Friday, April 24, 2015

Making the rounds on Record Store Day

Vinyl Press in Panama City
SEASIDE — I started my Saturday morning last weekend standing in a line winding up the exterior stairs at Central Square Records in Seaside. We were there in the fog for first dibs at special releases available on Record Store Day. I had a short list of titles to look for — most importantly, Polaris’ “Music from The Adventures of Pete and Pete,” which a helpful store associate helped me locate.

The store was packed, but all the extra clerks made the experience much easier and more pleasant than you might expect. Not only that, but everyone combing the shelves seemed genuinely excited to be sharing their love for vinyl music with like-minded folks.

Conversations broke out in the lines. People complimented each other’s T-shirts or musical choices. Lots of pleasantries passed as we reached past one another or handed items back to someone who couldn’t quite reach the shelf. I even saw someone give up an album they had picked out, handing it over to someone else who wanted it too.

It was a pretty cool morning.

I left Central Square with most of what I had come there seeking, but wanted to stop by another shop before calling it a day. That took me all the way back into downtown Panama City.

Record Store Redux

PANAMA CITY — Vinyl Press has relocated from its original space beside Mosey’s to inside A&M Theatre, 563 Harrison Ave. The old location, as anyone who visited there would know, sloped to one side like a villain’s lair in the old “Batman” TV series.

When it became clear the floor couldn’t be fixed inexpensively, and with Record Store Day approaching, brothers and co-owners Ryan and Patrick Burkett decided to move the stock a few blocks away and up a flight of stairs. Want more details about the shop? Check out Vinyl-Press on Facebook.

The evening before Record Store Day, the shop hosted a grand re-opening party with live music by SuperMoon, Dirt Don’t Hurt and The Burl. I had the honor of being the first customer to hit up the new credit card reader, grabbing a special edition single by Johnny Marr (“I Feel You” backed with “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want”) for my son.

While at Vinyl Press, I also got a chance to touch base with local artist Eric Jones, whose work has been displayed at both locations of the record store. The former owner of the Corner Gallery, Eric is participating in “Colors,” the next exhibition at A&M, opening at 6 p.m. May 1 in conjunction with Friday Fest downtown. If you have work that might fit the theme, email

Meanwhile, put another platter on the turntable.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Anna Ternheim / Rose McIver

Anna Ternheim
Rose McIver

All I'm saying is, you never see them in the same place at the same time...

Friday, April 17, 2015

Zombie web series shoots in PCB

Don Keen gets zombified by Daphne Lewis.
PANAMA CITY BEACH — The producers of an apocalyptic web series set in and around Birmingham, Ala., took a detour to Panama City Beach this week to shoot scenes of zombies coming ashore in the fog.

Carey Rayburn, the director and co-writer of the series, “The Unfriendlies,” worked the cameras with the help of actors Marc Sellors and Jim Brucke, both of Birmingham. Locals Daphne Lewis and Don Keene played mostly-dead in the cold surf.

“If I wasn’t a Florida girl, I’d probably think it was just right,” Daphne said of the water temp.

“The Unfriendlies” is the story of a family that goes camping in the woods and doesn’t realize that the world has been swallowed in a zombie uprising. Carey described it as being “quirky” like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” One of the opening shots in the pilot episode will show the initial zombies emerging from the ocean and trudging inland.

>>See video of the director shooting scenes at PCB<<

“The pilot episode is mostly comedy and a little exposition, but they get darker,” Carey said. “The comedy will remain, but there will also be some dramatic story lines. Season one will consist of six episodes, and we will have five different directors.”

You can find details of the production and photos of their woodland shoot at

While in town, Carey was also working on two other longterm projects dealing with the history of the beaches: a documentary short about Petticoat Junction, and a longer documentary about “Old” PCB and its attractions.

Carey has gathered aid on the documentaries from author Tim Hollis, whose new book, “The Minibook of Minigolf” focuses on PCB’s Goofy Golf attraction, and J.D. Weeks, author of “Panama City Memories.”

“I’ve been interviewing people about former attractions such as the Hangout, Tombstone Territory, The Sui-Slide, Long Beach Amusement Park, Jungleland, etc.,” Carey said. “I’m gonna spend the next year or so coming to PCB to interview whoever I can find that has stories to share about what it used to be like.”

Recently, Carey filmed a reunion special with the Rader family looking back at their Ocean Opry years. His goal is to have it completed by December and show it in Panama City Beach.

“I was a big fan of theirs when I was a kid, and years later when I became a filmmaker one of the first projects I did was a documentary short on them in 2004,” he said. “They closed a year later. I’ve been in touch with Debbie Rader Clanton for awhile on Facebook, and I told her I thought we should do a video of them telling stories about their 27 years. We talked about it for a few weeks and  decided to do it part memories and part documentary.”

