Monday, December 27
The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra will begin the New Year with the third concert in its 2004-2005 Bravo Series, "Fire and Ice", which will begin at 7:30 p.m. on January 8 at Thalia Mara Hall. Under the direction of Maestro Crafton Beck, the concert will feature works by Edward Elgar and P.I. Tchaikovsky.
Tiny bubbles titillate. There's something mesmerizing about watching them flood a tall, fluted glass, something intensely satisfying about the fizzy sensation that overtakes your tongue. It's hard to describe, but "sensual" comes close. Inexpensive sparklers double the effect, with the added pride of a bargain making for a perfect moment.
Not sure what to do on New Year's Eve? Here's your guide to what many Jackson-area restaurants and nightspots are offering on the big night. If you're a venue and want to add your specials for the evening, just register and post it yourself under this story—or send the info to [e-mail missing], and we'll do it for you. Happy new year!
Thursday, December 23
Wednesday, December 22
The Best in Sports in the Next 14 Days
Pro football, Green Bay at Minnesota (2 p.m., Ch. 35): For goodness sake, get your shopping done early so that you can watch Brett Favre and the Packers battle the Vikings for the NFC North title.
There is no typical Jackson filmmaker. It's easy to see this just by looking at the work, and hairstyles, of our eight featured filmmakers. Rick Moore calls himself "just a regular guy," yet he runs the very successful film studio Eyevox; Nina Parikh balances a new marriage, the busy Crossroads Film Society and her own work on a music documentary, all with a beautiful smile. Jason Marlow stays up well past 5 a.m. some nights, toiling away on artistic projects with his friends. Nope, there's no typical Jackson filmmaker, but there are plenty of them. Ranging from Philip Scarborough's anti-tobacco commercials to Will Fox's latest short film "Revisited" to Lorena Manriquez's documentary about Chile after the coup d'etat in 1973 of President Salvador Allende, the work of these filmmakers is keeping the creative class alive and thriving in the city.
This has been one hell of a year in hip-hop. It may have been a little bit of a rollercoaster ride for some artists, but on the local side, this year has been less than quiet. A short while ago you may remember that original Wutanger Ol' Dirt Bastard died under seemingly mysterious circumstances from an apparent heart attack. Well, on Nov.15, a medical examiner ruled the death an accident—the apparent result of mixing cocaine and the prescription painkiller Tramadol.
Soft-voiced but thickly accented, Ross Olivier, 49, is a man of dedication. He was dedicated when he led 23 congregations in apartheid-ridden South Africa, and he's dedicated now as the lead minister at Galloway United Methodist. Though he is only at Galloway for five years, "on loan from South Africa," as he explains it, Olivier is committed to engaging the church in social issues. He will comfort the afflicted, he says, but only while simultaneously afflicting the comfortable.
Up until, well, this week, I've been disguising a huge secret. It was a secret that could very well have affected my career and even further alienated my family (ha!), but my friends called me on this small character flaw and patiently worked me through it. Or maybe they just planned on avoiding me until January.
If you are a senior and would like to find out more about the Senior Services Division, or are a member of a church or organization interested in delivering meals, call Michael Raff at 960-0335. Also, if you are a senior citizen who needs to use the transportation service, call 960-0425 at least two days before the pick up.
Lighting a Christmas tree isn't always a happy, festive occasion. Last week, mothers, sisters, fathers and brothers of some of Mississippi's crime victims gathered in the Carroll Gartin Building in downtown Jackson to pay tribute to their murdered family members. During this time of year, it is difficult for families of crime victims to emotionally cope with their losses. In an effort to ease or assist the healing process, Attorney General Jim Hood's office held a tree-lighting tribute to the victims of crimes in the state. The victims' families that were present decorated the tree with ornaments bearing the name of their slain family members.
I'm sitting here, dazed and content, in front of my eMac, trying to reflect on what 2004 has meant to me. We're about to send the last issue of the year to the printer—the one that is on the streets for two weeks in order to give us a few days to rest and rekindle for the new year. At 40 pages, it's one of our biggest issues, yet, and it's filled with profiles of creative and influential Jacksonians, stocking-stuffer ideas, cool fashion, a breathtaking JFP interview and wonderfully designed ads for local businesses. It's got breaking news, hip-hop gossip, pages and pages of entertainment listings and details on where to celebrate on New Year's Eve.
Living most of her life in Venezuela, Vanessa Butler as a little girl had dreams of becoming a flamenco dancer. "I studied at a dancing academy as a child, and here I have performed with the Mississippi Hispanic International Folklore Group," says Butler, 26. "I have always wanted to be a dancer, but as you can tell it is just a dream." The group stopped dancing last year due to busy schedules. "It is hard to try to keep it all together," she says.
