Archive for June, 2008

in performance: tom waits

The Tom Waits that garnered a devout following in the mid ‘70s was a streetwise beatnick; a dark romantic that fashioned jazz, blues and off-beat poetry into songs of soul and sleaze. But at age 58, the Waits that took the stage at Columbus’ Ohio Theatre on Saturday – the closest the songsmith will play to Kentucky on his abbreviated Glitter and Doom Tour this summer – was a vaudevillian through and through. He communicated almost as much by cocking his black bowler down over his forehead and strutting about like a hip rooster as he did with his songs. Almost.

With a repertoire that dropped his ‘70s catalog entirely (nothing was performed that pre-dated 1983’s Swordfishtrombones album), Waits moved to more mercurial themes, deeper ensemble grooves and more cunning humor. For the capacity crowd (the show sold out within minutes of going on sale in May), that game plan worked quite nicely indeed.

On a stage where clumps of antique, horn-shaped speakers hung like grapes, Waits opened with the jagged, raspy Orphans confessional Lucinda (fortified for the occasion with a few spiritual refrains from Ain’t Goin’ Down to the Well). As a five member band (including the singer’s son, Casey Waits, on drums) gave rise to the rhythm, Waits stood centerstage like a scarecrow before emphasizing a brutish, foot-stomping beat that kicked up quite a bit of dust – literally. Each time Waits hammered his heel on the floor to the devilish rhythm, powder rose up around him. Perhaps it was glitter and doom all rolled into one.

The program’s instrumentation was just as clever. Banjo and harmonica supported Waits as he sang through a bullhorn on Chocolate Jesus while the singer again put his feet to work by kicking a stage floor bell as though a prize fight was commencing on the still savage 16 Shells from a Thirty Ought Six.

And then, of course, there was Waits the humorist. While there was nothing this night to match the truly demented dog biscuit saga he told in Louisville in 2006, Waits did offer observations on supposed centuries-old laws still on the books in Oklahoma, where he played the previous week. “For example, you can’t eat in a restaurant that’s on fire,” Waits said in a weathered voice that eerily approximated someone afflicted with emphysema. “That kind of limited our choices.”

In the end, though, the concert was at its peak when the strange, inventive heart of Waits’ performance skills met the even more obtuse narratives of his songs. An ideal example: 1999’s Eyeball Kid, a freak show parable seemingly tailor made for the performance. Here the singer donned a bowler encrusted with broken glass and slowly but purposely twirled to create the full theatrical effect of a human mirror ball in motion.

There were scores of other delights, too, including the judgment day fervor of Jesus Gonna Be Here, the barroom-style audience sing-a-long on Innocent When You Dream and a reconstructed Big in Japan, also sung through a bullhorn, that moved to a funky, juke joint groove.

The pageantry of the Ohio Theatre, a gorgeous, 80 year old Spanish Baroque movie house that seats 3,000, completed the carnival atmosphere. But even the majestic setting was modest compared to the incantations the wiry man with the coarse voice and black bowler summoned onstage.

In NY, gay marriage law brings wedding plans

AP Online June 27, 2011 | VERENA DOBNIK NEW YORK (AP) ?ˆ” It was a weekend of wedding proposals, wedding plans and earnest thanks. The hard-won right to same-sex marriage in New York state gave way to joyous thoughts of trips down the aisle becoming a reality, not just a dream, for many thousands of gay couples.

“New York has sent a message to the nation,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday before the colorful extravaganza that is New York City’s annual gay pride parade. “It is time for marriage equality.” When Cuomo signed the gay marriage bill just before midnight Friday, New York became the sixth and largest state in the country to legalize gay marriage, reinvigorating the national gay rights movement that had stalled over a nearly identical bill in New York two years ago. The 33-29 vote by the state Senate followed days of contentious negotiations, the courting of undecided Republicans and opposition from influential religious groups. Pending any court challenges, the law takes effect in 30 days.

“We’ve been waiting to get married in Central Park for years, and now we got here just in time for history to be made,” said Bryce Croft of Kettering, Ohio, who attended the parade festivities with her partner, Stephanie Croft.

The two women are not yet legally married although they share the same name, and they are in the process of moving to New York and getting married. They were in a Manhattan restaurant late Friday when they learned that the bill had passed. see here ny gay marriage

“We cried over dinner, right into the mozzarella sticks,” Stephanie Croft said, adding that they had already selected a spot in Central Park ?ˆ” the boulder she had marked with Bryce’s name two years ago.

As he joined the parade procession, John Haracopos wore a T-shirt that declared, “Some dudes marry other dudes. Get over it.” He and his partner regard the new law as a legal rubber-stamping of what they did years ago. web site ny gay marriage

“We got married in the oldest church in Paris. And it was just us and God,” said Haracopos, a 46-year-old hair stylist. Still, the pair plans to hold another ceremony in New York to ensure their relationship is fully recognized by the law.

His partner, Peter Marinos, a 59-year-old Broadway actor, wore a T-shirt of his own that said, “Marriage is so gay.” “Thank you, Governor Cuomo” and “Promise kept” read signs lining both sides of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.

“I’m really, really proud of New York,” said Hannah Thielmann, a student at Fordham University in the Bronx who attended with her girlfriend, Christine Careaga.

The couple, both 20, were dressed as brides, with Careaga in a white veil and Thielmann wearing a black top hat and a sash that said, “Bride to Be.” Careaga said her mother called her crying tears of joy after the New York Senate voted on the marriage bill.

“Every mother wants her child to be happily married,” Careaga said.

Same-sex marriage licenses also are granted by Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, plus Washington, D.C., and the Coquille Indian Tribe in Oregon.

“This year’s gay parade is different ?ˆ” it’s electric!” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s longtime companion, Diana Taylor. “You can really feel it, it’s so exciting.” Cuomo marched with his girlfriend, Food Network personality Sandra Lee, Bloomberg and openly gay elected officials, including New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and state Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell ?ˆ” Rosie O’Donnell’s gay brother ?ˆ” who introduced the bill last month.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly marched at the head of a group of gay NYPD officers, right behind the official police band. At the end of the parade, a female officer proposed publicly to her fianc?©e, also an officer, who accepted. They quickly vanished into the crowd.

New York’s parade ended near the site where gays rebelled against authorities and repressive laws outside the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village on June 28, 1969 ?ˆ” an event that gave rise to the gay rights movement.

“If New York can do it, it’s all right for everyone else in the country to do it,” Cuomo said before the parade.


a trip to the ripp

To say the first annual Elk Creek Jazz Festival features the smooth grooves and tropical fusion music of The Rippingtons as the headline act is certainly correct. Though a regular visitor to Lexington for a time, the ensemble has largely been absent from the area for much of the past decade.

But as most any fan of the band will tell you, its official title is The Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman, a nod to the guitarist, principal composer, leader and mainstay member who brought The Rippingtons to life over 22 years ago. But to have the event promoted as the Elk Creek Jazz Festival featuring The Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman? Nope. Just two many “features” in there, folks. But rest assured, Rippingtons fans, Freeman will still be at the helm when the band hits Owenton on Saturday.

Owenton? Hmm. The home of Elk Creek Vineyards, which requires roughly a half-hour drive on I-75 North through some pretty significant interstate construction (although don’t expect that to tie up traffic much on Saturday afternoon), seems far removed from some of the locales Freeman references in his predominantly instrumental compositions. Among his titles: Villa by the Sea (actually a track from a 2002 Freeman solo album called Drive), Life in the Tropics, Aspen, South Beach Mambo, Seven Nights in Rome, Morocco and One Summer Night in Brazil.

Perhaps the epitome of the exotic escapism behind Freeman’s music is Weekend in Monaco, a breezy 1992 album whose cover art depicts a Cheshire cat complete with hip beret (the cartoon mascot can be found on all Rippingtons albums) behind the wheel of a yellow sportster as its navigates ocean-side curves enroute to some posh getaway.

OK, so it’s not the same as a weekend getaway to Owenton. But Freeman and Elk Creek are going to be doing their best to bring a little of that lavish spirit to Kentucky on Saturday, along with performances by Cincinnati’s Randy Villars Band, the University of Kentucky Faculty Jazz Quartet and Alma y Clave. The music begins at 4 p.m. The Rippingtons are scheduled to play at 8.

In a field of more organically designed smooth jazz bands, The Rippingtons share a close stylistic kinship with Spyro Gyra. Both groups share a preference for sunny, tropical rhythms that emphasize saxophone and percussion, although Freeman’s guitarwork obviously serves as a lead voice for The Rippingtons.

Both design music rich in melodic appeal drawn as much from pop as jazz. That explains why the title tune to The Rippingtons’ 1996 album Brave New World is featured on Smooth Jazz II, a sampler record released earlier this month. The link between the album’s soft-focus tunes is the fact they have all been used as background music for forecasts on the Weather Channel.

