Oct 262011

By Danny Mayer

Album cover.

John Hartford AereoPlain.

John Hartford is one among a generation of artists—Kentuckians Hunter S. Thompson, Ed McClanahan, and Gurney Norman among them—who came of age during the 1950s, soaked in the cultural and social upheavals of the 1960s in hippy-dippy California as relative (and relatively old) unknowns, and then proceeded, in the early Seventies, to produce some of the most thoroughly saturated “Sixties” works one could ever hope to encounter.

It wasn’t until 1971 that Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas appeared in the iconic ’60s startup Rolling Stone magazine. That same year McClanahan’s “Greatful Dead I Have Known” hit the Playboy stands. Ditto for Norman’s Divine Right’s Trip, subtitled A novel of the counterculture, which began to run serially in the back-to-the-earth publication The Whole Earth Catalog.

For the song and dance man John Hartford, 1971 brought the release of Aereo-Plain, an album best described as a perfect expression of counter-cultural bluegrass music. The sound was a distillation of Hartford’s two different decades as a musician. There was the 1950s teen years spent listening to late night country radio, playing old time fiddle and banjo music, and dreaming about the Mississippi River. And then there was the Sixties, spent as a radio DJ in Nashville, later as a witty but otherwise undistinguished California-type folkie with a banjo, and later still as an accomplished session player for albums like the Byrds’ Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

In Aereo-Plain in 1971, Hartford synthesized those two decade pulls. The new and the old matched. Critics cite the record as ground zero for the newgrasss movement with good reason. It fused the more conservative old school bluegrass traditions of Hartford’s youth to the feel-hippy adventure-seeking wit and punch he encountered as a studio musician playing at the height of the 1960s acid rock craze. Even his Aereo-Plain band, new-school long-hairs Norman Blake and Randy Scruggs and old-school short-hairs Vassar Clements and  Tut Taylor, split generationally down the middle. Jim Morrison talked about doors; and here was Hartford, the old hippie with the old-timey goggles, a veritable time and sound portal. Continue reading »

Oct 262011

By Jack Stevenson

The biggest bang since humans started recording their history occurred when the volcanic Mount Tambora in the Indonesian island chain erupted on April 5, 1815. The eruption was a monster. Several cubic miles of molten lava and rock were blasted five miles high, maybe higher. The noise was heard more than a thousand miles from the volcano. The volcanic dust began a journey around the earth filtering the sunlight and causing abnormally cool summer temperatures. But the maximum impact occurred the following year. People called 1816 the “year without summer.” There was famine in China because the cold weather caused crop failure and because of extensive flooding. Abnormal rains in India caused a cholera epidemic that spread north as far as Russia. Continue reading »

Oct 262011

The case of the Gilo Black Stem

By BOB McKinley

I’m a restless gardener, and a bit of a dilettante in the vegetable patch. I get bored growing the same things year after year, and with the exception of some tried and true heirlooms like Sara Black tomatoes, I’m always looking for something exotic to shake things up. So in the cold and gloom of deep winter, when the gardening itch is just starting to stir from its hibernation, I scour the seed catalogs for vegetable inspiration. My wife calls it Garden Porn. I’ve found heirloom treasures that originate from all over the world. Belarus, Sri Lanka, Korea, Russia, India, and a host of vegetables from right here in the good old USA.

Last winter a seed saving acquaintance from Pennsylvania contacted me about a rare African eggplant she had come across.  Being aware of my propensity for the unusual, she wanted to give me first crack at the seeds. The eggplant was called Gilo Black Stem and purportedly originated from Uganda. She described it as tasting similar to cooked carrots. An eggplant that tastes like carrots? Sign me up. Continue reading »

Oct 262011

Day shifts, night shifts, swing shifts, lunch shifts

The 99% need your support in Lexington. Please check our website and Like us  on Facebook for more information about upcoming events and up-to-the-minute developments from our occupation. You can also follow us on Twitter at @occupylexky and retweet with #occupylexky for information you’d like to share.

What we really need, though, is you. Our occupation relies on the presence of people who will stand up with us and maintain a healthy amount of supporters at the site. We’ve had occupiers out here 24/7 since this thing started and we don’t plan on leaving anytime soon. So why not come by and join us? You’ll find good company, good conversation, and good food donated by community members. Moreover, you can join the discussion about where we’re going and how we can get there, together. Continue reading »

Oct 262011

Food Not Bombs returns to Lexington

By Dave Cooper

Lexington Food Not Bombs is back, feeding the public delicious and healthy free food every Wednesday at 5:30 in front of the downtown public library in Phoenix Park.

