Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Create:Freedom Event at Springs Theatre this Friday Sep. 3rd

[Charles] This Friday I'll finally get a look inside the Springs Theatre up on Nebraska Ave in Tampa. I've been looking for a good excuse to get in there since the first time the old building just north of the Hillsborough River caught my eye. It's an intriguing old building that was a movie theater in the hey day of Sulphur Springs and now hosts a large recording studio and is used for special events.

The show this Friday is an interesting mix of vendors, music, and artists that are raising money for a group that does mission work in Cambodia. The child prostitution and human trafficking that Tampa Street Market works against is central to their work. The door charge is $5 and goes to help this group and to work with Joy Engdahl who is moving back to Cambodia to work with young women in the country. There will be art and craft vendors as well as plenty of information about fighting human trafficking and slavery.

The other thing that looks pretty interesting about this show is the music. I'm especially excited to hear The Sun Society that consists of some family members of The Grecian Urns. The Sun Society sounds pretty amazing - just head over to Youtube and check out a few of their tracks. Here's their myspace page as well. I don't know much about the other two players MrENC or Preson, but they sound interesting and should definitely be a good time in the neighborhood for a good cause.

I also snagged a photo of the theater from its earlier days from a blog about historic theaters in the area, so here's a bonus link!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

WMNF Peace Awards This Saturday Aug 28th

Photo from Jeff Wignall on Flickr
[Charles] It's easy to get hung up on the big names that get attached to causes like Wyclef in Haiti or Brad Pitt in New Orleans. Sometimes the people doing the hardest and most important work get lost in the shadows of those celebrities. I noticed that most of the promos for the Peace Awards this weekend on WMNF center around the celebrities Amy Goodman and Eliza Gilkyson attending. I think that both of them are amazing people that really deserve recognition and I'm glad they are rubbing elbows with our little radio station. I'll never forget watching Amy Goodman getting arrested and hauled in during the overzealous policing at the Denver National Convention and I get chills every time I hear Eliza push back at "the cowboy" W. with her song "Man of God".

This event is about the other people though - the ones that don't make the news. There are plenty of behind the scenes, hard-working folks that are pulling more than their weight in our world's endless tug-of-war between the warmongers and the peace makers. Recognition of those quiet and not-so-quiet fighters for the disenfranchised is the whole point of the event. The other reason for the event is to raise money for the station so that it can keep doing its part in the struggle. Without 88.5 there would be a complete lack of coverage for events that the major media avoids while covering the same awful stuff they cover every night. If you want to hear about the protests of St. Pete For Peace or the Immokalee Workers, don't bother tuning in to the major media. Most radio stations don't bother with news at all anymore. I can't remember the last time I heard news at the top of the hour on a mainstream station.

They nominate people like Faith Fippinger who has worked as a human shield in Iraq and Rev. Bruce Wright who works with the homeless. They also nominate groups like Equality Florida that works tirelessly for those whose orientation or gender are discriminated against. They also present Legacy Awards to people who've been involved with numerous causes - I sort of think of it as the equivalent of a Lifetime Achievement Award.

So if you've got the cash to blow ($60 a non-vip ticket), want a great way to support WMNF, or just want to rub elbows with one of the best singer-songwriters ever to come out of Austin, Saturday is your night. It will be held down at the newly renamed Straz Center and the party kicks off at 6:00.

Here's a couple of links about the event:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cool Idea for Paint Touchup Storage

Photo from Re-Nest
Here's an idea I saw over at Re-Nest this morning. As we're cleaning up the workshop and consolidating paint colors, this actually looks really interesting...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Music Videos? Who sees these anymore?

[Charles] I was caught up on a music blog the other day that showed a few recent music videos. I was first struck by the strange idea that people still even make music videos. Of course they do, but I stopped affording cable years ago and gave up on MTV actually playing videos well before that. I guess I thought they just gave up caring but every once in a while I get caught up on youtube watching what feels like a dying art to me. Here's one from the Black Keys - "Tighten Up" that gave me a good chuckle and it doesn't hurt that it's a pretty awesome song from their new album.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Slow down look around

Art from Al Page
[Charles] I've been avoiding writing about the store closing. I know that. I have some crazy notion that it isn't happening or that something will stop it, but it won't. When I finally sat down to write the "last email" to our customers and fans last night, I had been thinking about it for weeks. Honestly I'm tired of thinking about it, and talking about it, and stressing about it. I'm ready to finish something and move on. We have had a great time and loved having a shop. When it was good, it was really good. We met some of the most amazing people and made friends that we will carry the rest of our lives. Also, we aren't going away so the finality of it isn't really real. Yeah, we won't go in to that location any more, but it isn't really the place that makes us who we are. We'll still be here, working to make the neighborhood and city what it can be. We will still be building furniture in the garage and pi$$ing off the neighbors for running the table saw at 11:00 at night. We love what we do and hope to keep doing it for as long as we are able.

