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2010 January at Steve Wildsmith

Steve Wildsmith

A cross between Rolling Stone, Soldier of Fortune and the Oxford American

Archive for January, 2010

Calling a couple of heavy rock bands (PLUS: Get better, Swingshot dudes)

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Level 10, located at 4525 Kingston Pike in Knoxville, is reporting this on the venue’s Myspace site:

Swingshot will not be at Level 10 on Sunday. They had to cancel the show due to one member having an accident and another who was in a head- on crash. They are both hurt and it will be a while before they can play again. When they can, the show will be re-scheduled and The Jager Girls will come in as well. We wish them the best and quick healing and are looking forward to having them at L10. Drop by their page and show some love, will you?

Edge of Obscurity and Pyschosystem are still a go unless this weather gets all weird. K-town locals, this is short notice, but if you can jump on let me know, will be looking for two to cover Swingshot’s place.”

Editor’s note: Psychosystem is the band formerly known as Facelock; we wrote about the name change here.

If you’re interested in getting on Sunday’s bill, contact Level 10 through the Myspace page, call 212-9728 or e-mail info@level10knox.com.

Sunday’s show starts at 5 p.m.; it’s an all-ages rock show, and the cover is $6.

Written by wildsmith

January 29th, 2010 at 6:34 am

Weather forces another cancellation

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Stupid snow. Don’t get me wrong — I love it and want a lot of it; it would do my heart good to wake up on Saturday morning to a foot or more.

But seeing as this is East Tennessee, that’s probably not gonna happen. Still, everyone seems to be in a panic, cancelling stuff left and right. The latest — Friday night’s performance by electro-dance-rock outfit Infected Mushroom. According to Valarium officials, the show will be rescheduled for a later date, still to be determined. All tickets will be honored at the rescheduled show or refunded at the point of purchase.

Friday’s show also included Reid Speed and several other electronic acts. We’ll still have our planned interview with “Duvdev” of Infected Mushroom in Friday’s entertainment edition.

The Valarium online

Infected Mushroom online

Written by wildsmith

January 28th, 2010 at 10:46 am

George Strait concert rescheduled

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Bad news for country fans — the George Strait/Reba McEntire/Lee Ann Womack concert originally scheduled for this Friday, Jan. 29 at Thompson-Boling Arena has been rescheduled.

It’s now set for Friday, April 2; same time (7 p.m.) and venue, according to Tickets Unlimited.

Tickets are still available for $79 and $89. No word on why it was reset; weather, possibly?

Written by wildsmith

January 28th, 2010 at 6:19 am

Posted in Music

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Neil Hamburger quotes …

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I’m taking a cue from my colleague over at Knoxville.com, Wayne Bledsoe, who couldn’t fit everything into his written interview with Kris Kristofferson and put some extras up on his blog. (Kristofferson performs at 8 p.m. Sunday at The Tennessee Theatre, 604 S. Gay St. in downtown Knoxville; tickets are $37).

Neil was hilarious to talk to, and if you get the chance — and provided his brand of what could be called anti-comedy is your thing — then by all means, get down to The Pilot Light (106 E. Jackson Ave. in Knoxville’s Old City) on Wednesday night; tickets are $10.

Without further delay … here are some quotes from Neil Hamburger:

On the cities in which he performs: “Right now, we’re on a Greyhound bus headed to the next big show in San Diego. It’s one of the most prestigious cities on the circuit; it’s got your fresh drinking water there and a lot of benches and things. The last time we were there, they had a bunch of those orange traffic cones, which are nice. Sometimes, though, we have to play these dirtholes — basically someplace that’s a landfill, and they put a tarp over it and call it a town.”

On Wednesday’s Knoxville performance: “We were gonna do a beekeeping demonstration as part of the show, and we purchased all of these bees and this bee-keeping equipment … all of these little 1-oz. jars to give honey samples out at the end of the night, and we had some Melba toast so folks could taste the honey. We invested in several cases of Melba toast. But somehow these bees broke out of this box in the back of my car. I tell ya, if you have five bees buzzing around while you’re driving, you have a problem, and in this case, I had hundreds. I finally had to kick open the door and kick the whole goddamned thing out onto the side of the road. And then we ended up eating the Melba toast over the past week.”

