eye (2007-05)

Gnomic Wrestling

Local CD Review

May We Suggest...

Eulogy: Kenny King

Gnomic Wrestling

"Watch these half-pints jump off bars, tables, platforms.... They don't even need a ring," the voice continues. We're sure Samuel Beckett couldn't have foreseen this kind of zany rigmarole. Visit www.halfpintbrawlers.com .

It may seem silly and degrading on the surface. But if you can look beyond the fact that it's midgets beating the hell out of each other, you'll discover a universal truth: Life's just a constant string of absurdities and non sequiturs. So, might as well turn the old brain off and watch a good fight. Don't forget to kill a few of the more rational brain cells with a few beers. Then you can contemplate the meaning of it all, without political correctness and modesty mucking up your higher cognitive functions. It should be great fun, if you're into things that are beyond belief and slightly deranged.

Let The Electric Cowboy take you back to the sideshow era, before the talking pictures ruined the commercial appeal of American absurdity. If you get a wild hair on Thursday, Feb. 1, or if you really need to quench your thirst with some reasonably-priced Coors Light longnecks, the doors open at 7:30 p.m. $2 at the door.

Local CD Review

On the opening track, "Celebrate," Landau showcases just how big her voice can be. It's reminiscent of a young singer in a church choir; you know, the kid with the really good voice who always tries to overpower everyone. What makes Landau's bigness enthralling, however, is that she never loses control, never lets her voice get the best of her. Her understated, downtempo piano evokes images of backroom lounges, perhaps in Mafia-era hotels with a dazzlingly dapper clientele who enjoy a good martini and tiny finger food. Think of a time when men wore hats and ladies were elegant. We could label it minimal exotica, a blend of nostalgia and heartfelt sincerity, the kind of music that's good for a quick armchair vacation. It's all ersatz, of course, but when you hear it, nothing sounds artificial.

This is music that doesn't try to be anything more than what it is--and that kind of simple musical ethos is probably more powerful than any over-conceptualized experimentation could ever hope to be. Keep it up, Clara, we're listening. ( Solo Flights can be found at Carpe Librum Bookstores.)

May We Suggest...

The World Grotto will host a "Bacardi Gras" celebration, with art, music, dance, jambalaya and king cake. Host Clothing will host the first meeting of the "Ascension Party," who claim to hold a new kind of geo-political consciousness. And next door at the Basement Gallery, don't miss an exhibition entitled Things Not to Say in Moments of Social Consequence , a two-person exhibit featuring artists Lynn Gufeld and Scott Penkava . Lora Lode 's "Stormy Weather" will be at the Art Gallery of Knoxville; say hello to Marie Merritt and Lisa Kurtz at the Art Market Gallery and Samantha Jacobs at Gallery 1010 and Sam Friedlander and Clare Buckner at Old City Java. Make sure you contemplate the Rorschach -inspired works by M.R. Renjan at the UT Downtown Gallery. And we've heard that the guys of Plain My Super Records will be playing the Ironwood Gallery, located at 119 Jennings Street, just off of Central Ave.

Did we forget anyone? Probably. But you really should come out and explore.

Eulogy: Kenny King

Kenny died on Jan. 27, after a long battle with AIDS. He entered surgery to repair two heart valves and an abscess on his heart, and never recovered. We'll miss the humor, the love and, above all else, the sheer humanity that he brought to the stage, and to those who knew him offstage.