“Yes, and the chance of precipitation in Monaco tonight will be…”

Most of all, though, The Rippingtons and Spyro Gyra have shared bass players. When the latter band was a frequent performer at the old Breeding’s on New Circle Road in the early ‘80s, bassist Kim Stone proved an engaging and energized foil for saxophonist/leader Jay Beckenstein. Similarly, Stone’s Bob Goes to the Store, a jam inspired by the bassist’s dog, was a highlight of those shows.

But for over 18 years, Stone has been rolling with The Rippingtons, where his finger-popping bass work has been regularly featured on the set-closing High Roller (from Weekend in Monaco).

These days, Freeman is something of his own boss. Admittedly, that’s always been the case with the band itself, whose personnel has regularly revolved under the guitarist’s stewardship. But Freeman also co-founded Peak Records in 1994, which today oversees all Rippingtons albums and Freeman-related recordings as well new music by as a roster of pop/jazz/R&B notables that includes Lee Ritenour, David Benoit and Regina Belle.

The most recent Peak project for The Rippingtons is 2006’s 20th Anniversary. Despite a celebratory title that suggests a retrospective, the album is actually full of new recordings that feature numerous band alumni (including drummer Tony Morales) and a few guest vocalists (including R&B crooner Jeffrey Osborne, who concludes a finale medley with an update of The Spinners’ I’ll Be Around). Freeman dedicated the album to the late vocalist Carl Anderson, the voice that ignited The Rippingtons’ hit 1989 album Tourist in Paradise (where the trademark Cheshire is surfing on the cover).

Little of the 20th Anniversary material figures into the band’s current concerts, though. Many recent performances still revolve around crowd favorites, including the title tracks to the Tourist in Paradise, Welcome to the St. James Club (1990) and Black Diamond (1997) albums as well as High Roller and an occasional Freeman take on Jimi Hendrix material.

So what, then, if a weekend in Owenton doesn’t have the same vacation poster appeal as Weekend in Monaco? With Freeman and company back in the region on Saturday, Elk Creek is bound to become a Kentucky getaway with its own jet-setting charm. They could even design a new album cover for the occasion with the Cheshire in a basketball uniform. Works for me

The Elk Creek Jazz Festival featuring The Rippingtons begins at 4 p.m. Saturday at Elk Creek Vineyards, 150 Hwy 330 in Owenton. Tickets are $20-$200. Gates open at 3 p.m. Call (502) 484-0005. For more information, visit

Florida rock band works for a slice of indie success.

The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, FL) January 17, 2005 Byline: Jim Abbott ORLANDO, Fla. _ The song is only one minute and 48 seconds long, but the video shoot for punk-pop trio Whole Wheat Bread’s “Old Man Samson” turns minutes into a marathon.

For starters, there are the continuous lighting and sound adjustments on the set at the Bar-BQ-Bar on downtown Orlando’s Orange Avenue.

Is the label visible on that bottle? Can someone turn it around? Is there enough fake cigarette smoke? Can someone get rid of the smoke? Members of the hometown cast, not a legitimate actor among them, retrace their steps and movements over and over.

“That’s perfect!” says director Mike Marshall, a University of Central Florida alumnus back in town as a favor to old friends. “Now, can we do it again?” The video shoot for the first single on Jacksonville-based Whole Wheat Bread’s new “Minority Rules,” is a career-building step for one of the debut acts on Orlando’s indie-label Fighting Records. It’s also a labor of love.

No one in the room full of local extras is being paid, unless one counts a complimentary round at the bar after the 10-hour shoot. The director and crew aren’t making much more, though they have been brought in from across the country.

“We’ve called in every favor we’ve ever had,” says John Youngman, vice president and co-founder of Fighting with partner Ryan Marshall (no relation to Mike).

There’s hope that the video will wind up on buzz-making channels such as MTV2 or Fuse, but Youngman knows that it won’t happen overnight. The band’s focus in 2005 will be an aggressive touring schedule in the Southeast and as far north as Detroit and Minnesota.

He looks across the bar, where the crew is fretting about yet another shadow.

“It’s a lot like this set,” he says. “A lot of hurry up and wait.” No one in the band or at the label is making much money yet, but there’s determination and optimism on the set that exudes confidence in the future. in our site whole wheat bread

A trio of black musicians unapologetically devoted to punk music is a rarity in the vast sea of hip-hop acts. Yet it’s not a stretch for Whole Wheat Bread.

“It just came naturally,” says singer-guitarist Nicholas Largen, 23. “That’s what we listened to back in the days of Green Day and Nirvana. All of us have been into it since we were kids.” Despite the tedium, the idea of doing a video shoot is almost unimaginable for the guys in Whole Wheat Bread.

“It’s like a dream,” says drummer Joseph Largen, 24, Nicholas’ brother. “You see the bands you love as a kid on MTV and that’s what you wanna do. To get the chance to do it is a dream come true.” The Largens and bassist Aaron Abraham, 21, don’t spend much time anymore in their hometown. The band is usually taking care of business in Orlando.

Joseph is missing the birth of his son back in Jacksonville to make the video. The delivery of 8-pound Colin wraps quicker than the shoot.

Joseph looks into the portable video recorder that his brother always carries and sends a message to Colin: “To my new son that’s being born, I love you. But this is Daddy’s new job.” (EDITORS: BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM) On the set, the star of the video is working on his most complicated scene. Al Pressley, 58, has been cleaning and doing odd jobs at Bar-BQ-Bar for almost 14 years. site whole wheat bread

Now he is playing Old Man Samson, a hard-drinking regular at a local watering hole.

“They handpicked me,” Pressley says, smiling broadly as he hoists a bottle of pale ale to his lips. His assignment is to jostle his way through a crowd of bar patrons, a task he handles with precision.

He tackles the choreography of a tricky do-si-do scene with help from Youngman, who cues him with a light touch on the back of his knee.

Pressley is part of a cast and crew populated by friends. The video’s bartender is Margot Moselle, 25, who does the same job for real at PR’s in Winter Park. Jessi Davis, who worked with Youngman and Marshall in their days at Back Booth nightclub, is the volunteer makeup artist.

That hometown spirit appealed to director Marshall, whose resume includes a stint as technical coordinator on Ozzy Osbourne’s MTV reality series and an internship at Orlando’s Haxan Films.

“There is a good vibe to the whole thing,” he says. “It makes a big difference.” (END OPTIONAL TRIM) For Whole Wheat Bread, there’s the expectation of bigger things: the Jan. 25 release of “Minority Rules” and an anticipated showcase at this year’s South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas. Youngman says the industry is tough, but that indie labels can still succeed with realistic goals.

“We’re not judging success like a movie on opening weekend,” Youngman says. “We’re going to be working the record for a solid year.” Like a video shoot, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

(EDITORS: STORY CAN END HERE) ___ WHOLE WHEAT BREAD “Minority Rules” (Fighting Records) 4 stars (out of 5) Jacksonville, Fla., punk-pop trio Whole Wheat Bread is a formidable presence on stage, but that doesn’t always guarantee a new band an impressive debut album.

Fortunately, the 11 songs on “Minority Rules” (in stores Jan. 25) explode with almost the same force as the band’s live show. There’s nothing particularly ambitious about the approach to these hard-hitting sonic bursts, which detonate in intervals of roughly two minutes each.

Yet singer-guitarist Nicholas Largen, drummer Joseph Largen (Nick’s brother) and singer-bassist Aaron Abraham deliver the goods so solidly that innovation isn’t required. Producer Darian Rundall, whose credits include work for Yellowcard, merely gets out of the way to provide an uncluttered landscape on tracks recorded at Redondo Beach and Cell Studios in Orlando.

Without needless studio distractions, the emphasis is wisely on the driving beat and exuberant vocals. “Old Man Samson,” which the band will be promoting with a music video, illustrates the calling card: a raucous sing-along chorus and churning guitars that blaze along with relentless speed.

All the sheer double-time muscle of songs such as “Scar Your Lungs” is accented by occasional surprises: the twangy, almost country feel to the opening guitar in “Samson,” the crisp guitar solo that introduces the call-and-response vocals in “Loud & Clear.” Such touches _ more of them wouldn’t hurt _ start to elevate the band from its obvious influences (Green Day comes immediately to mind).

But, wait a minute, what’s this?

On three hidden tracks that close the album, WWB abruptly turns into a hip-hop group. The results are an interesting mixture of moody melodies, crackling live percussion and cocksure attitude that still sounds more like a band than a DJ.

Whether the band rocks or raps, “Minority Rules” shows that Whole Wheat Bread does it with considerable promise.

_Jim Abbott ___ Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

_____ PHOTOS (from KRT Photo Service, 202-383-6099):


current listening 06/26

Sandy Denny: Live at the BBC – The great British songstress Sandy Denny died 30 years ago last April. As this superlative four disc set of BBC recordings (including a DVD of 1971 performances) underscores, no one has yet matched the poetic directness of her writing or the gorgeously understated finesse of her vocals. The first disc offers the essentials without the orchestral excess of her later solo records. But a bootleg-ish 1971 take on Blackwaterside with Richard Thompson typlifies the treasures here.

