Stories for January 2005


Monday, January 31

Herman's Picks

This week quality and quantity have got their proverbial jam on in high gear. On Thursday Rufus McKay, R&B/Blues lead vocalist for The Red Tops will perform with the Ben Shaw Band at the Millsaps Academic Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. $10, 974-1043. Throughout the '50s and '60s The Red Tops performed at high school proms, and night clubs all over the tri-state area. You can wax nostalgic with beautiful classic Ben E. King inspired ballads and old school rocking R&B with "Swanee River Rock" or "Hello Is That You?"

Sunday, January 30

Reggae Jam on WMPR - Saturdays

Mr. C-Lecta is on the air Saturday nights at WMPR 90.1 FM or

Herman's Picks: Afrissippi

Afrissippi returns to the Hal & Mal's Restaurant, Wed., Feb. 9, 8 p.m. free. There is nothing quite like Afrissippi, with the spoken word beat story teller and rock legend John Sinclair, the North Mississippi hill country blues of Kenny Kimbrough, Eric Deaton, and the traditional world music of Senegal, West African Guelel Kumba. Don't miss it.

Vicksburg Blues Society

Vicksburg Blues Society Meets monthly. 601-634-1921.

Gospel Cruise

WOAD 105.9 Gospel Cruise 4-days from New Orleans to Cozumel, Mexico, July 7-11, 2005, featuring The Williams Brothers, Larissia Tate & Romans VIII. 940-6514.

Friday, January 28

Revealing The Revolutionary: A Review of "The Motorcycle Diaries"

The journeys—one a cross-continent road trip on a motorcycle, one an emotional exploration into the human condition—taken by a latent revolutionary leader and his friend form the plot of one of last year's best and most interesting films, Focus Features' "The Motorcycle Diaries." From acclaimed Brazilian director Walter Salles, "The Motorcycle Diaries" is an adaptation of the journals of young Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, later known as Cuban revolutionary leader Ché Guevara. The movie will be screened at Parkway Place Theatre on Monday, Jan. 31, at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. as part of Crossroads Film Society's series of independent films. It will also be released on home video next month.

Thursday, January 27

Kent Going North

Former Jackson State quarterback Robert Kent has found a new job in pro football. The former Tiger signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. Kent went to the Tennessee Titans' camp as an undrafted free agent in 2004, but was cut before the season began.

Driving While ‘Alien'

Why are your vegetables at your local grocery store so cheap? It may well be because the farmer that grew your vegetables was able to hire cheap help via immigrants—some of the 100,000 undocumented "aliens" living in the state today. But many of those immigrants are having trouble getting to work—because they cannot legally drive in the state of Mississippi.

Mary Grace Brown of Mardi Gras

Jackson has set big goals to renovate downtown. Lots of private business people have been getting in on the ground floor of some very exciting downtown developments. Mary Grace Brown, owner of Brown's Fine Art in Fondren, and her business partner, Shawn Hunt, recently have taken on a massive project that will contribute to the revitalizing of Jackson's downtown nightlife with the opening of Mardi Gras at 824 South State St. in an abandoned car dealership.

The Inaugural Purpose

It was a great honor for me as chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies to emcee the presidential inauguration and to help plan it. Since Washington's day, inaugural ceremonies have not been just about the President, but more so a celebration of a new chapter in American democracy.

Wednesday, January 26

We Got A New At-ti-tude

Cue the Patti LaBelle, baby. As we prepare our third Best of Jackson issue, it strikes me that Jacksonians are starting to take for granted the idea that "best" is a superlative term that applies to their city. We got a new attitude.

2005: The Future Is Now

This year at least doubled the number of ballots we had to contend with for the Best of Jackson 2005 reader poll and for that we are eternally grateful to you, our beloved readers.

2005: Community

Best Elected Official and Most Under-Appreciated Jacksonian: Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.

2005: Urban Living

<b>Best Locally Owned Business: All of Chane's (Fondren)</b>

Think global. Shop local. It's emblazoned on one of the many bumper stickers on the back of my car. It's all over the JFP. It's on the lips of my closest friends. And I believe it.

2005: Food & Drink

Best New Restaurant: Pan Asia (862 Avery Blvd. N., Ridgeland, 956-2686)

Best of Jackson 2005: Food & Drink

Best New Restaurant: Pan Asia (862 Avery Blvd. N., Ridgeland, 956-2686)

[Stiggers] You Get More Than A Drug Store

Cough Syrup: $12. Asprin: $5. Chunky Chicken Soup: $2. Cold Medicine and Vapor Rub: $20. You have bad cold and no sick day benefits at your job: FIRED!

2005: Food & Drink (cont.)

Best Mexican: La Cazuela Mexican Grill (1401 E. Fortification St., 353-3014)

Best of Jackson 2005: Food & Drink (cont.)

