Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/tdtmaryville/blountblogs.com/wpmu-settings.php on line 45
Random thoughts at Steve Wildsmith

Steve Wildsmith

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

Archive for the ‘Random thoughts’ Category

Off the air/technical difficulties …

without comments

My apologies for not posting a massive weekend calendar of live music and entertainment. I’m sure none of you were curled up in a fetal position, sucking gristle off of your thumbs without it. I’ve been off of the Internet all weekend due to a broken power cord from my home computer. Anybody have an AC adapter for a Compaq Presario V5000 just sitting around collecting dust?!? Stupid cord …

Written by wildsmith

July 26th, 2009 at 12:13 pm

A few odds and ends before I head south …

without comments

I have to confess that I’m suffering from a bout of short-timer’s disease, which is both good and bad.

It’s bad in that, pending a trip to the Florida Keys beginning early in the a.m., I have nothing witty or insightful to share. I sincerely tried to come up with something, but the mental and emotional batteries are drained. I’m ready for a road trip and some sun and tropical island air, and I don’t have it in me to inspire or entertain this week. Forgive me.

That said, you know I’ve got your entertainment back, so to speak. So here are a few items you should have on your radar; things to pencil on the calendar, if you will, since I won’t be around to bug you about them. Clip this column out. Tape it to your refrigerator. I’ll be back in the office on Monday, May 18. Hang on until then.

— Looking for a little bluegrass/gospel music for your Saturday night? Head over to Music Row of Maryville, 2808 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway in Maryville, at 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 9. The Sullivans, led by Bob Sullivan of BB&T, will perform. Admission is only $3. Call 983-8259 for more information.

— If you like dark, enclosed spaces and bluegrass — preferably at the same time — then the inaugural “Pickin’ at the Cave” might be for you. It takes place from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, May 9, at Cherokee Caverns, located at 8524 Oak Ridge Highway in Knoxville (near the Karns community), and the bands The Frost Bottom Boys and The New River Boys will perform. Admission is $10 and includes a tour of the caves; proceeds will go toward the formation’s upkeep and preservation. For more information, visit www.cherokeecaverns.net.

— Can we get a hand for Michael “Bluegill” Gill, an unabashed supporter of the blues (and live music in general) in East Tennessee? The dude is a tireless promoter of good music who doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. Which is why you should show up to the Knoxville Museum of Art, 1050 World’s Fair Park Drive in downtown Knoxville, at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 15, to support “Bluegill’s Blues Bash.” It’s an extended version of the museum’s “Alive After Five” concert series, lasting until 10:30 p.m. and featuring three phenomenal bands: Nashvillian Miranda Louise; Kentucky-based outfit The Stella Vees; and blues disciple Zac Harmon, who grew up in Jackson, Miss., and has played with Dorothy Moore and Sam Myers, among others. Admission to the party is only $12. For more information, call 934-2039.

— If I were still a drinking man, I’d be out at Big Daddy’s Scoots and Sports Bar and Grill, 2641 Highway 411 S. in Maryville, next Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16, for the big Wallypalooza Festival that takes place both days. This will be the 11th year of the annual festival, which started out as a birthday part for local boy and fest founder Walter Moore and has grown into a monster. Wally wrote us earlier this year to tell us about it, calling it “Maryville’s Ozzfest.” For only $5, you get in both days. At 7 p.m. on Friday, May 15, everything kicks off with an ’80s costume contest and performances by SellersWray, Mike “Stretch” Patty, Gun*Slinger and more. On Saturday, May 16, things heat up at noon, with performances by Middle Finger, Stonemosis, Trif3ct, The Levee, Food Stamps, Better Daze, Shallow Point and more. For more information, check out Wallypalooza online at www.myspace.com/wallypalooza2009.

— If I was a camping man (which I was until a friend borrowed my tent and the harsh North Dakota winds blew it into the Badlands), I’d head out to River John’s Island, 4134 Cave Mill Road in Maryville, next weekend (when I wasn’t at Wallypalooza). In years past, the event taking place there Friday through Sunday, May 15-17, has been billed as “Cocktails and a Concert.” This year, it’s been renamed in honor of the organizer, singer-songwriter Kirk Fleta. Fleta Fest 2009 will feature three days of live music — the T. West Band, GaNaSiTa, Bill Mize, Sierra B. and Richard Douglas on May 15; Scott McMahan, Greg Horne, Big Country’s Empty Bottle, Ben Maney and Countless Sheep, Hudson K and the Kirk Fleta Band on May 16; and Ben DeBerry, Emory Cannon and more on May 17. In addition, you can canoe, play games, whatever you please as long as you’re safe and respectful of the property, which belongs to the good folks at River John’s Outfitters. Admission is $15 a day for May 15 and 16 (includes a full day and a night of camping) or $30 for a weekend pass. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/cocktailsandaconcert2008.

