Stories for July 2005


Sunday, July 31

New Hope for Segregation Victims

Friday, July 29

The 2nd Coming of Alice Cooper

ALICE COOPER WREAKS HAVOC ON A NEW GENERATION WITH NEW ALBUM, WORLD TOUR, HIT RADIO SHOW. Once decried as "a parent's worst nightmare," the one and only ALICE COOPER is back with a new album, "DIRTY DIAMONDS," to be released Aug. 2 on New West Records. Written and recorded in 13 days, the album stays true to the back-to-basics philosophy of 2003's "The Eyes of Alice Cooper." On "Diamonds" "which was produced by Steve Lindsey (Leonard Cohen, Elton John) and Rick Boston (Rickie Lee Jones) "Cooper offers a stripped-down salute to both the British Invasion past and the neo-garage-rocking present with scorching tracks like "Your Own Worst Enemy," "Run Down the Devil," "Steal That Car" "Zombie Dance" and "Sunset Babies (All Got Rabies)." He also stretches out into some surprising new musical territory.

Wednesday, July 27

[Music] Catchy Revolt

I saw Colour Revolt for the first time at The Joint on July 7. The last band to take the stage, they played a killer mini-set to a packed room that undoubtedly turned some new fans. The show revealed a band playing like a band, a set of independents bent to the holistic end. Bassist Drew Mellon and guitarist Jimmy Cajoleas thrashed and swayed on the far rights and lefts of the stage, grinning at the most deafening sections of the songs. Guitarists/vocalists Jesse Coppenbarger and Sean Kirkpatrick sang in the middle as if to center the group, and drummer Len Clark expertly knocked away behind it all. Each song pulled you in with Coppenbarger's lulled, earthy vocals and then shot back with a booming crash.

[TechTalk] Batman Had Robin, Han Had Chewie…

I miss my Sidekick. Recently the PR folks at T-Mobile were kind enough to loan me what they call the Sidekick II, which is actually the HipTop2, made by Danger Inc. ( I expected not to like the Sidekick, mostly because I didn't like anime-style interface at first glance. What I found, though, is that I was able to look past some of the cartoonish stuff because the interface is well-designed for the way I like to stay connected.

Going Dr. Laura On Your Ass

Perhaps Asa Carter, a Klansman and the secretary of the North Alabama White Citizens Council, said it best in 1956:

[Greggs] Why Not Just Turn Gay?

The other day I was lying around with a friend discussing my less-than-stellar dating life and wondering what it would be like if I expended all that time doing something useful, like eating. At one point during the conversation she looked at me very knowingly and asked the question I have heard from more than one person on more than one occasion, "Why don't you just turn gay?" This is asked like sexual orientation is a knob on the stove that keeps the cookies from burning.

Hustler: Craig Brewer Makes Hollywood Look South

The time: Aug. 7, 2000. The setting: a Los Angeles hotel room strewn with the debris of an ongoing celebration. "The Poor & Hungry," a $20,000 movie shot in Memphis, has just won the Hollywood film festival's award for best digital feature, and its writer and director Craig Brewer has suddenly become the nobody everybody's talking about. Buzzed on a variety of cocktails and pure adrenaline, the man of the hour sits on his rumpled bed sipping a beer.

[Stiggers] Meet Self-published Poet Zipp Pitters

From the Ghetto Science Team's bootleg public television studios, it's Pookie Peterz: Live and Direct. Pookie: "My special guest is Zipp Pitters, the front porch poet. He's a prolific author, philosopher and former janitor of the Closed Due to Budget Cuts Elementary School. Tonight, he will discuss his ghetto literary series of self-published chapbooks, now available from Brotha Hustle's mobile bookstore and portable Styrofoam juicy-juice-on-ice drink center. Zipp, I've noticed that your chapbooks have some intriguing titles."

The Mile-High Dining Club

Packing for a trip often involves a checklist of necessities. For mine and Mama's July 13 flight from New Orleans to Portland, Ore.—with 30 minutes to change planes hours later in San Jose, Calif.—the list included food. There would be no time for a quick trip to an over-priced, highly salted, fast-food joint.