Best Mexican: La Cazuela Mexican Grill (1401 E. Fortification St., 353-3014)

2005: Nightlife

<b>Best Musician: Barry Leach</b>

Tall and slender, looking for all the world like a red-headed poet who might have spent some time in the country, Barry Leach is one fine guitar player.

Best of Jackson 2005: Nightlife

Best Musician: Barry Leach. Tall and slender, looking for all the world like a red-headed poet who might have spent some time in the country, Barry Leach is one fine guitar player.

[Chick] The Baptist and The Feminist

One of my most difficult struggles as a Christian involves feminism. There. I said it. I'm a feminist. No, I don't wear combat boots, and yes, I love men like crazy. LOVE men. Wouldn't life be much simpler if I didn't? However, the exploitation of women's sexuality and the glaring double standard women battle every day deserve commentary even in 2005. The Equal Rights Amendment still lacks ratification, and I'd be a liar to say I think that's OK. And you thought my last column would ruin my dating chances.

The Best In Sports In The Next 7 Days

Thursday, Jan. 27

College basketball, Mississippi State women at Ole Miss (7 p.m., FSN South): This rivalry makes the women's hoops that much more interesting. … William Carey at Belhaven (women, 5:30 p.m.; men, 7:30 p.m.): The Crusaders call on the Blazers in the latest installment of the old (church) school rivalry.

Bob Moses

Robert P. Moses, who turned 70 Sunday, is usually surrounded by young people, especially Lanier students and college-age mentors for the Algebra Project, which he runs from his classroom in Midtown.

Video Killed The Print Star

The Slate's Stephen Rodrick offers a witty and penetrating analysis of how TV -- specifically, ESPN -- has killed the newspaper sports column and turned many columnists into entertainers rather than journalists. (Attention TV types: Doctor S is ready to sell out on a moment's notice.)

Tuesday, January 25

Trail Blazers

Belhaven College did some trail blazing on Monday when the school named Don Lee the Blazers' new head football coach. Lee becomes just the second black head football coach at a non-Historically Black University in Mississippi and among just a handful in the nation. Lee was previously the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the Blazers. He also was the overwhelming choice among Belhaven football players to get the job. He replaces Scott Highsmith, who resigned last week to become an assistant at Southeastern Louisiana, where he will be working for another former Blazer coach, Dennis Roland.

Monday, January 24

[Geek] Gawking At Gadgets

Image courtesy of Apple Computer

Topping the gadget list this week is Apple's new Mac mini, an entire computer that is only a little bulkier than a stack of six or so CDs in jewel cases. Looking more like a coffee cup warmer than a PC, the Mac mini sports a 1.25 GHz G4 processor, 256 megabytes of RAM and a 40 gigabyte hard disk for $499; a $599 model sports a 1.42 Ghz G4 processor and an 80 gigabyte drive. (Check it out at on the Web.)

Friday, January 21

America's Courage

This is my first weekly newspaper column of the new Congress, and although I've been busy helping to plan President Bush's inaugural ceremonies and dealing with cabinet confirmations in the Senate, I feel it's important to use this column to address the most important issue today facing Mississippians, Americans and the entire world - the War on Terror, specifically our efforts to create a free and democratic Iraq.

[Opera] Blinded By The Light

When I was invited to attend a "Gospel at Colonus" chorus rehearsal at the Jackson Revival Center, corner of Silas Brown and Langley Avenue, chill bumps swept over me. Alan Mann, director of the Mississippi Opera, had no idea the curiosity the rehearsal's location aroused in me.

Thursday, January 20

You Are a Jacksonian If ...

1. You eat at Hal & Mal's more than once a month.

4. You shop at Video Library or Video Café before you go near Blockbuster.

The WORST of the New South

In the aftermath of the Edgar Ray Killen arrest, the tough-on-crime stalwarts at The Northside Sun fretted over whether the old Klansman can possibly get a fair trial in the state's current "political climate," and seemed very bothered that the climate is changing (presumably for the worse), thus allowing such belated arrests to occur.

* Corrections to Talk of Jackson *

The JFP's Talk of Jackson section has a couple really dumb errors this week. (As a result, two writers are currently hanging in the newsroom from their toenails. Don't tell anyone.) Here are the errors:

Take Me to Your Leader

Citizens of Jackson looking to strengthen their voices in the community are about to get the chance to learn how. The Pew Partnership of Civic Change, a civic research organization, has designed a program called LeadershipPlenty that helps to prepare citizens to address problems in their local communities and leadership challenges, including how to get people with different interests to work together. "Working together creatively and respectfully through honest acknowledgment of self-interests is a better strategy to address problems than an 'us' against 'them' approach," explains the project Web site.

