eye (2006-21)

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Local Music Review:

I, Audience

Agee-aholics

Local Music Review:

Oak Ridge’s The Disobedients are proof positive that there’s still a streetpunk contingent hereabouts. And when the music’s presented with such skill and fuck-you attitude, well, who wouldn’t love it?

The Disobedients’ debut EP, Getta Whiffa Dis , serves up five sweat-smelling, zit-squeezing punk ditties that are sure to arouse any concerned parent’s inner PMRC . Hey, when the lyrics deal with such contentious issues as yeast infections and snot, there’s plenty of reason to sound the morality alarm.

The Disobedients’ mien and musical approach might be just a little bit cliché, but who cares? Getta Whiffa Dis delivers the requisite hyperspeed powerchord crunch with Belushi -styled obnoxiousness that’s sure to stir up suburban anarchy.

The EP reaches its apex with “Sieg Heil The U.S.A.,” a Dead Kennedys esque paean to flag burning that’ll have your Lee Greenwood and Toby Keith types reaching for their shotguns in no-time flat. In the rich musical tradition of the Circle Jerks, early D.R.I. , G.B.H ., and Poison Idea (R.I.P. Pig Champion), the sound is crystal clear and the band can stop on a dime.  Getta Whiffa Dis is like a WWF pay-per-view event: It’s lowbrow entertainment where you know exactly what you’re gonna get. But hey, these guys deliver the goods with an aura of aggro and excitement that’s sure to keep a room full of skaters and skins skanking all night long. You can catch the band on June 14 with U.S. Police State and the always politically incorrect Dirty Works on Wednesday, June 14, 9 p.m. at the Electric Ballroom .

I, Audience

“Other way around!” a lady barked back.

“I’d like to thank myself for letting Leslie Woods play.”

Wright, the frontman for local rock outfit Senryu, played his one-man routine, complete with a kick drum. It’s become quite fashionable for one-man acts in this town to incorporate the bulbous thumps of a kick drum to accompany a guitar and sparse vocals, especially at the Pilot Light.

This past Thursday, a strange mix of music fans assembled to smoke, drink cheap beer and crowd around the dark, grimy Pilot Light stage for heartfelt acoustics, downhome folk, the old-fashioned simple tunes sung in timid sotto voce . When you’re singing an earnest tune, make sure it’s soft, so the audience will quit yapping and listen.

Wright knows how to play the role. He gently strummed his guitar, singing his singsong lyrics with an almost apologetic tone, as if he wasn’t worthy to be onstage. “I just found out tonight that I was doing this alone,” he said. And the ladies forgave him, instantly. Any folk singer worth his salt knows how to play ladies’ emotions like a Stradivarius.

When Leslie Woods took stage, wearing her thigh-high black boots, fishnet nylons, black full-brim hat and long black coat which covered her short, black, tight Daisy Dukes, she looked to be a recombination of the genes of Janis Joplin and Nora Jones . And her sweet, sultry, smoky voice had us mesmerized. Each note seemed to stretch out towards the infinite as Leslie took hearty chugs from a liquor bottle.

“Heroin!”—”Heroin!”—”Heroin!”—everyone chanted.

“Jesus Christ,” Woods said, just before polishing off her bottle.

For her slowly cadenced rendition of “Heroin,” she called onstage a guy sporting a Leslie Woods & Dark Mountain Orchestra T-shirt, a guy who appeared to be a seasoned fan as he had been singing every song and taking an unreasonable amount of pictures with his cameraphone. Diehard fans need love, too.

Agee-aholics

The jukebox didn’t offer much in the way of Beethoven—Agee’s favorite—but a couple linty quarters provided a sampling of Alan Jackson ’s finest twang, and some Bob Seger for those with a mind for two-stepping and cheek-nuzzling. The bowls of pretzels were bottomless—their saltiness caused one to guzzle Pabst with slaked-throat enthusiasm, the night becoming “one blue dew” before one knew it.

Then, there was a clatter at the door; it was none other than Nancy Brennan Strange wielding her guitar and Phil Pollard playing some instrument or another, and some other musicians marching in, too. More important than the details (and we don’t remember anyway) is the profound mood that settled over the room when they began to strum “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.” It’s pronounced ‘cherryut,’ according to Agee’s text, and the bleary-eyed revelers didn’t question it. When author Brian Griffin took to reading Agee’s tender words, they hung in the stale-beer air with the weighty wonder of a child amidst a world of confusion. Profundity and drunkenness are so easily confused; but then, who knew that better than Agee? The theme may or may not have anything to do with one patron’s “vision” of Dale Earnhardt Sr. , complete with a #3 cap, grinning through the foam of his Budweiser, perhaps mocking the whole absurd affair.

© 2006 MetroPulse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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