At long last, we here at Metro Pulse have entered the high-stakes of world of image campaigns. We're finally taking our message to the people via a new, bold, hip, cutting-edge advertising campaign that's guaranteed to shock the sensibilities of regular listeners of WNFZ 94.3 "Extreme Radio."
Yup, we've got a goofy jingle and we're running with it.
Tune in the station during drive time and you may hear the warbling strains of Knoxville supergroup The Four Skins as they sing our praises. The mysterious foursomeTodd Damone, Jeff Damone, Ed Damone, and Mike Damone (no relation)answered our open call to local bands to write us a jingle that best expresses that Metro Pulse-y feeling. Their startling entry immediately captured our attention (the fact that they were also the only entry had nothing to do with our final decision, despite what some may say). Evoking the timeless strains of classic rock 'n' roll harmonies, the songinspiringly entitled "Metro Pulse Jingle #1"captures the essence of our very being, boldly declaring to one and all, "We are Metro Pulse. Hear our roar." Many staff members openly wept when they heard the song and realized that it was really going on the air.
We managed to catch up with band leaderor "visionary," as he prefers to be calledJeff Damone for a rare interview. Back in his hometown for a 20-minute visit before jetting off on a three-city tour of Saskatchewan, here's what Jeff had to say about the genesis of "Metro Pulse Jingle #1."
Q: What inspired you to write the song?
A: Well, didn't you guys sponsor a contest? Did we win anything?
Q: How long did it take until ultimate perfection was attained?
A: Perfection is a relative term. And all the Damones are noted perfectionists. I think it was one take.
Q: What jingles would you like to write in the future?
A: Some that pay and at the same time make people stop and think.
Q: What's next for the band? A tour? Concept album?
A: Well, we've never practiced and that's the only song we have...so I guess I'd have to say "sure."
Q: How does it feel to finally have a song in regular rotation on 94.3 "Extreme Radio"?
A: Extremely gratifying though I haven't heard it yet.
Q: Do you personally feel extreme?
A: No, not really. We're just trying to push the envelope. If that's labeled extreme, so be it.
If you haven't guessed by now, Zippy's got quite an ego. Not only does he talk about himself in the third person, he loves to be quoted in public. Which is why he was delighted at the Beeswax/subbluecollar show at the Longbranch Saturday night, when Beeswax wondered what Zippy meant by calling the two bands "...a little bit emo...a little bit new wave" in last week's issue. Well, boys and girls, Zippy doesn't know what the hell it means. But thanks for reading.
And thanks for an incredible show.
Subbluecollar (sorry, grammar rules require me to capitalize any lower-case proper noun that begins a sentence) kicked the whole thing off, and demonstrated that they are probably Knoxville's most promising up-and-coming band. Fronted by singer-guitarist Katherine Brock, the group has just released a nine-song EP, Daydreams. They play a bouncy little brand of garage rock, with songs about photo booths and being stoned out of your mind. There were moments when Brock seemed to gather all the formidable energy of the band in her vocals and fling it down at the audience. Quite amazing. (She invited the audience to say hello after the set, and buy a CD, saying, "I don't bite." I don't believe her.)
Veterans to the Knoxville music scene, Beeswax delivered an even more moving set. The group is always being compared to Pavement, and you can clearly hear that influence. But they are not reverential, creating music with its own twists and personality. Singer-guitarist Todd Stapleton manages the rare trick of making you really feel his angst, disgust, confusion or whatever it is he's trying to convey at any moment. But, what made the show really great was that the band was having a bloody good time up there. At the urging of Brock, they delivered a kick-ass version of the Pixies' "Gigantic." Keep an eye out for their new CD, due in March.
Last week I mentioned The Benny Skyn Performer's Showcase, which is hosted by the eponymous Skyn, in an effort to inform one and all about the kickin' live music that can be had on a Sunday night at Manhattan's. And now I must say oops. This particular kickin' live music, which will be taped and broadcast on CTV, can be had at Manhattan's on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. This week (that would be tonight, for those scoring at home) will feature The Vacationist League, among others.
Veni, Vidi, Vici
Thursday: Bobby "Blue" Bland at the Bijou. I just can't seem to shake these walkin' blues.
Friday: Bill Mize and Martha Jacobs at Laurel Theatre. Mize's new CD Coastin' is fingerstyle guitar at its finest.
Saturday: The Nevers with Flesh Vehicle at Moose's. Mod-pop genius made up of a who's who of former Knox music-ites.
Sunday: Inner Eye at KMA. This is the kind of contemporary art that makes you go hmmm....
Monday: Brian Setzer Orchestra with Bare Jr. at Tennessee Theatre. He's gonna swing this town, swing it inside out.
Tuesday: Apelife at Musician's Friend. Todd Steed plus some Richardsons are the strange glory that is Apelife.
Wednesday: Blue Jam at Sassy Ann's. Variation on a theme, my friends.
Zippy "Extreme to the Max" McDuff