Meanwhile, the zombies slogged out of the surf several times for takes at different angles. Marc got some underwater footage using a Go-Pro. Tourists walked through shots, forcing retakes, and the morning fog caused cameras to lose focus.

Finally, Daphne and Don trudged past Jim, playing an older gentleman relaxing on a beach towel. They passed him by without notice.

“I guess my meat is not sweet,” Jim joked.


Thursday, April 02, 2015

Exhibits, contests explore ‘The Space Between Words’

FLORIOPOLIS | Contributed Photo
Artists are building a model replica of Beck Avenue in historic St. Andrews “out of words” as part of “The Space Between Words” exhibit currently running at the Floriopolis gallery and art center.


PANAMA CITY — You may have become adept at reading between the lines, but understanding and confusion come from the same place: the space between words.

Floriopolis, the arts and culture co-op in historic St. Andrews, is in the midst of a long-term interactive exhibit on that subject, which includes art on display, a short story contest and more. Heather Parker, the artist and creative director behind the Floriopolis, announced this week the winners of “The Space Between Words” short story contest.

“We had 16 entries and sent them all on to the judges,” Heather said. “The panel of three judges used a point system to narrow down the finalists and select an overall winner. We are looking into ways to include entries in other parts of our summer exhibit ‘The Space Between Words,’ so if you are interested in options that may come up, or have ideas to share, please do let us know.”

The winning story is “The Boy and His Beach” by D.A. Robin. Its 1,733 individual words and punctuation marks will be “sold” for $25 each to people who want to have the words, phrases and/or marks tattooed on their bodies (cost includes cost of the tattoo by Panama Fox). The project is a fundraiser for the non-profit gallery.

It’s amusing to consider a story being carried into the world in such a fashion.

“The winning story gives us the words to use for our community tattoo project and fundraiser,” Heather said. “We’re including punctuation in the ‘word count,’ for a total of 1,733 ‘words’ to sell. We won’t be releasing the winning story in its entirety for quite some time, focusing first on selling the words, phrases and punctuation, allowing buyers to make their own connections and participate in this large, ambitious project.”

Other stories in the contest also received note:

•Stories of Distinction were “Flashback” by Amy Topol, and “Whisper in the Night” by Tony Simmons (that’s me!).

•Honorable Mentions went to “The Space Between Words” by Gary Dearman, “Epilogue for a Corpse” by Samantha Neeley, “Tammy Fell Down” by Linda Morgan, “Tattoo Therapy” by Julie Werner, “Paul Clifford” by Dr. Dan Finley, and “Buddy” by Craig Bush.

For more information on the exhibit, the contest, and the tattoo portion of the project, drop by Floriopolis at 1125 Beck Ave. in Panama City (open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday-Friday), call 850-249-9295, or visit
Words and pictures also get close examination in the following contest and exhibit:

Poetry Month Contest
We can all use a little more poetry in our lives, and to that end the Bay County Public Library in Panama City ( is holding a contest to mark National Poetry Month. Prizes will be awarded to the top three poems, all of which will be displayed in the library for a year. Here are the simple rules:
 Submit only one original poem.
 Poem can be printed in pencil, pen or typed. If it’s handwritten, make sure it’s legible.
 Put your name and a working phone number on the entry so you can be contacted.
 Place your poem in the container in front of the library’s National Poetry Month book display.
Librarians will judge the poems and announce the winner(s) at the end of April. It should go without saying, but don’t submit someone else’s poem as your own. Librarians will be checking for copyright infringement.
For more information, stop by or call the Reference Desk at 850-522-2107. The library is located at 898 W. 11th St., Panama City.

Posters Without Borders
Gulf Coast State College’s Visual & Performing Arts Division is opening an invitational exhibition, “Posters Without Borders” with a free lecture and public reception today. The exhibit was organized by Eric Boelts of Colorado State University, Antonio Castro of the University of Texas at El Paso, and Erin Wright of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Participating artists represent more than 20 countries around the world including Zimbabwe, Israel, Cuba, Mexico and Bulgaria. The exhibit explores the topic of immigration and raises questions such as: What is the meaning of nationality? What are the causes for immigration? What is the effect on the host country? What is the immigrant experience?

Wright will present a curatorial lecture 1-2 p.m. Friday in the Amelia Center, Room 128. An opening reception for the exhibit will be 5-7 p.m. Friday.    The exhibit will be on display in the Amelia Center Main Gallery, Room 112, until April 23; gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Admission is free and open to the public. For details, contact Pavel Amromin at

In any case, remember to use your words.