Thursday, July 31, 2008

our park

I felt compelled to take this picture last week when I was strolling through Krutch Park at lunch. Krutch (pronounced 'crootch') Park is one of downtown Knoxville's gems. Southern cities never got into urban parks the way that the North did back in the day, so no big Central Park for our scruffy city. Later in the century Knoxville caught up and carved this little "pocket park" beside Market Street so that people could go somewhere quiet and green in the middle of the bustling city. Considering how many people I saw lounging and strolling there, I'd say Krutch Park is a success.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Pol... Yeah You Know You're Excited

OK so a few cool developments this past week for me.

#1 Early Voting Started - It goes through saturday so if you haven't gone... GO!!! It's open til 8PM for the last few days. Here is a list of places to vote early.

#2 I got a full spread in the Knoxville Voice, pick one up by this friday or you'll miss it, my smiling mug is on the cover so it'll be a collectors item soon.

#3 Tomorrow night I debate again. Come and watch it should be a lot of fun.

6:30 at Harvest Plaza (formerly Five Points Plaza) It'll be much like the last one with a moderator/ panel asking some questions and then a time for open questions from the audience.

I hope to see many of you there tomorrow night. Vote early, vote often, Write-in Spellings.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Walden's Way Ramblers to Play at WDVX BPS Tuesday, July 29

If you are downtown on your lunch Tuesday July 29, please stop by the WDVX Blue Plate Special from 12 to 1 PM, located at the corner of Gay Street and Summit Hill, to see the Walden's Way Ramblers play a little bluegrass.

You may have seen these guys gettin' down in Market Square and the surrounding area during the Farmer's Market, Sundown in the City, and when they've needed a little extra change. You can't miss them, being that there are six of them and one is holding an upright bass. I hold a special place in my heart for this band since they've been serenading social gatherings for the past few months in Maplehurst, where two members, Joe and James live. Joe, the fiddle player actually lives above me, and I've been listening to his foot-tapping through my ceiling for a few months now. I couldn't be more excited to see their radio debut.

So come hear these guys as they lay it down. I know they'd appreciate it and wouldn't mind grabbing a beer with you later on in the evening.

Monday, July 28, 2008

kay's ice cream

Chapman Highway may be one of the funkiest pikes in Knoxville. Among the normal suburban fare lie small pockets of strange old skool suburbia. One such pocket has several gems, including Colonial Hardware (another post in itself) and Kay's Ice Cream.

This little shop has been recommended to me a few times by So Kno enthusiasts. "Kay's is THE BEST! You've got to try it for and authentic Knoxville experience." Saturday, former Wigshopper Reginold and I stopped by for a quick bite while on a errand run for a box of staples (for insulation we were putting up at my house). I got a good slaw dog that really hit the spot, but Reggie said his cheeseburger "tasted like a sausage patty." The fries were OK, but seemed a lot like like the Ore Ida bake-at-home variety. All in all, the food was decent, but nothing to get excited about. Every now and then around Knoxville I hit a greasy spoon that has fantastic food for amazing prices. After all the hype, I found that Kay's has the latter (it was well priced) but fell a bit flat on the former.

However, the place isn't called Kay's Food. I didn't try the ice cream, which looked to be homemade. Most of the people in the place were chowing down on cold cones and not eating. I'm definitely gonna go back and see if Kay's serves up some icy cold deliciousness.

As a final note, The above sign for "Real Fruit Punch" caught my interest, especially the fact that there's a green version. Not only is it "The Original" it may be "The Only" in Knoxville. It must sell well at Christmas.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I woke up as my flight from DC was descending into Knoxville, and I had a thought: I am returning to a Stan-less Knoxville. Which means I am also returning to a Megan-less Knoxville (Megan = Stan's wife). It was a sad thought, and for a minute I didn't know what to do with myself.

The truth is that there's nothing to do except miss them and hope for the best for them and anxiously anticipate a visit to Saint Louis.

Today is a sad day in general, as our home has been witness to an incomprehensible act of violence. At about 10 this morning, a gunman entered the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church and opened fire, ultimately killing a member and wounding many others. I do not aim to oversimplify this tragedy with my own meager reflections, though I cant help but feel a sense of loss and hopelessness. These things just dont stop. My prayers tonight are for the members of this church.

