The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday October 28th

Arts & Culture

Town to Host Sparklefest

Musician and promoter Mike Nicholson has seen enough music festivals done wrong for him to want to finally do one right. And Nicholson said he hopes his goal of orchestrating a successful and unforgettable festival will become a reality when Sparklefest opens at Local 506 on Thursday. Based on festivals like Los Angeles' International Pop Overthrow and the locally founded Sleezefest, Sparklefest is the sequel to last year's Shindig at Kings in Raleigh.

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Traveling Dance Troupe Visits UNC

If the Ringling Brothers joined the cast of Hee Haw, they might look a little like Rhythm in Shoes. The performance company -- an eclectic, 10-member cast whose ages range from mid-teens to middle age -- mixes tap, clogging and step dancing with juggling, comedy skits and old-time music provided by a live string band. "It's almost like a circus," said Sharon Leahy, the group's director. Leahy and her troupe have spent a weeklong dance residency at UNC.

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Comic Relief

Most readers have heard about Art Spiegelman's "MAUS," Neil Gaiman's "The Sandman" or Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' "Watchmen." And while those are all good places to begin exploring comics, many of the best introductions to comics aren't well-known. Here's a brief introduction to the most accessible of modern comics' great works.

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Local Retailers, Creators Survive In Weak Industry

"Comics aren't just for kids anymore." The phrase is so well-known that marketers for an anthology of child-friendly comics once twisted it, stating "comics aren't just for grown-ups anymore." So it might seem comics are for everyone, young and old alike. Sales figures suggest otherwise. Traditional comics like "Spider-Man" and "Batman" sell fewer copies today than they have in decades. In 1993, total sales of all comics reached $800 million -- that figure had dropped to $250 million six years later. Comics' visibility continues to shrink, too.

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Brown Wins 2nd Annual Thomas Wolfe Award

The 2001 Thomas Wolfe Prize was presented to acclaimed Southern writer Larry Brown on Tuesday night. Professors and students filled Hamilton Hall to see him accept the award and to hear his advice on being working writer -- ironic considering Brown seemed to be the only one with no formal education in literature. Regardless, Brown's eight-book bibliography asserted him as a highly successful writer. He is the only two-time winner of the Southern Book Award, and the experience of being a writer and a Southerner was the focus of his lecture.

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Concert Aids NYC Families

Musicians and community leaders joined together and raised more than $10,000 at a benefit concert Sunday to help families affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The WTC Benefit Concert featured 12 bands, including regional bands such as the b-Sides, Runaway Cab, Hobex and Poor Valentino, at the Fayetteville Street Mall in downtown Raleigh from 1 p.m.

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Well-Known Names to Lend Sparkle at Jazz Event

The Sonja H. Stone Black Cultural Center will transform Hill Hall into a smooth jazz club tonight with "An Elegant Evening of Jazz," featuring the Freddy Cole Quartet and UNC alumna Lois Deloach-Dawson. The concert, the BCC's annual fund-raiser, is intended to raise money for various BCC programs. While a big name such as Freddy Cole is sure to draw crowds, Deloach-Dawson is definitely the local favorite. And she is no stranger to the Chapel Hill jazz scene.

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Gibbs Band Cranks Out Backwater Brilliance; Bad Ronald Offends With Monotony

Emma Gibbs Band Out of the Country 4 Stars The Winston-Salem-based Emma Gibbs Band maintains its interesting and joyful mix that's ultimately neo-country for the young city boy. On its fourth album, Out to the Country, the band blends facets of every genre from country to bluegrass to classic rock. The album comes off with a cool, casual and eclectic sound made famous by its third album SevenEven. But the musical talent, lyrics and members have matured, creating a more harmonious and peaceful sound.

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Dive Recommends

- "A Widow For One Year" John Irving A writer who specializes in brutally honest characters and story lines, Irving centers his new novel on the complex lives of a family of writers and a man who lived in the shadow of their tragedy. Irving delivers in this novel of delicate relationships.

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Cosby Brings Wit, Laughter to Memorial Hall

Only two people can come to Chapel Hill, call women "evil," and get away with it. One is Gary Birdsong, the "Pit preacher." The other is Bill Cosby. In two performances at Memorial Hall on Friday night, Cosby delivered a routine on the double standards of men and women in relationships, particularly marriage. "When you love a woman, and you love to look at her, and you love to just think about her -- you never expect that that woman who is so sweet and kind is capable of such evil," he said.

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`Joy Ride' Takes Turn for the Better

Joy Ride 4 Stars Most college students' road trips include hitting local bars and maybe picking up a hitchhiker. In the new thriller "Joy Ride," there is more running from a crazed trucker using a big rig in way he shouldn't than radio sing-alongs and arguing over who has to drive next. Lewis (Paul Walker) is driving home to New Jersey after his freshman year at Berkeley, but this is no "Fast and the Furious" driving. He's crossing the country in a clunky used car, only stopping to pick up his high school gal pal Vinnia (Leelee Sobieski) from school in Boulder, Colo.

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Superchunk Re-emerges With Polished Sheen

Superchunk Here's To Shutting Up 4 Stars Like Time Out Chicken 'n Biscuits or the Cat's Cradle, Superchunk is a Chapel Hill institution. And like most institutions, it got that way because it did something consistently well. The stalwart rockers have been cranking out their distinctive brand of amped up power-pop for more than a decade now, wowing audiences across the country and the globe.

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