The Best Show On TV
At the moment, it’s Archer, on FX. Season four of this spy spoof from the folks who brought us “Sealab 2021″ and “Frisky Dingo” on Adult Swim is sheer brilliance. Three weeks in, it’s easily the best thing on TV. Top-notch voice work from H. Jon Benjamin, Jessica Walters, Aisha Tyler and Chris Parnell, brings Adam Reed’s twisted humor to peak perfection. Check out this not safe for work clip, then catch the new season of the show, Thursday’s at 10 PM on FX. The first three seasons are available on DVD and Blu Ray and are also on Netflix.
What is it about dance clubs that makes people all stabby?
In recent months Charleston’s Capitol Street bar scene has been rocked by two well-publicized stabbings. The Sky Lounge was shut down for a while due to a stabbing, and just last weekend, Impulse, which has a history of incubating violent incidents, saw another stabbing, which has resulted in it being shut down for at least ten days. Mayor Danny Jones wants to see their liquor license pulled permanently. As we go to press, he has taken action to do just that.
This situation is bad for fans of live music because, even though the violence seems to be limited to dance clubs, it reflects poorly on all downtown bars and is yet another reason for people to stay away from such great venues as The Blue Parrot, Sam’s Uptown Cafe, The Cellar, The Boulevard Tavern and The Sound Factory. Even though those bars are safe and worry-free, the fact that stabbings happen in the area will deter people from coming out to hear live performers.
And that’s a shame, because Charleston is bulging with talent, but wanting for a big enough audience to support that talent.
We need to figure out what the problem is. Why is it that dance clubs foster hotheads with knives? Is it poor security at the bars in question? Is it the fact that these are primarily singles bars where young people go to hook up, and maybe the ratio of guys to girls is off?
The gay bars in town are peaceful. Rock and roll clubs don’t produce violent patrons. What is the cause?
Poor management seems to be the leading cause. A lack of competition for straight dance clubs isn’t helping, but there may just be an inherent problem with that format that keeps responsible bar owners from wanting to deal with the headaches that dance clubs entail. It seems like a well-run dance club with plenty of security and savvy management that would keep drug dealers off the premises could siphon off a lot of the business from Impluse and The Sky Lounge. There’s plenty of money to be made there, so you have to wonder why nobody’s taken a shot at it.
Maybe it’s the nature of running what is essentially a hook-up joint for horny young people. Experienced bar owners may not want the hassles of running an establishment that needs way more security and oversight, and moves less expensive alcohol. It’s easier to sell drinks to more mature music lovers than it is to babysit youngsters on the prowl, I guess.
I don’t really have a dog in this fight. I don’t drink, aren’t young or single, and have never set foot in Impulse. I go to clubs to hear live music and record folks for Radio Free Charleston. If Impulse closed, the only change it woud mean for me is that I could drive straight down Capitol Street after leaving another bar late at night without fear of being hit by a stray bullet.
What Charleston needs is three or four well-run dance clubs spread around town, so that we don’t have a concentration of raging young hormones gathered in one spot. Clear ’em out of Capitol Street and leave that for the music clubs.
More DC Nation Shenanigans
A few months ago, Cartoon Netwok unceremoniously and mysteriously yanked the DC Nation programming block from their schedule, after a mere two weeks of new episodes of Green Lantern and Young Justice had begun running. Nobody ever explained what happened, but now a new theory has emerged.
This week Cartoon Network unveiled their new schedule for the rest of the year, and both Green Lantern and Young Justice are gone. No cancellation was announced, but both series are missing from Cartoon Network’s list of “returning shows.” Once their current seasons end, they will be replaced by a new CGI Batman cartoon and a less-serious reboot of “Teen Titans Go.”
One theory going around is that Warner Animation, who produce all the involved shows, and who are corporate siblings with both DC Comics and Cartoon Network, did not want there to be a gap between the final first-run episodes of Green Lantern and Young Justice and the debuts of their replacement series.
