Displaying items by tag: 2013

Perseid Meteor Shower - The 'Best and Brightest'

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (8/2/13)—Independence Day celebrations are long gone for 2013, but mother nature has a phenomenal interstellar “fireworks” display up her sleeve that has been wowing audiences all over the world for thousands of years: the Perseid meteor shower.

Generally regarded by both seasoned astronomers and recreational stargazers as the “best” annual meteor shower visible from the Northern Hemisphere, the Perseid meteor shower not only produces some of the brightest meteors of the year, but it also correlates with the tail end of the Delta Aquarid shower that peaks in late July and continues into early August.

What’s more, those trying to fit in a viewing of the Perseids will have plenty of opportunities to squeeze in a little “time off the clock.” In fact, the 2013 Perseids meteor shower can be viewed during the post-midnight/pre-dawn hours of early August for nearly two full weeks, with their peak production of 50-100 visible meteors per hour taking place on the late evenings/early mornings of August 10/11, 11/12, and 12/13.

As EarthSky.org explains of the immense meteor shower:

The Perseid meteor shower is perhaps the most beloved meteor shower of the year for the Northern Hemisphere…The Perseids tend to strengthen in number as late night deepens into midnight, and typically produce the most meteors in the wee hours before dawn. They radiate from a point in the constellation Perseus the Hero, but, as with all meteor shower radiant points, you don’t need to know Perseus to watch the shower; instead, the meteors appear in all parts of the sky. They are typically fast and bright meteors. They frequently leave persistent trains. Every year, you can look for the Perseids around August 10-13. They combine with the Delta Aquarid shower to produce the year’s most dazzling display of shooting stars. In 2013, the Perseid meteors will streak across the short summer nights – August 10-13 – from late night until dawn, with little to no interference from the waxing crescent moon. Plus the moon will be near the planet Saturn in the evening hours, giving a colorful prelude to late-night Perseid show.

To maximize your viewing experience of the Perseids, however, there are a few guidelines that should be followed:

• First and foremost, you’ll want to locate an open and public vantage point that is as far removed from light pollution as is possible (this includes everything from glowing city lights to the lights of a car or nearby security light). Fortunately, Hopkins County has plenty of rural areas that are perfect for such an occasion.

• Secondly, it’s important to remember that watching for meteors is really all about getting out and enjoying the fruits of nature. While the Perseid shower is legendary because of the powerful and dependable displays it can produce, it would take a lot of patience to catch each and every one of the 50-100 meteors the annual shower can create.

• Third, don’t forget to make yourself comfortable while gazing at the night sky. Bring a chair or seat, check the weather, and dress appropriately for the climate.

• Finally, make sure you’re looking for meteors at the right time. To reiterate, the Perseids will be peaking during the late evening/pre-dawn hours of August 10/11, 11/12, and 12/13.

To learn more about the Perseid meteor shower, click here.

Wondering what the shower might actually look like? Check out a stunning time-lapse film of the 2010 Perseid meteor shower by clicking the video player attached below this article.

Sugg Street Post
Written by Luke Short
Photo by Jeff Harp
Information provided by EarthSky.org

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  • Published in Music

Clarksville's 'Coup' Brings Progressive Thought Downtown

PHOTO: The Coup's College Street location.

CLARKSVILLE, TN (6/26/13)—Within five minutes of walking into the new location for The Coup, I was horizontal on the venue's floor with Zach Lerman, Matt Watkins, and Josh Williams experiencing how cold tiles can get when air-conditioned.

I was happy to get some relief from the humid, hot weather outside, but I was still fairly surprised by what was going on.

I wasn't surprised by the fact that I was starting an interview with a few small business owners by collectively laying down on their tile floor—The Coup has been hell-bent on breaking conventions for the last five years—it was the room's air conditioning and the floor's cleanliness that surprised me.

The Coup never had much control over the climate of its former College Street location—heat lamps kept people warm in the winter while every set in the summer was punctuated by a mass exodus of people to the fresh air outside—but The Coup's crew has picked up a new set of keys.

And beyond just adding air conditioning and heating, The Coup has taken on a location that will be the biggest step towards engaging the greater Clarksville community that the music venue/community center/restaurant has taken.

With Clarksville’s conservative establishment in their backyard, the new location will likely test the owners of The Coup—their current cash-strapped status won't make it any easier—but the move will also offer big opportunities, both to Clarksville and The Coup.

An Outpost of Progressive Thought

The Coup's movement over the last five years—from the outer fringes of downtown on Crossland Avenue and College Street to the heart of Clarksville on University Avenue—is material evidence of the journey The Coup has taken since it was founded five years ago.

Lerman and the rest of the management had the freedom to be nearly as wild as they wanted when they were running a dirty venue in one of Clarksville's poorer neighborhoods. And that's what it seems like the founders were looking to do: have a place to get weird.

PHOTO: The Coup's first location on Crossland Avenue.

At first, The Coup was strictly a music venue. They hosted shows, but didn't serve food or alcohol. They eventually wanted to get a beer license, but they found out that they would have to get a restaurant license as well in order to keep the venue all ages.

So they went nearly bankrupt getting both licenses.

After three years on Crossland Avenue, they picked up and moved to College Street, a move that told Clarksville they were no longer content being a concealed outpost of progressive thought.

Their new perch on College Street, while not in downtown, was essentially a welcome sign for people heading towards the center of Clarksville. Whether or not they were interested, the average Clarksville resident saw what was going on at The Coup.

When Lerman set up a PA on The Coup's front deck to broadcast his monologues, passing motorists had no choice but to hear diatribes against corporate America. Drivers had no ignore button to press when they saw The Coup's patrons playing with fire or massive hula hoops in the parking lot.

And this third move will bring The Coup and its message even closer to the culture of Clarksville that it so often rails against. For better or worse, Clarksville's finest will now be at The Coup's door faster than ever before and Clarksville's leaders will have a tougher time ignoring what happens at one of the city's only bastions of liberal, progressive thought.

The implications of this move don't seem to be lost on the people behind The Coup.

PHOTO (from left): Matt Watkins, Josh Williams, Xanthi Diamond and Zach Lerman

"Dan Choi [one of The Coup's volunteers/employees] made the comment, 'Oh we're about to move here. Time to make some new friends and some new enemies.' That sounds about right," Lerman said. "Some people will like it and some people will not like it."

Lerman's attitude betrays a confidence that him and the rest of The Coup's owners—Stacy Gazenski, Kory Kyle, and Matt Watkins—have gained since they set up shop five years ago. The Coup is no longer a place to hide out from the establishment—it's becoming an institution that wants to be noticed.

More Than a Venue

The Coup's latest move may be its furthest step towards central Clarksville, but it's also the completion of a circle. Lerman got his start promoting shows at the new University Avenue location when it housed The Icehouse bar.

"I was always trying to book shows and stuff, but it was really stupid because nobody really wanted it," Lerman said. "So this was just a place I already knew. I knew people that worked here. I knew the owner."

But The Coup will look far different when it returns to The Icehouse's former location. Shows will still be put on, but it's more accurate to call The Coup a community center than a venue.

Depending on when you were at The Coup's College Street location, you could see people gardening, doing yoga, reciting poetry, playing trivia, belly dancing, meditating, riding bicycles, falling off unicycles, spinning hula hoops or playing with fire.

And food has moved far from its humble beginnings as an item on a legal checklist.

Some of the best bread in Clarksville comes out of The Coup's kitchen now that Josh Williams has been added to The Coup's management and a constantly shifting menu has given Clarksville its first seasonal, vegetarian-friendly eatery.

Williams brought serious kitchen tools into the College Street location, but, with the addition of a professional gas stove and oven, this move will give The Coup its biggest culinary step up.

And that means that when The Coup opens its University Avenue doors, it won't just be bringing liberal politics and avante-garde music to downtown—it'll be putting quality, handcrafted food in what is nearly a good-food desert.

The Coup's homemade bread will stand out against The Blackhorse's ready-made pizza—downtown's most popular pizza place doesn't make it's own dough—and The Coup's emphasis on real, locally-sourced ingredients will be a stark contrast against The Gilroy's provel-cheese-covered menu.

The Coup has been one of Clarksville's earliest supporters of craft beer, but they won't be alone on University Avenue. Clarksville's most carefully-curated beer menu will be next door at The Pea Patch, and even The Gilroy, with it's penchant for highly-processed cheese and corporate pop music, which has embraced craft beer.

But there's talk of acquiring a wine and liquor license at The Coup—if that happens and The Coup stays to their usual ethos, that will mean that Clarksville will finally have a place to get great quality, local beer, food, wine, and liquor in one place.

And that's something that will stretch The Coup's appeal beyond its usual clientele.

If they can keep their quality up and not scare off University Avenue's foot traffic—and that second point is a fairly big if—The Coup could become the most popular food spot downtown.

PHOTO: A look inside The Coup's new location.

The pieces are there for The Coup to flourish in their new location, but, with money increasingly tight, nothing is guaranteed.

"We don't have any money right now," Lerman said. "We're just throwing every penny and every borrowed penny we have into opening this place in the hopes that it will be successful."

But this isn't the first time that The Coup has been down to their last dollar—family and friend donations have propped the venture up at various points—and money has never really been The Coup's inspiration.

"We were really extensive about our business plan. We did all the numbers and projections and everything... the numbers never ever actually worked out," Lerman said. "We would do the math hundreds of times and it just came up like, this is not going to work."

But five years later, The Coup is still working and the community around it is still growing.

"We get a lot of good reviews from Nashville bands that like to play here, mostly because of the people," Lerman said, "and that has generally been what has kept this place alive—people that actually care and are involved and feel like they belong. And it's not necessarily a certain type of person, but a common theme: open-mindedness."

Liberate Te Ex Jesse Smith, Methdad, Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt, and Little Ruckus are kicking off the new Coup with a $3 show this Thursday, June 27th at 9pm.

Thursday night we'll be the weirdest University Ave has gotten in years—here's to hoping it's only the first of many weird nights.

Sugg Street Post
Writing/Photos by Klaus von Sprekels

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  • Published in Music

Local Emcee Marack Debuts 'Wake Up,' Recounts Inspiration for Album

MADISONVILLE, KY (6/23/13)—Music defies language barriers, yet its essence—a rhythmic beat—is inherent to all forms of speech. From the patterns found in Shakespeare’s iconic, centuries-old catalog of poetic sonnets, to the pauses found in daily interactions with others, music is both a beloved and intrinsic part of human life. And we may theorize, perhaps, that this is why music has stood as the one common denominator of all races and creeds since the dawn of civilization.

Conjecture aside, it’s a fact that music can incite a range of emotion in a listener. Love, anger, sadness, pain, happiness, triumph, confusion—music can provoke these feelings and more. In many instances, music can spark and epitomize social upheaval; it can define a country and its people; it can ignite passion and empathy; it can educate and enlighten; and, yes, it can even save a life. And it’s the latter that local hip-hop emcee, L’Mer “Marack” Owens, understands much better than most.

A native of Louisville, KY and a longtime Madisonville resident, Marack is an amiable father and local volunteer with the Light of Chance, Inc., as well as a truly gifted hip-hop emcee and a modern day wordsmith, who is inspired by a pure, universal muse: waking up to life.

After being beaten to death at a club and reawakening into a coma on June 20th, 1999, it seemed that Marack’s life would be coming to a swift and abrupt end. In addition to the severe injuries he had sustained, doctors explained that Marack’s life support would have to be terminated on his 19th birthday—June 23rd, 1999—if proper funds couldn’t be secured by his family beforehand. Unfortunately, the charity his family received over a three-day period simply didn’t cover the hospital’s requirements.

Yet, as the hour of his passing swiftly approached, something truly remarkable took place: Marack’s eyes opened and he soon found himself conscious with the sounds of The Roots’ “Concerto of the Desperado” reverberating throughout his hospital room. In a word, what had happened to Marack was miraculous—a term that would later instigate his full-length emcee moniker, Marackue’luz.

