Culture watch

Pimp My Symph

As we all know, the world of classical music is filled with both haters and fakin’ ‘gratulators. If it’s not some big-scene Symphony Conductor braggin’ on his sweet Symphonic crib and how yours is ghetto, it’s some bling-bound patron dissin’ ’cause you ain’t bustin’ out those phat baroque beatz he’s shelling for. Well, buck up kid, because the Janirve Foundation just tossed the Asheville Symphony some major props and a fat check for $145,000. While that may seem like a grip of cash to toss around, don’t expect to see any platinum-plated grills on the strings section anytime soon. The Symphony plans to use the cash to fix up their busted-out stage and offices, and to pick up a mackin’ new electronic keyboard. Word.

Get Giddy With It

And for those of you who like your songs both upbeat and lowdown, Mad Tea Party has announced a release date for their most recent recording, Big Top, Soda Pop. Fans of the hokum/novelty/feel-good jazz and folk trio will soon be able to out-cool whole armies of new MTP fans: The album is the group’s first to be hyped by Yarrr! PR. Y!PR is headed by Becki Carr, the publicist behind such dynastic indie groups as Jucifer, Of Montreal and Polyphonic Spree — so she’s no stranger to getting attention for unconventional acts. Likewise, the band will be the target of a college-radio promotional push by Athens, Ga.-based Team Clermont, who got the collegiate rock snobs behind groups like Snowglobe and Final Fantasy. The album is currently set for release on Oct. 3. Learn more at


Okay, let’s decode that headline, shall we? It was recently announced that ABC TV is planning to do a special promotional program on the contributions made by the PGA Golf Tour’s Professional-Amateurs charity events to various groups, and one of the groups to be profiled will be our own Blue Ridge Literacy Council. The BRLC got a major boost from the PGA’s BMW Pro-Am Tournament, which was only notable for non-golfers because Waterworld and The Postman star Kevin Costner (and his band) kicked out the semi-senior jams at the closing ceremony. Evidently, this ABC show is kind of a big deal for a number of national charities, even though the show itself isn’t slated to be aired until Christmas Eve. For the most up-to-date news on Kevin Costner’s plummeting career … I mean the BRLC … visit


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