Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Graffiti Aerosol Artistry

In my grueling, ongoing quest to check out ALL the area bars, clubs and music venues, I was wandering pretty close to home on Friday.

The Sparrow had announced it was opening the next day, just off Montague in the Park Circle Community.

When I walked in they were sweeping up, putting out tables and chairs and two young men were still painting the stage black, using a brush and a short-handle roller.

The smell of new paint was in the air.

Then I noticed some familiar faces painted on walls all around the new club.

Well, not people I actually hang out with, but at least some I knew about.

Famous people. movie stars, and tv personalities.

Edgar Allan Poe ....Gandhi ....Ray Charles.... and Bill Murray.

Well-known local artist and graffiti muralist Douglas Panzone was still creating "Caddyshack's" Carl Spackler.

I was smelling spray paint because I didn't have on a breathing mask.

As Doug's site shows, you've seen his work outside at Bert's Grocery on Folly Beach, and inside the Tin Roof in West Ashley and HoM, on upper King Street as well as Mellow Mushroom.

Welcome to legal graffiti in North Charleston!

He has a colorful palette but I doubt that Doug gets his art supplies from Lowe's or Home Depot.

(Please click on the photos for more details of Doug's work.)

Obviously, these are not posted yet on his site.

Well, maybe by now they are.

I plan to go back, have a beer or two and listen to the music.

The owner came in as I was leaving, beaming and saying "Hey, all the paperwork is done.

We're officially gonna open tomorrow!"

And they did.

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dumpster Diving.

Needed to clean out my basement/workshop this weekend.

Want to pick stuff up just once and toss it.

Hmm. How about renting a dumpster? I checked and chose a 10 Yard one and it was delivered to my back yard, right where I wanted it.

Good grief. Do I really have enough junk to warrant this huge trash bin?

The answer is YES.

Boy howdy, it could've even been bigger.

My parents moved into this house in 1964 and my Dad quickly built his wood-working shop.

That's also the year he started to save scraps and pieces of lumber. And Formica, and aluminum and pipe and moulding.

"Might need a piece just this long someday,"
I'm sure he thought.

Well, Dad, it was still downstairs.

Luckily, I had 9 great friends - members of my photo group - who came by to give me a hand toting and trashing.

It took them just about 2 hours (and four pizzas) to fill that dumpster.

As we came across items I had never used nor needed, I offered them if someone showed an interest.

Shiny things caught their attention a lot.

In addition to the debris-filled container, there are bags of clothing and linens that will be taken to Goodwill.

I also was told the Humane Society accepts towels and comforters they use to cuddle and make beds for puppies.

Awww. I'll check that out.

When I moved in to keep Mom company and be her roommate, I added my stuff to the storage downstairs.

Today I unwrapped glasses and mugs that I had carefully swathed in crumpled newspaper on December 21,1997. I kept some of those.

I found the tube-less cabinet that housed our first television set when we still lived downtown.

It is steel- not plastic - and one of the fellows asked for it. I said "Sure, but let's take a picture first."

We also took one of him posed inside the empty CBS-Columbia shell.

Now we both can say we were once in television.

Because this was a delightful bunch of photographers, a lot of interesting photo props were carted away.

I feel I'll see pictures of some of these at our monthly group meetings.

See Dad, your legacy lives on.

(Click on the photos to see more details.)

If you ever need a dumpster, I'm really pleased with the Trash Gurls.

I guess a 20-yard one is twice as big. Yikes.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Time To Get Back Into "Training."

Not "exercise" training. I'm hardly aiming for the London Olympics.

Did see the Olympic site in Montreal in 2005.

No, I have decided it was time again to use the North America Rail Pass.

Ride anywhere on Amtrak for 30 days and include a portion of the trip in Canada.

That's why I was in Montreal in 2005.

I had traveled there on Amtrak and, a few days later, went down to Toronto to board The Canadian.

That restored classic 1950s train would take me in First Class luxury across Canada's prairies, their Rockies and down into sunny Vancouver, B.C. in 3 1/2 days.

I was comfortably seated in my private "Roomette" that was converted into a bed in the evenings. With a turn-down chocolate placed on my pillow.

There was a sink and toilet and the shower was a just few steps down the hall.

My DVD player was fully charged and I had 25 disks with me in case the scenery got boring.

It did not.

This was the famed Silver & Blue deluxe portion of the train.

Even though I was on a Senior rate, and in the off-peak season, all the gourmet meals and amenities were included and totally available.

In the dining car one afternoon, I had a Buffalo Burger.

