Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Playable, Musical Art

While The Good Graces were waiting for The Evening Muse to open up for our show in Charlotte last Saturday, we stumbled across this little gallery called Beet in the NoDa part of town. It just so happened that they had a gallery set up with these playable guitar and synth wooden art pieces made by Ben Simon. We plugged in and rocked out.

Beet Contemporary Crafts & Functional Art Gallery is at 3202-A N. Davidson Street, Charlotte, NC, 28205. If you go, ask for Nancy Neely and tell her the musicians who played the wild guitars sent you.

The Good Graces Tour Wrap-up

I got to rock North Carolina with The Good Graces this past weekend, with stops in Chapel Hill (The Cave), Greensboro (The Flatiron), and Charlotte (The Evening Muse, where the above photo was taken by Ron Culpepper). Many photos were taken and much has been written:

The Good Graces tour blog

Kim Ware Photos

John McNicholas Photos

Jim Combs Photos

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

AJC Gives Flip Four Stars

Flip, the new Atlanta burger eatery from the team of Barry Mills and Richard Blais, was given a stellar review and four stars by the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Mark Nanna, husband of The Good Graces' Kim Ware, is the operating chef there. My personal review gives Flip five stars, but the AJC has more readers.

For someone who has never opened a restaurant before, businessman Barry Mills is sitting pretty right now. Burrowed into the weirdness that makes up the stretch of Howell Mill Road between I- 75 and the Atlanta Waterworks, his mod house of burgers, Flip, has a bar packed three- to four-deep, and the dining room is turning tables faster than the cooks can flip the burgers onto their buttery brioche buns.

A smallish room, as square as a to-go box, is highlighted by blond-wood tables and aluminum chairs, hipster music, splashes of red and white, and a custom graphic on the back wall that conjures the fleeting feeling of Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable mutimedia events. But Flip is hardly a nihilistic showdown of any sort.

No, everything here, from the name to the playful faux-French frames around the flat screen TVs is fun. Especially the burgers.

Well, that is save for one thing: The title “creative director” for chef Richard Blais seems a bit stuffy for the guy who introduced Atlanta to liquid nitrogen and frozen Coca-Cola rocks.

Finally, after years of wandering nomadic in Atlanta’s restaurant scene — from his own failed Blais five years ago to his star-maker stint last year on Bravo’s “Top Chef” — Blais has arrived.

And with what? Burgers.

Read the whole review here.