As one can imagine, it was after waking up and hearing the familiar beat that Marack’s longtime love for hip-hop was reignited. And as his faculties returned, he began to create a flurry of poetry and songs that would eventually serve to inspire an aptly titled debut album: Wake Up.

With a Wake Up inspired mixtape set for digital release on June 23rd, as well as a full album (both digital and hard copy) release set for July 6th, the Sugg Street Post sat down with the down-to-earth artist and discussed his connection to Madisonville, KY, his inspirations for the album, his brush with death, the differences between hip-hop and corporate rap, and much more.

Who is Marack? Read on.

Luke Short: For starters, tell me a little bit about yourself—your name, hometown, etcetera.

Marack: Well, my name is L’mer Owens and I was born in Conner Homes up in Louisville, KY in 1980. My mom’s name is Lucretia Owens and my father’s name was William Level. I moved to Village West after living in Conner Homes, which is also in Louisville. At the time, I guess things weren’t looking too good for my mom up in Louisville, so she moved down here with my great grandmother in Madisonville. Though I still have some memory issues, I’ve been told that my mom came down here and started raising me when I was six-years-old. My great grandmother was why we came here. She’s still alive today at 93-years-old. Her name’s Ellen Owens—walkin’, talkin’, and kickin’. You know, you expect your great grandparents to be in the nursing home. I wish we would put her in a nursing home; she’d kill us. [laughs] She still gets out and tries to cut the grass. She took care of me and my mom for a long time, so that was really when my life began.

LS: When did music become a part of your life?

Marack: Music has been the backdrop of my entire life.

LS: At what point did you realize the power music holds?

Marack: It was very early on. It may sound crazy, but patterns have always been something that have been attractive to me. Specifically, I pick up on speaking patterns. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve really tuned in to someone’s voice pattern. As I’m talking to you right now, I’ll say something and then I’ll pause. Everyone has a voice pattern. I used to pay attention to that a lot. I didn’t even realize I was doing that.

Before 1999, which was when I got hurt, I would listen to Heltah Skeltah, The Roots, Outkast, and Slum Village—that was it for me. You could not bring anything else to me. It wasn’t going to be played. Gangster rap wasn’t my forte. I guess I’ve always been attracted to intelligence. So, that’s exactly what I liked. You know, when I heard Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, and Heltah Skeltah, it changed my life. Period. To hear Ruck [Sean Price] and Rock’s [Jahmal Bush] relationship on a Heltah Skeltah track was phenomenal. With The Roots, you can listen to the synchronization and duality of Malik B. and Black Thought, and how they can interchange voices and rhymes, and it works. I was stuck. Before that, I was all about track and field. Anyone that knows me knows that I ran. That’s what I did. And I would smoke you; I was fast.

LS: What school were you at when you were into track and field?

Marack: I went to high school at [Hopkins County] Central and, after my freshman year, I went to North [Hopkins]. I ran, man. I fell in love with running until June 20th, 1999. That’s when everything changed.

LS: Tell me about everything that happened. What’s the story?

Marack: Me and my guys went out to celebrate and have a good time. I was in a junior fraternity called the Kappa League. Basically, we were like the fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi—you know, the pretty boys at home on the yard wearing their red, white, and black. Everyone calls them the pretty boys, and that’s what me and my guys were. We were clean cut. It was me, A.J. Mitchell, Brandon Hightower, Eric Logan, Quincy Hall, Silas Matchem, and a bunch of other guys. This was at North [Hopkins] too. The college fraternities were the ones that built us up. It was a program they did through high school.

So, we went out to have a good time and all I remember is that a fight broke out.

LS: Where were you guys when this happened?

Marack: We were at a club called The Raz [in Evansville, IN] and this fight broke out. I was talking to a female in the corner and something came up, people started getting hype, and I guess things took a turn for the worse. All I remember was fighting one guy in the beginning, but that one guy turned to two, and I wasn’t seeing double—this guy had help. And then two turned to four; four turned to eight; eight turned to sixteen. All I could do after that was take cover.

When it was all over with and I had woken up after everything was done, I read the police statement and it said that I had been attacked by at least 45 men. They beat me. They took stones and threw them in my face. I couldn’t even defend myself; I was tired and beaten. I couldn’t do anything else. Somehow, they had gotten a loose railroad tie and cracked me open with it. I felt my skull split. I couldn’t move anymore. I felt like something was wrong—and I was already bleeding from my ears, my nose, and my mouth—because it felt like someone was really close to me. They were standing over me, talking to me. It was Buck Brown, a guy I had just got to fighting with the day before. He was that guy standing over me making sure no one touched me. He’s a very noble guy. I remember people screaming and one of the guys said, “That guy is dead.”

I remember getting lifted—I guess I was on a stretcher—and feeling cold. Then I remember feeling heat. I had died. That was the first time I died. They brought me back and were talking to me. Then, I slept again. I felt cold again. It was a cold that you can’t fight. You see people in movies trying to fight death, and that’s really what it looks and feels like. You’re shaking because you’re extremely cold and you’re trying to fight this cold. You ask yourself why you’re feeling so cold. I lost again. I died a second time. But they brought me back and I was in a coma.

The doctor told my family that there wasn’t enough money to keep me on. He told them that they’d have to pull my life support and everything else in three days, which was June 23rd. From there, my family prayed and they went out in the community and did everything they could to raise money. There were signs all over town and I was all over the news, but there wasn’t any real money actually coming in to keep my life support on.

Well, June 23rd rolls around, and at 11:59pm they were going to have to pull my life support machines. They were going to have to take me out. Back then, they still could’ve done that; you can’t now. So, it was June 23rd, and my family was there. They knew I liked music, so they had a boom box in my room with a CD that had Heltah Skeltah, The Roots, Outkast, and Blackstar, which is made up of Mos Def and Talib Kweli. So, this CD is playing—and everyone knows I’m huge fan of J. Dilla and The Roots—and The Roots’ “Concerto of the Desperado” comes on. Black Thought’s second verse is playing and I open my eyes. Right then, I woke up out of my coma. I woke up on June 23rd at 4:47pm. I woke up to “Concerto of the Desperado” on June 23rd, the day that they were supposed to pull the plug. But June 23rd is also special to me for another reason: it’s my birthday. So, I woke up out of my coma on my birthday listening to The Roots.

LS: That’s really incredible. It’s almost like you were reborn.

Marack: I really was. I woke up a new person. I woke up and fell in love with hip-hop all over again. It wasn’t long before I realized that music was going to be what I did for the rest of my life. It was like I knew nothing about running; it was all music.

LS: Do you remember what your very first thought was when you woke up?

Marack: I do. Crazy enough, my very first thought was, “I gotta get to the track meet.” I don’t know why I thought that, but I felt like I had to get to a track meet. I don’t know why. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t read, and I couldn’t write. My family came in and I didn’t even know them. It was like I was a three-year-old kid all over again. Music is what brought me back, though. If I had the chance, I would love to look right at Black Thought and tell him “Thank you.” This is what I woke up to. [L’Mer plays “Concerto of the Desperado] I play this before any show, because this is me waking up. This is what the new world was to me. I heard this and it was like it was all I knew. I listen to it and I think, “God, you’re funny.” It was like he was setting the tone to my new life.

So, after all this, I wound up writing music. I’m able to do things with music, as well as a person’s heart and mind, that an average rapper just can’t do. No, I’m not Superman; I’m cool being Clark Kent. But when a beat comes on, my alter ego comes out. I always tell people that my alter ego is [Dragon Ball Z’s] Fajita. Fajita took many beatings and it made him stronger. He’s a super saiyan, you know? I think he took the beatings purposefully sometimes, because when he would come back he knew that he could hand out the “business.” [laughs] That’s kind of what I believe in now. I took a beating and now, lyrically, you get this business.

LS: So you took something from your experience and learned from it?

Marack: I definitely learned from it. Like, the guys who beat me, I don’t know why they did and I don’t care, but I thank God it happened. I didn’t care about my life before. I was reckless. I did a lot of things as a young man that most men won’t do in their entire life. Now, I can sit up and I can say, “I did all that. Now I’m grown.” As my granddad, rest in peace, used to say, “I done did everything and I got two t-shirts from it.” Now, it’s about music. My thing is, if I can get you to sit down for three or four minutes and concentrate on what I’m saying, and then you apply it to your life in some type of way, I’ve done my job. If you hear me on a track bragging, talking about how dope I am, maybe that will inspire you to feel the same way about yourself. If you hear one of my songs where I’m talking about the pain and struggle that I’ve gone through, maybe you can identify with that and, instead of giving in out or tapping out, you can go left, so to speak. You can hear how I’ve overcome it and made good.

You know, music is so systematic sometimes. If you talk about the cars, the women, and all the luxuriousness, you can get the money, but you lose your soul. I’m keeping my soul. I’ve got to. If I lose my soul in this, then what did I do it for? My family and my listeners lose in that scenario. The people who created hip-hop are broke. Why? Because they put their heart into it; they didn’t sell themselves short. It’s an art form. To this day, people call me and say I’m a dope rapper. But I’m not a rapper; I’ve never been a rapper. I’m an emcee. An emcee or a lyricist is a representative of hip-hop culture. A rapper is a representative of corporate interest. I really can’t do that. We all do everything we can to make sure the art form is seen in a positive light. That’s why I teach music with the Light of Chance’s “Breathe” program down at the Rosenwald-Smith Multicultural Center in Madisonville. Those kids down there are dope. My students are phenomenal down there. [Marack plays two tracks, one of which is called “I’m Too Young for the Club” that features several “Breathe” students, as well as two of L’mer’s own children]

LS: Going back, how long was it after you woke up that you were able to start writing again?

Marack: It took nine months before I could actually walk. All together, physical therapy took two years. Remember, I was 19 at the time, but my mind was that of a three-year-old. So, you know, that was extremely hard to accept. Then, the emotional stress that I went through was painful. I’d cry every night, because I was scared to go to sleep. I was scared of taking that beating. To this day, I take that beating every night. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD] is not cool. It’s not anything to play with. People who’ve faced hardships in the military, those who’ve seen the frontlines, have gone through things most people could never fathom. They need time to themselves, you know? When someone says they have PTSD, they’re basically saying that they’re carrying something inside. It’s something they can’t erase from their mind. For as long as they’re alive on Earth, they will be carrying that weight on their shoulders. You know, a woman who’s been beaten in the past will always be on her guard. Making a quick movement, raising your voice, or pulling her arm the wrong can set off a lot of emotions and may have a bad effect, and it’s that way with me, too.

It took me a lot of time to bounce back, just to walk. But, the entire time I was going through recovery, I was writing. I didn’t know what I was writing. I didn’t know what it was about. I didn’t know what I was doing; I was just writing. The first song I wrote was a letter to God saying that I was tired. It was this. [Marack plays a track called “So Much Pain”] This track’s about three different emotions that you feel on a day-to-day basis. As men, we have to tell the truth sometimes, and there’s no one else who speak for us, so why not just say it? I’m talking about the pain I’ve been through and the depression I was feeling when I was alone and helpless. Those are the kind of things that you have to get off your chest or you go to some dark places. It’s a waking up process.

LS: So, after you had been writing for a while after waking up, how did you start making music? What got that going?

