Monday, May 30, 2011

A Double "Two-fer" = 4 Biggies

My Piccolo Spoleto afternoon started well with DUENDE!

That was my first two-fer of the day at Halls Chophouse on King Street.

This particular trio was new to me although I have enjoyed the music of jazz pianist Tommy Gill many times.

He was joined by Cristobal Cisneros, guitar & sax and Gino Castillo, percusion, as their Latin sounds enthralled early diners at the upscale restaurant.

I had not been to Halls before so this was a bonus treat for me.

It was announced the intent was to place beautiful music in beautiful settings around Charleston.

What a great concept.

And, speaking of giving a brand new look to a familiar place, I was able to check out LEAF Restaurant, the former Vickery's on Beaufain Street.


The doors and windows have been enlarged and the inside merges with the great outdoor patio.

It was on the way to the outdoor concert at the College so there was time for a drink at the HUGE bar.

The newly-opened place is bright and cheery and so different from the 20-year run of Vickery's in that location. Add another bonus to my day.

Toninho Ferragutti, noted jazz accordianist from Sao Paulo, may be short on English but his music speaks volumes. His talented playing capped the evening of my Spoleto Festival experience.

The 400 people in the College of Charleston's Cistern Yard audience were tapping their toes and swaying as the music flowed.

He was backed by a circle of strings - violin, cello, upright bass - and the sound system was spot on, every instrument crisp and separated in the balmy still night air.

A splendid way to spend the day.

(Please click on the photos to see more detail. The Canon S90 held its own with much larger SLRs and large lenses.

Oh well, I usually have it with me so "light is right" for me.) Thanks for visiting.

Enjoy the Spoleto Festival and Piccolo-Spoleto events.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

This Is Possibly A Public Service...

Technology keeps changing.

Now these cell phone that really are Smart are shifting up from 3G to 4G.

Well, not mine. I just got one. (I don't recall hearing about 1G or 2G?)

I'm getting better at remembering I have a computer WITH me now instead of saying "I'll Google that when I get home."

But what hasn't changed is needing inks for our printers. We are afraid we'll run out in the middle of something so we stock up.

That can REALLY get expensive at most stores - even Sam's Club.

Some people tell me they buy inks online. I found Cartridge World in Mt. Pleasant that sells discounted "refills."

I bring in a a baggie of empty "retail" cartridges and walk out with "refills." I've never had a problem and save about 40%.

Oh, HP and the others keep coming out with newer printers with more - or less - numbers of colors.

Rule of thumb: all inks are expensive. The printer should be given to us for free!

So, drop me a comment and tell me how you handle your ink-stained currency situation?

Do you save online? Are there Ink Clubs? I've heard of kits you can buy to do your own refills? Can you save enough to do all that?

(Click on the photos for more detail. Refills MIGHT save you some money or you may suggest a better way to do this. It's US against THEM.) Thanks for stopping by.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Poster Boy" for the Blues...

Sure, I saw the poster when I came in.

I knew Charlie was playing that night so I just gave it a cursory glance.

Good crowd at Home Team on Sullivan's Island for a Tuesday.

Didn't really know what to expect on a "school night" when people had to get up and go to work the next day.

Well...not ALL of us still do that.

Being retired is good especially if you go to late night events.

I've been to the Music Farm on a Sunday when the main band didn't even take the stage until midnight. Yikes! And I was still working back then.

Anyway, Charlie was to play at the West Ashley Home Team the next night on Wednesday so I was sure there was another poster around.

I took a closer look and said "Duh. Wait a minit..that's MY picture of Charlie."

Yes, it was back on July 13, 2010 when I saw him for the second time.

I remembered how he lurched around the stage a lot in constant motion and would weave back and forth, in and out of the spotlight. Tough to photograph.

But I had caught him at a "peak action" moment and liked how it had turned out.

So I sent a copy to Gary Erwin, the blues producer who had booked him into Charleston.

Gary agreed it was a good one and sent it on to Charlie.

As they say...the rest is musical history.

My first poster art.

(Click on the photo for more detail. I added a Photoshop filter to my shot to accentuate the grainy, artistic effect but the action is what stands out. Oh, and his music!) Thanks for stopping by. Support live music..go to a late night show.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Nice Couple of Gents...

The Pour House out on Maybank Highway offers fine music and better lighting and sound than most venues.