July 28 – August 3, 2005

<b>Overcoming Perceptions</b>

The Hinds County Board of Supervisors recently made a noteworthy investment in The Legacy of Timbuktu Exhibition Project. This international one-of-a-kind exhibition is expected to attract over 200,000 visitors to the Jackson Metro area, generating over $10 million in economic benefit for Jackson, Hinds County and the State of Mississippi.

Better Late Than Never

Within weeks of passing a resolution to apologize for lynching, the U.S. Senate is moving to help solve old civil rights cases. U.S. Sens. Jim Talent, R-Mo., and Chris Dodd, D-Conn., recently announced strong support for their Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act (S. 1369) with 22 cosponsors, including Dodd and Talent, already backing the legislation.

A Dream Deferred

Thomas Moore got a dose of his home state that he could like last week. After the Jackson Free Press published a narrative of his visit back to Meadville and Jackson last week, his quest for justice for the Klan murders of his brother, Charles Moore, and friend Henry Dee, started gaining steam. JFP bloggers immediately began collecting money to buy new tombstones for both men's graves.

Mayor Rebuked; Club Re-Opens

On June 26, around 3 a.m, 21-year-old LaKita Williams was shot to death while leaving the Upper Level Sports Bar at 4125 Northside Drive. Gunmen sprayed bullets so randomly that five others were also injured as they were leaving the club. Jackson police investigations reveal that Williams and the other five were not the intended targets, with no statement yet on who exactly was.

The Maple Street Scramble

A couple of weeks into his new career as mayor of Jackson, Frank Melton issued an executive order saying he would "evacuate, close down and tear down" the Maple Street apartments—also called the Jackson Apartments—at 1129 Maple St. in Georgetown. Days later, Melton said he'd since ascertained that he does not have sole authority to close down an apartment complex, and said he was willing to work with residents and complex owners in renovating the buildings.

Johnny Michaud

He's the new kid in town with an off-the-wall sense of humor. What you see is what you get. And whatever comes out of his mouth, he worries about later. He's Uncle Johnny aka Johnny Michaud, 53, the new morning show guy at Q105.1. He, his wife, Jeanne, and their smiling rotweiler, Dahlia, have been in Jackson for two weeks. They hail from Orlando, Fla., where Michaud worked for 15 years at XL 106.7 and Magic 107.7. He first gained radio experience while in high school.

Melton Asks All Board, Commission Members to Resign

Today, Mayor Frank Melton announced that all city board and commission members must "resign their position(s) effectively immediately." According to the press release from Carolyn Redd, this includes all members of 22 listed boards and commissions, including Downtown Jackson Partners, the Airport Authority, the Jackson Public Schools Board, Public Works, the Jackson Zoo, the Jackson Redevelopment Board, the Jackson Hinds/Library Administrative Board and the Arts Alliance.

"Untilted," Autechre

Rob Brown and Sean Booth have recorded as Autechre since 1991, starting out as a hip-hop influenced electronica act and evolving into the highly revered, state-of-the-art experimental IDM staple that they are now. Their last 2 proper albums, 2001's densely abstract "Confield" and 2003's more listener friendly "Draft 7.30," are more dependent on texture than melody or rhythm. Their latest, "Untilted" [un-TILT-ed, not un-TITL-ed], sees them merge the fractal and disintegrative sound-scapes of the last two albums around the playful percussive funkiness heard on "LP5" and "EP7-" it is experimental without being arid. For fans of older Autechre releases [1995's "Tri-Repetae" and earlier], this certainly isn't a return to the ambient sounds of yesteryear. Fans of their newer work, however, will find it a masterful blend of all the elements Ae have been working on and perfecting for the last 7 years. This is essential listening, one of the best Autechre albums to date. - Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

"Let Us Never Speak of It Again," Out Hud

--Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

Out Hud, the mysterious collective based in Sacramento, shares members with !!! in a world of freestyle collaboration and genre melding grooves. Upon the release of "S.T.R.E.E.T. D.A.D." in 2002, Out Hud drew comparisons to Kraftwerk combined with Pavement mixed with a taste of house and Giorgio Moroder et al. This time around, on "Let Us Never Speak of It Again," Out Hud mixes things up a bit more with hints of Tom Tom Club and sooped up digital production bobbling to the surface. In short, this is a booty swaying mess of a record but we like.