Marack: When I came out of my coma and had some writing down, I linked up with Q The Gamer, who is from here in Hopkins County. We linked up and started talking, and we established a musical relationship, which is a must. We kicked it when we could and he started listening to a lot of the stuff that I liked to get a feel for what I was into. He’s down in Tennessee now and that’s the land of big, heavy-hitting drums down there, but he knows I’m hip-hop. And it’s funny, I don’t feel anybody else’s beat but his. I can listen to his or J. Dilla’s. [laughs] I haven’t said too much about Dilla, but Dilla is my “everything.” Black Thought, Andre 3000, and J. Dilla—I’m the biggest campaign for them. But Q and I hooked up, and I told him that I wanted to make an album. He said okay and asked me what I was going to call it. I had to sit on it for years. Then, three years ago, I told him I was ready. He said, “Are you sure you’re ready?” I told him I was and that I wanted to call it Wake Up. He asked, “Wake up?” I told him yeah, and he said he thought he knew where I was headed with it but wanted me to tell him anyway. So, that’s what I did. I told him that we would document the process of me waking up from my coma to life, as well as how I was awoken musically. He said, “Dat on that.” Apparently, that means "cool" down in Tennessee. [laughs] So, we started working on the Wake Up project. My best friend and my manager is Brandon Hightower. We were sitting up one day and me and Brandon were watching the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?, which is actually a Kentucky movie. It’s part of our history. Well, anyway, I realized that I really, really liked the movie. I heard and saw something in it, you know? I called Q around three in the morning and I said, “Find this sample, [referring to “Go To Sleep Little Baby” sang by the sirens] because it’s going to start the album.” From there, it starts the album. I’m not going to say I’m a genius, but I’m definitely eccentric. The things that I come up with are hard to understand until you hear them finished. [Marack begins to freestyle over the sample, referencing the alien sensation of waking up from a coma and not fully understanding his weakened condition]

LS: So, this new album, Wake Up, is based around your journey from waking up until today?

Marack: Definitely. It’s an interesting journey. Who wouldn’t want to know what it was like? I love lyricism and that’s what I’m using to explain my journey. I want this to be the biggest hip-hop album to come out of west Kentucky, or maybe even the entire state. Hip-hop is a competitive sport and I’m bringing the business, you know? There’s going to be 19 tracks on the album, because I was 19-years-old when I woke up, and I bet you that you’re not going to skip more than three times on my album unless you need to hear something right then because you need to relate. I’m trying to make my album skip free. It’s unlikely, but that should be an emcee’s main goal. I want your skip button to have dust on it and your rewind button to feel brand new all over again.

LS: So how can people check out Wake Up?

Marack: The mixtape is being released to the public on Sunday, June 23rd, which is both the day I woke up and my birthday. Then, the full album is coming out on July 6th in digital format and hard copy. If people want to check it out, they can visit my ReverbNation page or they can message me on my Facebook page.

LS: Taking a step back, how do you think our local music scene could be improved upon?

Marack: People need to quit being lazy and show their support. This city is reluctant to spend money, but it’s up to the people in the end. Simply support your local artist. If they have a show—or even if they have a party at their house—get behind them. If you get behind something that you really like, there’s so many places and people that might see what you’re doing. Let’s say you get a photo of an unknown artist, they come out with a song or an album, and it all meshes together. Then, there’s people watching what you’re doing and the artist’s name gets out there. By supporting local artists, you have given them a helping hand, even if just for a second, and that’s what it’s all about.

________________________________________________________

Want to purchase Marack's mixtape and full album, Wake Up? If so, contact Marack via Facebook or ReverbNation.

To check out some of Marack's music right now, click the ReverbNation player attached under this article. 

Sugg Street Post
Writing/Interview by Luke Short
Photos provided by Jeff Harp and L’Mer “Marack” Owens

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2013 Supermoon to Brighten Weekend Sky

NASAHOPKINS COUNTY, KY (6/21/13) - This weekend, be prepared to be dazzled by the largest full moon of 2013. This celestial phenomenon is referred to as a “supermoon” and it will be closest to our earth this Sunday, June 23, at 7am.

There is a specific point in the moon’s orbit where it becomes aligned with planet Earth and our galaxy’s sun. This precise configuration is called the lunar perigee. The moon hits this alignment once each month, sometimes twice. However, this Sunday the moon’s elliptical orbit will bring it the closest it will be to our earth all year. That distance measures 221,824 miles.

Because the moon will be so near to our planet, it will appear up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than usual. The moon will not be this close to us again until August 2014.

Make sure to catch a glimpse of this extraterrestrial occurrence this weekend and learn more by watching the educational Space.com video below about the 2012 supermoon. Click this link to view a live webcast for the 2013 supermoon, which will be embedded on Sunday, June 23.

Sugg Street Post
Written by Jessica Dockrey

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  • Published in Music

MAD Flavor Fest - Through the Eyes of the Artists

MADISONVILLE, KY (5/28/13)—Madisonville’s first premier music, arts, and film festival, the Mad Flavor Fest, is coming up on Saturday, June 15th, 2013 at the Ballard Convention Center—and it’s no surprise that the inaugural event is garnering attention from communities across the tri-state region and beyond. With an ever-growing lineup of entertainment that currently includes performances by 13 local and out-of-state bands, over 15 art-based vendor booths, 11 US and internationally-produced independent films, a variety of family-friendly activities, food, refreshments such as beer and wine, and more, the festival is poised to be one of the tri-state area’s most entertaining summer events.

But what originally prompted a festival of this scale?

In the late spring of 2012, a powerful concept materialized before former Madisonville resident and The Late Circuit DJ, Mat Pentecost: to organize Madisonville’s first large-scale, collaboration-based arts and music festival that would showcase the wide swath of talent our region holds, while also supporting a positive cause (which, in this case, would become the Mid-West Kentucky Chapter of the Red Cross).

As Pentecost explains, the idea came to him after revisiting music he had created with friends in Hopkins County. From there, he pondered upon the relatively unrecognized talent he was surrounded by throughout his youth, and he came to a realization that this underlying, albeit powerful, sense of synergy deserved a place in the public spotlight.

Soon after, Pentecost created a Facebook page that would help to gauge interest in such an event while also serving as a platform for regional collaboration among artists, musicians, filmmakers, and volunteers. The response was immediate and notable, leading Pentecost to take the first steps onto what would become a year-long path of planning, mediation, and overall event organization.

Today, just over a year later, Pentecost’s original vision is mere weeks away from becoming a tangible reality thanks to the support of the Mid-West Kentucky Chapter of the Red Cross, a variety of volunteers and supporters, local artists, musicians, filmmakers, and many more helping hands.

And while the recently launched Mad Flavor Fest website—www.madflavorfest.com—contains information on performers, artists, ticket prices, vendor participation, films, and much more, the Sugg Street Post has reached out to many of the people involved with the festival over the past few weeks to get their take on why the upcoming event is so important to our community, as well as why they got involved. Their respective responses are as follows. 

The Organizers
QUESTIONS:
1.) Why did you decide to get involved with the festival as a volunteer?
2.) Why is a festival like this so important to our region?

Mat Pentecost
I incidentally started this thing because I was listening to a lot of old cassette tape recordings of StereoPop. I just wanted to goof off and hang out with my friends again. I was certain that I wasn't alone in that feeling. I feel that the festival is important because I don't want greater Hopkins County to lose the talent and forward-thinking visionaries that I know this region produces due to boredom and lack of positive stimuli. This happened with most of my generation. Most of us moved away. Why? What happened? Or more importantly, what didn't happen?

Seth Owen 
I decided to volunteer so I could help play a part in promoting the local art scene and businesses in the community where I grew up. Having multiple public outlets available throughout the year where artists can perform and display their talents are important, as is providing local businesses more opportunities to succeed. Growing up playing drums in a few different indie bands in Hopkins County and performing at different events was something I am grateful for having done—especially after living in a few different large metropolitan areas, I see how big of a role the arts have in our daily lives.

Whitney Drewe Wardrip 
I got involved because it is an honor that the festival benefits the Red Cross. We are thrilled to be a part of such an awesome event that is so desperately needed in our community!







Christopher Mcdonald

From as far back as I can remember, I've had a love for, and have felt a deep connection with, music and the arts. Living in this town, I've had the honor to grow up with and form friendships with some intensely talented artists and musicians. Unfortunately, as has been discussed, there are few venues and platforms in the area for these amazing minds to display their gifts. So when Mat shot this idea out, I jumped at the opportunity to help in anyway he needed me. The fact that this thing evolved into a charity event to benefit the Red Cross was the icing on the cake. I knew how huge this could be for the community both artistically and economically. I knew I didn't have nearly as much to offer as the majority of the group, and was humbled to be asked to be a part of what I see becoming the single greatest gathering of local talent seen here to date. This thing is like a dream come true.

Jessica Dockrey 
I got involved with the festival because I love collaboration on a massive scale. It's truly amazing to see what I would consider a piece of collage art, the festival, come to life. People need to appreciate the people that surround them. Being able to share your talents with your community is important to each individual as well as the area as a whole. Love where you live. It's easy if you involve yourself in what's going on around you and make yourself aware of all the reasons to appreciate all that deserves to be appreciated. Acknowledge the people that actively contribute in your life experience.


The Musicians

QUESTIONS:
1.) Where do you call home and who all is a part of your band?
2.) Why did you decide to get involved with this festival?
3.) Why is music and art important to both smaller communities and society at large?

Philosopher’s Stone
(http://pstonemusic.com/)
 
We create music in the hills of Boone County, KY. The four of us live in northern Kentucky just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. The music makers in Philosopher’s Stone are Chris Laile (bass), John Carrico (drums), Jon '8k' Divita (keys/synthesis) and me, Brad Denham (guitar/vox).

We were invited to perform at the inaugural MAD Flavor Fest via Mat Pentencost, who we have played music with in Cincinnati. Matty P has performed at many of our shows over the years and usually ends up on stage with us for live jams.

Music is an integral part of society…it is essential to completeness. Music and song are basic human functions, like the beating heart or breathing. Like birds and crickets, we all have a song. A quick search of the internet yields an interesting fact: "there is no international law that requires a country to adopt an anthem, yet currently every country has realized that this is something that is needed as part of a national identity. An anthem is used to musically express what a country—or any other group of people—stand for and what unites them.” (www.nationalanthems.info) Music allows us to express our fears, our pain, our wants and desires; it enlightens, elates, and transcends. Above all else, it can express our deepest love. A song can speak for the things that are not easily said. Like a needle in the groove, music imprints itself on the human heart and brain capturing the experience and moment in time, and, upon listening again, those memories and feelings are triggered and can be relived again and again. There is nothing like a great song that can magically take you back to relive your childhood.

If I had to choose between losing my sight or losing my hearing, I would choose sight. The first thing you do when you hear something beautiful or when you experience pleasure is shut your eyes.

Pat Ballard
(http://www.reverbnation.com/patballard)

My home is Hopkins County. The guys I’ll be playing with at the festival are Jon Gilbert (guitar), Gary Madison (bass), Clint Combs (drums), and maybe Johnny Keyz (keyboard).

When I found out about Mat and what he was putting together, and his passion and drive to showcase the talent here and regionally, I just wanted to help in any way I could. Mat has worked really hard to bring so many people together for a great cause, which is not only a benefit for the Red Cross, but also a benefit to all of us by getting so many musicians from this area at one festival.

It’s hard to articulate an answer to the last one. The benefits of the arts to all communities are just so intangible. It really gives us artsy types a little more room to breathe.

Falter
(https://www.facebook.com/FalterMusic)

Home for Falter is right here in Hopkins County. With the exception of our drummer Bryan Thomas who resides in Hopkinsville, KY, all other members (Kevin Offutt, John Pierce, Brad Wilson, Adam O’Rear) were raised right here in Hopkins County.

We in Falter are big believers in giving back to our community, charities, and to society in general. Each year we set aside time and promotions for events such as the Mad Flavor Fest. We have done quite a few this year. Most recently, we played the Thumbs Up For What’s Wright Benefit in Nashville at the Tin Roof. We have had very much support from our fans, especially the fans right here in Hopkins County, so we were thrilled at the chance of being a part of this event for our hometown community and for the American Red Cross. It’s been some time now since we’ve been able to play a show right here at home due to scheduling issues, so being a part of this event is very exciting because allows a way to raise money for the American Red Cross while also bringing awareness to this community, which is a plentiful melting pot of talent. Whether it be musicianship or the arts, Hopkins County is rich with both.

There are so many points that I could address on the matter of music and art’s importance and role in raising of a cultured and great society. Music was a huge part of my life personally, and at no matter what point of my life, I have always acknowledged there has been an overwhelming yearning and calling in my life for music. I am following the calling now on a larger scale, but even if I wasn’t, music will always be a large part of me. To us, the biggest importance to a community and society is self expression and our rights and freedom. So many times I have heard stories of schools cutting the arts programs, and this saddens me because these programs give kids the avenue to find their true passions as artists.

