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MOVIES

Jacksonville filmmaker Damian K. Lahey can be a bit of a recluse at times, so — being the annoyingly prodding journalist friend that I am — I attempted to crack open his oyster shell and, in the spirit of All Hallows' Eve, ask him to give me a list of his favorite horror films. For those not familiar with Lahey from his award-winning Indie film work, his feature-length movies include Cocaine Angel and The Heroes Of Arvine Place, both shot here in picturesque Cowford. Arvine Place, a Christmas holiday-themed movie, is currently finishing up its festival run after winning several awards, and will be released this December on Blu-ray and all major digital platforms. The tireless Lahey has also just completed post-production on a lil' horror/comedy short that he shot in L.A. in July called Soccer Moms In Peril, and is in pre-production on his next feature, which will be shooting in Jacksonville at the beginning of 2015.

Anyway, Lahey agreed to churn out the list at my behest. Curiously (and I would say criminally) missing from his compilation is Tales From the Crypt: Bordello of Blood, featuring a post-relevancy Corey Feldman and pre-right wing Dennis Miller. I'll now step aside and let Mr. Lahey take over the scene from here: 

Lahey: When RDS3 asked me to shoot him a list of my favorite horror movies, I was already tired from a long day of work and writing. Nonetheless, I threw back a can of HyperFizzics (a potent locally produced energy drink) and marched forth. Suddenly, it was 4 in the morning and I had not only finished this list, but had also nearly completed the construction of a fully operational time machine in the basement of my apartment building AND finished reading all of Dave Sim's Cerebus tomes.

Now, this is a purely subjective list. This is not what I believe are the best horror movies or the most influential horror movies. This is a list of MY …   More

PLAYING AROUND

Despite the threat of thunderstorms, country fans showed up ready to rock at the Country Rocks the Beach concert June 22. The show featured Craig Morgan and special guests Dustin Lynch and The Lacs.

The gates at Ybor Alvarez Outdoor Sports Complex opened at 3 p.m. and several opening bands played as fans poured in.

The Lacs, a band from Georgia that has gained recent notoriety in 2011, played some of their hits including their first single, “Kickin’ Up Mud.” They played their set all while sipping on beer and taking swigs from a Jagermeister bottle.

Soon after, Dustin Lynch took the stage, performing all his well-known singles including “She Cranks My Tractor.” The single, which debuted in the Top 50 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs list, pumped up the crowd, especially the girls as he swayed his hips in his tight black jeans.

After these two outstanding opening acts, the crowd was ready for Craig Morgan to come on. As soon as the sound of the tractor played over the loud speakers, Morgan appeared and began singing his single, “International Harvester.” The song from his 2006 album, "Little Bit of Life," is one of Morgan’s most popular hits.

Morgan continue the party by performing some of his other well-known songs like “Redneck Yacht Club” and “That’s What I Love About Sunday.” Both of these songs are from his album, "My Kind of Livin,’ " which was released in 2005.

He played all seven of his top-10 hits, including his single “Almost Home” from his 2002 album, "I Love It." Not only did it top the country music charts, this song earned him a Songwriter’s Achievement Award from the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International and also Song of the Year at the Broadcast Music, Inc.

Morgan sang his most popular songs, but he also let the crowd be part of his history by performing a new song never before played in public. …   More

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Singer-songwriter Cat Power will perform Nov. 8 at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall.

Cat Power, the stage name for Chan Marshall, canceled several North American concert dates — including her scheduled performance June 16 at the Florida Theatre.

At the time of the cancelation, Cat Power's management indicated she needed the extra time to prepare for her European Tour.

Tickets for the standing-room-only concert 8 p.m. Nov. 8 go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12. General admission tickets are $30 in advance.

Cat Power's 2012 album "Sun" was her first in six years with original material. She wrote, performed, recorded and produced the album herself.    More

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Witty banter and solid — though unspectacular — performances helped capture the audience in “Butterflies are Free," playing through Feb. 16 at the Limelight Theatre in St. Augustine.

Written by Leonard Gershe in 1969, the play centers around a young blind man, Don, who moves out of his overbearing mother’s house and tries to make it on his own in the big city. After a month, he meets the girl next door — a zany, outgoing and ditzy divorcee named Jill. An inevitable and rather predictable romantic fling ensues.

Constant puns on blindness keep the play from becoming too emotional or boring. The loudest laugh came when Jill was explaining how she became a hippie to rebel against her mother. Then, her mother loved the idea and followed in her footsteps. That’s when Jill “joined the young Republicans for Ronald Reagan.”

The set was that of a humble apartment complete with a make-shift dining room table, constructed from a bathtub and wood plank. A guitar, a box of cornflakes and a bunk bed were the defining features of the set. Audience members remarked that the set was too simple and “didn’t have the '60s feel.”

The performances by the four actors captured the audience’s attention, but the lead actor’s unconvincing portrayal of blindness came off more zombie-like and took away from his overall performance.

After starting a bit slow, the action picked up in the second act. The humor sprinkled throughout the play are not as memorable as the lasting impact and sympathy the audience gets from Don’s character. “Don’t leave me because I’m blind, but don’t stay because I’m blind,” he says to Jill in the midst of an argument.

This performance is capable of holding your attention, touching your heart, and producing a few laughs.

