October 18, 2013
This week the PopCulteer gets to welcome back a Charleston Institution, bring you yet another truncated look at ArtWalk and alert you to some great new music. Let’s dive in, shall we?
The Quarrier Diner has reopened, and this time they got it right. Back in March, the owner, Anna Pollitt, announced that she was closing the Diner after trying to make a go of it as an upscale Bistro restaurant. She and her husband had done an amazing job restoring this historic Art Deco landmark, but the location didn’t quite jibe with the potential customer base. The downstairs bar, Timothy’s, stayed open and has been doing quite well.
Back when the Quarrier Diner closed, I wrote about some things they could do to revive the restaurant once again, and as luck would have it, they have taken quite a few of those actions. Melanie and I checked out the newly-reopened-for-lunch Quarrier Diner this week, and it is nearly perfect.
The wait staff is friendly and knowledgeable, the food is terrific and the prices are very, very reasonable. The restaurant is clean. Service is quick. The menu is stocked with top-notch diner food and lots of homemade goodies. Plus it’s a kick to be able to sit down and enjoy a meal in one of Charleston’s architectural wonders.
If they’d offered grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup on the menu, I might have tried to move in. The “grab and go” meal deal for five bucks is another brilliant move.
I offer up major, major kudos to the Pollitts and the new Quarrier Diner. This is how to do it right. I hope they do well enough to expand their hours. Right now they’re only open for lunch, but once word gets out, I’m sure the demand will be there for breakfast and dinner hours. I plan to be a colorful and annoying regular.
ArtWalk in October
ArtWalk happened last night in Downtown Charleston, but I had an urgent situation pop up and only made it to four locations. So we have a truncated photographic trip through the Art this month (yet again). Still, I got to see lots of cool stuff. I may have to fit in an additional trip the galleries this weekend to see more stuff.
Clayton Spangler at Art Emporium
This is one of the coolest exhibits I’ve seen all year. Clayton’s work, in this case beautiful black and white photos of Charleston, printed on Metal, is astonishing. You must get out to see this show in person. My photographs do not do justice to Clayton’s photograph. This is photography at an Ansel Adams level of beauty.
Weird Birds and More at Stray Dog Antiques
Unfortunately, I made my rounds before Gregg Oxley’s show was fully installed, but I did get some shots of the “Weird Birds” and other cool things at Stray Dog Antiques.
Painted Violins at Uncork and Create
We could just peek in the windows, but these painted violins, which will be auctioned off for the West Virginia Youth Symphony, looked great. Details on the auction can be found here.
Lots of coolness at The Purple Moon
Wolfgang Parker Returns!
Columbus Ohio-based Punk Swing pioneer (and occasional Monday Morning Art collaborator), Wolfgang Parker, returns with his first new music in thirteen years. The first track is available from iTunes, Amazon MP3 and other online music sources.
You can listen to “The Father/The Son” at Wolfgang’s Reverbnation page. Wolfgang describes the track on his Facebook and Reverbnation pages…
“The band and I have worked for over 2 years to earn your $0.99.
“We’ve spent the last 2 years writing and recording our first new songs in 13 years. “The Father/The Son” is the first of these new songs. This 8-minute song features the best vocal track I’ve ever recorded, a children’s choir, the most ambitious guitar work in our history, and it was mastered by Brian Lucey; who won two Grammy Awards for his work on the last two Black Keys albums.
“Recording a song at a time eliminates the ‘sugar-high’ effect of traditional releases. Usually a band has to work a long time to save enough money to record and release an EP or a full-length. When they finally release it there’s usually a release party and a lot of excitement for a few days, but then the sugar high wears off. Then the audience begins waiting another 12 to 24 months for the band to get enough money together for another release. So we’re eliminating the wait by releasing a single at a time. As soon as sales of the first single have generated enough for us to record another song, we’ll cut the track, get it mixed, mastered, and released. That way the band is constantly focused on a short-term goal and our listeners always have a stream of new music being released.”
I’ve downloaded the track, and it is an epic sonic masterpiece, straddling punk, swing, metal and art rock in all its eight minutes of glory. Highly recommended.
That’s it for this week’s PopCulteer. Remember to check PopCult for our tons of regular features, updates on Stuff To Do and the next episode of Radio Free Charleston, which should hit on Monday.