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Eye on the Scene

Run Todd Run

Whooee. Randy Tyree's ears must've been burning up Saturday night. The once-and-would-be-future-mayor took a tongue-lashing from the stage of Manhattan's the likes of which he probably hasn't received since the bad old days of his last term. The denunciator was none other than Todd Steed, majordomo of Apelife and the most Knoxvillest of all Knoxville musicians. Between typically audacious chuckle-rock numbers ("Rasta Top"—"Once two strangers went up to Cocke County/Lookin' for a ganja field/ Strangers ain't come down from Cocke County..."), Steed launched into an invective on local politics triggered by Tyree's re-entry into its orbit. Recalling that Tyree made his name as a cop by "busting pot smokers on campus," Steed said, "They could've been smoking 50 bags a day and they still wouldn't have been as stupid as Randy Tyree or Kyle Testerman or any of the other rednecks who have been making our laws for the last 200 years." He was somewhat less harsh on our current hizzoner, although he did note Mr. Ashe's tendency to hire flunkies who are "even shorter than he is." So where oh where does that leave us? Never fear—at the end of his ad-libbed spiel, Steed said, "Tonight I am announcing my candidacy for mayor." Hey! There's a campaign we'd like to see. Don't get your hopes up too much, though; at press time, Toddzilla hadn't picked up a qualifying petition from the Election Commission.

More From the Living Legends Dept:

In case you hadn't had enough Steedisms, Toddzilla will soon be releasing full length CDs by both of his bands. Opposable Thumbs just finished recording their second album, which will be titled either Chicks Ahoy or Rule of Thumbs, depending on what kind of mood Todd is in whenever it comes time for the cover design. The album will be a combination of new songs and tried and true chestnuts heretofore only available on cassette releases. The album was recorded in four days over the last year at Nashville's Disgraceland Studios West and at Songwriter Studios in North Knoxville.

Also keep your eyes peeled for an album by Apelife, tentatively titled Natural Selections. In an odd twist, Apelife will tour to support the Opposable Thumbs Record and the 'Thumbs will tour to support the Apelife record.

Of course the records will be available locally, but bigger and better plans are in the works as well. Steed just signed a deal for distribution of both recordings with Red Eye Distributors.


Knoxville figures prominently in the new Fugazi documentary, Instrument, distributed by Dischord Records. A highlight (or low point, depending on your perspective) of the video is an incident at the band's last Knoxville concert in April 1996 at the Electric Ballroom. It seems some local punkers got a little too carried away with their moshing, spitting on Fugazi figurehead Ian McKaye after he tried to stop the more aggressive dancers. McKaye ended up getting one punk type in a headlock, demanding he apologize for spitting or leave the venue. The video also features interviews with locals waiting to enter the show. Mulletisms and naive ideas about what it means to "be punk" abound.

Unfortunately, the events captured on film tend to solidify negative stereotypes about the South and about Knoxville in particular. In spite of the actions of some overzealous slam dancers, the crowd was generally in agreement with McKaye, cheering when the offending spitter was ejected from the concert. If you watch closely you'll probably see someone you know, including a full-on glimpse of former Metro Pulse staffer and old school punk Jon Wallace.

Bon Voyage

Boogeymen bassist and all-round prolific player for the last decade Doug Cole will be leaving our fair hamlet in order to journey to the land of sunshine and olives after he marries a native Italian in early May. While we all wish we could join him, we'll have to content ourselves with a going away bash on May 8 at the 'men's home-away-from-home The Spot, out on Kingston Pike, at 10 p.m. And, in case you've missed them, the Boogeymen describe their music as "Albert Collins playing with Herbie Hancock's Headhunters, mixed with The Funky Meters, Phish, and Widespread Panic." How, exactly, can you resist?

Give It To Me, Baby

Thursday: Porgy and Bess at Civic Auditorium. It's almost summertime and my mama just keeps getting more good lookin'.

Friday: Geisha at Manhattan's. Chicks can so rock. Don't believe me? Just ask Gabriella.

Saturday: Snack Crapple Pox and the Come Ons at the Longbranch. It's the place to be (unless you're somewhere else).

Sunday: KICCUP Choir Festival at First Baptist Church. These are the types of groups that make you believe in some sort of higher power, whether it be a god or the magical-ness of music.

Monday: T. Strickland Band at O'Charley's. Ms. Strickland seems to be gaining quite a following with her acoustic tunes. Check her out and figure out why.

Tuesday: Tuesday Night Trivia at Bird's Eye View. But do you have to answer in the form of a question?

Wednesday: Blues Jam at Sassy Ann's. They don't call it an institution for nothin', folks.

—Zippy "Uh, uh" McDuff