Archive for The Dame

kenny and the dame

kenny chesney

It’s tough not to be struck by the irony of it all. On the very day that word surfaced about the possible demise – or complete obliteration, if you want to get seriously real about it – of The Dame came the surprise announcement that country star Kenny Chesney had been booked at the club for an impromptu show on Friday.

I make no bones about my misgivings concerning the modern state of country music, just as I’ll gladly yell to the treetops that tearing down The Dame and the entire block of Main/Upper/Vine Street businesses and historical buildings surrounding it so a 40 story Godzilla with underground parking can be constructed is a serious cultural setback for downtown.

Country music, as defined by Chesney is essentially pop that is just a degree or two removed from Jimmy Buffett. Both are about as traditionally country as a C-Span special. But for anyone thinking that wiping The Dame off the face of downtown is a casual thing, keep in mind Chesney is the act that brought 16,000 fans into Rupp Arena in 2006 and 19,000 the year before that. The Dame is one of only seven college friendly clubs he will be playing as a warm-up for a spring-summer trek of ampitheatres and stadiums. The Dame didn’t even lobby for the show. Chesney’s management approached the club.

So for this week, I happily welcome Mr. Chesney back to town. Maybe, just maybe, having him playing The Dame on Friday, will make a point. Maybe the hysteria that will ignite when an artist capable of packing tens of thousands into an arena chooses to play in a Main Street club for roughly three or four hundred will illuminate the kind of downtown nightlife that could very easily disappear if The Dame gets demolished.

For that reason alone, I will, for at least one night, be one of the biggest Kenny Chesney fans in the world.

(above photo of Kenny Chesney at Rupp Arena in 2006 by Herald-Leader staff photographer Mark Cornelison)

The Orchard Celebrates the Release of Mojo Nixon’s Latest Album. go to site amazon promotional code free shipping

Health & Beauty Close-Up November 1, 2009 In support and celebration of the release of Mojo Nixon’s latest album “Whiskey Rebellion,” The Orchard, a full service media company specializing in the distribution of music and video entertainment, on October 6 announced that Mojo’s entire catalog would be available to download at no cost, exclusively from Amazon MP3.

Since this announcement, The Orchard reported that the promotion has led to more than one million downloads of Mojo’s music. The downloads were available at until October 28th.

“The successful execution of this promotion has generated tremendous awareness for Mojo,” said Brad Navin, EVP and General Manager of The Orchard. “This is a showcase of how The Orchard, as a nimble and forward-thinking company, has the ability to orchestrate trendsetting promotions for our clients. The success of this promotion will be measured by its long-term benefits, not the short-term risks, and our expectation is that it will generate sales momentum.” Mojo Nixon’s current catalog includes 11 albums and 144 tracks. The downloads for this music during the two weeks of the Amazon promotional period amounted to a 23,000 percent increase from paid downloads across all digital retail networks in the United States during the first half of 2009. go to website amazon promotional code free shipping

Mojo Nixon is currently a full-time on-air personality on Sirius XM Satellite radio hosting a daily music show on the Outlaw Country channel, a weekly political talk show on the Raw Dog Comedy Channel and a weekly racing show on the NASCAR channel.

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the dame block

the dameNow we finally know. After nearly two years of speculation, plans were officially unveiled yesterday to wipe clean a cherished block along Main Street and essentially ignore the Courthouse Design Area Overlay Zone (designed to preserve historic architecture around the downtown Courthouse) and the Downtown Master Plan (the taxpayer funded recommendations for building heights and pedestrian savvy street designs)

In short, where once stood The Dame, Buster’s and Mia’s – which will become no more than dust and memories by the summer if the plan is approved – will be a 40 story tower with a estimated price tag of $250 million.

I’ll leave the historical and ecological ramifications of such a severe overhaul to wiser minds that deal more readily with those concerns. And let us all suppress snickers over claims that construction of this beast will be finished in time for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010. Let’s just focus for a moment on life without The Dame Block.

Collectively, the three establishments at the corner of Main and Upper are an entertainment block that has become one of the most visibly active centers of downtown nightlife. Maybe to some they are simply a music club, pool hall and bar. But in a city starved for nightlife, especially nightlife that doesn’t drain patrons’ wallets dry, The Dame Block has achieved what few business collectives have over the years: it has brought people downtown.

Is construction necessary on The Dame Block? Absolutely. Ever since the painfully slow erosion and eventual demolition of Woolworth’s, the block is like a face with a few missing teeth. So why not reconstruct what’s left instead of starting anew with a building that extinguishes one of downtown’s few proven, year-round centers of nightlife.

Save the historical structures. Keep the nightlife. Incorporate cutting edge architecture that would make something new and better out of something that is valued but neglected.

And, yes, bringing this around to my cause, the thought of losing or even relocating The Dame – far and away the city’s most respected music establishment – is simply heartbreaking.

So now is the time to let city officials know how you feel. Start by emailing Mayor Jim Newberry at That’s what he’s there for. Express your opinion to your councilman. Tell anyone you know that putting a new face on Main Street doesn’t mean having to destroy the old one.

The plan is now out, but it’s far from a done deal. If keeping a corner of downtown alive with music and nightlife is important, the time to act is now.

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