent his fifteen minutes impatiently waiting for them to be over, and the pop miracle of “Call Me Maybe” had more to do with the novelty lyrics than any contribution from Carly Rae Jepsen, but “Pumped Up Kicks” sounded like the start of a long, indie legacy. The deceptively upbeat tune was in good company on Foster the People’s first LP, "Torches," a collection of pop songs equally suited for beach parties and college radio. In fact, fans of the band were a little puzzled that mainstream audiences didn’t prefer “Helena Beat” or “Waste,” two songs among many with hooks catchier than the most sugary bubblegum pop. For a band that seemed so ready to come back swinging, it’s disappointing that their second album, "Supermodel," falls into a no-man’s land between commercial viability and artistic vision. Front man Mark Foster used to write commercial jingles, and he seems to be doing his best to defy that history by making his new songs as unmemorable as possible. Tracks like “Ask Yourself” and “The Truth” plod along through sedate melodies hitting lyrical clichés like checkpoints with little room for creative detours. It might be unfair to demand for Supermodel to be pretty, but it doesn’t exactly make up for anything with a great personality. Acts like Paul Simon and Vampire Weekend have successfully used African sounds to breathe life into their songs, but Foster the People use the afro-pop style more like an accessory in a game of dress-up, imitating a more focused, developed band. The first single, “Coming of Age” hammers home the message that Supermodel is more mature and serious than their previous work, but there isn’t much evidence to back up the claim.


APRIL 17 + MAY 1

Supermodel works best when it falls back on the strengths of Foster the People’s first album. “A Beginner’s Guide to Destroying the Moon,” a track as unwieldy as its title, sounds like a song that could have fit on Torches, but played during a lazy practice session. “Best Friend” comes closer to the band’s potential, with layered falsettos and funky riffs creating a cool, disco vibe. The most perplexing moment of brilliance is the album’s closer, “Fire Escape,” a chilling, acoustic cry telling a partner, “save yourself.” Images like “my spine’s made of iron/ my heart pumps out old, red paint” are paired with ghostly background vocals to create the kind of beautiful and dark landscape that made “Pumped Up Kicks” irresistible without a trace of the band’s signature bombast. An album crafted around this kind of songwriting would deserve the praises of “coming into their own” and “finding their voice,” but the track is hidden away in favor of half-hearted synth antics. Although this record has moments of fun and even brief glimmers of beauty, "Supermodel" is little more than a mannequin for the increasingly homogenous world of indie pop. Most of the songs seem lifted from a stiff, lifeless template that Foster the People barely bothers to dress up with quirky spacerock sounds. Maybe the pressure to grab attention got to this band, but in the end, Supermodel won’t be turning too many heads.

>>> E V E N T | K E N DA L L M AYS


The B lack Warrior R iver will be the site of the third annual Dragon Boat Races to benefit Junior League of Tuscaloosa on Saturday, April 26, at the Cypress Inn. Prizes are awarded to teams that finish atop their groups, but the real winners are local beneficiaries. Junior League of Tuscaloosa supports several community programs, like Holt Elementary School, Junior Achievement and Alabama Reach. Past participants rave about the excitement, friendly competition and community spirit surrounding the sport. “The race is a great opportunity to have some outdoor fun and support a great cause,” said Brandt Garrison. The Dragon Boat Race will host 30 teams who race in authentic, 46-footlong Chinese-style dragon boats, built by Dynamic Dragon Boats. Each team consists of 20 paddlers, a drummer who maintains rhythm for the paddles, and a steersperson who controls the direction of the vessel.. The event is divided into several tournament-style heats. Each heat features four teams racing along a 250 meter course visible from the Cypress Inn. 250 meters may not seem long, but two-time competitor Brandt Garrison insists that it is no easy feat. “My team has never won” Garrison said. “But even after one heat, your arms pay the price.” The top teams compete several times

as the day goes on. This effectively turns a 250 meter test of speed into a five hour test of endurance. “It must be exhausting for the winners,” Garrison said. “But it’s all in good fun.” Participants must be 15 or older but all skill levels and physiques are welcome. The variance of skill, strength, and endurance make dragon boat racing the ultimate teambuilding sport, requiring synchronicity and finesse — more than power to win. Off the water, team members also compete to raise the most pledges for Junior League of Tuscaloosa and its community partners. Amanda Donaldson, Director of Guest Services of Hampton Inn of Tuscaloosa, says that Hampton Inn participates to “help support our community, the Junior League, and after we saw how much fun it was the first year we were hooked!” Hampton Inn has entered a team each year, and they find many reasons to continue to participate. “This is a valuable way to show our employees how important community involvement is to a business, and for the employees that participate, it creates a strong team bond. Yes, we also get advertising for our company, but that isn't the most valuable thing we gain,” Donaldson said. The Dragon Boat Races help fund Junior League of Tuscaloosa’s work in the community. “Our organization is different than others because we match our money with manpower,” said Junior

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

>>> D R AG O N B OAT S |CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE League President Niccole Poole. “We multiply the impact of our dollars by coupling them with thousands of volunteer hours.” Founded in 1929, Junior League of Tuscaloosa, is a community-based organization that trains its members for community service and outreach through educational volunteer initiatives. Junior League has more than 150 active members and 400 advisory delegates. Membership in Junior League is open to all women 25 or older with interest in local volunteerism. “All of our community partnerships and volunteer work are aimed at improving the health, education and financial literacy of those in our community, especially underserved women and children,” Poole said. Junior League of Tuscaloosa, despite being primarily focused on the improvement of Tuscaloosa, is also a veritable training ground for volunteer efforts across the nation. “Many of our members are also active in other groups around the area, which helps us reach more people and accomplish more as an organization,” said Janine Gascoigne, member of Junior League of Tuscaloosa. “We want to foster positivity in our members so that when they move on they have the experience to volunteer elsewhere.” The organization has many local partners involved in its initiatives. The Tuscaloosa group

recently teamed with the University of Alabama to began the Kids in the Kitchen program to teach elementary school children healthy eating habits and easy, nutritious recipes. Junior League also combats local poverty as part of a task force Tuscaloosa’s One Place and promotes the acquisition of educational technologies for Holt Elementary School as part of the Adopt-A-School program, An official statement by the Junior League read, “We can influence the next generation to make healthier, nutritional food purchases. We believe that, through our partnership with Junior Achievement, we can nurture the next generation of budding entrepreneurs and businesswomen and men.” This event is sure to be great fun combined with a fantastic cause. Each team will get an on-water practice session with a trained coach prior to race day and compete in at least two heats on Saturday, April 26. More information is available online at www.jltuscaloosa. org, or contact Janine Gascoigne at, or call 310-1573.

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

APRIL 17 + MAY 1


>>> wine REVIEW | I T C O U L D B E Y O U

do you have the nose? and the palate?


W here to E at in T uscaloosa

BREAKFAST / DINNER The Blue Plate Restaurant (Was Northport Diner) 450 McFarland Blvd, Northport // 462-3626 Brown Bag 9425 Jones Road | Northport // 333.0970 Its speciality, fried green tomatoes, joins barbecue plates and fish filets on an extended list of meats and vegetables. Tues 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Wed-Sat 10:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. City Cafe 408 Main Ave | Downtown Northport // 758.9171 Established in 1936. Big on food, low on price. Open for breakfast and lunch. Historic downtown Northport. Closed weekends. CountryPride Restaurant 3501 Buttermilk Rd // 554.0215 Breakfast 24 hours. Lunch and Dinner buffet. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 4800 Doris Pate Dr | Exit 76 // 562.8282 International House of Pancakes 724 Skyland Blvd // 366.1130 Jack's 1200 Hackberry Lane | Tuscaloosa // 345.1199 Maggie's Diner 1307 Ty Rogers Jr. Ave | Tuscaloosa // 366.0302 Mr. Bill's Family Restaurant 2715 McFarland Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 333.9312 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.

The Planet Weekly has an opening for a winesavvy writer/reviewer. In fact, we have openings for a book reviewer, album reviewer, beer reviewer, tech reviewer, humorist, and writers on subjects that you think the rest of our audience would enjoy. You'd get exposure — serious exposure. You'd get

The Southern Dining Room Grill (Behind Ryan's) 4251 Courtney Dr, Tuscaloosa 331-4043 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

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.

experience working with other dedicated writers and

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

editors. You'd meet interesting people. You might

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


even become famous. But that's not the point. You'd

Fernando's Mexican Grill 824 McFarland Blvd E | Northport // 205.331.4587

Avenue Pub 405 23rd Avenue

be writing for our readers. This is what it's all about.

Iguana Grill 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 752.5895

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

Jalapeno’s Mexican Grill 2001 New Watermelon Rd | Northport // 342.3378

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.

