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  • October18th

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    Original article link

    Johnny Colt displayed his photography collection entitled “Lessons Never Learned”. The series of photographs includes photographs from his personal journey of life on the road. Other featured photographers included: Bobi Dimond, Michael Bryant, Lesley Ann Price, Alan Mogensen, Steven Waldschmidt, and Eric Underwood. Bobi Dimond studied under Ansel Adams and is well known in Atlanta’s photography circles for her work. Michael Bryant a long time Atlanta favorite as well as an internationally collected artist had ten new impressive photos on display.

    Guests enjoyed Worthmore’s Signature Rum Punch (the ingredients are kept secret only the punch maker knows the secret ingredients), wine, ice cold beer, and soda with light finger food and the event lasted well beyond the original times listed.

    Worthmore Jewelers recently opened in Downtown Decatur. Harris Botnick, the president, said “We picked Decatur because of it’s sense of community and the hip trendy feel of Decatur. Tonight reinforced why Decatur was the perfect choice for Worthmore Jewelers.”

    When Worthmore Jewelers opened in Decatur, they took over a space that used to be home to a gallery. That gave Harris the inspiration to have the décor of the store maintain the gallery aspect. “Adding art to the walls that our customers can purchase has created an even more enjoyable place to work and shop.” stated Botnick. In fact, it has been so successful that when they decided to remodel their Midtown location on Amsterdam they did the same thing.

    “We were just so glad that we could participate in ACP tonight” said Botnick. “It’s a great way to celebrate why Atlantan and Decatur are such great communities.”

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  • July20th


    Original Article From the Orange County Register

    Ask anybody who was at Pacific Amphitheatre Friday night, even the staunchest Jakob Dylan fan, and big money says they’d agree: The wrong band headlined.

    Not that Train, the Northern Californian outfit that hasn’t released an album in two years, is necessarily better than the Wallflowers, the Southern Californian outfit that hasn’t released anything in three – although Dylan did just issue a well-received solo debut, “Seeing Things,” another austere Rick Rubin production akin to Neil Diamond’s “12 Songs,” only folksier.

    This point is debatable, because both groups can be as meat-and-potatoes as Matchbox Twenty, both having excelled by not straying much from the straight-ahead formulas that put them on the map. But on record the Wallflowers have remained more consistently interesting, steadily expanding sonically while Train has mostly shuffled down the same track in service of singer Pat Monahan’s romantic choruses and rhyme-stuffed pitter-patter verses.

    On stage, however, there’s no question: Train is an engaging crowd-pleaser, deliberately so, whereas Dylan and the Wallflowers continue to be as exciting as watching laundry dry.

    Consequently, the former had much of the audience on its feet and singing along for the better part of its hit-driven 75-minute set. The downsized ‘Flowers, meanwhile, were a thudding comedown from the opening strains of “Three Marlenas.” They got a paltry reaction right off the bat, started losing attendees after a lackluster “6th Avenue Heartache” five songs in, and by night’s end had so few people waiting around for “The Difference” that they could have fit in the considerably smaller Grove of Anaheim – precisely the sort of venue Dylan and pals should be playing these days. (Click here for complete set lists of both performances.)

    After all, the Wallflowers are clearly a band in transition – to where, who knows – not to mention a band in name only at this point. Bassist Greg Richling is the only other remnant of the lineup that found fame with 1996’s “Bringing Down the Horse,” the group’s only strong-selling work. Glaringly absent now is organist Rami Jaffee, who split last year; you wouldn’t think a keysman could be responsible for so much oomph, but imagine the Heartbreakers with Benmont Tench and you get some idea of the void apparent here. His Allmans-y touch is sorely missed.

    Dylan, who now is to the Wallflowers what Chrissie Hynde is to the Pretenders, has compensated by enlisting duly impressive Ben Peeler, whose Dobro and slide work adds a dimension to his country-tinged Springsteenian rock I hope the Son of Bob further embraces. Once the quartet (completed by drummer Fred Eltringham) warmed up it did achieve several standout moments: the gently two-steppin’ “If You Never Got Sick” was matched in sweetness by “Shy of the Moon,” dug up from the ‘Flowers’ long-forgotten ‘92 debut; “Josephine” greatly benefited from Peeler’s picking; and several fine selections from “Red Letter Days” (2002) and “Rebel, Sweetheart” (2005) reminded that Dylan can be a sharp wordsmith even within the confines of narrow neo-traditionalist fare.

