In the Grotto
In the Grotto
The spare wood planks of the upstairs cubicles await artists and healing practitioners (contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested). Peeks inside the downstairs space reveal a decidedly cave-like atmosphere, including dark crannies and lumpy molded ceilings but minus any bats. Behind the stairs, a bar glows with a mysterious incandescent light and shimmers by virtue of hundreds of crystals implanted within.
Most exciting is the Grotto’s long performance space flanked by wide cushioned benches perfect for sprawling. Already the floor has hosted modern dancers (and less choreographed attempts by amateurs) and music by Sara Schwabe& Her Yankee Jass Band as well as Phil Pollard and His Band of Humans , whose kooky percussive improvisations have set the standard for the Grotto’s future soundscapes. A short-notice opening party on Nov. 11 drew curiosity-seekers to hear the “world’s greatest digeridoo player” and get caught up in the “tribe vibe.”
The World Grotto’s most official grand opening occurs the weekend after Thanksgiving when the city trips all the holiday lights in Market Square and Krutch Park. No doubt it will be festive.
Relocated from Maryville’s Palace Theater to the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, Jazz for Jackie Two on Sunday, Nov. 20, features yet another A-list line-up, including Mimi Kezer , pianist Keith Brown , Tom Johnson , Nancy Brennan Strange , Harold Nagge , Bill Scarlett , Heather Duncan , Patty & Jerry Coker , Sharon Mosby , Vance Thompson , Will Boyd , Tracey Oziér , Diane Jobe , Justin Haynes , Ken Brown , David Slack and many others.
One of the event’s organizers, Bob Heintz of the East Tennessee Jazz Society, brags on the space’s superior acoustics and the church’s Steinway grand piano, although, at 300 capacity, they may have to move the pews around a bit to fit everyone inside. Tickets for the show, which begins at 4:30 p.m., are $15 and include hors d’oeuvres and beverages, with net proceeds going to the Joy of Music School, a non-profit group that gives free instrument lessons to kids.
Friday: Take the day off to celebrate getting older. Get your hair done, have lunch with your parents, cash in your Fandango ticket for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire , eat dinner with friends, listen to some new CDs at the Disc Exchange. Head to Barley’s to remind everyone how bad you are at pool. Beg a couple quarters to play Playboy pinball. Snag a front-row seat to bask in the heavenly rock glow shimmering off the Tim Lee Band . Buy a rose or two from Taylor . Don’t get too drunk like the other night. The weekend is still young.
Saturday: If you have tickets to see U2 in Atlanta, hit the road with your iPod fully charged. Count the orange Power T flags flapping down the highway. Consider stalking Bono at his hotel. Or stay in town, skip the Vols game, and take advantage of empty movie theaters to see Walk the Line or Pride & Prejudice . Wouldn’t you rather spend $8 for actual entertainment that doesn’t make you want to tear your hair out? Thought so.
Sunday: Hope Vincent D’Onofrio is on Law & Order: Criminal Intent . Chris Noth may be “Mr. Big,” but Vince is oddly sexy.
Monday: Try something new that utilizes your talents and offers room for growth. A new career, perhaps. And check out the dreamy, romantic, Jeff Buckley -inspired rock of Jeremy Lister on myspace.com.
Tuesday : Everything can change , but not the language that we carry inside us, like a world more exclusive and final than one’s mother’s womb .
Wednesday: Vow to read Metro Pulse cover to cover from now on. No excuses.