Tag Archive | "Entertainment"

Arcade Fire album “Reflektor” gets mythic

Arcade Fire - Reflektor

Arcade Fire – Reflektor

By Bradley Garrett Barnes

What if electronic music duo Daft Punk didn’t get lucky?

What if they had stayed up all night attempting to make music and were empty-handed? What kind of album would they have made if they went home and opened a bottle of Pernod wine and wrote a few songs about their failed attempts at the French dance clubs?  They’d probably have created something much like “Reflektor,” the latest effort from Canadian indie-rockers Arcade Fire.  The bands fourth album manages to channel a tranquil and atmospheric follow-up to their last album, Grammy award-winning “The Suburbs.”

The opening title track, “Untitled,” is an intimate, disco-driven exchange between band members and husband and wife Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, pairing the two as they trade verses in English and French.  The song sets the mood for the rest of the first disc:

“If this is heaven, I don’t know what it’s for/ If I can’t find you there, I don’t care.”

Produced by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, “Reflektor” remains cohesive as it travels between the introductory crisp, rhythm-driven sound and cosmic ambience in the second half.  The two-disc concept album covers a lot of ground, and the instrumentation seems familiar without being derivative.

Centered on the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, much of the second disc explores this myth, focusing on the distance between the two. Eurydice is trapped in the underworld, and Orpheus seeking to recover his lover.

In “Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice),” the music swells in to the chorus, asserting the bard’s claim:

“I know there’s a way/we can make ‘em pay/Think it over and say/’I’m never going back again.”

His response follows in the next track, “It’s Never Over (Hey Orpheus).” The song features stacked choral harmonies calling out to Orpheus to “wait until it’s over” and asking him to bide his time:

“It seems so important now, but you will get over/And when you get over, when you get older/Then you will remember why it was so important then.”

If “The Suburbs” could be considered a critique of our previous generation’s suburban sprawl and conspicuous consumption, then “Reflektor” is a glimpse at our own time and the difficulty of managing a life of over-stimulation and bored self-awareness.  The album pumps, there’s no doubt, but, in the words of Butler himself:

“If this is heaven, I need something more.”

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New sounds are coming from Radio Free Pensacola

By Josh Morton

Radio Free Pensacola Nick Zangari has stacks of vinyl records, CDs, cassette tapes and eight tracks of his favorite bands and comedy bits dating back to the 70s

 Fred Touchette is ready to provide an alternative to AM/FM radio and wants to highlight some of Pensacola’s local musical talents and unsigned bands.

Rick Outzen wants to put together a local politics radio show to keep the community involved and informed.

Last month, these three men put their interests and resources. The result is an internet-based radio station called, Radio Free Pensacola.

Zangari is the owner of New York Nick’s, a sports bar on Palafox Place in Downtown Pensacola. Back in the 90s, he had his own show on TK101 called “Nick at Night,” as well as a two-year stint at fort Walton based radio station 99Rock.

Touchette, owner of pizza pub The Elbow Room, is no stranger to radio either. He had his own Internet radio show 10 years ago.

Outzen is publisher The Independent News in Pensacola. While these gentlemen did have the necessary drive to get this thing started, it is going to take more than just the three of them to keep it afloat.

“This is a co-op in the sense that we want to do it to give back to the community,” Touchette said. “But in order for it to really thrive, it’s going to take the community being a part of it.”

Radio Free Pensacola is still in its testing period as the station continues to search for people who are interested in having their own time slot and are dedicated. Currently, there are only a handful of people who are doing regularly broadcasted live shows. To fill the silence between live broadcasts, Zangari put together a 365-song playlist of his favorite bands, like Genesis, Frank Zappa and Rush. The playlist stops when a DJ starts his show and the playlist picks up where it left off when the DJ signs off.

Touchette said that one of the biggest challenges the station is facing is finding DJs to do live broadcasts. While Radio Free Pensacola clearly has an emphasis on its local community, the DJs do not necessarily have to broadcast locally.