Summer Movie Magic and the Mighty Wurlitzer

I don't do well going all out on Friday nights, so this Friday a friend and I decided to relive our junior high days and catch Grease at the Tennessee Theatre on Friday night. And it ... was ... awesome! There's something so charming about watching an old favorite on the silver screen.

Worth the $8 ticket price alone was the Mighty Wurlitzer mini-concert you get before the show starts. Organist Bill Snyder, who's a former UT engineering dean, plays the Wurlitzer as it pops out of the orchestra pit. He plays a few rousing tunes before ending on the Tennessee Waltz, which is the perfect thing to hear in the beautiful setting of the Theatre.

The Wurlitzer has been around the Tennessee Theatre since its opening in 1928 -- one of the few still in its original location. It was shipped to Reno, Nevada in 2000 to be restored by a master organ rebuilder and was reintroduced at the Theatre a year later.

You've got only four more showings in the Summer Movie Magic series: It Happened One Night shows at 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday and Gone With the Wind at 8 p.m. Aug. 22 and 2 p.m. Aug. 24. It's open admission and you can buy your tickets online or at the door.

If you can't make that, catch Bill and the Wurlitzer at noon on Monday for Might Musical Monday. It's free and you can brown bag it kinda like the Blue Plate Special.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Because I couldn't stay away

With the departure of some Little Knoxvillians, I too will be helping around the Wigshop to fill the void, though we know that's not possible in Stan's case (by the way, check out the memorial to the Wigshop founder over on the right sidebar). I'm the Modern Gal, split personality of the gal who keeps shop over at The Modern Gal blog.

I've recently returned to Knoxville after doing a year in Chattanooga and three in Nashville. I also spent 18 years of my life in Memphis, so if you ever have the urge to compare the virtues and vices of each region of Tennessee I'm your gal. Just know that when it comes to barbecue, Memphis always wins.

In the couple of months since I've been back, I've learned a couple things about Knoxville that I never knew as an undergrad at UT -- namely that there is a world outside of the Strip and West Town Mall -- who knew?

I think I may be the only Little Knoxvillian who resides somewhere west of World's Fair Park, namely because I have a 50-pound mutt who needs her space. Because I don't spend as much time downtown, I'll probably be covering the Bearden beat here at the Wigshop.

And since it seems to be a tradition around here, here are some of my favorite things about Knoxville, old friends and new discoveries:

1. Local shopping, namely Bliss, Vagabondia, Earth to Old City and the Yee-Haw shop. The difference between Knoxville's boutique-like shopping and every other city's: it's actually affordable, so we can keep them in business.

2. The Tomato Head, Downtown Grill and Brewery, Calhoun's on the River and the many sushi options. I could probably limit my diet to these restaurants for the rest of my life and never want for more.

3. Free night and weekend parking downtown. This is vital to our social lives, kids. And it's not common in other cities.

4. Greenways, parks and proximity to mountains. You will often find me and my 50-pound mutt strolling one of Knoxville's fantastic greenways.

5. Turkey Creek. Just kidding. See also: How NOT to build a shopping development.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Why I'm still Here

When Stan asked me to be a writer for this blog, I excitedly and ignorantly accepted. That was well over a month ago. My hesitancy to post may stem from the fact that I've never been a blogger. Tonight I'm taking the plunge, pretending only about 5 people will read this anyway. So here goes, my first ever blog post:

In lieu of Stan's best and worst, I'm giving y'all the top 8 reasons I'm still in Knoxville after graduating from UT over a year ago. It's mostly to convince myself that this is and may be my home for some time.

1) Maplehurst Court- I moved there a year ago. If I stay there, I'd like to one day be the mayor of Maplehurst. I'll fix up all the apartments and start a commune with cats, chickens, gardens and bluegrass music. It's on it's way there, just give it time. It's an incredible location, sandwiched between the Tennessee River and World's Fair Park, home of

2) The Sunsphere- It's like my own personal depression fighting lamp, reflecting the sun's rays into my apartment each day. I've lost count of how many times I've actually been up in it...maybe 27.

3) The ever-growing biking community- I've yet to be yelled at by any angry motorists whilst on my bike. Probably because I stop traffic.

4) A big city and country feel in one- Whenever I get the urge to be in a larger city I go to Nama, where the hostesses never smile. I eat my sushi and decide that the next day I'll go jump into Meade's quarry at Ijam's Nature Center.

5) Mayor Bill Haslam said he wanted the "best and brightest" to stay in Knoxville. What choice do I have.

