Category Archives: hilton head

Interview: Blue October’s seasons of change (or not?)

UPDATE: Yikes. So just a few days after talking with Justin Furstenfeld about how positive he was feeling these days and how excited he was to bring his message to people on this tour, Blue October cancelled the tour because Furstenfeld has been hospitalized to deal with mental health issues. Here’s the release from the band’s web site:


(New York, NY – October 22, 2009) The Pick Up The Phone Tour 2009 has been canceled due to the hospitalization of Justin Furstenfeld, lead singer of the tour’s headlining band Blue October. Furstenfeld, who was also the spokesperson for Pick Up The Phone Tour 2009, is being treated for suffering from an extreme mental anxiety attack. His doctors have ordered that the tour—which was committed to reducing the stigma associated with mental health, depression, and suicide—be canceled to allow for his recovery.

“Mental health diseases are unpredictable,” says Furstenfeld. “And on the eve of this tour in support of a cause that means the world to me, I am in need of time to heal from a setback in my own personal life, which is severe enough for me to seek hospitalization. I hope that my action to seek the strength and safety of treatment will inspire others that are suffering to do the same.”

In other news, Mike Ness is considering cancelling Social Distortion’s appearance on Hilton Head to deal with grief after discovering the pool hall he loved as a kid is now a 7-11.

(The Guide 10/27)  The most unexpected place that Justin Furstenfeld, lead singer of the Houston alt-rock band Blue October, ever heard his hit song “Hate Me” was on the radio while driving through the vast barrenness of rural Kansas.

Furstenfeld was on his way to Nebraska when someone called a local Top 40 radio station and requested the song — even though it had been two years since the 2006 single had its reign near the top of the charts.

The caller said he had hurt his girlfriend and was ashamed of himself, and he wanted to send the song — Furstenfeld’s brutal vocal exorcism of his demons — out to his girlfriend before going into rehab.
“And man, I had to pull the car over,” Furstenfeld said last week. “It really touched me, it really opened my eyes.”

Blue October

When: 9 p.m. Oct. 24

Where: Shoreline Ballroom, Ocean Center, 40 Folly Field Road, Hilton Head Island

Tickets: $10.61

Information: 843-842-0358,

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Interview: An Horse riding to a indie success

(The Guide, 10/1) An Horse rose from the obscurity of an Australian record store basement stage to the “Late Show with David Letterman” in a little under two years, which is a head-slapping, needle-scratching-across-the-record fast time frame, even in today’s speedy, blog-amped music scene.

This is how things seem to work for the Australian duo. Just a few months after Kate Cooper and Damon set up a PA in the store and started practicing, they were invited to join Canadian indie-pop twins Tegan and Sara for a major U.S. tour. That led to an opening slot on an Australian tour for Death Cab for Cutie, another U.S. tour with Appleseed Cast and their current tour with Silversun Pickups, which will bring them through Hilton Head Island on Wednesday.

Silversun Pickups, Cage the Elephant, An Horse

When: 8 p.m. Oct. 7

Where: Shoreline Ballroom, 40 Folly Field Road, Ocean Center, Hilton Head Island

Tickets: $25 in advance, $28 at the door

Information: 843-842-0358,

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(belated) Friday Happy: SC Second Congressional District All-Star Edition

All this Joe Wilson news has sent my nostalgia gears into overdrive! I’ve been wrested out of my always frantic, rainy, gray Brooklyn bubble to remember those long, hot summer and fall days in Beaufort County, South Carolina, where I spent four years working for The Island Packet, sharing an occassional boat ride with our formerly innocuous congressman or dodging the all-too-common bison stampede or raging alligator attack.

I just booked my first flight down to Hilton Head since leaving for the wedding of some good friends from the paper, who also informed me this week that they, along with just about everyone else I knew at the paper, is quitting and going elsewhere, partly due to the terribly depressing situation that is this specific iteration of the industry’s death throes.

So for Friday happy this week (yes, I know it’s way past Friday), I’ve complied an all-star list of Second Congressional District related items, as an homage to the friends, talented writers and unique personalities I encountered down there, and because it’s the only time that district has made national news for a political, non-missing persons-related story in many years.

First, Joe Wilson (real name Addison)! The memories we had together! The days spent on the phone, the thumbs ups he gave to constituents at public meetings, where — make no mistake — the people loved him. His reelection is not in doubt, and, in all likelihood, is even more assured after his outburst (just mire through the comments on this AP story the Packet ran if you need proof)

So here are two of our favorite Joe Wilson pictures of all time. Credit goes to Jay Karr/Island Packet.



constituent services

constituent services

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Interview: Welcome to moe.’s

(The Guide, 7/17) The band  moe. will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Hilton Head Island music lovers: It was their

mispunctuated presence as one of the first bands to visit the still-nascent Shoreline Ballroom in April of last year that helped give the venue a big-name boost. Since then, the Shoreline has brought a consistent flow of big names the island, from B.B. King to Snoop Dogg to Loretta Lynn to Conor Oberst.

The five members of one of the music scene’s longest-running jam bands — one that will hit its two-decade mark next year — will make their return appearance Tuesday. Lead singer Chuck Garvey talked about how their success came from doing musical “missionary work” and why file sharing may be the only thing that can save the music industry.

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Interview: Les Claypool gave me swine flu, whooping frog cough

Discussion topic after reading: does Les Claypool think of himself this generation’s Frank Zappa?

