Page 1

Violinist Amy Lovinger performs during AmiciMusic’s Winter Chamber Music Festival. page 7

Television, stage and screen stars Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker perform in Selected Shorts: Lots of Laughs on January 28 at the Diana Wortham Theatre. page 2

North Carolina Stage Company kicks off the new year with the awardwinning sci-fi play Fight Girl Battle World. page 17

Asheville Bravo Concerts presents the uplifting melodies of the Soweto Gospel Choir on Sunday, January 29. page 3 Plus: Interview with author Malcolm Gladwell > page 20 Reel Takes Top 10 Films of 2011 > page 14 The Top 10 Spinning Discs of 2011 > page 8

2012 Mainstage Dance Series at Diana Wortham Theatre. page 4


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stage preview Selected Shorts: Lots of Laughs

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Featuring Television, Stage and Screen Actors Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker

olden Globe Award by John Ellis winner Jill Eikenberry and multiple Emmy and Golden Globe have enjoyed a highly producnominated actor tive personal as well as profesMichael Tucker will headline sional partnership. Since their the program Selected Shorts: marriage in 1973 Eikenberry Lots of Laughs, with host Isaiah and Tucker have established Sheffer, on Saturday, January a long list of theater, film and 28 at Diana Wortham Theatre. television credits both together Eikenberry and Tucker are and individually. They are best known for their roles in the best known for their roles on popular NBC legal drama “L.A. NBC’s hit legal drama, “L.A. Michael Tucker Law” (1986-1994). In addition Law.” Eikenberry earned a (television’s “L.A. Law” [1986-1994]; The Purple to their working relationship Golden Globe Award and five Rose of Cairo) and the special rapport they’ve Emmy nominations for her role developed after several years as Ann Kelsey; and Tucker of working together on stage starred as Stuart Markowand television, Eikenberry and itz, which earned him three Tucker have also been married Emmy nominations and two for almost 40 years. Together Golden Globe nominations. with famed Selected Shorts host Jill Eikenberry starred Isaiah Sheffer, they bring short in Broadway productions of works of humorous literature Moonchildren, Watch on to life in a unique night of perthe Rhine, Summer Brave, formance in the intimate Diana Onward Victoria, and All Wortham Theatre. Over Town, and won an Obie Selected Shorts: Lots of Award for her Off Broadway Laughs includes readings of: performances in Lemon Sky “Jamaica” by David Schickler; and Life Under Water. A Jill Eikenberry “Adults Alone” by A.M. Homes; breast cancer survivor herself, (television’s “L.A. Law” and “Fatso” by Etgar Keret. she received the Humanitas [1986-1994]; Arthur) Eikenberry and Tucker perPrize for Destined to Live, a form this trio of hilarious and breast cancer documentary provocative tales about three she co-produced and hosted “One of the modern couples in unexpected on NBC. She most recently predicaments, behaving rather appeared in the film Something finest evenings badly. Some stories contain Borrowed and on the television at the theatre!” adult themes and content; show “Body of Proof.” ~ humor writer Child tickets are not available Michael Tucker’s film David Sedaris for this performance. credits include Woody Allen’s A weekly public radio Radio Days and The Purple show broadcast on over 130 Rose of Cairo, and Barry stations – including Asheville’s WCQS Levinson’s Diner and Tin Men. He most – Selected Shorts with host Isaiah Sheffer recently appeared Off Broadway in Enter has been delighting listeners for years with Laughing – The Musical and Based on a short stories by established and emerging Totally True Story. Tucker is the author writers, brought to life on stage as they are of two books: I Never Forget a Meal: An performed by stars of the stage and screen. Indulgent Reminiscence; and Living in a Isaiah Sheffer is the founding artistic direcForeign Language, which chronicles he and tor of Symphony Space as well as host and Eikenberry’s newest chapter as homeowndirector of Selected Shorts live at Symphony ers in the Italian countryside. Space, on tour and on public radio nationwide. The radio show is recorded live at the For more information visit Peter Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space in www.selectedshorts.org New York City and is one of the nation’s premiere reading series. If The Selected Shorts podcast consistentYou Selected Shorts, January 28 at 8 ly ranks as one of the most popular podcasts Go p.m. Diana Wortham Theatre at on iTunes. Selected Shorts is produced by Pack Place. Tickets: Regular $35; Symphony Space and WNYC Radio and Student $30; Student Rush Day-of-Show distributed by Public Radio International. $10. Info/Tickets: Box Office (828) 257Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker 4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.

 January 2012 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — Vol. 15, No. 5


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performance Grammy Award-Winning Soweto Gospel Choir Comes to Asheville

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ibrant rhythms, bold colors, pulsating percussions, bouncing dance steps, and uplifting melodies of Soweto Gospel Choir will fill the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium Sunday, January 29. Presented by Asheville Bravo Concerts as a part of its 80th season, Soweto Gospel Choir embodies the unique and inspirational power of African Gospel music with a magnificent, high-energy performance. Honoring the rich musical history of South Africa, and drawing on the best talent from churches in and around Soweto, the choir’s earthy rhythms, rich vocal harmonies, energetic dances have continuously left audiences around the world stunned with awe and emotion. Accompanied by a talented 4-piece band and percussion section, the dynamic, world-celebrated group performs both traditional and contemporary music in 6 of

by

Katie Anne Towner

South Africa’s 11 official languages. Formed 10 years ago, Soweto Gospel Choir quickly earned international fame and recognition as top performers in World

Music. Two-time Grammy award winners, the choir has toured around the world, sharing the joy of faith through music with audiences on nearly every continent, and performing with other musical greats like Bono, Jimmy Cliff, Josh Groben, Aretha Franklin, and Robert Plant. In 2009, the group became the first South African artists to perform at the Academy Awards when they sang “Down to Earth,” they’re award-winning song from the Disney film “WallE” that was a collaboration with Peter Gabriel. Soweto Gospel Choir will perform just one concert at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium on Sunday afternoon, January 29, at 4 p.m. It is a show not to be missed: “Meticulous and unstoppable… spirited and spectacular,” according to the NY Times, and “joyful, spiritual…fresh and vibrant” according to

Earthy rhythms, rich vocal harmonies, and energetic dances. USA Today. Australian Stage Melbourne called them “a tour de musical force…a slice of musical heaven.” “Soweto Gospel Choir takes this type of performance to a whole new level. It will surely be a treat for any age and musical taste,” says Asheville Bravo Concerts’ Executive Director, Tracey Johnston-Crum. If You Soweto Gospel Choir, Sunday, Go January 29 at the Thomas Wolfe

Auditorium, 4 p.m. Tickets are $15$60 and are available now at the Asheville Civic Center Box Office, ticketmaster.com, or by calling Asheville Bravo Concerts at (828) 225-5887. Student tickets are halfprice. For more details call (828) 225-5887 or visit www.ashevillebravoconcerts.org.

Vol. 15, No. 5 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — January 2012 


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he Mainstage Dance Series at Diana Wortham Theatre is recognized for hosting some of the nation’s foremost dance companies – ranging from classical to contemporary, and acclaimed for their versatility, cultural diversity, invention, grace, explosive energy, and technical prowess. The Mainstage Dance Series kicks off on Thursday and Friday, February 23 & 24, at 8 p.m., with Rennie Harris Puremovement, described by The Village Voice as “Hip hop dance to a higher power in both the mathematical and the metaphysical senses.� The pre-eminent hip hop dance company in the world, Puremovement is pure, contagious stage magic – a celebration of life. Under Rennie Harris’s artistic direction, Puremovement’s virtuosic dancers stretch brilliant street moves to high art in works that beat with meaning and delight. This remarkable company is the international ambassador of hip hop dance, delivering the true essence and spirit of hip hop, rather than commercially exploited stereotypes.

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Above: Humachina Photo: Elazar C. Harel Left: Rennie Harris Puremovement Photo: Gabriel Bienczycki

by Momix and Pilobolus will be blown away by Diavolo. Blending contemporary dance and cabaret flare with the verve of New York Fashion Week and MTV, Keigwin + Company (March 30 & 31, 2012) brings a knockout fusion of pop culture and high art to Diana Wortham Theatre. The smart, sexy and entertaining works of this provocative and engaging dance company are described by The New York Times as “witty, kinetic and musically responsive� and “a parcel of pure explosive energy.� Keigwin’s work embodies a theatrical sensibility, overflowing with both style and heart, which has led to rave reviews and invitations to perform at great venues such as the Kennedy Center, Summerdance Santa

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Barbara, New York City Center, The Joyce Theater, the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, and now Asheville. The Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is located in the Pack Square Cultural District within walking distance of many shops and restaurants. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in all of Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2011/2012 Season Sponsors are the Asheville CitizenTimes, Creative Energy, Asheville Renaissance Hotel, Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, the North Carolina Arts Council, and Blue Moon Water.

Trajectoire Diavolo Photo: Angela Weiss

With a wizardry all its own, Diavolo Dance Theater (March 13 and 14, 2012) is simply spectacular. This renowned company’s dancers, gymnasts, and actors deliver a magnificent cinematic experience, thrilling audiences with one powerful image after another. By employing oversized, surrealistic sets and props, Diavolo creates a sense of daring and risk-taking that juxtaposes human fragility and survival – and accomplishes its metaphors of the challenges of relationships, the absurdities of life, and the struggle to maintain our humanity in the shadow of an increasingly technological world. Audiences thrilled

 January 2012 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — Vol. 15, No. 5

New, flexible discount packages starting with as few as three performances. Savings range from 10% to 20% off regular prices.

Diana Wortham Theatre 2011/2012 Mainstage Dance Series presents Rennie Harris Puremovement, Diavolo Dance Theater, and Keigwin + Company, February and March, 2012. Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place. To obtain more information on the Mainstage Series or to purchase tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www. dwtheatre.com. If You Go

Keigwin, Aaron

Photo: Matthew Murphy


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we love this place Antique Appraisal to Benefit WNCAP

RAPID RIVER ARTS & CULTURE MAGAZINE Established in 1997 • Volume Fifteen, Number Five

January

2012

www.rapidrivermagazine.com

Publisher/Editor: Dennis Ray Managing Editor: Beth Gossett Marketing: Dennis Ray, Rick Hills Staff Photographer: Liza Becker Layout & Design: Simone Bouyer Poetry Editor: Ted Olson Proofreader: Mary Wilson Accounting: Sharon Cole Distribution: Dennis Ray Contributing Writers: Rachael Bliss, Adam Bowers, James Cassara, Michael Cole, Amy Downs, John Ellis, Beth Gossett, Chall Gray, Phil Hawkins, Kristofer Hegge, Phil Juliano, Chip Kaufmann, Michelle Keenan, Eddie LeShure, Amanda Leslie, Peter Loewer, Marcianne Miller, Pamela Miller, April Nance, Ted Olson, Paul Owen, Michael Parker, Dennis Ray, Karen Savage Taylor, Erin Scholze, Clara Sofia, Rick Tallbert II, Katie Anne Towner, Greg Vineyard, Bill Walz, Kirsten M. Walz, Dan Weiser. INFO Rapid River Arts & Culture Magazine is a monthly publication. Address correspondence to info@rapidrivermagazine.com or write to: Rapid River Arts & Culture Magazine 85 N. Main St., Canton, NC 28716 Phone: (828) 646-0071 www.rapidrivermagazine.com All materials contained herein are owned and copyrighted by Rapid River Arts & Culture Magazine and the individual contributors unless otherwise stated. Opinions expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Rapid River Arts & Culture Magazine or the advertisers found herein. © Rapid River Arts & Culture Magazine, January 2012 Vol. 15 No. 5

2 Stage Preview

Selected Shorts: Lots of Laughs . . . . 2 Magnetic Field – Solstice . . . . . . . . . 16 NC Stage – Fight Girl Battle World . 17 Folk Art Center – Fresh Preserves . . 18

3 Performance

Soweto Gospel Choir . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 2012 Diana Wortham Mainstage Dance Season . . . . . . . . . . 4 2012 Performances at Diana Wortham Theatre . . . . . . . . . . 6 AmiciMusic’s First Annual Winter Chamber Music Festival . . . . 7 Asheville Lyric Opera – Così fan tutte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

8 Columns

James Cassara - Music . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Eddie LeShure - Jazz . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Michael Parker – Wine . . . . . . . . . . 19 Marcianne Miller – Books . . . . . . . . 21 Ted Olson - Poetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Bill Walz - Artful Living . . . . . . . . . 23 Peter Loewer - Curmudgeon . . . . . 25 Greg Vineyard - Fine Art . . . . . . . . 30

Have you ever wondered what that old peice of silver that Grandma left you is worth? Or if that old porcelain vase you picked up at a yard sale is a Ming vase worth a million dollars? Here is your chance to find out and support the work of WNCAP at the same time. Nostalgique Antiques is sponsoring an Antique Appraisal Fair to benefit the Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP) on Saturday, January 7 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Nostalgique Antiques and Interiors, located at 126 Swannanoa River Road in Asheville.

Antique appraisals will be provided by Bonnie Rose of Bonnie Rose Appraisal Services. The price for appraisals will be $10 per item or 3 items for $25, and WNCAP will receive 100% of the proceeds from the event! Bonnie Rose is certified by the “Certified Appraisers Guild of America” as a personal property appraiser. She has worked in antiques and collectibles for more than 30 years. The mission of WNCAP, founded in 1986, is to provide HIV-related services to the people of Western North Carolina through client support, prevention education and outreach in a collaborative and financially responsible manner. The agency serves approximately 400 HIV-positive men, women and youth in the WNC region each year and reaches thousands more with lifesaving HIV/AIDS prevention information and resources. For more information please contact WNCAP volunteer, Jim Crowley at jim@citycountrygallery.com or visit wncap.org.

Pat Passlof: Selections 1948-2011 A collaboration between Western Carolina University and the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, this exhibit focuses on the work of painter Pat Passlof, an accomplished Black Mountain College alumna.

Museum (in the Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center on the WCU campus).

The show will occupy space in the two venues simultaneously and will feature a selection of 50-60 paintings by Passlof, representing more than 60 years of her career.

The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center will host a reception at

This long-planned retrospective is among the first since Passlof’s death from cancer at 83 in November. The artist helped select the work represented in the months before her death. WCU will host an opening reception at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, January 26, at the Fine Art

5:30 p.m. Friday, January 27, at

Melon 2, oil on linen by Pat Passlof, 2011

56 Broadway, in Asheville. The receptions and exhibits are free of charge. The exhibits will run from Thursday, January 26, through Sunday, May 27.

9 Music

MoogFest 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Steep Canyon Rangers . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Asheville Original Music Series . . . . 10

Rapid River Magazine Follow us online for the latest events www.rapidrivermagazine.com

11 Movie Reviews

Chip Kaufmann, Clara Sofia, & Michelle Keenan . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

20 Interviews

Malcolm Gladwell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

On the Cover: Diavolo Dance Theater performs March 13 and 14, at the Diana Wortham Theatre. Page 4 Photo: Kristi Khans

26 What to Do Guide

Best in Show by Phil Juliano . . . . . Callie & Cats by Amy Downs . . . . Corgi Tales by Phil Hawkins . . . . . Dragin by Michael Cole . . . . . . . . .

27 27 27 27

Distributed at more than 390 locations throughout eight counties in WNC and South Carolina. First copy is free – each additional copy $1.50

Vol. 15, No. 5 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — January 2012 


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performance 2012 Performances at Diana Wortham Theatre JANUARY The DePue Brothers Band Thursday, January 19 at 8 p.m. Watch out, as in freight-train-a-comin’, for this band of classically trained brothers and their symphonic friends who seamlessly blend their classical virtuosi roots with Bluegrass, Americana, and Folk.

Susan Werner & David Wilcox Saturday, January 21 at 8 p.m.

Special Free Book Offer! —Pat Boone

Crashing the Dollar: How to Survive a Global Currency Collapse by Craig R. Smith was written to help save American families from the economic death spiral of a falling U.S. dollar and rising inflation. To help prepare Americans for the dollar’s demise now, I have been authorized to offer a FREE copy of Crashing Special Free Book Offer! —Pat Boone

Call 1-866-709-3643 today!

Two incredible singer-songwriters share a lively musical conversation from stage, playfully returning each other’s serves with their respective takes on life: Her philosophical stance wry, his more sweet.

Selected Shorts: Lots of Laughs Saturday, January 28 at 8 p.m. Featuring “L.A. Law’s” Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker, with host Isaiah Sheffer, the public radio series Selected Shorts is a unique night of literature in performance that has been delighting listeners for years.

FEBRUARY The Importance of Being Earnest Friday, February 3 at 8 p.m. Crammed full of larger-than-life characters and with comic timing as sharp as Oscar Wilde’s witticisms, Aquila Theatre Company’s Earnest is unmistakeable fun.

Shakespeare’s Macbeth Saturday, February 4 at 8 p.m. Aquila Theatre Company breathes fresh life and fire into this wickedly troubled work, made ever relevant by its theme of the destruction wrought when ambition foes unchecked by moral constraints.

Solas Friday, February 10 at 8 p.m. Magically contemporary yet timeless, this Irish-American super group is a lightning rod of talent and inspiration, electrifying crowds of all musical tastes.  January 2012 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — Vol. 15, No. 5

Rennie Harris Puremovement Thursday & Friday, February 23 & 24 at 8 p.m. Puremovement is pure, contagious stage magic, a celebration of life, or as The Village Voice describes their show: “Hip hop dance to a higher power, in both the mathematical and the metaphysical senses.”