Tuesday, July 26

The Concretes CD Drops

THE CONCRETES TO RELEASE US-ONLY RARITIES COLLECTION ON JULY 26. LAYOURBATTLEAXEDOWN CONTAINS NEW VIDEO FOR THE CONCRETES' HIT, "SAY SOMETHING NEW," FEATURED IN THE POPULAR TARGET AD CAMPAIGN. "The Swedish octet The Concretes are exquisitely anti-rock and pro-pop, brand new and unique…More like a weird family than a conventional pop-group, their sound is full but somehow minimal, melancholic, warm, and conspiratorial." — Flaunt

Monday, July 25

"Picaresque," The Decemberists

On their previous album, "Her Majesty the Decemberists," many comparisons were drawn between vocalist Colin Meloy's songwriting style with that of Jeff Mangum [Neutral Milk Hotel] and The Zombies. "Picaresque" finds the vocal theatrics being downplayed somewhat, lending more of a mature feel to Meloy's delivery while augmenting the actual tales of loss contained within. The lyrics are still highly intellectual and the music is as polished as ever. Therefore, "Picaresque" should see this Portland [OR] band making great strides and acquiring many new fans along the way- certainly. - Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

Saturday, July 23

Dusty Rhodes and the River Band at Martin's

Orange County California, Prog. to traditional band Dusty Rhodes and the River Band will perform at Martin's on July 28, 10 p.m.

Friday, July 22

Dems: State GOP Lying About House

[verbatim statement]By attacking the integrity of one of the state's longest-serving legislators, the Mississippi Republican Party has once again launched into their far-too-familiar practice of spreading lies and misinformation. GOP Chairman Jim Herring wants to use BIPEC ratings as a means of judging a lawmaker's commitment to economic development, but the people of Mississippi should know that BIPEC is a partisan organization that historically promotes the efforts of Republicans.

Wednesday, July 20

A Sweet Repeat: A Review Of "Charlie And The Chocolate Factory"

There was perhaps no major American filmmaker better suited for bringing Roald Dahl's offbeat, bittersweet children's story "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" back to the big screen than director Tim Burton. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is Burton's most enjoyable (and strangest) film in years; it not only stands as a testament to his talents, but it may even be superior to the classic 1971 adaptation "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

Fruit of The Womb

In 2001, 7-year-old David Huff wanted to have some livestock to show. A friend of his had a goat farm, and after spending time there, David decided to get two goats and bring them to the show. Since then, David has amassed 25 dairy goats and about 90 meat goats, in addition to some chicken and horses.

Now That's Italian!

Until recently, I did not drink much Italian wine, which is surprising because I love being Italian. My nana's mother came over from the old country, and her recipe for spaghetti and meatballs was the first thing I could cook and still probably one of the best. And when I was going through my T-shirt-making phase, the initial creation was a picture of two tomatoes and beneath, the phrase, "It's good to be Italian."

Immerse Yourself

Summer time, and the living is easy, but oh-so-hot. That's why your food has to cool you off a little. Can't you just taste the fruits of your labor, a lovely cold melon soup, served with chilled shrimp, those big ones—10 to 12 to a pound—and bakery fresh croissants? Best of all, you have to labor only a little bit to make your melon soup, thanks to the latest kitchen tool you've discovered you cannot live without—the immersion blender. That's immersion as in dipped into liquid, and blender, as in spun into a smoothness that cools the most heat-ravaged soul.

Fourth Time's A Charm?

In a session rivaling all others this year in terms of brevity, state lawmakers approved $14 million for Baxter Healthcare in Cleveland July 15 in less than two hours. The money, another installment of a $24 million legislative commitment will allow Baxter to expand its product line and remove the cloud hanging over the heads of the company's almost 800 employees.