Bone-Qweesha Jones here to inform yawl on the holiday happenings with the "Chrimmus" Report. If you can't afford to take your kids to the mall, shop at Jo-Jo's Discount Dollar Sto', where everythang's a dollar! This year Jo-Jo will have an African-American Santa Claus for the children. The regularly scheduled Santa canceled this season because Jo-Jo laid off the parking lot security guards. And with the economy the way it is, Ol' St. Nick doesn't want to be caught in the 'hood after sundown.
Ken Stiggers—a television producer, video artist, satirist and columnist for the JFP—was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pa. Stiggers, 43, came to Jackson by way of Atlanta's public access studios and public schools, where he was a teacher. Now as the media services coordinator of the PEG Network (public access) in Jackson, he is an up-and-coming player in the media services and entertainment industry here. He is also an eclectically creative artist—a biting satirist, poet and video artist.
O'er this fortnight of blessing and cheers there will be stiff drink and music to be had every single merry day. Treat these calendars in this issue as a rough guide for your party planning into the New Year. Once we go to print and distribute the current issue, I will be at home in my wireless kerchief updating the calendars online every day at www.jacksonfreepress.com . Check back often for the most up to date information in town.
As we head into the holidays, please accept our sincere good wishes for the holiday. We hope everyone can relax with family and friends, and reflect on what is most meaningful in your lives. It's been a wonderful year, and we will return after the new year with many new surprises and even Version 3.0 of the JFP Web site early in the year. The office is officially closed between Christmas and New Year's Eve, and I will be out of the office, but if you need to reach someone about a story next week, please call Casey Parks at 362-6121, ext. 2, or Stephen Barnette and/or Jakob Clark about advertising and design issues at ext. 1, and leave a message so we can get back to you promptly.
Tuesday, December 21
The rootsy, country-rock quintet Reckless Kelly is releasing their second Sugar Hill Records album Wicked Twisted Road on February 8. The record has echoes of both the Eagles and .38 Special within its tracks, but it mostly bristles with the muscular, idiosyncratic energy and inventiveness that has led them to become one of Austin, Texas' most dynamic and relentlessly entertaining live acts. The band will be touring heavily to support the release.
Monday, December 20
Just in! Fingers Taylor will be playing at the George Street Grocery blues jam, tuesday night, Dec. 21. Fingers just called a few minutes ago and said he would be there. Free.
You can still sign the JFP petition calling for the speedy prosecution of the murderers of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner. To date, we have collected nearly 700 names.
Friday, December 17
David J. Sirota writes in The Nation:
Looking out over Washington, DC, from his plush office, Al From is once again foaming at the mouth. The CEO of the corporate-sponsored Democratic Leadership Council and his wealthy cronies are in their regular postelection attack mode. Despite wins by economic populists in red states like Colorado and Montana this year, the DLC is claiming like a broken record that progressive policies are hurting the Democratic Party.
NEW ORLEANS, La., Jan. 20, 11 A.M. Link Traditional New Orleans jazz funeral entitled "A Wake for Peace": Jazz Funeral for Democracy timed to coincide with the inauguration of George W. Bush. Street theater encouraged. March, rally and inaugural ball featuring local New Orleans musicians.
Thursday, December 16
They showed up to the polls, packing their religious ideologies and ready to vote. They had the teachings of their prophets in mind as they drove to the polls—some worked to convince others of the merits of their candidates; others made private decisions and did their civic duty quietly. These are people who probably voted their conscience—even when it went against their selfish economic interests. Some likely allowed their religion to sway their vote.
The JFP is joining Budweiser to present Alert Cab to offer Jacksonians free rides home this New Year's if you've had too much to drink. Please take advanage of this program. Click here to see a list of Jackson bars and restaurants participating in Alert Cab on New Year's Eve (you can also clip out the ad from page 29 of the current JFP.) Be sure to get your free voucher from a bartender at one of the participating establishments. Be safe out there, y'all, you hear? Oh, and have a wonderful time.
Ole Miss introduced its 35th head football coach, Ed Orgeron, on Thursday morning. The Louisiana native comes to Ole Miss from Southern California, where he spent the last seven seasons as defensive line coach, recruiting coordinator and assistant head coach.
