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Crosby Stills & Nash, Township: 13 August 2014   4 comments

Posted at 12:29 am in entertainment,events

What A Field Day For The Heat

If you're the Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour with Brian Wilson to keep Mike Love in check, Mike Love to keep Brian Wilson on an even keel and the second most important catalog in rock history, you can open with the howitzers, drop back to hand grenades and finish with tactical nukes. Otherwise, you'd probably best stick with the standard rock act strategy of opening with small arms, dropping back to firecrackers and closing with the big guns -- which Crosby, Stills & Nash more or less did at the Township on Wednesday night.

The trio kicked the show off with "Carry On", and the signature tight (detractors say "painful") harmonies were spot on in a pretty decent sound mix:

They then moved fairly quickly to "Marakesh Express"

and "Just A Song Before I Go"

Inasmuch as there was a front man for the group, David Crosby took the role. He alluded briefly to his famously self destructive ways back in the day, and did most of the commentary and introductions. He seemed a bit froggy when speaking, but nailed all of his leads, sometimes with vocals of surprising power. Stephen Stills was vocally in worse shape. I don't know if it was due to being 69 years old, or if he just blew out his voice over the course of the tour, but it was very noticable on his solo leads -- not enough to spoil the enjoyment, but definitely there. Somehow his harmonies were still pure though. Graham Nash was the most retiring presence on stage, and didn't seem to have a lot to say.

During the "firecracker" portion of the show, CSN did several new tunes, both as a group and as three solo artists. I thought the best of these was a lament for the Tibetian monks who have set themselves on fire protesting Chinese rule of that mountain land.

The way they approached the solo and new material was a bit odd as often the two who were not involved with a song would leave the stage. It was certainly a reminder that CSN is as much three people showing up together as it is an organic group. While it gave each man a time to shine, I would have preferred the solo songs to be presented in group arrangements as was done very effectively with Still's famous ode to carnal convenience:

And with the exploration of Stills's previous membership in Buffalo Springfield:

The show closed with a meditation on education:

Big guns conspicuously silent: "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes", "Ohio", "Woodstock" and Neil Young.

Certainly a great show.

(Would have posted this last night, but was having a terrible time getting the video uploaded. I will swap out the low-res for high when I finally get it transferred).

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Written by ted on August 15th, 2014

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WZRB CW-47, 1747 Cushman Drive: 17 March 2014   7 comments

Posted at 10:56 pm in entertainment

My sister mentioned to me tonight that the only channel that *always* came in clear at her house, channel 47, was gone, and that the CW network it had carried had moved to channel 63.

Wikipedia confirms the move of the CW as of 17 March 2014, but says that WZRB is still carrying ION (which started on 10 Feburary 2014). However, my sister says she's getting nothing on channel 47, and the station website is "under construction", so I'm not sure what's going on there.

The station started out as a UPN affiliate, and seems to have had an interesting and somewhat fraught history according to that same Wikipedia article.

(Hat tip to my sister)

Written by ted on April 14th, 2014

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Whither WARQ? ==> RIP Rock 93.5: 21 March 2014   33 comments

Posted at 3:15 pm in business,entertainment

Written by ted on March 21st, 2014

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The New South Music Hall / Columbia East Theaters, 7351 Garners Ferry Road: late 1980s   16 comments

Posted at 11:30 pm in business,entertainment,nightclub,venue

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I really can't remember the Columbia East Theaters. I think their heyday was when I was living in Fayetteville, and when I came home during that period, I had plenty of go-to theaters closer than these. Various commenters have described how they started out as a twin theater, later expanded to a quad-plex and ended life as a $0.99 cent venue.

Commenter Dennis mentions that the building pre-existed the theaters and was once The New South Music Hall, a live music club.

Currently the building, and surrounding defunct shopping plaza, is part of the Word Of God Ministries, a church which has also rehabilitated the old Intersection Center / Sam Solomon plaza on Diamond Lane.

7351 Garners Ferry Road is an approximate address, taken from a listing for former plaza business The Talk Of The Town Hair Gallery.

(Hat tip to commenter Brent Carter)

Written by ted on March 17th, 2014

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Play Area, Richland Mall: Winter 2013   no comments

Posted at 1:06 am in attraction,entertainment

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It's not clear to me how a play area could be "out of order". I suspect its more like the area didn't get enough traffic to make paying to keep it clean worthwhile.

(Hat tip to commenter Matt)

Written by ted on January 10th, 2014

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O'Kane's Irish Pub And Eatery, 318 Centre Street (Fernandina Beach): November 2013   6 comments

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Well, Happy New Year folks!

When I don't spend the New Year in SC, I like to ring it in in Fernandina Beach, my father's hometown. My own little mini-tradition dating back a decade or so was to hit O'Kane's Irish Pub on Centre Street for the live music and champagne toast at midnight. So, I was rudely surprised when I ambled down from the hotel New Years Eve, and found the storefront dark. The next day, I asked another merchant on Centre Street what had happened, and she indicated that she had heard the owners divorced then couldn't agree on handling the lease. Whatever happened, the place seems to have closed in November.

