Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tucson Artist Nancy Tokar Miller Dies

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 5:32 PM

"Reef Pools," by Nancy Tokar Miller. Nancy is in the background, looking at her work in an exhibition in 2012  a tLouis Carlos Bernal Gallery, Pima Community College - COURTESY OF ETHERTON GALLERY
  • Courtesy of Etherton Gallery
  • "Reef Pools," by Nancy Tokar Miller. Nancy is in the background, looking at her work in an exhibition in 2012 a tLouis Carlos Bernal Gallery, Pima Community College

Nancy Tokar Miller, an acclaimed painter often called Tucson's best artist, died Tuesday after a long illness.

She was known for her shimmering near-abstractions of land, sea and sky, painted in brilliant, liquid colors.

Born in 1941, Tokar Miller grew up in Los Angeles, near the ocean, but she had lived in Tucson since 1968. She studied art at the University of Arizona, earning a master's in 1971. She traveled the world with her beloved husband, Walter, and what she saw — in Asian jungles and Moorish cities — made its way into her art back home in her Tucson studio. In recent years, she was inspired by the sandhill cranes on Arizona's Willcox Playa and the beaches and mountains of Hawaii.

"We're extremely saddened by the loss of our longtime friend and artist," said Hannah Glasston, director of Etherton Gallery, which represented her. "Her death is a huge loss to us personally and to the community. She worked so hard and stuck to her vision. Her beautiful work, fortunately, is still here."

No services have yet been announced.

I had the privilege of reviewing Tokar Miller's her work many times. Below the cut is a piece I wrote in the Weekly in 2009 about her retrospective at the University of Arizona Museum of Art and a smaller show at the Temple Gallery.

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Best Game of Jenga Ever

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 4:44 PM

I was never good at Jenga, or anything that requires a steady hand. Caterpillar used the 320E, TH514C, 277D, M316D and 349E to play a monstrous game of Jenga. One crane operator on the ground directed five other Cat drivers while they maneuvered and reordered 27 massive wooden blocks one at a time.

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The 'Hey Dude' Ranch is Still Out There

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 3:30 PM

It’s been 25 years since Nickelodeon’s Hey Dude was on the air. But the memories still haunt the abandoned set at the Tanque Verde Ranch. Florida filmmaker Adam The Woo made a special trip to the outskirts of the Old Pueblo and captured some footage of the hardly memorable set to one of Nick’s earliest attempts at live action television.

From A.V. Club:

Although intended as lighthearted, mildly Jackass-esque amateur reportage, Adam The Woo's videos frequently have a spooky, haunted quality that makes them feel like miniature "found footage" horror movies, minus the violence. That's certainly true of his Hey Dude travelogue, in which the still-cheerful-looking facades barely conceal devastated interiors. Even more sinister is Adam's visit to a nighmarish Flintstones-themed roadside attraction, which gives off a definite Chernobyl/post-apocalyptic vibe. (Those poor goats!) Even Adam The Woo's uptempo, punky theme song doesn't detract from the gloom at the heart of these videos.

That’s strange, we don't see a mention of a Hey Dude tour in the Tanque Verde Ranch program.

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Kids Vs. Cassette Players

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 2:00 PM

There was a simpler time when a device like the cassette player was a practical household item. Now, that ancient piece of technology has been long forgotten, and a good way to stump a know-it-all child. Benny and Rafi Fine recorded the reactions of various young people of Generation Z while they try to figure out how to operate the retro device.

Needless to say, the cassette player won.

“This is a rip off because you want to listen, but you can't because you don't have any headphones,” said a seven-year-old.

Honestly, I can't remember when was the last time I seen a tape player, but I do remember listening to Eminem’s Marshall Mathers on my Sony Walkmen in middle school.

Since the vinyl revival, tapes are making a slow comeback. According to the video, over 22,000 cassettes were sold in 2011. You can buy your very own tape player for around $20 on eBay, or dig around your parent's storage unit.