Wednesday, December 15
Jackson fans will get a chance to see the man behind the mask Wednesday, Dec. 22—or the man who was behind the mask. The Mississippi State men's basketball team plays Jacksonville State at 7 p.m. at the Mississippi Coliseum. When the Bulldogs last played in Jackson, in 2002, an overflow crowd of 6,592 watched Mario Austin and company crush Georgia State.
Movie, "3" (6 p.m., ESPN): Oh man, is this on again? Maybe Doctor S will finally watch it. Or not.
If you can shop local for hardware or clothes, why not for music? Instead of buying one of those cynically packaged greatest-hits collections or the extra special edition of a CD you've already plunked down $15 for months ago, why not check out some great music made in Jackson? Indeed, the capitol city is the home of an exciting new record label, Esperanza Plantation, founded two years ago and now the home of six bands. You can sample the bands of Esperanza Plantation at a label showcase Saturday Dec. 18 at the Capri Theater in the heart of Jackson's Fondren Business District.
What do you think of when you drive through North Midtown—the area between West and Mill streets and Woodrow Wilson and Fortification? In past years, you might have thought only of danger—that the neighborhood was one of those places where you double-check your car door locks and watch anxiously in your rear-view mirror at stoplights. Today, however, North Midtown is a family-oriented neighborhood just like other respected communities in Jackson. It's a place where mothers let their children play outside, and the elderly sit out on the front porch just taking in the world.
Sam Sparks, 23, is a busy New Stage Theatre producer and director, a Tupelo native who has lived in Jackson for six years. Of late, he has drawn attention for his breathtaking über-mod sets for "Don't Dress for Dinner." This month, the stylish director is working on both "A Christmas Carol" and David Sedaris' hilarious and irreverent "The Santaland Diaries" that is being performed at 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday nights.
Last week the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools announced at its annual meeting in Atlanta that the University of Southern Mississippi will be on a 12-month probation. Some of the problems facing the university deal with reporting deficiencies in the assessment of institutional effectiveness, strategic planning in academic units and assessment of distance learning programs. SACS will release an official report in January.
In Jackson, a street, a library and a museum are just a few of the symbols that honor a man who gave his all to the city and Mississippi, including his life, in the name of civil rights. Now the decision is before the City Council to honor Medgar Evers in a big way.
Othor Cain, 38, radiates an exuberance for life in his smile, his body language and, most of all, his deep-toned voice. That voice, were it visible, would surely be the burnished gold of fine jewelry.
Ole Miss will probably offer its football coaching job to someone on Wednesday and announce the hiring on Thursday, The Clarion-Ledger reports. But the new coach won't be Dennis Erickson of the San Francisco 49ers.
2057-1/2: Terrorists have contaminated half of America's food supply. Since 2005, the affluent consume basic food items such as meat, bread, milk and vegetables, while the economically challenged eat moderate rations of water and artificially flavored green wafers called Soylent Collard Greens and Cornbread. Remember: Tuesday is Soylent Collard Greens and Cornbread Day!
Local indie-pop, all-ages extravaganza is on this Monday night at Hal & Mal's, as The Rockwells return to the Red Room with King Elementary and the Louisiana Hip-Hop newcomer Futuro Boots. 8 p.m. $5. With all the catchy hooks, these three are well worth the price of admission, and some of the most promising young bands on the scene. You may have heard that King Elementary was recently signed to bigtime Capital Records. See and support all our local talent as they make their start for rock stardom. At any of these alcohol-free, all ages line-ups you'll see why the passion and talent of these kids have made these shows the hottest thing going in Jackson. With every gig they get better and better. They bring new possibility for the future of the local music scene. Support them whenever and however you can.
Monday, December 13
-- Herman Snell & Alex Slawson
Fronted by former Galaxy 500 guitarist Dean Wareham, Luna was formed in 1991 and have released several notable gems in their 13 year career- namely, 1995's "Penthouse" LP with the unlisted track "Bonnie and Clyde," a single with Wareham singing in French alongside Laetitia Sadier from Stereolab. Their sound, which is influenced by Velvet Underground, Television and Lloyd Cole, has always embodied a certain subdued ferociousness. But on their latest, and unfortunately their last release, Luna perfects their subtlety to a tee. Rendezvous sees Luna exit the music scene a bit more mature than they entered it, but this is nothing but a good thing. We will miss you Luna!