Sly and the Family Stone: Greatest Hits – When is a greatest hits album more than just an assemblage of popular tracks? In the case of this 1970 Sly Stone anthology, it is the opportunity to show off non-album hits – Hot Fun in the Summertime and Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) – along with such muscular album title-tune singles as Stand! and Dance to the Music. The result reflects the soul-pop serenity and rich earthy funk of the Woodstock era’s most industrious and enduring R&B rockers. Perfect summer music.

Ronnie Earl: Heart and Soul – Another sterling sampler from one of the most underappreciated blues stylists of our age.  Compiled from albums released between 1983 and 2003, including his extraordinary Black Top recordings, the one-time Roomful of Blues guitarist delivers loads of tasty, piledriving grooves. But when the attitude cools, as on I Smell Trouble (with Fabulous Thunderbird Kim Wilson on vocals) and Catfish Blues, the blues mood of Heart and Soul positively glows.

Sun Ra: Nothing Is – Sun Ra loved to tell audiences he and his band were from outer space. But as the wonderfully animated playing on this 1966 scrapbook of New York college performances attests, Ra’s music was further out in space than Ra himself ever was. The bits of broken bop, ragtime twists, chants and symphonic deconstruction sound as confrontational on the two-minute Imagination as they do on the 13 minute Shadow World. What Frank Zappa was to rock ‘n roll, Sun Ra was to jazz.

Old 97s: Blame It on Gravity – Rhett Miller and company remain indie-rock’s great Americana-drenched recyclers on Gravity. The album zooms instantly to life with a frenzied electric strum that could pass for an El Paso version of Pinball Wizard. Even crazier is the rockish tango with a zooming intro that sounds like a cross between Dick Dale and Rush. There are bursts of pure pop ingenuity, too, like Ride. But Miller still provides a hapless undercurrent to it all as an inviting, restless and slightly over-anxious host.




US Fed News Service, Including US State News October 15, 2010 ATLANTA, Oct. 14 — The Georgia Department of Labor issued the following news release:

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said today that the Georgia Department of Labor will sponsor a career expo and job fair for employers and job seekers in the Albany area. The event will be held Thursday, Oct. 21, from 1-4 p.m. at the Albany Civic Center, located at 100 West Oglethorpe Boulevard in Albany.

“The response for this event from employers has been excellent,” said Commissioner Thurmond. “Hopefully, this is an indication of good things to come in Southwest Georgia. Hiring in the private sector must occur across the state to allow our economy to fully recover. I encourage area job seekers to take full advantage of the resources that will be available at this career expo and job fair, as well as those at the Georgia Department of Labor’s Albany Career Center.” Staff members of the labor department will be on-hand to conduct workshops and assist job seekers with resume writing and on-line job applications. here albany technical college

The event will feature approximately 75 employers, educational institutions, and resource agencies that provide assistance to job seekers. Some employers will be hiring, while others will be discussing possible future employment opportunities with the job seekers and other organizations will be providing educational and other resources. Applicants should bring plenty of resumes and be prepared to fill out company applications and interview for available job openings.

Among employers, educational institutions, and resource agencies expected to participate in the career expo and job fair are the Albany Fire Department, Albany Police Department, Albany Technical College, Ameri Corps Vista, AT&T, Central Monitoring, Columbus Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Cumulus Media, Dougherty County Police Department, Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office, Equity Group, Experience Works, Georgia Department of Corrections/Albany P.



C.,, Liberty National Insurance, Lowe’s of Moultrie, Mediacom Communications, Papa John’s Pizza, Rescare Homecare, SafeAire Heating and Cooling, Senior Life Insurance Company, Sowega Financial Services, Turner Job Corps Center, Tyson Foods, U. here albany technical college

S. Army, U.

S. Department of Agriculture/Food and Drug Administration, U.

S. Navy, U.

S. Secret Service, and Waffle House.

For more information about the career expo and job fair, contact the Albany Career Center at (229) 430-5010. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at

a night off with peggy and pj

Near as I remember, I met Dave Pegg sometime in the fall of 1987. I had journeyed to Cincinnati for a performance by Fairport Convention, the landmark British folk-rock band Pegg – “Peggy,” as he is called by everyone – has played bass guitar for since 1969.

I had written a short piece in the Herald-Leader for the occasion, as it was the first time Fairport had played anywhere in the region in nearly 15 years. In the lobby, a friend and I chatted a bit before showtime. “What did your editors think when you proposed writing about Fairport Convention?” she asked. Before I could answer, a low, thick and distinctly British voice from behind me replied, as if on cue, “He probably got sacked.”

It was Peggy. That’s how we met.

Over the years, I’ve written about Peggy numerous times. He doubled, from 1979 to1995, as bassist for Jethro Tull. So when either Fairport or Tull were in the area – and by this time, both were regular visitors to Cincinnati – we would chat a bit by phone for a story or column item and usually meet up briefly after the performances. A subtle friendship developed to the point where I would often take a drive to Cincinnati, Columbus or, in one case, Detroit to meet up with him.

We’ve chatted backstage following Cincinnati Tull gigs at Riverbend and what was then Riverfront Coliseum (now US Bank Arena). We met up in a church office amply stocked with libations after a Sunday afternoon Fairport concert in a Columbus chapel. There was a band celebration at a bizarre Mexican restaurant/disco in New York following Fairport shows at the now-demised Bottom Line. Best of all was a lunch shared at a stunning old-world pub called The Falkland Arms in the gorgeous British greens known as The Cotswalds when I went over to see Fairport’s annual August festival in Cropredy in 1990. And, yes, there was one night where Peggy was on my turf: namely a late night dinner at the Cheapside following a Fairport set for the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour in 2002.

Peggy hasn’t been on North American soil in nearly four years. Then, out of the blue last month, a longtime Cincinnati friend called to say Peggy was playing a private house concert with guitarist PJ Wright (of the similarly progressive British folk-rock troupe Little Johnny England) on an upcoming Saturday and that my presence, from my bassist pal, was requested.

It was, briefly, a difficult call. The performance fell on the Saturday night of The Dame’s final weekend of business. But as plans were already in place to review the club’s Sunday night closing, I journeyed to Cincinnati, shared a joke and fine conversation with Peggy along with a very loose, relaxed evening of songs (with Peggy playing mandolin and acoustic guitar instead of electric bass) that included music he and Wright had cut for a fine album called Galileo’s Apology. Also in the set was fare from Fairport, Tull, Little Johnny England and nods to skiffle champ Lonnie Donegan (Mark Knopfler’s Donegan’s Gone) and Buddy Holly (a lightly colored guitar/mandolin arrangement of It Doesn’t Matter Anymore).

But it was the billing of Peggy’s tour with Wright that struck me: “A Night off with Peggy and PJ.” And, for me, that’s exactly what it was. This wasn’t a work assignment. This wasn’t review fodder. This was a very informal evening of acoustic fun with zero frills (and zero PA system, for that matter) and some lively talk with a chum whose first view of my profession was that I had been fired because of the music he made for a living.

(above: Dave Pegg, left, and PJ Wright)

critic's pick 25

“Next time you see me, I’m going to smile for the camera like some wild man from Pompei,” muses Alejandro Escovedo in the midst of Swallows of San Juan, a tune of quiet but powerfully reflective fortitude featured on his new Real Animal album.

That’s Escovedo, for you – an artist of tremendous musical depth and grace who can’t help but get his hands dirty as he tells a tale. Perhaps that’s because, for all his gifts at turning a poetic phrase, Escovedo remains a rocker at heart

For Real Animal, a potently electric album that takes considerable stock of an often extreme rock ‘n’ life, veteran David Bowie and T. Rex producer Tony Visconti brought Escovedo back to Lexington, where he has maintained a feverishly devout fanbase for over 12 years, to record 13 new songs co-written by fellow rock/pop stylist Chuck Prophet at Saint Claire Recording Company on Spurr Rd.

The wonderful local twist to Real Animal aside, the album acknowledges two of Escovedo’s former bands in song. The San Francisco-based, punk-bred Nuns are chronicled in the aptly-titled Nuns Song, although the tune works just as well as a more generalized rock club snapshot with Escovedo’s usual flair for party-crashing choruses and rock ‘n’ roll strings. A booming Visconti mix then peppers on some warped Sir Douglas Quintet-style keyboards while lyrics of fitting obstinance (“We don’t want your approval”) embellish the mood.

Later, Chip n’ Tony pumps up the backbeat as it reflects on the more Americana-savvy ‘80s days spent with Rank and File. There’s also a keen nod to Iggy Pop, whose I Wanna Be Your Dog has long been a hearty staple of Escovedo’s live shows, on Real Animal‘s title tune.

