2020 VIEWED THROUGH ART P. 14
COULDN’T BE HAPPIERS
December 1-7, 2021 YES! WEEKLY
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DECEMBER 1-7, 2021 VOLUME 17, NUMBER 48
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FUTURE GROWTH From growing a hemp plant in their dorm closet to opening one of the first retail stores in the state with a fully built-in grow operation, a trio tested their limits to pursue A NEW GENERATION OF HEMP. “Throughout history, cannabis has been discovered and transported throughout the world. There are plenty of examples of its use throughout different eras. Uses range from spiritual, religious, medicinal uses to industrial uses such as textiles and paper,” Louis Rubio said, co-founder of Hemp Generation.
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It’s a family tradition. After Thanksgiving, having consumed my fair share of fowl and dressing and other traditional American heritage foods, I turn my attention to Asian cuisine. I go to IMPERIAL KOI often, throughout the year, but especially in this season, for its balance of quality, creativity, value, and upscale yet casual ambiance. 6 The holiday season has only just begun, but already the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) has received some deserved — and in one case long-overdue — DISTINCTION. The School of Filmmaking was ranked 10th on the annual list of The Wrap’s list of the country’s best training programs, and The Hollywood Reporter cited the graduate level Film Music Composition program in 11th place, up from 12th last year. 7 Charleen Fischer had that aha moment in 2017. She had returned to the area with no job after living for a year in Hawaii and asked God what she should do next. All of a sudden it came to her — the plot for a BOOK. In the modern world of computers, Fischer said the experience was “like it was downloaded to me.”
The good news for senior citizens is that starting next year, they will see an increase in their monthly social security check. The bad news is they will also see an increase in their Medicare part B premium. And so goes the shell game being run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the FDA, and their not so silent partner, BIG PHARMA. 14 The most recent exhibit at Theatre Art Galleries, located in High Point Theatre, tackles THE HAPPENINGS OF 2020 while making them think of their own time in confinement. 20 COULDN’T BE HAPPIERS, a duo from Winston-Salem, couldn’t be happier to release their debut full-length album “Songs for Butchie,’’ over three installments, with Vol. 2 out December 3. Touching on Americana traditions and celebrating the family circle, married couple Jordan Crosby Lee and Jodi Hildebran Lee, comprise Couldn’t Be Happiers — who took their name from their state of mind and have kept it going since getting together in 2017.
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DISTRIBUTION JANICE GANTT ANDREW WOMACK We at YES! Weekly realize that the interest of our readers goes well beyond the boundaries of the Piedmont Triad. Therefore we are dedicated to informing and entertaining with thought-provoking, debate-spurring, in-depth investigative news stories and features of local, national and international scope, and opinion grounded in reason, as well as providing the most comprehensive entertainment and arts coverage in the Triad. YES! Weekly welcomes submissions of all kinds. Efforts will be made to return those with a self-addressed stamped envelope; however YES! Weekly assumes no responsibility for unsolicited submissions. YES! Weekly is published every Wednesday by Womack Newspapers, Inc. No portion may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. First copy is free, all additional copies are $1.00. Copyright 2021 Womack Newspapers, Inc.
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Chow down with John Batchelor at Imperial Koi
t’s a family tradition. After Thanksgiving, having consumed my fair share of fowl and dressing and other traditional American heritage foods, I turn my attention to Asian cuisine. I go to Imperial Koi often, throughout the year, but especially in this season, for its balance of quality, creativity, value, and upscale yet casual ambiance. A closed-in outdoor seating area is heated in cold weather. As you enter the main dining area, the bar flanks to the right, the sushi bar a little farther in. Comfortable booths line the center. This is one of the few restaurants in Greensboro that actually has a view — in this case, from the tables along the far wall, overlooking a fountain and lighted areas across the street. Tables are clothed in white. Although the look is elegant, there is a sense of ease here. In some places where I am a regular, I have had just about everything on the menu. Not so here. The menu is just too large and varied. And I, like most people, develop favorites that I tend to repeat. On those occasions when my wife and I are ordering sushi, we ensure that we meet our vegetable requirement by starting with Steamed Edamame. Young soybeans are sprinkled with coarse sea salt and served hot and steamy. Pick these up by hand and squirt the beans from the bottom of the pod. Nutritious, and they taste good, too! Dozens of simple, single prime ingredient sushi, sashimi, and nigiri selections allow wide sampling. If you are a purist, then drill down to that lengthy list on the menu. Personally, I prefer the more complex assemblies from the Specialty Rolls section. Tuna Tataki, for example, combines
sliced seared tuna with red onions, cucumber, seaweed, scallions, masago (pink smelt eggs), and sesame oil. This is beautifully presented in a long, narrow boat, arrayed over noodles and seaweed. Dragon’s Nest uses sesame-spiced raw tuna encased in a hollowed avocado on top of spring mix lettuces, sprinkled with masago and sesame seeds. A spicy mayonnaise drizzle and ponzu sauce imparts sharp accents. Angry Dragon Roll is based on shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, papaya, and imitation crab salad with eel sauce and “rutta sauce” (a mysterious concoction the sushi chef makes). This is fairly hot/spicy, with just a touch of sweetness from the papaya.
The Outlaw Roll joins tempura sea bass with imitation crab salad, steamed shrimp, plus mango and avocado, all rolled in sushi rice and soy crepe paper. This is topped with raw sliced tuna, radish sprouts, red tobiko (eggs) and tempura crunch, then drizzled with Japanese mayonnaise and eel sauce. Another fairly hot/ spicy treatment, slightly sweetened by the mango. The Pink Lady Roll combines shrimp tempura, smoked salmon, cream cheese, and sliced green apple with seafood sauce and eel sauce. The tempura cooking yields a crisp texture, while the smoked salmon and cream cheese blend gently, foiled by the tartness of the apple.