I'm happy. I won't have to write over another check to the landlord that can't bother to repair the building so that it doesn't smell like sewer when the wind blows or so that it doesn't flood the front room when it rains hard. The same guy who can't squeeze out the cash for a real air conditioner won't need any more cash from us. Thanks but no thanks to all the folks that ran up the price of real estate in our city. I don't know how we little guys are supposed to make it.

The part I really hate is not being able to offer space to all of the great artists we've met and loved over the years. So instead of rambling on, I want to give you fine folks a guide to how to find a few of them. We'll keep our Etsy site up so keep checking in on us and who knows where we'll turn up next...

Anika Easter - An amazing artist (remember the "birds on a wire") and beautiful person, you can find her on her website and her Etsy site here.

Anna Vasquez - Nested Yellow - She has turned out some of the most creative and fascinating jewelry we've ever seen. A great friend as well, find her on Etsy here.

Brandt Peters and Kathie Olivas - Super cool celebrity couple who've been so supportive of us over the years and have brought amazing pieces into our shop and have inspired us more than they know can be found here and here.

Al Page and Lynn Manos - Another fantastic and supportive couple who've been so great to us and whom we will continue to be friends with for a long time. I'm sorry I don't have a link to Al's colorful and thought provoking work so I showed a piece at the top of this article. I think it covers how we're feeling pretty well. You can check out Lynn's work here.

Thanks to all the artists that have taken us under their wing and to all those that I didn't single out!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Industrial Style Roundup

Photo from Design Sponge[Charles] Here's a roundup of a few cool creative re-use projects I've seen lately.

Check out this scaffold tube bed from a Dutch designer I saw on Re-Nest. Also check out their whole place on Design Sponge.

Photo from Re-Nest

How about using those loose pennies from that silly jar you keep around for your next tiling job? These should patina nicely too...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Who should host this year's Loafies? - Clark J. Brooks

[Charles] So I missed the start of the voting for Best of the Bay last week and I feel a little behind. It will take me a few days to finish generating 700 fake email addresses to win Best Eco Friendly Store this year. You fine folks could save me the trouble and just head over there and vote for us, wink wink, nudge nudge. No pressure.

I don't want to talk about that yet though, just think about it while I stump for something real important.
On one of the forms as I was reading through the same old hashed over boring categories like Best Politician (as if that were possible) and Best Dry Cleaner ( like we can afford dry cleaning this year) and I came across one that caught my attention...

Who should host this year's Loafies? - Clark J. Brooks

Having just read Clark's fantastic call to action to help him destroy the competition and recalling that slightly awkward photo of him towering over Rebekah Pulley from last year's party I thought to myself, self, why not have Clark host it? Of course! Brilliant! If he loses his category, not only will he have to announce his crushing defeat himself with thousands watching around the globe, he'll have to do it with the witty style and grace we've come to love from him! I decided to rush over to my tiny little blog and do exactly what busy body people with boring lunch breaks and internet access must do at times like this and rush to his aid! (I promise to stop with the exclamation points soon!)

So here goes... Clark J. Brooks for Host of the Loafies!!!!!! Yep, I said it. Get him on the ballot folks. I won't be happy to see him simply crush that Durkin Robinson woman in the best blog category or to rocket to the top of the most Tweetalicious Guy in Town, no as his great uncle Meatloaf might say we want him, we need him to lead us at the Loafies. If you haven't read his blog lately then you have no idea how funny, endearing, and creative this guy is. Please don't put some useless Florida weatherman or laid-off sports hack up there... let's see one of our own. Somebody with a crappy car, a wonky computer, a ridiculous job, and the amazing ability to make life entertaining and a little brighter for those of us slogging along right next to him in line. Here's to a blogger who is happy to video himself making corn dogs at the state fair or even to plunge into his own bouts with the Big D. Thanks Clark and Good Luck!!! (consider that my endorsement)