Monday, June 29, 2009

An Old TV Friend...

"Hey, we're in NORTH Charleston...not the other one," Jerry Seinfeld said as he opened his show Friday night.

The Performing Arts Center (PAC) was packed and the SRO crowd loved Jerry.

I had seen him here twice before and both times were downtown at the Gaillard Auditorium.

He is a master at Stand Up and so well rehearsed that it looks easy. Almost like "Oh yeah, then I had this thought."

And, very, very funny.

Cameras were tolerated this evening so I was comfortable snapping shots from the 10th row. He did make a comment to people in the very front rows "Hey, is a flash REALLY necessary?"

(When I saw Robin Williams up in Charlotte, he specifically asked that no pictures be taken. Not even a cell phone was raised.)

Respect the artist.

My camera did give me a surprise when a slow shutter speed captured his comedy aura.

He just celebrated his 10th wedding anniversary so he laughed when someone in the audience asked if he was the "Master of his Domain."

He said he didn't have a favorite episode of his great television series but did relish certain moments like when he got to steal a loaf of rye bread from the little old lady and when George's girlfriend died from licking tainted wedding invitation envelopes.

The star of "a show about nothing" had some great material. Come back again Jerry. Real soon.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Google me this....

OK, I know this is just wrong.

Public office leaves you open to criticism.

Even lame off-beat crap, er, stuff.

Last October I was among a very select small group of people who were invited to the Grand Opening of the new Google Data Center in Berkeley County. Pretty heady stuff for a retired newspaper guy who now does a blog.

However, it was not really "open" except for a select few.

The Governor was allowed inside the private, private, inner sanctum.

They knew he could keep a secret. Boy, howdy!

Now, many are counting back to see where he might have been in his relationship at that particular time.

As a local writer commented, it's quite a jarring impact to move from Sullivan's Island to Columbia.

Sorry Columbia, that was yet another cheap shot.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009's a Booty Bottle.

The Harbor Grille, next to the Aquarium downtown, touts itself as a restaurant with a great view.

I viewed a bottle on the back bar that made me ask a few questions. It was sexy-shaped. It was wearing a slinky red dress. And a red hat.

Bartender Martene Pendigrast didn't know a lot about the bottle of Landy Brandy except it was almost empty and had been there "for years."

Several others joined in the inspection as Miss Landy was turned around and dusted off.

(Isn't there a group called "Red Hats Ladies?" Would this be their official drink when they gathered?)

The restaurant is working with the newly-opened Terrace Hippodrome (formerly the IMAX) and offers a Sun-Thurs dinner & movie package that offers an admittance ticket discount.

The harbor view is stunning, especially when several container ships are sliding by, nudged by tugs, to keep them inside the channel.

A double-decker harbor cruise boat, probably the Spirit of the Low Country, was loading passengers next to the 84' Schooner PRIDE with its distinctive 3 tall masts.

An active scene on a busy harbor.

The internet supplied zero details about the uniquely-shaped curvaceous bottle.

It did point out that technically it is not Landy Brandy.

I'm a beer drinker these days and don't know much about "hard liquor" but I was tempted to have the last drink from the bottle.

It would not be the first time that a temptress wore red. The hat was different.

Oh yeah, it's not brandy, it's cognac...with the red dress on.

Waiting for that last Booty Call.

(Attention Community Social Media: yes, I contacted various sources to verify names and went online to seek definitive answers about the shape of the bottle.

True research requires more than just having a beer at a great bar with a cooperative - and spirited - bartender.

The movie I saw that night at the Hippodrome was Batman - Dark Knight from a year ago.

I was among a small but enthusiastic crowd at that screening who had not seen it yet or who wanted to enjoy the big a** screen and 12,000+ watts of sound.)

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

OK, Enough with the rain.

We had heavy rain the other day interrupted by T-storms.

With crackling lightning and booming thunder.

Hey, it's JUNE and way past time for April showers.

Here's a view out my front window. So soggy we're seeing shape changing.

Big surprise: it's been announced that the drought is over. How could they find the rain guage? It probably floated away.

I saw a blogger or a Facebook entry about building an ark. A Cubit? Was that it?

Back when I was growing up on the peninsula in Ansonborough, we had heavy rain. This is the soggy view of Society Street about 50 years ago.

That was where it was uphill to walk to school.

Each way.

In the rain.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Yes.... tin foil DID help.

The DAY is finally here.

No more Rabbit Ears. No more tin foil wrapped on the ends to boost the signal.

My small tv in the bedroom is the only one I have that's not on cable and now, it's down to just one channel.

The Cablecast Company says NBC is on 3. My soon-to-be-out-of-fashion set disagrees and you click 2 for WCDB TV2.