Peace Out Roll is structured from diced spicy tuna, avocado, mango, seaweed salad, and tempura lobster, garnished with seared salmon, plus red and green tobiko. Eel sauce, spicy mayonnaise, and rutta sauce are drizzled on top. The starter section of the menu facilitates multi-course dining, or you could have more than one to create a complete meal. Rocky Shrimp bear a light, crisp tempura crust, dressed with yuzu mayonnaise, presented on a bed of mixed greens. The coating on the shrimp plus the sweetish mayonnaise creates a sharp-sweet effect on the palate. Summer Rolls are fresh and chilled, consisting of shrimp, strips of crab stick, rolled in lettuce, plus avocado and cucumber, all wrapped in rice paper. A sweet Thai chili sauce lends bite. You can just about cover the rest of the menu appetizers in one shot by ordering a Dim Sum Platter. The bamboo tray delivers Vegetable Spring Rolls (mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, celery, and rice noodles with a sweet Thai chili sauce), Shrimp Shumai (dumplings, flavored with garlic and ginger), Lobster Dumplings, and Pork Wontons intensified with Chinese hot mustard. Easily shareable for two, or a complete meal for one. Vegetable Tempura consists of two each — sweet potato slices, broccoli florets, asparagus spears, onion rings, mushroom caps, and zucchini slices. A soy-based sauce is provided for dipping. Hold the asparagus by the base and eat until you reach the fibrous stalk. Discard that. Several more formal entrées are termed “Specialties.” The higher status designation is justified. These would get high ratings in any restaurant of any genre. Their preparation is not strictly Asian, but you can see and taste the influences, along with a nod to Italy. Parmesan Herb-Crusted Scallops are
HIBACHI FILET MIGNON
PARMESAN HERB CRUSTED SCALLOPS
SWEET AND SOUR FLOUNDER
BY JOHN BATCHELOR
DECEMBER 1-7, 2021
PINK LADY ROLL
2021-22 Season January
15 James Gregory 22 Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen
February DIM SUM PLATTER
large, buttery tender, pan-seared to a light brown crust, placed over duck fat cauliflower couscous, ladled with a silky warm vanilla butternut sauce. Lush! Miso Chilean Sea Bass gets a miso glaze, perched over orzo studded with oyster mushrooms, surrounded by spinach and grape tomatoes. The preparation allows the mild flavor of the fish to come through. To create Sweet and Sour Flounder, the kitchen cuts the fish into bitesized pieces, then lightly batters and fries them. They are tossed with sliced red and green bell peppers, spring onions, green pea pods, and pineapple, surrounded by a sweet and sour chili sauce. Vibrant colors, vibrant flavors. Lamb Chops in a Japanese-ChineseSushi restaurant? You bet! Koi’s Lamb Chops — four, about a half-inch thick, are tender, their flavor solid, pan-seared precisely to the temperature requested. They come with Parmesan and butternut squash risotto, gently influenced by a lavender jus. My wife is fond of the hibachi grill items. Filet Mignon likewise arrived cooked exactly as ordered, with solid beef flavor emerging from tender texture appropriate for the cut. The hibachi items are served with broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, and carrots in a house-made soy-sake hibachi sauce. I especially like the hot mustard sauce that comes with the steak. You might want to treat the beef or lamb entrées steak house style by adding
a salad. The Asian Pear and Beet Salad is beautiful as well as naturally flavorful, arraying sliced white pears and red beets over spring mix lettuces scattered with feta cheese and tomatoes, drizzled in delightful lemongrass vinaigrette. You could also stick to the Asian theme by getting a Seaweed Salad, seasoned with sesame oil. A traditional house salad is available as well. The Owner-Manager is Michael Guam. The Chef is Jau Nmawn. Everybody calls the Sushi Chef “Mr. Chang.” I just call Imperial Koi one of my favorite restaurants. ! JOHN BATCHELOR has been writing about eating and drinking since 1981. Over a thousand of his articles have been published. He is also author of two travel/ cookbooks: Chefs of the Coast: Restaurants and Recipes from the North Carolina Coast, and Chefs of the Mountains: Restaurants and Recipes from Western North Carolina. Contact him at email@example.com or see his blog, johnbatchelordiningandtravel.blogspot.com.
hiGh pOinT balleT
DECEMBER 17-19, 2021 With the magic of Drosselmeyer, Clara’s dream comes to life in the holiday tradition of the story of The Nutcracker. Swirling with heroic toy soldiers, sword-fighting mice, and the glittering Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, the classic ballet is beautifully presented through the choreography of award-winning Artistic Director Gary Taylor, award-winning set designer Howard Jones, and lighting by award-winning designer Craig Stelzenmueller.
04 Garrison Keillor 05 Jim Stafford & John Ford Coley 18 An Evening with The Machine 19 Darin & Brook Aldridge 24 Hedy! The Life & Inventions of Hedy Lamarr 26 Jon Reep
07 Voctave 25 Jump, Jive & Wail with The Jive Aces 26 Sons of Mystro
23 In The Light of Led Zeppelin 29 Ballet Folklorico de Los Angeles
15 Raleigh Ringers Acts and dates subject to change. For up to date news, visit our website.
visit: HighPointTheatre.com for more information | For tickets call: 336-887-3001
Imperial Koi is located at 1941 New Garden Road, Greensboro | 336-286-3000 | imperialkoigso.com Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 4:30-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; a.m.- p.m. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 4:30-11 p.m. Friday; 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday Appetizers: $5-$13 | Salads: $6-$9 | Soups: $5-$9 Sushi, Sashimi, Nigiri: $5-$20 | Entrees: $15-$30 Desserts: $5-$13 | Most recent visit: November 27
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838 S. Main Street Kernersville NC 27284 | (336) 310-4560 DECEMBER 1-7, 2021 YES! WEEKLY
UNCSA reaps accolades to kick off the holiday season
he holiday season has only just begun, but already the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) has received some deserved — and in Mark Burger one case long-overdue — distinction. The School of Contributor Filmmaking was ranked 10th on the annual list of The Wrap’s list of the country’s best training programs, and The Hollywood Reporter cited the graduate level Film Music Composition program in 11th place, up from 12th last year. “It is very gratifying to have our program recognized by industry insiders,” said Deborah LaVine, who became the dean of the School of Filmmaking in July. “These are people who recognize exceptional
THE HOLIDAYS RETURN. FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS DEC. 3 GREENSBORO HOLIDAY PARADE DEC. 4 AND MORE!
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DECEMBER 1-7, 2021
work, and they know what kind of training it takes to nurture creative storytellers in all disciplines. We are thrilled to be included on their lists of the best, and we look forward to building on the stellar reputation that the UNCSA School of Filmmaking has earned throughout the industry.” In another, and perhaps belated, honor, the American Theater Hall of Fame posthumously inducted the late Gerald Freedman, dean emeritus of the UNCSA School of Drama, during its 50th-anniversary ceremony. The ceremony was hosted by Joel Grey (Tony and Oscar winner for Cabaret), whom Freedman had directed in the 1978 Broadway musical The Grand Tour. Other notables inducted during the ceremony were designer Bob Crowley, actors Victor Garber and Leslie Uggams, actress/playwright Anna Deveare Smith, and composter Alan Menkin, who was the UNCSA commencement speaker in 2011. “Gerald Freedman was a natural-born teacher,” said noted playwright/screenwriter Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy), himself a member of the American Theater Hall of Fame and the UNCSA commencement speaker in 1998. “Gerald did more than move actors around and make pretty stage pictures. He helped performers learn to dig into their characters and find motivation for what they were doing and saying. He used his passion, intelligence, and extensive knowledge of all areas of stagecraft to inform his work.” Freedman and Uhry were old friends and collaborators, having first joined
Gerald Freedman forces in the 1970s on a developmental workshop production of The Robber Bridegroom, for which Uhry wrote the lyrics. The production later opened on Broadway, with Kevin Kline and Patti LuPone in the leading roles. Freedman’s Hall of Fame medallion was accepted by his long-time friend and colleague Robert Beseda, the retired UNCSA assistant dean of drama, who described the ceremony as “wonderful, dazzlingly dreamlike — mingling with show folks at the top of their profession, friends, companions, colleagues, devoted to and passionate about theater, ecstatic that shows are back up, telling stories about the old days, worried about the world today. Our ‘Gerbear,’ as his students called him, was one of these people and he was very present (at the ceremony), highly regarded and greatly missed.” Of Freedman, Uhry concluded: “He inspired literally hundreds of actors, directors, designers, (and) writers — including me.” Freedman served as dean of the UNCSA School of Drama for 21 years until his retirement in 2012. He died in March 2020 at age 92, leaving behind a considerable, highly influential legacy that flourishes to this day, both on the UNCSA campus and beyond. His career spanned over six decades and included such highlights as
collaborating with the legendary Jerome Robbins on the original Broadway productions of West Side Story and Gypsy. In 1960, he won an Obie Award for directing The Taming of the Shrew for the New York Shakespeare Festival, where he served as its leading director for more than a decade and its artistic director for four years. In 1967, he directed the world premiere of the rock music spectacular Hair. He was the first American to direct at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London in 2000. While serving as dean at UNCSA, he directed such productions as Love’s Labour’s Lost, Brigadoon, Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, Three Sisters, West Side Story, Sunday in the Park with George, and Light Up the Sky, his final UNCSA production, in 2010. He was named dean emeritus in 2012, and the largest theater on the UNCSA campus is named in his honor. In 2008, he received the North Carolina Award for Fine Arts, the state’s highest civilian honor, which recognized “his continued dedication to North Carolina’s students of the dramatic arts and in recognition of his remarkable career as a director and educator.” The official UNCSA website is https:// www.uncsa.edu/. ! See MARK BURGER’s reviews of current movies on Burgervideo.com. © 2021, Mark Burger.