MARCH Christopher O’Riley Saturday, March 3 at 8 p.m. Host of National Public Radio’s popular music show, From The Top, O’Riley stretches the piano beyond conventional boundaries with infections passion.

Danny Ellis: 800 Voices Friday, March 9 at 8 p.m. "Just learn how to wink and curse and cheat at cards and you’ll be grand.” Irish-born and now-Asheville resident Danny Ellis mesmerizes audiences with his powerful work 800 Voices, a musical journey that explores his youth spent in a Dublin orphanage.

Danny Ellis: An Irishman in America Saturday, March 10 at 8 p.m. Ellis and his band perform his newest music from his 2001 release The Space Between the Lines, a stunning collection of powerful songs showcasing Ellis’s sheer musicality.

Diavolo Dance Theater Tuesday & Wednesday, March 13 & 14 at 8 p.m. Diavolo Dance Theater’s renowned dancers, gymnasts, and actors deliver a magnificent cinematic experience, thrilling audiences with one powerful image after another.

Sagapool

Susan Werner and David Wilcox

Lúnasa Saturday, March 24 at 8 p.m. Dubbed “the hottest Irish acoustic group on the planet” by Irish Voice, Lúnasa wrapped up the past decade with recognition as Performers of the Decade by liveireland.com, as featured artists on Natalie Merchant’s landmark project, Leave Your Sleep, and with its own new CD - Lá Nua, which was in Irish Echo’s Top 10 Albums of 2010.

Keigwin + Company Friday & Saturday, March 30 & 31 8:00 p.m. The smart, sexy, and entertaining works of Larry Keigwin gorgeously blend contemporary dance and cabaret flare with the verve of New York Fashion Week and MTV.

MAY Téada with special guest Séamus Begley Friday, May 11 at 8 p.m. One of Irish music’s leading exponents on the international world music stage, Téada is driven by a fascination with the ageless, expressive force of traditional tunes inherited from previous generations of musicians.

The Teetotallers Thursday, May 24 at 8 p.m. Marvel at the sound of these three world-class performers, each an amazing artist in his own right - together for a rare, triple threat evening of their combined talents. Featuring John Doyle, Martin Hayes, and Kevin Crawford.

Thursday, March 22 at 8 p.m. Sagapool’s music travels without borders, sharing the exuberance of its first loves – gypsy music, gypsy swing, and klezmer – layered with rhythms of a world at-large.

Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place. For more details visit www.dwtheatre.com. For a season brochure, or to purchase tickets, call the box office at (828) 257-4530. If You Go


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performance AmiciMusic’s First Annual Winter Chamber Music Festival

2 0 1 1 - 2 0 1 2 SEASON Daniel Meyer, Music Director

Call for tickets today! UPCOMING CONCERTS

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orchestras, and performed miciMusic, the new recitals across the country organization dedicated and in Europe. to performing high quality chamber music Friday, January 6 at 7:30 in intimate venues and p.m. – First Congregational non-traditional places, will Church at 20 Oak St. in present its first annual Winter downtown Asheville. SuggestChamber Music Festival with ed donation is $20 for adults several great concerts in Januand free for all children. ary. AmiciMusic was founded Saturday, January 7 at 7 p.m. by pianist Daniel Weiser in – White Horse Black MounOctober 2011 with a mission tain (www.whitehorseblackof making this type of music mountain.com or 828-669more accessible to a greater 0816). Tickets: $15 adults, variety of people by breaking $5 for students/children. down the barriers between audience and performers. Sunday, January 8 at 3 p.m. “Our concerts are very – House concert at a beautiful relaxed and informal, but filled Violinist Amy Lovinger country French-style manor with a great musical energy,” in Fletcher. Seating will be says Weiser. “I try to talk about limited and by reservation each composer and piece and only. $35 admission includes point out a couple things to lisfood and wine. Contact Dan ten for. People tell me it makes at (828) 505-2903 or e-mail for a much more active and daniel@amicimusic.org. enjoyable listening experience.” Because of the intimate On Saturday, January 14 at nature of many venues, includ7 p.m., Weiser will continue ing private homes, there is also his series, “A Short History a strong visual component to of the Piano” with Part V, these programs as people can featuring piano music of the “get close enough to feel the early 20th century, including vibrations, see the interplay Rachmaninoff, Joplin, Gerbetween the musicians, and swhin, and more interspersed become fully enveloped in the with fascinating stories about sonic dialogue.” each composer. Tickets are Weiser hopes to attract $15 and $5 for students/chilViolinist Rachel Patrick some new listeners, who might dren. At the White Horse think of chamber music as elitBlack Mountain. ist or stuffy. “Chamber music “The Power of Four” will originally meant ‘music among feature three prominent local friends’, which is exactly what string players, violinist Amy AmiciMusic means and what Lovinger, violist Kara Poorwe aim our programs to be,” baugh, and cellist Franklin says Weiser, who has a DoctorKeel, who will join with ate in Chamber Music from Weiser in a program of great the Peabody Conservatory and piano quartets by Mozart and has traveled around the world, Faure. All three are graduates performing in places such as of the Eastman School of MuEgypt, Israel, Pakistan, Thaisic, principals of the Asheville land, and more. “We think this Symphony, and members of is the way chamber music was Pianist Daniel Weiser the Opal String Quartet. meant to be heard and urge new people to try it just once Friday, January 20 at 7:30 — we think you will be hooked!” p.m. – First Congregational Church at 20 The Winter Chamber Music Festival Oak St in Asheville. Suggested donation of will feature several exciting musicians. First $20 for adults; free for children. up is sensational young phenom violinist Rachel Patrick, who will travel from IndiSaturday, January 21 at 7 p.m. – House ana University to perform with Weiser in a Concert at the incredible Grove Park house. program titled “Really Romantic” with muLimited seating and reservations required. sic of Grieg, Brahms, Clara Schumann, and $35 pp includes food and wine. Contact Kreisler. Patrick has won several awards Dan at (828) 505-2903 or e-mail daniel@ and competitions, soloed with several U.S. amicimusic.org.

SATURDAY

FEBRUARY 11, 2012 • 8pm BEETHOVEN’S “PASTORAL” SYMPHONY Beethoven Liszt

Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral” Piano Concerto No. 1 Jeanette Aufiero

Wagner Jeanette Aufiero

CONCER T SPONSOR

THE PAYNE FUND

Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde

MARCH 17, 2012 BRAHMS SYMPHONY NO. 1 Rossini

Douglas O’Connor

La Scala di Seta Overture Glazunov Concerto for Alto Saxophone Piazzolla Oblivion Brahms Symphony No. 1

APRIL 14, 2012 MOZART’S “JUPITER” SYMPHONY MAY 12, 2012 THE PINES OF ROME

FOR TICKETS AND MORE INFORMATION

828.254.7046 • www.ashevillesymphony.org Sunday, January 22 at 4 p.m. – First Baptist

Finally, on

Sunday, January 29 at 2 p.m.,

Church in Weaverville at 63 N. Main St. Suggested donation of $20 for adults; free for children.

Thursday, January 26 at 7 p.m. – “The

Power of Clarinetist Fred Lemmons Four” at the White Horse Black Mountain. $15 for adults; $5 for students/children. www.whitehorseblackmountain.com of (828) 669-0816. On Saturday, January 28 at 7 p.m., AmiciMusic will team up with the Asheville Tango Orchestra to present “Totally Tango” at the White Horse Black Mountain. Come dance in this large space or just grab a drink and sit cabaret-style and listen to this six-piece band with two violins, accordion, bandoneon, piano, and bass. This is a rare opportunity to experience a full night of live tango music with one of the only Tango Orchestras in the Southeast.

clarinetist Fred Lemmons will team up with Weiser in “Classy Clarinet,” a program featuring wonderful music by Weber, Brahms, Cellist Franklin Keel Debussy, Bernstein, and a fun Kelzmer-style work by Simon Sargon. Lemmons is a recent transplant to Asheville, after serving 21 years with the U.S. Marine Band and performing for five presidents. He now teaches at Mars Hill and Brevard Colleges. Suggested donation of $20 for adults and free for children. If You All programs are subject to change. Go Visit www.amicimusic.org for

latest information. To get on the AmiciMusic e-mail list in order to get upto-date info on all concerts, please contact Dr. Weiser at daniel@amicimusic.org.

Vol. 15, No. 5 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — January 2012 


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spinning discs CD Reviews by James Cassara

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I’ve long resisted my own temptation (as well as reader requests) for a “top ten albums” end of the year list. They hardly represent the best albums of the year – such declarations are at best arbitrary – but rather a subjective inventory of favorites.

However, 2011 was such an unusual year, both in the abundant quality of wonderful music and the ever shifting ways in which that music reaches our ears, that I at last feel compelled to give it a go. What the heck, it’s my column, so I may as well take advantage of the freedom Rapid River Magazine affords me. And so, without further ado, and with the understanding that the order will change with the winds:

5. Tom Waits Bad As Me The maestro of broken dreams and broke down heroes wisely took the advice of wife and musical collaborator Kathleen Brennan to keep his twentieth studio album simple. Best to leave the oblique epics for next time and concentrate instead on the songs. As such Bad as Me works best when it adheres to this formula, especially the horn infused jaunt of “Chicago” and the stutter step rockabilly of “Get Lost,” and briefly loses its way when it relies too heavily on such big name guests as Keith Richards and Flea rather than utilizing the talents of his usual touring band. The entire affair is a bit rickety, but it is as glorious a train wreck as this gravel voiced Rock and Roll icon has ever recorded.

4. The Black Keys El Camino I’ve been waiting patiently for the duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney to hit their stylistic stride, and with the eight cylinder strength of El Camino they have finally done so. Replete with colossal, fuzz laden guitars and explosive drums – along with a vocal wall of noise that would make Phil Spector smile – the songs take second place to the sound. And while such delights as “Hell of a Season” and “Dead and Gone” do make for great listening, it’s the overall impact of El Camino that really shoots the moon.

3. Beirut The Rip Tide Zach Condon might have a strange fixation with (of all things) Balkan folk music but his obsessions continue to make for fascinating music. Beirut luxuriates in the sort of three minute pop songs that once dominated  January 2012 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — Vol. 15, No. 5

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AM radio and somehow managed to bridge the divide between critical acclaim and commercial triumph. Given the “next great thing” buzz factor, you’d expect Beirut to be some sort of huge statement. Instead it’s the most modest record of his catalog. It’s also the most accessible, which is its primary joy and inevitable heartbreak. And while his band spans an at times gluttonous 11 members, Condon remains firmly in control, one of the most confident and enigmatic artists of our day.

2. The Decemberists The King Is Dead My opinion of this album has admittedly wavered to and fro but with repeated listens it become obvious that what it lacks in heft it more than compensates for in durability. Gone is the baroque rock opera at which the band excels, replaced instead with a far more intimate and personal statement of where Colin Meloy’s head is these days. He still tosses out words with Faulkner like density but the presence of R.E.M guitarist Peter Buck – who seems to act here as spiritual advisor and co-producer – gives the album a lovely rustic and restrained (a word not typically associated with this band!) veneer. With only one song over five minutes The King is Dead might well signal a bold new direction for the band. Or given Meloy’s mercurial impulses, it just as easily might not.

1. Wilco The Whole Love Darn you Jeff Tweedy! Just when I am ready to write you and Wilco off as another pre-millennium band that peaked far too soon, you keep proving me wrong. Considerably less indulgent than its immediate predecessors The Whole Love is the least forced effort they’ve released since Summer Teeth. It’s also the first to make full use out of the post-Jay Bennett line up. Whole Love tethers itself to every Wilco album before it while creating an expanse that only hints of things to come. In short, it is the sort of experimental music, played with gusto by a band with nothing to prove, that made us fall in love with them to begin with. Be sure to pick up the bonus disc version featuring “I Love My Label.” It’s quite possibly the most ironic song Tweedy has ever written, which is saying something.

The second tier in no particular order Saint Vincent Strange Mercy Had I heard this a bit earlier, it would likely have cracked my top five. As it is, the ways in which Annie Clark keeps effortlessly tossing us curve balls – just when you think you’ve settled into an emotional groove she again shifts gears – all the while giving us one emotional kick after another. Now, would someone please give me a virtual kick in the backside for having missed them at MoogFest?

John Wesley Harding The Sound of My Own Voice An incredible collection of verbal epistles arranged with pure pop intuition and sung with an urgency to match the times. Not to mention that stellar cast of guest stars. Harding himself is easily the best folk singer in England not named Billy Bragg.

Adele 21 Sure she dominates the airwaves but let’s not be elitist: Just because she is so damn popular doesn’t mean she isn’t good. Her raspy beyond her years voice tends to dominate the surroundings but taken on their own the songs that populate 21 might even be stronger than those on her magisterial debut. Once she recovers from her bout of throat ailments the world will indeed be her oyster. I look for her to return sounding refreshed and ready to take no prisoners.

Feist Metals It’s easy to dismiss the relative lightweight nature of Leslie Feist’s music but that quality of understated assurance is the very thing that makes her so likeable. There’s not a hint of self consciousness to this album, but rather a yearning for better times and better loves. What really makes this collection shine are ‘CD’s’ continued on next page


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sound experience

MoogFest 2011: A Look Back

by James

Cassara

The start of a new year is traditionally a time of reflection, so I’d like to take this opportunity to make a few observations regarding the second annual MoogFest.

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ome comments are directed at the logistics of this From the Tangerine Dream Concert TV On The Radio massive event Photo: Joseph F. Carney III, EarthMusic Photography Shaun Hollingsworth – which were for the most part stellar – while others will summarize the bands I saw and those who I wish I had. It is worth noting that my Remembering Walter perspective of the Sear’s Pivotal Role in weekend is inMoog Legacy, with Brian fluenced both by Kehew (moderator), St. Vincent Herb Deutsch, and Dick my not having to Joseph F. Carney III Hyman. Photo: Shaun Moby Shaun EarthMusic pay for the event Hollingsworth Hollingsworth Photography (there are some definite benefits to freelance writing!) and by virtue of my having press and photograph access afforded only to a fortunate few. Not paying for the ticket enabled me to ‘CD’s’ continued from page 8 pick and choose; I didn’t feel the compulsion to spend every waking moment listening to music, the lilting arrangements and the choosing instead to absorb the embarrassment commitment to finally put her reof riches at a more leisurely pace. I was also able markable voice up front and center, to see bands up close in the various photo pits. where it should have been all along. The weekend kicked off with a fabulous meet and greet at Moog headquarters. What TV on the better place to mingle with those behind-thescenes visionaries who work so hard to make Radio this happen? It represented an opportunity to Nine Types of see such old friends as Michelle Koussa (the Light daughter of Robert and director of the Moog Less depenFoundation) and Moog Music President dent on the inMichael Adams. tense grooves of 2008’s Dear Science I also spoke with MoogFest promoter Ashthe more stripped down approach ley Capps for the first time. He’s as passionate found here better supports the songs and quick witted as you might suspect; a man within; there are still those tradewho has had an enormous impact on the conmark layers of instrumentation but temporary music scene. I also met many email here they are more easily dissected acquaintances, those I have communicated with and enjoyed. for years but had never met directly. What a That sense of space is a good pleasure to put faces to names and voices! thing, giving Nine Types of Light Despite the cold and drizzly weather plenty of room to breathe, and the everyone was in extraordinary spirits. We were listener time to digest the richbeing treated to fine food and drink, talking ness of the songs. And while the with people who love music as much as we do, introduction of a few acoustic and someone else was picking up the tab. Life instrumentals might at first seem a is indeed good! bit disconcerting, in the end they Now to the music: Friday night kicked make perfect sense. Not quite a off with Lunz Project, a band I was unfamiliar masterpiece but rather another solid with, as I settled in for Tangerine Dream. It addition to their catalog. was just prior to their performance that the

first of several serendipitous moments occurred. Darned if I didn’t see a long time friend from my days in South Florida (one whom I had not heard from in more than a decade) on stage; a quick check of his Facebook page informs me he is now working for a company that handles the band’s marketing and is indeed in town for the weekend. I’ll have more on that later. Tangerine Dream sends me into a transcendent state just long enough for me to shift from Thomas Wolfe Auditorium to the Asheville Civic Center in time for Moby (stupendous!) and Television on the Radio, who managed despite an awful sound mix managed to exceed even my lofty expectations. Their show was followed by a previously arranged photo shoot and brief interview with the band, a pleasant task that kept me up well past two in the morning. Now for my one complaint: I assume it had to do with keeping accurate occupancy counts but the only way to move from the one venue to the next was to exit Thomas Wolfe out front and circle around the block to the rear entrance of the Civic Center. Given the cold a rain I have to think there’s a better way to arrange that. Day two began with the wonderful presentation by Brian Eno. For those hoping to hear sordid stories of working with David Bowie and The Ramones I am certain it was a letdown. It instead had the feel of sitting in an auditorium with an Oxford educated Professor, albeit one with a luminous wit and inscrutable charm. But as an artist and teacher, and one whose interest in the creative arts crosses many boundaries, I was mesmerized. I followed that privileged experience by meeting up with the aforementioned friend, peeling back the years, touring MoogPlex, and enjoying dinner as if we’d last chatted a week before. Life is still good! Now it’s time for a pair of my targeted performances; The Stickmen, comprised of drummer Pat Mastelotto and bassist Tony Levin of King Crimson fame, and The Adrian Belew (guitarist for KC) Power Trio. Following respective performances by both bands the anticipated “King Crimson minus Robert Fripp” reunion did live up to its billing. The acoustics of Diana Wortham Theatre fully engaged the majestic authority of the music. As a King Crimson fan of four decades, hearing them perform the mainstay “21st Century Schizoid Man” and

Flaming Lips Photo: Caleb Wilson

the rarely played “Moonchild” in the same evening was too good be true. Of course with so much music it is inevitable that some acts I badly want to see are going to overlap. Such was the case with the Power Trio and Flaming Lips. I dashed madly across the plain to see them but missed the first half of their show. Ah, the Flaming Lips: A band whose albums I dearly love but one whose live performances inevitably disappoint me. Having seen them thrice I do wish Wayne Coyne would curb the potty mouth. His incessant use of the “F” bomb on stage not only diminishes the heft of what he has to say but quickly grows tiresome. Mr. Coyne, you’re 42 years of age, and an artist of tremendous musical gifts. Please grow up. I not offended, just bored. So after dropping my friend off at his hotel I am home not much past midnight, tired but wired. Day three finds a more relaxed pace. Outside of Passion Pit I was largely unfamiliar with the bands. I caught bits and pieces of Beats Antiques and The Drums before ending the weekend with a Passion. I would have enjoyed seeing Umphrey’s McGee for a third time but I’m a working lad, and school beckoned early the next morning. I greatly regret having missed St. Vincent, as nearly everyone who was there thought it a highlight of MoogFest. Now a few (however slight) criticisms: Given the time of year I’m not sure outdoor venues are workable, and I suspect it’s something that may be reconsidered for next year. I understand the lure for some but standing in the bitter cold, regardless of who’s on stage, is not much fun. I do think a better way of routing folks from Thomas Wolfe to the Civic Center could be found, perhaps by putting a counter in the corridor which connects the two. Lastly, the fine folks who supervise press credentials need to be better informed. A quick tip sheet to photographers and press would help us avoid the confusion of who can photograph where and when and under what conditions. But these fine points, all of which can be readily addressed: MoogFest remains a superlative event, one of which the promoters and Asheville should all be proud. I am already looking forward to next year!

