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The Scene

80s night, Charleston Music Hall, Family Cup

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"I feel guilty."— a diner at the Guerrilla Cuisine's Sushi at 6 event on Sunday, after fish bowls containing goldfish were placed on the tables

Flippin' Out
Night Vizzion hosts funky '80s party

Crack open your time capsule because the string of Charleston's renegade dance-a-thons keeps getting better. Night Vizzion Promotions transformed the Music Farm on Friday night for the Flip the '08 Back to the '80s party. After collecting some jelly bracelets and a pair of Ray-Bans Wayfarers, I quickly wallflowered under the fluorescent glow of a hanging Lite Brite mural, inhaled the scent of Aqua Net, and admired the "excessorized" outfits — spandex, acid wash jeans, and suspenders were the norm. I was stoked when the boys from Lucciono Double-Platinum Salon set up shop on the stage where folks were poppin' and lockin'. After clicking pics of the brave few, I plunked down myself in a barber stool and pulled my hair back, ready for the razor. —Svetlana Minx

Susan Tedeschi - JON SANTIAGO
Steve Earle - JON SANTIAGO
Robert Bradley - JON SANTIAGO

Hall of Wonders
Music Hall hosts Earle, Bradley, and Tedeschi

Three nights, three shows, a single conclusion: Charleston Music Hall rocks. Once again this past weekend, the gem of Holy City venues demonstrated what great acoustics, creative stage lighting, and comfy seating can do for live music. On Friday, Steve Earle and Allison Moorer kicked things off in style. Ms. Moorer (also Mrs. Earle) is blessed with the voice of an angel. Mr. Earle these days sounds like a man with a new lease on life who's exercised his option to creatively reinvent himself. While Ms. Moorer clung to her six-string guitar, her husband ranged a little further on some new numbers, bringing in a DJ and a turntable to accompany his mostly acoustic set. On Saturday, Robert Bradley's soulful sound brought a mellow vibe to the room. A solid crew of musicians alongside him, Bradley's show gave his audience a chance to kick back and let the evening wash over them. Bradley's easy charm and sense of humor drew the crowd solidly into his corner. Sunday night, it was Susan Tedeschi's turn. Offering up a few sneak previews from her upcoming album along with a clutch of favorites, she reinforced her reputation for being the real deal; her gutsy, expressive voice was highlighted by the groove-mojo of a tight new touring band. Together, they raised the heat in a room already smoking from the Lee Brothers' opening set. —Jon Santiago

Back to the U.S.S.R.
Sharapova goes home early,
Serena keeps on rollin'

In the days leading up to the Family Circle Cup tournament last week on Daniel Island, the focus seemed more on the past. Current world No. 1 Justine Henin dropped out just days before play began, shortly after losing to Serena Williams in Miami. Then Serena's sister Venus, currently ranked eighth in the world, and also a past winner of the Cup, suddenly opted to sit out of this year's tournament. Nonetheless, this was a particularly strong field — five of the top 10 players in the world made the journey — including last year's champion Jelena Jankovic and tennis' current poster girl Maria Sharapova.

After being given a first round bye, Sharapova dismantled her second round opponent in straight sets, then handily won her next match to earn a date with Serena Williams in the quarterfinals Friday afternoon. Williams came into Friday having played an inconsistent tournament, falling behind early before rallying in each of her first two matches. When the women first took the court, it looked to be more of the same. Sharapova was dominant, but Williams looked tentative; unable to find the powerful serve she has brandished so often in the past. After uncharacteristic mental errors found her down 3-5 in the first set, Williams finally got hot. Grunting loudly, she came storming back to take the set, grabbing hold of the psychological momentum in the process.

After defeating Sharapova 7-5, 4-6, 6-1, Williams breezed through the semis and on into the finals on Sunday, where she found another struggle against a much younger Vera Zvonareva. Williams again fell behind early, dropping the second set, but she still managed to win her first clay court title since 2002.

For a local tournament that's not even a Grand Slam event, the Family Circle Cup manages some impressive star power, and once again organizers put together a great week. Fans who made the trip out to Daniel Island were rewarded with great weather, spectacular play, and a chance to obnoxiously scream the names of some of the sport's biggest stars in between points. —Josh Eboch

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