Local author pens book about soul BY CAROL BROOKS | firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTO COURTESY OF CHARLEEN FISCHER
At one time or another, everyone has probably had an “aha” moment. It could be the answer to a problem or finally learning how to do something. The Oxford Languages Dictionary defines it as “a moment of sudden insight or discovery.” Word Hippo defines it as “mental enlightenment of a problem or mystery, epiphany, revelation, inspiration.” Charleen Fischer had that aha moment in 2017. She had returned to the area with no job after living for a year in Hawaii and asked God what she should do next. All of a sudden it came to her — the plot for a book. In the modern world of computers, Fischer said the experience was “like it was Author Charleen Fischer holds a mockup downloaded to me.” of the A+ for the cover of her new book A+: A Lesson About Soul is A+: A Lesson About Soul. the result, a 44-page book for all ages. “I absolutely fell in love,” Fischer said “I originally said it was for 9-12 of the human-looking android illustrayear-olds,” Fischer said, “but many adults tion. “Androids are getting to look pretty said they benefited from reading it. human.” “It’s for three kinds of people: parents With the plot and illustrator in place, like to share information about the the search began for a publisher. afterlife, death and dying, facing the “I decided to self-publish after trying fear of death, and question about how several publishing houses,” she said. computers might pass us in the future; “People say it’s easy, but I ended up hirkids who ask challenging questions; and ing a book coach. It was something I felt adults who like illustrated books.” called to do.” The main character in the book, Actually launching the book in October Andrew, is an android, a creation that was an ordeal in itself, especially the can do almost anything. Grandma Edna, marketing. however, is near the end of her life. How “There are well over one million books these two teach the two children about self-published on Amazon every year. death is thought provoking. How do you get yours noticed?” Fischer Andrew doesn’t have a soul, but asked. “I had to follow through with it. I Grandma does, and her soul will live on. couldn’t drop it.” The “plus” factor is having soul. Is there another book in Fischer’s Grandma Edna has visions of the afterfuture? life that she relates to the family. “It would take a strong message from “Grandma sees the future and helps her the Divine to do it,” she said with a grandson learn,” Fischer said. “If young laugh. people can get the idea they don’t have to A retired teacher who loved giving fear dying, that’s a gift. out pluses to her students, Fischer lives “I’m encouraged by people who tell me in Kernersville and is a member of the they’ve learned from the book.” board of directors for the Historic JamesAlthough Fischer had the plot, she town Society. didn’t have an illustrator. She interviewed A+: A Lesson About Soul is available several artists and decided her grandon Amazon in paperback or Kindle edaughter’s friend Victoria Reynolds fit the book. ! bill after seeing her illustration of Andrew. WWW.YESWEEKLY.COM
[ WEEKLY ARTS ROUNDUP ADVERTORIAL] THIS TIME OF YEAR REMINDS US OF THE BEAUTY IN COMMUNITY, FAMILY, AND FRIENDSHIP DR. PAMELA HOWLAND TRIBUTE CONCERT
Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County launched the Pamela Howland Independent Artist Fund on Tuesday, November Joshua Ridley 30 with a premiere tribute concert honoring Marketing & the life and legacy of Dr. Communications Pamela Howland. The Manager evening featured Pam’s arrangements of traditional Christmas carols in the style of Beethoven, as well as selections of her favorite chamber music, with musicians Barbara Lister-Sink, Evan Richey, Jacqui Carrasco, Stan Breckenridge, John Salmon, Yong Im Federle and dear friends, Rosemary Harris and Jaroslaw Cholodecki. Earlier in the spring, Arts Council met with Pam to discuss how the organization could liftup individual artists in an inclusive way within our local, national and global community. As a way of keeping our promise to Pam, we have launched the PAMELA HOWLAND INDEPENDENT ARTIST FUND to support independent artists in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County as they pursue their passions and share their talents. Katie Hall, Chief Advancement Officer of Arts Council gave a few words about the program, “As a way of keeping our promise to her and on Giving Tuesday, hosting a tribute concert honoring her as an artist and arranger made the most sense. . . Pam was love, she was light, and it’s the least our community could do to uplift her spirit in this way and honor the legacy that she has left on students and people who love the arts in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.” Tuesday’s concert was the inauguration of this fund and helped raise more than $10,000. If you are interested in supporting this fund, you can do so by making a gift at intothearts.org/my-gift with a memo of “Pamela Howland” in the notes section.
JAYCEES HOLIDAY PARADE AND ANNUAL TREE LIGHTING
This Saturday, December 4, 2021, the WinstonSalem Jaycees will host their 31st Annual Holiday Parade in Downtown Winston-Salem. The parade will begin at 5:00 PM on the corner of Liberty and 4th Streets and make its way to Corpening Plaza where the Annual Tree Lighting will follow immedi-
Dr. Pamela Howland playing piano. ately after. The Winston-Salem Jaycees, founded in 1990, is a group of civic-minded young professionals. Since their founding, the Jaycees have joined forces with business and organizations throughout the city to bring Winston-Salem a parade filled with holiday cheer and glad tidings. In the past, the parade has featured local schools, organizations, small businesses, nonprofits, artists, and more. Last year, due to the pandemic the parade took a new approach with a drive-thru format. Families were safely distanced in their vehicles and drove through stationed socially distanced acts and performances. This year the Jaycee’s Holiday Parade will return with a traditional parade format. “We are hoping to have the biggest and best parade yet. The Holiday Parade is an opportunity for your business or organization to participate in a city-wide event that has been a tradition in Winston-Salem for decades,” (Wsparade. org). This year’s Parade Grand Marshall will be Tyler Beyea, Development Director at H.O.P.E. (Help Our People Eat) a grassroots organization dedicated to making healthier meals and fresh local produce accessible to our neighbors living in food deserts in Winston-Salem. There are over 800,000 art experiences taking place in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County annually. To learn more about upcoming arts and culture events happening in our community please visit www.cityofthearts.com. ! ARTS COUNCIL is the chief advocate of the arts and cultural sector in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. Our goal is to serve as a leader in lifting up, creating awareness and providing support to grow and sustain artistic, cultural and creative offerings throughout our region. We acknowledge that it takes every voice, every talent, and every story to make our community a great place to live, work, and play. Arts Council is committed to serving as a facilitator, organizer, and promoter of conversations that are authentic, inclusive, and forward-thinking. DECEMBER 1-7, 2021 YES! WEEKLY
Medicare and the Alzheimer’s Drug
