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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Jefferson Grizzard Unveils New Video; Upcoming Performances Scheduled



For many rock acts, a memorable music video is crucial to their development and for building a global fan base.

And with Jefferson Grizzard's new video for the title track of his latest album, 'Learning How to Lie,' the singer/guitarist has certainly accomplished this.

For the clip, Grizzard has hooked up with famed director, Matt Mahurin, whose track record speaks for itself - directing such classic videos over the years as the Black Crowes' "She Talks to Angels," Queensryche's "Silent Lucidity," Metallica's "The Unforgiven," and Alice in Chains' "Angry Chair," among others.

"Working with Matt was an amazing experience," explains Grizzard. "His expertise and relaxed style made being in front of the camera easy. Somewhere between the beauty of Topanga Canyon and the experience of working with an expert film maker, the shoot was surreal. Mahurin is truly a master of his craft."

The video clip can be viewed via this link:

Also, Grizzard has the following upcoming performances confirmed:

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 @ 8:00 P.M [Opening for Willie Nile]
Highline Ballroom
New York, NY 10011

Thursday, June 19th, 2014 @ 7:00 P.M. [In-store performance]  
The Record Exchange 
20 S Tulane Street
Princeton, NJ 08542

Thursday, July 10th, 2014 [Opening for Willie Nile]
White Plains City Center 
White Plains, NY

The Georgia native is best described as either a "poetic singer/songwriter with his roots in American Rock" or "'65 Dylan and the Hawks meet Cohen and Petty," and the proof is in the music throughout 'Learning How to Lie,' which runs the gamut from rocking tunes ("Long Time Coming") to ballads ("Lorelei"), and also strikes a chord lyrically (especially the aforementioned title track, which offers commentary on the human condition).

And Grizzard's talents are being recognized by his peers, including fellow singer-songwriter Willie Nile, who has had praise for the new release (and even contributes vocals to a bonus track, "When Levon Sings"). “Brilliant new CD by Jefferson Grizzard. Thunder and lightning in letters from the underground. Strangers and outcasts learning how to lie in the search for truth and salvation. Tom Waits meets the Stones at the Heartbreak Hotel. Great album.”


1. Long Time Coming
2. Plastic Lady
3. Lorelei
4. New Location
5. Learning How To Lie
6. Rough Times in Paris (Around Around)
7. In the Fall
8. Bound For The Sun
9. So Far Down
10. Rose
11. Cant Knock Em Out
12. When Levon Sings

To purchase a copy of the new album please visit:



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Exclusive Interview: Mark Hall-Patton, History Expert Featured on Pawn Stars

Mark Hall-Patton. Source: .

By Aaron S. Robertson

The administrator of the Clark County Museum discusses his love for learning, the show’s origins and what it’s like working on it, Howard Hughes, advice for those looking to enter the profession, classic rock, and so much more.

Imagine this: You’ve been a museum administrator for many years, just going about your life and work. The role alone doesn’t carry any kind of celebrity status. On the contrary, it’s, for the most part, a pretty quiet, stable, behind-the-scenes, everyday kind of professional job. Until a couple of TV producers come to your town (Las Vegas) with a great idea, albeit, no pun intended, a gamble. Actually, it’s a little more complicated - we’ll get to that shortly.

That’s exactly the fortune that befell Mark Hall-Patton when an idea formed for a TV show that would bring together a love for history, collectibles, rare artifacts, and interesting trivia with the oldest form of credit here in the U.S. - the art of the pawn deal. Of course, I’m talking none other than the now world-famous show, Pawn Stars, now entering its fifth year.

But in the beginning, Mark, who has come to be affectionately known as “the beard of knowledge”, was actually very skeptical about the show’s future. “I thought a show about people coming into a pawn shop would not be interesting,” Mark told me during our roughly 90-minute conversation by phone on May 27 from his office at the Clark County Museum. It is my second interview with a Pawn Stars expert (see my interview with Rebecca Romney from early last year).

And to be fair here and give credit where credit is certainly due, the show’s origins are actually more complex. “Well, the show was actually Rick [Harrison]’s idea,” Mark explained, adding, “Rick is the one who really had the vision, who saw the potential. He pursued it. Even the Old Man [father Richard] thought it was a dumb idea. Rick talked to HBO, but HBO had different ideas for it. He then took it to Leftfield Pictures, which is the producer of the show,” and the rest is, again no pun intended here, history. Okay, it was intended.