Written by wildsmith

January 27th, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Preliminary Big Ears schedule released

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I’m just gonna vomit forth everything in the most recent press release about the forthcoming Big Ears Festival, taking place March 26-28 in downtown Knoxville:

KNOXVILLE   The BIG EARS FESTIVAL is proud to announce its initial schedule for the weekend of March 26, 27, and 28 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

On Friday, January 29 at 10 a.m. EST, a limited number of individual show tickets will go on sale for Vampire Weekend, the Dirty Projectors + Bang on a Can All-Stars,  Joanna Newsom + special guests, St. Vincent + special guests, The National, Andrew WK performing with the Calder Quartet, Clogs with very special guests + My Brightest Diamond, Terry Riley performing solo and with his quartet, The xx + jj + Nosaj Thing, Eno’s Music for Airports performed by Bang on a Can All-Stars + the Books + special guests, and a collaborative performance of Riley’s celebrated piece, In C featuring Bang on a Can All-Stars and The Big Ears All-Stars.

Additional shows will be announced in the coming weeks.  Please visit www.bigearsfestival.com for the most up-to-date information on the Big Ears
schedule, lineup and ticket prices.

A limited number of  Big Ears 2010 “Inner Ear” weekend festival passes are still available for $249.50 plus applicable service fees.  The Big Ears 2010
Inner Ear weekend pass offers premium access to all Big Ears 2010 happenings throughout the entire weekend (subject to available capacity for each venue) as well as exclusive invitations and access to special events.

Individual tickets and Inner Ear passes may be purchased online at www.bigearsfestival.com or by calling 865-684-1200 ext. 2 between the
hours of 10:00AM and 5:00PM EST.

BIG EARS 2010 Initial Schedule:

Friday, March 26th:
7:00 pm – Terry Riley Quartet featuring Gyan Riley, Tracy Silverman and Ches
10:30 pm – The xx + jj + Nosaj Thing
Saturday, March 27th:
1:00 pm -Clogs with very special guests + My Brightest Diamond
7:00 pm – Andrew W.K. performing with the Calder Quartet
10:00 pm – Joanna Newsom + special guests
Sunday, March 28th:
7:00 pm – St. Vincent + special guests

Saturday, March 27th:
2:30 pm – Dirty Projectors + Bang on a Can All-Stars
8:00 pm -  Vampire Weekend
12 midnight – Terry Riley’s In C, performed by Bang on a Can and special
guests + Terry Riley solo
Sunday, March 28th:
2:00 pm – Brian Eno’s Music for Airports, performed by Bang on a Can + the
Books + special guests
9:00 pm – The National + special guests

Additional individual tickets for theatre and club shows will be available
in the coming weeks for many more performances and collaborations including:

The Ex
The 802 Tour ( Nico Muhly, Sam Amidon, Doveman, with Nadia Sirota)
Ben Frost
Tim Hecker
DJ/ rupture
Gang Gang Dance
Gyan Riley
Iva Bittova
….and more to be announced!

Visit www.bigearsfestival.com for the most recent schedule, artist
additions, ticket and festival information.

Written by wildsmith

January 27th, 2010 at 8:18 am

Posted in Local venues, Music

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Gun*Slinger no more

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The Maryville glam-metal outfit Gun*Slinger has announced its dissolutuion. According to bass player Ryan “Hannah” Scott, Gun*Slinger broke apart after the lead singer (Cole Graham) and the rest of the band decided to part ways. She writes, “The core music makers of Gun*Slinger (Marcus Ott, Blake Rider and Ryan) are still making music together and can currently be heard backing country/pop artist Jennetta LeAnn as The Riders. A new project is in the works, but it is not Gun*Slinger. Gun*Slinger is done.”

The band was active in Blount County and was a favorite at The Prince Sports Bar in West Knoxville. Check out the band’s Myspace page here; there’s also a page where you can hear what Jennetta LeAnn and The Riders sound like.

UPDATE, Jan. 28:

Scott dropped me a line to clarify a few things about the breakup, and the new project as The Riders:

Jennetta LeAnn & The Riders play at Euchee Marina, 200 Euchee Lane in Ten Mile, Tenn., on Saturday, Feb. 13.

New recordings with Marcus, Blake and Ryan backing Jennetta LeAnn will be added to the Myspace page soon.