At times, the Visconti touch pushes points in songs that don’t need the salesmanship, as in the odd macho backup chorus that intrudes on the nocturnal New York grime of Chelsea Hotel. But that’s nitpicking. Add in the more pastoral revelry of Escovedo’s youth depicted in both Swallows and the album-closing Slow Down, and you have an engaging and complete portrait of a rock ‘n’ original cut in a city that has long been taken by his vibrant animal language.

That Real Animal hits stores the same day as Party Intellectuals is unexpectedly fitting. Take the darker narrative of Escovedo’s Chelsea Hotel, fatten the groove factor and then warp, distort and extend the instrumental vocabulary, sometimes to the point of melodic anarchy, and you have a sense of where New York guitarist Marc Ribot is coming from on this debut disc with his extraordinary new power trio, Ceramic Dog.

Opening with a brutally unrecognizable cover of The Doors’ Break on Through, Party Intellectuals flirts with thick, uneasy electro-funk on its title track before the guitar fire recoils into a ocean of static, percussive chatter and spoken word dissonance (“You did alright in jail; you turned out to be quite a punk”) on When We Were Young and We Were Freaks.

Ribot has long been a wily and versatile improviser (he has shifted, just over the last year, from recording sessions with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss to performances with John Zorn). Somewhat suitably, Party Intellectuals reflects similar extremes in the summery globetrotting adventures of Todo El Mundo Es Kitsch, the Cuban strut of For Malena, the bouncy synth-driven funk of Pinch and the disconnected thunder and plump power chords of the 10 minute Midost.

While its musical view is often global in scope, Party Intellectuals is like driving through the darker recesses of New York after midnight on a balmy summer evening. The windows are down, the sounds are rich and all the ragged, roaring harmonies that result make for one sublime joyride.


The Capital Times October 6, 2005 Name: Carrie Cochran.

Job: Student services adviser, adjunct faculty, Concordia University Wisconsin.

What I like best about my job: The positive impact that higher education has on my students’ overall growth. I enjoy helping others meet their education goals and watching them develop personally and professionally. Higher education has changed my life, and I choose to share my enthusiasm for education with others.

What I like least about it: There is a floor-to-ceiling window directly across from my desk. When the weather is nice, it can be distracting as I envision myself at Devils Lake or the Union Terrace.

My best boss taught me: To think critically when making decisions and that treating people equally is not the same as treating them fairly. in our site concordia university wisconsin

My worst boss taught me: Why I needed to return to the classroom and continue my education!

I work best: In a fast-paced environment where I can utilize all of my communication and organization skills. My students are also my customers, and I strive for excellence in customer service through timeliness of response and a commitment to accuracy.

Education/experience: B.A. in management and communications with a minor in cultural studies and an M.S. in education counseling from Concordia University Wisconsin. I am working toward a doctorate in higher education leadership at Edgewood College. in our site concordia university wisconsin

My professional background is in quality systems and human resources. I have been employed with Concordia for the last four years in student services and admissions and as an adjunct faculty member. I teach human resource and study skills classes.

Birthplace/home town: Ripon.

Where I live: Sun Prairie.

Family: Fiance, Jack; one pet, an Australian silky terrier named Mrs. T.

Age: 42.

Person outside my family I most admire: Jack Buri, corporate secretary and senior attorney at Alliant Energy. His patience, sincerity, work ethic and drive are quite inspiring to me.

My real passion is: Helping others. I have found over and over again that all things are possible through faith, perseverance, support and guidance.

Favorite place to go for enjoyment: Cultural events and any place having to do with fine, creative cuisine.

Music, munchies and mantra that get me through the day: I like to listen to Magic 98 and 93.1 The Lake during the day. Lately I have been munching on Rice Krispies Treats and Kudos bars at my office but would eat French toast 24-7 if I could. Mantra: Take one day at a time.

Most valuable lesson I’ve learned: If you do not enjoy what you do, you have less chance of being productive and successful.

Looking at me you’d never guess: That I was recently thrown from a galloping horse!


DAVID SANDELL/THE CAPITAL TIMES Higher education changed her life, says Carrie Cochran (left), so she aims to share that experience.

in performance: the hot club of cowtown

In many ways, it was an evening both bittersweet and unexpected.

On one hand, when The Hot Club of Cowtown became, around 10:45 p.m., the last band to take the stage at The Dame, the party became full blown. The crowd filed in, the string blasts of Bob Wills’ Western swing classic Ida Red filled the room and all seemed perfectly merry for a club that was just hours away from extinction.

But in some ways, this was a cordial, almost relaxed send off to what has been one of Lexington’s most beloved nightspots of the past five years. Maybe it was the fact that The Dame was in the home stretch of a farewell party that had actually started Friday night with a Wax Fang/Whigs performance that lasted into the wee hours of Saturday.

The mere fact The Dame chose a Sunday night to close down, of course, muted any real scenario for a blowout. But the mix of Hot Club’s vintage jazz and wild Western swing sounds also managed to keep this sign-off on the cool but spirited side.

From the barnyard swing of Cherokee Shuffle to the more summery stride adopted by fiddler Elana James for ‘Deed I Do, the Austin, Tx. trio displayed a rustic string sound that was refreshingly free of retro dressing. In fact, much of the Hot Club’s music boasted considerable rootsy vitality.

The James original Twenty Four Hours a Day was a case in point. From James’ mad fiddle dashes to Whit Smith’s equally agitated guitar romps to Jake Erwin’s fat, percussive string bass colors, the tune was half romantic escapde/half runaway car chase.

Up to that point, though, it was a calm night that differed from most other evenings of business at the club only in that some of the seating had already been removed and most of the posters had been stripped from the walls.

Another tip off that The Dame’s last call was at hand came after an hour-long opening set from The Swells that gave a sweaty New Orleans makeover to music by everyone from Duke Ellington to The Kinks. During intermission, numerous patrons stood outside the club and snapped photographs of the marquee as final keepsakes.

One soul that seemed almost cheerfully unmoved by the whole downtown drama surrounding The Dame was James’ dog, Eva, who followed the fiddler from the concessions booth to make herself at home onstage as if it were a living room floor. Only a momentary blast of bass feedback during Chinatown My Chinatown seemed to startle her.

Hot Club’s high spirits grew hotter as the evening wound down. Another Wills classic, Stay a Little Longer, complete with The Swells’ Chris Sullivan and Warren Byrom adding clarinet and trumpet respectively, concluded the set proper. But encores happily tacked on another half-hour to The Dame’s final performance.

The last live song played on The Dame’s stage: Fuli Tschai, an exuberant, Eastern flavored fiddle tune that sounded like Orange Blossom Special retooled by gypsies. Many patrons in the crowd waltzed to the tune.

Sunday, as it turned out, probably wasn’t the best time to gauge what The Dame’s demise will mean for Main St. as most of the surrounding businesses were closed for the evening anyway. A better example might come tonight. With The Dame’s doors closed for good – at least, at this location – the real sound of downtown silence will settle in. 

(above, The Hot Club of Cowtown: Whit Smith, Elana James, Jake Erwin) 

The Hot Club of Cowtown performs again at 7 tonight for the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour at the Kentucky Theatre. Admission is $10. For reservations, call (859) 252-8888.   

the dame's last stop: cowtown

In order to appreciate the current game plan of Hot Club of Cowtown, you have to review some previous box scores.

First, there was the dispersal. After seven years, five albums and who-knows-how-many performances, the Austin, Tx. trio, designed as a nexus between the ‘30s and ‘40s Western swing adventures of Bob Wills and the pre-World War II “hot jazz” pioneered in Europe by guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli in the Quintette du Hot Club de France, disbanded.

But when Cowtown fiddler Elana James later hit the road to support a self-titled debut album, she thought of no finer guitar foil for her band that longtime Cowtown mate Whit Smith. When James’ bassist then relocated to Chicago, she signed up stringman Jake Erwin, who just happened to be the bass player on Hot Club’s final two albums.

Then the realization hit. The very band James had on the road was the very Cowtown lineup that busted up in the first place.

“We had been playing together, the three of us, under my name for nearly a year,” James said. “After awhile, it was like, ‘We should call ourselves what we really are.”

Thus began what she terms “the re-launching” of Hot Club of Cowtown, which James and Smith first formed in 1997.

“It’s a rare thing for the three of us to have musically developed when and where and how we did,” Smith said. “Somewhere in all of that there was just a connection. We were coming from more of the same place than just the fact we have a lot of the same records.”

While relentless touring in the wake of 2002’s Ghost Train album yielded a high spirited concert recording (2003’s Continental Stomp), it also saw friction in the band ranks. But the resulting split came without any lasting animosity.

“We got to the bottom of everybody’s character and saw that we still liked each other,” James said.

The reconvened Hot Club of Cowtown returns to Lexington tonight to serve as the final band to play The Dame. The trio will stay over to perform for the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour on Monday.

