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Continental Drifting

Hawaii,, and asbestos hazards


I don't go to lots of parties, but occasionally, even I get a hankering for good old-fashioned Big Beer Excuse. As in, good excuse to go and drink for free. Last Wednesday night, Creative Loafing held their yearly "Best Of" party in the heart of SouthEnd, at a place called the Design Center. After being bribed with drink tickets, I agreed to wear a Hawaiian-themed necklace, emblazoned with my supposed Hawaiian name, Kimokei. At first, I thought it sounded like some bikini-clad fitness instructor on ESPN, but after seeing some of the names of my co-workers, I warmed to it. Said warming may have come as a result of exchanged drink tickets, but one shouldn't look gift warming in the mouth, right? After meeting some local musicians and other gliterrati, I was ushered off to meet local promoter guy Eric Floyd -- (cue voice) "who played Jerome on the TV series Fame" -- and what he purports to be the once-and-future hit dance-pop group The KLF. Next thing I knew, I was surrounded by five people dressed in leopard-print spandex -- getting my picture taken all the while -- and getting a kiss on the cheek from KLF sorta-frontwoman Wanda Dee (also known as The Goddess). Small talk mostly centered on whether or not that was indeed Ms. Dee's posterior on the reverse of the promo record I was handed. Floyd insisted it was, winking at me and assuring me that they are trying to get "behind" the record (insert groan, coital or otherwise). As one CL staffer noted, "You could bounce quarters off that ass." (Note: Why someone would want to bounce quarters off of another person's ass is beyond me, frankly.) I then tried to figure out just why these folks would want my raggedy-ass picture anyway -- "Hey, look, here's The Goddess with some mountain man in a ripped up sweater and jeans from Charlotte!" God bless "em, but the KLF is DOA if they're thinking I can save them. I'm too busy growing organic vegetables and bitching about global warming. -- Tim C. Davis

Saturday evening, I headed out to the Spread Your Wings Benefit for breast cancer awareness. Held at the Neighborhood Theatre in NoDa, the event, put on by Bob Graham and Missi Ivie, is not only a good cause but also a rock-solid night of music. One of the headliners, Stacey Earle, bought a dress from a Central Avenue thrift store especially for the event, a stunner that filled me with thrift-store envy (not for the dress, necessarily). Folks -- even Scott Miller -- were uniformly nice, even cordial. Mark Stuart, husband of Stacey, regaled everyone backstage with all the famous people born in Nashville. Or sorta famous: Dinah Shore and Lorrie Morgan are the only ones I remember. Walter Salas-Humara of the Silos checked out most every band on the bill. Graham stood in the wings between each act, waiting to announce the next performer, and would bob his head and dance unabashedly. It's people like that you want to help out in any way you can. They let me in for free, but I eased my conscience with $5 tips on beers -- something that doesn't usually happen until late in the night. -- Tim C. Davis

Notes from Sunday: Hispanic-Latin festival held in the Time Lounge parking lot across the street from my apartment building: 1) They looked like they were having fun, much more fun than the usual beerfests held in parking lots. 2) Not having a great command of the English language can sometimes be a problem. Witness the guys sitting on the stoop to my building, the one roped off with tape and signs reading "Warning: Asbestos Hazard." 3) There were as many people on the inside of the temporary chain-link fence as the outside. And why not? You could see right through, clear as day. Alas, the whole "not speaking any language other than English" barrier held me back yet again, or I would have invited the asbestos folks up for a cerveza and third floor penthouse view of the debauchery. --Tim C. Davis

After hearing reports that over 100 people were issued parking tickets and nearly 20 vehicles were towed on Saturday at Festival in the Park, I did hesitate before venturing out to Freedom Park Sunday afternoon. As I made my way down Princeton Avenue, I kind of hoped the early morning clouds would keep some of the crowd away, but no such luck: I had to park a good three blocks away. And neither the clouds nor the early afternoon heat kept the masses away as hundreds, maybe even thousands, of families made the loop around the park checking out the music, food and art the festival had to offer. Since the organizers of our annual downtown spring event, CityFest Live, have opted to eliminate the art exhibits from that event, Festival in the Park is probably one of the best outlets for local and regional artists now. And the arts were bountiful this year with everything from water colors and oils to photography, multimedia pieces and multicultural items, like the "Create Your Own Chinese Calligraphy" booth. From what I could tell, though, the most popular booth didn't belong to an artist; it belonged to Uncle Ben -- you know, the good ol' rice cropping fella. I heard Ben was dishing out free cookbooks, but then again, the line was usually so long each time I passed by, I never found out for sure what everyone was carrying in those orange plastic bags. --Lynn Farris

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