he good news for senior citizens is that starting next year, they will see an increase in their monthly social security check. The bad news is they will also see an increase in their Medicare part B premium. And so goes the shell game being run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Jim Longworth FDA, and their not so silent partner, Big Pharma. Last month, CMS announced Longworth that the average Medicare Part B at Large premium would rise by just over $21 per month. That may not seem like much to some folks, but to others living on a fixed income, it might as well be $1,000 per month. That’s one problem. The other is that the increase is being driven by a single drug that may or may not be effective, and may or may not even be prescribed. That drug is Aduhelm, and it is made by those stellar humanitarians at Biogen. Biogen claims that Aduhelm can reduce plaque in the brain, and could, therefore, slow the rate of dementia. The company also says the cost of the drug (which must be administered intravenously) is about $56,000 per year. Never mind that it won’t cure Alzheimer’s, might not even retard it, and, according to some independent
DECEMBER 1-7, 2021
sources, is grossly overpriced. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that last year, an FDA advisory panel voted against recommending Aduhelm’s approval, “citing flaws in Biogen’s studies.” Also, Biogen executives are under Congressional investigation for improper contact with FDA officials. Those of us who have family members with Alzheimer’s would like nothing better than to know that a new miracle drug exists, but Aduhelm isn’t that miracle. It isn’t even close. What’s more, Biogen has apparently inflated the cost of the drug to such a degree, that it is now driving an increase in monthly premiums for every senior citizen, even if no one ever uses Aduhelm. In fact, CMS officials told the AP that half the increase in next year’s Medicare Part B premiums is “due to contingency planning IF the program ultimately has to cover Aduhelm.” This all begs the question, who the hell is overseeing CMS? Supposedly that job falls to the House subcommittee on Health, so I was going to call North Carolina representative George Butterworth who sits on that committee. But, alas, Butterworth is retiring, plus, according to GovTrack, he has been investigated for pocketing the difference “between his requested travel per diems, and the amount he actually spent.” On second thought, maybe he wouldn’t have been the best person to expose price gouging. It should be noted, however, that Congress is considering a compromise bill that would allow Medicare to
negotiate drug prices, and, if passed, that could go a long way toward neutralizing alleged price gouging companies like Biogen. But in the case of Aduhelm, the new legislation wouldn’t help because Democrats on the Hill had to agree to exclude all newly launched drugs from the negotiating process. Call me reactionary, but all this seems a lot like elder abuse. ! JIM LONGWORTH is the host of Triad Today, airing on Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. on ABC45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 11 a.m. on WMYV (cable channel 15).
"Straight up funny...an evening of heartwarming holiday fun."
Kristen Stewart stars as Princess Diana in stylish but spotty Spencer
risten Stewart’s overpowering performance aside, producer/director Pablo Larrain’s Spencer is rather a disapMark Burger pointment. Billed as “A Fable from a Contributor True Tragedy,” the film follows a similar blueprint as Larrain’s Jackie (2016), in that it dramatizes a specific, confined, but important period of time in the title character’s life. The earlier film, which starred Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy, was set during the hours and days following JFK’s assassination. Spencer takes place during the annual Christmas celebration at the Sandrigham Estate in Norfolk. As the film opens, the staff, military personnel, and members of the Royal Family and their entourage all arrive, as if like clockwork. The only one missing is Princess Diana, who has opted to drive herself — alone — and gets lost along the way. Stewart’s first spoken words, questioning aloud where she is (although not in those specific terms), is all-too-indicative of the irony and symbolism in executive producer Steven Knight’s heavy-handed screenplay. Subtlety is not this film’s strong suit, and compared to Jackie it’s as if Larrain opted to emphasize the style while de-emphasizing the story. It’s abundantly clear from the outset that Diana is still considered an outsider by certain members of the Royal Family, especially her husband Prince Charles (Jack Farthing), who is carrying on an illicit affair yet expects his wife to maintain decorum. This Diana cannot and will not do. She chafes against protocol and expresses rebellion through anorexia and binge eating. She’s also prone to panic attacks. In short, she’s unstable — and spiraling further downward. Diana Spencer remains an international icon a quarter-century after her death. Her name still makes headlines, and the world’s fascination with, and scrutiny of, the English Monarchy has only intensified over the years. Spencer certainly plays into this, combining commonly known facts with a large measure of historical speculation. But it’s the latter that overwhelms the WWW.YESWEEKLY.COM
narrative, and it’s not nearly as effectively as Jackie did. Stewart, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Diana and appropriates a convincing British accent, is both affecting and affected. Her mannered performance is undoubtedly attention-getting (and some would say award-worthy), but the (melo) dramatic deck is already so stacked in the character’s favor that one becomes impatient for her inevitable declaration of independence. This takes place during the climactic pheasant hunt on Boxing Day. Diana, having already complained loudly and often that such a practice is barbaric (she obviously identifies with the doomed birds), finally asserts herself. Early in her visit, she came across a volume on Anne Boleyn, the ill-fated wife of Henry VIII. That would seem heavy enough, but then she begins to hallucinate Anne (Amy Manson). That’s where heavy tips into hokey. Spencer takes a dim view of the Royal Family, although Knight’s screenplay barely gives them a chance to do much. Farthing, who doesn’t resemble Prince Charles much, is so cold-blooded and reptilian that his climactic concession to her feels misplaced, if not utterly contrived. Timothy Spall, always welcome under any circumstances, is able to bring some shading to his role as the Royals’ major domo Maj. Alistar Gregory, the quintessential stiff-upper-lip Brit who knows all. He’s not without sympathy for Diana, but his duty is to see that protocol and rules be adhered to. Newcomers Jack Nielen and Freddie Spry are appealing as the young princes William and Harry, and they have an easy repartee with their onscreen mother. The Christmas Eve sequence where they play together late at night was reportedly improvised and it shows. It’s perhaps the warmest part of the entire film. Sally Hawkins, like Spall a reliable presence, portrays Diana’s devoted dresser and confidante Maggie. It’s Maggie who provides Diana with the inspiration to break with tradition, break with the Royal Family and, indeed, break with her husband — just like that. Diana’s ultimate act of liberation is set to the Mike & the Mechanics song “All I Need is a Miracle,” which would be more suited to a John Hughes or Garry Marshall film. It is a quintessential “Hollywood ending”: All’s well that ends well. Even if history showed otherwise. ! See MARK BURGER’s reviews of current movies on Burgervideo.com. © 2021, Mark Burger.
By Lauren Gunderson & Margot Melcon
DECEMBER 10-12 & 16-19, 2021
Reynolds Place Theatre | Milton Rhodes Center 251 N. Spruce St., Winston-Salem
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[NEWS OF THE WEIRD] HIGH STANDARDS
The 10-foot-tall artificial Christmas tree that the town council installed in the Grimsby town center in England left locals underwhelmed, Grimsby Live reported — to Chuck Shepherd the point that the council had the expensive decoration removed. Snarky comments included one from a resident who said he had a bigger tree in his house, and another called it “an insult to Grimsby.” The council responded that the tree cost more than 1,000 pounds but said it had been installed too early, and the traditional live tree from a nearby farm would be installed on Nov. 25. The fake tree will be reinstalled for a Christmas market.
LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINAL
— Jerry McDonald of Chattanooga, Tennessee, was with an acquaintance when he passed out from drinking. His friend, trying to help out, took McDonald’s phone to text his boss that he wouldn’t be in to work that afternoon. But instead, the friend found alarming texts in which McDonald detailed a plan to kill an unnamed woman and take her money: “Please kill her babe, please. I’m begging you. There’s over a million in her dad’s safe. I’m saying I won’t get caught,” McDonald had texted, according to NewsChannel9-TV. But, of course, he did get caught, and now is held in the Hamilton County jail on $75,000 bond. — Canada may want to rethink opening its border to Americans after Vivian Richards, 48, of Oakland Park, Florida, tried to smuggle 56 guns into Sarnia, Ontario, in the trunk of her car on Nov. 1. Richards was referred for secondary inspection, DH News reported, after officers of the Canada Border Services Agency looked in her trunk. Along with the firearms, they found 13 overcapacity magazines, 43 pistol magazines and 100 rounds of ammunition. She faces several charges, including possession for the purpose of weapons trafficking.
TERRIFYING AND GROSS
Seizures are frightening enough, but seizures caused by tapeworms add an element of “eww.” According to doctors in Massachusetts who recently described the case in the New England Journal of Medicine, the otherwise-healthy 38-yearold man had had dead tapeworm cysts lodged in his brain for decades — a relatively rare form of infestation called neu-
DECEMBER 1-7, 2021
rocysticercosis. When these cysts become stuck in the brain, they can cause pressure, inflammation and neurological symptoms that are sometimes confused for brain tumors. But symptoms may not manifest for years. This man’s cysts caused no problems until three years ago, when he fell out of bed, “shaking and speaking gibberish,” then had a two-minute seizure on the way to the hospital. Luckily, he was discharged after five days of treatment and remains in good health today.
Missouri man Kyle Scheele, with the help of friends, made a cardboard cutout of himself “jamming out with a pizza guitar” and advertising something called the “Kyle Scheele Meal.” He then placed the cutout in a local gas station and waited to see how long his prank would last. But after the fake ad went viral on TikTok, convenience store chain Kum & Go made the Scheele Meal real. It included a Red Bull and a pizza sandwich, “which is just two pieces of pizza smashed face-toface,” Scheele said. The promotion ran for about a week, with Kum & Go donating $2 of every $5 meal to the charity No Kid Hungry.
DO YOU HEAR THAT?
Residents of Barwell, a small English town, have been dealing with an unexplained noise for about a year. It’s been described as “a humming noise,” a “low-frequency droning sound” and a “horrible din” that never stops. Resident Ange Redshaw said, “At night, even lying on the pillow, you can feel the vibration, it’s that loud. During the day, I can hear it over traffic noise.” And now it seems to be spreading: Brian Heath, a resident of nearby Stapleton, says he has heard the “slow, rolling, rumbling sound” for a few weeks. “It’s quite a heavy noise ... You can feel the pressure on your body,” he said. No cause has yet been identified.
In Aswan, Egypt, recent inclement weather — including “vicious rain, dust storms and snow” — has forced hordes of scorpions from their usual hiding places and into homes and streets. BBC News reported that three people have died so far from scorpion stings, and 450 have been injured. The injured are being treated with antivenom. Health officials have even had to recruit doctors who were on vacation to help with the influx of patients. !
© 2021 Chuck Shepherd. Universal Press Syndicate. Send your weird news items with subject line WEIRD NEWS to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.
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Future growth: Triad natives pursue a new generation of hemp
rom growing a hemp plant in their dorm closet to opening one of the first retail stores in the state with a fully built-in grow operation, a trio tested Naima Said their limits to pursue a new generation of hemp. Contributor “Throughout history, cannabis has been discovered and transported throughout the world. There are plenty of examples of its use throughout different eras. Uses range from spiritual, religious, medicinal uses to industrial uses such as textiles and paper,” Louis Rubio said, co-founder of Hemp Generation. Hemp Generation was started in May 2018 by Louis Rubio and Chloe Blesh. They met at N.C. State University while YES! WEEKLY
DECEMBER 1-7, 2021
studying Physics. After attending a growers informational hemp conference, they were inspired to learn more and spent several months working at Triangle Hemp, where Rubio and Blesh connected with other farmers, gained lots of experience in the evolving hemp industry and developed a driven passion for the plant. In the summer of 2018, to gain more experience, they grew hemp, for the first time, outdoors on 2,000 square feet. This began the journey of discovering the best practices for growing quality and organic flower.
After the struggle to find a consistent high-quality flower across the state, Rubio and Blesh launched their first indoorgreenhouse grow in Browns Summit. Rubio, a Greensboro native, demonstrates a great passion for cannabis and is the driving force and voice behind Hemp Generation’s vision. He is largely responsible for the organization’s product development and farming. Blesh handles the finances, logistics, and operations behind the brand and retail storefront. After years of refining and revisioning the future of CBD, Rubio introduced his
old high school and college friend, Alex Amaya, to the start-up as Creative Director. Amaya is responsible for the overall look and feel of the brand experience, digital media, and marketing associated with the business. “Through accurately representing organic CBD products, education, and wellness, we aim to shift the landscape of how hemp is normally produced and consumed. There are a lot of CBD products on the market, not all are made to ensure the wellness of the consumer. We value quality because it determines
Chloe Blesh and Louis Rubio
the long-term health of our customers,” Amaya said. “Due to the high stigma that still remains around cannabis, we aim to shift this paradigm about hemp by educating people on what hemp is, its potential benefits, and how humans are connected to it. Our promise is to deliver quality and accurately represented products, research, and information from credible sources to help others achieve wellness. Therefore we believe in the synergy between quality, education, and wellness.” Despite the negative connotation that continues to surround cannabis in society, Hemp Generation continues to push advocacy for its benefits and uses. “Cannabinoids have been known to benefit many individuals in providing their body with what it needs to achieve chemical balance and wellness, helping them enjoy life a little more, whether they suffer from stress, anxiety, or pain,” Blesh said. After a few years in business, the trio ventured outwards and found the perfect location for a storefront in Cary. “We were finally in a place where we could open a retail store. A place where people can come by, ask questions, learn, and purchase the highest quality and WWW.YESWEEKLY.COM
Hemp Generation’s Storefront best represented CBD products in the market. At HG Wellness we use every opportunity to educate others and provide valuable insight to help them better understand how CBD can help them. Our mission is to properly guide others through their journey in discovering the CBD products, dosing schedules, and consumption methods that best suit them,” Rubio shared. In 2021, HG Wellness became one of the first retail stores in NC with a fully built-in grow operation within the shopping experience. “Hemp is an amazing plant
