The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


December 20, 2013

Edgy theater, big festivals, new music part of 2013's epic wins

JOPLIN, Mo. — Another year of awesome.

There was plenty to do each week in the Joplin area, thanks to the hard work of artists, organizers and others involved with getting things together. There were so many great events that we're undoubtedly missing some good ones. These are the highlights among a lot of brilliant things to do:

Kicks on 66

One of the biggest events happened during the summer cruising season -- appropriate for a celebration of the Mother Road.

The Route 66 International Festival brought thousands of fans to Joplin for a three-day event filled with cars, drive-in movies, music and history. A special showing of "Cars" at the 66 Drive-in alone spoke to the demand -- tickets for the showing sold out in eight hours after it was announced in June.

The festival, run by an international organization, will be held in Kingman, Ariz., in 2014, but Joplin is a contender to host the large festival again in the future.

Off the wall

Part of the events for the Route 66 International Festival including the unveiling of two murals dedicated to the route.

But that wasn't the only work bound for a wall. We saw eight different projects happen across Joplin, including:

  • ¥ A mural mosaic at Phoenix Fired Arts.
  • ¥ A mural, installed across from City Hall, featuring photos from the "Dear World" exhibit at Spiva Center for the Arts.
  • ¥ A "welcome to Joplin" mural on North Main Street painted by MSSU art students.

There are others in the works, we hear, and we can't wait to see them.

Zombies everywhere!

Halloween haunts were enhanced with zombies this year, from zombie walks in Joplin and Galena to hunting them with paintball guns.

The zombies were one of the bigger reminders that Halloween is a big deal in the Four States. In addition to a high number of haunts, the area saw attractions and features that paired opera with ghost hunting.

Macabre Haunted History Tours featured singers with American Opera Studio and ghost hunters with Paranormal Science Labs. Together, they presented a program in downtown Joplin where classic macabre music was sung at locations with a little bit of haunting going on. This was also one of the final live ghost hunts at the Olivia Apartments.

We also enjoyed telling the story of Jay Olson and Ben Asquith, who started a new business based on decorating for Halloween. The two use a papier-mache technique that, after a series of waterproofing procedures, lets the duo create horrifyingly detailed decorations that last year after year.

They started their business, Unhinged Props, this year and hope to have a full schedule of consultancy gigs and a wide variety of tutorials for clients in 2014.

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    Some patrons have dubbed it "Drinks with Daniel," but the official name is "Cocktails 101," which has been attracting "students" for the last several weeks.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 071114_steve cindy head.jpg New exhibit combines works of married couple

    Steve and Cindy Head create different types of art, which means they can be each other's best mentor. Steve makes mixed media works assembled from photographs, headlines and more; Cindy paints vivid patterns and fanciful scenes with bold color palettes.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tantric tours in support of latest studio album

    "37 Channels," the latest album from Hugo Ferreira's band, features a lineup of guests including Hinder's Austin Winkler, Shooter Jennings, 3 Doors Down drummer Greg Upchurch, Uncle Kracker guitarist Kevin McCreery, Saving Abel guitarist Scott Bartlett and Leif Garrettt.

    July 11, 2014

  • mug_joe-hadsall-112613.jpg Globe Phone Test: Concept is clever, but transitions tricky with Asus PadFone X

    It's kind of embarrassing to point this out, but "Candy Crush Saga" is one of the best ways to illustrate how well the Asus PadFone X, a smartphone and tablet combo really works.

    Anyone who has more than one device will understand this situation completely: Let's say a player fires up "Candy Crush" on his tablet computer and really digs the game. A lot. So much so that he downloads it to his smartphone.

    Only there's one problem: All the progress made on the tablet is stuck on the tablet. The smartphone has a completely separate path of progress, meaning the player has to play each level twice. This makes progress through the game twice as long. (This problem can be fixed by signing up for the game on Facebook, but no one really wants their Facebook friends to know they spend so much time crushin' candy.)

    The Asus PadFone X is the dream solution to this nightmare of a problem.

    Available exclusively from AT&T, the device is actually two devices. A standalone smartphone can be plugged into a tablet computer, meaning the owner can take his pick of how he wants to play the game, and all the progress he makes is saved on one device's hard drive.

    AT&T loaned us a device that we tested for more than two weeks -- didn't like having to send it back -- and we found a lot of its qualities and quirks.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 071014_sugar rush1.jpg Sweet summer: Candy factory opens floor for tours, tasting

    When family from Kansas City came to visit Christy Albertson in her family's Webb City home, she wanted to find something entertaining for five kids.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • images_sizedimage_108172906 Benji Tunnell: 'Transformers' reaches new level of terrible filmmaking

    Then there's "Transformers: Age of Extinction," a film so bereft of originality, spontaneity and life that one would assume its creator must be a talentless hack. That's when you remember that it was directed by Michael Bay.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marta-mug.jpg Marta Churchwell: Crystal Bridges' coup makes art world cry foul

    I find Eastern art snobs insufferable. I have little patience for their pretentious eyebrow-raising over anything unworthy of their refined tastes.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jermiah-Tucker-020812.jpg Jeremiah Tucker: Power pop plays perfectly for Fourth of July

    One of the best bits from the long-running -- and sadly now defunct -- "Best Show on WFMU" with Tom Scharpling was the character Power Pop Pop Pop. The independent call-in and comedy radio show explored this menacing, Godfather-like figure of the power pop community via one of his minions, played by the brilliant indie rock drummer and comedian Jon Wurster.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug_joe-hadsall-112613.jpg Joe Hadsall: Found-footage tornado movie may be terrifying

    Funny how all it takes is one little thing to bring back the full onslaught of tornado-related dread, desolation and depression. This time, it was a movie trailer.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • aisha-sultan-mug.jpg Aisha Sultan: Study shows popular kids peak too early

    It was, of course, a popular mean girl who made my life miserable in middle school.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

Speaking of Gardens


Although the president of the United States is limited to two terms in office, members of Congress have no term limits. Would you support term limits for U.S. representatives and senators?

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