Then on August 19, the Shout Factory label will release a 20-song anthology assembled from the band’s five Hightone albums. Aptly titled The Best of the Hot Club of Cowtown, the album is a mix of originals (Smith’s Emily, James’ Secret of Mine), standards (Stardust), swing favorites (the Wills staple Ida Red) and global string summits (Fuli Tschai). There is also a Ghost Town cover of the ‘70s-era Aerosmith obscurity Chip Away the Stone that wraps three part harmonies around Smith’s guitar/vocal lead.

“I always think you should be allowed play the music you like,” Smith said. “We’re very lucky in that we get to do that. Some people get so tired of the material they’re forced to play. I mean, could you imagine writing Margaritaville and then having to play it every night?”

A new studio album for 2009 is also in the works. While it will feature predominantly original music, the Cowtown crew has already recorded another intriguing cover: Tom Waits’ Orphans nugget Long Way Home.

“The thing that’s cool is we don’t really sound like anybody,” James said. “We don’t sound like Stephane Grappelli. We don’t sound like Bob Wills. We’ve been inspired by that stuff, but we’re not aping it at all. This is a band with a sound of its own

“Whether we’re playing an Aerosmith song or a ballad by the Hot Club of France, to have consistent character throughout the music is something I’m very proud of.”

(above, The Hot Club of Cowtown: bassist/vocalist Jake Erwin, fiddler/vocalist Elana James, guitarist/vocalist Whit Smith)

The Hot Club of Cowtown performs at 8 tonight with The Swells for the last night of downtown business at The Dame, 156 West Main. $7. (859) 226-9005.

Hot Club also plays at 7 p.m. Monday with Takeharu Kunimoto and the Last Frontier for the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour at the Kentucky Theatre, 214 E. Main St. $10. (859) 252-8888.

These were among incidents received by the Montgomery County Police Department

The Washington Post April 21, 2011 These were among incidents received by the Montgomery County Police Department. For information, call 240-773-5030.

Crime Solvers of Montgomery County, a nonprofit community organization, pays up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in connection with these and any other felony crimes. Call the 24-hour hot line at 800-673-2777. Callers may remain anonymous.

Virginia Ave., 200 block, 10 p.m. April 2. During an argument at a residence, a man threatened a female acquaintance at knifepoint. The woman was able to escape unharmed.

Hungerford Dr., 200 block, 6:40 p.m. April 1. Five males on a pedestrian bridge at a Metro station attacked two pedestrians and demanded cash, then fled with a cellphone stolen from one of the victims. Four males ages, 14, 15, 15, and 16, and a Silver Spring male, 17, were arrested.

Rockville Pike, 700 block, 3:45 p.m. April 3. Two males robbed a male talking on a cellphone of cash at knifepoint, then fled in a black Jeep.

Beauvoir Blvd., 17500 block, 8:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. April 5. Property and cash were stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Crossfield Ct., 51000 block, 11:30 p.m. April 4 to 1:30 p.m. April 5. A Global Positioning System device was stolen from a vehicle entered by force.

Dewey Rd., 11500 block, 7 to 11 p.m. April 2. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Dewey Rd., 12000 block, 3:25 a.m. April 3. An attempt was made to enter a residence by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Dufief Mill Rd., 14900 block, 3:20 a.m. April 4. An attempt was made to enter a community club and pool by breaking glass in a door. Nothing was reported missing.

England Terr., 200 block, 4:10 p.m. March 30 to 7:05 a.m. March 31. An attempt was made to enter a residence by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Holland Rd., 5900 block, 4:28 to 4:34 a.m. March 30. A residence was entered by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Horners Lane N., 500 block, 10:08 p.m. March 31. Property was stolen from a market entered by force. An employee confronted and detained an intruder. A 17-year-old male was arrested.

Lewis Ave., 1400 block, 8:24 p.m. April 2. A man confronted near a shed in the back yard of a residence fled empty-handed. A 25-year- old man was arrested nearby.

Montgomery Ave. W., 100 block, 4 p.m. April 1 to 11:45 a.m. April 2. An attempt was made to enter a museum gift shop by breaking glass in a front door. Nothing was reported missing.

Muncaster Mill Rd., 7200 block, 4 p.m. March 29 to noon March 30. A vacant building was entered by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Potomac Oaks Dr., 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. March 31. A residence was entered by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Ridgeway Ave., 5700 block, 4:10 a.m. March 30. A residence was entered by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Rockville Pike, 12200 block, 3 to 3:30 p.m. April 4. A wallet was stolen from a shopper’s purse in a store.

Schuylkill Rd., 11300 block, 6 a.m. March 31 to 12:30 p.m. April 1. A residence was entered by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Schuylkill Rd., 11400 block, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. March 30. A residence was entered by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Settlers Landing Ct., 1 to 100 block, 12:43 p.m. March 30. A residence was entered by forcing the front door. Nothing was reported missing.

Treble Ct., 10100 block, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. March 31. Property and cash were stolen from a residence entered by force.

Village Square Terr., 12500 block, 10 a.m. April 4 to 11:30 a.m. April 5. A GPS device and a set of car tools were among property stolen from a vehicle entered by force.

Watts Branch Pkwy., 600 block, March 30. Property and cash were stolen from a residence entered by force.

Watts Branch Pkwy., 600 block, March 30. A break-in occurred at a residence. Nothing was reported missing. There was no sign of forced entry.

Watts Branch Pkwy., 600 block, March 30. An attempt was made to enter a residence by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Loblolly Terr., 14000 block, 12:01 a.m. to 5:41 p.m. April 1. A gold-colored 2002 Mercedes was stolen from a garage at a residence.

Democracy Blvd., 6400 block, 11:10 a.m. March 30. A man exposed himself in the children’s area of a library.

Connecticut Ave., 10500 block, 12:15 p.m. April 1. A man giving an acquaintance a ride stopped at a grocery store, then attacked the passenger and demanded his wallet and cellphone. Passersby helped the victim escape the car unharmed.

Farragut Ave., 3700 block, 1 p.m. March 31. Two men threatened to shoot bank employees, then robbed a teller area of cash and fled on foot. No weapon was seen. No injuries were reported.

Lyttonsville Rd., 2400 block, 11:30 p.m. April 4. Two men robbed a man of a wallet and his pants.

Bradley Blvd., 4700 block, April 3 to 4. GPS units were stolen from two of three vehicles entered by breaking windows.

Bywood Lane, 4400 block, 12:45 to 3 p.m. March 31. An attempt was made to enter a residence by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Clifford Ave., 8800 block, 1:30 to 3:45 p.m. March 31. An attempt was made to enter a residence by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Dunlop St., 3600 block, April 1 to 2. Power tools were stolen from a home under construction entered by removing plywood.

Edson Lane, 5900 block, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 31. An attempt was made to enter a residence by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Glenbrook Rd., 6700 block, 3 to 6:30 p.m. March 28. An attempt was made to enter a residence. Nothing was reported missing.

Helmsdale Rd., 7500 block, 12:30 p.m. March 31. Two males banged on the front door of an occupied residence, then forced it open. When confronted, the intruders fled empty-handed to a vehicle. website escape the car

Rosedale Ave., 4600 block, April 1 to 2. Tools were stolen from a residence under construction entered by breaking glass in a back door.

Searl Terr., 5900 block, March 29 to 30. Cash and property were stolen from a residence entered by force.

Westbard Ave., 5300 block, March 29 to 30. Property and cash were stolen from a gas station entered by force.

Wisconsin Ave., 5400 block, April 2 to 5. Property was stolen from one of two businesses entered by force.

Wisconsin Ave., 5700 block, 5 to 10:30 p.m. April 2. An attempt was made to enter an office by forcing a door. Nothing was reported missing.

Colesville Rd. and Second Ave., 8:38 p.m. April 3. A group of males attacked a 17-year-old male with a baseball bat. The victim was treated for severe head and leg injuries. Police believe that it was a gang-related incident.

Kennett and 13th streets, 8000 block, 6:40 p.m. March 29. A man was shot in the arm by a pellet gun. The victim, who was working in the area at the time of the incident, said that he heard several shots hit a nearby building. At 7:20 p.m. April 4, a man was shot in the arm with a pellet gun while he stood near a motel room. Police said that in both incidents a weapon was fired from a nearby high- rise apartment building.

Carson Dr., 14700 block, 3:25 p.m. March 30. Three males threatened a female and robbed her of an iPod.

Columbia Pike, 11400 block, 9:06 a.m. April 4. A gunman robbed an armored-car driver as he left a bank, then fled in a blue Chevrolet Cavalier.

Georgia Ave., 8700 block, 3:45 p.m. March 29. Five males attacked two male teenagers and fled with a camcorder. No serious injuries were reported.

Georgia Ave. and Blair Mill Rd., 2:30 p.m. March 31. Three males attacked a man, pushed him against a wall and robbed him of cash. Police saw the assailants running from the scene. Three District males, ages 15, 16 and 22, were arrested.

