Nom de Dance

A little advice for Bill Clinton, courtesy of The Underground—when you're getting bad PR, change your name.

That's what Egypt, a.k.a. The Underground, has done. Advertised as "Knoxville's Newest Dance Complex" in Metro Pulse last week, my curiosity was piqued. Where was this new place going to be? Then when I heard radio and TV spots for Egypt, I assumed that a new happening dance club was indeed opening up. But you know what happens when you assume. Egypt is, in fact, an old mummy in new wraps.

Abandoning the well-known "Underground" name—the club has won the "Best Dance Club" award in our reader's poll five years running—new manager Michael Hodges saysEgypt will be vyingfor a more upscale market. He plans for Egypt to have a nicer environment for patrons, VIP areas, and enforcement of a stricter dress code.

Hodges says these changes are not happening because of The Underground's recent problems, which include a highly publicized shooting last month.

"We are trying to be creative in what we do," Hodges says. That creativity includes new murals, reupholstered furniture, and different decorations with, what else, an Egyptian theme. But there will still be the yearly "Freaker's Ball"—the Underground's signature Halloween celebration, which will creep you out on Saturday night at 9 p.m.

Maybe a seance will be held for the club's old name...

Bitten by a Bug

Those of you who showed up at the Tennessee Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 17 for roadhouse rocker Delbert McClinton's concert may have noticed that it, uh, didn't happen. McClinton was sick, sick, sick with the flu. Fortunately, the gig has been rescheduled for Jan. 22 at 8 p.m. and original tickets will be honored. Those of you who didn't show up for the original show have been issued a reprieve and should use this as a divine sign that you need to get tickets for the 1999 show. Seriously. When he's feeling well, McClinton rocks.

Virtual History

While we're speaking of the historic Tennessee Theatre—in honor of its 70th birthday, this landmark now has a brand-spankin' new web site, which features a virtual tour of the Moorish/Italianate movie palace. Knoxville's own IPIX has provided four 3-D interactive pictures of the space that allow browsers unlimited viewing perspectives. Also scattered through the site are historical facts, a calendar of events, and information about a proposed renovation. The address for this electronic masterpiece is

Roots Radio

It's that time of year again, when the leaves turn a magic hue and local public media outlets beg for money. Ah, autumn's splendor just gets ya right here.

Usually, Zippy heads back to his winter's lair to avoid the whole thing but this pledge-drive season holds at least one nifty premium—WNCW's Crowd Around The Mic, Vol. 2, which is just the type of CD that would make any roots music lover stand up and boogie. The disc features cuts recorded live in the WNCW studios from the likes of the Grammy-winning Del McCoury Band, The Derailers, Bap Kennedy and 6 String Drag, as well as local favorites R.B. Morris and James McMurtry. Listeners of this fine station, which is broadcast out of North Carolina but can be heard locally on 96.7, can call in their support to 800-245-8870 and receive a copy of this unique disc while doing a good turn for a unique station.

Local CD review
Pegasi 51

If nothing else, Knoxville's Pegasi 51 have knitted a sound far-removed from any of the shambling indie and threadbare hippie retread that passes for college rock circa 1998; their music owes more to '80s Goth and industrial stirrings than to any of the post-alt. pretenders that pass for influential musicians nowadays. And while some might find their updated mix of eyeliner rock and heavy machine music hackneyed and anachronistic, the rest of us will see plenty of promise in their chilly, distorted Goth-mosh stylings.

Pegasi channel the still-restless spirits of Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, and mid-period Ministry through a distinctly '90s sensibility, and the results are always darkly compelling, if sometimes numbing. Their local CD System is chock full of all the distorted vox, haunting textures, and cold, robotic orchestration that attracted fans of the genre in the first place; the disc really finds its pace on the fifth of its 10 cuts. "Voice Inside," "Bury Me," and "Bedtime Stories" constitute a troika of bleak, eerily resonant neo-Goth anthems that would fit in nicely at any point along the post-modern rock continuum.

If you have little taste or patience for rock with a retro feel and a stark, melodramatic flair, then steer clear of Pegasi 51. Otherwise, slather on the black mascara and enjoy.

—Zippy "Great Lash" McDuff