As for Mark’s role, he goes back to the very beginning, having appeared in a pilot episode. “I still don’t know all the details of how my name came up,” he noted. He was doing a show for the local access channel at the time, when, one day, he received a call asking him if he’d come down to the pawn shop to take a look at a military jacket. “I told them I couldn’t offer a value. I don’t appraise items,” he recalled, noting that he was never in the appraisal business and doesn’t follow market values. They went ahead with the filming anyway, and Mark has been invited back ever since to offer his expertise on a wide array of artifacts. And his appearances on the show have paid big dividends for the museum system he oversees.

“We as experts on the show are not paid anything. You do it for the publicity,” Mark told me. The result of all this publicity? “Attendance has increased 66% over the last two years. And they come from all over, including many from out of the country. All over the world. You name it.” To that point, the show itself is now shown in 151 countries and dubbed into over 30 languages. “A lot of kids watch the show, and they’ll drag their parents out to the museum because they want to meet me,” Mark explained. And if you happen to go out there when he’s not around, you can have your picture taken beside the life-size cutout bearing his image.

Asked what his method or best practices are for constantly taking in new information and acquiring new knowledge, seeing as how there never seems to be enough time in a day, Mark told me, “I’ve been asked similar questions, and to be honest, I don’t have a good answer for that. I’m always reading five or six books at the same time. I like learning. I like research. I do all my own research. I like writing articles that seem to have absolutely nothing to do with each other. I usually have a few articles I’m working on simultaneously in my briefcase. If something’s interesting, I’m curious about it.” He went on to add, “Most of the time, there’s a book in my hand, even while waiting in a dentist’s chair or at a doctor’s office. For me, I don’t really see it as time management. I just have a running list that I work off of, and I just tackle those items.”

Along similar lines, Mark really couldn’t come up with an answer for what a usual day is like for him. “I don’t know what a typical day would look like,” he said with a laugh, continuing, “I oversee three museums, and anything can come up. The show has definitely increased requests to look at artifacts. It has led me to spend more time in the gift shop, meeting visitors and taking pictures with them. Aside from all of that, the usual reports, research, managerial duties.”

Howard Hughes
A young Howard Hughes.
We got into talking about Howard Hughes a little bit. I told Mark that I’ve been fascinated with Hughes’ life and work ever since seeing 2004’s The Aviator, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the brilliant and famously reclusive industrialist, aviator, movie producer, and just all-around innovator. In fact, I did a couple of papers and presentations on Hughes in college. Mark quickly responded, “Don’t rely on that film, though. I went to see it just to find out everything that was wrong with it.”

The conversation about Hughes was prompted by me asking Mark what he could tell me about Hughes’ stay in, and influence on, Las Vegas. Were there any artifacts or spots dedicated to his life and work in the area, either in the museums or in the more touristy, commercial settings, I wondered? “There is no Hughes property out here now,” Mark told me, explaining that his companies were broken up and absorbed into other businesses over the years following his death in 1976. “There is a house behind Channel 8 here that was owned by him. Whether or not he actually used it, though, is highly doubtful.” Mark told me something that I wasn’t really aware of in my own research on Hughes over the years - “He was instrumental in getting Nevada to allow corporations to own casinos, which, as we know, completely changed the landscape.”

Mark continued on Hughes: “I’ve lectured about him. I knew people who knew him, and they liked him. But he was so brilliant, that he was off. If you’re not discussing something these kind of people find interesting, they’re gone. You’ve lost them. They’re off thinking about something else.”

We also briefly discussed the hotly-debated subject of pre-Columbian expeditions, a topic that my colleague Kyle is interested in exploring. “I’ve read some of the literature on it. Some of that is documented well enough where I think we can say, ‘Yes, it happened.’ Theories surrounding the Japanese are problematic. It is an interesting area. But I’m not an expert. There is a lot out there for those interested. Check out some of the archaeological publications.”

Having served on my city’s library board for a number of years now, I was wondering if museums find themselves faced with questions of relevancy today. I know that, across the library profession and industry, those discussions are taking place all the time - essentially, how do we remain relevant today in such a technologically-advanced world?

