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Hamlet, in the Original Version

Reno will host a unique cultural event- so unique it’s only been done four times in the last 500 years! The Nevada Repertory Company will have performances of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, in the original pronunciation. Hamlet has been performed in the original pronunciation only four times since the 1600s in its original form, twice at the new Globe Theater in London, once in Kansas and at Cambridge in England. David Crystal, a Shakespearean scholar, linguist, and the dialogue coach for new Globe Theater in London has worked with actors of the Nevada Rep to say the dialogue of Hamlet the way Shakespeare would have. Ben Crystal, David Crystal’s son, will play the lead role of Hamlet in the play.

You might ask, what’s the difference? There is a big difference, actually. Although we can read what Shakespeare wrote, the way we say it is totally different. Vowels used to be pronounced more like they are in Spanish today. So, all those silent e’s would be pronounced (say the following sentence out loud pronouncing all the vowels that way). I’m really curious to see how the actors say their lines- are they going to try to say them with an accent, or just simply use the actor’s natural accent. I plan on going and I will find out and report it back to you all. This production of Hamlet should be a very interesting one as well as an historic one.

If you’re interested to get tickets for this unique event either go to the Lawlor Event Center Box Office (where you don’t have to pay the wonderful “convenience fee”) or get them online here. The official premiere of the show is November 4th, with previews November 1, 2, and 3rd. The show plays through November 20th.

To be there, or not to be there? Arnold as Hamlet might encourage you to be there in this clip from Last Action Hero!

The Salvagery Community Art Project

The Salvagery Community Art Project in action in the Hobson Gallery!

The Salvagery Community Art Project in action in the Hobson Gallery!

The latest show by The Salvagery at the Hobson Gallery is an interactive experience that the entire community is invited to and can participate in. The Salvagery Community Art Project will go through the whole month of July and it should be a very engaging month of art.
I went to the Hobson Gallery a little after 7 and found the front area mostly empty. There is a sculpture show that is going on there and is very much worth looking at. The main action is going on in the back room of the Hobson; in there, were several dozen people sitting at tables, painting on little pieces of wood. Immediately after you enter, there is a table with pieces of wood of various sizes, some with lines and some without and next to that is another table with paint, plates for palates, brushes, and water to clean your brushes. The wood to paint on comes from two large paintings that have been cut into hundreds of small pieces for this show. You can do anything you want on your piece, but if there is a letter on one side of it, you can’t do anything on that. After all the pieces will are painted, they will be reassembled and then finally displayed on July 27. There is a small group of people who know what the paintings are, and no one is talking.

Pieces of the Art Puzzle, painted by you!

Pieces of the Art Puzzle, painted by you!

After some hemming and hawing, I ended up getting some paint and a piece of the puzzle. I ended up painting three pieces, talking and chatting with my fellow artists and seeing many familiar faces. Jerry Snyder acted as MC for the show, reminding all those attending what to do and how to do it. Then, Christy Lynn got up and sang some of her songs as we painted and chatted. It was a great addition to the atmosphere and feeling of the show. After Christy finished, James Wilsey came up to sing and play for us. The live music is a great addition to the show and would be another reason to come out for it.

If you missed the first Wednesday of July, you have two more chances to come out and contribute to the painting on July 13th and 20th. The show runs from 7 pm to 10 pm and there will be refreshments and live music. On the 27th, the completed and two reassembled paintings will be unveiled to the world. Come out to the Hobson Gallery on 315 Spokane (Spo-can) Street and create some art during this month of “art”, you won’t be sorry that you did.

My NadaDADA Motel 2011

2011 was the first year that I participated in NadaDADA Motel as an artist. For the last five years, I have gone to see NadaDADA and what made it up and how it was. I wanted to participate in the event for the last several years, but it was only this year that I was able to get my concepts together with money and time to be able to do NadaDADA.

As with any large scale art show with many participants, it’s hard to get an idea of what NadaDADA is unless you take at least a full day to see the whole thing. I think that the best way to describe NadaDADA is that it is Reno’s answer to Art Basel in Miami, The Biennale in Venice, or even in a way, Burning Man (there is a large crossover between NadaDADA artists and those who make art at Burning Man) or some of the more avant-garde shows that happen in London, New York, or LA. Each participating artist does their own thing and it is a unique and amazing experience to behold. I can speak of the hours and days of thought, preparation, networking, and effort that NadaDADA requires. In the end, it took me a month to get totally ready and open my room to the world.