So think about it. If you can write, if you can critique, if you can ask good questions, if you can investigate, if you can report, or help people laugh, then we'd

LaGran Fiesta 9770 Hwy 69 S // 345.8871 Los Calientes Mexican Grill 3429 McFarland Blvd E // 553.1558 Los Tarascos (2 locations) 1759 Skyland Blvd // 553.8896 3380 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 330.0919

like to hear from you. Just email planeteditor@ya-

Margarita's Grill 1241 McFarland Blvd E // 343.0300 Please be sure to attach a sample of your

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

writing. We're also looking for a person who'd like to sell advertising space for us. Just call 205.792.7239.

Pepito’s (2 locations) 1203 University Blvd | The Strip // 391.9028 1301 McFarland Blvd NE // 391.4861 Taco Mama 2104 A University Blvd, Tuscaloosa 409-8173


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.

APRIL 17 + MAY 1


Little Italy 1130 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa // 205.345.4343 Mellow Mushroom 2230 University Blvd // 758.0112 Pizzas, calzones, hoagies and more. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Mr. G’s 908 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 339-8505 Olive Garden 2100 McFarland Blvd E // 750-0321 Open daily from 11 a.m.

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


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

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 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

>>> beer review | K E N D A L L M A Y S

AVERY MAHARAJA IMPERIAL IPA // PREPARE TO MEET THE KING Indian Pale A les are certainly not for everyone. Typically, packed with hops and slow brewed to maximize flavor, IPAs can be an ordeal for the unseasoned beer drinker. The Maharaja Imperial from Avery Brewing Co. is no exception. Maharaja is derived from Sanskrit words for “great king.” If this beer is king, the unrelenting flavor of hops and barley are its weapons of choice to conquer your taste buds. This dark amber ale is one of three Imperial brews from Avery’s Dictator Series along with the Czar Imperial Stout and the Kaiser Imperial Oktoberfest. The first sip of the Maharaja is heavy and comes with a blast of hoppy flavor. Drinkers who aren’t fans of hops should be aware, the intensity of the first sip lasts until the very last drop. Prepare yourself for an unforgettable experience. The flavor of hops eventually gives way to a resounding chorus of barley that remains throughout the rest of the beverage after about three sips. This comes as a welcome surprise as the hops were threatening to be too much of an obstacle to the brew’s best features. The barley notes make the Maharaja more palatable and easier to drink, even for an experienced fan of IPAs. Strangely enough, the Maharaja produces its best feature about halfway through a glass -- sweetness. Finally, a flavor we can all get behind. As the hops and barley battle for supremacy in this war of alcoholic attrition, they eventually combine to produce a hint of citrus notes reminiscent of Lienenkugel’s line-up. Flavors of citrus are not common among IPAs, especially not Imperials. In order to produce higher alcohol content, Imperials are typically heavy on hops with a considerable amount of barley as a supplemental flavor. With 10.2 percent alcohol by volume, it was inconceivable to think the Maharaja would have any sweetness. But there are exceptions to every rule. The Maharaja, being as heavy as it is, is best paired with a low carb meal, like fish or poultry. This is not the beer for a full stomach after a steak dinner. Thankfully, the IPA is surprisingly low on carbonation, which makes for a less restrictive waistline and less eventful belching contest than many of its competitors can provide. Like most ales, the Maharaja is not the best choice for spring and summer drinking. The high alcohol content makes the lack of drinkability forgivable and will come as a welcome trade-off for those who are new to the IPA experience. Despite its very likable citrus notes and overall enjoyable body, the Maharaja

will be an ordeal for even the most seasoned IPA drinker. This is a brew to be enjoyed occasionally, not in bunches. Unfortunately, for a flavor experience of this caliber, expect to pay a commensurate amount. The Maharaja Imperial costs about $8. Couple that with a decent tip or a few rounds, and you could be in for a tab as heavy as the brew. But the experience is unique and unlikely to disappoint fans of darker, heavier brews. In fact, if you enjoy the Maharaja, it is likely you would enjoy nearly any IPA. In truth, the Maharaja accomplishes what many Indian Pale Ales do not – a bevy of flavor in a standalone, unmistakable experience. This beer does not taste like any other beer in its category and nothing to be afraid of. If you would like to meet the king, you can find the Avery Maharaja Imperial IPA on tap at the Alcove International Tavern at 730 22nd Avenue in Tuscaloosa.


APRIL 17 + MAY 1





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

well. $1 off bottle beer Red Lobster 2620 McFarland Blvd // 553.8810 McFarland Plaza Shopping Center

Honeybaked Ham Company 421 15th St. E // 345.5508

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.

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.

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


APRIL 17 + MAY 1

The variety of flavor combinations was intriguing. The server was nice enough to help select the evening entrées. His passionate presentation of each dish was very impressive. So impressive, I ordered two entrées. With wine came a cheese course, decorated with three different cheeses, fresh homemade bread, jelly and syrup, and crisp sliced apple. The habanero cheese came with a fair warning. But, the soft creamy texture made it appear harmless. A few seconds into the first bite came a fiery sensation. This delicate cheese was highly underestimated, yet delicious. A generous sliver of muscadine jelly on a fresh slice of bread helped to calm the fire. The first course to arrive was a shrimp cake dish. Two perfectly plated shrimp cakes were presented with a yogurt curry sauce and topped with diced apple. The flavor combinations were so complimentary. The sudden spice from the curry was easily cooled with the sweet apple. The cake itself was light with a mild seafood flavor. The texture of the cake was a little too soft for my liking. Next came the happy meat, dry aged beef satay. Served was three portions of beautiful beef, drizzled with peanut sauce, laying over a bed of vibrant green collards. The aroma coming from the collards and peanut sauce was so strong I could almost taste it. The beef was a bit tough, making it difficult to cut and remove from the skewers. Overall, the beef offered a slightly chewy yet flavorful bite. Let me be the first to say, happy animals do taste better. My dining experience was more than an evening of delicious food and great company. This epiphany brings on new respect for community sustainability efforts. No article, let alone this one, could do this restaurant justice. The impeccable attention to detail and energy that goes into the production of this restaurant is simply exceptional. As a dietitian, a community member, and a human being, I am grateful for Chef Tres and his continuous effort to promote and support farm-to-fork. Epiphany is located at 519 Greensboro Avenue. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. until... Lunches and Sundays are available by appointment. Happy hour runs Monday though Thursday from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Cindy Huggins is a registered dietitian nutritionist and locale “foodie”! Follow her on twitter @DietitianCindy.


Tin Top Restaurant & Oyster Bar 4851 Rice Mine Rd NE #460 // 462.3399 McFarland Plaza Shopping Center & Temerson Square

Buffet City 1747 Skyland Blvd E // 553.3308 All you can eat buffet. Open 7 days a week.

Have you ever wondered where the food on your plate comes from? Perhaps, this question is irrelevant to you. But, not to Tres Jackson, owner and executive chef of Epiphany. Since the doors opened ten years ago, Jackson has focused on developing relationships with local farmers and vendors to stock his restaurant with local food. Jackson said, “It is not only about being accountable for what you serve, but being equally ethical.” The menu states, “We serve ONLY happy animals which are never fed antibiotics, growth hormones, or crack cocaine.” This food philosophy is what continues to drive this restaurant today, literally. “The menu can change 4 to 5 times per week,” Jackson says, “depending on what’s available.” The menu also reflects the changing seasons, while continuing to source locally. Jackson went on to talk about his latest addition of a green house in his back yard. Though, only herbs and small vegetables are grown now, Jackson has plans to grow the green house to help supply his restaurant. This self-taught chef remains driven and stays progressive with his efforts to operate a sustainable business while leading the movement of Farm-to-Fork. The evening of my visit to Epiphany was dreary. While running from the down pour, I was pleasantly surprised when the front door was hoisted open. Inside, I was greeted by a pleasant hostess. I was directed straight to the table where a fellow foodie friend was waiting patiently. The atmosphere was soothing with soft music playing overhead and appetizing sizzles coming from the open kitchen. Beautiful exposed brick arches separate the dining areas. Romantic light illuminated from large black sconces. As I approached my table, a tall, handsome waiter greeted me with a big smile and helped me into my chair. As I sat, colorful art work and chalkboards caught my eye. One board read, “Locavore: N. A person who makes an effort to eat food that is grown, raised, or produced locally.” Another read, “This New American Farm-to-Form Cuisine is part of a movement concerned with producing food locally and preparing that food for guests.” A long paper menu was placed on the table. Noted first, were the clever entrée headings: dirt, grain, meat, after/only/…or before. Each dish has a short description.

