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Beer 2day, Deadline 2morrow 

Waiter, a bicarbonate of soda, please. Lupie's Cafe held their annual Chili Cook-off Sunday in the restaurant's parking lot, attracting the usual large crowd. About a dozen local gourmands had their wares on display, which one could sample endlessly after paying a $10 entry fee. On hand was the popular Love Me Tenderloin chili, Fat City's Green (With Envy) Chili, Bison chili (tastes like chicken), and loads of other creatively named indigestion providers. Free tea and water were thankfully provided, and a handful of local bands such as Eleven Foot Seven provided musical entertainment (and cinched my upset stomach, natch). This writer's favorites were Fat City's "spicy" chili (I detected cinnamon and nutmeg ­ maybe it was the nutmeg that got my head spinning) and Providence Road Sundries' house recipe stew, a barbecue-based chili that is loads better than it sounds. Each patron was given a string of tear-off tickets, to be placed in a container on the front of each cook's table as a vote. To avoid actually having to make a decision (all the chili was pretty good, frankly, and not a whole lot different from table to table), I simply pocketed my tickets, although I would have gladly given them all for some Pepcid AC. My kingdom for a Gelusil!

Women and Childers first: Local attorney-cum-roots musician David Childers was slated to play a show with East Nashville's Duane Jarvis, a fast-rising star in the Americana world Saturday night at The Evening Muse. Unfortunately, Jarvis had to cancel due to a family illness. No matter, as Childers, for whom three-hour sets are not infrequent, took the stage in a shirt with an Asian-inspired motif of snarling dragons. Two songs later, with his shirt soaking in sweat, it looked more like sea-dwelling leviathans. Childers decided a while back that he was tired of playing by the rules of an alt.country format, and added such seemingly disparate elements as sitar and melodica to his music. All of which, due to the undeniable talents of guitarist and sitarist (is that a word?) Eric Lovell, manage not only to sound unforced, but absolutely necessary. Childers, a bear of a man, is reason enough for Charlotte to annex Mt. Holly. Not only one of our most talented performers, he evinces a quick-witted humbleness that's so sincere it borders on the absurd. After about 10 songs, he softly noted that "I forgot to tell y'all about the recycling bins for bottles and cans, if y'all can use them. I'm ashamed of myself for not telling you before." As such, combined with his hulkish stature, one listens to him. As did his son Robert, Childers' drummer, when his pa not-so-subtly beckoned him back to the stage after a break. "Git your ass back up here, boy. You done rested enough." ­TCD

Hecklers rule! Playing in front of a considerably smaller crowd than their usual weekend audience (and that's being mighty generous), the Charlotte Checkers took on the Greenville Grrrowl last Wednesday (Oct. 17) at Cricket Arena. Although spectator attendance was low, the folks who did turn out were loyally devoted to the orange, white and blue. In other words, nobody headed for the exits until well after the game was over and blue and orange painted faces were quick to pop up behind the penalty boxes in order to heckle the opposing team members. Besides the usual unimaginative taunting of "You suck," there were a few interesting comments made about the players' mothers as well (most of which I can't repeat, even in this paper). The game ended in shoot-out, which also provoked an insightful slew of insults as the Greenville players took their shots. But I couldn't really tell what upset the fellas seated behind me more: when Charlotte lost the game or when the nice-looking lady wearing tight jeans let the kid win the half-time game of musical chairs. One thing is for sure ­ they demanded a recount for the half-time hijinks. The only other thing I wondered about over the course of the night: Could you make a call to Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre from Cricket Arena?

Mary and the Saints Believe what you will folks, but there is a music scene in Charlotte and it's awfully entertaining to watch, as was the case Friday at Mojo Restaurant & Spirits. A female-fronted trio from Baltimore named for their naughty vocalist, Mary Prankster, kicked off the evening with a set of obscene power-pop punk that had a few male audience members looking at each other more than once saying, "Did she really just say that?" Take for instance the time Prankster tearfully explained the concept of one her most emotional numbers, titled "Mercyfuck." And after a complete change up in the crowd (the boys headed for the bar while the girls scrambled for a good spot in front of the stage), Charlotte's own Bel Air Saints strutted across the stage for close to two hours. These guys, dressed in their ultra-hip rock star attire, give you well more than your money's worth. Singer Eric McPhaul's style is somewhat similar to both Bono and Stone Temple Pilots' Scott Weiland, and when would you catch either of those two guys gigging in the corner of a restaurant for five bucks? And of course there was a stirring patriotic moment when the Saints dedicated their song "Big Motor Machine" to Osama bin Laden. Truly touching. ­ LF

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