They announced they will "switch" to digital after their 11:00 O'Clock News.

The tv tuner has 125 slots and I just clicked through snowy static on 124.

I remember our first tv - back in the 1950s - and the "test pattern" was all you got until the 2-3 stations went on the air.

Around midnight, when they went off the air, stations would play the National Anthem and a film would show the flag fluttering in the breeze.

In black and white.

Yes, I am very old and I also remember the NBC Peacock and the words "In Living Color" on a few, then all the shows.

On my regular big screen tv I scroll through the stations and stop at WCDBH. That last letter was added for High Def.

I remember when that began too.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Return To Sender ....

We've all heard the familiar slogan "You can't go home again."

The Post Office says "you can't even mail it there without a proper address and a ZIP Code."

Of course, after 70 years, I expected there might be a problem mailing a postcard in response to a small ad.

First of all, the penny postcard now costs an additional 27 cents.

As I clipped coupons from a 1939 issue of Popular Photography magazine, I did hope to hear back from a camera store in New York that three score and ten years ago called itself Fotoshop, Inc..

Today, Photoshop is the name of a software program used to enhance digital photos on your computer.

I also sent a copy of the postcard to the editors of the magazine but have not heard back from them.

I had the correct address in New York City, New York.

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Piccolo Fringe Finale at Theatre 99

Another delightful back-to-back comedy feast at Theatre 99. It was the last one for THIS 17-day arts festival,2009.

The good news: Charleston improv comedy continues all year long.

Greg Tavares welcomed the sold out crowd Saturday night and proudly proclaimed his group The Have Nots has been active now for 14 years and the insanity will continue. Hooray!

The first 90-minute show was Upright Citizens Brigade. They announced they were the touring company of USB as opposed to the real people I guess you would see if you caught the show up in Boston.

A sweet volunteer came onstage and they rifled her purse, wallet, her several id badges as well as her Weight Watchers diary to gather fodder for the first half of their show. They ran with it and a great exaggerated image emerged.

Shouted actions and places came from the audience for the comedy flashpoints the rest of the evening.

The next show - the finale - was almost three hours of hilarity. Many of the performers from the last two weeks came back for the reprise and all the stops were pulled out. Rude words were heard. Lewd actions were pantomimed. In short, a good time was had by all and only one couple seemed to have disappeared.The troupe Cupid Has A Heart On offered a final salute to the applauding audience.

My stint as an ersatz Spoleto reporter has ended for another year. I hope I'm invited to play again next year.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

From The Bayou to Bohemia...

"You people in Charleston make me feel like I'm playing at home," exclaimed Tab Benoit at the Pour House Wednesday night.

Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he's a singer and guitar master of swamp, soul and Chicago blues that reflects his Cajun roots.

He "thanked" a very hoarse couple in front who had shouted along with him all night and told "Tequila Man" he would be remembered. Vaguely.

Then he asked how many people had a trailer hitch on their cars?

He said he wanted to be on a boat next time he came to town " get out on the water and I get to drive it - FAST," he added. "We know how to do that down in Louisiana."

There was not really a Scandal In Bohemia. That is the name of the 5-piece jazz group that played upstairs at Mistral on Thursday.

And play they did!

Take a fairly typical jazz makeup of drums and bass and add a flute, a soprano sax and have the leader squeezing an accordion. This produces a very nice mix and sound.

Nathan Koci, accordion, was the spokesman.

He said he was pleased with the progress of the new JAC (Jazz Artists of Charleston) and the recognition the city was gaining as a showcase of musical talent.

Nathan led the band through an hour and a half of French, Hungarian and American music.

And all that jazz.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A Moment To Unwind....

Wow, Spoleto-Piccolo just keeps coming at you. And I'm only barely involved.

Two nights of great Blues at DoughRe-Mi in Mt. Pleasant.

This was followed by two nights of Gypsy Jazz and Gypsy Swing at Charleston Music Hall and upstairs at Mistral.

The next night was smooth jazz and the next was back-to-back LOL comedy acts at Theatre 99.

Oh boy..a fantastic Punk Rock musical (I always carry my own ear plugs) and then my calendar noted "time out."

Skip to the next evening, ukulele at The Cistern got me fired up again, followed by Miss Tess Sunday at Tin Roof.

The crowd (top photo) loved Little Feat at the Music Farm and, last night, I was back to festival fare: The Matt Walsh Blues Trio (two Matts and a Roger) at The Mill.

They had played two earlier sets downtown at Mad River and were "relaxing" with another two sets near Park Circle.

Tonight I'll see Tab Benoit (Ben-WAH) at the Pour House.

Am I the only one who actually schedules a "time out" on their calendar during Spoleto?

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