The Alternative to What?

July 20, 2005 One question I'm asked frequently about the Jackson Free Press is why we call ourselves "alternative." It's a good question—with an easy answer that I don't even have to think about anymore. We're the alternative to the (tired, old, gray, craggy) daily newspaper.

[Sawyer] Catholics Need Not Apply

Imagine for a moment you're a middle schooler. You know, the kind of young girl or guy with a slight self-confidence problem, maybe some acne on that indomitable T zone, a little stuttering here or there. That was me 10 years ago; maybe it was most of us. During those years, I began to have some serious questions posed to me about my Catholic faith. What's normal is what's local, and in my town, being Catholic was anything but normal.

[Judin] There's A Hole In The Sky

Growing up in Mississippi, I dreamed of living in New York. I watched the "Today" show in the morning and Walter Cronkite in the evening. New York was Times Square, Wall Street, the U.N. and the Empire State Building. Cultural icons inhabited New York.

[Stiggers] Float On, Find Love

It's time for those interesting profiles from Float On Personals, brought to you by the law office of Cootie McBride and the L.M.H.F.D. National Bank.

Bridgid Ferguson

I walk into the jumbled log-cabin interior of McB's and see Bridgid Ferguson setting up with the Chris Gill Band. In a few minutes they've started playing their first hour, kicking off with "No Woman No Cry." Ferguson sings backup. So far, so good. The band then plays Three Dog Night's "Never Been to Spain," and Ferguson belts it out like she's channeling Loretta Lynn, Etta James and Aretha in one, and it's clear why she aims to go solo. Her voice pretty much necessitates it.

[Chick] Oh, Snap

"Oh, snap!" That's what Monkey said when he realized he was going to miss a barbecue while with his dad at the beach. I was both shocked and amused. "Did you just say snap?"

Tease photo

I Want Justice, Too: Brother Wants Mississippi Cold Case Murders Re-opened

The Jackson Free Press teamed with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. to follow an Army vet and Mississippi native on his journey back home, looking for justice for his little brother who was killed by the Klan in 1964. This is his story—and it helped send James Ford Seale to prison.

King Elementary "Kudzu" Drops Nationwide

Upon discovering rock 'n' roll, every teenager achingly longs to start a band. Rarely, however, does that band propel itself out of the garage fueled by the restlessness of youth, and into the realm of record labels nationwide. Jackson, Mississippi's King Elementary are one of the lucky ones.

Tease photo

Turnabout: Melton Changes Story About Leak

When he was head of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Jackson Mayor Frank Melton leaked a memo containing accusations that would later be disproved about agency personnel to The Clarion-Ledger. Before he took office, he said under oath he did not leak the document. But after a judge ruled that the reporter could not keep her source confidential, Melton changed his story. Adam Lynch investigates.

Tuesday, July 19

Melton Backs Off Vow to Close Apartments

Clarion-Ledger reports today:

Sunday, July 17

Large Number of FBI Files Alarming

The New York Times reports Monday:

Friday, July 15

Dandy Warhols Album Coming

The Dandy Warhols will release their fifth album, Odditorium or Warlords of Mars, on September 13th. Named (at least partially) after the band's infamous Portland studio headquarters, Odditorium or Warlords of Mars finds the band venturing beyond the synthesized pop of 2003's Welcome to the Monkey House into expansive new musical terrain, while frequently revisiting the stripped-down sound of their earlier years.

Adoption Agency Rejects Catholic Parents

I never thought I'd see the day...

Thursday, July 14

Dems: Stop the ‘Smear Campaign'

AP reports today:

Democrats stirred the pot Thursday in the case of presidential aide Karl Rove and the news leak that unmasked a CIA agent, pushing the issue toward the Senate floor, pressing for a congressional investigation and inviting the operative's husband to the Capitol to accuse the White House of a "smear campaign."

