Alpharetta Bound

Gertrude, my van's GPS system, sometimes takes a notion that we should move along roads less traveled -- or at least less traveled by me. So it was on Saturday. My destination was Alpharetta (Boy, it's been a long time since I've uttered the word "Alpharetta," much less gone there!). Jazz vocalists Audrey Shakir and Jane Blackstone were putting on a pair of workshops and a concert at the Steinway Piano Galleries, so I thought, hey, maybe they can teach me to find the right pitch, and if not, at least I can play with the Steinways without having to fork over enough money to buy two more vans. Anyway, my assumption was that Gertrude and I would hit 316, then 85, then 285, then Roswell Road. Something like that. But no. Gertrude had me exit 316 onto 120 (well before 85 and just past what has been for the past several years the traffic choke point from hell during construction of the taj-ma-intersection at 316 and 85). I might have said no. Gertrude usually can take no for an answer. But I said to myself, what the heck. 120. Go for it. So we wound this way and that, making our way north and west through the vast sandyspringsness of the metro ATL. Until we hit Duluth. On the outskirts of Duluth, a member of the local constabulary stood before a barricade and refused us passage, directing us to the right. Of course, Gertrude has no clue about these matters. So when I turned off onto the detour (Something festive having to do, I think, with bicycles, was happening in Duluth. Whatever it was, a lot of people thought it worth their while to pack the downtown streets to see it.), Gertrude went into her "make a u-turn, if possible" thing. Right. She's going to insist. And there's no way. So I'm on my own somewhere in the not-Athens. All I can do is drive on, hoping she'll relent. She does, finally, and we make our way by what I'm sure is a route neither she nor I ever would think of taking, to Alpharetta. All of which is prologue to what I wanted to say. I have some cool shots of the workshops and concerts over at my tumblr blog for athensjazz411.com. Please drop by and browse through the posts.


Taking back the campus from game day trashers

From the University of Georgia:

"If you bring it in, please take it out." That’s the mantra the University of Georgia is asking its football fans to adopt in an effort to control the amount of trash littering campus on a football Saturday. And if they can’t take it out, at least bag it and place it in a trash receptacle or dumpster.

"I believe the students, alumni and fans who attend UGA football games do love and respect this beautiful campus," said UGA President Michael F. Adams. "And I fully expect that they will do their part to clean up after themselves and to ensure that others around them do the same."

The university plans to distribute 12,000 trash bags in parking lots and around campus this Saturday before the Georgia Bulldogs play host to the Arizona State Sun Devils in a 7 p.m. kickoff. Volunteers from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes will walk through tailgating areas distributing trash bags and encouraging tailgaters to bag their trash and deposit it in an appropriate receptacle. The number of disposable trash boxes on North Campus will be increased to 400 from the previous 250, and over the entire campus to 1,500 from the previous 1,200. Several large roll-off dumpsters will be placed strategically around campus for tailgaters to dispose of their bagged trash.

Additionally, the firm that contracts to clean the campus on Sundays following a football game – American Stadiums – will send crews on an initial sweep through North Campus during the first quarter of remaining games this season to pick up trash already collected and set aside by tailgaters.

The number of Port-a-Johns available on campus also will be increased, particularly in the North Campus area which has been problematic.

"Before people head to the game for kickoff, we hope they’ll pick up around their tailgate area, bag the trash, and either place it in their vehicle to carry home or place it in one of our trash receptacles or dumpsters," said George Stafford, associate vice president for auxiliary and administrative services, who oversees game day operations outside Sanford Stadium itself. Fans should encourage those around them to do the same, he added. "It will take the community working together to accomplish this," he said. "People who profess to care about UGA should help take care of UGA."


Orange Twin Fall Show!!! (October 9th)

Area eco-village and record label Orange Twin is having their Fall Show very soon, and it looks to be quite an event. Check it out:

Orange Twin Record Company and Conservation Community in conjunction with the AUX Festival present a spectacular fall concert on October 9, 2009, featuring comedian Neil Hamburger, as well as Vic Chesnutt, Elf Power, Nana Grizol, Scott E. Spillane EXP.

Located 5 miles outside of Athens, GA, Orange Twin's unique natural amphitheater has seen acts such as Bonnie Prince Billy, Olivia Tremor Control, and Tall Dwarfs. This year's show presents comic genius Neil Hamburger, perhaps the funniest man in America today as seen in the hit film "Tenacious D's Pick of Destiny," on “The Jimmy Kimmel Show,” and numerous concert performances.