“We had one DJ broadcast from Chicago, one in New York, and a friend of mine in Argentina is interested in connecting, so it’s not all going to be from here,” Touchette said. “It’ll be from wherever. It’s for everybody.”

When it comes to covering politics and playing music of local bands, the tone of the station will mostly be tuned into the local Pensacola community.

Cliff Judd has a show called “The Lost Sandal,” in which he plays a mix of both local and national indie acts and provides listeners with the latest information about concerts happening around town. He broadcasts from his home office in Pensacola.

In addition to the freedom of being able to broadcast from wherever you want, there is also the freedom to say and play whatever they want. Radio Free Pensacola is licensed by Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) and the American Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). The only limits that these organizations place on them are in regards to licensing. This includes such parameters as not being able to play three songs by the same artist within three hours. Other than that, the station have no other regulations as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has no control over what happens on the internet.

“The beauty of it is we can do what we want, when we want, and how we want,” says Zangari, who plans to eventually have both local and national acts stop by his studio in New York Nick’s to do live acoustic sets.

To listen to Radio Free Pensacola, visit www.facebook.com/rfpensacola and find the icon labeled “Click Here to Listen.” You can also download the Winamp app for Androids and search for Radio Free Pensacola. The app is not available for iPhone. Anybody interested in having your own slot on Radio Free Pensacola is encouraged to contact Fred Touchette via email, at rfp@inweekly.net.

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Dig this: Jazz band blows at UWF Music Hall

By Amanda Shaffer

Stage lights glistened on trumpets, basses, a keyboard, bongos, piano, guitar, a drum set, and of course, a saxophone in the University of West Florida’s Center for Fine and Performing Arts Center Music Hall on Sunday afternoon.

An Afternoon with En’Trigue filled the hall with the smooth sounds of jazz, along with about 150 audience members, who bobbed and swayed their heads to the soulful rhythms.

“None of the songs that we played are original,” said Mike Riley, one of three founders of the band. “We play songs that encompass smooth jazz, like songs by Ne-Yo.”

En’Trigue formed in 2011 by Riley, Rodney McGhee and Roderic Cannon. With so many of their group members coming from different parts of the United States, they pride themselves in delivering a “unique sound of jazz that has extra flavor.”

The band has played with Grammy-winning vocalist Danny Clay and saxophonist Elle Michelle.

The band performed in black slacks, dress shoes and either a white or chocolate brown button-down shirt with a gold swirled applique on the front. The vocal artists swung and danced to the groove on the side of the stage, causing their uniforms to shimmer under the stage lights, encouraging the audience to do the same.

“En’Trigue’s performance was excellent,” said Lusharon Wiley, senior associate dean of students. “The interplay of the musicians along with their smooth style made the evening enjoyable and left the audience wanting to know more about this intriguing group.

“The choice of music was right on target.”

Vocalist Kevin Wilson sang a few numbers, while the band played with him. Other songs involved solos by the artists. Keyboardist Gino Rosaria played the entire time, with a few solos that were loudly encouraged by the audience.

“I just love jazz,” Cathy Brown, director of diversity said. “I saw them previously and thought that they would be wonderful to bring to the university.”

Throughout the performance Riley kept shouting, “Are you having a good time?” The audience hooted and hollered every time in response.

The band had a variety in their sound. One song would be a high number, filled with playful variations in the keyboard. The next song would be a more “do-duh, do-duh” bass-filled number.

The rhythmic claps echoed through the Music Hall, even through intermission.

“We do nothing but positive things- that’s all we do,” Riley said. “There is so much negative is in this world. Interracial conflicts. Teach your children to do right.”

The Center for Fine and Performing Arts hosts many different multicultural shows and events through out the year.

On Nov. 4 the Music Hall will continue its Artist Series with Eva Amsier and Read Gainsford.

