Extra! Extra! Paw paw ice cream is here


Ellen’s paw paw ice cream

Y’all can keep all that pumpkin spice stuff.

Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream on Capitol Street has paw paw ice cream, but it won’t last long.

The limited-time treat made its 2014 debut this morning. Owner Ellen Beal said she only has four tubs, so it will likely disappear pretty fast.

You might remember a mention of the ice cream from a story I wrote earlier this month about paw paws, those weird little tree fruits sometimes called “hillbilly bananas.”

I stopped by Ellen’s around lunchtime to try a scoop. It tastes a lot like vanilla ice cream but with hints of tropical flavor. Almost like mango, but more muted.

Even if you don’t like paw paws — like most of my Daily Mail colleagues — you’re sure to enjoy Ellen’s paw paw ice cream. Stop by and give it a taste before it’s too late.

“Ew . . . it’s wiggling. It’s like fruity-flavored snails,” he said. – See more at: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140909/DM06/140909208/1281#sthash.6ZXsBViy.dpuf
“Ew . . . it’s wiggling. It’s like fruity-flavored snails,” he said. – See more at: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140909/DM06/140909208/1281#sthash.6ZXsBViy.dpuf

“Ew . . . it’s wiggling. It’s like fruity-flavored snails,” he said. – See more at: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140909/DM06/140909208/1281#sthash.6ZXsBViy.dpuf
“Ew . . . it’s wiggling. It’s like fruity-flavored snails,” he said. – See more at: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140909/DM06/140909208/1281#sthash.6ZXsBViy.dpuf

Local church hosts Lindsay’s Studio event

10649774_10152340122456272_3804839964374128774_nChelyan United Methodist Church is partnering with the Charleston Daily Mail to help readers reconnect with long-lost photos from Lindsay’s Studios.

The photo studio, located on Charleston’s East End, was abandoned after owner Lindsay Hignite died in 2000. He left behind thousands of unclaimed photos of babies, toddlers, young brides, first communions and family reunions.

The photos weren’t discovered until last fall when the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority purchased the building at 1601 Washington St. E.

The Chelyan church will put many of those photos on display during an open house next Saturday, Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Anyone is welcome to come and look through the photos. If you find one of yourself or someone you know, take it home. It’s free.

The church also will host a hot dog sale.

Call the church at 304-595-5371 for more information.

Earlier this year, the Daily Mail’s Facebook page posted several hundred old photos found in the abandoned studio, and helped dozens of people find their photos.

In May, we hosted a special open house at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran. Hundreds of people showed up and many left with photos. Others left empty-handed but enjoyed looking through the old photos.


Review: “Live from Nashville”

This review was written by a brand new Pop Machine contributor Mara Regling. Look for more reviews by Regling in the future. 

Live from Nashville‘Live From Nashville’ honored some of country music’s greatest artists last Thursday night on the campus of the University of Charleston as the kickoff for the 81st Season of ‘Community Music Live!”

From Alabama’s ‘Mountain Music’ from 1982 to one of today’s biggest hits, “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line, “Live From Nashville” offered a toe-tapping good time to everyone in the audience.

This group of artists featured Janelle Arthur, a top-five finalist from season 12 of the hit show “American Idol.”

Arthur, an Oliver Springs, Tenn. native who began her professional career portraying ‘young Dolly’ at Dollywood, wowed the audience with her cover of “I Will Always Love You,” which earned her a spot in the singing competition’s top eight (which led to her top 5 appearance).

Arthur’s “What You Asked For” was released on iTunes this past May. Arthur is also known for her 10 guest appearances on “The Grand Ole Opry.”

“Live From Nashville” began the show with immeasurable energy and excitement. From the time the drumstick hit the drum head, the audience was entertained.

“I loved this performance,” said Taylor Jones, a Charleston native. “It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be.”

Community Music Live (formerly known as the Community Music Association) is striving to attract younger audiences to its events. “Live From Nashville” was full of young spirit and many songs that the millennial generation may have grown up on.