Vol. 15, No. 5 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — January 2012 


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sound experience Steep Canyon Rangers at the Orange Peel

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ow does a band wrap up a highly successful year, one which found them touring around the globe to sold out venues, not to mention hobnobbing with one of our most beloved entertainers? If you’re The Steep Canyon Rangers you bring it all back home

with a show for the locals. It has been an amazing 12 months for the Rangers. In March 2011, the band released its first collaborative record with Steve Martin, “Rare Bird Alert,” which debuted at the top of Billboard’s Bluegrass Chart. Between headlining MerleFest and Bonnaroo (alongside Martin) the band continued to perform as a quintet on stages such as Telluride, Rocky Grass, and on ”A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor. Recent television appearances with Martin included “Late Night With David Letterman,” “The Colbert Report,” and “Austin City Limits.” Since then they’ve been working steadily on a new release, prepping

by James

Cassara

some of the latest material on the stage while making plans for 2012. It’s a long way from when Woody Platt (guitar, lead vocals) and Charles R. Humphrey III (bass, harmony vocals) joined forces to form the nucleus of the band. At that time (1999) all three were attending the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and hoping to meet other players who shared their fervor for traditional Bluegrass. Yet at first, there was no thought of being in a full time band. The members were all busy with school and planning professional careers. None of them had ever been in a group before, but as they created a style of their own – equal parts traditional and progressive bluegrass, with a bit of country and rock thrown into the mix – they began to realize they were no longer just a bunch of friends jamming. By the time they gradu-

ated, fiddler Nicky Sanders had joined on and the Steep Canyon Rangers were getting enough gigs to quit their day jobs and become full-time musicians. Since then the Rangers have established themselves as one of today’s premiere bands. They’ve won numerous awards, sold a lot of records, and played places they might have once only dreamt of. Still, they’ve never strayed far from their roots, and it is safe to say that a chance to play in front of a crowd that “knew them when” must certainly be appealing. Of course the benefit is mutual, as anyone who has seen the Steep Canyon Rangers in concert will tell you it’s indeed a special occasion. If You The Steep Canyon Rangers Go in concert at The Orange Peel

on Friday, January 13 (no bad luck here!). The show is a benefit for Evergreen Community Charter School. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $22 at the door. Ages 18+ only.

WNC Jazz Profiles: The Asheville Original Music Series The Asheville Original Music Series was created this past spring by bassist Mike Holstein and drummer Justin Watt, both local jazz artists, as a place to feature regional musicians and their compositions.

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ccording to Mike, “We wanted to create an environment where people can come and experience live performances of music being created here and now. We also wished to have a place where composers can bring their own music in to play or be read by others. It’s where composers can share new material, while musicians can at the same time hone their musical reading skills by seeing the latest in modern repertoire.” Justin added, “This series is a concept that Mike and I talked about for some time and now we’re finally seeing it come to fruition at a wonderful venue. The Altamont Theatre, and its owners Brian and Tiffany, see completely eye to eye with us regarding our goals. These events are totally free to the public and open to all ages: students; professionals; and everyone else in between.” The performances are divided into two sets — the first set is a performance with the featured guests and their compositions, usually supported by Mike and Justin. Then the second set is an open jam session where musicians in the audience can “sit in” and play with those featured, or in other configurations. What’s played usually falls under the jazz

category, but occasionally also has within it elements of contemporary classical, or even rock. The Asheville Original Music Series, which takes place every Tuesday night at 8 p.m, was initiated June 7, 2011 and featured percussionist Matthew Richmond. Other featured guests have included such greats as Bill Gerhardt, Frank Southecorvo, Shane Perlowin, Liberated State, Michael Jefry Stevens, Mark Guest, Wayne Goins, Steve Alford, Justin Ray and Jacob Rodriguez. “Mike and I are typically the basic backing rhythm section of bass and drums. We generally leave it up to our featured guest to decide what kind of personnel they want to play with. For example, a pianist or guitarist may opt to just play with Mike and me – as a trio. A horn player may wish to add a pianist in order to have a chordal instrument in the band. It can really work in any combination depending on what the guest wants to hear for their music. That’s part of the excitement – the music is completely different from week to week.” The Altamont Theatre (828-348-5327, www.myaltamont.com) is located at 18 Church Street in downtown Asheville. The Altamont, a “blackbox” theatre seating 100 people that’s owned by Brian Lee and Tiffany Hampton, is quickly becoming

10 January 2012 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — Vol. 15, No. 5

by

Eddie LeShure

current music - some more, some less. That’s an ongoing dialogue. I think the Asheville Original Music series is the best thing to come to town in years! Mike Holstein and Justin Watt are two interesting musicians whose writing and playing are exciting to hear every week by themselves. The effort they have put into generating and supporting other composers in our area is fantastic! Go check it out!” ~ Saxophonist Frank Southecorvo Mike Holstein and Justin Watt outside of the Altamont Theatre. Photo: Jennifer Callahan

Asheville’s premier performance space and gaining a reputation as THE place to see live music and theatre. It features a beer/wine bar and also includes light food faire. The acoustics there are first rate! “I feel so incredibly fortunate to have moved into town at roughly the same time that the Asheville Original Music Series began. I was there at the opening bell and have seen the enormous musical talent from the jazz/music community week after week at these original music events! It is exciting knowing that these concerts are now moving to the Altamont Theatre! Thanks guys for keeping the flame going!” ~ Pianist/composer Michael Jefry Stevens

“If people had not supported and listened to new music in the past, we would not now have the genius of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, etc. I really like hearing

Asheville Original Music Series January Guests: 1/3 - Keith Davis (pianist) 1/10 - Bill Gerhardt (pianist) 1/17 - Bill Bares (pianist) 1/24 - Bill Gerhardt (pianist) 1/31 - Matt Dingledine (guitar) http://ashevilleoriginalmusicseries. blogspot.com www.facebook.com/pages/ Asheville-Original-Music-Series www.mikeholstein.info

Share Eddie LeShure’s passion for jazz with Jazz Unlimited on MAIN FM each Wednesday 7-10 p.m., at 103.5 or MAIN-FM.org.


Reel Take Reviewers:

∑∑∑∑∑ - Fantastic ∑∑∑∑ - Pretty darn good ∑∑∑ - Has some good points ∑∑ - The previews lied ∑ - Only if you must M- Forget entirely

Michelle Keenan is a long time student of film and a fundraiser for public radio. Chip Kaufmann is a film historian as well as a program host on WCQS-FM. Both are members of the Southeastern Film Critic's Association (SEFCA).

For the latest reviews, theater info and movie show times, visit www.rapidrivermagazine.com

Illustration of Michelle & Chip by Brent Brown.

Questions/Comments?

Brent Brown is a graphic designer and illustrator. View more of his work at www.brentbrown.com.

Anonymous ∑∑∑1/2

pher Marlowe. 2) A Midsummer Night’s Dream was not written when de Vere (or Shakespeare for that matter) was 10 years old. 3) Although intended as dramatic irony to convey de Vere’s unhappy wedding, the use of Mozart’s Requiem (writReel Take: Half an hour into Anonyten in 1791) is not appropriate. 4) Queen mous, my initial reaction was “Oh, dear! Elizabeth’s funeral procession did not take What have I gotten myself into?” but place over a frozen river Thames. then everything changed for the betNow that the historical geek in me has ter. The confusing myriad of characters had my fun, I would like to point out that had been introduced, the cinematic Anonymous is beautifully shot, intricately storytelling improved, and the CGI plotted, and full of several quality perforvisual recreation of Elizabethan Engmances. Roland Emmerich, known for land began to draw me into the film. disaster movies such as Independence Day and Day After Tomorrow, directs the movie in compelling fashion while John Orloff’s screenplay gradually takes on the mantle of a Greek tragedy. The film opens with a modern day prologue by Derek Jacobi and then becomes a live play which then goes back to Elizabethan England where playwright Ben Jonson (Sebastian Armesto) is attempting to save Shakespeare’s manuscripts before being captured and led away. We then go back to the beginning of Jonson’s narrative Rhys Ifans as the Earl of Oxford, the supposed writer to meet de Vere (Rhys Ifans), of Shakespeare's plays in Anonymous. William Cecil (David Thewlis), and Queen Elizabeth (Vanessa As most of you have probably read or Redgrave). They each have their own seheard, Anonymous tackles the continuing ries of flashbacks so you have to pay atten400 year old debate that William Shaketion, but if you do, you will be rewarded. speare did not write the plays attributed to Most of the negative reviews that I him. This time around they were writhave read on Anonymous center on two ten by Edward de Vere. The 17th Earl main complaints. 1) The whole idea is of Oxford who, for various reasons later preposterous so the film is ridiculous (so explained in the film, could not take credit was Shakespeare in Love but that didn’t for them. A convincing case has been made hurt it) and 2) any film directed by Roland for the Earl’s authorship in some circles Emmerich can’t be taken seriously. If you but this film isn’t one of them. In fact it enjoy history, theatre, and interesting plot manages to get more things wrong than twists, then you should delve into Anonyright but that doesn’t keep it from being mous. It certainly doesn’t deserve its curdownright compelling. rent anonymity. Let’s get the most glaring errors out Rated PG-13 for some violence and sexual of the way. 1) William Shakespeare was content. not a horny, Sacha Baron Cohen style Review by Chip Kaufmann buffoon who couldn’t write his name and who murdered fellow playwright ChristoShort Take: Wildly inaccurate historical opus that, after a slow start, manages to be quite compelling with a wonderfully dramatic ending.

You can email Chip or Michelle at reeltakes@hotmail.com

Extremely Loud Incredibly Close ∑∑∑∑ Short Take: The film adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s 2005 novel by the same name, tells the story of an eccentric boy and his quest to stay connected to his father who perished at the World Trade Center.

Reel Take: I have not read

Thomas Horn and Tom Hanks in happier times in Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, but I’ve heard it’s an that will change both of their lives, just not incredibly moving and powerfully written quite in the way they think. As is in life, story. When writer Eric Roth and director things don’t work out the way we think Stephen Daldry took on the daunting task they will, but they work they out one way of adapting it for screen, they may have or another in the end. taken on a little too much. For me, there Extremely Close & Incredibly Loud is a was no way the material can avoid being little too much at times and sometimes feels emotionally manipulative, even if done a little contrived, but it is incredibly moving; with good intentions. sobs, sniffles and gasps from the audience Most moviegoers will likely give themwill be audible. Jeopardy! champ and first selves to the story and allow the hanky intime actor Thomas Horn, delivers a powerducing manipulation. If you can do that, you ful and earnest performance of this eccentric will enjoy this post-9/11 story of a boy’s love boy. The always brilliant von Sydow gives and loss of a father. Oskar (Thomas Horn) one of the best supporting performances of is brainy young boy who has a wonderful the year without ever uttering a word. Sanrelationship with his father (Tom Hanks). dra Bullock is refreshing in a more serious, When his father is killed in the World Trade maternal role, and the rest of the supporting Center on September 11th, the loss leaves cast, including John Goodman, Viola Davis an unbearable hole in Oskar’s life. and Jeffrey Wright are welcome touches as Fast forward one year, Oskar finds a the story unfolds. key in his father’s closet and decides to find out where it goes. He believes his father Rated PG13 for emotional, thematic material, wants him to find where it goes. He explains some disturbing language and images. at one point, “If the sun were to explode, Review by Michelle Keenan you wouldn’t even know about it for eight minutes. For eight minutes, the world would Mission Impossible: still be bright and it would still feel warm.” Ghost Protocol ∑∑∑∑ He continues, “It was a year since my dad Short Take: The 4th installment in the died and I could feel my eight minutes with Mission Impossible franchise is the him running out.” Finding the lock for the best yet. key would symbolize stretching those eight minutes with his dad. His quest will take him Reel Take: Tom Cruise returns as IMF across the boroughs of New York. agent Ethan Hunt for the 4th installment Along the way he enlists the help of an in the Mission Impossible franchise for inexplicably mute tenant of his grandmothMission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. I er’s played brilliantly by Max von Sydow. ‘Movies’ continued on page 12 Together they embark on an adventure

Vol. 15, No. 5 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — January 2012 11


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film reviews ‘Movies’ continued from page 11

Review by Michelle Keenan

My Week With Marilyn ∑∑∑∑

confess I wasn’t dazzled at the Short Take: The little known story prospect, but I was delighted that of the brief relationship between it far exceeded expectations. In Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe and fact, Ghost Protocol is the best a young Englishman while she was of the lot so far. The main reason across the pond shooting The Prince being, they lightened it up. This and The Showgirl. is probably due in large part to the direction of Pixar’s Brad Bird. In Reel Take: Simon Curtis’ directorial fact Ghost Protocol is his first live debut based on Colin Clark’s memoir and action film, and he readily proves diaries, doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t himself a worthy filmmaker. already know about the tragic Hollywood The other element that plays icon, but it give us a telling glimpse into to this film’s strength is its ena brief chapter in her life. My Week With Spiderman who? Tom Cruise returns as semble. Tom Cruise is a little long Marilyn shows her fragility, also her power Ethan Hunt for the best adventure yet in the Mission Impossible franchise. in the tooth these days to be a lone to turn ‘her’ [Marilyn] on and off. Mostly wolf IMF agent. This go round his what we see is the impact Marilyn had on heightened state distrust, the likes of which fellow agents are not mere background and one man’s life in one brief week. neither country has seen since 1961. The support people, they are each integral to the Upon graduation from Oxford, young IMF is dissolved and they adopt ghost success of the mission: impossible. Simon Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) wants nothprotocol to save the world from a crazy Pegg returns as Benji, only instead of being ing more than to work in the film industry. villain in possession of nuclear arms. Of the technical brains behind the operation, After talking his way into a job with Olivier course some things go right, some things he is now a field agent. Paula Patton and Productions, Colin finds himself working go wrong, and it’s an action-packed thrill Jeremy Renner round out the team. Patton on The Prince and the Showgirl. Through ride from beginning to end. and Renner each bring a bit of baggage to happenstance, he ends up tasked with doing Being Mission Impossible, there is of the plot’s more serious aspects, but never odds and ends for the film’s leading lady, course the over-the-top complete implausitake themselves or the film too seriously. Miss Marilyn Monroe. He is, of course, bility of most of what they do. The sequence Together the ensemble packs a punch. besotted with her and she seemingly is atat the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai is not The plot is fairly typical MI material tracted by his innocence (or maybe the fact to be believed, but it’s spectacu– when a mission inside the Kremlin goes larly good. Interestingly, as Bird awry and Hunt is blamed for a bombbreathes new life into the franing, Russia and the U.S. are brought to a chise, he reaches for humor at some fever pitch points, and it works. Cruise is a better comedic talent than many realize, and he’s much better when integrating that talent into his work. ExcelAsheville Pizza & Brewing Company lent timing in the utilization of Movieline (828) 254-1281 comedic moments strikes the www.ashevillepizza.com right balance between the action, Beaucatcher Cinemas (Asheville) the threat of nuclear war, and the Movieline (828) 298-1234 lighter elements. Biltmore Grande Patton gives a solid per1-800-FANDANGO #4010 formance and she’s drop dead www.REGmovies.com beautiful, but I felt like you could Michelle Williams is the iconic Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn. have plugged any number of Carmike 10 (Asheville) actresses into the role. Renner is Movieline (828) 298-4452 a strong addition to the cast and www.carmike.com that he seems to be the only person that is able to give Cruise a run for his money. doesn’t want something from her). Carolina Cinemas Simon Pegg is the standout in the comedic It’s no secret that things were difficult (828) 274-9500 department, of course, but he is a sheer www.carolinacinemas.com on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl. delight and asset to the ensemble. Michael Olivier (Kenneth Brannagh) was maddenly Cinebarre (Asheville) Nyqvist (from the original Girl With the frustrated by Monroe who was constantly www.cinebarre.com Dragon Tattoo) is the mad villain. He’s late, a nervous wreck and always under the The Falls Theatre (Brevard) creepy good, though there is hardly any watchful gaze of her acting coach, Paula Movieline (828) 883-2200 character development or narrative about Strasberg (Zoe Wannamaker). It didn’t help him. All we get is very abstract impresFine Arts Theatre (Asheville) that Strasberg taught method acting, a techsion of why he wants to nuke the states Movieline (828) 232-1536 nique Olivier detested. and start World War III. Details, details. www.fineartstheatre.com Monroe also happened to be using Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is the time in England as a honeymoon with Flat Rock Theatre (Flat Rock) great fun for all but the very young and very her new husband Arthur Miller (Dougray Movieline (828) 697-2463 old. Your mission, should you choose to acScott). When Miller leaves for a week alwww.flatrockcinema.com cept it, is to check it out and enjoy! legedly to visit his children, but there were Four Seasons (Hendersonville) already cracks in their relationship, Colin Rated PG-13 for intense sequenes of action and Movieline (828) 693-8989 violence. steps more prominently into the picture. He Smoky Mountain Cinema (Waynesville) Movieline (828) 452-9091

