Black and white and Juneteenth all over

June 15, 2007

JuneteenthJuneteenth is starting to come into its own as a celebration, which seems like a good thing, but the P.R. about local celebrations hasn’t been the best, so I wanted to draw your attention to not one but two upcoming events.

First, this Saturday, June 16th, is the 3rd Annual Durham Juneteenth Celebration at the Hayti Heritage Center on Fayetteville Street, featuring music, spoken word, food, and of course, martial arts.

Then next Saturday the 23rd, there’s even more competition for the Rock ’em Sock ’em robots below—our neighborhood former plantation Historic Stagville is having its first Juneteenth Celebration, including “costumed actors portraying actual members of the enslaved community at Stagville,” whoa. Also, local string band faves the Carolina Chocolate Drops will perform (thanks to that ever-so-influential-article by the Indy’s Mr. Geary for that tipoff).

Check ’em both out, and let’s start planning the celebrations for January 21, 2009 while we’re at it…


June 23 PartyBots

June 14, 2007


Now that’s geeky

June 7, 2007

Nerd!!Sometimes, I love this world.

Specifically, the nerds of this world.

More specifically, the nerdy nerds of this town.

It’s no secret that the Ole North State has no shortage of persons of the dork variety, and that they have no problems finding each other. There are the requisite comic book conventions, gaming conventions, anime conventions, of course our own bitchin’ horror/genre film festival, hell, Raleigh even has its own Starfleet ship (who knew?).

But I feel like this weekend’s get together is the cherry on the giant dork cake. Not as flashy as the Dixie Gun and Knife Show (but still mightier-than-the-sword), it’s the Triangle Pen Show!

That’s right—four whole freakin’ days of nothing but implements to die for. And I’m not being a dick here—believe it or not, in the days before the internets your humble blogger had a mighty affair with nibs and parchment (the sight of a luscious Vacumatic or a good Moleskine still has the power to get my six cylinders a’firin’).

And best of all, through all this I find out there’s a Triangle Pen Club—and they meet in Durham! And aw, they make each other wooden pens with Bic inserts for the luvvapete:

Woody pen

Sorry, gentle readers, but honest to gawd, I feel like I’m falling in love with this town all over again. Just give me a moment and I’ll recover.

So maybe I’ll see you at the show in Cary (I know, I know…), I’ll be the guy who’s blotting his eyes with a kleenex every two seconds. Now we just have to figure out how to get cursive back in the curriculum in schools, hey?

Female genitalia joke here

May 31, 2007

Hot beaver now So you should know by now that there’s, like, an event of some sort going on in Duke Park on Saturday night. I think it’s called the Beaver Queen Pageant.

Judging from Barry’s blog, they will be documenting it in every medium known to humankind (I think I heard the stone tablet carver is confirmed), but of course, nothing beats the satisfaction of that wet, juicy beaver up close and personal.

So bring the kids (even if they don’t get the labia laffs yet), as it promises to be a good time for all. The organizers were insane enough to get yours truly on board as a judge, and you just know that the combination of my sparkling wit, a pair of assless chaps, and a shitload of Wild Turkey are gonna make for some memorable fun. On second thought, bring the kids but keep them faaaaar away from me. I’ve been out of college for a while, but my hurling skills are still pretty impressive.

I’m also hoping that that cute cop from last year won’t be making the scene…or at least that he’ll be off duty.

ADDENDUM TO YOUR PUDENDUM: When are we going to learn to bring Ms. Pedalphile into these things earlier?? Her discovery of Beaver Liquors is a stroke of genius and should give pageant organizers (and future contestants) some good ideas for next year. At the very least I’m envisioning a great Foster Brooks-type contestant, Liquor Beaver Beaver Licker in the future—and there are plenty of other costume ideas available at said boozery:

Beaver Liquor

Jesus Loves Beaver

All-American Beaver

Now, perhaps one of this year’s judges has already found said establishment-?

Beaver Hunter

It takes a while to find all the hidden (and NSFW) gems on their web site, but it’s well worth it (the naked lady in the humidor is my fave—because sometimes a cigar is not just a…well, you know).

I think pageant organizers need to reward all contestants and judges with a field trip to Avon, Colorado to witness this steamy pit of beaverosity firsthand.