It was not just named that, it actually WAS well-done Bison and, no, it did NOT taste like chicken.

The old "domed" observation cars were great.

The bullet-shaped rear car was cozy and you met seasoned travelers who wisely were on repeat trips.

I had a choice of early or late seating for meals and wandered past the informative chalk board maintained by the Purser.

There were trivia games to play and quizzes to take on the areas we were passing through.

I was not very good on Canadian history, eh.

(Click on the photos and they will be much larger.)

I was still new at saving pictures back in 2005 but I do have this right..

Uh oh. I just Googled and found the Rail Pass program was cancelled in September 2008 so that package is no longer available.

I still plan to ride the rails but probably only the Canadian portion. There are a variety of special discount packages.

The train just underwent another $22 million renovation so it's better than ever they say.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Food, Blues, and Jazz, Y'all

I try NOT to use a flash when taking pictures of bands.

This was a slow shutter speed that caught another person's flash going off from my left.

I feel a flash disturbs a moment so I attempt to rely just on the stage lighting.

Came out quite nice though. Thank you other person with a camera.

Local player Cotton Blue's Harmonica man "Gator Rob," was sitting in with the Daddy Mack Blues Band from Memphis.

This was Monday evening at Mad River - my last night of the Blues Bash - but there were other final shows on Tuesday.

Don't recall all of the statistics, but this was the next-to-last-day of the 22nd annual 2-week event that featured more than 100 shows with 59 acts.

These were presented in 25 different venues. Yikes.

The SEWE people sure picked an entertaining time to be in Charleston.

There's good food and drinks at Mad River but I stopped by an old downtown favorite for dinner before the show.

Hyman's Seafood is the hands-down winner for delicious Crab Cakes.

Spent a few moments with owner Eli Hyman who said he's really into social media as the newest way to invite diners and make sure they're pleased.

Eli has always been on the leading edge in Charleston marketing and dining.

Earlier, out at the Pour House on James Island, it was a CD release party by Lee Barbour and a bunch of his musical friends.

Long-haired Graham Whorley was among those who played before Lee came on around midnight.

I have enjoyed knowing Graham over the years and he was in fine tune this evening.

At one time, when I did InfoLine for the Post and Courier, I had CDs and sound clips from more than 100 local bands in Charleston.

We presented a Charleston musical sampler that was as close as your telephone. Back when a phone was just a phone.

Lee's new CD is titled "Nonfiction" and described as "indie-jazz."

Lee stated they were going to play the album in the same sequence as released.

He further commented that this version would be an hour or so.

While he was composing and creating it, he said, that involved many, many weeks.

(Click on the photos - and links - to get the most from this posting.)

Thanks for stopping by. Keep supporting live music.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

GRINDZ to a halt...

One of my favorite burger places closed its doors last night.

Grindz called this beauty the Bacon and Cheese burger.

Oh yeah!

They opened in September 2009 in a strip mall on Sam Rittenberg.

I'm sure they offered other burgers - and maybe even other meals - but this was where I went when I wanted that special burger.

At first they had really piled on the bacon but later toned it down. A bit.

Probably now only 5 pieces.

With the added lettuce and sliced tomato it became a 4-tier sandwich for my 2-tier mouth.

The other thing they did was encourage customers to leave a message on a dollar bill.

Lots of customers did just that.

For more than 2 years.

Black felt tip markers predominate but the color red is seen also.

On my way to another evening of Blues, I remembered I had a BOGO coupon (Buy One Get One free) and that special burger came to mind.

When I walked in from the rain I saw a pretty large crowd gathered mainly around the bar.

When she delivered the burger, the bartender mentioned it was their last night.

I told her I had been at Dengate's on its last day before moving downtown.

She didn't recognize the name so I said "today it's called Moe's Crosstown on Rutledge Avenue."

Anyway, I continued, the owner told one of his 20-year regulars "Pick out any souvenir you want. You've come in here almost every day for decades."

The old timer looked around, past his favorite bar stool, and said "How 'bout the television set?"

She laughed but did not offer any keepsakes for me to take away.

I looked around and saw MANY signed objects that would have been perfect.

A stack of those would make an interesting trip to the bank.

(Click on the pictures to see more details. Read some of the bank "notes.")

I did a quick rough count and estimate there was about $600 taped all around the bar.

One was splashed a bright red color and I wondered if perhaps it had been discolored in a bank dye pack.

A bank would notice that.

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chapel of Chicago Blues.....

Well, it once was a church.

The Seaman's Chapel located in a maritime community.

This was a place where people came to pray.

And they came to celebrate happy events.