My room was at Wildflower Village and I called it The Iris Room as it has a great reproduction of Van Gogh’s painting of Irises on it. The primary idea of my show was improvisational writing. As I sat behind one of my manual typewriters, I would get requests from my visitors to write a poem, essay, rant, or story and as they waited and looked around my room, I would write on their topic. I also had many collages and fake advertisements that I put up all around my room. After I would finish the piece, I would give it to my visitor and they would read it. Not a single person left The Iris Room without a smile on their face, or with a new or different perspective from what I wrote them.

I didn’t just spend all my time at The Iris Room as I ventured out to see what else was out there. The variety and scope of the entire show is beyond the scope of the few words I can write here, so I will focus on the NadaDADA artists out at Wildflower Village. Carole Ann Rickett‘s room was based on the Fukushima Nuclear disaster and her reaction to it in prints, paintings, and a media collage, which was very moving and breathtaking for many people, including me. There was Margie Enlow’s room with black light paintings made into altars and in the same room Adrian Kershaw‘s paintings and sculpture and baskets made from VCR tapes. There was Chris Atcheson who had the Portrait Bar, where you could have a drink and get portrait done (I have one of me, hunched behind a typewriter as I wrote something for him), that was frequented by many of the Wildflower artists after hours. Kathy D’Onofrio had statues of aliens that she built and put in her room, as well as all over Wildflower. The photographer Vincent Cascio showed his photographs of people and events from Reno and Sparks. James and Sean LeSage set up a room with all their video equipment and made a documentary of NadaDADA and talked to many of the artists who participated. Wildflower Village also has several artists who have permanent studios that showed during NadaDADA: Patty Atcheson-Melton who has beautiful watercolors as well as ink drawings of the many motels of Reno from their heyday that you can color; Jacqui Isensee‘s oil paintings; and Pam Sutton‘s work in glass. Shiva del Carlo and her “ReincarnArt” which was a combination of collage and adornment of everyday objects, especially hubcaps as well as the photographs of her daughter, Tempest. And this was just what went on at Wildflower Village!

My original piece on NadaDADA was over six pages long and that still wasn’t enough to really cover it. NadaDADA is a unique event that could only spring up in Reno: as it is not a juried art show and the artist has total control and artistic freedom to present whatever they want to the world. I can only suggest that you go to next year’s event to see what’s all about and be sure to make it to all of the rooms and totally experience what NadaDADA has to offer. Or even better- go get your own room and participate in NadaDADA yourself and really see what it’s about!


All Reno Radio Takes a New Spin

David Hadel, the man behind All Reno Radio, at Earth Day 2011. Courtesy David Hadel

David Hadel, the man behind All Reno Radio, at Earth Day 2011. Courtesy David Hadel

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saw: “Give something to a busy man and he’ll finish it?”

A couple days ago, David sat down with Kyle and me over at The Hub and we talked about All Reno Radio and a few other things.  David is a very busy man, doing a lot of things, but now he’s primarily the man behind All Reno Radio.

Initially All Reno Radio was started by local raconteur and entrepreneur Clint Jolly with some help from David Hadel and a mutual friend of theirs named Chris. The idea was that they interviewed local bands and promoted local shows. If you’ve been following the site, there’s not been an update since March and the excellent post about Discology. Why? “Clint’s transferred everything to me since I was going a 1000 miles a minute.  Clint is out of it now.  Originally, I just started contacting bands and started doing it because I liked doing it.  I grew up in this scene and I like it.” So now, David has been running the site completely on his own- a one-man band doing the entire thing. He’s taken some time to get things back on track, and now he’s going to start doing All Reno Radio on a consistent basis.