Musical acts include legendary songwriter Vic Chesnutt, a folk rock master who has collaborated with artists as diverse as of REM's Michael Stipe, Fugazi's Guy Picciotto, Widespread Panic, Emmylou Harris, Jonathan Richman, Lambchop and many more. With fellow Athenians Elf Power, Chesnutt will perform songs off of last year's collaborative album, "Dark Developments." Elf Power will also play a set of their distinctive psychedelic rock that has been wowing fans the world round since the mid-1990s. Nana Grizol will rock you with their energetic and furious live show, previewing songs off their brand new album, "Ruth." And Gerbils frontman and Neutral Milk Hotel alum Scott E. Spillane will be performing songs from his new band Scott E. Spillane EXP.

Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at Wuxtry and Schoolkids records, as well as Orange Twin’s own website www.orangetwin.com. Camping is available upon request (email laura@orangetwin.com), so guests can stay the weekend and catch classic German 1970s rockers Faust the following night at the 40 Watt Club.

This and the related festival and shows are almost a bit to much to contemplate. Almost. It is pretty big deal, for sure, for fans of seriously artistic and independent rock. See the links above (and below) for more information and explanation.

As far as the comedy artist Neil Hamburger goes, with a photo like this

you can't go wrong. Seriously.

Nana Grizol

Scott Spillane

Vic Chesnutt and Elf Power

New music from Savannah: Dare Dukes @ Flicker on October 3rd

As I listen now to the songs that stream from Dare Dukes' MySpace page I'm definitely feeling an overwhelming sincerity in the delivery of his vocals, which are accompanied by acoustic guitars, and occasionally strings, xylophone-sounding mallet percussion, some keyboard-y sounds, and good backup vocals, and who knows what else. It's definitely some home brewed but professionally tuned americana pop.

Relavant publicity communication:

Dare recently released his debut album Prettiest Transmitter of All, which Dave Mandl of The Brooklyn Rail called “…passionately sung, and loaded with inventive instrumental arrangements, surprising melodic twists, and multiple layers of wonderful, shimmery guitar work. And it rocks out, too. A joy to listen to.” Insomnia Radio went as far as to call it "one of the best we've heard all year."

The songs that make up Prettiest Transmitter of All, are a striking combination of incisive intelligence and sweet, doleful hooks. Looking past the shiny surfaces of American life, the Savannah, GA-based singer-songwriter chronicles the everyday world, mining the margins for the eccentric characters and bizarre events that are the heart of his music.

His first single "Bakersfield" is now available for free download.

Remember, that will be October 3rd, at Flicker. Summer Hymns will also be playing.


Public input on transportation projects

The Madison Athens-Clarke Oconee Regional Transportation Study is accepting public comments on a number of interesting road projects. From the Study group:
Madison Athens-Clarke Oconee Regional Transportation Study (MACORTS), the cooperative transportation planning body for the urbanized area which includes Athens-Clarke County, portions of southern Madison County and northern Oconee County, has scheduled public informational meetings to provide an opportunity for the public to review and comment upon the draft FY 2010-2013 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and the FY 2014-2015 Second Tier of Projects. This document outlines planned transportation improvements for the next six (6) years. This review meets the program of projects requirements as established by the FTA pursuant to 49 USC Section 5307(c). Public comment will be accepted September 21, 2009 – October 21, 2009.

North Campus tailgating revisited

Back in November of 2007, I posted the following:


The picture above was taken (not by me) after this years South Carolina game. Clearly the situation is getting far worse. It is time for this to be addressed and addressed forcefully. At least limit tailgating to 3 hours prior to kickoff, if not banning tailgating outright on North Campus. As I walked across North Campus on my way to work Monday morning it smelled like a cross between an outhouse and a garbage dump. As an alumnus ('81) and a father of two sons who are alumni ('06) I am ashamed and sickened by these 'fans' who trash our campus and literally use it as an outhouse. Go Dawgs indeed.....