“In ways, similar questions are being asked, yes. We’re both in the informal education business. One of the things we tend to do in both is grab onto technology as a savior of what we want to be,” Mark said, adding, “We sometimes lose sight of the fact that technology is merely a tool. And if you lose sight of what your original purpose was, you’re losing what you can provide. You can’t control what it is someone is going to want in books. You can’t control what it is someone will take away from your exhibit. But your visitors will teach you what they want, if you listen.” He went on to explain that, for museums, “What we provide is a place where people can connect with real artifacts. There’s real stuff in museums. And kids understand the difference between real and unreal. They know there’s a big difference between seeing an artifact of some sort on TV, which is nothing more than a bunch of pixels on a screen, and being up close and personal with the real deal.”

I was curious to know what Mark particularly enjoys discussing himself, seeing as how he is quite the expert in a wide range of fields. “I’m really fascinated by bridges and bridge engineering. It’s a subject I enjoy lecturing on. Learning how they’re made has always captured my interest. Beyond that, I would say obscure history and mining history in the West. The nice thing about history is that you can specialize in everything relating to XYZ, or you can learn a little bit about everything.”

His advice for those thinking about entering the profession: “Get your M.A. You’ll need your master’s. And volunteering. You’ll need a master’s these days to go far in the profession, but the degree itself won’t really teach you how to run a museum. That’s where volunteering comes in. Get out there, get into the field while you’re working on your degree. In the next 10-15 years, you’ll see a wholesale turnover in museums because of retirements. At least in history museums anyway, art museums are a little different.” He continued, “You won’t get rich working for museums, but it is a lot of fun. I truly love my work, and I can say I’m genuinely happy to come in every day after all these years.”

We discussed music a little bit, mostly classic rock. Many of my interviews these past few years have been with musicians from the 60’s and 70’s era, including Doug Clifford and Stu Cook of Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR). “My son loves classic rock and is a big CCR fan,” Mark told me. “He brought his music to Afghanistan while serving with the Nevada National Guard. The Afghans he worked with over there loved the music!” Mark also shared with me that his brother, Mike, was the bass player for the Middle Class.

Like Rebecca Romney, Mark hasn’t been to Milwaukee yet. But he did at least step foot in the state. “I drove across the bridge one time from Woodbury, Minnesota into Wisconsin while visiting relatives in Minnesota. And I applied for a director’s job in Green Bay many years ago. I remember being told during the interview it was necessary to be a Green Bay Packers fan. I thought, ‘Uh…okay,’” he said with a laugh.

As for final thoughts, “Come by the museum when you’re here, and go visit your local museum! And I hope you like the show!”

Additional Resources:

Monday, June 2, 2014

Milwaukee's 2014 Lakefront Festival of Art

The Lakefront Festival of Art, which is a yearly fundraising event held in support of the Milwaukee Art Museum, returns again in 2014 for another celebration of art, food, and music. The festival, which dates back to 1963 and typically draws in an attendance of nearly 30,000 people over the course of the three day event, will run from June 20th to 22nd at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The museum is located at 700 North Art Museum Drive and festival hours will be from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

This year's festival, which will feature more than 180 artists from around the world, will include works based in a number of mediums like ceramic, wood, glass, and metal. Fiber (including fiber fashions) is bound to be another popular medium at this year's festival, as will paint and pastel-based art, plus digital, print, and photographic works. Jewelry, sculpture, and mixed media pieces (both two dimensional and three dimensional) will also be on display throughout the course of the festival.

While at the Lakefront Festival of Art, be sure to check out the main stage where several musicians are scheduled to perform throughout the weekend. The various performers span a range of musical genres including jazz, folkgrass, pop/rock, classical, Latin, and soul among others. For a special treat, head on over to the main stage at 1 p.m. on Saturday for the Fiber Arts Fashion Show. The show will feature fiber art fashions that were uniquely crafted by artists participating in the festival.

The festival will also feature a stage in the children's area of the grounds with live music, dance, and theatrical performances specifically tailored to a child audience. A number of children's entertainers will also be roaming around the area, so keep an eye out for the various face painters, magicians, and jugglers on site. By visiting the Children's Art Tent, children will also be able to flex their creative muscles while creating their very own one of a kind work of art.

Many on-location vendors will be happy to serve you, should you find yourself looking for a bite to eat or craving a refreshing beverage while at the festival. Milwaukee Magazine, in particular, will be sponsoring a wine garden where guests can partake in a wide selection of premium wines and cheeses while enjoying a read-through of Milwaukee Magazine's latest issues. The Blue Moon Brewing Company will also be on the grounds with samplings from a number of their microbrews including Pine in the Neck, Tongue Thai-ed, and Chimp from their Graffiti collection.