The focus with All Reno Radio is like it was: to put a spotlight on bands in Reno and give them a chance to promote their shows.  David has done all kinds of guerrilla marketing for the site  from stickers to t-shirts and he’s getting all kinds of people interested in the site and his podcast.  “I’m trying to make everything incredibly local….It’s been something fun to do for me.”  And that’s just the least of his plans- he wants to open a record store, and he wants to record local artists, and even press vinyl.  He’s writing novels and screenplays, playing music in various bands, and doing All Reno Radio.  And, he wants people to go out and check out local bands live: “I try to drag out my friends to go to shows.  There’s a lot of great local bands and people need to go out and see them.”

Being a one man band has slowed him down, but not too much. Dave is in the process of updating and interviewing local bands, so look for him! If you want to know more about All Reno Radio, check out the website at: http://allrenoradio.com/ and his Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/allrenoradio “There’s so much great music that can be discovered here and I want to help it.  People just don’t know about it, but I want to let them know about it.”

GourMelt: The Best Food Truck in Reno

Jessie handing out a great sandwich at GourMelt.

Jessie handing out a great sandwich at GourMelt.

There are just times when you want comfort food. We all have it and it brings us back to days past and things past. One of my comfort foods is grilled cheese sandwiches and I really, really, really, really like them. Last Friday morning, I got an email from Kyle about GourMelt and he basically said we should go have one. I’m always up for an adventure, so I told him that we’d do that the next day. As the course of my Friday went on, I felt the need for some comfort food and as I was able to go, I went to GourMelt.  It was a great choice and helped my day

GourMelt was over at Strega at the corner of Ridge and Arlington (Belmont Road for those over 75), and was stationed there both Friday and Saturday. I jumped out of my car and ambled over to the truck. The truck that GourMelt uses is in excellent shape and is very well put together yellow truck with their great 1950s style logos and graphics wrapped around the front and back side. I got there around 2:00 or so on Friday and surveyed the menu. I asked the lady who was handling the orders, Jessie, what she would recommend. She suggested the Ultimelt and I took her up on the order, with a side of Parmesan garlic fries. I paid in cash (food trucks generally don’t take plastic, but GourMelt does!) and chatted a bit with Jessie, who works there with Haley who was cooking that day. GourMelt is a very new place and just got its start on May 1st, over at the Earth Day celebration at Idlewild. They try to use local vendors as much as they can: their bread comes from the awesome House of Bread and they get eggs from Reno Eggs and they get their produce from the Great Basin Food Co-op. I stood aside from the order window to let others get their lunches, and got my order as I scoped out the to go menu, took a couple pictures and went home with it.

The UtliMelt sandwich.

The UtliMelt sandwich. Have a great day!

At home, I had a great lunch outside with a nice glass of soda water and a wonderful grilled cheese sandwich. It was a bit cold as it took me about ten minutes to get home, but it was still perfect and tasty. The cheese was perfectly melted enough to be liquid, but not runny and the bread was toasted and firm, not soggy. The fries were just as great- not too garlicy, and not too parmesany, but subtle and tasty and you could probably still kiss someone after having one. The sandwich and fries hit the spot perfectly and I was ready for another one.

The Wiseguy and the Orchard Melt

The Wiseguy and the Orchard Melt

The next day I went with Kyle for a jaunt around around downtown and a sandwich from GourMelt. This time, I had the Orchard Melt, which is a grilled cheese with green apples and instead of the garlic fries, I went with sweet potato fries.  Kyle had the Wiseguy, which is Fontana cheese with salami and artichoke hearts with a salad on the side. We both really liked the sandwiches and it was a good time.

GourMelt in action!

GourMelt in action!

The next time the GourMelt truck comes your way, don’t hesitate to come and get some great food.  The prices are very reasonable for the high quality and wonderful food that they have.  I liked it so much that I went with a co-worker to GourMelt on Tuesday when they were out in front of the Co-Op.  I had the  Bumble Brie which is sliced green apples, ham, honey, and melted brie on cinnamon apple bread with a side of tomato soup.  And she had the Mother Clucker: cheddar cheese, grilled chicken, artichoke hearts, red onion and dijon mustard, melted on rye bread with tomato soup.

The Mother Clucker and The Bumble Brie

The Mother Clucker and The Bumble Brie

If you don’t like salad or fries, the soup is a great choice- it’s really, super fresh and good tomato soup. You can taste that the tomatoes in the soup were only a few hours before tomatoes waiting for the chance to be made into excellent, beautiful soup.  Again, GourMelt hit the spot and made our days.  Like it says on their card: “We will fill your belly and melt your heart.”  They sure have with me.