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CD2: Barber Raises $422K in First Quarter

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 1:07 PM

As the deadline for FEC fundraising reports closes in, Congressman Ron Barber's team tells the Weekly he has raised more than $422,000 in the first quarter of 2014.

While that's a big number for Barber, it still lags behind the nearly $450,000 that likely GOP opponent Martha McSally reported raising last week.

Barber is still outpacing McSally in total dollars raised for the 2014 cycle. Team Barber spokeswoman Ashley Nash-Hahn tells The Range that the campaign has raised more than $1.6 million since the beginning of the cycle and has more than $1.2 million cash on hand.

“The reason our campaign has more cash on hand than Martha McSally's is that Southern Arizonans support Ron Barber,” said Nash-Hahn. “Since McSally has been adopted by the Koch Brothers, she will have a well-funded campaign, and that's why she would do exactly what the Koch billionaires tell her to do if she went to Congress—vote to eliminate the minimum wage, increase health care costs for seniors and raise taxes on middle class families. She would even vote to privatize Social Security. Southern Arizonans know that we can't trust McSally to look out for us."

The CD2 race promises to be on the top-watched races in the country.

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Tucsonans Go to School on Broken Bells' Perfection

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 12:30 PM


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A super-group of two, Broken Bells played to a packed house that expected the best on Sunday night, April 13 at the Rialto Theatre. Minds, and expectations, were blown. The duo, comprising producer and recording artist Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse, and the Shins' James Mercer delivered a 360-degree experience that was perfect in every discernible detail. The crowd was in thrall from the moment they took the stage with a full band, designer-furniture-worthy keyboards, lights and cameras pointing in every direction and a video backdrop we would have probably paid to see as a movie. It was like being in a music video, and if there was a crack in the perfection anywhere, it was this: The show was at least 45 minutes in before Mercer seemed to respond warmly to a crowd in the throes of adoration. The music, it should go without saying, was sublime; 

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104.1 Dumps Truth, Adds News Block, Moves Justice

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 11:00 AM

click image FROM THE 104.1 THE TRUTH FACEBOOK PAGE
  • From the 104.1 The Truth Facebook page


It’s no longer The Truth. It’s no longer “Right Talk for Tucson.” But it is more local, and it will hope to use that local appeal to improve its standing against the nation’s top talker.

KQTH 104.1 FM, the market’s lone news/talk FM, will on Monday follow the lead of stations in other cities and move its best known talent out of morning drive in hopes a local presence will cut into KNST AM 790’s mid-day talk advantage with Rush Limbaugh. Jon Justice, who has locked down KQTH’s more traditional morning talk slot since its launch seven years ago, will broadcast his program from 8:30 to noon weekdays.

Limbaugh dominates other syndicated talk programs, but has experienced ratings lags in some markets that have countered with local programming. On the surface, it’s a counterintuitive move. The thought has been putting the station’s most listened to element in morning drive, but whereas morning drive—the roughly 5:30 to 9 window when people prepare for work—has been radio’s traditional hotspot, of late that has applied more to music based formats than the talk model.

To my recollection, this is the first effort a Tucson talk station has made to go with live, local programming in middays opposite Limbaugh.

In place of Justice in morning drive, 104.1 will add a news block hosted by Program Director Bill White. The news block, a series of reports that generally includes national, state and local news, weather, sports and traffic, also features opportunities for the host to chat about the day’s topics of note before returning to the next block of headlines.

The news block is generally fast-paced, and if done well, times nicely with listener driving habits, which tend to average in the neighborhood of 20 minutes in Tucson. It’s also a format that has been dreadfully underrepresented in this market, largely the result of cutbacks.

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Funny or Die Creates a 'Cosmos' for Creationists

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Creationist Cosmos from Funny Or Die


Would you like to be a fan of COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey but you believe in God? Funny or Die has made this COSMOS parody, and it's much shorter and "informative" than the Neil DeGrasse Tyson's version. Creationist Cosmos host Jared, community outreach leader for the Creationist Baptist Church of Alabama, answers all your questions regarding the universe in less than 2-minutes.

Bottom line: God made it.

Except for fossils and gay people, of course.


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