Organizer Melody Millage, 22, who works at Magee’s Bakery, got the idea to start a Lexington Food Not Bombs group after talking with Tates Creek High grad John O’Shea over coffee at Common Grounds, and they have now been serving meals in Lexington for several months.

Most of the food served is donated from the Lexington Farmer’s Market, along with random donations:  At a recent dinner a man rode up on a classic red Schwinn bicycle, opened his daypack and withdrew a gigantic five pound bag of uncooked elbow macaroni to donate. Continue reading »

Oct 262011

Occupy activities at JP’s plaza, Main Street

Please contact occupylexky@gmail.com to add an activity to the calendar.

Every day

6:30 P.M.: General Assembly: Come take part in consensus decision-making as to how the Occupation in Lexington should proceed.


5:30-7:30 P.M. : People’s Journalism: BCTC film certificate graduate Ramona Waldman and North of Center editor Danny Mayer will be on hand to produce and help foster citizen journalism. Residents are invited to come tell their own story of hard times and high hopes on camera to Ramona. They are also invited to share with Danny working drafts of news articles, letters to the editor, or other media publications that they hope to get published. Weekly during the occupation.

10:00 P.M.-7:00 A.M.: Community night: Bluegrass Community and Technical College professors Michael Benton and Danny Mayer invite BCTC students, faculty and staff (past, present and future) to join them in spending the night downtown. Other members of the public are invited, too. Mayer promises to bring bocce balls. Continue reading »

Oct 122011

Advertising landscapes

By Dave Cooper

I am standing on New Circle Road, and this is what I see: flags everywhere.

One flag says “90 Day Refills.”  The next one reads “One Hour Photo.” Then “Drive Through Pharmacy.”  In the next block, a matching pair of flags shouts out the message “SONIC.” Just past the flags is a large sign that says “Salvation Army Thrift Store.” Across the street another announces “Brothers Auto Sales.”

Looking up and down the road: “Swifty – Pay Cash and Save,” “Burgers 99 Shakes,” Check Advance, Golden Corral, Advance Auto Parts, Beds To Go, Bryan Station Inn, “We Buy Gold,” “Buy Sell Trade Anything of Value,” Quality Auto Sales, “We Buy Anything,” “GOLD,” “For Sale,” Kroger, Firestone, Marathon, Demovellan.com, “Now Hiring,” Frito-Lay Sun Chips, “Welcome UK Credit Union Members,” Fed Ex, “Financing Available,” “Free Carfax Report,” “Big G Express Trucking.” On the corner is my favorite: “S&M Pawn Shop – Where Courtesy is a Must.”

It’s enough to make you sick, all of this visual junk.  Most outdoor advertising is done as garishly as possible, using big, thick block letters to bash us over the heads with thick, blockheaded messages.  Continue reading »

Oct 122011

Though later it turned out that the couch had belonged to Dalbert, when we first asked him if it was his—as a way to get to the follow-up question, “Will you sit on it for a photograph?”—he said he had no idea whose couch it was and continued to work on repairing his truck. We asked a few more people, all of whom said no. Before long, Alpha came out of the house, having just finished showering. She had overheard our questions and wanted to be photographed. Cleveland and his wife Janet approached at that very moment and asked if they, too, could be in the picture. Once the three of them expressed interest, Dalbert, too, joined the couch party.

Image and text by Kremena Todorova and Kurt Gohde, Discarded project.

Discarded project

Oct 122011

UK Lecture on autonomous spaces

On Friday, October 14, John Paul Jones and Keith Woodward will deliver a talk on the politics of autonomous spaces. Jones is a former geography professor at UK and current Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona, while Woodward is a former UK grad student flunkie now a geography professor in Madison, Wisconsin. The talk will take place in the West End Boardroom, 18th Floor of the Patterson Office Tower, at 4 PM. Free drinks follow at the reception, 6:00 until the booze runs out, in the UK Commonwealth House (Gaines Center), located on Maxwell behind Memorial Coliseum. Continue reading »