Tuesday, August 31
Although this listing is scant, below are new music releases for August 31. Unfortunately, Billboard has not updated their releases page. Hence, this information is culled from Pitchfork, Brainwashed and Delusions of Adequacy. I have underlined those which may be of particular interest. More listings for this week from Billboard Magazine to follow.
Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell
Bjork has always been the name on everyone's tongue- Icelandic pixie eternal and diva of cutting edge electronic music. After 2001's intimate masterpiece, "Vespertine," fans were evenly divided. Most thought that she should return to the sound of "Post" and "Homogenic." As always, Bjork continues to defy all expectations with "Medulla." Not one instrument was used in recording. Instead, imagine a soundscape created solely with voices- an Inuit throat singer, an Icelandic choir, the world's greatest human beatboxes, and, of course, Bjork. This may very well be her most groundbreaking release to date, but as with most classics, will probably be shunned by all but her diehard fans. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
JFP Web Exclusive
"A skinny kid with a funny name" brought his fund-raising efforts to Jackson today, speaking at a multi-racial fund-raising breakfast at Mikhail's Northgate. Democratic star Barack Obama, a state senator on Chicago's South Side who is running for U.S. Senate in Illinois, says he knows people will ask why he has come to Mississippi. "This is the south side of Chicago, granted the very south side, but everyone has connections to Mississippi," said the 42-year-old constititional law professor. Moreover, he said, Americans should believe that everyone in the country is connected. "If a child can't read in Mississippi, then that affects me, even if it is not my child," he said.
AP is reporting that President Bush is trying to take back his earlier statement that the war on terror cannot be won, a statement that is causing a firestorm just as he is getting ready to accept his party's nomination in Washington. "President Bush said Tuesday 'we will win' the war on terror, seeking to quell controversy and Democratic criticism over his earlier remark that victory may not be possible. In a speech to the national convention of the American Legion, Bush said, 'We meet today in a time of war for our country, a war we did not start yet one that we will win.' That statement differed from Bush's earlier comment, aired Monday in a pre-taped television interview, that 'I don't think you can win' the war on terror. That had Democrats running for the cameras to criticize Bush for being defeatist and flip-flopping from previous predictions of victory."
The highly anticipated reunion of Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, and Warren G has resulted in their chart-topping album 213: The Hard Way. The collaboration, that has the perfect blend of dope beats and those famed Cali lyrics, has garnered the group the prestigious slot of #4 album in the country, charting Top 10 in 70 of the Top 100 markets. The West Coast displays its true loyalty by making THE HARD WAY #1 on Southern California's charts. The album has also achieved #1 status for Rap Album, as well as becoming the #1 Independent Album in the country.
Do you have any idea what it involves to be the maid of honor at a wedding? Me neither, but I'm going to be one in my sister's wedding in a few weeks, so I hustled down to the public library to check out what Emily Post has to say about it. Basically, I have to give my sister the equivalent of a bachelor's party, hold her bouquet while she puts the ring on her husband's finger, and generally make sure she doesn't have a heart attack.
Monday, August 30
I decided to watch M. Night Shyamalan's latest highbrow horror-nerd movie, "The Village," for reasons I can't properly explain. I think it had something to do with the vague sense of doom I always experience when the Federal Communications Commission starts bending the electronics industry to its will by issuing gold approval stars to certain companies and not others. In case you missed out, the FCC just issued a list of 13 high-definition TV recorders (including several made by Sony, a new TiVo, and Microsoft's latest Media Player) that are authorized for the marketplace because they "protect digital broadcast television from the threat of mass, indiscriminate redistribution."
AP is reporting: "For months, President Bush has been courting his core conservative supporters. Now, in a New York minute, he's shifting his focus to moderates, independents and Democrats not entirely sold on John Kerry. He wants to be known as the 'compassionate conservative' again. That slogan from his first presidential race lost its meaning to many people shortly after Bush's bitterly contested victory four years ago, when he moved like a man with a mandate to install a right-leaning Cabinet with an agenda to match. Facing an electorate no less divided than in 2000, Bush hopes to reclaim a slice of the political center with a week-long convention script designed to highlight the moderate parts of his program while reminding swing voters why they once found him so likable."
5th Annual Montipaloosa Music Festival Labor Day weekend. Sept. 3-4, 2004. Hwy 84E, Monticello, Atwood Water Park on the Pearl River. (65 miles south of Jxn.) Fri.: 6:30 p.m. Mr. Cogdelle; 7:45 p.m. Jeff & Vida; 9 p.m. Living Better Electrically; 10:30 p.m. Edgar Winter; 12 a.m. Strutter (Kiss Tribute Band). Sat. : Battle of the Bands: 1 p.m. The Score, 2 p.m. Pun Intended, 3 p.m. 10 lb. Test, 4 p.m. Gillian Fritz. 5 p.m. Son of Sabbath (Ozzy Tribute); 6 p.m. Electric Mudd; 7 p.m. Beaver Nelson; 8 p.m. James "Super Chikan" Johnson; 9:30 p.m. Percy Sledge; 11 p.m. Georgia Satellites; 12:30 a.m. Charlie Mars. Classic Car show, bungee jumping, mechanical bull. Coolers/Vendors welcome, campsites/boat ramp available. Advanced $15day/$25pass; Gate $20day/$30pass. Under 12 free. 800-595-4TIX, 601-587-9313. www.montipaloosa.com
A good source for health information from both a holistic and medical approach is the Web site of Dr. Andrew Weil. He answers a new question daily, as well as has lots of info on his site and hints on how to achieve wellness: that is, a healthy combination of mind, body and spirit.