Tut’s Place 1306 University Blvd | The Strip // 759.1004

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. 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

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

>>> M U S I C | S TA FF R E P O R T


Willie King (1943 – 2009)

The Rural Members Association presents the 17th Annual Freedom Creek Blues Festival founded by the late, great Willie King. This year’s festival is to be held near downtown Aliceville, at "Cookieman's" place on 1438 Wilder Circle, rain or shine. This internationally acclaimed festival will take place on Saturday, May 24, starting at 11 a.m., opening with great traditional gospel followed by non-stop blues. The family-friendly festival attracts local and international crowds and is renowned for its down-home atmosphere, great music and delicious southern food. This year's festival features a wide range "Birmingham" of regional George Conner blues artists,

featuring swamp blues from Mudcat Blues Foundation finalist DieDra and the Ruff Pro Band plus local legend "Birmingham" George Conner, Alabama Blues Women Review featuring B.J. Miller, SharBaby and Debbie Bond, Montgomery bluesman Little Lee and the Midnight Blues Band, Willie Lee Halbert and the Fingerprint Band, Mississippi Blues Boys, and more. The festival will open with a prayer and gospel music, then it's all blues all day! First up are the young musicians from the Alabama Blues Project's Advanced Band followed by outstanding local and regional blues acts. Admissions is by suggested donation of $10. This is the most down-home, real deal blues festival around. The festival is made possible by a generous grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, sponsors Greene Beverage, Walter Energy, Westervelt Renewable Resources and assistance from the Alabama Blues Project. For more information: freedomcreek. org, or call 205.366.1307.


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

APRIL 17 + MAY 1




When I came to Tuscaloosa, everything I knew about Alabama was from movies that romanticized the South, like Tim Burton’s “Big Fish.” I was drawn here because Hollywood projected a picture of people drinking sweet tea on front porches as the breeze rustled magnolia leaves. According to the silver screen, this was a place that still had some magic left. On April 27, 2011, after almost a year of being in Alabama, I still didn’t know whether the movies told the truth. I knew it was warmer than my native Ohio, people really liked grits (and I did too), and not all Southerners had the same accent. However, I hadn’t discovered any magic, because I was a student who rarely left campus. I had what I heard someone call the, “cruise ship mentality.” I was merely stopping off, just here for a good time. I could have spent the rest of my years here this way. However, an unfortunate confluence of wind in April swiftly changed my relationship to Tuscaloosa. When the tornado ripped up the roots of the Druid City’s oaks, mine sank deeper into the red clay. The day the tornado raged through the city, I was huddled in the dorm hall with friends. One of them clung to me, half hysterical, her fingers forming small bruises on my arms. I thought I was going to die. My mind raced with all the stereotypical thoughts: “Mom is going to be really mad at me for dying. What was my last meal? I hope it’s over quickly. What was the purpose of my life?” A few students ventured outside. They ran back in, slamming the doors closed behind them. Terror choked their voices, “It’s coming! It’s right there.” Later, I learned that the tornado had been a mile away, but had appeared much closer because of its horrifying size. We sat in the dark hallway for eternal minutes. I don’t remember how we found out it was all over. Though my experience was frighten-


APRIL 17 + MAY 1

street signs mangled and landmarks utterly flattened. It looked as though homes, trees, the very earth itself had been shredded in a blender and then carelessly flung out. The tornado stripped away everything superficial, and some things I thought were permanent. Everyone said it looked like a war movie, like a bomb went off. We had nothing except fiction by which to understand this level of destruction. We picked our way through the rubble, street by street. An elderly woman approached me on the side of one road, tearfully saying, “Thank you, thank you. God bless you, God bless you.” She wrapped her wiry arms tightly around me. I felt like an imposter. I was just handing out waters. I hadn’t cared about Tuscaloosa until April 27. How could I comprehend this woman’s grief when I didn’t know what had been lost? Hours later, I saw another woman sitting on the concrete foundation of her ing, it was insignificant compared to what home, which was all that remained of it. most endured. My boyfriend lived on 15th Her young son cried in her lap, and she street. If he had lived on the other side did nothing to comfort him as she stared of the road, he likely wouldn’t be alive. A blankly into the thick haze formed from the co-worker had huddled in her bathtub, straining to keep a mattress over her body dust of her life. These women taught me something as her home broke into pieces around her. that no university could. I learned that After it was over, she found the tuppereverything can vanware container with the cookies she A city is not made of build- ish in a moment of had baked that day. ings. I learned those could roaring wind. Birth certificates, cherished There were minisbe destroyed faster than I antiques, the refrigercule flecks of debris inside the still-sealed could tie my shoes. A city’s ator, brothers, uncles, and mothers. Nothing container, pushed worth is its people. is permanent, and under the lid by the control is an illusion. force of the tornado. Those women, and the dozens of Meanwhile, safe on campus, I learned extraordinary people I met in the rubble, about the destruction through rumors inspired me to help rebuild Tuscaloosa. about destroyed restaurants. Hokkaido. For the last three years, I’ve tutored Full Moon BBQ. Krispy Kreme. I rememchildren, planned dozens of community ber thinking how pathetic it was that my only gauge of the community I lived in was events, shopped locally. I’ve attended art collectives and protests and fundraisers. the restaurants. Now I know the smell of Tuscaloosa, I spent the next three days sitting in my like wet tar, sometimes tinged with the dark dorm, trying to find out if the water was safe to drink. I had a lot of time to think. I realized the tornado had forged a bond between the city and I. We had gone through a life or death experience together, and we couldn’t be strangers any longer. I felt an overwhelming need to help, to show I finally cared. I would not sit on the sidelines of the city any longer. An acquaintance said she would find a place for us to volunteer. Most organizations didn’t want any more workers, especially is they were women. But she persuaded the National Guard to let us ride with their convoy. I rode in the bed of a Baptist pastor’s truck, underneath a sky so blue it convinced me God was real. Alongside the bulky olive green and beige vehicles of the National Guard, we handed out food and water to volunteers and homeowners. And for the first time, I saw Tuscaloosa. I met the city when it was an apocalyptic landscape of twisted tree limbs, the


sweet smell of bread from the Sunbeam factory. I know its sound, the trains that roar like rusty beasts. I know its stories, the grotesque tales told about the bloodstained Drish house. Most importantly, I know the people of Tuscaloosa. The perpetually friendly Subway manager who invited a friend and me to stop by his mother’s wood-paneled home, where she served us collard greens. The bakery owner that gives me extra cookies with a wink. The pastor who jokes that he would like to run for office on the platform that he would trade Auburn to Georgia in exchange for, “a little creek or a tree or something.” A city is not made of buildings. I learned those could be destroyed faster than I could tie my shoes. A city’s worth is its people. During the rebuilding process, there’s one day that brought the community in utter harmony. A day that convinced me that Tuscaloosa was going to be just fine. This was the day Krispy Kreme reopened. It was a blazing August afternoon, and the line wrapped around the building. Fraternity boys in polos stood next to an overall-clad grandmothers, the exquisite smells of sugar and grease surrounding them all. It was as close to utopia as I’ve ever gotten. Other restaurants had reopened, but Krispy Kreme mattered in a way they had not. Apparently, doughnuts were a final step in the healing process. Standing in Krispy Kreme reminded me of the moment I had first arrived in Tuscaloosa and stopped for doughnuts before move in day. While standing in an hour-long line, I considered my former preconceptions and stereotypes, gleaned from a Tim Burton movie. I now knew that the wonder of Tuscaloosa cannot be measured by how many gallons of sweet tea people here drink, or how thick the accents are, or how many magnolias bloom. Yes, there is magic in the South. But all you need to do to find it is knock on your neighbor’s door.

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


PHOTOS: Jerome Adams

On April 12, the annual Hurricane Creek Cleanup was held, beginning at the Highway 216 Bridge over the creek, and concluding near the Jimmy and Addalyne Watson Bridge of the Holt/Peterson Road at Watson's Bend. Participants picked up trash along roads near the creek and in the creek itself using canoes and kayaks. Many sacks of refuse were collected as well as objects

such as car tires, broken mirrors, and discarded plastic toys. The effort was useful, but additional pickers would have found much to collect. A thorough cleanup might require a thousand volunteers and more time, in the opinions of several volunteers. The activity also served an educational goal to better inform people, through participation, of the importance of environmental protection of our natural waterways and the aesthetic value of a local creek and the surrounding water shed. Glass bottles and plastics in multiple forms constituted the majority of items collected. Most of the bottles had originally contained some form of alcoholic drink. Two of the most unusual things found were the plastic back of a TV cabinet and a large, plastic sand box in the shape of a green turtle. Creek Keeper, John Wathen, began the cleanup exercise twenty-one years ago with a small group of like-minded, environmentally conscious citizens along Hurricane Creek at Watson's Bend. The sides of the road had been used as a dump and quite often trash wound up in the stream. Jimmy Watson and his wife, Addalyne, happened by and noticed the activity and were impressed. Mrs. Watson donated some

money to the group for their thirst. Each year since then the cleanup has been conducted. Mr. Wathen has continued to keep a keen eye on the health of Hurricane Creek and has invested much time, energy, money and effort to promote the well-being of the creek through publications, photography and addressing groups as well as organizing the Hurricane Creek Clean Up. The Hurricane Creek Park and Trails near the Highway 216 Bridge on the way to Brookwood has officially been made into a park and maintained by Tuscaloosa Parks and Recreation Authority. A parking area has been created and walking/bicycle paths have been cleared for use by the public. Trash collection containers have been set out at the creek area used by many for swimming and also at the entrances to trails. After a "bring food to share" lunch, a dedication and renaming ceremony of the second bridge took place with short speeches and unveiling of the new sign: Jimmy and Addalyne Watson Bridge. Mr. Jerry Tingle, of the Tuscaloosa County Commission District 2, officially made the dedication. Mr. Watson, 91, a widower, quite spry and witty, was present.

