Thursday, September 30, 2010

Weekender, Oct. 1-3

Posted By on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Check out these events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area this weekend— as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

Friday, Oct. 1

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Ledisi

McGlohon Theatre

Despite creating some of the industry’s most amazing music for years, Ledisi is one soul singer who continues to fly under the radar of mainstream music consumers. Why? Probably because the traditional vehicles for mainstream music — radio and music video outlets — suck balls. Which means the best way for you to experience some quality, non-auto-tuned tunes would be to check her out when she visits Charlotte tonight. Guitar-slinging soul vocalist Anthony David (another underrated cat) will also be in the house.

Special Event After a whole lotta anticipation of the Mint Museum Uptown’s Grand Opening, I’m happy to say the time has come. This impressive building will open its doors to the public today for an all-nighter. Festivities include curator’s spotlights of inaugural exhibitions (including New Visions: Contemporary Masterworks from the Bank of America Collection and Contemporary British Studio Ceramics: The Grainer Collection), a Takeover Friday Dance Party, live jazz from the Ocie Davis Trio, Pecha Kucha and more. more...

Special Event Art Beats + Lyrics — the annual celebration of hip-hop-flavored music, visual art and performing art — is returning to Charlotte today. If you've attended the event (which happens through a partnership with Gentlemen Jack) before, you'll know it's the ultimate place to feast your eyes on rap-culture-inspired paintings, photos and more on display — along with dance performances and live music. Missing it would be a dumb move. more...

Saturday, Oct. 2

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The Yard Dogs Road Show

Neighborhood Theatre

Is it just me or does something about a traveling hobo cabaret, known as The Yard Dogs Road Show, raise your interest, too? Maybe it has something to do with childhood memories of the circus or a love of the now defunct HBO show Carnivale? I’m not quite sure, but the show — featuring burlesque, sword-swallowing, rock ‘n roll and more — definitely puts an alternative spin on adult catered entertainment. The 13-member cast’s fantasy-like performances are described as “pure visual and sonic voodoo.” Maybe it’s just magic.

Festival No need to worry about whether you favor white or red wine, because Great Grapes: Wine, Art & Food Festival has it all. At the fest more than 200 wines and 20 wineries will be on hand for your sipping pleasure. The events will also feature live music, arts and crafts and food. more...

Art In its second year, Carolina’s Got Art! – a juried arts exhibition that features 136 works selected from 1,800 submissions – invades Atherton Mill. Also this year, folks can see most of the non-selected art in a digital display titled Through The Juror's Eyes. more...

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DVD Pick: Let the Right One In

Posted By on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 1:07 PM

ltroi

By Matt Brunson

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN

***1/2

DIRECTED BY Tomas Alfredson

STARS Kare Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson

Given tomorrow's opening of Let Me In, viewers interested in catching this vampire film might first want to check out the original 2008 film that inspired it. Let the Right One In is a superior horror yarn, although in the annals of vampire cinema — a rich vein that has already produced definitive flicks with Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee, two wondrous Nosferatu masterworks, and even a bloodsucking ballet (Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary) — it would be a stretch to claim that it ranks in the highest echelons of the genre. But it comes closer than one would rightly suspect.

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Jim DeMint declares himself King of Congress

Posted By on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 12:43 PM

We’ve seen some crazy politics from Tea Partiers (aka TPs) this year, in all parts of the country, but our neighbors south of Carowinds still take top honors. Locally, who could ever forget Tim D’Annunzio? He may be out of the race, but other TPs have made up for it.

Let’s see, there’s Renee Ellmers in Raleigh, whose congressional campaign is based on her opposition to an Islamic center in New York; and Sharron Angle in Nevada, who wants to ditch Social Security and hints broadly that if the T’s don’t get their way, they may start “looking toward Second Amendment remedies.” Of course, there’s also Christine O’Donnell who can’t remember where or when she went to college, and thinks others’ sex lives are her business. And Alaska’s Joe Miller wants to go to the Senate so he can eliminate the Dept. of Education and unemployment benefits. And don’t forget Carl Paladino, GOP candidate for governor of New York, whose “I’m mad as hell” campaign has been so off the rails, it’s even alienated tough-guy Rudy Giuliani – not to mention that Paladino was caught on camera threatening, “I’ll take you out, buddy” to a reporter yesterday. And in case you haven’t heard, there’s Andrew Shirvell, an assistant attorney general in Michigan. Shirvell is so riled up about a gay student being elected University of Michigan student government president, he started his own private blog called "Chris Armstrong Watch,” in which he lambastes and makes fun of the student.

