Thursday, March 31, 2011

it's marathon weekend!

My favorite Knoxville weekend of the year is almost here! It's Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon weekend!

This always ends up being a big weekend for Knoxville with tons of activities going on. This weekend also happens to be First Friday and the Rhythm N' Blooms festival, so there will be lots of fun goings-on in the Downtown-ish area. My personal favorite is the Marathon, because I am an avid runner and because I truly love to see people succeed at such an amazing goal.

Committing to run any of these events--whether the 5k, relay, half marathon or marathon--is such an amazing feat for so many people. This event is what fitness and goal-setting is all about. For some people, this will be their first time ever running 3.1 miles, and others will be experiencing their first 26.2. To me, running is a metaphor for perseverance and dedication; and I am so proud of each and every runner who gets out there and goes for it.

I was planning to run the marathon this year but a foot injury is keeping me booted up and on the sidelines. So I will be manning a water station at around mile 7, excited to see all the half marathoners and marathoners whiz by me.

If you are running, good luck. If you aren't running, please consider attending the fitness expo on Saturday the 2nd, cheering on the course, or volunteering. There are still plenty of volunteer opportunities available, and believe me, the runners and the hard working folks of the Knoxville Track Club will be so thankful for your help. You know what they say - it takes a village. The races begin at 7:30am on Sunday at Knoxville Convention Center and will cover Fort Sanders, Campus, Neyland, Sequoyah and the 3rd Creek Greenway, North, East, South and Downtown Knoxville. Information about the race and events can be found here. Information about all the awesome volunteering opportunities still available can be found here. If you're looking for a fun place to cheer, my neighborhood Island Home, always puts on a spectacular party for those marathoners on their last push to the finish line. Just be advised of road closures that day.

Run your heart out, Knoxville!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Daniel Pujol by Bekah Cope via Nashville's Dead

Alright guys one of the best music labels around is in Nashville. It is called Infinity Cat and was started by Jake and Jamin Orrall of JEFF the brotherhood in 2002 and has released some of the best music coming out of the Nasvhille music scene since. The artists on the label are absolutely worth your time.

The label facilitates a lot of releases from the house show scene that has become centered around Ben Todd and David Steine's blog/lifestyle Nashville's Dead. These shows take place at "Glenn Danzig's House" which probably ties for first in my favorite venues with the pilot light. All of that to say, check out the Infinity Cat artists, JEFF the brotherhood, and Nashville's Dead because there is a whole slew of awesome music coming from there.

Tomorrow (Thursday) Night Infinity Cat band: Heavy Cream are coming to destroy the Pilot Light.

The babes of Heavy Cream & Danny

Their first album Danny was released on August 24th last year. It is fast exuberant beer/whiskey swilling garage rock punk jams. Listen to it here. They put on super fun shows.

Photo by Emily Quirk

They will be playing the pilot light tomorrow @10p.m. for $6 with Dirty Knees and Wyld Fukken Stallyns

SUNDAY NIGHT two of my favorite bands will be playing the pilot light: Pujol and Turbo Fruits.

I can't wait. Not only do both of these bands kick serious ass, they are also fun bros to hang out with. So come hang out. Seriously. This is a show that should not be missed, and work is no excuse. This is the show that if you are a bit older, your knees hurt, back-aches, etc... just ignore it and relive your youth. Come drink some beers and have fun.

Photo by Bekah Cope

Pujol is named after lead singer/songwriter Daniel Pujol. He's a smart dude, seriously. His music is AWESOME. If I had to describe the music he makes it would be Southern psychedelic punk pop intelligent rock. But you can decide for yourself by listening here. It should be noted that the songs Black Rabbit and Too Safe were recorded at Jack White's Third Man Records and was produced by Mr. White himself. If that's not enough to get you out to the pilot light it's time to reevaluate. The lyrics are all on the website as well. I heart Pujol. I have probably seen pujol play 20+ times and every single time it is better.


Photo by Emily Quirk

The Turbo Fruits are totally rad. They play raucous riff based rock with a punk kick. Formed by Jonas Stein while he was still in Be Your Own Pet and made it a full time job when BYOP broke up in 2008. Their first full length album Echo Kid came out in 2009 on Fat Possum. Jonas is one of the hardest working musicians in Nashville. He recently started his own record label Turbo Time Records, curated the Bruise Cruise Festival, and makes great music. Check it out here. This show will be one of the best the pilot light has ever had. Bring everyone you know.
SUNDAY night at 10p.m. $7. with dumb lunch. worth every penny. Bands have also done daytrotter sets in the last two weeks. Pujol and Turbo Fruits

April 9th Infinity Cat artist THE MATTOID will be playing the pilot light before he moves home to Finland, but more on that later.

The Mattoid

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Blue Steel...

 ... is in yo' backseat!

Monday, March 28, 2011

we heart happy hour

Things are in the mix for a theme week similar to our Raw Knox Week (two years ago!) but this time it will be a theme even dearer to our hearts than sushi: Happy Hour. More specifically, which ones are the best? You know, that magical combination of getting out of a long day of work, heading to your pub where the bartender knows your name, and getting an insane deal on you favorite drink just because the sun is still up... HAPPY HOUR

As we prep for the hard task of going out and drinking (for you, dear readers, don't forget) I thought it would behoove us to ask for any suggestions. Cause even though we've scoped out a lot of places to drink, some the hundreds of you might be holding onto some secret gem we have to go to.