The chemistry between the performers was noticeable throughout the auditorium and the audience could feel the enjoyment that was radiating off of the performers. Nowadays, when people think of “cover bands,” they think of YouTube sensations who became Internet-famous thanks to Autotune. Not so with the “Live from Nashville” band.

“This group of performers blew all the cover bands I’ve ever seen or heard out of the water,” Jones said.

Community Muic Live’s next performance will feature The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. That concert will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, October 26 at the University of Charleston.

Former WV television reporter drops F-bomb, quits during newscast

potTelevision reporter Charlo Greene, who formerly worked at WOWK here in Charleston, is making a little news herself this week after an on-air stunt at her new station in Alaska.

According to a story by Alaska Dispatch News, Greene was giving a report last night on the Alaska Cannabis Club, a group fighting for marijuana legalization in the state.

At the end of the report, Greene reveals that she is actually the owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club.

Reporting on a group you run is obviously a big ethical no-no for journalists, especially when you don’t reveal your connection to the group. But Greene decided to double down on her inadvisable behavior.

She says she will now dedicate all of her energy “toward fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalizing marijuana here in Alaska. And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but … f— it. I quit.

That’s right, Ms. Greene dropped an f-bomb right on live television.

Ron burgundyIt was obviously a very blunt statement. I guess you could say she has a pot-ty mouth.

Here’s a video of the incident. The f-word is not bleeped out, so please don’t watch this around children. Or your boss.

KTVA news director Burt Rudman put out a statement on the station’s Facebook page after the newscast.

Dear Viewers, We sincerely apologize for the inappropriate language used by a KTVA reporter during her live presentation on the air tonight. The employee has been terminated.

At about the same time, the Alaska Cannibis Club rolled out an Indiegogo crowd funding campaign for their “freedom and fairness fight.”


Review: “Broken Circle Breakdown”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Broken Circle Breakdown plays this Friday at 8:30 p.m. at the LaBelle Theatre in South Charleston, as part of the West Virginia International Food and Film Festival.

Broken CircleIn bluegrass music, a “breakdown” is a raucous instrumental tune played at breakneck speed. They’re usually pretty fun.

Outside of bluegrass, “breakdowns” take on a decidedly different meaning, none of which are very enjoyable.

Viewers get to experience both definitions in the Belgian film “Broken Circle Breakdown,” playing this week at the West Virginia International Food and Film Festival.

Didier is a bearded former punk rocker turned banjo player. He’s in love with America and, more particularly, American roots music.

He begins a hot-and-heavy romance with Elise, a blonde tattooed beauty with a wild streak.

Didier teaches Elise to love bluegrass, extolling the purity of acoustic music. She, meanwhile, steals his truck and has a red, white and blue steer skull painted on the hood.

They conceive a daughter, Maybelle, named for the guitar-picking matriarch of the Carter Family.

All is bliss, for a while. Didier remodels a home for his new family and Elise begins singing with Didier’s bluegrass band, which begins to score bigger and bigger gigs…but then Maybelle gets cancer.

The rest of the film follows the couple as they grapple with their daughter’s illness.

The plot does not progress in a typical chronological fashion, however.

Instead, director Felix van Groeningen tells the story in bursts, flashing back and forth in time to show different parts of Didier and Elise history.

That leaves some of the most basic facts about their relationship a mystery until almost the end of the film.

The unconventional approach is meant to keep viewers engaged — you never know what will happen next  — and also brings levity to some of the most depressing scenes, since Groeningen often flashes away from those dark moments to a happier time in the couple’s life together.

Didier’s bluegrass band serves as the tragedy’s Greek chorus, punctuating important scenes with songs by country and bluegrass artists like Lyle Lovett, Townes Van Zandt and Dan Tyminski, along with traditional songs like “Didn’t Leave Nobody But the Baby,” “Wayfaring Stranger” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?”

Honestly, the music is the best part of this movie. The soundtrack is impressively solid, and is made even more impressive when you realize each of the songs were performed by the film’s actors.