Jimmy Watson and Jerry Tingle


APRIL 17 + MAY 1




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


SONIC FRONTIERS PRESENTS: DAWN OF MIDI WHEN: 7:30 – 9 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Bryant-Jordan Hall PHONE: 348.9928 LINK: DESCRIPTION: New York-based acoustic jazz trio Dawn of Midi will perform music from their second album Dysnomia for the final event of the Sonic Frontiers series. Dawn of Midi has been praised by Rolling Stone and University of Alabama faculty for their experimental and thought-provoking sound. ANNUAL BFA JURIED EXHIBITION RECEPTION WHEN: 5 – 8 p.m. COST: $10 WHERE: Harrison Galleries, 2315 University Blvd. downtown PHONE: 348-5967 LINK: DESCRIPTION: All UA undergraduate art majors who passed the review for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree were eligible to enter the competition, juried by a committee comprised of UA studio faculty. The exhibit runs through April 19.


EASTER EGG-STRAVAGANZA WHEN: 5 – 7:30 p.m. COST: $9 WHERE: 2213 University Blvd. PHONE: 349.4235 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Join the Children’s Hands-On Museum for an indoor Easter Egg hunt with games, prizes and goodie bags for all the kids. The egg hunt starts at 6 p.m. sharp, and all activities are covered by the cost of admission.


EASTERFEST WHEN: 10 a.m. – Noon COST: Free WHERE: Snow Hinton Park, McFarland Blvd. PHONE: 752.4251 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Don’t miss the pre-Easter celebration and egg hunt with 24,000 Easter eggs for the whole family to find. Celebrate with the First Wesleyan Church by playing games, eating food and even stopping by the petting zoo. BARGAIN FOR BOOKS GARAGE SALE WHEN: 6 a.m. – 12 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Downtown Tuscaloosa YMCA, 2405 Paul Bryant Dr. PHONE: 246.7348 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Support literacy in West Alabama by finding a great deal on a new book at the Downtown Tuscaloosa YMCA. Donations are also accepted for this event organized by Leadership Tuscaloosa, the Black Warrior Council and Boy Scouts of America. AJ MCARRON AUTOGRAPH SIGNING WHEN: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.


APRIL 17 + MAY 1

COST: $149 WHERE: University Mall PHONE: Go online for details LINK: DESCRIPTION: Three-time BCS champ AJ McArron and his Alabama teammates CJ Mosley, Kevin Norwood and Kenny Bell will all sign your Bama memorabilia with the purchase of a Super Ticket at Additional memorabilia is available to be picked up and autographed at the event.

SUNDAY, APRIL 20 Happy Easter!


SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS EXHIBITION WHEN: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Woods Hall, 7th Ave. PHONE: 348.9567 LINK: ar DESCRIPTION: Award-winning students present their ar t at the SellaGranata Ar t Galler y at the University of Alabama. Come view and celebrate the work of promising, young ar tists who are getting their star t in Tuscaloosa.


THE STATE OF GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY WHEN: 7 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Moody Music Building, 810 2nd Ave. PHONE: 348.7007 LINK: DESCRIPTION: What better day than Earth Day to sit in on a conference of international biodiversity experts and University of Alabama alum, Dr. Edward O. Wilson? Wilson will discuss wildlife habitats and our place in the globe in this three-day series starting at Moody Music Building’s concert hall. ALABAMA BASEBALL VS SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI WHEN: 6:05 p.m. COST: $8 adult, $5 under 18 WHERE: 1201 Coliseum Circle PHONE: 348.2262 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Watch UA’s baseball team face Southern Mississippi in the new and improved Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Come out to support the Tide as the season comes close to an end.

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

CHLOE'S STILL HERE // AND SO IS CHACHI // WHAT'S STOPPING YOU? This is Chloe's third appearance in the Planet Weekly. She is a beautiful, smiley one-yearold female Shepherd/Labrador mix with a sleek snow white coat and brown/black markings. She weighs 40 pounds and might grow to around 50 pounds in full adulthood. Chloe is very sweet, smart, and relatively calm and easy going. She loves to run and play and is good with other dogs. She should also be fine with children since she tends not to jump, but may be better around children over 10 years of age simply due to her size. Chloe will require a fenced yard so she can run and exercise, though she will also want to be inside since she so much enjoys human companionship. She also does well riding in cars so she might be a good traveling companion. Chloe is up to date on her vet care, spayed, micro chipped and is heartworm negative. She is crate trained and well mannered. If you are interested in giving Chloe the forever home she wants and deserves, call the Humane Society of West Alabama at 554.0011, or visit us online M eet C hachi, a fuzzy mediumhaired gray and white male estimated to be around a year and a half old. This is her second appearance in the Planet Weekly, and she can definitely become your best feline friend. Chachi is fun, sweet and affectionate. He loves to play and get lots of attention! He should do well with other friendly cats, but he’s never been around dogs. He should also do well with older children who will handle him gently. He is negative for FIV and FeLK, neutered and up-to-date on his vaccinations. If you are interested in giving Chachi the forever home he wants and deserves, call the Humane Society of West Alabama at 554.0011, or visit us online


WATERCOLOR PAINTING CLASS WHEN: 10 a.m. beginner, 1 p.m. advanced COST: $75/ session WHERE: Phelps Center, 2200 Rock Quarry Dr. PHONE: 562.3230 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Pick up a paintbrush and bring out the artist in you! Learn how to paint with watercolors with the help of an award-winning instructor and a step-by-step method that has been proven successful for years. Beginner and advanced classes are available. Call or go online to register.

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


Youth triathletes from across the state will test their abilities May 17 at the second annual Tuscaloosa Kids Triathlon. Last year, 185 kids swam, biked and ran at the event benefitting Secret Meals for Hungry Children. The triathlon will be held at the University of Alabama Student Recreational Center located on the main campus in Tuscaloosa. The triathletes will be split into four age groups, and the top three of the boys and girls will be recognized in an awards ceremony. “It’s a cool feeling for kids when they accomplish something like this,” said Michelle McClinton, Secret Meals program coordinator. “The most important thing is that these kids have a great time and know that they are helping other children from their community.” Alabama Credit Union’s Secret Meals for Hungry Children provides nutritional food packs for elementary school children living in poverty across Alabama. For many of these children, receiving free or reduced breakfast and lunch from their school is the only way for them to receive steady meals. This means that many of the children will go hungry over the weekend. “We’re not always talking about neglect,” McClinton said. “There are families working hard and struggling. If they’re working paycheck to paycheck the kids might not get food from Friday to Monday.” The initiative was started in 2008 by the Alabama Credit Union, modeled after the Backpack Buddies program that was targeting the same kind of hunger. Secret Meals discretely places weekend food packs into the backpacks of these children every Friday during the school year. “We actually don’t notify the families or make them sign up for the program,” McClinton said. “Counselors and lunch ladies are especially great at finding the children that need these meals and helping us get to them.” With the help of Alabama Credit Union and local business sponsors, all proceeds from the Tuscaloosa Kid’s Triathlon will benefit Secret Meals for Hungry Children. “Every donation goes directly to the food packs and into kids’ bags,” McClinton

said. “Our employee live for the program and we appreciate how much the community has given back.” At the triathlon, families will have the opportunity to create a poster for their favorite traiathlete at a poster creation station hosted by Alabama Credit Union. Local businesses will also return this year to support the cause. Bailey’s Taekwando will conduct race day warm up and local restaurants will provide refreshments after the race. David Williams, Chief Operating Officer for Spiller Furniture, said he was passionate about bringing the budding trend of youth triathlons to the Tuscaloosa community. “Our goal is to strengthen our community by addressing the health of our youth,” Williams said. “We hope that through this triathlon we can encourage children to maintain active lifestyles and provide financial support that Secret Meals needs to feed children in our community who are going hungry over the weekends.” Participants may register at Sponsorship inquiries may be forwarded to Michelle McClinton at



ALABAMA SOFTBALL VS GEORGIA WHEN: 7 p.m. COST: $7 WHERE: Rhoads Stadium, 321 5th Ave E PHONE: 348.2262 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Watch the last series of UA’s softball season as the Tide faces the Georgia Bulldogs in Rhoads Stadium. Thursday is the first game of a three-day conference through Saturday April 26. The Friday game starts at 6:30 p.m. and the Saturday game starts at 11 a.m. SHELTON STATE BASEBALL VS CALHOUN COMMUNITY COLLEGE WHEN: 4 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Shelton Baseball Field, 9500 Old Greensboro Rd. PHONE: 391.2223 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Shelton State University’s baseball team faces off against Calhoun Community College from Decatur, Alabama. Root for the Buccaneers as they defend their winning record.