All those folks are bad enough — and we didn’t even touch on Rand Paul’s goofball ideas in Kentucky — but nobody comes close to South Carolina’s junior senator and serial hair dye experimenter, Jim DeMint. The reactionary lawmaker suddenly, and shockingly, declared that every single piece of legislation in the Senate would now be blocked by his office unless it had been pre-approved by his own staffers. In other words, Jim DeMint has declared himself King of America, and decided unilaterally to end legislative activity in the Senate. Members of both parties are stunned and have lashed out publicly against DeMint’s power play. The real question, to me, is: Why in hell does the Senate have a rule that would allow one senator to exercise that much power to begin with? You have to expect goofball actions from the likes of DeMint — after all, here’s a guy who blocked funding for a Women’s History Museum because America already has quilting and cowgirl museums — but there’s no reason to leave insane rules lying around where any old senator could use them to shut down Congress.

King Jim DeMint is seen here during a brown hair dye week
  • King Jim DeMint is seen here during a brown hair dye week

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'White America has lost its mind'

Posted By on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Yeah, going to have to go ahead and agree with the Village Voice's Steven Thrasher on this one. I'm happy to say I have a broad spectrum of friends and family members, but the less educated they are and the more rural their living situation, the more likely it is that they watch Faux News, listen to conservative talk radio, collect guns and think other white people feel the same way they do about race relations. They also enjoy circulating, usually via e-mail, a variety of conspiracy theories marginalizing "others" as well as predictions about the world's demise.

It's pretty scary, actually. Some of these folks are really banking on the world collapsing, Jesus returning to whisk them away and their gun collection saving their hide when all the brown-skinned people come to get them. Incidentally, many of them brag about how they've never lived, or traveled, anywhere other than within the boundaries the county they were born in.

Get mad at me for that description if you want, but you know I'm speaking the truth. Don't make me get one of my crazy relatives from Alablamastan on the phone ...

Fortunately, most of the people I spend quality time with are a lot more rational than that. And, let me just add that I don't shun my crazy friends and relatives. I listen to them and try to make sense out of their rambling rage, but ultimately I'm a fan of inclusiveness, tolerance and positivity. (It should be noted that they think I'm nuts also because I've got — gasp — Jewish, Muslim, Latino, Asian and African-American friends ... the white immigrant friends, though, have "cute accents." Mmmkay.)

Still, knowing what I know about those on the far-right fringe, bless their hearts, I totally understand where Thrasher got his material ... and I think he's spot on.

Here's a snippet from his article:

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Coal ash pond breach; workers drive truck into it

Posted By on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 11:58 AM

As someone who's spent a lot of time researching and writing about the two unlined, high-hazard coal ash ponds on the edge of Charlotte's main drinking water reservoir, my heart sank when I read the headline about a coal ash pond breach that occurred at a Progress Energy plant near Wilmington this week.

Fortunately, the situation appears to be under control. Though, the more I read about the breach, the more I wonder about the structural integrity of other coal ash ponds, most of which are also held in place by earthen dams. My sincere hope is they're all being well maintained and frequently monitored. (Of course, everyone in charge of such things says all is well.)

You should know, every indication is that the Duke Energy-owned ponds closest to the Queen City appear to be structurally sound; however, as I mentioned above, they too are held in place by earthen dams.

All you have to do to understand the power water has over earth is to look at one of the many streams in our city that have suffered through gully washer after gully washer thanks to poor urban planning — undersight that leads directly to flood warnings every time we have an even moderate rain event. Or, check out the Grand Canyon. It, too, was created by water eroding earth. Since water wins the erosion battle, it's critical the coal ash ponds behind earthen dams are constantly monitored, especially given their proximity to our drinking water.

At the same time, the breach in Wilmington couldn't come at a better time for environmentalists, who've been warning everyone about the dangerous potential these ponds possess, since the EPA is trying to decide how to regulate coal ash and the ponds that contain them. (Check out the reaction from an environmentalist after the jump.)

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'Obama fights back'

Posted By on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Eh. Is he fighting back? Personally, I want to see him regain the fighting spirit he exhibited on the campaign trail, back when so many fell in love with the idea of change. I suppose, however, an interview by Rolling Stone, which will appear in their Oct. 15 issue, will have to do for now. It does offer a great deal of insight into what our country's leader faces on a daily battle up on Capitol Hill.

The article is long, but it should be; there's a lot of ground to cover and it's not that often that you can get a major figure, like the President of the United States, to speak so candidly, and at such length, on the record. It's definitely worth a read.

Here's a snippet:

What do you think the Republican Party stands for today?

Well, on the economic front, their only agenda seems to be tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. If you ask their leadership what their agenda will be going into next year to bring about growth and improve the job numbers out there, what they will say is, "We just want these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, which will cost us $700 billion and which we're not going to pay for."