Wednesday, July 13

New Artistic Ground

Some people think that you have to live in a place like New York City to break new artistic ground. The upcoming Fondren Theatre Workshop (FTW) presentation features four dramatic works by local playwrights—all performed by local actors. It may not be in New York City, but it does break new artistic ground. The variety of drama, comedy, themes and styles promises a wonderful mix of intelligent, entertaining theater. The staged readings of the plays will take place at The House of Brews Coffee House at The Artery, 3220 N. State St., July 14-17.

Pick A Proper Pepper

What vegetable can sit upright in the palm of your hand, is a shiny, clean-looking green and tangy when immature, then a gorgeous shade of red and sweeter when mature? Or maybe you know it in its brightly colored yellow, orange, purple and brown guises? OK, so the photo gives it away, even if it is in black-and-white. Put on your old Romper Room magic glasses and see the multi-lobed bell pepper in all its vitamin A and C and beta carotene-laden, zero-sodium, low-carb, high-fiber grandeur—the brighter the color, the more healthy the pepper is for you.

Melton Blazes Into Week 1

Mayor Frank Melton's campaign pivoted on the promise of a safer, crime-free Jackson in the months leading up to his recent election to the office of Jackson mayor. That same promise was the gist of his message to the more than 500-member audience attending his July 4 inaugural celebration behind City Hall.

DIY: Produce Your Own Album

Without money to secure your band solid time in a studio, producing a record can be difficult. But this isn't a problem for Walter Young, whose band Alexander's Dark Heart's recorded and produced its last album "The Aleph" at home.

[SportsTalk] ‘We Were Here First'

When the Mississippi Braves moved into Trustmark Park in Pearl, most critics predicted that the Senators, who play in the independent Central Baseball League, would lose the battle for local fan support to the Braves and fold within a season. Senators Vice President and General Manager Craig Brasfield isn't quite sure how to answer these critics, saying, "We were here first, but only time will tell which team has staying power."

Deja Vu, Special Session Style

The state Legislature may soon be heading into its fourth special session. Gov. Haley Barbour said he aims to consider $14 million in upgrades for Baxter Healthcare Corp., in Cleveland.

Movin' On Up: Barbour Approval Increases

Gov. Haley Barbour has pulled himself up with constituents in the last two months, from a low of 37% approval in May to 41% approval in July, making him the 39th most popular governor in the Union, according to a monthly survey by SurveyUSA. Barbour leads five Democratic and six Republican governors in his race away from the bottom, including Texas "Guvner" Rick Perry (38% approval) and celebrated "Gov-or-na-tor" Arnold Schwartzenegger of California. Michigan's Jennifer Granholm is the lowest ranked Democrat on the list, at 45th Least Appreciated.

Deliver Us From Evil

I was lying in bed last week, thinking about the Edgar Ray Killen trial. My feelings on it are hard to sort out; I'm relieved, yet worried that too many people will treat it as an end rather than a beginning.

[Greggs] Just Not Paying Attention

Most of the time when I'm driving home from work, I'm diligently thinking about something like how cool I would look wearing a cowboy hat while dancing on the hood of my car. I will also admit to daydreaming about Colin Farrell, but only when there's no one around to see my look of rapture.

[Kamikaze] The New Racism

You guys should know me by now. I'm that radical, angry rapper-guy who seems to have an opinion on everything. The guy who likes to stir it up, make you think. So as par for the course, I simply must reply to a letter printed in the JFP last issue. Phillip Ley of Flowood obviously took some exception to my last column blasting Sens. Thad Cochran and Trent Lott for not co-sponsoring an anti-lynching resolution. While I have no problem with open dialogue (or criticism for that matter), I do have a problem with abject denial. And after obviously missing the point of my column, your response is, Mr. Ley, akin to your sticking your fingers in your ears, making annoying noises to tune out the truth.

Music Street: Where Is the Studio Melton Promised?

During Frank Melton's mayoral campaign, he told an audience of young African American musicians at The Birdland that he would bring a world-class recording studio to them, to Farish Street, once he was elected mayor in June. "I'm entering the fall of my life," Melton said. "The only thing I have left now in my life is to make sure you all have the same opportunities I had. I want a studio on Farish Street." Melton promised that the studio would be one of his first priorities when he took office July 4.

