Saturday, October 18, 2008

Americana Singer/Songwriter Mary Gauthier Performs Durham Shelter Benefit 10/24

Parish Hall, St. Philip's Episcopal Church, Durham

"No more running away. I've made up my mind to stay. I'm gonna stand my ground, stare my demons down …"
--Mary Gauthier, "I Ain't Leaving"

Pick up any Mary Gauthier CD and you'll get an idea that this is something special. Play her songs and you know it's true. Truth is what defines Gauthier. Her songs may not be autobiographical, or they may be. Regardless, you know she knows of what she sings.

Between Daylight and Dark, Gauthier's most recent recording on the well-loved Lost Highway label, finds this talented writer seeking to define and find home. This longing for home fills Gauthier's album with hope and anguish, faith and fear. Insights that resonate with us all, especially with those for whom the non-denominational Urban Ministries of Durham serves day in and night out, now for a quarter of a century.

Strings Attached Productions, of St. Philip's Episcopal Church, proudly presents Mary Gauthier in a special concert benefiting UMD on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. Like UMD's clients, Gauthier knows these places well, having traveled through a night that stretched into years, from a turbulent Louisiana childhood through odd juxtapositions of accomplishment and devastation. Her music reflects the result of one who's lived in heaven, hell and purgatory. Starting as a trickle of songs almost from the moment of her sobriety to swelling into a well-stocked stream that fed her first two self-released albums (Dixie Kitchen, Drag Queens in Limousines), an indie-label release (Filth & Fire) and her stunning Lost Highway debut (Mercy Now).
Acclaim has followed Gauthier. Mercy Now was continuously "discovered" and lauded in the two years following its release, earning mentions on a score of year end "best of" lists in '05, including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and No Depression. The album even received a benediction from Bob Dylan, who included one of its songs on a playlist for his XM Satellite Radio program.

Produced by Joe Henry, Between Daylight and Dark reflects her growth not just as a songwriter, but evolution as an artist. You have to look closely to see the difference, but it's there, like a flower pushing through rubble: an intimation of hope, a trace of sunrise in the troubled sky. It's in the understanding that even as a lover departs on "Before You Leave", Gauthier sings, "the light that used to shine behind your eyes gets brighter as you walk away".

Always been a unique lyricist, Gauthier manages to illuminate even moments of devastation and despair in beautiful hues. That gift is evident throughout Between Daylight and Dark, though her perspective has shifted somewhat. "As a writer, I'm figuring out what my job is today, in this instant," she explains, "What I did yesterday does not matter. I am more in the moment. I know instinctively when I'm onto something, and then I have to chase that feeling down until I find what it is I need to say in the song. My songwriting changes as I change, and though it's odd to admit it, I discover a lot about who I am in my songwriting. I can see how I've changed by looking back at how my songs have changed. The songs on this record are a little more fragile, a little more tender, and a lot more hopeful."

"I'll never get rid of that wild-child, going-to-jail, crazy-adolescence story," she admits. "But I've moved way past that thing. I'm ten years into songwriting. I've finished my fifth record. I've been a sober woman for a very long time, for many years longer than I wasn't.  I've matured--and my writing has matured."

Gauthier offers her audiences an opportunity to glimpse and grasp the beauty of grace found. Experience her stories in this intimate, listening room setting Friday, October 24, at 7 PM. Strings Attached Concerts take place next to UMD, in the Parish Hall of St. Philip's Episcopal Church, 403 E Main at Queen Streets, in downtown Durham. Refreshments (including beer from Triangle Brewing Company) will also be available. Parking is free and monitored. This is a Strings Attached Production; all profits benefit Urban Ministries of Durham.
Advance tickets are on sale now for $15 ($8 for children 6-12; younger childcare available). Day of show tickets are $20, if available. Checks should be made payable and sent to: Strings Attached Productions PO Box 218 Durham NC 27702. Tickets paid for in advance will be available at the "will call" table at 6:30 PM on the evening of the concert, September 12. Day of show tickets, if available, are $20. Call 682-5708 for more information.

New: Bring an Appetite...Durham's "OnlyBurger" Will Be Serving Up the Best Burgers & Best Fries Outside the Mary Gauthier benefit concert, Friday, 10/24!
The mission of Urban Ministries of Durham is to provide food, clothing, shelter, and counseling to neighbors in need. Every night, UMD provides emergency shelter for up to 150 persons without homes. Every day it serves 350-400 meals to hungry people. An additional 350-400 persons receive groceries for in-home preparation every month. And UMD's clothing closet provides clothes to 180-220 each month. Through its vision as a faith-based service organization recognized for excellence in serving the emergency needs of poor people, Urban Ministries of Durham strives to create a welcoming, caring, and compassionate environment that affirms the dignity of its guests, donors, volunteers, and staff. For more information, visit
High-Res Image of Mary Gauthier and web-quality concert poster images:
Formatted Web Release:
Urban Ministries of Durham:
Mary Gauthier: or
Strings Attached/St. Philip's:

Jonah Kendall, Rector, Saint Philip's Episcopal Church
Rebekah Radisch, Strings Attached, St. Philip's Episcopal Church

A Strings Attached Production (ASAP)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008



Somewhere between Lucinda Williams and Shelby Lynne comes Michelle Malone alternating between soulful ballads and rowdy, riffy blasters. —ROLLING STONE

Talented folk/blues/rock artist Michelle Malone performs a benefit for Durham's space for homeless/needy assistance, the non-denominational Urban Ministries of Durham. This special, solo acoustic show takes place Friday, September 12, at 7 PM in the Parish Hall of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 403 East Main Street, in downtown Durham.

The names of Michelle Malone's albums nearly serve as autobiography: New Experience, Relentless, For You Not For Them, Redemption Dream, Beneath the Devil Moon, Lucky To Be Live, Strange Bird, Hello Out There, Stompin' Ground, and last year's acclaimed Sugarfoot. Certainly each release records Michelle in a place and style that builds upon her past and looks to a bright future. Before writing the revelatory songs that fill those recordings, a musical upbringing serves as testimony that Michelle Malone was born to perform. Her mom, talented pop/gospel vocalist Karyn Folmar Malone, let her tag along to shows and Michelle soaked it up. The Atlanta native considered med school while an undergrad at Agnes Scott College; deciding instead to play music—and pay her dues, sometimes calling the street home as she honed her craft.

The hard work paid off and the singer/songwriter/rock'n'roller/folk'n'blues/guitar great hit Atlanta's favorite live music haunts. With encouragement from close friends Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, the Grammy-winning Indigo Girls (and who would often invite Michelle to share the stage with them, leading some to call her "the third Indigo Girl"), Michelle soon found herself opening and headlining gigs throughout Atlanta and mid-Atlantic bars and clubs. After releasing her solo debut, New Experience, Michelle assembled the band Drag the River and started living the rock life. In the buzz generated by Georgia's many major label signings—B-52s, R.E.M., Indigo Girls, Black Crowes—it was inevitable that some big shot mogul would appear with contract in hand—quite literally. One evening, outside Atlanta's Little Five Points Pub, the limo of legendary J Records/American Idol impresario, then-Arista boss, Clive Davis screeched onto the sidewalk and the hitmaker himself signed the diminutive powerhouse on the spot.

Living a paraphrased line by one of her inspirations, Tina Turner, Michelle never did anything nice and easy. Michelle bit the major label lure and, despite promises broken, indulgences extended and excesses expected, Michelle continued creating solid songs, introspective, energetic and impressive forays into bluesy rock and tasty pop nuggets.

Michelle escaped the star making machinery and released several indie releases (the reflective pop of For You Not For Them, the sassy jazzy A Swingin' Christmas in the Attic, and hard rocking Redemption Dream with Band de Soleil). Major label level interest came again in the form of industry vet Walter Yetnikoff's highly-hyped, yet short-lived, VelVel records. Faring better than others signed to the label, Michelle's pop/rock-oriented Beneath the Devil Moon (featuring one of her most requested songs, My Green Thumb) was released and worked just before the label dissolved. Michelle returned to her independent roots with the rootsy rocker Homegrown.

But that's all last century. This century sees a newly invigorated, content Michelle Malone. Grown up but still growing, Michelle's absorbed the musical heritage of her home in the South. Nicknamed "Moanin' Malone" by blues guitarist Albert King, this talented troubadour channels the greats of Blues and Americana. Mix Bonnie Raitt's best vocals and slide licks with the best catchy pop appeal of Sheryl Crow and you'll get close to Michelle's sound.

Long a fighter for social justice, Michelle puts action into her words. Besides playing benefits and drawing attention to worthy causes, Michelle has traveled to Chiapas, Mexico, to witness the struggle of the Zapatistas; ran the Paris marathon for the Leukemia Society; biked eight weeks with Team Earth Challenge from Georgia to Nevada in protest of nuclear waste dumping at Yucca Mountain.

Michelle's earned critical claim in hundreds of national reviews and dozens of "Best Of" lists. Besides her recent appearance on the Grammy ballot, Michelle's many awards include four-time best album (Atlanta magazine), two-time best acoustic guitarist (Creative Loafing, IAC), and five-time female vocalist of the year (Creative Loafing). She's written, recorded and toured with Kristen Hall (Sugarland), Indigo Girls, John Mayer and Shawn Mullins, and performed with a range of top names—including Marsha Ball, Joan Baez, Jackson Browne, Shawn Colvin, Little Feat, Albert King, Chris Whitley, Johnny Winter and ZZ Top.

Michelle's live show is not to be missed—she can make the biggest venues seem as cozy as a camp fire, and an intimate venue feel like the center of the universe. And Friday evening, September 12, promises an evening full of memorable music, talented guitar and harp, exceptional vocals and entertaining stories culled from tour veteran Michelle Malone.

Refreshments (including beer from Triangle Brewing Company) will also be available. Parking is free and monitored. This is a Strings Attached Production; all profits benefit Urban Ministries of Durham. Advance tickets are on sale now for $15 ($8 for children 6-12; younger childcare available). Checks should be made payable and sent to: Strings Attached Productions PO Box 218 Durham NC 27702. Tickets paid for in advance will be available at the “will call” table at 6:30 PM on the evening of the concert, September 12. Day of show tickets, if available, are $20. Call 682-5708 for more information.


The mission of Urban Ministries of Durham is to provide food, clothing, shelter, and counseling to neighbors in need. Every night, UMD provides emergency shelter for up to 150 persons without homes. Every day it serves 350-400 meals to hungry people. An additional 350-400 persons receive groceries for in-home preparation every month. And UMD’s clothing closet provides clothes to 180-220 each month. Through its vision as a faith-based service organization recognized for excellence in serving the emergency needs of poor people, Urban Ministries of Durham strives to create a welcoming, caring, and compassionate environment that affirms the dignity of its guests, donors, volunteers, and staff. For more information, visit


Formatted press release here:
Event posters: JPG
5.5x8.5 PDF
8.5x11 PDF
11x17 PDF

Urban Ministries of Durham:
Michelle Malone or
Strings Attached/St. Philip's:

Jonah Kendall, Rector, Saint Philip's Episcopal Church
Rebekah Radisch, Strings Attached, St. Philip's Episcopal Church

A Strings Attached Production (ASAP)


Sunday, July 20, 2008

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Don't mess with me, I'm from Taxes."

Property taxes are coming.

After two appeals, I'm assuming we're not making any more headway on convincing Durham that our modest abode and smidgen of earth is worth as much as assessed.

While the thought of living in a $200K property appeals to my ego, or something, the reality is that our home sweet home is not worth that to anyone in today's market...or tomorrows (for at least another decade anyway).

We've done all we can do, I suppose. When last year's assessment landed, I made one of the first appointments for formal appeal. We assembled our info, primarily consisting of an approximately 6-month-old appraisal done for our refinance last fall. This was pretty nice in that it included the comparables in our neighborhood and the images of our place and the appraiser's appraisal. At the time of our refi, we were quite pleased with the number. A good appreciation from our original purchase price 7.5 years prior, but still within the sane range of possible resale.

I also printed out the Durham County Tax Office's account info for our home and those of our neighbors on either side. During my appointment, first thing on Monday, January 7, of this year, the tax man and I were each endeavoring to be very kind, calm, quiet and exceedingly polite. Not that I adhere to it very well, but I've heard well-meaning others throw out the canard about catching more bees with honey than something (salt?). Of course, I don't really like bees. Sure, I appreciate them, but I've been stung too many times before.

Hey...that kind of works. Because after gently explaining our case to the friendly tax man, in which I pointed out that:
  • the tax office lists our square footage as greater than actually exists,
  • our neighbor with the exact same floorplan received an assessment $40K below ours, and
  • the 83% increase over our last assessment seems a bit steep (I know, I know...the tax office doesn't care about percentage increases...but still...I find it pretty stunning),
When the re-assessment arrived the only obvious adjustment was in the corrected square footage of our house. So, instead of the $220K ($100K more than our original purchase price in 2000), the friendly folks at Durham County Tax knocked it down to $200K. By the way, the tax folks offered no rebate on the previous 7 years of overpayment for that incorrect square footage. Looks like they got taxes on $160K of cumulative overpayment.

In checking out other properties in my neighborhood, a neighborhood I walk frequently staring at the other properties while thinking about paint colors and additions and other wish list things, I noticed a possible pattern.

First the disclaimer. I am a cynical optimist (things work out, just not as you plan) and slightly paranoid and tend towards conspiracy theories--within reason. I believe Oswald acted alone and that 911 was the work of "terrists" (outside of our government), so I'm not a tin hatter.

Still, I couldn't help but notice, in sizing up the neighbors' assessments, that solo property owners received smaller assessments than dual property owners. That is, the assessment of my partner and I, both on the title, is now 20K more than our neighbor on the left (with the same floorplan, same vintage, same small acreage).

In gazing down the listings on the street and adjoining street, the pattern seems to hold.

Even the woman across the street, widowed a couple of years ago (and eligible for that 50% tax due to her age), comes in about $2K less than us--despite a house 16 years newer, with a two-car attached garage, two full baths (as compared to our 1.5) and slightly larger lot (plus she gets sunshine and we get shade, but I don't expect 'em to assess on that).

My other neighbors, on a different street than mine, have a cinder block ranch with faux stucco. Not counting whatever their new bill will be, they are currently over $8K behind on their taxes (over the last 4 years). Their house appears a shambles and their yard mostly overgrown. They don't have central air. Yet their house's assessment is some $31.4K above that of their other neighbor, a single woman in a nice ranch with decent yard and central air. Granted my neighbors do have a bonus room (like a den) stuck on the back of their ranch, as do we and our other neighbor (the single guy whose place, by the way, comes in $7K below my other neighbor's house, despite being comparable on size, land, age). I guess my neighbors on the other street will probably have their house taken by the tax office anyway, for failure to pay taxes, if they're not foreclosed on by some bank first.

Off the conspiracy theory for a sec, and on to the lack of logic these assessments make theory. The property owned by some across-the-street-and-over-a-house neighbors, nice folks, exceeds our property in the following ways:
  • 4 bedroom (1 more than we),
  • 2 full baths (.5 more than we),
  • 2600 square feet of heated living space (1K more than we),
  • .95 acre (nearly 75% more than we)
Plus, it's a really cool mid-century modern design--a mere 3 years older than ours.

Their assessment is $207.4--only about $5K above ours!

Since no one else has a cool, spacious house like theirs around here, I can't try my single vs. double conspiracy theory on their place.

The point of all this is that I'd like an audit of the Durham County Tax Office's methods of assessment. I understand assessments/appraisals are quite subjective, but, still, it seems to me that some measure of logic should be apparent. And, to me, apparently it's not.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Walking thoughts...

I'm trying to walk three to five mornings a week. I like to cover at least three to five miles a walk. It's a little challenging getting in much distance in my nice, little neighborhood, but it can be done. So far I've not found the perfect route, so I tend to do a new route or variation on a previous route theme with each walk. Maybe I just bore myself too easily. I map my walks on, what else, (a great and free utility for plotting walks and keeping up with one's workouts).

Sometimes I walk with my friend/neighbor/ex-coworker. She's nursing some back problems so doesn't (can't) walk as far as I do. I usually keep walking after walking her back to her place. Some days, I walk all alone and that's fine. The neighborhood's pretty safe and I know where I'm going and keep an eye out for possible trouble--plus I carry my big stick brought back from Spain. I also walk the busy roads but on stagnant summer mornings, those exhaust fumes create potential choking scenarios, in my mind anyway.

Walking allows time to observe and to think. In Spain, walking the last 120 KMs or so of the Camino de Santiago, I thought about many things and I observed much of my environment. Fellow pilgrims were kindly and respectful and supportive, throwing "Buen Camino" to each person trudging on foot, bike of horse. In Durham I find that I continue to gain an appreciation for nature--the way a flowering weed finds its way through a crack in a sidewalk, the bunny sitting statue like as I stride by, the beaver (or was it a woodchuck) shuffling back to Ellerbee Creek. What I don't appreciate in Durham, more so than in Spain, are people. My fellow citizens and their trash that accumulates nearly every step along my way.

I've seen syringes and condoms, woofers and tweeters, smashed ripped (off) CDs of Jay-Z and someone who didn't merit a Sharpie-written ID, underwear of all stripes, and the ever present parade of fast food discards. I've wondered if a trash impact fee could be assessed restaurateurs with a majority carry/take out business. Of course, how do you keep private enterprises from passing any such fees on to the consumer in the price of the items consumed? If there were a way to extract a fee for clean-up of their trash, without the consumer ultimately paying it, that would be ideal. Perhaps there could be a fast food brigade that helps clean up Durham one weekend (or two) a year?

While walking these are the kinds of thoughts I have. There is a service I utilize to remind myself of my ideas: I set up a free account and saved the number. When I'm out and want to remember something later, I just Jott myself. In essence, I leave myself a voicemail but, this is the part I love, Jott transcribes it and emails my message to me (or to anyone I want to Jott). Given the huffing and puffing from my 3.5-ish MPH walking, it's not always as perfect as it is poetic.

Because I'm walking before Durham One Call answers the phone (919-560-1200), I'm often Jotting things to report--gang tags/graffiti, overgrown areas, the place I assumed to be a whorehouse that apparently really is a legitimate "Pleasure Tour" operator. When I check my email, I can just copy my Jotts right over to the Durham One Call report form. I'm sure the folks there see my email as the latest complaint from Miss Thrope.

The Durham One Call folks. Gosh, they seem friendly.

Lately, the bikers I've seen during my walk and during my commute around town and to the Park and back are not wearing helmets. Sure, the "pro" bikers are wearing high-tech head protection, along with those awfully unnecessary spandex racing jerseys, but these are apparently leisure bikers, and possibly those taking it up to save a few bucks on gas. Not only are they riding without helmets, they tend to ride the wrong way on a street, on sidewalks and look rather unaccustomed to handling a bike, especially amid vehicular traffic. Even advertisements are showing the "Then Came Bronson (on a Schwinn)" look. In the Brier Creek sales magazine, a happy hetero couple stand astride their bikes gazing appreciatively at one of the many Brier Creek area developments. They have no helmets anywhere. If you've ever found yourself around Brier Creek, I'd think you'd want to wear a helmet. It just seems irresponsible on the part of the Brier Creek marketers.

Bikers with no helmets
She looks real at home with that bike and those sandals!

Near the end of my 3.5-mile walk Friday, a white GMC Suburban gas guzzler rumbled by on Murray. Emblazoned across the top of the windshield, in rather large white letters: "REDNECK WOMAN." Of course, I had to look. The driver's window was down and, in fact, she appeared to personify a redneck woman. Chuckling, I wondered why she felt compelled to advertise such a fact. Are redneck women in demand or so rare that they need to advertise? Did she think it wasn't obvious? Is the billboard not actually redundant?

Strange Albany Street

[PICTURED: Above, the house where the Indigo Dawn couple resided. Below, the house down the street in
which I lived. It was yellow back then]

News this weekend about the arrest of a couple from Albany Street. Active in local politics, the pair faces charges of rape, kidnapping and assault. The wife getting the more passive accessory charges and the husband the more active charges. She's a grad of Cornell and worked, apparently, as a research assistant at Duke. He seems a self-proclaimed "Rev." together they ran "Indigo Dawn," a spiritual biz for throwing runes, cleansing your chakras and astral projection needs, among such things. Anyway, it's surely scandalous and will do no favors for the county Democratic Party, of which the wife was the third vice chair (seem to be lots of vice chairs) as well as precinct president.

Y'know, when I lived on Albany Street, it was a sweet little neighborhood (between I-85, Guess and Watts-Hillandale proper. But it's still a strange area.

The owner of the place I lived in was a Duke-graduated MD, moving to the Pinehurst area to open a Doc-in-the-box.

I nearly didn't make my appointment to tour the house, as I was feeling feverish. Mentioning this upon my visit, Steve, the good doc, pulled out a Px pad and wrote a Px for some antibiotics (not that he examined me).

He was insistent that I should move in to his 2-bedroom, 2-bath home. I guess he was in a hurry to wrap up that loose end. I told him the price was too steep for one person and that I had no housemate in mind. He was still insistent and offered to only charge me half 'til I found a housemate. I said okay. He left behind lots of furniture in the living room (with lots of knick-knacks). He also left behind his housemate, some guy who was a hairdresser at a shop in the Brightleaf area.

I inquired about this and he said, by long distance phone in Pinehurst, that it was his way of helping me out, 'til I found a housemate of my choosing. He said the guy was cool with it and pretty much kept to himself. I was less cool, but felt stuck.

The arrangement was odd but okay. I pretty much stayed to my half of the house; the guy stayed to his half. We didn't see each other or talk much. But after a few weeks, when I got the phone bill (in my name), the dude had gotten super lonely over the holidays and spent the week I was away with family burning up the phone sex lines. I guess I'm a prude, but after plotting a line graph of his phone calls, I demanded to the owner that this guy go. So he did and I advertised for a replacement.

It was the start of a new year, and the new housemate, Sue, was breaking up from her hubby after realizing she might be gay. I think she thought I'd be some great guide into the community. Oops. I had my own life and dramas to deal with. Sue was okay, 'though...keeping mostly to herself. She was a little more earthy than I was/am/will be.

Now, in perusing property records of Albany Street today, it seems mostly rentals, with owners located elsewhere in town. Back then, we were among the few renters, and some neighbors, I think, resented it.

The older lady across Soverign Street was always complaining. Once she called the cops on me because I parked my car the wrong direction in front of my Soverign St door (to be closer to the house when I returned from my radio shift at 3 AM). I got a "warning" ticket for parking the wrong way and more than a foot from the curb (I measured and it was just a hair over 12"). Another time she called and demanded we remove dog poop from her yard. My dog Ana never got out of the house or fenced yard, but my housemate's two large breed dogs did jump the fence; however, this poop was tiny, like the old lady's miniature poodle dog's, not like two big dogs' poops. She even left a threatening anonymous note, in little old lady handwriting, about having the health department throw us in jail because we let the grass get too tall. A lawnmower did not come with the property, but we borrowed the neighbor's.

We mentioned this odd neighbor behavior to Steve, the owner. He said that when he'd lived in the house he'd briefly dated our neighbor (a single mom of a toddler girl) and they actually caught the old lady peering/peeping in the neighbor's window during a date. The not crazy neighbor confirmed this; she also confirmed that Steve was kind of weird, too.

We'd noticed some elements of odd. Besides the hard-up roomie who came with the house, and lots of Rx pads, the attic offered a trove of stuff including pix of Steve in drag. Of course, it was the '80s and boys will be boys who will be girls.

Yet, suddenly, one spring day, Steve called and evicted us with no notice, no reason. I don't even think we'd bounced any checks to him (ever victims of the trickle down effects of voodoo economics). I considered he might be homophobic and suddenly realized we were lesbians (or in poor Sue's case, a wannabe lesbian). Still, we had to be out by the end of the month. Sue and I went our separate ways. The Albany Street chapter closed.

Years later, in a schadenfreude moment, I discovered that Steve got in all sorts of trouble with the state medical board and police. His addiction to meds discovered, Steve was suspended from practice, then stripped of his license. Then, he tried to kill a male friend of his wife (hmmm...wife...that was new...I guess he married her during our eviction). He got a deal in which he served six months hard time for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor solitication to injure (I didn't realize Prayer for Judgments Continued worked for murder). The deal was structured so he could still reapply for his medical license upon completion of his time, community service and addiction treatment.

Here's the story from the Fayetteville Observer.

As I said, it's a strange area.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Good news about Durham's bad news:
Kate Campbell Benefit

Many media report on the bad things happening in Durham...and many of their constituents' comments reflect prejudice against the city and its people while wondering why no one's doing anything to address social ills.

Non-denominational Urban Ministries of Durham does address these issues by providing services to Durham's down and out. UMD shelters persons without homes, feeds the hungry, provides clothes, offers counseling and vocational training.

UMD's neighbors include the Durham County Main Library, WTVD and St. Philip's Episcopal Church. From its century-old site in downtown Durham, St. Philip's helped start UMD and remains committed to its work. To that end, in 2003, St. Philip's launched Strings Attached Productions, a concert series presenting top names in acoustic roots music.

After a nearly two year construction hiatus, in which St. Philip's received a much-needed expansion, the concert series returns with talented Nashville-based singer/songwriter Kate Campbell performing the UMD benefit Friday, April 18, at 7 PM, in the Parish Hall of St. Philip's Episcopal Church, 408 E Main St, Durham (see for more information).

The always in-demand artist offers a perfect complement to the mission of UMD and the St. Philip's concert series. Campbell writes smart and sublime; her points deftly made with reflective reasoning rather than pugnacious preaching. From admiring everyday heroes, marveling at eccentrics, examining human rights, lamenting changing landscapes, summoning spirituality and reflecting on youthful views, Campbell's memorable melodies and insightful lyrics stay in the psyche, uplifting and inspiring long after the last song.

So, please consider responding to your constituents' demands that someone do something by reporting on the good news of UMD, St. Philip's Strings Attached Productions benefit concert series and/or Kate Campbell.

Please spread the word:
Urban Ministries of Durham Benefit Concert:
Singer/Songwriter Kate Campbell
Friday, April 18, at 7 PM
Parish Hall of St. Philip's Episcopal Church
408 E Main St, Durham

  • Tickets $15 advance, $20 at door ($8 children 5-12; younger childcare available)
  • Refreshments (beer/wine/sodas/water/coffee/mini-moonpies/etc.) availabe
  • Free monitored parking
We appreciate the generous support of:
  • David Ball & Susan Chapek
  • Koroberi
  • Rick Tufts, Triangle Brewing Company

More info:

Thursday, January 31, 2008

surrender shelby

Shelby Lynne, why did you surrender to the alleged suggestion of an aging crooner with new hips? Doing an album of Dusty covers with no subtlety whatsoever required a dearth of inspiration and effort. Barry Manilow is not a good excuse. If anything, a suggestion from that overgrown beagle-boy (who more resembles a frog-face) should result in a run the other way reaction.

It's sad when folks swallow the buzz of laziness.

Feel free to compare with the creative all-gal various artists' compilation
Forever Dusty.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hopper Starters... set of questions:

1. (this one in from ledbelly) where did you sleep last night? (and don't say "in the pines"!)
2. why do fools fall in love
3. does anyone really know what time it is
4. where is the love?
5. can i get a witness?

Cheesa...Just to get some in the hopper:

1. What's love got to do with it?
2. How long (has this been going on)?
3. When will I see you again?
4. Can you stop the rain?
5. Who do ya love?

I will answer all same numbers at the same time.

1. Where did you sleep last night and what's love got to do with it?
In bed with G and M!

2. Why do fools fall in love and how long has this been going on?
Lack of healthy hobbies and for all time.

3. Does anybody really know what time it is and when will I see you again?
Time is a human invention so it is, of course, relative. That said, apparently some folks really know what time it is (those employed with keeping such things as Greenwich and the magic atomic clock working). I think general time creations, such as dinnertime, lunchtime, naptime and howdy doody time are more relevant than o'clock time. As for part b, I hope sooner rather than later. I do think it's time for a hike or time for a meal with you soon.

4. Where is the love and can you stop the rain?
Well, the love is all around if you want it. As for the rain, no you individually can't stop it, although you can redirect small portions of it with shields (bumbershoot-style). You collectively can stop the rain by your, and I mean our, wasteful excesses that cause global warming and greenhouse effects. Such things, judging from our historic drought, do let us stop the rain.

5. Can I get a witness and who do you love?
Yes, you are all my witnesses and with the advent of Intenetness, all the world is a witness. As for love, you know I love you all.