    But a showman he’ll never be, despite his evident good spirits this night. He smiled from beneath his fedora, he thanked the crowd – he even politely chastised security down front for getting a tad overzealous. Otherwise, he’s about as charismatic as Ben Stein. He lets the music do the talking, and it speaks well. On a Friday night at the Fair, however, one craves something a bit livelier.

    Enter Monahan. Previously I’ve found him strangely smug, the way rock stars that aren’t quite as big as they think they are can get. Yet here, perhaps taken down a peg by walking out to discover only 1,000 people or so had arrived (it was fuller by set’s end), he was quite appealing, not to mention believably soulful, notably on “Get to Me” and a fair cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On,” with a snatch of Bad Company’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love” tossed into its middle. (Guitarist Jimmy Stafford also deserves singling out, for it’s rare to encounter such tasteful soloing in such regimented rock.)

    What Monahan brought to the performance as an entertainer, though, is what mattered. Freely chatting between songs – insisting at one point that the band’s first album had been recorded in Laguna when most details I find say Birmingham, Ala. – the singer not once but three times brought fans on stage, exhibiting a predilection for bosomy thirty- and fortysomethings during “She’s on Fire” and “Save the Day” but indulging one very cute moment, when little Cindy from Lake Havasu City, Ariz., helped him on the final verse and chorus of “All American Girl.”

    Just the sorts of stunts that make Pacific posses happy – but here they were built up for a letdown. Had the two bands flip-flopped – and seeing as they almost played equally long sets, they could have – the crowd would have savored the Wallflowers’ appetizers, followed by a heartier meal from Train. As it was, most people probably picked up a late dinner elsewhere on the fairgrounds.

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  • February21st


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  • October10th

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    Keeping arts, music in NoDa

    Projects include saving 2 deteriorated mills


    DEVELOPMENT Keeping arts, music in NoDa Projects include saving

    2 deteriorated mills The next three projects planned in NoDa could help infuse the north Charlotte neighborhood with some of its original historic and artsy flavor.

    In a key initiative favored by residents, the deteriorated Johnston and Mecklenburg Mills would be preserved.

    Tuscan Development and its partners say that in addition to saving the old mills they would add new structures, an arts venue and affordable housing if the City Council approves their recommendation by a committee that evaluated proposals.

    More music is about to fill the air in NoDa, too.

    Rock musician/songwriter Johnny Colt, an original member of the Black Crowes, and his partners plan to open a rehearsal facility for musical groups by mid-November in a renovated warehouse building on North Davidson Street.

    And more live entertainment also is in the works.

    The Comedy Zone’s partners plan a comedy club, live entertainment venue, coffee shop and restaurant in the restored Highland Park Mill No. 3’s old dye house next to loft apartments on North Davidson Street.

    The former mill village traces its origin to the early 1900s when homes and businesses sprang up around Highland Manufacturing Co., a textile mill.

    Businesses and services clustered in the area, creating a North Davidson-and East 36th-streets hub once dubbed Charlotte’s second downtown.

    The neighborhood gained renewed life in the 1970s and 1980s as dancers, musicians, actors and artists moved in and restored blighted houses in what eventually became the eclectic North Davidson Arts District.

    But in recent years, the community’s texture began to change as condo developers moved in and investors gobbled up tracts along a proposed transit line for dense residential projects.

    That touched off concern in the neighborhood that NoDa was losing its artsy ambience and affordability. They worried that longtime residents might be forced out by gentrification.

    The new projects might not reverse a long-term trend toward a transit-oriented community similar to emerging South End, but they could help maintain some of NoDa’s character.

    And that would be a Next Big Thing.

    “I love NoDa,” said City Council member Patsy Kinsey, whose District 1 includes the neighborhood. “I think what’s happening is great.”

    Kinsey said she’s pleased that Tuscan’s proposal includes restoring the old mills. The City Council will make the final decision, “but I hope it all works out,” she said.

    Hopefully, Kinsey said, the momentum will bring back some of the art galleries.


    NoDa Mills Proposal

    A selection committee chose a proposal by Tuscan Development and its partners for reviving the Mecklenburg and Johnston mills from four submitted by developers to the city.Tuscan President Ray “Rip” Farris III said Tuscan will co-develop the estimated $38 million to $40 million project with Banc of America Community Development, which will have a 50 percent interest.