JT Oglesby
(www.facebook.com/jtoglesby)

I am a gypsy-spirited vagabond that embarked on a spiritual journey exploring the musical and creative aspects of the world during my teens, which continues to this day. My band consists of rounders, misfits, and other miscreants I have encountered over the years that embrace a noncompliant societal and creative view. These roustabouts frequently change, making my band an ever-shifting work-in-progress. Each unique version explores a different path unknown to the incarnations before it.

I wanted to get involved with this festival because I am proud to be a Kentuckian and I am proud to be from this area. My family has lived and died in this area for so long that there is more of my DNA in this soil than dirt. I want to do whatever I can to help promote and preserve our heritage and culture. A lot of people say it, but few truly mean it: LLKM! Long Live Kentucky Music!

Hollywood Gutterats
(www.facebook.com/HollywoodGutterats)

Home is where the rock is! The Hollywood Gutterats are Slush (lead vox and guitar), Yngwie Springsteen (guitar), Micheal Anthony Hall (bass), and Tommy Lee Greenwood (drums).

Why did we get involved? Because Slush and Mat Pentacost both like Taco Bell Chalupas!

Music and art is important because it touches everyone in one way or another. And who doesn’t like to be touched?

Technology Versus Horse
(www.reverbnation.com/technologyvshorse)

Technology Versus Horse as a band is from Bowling Green, KY. We all met while/shortly after attending WKU. We are composed of Mike Farmer (vocals), myself (Rafe Heltsley–guitar), Matt Bitner (bass), David Prater (keys), and Josh Hines (drums).

I grew up in White Plains, KY and went to high school in Madisonville (Hopkins County Central High School). When Mat Pentecost was thinking about throwing the festival, he mentioned it to me. I thought it sounded like a great idea and wanted my band to play to show our support.

Music and art are very important outlets of expression. They also help gather people together, bonding over a shared favorite band or artist or meeting up at local shows.

The Fair-Weather Kings
(www.facebook.com/thefairweatherkings)

The Fair-Weather Kings started in Bowling Green KY and all of us still live here. Our members our Wesley Stone, Zach Barton, Jason Williams, Craig Brown, and Marcus Long

Zach and I (Wesley) grew up in Madisonville. Marcus is also from Hopkins County. So we have "roots" there, so to speak. Zach and Marcus' parents still live in Hopkins County. So, for us, getting involved with the festival was about the opportunity to be involved in an event that not only benefits the American Red Cross, but also brings art, in various forms, to a town that a few of us have called home.

Art and music are important because they are "tools" that have many uses; free to anyone that desires them.

The Artists and Vendors
QUESTIONS:
1.) What's your personal info (name, age, hometown, business name and overview, etc.)?
2.) Why is your art form or craft important to you personally?
3.) Why did you decide to get involved with the MadFlavor Fest? OR Why is the festival important to our community?

MCC Humanities Division
(www.madisonville.kctcs.edu/)

Myself (Brooke Archila) and perhaps a few others will be setting up a booth to represent the Humanities Division at Madisonville Community College. The Humanities Division is an eclectic group of instructors who teach classes in the fields of English, history, communications, foreign languages, music, reading, art, and women's studies. We support and promote anything related to these areas on campus and in the community. The study of humanities in various forms is essential to understanding ourselves and the world around us. Through these areas of study, we express our creativity and share in the creativity of others. In our representation of our department at the festival, we want to share the many cool things we have going on in the fall and encourage involvement and support!

Bad Apple Paintwerks
(www.facebook.com/BadApplePaintwerks)
My name is Patrick Harvey and I'm the owner of Bad Apple Paintwerks. I'm 38 and my hometown is Hopkins County. I create art directed towards the musically inclined.

Why is what I do important to me personally? A favorite quote of mine might sum that up: "Paint chips make me thirsty."

I decided to get involved with this festival because I live here and I want to help promote the arts in our community when I have the chance. 

HoldFast WoodCO.
(www.facebook.com/HoldfastWoodCo)
 
My name is Cody McDowell. I’m 24 years old and live in Madisonville, KY. I’m the owner of HoldFast WoodCO. I create simple custom furniture and home decor.

Woodworking is important to me because it’s becoming a lost art, yet it’s one of the basic trades that defines us as a country and as a civilization in general. I think that using reclaimed materials and old tools to do my work is also an important part of what I do because anyone can go to Lowe’s and buy a new 2x4, but if you go to a barn and pull off a 2x4, it has character, it’s had purpose, and it’s been reliable for years and years. Taking something like that and making it into a coffee table for someone means they have a piece of history that will outlive them; it’s something that they can pass to their kids. The Mad Flavor Fest is important to the Hopkins County region, as well as all the local artists and crafts people, because maybe for that one day that we are set up, someone will buy a CD from a band that actually needs the money, and instead of getting something out of a box at Wal-Mart, they will buy something handmade and invest just a little money back into their local economy.

Elite Tattoo Lounge
(www.facebook.com/EliteTattooLounge)

My name is Aaron “Chappy” Chapman. I’m originally from Denver, CO and I own and operate Elite Tattoo Lounge (530 E. Center St., Madisonville KY 42431). We are a full service tattoo and body mod studio, specializing in all styles of tattooing from black and grey, to new school, to photorealism.

The art of tattooing is important to me for many reasons. First, it’s how I make my living, and I make a very good living doing it. It’s really about doing something that you love, but when you can make a living doing it, it is priceless. This is not my job, it is my career and my work. It is what people will know of me when I die.

I decided to get involved with the Mad Flavor Fest because I believe in Madisonville. For so long there has been a lack of focus in this area toward the arts and culture, and people here have lacked a focal point to channel their artistic talents. This town is so full of talented people it is going to burst. That is what the Mad Flavor Fest is to me: the Madisonville arts community no longer being content to stay at home, no longer being contained!

Travis Shanks
(www.facebook.com/tshanks7720?fref=ts)
 
I’m Travis Shanks, 21, and my hometown is Slaughters, KY

Painting and drawing is important to me because it's a great way to express myself. At one point in my life, it helped me escape some hard times. Art gives a way for us to bring beauty into a world where beauty is rapidly thinning.

I decided to get involved with the Mad Flavor Fest so I could share my art with more people. And, hopefully, to become known in some way as a reputable artist in the community. The Mad Flavor Fest is most definitely important to our community and what we, as artists, are trying to achieve. Hopefully, this festival will open the eyes of the community to the true value of art, which is so often forgotten in modern times. Also, it's going to be a great place to meet all the people in the local area that share your passions. I cannot wait!

Poppy & Clover (Gina Boyd & Riley Jo Dever)
(www.facebook.com/poppyandclover?fref=ts)

We are a mother/daughter team that loves to craft. We specialize in antiques, soy candles, soaps, pillows, and many other delightful offerings. We are hoping to actually open a store by summertime so that we may invite you down for a cup of tea and to browse around—or just to stop in and say hello.

We have always enjoyed art and crafting around with each other. We decided a couple of years ago to team up and begin to create things that appeal to us and hopefully to others. I love to decorate and it is fulfilling to adorn my home with things that I have created.

We decided to get involved with the Mad Flavor Fest so that we could offer some of our goods for the public to come by and see. As we work on opening our store, we are selling things out of our home. We have been asked my many people to see our things in-person, so here is an opportunity to do that. We hope many people come out and enjoy a day of music and art that is offered by local community members.

Big Biting Pig Productions
(www.bigbitingpigproductions.com/)

Steve Hudgins: I’m originally from Chicago, IL, but I currently live in Dawson Springs, KY.

Big Biting Pig Productions specializes in feature-length thrillers and horror films. I love telling stories, acting, directing others to get the most out of themselves and watching everything come together, so being a filmmaker is kind of a natural thing for my tastes.

I think it's great to have a festival that focuses on Madisonville and helps those in the community see what is out there that they may not be aware of.

PJ Woodside: I'm PJ Woodside, living in Madisonville, originally from Charleston, SC, married to Jude Roy of Louisiana Cajun heritage. I mostly collaborate with Steve Hudgins of Big Biting Pig Productions on movie projects, such as my latest movie which will be premiering this summer, Lucid. We also make book trailers, commercials, and music videos through PJ's Productions.

I've come to appreciate horror movies much more since we started making them several years ago. They help people release their everyday fears in a nonthreatening way. The one we're showing at the festival, Spirit Stalkers, is a combination of ghost hunter’s show and a classic haunted house movie. It will have you on the edge of your seat and jumping many times, but the characters are also interesting and believable. It's important to me to tell stories that matter to people and have some emotional resonance.

I got involved, well, because you asked me! But also, there are a lot of Madisonville locations and people in our movies, so we like to share them with the local community when possible! It's always good to see what is being made right here, right under our noses!

The Learn’d Housewife
(www.facebook.com/thelearndhousewife)

I’m Cassie Pendergraff from the wonderful metropolis of Madvegas. I’m a 2002 MNHHS graduate and owner of The Learn’d Housewife. I enjoy crafting and trying new things. I’ve always loved fabric; I come from a long generation of quilters, so finding new ways to work with fabric is always an adventure. I decided to start making fabric button earrings. For me, it’s a fun way to keep memories. I can take scraps from pretty much anything—a baby quilt, a dress I’ve worn, my daughter’s coming home outfits—and make a pair of earrings or a necklace.

I decided to get involved with the MadFlavor Fest because I love supporting local artisans. It’s a great opportunity to see what’s out there in the community and get connected with other people who have similar interests. There are so many unique and creative people hiding in our hometown and it is events like the Mad Flavor Fest that gives them a chance to crawl out of the woodwork.

* * * * * * *

For more on the Mad Flavor Fest, including directions to the Ballard Convention Center (605 E. Arch St., Madisonville), ticket sales, admission information, vendor sign-up sheets, a full list of current performers, artists, vendors, filmmakers, and much more, visit the recently launched Mad Flavor Arts & Music Festival website at the following address: www.MadFlavorFest.com.

You can also find the Mad Flavor Festival’s official Facebook page by clicking here.

To read another Sugg Street Post article about the Mad Flavor Fest, which was written by Jessica Dockrey, click here. To learn more about the CINEMADIC Film Festival, click here.

All ticket sales and additional proceeds raised via the Mad Flavor Arts & Music Festival will go to support the efforts of the Mid-West Kentucky Chapter of the Red CrossTo learn more about the Mid-West Kentucky Chapter of the Red Cross, click here.

The Mad Flavor Arts & Music Festival is sponsored by the Mid-West Kentucky Chapter of the Red Cross, the Sugg Street Post, and Art Interactions

Sugg Street Post
Written by Luke Short
Photos courtesy of Jessi Smith, Jeff Harp, and Respective Mad Flavor Festival Participants

 

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  • Published in Art

MAD Flavor Fest - Through the Eyes of the Artists

MADISONVILLE, KY (5/28/13)—Madisonville’s first premier music, arts, and film festival, the Mad Flavor Fest, is coming up on Saturday, June 15th, 2013 at the Ballard Convention Center—and it’s no surprise that the inaugural event is garnering attention from communities across the tri-state region and beyond. With an ever-growing lineup of entertainment that currently includes performances by 13 local and out-of-state bands, over 15 art-based vendor booths, 11 US and internationally-produced independent films, a variety of family-friendly activities, food, refreshments such as beer and wine, and more, the festival is poised to be one of the tri-state area’s most entertaining summer events.

But what originally prompted a festival of this scale?

In the late spring of 2012, a powerful concept materialized before former Madisonville resident and The Late Circuit DJ, Mat Pentecost: to organize Madisonville’s first large-scale, collaboration-based arts and music festival that would showcase the wide swath of talent our region holds, while also supporting a positive cause (which, in this case, would become the Mid-West Kentucky Chapter of the Red Cross).