Allerton Lane, 12100 block, 1 a.m. April 3 to 8:50 a.m. April 4. A residence was entered by breaking a front window. Nothing was reported missing.

Barron St., 8600 block, 9:10 p.m. April 1. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Castle Blvd., 13800 block, 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. March 31. Cash and property were stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Hampshire West Ct., 1500 block, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 30. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Luzerne Ave., 2000 block, 6 to 9 p.m. March 30. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Malibu Dr., 800 block, 6:30 to 7 p.m. March 30. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Thayer Ave., 800 block, 1:30 to 6 p.m. March 29. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Wheaton Woods Park area, 4:30 a.m. April 2. A man broke a window and entered a residence, then chased a woman from the house into the back yard, where he sexually assaulted her. The victim was able to break free and escape to a neighbor’s house.

Georgia and University Avenues, 5:38 p.m. April 4. Two women followed a woman getting off a bus, then attacked her and robbed her of a wallet and cellphone. No serious injuries were reported.

New Hampshire Ave., 13300 block, 1:40 p.m. April 4. A man threatened a gas station employee at knifepoint, then fled with cash from the cash register. A Burtonsville man, 22, was arrested.

Glenmont Cir., 2300 block, March 29 to April 1. A break-in occurred at a residence. Nothing was reported missing.

New Hampshire Ave., 10100 block, 1:42 to 7:15 a.m. April 4. A restaurant was entered by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Olney Sandy Spring Rd., 500 block, 9 p.m. April 4 to 5:30 a.m. April 5. Cash was stolen from a gas station entered by force.

Snowbird Terr., 2700 block, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 30. Cash and property were stolen from a residence entered by force.

Valleywood Dr., 12100 block, 7 to 10:50 p.m. April 1. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Clopper Rd., 13500 block, 3:08 a.m. April 1. Two men who implied that they were armed with a handgun robbed a convenience store of property.

Churubusco Lane, 19300 block, 8:40 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. March 28. Property was stolen from a residence entered by force.

Forest Brook Ct., 100 block, April 2 to 3. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Nickleby Dr., 24700 block, 6:45 a.m. to 3:21 p.m. April 1. Property was stolen from a residence entered by force.

Sugarland Rd., 15500 block, 4 to 6:30 p.m. April 1. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Tilford Ct., 13400 block, 3:40 a.m. April 1. A vehicle break-in occurred. A 24-year-old man was arrested.

Wanegarden Dr., 13800 block, 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. March 30. Property was stolen from a residence entered by force.

Waterside Cir., 13300 block, 3:18 p.m. April 4. Property was stolen from a residence entered by force. A 26-year-old Rockville man and a 22-year-old Silver Spring man were arrested.

Tilford Way,19200 block, 4:10 a.m. April 3. A red Saturn was stolen from a residence that had been entered by force. Property was also stolen from the residence.

Frederick Ave. N.,400 block, 9 p.m. April 1. A man was attacked outside a fast-food restaurant. No serious injuries were reported.

Bannister Lane, 9000 block, 9:25 p.m. April 1. A man tried to force his way into a residence, then fled empty-handed.

Frederick Ave. N., 200 block, April 2 to 3. Property was stolen from a barber shop. There was no sign of forced entry.

Gold Kettle Dr., 200 block, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 29. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Lumaryn Pl., 20000 block, 12:15 p.m. March 30. Property was stolen from a residence entered by force. Two males were seen fleeing with the property.

Mineral Springs Ct., 100 block, 3:45 a.m. March 30. Property was stolen from a residence entered by force.

Quince Orchard Rd., 600 block, 9:45 p.m. April 1. A man wearing a mask tried to break into an entertainment business by forcing a back door with a crowbar. He fled empty-handed when confronted.

Boysenberry Way, March 31 to April 1. Two Suzuki motorcycles were stolen.

These were among incidents reported by the Rockville Police Department. For information, call 240-314-8922.

Virginia Dr., 200 block, 10:27 p.m. April 2. A 38-year-old man was charged with second-degree assault and possession of a dangerous weapon (a kitchen knife) with intent to injure.

Rockville Pike, 200 block, 6:40 p.m. April 1. Four males ages 14, 15, 15 and 16, and a 17-year-old Silver Spring male were arrested. Charges included second-degree assault, attempted robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. go to web site escape the car

Baltimore Rd., 200 block, 3:30 to 3:31 p.m. April 6. A 13-year- old female was charged with possession of a deadly weapon (kitchen knife) on school property.

Grandin Ave., 100 block, 2:30 p.m. April 2. An iPod was stolen from a residence.

Halpine Rd., 100 block, 6 p.m. April 3 to 6 p.m. April 4. A GPS device, sunglasses, a flashlight and a pocketknife were among property stolen from a vehicle in a parking garage.

Hungerford Dr., 600 block, 7:53 p.m. March 31. A Bladensburg man and a Pennsylvania man, both 31, were charged with credit-card theft.

Hungerford Dr., 600 block, 9:08 to 9:15 p.m. April 1. A wallet was stolen from a counter at grocery store.

Lewis Ave., 1400 block, 10:24 p.m. April 2. A 25-year-old man was charged with fourth-degree burglary.

Lynn Manor Dr., 200 block, 5 p.m. April 7 to 12:11 p.m. April 8. Two TVs, a laptop computer, jewelry and a GPS device were stolen from a residence.

Mannakee St., 1 to 100 block, 1 to 10:30 p.m. April 1. A camera was stolen from a locked cabinet in a college classroom.

Mill Rd., 1900 block, 8:19 p.m. April 2. A 23-year-old District woman was arrested. Charges included three counts of second- degree assault, assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and theft.

Montgomery Ave. W., 100 block, 4 p.m. April 1 to 11:45 a.m. April 2. An attempt was made to enter a gift shop by breaking glass in a door. Nothing was reported missing.

Rockville Pike, 700 block, 11:01 a.m. April 1. Cash was stolen from a donation jar at a restaurant.

Rockville Pike, 1000 block, 4 to 7:15 p.m. April 9. A bicycle was stolen from a sporting goods store.

Rockville Pike, 1700 block, 6:30 p.m. April 7 to 7 a.m. April 8. A laptop computer was stolen from a vehicle in a parking garage.

Rockville Pike, 1700 block, 6 p.m. April 9 to 11 a.m. April 10. Military uniforms, a DVD player, a stereo system, jewelry, two iPods and a backpack were among property stolen from three vehicles in a parking garage.

Rollins Ave., 100 block, 10:15 p.m. April 6 to 6 a.m. April 7. Cash was stolen from a locked safe at a business.

Vandegrift Ave., 5800 block, 12:01 March 21 to 11:34 a.m. April 6. A residence was entered by breaking glass in a back door. Nothing was reported missing.

These were among incidents reported by the Takoma Park Police Department. For information, call 301-891-7102.

Belford Pl., 400 block, 5:30 p.m. April 10 to 3:15 p.m. April 11. License plates were stolen from a vehicle parked on the street.

Eastern Ave., 6500 block, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 11. Property was stolen from a residence entered by prying open a storm door.

Elm Ave., 300 block, 10:30 a.m. April 8 to 8:30 a.m. April 9. Property was stolen from an unlocked vehicle.

Maple Ave., 7500 block, noon to 4:10 p.m. April 8. Property was stolen from outside a residence.

New Hampshire Ave., 7400 block, 7:05 a.m. April 12. Property was stolen from a hotel room.

New Hampshire Ave., 7500 block, 9:36 a.m. April 11. Two people who said that they were contractors stole property from a business.

Park Ave., 200 block, 8:30 p.m. April 8 to 11 a.m. April 9. A license plate was stolen from a vehicle.

Takoma Ave., 7300 block, 8 p.m. April 7 to 8 a.m. April 8. Property was stolen from a vehicle entered by breaking a window.

Tulip and Cedar Avenues, 8 p.m. April 7 to 8 a.m. April 8. Property was stolen from a vehicle entered by breaking a window.

Willow Ave., 7300 block, 8 p.m. April 7 to 8 a.m. April 8. Property was stolen from a vehicle entered by breaking a window.

Westmoreland Ave., 6600 block, 7 p.m. April 7 to 6:30 a.m. April 8. Property was stolen from an unlocked vehicle.

Westmoreland Ave., 6900 block, 4:30 p.m. April 9 to 10:30 p.m. April 10. Mail was stolen from a mailbox at a residence.

Lockney Ave., 8100 block, 1 to 11 a.m. April 10. A white 1997 Dodge Caravan was stolen.

Maple Ave., 7600 block, April 8 at 11:30 p.m. April 8 to 4:52 p.m. April 9. A green 1999 Infiniti I30 was stolen from a parking lot.

New Hampshire Ave., 6400 block, 5 p.m. April 13 to 5:40 a.m. April 14. Two Dodge Caravans were stolen from a business parking lot. One was later recovered; its ignition had been damaged.

