The HB 2 Issue

D1If you only read the INDY once in your life, make it this week’s very important issue. Our HB 2 special begins with a deep dive into the thirty years that got us here by the unparalleled Barry Yeoman, and then dials in on a wide array of perspectives and issues from Paul Blest, Lily Carollo,Hannah Pitstick, Abigaile Hoile (who is in high school, and scarily good at writing), Fred Hobson, Jane Porter, and Grayson Haver Currin. I’m proud of the very small hand I had in putting this together, and of the writers and photographers and designers who contributed so beautifully, but it was really Jeff Billman’s project, and my hat is off to him for putting so much vision, energy, leadership, and substance into anatomizing an issue as important and bewildering as HB 2. This is the INDY at its best.

INDY Week at the AAN Awards

WE’RE NUMBER TWO! WE’RE NUMBER TWO! (Except V.C. Rogers, who took home first place for cartooning.) This year, INDY Week did pretty good at the national AAN Awards in Austin, Texas, which Jeff and I just got back from; we won at least second place in all five categories in which we were nominated. Read the finalists and winning stories below:

ARTS FEATURE circulation under 45,000

First Place: Rap’s Poetic License: Revoked by Sam Lefebvre, East Bay Express

Second Place: Code Green by Brian Howe, INDY Week

Third Place: Best of Enemies by Chris McCoy, Memphis Flyer


MUSIC WRITING circulation under 45,000

First Place: Music Writing (I; II; III) by Matt Stieb, San Antonio Current

Second Place: Music Writing (I; II; III) by Grayson Haver Currin, INDY Week

Third Place: We’ll Always Have Short Vine by Brian Baker, Cincinnati CityBeat

Honorable Mention: Music Writing (I; II; III) by Alex De Vore, Santa Fe Reporter


BEAT REPORTING circulation under 45,000

First Place: Farming, Sustainability and the Environment in Western NC (I; II; III; IV; V) by Carrie Eidson, Mountain Xpress

Second Place: Criminal Justice Reporting (I; II; III; IV; V) by John H. Tucker, INDY Week

Third Place: Cops and Courts (I; II; III; IV; V) by Mark Davis, Seven Days


ARTS CRITICISM circulation under 45,000

First Place: What Was Withheld; The Sonic Sweet Spot; and Oceanic Aspirations by Sarah Burke, East Bay Express

Second Place: Rite of Refusal;Identity Crisis; and Blackboard Shattering by Byron Woods, INDY Week

Third Place: Fifty Shades of Grey; Is Loving the Wrong Approach?; and I Thought I Might Find You Here by Eileen Townsend, Memphis Flyer

Honorable Mention: Jess T. Dugan’s Portraits Look Into You; Art in Odd Places; and The “Visual Anthropology” of Bayeté Ross Smith by Richard T. Reep, Orlando Weekly

CARTOON (listed alphabetically by last name)


First Place: V.C. Rogers, INDY Week (I; II; III; IV; V)

Second Place: Jen Sorensen, Jen Sorensen Comics (I; II; III; IV; V)

Third Place: Harry Bliss, Seven Days (I; II; III; IV; V)

The Carrack Modern Art Moves, Shifting the Center of Gravity in Durham


Laura Ritchie in the new Carrack / photo by Alex Boerner for INDY Week

If you’d like to read a story about Durham that didn’t come from the Guardian’s slush pile, here is something. Let’s not bury the lede: Yes, the Carrack Modern Art is leaving its beloved Parrish Street loft at the end of June, when it will join the hive buzzing around Golden Belt (Spectre Arts, The Shed, UNEXPOSED,Alicia Lange’s new Torus Building) — and, I believe, significantly shift the center of gravity in the art scene while continuing to provide the superlative community service it’s known for. In addition to Laura Ritchie, Heather Gordon, and others, I spoke with Ginger Wagg about her DIDA show, AndAlwaysWhy, a deeply envisioned movement and music installation whose premiere this week is the first event in the Torus Building gallery that will soon house the Carrack. We explore the momentum and meaning of the move for the Carrack, Golden Belt, and the shape of downtown in this INDY cover story. And somehow, not to brag, but I got through the whole thing without a single Bull Durham reference.

Apocalypse How?

3.9_page_phil-torres-book-coverCan’t express how much I enjoyed geeking out with existential risk studies specialist Phil Torres about nanobots, biotech, A.I. and other day-after-tomorrow threats to our species’ survival. The world will end not with a bang or a whimper but in a flood of gray goo? Well, it may depend on the choices we make today. Read the Q&A about Phil’s book The End: What Science and Religion Tell Us About the Apocalypse in the INDY, and be sure your nightlight has fresh batteries. Existential risk is cool but unnerving stuff. Now I’m worried my smartphone is trying to harvest my molecules.

The Best Little Tuba Museum in Durham


Vince Simonetti at the V&E Historic Tuba Collection in Durham / photo for INDY Week by Alex Boerner

Seven years ago, I visited The Tuba Exchange, the lemon-yellow house on Chapel Hill Road in Durham that seems like it must be a front for something but isn’t. I wrote about it for the INDY. Now, with the retail business gone and the space preparing to reopen as a museum to showcase Vince Simonetti’s incredible tuba collection, I’ve gone and written about it again. What a cool place.