Jan. 26 a one-time presentation of “The Sons of Africa” will be performed at the Music Hall. The presentation will include music, song, dance, poetry, speeches and essays on the celebration of black men in America. For more information, contact Mamie Webb Hixon at 850-433-3324.

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Stuck inside of Mobile: One man’s experience of Bayfest 2013

Bayffest 2013

By Jesse Farthing

My BayFest expectations were low to begin with. I knew almost none of the bands, but, hey, there were so many playing I thought that I could assure myself that someone wouldn’t suck. Those expectations hit rock bottom when the organizers announced that only the headlining stages were going to play because of safety concerns over the approach of Tropical Storm Karen.

Thanks, Karen.

There’s only one way to enjoy a music festival composed of bands you don’t know anything about. Well, maybe there are several ways, but there’s only one legal way.

As I stumbled my way from my hotel room to the gates, I was determined to have a good time. I most certainly did, though it was dampened with rain, confusion and a serious lack of beer selection.

When BayFest organizers shut down the four smaller stages, consisting of over 50 acts over the course of the weekend, only three main stages were left – each stage with its own distinct flavor of music: hip-hop, country and rock.

I’m sure the street closures made sense if the four smaller stages were set up. I expect it was designed to guide you through the festival in a way that you would constantly be passing music from somewhere, but without them, it felt more like a drunken snake had laid out the path full of dead ends, questionable fences and empty streets. Navigation was difficult.

I needed to find the rock stage. My map in the festival guidebook only showed me that I needed to go north but didn’t bother to explain that I first needed to go south, then east and then west just to make my way through. There are no straight lines at BayFest.

The rock stage became my white whale. I searched far and wide only to consistently be turned around and end up back at the country stage, where grown men would ask me to buy them beer. I’m sorry you left your ID in your truck, sir, but that’s not really my problem. I have bigger concerns. Namely, where in the hell am I and why do I keep ending up back here?

It was much later in the evening before I finally located my white whale. Getting into a similar mindset as a drunken snake helps, it turns out. I did have trouble finding it again the following day, if that’s any indication.

While I was unfamiliar with most of the music at BayFest, that didn’t stop me from diving in head-first and enjoying the hell out of it. I saw countless bands. I rocked out. I drank my face off. I danced with cowboys and punk rockers. I loved every minute of it, even through the soaking rain on Sunday.

Music festivals aren’t just about the music. It is really about the experience. No matter what the festival happens to be, you will have experiences and meet people that you would never otherwise encounter in your normal life. BayFest is no exception.

From the country band that announced they were going to play “the greatest fishing song of all time,” before launching into a cover of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishin’ in the Dark,” to the singer of a rock band calling me out in the crowd to tell me that he loved me, there are just so many experiences that are impossible to replicate outside of a music festival environment.

I take back what I wrote at the beginning. One doesn’t have to drink to have fun, even if you don’t know any of the music. Fun will find you unless you’re actively avoiding it.

If Friday night was amazing, Saturday night was spectacular. I regret that I was unable to make it to Zac Brown Band or Godsmack, but being physically trapped in a two-block-thick crowd for R. Kelly was pretty cool in itself. Sunday started out dreary because Karen finally brought her tropical depression to town. The sun came back out eventually, and though several bands were canceled or delayed, BayFest still ended with a bang.

If I had any complaints, I’d only say I wish it were longer. It’s hard to go back to real life after three days of madness. Thankfully, there’s always next year.

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AASA holds Fifth Annual Poerty Slam

By: Alisa Festagallo

AASA Fifth Annual Poetry Slam at UWF.

AASA Fifth Annual Poetry Slam at UWF.

The room turned pitch black. A spotlight shined down on the first performer. The crowd anxiously waited to hear poems.

The African American Students Association put on its fifth annual poetry slam on Oct. 2. University of West Florida students and people from the community packed the Commons Auditorium to hear poets speak their words and connect with one another.