Sunday, August 29
We say we're upset by gasoline prices. We complain because it costs $30 dollars to fill up our car or perhaps $40 or even $50 to fill up our truck. But do we really care about the country's dependance on foreign oil? Are we really serious about reducing our dependency? Apparently not. In recent months it seems we've come to accept $1.80 and $2 per gallon fuel prices. Unless America wakes up and adopts a national energy policy, we're going to see increases at the pump again and again until one day Congress and citizens alike will be forced to make a sudden, sobering change in the way America lives, works and travels.
Saturday, August 28
Download the first single "What You Gon' Do" featuring Lil Scrappy from "Crunk Juice":
What do you get when you mix Hennessy and CRUNK!!! Energy Drink?????...CRUNK JUICE. And the aptly titled new album from Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz. Featuring appearances by T.I., Outkast, Ludacris, Trillville, Lil Scrappy, Ice Cube, R. Kelly, Nate Dog, G- Unit and more.
Friday, August 27
2004 State of the City Address - August 31, 2004 - 5:30 p.m. Mayor Johnson invites you to the 2004 State of the City Address this Tuesday, August 31, 2004. The Address will be held at Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center located at 528 Bloom Street at 5:30 p.m. Mayor Johnson's address will touch on some of the progress that has been made in the past year and a few of the upcoming goals for the City of Jackson. We hope to see you there. Renovation of the Electric Building Begins, Will Include Luxury Apartments, Retail Shops & Office Space
Thursday, August 26
There's something about the Fondren area that is unique. No, I don't mean the colors of the buildings or the fact that neighborhood is so diverse. What I mean is this: Once a business is successful, it often spins off another success, sorta like TV shows used to do back in the day when the networks gave them a chance. The lead-off hitter in this game is Chane with his numerous establishments: Swell, soma-etheria, Studio Chane and who knows what else is coming. But, joining the game at a fast pace are the folks from Rooster's and Basil's with their new venture, right there in the Fondren Corner Building at the corner of North State Street and Fondren Place.
The popular Acoustic Blues Guitar and Blues Appreciation courses, taught by Delta blues musician and author Steve Cheseborough, are being offered again at Delta State University, Cleveland; and Greenville Higher Education Center.
at the community level.
Sept. 17-19; deadline for registration Aug. 30. Port Gibson. Mississippi Cultural Crossroads will co-sponsor a state-wide conference, "Telling the People's Story: From Tape and Transcript to
(New York, NY) - In 2003, road-tested underground heroes Yellowcard released their major label debut, Ocean Avenue. Just over a year later they now stand as one of America's biggest, fastest-growing bands...with no slowing in sight.
H.T. Holmes has been selected to serve as the new director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH). Holmes will succeed Elbert R. Hilliard, who is retiring on January 1, 2005, after thirty-one years at the position. The search for Hilliard's successor began last year with the formation of a special committee of the board of trustees of the Department of Archives and History. The committee conducted an extensive search process before making its recommendation.
Yoko Ono, MC5, Interpol, Billy Bragg, Death Cab for Cutie, The Flaming Lips and others discuss the intersection of music and politics. Musicians photographed with protest signs; autographed signs to be auctioned for Music For America. http://undertheradarmag.com/protestauction.html
The controversial councilman on being conservative, Mayor Johnson, gun control and meeting Muhammad Ali. The unabridged version.
Unabridged version of Ben Allen interview, continued ....
My biggest issue with Chief Moore is that he keeps talking about crime being a perception—so is leadership. Leadership is a perception!
Wednesday, August 25
Is there really a such thing as a "can't miss" show? Well, yes, any time Cary Hudson plays, there is. Many Mississippi music fans have long been familiar with Hudson and his genre-defying brand of guitar music, from his early work with the excellent Hilltops through his legendary performances and recordings as the leader of Blue Mountain. Now Blue Mountain is disbanded, and Hudson is the solo artist he has always been perfectly capable of being.
Have you ever had a really bad idea? I mean, ever had a quick thought and then slapped yourself for thinking it? That's what those evil Midway executives did—only instead of slapping themselves, they tried to market it. I can see the meeting now.
George County Justice Court Judge Connie Wilkerson kicked over a fire ant mound when he wrote in a letter to the George County Times, published March 28, that "in my opinion, gays and lesbians should be put in some type of mental institution instead of having a law like this passed for them." He was writing the letter in response to a recent California law that gave gay partners the same rights to file wrongful death suits as spouses or other family members have. The letter prompted statewide gay rights group Equality Mississippi and Lambda Legal, a nationwide gay rights organization, to file an ethics violation complaint against Wilkerson, arguing that the letter is evidence that the judge cannot be impartial.
I'm sitting here, OK lying here, in a humongous, brick-colored sofa far away from Jackson in the Pacific Northwest, counting my blessings about life in Mississippi. I didn't start out to wax about my good fortune, however. Truth is, we left Jackson in a flurry after putting out our biggest issue (The Annual Manual) and holding an open house for 100 people to honor our interns and young staffers (who produced the Manual). So I didn't have time to write my editor's note before we left.
If you mat it, they will come. That could be the theme for the Serendipity Art Show and Silent Auction at the Mississippi State Hospital on Sept. 2. It's the best place to fulfill your dream of adorning your living or work space with unique, creative and original artwork at a price you can afford. Serendipity is that special event that serves more than one purpose, a fine example of another melodious s-word—symbiosis—in which a mutually beneficial relationship develops between the artists and the buyers.