Great Balls of Fire

Traffic was snarled for miles around the Fondren shopping area, on Old Canton Road, early Friday morning. As many drivers took detours on their way to work and school, those who worked in or near the area had to park and walk. The rumor went around that "Fondren is burning," but upon closer inspection, it turned out that one business—interior designers Cindy E. Walsh and Associates—had burned. The store was located right in the apex of the main Fondren shopping strip. Smoke from the fire damaged merchandise in Summerhouse and the two clothing stores, Soma and Swell, in the same strip.

Wednesday, January 19

"Big Silver Shining Motor of Sin," Two Lone Swordsmen

On the heels of their spectacular LP "From the Double Gone Chapel," which was released in May 2004, Andrew Weatherall and Keith Tenniswood give their fans a post coital treat in the form of a new EP. "Big Silver Shining Motor of Sin" is a 4-tracker with 2 brand new tracks [Showbiz Shotgun and Feast], an instrumental version of "Showbiz Shotgun" and a dub version of "Feast." The 2 original tracks are excellent, especially the latter, and the other 2 versions are unique takes which complement the package very well. -- Herman Snell and Alex Slawson

The Best In Sports In The Next Seven Days

Thursday, Jan. 20

College basketball, William Carey at Tougaloo: The old rivals battle in North Jackson (women, 5:30 p.m.; men, 7:30 p.m.).

Feel The Music At 930 Blues Cafe

Mississippi has such a unique history and culture of blues music, why would Jackson, the state capitol, not have a venue to recognize it? That is exactly what Isaac Byrd Jr., owner of the 930 Blues Café, thought. "I saw all of the venues of blues in New Orleans and Memphis and noticed that Jackson didn't have one. As the capitol, we need one so that we can expose the best of the blues that is seen in other parts of the country," he said in an interview. In order to introduce the blues, Byrd put his thoughts together and opened the 930 Café in January 2002.

Threading Our Path

Sixty-one-year-old Gwen Magee grew up surrounded by arts and crafts, immersed in her mother's passion for knitting, crocheting, ceramics—anything except sewing. "She hated anything to do with sewing. I took a home-ec class in high school, can't remember what I made, but it wasn't wearable," Magee told me, laughing softly at her memories.

First, Do No Harm: State Struggles With Record of Juvenile Injustice

At 17 years old, Tommy Croft has grown up faster than most youth his age in Mississippi. Croft conveys the pain and genuineness in his story about his dark past with his large brown, puppy-dog-sad eyes. Croft wears the same street clothes as many other African-American youth in this state do: an orange bandana and a backward orange-and-white baseball cap with an over-sized baseball jersey. The dark hair on his upper lip is just enough to make him look a few years older.

An Answer In Baton Rouge?

Pulling into the parking lot of the Baton Rouge Marine Institute, you wouldn't think of it as a building that kids walk in and out of daily that changes their lives. It was a YMCA before it became the BRMI center. It is an alternative to locking up kids who have committed status offenses—non-violent "crimes" such as missing too much school or fighting in school. This program is part of a larger network of the Associated Marine Institutes—a non-profit organization that operates more than 50 programs for juvenile offenders in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Texas and others.

Don't Light The Fire

When the airport renaming story broke, it had the potential of yet another racial war in a place that certainly didn't need any help in that department.

[Sawyer] It's A Rich Or Poor Thing

Each morning during the semester, the bell rings for thousands of Mississippi youth. Mississippi teachers bear a great burden in their cause to shape every young mind. They know that each generation becomes another candle to light the way for all of us. Education—especially in our state—becomes the great hope to move us ever forward.

The Weak Shall Inherit The State

A coalition of children's advocates are declaring 2005 the "Year of the Child" in Mississippi. It's about damned time. It's way past the point that we Mississippians must start standing up for our weakest residents. Young people have rights. They have needs. They make mistakes. It's not all about them respecting us; it's about us treating them with dignity and compassion and understanding, helping them instead of inflicting further harm.

Domini Bradford

"You have to try today's soup before you leave," said Domini Bradford, 37. So I did. The soup in the small bowl she placed in front of me was thick and creamy orange. "It's butternut squash bisque," she explained. I was amazed to learn that it contained a cashew base along with such striking ingredients as curry, and most importantly, that it was devoid of oil and dairy. Oddly, it reminded me of home.

Bill Hicks Lives On DVD

After President Bush's re-election on Nov. 2, I found myself singing the line from Hamell on Trial's song, "I Wish Bill Hicks Were Alive." Man, do we need Bill Hicks today. Though he died over 10 years ago and is buried in the Hicks family plot in Leakesville, Miss., his stand-up comedy couldn't be more relevant. Railing against the Bush administration, the war in Iraq, and the rise of the Christian Right, Hicks could be just as easily be talking about today. And now for the first time, you have an opportunity to watch Hicks at the top of his game as Ryko has just released his first DVD "Bill Hicks Live," compiling three extended live performances as well as the biographical documentary "Just a Ride."

