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PLAYING AROUND

Sam Querrey beat Thiago Alves 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3) to give the United States a 3-2 victory over Brazil in their Davis Cup match on Feb. 3 at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

The U.S. nearly squandered a 2-0 lead after losses by Bob and Mike Bryan in doubles on Feb. 2 and John Isner in reverse singles earlier Feb. 3.

The U.S. will host Serbia in the next round in April.

Earlier Sunday afternoon, Isner extended his drought in five-set Davis Cup matches, losing to Thomaz Bellucci and allowing the Brazilians to level the matchup 2-2 against the United States. Bellucci beat Isner 2-6, 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-3.

Isner fell to 0-4 in Davis Cup matches pushed to five sets. He is recovering from a bone bruise in his right knee that he suffered in early January. Isner fell to 4-10 in five-set matches as a pro, according to USTA officials.   More

PLAYING AROUND

Filmmaker Mahmoud Shoulizadeh finished filming "The Prisoner" in Camden County this week, according to the Coastal Georgia Film Alliance.

In the film, a man on death row makes a last request of a visitor who is a former prison mate.

The shoot took only a few days with the assistance of the Camden County Sheriff's Department and the cities of St. Marys and Woodbine, the film alliance chair, Doug Vaught, said in a statement.

"The Prisoner" is the second film shot in Coastal Georgia in the past few months. "Identify Thief," starring Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman, is scheduled for release in February. The comedy includes landscapes of St. Marys and Woodbine.

  More

Playing Around

The Ice Plant is Christiana Key’s favorite bar in St. Augustine. It reminds her of a place she frequented while she lived in New York City, with high ceilings and a modern atmosphere. She didn’t love New York, but it’s where she started her experimental magic-infused pop music project, Delphic Oracle.

“Ultimately I would like it to be called priestess pop,” she says.

She’s a one-woman band who plays everything through a loop pedal. Her medium is her electric violin, a keyboard synthesiser, a microphone and a four-channel interface mixer.

In the two years since she started the project, Key’s done an East Coast and West Coast tour, but has recently settled into St. Augustine, close to where she grew up, in Jacksonville. Most of her days are spent in a pirate souvenir and costume shop, a touristy place where she works and lives in a tiny room off to the side with only a curtain as her door. She works as a clerk in the shop, and sews some of the costumes sold there.

When I meet Key, she’s dressed in a black plunging-neckline dress, a color she feels most comfortable in. She’s 27, but looks younger on account of her edgy aesthetics and petite body.

We order drinks. The bar’s cocktail menu employs songs titles and pop culture references. She chooses the Mellow Gold, named after a Beck album: Old Forester bourbon, Liquor 43, ginger, lemon, orange, sugar and bitters. It’s a tall glass — and, she says, a big bang for your buck. It’ll get you drunk after just one. I press record on my iPhone, and for the rest of the night I’m engulfed in Key’s strange mind.

She starts by telling me about her music.

“I try to write songs that are really spiritually uplifting, and then I find myself going for a sexually tinged spiritual pursuit,” Key says.

A lot of the revelations she’s had in her life have been through sex and relationships, and she’s more …   More

PLAYING AROUND

Three days of activities will mark the 2013 Jazz Festival in Downtown Jacksonville May 23-26. Among the performers are BWB featuring Rick Braun, Kirk Whatum and Norman Brown, Euge Groove, Gerald Albright, Gregory Porter, Poncho Sanchez and the Yellowjackets.

In addition to the music on three stages, there will be Art in the Heart Downtown, an art show and sale, the Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition, Youth Jazz Talent Showcase, jazz brunch, exhibits and display. Most of the activities are free and open to the public.

For additional information, go the website or follow the festival on Twitter or Facebook.   More

PLAYING AROUND

The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park announced The Allman Brothers Band and Widespread Panic will play two nights at the Wanee Music Festival held April 18-20 in Live Oak, Fla.

This will be the Allman Brothers’ eighth year hosting Wanee and Widespread Panic’s third year headlining the fest.

Also on the ticket: Gov’t Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Leon Russell, Towner of Power, Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang, Electric Hot Tuna, Maceo Parker, Steel Pulse, North Mississippi Allstars, Blackberry Smoke, Galactic and Friends, The Greyboy Allstars, Voice of the Wetland All-Stars featuring Tab Benoit, Cyril Neville, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Jumpin Johnny Sansone, Waylon Thibodeaux, Johnny Vidacovich; Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio, The Lee Boys, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, The Revivalists, Monophonics, Boombox, Oli Brown Band, Flannel Church, The Yeti Trio and Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch.

VIP tickets have already sold out, but general admission tickets priced at $205 are available now through April 8.

For more information about Wanee, visit the festival website.   More

PLAYING AROUND

Sam Querrey beat Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the first match to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead over Brazil in the first round of the Davis Cup on Friday at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

About 3,000 fans attended the afternoon match, but Querrey expects a major draw for Saturday's doubles match.

"This could be your one chance to see the greatest doubles team of all time," Querrey said.

Bob and Mike Bryan will face Marcelo Melo and Bruce Soares on Saturday. The Bryan brothers are ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in doubles and are the most prolific doubles team in men's tennis history, having won the Australian Open last week for their record 13th Grand Slam title.   More

Playing Around

Local theater in Jacksonville gets a bad rep, when it’s paid attention to at all. Those outside of the theater community think that all this town has to offer is rotating performances of My Fair Lady or Little Orphan Annie at the Alhambra. But there are local artists and producers that are taking chances, and doing theater that is thought-provoking, unconventional and daring, at least by Jacksonville standards.

