Raleigh Rambles

John Dancy-Jones at large!

MUSA exhibit opens, taintradio features, Raleigh’s post-industrial art scene cooks


MUSA is a “post-industrial art exhibit” whose content will relate more or less directly to the venue: a dormant furniture factory across from Humble Pie in downtown Raleigh.  An art show in this space really resonates for me, because I have such fond memories of the crucial employment and quirky stories that arose from my artist friends’ work there in the 1980s.  The owners made annual trips to Asia for antiques and prints, but the majority of the stock was furniture that was “aged” – whipped with chains and other abuse, or modified otherwise – before wholesaling to Neiman Marcus.  Bill and Otho were enlightened and tolerant employers to several good friends, and I’ve always appreciated it.

Now Otho is offering the space, which ceased business in 2002, to Carter Hubbard and Sarah Botwick, two art entrepreneurs who hope

 to produce an interpretive, visual perspective that will allow patrons to reflect on what it means to be “made” in the USA; a question even more poignant in these current economic times.

mentioned this show in July and bemoaned the Flash software used to present the website, which actually looks quite nice, but presents minor navigation issues and major Google search issues, because all of the info appears to be insulated from the web-crawlers.  Now the site has a large amount of info and lots of artwork examples, most of which present some kind of connection to industrial themes.  The work is also integrated into the factory space, including one series that explores the history of the paint in the room in which it is situated.  The dying pastime of pigeon-keeping, the dying art of hat-making, Latino work portraits, and the use of trees all form a part of a broad set of responses to technological change and its implications for work.

Location: 320 South Harrington Street, Raleigh, NC
Web Address: www.musanc.com

Opening Reception: “First Friday”, October 2, 2009 6-9pm
Reg. Hours: Monday – Thursday, 11-5, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 1-7pm
“Invisible Sounds” – site-specific live music prior to the screening of “With These Hands”  Q&A to follow, Oct. 10, 6pm
Exhibition Dates: October 2-18, 2009



taintradio, poised to survive the “post music industry age,” sends word it will present another feature at Marsh Woodwinds.  The internet radio venture has added several new shows to its weekly cycle, including Philadelphia-based Jeff Duperon’s Congo Square.   Feature info below.

taintradio.org & Marsh Woodwinds presents guitarist/composer Eugene Chadbourne concert & live webcast on October 3rd.
Avant-garde multi-instrumentalist and composer Eugene Chadbourne brings his unique anarchic blend of jazz, punk, country, improv and noise to Marsh Woodwinds, 707 N. Person Street in Raleigh, NC on Saturday, October 3rd at 8pm. The concert is a presentation of the taintradio/Marsh Woodwinds concert series, and will be broadcast live on the Web to listeners worldwide at www.taintradio.org. Tickets are $10 at the door, and free refreshments will be served.
It’s been nearly 5 years since the Greensboro-based Chadbourne has performed in Raleigh, and we are delighted to add this date to his fall touring schedule, which includes Berlin, Vienna and Istanbul.
Chadbourne has been a major presence in improv, punk and jazz circles for over 30 years, including work with John Zorn, Charlie Haden, The Violent Femmes, Billy Bragg, Tony Trischka, The Red Clay Ramblers, Marc Ribot, Jimmy Carl Black and many others. Relentlessly eclectic and experimental, Chadbourne writes and plays a wide range of music, from free jazz interpretations of classic honky-tonk country to transcriptions of Bach for banjo and his infamous invention, the electric rake. Chadbourne’s dozens of solo and collaborative albums add up to one of the most consistently challenging and rewarding bodies of work you’ll find in experimental music.
  This is a rare chance to hear this musical legend in an intimate venue on Saturday, October 3rd.



SparkCon expanded and upgraded its arts event this year, taking over Fayetteville Street with 13 different “…sparks” at 24 venues, intensely focused on the 1st two blocks of Fayetteville.  From Raleigh’s emerging status as the East Coast’s gaming industry hub to the latest creation from uliveandyouburn, this street festival helps to brand Raleigh as a city of designers and 21st century entrepreneurs.


And as a final note, we head toward the “post newspaper industry age” in the company of Raleigh Public Record, whose detailed candidate profiles and “Sunshine” public record posts are demonstrating the validity and value of Charles Pardo’s vision of 21st century journalism.

My nature column at RPR will return as soon as some of my excess pies get cooked!

September 20, 2009 Posted by | art, music, Raleigh downtown | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Raleigh Public Record posits new journalism model


The Raleigh Public Record is a new website dedicated to “nonprofit, independent news for the Raleigh community.”  They recently held a fundraiser at the  101 Lounge, and between the speaker’s remarks and my conversations, I learned some quite disheartening news:  The News and Observer is conducting yet another round of cuts/buyouts that include a core group of reporters and editors, whose removal more than any others yet announced, signals the beginning of the end for our fine local newspaper.

The Raleigh Public Record is preparing to step into that emerging gap with a new model of journalism that includes cutting edge presentation of public records, in-depth treatment of local topics, and a business model that provides maximum editorial freedom.  Charles Pardo, founding editor, is looking for some high ground between the old and fast-eroding bastions of print news and the proliferation of admirable but highly uneven and unpredictable local blogs.  The largest of these is prone to slipping into pop culture and advertiser-driven topics – nothing wrong with that, but it’s not quite community service journalism.  And the most beloved local blog makes no pretense of presenting anything other than exactly what they feel like – or have photographed the night before!  The Raleigh Public Record wants to use the blog forum to develop a juried and professional venue for high quality news.  Their fundraiser attracted a strong showing of journalists and intelligentsia, well described at yet another new local blog.  The site has changed significantly over its short life and will continue to evolve as it develops tools and sources for a new paradigm in local news.

Back to NandO, which has served this community so well for so long.  The list of reporters leaving this week – Wade Rawlins, Ned Barnett, Joe Miller, Jon Peder Zane, and others – represents not trimming fat, nor even amputating trapped limbs, but cutting out heart muscle.  Or, as a speaker at the RPR fund-raiser put it: ” The News and Observer has attempted to maintain height in a sinking plane by tossing out the engine – a strategy that will work for just a few seconds.”  Doubtless the publishers will say that their younger (i.e. less expensive) reporters will pick up the slack, and they will say that their migration to an online model is going well.  We must also remember that NandO is a fairly healthy paper – it is the financial woes of McClatchy, its parent company, that is creating most of the stress.  But it seems clear that, in the end, McClatchy will suck the life out or our local newspaper and then sell it off to die a slow death.

In the wake of that tragedy, we will need new models for how to share and come together as a community about the issues of the day.  The Raleigh Public Record is a good start, and it is a fascinating experiment in new models of journalism.  It deserves our support – check it out!

And as a final disclaimer in this highly personal blog setting, I am thrilled to be part of the Raleigh Public Record with a column called The Natural View.

The Natural View

Farm to Market – Raleigh Locavore Pathways»

John Dancy-Jones is beginning an occasional column on Raleigh nature and the environment.

April 19, 2009 Posted by | Raleigh downtown, reflection | , , | 2 Comments