Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Wonder Year

     The good and the bad about my writing style is brevity, always has been.  I can't spend pages and pages describing a leaf like Tolkien or defending an argument like some lawyer.  All the way through 12th grade, I'd get notes back from teachers telling me to "describe this more" or "this needs more description," so I tried my best to elongate my essays.  When I sat down in ENG 111 at NCSU, my professor said to write concisely...motherfucker.

     As a "work in progress," the cut of The Wonder Year, the documentary about 9th Wonder, shown at this year's RiverRun International Film Festival, looked about 98% finished.  Director Kenneth Price will still make minor tweaks here and there, but according to him during the Q&A session after the screening, there will be no drastic changes to film's length.  Judging from the audience's reaction, Price has definitely earned his MFA.  You see, this documentary is also his master thesis at UNCG.  

      I can say so many good things about this documentary, but I'm lazy on top of being concise.  Everyone I knew, that was there to see the film, was extremely excited to see it on the big screen, for the first time.  There was a positive vibe in the 300 plus seat theater.  Even old white people, who were clearly not solely at the film festival to see The Wonder Year, were nodding their heads to 9th Wonder's beats.  Just like 9th chops a song and samples its best parts, Kenneth Price shows us fun, real, touching samples of a year of following 9th around with a camera.  In between mostly an interview with just 9th(although welcomed guest appearances do pop up from time to time throughout the film), Price laces that space with footage of 9th as a beat maker, teacher, father, and the man behind the moniker: Patrick Douthit.

     This is just the beginning folks.  With more screenings to come and possibly a college tour in the fall, You will see and hear about The Wonder Year.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Jeanne Jolly

     Jeanne Jolly is one of North Carolina's best kept secrets, because I should've heard about her before last month.  When not harmonizing with Phonte at Foreign Exchange shows, she leads an impressive career as a solo artist.  Her gentle, yet powerful, southern sweet tea voice is reminiscent of folksy Jewel at times with a hint cowpunk Mary Prankster.  Whether performing her original songs or covering country, blues,  Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, or Whitesnake, Jeanne sounds beautiful.  I bet she could even make Rebecca Black's "Friday" sound good. 

     The way Jeanne Jolly holds and plays her guitar fascinates me.  Guitar players I've seen, hold and strum the instrument with ease, showing their command and total dominance of a lifeless, inanimate object.  Jeanne, on the other hand, handles her guitar with care, as if it is a delicate baby that weighs a ton.  Each strum and pick takes effort like gravity is reversed and working against her.  There is such weight and significance behind each note.  I could be wrong about all this, and her weak ass just needs to hit the gym.

     You know, James Taylor wasn't born in North Carolina.  He doesn't even fucking live in North Carolina.  So why is his song "Carolina in My Mind" the unofficial anthem of North Carolina?!  It's time for an update!  From a true daughter of North Carolina who lives in North Carolina, Jeanne's "Falling in Carolina" should be North Carolina's NEW unofficial anthem.