“This event facilitates communication skills as well as listening skills, and gives everyone the opportunity to let their voice be heard,” said Myliekia Stevenson, AASA president.

Stevenson said that AASA holds the event every year because students take on a lot with school, work and social lives.

“It’s nice to come and let go of your worries, and express yourself in a healthy way. It’s a way to keep the light going,” Stevenson said.

The poetry slam had 12 performers who read their poems about love, life and everyday struggles. Many of the performers had said they have never shared their poems with anyone before, but decided to share at the slam.

Brandon Robinson, a communication arts major specializing in broadcast journalism, was one of those students who said he was influenced by his friends to get on stage.

“I usually just write these for myself, and even though I don’t do this often, I guess I can kind of just get over my fear,” Robinson said.

Elizabeth “Mama Bear” Huestis attended the poetry slam for the first time. She recently started writing poems after attending an open mic night at Sluggo’s Vegetarian restaurant.

“It is very intense, empowering and very inspiring,” Huestis said. “I never wrote until I started going there about six months ago, and it is just amazing.”

Sluggo’s is located in downtown Pensacola and holds an open mic night every Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Stevenson invited local poet Quincy Hull to the event after hearing him perform his poems at a prior show. He read poems titled “Two wrongs don’t make a right,” “The blood dirty south” and “The Bastard.”

Most of Hull’s poems are based on personal experiences that range from the stories he heard from his great-grandmother to the counseling work he did with battered women and gang members.

“When I look out into my audience, especially young people, I am always trying to remind them of the struggles people before them have been through, which are still the same problems they face today,” Hull said.

Laszlo Barr, a senior art major specializing in graphic design, walked in to the event just in time to catch a familiar performer.

“I have seen Quincy at Sluggo’s, and I am always happy to see him walk in,” Barr said. “Every time I see Quincy, I am always like ‘ears up and ears open.’”

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Whiskey pours like water at the Old Hickory

The Old Hickory Whiskey Bar offers a diverse selection of spirits.

The Old Hickory Whiskey Bar offers a diverse selection of spirits.

By Amanda Shaffer

Imagine going to a bar that has shelves that soar up to the ceiling. They are filled with hundreds of shimmering, different shaped, glass bottles. Each label varies, every liquor is different, and every flavor is distinct.

University of West Florida alumna Katie Garrett opened Old Hickory Whiskey Bar on Aug. 3 at South Palafox Place in downtown Pensacola. She named the bar after President Andrew Jackson.

“The idea just hit me really fast,” Garrett said. “It felt like the right thing to do. I’ve always been working downtown, and with my background in historical preservation it was just a good idea.”

Garrett said she has a passion for Pensacola, since she grew up here. She wanted customers to have the feeling that the bar has been open forever.

“The tin on the wall is actually from 1910,” Garrett said. “We found it during demolition and decided to keep it.”

Bar manager Jeff Knott said that Old Hickory has accumulated 190 bottles of whiskey and counting.

“The flavor profiles here are so diverse,” Garrett said. “There are drinks on our shelves that could be really sweet like maple, to ones that are really smoky like a campfire.”

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey is Old Hickory’s well whiskey and Buffalo Trace is their well bourbon.

“We have very high standards here,” Garrett said.

On Oct. 3, Old Hickory’s drink menu will change for the fall, which will consist more of the flavors pumpkin and clove. Besides the changing menu, Old Hickory always serves their signature cocktail the “Old Hickory,” which consists of bourbon, bitter, and sweet and dry vermouth.

“We use a smoking gun to make Old Hickory,” Garrett said. “We put some wood chips in it, and it blows out hickory smoke, which we hold the glass up to. Then we turn the glass upside down.

“While the bartender mixes the drink, the aroma fills the glass and gives the cocktail a more smoky flavor.”

The bar does not use any premade syrups in their creations, and there are only three bartenders.