--Alex Slawson & Herman Snell
Marc Bianchi is the one man force behind the beloved dreamy indie-electro pop sounds of Her Space Holiday, a project that combines lush sampling, beautiful synth programming and bitter/sweet lyrical poetry. 2003's The Young Machines saw Bianchi/HSH soften these nuances somewhat from 2001's critically acclaimed Manic Expressive, which caught some fans off guard. Ironically, this works very well in terms of The Young Machines Remixed, a new release of all tracks from the original recording remixed by the most elite in this field. The Album Leaf, Arab Strap, Matmos, Super Furry Animals, Dntel, Boom Bip and Stereolab all rework the template established by Bianchi in such a way as to create a sound that is unique to each of them while maintaining the aesthetic that keep HSH fans coming back for more. An excellent release!
Lest we forget, eateries can also include those convenient places where one may stop in and pick up food to take home and enjoy in front of the fireplace or your favorite TV show. In that case, Sweet Daddy's Smokehouse at the Exxon, 366-6933, on the corner of Northside and McWillie, certainly qualifies as an eatery. For the past 16 years or so, Mr. Johnny has in charge of the tiny building with the smokestack right beside the store. That's where he gets the meat that's ready for customers, seven days a week, from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. "It's all dry rub, no sauce," he told me recently, and the chicken is strictly rotisserie. On the menu: slab ribs, $13; half slab ribs, $6.75; whole chicken, $7.00; half chicken, $3.75; pork chop, $2.75; pork chop po-boy, $3.25; po-boy roll, $.50. Mr. Johnny says he's cooked for the company, meaning whoever owned the gas station. I asked if he knew Gene Methvin—"He was the first one, the very first one, and a fine man, too," he responded.
Sunday, December 12
I'm not a fan of Wal-Mart, and that's only been made worse by a recent Frontline episode entitled "Is Wal-Mart Good for America?" The show has made me think, once again, about the behemoth that I love to hate. I haven't shopped in a Wal-Mart or Sam's Club in well over seven years and, if the current trend holds, I never will again.
Saturday, December 11
Germany's newest whiz kid offers up a plate of electronic shoegaze and synth driven dance pop (or synthgaze) that is a lush feast for the ears. Where M83 is heavily influenced by my bloody valentine, Ulrich Schnauss takes his cue primarily from Slowdive. However, elements of my bloody valentine can be heard along with Boards of Canada, Cocteau Twins and early Clan of Xymox. The main difference between M83 and Ulrich is his propensity for melody, as evidenced by the perfect placement of DJ beats to augment the shimmering synth lines contained therein. A very solid release and a best of 2004 contender!! Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell
Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell
Relatively obscure to American electronica fans, Arne van Petegem aka Styrofoam has been somewhat of a fixture in the German and Belgian glitch-pop scenes. Luckily, The American Analog Set gave him some U.S. exposure on 2002's "Updates," as they asked him to remix two of their songs and hence, set the stage for a slew of collaborative efforts on Styrofoam's behalf. The newest full length is just that, a wonderful collaboration of Styrofoam's beautiful lap-pop electronica with instrumental and vocal offerings from members of The American Analog Set, Death Cab for Cutie, The Notwist, Lali Puna and Alias. The result is a cohesive long player that is as seamless as it is accomplished.
Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell
From one of the more innovative record labels in the music underground comes this mammoth 3 disc set of incredible goodness. DFA Records specializes in genre-bending artists of the highest order whose sound orbits in and around the dance-punk stratosphere in varying degrees. The first 2 discs feature both vinyl only and CD exclusive tracks by the entire DFA roster: lcd soundsystem, Black Dice, Black Leotard Front, The Juan Maclean, Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom, The Rapture, Pixeltan and JOY. The 3rd disc is an outstanding mix from Tim Goldsworthy (of DFA) and NYC DJ Tim Sweeney featuring various dub/edit/remix versions of the aforementioned artists- it is absolute sonic perfection, as is the compilation. It is "2004 best of" worthy!
Why do athletes cheat? And why don't fans care? Slate's Bill Gifford gives you the inside dope.
The 7-song mini l.p. debut from New York based, Etherdrag recording artist, The Hong Kong explodes to the top of a long list of Hip-dance floor Retro-Pop candy. "Rock the Faces" is more fun than your favorite electroclash, or Phil Spector '60s girlie pop gems, and your best of Blondie, Berlin, Curve, and early Stereolab mix tapes all jammed together. You will be aerobicising to singer Catherine Culpepper's electro-pop New Wave Disco like a first time junkie "(Riding on) the Metro." With Ric Ocasek of The Cars set to produce their upcoming 2005 full-length album, prepare the way for The Hong Kong to rage in your sock feet and living room, or in finer dance salons. www.etherdrag.com/thehongkong
Friday, December 10
ESPN's Dale Earnhardt biopic "3" debuts on Saturday night. The reviews have been good and bad. Doctor S has heard from reliable sources that Barry Pepper is convincing as the Intimidator, but otherwise there's lots of comedy, almost all of it unintentional. It can't be as bad as "Hustle" can it?
