Steve Wildsmith

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Archive for the ‘Wally Miles’ tag

Wallypalooza 2014 set for April 4 and 5

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Wally Miles (left) and comedian Waylon Whiskey

Wally Miles (left) and comedian Waylon Whiskey

Our hearts go out to Wally Miles, creator of the local music bash known as Wallypalooza. He lost his brother Ted recently, and his heart’s hurting, but he’s determined that the show will go on.

Ever since the last Wallypalooza — held in January 2013 at the now-defunct Thirsty Turtle in Maryville — Miles has been laying low. He found a new job, a new relationship and a new direction for his life, and it seemed his days of putting together a massive party that showcased local music were behind him.

(For those unfamiliar with Wallypalooza, they started out as a birthday celebration for Miles, a 1997 graduate of Maryville High School and a longtime resident of Blount County. He invited friends to the lake in 1998 to celebrate the day, and they enjoyed an afternoon of music blaring from an old boombox. The next year, someone came up with the idea of getting a rock band to play for the annual gathering. Over the next 14 years, the event was christened Wallypalooza and grew into the monster that it is today. And starting in 2008, when he booked three bands (Middle Finger, Stonemosis and Half of Something) at also-defunct Nater’z Sports Grille in Maryville, it’s become a beast over which he has little control, at least in terms of how many people show up.)

But when the folks who run Blackstock Auditorium, 940 Blackstock Drive in Knoxville’s Warehouse District, called and asked him to do Wallypalooza one more time, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity, he told us.

“I’ve always wanted to do it on that stage, because I’ve been sneaking in there since I was a high schooler and it was the Electric Ballroom,” Miles said of the venue. “I remember seeing Danzig there in 1995 with Marilyn Manson and a young,  upstart band named Korn. I couldn’t tell you what I did last week, but I can tell you about that show!”

It’s the first Wallypalooza event to be held outside of Blount County, and if it were any other venue, he added, he’d probably not consider it. But doing it at Blackstock was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

“I never thought it was possible, because people told me for years one day I’d get in there, but I just shrugged it off,” he said. “Then the guy who does the booking asked me what I was going to do for Wallypalooza this year, and I was just straight-up honest and told him I hadn’t been thinking about it. He asked me to do it there,  and I talked it over with the missus and said, ‘Look, here we go again!’”

His girlfriend (Linda Shelton) gave the event her blessing, however, and Wallypalooza 2014 is now set for April 4 and 5 at Blackstsock. The lineup includes:

• April 4 — Something Wicked, Big Trouble, Joe Coe, Evince, The Bad Dudes, Rot Iron and The Dirty Gunnz; and

• April 5 — Catalyst, Indie Lagone, AfterLife, Imprint, Shallowpoint, Big Pushy and Crome Molly.

The shows begin at 8 p.m. each night, and the cover charge will likely be somewhere from $5 to $10, Miles said.

Written by wildsmith

February 28th, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Wallypalooza: The End. (No. Really! Wally swears!)

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323189_239985662711999_151461354897764_684817_3848353_oWallypalooza founder Wally Miles (left), and local comedian Waylon Whiskey

OK, so local promoter Wally Miles has been saying each Wallypalooza spectacular he’s put on for the past couple of years has been the last one. He readily admits that it’s sounding more and more like a KISS farewell tour every time he does so.

But this one, he promises, is it. And I have a feeling he’ll stay true to his word on this one. After all, Blount County’s answer to “Van Wilder” is headed to school this fall for — what else? — marketing, and he’s already put together some bangin’ shows at The Thirsty Turtle Pub and Grub, 2641 U.S. Highway 411 S. in Maryville.

Speaking of, that’s where the next (and FINAL! REALLY!) Wallypalooza is taking place on March 1 and 2. Without further ado, here’s the lineup:

Friday, March 1: Christopher ScumBetter DazeAfterLifeJoe CoeBelfast 6 PackDivided We StandScent of Remains

Saturday, March 2: Rebel MountainCatalystBig TroubleShallowpointIndie Lagonethe Michael Gunnz BandCrome Molly.

The start time is 7 p.m. both nights; admission is $5 at the door. Given that this Wallypalooza is scaled back to only two nights, we suggest getting there way early, for several reasons: One, it’s going to be PACKED, and second, you don’t want to miss the opening acts … particularly on Friday. It’s a point of honor for me that Wally’s booked Christopher Scum to open up Friday’s festivities; the guy’s a legend in the Knoxville music scene and a hell of a songwriter. (Click here to download and listen to “Fifty Acres,” an unflinching look at a pretty damn horrific childhood. And yes, it’s autobiographical.)