As Pentecost explains, the idea came to him after revisiting music he had created with friends in Hopkins County. From there, he pondered upon the relatively unrecognized talent he was surrounded by throughout his youth, and he came to a realization that this underlying, albeit powerful, sense of synergy deserved a place in the public spotlight.

Soon after, Pentecost created a Facebook page that would help to gauge interest in such an event while also serving as a platform for regional collaboration among artists, musicians, filmmakers, and volunteers. The response was immediate and notable, leading Pentecost to take the first steps onto what would become a year-long path of planning, mediation, and overall event organization.

Today, just over a year later, Pentecost’s original vision is mere weeks away from becoming a tangible reality thanks to the support of the Mid-West Kentucky Chapter of the Red Cross, a variety of volunteers and supporters, local artists, musicians, filmmakers, and many more helping hands.

And while the recently launched Mad Flavor Fest website—www.madflavorfest.com—contains information on performers, artists, ticket prices, vendor participation, films, and much more, the Sugg Street Post has reached out to many of the people involved with the festival over the past few weeks to get their take on why the upcoming event is so important to our community, as well as why they got involved. Their respective responses are as follows. 

The Organizers
QUESTIONS:
1.) Why did you decide to get involved with the festival as a volunteer?
2.) Why is a festival like this so important to our region?

Mat Pentecost
I incidentally started this thing because I was listening to a lot of old cassette tape recordings of StereoPop. I just wanted to goof off and hang out with my friends again. I was certain that I wasn't alone in that feeling. I feel that the festival is important because I don't want greater Hopkins County to lose the talent and forward-thinking visionaries that I know this region produces due to boredom and lack of positive stimuli. This happened with most of my generation. Most of us moved away. Why? What happened? Or more importantly, what didn't happen?

Seth Owen 
I decided to volunteer so I could help play a part in promoting the local art scene and businesses in the community where I grew up. Having multiple public outlets available throughout the year where artists can perform and display their talents are important, as is providing local businesses more opportunities to succeed. Growing up playing drums in a few different indie bands in Hopkins County and performing at different events was something I am grateful for having done—especially after living in a few different large metropolitan areas, I see how big of a role the arts have in our daily lives.

Whitney Drewe Wardrip 
I got involved because it is an honor that the festival benefits the Red Cross. We are thrilled to be a part of such an awesome event that is so desperately needed in our community!







Christopher Mcdonald

From as far back as I can remember, I've had a love for, and have felt a deep connection with, music and the arts. Living in this town, I've had the honor to grow up with and form friendships with some intensely talented artists and musicians. Unfortunately, as has been discussed, there are few venues and platforms in the area for these amazing minds to display their gifts. So when Mat shot this idea out, I jumped at the opportunity to help in anyway he needed me. The fact that this thing evolved into a charity event to benefit the Red Cross was the icing on the cake. I knew how huge this could be for the community both artistically and economically. I knew I didn't have nearly as much to offer as the majority of the group, and was humbled to be asked to be a part of what I see becoming the single greatest gathering of local talent seen here to date. This thing is like a dream come true.

Jessica Dockrey 
I got involved with the festival because I love collaboration on a massive scale. It's truly amazing to see what I would consider a piece of collage art, the festival, come to life. People need to appreciate the people that surround them. Being able to share your talents with your community is important to each individual as well as the area as a whole. Love where you live. It's easy if you involve yourself in what's going on around you and make yourself aware of all the reasons to appreciate all that deserves to be appreciated. Acknowledge the people that actively contribute in your life experience.


The Musicians

QUESTIONS:
1.) Where do you call home and who all is a part of your band?
2.) Why did you decide to get involved with this festival?
3.) Why is music and art important to both smaller communities and society at large?

Philosopher’s Stone
(http://pstonemusic.com/)
 
We create music in the hills of Boone County, KY. The four of us live in northern Kentucky just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. The music makers in Philosopher’s Stone are Chris Laile (bass), John Carrico (drums), Jon '8k' Divita (keys/synthesis) and me, Brad Denham (guitar/vox).

We were invited to perform at the inaugural MAD Flavor Fest via Mat Pentencost, who we have played music with in Cincinnati. Matty P has performed at many of our shows over the years and usually ends up on stage with us for live jams.

Music is an integral part of society…it is essential to completeness. Music and song are basic human functions, like the beating heart or breathing. Like birds and crickets, we all have a song. A quick search of the internet yields an interesting fact: "there is no international law that requires a country to adopt an anthem, yet currently every country has realized that this is something that is needed as part of a national identity. An anthem is used to musically express what a country—or any other group of people—stand for and what unites them.” (www.nationalanthems.info) Music allows us to express our fears, our pain, our wants and desires; it enlightens, elates, and transcends. Above all else, it can express our deepest love. A song can speak for the things that are not easily said. Like a needle in the groove, music imprints itself on the human heart and brain capturing the experience and moment in time, and, upon listening again, those memories and feelings are triggered and can be relived again and again. There is nothing like a great song that can magically take you back to relive your childhood.

If I had to choose between losing my sight or losing my hearing, I would choose sight. The first thing you do when you hear something beautiful or when you experience pleasure is shut your eyes.

Pat Ballard
(http://www.reverbnation.com/patballard)

My home is Hopkins County. The guys I’ll be playing with at the festival are Jon Gilbert (guitar), Gary Madison (bass), Clint Combs (drums), and maybe Johnny Keyz (keyboard).

When I found out about Mat and what he was putting together, and his passion and drive to showcase the talent here and regionally, I just wanted to help in any way I could. Mat has worked really hard to bring so many people together for a great cause, which is not only a benefit for the Red Cross, but also a benefit to all of us by getting so many musicians from this area at one festival.

It’s hard to articulate an answer to the last one. The benefits of the arts to all communities are just so intangible. It really gives us artsy types a little more room to breathe.

Falter
(https://www.facebook.com/FalterMusic)

Home for Falter is right here in Hopkins County. With the exception of our drummer Bryan Thomas who resides in Hopkinsville, KY, all other members (Kevin Offutt, John Pierce, Brad Wilson, Adam O’Rear) were raised right here in Hopkins County.

We in Falter are big believers in giving back to our community, charities, and to society in general. Each year we set aside time and promotions for events such as the Mad Flavor Fest. We have done quite a few this year. Most recently, we played the Thumbs Up For What’s Wright Benefit in Nashville at the Tin Roof. We have had very much support from our fans, especially the fans right here in Hopkins County, so we were thrilled at the chance of being a part of this event for our hometown community and for the American Red Cross. It’s been some time now since we’ve been able to play a show right here at home due to scheduling issues, so being a part of this event is very exciting because allows a way to raise money for the American Red Cross while also bringing awareness to this community, which is a plentiful melting pot of talent. Whether it be musicianship or the arts, Hopkins County is rich with both.

There are so many points that I could address on the matter of music and art’s importance and role in raising of a cultured and great society. Music was a huge part of my life personally, and at no matter what point of my life, I have always acknowledged there has been an overwhelming yearning and calling in my life for music. I am following the calling now on a larger scale, but even if I wasn’t, music will always be a large part of me. To us, the biggest importance to a community and society is self expression and our rights and freedom. So many times I have heard stories of schools cutting the arts programs, and this saddens me because these programs give kids the avenue to find their true passions as artists.

JT Oglesby
(www.facebook.com/jtoglesby)

I am a gypsy-spirited vagabond that embarked on a spiritual journey exploring the musical and creative aspects of the world during my teens, which continues to this day. My band consists of rounders, misfits, and other miscreants I have encountered over the years that embrace a noncompliant societal and creative view. These roustabouts frequently change, making my band an ever-shifting work-in-progress. Each unique version explores a different path unknown to the incarnations before it.

I wanted to get involved with this festival because I am proud to be a Kentuckian and I am proud to be from this area. My family has lived and died in this area for so long that there is more of my DNA in this soil than dirt. I want to do whatever I can to help promote and preserve our heritage and culture. A lot of people say it, but few truly mean it: LLKM! Long Live Kentucky Music!

Hollywood Gutterats
(www.facebook.com/HollywoodGutterats)

Home is where the rock is! The Hollywood Gutterats are Slush (lead vox and guitar), Yngwie Springsteen (guitar), Micheal Anthony Hall (bass), and Tommy Lee Greenwood (drums).

Why did we get involved? Because Slush and Mat Pentacost both like Taco Bell Chalupas!

Music and art is important because it touches everyone in one way or another. And who doesn’t like to be touched?

Technology Versus Horse
(www.reverbnation.com/technologyvshorse)

Technology Versus Horse as a band is from Bowling Green, KY. We all met while/shortly after attending WKU. We are composed of Mike Farmer (vocals), myself (Rafe Heltsley–guitar), Matt Bitner (bass), David Prater (keys), and Josh Hines (drums).

I grew up in White Plains, KY and went to high school in Madisonville (Hopkins County Central High School). When Mat Pentecost was thinking about throwing the festival, he mentioned it to me. I thought it sounded like a great idea and wanted my band to play to show our support.

Music and art are very important outlets of expression. They also help gather people together, bonding over a shared favorite band or artist or meeting up at local shows.

The Fair-Weather Kings
(www.facebook.com/thefairweatherkings)

The Fair-Weather Kings started in Bowling Green KY and all of us still live here. Our members our Wesley Stone, Zach Barton, Jason Williams, Craig Brown, and Marcus Long

Zach and I (Wesley) grew up in Madisonville. Marcus is also from Hopkins County. So we have "roots" there, so to speak. Zach and Marcus' parents still live in Hopkins County. So, for us, getting involved with the festival was about the opportunity to be involved in an event that not only benefits the American Red Cross, but also brings art, in various forms, to a town that a few of us have called home.

Art and music are important because they are "tools" that have many uses; free to anyone that desires them.

The Artists and Vendors
QUESTIONS:
1.) What's your personal info (name, age, hometown, business name and overview, etc.)?
2.) Why is your art form or craft important to you personally?
3.) Why did you decide to get involved with the MadFlavor Fest? OR Why is the festival important to our community?

MCC Humanities Division
(www.madisonville.kctcs.edu/)

Myself (Brooke Archila) and perhaps a few others will be setting up a booth to represent the Humanities Division at Madisonville Community College. The Humanities Division is an eclectic group of instructors who teach classes in the fields of English, history, communications, foreign languages, music, reading, art, and women's studies. We support and promote anything related to these areas on campus and in the community. The study of humanities in various forms is essential to understanding ourselves and the world around us. Through these areas of study, we express our creativity and share in the creativity of others. In our representation of our department at the festival, we want to share the many cool things we have going on in the fall and encourage involvement and support!

Bad Apple Paintwerks
(www.facebook.com/BadApplePaintwerks)
My name is Patrick Harvey and I'm the owner of Bad Apple Paintwerks. I'm 38 and my hometown is Hopkins County. I create art directed towards the musically inclined.

Why is what I do important to me personally? A favorite quote of mine might sum that up: "Paint chips make me thirsty."

I decided to get involved with this festival because I live here and I want to help promote the arts in our community when I have the chance. 

HoldFast WoodCO.
(www.facebook.com/HoldfastWoodCo)
 
My name is Cody McDowell. I’m 24 years old and live in Madisonville, KY. I’m the owner of HoldFast WoodCO. I create simple custom furniture and home decor.

Woodworking is important to me because it’s becoming a lost art, yet it’s one of the basic trades that defines us as a country and as a civilization in general. I think that using reclaimed materials and old tools to do my work is also an important part of what I do because anyone can go to Lowe’s and buy a new 2x4, but if you go to a barn and pull off a 2x4, it has character, it’s had purpose, and it’s been reliable for years and years. Taking something like that and making it into a coffee table for someone means they have a piece of history that will outlive them; it’s something that they can pass to their kids. The Mad Flavor Fest is important to the Hopkins County region, as well as all the local artists and crafts people, because maybe for that one day that we are set up, someone will buy a CD from a band that actually needs the money, and instead of getting something out of a box at Wal-Mart, they will buy something handmade and invest just a little money back into their local economy.