From the griots of West Africa to men toasting on rural Mississippi back porches, oral history has been a major part of African-American traditions. However, with the birth of each new and more desensitized generation, these stories are fading into a blurred background of recycled people, places and events. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the Library of Congress and other organizations are sponsoring a 70-day, 22-states bus tour to find and archive the stories of the Civil Rights Movement that are not so commonly told.
Jackson native Kathryn Rodenmeyer, 37, was described to me as a filmmaker, so when I met her in her Fondren home, I first asked her about her work in film.
• Number of government surveillance programs currently in operation: 14
• Year that Congress voted to de-fund the "Total Information Awareness" surveillance program due to civil liberties concerns: 2003
"If people are going to sit here and believe (crime) statistics when they are bad, they ought to be man enough to believe statistics when they are good." — City Councilman Ben Allen
In a July speech to the National Urban League Convention, President Bush asked: "Does the Democratic Party take African-American voters for granted?" The answer: a resounding yes.
Tuesday, August 24
Hello JFP Music Bloggers! First, I offer my apologies for being remiss in posting releases for last week. To be honest, last week was a bit "off" in terms of the quality and quantity of offerings. Listed below are new music releases for August 24- and just in time for the new school year. There are many good releases available this week, so add a few to your wish list and go visit your local retailer. I have underlined those which may be of particular interest. Release information is culled from Billboard Magazine, Pitchfork, Brainwashed and Delusions of Adequacy.
It's another episode of "All God's Churn Got Shoes!" This week Grandma Pookie, Dr. Peanut and the Ghetto Science Team attend a briefing at a stem cell research conference. When conference officials deny the group access to the briefing, filmmaker Michael Moore comes to the rescue. He helps Grandma Pookie and company (disguised as Moore's film production crew) sneak into the briefing.
Nora O'Connor, TIL THE DAWN, out Aug. 24 -- Hot on the heels of a sold out CD release show in Chicago, today we release a gem of a record-- Nora O Connor's "Til the Dawn." Nora has been willing to lend a hand on any number of releases from Chicago folks like Andrew Bird, Kelly Hogan and even the Aluminum Group. Now many of these players return the favor on this excellent record.
Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell
Luke Vibert has recorded under several guises over the last decade [Plug, Amen Andrews, Kerrier District, Luke Vibert], but Wagon Christ remains the most playful of the lot. Combining the precise acid and disco drenched beats of the last 2 Luke Vibert albums with the sample heavy funkiness of Wagon Christ, "Sorry I Make You Lush" is the most accessible and fun listen in the Wagon Christ catalogue. Think of cheesy sci-fi grooves with phunked up beats and sleazy space-lounge ambience.
Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell
Rumored to be Radiohead's favorite emerging band, Clinic are a strange lot indeed- their faces always cloaked by doctors masks. With a knack for combining avant-garde, garage, surf and Kraut rock, they have drawn comparisons to Velvet Underground, The Stooges and, yes, even Radiohead- vocally at least. This newest offering is more of a primal listen than 2002's "Walking with Thee," but is certainly no less eerie or captivating.
The The Georgia Straight helps you figure out how to purge your home of household toxins: "Just as not smoking can reduce the risk of lung cancer, not using harmful chemicals to clean your countertops could help decrease the chance of acquiring other forms of the disease. According to the Vancouver-based Labour Environmental Alliance Society, the link between human health and the environment is commonly overlooked. To help people better understand what's in the products they buy--and help them find safer options--the organization recently published the CancerSmart Consumer Guide."
Monday, August 23
If there's anything Jackson offers in spades it's a good lunch—particularly plate lunches and meat-and-veggie smorgasbords such as Collins' Dream Kitchen, Two Sisters, George Street Grocery, 930 Blues Café, Gloria's Kitchen, and many others. But what you may not be getting enough of are some of the city's best new sandwiches. In fact, returning students may not even know about some of these places as they've all opened their doors in the past year or less. And here's another odd fact—all three have opened within two miles of each other on State Street—biking distance for Millsaps, UMC and Belhaven students and only a short drive for Tougaloo's and JSU's sandwich fans.
Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell
After the demise of the ever cool and influential Spacemen 3, Pete [Sonic Boom] Kember went on to release several albums under the pseudonym- Spectrum. Dabbling in the experimental side of blissed out hypnotic space rock, the music of Spectrum has been difficult for fans to acquire [to say the least]. This collection compiles the best and most rare of Spectrum's output and is essential for fans and non-fans alike.
Sunday, August 22
Jazz, Art, and Friends - Thurs., Aug. 26: Rhonda Richmond, Sept. 30, Oct. , Nov. 18, Dec. 2. Once a month at the Miss. Museum of Art, 6-9 p.m. $7. Enjoy cocktails, listen to live jazz, and mingle with old and new friends in the most "culturally chic" setting in town. Cash bar; free hors d'oeuvres. 960-1515.
-- Herman Snell and Alex Slawson
Hailing from Cologne, Germany, Mouse on Mars have left an indelible mark on the face [and ears] of electronic music. Their signature sound of glitch and scratch beats submerged in a washing machine have been the toast of the euro club scene for 10 years going. "Radical Connector" could make MoM popular on this side of the Atlantic as well, given the booty beat driven music and R&B influenced vocal stylings. Luckily the washing machine effects are still there to appeal to their underground devotees in what could be the crossover effort of the year.