My Flag Is On Fire/Phosphorescent/Family Band Show at Lincoln Lounge, April 19

Show Poster for MFIOF/Phosphorescent/Family Band at Lincoln Lounge April 19, 2011

My Flag Is On Fire will play a show, this coming Tuesday, April 19.  The show will be at the Lincoln Lounge 302 E. 4th St Reno, NV, starting at 8:30 pm. 

They’ll be playing with Phosphorescent, and Family Band, two interesting sounding bands on tour from the wilds of Brooklyn, New York. 

Tickets for this show are $7 in advance from http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/166601 or $9 at the door.  I’ll be there and I hope I see you there.

QRA- In a Thrift Store, yo!

If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time in thrift stores. Quickly scanning the aisles for janky old keyboards, or rad Janus films in the bargain bins. To the layman, you spend an inordinate amount of time sneering at garbage with a bunch of other jerks. This would be fine and dandy if it weren’t for the aforementioned ‘other jerks’. Case in point being that most of them have little to no respect for unhindered paths, or aisles. Much to the chagrin of their fellow shoppers, they will block whole aisles by extending their bodies, shopping carts and children. In such a manner that enemy soldiers could take cover behind their brood.

This is the tale of one such occasion.

It was shortly after 2010, in the future world of 2011. I think it was Tuesday. I was walking through the Goodwill on Oddie, in Sparks [booo-hisss].

As I approached one such obstruction (a mother with a cart and her teen son) I noticed the son placing an unwanted shirt on a lingerie rack (snicker).
I stopped to stare at the discarded Elway jersey with a slight but noticeable grimace of disdain. Having made my point, I went to pass the 5′ 2″-110lb kid, who instead of moving slightly to be considerate, decided instead to engage me in a staring match that included a quick, jerky motion from his arms and upper-torso.  The kind of motion that is referred to as “fronting” in middle schools; thus intimidating other insecure males. So, I stopped and continued to stare at him until he broke eye contact and walked away. Which all-in-all was a good thing, being as I’m not usually in the mood to be punked-out by a twelve year old with a pretty blue earring. When the path to the electronics department is sealed off, I tend to develop super-prison-laser-eyes(tm). They worked in this situation, but the next victim of Skyler’s “fronting” might just turn his neck into a sprinkler.

Now this QRA may seem minor.

“Oh, they were just blocking an aisle. Go around them.”

There was no ‘around them,’ two people and a shopping cart managed to fill the aisle, and set up a pretty good check point. Being as there are two main arteries in the store, it could be argued that they were creating a fire hazard. I didn’t have any matches.

QRA: What in the Reno is “QRA?”


About two weeks ago, a truck driver came to my work to pick up freight, as happens on a semi-regular basis here.  Upon walking in my dock door, he had this angry, “Don’t mess with me,” attitude, but overcompensated to the power of ten.  He did his job, and he didn’t say a word, but it was the look in the eyes, and the way he trounced about my warehouse.  It must have been a territorial thing, or a “I’m a dog in a new house,” tail-stiff-as-a-board, haunches shaking and teeth ready to go.  I had never seen this guy before, and since I’m in my warehouse, I have little to fear from this guy, as his nature was defensive more so than anything.  At work, I’m typically a focused, direct, organized and no-bullshit kind of guy, and on top of it, I’m normally very easy to get along with.  Ask anyone who has worked with me.  Overall, I wasn’t afraid of this guy, there was no need to be.  I’ve seen dangerous people, they don’t “look like,” anything, they just give off this electricity.  This poor truck driver just came off as… upset.

I treated this guy as I do most people who act like this, especially in a professional environment, I simply ignored the attitude, talked with him, pried a bit of information out of him, and eventually it lightened him up.  Evidently, he and I both worked at UPS at the hub in Sparks at similar times, and that really made a difference to him.  Off he went, me none the wiser.

