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Remote trucks, measly French food, and Nachomania


Pull up a radio station "remote truck" in front of any establishment, cue the music, and people will show up. Car dealerships, apartment complexes -- doesn't matter. It's almost like an episode of a 70s cop show, where the evil ice cream truck driver uses subliminal messages hidden in music to entrance the local kids into becoming killers. Radio remotes aren't usually that evil, however, so they give away free corporate swag such as T-shirts, and sell beer. Last Wednesday, Edwin McCain played Gateway Village as part of WLNK's Happy Hour Concert Series. Edwin's biggest hit is called "Solitude," and usually when he's playing I'm inclined to go find it. But the Gateway Village common area is a great place to hear music, as well as a pretty intriguing architectural achievement. Music seems to radiate from the stage and bounce around the crystal castle, yet still remain crisp, even without amplification.

Unfortunately, more volume was needed this time, since McCain's shows usually attract lots of WooGirls (you know the type -- "I'm drunk, I'm tanned, and I must show that I'm not far evolved from herd animals by yelling "WOOO!' as loudly and as often as possible!")

Edwin, man, I'm sorry. If I had to see and hear that kind of thing every night, I'd probably become an overly sensitive singer/songwriter too.

I was ready to laud the Bastille Day Festival, held last Saturday at the Wachovia Atrium. That's the place that's also hosted the St. Patrick's Day Festival, the Italian Festival, and BotswanaFest 2003 (OK, I'm making up that last one). As a middle finger to the dorks who thought up ideas like Freedom Fries, I was gonna do my part to celebrate our hairy, wine-drinking deodorant-shunning pals, who, after all, only went so far as to question whether or not Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (which, if you remember, was the entire reason we went to war, for God's sake).Usually these things cost a buck or two to get into, and then you pay a few bucks more and eat all the Polish sausage, Indian curry, cheese fries, and whatever other ethnic food you desire. And usually you can even commemorate the whole affair with a SpongeBob SquarePants inflatable.

At the Bastille Day festival, one paid five bucks to get inside the Atrium. What did that five bucks get you? Why, little bite-size samples of food from some local restaurants, and a mere splash of wine. Granted, there was the Carolina Cajun Gumbo Band, but gosh . . . One could have filled up better, and still felt semi-French, by donning some headphones, popping in a Serge Gainsbourg record, and hitting the local Costco -- at least there they give you about half a turkey burger. And with the five bucks you save, you could buy a big economy-size can of minced garlic. Or deodorant, perhaps.

Saturday night, I hit the town to see Charlotte's favorite tongue-in-cheek hip-hop quartet, the McClintock G's, and opening act, Nacho Pussy (as in, that's not yo'...). The show started around midnight, which evidently had to do with the fact the bands did about seven songs total. Ah, but what songs! The Nacho gals were clad in some barely-theres, and, believe it or not, sang about sex. At one point, they didn't even leave the (meow) part to the imagination, as miniskirts rode up and got so mini that you could've probably seen their maxi if you looked hard enough. After a cool-down period (and a sit-down period for some guys), The G's hit the stage. Preferring to rap smooth faux-gangsta odes to the ladies -- as opposed to smooth faux-gangsta odes to their guns -- The G's induced some serious ass-wiggling from the crowd. The group was outfitted variously, but a couple of members donned big old-school sunglasses like Ponch used to wear on CHiPs, which probably gave more of a Village People effect than they might have liked. After all, you don't want to give a gal visions of the Indian Chief or the Construction Worker while you're busy trying to talk her out of her, um, nacho.

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