We Are The Street: New Coalition Seeks To Unify The Scene

Four years ago, the rap music magazine Murder Dog did a special on the underground music scene of Jackson. A photo of almost 30 men, all of whom were somehow affiliated with the Jackson rap scene, captured a stereotype of what the folks of the Jacktown suburbs see. The article told the stories of rising Jackson artists, a bunch of guys looking for their first and last chances at success. After the picture and the article ran, everyone went their separate ways. Some of them made a name for themselves elsewhere (David Banner and Kamikaze, for instance). Some of them disappeared completely off the radar.

[New Release] Schizo Sounds

There is an old cliche that, if you don't like the weather in Mississippi, wait a few minutes and it will change. The same could be said for the tracks on GoodmanCOUNTY's excellent new release, "Dead-Ends and Transits," a beautifully weird collection of tunes that range from screeching country to Clash-like stomp with many flavors in between.

[Gospel] Fired By Trump, Employed By God

Left as the last man standing on NBC's hit reality show "The Apprentice, "Gulfport, Miss.-born Craig Williams exited the show's location after a series of interviews that tagged him as having a lack of depth.

[Stiggers] Battle of The Black Iron Skillet Chefs

Live from the kitchen of Clubb Chicken Wing, it's the premiere of the Ghetto Science Team's Black Iron Skillet Chef cooking competition show with Sista Church Hat.

Holly Perkins

Holly Perkins has always liked art, but it was a family-weekend adventuring trip with her parents and older sister Katie that changed the almost-a-teen-ager forever. "Maybe two years ago, we went to Vicksburg, to The Attic Gallery. I loved that place," Perkins told me emphatically, sitting on her daybed in her vivid, eclectically decorated room. "It was so cool. I had not been taught that art can be not perfect and still be good. It opened up a whole new door."

Tuesday, July 12

‘Karl Rove Is A Liar'

Salon's Joe Conason takes on Karl Rove for his latest trick to divide America. Rove ignited a firestorm when he said recently:

"La Foret" XIU XIU

Jamie Stewart is what Victorian society would have called, "an unsettling young man." To hear Jamie's band Xiu Xiu play is to be shaken, disturbed, and shown something original. If they say everything's been done, and that the only thing that cracks of newness is what is often called "the unspeakable vision of the individual," then Jamie is in a rare class. His music is new because it's solidly Jamie himself. There is only one Jamie Stewart and because he writes honestly about his personal experience, there is only one Xiu Xiu.

Monday, July 11

"At the Soundless Dawn," Red Sparowes

Instrumental, sublime and slightly bombastic- these are terms normally used to describe the new school of indie post rock as heard in the music of Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor. Hailing from Los Angeles and containing members from Isis and Neurosis, Red Sparowes do fit into this category but are a bit more complex in terms of their sound and influences. Some liken the lushness of At the Soundless Dawn to Godspeed and Mogwai, while others use Isis and Neurosis as a basis of comparison. While these referential elements are at play, other comparisons to Explosions in the Sky and A Silver Mount Zion are equally noticeable. Regardless of these semantics, this album is an epic and monumental wall of sound that incorporates beautiful tempo shifts and movements into a fluid tapestry. --Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

"Axes," Electrelane

This Brighton 4-piece formed in 1998 to revive the fem-core movement in a unique way- one more diverse and lasting than the riot-grrl movement that preceded them some 5 years before. Using the quintessential Too Pure drone-on freestyle jam and an improvisational spirit, along with early Stereolab instrumentation [moog, farfisa and saxophone to name a few], their intense grooves helped solidify their presence on the British indie scene. On 2004's "The Power Out," Electrelane created a truly accomplished and beautiful album. Their latest, "Axes," is more of a back to the Kraut Rock roots endeavor, somewhat raw and unpolished on the surface, and a must for fans of Th' Faith Healers, early Stereolab, Quickspace and Pram. -- Herman Snell and Alex Slawson