Also, in the works: Changing the name “The Riders” to “Tipton Station” sometime in the close future (the band is waiting on one original member, David Caldwell, to complete his tour of duty later this year). Tipton Station was Ott’s and Caldwell’s band before Gun*Slinger formed in 2008. From 2003 to 2007, they performed covers (jazz, country, blues, metal and rock hits from the ’40s to current hits) and originals around East Tennessee.

As for LeAnn, she’s placed in the Top Ten for various vocal competitions, including winning several of them for WIVK-FM, 107.7. She’s opened for such regional acts as Mustang Sally, Andy Lee Stephens Band, Crystal Shawanda and the Monroe County boys in Southbound.

Written by wildsmith

January 27th, 2010 at 6:23 am

Rock for a good cause at Maryville College

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As beautiful as the Maryville College campus is, as active as its thriving arts scene can be and as dedicated as its students are to various causes, I often wonder why the students there don’t get into the local music scene more than they do.

I’m sure a number of them follow it, as well as participate in it and appreciate it, but more often than not, whenever I have a conversation with an MC student and ask them about a particular local band, I’m met with a blank stare.

Which is why it does my heart good to see two great local bands coming to the MC campus on March 27 for a concert that will benefit a good cause.

The Dirty Guv’nahs will headline a performance on Saturday, March 27, in the Alumni Gym on the MC campus to raise money for Invisible Children Inc., a charity that educates orphans in war-torn countries. Also on the bill: local rockers 1220 and MC duo Daniel and Kevin, “a rock band from the college that has a large internal following that will start off the show with powerful covers of famous songs.”

Food, drinks, concert T-shirts and band merch will be for sale as well; it starts at 7 p.m. and proceeds from all sales will benefit Haitian relief efforts.

Buy tickets in advance by clicking here.

Here are a few free downloads from the performing bands:

The Dirty Guv’nahs, “We’ll Be The Light”: Right-click here (choose “Save Link As” or “Save Target As”)
The Dirty Guv’nahs, “Saguaro”:
Right-click here (choose “Save Link As” or “Save Target As”)
The Dirty Guv’nahs, “Brown Little Bird”: Right-click here (choose “Save Link As” or “Save Target As”)
Buy “The Dirty Guv’nahs,” the band’s self-titled new album: Click here

1220, “The Motor Mile”: Right-click here (choose “Save Target As” or “Save Link As”)
Buy 1220 music: Check the 1220 Myspace site frequently for links

Written by wildsmith

January 26th, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Americana goodness coming

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Found this interesting tidbit on the Dogwood Arts Festival site for an upcoming sub-festival (?) scheduled for April 16-18:

Rhythm ’N Blooms
April 16-18
East Tennessee’s musical history is as rich as it is varied. Dogwood Arts Festival celebrates this heritage with Rhythm ‘N Blooms, musical performances by locally-revered and nationally-renowned artists whose work falls under the broad banner of “Americana” music – a genre that spans country, blues, jazz, rock, bluegrass, and folk and is generally characterized by a strong sense of musical tradition even as it may expand beyond traditional musical boundaries. Rhythm N Blooms is produced in partnership with Knoxville Americana Music Foundation, Metro Pulse and WDVX radio.

EDIT, FEB. 1: At the Black Lillies show on Friday night (which, due to the weather, I had to ditch during the second song, dammit. Still, good call — took me an hour over god-awful roads to get back to Alcoa.), I finally met, face-to-face, local promoter Chyna Brackeen, who’s currently managing both the Lillies and The Drunk Uncles. (Way cool company name, by the way — Attack Monkey Productions). The next day, she caught my Tweet about this post and e-mailed with some helpful details:

“I can help!  I am co-chairing the festival along with JR Sander (the general manager of Bandit Lites) – and I am handling the programming/booking for the event. This will be similar to Rhythm & Roots up in Bristol — and in more than just the name!  Essentially, patrons will be able to purchase a $40 festival pass that will allow them access to various venues in town.  These venues will be programmed over a three-day period with Americana music.  We’re still working out the final budget details, which of course will impact who we are able to book — but it will be a good mix of national acts along with emerging regional talents and the cream of the crop of local Americana music. It is being produced under the umbrella of the Dogwood Arts Festival in cooperation with the Knoxville Americana Music Foundation (also known as the people who brought you “Tennessee Shines”!). I’m in the process of making offers to artists right now, and I anticipate that the lineup will be released in mid-February.”