So, let us know what YOU think the best Happy Hour in town is and we might just check it out and spread the word...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Salvage Show: A first for First Friday

First Friday is just around the bend, and I'd like to cordially invite you to an exhibition organized and curated by yours truly.

If you are unaware, I'm the Architectural Salvage Coordinator for Knox Heritage and am also an artist. I'm merging these two worlds into one the night of April 1 for The Salvage Show.

There are twenty artists involved in this exhibition who are making fine art or functional design pieces using materials from Knox Heritage's stash of architectural salvage. The idea is to re-create something new from the materials that can't be used in their original manner anymore.

Here's a sneak peek of what you'll see at the show:

Reclaimed Lamp by Shawn Poynter

Pearls for Swine by Katie Ries
Sweetgum balls, felted wool, wooden curtain rings

Dale Mackey's piece

Stool by Brian Wagner

I'm very excited about this exhibition and hope you can join us. If you are so inclined to purchase something, proceeds will benefit Knox Heritage, which is a non-profit, as well as the respective artist.

The Salvage Show
April 1, 2011, 6-9pm
110 South Gay Street (3 doors to the right of the Emporium)
Knoxville, TN

RSVP on Facebook, if you'd like.

The artists are:

Micah Antanaitis
Hollie Cook
Laurence Eaton
Ethiel Garlington
Michelle Garlington
Briena Harmening
Kelly Hider
Tracy Jackson
Forrest Kirkpatrick
Dale Mackey
Hali Maltsberger
Beth Meadows
Sara Miller
Shawn Poynter
Katie Ries
Veronica Siehl
Jessie Van der Laan
Brian Wagner
Michael Watson
Chad Williams

PS: shameless self-promotion- I am also showing at Magpies that night from 5-7pm
846 North Central St.
Knoxville, TN 37917
Come eat cupcakes with me.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New Royal Bangs

Listen guys, in a few short weeks (March 29) local rock and rollers, The Royal Bangs, will be releasing their new album Flux Outside. If you haven't checked them out before, please do so now. Pop sensibilities and a frenetic gnarliness fuel their music. It's totally rad. Hear the opening track (Fireball) off of the new record here. It kicks ass.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Behind the Curtain of Knoxville's giant Faberge Egg (aka The Tennessee Theatre)

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking past the Tennessee Theatre with my co-worker Becky Hancock and said, "I should go to the symphony more often."

Deep down, I had hoped she would respond exactly how she did. She told me she'd make some phone calls and could probably get us tickets. Score.

How does my co-worker work her magic? She was the General Manager of the Tennessee Theatre from 2001-2007.

The next Thursday, we got dressed up and went to the symphony. That was wonderful in itself, but the icing on the cake was that she took me backstage afterward and introduced me to Tim who is the Technical Director there. He has been working there since 1979! Becky asked if he'd show us around and he concurred.

Here are some photos of our little adventure with captions courtesy of Becky Hancock.

Looking up into the fly loft backstage, about 80 feet high!

The counterweight system on stage right. This allows one person to maneuver all the scene changes and backdrops.

If you were the Maestro, this is the view you'd have as you enter the stage.

In the 2005 renovation, the decorative artists added a few whimsical faces in the north stairwell.

See if you can spot moon man on your next visit...

Old school: one of the very few reel-to-reel projector systems left in Knoxville.

A view above the decorative ceiling, which is suspended by hundreds of metal strips from the actual roof. (From B: This is what holds up the faberge egg!)

Looking through the lighting cut into the blue cove

The catwalk enabled stagehands to change the hundreds of light bulbs around the cove.

In the orchestra pit, the front half raised up to stage level. (From B: This is underneath the stage  During the symphony, they lowered the pit, rolled out the grand piano, and raised the pit to get it on the stage level. The Mighty Wurlitzer is in a room to the right.)

Stagehands' stash (From B: That's a lotta lights)

One of the "star" dressing rooms, new construction in 2005

This wraps up our little tour. If you are interested in hitting up the next concert, go here to learn how to do so.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

So try and stay with me here...

First, and this has nothing to do with my post, go see B's work at RALA tonight. She's showing and it is gorgeous, just like her. Now, onto the post.


So I drove the Nissan leaf last weekend.

First, I think it is awesome that Tennessee, and Knoxville in particular, is at the front end of this new technology (and I mean new as in its wide disbursement not as in NEW new as electric cars are super old). There are a few shortcomings that are still yet to be overcome, range, infrastructure, change of mindset etc., but none of these are any longer so prohibitive that they cannot reasonably be overcome. But I see the Leaf as a beginning to something that I am really passionate about. With the Leaf, the car becomes more of an appliance or piece of technology that anything else, and I want my technology to be simple.

See Here
and here.

My proposal. Knoxville is embracing electric cars and solar charging stations and I think the next step should be to embrace cars that are self driving. I have no more business driving a 2,00lb piece of machinery at 80 mph while drinking coffee and changing podcasts than I do repairing the HVAC system in a submarine. Computers love monotonous tasks and 99% of driving is super monotonous.

Is anyone else with me on this? Think of the decrease in road fatalities and DUI's, the increase in productive time, the real type of fundamental change in our transportation system that we are looking for. Cars could become, effectively, train cars on the highway, increasing efficiency and decreasing consumption. This notion has had me excited for a year and I want it so bad.

Knoxville needs to turn Innovation Valley into an actual valley that embraces meaningful and real change in our world.

Finally, and just because I read the Time article this morning, is there a group of people in Knoxville who are actively interested in the notion of the singularity? That this has my mind racing. Let me know.

And yes I did go hyperlink crazy on this post.