Theatre Directory

12 January 2012 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — Vol. 15, No. 5

is able to ease the tension on the set because he is able to reach Marilyn on a different level. When they are not working, he escorts Monroe around the English countryside and they spend an idyllic week together. Redmayne gives a charming, caring performance. Williams is magic. Make up, costumes and lighting certainly aid her performance, but Williams probably comes the closest yet to capturing the layers and luminescence and incandescence of Monroe. She ‘gets’ her fragility but also her power – that ability to turn on the Marilyn Monroe that people paid to see. Interestingly, the two Marilyns are separate. Monroe craved the love and affection from the fans, but didn’t really see that as being for her. If only she had used that power for her own good, but sadly, while she is not yet a tragic figure in this story, the writing is already on the wall. Clark wanted to protect her and take care of her, but he also envisioned taking her away from the world that was slowly consuming her. In true Marilyn form, that world fed whatever ego she had and she wasn’t about to let it go. For Clark, the memory of that treasured week would feed him for the rest of his life. My Week With Marilyn is beautifully filmed and is idyllic as Colin Clark’s reckoning. Supporting cast members, including Brannagh and Dame Judi Dench, are superb. My only criticism of the film is a lack of real depth or meat to the story, but then again, it’s just a beautiful glimpse of a moment in time, not a bio pic. Rated R for language.

Review by Michelle Keenan

Shame ∑∑∑1/2 Short Take: Despite tight direction and brave performances from Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, Shame is a relentless exercise in physical and mental degradation that fully earns its NC-17 rating.

Reel Take: I can safely place Steve Mc-

Queen’s Shame on that short but significant list of good movies like Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange and Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salo that I wish I had never seen. Yet another installment in the ongoing critical dilemma (for me at any rate) of pointing out the obvious merits of movies that I truly abhor and wish had never been made. Films about the physical and moral degradation of human beings are just not my cup of tea. Brandon Sullivan (Fassbender) is a business associate for a successful firm in New York City. He has a good job, enough money, a great apartment with a fantastic view of the city, and a serious addiction. He’s addicted to sex. He not only can’t stop thinking about it, he can’t stop doing it either by himself or with any woman he picks up. ‘Movies’ continued on page 13


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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows ∑∑∑∑

Michael Fassbender as a sex addicted New York businessman in the NC-17 rated Shame.

Enter his down and out sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) who’s just as messed up as he is. She needs a place to crash and winds up staying with Brandon and then seducing his boss. It is her behavior and his realization that he failed to take care of her that serves as a wake-up call. Unfortunately an addiction can’t be gotten rid of that easily and as Brandon struggles with himself, Sissy’s downward spiral continues. Director Steve McQueen (no relation to the famous actor) co-wrote the screenplay which spares us nothing. The film fully earns its NC-17 rating and there are several theaters that will refuse to show it, no many how many award nominations it receives. Any romantic notions you may have about sex will be dispelled by this movie. It’s well acted, well photographed (the underbelly of NYC is convincingly displayed), and tightly directed, but in the end I found it to be porn with a pedigree. Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class, Jane Eyre) and Carey Mulligan give brave performances and while I realize the challenge for an actor to play parts of this nature, I just can’t understand why they would want to. At the risk of sounding conservative and in favor of censorship (which I’m not), I do think that there are standards that should apply to any art form which has the ability to influence human behavior. I know that people won’t come out of Shame imitating the behavior of the characters but I find it incredibly depressing to see damaged people paraded before us in the name of reality. For me, there was nothing gained in watching this movie. It was a singularly unpleasant experience that I can’t forget soon enough. You might feel differently but at least you’ve been warned. Rated NC-17 for explicit sexual content.

Review by Chip Kaufmann

The Adventures of TinTin ∑∑∑1/2 Short Take: The boy journalist hero of Belgium’s vintage comic series gets the Hollywood treatment in motion capture animation.

The new Sherlock Holmes sequel is bigger, more complicated, and much more of an action fest than the original. Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) ties a series of bombings to Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), his most diabolical rival who even Holmes struggles to keep up with. He and his trusty companion Doctor Watson (Jude Law) set off on their newest escapade, which takes them to France, Germany and Switzerland. Along the way, they come across a Gypsy named Simza (Noomi Rapace) who may hold the secret to solving the case. I found the new film engaging and, as a huge Arthur Conan Doyle fan, very satisfying. The plot is based loosely on one of Conan’s Doyle’s short stories: “The Final Problem.” I don’t want to give anything away, but the movie contains one of the most iconic scenes in the Holmes literature which caused quite an uproar from fans when it first appeared. I even recognized some direct quotes from the text. Downey Jr. and Law continue the same humorous relationship as Holmes tries by Clara Sofia to accept Watson’s fast

Teen Review

Reel Take: Prior to seeing The Adven-

tures of Tintin, I had heard of the popular European comic book hero, but beyond that had no familiarity with the character. American audiences in general will be less familiar with the boy journalist and his dog Snowy, but that should not stop movie goers from taking in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation. At the start of the story, Tintin (Jamie Bell) is already a well known, intrepid young journalist with a nose for a good story and a talent for high adventure. When he purchases a model of a famous ship, he stumbles upon his biggest mystery yet. From then on out the story is one long thrill ride. From his unlikely ally in an old rum-pot, Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) to the wicked Red Rackham (Daniel Craig) and a couple of bumbling buffoons from Interpol, The Thompson Twins (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost), TinTin’s journey is filled with characters. The story is rapid-fire. It’s a like a 1940s serial with all of Spielberg’s Indiana Jones tricks. Because The Adventures of Tintin is done in 3D motion capture, Spielberg can defy the laws of physics. The result is a film filled with over-the-top action sequences. Sometimes these sequences don’t know when to stop, but most people

approaching marriage. This keeps the film light-hearted, despite several violent scenes. Professor Moriarty is a much better villain than Mark Strong’s Lord Blackwood from the first film. Jared Harris manages to be both gentle and menacing at the same time. Noomi Rapace as the Gypsy girl disappointed me. She doesn’t get to say many good lines and her perforJude Law and Robert Downey Jr reprise their roles mance is sadly forgettable. as Holmes and Watson in Sherlock Holmes: My principal complaint A Game of Shadows. with this sequel is its surfeit of slow-motion action scenes. keeps elements from Conan Doyle’s I like the new approach on Sherlock Holmes masterpieces while still finding a life that shows the physical “apprehending of its own. I recommend this film to of criminals,” as Watson calls the action everyone looking for a fun holiday film. scenes, but director Guy Ritchie definitely Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows overstepped the balance he found in the is an enjoyable movie for teenagers and first film of old-fashioned detective work adults. If you didn’t see the first Sherand high-octane action lock Holmes, watch it to gain important sequences. The action context. And if you really like these slows the movie down and films, consider reading the books! distracts from the plot. Nonetheless, despite Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and its flaws, I thoroughly action and drug related material. enjoyed this sequel. It’s a fun adventure romp that

rum-pot didn’t strike some as funny. None of us, myself included, care for motion capture animation. It also would have been nice to know a bit more about our intrepid young hero. However, for my money, The Adventures of Tintin rose above both of those complaints on the light mystery and its actors. Jamie Bell delivers exactly what you’d expect for such a hero. Andy Serkis seems to Jamie Bell and Andy Serkis are Tintin and Captain have a grand time as Captain Haddock in film adaptation of the popular European Haddock. If Daniel Craig had as serial, The Adventures of Tintin. much fun as he seems to have had being the nefarious villain, probably won’t mind too much. Tintin is I think we may see him wear the black hat not for small children but it will likely prove more often. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost a satisfactory film for the whole family. It’s are hoot as inept Interpol agents. And last ridiculous pace will dazzle the kids, but but not least, the person who may have some more adult elements and silly dialogue had the most fun is Mr. Spielberg himself. will keep the adults entertained as well. He pulls out all the stops, blending old I saw The Adventures of Tintin with school Saturday matinee movie fare with several of my fellow reviewers. Afterwards, 21st Century technology. most of them seemed none too impressed, Rated PG for adventure action violence, some nor particularly entertained. For a while I drunkenness and brief smoking. thought I must have missed something. PerReview by Michelle Keenan haps the pace was too noisy for some, or perhaps the presence of the permanently sloshed ‘Movies’ continued on page 14

Vol. 15, No. 5 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — January 2012 13


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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo ∑∑∑1/2 Short Take: David Fincher’s highly anticipated remake ups the ante in terms of style but is not nearly as satisfying as the original.

Mara Rooney as the titular character in the remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Reel Take: It was not long after see-

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2011 Top 10 Critical Picks

who don’t meet until almost an hour into the film but Craig has more screen time. Much of Lisbeth’s troubled background is missing although the notorious rape scene and its aftermath are left intact. Daniel Craig is more charismatic than his Swedish counterpart but Rooney Mara lacks the inner intensity of Noomi Rapace. The rest of the principals notably Stellan Skarsgard, Joely Richardson, and Christopher Plummer give quality performances. Although this one is technically more polished, I found the Swedish version to be far more compelling in its treatment of the material and the story was easier to follow. After all the hype and Fincher’s more recent movies like The Social Network, I was expecting more than he was able to deliver. The film also ends in such a way that if you didn’t know, you wouldn’t think this was the first part of a trilogy. While there are plans to film the other two books, only time and the box office receipts will tell.

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011 turned out to be a better than average year in film – in some ways a great year. Other titles (not included in either of our lists) worthy of consideration and, more importantly, your patronage are The Help, Ides of March, The Iron Lady, Shame, and Win Win. Chip Kaufmann’s Critical Top 10 Films

Michelle Keenan’s Critical Top 10 Films

1. The Artist

1. The Artist

2. Hugo 3. Midnight in Paris 4. The Descendants 5. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close 6. J. Edgar 7. The Tree of Life 8. The Debt 9. Margin Call 10. My Week With Marilyn

2. The Descendants 3. Hugo 4. Midnight in Paris 5. J. Edgar 6. Margin Call 7. Moneyball 8. The Debt 9. Jane Eyre 10. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Rated R for brutal violent content including rape and torture, graphic nudity, and language.

Review by Chip Kaufmann

ing the original Swedish film that I first saw the preview for this remake of Stieg The Iron Lady ∑∑∑∑∑ Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Short Take: Really good Brit Biopic Tattoo. Much has been made of remakon the life of Margaret Thatcher made ing the original but the inescapable fact is great by an absolutely jaw dropping that most Americans don’t enjoy reading performance by Meryl Streep. subtitles and prefer an action packed approach to their thrillers. This film delivers Reel Take: It’s not like Meryl Streep on the first count but not on the second. needs another Oscar but the woman After a high octane but pointless title just can’t seem to stop giving Oscar sequence reminiscent of a James Bond film worthy performances. This is certainly (surely Daniel Craig being in the film had one of her best, a truly astonishing pernothing to do with this), Girl then settles formance of the former British prime into the story of disgraced Swedish journalist minister that rings true with every gesMikhail Blomkvist (Craig) being hired by an ture and especially every word. aging industrialist (Christopher Plummer) The Iron Lady is very similar to anto solve a 40 year old murder committed by other biopic that was released just recently: someone in his family. To aid him in his Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar which features a investigation, he is given Lisbeth Salander strong central performance from Leonardo (Rooney Mara) a young and most unusual DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover. Both movies computer hacker with more than her begin with the fair share of personal baggage. character in old David Fincher’s overall approach age looking back to the material is surprisingly slow over the course and deliberate but he fails to properly of their lives and set things up. If you haven’t read the revisiting and rebook or seen the original Swedish flecting on various film, then the narrative is very hard moments. to follow. Although the running time Margaret for both films is about the same (2 Thatcher is espe½ hours), Fincher and screenwriter cially interesting Steven Zaillian condense the material as most people in such a way that it lessens the interoutside of England est. Gone are any interaction with know very little the staff at Millenium magazine and about her. Her Lisbeth’s lesbian lover is reduced to rise from humble one very brief scene. origins, defying I was surprised to find more rampant sexism emphasis placed on Daniel Craig’s and the British journalist than on Rooney Mara’s class system make Meryl Streep gives a stunning titular character. The film cuts performance as Margaret for an ideal biopic Thatcher in The Iron Lady. back and forth between the two material. Director

14 January 2012 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — Vol. 15, No. 5

Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo in the award winning The Artist.

Helen Mirren prepares to do what she has to do to keep a secret in The Debt.

Michael Fassbender and Mia Wisokowska deliver fireworks in the latest adaptation of Jane Eyre. George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, and Amara Miller in The Descendants.

Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia) and writers Abi Morgan (Shame) and Michael Hirst (Elizabeth) have fashioned a solid screenplay that skillfully weaves past and present time frames which are firmly anchored in what should be Streep’s award winning portrayal. Good as she is, Streep is not the only performer on display here. Jim Broadbent and Alexandra Roach are just as compelling in their parts. Broadbent is Thatcher’s late husband Denis who pops in and out of the proceedings in the elderly Thatcher’s increasingly clouded mind. And Alexandra Roach is the determined young Maggie Roberts, a greengrocer’s daughter who would become Prime Minister one day. As was the case with J. Edgar, strong supporters and detractors of Margaret Thatcher are likely to be disappointed with the film for failing to fully praise or condemn her actions. There are also

Leonardo DiCaprio is almost unrecognizable in J. Edgar.

those in Britain who are annoyed at Streep’s casting. They wanted a British actress in the part. Regarding the former complaint, although portrayed somewhat sympathetically, the movie does not gloss over Thatcher’s flaws and as for the latter, Meryl Streep’s immersion in the role silences that particular criticism. The real accomplishment of The Iron Lady is that it is one of those movies that will essentially remain timeless. It serves as a historical reminder not only of a particular time and a particular individual, but of a truly great actress in one of her best roles. It will be a pleasure to revisit it, again and again. Need I add that I highly recommend this film? I just did. Rated PG-13 for violent images and brief nudity.

Review by Chip Kaufmann


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2011 Top 10 Personal Favorites Chip’s Personal Top Ten

Michelle’s Personal Top Ten

(in alphabetical order)

(in alphabetical order)

1. Albert Nobbs – Glenn Close and

Janet McTeer give outstanding performances in this little film about a woman who masquerades as a man in 19th century Dublin.

2. Anonymous – Although worthless as history, Roland Emmerich’s take on who wrote Shakespeare’s plays is remarkably entertaining with a big emotional payoff at the end.

3. The Artist – This recreation

1. The Adjustment Bureau – Romance,

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destiny, politics and strange men in grey suits make The Adjustment Bureau great entertainment and a near perfect date movie (and Matt Damon helps too!).

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2. The Artist – A silent film for the 21st

Century, The Artist is a charming and delightful love letter to Hollywood and packs more audience appeal than one would think.

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3. Beginners – Christopher Plummer and

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Ewan McGregor star in this off-beat and vulnerable father and son story, after the widowed father embraces a gay lifestyle at the age of 75.

of a silent film is well done in all departments and is a love letter to classic Hollywood.

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Scorsese’s 3D film Hugo, about an orphan and a forgotten film pioneer (Ben Kingsley), is a captivating movie experience.

Marion Cotilliard and Owen Wilson are about to experience something magical in Midnight in Paris.

4. Atlas Shrugged: Part One –

Critically reviled for its politics rather than its quality, this adaptation of Ayn Rand’s novel shows what can be done with no name stars and a small budget.

5. Captain America – Excellent

period recreation and the proper lack of a serious tone made this one of the more enjoyable films of the year.

6. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

– Classic old school horror film with creepy atmosphere and a bevy of fine performances.

7. Drive Angry 3D – Another over the

top Nicholas Cage action fest is totally outrageous in a good way with the best 3D after Avatar and Hugo.

8. Hugo – Martin Scorsese’s most

personal film about a boy and a forgotten film pioneer is fascinating and captivating with the best use yet of 3-D technology.

9. Jane Eyre – Beautiful version

of the oft-filmed tale is achingly romantic with great performances from Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska.

10. Midnight in Paris – Woody

Allen’s best film since Annie Hall is a joy from start to finish with a great lead performance from Owen Wilson.

Katie Holmes comforts her boyfriend’s tormented daughter in Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.

