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Back From The Dead 

The Charlotte Marriott City Center is host to some interesting artwork these days, and I'm not talking about the graffiti in the parking deck. I just checked out the new exhibit of the late sometime painter/drug aficionado/Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, entitled "Jerry Garcia: A Visual Journey." A hotel conference room isn't the kind of place you'd normally see an art exhibition, nor where you see normal art fans. Most of the few in attendance when I was there were of the shaggy/baggy variety -- folks who have a Phish sticker right beside the Aspen one on their SUV. I overheard two guys debating the merits of Jerry's brushwork. One opined that the paintings were "soothing," while the other responded that "Man, I think Jerry was really onto something with these paintings." Granted, they were soothing, though not especially edgy or insightful -- a given perhaps, as Jerry's later years were filled with heavy drug usage of all kinds. I'd side with his buddy, sort of: Jerry was really on something with these paintings. -- Tim C. Davis

The Hive takes a dive Last Friday, the Charlotte Coliseum was mostly full when the Hornets took on the Washington Wizards, although a blind person might not have been able to guess it. Most folks had probably learned by mid-week that the most famous Wizard, Michael Jordan, wouldn't be taking the floor, but thousands of people still decided to show up for some reason. Maybe they thought the superstar would at least show up, but no -- Jordan was nowhere to be found. Who could really blame him -- wouldn't you get tired of having to comment to the media on whether or not a team that means nothing to you is going to move or not? It did get kind of loud from time to time, but mostly from a lot of chattering, not cheering, although there were a few exceptions, like when the Ric Flair/Baron Davis commercial was played or when Super Hugo was going to toss his basketball into the crowd. And like always, by the beginning of the third period, folks were flooding to the exits -- I don't think it was because the beer stands were shutting down or because we were winning by a few points. This could be one of the last NBA regular season games I'll see in this town, so I'd just like to say one thing: no matter when I get to the game, don't look at me like I'm the one who's stupid when you're sitting in my seat! -- Lynn Farris

Ride 'em Cowboy The entrance fee for Legends of Rodeo at Tremont Music Hall was an agreeable five bucks, a pretty good bargain for the band's heartland-meets-emo Tom Petty-inspired rock. When I entered, I could tell something was wrong. First of all, I parked right beside the door instead of the muddy, hole-filled field one's usually relegated to at Tremont shows. Secondly, it was too loud. Not too loud in a Husker Du, Nirvana pain-as-transcendence sort of way. Too loud in the sense that no bodies were in front of the band to soak up the noise. No one was at the door taking money. Sweet, I thought, before my girlfriend pointed to the "pay at the bar" sign. I proceeded to the bar, and, finding myself short on funds, mumbled the always-embarrassing "Um, I think I'm on the guest list." "What's that?" the man replied. I spoke louder, certain that all 12 people in attendance could hear my pitiful groveling. "OK, let me go see." A minute or two later, the gentleman came back, and gave me the universal hand signal for "go ahead, you cheap bastard." Shamed, I made my way into the Casbah, which looked more like someone's living room at this point. Band members openly conversed with buddies in the audience between songs, listened for requests, and looked you dead in the eye while playing. Thankfully, it was a respectful crowd for the red-hot up-and-comers, but one suspected it better be. When the paid attendance at a show is a bar-confirmed two (with about 12 or so on the guest list), the band might just come out there and shut you up themselves -- they already have their money. Problem is, they probably blew it all when the guitarist knocked over his PBR on the last song. -- Tim C. Davis

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