33 Variations, produced by The 5 & Dime, a small Jacksonville-based theater company, is one of the best productions I've seen in town. Drawing from a fantastic script by Moises Kaufman, author of The Laramie Project, the play tells the story of Beethoven's obsession with a seemingly pedestrian waltz, a dying woman's journey to understand that obsession, and her daughter's attempts to be close to her mother despite their distance. In lesser hands, it might have come off as prosaic or overly sentimental, but here it's played gently and honestly. It's touching, funny and beautifully acted, with a minimal set and lighting design that somehow manages to weave three stories from two time periods into one cohesive narrative.

“[The set] is very minimal and almost jarring at first glance,” says Joshua Taylor, a founding member of The 5 & Dime who plays Beethoven's biographer and friend. “But it has been my experience that more minimal sets tend to pull less focus from the audience during the show and really serve to allow the work on stage to shine through.”

With only a backdrop of music sheets and a few tables and chairs, the play goes back and forth between Beethoven's time and the present day. The main character, a musicologist too preoccupied with discerning Beethoven's motivations to spend time with her daughter, is played deftly by actress and former public radio host Sinda Nichols. Her performance is captivating without being over the top. I don't know if it was the pre-show wine, but at one point I noted, …   More

PLAYING AROUND

With film credits in Istanbul, California, New York and Iran on his resume, what was tempting enough to bring decorated director and actor, Bandar Albuliwi, to the Jacksonville area? 

Albuliwi's route to Northeast Florida began with a change from acting to directing — a result of being typecast as a terrorist too often. The New York native was displeased with the singular direction of his acting career, and, after a falling out with his agent, turned exclusively to directing. This choice soon became the catalyst for reshaping Albuliwi's professional life, which eventually included a teaching job at Rutgers University. This unanticipated opportunity opened the door to sharing his directorial philosophies with students.

So when Jacksonville University made the offer earlier this month, the timing was perfect because Albuliwi was looking for a place free of distractions and with a slower pace of life. The Sunshine State was not only a great opportunity, but also a nice escape from the heartbreaks in New York City.

At JU, Albuliwi plans on molding young minds in the new film department. But not in the traditional textbook manner. Hollywood stereotypes aren’t his style and infusing originality and spreading the idea of being open-minded are on his agenda. Directing and producing nontraditional films with mixed races that connect cultures are a key part of his vision.

“I want them to go out there, make their own movie, make their own mistakes, and learn from that," Albuliwi said of his students. "I want them to have more of a production-based environment than a classroom setting.”  

Being one of the youngest people accepted into the prestigious American Film Institute, Albuliwi got his Master of Fine Arts in Film Directing and met his righthand man, Faruk Ozerten. Ozerten and Albuliwi went on to create "Peace After Marriage," which won the Creative Promise Award at the Tribeca Film Festival in lower …   More

PLAYING AROUND

Chamblin’s Uptown is taking the theme of July's First Wednesday Art Walk — "Body and Wellness" — literally. 

The Downtown Jacksonville bookstore is hosting the BodyArt Walk Tattoo Fashion Show July 3. Jennifer O’Donnell, the store's manager, came up with idea.

“We are promoting Art Walk and just trying to bring more people Downtown — more people and more diversity and maybe people who never usually come down for Art Walk," O’Donnell said. "We want to celebrate the tattooists as artists and the tattoos as art, because they are."

Chamblin’s has rented a cat walk to place in front of Snyder Memorial Church on Laura Street where those who wish to participate can strut their stuff. Those with tattoos are welcome to participate, no matter the size, color, placement or design. For those without tattoos, henna and body paint artists will be available. If you wish to participate in the BodyArt Walk, call 674-0868 by 5 p.m. July 3 to register.  

Spectators at the fashion show will help pick the winners, who will receive gift cards from local downtown businesses, including Chamblin's Uptown, Strght & Nrrw and Icon Boutique. Participants will walk the cat walk while emcee Wayne Wood, a genuine renaissance man and founder of Riverside Arts Market, highlights their body art.

“When Jennifer told me about the BodyArt Walk, I said it was a great idea, and that it would give an extra spark to the monthly Art Walk," Wood said. "It would be a new celebration of art that is not celebrated often.”

As of June 28, 45 people had signed up to participate.

“We are hoping to get 100 — at least!” O’Donnell said.

Local bands Fathom Sphere and Memphibians will perform. A photographer will shoot pictures of the participants and their ink, and the photos will be displayed in various businesses and restaurants Downtown. Dancers, hula-hoopers, a fire show and more will …   More

OUR PICKS

Einstein A Go-Go, which closed more than a decade ago, was as legendary a nightclub in the Northeast Florida alt music scene as New York City’s CBGB or Whisky a Go Go in LA.

Before the area became a dead zone for new/interesting traveling musicians, the Jax Beach venue hosted an incredible lineup of quintessential ’80s and ’90s bands, from Nirvana and Jane’s Addiction to The Replacements, 10,000 Maniacs and Sonic Youth.

It was a haven for music fans, a second home for many, especially teenagers who couldn’t get in anywhere else (the all-ages club didn’t serve alcohol). Now, surviving A Go-Goers are throwing a reunion party for nostalgic fans to come together and reminisce.

One of the original Einstein DJs — DJ Ricky — spins classic tunes from the era. 8 p.m. July 26 at Eclipse Nightclub in Avondale, $10 door charge (proceeds benefit Gateway Community Services) or donate to Girls Rock Jax online in advance.   More

 
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