    The Housing Studio will design the redevelopment, which includes preserving the buildings — if a study confirms it’s feasible.

    The mills, which date to the late 1800s, failed as city-backed affordable housing, and the city assumed control in 2006. Decaying wood and termite damage forced officials to close them.

    Tuscan says its NoDa Mills project would be a mixed-use, mixed-income transit village including 174 rental apartments, 31 new for-sale residential condos starting at about $145,000 and 6,500 square feet of retail condo space. Seventy-five residences would be affordable rental units.

    In addition, Farris said, the developers would convert a former boxing academy to a catering/restaurant facility operated by Mama Ricotta’s owner Frank Scibelli and create artists’ space, a gallery and offices in another with guidance from Suzanne Fetscher, president of the McColl Center for Visual Art.

    The selection committee’s recommendation goes to the City Council’s Housing and Neighborhood Development Committee for consideration on Oct. 24.

    The City Council would make the final decision.

    Tuscan’s team is offering the city $475,000 for the property based on the inclusion of 75 affordable rental units.

    Otherwise, Tuscan said, it would pay $2.475 million and develop a project that would be entirely market-rate housing with no affordability requirements.

    If the city goes with Tuscan’s proposal, Farris said, condo sales would begin in January and the arts building probably could open by summer.

    The entire project would take about 30 months to complete, he said.

    Comedy Zone

    Partners in the Comedy Zone are heading to NoDa to replace the uptown club that closed early this year.

    But this location will offer more than comedy in the 9,000-square-foot former dye house building at Highland Park Mill No. 3, said spokesman Craig Russing.

    The comedy club will seat about 500, and a live entertainment venue will accommodate a standing crowd of about 1,000, he said.

    As part of the plan, the complex also will include a sports-bar like eatery and a coffee shop catering to residents of the neighboring Highland Mill Apartments on North Davidson Street between Mallory and 33rd streets.

    The Comedy Zone will keep its name, but the partners are still working on a name for the entire venue, Russing said.

    Figuring in time to get permits and do interior construction, the facility probably won’t open until early March, he said.

    One of the big pluses of the location, Russing said, is that unlike the old uptown club, the Comedy Zone will have its own parking lot.

    “We really feel like we are part of the arts district here; we are making sure the arts stay alive in NoDa,” Russing said.

    Bob Silverman of Winter Properties, which renovated Highland Park Mill No. 3 and is leasing the space to the partners, said arrival of the Comedy Zone “elevates the entertainment here. It takes the whole thing up a step.”

    With the Comedy Zone on one end of North Davidson and NoDa Studios on the other, he said, the arts district is being extended.

    Michael Vance of Regal Commercial represented Winter Properties in its lease with the Comedy Zone.

    NoDa Studios

    Rock musician/songwriter Johnny Colt believes NoDa is the ideal place for young musicians to network and get a start in the business.

    To help make that happen, he’s renovating a former warehouse at 3713 N. Davidson St. as a band rehearsal facility called NoDa Studios.

    Colt was a founding member of the Black Crowes and now plays with Train and Rockstar Supernova. He and business partner Chris Connor are teaming with Bob Silverman of Winter Properties on the estimated $2.1 million renovation.

    They plan 41 rehearsal rooms plus two larger performance rooms and a lounge area in the 25,000-square-foot warehouse building.

    Colt said it will be a secure, 24-hour building with security cameras and controlled by electronic key access for bands to use and network.

    “Young people need to find their way — they need a safe, secure, comfortable environment to create their art,” he said.

    Rooms will rent for $225 to $450 a month depending on size. “In this situation, you can’t hold people to leases,” Colt said. “These groups sometimes create and dissolve almost immediately.”

    This will be his seventh rehearsal facility nationwide. “They are places where a type of peer pressure helps create a healthy, competitive spirit,” Colt said.

    NoDa Studios should be operating by mid-November, he said.

    Pimsler Hoss Architects Inc. designed the project. Bradley Construction is the contractor.

    • Information: www.myspace.com/nodastudios. > 1. Johnston Mill

    2. Mecklenburg Mill

    3. For Rent, New Construction

    4. For Sale, New Construction

    5. Leasing Center

    6. Restaurant

    7. Art Gallery

    8. Future Transit Station

    9. Pool Courtyard DEVELOPMENT Doug Smith

    Doug Smith: 704-358-5174; [email protected]

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  • August29th

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    DJ Flyer

    Posted in: Blog, DJ

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