ACT PRESENTS: MUSIC MAN WHEN: 7:30 p.m. COST: $9 -19 WHERE: Bama Theatre PHONE: 758.5195 LINK: DESCRIPTION: The Actor’s Charitable Theater will perform Meredith Willson’s tribute to Smalltown, U.S.A. from April 25 to Monday, April 28. Come for fast-talking conman Harold Hill, Iowa piano teacher Marian the librarian, and a musical love story that will warm your heart. ROCKIN’ & ROLLIN’ SKATE PARTY WHEN: 6 – 8 p.m. COST: $5 WHERE: Phelps Center, 2200 Rock Quarry Dr. PHONE: 562.3230 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Bring your roller blades or skates and enjoy a fun night with games, prizes and a DJ. Pizza will be served at $1 per slice.


MATSURI IN THE MALL WHEN: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: University Mall, 1701 McFarland Blvd. PHONE: 348.9002 LINK: DESCRIPTION: For a chance to experience Japanese culture, visit the exhibits and performances of the 28th Annual Sakura Festival. Activities include a chopstick challenge, origami tutorials, Japanese games, music and martial arts.


THERAPEUTIC RECREATON COOKING WHEN: 5 – 7 p.m. COST: $12 WHERE: McAbee Center, 3801 Loop Rd. PHONE: 562.3235


LINK: DESCRIPTION: For anyone in need of physical therapy activities, a cooking class might be the perfect way to have a good time and maybe even learn a thing or two in the kitchen. Contact Keith Jenkins for more info about the program. ESTATE PLANNING WORKSHOP WHEN: 2 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Red Oak Legal, 500 Towncenter Blvd. Suite B PHONE: 764.1262 LINK: DESCRIPTION: This free workshop presented by local attorneys Steve and Raley Wiggins covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, probate administration, protecting assets, bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care and Medicaid qualification. Registration is required by calling or going online.


BOOK DISCUSSION WHEN: 10 a.m. COST: Free WHERE: Tuscaloosa Public Library, 1801 Jack Warner Pkwy. PHONE: 752.8300 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Read Paula McClain’s The Paris Wife and join other book-lovers in the History Room of the main library. McClain’s book tells the story of a love affair between Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley, and depicts life as it was in Paris in the 1920s.


WESTWOOD SINGERS, ROCK AND ROLL FOREVER WHEN: 7 p.m. COST: $5 adult, $1 child WHERE: Bama Theatre, 600 Greensboro Ave. PHONE: 342.2666 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Kicking off the Arts Council of Tuscaloosa’s Westwood Art Month, the 9th Annual Musical Extravaganza will feature a history of rock and roll from Elvis to the Beach Boys. The Westwood Singers II will also perform some Disney songs as part of the month-long exhibition of Westwood Elementary’s talents. KENTUCK ART NIGHT WHEN: 5 – 8 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Kentuck Art Center, 503 Main Ave. PHONE: 758.1257 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Join Kentuck to celebrate the opening of Sara Johnson’s ‘Illuminate’ exhibit with pizza and music from Angela and the Able Brothers. Check out Kentuck co-cop members and visit the studios of resident artists. PUBLICIZE YOUR EVENT. CONTACT

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

APRIL 17 + MAY 1







Todd Snider, Tipitina’s Eric Hutchinson, House of Blues

BIRMINGHAM The Milk Carton Kids, WorkPlay Theater MissUsed, Café Firenze’


HUNTSVILLE Hunter Hayes w/ Danielle Bradbery, Von Braun Concert Hall


BIRMINGHAM Three Days Grace, Iron City

NEW ORLEANS Aziz Ansari, Mahalia Jackson Theater


BIRMINGHAM John Legend, Alys Stephens Center Doug Stanhope, Zydeco Velcro Pygmies, Iron Horse Café HUNTSVILLE Jonny & the Black Frames, Coppertop NASHVILLE Miley Cyrus, Bridgestone Arena Augustana, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom ATLANTA Future Rock, The Masquerade NEW ORLEANS YG, House of Blues Mike Birbiglia, The Civic Theater

NASHVILLE Goo Goo Dolls, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill



BIRMINGHAM HellYeah, Iron City

MONTGOMERY The Ben Sutton Band, Maestro 2300 Chronic Illusion, Blue Iguana NASHVILLE Foster the People, Ryman Auditorium Steve Moakler, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill Dan Croll with Panama Wedding, High Watt

BIRMINGHAM Daryl Hance, The Nick

NASHVILLE Echosmith, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill

ATLANTA Nickel Creek, Tabernacle

NEW ORLEANS Rick Ross and Meek Mill, UNO Lakefront Arena

HUNTSVILLE Katie Austin, Fast Jacks Bar and Grill


HUNTSVILLE The Tartan Terrors, South Jackson Civic Center Travis Posey, Humphrey’s

ATLANTA Tech N9ne, The Masquerade Alter Bridge, Tabernacle Rashaan Patterson, Center Stage

BIRMINGHAM Tom Jones, Zydeco

ATLANTA Rob Thomas, Tabernacle Iced Earth, The Masquerade


HUNTSVILLE Tony Perdue and the Devastators, Coppertop

MONTGOMERY Matt Smith, Blue Iguana Fli University, The Mansion Hellbent, Head on the Door Megan McMillan, Carl’s Country

NEW ORLEANS Pretty Lights, Champions Square at the Superdome Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, House of Blues The Meter Men, Republic New Orleans moe., The Civic Theater Cowboy Mouth, Tipitina’s

BIRMINGHAM Travis Tritt, The Alabama Theatre

MONTGOMERY Shane Owens, Double Branch

NASHVILLE Volbeat, Marathon Music Works


HUNTSVILLE Avenged Sevenfold, Von Braun Concert Hall


BIRMINGHAM Whitechapel, Zydeco MONTGOMERY Whitechapel, Zydeco

ATLANTA Alabama, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater at Encore Park Boz Scaggs, Symphony Hall Atlanta NASHVILLE Switchfoot, Nashville War Memorial Auditorium HAIM, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom John Oates, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill

ATLANTA Bastille, The Buckhead Theater Rodriguez, Center Stage


BIRMINGHAM Seether, Iron City

ATLANTA Better Than Ezra, Variety Playhouse Christina Perri, The Buckhead Theater NASHVILLE Local Natives, Ryman Auditorium


ATLANTA Lana Del Ray, Tabernacle Zucchero, Center Stage Powerman 5000, The Masquerade BIRMINGHAM Rob Zombie, Iron City NASHVILLE Arcade Fire, Bridgestone Arena Elephant Revival, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill NEW ORLEANS

Charles Bradley and his Extraodinaires, One Eyed Jacks


BIRMINGHAM Vampire Weekend, Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark MONTGOMERY Percussion Concert, Cosby Theater Tony Brook, Montgomery Performing Arts Center

Acoustic Café 2758 County Hwy 9 205.647.3237

Fox Theatre 660 Peachtree St NE 404.881.2100

Moe’s Original BBQ 6423 Park Dr 251.625.7427

Amphitheater at the Wharf 23101 Canal Rd 251.224.1020

The Hangout 251.948.3030

Bridgestone Arena 501 Broadway 615.770.2000

Marathon Music Works 1402 Clinton St 615.891.1781

Montgomery Performing Arts Center 201 Tallapoosa St 334.481.5100

Centennial Olympic Park 265 Park Ave W NW 404.223.4412

Minglewood Hall 1555 Madison Ave 901.312.6058

APRIL 17 + MAY 1


NEW ORLEANS Mogwai, The Civic Theater George Clinton and the Parliament-Funkadelic, 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.



