Bill Carter Talks Copper and His Book, Boom, Boom, Bust

Categories: Books, Interviews

Courtesy of The Neo Com Group
Bill Carter

When Bill Carter was living in Bisbee, Arizona, he decided to plant a garden to grow his own veggies. When he got ill from eating the fruits of his labor, Carter did a little investigating and found traces of arsenic in the soil. The arsenic was residue from a century of copper mining in the small Arizona town, and after that discovery Carter decided to learn as much as he could about the metal. What he found was staggering, including how pervasive the metal is in everyday life, how much we don't know about what goes on in the mining industry, and how dangerous the potential effects of it are on the environment and our health.

Carter talked with Jackalope Ranch about how one goes about researching such a monumentally large topic such as copper and its mining, what he was most surprised to learn about, and why Congress refuses to touch the issue.

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Fortune Feimster on Her Tina Fey Show and How Cool Chelsea Handler Is

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

Fortune Feimster will perform at Tempe Improv Friday and Saturday, May 16 and 17.
Fortune Feimster is on the rise.

Despite her name, it's not just luck that's landed her at the forefront of up-and-coming comics in Hollywood. Just ask late night host Chelsea Handler, who snatched up the North Carolina comedian as a full-time writer and roundtable contributor for her hit E! Network show, Chelsea Lately; or maybe try longtime comedy giant, Tina Fey, who selected Feimster as a reoccurring character on her much anticipated Fox sitcom, Calbot College.

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Sharon Needles on RuPaul's Drag Race: "They Took Away Our Booze and Terrorized us"

Categories: Interviews

Sharon Needles is coming to Tempe.

The spooky, fashionable drag queen Sharon Needles has been busy since she won season four of RuPaul's Drag Race. She's kept up with her mantra of "when in doubt, freak them out," releasing a record full of catchy songs about Ouija boards and Halloween and recently starring as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in a live production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

But you don't need to pick up a Ouija board to contact Sharon Needles, she will perform live at Fetish Prom at Marquee Theatre on Saturday, May 24. And yes, expect lots of latex. Jackalope Ranch recently caught up with Sharon Needles to discuss her experience on RuPaul's Drag Race, what it's like touring with an ex, and the art of compromise.

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Bravo's Jenni Pulos Talks Jeff Lewis, How to Fail in Showbiz, and Her New Book

Categories: Events, Interviews

Adam Bouska Photography
Jenni Pulos is coming to Changing Hands Bookstore.

Jenni Pulos is just leaving a last-minute audition.

It's fitting that it popped up, given that the actress, mom, and co-star of Bravo reality shows Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis and Flipping Out recently released a book about embracing the unexpected. Her memoir, Grin and Bear It: How to Be Happy No Matter What Reality Throws Your Way, hashes out the many roadblocks Pulos, who grew up in Scottsdale, encountered both professionally and in her personal life -- and how she learned to get over them.

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Comedian Dave Coulier on the Best Advice Jay Leno Ever Gave Him

Courtesy Brillstein Entertainment Partners
Dave Coulier will always be Uncle Joey, a lovable goofball with a knack for vocal impressions and a closet full of ugly sweaters. And from what we hear, he's okay with that. The Full House alum and stand-up comic brings his routine to the Valley with a three-day, five-show stint at the Tempe Improv.

After leaving years of weeknight television, courtesy of ABC in the early 1990s, Coulier continued to hang around on the small screen, hosting family-friendly shows World's Funniest Videos and America's Most Talented Kids. These days, Coulier is back doing stand-up, selling out clubs across the country with his mother-approved clean routine.

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Mike Birbiglia's Favorite Comedian Is Arizona's Doug Stanhope

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

Photo credit: Brian Friedman
Mike Birbiglia will take his latest tour, Thank God for Jokes, to Mesa Arts Center.
It's a rainy day in New York as Mike Birbiglia reflects on comedy. Since beginning a career in stand-up in his early 20s, the Boston-bred comedian certainly has come a long way, both professionally and personally. Between starting out as a pizza-bingeing, commitment-fearing night owl with undiagnosed REM disorder to becoming a married, hard-working morning person in his 30s who manages to work on two screenplays before conducting an early phone interview with Jackalope Ranch, Mike Birbiglia has achieved the titles of writer, comedian, actor, and director.

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Moshe Kasher on Being Offensive and Phoenix's "True Heroes"

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

Courtesy of 3 Arts Entertainment
Don't get offended-- Just go see Moshe Kasher at Stand Up Live.
It's no surprise that comedian Moshe Kasher has a unique perspective on life that shines through in both his stand-up and written word. Before graduating high school, he was a sign language interpreter, drug addict, Hasidic Jew, and avid gangster rap fan. Both of his parents were deaf and he lived in both New York and Oakland. As a published author, Kasher explored his upbringing with humor but as a comedian he explores humor with his own brand of self-deprecation and the occasional rage-filled outburst.

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Guided by Voices' Robert Pollard to Show Collages at Modified Arts in Phoenix

Robert Pollard
See art from Pollard, including Dramatic Center Of Interest, at Modified Arts.

There are few people in popular music today as prolific as Robert Pollard. Pollard is best known as the leader of the influential indie rock band Guided by Voices, lo-fi legends whose albums are densely packed with pocket-sized exercises in hooky rock magic, and he's also released a steady stream of solo recordings and offshoot projects such as the Boston Spaceships, the Circus Devils, Lifeguards, and the Keene Brothers. The fact that Pollard has released 25 solo albums between 1996 and 2013 says a lot; that Guided by Voices has put out three box sets of unreleased material with 100 songs each says even more.

You'd think that Pollard would be creatively spent with that sort of musical output, but you'd be wrong. Pollard also creates the cover artwork for most of his albums, collages that use found elements to create images every bit as striking as his music. The psychedelic drum on the cover of Alien Lanes, the trains snaking out of a gentleman's mouth on Standard Gargoyle Decisions, or the detourned Native American images of Under the Bushes, Under the Stars reveal that Pollard's visual ideas are as canny as his musical instincts.

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Tommy Chong Wants to Get High with Paul McCartney

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

Paul Mobley
Cheech & Chong are still on top of the comedy scene after all these years.

The last true carryovers from the counterculture will bring their time-tested comedy and musical routine to Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino on Saturday, April 12. Cheech & Chong are as entertaining and relevant as ever -- even though the taboo nature of marijuana has significantly dissipated. Fans can expect the Cheech & Chong they have grown to love, but they also should be ready for some new material from the duo.

There are few entertainers who can say their act has truly appealed to every new generation over a 40-year span, but Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong's fame has remained a staple in pop culture from their original films and albums to projects like Nash Bridges and That '70s Show. Jackalope Ranch recently spoke with Chong about the swirling rumors of a new movie in the works, what is left on his bucket list (spoiler alert: he wants to get high with Paul McCartney), and legalizing his favorite plant.

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Authors Nevada Barr and Keith McCafferty to Sign Latest Books at Scottsdale's Poisoned Pen

Courtesy of Minotaur Books and Viking Adult
On Tuesday, Nevada Barr and Keith McCafferty will sign their latest books in a joint event in Scottsdale.

Mystery writers Nevada Barr and Keith McCafferty have never met, but they are members of a two-person society of mutual admiration that spans nearly three years and several states. Barr is a celebrated novelist who's written 18 books featuring a national parks ranger named Anna Pigeon. McCafferty is a Field & Stream editor working on his fourth novel, the latest in his critically acclaimed series about fly fisherman turned citizen deputy Sean Stranahan.

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