Les is more: Bass-master Claypool on his animal fetish, ‘South Park’ and real guitars

(The Guide, 5/21) First things first, Les Claypool, because we need to clear up a very important safety matter: Is swine flu transferable by someone wearing a pig mask?

“That’s a very good question. I think if you put on a pig mask after (someone) flu-ridden, there’s a good chance,” Claypool said by phone from his home in Northern California last week, ruminating on one of his trademark stage-costume pieces. “There’s a lot of condensation that comes when you wear a pig mask. The inside of a pig masks is generally a horrible place. It’s kind of like a free facial. It clears the pores.”
Les Claypool, O’Death

When: 8 p.m. Thursday

Where: Shoreline Ballroom, Ocean Center, 40 Folly Field Road, Hilton Head Island

Tickets: $23 in advance, $25 day of show

Information: 843-842-0358,
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Snoop Dogg on Hilton Head this weekend

Snoop is playing Hilton Head on Sunday in a bizarre mash up where the Universe of Highly Implausible Things crosses over with the Universe of Things I WISHED FREAKING HAPPENED DURING ANY OF THE PAST FOUR YEARS I LIVED DOWN THERE AND WAS BORED OUT OF MY MIND.

Last year, we ran four weeks of Ted Leo in advance of his show on Hilton Head in an effort to drum up support and broader interest outside the small hermetic world of a few local newspaper writers. We put together something similar for Snoop, since an interview with him wasn’t going to happen.

To understand this fully, come at it from the perspective of a 75-year-old woman who just picked up her newspaper from her Sun City driveway and wants to read about the upcoming Flag Day festival before her morning golf game. The Guide: The best publication that has absolutely no audience:

The Guide”s Snoopipedia, Week 1: The history of izzle-speak

Izzle-speak is a linguistic trend synonymous with the hip-hop artist and actor Snoop Dogg. While not the creator of izzle-speak, Snoop is given primary credit for injectizzling it into our collective lexicizzle. (His previous contributions to modern language include the phrases “Drop it like it’s hot,” “gang of Tanqueray” and “You don’t love me, you just love my doggy style.”)

A well-researched 2004 “On Language” column from the New York Times attributes the phrase’s origins to Bay Area rappers in the late 1980s. But, the article continues, there’s no doubt Snoop turned izzle-speak into the vernacular commodity that wannabe rappers rely on as much as wannabe intellectuals depend on the prefix “uber.”

And yet, in an interview with MTV earlier in the decade, Snoop also first declared that, forizzle, it was ovizzle, adding “izzle” to anythizzle that comes alizong. When the New York Tizimes is using it in headlizzles and Fran Drescher in Old Nizavy ads, you know it’s jumped the shizzle. See?

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Baby, you’re born to run (screaming), continued

Follow up from yesterday’s post. E-mail received today from another inside source at The Packet (a McClatchy paper):

Ugh. Worst day since I’ve been here. Salaries are cut. Furloughs later this year. 11 people laid off (no specifics on who yet). Hourly employees all get their hours cut. We’re only supposed to work 37.5 hours a week now, which is nonsense because everyone will essentially be working harder now. It’s a 6.25 percent pay cut. About $2,000 a year. That doesn’t include these furloughs, which could be anywhere from 3-5 days. Also, they got rid of the Palmetto Passes (dammit!). That’ll be another $40-50 a month. Reimbursement for mileage was reduced. Uh, what else. Features section will probably be merged, meaning we might lose an editor or two.  Salaried people get wage cuts, too. Those making more than $60,000 get a 10 percent cut. Good news: no more layoffs this year.

I’m so glad I’m not still there, because I always said taking away the Palmetto Passes (the toll transponder paid for by the company at 75 cents a trip) would be the last straw. It was a symbolic gesture of the needling mindset that was scaring talented people away from print, and they would have to pry it from my cold, dead hands. The news in the above e-mail can be distilled into the basic message of “we want you to worker harder, over shorter hours, for less money, and at more inconvenience for you (until your job is eliminated, at least).” What people making these decisions don’t seem to factor in is: the news doesn’t go away when you have fewer staff members to cover it. It’s like driving the school buses in the morning or having firefighters on duty all day: it’s a cog that has to turn no matter what. It just has to get done somehow.

I still get angry about this because I care about my friends there, and still hold sentimentality towards the paper itself. The Packet doesn’t deserve this. Thanks to its location in a growing community with an older population, its readership is holding strong, even increasing in subscribers in recent years. Its sports section just won huge national honors. The online coverage we did of the missing persons case brought an unheard of number of web hits to the site. Its readership is loyal, involved and interested.

But the Packet, like so many other newspapers, is tied to the finances of the overall company. Unlike a mass new media market in San Francisco waiting to fill the void when the Chronicle falls, if the Packet goes away, no online news source is primed to rise up in its stead. That means no comprehensive resource for for information on hurricane evacuation or recovery efforts, no local coverage of a national PGA tournament, and no weekly arts and entertainment publication to let people know of local events in one of the most popular (and affluent) tourism spots on the East Coast.

My advice to Gary Pruitt and other newspaper executives: either a) accept the fact that newspapers are no longer viable business operations and  just shut them down already to stop giving the illusion of job security for your employees while you bleed them to death or b) grow a pair and make a fucking stand against the dying of the industry. You’ll notice there was no plan for a recovery strategy announced today other than this continued and failing effort to stop the bleeding. That’s because there isn’t one.