Now it's known as Mad River and we gather to clap hands, sing along and have a rockin' good time.

Chicago Land style.

John Primer came down from Chi Town with his bag of blues.

He stirred up the place with his 2-5 "early show."

Early SEWE visitors stopped in.

A lot of people planned for a late lunch.

Or, they left the office early.

Yes, there were some suits and ties in the crowd.

Shrimp City Slim and his band backed the legendary Bluesman.

Gary Erwin on keys, Chuck "The Cat" Morris harmonica and John "Clam Chop"Etheridge on drums.

"Silent" Eddie sang a few songs as well as serving hot licks on his guitar.

Tonight it's West Ashley Home Team BBQ for some Mississippi Blues.

Jerekus Singleton,up from Jackson, is bringing his Delta sounds to Charleston.

The 22nd annual Lowcountry Blues Bash wraps up Tuesday so make sure you get some before they're all gone..

(Click on the pictures for more details.)

Went to the Pour House last night for the Lee Barbour CD Release party.

Lee took the stage a little after midnight so it became a late, late night jazz musical event.

Yes, I had my camera with me. More later.

I'm still sleepy.

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Friday, February 17, 2012

So, Where's The Men's Room......?

I like good signage.

Clear and precise.

Short and to the point.

Asked and answered.

Know where to go when you gotta go.

Don't need to take a bath.

Avoids the need for multi-lingual.

Probably more tourists have seen this than year 'round residents.

Another view of the Polite City.

Come in and have a seat on the Isle of Palms.

During the 22nd annual Lowcountry Blues Bash.

Tonight it's back downtown to Mad River Bar & Grille for the afternoon John Primer show 2-5.

(Click on the pictures for a larger image.)

Gary has worked his butt off to bring the Blues to us and it's appreciated!

Thanks Gary.

The Chicago Bluesman will be joined by our own Shrimp City Slim on keys.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lotsa Sax Appeal....

Eddie Shaw "kept the band together" as the Wolf Gang.

He was the bandleader and played sax with Howlin' Wolf for many years and has kept the name alive as a tribute.

He travels all across the United States, Europe and South America honoring his 17 years working and playing with his mentor.

Mad River was a great venue and the packed room kept the food and beverages coming all night long.

The manager was all smiles as this evening of the 22nd annual Lowcountry Blues Bash played to the crowd.

Eddie's son Vaan Shaw played his 3-neck guitar on stage and on a musical stroll through the delighted audience.

Solos such as "Rainy Night In Georgia" by Lafayette "Shorty" Gilbert on bass showed his vocal talents.

Drummer Merle Perkins was keeping the beat in the background.

As promised (to myself) I got up and walked around taking pictures from different angles. It helped because the sore back had subsided quite a bit this morning.

A steady stream of servers laden with food and glasses made me pick my moments to step into an aisle.

It was a fun evening. Thanks Gary!

(Click on the photos to see more details.

The portable lighting was all from one side so photography was tricky.

It's always fun to step back to black & white - or even sepia toning - for a change.

Thanks for stopping by. Go to the links to hear some actual sounds.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ouch! Too much enjoyment!

Oh, my aching back.

Four days of sitting and standing, listening to great music at the Lowcountry Blues Bash, has affected me.

A sore back that eases after I walk around a bit.

Too long in one position ... a bar stool, a bleacher bench or a folding metal chair.

B.J. Emory, master of the trombone, was an exciting part of the Chi Town Blues Revue Sunday at the Isle of Palms Rec Center.

Three acts there on Saturday and three more on Sunday.

Caught shows at BOTH Home Team BBQ locations.

This is Mike Milligan and the Steam Shovel Band in West Ashley.

That's quite a drive after spending all day on the Isle of Palms.

Even though we were having a brief chilly spell, all of the performers pointed out how bad their weather was back in Chicago, Detroit and Indianapolis.

Yeah, we have it good here in the Lowcountry.

At the IOP Rec, saw a familiar face - er, tall person - dressed in black.

Wearing a top hat.

He was buying a CD from the Mandolin Madman, Rich DelGrosso from Houston.

Believe they were selling for 2 or 3 "Lincolns."

Rich is quite an expert on the mandolin - something you expect to see in a Bluegrass band - and his two instruments date back to the 1920s.

His partner from Texas, Jonn Del Toro Richardson, accompanies on guitar.

They too commented on the weather back home.

The back is feeling better so I'll be heading downtown to Mad River for the early show (7-9) by Eddie Shaw & the Wolf Gang.

That's a great-sounding venue for the Blues. All that wood and a high ceiling in the former chapel makes the music mellow.