Saturday, August 21
Unita Blackwell, internationally known voting rights activist and the state's first black female mayor, will headline a women's voter registration rally at the State Capitol Thursday, August 26--the 84th anniversary of women's right to vote. The event, scheduled for 11:30 in the Rotunda of the State Capitol, highlights a nation-wide effort to honor women who sacrificed for the right to vote in the early twentieth century and in the 1960s.
Friday, August 20
It's noon on your first real day of classes, and you can't remember a time you were this hungry. You could eat a horse, if eating horse wasn't against your personal dietary code of ethics. You approach the cafeteria with a dangerous sense of hope—excited to sample one of the many vegetarian options promised in your registration pamphlet. No more brown sack lunches, you tell yourself, you're in college, where they understand the needs of a vegetarian.
Improving a living space with tasteful art and design can be difficult for a college student, especially if you want a unique and interesting place. Original art pieces usually cost way too much for a typical student. Space and living arrangements often limit the size and type of art or furniture. Yet, with a bit of creativity, students can find many options that meet their budget and time constraints. If you are a college student into art and design, I urge you to seek out original ideas, rather than settling for a space that looks just like everyone else's.
Thursday, August 19
Alternet is discussing several polls and news articles that seem to indicate that Bush does not have the South all sewn up: "But as the election draws nearer, polling trends show that just isn't the case. The Raleigh News & Observer North Carolina came out with a poll this week showing George Bush ahead by a mere three points, well within the 4% margin of error. ... Witness Rassmussen's poll numbers for Arkansas, where Bush and Kerry are tied at 46%. There's also Virginia, where Bush leads Kerry by three points, 49% to 46%, with a five-point margin of error. Numbers like these rule out the notion that the South is 'Bush country.'" I just think the choice of "red" to indicate conservative states is hilarious. Who came up with that?!
If you have sent in your stats for our musician database and don't see it online, please resend it. It was not intentional. Our appologizes as we find, and work our new server's bugs. It seems to be fixed now.
Wednesday, August 18
It's 8 in the a.m. on your first official day of college, and you and several hundred of what you hope will become your closest friends are gathered in the gymnasium watching your freshman orientation leaders (OL) sing and dance.
(Los Angeles, CA. August 12, 2004) - 33rd Street Records announces the release of Shock G's first independent album 'Fear of a Mixed Planet' due in stores October 12, 2004. Rapper, producer, musician, cartoonist Shock-G is the mastermind behind platinum group Digital Underground.
Who knows about college life better than a 45-year-old writer in Hollywood, right? Before you embark on your many higher-ed adventures, make sure you've checked out Hollywood's best college films. I'll forego even talking about "Animal House;" it has made far too many of these lists already. See it. The same goes for "Old School," the best movie the Frat Pack has put out to date. Unfortunately, in the world of college movies, for every Will Ferrell butt-scene, there are 14 crap-fests like "Van Wilder." Here are some good ones you and your new friends might have missed but that will never fail to inspire some conversation and endearing inside jokes.
High school football, Canton Academy at Tri-County Academy, 7:30 p.m.: The 2004 high school football season starts in Flora. The rest of the MPSA teams kick off on Friday.
Take a survey of college music scenes around the country. College towns such as Austin, Chapel Hill, Athens and Olympia appear to be churning out indie-label rock bands by the dozen. Magazines produce college radio charts showing a myriad of seemingly disparate musical subgenres: noise rock, math rock, IDM, electroclash, blip-hop. Many would argue that not only do college students play an integral role in shaping musical trends, but they are often the source of cutting-edge music around the U.S.
The state's college football teams have reported for preseason practice. Millsaps and Mississippi College play their annual grudge match at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Sept. 2. The rest of the state's teams start their seasons on Sept. 4. Here's a quick update on the state, and the city's, college scene.
Just moving to Jackson and unsure of where to go? Check out our readers' picks for the Best of Jackson from earlier this year.
It's back to school, and chances are you and your friends won't be enrolled in the same college, much less the same city. You'll be making new friends, of course, but as the old saying goes, you'll want to keep the old. This task, once daunting and time consuming (thousands upon thousands of dollars spent on stationary, a long-distance bill that'll take you more time to pay off than your student loans) is made relatively painless by the Internet. There are innumerable, completely free Web services out there designed to help you keep in touch. From weblogs to mailing groups and profile networks, here's a rundown of the best of the best.
Mike Padilla, 20, a Millsaps College student—an actor, a director, a techie and an award-winning playwright—is involved in the theater at Millsaps on every possible level. Right now he's working backstage on "The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr: Abridged," which opens Aug. 25. Next up, he's directing Jean Anouilh's version of "Antigone." When I asked him when we could get together, he told me to "just stop by the theater any time, I'll be there pretty much all day." I finally caught up with him sitting at a makeup table in the dressing room at Millsaps, writing in his notebook. Surrounded by masks, wigs and witch hats, Padilla seemed entirely at home.
"I never thought I'd be going to a community college," Josh Raila laments. "I imagined that I would immediately get a bachelor's and a master's and a Ph.D."
Every summer college students get a new billing statement from their chosen college, and every summer the total amount due increases. The envelope may be skinny, but the amount of cash students are expected to send back is a big, fat wad. Most students know there is a tuition increase every year, but most do not know exactly how much it is ahead of time.
Compiled by Robert Williamson
• The average percent tuition increase nationally for the 2002/2003 school year for 4-year public institutions: 9.6
My parents wouldn't let me have a car my freshman year of college. It only bothered me the first week. After that, I quickly found that college campuses are pretty autonomous. Even now, I hear the phrase "Millsaps bubble" tossed around more frequently than "homework" or "essay," but back then it didn't bother me. Seniors complain about getting trapped in this so-called bubble. They worry about never leaving and feeling too provincial.
