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the flog

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Better yet, one lucky voter will win $500 from yours truly! Who loves ya, baby?! We do!   More

the flog

Going Uphill with Grace

“People don’t become highly successful accidentally,” said Michael Huyghue, former executive for the Jacksonville Jaguars, at the signing for his new book.

Huyghue (pronounced “hewg”) spoke at length about his new book Behind the Line of Scrimmage: Inside the Front Office of the NFL in the St. Johns Town Center Barnes & Noble on Aug. 28.

With his dream in tow, Huyghue walked readers through the path he took to where he is today. His story begins growing up in sports, but always eyeing something beyond the bright lights and adulating fans.

“I didn’t want to catch touchdowns, I wanted to be the one to hand the trophy over at the Super Bowl,” said Huyghue as he detailed his journey and shared behind-the-scenes details.

A receptive crowd listened as Huyghue explained not only that his dream differed from the goals of the children around him, but his journey was not a road often traveled by individuals who look like him.

He talked about the section in the book where he finally got into the NFL space. He could tell immediately he was something of an anomaly. He started out as a lawyer for the NFL and was the youngest and only African American individual in the office. As a result, he was handed the worst cases and worked out of a closet space. A small smile emerged as he told the captive audience that, rather than curse his circumstances, he took those cases and worked as hard as possible. Eventually, his hard work would be recognized and he began to make a name for himself.

The book is filled with other tiny victories like that, as well as failures along the way, that contributed to build Huyghue as a husband, father and overall individual. The theme of racism and classism is ever-pervasive throughout the book, but he doesn’t think race, though key, is the overlaying theme of the book.

“This isn’t a book about African Americans, it's a book about goals,” said Huyghue.

His …   More

The Flog

Water on the Brain

Northeast Florida made national news last September, as images of flooding from Hurricane Irma were a fixture of every network, and those pictures will feature prominently in the local narrative for years to come. A new exhibit at Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville puts this damage in the broader context of climate change and decaying infrastructure, which is wreaking havoc across the planet. “Gideon Mendel: Drowning World” opens on Aug. 30 for members, and runs through Dec. 9.

Mendel began the project in 2007, with photos of floods that occurred in the United Kingdom and India that summer. According to the press release, “Deeply struck by the contrasting impacts of these floods and the vulnerability that united their victims, Mendel continued to visit and photograph flood zones throughout the world, including places such as Haiti, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Nigeria and the United Kingdom.” And now, add Jacksonville to that list.

“The works that Gideon has produced from that time are powerful reminders of the human tragedy of flooding,” says MOCA Director Caitlin Doherty, “and place our community right at the heart of not only a global contemporary art project but, more significantly, at the heart of a contemporary dialogue about our changing climate, rising floodwaters and the environmental challenges that we are all charged with solving.” Seeing the visual evidence of last year’s hurricane season while in the midst of this year’s hurricane season creates a juxtaposition that is uncomfortable, but necessary.

Hosting this exhibit locally was a priority for Doherty, who took over as director in 2017, shortly before the start of hurricane season. “I first saw some of Gideon’s work on display as part of a group exhibition many years ago,” she says. “I curated an exhibition of his work at the Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU, while I was serving as senior curator …   More

community news

Man’s Best Friend: Banned from the Brewery

This story has been updated.

_________

Beer drinkers might be in for a surprise the next time they head to their local brewery or bottle shop—their canine friends aren’t allowed.

Dogs have become as common a sight in breweries as IPAs, but a rarely enforced Florida Administrative Code is putting the practice to an end. Jacksonville Beach-based brewery, Green Room Brewing, brought attention to the issue in a Facebook post Thursday.

The rule, Florida Administrative Code 64E-11.008 (8), states:

"Live birds and animals–No live birds or animals except for crustacea, shellfish and fish in aquariums shall be allowed in a food service establishment, in vehicles used for transporting food or in any other area or facility used to conduct food service operations; except as provided under Section 413.08, F.S."

While most breweries don’t sell food, the same code defines food as “any raw, cooked, or processed edible substance, ice beverage or ingredient used or intended for use in whole, or in part, for human consumption.”

In other words—beer.

“It does suck that people can’t bring their furry friends anymore,” Mark Stillman, the owner of Green Room Brewing, told Folio Weekly. “Most places don’t allow them already, so why not have a place where you can drink a couple beers and have a good time with them?”

He responded by starting a petition on Change.org that has attracted more than 14,000 signatures at the time of publication.

“We got the notice on Monday and it took me a minute to decide what to do,” Stillman said. “We tried to look for ways around it, but it didn’t look like they would go well, so we felt it was time to let the public know. So we made the petition but we’re also encouraging people to call their state officials and the Health Department.”