GracesBirthday.com - Home

Bring your dog Sunday to a lovely place in downtown Watkinsville. Best dog party for more than a decade. Lots of fun in the sun or rain. GracesBirthday.com - Home

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Common Musical Ground

Two generations find a common musical language as a young jazz fan grooves to George Davidson’s tenor solo during an open house at UGA Horticulture’s trial gardens behind Snelling Dining Commons. I'll be posting more images from the open house at my tumblr blog for athensview.com

Goggin: Four-legged family members deserve party | Living | OnlineAthens.com

Bring your dogs to Ashford Manor B&B Sunday. Goggin: Four-legged family members deserve party | Living | OnlineAthens.com

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Insectival this weekend

I'll be out of town at emm... a nerd event known as DrupalCamp, so Bob B. I think you need to take some photos of the butterfly release. ;-)

You’re invited to Insect-ival at The State Botanical Garden of Georgia 2450 South Milledge Avenue Athens, GA

Saturday, September 19
9:30am – 12:30pm
Visitor Center & Conservatory
$3 per person; $10 maximum per family
Children under 2 years of age admitted free

Join us for this creepy, crawly, and definitely fun Family Festival. Discovery stations, roach and beetle races, puppet shows and lots of live insects highlight this year’s event. Children can complete a series of discovery station activities to receive a special insect prize. At 11:00am we will host a butterfly release on the lawn of the International Garden. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to view dozens of native butterflies flap their wings above your head. These native butterflies are reared locally and sustainably. Insect-ival is sponsored by the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, UGA Lund Club, UGA Department of Entomology, and the Georgia Museum of Natural History.

For more information, please contact the Garden’s Education Department at 706-542-6156 or sbgeduc@uga.edu.


GMOA (Georgia Museum of Art) events

just passing a long... note> the reason so many of the GMOA events are elsewhere is due to remodeling of the museum. ;-)

This week’s events:

Artist’s Reception for The South in Black and White: The Works of James E. Routh Jr., 1939-1946
Featuring Depression-era prints and drawings of the South, this exhibition is on view at the Robert C. Williams Paper Museum in Atlanta until October 2. The artist's reception, which will also be there, lasts from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 17, 2009. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/UqWOP.

Family Day: Whirligigs
Come to the Lyndon House Arts Center on Saturday, September 10, 2009 from 10 a.m. to noon for activities and crafts inspired by Lord Love You: Works by R.A. Miller from the Mullis Collection. Visitors will be able to participate in a gallery activity and then create their own spinning whirligigs.

Ongoing exhibitions:

The American Scene on Paper: Prints and Drawings from the Schoen Collection
Prints and drawings that reflect the vast political, social and economic changes that occurred in the United States during the Great Depression and World War II. On view at the Columbus Museum, Columbus, Ga., from now until September 27, 2009.

The South in Black and White: The Works of James E. Routh Jr., 1939–1946
Prints and drawings of images gathered on Routh's travels throughout the South during the Depression. On view at the Robert C. Williams Paper Museum, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga., from now until October 2, 2009.

Lord Love You: Works by R.A. Miller from the Mullis Collection
This special exhibition organized by the Georgia Museum of Art for the Lyndon House Arts Center as part of GMOA on the Move features 83 paintings, drawings, sculptures and whirligigs created by the Georgia self-taught artist Reuben Aaron "R.A." Miller. On view at the Lyndon House Arts Center, Athens, Ga., from now until October 24, 2009.

Have a great week and be sure to check out our blog, www.gmoa.blogspot.com, for museum construction updates!


From My Insider's Guide To Athens (forthcoming sooner or later)

Tip No. 42.

You park downtown. You put money in the meter. You do some shopping. You pass your car walking from one store to another. A front tire is marked with yellow chalk. Don’t panic. Yes, the chalk was placed there by the parking enforcement authorities. But my sources — very highly placed (no, not that highly, but highly) — tell me you should panic only when you see three (3) chalk marks on your tire. Here’s why: Parking enforcement personnel take about an hour to make one circuit. So a tire with two marks means the car has been parked at least one hour. A tire with three marks means the car has been parked at least two hours. If an enforcement person happens upon a car with three marks already on it, that car probably has been there well over two hours, and the legal limit is two hours. Ticket time. The system, of course, has its shortcomings. My 14-year-old already has pointed out several of them. But this is reality, Greg, and we should be satisfied with systems that work well enough.

For more images and insights from my Monday morning walkabout downtown, click here.