The Two Man Gentlemen Band appeared there on a Wednesday and drew a nice crowd of dancin' followers.

They kind of remind me of the Smothers Brothers but at 10x the speed and pace. Yikes.

I had seen them twice before at the Tin Roof and the lighting there always was a challenge.

Was able to get some shots but nothing like I did mid-week at the PoHo.

The opener for their 1920's Jazz and Ragtime sound was perfect. Ukulele Noodle McDoodle.

He performed solo without the V-Tones and had the crowd warmed up and ready for the two gents from New York.

So we have two guys onstage, introduced by a single uke player.

Certainly not a Big Band Sound but the Swing Dancers worked up a sweat!

We seem to bump into each other at various music spots around town.

This sound was a natural magnet for them!

And they were rewarded when the Two Man Band invited some to come up onstage and dance to their final encore number.

Swinging! Perfect Gentlemen.

(As usual, click on the photo twice for more details. These are right out of the camera - no manipulation - so see how the Canon S90 works in club lighting.) Thanks for coming by. Come again.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Bottle At The End Of The Rainbow...

I never wondered where rainbows originated.

I knew that some beers were gold-colored but I simply did not make the connection.

I was out at the Isle of Palms yesterday, hoping for a dazzling, stunning sunset, but saw clouds roll in and figured the sky would be rather boring this day.

But, as someone there remarked "Sunsets happen every day but a rainbow is always a surprise."

There was a break in the clouds on my right and the sun peeked through enough in the slight drizzle to reward anyone standing out on the deck looking toward the ocean.

Someone with a camera in their hand.

And someone willing to move around to change their point-of-view.

A house nearby joined the other end of the rainbow.

And basked in the brief golden glow of the setting sun.

The wind was blowing hard so no people were strolling along the beach.

There would have been a lot of sand flying around and biting the skin.

Nitty gritty.

But, they would have benefited from my beer bottle rainbow.

Later in the evening, I switched to a Guinness. That's a dark beer.

See what I mean?

(Click on the images to see larger pictures. I have no proof that beer creates strange images.) Thanks for stopping by. Come again. Thanks.

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Thursday, May 05, 2011

"...with my hat in hand."

A nice Wednesday spent walking around Folly Beach!

Temps in the low 70s, sunny, small crowds.

A quiet little pub crawl perhaps.

Uh oh. Leaving one beachfront place, heading for another, and my Smartphone starts ringing. It SOUNDS important.

"We have your hat," a pleasant voice says.

Thank goodness Tilley Hats have a large label where you are encouraged to write your name and phone number.

I hustled back, thanked the nice people at Rita's Seaside Grille and resumed my afternoon stroll.Rita's Seaside Grille on Urbanspoon

The surf was really small this day.

But, some people keep their boards handy. Hey, conditions could suddenly change.

Sunroofs and surfboards work great together.

So many places to stop and relax at the bar for a while. Some have been there forever and others opened just recently.

Did I mention it was a sunny day?

Not completely cloudless, but very close.

Technically, I was BORN on Folly Beach.

I can show you my long-form birth certificate.

Actually I was born at the old St. Francis hospital on Calhoun Street but the documents in those days listed where the mother was living and that was at the beach.

Saw a vintage poster in a window on Center Street that probably went back a little further.

Bet my Mom and her sisters looked a lot like that when they played as island girls growing up back in the dunes in the 1920s.

Compared to Myrtle Beach, the 3 and 4 story condos do not dominate the skyline. The newly-named TIDES hotel appears to be the tallest place around.

Sitting at the outdoor bar at Blu in the former Holiday Inn, it was easy to spot the pale visitors who were determined to work on leaving with a tan from their time here on holiday.

Not too many hills in the Lowcountry but I saw a painted mural that included a cute takeoff of an iconic California landmark.

Inside Follywood looked about how I remembered wolfing down a Sunday morning brunch or stopping in for a killer hot dog.

But, this evening, I sat down to a tasty meal of skewered steak and shrimp at The Grill ..on the edge on Center Street.

It was opened last August by a trio of noted local restaurant owners and appeared to have a steady crowd coming in.

Looks like another success story on my favorite island - Folly Beach.

(Click twice on the pictures for more details. Recovering my $70 Tilley hat - with a $20 bill tucked inside - equals about 4 months of what I pay for my Smartphone. Good ROI.) Thanks for beach combing with me today.

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