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4. The Debt – This espionage thriller about

three Mossad agents still haunted decades later by a mission gone bad, has a killer cast and is suspense from beginning to end.

5. The Descendants – Beautifully directed

and acted, The Descendants is an honestly told story of the messiness of life as a father works to keep his family together in the wake of a tragedy.

6. The Guard – One of my absolute

favorite movies of the year, Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle give new definition to the ‘Buddy-Picture’ as an Irish cop and an American FBI agent in this dark Irish comedy.

Rapid River Magazine is Seeking Experienced Sales Personnel to cover East & South Asheville Help us promote local arts, organizations, and businesses. Great for retirees needing extra income. Set your own hours – potential earnings are up to you! Some experience necessary. Seniors are encouraged to apply.

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7. Hugo –Martin Scorcese’s love of the

movies has never been better exemplified than in this beguiling story about forgotten orphan and a forgotten filmmaker in 1930’s Paris.

8. Jane Eyre – The best and most heart

poundingly romantic adaptation yet of the Charlotte Bronte classic.

9. Midnight in Paris – An utterly fun time

traveling romantic comedy from Woody Allen about an American writer in Paris.

10. The Rum Diary – The film adaptation

of Hunter S. Thompson’s first novel is not a great film, but it has a sneaky appeal and terrific performances by Johnny Depp, Giovanni Ribisi, Richard Jenkins and Michael Rispoli.

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The Asheville Film Society

he mission of the Asheville Film Society is: to celebrate films; to honor filmmakers and recognize their achievements in filmmaking; to educate about the role of film in today’s world; and, to promote the city of Asheville and its commitment to film appreciation and filmmaking. Memberships are $10 for a year and are available at the Carolina Asheville Cinema. Memberships are not required to attend our free Tuesday night film screenings. Memberships are good for perks such as:

* Special screenings and events * $1 off your movie ticket, and free popcorn refills of any size at South Asheville’s Carolina Asheville, and much more! Free films are shown on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. in the Cinema Lounge at the Carolina Cinema on Hendersonville Road. Carolina Cinemas, 1640 Hendersonville Rd. For more information call (828) 274-9500 or go to www.ashevillefilm.org

Vol. 15, No. 5 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — January 2012 15


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stage preview delicate

The Magnetic Theatre Kicks-Off 2012 with Solstice

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A Gripping and Funny Drama by John Crutchfield

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he Magnetic Theatre has produced an astounding 12 productions since opening last December, earning excellent reviews and garnering large audiences locally, and attracting attention far beyond Asheville for its innovative efforts. Leading off with associate artistic director John Crutchfield’s combustible Solstice, 2012 looks as though it could be even stronger than 2011 for the exciting young company, which is the only theatre in the Southeast to produce exclusively original works. “Asheville’s reception of us has been nothing short of amazing,� says Steven Samuels, artistic director of The Magnetic Theatre. “Audiences have enthusiastically embraced our wideranging roster of original plays, and in 2012 we intend to outdo ourselves.� Kicking off the new year is the world premiere of award-winning writer/actor John Crutchfield’s Solstice, which tells the story of an ambitious young man, Eugene (Glenn Reed), who goes to visit his best friend, Carlton (Scott Fisher), only to find him living in desperate and dangerous circumstances. Eugene is repulsed by the life his friend seems to lead, and yet he can’t leave–because he’s afraid of what Carlton will do to himself if he does. Add a Civil War pistol, a Darth Vader mask, a child’s doll, and a drug-addicted prostitute named Sparky (Lisa M. Smith) hiding out from her homicidal pimp, and there is no telling what will happen next in this volatile mixture of drama and black comedy. As the unforgettable characters of Solstice hurtle toward the conclusion, what unfolds is by turns grotesque, gripping, and hilarious–in short, a superb and dynamic drama that will leave you at the edge of your seat until the very last moment. Directed by the playwright, and featuring three of the strongest young

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Chall Gray

A superb and dynamic drama that will keep you at the edge of your seat. actors in Asheville (who have been much-lauded for Magnetic Theatre performances in The Witches’ Quorum, The Labyrinth, fix, and Brief Encounters) this show will doubtless be one of this winter’s don’t-miss theatre events. Solstice, written and directed by John Crutchfield. Starring: Scott Fisher, Glenn Reed, and Lisa M. Smith. Scenic design by Annette Griffin. Lighting design by Ryan Madden. Sound design by Mary Castellaneta. Stage management by Rachel Thomas-Levy. Produced by Chall Gray. If You Solstice performances ThursGo Sat at 7:30 p.m. through February

4. Tickets: $12/15; $8 previews January 12-13; $15 gala opening January 14. For tickets or reservations: www. themagneticfield.com, (828) 668-2154, or The Magnetic Field at 372 Depot Street in Asheville’s River Arts District.

Leaf In Streets and Schools Benefit

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bigail Washburn and partner Kai Welch are sure to entertain audiences with their unique style of music which blends Appalachian songwriting and instrumentation with traditional Chinese roots, and an occasional punch of pop sensibility. Benefit features Abigail Washburn with Kai Welch, plus a solo performance from fiddler Casey Driessen, a clog 16 January 2012 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — Vol. 15, No. 5

dance performance by Leaf in Schools and Streets Students, and a silent auction. Thursday, January 12 beginning at 2 p.m., at the White Horse. Tickets at www.theLEAF.org or (828) 686-8742.

If You Go: The White Horse, 105C Montreat Rd., Black Mountain, NC. Phone (828) 669-0816 or visit www. whitehorseblackmountain.com.


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stage preview

at the Folk Art Center

Sci-Fi Play Fight Girl Battle World

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orth Carolina Stage Company’s Catalyst Series kicks off the new year with the award-winning sci-fi play Fight Girl Battle World, opening Thursday, January 19 and running through February 4. Set in a futuristic universe where the human race is on the brink of extinction, Fight Girl… is the story of E-V, the last human female in all the known galaxies, and her quest to stay alive in the face of an intergalactic government conspiracy. Accompanying her is a rag-tag team composed of an ex-military General, an alien spaceship pilot, and an overly sarcastic robot sidekick as they face the President of the United Galactic Alliance and his compatriots.

by

Amanda Leslie

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“Theater for sci-fi nerds.”

Shop online: www.craftguild.org

~ The New York Times

Fight Girl Battle World is directed by Charlie Flynn-McIver, Artistic Director and co-founder of NC Stage, and it stars many local actors seen on stage everywhere from UNCA and Warren Wilson College to Montford Park and NC Stage. Cast includes Rebecca Morris (last seen at NC Stage as Harper Pitt in Angels in America), Jake Bowden, Lauren Kriel, Bobby Abrahamson, Jessica Lewis, Alison Young, Bradshaw Call, Travis Kelley, and Jason Williams. Written by Qui Nguyen, an artistic director of the Obie Award-winning Vampire Cowboys Theater Company in New York City, the play was nominated for and won numerous awards at the 2008 New York Innovative Theater Awards.

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The Southern Highland Craft Guild is an authorized concessioner of the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.

work shown: Jim McPhail

If You Fight Girl Battle World, January Go 19 – February 4, 2012 at North

Carolina Stage Company, 15 Stage Lane, in downtown Asheville (off of Walnut Street, next to the Rankin Avenue parking garage). Tickets: $20; $10 for full-time students with valid ID. Group discounts available for groups of six of more. For more details call (828) 239-0263 or visit www.ncstage.org.

Deborah Henson-Conant

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Fusing Music and Story

eborah Henson-Conant is a GrammyNominated, genre-bending, Blues-Flamenco-CelticFolk-Jazz dynamo. She plays an instrument that was invented specifically for her, so that she could fuse music and story in every way she can imagine. The onstage experience of Deborah brings one of the oldest traditions – the story-telling harper – into the unique crossgenre musical trajectory of the 21st century. She’s performed throughout the U.S. and Europe – and on PBS stations across the U.S. in her public television special “Inven-

tion & Alchemy.” She’s collaborated onstage with scientists, journalists and actors in her cross-discipline exploration series “Inviting Invention.” She’s committed to exploring new ways to fuse music and story as a solo artist, and to reinventing the electric harp as the foremost crossover instrument of the 21st century.

If You Go: Deborah Henson-Conant,

Sunday, January 15 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $25. The Altamont, 18 Church Street in Asheville. Phone (828) 348-5327 or visit www.myaltamont.com for details. Vol. 15, No. 5 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — January 2012 17


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stage preview Fresh Preserves at the Folk Art Center

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he Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway in east Asheville will host the stage performance of Tom Godleski’s original play, Fresh Preserves, January 13-15. Fresh Preserves is the 2009 winner of Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre’s Annual Scriptfest Playwright Competition. A wonderful blend of mountain storytelling and songwriting, the play is a true expression of southern Appalachian culture. Tom Godleski, a native of western North Carolina, is well-known for his bluegrass band Buncombe Turnpike. As a songwriter, Godleski has been inspired by the area’s history and by his own family’s stories. In 2008, Godleski produced the CD Fresh Preserves based on stories handed down to him from his grandfather, mother and uncle. After the CD he wanted to write a play honoring those people in his life. Godleski explains, “My Uncle Robert Fowler was my biggest influence as a storyteller. He passed away in August of 2008; he was 94 years old. He had dementia at the end of his life, and he couldn’t remember his stories. Then it became more important for me to write this play, to keep the stories alive.” All the songs from the CD are woven into the production of the play. Actors and musicians share roles, making the play a multimedia experience for the audience.

Tom Godleski Photo: Antonia Eden

by

April Nance

Fresh Preserves also features visual art as original paintings by Asheville artist Scott Allred are brought onstage spotlighting characters and scenes. In the Asheville Citizen-Times review of SART’s production of Fresh Preserves, Jim Cavener writes, “Laughs and tears come from heart-felt authenticity to the story-telling legacy of our mountain region.” If You Fresh Preserves, January 13-15, Go 2012. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on

Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students. The Folk Art Center is located at Milepost 382 of the Blue Ridge Parkway, just north of the Hwy 70 entrance in east Asheville, NC. For more information, call (828) 298-7928 or visit www.craftguild.org.

Louise’s Kitchen Brings Creative, Local Cuisine to Black Mountain

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ocated in the quaint Steppe House on Black Mountain Avenue, the location is convenient to town and passerby’s traveling down I-40. “Our vision is to provide honest, fresh food that supports the local economy and is kind to our environment,” says Kristofer Hegge, co-owner. “We like to have fun with food and offer traditional Southern cuisine as well as more creative dishes.” Louise’s Kitchen serves breakfast all day, lunch, and a lovely Sunday brunch.

The farm fresh menu offers a selection of ever-changing specials based on seasonal produce, as well as delectable breakfast and lunch staples. Louise’s Kitchen is committed to supporting the local economy and sources many of their ingredients from local farmers and businesses. “It’s been wonderful working with the local community to build our restaurant concept. We feel it’s a collective endeavor and are proud to support many exceptional farms and businesses,”

18 January 2012 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — Vol. 15, No. 5

said chef and co-owner Bud Rainey. Co-owners Hegge and Rainey had long dreamed of opening a restaurant. After visiting the area, they settled on Black Mountain as the perfect location and teamed up with co-owner John Pomoroy to realize their dream. Surrounded by trees, the Steppe House is the oldest home in Black Mountain and provides a charming, light-filled space for costumers to enjoy meals. The name “Louise’s Kitchen” is inspired by the

food and persona of Hegge’s Grandma Louise who taught him to love cooking and gardening as a child. Stop by to say hello and enjoy some seriously good food and hospitality. Louise’s Kitchen, 115 Black Mountain Ave. Phone (828) 357-8088 or visit www.louisesblackmtn.com


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restaurants & wine Random Thoughts About Wine Goody Two-Shoes

It does amaze me that we still have people so old-fashioned, so unnerved by the offering or presence of wine and drinks, when all they have to do is, well, nothing, just not order any.

We won’t be needing this,” she said with a large measure of smugness as she held the wine list under my face. The restaurant had no host that night, so I showed the couple to a table (in my opinion the Carnival Season, Asheville best table in the room), placed the wine list, Mardi Gras, Krewes a folder 8½ by 11 inches, and cleared the unneeded place settings. My hands were Asheville Mardi Gras is in the planning full at that point. Not yet having taken her stages for 2012. The wine drinkers’ krewe, seat, she picked it up and held it so close to the Grand Krewe, Dionysiaque (Grand Cru, my face that it actually blocked my get it?), will be view of the table. She continued to announcing its hold it there. own events in In my mind I thought, “Well, January via the look who’s going to Heaven!” I Facebook page made no hurry to take it back from “Asheville Mardi her, either. If I ever burned a hole Gras” and in through someone with a glare, it was the February her, and I’m glad her husband saw column here. me do it. They split a house salad This year there before they split the cheapest dinner. will certainly I was surprised they didn’t share her be the Second cherry Sprite. I was not surprised Annual Running when she called out to me for the of the Winos. check as I was serving another table. Last year’s was This kind of crass sanctimony coordinated seems rare today. It took me back to with Downtown a previous restaurant job, way back Asheville’s three 2010 Mardi Gras King and Queen in 1993. That restaurant, famous wine bars. This first for its beef, had earned a Wine Spectator year’s will be similar, but it is still being Grand Award. The list offered 1200 wines, planned. As Krewe Kaptain, I welcome you the inventory numbered at 48,000 bottles. to join the Krewe and participate. The tables were set properly, with tall, big Old Fashioned wine glasses. Often enough, the pious would come to dine on well-done ribeyes and “This is the best Old Fashioned I’ve house salads with Thousand Island dresshad.” So said a friend I call my number-one ing. Those people actually turned the wine Bourbon-drinking buddy. It was his father’s glasses upside down, as if we were going to drink. His father, “the Third,” died five years pour without an order. ago. My friend, “the Fourth,” remarked that A little more rarely, I would have to hear it was (would have been) his father’s 65th something from the Scriptures about wine birthday. We toasted “the Third” with Old and drunkenness. More often I would hear a Fashioneds made with Bulleit Bourbon. declaration, “We don’t drink.” The last time I ..and the award for Best Old Fashioned heard that, I removed their waters.

by

Michael Parker

goes to... Chris the bartender, at the Rankin Vault Cocktail Lounge.

Holding Pattern About the wines you got for Christmas: some improve with age; many more do not. There are numerous variations, factors, and conditions that affect the ageing potential of a wine. Local wine shop staff are happy to advise here. But let’s face it: we’re lucky to be given a wine that actually is as nice as the giver wants you to think it is. Years ago, a friend got a wine rack for Christmas, and along with it a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, and she set it up on top of her refrigerator. It was there for seven years. Wine gets better with constant warmth, right? Sure, if you want your white to look like post-pot-o-coffee pee-pee. How is it that everybody knows that cellaring is the best storage for wine, but so many of those same people flake and store their wine in the swirling warm air of a large appliance?

Nice Rack! If you lack a basement or cellar, or simply lack the energy to go down there, consider another ideal place for your wine storage: the floor of your closet. Seriously - the temperature in there is fairly constant year-round. There are no devices creating heat. The floor in there is the perfect place for your wine storage, especially in the cardboard box. Do you ever think about how much wine you could buy for the price of a nice rack?

New Wines The challenge in writing a January wine column is meeting the deadline in December. Wines tasted this season will likely be sold out by the time any recommendations make it to the new year’s readers’ eyes. Tasting notes are on hold until next month.

January 2012 Events at The Weinhaus Friday, January 20 We will dine on a five course meal prepared by Chef/Owner Larry Waldrop in his beautiful stone dining room next to the Grove Park Inn. Great food, fine wine, good company, and excellent service provide a superb way to start the New Year. The time is 7 p.m. Price: $60 all inclusive. Please call the Weinhaus for reservations at (828) 254-6453.

Friday, January 27 Friday Night Flights will feature Winter Reds. Our Autumnal Red tasting in the fall was jettisoned in favor of our “Warehaus Sale.” So we will duplicate the theme in mid-winter. This tasting will focus on heavier bodied red wines. We will choose selections from around the world. So while the wines will all share a large profile, we aim to show their uniqueness rather than similarity. The wine will be accompanied by light hors d’ouvres. The price is $10. Time is 5:30-7:30 p.m. Held at the Weinhaus, 86 Patton, Ave. Asheville.

The Weinhaus, 86 Patton Avenue Asheville, NC (828) 254-6453

Great values & styles Free Wine Tastings on Saturdays from 2 to 5 p.m. Tasting wine is not only fun, but it presents a chance to learn about wine and what it is about a particular wine that you like, or don’t like. You can sip while you shop. Find some new favorites — try it before you buy it. We will usually have a few whites and a few reds open, with the occassional guest speaker. Please stop by!

Wine Retail

~

Tastings ~ Wine Classes

Great wines for any occasion and budget.

www.theAshevilleWineGuy.com 555 Merrimon Ave. (828) 254-6500 Vol. 15, No. 5 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — January 2012 19


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authors ~ books ~ readings interview with

interviewed by

Malcolm Gladwell

Rick Tallbert II

Author of “Outliers”

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alcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer with The New Yorker magazine since 1996. His 1999 profile of Ron Popeil won a National Magazine Award, and in 2005 he was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. He is the author of four books, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference (2000), Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), and Outliers: The Story of Success (2008), all of which were number one New York Times bestsellers. His latest book, What the Dog Saw (2009), is a compilation of stories published in The New Yorker. From 1987 to 1996, he was a reporter with the Washington Post, where he covered business, science, and then served as the newspaper’s New York City bureau chief. He graduated from the University of Toronto, Trinity College, with a degree in history. He was born in England, grew up in rural Ontario, and now lives in New York City.

