Well, it sure was a good show two weeks ago when The Ghosts played the Sidestreet Tavern. For the better part of a decade, The Ghosts have given us a quirky kind of rock. They've also been fond of covering â“Are You Drinking With Me, Jesus,â” which will forever have a special place in all our hearts.
The bad news is that drummer Jason White has decided to call it quits. Guitarist and frontman He Who Shall Not Be Named says that White will be sorely missed. Nevertheless, the show must go on. If you think you've got what it takes, drop The Ghosts a line via myspace: www.myspace.com/hwcannot .
There's good news, too. We have it on good authority that He Who Shall Not Be Named, while sitting in the audience during the Morrissey concert earlier this month, actually caught a shirt thrown by the morose, sexually ambiguous icon. After He Who had secured the sweaty shirt from the prying hands of dozens of Morrissey acolytes, a woman tapped him on the shoulder and asked if she could smell it.
The High Score
The High Score (Lynn Point Music)
Defying the odds, Knoxville's The High Score has once again set the proverbial bar a bit, well, way higher with the release of its third, self-titled album on Lynn Point Records. Sure, Sexy Losers was good, drunken fun. And We Showed Up To Leave upped the ante by delivering deft pop craftsmanship and classic rock sensibilities at full flower. But The High Score seems like an entirely new beast of a bandâ"the music is still raucous and irreverent, but the band seems to have ditched the â“band of local misfits that's actually goodâ” motif and started writing songs with more emotional depth.
The album kicks off with a musical homerun in the form of â“New Who.â” Sounding like a mixture of Lou Reed 's â“Sweet Janeâ” and Tom Petty 's â“Here Comes My Girlâ” (yes, it's that good!), the song establishes a theme that runs through the whole LP: The High Score might not be the most serious guys in the bar, but they're capable of espousing some deep philosophies before drunkenness ensues. â“New Whoâ” is so chock full of yearning and unfulfilled dreams, it would make a mid-1970s Bruce Springsteen proud. And that's just the first track.
The High Score continues with several other tracks that more or less follow the same template. With flashes of punk intensity, a Southern pop approach that recalls Big Star , and an occasional hint of countrified twang, what we have here is a band that sticks to a seemingly simple formula. The thing is, as easy as it might seem, few if any other current bands have the chops and panache to follow this basic recipe and produce such affecting results. There's something, aargh , deep and meaningful about the album that is truly unexplainable. Experience it for yourself.
The High Score will appear not once but twice at this year's Hottfest at The Corner Lounge. On Friday, Aug. 24 it's business as usual, backing the great Mic Harrison . On Saturday the 25th the band celebrates the release of The High Score with a set of its own music. But then again, you never know when a certain bearded â“special guestâ” might make his presence known.
Thursday, Aug. 2: Take it easy, kiddo; you've a tough workweek. Why dontchya just relax at the Blount County Public Library in Maryville and listen to The Mountain Folk Reunion . They start at 7 p.m., which leaves plenty of time afterward for you to sit in the quiet library stacks and ruminate on what a whiney a-hole you are. Seriously, what if you were a coalminer? Now that's hard work.
Friday, Aug. 3: Not just any sissy with a turn-table can get away with a name like He-Bitch . It's hard to know what to expect. We're picturing a flamboyantly gay DJ, who's built like a lumberjack. Or not. Find out at the Pilot Light.
Saturday, Aug. 4: It's Five O'clock Somewhere . At Paul's Oasis. At 9 o'clock.
Sunday, Aug. 5: What's a band name if it's not easily mistaken for a frozen beverage, served poolside, maybe at a place like Ogle's Waterpark? Tropical Chill will freeze your tonsils (and maybe your eardrums) at Oskie's tonight.
Monday, Aug. 6: Free Wurlitzer concert at the Tennessee Theatre today at noon? Really? God, I love those old organs, but I haven't heard one in, like, a hundred years!
Tuesday, Aug. 7: Erick Baker has one of those Ã¼ber-edgy, modern rockstar haircuts. You know the kindâ"longish, but still short; piecey, but not overly â“fixed.â” Just what the noontime, characteristically Americana, WDVX Blue Plate Special needs: a dang troublemaker.
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