Elite Tattoo Lounge
(www.facebook.com/EliteTattooLounge)

My name is Aaron “Chappy” Chapman. I’m originally from Denver, CO and I own and operate Elite Tattoo Lounge (530 E. Center St., Madisonville KY 42431). We are a full service tattoo and body mod studio, specializing in all styles of tattooing from black and grey, to new school, to photorealism.

The art of tattooing is important to me for many reasons. First, it’s how I make my living, and I make a very good living doing it. It’s really about doing something that you love, but when you can make a living doing it, it is priceless. This is not my job, it is my career and my work. It is what people will know of me when I die.

I decided to get involved with the Mad Flavor Fest because I believe in Madisonville. For so long there has been a lack of focus in this area toward the arts and culture, and people here have lacked a focal point to channel their artistic talents. This town is so full of talented people it is going to burst. That is what the Mad Flavor Fest is to me: the Madisonville arts community no longer being content to stay at home, no longer being contained!

Travis Shanks
(www.facebook.com/tshanks7720?fref=ts)
 
I’m Travis Shanks, 21, and my hometown is Slaughters, KY

Painting and drawing is important to me because it's a great way to express myself. At one point in my life, it helped me escape some hard times. Art gives a way for us to bring beauty into a world where beauty is rapidly thinning.

I decided to get involved with the Mad Flavor Fest so I could share my art with more people. And, hopefully, to become known in some way as a reputable artist in the community. The Mad Flavor Fest is most definitely important to our community and what we, as artists, are trying to achieve. Hopefully, this festival will open the eyes of the community to the true value of art, which is so often forgotten in modern times. Also, it's going to be a great place to meet all the people in the local area that share your passions. I cannot wait!

Poppy & Clover (Gina Boyd & Riley Jo Dever)
(www.facebook.com/poppyandclover?fref=ts)

We are a mother/daughter team that loves to craft. We specialize in antiques, soy candles, soaps, pillows, and many other delightful offerings. We are hoping to actually open a store by summertime so that we may invite you down for a cup of tea and to browse around—or just to stop in and say hello.

We have always enjoyed art and crafting around with each other. We decided a couple of years ago to team up and begin to create things that appeal to us and hopefully to others. I love to decorate and it is fulfilling to adorn my home with things that I have created.

We decided to get involved with the Mad Flavor Fest so that we could offer some of our goods for the public to come by and see. As we work on opening our store, we are selling things out of our home. We have been asked my many people to see our things in-person, so here is an opportunity to do that. We hope many people come out and enjoy a day of music and art that is offered by local community members.

Big Biting Pig Productions
(www.bigbitingpigproductions.com/)

Steve Hudgins: I’m originally from Chicago, IL, but I currently live in Dawson Springs, KY.

Big Biting Pig Productions specializes in feature-length thrillers and horror films. I love telling stories, acting, directing others to get the most out of themselves and watching everything come together, so being a filmmaker is kind of a natural thing for my tastes.

I think it's great to have a festival that focuses on Madisonville and helps those in the community see what is out there that they may not be aware of.

PJ Woodside: I'm PJ Woodside, living in Madisonville, originally from Charleston, SC, married to Jude Roy of Louisiana Cajun heritage. I mostly collaborate with Steve Hudgins of Big Biting Pig Productions on movie projects, such as my latest movie which will be premiering this summer, Lucid. We also make book trailers, commercials, and music videos through PJ's Productions.

I've come to appreciate horror movies much more since we started making them several years ago. They help people release their everyday fears in a nonthreatening way. The one we're showing at the festival, Spirit Stalkers, is a combination of ghost hunter’s show and a classic haunted house movie. It will have you on the edge of your seat and jumping many times, but the characters are also interesting and believable. It's important to me to tell stories that matter to people and have some emotional resonance.

I got involved, well, because you asked me! But also, there are a lot of Madisonville locations and people in our movies, so we like to share them with the local community when possible! It's always good to see what is being made right here, right under our noses!

The Learn’d Housewife
(www.facebook.com/thelearndhousewife)

I’m Cassie Pendergraff from the wonderful metropolis of Madvegas. I’m a 2002 MNHHS graduate and owner of The Learn’d Housewife. I enjoy crafting and trying new things. I’ve always loved fabric; I come from a long generation of quilters, so finding new ways to work with fabric is always an adventure. I decided to start making fabric button earrings. For me, it’s a fun way to keep memories. I can take scraps from pretty much anything—a baby quilt, a dress I’ve worn, my daughter’s coming home outfits—and make a pair of earrings or a necklace.

I decided to get involved with the MadFlavor Fest because I love supporting local artisans. It’s a great opportunity to see what’s out there in the community and get connected with other people who have similar interests. There are so many unique and creative people hiding in our hometown and it is events like the Mad Flavor Fest that gives them a chance to crawl out of the woodwork.

* * * * * * *

For more on the Mad Flavor Fest, including directions to the Ballard Convention Center (605 E. Arch St., Madisonville), ticket sales, admission information, vendor sign-up sheets, a full list of current performers, artists, vendors, filmmakers, and much more, visit the recently launched Mad Flavor Arts & Music Festival website at the following address: www.MadFlavorFest.com.

You can also find the Mad Flavor Festival’s official Facebook page by clicking here.

To read another Sugg Street Post article about the Mad Flavor Fest, which was written by Jessica Dockrey, click here. To learn more about the CINEMADIC Film Festival, click here.

All ticket sales and additional proceeds raised via the Mad Flavor Arts & Music Festival will go to support the efforts of the Mid-West Kentucky Chapter of the Red CrossTo learn more about the Mid-West Kentucky Chapter of the Red Cross, click here.

The Mad Flavor Arts & Music Festival is sponsored by the Mid-West Kentucky Chapter of the Red Cross, the Sugg Street Post, and Art Interactions

Sugg Street Post
Written by Luke Short
Photos courtesy of Jessi Smith, Jeff Harp, and Respective Mad Flavor Festival Participants

 

Read more...

MAD Flavor Fest - Through the Eyes of the Artists

MADISONVILLE, KY (5/28/13)—Madisonville’s first premier music, arts, and film festival, the Mad Flavor Fest, is coming up on Saturday, June 15th, 2013 at the Ballard Convention Center—and it’s no surprise that the inaugural event is garnering attention from communities across the tri-state region and beyond. With an ever-growing lineup of entertainment that currently includes performances by 13 local and out-of-state bands, over 15 art-based vendor booths, 11 US and internationally-produced independent films, a variety of family-friendly activities, food, refreshments such as beer and wine, and more, the festival is poised to be one of the tri-state area’s most entertaining summer events.

But what originally prompted a festival of this scale?

In the late spring of 2012, a powerful concept materialized before former Madisonville resident and The Late Circuit DJ, Mat Pentecost: to organize Madisonville’s first large-scale, collaboration-based arts and music festival that would showcase the wide swath of talent our region holds, while also supporting a positive cause (which, in this case, would become the Mid-West Kentucky Chapter of the Red Cross).

As Pentecost explains, the idea came to him after revisiting music he had created with friends in Hopkins County. From there, he pondered upon the relatively unrecognized talent he was surrounded by throughout his youth, and he came to a realization that this underlying, albeit powerful, sense of synergy deserved a place in the public spotlight.

Soon after, Pentecost created a Facebook page that would help to gauge interest in such an event while also serving as a platform for regional collaboration among artists, musicians, filmmakers, and volunteers. The response was immediate and notable, leading Pentecost to take the first steps onto what would become a year-long path of planning, mediation, and overall event organization.

Today, just over a year later, Pentecost’s original vision is mere weeks away from becoming a tangible reality thanks to the support of the Mid-West Kentucky Chapter of the Red Cross, a variety of volunteers and supporters, local artists, musicians, filmmakers, and many more helping hands.

And while the recently launched Mad Flavor Fest website—www.madflavorfest.com—contains information on performers, artists, ticket prices, vendor participation, films, and much more, the Sugg Street Post has reached out to many of the people involved with the festival over the past few weeks to get their take on why the upcoming event is so important to our community, as well as why they got involved. Their respective responses are as follows. 

The Organizers
QUESTIONS:
1.) Why did you decide to get involved with the festival as a volunteer?
2.) Why is a festival like this so important to our region?

Mat Pentecost
I incidentally started this thing because I was listening to a lot of old cassette tape recordings of StereoPop. I just wanted to goof off and hang out with my friends again. I was certain that I wasn't alone in that feeling. I feel that the festival is important because I don't want greater Hopkins County to lose the talent and forward-thinking visionaries that I know this region produces due to boredom and lack of positive stimuli. This happened with most of my generation. Most of us moved away. Why? What happened? Or more importantly, what didn't happen?

Seth Owen 
I decided to volunteer so I could help play a part in promoting the local art scene and businesses in the community where I grew up. Having multiple public outlets available throughout the year where artists can perform and display their talents are important, as is providing local businesses more opportunities to succeed. Growing up playing drums in a few different indie bands in Hopkins County and performing at different events was something I am grateful for having done—especially after living in a few different large metropolitan areas, I see how big of a role the arts have in our daily lives.

Whitney Drewe Wardrip 
I got involved because it is an honor that the festival benefits the Red Cross. We are thrilled to be a part of such an awesome event that is so desperately needed in our community!







Christopher Mcdonald

From as far back as I can remember, I've had a love for, and have felt a deep connection with, music and the arts. Living in this town, I've had the honor to grow up with and form friendships with some intensely talented artists and musicians. Unfortunately, as has been discussed, there are few venues and platforms in the area for these amazing minds to display their gifts. So when Mat shot this idea out, I jumped at the opportunity to help in anyway he needed me. The fact that this thing evolved into a charity event to benefit the Red Cross was the icing on the cake. I knew how huge this could be for the community both artistically and economically. I knew I didn't have nearly as much to offer as the majority of the group, and was humbled to be asked to be a part of what I see becoming the single greatest gathering of local talent seen here to date. This thing is like a dream come true.

Jessica Dockrey 
I got involved with the festival because I love collaboration on a massive scale. It's truly amazing to see what I would consider a piece of collage art, the festival, come to life. People need to appreciate the people that surround them. Being able to share your talents with your community is important to each individual as well as the area as a whole. Love where you live. It's easy if you involve yourself in what's going on around you and make yourself aware of all the reasons to appreciate all that deserves to be appreciated. Acknowledge the people that actively contribute in your life experience.


The Musicians

QUESTIONS:
1.) Where do you call home and who all is a part of your band?
2.) Why did you decide to get involved with this festival?
3.) Why is music and art important to both smaller communities and society at large?

Philosopher’s Stone
(http://pstonemusic.com/)
 
We create music in the hills of Boone County, KY. The four of us live in northern Kentucky just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. The music makers in Philosopher’s Stone are Chris Laile (bass), John Carrico (drums), Jon '8k' Divita (keys/synthesis) and me, Brad Denham (guitar/vox).

We were invited to perform at the inaugural MAD Flavor Fest via Mat Pentencost, who we have played music with in Cincinnati. Matty P has performed at many of our shows over the years and usually ends up on stage with us for live jams.

Music is an integral part of society…it is essential to completeness. Music and song are basic human functions, like the beating heart or breathing. Like birds and crickets, we all have a song. A quick search of the internet yields an interesting fact: "there is no international law that requires a country to adopt an anthem, yet currently every country has realized that this is something that is needed as part of a national identity. An anthem is used to musically express what a country—or any other group of people—stand for and what unites them.” (www.nationalanthems.info) Music allows us to express our fears, our pain, our wants and desires; it enlightens, elates, and transcends. Above all else, it can express our deepest love. A song can speak for the things that are not easily said. Like a needle in the groove, music imprints itself on the human heart and brain capturing the experience and moment in time, and, upon listening again, those memories and feelings are triggered and can be relived again and again. There is nothing like a great song that can magically take you back to relive your childhood.

If I had to choose between losing my sight or losing my hearing, I would choose sight. The first thing you do when you hear something beautiful or when you experience pleasure is shut your eyes.