6) Knoxville feeds my cynical side as well as my delight in simple things. There is much to complain about and much to happily savor.

7) I won't leave until I'm mentioned in the Metro Pulse. I only need a few sentences. That's a lie. I'd like a full page. And a photo.

8) The Sunsphere is not a Wigshop asked me to be a writer for them. What more can I say?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

please, knoxville, stop harrassing bicyclists

True story:

This morning, a bicyclist (who may or may not be me) was commuting to work riding up Hall of Fame Drive towards downtown. Near Magnolia, a large black Expedition pulls up beside him. A half block down the street another bicyclist is [illegally] riding his mountain bike on the sidewalk. This annoys the first bicyclist, because it furthers the misconception that bikes don't belong on the road. As if to drive that point home, the Expedition slows down and lowers its window. The driver points to the mountain biker and yells at the commuter,

"Get on the sidewalk!"

The irony of all this is that he was on the one road in Knoxville that actually has a dedicated bike lane. This jerk (driving alone) in his big SUV had passed four signs stating this fact. So, Mr. Indignation, if bicycles are supposed to be off the road, why did the government put a bike lane there?

This kind of ignorance is widespread in Knoxville. The City is doing a good job of promoting alternative commuting, but the general driving populace still doesn't know that it's OK for bikes to be out in the road. They respond with annoyance and sometimes outright hostility. Complete strangers cuss me out because I've somehow inconvenienced them. Don't get me wrong, 95% of the drivers just pass and don't think anything of it. But a vocal minority needs educating.

I think that the city and the state need to sponsor an aggressive "Share the Road" campaign to let everyone know that bicycles have a legal right to be on the road. The government needs to get the word out on the bicycle laws its passed, such as the 3 foot rule. Congress has passed a resolution endorsing bicycle transportation, but all this does no good if the average driver doesn't know about it. Also, how to pass a bicycle should be a mandatory part of the testing for a drivers license. A new generation of drivers needs to be taught to respect bicycles on the road. Bicyclists have to do their part and not give into pressure to ride on the sidewalks. This just feeds the misunderstanding between bicyclists and drivers.

What do you think, esteemed readers?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

goodbye, knoxville

taking a cue from another former blog writer here at the wigshop, my last post is a list of the best and a some the worst knoxville has given me over the past 7 years. it's a bit long, i know. but permit me a little self-indulgence. or just don't read it.

best overall spot: downtown grill and brewery. its not that its amazing, its just that its pretty good at everything. excellent nachos. the pretzels and pub cheese will leave you fat and happy. i love their beer. sitting on the front porch in fall or springtime will make you never want to leave.

best bar: barley's. i have to agree with lucas on this. the beer selection and sprawling interior are hard to beat. not to mention $2 pints on monday and tuesday. shazam.
worst: hannah's in the old city. "why did you even go there?" you ask. good question. i think what makes it worse is that they have that great space there on the corner and totally ruin it.

best bar to drink a knoxville corona: backroom bar-b-q. who doesn't want to hang out in a hidden back porch and drink cheap pbr on draft with a lemon twist? exactly.

best person to consistently make me laugh when i'm supposed to be working: em

best place for cheap used books, movies, and cds you probably don't need: mckay's. and big surprise...
worst: mckay's--i love and hate it.

best place for good used books: woodwards. enjoy the books and the conversation.

best nice restaurant: by the tracks bistro. they have blue cheesecake--macorni with blue cheese. plus, i never knew fried catfish could taste that good.
worst: regas. they're doing their best to keep us in the last century. and it's not because of their clientèle--they're just lazy.

best restaurant: pasta trio. delicious, mostly italian dishes. it's a little kitschy that you can sign the wine bottle you just drained, but i love it.

best book about life under a bridge in knoxville: suttree.

best type A obsessive blog designer: ck

best place to act older than 50: knoxville cigar company and bar.
worst: liquid on the strip, or whatever its current manifestation...

best hidden gem of knoxville: marie's old towne tavern. everyone must go there at least once. you will not be disappointed.

best place to have your car window smashed: the north end of the gay street viaduct.

best place to sleep under the stars: max patch. i know everyone says this, but it's true.

best shameless self-promotion (even though he's getting my vote): the pol

best closet to listen to music: the pilot light. its true things went downhill when they banned smoking and got rid of their two tables, but i've seen so many great shows there.
worst: blue cats. i know, i know it moved. and i know, it used to be the only place that was really booking anybody, but i never really enjoyed a show there.