[Stiggers] Please Sir, How About Some Change?

The Ghetto Science Team and the George Washing Carver Holistic Health Commission of Tuskegee, Ala., present Grandma Pookie's year-end radio address to the "peoples" from the rigged ham-radio station inside Lil' Ray-Ray's detail shop.

[Stiggers] The Pink Slip Is A Joke, Right?

Too Much Drama fo' Yo' Momma Street Corner Theatre Productions presents "Free Like Government Cheese," a one-man play by Filmo Jones.

Tuesday, January 18

Artist Jamea Richmond Has Show in Milwaukee

Rep. Cecil Brown

Rep. Cecil Brown, D-Hinds, represents the 66th District in the Mississippi Legislature. He is an investment adviser educated at Ole Miss and the University of Texas. Born in Meridian June 22, 1944, he has lived in Jackson for 40 years and has been a legislator since 2000. He is married to the former Nancy Haas and has three children: Lisa, Mickey and Lindy.

Monday, January 17

Singer/Songwriter Night at Hal & Mal's

Acoustic singer-songwriter folk night at Hal & Mal's Red Room, Sat., Jan. 29, 9:30 p.m. free. Goodman County, Wooden Finger, Justin Lamoureux of Midwest Dilemma, Korey Anderson, Reagan Roeder.

Pears, Onions, and Truffles

Over the Christmas holidays, while Mama and I were in Portland, Ore., visiting my two 20-something sons who cook for a living, we dined out when they weren't cooking for us at their apartment. One of the best meals out that I had in Portland was at the 3 Doors Down Café, in the Hawthorne District, east of the Willamette River. And it wasn't good just because Lamont and Leland cook there.

[Rev] (Don't) Sound The Alarm!

Saw a sad sight today, reminding me to get to writing my column about noise pollution and car alarms. There she was: a honking, lights-flashing Ford Taurus being pulled by a tow truck. The car's protests were like an old grandmother's plea for help: "someone stole my purse and put me in a headlock." But did anyone care? No. We just clapped our hands over our ears and watched the thing get dragged away.

The American Nightmare

"Maria Full of Grace" is available on home video and DVD.

The drug drama, a filmmaking genre that has recently soared in popularity, is a rather precarious sort of film to make. It risks presenting desperate, unlikable characters, depicting their struggles too graphically (or not graphically enough), glorifying the use and distribution of drugs, or bearing down on audiences with politicized messages. "Maria Full of Grace," the debut feature from Joshua Marston, flawlessly avoids the pitfalls of its drug-related material to reign as one of the best films from last year.

The Artist and the Councilman

Photograph by Jessica Kinnison

Mid-afternoon on New Years Eve, Ward 1 City Councilman Ben Allen is finishing an eight-year run on the Jackson City Council, and artist William Goodman is heading toward his first major exposition in New York City. Worlds apart, Allen surfs through introductions with his gold wedding ring resting against the crease of his jeans, leaning back in his chair just as he does in City Council meetings. The purple acrylic paint on Goodman's fingernail looks bold against the green grapes, as he grabs another from the bag he brought with him to the interview.

Keep Your Eyes On The Prize

When the message came Thursday that a grand jury in Neshoba County had indicted at least one conspirator in the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, I started screaming. Staffers bolted into my office to see what had happened to me. I could barely squeak out that the one thing I've wanted most in my adult life had come true. My hometown was facing its past that's not yet past.

Friday, January 14

** Best Music of 2004 **

With Be-Bop gift certificates and returns in tow, you may be wondering what good music from 2004 you may have missed out on. After many hours of music listening, we give you our picks for the best music of 2004:

Mayor Johnson Weekly Newsletter 1/14

Smith Wills Stadium to Get State-of-the-Art Turf

2004 Crime Numbers Released. Today, Jackson Police Chief Robert Moore announced that crime in Jackson decreased 21% in 2004 from the previous year. Seven of the eight categories of major crime, as reported to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report (UCR), showed a decrease in crime. Homicide was the only category to increase. Types of Crime 2003 2004 % Increase or Decline Criminal Homicide 45 52 16% Rape 179 165 -8% Robbery 962 678 -30% Assault 462 376 -19% Burglary 4369 3401 -22% Larceny – Theft 8323 6850 -18% Auto Theft 2804 2026 -28% Arson 59 52 -12% Totals 17,203 13,600 -21% "The decrease in overall major crime correlates with the national trends. The FBI reports that for the first half of 2004 both violent and property crime decreased across the country," said Moore. This is the second lowest number of major crimes reported in the last 24 years. In 1986, the lowest number of major crimes reported – 12,600 – was recorded. **************

[Stiggers] No Food In The Fridgidaire?