"Blue Eyed In The Red Room," Boom Bip

Part avant-garde composer and part beat master; Boom Bip has created some of the richest instrumental soundscapes in recent memory. Combining hip-hop, ambient and experimental electronica with Intelligent Dance Music (IDM), his sonic portfolio has caught the attention of many influential artists and fans alike. "Blue Eyed In The Red Room" is a 10-track work that promises to take Boom Bip into a higher stratum, given the detail and craftsmanship that is exhibited therein. Although this is a primarily an instrumental work, there are 2 tracks with guest vocals which add to the complexity of textures found throughout. Without a doubt, this is his most solid work. -- Herman Snell and Alex Slawson

"Hole," 65daysofstatic

Since releasing their stunning debut long player in October 2004, "The Fall of Math," this Sheffield 4-piece have been drawing raves from the UK music press. Their apocalyptic style combines elements of sweeping Mogwai influenced indie-rock, damaged IDM clicks and drum and bass beats- all put through the glitch filter and amplified to the n-th degree. On "Hole," a limited release maxi single, two tracks from their debut go through the remix treatment by mothboy and 65dos. The title track of the maxi remains unchanged from the album version and four previously unreleased tracks interweave among the versions mentioned above. - Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

Thursday, July 7

Lanier Grad Killed In Iraq

WAPT reports another Mississippi casualty in the Iraqi war:

Attacks Rock London

AP is reporting:

Four blasts rocked the London subway and tore open a packed double-decker bus during the morning rush hour Thursday, sending bloodied victims fleeing in the worst attack on London since World War II. At least 40 people were killed, U.S. officials said, and more than 360 wounded in the terror attacks.

Wednesday, July 6

Hail To The Staff

July 6, 2005 This is the 101st issue of the Jackson Free Press. We set out three years ago to bring independent journalism (and the best entertainment coverage) to Jackson, Miss., based on the "alt-weekly" model that is successful in other markets from the Village Voice to the Chicago Reader to the Nashville Scene, Memphis Flyer and many of the top 120 or so media markets. We had a kitchen table, some know-how, and the rich tapestry of Jackson and Mississippi to work with. The three-year trip we've made to become Jackson's news and entertainment weekly has been both grueling and gratifying.

He Is The Night: A Review Of Batman Begins

After a string of boring, ugly, repetitive games, it's good to see Batman get an interesting, pretty, repetitive game. "Batman Begins"—the movie—blows the previous films out of the water, and so does the game. But it's not without its flaws. While sneaking around and destroying scenery to scare your enemies is a fresh idea, it's just not executed well. Everything seems so scripted. Enemies with guns are too dangerous to fight, but there's not a single situation that doesn't let you take them out easily. Mobsters without heat can't lay a finger on Batman. There are only a few areas in the game where you're actually in danger of dying.

More Than Moonshine

Here in Mississippi, we often get the short end of the stick. Find a list of positive statistics; we're near or at the bottom. Negative? Look to the top. Whenever a tornado strikes, newscasters rush to the nearest trailer park, and it makes national headlines when we vote to keep the Confederate flag.

Vine-Ripened Health

There's nothing much better tasting than a fresh vine-ripened tomato. It could be that Southern standard, the tomato sandwich—sliced tomatoes on white bread, slathered with mayo. It might be a classic Italian salad, the caprese—a quarter-inch slice of tomato, sprinkled with a touch of olive oil and some sea salt, topped with a basil leaf and a slice of fresh buffalo mozzarella.

The Killen Verdict, Explained

FBI/AP pool photo

"Preacher" Edgar Ray Killen's jury trial has ended; he was convicted of manslaughter in the deaths of the three young men on June 21, 1964. On June 23, 2005, Judge Marcus Gordon sentenced Killen to the maximum allowed under Mississippi law: 60 years (20 years for each homicide). Killen will be held in isolation at the Central Mississippi Correctional Institute until a state "classification" process is completed. Killen will be labeled either a medium or a maximum security prisoner and will remain in the Rankin County prison or be shipped to Parchman to serve his time. In either case, he will be in isolation in a cell for 23 hours a day, Monday through Friday. Weekends and holidays, he will remain in his cell for 24 hours a day.