If so, this is yet another case of what should be corporate synergy devolving into corporate disfunction. Cartoon Network has a history of treating their DC Comics properties shabbily. From sitting on finished shows for months, to constant timeslot shifts to turning down ideas for DC Comics-based shows then commissioning programs that rip off the DC concept (Ben 10 was born out of a rejected pitch for DC Comics’ Dial H For Hero), Cartoon Network has been a lousy television partner for DC.
Of the new DC Nation shows, Batman is likely to be a surefire hit, while Teen Titans Go is a real head-scratcher. The original Teen Titans cartoon was enough of an anomoly, a goofy anime-inspired take on a comic book that, as a serious property in the 1980s rivaled The X Men in terms of popularity, but this new series is based on a small batch of shorts made for DC Nation that took the already-goofed-up approach of the Teen Titans cartoons, and made it even more cartoonish and sillier. I don’t know if the idea will work for an entire half-hour series.
Adding insult to injury is that Teen Titans Go will likely replace Young Justice, which was an intelligent, serious take on many of the same characters.
This Cartoon Network intrigue was uncovered this week as the network issued a press release announcing their upcoming programming for 2013. As expected, Star Wars Clone Wars is gone, likely moving to Disney XD. Adventure Time and Regular Show will return and a slate of similar shows, including the long-awaited Uncle Grandpa, will join them. Mad and Annoying Orange are back. The big surprise is a CGI Powerpuff Girls special where the original voice cast will be joined by Ringo Starr, who will voice a new character and provide a song. That will turn up in the fall.
Stuff To Do
Once again, we have a wealth of great things you can do in town this weekend. Some are free. Some have a reasonable cover charge. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Your cover free entertainment Friday includes Andy Park starting at 7:30 PM at Taylor Books. At 9 PM, White Molasses will be at Bruno’s on Leon Sullivan Way. Steve Clever hosts an Open Mic at The Sound Factory, on Capitol Street, starting at 9 PM.
At 9 PM, Thump Daddy will be performing a benefit for Chris Bukant at Sam’s Uptown Cafe. Admission is by unspecified donation. Also with an unspecified donation cover, at 9:30 PM, The Carpenter Ants will be performing a benefit for the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame at River’s Edge Cafe, 212 Main Street, St. Albans.
Beggars Clan takes the stage at the Boulevard Tavern at 10 PM with a five dollar cover while at The Empty Glass at 11 PM, The Kalob Griffin Band takes the stage with a cover charge of $7, $5 if you get there early.
Cool things Saturday include a book signing, as Ed Rabel signs his book, “Ed Rabel Reports: Lies, Wars and Other Misadventures” at Bridge Road Bistro from 6pm to 8pm in the Lounge. Ed will be signing and reading from his book.The Bistro is located on Bridge Road South Hills.
“Falling Through The Cracks” with Chuck Biel on Bass & Harpejji, Brian Reynolds on Guitar, Will Taylor on Keys, Effects & Voice and Jimmy Holley on Drums and hittable things will be performing at Dolly Dagher Building corner of McCorkle & 34th St Kanawha City. A mere two bucks gets you in the door for a night of music that kicks off at 8 PM with special guest Spencer Elliott on “Acrobatic” Guitar.
Free music Saturday includes the modern bluegrass of The Band Wagon at Taylor Books starting at 7:30. Revolution will be performing at 9 PM at the Pick and Axe on Coal River Road in Seth. Mark Bradley will be performing at Timothy’s downstairs at the Quarrier Diner beginning at 9PM.
Five dollars gets you in the door to hear Jordan Trent’s quartet at 10 PM at the Boulevard Tavern. At 10 Pm at The Sound Factory, In the Company of Wolves, Echo Mecca and Myth of Autumn cut loose with a five-dollar cover.
That’s it for this week’s PopCulteer. Check back at the new PopCult blog on steroids, as we bring you new stuff at least five days a week, plus next week we have a very cool episode of Radio Free Charleston with music from Byzantine and Radiohead.