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MIXED Bag Edition

Top headlines from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia

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BUY ME A CHURCH … ON EBAY
OK, just kidding about the church. The eBay thing, though—that’s legit. See, a live music venue in Austin, Texas, called The Parish, is being auctioned off to the highest bidder on eBay, reports Austin Chronicle. The bidding, begun Dec. 1, started at $1 and is scheduled to last 10 days; the winner will receive a 12-year lease, including two five-year options, for the 5,300-square-foot space on Sixth Street.

Intriguingly, this isn’t the first time a venue has been put up for auction on eBay by this owner. Doug Guller told AC he was so pleased with the results of selling vintage danceteria Schroeder Hall on eBay last spring for nearly a half-mil, he decided to put The Parish up for sale alongside eBay’s treasure trove of classic Tom Petty CDs, old sock puppets and Exploding Kittens. No word on whether they’ll guarantee three-day delivery.
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NUTELLA CRAZE CAUSES XMAS TREE SHORTAGE
We are not making this up. Boise Weekly revealed that many Northwest Pacific Christmas tree growers have stopped planting firs in favor of hazelnut trees, the fruits of which, when magically blended with chocolate, make Nutella so darn delicious. After a glut of trees in the Christmas season of 2011-’12 made prices plummet, a lot of growers switched to the more-profitable hazelnut.

“Apparently Chinese people really love Nutella,” said Linda Schramm, co-owner of North End Organic Nursery (NEON). Schramm added that the dwindling supply spurred her to frantically scramble to secure enough trees for this year’s customers. After much haranguing and searching throughout the spring, Schramm was able to nail down a source. Consumers are likely to feel the pinch as Christmas approaches. Schramm said by around Dec. 10 last year, most places were sold out of trees, and those that were available were far more expensive than in years past; this year, she predicts supply and prices will be similarly affected. Well, if they can’t have Christmas trees, at least they’re close enough to Oregon to celebrate with those other green plants everyone loves. (It’s weed, dude.)
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SUGAR PLUMS AND RAT TRAPS
In a story with a headline so magical, we had to have it for our very own, City Pulse of Lansing, Michigan reports one local production of The Nutcracker has found an intriguing way to keep the old classic fresh, in a manner of speaking: Kill the Rat King in new and imaginative ways, of course. (Of course.) “…[T]he Capital Ballet Theatre is in its 37th year of non-repeating rat extermination,” writer Lawrence Cosentino deadpans.

The play, beloved by young, old, jaded and damnably cheerful alike, offers more than myriad demises of royal rats—most will fondly recall the strains of Tchaikovsky, Sugar Plum Fairy pirouettes, the sweet, sleepy Clara. But the allure of a new method of cessation for the vile Rat King—not to be confused with an actual rat king; Google if you DARE—is so intriguing, one imagines it makes for quite the topic of conversation among the audience. And, yes, we did have nightmares about rat kings. Google is a dangerous place.
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JIMMIE VAUGHAN TAKES GUITAR LESSONS?
Though some would say being of guitar royalty exempts one from paying others to tell you how to play, 66-year-old Jimmie Vaughan, older brother of the late Stevie Ray, tells the Dallas Observer he still takes lessons. More than 50 years after he became known around Dallas as a 13-year-old guitar prodigy (guess it runs in the family), Vaughan continues gigging and learning; he’s just put out a new album, Live at C-Boy’s. The album has a jazzy, bluesy sound and includes covers of works by Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown and Smokey Smothers and “a jazzy instrumental version” of The Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love.” The record draws from his Dallas roots, but it’s also new territory for Vaughan—it’s the first recording of him leading a Hammond B-3 organ trio. May we all be so brave and humble should we ever get to the top!

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