To help raise additional money to support the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Lakefront Festival of Art will also be holding a silent auction where you can bid on numerous pieces that have been donated by the festival's chosen artists. Bids can be made online prior to the event as well as throughout the festival weekend until the auction closes on Sunday. Festival attendance is not required to participate in the silent auction.

The "at the gate" ticket price for the Lakefront Festival of Art is $17 for general admission. Seniors (aged 65 and over) and students with a valid ID can purchase tickets at a discounted price of $14 each, whereas members of the Milwaukee Art Museum will be granted admission to the festival for $10. Three day passes are also available for $25. To save $5 off the cost of general admission, simply show your Pick n' Save Fresh Perks card at the gate and donate a non-perishable food item to their Feeding Families Food Drive.

Advance tickets to the event can be purchased for $10, either online or at one of over 60 ticket locations in the greater Milwaukee area. To view a full list of available ticket outlets or to purchase advance tickets online, please visit the ticket information page of the Milwaukee Art Museum's website at All Lakefront Festival of Art tickets include free all-access admission to the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Free admission to the festival is available for both children aged 12 and under and Wisconsin K-12 teachers with a valid school ID or pay stub. Active members of the military, reservists, and military spouses are also welcome to enjoy the festival free of charge. Simply present your valid military identification card during admission to be granted free access to the event.

For anyone planning to drive to the Lakefront Festival of Art, please note that the underground parking lot at the museum will be closed during the festival, but an alternative parking location has been chosen nearby. Official festival parking, which costs $10, will be at the CPS lot located across from the Summerfest main gate. Entrances to the lot can be found at 691 East Chicago Street and 265 North Harbor Drive. A complementary shuttle service will be on location to transport visitors to and from the festival grounds.

The Lakefront Festival of Art is so much more than just art. It's also great music and tasty food surrounded by an inviting family-friendly atmosphere. Not only that, but it's also helping to raise funds for a great cause – supporting the Milwaukee Art Museum and its extensive collections of art. This fun-filled festival is unlike any other and a prime example for how fundraising events should be held. So, why not head on over to the Milwaukee Art Museum between June 20th and 22nd to show your support and to see what the festival has to offer for yourself?

Jazz in the Park – Milwaukee's Thursday Night Music Fix

The season for outdoor music festivals is upon us, so if you've been looking for a cheap way to get your Milwaukee music fix, then Jazz in the Park might be just what you've been looking for. This free outdoor concert series, which started up back in 1991, features thirteen great acts in 2014 in a range of musical genres including jazz, big band, blues, funk, R&B, and reggae.

The festival, which draws in an average of 8000 people per event, runs every Thursday evening from June 5th to September 4th (except for July 10th when the city holds Bastille Days) between the hours of 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Cathedral Square Park. The park is located in downtown Milwaukee surrounded by Kilbourn Avenue on the north, Jackson Street on the east, Wells Street on the south, and Jefferson Street on the west.

Some people come to Jazz in the Park to dance, while others prefer to stroll around the grounds with their friends or loved ones. If you are more into sitting and relaxing while enjoying the music and friendly atmosphere of the park, then simply bring your own blanket or some chairs. Do be prepared to carry them a couple blocks, however, if you aren't planning on arriving early as finding nearby street parking can be troublesome on most Thursday evenings.

The music portion of the night begins at 6 p.m., but visitors are welcome to attend the pre-show happy hour starting at 5 p.m. where you can enjoy some great specials on beer, wine, and cocktails from one (or more) of the many vendors located around the park. As all proceeds from the happy hour sales go straight back into maintaining the festival, the event organizers ask that you do not bring outside alcohol into the park during festival hours.

The 2014 Jazz in the Park schedule is as follows:
  • June 5: Nabori
  • June 12: Dumpstaphunk
  • June 19: Hood Smoke
  • June 26: Paul Spencer Band
  • July 3: King Solomon
  • July 17: AhVantSoul featuring Jon Pierre Gee and Kat Web
  • July 24: Nick Waterhouse
  • July 31: Calje: Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble
  • August 7: Wicked Knee
  • August 14: 5 Card Studs with special guest Jim Liban
  • August 21: Terry Sims Band
  • August 28: Forq
  • September 4: Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Alter Boys
So if you happen to be in the Milwaukee area and find yourself looking for something to keep you musically entertained on a Thursday evening, then be sure to head on over to Cathedral Square Park between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. The music is great, the people are friendly, and with it being a free event, the price couldn't be more right.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Funtastic Times Networking Event on 5/28/14

You are invited to an afterhours networking event on Wednesday, May 28, 2014.