2nd best blog according to the metropulse's reader's poll: the sunsphere is not a wigshop

best blog: the sunsphere is not a wigshop

Monday, July 21, 2008

Farewell to a friend...

On Saturday, Harold Shersky, who was the owner of Harold's Deli on the 100 block of Gay Street, died. I did not personally know Harold, but I enjoyed frequenting the deli before it closed about 2 years ago. We used to go in the morning for bagels or at lunchtime for Reuben sandwiches and Matzo ball soup. Here's a link to the News Sentinel obituary.

a taste of havana, numero dos

We reviewed "A Taste of Havana" a while back, when it was partnered up with World Grotto on Market Square, but a few weeks later it disappeared. According to an inside source, Cuban business practices and hippie bar culture didn't mix very well. However, having gotten used to a regular infusion of spicy rice and beans, your correspondent was disconcerted over the state of Cuban cuisine in downtown.

Never fear- much like Castro, "A Taste of Havana" is still ticking. Yesterday evening I noticed a sign on the 100 block of Gay Street advertising that the Cubans will be back soon. Their new location will be right next to Nama. A welcome addition to one of my favorite blocks in downtown, and a welcome return to spicy goodness in my belly.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

king tut's

before i kick the dust off my feet and head west, i've been trying to get my fill of knoxville essentials. so when i heard a friend was going to celebrate successful completion of grad school at king tut's, i was selfishly excited for myself as well.

king tut's is a knoxville treasure for many reasons. it has a strong mediterranean menu--flavors uniquely under-appreciated in knoxville (i can think of two non-hippie restaurants that serve hummus). but the aesthetics bring me back every time--a cross between cracker barrel with no inhibitions (as if it had any to begin with) and big don the constumier on bourbon street. there are masks. many, many masks--more on them later. your drinks come out in giant flower vases. kitschy signs plaster the walls. one of my favorites: as a jittery woman stares at a giant cake, "stressed backwards is desserts." yes it is.

the food is very good. the greek salad would feed five helots--or you and a friend, and is everything you would expect it to be. after you finish, soak up the leftover olive oil with the pita that comes with the egyptian sampler. this is the other essential dish. plenty of food to split as well. you should expect all kinds of delights, many of which i digested unnamed. but there was something wrapped in grape leaves that was delicious, a small dish with chick peas and beans, and of course the requisite hummus and baba ganoush.

to finish the night, we had delicious cake with sort of peach glaze/topping and huge pot of fine coffee. beware when you drink the coffee--mo brings it out in the pot he perks the coffee in, so their are dregs at the bottom. i recommend not drinking those.

[that's a troll above]

after the delicious dessert and coffee is when king tut's superb restaurant turns into king tut's karaoke lounge. depending on your crew, you may be expected to don a grotesque troll mask and sing. not to be resigned to this uncomfortable fate, i darted out before i could sing ("i'm a very important person! i must do important things."). i instantly regretted it. when you go--and by all means, you should go--don't make my mistake. put your head in the sweaty hulk mask, place your legs into the over-sized underwear (i'm not kidding), sing "cheeseburger in paradise."

too men share giant underwear. i can't explain it any better than you. this is just how things work at king tut's.

View Larger Map

i give it 67 wigs.

also, sorry about the images. i only had my phone.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Pol Debated the Issues... and WON.

Just in case you missed it. (And actually there was no winner declared, but it seems like the presidential candidates always declare victory so I figure I could.)

Last night there was a forum introducing all of the candidates for Knox 1A hosted by and The Historic Fort Sanders Neighborhood Association. It was a wonderful time of discussion and interaction with a number of concerned and active citizens who came out.

It was great to meet all of those who came and the other candidates. Also Brian Paone over at Political Knoxville has posted the entire forum on Google video so you can watch it.

There is another debate coming up on the 31st, early voting starts today and runs through the 2nd so get out and vote . And remember write in John Spellings for a change in Knox County's leadership.

Write-In Spellings, Write-out Nepotism


[addition by ck] a picture of the intense debating:

The Pol is the white, bald one.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

omg! hsm 4 is coming here?! srsly? that is 2 kewl !!!!