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Here is the place on New Years Eve/New Years Day 2012/2013:

In the event, I ended up next door at The Courtyard which was a smaller, a more sedate venue with an older crowd (ie: my age). I was quite impressed with the music though. Local artist Nora Ricci was performing, and she is quite good, with entertaining stage patter (very important for a small venue) as well as solid singing and playing:

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Written by ted on January 3rd, 2014

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Ping Pong Plaza, Richland Mall: Winter 2013 (Open again!)   6 comments

Posted at 1:24 am in attraction,entertainment,venue

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After a bit of a kerfuffle with Richland County, the Palmetto Table Tennis Club ended up opening a ping pong plaza at Richland Mall, just behind the old TGI Friday's and in-between the elevator column and the entrance of the old Blacklion.

It seemed a nice use for an empty space, and there were perhaps half a dozen or more ping pong tables there at one time. When I went through in early December however, the plaza was completely bereft of tables (though all the posters and signage were still there).

UPDATE 19 December 2013: Well, I don't know what was going on, but the tables are back!

Written by ted on December 17th, 2013

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Leonard Bearstein, Richland Mall: 2012   1 comment

Posted at 12:01 am in attraction,entertainment

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Well, of course I never thought to get a picture of them, but every year since the 1980s, the main elevator court at Richland Mall hosted a full orchestra of animitronic bears playing Christmas music. The signage proudly announced that the conductor bear who stood with his back to the audience benches (which were in front of Barns & Noble facing the elevator) was 'Leonard Bearstein'.

Because, you know: Richland Mall, there was never a crowd for the bears, but generally there would be a couple of kids and parents, perhaps heading to or from Gymboree sitting on (or running around) the benches.

I don't know if there was too much wear-and-tear on the bears, or it's just that nobody cares anymore, or the last guy who knew how to put them together retired, but this year, the bandstand is not in evidence, Leonard Bearstein is not tapping his baton, and the holiday decor is Christmas trees only.

Written by ted on December 11th, 2013

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"Son Of Steve", 96.7-2:November 2013 (gone again)   14 comments

Posted at 11:26 pm in entertainment

Since we were talking about radio today, I thought I'd note the passing of Son Of Steve.

When TV went digital a few years back, it was almost like having cable-lite: Each channel was now split into two or three subchannels, and along with the all-weather-all-the-time air filler, we also got fairly nice content like Me TV.

I finally got a digital radio for my car after the first replacement radio gave out and found that the same thing was true for it. Of course, in Columbia, that is not saying a great deal as the only digital channels I can think of here are WUSC and 967 Steve FM. While WUSC does run a secondary channel, it always seems to be some sort of world music that I don't care for when I hit it.

Steve, on the other hand, ran a secondary channel dubbed Son Of Steve which was, in theory, a 90s jukebox. I always got the feeling that it was someone's pet project and didn't get a lot of attention from management. For one thing, there were never any commercials, so, while that was nice, it can't have been a money-maker. For another thing nobody ever went through and equalized the levels on the promos and inserts -- they were always much louder than the music, to the extent that you had to hit the volume knob sometimes. And finally, it really wasn't a 90s channel. In fact, it seemed to skew 80s more often than not. Still, I like the 80s, and it was always a sure bet to find an actual song while commercial hopping amongst all the other local stations.

The way my car radio works is when you hit the primary channel for a digital station, the next time you hit the seek button, it hops to the secondary channels in order. So, I was used to punching the Steve button, and then hitting seek to hop to Son Of Steve. I was somewhat surprised last month when doing that tuned in a sermon. It turns out that if there is no secondary channel on Steve, the next hop is 97.1 which seems to be a religious station.

Interestingly, I can't find anything on the web to prove that Son Of Steve ever existed. If it was ever anywhere on the WLTY web site or any promo material, it's gone now, and it seems nobody else ever mentioned it online.

UPDATE 21 April 2014: Gone again.

Written by ted on December 3rd, 2013

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The Swimming Pool Qs, Jake's: 8 November 2013   1 comment

Posted at 11:25 pm in entertainment,events

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I think I last saw The Swimming Pool Qs on this stage about 1989. I guess they were touring in support of World War Two Point Five, the club was Rockafellas' and Ann Richmond Boston was on temporary hiatus.

Of course, by that time I had seen them several times, first, I think, at a Fourth of July concert at Bell Camp. Over the years they have always put on a great show, and Jake's was no exception. The mix could have been a bit better at times, but the performance was topnotch. I was a bit tentative about going into Five Points on a weekend night given all the recent events, but if anything was going on down the hill, it didn't make it up to Jake's and the crowd was, as you might expect, a bit older than the club norm.

I think this was the first time I've been to a show in Columbia proper since the smoking ban was passed, and while the libertarian in me chafes at it, it was great not to have to shed all my clothes into the washer and jump into the shower the moment I got home. (And great to be able to actually breathe the next day..).

Given that I don't think the Qs are the band's "day job" anymore, it's not too surprising that it takes a long time to get new music out, but I spoke a little with Jeff Calder and he said work is ongoing on the next album (after 2003's Royal Academy of Reality and that in fact a new EP will be out sometime this month. You should check Qs' web site for "The System Of Love".

In the meantime, you should definitely have the (long awaited) re-issue of their two A&M albums:

And the evening's most surprising event? I got a wet sloppy kiss from a drunk girl who was apparently under the impression I was a Q. I still can't figure that one out.

Written by ted on November 17th, 2013

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