So there you have it … can’t wait!

Written by wildsmith

January 26th, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Prepare yourself, Maryville … 2 Live Crew is coming! (Well … not really.)

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So in updating the calendar of area venues, I run across an interesting performance scheduled for Two Doors Down, 118 E. Broadway Ave. in downtown Maryville.

Get this — scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 25 … it’s 2 Live Crew.

That’s right — the rap group from the 1980s (led back then by Luther Campbell) that stirred up such a controversy with its 1989 release “As Nasty As They Wanna Be” — is reportedly performing in downtown Maryville.

(To double check, I called co-owner Lisa Breazeale — she confirmed that, yes, the date is locked and loaded. However, she’s awaiting final confirmation and a contract in hand before spreading the word beyond the venue’s website. However, the fact that it’s out there for public eyes, and the mind-blowing possibility of 2 Live Crew, however sedate they may seem by today’s standards, in downtown Maryville is just too titillating to pass up passing on.)

UPDATE, Jan. 28: Alas, it appears the reports of 2 Live Crew coming to Maryville were premature. Should have known not to jump the gun until the ink was dry, but hey — the fine folks at Two Doors Down were too excited to wait, and so was I. As of now, the date has been removed from the Two Doors Down calendar, and all references to it on the home page have been taken down. They are excited about a couple of upcoming shows, however — on Thursday, March 18, Canadian blues guitarist Shawn Kellerman will play Two Doors, followed by Texan guitarist Wes Jeans on Friday, April 16.

Written by wildsmith

January 26th, 2010 at 10:34 am

Posted in Local venues, Music

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Drive-By Truckers tour dates and free .mp3!

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Just in from my pal Traci Thomas over at Thirty Tigers:


Athens, GA — The Drive-By Truckers announce the first part of The Big To-Do tour, screenings of their documentary, The Secret To A Happy Ending, unveil the album cover for The Big To-Do and offer free MP3.

The Big To-Do is slated for release on March 16, 2010 on ATO Records. Leading up to the release the band will play some weekend runs before kicking off The Big To-Do tour with a two night stand in Atlanta and then heading to SXSW. More dates to be announced in the coming weeks.

DBT and ATO Records are offering up the first single, “This Fucking Job”, from The Big To-Do for free:


The premiere screening of the DBT documentary, The Secret To A Happy Ending, is scheduled for February 5, 2010 at AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD. This is a film about the redemptive power of rock-and-roll; it’s about the American South, where rock was born; it’s about a band straddling the borders of rock, punk and country; it’s about making art, making love and making a living; it’s about the Drive-By Truckers. Director Barr Weissman, Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley and Brad Morgan will be on hand for a Q&A after the screening.

This is the seventh DBT album that has featured original artwork by Wes Freed. The band has a very special relationship with Wes, they never tell him what to draw and often give him no input at all, yet he always seems to find some subtext, often one they didn’t know was there, that he brings out and runs with. That relationship has hit a new level on this album, as he basically illustrated every song. He honed in on the circus allusions of The Rock Show and how it all could be tied together in The Big To-Do. Look for more pieces to be unveiled in the weeks prior to release date.

The Secret To A Happy Ending screenings:
Fri Feb 5      Silver Spring, MD     AFI Silver Theatre sold out
*Sat Feb 6     Silver Spring, MD     AFI Silver Theatre
*This is a midnight screening after the screening on Feb 5.
Sun Feb 28   San Francisco, CA    Noise Pop Film Festival

Drive-By Truckers on tour:
Thu Jan 28            Huntsville, AL             Crossroads Music Hall
Fri Jan 29            Mobile, AL                        Soul Kitchen
Sat Jan 30            Tuscaloosa, AL            Jupiter Bar & Grill
Thu Feb 11            Greenville, SC            Handlebar
Fri Feb 12            Raleigh, NC                        Lincoln Theatre
Sat Feb 13            Raleigh, NC                        Lincoln Theatre
Sun Feb 14            Knoxville, TN                        Bijou Theatre

Written by wildsmith

January 26th, 2010 at 8:43 am