Joe Bonamassa, Ryman Auditorium Kevin Costner, Nashville War Memorial Auditorium

ATLANTA Santana, Chastain Park Amphitheater

NEW ORLEANS Tinariwen and Bombino, House of Blues

BIRMINGHAM Elliot Davis, Zydeco


NASHVILLE Chevelle, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom

ATLANTA Taking Back Sunday, Tabernacle Chiodos, The Masquerade

saturday, APRIL 19


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










Dirt Star, Copper Top Tequila Mockingbird, Innisfree

Plato Jones, Innisfree MOJO Trio, Rhythm & Brews Rounders: DJ Spinnzz



90 Proof, Copper Top Debbie Bond & Caroline Shines, Green Bar Chase & The Dragons, Innisfree LP Brown Band, Mike's Place Missused, Rhythm & Brews


Uri, Copper Top Soul Tide - Innisfree Brother to Brother, Mike's Place Glen Templeton, Rhythm & Brews

CBDB Duo, Gray Lady


DJ ProtoJ / Ladies night , Rhythm & Brews


Sean Rivers Band, Rounders


Junkyard Kings, Gray Lady


DJ ProtoJ / Ladies night, Rhythm & Brews


Buck Johnson, Innisfree Farmers Daughter, Rhythm & Brews


Whiskey Kiss, Rhythm & Brews The Lacs, Jupiter 90 Proof, Innisfree Rounders: DJ Spinnzz





>>> 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

APRIL 17 + MAY 1


>>> T R I B U T E | S T E P H E N S M I T H


O f the rooms in Reese Phifer Hall, none of them are more important than Room 290 inside the Tisch Student Center. In his tenure at the University of Alabama, Jim Oakley, Jr. has become a legend in the communications department. He’s managed to juggle being a publisher for two newspapers, along with teaching and recruiting students. Despite becoming a household name at the university, Oakley’s success stems from home. For 28 years, Oakley served as publisher of the Centerville Press in Bibb County. Prior to his success in the paper business, Oakley served as a tax collector on the county office board. He also served on multiple hospital boards in Bibb County. “It was my influence in the newspaper business that helped me branch out into other endeavors,” Oakley said. “For 34 years, I was able to help build hospitals, nursing homes and garden homes for the county. There were a lot of people in Bibb County that suffered from low income. As a member of the board, I was able to build houses for them.” Oakley’s impact on Bibb County didn’t just stop at the corporate affairs. Along with his love for journalism and philanthropy, Oakley’s love for sports runs deep. The same pen that got Oakley into the hospitals and the county office opened the door for him in athletics. Shortly after becoming involved with the paper, Oakley became a member of the


APRIL 17 + MAY 1

Bibb County High School football booster club. Since his induction into the club, Oakley has witnessed some of the best seasons in Bibb County football. The Choctaws finished 10-2 in 2013 and made the playoffs. Before the regular season started, Oakley and others members of the booster club built the school a new football stadium. Though it may not be as huge as Bryant-Denny Stadium, Bibb County’s stadium holds approximately 3,000 fans per game. Oakley got his start at the University of Alabama working as a publisher for the Crimson White and teaching various journalism classes. Now retired from the paper and teaching, Oakley’s focus has shifted toward recruiting, advising students and building relationships with students and their families. Bridget Busby, student service coordinator for Tisch Student Services, said Oakley understands how to relate to people. “The thing that jumps out at me about him is his ability to retain historical information,” Busby said. “He usually recognizes everyone by face or name. His ability to go to every Bama Bound or University Days segment and get to every student along with their families is impressive.” Busby said though Oakley is not Mick Jagger, he is still quite the rock star when he roams the halls of Reese Phifer. “He was here when I was a student at

UA,” Busby said. “I’ve known him for 22 years and yet he still has an approachable demeanor. He is very honest and he’s student centric. He has no problem tending to the needs of students,” Busby said. Busby said it doesn’t matter whether you are freshman or a senior, all students need someone who will stick with them. “Oakley has worked with so many students from different backgrounds,” Busby said. “He’s worked with athletes, military students and transfer students. They enjoy him so much because he keeps it real with them.” Oakley’s passion for football has followed him from Bibb County to the University of Alabama. In the three national titles Alabama achieved in this decade, Oakley has recruited quite a few football players to the College of Communication and Information Sciences, including AJ McCarron and Mark Ingram. Oakley’s grandson, Will, played for the university from 2004-08. “The athletic department allows 4-5 people to come in and recruit these athletes to their perspective colleges,” Oakley said. “I’ve had the joy of recruiting some of the best ones to the College of Communication and Information Sciences and seeing them do well.” One of Oakley’s shining moments occurred in 1984 when he recruited Rece Davis to the college. Davis graduated in 1988 and later went onto become an anchor on SportsCenter , an analyst for ESPN College Football and the poster boy for journalism at the University of Alabama. For Oakley, it is more of seeing students excel not only in the classroom, but also in the real world. “One thing I enjoy doing is helping students,” Oakley said. “I’ve become successful with it through experience. They like the fact that I have a lot of connections through the media business. The thing that satisfies me is seeing one of my students being successful. I feel like I have done my job if they can get an

PHOTO: Courtesy of the University of Alabama

internship, graduate from here and obtain a job in their field.” Oakley’s presence has done more than impact students; it’s impacted his coworkers as well. Ann Bourne, college librarian for the William E. Winter Reading Room, said Oakley is the most welcoming person on campus. “To be honest, he’s like a magnet,” Bourne said. “He has a way of making everyone feel comfortable. Over the years, students have stopped me in the halls and have told me that Mr. Oakley is the reason why they are here.” Bourne said one of the things she enjoys about Oakley is his high standards. “He is not a doormat,” Bourne said. “He expects every student to have high standards as well as the faculty here.” Bourne said one of her best memories of Oakley was when she had locked herself out of her office and he was willing and able to supply her with help. Regardless of how much we may not like it, sometimes it takes the storms in life to help us appreciate the sunshine. For Oakley, his storm came last year. Oakley was about to retire in the latter part of last year. Despite being up for retirement, Oakley returned to work at the university after his wife (Shirley) died from cancer. Instead of taking time off to reflect, Oakley found stability and therapy in his work. “This is something I enjoy doing,” Oakley said. “I love seeing students come in as freshman and leave as seniors with dreams and ambitions. While I’m here, I still have something to offer. When someone better comes along for my position, then I will retire.” Though Oakley isn’t done working yet, he said retirement is on the horizon for him. “Retirement will come,” Oakley said. “After I’m done here, I am really looking forward to traveling. I enjoy fishing and hunting. I have some grandchildren that enjoy it too. I also want to play golf.”

Cory Whitsett

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

>>> HIGH TIDE | G A R Y H A R R I S / W V U A S P O R T S D I R E C T O R

PETITBON PICKS ALABAMA // LINEMAN DID HIS HOMEWORK // TYLER CARR GIVING IT HARD THOUGHT Miss game last season. I brought some football guys with us and we all got a real good feel for it." Petitbon chose Alabama over offers from Clemson, Florida, FSU, Iowa, LSU, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech, among others. "I mean, he knew that he was very comfortable with Alabama and the program they have here with Coach Saban and the coaching staff," Mr. Petitbon said. "He knew this was where he wanted to be. He checked everything out and he knew this was it." Petitbon has the ability to play any spot on the offensive line. "They talked to us about that," Mr. Petitbon said. "They said center, guard or tackle. They think he has what it takes to play all three spots. They said he has the versatility to do it. He likes that."

Dallas Warmack


Richie Petitbon had offers from most of the major powers and could've taken his time selecting one of them. But for the elite 2015 offensive lineman from Gonzaga HS in Washington D.C., enough was enough. So the 6-4, 295-pound Petitbon ended the recruiting process recently by committing to Alabama. "At the end of the day, once you've seen about 12 schools, and you've done your homework and you feel comfortable, it's time to make a decision," Petitbon's father, Richie Petitbon, said. "From day one, they've shown him everything that they have to offer and that was enough. He was ready to go ahead and commit to Coach Saban and the University and get it done. He wanted to get a head start on focusing on his senior year and get ready for Alabama." The clincher for Petitbon, who has

visited UA a few times in the past, was getting his two younger brothers on campus at Alabama so that they could see it for themselves. "He's got two brothers, a 10-year old and 12-year old, that he wanted to bring down there to see it. He wouldn't do anything until they saw it," Mr Petitbon said. "They saw it and liked it. So he went belly to belly with Coach Saban and committed. "When they first started recruiting Richie, Coach Thompson, who has recruited him, would come up to our school and watch film and look at Richie. He kept telling Richie to come to camp. He said that's how Coach Saban picks his guys. So Richie came and did that camp last summer and got offered. We were here for three days during the camp and he loved it. Then we came back for the Ole

TYLER CARR Top Lineman Talks Favorites One of the priorities for UA's 2015 class is to find a few offensive tackles. An in-state prospect who fits the bill is Gadsden-Southside standout Tyler Carr. The 6-5, 317-pound Carr has offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, Louisville, Penn State and Vanderbilt, among others. He was recently in Tuscaloosa for an Alabama spring practice. "It went great," Carr says. "I came in and got to watch position meetings and special teams meetings. I sat in with a Coach Cristobal and really just got a chance to enjoy watching how everything happens. "After practice I got to come back in and talk to Coach Saban for a while and then talked with Coach Cristobal for a little longer." The theme of his conversation with Coach Saban was Alabama's need for offensive tackles in this year's class. "We really talked about depth chart a little bit more than we have in the past," Carr says. "Coach Saban was telling me that they're really in need of tackles. They've got a couple of guys in positions that they'd really rather them not be playing quite frankly." "They're kind of shy on tackles. They've got Cam Robinson coming up, who they think will be playing a lot. After that, they've got some seniors that will be gone. So they're looking for tackles in this class. That's why I'm looking at depth charts in recruiting, and that's what we talked about most of the time." Carr says that he's built a strong relationship with Tide offensive line coach Mario Cristobal. "I really enjoy Coach Cristobal," Carr says. "He's always fun to be around. He's

always serious and he's straight up with you. He tells it to you like it is. He answers any questions you have and then he comes back at you with questions of his own. I really enjoy being around him." Carr is also comfortable with UA's pro-style attack and its emphasis on a physical running game. "I really do like Alabama's offense, their playbook and what they run," he says. "We run a Wing-T in high school, so I'll have to learn a new playbook no matter where I go. I'm just trying to find the right position coach and who I want to be around. I really do like Alabama's scheme on offense. So we'll see where it goes from here." Carr also made a trip to Auburn for an unofficial visit. "I went over there and got to watch one of their scrimmages," he says. "It went good. I stayed the night down there with some of the players and then got up the next morning and went to the scrimmage. Really enjoyed my time. I got to sit in on some of the meetings and enjoyed what I got to see. I really enjoyed Coach Grimes and what they're doing." Even though Carr grew up an Auburn fan, he says that all things are equal between Alabama, Auburn and Georgia. "It's really been hard, because both schools, Alabama and Auburn, have something that keeps me in the middle between them. I really like both schools, and I like Georgia as well," he says. "I really haven't leaned to any of the schools yet. I've got a little ways before I have to decide, so I'm just taking in all in right now." Carr said he isn't planning on making a decision until late October.

