Eye on the Scene

Drive-thru Art

What's the difference between art and a hamburger from McDonald's drive-thru window? Less than unusual on this Saturday, May 5, thanks to a DIY downtown project appropriately titled Drive-thru Art.

For one day and one day only, you won't even have to set foot in an art gallery to bask in this city's creative talent. All you have to do is get in your car, put the pedal to the metal, and let the art come to you. Outdoor displays will be up in windows, on the sidewalks, and in empty parking lots from Gay Street through the Old City, up Central toward Jennings Avenue and over to Randolph Street. Participants include the Arts & Culture Alliance, Art Gallery of Knoxville, Gallery 1010, Yee Haw, Basement Gallery, Host Clothing, Florescent Gallery, Ironwood Studios, A1 LabArts, Old City Java, and Lox Salon. We're not even going to try to list all the individual artists involved because there's not enough space. Just put some gas in the tank and go, OK?

Words of Wisdom

â“I'll be honest, we're having some technical difficulties,â” Geoff Achison said during his performance last Friday at WDVX. â“I have a hard time with pop culture today, because it's all so perfectâ. But not here.â” Well, Mr. Achison, it sounded pretty close to perfect from where we were sitting.

Local Film Review

Static (35 Degrees North)

Scott W. Lee , who has made music videos for 10 Years , American Plague , Copper and Jagstar (the list goes on), has recently completed a short film entitled Static . â“I've been working on it for about a year,â” Lee says. The idea for the short was first conceived after Lee and fellow filmmaker Art Carmichael spent many sleepless nights working on a script for a feature film, tentatively called R.F. â“I was having trouble with the feature, because of all the distractions,â” Lee goes on. â“[ Static ] was almost done out of a response to the process of writing the feature.â”

The premise of the short isn't terribly exciting. Linds Edwards is both actor and narrator, as the film tackles the psychological torment of an artist who can't seem to turn his ideas into a coherent story. It's not a new idea for a film, but it's filmed with a brilliant sense of space. The set is bare-bones, nearly claustrophobic; at times, it's painfully familiar to anyone who has ever spent hours in front of a computer, trying in vain to say something important. The camerawork is masterful, too, a stunning look at the delicate balance between art and madness. Static will probably be remembered as Lee's personal catharsis: â“The process of writing the short was a snap,â” he says. â“It started about 4 in the morning. My baby woke up and started crying. My wife woke up and starts comforting her. I thought, â‘This is why I can't write.' I love my child, and wouldn't want to change my life, butââ”

â“In the beginning it was just an idea,â” Edwards says as the film opens. â“Distractionsâ. There are distractions everywhere. And everything is a distraction.â”

Lee will be submitting Static to film festivals across the country, which includes the Secret City Film Festival in Oak Ridge. To keep up with Lee and other filmmakers, visit: 35degreesnorth.com .

Local CD Review

Wade Hill & Robert Lovett

Ninety Proof Hank

Wade Hill sure can sing a Hank Williams song. Robert Lovett 's pretty good, too. Together they cover all the so-lonesome-we-could-cry ballads that made Hank such a great countrified troubadour. Lovett plays a mean guitar, never getting too fancy, while Hill plays the banjo, guitar, bass, drums and piano. The album opens with an instrumental version of â“Kaw-Ligaâ” and finishes with Hill plucking his way through Scott Joplin 's â“The Entertainerâ” on the banjo.

Although their voices are a little more polished than Hank's ever was, Hill and Lovett never fully capture the painful moans that Hank did so well. But who can? These covers are heartfelt homage to one of the best poets ever to pick up a guitar.

Visit www.songrecord.com to pick up a CD. Listen to it over a big bowl of jambalaya. In 2005 we ran a limerick to commemorate Hank Days in the Old City. It seems appropriate here:

There once was a singer named Hank Known for his writing and lank Who was just passing through When we bid him adieu And now we're tellin' him thanks

Local CD Review

1220

Miss Legendary

On their latest release Miss Legendary , Knoxville four-piece rock outfit 1220 sounds like it just stepped out of 1982, straight off L.A.'s Sunset Strip and into your CD player wearing leather pants and high-heeled boots and guitars slung way down low. So raw that the jewel case is still dripping with bloody residue, Miss Legendary offers a snapshot of that giddy era when the cocksure glitter rock of T-rex and the New York Dolls wedded the grimy street sounds of Hollywood heavy metal. Lead vocalist Jacob Gibson is a sneering juvie spitfire on strutting rawk numbers like â“Out on the Townâ” and â“Money Talk.â” And guitarists Ricky Dover and Nick Kurtz get their Jimmy Page on with solos that show off just enough chops, and attitude to burn. The only time 1220 comes close to straying off-course on this five-song EP is on â“Jungle Cat,â” the third track, which sets off as another slinky sleaze-rock vamp, then gives way to a jarring reggae-inflected refrain. But then Gibson comes on purring like an oversexed tomcat prancing through an alley full of queens in seasonâ"   â"and makes it all hang together on the strength of sheer snotty conviction. Who said rock is dead? Long live 1220.

On Friday, May 4, 1220 will have its CD release party at Barley's. Sons of Roswell will open, so get there around 10 p.m.

â" Leslie Wylie , Kevin Crowe , Mike Gibson

 

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