and we’re extremely passionate about making it accessible to our community. Not only can you come in to shop our CBD products, but you can also see exactly where they’re coming from, simultaneously. This is an amazing opportunity for our community to get closer to the plant and be a part of the growing process.” Rubio said. “All our products are made with organically grown flower and are third-party full-panel lab tested and are sold with accurate dosing and usage guidelines.” When asked what the most popular
products have been, Blesh shared that it would be the CBD extract capsules. “This is our most potent product with the highest amount of CBD made from THC-Free CBD extract. At 400mg per capsule, this product is great for someone needing high daily amounts of CBD for a variety of serious conditions along with an economical price point.” Amaya also shares, “A fan favorite is our Delta-8 THC product line, which includes our delicious, vegan, all-natural strawberry flavored gummies, and our Delta-8 THC vape cartridges flavored with aromatic terpenes distilled from our in-house grown CBD flower.” The HG Wellness team sees independence and expansion in their future. “We continue to push efforts to grow all of our own flowers and expand on our products to fit the needs of our clients,” shared Rubio. “The hemp industry is growing, but the real challenge is standing out amongst the crowd, and that takes passion, progress, and persistence.” For more information visit, https:// www.hempgeneration.com/. ! NAIMA SAID is a 22 year old UNCG theatre graduate and host of Heeere’sNeeNee Horror Movie Podcast. DECEMBER 1-7, 2021 YES! WEEKLY
Gallery takes a look at 2020 through art
“Aqua” by Lyudmila Tomova
“Mall Beat” by Joseph Lahita YES! WEEKLY
DECEMBER 1-7, 2021
The most recent exhibit at Theatre Art Galleries, located in High Point Theatre, tackles the happenings of 2020 while making them think of their own time in confinement. Chanel Davis “Everyone has different feelings about what they Editor experienced during that time and I think by looking at someone’s expression of what they experienced, it causes you to reflect on your own experience,” said Jeff Horney, executive director of Theatre Art Galleries (TAG). “You may have similar feelings. You may have different feelings. But it has been a very challenging time for all of us. Hopefully, we are seeing more normal times ahead. I think by looking at someone else’s reflection it causes you to pause and reflect on yourself.” Both the “20/20” and “Light Captured” exhibits are the first full round of exhibits to grace the gallery since the last one closed in the spring of 2020 and they were both delayed “Agatha” by Greig Leach due to COVID. Located in the downstairs Main Gallery, the Greig Leach’s “20/20” exhibit is composed of ten large pieces and some smaller pieces that focused on what was going on in the world in 2020 and people adapted to the changing landscape. The pieces begin at the beginning of COVID and continue in chronological order through 2020. “It’s a very figurative show. The first piece is a bar scene where someone’s coughing and the person next to them is covering their mouth. That’s the very first inkling and the others are reflections of what went on during that time. There’s one that reflects on people face timing, there’s one showing his time
spent gardening, there’s some that reflect the protests of Black Lives Matters and some of people dying,” Horney said. “In addition to those large-scale picture pieces, there are four stainedglass pieces where he elevates some subjects to iconic status. One is a nurse in hospital gear, with the mask and everything, that really puts her in a positive state as a front-line worker. So you get a bit of everything. The good, the bad, the turmoil, and those who rose to the challenge.” According to Horney, the exhibit was originally going to focus on people in bars and people dancing before everything shut down in 2020. “Greig had all this time to reflect on what was going on in the world around him and his whole body of work changed. The exhibit really evolved from what we set out to initially do to what was really a reflection of what happened during his, and everyone’s, confinement during the year of 2020,” Horney said. In an artist statement online, Leach explains just how and why he creates the “20/20” exhibit and what he hopes viewers glean from his artwork. The beginning of his statement is below: “Each of us has had to discover ways to process the previous year and how it has affected each of our lives. This exhibition presents how as an artist I was left to work through the emotions, turmoil, and isolation of 2020. All of my artwork addresses the world around me as I see it, experience, and hold it in my mind’s eye. By presenting the truth of my experiences, I hope to find the commonality in all of our realities. I am left to show what I see, with that seeing presenting questions we need to ask of ourselves. 2020 brought those questions and differing personal experiences to a sometimes violent head. For others, it left us feeling alone, isolated, or confused. Horney said that he feels that visual images allow the artists and those viewing the art an opportunity to share emotions and thoughts that they may not be able to put into words. “It leaves it open to your own interpretation. I think these issues are important. So many things came to the surface over the last couple of years,” he said. “We need to do some soul searching, we need to re-educate ourselves, and we need to try and find common ground so that we can move forward to-
“I Can’t Breath” by Greig Leach gether. We have one planet that we exist on, and we have to look after each other. I think that by viewing this artwork, someone’s reflection and their views, it causes us to do the same.” In the upstairs galleries, works from Joe Lahita and Lyudmila Tomova are featured in the “Light Captured” exhibit. Born in Bulgaria, Tomova is an awardwinning artist, well-recognized nationally and internationally for her unique impressionist style. Currently, she paints figures, portraits, murals, and landscapes in oil, watercolor, and acrylic. She immigrated to the U.S. in 1990 and currently resides in Cary, teaching watercolor, oil, acrylic, and drawing workshops in various locations throughout the state. She studied Classical realism at Sofia’s Academy of Fine Arts and later earned a BFA in Illustration from FIT in New York. Lahita was born in Hungary but raised in Australia before immigrating to the U.S. in the early 70s. His style is described as a loose interpretation of WWW.YESWEEKLY.COM
different subject matter that depicts rural scenes with animals, people, and the changing seasons, and he’s inspired by his travels and the artistic masters of the Impressionist period. He currently lives with his family in Clayton. “The artists are both outstanding watercolorists and artists,” Horney declared. “Both artists bring fantastic artistry, creativity, and tremendous skill set to the works in the gallery upstairs. ! CHANEL DAVIS is the current editor of YES! Weekly and graduated from N.C. A&T S.U. in 2011 with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. She’s worked at daily and weekly newspapers in the Triad region.
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Theatre Art Galleries is located inside the High Point Theatre in downtown High Point, at 220 E. Commerce Ave. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. or by appointment. For more information, contact the TAG office at 336887-2137 or visit www.tagart.org.
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WrestleCade Photo by Tracy Myers —
Anyone who attended the WrestleCade Revenge 2021 in Winston-Salem this past weekend and was able to experience the amazing weekend long event put together by Tracy Myers and his talented team surely saw someone get their head smashed on one of the four turnbuckles. As part of the Wrestlecade 2021 and YES! Weekly partnership, many wrestlers got to get an unwanted closeup view of the Y!W logo this weekend. Thanks Tracy Myers and WrestleCade.
Can’t wait until next year.