Rick Tallbert II: What is an outlier? Malcolm Gladwell: “Outlier” is a

scientific term to describe things or phenomena that lie outside normal experience. In the summer, in Paris, we expect most days to be somewhere between warm and very hot. But imagine if you had a day in the middle of August where the temperature fell below freezing. That day would be outlier. And while we have a very good understanding of why summer days in Paris are warm or hot, we know a good deal less about why a summer day in Paris might be freezing cold. In this book I’m interested in people who are outliers—in men and women who, for one reason or another, are so accomplished and so extraordinary and so outside of ordinary experience that they are as puzzling to the rest of us as a cold day in August.

RT: Why did you write Outliers? MG: I write books when I find myself

returning again and again, in my mind, to the same themes. I wrote Tipping Point because I was fascinated by the sudden drop in crime in New York City—and that fascination grew to an interest in the whole idea of epidemics and epidemic processes. I wrote 20 January 2012 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — Vol. 15, No. 5

Blink because I began to get obsessed, in the same way, with the way that all of us seem to make up our minds about other people in an instant—without really doing any real thinking.

Gladwell asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? In the case of Outliers, the book grew out a frustration I found myself having with the way we explain the careers of really successful people. You know how you hear someone say of Bill Gates or some rock star or some other outlier—”they’re really smart,” or “they’re really ambitious?’ Well, I know lots of people who are really smart and really ambitious, and they aren’t worth 60 billion dollars. It struck me that our understanding of success was really crude—and there was an opportunity to dig down and come up with a better set of explanations.

RT: In what way are our explanations of success “crude?”

MG: That’s a bit of a puzzle because

we certainly don’t lack for interest in the subject. If you go to the bookstore, you can find a hundred success manuals, or biographies of famous people, or self-help books that promise to outline the six keys to great achievement. (Or is it seven?) So we should be pretty sophisticated on the topic. What I came to realize in writing Outliers, though, is that we’ve been far too focused on the individual—on describing the characteristics and habits and personality traits of those who get furthest ahead in the world. And that’s the problem, because in order to understand the outlier I think you have to look around them—at their culture and community and family and generation. We’ve been looking at tall trees, and I think we should have been looking at the forest.

RT: Can you give some examples? MG: Sure. For example, one of the

chapters looks at the fact that a surprising number of the most powerful and successful corporate lawyers in

Author Malcolm Gladwell

New York City have almost the exact same biography: they are Jewish men, born in the Bronx or Brooklyn in the mid-1930’s to immigrant parents who worked in the garment industry. Now, you can call that a coincidence. Or you can ask—as I do—what is about being Jewish and being part of the generation born in the Depression and having parents who worked in the garment business that might have something to do with turning someone into a really, really successful lawyer? And the answer is that you can learn a huge amount about why someone reaches the top of that profession by asking those questions.

RT: Doesn’t that make it sound like success is something outside of an individual’s control?

MG: I don’t mean to go that far. But I

do think that we vastly underestimate the extent to which success happens because of things the individual has nothing to do with. Outliers opens, for example, by examining why a hugely disproportionate number of professional hockey and soccer players are born in January, February and March. I’m not going to spoil things for you by giving you the answer. But the point is that very best hockey players are people who are talented and work hard but who also benefit from the weird and largely unexamined and peculiar ways in which their world is organized. I actually have a lot of fun with birthdates in Outliers. Did you know that there’s a magic year to be born if you continued on page 28


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authors ~ books ~ readings Rain Gardening in the South Ecologically Designed Gardens for Drought, Deluge & Everything in Between Written by Helen Kraus & Anne Spafford This is perhaps one of the most important books about gardening I’ve ever read. It addresses the issue of how to use water runoff in the garden to help plants thrive and prevent that runoff from adding to the pollution of our water resources—an unfortunate fact that most home gardeners don’t realize. It’s a must read for home builders, new home owners and landscape designers Basically rain gardening is the creation of a below grade garden that captures rainfall, uses it to nurture plants and cleans runoff from roofs and driveways. It’s a system that uses water in an almost effortless and magnificent natural cycle. The kinds of plants to put in a rain garden are those that thrive in both wet and dry conditions. I actually didn’t know too many plants like that—the authors point out that the south has many such plants. They provide an extensive eye-opening list of good rain garden plants, both native and non-native, both sun and shade-loving. You don’t have to give up your veggie garden either—with careful design, a rain garden can co-exist with other gardens. Rain Gardening in the South provides helpful instructions on how to build a rain garden (not with topsoil!), where to place it, how to design it, what cautions to take. Lazy gardeners will appreciate the fact that after doing a great deal of work to establish the rain garden, it will require a little less maintenance than other gardens. Now in the winter, when gardeners are poring over seed catalogs and making spring plans, is the time to read this book and seriously consider creating a rain garden.

Bottomline: An impressive and

helpful call to action on water-wise southern gardening. Eno Publishers 2009 144 pages, with photographs and illustrations. review by

Marcianne Miller

The Edible Front Yard The Mow-Less, Grow More Plan for a Beautiful, Bountiful Garden

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Written by Ivette Soler

here are several excellent books out about how to create edible landscaping. I chose this book to review because it applies specifically to my own situation—I have four big dogs who need to roam around the backyard, thus leaving only my front yard in which to grow edible plants. But how can I grow edibles and not make my neighbors complain that my front yard looks like a food experiment compared to their conventional lawn/shrubbery landscaping—meaning how can I create maximum edible curb appeal? The Edible Front Yard answers those questions and lots more. At a whopping 213 pages, lavishly photographed with gorgeous front yard plantings, and illustrated garden designs, the book covers all the things you should do to create an edible front yard—and all the things you shouldn’t. For example, I was dreaming of rows of tomatoes greeting my visitors. But tomatoes often look ragged, so the author advises keeping them in the back or in the side, or carefully hidden by more viewer-friendly plants.

Microgreens: How to Grow Nature’s Own Superfood

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Written by Fionna Hill

f your bean sprouting jar is gathering dust in the back corner of your pantry but you’re still longing to grow food indoors, then you’ll appreciate this short but informative book on nature’s latest grow-your-own hobby—microgreens. Microgreens are tiny growths of a plant, bigger than sprouts but smaller than the baby salad leaves so popular today Though claims as a “super food” might be questionable until proof of their nutritional value is confirmed, what is known about microgreens is growing them is a terrific idea. You plant the seeds—in all kinds of shallow containers—recyclers will have a delightful time gathering pots—and in sometimes less than a week, you’re ready to snip the little darlings and drop them in salads or soups. There are about 20 crop possibilities, ranging from amaranth to wheatgrass, with broccoli and radishes getting the vote as easiest to grow, and peas and kale being two of the tastiest. Microgreens are popular now at farmers markets and upscale restaurants—

review by

Marcianne Miller Growing an edible front yard is a lot more complicated than casting a few seeds in the spring. First of all, you have to remove the old lawn, at least in the areas you want to grow edibles. Also you’ll need to plan for appropriate hardscaping and garden structures to maximize your sun and keep things frontyard neat. The book offers many neighborfriendly edible plants to choose from—in fact, it introduces some you might not have thought of as edible delicacies, such as myrtle or sweet woodruff, as well as traditional edibles such as marigolds and elderberries. Although written for the author’s southern California home, the principles of The Edible Front Yard can be applied to mountain landscapes and there’s a section of shade edibles that is quite helpful.

Bottomline: An excellent and compre-

hensive how-to guide for both new and experienced gardeners. Author’s website is terrific on all aspects of gardening: www. germinatrix.com Timber Press 2011 213 pages, with photographs and illustrations.

review by Marcianne Miller

so you’ll be able to taste them before you grow your own. Microgreen gardening is fun for kids and ideal for stay-athome gardeners, especially urbanites. Some of the plants can be grown in the colder weather, making microgreen gardening a welcome way to help banish the winter blahs. The author, who claims she is still learning about microgreens, has a charming you-can-do-it style and the lovely photographs are inspiring. There’s a small selection of yummy recipes and a helpful glossary.

january

We host numerous Readings, Bookclubs, as well as Poetrio!

Partial Listing More events posted online.

readings & booksignings Sunday, January 1 from 12-5 p.m. – 30TH ANNIVERSARY STOREWIDE SALE! Open from noon until 5 p.m. Just about everything in the store (excluding gift cards and café items) will be 25% off! Saturday, January 7 at 3 p.m. – CHARLES DODD WHITE discusses his collection of short stories, Sinners of Sanction County. Friday, January 13 at 7 p.m. – Reading and signing by JOHN SNYDER author of the memoir, Hill of Beans: Coming of Age in the Last Days of the Old South. Saturday, January 14 at 3 p.m. – DAVID JOY & MICHAEL POLOMIK presents Growing Gills: A Fly Fisherman’s Journey. Monday, January 16 at 7 p.m. – New year promises with SAMANTHA POLLACK, CPT, health and wellness discussion. Thursday, January 19 at 7 p.m. – Your Magical Birth Card with ROBERT LEE CAMP. Discover the special significance of your birthday. Saturday, January 21 at 3 p.m. – JAY RUBENSTEIN discusses his latest book, Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for the Apocalypse. Sunday, January 22 at 3 p.m. – JUBAL TINER & STEVE MITCHELL read from the new Press 53 Spotlight Anthology. Thursday, January 26 at 7-8 p.m. – DAVID LAMOUREAUX WORKSHOP & SIGNING. Local author and life coach discusses the processes for achieving change he lays out in his book Recycling Your Past. Friday, January 27 at 7 p.m. – ART RAMSAY returns with the second book in his fictional Wisdom Stone Trilogy, The Tibetan Wisdom Code. Sunday, January 29 at 3 p.m. – GIN PHILLIPS presents his second novel Come In and Cover Me.

55 Haywood St.

828-254-6734 • 800-441-9829 Monday-Saturday 9AM to 9PM Sunday 9AM to 7PM

Bottomline: Enjoyable introduction to a popular new aspect of indoor gardening. Firefly Books 2010 107 pages, with photographs.

Marcianne Miller is a local writer and gardener. She’s completing her first novel, set in Asheville. She can be reached at marci@aquamystique.com.

Vol. 15, No. 5 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — January 2012 21


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poetry & poets January at Malaprop’s

International Water Activist Doc Hendley Sunday, January 8 at 3 p.m. If you think that one person can’t change the world, local bartender turned international water activist and author Doc Hendley will prove you wrong. Struck by the terrible fact that one billion people lack access to clean water, Hendley set out to do something about it. He started in the famine and terrorist ridden land of Darfur and his efforts are now being duplicated in other countries. His book, Wine to Water: A Bartender’s Quest To Bring Clean Water to the World, is a thrilling, inspiring read; part memoir, part adventure tale, part call to action. His renegade style is guaranteed to make his appearance at Malaprop’s a memorable event. To learn more about the world’s water crisis and how you can help, go to www.winetowater.org

Novelist Rose Senehi Saturday, January 28 at 3 p.m. Local author Rose Senehi reads and signs her sixth novel, Render Unto the Valley, which is the third in her Blue Ridge series. It’s a mesmerizing tale of three generations of a star-crossed family, struggling to mend itself and preserve what remains of its mountain heritage. Prominent in Senehi’s stories are environmental issues that broaden her characters’ personal stories to regional concerns. Visit www.rosesenehi.com

Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café

55 Haywood Street, downtown Asheville. For more details call (828) 254-6734 or visit www.malaprops.com.

Poems by Rapid River Magazine Readers

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ith this first column for 2012, I want to recommend some poems sent to me by Rapid River readers in 2011. I’ve written this column for 2 ½ years now, and I’ve occasionally received poems from people who obviously value Rapid River as a forum for the sharing of ideas and experiences with an empathetic audience. I haven’t incorporated these poems in my columns thus far because I’ve been

eager to articulate — or to try to articulate — my own perspectives on poetry in my monthly columns. This month’s column, though, is expressly dedicated to providing space for poems by loyal readers of Rapid River. I’d like to thank these particular readers for entrusting their poems with Rapid River, and I’d like to thank all readers of my columns for caring about poetry, for helping to keep poetry alive and vital.

~ Ted Olson

Sunlight, Moonlight and Butterflies The morning started like any other as I rose from my cozy bed. I lingered by the mirror, studied the image... Was that me? I saw the marks of time leaving misery and heartache behind. I remembered loneliness, sadness, depression, A sense of loss, that life was passing me by. I remembered my children, all five of them healthy, some wealthy But all of them wise. I remembered old friends, old loves, lost within pages of months and years. I then turned to the new day ahead, the sun welcoming my gaze. Yes, today was more beautiful than the many before it. Life was more than that image staring back at me. I saw a new light of hope, of faith in life, of love for others. Moments before I had lingered on what once was, could never be again. Now new moments lay before me, Of sunshine, moonlight, butterflies! So no matter where I go today, whomever I see, whatever I do, This new image goes before me. Guiding me to new avenues, adventures and allures. All because I took some time to linger... to ponder Not only where this life had been, but where it’s going: A new day of sunlight, butterfllies, moonlight … And lightning bugs!

~ Rachael Bliss

Rapid River Arts & Culture Magazine

15th Annual Poetry Contest Any Unpublished Poem 35 Lines or Less! Deadline Extended until February 15, 2012. Winning poems will be printed in the March 2012 issue. Reading fee: $5 for three poems. For more information please call (828) 646-0071.

22 January 2012 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — Vol. 15, No. 5

5 Winners! Prizes Include: Tickets to the Opera; Mellow Mushroom Gift Certificates; Tickets to local concerts; and books from Malaprops. Send poems to: Rapid River Poetry Contest, 85 N. Main St., Canton, NC 28716

Gallery of Blue My favorite gallery is an infinite hall Of wood, of cloud and blue A balustrade of bloom and bark And ever-changing view of bird and butterfly Where shining arcs allow sun’s creamy arms To wrap and multiply Where trees don’t heave like oceans do, Don’t surge in rolls Of salty blue. Nothing is for sale here All belongs to all as always But is owned by none. Trees don’t list like moods drawn sour But have their own adherence: They wave in placid gold green shimmer ‘Til frenzied wind’s abrupt appearance Lets loose a tide of seizures As leaves rattle their wispy frames Against a vast blue ceiling.

~ Kirsten M. Walz

More on page 24 Ted Olson is the author of such books as Breathing in Darkness: Poems (Wind Publications, 2006) and Blue Ridge Folklife (University Press of Mississippi, 1998) and he is the editor of numerous books, including The Hills Remember: The Complete Short Stories of James Still (University Press of Kentucky, 2012). His experiences as a poet and musician are discussed on www.windpub. com/books/breathingindarkness.htm

Poets who would like for their poetry to be considered for a future column may send their books and manuscripts to Ted Olson, ETSU, Box 70400, Johnson City, TN 37614. Please include contact information and a SASE with submissions.


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artful living

A

Sublime Wonder

s a freshman in college during the late 60’s, I was a young alienated intellectual, raised in a liberal Protestant tradition, but who had lost belief in God and religion. Wars, the Holocaust, materialism, hypocrisy, racism, religious factionalism, cruelty, the degradation of nature, churches preaching judgment and damnation, or functioning as little more than watered-down social clubs and places to ritualize holidays and major passages in life, all seemed to spell to me a world without a spiritual basis. That year, however, I attended a lecture by the Jewish theologian, Abraham Heschel, and that night was a turning point in my life. A person in the mostly Christian audience wanted Heschel to comment on the meaning of sin in relationship to fulfilling religious commandments, and he answered, to my memory, approximately, thusly:

More important than the action is the intent and attitude behind an act. He spoke about how, of course there are the commandments and the laws, but that he could imagine situations in which he would have a difficult time calling some acts which violated commandments a sin, such as stealing to save your family from starvation. “No,” he said to the assemblage, to him, more important than the action was the intent and attitude behind an act. He said he believed that we begin to create the conditions for sin when we are in “denial” of what he referred to as “the sublime wonder of life,” when we experience life as made up of objects for our use and manipulation, rather than seeing everything and everyone as the sacred manifestation of God and Creation. He said that sadly, this denial had become the dominant paradigm of humanity and that we do this with nature, we do it in our dealings with people, and we even do it with the people we love. He said that when we reduce life and people to objects for our use and manipulation, we can justify doing terrible and, yes, sinful things, and that the root of sin was to be found in this “denial of the sublime wonder of life.” Those words were like a spiritual thunderclap to me. “Denial of the sublime wonder of life.” This is the fall from Eden! With those words, Humanity’s place in the spiritual universe made sense to me. We have a choice. We can be in harmony with Creation, or egocentric and out of harmony. Much that was in the Bible that had made little sense to me or served only as moralistic platitudes began to fall into place. Heschel was implying that the experience of wonder, “sublime wonder,” is both the vehicle and the result of viewing our

lives, all life, and the Universe as a harmonious and sacred whole, a Divine Creation. In such moments, spirituality is not a theoretical concept; nor a matter of faith, but rather, it is a direct experience that opens us into “radical amazement” (another of Heschel’s phrases), an expansive non-dualistic presence in life, as opposed to religious sanctimony that closes us off from connection, from transformative loving, compassionate Beingness. Heschel was articulating the essence of the mystical spiritual perspective, and as I, then with wondering curiosity, explored other religious traditions, I discovered that they all began in mystical experience. They all originated in the experience of infinite wonder, while an individual becomes aware of standing within the Universe – an expression of the Universe – in love, ecstasy and deep compassion. I realized how with time and absorption into some social/political context, these mystical revelations then had been buried under religious dogma, commandments and ritual until the original transcendent experience that gave deep wonder and meaning to life became lost. Heschel gifted me with the realization that we live in a state of constant choice. We can live from the experience of wonder, or we can deny it. This is the fork in the road of spiritual experience. When I took Heschel’s words and brought them out into the world, I found something wondrous. How obvious! When looking through eyes of wonder, I saw a luminous world of endless interconnectedness and interdependence, a wondrous dance unfolding moment to moment within the fabric of Life, and I had very little sense of my separate and anxious self at all.