Pookie Peterz and the Ghetto Economic Development Association present the Let Me Hold Five Dollars National Bank.

Thursday, January 13

AAN Announces Grants for JFP, New Haven Advocate

The Best in Sports in the Next Seven Days

Thursday, Jan. 13

High school basketball, Battle of the Border Basketball Classic: The boys prep showcase at the Mississippi Coliseum has expanded to two days. Saturday's games: St. Andrew's vs. Corinth (1 p.m.). Madison Central vs. Ridgeland (3:15 p.m.), Lanier vs. South Gwinett, Ga. (5 p.m.).

Justice Overdue

In 1964, three civil rights workers—James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman—were murdered in Neshoba County by a mob of Klansmen and buried 15 feet underground. Their bodies were found 44 days later. Now 40 and a half years after the murder, a grand jury has returned the first-ever murder indictment in the murder case, presented by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Jim and District Attorney Mark Duncan. The man who allegedly engineered the slayings, Edgar Ray "Preacher" Killen, might finally be brought to justice. He was arrested late Thursday, Jan. 13.

Helping the Tsunami Victims

When he heard about that the disaster had struck on Dec. 26, Jackson attorney Taylor Ferrell made an phone call to Chennai, one of the devastated cities in southern India. After volunteering as an English teacher at an orphanage there for three weeks, he had left on Christmas, the day before the tsunami gushed through the city's coastal areas. Ferrell made contact with those he had worked with and was assured that all the children and other volunteers were just fine.

Tsunami Benefit Raises $4,311

The JFP-Collective-Rock 93.9 benefit last night at the Red Room at Hal & Mal's has raised $4,311.50 for disaster relief! Hal & Mal's donated 10 percent of sales for the evening. The checks will be mailed to Oxfam late Friday. The event was a raging success. Thanks to the musicians, volunteers, local businesses, artists and all the Jacksonians, young and older, who turned out to make the event such a success. The music was hot, and the community spirit was even hotter. Most of all, we thank JFP intern Swetha Regunathan who spearheaded the event and designer Jakob Clark who made such amazing music come together on one stage for such an important cause in less than a week. Cheers to them, and to Jackson.

Wednesday, January 12

[Music] Dead-ends and Transits

Goodman County is a place where the road had fallen in Goodman, a town near Lexington, Miss. In a place generally occupied by hunting and drugs, this fallen place in the road was a place for poets, writers and musicians to congregate. One night, a student who was out of his skull looked up to the sky and said, "I love being in Goodman County." The others all looked at him and said, "Goodman isn't a county." Like a scene out of a movie, he picked up the gravel beneath him and let it run through his fingers. "I love being in Goodman County," he yelled.

[Geek] Everything Old Is New Again

There have been many comic eras—the Golden Age, the Silver Age, the Bronze Age and the Grim/Gritty Age. Currently (in what is called, funny enough, the Modern Age) comics are going through a "rebirth" of sorts. Old characters and teams are being retooled and reintroduced for the 21st-century generation of comic readers. One of these teams is "The Avengers."

Jackson's Young Influentials 2005

by Skyla Dawn Luckey, Ayana Taylor, Brett Potter, Catherine Womack, Natalie Irby, Robert Williamson, Jessica Kinnison, and Randy Perkins

Capitol Report: Will They Or Won't They?

The Legislature only has until Jan. 31 to decide whether it will reinstate the Medicaid benefits taken from 50,000 people characterized as Poverty Level, Aged and Disabled (PLADs) last session. This deadline is a strict one, set under a court order issued Oct. 1 by U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate. However, making that choice is easier said than done.

[Chick] How Not To Dump A Guy

I feel that writing a "chick" column has not ruined my dating life quite enough, so I have thus pursued the answer to yet another post-divorce dating question: How do women dump men now?

Taylor Jane Hodges

Taylor Jane Hodges, 9, will introduce you to her goldfish: Bob, Billy, Katy and Samantha. She will perform tricks for you on her swing-set. She will tell you every last thing she got for Christmas. In many ways, Taylor is almost indistinguishable from any other 9-year-old girl, but in just as many ways she is not.

Monday, January 10

Matador Records News

The latest in upcoming albums, tours, and more from Matador Records.

Early Man - Matador Records has the privilege of announcing the signing of NewYork's EARLY MAN to a worldwide, long-term recording contract.