Now what they'll also say is, "We're going to control spending." But of course, when you say you're going to borrow $700 billion to give an average $100,000-a-year tax break to people making a million dollars a year, or more, and you're not going to pay for it; when Mitch McConnell's overall tax package that he just announced recently was priced at about $4 trillion; when you, as a caucus, reject a bipartisan idea for a fiscal commission that originated from Judd Gregg, Republican budget chair, and Kent Conrad, Democratic budget chair, so that I had to end up putting the thing together administratively because we couldn't get any support — you don't get a sense that they're actually serious on the deficit side.

What do you think of the Tea Party and the people behind it?

I think the Tea Party is an amalgam, a mixed bag of a lot of different strains in American politics that have been there for a long time. There are some strong and sincere libertarians who are in the Tea Party who generally don't believe in government intervention in the market or socially. There are some social conservatives in the Tea Party who are rejecting me the same way they rejected Bill Clinton, the same way they would reject any Democratic president as being too liberal or too progressive. There are strains in the Tea Party that are troubled by what they saw as a series of instances in which the middle-class and working-class people have been abused or hurt by special interests and Washington, but their anger is misdirected.

And then there are probably some aspects of the Tea Party that are a little darker, that have to do with anti-immigrant sentiment or are troubled by what I represent as the president. So I think it's hard to characterize the Tea Party as a whole, and I think it's still defining itself.

Read the entire article, by Jann S. Wenner, here.

Where did this guy go? Mr. President, I hope you get your "voice" back soon.

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. Additionally, she's on the steering committee for the Greater Charlotte Society of Professional Journalists. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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Today's Top 5: Thursday

Posted By on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Sept. 30, 2010 — as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

Aladdin at ImaginOn

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Manhattan Short Film Festival at The Light Factory

The Chuckleheads at Fort Mill Comedy Zone

Electric Six at The Milestone

Interiors: Three Approaches exhibit at Gallery Up

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Opening Friday

Posted By on Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 11:58 PM

The Social Network
  • The Social Network

Case 39 - Renee Zellweger, Jodelle Ferland

Catfish - Nev Schulman, Rel Schulman

Hatchet II
  • Hatchet II

Hatchet II - Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder

Let Me In - Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Grace Moretz

The Social Network - Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield

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Not-so-perfect partners at CPCC

Posted By on Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 5:02 PM

(Left to right) Dan Brunson, Susan Roberts Knowlson, Patrick Ratchford and Lisa Smith Bradley star in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.
  • (Left to right) Dan Brunson, Susan Roberts Knowlson, Patrick Ratchford and Lisa Smith Bradley star in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.

In a perfect world relationships would be easy, but in reality they’re tough. Everything is exciting at first (and for the lucky ones, it stays that way), but as time goes by turn for the worst are taken. Central Piedmont Community College’s theater department had all this in mind, when they decided to stage performances of the comedic drama I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. The show uses humor to pick fun at the hardships of relationships. Final performances this week(end). Tickets are $16. Dates/times are as followed: Oct. 1-2, 8 p.m.; Oct. 3, 2:30 p.m. CPCC’S Pease Auditorium, 1200 Elizabeth Ave. For more information, call  704-330-6534 or click here.

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Sen. Richard Burr, Rep. Sue Myrick among top Wall St. pawns

Posted By on Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 12:20 PM

Congratulations to Sen. Richard Burr and Rep. Sue Myrick, who are being recognized and honored today as loyal servants of Wall Street. Well, maybe “honored” isn’t the right word. The Campaign for America’s Future has released a report that lists members of Congress who voted for the Wall Street bailouts but against financial reform — which was designed to rein in the financial institutions that drove the economy into a deep hole. The report also reveals how much money those lawmakers have received from Wall Street. The list, derived from data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics, includes 90 members of Congress, including 21 GOP senators, 60 GOP representatives, and 9 Democratic representatives.

So, guess who made the Top 10 in total dollars collected from Wall Street? Yep, our own Richard Burr — already renowned as a devout puppet of whatever corporation hands him money — tied for 8th on the Wall Street Stooge Honor Roll. Burr, reports writer Zach Carter, scored $1.5 million in Wall Street cash this year alone. Burr also tied for 10th place in the Congressional race for career-long Wall Street donations, having raked in $3.3 million during his 15 years in Washington.

The biggest wads of money went to senators, but that didn’t stop House member Myrick from cashing in, too. She received $93,600 from Wall Street this year alone, and has snagged $1.2 million from them during her Washington tenure (which makes Myrick’s change of heart about term limits a little more understandable).

Other Carolina members of Congress being “honored” today for their slavish devotion to Wall Street are Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), who received $1.1 million this year, and $2 million during his career; Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC), $23,400 this year, $502K career; Rep. Gresham Barrett (R-SC), $20,400 this year, $806K career; Rep. Henry Brown (R-SC), $35,700 this year, $494k career; and last but not least, Rep. Joe “You lie!” Wilson (R-SC), $155,500 this year, $580K career. Congrats all!

Sen. Richard Burr: Busted again
  • Sen. Richard Burr: Busted again

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