Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tomorrow they may wrap fishes in it...

But I was a star for one whole minute...

For those of you who do not hold the movie "Newsies" to the critical acclaim that I do, the title of this post may seem a little enigmatic (It's the musical story of the 1899 Newsboys strike in NYC, starring dreamboats Christian Bale and Bill Pullman! Cheesy I know, but what can I say...those little newsboy orphans with perfect pitch and rousing dance numbers enthrall me!). But the gist of it is that Andy Grace, like those striking Newsies making newspaper headlines, enjoyed temporary stardom last Monday night. In addition, our historic downtown theater shone his name in bright lights, and within her doors held a crowd of moviegoers eager to see Andy's latest opus. This was the second Alabama debut of his film "Backstage" (the first was at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival in Birmingham).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Dude Abides

This weekend we tried our hand at social philanthropy, and I think we can safely say, we damn well succeeded. Andy's efforts to bring the Coen Brothers' film "The Big Lebowski" to the Bama Theater (as an official DCDC event) were finally realized, and met with wild triumph amongst many of Tuscaloosa's residents. We met early to imbibe in White Russians, or "Caucasians" as they are so cleverly called in the film, and listen to Bob Dylan, Kenny Rogers, Townes Van Zandt, and others on the film's soundtrack. The goal was to try and raise money for a local non-profit, the Hale Arts Project, which currently is teaching photography and creative writing to children in the Black Belt town of Greensboro. We were amazed at the turnout! 134 people showed up, thus contributing their admission dollars to our cause. After our costs were recouped, we ended up making $500 for the organization, which will enable them to buy several digital cameras for the kids. Cha-ching.

In other weekend news, my Mom and Dad came down for a quick visit on Thursday, and were able to join me for an evening of bluegrass at the Bama Theater. The event featured celebrated fiddler Ruby Jane Smith and main act, the Claire Lynch Band, as part of Alabama Public Radio's 25th anniversary. The next morning I was able to give them a tour around the Arboretum, where I've been working for the last couple of months.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Let's Make a Rock Video

Last weekend, Joey Thompson, an old friend and college roommate of Andy's, returned to his alma mater, but this time with band in tow. The Archibalds, named after the famed Tuscaloosa rib shack, made an appearance in T-town on Friday night, as part of their first rock-n-roll tour through the southeast. With two days off until their next gig in Atlanta, they decided to partake of Andy's film skills to make a little music video. The video posted here was envisioned, filmed, and edited all in an entire day. We enlisted our friend MC to play the female role, since she has a flair for pageantry, and seems to have quite the costume stash. If you look closely you can even see a gold necklace with her full name, Marie Christine. How classy is that? The dancing bride was a serendipitous addition to the video, as she just happened to be getting photographed in the park, and didn't mind playing along.

If you're interested in hearing the Archibalds, check out their MySpace page.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Scariest Pumpkin of All

Well, October has come and gone, and with it the holiday that encourages our creativity, and tests our ability to carve likenesses out of the sallowed flesh of pumpkins. Andy chose to use his blank canvas, as many an artist do, to offer us a subtle commentary on the powers-that-be, and perhaps a glimpse into his worst nightmares realized. The likeness of this pumpkin, in case you couldn't tell, resembles our current Vice President, Dick Cheney, and was modeled after last week's cover of the New Yorker, a sketch of what I'm sure many would agree, is the scariest pumpkin of all. And what's equally scary, and just a little weird, is the recent announcement that Cheney and Obama are somehow distantly related! What!?? Yes, according to a press release a couple of weeks ago, Lynne Cheney revealed that while researching the family tree for her recent book, "Blue Skies, No Fences," she discovered her husband and presidential hopeful Barack Obama were eighth cousins, both descendants of a French Huguenot named Mareen Duvall. Yikes, that's a little spooky. I wonder if this little piece of information will matter one way or another to American voters. And does this mean if we elect Obama that we've participated in the perpetuation of dynasties in American politics? Well, it's a stretch but they are related. And Dick Cheney has now been a part of four administrations--Nixon, Ford, Bush Sr., and W. And by the way, if we were to elect and then re-elect Hillary, the nation will have endured 28 consecutive years of governing by the same two families, the other of course being La Familia Bush. There's a Hendrik Hertzberg piece in the Talk of the Town of the aforementioned New Yorker issue that discusses the history of dynastic politics. Check it out, it's really interesting.

I chose a more light-hearted subject for my Halloween pumpkin, a simple black cat, Zooey's doppelgänger if you will.