Sunday, January 9

George Street Grocery this Week

Oxford's Absylom Rising play upstairs on Monday and happy hour lasts from 4 until midnight. The blues jam is always rocking on Tuesday night. New Orleans' twang and groove returns to George Street on Wednesday. Ths Lynn Drury Band will be playing upstairs for ladies' night. The Taylor Grocery Band's Tommy Bryan Ledford will be joined by Jimbo Mathus for some knockdown boogie music on Thursday night. Memphis jam masters FreeWorld return to town on Friday night. Jackson's own Chris Gill & The Soleshakers close out the week on Saturday night. On Monday January 17 George Street will be hosting a tsunami relief benefit. A $10 minimum donation to oxfam will be required to enter.( They will be donating 2% of all sales to oxfam. Music begins downstairs at 6 p.m. Daybreakdown, The Kool Filter Kings, Braden Land, Tony & Faye Santangelo have all donated their time to this cause. Other musicians might be added later.

Herman's Picks

It's Goner Records international night of party jams at Martin's Wed., Jan. 26, beginning at 10:30 p.m. Mark Sultan (ex-Spaceshits/Les Sexareenos) from Montreal will turn his one man band BBQ into a duo with the Germany based King Khan for a genuine red hot '50s Motown Rock and Roll party. They blend Ritchie Valens, Eddie Cochran, and Little Richard into a soul jam of R&B rockabilly. Rounding out the show are the Milwaukee head-banging metal-punk garage band The Night Terrors, with members of The Mistreaters, and The Black Lips. Atlanta DIY do-wop punkers, The Black Lips bridge the perfect Clash influenced gap between the Chuck Berry party vibe of BBQ and the throw down intensity of The Night Terrors. As always, you'll find links to sample most bands on my JFP music calendar online. If I don't have a link to your band on there, hit me at [e-mail missing] .

Friday, January 7

Thacker Mountain Radio Live at Hal & Mal's

THACKER MOUNTAIN RADIO RETURNS WITH A NEW HOUSE BAND AND TWO JACKSON PERFORMANCES. Legendary Memphis producer Jim Dickinson fronts new house band. Two shows in Jackson, Fri., Feb. 11. Thacker Mountain Radio will kick off its 18th season with three special back-to-back programs and a new house band, the Yalobushwackers. The words and music radio program begins its regular season on February 10, from its home venue at Off Square Books in Oxford, where it has been staged since its debut in October 1997. The show will feature a reading by author David Anthony Durham, whose new novel, Pride of Carthage, is an acclaimed historical epic depicting Hannibal's war on Rome. Music guests will be One Ring Zero, a Brooklyn duo who perform pop songs with unconventional instruments such as the claviola and theremin.

From The Ring To The Pen

3-time boxing champion Hector "Macho" Camacho has been on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, training for a fight later this month. Apparently that's not all he's been doing. On Thursday, he was arrested in connection with a burglary in Gulfport. And then the cops found Ecstasy in his room. Doctor S is sure there's a good explanation for all of this. You can't buy publicity like this for a fight.

Thursday, January 6

Herman's Picks

If your New Year's resolution was to indulge in your favorite nightlife vices, you can crank things into high gear this week. The perfect prescription to get your rhymes in prime is with the Memphis based Hip-Hop, Funk R&B Rockers Free Sõl on Thursday. They will start with a 4 p.m. free sampling at Be-Bop Maywood Mart. If you can't make the taste test, you'll just have to trust me that they will throw down and blow up Hal & Mal's at 10 p.m. Free Sõl starts with a Prince, Isley Brothers, and Sade influenced smooth and soulful R&B groove (the old school Prince with the backing female vocals), then they kick into an eclectic high energy hip-hop-funk fusion of OutKast, Sugar Hill Gang, and the Chili Peppers. Think of them as Jay Z meets Rick James, with jazzy horns, and a shot of Linkin Park, Staind, and Bob Marley. The transitions are so diverse there truly is something for everyone…regardless of race, color, age, old or new school creed. C'est revolution de la soul.

I Was a Teenage Curfew Violator

January 6, 2005—For the third time the Jackson City Council is considering implementing a youth curfew law. The recent curfew, which expired in August, affected kids under 18 who were driving, walking, riding or otherwise present, unsupervised, in the streets of Jackson without an adult guardian between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Trash Talk: Kim Wade Disses the JFP

"Last week the Jackson Free Press had an interesting article in there where the editor was lamenting the fact that 'hey, you know Lefties are religious, too,' and she was going on and on, and this is Donna Ladd was going on and on about how she was religious and how she respects Buddha and all these other folks, well that's fine and good—and we as Christians, we respect those other religions, too, that's how they were able to flourish here in America.

DIY: Daniel Johnson on Dreadlocks

Daniel Johnson's face is distinctive: eyes bold and blue, nose prominent. He sat across from me with a comfortable reception of each question, his hair down by his face, fine and straight. But, upon closer observation there are intricately matted groupings of hair mixed in with the fine strands. No warning, just growing a personality of their own.