“We try to remind the crowd that we are a hand-crafted bar,” Garrett said. “We would rather put out a product that tastes good. We are not built for speed we are built for comfort and quality.”

Although Old Hickory does not serve food, many of the restaurants on South Palafox Place will deliver to the bar, or customers can bring in their own food to nibble on.

“It’s not something you grow tired of,” Garrett said. “You’re always learning something new if you’re taught right.”

Garrett encourages even non-whiskey drinkers to come check out the bar. Old Hickory also has bourbon, gin, vodka and tequila on their shelves.

If the customer wants whiskey, but has never tried it, the bartenders usually start those drinkers out with smoother and flavored whiskey.

“The smile or the expression of someone who tries something that they normally wouldn’t drink is the best part of my job,” said bartender Kyle Wagner-Lau. “I like making people happy. If they’re happy, I’m happy.

“Not many bartenders can find a drink with just a few hints of flavors that the customer likes.”

Garrett describes her bartenders as “chefs of cocktails.”

“Every drink on the menu was created by them. It’s their passion. It’s not just throwing stuff in a glass.”

Old Hickory Whiskey Bar is open seven days a week. Happy hour is 4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday. This includes $1 off beers, wines and cocktails, and 10 percent off American whiskeys on Wednesdays.

For more information, visit oldhickorywhiskeybar.com.

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Don’t call it a comeback with RadioLive

By Antonio Jones

Music Lovers have been enjoying RadioLive performances for 25 years. The show returns Sept. 5

Music Lovers have been enjoying RadioLive performances for 25 years. The show returns Sept. 5

Get ready to jam to some great music because RadioLive is live again on WUWF Public Media after a two-year hiatus.

RadioLive was around for 20 years before repeated budget cuts put it to rest. Now thanks to the Clark, Partington, Hart, Larry, Bond and Stackhouse law firm, RadioLive will be back Sept. 5 at 6 p.m. to bring many more  musicians.

“Our firm is committed to improving the quality of life in the Panhandle for our clients, employees and the community,” Scott Remington, president of the law firm, said in a WUWF press release. “Furthermore, we wholeheartedly support WUWF’s mission of enhancing the vibrancy and the arts in Downtown Pensacola.”

Lynne Marshal, the director of Promotions and Outreach for WUWF, said CPH Law are contributors in the communities, and they really enjoy WUWF’s programming.

“It was just a way to give back to the community,” Marshal said. “Right now it’s for a season and they will be the main sponsors for that year.”

This comeback also marks the 25th anniversary of RadioLive’s first live broadcast and will feature musical guests Grant Peeples, Smithfield Fair and Callaghan.

“I think I do a total of six songs, and that is one of the things that is really interesting about how Pat Crawford produces this show, it’s one of the most interestingly produced shows I have ever played,” Peeples said. “In other words he’s got three acts,  and each act plays a total of six songs. Every night I have ever played, the room as been packed, I mean wall-to-wall people, and I can only assume that it is going to be that way this time and that it will continue to be that way.”

Anyone who has attended RadioLive in the past will remember these guests Marshal said. She went on to say it is not just artists who are known in the area,  but some even come from out of state.

“Just come out and have a good time,” Marshal said “As far as I am concerned there is nothing that can beat live music and being in the audience.”

People can also bring canned goods to help support  Manna Food Pantries and RadioLive has generated four to five thousand pounds of food for Manna Food Pantries every year.

WUWF FM has been around for more than 30 years and has converted the televised performances to high definition. RadioLive is not the only showcase  on WUWF. They also have its own television station, which launched in 2003, which is streamed on wuwf.org, where you can find more information about RadioLive and WUWF programs.

“Not a week goes by when someone doesn’t stop and ask me at a restaurant or the supermarket when we will be able to bring RadioLive back,” Pat Crawford, WUWF executive director and RadioLive host said in  the press release. “Now I can say, thanks to the generous and community-minded firm of CPH Law, RadioLive will be coming back in September 2013.”

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