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Fourteen-year-old Tori Jackson, who will be a high school freshman later this year, heard the Girls Rock Jacksonville message loud and clear.

“The moment I felt empowered was when one of the counselors told me, ‘This is your place.’ She said that we do not have to be nervous at camp, we can express ourselves, and girls rock!”

Girls Rock Jacksonville has been providing a safe space for girls to boost their confidence, express their musical creativity and rock their way through those awkward teenage years since 2012.

The camp — founded by Ace Canessa, Sarah Humphreys and local musician Summer Wood — offers girls the chance to learn to play an instrument, write their own lyrics and create a band to perform in a camp showcase. Two years later, the camp continues to grow and help give a voice to groups of girls every summer.

Aside from teaching girls how to play instruments, the goal of Girls Rock Jacksonville is to equip girls with self-confidence.

Though the camp’s name implies that rock is the main genre, Jackson says that’s not exactly the case. “Our genre was kind of all over the place. We had some rapping in our song, we had some indie rock sort of things and we also had some riot girl moments,” she laughs.

Sisters Yani and Lulu Ritchie also recall their camp experience fondly. Lulu, the drummer for Moonlit Shadows, remembers how easy it was to make friends and connect with her bandmates. She said, “during our practice band time we would just chill and then after 45 minutes we would actually talk about the songs and get to know each other more.” Yani of Yani and the Rosettes learned to play bass at the camp. Though she says she’d never really worked in groups before, she was able to improve her teamwork skills.

Canessa is looking to expand the Girls Rock Jacksonville camp into an after-school program. “In the past we’ve had a pilot once-a-month mentorship program,” she says. “But it never really quite got off …   More

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The Dave Matthews Band is playing the arena tonight, and the show’s been sold out for months (approximately 17.3 seconds after tickets went on sale, by our calculations). So either you’re going (we’re judging you), you wish you were going (judging), or you think there might be a better way to part with your hard-earned cash (we can be friends).

Looking for something else to do? Here are some non-DMB happenings around Northeast Florida tonight that are worth your while:

1. See Jenny Lewis at the Florida Theatre. She’s about the same age as the main dude from DMB, except cuter, and incredibly talented. And she’ll probably play some Rilo Kiley songs. (Ray LaMontagne plays, too.)

2. Check out the amateur comedy hour at the Comedy Zone in Mandarin. Watch other people purposely embarrass themselves, then feel better about yourself.

3. Karaoke at Club TSI: Keep the whiskey coming, head on stage and purposely butcher a DMB song. (It won’t be hard.)

4. Trivia Night at the Garage: Drink about five different IPAs and demonstrate how much smarter you are than everyone else.

5. Go to the Jax Jazz Collective CD Release concert and party at Underbelly: Jacksonville has a great jazz scene, but we don’t pay enough attention to it. Fix that.   More

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ELECTRONIC REGGAE POP

BRAIDED SUN

Braided Sun is all about duality; it’s their motto. They appreciate life’s yin and yang, and try to convey that through their electronic music project. The duo from Ponte Vedra Beach, Luke and Nadine Walker, just began releasing music, and have already scored a few stops at this summer’s Warped Tour. Their reggae-tinged music has an electronic dance vibe that sounds like something from an Ultra Music Festival. Put on your sunscreen, pretend – or “pretend” – you’re on acid and chill out with Braided Sun’s we’re-in-this-together vibe at the local premiere of Taylor Knox’s new surf movie De Passage. With Hoyle, 6:30 p.m. July 20, Freebird Live, Jax Beach, free.

 

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COMEDY REVUE

MAD COWFORD

If you’ve never seen improv comedy, you might be prejudiced by that open mic night when some poor schmuck’s dick jokes fell flat, yet you felt obligated to laugh. Not so at Mad Cowford shows: The improv troupe draws consistent, high-energy crowds every weekend night to their Northstar Substation digs ($5 gets you in). A loyal audience returns week after week to participate in their sketches, scenes and games. The group celebrates eight years performing here with the comedy revue variety show Way Off Broadway. 8 p.m. July 19, Theatre Jacksonville, $20, theatrejax.com, madcowford.com.   More

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SWAMP RADIO

SUMMER PERFORMANCE

Swamp Radio has given new meaning to the phrase “live radio.” Performed before a live audience and available by podcast, the show focuses on the history, culture and flavors of Northeast Florida. Local poets, playwrights, storytellers and songwriters hit the road to share the area’s rich culture in the quarterly variety series. For its summer show, Summer in the Ancient City, Swamp Radio highlights the history of St. Augustine, with historian Wayne Wood and a performance by husband-and-wife folk duo The WillowWacks. 7:30 p.m. July 18 and 19, Flagler College’s Lewis Auditorium, $25 for adults, $20 for students.   More

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MUSICAL

THE WIZ

Dorothy takes a soulful journey in a local youth production of The Wiz, an African-American musical adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz that fuses rock, gospel and soul. Students in the 100 Youth Voices musical theater program show off what they learned at Stage Aurora, an award-winning nonprofit theater company offering arts education programs to underserved students. This production is the centerpiece of Stage Aurora’s Black Arts Festival. 7 p.m. July 18 and 2 and 6 p.m. July 19 at Stage Aurora, Gateway Town Center, Northside, $15-$25, 765-7373, stageaurora.org.   More