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

APRIL 17 + MAY 1


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


Television in 2014 seems to have a theme: recycling older television shows to a new audience, either with their own spin or as the exact same show with a new, younger cast. The success of the television show depends solely on the actors’ ability to portray the characters in a way that honors the former actors, while putting their own spice into the character to catch the attention of new viewers. The 1990’s were full to the brim of cutting-edge, young adult television shows such as Saved By the Bell, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Full House. Another show that captured the hearts of everyone from the pilot to the finale was “Boy Meets World,” a show about high school friends Cory, Shawn, Eric and Topanga who learn life lessons and what it means to grow up, all with the sage advice of their teacher, Mr. Feeny. The loveable and relatable characters captivated audiences for seven seasons, running from 1993 to 2000. The show’s creators did it once, but can they do it again? Just a few days ago, it was announced that Disney Channel will introduce a new show this summer — “Girl Meets World.” The show will be in the style of Boy Meets World — a coming-of-age comedy, and will have a lot of the old cast members back as adults. “Boy Meets World” veterans Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel will reprise their roles as Cory and Topanga, but instead of quirky high schoolers, they’re all grown up and raising a family in New York City. Other returning cast members include Rider Strong playing Shawn Hunter, Cory’s best friend, and Will Friedle as Cory’s brother, Eric. New additions to the cast will include Rowan Blanchard and August Maturo as Cory and Topanga’s children, Riley and Louis. Disney Channel veteran Jackee Harry will also be on the show. Harry played Tia and Tamara’s Mowry’s mother on “Sister, Sister”, a popular Disney Channel show about the twin sisters. The cast wouldn’t be complete, however, without William Daniels coming back as everyone’s favorite teacher, George Feeny. No official plot has been released, but from all of the pictures the cast have posted to Twitter and Instagram, it seems to be a classic family comedy featuring a couple, kids, and their friends getting into quirky adventures and trying to balance a household. While shows like that wouldn’t hold up on stations such as The CW and ABC Family, who tend to host angst-filled, dramatic shows, Disney Channel is host to several family comedies, such as “Jessie”, “Good Luck Charlie”, and “Dog With a Blog”. The young audience of the channel combined with the nostalgia parents and young adults will feel from seeing their favorite characters back on the flat screen is a winning combination for viewers and ratings. It also helps greatly that Michael Jacobs, the creator of the original series, is back for the reboot. There has been no official release date, but "Girl Meets World" is slated to premiere this summer. Jacobs hasn’t ordered the pilot yet, but the cast members are all confirmed and have contracts with production already under way.


APRIL 17 + MAY 1



weekly overview



Love and romance are definitely on the agenda for this week, Taurus, and you should be feeling warm, passionate, and particularly sexy. You're likely to be looking quite attractive, too, and romantic partners or potential partners could seem especially attractive to you. This is a wonderful day to shop for new clothes, have your hair styled, or prepare a candlelit dinner for someone very special. Go for it!

A friend or family member could be feeling rather grim, taciturn, and not open to communication. He or she could have you wondering if you've done something wrong, or they're angry with you. If you use your warmth and generosity of spirit to induce this person to open up, Gemini, you'll probably find that the issues have nothing to do with you. You might even help relieve them! Tonight, prepare everyone's favorite meal. A warm, loving phone call or letter could come your way this week from a lover or close friend who's presently out of town. You'll wish with all your heart that he or she could be home! In the meantime, you're likely to keep yourself quite busy, Cancer. Creative projects, activities in your community, or both could keep you too busy to miss anyone too much. Tonight, spend some time alone.

This week you could discover a talent for investment, real estate, or other form of money management that you never thought you had, Leo. The opportunity to make an investment or cash in on one could enable you to take strides toward making your money grow. This might be a good time to buy or sell any type of property. You might also want to do some reading on future investment opportunities. You might wake up this week feeling a little grumpy and out of sorts, Virgo. You could aspire to nothing more strenuous than spending the day without any distractions other than a good book. However, by the middle of the day a warm and loving letter or phone call is likely to snap you out of your reclusive mood. You could spend the evening strolling through your community, visiting shops or restaurants. Enjoy! Some pretty heavy soul searching could reveal that the time has come to make use of a talent you may have always had but never developed. This could involve nothing more than a little practice, or you could decide to get some formal training in the skill. This is a positive sign, Libra, but your determination could waver over the next few days. Don't hesitate - stay with it!

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

You're looking good and your social skills are at their peak, Scorpio. Therefore, social events and group activities that you might attend today could well be the most satisfying and beneficial you've known in a long time. People you meet should be impressed with you, and you could make a lot of new friends. If you aren't romantically involved now, a new love could come your way.

This week you could find yourself brainstorming a way to put your inventiveness and ingenuity to work so that you can advance your career by leaps and bounds and increase your income. You could also become involved in artistic projects of some kind. Don't be surprised if great ideas come to you with little effort. You're very intuitive today, Sagittarius, so enjoy it.

An intense study of philosophy, religion, or some other exalted school of thought could find you involved with a group that shares your interest in the subject. You could make a new friend today, or if you aren't currently romantically involved, meet a potential romantic partner. This should be a very satisfying day on both mental and emotional levels. Remember how it all came about, and enjoy yourself! Sex and romance should be at the top of your priority list today, Aquarius. You should be feeling especially warm, loving, and passionate. Romantic novels and movies could be especially appealing, as could an intimate evening with a lover! Career and money matters look fairly strong and stable at this time, although it might take a little effort to keep them that way. Go for the gold!

A lack of communication on the part of your mate or perhaps a business partner can cause you to feel uncertainty about the relationship. Don't fall into this trap, Pisces. Use your warmth and understanding to open up the communication between you. You'll probably find that all is basically well. Your partner just needs some space. Take some space for yourself, too! A little solitude might do you some good.

The right moment to ask for a raise or apply for a promotion or new job could come your way this week, but you'd better make use of it or the opportunity could pass you by. A chance for a romantic encounter or fun evening with friends could also come up. Whatever pleasant things arise today aren't sure things, Aries, so don't let them escape. They could be significant milestones for you.


APRIL 17 + MAY 1



Across 1. Years, to Cicero 5. PLO leader Mahmoud 10. Ali-- 14. Stationary quantity 15. Team leader 16. Noted pugilistic family 17. Diamond coup 19. Farm-area mail rtes. 20. Banner cost, perhaps 21. Head process 23. Apply carelessly, as paint 26. Lusters 27. "I Love Lucy," usually 32. Major W.W. II Japanese base on New Guinea 33. Firewater 34. Corpsman 38. Have ___ to one's head 40. Cellphone maker 42. Chef's pinch 43. Sacred vocal composition 45. Enclose, as farm animals 47. "Mambo No. 5" singer ___ Bega 48. Sign of spring #3 51. Like Victorian London streets 54. Auld lang __ 55. Skilled at painting, say 58. Work around the tub 62. Certain carpet or hairdo 63. Flee 66. Senate errand runner 67. Buenos ___ 68. Soviet city founded in 1716 69. Eye annoyance 70. Cousin of 't aint 71. "I am ___ crook!" Down 1. Gulf of Greece 2. Bookworm, perhaps 3. One wet behind the ears 4. Hamper 5. Top card in a royal flush


APRIL 17 + MAY 1

6. Jazz form 7. One of the Sunda Islands 8. W. Point, e.g. 9. Most withdrawing 10. Made a cashless transaction 11. Michael Caine title role of 1966 12. Try to buy 13. Orgs. 18. Tether 22. Throat clearing 24. 'Once ___ a time...' 25. Barely clears the infield 27. Shut with force 28. 'Othello' antagonist 29. OT book 30. Clinton staffer Harold 31. Stuff 35. Painter Salvador 36. "Time ___ My Side" (Stones hit) 37. Train engine sound 39. Dressing gown 41. Full of breezes 44. Hall of Famer Speaker 46. Present purpose 49. Besides 50. Irritate; fray 51. Shows shock 52. Buddhist in Nirvana 53. Theatrical 56. Four on a sundial 57. Geometric middles: Abbr. 59. Italian man 60. Cobbler's need 61. America's first commercial radio station 64. Pins or penny preceder 65. F.D.R., ___, D.D.E.