According to here and here, High School Musical 4 is to be filmed in Knoxville at Vine Magnet School. The script is a "closely guarded secret." Heh. I can tell you now that it will involve many choreographed dance numbers loosely tied to a story with "lessons about true friendship". Yes!!!!! Troy UR the 1 4 me! lol!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

photoblog : union street cafe

Today I spent my lunch hour sitting outside of the Coffee and Chocolate shop on Union Street, reading a book. The coffee was good, but the weather was better. Thank goodness for this rare low humidity!

Monday, July 14, 2008

spawn of the sunsphere

Knoxville isn't alone in having an iconic giant [dildo] observation tower in its skyline. Though rarer in the U.S., these things seem to be everywhere in Europe and Asia. A quick stroll through Wikipedia's list of towers in the world came up with the following:

Kuwait Towers [Kuwait]
They've got three, count'em, THREE spheres.

Fernmeldeturm Nuernberg [Germany]
Is that some gold tinted glass I see?

Baghdad Tower (!) [Iraq] (formerly International Saddam Tower)
Iraq has its own mirror ball tower. That hasn't been blown up.

Berliner Fernsehturm [Germany]
Built to show off East Germany's disco prowess- Fernsehturm means "git down oont boogey."

Oriental Pearl Tower [China]
As decreed by the People's Government: "Nobody will beat China at giant pink-tinted sex toys. Nobody."

Colonius [Germany]
"OK, OK, we get it- Germans love big phallic towers."

As you can see, Knoxville is in that grand global fraternity called "Cities That Built Big Towers That Don't Serve Much Purpose." Where does our Wigshop rank among the big boys? At 266 feet, we come in at 487th in the world. Oh well... For better or worse, our Sunsphere is not quite as odd as we might have thought.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Come See the Pol Debate LIVE!!

Well, it's technically a forum, but for a county commission race it's pretty good.

Next Thursday, July 17th at 7:00PM at Redeemer Church in the Fort (17th and Highland). All of the candidates from the District 1A race John Spellings (The Pol), Albert Baah (Republican) and Sam McKenzie (Democrat) will be there to answer questions about their ideas for the 1st District and County Commission in General.

It's a great opportunity to get a little civic involvement and learn about the issues.

Come on out and meet your future commissioner... cause it'll be one of us... hopefully me.

Write-in Spellings, Write-out Nepotism

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Another Blog and a Boot Camp update

I've recently taken on the position of administrator for the Operation Boot Camp (Knoxville) blog, so if you're interested, you can check it out over here.

I just wanted to take a minute to give the program I love so much a little plug. It's a 30-day workout and meal program that really does, if you commit to it, create great results. Currently, we have two camps that both meet at Lakeshore Park (@ Northshore and Lyons View). The next month long camp starts on July 28th, so if you've been itching for a change, you've got a few weeks to think about joining. If you go to OBC Knoxville blog, you'll see a post telling you about free Saturday work outs that are open to the public. These work outs are a great chance for you to check out the program, meet some instructors and get your questions answered. My favorite section of the blog is the testimonials section. I always get a little choked up reading them, because I can really sense how much people love and appreciate the program. It radiates.

Come check us out (virtually or live and in color!).

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Well our good friend Stan is having a birthday. But where is he? Is he celebrating at the brewery? Is he catching dinner at Nama and a show at the Bijou?

No, no, he is in Hawaii, sipping away on overpriced booze and swimming in shark infested waters. Well Happy Birthday Stan my boy, hopefully you’ll com back with a better appreciation of what you have, because (to paraphrase a great movie) “Who wants to spend their birthday in a tropical climate anyways?"

Here’s a picture message from him to everyone back home:

(Caption: Wish You Were Here)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

blue plate redux

Another good Friday concert at WDVX's Blue Plate Special: The Shake'em Ups sound like a fun upbeat show, Adrienne Young sounds plaintive and a bit Irishy (?), but it was Jay Clark on the billing that caught my attention. I've had the pleasure of meeting Jay a few times and he is a really unpretentious guy. His songs are simple, but his lyrics are layered and evocative- in other words, he's a good storyteller. Which, as an aside, is one of Bluegrass's strengths as a genre. People are getting tired of "i want to have a good time/get with you/verse/chorus/verse/chorus." They want a story, something that engages them, something they haven't heard before. Aside over.
Jay was the leading force in The Stringbeans, Cruz and Robinella's original band, that I first saw when I came to Knoxville in the late 90s. He moved away for a while and they formed another band that you may have heard of. He still keeps close ties with Knoxville and his old bandmates, and I try to go see him perform whenever he's in town. For good songwriting, go check Jay Clark out on Friday, 12:00 noon at WDVX's studio on Gay Street. [map]