You can read our coverage of previous Wallypaloozas here, here and here. Be there.

From the madman who came up with ‘Wallypalooza’ comes ‘Walloween,’ Oct. 10-14

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323189_239985662711999_151461354897764_684817_3848353_oWalloween/Wallypalooza founder Wally Miles (left) and comedian Waylon Whiskey

On tap for Walloween, the latest idea from Wallypalooza mastermind and founder Wally Miles: Rock ‘n’ roll Unholy, terrifying and slutty attire. Alcohol. Profane, gut-busting stand-up comedy. Jell-O wrestling.

If Lucifer doesn’t stamp such an event with his personal seal of approval, then Miles might as well get out of the party-throwing business.

If past Wallypalooza events are any indication, however, then the upcoming five-night Walloween bash — slated to take place Oct. 10-14 at The Thirsty Turtle, 2641 U.S. 411 in Maryville, will go down in the history books as a glorious Bacchanalian celebration of All Hallow’s Eve, albeit a few weeks early.

“After Wallypalooza ended this year back in March, people were wanting to do it again, but I didn’t want to over-saturate or water it down by doing two or three this year,” Miles told us recently. “I’ve done that in the past, and they went well; point proven. But Halloween — well, that gives everybody an excuse to dress up. And if I can find an excuse to dress up like Gene Simmons, I’m going to do it.”

For those unfamiliar with Miles and the legendary parties the carry his name, read our cover stories on Wallypalooza from March 2011 and August 2011. They started out as a birthday celebration for Miles, a 1997 graduate of Maryville High School and a lifelong resident of Blount County. He invited friends to the lake in 1998 to celebrate the day, and they enjoyed an afternoon of music blaring from an old boombox. The next year, someone came up with the idea of getting a rock band to play for the annual gathering.

Over the next 14 years, the event was christened Wallypalooza and grew into the monster that it is today. And starting in 2008, when he booked three bands (Middle Finger, Stonemosis and Half of Something) at Nater’z Sports Grille in Maryville, it’s become a beast over which he has little control, at least in terms of how many people show up. In fact, one of the reasons he’s expanded Walloween to a five-night celebration is because so many bands and musicians have requested the opportunity to take part.

“With all the entertainment, we need to a week to fit it in,” he said. “Plus, we want to make each night special. People tend to wait for the weekend because they think those will be the best nights, but we’re going to make Wednesday and Thursday nights so good that people will say, ‘We can’t miss a night.’ On Wednesday night, we’re going to kick it off with a bang — we’ll have stand-up comedy, three bands and Jell-O wrestling.”

So far, eight female contestants have signed on to battle it out in the gelatinous pit of doom, including one match that will feature two girls against Miles himself. It hardly seems fair, but Miles has been involved in the local amateur wrestling circuit for years under the pseudonym Jagger Sterling.

“I’m putting the Wallypalooza belt on the line for this one,” he said with a chuckle. “And even if I lose, I still win in my opinion.”

Thursday night will feature a Halloween costume contest complete with cash prizes and more live music; and Friday through Sunday will offer more of the same. Although the final three nights of Walloween will coincide with the popular Foothills Fall Festival in downtown Maryville, Miles doesn’t see them as competing events.

“Once people leave the fall festival, if they don’t want to go home just yet, they can come on by, because we’ll be going late,” he said. “The way I see it, there’s something going on for everybody that weekend. Nobody can complain there’s nothing going on in Maryville anymore.”

The musical lineup for Walloween features several Wallypalooza veterans, as well as some new faces.

“It’s a good ensemble of bands, and it’s not an exclusively metal thing,” Miles said. “We’re trying to have something for everybody, and I’m thinking it’s going to have a good appeal to a wider audience. We’ve got Indie Lagone this year, which is Allen Swank’s band, and he’s been playing around here forever. When I was old enough to start sneaking into shows, his old band Malice in Wonderland was going strong, and they’re kind of why I wanted to get into music, truth be told. And VanKale, that band played Wallypalooza in 2010, and they brought the thunder then. Now that they’re reactivated and playing again, I’m looking forward to bringing them back.”

The Turtle has become something of a permanent home for Miles’s fetes, which have been held at Nater’z, the now-defunct Confused Bar and Grill and at Big Daddy’s, the former occupant of the Turtle location.

“Other venues shy away, but they’re like, ‘Bring it on,’” Miles said. “They trust me and work with me on every level, and that’s pretty cool. We’ve got a good working relationship.”