Pat Ballard
(http://www.reverbnation.com/patballard)

My home is Hopkins County. The guys I’ll be playing with at the festival are Jon Gilbert (guitar), Gary Madison (bass), Clint Combs (drums), and maybe Johnny Keyz (keyboard).

When I found out about Mat and what he was putting together, and his passion and drive to showcase the talent here and regionally, I just wanted to help in any way I could. Mat has worked really hard to bring so many people together for a great cause, which is not only a benefit for the Red Cross, but also a benefit to all of us by getting so many musicians from this area at one festival.

It’s hard to articulate an answer to the last one. The benefits of the arts to all communities are just so intangible. It really gives us artsy types a little more room to breathe.

Falter
(https://www.facebook.com/FalterMusic)

Home for Falter is right here in Hopkins County. With the exception of our drummer Bryan Thomas who resides in Hopkinsville, KY, all other members (Kevin Offutt, John Pierce, Brad Wilson, Adam O’Rear) were raised right here in Hopkins County.

We in Falter are big believers in giving back to our community, charities, and to society in general. Each year we set aside time and promotions for events such as the Mad Flavor Fest. We have done quite a few this year. Most recently, we played the Thumbs Up For What’s Wright Benefit in Nashville at the Tin Roof. We have had very much support from our fans, especially the fans right here in Hopkins County, so we were thrilled at the chance of being a part of this event for our hometown community and for the American Red Cross. It’s been some time now since we’ve been able to play a show right here at home due to scheduling issues, so being a part of this event is very exciting because allows a way to raise money for the American Red Cross while also bringing awareness to this community, which is a plentiful melting pot of talent. Whether it be musicianship or the arts, Hopkins County is rich with both.

There are so many points that I could address on the matter of music and art’s importance and role in raising of a cultured and great society. Music was a huge part of my life personally, and at no matter what point of my life, I have always acknowledged there has been an overwhelming yearning and calling in my life for music. I am following the calling now on a larger scale, but even if I wasn’t, music will always be a large part of me. To us, the biggest importance to a community and society is self expression and our rights and freedom. So many times I have heard stories of schools cutting the arts programs, and this saddens me because these programs give kids the avenue to find their true passions as artists.

JT Oglesby
(www.facebook.com/jtoglesby)

I am a gypsy-spirited vagabond that embarked on a spiritual journey exploring the musical and creative aspects of the world during my teens, which continues to this day. My band consists of rounders, misfits, and other miscreants I have encountered over the years that embrace a noncompliant societal and creative view. These roustabouts frequently change, making my band an ever-shifting work-in-progress. Each unique version explores a different path unknown to the incarnations before it.

I wanted to get involved with this festival because I am proud to be a Kentuckian and I am proud to be from this area. My family has lived and died in this area for so long that there is more of my DNA in this soil than dirt. I want to do whatever I can to help promote and preserve our heritage and culture. A lot of people say it, but few truly mean it: LLKM! Long Live Kentucky Music!

Hollywood Gutterats
(www.facebook.com/HollywoodGutterats)

Home is where the rock is! The Hollywood Gutterats are Slush (lead vox and guitar), Yngwie Springsteen (guitar), Micheal Anthony Hall (bass), and Tommy Lee Greenwood (drums).

Why did we get involved? Because Slush and Mat Pentacost both like Taco Bell Chalupas!

Music and art is important because it touches everyone in one way or another. And who doesn’t like to be touched?

Technology Versus Horse
(www.reverbnation.com/technologyvshorse)

Technology Versus Horse as a band is from Bowling Green, KY. We all met while/shortly after attending WKU. We are composed of Mike Farmer (vocals), myself (Rafe Heltsley–guitar), Matt Bitner (bass), David Prater (keys), and Josh Hines (drums).

I grew up in White Plains, KY and went to high school in Madisonville (Hopkins County Central High School). When Mat Pentecost was thinking about throwing the festival, he mentioned it to me. I thought it sounded like a great idea and wanted my band to play to show our support.

Music and art are very important outlets of expression. They also help gather people together, bonding over a shared favorite band or artist or meeting up at local shows.

The Fair-Weather Kings
(www.facebook.com/thefairweatherkings)

The Fair-Weather Kings started in Bowling Green KY and all of us still live here. Our members our Wesley Stone, Zach Barton, Jason Williams, Craig Brown, and Marcus Long

Zach and I (Wesley) grew up in Madisonville. Marcus is also from Hopkins County. So we have "roots" there, so to speak. Zach and Marcus' parents still live in Hopkins County. So, for us, getting involved with the festival was about the opportunity to be involved in an event that not only benefits the American Red Cross, but also brings art, in various forms, to a town that a few of us have called home.

Art and music are important because they are "tools" that have many uses; free to anyone that desires them.

The Artists and Vendors
QUESTIONS:
1.) What's your personal info (name, age, hometown, business name and overview, etc.)?
2.) Why is your art form or craft important to you personally?
3.) Why did you decide to get involved with the MadFlavor Fest? OR Why is the festival important to our community?

MCC Humanities Division
(www.madisonville.kctcs.edu/)

Myself (Brooke Archila) and perhaps a few others will be setting up a booth to represent the Humanities Division at Madisonville Community College. The Humanities Division is an eclectic group of instructors who teach classes in the fields of English, history, communications, foreign languages, music, reading, art, and women's studies. We support and promote anything related to these areas on campus and in the community. The study of humanities in various forms is essential to understanding ourselves and the world around us. Through these areas of study, we express our creativity and share in the creativity of others. In our representation of our department at the festival, we want to share the many cool things we have going on in the fall and encourage involvement and support!

Bad Apple Paintwerks
(www.facebook.com/BadApplePaintwerks)
My name is Patrick Harvey and I'm the owner of Bad Apple Paintwerks. I'm 38 and my hometown is Hopkins County. I create art directed towards the musically inclined.

Why is what I do important to me personally? A favorite quote of mine might sum that up: "Paint chips make me thirsty."

I decided to get involved with this festival because I live here and I want to help promote the arts in our community when I have the chance. 

HoldFast WoodCO.
(www.facebook.com/HoldfastWoodCo)
 
My name is Cody McDowell. I’m 24 years old and live in Madisonville, KY. I’m the owner of HoldFast WoodCO. I create simple custom furniture and home decor.

Woodworking is important to me because it’s becoming a lost art, yet it’s one of the basic trades that defines us as a country and as a civilization in general. I think that using reclaimed materials and old tools to do my work is also an important part of what I do because anyone can go to Lowe’s and buy a new 2x4, but if you go to a barn and pull off a 2x4, it has character, it’s had purpose, and it’s been reliable for years and years. Taking something like that and making it into a coffee table for someone means they have a piece of history that will outlive them; it’s something that they can pass to their kids. The Mad Flavor Fest is important to the Hopkins County region, as well as all the local artists and crafts people, because maybe for that one day that we are set up, someone will buy a CD from a band that actually needs the money, and instead of getting something out of a box at Wal-Mart, they will buy something handmade and invest just a little money back into their local economy.

Elite Tattoo Lounge
(www.facebook.com/EliteTattooLounge)

My name is Aaron “Chappy” Chapman. I’m originally from Denver, CO and I own and operate Elite Tattoo Lounge (530 E. Center St., Madisonville KY 42431). We are a full service tattoo and body mod studio, specializing in all styles of tattooing from black and grey, to new school, to photorealism.

The art of tattooing is important to me for many reasons. First, it’s how I make my living, and I make a very good living doing it. It’s really about doing something that you love, but when you can make a living doing it, it is priceless. This is not my job, it is my career and my work. It is what people will know of me when I die.

I decided to get involved with the Mad Flavor Fest because I believe in Madisonville. For so long there has been a lack of focus in this area toward the arts and culture, and people here have lacked a focal point to channel their artistic talents. This town is so full of talented people it is going to burst. That is what the Mad Flavor Fest is to me: the Madisonville arts community no longer being content to stay at home, no longer being contained!

Travis Shanks
(www.facebook.com/tshanks7720?fref=ts)
 
I’m Travis Shanks, 21, and my hometown is Slaughters, KY

Painting and drawing is important to me because it's a great way to express myself. At one point in my life, it helped me escape some hard times. Art gives a way for us to bring beauty into a world where beauty is rapidly thinning.

I decided to get involved with the Mad Flavor Fest so I could share my art with more people. And, hopefully, to become known in some way as a reputable artist in the community. The Mad Flavor Fest is most definitely important to our community and what we, as artists, are trying to achieve. Hopefully, this festival will open the eyes of the community to the true value of art, which is so often forgotten in modern times. Also, it's going to be a great place to meet all the people in the local area that share your passions. I cannot wait!

Poppy & Clover (Gina Boyd & Riley Jo Dever)
(www.facebook.com/poppyandclover?fref=ts)

We are a mother/daughter team that loves to craft. We specialize in antiques, soy candles, soaps, pillows, and many other delightful offerings. We are hoping to actually open a store by summertime so that we may invite you down for a cup of tea and to browse around—or just to stop in and say hello.

We have always enjoyed art and crafting around with each other. We decided a couple of years ago to team up and begin to create things that appeal to us and hopefully to others. I love to decorate and it is fulfilling to adorn my home with things that I have created.

We decided to get involved with the Mad Flavor Fest so that we could offer some of our goods for the public to come by and see. As we work on opening our store, we are selling things out of our home. We have been asked my many people to see our things in-person, so here is an opportunity to do that. We hope many people come out and enjoy a day of music and art that is offered by local community members.

Big Biting Pig Productions
(www.bigbitingpigproductions.com/)

Steve Hudgins: I’m originally from Chicago, IL, but I currently live in Dawson Springs, KY.

Big Biting Pig Productions specializes in feature-length thrillers and horror films. I love telling stories, acting, directing others to get the most out of themselves and watching everything come together, so being a filmmaker is kind of a natural thing for my tastes.

I think it's great to have a festival that focuses on Madisonville and helps those in the community see what is out there that they may not be aware of.

PJ Woodside: I'm PJ Woodside, living in Madisonville, originally from Charleston, SC, married to Jude Roy of Louisiana Cajun heritage. I mostly collaborate with Steve Hudgins of Big Biting Pig Productions on movie projects, such as my latest movie which will be premiering this summer, Lucid. We also make book trailers, commercials, and music videos through PJ's Productions.

I've come to appreciate horror movies much more since we started making them several years ago. They help people release their everyday fears in a nonthreatening way. The one we're showing at the festival, Spirit Stalkers, is a combination of ghost hunter’s show and a classic haunted house movie. It will have you on the edge of your seat and jumping many times, but the characters are also interesting and believable. It's important to me to tell stories that matter to people and have some emotional resonance.

I got involved, well, because you asked me! But also, there are a lot of Madisonville locations and people in our movies, so we like to share them with the local community when possible! It's always good to see what is being made right here, right under our noses!

The Learn’d Housewife
(www.facebook.com/thelearndhousewife)

I’m Cassie Pendergraff from the wonderful metropolis of Madvegas. I’m a 2002 MNHHS graduate and owner of The Learn’d Housewife. I enjoy crafting and trying new things. I’ve always loved fabric; I come from a long generation of quilters, so finding new ways to work with fabric is always an adventure. I decided to start making fabric button earrings. For me, it’s a fun way to keep memories. I can take scraps from pretty much anything—a baby quilt, a dress I’ve worn, my daughter’s coming home outfits—and make a pair of earrings or a necklace.

I decided to get involved with the MadFlavor Fest because I love supporting local artisans. It’s a great opportunity to see what’s out there in the community and get connected with other people who have similar interests. There are so many unique and creative people hiding in our hometown and it is events like the Mad Flavor Fest that gives them a chance to crawl out of the woodwork.

* * * * * * *

For more on the Mad Flavor Fest, including directions to the Ballard Convention Center (605 E. Arch St., Madisonville), ticket sales, admission information, vendor sign-up sheets, a full list of current performers, artists, vendors, filmmakers, and much more, visit the recently launched Mad Flavor Arts & Music Festival website at the following address: www.MadFlavorFest.com.

