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These Kids Today...

None of the headbangers and moshers noticed when the Zipster infiltrated their ranks at Monday's Incubus and Ultraspank concert at Moose's. I guess my big pants and baseball cap (my adopted gear for the evening's incognito reviewing mission) threw them all off.

Anyway, there really was a big crowd, checking out what passes for metal, or rap-core, or extreme music or whatever they're calling it this week. I'm probably just too freakin' old, but this new blend of rap and heavy guitars just doesn't get it for me.

Ultraspank began the evening's festivities with their ever-so original mix of ultra low end bass, crunchy guitars, and angry, roaring vocals. Yep, they sounded just like Korn. Like, heavy man.

After a brief intermission Incubus took the stage to tumultuous applause. Apparently (who knows why?) the band is poised on the verge of big success because almost everyone in the crowd seemed to know all the lyrics. Like 'em or not, the band was undeniably tight and professional.

But heavy they were not. Incubus sounded more like a second-rate 311. Musical competency aside, the band was pretty dang dull. The singer's vocals were so doctored with effects that anyone yelling through the mic would have sounded like the voice of god. And of course, the band featured a turntablist. Having a DJ in your band is the happening thing these days. Fred Durst would've been proud to see his acolytes doing such a well executed rendition.

The real entertainment of these supposedly heavy music events is watching Moose's bouncers eject audience members who get out of control. The tough-looking guys in the security force play judge and jury on overzealous moshers and there is nary a second of time lag before the offending parties are ejected from the premises. Bang, zoom, pow! Now that's what I call heavy.

So I go out to see two heavy bands and don't hear a single guitar solo all night. Whatever happened to the hallowed tradition of long hair, leather pants, and lead guitar? Oldsters like Motorhead, AC/DC, Manowar, and Slayer could blast these lightweights to smithereens in a second flat.

Gratuitous Plug

Former Never Rick Tiller's website is in a heart-pounding contest with 25 indie sites to see who can log the most hits. If you want to "help a brotha out," click on and follow the links. Plus, you can also check out a myriad of bands who want to tour outside their home city, as well as get some inside skinny on some local acts like Pegasi 51 and The Lovejoys.

Another Voice in the Wilderness

For the past couple weeks, the MetroBlab, our online reader feedback/discussion avenue, has been simply buzzing with folks who want to start their own publication, since MP-ers simply can't cover every band and/or we suck. One Mr. Todd Steed took the bull by the, uh, horns and is putting together an audio CD full of local stuff. Here is his prospectus, in his own words:

I, Todzilla, not of either sound mind nor body, hereby will produce ONE and only one issue of a local music zine. It will be all audio CD. Audio interviews with people who I want to interview or who send me something that I would enjoy talking about. I propose not to cover the entire scene, but I will cover a part of it, the part that I find interesting. I'll put clips from bands on there, too.
And if that were not enough, I am in the process of setting up a website that will have a KNOXVILLE MP3 of the week. Any bands who want me to feature their CD on my upcoming mp3 site, or bands or musical types who want to be interviewed for the Audio CD Zine (as of yet to be named.) PLEASE send all info to:

Todzilla's Zine Project
PO Box 16044
Knoxville, TN 37996

Any and all styles are welcome. Pass this info on to bands who don't read this page.
Yes, I know already some people are already to write a negative review of the zine. And that's fine. But if you send it to me in advance on a .wav file I can put it on the CD!

Todd can also be reached at [email protected]. So quit your whining and contribute already!

Another Lovely Valley

Last week, KnoxVegas had a plague of filmmakers descend upon it. And it was good.

These camera-happy, low-budget lovers spent most of their time hanging out in a dark, Downtown West Theater room, watching some of the best that the indie world has to offer. This year, that included a documentary about moonshine, animation about a sadistic balloon, a feature about some mooks, and a short or two—as well as three dozen or so other outstanding offerings. In the judges' minds, the following stole the second annual Valleyfest Film Festival: Breathing Hard (Best Feature), The Other Woman (Best Short), Quangle Wangle (Best Animation), Habits of Faith (Best Documentary), and The Hook-Armed Man (Best Film as a Four-Letter Word). Last Chance ran away with the Audience Award.

A good time was had by all, including a spy from Harry Knowles' Ain't It Cool News, proving that, once again, nifty things happen in these here hills.

Zippy "Korn Nut" McDuff

March 16, 2000 * Vol. 10, No. 11
© 2000 Metro Pulse