DECEMBER 1-7, 2021
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AGE: 28 WHERE ARE YOU FROM? Pfafftown, NC HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN BARTENDING? 3 months HOW DID YOU BECOME A BARTENDER? I started as a barback in June and watched the other bartenders I work with. I watched and learned from their different techniques and in September I felt comfortable enough to be thrown to the wolves on a Friday night as my first bartending shift ever. I had a great time and felt comfortable behind the bar immediately. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT BARTENDING? I love meeting new people and making new meaningful connections. Everyone has their own story and I love to hear it. I also have found joy in coming up with new creations. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE DRINK TO MAKE? Definitely a drink I like to call “Silk Panties” It is an egg white, blueberry, pomegranate cocktail — the name was given because the egg white creates an almost silk like feeling when sipped on.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE DRINK TO DRINK? Currently I am on a spicy margarita kick — throw in a little bit of peach and mango puree and it’s absolute perfection. WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND AS AN AFTER-DINNER DRINK? I have a very large sweet tooth, so my brain goes straight to dessert cocktails. With that being said, I would have to say a classic Mudslide (vodka, coffee liquor, Irish cream, scoop of vanilla ice cream) WHAT’S THE CRAZIEST THING YOU’VE SEEN WHILE BARTENDING? I once witnessed a man projectile vomit a good 15 feet... WHAT’S THE BEST/BIGGEST TIP YOU’VE EVER GOTTEN? $300
DECEMBER 1-7, 2021 YES! WEEKLY
Happiness is a state of mind for local music duo
ouldn’t Be Happiers, a duo from Winston-Salem, couldn’t be happier to release their debut full-length album “Songs for Butchie,’’ over three Katei Cranford installments, with Vol. 2 out December 3. Contributor Touching on Americana traditions and celebrating the family circle, married couple Jordan Crosby Lee and Jodi Hildebran Lee, comprise Couldn’t Be Happiers — who took their name from their state of mind and have kept it going since getting together in 2017. The pair met years before, as part of the Unbroken Circle, an old-time ensemYES! WEEKLY
DECEMBER 1-7, 2021
ble based out of Wake Forest University. But akin to Johnny and June Cash, they were married to different people. “Jordan sang ‘Gone Squatchin’ that first night while wearing a Sasquatch t-shirt,” Jodi recalled of their meeting. ”I remembered him — partly because I thought, ‘Wow, this guy is really into Bigfoot.’” A few years later, the fresh divorcees reconnected over memories of the songwriting circle; and met for a date in New Orleans. For Jodi, “next thing I know, I’m flying down to Texas so I could help him pack up his truck and his dog and drive here to Winston,” a journey they revisit in their song “1300 Miles.” Personally and musically, their journeys entwine on the road to making “altcountry for everyone,” with an emphasis on everyone. “We’re not holding any punches about our cultural or political values,” Jordan said. Referencing what he sees as a somewhat recent “invasion
Couldn’t Be Happiers of hyper-nationalism” and exclusivity (“a kissing cousin of hate”) into the genre. “I just want to be clear about the kind of alt-country we are,” he explained, pointing to acts like BJ Barham and Todd Snider, “who are carrying the alt-country torch with its progressive roots and values of inclusivity. We write songs in support of Black Lives Matter and the humane treatment of those seeking refuge here, all while wearing cowboy boots.” A native Texan, Jordan follows the traditions of Robert Earl Keen, who he discovered as a teenager. “My mind basically exploded after hearing ‘Sonora’s Death Row,’” he said, crediting Keen with igniting his passion for storytelling. Jodi, meanwhile, lends more to metaphor and vocal influence. Growing up in Burke County, country music was the only genre allowed at home. “I used to ‘sneak’ listen to the top-10 pop countdown on my clock radio,” she said. “I got really into
Mariah Carey and wanted to sing just like her.” The album bridges their styles, blending a sort of Ernest Tubb meets the Violent Femmes. The politics in “No Further Requests,” the pendulum of musician life in “One Time” and “Chasing Tigers,” and their love of North Carolina in “For a Moment” resonate from a narrative foundation, coupled with topical commentary. “Every volume on this record does have a song that references trees,” Jodi noted of the “random factoid” touching on notions of environmentalism found in “Treehouse” and “Earthquake.” An emotional balance also hangs in each volume, with “November,” (written for the album’s namesake) adding a poignant personal gravity and grief for Jordan’s father, “Butchie,” who passed from brain cancer on Nov. 3, 2020. “Butchie was a huge reason we decided to actually get an album done,” Jodi insisted.
ON-DEMAND VIDEO VIDEO PREMIERE AVAILABLE DEC. DEC.2020
— with Dan Emmett, Jack Gorham, Travis Williams, and Corky MacClellan adding fiddle, accordion, upright bass, and percussion to the Flytrap tracks. “One Time” (featuring players from the Shoaldiggers) was recorded by Nick Peterson (from Track & Field) at “a little white church” in Hillsborough. “No Further Requests,” was tracked by Chad Barnard at Fallen Trees Recording Studio in Mt. Airy, with the help of Tommy Jackson on Wurlitzer, Mitch Hull on drums, and Shane Mauck on a Hammond organ. “I don’t think either of us imagined we would have so many people on our first album,” Jodi said. “They all brought their own unique styles to them. It was just really cool.” The pair plans to spend the holidays working on the third volume. “We have all kinds of random little half-finished songs about all kinds of things — okay, mostly about our dogs, but we can’t make every song about them,” Jodi said, noting tunes about Winston-Salem and Sasquatch are among the intended tracks. ”We owe it to ourselves and everyone else who worked on this album to get it out there,” she added. “The album is named in Butchie’s honor, and I want it to be heard for that reason, most of all. He certainly would’ve listened to it on repeat.” Couldn’t Be Happiers’ “Songs For Butchie, Vol. 2” is out Friday, December 3. They’ll be at the Reeves Theater in Elkin on December 16. ! KATEI CRANFORD is a Triad music nerd who enjoys spotlighting artists and events.
2018, THE NUTCRACKER
Stemming from an inside joke based on lines from HBO’s John From Cincinnati, “Butchie” was his chosen name bestowed by Jordan years before. “One character, Butchie, asked John a question, to which John answered, ‘some things I know, and some things I don’t,’” Jordan explained of the reference, “and an annoyed Butchie would respond, ‘just say I don’t know Butchie, instead.’ So the next time Butchie asked John a question, he’d say, ‘I don’t know Butchie instead.’” The moniker stuck after “I don’t know Butchie instead” became a younger Jordan’s answer to just about any of his father’s questions. “I did my best to torture him, playfully, anyway I could,” he admitted. ”My dad and I never understood each other,” Jordan continued. “We were completely different people. But he admired that difference. When I decided to play music, he never told me to pursue something more productive. He came to every gig I had in Texas — he’d break down the equipment while I talked to the audience after the show. And he always thought I was great. No matter how bad I was at the start.” Jodi echoed admiration. “Butchie was really special. I just felt like he was on my side. And he was such a huge fan of our music. It nearly broke me when Jordan’s sister, Casey, told us that, even though he was struggling to communicate, he asked to play our songs in the hospital.” In bringing the album to life, they’ve pulled from pools of friends across the Piedmont. Using Doug Davis’ FlyTrap studio as a “home base,” the record features Davis himself on guitar, bass, and organ
DECEMBER 10-19, 2021 STEVENS CENTER
Experience a world where snowflakes dance, angels appear and toys pirouette. Watch as “The Nutcracker” ushers in the holiday spirit.