Today happens.  I get a visit from the same guy to pick up some freight, except this time, he is practically elated to see me.  He rushes over, maneuvers the dock plate, grabs the freight with my pallet jack, bullshits with me like we’re old pals, fills out paperwork and is just a gem of a truck driver.  He really wanted to linger around and shoot the crap, talk shop, all that, which I really didn’t mind, but in my head I’m thinking… “…what in manic Reno hell?”   It was quite funny, but at least the guy was a bit more relaxed, if not just as overcompensating.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had this happen in this town.  Really, similar instances happen far too often.

We have a concept here at Burncards we like to call “QRA.”  It stands for “Quintessential Reno Attitude.”   You can thank Ken Manz for this concept, adapted from “TCB,” or “Typical Cracker Behavior,” the stereotypically-sad instance wherein white people repeat specific activities, notions or…behavior.   Like TCB, the QRA end of things is aimed at a group of people (Renoites, mostly) that seem to represent a stereotypical attitude toward just about anything.   Some notable examples are, in my experience:

1)  Spitting on new things, art, windows and the mirrors of bathrooms.

2)  If male, spitting in an overly tough manner when passing by another male on the street, doubly-effective if putting a bounce in your step while doing this.

3)  Yelling “faggot,” at pedestrians, while in moving cars, through the open windows.

4)  Avoiding and talking about the Citifare bus system as “The Shame Train.”

5)  Witnessing something totally unacceptable in public and not doing a thing about it (call cops, tell them to stop, inform security) and then complaining to everyone else who won’t do a thing about it, either.

6)  Finding just about any excuse NOT to do something about anything:  It’s too hot outside/it’s too cold outside, it’s too new/it’s too old, it’s too corporate/it’s too small, it’s downtown/it’s not downtown, it’s boring, I hate the people who go there, it’s not local/there’s no selection, blah blah blah.

7)  Using the roads, highways and byways as a place to enforce your personal philosophy about speed, who-owns-what-lane, freeway merging, and who should or shouldn’t be in front of you.

8)  When making a free right turn, honking obnoxiously at people in the crosswalk when pedestrians have the right of way with the little lit-up walking dude.

9)  Going above and beyond, way, way, way beyond, for not purpose or goal, but a over-the-top way of getting noticed/attention, making your point, or stating your general existence.  See this video.

10)  Being tough.  Looking tough.  Talking tough.  Spitting tough.  Doing so in groups, at dog parks, at bars, in public, wherever other tough people might be.

What this gentleman expressed in my place of business both two weeks ago and today are prime examples of “QRA.”  I’ve noticed similar attitudes in towns of the same size and general demographics as Reno, but not quite as strong as here.   Let’s face it:  We’re a bunch of edgy folks, very territorial, with something to prove, unwilling to suggest alternatives to anything that sucks, and yet the first to bitch when there’s a problem.  When we do this in public for all to see, we’re committing QRA.

In a way, the QRA is a study of Reno, and there’s probably a multitude of reasons why Reno does things like this.

In recent discussions, a lot of people have genuinely found Reno becoming a less safe place to be.  Violent crime has gone up overall, I’ve heard of rapings, muggings, and robberies increasing.  This is serious stuff, folks!  QRA be damned, at one point we used to be a pleasantly safe city, perhaps with a lot of misanthrope attitude and unmerry passers-by, but when people start really having problems in their own town, it’s time to put that shit aside, especially when there’s no real reason or root cause for it.  Our fake toughness, ignorance, whining and being scared ain’t going to cut it if we don’t become a community.

QRA as a label is intentionally funny.  It really doesn’t hurt anyone, it’s just an embarrassing part of why Reno tends to be a drag-ass city when things are trying to get someplace, culture to be established or status to be gained.   Much like the guy who stopped by my warehouse on the first visit, realized I didn’t play dice and then turned it around the next time we saw each other, maybe we can think about this when we’re being straight up assholes, whiners and defeatist/obstructionists out there.   This from is someone who both loves and loathes this town, has been here long enough to know better, and gets sucked into QRA with the best of them now and again.

Until then, allow us to post future instances of QRA: we encourage you to share your own instances of QRA either via e-mail, video, pictures or comments here at Burncards.com.   Hell, extra points if you recount yourself doing it!

Perhaps while we’re addressing the issue of QRA we can have some fun with it as well.  Which, incidentally, is a little QRA in itself.