Experience this NEW sports pub with a fun and exciting atmosphere, and great food!

Join us for an all NEW Funtastic Times with new partner Tim Townsend, along with Dick Deschane.

Great kick-off and surprises. Make valuable contacts. INVITE your friends and business associates.

Where: Toms Foolery Pub & Grill. 6922 W. Orchard St., West Allis. 53214. (In the historic Tanner-Paull Building, in the all new lower level sports pub)

When: Wednesday, May 28. 5:00-5:30 register. Networking until 7:00 or later.

Cost: $10 at the door. Door prizes. Appetizers provided. CASH bar.

How: For more information from our NEW website, please visit: 

Please register for head count. Even come at last minute if you can.


Dick Deschane

Tim Townsend

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Funtastic Times Networking Event Relaunches

Tim Townsend comes aboard as new partner of popular networking opportunity; New Web site introduced.

Brookfield, Wisconsin - May 6, 2014 - Funtastic Times, a premier monthly networking opportunity bringing together a wide array of business owners and sales and marketing professionals under one roof at an always-changing Milwaukee-area venue for fun and lively networking, is rebooting on the metro-Milwaukee business networking scene.

Tim Townsend, an independent associate out of Aflac’s Brookfield office, as well as a professional photographer with over 30 years experience, has come aboard as a partner of Funtastic Times. He replaces Mark Boever, who has gone on to partner with Larry Cockerel on another great monthly networking opportunity, The Business Building Academy (BBA). Tim is joined by Dick Deschane, the other original founding partner of Funtastic Times.

Along with the relaunch comes a new, more user-friendly and interactive Web site implemented with help from Aaron S. Robertson of Spectrum Communications, an award-winning and industry-recognized answering service and call center based in Brookfield. The new site can be accessed at .

“We’re very excited about these changes and for the future of Funtastic Times,” Deschane said.

“I’m happy to be a part of such a lively organization,” Townsend added.

The next event will be held on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, from 5-7pm at Toms Foolery in West Allis. Additional information can be found on the Web site.


Aaron S. Robertson
Spectrum Communications
125 N. Executive Drive, Suite 300
Brookfield, WI 53005
Phone: 262.821.5100
Fax: 262.821.1492

New Horizons of Wisconsin and Riley Technologies Partnership


New Horizons of Wisconsin and Riley Technologies Offer Freshly Expanded IT Training Facility in Appleton, Wisconsin

Appleton, WI, April 24, 2014 – The Wisconsin arm of the world's largest independent IT trainer, New Horizons, and Riley Tech's all-star team of networking, security, and software development engineers are coming together to supercharge their shared location in Appleton, Wisconsin.

New Horizons of Wisconsin's Appleton location, which also proudly serves the Fox Cities and Green Bay locales, is being completely renovated to improve their cutting edge IT training experience. The location, which offers technical training including thirty-eight critical computer courses and certifications, will now better serve employers and trainees by boasting more hands-on technology. TheAppleton location will offer over 2,100 live, instructor-led IT classes in 2014 alone.

With the addition of more student learning pods, New Horizons of Wisconsin delivers high-quality, in-depth IT training to the people who need it. Trainees will enjoy an unmatched learning experience in courses such as Graphics/Web Design, Desktop Publishing, Microsoft SQL server, Java, and more.

About New Horizons of Wisconsin

New Horizons has offered the highest quality training to their students for over thirty years, helping them master critical areas of technology with the best source materials, products, and technologies. New Horizons has provided industry-leading technology training to over 30 million students and continues to successfully train by expanding with accelerating technology. New Horizons of Wisconsin has advanced learning centers in the Fox Valley, Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

About Riley Technologies, LLC

Riley Technologies specializes in creating technological solutions for business systematization. Their engineers focus on providing personalized service for each project, allowing them to implement the perfect solution for the needs of each business. With the recent acquisition of New Horizons of Wisconsin, Riley Technologies intends to provide even better strategic solutions for businesses by providing even more specialized IT services.


New Horizons of Wisconsin
Patrick Riley, President

Appleton Location
5700 Grande Market Drive
Appleton, WI 54913
Phone: (844) RILEYTECH