New Hampshire Ave., 7300 block, 5 p.m. April 11 to 10 a.m. April 12. A white 1998 Acura Integra was stolen from a parking lot at a business.

the end of the dame… as we know it

Deep in the dead of the first winter weathered by The Dame, then-manager Cole Skinner concocted a promotion to attract patrons on weeknights when no live music was booked. He called it “Kung Fu Motorcycle Monkey.”

The idea was for a guy in a gorilla suit to serve as a deejay for the evening after making an especially flashy entrance. When the event made its debut in February 2004, Skinner, most of his staff and a handful of bewildered patrons were peering out the Dame windows awaiting the arrival of “the monkey.” Then, roaring down Upper St. came one of the oddest sights you will ever hope to discover downtown – a man wearing a gorilla suit underneath full karate regalia riding a motorcycle. Skinner opened the doors and in rode the monkey, cycle and all, to the middle of the club’s dance floor.

Another night at The Dame was underway.

Here’s another snapshot. When a Saturday night performance in 2005 by Austin, Tx.’s Asylum Street Spankers concluded at the ripe evening hour of 9 p.m., the band moved its fans, and the ensuing party they had created, out onto Main St. No, the liquor was not brought outdoors. But the piano was. So any curious motorists driving downtown that night were treated by another fantastic image: a Texan playing ragtime on an upright piano on a Main St. sidewalk.

Admittedly, monkey suits and pianos aren’t what longtime fans of the downtown music club will have on their minds when The Hot Club of Cowtown winds up the last evening of operation for The Dame on Sunday. But they do reflect just a few of the celebratory occasions that gave the club its character.

For many, The Dame meant an astonishing performance lineup of national acts that included X, Alejandro Escovedo, Man Man, The Rev. Horton Heat, North Mississippi All-Stars, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and literally hundreds of others. To some, it’s where local music was nurtured and fanbases were built. But above all, The Dame has been a neighbor. Now part of a decimated downtown entertainment corner and with relocation plans still uncertain, Sunday will officially mark last call for one of Lexington’s most heralded nightspots.

“As far as music goes, I think The Dame has put Lexington on the same level as Louisville and Cincinnati,” said Nick Sprouse, The Dame’s general manager and primary talent buyer. “Even though we have a much smaller population, we have gotten a lot of the same acts to play here.

“Granted, there has been a lot of amazing stuff that has gone on in Lexington over the years at UK, Rupp Arena, the shows Michael Johnathon has brought in and especially Lynagh’s (Music Club). But I think over the last few years, everything has really come together at The Dame.”

Lexington guitarist Willie Eames, who has played The Dame countless times with several local bands – including The Tall Boys and Club Dub – as well as a solo performer, sees the passing of The Dame as unfortunate but somewhat inevitable.

“It’s sad,” he said. “There’s just not that many places to play in Lexington for people who want something different, people who are into a scene other than, say, going to Applebee’s. But I’ve been playing long enough now that I’ve seen several clubs come and go. That’s part of the scene, too. These things are bound to happen. A club can’t go on forever. But it’s still sad when one comes to an end.”

Robby Cosenza, another multi-tasking local musician (he is a member of, among other bands, The Scourge of the Sea and The Apparitions), has also played regularly at The Dame as well as the Main St. club’s previous incarnations as The Blue Max and Millennium.

“But those places never compared to how it’s been with The Dame,” Cosenza said. “I’ve played in a lot of different cities, as well, and there just aren’t a lot of venues like it – places that have the same capacity or the same really open minded, cool staff. It’s been great to have The Dame here.”

Of course, what is making news this summer isn’t so much the actuality that The Dame is closing, but rather how it’s closing. Most clubs that shut down are simply failed businesses. The Dame had its lease bought out as part of the controversial CentrePointe project which, if approved and funded, will level all buildings on the block The Dame now stands on for construction of a 40 story hotel and condominium tower.

Formal plans for CentrePointe were announced in March. But rumors have been flying, literally, for years that the buildings where The Dame and adjacent businesses like Buster’s (which closes tonight) and Mia’s (which has already relocated) resided would close to make way for some kind of downtown redevelopment. And that speculation has weighed heavy on Sprouse.

“For the last two years, it’s been really tough,” he said. “It’s been tough on business, for one thing. Customers say The Dame is going out of business, but so many things they heard weren’t true. The customers wound up not knowing whether we were open or not. Even after the 700th time we were asked if we were closing, no one really knew what was going on – including us.”

CentrePointe’s formal announcement didn’t clear the air much, either. Sure, plans for the project were officially on the table. But The Dame’s relocation was – and still is – up in the air.

“I’ve had to turn down so many bands that wanted to play here in August, September and October because we just didn’t know what was going to happen.”

One thing is certain, though. Even if The Dame finds a new home and signs a lease today, it could be months before a new venue would be renovated and equipped enough for the club to resume business.

“I could use a little bit of a vacation,” Sprouse said. “It would be nice to get over to Al’s Bar and other spots to see what else has been going on in town. I haven’t been able to see shows as a customer for years.

“But honestly, I’m kind of numb to it all right now. This has been going on for two years. I’ve been talking about it for so long that I’m out of words to even explain myself.”

For everyone else, though, the squeeze of not having a live music venue in town on the level of The Dame, will be swiftly felt. Audiences haven’t experienced that kind of pinch since Lynagh’s Music Club closed in 2002.

“I think it’s going to hurt for awhile,” Cosenza said. “The big loss will be that the national touring bands will have nowhere to come to that’s smaller than Rupp Arena. The locals will find places to play. They always do. But for everyone, it’s going to hurt.”

“A nice sense of community has grown around The Dame over the years,” Sprouse said. “For a lot of people, going out, seeing music and even playing meant The Dame. Now all of that’s gone. It’s like a family member has died and we don’t know what to do.”

at top: The Dame on the night of the sold-out CD release party of local hip-hop stylists CunninLynguists. The date: June 22, 2007 – exactly one night before The Dame’s final night of downtown business. photo by Herald-Leader staff photographer David Stephenson… above, left: Vice Mayor Jim Gray outside The Dame last spring before walking the site of the proposed CentrePointe project

State Bank of India to sell shares Offer to help battle easing of curbs on international lenders BUSINESS ASIA by Bloomberg

International Herald Tribune December 3, 2007 | Sumit Sharma and Kartik Goyal Bloomberg News Sumit Sharma and Kartik Goyal Bloomberg News International Herald Tribune 12-03-2007 State Bank of India to sell shares Offer to help battle easing of curbs on international lenders BUSINESS ASIA by Bloomberg Byline: Sumit Sharma and Kartik Goyal Bloomberg News Edition: 1 Section: FINANCE/BUSINESS here bank of india


State Bank of India, the biggest in the nation, won approval for its first share sale in a decade, tapping government funds to help prepare for the easing of curbs on international lenders in 2009.

The state-owned bank plans to raise 167 billion rupees, or $4.2 billion, from stakeholders, a government spokesman said Friday in New Delhi on condition of anonymity.

The Finance Ministry will contribute 100 billion rupees to retain its 59.73 percent stake, the official said.

The bank’s chairman, Om Prakash Bhatt, says the bank will face competition from Citigroup and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China when they are allowed to buy rivals and sell shares in India. The bank has also lagged Indian publicly held lenders led by ICICI Bank that have raised $8 billion to fund loan growth in the second- fastest-growing economy in the world.

“State Bank of India is one of the best plays on the economy and there will be a lot of interest,” said Sam Mahtani, who manages $5 billion in emerging markets at F&C Management in London. The fund owns State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank in its $450 million investment in Indian stocks.

A share sale will help the 200-year-old bank bolster its capital and meet credit demand in an economy that is heading for its fifth year of at least 8 percent growth. State Bank’s $187 billion of assets are about a 10th of Citigroup’s and a fifth of ICBC’s.

The government will issue bonds for the 100 billion rupees of shares it is buying, Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, the minister for information and broadcasting, said in New Delhi. The government must own at least 55 percent of State Bank, and 51 percent of other government-run banks.

The bank said last month it had asked for permission to raise as much as 200 billion rupees to invest in its more than 9,500 branches and meet demand for loans from 100 million customers. The bank’s rights issue will probably be completed by March, Dasmunsi said. see here bank of india

State Bank of India’s sale follows a $5 billion issue in June by ICICI Bank, the second biggest in the nation by assets.

HDFC Bank, the third-biggest by market value, and Axis Bank raised about $1 billion each, while Infrastructure Development of India raised $519 million selling shares in July, as Indian lenders seek size to tap opportunities in a nation of 1.1 billion people.

The bank may need as much as 1 trillion rupees over the next five years to increase loans, Bhatt said in June. The bank’s share of loans in India has declined to 15.4 percent as of Sept. 30, from 17.4 percent in March 2003.