Stillman also contacted local officials to request a variance, a waiver …   More

the flog

Circuit, Breaking

As Northeast Florida sees continued growth in its established entertainment districts, there has been a commensurate upturn for various alternative performance spaces–warehouses, back alleys, rooftops and other little nooks and crannies across this almost impossibly large region. One of the cooler such developments in the past year has been Bold City Circuit, which has endeavored to showcase a new generation of singer-songwriters in the most intimate of settings. We’ve covered a couple of those acts (Dylan Gerard and Fort Defiance) here before.

“We typically look to create a diverse show by combining versatile acts,” says impresario Dennis Negrin, who launched the series in June. “We know musicians who know musicians, and it’s been great.” The sixth show on Sunday night features three acts who’ve been on local radars for a while now, starting with Duval’s own Chelsey Michelle Duo, who opened for Fort Defiance here on April 5. Michelle’s been a regular presence at places like Prohibition Kitchen and Blue Jay Listening Room, and partner Chris Underdal is one of the most interesting young guitarists working anywhere today.

They will be followed by the Tumbling Wheels, a rollicking quintet out of New Orleans whose style straddles genres like a hobby-horse, incorporating elements of roots, folk, blues and country. “They have a pretty unique sound,” says Negrin, “but you could say they take the sounds of Bessie Smith and the Smothers Brothers and put their own twang and indie-spin on it.”

Their debut album, The Tumbling Wheels Play the No Counts, was released in 2016 on United Bakery Records, a label named after a now-defunct gallery and performance space that helped galvanize a big chunk of the New Orleans scene, including the band itself. (The Wheels also featured on the label comp, which is certainly worth hearing in its own right.) The album’s 12 tracks maintain …   More

the flog

Help Is ON the Way

Millen, Georgia is a small place. Situated about 80 miles from Savannah, there isn’t much to it. A city of about 3,500 folks (I’d call that a town), Millen has produced two noteworthy people (per Wikipedia): two former governors (yawn). It may be time to update that portion of the Wikipedia page. “Kountry” Wayne Collier is now the most famous person ever from Millen, Georgia. Collier–who uses the stage name Kountry Wayne–is equal parts entrepreneur and comedian. He has amassed legions of followers with his online videos, focusing on the quirks of family life and everyday craziness, and doing so without “going blue.” Collier is a quick study, and although he has been practicing the art of standup for only a short time, Collier has already toured the world, and is coming back to Jacksonville at The Comedy Zone for a five-show stand on Aug. 9, 10 and 11. The City Council of Millen (or whatever governing body it has) would be proud. “It’s a small town,” explains Collier. “Some things I miss, some things I don’t. I know about the world now, though.”

“I was doing my thing in music and then, one day, I started playing around with comedy on the internet and it just went to a whole other level,” explains Collier. “I started making videos and then suddenly I had a ton of followers. The comedy took over; it felt so natural. I always thought I would be on stage and travel the world–I just figured it would be doing music.” Music’s loss is comedy’s gain, as Collier has been working his butt off, touring the nation and world. And though Collier started in music, he's always had comedic influences as well. “I always loved Bernie Mac, Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor,” explains Collier. And those guys are and were hilarious, but Collier plays it a little differently. “I do clean comedy,” explains Collier. “I was cursing in my act …   More

The Flog

DAYS OF SPLENDOR AND RUIN

I can still remember the first time I saw a Polaroid print self-develop. We’d taken Althea’s Evel Knievel 10-speed (me balanced on the handlebars) down the hill. We were hanging out at her auntie’s house, eating sugar sandwiches, and her uncle snapped a picture of us, arms slung over each other’s shoulders, grinning wildly into the camera. When the print slid out, he shook it and blew on it, telling us that it was magic. And in 1984, for one tech-deprived kid from the Eastside, it was.

The show Jacksonville: A Tale of My City, curated by Shawana Brooks, features 13 photographers, each with a distinctive point of view, reflecting a different facet of this city. At the center of the exhibit is Cheryl McCain’s display of vintage Polaroid cameras and photographs in the heart of the Makerspace, highlighting the transitory magic of photography. Lots of objects double as mementos, but Polaroids are somehow different, in that they’re more bulky than a photographic print and each is a record of an instant, made visible and tactile in the next instant.

Surrounding McCain’s installation are photographs by various artists; many of the photos evoke a bulldozed and forgotten time—even some of the contemporary prints feel heavy with the weight of forgotten or overlooked history. They reflect the Jacksonville that one suspects isn’t heralded by Visit Jacksonville or the Mayor’s office ... in these images, it’s not easier here.