For the past two decades, the cost of college has skyrocketed to heights most lower- and many middle-income families cannot afford. In Mississippi, and all over the country, financial aid (both state and federal) and scholarships are not meeting the costs of college. Every year, some part of the cost of higher education increases, whether it's a state school or private school, and yet, no legislature, or governor or even really the president, has made any significant change in this growing problem. With a post-secondary education becoming mandatory for almost every career field, it is time the government stepped up before the American people fall behind.
Nick Patch reports: "The Los Angeles Times has reported that Elliott Smith's final album, titled "From a Basement on the Hill", will be released on October 18. However, it seems to have been pared down from its originally reported double-album status, and will now be released as a single disc. The record, as most of you are probably aware, had been mostly completed before Smith's death from a (possibly) self-inflicted stabwound to the chest last October, but was not yet in a condition suitable for release." More...
Image by Ken Patterson
Forget Boston, it's too far away. Baton Rouge, too. Hell, forget Oxford and Starkville while you're at it. Home to five major colleges (Belhaven, Jackson State, Millsaps, Mississippi College and Tougaloo) and several junior colleges (Holmes, Hinds), the Jackson area is where you want to be as a student, relishing the best years of your life. Right?
I sat on Belhaven College's campus, on my lunch break, right after school had finished for the year and summer school was beginning. I watched as people came in and out, very rarely seeing any face twice.
Fashion: Tweed, or its textile counterpart bouclé, dressed down with dark denim and pumps make an easy outfit choice for the college fashionista who can either wear it to a class presentation or that new club opening. For you guys, a simple change from that boring denim and tee combination will be a nice pair of black pinstripe pants. You can wear these with everything from flip flops to cowboy boots.
Monday, August 16
September 10, 11, 12, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Museum, Jackson. www.CelticFestMS.org
The Mississippi Historic Preservation Professional Review Board will meet on Thursday, Sept. 16, at 1 p.m. in the boardroom on the third floor of the William F. Winter Archives and History Building in
Friday, August 13
So how come conservative Christians aren't insisting that Jefferson is burning in Hades, quoting verses from Paul's letters about what hellish future awaits those who mess with the Word?
According to the Sonig Label website, the German avant-electronica duo of Mouse on Mars will be touring North America in the Fall. To my knowledge, this will be the first time MoM performs for an audience in the Southeast U.S. [see tour dates below]. The tour is in support of their forthcoming release "Radical Connector," which will be released domestically on August 23 via the Thrill Jockey Label.
Apologies for the delay, but here are the music releases for the week of August 9 - 13. They are seperated by genre: blues, country, folk, indie/electronica/underground, jazz, latin, rap, rock/pop/r&b and world. Culled from Billboard Magazine, Pitchfork, Brainwashed and Delusions of Adequacy.
Spoiler alert: I may spoil movie surprises below: Beware and skim, dear reader, skim.
Thursday, August 12
Bach To Blues Series Trinity Lutheran Church hosts a series of sacred and secular music, every 3rd Sunday, 6 p.m. 6401 Hwy 18 W. at Siwell Rd. Share music and a Harmony Meal after. 8/15 London Branch Jazz Trio, 9/19. 371-2332, 372-8851. www.bachtoblues.org
Wednesday, August 11
Here's the text of Ron Reagan's piece in the September issue of Esquire—and he seems more willing to speak his mind than he was at the Democratic National Convention: "The far-right wing of the country—nearly one third of us by some estimates—continues to regard all who refuse to drink the Kool-Aid (liberals, rationalists, Europeans, et cetera) as agents of Satan. Bush could show up on video canoodling with Paris Hilton and still bank their vote. Right-wing talking heads continue painting anyone who fails to genuflect deeply enough as a 'hater,' and therefore a nut job, probably a crypto-Islamist car bomber. But these protestations have taken on a hysterical, almost comically desperate tone. It's one thing to get trashed by Michael Moore. But when Nobel laureates, a vast majority of the scientific community, and a host of current and former diplomats, intelligence operatives, and military officials line up against you, it becomes increasingly difficult to characterize the opposition as fringe wackos."
In Carl Hiaasen's brilliantly funny and entertaining novel, "Strip Tease," the villains belong to the South Florida sugar lobby—a group that bribes congressmen to vote for sugar subsidies. Although fiction, Hiaasen clearly makes the Libertarian case for free trade as he explains how agricultural subsidies keep farmers in the United States rich and condemns those in Third World countries to poverty.
"A restaurant-as-icon is at 509 North Farish St. The Big Apple Inn, 354-9371, has been at that location over 60 years—just north of the Collins Funeral Home and across the street from Central United Methodist Church.
I had only known Willie Morris through his books. It was his words, read in faraway places like Colorado and Manhattan and Nantucket, that helped me realize how southern I really was, that I wasn't the only Mississippian to be stung by northern condescension, that you can, and often should, go home again.
Thursday, Aug. 12
Pro baseball, Jackson at Shreveport, 7 p.m. (1240 AM): The Senators play Game 2 of a four-game series in Sin City. … High school football, MPSA jamborees: The state's academies can start playing the glorified scrimmages they call jamborees. Check your local listings for head-knocking near you.
A Review of "Kill Bill Vol. 2," R
One of the best films of 2004, Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill, Vol. 2" is a swift, funny, potent continuation of one of the most exciting film sagas in recent memory. Having been split into two separate movies ("volumes") after a final cut of over four hours, the second half of "Kill Bill" is now on home video and DVD ("Vol. 1" is already available).
7L & ESOTERIC – "DC2: Bars Of Death"
After spending the better part of 2003 involved in a bitter feud (sometimes of the physical variety) with fellow underground clique The Weathermen, Boston's 7L & Esoteric return with "DC2: Bars Of Death." Judging by the title alone, it's obvious that the feud has 7L & Eso feeling a bit on edge, and that's conveyed in the music as well, including the ridiculously hardcore "Way of The Gun," which finds the duo teaming up with Apathy, Celph Titled and Lord Digga, and the group's latest verbal rebuttal to The Weathermen, "Mercy Killing." While Esoteric gets more personal over 7L's rolling piano loops on "Rise of The Rebel," "DC2: Bars Of Death" is confrontational fight music that, for the mentally unstable (you know who you are), is a potential lawsuit waiting to happen. (Babygrande Records)
OK, some are better than others, but all the following movies set in one way or another in a school are worth renting, if for no other reason than to remember that you're not the only one having to deal with crap at school. And if you have any time left after watching all of these, revisit the school-themed slacker classics "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Dazed and Confused" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."
A while back, I had occasion to talk to a woman named Lillian Lopez about a bold choice she had decided not to make. Lopez, who lives in a barrio on the east side of Oakland, Calif., is a Mexican-American mom with dark red hair and a firm and plain-spoken way of making her point. She was the front woman for a remarkable grass-roots effort by low-income parents to flee Oakland's famously lousy school system and create a handful of new charter schools.
The teacher merit-pay mindset is attracting more believers here in Mississippi, despite hesitation on the part of teachers' organizations and many lawmakers who worry that it's just another way to chip away at the public education system.
Three African-American women from Tupelo joined an attorney from Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Aug. 5, in front of the James O. Eastland Federal Court Building downtown to demand the right to make a living. The women—an accomplished African hairbraider and two who would like to be—are filing a civil rights lawsuit in challenging the state's cosmetology laws, saying they discriminate against them because of burdensome licensing requirements that make it difficult to braid hair for a living or teach the skill of braiding to others.
Some people might find it confusing that so-called liberal Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., supported President George W. Bush's "No Child Left Behind" act, and is pushing for "merit pay" during his presidential campaign, especially considering that Bush campaigned on the issue the first time around.
Monica Baldwin, a member of Pro-Life Mississippi, an anti-abortion organization, sued the city on July 15 for its anti-noise ordinance that was stopping her organization from using a keyboard to play music at an anti-abortion rally at 2903 N. State Street. Baldwin was granted a temporary injunction the next day prohibiting police from enforcing the ordinance at the rally. The City Council voted Aug. 3 on an order that allows the city attorney to settle the case.
Pros: Merit pay raises the professionalism bar because teachers are evaluated based on the effectiveness of other teachers. CONS: Research regularly shows that merit pay doesn't improve teachers' classroom work, and can divide, and add negativity and distrust, to a school's teaching community.
Once again, determined legislators beat the Medicaid drum at the Capitol on Monday, Aug. 9, when about a dozen of them gathered to demand that Gov. Haley Barbour reconsider his plan to shrink the Medicaid rolls in Mississippi.
Back in the '70s when I was at Neshoba Central, a gawky girl from a trailer park bursting with ideas that I didn't know where to put, two women saved my life. Mrs. Oneida Hodges and Mrs. Alline Salter gave me permission to find my voice, to reach deep inside myself and say, "I have something to say, and I'm going to say it." Those two English teachers, my mentors, not only told me it was OK to express myself, they also taught me that expressing alone is not enough. You have to observe, research, think, ponder, rewrite, think more, question, consider, adjust.
Welcome to "Ghetto-nomics 101": The common people's show! I'm yo' ghetto-economist Pookie "Hustler International" Peters. My guest is grandma Peterz, affectionately known as Grandma Pookie. She will share on surviving in a struggling economy.
Assistant Police Chief Edna Drake took a seat next to Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. at a recent City Council meeting in full uniform, her black gun bridled by its shiny leather holster on her hip. The Council was deciding whether to authorize the mayor to accept a DUI Grant award from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, Office of Highway Safety, in the amount of $5,000. The grant will pay for Drake and her officers to patrol specifically on the look-out for drunk drivers on Labor Day weekend.
• Number, in thousands, of new jobs the Bush administration predicted for July: 215 to 247
• Number, in thousands, of jobs added in May: 208• Number, in millions, of U.S. jobs lost since Bush took his oath of office: 1.1• Number of years since a U.S. president has faced re-election with a net job loss: 72• Of 13 Southern states, number that have had a net job gain since 2001: 0• Percent of African American teens jobless in June 2004: 77
Scattered across the desolate solar system exist the bleary-eyed mining men of Jupiter who know nothing of women, and the sexually frustrated, all-female (Southern Belle no less) population of Venus. The surrealist noir B-movie landscape of a 1950s-style, campy black-and-white sci-fi odyssey "The American Astronaut" will be presented by director Cory McAbee—who also stars in, scored and wrote the film that began seven years ago at a Sundance Writer's Lab workshop.
Recently I was pleased to join our Congressional delegation in announcing almost $6 million in federal assistance for water system upgrades throughout Mississippi. Every year I vigorously support water and waste water projects because they sustain and improve public health, and they lay the groundwork for new job growth. Any community's future will depend largely on the quality of public works they can provide. In the 21st century there's really no excuse for anybody to be drinking bad water or depending on a weak, undependable water system.
