Local CD Review
• Friday : The Rocky Horror Picture Show begins today at Fairbanks, and they won’t stop paying homage to Richard O’Brien and Jim Sharman until Halloween. At 8 p.m., some will get sophisticated at the Tennessee Theatre for Knoxville Symphony ’s “Spine-Tingling Prelude to All Hallow’s Eve.” But for those who need something a little more ghoulish, at 7 p.m. the Electric Ballroom is bringing The Fits , a primo Misfits tribute band, for a night of swinging devils, girls, coffins and, of course, carnage. Afterwards mosey over to catch Hank III at Blue Cats.
• Saturday : Get up early—about 8:45 a.m.—and get thee to the Time Warp Tea Room for a free breakfast, followed by costume contest, a battle of the bands and a cake walk. Only a few miles southwest, the Electric Ballroom is still in the spirit with “Boo Fest,” which will begin at 3 p.m. and showcase some hardcore from Whitechapel , This is Renaissance , Spekulum , Uncle Sam and Bones in the Museum . Then, before you think about going home to wuss-out, take it to Sassy Ann’s Big Halloween Bash at 9 p.m. and hang with Teenie , Cold Hands and G-Roc . If that’s not your scene, Prince Deli is having a costume party at 9:30 p.m. Lace Hidden Kiss , Letters to Scarlet and the Anthony Wade Band will be there, too. And, out west, remember that The Ghosts will be rocking the stage at The Shed at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson.
• Sunday : Catch up on your sleep before swaggering over to the Bijou to see Nancy Griffith . Then take a leisurely walk over to the Pilot Light for Small Sails .
• Monday : Don’t forget about Grandpa’s Stash at Preservation Pub. You know you’re intrigued.
• Tuesday : It’s finally here, and you’re sober. At 8 p.m., get yourself over to the Electric Ballroom once again for El Deth ’s Halloween party—it’s become one of our favorite traditions. This year see The Red Cloud , Juan Prophet Organization , The Mattoid , Obadiah , DJ Simon Belmont , cage dancers and, if you haven’t been in costume yet this week, there’s another costume contest. El Deth Halloweens are nothing less than spectacular, every year. At 10 p.m., you may want to head over to the Pilot Light for their annual Halloween Masquerade Show. See your favorite local bands ape some of their musical heroes.
• Wednesday : Leave your wife. Leave your mistress.
Local CD Review
But everything’s changing.
Oh, you’ll still get every last song on The Big Tease’s latest release, Paper Symphony , stuck in your head. And they’re still modern models of the hammering, heart-pumping guitar and drum rhythms characteristic of some rock’n’roll bands of the 1980s and ’90s (as well as of the previous release, Beautiful Addiction ). But that’s where parallels to the band’s old style end and evolution into its new sound begins.
“We’ve all grown and matured a lot both as performers and songwriters,” front-man Chase Pattison explains, “and ‘substance’ has become just as important to us, if not more important, than being ‘like-able’ or ‘pop’ in nature.”
Specifically, with the addition of narrative, thoughtful lyrics, brass and piano instrumentation, and an experimental yet self-possessed tone, Paper Symphony exhibits a decidedly indie vibe. The six-track EP opens with a 39-second tone-setting (or –shifting?) classical piano piece. The next 16 or so minutes take us through a whirl-wind of high-energy ballads sure to make everyone—from Greek date party-goers to Sassy Anne’s Indie Dance Night revelers—want to turn it up, sing along and dance.
It’s as though The Big Tease hooked itself up to a creativity battery, put the key in the ignition and shocked itself to life. Yet, there’s nothing forced or contrived about the new style. Chalk it up to growth maturity if you want, but the polish of tracks like “Casanova” and “November Left” have us convinced that the inventiveness of The Big Tease has been there all along, dormant and waiting for a spark.
Pattison asks in track three, “On Your Side”: If lightning’s known to strike in the same exact place twice, can I be electric? Yes, Chase, we think you are.
You can sample Paper Symphony on the band’s MySpace page or website, www.bigteaseband.com , but you’ll be left wanting more. We recommend you hear The Big Tease live; get to New Amsterdam (formerly RT’s Warehouse, Flamingo’s, etc.) this Saturday, Oct. 28, around 8 p.m.