— Don’t forget — the “Pickin’ Porch” at Wood-n-Strings Dulcimer Shop kicks off its 2009 Saturday night concert series next weekend on May 16. Owned by Mike and Connie Clemmer, Wood-n-Strings is a store of hand-crafted traditional Appalachian instruments with a national reputation; as such, some of the finest musicians to pick up a dulcimer stop by to perform at 7 p.m. every Saturday in the spring, summer and fall. The best part? It’s free. On May 16, mountain dulcimer player Butch Ross kicks everything off. Wood-n-Strings is located at 7645 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway in Townsend. For more information, call 448-6647.

— If you’ve driven down East Broadway — across Washington but before the railroad underpass — you may have noticed a new space for musicians, The Rock Studios. Heck, you may have even heard a racket coming from there — 924 E. Broadway Ave., to be exact — because they’ve had a few shows and (we hope) will have more. We heard from the owner — Vic — this week, who writes, “We basically have a rehearsal studio for up-and-coming bands, some of which are very good. We’re trying to open an outdoor venue soon so some of these younger bands have a place to play.” If you’re interested in playing or practicing there, e-mail Vic at vixcrew@aol.com.

— Do you keep up with Weekend online? If not, there are myriad ways of keeping plugged in with what’s going on. Over at our Myspace pagewww.myspace.com/daily_times_weekend — we post a live music calendar daily, detailing your options for seeing some great live music and more in the East Tennessee area. We also do a weekly podcast — sort of an NPR “Fresh Air”-style radio show called “Backstage Pass” — where we interview various artists and mix it up with their music. (This week: local singer-songwriter Brandy Robinson, last week’s cover girl, and Nashville R&B extraterrestrial Space Capone, who performs tonight at Barley’s Taproom in Knoxville’s Old City.) You can find a new edition of the podcast to download, or just listen in your browser while you work, at http://tr.im/backstagepass. And you can keep up with everything on Twitter, that social networking site that’s become a hot commodity of late. Follow me there at http://twitter.com/TNRockWriter.

Of course, wait until I get back. It’ll be pretty lonely on the ol’ Interwebs without me next week, but you’ll manage.

Written by wildsmith

May 8th, 2009 at 12:06 pm

“Houston, we have a problem …”

without comments

It wasn’t so long ago that the only mode of communication in the Wildsmith household was the old black rotary dial phone hanging on the kitchen wall.

Sure, there were other phones in the house — one in my folks’ bedroom and another downstairs. The TV got the requisite three channels, and we lived a relatively content life.

In the span of 25 years, the world hasn’t just kicked open the door of the average American household — it’s driven through the side of the house in one of those armored tanks that SWAT teams use.

Consider — I have a cell phone attached to my hip. As cell phones go, it’s n0t much better than a paperweight, except that it allows me to call and text and receive such at my leisure. I could get the data package and use it for online browsing, etc., but it’s not some fancy iPhone; it doesn’t even have the keypad that Blackberries and iPhones have these days.

But really, I have Internet at work and at home. With the flip of a laptop or the push of a button, I’m instantly connected to the world. I rely on that connection as more than just a tool to enhance my life; I use it as a part of my life … and man, when things go south, it feels like I’ve had a limb amputated.

I don’t know what happened over the weekend. Perhaps Skynet has started its nefarious infiltration of the world’s computer systems. More likely, I downloaded a bunch of spyware from a music site. Whatever the case, my computer was stricken with a veritable plague of viruses and worms and spyware, etc. It didn’t slow down; it didn’t offer up a few annoying pop-ups … it did everything but vomit forth pus from the CD drive.

Fortunately, my brother is an IT guy. I call him “Nick Burns,” after the old Jimmy Fallon character on “Saturday Night Live.” (”Nick Burns … your company’s computer guy!”) I called him up, and he commandeered his team, who were apparently not very busy on Friday. And they spent all day trying to remove the infection. In the end, I had to do a factory restore, which basically wipes the slate clean. Fortunately, my music files were backed up, along with all of my necessary documents, and after the restore, I downloaded all of the updates, iTunes, Firefox, etc.

That was a pain in the ass, to be sure, but the biggest problem was that I felt lost. All day Friday, I was disoriented and discombobulated. I’d go to check my e-mail, and remember the laptop was in the shop. It was like being part of the filmmaking team in “The Blair Witch Project,” wandering around directionless and plagued by unseen demons. I wasn’t able to update the Weekend Myspace page, I wasn’t able to use Twitter, or blog, or check Knox Blab … it was pretty pathetic.

I’m back to receiving my hourly Internet fix, and I have to tell you — it makes me realize just what information addicts we’ve become. I’m certain if you take us back to the days of that old rotary dial phone, and society would devolve into Sleestacks and cave men and cannibalism. It’s sad, really, and a little disconcerting.

So what did I decide to do? Write a blog about it. Go figure.

Stupid technology.

Written by wildsmith

April 26th, 2009 at 10:31 am