The Clean, Green Power Machine?

A pro-nuclear rally was held on the south steps of the State Capitol June 28 to gather support and attention for The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's public meeting later that evening at the Port Gibson City Hall, in Claiborne County.

Eyebrows Raised Over Voting Decisions

The Mississippi Secretary of State's office announced June 29 that it had made its selection on the vendor to supply the state's voting machines for the 2006 elections: Diebold Election Systems.

Michael Burton

Michael Burton's music takes him, top to bottom, all across the continent of North America: Montreal, Canada, Bermuda. This week, Burton's travels bring him home to Jackson to share his "soul jazz" when he plays Hal & Mal's on July 6. Burton, 26, graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor's degree in jazz performance and a master's of music degree in jazz studies. At Hal & Mal's, he will share the stage with other musicians of the same caliber, fusing together elements of jazz, soul, hip-hop, gospel and R&B. Burton is a product and true portrait of Jackson Public School's Academic and Performing Arts Complex (APAC) music program.

There Goes Another One

After two days of deliberation, the House passed the Momentum Mississippi package and is now working with the Senate and Gov. Haley Barbour on a bond bill to finance other projects, which stalled.

[Music] Born Under A Bad Sign

Toward the end of my talk with Bernard Jenkins, he tells me: "There's no better musicians than right here (Jackson). Make sure you get that down."

[Stiggers] Po' Folks And Their Spooky Stories

The Ghetto Science Team brings you The Financially Challenged Summer Camp, hosted by Grandma Pookie. It's time for po' folks and their spooky stories by the camp fire under the moon light. Tonight, Grandma Pookie shares with us a scary tale titled "Night of the Living Financially Challenged.

[Rosella] Tragedy In Madison County

Recently, I have been puzzled by the tragic events that have hit the heart of my hometown, Madison. It seems as if the past three years have brought only grief to the Madison-Ridgeland area. Year after year, we lose more students, and we can't seem to figure out why. When I sit down and try to take it all in, I end up asking questions that no one seems to have an answer to.

Phyllis Robinson

Photos by Jason Jarin

Originally from Kosciusko, Phyllis Robinson, now in her 40s, has lived in Jackson for over 25 years; she now resides with her husband, two sons, and stepdaughter. With a paralegal degree, she has worked in the bankruptcy court system since 1989—but she's a case administrator who goes by "Peaches" on the runway.

Home In The Prez: All The President's Residents

Photos by Thabi Moyo

A resident of the historic subdivision Presidential Hills, 30-year-old Latasha Willis, was recently watching the television debut of a David Banner video when she was surprised to see the name of her neighborhood flash across the screen. "I think the song was basically talking about Mississippi, and it caught my eye," says Willis, who has lived for 26 years in the neighborhood that sits on the edge of the city. "You would see him rapping, and it would switch to a word. I saw Tougaloo College, and I saw Presidential Hills across the screen."

Tuesday, July 5

Stevie J at 930 this Weekend

Keeping the blues' cutting-edge sharp with Stevie J at the 930 Blues Café, Friday and Saturday, July 8-9, at 9:30 p.m. One of Jackson's most bodacious bluesmen Stevie J joins forces with the 930 Blues Café to keep the capitol city's blues razor sharp Friday and Saturday, July 8-9 at 9:30 p.m.

Plame-Gate Moves Closer to Karl Rove

Big news today was that Karl Rove was a source in a Time magazine story that helped out undercover CIA investigator Valerie Plame. Newsweek reports:

Saturday, July 2

AAN Salutes JFP Award-Winner Ayana Taylor

Friday, July 1

Pro-Life Mississippi: 'A Moderate Will Not Do'

July 1, 2005/verbatim: In light of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's resignation announcement, Terri Herring, president of Pro-Life Mississippi, writes:

Creative Loafing: 'Racial Healing In Mississippi'

Creative Loafing editor and blogger John Sugg has published a cover story about the Killen trial, with an intriguing comparison of Killen and Dick Molpus, in the Creative Loafing papers in Atlanta, Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C. He writes: