recording studio releases CD of area favorites
By JON YARIAN
Charleston writer and media consultant
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
20, 2009 -- When Charleston musicians wanted a radio-quality recording
of their music, it used to mean a trip to Atlanta, Nashville or
anymore. The buzz around the Lowcountry music scene this summer
is all about Charleston Sound, a state-of-the-art studio located
in Mount Pleasant. It's the brainchild of owner and chief engineer
Jeff Hodges, a longtime producer who moved his family here two years
ago and embarked on an ambitious plan to bring top-level audio production
studio opened in February after a year of construction and fine-tuning.
Since then, it's seen an eclectic group of local and national artists,
recording everything from rock and jazz to advertising spots and
Hodges and his staff have just launched the definitive statement
on the studio thus far: an 11-song compilation CD featuring some
of Charleston's most exciting local artists called "Charleston
Sound Presents: I Got Music." Originally conceived as a means
to introduce the studio and get to know area musicians, the project
took more than six months to complete. Each artist was given a full
day of free recording time at the studio, and Hodges personally
mixed and produced each track. The result is funky blend of rock,
blues and country, an audio snapshot of Charleston's music scene
during the summer of 2009.
exciting because for many of these artists, this is the first radio-ready
cut they have had the opportunity to record," Hodges says.
"The project has been really gratifying for us because of what
it means to these musicians. They play their hearts out every night
around Charleston, and this was a great way to appreciate and support
CD is available online, through independent local retailers and
at Piggly Wiggly locations across the Lowcountry. Sales will benefit
the artists and a portion of the proceeds will go to Lowcountry
Local First, an advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening
the local economy.
by area favorites The Plainfield Project (voted best local band
of 2009 by readers of the Charleston City Paper) and Dangermuffin,
the CD is a showcase of up-and-coming talent. Other featured artists
include Mac Leaphart, Part-Time Heroes, Skye Paige & the Original
Recipe, Firework Show, The Graham Whorley Band and more.
Hodges, the compilation is just a first step in a long-term commitment
to area musicians. "We're here to serve the community and plan
to stick around a long time," he says. "This is my passion
and I'm thrilled to work in such a great community of artists."
more about the studio and "Charleston Sound Presents: I Got
Music," log on to http://www.charlestonsound.com.
good, the bad and the spineless
ANN THRASH, editor
20, 2009 -- Summer isn't over in Charleston until Halloween, as
far as I'm concerned, but with schools back in session this week,
there's a summer's-over feeling in the air, and I've found myself
looking back and reflecting on The Vegetable Garden That Was. It
was my first venture growing veggies beyond the basic tomato-plant-in-a-pot
efforts, and I'd say that all in all, it was a mixed bag with more
positives than negatives. Some vegetables, we'll do again; others,
we'll stick to picking up at the farmers market.
in the spring, my husband built a beautiful raised bed in a sunny
corner of the garden, and we planted tomatoes, eggplant, yellow
squash, zucchini and cucumbers. Here are the winners and losers
from the crop:
Biggest Flop Award: The cucumbers. All I can say is that they
were a major disappointment - and in talking to other friends around
the Lowcountry, it seemed that we weren't the only ones with a miserable
crop this year. We got one normal-looking cuke; the rest were freak-show
cukes, bulbous and sickly green on one end, skinny and white on
the other. The vines were covered with flowers, but it was all show,
no dough. We ended up with two -- that is, two that I wasn't scared
to eat because they were so bizarre-looking.
Biggest Surprise Award: Eggplant! We put out two plants, and
we've been well-stocked with nice-sized, tasty eggplant for about
six weeks now. The 'Black Beauty' variety did us proud. My favorite
way to fix eggplant is a pretty simple takeoff on how Mom used to
do it. I peel them, slice them pretty thin (about one-quarter of
an inch) and let them sit for about 30 minutes in a mixture of 1
quart cold water and 2 tablespoons kosher salt. I drain them, rinse
them and pat them dry, dip them in little beaten egg, then coat
them with my favorite crumb mixture - it's regular dry bread crumbs,
crushed Ritz crackers and little bit of cornmeal for crunch. We
fry them in a little canola oil with a touch of butter (or, if I'm
feeling decadent, a bit of bacon drippings). Good stuff!
Reliable Producer Award: The tomatoes. We started out with four
plants; one died a mysterious death, and the other three produced
pretty well until about a month ago. We weren't overrun with 'maters,
but we had a good supply - just enough to keep us happy and to have
some to share. We had some delicious tomato pie, plenty of sliced
tomatoes for simple side dishes at supper, and a little extra for
some homemade tomato sauce to put up for the winter. We also had
some over-the-top BLTs, thanks to an addition that a food-loving
friend recommended: a fried egg. Oh my. (By the way, I feel I should
add that my cholesterol is just fine. "Everything in moderation"
is the way to go.)
Spineless Beauty Award: This goes to the zucchini. Actually,
'Spineless Beauty' is the name of the variety we got -- mostly because
I bought the zucchini on the spur of the moment, hadn't done any
research on varieties, and just thought the name was funny. Our
zucchini turned out to be low in quantity, but high in quality -
so while they lacked oomph (spineless), the ones we got were keepers
"What Did We Do to Deserve This" Award: Bell peppers,
jalapeno peppers and figs. I call this the "What Did We Do
to Deserve This" category because while we enjoyed good harvests
of all three of these favorites, we didn't really do anything to
earn them. The fig tree we have was planted by the previous owner
of our house, and it's had a show-stopper of a year. We also were
the lucky beneficiaries of some next-door neighbors who moved to
Colorado last month and told us to help ourselves to their little
garden patch after they left. We're missing them, but we're loving
the stuffed jalapenos we've had.
all in all, our first "real" vegetable garden turned out
to be a worthwhile venture. Now we're entertaining the idea of fall
and winter vegetables -- so if you have any ideas or want to share
what's worked for you, let me know.
Thrash, editor of CharlestonCurrents.com, can be reached at: email@example.com.
for taking us out to the ballgame
simply wanted to thank you for the tickets to the RiverDogs game
on Sunday and show you the joy on the little ones' faces in the
picture below. You can let (RiverDogs General Manager) Dave Echols
know that two free tickets turned into seven people going, and we
got snared by several Dippin' Dots, brat and souvenir stands. Mine
are the two blonde boys. We had a blast! Thanks again.
Jim Buxton, Charleston, SC
note: To the victor belong the spoils! Jim won our recent contest
to guess the location of a photograph in downtown Charleston,
and we're glad he enjoyed the RiverDogs tickets that were his
prize. Pictured above are (from left) Barky the Tree, Virginia
Buxton, Chelsea T. RiverDog, Julian Buxton, Thomas Buxton, Charlie
T. RiverDog and a very happy Hugh Buxton.
a comment or want to vent? If you have something to
say about leadership in South Carolina, the state of baseball
today, good barbecue or something about your community's government,
drop us a line to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please send no more than 200 words and include contact information
(phone number, hometown) so we can get in touch with you.
public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents
to you at no cost. In this issue, we highlight Pluff Mud Connect,
a new Web service that connects Lowcountry nonprofits and the businesses
that serve them. Nonprofit organizations register for free, and
can search across more than 100 categories or fill out a simple
form to request multiple quotes from local businesses. Lowcountry
sole proprietors, small businesses and corporations pay a low annual
fee to market directly to nonprofit organizations and receive requests
for bids via email. Pluff Mud Connect -- helping Lowcountry nonprofits
and businesses thrive. Click
here to send a message or visit online at: http://www.PluffMudConnect.com
today: Announcement of the Thrive Prize winners!
saves $350,000 with energy conservation program
Charleston County saved about $350,000 in the second half of the
recently ended fiscal year by implementing a new internal initiative
called the Energy Conservation Program. The program was put in place
in March with goal of reducing the county's electricity consumption
10 percent by the end of fiscal year 2010 (July 1, 2009 - June 30,
2010) compared with fiscal year 2008. County officials recently
measured their progress and, according to staff, a savings of $350,000
was realized between the time the program began and June 30, when
the 2009 fiscal year ended.
tracking system shows that we've made major progress in accomplishing
our goal during the first few months of the program," said
Dan Chandler, director of the Charleston County Facilities Department.
"We've not only stopped the upward trend in electricity use,
but also used nearly 7 percent less kilowatt hours than the year
is impressive about this campaign is that many of these things would
have been easy to overlook," County Councilman Joe McKeown
wrote to the county staff. "This is a great example of our
staff trying to make a difference."
of the program's success, the County is continuing with its initiatives
during fiscal year 2010, which began on July 1, 2009, and staff
is continuing to look for new ways to cut costs. So far, some of
the biggest cost savings measures have been:
that office lights and equipment are turned off in the evenings
and when rooms are not in use.
Setting temperatures in county buildings at a minimum cooling
level of 74 degrees and a maximum heating level of 70 degrees.
off or reducing heating and cooling systems in all nonemergency
and noncritical facilities during off hours.
magnetic fluorescent ballast lighting with electronic ballast
lighting as needed. This results in energy savings of 39 percent
incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent bulbs as they
burn out; this results in an energy savings of approximately 35
percent per bulb replaced.
more than 400 Charleston County electrical bills reviewed, which
revealed that three rate schedules could be changed to reduce
energy costs. The new rates took effect on June 1.
hall meeting to focus on arts community
Charleston Arts Coalition, the city of Charleston's Office of Cultural
Affairs and the College of Charleston will host a town-hall style
meeting on Aug. 25 titled "Nursing Creativity Through the Economic
Slump." The meeting will run from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at
the Wachovia Auditorium in the Beatty Center, 5 Liberty St., at
the College of Charleston.
meeting is open to anyone in the creative community who is interested
in exchanging ideas and raising awareness of how the creative arts
make the Lowcountry a thriving and prosperous cultural city. The
coalition will also announce the results of its recent survey of
the creative community.
Jessica Solomon Bluestein, president of the coalition, says panelists
for the meeting are expected to include Ellen Dressler Moryl, director
of the Office of Cultural Affairs; Mark Sloan, curator at the College
of Charleston's Halsey Institute; Karen Chandler, co-founder of
Charleston Jazz Initiative and arts management professor at the
College of Charleston School of the Arts; and Sharon Gracie of the
League of Charleston Theaters. John W. Zinsser of Pacifica Human
Communications will be the facilitator.
more information about the arts coalition or to get involved, please
Academy increasing size, distributing computers
Academy, a new state-authorized public online high school that's
free to S.C. residents, has increased its enrollment from 1,000
to 1,500 students this fall to accommodate the growing number of
students enrolling, and administrators also say that those already
enrolled will soon be receiving the technology equipment to begin
their online education on Aug. 31.
students will be provided a laptop computer, printer/scanner and
Internet stipend to connect them to the online high school offered
by Provost. Students work toward their regular public high school
diploma as they would in a traditional school, but they work at
home through computer-based educational programs.
many other online schools, Provost Academy is providing the technology
our students will need to take full advantage of the online educational
experience we offer," said Dr. Darrell Johnson, the school's
executive director. "For us, the computer is like a book a
student checks out of the school library - it will cost them nothing
to use it and (it will) have to be returned at the end of the school
can still enroll for the current academic year. To learn more, visit
site or call 1-877-919-7272.
Trident Health System
earns heart care recognition
Health System has achieved the bronze level in the American Heart
Association's "Get with the Guidelines" program, a hospital-based
quality improvement program that allows health care providers to
consistently treat heart patients with the most up-to-date guidelines.
submitted the necessary information and patient data to achieve
the bronze level, but will continue to collect more data in an effort
to achieve the silver award and then certification through the Joint
Commission, according to a press release from the organization.
The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization
that accredits and certifies more than 16,000 health care organizations
and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation
and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality
that reflects an organization's commitment to meeting certain performance
overall mission is to "show a hospital's commitment to evidence-based
care so patients have fewer readmissions and better care,"
said Catherine Reinhart, CV medical management coordinator at Trident
Health System's goal for 2010 is to achieve the Joint Commission
certification for heart failure treatment.
If you have a review of a book, movie, restaurant or local arts
endeavor, please send no more than 150 words to editor Ann
Thrash. Make sure to include your name and full contact information.
poet laureate is a poetry writer who is honored, officially or unofficially,
as the most distinguished or representative poet of a country or
region. The South Carolina General Assembly made the title of state
poet laureate official in 1934, proclaiming that "the Governor
may name and appoint some outstanding and distinguished man of letters
as poet laureate for the State of South Carolina."
same year Governor Ibra Blackwood appointed Archibald Rutledge as
the first official poet laureate of South Carolina. Born near McClellanville
in 1883, Rutledge held the title until his death in 1973. During
his almost forty-year tenure, he attained almost legendary stature
among his fellow South Carolinians.
South Carolina has had six poets laureate since 1934: Archibald
Rutledge (1934-1973), Helen von Kolnitz Hyer (1974-1983), Ennis
Rees (1984-1985), Grace Beacham Freeman (1985-1986), Bennie Lee
Sinclair (1986-2000), and Marjory Wentworth (2003- ).
laureate do not have a strictly delineated job description, beyond
the expectation that they will present poetry at a few state occasions.
Nor is the position meant to be a lucrative one. It carried a small
annual stipend until 2003, when Governor Mark Sanford vetoed funding
for the position. Despite the absence of actual duties, however,
the poet laureate has the unique responsibility of bringing poetry
out of the classroom and into the places where South Carolinians
are living their lives.
Excerpted from the entry by Julia Arrants. To read more about
this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The
South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used
encourage you to check out our sister publications:
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Charleston, SC 29413.
sentence: "You know you're from Charleston, S.C., if
We found ourselves chuckling the other day when we found a Facebook
page that asked that question - and gave a bunch of great answers.
Here are not five, but 10 of them. You know you're from Charleston
- You have
tripped over the bricks downtown.
- You know
that you can't see 6 inches in front of you under water in the
- You hold
the door behind you for the next person.
- You know
that there is an island near Edisto called Monkey Island and that
there are real monkeys on it.
- You know
not to go down Harborview Road at 5 o'clock.
- You say
or understand the meaning of "Bo."
- You know
that every year, at least one bad thing happens at the fair.
- You know
what The Washout is.
- You know
it's not a shopping cart, it's a buggy.
- You wear
sandals in the winter.
believes the official spokesman ... but everybody trusts an unidentified
Nessen (1934 - ), former NBC News correspondent and former White
House press secretary for President Ford
Green for the Girls II: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 20,
Halls Chophouse, 434 King St. Green Drinks Charleston, Carolina's
Eco-Unit, and Halls Chophouse are throwing a second cocktail hour
to help fund some simple energy-efficiency upgrades and retrofits
to the historic building downtown that houses the Center for Women.
Donation of $10 (cash or check at door) includes food samples. There
will be a cash bar. More
TUW Battle of the Bands: 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 20,
Music Farm, 32 Ann St., Charleston. Thirteen bands composed of local
professionals will perform in the contest. As a requirement to compete,
each band had to take part in a volunteer project with one of Trident
United Way's funded partners this summer. Admission: $10 donation
to Trident United Way, along with a business card (includes all
you can eat and drink).
Care Films, Forum: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 20, North Charleston
Picture House, 1080 E. Montague Ave., North Charleston. The Greater
Park Circle Film Society will offer a forum on health care reform
in conjunction with the premiere of two independent films, a documentary
called "Charleston Health Care Stories" and a musical
comedy called "Damaged Care." Following the films, panelists
will react to the movies and discuss issues related to health care
reform. Tickets: $2 film society members; $5 nonmembers, available
at the box office starting at 6:45 p.m. the night of the event.
Seating is limited, and a standing-room-only crowd is expected.
More info: Online
or Burn Book Sale: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 22, Village
Square Shopping Center, 1650 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. (formerly The
Map Room); sneak preview ($10-per-person admission) from 2 p.m.
to 6 p.m. Aug. 21. Event to benefit Trident Literacy Association.
Wide variety of books, CDs, DVDs and other electronic media will
be priced for quick sale; only cash or check will be accepted. Book
donations will be accepted at the sale site from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
daily Aug. 17 to Aug. 20, or books can be dropped off at any Trident
Literacy location. More
info online or 747-2223.
Cow Bingo: 6 p.m. Aug. 22, Joe Riley Stadium. The Charleston
RiverDogs' inaugural Cow Bingo contest will give participants a
chance to win $5,000. The baseball field will be marked off as a
grid with 10-foot-squares. Fans can purchase a square for $25, and
if a cow "drops a chip" in a purchased square, that square's
owner will win the money. There will also be line-dancing, hillbilly
horseshoes, "moo'shine," "Ye Haw" contests,
food, a dunk tank and more. The $25 fee for a square also includes
two tickets to the event. Regular event tickets (square not included)
are $5 (free to ages 12 and under). Tickets/more info: Online
ONGOING AND SOON
in IT: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Aug. 27, Tate Center,
College of Charleston, Room 207 and Gallery. The forum will explore
the challenges and opportunities for women in the IT industry with
a panel of local industry leaders and educators. An MIT Enterprise
Forum video from Technology Review's EmTech08 Conference will be
shown, featuring successful female entrepreneurs in the industry
with companies such as ZipCar, GoLoco, Ziggs.com and Daily Grommet.
Lunch and networking opportunities included. Registration (required):
$20 (includes lunch). More
Seining at Sullivan's: 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 28, Station
30, Sullivan's Island. The Station 30 area on Sullivan's Island
area has been a seining hotspot for generations. Join the experts
from Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission to catch and
discover a variety of marine critters at the first CCPRC seining
program on Sullivan's Island. A registered and paid chaperone is
required for participants ages 15 and under, and pre-registration
is required. Open to ages 6 and up. Cost: $7 Charleston County residents,
$9 nonresidents. Registration/more
info, or 795-4FUN.
Grassroots Meeting: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 1, Charleston
Metro Chamber of Commerce, 2750 Speissegger Drive, Suite 100, North
Charleston. The chamber will join the S.C. Chamber of Commerce and
other area chambers in preparing for the 2010 legislative session
with the annual Charleston Grassroots Regional Meeting, an open-forum
session that's the first step in creating the 2010 Competitiveness
Agenda and the business community's annual list of legislative priorities.
Free. RSVPs/more info: Julie
Scott by email or 803-255-2628.
+ Food Launch Party: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3,
Founders Hall, Charles Towne Landing, 1500 Old Towne Road. Barbecue
and beverages will be available, and the latest news about next
year's BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival, including the lineup
of chefs and authors, will be announced. Entertainment by the Blue
Plantation Band. Tickets: $10 per person cash or check at the door,
with proceeds benefiting the festival's charitable efforts. Reserve
tickets by Aug. 31 by e-mailing
or calling 727-9998, ext. 4.
Rice Plantation Program: 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 5, Caw
Caw Interpretive Center, Ravenel. Investigate daily life and practices
on a South Carolina rice plantation in the colonial era. Examine
the details of field construction, planting, cultivation and harvest
to reveal an endeavor of amazing scope. Advance registration required;
a registered and paid chaperone is required for participants age
15 or younger. Open to ages 9 and up. Cost: $7 Charleston County
residents, $9 nonresidents. More info: 795-4FUN or click
League of Women Voters Fall Kick-Off: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 16,
Renaissance on the Harbor, 100 N. Plaza Court, Mount Pleasant. Two
S.C. House members representing Charleston County -- Republican
Jenny Horne and Democrat Anne Peterson Hutto -- will talk about
their experiences as first-term representatives and their priorities
for the upcoming legislative session in January. The Charleston
County League of Women Voters will also provide information about
its activities. Free. Parking available across the street in the
Belvidere lot and next door at the Motley Rice building. More info:
745-5166 or email@example.com.
Entertaining Charleston Style: 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays,
Sept. 30 through Nov. 18, Culinary Institute of Charleston's
Palmer Campus, 66 Columbus St., Charleston. A series of short courses
celebrating the many facets of entertaining with a focus on Charleston
style and traditions. Guest presenters include hosts, event professionals,
authors, collectors, stylists and other specialists known for their
distinctive contributions to local hospitality and tourism. Light
beverage and cocktail samplings will be provided. Cost: $149. More
on the Waterfront: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through mid-October,
Pier Plaza at Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park. Free concerts
for the community. Beverages available for purchase at pier shop.
Bring a chair or use the benches and tables at the site. Upcoming
performers include Nick Collins, acoustic guitar, Aug. 12, and Jeff
Norwood, Southern Blues revivalist, Aug. 19. More info: Online
In this section,
we offer a list of good reads that you might want to consider reading:
Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson
Book of Marie, Terry Kay
Jazz, Jack McCray
Be Sober in the Morning: Great Comebacks, Putdowns, and Ripostes,
Chris Lamb (List)
Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman, Merle Miller
a book to us
Women at Gibbes
new food show
on car tags
way of tithing?
place for prejudice
fun at Halloween
to old clunker
to squeeze in
lists of year