We experience ourselves as objects in our minds, measuring our adequacies. On the other hand, when looking at the world from my own ego, my psychological conditioning and personal interest, everything was just objects, just stuff. We even experience ourselves as an object in our minds, measuring our adequacies and inadequacies in self-judgment, sometimes shame. Likewise, other people are objects – there to make our life good or bad, easy or hard. And of course, we are filled with the impulse to manipulate all this stuff to our advantage and there is an overwhelming preoccupation

by

Bill Walz

and insecurity with ourself. I realized that when we are in this “object” consciousness, the world collapses down to me and my agenda, very small. And the stage is set for doing harm, for sinning, if you will. Our concern in life becomes – what are the rules and what and how much can I get for me? Now the “what?” and “how much?” varies from person to person, but there is always a manipulative quality to it. The centerpiece issue is “me.” However, from the perspective of sublime wonder, from the total openness of curious respect and undivided attention, everything becomes quite beautiful, meaningful and valuable. The experience of the moment expands; it is no longer “self” centered, but rather wondrously centered in the connection of my experience of self with the person or circumstance I focus upon in heightened awareness.

From the perspective of sublime wonder, everything becomes quite beautiful, meaningful and valuable. I began to understand the meaning of the phrase, “looking into the face of God.” I knew what Jesus meant when He said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is spread across the land, but people do not have the eyes to see it.” The eyes that can see are the eyes of Heschel’s “sublime wonder.” The centerpiece is Life – bigger than me. “Me” dissolves into Life, some would say, into God. Zen says, into the Universe unfolding, into the “vastness of existence.” As I studied other cultures, I discovered there were peoples that had held to wonder as the centerpiece of their lives. I learned of Native American and other aboriginal peoples, and of mystical traditions within mainstream religions around the world. I learned that clearly there is, on the one hand, conventional religion, and then there is true spiritual experience where the active experience of sublime wonder, of the connectedness and sacredness of Life, comes alive. I learned that wonder is that moment when you realize that what seemed outside of you is not, that there is a wholeness and connectedness. I learned that what can be called God is present, always, everywhere, manifested in Life itself and human consciousness.

I learned that mysticism seems to be a middle way between traditional religion and aboriginal spirit living, a way that carries the direct wondrous experience of primitive nature-based peoples that can be applied within civilized cultures. Over time, my own expression gravitated to Zen, a mystical offshoot of Buddhism that teaches that wonder is to be found in the cultivation of full presence, if when listening, we really hear, if when doing a thing we fully experience it, and when with another person, we are wholeheartedly present. This, then, is the focused yet expansive awareness that Zen teaches, and I learned that this perspective is completely compatible with contemporary living. One doesn’t even have to be a Buddhist, and certainly not Oriental, nor follow Oriental rituals to live it (although practicing meditation and mindfulness and studying Buddhist philosophical and psychological teachings do greatly enhance it). If the primary intent of religion is the cultivation of morality and compassion, as you walk the world with the eyes of sublime wonder, you will notice that you automatically begin becoming an increasingly caring and compassionate person. You naturally begin to do less harm in the world. In Buddhism, an important principle called “Interbeing” teaches the experience – deepened through meditation and mindfulness – that everything is interconnected, interdependent and impermanent, and it brings with it a natural resulting compassion, as understanding takes hold that these are the conditions, along with the problems of ego and conditioning, which you share with the entirety of humanity. You begin to experience a sacred wonder, a “sublime wonder,” and a bond with all beings and aspects of the world, and begin walking with a little lighter footprint, doing less harm if you can. You might say you begin to sin less. When I let go of my culturally conditioned ego-centered attitude continued on page 24

Vol. 15, No. 5 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — January 2012 23


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healthy lifestyles The Last Wolf of Carolina I think of you often, in your final days, what life you must have endured. Wandering the old mountains of Carolina on your own. Haunting the forests where your tribe once walked with impunity. A realm vast and wild, ruled by four-footed angels of death. Sniffing the air for flashes of memory from former days. Hopeful at night for the sound of distant kin, howling at a silent moon. What went through your mind, as you gazed up at shining stars on cold winter nights alone? Did you dream in the evenings of your family and friends long gone? One by one, falling to the bullets and traps of men. Did you think upon the days of your youth, when you played as a puppy outside some den in the remotest places your parents could find? Back in the 20’s, when some cunning wolves still clung to the old ways, in a world fast fading. Perhaps in desperation, you ventured a time or two out on your own, far to the north, even to Kentucky and West Virginia. Only to find that your distant kin were forgotten memories in those regions. So wearily, you returned to the mountains of Carolina, to the place of your roots. Searching for a place that was now only to be found in the innocent realm of your haunting memories. Pulling down your food with apathy, the thrill of the chase and the pack now gone. I imagine from time to time, from some quiet place, you sat and watched the passage of men on old mountain trails. More numerous with every passing year. Riding their horses, filling the serene forests with their loud voices, and rifle blasts. Knowing that to show yourself in the open meant certain death. A lesson learned well by brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. In those rare moments of trust and fatal curiosity. To which you would eventually succumb. The mountains of Carolina are now quiet and still. Left to the enjoyment of man and his sheep. The spoils of Adam’s insane war on Eden. No more bison, or elk, or cougar stalking prey. No more magic wolves of colors red and gray. My God, what have we done? Did they all have to go away?

~ Paul Owen ‘Wonder’ continued from page 23

and opened to, rather than denied, the possibility of sublime wonder, it was as if I discovered what the concept/experience of God might really be. I wasn’t an alienated intellectual anymore. I found that the infinite and sacred were everywhere. This was the great gift Abraham Heschel gave to me, opening my nineteen-year-old eyes to the miracle of “sublime wonder.” Try it - as my gift to you. Perhaps it will be a turning point in your life – and – if enough people were to discover real spirituality through cultivating the perspective of living in “sublime wonder,” it might be a turning point for this whole “sinful” world. 24 December 2011 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — Vol. 15, No. 4

Bill Walz is a privatepractice meditation teacher and guide for individuals in mindfulness, personal growth and consciousness. He holds a weekly meditation class, Mondays, 7 p.m., at the Friends Meeting House, 227 Edgewood. By donation. “Deep Meditation for Psychological and Spiritual Healing,” Sunday, February 19 from 2-4 p.m. at Jubilee Community Church, 46 Wall St. in Asheville - $10. Information on classes, talks, personal growth and healing instruction, or phone consultations at (828) 2583241, e-mail at healing@billwalz.com. Visit www.billwalz.com.

Asheville Tantra School: WNC’s Holistic Sexuality Center

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he Asheville Tantra School (ATS) begins its winter classes with an open house celebration on Friday, January 13. The school will be offering a sneak preview of its winter roster, which focuses on four themed weekends. You will have an opportunity to get acquainted with the talented faculty, preview inspiring classes, and celebrate in an educational party-style atmosphere. Faculty will be present to answer questions, demonstrate their diverse teaching styles, and discuss upcoming courses.

Faculty Genie Hardee gets us all in balance and supercharged with some Qigong.

This winter ATS will feature four themed weekends: • Tantra & Yoga: Ancient Roots – Modern Practice • Honoring the Feminine: Essence, Eroticism & Divinity • Erotic Endings: Prostate/Anal Health & Well Being • Healing Sexual Trauma: from Shame to Celebration. Visit the school’s website for prices, dates, full class and workshop descriptions, and teacher/faculty bio’s. All classes are inclusive, offered for men, women, gender orientation, couples, and singles unless otherwise noted. Classes are also color-coded, so participants know what to expect.

If You Go: Asheville Tantra

School 2012 Winter Classes and Open House Celebration, Friday, January 13 from 7-10 p.m. For information about classes and registration visit www.ashevilletantra.com or call (828) 475-2887. Asheville Tantra School, 2 Westwood Place, Asheville, NC.


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observations

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The Old Curmudgeon

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here’s always a steady stream of customers that walk into what’s left of the Old General Store—some that drive highlights of Japanese ingenuity (both old and new) and not a few that maneuver cars and trucks that began in Detroit but now bear bent fenders, dented doors, and trunk covers held in place by rather dirty clotheslines. And the drivers range from locals to tourists and on to visitors not only from Asheville but points beyond like Johnson City or Spruce Pine or over Highlands way. When Cityfella walked into the store the other day the only sound he heard was the humming of the florescent lights that hung on short wires from the now painted tin ceiling. That and the hiss of the very old Plectron police and fire call receiver that sat next to a pile of new overalls (Made in Peru) just to the right of the cracked-glass barometer on the wall that still featured its last reading, the big low that preceded the hurricane of 1938. Not that the store was empty. Breadman was stacking family-sized loaves and removing stale hot dog rolls left over from the previous week while Storekeep—well aware that both hunting season and a coming winter—was busy going through shoe catalogs. Over on the radiator next to the fresh fruit bin, the Curmudgeon sat in silence. “Good morning,� said Cityfella. “Nice day,� answered Storekeep. “Could be worse,� said Breadman. “—and usually is,� said the Curmudgeon. “Hello,� said Cityfella looking directly at the Curmudgeon, announcing that he was taking the bull by the horns. “Hmmmmmmmmph,� said the Curmudgeon then added, “It ain’t a nice day, leastways not from where I sit, and the means there’s no reason to say hello or extend and kind of greeting.� “What’s wrong?� asked the Cityfella. “Wrong? I’ll tell you what’s wrong only it’ll take me about three weeks of talking 24 hours a day to even begin to tell you what’s wrong. And it ain’t only wrong here or in the city or the rest of the damned country— it’s the whole world.� “I don’t have three weeks,� said the Cityfella, “but I’d really be interested in hearing a little of what’s bothering you.� “Here we go,� the Breadman whispered to Storekeep. “Taking aside all that stuff about digging up two or three states to dig for gas or continue to connect unknown roads so the Pentagon can move atomic waste from one site to another, just tossing that bit of childishness aside, and forgetting that it’s the same government that produced the ninnies that suggested expanding the ZIP code or

by

Peter Loewer

want what’s left of the Post Office to let living people on postIllustration by Peter Loewer age stamps—� He stopped to tamp down the embers of the tobacco in his pipe then continued: “—I mean Lady Gaga on a stamp why the next thing we’ll have the Collier Brothers with a postal salute to family values—and skipping over the cost of food where I now spend in one week what daddy took home in a month—� The Breadman put down a few bags of chips and a crushed box of Moonpies and Storekeep stopped stacking while the Curmudgeon again tamped his pipe, then continued again: “. . . puff . . . puff . . . and giving the bye-bye to all the jerks that spend their days being paid for doin’ nothing and that Social Security is going broke after I paid into it for what seems like a lifetime—� “The final straw was to see that a man shot another man he was living with near the city over the high cost of a sex-change operation. Imagine, shooting someone over that? Why it’s like that there “After Dark� or “Enquirer� newspaper over there is coming to life and really printing the news while all along we thought that the “Times� or the “AC-T� or “The Weaverville Gazette,� or papers like that were really telling us like it is. They weren’t. It’s that damned “Enquirer� working in combo with the man who owns The Wall Street Journal that’s really filling us in on the true ways of life. And I’m sick and tired of it, and now you know, and I ain’t going to talk to any of you until I get me a good explanation of what’s happening—� “Or until you get bored with being silent,� said Storekeep. “Right on,� said the Breadman. “Ummmmmmmmph,� said the Curmudgeon. “I forgot what I came in for,� said Cityfella.

Going Beyond Racism Through Understanding & Respect

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Peter Loewer, shown here, examining the blossoms of early-blooming Lenten roses, is a wellknown writer and botanical artist who has written and illustrated more than twenty-five books on natural history over the past thirty years.

Vol. 15, No. 4 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — December 2011 25


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January 1 – “An Afternoon

The exhibition will feature paintings in a variety of media. The show will be on display through Tuesday, January 31, 2012. The gallery is located at 16 College Street in downtown Asheville. For more details call (828) 251-5796 or visit www.ashevillegallery-of-art.com.

Friday, January 6

Four Master Fiddlers

January 3-27

Friday, January 6

New Year, New Beginnings February 17-18

Neuse River Music Fest www.lenoircc.edu, or (252) 233-6865.

How to place an event/ classified listing with Rapid River Art Magazine Any “free” event open to the public can be listed at no charge up to 30 words. For all other events there is a $14.95 charge up to 35 words and 12 cents for each additional word. 65 word limit per event. Sponsored listings (shown in boxes) can be purchased for $18 per column inch. Deadline is the 19th of each month. Payment must be made prior to printing. Email Beth Gossett at: ads@rapidrivermagazine.com Or mail to: 85 N. Main St, Canton, NC 28716. Call (828) 646-0071 to place ad over the phone.

– Disclaimer – Due to the overwhelming number of local event submissions we get for our “What to Do Guide” each month, we can not accept entries that do not specifically follow our publication’s format. Non-paid event listings must be 30 words or less, and both paid and non-paid listings must provide information in the following format: date, time, brief description of your event, and any contact information. Any entries not following this format will not be considered for publication.

Asheville Gallery of Art featured artists for January are new members Peggy Horne Taylor, Patricia Sweet-MacDonald, Carol Branton Morrow and Pat Perkerson. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Events in Black Mountain Tuesday, January 3 – 6:30 p.m.

Celtic Jam Session at White Horse.

Tuesday, January 3 – 6:30 p.m. Bluegrass Jam at EyeScream Ice Cream Parlor.

Tuesday, January 3 – 8:45 p.m.

Open Mic at White Horse Black Mountain.

Friday, January 6 – 6 p.m. Jenne

The Madison County Arts Council presents the world premiere of Four Master Fiddlers, featuring Paul Crouch, Arvil Freeman, Bobby Hicks, and Roger Howell, with Jerry Sutton and Laura Boosinger. Directed by Tony Torn. Live concert DVD screening. Free admission - two showings, 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The Arts Center, 90 S. Main St., Marshall, NC. Call (828) 649-1301 or visit madisoncountyarts.com for more information.

Sunday, January 8

Roc Day

Spinners, shepards and wannabee’s invite you to a day-long spinning celebration with pot luck lunch, stone soup – bring something to add to the pot! Show and tell your fiber, roving, yarn, and craft. Spinning games and demonstrations. From 10 to 4 p.m. at Handmade in America, 125 S. Lexington, 2 blocks west of the Orange Peel on Hilliard Ave. Call (828) 252-0121.

Sluder at Straightaway Cafe.

Tuesday, January 10

Friday, January 6 – 8 p.m. Nick

Stubblefield CD Release Party at White Horse.

Saturday, January 7 – 6 p.m.

Tristan LaCroix at Straightaway Cafe.

Thursday, January 12 – 2 p.m. Abigail Washburn at White Horse.

Friday, January 13 – 6 p.m. Abigail Washburn

Tim Marsh at Straightaway Cafe.

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January 8 – Skylark Jazz Ensemble

The Black Mountain Center for the Arts presents the annual BMCA Clay Studio Teacher/Student Pottery Show in the Upper Gallery at the Center at 225 W. State Street. Teachers include Geoff Bird, Will Byers, Charles Freeland and Annie Singletary. For more information call 828/669-0930 or visit www.blackmounatinarts.org.

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in Vienna” concert of Strauss Waltzes.

Pottery Show at Black Mountain Center for the Arts

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The American Chamber Players

Concerts at St. Matthias Church

Concerts are held on Sundays at 3 p.m. The historic church is located in Asheville, just off South Charlotte Street at Max Street, on the hill across from the Asheville Public Works Building (1 Dundee St.). Free will donations.

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Original Music Series Featuring Bill Gerhardt on piano. Every Tuesday night, 8 p.m. FREE! This series is a place where composers can share new material and musicians can hone their reading skills by seeing the latest in modern repertoire. The first set will feature a special guest composer, and the second set will be open. The Altamont, 18 Church St. in Asheville. Phone (828) 348-5327 or visit www.myaltamont.com.

Asheville Chamber Music Presents the innovative American Chamber Players. The ensemble’s Photo: Mary Noble Ours repertoire ranges from familiar masterpieces to neglected gems, to newly commissioned American works. Extraordinary, dynamic performances.

The DePue Brothers Band Photo: Elizabeth Ruwet

PBS documentary in 1993, The DePue Brothers Band seamlessly blend their classical virtuosi roots with other musical genres such as Bluegrass, Americana, and Folk. Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place, 8 p.m. Tickets: Regular $30, Student $25, Children 12 and under $12; Student rush day-of-show (with valid I.D.) $10. Tickets/Info: (828) 257-4530 or online at www.dwtheatre.com.

Mozart: Quartet for Flute and Strings, D Major, K. 285 Beethoven: Quartet for Piano and Strings, Op. 16, E-flat Major Schumann: Three Romances for Flute and Piano, Op. 94 (1849) Brahms: Quartet for Piano and Strings, Op. 25, G Minor The concert takes place at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville, located at 1 Edwin Place at Charlotte Street at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35. Students free of charge. A free pre-concert talk will be given at the Reuter Center on the campus of UNCA on Thursday, January 12 at 4 p.m. To order tickets or for more details visit www.ashevillechambermusic. org or call Pam Miller at (828) 259-3626.