Cultural Apotheosis Weekend

May 18, 2007

Derm CulchaJust when you thought the scene around here was looking more barren than the former Heart of Durham site, just look at the explosion of “shit to do” we’ve got this weekend. No excuse for internet porn, you nerds.

Of course, tonight is the famous “THIRD FRIDAY!” “CULTURE CRAWL!” Battle of the Network Stars. But whatever you call it, there’s everything from a letterpress show at der Bull City Arts Collective to bands and poster art at the Anti-Mall (tell ’em Ms. Pedalphile sent you) to some kinda anti-movie movie experience called WINKY from Jim “They Call Me Mello” Kellough unspooling across from the Farmer’s Market. You have been warned.

Hippycloth babyAnd speaking of the Farmer’s Market, if you haven’t checked it out in the new digs, well, you’re a turd. Saturday mornings they’ve got everything from greens to soap made out of god-knows-what, and they’ve even nailed the demographic perfectly by offering Central American babies too (hippiecloth onesie $39.95 extra).


Don’t forget the Bimbe!

Don’t let the presence of a lot of black people scare you away from the Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival at the old Durham Bulls park on Saturday and Sunday (I know you creative classers get jittery when you’re out of your element). This year the theme is “It’s a Family Reunion,” and there will be soul, hip-hop, jazz, spoken word, and a disturblingly high number of Christian performers for a City-sponsored event, but what the hey. Crafts and village for the kiddies too.


BOB, clown!

And if you’ve ever doubted the synergy we’re creating in Bullsville with our Cultural-Industrial Complex, look no further than the snickeringly-named Corporate Battle of the Bands (warning: most annoying web site ever) happening at the Wakky Tobakky on Saturday night. And yeah, I know it’s a charity event; shut up and let me snark already.

Art world bitchslap

May 10, 2007

I have pretty much “done it” with every artist in this town, so I’ve tried to keep my nose (and other non-rotted body parts) clean when it comes to the topic of the “Big A.” But recently there’s been a little street scuffle amongst the “pipe and beret crowd,” and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to stick my “BFA” into the affair.

In case you missed the 10,000 posters per square inch downtown, there’s an “urban” show at Duke’s Nasher Museum of Awt right now. As a publicity stunt, they’ve festooned two sides of buildings in the city center with large lists of names:

Art names-far

Originally uploaded by natmaconjr.

According to the offical apology, “This work, in a straightforward way, presents a list of names of people who have contributed to positive social change in the world and in North Carolina.”

All fine and good, but hold on—in the best street fightin’ tradition, a local artisan has thrown down a xerox-toned gauntlet.

Stapled to telephone poles in the vicinity of the “Basquiat meets Helvetica billboards” is a tract that, in a decidedly unstraightforward way, calls “culture caca” on the whole deal. (Click photo to get the whole unvarnished truth)

I have to admit that I have no idea what it means—I leave the interpretatin’ of art to those with more pointy heads. But I do know that the response artwork must be pretty valuable, because them screeds was up for a couple of days, then all got snatched down quicker than an old garage sale flyer. Touchy!

But it got me wondering—what’s so bad about that list that got old Tom Paine, Jr. so upset? Could the honor roll of postive change-makers for North Carolina and Planet Earth be that bad? I mean, “celebrity thugs”? “Scalawag separatists”? I don’t know—it looks okay to me.

Crazy Italian Night

April 26, 2007

…no, it’s not a gathering of my old girlfriends, it’s a “unique” (and totally “free”) film show from the wacky Durham Cinematheque this Saturday, April 28, at dusk, at West Village.

Derm CulchaThese are the folks that used to show movies outside of Joe & Jo’s last summer. Since that grassy knoll is still strewn with construction debris, I guess they’ve moved to the more upscale environs of the original tobakky condos.

Anyway, this show promises gladiators, dinosaurs, clips and bits from eye-talian travelogues, feature films, possibly a cartoon, and long, lingering lascivious looks at Sophia Loren, hubba hubba. Bring a bottle of the sauce (red, natch) and check out the magic. Now that the Starlite is probably gone for good, this is our only chance to booze it up in the great outdoors in front of flickering images together.