Farmers Market Delights

What a wonderful September Saturday morning it was! We strolled the Athens Farmers Market at Bishop Park, filling our Publix bags with veggies, soaking up the jazz stylings of Mary Sigalas and her Baby's Blue Swing Set, and visiting with our many farmers market friends. I snapped some photos. They're posted over at my tumblr blog for athensview.com.


What's that comin' down the track?

by Bob Brussack, sports writer

(ATHENS, GA. Sept. 11) -- It’s September in Athens town. The awful weight of late summer, which seemed eternal, has shown signs of giving way to the gently insistent breezes of autumn. It’s time to suit up. It’s time for a new season in the capital of the Bulldawg Nation!

Last night, the Dawgs played their traditional Thursday night opener at Hugh Hodgson, taking on a seasoned squad of Euros.

As expected, the Euros started their highly touted freshman, Stravinsky, who did not disappoint. This kid has more moves than Knowshon, coming up with brilliant, quirky stutter steps that amounted to a free ticket through the basses, past the cellos, and into the violins. Only some nimble work by the upper woodwinds, and Stravinsky’s own understandable freshman angst, kept the kid from dominating.

And what a delight this young man is, constantly trying to be upbeat despite a rough childhood, taking life as it comes, dealing with his new fame with a somehow endearing sideways smile.

In the second half, the Euros brought in fifth-year senior Brahms, whose silky smooth roll-out passing remains a challenge for any defense. But the Dawgs had an answer in their monster man, Rivkin, who keyed on Brahms, gliding left and right along the line as Brahms did his Tarkenton imitation. What a battle!

In the post-game, Coach Cedel said he’s getting nothing but good vibes about the Dawgs’ next contest in October, when veterans Steve Dancz and Tony McCutchen return to the line-up to face one of the greats, Lionel “Freight Train” Hampton.


Paul Broun Walks Away After He Cannot Answer A Direct Question

Ryan Lewis tries to give Congressman Paul Broun passed kidney stones

Our Town's Most Dangerous Intersection?

My nominee is the intersection at the east side Wal-Mart. The biggest design threat to safety at the intersection is the blind spot for folks headed towards Athens on Lexington Road who want to turn left onto Whit Davis Road. The cars on the opposite side of the intersection waiting to turn into the Wal-Mart totally block the view of the next lane over, so a car could be barreling down that lane outbound from Athens and be utterly invisible to someone trying to turn left onto Whit Davis Road. It's urgent, I think, for the traffic engineers to make it clear that a left turn is permitted only with an arrow there. Another design problem is the lane on the far right on Lexington Road for motorists turning right onto Lexington from Whit Davis. What is that lane? It has some of the characteristics of an acceleration lane, but it's not exactly marked as an acceleration lane, and cars trying to use it have to make a sharp turn that puts them perilously close to the regular outside lane of Lexington. A third problem -- which might or might not be addressable as an engineering matter -- is the tendency of motorists to try to beat the light. I know the photo enforcement technology is expensive. I've kept up with some of the discussion about the photo enforcement light at Lexington and Gaines School. But if any intersection in Athens could use some photo enforcement, it's the east side Wal-Mart intersection. You know what. The Wal-Mart folks should step up to the plate and chip in for some improvements to the intersection.

Looking for volunteer opportunities? Take your pick!

Today (Sept. 10, 2009) at the Classic Center is a Volunteer Service Expo. The radio segment said 4-7pm today, but the website says 12-7, so I'm not sure which is correct, but they are featuring 50 local non-profits who are looking for volunteers. Everything from bakers wanted, to animal lovers to love on pets at the humane society. It's a trade show for non-profits, what a marvelous idea!!!


Still Rippin'

Patio Mendino used to think that when he reached 40, he would leave behind the daredevil world of vert skating and be satisfied with rolling along on his long board. Now, at 45, Patio is still grabbing some sweet air over the shoulder in SPOA’s deep. Awesome! Click here for the image.

Downtown Walkabout

I'm back from a Wednesday morning walkabout downtown, and I've posted some images over at my tumblr blog for athensview.com. Drop by when you have a sec!


I assume most folks know about this, but just in case... Ort, Athens' senior journalist and beer connoisseur, was hospitalized recently. The horrible onlineathens.com site reports that he is in good shape and is to be released shortly. I look forward to his writings continuing in the Flagpole. I thought you'd want to know about that.


"Company" from Town & Gown this month

From the Town & Gown Players:
The Town & Gown Players conclude their 2008-2009 season with "Company" by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth, a musical comedy about the ups and downs of marriage.

