That crisis for retail music sales you’ve heard about? It’s hitting close to home later this month when the Disc Exchange’s Kingston Pike store will close after almost 15 years in business. The last day for business is Feb. 1; the store will consolidate its leftover stock into the location on Chapman Highway.
“The lease is up on the west store and sales are down,” says DE buyer Paula Yeary. “They haven’t been down so bad we have to close the company, but it seemed like the right time to focus on making the south store bigger and better. The town just can’t support two of us. And the south store’s bigger and the rent’s cheaper.”
Merchandise at the Kingston Pike store has been on sale since the announcement, and Yeary says prices will be cut even more before the end of the month. The south store, located just south of the Henley Street Bridge, opened in 1987. The Kingston Pike store opened in 1993. (Matthew Everett)
Star Light, Star Bright
Pegasi 51 left an unwaveringly devoted cadre of local followers wailing and gnashing teeth when the group disbanded after five years of devilishly potent post-punk in early 2002. But this just in from former and future Pegasi frontman Rusty Yarnell: Let the mourning come to an end. The four founding members of the band have decided to take up axes, mics, and sticks once again under the banner of Pegasi 51. Joining Yarnell are guitarist Greg McGuire and brother duo Tevy (bass) and Kicki (drums) Peña, the sibling duo having recently retired from local straight-ahead rock outfit Justin Melendy and the Brothers Peña.
“Our reunion was actually a long time coming,” says Yarnell, a tall, razor-thin, disarmingly friendly fellow who, onstage with Pegasi, would often add gnarly flavor to his icy, Goth-inflected vocals with an array of distorting electronic effects. “We’d kicked the idea around for about a year. Then finally, we got together over the holidays and said, ‘Let’s do something!’
“We haven’t even played together yet. We got together to discuss a direction; the only thing we nailed down is that we want to keep it punk—and by that I mean that certain post-punk sound we’ve always been into.”
Indeed, one of the most striking features of Pegasi’s music was that despite the fact that they flaunted their heavy-hitting mixture of post-punk, hard rock, and new wave influences they never sounded rote or too derivative. The sounds of their musical antecedents were so seamlessly assimilated and rewoven as to leave you scratching your head, certain that you’d heard a song or a melody before, yet maddeningly incapable of placing it. That, and the metalloid ferocity of their ensemble chemistry, marked Pegasi 51 as arguably the most galvanizing and powerful outfit the city had to offer on the heavier end of the musical spectrum. Lest you doubt, seek out any one (or all three) of the band’s CD releases—System, Space Riot, and La Petite Morte.
Yarnell says the band will likely pick up where it left off, sound-wise, though with perhaps some additional colors on the sonic palate through the addition of the occasional keyboard stroke.
“Ultimately, though, we can’t say for sure what it will sound like until we sit down and start playing,” Yarnell says. “It’s been five years since we played together, and we’ve all been through different experiences, picked up on different music in the meantime. We’ll find out soon, though, because our plan is to get together, start writing, and then jump right into the recording studio as soon as we get four or five songs together. I like to get ’em down while they’re still fresh.” (Mike Gibson)
In Through the Out Door
It’s been reported on Rolling Stone’s website, in the British tabloid The Mirror, on local blogs and message boards, and even on Costa Rica’s national television news network. But don’t believe it: Led Zeppelin will not be playing Bonnaroo in June. AC Entertainment and Superfly Presents, co-promoters of the annual music festival, issued a statement denying the rumors—“The rumors that are out there about the Bonnaroo 2008 headliners are inaccurate”—to Billboard in early December. But the rumors keep popping up, and probably will until this year’s line-up is announced later this month, and maybe even after that. It’s been enough to drive AC Entertainment President Ashley Capps, who also denied the rumor on the KnoxBlab message board, to a no-comment policy: “I just can’t comment beyond what’s already been announced,” he says. (M.E.)