You can also find the Mad Flavor Festival’s official Facebook page by clicking here.

To read another Sugg Street Post article about the Mad Flavor Fest, which was written by Jessica Dockrey, click here. To learn more about the CINEMADIC Film Festival, click here.

All ticket sales and additional proceeds raised via the Mad Flavor Arts & Music Festival will go to support the efforts of the Mid-West Kentucky Chapter of the Red CrossTo learn more about the Mid-West Kentucky Chapter of the Red Cross, click here.

The Mad Flavor Arts & Music Festival is sponsored by the Mid-West Kentucky Chapter of the Red Cross, the Sugg Street Post, and Art Interactions

Sugg Street Post
Written by Luke Short
Photos courtesy of Jessi Smith, Jeff Harp, and Respective Mad Flavor Festival Participants

 

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  • Published in Art

Community Collage: 2013 Spring Gallery Hop

MADISONVILLE, KY (5/2/13)—Since the inaugural event back in October 2011, Madisonville’s biannual downtown Gallery Hop has developed into something very special for our close-knit community. It offers the public a chance to physically interact with the astonishing amount of creative talent our region produces and calls home; it provides a platform for artists and local business owners to merge in a very unique, mutually beneficial manner; and, above all, it provides a great evening of fun and entertainment for everyone involved.

Though this year’s spring Gallery Hop, which was held on Saturday, April 27th, faced a potential downturn in attendance due to rainy weather, a surprising number of patrons from our area took to the historic district’s sidewalks to peruse and purchase a variety of pieces created by approximately 30 different artists.

Moreover, those in attendance also had the relatively rare opportunity to witness several spontaneous street performances courtesy of talented local musicians, to taste some delicious food, desserts, and fine wine produced by locally owned-and-operated businesses, and to speak directly with the artists whose work was on display.

While the collaborative event won’t take place again until October, we at the Sugg Street Post would like to recap a few of the spring Gallery Hop’s highlights through images and words. Please take note of the artists, businesses, and organizations displayed and mentioned in the following captions and photos, because they deserve our support and appreciation.

Area resident Amy Harvey pays a visit to Madisonville's decades-old train depot during last Saturday's downtown Gallery Hop. Known as "The Center" today, the historic structure serves as the Hopkins County Art League's official headquarters and gallery space. The HDR photo work Harvey is analyzing was created by longtime city employee and HCAL member, Gina Munger. Munger's work was part of an exhibit on Saturday that included more than 200 pieces made by over 10 other Art League members. 

While primarily known for his talents on piano, bass guitar, and vocals, local musician Johnny Keyz put a rough-edged, albeit original, twist on a bygone style by way of a performance on a '30s-era accordion. The performance took place in front of the soon-to-be Sugg Street Post, ARTcycle Inc., and Big City Coffee Shop location. Passersby braved light, intermittent sprinkles to capture this unique moment both in memory and in photos. As this was the first year musicians were invited to "busk" during the Gallery Hop, other talented performers, which included Pat Ballard, Mike Cartwright, and Ray Ligon, performed on the sidewalk in front of the location. Other photos, as well as a video, of these performances can be found via the official Sugg Street Post Facebook page.

The singular, environment-friendly, and abstract sculpture work of Indiana artist Bob Zasadny eternalizes fluidity and motion in various physical forms. In the photo, Bob and I discuss his fiberglass and recycling-based approach, which he first adopted as his main medium in the early 1960s. Since his humble, yet capable, beginnings, Zasadny has garnered acclaim from noted colleagues in the art world, area media outlets, and a variety of respected institutions. Zasadny's exhibit was one of several on display at the Madisonville-Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce's headquarters at 15 East Center Street. 

The concept of cyclical time and repetition, which is represented in much of Tim Corum's metal sculpture work, gains added depth with a piece created from a range of discarded bicycle parts. Based out of Earlington, KY, Corum's art is on display for the public on a daily basis in Madisonville via his various, brightly-colored "ARTcan" creations, each of which are peppered throughout the downtown district. The piece displayed above was one of several works of art on display at 25 Sugg Street during the Gallery Hop. 


Steeped in faith and spirituality, the multi-sided artwork of Madisonville-based artist and gallery owner Barbie Hunt, which includes pottery, customized silks, collages, and water-based media (as seen in the above photo), has prompted attention from a wide range of audiences over the years. Not only does her ever-growing catalog of work continue to inspire local audiences, but it has helped to put downtown Madisonville in a national, art-tinged spotlight. 

Defining Carl Berges' colorful, large-scale oil paintings is a tricky pony. While the pieces may at first seem abstract, upon closer inspection one realizes that a vivid and seemingly motion-filled shot of life has materialized. Further examples of Berges' vibrant works can been seen enlivening the background of other photos found in the this "community collage." 

Producing fine wine is, itself, a painstaking, centuries-old artform worthy of praise and appreciation - especially when done correctly. Medicine Man Wines of Eddy Gove Winery, LLC (Princeton, KY), were onsite at the Madisonville-Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce during the "hop" showing patrons how this historic skill could manifest locally. From selling samples to full bottles, co-owners Jenny Franke and David Hall were happy to share the award-winning fruits of their labor with the general public. 

A talented country musician with over 40 years of playing experience under his belt, Ray Ligon is a staple of our local music community and has helped to support a variety of benevolent civic organizations. His notable mantra, "It's all about touching people with the music," has remained a fixture in both his approach to fans and his unique songwriting style over the years. 25 Sugg Street, which will be the eventual home of the Sugg Street Post, ARTcycle Inc., and Big City Coffee Shop, was privileged to have Ray perform among a bevy of eye-catching art pieces during the Gallery Hop. 

Woodworking practices date back to the dawn of human civilizations both in China and Egypt. Yet, it's a relatively safe bet that those practicing the art form in its infancy would have never imagined how the trade would evolve, let alone that the skill would even practiced some 6,000 years later. Fortunately, talented craftsmen like Charles Beal, whose original woodturnings were up for sale at the Chamber of Commerce office, are keeping this rich tradition alive and well. 

 The varied artwork of the Sugg Street Post's own Jessica Dockrey adds a bright artistic backdrop to a conversation between Hopkins County Art League members and painters Pat Harvey (left) and Rik Woosley (right), as well as myself. The lower, labyrinth-like level of the HCAL's HQ at "The Center" was host to several other artists' work, including the oftentimes bejeweled pieces produced by fellow league member Faye Dennison. 

The brainchild of local textile artist Maria Lee, the Black Dog Fiber Studio at 11 North Main St. in downtown Madisonville offers art-lovers a contemporary touch on a well-established tradition. The weaving loom pictured above showcases one of many intricate skills required to fashion Lee's various, cloth-based works. In addition to Lee's pieces, the studio was also host to several handmade soaps courtesy of  Bicycle Botanicals' Kim Hardesty.

Proud supporters of the area arts and music scene, Henderson, KY's Ruby Moon Vineyard & Winery owners Jamie Like and Anita Frazer offered Gallery Hop attendants a variety of exquisite, locally-grown flavors, as well as full bottles, from the 25 Sugg Street location. In addition to luscious dessert wines and flavorful blushes, Ruby Moon also offers drier reds that compliment meats wonderfully. Particularly, the Sugg Street Post crew was a big fan of the winery's "Chambourcin" flavor, which is pictured above. 

As 6-year-old Emma Rea Gibson will attest, artwork isn't just for the adults. Her 11" X 14" untitled finger painting piece is direct evidence. Though her mother, Jenny Gibson - who is also the founder of the Downtown Turnaround Project, ARTcycle Inc., and Big City Coffee Shop, as well as a member of the Sugg Street Post - was happy to have Emma's artwork adorning the wall at 25 Sugg Street, she knows a good piece when she see's it. In turn, rather than trying to put a number on the work, both Jenny and Emma agreed on a more apt cost: priceless. 

A current resident of southern Indiana, Nick Kredier spends much of his time restoring and repurposing "lost and found" furniture. From adding vintage-inspired touches, to a few dashes of color and text for good measure, Kreider has an obvious knack for turning many men's trash into what most anyone would consider real treasure. 

Another photo of Johnny Keyz "busking"  the sidewalks of Sugg St. on his antique accordion receives a classy monochromatic makeover. 

Though Madisonville's Gallery Hop won't be back until October this year, everyone at the Sugg Street Post is sure it will be another entertaining and successful event. A huge thanks goes out to everyone who makes the occasion such a unique and enjoyable time year after year. See you in the fall!

Sugg Street Post
Written by Luke Short
Photos by Jessi Smith

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2013 Bowl For Kids’ Sake Fundraiser—Little Hands Give Big

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (4/29/13)—While the definition of “community” refers to a group of people living in or near the same area, most would agree that a genuine sense of the word is defined by how well that same group of people can collaborate and what they can achieve when they pull together toward a common, benevolent goal.

This past Saturday, April 27th, this sense of regional unity was on display in Madisonville’s Melody Lanes bowling alley as approximately 80 teams composed of over 400 local business owners, industry employees, regional officials, law enforcement agencies, and a host of other compassionate area residents raised over $100,000 for our local Big Brothers Big Sisters’ (BBBS) annual “Bowl For Kids’ Sake” fundraiser.

Held for over 25 years, the organization’s yearly event has become a cherished staple of our community—and for good reason. Not only do area residents get to show their support for a nationally recognized cause, but they also get to have a great time doing it.

Whereas companies and organizations such as Carhartt, Warrior Coal, Armstrong Coal, and G.E. were among the top donators this year, contributing a very generous combined total of well over $40,000, the fundraiser’s still-growing sum was made possible by many quite literally “smaller” hands as well.

In particular, my daughter, Lucy Short, 6 (see main photo), chose to support BBBS of her own accord this year—a fact that I’m very proud of.

While she could have easily chose to spend money she’d been saving from her last birthday and from the holidays on a new toy or game, she asked me if it was okay to give it to a charity. As you can imagine, I was more than willing to tell her about the organizations she could support. In the end, though, she really liked what BBBS is all about: working with children and teens.

As we were already in the process of forming a Sugg Street Post team for the 2013 fundraiser, we asked if Lucy could be a member. After BBBS gave us the green light, telling us that her age was not a factor, the “Sugg Street Strikers” were born.

Though three of our team members couldn’t make it to this past weekend’s bowling event due to time constraints, we had some much appreciated assistance from another “small” helper: Jessica Dockrey’s daughter, Veda Cook, 3, whose unique “technique” was captured by photographer Jim Pearson on the front page of The Messenger newspaper’s Sunday edition.

And while the “Strikers” all bowled right at (or under) 100, it wasn’t all about the points for us—or for anyone else it seemed. It was about the cause the fundraiser supported and the pleasant sense of community we were able to share.

“This year’s Bowl For Kids’ Sake fundraiser was very exciting and it was organized very well thanks to the army of volunteers who helped out,” said 14-year BBBS member and local director, Sandra Aiken. “It takes a lot of people to make the event a success year after year, and this time was no exception. I’m very thankful for all the support we have received.”

Other than the top four donators listed above, other participants that received awards and prizes at the event included G.E. member and BBBS board member, Gary Wheat (individual who raised the most); Wayne Fuller (iPad winner); Pam Wheat (television winner); Eugene Summers (winner of a black diamond necklace donated by Rogers Jewelers); Teresa Lambdin (Gutter Ball winner); and Ray Baumeister (Strike Winner). Other awards will be announced by BBBS in the very near future.

To learn more about our local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, which serves both Hopkins and Muhlenberg Counties, check out two past Sugg Street Post articles listed below:

You’ve Got a Friend in Me
Bowl for Kids’ Sake 2013—Sign Up Today!

You may also visit our area’s BBBS website for additional donation info by clicking here.

Additional photos by Sugg Street photographer Jessi Smith taken during the 2013 Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser can be found below.

Sugg Street Post
Written by Luke Short
Photos by Jessi Smith

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