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Submissions should be sent to email@example.com by Friday at 5 p.m., prior to the week’s publication. Visit yesweekly.com and click on calendar to list your event online. home grown muSic Scene | compiled by Austin Kindley
Four SaintS BrEwing
218 South Fayetteville St. | 336.610.3722 www.foursaintsbrewing.com thursdays: taproom trivia Fridays: Music Bingo Dec 4: Sydney rose Dec 5: randoplh Jazz Band Dec 19: Honky tonk Jam w/ Mark Dillon & Friends
2700 E Independence Blvd | 704.372.3600 www.boplex.com Dec 2: rauw alejandro Dec 4: Jo Koy Dec 5: Home Free Dec 16: Chelsea Handler Dec 18: rickey Smiley
1000 NC Music Factory Blvd | 704.916.8970 www.livenation.com Dec 1: willow Smith Dec 2: Coin: rainbow Dreamland tour Dec 3: Midland Dec 4: Silverstien: 20 Year anniversary tour Dec 5: Milky Chance Dec 6: neck Deep Dec 7: Starset 2021 Dec 9: Delta rae Dec 10: He$h Dec 14: the aces
333 E Trade St | 704.688.9000 www.spectrumcentercharlotte.com Dec 3: Charlotte r&B Fesetival Dec 4: Kane Brown Dec 11: trans-Siberian orchestra Jan 16: trevor noah Feb 6: Billie Eilish Feb 10: Jeff Dunham
VillagE SquarE tap HouSE
6000 Meadowbrook Mall Ct | 336.448.5330 www.vstaphouse.com | www.facebook.com/vstaphouse Dec 18: Jill goodson Band
123 Vivian St | 919.680.2787 www.dpacnc.com Dec 1-2: lauren Daigle Dec 4: Chicago Dec 7-12: ain’t too proud - the life and times of the temptations
309 W Morgan St | 919.560.3030 www.carolinatheatre.org Dec 2-3: old Crow Medicine Show Dec 4: Charles pettee Dec 4: the Fab Four - Beatles tribute Dec 5: Chris Botti Dec 18: ronny Chieng Dec 21: Drew & Ellie Holcomb’s neighborly Christmas Dec 23: Drag queen Christmas
129 W Main St | 336.258.8240 www.reevestheater.com Fourth thursdays: old-time Jam Dec 4: acoustic Syndicate Dec 10: Chatham County line Dec 12: newberry & Verch Dec 18: John prine
2900 Patterson St #A | 336.632.9889 www.arizonapetes.com Dec 11: Justin Biltonen
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Barn DinnEr ThEaTrE 120 Stage Coach Tr. | 336.292.2211 www.barndinner.com nov 13 - Dec 14: Black nativity
536 Farragut St | 336.808.5837 www.baxterstavern.com Dec 11: addison Johnson
ThE BlinD TigEr
1819 Spring Garden St | 336.272.9888 www.theblindtiger.com Dec 2: Dale Yeah! Dec 3: Pure Fiyah reggae Band Dec 4: nita Strauss Dec 10: Cosmic Charlie Dec 11: Ed E ruger Dec 12: Saliva Dec 16: Pecos and the rooftops Dec 17: Mostley Crue Christmas Bash Dec 28: andy Frasco & The Un Dec 31: nYE 2022 w/ Jukebox rehab Jan 8: Maiden voyage
310 S. Greene Street | 336.333.2605 www.carolinatheatre.com Dec 1: handel’s Messiah - Choral Society of greensboro Dec 4: alter Egos Band Dec 11: laura Jane vincent Dec 17: The Difficulties Dec 18: Sidepony Jan 9: Doug Baker
1126 S Holden Rd | 336.333.1034 www.thecomedyzone.com Dec 3-4: Carolanne Miljavac Dec 10-11: T.K. Kirkland Dec 17-18: rodney Perry Jan 6-8: David a. arnold
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5211 A West Market St | 336.763.2020 www.garagetaverngso.com Dec 3: room42
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126 E. Cabarrus St | 919.831.6400 www.lincolntheatre.com Dec 3: Nasty Habits, Jump Mountain, LowBrow Dec 4: D Smoke Dec 5: Jingle Jam feat. Be’La Dona & Niito Dec 7: Lawrence w/ Proxima Parade & Reliably Bad Dec 10: Shoot To Thrill w/ Stone Whiskey Dec 11: Chicano Batman w/ Los Retros Dec 16: The Vegabonds w/ The Stews Dec 17: The Connells w/ BQs Dec 18: Yarn w/ The Dune Dogs Dec 19: Bring Out Yer Dead Dec 23: Smell The Glove w/ Midnight Snack Dec 29: Big Something w/ Maggie Rose Dec 30: Big Something Dec 31: Big Something w/ Josh Phillips and Ranford Almond Jan 1: Big Something w/ Dr. Bacon
408 West 4th St | 336.331.3431 www.bullswsnc.com Wednesdays: Karaoke Dec 3: Hinge Theory Dec 11: Florencia Rusinol 1110 Burke St | 336.750.0097 www.burkestreetpub.com Tuesdays: Trivia
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[THE ADVICE GODDESS] love • sex • dating • marriage • questions
My husband died of a heart attack at age 75. On his phone, I saw several unsettling texts from younger women, alluding to improper liaisons and asking for money. We often Amy Alkon helped needy families, but I’m suspectAdvice ing these women tempted and took Goddess advantage of a kind, caring old man, or maybe he turned dirty old man (looking for something more exciting than his wife). Before his death, he started viewing pornography online and seemed not quite himself. Could this apparent change in personality point to dementia? Finding these texts has turned my grieving upside down. I’m often angry with him for possibly cheating on me. I’m not sure how to put this to rest in my mind. —Perplexed Widow Sadly, elderly men are often easy prey for young scamstresses. These women sexually tempt or even just flatter an old man out of his money — all, “You remind me of that dude from ‘Star Wars’!” — making him think of himself as a young, hot Harrison Ford (when the “dude” he actually resembles is Yoda). I’m so sorry — both about the death of your husband and the apparent death of what you believed about him and your marriage. But I’m hoping my frank exploration of what you do and don’t know will help you make your way to peace of mind.
First, it is possible your husband’s apparent behavioral changes were due to dementia. Dementia is not technically a disease but an umbrella term for “a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life” (per the Alzheimer’s Association). Symptoms include personality changes, memory issues, and impaired reasoning. “Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80% of dementia cases.” My friend Stef Willen wrote movingly in her McSweeney’s column about the tragic thief of self that is dementia, explaining, “For most of my life, my days with my grandmother had been spent hiking, identifying birds and having beers in a small-town Colorado bars. ... I’d always thought she’d die of a swift heart attack, but death snuck in the back door and did a real hit and miss job. None of us even noticed until the essential parts of her began to go missing.” Her grandma’s doctor explained to Stef that her grandma’s neurons weren’t communicating. Some were dead, and some weren’t firing in the correct pattern. As Stef put it: “Apparently, who we are is an electrochemical reaction, and my grandmother had blown her circuits.” Dementia messes with the functioning of the brain’s “prefrontal cortex” (PFC), the section just behind your forehead. If you think of your body as a factory and your behavior as the workers, the PFC is the executive boardroom of you: in charge of planning, prioritizing, remembering, reasoning, and “inhibitory control” (professorese for resisting temptation). That last one, when the PFC’s cells are in healthy working order, keeps us from just giving in
answers [CROSSWORD] crossword on page 11
to whatever impulse — sexual, gluttonous, violent, or just rude — flies into our head. But let’s back up a sec. You don’t know whether your husband had dementia, as he was never diagnosed. Sure, you’ve pulled together disturbing fragments of information, and they’re pointing you toward a conclusion. But you can’t know whether your conclusion is correct — though I’m guessing you strongly suspect it is, because that’s how our minds evolved to work. Uncertainty — ambiguous situations, partially answered questions, and other forms of mental untidiness — fill us with anxiety and dread. This makes evolutionary sense — survival sense — because wanting these uncomfortable feelings gone motivates us to try to get answers and information. Knowledge we acquire (of possible lurking harms) really is power: power to take meaningful steps to protect ourselves. However, our brain has a feature (that’s also a bug!): a psychological mechanism in the left hemisphere — named “the interpreter” by cognitive neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga — that works like mental grout. When we’re wading through ambiguities
or spot inconsistencies in our behavior (or others’), the interpreter creates stories to fill in the blanks: stories that make us feel comforted, consistent, and smart. Conveniently, no sooner does our mind spin some explanatory yarn than it turns right around and believes it, as if it were cold, hard fact. Since you can never know the full story, it’s pointless to torment yourself by rerunning painful bits of information and guessing. However, you could find comfort by using that crafty bugger, the interpreter, to your advantage. Shift over to the story you do know — the happy, loving times you two shared for decades — and focus on that. If you’re gonna go in for torment, make it a healthier class of it — like hot yoga (aka the commercialization of hot flashes paired with stretches easily accomplished by anyone who finds a wizard to turn them into a wire twist-tie). ! GOT A PROBLEM? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or email AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com). Follow her on Twitter @amyalkon. Order her latest “science-help” book, Unf*ckology: A Field Guide to Living with Guts and Confidence. ©2021 Amy Alkon. Distributed by Creators.Com.
Tr asure The
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