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

>>> M U S I C | T I M S T E E R E

BECK'S "MORNING PHASE" // DOWNRIGHT SUPERIOR It has been six long years since alternative, multi-instrumentalist, Beck, has released a record. As a man who has lived a definitive alternative lifestyle, his music has fittingly stimulated the alternative rock airstream throughout his entire career. Beck listeners can rejoice knowing that the extended absence of fresh euphony is no more. The Los Angeles native’s newest release entitled "Morning Phase" is a musical experience, much more so than his prior records. In what is claimed to be a sequel or companion to his highly praised 2002 release "Sea Change", Beck has provided listeners with fresh proof of what remarkable talent he possesses. In order to grasp the brilliance of "Sea Change", listeners had to forget what they thought they knew about Beck. His previous records had firmly established him as a heavyweight in the realm of lazily constructed, angst-ridden rock, but little more. I know the lyrics to the chorus of his infamous single “Loser,” and chances are, you do too. After the success of “Loser,” Beck’s following records could easily be described as scattered, barely matured, electro-infused psychedelia, peppered with the smallest amount of modern blues. "Sea Change" however, showcased a more mature Beck, stricken with heartbreak and capable of weighty subject matter. "Morning Phase" is a reminder of what "Sea Change" proved: Beck is more than capable of reinventing himself. There are undeniable similarities between the two. They are both minimalist in nature compared to his other releases and take a slow, steady approach to each track. Laden with acoustic guitar, lofty, orchestral string arrangements done by Beck’s father, David Campbell, and full of expansive melodic passages, "Morning Phase" is downright superior to its 2002 counterpart. "Morning Phase" begins with a short, forty-second intro featuring a simple, yet moving sequence of chords that seamlessly transition to a powerful downtempo second track, entitled “Morning.” It is not hard to immediately be reminded of "Sea Change" while listening to “Morning” and “Heart Is a Drum,” the third track. Similar, if not identical chord progressions and vocal harmonies evoke a strange sense of nostalgia, reminiscent of the solemn feeling that many songs from "Sea Change" provided. The first single released off of "Morning Phase", “Blue Moon,” is a fascinating amalgam of musical style. Beginning with a straightforward percussion pattern that sounds awfully like a heartbeat, a refreshingly beautiful mandolin riff progresses

into the chilling opening verse’s lyrics that render “Blue Moon” an ode to solitude. “I’m so tired of being alone. These penitent walls are all I’ve known. The songbird calling across the water, outside my quiet asylum.” Where “Blue Moon” truly excels however is in the short passages that demonstrate the song’s musical variance, notably through the post-chorus cosmic funkiness spearheaded by what sounds like a clavinet with reverb, played in the higher octaves. The album takes a more cinematic turn with building synth and string chords of “Wave,” which are combined with an almost hypnotizing vocal performance. Lyrically, “Wave” is a straightforward poem, but musically, it is a smooth, ambient segue into the latter half of "Morning Phase", which takes a turn toward a more traditional sense of folk music, reminiscent of his California predecessors like The Byrds or Crosby, Stills and Nash. Fans of old-school Beck should still give "Morning Phase" a listen to truly appreciate his musical versatility. Though you will not find any blends of rap, blues and rock found in his earlier work, "Morning Phase" has added depth to Beck’s repertoire and new details to a similar scene painted by "Sea Change". If this most recent release proves anything, it is that while Beck continues evolve, we must continue to listen.

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

APRIL 17 + MAY 1




I was raised in an asbestos-shingled two-bedroom bungalow at 26 Eastwood Avenue in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. If the address doesn’t have a familiar ring to it, maybe this will help: The house is two blocks from the intersection of 15th Street East and MacFarland Boulevard. If that doesn’t have a ring to it, maybe this will help: The intersection was hit by storms not so long ago, and virtually everything in sight was damaged or wiped out. Except for the little asbesto-shingled two-bedroom home on Eastwood Avenue. I don’t know why our home was spared. Brother-in-law Larry Partrich has repaired the damage and still stays there when he’s in town. Several other homes on the same street are still standing. Nobody died. And nobody knows why. Being brought up in Tuscaloosa was a wonderful experience, but one thing we lived with in T-town was the reality of storms—primarily tornadoes. Each year of my life we’d have storms and storm warnings. We knew lots of people whose property was slammed, whose lives were altered by these impartial acts of Nature. It was something we just took for granted. We knew that, should we live long enough, we, too, would be hit by nature, humbled by its terrible beauty. And, judging from the behavior of everybody we knew and knew about, we also knew that, if devastated, those of us who survived would come back and just keep on keeping on. People have done this since time began. If you live at the edge of a volcano, you just arise each day, thankful that this wasn’t the day it erupted. If you live on a faultline, you know that time is merely borrowed and that some day an earthquake will rattle your brains. If you reside in a dry forest you are happy that today isn’t runaway-inferno day. If you live on Planet Earth, you remain thankful that today is not the day a meteor hits you, a solar flare stir-fries you, the finger of an unknown god squashes you, a bolt of lightning decides you are a good conductor, Fate decrees you expendable… After those T-Town, I drove through the remains of that nearby neighborhood where I played, worked, dated, dared, dreamed, acted foolishly and wisely, and otherwise lived the first 27 years of my life. I was horrified. But I was grateful, too…grateful for all the years I’d spent writing about those early years, describing the streets and inhabitants, waxing nostalgic about my times there, carefully memorizing each location I ever visited. Storms can erase the mere physical presence of a town, but they can’t touch or alter my fond memories, they can’t change the fact that the real town is still here, in memory unshakeable. If I ever see you in Tuscaloosa, I’ll be glad to tour you through the actual town, the town that’s in my heart ©2014 by Jim Reed

Jim doesn't end his diary entries with a period. He has his reasons. Email


APRIL 17 + MAY 1


>>> MUSIC | trey brooks





Hip- hop and country are not two genres you see mixing very often. Aside from the cultural differences of their audiences, the backbeats used by each don’t particularly lend to cross-experimentation. But that’s exactly what you get with the LACS. A duo from Baxley, GA, the LACS take the bull by the horns and experiment with two very different forms of popular music. Their approach is unique, but that’s what it takes to set an artist apart in an era when audiences have so many options for entertainment. On April 25, they will take the stage at the Jupiter Bar and Grill, bringing their gift to the patrons of Tuscaloosa’s largest bar venue. The LACS are made up of rapper Clay “Uncle Snap” Sharpe and vocalist/guitarist Brian “Rooster” King. Formed in 2002, the name of the band is an acronym for “Loud Ass Crackers”. The group has a definite attitude, as seen with album titles such as “Keep It Redneck”, their most recent release. Coming out of a blue-collar, southern Georgia town lie Baxley, their music can’t help but have a workman-like approach. Sharpe and King have taken on a variety of odd jobs just to pay for their music in hopes of finding an audience for their unique style. It’s a dedication not shared by many in the industry today. The blending of rap and country is not inherently unique. Tim McGraw teamed up with rapper Nelly and had a top ten hit in “Over and Over”. Kid Rock has gone back and forth between the two styles, and Brad Paisley has even worked with LL Cool J. More significant, the hip-hop technique of sampling has found its way into modern pop country. However, these artists never truly embrace the fusion style. Instead, they do one song and then go back to their comfort zone. A true fusion artist makes the experiment their sound. That is the innovation the LACS bring to the table. Much like Rage Against the Machine blended rap and metal, the LACS have done the same with hip-hop and country. It makes perfect sense for their Tuscaloosa show to be held at the Jupiter Bar and Grill. The venue that has been a staple of T-Town’s nightlife scene has regularly booked country and hip-hop artists since its inception. Last October, the Jupiter made waves in the southern rap community when it hosted Alabama native Yellawolf, and just recently showcased underground phenom Curren$y. Country and southern rock have always been staples at the bar, where Kenny Chesney used to pack the house even while he was touring in stadiums. Recent acts include Jason Isbell and the Randy Rogers Band. Now, they are attempting to blend their audiences in what should be a banner day for the venue. Fusion music is everywhere nowadays. However, hip-hop and country have always been seen as polar opposites, which has prevented the two genres from being incorporated into one. Artists like The LACS are attempting to change this perception. As popular artists continue to cross boundaries, more fusion artists will undoubtedly emerge. Clay “Uncle Snap” Sharpe


APRIL 17 + MAY 1



APRIL 17 + MAY 1

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