Be the Change: Step Up!

Babes in Liquor-Land

Every day Poindexter Elementary students pass by Super Discount Wine and Liquor. This store poses an interesting dilemma for these under-age students because in the back there is a convenience store where many students go to purchase after-school snacks.

Version 3.0 Is Live! (Mostly)

Wednesday, January 5

Ground Zero in Clarksdale Events

Live Blues at Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Ms.

Fri., 1/21 - Marshall Drew Blues BandSat., 1/22 - Kenny Brown Blues BandWed., 1/26 - Jay KirgisFri., 1/28 - Super Chikan & The Fighting CocksSat., 1/29 - Earl The Pearl & his blues bandWed., 2/2 - The PerrysFri., 2/4 - "Live" blues TBASat., 2/5 - Big T & The Family blues bandWed., 2/9 - Big A Blues AllstarsFri., 2/11 - Razorblade Blues BandSat., 2/12 - Memphis music legend DON NIX w/Big A (opener)Wed., 2/16 - Minor Blues blues bandFri., 2/18 - Super Chikan & The Fighting CocksSat., 2/19 - "Rev. Slick" & the Soul Blues BoysSun., 2/20 - BLUES SYMPOSIUM BRUNCH* with James "Super Chikan" JohnsonWed., 2/23 - The PerrysFri., 2/25 - Brother Sartin, Jimbo Mathus, Casey Phillips & friendsSat., 2/26 - Wesley Jefferson Blues Band

I Resolve, I Resolve, I Resolve

I just took a glorious week off. This hasn't happened to me much since we started the Free Press two and a half years ago. We managed to get away for a week in August to the Pacific Northwest—but, truth be known, I stayed on the laptop editing and perhaps even micromanaging a little from across the country as the home team put the paper out.

The Best in Sports in the Next Seven Days

Thursday, Jan. 6

College basketball: Schreiner at Mississippi College (7:30 p.m.): The Mountaineers try to get over at the Golden Dome.

[Geek] Viva San Andreas!

A review of "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas"

First, let me assure you that "GTA: San Andreas" is NOT for the immature. Parents, if your children show enough intelligence to separate real and unreal, there is little to worry about. But, if your kid is very impressionable and tried to do a backflip rail slide after playing Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, steer clear.

Running with the Young Guns

I just typed "04" in the date for this file and then corrected myself. It's that time of year again. After our week off for the holidays, we're back and ready to take on the world, even if we can't get the year right yet when writing a check or dating a file.

Which Way is Texas, by Eric Stracener

In 1986, I was a junior at Millsaps College and was an impressionable, if enthusiastic, blues neophyte. One night at Hal & Mal's, I saw one of the best blues shows I had ever seen—Texas blues men, led by a baby-faced slickster playing a '50s stratocaster. The singer and harmonica player was Sam Myers.

Capitol Burning: The War Between the Branches

Mississippi is known for many things: great authors, beautiful antebellum plantations, Sweet Potato Queens, civil rights troubles and a ridiculously tight state budget. In the poorest state in the country, how health care and education and other social programs will be funded is a fundamental question as the Legislature returns for the 2005 session this week, especially with a strong, ideological governor determined to raise nary a tax or fee. But the state will have to look at revenue; both how to raise it and spend it without cutting back on social programs that effectively benefit the constituents.

Hear No Truth: The 10 Most Censored Mississippi Stories

It's an open secret that here in the Jackson area and in the state at large we suffer from superficial, incomplete, unfactual and sometimes non-existent coverage of vital news stories. We all know this is true. But what we don't always know is the truth behind the sensationalist, corporate-biased headlines—the information that is important to you and me as citizens.

[Sawyer] Replacing the Law Book with the Good Book

"Value voters" is becoming the new buzz phrase in politics. They are identified as evangelicals, fundamentalists, so-called suburban moms and NASCAR dads, and conservative Catholics. When it comes right down to it, these million-plus men and women have emboldened America's right-wing polity toward a culture guided by the ethos of a fundamentalist Christian worldview.

Dent May

Watching a Rockwells show will bust open any preconceived notions you might have had about four college students, home for the holidays, getting together to play with their old band. In Jackson, The Rockwells' popularity is audible, if not deafening.

The Best 10 Movies of 2004

2004 was not an especially great year for movies. Though there were many good films (and a handful of highly memorable ones), this year's awards season has surprisingly few quality releases to choose from. This list, which does not include December releases that will not arrive in the Jackson area until early next year (if at all), looks at the 10 most worth seeing.

The Road to Wellness: Week 1

Ah, the South. The smell of the pine trees, the thrill of a cool evening after a storm, and … the fried food. I like to joke with friends in other parts of the country that even the vegetables are chicken-fried. The unfortunate part—for the weight conscious, at least—is that it isn't much of a joke.