Monday, July 07, 2008

photo blog : wedge house

This is one of my favorite houses in Knoxville: the "Wedge House" in the Mechanicsville neighborhood. I've heard it was once the local hardware store, and then an enterprising pioneer gutted it and made it into a multi-level residence, back when the downtown was still severely blighted. Definitely one of the coolest places to live in Knoxville. Located at the corner of Deaderick Ave. and Carrick Street. [map]

no love

The Pol gets no love (or mention) from the News Sentinel:
[article here]
Old media still hasn't caught on to pay attention to new media, i.e. the Political Knoxville website and Spellings big win in their straw poll.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

farragut needs to pony up

See? Riding the bus is fun!

But that's not what we're here to talk about. KAT (Knoxville Area Transit) is on the ropes. Ironically, as ridership increases, the budget crunch is forcing them to consider scaling back their operations. One popular route, the Farragut Express, may be on the chopping block.

Why? Because it goes out of the city (Knoxville proper) and therefore isn't subsidized by the city government. Let's face it- fares only cover a fraction of the cost of mass transit. The government (meaning our taxes) ponies up the rest. Or at least most governments do. Some just get a free ride. Other long distance express routes are helped by the receiving end. ORNL helps subsidize the Oak Ridge Express. Why can't moneybags Farragut help with their route?

It's bad enough that the whole idea of Farragut is based on an unsustainable suburban model (which will go the way of the dodo in the next few decades, I think) and that they don't offer any mass transit. The bit of transit they do have is the Express. Many Farraguttans are trying to do the right thing and ride the bus to work. Granted, not living in far-flung suburbs would be better, but we'll take what we can get. The Farragut Express is a service for Farragut. Our little rich neighbor to the west should help pay for it.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008



I like long walks on the Neyland Drive Greenway, winding along the Tennessee River, the smell of Calhoun steaks in my nostrils.

I like riding my bike from home to work to downtown and all the places in between. I like that just about anywhere I go, I'll see someone I know who will wave and smile. I like that if I don't want to be known, I can drive out west. I love the thrift stores here, the seedy parts of town- Magnolia, Broadway, Central. I love the fact that going out hasn't become old, even though downtown is comprised of only a few blocks. I like that I can dress up or dress down for almost every occasion.

I love that Ijams Nature Center, The Knoxville Botanical Gardens, and greenways galore are a stone's throw away. I love that I can see the Smoky Mountains if I stand on the hill by my home.

I love the alleys in 4th and Gill, the square dancers, the old time players, the banjos, the bikers, the artists, the patios on Market Square.

I love when people move away from here and come back because they realize it's better, or at the very least, affordable.

I love that I can make art here, that I can go out on a limb and see my ideas (thoughts, dreams) come true.

To learn a little more, visit my portfolio or my very own blog.

Knoxville is Blessed

We have been blessed by the presence of the master. Tom Waits performed here Sunday evening at the Civic Auditorium. The show was, in a world, heavenly.

I'm always a little shocked to hear that people haven't heard of Tom Waits. The fact is, too, that a lot of people have not heard of him. In the long run, I take the ignorance of the masses as my bliss; but it's still funny to me that so few people are actually tuned into his genius. He is one of the most iconic and sincere musicians of all time. I heard someone say recently, "there's been no good music since Miles Davis" and I laughed out loud. Of course there are others, but Tom's the reason why that statement is utterly false.

I've had the privilege of seeing him live 6 times, twice now in places I consider home. The best trip was when my dearest and I flew to Seattle to see him after Real Gone came out in 2004. The best venue was the Ryman in Nashville. The best show and set I've seen falls on Knoxville. It was stupendous, miraculous even.

The ticket prices this time were high: around 85 bucks a pop, as opposed to the 65 dollar price point in tours past. I heard a bit of grumbling about the prices, because, yes, that is a lot of money. The grumbling is understandable. The thing is, it wasnt a question for me. Not going to the show was not an option. That's just me, but that's the truth.

Very few cities in this country can claim they've hosted Tom Waits; and now we can. We're lucky that way. We're in the club.