"Company" follows Robert, a 35 year old bachelor who has been unable to connect in a long-term relationship, and his best friends - five married, once married, or soon to be married couples. The relationships offer Bobby a sometimes reluctant, front row seat to both the ups and downs of marriage and commitment. He can’t help but wonder: Is it really worth it to let someone else be that close? To let them that far into your heart and your life? Bobby’s conclusions make up the core of this classic modern musical.
Dates and tickets:
Tickets for Company are $18 ($15 for students and seniors) and reservations can be made by calling 208-TOWN (208-8696). The show opens at 8:00 pm September 18 at the Athens Community Theatre located behind the Taylor-Grady House on Prince Avenue. A reception follows the opening performance. Additional performances of Company will be at 8:00 pm September 19 and 24-26, with matinees at 2:00 pm September 20 and 27.


Community policy forum

Join us for the 2009 Russell Forum Community Policy Institute:
“Convening, Moderating & Issue-Framing: Essential Tools for Engaged Citizens”
October 15-16, 2009
Russell Library, UGA Campus


On October 15-16, 2009, Russell Forum for Civic Life in Georgia (RFCLG), a civic engagement project of the Russell Library at UGA will host a community policy institute on convening, moderating, and framing public issues using a deliberative approach established by the National Issues Forums Institute. The topical focus of the program will be health care policy and social determinants of health and will include a screening of the wonderful documentary on health disparities, Unnatural Causes on Thursday evening. The cost for each day-long workshop is $25.00 or $50.00 for the 2-day institute. (Fees include lunches, breaks, and Thursday dinner.)

Full scholarships for students, active members of community non-profit groups, Athens Regional Library employees, and Georgia cooperative extension agents are available.

* Deadline to apply for a scholarship is September 15, 2009.

* Deadline to register is September 25, 2009.

* To learn more, visit www.libs.uga.edu/russell/rfclg/2009_overview.html

* To register or apply for a scholarship, visit www.libs.uga.edu/russell/rfclg/registration_and_scholarship_info.html

Russell Forum for Civic Life in Georgia is a civic engagement program of the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries

Please contact Jill Severn at 706-542-5766 or jsevern@uga.edu if you need more information or have questions.

Cold sassy players (plays)

The Cold Sassy Players present "A Night of One Acts." There will be 3 comedic one-act plays shown in one night: /The Nearly Newlywed Game/, /Who's Accused?/, and /Dinner for One/. Several UGA staff will be in these plays.

The shows will be Sept. 17 at 7:00, Sept. 18 at 7:00, Sept. 19 at 2:00 and 7:00 at the Commerce Cultural Center (202 Cherry St., Commerce). Tickets are $10 a person. If you are interested in purchasing a ticket, you can contact Rod Hooper at City Tire, in Commerce (706-335-2201), to purchase your ticket or Diane Costyn (dcostyn@fcs.uga.edu)

Atlanta Traffic, Anyone?

I am so glad I don't live in Atlanta! All that traffic! Wait. That's not Atlanta. That's Barnett Shoals Road near the intersection with Lexington Road. That's Athens! Insider's Guide to Athens. Tip #42. If you're headed downtown from the east side during the morning commute, it's probably better to use Lexington Road all the way. The light for the Barnett Shoals traffic at Barnett Shoals and Lexington stays green for about as long as it takes me to savor and swallow a mouthful of that new toffee doughnut at Dunkin' Donuts. Then it stays red for as long as it takes me to get around to the taxes in April. It's not for me to say whether this is the most sensible timing for the light. What do I know. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that the whole road thing in that area has issues. Big issues. Issues that probably can't be resolved without a construction project that would take longer to build than the Great Pyramid of Giza, would cost more than an NFL quarterback, would put all of us through road hell trying to get to and from, would look ugly when it was finished, and would be obsolescent even as they were working on it. So, as Rosanne Rosannadanna might conclude, never mind.


If you land the transfer from the bowl to the snake at SPOA, you are making a statement, dude. Shane did it this evening. And I was right there to make a record of it. Enjoy!

Ciné Dispatch

Veronica Enz (pictured) delivered a beautifully-understated vocal yesterday evening at the weekly Ciné jazz jam session. Check out my pix and prose re: the session over at my tumblr blog for athensjazz411.com.