Doctor S updates you on the Ole Miss coaching search: According to radio reports, Ole Miss Chancellor Robert Khayat and AD Pete Boone were in Dallas on Friday to interview Dallas Cowboys assistant (and former Ole Miss assistant) David Lee. Then they flew to Los Angeles to interview Southern Cal assistant Ed Orgeron.
Ole Miss AD Pete Boone told reporters Thursday that the school probably won't hire a new football coach until next week. The gossip is that Rick Neuheisel, one of the NCAA's prime whipping boys, remains a strong candidate for the job. The Rebel brass is just trying to figure out how to spin the most notorious hire since State put Jackie Sherrill on its payroll back in 1990.
Thursday, December 9
New York Times editorial today:
With Christmas fastly approaching, the time is nigh for getting everyone that perfect gift. But what if you have a music elitist Indie fan on your list? Not to worry, because JFP has provided 24 classic Indie (ish) CD's that will satiate the most fickle music tastes.
[verbatim] Today, Charles W. Pickering, Sr. made the following statement:
"My nomination and permanent appointment to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has been pending before the full Senate for more than one year. The recess appointment given to me by President Bush on January 16, 2004 expires when Congress adjourns. Opposition by some Democratic senators prevented an up or down vote on my nomination. A minority of senators prevented the majority from confirming me to a permanent position on the Fifth Circuit. The actions of the minority leave me with no alternative than to retire as Congress adjourns.
The NCAA is cracking down on recruiting shennanigans in Division I men's basketball. Instead of doing something that might actually correct the corrupton, the NCAA has banned exhibition games with non-collegiate teams like Athletes In Action and Marathon Oil. Which is a pity, says Slate Magazine, especially in the case of AIA, because the God squad wrapped some excellent basketball around its Gospel message.
Ole Miss officials reportedly interviewed Miami defensive coordinator Randy Shannon on Wednesday. Interestingly, Shannon's name also surfaced in connection with the Mississippi State job a year ago. Southern Cal assistant Ed Orgeron has also expressed public interest in the job. We should all know on Saturday, which is when Ole Miss reportedly plans to name the new coach.
Wednesday, December 8
College basketball, Carver Bible at Mississippi College (7 p.m.): Another theological dispute is settled on the hardwood in Clinton.
A Review of "Garden State"
Films like "Garden State" aren't necessarily rare in terms of premise or spirit, but seldom do they come across with the sort of texture and freshness seen in this auspicious directorial debut from "Scrubs" star Zach Braff. An unconventional, richly observed romantic dramedy, "Garden State" is an intelligent and frequently humorous account of the uncertainties and difficulties confronted at the threshold of adulthood. The movie will be screened in Jackson at Hal & Mal's on Monday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. as part of Crossroads Film Society's series of independent films. It will also be released on home video at the end of this month.
I finally joined my Baptist church after two-and-a-half years of attendance. I can't believe that they would let such a slacker claim membership, but they are, and now I'm dreading the moment my mug is plastered on the jumbotrons to announce my arrival. Yes, we have jumbotrons. I don't know if Jesus would have them or not, but I do know that he's about the only person I would give up my vanity for. I'm telling you, this picture is hideous.
Yolande Cornelia "Nikki" Giovanni Jr. is a renowned writer and activist who prides herself on being "a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English." A native of Knoxville, she now teaches in Virginia—in addition to traveling and lecturing to packed audiences. She is, quite simply, a superstar in the world of spoken-word poetry. The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection, a CD of her spoken-word performances, was nominated for a 2003 Grammy Award. She has received 21 honorary doctorates.
Early Tuesday, Nov. 30, a Gary Road Elementary kindergartener was late for school. After leaving his home at 1105 Adams St. in Byram, 5-year-old Nakeal Sterling hurriedly tried to cross the busy two-lane Mississippi Highway 473 at the Maxie Drive intersection to get to his school bus stop. Despite warnings from his schoolmates, who had safely crossed, he darted out into the traffic. One car just missed hitting him. But then, 41-year-old John Henry of Terry did strike him with his 1997 Ford Ranger pickup, killing the child instantly. Police said Henry was traveling under the 35-mile-per-hour speed limit.
Have you ever met somebody and thought to yourself, "I wish I would have known this person when I was younger. Maybe things would have turned out differently." That was precisely the feeling I had when I sat down with Ashley Weileman, owner of Josie's Closet.