NFL teams are preparing for the first full weekend of exhibition games. So naturally it's time to start talking about players' sex lives. In an interview in the next issue of Playboy, Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens suggests that quarterback Jeff Garcia, a former teammate with the 49ers, is gay. He's not the first to say that. Garcia, who now plays for the Browns, has not publicly reacted to Owens' charge. But here's irony for you: Garcia's girlfriend was at the Browns' practice on Tuesday. Her name is Carmella DeCesare and she's the 2004 Playboy Playmate of the Year.
Cade Chapel Missionary Baptist Church "Voices of Love" Annual Gospel Fest - Aug. 14, 2:30 p.m. 1000 W. Ridgeway St. All choirs and soloists welcomed to participate. 366-5463, 573-1099.
Tuesday, August 10
Mississippi Gospel and Bluegrass Opry Sat., Aug. 14, Sept. 11, 6:30 p.m. The Born Again Quartet, Murray Stewart & friends, The McCobes, Matt & Laurie Jones, Hardeman Duet, Harmony & Grits. Pearl Community Room, next to Pearl City Hall, Old Brandon Rd. $7.50, Kids free. 924-1175. www.msoprygospelbluegrass.com
Monday, August 9
The Concretes - Creation-era Brit-pop [a la The Pastels and Jesus and Mary Chain] immediately comes to mind upon first listen. More subtle undertones bring a Mazzy Star and even Velvet Underground sort of feel into this wonderful Smorgasbord. Tak!! -- Herman Snell & Alex Slawson
The Futureheads - Like a lightening bolt out of the not so distant past, this [post] post-punk 4 piece from Northern England deliver the goods in the same vein as Wire, The Stooges, The Jam and The Lemondrops. Produced by Andy Gill (of Gang of Four fame), I expect we will be hearing a lot more from these guys in the no so distant future. --Review by Herman Snell & Alex Slawson
We left off last week wondering how DM&E (David, Mali and Emilio )would get across the Darien gap, the 54-mile impassable portion of the Pan-American Highway. The answer turned out to be to put the car on a ship, then fly to meet the ship in Quito, Ecuador. Note to potential long-distance road-trippers: You can't ride with your car on these cargo ships. Second note: Bring bribes, as you'll see from DM&E's experience. "The system now is supposedly bribe-free, but what you actually have to do is pay an Ayudante (helper) about $300 to do the paperwork for you," David posted on their blog. "The Ayudante spreads the bribes around and keeps it all neat. But we don't pay folks like that, and had confrontations and arguments all the way around. It was a disaster."
CNN is reporting that, for the first time, the U.S. presidential election will have international observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The request for observation came after 13 Democratic members of Congress petitioned the State Department to request election monitors from the United Nations. According to the story, OSCE is the "largest regional security organization" in the world and it has sent monitors to 150 elections in 30 countries.
"The Colossal Gray Sunshine," featuring guest vocals from the Flaming Lips, has been remixed as the emphasis track for Faultline's lost electronic classic "Your Love Means Everything", which will be re-issued in the U.S. with four new tracks on August 24th. Both versions of the song will appear on the album.
Sunday, August 8
A Review of "Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - Game of the Year Editon" Platform: Xbox/PC
I usually review newer games, but after picking up a copy of "Morrowind: Game of the Year Edition," I had to review it. I love this game. It's in-depth, creative and innovative, and most of all, it's totally freeform. You can go anywhere at any time. You are given specific missions, but the world is open to you. There are three "continents." Each one contains a core quest, which the player is pushed towards constantly, and hundreds of varied quests, which have to be discovered and explored. The missions range from delivering a letter to killing a god. Likewise, the difficulty fluctuates greatly. Replay value is almost obsolete. You will be totally content without replaying anything.
Friday, August 6
Mayor Johnson was handed a check for over one million dollars Thursday for demolition of the White Rock Apartments. "We appreciate HUD's commitment to the city of Jackson," said Johnson. "This grant allows us to demolish apartments that have blighted the city for some time now. We have high hopes that this process will allow for new development in this area."
[Verbatim] Coming off the heels of the their hugely successful Rhyme Night showcase series, Contrabandit.com has been recruited by Slam Bush PAC and the Indy Voter PAC to organize Slam Bush, a nationwide MC battle and poetry slam series created to empower the hip-hop generation to take a stand against President George W. Bush. Starting in August, Slam Bush events will be taking place in important battle ground states to set the stage for political organizers to register thousands of Hip-Hop fans for the November 2nd election.
Wednesday, August 4
Councilman Kenneth Stokes slapped me the other day. His large hand hit my sweat-beaded skin in one swift swoop to kill the mosquito getting ready to bite. He did not ask; he just actedprobably on the same instinct he grew up with in his West Jackson home in the heart of Georgetown, a tough community by anyone's description. His wife, LaRita, looked up from beneath her straw hat to say, "One down, 1 million to go!" We laughed as she and Stokes waved in unison at the next in a steady stream of friends and neighbors who drove by their Morton Street home during our interview on the front porch of the house where the future public servant grew up.
As promised, here are the music releases for Tuesday, August 3. They are seperated by genre: blues, country, folk, indie/electronica/underground, jazz, latin, rap, rock/pop/r&b and world. Culled from Billboard Magazine, Pitchfork and Brainwashed
According to Pitchfork and the band Website, The Beta Band have decided to call it a day. This is especially sad, given the creative dynamic on their latest release, "Heroes to Zeroes." It finally appeared as though they had hit their stride, but alas.