Saturday, January 14

An Evening with Leonard Hollifield & Friends You know him, you love him. If you don’t know him, you should. If you don’t love him, you will. We are proud to host an evening with Mr Hollifield, celebrating a lifetime of music. Featuring Josh Goforth of the Lightning Bolts, and Caleb Smith of Balsam Range. Tickets $15, available at www. madisoncountyarts.com. Begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Arts Center, 90 S. Main St., in Marshall, NC. Call (828) 649-1301.

Thursday, January 19

DePue Brothers Band Named “Musical Family of America” by Presidential Decree in 1989, and the subject of a nationally-televised

One Leg Up

Saturday, January 21

Concert at Black Mountain Center for the Arts Featuring a vibrant mixture of upbeat Gypsy Jazz, Latin, Swing and original jazz compositions with local band One Leg Up. Band members include John Stineman (guitar, vocals), Jim Tanner (Guitar), Zack Page (bass), Mike Guzalak (Clarinet, Sax) and Steve Trismen (violin, vocals). No advance tickets or reserved seats. Donation at the door: $10. Doors open at 7 p.m. Show begins at 7:30 p.m. in the old City Hall at 225 W. State Street. Call (828) 669-0930, or visit www.blackmountainarts.org.

Saturday, January 21

Werner & Wilcox Join incredible singer-songwriters Susan Werner and David Wilcox as they share a lively musical conversation from the stage. Easily sliding from jazz to folk and pop, Werner & Wilcox draw audiences in with their respective skill, wit and charm. Mainstage Music Series, Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place, 8 p.m. Tickets: Regular $30, Student $25, Children 12 and under $12; Student rush day-of-show (with valid I.D.) $10. Tickets/Info: (828) 257-4530 or online at www.dwtheatre.com.

January Events ~ Announcements ~ openings ~ sales 26 January 2012 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — Vol. 15, No. 5


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what to do guide Thursday, January 26

Saturday Jaunary 28

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Feel-good, groove-oriented, danceable and often socially conscious music. A soulful eclectic Americana mix, infused with elements of cajun/zydeco, rock, folk, reggae, and country. Donna the Buffalo is one of the industry’s most diverse roots-music bands. Donna The Buffalo at the Orange Peel

Saturday, January 21. Doors open 8 p.m., concert at 10 p.m. Ages 18+, Donna the Buffalo

Best in Show

Tickets: $18 adv., $20 at the door. 101 Biltmore Ave. in Asheville. Phone (828) 225-5851 or visit www.theorangepeel.net.

by Phil Juliano

Selected Shorts Television, stage and screen stars Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker are coming to Asheville to perform in Selected Host Isaiah Shorts: Lots of Laughs Sheffer with host Isaiah Sheffer. Mainstage Theatre Series, Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place, 8 p.m. Regular $35; Student $30; Student Rush day-of-the-show $10 (with valid I.D.) Tickets/Info: (828) 257-4530 or online at www.dwtheatre.com.

Callie & Cats

by Amy Downs

Logo Design Contest Deadline: January 14, 2012

Corgi Tales

by Phil Hawkins

Start with our older logo and refresh/redesign it, keeping in mind our organization and its mission.

Submit your design to us before January 14, 2012. We will review all submissions and announce the winners following our Board of Directors meeting on January 19, 2012. You can see our current logo and read about our organization on our temporary website: http:// sites.google.com/site/NCNaturalProductsAssociation.

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Sara Shea Travel Photography Exhibit Need to escape the blustery winter climate of the mountains? Visit Havana Restaurant in downtown Asheville for some tropical warmth, sweet sangria, delicious latin food, and colorful travel photography by Sara Shea. The brilliant colors of Sara Shea’s travel photography bring to life exotic scenes Palm Fronds & Turquoise including the turquoise Ocean - British Virgin waters and pristine beaches Islands surrounding the British Virgin Islands, pastel sea-side homes of old San Juan, jungle landscapes of El Yunque Rainforest in Puerto Rico, birds and wildlife from Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest, volcanos from the Andes Mountain Range in Quito, Ecuador, even bullfights from Otovalo, Ecuador. The exhibit runs through January 31, 2012. “Havana Restaurant is the only spot to find authentic latin cuisine in Asheville. I am honored to have my Caribbean photography series featured in such an ideal location,” says Shea.

Street Market, Otovalo, Ecuador

White Horse Black Mountain Come join us each and every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and listen to the sounds of fiddles, flutes, guitars, harps, bodhrans and more as regional musicians gather in a circle to share songs and tunes from Ireland and Scotland. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the music of the British Isles which directly influenced the development of the music of southern Appalachia. Bring a friend and enjoy a glass of wine or a cold beer in the tradition of an Irish Pub. No cover charge.

A round or oval design would be preferred to a square or rectangle shape.

If selected, your design becomes a trademark and the property of NCNPA.

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Every Tuesday – Irish Session at 6:30 p.m.

Make sure the design can be legible from 20 feet if printed in color or black & white on a 4 inch x 4 inch paper.

The final artwork resolution should be 600-1000 dpi.

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Havana – Comida Latina, 1 Battle Square, downtown Asheville. Hours: Sun-Thurs 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fri & Sat 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more details phone (828) 252-1611 or visit www.havanaasheville.com.

Attention all graphic designers: the North Carolina Natural Products Association (NCNPA) is hosting a logo design contest. The prize is $250 if you submit the winning logo design, plus we will give you recognition on our website for your winning design. Our guidelines are simple:

Americana Roots Rockers, Donna the Buffalo

Listen to This: Stories in Performance Hosted by Tom Chalmers in 35below at 7:30 p.m. Join Asheville’s number one comedian as he hosts true stories told by local comedians, actors and people just like you. Recent performers have included musician Woody Wood and comedian Greg Brown. All tickets $10. For more information visit the Asheville Community Theatre web site at www.ashevilletheatre.org.

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Dragin

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Every Tuesday – Open Mic at 8:45 p.m. You never know who is going to show up to perform on open mic night at the White Horse. We’ve had participants of all ages, and on many occasions we’ve had seasoned performers from other parts of the country drop by to share a song or two. Come enjoy the sounds of rising stars, aspiring hopefuls and seasoned songsters in an encouraging and supportive environment where all are enouraged to share their talents and push themselves to new musical adventures. No cover charge.

White Horse Black Mountain

105C Montreat Rd. (828) 669-0816 www.whitehorseblackmountain.com

Classes ~ auditions ~ Arts & Crafts ~ Readings Vol. 15, No. 5 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — January 2012 27


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from here to there ‘Gladwell’ continued from page 20

want to be a software entrepreneur? And another magic year to be born if you want to be really rich? In fact, one nine year stretch turns out to have produced more Outliers than any other period in history. It’s remarkable how many patterns you can find in the lives of successful people, when you look closely.

RT: What’s the most surprising pattern you uncovered in the book?

MG: It’s probably the chapter nearly

the end of Outliers where I talk about plane crashes. How good a pilot is, it turns out, has a lot to do with where that pilot is from—that is, the culture he or she was raised in. I was actually stunned by how strong the connection is between culture and crashes, and it’s something that I would never have dreamed was true, in a million years.

RT: Wait. Does this mean that there are some airlines that I should avoid?

MG: Yes. Although, as I point out in

Outliers, by acknowledging the role that culture plays in piloting, some of the most unsafe airlines have actually begun to clean up their act.

RT: In Tipping Point, you had an

entire chapter on suicide. In Blink, you ended the book with a long chapter on the Diallo shooting—and now plane crashes. Do you have a macabre side?

MG: Yes! I’m a frustrated thriller

RT: What was your most memorable experience in researching Outliers?

writer! But seriously, there’s a good reason for that. I think that we learn more from extreme circumstances than anything else; disasters tell us something about the way we think and behave that we can’t learn from ordinary life. That’s the premise of Outliers. It’s those who lie outside ordinary experience who have the most to teach us.

RT: How does this book compare to Blink and The Tipping Point?

MG: It’s different, in the sense that

it’s much more focused on people and their stories. The subtitle—”The Story of Success”—is supposed to signal that. A lot of the book is an attempt to describe the lives of successful people, but to tell their stories in a different way than we’re used to. I have a chapter that deals, in part, with explaining the extraordinary success of Bill Gates. But I’m not interested in anything that happened to him past the age of about 17. Or, I have a chapter explaining why Asian schoolchildren are so good at math. But it’s focused almost entirely on what the grandparents and great-grandparents and great-great grandparents of those schoolchildren did for a living. You’ll meet more people in Outliers than in my previous two books.

Downtown Asheville - 28801

WEAVERVILLE

MG: There were so many! I’ll never forget the time I spent with Chris Langan, who might be the smartest man in the world. I’ve never been able to feel someone’s intellect before, the way I could with him. It was an intimidating experience, but also profoundly heartbreaking— as I hope becomes apparent in “The Trouble with Geniuses” chapter. I also went to south China and hung out in rice paddies, and went to this weird little town in eastern Pennsylvania where no one ever has a heart attack, and deciphered aircraft “black box” recorders with crash investigators. I should warn all potential readers that once you get interested in the world of plane crashes, it becomes very hard to tear yourself away. I’m still obsessed.

Books by Malcolm Gladwell Outliers: The Story of Success (June 7, 2011) What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (October 20, 2009) Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (April 3, 2007) The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (January 7, 2002)

Maggie Valley MA

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Get On The Map, Call

(828) 646-0071

Waynesville / Great Smoky Mtn. Expy. L

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Hilariously Irreverent True Love: Così fan tutte

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on’t you know, all women are like that? Men would never betray their lovers! Well done, Mr. Mozart. You have crafted a cunning joke in naming your comic opera Così fan tutte (All Women Are Like That). The Asheville Lyric Opera brings Mozart’s comic opera to the Diana Wortham Theatre this February - the month for lovers. Today, the themes of the opera still ring true. How many of us have found true love? Is it tangible or merely a fantasy based in naiveté?

Così fan tutte travels through the twists and turns of self exploration, using ridiculous, hilarious scenarios to force characters out of their comfort zones. What begins as trickery could end up with wonderful, unexpected results! While the double standard showcased by the opera’s title (All Women Are Like That) allows for such comedy, the deeper heart of the production is best described by Cosi’s alternate title, The School for Lovers and is matched in elegance by Mozart’s genius composition. A pair of strapping young sailors is sure their lovers will be faithful to them. Surprisingly, their friend Don Alfonso challenges their convictions. He persuades them to disguise themselves as cowboys in an attempt to woo each other’s girlfriend. At the same time, the girls’ handmaid tries to teach them a similar lesson, act as men do. When your lovers depart, play the field! In a whirlwind of confusion, people are deliberately tricked, bringing an outcome of shame quickly followed by forgiveness. In the end, they all arrive at a deeper understanding of who they really are and how it

by

Adam Bowers

redefines their understanding of love. (For the full synopsis, see below) ALO’s production will be set in the 1920’s in Naples, Italy. The ALO is throwing out the wigs and huge dresses! With the collaboration of many skilled artists and musicians, the ALO is looking to try something fresh. For the first time on the main stage, ALO places an opera in a modern setting. 1920’s Naples, the time of flappers, rich and elegant yachtsmen, and mysterious cowboys. This production features Pat Heuermann’s directorial debut with the ALO. Ms. Heuermann, now an Asheville local, is a founding member of the Atlanta Opera and former president of the National Opera Association, with directing credits throughout the United States and Europe. Ms. Heuermann had this to say about the production: “We tried to find an era that was similar to the one in which the opera takes place–one where young people want to be daring, to experiment with life—a world where anything goes! I immediately thought of the roaring twenties.” ALO also welcomes the return of Dr. C. Michael Porter, former assistant music director for ALO as guest conductor. The set, built on a rotating platform, brings stunning depth and fluidity to the production. Both Jane Harnett-Hargrove (costume designer) and Tricia Zinke (hair and makeup designer) return to put on a twist on the traditional. Harnett-Hargrove’s costumes are original works, designed to emulate the art nouveau style that was so popular in 1920’s Italy. Not only do the singer’s looks embrace art nouveau, but it permeates the backdrop created by scenic designer Julie Ross. One hour before each public performance, audience members are invited to attend a pre-show talk given

by the conductor and stage director in the lower lobby of Diana Wortham Theatre. Additionally, a preview dress rehearsal evening (Feb 15 at 7pm) will be made available for student and senior citizen groups through the opera office. Interested groups may contact the opera office for more information about eligibility for the preview dress rehearsal. For more information about Così fan tutte, call (828) 236-0670 or go to the Asheville Lyric Opera’s website, www.ashevillelyric.org.

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Fiordiligi: Sarah Beckham Dorabella: Regina Davis Ferrando: Scott Joiner Guglielmo: Brent Davis Despina: Kristen Hedberg Don Alfonso: Dominic Aquilino Così fan tutte will be performed at the Diana Wortham Theatre on February 17 and 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm. For tickets, contact the theatre box office at (828) 257-4530. Tickets are offered at a variety of prices, making them suitable for any budget. During the month for lovers, a pair of tickets starts at $60. Adult tickets range from $30-$53 with student tickets available from $17-$35. Go to www. dwtheatre.com to purchase tickets. If You Go

Cinderella Kids Youth Production Class Asheville Community Theatre provides the full experience of preparing, developing and rehearsing for a musical production. From princes and footmen to step-sisters, this show is full of wonderful parts for young people! Class begins Tuesday, January 17. Rehearsals are held daily Monday-Thursday afternoons March 12-23. Performances on the Mainstage, March 23 at 7:30 p.m., and March 24-25 at 2:30 p.m. Cost for the class is $300. Pay in full two weeks before the class and save 10%. To register for the class call (828) 254-2939 x21. For more information visit the website, www.ashevilletheatre.org.

Calling All Foodies! Don’t miss the February issue:

Asheville’s Favorite Restaurants Want to be included? Call (828) 646-0071 for details. Reduced advertising rates, web banners, and more!

www.rapidrivermagazine.com

Vol. 15, No. 5 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — January 2012 29


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30 January 2012 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — Vol. 15, No. 5

appy New Year! by Greg Vineyard Every day is the right one to 2) Stay simple. Neutral tackle resolusettings keep the focus on tions. And when the piece. For functional I don’t stay up late eating wares, consider shooting something I shouldn’t with very few props; for while watching some example, a wooden spoon “bad” sci-fi flick where next to a casserole dish aliens eat our brains or easily suggests usage. whatever, I awake each morning, eager to begin 3) Lighting. Shoot during again. However, we do the day. Keep windows have a lot of C.E. (“Calbehind or to the side endar Emphasis”) every of your table. Use lots January, so let’s pick a of lamps on both sides. goal: Good Photography. Light boxes diffuse glare, Excellent shots of but in this DIY scenario, one’s work can make or you will get some shiny A DIY table set-up. break opportunities in spots. Inset shows a finished shot. areas like art competi4) Fish-eye. No, it’s not tions, gallery submissions, a zombie look. It’s distortion you get with exhibition proposals and even with articles most cameras. The long table helps minisubmitted for publication. Medium or mize this effect. poor-quality imagery can move a story from usable to the Editor’s Recycle Bin. 5) Tripod. It really helps reduce shaking and Photos are just as important a part of blurry shots. content as words. In publications, both physical and digital, pages and pages of text6) Nomenclature. (Sounds like a Norwegian only means you are either a) reading a novel, dessert!) When you download your digital or b) perusing something so unvaryingly dry files, name them right away in an organized that it could turn you into a zombie (but, fashion, and be consistent. hey, this is zombie-friendly Asheville, so Make a resolution to tackle your phothat could be OK!). Gotta have pictures! tography, including developing a budget for professional shots. Establish relationships Poor-quality imagery with photographic experts so that your professional images are consistently excelcan move a story from lent. Practice shooting your own shots for usable to the Editor’s records-keeping, and so you can learn what Recycle Bin. you are able to do on your own. You will then be more ready and confident whenever an opportunity to promote yourself arises, I have some DIY thoughts here to help whether snapping a quick photo, or running out with moderate photo needs in a pinch, to your vendor of choice who now knows but if you have the resources to up your you and your work and can squeeze you into game, I strongly recommend hiring a profestheir schedule. Good images of good work sional photographer. There is no substitute, can enhance artistic success! and we have excellent ones in our region. Here is a laundry list that may help if I wish you the best of luck this you want to try shooting your own work. 1) month - and every day! Supplies. Long table, cloth, lights, camera, high-backed chair; 2) Set-up. Arrange the table long-ways out from a wall; tape a large, neutral cloth a few feet up, with enough length to cover the table 3) Lighting. Flood Greg Vineyard is an artist, your item with lamps; 4) Shoot. Turn chair art consultant and writer back toward the table, using it as an arm rest based in Asheville, NC. to steady the camera, and then hold your www.creativewayfinding. breath for a second as you click the shutter.

Some additional considerations: 1) Keep a shots list. And take extra shots, like close-ups and groupings of color-ways.

byregion.net. Find his art at Constance Williams Gallery, 9 Riverside Drive in Asheville’s River Arts District. Open every day 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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Vol. 15, No. 5 — Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine — January 2012 31


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Rapid River January 2012  

Stage Preview - Selected Shorts: Lots of Laughs pg. 2, Magnetic Field – Solstice pg. 16, NC Stage – Fight Girl Battle World pg. 17, Folk Ar...