(Remember, George Clooney didn’t do his own vocals in “O Brother Where Art Thou.”)

If there’s any justice in the world, this film will make the Belgian bluegrass scene as popular as “O Brother” made American old-timey music back in 2000.

“Broken Circle Breakdown” is not without its flaws, however.

The back-and-forth storytelling format can be distracting. The film jumps so abruptly from joy to sorrow that it can leave viewers with whiplash.

The film’s third act also is a bit disjointed.

As the couple strains under the loss of their daughter, Didier and Elise suddenly develop some very self-destructive tendencies.

It’s understandable the characters would go a little crazy after Maybelle’s death. The word “breakdown” is right there in the title, after all.

But the way Didier and Elise break down are completely out of context for the characters who, up until this point, have been happy-go-lucky lovers.

You could, well, the characters probably had mental health or substance abuse problems in the past. But there’s no evidence for that in the film, so the audience is just left shocked.

Those issues notwithstanding, “Broken Circle Breakdown” is a solid film that probably will do very well in the coming awards season.

Lots of writers have described the film as the movie version of a tear-jerker bluegrass song, but I’m not sure that’s right.

There are plenty of tragic bluegrass songs, of course, but the story lines usually unfold in a very straightforward way.

“Unbroken Circle Breakdown” shifts back and forth in time and place, teetering from happy moments to utter, heartbreaking despair.

To me, that sounds more like a really good bluegrass album.


‘The Pop Machine’ wants you

bill_murryDo you like going to plays, concerts or dance performances? Do you like to write?

Would you like to write about plays, concerts or dance performances?

Well, I’m looking for a few dependable freelancers to reviews of local events for ‘The Pop Machine.” If things go well, we might even put the reviews in the newspaper.

If you’re interested in becoming a “Pop Machine” contributor, send a few writing samples and your contact information to life@dailymailwv.com.


James Taylor returns to Charleston

James TaylorJames Taylor and his All-Star Band will return to The Charleston Civic Center on Friday, Nov. 28.

Tickets go on sale Friday, September 19 at 10 a.m.

You can get tickets online at www.ticketmaster.com, or call the Civic Center box office at 1-800-745-3000.

Taylor last played in Charleston in 2011, where he played to a sold-out crowd at the Municipal Auditorium.

Before that, he performed a sold-out show at the Clay Center in 2006. (That, coincidentally, was my first date with my wife.)

Here’s a relatively obscure JT tune from his 1971 release “Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon.” It’s one of my favorites.

Norah Jones returns to ‘Mountain Stage’

Puss N BootsAfter 12 years, Norah Jones is returning to West Virginia Public Radio’s “Mountain Stage” next month.

The 35-year-old songstress is now part of the trio Puss ‘N’ Boots with Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper. The band released its first record “No Fools, No Fun” in July.

Puss ‘N’ Boots will play Mountain Stage on Oct. 5 with The Duhks, Blake Mills, Jill Barber and Curtis McMurtry.

Jones last performed on “Mountain Stage” back in 2002, just after the release of her best-selling debut album “Come Away With Me.” The album earned her five Grammy’s in 2003.

Here’s a video of Puss ‘N’ Boots performing their song “GTO.”

“Mountain Stage” has also added additional acts to its Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 shows.

Irish duo Storyman Kate Miller-Heidke and Janiva Magness on Oct. 26, and old-timey trio The Devil Makes Three joins the Nov. 2 line-up with James McMurtry and Lily & Madeleine.

Each “Mountain Stage” begins at 7 p.m. at the Culture Center Theater on the West Virginia Capitol Complex. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are available for $15 in advance at www.mountainstage.org, 1-800-594-TIXX or at Taylor Books in downtown Charleston.

“Mountain Stage” is offering a special ticket package for this fall’s shows, too. You can purchase tickets to five shows for $60, a $15 discount

Tickets also are available the day of the show (provided the theater doesn’t sell out) for $25.