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Recent Comments

Re: “More names and faces linked to legislative kickback probe

Probably simple coincidence (people gotta work somewhere, after all), but if I recall correctly, the (now former?) Executive Director of Decision Point represented District 99 from '09 to '13.

8 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Statesman on 01/06/2017 at 1:34 PM

Re: “Midweek and the line is open

Up here in NWA, the courageous men and women of the NWADG's editorial board want us all to recommit ourselves to the "moral imperative" of the White Man's Burden: http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2015/sep/23/…

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Statesman on 09/23/2015 at 4:45 PM

Re: “Dexter Suggs resigns as Little Rock school superintendent

Lordy be, Rollins is still around? He was the Springdale superintendent when I started Kindergarten 30 years ago.

8 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Statesman on 04/21/2015 at 9:11 AM

Re: “Democratic state rep candidate Leah Williams gets endorsement from GOP Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt

And y'all said Benton County was hopeless. Williams is a good candidate, and if she can't win it, I'm afraid no Dem can. In this case, I worry that JPH's name doesn't go as far as it once did -- for most people in these parts, that's just a name on a highway sign anymore -- but it's still a nice development.

It feels funny saying this, but it's worth paying attention to the race in Rogers/94, too. Graham is certainly out-yard-signing Petty, even well into the red reaches of West Rogers and Pinnacle Country. Most long-term locals either had him as a teacher themselves or have a kid who did, and being a recognizable face at Mountie football games over the past few decades goes a long way in the eyes of good ol' boys of all political stripes.

Petty's primary win was a bit of a surprise (maybe not, though, given that Marge Wolf's claim to fame was her work with Main Street Rogers, and most Republicans of means in Rogers couldn't find downtown without a GPS unit these days), and until recently she seemed perfectly coasting on the R next to her name, given her unwillingness to engage at all with the local press. Don't think she expected to go up against a candidate who was actually from the area or who might actually get a Bill boost in the coming days. I think the idea of going up against someone who was well regarded regardless of party affiliation was entirely alien to her, and it's starting to show: there's a mailer going around with Graham's face plastered next to Barack Obama's, along with some language about being "just an ol' liberal" and some such. No "paid-for" disclaimer and certainly no mention of an opponent, which has to be awfully nice for purposes of plausible deniability. Definitely a sign that someone's feeling a little shook, though.

Yeah, it'll still be a close race thanks to Tea Party zombies and the right-leaning Prosperity Gospel class of West Rogers (a transient batch of vendors who aren't likely to know a long-serving English teacher's name and who'll vote GOP across the board to stay in good graces with their frenemies at CrossChurch and Theo's), but I'm calling it now: Graham wins, and Rogers gets a blue rep.

6 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Statesman on 09/30/2014 at 12:29 PM

Re: “Queens of the Stone Age cancels Arkansas Music Pavilion show

There was a time in our not-to-distant past when fly-by-night "entrepreneurs" would book C-tier rap acts for the Springdale Convention Center or the Metroplex in Rogers, spend about a week promoting these events (and their VIP tickets), and then cancel everything at the last possible moment. (And if they didn't, the performers would do the next best thing and simply not show up.)

The AMP's track record of late isn't much better. This is the second show in three weeks that appears to have fallen through thanks to the "unavoidable circumstance" of...dare I say it?...low ticket sales.

Here's the thing: Queens of the Stone Age isn't an obscure band. They get good press. They get airplay and guest spots on late-night talk shows. They play big stages at big festivals. They have a solid "indie" pedigree but at this point are well-established veterans of mainstream rock. They may not be the kings of rock 'n' roll, but they're probably not accustomed to canceling dates due to lack of interest, either.

Savages? The heat has cooled a little since their album leaked, but up until now they've been one of the most hyped new bands of 2013, at least among critical circles. Their US tour dates have been limited to big cities and major festivals; there's a good chance that they've never played anywhere nearly as small as Fayetteville since coming stateside.

The Black Crowes are what they are. They're not a huge draw these days and frankly have probably played the region too often over the past few years, but they've earned their fanbase and haven't had to stoop to the county fair circuit just yet.

So it's not an issue of exposure. What is it? Pricing is certainly a problem -- I like Vampire Weekend (a lot more than Robert does, I'm sure), I think their latest record is far and away their best and easily a best-of-2013 finalist, and I still have a hard time plunking down $40 plus service fees to stand under a white tarp in the Washington County Fairgrounds. (Beer? Let's not even go there.) Maybe that's comparable to what I was paying to see national acts play in Chicago in the late '00s, and maybe I've forgotten what admission was to, say, TV on the Radio at JR's or Built to Spill at Dickson Theater in the mid-'00s, but I doubt it.

Then again, can Fayetteville really draw a band without overpaying? Not-too-distant college towns like Lawrence and Columbia have been very successful in drawing big (read: critically acclaimed) acts over the decades in part because they both straddle a big interstate that runs through a number of big cities. It's much easier for a band to settle for one night at a smaller venue in a smaller town if the show's flanked by dates in St. Louis and Denver. But Fayetteville still isn't exactly on the way to anywhere in particular, and won't even after I-49 is finished. You've gotta give someone incentive to come over here.

It may not change a lot as far as this issue is concerned, but I do feel like the one change the town can make right now that'll make a huge difference in the quality of entertainment is to have one -- just ONE -- serious music venue that's more than just a house or "music hall" (RIP). Put aside the question of Fayetteville vs. Rogers -- Northwest Arkansas doesn't need an AMP right now. It needs a Granada. It needs a Blue Note. It needs a Cain's. It needs a good indoor venue that's bigger than a bar but smaller than a pop-up amphitheater. A venue that is isn't encumbered by permanent seating (sorry, WAC) and that won't cede its best nights to dance parties designed to attract underage drinkers (sorry, Dickson Theater...wait, do you still exist?). George's has made it steadfastly clear that it isn't interested in taking on that role, especially as long as old-timers keep showing up and requesting "Mustang Sally." And while it's admirable to see JR's, Smoke & Barrel, Maxine's, and The Phoenix (or whatever it'll be next week) book small acts, they aren't really built for much more, and they aren't willing to take that leap from "bar that offers live music" to "dedicated live music venue."

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Statesman on 09/25/2013 at 3:21 PM

 

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