Without a doubt, Bob Self’s works stand as beacons in a show that boasts multiple peaks. Self, a photographer for the Times-Union for more than 30 years, has seemingly mastered the art of being present without being intrusive. His photos’ power is not rooted in only the composition, but from the emotional weight therein as well. Crab Boil (1995) is subdued; it's feels almost as casual as a snapshot. Two figures stand behind/alongside a grey lopsided house with a …   More

The Flog

Dreaming in 3D

Local artist Jason Tetlak has been getting a lot of attention lately for his 90-foot-by-22-foot long Brooklyn mural depicting the Beastie Boys’ song “No Sleep 'Till Brooklyn” (located at 250 Park St.). The mural is the largest 3-Dimentional mural in the world; it’s been verified by the Guinness Book of World Records (he’s just waiting on the official certificate).

The record is one he set out to make, “[because] why not? Going for the record just sounded like a fun accomplishment. I've loved the record book since I was a kid, and now my kids also enjoy reading it.”

Tetlak seems to be taking the attention in stride—which includes an article on the German website rap-n-blues.com—with a smile and a quick quip or two. “I chose the Beastie Boys because when I found a wall that was big enough to set the record it was in Brooklyn, so it only seemed fitting…Plus the 3D style looks kinda old school.”

When asked why he’s been working in 3D (the kind that requires glasses), he replied, “I just like pushing the envelope with materials and technology to see what I can make work. I wanted to see if I could hand paint something that would work with 3D glasses and it has just snowballed from there.”

The work became the foundation of a suite that he calls his “red reveal” series. Pieces that change to reveal a hidden (often funny) message with a red photo filter.

In September, the artist will have works on display at MOSH and in November, he mounts a solo at Space 42 in Riverside.

Visit tetlak.com for more of the artist’s work.   More

The Flog

Alive & (Still) Kicking

There was some great alt-rock music in the ’90s. I may be biased, (the mid-’90s are my wheelhouse of music) but I swear, the music destined to replace the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac on classic rock formats someday (if radio continues to exist at that point in the future) was awesome. Some of the best shows I’ve ever seen happened in the ’90s and were performed by quintessential ’90s bands: Counting Crows at the Edge, Nirvana and The Breeders at the Morocco Shrine Auditorium (I realize fans of Nirvana and those who revere the importance of Kurt Cobain may not appreciate that I consider both of those shows to have been merely “good”) and any number of amazing shows at the wonderful and sadly missed Einstein à Go-Go in Jacksonville Beach. Another great show I saw in the ’90s was Weezer and Live at Jacksonville University (outside, on some sort of covered basketball court). Weezer has clearly gone on to do what Weezer does; Wheeze, presumably. Live, on the other hand, has had trickier travels.

Certainly no one-hit wonder (22 million albums is a lot, a lot of albums to sell), Live (the name on the press release is +Live+ ) had some of the biggest hits in an entire decade. The massive radio hit “Lightning Crashes” almost wasn’t a single. “I Alone” is a great song, with a weird video (why is the drummer just menacingly lurching around?). “Turn My Head” is a beautiful, bittersweet number. “Lakini’s Juice” is heavier. +Live+ was a major power of the ’90s, pushing through to the new millennium. And then they were gone. What was supposed to be a brief hiatus turned into legal battles between the band and front man Ed Kowalczyk. The band carried on with a different singer and Kowalczyk worked on solo stuff. “The ’90s were a whirlwind,” says Kowalczyk. “The hiatus was supposed to be short and it ended up being longer, but there is a …   More

the flog

UNF Boots Papa John's

The University of North Florida has decided that they’d rather eat Totino’s than Papa John’s Pizza. According to a release, the school asked its on-campus vendor Chartwells to remove the Papa John’s franchise from the student union. It will be replaced with an in-house outlet.

On July 11, news outlets reported that Papa John’s founder John Schnatter had used the n-word on a conference call in May. A day later, Schnatter resigned as chairman of the company’s board. He has since criticized media reports and claimed that he was set up; his most recent desperate grasp at straws involves suing the company and accusing the board of negligence and of staging a possible “coup.”

In a message sent to the campus community this afternoon, UNF dropped the hammer on garlic butter dipping sauce, but mostly rich dudes who use the n-word, writing that it is “committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all” and “creating a culture of respect and to providing a path for people from diverse backgrounds to succeed.”

It did not address how the loss of the pickled pepperoncini peppers will affect campus life.

The school further stated:

The University stands in unity and solidarity with all members of our community, regardless of genetic information, race, color, religion, age, sex, disability, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin or veteran status. We're proud of the diversity in our students, faculty and staff.

Somewhere, we suspect Dan and Frank Carney are still laughing.

But for serious, kudos to UNF.   More