India’s $906 billion economy may grow at 9 percent, after an average 8.6 percent growth in the past four years. It expanded 8.9 percent in the three months to Sept. 30 from a year earlier after a 9.3 percent increase in the previous quarter, the statistics office said. Analysts expected an 8.7 percent gain.

Sumit Sharma and Kartik Goyal Bloomberg News

the end of buster’s… as we know it

The wall next to the beer-only bar at Buster’s tells quite a saga.

The ties to its next door neighbor, The Dame, are emphasized through a series of flyers for performances there – most of which took place months ago. But older postings that have been stapled over tell of local theatre, film and dance events. And near the bottom, almost undetectable, are remains of posters for shows at High on Rose, a longtime local bar and music spot that closed three years ago.

But the most revealing poster is plastered en masse all over the place, especially on the windows that look out upon the late night comings and goings along the corner of Main and Upper. The five words that dominate the poster’s black and white design explain the inevitable: “The End of Busters… as we know it.”

Today, in a day-long farewell that begins at noon, the mainstay bar, music joint and pool hall, which would have turned 18 years old this Halloween, closes down as part of planning for the proposed CentrePointe project. Like The Dame, Buster’s is looking to relocate. But the end of the downtown Buster’s, coupled with the already vacated Mia’s on it’s Upper St. side and the Sunday closing of The Dame to the right on Main, foretells the end of one of Lexington’s most frequented corners of downtown nightlife.

“It’s going to be interesting to walk around that corner real soon,” said Johnny Shipley, a bartender for seven years at Buster’s and the principal organizer of the bar’s intimate local music performances. “There won’t be anything there.

“It’s disappointing, of course. A lot of people that come in Buster’s may be turned off by the music on the jukebox or that we only have beer. But others really appreciate it for what it is and the character that is has. Countless times, someone comes in from New York City or Chicago or Los Angeles – any big city, really, with a lots of bars – and goes, ‘This is one of the coolest bars I’ve ever been in’ or ‘I wish LA had a pool hall like this.’ And they’re saying this about a little bar stuck in the middle of Main St. in Lexington.

“For those kinds of people, this is going to be a big loss.”

(above photo of The Dame, right, and Busters from

life in exile

Throughout his near-life long tenure with Exile, J. P. Pennington figured there was only one instance when his nerves didn’t act up before going onstage. Peruse the specifics of that performance, though, and the veteran guitarist, singer and songsmith would have been well within his artistic rights to be terrified.

The occasion came last March – St. Patrick’s Day, to be exact. Convening for a concert at The Blue Moon in Chevy Chase for the first time in nearly 23 years was the ‘80s lineup of the Richmond-raised, Lexington-bred Exile that was once a mainstay of the country music charts.

There have been, of course, scores of Exile lineups before and since. Shoot, Pennington even fronts a completely different version of the band that continues to play clubs, festivals and fairs. But this was the band that gave Exile a lasting, national visibility. Together again for a benefit performance, it was about to play in a hometown club that sold all allotted tickets before the concert could even be advertised.

“It may have been the only time in my life that I went onstage and did not get nervous,” Pennington said. “We realized that not only did 90% of the people in the audience – maybe more, really – know us, but they knew each other. So nobody there was going to scrutinize much what we were doing. We were playing for friends.”

“I remember telling the guys that night, ‘If you do this again, don’t do it in a club,” said J.D. McHargue, co-owner of The Blue Moon who also booked Exile into the long-defunct Breeding’s on New Circle Road during its ‘80s heyday. “They need to play in a place with 800 to 1,000 seats, like the Opera House or the Kentucky Theatre. They need to do it in place where the boomers that were fans of the band 25 years ago can sit down and enjoy themselves.”

So this week we have a second, more public reunion of the early ‘80s Exile: Pennington, co-vocalist/guitarist Les Taylor, bassist/vocalist Sonny Lemaire, keyboardist/vocalist Marlon Hargis and drummer Steve Goetzman. The band will perform Thursday at the Kentucky Theatre and may collaborate on further dates and perhaps even a new recording down the road. But for now, the focus is simply on accommodating local fans of a Central Kentucky pop and country favorite that became, for a time, a national sensation.

“We went through a lot, these five guys,” said Goetzman, who, like the other members of Exile, save for Pennington, has long since relocated to Nashville. “Most of it was great. Some of it was horrible. But we’re family. And now, all these years later, the history is just part of us – as is our friendship. That friendship, especially, becomes a major part of these shows.

“When we got back onstage for soundcheck last March, I tell you, it was magical.”








The last thing Pennington considered when the first version of Exile formed as The Exiles in 1963 was that it would be a living, beating band some 45 years later.

“We’re talking here about when I was 14,” he said. “Back then, I didn’t think a whole lot past 7 o’clock that night.”

The Exiles began as a strictly rock ‘n’ roll unit in Richmond, toured as part of the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars in 1965 and eventually relocated in Lexington. Hargis was on board by 1975. Goetzman and Lemaire joined in 1977.

The first major break came at the height of the disco era with a sleek pop single called Kiss You All Over. It became a No. 1 hit during the summer of 1978. Taylor replaced founding singer Jimmy Stokley the following year, just as Exile was approaching a creative crossroads.

While there was no serious pop hit to replicate Kiss You All Over‘s popularity, two other Exile tunes – The Closer You Get and Take Me Down – were gaining interest in Nashville circles. They were eventually recorded by an up-and-coming country-pop combo called Alabama.

“That opened the doors for us,” Pennington said. “Country music was a little more wide open then and lent itself more to the pop side of things than it ever had. But it was also a scary time for us. We faced a decision of either breaking up as a pop band or trying the country music route and giving things one last shot. Luckily, it worked out good.”

It did a lot more than just work out. After modestly tweaking its sound (“We put an acoustic guitar on everything and just kept writing pop-oriented songs,” Pennington confessed), Exile signed with Epic Records and in 1983 began a string of popular country singles with High Cost of Leaving. They hit No. 1 in 1984 with four hits (including Woke Up in Love and Give Me One More Chance) and added another six by 1987. By then, though, the cracks were visible.

Hargis left in 1985. Taylor split during the summer of 1988. By the end of that year, Pennington, the lone link to the original Exile, had clearly had enough.

“I was so burned out,” he said. “We had gone up and down the road for so long. I had a family at home with two young children, but the demands just kept coming for more and more songs. I was worn out and the guys knew it.”

+ + + + +

At the onset of the ‘90s, much of the band’s songwriting and vocal duties shifted to Lemaire. With Goetzman still on board, Exile shifted labels to Arista Records, cut two more albums and scored several additional hits including Nobody’s Talking and Even Now.

“On one hand it was terrifying,” Lemaire said. “But on the other it was quite exciting. J.P. was the heart and soul of everything Exile did. But the door was now open for me to go creatively in a slightly different direction with the songs I wrote for the band. But looking back on it now, no matter how good the new Exile seemed to be, it simply wasn’t what it was.”

“We went past two years without a record deal,” Goetzman recalled. “The crowds were falling off. Sometimes we played to 5,000 people a night. Sometimes it was 10 or 12. One day Sonny called a band meeting and said, ‘Guys, I can’t do this anymore.’ And, frankly, all of us had been thinking the same thing. So what it came to was, ‘Let’s get out while we have some dignity.'”

So Exile spent five months fulfilling performance and business obligations. In February 1994, it quietly disbanded. Sort of.

Re-enter Pennington and Taylor who formed a new Exile band in 1996 and maintained a healthy performance schedule without new recordings. Taylor left again in 2006, although Pennington continues to perform with that Exile lineup even as the reunited ‘80s crew plots a future course.

“It keeps you on your toes,” Pennington said of his life in two Exile bands. “With the reunion band, for instance, I may be singing totally different harmony parts than what I’m singing with the current lineup. It’s tricky.”

For Goetzman, who has worked in music management companies (“the business side of the business”) since leaving Exile and went nearly 11 years without as much as touching a drum stick, the prospect of reuniting the ‘80s Exile is exhilarating.

“None of us are anticipating doing a lot of shows,” he said. “But the reunion, for me, has been a bit of a life saver. I don’t mean financially, so much. Just emotionally. Spiritually.

“The music business today is horrible. It’s really, really bad. It’s difficult to do well and even more difficult to have fun. In a tanked industry where you’re always looking for what little fun that’s still out there, working with the guys again is a real shot in the arm.”

“Exile was one of the greatest things to happen in my life,” Lemaire added. “The music is so much fun to play. It takes me back to when I first joined the band, to when I was playing music just for the fun of it. Period. That’s what this reunion feels like.”

(at top Exile 2008: Les Taylor, J.P. Pennington, Sonny Lemaire, Steve Goetzman. Photo by Carla Winn.; above, Exile 1983: Taylor, Marlon Hargis, Pennington, Goetzman, Lemaire)

Exile Reunion Concert: 7 tonight at the Kentucky Theatre, 214 E. Main. $19.50, $24.50. Call (859) 231-7924.


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