For Miles himself, the 10th can’t arrive soon enough — to provide a respite for himself, and a good time for everyone planning on coming out.

“Everything I do right now is about Walloween,” he said. “When I get up, it’s the first thing on my mind. I’ll get up at 6 in the morning because I have an idea, and just because I love doing it. I love seeing people have fun. I know it sounds hokey, but the excitement people have for something like this, I feed off of it.”

SCHEDULE OF WALLOWEEN EVENTS (admission is $5 per night)

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 10

  • Doors open at: 7 p.m.
  • Activities start: 8 p.m.
  • Bands: What’s Left, the Michael Gunnz Band, A Soul Disowned
  • Stand-up comedy by: Nakht Ricks and Waylon Whiskey
  • Also: Jell-O wrestling

THURSDAY, OCT. 11

  • Doors open at: 7 p.m.
  • Activities start: 8 p.m.
  • Bands: Centric, Belfast 6 Pack, KraIzIn
  • Also: “The Ultimate Walloween Costume Contest”

FRIDAY, OCT. 12

  • Doors open at: 7 p.m.
  • Activities start: 8 p.m.
  • Bands: Afterlife, Binfield, Indie Lagone, Divided We Stand, VanKale
  • Also: “The Walloween Scream Queen Contest”

SATURDAY, OCT. 13

  • Doors open at: 7 p.m.
  • Activities start: 8 p.m.
  • Bands: Stonemosis, Shallowpoint, Big Trouble, Decombrio
  • Also: A special performance by the White Lightnin’ Burlesque troupe

SUNDAY, OCT. 14

  • Doors open at: 7 p.m.
  • Activities start: 8 p.m.
  • Bands: Awake The Suffering, Psychosystem, KraIzIn, Scent of Remains
  • Also: “A Night of Comedy with Nakht Ricks and Friends”

Written by wildsmith

September 27th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Wallypalooza on for March 1-4 at The Thirsty Turtle in Maryville

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323189_239985662711999_151461354897764_684817_3848353_oWallypalooza founder Wally Miles (left) and emcee Waylon Whiskey

Remember this, party people — bloody marys. Find a good recipe. Pre-make some. Keep a gallon of it in the fridge before you head out to Wallypalooza 2012: The Fifteenth Anniversary, details of which were revealed this morning by the man himself, organizer Wally Miles.

Why the need for a vat of bloody marys, you ask? Because you won’t be in any shape to make them on the mornings after, and you’ll need them to get better quick — because Wallypalooza is spread out over four nights this year.

“After 15 years of Wallypalooza, both the legend and the expectations have grown to levels unimaginable,” Miles said. “To celebrate 15 years of something I didn’t forsee still existing after all these years, the goal is to make this the absolute biggest Wallypalooza of all time, for those who have only heard the legend, and for those who have attended and have come to expect a weekend they will never forget.”

Here’s the skinny:

For those wondering what, exactly, Wallypalooza is … well, you’ve got to experience it. It began as a birthday celebration for Miles, a 1997 graduate of Maryville High School and a lifelong resident of Blount County (until recent years, at least). Miles invited friends to the lake in 1998, and they enjoyed an afternoon of music blaring from an old boombox. The next year, someone came up with the idea of getting a rock band to play for the annual gathering.

Over the next 14 years, the event was christened Wallypalooza and grew into the monster that it is today. And starting in 2008, when he booked three bands (Middle Finger, Stonemosis and Half of Something) at Nater’z Sports Grille in Maryville, it’s become a beast over which he has little control, at least in terms of how many people show up.

Read our cover stories on Wallypalooza from last March and last August.

And start doing liver squats or something, because your internal organ will require conditioning for this party.

The resurrection of Wallypalooza!

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It seems our report last June of the demise of Wallypalooza, that annual birthday bash/music festival by founder Wally Miles, was premature. (To be fair, it seems Wally’s decision to call it off was premature; by October, he’d decided to do one more, with two caveats:

1. It will NOT be on my birthday. My family gets me this time!
2. Less is more. Less bands but it will be better, I promise….and I will be performing, whether it be with a new band or me playing with old friends.

As of the latest update, it’s a go for May 15, but the venue has yet to be announced. (Although last year, he pledged to hold it exclusively at Big Daddy’s Scoots and Sports Bar and Grill in Maryville.) No word yet on the bands, either, but hopefully he’ll be releasing that info real soon.

In the meantime, stay tuned to the festival’s Myspace page for more info.

Written by wildsmith

February 2nd, 2010 at 8:55 am

Posted in Festivals, Music

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