Have you noticed lately that Roanoke's cool quotient has been rising? Maybe it's always been that way, but I was too ensconced in my little mommy bubble to realize it, but now that I feel like I'm "getting my life back" I'm excited to be part of it.
For instance...I had never listened to a podcast before, but when I saw that Tad Dickens of the Roanoke Times had interviewed punk/underground pioneer Marty Thau, who by the way is a Roanoke resident, I gave it a spin. It was a great interview and I was sorry I couldn't attend Marty's talk at another cool place, Bazaar Consignments. Located on Colonial Avenue it's the only place I know of where you can still find vinyl records. They bill themselves as having: Records, Art, Vintage & Antique, Clothes, Consignments and more...the more part is live music.
I had already made plans the night Marty was speaking to attend a special screening of This is Spinal Tap at The Shadowbox, Roanoke's community microcinema located on Kirk Street. According to their Facebook page, "We do cool shit." And they do. On December 2nd they'll be showing "I Shot Andy Warhol" which is going to kick off a multipart Andy Warhol exhibition.
Mike Allen of the Roanoke Times reported yesterday on the upcoming event called, "In The Event of Andy Warhol..."
"Roanoke College, Hollins University and Washington and Lee University all have received Warhol works from the foundation that will be shown as part of a three-part exhibition, "In the Event of Andy Warhol," that aims to demonstrate how the artist, who died in 1987, remains relevant today...
The offbeat theater (Shadowbox) will also be making video recordings of Warhol-style "screen tests," in which the subject looks at, speaks to or otherwise acts out in front of the camera, usually without accompanying sound.
The screen tests will play during the subsequent phases of the exhibition. Washington and Lee will open its show Jan. 9, Roanoke College's will open March 1, and the Hollins show will open May 31.
The collaboration "is a perfect example of local arts organizations working together to create something amazing," said Shadowbox owner Jason Garnett."
How cool is that?
Kirk Avenue Music Hall, located at the same address as the Shadowbox, is Roanoke’s premiere live music venue. According to their website, "Kirk Avenue Music Hall presents musical events in a relaxed, smoke-free setting with the focus on the stage. No frills, TVs or fusion menus. Just what matters at a music venue: exceptional music, clear sound, dedicated fans and not a bad seat in the house."
Laker, yes that would be River Laker, is appearing Friday night at 8:00pm. "Until 5 months ago River Laker had never been in a band nor written a song nor played any musical instruments. After seeing a Heevahava show at the Coffeepot in Roanoke, River knew where his destiny lay, and a new experiment was born: The Laker Experiment. Within a 6 month period River formed the band, “Laker”, wrote & recorded 10 songs, signed with the label The UNcommonwealth, released an EP, “Approaching Acceptability”, made a music video."
I will definitely be there.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention another cool upcoming event, on Thursday, December 15th at 6:00pm -- "NYC...Live in Roanoke!" Being held at the Roanoke Public Library Downtown, it will be a break from the conventional format of what one might expect from an author's book release event...in this case, my eBook, Fractured Facade.
I won't be signing any books, but through vignettes I will be sharing my journey, and the stage, by creating a bridge between the tale's settings of Roanoke, VA and Brooklyn, NY through the talents of other independent artists. Inspired by a NYC theme, musicians will perform live, and visual artists will exhibit their work. Although the "official FB event invite hasn't been sent out, you can check out the above link to find out more info. When the musician info is posted, I hope you will be as impressed as I am.
I'm so thrilled that Roanoke has someone like River who has transformed the library from a place to just read books to a venue that allows Roanoke's creative community to be able to showcase their talents through unique events. Thank you River, thank you musicians, thank you artists, and thank you Roanoke for supporting the arts. Now if only there was a place to buy real Italian bread, cookies, pastries, and Breakstone Butter, I would never have to go back to Brooklyn.