The Road to Wellness, Week 2

Zen and the Art of Monkey Training

"I don't think there are barbecue chips on the Road to Wellness," Ms. D opined, as we ambled away from the Semiahmoo Marina in Blaine, Wash., after enjoying a sunset cruise around Semiahmoo Bay complete with wine, cheese and chips. But we'd had a great time, and it was Friday (cheating day), so we cut ourselves some slack.

The Road to Wellness, Week 3

<b>To Creet or Not to Creet</b>

A recent article in The New York Times suggested that workplace stress is costing us $300 billion a year in the United States, and that's just what corporations are spending on stress in terms of health care, lost productivity and stress-reduction technologies. What we, as individuals, pay in terms of health and dollar costs is probably quite a bit greater than that.

Road to Wellness, Week 4

<b>A Change In Lifestyle</b>

"So how is your diet going?" wrote David, my best friend from grade school, who pops up on iChat for a conversation every day or two.

The Road to Wellness, Week 5

Super Deluxe Lifestyle Diet

I've managed to completely swear off sodas in the past few weeks—I've switched mostly to unsweetened brewed tea and water. Likewise, I've kept away from fried chips, except on Fridays when I give myself a day off. And with the weather finally—knock on wood—turning to fall, it's a great time for some long walks.

The Road to Wellness, Week 6

<b>Walking on the Dock of The Bay</b>

Since I pretty much get to decide where the Road to Wellness takes me, then I say it goes through Bay St. Louis, Miss. Ms. D and I always enjoy any free moments we have to spend down on the Gulf Coast, and Bay St. Louis has its share of the things that appeal to us most—happy, creative, artistic people; good coffee and a place to walk or roam through a touch of nature.

The Road to Wellness, Week 7

<b>: Fruits For Our Labors</b>

Ms. D is a fan of the book "The Healthy Hedonist," by Janet Bridgers, which, while it may have a title that scares off some of our fundamentalist-leaning friends, need not be feared. The "hedonism" here is simply an approach to a lifestyle that says you don't have to be on a strict diet in order to be healthy. Chocolate, an evening drink and even guacamole are allowed as occasional indulgences. In fact, the book's approach—that getting healthier should be a bit more fun—is the approach I need this week.

The Road to Wellness, Week 8

<b>'Uncombining' Your Meals</b>

Adding more discipline to your diet means that the occasional indulgence is more satisfying. That's how things felt when we settled into some decadent desserts after a fine Italian dinner at Amerigo the other night to celebrate Ms. D's birthday. She even gathered up half her key lime pie to bring home with her—partly out of a sense of extending the pleasure, partly in a show of strength in the face of temptation and mostly because they gave her nearly half of the damn pie.

The Road to Wellness, Week 9

<b>Getting Well Again</b>

This past week has been a challenge for wellness—both Ms. D and I have been under the weather, she more so than I. That's meant relatively little exercise and, while we continue to try to eat healthily, the focus has turned to managing and recovering from our illnesses.

The Road to Wellness, Week 10

<b>Working to Live</b>

After 10 weeks of the wellness column, I'm still no wellness guru. There's an awful lot more that I could be doing for myself, but when I started I promised that I would take things slow. And did I ever.

The Great American Experiment

Here's the column that drew the ire of Mr. Kim Wade, radio talk-show host, as reported in this week's issue.

Skys of Fire at W.C. Don's

The post pop-punk, alt. rock and Sacramento based band "Skys of Fire," on Poisoned Fate Records, will perform at W.C. Don's on Monday, January 10, 10 p.m. Skys of Fire, as it's name implies, play their original music with an inner-passion, high level of energy and dynamic power on one level, and then bridge into subtle melodic tempo changes that create major peaks and valleys of excitement for the enjoyment of their fans and listeners. The band clearly has a passion for rock combined with some heavy edges. Listen here.

Tuesday, January 4

Pop/Punk outfit Relient K to tour

Relient K has announced an impressive run of tour dates headlining venues from 1000-3000 in capacity, marking the first extensive outing in support of the band's newly released fourth album Mmhmm. The itinerary, set to begin in early February, will see the Canton, Ohio-based group venturing from Florida to California on what will be only their third tour as headliners. The pop punk trio averages 150-200 live dates annually.

Sunday, January 2

[Sawyer] A Stroll Down Prosperity Street

"Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days." (James 5:1-3)

Saturday, January 1

Kill Rock Stars News

THE MAKERS will be entering the studio in early March '05 to work on their tenth full length (their second for Kill Rock Stars). The boys are set to work with the legendary Jack Endino who also recorded their first release for KRS, Stripped. This will be their first CD of all new material in three years!