Has life in the Bushes gotten you down this holiday season? When trying to make a dollar outta 15 cents, are you a dime away from a hot dog or two bucks away from a bed? And is yo' telephone 'bout to disconnect while waitin' on the next paycheck?
Activist attorney Chokwe Lumumba, the founder of the New Afrikan People's Organization, is headed back to court this week to fight for his professional life. Again. The Mississippi Bar is arguing for the disbarment of the attorney, who is known for representing black men accused of violent crimes from 17-year-old South African Azikiwe Kambule to rapper Tupac Shakur to ex-police officer Eddie Myers who was found innocent of murder in October 2002.
Tuesday, December 7
Two more names have surfaced in the Ole Miss coaching search. One is David Lee, an offensive assistant with the Dallas Cowboys. Lee has Ole Miss ties as he coached quarterbacks in Oxford from 1978-82. His other coaching stops include Arkansas and Rice. The other is Southern California assistant coach Ed Orgeron, who's also the Trojans' recruiting coordinator. Orgeron, a Northwestern (La.) State grad, has also coached at Nicholls State, McNeese State, Syracuse and Miami.
Monday, December 6
Scratch Ron Zook off your list of Ole Miss coaching candidates. The former Florida coach was hired by Illinois on Monday, ESPN reports. ... The top two candidates for the Oxford post appear to be Louisville coach Bobby Petrino and former Washington/Colorado coach Rick Neuheisel. Louisville is reportedly ready to double Petrino's salary to keep him in the Cardinals' nest. And Neuheisel had run-ins with the NCAA at both Washington and Colorado.
Hello, Get ready for another exciting week at the old grocery. On Monday, happy hour lasts from 4 until midnight. Football will be on the big screen downstairs and Half Pack of Kool Filter Kings will be upstairs. The Blues jam is always something special on Tuesday nights. On Wednesday, Jerry Joseph makes his long awaited return to George Street. Jerry Joseph is one of America's best singer-songwriters and his close ties to Widespread Panic make him a favorite throughout the south. New Orleans singer-songwriter Lynn Drury opens. Get there early because Lynn is worth the price of admission alone. On Thursday, the Jagermeister Bus will be here from 6 until 8. The Jagerettes appear from 10 until 12. Seth Libbey & the Liberals play upstairs. Friday night the Gamble Brothers Band bring Memphis soul & funk down I-55 to Jackson. Michelob Light draft is only $2.00 Friday night. Saturday night, the funk continues but comes from the south instead. New Orleans' Juice provides the funk Saturday night.
[December 6, 2004/Verbatim from Sen. Lott] U.S. Senator Trent Lott, who chairs the U.S. Senate's Aviation Subcommittee, and U.S. Senator Thad Cochran have voiced praise for today's decision by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) permitting Delta Connection carrier Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) to establish direct nonstop passenger service between Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Jackson, Mississippi's Jackson International Airport. The move follows passage of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill which Senator Lott helped craft late last year, providing slots for additional flights between Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and other select U.S. cities as determined by the USDOT.
AP is reporting:
Eight soldiers are challenging the Army's policy requiring them to serve longer than the terms of their enlistment contracts. In a lawsuit being filed Monday in federal court, the soldiers are seeking a judge's order requiring the Army to immediately release them from service. "The Army made an agreement with me and I expected them to honor it," said David Qualls, one of the plaintiffs. He signed up in July 2003 for a one-year stint in the Arkansas National Guard but has been told he will remain on active duty in Iraq until next year.
I urge everyone to remember our troops serving overseas during this holiday season, especially the many Mississippians who are deployed away from home and the 18 Mississippi families who have lost loved ones as a direct result of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Our prayers must start with the remembrance of those whose holidays will be tempered either by separation or bereavement. Some Mississippians have been in Iraq for almost a year or more. That's a long time to be away from family, friends and familiar surroundings. Yet, these courageous men and women do so without hesitation or complaint.
Saturday, December 4
Letters to the Editor
This (so-far-unpublished) letter to the editor of The Clarion-Ledger about an Eric Stringfellow column came around this week in the mayor's weekly newsletter: [verbatim from here]The letter below is from the City of Jackson's Attorney, Terry Wallace. He wrote this letter to the editor of the Clarion Ledger in response to a column written by Eric Stringfellow. We thought we would share this because it contains information that you will never read in the paper or see on TV. November 30, 2004
Friday, December 3
[Verbatim from city] The 2004 Jackson Holiday Parade is Saturday, December 4, 2004 at 2:00 p.m. The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony begins immediately after the parade at Josh Halbert Gardens on the west side of City Hall. The parade route has changed this year because of the construction downtown.
Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell
The wonderful world of Curve got its start in 1990, when Toni Halliday (former member of The Uncles) and Dean Garcia (former bassist for The Eurythmics) unleashed the "Blindfold" EP in the U.K.- it met with instant success. Their unique sound was deep with droney bass and distorted guitars while being anchored by Toni's sultry vocals, resulting in a dance floor friendly departure from their dream pop contemporaries. After numerous EP's and 3 LP's, Curve split in 1993 only to reform in 1998 with a more heavy "grit-pop" sound. Their catalogue continues to grow and is culminated in "The Way of Curve 1990-2004," a 2 disc set comprised of "official" releases (disc 1)and rare and unreleased tracks (disc 2). Given their influence on Alternative music (including the likes of Garbage et al), this is an essential release!
Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell
Pioneers of the U.K. acid-house scene in the late 1980's, 808 State built on the dance music success seen by New Order earlier in that decade. After a 10 year run where they helped shape the U.K. dance movement, 808 State began losing steam and its members went on to collaborate with other influential artists of the time (e.g. Bjork). In 1999, Richard (Aphex Twin) James' Rephlex Records released "Newbuild," the seminal release that saw 808 State explode 10 years before. Now on to the present day, Rephlex releases a collection of rare, pre-"Newbuild" material called "Prebuild." With the long narrative aside, this is an outstanding volume in 808 State's discography as well as the history of dance music in general.
Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell
Dark, brooding and instrumental describes the latest work from Massive Attack- it also happens to be a movie soundtrack. Actually, this release works well in the context of cinema, given the sweeping orchestral feel of the music. As a stand alone Massive Attack "album," however, don't think that this is the next "Mezzanine." Great for late night listening! I wonder what the movie is like?
Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell
Morr Music's latest signee is a Belgian lad by the name of Dieter Sermeus aka The Go Find. A one man virtuoso of sorts, Dieter has just released his debut long player of beautiful lap-pop and acoustic indie pop. Vocally, Dieter is reminiscent of Andrew Kenny of AmAnSet in the way he delivers and in his tonality. Musically speaking, Styrofoam and The Postal Service come to mind and this is to be expected since Arne van Petegem (Styrofoam) assisted in the arrangement and production. It is the synergy of voice and music that gives this release staying power, making this a favorite of autumn and one of the better releases of 2004!
Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell
The recent hybridization of indie and hip-hop music has been influenced, in no small part, to the prolific output of Doseone (of cLOUDDEAD and Boom Bip fame). His stream of consciousness rhymes are as confounding as they are intriguing and his nasally delivery is instantly recognizable. Now that the dust has settled from cLOUDDEAD's disbanding (immediately after releasing their epic masterpiece "Ten" no less), Dose has moved on to form his latest collective of like minded jip-jop hipsters. They call themselves Subtle and are a six(ish) piece whose grooves mutate around Dose's insane verse. Subtle are indeed subtle, as they combine keyboards, melodica, cello, bass, guitar, drum machines, woodwinds, and samplers into a post rock/hip-hop amalgam that is truly sensational.
Thursday, December 2
The search is on at Ole Miss for a new football coach. Some are calling this the most critical coaching hire at Ole Miss since John Vaught left. The reported front-runners are Ron Zook, who was fired by Florida effective the end of this year, and Tommy West, who has revived Memphis.
Congratulations to David Cutcliffe for showing class and grace under pressure when he met the media on Wednesday after Ole Miss fired him. His former bosses, Chancellor Robert Khayat and AD Pete Boone, meanwhile, demonstrated they have limp grip on reality when it comes to college football and Ole Miss' place in it. Khayat said he expected the Rebels to contend for a championship every season. This for a team that has seriously contended for an SEC title just three times in the last 35 seasons.
Wednesday, December 1
College basketball, South Alabama at Mississippi State (7 p.m., FSN/620 AM): Lately, the Bulldogs have been on TV almost as much as "Leave It To Beaver" reruns.
"JFK Reloaded." You may have heard about this game in the news, on the Internet or in the paper. You probably assumed it's just another example of a violent video game in extremely bad taste. But it's worse than that. There's something very different about "JFK Reloaded," something that makes it bizarrely sinister.