I may stand awhile.

(Click - twice - on the pictures to see more detail).

When your back hurts, you hate to flinch... but you do.

It really does feel better . I just sat too long.

Remember: sit in moderation.

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Here's More Numbers....

So the 500th milestone has been reached.

Now It's the 22nd annual Blues Bash. Oh yeah.

A musical marathon.

How many days
in a row
can I go?

Nick Moss & The Flip Flops Friday at Home Team BBQ /Sullivan's Island. Nick tossed his hat away as he wrapped up a set playing to a packed house.

The night before - at the same venue - was Christopher Dean featuring harmonica wizard Mike Mettalia.

A Blues festival is going to have a lot of harmonica players.

This is the first I've seen using a cordless microphone.

That eliminates whipping and dragging the cord around.

It also gives the player the chance to come down and mingle in the audience.

Guitar players do this often but Mike showed how to get the crowd into the act.

A photographer keeps his or her eyes open for different angles.

This was a bit unusual. A reflection in a window.

Stage lighting is another major photo challenge.

"Getting the red out" is a post production task at many venues.

This afternoon it's off to the Isle of Palms Rec Center for a 4-act show. The last is Planet D Nonet with a serious horn section.

That will be followed by a late set at the other Home Team BBQ in West Ashley.

I'm marking my calendar for a night off on Sunday.

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Monday, February 06, 2012

500th Milestone

Including a picture of the Fiat 500 would be a good way to symbolize my 500th blog. (Actually, like my blog, Fiat has been around a long time, but this is their newest model.)

Maybe post the logo of the FORTUNE 500 or the S&P 500.

Perhaps include a clip from the 2009 movie "500 Days of Summer;" the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time compiled by Rolling Stone magazine or the checkered flags of the famous Indy 500.

Speaking of milestones, my younger daughter Heather delivered my newest grandson 4 months ago and Aiden is growing fast.

Are you getting the feeling I have reached a new level on my blog and I'm pretty happy about it?

Yesterday I got a hit from my 145th country - Malawi.

This landlocked African nation is bordered by Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique.

All three of them had already been to my blog, so the word is getting around.

The blog will be 6 years old in March and January was the first time I had more than 3,000 pageloads in a month.

The total so far is 66,000+.

Sometimes people ask what I write about on my blog?

The name combines Chuck and Photography.

That's what it's all about.

Here's a shot taken Friday night at How Art Thou? on Maybank Highway, next to the Terrace Theater.

(Click on the photos for a larger image.)

It's good to see a new place doing well with a large, happy crowd.

In addition to the 4-screen theater, there's ZIA a few doors away, several other restaurants and the Pour House music venue is across the street.

A nice area to visit.

Thanks for stopping by. Please come again.

(Please click http://photo.meetup.com/687.)

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Thursday, February 02, 2012

Looking Back......

The next posting will be my 500th.

Giving a lot of thought to that blogging milestone.

While this one touches on long ago memories, I believe the next should be looking forward.

Tougher to come up with pictures of that.

Here's the Boyd Boys, the terrors of Ansonborough. Well, at least on our corner of Society Street.

My older brother Jerry at this time was still my taller brother.

My younger brother Dennis has just celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary.

He asked me to be his Best Man at their renewal of vows ceremony.

My Mom flew out from Charleston for my graduation from the University of San Diego in 1968.

She and my wife Judy grinned along with the new grad.

I had worked for 7 years with the San Diego Union-Tribune newspapers.

Next I would join CBS Television News and cover the Charles Manson trial for four months.

Moving to Los Angeles found me leaving news and getting into tour and travel.

Universal Studios Tours was followed by 7 years with the Southern California Visitors Council to promote year 'round travel to the state.

I moved to the midwest and, after several years of promoting Kansas City, I was selected to head the Missouri Division of Tourism.

It was neat wearing a suit with a vest all the time.

My kids described a vest as "my extra pockets."

I eventually "got called up to the tourism majors" and moved to Tallahassee.

Being with the Florida Tourism Division was the culmination of my travel industry experience.

I came back to my hometown, look after my 95-year old mother and retired from The Post and Courier newspaper.

My youngest child just had her first baby so I think that's the "future" look I'll concentrate in my next blog posting.

I DO have a lot of pictures of little 4-month old Aiden.

(Click on the pictures to see more detail.)

Some are small, older files so they may not enlarge.

Next month also marks my 6th year of being a blogger. The number of hits has slowly risen and January showed 3,000+ pageloads.

That's the highest monthly total so far.

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