Cheryl Lasseter, the weekend morning anchor at WLBT-TV3, was Cheryl Frazel when she arrived in Jackson, a Baltimore native who grew up in a suburb. While earning her communication degree at Towson University in 1992, she deejayed at the college radio station. "I always had TV in the back of my mind, but I never thought I could do that; that was for really, really talented people," Lasseter said as we talked in the children's book section of Lemuria, while her 18-month-old son Sean played nearby.
Thursday, Aug. 5
Extreme sports: X Games, 8 p.m. (ESPN): Hey, with a little more practice, you could be on TV next year, bro. OK, make that a LOT more practice.
By waging a war of litigation on file sharers and copyright infringers, the Recording Industry Association of America has unwittingly created a new kind of protest art. Mash-ups—digitally knitted-together compositions made up of two or more popular songs—are anti-authoritarian folk music for a generation whose "establishment" is represented by corporate intellectual-property owners.
This is a hard column to write. Sometimes something is so painful, so heart-wrenching that you don't want to expose it. You just want to ignore it, and hope no one notices. As much as I'm a fan of open dialogue and brutal honesty about our history, I sometimes want to close my eyes and say, I did not read that. I did not hear that. No one thinks that way in 2004. Not in Jackson.
"The Village" takes forever to reach its destination, and when it does, it's difficult to care. Following a trio of superbly crafted thrillers ("The Sixth Sense," "Unbreakable," and "Signs"), writer/director M. Night Shyamalan has created a shockingly sloppy, dreary film that lacks nearly all of the screenwriting elements that made his previous films so great.
Presenting the new ABC (African Broadcast Corp.) network soap opera "All God's Churn Got Shoes." Our story takes place at the No Child Left Behind Remedial Alternative School for the Financially Challenged where Miss Teacher conducts her weekly oral examination of students in the spelling and language arts class. She asks her prize student Boneqweesha Jones to define the word "churn."
AP is reporting: "In an unprecedented series of concerts in nine swing states, more than 20 musical acts -- including Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and the Dixie Chicks -- will perform fund-raising concerts one month before the Nov. 2 election in an effort to unseat President Bush. The shows, which will begin Oct. 1 in Pennsylvania, will take an unusual approach: as many as six concerts on a single day in cities across the states expected to decide the November presidential race. Other stops on the tour are North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin and the key state in 2000, Florida.
Recently, critics have argued that the tax-exempt status of the NAACP should be withdrawn because of attacks that the leadership made upon President Bush and the Republican Party. But those same critics fail to mention that Julian Bond, chairman of the board of the NAACP, was also critical of the Democratic Party in the same speech about their spineless posture in failing to speak out on vital issues.
It starts with the spark of an idea (usually over drinks) and involves 10 willing friends (who enjoy wine and its relaxing buzz). Invent a theme, grab some cocktail food and establish a price limit. Voila ... the makings of an in-home wine tasting.
With his stiff blue collar and black-rimmed glasses, state Rep. Randy "Bubba" Pierce looks and smiles just like a politician. When we spotted him at the Neshoba County Fair, he was standing inside a horseshoe of similarly dressed men, addressing all of them at once. They seemed to be entranced by his words. Later, he said, "I speak impromptu, from the heart. I don't script myself. I like to talk to people, not speak at them." He has not written a speech so far in his political career, he said, including the one he gave that morning at the Fair.
•Amount, in billions, of U.S. budget surplus when G. W. Bush took office: $230
•Amount of 2004 U.S. budget that's going to Medicare: $300 billion
— Gov. Haley Barbour, Neshoba County Fair, July 29, 2004
"Mississippi taxpayers shouldn't pay for health care coverage that the federal government will pay for."
Tuesday, August 3
<b>New Dem Head Wayne Dowdy on Faux Elephants and Young Voters
It's hard to get past Wayne Dowdy's name. Through no fault of his own, the new head of the Mississippi Democratic Party—a Millsaps grad, a grandfather and a U.S. congressman from 1981-1989—just sounds a bit like a fuddy-duddy. When I first heard his name surface as a possible replacement for Rickey Cole, I thought, "Hmmm, he sounds, well, dowdy." It's easy to think that a lawyer from Magnolia—way down by the Louisiana border, past the metropolis of McComb, off I-55 and through one red light and on the first corner with his name on the door—ain't exactly going to set off a firebomb in the BVDs of the state Democratic Party. After all, when you're on hold waiting to talk to his secretary, secretary, mind you, the hold music is twangy, old-style honky-tonk. Yes, honky-tonk. I might prefer Conway Twitty to Tim McGraw, but my interns probably don't know who the hell Conway Twitty is.
NY Tmes reports: "Much of the information that led the authorities to raise the terror alert at several large financial institutions in the New York City and Washington areas was three or four years old, intelligence and law enforcement officials said on Monday. They reported that they had not yet found concrete evidence that a terrorist plot or preparatory surveillance operations were still under way. But the officials continued to regard the information as significant and troubling because the reconnaissance already conducted has provided Al Qaeda with the knowledge necessary to carry out attacks against the sites in Manhattan, Washington and Newark. They said Al Qaeda had often struck years after its operatives began surveillance of an intended target."
Sunday, August 1
A. What can be done to get young people to do anything? As a former high school teacher and a mother of two grown sons*, I know a little about this subject—a very little, as a matter of fact. It's hard enough to get a 2-year-old or a 14-year-old to do what you want them to do, but devising a strategy to deal with an 18- to 25-year-olds is pretty much out of bounds—certainly for anyone who's not 18 to 25 years old.