Oliver Stone's "Alexander," a flaccid, frenetic historical epic, has the look and feel of a child's finger painting on a $160 million canvas. Despite a strong visual flair and good performances, the film is marred by lack of coherence and thematic might. It is a work of seriousness and spirit, but appears desperately in search of an organizing principle, with key scenes that seem either far too long or far too short, and a woefully underdeveloped center character despite the sprawling three-hour narrative taken to depict him.
Jackson residents do not have to search far these days to find creative artists of all ages and disciplines making waves and changing the face of this city's burgeoning art scene. Jackson is vital in this regard, and advances in technology and communications are allowing up-and-comers to connect with those around them in new and exciting ways. Of course, a certain duality is bound to arise between the old and new: those traditional painters and sculptors looking to preserve Jackson's colorful and idyllic past versus the new guard—the artists gazing into the future, hoping to fashion a sort of Jackson Renaissance and modernization. But we quickly find that Jackson fits comfortably in the middle of these extremes, with its artists continuing to produce works of art with a predilection toward innovation and self discovery, while retaining a sense of continuity to the city's past.
As you drive down Northside Drive on the north end of town, you pass a recently renovated McDonald's, a Taco Bell that has been remodeled to add a Long John Silvers, and a New Deal grocery store that once was a Jitney Jungle and before that a Kroger. But tucked away in a maze of different neighborhoods bordered by Watkins Drive and Azalea Drive is Berwood—a neighborhood that, despite all of the changes around it, primarily has had the same occupants since the early 1970s. Like many areas in the South and Mississippi in particular, Berwood's membership was shaped by white flight.
"We didn't leave the Democratic Party," Southern Republicans like to say. "It left us." This statement is pure fantasy. The truth is that the Democratic Party instituted the bulk of the civil rights legislation in this country and, rather than get in step with it, white Southerners bailed out of the Democratic Party and threw their support to the Republicans whom they perceived as more in line with their Jim Crow "values." The Republicans didn't tell them otherwise.
Scott Albert Johnson, 34, knows he returned home to Jackson at just the right time. From the time he was 18 up until last year, Johnson went to college, grad school, worked—as a journalist, a Web page designer, and at a think tank in metropolitan Washington, D.C.—and lived across the country from coast to coast. He rediscovered his love of American music in D.C. five years ago and soon developed a new-found talent on the harmonica. He's a prolific musician and part-time actor, with dreams of making his living doing just that. In the meantime, he also works with Jackson's Operation Shoestring. Their second annual fund raiser takes place Dec. 2 at Hal & Mal's from 6 p.m.-1 a.m.
A woman comes home after work, her stomach in knots. She is afraid her husband has been drinking and may be in a bad mood. "I hope I don't say anything to trigger him," she thinks to herself. Her husband, a man who would never be considered abusive in the outside world, is different behind closed doors.
The other day, an e-mail popped up with the subject line, "tired of insults." I grimaced a bit and opened it. The correspondent first told me that she reads my paper most every week, and "I like the Free Press." But then she got to the point: "I wanted to let you know that you do have some conservative readers and I, for one, would like to read more articles by liberals that are not SO OFFENSIVE."
A Tablet PC with WIFI—that's 28-year-old Gavin Guynes' current favorite piece of the technology pie. Excitement spilled over as he explained: "There's no keyboard. You use a pen to draw and write on it. And it recognizes my handwriting—I write horribly, too." It'll even recognize his voice, minus the Mississippi drawl.
Ole Miss fired football coach David Cutcliffe on Wednesday. This comes on the heels of a 4-7 finish, Cutcliffe's first losing season in Oxford. In 2003, the Rebels were 10-3 and Cutcliffe was named SEC Coach of the Year. On Tuesday, Cutcliffe issued a cryptic statement which seemed to indicate that he was staying, but would make changes on his staff. Perhaps his bosses thought a fresh start was best for the Rebels. (You're wrong, Colonel Reb). The front-runner to replace Cutcliffe: Ousted Cleveland Browns coach Butch Davis, who rebuilt the U. of Miami's probabtion-ravaged program in the 1990s. Stay tuned ...
Grandma Pookie here to promote my new book "Fo' the Souls of Po' Folk: Ghetto Proverbs and Affirmations." I want to share with the peoples 10 of my favorites:
David Cutcliffe is apparently still the football coach at Ole Miss. On Tuesday, after two days of meetings with his bosses, Cutcliffe met with reporters and issued a Kremlin-style statement. Allow Doctor S to translate: "I get to keep my job, but some of my assiistants need to start packing."
Harvard soundly thrashed Yale 35-3 in their annual football game this year. But the Yalies and the "Harvard Pep Squad" pulled off a prank for the ages.