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A chalk depiction of Beauty and the Beast at the 1708 Monster Drawing Rally.
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Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen at Bygones (from Bygones' Facebook page)
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Melissa Chase on the drums.
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Herschel arm-wrestles Alane Miles
We're coming out of one of those big weekends that occurred despite the generally miserable typical RVA weather's indecisive "I can't snow because it costs too much money for plows."
Bruce Springsteen arrived to attend Virginia Commonwealth University's graduation. Molly Ringwald, performing in a Christmas cabaret at Richmond CenterStage, dropped into Quirk Gallery and although she passed twice by1708 Gallery’s Monster Drawing Rally, she didn’t stop in.
Springsteen was spotted at Mamma 'Zu in Oregon Hill twice, once at Joe’s Inn and even atBygones Vintage Clothing, beaming among a bevy of Bygones beauties.
It was also a momentous occasion for the last choking gasps of Hamaganza, which petered to its exhausted ending in the wee hours of Saturday night at Lulu’s. To me, the true find of the event was the quite funny, compelling and talented "Herschel Hussein O'BamaRodriguez-Tsing," who managed to be born of Dirtwoman twice in one weeknd — making him the Son of Dirt, or SOD for short, which makes sense, and if you reverse it, it becomes an obsolescent computer language, DOS. That kind of says it all, don’t it? Herschel arm-wrestled Alane Miles. Herschel "lost," but I don't thnk he minded. He even arm-wrestled Dirtwoman, his ostensible parent.
Jonathan Austin juggled fire. J. Dean Owenwas just, well, cool, as was the whole band, really. Rebecca Behrman belted rock classics. Charlie Diradour slam danced. Magnolia Burnside provided color commentary. Radio personality Melissa Chase played drums late on Friday night. Juan Conde, emcee for Saturday at Lulu's proved as unflappable and adaptable as you could expect. Hamaganza was a show. It was too much show. And now, it's over, and FeedMore is about $1,700 and some hams for the neediest to the better. Now today, we commemorate the fifth anniversary of The Hat blog.
Although I am quick to point out whenever this date rolls around that I started blogging for Richmond magazine in 2007 with a piece about then-presidential candidate Barack Obama wandering into Plant Zero. Nervous handlers hid a somewhat suspect painting by Jamie Boling of Britney Spears disembarking from a limousine — it was called “Snake Charmer” — and the kerfuffle told us just about everything we needed to know about running for higher public office and the schizophrenic permissive/uptightness of culture in the United States during the early 21st century. One of the things that became emphatic this year is the pace of activities and events occurring in this city nowadays. I wrote about books and authors, artists, philanthropic happenings, music and film, and I'm acutely aware of what I didn't get to and it's quite annoying to me that I simply couldn't get around to everything I wanted to attend and say, "This happened and that was said."
One little blogger who also writes full time on the side cannot keep up. Richmond is fortunate to have Jerry Williams and Sifter as well as Karen Newton, who can and does Go On And On. Because given the pressures and compression of other media, covering arts and culture isn't as big a priority as once it was, and if it doesn't get written about, it essentially didn't happen. Problem is, if the power ever goes out, where does all that stuff go? Our Akashic Library of culture is ultimately as ephemeral as what they're often writing about.
Here's just one example at random — I think perhaps one of my better series of posts this year — to show how interesting and busy things have gotten.
Thus, file under "For What It's Worth," my personal Top 11 Posts of the year, which is really 12, and perhaps technically 13.
1) Meeting Scout (To Kill A Mockingbirg's real live Scout)
2) St. James In Venice (Music videos of the St. James Episcopal Choir! Beautiful Venice, Italy!)
3) An Affair To Remember: A Year On The James (Filmmaker/adventurer Elli Morris)
4) Charged About Tesla (Harry "Top Gear" Kollatz Jr. drives the silent speedster)
5) GWAR Under Glass (They're loud and ours)
6) The Meaning of Things (Just read it)
7) A Crash Course On Collisions (A survey of facade busters)
8) Virginia Capitol Stars In PBS Show (One n a year full of "Look at Richmond' bits)
11) Molly and Me (The World's Best Redhead).